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The Slaughter of Innocents May Continue, But They are Losing the Fight

 

I wasn’t shocked when I saw this from LifeNews, “For Every 1,000 Babies Born, New York City Kills 544 Babies in Abortions.” Over one-third of pregnancies in New York City ends in the killing of the child. I wasn’t shocked because I knew NYC was the abortion capital of the US as far as a single city goes. And that’s not good enough. The Dems have taken over both Houses of the legislature in NY State now and fully intend to expand abortions if that is physically possible.

On Monday, Governor Andrew Cuomo and former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton joined forces at a Barnard College rally to promote the Reproductive Health Act (RHA). As Jack Crowe reported for National Review, Cuomo has “no doubt” that conservative justices will enable the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 case that legalized abortion at the a federal level. If that happens, the RHA will fortify abortion right in New York state law.

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ACF #23: Blow Out

 

Folks, here’s the completion of my trilogy with John Presnall on liberalism confronted with technological surveillance: Brian De Palma’s Blow Out, which puts together image and sound, Antonioni’s Blow-Up and Coppola’s The Conversation, turning these theoretical studies of art and technology into a practical matter — where does art stand to corrupt politics in our world.

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Your Prom Date Is Here

 

We’ve all been told you can’t judge a book by its cover even when sometimes you most certainly can. Unfortunately the victims of this sexual predator didn’t have the pleasure or the advance warning of seeing this man’s face, many had only heard his voice, often his impersonated feminine voice, when they responded to his phone calls for babysitting services, cleaning services, taxi services, or real estate (presumably on the pretext that he wanted to sell his home).

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Bathroom Blues Redux

 

A few days ago, I wrote about my mother’s lavatory renovation project. Probably close to ten years later, my father was finally ready to renovate the lavatory himself. A lot had happened in the meantime. For one thing, my mother had finally decided her children were old enough that she could divorce my father and she moved out. My father had reached retirement age and qualifications. Given he was a police sergeant, that wasn’t as hard as for some occupations. He only needed to be at least fifty years of age and have more than twenty years on the force. He had been counting down the days until he could retire. And then he stayed on the force about another five years. However, in preparing to retire, he wanted to find a small town like the place he had grown up and retire there. He started looking for such a town, taking his weekends and vacations to find a place he liked.

He also started preparing the house to be sold. Part of this meant getting through the backlog of renovation projects and repainting things. It so happened that I was unemployed at the time. The job market was not terribly hot. I had been applying a lot of places but had yet to get any bites. So, I got to stay with him and help with repainting the house and conducting appropriate renovations.

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I Just Wanted to Get Out of the House: On Trying to Write in Coffee Shops

 

One of my favorite writerly fantasies — besides producing a perfect masterpiece following a montage in which I am alternately writing furiously and crumpling up my drafts in frustration until reading that one draft that provides the inspirational breakthrough — is the idea of spending a weekend afternoon working away in a coffee shop to produce a lovely, near-perfect draft of an essay or short story. I’ll find a quiet table in a sunny but not-too-hot corner, and periodically I will glance up from my work to take a sip of my coffee, neither too hot nor too cold, and watch the people outside the window before resuming my work. 

Let’s be real, though. It hardly ever works out that way.

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Fear of Corbyn and the Brussels Sugar Candy Mountain

 

For one brief moment, Britain found itself. They tossed Theresa May’s idiotic ‘deal’ into the garbage can voting 432 to 202, a crushing defeat. No British government had ever lost a vote by a margin this big. Then only one day later Britain completely lost it and resisted the vote of no confidence put forward by Corbyn clinging to the grotesque leadership of Theresa May by a slim margin of 325-306.

What happened? The same thing that has been happening all along. When a concrete proposal of a pseudo-compromise Brexit is put forward everyone sees the threat it poses and backs away. As soon as the threat is lifted two rather disgusting traits are revealed. First, an inordinate fear of the electability of Jeremy Corbyn. Jeremy Corbyn has no appeal to those who normally vote conservative and he splits his own Labor voters. Corbyn is the weakest of challengers. Yet, everyone acts as if this rather unappetizing character could stand against Boris. Ridiculous. Second, the Brussels Sugar Candy Mountain emerges again. After the disgusting display of EU conniving that pushed May into her pathetic sellout, somehow the absurd delusion that you can get a good deal from the EU once again fogs the minds of so many in Parliament. You can’t make a good deal with a bad guy. The EU is a bad guy and everyone in Europe knows it by now. Somehow the goofy idea that the EU would treat Britain fairly only resides amongst the British.

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February Summit on Clerical Sexual Abuse: The Inaction of a Corrupt Church

 

Back in September of 2018, I reported on the call by Pope Francis to have the presidents of the Catholic Church’s bishops conferences meet in Rome in February 2019 to deal with the clerical sexual abuse crisis in the Church. Today, the Vatican released new details on this summit:

The February Meeting on the protection of minors has a concrete purpose: the goal is that all of the Bishops clearly understand what they need to do to prevent and combat the worldwide problem of the sexual abuse of minors. Pope Francis knows that a global problem can only be resolved with a global response. The Pope wants it to be an assembly of Pastors, not an academic conference – a meeting characterized by prayer and discernment, a catechetical and working gathering.

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Best Rock Song Ever

 

Fred Cole (@fredcole) thinks the best rock song is “White Room” by Cream for some reason. Jon Gabriel (@jon) said he’d only ever heard The KLF song titled “White Room.” I listened to both and now I want to go BASE jumping without a parachute.

I say “Unforgiven” by Metallica is much better, although it’s not even necessarily my favorite Metallica song (“Whiskey in the Jar” is high on my list). You see, Fred and I obviously have a difference in opinion when it comes to music. He seems like easy listening soft rock, while I prefer to listen to good music.

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Brexit Exit

 

View original artwork here.

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Quote of the Day: We Were Becoming Like Them … All Talkers and No Workers

 

For my first QotD, I’m going to post a long one. This is Sauk warrior Black Hawk’s surrender speech, given in 1832 after the last of his warriors were defeated at the Bad Axe River in what is now Wisconsin. This defeat marked the end of the Black Hawk War that had been fought across the Illinois territory, and largely ended effective armed Indian resistance in the Great Lakes. He is memorialized in numerous ways in Illinois and Wisconsin, in brands, plaques, statues and place names, even lending his name and likeness to a somewhat famous Chicago hockey team.

I haven’t found a satisfactory resource online about the War, but I will mention briefly that it was fought (as one might guess) over government resettlement plans. Black Hawk did not acknowledge the authority of the Sauk negotiators to sell off a swath of land to the United States in the 1804 Treaty of St. Louis, and took his supporters on the warpath in 1832. He surrendered at Prairie du Chien in August of that year.

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Today in History: Barack Tops Pablo

 

Today is the third anniversary of a particularly proud moment US history in which our President Obama smashed Pablo Escobar’s personal record for most cash plastic-wrapped on shipping palettes in a single delivery. Four hundred million dollars in mixed currencies arrived in Tehran at the same time that the departure of a plane with four Americans held hostage was coincidentally delayed.

Critics of Mr. Obama said that this was a cash-for-hostages arrangement. However, in fairness, the Obama Administration had already agreed to surrender $1.7 billion in frozen funds in exchange for Iran’s acceptance of the US dropping all sanctions and leverage of any kind over Iran’s nuclear weapons program. (Is John Kerry a tough-minded genius or what?)

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Russian Collusion and Active Measures

 

I spent most of my 30 years in the FBI dealing with counterintelligence. I have been retired for 20 years and have no inside information. My comments are based on facts reported in the news.

The idea that the FBI opened a counterintelligence case on facts that led them to believe President Trump was an agent of Russian Intelligence is an interesting one. What could have been the predication that was sufficient to set this in motion in the FBI? I think it is possible there was more to this than some short-sighted bureaucrats striking out against a person they regarded as a political enemy.

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Book Review: Thomas Cromwell, from Commoner to Britain’s Principal Nobleman

 

Today, many confuse Thomas Cromwell with his distant descendant, Oliver Cromwell. Others were introduced to him in C. J. Sansom’s first two Matthew Shardlake’s historical mystery novels as Henry VIII’s chief, but sinister adviser.

“Thomas Cromwell: A Revolutionary Life,” by Diarmaid MacCulloch is a biography of Cromwell who, when remembered is credited with the dissolution of church properties and, along with Thomas Cramner, as one of the twin pillars of Britain’s Protestant Reformation.

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Gillette Is Not Wrong

 

Is the new Gillette razor ad a radical feminist attack on masculinity – the commercial embodiment of a woke sensibility? I was prepared to think so. But having watched it twice, I find a lot to like. The ad has been panned by some conservative commentators. With all due respect, I think they are falling into a trap. They seem to have accepted the feminist framing. Feminists see culture as a Manichean struggle. It’s women versus men. Women are benign and men are malign. For society to progress, men must change. We must extirpate “toxic masculinity.”

Understandably, this rubs conservatives the wrong way. I’ve risen to the defense of masculinity many times myself. But is the Gillette ad really “the product of mainstream radicalized feminism—and emblematic of Cultural Marxism,” as Turning Point USA’s Candace Owen put it? Is it part of “a war on masculinity in America,” as Todd Starnes argued on Fox News?

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Trump, Don’t Listen to Pelosi: Give the State of the Union to the People

 

Newly-gaveled Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has sent a letter to President Donald Trump asking him to postpone the State of the Union address until after the partial government shutdown ends, or at least submit it in writing. I strongly disagree with Pelosi.

Pelosi’s stated reason is that the Secret Service can’t protect the president from his mortal enemies in the Congress due to the partial government shutdown. This is baloney. Pelosi’s real fear is that Trump will use the State of the Union to blast the intransigent Democrats for their refusal to protect American citizens and that Trump will do so effectively.

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Trump, Listen to Pelosi: End the State of the Union

 

On Wednesday, the new House Speaker asked President Trump to postpone his State of the Union address until the government shutdown is resolved — or simply to submit it in writing. For once, I agree with Nancy Pelosi.

Pelosi’s stated concern is that the Secret Service and Department of Homeland Security isn’t currently being funded. Understaffed security means that they can’t protect the President. (From House Democrats, presumably.) Anti-Trump hysteria already killed the White House Correspondents’ Dinner; if it also kills the pretentious pageantry of the SOTU, all the better.

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Border Wall Bill

 

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“Emergency” Renovation

 

As Mark Davis says, “Trump makes everyone better.” Well, maybe not the sad section of the “conservative” commentariat driven mad by the Great Big Ugly Man, but his administration has been a refiner’s fire for lifer politicians like “Cocaine Mitch” and Lindsey Grahamnesty. In the same way, his presence has unmasked the long-hidden corruption of our federal law-enforcement and intelligence community, last disinfected in the mid-1970s by the Church Committee. Now, President Trump’s threat — to use two laws (not a pen and a phone), passed in the 1970s and 1980s, to legally reallocate particular current appropriated funds — is sparking a renewed interest in reforming national emergency authority. More goodness!

There are real concerns, from multiple points in political space, about presidents being granted, or asserting, “emergency” powers. Many real concerns seem to arise from confusing language, prompting misunderstanding. All the real concerns should be distinguished from false claims, like those of Sen. Marco Rubio, a member of the original illegal alien amnesty “Gang of 8.” His posture of worry about what a future Democratic president will do is a howling fraud, both because he knows everything we will review below, and because he has proven himself allergic to real border and immigration control. Likewise, we may discount CNN, the paper dying in darkness, and all those poor souls discombobulated by the Great Big Ugly Man. Setting all the false fears aside, let us consider the real concerns.

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Chris Christie Is Mad He Wasn’t Invited to the Party

 

According to reporting, a new book by former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie isn’t taking any prisoners:

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