Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Large scale black mob violence at Barclay's in Brooklyn. Ho hum.

NRO and Salon Fight Pedophobia

Gradually and Then Suddenly by Steve Sailer

Europe’s self-inflicted “migrant crisis” ought to serve as a warning to Americans citizens that there’s no time like the present for planning ahead to stymie similar mass assaults on America’s borders.
Immigration trickles tend to become floods:
“How did you go bankrupt?” Bill asked.
“Two ways,” Mike said, “Gradually and then suddenly.”
The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
And in turn, the sudden deluges exacerbate continuing trickles for decades afterwards.
The influx of 2015 was more or less predicted by Jean Raspail in his 1973 novel, The Camp of the Saints, but few in authority in Europe appear to have ever devoted any attention to the Continent’s obvious vulnerability to foreign flash mobs taking advantage of the good nature of contemporary Europeans.
In contrast, the Australian government has laboriously worked out an effective system to block boat people, which has succeeded in discouraging most from even attempting the voyage.
And the government of Israel has so impressively anticipated the threat of Muslim and African population surges that it only briefly suffered from sub-Saharans pouring into Israel when Egypt’s Mubarak government, which had long blocked economic border-crossers as a favor to Israel, was overthrown.
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Uzbek group pledges allegiance to Al Nusrah Front BY CALEB WEISS

Katibat al Tawhid wal Jihad (KTJ), a largely Uzbek group operating in northern Syria, released a statement on its official website yesterday in which it pledged bayah (allegiance) to Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda’s official branch in the country.
In the statement, KTJ said that “To win in this global battle against Islam, we need to combine the strength and support. For this purpose, Katibat al Tawhid wal Jihad, in our current activities in Syria, has pledged allegiance to Al Qaeda’s wing in Syria. This allegiance was announced on Tuesday, September 29, 2015.” KTJ also blames the United States and Russia for waging the so-called “global battle against Islam.”

By 2050, human-on-robot sex will be more common than human-on-human sex, says report. A shocking new report from a futurologist reveals predictions about the future of sex and robots.

An example of a sex robot
Can you imagine having sex with a humanoid robot? Apparently, this will be the norm in a few short decades. Futurologist Dr Ian Pearson has released a report in which he predicts the future of sex.
He released the report in partnership with Bondara, one of the UK's leading sex toy shops.
Dr. Pearson makes the point that robotic sex toys - vibrators - have been in use for around a century, and that virtual reality porn is about to become mainstream.

So, what really is the taboo around sex robots - which have got some campaigners incredibly fired up?
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Particular brain connections linked to positive human traits

There is a strong correspondence between a particular set of connections in the brain and positive lifestyle and behaviour traits, according to a new study by Oxford University researchers.

There is a strong correspondence between a particular set of connections in the brain and positive lifestyle and behavior traits, according to a new study. The researchers point out that their results resemble what psychologists refer to as the 'general intelligence g-factor': a variable first proposed in 1904 that's sometimes used to summarize a person's abilities at different cognitive tasks. While the new results include many real-life measures not included in the g-factor -- such as income and life satisfaction, for instance -- those such as memory, pattern recognition and reading ability are strongly mirrored.

There is a strong correspondence between a particular set of connections in the brain and positive lifestyle and behaviour traits, according to a new study by Oxford University researchers.
A team of scientists led by the University's Centre for Functional MRI of the Brain has investigated the connections in the brains of 461 people and compared them with 280 different behavioural and demographic measures that were recorded for the same participants. They found that variation in brain connectivity and an individual's traits lay on a single axis -- where those with classically positive lifestyles and behaviours had different connections to those with classically negative ones. The findings are published in Nature Neuroscience.
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Less Than Frank Building Art, by Paul Goldberger by MICHAEL J. LEWIS

Any creative artist—novelist, painter, or composer—can initiate the creative act, but not the architect. Every architectural design is the return of a serve, so to speak, that first must be lobbed by the client. The career of an architect is a parade of these clients, whose design problems he solves with more or less success. For this reason, most architectural biographies, however literate or witty, are distressingly limp objects. Architects’ lives, no matter how significant, do not make for good reading unless the architect happens to be an extraordinarily interesting personality, such as Frank Lloyd Wright, or takes part in extraordinary events, such as Albert Speer.

Neither is the case with Frank Gehry, the subject of a new biography by Paul Goldberger, the prominent architecture critic. To be sure, Gehry is an architect of immense significance. No building of the last half-century has been as influential as his Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. Its opening in 1997 sparked an international fever of museum-building that rages on unchecked to this day. The museum did not so much coin a new style (few have copied its shimmying free forms) as a new sensibility, which lifted the stuffy intellectual moralism that had seemed an inextricable component of modernism since it was brought over by German refugees during the 1930s.

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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

College Students Have Forgotten How to Fight the System. Wesleyan activists' response to a newspaper column on Black Lives Matter reflects a broader, worrying shift on campuses.

Ican’t say that I was surprised when I heard that the latest chapter of our perpetual conversation about campus politics was playing out at Wesleyan University. Having spent my childhood there, I knew enough to know that such a controversy was always a possibility. But I must admit disappointment when I heard the particular contours of this latest story. Activists at Wesleyan have pushed the university to defund the Argus, the school’s main newspaper, in response to a commentary that questioned the tactics of the Black Lives Matter movement. The piece in question suggested that the BLM movement was responsible for cop killings, and questioned whether its tactics were actually effective in creating change. Campus activists, in turn, started a petition to defund the paper, which was signed by some 170 students—not a large number, even on a campus of 2,900 undergraduates, but still concerning. I am not disappointed that students have reacted, forcefully, in this way. I am disappointed in how they have reacted, and how much campus life have changed there since my childhood—a change the reflects a broader evolution of college politics that troubles so many.
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Tradition and Modernity in “The Godfather” by Mark Malvasi

the godfather

America, that bright, shining land of freedom, opportunity, and progress, is irredeemably corrupt. It is in the hands of debased and hypocritical politicians, judges, businessmen, and their servants, such as the debauched Hollywood film maker Jack Woltz, the belligerent New York police captain Mark McCluskey, the rapacious Las Vegas gambler Moe Greene, and the contemptible Nevada senator Pat Geary, who are motivated by the desire for wealth and power. None of these men exercises self-control. All are driven by lust, anger, greed, vanity, and prejudice, easily losing their tempers and getting unnecessarily carried away. Unless he has power, or has powerful friends, a man who finds himself in such a depraved and perilous world is alone, isolated and vulnerable. In America, it’s every man for himself. Conflicts are resolved according to the strict letter of the law, which is considered the ultimate arbiter of legitimacy and truth. If one prevails at law, then nothing more is required. One is innocent, or is at least legally blameless. Yet, for the victims, this system does not yield probity or righteousness any more than it promotes responsibility and moderation among those clever enough to exploit the law to secure their own advantage. All pretense to the contrary notwithstanding, America has only the letter of the law, formal, cold, abstract, and still America has no objective legal standard that applies equally to everyone. That is why for justice men must go on their knees to Don Corleone.

The undertaker Amerigo Bonasera is the first to make such an appeal. Bonasera “believes in America” and has desired nothing more than to be a good citizen. He obeyed the law and raised his daughter in the “American fashion,” which means that he asked no questions when she began dating a young man, the son of a powerful United States senator, who was not an Italian. Free from parental interference, his daughter can make her own choices. When she resisted her date’s sexual advances, however, he and a friend beat her so cruelly that she was hospitalized with serious and disfiguring injuries. “Now,” a grieving Bonasera laments, “she will never be beautiful again.” As an honest American, Bonasera reported the incident to the police and brought charges against his daughter’s assailants. They were tried and convicted, but the judge, acceding to political influence, suspended the sentence. “They went free that very day,” Bonasera complains, and they mocked him as they left the courtroom.
Listening with compassion to a father’s tale of anguish and heartbreak, Don Corleone nevertheless responds with a sarcasm and disdain that reveal his ethical code. He wonders why Bonasera has come to him with this problem, since in the past he assiduously refused to do so. “We have known each other many years,” the Don reminds him, “but until this day you never came to me for counsel or help. I can’t remember the last time you invited me to your house for coffee though my wife is godmother to your only child. Let us be frank. You spurned my friendship. You feared to be in my debt.” When Bonasrea protests that he sought to avoid trouble in his adopted land, the Don reproaches him further. “You found America a paradise. You had a good trade, you made a good living, you thought the world a harmless place where you could take your pleasure as you willed….After all, the police guarded you, there were courts of law, you and yours could come to no harm. You did not need Don Corleone.”[1] In this moment of desperation, Bonasera has abandoned his previous scruples, only to enter the Don’s home on the day of his own daughter’s wedding and insult him by asking him to commit murder for hire.
Don Corleone advises Bonasera to forget the entire affair and instead to comfort his daughter with candy and flowers when he visits her in the hospital. Bonasera has no reasonable cause for complaint. He put his faith in the American courts and the judge has spoken. He received the justice he sought. If he is unsatisfied with the results, he has no one to blame but himself. The pursuit of vengeance for an injury suffered is un-American. “Forgive. Forget,” the Don counsels. “Life is full of misfortunes.” Had Bonasera accepted Don Corleone’s friendship, then the “scum who ruined [his] daughter” would already have paid for their transgression.[2] According to Vito’s way of thinking, Bonasera has gotten what he deserves for abandoning his true friends and placing his welfare, and that of his loved ones, in the hands of men who regarded them with contempt.
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5 things Dmitry Medvedev wants to tell Russians

5 things Dmitry Medvedev wants to tell Russians

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has published an article titled "A New Reality: Russia and Global Challenges," in which, according to him, he has tried to "analyze the major changes taking place today in the global economy and directly affecting the situation in our country." RBTH cites the main theses of the prime minister's article.

The new normal

In discussing the current and future challenges of global development, the term "the new normal" began to increasingly be used. It emerged five years ago, after the acute phase of the global crisis, and quickly gained popularity. "The new normal," perhaps, could be explained as a "new reality.”
It means key characteristics that will shape the global economy over the coming period – in fact, until the next major, structural crisis.
It is becoming increasingly clear that the leading countries of the world are beginning a new trajectory of growth. The question is not only in the new pace, but also in the quality of this growth – in the emergence of new sectors of production, in the new geography of their location. The update affects all spheres of society – technology, economy and the humanitarian sphere.

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6 trials, 1 case: Why officers are being tried separately in Freddie Gray death

A Baltimore judge is expected on Tuesday to set trial dates for six police officers charged in relation to the April death of Freddie Gray.

Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Barry Williams is expected to set a trial date Tuesday afternoon for six police officers charged with the death of Freddie Gray this spring.
The six officers are being tried separately and face charges ranging from second-degree assault to second-degree "depraved-heart" murder.
Earlier this month, Judge Williams ruled that the case will be split into six to ensure that each officer gets a fair trial.
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The Amazing Inner Lives of Animals by Tim Flannery

The Cultural Lives of Whales and Dolphins

by Hal Whitehead and Luke Rendell
University of Chicago Press, 417 pp., $35.00

The free-living dolphins of the Bahamas had come to know researcher Denise Herzing and her team very well. For decades, at the start of each four-month-long field season, the dolphins would give the returning humans a joyous reception: “a reunion of friends,” as Herzing described it. But one year the creatures behaved differently. They would not approach the research vessel, refusing even invitations to bow-ride. When the boat’s captain slipped into the water to size up the situation, the dolphins remained aloof. Meanwhile on board it was discovered that an expeditioner had died while napping in his bunk. As the vessel headed to port, Herzing said, “the dolphins came to the side of our boat, not riding the bow as usual but instead flanking us fifty feet away in an aquatic escort” that paralleled the boat in an organized manner.
The remarkable incident raises questions that lie at the heart of Carl Safina’s astonishing new book, Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel. Can dolphin sonar penetrate the steel hull of a boat—and pinpoint a stilled heart? Can dolphins empathize with human bereavement? Is dolphin society organized enough to permit the formation of a funeral cavalcade? If the answer to these questions is yes, then Beyond Words has profound implications for humans and our worldview.
Beyond Words is gloriously written. Consider this description of elephants:
Their great breaths, rushing in and out, resonant in the halls of their lungs. The skin as they moved, wrinkled with time and wear, batiked with the walk of ages, as if they lived within the creased maps of the lives they’d traveled.
Not since Barry Lopez or Peter Matthiessen were at the height of their powers has the world been treated to such sumptuous descriptions of nature.
Safina would be the first to agree that anecdotes such as Herzing’s lack the rigor of scientific experiments. He tells us that he is “most skeptical of those things I’d most like to believe, precisely because I’d like to believe them. Wanting to believe something can bias one’s view.” Beyond Words is a rigorously scientific work. Yet impeccably documented anecdotes such as Herzing’s have a place in it, because they are the only means we have of comprehending the reactions of intelligent creatures like dolphins to rare and unusual circumstances. The alternative—to capture dolphins or chimpanzees and subject them to an array of human-devised tests in artificial circumstances—often results in nonsense. Take, for example, the oft-cited research demonstrating that wolves cannot follow a human pointing at something, while dogs can. It turns out that the wolves tested were caged: when outside a cage, wolves readily follow human pointing, without any training.
Safina explains how an evolutionary understanding of the emotions helps us to see even humble creatures as individuals. The chemical oxytocin creates feelings of pleasure and a craving for sociality. So widespread is it that it must have originated 700 million or more years ago. Serotonin, a chemical associated with anxiety, is probably equally ancient: crayfish subjected to mild electrical shocks have elevated serotonin levels, and act anxiously. If treated with chlordiazepoxide (a common treatment for humans suffering from anxiety) they resume normal behavior.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

#IStandWithAhmed: "The whole family is stupid and they duped us"

Imparting Civilization by ROBERT WEISSBERG

For over a half century government has spent billions to eliminate the race-related academic achievement gap and all to no avail. Paralleling this educational failure has been a similar frustration to reverse the pathologies plaguing the black underclass, e.g., crime, welfare dependency, drug addiction, chaotic family life, gang violence and chronic unemployment, among others. Yes, some policies such as stop and frisk may help, but nothing appears to be a long-term, politically viable cure for this Hobbesian world. Sad to say, both conditions—education and pathology—appear intractable.
Let me suggest a radically different way of solving both problems: replace the current high test score idée fixe with education as civilizing. That is, transforming under-class black youngsters into dutiful scholars is unreachable but we may be able to civilize them just as millions of Europeans were “domesticated” between the 11th and 20thcentury (see Steven Pinker’s The Better Angels of Our NatureChapter 3). Hardly a snap but certainly more feasible than boosting the test scores of blacks. Of the utmost importance, the formulae exist and can be readily applied; no need to unleash thousands of policy wonks to invent yet more expensive doomed panaceas. And, replacing the test score crusade with a civilizing mission will, in all likelihood, simultaneously improve academic performance.
Now, as per Pinker, who himself heavily relied on Norbert Elias (1897-1990) and his Civilizing Process, let’s begin with some items on the civilization menu.
First, the civil society requires people controlling their emotions, especially violent urges. As Pinker depicts the transformation, reacting to insults with immediate violence (defending one’s honor) slowly gave way to dueling that permitted multiple “honorable” escape routes which, in turn, transitioned to relying on litigation (“see you in court”). Simultaneously, the culture shifted so defending one’s reputation by drawing a sword for some trivial offense vanished thanks to the aggrieved party learning to hold his tongue, count to ten or develop a thick skin. Pinker also tells how ridicule eventually undermined the violence-soaked code that demanded a gentleman risk his life over trifling slights. Today’s civilized people see virtue in what was once spinelessness.
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Brawl erupts at refugee centre in Germany. Up to 200 involved after young Syrian girl allegedly threatened by Afghan boy.

Refugee accomodation in Leipzig, Germany

A mass brawl involving up to 200 refugees erupted in a German asylum seeker shelter after a young Syrian girl was allegedly threatened with a knife by a teenage Afghan boy.
Violence broke out between Syrians and Afghans after tensions reached boiling point in a converted exhibition hall in Leipzig, where around 1,800 refugees have been living for the past two weeks.
Refugees fought each other with bars, table legs and bed frames on Thursday evening, forcing German Red Cross staff to flee. Two female workers were injured in the chaos, with one breaking a knee cap after falling as she tried to escape, while the other suffered from shock.
The brawl was allegedly sparked after an 11-year-old Syrian girl was threatened with a knife by a teenage Afghan boy.
Refugees also turned on security staff and soldiers standing guard in the hall, although they were not injured, according to police.
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On Contemporary Opera and Wagner’s ‘Jewry in Music’ September 26, 2015 by Andrew Joyce, Ph.D.

This month marks the 165th anniversary of the publication of Richard Wagner’s landmark essay ‘Das Judenthum in der Musik.’ Almost right on cue the opera scene, particularly in Berlin, has recently played host to a series of episodes that would have the Old Sorcerer spinning in his grave. Back in June Kirill Petrenko, a Siberian-born Jewish conductor, was appointed as music director to the Berlin Philharmonic beginning September 2018. Petrenko was no-one’s first choice. His name apparently came into the reckoning only after 124 orchestra members split down the middle in an all-day election on May 11, half of them voting for the German favourite Christian Thielemann and the other half for the young Latvian, Andris Nelsons. By nightfall, the players were steeped in conflict, forcing leaders to seek a third, compromise candidate. Petrenko, 43, in his second year as music director at Bavarian State Opera, privately signalled his disinterest in the job. However, when called with the election result, he accepted with ‘euphoria and joy’. As a result, he will be the first Jewish chief conductor of the Philharmonic.
Rather predictably, Petrenko’s appointment has been greeted with enthusiasm by Jewish critics and commentators eager to indulge in the usual effort to promote their co-ethnics as geniuses. In my 2013 analysis of the Spinoza cult, I pointed out that
a recurring theme here at TOO has been the monitoring of ethnic networking in efforts to establish Jewish figures in positions of scientific, academic, artistic or cultural pre-eminence. Erudite studies by several writers, particularly Kevin Macdonald (a major theme of The Culture of Critique) and Brenton Sanderson, have shed light on individual cases (e.g., Boas, Freud, Trotsky, Rothko, Mahler) as well as the more generic processes involved in these efforts (e.g., promotion in the elite media and the academic world). Typically these efforts can be said to begin with the veneration by a group of Jews of a Jewish intellectual or artist, and is followed by the creation of an authoritarian cult-like aura around his or her personality. The process reaches its completion, in some cases after the death of the guru figure, in an aggressive Jewish marketing effort to convince society at large that this figure, together with his or her ideas, is or was of national or international—if not cosmic—significance. It is predominantly by this process that the notion of “Jewish Genius” is perpetuated.

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Modi, Abe, Merkel, Rousseff Together: G4 to Meet on UN Sidelines

Modi, Abe, Merkel, Rousseff Together: G4 to Meet on UN Sidelines
The leaders of the G4 will be back together for the first time in more than 10 years.

What do Brazil, Germany, India, and Japan have in common? Though geographically disparate, each of these states seeks permanent membership on the United Nations Security Council and has the economic and political heft to make its bid not entirely unrealistic. Additionally, each member of this so-called G4 group of states supports each other’s bid for a permanent seat on the Security Council. This week, on the sidelines of the 70th United Nations General Assembly, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will convene the group for the first time in more than ten years at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff will be in attendance.
Security Council reform has been a tricky topic for the United Nations. Though most member states agree that the UNSC is anachronistic in its representation, to a degree, there is no consensus about how to proceed with adding new members. Each of the members of the G4 have a wide range of support, with a few notable exceptions. For example, India’s permanent seat bid is opposed by Pakistan and China has appeared lukewarm to the idea at best. Japan’s bid is opposed by China. Germany’s bid encounters some opposition from within the European Union itself, where member states have argued for common EU representation on the UNSC. Brazil’s bid, while it would grant Latin America representation at the UNSC, faces opposition from its neighbors, who don’t trust Brasilia to represent the best interests of the entire region.
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Friday, September 25, 2015

Invitation to Become Who We Are

The establishment's narrative is collapsing


Germany’s warm welcome to Syria’s refugees is earning the country good press,
but it may also be sowing the seeds of long-term agony.

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Dreams and Anna Karenina by Janet Malcolm

We do not think of Tolstoy as a comic writer, but his genius permits him to write farce when it suits him. There is a wickedly funny scene in Anna Karenina that directly precedes the painful scenes leading to Anna’s suicide. It takes place in the drawing room of the Countess Lydia Ivanovna, who, almost alone among the novel’s characters, has no good, or even pretty good, qualities. She embodies the kind of hysterical and coldhearted religious piety that Tolstoy was especially allergic to. “As a very young and rhapsodical girl,” he writes, she
had been married to a wealthy man of high rank, a very good-natured, jovial, and extremely dissipated rake. Two months after marriage her husband abandoned her, and her impassioned protestations of affection he met with a sarcasm and even hostility that people knowing the count’s good heart, and seeing no defects in the ecstatic Lydia, were at a loss to explain. Though they were not divorced, they lived apart, and whenever the husband met the wife, he invariably behaved to her with the same venomous irony, the cause of which was incomprehensible.
Tolstoy, with his own venomous irony, makes the cause entirely comprehensible to the reader of Anna Karenina, as he shows Lydia Ivanovna fasten herself on Karenin after Anna leaves his house to go abroad with Vronsky, and preside over his degeneration into his worst self. She is an ugly and malevolent creature who coats her spite in a thick ooze of platitudes about Christian love and forgiveness. When Anna was on the verge of death after giving birth to Vronsky’s daughter, Karenin experienced an electrifying spiritual transformation: his feelings of hatred and vengefulness toward Anna and Vronsky abruptly changed into feelings of love and forgiveness, and under the spell of this new “blissful spiritual condition” he offered Anna a divorce and the custody of her son—neither of which she chose to accept. Now, a year later, she wants the divorce, but Karenin is no longer of a mind to give it to her. The blissful spiritual condition has faded away like a rainbow, and Karenin, in thrall to the malignant Lydia Ivanovna, has reassumed his old, supinely rigid, and unfeeling self.

The Murder of a White Police Officer by a Black Lives Matter Supporter won't be taught at the Yale Class...

"Well, look on the bright side. We'll all have high schools named after us." -- Astronaut who helps save the world in Deep Impact, though in saving the world the crew of the spaceship Messiah were required to sacrifice themselves

Every now and then, I remember the story of Indianapolis Metro Police Department Officer Perry Renn, knowing this act moment could have birthed the whole "Black Lives Matter" had the black suspect he got out of his car to confront been killed in the their shootout (instead of the other way around). 
One of these was a "Black Lives Matter" supporter from St. Louis... the other was the individual the "Black Lives Matter" supporter murdered. Can you figure out who is which?
The whole "Black Lives Matter" (BLM) movement was inevitable, only needing the right mixture of toxic black solidarity with a steady dose of mainstream media hysteria to ignite the unholy bonfire of the egalitarians. 

Though the BLM would initially garner sympathy and allies entrenched in the media and academia, over time it would only work undermine every advancement of the egalitarians in their scorched earth policy of throwing out nature with a pitchfork. For as Horace reminds us from centuries ago, nature will always return. 

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The FBI’s Homemade Mobster. A ghoulish Johnny Depp channels Whitey Bulger's malice in a story of literal "gangster government." By GENE HEALY

Warner Bros. Pictures
Looking back at the last couple of hundred years of European history—on paper at least—you wouldn’t expect Italians, of all peoples, to have a major advantage over the Irish in terms of organizational acumen or systematic brutality. And yet, when it comes to organized crime in 20th-century America, the Mafia ran the table on the Irish mob, driving them all but out of business by the end of Prohibition.
Gangland historian T.J. English tells the tale in Paddy Whacked: The Untold Story of the Irish-American Gangster—a book the feds found on James “Whitey” Bulger’s shelves in his Santa Monica hideout in 2011, when they finally captured the last Irish Godfather after his 16 years on the lam. “Over the three-year period from 1931 to 1933,” English writes, “virtually every high-ranking Irish American bootlegger in the Northeastern United States was systematically eliminated, gangland-style.” As they went up against the wall, the great American genre of the mob movie was just being born, in films like “Public Enemy” and “Angels with Dirty Faces.” “The irony, of course,” English observes, is that “just as Jimmy Cagney emerged as the avatar of a new kind of street-wise Irish American style, the mobsters who inspired that style were dropping at an expeditious rate.” By the late 20th century, the old-school variety survived only in a few ethnic enclaves, like New York’s Hell’s Kitchen, or Boston’s Southie.
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German economy collapse inevitable, caused by migrant waves - MEP

The European Union is being deluged by a tidal wave of asylum seekers - hundreds of thousands flooding to Europe from the Middle East seeking safety, peace, and a better life. The crisis seems overwhelming, with many European states refusing to handle the problem. Germany faces the bulk of the flow, but will it be able to absorb more than a million migrants? Is Europe - and Germany, as the Union’s flagship - taking the right steps… do the politicians have any idea of how to deal with the issue? We pose these questions to a member of the European Parliament, regional leader of the Alternative for Germany party - Marcus Pretzell is on Sophie&Co today.
Follow @SophieCo_RT
Sophie Shevardnadze: Marcus Pretzell, member of European Parliament, regional leader of the Alternative for Germany party, welcome to the program, it’s great to have you with us. Now, Germany can expect up to one million refugees and migrants this year alone, according to Interior Ministry forecast; 60% of Germans believe their country can absorb the huge numbers predicted by the Ministry. Is a million new arrivals a figure that scares you?
Marcus Pretzell: It doesn’t scare me, but I think that German government doesn’t have any idea for solution of the problem, because, it will be one million, maybe even more, maybe 1.2 million people, but mostly it’s young men who come to Germany and they all get their families to Germany as well. If they live in Germany, it will not be one million - it will be 2-3, maybe even more people from Arab countries living in Germany, and that will change the country. I believe that German government has no answer for this big change in German society - and that scares a lot of people, of  course, and we need to find answers for the future of our country.

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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Ordeal of Superficiality by Margot Metroland

James J. O’Meara
End of an Era: Mad Men and the Ordeal of Civility
San Francisco: Counter-Currents Publishing, 2015

Doing your Christmas shopping early? Here’s a great stocking-stuffer for you: James J. O’Meara’s End of an Era: Mad Men and the Ordeal of Civility. There are other books aimed at Mad Men fans, of course, but it’s a pretty safe bet that your friends and relatives haven’t seen anything that analyzes the Mad Men series at quite this cockeyed angle.

The Mad Men series ran from 2007 to 2015, and for a least half of that run, Mr. O’Meara has sporadically commented on the show, using its story direction as an excuse to carom off into some loosely related social criticism, including such subjects as: haberdashery; the “manspreading” controversy and its connection to the exaltation of the negro and the thug in pop-culture; the strange parallels between Mad Men‘s social dynamics and those of the cult comedy Caddyshack; and the Jews’ use of entryism.

If you’ve read much O’Meara, you know he has his own peculiar manner of critique. Most critics and reviewers give scant attention to the superficial and dive down into the murky heart of a subject (theme? plot? subtext?). But for O’Meara, as for McLuhan, the superficialities are the substance. Suits, haircuts, cigarettes—these are not mere props and decoration gathered in the interest of verisimilitude in order to support the story; they are the story. Much as Andy Warhol’s soup can (to take another bit of 1960s iconography) was not about advertising or soup or the Campbell’s company or the contents of a can; it was merely, and entirely, an exercise in graphic design, an immediately comprehensible symbol of itself.

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Wave of migrants will give Europe an extreme makeover BY JOEL KOTKIN

The massive, ongoing surge of migrants and refugees into Europe has brought up horrendous scenes of deprivation, along with heartwarming instances of generosity. It has also engendered cruel remembrances of the continent’s darkest hours. But viewed over the long term, this crisis may well be the prelude to changes that could dissipate, and even overturn, some of the world’s most-storied and productive cultures.
Some may prefer to ignore the long-term impacts of huge migration from the often-chaotic developing world – where 99 percent of the world’s population growth will be taking place – to the more orderly, prosperous and low-fertility richer countries. Separated from the daily drama, the human movement from Syria, the rest of the Middle East and Africa can be seen as potentially changing European society forever by breaking its already-weak Christian foundations and threatening the future of Europe’s elaborate welfare states. In many ways this invokes the vision laid out in the 1973 French novel “Le Camp des Saints,” which envisioned a Europe overwhelmed by a tide of poor refugees.
These concerns, of course, are not simply European. The flow of generally lower-income people from Central and South America has emerged – largely courtesy of the demagogic Donald Trump – as a key political issue in the Republican presidential race. Claims, based on federal employment data, that immigrants have gained far more jobs in the recovery is the kind of thinking that keeps Trump in business. Concerns about other transfers from the Third World to the First World have also surfaced in a host of other countries, including Canada, Australia and even orderly Singapore.
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An Interview With Brian Kellow, Part 1

Yesterday I raved about Brian Kellow’s new book about the legendary Hollywood agent Sue Mengers. It’s a smart and fun biography, an informative joyride through the life of a colorful and fascinating character who peaked during the 1970s, one of Hollywood’s mythical eras. Today Uncouth Reflections is pleased to present a special treat to our visitors: part one of a two-part interview with Brian.
Brian joined Blowhard, Esq. and me for lunch at Greenwich Village’s superfineCornelia Street Cafe, and the three of us gabbed happily for a couple of hours about Sue Mengers, Hollywood, the ’70s, Pauline Kael, divas and the art of biography. Brian’s a big, good-humored, ebullient man with a sly sense of humor, and our conversation was punctuated with regular bursts of laughter.
Paleo Retiree: The thing that struck me the most about your new book was the similarity between Sue Mengers and Pauline Kael, the subject of your last biography. Did you go into the project knowing in advance that there’d be similarities between them?
Brian Kellow: Not at all. I didn’t know anything about Sue. I really didn’t. Just what I’d read in newspapers and magazines ‘way back. I knew about her husband directing “All Night Long,” and that marking the end of her relationship with Barbra Streisand. But I didn’t know anything of a personal nature, or what the profile of her personality was like at all. Except that she was tough. She was a tough dame. So I thought, Maybe this is the latest in my cycle of tough dames. “The Broad’s Biographer.” (Laughs.)
Blowhard, Esq: What were the similarities between Pauline and Sue that struck you most?
Brian Kellow: Coming to their fields with the feeling of being an outsider, definitely. That’s a big one. Thinking that by telling the unvarnished truth to everyone around them they were doing them all a world of good, and not understanding when people got upset by it — that was a strong point of similarity between them too. And a certain lack of introspection. As brilliant as they both were, they were not inner-directed people to any great degree at all. In fact, I think Sue was a little more introspective than Pauline, because she was in analysis. I don’t think it did her much good, though.
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Syria’s Future: Another One-Sided NYT Debate by Stephen Lendman

Russia and Iran are the only countries committed to resolving Obama’s war on Syria diplomatically and restoring peace.

Instead of explaining it forthrightly, Times editors focused solely on Russia, ignored Obama’s full responsibility for merciless war, disingenuously asking “Can Russia Really Be a Partner to Bring Peace to Syria?” Six one-sided views were presented, independent ones excluded.

The Times introduction lied claiming Putin “seiz(ed)” Crimea and continues “aggressive action against Ukraine” - long ago discredited rubbish.

Denigrating Russia is disgraceful NYT policy - willfully substituting misinformation and Big Lies for cold hard truths. Six anti-Russian views were presented, debate nowhere in sight.

Ryan Crocker is a reliable imperial servant, a career US foreign service officer, former ambassador to Kuwait, Lebanon, Pakistan and Syria, current Texas A&M George Bush School of Government and Public Service dean.

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The Cult of the Ego by Brett Stevens

In the course of rambling through modernity, you will encounter any number of cults. These are self-justifying self-image clubs based on their ability to selectively admit members. To be a member, you must justify the cult; if you do that better than others, you will be given power. As a result, the cult does not need a formal structure or can rely on it less than groups with actual leadership.
What makes cults fascinating is that they replace internal commonality, or agreement on basic values and directions in life, with external commonality in the form of paying the entrance fee by justifying the cult. Cults replace self-image with group image and make the individual dependent on group approval in order to have self-esteem. This is their power and Achilles heel.
It is difficult for an outsider to see this, but the innate collectivism of a cult is based in individualism. Each individual sees himself as likely to gain more from the cult than he gives. Among other things, he gains a gang, and if he can spin the justifying myth of the cult to include his personal objectives, he will have an army to batter his enemies and force his dreams into reality.

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Monday, September 21, 2015


#NRORevolt - David French and African Trophy Babies

Barzun on the West by Roger Kimball

On From Dawn to Decadence by Jacques Barzun
One day the last portrait of Rembrandt and the last bar of Mozart will have ceased to be— though possibly a coloured canvas and a sheet of notes may remain—because the last eye and the last ear accessible to their message will have gone. 
—Oswald Spengler, 1918
 It is closing time in the gardens of the West and from now on an artist will be judged only by the resonance of his solitude or the quality of his despair.
—Cyril Connolly, 1949

The historian Jacques Barzun has been a voice of moderation and sanity in American intellectual life for some six decades. Born in France in 1907, he came to the United States in 1920. For many years, he was an ornament to the faculty of Columbia University. One still occasionally hears about his battle to preserve the core curriculum and the famous seminar he conducted with the literary critic Lionel Trilling. Some of Mr. Barzun’s approximately thirty books—I think particularly of Teacher in America (1945) and The House of Intellect (1959)— were bestsellers that influenced debate about culture far beyond the realm of academic history. Mr. Barzun has always had a teacher’s gift of dramatizing ideas and championing what, in Darwin, Marx, Wagner (1941), he called “the pluralism of the world of experience.” Although deeply immersed in intellectual matters himself, he seems never to have succumbed to the intellectual’s chief occupational temptation of mistaking abstractions for the realities they adumbrate. This resistance has had stylistic as well as substantive consequences. Mr. Barzun once noted that “Intellect watches particularly over language because language is so far the only device for keeping ideas clear and emotions memorable.” Accordingly, his own success in these salutary endeavors has been due partly to responsible prose: clear, unpretentious, always favoring the homely concrete word over the fancy bit of fashionable jargon. His success has also been due to his ability to grasp what was really at stake in the intellectual and artistic currents he charted. In Mr. Barzun’s hands, intellectual history is less an academic than an existential pursuit; reading him, you understand that curiosity about the past is at the same time a species of self-interrogation. The questions with which intellectual history confronts us can be parsed as elements of that large, perennial question, “How should I live my life?”

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Your iPhone addiction will rot your kid’s brain: Put your devices away, moms and dads.

Your iPhone addiction will rot your kid's brain: Put your devices away, moms and dads
For years, parents have been inundated with research about the value of reading with children. There is a prescriptive nature to some of the advice: Administer vitamins, apply sunblock, read the requisite bedtime story. Books as castor oil — not a great incentive.
But Jason Boog, in his book “Born Reading: Bringing Up Bookworms in a Digital Age — From Picture Books to eBooks and Everything in Between,” has a different approach. He illustrates in stark terms why reading is good for kids’ intellectual development, but then he shows how books can be the foundation for a rich, creative relationship with a child.
“Born Reading” tracks how Boog, a former editor at GalleyCat, tapped into the knowledge of experts and researchers and then set off to create a reading life with his child. Boog took some time between library visits to chat with us from his home in Los Angeles.
You say in the book that you were a born reader and that you worked for a book publishing website, and my guess is that your home is filled with great books. I’m wondering, why were you unsure about instilling a love of reading in your daughter?
Nobody has asked me that one before! It had been 25 years since I looked at a kid’s book so I didn’t know what that world was like — and I also knew from my own reading habits how dramatically they changed. I had switched almost to completely digital. So I just wasn’t sure what reading would look like for my daughter and I didn’t know what the best way to pass that on to her was. I just started going to the experts to find out more about it.
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