Friday, March 24, 2017

'Spectacular Defeat for Trump'

I'm just reading books. I haven't turned on the TV all day, but saw some news on Twitter.

Of course the New York Times would run with this headline on the GOP healthcare bill, at Memeorandum, "In Spectacular Defeat for Trump, Push to Repeal Health Law Fails."


Christina El Moussa Looks Spectacular in a Bikini

Heh.

Instapundit's posting some Rule 5, "A “REVENGE BODY?” I’ve never really seen the point of that, but whatever. It’s Blog Sweeps Week!"

Also, at People Magazine, "See Christina El Moussa’s cute matching bikini with her daughter Taylor."

And at the Wrap, "‘Flip or Flop’ Star Christina El Moussa Blasted for ‘Completely Inappropriate’ Mother-Daughter Bikini Photo."

It's just a bikini, for crying out loud.

Now, don't get me going about the divorce (that's another story).

Shop Toys and Games

At Amazon, Toys & Games.

And reposting my frontier book links:

See Richard Slotkin, The Fatal Environment: The Myth of the Frontier in the Age of Industrialization, 1800–1890.

Bernard DeVoto, The Course of Empire.

And, Dale L. Morgan, Jedediah Smith and the Opening of the West.

Allan Nevins, Frémont: Pathmarker of the West.

More, Robert M. Utley, A Life Wild and Perilous: Mountain Men and the Paths to the Pacific.

Richard White, "It's Your Misfortune and None of My Own": A New History of the American West.

Plus, Anne F. Hyde, Empires, Nations, and Families: A New History of the North American West, 1800-1860.

BONUS: ICYMI, Patricia Nelson Limerick, The Legacy of Conquest: The Unbroken Past of the American West.

Louis S. Warren, God's Red Son

A brand-new book, out April 4th.

At Amazon, Louis S. Warren, God's Red Son: The Ghost Dance Religion and the Making of Modern America.
In 1890, on Indian reservations across the West, followers of a new religion danced in circles until they collapsed into trances. In an attempt to suppress this new faith, the US Army killed over two hundred Lakota Sioux at Wounded Knee Creek. Louis Warren's God's Red Son offers a startling new view of the religion known as the Ghost Dance, from its origins in the visions of a Northern Paiute named Wovoka to the tragedy in South Dakota. To this day, the Ghost Dance remains widely mischaracterized as a primitive and failed effort by Indian militants to resist American conquest and return to traditional ways. In fact, followers of the Ghost Dance sought to thrive in modern America by working for wages, farming the land, and educating their children, tenets that helped the religion endure for decades after Wounded Knee. God's Red Son powerfully reveals how Ghost Dance teachings helped Indians retain their identity and reshape the modern world.

Motion 103 (VIDEO)

At PuffHo Canada, "M-103: Anti-Islamophobia Motion Easily Passes House of Commons."

Also, from Rex Murphy, at Toronto's National Post, "The anti-Islamophobia motion has passed. And what today has changed for the better?"

And let Faith Goldy tell us all about it:



'Dirty Hippies' No Match for Donald Trump (VIDEO)

At the Rebel, "U.S. grants Keystone XL permit: “Dirty hippies” no match for President Trump."



Why Birmingham's Such a Breeding-Ground for British-Born Terror

Well, all of Britain's gone to hell with jihad.

But see Blazing Cat Fur, "London Attack: Why Has Birmingham Become Such a Breeding Ground for British-Born Terror?"

Judith Matloff, No Friends but the Mountains

An Amazon #1 New Release, Judith Matloff, No Friends but the Mountains: Dispatches from the World's Violent Highlands.

And at the New York Times and Christian Science Monitor:


What's Left of the Communist Left?

Well, the old-line Marxist-Leninists may be out, but Gramscian neo-Marxist post-colonial social justice warriors are still definitely in.

It's a weird paradox, actually, but that's the world we live in.

Read this outstanding review of the scholarly literature on the Russian Revolution, from Sheila Fitzpatrick, at the London Review of Books, "What's Left?"

Under review:


* China Miéville, October: The Story of the Russian Revolution.

* Mark D. Steinberg, The Russian Revolution, 1905-1921.

* S.A. Smith, Russia in Revolution: An Empire in Crisis, 1890 to 1928.

* Sean McMeekin, The Russian Revolution: A New History.

* Tony Brenton, Historically Inevitable?: Turning Points of the Russian Revolution.

Former California Govenor Pete Wilson: No Regrets, No Apologies

He was a man ahead of the times.

Damn right he's got no apologies. He's been freakin' vindicated by events.

At the Los Angeles Times, "Pete Wilson looks back on Proposition 187 and says, heck yeah, he'd support it all over again":

For a time, no California politician was more formidable than Republican Pete Wilson.

Over two decades, the popular former San Diego mayor enjoyed a record of nearly unbroken success, besting Gov. Jerry Brown in 1982 to seize a U.S. Senate seat and toppling San Francisco Mayor Dianne Feinstein eight years later to win the governorship. He served in Sacramento during a time of epic upheaval, staring down a massive budget deficit and a series of biblical natural disasters: drought, earthquakes, fire, floods.

Now, at 83, he is waging what amounts to his final campaign — and certainly his most personal — an effort to shape how he’ll best be recollected.

By most accounts, Wilson was quite successful during eight years as governor, leaving the state in better shape than he found it, though he takes issue with that assessment. “No,” he said, “a hell of a lot better.”

If Wilson is renowned for one thing, however, it is Proposition 187, the controversial ballot measure that sought to stem illegal immigration and address its costs by cutting off state services, including healthcare and public education, to those in the country illegally.

Wilson didn’t draft the measure, nor did he place it on the November 1994 ballot. But he became the foremost champion and central character — or villain — in a narrative that goes something like this:

His reelection apparently doomed, Wilson seized on the provocative initiative and, through a racist campaign, tapped the latent bigotry of Californians to rescue his flailing candidacy, a Pyrrhic victory that has badly damaged Republicans by alienating Latinos in the state and nationwide ever since.

The narrative gained renewed currency with the rise of Donald Trump, fueled by his inflammatory rhetoric toward immigrants — Muslims and Mexicans, in particular — and the wall he promises to throw up along the Southwest border.

(Although he preferred Trump to Democrat Hillary Clinton, Wilson is no great fan of the president. He does, however, see merit in his proposal to wall off the border. “People say, … ‘God, it would cost a fortune,’” Wilson said. “Not nearly as much as failing to build the wall.”)

Setting aside comparisons, there is some truth to the popular account of Wilson’s political comeback.

He started his reelection campaign as a distinct underdog, trailing by as much as 20 points in preference polls. He was helped considerably by his tough-on-immigration stance, which came after years spent hectoring Washington for not securing the country’s borders and foisting billions in costs on states like California.

But Wilson also benefited greatly from his leadership after the January 1994 Northridge earthquake and the wretched campaign run by his Democratic rival, Brown’s sister, Kathleen, which lacked focus and ultimately ran out of cash.

It is also true his tough stance against illegal immigration and, especially, support for Proposition 187 both antagonized and energized a burgeoning Latino population, in California and around the country, abetted by Democrats who knew an opportunity when they saw one.

But Wilson will go to his grave steadfastly denying any racist or malign intent, saying his support for Proposition 187 — most of which was ultimately blocked in the courts — had nothing whatever to do with race or ethnicity.

“It wasn’t scapegoating. What it was doing was laying out the facts of what it was costing state taxpayers for federal failure,” Wilson said in his office high above Century City, where he still maintains an active law practice.

Later, he circled back: “I may have my flaws but racism is not, never has been, never will be, one of them.”

For all his political success, Wilson was no great orator, nor personally charismatic. Rather, his political strength was always as a tactician, far better operating behind the scenes than standing before a TV camera.

Looking back, he dissected the 1994 campaign the way a surgeon might discuss a kidney transplant, his clinical detachment belying not just the fiery emotion surrounding the immigration issue but the hurt he said he has felt ever since...
More.

Myla Dalbesio Wears Nothing But Sand (VIDEO)

Sports Illustrated went all out this year, heh.

Ms Myla's da kine.



Todd Shepard, The Invention of Decolonization

This looks excellent.

Todd Shepard, The Invention of Decolonization: The Algerian War and the Remaking of France.

BONUS: Alistair Horne, A Savage War of Peace: Algeria 1954-1962.

Talitha L. LeFlouria, Chained in Silence

At Amazon, Talitha L. LeFlouria, Chained in Silence: Black Women and Convict Labor in the New South.

BONUS: Sarah Haley, No Mercy Here: Gender, Punishment, and the Making of Jim Crow Modernity.

Lauren Southern, Barbarians

*BUMPED.*

At Amazon, Lauren Southern, Barbarians: How Baby Boomers, Immigrants, and Islam Screwed My Generation.

Elton John's 70th Birthday Celebration Gala (VIDEO)

It's tomorrow night, at the Hammer Museum in Westwood.

From the press release:

ELTON JOHN’S 70TH BIRTHDAY AND HIS 50-YEAR SONGWRITING PARTNERSHIP WITH BERNIE TAUPIN WILL BE CELEBRATED TOMORROW, MARCH 25, 2017, AT A GALA EVENT IN LOS ANGELES

WATCH A SHORT FILM WITH A SELECTION OF HIGHLIGHTS FROM HIS AMAZING CAREER HERE

ROB LOWE WILL SERVE AS HOST

LADY GAGA AND OTHER SURPRISE GUESTS WILL PERFORM AT THE EVENT

THE CELEBRATION WILL BENEFIT THE ELTON JOHN AIDS FOUNDATION AND THE UCLA HAMMER MUSEUM

LOS ANGELES, March 24, 2017 – Tomorrow, March 25, a gala fundraising event celebrating Elton John’s 70th birthday and his 50-year writing partnership with Bernie Taupin will benefit the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) and the Hammer Museum at UCLA. Held at Red Studios in Los Angeles, the evening will be hosted by Rob Lowe and will feature a gala dinner and special musical performances by Lady Gaga and other surprise guests.

Watch a short film with a selection of highlights from Elton’s amazing career here https://youtu.be/ngusy7cvA4A

In keeping with Elton's commitment to philanthropy, he is eager to leverage the celebration of his 70th birthday and his amazing songwriting collaboration with Bernie Taupin in order to support two worthy causes that are the driving passions of his life: ending the global HIV/AIDS epidemic, and art in all its many forms. To that end, this event will raise urgently needed money to help fund the grant-making initiatives of the Elton John AIDS Foundation and exhibitions and programs presented by the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles.

This very special evening will honor the many strands of an unrivalled career and life that still continue to enrich, enthrall, and inspire.  Elton John is a true musical and cultural iconoclast, with a record that speaks for itself. He has achieved worldwide sales of over 250 million records and has 58 Billboard Top 40 singles in the United States. He has written the music for the stage and screen successes Billy Elliot: The Musical, Elton John & Tim Rice's Aida, and Disney's cinematic and theatrical sensation The Lion King. A tireless live performer, Elton has played more than 3,500 concerts in over 80 countries. He has collected 12 Ivor Novello Awards, six GRAMMYS®, two Brits, an Oscar®, and a Tony. He has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and The Songwriters Hall of Fame, and has received a knighthood from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 1998. He is a tireless charitable campaigner and philanthropist, notoriously outspoken for the causes he believes in. Elton John is an undisputed pop culture legend. His knowledge and championing of new music has helped many new artists achieve recognition and success. He is constantly moving forward, never resting on his laurels, never becoming complacent, predictable, or dull.

Of his career with Bernie Taupin, Elton simply says, "It's the same excitement now as when we first started. That this year marks the 50th anniversary of my partnership with Bernie Taupin is mind boggling for me because it seems like only yesterday that I met him. It's an amazing achievement to stay with one person for 50 years on a creative basis, in an industry where that doesn't really happen very much."

On reaching his 70th year, Elton notes, "I'm interested in moving forward all the time, with what I create, my collaborations, and also with discovering the work of other people. I think age is immaterial, provided we keep our minds alive by being open to new things. I can be as excited by a new artist who plays me their demo as I am by a new record of one of my musical heroes. I can be excited by playing a new city I've never played before, or revisiting somewhere I know well and seeing how it's changed. Life is a constant state of flux for us all, and I like to embrace that. I also feel very happy to use my position to bring attention to injustice in the world, and to try to help where I can. At this time in my life I'm the happiest I have ever been."

Bernie Taupin says of Elton, "It's been an unconventional partnership and while we pretty much patented the two-rooms technique I'd venture to say you'd be hard pressed to find a couple of songwriters more in sync with each other and their craft".

See Elton John on tour. Go to www.eltonjohn.com for more information.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

ICYMI: Alvin M. Josephy, Jr., The Nez Perce Indians and the Opening of the Northwest

The book arrived a couple of days ago, and man, is it impressive -- at 644 pages (not counting footnotes and end-matter).

I can't start this one right now, as I want to really savor it. I'll wait until the semester's over.

At Amazon, Alvin M. Josephy, Jr., The Nez Perce Indians and the Opening of the Northwest.

Interestingly, Mr. Josephy wasn't an academic historian. (You'd never know it by looking at the book.) He passed away in 2005. See his obituary at the New York Times, "Alvin M. Josephy, Jr., 90, Historian on Indian Life, Dies."

City University of New York to Revamp Remedial Programs

Well, good luck with that.

At the New York Times, "CUNY to Revamp Remedial Programs, Hoping to Lift Graduation Rates":


Twenty-thousand new students arrived at public community colleges in New York City last fall only to be told they were not ready for college-level work. Instead, they were placed in remedial classes to complete the preparation they were supposed to have received in high school.

But for a significant portion of these students, remedial courses will not put them any closer to a degree. The courses take time and cost money — or consume a portion of a student’s financial aid — while offering no credits. Many students, frustrated that they are sitting in class without progressing toward a degree, drop out. It is a pattern replicated every year, not just in New York but at community colleges across the country.

Now, the City University of New York, the largest urban public university system in the United States, is moving to fundamentally rework its traditional remedial programs. Administrators hope program changes this year and in 2018 will make necessary catch-up less of a stumbling block, while ensuring that students who are in college-level classes are prepared to do the work.

“The notion is that if you can succeed in college, we want to help you get there,” said Vita C. Rabinowitz, executive vice chancellor and university provost at CUNY. “No artificial barriers or screening devices. It’s a matter of true college readiness.”

Dr. Rabinowitz said that about 80 percent of freshman entering community college in the CUNY system require remediation in reading, writing, math, or some combination of those subjects. Students of color are twice as likely to be assessed as needing remediation as white students. But at the end of one year, only half of all students in remediation have advanced out of those classes. The need for remediation is a chronic problem at community colleges around the country as students graduate from high school without the skills they need for college.

“We had outcomes that were in line with national averages, which is to say very disappointing,” Dr. Rabinowitz said. The system, she said, was not working. “And if that’s not working, then CUNY is not working.”

One fundamental shift CUNY is planning will address how students are assigned to remedial courses. Traditionally, most students entering CUNY community colleges take placement tests in reading, writing and math, which determines who needs help. But researchers and college administrators around the country worry that these tests put people in remedial classes who could have done well without them.

In fact, ACT, the testing company, withdrew its placement test from the market last year over such concerns. Ed Colby, a spokesman for the company said that the test, called Compass, and others like it, were not placing students where they should be. Students who had been out of high school for a few years when they took the exam were particularly likely to be unnecessarily steered toward remediation, Mr. Colby said.

For now, CUNY has switched to a different test — ACCUPLACER, which is a College Board exam — but the plan is to incorporate other measures as well. David Crook, associate university provost for academic affairs at CUNY, said they were considering looking at students’ grades in relevant classes, or perhaps their overall grade point average. They hope to have a new system in place for the fall of 2018.

CUNY has also put in place an automatic retesting policy for those who score just below the passing cutoff on the math and reading placement tests. Since the option was put in place last fall, about 550 students have taken advantage of it on the reading exam, and of those, 49 percent passed on their second try. Three hundred students retook the math test, and of those students, 55 percent passed...
More.

One of the things they're doing is removing the algebra requirement: "CUNY will now require all of its associate degree programs to offer an alternative to remedial algebra, like quantitative reasoning or statistics."

Check back with me in a couple of years and we'll see how that's working out. Basically, keep dumbing down community colleges, and then guarantee your students won't be successful after transferring to a university for the bachelor's degree.

Healthcare Reform Will Pass, Gorsuch Will Be Confirmed, and President Trump Will Be Proven Accurate on His Surveillance Claims…

Well, President Trump's already being proved correct on his surveillance claims, and I expect Gorsuch to be confirmed.

Not so sure about the healthcare bill, however. I'm not following it that closely, but lots of folks on the right aren't pleased. But we'll see.

Meanwhile, see the Conservative Treehouse.

David W. Grua, Surviving Wounded Knee

This looks very good.

Out just last year, it appears current and hip with the latest trends in the (progressive) literature.

At Amazon, David W. Grua, Surviving Wounded Knee: The Lakotas and the Politics of Memory.

London Under Attack — And Leftists Laughing at Tommy Robinson (VIDEO)

Via the Rebel:


British Prime Minister Theresa May Condemns Westminster Jihad Terrorist Attack (VIDEO)

I do like Theresa May, but at times like this I can only reflect on how she's brought on the terror herself. She's not all to blame. The entire radical left collectivist culture has infected everything, to the point where even so-called conservatives have sold out the old-line Brits who should be the country's salt-of-the-earth (the folks who voted for Brexit, in particular). But the Tories' sick pandering to Islam is a big part of the problem, and it won't be getting better anytime soon.


Canadian Woman Videotapes Two Large Black Wolves Running Along the Highway as She was Traveling to Work (VIDEO)

That's wild, literally!

Here's the video, at the Mother Nature Network, "Woman films encounter with wild wolves running along a highway in Canada."

And at Telegraph U.K.:


Four-Year-Old Minnesota Boy Accidentally Hangs Himself (VIDEO)

Just devastating.

At CNN:



Wednesday, March 22, 2017

After Westminster Jihad Attack, Britain Vows to Defend 'Tolerance'

Pfft.

There's going to be nothing to defend too much longer.

See Robert Spencer, at FrontPage Magazine, "Jihadi Attack in London, U.K. Vows to Defend 'Tolerance'."

Melanie Phillips, Londonistan

At Amazon, Melanie Phillips, Londonistan.
The suicide bombings carried out in London in 2005 by British Muslims revealed an enormous fifth column of Islamist terrorists and their sympathizers. Under the noses of British intelligence, London has become the European hub for the promotion, recruitment and financing of Islamic terror and extremism - so much so that it has been mockingly dubbed Londonistan. In this ground-breaking book Melanie Phillips pieces together the story of how Londonistan developed as a result of the collapse of traditional English identity and accommodation of a particularly virulent form of multiculturalism. Londonistan has become a country within the country and not only threatens Britain but its special relationship with the U.S. as well.

Federal Staffers Panicked by Conservative Media Attacks

These "federal staffers" are supposed to be nonpartisan bureaucrats who serve elected officials without prejudice. If these same people are afraid of conservatives, that's good. That means they've figured out "the people" are on to them and their far-left schemes of endless government expansion and collectivist utopia.

At Politico:


Three New Books on the Frankfurt School

This stuff would have been right in Andrew Breitbart's wheelhouse (and if you're not getting my meaning, see his book, Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World!).

Here we are:

* Peter E. Gordon, Adorno and Existence.

* Stuart Jeffries, Grand Hotel Abyss: The Lives of the Frankfurt School.

* Stefan Müller-Doohm, Habermas: A Biography.

And see the review, at the New York Review:


Sean McMeekin, The Russian Revolution

Before I embarked on my reading and research on American Indians and the frontier West, I was reading a lot of history of Russia and Stalin.

So, it turns out there's more such historiography on the way.

See Sean McMeekin, at Amazon, The Russian Revolution: A New History (out May 30th).

NBC's Matt Bradley Worried Westminster Jihad Attack Will 'Put Wind in the Sails' of 'Right-Wing Movement'

Hey, brother, the sails have been billowing for years now. Frankly, the chickens of political correctness came home to roots in Westminster today.

But see NewsBusters, via Ed Driscoll at Instapundit, "RIGHT ON CUE: NBC Reporter Fears London Terror Will ‘Put Wind in the Sails’ of ‘Right-Wing Movement’."

Five Dead, Dozens Injured in Westminster Jihad Attack at British Parliament (VIDEO)

Information is still coming in, for example, the identity of the suspect is still unknown.

Following-up from earlier, "Shots Fired Outside British Parliament."

At the Guardian U.K., "Parliament attack: police officer among five dead in 'sick and depraved' incident":
The Guardian understands the initial working theories of the police investigation are the attacker was inspired by Isis and was most likely a “lone actor”. The attacker’s identity was already known to counter-terrorism officials. Rowley said investigators were trying to establish the attacker’s associates and his preparations for the attack.
Apparently, "police refuse to name" the suspect, and that's apparently after a number of outlets identified the wrong person.

See also Pamela's, "U.K. news outlets WITHDRAW claim that Abu Izzadeen was London jihad murderer."

More at the Telegraph U.K., "How Westminster terror attack had echoes of Brussels, Nice and Berlin."


#PresidentTrump Vindicated on Surveillance Claims

Heh.

I've been saying this all along, and now here comes Rep. Devin Nunes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, indicating that some of President[-elect] Trump's communications were captured at Trump Tower during the transition.

At Bloomberg, "Nunes Says Trump Team Conversations Caught in Surveillance."


Hot New Releases, Updated Hourly

Shop today, Amazon Hot New Releases.

Also, Richard Slotkin, The Fatal Environment: The Myth of the Frontier in the Age of Industrialization, 1800–1890.

Bernard DeVoto, The Course of Empire.

And, Dale L. Morgan, Jedediah Smith and the Opening of the West.

Allan Nevins, Frémont: Pathmarker of the West.

More, Robert M. Utley, A Life Wild and Perilous: Mountain Men and the Paths to the Pacific.

Richard White, "It's Your Misfortune and None of My Own": A New History of the American West.

Plus, Anne F. Hyde, Empires, Nations, and Families: A New History of the North American West, 1800-1860.

BONUS: ICYMI, Patricia Nelson Limerick, The Legacy of Conquest: The Unbroken Past of the American West.

Shots Fired Outside British Parliament

This is a developing story, at the Telegraph U.K., "Live Parliament shooting Armed man 'shot by police' after charging through Westminster gates and stabbing officer."


We'll see if it was a vehicle jihad attack, but it's best not to speculate until more information becomes available.

ADDED: The headline at Daily Mail's calling it a "terrorist attack."


MORE: It's a very bad situation:


UPDATE:


I've got to get in the shower and head to work. Folks in Britain call Pakistani Muslims "Asians," so you can see where this is going. More tonight.

Vandalism of Vietnam War Memorial in Venice (VIDEO)

The vandals should do time.

Jeez, this is despicable.

At CBS News 2 Los Angeles:



Sears, Roebuck & Company, Circling the Drain

Well, it's been a long time since the overwhelming success of the Sears catalog, and the company's feeling the pain.

At USA Today:


Hannah Jeter Takes It Off (VIDEO)

She's married to Derek Jeter, but still, heh.

At Sports Illustated.



Yoshiko Uchida, Desert Exile

I've never heard of this book. It came up in my Amazon recommendations.

Here, Yoshiko Uchida, Desert Exile: The Uprooting of a Japanese American Family.

Don't Pay Attention to Fake News

From Ben Garrison below, and more cartoon's at Theo's, "Cartoon Roundup..."


ICYMI: Fergus Bordewich, Killing the White Man's Indian

*BUMPED.*

At Amazon, Fergus Bordewich, Killing the White Man's Indian: Reinventing Native Americans at the End of the Twentieth Century.