Friday, July 29, 2016
Now, the nastiest, most unpredictable campaign you can imagine
Philadelphia vs. Cleveland: Divided We Stand
The best you can say about her is that she's better than him, sort of.
That's not nothing, but not everybody believes it, anyway.
And that's at least partly because nobody believes her on TPP or on her other dodges to the left, and a big majority of Americans think she should have been indicted over the emails.
And after Obama's presidency being the first woman nominated for the White House seems too much like being the first person of mixed Polish, German, and Irish descent to be nominated for class president at Podunk High School.
And if Donald looks too much like an overweight orangutan she looks too much like a pastel fireplug.
Thursday, July 28, 2016
To defeat Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton is assembling a much wider popular front than even the Obama coalition.
As evidenced by the Democratic National Convention, this front runs from the democratic socialist Bernie Sanders to the centrist Bill Clinton to the disaffected former Republican Michael Bloomberg.
Much of the turmoil of the convention has come from the difficulty of bringing together these different factions, which still heatedly disagree on issues like trade and foreign policy.
The recurring theme of the third night in Philadelphia was that the Democrats offer a welcoming home to Republicans alienated by Trump’s antics.
The speakers made a convincing case, and more importantly, they did so without offering any sort of compromise.
Polls show that suburban, college-educated whites, who traditionally vote Republican, are balking at voting for Trump.
That’s the audience the Democrats went after again and again on Wednesday night.
The most obvious pitch came from Michael Bloomberg, who was far from enthusiastic in his endorsement of Clinton but made a powerful case that she’s the only alternative to Trump’s demagoguery.
. . . .
“I’ve been a Democrat, I’ve been a Republican, and I eventually became an independent because I don’t believe either party has a monopoly on good ideas or strong leadership,” Bloomberg said.
“There are times when I disagree with Hillary. But whatever our disagreements may be, I’ve come here to say: We must put them aside for the good of our country. And we must unite around the candidate who can defeat a dangerous demagogue.”
Vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine made a more positive and personal version of the same speech by citing his father-in-law, Linwood Holton, who had been Republican governor of Virginia from 1970-1974.
“Lin’s still a Republican,” Kaine said.
“But he’s voting for Democrats these days. Because any party that would nominate Donald Trump for president has moved too far away from the party of Lincoln. And if you are looking for that party of Lincoln, we’ve got a home for you right here in the Democratic Party.”
. . . .
Casting Trump in opposition to traditional conservatism and Republican doctrine allowed Obama and Kaine to pull off a daring ideological move: They made an appeal to Republicans without diluting their liberalism.
Obama pointedly praised Bernie Sanders even as he made a pitch to Republicans, and he and Kaine both talked about gun control and economic fairness.
In effect, they were saying to Republicans: Trump is so toxic that you have to come over to us, and we’ll be happy to have you, but we won’t change our core values.
. . . .
The last time liberal politicians had the luxury of trying to appeal to moderate Republicans while remaining steadfastly to the left on policy was in 1964, when Lyndon Johnson won over many voters who found Barry Goldwater beyond the pale.
If the gambit on display Wednesday night works, we could see a seismic realignment of American politics.
Petitjean and Adel Kermiche, 19, butchered Rev. Jacques Hamel, 85, after forcing him to kneel at the altar inside a church in the Normandy town of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray.
They also forced another man to record the execution before stabbing the hostage, who survived.
The jihadists, both of Algerian origin, were shown pledging allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi in a video made before they stormed the church and held several hostages, including nuns they used as human shields.
They were shot to death by police as they emerged from the church yelling, “Allahu akbar!”
The pope has checked in on this, on the side of sanity, peace, and order.
Pope says Islam is not terrorism
Aboard the papal plane (AFP) - Pope Francis said Sunday that Islam could not be equated with terrorism and warned Europe was pushing its young into the hands of extremists.
"It's not true and it's not correct (to say) Islam is terrorism," he told journalists aboard the papal plane during the return journey from a trip to Poland.
"I don't think it is right to equate Islam with violence".
Francis defended his decision not to name Islam when condemning the brutal jihadist murder of a Catholic priest in France in the latest of a string of recent attacks in Europe claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group.
"In almost every religion there is always a small group of fundamentalists. We have them too."
"If I have to talk about Islamic violence I have to talk about Christian violence. Every day in the newspapers I see violence in Italy, someone kills his girlfriend, another kills his mother-in-law, and these are baptised Catholics."
The pontiff was speaking after Muslims attended Catholic mass in churches around France on Sunday in solidarity and sorrow following the murder of the priest, whose throat was slit at the altar of his church.
Wednesday, July 27, 2016
TV broadcasts of The Duce's convention, considerably whiter and more male than America, and of the Democrats', considerably darker and more female, doubtless firmed up his support among the white workingmen of the nation to whom the message of those pictures would be absolutely unmistakable.
And anyhow they love the man's bluster, his lies, his sheer inventions, his extemporaneous rambling nonsense, and his total rejection of "PC" that he proves, again and again, every time he says or tweets something that shocks the media.
The left will split, too many who should support Hillary will stay home or vote for Jill Stein, and white working class males will vote in large numbers for a thug and a clown who seems perfectly their kind of guy, joyfully putting him in the White House.
A Malawian man who bragged about having sex with underage girls to initiate them into womanhood has been arrested, authorities say.
Eric Aniva sparked social media outrage last week when he told local and international media that families pay him to have sex with young girls to mark their passage from childhood into adulthood.
Parents hire him when the girls reach puberty as a form of ritual cleansing, he said.
. . . .
In an interview published last week, he told the BBC that he makes between $4 to $7 for each encounter.
"Some girls are just 12 or 13 years old, but I prefer them older," he told the BBC.
"All these girls find pleasure in having me as their hyena. They actually are proud and tell other people that this man is a real man, he knows how to please a woman."
He said while he's HIV-positive, the families paying him are unaware of his status.
The story added that for cultural reasons, "hyenas" don't use protection such as condoms.
About this newsies are saying something they've said about him every day for the last year.
"If any other candidate said this he'd be out of the race."
Donald Trump on Wednesday called on Russia to hack Hillary Clinton's email.
"Russia, if you're listening I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.
"I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press," Trump said during a news conference in Florida.
Shortly after his event ended, Trump repeated his call on Twitter.
"If Russia or any other country or person has Hillary Clinton's 33,000 illegally deleted emails, perhaps they should share them with the FBI!" Trump tweeted.
Clinton's campaign said Trump's comments amounted to encouraging "a foreign power to conduct espionage."
"This has to be the first time that a major presidential candidate has actively encouraged a foreign power to conduct espionage against his political opponent," said Hillary for America senior policy adviser Jake Sullivan.
"That's not hyperbole, those are just the facts.
"This has gone from being a matter of curiosity, and a matter of politics, to being a national security issue."
This is why he doesn't need money to pay for publicity.
Prosecutors have dropped the remaining charges against Baltimore police officers in the death of Freddie Gray, bringing an end to the case without a conviction.
“I’m really thankful to whatever the source was,” said Mike Arnold, a Bernie supporter from Atlanta wearing a shirt reading, “Hillary for Prison.”
“I don’t care if a man on the moon reported it,” Arnold continued. “I couldn’t care less. The bottom line is that [Clinton] is corrupt.”
Last night MSNBC said he would not fund-raise for Hillary and would not share his email list.
Reports today that he called for her nomination by acclamation are untrue.
I saw it and heard it. That's not what he did.
Yesterday he told reporters he would return to the senate to serve out his term as an Independent.
He rather pointedly for his entire career was not a Democrat.
He is not now a Democrat.
Bernie Sanders supporters stage sit-in to protest Clinton nomination at DNC
The left has its own political clown car.
Scores of disgruntled Bernie Sanders supporters stormed the media center at the Democratic national convention on Tuesday night after Hillary Clinton officially clinched the Democratic presidential nomination, staging a short-lived sit-in as law enforcement officials and hundreds of members of the press looked on.
The protest began a few minutes after Sanders called on the convention to nominate Clinton by acclamation, with dissatisfied supporters of the runner-up candidate leaving Wells Fargo Arena in droves.
Tuesday, July 26, 2016
We are not sculpted, body and soul, to best serve our interests as individual beings.
The greatest and most egregious departures are everything to do with reproduction and nearly everything to do with sex.
And they - body and soul - are not well sculpted for anything, all that much.
Consider, again, sex.
But also consider addiction and the more harmful, even fatal, disorders of appetite.
All which supposes nature sculpts us, body and soul.
So some version of naturalism is true.
Do we know that?
Go see the Matrix films, again, if your imagination needs a boost.
In 1958, Congress passed the Former Presidents Act to "maintain the dignity" of the office by not forcing former presidents to have to get a real job.
Former presidents get paid as if they were a Cabinet secretary (currently $205,700 a year) for life, plus health benefits and around-the-clock Secret Service protection.
The law also gives former presidents an office, staff and expenses for life.
President George W. Bush, for example, received an allowance of nearly $1.1 million in 2015, according to the General Services Administration.
Congress passed a bill this month to curtail those expenses, which Obama vetoed last week.
Former presidents also get classified security briefings and are often called upon to advise their successors.
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton told CBS's 60 Minutes Sunday that she plans to consult Obama regularly.
"You know, I've already put him on notice. I'm going to be picking up the phone. I'm going to be calling and asking for his advice," she said.
Sometimes Rachel is off the mark.
Her eulogies of Prince were excessive to put it mildly, her worries America might not be ready for a woman president are silly, and her reaction to Bill Clinton's speech seems to have been off-base compared to the reactions of others.
90 percent of the most ardent Sanders supporters will support Clinton in the general election
Al Franken said this last night a couple of times when the show was over.
I wondered where he got the number.
Thing is, as I write she is still running behind Donald Trump.
Monday, July 25, 2016
Donald Trump comes out of his convention ahead of Hillary Clinton in the race for the White House, topping her 44% to 39% in a four-way matchup including Gary Johnson (9%) and Jill Stein (3%) and by three points in a two-way head-to-head, 48% to 45%.
That latter finding represents a 6-point convention bounce for Trump, which are traditionally measured in two-way matchups.
. . . .
The new findings mark Trump's best showing in a CNN/ORC Poll against Clinton since September 2015.
Trump's new edge rests largely on increased support among independents, 43% of whom said that Trump's convention in Cleveland left them more likely to back him, while 41% were dissuaded.
Pre-convention, independents split 34% Clinton to 31% Trump, with sizable numbers behind Johnson (22%) and Stein (10%).
Now, 46% say they back Trump, 28% Clinton, 15% Johnson and 4% Stein.
Johnson is the Libertarian Party candidate.
Some who supported Bernie now say he would be better in the White House than Hillary, while also saying Jill Stein of the Greens would be better.
That's some fierce Hillary-hating.
Meanwhile in Philadelphia people who say they were for Bernie now boo him as he endorses Hillary, chanting "Lock her up!" and demonstrating against her and the Democratic Party both inside the hall and outside.
More and more we see praise of Ralph Nader's runs in 2000 and 2004.
Hillary might not just not get a bounce.
She might lose ground because of all this.
The anti-Democrat left put Nixon in the White House in '68 and GW in the White House in 2000.
Hillary Clinton campaign blames leaked DNC emails about Sanders on Russia
Obama condemns Trump on Nato and says rhetoric 'helps do Isis's work'
A lot of Bernie supporters are closer to Trump on NATO and the American global alliance system than they are to Hillary, or even to Bernie.
Some are more radically anti-NATO than The Donald; some used to find Ron Paul tempting because of his foreign policy views.
This anti-Putin/pro-NATO line of propaganda is not directed at them but at globalists of both parties or neither, whose support Hillary seeks.
The #JillNotHill crowd and the Trumpists are once again shouting the same shouts.
Some Bernie supporters are now echoing Fox News, claiming Social Security and Medicare would be safer in the hands of Trump and the Republicans than in those of Hillary and the Democrats.
And making the same claim regarding abortion rights.
Why do the Bernie diehards - more diehard than Bernie, himself - want to sink Hillary and thus inevitably put Il Duce in the White House?
As Chris Christie reputedly said, it's chicken or fish, no minor party or independent candidate will win the presidency.
Jill Stein will never see the inside of the White House, except as a tourist.
Unless The Duce, out of gratitude, invites her to his inaugural ball.
I'm not sure I would go quite this far, though Bernie isn't a real Democrat, at all.
He spent a long career not being a Democrat.
There is very little of the novel to this thing.
More like Boccaccio.
Civilization began in Mesopotamia, or possibly in the Indus Valley.
Not in Africa, though Egypt was quite quick out of the gate.
Middle Easterners are white, like Danny Thomas, Omar Sharif, or your local Palestinian restauranteur.
As are, say, Irishmen, Finns, Greeks, Turks, and Algerians.
Sunday, July 24, 2016
When a party hands control of its nomination process to activists, politically uncommitted voters, and demagogues, the nominees turn out to be creatures of extremes who go down in flames.
That's what Bernie supporters, admitted enemies of the Democratic Party and the center-left views it stands for, want to do at the convention by rules changes to abolish super-delegates.
But not just the professional politicians but much more importantly the nation and the world are safer if our two major parties are not open to outsider or minority takeovers.
For a long time, some people have thought that open primaries made the parties more centrist in outlook because they thought uncommitted voters were mostly centrist.
They were wrong.
The uncommitted have proved to be profoundly alienated people who are far more dissatisfied with the America we have, its economic and political systems, its government, and its party structures, than the people who are registered and regular party voters.
Come to that, the people least dissatisfied with the America we have are registered as Democrats.
They are the ones who support and want to strengthen the modern America built up by over a century of progressivism, and only gradually nudge it to the left in reasonable increments.
And that makes them, in reality, ironically, and despite usage, America's real conservatives.
In contrast, the conservatives as a movement and the Republicans as a party are openly dedicated to repealing all those very same achievements of progressive Americans over that same long century of gradual change, to which they are profoundly hostile, just as quickly as possible.
And the fringe types and outsiders?
On the right, a congeries of conservatives enraged by decades of failure to repeal a century of liberalism, white nationalists, and losers in the global market who demand economic protectionism.
On the left, hyper-liberals who want more and quicker change in the direction of social democracy allied with anti-capitalists, anti-Christians, cosmopolitan globalists, and anti-whites of many stripes.
And all of them are people who loathe "the establishment" and who take up the cry as their very own that "the system is rigged!"
They are claiming the emails prove deplorable or illicit collusion between the DNC and Hillary's campaign during the primary season, to the harm of the Sanders campaign.
Sanders' folks have renewed their calls for Debbie Wasserman Schultz to resign as head of the DNC.
That hasn't happened, but she is no longer slated for the convention spot.
Breitbart is running wild with the story, and Trump himself is exultant.
The idea, of course, is to drive that wedge between the Sanders supporters and Hillary even deeper so that more of them will stay home, support Il Duce, or support Jill Stein - or anyway not support or vote for Hillary.
Any of those choices would help The Duce.
The right is making a similar use of her selection of Tim Kaine.
For her part, Jill Stein has renewed her call for Bernie to take over the Green ticket from her.
If he does that Hillary is toast and The Duce will own the White House.
Not everybody seems quite to see the importance of Bernie voters to Hillary in this election.
On the choice of Tim Kaine at Vox.
To the kind of leftists who backed Sanders in the primary, Kaine is their critique of mainstream Democrats in miniature: insufficiently focused on economic inequality and distributional issues, and using concern for racial equality as a distraction from that.
. . . .
If Clinton had felt this wing of the party was worth pitching toward, she might have had Kaine given an enthusiastically populist speech in spite of his past record.
Hell, she might have just picked Elizabeth Warren instead.
The fact that Kaine instead delivered a pitch aimed at Latino groups and civil rights groups says something about what wing of the party Clinton wants to shore up support with.
She fundamentally, and probably correctly, thinks that Latino and black voters are a vastly more important part of the party than the economic populist left, and so sought to have Kaine assuage any disappointment the former might feel, rather than the latter.
Hillary may have chosen Kaine in the belief Bernie would support her, if weakly.
But if he pulls a Nader and runs as a Green she is done for.
Donald Trump said Sunday he rebukes the support of David Duke, the white supremacist who recently launched a Senate campaign in Louisiana, who said he was inspired by Trump's nomination.
But would he support a Democrat over Duke if that's what it took to keep the former Ku Klux Klan leader from winning?
"I guess, depending on who the Democrat (is) -- but the answer would be yes," Trump told NBC's Chuck Todd on "Meet the Press."
Trump said he wanted to make clear that he rebukes Duke "as quick as you can say it."
"Because last time with another person in this position, I did it very quickly. And they said, 'He didn't do it fast enough,' " Trump said.
"Rebuked. Is that OK? Rebuked, done."
Nor have the likes of David Duke or William Luther Pierce done anything for white pride.
So when black people in general hear some white fellow crowing about white, Western, Christian Civilization they smell the burning cross, react with hostility, and reject such talk as racist.
Generally, in fact, they are right.
But when whites who have never in their lives had the least thing to do with white hatred of others witness so hostile a black reaction to talk of white pride, white identity, and white Western and Christian Civilization, they are shocked at what they perceive to be black hatred of whites.
Sometimes they're right, too.
Diderot's defense of her psychopathic vengeance, about the middle of the book, presupposes both that adultery in her husband's favor would be accounted a good thing by the general reader and by the CMW and that, at any rate for a young virgin, getting laid is a huuuuge sacrifice.
Neither is true, today, I think.
And in 1796?
I think not.
And, of course, that psychopathic people and behavior are extreme but on the spectrum of normal.
Come to that, it includes a defense of her specific psychopathy.
Oxford World Classics, 2008, p 136 and thereabouts.
Reading Jacques the Fatalist.
Saturday, July 23, 2016
That's pretty much what FNC does, anyway.
Pollute the main stream with the most revolting right wing sewage.
Clinton VP Pick Tim Kaine’s Islamist Ties
This singer joining other folks to fight the right sort of peaceful culture war could not mark a greater contrast with the vigorous anti-LGBT agenda of American Evangelical missionaries in Africa, implicated in the growth of an ever more vicious climate of legal and societal persecution.
Meanwhile, Africa persists in traditional ways that are overwhelming the population with HIV.
Swaziland turns to anti-retrovirals as safe sex message falls flat
And it looks like the situation is actually getting worse, globally.
HIV/Aids resurgence in Africa feared as Durban hosts conference
HIV infecting 2m more people every year, warns UN
Nearly two million people have been newly infected with HIV every year for the last five years, says UNAids, one week before the International Aids Conference in Durban.
If that continues, it will be impossible to meet the UN goal of eradicating Aids by 2030.
I don't know that he was supposed to help, but he certainly won't further alienate white men.
I think this was just Hillary snapping back into her comfort zone with an experienced guy in the bland center-left.
And maybe it counted with her that he's supposed to be serious about his religion, as she is reputed to be.
President Tayyip Erdogan tightened his grip on Turkey on Saturday, ordering the closure of thousands of private schools, charities and other institutions in his first decree since imposing a state of emergency after the failed military coup.
A restructuring of Turkey's once untouchable military also drew closer, with a planned meeting between Erdogan and the already purged top brass brought forward by several days.
. . . .
Critics of Erdogan fear he is using the abortive coup to wage an indiscriminate crackdown on dissent.
The foundations targeted include, for example, the Association of Judges and Prosecutors (YARSAV), a secular group that criticised a recent judicial law drafted by Erdogan's Islamist-rooted AK Party.
In his decree, published by the Anadolu state news agency, Erdogan also extended to a maximum of 30 days from four days the period in which some suspects can be detained.
It said this would facilitate a full investigation into the coup attempt.
. . . .
Erdogan, a popular but polarising figure who has dominated Turkish politics since 2003, declared the state of emergency late on Wednesday, saying it would enable authorities to swiftly and effectively root out supporters of the coup.
The emergency allows Erdogan and the AK Party government, who are mildly Islamist, to pass laws without first having to win parliamentary support and also to curb or suspend rights and freedoms as they deem necessary.
Turkey seizes over 2,250 institutions in post-coup crackdown
Turkey attempted coup: EU says measures 'unacceptable'
The European Union says Turkey's measures against the education system, the judiciary and the media following the failed coup are "unacceptable".
In a statement, High Representative Federica Mogherini and Commissioner Johannes Hahn said they were "concerned" by Turkey's decision to declare a state of emergency.
The move gives Turkey's leaders "far-reaching powers to govern by decree".
Thousands of people have been sacked or arrested following the failed coup.
The two senior EU officials urged President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to respect the rule of law, rights and freedoms.
And they also warned Turkey over its decision to suspend the European Convention on Human Rights, saying it must stick to the conditions by which a suspension is permitted.
If this does not convince them that Turkey, which is not in Europe, does not belong in the EU, it's hard to see what would.
Turkey's worrying slide into tyranny
A senator from Virginia who has been a governor.
Kaine's midwestern roots also run strong:
Born in Minnesota, Kaine is the son of a welder who was raised in Kansas and graduated from the University of Missouri.
He went to Harvard law school, but before graduating served a year as a missionary in Honduras.
It was an experience that cemented his Catholic faith and strengthened his fluency in Spanish.
Kaine was the first member to give an entire speech on the Senate floor in Spanish.
It was during a debate in support of the bipartisan "Gang of 8" immigration reform package.
. . . .
The President later praised Clinton's choice, telling supporters in a fundraising email Saturday that "Tim is a good man. He's a true progressive. And he will make a great vice president."
It may be an anti-establishment year, but Clinton's running mate is an insider:
A senator and former governor from the critical battleground of Virginia and a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
Trump's campaign seized upon Kaine's Washington experience in a fundraising text message to supporters, writing:
"The ultimate insiders -- Obama, Hillary and Kaine. Don't Let Obama have a 3rd Term. Contribute."
He is indeed reputed to be more like her and more like President Obama than he is like Bernie.
On the other hand, Mike Pence is a Koch-issued, hard-right Wall Street conservative, ideologically and in personality quite the non-Trump, something of an insincere concession to party orthodoxy.
I wonder if Hill's cabinet will be more diverse.
A cabinet that looks like America, which one supposes looks about half female and no more than, say, 60% non-Hispanic white.
Yesterday it was thought there were three shooters.
Only one, an 18 year old kid.
Yesterday the first guess was ISIS and the second guess was anti-immigrationists.
Police said there was also likely to be significance in the timing of the attack, five years to the day since Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 people in Norway in 2011, many of them attendees at a youth camp.
But right now it looks like it was just a spree killer.
Not a terrorist or even a hate killer of any kind.
The teen gunman who killed nine people in a shooting rampage in Munich on Friday was a mentally troubled individual who had extensively researched spree killings and had no apparent links to ISIS, police said.
Speaking at a press conference in the southern German city Saturday, police officials said the 18-year-old lone attacker -- who died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound -- had no political motivations, and no references to religion had been found in documents in his home.
Rather, investigators searching his belongings found numerous documents on rampage killings, including a book entitled "Rampage in My Mind -- Why Students Kill," said Robert Heimberger, president of the Bavarian State Criminal Police Office.
. . . .
Three of the victims were 14, two were 15, one was 17 and another 19, while a 20-year-old and a 45-year-old were also killed.
Three were female.
The victims all were German nationals from the Munich area, officials said.
Turkey's Foreign Ministry said three of the victims were also Turkish nationals, naming them as Sevda Dag, born in 1971; Can Leyla, born in 2001; and Selcuk Kilic, according to Turkey's semiofficial Anadolu news agency.
Another of the victims was also a Greek citizen, Greece's Foreign Ministry said Saturday.
The attack left 27 people wounded, 10 of them with serious injuries, Andrae said.
. . . .
The attacker used a 9 mm Glock 17 pistol that was likely obtained illegally, because the serial number had been scratched off, and was found with about 300 rounds of ammunition in his rucksack, police said.
. . . .
Police have not named the attacker, but said he had dual German and Iranian nationality and was born and raised in Munich.
De Maiziere said there had been no previous police or intelligence agency investigations into the attacker, the son of Shiite Muslims from Iran who came to Germany as asylum seekers in the 1990s.
ISIS, like the Taliban and like al-Qaeda, is Sunni.
As is often noted, but maybe not often enough, the principal victims of Muslim violence are other Muslims.
Two suicide bombers is all it took.
At least 80 dead and more than 230 wounded after attack on demonstration by minority group, which makes up 9% of population.
At least 80 people have been killed and hundreds injured after two suicide bombers struck a peaceful protest in Kabul by a Shia minority group.
Responsibility for the attack, which appears to have targeted a demonstration by the Hazara minority, was claimed by Islamic State via the group’s news agency, Amaq.
If true, it would mark the first attack by Isis in Kabul, and its largest ever in Afghanistan.
According to a spokesman for the Afghan interior ministry, 231 people were wounded, though this figure could rise.
Friday, July 22, 2016
Ex-KKK leader and Trump-backer David Duke to run for Senate seat in Louisiana
Media reports refer to him as a white supremacist.
David Duke is actually nowadays a white separatist, though in past decades he was indeed a true-blue white supremacist of the old-fashioned, Klansman type.
He's a fan and supporter of Donald Trump who was way too slow in disavowing him.
That slowness was full of meaning.
How, actually, should we back away from those alliances, according to Buchananism?
Must be 50 ways to leave your lover.
Terrorism and crime, war and menace, declining incomes, rising national debts, rising trade deficits, he will save us from them all.
He will build the wall and he will deport all the illegals.
Hillary is responsible for much of the mess, is corrupt, is in the pockets of Wall Street, and is guilty of many crimes.
Il Duce on a 76 minute long roll.
This is Donald Trump.
And he's a lot scarier than GW, Booman notwithstanding.
Donald Trump's convention proved it: the old GOP is dead
Thursday, July 21, 2016
Given the facts reported he neither refused nor even declined, last night, he simply didn't endorse Trump.
He called on Republicans to vote their consciences up ticket and down.
But today, when urged to endorse and support Trump, he refused.
“In that speech last night I did not say a single negative word about Donald Trump,” Cruz said.
“And I’ll tell you this morning, and going forward, I don’t intend to say negative things about Donald Trump.”
But some at the breakfast had some negative things to say about Cruz.
A man held up a sign reading “Clinton/Cruz 2020.”
Others yelled at him to sit down or accused him of sowing discord and reneging on promises.
Cruz justified his remarks by saying that he congratulated Trump on securing the nomination.
He also assured attendees that he will not be voting for Clinton in the fall.
But he was far from conciliatory, repeating that although he would listen to Trump’s speech Thursday, he would not be endorsing the real estate mogul.
“I’m going to be listening to how he and the campaign conduct themselves every day from now until November,” Cruz said.
He also stood by his decision not to honor a pledge he made last year to support the eventual GOP nominee, saying that the pledge was rendered moot because Trump attacked his family.
“The day that was abrogated was the day this became personal,” he said.
“I’m not going to get into criticizing or attacking Donald Trump, but I’ll just give you this response: I am not in the habit of supporting people who attack my wife and attack my father.”
In the south of Malawi it is the custom for parents, when a girl reaches menarche, to hire a man to deflower her.
It is a coming of age ritual.
Men who do this for hire are called hyenas.
Condoms can never be used for this ceremonial sex event.
Eric is a hyena who is HIV positive.
He was apparently diagnosed 4 years ago and has not left off his profession.
Nor does he tell parents or the girls.
A story I did not expect in Jacques the Fatalist.
A man gives his family fortune to the poor and then nags everyone he knows with money to give it to the poor.
They don't, and one slaps his face for seriously over-nagging.
Wednesday, July 20, 2016
The thing about terrorists is they make people afraid.
And fear makes people do and say dumb things.
That’s the best excuse I can make for Newt Gingrich, whose response to the terror attack in Nice was truly horrifying:
“Western civilization is in a war,” Gingrich told Fox News’ Sean Hannity.
“We should, frankly, test every person here who is of a Muslim background, and if they believe in sharia, they should be deported.”
The feds’ questioning people “of a Muslim background” (whatever that means) and deporting them if they have views the government disagrees with?
That’s pretty much the definition of a police state, not the United States of America, Newt.
. . . .
The trouble with the war on terrorism, as the horrific events in Nice demonstrated, is that it cannot be won.
Disturbed dudes with trucks are always going to be with us.
. . . .
Government powers grow during wartime, which is why we should stop pretending we are in a war with terrorism.
Go to Syria if you want to know what war looks like.
Or watch an old World War II movie, for goodness’ sake.
What we have is not a war but a crime spree enabled by social media.
All right, it seems reasonable to grant that "All bodies are extended" is analytic.
He says also impenetrability and figure belong to this concept.
But why not also "All bodies are heavy"?
Why restrict ourselves to vision?
Reading the first critique.
Tuesday, July 19, 2016
At least some if not all of these cases would qualify, I think.
And before the fetus is recognizably an unborn child abortion at will is OK, I think.
As of 7 July, there have been 1,638 cases of reported microcephaly – an abnormally small head – and other brain defects in Brazil, according to the World Health Organisation.
Women who do not want to continue their pregnancy because they have been infected, even if they have had a scan confirming brain defects in the baby, are unable to choose a legal termination.
There is evidence of a rise in early abortions using pills obtainable online and fears that unsafe, illegal abortions will be rising too.
. . . .
Campaigners who want to change the law are encouraged by a ruling the supreme court handed down in the case of babies with anencephaly in 2012.
This is a condition where the foetus develops without a brain, making it impossible for the baby to be born alive.
The case took eight years, but eventually the court voted eight to two in favour of making abortion legal in those circumstances.
Before the ruling, there were two exceptions to the ban on termination in Brazil – when the pregnant woman’s life was at risk and when she had been raped.
Anencephaly became the third, but campaigners acknowledge that it is not a simple precedent.
Again, how far can we trust ISIS's claims?
The attack had been carried out with an “Islamist religious motive”, a spokesperson for the state office of criminal investigations said.
A hand-painted Islamic State flag had been found in the teenager’s room at his foster home, as well as a college book with a text written in Pashtun.
Lothar Köhler, the director of the Bavarian investigations office, said he understood the text to be a farewell letter to the teenager’s father, in which he complained about “nonbelievers”.
In one key passage, he wrote: “Now pray for me that I can take revenge on these nonbelievers, and pray for me, that I make my way into heaven.”
On an emergency phone call made by one of the train’s passengers and recorded by her partner’s answerphone, the young man is said to be heard shouting “Allahu Akbar” as he carried out the attack.
The teenager had found out on Friday or Saturday that a close friend of his had died in Afghanistan, Köhler said – an event that may have played a role in his radicalisation.
. . . .
The Bavarian interior minister, Joachim Herrmann, said the notebook entry was a strong indicator that the teenager “could be a person who had been self-radicalised”.
At the same time, Herrmann said, there was no evidence that the attack had been organised or coordinated directly by Isis.
“There are currently no indicators of the young man being part of the Islamist militia’s network.”
Isis moved quickly to take responsibility for the attack, releasing a statement via its online news agency, Amaq, which said: “The perpetrator of the stabbing attack in Germany was one of the fighters of the Islamic State and carried out the operation in answer to the calls to target the countries of the coalition fighting the Islamic State.”
Erdogan targets more than 50,000 in purge after failed Turkish coup
So how does any of this remotely resemble republican legitimacy and the rule of law?
Whatever else he's doing, he's destroying the principal organization of quasi-Islamists forming a more moderate religious alternative to himself, his party, and his allies.
Turkey vowed to root out allies of the U.S.-based cleric it blames for an abortive coup last week, widening a purge of the army, police and judiciary on Tuesday to universities and schools, the intelligence agency and religious authorities.
Around 50,000 soldiers, police, judges, civil servants and teachers have been suspended or detained since the coup attempt, stirring tensions across the country of 80 million which borders Syria's chaos and is a Western ally against Islamic State.
"This parallel terrorist organisation will no longer be an effective pawn for any country," Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said, referring to what the government has long alleged is a state within a state controlled by followers of Fethullah Gulen.
"We will dig them up by their roots," he told parliament.
A spokesman for President Tayyip Erdogan said the government was preparing a formal request to the United States for the extradition of Gulen, who Turkey says orchestrated the failed military takeover on Friday in which at least 232 people were killed.
. . . .
Seventy-five-year-old Gulen, who lives in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania but has a network of supporters within Turkey, has condemned the attempt and denied any role in it.
A former ally-turned critic of Erdogan, he suggested the president staged it as an excuse for a crackdown after a steady accumulation of control during 14 years in power.
On Tuesday, authorities shut down media outlets deemed to be supportive of the cleric and said 15,000 people had been fired from the education ministry, 492 from the Religious Affairs Directorate, 257 from the prime minister's office and 100 intelligence officials.
The lira weakened to beyond 3 to the dollar after state broadcaster TRT said all university deans had been ordered to resign, recalling the sorts of broad purges seen in the wake of successful military coups of the past.
. . . .
Prime Minister Yildirim accused Washington, which has said it will consider Gulen's extradition only if clear evidence is provided, of double standards in its fight against terrorism.
Yildirim said the justice ministry had sent a dossier to U.S. authorities on Gulen, whose religious movement blends conservative Islamic values with a pro-Western outlook and who has a network of supporters within Turkey.
"We have more than enough evidence, more than you could ask for, on Gulen," Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag told reporters outside parliament.
"There is no need to prove the coup attempt, all evidence shows that the coup attempt was organised on his will and orders."
White House spokesman Josh Earnest confirmed Ankara had filed materials in electronic form with the U.S. government, which officials were reviewing.
Any extradition request from Turkey, once submitted, would be evaluated under the terms of a treaty between the two countries, he added.
Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus told reporters that 9,322 people were under legal proceedings in relation to the attempted coup.
Monday, July 18, 2016
AP exclusive: secret document eases Iran nuclear constraints
Key restrictions on Iran's nuclear program imposed under an internationally negotiated deal will ease in slightly more than a decade, cutting the time Tehran would need to build a bomb to six months from present estimates of a year, according to a document obtained Monday by The Associated Press.
The document is the only part linked to last year's deal between Iran and six foreign powers that hasn't been made public.
It was given to the AP by a diplomat whose work has focused on Iran's nuclear program for more than a decade, and its authenticity was confirmed by another diplomat who possesses the same document.
The diplomat who shared the document with the AP described it as an add-on agreement to the nuclear deal.
But while formally separate from that accord, he said that it was in effect an integral part of the deal and had been approved both by Iran and the U.S., Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany, the six powers that negotiated the deal with Tehran.
The story is so fresh nobody has had time to react.
So this that follows is not a reaction to the news.
14 Democratic senators call for Iran sanctions extension
Baton Rouge police shooter said he was 'sovereign citizen'
This is the black ex-Marine, ex-Nation of Islam guy.
The former Marine who ambushed and killed three Baton Rouge, Louisiana, police officers identified with a growing sovereign citizen movement that originated among white supremacists and whose adherents believe they're immune to most federal and state laws, including paying taxes and getting driver's licenses.
Gavin Long, 29, of Kansas City, Missouri, filed documents last year declaring himself a member of the United Washitaw de Dugdahmoundyah, a mostly black group whose members believe they're descended from the early Native American mound builders and own the Louisiana Purchase land.
. . . .
The sovereign citizen movement generally traces its origins to the 1970s, when members were avowed white supremacists.
But the unifying ideology was about government rather than race, said Mark Pitcavage, senior research fellow at the Anti-Defamation League's Center on Extremism.
"As a result, over the decades, the proportion of white supremacists became ever smaller and smaller a proportion of the movement as a whole," Pitcavage said.
"That fact opened the movement up to people of all sorts of other backgrounds who had anti-government leanings."
Potok said the sovereign citizen movement is largely unorganized but growing quickly, especially since the Great Recession, and now involves an estimated 300,000 people — the majority of whom now may be African-American.
These people are notorious for shooting a lot of police, and have been since they were a white supremacist group.
More details here.
Police: Gunman who killed 3 was 'seeking out' officers
Baton Rouge police killer: A former Marine from Kansas City
Next they'll demand the government end rape so they can take back the night.
Corbyn and some ultra-left folks want to get rid of Britain's nuclear submarine deterrent.
The Tories want to keep it and the Labor Party's official position also supports Trident.
Theresa May has told MPs it would be "an act of gross irresponsibility" for the UK to abandon its nuclear weapons.
The prime minister accused critics of the Trident system of being "the first to defend the country's enemies".
Merkel tells Erdogan death penalty "in no way" compatible with EU membership
German Chancellor Angela Merkel told Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan today that Germany vehemently opposes the reinstatement of the death penalty in Turkey and that such a step would prevent Turkey becoming an EU member, a German government spokeswoman said.
. . . .
President Erdogan has said there could be no delay in using capital punishment after a failed coup attempt, adding the government would discuss it with opposition parties
Read the story.
It is Erdogan who is making the coup.
Those others just opened the door for him.
Charles is a jackass.
He barely knows Sarah, and all she has done is lie to him.
His last word from her is refusal of him.
Yet he rejects Ernestina, to both their profound harms, on a baseless hope that, once Tina is rejected, Sarah will accept him and he and she will be happy ever after.
He eventually finds her, and it appears they are reunited in the end, anyway.
A happy ending.
But not the last.
Reading The French Lieutenant's Woman.
Figure and ground.
A duck or a rabbit.
Kant shorn of transcendental idealism is a worthier successor to Hume than the logical positivists who insisted physical object statements were equivalent to sense data statements.
They omitted what he, following Aristotle and like those in his and the Scholastic traditions, emphasized, the critical role of imagination in working up sensa into a world of phenomena, of objects of experience together occupying or situated in both three dimensional space and time.
This is something different from judgment or belief, though intimately related to both.
And this whole world of appearances is merely mine.
And I have no truck with real others, unless a noumenal world that includes noumenal others appears through them.
Reading the first critique.
PS. That doesn't mean he is better than Hume and the empiricists at understanding regularities in nature and expectations that the future will resemble the past.
Fowles, lecturing page after page . . . after page on the hearts, the souls, the minds, and above all the sex lives of the Victorians.
The French Lieutenant's Woman.
Like Tolstoy blathering about history in War and Peace, ruining a wonderful novel.
Or Hugo in The Hunchback.
Sunday, July 17, 2016
But she can't afford to hemorrhage white voters to the Republican, either.
So what is she supposed to say about the whole BLM, blacks vs. cops thing?
Reactions to the shootings in Baton Rouge
Both she and President Obama said entirely appropriate things, as did the AG.
So did Paul Ryan.
Only Trump seized the moment to campaign.
He wants to trim the rights of the people to make policing safer.
You're a fan of separation of powers?
You know, so legislatures make the laws and executives have to enforce them.
But executives don't get to make up the law to suit the preferences of the police.
Well, he's not a fan.
And if it's blacks taking pot shots at police he's worried about I don't quite see why that danger should be greater during the Republican convention than at other times.
Still, you might think that in situations of actual civil disturbance police could prohibit the carrying of weapons in affected areas.
Or the mayor could, or the governor could.
You would be wrong.
You might think it could be done if martial law is invoked to cope with an emergency, but under the US constitution no one enjoys the authority to impose any such thing as martial law, ever.
The thing simply does not exist.
But the Congress (not the president) does have the authority to suspend the writ of habeas corpus in cases of rebellion or invasion, if the public safety requires it, allowing executive authorities to detain people as they may choose so long as the writ is suspended.
Cleveland police union asks for suspension of 'open carry' in wake of Baton Rouge, ahead of RNC
The head of Cleveland's largest police union is calling on Ohio Gov. John Kasich to temporarily restrict the state's gun laws during this week's Republican National Convention following Sunday's shooting in Louisiana that killed three officers and wounded at least three others.
"We are sending a letter to Gov. Kasich requesting assistance from him.
He could very easily do some kind of executive order or something -- I don't care if it's constitutional or not at this point," Stephen Loomis, president of Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association, told CNN.
"They can fight about it after the RNC or they can lift it after the RNC, but I want him to absolutely outlaw open-carry in Cuyahoga County until this RNC is over."
So-called "open carry" gun laws in Ohio allow for licensed firearm owners to wear their weapons in public.
With the exception of a small "secure zone" inside and around the Quicken Loans Arena, residents, delegates and protesters are legally permitted to walk around the city -- including within its 1.7 square mile regulated "event zone" -- with any firearm not explicitly banned by the state.
The governor gave the policeman a much needed civics lesson.
Kasich, responding to the request, said: "Ohio governors do not have the power to arbitrarily suspend federal and state constitutional rights or state laws as suggested."
Which is not to say the policeman is mistaken in his belief that the government in general and law enforcement and the executive branch in particular regularly and intentionally flout the law and the constitution when seeking to deal with outbreaks of civil disorder.
But they never admit that that is what they are doing when they do it.
Baton Rouge Shooter Gavin Eugene Long Was Nation Of Islam Member
I suppose the only surprise is they don't generate a lot more killers.
Too many people driven to outright murder by racist madness in this country.
It threatens all of us, and the hell of it is the murderers want it to threaten all of us.
Dylann Roof wanted to start a race war.
As if we haven't been immersed in one all my long life.
Walter Williams gives more information.
Challenges For Black People
Heather Mac Donald’s most recent book, “The War on Cops,” points out some devastating and sobering statistics:
“Blacks were charged with 62 percent of all robberies, 57 percent of all murders, and 45 percent of all assaults in the 75 largest U.S. counties in 2009, while constituting roughly 15 percent of the population in those counties.
"From 2005 to 2014, 40 percent of cop-killers were black.
"Given the racially lopsided nature of gun violence, a 26 percent rate of black victimization by the police is not evidence of bias.”
So, blacks that year in those counties were charged with 9 times as many robberies per capita as the entire remainder of the population, 7.6 times as many murders, and 4.6 times as many assaults.
They were convicted of killing 3.8 times as many police per capita as the remainder of the population over the years 2005 to 2014.
But not quite twice as many blacks were killed by police, per capita, as persons in the remainder of the population.
All the same, why are our cops so heavily armed and why do they kill so many people of any shade or hue?