Tuesday, September 27, 2016
A surreal moment from last night's Presidential debate was the point when Hillary Clinton started giving a lecture about how she would improve America's cyber security. The same Hillary Clinton whose cavalier mishandling of classified information would have landed anyone who isn't named Clinton in jail. It was like getting a lesson in how to slim down and look sexy from Lena Dunham.
The bar was unusually low for both candidates' path to success, but for Trump, it was a hurdle that a Chihuahua could leap. All the real estate developer needed to do was to demonstrate that he wasn't insane and could behave reasonably. To accomplish that, he showed uncharacteristic restraint, disappointing the expectations of those who wanted fireworks, but for the most part, it was pulled off successfully,
Hillary's bar was something most people could manage, but for her, is something she's never been able to surmount for the last quarter-century of her public life. She had to convince people she is likable and not a pathological lair. Her smug smile and reminders about her email scandal and her testimony to Congress after her lies about the Bengazi massacre did nothing to convince anyone that the Hillary Clinton Americans saw last night is the same Hillary Clinton they've seen since Bill Clinton first ran for the presidency.
Everything Hillary said had a subliminal boomerang effect that made it come back and hurt her if anyone bothered to think about it. She criticized Trump for, while as a private citizen, expressing equivocal support for the Iraq War that she voted in favor of as a serving US Senator. She criticized Trump's insults of women while she was an enabler to a husband whose rape accusations are beginning to rival the numbers of Bill Cosby's. Anyone who watched the Republican primary debates and heard what he said about his male rivals knows that Trump can at least lay claim to being an equal opportunity insulter.
With regard to insults, though Trump has a reputation as being insulting, it was Clinton who threw vicious insults at Trump, calling him a racist and sexist. Clinton claimed that Trump's 'birther' questioning of President Obama's birthplace was racist. That only makes Clinton look more dishonest, unless she's suggesting that Trump's almost identical challenge of his Republican primary rival Ted Cruz means he's racist against Canadians. And as Trump reminded viewers, it was Hillary Clinton's campaign that started much of the 'birther' controversy by sending out a picture of Obama in traditional Muslim garb and questioning his 'American roots' during the 2008 Democratic primaries.
Clinton, on the other hand, will pander to every special interest laying claim to victimhood. Or she will during the election campaign. Once it's over, were she to win, she'd forget them the same way that Democrats have forgotten dilapidated Chicago neighborhoods they represent that are beset with gun violence despite being subject to some of the strictest gun control laws in the US.
Trump made some missteps during the debate, such as when he took the bait to respond in excessive detail when Clinton suggested his net worth was less than he claimed. But on the whole Trump was the more human, the more genuine, and the more commanding of the two.
Partisans on both sides are claiming victory, but what's interesting to note is that partisans on both sides are also complaining about how their candidate lost. For the most part, the consensus is that Trump and Clinton essentially tied, or if one outperformed the other, it was by a slim margin.
However this was the first of three debates, and that bodes badly for Hillary Clinton. In twenty five years of public life, she has shown little in the way of a learning curve. Trump's ability to change through the Republican primaries, the presidential campaign, and now the first debate shows that he has a strong ability to adapt when necessary. Trump is also a showman, and in show business, you know that you need to open well, but what's most important is to end the act with a strong closing scene.
With two debates to come, Trump is more likely than Clinton to provide the big debate finish that will end the political career of his opponent.
Monday, September 26, 2016
If we were on Donald Trump’s debate-prep team, we would advise the GOP nominee to watch two new videos of his opponent, if for no other reason than to boost his confidence. The first is Hillary Clinton’s video-conference address to a labor union; the second, her appearance as a guest on “Between Two Ferns,” Zach Galifianakis’s FunnyOrDie.com interview show.
You might have read about Wednesday’s address to the Laborers’ International Union of North America, which was meeting in Las Vegas. From Orlando, Fla., as the Washington Post reports, Mrs. Clinton, after having “ticked off her pro-union positions,” said: “Having said all this, ‘Why aren’t I 50 points ahead?’ you might ask?”
It immediately made us think of the most famous line perhaps in the history of presidential debates, and certainly in the history of satirical ones: “I can’t believe I’m losing to this guy.” That was Jon Lovitz on “Saturday Night Live” as Gov. Michael Dukakis in 1988, responding to the clichéd rambling of Dana Carvey as Vice President George Bush. (Note to our millennial readers: In the olden days, “Saturday Night Live” was funny.)...
...“I have no respect for Colin Kaepernick. He probably has no respect for me, that’s his choice. My choice is that I like this country, I respect our flag, and I don’t see all the atrocities going on in this country that people say are going on.
“I see opportunities if people want to look for opportunity. Now if they don’t want to look for them, then you can find problems with anything, but this is the land of opportunity because you can be anything you want to be if you work. Now if you don’t work, that’s a different problem.”
The 76-year-old Ditka, who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1988, is one of two people in NFL history to win a league title as a player, an assistant coach and a head coach. He graduated from local hero to Chicago icon during an 11-year coaching stint with the Bears that included the team’s only Super Bowl win during the 1985 season, then retired permanently after a failed comeback with the New Orleans Saints in 1999.
A well-known conservative, Ditka publicly flirted with running against Democratic candidate Barack Obama, then a state senator, for the open seat in the US Senate vacated by Illinois senator Peter Fitzgerald in 2004. No one then could have imagined how the election would ultimately propel Obama to the presidency in four years’ time.
“Biggest mistake I’ve ever made,” he told the Dickinson Press in 2013. “Not that I would have won, but I probably would have and he wouldn’t be in the White House.”
In March, Ditka called Obama “the worst president we’ve ever had”...
Who are the real fascists? College students who openly support Trump censored, threatened, bullied by professors and leftist students
More than a dozen incidents at college campuses across the nation in recent months illustrate how open support for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is a sure invitation to be bullied, censored or attacked.
Left-leaning students and professors alike are working to shut down pro-Trump events and messages they deem unacceptable through a combination of fear, threats, ridicule, police intimidation and physical and verbal attacks.
Claiming “hate speech” or “racism,” they use the system of victimization established on campuses to claim righteous indignation and quash free speech and freedom of expression — and all during the crucial months leading up to the presidential election...
Sunday, September 25, 2016
...it was our dewy-fresh prime minister’s turn to address this esteemed body and, either out of vanity or innocence, he didn’t turn down the invitation. As to the substance of his effusion, one would need an intellectual Geiger counter to find any. The speech was described by the National Post’s John Ivison as “thin as soup made from the carcass of a starving pigeon.” And that’s being generous.
The address easily could have been passed off as a high-school valedictorian speech: it was trite, without being testy, and full of false equivalencies. It bore the now-ineluctable stamp of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s compulsion to hymn, yet again, the all-ranging virtues of diversity.
This word “diversity” has something of a clamp on Trudeau’s brain. He seems to think that merely to pronounce it out loud is to add to the sum of human insight, that its four flat syllables compress all the wisdom of the Sermon on the Mount, Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural address and the best of Norman Vincent Peale into one handy little word. Yet fluffing a pillow in front of the UN delegates would have had more of an impact.
It’s a pity that, even in that forlorn venue, Trudeau was unwilling to let go of that rhetorical Linus blanket and say a few things about what is really going on in the world. He could have offered some meaningful analysis on the situation in Syria. He could have uttered some truths to those who rarely hear them. Instead, it was the usual mush about “modest Canada” and how we’re back and ready to help.
It really is time to stop bragging about how modest we are, as one cannot honestly brag about being modest...
Saturday, September 24, 2016
...evolution couldn't care less if you perceive objective reality. It only wants you to have sex successfully. As a consequence, your apprehension of the world is tuned to whatever allows that to happen. Thus, your perceptions at the root level have nothing to do with some fundamental physics upon which the fundamental nature of objective independent reality is constructed.
Hoffman then builds something even more radical out of his broken link between objective reality and evolution. He calls it conscious realism, and it's based on the premise that "circuits of conscious agents" are what end up defining experienced reality. While there clearly is a world separate from us, Hoffman says, evolution does not give us access to that. Instead, he claims, it's our interactions as conscious agents that give shape to the reality we experience. "I can take separate observers," he told Quanta Magazine, "put them together and create new observers, and keep doing this ad infinitum. It's conscious agents all the way down."
This is a pretty head-spinning stuff. Our perceived reality has nothing to do with the world in and of itself? That's the kind of thing that's bound to piss off a whole lot of people in a whole lot of fields...
Friday, September 23, 2016
"Radical protestors at Kansas University (KU) hijacked a Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) meeting, unleashing a virulent tirade against the conservative students, providing a glimpse into the crazy arguments of the far Left."
Full video of meeting HERE
Full video of meeting HERE
Our first reaction to Hillary Clinton’s phrase “basket of deplorables” was similar to that of Glenn Reynolds, who observes that it is “an awful line” because it is “memorable without being evocative.” We thought of a picnic basket and found it difficult to imagine one big enough to hold a single person, much less the tens of millions Mrs. Clinton had in mind.
When we read the phrase in context, however, our amusement at the goofy phrase turned to horror. This may be the worst thing any American politician has said in recent memory...