Daily Archives: February 13, 2016

Liberal racist

An idiot just posted this, and my immediate reaction was to dump it in the spam file and block his ip address (xxxxx ) if you’re interested) all of which I did. But it’s such  perfect example of liberalism that I thought I’d bring it forward. This is the face of the people calling you a racist.

It’s of the same nature as the former commentator Dollar Bill calling conservatives homo, scrotum-sucking perverts and, when called in it, throwing up his arms and exclaiming, “who, me? I can’t be accused of that, I’m a liberal!”

“One wicked witch is dead. Maybe Clarence Thomas will explode eating a bucket of fried chicken next.”

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Why can’t it be both?

OBAMA-SNEER

And you think I care, why?

Who dislikes Obama more – liberals or conservatives?

As President Obama prepares to carefully fasten his bike helmet and ride off into the sunset, how do we know his presidency has been a total failure?

Because even liberals say so. The famous thrill going up their legs (in the words of Chris Matthews) is now forming a cold, embarrassing puddle in their shoes. There’s a reason why Hillary Clinton, campaigning as the guarantor of Obama’s third term, just got smoked by a kooky geriatric. Bernie Sanders is catching on in part because he tacitly concedes that Obama has been a dud.

“We voted for hope and change, Mr. President, but what did we get?” asks progressive radio host Bill Press, a longtime voice of the left on CNN shows such as “Crossfire,” in his new book “Buyer’s Remorse: How Obama Let Progressives Down”

There’s lots more in the column cited, but, distilled down, it’s a story of liberals suffering buyers’ remorse and discovering what conservatives knew all along: the man is a fraudulent, race-baiting little man, focused solely on his own interest. So, we’ve all ended up at the same place, but it’s too bad the liberals foisted seven years of this man’s misrule on the country before they realized who’d they put in the White House.

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El Nino and the Ninnies

Wicked Weasel

Of course, there ARE fringe benefits

Just last month, global warmists were shrieking that “climate change” was causing the worst el Nino ever.

Today, the media’s asking where it went.

Don’t worry, they’ll have an explanation that reconciles everything in just a few days. My bet is that it will involve Bush, Chaney and the Koch brothers, with maybe a dash of Anton Scalia tossed in, just to keep things current.

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The election just took on critical importance

Justice Scalia has died at age 79. The fight by the Democrats to name his replacement should make for some real theatre during the next 9 months, and if the Republicans can’t stop that from happening, then they’ve lost any claim to representing an alternative governing philosophy.

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Feckless Fool

Russian Prime Minister Medveded: “We are in a new Cold War”

Arlo Guthrie said, “You wanna end war and stuff, you gotta sing, real hard.” Arlo was dead wrong, but Obama’s only just now getting the news.

“But, but, we sang this song in Harvard Yard! Loud!” [Skip to 50 seconds]

 

 

 

 

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Charles Murray on Trump’s America

I mentioned this essay in the comments section, and it’s really too long to do justice to it with an excerpt, though I’ll give a sampling, but it’s a thought provoking piece well worth taking the time to read (in my opinion, Mr. Benedict).

For the eminent political scientist Samuel Huntington, writing in his last book, “Who Are We?” (2004), two components of that national identity stand out. One is our Anglo-Protestant heritage, which has inevitably faded in an America that is now home to many cultural and religious traditions. The other is the very idea of America, something unique to us. As the historian Richard Hofstadter once said, “It has been our fate as a nation not to have ideologies but to be one.”

What does this ideology—Huntington called it the “American creed”—consist of? Its three core values may be summarized as egalitarianism, liberty and individualism. From these flow other familiar aspects of the national creed that observers have long identified: equality before the law, equality of opportunity, freedom of speech and association, self-reliance, limited government, free-market economics, decentralized and devolved political authority.

Historically, one of the most widely acknowledged aspects of American exceptionalism was our lack of class consciousness. Even Marx and Engels recognized it. This was egalitarianism American style. Yes, America had rich people and poor people, but that didn’t mean that the rich were better than anyone else.

[That’s changed]

…. Another characteristic of the new upper class—and something new under the American sun—is their easy acceptance of being members of an upper class and their condescension toward ordinary Americans. Try using “redneck” in a conversation with your highly educated friends and see if it triggers any of the nervousness that accompanies other ethnic slurs. Refer to “flyover country” and consider the implications when no one asks, “What does that mean?” …

For its part, mainstream America is fully aware of this condescension and contempt and is understandably irritated by it. American egalitarianism is on its last legs.

While the new upper class was seceding from the mainstream, a new lower class was emerging from within the white working class, and it has played a key role in creating the environment in which Trumpism has flourished.

Work and marriage have been central to American civic culture since the founding, and this held true for the white working class into the 1960s. Almost all of the adult men were working or looking for work, and almost all of them were married.

Then things started to change. For white working-class men in their 30s and 40s—what should be the prime decades for working and raising a family—participation in the labor force dropped from 96% in 1968 to 79% in 2015. Over that same period, the portion of these men who were married dropped from 86% to 52%. (The numbers for nonwhite working-class males show declines as well, though not as steep and not as continuous.)

These are stunning changes, and they are visible across the country. In today’s average white working-class neighborhood, about one out of five men in the prime of life isn’t even looking for work; they are living off girlfriends, siblings or parents, on disability, or else subsisting on off-the-books or criminal income. Almost half aren’t married, with all the collateral social problems that go with large numbers of unattached males.

…  Consider how these trends have affected life in working-class communities for everyone, including those who are still playing by the old rules. They find themselves working and raising their families in neighborhoods where the old civic culture is gone—neighborhoods that are no longer friendly or pleasant or even safe.

These major changes in American class structure were taking place alongside another sea change: large-scale ideological defection from the principles of liberty and individualism, two of the pillars of the American creed. This came about in large measure because of the civil rights and feminist movements, both of which began as classic invocations of the creed, rightly demanding that America make good on its ideals for blacks and women.

But the success of both movements soon produced policies that directly contradicted the creed. Affirmative action demanded that people be treated as groups. Equality of outcome trumped equality before the law. Group-based policies continued to multiply, with ever more policies embracing ever more groups.

…But the central truth of Trumpism as a phenomenon is that the entire American working class has legitimate reasons to be angry at the ruling class. During the past half-century of economic growth, virtually none of the rewards have gone to the working class. The economists can supply caveats and refinements to that statement, but the bottom line is stark: The real family income of people in the bottom half of the income distribution hasn’t increased since the late 1960s.

During the same half-century, American corporations exported millions of manufacturing jobs, which were among the best-paying working-class jobs. They were and are predominantly men’s jobs. In both 1968 and 2015, 70% of manufacturing jobs were held by males.

During the same half-century, the federal government allowed the immigration, legal and illegal, of tens of millions of competitors for the remaining working-class jobs. Apart from agriculture, many of those jobs involve the construction trades or crafts. They too were and are predominantly men’s jobs: 77% in 1968 and 84% in 2015.

Economists still argue about the net effect of these events on the American job market. But for someone living in a town where the big company has shut the factory and moved the jobs to China, or for a roofer who has watched a contractor hire illegal immigrants because they are cheaper, anger and frustration are rational.

Add to this the fact that white working-class men are looked down upon by the elites and get little validation in their own communities for being good providers, fathers and spouses—and that life in their communities is falling apart. To top it off, the party they have voted for in recent decades, the Republicans, hasn’t done a damn thing to help them. Who wouldn’t be angry?

As a political matter, it is not a problem that Mr. Sanders doesn’t share the traditional American meanings of liberty and individualism. Neither does Mr. Trump. Neither, any longer, do many in the white working class. They have joined the other defectors from the American creed.

… And just as support for the American creed has shrunk, so has its correspondence to daily life. Our vaunted liberty is now constrained by thousands of petty restrictions that touch almost anything we want to do, individualism is routinely ignored in favor of group rights, and we have acquired an arrogant upper class. Operationally as well as ideologically, the American creed is shattered.

…  Much of the passion of Trumpism is directed against the threat to America’s national identity from an influx of immigrants. But the immigrants I actually encounter, of all ethnicities, typically come across as classically American—cheerful, hardworking, optimistic, ambitious. Keeping our national character seems to be the least of our problems.

Still, even that character is ultimately rooted in the American creed. When faith in that secular religion is held only by fragments of the American people, we will soon be just another nation—a very powerful one, a very rich one, still called the United States of America. But we will have detached ourselves from the bedrock that has made us unique in the history of the world.

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Westchester women are so fickle

Screen Shot 2016-02-13 at 1.22.09 PM

Looks more like a Bloomingdales than a pickup bar, but  maybe that’s a good thing. 

Greenwich Time claims that the meat bar scene, which has been moving slowly east from La Scala to J, has now migrated to Stamford’s south end at harbor Point, where the ladies are clustering at a new place called Harlan Social.

I wouldn’t want to find a date here (though perhaps second dates aren’t on the menu) nor, judging from the description of the fare, would I eat here either. Here’s what the owner/chef’s done to the hamburger:

Harlan Burger. At first blush: the old American Classic. But bite in, and the world spins. It’s not a burger as much as a delivery system for a mélange of contrapuntal tastes, textures and international flavors.

Steven starts with a half pound patty of brisket, short rib and chuck blended at LaFrieda’s meatery in Manhattan (one of Harlan’s many New York City purveyors). The burger is grilled and brushed with homemade Worcestershire sauce carrying subtle notes of Asian soy and hoisin. Over that Lewandowski spreads a sauce of a pepper jack and cheddar cheese in mushroom stock with garlic, shallots, mustard, cream and Six Point  Ale from Red Hook. But wait there’s more: a layer of sweet jam comprised of onions caramelized in bacon fat and studded with Italian pancetta. All this sits atop a Portuguese Muffin, which is sweeter than its English cousin, and less nook and cranied.  Brooklyn meets Beijing meets Lisbon.

Ugh on both counts.

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Walt’s upset about this

the-murderer-get-his-hand-001-300x180

Swift justice

Thief’s arm ripped off after attempted robbery.

A 17-year-old robber’s arm was severed in Brooklyn after he held up a man at gunpoint for a pair of pricey sneakers, police sources said.

Zachary Sam and seller Philippe Pierre, 39, had arranged to meet up at 1 p.m. Friday in Canarsie, sources said.

But when Pierre showed up, asking $490 for a pair of Air Jordan 8 Retro sneakers, the teen crook pulled out a gun and demanded the kicks for free inside Pierre’s gray Honda Pilot, police sources said.

Pierre stepped on the gas pedal, but Sam, who lives nearby, jumped out of his car at the intersection of East 86th Street and Avenue M, sources said.

Instead of speeding off, Pierre turned his car around and drove after Sam, crashing into him in front of a fence.

The alleged robber’s arm was ripped off when he was pinned against the fence.

Pierre was arrested and charged with attempted murder, sources said.

Cops charged Sam with robbery and criminal possession of a weapon.

Walt thinks Sharia law should have been applied to Sam I Am, and Lucky Pierre should have been awarded a medal, but I disagree: we aren’t an Islam nation, yet. Pierre was out of danger and could have kept going, but instead he turned around and ran over the stupid bastard. He doesn’t have a leg to stand on, under our laws.

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Yale’s Paul Rudolph and his execrable designs

Orange_County_Government_Center

Goshen city hall

Just as Goering was supposed to have said (but probably didn’t*), “When I hear the word culture, I reach for my gun”, when I hear the term “Yale Architect” I reach for the vomit bag. This 2007 article from the blog Invisible Hand” explains why, by examining the work of Yale’s School of Architecture during the 60s, in “Paul Rudolph’s Designs of Doom”.

OK, let’s just say it. Paul Rudolph may have been the worst architect in America (which, of course, includes the world).

And as if to second the nomination, The New York Times has published two fawning articles recently about his dark genius and the fact that everyone wants to demolish his unsightly work.

On Friday the Times ran a long and profusely illustrated article by some sap who took a road trip to see as many Rudolph buildings as he could in a weekend. Sadly, there are many still standing.

The writer, a Times apparatchik named Fred Bernstein, marvels at the ploddingly dismal insanity that characterizes Rudolph’s buildings.

In describing one monstrosity, Bernstein writes admiringly that “a trip from one room to another can take you up and down six different stairways.” At another he writes, “Some of the exterior features – like stairs to nowhere – are confounding, but a Rudolph wouldn’t be a Rudolph without puzzle pieces that don’t quite fit.” If I owned such a defective puzzle I would throw it away. Unfortunately, Rudolph worked in raw poured concrete and throwing away one of his buildings would involve explosive force measured in megatons and a dozen landfills.

Rudolph’s modernist credentials, like his buildings, are bulletproof. He studied with Gropius at Harvard. He was Dean of the Yale School of Architecture and famously designed the bunker which houses the School. It’s notable that before the concrete had cured on their new home, the students attempted to burn the building down. They failed although you can hardly tell by looking at the place.

Funny how Rudolph buildings are always in danger of destruction by popular demand.

Perhaps the most perfect expression of Rudolph’s dreary brilliance is the sprawling Boston Government Service Center (BGSC), a mental health facility that is part of Boston’s dispiriting Government Center.

Say what you want about Boston’s brutalist City Hall (and I have), but that craptacular pile of concrete never killed anyone. BGSC has.

According to Metropolis magazine, Rudolph wanted to express mental illness in his building and so paid special attention to dank corridors and stairs leading to blank walls. As a result, Rudolph created a mental hospital that actually inflames patients’ emotional disorder. “The building programs disabled behavior,” says wrote Matthew Dumont, a Boston psychiatrist and author of the book, Treating the Poor. The building’s “chapel” was sealed shut after a patient ignited himself there and a catwalk over the lobby had to be glazed over after it invited too many suicide attempts.

At the Orange County Government Center, which vandalizes the otherwise charming town of Goshen, New York, we meet Edward Diana, the County Executive who marvels at the building’s 87 separate roofs . . . “all of which leak.”

Is the building highly valued? “If I took a poll in town,” Diana says, “it would be demolished tomorrow.”

rudolph_umass_dartmouth

U Mass Dartmouth library

boston rudolph

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PETA cancels “greased pig” protest

Ingrid Newkirk, PETA

PETA’s Ingrid Newkirk: “Never mind!”

They were geared up and ready to go until finally convinced that a man on skates in a pig costume was the object of their hysterical compassion.

Quoting her organization’s motto, PETA spokesman Ingrid Newkirk said, “A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy” – obviously, however, an adult male is none of those, and may be treated as an insensate object: “fuck ’em”,  Newkirk told FWIW..

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Connecticut: where all the teachers are not only above average, they’re exemplary!

cEA

“Well, we never said we were advocates for children”

98% of Connecticut public school teachers are rated “proficient” or “excellent”.

Public schools throughout the state — even urban districts like Bridgeport, New Haven and Danbury — are flush with great teachers.

That’s the most prominent finding in the state teacher evaluations this year — the first time student performance was factored into the review.

Results show that 98 percent of teachers were rated as proficient or exemplary. That’s out of 38,913 evaluations, across the state for the 2013-14 school year.

To some that outcome was no surprise. To others, it signals that the new system may actually hurt — not help— their ability to get rid of bad teachers.

“If you are focused on student learning outcomes, it can sometimes mask actual practice,” Bridgeport Interim Schools Superintendent Fran Rabinowitz said.

Rabinowitz said she can tell by observation if a teacher isn’t up to par.

But if student performance goes up anyway, the new system can leave the teacher with a higher rating and their job.

“When all is said and done, I think the state has to take a step back and look at it,” Rabinowitz said. “(Statewide) we still have 98 percent of teachers either proficient or exemplary — so what have you gained by doing this?”

In Bridgeport, where 13 teachers were deemed below standard, Rabinowitz was not able to say with certainty what became of them.

Imagine how truly awful those 13 teachers rated sub-par are, and pity their students. For that matter, pity all slum children, regardless of their teachers’ ratings.

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I don’t know what happened to the common law doctrine of an “easement by necessity” over in England, but here’s an object lesson in the importance of researching your title before buying

Keith King

Mr. Keith King, retired, lottery winner, grasper

New home owner being held to ransom by neighbor who owns the strip of land between owner’s driveway and the street.

That neighbor, a Mr. Keith King, didn’t know he owned the strip until recently, but instead of doing the neighborly thing and, say, giving his neighbor a license to use it, he rubbed his hands in glee and prepared to cash in:

Mr King, 62, said Mr Kisacikoglu had offered him £2,000 for the crucial strip, but he rejected the offer as ‘derisory’ and wants a lot more.

‘The discovery I owned the land was like finding a rare painting in the loft,’ said Mr King.

Mr King, a retired sound engineer, said: ‘I did not know about the ransom strip until after I paid off the mortgage and received the title deeds.

I thought it was a once in a lifetime opportunity for me. I approached Mr Kisacikoglu when he bought the house. Yet he offered me £2,000. I’m not seeking millions of pounds but want a fair amount.

The cobbles owned by Mr King are known as a ‘ransom strip’ – a small but crucial piece of land which is needed to access a property, commonly a development site.

Planning experts say the ransom strip could be worth around £500,000.

There’s a reason back lots on a shared driveway trade at a discount, and there’s a reason why your lawyer – and your lender, if you have one – insist on a  thorough title search. Both the discount and the requirement for a title search stem from the same objective fact: some people are assholes.

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Over in Europe, there’s a feminist brain meltdown going on

German feminists refugees

“Blame men, not immigrants!” Really?

What to do, what to do? On the one hand, as true progressives, they must side with the refugees who, after all, represent post-Colonilism white man repression (or something), but these refugees are mostly – 70% – men, and we all know how evil that creature is.

Carrie Lukas: “Of course, there’s a way out for feminists: Refocus on the core principle of defending women’s equal rights and fair treatment. This requires recognizing that the West — including Western men — have actually come a long way in protecting women from physical harm and enabling their full participation in the public sphere.”

Glenn Reynolds: When you yammer about a nonexistent “rape culture” at home, and then import millions from a genuine rape culture, it’s not likely to go well. And you can’t acknowledge anything good about Western men, or that would defeat the entire purpose of feminism, which is to cow and silence Western men.

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