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Explaining Donald Trump's Popularity To The Political Left

Something that people on the political left don't seem to understand about the nature of Donald Trump's support is that no amoun...

Saturday, August 27, 2016

LEXX: "I Worship His Shadow"

Today is Ellen Dubin's birthday - she's one of the stars of the Canadian cult SciFi/fantasy hit Lexx that aired from 1997 to 2002.

This is the first episode

Friday, August 26, 2016

Clinton’s Colin Powell Excuse

When Bill and Hillary Clinton get caught for bad behavior, they follow a familiar pattern. First deny, then call it old news, then roll out the attack machine of media and political allies to trash whoever needs to be collateral damage to save them. The private email-Clinton Foundation saga is now in phase three, and no less than Colin Powell has been drafted as roadkill.

The Powell-made-Hillary-do-it defense emerged late last week in two parts. The New York Times reported that FBI interview notes turned over to Congress last week show that Mrs. Clinton told the G-men that Mr. Powell had advised her to use a personal email account. The Times didn’t name its source, but in these cases always ask who benefits from the leak? Answer: Mrs. Clinton.

The Times also reported in the same story that the advance copy of a new book by Joe Conason backs up the blame-it-on-Powell story. Aficionados of Clinton scandals will remember Mr. Conason as the most dedicated stenographer in the Clinton stable.
Mr. Conason has written a biography of Bill Clinton, “Man of the World.” And the Times reports that the book relates a conversation early in Mrs. Clinton’s time at State at a dinner party hosted by Madeleine Albright, another former Secretary of State. Mr. Conason writes that Mr. Powell “told [Mrs. Clinton] to use her own email, as he had done, except for classified communications, which he had sent and received via a State Department computer.”

Mr. Conason writes that this conversation “confirmed a decision she had made months earlier—to keep her personal account and use it for most messages.” The Times notes that Mr. Conason “interviewed both Mr. and Mrs. Clinton for the book.” Voila, the Clintons are back at their old standby, the everybody-does-it defense.

Mr. Powell’s office released a statement saying he doesn’t recall that dinner conversation. And at a weekend event on Long Island, Mr. Powell told People magazine and the New York Post that Mrs. Clinton “was using [the private email server] for a year before I sent her a memo telling her what I did.” He added: “Her people have been trying to pin it on me.”...

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Donald Trump Is 2016’s Andrew Dice Clay

Showtime recently aired a six-episode run of “Dice,” a semi-autobiographical series that charts the comedian Andrew Dice Clay’s attempts to revive his career amid the usual array of showbiz roadblocks and wise-cracking naysayers. The show has its share of laughs, and it brings to mind Clay’s standup act, circa 1990. You know, the Diceman—the swaggering, leather-jacketed, chain-smoking, Fonzie-pompadoured comedian with the Brooklyn tough-guy guido shtick and jokes so filthy the antiseptic moniker “adult humor” could barely capture their shock value.

Or you might remember him as his critics portrayed him: racist, xenophobic, misogynistic, homophobic, and every other label our culture can bestow on a heretic. He was a caveman, a hater of all things not male and not white, a harbinger of Western civilization’s decline and fall. Pundits and activists outdid one another in describing Dice’s nastiness, and demonstrations followed him wherever he performed. When he hosted “Saturday Night Live,” cast member Nora Dunn and musical guest SinĂ©ad O’Connor refused to attend.

Never mind that the Diceman was acharacter, and never mind that plenty of comedians in those days assumed an outsized onstage persona, e.g., Bobcat Goldthwait, Gilbert Gottfried, and Emo Philips. What mattered to critics was that Dice was saying things that were beyond the pale. They didn’t much care if they were hearing the character or the man himself. (Besides, it was hard to tell them apart.) His fans didn’t seem to care, either. Whatever else you can say about Dice, he was wildly popular at the turn of the 1990s. He was the first comedian to sell out Madison Square Garden, and he did it two nights straight.

Was Dice funny? Meh. He went for the lowest-hanging fruit with lots of faux bravado, dirty nursery rhymes, and simple punch lines, and most of his stuff doesn’t hold up today. (Apologies if you think his “hickory-dickory-dock” rhyme was pure genius.) It’s not so much that he was too “offensive” to be funny, it’s that the jokes were almost ancillary to the full effect of the exaggerated character. The Diceman was pure, unadulterated ego; you were supposed to laugh or cringe at his stuff, not analyze it.

What, then, was Dice’s appeal? In short, it was truth. Not “truth” in any kind of noble or literal sense, mind you, but the truth that dwells in the bowels of undistilled honesty. Simply put, Dice’s fans reveled in the novelty of hearing somebody say forbidden things. Just when the term “politically correct” was becoming part of the popular vernacular—and a rallying cry for an inevitable backlash—Dice’s uninhibited male ego carried the standard for that very backlash...

McGill student warns Jewish freshmen to get ready to face campus anti-semitism

Congratulations, new college freshmen! Welcome to what will undoubtedly be some of the most exciting years of your life. Get ready to meet new people, learn things that fascinate you, and figure out who you are and who you want to be.

If you’re Jewish, you should probably also prepare yourself for the various forms of anti-Israel sentiment, and maybe even anti-Semitism, you’re likely to encounter on your new college campus.

In the past year alone, as a Jewish student at McGill University in Montreal, I’ve been called a “Zionist b—-.” I’ve been told several times that Jews haven’t suffered (never mind the Spanish Inquisition, Eastern European pogroms and centuries of violence and marginalization leading up to the Holocaust). I’ve seen my friends mocked for their Judaism in crude, hateful language on popular anonymous social media platforms. When I asked if a student publication would write about instances of anti-Semitism on campus in its end-of-year issue, I was told that those instances were already covered in “mainstream Zionist media.”

By no means do I defend every action of the Israeli government, but Israel as a Jewish homeland plays an integral role in my identity. I love Israel and firmly believe in its right to exist, just as I believe in a Palestinian state. I also consider myself a liberal and care deeply about a range of injustices, including gender inequality, homophobia and the racial opportunity gap.

Yet so many of my liberal peers, with whom I share so much common ground, have actively excluded Jewish students from their social-justice organizations. The activist community’s demonization of Israel is apparent again and again in my interactions on campus. These clubs propagate the idea that Zionism underpins many of the world’s problems, as well as claim that Jews have no right to feel connected to Israel and that any Jew who does feel a connection to his or her religious homeland is part of the problem. Despite many of our shared values, my Jewish peers’ and my attempts to reach out to these groups have often been dismissed...

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The academic pendulum may be starting to swing back

The preposterous ideology that gave rise to campus "trigger warnings" and "safe spaces" was bringing academic Liberal Arts into a state of ridicule and profound disrepute. It was a matter of time before there was either push back or the end of any value to a liberal art education.

The University of Chicago has finally decided it was time to push back:

...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...

'Borders are the worst invention ever!' according to EU chief Jean-Claude Juncker

Under-fire EU chief Jean-Claude Juncker risked widening divisions with European leaders today by saying borders were the 'worst invention ever'.

He called for all borders across Europe to be opened, despite the chaos caused over the last year from the flood in refugees fleeing Syria and the wave of terror attacks hitting various continent's cities.

The remarkable comments will further undermine Mr Juncker's precarious position as European Commission President...

The most idiotic use of court time since the twitter trial

Seriously, a woman gives water to suffering, dehydrated pigs in a truck and some prosecutor is actually stupid enough to take this to trial.

Between this and some other abuses, there really does need to be a look at how some prosecutions are handled by Ontario's Crown Attorneys. 

A trial begins Wednesday for an animal rights activist charged with mischief for giving water to pigs that were in a sweltering truck on their way to slaughter.

Anita Krajnc of Toronto faces jail time or a maximum $5,000 fine for providing water through the narrow openings of a metal trailer to the pigs as they were headed to Fearman's Pork Inc. in Burlington, Ont...

Matthew Lau: When corporations bully, unions provide the muscle

In a new publication to mark International Youth Day earlier this month, the Canadian Labour Congress painted a grim picture for workers today, and in particular, young workers. The economy is on a fast track to being a polluted unequal capitalist dystopia, according to Big Labour’s biggest alliance. Yet, salvation is possible — but only by strengthening the labour movement.

The congress says what Canada desperately needs is more and stronger unions to champion workers’ rights and protect young workers from what “a massive consolidation of corporate power.” While decrying excessive corporate power makes sense, it is a bizarre position for the Canadian Labour Congress to take. In reality, there is no greater enabler of unfair corporate power than the labour movement itself.

Think of it this way: If Burger King hired goons to forcibly bully McDonald’s franchisees into not opening new locations and competing for Burger King’s customers, we would rightly decry Burger King’s unfair corporate power. But the Canadian Labour Congress supports the same principle, by opposing free trade and calling for the government to protect Canadian corporations in certain industries by forcibly blocking competitors. What screams “a massive consolidation of corporate power” louder than the use (or rather, the abuse) of the coercive power of the state to protect corporations from competition?

In addition to campaigning for protectionism, Big Labour also supports the expansion of corporate welfare. For example, Unifor, Canada’s biggest private-sector union, is loudly calling for the federal government to “invest” in Bombardier. So, even while it claims to oppose the “massive consolidation of corporate power,” here’s the labour movement absolving corporations of the need to stay competitive, and capitalized, by effectively serving their consumers...

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

How Hamas Embezzles Millions in Christian Charity

The arrests of the head of a U.S. charity operating in the Gaza Strip—and of an UN engineer—put the international spotlight on terrorism finance in the nonprofit world.

The allegations leveled against Christian charity World Vision prompted Australia and Germany to suspend their donations to the NGO earlier this month.

Mohammad El Halabi is the executive director of World Vision in Gaza. He was arrested at the Erez Crossing between Israel and the northern Gaza Strip in June and then charged in August by the Shin Bet—the equivalent of the FBI—with funneling tens of millions in donor aid to Hamas. Both the EU and the United States classify Hamas as a terrorist organization. Some of the funds diverted to Hamas were earmarked to help disabled Palestinians.

The Shin Bet alleges that El Halabi joined Hamas’s military wing, the Qassam Brigades, in 2004, before joining World Vision in 2005. According to the indictment, El Halabi was instructed to join a foreign nongovernmental organization and rise high enough to begin siphoning foreign aid to Hamas projects. In 2010, El Halabi was named executive director of World Vision in Gaza...

The evil people from whom Hillary Clinton takes policy advice

Hillary Clinton’s top campaign aide, and the woman who might be the future White House chief of staff to the first female US president, for a decade edited a radical Muslim publication that opposed women’s rights and blamed the US for 9/11...

Clinton is also influenced by the despicable cretin, Max Blumenthal.

The internet ripped on this University of Texas sorority recruitment video

A viral video of the Alpha Delta Pi sorority at the University of Texas has recently been referred to as “the gates of hell,” “terrifying,” “haunting” and more...

Just standard sorority silliness...

Why Colin Powell is a bad enemy for Hillary Clinton to make

Colin L. Powell wasn't too happy that Hillary Clinton laid her decision to use a private email address at his feet during her interview with the FBI. And he made that annoyance plain over the weekend in the Hamptons.

"The truth is she was using it (her personal email) for a year before I sent her a memo telling her what I did [during my term as secretary of state]," Powell told the gossip site Page Six over the weekend. “Her people have been trying to pin it on me.”

"Pin it on me." Oomph.

As I explained last week — even before Powell's latest comments — his email use and Clinton's are simply not analogous. In addition to how the rules governing electronic communication were significantly tightened between when Powell left office and when Clinton arrived, Powell neither exclusively used his personal email account nor did he establish his own private email server. Clinton did both.

Powell is not an enemy Clinton needs or wants — but she may have turned the former secretary of state into one with her seeming attempt to use him as a shield against any wrongdoing in the eyes of the FBI...