That’s the word that describes the condition, arthrogryposis, that reporter Serge Kovaleski suffers from, and which causes his hands to hang at an odd angle. So he was born with it and already suffered from it when he met Donald Trump a dozen times in the last quarter century, including the ones documented here.
It’s also the word William Safire used to describe Hillary!’s lying, and which we must now use to describe Trump’s, after his denials that he knew Kovaleski and was mocking his disability with his gestures.
Posted at 12:28 PM | Permalink
Looking for some temp work this Christmas season?
The Air Force has hired civilian defense contractors to fly MQ-9 Reaper drones to help track suspected militants and other targets in global hot spots, a previously undisclosed expansion in the privatization of once-exclusively military functions.
For the first time, civilian pilots and crews now operate what the Air Force calls “combat air patrols,” daily round-the-clock flights above areas of military operations to provide video and collect other sensitive intelligence.
Contractors control two Reaper patrols a day, but the Air Force plans to expand that to 10 a day by 2019. Each patrol involves up to four drones.
Civilians are not allowed to pinpoint targets with lasers or fire missiles. They operate only Reapers that provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, known as ISR, said Air Force Gen. Herbert “Hawk” Carlisle, head of Air Combat Command.
“There are limitations on it,” he said. The contractors “are not combatants.”
Next up: Telecommuting! (Via Drudge.)
Posted at 12:03 PM | Permalink
... than defending sinners:
It’s the 21st century and Europe is meant to be an open, enlightened continent, and yet a man has just been sentenced to jail — actual jail — for something that he said. Will there be uproar? It’s unlikely. For the man is Dieudonné M’bala M’bala, the French comedian, and what he says — that Jews are scoundrels and the Holocaust is a fiction — is deeply unpleasant. Yet if we’re serious about freedom of speech, if we are truly committed to ensuring everyone has the liberty to think and say whatever they please, then the jailing of Dieudonné should outrage us as much as the attempts to shut down Charlie Hebdo or the jailing of a Saudi blogger for ridiculing religious belief. We should be saying ‘Je Suis Dieudonné’.
In all these cases, Dieudonné has been punished simply for thinking and saying certain things. This is thought-policing. It’s a PC, spat-and-polished version of the Inquisition, which was likewise in the business of raining punishment upon those who said things the authorities considered wicked. To fine or imprison people for expressing their beliefs is always a scandal, regardless of whether we like or hate their beliefs. Dieudonné really believes the Holocaust is a myth, as much as a Christian fundamentalist believes that people who have gay sex will go to hell or American liberals believe Hillary Clinton will make a good president. He is wrong, massively, poisonously so; but then, so are those Christians about gays and those liberals about Hillary. If every person who says wrong, malicious or stupid things were carted off to jail, Europe’s streets would be emptied overnight.
Posted at 04:48 PM | Permalink
A new air traffic control system is making airports noisier, and people are complaining:
Communities in San Francisco, Dallas, Denver, Phoenix and now Los Angeles are having major noise issues with the implementation of the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) that guides in jetliners using satellites instead of air traffic controllers.
Jetliners are guided seamlessly, allowing them to be spaced much closer together in tighter new routes that are often nearer to the communities below—saving money on fuel and causing fewer delays.
But wait, they aren’t just “saving money on fuel,” they’re using less fuel—they’re saving the planet! No dissent allowed! (Via InstaPundit.)
Posted at 04:27 PM | Permalink
My concern is the revival, with amazing speed, of a belligerent Russian state, one led by men who were taught and trained by the Soviet state and are thus prepared to use a familiar blend of terror, deception, and military force to stay in power. One might argue, of course, that such men never really went away. But their level of aggression is rising just as our once formidable ability to counter them seems to have vanished altogether. Instead, we have trouble simply recognizing them for what they are.
In the quarter-century since the fall of Communism, we’ve forgotten what a cynical, unprincipled, authoritarian Russian regime looks like, especially one with an audacious global strategy and no qualms whatsoever about sacrificing human life. Let me say it again more clearly: Almost all of the men who currently rule Russia (and they are all men) were taught and trained by the KGB. Their teaching and training shows. Why would it not?
Russia is run by men who are deeply attached to the Soviet system, the collapse of which was the most shattering and disorienting experience of their lives. Most Western countries, by contrast, are run by men and women who thought that the collapse of the USSR meant that they could finally move on and think about something else.
Posted at 04:13 PM | Permalink
Jay Nordlinger on Trump and the Trumpkins:
I keep hearing from Trump people, “He’s the only one.” That “only” is repeated over and over. The only one to do what? “The only one who’s talking about immigration, the only one who’s talking about political correctness, the only one who’s talking about ISIS.” The only one. And to the extent that other people are talking about these issues, it’s only because of Trump!
This one, I find especially hard to explain. It’s like the Trump people follow their candidate and their candidate alone, paying no attention to the other men in the field (plus Carly). Perhaps that stands to reason: for Trump has been a television star for a long time, and he entered the field as a television star. The others are trying to introduce themselves, really. They come from politics, rather than Celebrity.
Trump is the “only one” to do XYZ if you tune out, or know nothing about, the others.
This is repetition, not analysis. They’re saying “Trump is the only one” because Trump is saying “I’m the only one.” There’s a strong “these are not the droids you’re looking for” vibe that permeates the Trump campaign. If he told them it was raining on a sunny day the Trumpkins would grab their umbrellas.
Will they start mocking the handicapped now?
Posted at 11:52 AM | Permalink
M. Sarkozy is on to something here:
Nicolas Sarkozy has a plan for national recovery after the deadliest Islamist terror attacks on French soil: bring back “eternal France”.
At the centre-right opposition leader’s first political rally since Isis assailants murdered 130 people in Paris earlier this month, the former French president told supporters in Alsace, eastern France, on Wednesday, that multiculturalism is what has made western democracies vulnerable to Islamist extremists.
“France is not a supermarket, it’s a whole,” Mr Sarkozy said to the overcrowded room in the small Alsatian town of Schiltigheim. “There is no French identity, no happy identity in a multicultural society.”
For Mr Sarkozy reviving la France de toujours goes well beyond emergency powers for the police or tough border checks, as instigated by socialist president François Hollande. It means everything from fighting “cultural conformism” caused by unbridled globalisation to restoring homework, standards and discipline to schools.
Posted at 10:17 AM | Permalink
As in What a maroon! An animal rights protester ran onto the field at the DET-PHI NFL game. Apart from it being the fourth quarter of a blowout and holding the banner so it couldn’t be seen on TV, things went pretty well for her. The Detroit faithful booed her, but she can take solace in that NFL fans, well Eagle fans, have in the past booed Santa Claus.
Posted at 04:54 PM | Permalink
From luxury to commonplace to necessity in Greenwich CT:
School administrators’ pledge to make sure all students have home Internet access by next year does not provide a fast enough connection, according to some town officials.
Selectman Drew Marzullo and several members of the Board of Estimate and Taxation said this week that they were unhappy to learn that the district is not paying for home Internet service for all low-income students who lack it this year.
“It is unconscionable that any child living in one of the wealthiest towns in the U.S. has gone without,” Marzullo said in an email Monday to Board of Education members.
The issue of students’ home Internet access came into focus after administrators told school board members at a meeting Monday about their spending for the district’s digital learning initiative. The initiative gives every elementary student an iPad and every middle school and high school student a Chromebook laptop.
Furriners living on $5 a day could not be reached for comment on what is “unconscionable.”
Posted at 11:22 AM | Permalink
Rather [political freedom] is elusive and fragile, which is why America’s history of ordered liberty is miraculous. Clearly many American college students, from Yale to Missouri, disagree. They condemn America as singularly unjust, citing real and imagined problems of discrimination and inequity. Perhaps they should travel more.
A few years ago the authors of “Freakonomics” hosted a contest to craft the best six-word motto for America. The brilliant winner: “Our Worst Critics Prefer to Stay.” Some such critics, like Howard Zinn, get their books widely assigned in schools. Yet how many Yale students know that Xu Zhiyong, a former visiting fellow at Yale, now suffers in Chinese prison for daring to criticize Chinese state corruption?
China often wows Americans, blinding them to America’s blessings. About Chinese high-speed trains and supercomputers, President Obama laments: “That used to be us.” But we were never a one-party dictatorship in which citizens experienced economic growth together with fears of a midnight visit from the secret police.
So if your Thanksgiving celebration veers into contentious debate over the politics of immigration, here’s a point that might save some of the holiday’s goodwill: We can all agree that it’s a great privilege to live in a country that other people are literally dying to reach.
Posted at 10:54 AM | Permalink
America’s oldest high school football rivalry, Needham vs. Wellesley, is renewed today, for the first time at Fenway Park.
UPDATE: And the good people of Boston arranged a special welcome for their suburban friends:
A man was shot to death and three were wounded around 2 a.m. on Yawkey Way across from Fenway Park, police said today.
The man who died from a gunshot wound was in his late 20s, police said. The three other victims were also men in their late 20s, who were all taken to area hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries.
This morning, more than 20 ballistics markers can be seen on the sidewalks outside the Who's on First bar and souvenir stores on Yawkey Way, behind crime tape roping off the scene.
Yawkey Way remains closed to all foot and auto traffic.
Fenway is hosting high school football games this morning, with Needham-Wellesley playing in the morning and the English High-Boston Latin game beginning at noon. Attendees cannot enter through Gate D on Yawkey and are being directed to Gate B at the corner of Van Ness Street and Ipswich Street.
A fourth-quarter goal-line stand by Needham, on the grass of Fenway Park, staved off a late charge by Wellesley and gave the Rockets a 12-7 victory in the age-old rivalry.
Posted at 10:21 AM | Permalink
The administration has been placing youths illegally crossing over the Mexico-U.S. border with guardians with criminal histories including domestic violence, homicide, child molestation, sexual assault and human trafficking, a whistleblower has told two senators, Iowa's Chuck Grassley and
The senators said that at least 12 percent, or 3,400, of 29,000 guardians listed in a government database have criminal records. The senators charge that the government has done a lousy job vetting the guardians, an ominous record as the president claims his team can vet terrorists out of incoming Syrian refugees.
Posted at 11:55 AM | Permalink
A smart GOP opponent would make these a website feature:
Between the 14th hole and the 15th tee of one of the club’s two courses, Mr. Trump installed a flagpole on a stone pedestal overlooking the Potomac, to which he affixed a plaque purportedly designating “The River of Blood.”
“Many great American soldiers, both of the North and South, died at this spot,” the inscription reads. “The casualties were so great that the water would turn red and thus became known as ‘The River of Blood.’ ”
The inscription, beneath his family crest and above Mr. Trump’s full name, concludes: “It is my great honor to have preserved this important section of the Potomac River!”
Like many of Mr. Trump’s claims, the inscription was evidently not fact-checked.
“No. Uh-uh. No way. Nothing like that ever happened there,” said Richard Gillespie, the executive director of the Mosby Heritage Area Association, a historical preservation and education group devoted to an 1,800-square-mile section of the Northern Virginia Piedmont, including the Lowes Island site.
Posted at 10:00 AM | Permalink
Here are some of Donald J. Trump’s favorite ways to deal with a difficult question:
Asked what he would do on issues like trade deals or terrorism, he warns that bad things are happening “all over the place.” His policies as president might or might not include the subject at hand “and a lot of different things.” All ethnic groups will “love” a Trump presidency.
Here is what you may almost never hear Mr. Trump say: “I’m not familiar with that,” or “I misspoke.”
No one ever expected Mr. Trump to turn himself into the issues expert of the Republican presidential field. Yet the verbal shortcuts and salesmanlike stretches that he has relied on for months — generalities used to dodge questions, and questionable recollections — are tripping him up as the tenor of the campaign has grown more serious.
He has been aided and abetted in this by the media. Exhibit A is George Stephanopoulos on Sunday re Muslims and databases:
STEPHANOPOULOS: You did stir up a controversy with those comments over the database. Let’s try to clear that up.
Are you unequivocally now ruling out a database on all Muslims?
TRUMP: No, not at all. I want a database for the refugees that -- if they come into the country. We have no idea who these people are. When the Syrian refugees are going to start pouring into this country, we don’t know if they’re ISIS, we don’t know if it’s a Trojan horse.
And I definitely want a database and other checks and balances. We want to go with watchlists. We want to go with databases.
And we have no choice. We have no idea who’s being sent in here. This could be the -- it’s probably not, but it could be the great Trojan horse of all time, where they come in.
When I look at those migration -- when I look at the migration and the lines and I see all strong, very powerful looking men, they’re men and I see very few women, I see very few children, there’s something strange going on.
And if you look at what’s happened in Europe, a lot of bad things are happening in Europe. Just ask the folks that live in Germany, George. A lot of bad things are happening. So --
STEPHANOPOULOS: But the statistics do show --
TRUMP: We want to be smart.
We want to -- hey, George, we want to be vigilant. We have to be vigilant and we have to call -- is radical -- you know, we have to just say it. It’s radical Islamic terrorism, and that’s what it is. And we have a president that won’t even issue the term.
But when these Syrians come in, or wherever they are, because we’re not even sure that they’re coming in from Syria, if they’re going to come in, we have to be very, very vigilant. And a database would be fine for them and a watchlist is fine. We have to watch and see what we’re doing.
They should not come in, by the way. They should not be allowed to come in.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Just for the record, though, the statistics do show the majority of the refugees coming in are women and children.
This controversy started because Trump was asked about a database for Muslims last week and answered in the affirmative, but segued into a broader response about immigrants and walls. Stephanopoulos explicitly said at the outset that he wanted to pin him down on “all Muslims.” Well, all US Muslims (outrageous) or all Muslim immigrants (less than outrageous)? And then Trump’s answer was about Syrian refugees in particular and Stephanopoulos never pinned him down. Infuriating.
Posted at 09:52 AM | Permalink
Jay Nordlinger noted this gem buried in the latest mush from the wimp:
Undeterred by pesky responsibilities like the War on Terror (as we called it in the bad old days), President Obama is headed to Paris to confront the Greatest Threat of Our Time: global warming (as they called it in the glory days, before the earth was rude enough to cool, necessitating the substitute “climate change”). Obama made a stirring statement:
“Next week, I will be joining President Hollande and world leaders in Paris for the global climate conference. What a powerful rebuke to the terrorists it will be when the world stands as one and shows that we will not be deterred from building a better future for our children. ... Let’s remember, we faced greater threats to our way of life before: fascism, Communism, a first world war, the second, a long cold war. Each and every time we prevailed.”
Hang on: Did Barack Obama, of Occidental and Columbia, and the New party and Alinsky, and Reverend Wright’s church and the Choom Gang, list Communism in a parade of horribles? Who duz he think he is, Joe McCarthy? Do Jarrett and the Ax know about this? Do de Blasio and Castro (either one of them)?
Honestly — seriously — I’m surprised. As he enters his mid-50s, there may be hope for the eternal grad student yet.
Obama supported nuclear disarmament in college and declined to join me in serving our nation during the Cold War. His “we prevailed,” even if sincere now, is thirty years late.
Also, hasn’t his bunch been insisting that global warming is as great a threat to our way of life as the other items on his list?
Posted at 06:37 PM | Permalink