January 17th, 2017

Michael Moore really nailed it, pre-election

Until the other day I hadn’t read this Michael Moore prediction that Trump would win, made back in July of 2016 when it wasn’t exactly what most people were saying. I’d heard he’d made the prediction, but till now I hadn’t read what he’d actually written.

And boy, I really have to give the guy props for the fact that he was spot on about the fact that Trump would win and how it would happen (as was our very own commenter “Cornhead,” I might add, although their attitudes towards a Trump victory diverged significantly, to say the least).

Here’s Moore last July:

…Welcome to Our Rust Belt Brexit.

I believe Trump is going to focus much of his attention on the four blue states in the rustbelt of the upper Great Lakes – Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Four traditionally Democratic states – but each of them have elected a Republican governor since 2010 (only Pennsylvania has now finally elected a Democrat). In the Michigan primary in March, more Michiganders came out to vote for the Republicans (1.32 million) that the Democrats (1.19 million). Trump is ahead of Hillary in the latest polls in Pennsylvania and tied with her in Ohio. Tied? How can the race be this close after everything Trump has said and done? Well maybe it’s because he’s said (correctly) that the Clintons’ support of NAFTA helped to destroy the industrial states of the Upper Midwest. Trump is going to hammer Clinton on this and her support of TPP and other trade policies that have royally screwed the people of these four states. When Trump stood in the shadow of a Ford Motor factory during the Michigan primary, he threatened the corporation that if they did indeed go ahead with their planned closure of that factory and move it to Mexico, he would slap a 35% tariff on any Mexican-built cars shipped back to the United States. It was sweet, sweet music to the ears of the working class of Michigan, and when he tossed in his threat to Apple that he would force them to stop making their iPhones in China and build them here in America, well, hearts swooned…

And this is where the math comes in. In 2012, Mitt Romney lost by 64 electoral votes. Add up the electoral votes cast by Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. It’s 64. All Trump needs to do to win is to carry, as he’s expected to do, the swath of traditional red states from Idaho to Georgia (states that’ll never vote for Hillary Clinton), and then he just needs these four rust belt states. He doesn’t need Florida. He doesn’t need Colorado or Virginia. Just Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. And that will put him over the top. This is how it will happen in November.

You gotta hand it to him. Moore is originally from Flint, Michigan, he knows that area very well, and he was absolutely correct about what happened there in November.

That doesn’t mean he’s correct on much else. But you know what? I’d listen to him in the future when he talks about opinions in the Rust Belt.

January 17th, 2017

The search for MH370 is officially over

The search has ended with no resolution:

The Joint Agency Coordination Center in Australia, which helped lead the $160 million hunt for the Boeing 777 in remote waters west of Australia, said the search had officially been suspended after crews finished their fruitless sweep of the 120,000-square kilometer (46,000-square mile) search zone.

“Despite every effort using the best science available, cutting-edge technology, as well as modeling and advice from highly skilled professionals who are the best in their field, unfortunately, the search has not been able to locate the aircraft,” the agency said in a statement, which was a joint communique between the transport ministers of Malaysia, Australia and China.

“Accordingly, the underwater search for MH370 has been suspended…

There is the possibility that a private donor could offer to bankroll a new search, or that Malaysia will kick in fresh funds. But no one has stepped up yet, raising the bleak possibility that the world’s greatest aviation mystery may never be solved. For the families of the 239 people on the doomed aircraft, that’s a particularly bitter prospect given the recent acknowledgment by officials that they had been looking for the plane in the wrong place all along…

in July, 2015, came the first proof that the plane was indeed in the Indian Ocean: A wing flap from the aircraft was found on Reunion Island, east of Madagascar. Since then, more than 20 objects either confirmed or believed to be from the plane have washed ashore on beaches throughout the Indian Ocean. But while the debris proved the plane went down in the Indian Ocean, the location of the main underwater wreckage — and its crucial black box data recorders — remains stubbornly elusive.

What a sad state of affairs. My heart goes out to the families of the lost. Remember when the plane’s disappearance was just about the only thing anyone was talking about? At least—and it’s a small comfort, but it’s something—a few pieces of wreckage have been found over the years. Let’s hope the families don’t have too long to wait for more information. Nothing will even begin to bring back their loved ones, of course, but more knowledge would help.

January 17th, 2017

Polls, the press, and Trump…continued

The steady drip-drip-drip of the “Trump is so unpopular” message goes on.

I’ve already dealt with the issue at length recently, so I’ll not go into it in depth again right now.

However, I’ll add that—unlike Donald Trump—I don’t think most of the polls are “rigged.” But I certainly think that all polls have become more deeply and broadly flawed in recent years because proper sampling has become more difficult and response rates also aren’t what they used to be.

In addition, there is no question in my mind that polls can and will be spun by the press and pundits to say just about anything they want. Right now their goal is to deeply undermine the Trump presidency in any way possible, and polls are another means to that end, one the MSM plans to exploit to full advantage.

Yes indeed, Trump has historic unfavorables, but you know what? He did as a candidate, too. One could just as easily write alternate headlines that say Trump’s unfavorables have uniformly lowered and his favorables risen since the days of the campaign, and that this has happened despite the relentless Trump-dissing by the media, plus his own intermittently intemperate tweeting.

Or one could say that—according to the same poll that is reporting Trump’s continuing low approval ratings—the country is nevertheless evenly split (48-48) on whether people think he will be a good president.

Considering where Trump started out, that’s pretty astounding.

As for me, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: we’ll see. So far, Trump has exceeded my expectations, which were extremely low. But the reality of a Trump presidency will only emerge as his campaign of words becomes an administration of actions. And actions have consequences in the real world, consequences that don’t necessarily align with spin on either side.

January 17th, 2017

Britain blocks Obama/Kerry plans to further harm Israel during Obama’s last presidential days

You may recall that, as noted here, after the pre-Christmas anti-Israel UN resolution a Paris conference was planned (with Kerry in attendance), and then a January 17 UN resolution to further the condemnation of Israel.

Well, notice that today is January 17. But there almost certainly won’t be any more UN resolutions on Israel during the Obama administration. And the reason has nothing to do with any decision by Obama or Kerry to back off.

What it has to do with is the Brexit vote, the outcome of which resulted in the resignation of Britain’s PM Cameron and the coming to power of the new PM, Theresa May. May’s government voted for the December UN resolution, but yesterday Britain blocked the planned further undermining of Israel by the waning Obama administration and the other countries at the Paris meeting.

The British statement affirmed its commitment to the two-state solution, adding:

…[W]e have particular reservations about an international conference intended to advance peace between the parties that does not involve them – indeed which is taking place against the wishes of the Israelis – and which is taking place just days before the transition to a new American President when the US will be the ultimate guarantor of any agreement. There are risks therefore that this conference hardens positions at a time when we need to be encouraging the conditions for peace.

That’s why we have attended in an observer status and have not signed up to the communique.

That statement makes it quite clear that May doesn’t think that lame-duck Obama/Kerry have much (if you’ll excuse the term) legitimacy in their attempts at kicking Israel on their way out, and that May is anticipating dealing with President Donald Trump. Too bad May couldn’t find a bit more courage to do what was right during the Security Council vote back in December.

[NOTE: More here.]

January 16th, 2017

In Europe, slight clue begins to dawn…

…but is bravely shaken off.

The global elite are meeting in the Swiss ski resort of Davos this week for their annual shindig but, as Donald Trump waits to be inaugurated as US President, the world’s power-brokers are struggling to come up with answers to the rise of ‘populism’…

Moises Naim, of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said: ‘There is a consensus that something huge is going on, global and in many respects unprecedented. But we don’t know what the causes are, nor how to deal with it.’…

Last year the consensus at Davos was that Trump had no chance of being nominated, let alone elected.

But then the global elite also never dreamed Britain would vote to leave the European Union.

I don’t fault them for those predictions; they were the predictions of most people. But a failure to figure out why it happened—what the causes are—is preposterous. And the article contains quite a few examples of the rationalizations of some of the atendees.

The fault, dear “global elites,” is not in your stars,
But in yourselves, that you are underlings.

Or that you are becoming underlings.

Angela Merkel will not be at the meeting. She’s facing a tough election.

January 16th, 2017

Nose Lifters

A couple of years ago I wrote a post about the rise of the childish nose. When I was a kid, that was the sort of nose that was called “pug”—which was not a compliment, although a pug nose was often thought of as cute.

The French have a word for it, too, a more elegant one: retroussé. And Kate Middleton exemplifies a rather restrained example of the genre—one that happens to suit her face and is natural for her, but that usually looks strained when imposed on another face by the plastic surgeon’s hands.

At least, that’s my opinion. I like a more dignified nose, although I admit that some people have noses that are unfortunate enough to cry out for some assistance. Ask Cyrano.

Now I read that there’s a product called a “Nose Lifter” that provides a temporary road to the tiny little turned-up childish nose of everyone’s (apparently) dreams:

This Japanese-based beauty product claims to give instant nose job results without any incisions or injections. The product is essentially a tiny splint made of soft PVC plastic that’s inserted into the nose to prop up the nostrils and tip of the nose for a more defined look. Surprisingly, the results are extremely noticeable—in a good way.

While the idea of a nonsurgical nose job seems tempting, Beverly Hills, CA, facial plastic surgeon, Kimberly J. Lee, MD, says the device could be potentially dangerous if misused. “It is likely uncomfortable to wear, as most people are not used to having something in their noses and it is likely to create some obstructive effect to the nasal airflow,” she explains.

It also may raise the risk of dangerous infection.

Sounds like fun, doesn’t it? But hey, look what the nose looks like in the “after” photo:

I don’t get it. I really don’t get it. The woman on the right has her nifty Nose Lifter in place, and what is the effect? A certain childishness that isn’t apparent in the first photo.

But that’s all I see. The first nose looks real, the second fake. But I guess everything has to be lifted these days.

January 16th, 2017

Trump and the press; Obama and the press

During Obama’s 2008 campaign and for the entire near-decade that’s passed since them, the press has almost-uniformly adored him and been his willing handmaiden and booster.

With Donald Trump, it’s a bit more complicated. And that’s putting it mildly.

At first the MSM found him to be a joke. Then, when they realized he was catching on despite their efforts, they boosted him because (a) he was good for business—their business; and (b) they thought he’d be by far the weakest opponent for Hillary Clinton, who they didn’t love as they had Obama but who they still wanted to win the presidency.

Then Trump won the GOP nomination. That made the press’s task more complicated. They still wanted to milk his outrageousness for the ratings boost it gave them, but they still very much wanted him to lose the election and they covered him in such a way that they thought their coverage would add to the near-certainty that he would lose.

Then Trump won the election. That was completely unacceptable.

So now it’s an all-out war. Every utterance of his—and he still makes some outrageous ones, although fewer than while campaigning—is twisted and turned by the MSM for maximum negative effect. Democratic politicians, spokespeople, pundits, Hollywood stars, and a host of others have joined in the chorus, and they didn’t even need much encouragement to do so.

The latest brouhaha is over reports that Trump is threatening to kick reporters out of the White House and leave them standing forlornly in the rain:

In the 1890s, journalists covering the president were forced to stand vigil outside the White House fence, querying visitors for scraps of information and appealing for audiences with presidential aides.

Today’s reporters are concerned that President-elect Donald J. Trump could send them back into the past.

The White House press corps was stunned on Sunday by reports of a proposal by the Trump administration to eject reporters from their home in the West Wing — a move that, if carried out, would uproot decades of established protocol whereby journalists are allowed to work in the White House close to senior officials.

The outcry has been tremendous, as though Trump is about to stifle freedom of the press. That’s how the report has filtered down to many people who have read the coverage, particularly the headlines and the first few paragraphs only. Easy, then, to miss or to discount the next paragraph:

Reince Priebus, Mr. Trump’s incoming chief of staff, appeared to backpedal on the idea after it was reported by Esquire magazine, saying that only the location of the press briefing room was being discussed and that the administration was merely considering a larger area to accommodate the hundreds of journalists seeking to cover Mr. Trump.

After that brief foray into stating what the Trump camp has actually said on the matter, we have this:

But for jittery Washington reporters, it was yet another salvo from an administration that has shown an unusual willingness to berate and belittle the news media, at the behest of a president-elect who has floated the idea of rolling back libel protections and, in a volcanic appearance last week, refused to take questions from CNN after it ran a story he did not like.

Forget about the press’s “unusual willingness to berate and belittle” Trump.

And—for anyone with a memory for events during the not-so-long-ago Obama administration—forget about Obama’s power plays on the press and in particular Fox News (see this), when Fox (practically alone among news outlets) ran stories he did not like. But his threats to the press began long before that, when during his 2008 Obama’s lawyer did this:

Straight out of the Democratic handbook Harry Reid used to threaten ABC’s broadcast license for showing the “Path to 9/11,” here’s Obama lawyer Robert Bauer warning station managers not to air the NRA’s new anti-Obama “Hunter” ad if they want to stay in the FCC’s good graces.

In the spring of 2010 I wrote an entire post on the subject of Obama’s power plays towards a press that still adored him. The title of the post was “Obama: the press’s abusive lover.” It’s a lengthy post with quite a few examples, and points out that “even the administration’s favorite reporters have been frozen out when they don’t toe the line.”

And remember, all of that was against a very friendly press.

[NOTE: Here’s a more fact-based report of what actually happened vis a vis this issue of where the Trump White House might put the press corps.]

January 16th, 2017

On Martin Luther King Day

{NOTE: This is a slightly-edited version of a previous post.]

I have some trouble with the hagiography of Martin Luther King. Yes, he was a great man who did a great thing for which he should be duly honored. He was an inspirational figure in the non-violent civil rights movement in this country, as well as a remarkable speaker, and a very brave man.

It was King’s strong personal qualities of leadership, and what George H.W. Bush might rightly call “the vision thing,” that enabled King to bring together so many people to peacefully demonstrate in furtherance of a lofty and necessary goal—that of ending discrimination against blacks in this country.

As for the more problematic aspects of his life—well, I think they can be summed up by saying that King was a flawed human being. In other words, a human being. Perhaps MLK himself would be the first to agree; he was a preacher, after all, and he knew a lot about human sin and error. It’s pretty much certain he was a philanderer as well as a plagiarist, and in later life he seemed to veer ever more leftward (some think that’s a feature, not a bug).

Does that diminish his achievement? I don’t think so. I’ve always been more interested in real human beings who accomplish great things despite their own weaknesses than I am in a pretended (and mostly unachievable) perfection.

[NOTE: One thing that’s long amazed me is that King was so young when he was assassinated. At the time I perceived him as an older man in his 50s, but he was actually a mere 39 years old. If he were alive today, he would only have just turned 88 yesterday.]

January 14th, 2017

Donald O’Connor, dancing up a storm

I’ve never been a big Donald O’Connor fan, but it’s about time I remedied that failing. This video (from the 1953 movie “Call Me Madam”) goes a long way towards converting me. It features Donald, supposedly drunk, making impossible moves with the easiest, most casual, most unstudied-seeming flair and grace, defiant of the laws of physics and the possibility of breaking his bones as things go crash! around him.

And what’s with his shoes and the balloons? Did he, a la Lotte Lenya in “From Russia With Love,” have a knife hidden in the front of each shoe?


As I watched that, I thought “vaudeville.” And sure enough, O’Connor was the child of vaudeville performers and got his start in the business. He also had a history of alcoholism in real life, but sobered up in 1978.

O’Connor’s Wiki entry says vaudeville. But this obituary for O’Connor is far more specific, and states that although vaudeville played a part, so did the circus:

Donald David Dixon Ronald O’Connor was born on August 28 1925 in Chicago, the youngest of seven in a family of acrobats. His father, who died when Donald was nine months old, was a circus strongman and one of the best-known “leapers” in the business: his star turn involved jumping over four elephants. Donald’s mother was a bareback rider and high-wire star who, her son claimed, was back on the tightrope two days after his birth.

Donald made his first public appearance when he was three days old. At 13 months he was drawing a salary for his part in the family act – playing a beach ball as his brothers threw him around the stage. He spent the whole of his childhood touring America with his family.

His elder brothers taught him their act, which involved ice-skating, sharp shooting and acrobatics. “My mother worried about me because I was the baby,” he recalled, “she always wanted me to stay at the bottom of the pyramid so that I wouldn’t fall.”…

Touring the vaudeville circuit, he met Judy Garland, who became a lifelong friend; but, he said, “Judy and kids like Mickey Rooney were being ‘groomed’ for success, while I was just a vaudevillian. I didn’t audition, I only did one act and if they liked it they hired me.”

By the mid-1930s, vaudeville was all but dead and Donald, now 12, began to look for a new career.

At twelve. A new career. I guess he found one.

January 14th, 2017

Obama’s well-timed and coordinated betrayal of Israel—and it may not be over yet

I suggest you read this excellent piece by Scott Johnson at Powerline. It’s a summary of what Obama actually accomplished in his seemingly-passive abstention in the Israel vote at the UN, and what it means for Israel.

Please read the whole thing. But I especially call your attention to this:

• The next act is the Orwellian-named “peace conference,” to be held in Paris on January 15. It has but one objective: to set the stage to eradicate Israel.

• In this new “Dreyfus trial,” the accused will be the only Jewish state and the accusers will be the OIC and officials from Islamized, dhimmified, anti-Israel Western states. As in the Dreyfus trial, the verdict has been decided before it even starts. Israel will be considered guilty of all charges and condemned. A draft of the declaration to be published at the end of the conference is already available. And another vote just happens to come up in the last days (literally) of Obama’s presidency…

• The declaration is most likely meant [to] serve as the basis for a new Security Council resolution on January 17 that would recognize a Palestinian state inside the “1967 borders,” and be adopted, thanks to a second US abstention, three days before Obama leaves office. The betrayal of Israel by the Obama administration and by Obama himself would then be complete.

How much of this will the new administration and new Congress be able to reverse? I don’t know.

In terms of the recent UN resolution on Israel/Palestine—the one that took place right before Chanukah and Christmas of 2016—the White House has denied the reports that it orchestrated that resolution rather than merely being a passive abstainer:

On the heels of the hotly contested resolution, which condemned Israel for building homes in its capital, Jerusalem, senior Obama administration officials, including Secretary of State John Kerry and Vice President Joe Biden, have been identified as leading the charge to ensure the anti-Israel measure won approval by the U.N. Security Council.

The administration’s denials of this charge broke down during the past several days as multiple reporters confirmed the Obama administration worked behind-the-scenes to help shape and forward the resolution.

Actually, I don’t see why everyone—both Obama supporters and opponents alike—wouldn’t just assume that this is exactly what occurred (or something very much like it). And I don’t see why everyone—both Obama supporters and opponents alike—wouldn’t just assume that the administration would lie about it after the fact.

This is the Obama pattern: work behind the scenes on something the majority doesn’t want, then deny it and lie about it.

Who on earth would be convinced that this resolution just happened to come up at this particular moment, and because it was so very different from previous ones the US decided to react by abstaining rather than vetoing it? Sure. And I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn…

For example, in 2011 Obama vetoed a resolution that was remarkably similar. There was nothing especially pressing about the recent one, or the one to come in January. There has been no special crisis occurring in Israel or Palestine at the moment.

The only thing that has occurred that is different right now is that Donald Trump was elected president and Obama will be leaving office on January 20. Obama is in a hurry and his window of opportunity was small.

Are we really to believe that it was just a coincidence that this resolution (or resolutions, if the second one occurs as well) just came up without any pushing by the US, and that it just happened to be during the seven or so weeks that constitute Obama’s sweet spot (lame duck) period for doing this? Are we really to believe this resolution had such different characteristics (objectively speaking) from previous ones Obama had vetoed, that this time it seemed like a great idea to let it pass? Are we really to believe that when Egypt (the original sponsor) withdrew it, New Zealand just felt so strongly about it that it just had to leap into the fray and bring it to a vote? That all of this happened with the Obama administration sitting on the sidelines, twiddling its collective thumbs and saying “well, whatever”?

Did Obama think his administration’s role in this would go unreported and unleaked? Maybe. I think he may have hoped for that, but he knew there was a risk of the truth coming out and he just didn’t care. After all, what is anyone going to do to him now? Impeach him? He has a goal, and he accomplished it: the vote went forward, and it will hurt Israel, Netanyahu, and even Donald Trump (or at least give the latter a big fat headache).

For some details on how Obama’s decision may have gone down, see this Wapo article:

Skeptics, including Vice President Biden, warned [there would be] fierce backlash [to the UN referendum] in Congress and in Israel itself. But most agreed that the time had come to take a stand.

“The time had come to take a stand” all right, but not because anything had significantly changed on the ground in Israel and Palestine. It was because time was about to run out for Obama:

The resolution’s sponsors, four countries in addition to Egypt, were determined to call a vote before Obama left office.

They’re not dumb. Nor is Obama.

And now I come to this sentence in the WaPo piece—basically, an admission of what I’ve been saying, and what is obvious anyway. But I’m surprised to see the WaPo say it on the record:

Israel had been a third rail of U.S. political debate for decades, but Obama, aides noted, never had to run for office again. He had nothing to lose.

The push seems to have started around September, in anticipation of a Clinton victory:

The first public hint of the move came in the heat of the U.S. presidential campaign in September, just after nominees Trump and Hillary Clinton held meetings with Netanyahu in New York. In an Israeli television interview, Dan Shapiro, U.S. ambassador to Israel, said Obama was “asking himself” about the best way to promote a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“This could be a statement we make or a resolution or an initiative at the U.N. . . . which contributes to an effort to be continued by the next administration,” he said.

Shapiro clearly anticipated a Clinton victory, reflecting thinking within the administration that if Obama took the heat for a critical statement or resolution, she would be in a better position to play the “good cop” and move Israel toward substantive negotiations. For her part, Clinton had expressed no interest in a resolution.

So, this wasn’t just about tying Trump’s hands; that effect was just an unexpected bonus. The Obama camp didn’t think that a Trump victory was at all likely (they certainly were not alone in this). But even in the event of the much-anticipated Clinton victory, they figured that they couldn’t count on Hillary to do it, so they had to squeeze this in before an inauguration no matter who was elected. But it absolutely had to be done after the election, so as not to jeopardize her chances by tainting her as a successor to Obama:

Trump’s Nov. 8 victory increased Israeli concern of a preemptive move by Obama…

I bet it did.

And rightly so.

January 14th, 2017

The war against the Trump inauguration goes on

Now Jennifer Holliday pulls out of her inauguration gig, apologizing to the LGBT Community for her “lapse of judgment” in agreeing in the first place.

This sort of thing is becoming more and more common. It’s “you’re either with us and do what we say or you’re against us and we’ll try to destroy you” for bastions of leftist open-mindedness such as the LGBT community (but not at all limited to it; this type of thinking is rampant on the left).

In reporting the story, the Daily Beast’s Kevin Fallon has this to say:

There’s no separating the booking of any of these stars from the fact that performing at the inauguration—any inauguration, sure, but especially this one—is a political act.

He doesn’t bother to say what’s so “especially” political about the act of performing at this particular inauguration. But let’s not worry about that, because I take issue with the entire statement. Any performer is free to choose to perform or not perform at any inauguration if asked, of course. If Hudson doesn’t want to do this for any reason whatsoever, that’s fine with me. But I disagree with the notion that performing at an inauguration is a political (as in partisan political) act.

Maybe it has become one. Maybe it always was, for all I know. I can’t say I’ve followed this particular issue at all. But it shouldn’t be.

Performing at a party convention—now, that’s a political act. That indicates support for that party and that nominee. But an inauguration is by definition for all of us. Once a president has been elected—and this was drummed into us kids when I was a child—that president would be president of everyone. We would unite ranks around that president in order to assure all the factions in the country and the world that we were living up to our motto of e pluribus unum.

Those days are gone. At least, they’re gone on the left. Does the right do this? I can’t recall it. When Obama was inaugurated, did anyone drop out? Or did he (or whoever does the inviting for these things) only invite Democrats?

You know the answer without even looking it up, of course (here’s a list, though). Thing is, most performers are already on the liberal side and would be (and were) very happy to perform for Obama. Not so for any Republican, and certainly not so for Trump.

[ADDENDUM: Apparently, Jennifer Holliday tried very hard to set down the principle I described in the post:

Holliday on Friday had defended the decision to sing at the inauguration, telling the Associated Press that she saw the performance as “singing for the people.”

“I didn’t see it as singing for Trump; I saw it as singing for the people on the mall,” Holliday said.

While Holliday voted for Hillary Clinton, the actress received scrutiny after the Inaugural Committee said Friday that she would be among several performers at the “Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration.”

“It just really made my heart drop to my feet,” she told the news service.

“How could I have this much hate spewing at me, and I haven’t even done anything? I guess it’s not like those old days when political views were your own and you had freedom of speech. … We live in a different time now and a decision to go and do something for America is not so clear-cut anymore.”

Holliday wasn’t just shocked at the hate she received. She was intimidated, and she recanted.

What a sad story. You know what? I give Holliday points for at least trying. Not everyone can keep being a profile in courage against the mob.]

January 14th, 2017

Silencing Legal Insurrection at YouTube

As a contributor to the Legal Insurrection blog, I have a special interest in the attempt that’s presently going on to silence Legal Insurrection from reporting through YouTube videos on hearings connected with the BDS movement. Here’s the story as reported by Professor William Jacobson, the head of LI:

YouTube took down Legal Insurrection’s Channel without any prior notice based on “multiple third-party claims of copyright infringement,” but we never received any claims of infringement.

We have lost hundreds of videos, including a lot of original content on important news subjects. You now will see disabled videos in hundreds of our posts…

[The LI YouTube account was then re-instated.]

UPDATE 1-13-2017 9:50 a.m. — I just received notice from YouTube that the copyright claims were filed by the Modern Language Association based on excerpts of audio of pro- and anti-Israel speakers at the MLA Annual Meeting we reported on in this post, Massive DEFEAT for BDS at Modern Language Association.

We intend to fight this both at the YouTube and legal level. It is highly questionable that MLA owns the copyright for oral presentations at the Annual Meeting, and even if it did, the limited excerpts we used from the nearly 2-hour video posted by MLA on YouTube are well-within fair use. What I think is really going on here is that anti-Israel activists at MLA complained to MLA that MLA had posted the audio on YouTube. MLA took down its own 2-hour video and now seeks to silence our reporting.

I will certainly be following this.

About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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MudvilleGazette (milblog central)
NoPasaran! (behind French facade)
NormanGeras (principled leftist)
OneCosmos (Gagdad Bob’s blog)
PJMedia (comprehensive)
PointOfNoReturn (Jewish refugees)
Powerline (foursight)
ProteinWisdom (wiseguy)
QandO (neolibertarian)
RachelLucas (in Italy)
RogerL.Simon (PJ guy)
SecondDraft (be the judge)
SeekerBlog (inquiring minds)
SisterToldjah (she said)
Sisu (commentary plus cats)
Spengler (Goldman)
TheDoctorIsIn (indeed)
Tigerhawk (eclectic talk)
VictorDavisHanson (prof)
Vodkapundit (drinker-thinker)
Volokh (lawblog)
Zombie (alive)

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