Thursday, August 25, 2016

Thursday roundup

Leon Wolf at RedState gets to the heart of the matter of Squirrel-Hair's waffling on immigration: eventually those high-profile Bots who made the issue their pet obsession will attempt to wash their hands of the S-H defeat by claiming he went mushy on it. But that won't be why he loses, since most Pub voters don't place a high priority on it:

Trump is losing Virginia and Colorado by double digits, and Trump simply does not have a path to victory without those states. In other words, on the day Trump made his "pivot" on immigration, he was already on the path to a virtually certain total defeat.
Here are the facts that people like Coulter do not like to acknowledge: illegal immigration is not a big deal to most people in this country. Polls consistentlyshow that "illegal immigration" is the main concern of about 6-8% of voters, which puts it barely within the top 10 of issues voters care about; and even among those voters, Hillary wins nearly half - which makes sense. For some portion of the people who view immigration as their most important issue, Trump is (or has been, until yesterday) about the worst candidate imaginable.
Here's how disconnected from reality the Ingrahams and Coulters are from the actual real world in which people live - as Dan McLaughlin noted here before in an exhaustive post, "amnesty" (as they define it) is a majority position among Republican primary voters. That particular majority, however, tends to be the actual silent majority; the "deport them all and let God sort them out" wing is the loud, obnoxious, more single-minded minority. Trump isn't going to lose the election because he is taking a position that is opposed by only a minority of voters in his own party and is supported by huge margins among the population at large, and it's absurd to suggest otherwise.
Bottom line is that a year from now, some yahoo is going to come up to you and suggest that the reason Trump lost the election is because he softened on immigration. Just know that the reason they are telling you this is because they are wanting to sell you more books about how, if everyone only listened to them, Republicans would win elections and everything would be great again. It sounds tempting, but it just isn't true.

Eli Lake at Bloomberg says a comprehensive look at the Most Equal Comrade's Iran policy since he's had his grip on post-America's throat explains why he sat on his hands when the 2009 uprising at least increased the possibility of getting rid of the Islamic Republic regime with its grip on Iran's throat: The MEC was obsessed with a legacy as a lightworker, a visionary astride the globe bringing unicorns, rainbows and an era of a true "international community" to humankind:

Obama from the beginning of his presidency tried to turn the country's ruling clerics from foes to friends. It was an obsession. And even though the president would impose severe sanctions on the country's economy at the end of his first term and beginning of his second, from the start of his presidency, Obama made it clear the U.S. did not seek regime change for Iran.  
It's debatable whether the U.S. ever did support such a policy. But it's striking the lengths to which Obama went to make good on his word. As Solomon reports, Obama ended U.S. programs to document Iranian human rights abuses. He wrote personal letters to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei assuring him the U.S. was not trying to overthrow him. Obama repeatedly stressed his respect for the regime in his statements marking Iran's annual Nowruz celebration.
His quest to engage the mullahs seems to have influenced Obama's decision-making on other issues too. When he walked away from his red line against Syria's use of chemical weapons in 2013, Solomon reports, both U.S. and Iranian officials had told him that nuclear negotiations would be halted if he intervened against Bashar al-Assad.
Obama eventually did get a nuclear deal with Iran. Solomon's book shines in reporting the details of the diplomacy that led to the 2015 accord. American diplomats held two sets of negotiations with Iran -- one public channel with the British, Chinese, European Union, French, Germans, Russians and the United Nations -- and another, bilateral track established through the Sultanate of Oman. In 2013, U.S. officials shuttled on public busses between two hotels in Geneva to conduct the two tracks before telling their negotiating partners about the formerly secret channel to Iran.
Eventually, the Iranians wore down the U.S. delegation. At the beginning of the talks in 2013, the U.S. position was for Iran to dismantle much of its nuclear infrastructure. By the end of the talks in 2015, Secretary of State John Kerry and his team "agreed that Iran would then be allowed to build an industrial-scale nuclear program, with hundreds of thousands of machines, after a ten year period of restraint."
Other U.S. red lines were demolished too. The final deal would allow the U.N. ban on Iranian missile development to phase out after eight years, and the arms embargo against Iran to expire after five. Iran would not have to acknowledge that it had tried to develop a nuclear weapon, even though samples the Iranians collected at its Parchin facility found evidence of man-made uranium.
The Oregon state legislature has an agenda of planned decline on steroids:

The green energy warriors have pretty much taken over the state legislature in the Beaver State for more than the past decade and they’ve managed to pass all sorts of interesting laws. One of them was a rule which says that all coal fired power will be eliminated by 2020… a deadline which is pretty much right around the corner. The Boardman Coal Plant is scheduled to shut down completely in the next few years and at that point there will be little besides wind turbines in terms of in-state power generation. What could possibly go wrong? (Fox News)
The massive coal-fired plant in Boardman, Ore., is just four years away from being shut down for good – at that point, Oregon coal production will be no more, after the state became the first in the nation to completely ban coal power.
The mandate, signed into law earlier this year, was the result of an environmentalist-fueled push by the Democrat-controlled legislature. Under the plan, coal production will end once the Boardman plant shutters in 2020 – utilities would still be able to buy coal power from out of state for another 10 years, until a 2030 deadline to end coal use entirely.
But the phase-out already has groups warning that residents are headed for big rate increases and brownouts.
The first thing the residents can prepare to do is tighten their purse strings. Energy generation remains in the realm of the free market and in order to comply with these state mandates, energy is going to cost more. The utility companies don’t simply suck up those increased costs, so they get passed on to the consumer. But if the citizens of the state are willing and able to pay energy bills which may double their current rates, that’s up to them I suppose. Of course, it’s the lowest income residents who will bear the brunt of that damage as usual.
But what will be more interesting to observe is not the bottom line people are paying, but if the lights will stay on at all. Coal currently provides more than a third of Oregon’s energy needs. The total energy provided by wind turbines accounts for… eight percent. And it’s a highly unreliable eight percent because that production drops to nearly zero every time the wind stops blowing. There are nowhere near the number of new wind turbine projects under construction right now to make up that gap even if you could ensure steady breezes blowing all year long.
"Science guy" my tail end:

William Sanford Nye’s scientific bona fides consists of an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from Cornell, and a stint at Boeing. But you can be anything you want on television, and in the late 1980s, hard at work pursuing a career in comedy, Nye landed a recurring bit as Bill Nye “the Science Guy” on Almost Live!, a Seattle-area sketch-comedy television show, and a role as Christopher Lloyd’s laboratory sidekick on Back to the Future: The Animated Series. Nye then leveraged that success into his namesake PBS Kids show, Bill Nye the Science Guy, which from 1993 to 1998 filmed 100 half-hour episodes, each focused on a particular topic (dinosaurs, buoyancy, germs, &c.) and accompanied by a parody soundtrack (e.g., Episode 75, on invertebrates: “Crawl Away,” by “S. Khar Go” — a parody of “Runaway” by Janet Jackson). Somehow, because of this, Nye is now the go-to authority on exoplanets and dark matter and whether we are living in a computer simulation — and, of course, environmental policy.
I may have more on the Squirrel-Hair immigration waffle later today. The schadenfreude is too delicious to resist, especially the fact that Coulter's book In Trump We Trust comes out the very week that this goes down.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Mike Pence, working overtime on the cleanup crew

In a post yesterday, I looked at how Squirrel-Hair has waffled on the big issue that got the Bots all wet in the britches in the first place: immigration.

So now it is left to the hapless actual conservative on the ticket with him to try to spin it:

He’s not there to try and add some maturity and balance to the ticket. He’s there to make excuses.
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence said Wednesday that Donald Trump would make good on his promise to build a wall on the southwestern U.S. border, but told voters to "stay tuned" to Trump's upcoming immigration speech to hear other aspects of Trump's plan.
Pence said in a radio interview that Trump would "very quickly" deport illegal immigrants who commit crimes once he is president. But he left wiggle room on what to do with millions of other illegal immigrants already in the country. That uncertain comes as Trump has indicated a change in tone from the campaign on whether all 11 million illegal immigrants should be deported.
If they’re “illegal,” haven’t they already committed a crime?
Trump is backing off of the very platform that earned him his cult leader status, and Pence is trying to make flip-flopping seem hip.
"Individuals who have committed crimes in this country are going to go, and they're going to go very quickly to be processed for a justice system and out of this country," Pence said. "Beyond that, I just think, stay tuned. Another one of these major speeches is coming up, Donald Trump will address the issue of immigration. I guarantee you he's going to be a man of his word."
That’s the problem, Governor Pence. He’s said so many words, nobody really knows which ones he actually means.
The wise choice is to fall back on past actions, as an indicator of future intentions. With that in mind, we see a man who has repeatedly cheated creditors (as well as wives), has a string of failed businesses, and committed fraud on numerous occasions.
There’s also that matter of his postponing those immigration speeches, due to “fine tuning” the message.
You’re starting to sound desperate, Governor.
"Securing our borders, enforcing our laws and whatever else we do will be tough but fair, and it will reflect the kind of compassion and humanity the American people would expect and, frankly, that proceeds out of this good man," he added.
You lost me when you said, “this good man.” We have no evidence, whatsoever, to back that claim up.
Do better with your life, Governor Pence.

I would imagine his closed-door conversations these days with his wife, close friends and trusted confidantes have a somewhat raw tone to them.

Here's one major university that has no use for snowflake-coddling

This is a refreshing development:

The University of Chicago recently made it clear to its crop of incoming students that academic freedom and inquiry remain pillars at the institution, and that the university does not support "so-called" trigger warnings or offer safe spaces that allow students "to retreat from ideas and perspectives at odds with their own. Here is how the university welcomed its incoming class of 2020:
Welcome and congratulations on your acceptance to the college at the University of Chicago. Earning a place in our community of scholars is no small achievement and we are delighted that you selected Chicago to continue your intellectual journey.
Once here you will discover that one of the University of Chicago’s defining characteristics is our commitment to freedom of inquiry and expression. … Members of our community are encouraged to speak, write, listen, challenge, and learn, without fear of censorship. Civility and mutual respect are vital to all of us, and freedom of expression does not mean the freedom to harass or threaten others. You will find that we expect members of our community to be engaged in rigorous debate, discussion, and even disagreement. At times this may challenge you and even cause discomfort.
And then, the coup de grace:
Our commitment to academic freedom means that we do not support so called ‘trigger warnings,’ we do not cancel invited speakers because their topics might prove controversial, and we do not condone the creation of intellectual ‘safe spaces’ where individuals can retreat from ideas and perspectives at odds with their own. 
All I would say is that those who drafted this letter had better brace themselves for some ire from the jackboots.

You know that's coming.

The costly tyranny of the architects of planned decline

The relentless march of the executive-branch jackboots:

The Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration jointly issued a new regulation last week that is meant to help protect the world from "climate change" by limiting “greenhouse gas emissions” and improving fuel efficiency in medium- and heavy-duty vehicles operated in the United States.
The 1,690-page regulation is approximately 700,000 words long.
A “regulatory impact analysis” published by EPA and NHTSA estimates the regulation will add an average of as much as $13,749 to the cost of a tractor truck and $1,370 to a trailer, making some tractor-trailer combinations $15,119 more expensive in 2027 than they would be under current regulations.
While admitting that the regulation will increase the cost of trucks and the other vehicles it effects, the administration argues that the owners of these vehicles will actually save money by using less fuel and that the regulation “will result in up to $230 billion in net benefits to society.”
These “net benefits to society” include what the administration calls “health benefits” and “energy security benefits.”
The new regulations cover a range of vehicles running from heavy-duty pickup trucks and passenger vans, through “vocational vehicles” (such as garbage trucks, emergency vehicles and school buses), to large cargo trucks such as tractor-trailers.
In a co-authored blog published on the White House website, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said the regulation is part of President Obama’s “Climate Action Plan.”
“In 2013, President Obama announced his Climate Action Plan, a bold plan that is now on track to reduce emissions from nearly every sector of our economy,” said McCarthy and Foxx.
“Today, we are fulfilling one of the central promises in this plan — finalizing the second phase of greenhouse gas emissions and fuel efficiency standards for medium and heavy duty vehicles for model years 2018 and beyond,” they said.
While the EPA administrator and Transportation secretary conceded that the regulation will increase the prices of the regulated vehicles, they argued that it will reduce CO2 emissions and fuel consumption and that truck owners will actually save money in the long run because they will buy less fuel.
Let's itemize some of the ways in which this edict poisons the human condition:

  1. It's unconstitutional. The legislative branch is supposed to pass laws. 
  2. Even if this were to come from Congress, it would still be tyrannical. It is government interfering in economic relations between buyer and seller (truck makers and owner-operators)
  3. It's the arrogance of the nanny state on full display. Any owner-operator with his brain intact wants to keep his fuel costs as low as possible, but finds the imposition of the upfront cost of a more expensive rig prohibitive. It's called the free market. As with any consumer, he is balancing an array of considerations in arriving at his final purchasing decision.
  4. It's based on utter fictions, namely, that the global climate is in some kind of trouble, and that there is some urgent need to skimp on the production and consumption of fossil fuels.
But it's the kind of thing that will be imposed in spades in a Hillionaire administration.

Jihad never sleeps - today's edition

Horror in Kabul:

The American University of Afghanistan in the capital Kabul came under attack by militants on Wednesday night after a huge explosion rocked the campus and gunmen opened fire.

Hundreds of students and American faculty staff were left trapped, an interior ministry official said, with many taking to social media to plead for help.

A huge plume of smoke was seen rising above the fortified campus as elite Afghan forces backed by American military observers surrounded the university compound and battled the terrorists. 

Several gunmen, some wearing suicide vests, were involved in the attack which began at 9.30am (ET) in the western suburbs of Kabul, the official said.

A health ministry official said at least 14 people had been injured, while many inside managed to escape the onslaught of gunfire by rushing through emergency exits.

Teachers and students still inside the university sheltered in place while security forces moved slowly through the campus buildings to clear them while witnesses reported militants threw grenades at them.
According to one student, several of his classmates were killed and wounded while another posted on Facebook: 'We are stuck in university and under attack by Taliban they are killing us.

Renowned Associated Press photographer, Massoud Hossaini was one of those caught in the crossfire, but later managed to escape.

The attack began when a car bomb exploded outside a school for the blind next door to the campus before at least one attacker fired at the university from that building, a police officer told The New York Times. 
According to Afghan journalist Bilal Sawary, the Kabul's CDR rapid reaction unit informed him that they were dealing with a 'complex' attack and that special forces are 'en-route'.

'We have been notified of a complex attack on the American University on Darul-Aman Road,' the commander of Kabul police's quick reaction force told NBC News as the attack began, adding, 'We still don't know the exact nature of the attack.'

A health ministry spokesperson confirmed 14 of the wounded had so far been taken to hospital. 
No organization has taken responsibility yet for the attack at the university.

'My class was over and I was planning to leave, then suddenly I heard gunshots,' said Ahmad Mukhtar, a student at the university.

'I tried to find shelter, but a blast took place and I ran towards a wall and managed to escape by climbing the wall and injured my leg,' he told the LA Times.

'Several students have been killed and injured; many students and professors are stuck,' said another student according to the LA Times

'Some managed to escape, but we are still here. Please help us.'
The question is whether the world is going to think of this as the new normal, as a factor that's just baked in to the human condition.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Bots keep searching for a bedrock set of consistent principles with which to convince those of us who know what he's really made of, and they always come up short

At the conclusion of a RedState post about Squirrel-Hair's immigration "policy" - that is, his history of waffles, panderings and incoherent blurting - Caleb Howe makes a more general point that needs to be reiterated at every possible turn:

Despite his fiery rhetoric, and despite what his legions of adoring white nationalists believe, he never really had a tough new immigration plan anyway. 
I mean, sure he made definitive statements like: "You're going to have a deportation force, and you're going to do it humanely." Or: "We have at least 11 million people in this country that came in illegally. They will go out." Or "They’re going to go, and then come back and come back legally.” But it was all bluster.
Look, here is what two Trump surrogates said on the Sunday talk shows this week:
Mr. Trump’s new campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, signaled on Sunday that he has been reconsidering his approach to deportations. Pressed in an interview on CNN as to whether a deportation force was still on the table as a law enforcement measure, Ms. Conway said it was "to be determined."
Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, a staunch ally of Mr. Trump’s who advises him on immigration policy, also acknowledged the new uncertainty, saying on CBS that Mr. Trump was “wrestling” with what to do about deportations.
Now compare to this quote which I first wrote about over three months ago.
"I call it a rhetorical deportation of 12 million people," Collins said.
He then gestured toward a door in his Capitol Hill office.
"They go out that door, they go in that room, they get their work papers, Social Security number, then they come in that door, and they’ve got legal work status but are not citizens of the United States,” Collins said. "So there was a virtual deportation as they left that door for processing and came in this door."
Collins added: “We’re not going to put them on a bus, and we’re not going to drive them across the border."
That's from Rep. Chris Collins, the first member of Congress to endorse Trump, who has been a key ally and surrogate, and who Trump had second his nomination at the convention in Cleveland. You guys, these are top Trump people. They are saying it. 
And Trump backs them up. He backed them up on the O'Reilly Factor last night, and three months ago, when Collins spilled the beans about the "virtual" deportations, Trump backed him up, too, saying:
"Look, everything, honestly, is going to be up .. we're going to negotiate. I can't make these decisions myself. We have congress ... we have to deal with a lot of people. I mean, you know, I can't just take executive orders like Obama..."
That was his answer when asked specifically about "virtual" deportations. (Oh by the way? The wall was virtual too, said Collins. yeah.)
For some real fun, note that the word "deport" only appears on the immigration page of his website once.
In other words, Trump makes definitive statements that he will absolutely do something, then his surrogates reveal he actually might not do those things, and then he waffles around citing the need to work with Congress and existing laws and other things that would have his base foaming at the mouth if, say, John McCain said them. Can you really, seriously not see that, Trump voters? 
"I'm going to deport every illegal person."
"Yeah but like, not really though, right?"
Like National Review, I would welcome with relief an immigration plan that doesn't sound like it was written by David Duke or Laura Ingraham. It also should not sound like it was written by Angela Merkel, Barack Obama, or Hillary Clinton. With Trump, you might get either. Or neither. Or both. But whichever you get, you can bet he'll have already lied about it.
You know why this is not a change in policy for Trump? He doesn't have one. (Although he might have three.) You see, you can't change what doesn't exist.
Ann, Laura, Sean, Wayne Allen Root, if this is enough to hang your hat on, the accusations against you that you have, through the years, been mainly driven by the perception that conservatism was a realm in which you could become a big shot, takes on a new validity.

And she's Hillionaire's most trusted confidante

Huma had too many claims on her attention that day, I guess:

Emails released on Monday show that Hillary Clinton’s top State Department aide, Huma Abedin, left classified government information that needed to be burned in the front seat of her vehicle.
“Favor” is the subject of Abedin’s July 20, 2009 email to Lauren Jiloty, Clinton’s personal assistant. Judicial Watch obtained the records and hundreds more pages of Abedin emails as part of its ongoing Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the State Department.
“I’m going to have ambassador ride on next drive,” wrote Abedin. “There’s a bunch of burn stuff in the pocket of my front seat.”

"Can u put in trunk?” she asked.
Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 9.04.23 PM
Jiloty told Abedin she would.

Doesn't exactly burnish this crew's national-security credentials, does it?

Why we must not become jaded about male misbehavior

Another former FNC on-air personality files suit against the channel:

Fox News is being sued by its former personality, Andrea Tantaros. In a lawsuit filed against her former employer, Tantaros alleges the company — which was formerly led by Roger Ailes — is a "sex-fueled, Playboy Mansion-like cult."
The New York Times reports that Tantaros launched legal proceedings against Fox News on Monday, accusing the news network of punishing her for complaining about sexual harassment by former chief executive Roger Ailes.
Fox News told The New York Times that it would not comment pending legal proceedings.
Business Insider has contacted Fox News by email for comment on the allegations.
Earlier this month, the network's lawyers disputed Tantaros' allegations. They told New York Magazine that she had been suspended with pay because she didn’t allow the network to vet her book, which the lawyers said violated her contract.
Her lawsuit, filed in the New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan, did not pull any punches, according to the Times.
"Fox News masquerades as a defender of traditional family values, but behind the scenes, it operates like a sex-fueled, Playboy Mansion-like cult, steeped in intimidation, indecency and misogyny," the lawsuit reads.
It argues that Ailes, who stepped down last month after being overrun by accusations of sexual abuse, "did not act alone" and his actions were "condoned by his most senior lieutenants," according to the Times.
Tantaros, who co-hosted "The Five" and vanished from the screen in April, claims that she was repeatedly told not to wear trousers, so Ailes could see her legs, according to the suit. She was also asked by Ailes to turn around so "so I can get a good look at you," the suit claims, per the Times.
The lawsuit also accuses Fox News of setting up fake Twitter accounts, known as "sock puppets," to harass her online, according to the report.
Tantaros' action follows former anchor Gretchen Carlson's lawsuit against Ailes last month. Carlson's lawyers also claim that more than 10 other women have come forward with claims against the former Fox News boss, who has so far denied all allegations against him.
Gabriel Sherman, New York Magazine writer and Ailes' biographer, suggested on Twitter on Tuesday that Tantaros' lawsuit will be followed by others. 

This, of course, follows Gretchen Carlson's lawsuit of the same nature, as well as remarks by Megan Kelly that Ailes had acted inappropriately toward her. And this sordid account of a behind-the-scenes Fox staffer's dealings with Ailes:

The morning after Fox News chief Roger Ailes resigned, the cable network’s former director of booking placed a call to the New York law firm hired by 21st Century Fox to investigate sexual-harassment allegations against Ailes. Laurie Luhn told the lawyers at Paul, Weiss that she had been harassed by Ailes for more than 20 years, that executives at Fox News had known about it and helped cover it up, and that it had ruined her life. “It was psychological torture,” she later told me.
So far, most of the women who have spoken publicly about harassment by Ailes in the wake of Gretchen Carlson’s lawsuit had said no to Ailes’s sexual advances. They ran out of hotel rooms, they pulled away from embraces, they complained or avoided or generally resisted, even when it hurt their careers. This is the account of a woman who chose to go along with what Roger Ailes wanted — because he was powerful, because she thought he could help her advance her career, because she was professionally adrift and emotionally unmoored.
Doing so helped Luhn’s career for a time — at her peak, she earned $250,000 a year as an event planner at Fox while, according to both her own account and four confirming sources, enjoying Ailes’s protection within the company. But the arrangement required her to do many things she is now horrified by, including luring young female Fox employees into one-on-one situations with Ailes that Luhn knew could result in harassment. “He’s a predator,” she told me. In recent years, Luhn had a series of mental breakdowns that she attributes to the stress of her situation, and was even hospitalized for a time.
Now, the author of that New York magazine piece, Gabriel Sherman,  has for some time made a mission out of peering into the life and mind of Roger Ailes, and he has his supporters and detractors.

But there is enough of a body of accusation, from multiple sources and bolstered by detail that seems unlikely to be the product of fabrication, for us to conclude that Mr. Ailes was a man of inconsistent virtue, to put it kindly.

The first item to address upon so concluding is the easy-to-make charge that those who have been enthusiasts of the channel are hypocrites, willing to wallow in schadenfreude when, for instance, Dave Letterman's Late Night staff was proven to be a bacchanalian playhouse, or that they are on shaky ground when they point to the sybaritic antics of the music and movie worlds. Or, most relevant to the present moment, when they point to Bill Clinton's forty-year track record.

Which makes this an opportune moment  to reiterate one of LITD's core assertions: Hypocrisy is about the least impressive charge that can be levied against someone's character.

Least impressive because it leads to excuse-making and nihilism, as in "Oh, knock it off with your tired old standards that nobody ever lives up to. Men are horndogs; get over it. It's just something to be factored in to human interaction."

Let's look at the two sides of the coin that explains the prevalence of patriarchy in societies across the globe and throughout history.

On the one hand there are the undeniable facts of the man's greater upper body strength and his dispositional readiness to get as ugly with any threat as is necessary, the combination of which leads to the roles as protector and provider into which he naturally falls.

And this capacity for ugliness is what, in a truly seasoned man - one who has cultivated himself beyond the brute level of capricious indulgence in it - provides the germ of the sense of justice. If he's worked on refining himself to any degree, he understands that restraint is called for unless a wrong is so grave or a threat so immediate, so as to be sure that one's reaction is proper in the circumstance.  When the commitment is made to enter into conflict, someone can get killed. Great destruction may ensue.

To be blunt, this is why men were political animals first, why voting and office-holding have generally come late to women in human societies.

C.S. Lewis employs this observation in his explanation of why men make natural heads of families:

The relations of the family to the outer world—what might be called its foreign policy—must depend, in the last resort, upon the man, because he always ought to be, and usually is, much more just to the outsiders. A woman is primarily fighting for her own children and husband against the rest of the world. Naturally, almost, in a sense, rightly, their claims override, for her, all other claims. She is the special trustee of their interests.
The function of the husband is to see that this natural preference of hers is not given its head. He has the last word in order to protect other people from the intense family patriotism of the wife. If anyone doubts this, let me ask a simple question. If your dog has bitten the child next door, or if your child has hurt the dog next door, which would you sooner have to deal with, the master of that house or the mistress? Or, if you are a married woman, let me ask you this question. Much as you admire your husband, would you not say that his chief failing is his tendency not to stick up for his rights and yours against the neighbours as vigorously as you would like? A bit of an Appeaser?
On the other hand, there is an impulse in a man that throbs at the slightest stimulus, and this is true regardless of whether he's bothered to refine himself or not. As Dennis Prager points out, a man is capable of engaging in meaningless sex, and a woman is not.

The ancient Hebrew king Solomon is an example of someone who had refined himself on many levels but was not able to surmount this basic drive. God had been so impressed with his answer to the question of what Solomon would like as a reward for his reverence - Solomon requested wisdom - that God gave him power and wealth anyway. But once Solomon had realized that his divinely bestowed stature could garner him hundreds of wives and concubines, he went for it.

The feminist response to all this is to cry that it is an unfair arrangement deliberately designed by men rather than a feature of nature. The shortcoming in that view is that, after thousands of years of societal development all over this planet, there is no example of a different arrangement prevailing.

What, then, is to be done? Is a cynical attitude, one that says that Roger Ailes types, rock stars and politicians motivated by the opportunity to meet chicks will always be with us, the best we can hope for?

 Quite clearly, even the most gentlemanly among us, one who graciously buries his fantasies and conducts himself impeccably in dealings with any and all women, still has the fight going on within him. He still has to make the effort to bury that which arises in his mind and nervous system.

And that which arises is so powerful that occasionally it prevails. Ask Solomon.

To move from the Old Testament to the New, what seems clear is that accepting God's grace is the only way out. A man has to acknowledge that there is this force within him that is thinking in terms of breasts and legs and intoxicating sensory cues to the exclusion of granting a woman her full humanity. And then he has to lay that at the foot of the cross.

It seems the only sure way to succeed at surmounting that force.

It's just another aspect of life that demonstrates why we must become new. We must die to what we have been.

It's the only way to keep harassed news-network personalities from becoming hardened and bitter, the only way to truly include women in the workforce and political realm, the only way to once and for all bring clarity to any and all situations and dispense with the cacophony that has gotten us nowhere since the beginning of time.

He is the answer, whatever the question.

And now the Clinton machine wants to make its Godmother dictator of post-America

The new batch of emails tell of lots of ring-kissing:

Judicial Watch today released 725 pages of new State Department documents, including previously unreleased email exchanges in which former Hillary Clinton’s top aide Huma Abedin provided influential Clinton Foundation donors special, expedited access to the secretary of state. In many instances, the preferential treatment provided to donors was at the specific request of Clinton Foundation executive Douglas Band.

The new documents included 20 Hillary Clinton email exchanges not previously turned over to the State Department, bringing the known total to date to 191 of new Clinton emails (not part of the 55,000 pages of emails that Clinton turned over to the State Department).  These records further appear to contradict statements by Clinton that, “as far as she knew,” all of her government emails were turned over to the State Department.

The Abedin emails reveal that the longtime Clinton aide apparently served as a conduit between Clinton Foundation donors and Hillary Clinton while Clinton served as secretary of state. In more than a dozen email exchanges, Abedin provided expedited, direct access to Clinton for donors who had contributed from $25,000 to $10 million to the Clinton Foundation. In many instances, Clinton Foundation top executive Doug Band, who worked with the Foundation throughout Hillary Clinton’s tenure at State, coordinated closely with Abedin. In Abedin’s June deposition to Judicial Watch, she conceded that part of her job at the State Department was taking care of “Clinton family matters.”
Included among the Abedin-Band emails is an exchange revealing that when Crown Prince Salman of Bahrain requested a meeting with Secretary of State Clinton, he was forced to go through the Clinton Foundation for an appointment. Abedin advised Band that when she went through “normal channels” at State, Clinton declined to meet. After Band intervened, however, the meeting was set up within forty-eight hours. According to the Clinton Foundation website, in 2005, Salman committed to establishing the Crown Prince’s International Scholarship Program (CPISP) for the Clinton Global Initiative. And by 2010, it had contributed $32 million to CGI. The Kingdom of Bahrain reportedly gave between $50,000 and $100,000 to the Clinton Foundation. And Bahrain Petroleum also gave an additional $25,000 to $50,000.
From: Doug Band
To: Huma Abedin
Sent: Tue Jun 23 1:29:42 2009
Cp of Bahrain in tomorrow to Friday
Asking to see her
Good friend of ours
From: Huma Abedin
To: Doug Band
Sent: Tue Jun 23 4:12:46 2009
Subject: Re:
He asked to see hrc thurs and fri thru normal channels. I asked and she said she doesn’t want to commit to anything for thurs or fri until she knows how she will feel. Also she says that she may want to go to ny and doesn’t want to be committed to stuff in ny…
FromHuma Abedin []
Sent: Thursday, June 25, 2009 10:35:15 AM
To: Doug Band
Offering Bahrain cp 10 tomorrow for meeting woith [sic] hrc
If u see him, let him know
We have reached out thru official channels
Also included among the Abedin-Band emails is an exchange in which Band urged Abedin to get the Clinton State Department to intervene in order to obtain a visa for members of the Wolverhampton (UK) Football Club, one of whose members was apparently having difficulty because of a “criminal charge.” Band was acting at the behest of Casey Wasserman, a millionaire Hollywood sports entertainment executive and President of the Wasserman Foundation. Wasserman has donated between $5 million and $10 million to the Clinton Foundation through the Wasserman Foundation.
From: Tim Hoy [VP Wasserman Media Group]
Date: Tue. 5 May 2009 10:45:55 – 0700
To: Casey Wasserman
Subject: [Redacted] Wolverhampton FC/visa matter
Casey: Paul Martin’s [popular English footballer] client [Redacted] needs to get an expedited appointment at the US Embassy in London this week and we have hit some road blocks. I am writing to ask for your help.
The Wolverhampton FC is coming to Las Vegas this Thursday for a “celebration break.” [Redacted] so he cannot get a visa to the US without first being “interviewed” in the visa section of the US Embassy in London …
I contacted Senator Boxer’s office in SF for help … They balked at the criminal charge and said they “couldn’t help.”
I’m now trying to get help from Sherrod Brown’s office but that’s not going well either. So do you have any ideas/contacts that could contact the US Embassy in London and ask that they see [Redacted] tomorrow?
From: Casey Wasserman
To: Doug Band; Trista Schroeder [Wasserman Media Group executive]
Sent: Tue May 05 2:23:50 2009 [PT]
Subject: FW [Redacted] Wolverhampton FC/visa matter
Can you help with the below [Hoy email], or maybe Huma??? I am copying trista as I am on the plane in case I lose connection … thx.
From: Doug Band
Sent: Tue May 05 7:08:21 2009 [ET]
To: Casey Wasserman; Trista Schroeder
Subject: Re: [Redacted] Wolverhampton FC/visa matter
Will email her.
From: Doug Band
To: Huma Abedin
Sent: Tue May 5 7:26:49 2009
Subject: Fw: [Redacted] Wolverhampton FC/visa matter
[As per subject line, Band apparently forwarded Abedin material sent to him by Casey.]
From: Huma Abedin []
Sent: Tuesday, May 05, 2009 7:39:38 PM
To: Doug Band
Subject: Re: [Redacted] Wolverhampton FC/visa matter
I doubt we can do anything but maybe we can help with an interview. I’ll ask.
From: Huma Abedin
To: Doug Band
Sent: Tue May 05 5:50:09 2009
Subject: Re: [Redacted] Wolverhampton FC/visa matter
I got this now, makes me nervous to get involved but I’ll ask.
From: Doug Band
To: Huma Abedin
Sent: Tuesday, May 05, 2009 7:43:30 PM
Subject:  Re: [Redacted] Wolverhampton FC/visa matter
Then don’t
The Abedin emails also reveal that Slimfast tycoon S. Daniel Abraham was granted almost immediate access to then-Secretary of State Clinton, with Abedin serving as the facilitator. According to the Clinton Foundation website, Abraham, like the Wasserman Foundation, has given between $5 million and $10 million to the Clinton Foundation. The emails indicate that Abraham was granted almost immediate access to Clinton upon request:
FromHuma Abedin
To: H
Sent: Mon May 04 4:40:34 2009
Subject: Danny
Danny abraham called this morning. He is in dc today and tomorrow and asked for 15 min with you. Do u want me to try and fit him in tomorrow?
From: H
To Huma Abedin
Sent: Mon May 04 5:14:00 2009
Subject: Re: Danny
Will the plane wait if I can’t get there before 7-8?
From: Huma Abedin
Sent: Monday, May 04, 2009 5:15:30 PM
Subject: Re: Danny
Yes of course
Additional Abedin emails in which the top Clinton aide intervenes with the State Department on behalf of Clinton Foundation donors include the following:
  • On Friday, June 26, 2009, Clinton confidant Kevin O’Keefe wrote to Clinton saying that “Kevin Conlon is trying to set up a meeting with you and a major client.” Clinton wrote to Abedin, “Can you help deliver these for Kevin?” Abedin responded, “I’ll look into it asap” Kevin O’Keefe donated between $10,000 and $25,000 to the Clinton Foundation. Kevin Conlon is a Clinton presidential campaign “Hillblazer” who has raised more than $100,000 for the candidate.
  • On Tuesday, June 16, 2009, Ben Ringel wrote to Abedin, “I’m on shuttle w Avigdor Liberman. I called u back yesterday. I want to stop by to see hrc tonite for 10 mins.” Ringel donated between $10,000 and $25,000 to the Clinton Foundation.
  • On Monday, July 6, 2009, Maureen White wrote to Abedin, “I am going to be in DC on Thursday. Would she have any time to spare?” Abedin responded, “Yes I’ll make it work.” White donated $75,000 to the Clinton Foundation.
  • In June 2009, prominent St. Louis political power broker Joyce Aboussie exchanged a series of insistent emails with Abedin concerning Aboussie’s efforts to set up a meeting between Clinton and Peabody Energy VP Cartan Sumner. Aboussie wrote, “Huma, I need your help now to intervene please. We need this meeting with Secretary Clinton, who has been there now for nearly six months. This is, by the way, my first request. I really would appreciate your help on this. It should go without saying that the Peabody folks came to Dick [Gephardt] and I because of our relationship with the Clinton’s.” After further notes from Aboussie, Abedin responded, “We are working on it and I hope we can make something work… we have to work through the beauracracy [sic] here.” Aboussie donated between $100,000 and $250,000 to the Clinton Foundation.
  • On Saturday, May 16, 2009, mobile communications executive and political activist Jill Iscol wrote to Clinton, “Please advise to whom I should forward Jacqueline Novogratz’s request [for a meeting with the secretary of state]. I know you know her, but honestly, she is so far ahead of the curve and brilliant I believe she could be enormously helpful to your work.” Clinton subsequently sent an email to Abedin saying, “Pls print.” Jill and husband Ken Iscol donated between $500,000 and $1 million to the Clinton Foundation. Clinton subsequently appointed Novogratz to the State Department’s Foreign Affairs Policy Board.
The newly obtained Abedin emails also contain a memorandum sent to Cheryl Mills from State Department White House liaison Laura Pena revealing that Rajiv Fernando was proposed for his controversial appointment to the sensitive International Security Advisory Board as early as June 2009. Fernando was not actually appointed until 2011, and his appointment raised a firestorm because, according to an ABC News report, “he had no obvious experience in the field.” Fernando donated $1 million to the Clinton Foundation.

The Abedin emails reveal that even U2’s Bono got into the act when former Bill Clinton aide Ben Schwerin, who helped set up the Clinton Foundation, urged Abedin to help the aging rock star broadcast from the international space station. In a May 27, 2009, email with the subject line “Bono/NASA,” Schwerin wrote, “Bono wants to do linkup with the international space station on every show during the tour this year.… Any ideas? Thks.” Bono has been a donor to the Clinton Global Initiative. And in 2011, he gathered top entertainers for “A Decade of Difference: A Concert Celebrating 10 Years of the William J. Clinton Foundation.” According to USA Today, “Some tickets were sold to the public for $50 to $550, and premium seats went for $1,000 to $5,000 on the Foundation website.”
“These new emails confirm that Hillary Clinton abused her office by selling favors to Clinton Foundation donors,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “There needs to be a serious, independent investigation to determine whether Clinton and others broke the law.”
This goes in everybody's need-to-know file.

Monday, August 22, 2016

It seems reality hews more closely to the way you always thought it was than to the way the nature-distortion jackboots demanded you see it

It looks like human nature is about what you'd always assumed:

A major new report, published today in the journal The New Atlantis, challenges the leading narratives that the media has pushed regarding sexual orientation and gender identity.
Co-authored by two of the nation’s leading scholars on mental health and sexuality, the 143-page report discusses over 200 peer-reviewed studies in the biological, psychological, and social sciences, painstakingly documenting what scientific research shows and does not show about sexuality and gender.
The major takeaway, as the editor of the journal explains, is that “some of the most frequently heard claims about sexuality and gender are not supported by scientific evidence.”
Here are four of the report’s most important conclusions:
The belief that sexual orientation is an innate, biologically fixed human property—that people are ‘born that way’—is not supported by scientific evidence.
Likewise, the belief that gender identity is an innate, fixed human property independent of biological sex—so that a person might be a ‘man trapped in a woman’s body’ or ‘a woman trapped in a man’s body’—is not supported by scientific evidence.
Only a minority of children who express gender-atypical thoughts or behavior will continue to do so into adolescence or adulthood. There is no evidence that all such children should be encouraged to become transgender, much less subjected to hormone treatments or surgery.
Non-heterosexual and transgender people have higher rates of mental health problems (anxiety, depression, suicide), as well as behavioral and social problems (substance abuse, intimate partner violence), than the general population. Discrimination alone does not account for the entire disparity.
The report, “Sexuality and Gender: Findings from the Biological, Psychological, and Social Sciences,” is co-authored by Dr. Lawrence Mayer and Dr. Paul McHugh. Mayer is a scholar-in-residence in the Department of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University and a professor of statistics and biostatistics at Arizona State University.
McHugh, whom the editor of The New Atlantis describes as “arguably the most important American psychiatrist of the last half-century,” is a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and was for 25 years the psychiatrist-in-chief at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. It was during his tenure as psychiatrist-in-chief at Johns Hopkins that he put an end to sex reassignment surgerythere, after a study launched at Hopkins revealed that it didn’t have the benefits for which doctors and patients had long hoped.
Implications for PolicyThe report focuses exclusively on what scientific research shows and does not show. But this science can have implications for public policy.
The report reviews rigorous research showing that ‘only a minority of children who experience cross-gender identification will continue to do so into adolescence or adulthood.’
Take, for example, our nation’s recent debates over transgender policies in schools. One of the consistent themes of the report is that science does not support the claim that “gender identity” is a fixed property independent of biological sex, but rather that a combination of biological, environmental, and experiential factors likely shape how individuals experience and express themselves when it comes to sex and gender.
The report also discusses the reality of neuroplasticity: that all of our brains can and do change throughout our lives (especially, but not only, in childhood) in response to our behavior and experiences. These changes in the brain can, in turn, influence future behavior.
This provides more reason for concern over the Obama administration’s recent transgender school policies. Beyond the privacy and safety concerns, there is thus also the potential that such policies will result in prolonged identification as transgender for students who otherwise would have naturally grown out of it.
The report reviews rigorous research showing that “only a minority of children who experience cross-gender identification will continue to do so into adolescence or adulthood.” Policymakers should be concerned with how misguided school policies might encourage students to identify as girls when they are boys, and vice versa, and might result in prolonged difficulties. As the report notes, “There is no evidence that all children who express gender-atypical thoughts or behavior should be encouraged to become transgender.”
Beyond school policies, the report raises concerns about proposed medical intervention in children. Mayer and McHugh write: “We are disturbed and alarmed by the severity and irreversibility of some interventions being publicly discussed and employed for children.”
They continue: “We are concerned by the increasing tendency toward encouraging children with gender identity issues to transition to their preferred gender through medical and then surgical procedures.” But as they note, “There is little scientific evidence for the therapeutic value of interventions that delay puberty or modify the secondary sex characteristics of adolescents.”
So, for starters, can we immediately cease all coddling of these weird impulses in our military, our intelligence agencies, and our State Department?