From Around the Blogroll

Awww, the Democrats are upset!

Trump’s ‘Pocahontas’ attack leaves fellow Republicans squirming (again)

By Matea Gold, Karoun Demirjian and Mike DeBonis | June 10 at 10:19 PM

It was a bad time for Sen. Cory Gardner to be caught in an elevator with a reporter. Donald Trump had just referred to Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts as ­“Pocahontas” — again — and the Republican freshman from Colorado was struggling to figure out how to respond.

“I think people need to be treated with respect, and that’s what we’ve demanded from everyone,” he offered.

But was it racist?

Gardner clammed up. He politely referred further questions to his press secretary.

So it went for Republicans on Capitol Hill on Friday, forced to contend with yet another provocative comment by their presumptive presidential nominee — clambering for safety as Trump launched another boundary-pushing attack.

Why, I have to ask, is it a “boundary-pushing attack?” Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), potentially Hillary Clinton’s running mate, claimed to be of distant American Indian descent1 to try to get a leg up in previous jobs for which she applied. The Washington Post, among others, noted her very questionable claim, and her use of it:

The Boston Herald reported in April that Warren had listed herself as a minority in the American Association of Law Schools directory and that Harvard Law School had touted her supposed lineage when the program faced doubts about faculty diversity.

Senator Warren was doing what would be expected of a liberal: trying to use an Affirmative Actin claim to get ahead, when she’s every bit as Caucasian as I am.2

Not that that is her only hypocrisy: after criticizing Mr Trump for using the financial problems of others to make money, it was more widely revealed that Dr Warren and her husband had been doing the same thing, snatching up foreclosed homes to make a quick profit flipping them. Mr Trump referring to her as “Pocahontas” is simply shining a light on the uncomfortable truth concerning Senator Warren.

And now, on to the blogroll!

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  1. I do not use the term “native American” to refer to American Indians, because, as an American citizen born in the United States, I am a native American, as is anyone born in the United States.
  2. Supposedly, we’re all at least 20th cousins.

Built Ford logo Tough!

From The Wall Street Journal:

GM Targets Ford Pickup in Marketing Blitz

New advertising campaign contrasts durability of Silverado pickup truck to Ford’s F-150

By Mike Spector, Christina Rogers and Gautham Nagesh | June 8, 2016 1:32 p.m. ET

Facing slowing sales of its Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck and other models, General Motors Co. launched a broadside against Ford Motor Co. that questions the durability of its crosstown rival’s most profitable vehicle.

In a marketing blitz on Wednesday, Chevrolet said lab tests and other demonstrations show the Silverado’s high-strength steel bed better withstands damage than the stamped aluminum bed in Ford’s F-150 pickup truck.

GM ads show loaders dumping concrete blocks in both beds, punching holes in the F-150’s bed while only scratching and denting the high-strength steel bed of the Silverado. The demonstrations were done without bed liners protecting the trucks.

“When you’re the market leader for 39 years, competitors sometimes try to take shots at you with marketing stunts,” a Ford spokesman said. He added that the F-150’s “high-strength, military grade, aluminum alloy cargo box” provides leading strength, durability and corrosion resistance, among other benefits.

My 2010 Ford F-150. Yes, it’s a bit dirty, and yes, it has scratches and dents, but it’s a work truck. Click to enlarge. Photo by Dana R Pico.

There’s more at the link.

I bought a 2000 F-150 new, and kept it for 192,000 miles; the only reason I traded it in was that a move to a snowier winter climate necessitated a 4-wheel drive truck.1 I then bought, new, a 2010 F-150, 4WD. I’ve had it 6 years, put 110,000 miles on it, and it’s still in great shape. Yeah, it has some scratches and dents, because I use my truck as a truck, not a car.

I’ve had to change the ball joints once, but ball joints are a wear part. I did have to change a door motor to channel hot air to the heater when it failed, along with one headlight. I’ve not had to make any major repairs to either F-150, and I maintain the vehicle myself, doing really radical things like changing the oil and filters when they need to be changed.

I have not tested or considered the new F-150s with the aluminum construction for one simple reason: I have another ten years, or more, of life in the truck that I have now, and I see no reason to buy a new truck.

The difference between Chevy (and Dodge) and Ford? Chevy and Dodge make pickups, but Ford builds trucks!2
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  1. In some ways, I preferred the older truck: it had a six-cylinder engine and a five-speed manual transmission. The 2010 has an eight-cylinder engine and an automatic transmission, but you’re just not going to find a six and standard in a 4WD truck.
  2. This article is a testimonial, not a paid advertisement.

The Brock Turner case

By now, everyone has heard of Brock Turner, the Stanford University swimmer who sexually assaulted a passed out woman beside a dumpster. Mr Turner’s father, Dan Turner, wrote to the judge, asking for leniency for his son, saying in part that a jail sentence would be “a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action out of his 20 years of life.”

Naturally, the media have been all over this, and outrage has ensued. I can understand that the father would be far more concerned about his son than he is about the victim, but I want to focus on the elder Mr Turner in another way. What he wrote was insensitive — to say no more — but the real problem is that the elder Mr Turner didn’t rear his son properly. He wouldn’t have had to have pleaded for leniency for his son had he brought up his son not to be a rapist!

It’s that simple. Mr Turner either came across a passed out woman, or walked with her when she passed out, and rather than taking care of her and protecting her from harm, which is what a real man would do, he partially undressed her and molested her. Only the fact that two real men passed by and saw what he was doing, broke it up, chased the younger Mr Turner down when he tried to flee, and held him until the police arrived, prevented things from possibly becoming much worse.

What would Brock Turner have done had those two young men not come along? He’d probably have molested her even worse, and then, again, probably, having gotten away with his crime, just left her there, unconscious, beside a dumpster, completely vulnerable to whatever else might have happened to her.

Yes, Brock Turner was drunk; so what? Had Dan Turner brought him up to be a man, the sick idea that he ought to molest an unconscious woman would never have occurred to him. He’d have called 911, or done something, to protect her, not raped her.

The younger Mr Turner is damned lucky to have gotten only six months in the county jail; the prosecution had asked for six years, and even that was too lenient. But his father ought to be in jail, in an adjoining cell, for not teaching his son right from wrong.

Silence from the supposedly professional media

Where, I wonder, are the liberal media, the ones who support ‘transgenderism’ as some sort of civil rights issue rather than the mental illness that it is?

High School Boy Wins All-State Honors In Girls Track And Field

by Peter Hasson | 2:29 PM 06/03/2016

High school girls in Alaska are crying foul after a male sprinter took home all-state honors in girls’ track and field. According to local reports, it was the first time in Alaskan history that a male athlete competed in the girls’ state championships.

Haines senior Nattaphon Wangyot–who self-identifies as a girl–advanced to the state finals in the 100-meter and 200-meter events. He won fifth place in the 100-meter dash and third place in the 200-meter. In both events, he competed against girls as young as ninth grade.

One of the girls Wangyot beat out for a slot at the state meet, Hutchison runner Emma Daniels, took issue with allowing a male athlete to compete in girls events.

“I’m glad that this person is comfortable with who they are and they’re able to be happy in who they are, but I don’t think it’s competitively completely 100-percent fair,” she told a local CBS station.

Another runner, Peyton Young (who competed in a different event) took a similar position. “I don’t know what’s politically correct to say, but in my opinion your gender is what you’re born with,” she told the Alaska Dispatch News.

“It’s the DNA. Genetically a guy has more muscle mass than a girl, and if he’s racing against a girl, he may have an advantage.”

There’s more at the original.

A google search for Nattaphon Wangyot resulted in two, just two, articles from anything like the national media, the high school sports section of USA Today, for such a groundbreaking story.1 The primary sources found were from a few conservative sites, and local news in Alaska.

The New York Times is always one of the first to report stories the editors believe promote ‘transgender’ people, always just oh-so-supportive. But when the local athletics associations allow a ‘transgender girl’ — meaning: a biological male who ‘self-identifies’ as a girl — to compete in girls’ athletics, and runs away — pun most definitely intended — with all-state honors, because he is a boy competing against girls! we see nothing from The New York Times or The Washington Post or The Los Angeles Times.  A site search at nytimes.com, just to confirm that I hadn’t missed something in the google search, returned no matching articles. A site search for transgender returned two pages of articles, mostly concerning allowing the ‘transgendered’ to use the public restrooms and locker rooms of their ‘gender identity’ rather than their biological sex.

How, exactly, are we supposed to have any confidence that The New York Times is the unbiased source that the editors tell us it is, when they ignore some news that is very fit to print?

The answer is: we can’t! It used to be said that, in any argument, if one party could cite a story from The New York Times which supported his contention, that side won. Today? If I said, a boy was allowed to compete in the Alaska girls’ state championships, I couldn’t prove it if I had to cite the Times as a source.
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  1. Google search at 0807 EDT on Monday, June 6, 2016. I went through the first three pages of results.

Rule 5 Blogging: Basic Combat Training at Fort Jackson

It’s the weekend and time, once again, for THE FIRST STREET JOURNAL’S version of Rule 5 Blogging. Robert Stacey Stacy McCain described Rule 5 as putting pictures of pretty women somewhat déshabillé, but, on this site, our Rule 5 Blogging doesn’t put up pictures of Kate Hudson in her summer clothes, but women, in full military gear, serving their countries in the armed forces. The terribly sexist authors on this site celebrate strong women, women who can take care of themselves and take care of others, women who have been willing to put their lives on the line in some not-so-friendly places, women who truly do have the “We can do it!” attitude.

The Delta Dragons conducted Buddy Team Live Fire Exercise. In this exercise, they were expected to shoot, move, and communicate in paired teams as they completed each exercise. Click any photo to enlarge.

Continue reading ‘Rule 5 Blogging: Basic Combat Training at Fort Jackson’ »

From Around the Blogroll

Via Robert Stacey Stacy McCain:

Social science professor defends stereotypes — says many are accurate

Kate Hardiman – University of Notre Dame • May 31, 2016

Professor: There’s zero scientific evidence for scholarly claims of ‘stereotype inaccuracy’

A Rutgers University social science professor set out to research how stereotypes are inaccurate so he could proclaim and promote that to the world with hard scientific data – but eventually made a startling discovery: most stereotypes are accurate.

Scholarly claims of “stereotype inaccuracy” are baseless, Dr. Lee Jussim told The College Fix in an interview.

“When I first began my research, I had assumed all those social scientists declaring stereotypes to be inaccurate were right, so I wanted to know the basis for those claims,” he said. “I would track down the source in an attempt to get the evidence. And slowly, over many years, I made a startling discovery – claims of stereotype inaccuracy were based on nothing.”

In other words, scholars who claim stereotype inaccuracy do not offer citations to a source providing the evidence, or never provide scientific support for their claims.

“As I read more of the literature on stereotypes, I discovered this pattern was pervasive,” Jussim told The Fix. “Every article or book that declared stereotypes to be inaccurate either similarly cited no source, or ended in an identical dead end via a slightly different route.”

There’s more at the original. A stereotype is defined as a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing, and it should go without saying — but, of course, I have to say it anyway — that not every individual within the stereotyped group will fit the stereotype.

However, there is not some Official Stereotyping Office, run by evil cisheterosexual white men, which assigns stereotypes. Rather, stereotypes are the accumulated wisdom of a large group of people, over time. Those stereotypes may be passed down from one generation to the next, but they involve not some deliberate attempt to mischaracterize some group, but simply the observations of people. If one particular group, American Jews for example, is stereotyped as being hard-working and studious, it is because a very significant number of American Jews have been hard-working and studious, enough that it has been noticed.

Jews, at least Jews in European urban settings, happened to be more financially successful than other groups, and Adolf Hitler was only the most extreme of the Europeans who used the Jews’ success, and the commonly-held view that the Jews were somehow ‘different’ from everyone else, to stir up anti-Semitism to a fever pitch, and attack the Jews based on the notion that they were, as a group, duplicitous, felonious and traitorous. If urban Jews in Europe were more successful than average, it must have been because they somehow stole their wealth or cheated other people; in that attitude, the anti-Semites were no different from the Communists, who held that the capitalist class stole their wealth and robbed other people to become rich.

We cannot stop individuals from holding stereotypes; as much as the left would like to change it, people’s thoughts cannot be controlled. However, the Third Reich is the most blatant example, though hardly the only one, of what happens when we put stereotypes into official government policy: the anti-Semitism of European governments before 1933 was persistent and pervasive, before der Führer came to power.

Yet, if the history of using stereotypes as a basis for government policy has not been a good or healthy thing, then we must consider the very big stereotype that is at the basis of American government policy, the stereotype that black Americans are all somehow disadvantaged by the history of slavery and Jim Crow, and therefore all black Americans must be given the benefits of Affirmative Action.

Let’s not kid ourselves here: Affirmative Action is a government program — and sometimes private sector program, but one certainly encouraged by the government — to treat people differently, based upon their race or ethnicity, due to a stereotype, and is different only in what type of discrimination and stereotyping is used, rather than different in kind from the Nuremberg Laws of the Third Reich.

And now, on to the blogroll!

Liberal hypocrisy: the left warn us about air conditioning spreading worldwide from their already air conditioned offices

From The Washington Post, via William Teach of The Pirate’s Cove:

The world is about to install 700 million air conditioners. Here’s what that means for the climate

By Chris Mooney and Brady Dennis | May 31, 2016

As summer temperatures finally settle in, many in the United States take it for granted that they can dial down the thermostat: Americans use 5 percent of all of their electricity cooling homes and buildings. In many other countries, however — including countries in much hotter climates — air conditioning is still a relative rarity. But as these countries boom in wealth and population, and extend electricity to more people even as the climate warms, the projections are clear: They are going to install mind-boggling amounts of air conditioning, not just for comfort but as a health necessity.

That’s already happened in some places. In just 15 years, urban areas of China went from just a few percentage points of air conditioning penetration to exceeding 100 percent — “i.e. more than one room air conditioner (AC) per urban household,” according to a recent report on the global AC boom by researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. And air conditioner sales are now increasing in India, Indonesia and Brazil by between 10 and 15 percent per year, the research noted. India, a nation of 1.25 billion people, had just 5 percent air conditioning penetration in the year 2011.

study last year similarly found “a close relationship between household income and air conditioner adoption, with ownership increasing 2.7 percentage points per $1,000 of annual household income.” For Mexico in particular, it therefore projected a stupendous growth of air conditioning over the 21st century, from 13 percent of homes having it  to 71 to 81 percent of homes.

“We expect that the demand for cooling as economies improve, particularly in hot climates, is going to be an incredible driver of electricity requirements,” U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said in an interview.

In most ways, of course, this is a very good thing: Protecting people from intense heat — a town in India this month saw temperatures exceed 123 degrees Fahrenheit — is essential for their health and well-being. It’s just that it’s going to come with a huge energy demand, and potentially huge carbon emissions to boot.

Overall, the Berkeley report projects that the world is poised to install 700 million air conditioners by 2030, and 1.6 billion of them by 2050. In terms of electricity use and greenhouse gas emissions, that’s like adding several new countries to the world.

Highway workers change a speed limit sign from 70 mph to the new federally-mandated limit of 55 mph on February 12, 1974. The double-nickel was eventually done away with, as the public voted against it, in huge numbers, with their right feet.

There’s more at the original, but I remember back when President Nixon signed into law a national speed limit of 55 MPH. I had cut out an image of a 55 MPH speed limit sign from the Lexington Herald and taped it to the windshield post of my 1962 Ford Fairlane that I had been able to get to a maximum of 98 MPH, going downhill, in the previously no-speed-limit area of Elko, Nevada, in the summer of 1972. I was trying for 100 MPH, but the straight six and three-on-the-tree car I had bought for $400 just wouldn’t do it. My reaction to the 55 MPH speed limit was that, if the government really needed to curtail gasoline use, it should prohibit automobile air conditioners. The Department of energy says that “Operating the air conditioner on “Max” can reduce MPG by roughly 5%–25% compared to not using it,” and that:

Running your car’s air conditioning is the main contributor to reduced fuel economy in hot weather. Its effect depends on a number of factors, such as the outside temperature, humidity, and intensity of the sun. Under very hot conditions, AC use can reduce a conventional vehicle’s fuel economy by more than 25%. The AC’s effect on hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and electric vehicles (EVs) can be even larger on a percentage basis.

Did the limousine liberals propose banning automobile air conditioning? Not no, but Hell, no, because that would have made them share in the discomfort of a hot, sweaty drive. My Fairlane didn’t have air conditioning, so naturally, my idea wouldn’t have hurt me in the slightest. The Post article doesn’t talk about restricting the use or growth of air conditioning, but forcing increased efficiency of new air conditioning systems. But that has been on the agenda already, for decades now, as appliances of all types are becoming more energy efficient . . . and expensive.

I suppose that it is easy for Messrs Mooney and Dennis to write about such things, from their already air-conditioned offices.

Donald Trump picks up a major endorsement Yeah, this one will help him!

You just can’t make up this stuff!

North Korea says Trump isn’t screwy at all, a wise choice for president

Jack Kim | June 1, 2016

North Korea has backed presumptive U.S. Republican nominee Donald Trump, with a propaganda website praising him as “a prescient presidential candidate” who can liberate Americans living under daily fear of nuclear attack by the North.

A column carried on Tuesday by DPRK Today, one of the reclusive and dynastic state’s mouthpieces, described Trump as a “wise politician” and the right choice for U.S. voters in the Nov. 8 U.S. presidential election.

It described his most likely Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, as “thick-headed Hillary” over her proposal to apply the Iran model of wide sanctions to resolve the nuclear weapons issue on the Korean peninsula.

Trump instead has told Reuters he was prepared to talk to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to try to stop Pyongyang’s nuclear program, and that China should also help solve the problem.

North Korea, known officially as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), is under U.N. sanctions over its past nuclear tests. South Korea and the United States say its calls for dialog are meaningless until it takes steps to end its nuclear ambitions.

DPRK Today also said Trump’s suggestion that the United States should pull its troops from South Korea until Seoul pays more was the way to achieve Korean unification.

“It turns out that Trump is not the rough-talking, screwy, ignorant candidate they say he is, but is actually a wise politician and a prescient presidential candidate,” said the column, written by a China-based Korean scholar identified as Han Yong Muk.

There’s more at the link, but the DPRK is absolutely right: the United States pulling its troops is one sure way to achieve Korean unification!

I’m fairly sure that, as President, Donald Trump wouldn’t be stupid enough to pull American troops out of South Korea.

In other news, it seems as though the only fat guy in North Korea is gaining weight.

Shaking in my work boots

From The Wall Street Journal:

Donald Trump Warns Republicans Who Don’t Support Him

Presumptive GOP nominee says he has given $5.6 million to veterans organizations

By Reid J. Epstein | Updated May 31, 2016 1:14 p.m. ET

Donald Trump said Tuesday he would continue to attack fellow Republicans who don’t endorse his presidential campaign, adding to his difficulties uniting elites in the party he now leads.

Speaking at a news conference in New York, which came after reports in several news outlets that Mr. Trump hadn’t delivered on the $6 million he repeatedly said would be donated to veterans groups, he touted giving $5.6 million to veterans organizations. The GOP standard-bearer in the same breath insisted the party is unifying behind him and signaled he will be harsh with Republicans not backing his campaign.

“The real story is how fast we’re getting together,” Mr. Trump said. “Now, if I have a Republican that is not on my side, I’m not going to…why should I be particularly nice to that person?”

Mr. Trump’s remarks came during a remarkably contentious news conference, during which he repeatedly questioned the credibility of the news media, including addressing one network television correspondent as “sleazy.”

Mr. Trump last week came under fire from Republicans for his unprovoked attack on New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, the party’s highest elected Hispanic woman. Mr. Trump said Tuesday that other Republicans who haven’t backed him should expect similar treatment.

“You know what, why should I be nice to that person?” Mr. Trump said of Republicans who don’t back him. “If I have a person that’s not going to support me, I have no obligation. Politically, I might be right, I might be wrong, but that’s who I am.”

The presumptive nominee—who barreled through his party’s primary calendar by attacking his opponents—said that if elected president, he would continue to behave the same toward the press if he is aggrieved by reporting.

There’s more at the original.

Of course, The First Street Journal is a smaller-than-small potatoes blog, and I’m certain that we’ll go wholly unnoticed by the Trump campaign, but I have to say, that Mr Trump’s threat that he will be “harsh” with me for not backing his campaign doesn’t seem like much of a problem. But, for a guy trying to win the support of better-known Republicans, telling them that they had better support him, or else, probably isn’t the wisest move. He can’t fire Senator Ted Cruz, and he can’t fire a lot of Republicans who don’t support him.