Rule Five Clinton Cash Friday

Judicial Watch strikes again, releasing another slew of emails from The Dowager Empress of Chappaqua, Her Imperial Majesty Hillary I.  Excerpt:

Two heavily redacted emails marked Classified Confidential included a November 2011 exchange under the Subject: “Egyptian MFA on Hamas-PLO talks,” and a June 28, 2011 email from Clinton to Abedin in which Clinton writes “I have now promised the Kuwaiti PM 3 times that I will deliver an address at the Oxford Islamic Center. Pls be sure that’s on the list for next Fall/next year.”

On March 9, 2011, Sid Blumenthal emailed Clinton about the situation in Libya, with the subject line “H: serious trouble for Libyan rebels. Sid” The email discusses urging leaders of the National Libyan Council (NLC) “to consider hiring private troops (mercenaries) to support, organize, and train the rebel forces in Libya.” Blumenthal adds that “a small number of private troops could turn the battle against Qaddafi’s forces, particularly if they are equipped with sophisticated anti-aircraft weapons.” Clinton asks former aide Huma Abedin to “print for me w/o any identifiers”.

The Washington Times reported Libyan officials were deeply concerned in 2011 that Clinton was responsible for weapons being funneled to NATO-backed rebels in Libya with ties to al Qaeda.

On October 6, 2009, Clinton’s then-Chief of Staff, Cheryl Mills emailsI am purposefully on gmail” to Abedin and Maggie Williams, former campaign manager for Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign. [Emphasis added] Mills was responding to an October 4, 2009, email from Clinton, most of which was redacted.

On January 6, 2012, Clinton can be seen “expediting” a citizenship request so the requestor can get a government job in policy or law enforcement:

I am told by Citizenship and Immigration (CIS) caseworkers that it may be at least another 8 months before they get to me, making the total time more than a year (they advertise 6 months total turnaround time).

Would you consider helping me by reaching out to DHS Secretary Napolitano or CIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas who reports to her on my behalf? The ask is to simply consider moving up my applications for review ASAP. My application is complete, straight forward and I have nothing to hide.”

Clinton responds: “I’m copying Huma [Abedin] and asking her to see if we can help expedite this for you because we want you to be a citizen as soon as possible! I’ve got my fingers crossed.  Happy New Year–H”

How many times have I pointed out that Her Royal Highness is probably the most deeply and fundamentally corrupt political figure since Huey Long?

What’s staggering here is the chutzpah shown by Her Royal Highness in almost all of her dealings.  She has comported herself as though appearances just didn’t matter a damn; she was going to have her private email server, she was going to engage in underhanded dealings with agents of foreign powers, she was going to underwrite shady dealings giving Russian interests control over a significant portion of American uranium production…

…and she just did not give a good Goddamn who knew it.

I’ve been saying since the summer of 2015 that Donald Trump wasn’t my first, second or third choice for President.  But with his election, the country (as I’ve also been saying repeatedly dodged a major bullet, in that Her Imperial Majesty Hillary I will never sit behind the desk in the Oval Office.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

Human origins has long been an interest of mine, but clickbait headlines are one of my pet peeves.  Consider the following headline:  Skull Found In China Could Re-Write The ‘Out of Africa’ Theory of Human Evolution.  Now consider this excerpt:

The important head, known as the Dali skull, was found 40 years ago in China. It was once a member of the early species – and our ancestor – the Homo erectus. It is surprisingly intact, with scientists still able to see the face and brain case as it would have been when its owner was living around 260,000 years ago.

It has strange similarities too with modern Homo sapiens. And the new research suggests that it has far more than expected in common with specimens found in Morocco.

Taken together, the research suggests that humans might not have evolved in Africa and then left, as has long been thought to be the case, researchers Xinzhi Wu of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Sheela Athreya of Texas A&M University told the New Scientist. The similarities suggest that the early modern humans might not have been isolated in one place as their characteristics evolved, the scientists say, instead sharing characteristics across the world.

H. erectus is a species first described in 1891, so hardly a brand-new thing.  They were a very successful species of human, persisting with very little change for over a million years.  They were probably the first humans to use fire.

And it’s been quite a while now that paleoanthropologists have known that the picture of human evolution as very complex, with

Probably not an accurate reproduction.

populations overlapping and interbreeding.  If you are of European or Asian descent, for example, your genome includes a not-insignificant percentage of Neandertal and possibly Denisovan DNA.

So, a more accurate headline here would be “A skull found decades ago has been discovered to to present some interesting new variations on the way early humans were thought to have developed.”

But, of course, that won’t get you as many clicks.

Animal’s Daily Dead Nutbar News

Hooray!  Charles Manson is dead!  Excerpt:

Charles Manson, a small-time car thief with wild eyes, had the monstrous ability to bend followers to unspeakable evil.

He used that ability to remake himself into perhaps the most notorious mass murderer in California history, terrorizing Southern California in 1969 with a string of nine savage slayings — including that of a promising young actress named Sharon Tate — that earned him a death sentence and made his name synonymous with depraved wickedness.

Manson, who spent the last 48 years of his life behind bars, died Sunday night at a Kern County hospital, the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said. He was 83.

The prison agency said Manson died of natural causes at 8:13 p.m. He had been housed at California State Prison in Corcoran from 1989 until falling ill several days ago.

As I’ve noted before, when someone dies, you should find something good to say about them.  In this case as in a few others, the only comment I can make is “he’s dead.  Good.”

Manson and his cult followers were some of most truly, irredeemably evil people that recent history has produced.  The only sad part of this episode is that it took this damn long for Manson to be shuffled off this mortal coil; were there any cosmic justice, once the death penalty was out of the picture for Manson, he should have died of pancreatic cancer or something else suitably painful and torturous.  Instead, he was maintained at taxpayer expense for decades.

But he’s gone now.  And that, True Believers, is manifestly a Good Thing.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Thanks as always to Pirate’s Cove and The Other McCain for the Rule Five links!

NASA researcher is now predicting we’ll find life off-Earth in the next 20 years.  Color me a little skeptical.  Excerpt:

‘Before we go looking for life, we’re trying to figure out what kinds of planets could have a climate that’s conducive to life,’ said Tony del Genio of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

‘We’re using the same climate models that we use to project 21st century climate change on Earth to do simulations of specific exoplanets that have been discovered, and hypothetical ones.’

There are many factors that contribute to a planet’s potential habitability, including proximity to its star.

This dictates whether the planet has the right conditions to sustain liquid water; if it’s too close, or too far, the surface could be dry and barren, or completely frozen.

And, from what’s known about life on Earth, water is key.

‘Everywhere we look, whether it’s a desert or Antarctica or the deepest parts of the ocean or the deepest parts of Earth’s crust that we’ve explored, as long as there’s a tiny speck of liquid water, there’s life,’ NASA explains in a new video, How to Find a Living Planet.

‘And because of that, it’s been central to NASA’s search for habitable environments elsewhere.

Note:  Life =/= intelligent life.  That’s a whole different kettle of extraterrestrial fish, despite the fondest imaginings of the science-fiction writer in me.  Fascinating as it would be, I’d settle instead for just finding some intelligent life in Congress.

But, I digress.

Enceladus and Europa are the prime candidates in our Solar System, but assembling the tech to go and look even there is an expensive and daunting task.  I’d love to see it happen in my lifetime, but I’m resigned to hoping my grandkids see it happen, and hope they will view any discovery with the same sense of wonder I would have.

As for other solar systems – well, the Galaxy abounds with planets, but the only we could detect life would be by detecting the spectral lines of, say, chlorophyll in an alien atmosphere.  That, also, is a ways off yet,

In the meantime, I’ll have to satisfy myself with science fiction.

Rule Five Stupid Gun Laws Friday

This seems pretty intuitive, but too many folks are lacking this sort of intuition:  Tighter Gun Laws Will Leave Libertarians Better-Armed Than Everyone Else.  Excerpt:

The past week saw yet another invocation by the usual suspects of the supposed need for tighter gun controls. This time, we had a special emphasis from lawmakers on such “innovations” as banning people convicted of domestic abuse from owning firearms—which is to say, restrictions that are already on the books and have been in place for years, but which haven’t had the wished-for effect. Honestly, so many of gun-controllers’ preferred laws have been implemented that they can’t be expected to know that their dreams have already come true. But laws aren’t magic spells that ward off evil; they’re threats of consequences against violators, enforced by imperfect and often incompetent people, and noted or ignored by frequently resistant targets.

Gun controls then, like other restrictions and prohibitions, have their biggest effect on those who agree with them and on the unlucky few scofflaws caught by the powers-that-be, and are otherwise mostly honored in the breach. As a result, gun laws intended to reduce the availability of firearms are likely to leave those who most vigorously disagree with them disproportionately well-armed relative to the rest of society. That raises some interesting prospects in a country as politically polarized and factionalized as the United States.

That gun restrictions are widely disobeyed is a well-documented fact. I’ve written before that Connecticut’s recent “assault weapons” registration law achieved an underwhelming 15 percent compliance rate, and New York’s similar requirement resulted in 5 percent compliance. When California imposed restrictions on such weapons in 1990, at the end of the registration period “only about 7,000 weapons of an estimated 300,000 in private hands in the state have been registered,” The New York Times reported. When New Jersey went a step further that same year and banned the sale and possession of “assault weapons,” disobedience was so widespread that the Times concluded, “More than a year after New Jersey imposed the toughest assault-weapons law in the country, the law is proving difficult if not impossible to enforce.” That’s in states with comparatively strong public support for restrictions on gun ownership.

Read that line above again:  “…difficult if not impossible to enforce.”  That’s gun control legislation in a nutshell.

Imagine yourself in a conversation with a gun-control fanatic.  (If you are in New York, California, Illinois or Massachusetts, you can find one under any flat rock.)

Imagine that gun-control fanatic describing their wet dream of confiscating millions, nay, tens of millions of personally owned firearms.   It makes no difference whatever the particular gun-grabbers pet peeve is – “assault weapons,” handguns, “sniper rifles” (read that to mean any bolt-action, scoped hunting rifle) or whatever.

Ask the gun grabber who they expect to go around to millions of homes and confiscate tens of millions of weapons.  And mention that oh, by the way, if one percent of the approximately 100 million American gun owners resist violently, that’s a million people in armed rebellion.

In no case will you find the gun-grabber willing to volunteer to be part of the confiscation effort.  Problem is, I expect not many among the military or law-enforcement communities will be too willing to do this either.

“Impossible to enforce” is only scratching the surface.

 

Animal’s Daily Zimbabwe News

A military coup in Zimbabwe appears to have (at least temporarily) ousted thug-dictator Robert Mugabe.  Excerpt:

Zimbabwe’s military said early Wednesday that it had taken custody of President Robert Mugabe, the world’s oldest head of state and one of Africa’s longest-serving leaders, in what increasingly appeared to be a military takeover in the southern African nation.

After apparently seizing the state broadcaster, ZBC, two uniformed officers said in a short predawn announcement that “the situation in our country has moved to another level.” While denying that the military had seized power, they said that Mr. Mugabe and his family “are safe and sound, and their security is guaranteed.”

“We are only targeting criminals around him who are committing crimes that are causing social and economic suffering in the country in order to bring them to justice,” said the main speaker, who was identified as Maj. Gen. S. B. Moyo, the army’s chief of staff.

General Moyo — who was not widely known to the public but who was considered close to the commander of the Zimbabwe Defense Forces, Gen. Constantine Chiwenga — warned that “any provocation will be met with an appropriate response.”

Around 6 a.m. on Wednesday, taxis were running on the main roads leading to central Harare and people seemed to be making their way to work. Some soldiers could be seen on the main roads but were not stopping commuters.

After the short announcement, commercials on farming and corn seeds appeared on the state broadcaster. There was no further clarification of the whereabouts or status of Mr. Mugabe, 93, who is the only leader his nation has known since independence in 1980.

I can only say this:  It couldn’t happen to a nicer guy, and let’s hope it’s permanent.  Things in Zimbabwe could hardly get any worse.

Out on a limb.

The country has a 90% unemployment rate.  The currency isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.  And in the not quite forty years since he seized control, Zimbabwe has gone from southern Africa’s breadbasket to an absolute shithole with half the population starving.

This is your nation on dictatorship, True Believers.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

Thanks as always to The Other McCain for the Rule Five links!

Just in case you needed reminding that people are assholes, read this.  Excerpt (odd-ball Canuck spelling reproduced verbatim):

Shawn Kathleen became so annoyed by rude passengers while working as a flight attendant in the U.S. that she started writing about them in a blog.

Many people didn’t believe her stories — until she also started posting photographic evidence.

She was fired in 2013 — she believes because her employer discovered she was behind the blog.

But the job loss didn’t end the Ohio resident’s mission to expose bad behaviour on planes. Instead, the blog morphed into an Instagram site called PassengerShaming, which has more than 522,000 followers.

Based on photo contributions from air travellers and flight staff worldwide, the site shows it all: passengers making out in their seats, clipping nails and nose hairs, tossing garbage on the floor, flying shirtless and even watching porn on their electronic devices.

And yes, people are assholes.

I’ve seen the whole run of the kinds of losers lovingly depicted on the PassengerShaming blog; from people with barking dogs to kids that won’t stop kicking the back of your seat to one bonehead on a  trans-Pacific flight who wanted to play his fucking bongo drums until I suggested (to applause from my fellow passengers) that his continued health and well-being hinged on his ceasing and desisting “…and I mean RIGHT GODDAMN NOW.”

Maybe I’m getting to be a cranky old man.  But when I pay for an airline seat, I expect a little politeness from the people who are jammed in that sealed aluminum tube with me.  If this blog can do just a little bit to shame the assholes who may recognize their own bad behavior, good for Shawn Kathleen.

But I doubt it will make any real difference.  People who behave like this in the first place can’t be shamed.  But venting has a purpose as well, and sometimes it might help to browse PassengerShaming after a long flight so we might tell ourselves, “at least I wasn’t sitting next to that guy.”

 

Animal’s Daily WTF News

Oh, for the luvva Pete.  I guess it was bound to happen; now some goober is claiming to be trans-racial.  Excerpt:

Riding in a flamboyant purple vehicle, Ja Du shows up to a coffee shop to open up about his new identity.

Ja Du, born a white male named Adam, now considers himself a Filipino. Turns out the purple ride he drives around in is called a Tuk Tuk, an Asian-derived vehicle used for public transit in the Philippines he says.

Ja Du is part of a small, but growing community of people who considers themselves transracial. It refers to someone born one race, but identifies with another.

Sound weird? Not to them. Ja Du says he grew up enjoying Filipino food, events and the overall culture.

“Whenever I’m around the music, around the food, I feel like I’m in my own skin,” he said.

“I’d watch the history channel sometimes for hours you know whenever it came to that and you know nothing else intrigued me more but things about Filipino culture.”

If you’re thinking this sounds familiar, you might remember the story of Rachel Dolezal. Dolezal was born white, but identified as black and portrayed herself as such. She was even the president of the Spokane, Washington, chapter of the NAACP.

After she appeared on an episode of Dr. Phil, the term transracial started to become more widely known. Now, we are finding out this community of people who identify as another race is growing. If you look on Facebook, where we found Ja Du, groups dubbed transracial are popping up with dozens of members.

Look, my stance on such things is well known; I really don’t give an ounce of rat’s pee what people do, as long as they leave me alone.  And whatever all of you various True Believers out there may think of trans-sexual people, at least there is some science behind that – there is such a thing as gender-body dysmorphia that has been known to psychiatry for a long damn time.

But this guy, in all seriousness, I can only believe is looking for his fifteen minutes and nothing more.  Unlike sex, race in humans is purely a social and cultural construct; humans have amazingly low genetic diversity as large mammals go.

This kook is just looking to get his name in the news.  Sad part is, he has succeeded.  And yes, I know I’m giving him more exposure now, but what the hell.

 

Deep thoughts, news of the day, totty and the Manly Arts.