Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Cruising the Web

Wow! I went to bed in the middle of the 3rd quarter of the Spurs-Rockets game. I was feeling down because the Rockets had been killing San Antonio all game, but I was just too tired to stay up and watch anymore. I dreamt that San Antonio came back, as they have so many times this year, and won. I woke up and checked the score and found out that Kawhi had just another game of his life doing it at both ends to win the game. Just amazing!

What a set of highlights to wake up and see! My dreams come to life!

He should be the MVP. Not only is he leading his team game-after-game to victory, but he's doing it at both ends of the court. He took on the job of guarding Harden in the last quarter and held his scoring to four points when no one else could stop him. As Coach Pop said after the game, it isn't the threes that make Kawhi special because lots of players can do that. It's his defense. It was that block at the end of the game. "Kawhi wanted it badly, and he went and took it."

I just hope that he can go out and take another championship with the Spurs. That would be so special.

TurboTax Home & Business 2016 Tax Software Federal & State + Fed Efile PC download

TurboTax Business 2016 Tax Software Federal + Fed Efile PC download

Quicken Deluxe 2017 Personal Finance & Budgeting Software [Download]

Norton Security Deluxe- 5 Devices; Amazon Exclusive 15-month Subscription

H and R Block Tax Software Deluxe + State 2016 Win + Refund Bonus Offer

Shelby Steele has a great column in the WSJ about "the exhaustion of American liberalism." They're quite a contrast with what liberals were supporting back in the 1950s and 1960s. And now what do they have? White guilt.
The recent flurry of marches, demonstrations and even riots, along with the Democratic Party’s spiteful reaction to the Trump presidency, exposes what modern liberalism has become: a politics shrouded in pathos. Unlike the civil-rights movement of the 1950s and ’60s, when protesters wore their Sunday best and carried themselves with heroic dignity, today’s liberal marches are marked by incoherence and downright lunacy—hats designed to evoke sexual organs, poems that scream in anger yet have no point to make, and an hysterical anti-Americanism.

All this suggests lostness, the end of something rather than the beginning. What is ending?

America, since the ’60s, has lived through what might be called an age of white guilt. We may still be in this age, but the Trump election suggests an exhaustion with the idea of white guilt, and with the drama of culpability, innocence and correctness in which it mires us.

....White guilt is not angst over injustices suffered by others; it is the terror of being stigmatized with America’s old bigotries—racism, sexism, homophobia and xenophobia. To be stigmatized as a fellow traveler with any of these bigotries is to be utterly stripped of moral authority and made into a pariah. The terror of this, of having “no name in the street” as the Bible puts it, pressures whites to act guiltily even when they feel no actual guilt. White guilt is a mock guilt, a pretense of real guilt, a shallow etiquette of empathy, pity and regret.

It is also the heart and soul of contemporary liberalism. This liberalism is the politics given to us by white guilt, and it shares white guilt’s central corruption. It is not real liberalism, in the classic sense. It is a mock liberalism. Freedom is not its raison d’être; moral authority is.
Liberalism now relies on convincing people that America is as sinful now as it was in its past when we shamefully denied rights to minorities. It denies the changes that have happened over the last 50 years.
Today’s liberalism is an anachronism. It has no understanding, really, of what poverty is and how it has to be overcome. It has no grip whatever on what American exceptionalism is and what it means at home and especially abroad. Instead it remains defined by an America of 1965—an America newly opening itself to its sins, an America of genuine goodwill, yet lacking in self-knowledge.

This liberalism came into being not as an ideology but as an identity. It offered Americans moral esteem against the specter of American shame. This made for a liberalism devoted to the idea of American shamefulness. Without an ugly America to loathe, there is no automatic esteem to receive. Thus liberalism’s unrelenting current of anti-Americanism.

Let’s stipulate that, given our history, this liberalism is understandable. But American liberalism never acknowledged that it was about white esteem rather than minority accomplishment. Four thousand shootings in Chicago last year, and the mayor announces that his will be a sanctuary city. This is moral esteem over reality; the self-congratulation of idealism. Liberalism is exhausted because it has become a corruption.

Shop Amazon - Our Best-Selling Kindle - Now Even Better

Shop Amazon - Top Gift Ideas

Hot New Releases

Home and Kitchen Markdowns

Byron York outlines how little information the public actually has about whether or not the Trump campaign actually colluded with Russians regarding the 2016 election.
The answer is, we know nothing. After all the investigating, after all the talk, after all the yelling — the public knows nothing. There may be people at the highest levels of U.S. government secrecy who know the answer, but even that is not clear at the moment.
York points out that the clearest statement we have is former director of national intelligence James Clapper who said on NBC that he is not aware of any evidence of such collusion.
Remember that Clapper was head of national intelligence until Jan. 20. There have been reports the Trump Russia hacking investigation was going on last summer, that it accelerated in the fall, and that it has been moving along ever since. So Clapper was there for most of the investigation. And he says he knows of no evidence of collusion.
York looks at the interview that Democratic Senator Chris Coons had on Fox News where he had to walk back his allegation on MSNBC that there are transcripts showing that the Russians were colluding with the Trump campaign. By Sunday he admitted that he didn't have any "hard evidence of collusion." But he suggests that maybe we can find out by looking at Trump's tax returns.
The Coons "Fox News Sunday" interview could prove a revealing moment in the Trump Russia election affair. When Coons admitted that he had seen no evidence of collusion, where did he suggest it might be? In the president's tax returns. Just how that might be possible is not clear. But there is no doubt Democrats work every day to pressure Trump to release his taxes (something candidate Trump broke with tradition by refusing to do.) If Democrats come up with a dry hole on the Russia election matter, they might, like Coons, just seamlessly segue to Trump's taxes.
So we have a lot of smoke about the Trump campaign, but no actual evidence.
Recently an anonymous Washington politico told Axios' Mike Allen of the Russia election case, "This is the rare case where the smoke IS the fire." That's clever, but no, the smoke is not the fire. The fire is the fire. And right now, no one seems to know if there is any fire at all.

Well, we might know very little, but mostly what we have are lots of stories based on anonymous sources. As Jim Geraghty asks - "do any sources go on the record anymore?"
So far, the story of alleged Russian collusion with Trump has relied just about entirely on anonymous sources.

Andrew McCarthy points out how the media, in their pushback against Trump's accusations against President Obama, have actually undermined the whole idea of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
Now that they’ve been called on it, the media and Democrats are gradually retreating from the investigation they’ve been touting for months as the glue for their conspiracy theory. It’s actually quite amusing to watch: How dare you suggest President Obama would ever order surveillance! Who said anything about FISA orders? What evidence do you lunatic conservatives have — uh, other than what we media professionals been reporting — that there was any investigation of the Trump campaign?

You will hear more righteous indignation in the coming days, no doubt. The first brushback pitches came this weekend: the claim that if President Trump dares to demand that the FBI and Justice Department show him the supposed FISA applications, he will be engaged in unprecedented political interference in the independence of law enforcement. It’s a silly assertion; as I explained over the weekend, FISA surveillance is not law enforcement, it is national security. A chief executive who demanded to review FISA information (obtained by exercise of the executive’s power) would be doing his main job — to protect the country — not interfering in a judicial proceeding.

But have you noticed? While all this head-spinning legal jibber-jabber goes back and forth, the foundation of the false narrative we’ve been hearing since November 8 has vanished. Now that we’re supposed to believe there was no real investigation of Trump and his campaign, what else can we conclude but that there was no real evidence of collusion between the campaign and Russia . . . which makes sense, since Russia did not actually hack the election, so the purported objective of the collusion never existed.

Trick or tweet?

Here's another amazing stor
y - five-year old girl has won a place to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Before this, the youngest players to compete were six years old. My mind boggles.

Best Deals in Vitamins and Supplements

Interesting Finds at Amazon: Updated Daily

Spring Savings in Grocery and Gourmet Food

Oh, geez. Alexandria schools have to cancel school on Wednesday because of so many teachers protesting.
A Washington D.C. suburb has canceled school this Wednesday, citing mass absenteeism among teachers on what activists have declared will be "a day without a woman."

Alexandria City Public Schools announced on its website Monday afternoon that more than 300 school staff members have announced they will not report to work on March 8, and because of the mass absenteeism, schools will not open.

Activists have called on women to "strike" on Wednesday to demonstrate opposition to President Trump....

The students will not make up the academic day that will be lost on March 8.
Closer to home, Chapel Hill-Carrboro City School District in North Carolina has had to cancel classes and make the day into a teacher work day because so many teachers were planning...not to work.

Mary Katharine Ham captures the irony on the Left.

Ugh! Glad to see where these teachers' priorities are. Too bad that they don't know about the history of one of the founders of this whole idea for the march.
In response to the perceived misogyny and racism in Trump’s administration, another Women’s March – identical to the one held in January organized by infamous Hamas supporter Linda Sarsour – will take place on March 8 (the same day as International Women's Day) under the title, A Day Without A Woman. The march is being advertised as a women's strike asking that women across the U.S. "do not engage in paid and unpaid work" and "avoid spending money."

This time, the face of this topical and widely-touted protest will be a woman named Rasmea Yousef Odeh.

For those of you who don’t know, Odeh was convicted of participating in a deadly terrorist bombing in 1969, after confessing to setting off an explosive in a Jerusalem grocery store that killed two Jewish university students: Edward Joffe and Leon Kanner.

Odeh was also convicted for her role in the bombing of a British consulate.

A member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), Odeh was sentenced to life in prison but served only ten years, released by Israel as part of a prisoner exchange with the PFLP in 1980. Her subsequent fraudulent immigration to the United States was discovered in 2014, and after being found guilty at trial, she successfully appealed by claiming that she had suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) during her citizenship application. Odeh, and many of her supporters, maintain that she was wrongly convicted by Israel based on a false confession "extracted under torture."

....So, here we are in 2017 and a convicted terrorist who murdered two people with impunity (even Odeh’s cousin confirmed in a documentary that she was responsible for the attack) is a leading figure in the contemporary women's movement. And, just as Linda Sarsour’s political agenda was given credence in January, not to mention landing an audience of millions of people, now yet another vehemently anti-Israel, anti-Zionist, and antisemitic “activist” will be given a platform to spew her radical ideologies.

Is this the newest trend of ‘feminism’? Has intersectionality become so mainstream that any community or identity group that considers itself marginalized will automatically support Palestinian terrorists because the Palestinian people, too, are marginalized?

Is this what the original suffragettes who broke into the American democratic process envisioned as the leadership of their movement? To promote an ideology that is hell-bent on eliminating the Jewish state, which is a beacon of tolerance and human rights (particularly for women and the LGBTQ+ community), and place ‘Palestine’ in its stead, which currently exists as a terrorist-controlled theocratic kleptocracy that is horribly oppressive to women, as well as minority groups?
Bre Payton writes about this irony about the march.
What’s perhaps the most ironic part about the protest is that it effectively forces women to stay home from work so others can participate. It also forces many parents to miss a day of work if they cannot find another form of childcare within two days.

Meanwhile, Gary Weiss argues that the outrage against anti-Semitism is rather opportunistic. Mass desecration of Jewish graves and the threats to Jewish centers and synagogues have been widely condemned. But why now?
The press was largely uninterested in December 2010, when 200 tombstones were overturned—an assault just as large as the one in St. Louis—at the aforementioned Washington Cemetery in Brooklyn. There were no fundraisers by Muslim-Americans or anybody. It was covered by the New York Post and Brooklyn weeklies but otherwise largely ignored. Not a word in the Times. To be sure, this was not part of a “wave” of anti-Semitism, such as we have seen. Still, 200 tombstones is 200 tombstones. Two hundred families traumatized, assuming they knew. Not even worth a paragraph?

More recently, outside the pro-Israel echo chamber there was little interest in February 2015, when President Obama said—and his spokesman reiterated—that the attack on a Jewish grocery in Paris by Islamist terrorists was just a “random” attack on a bunch of “folks.” I doubt very much that the press would have accepted such mumbo-jumbo from Donald Trump or Sean Spicer.

Similarly, I have to wonder if Steve Bannon would still be in the White House if the allegations of anti-Semitism concerning him were half as serious as the ones that have dogged Keith Ellison. There has been coverage of Ellison’s statements and ties, to be sure, but nothing approaching the feeding frenzy that has pursued Bannon.

The reason, I would suggest, is that anti-Semitism has become politicized, and has become entwined in the widespread disdain for No. 45.

....That brings me to the other reason I’m feeling uneasy. It’s the way people who make me feel uneasy are jumping on the anti-anti-Semitism bandwagon.

In a statement, the American Studies Association said that it “strongly reproves the recent wave of attacks on synagogues, mosques, and religious community centers in North America and on the Jewish and Islamic people using those institutions.” The ASA, of course, is widely known not for “reproving” anti-Semitism but quite the opposite, a widely condemned resolution boycotting Israeli academics—a singling out of the Jewish state as part of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which has been denounced as anti-Semitic. Linda Sarsour, a Palestinian-American activist who “makes no secret of her opposition to Israel and support of BDS,” has raised significant money for the St. Louis cemetery—and believe you me, she is not keeping it a secret.

Yes it’s possible that Sarsour and the ASA are just bubbling over with empathy for the Jewish community that they have never shown for the Jewish state. It’s also possible that they are cynically exploiting the wave of anti-Semitism as political cover for their BDS advocacy. I lean toward the latter theory. It’s a bit like “Jew-washing”—the use of Jewish supporters in anti-Israel agitation—except that in this instance the Jews are safely dead.

And it must have been such a disappointment on the Left that the one person arrested for calling in bomb threats to Jewish groups and community centers was not a Trump supporter. There have been those in the media who alleged that this rash of threats was a result of Trump's election victory.
FBI agents in St. Louis arrested Juan M. Thompson. Federal officials suspect that he made bomb threats against the Anti-Defamation League and seven other Jewish groups and Jewish community centers (JCCs). Far from being a right-wing, Trump-loving white supremacist, Thompson is precisely the opposite: a left-wing, Trump-hating black racist.


Assistant U.S. Attorney Jacob Warren filed a federal criminal complaint against Thompson, 31, in the Southern District of New York. Thompson’s alleged chief victim lives in New York City. Thompson is a Vassar College graduate whom Intercept.com fired in January 2016 for inventing sources and quotes in several news stories that he wrote for that website. From the complaint:

“JUAN THOMPSON, the defendant, appears to have made some of the JCC Threats as part of a sustained campaign to harass and intimidate Victim-1,” with whom he previously “was involved in a romantic relationship.” The Justice Department says that Thompson sent threats against Jewish targets in this unidentified woman’s name, to embroil her in legal hot water. Justice further asserts that Thompson made other threats in his own name, “but which THOMPSON has later claimed were made by Victim-1 in an effort to falsely implicate THOMPSON.”

....Meanwhile, Thompson’s Twitter account is a bulging landfill of seething, Trump-hating, left-wing, anti-white racism.
As Deroy Murdock wrote, this wasn't "the anti-Semite they were looking for."