Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Just a Second

TRIGGER WARNING:  Someone messing with time.
For John, BLUFIt has already happened.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

I picked this up from my niece, out in California.

On June 30th at 11:59:59 PM (UTC), the atomic clocks willdid add an extra second to the day.

Here is a way to spend that extract second:

Click here to waste that time with a randomly selected, single-second video.
Regards  —  Cliff

The NYT Ducks

TRIGGER WARNING:  Wherein I mention the Charlie Hebdo cartoons.
For John, BLUFIt is hypocrites, all the way down.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Mr Jim Treacher, writing for the "DC TRAWLER" portion of The Daily Caller gives us "The NYT Doesn’t Publish Religiously Offensive Images, Except When They Offend Christians".

That is a pretty insulting headline.  Of course part of the problem is if we think Christians can actually be insulted.  On the one hand, they tend to not actually kill anyone when they are insulted, so maybe they aren't seriously insulted.  And they don't turn out in large numbers to demonstration, except in front of abortion clinics.  They are an easy mark.

But, here is the lede from the story:

The staff of a newspaper can run any images they want, or refuse to run any images they want.  They’re paid to make those decisions.  And when the rationalizations they give for their editorial judgments are a bunch of crap, we can point out that they’re a bunch of crap.

Back in January, here’s what New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet told his public editor, Margaret Sullivan, about his decision not to publish the Charlie Hebdo cartoons after their staff was slaughtered by Muslim terrorists:

He said he had spent “about half of my day” on the question, seeking out the views of senior editors and reaching out to reporters and editors in some of The Times’s international bureaus. They told him they would not feel endangered if The Times reproduced the images, he told me, but he remained concerned about staff safety.

“I sought out a lot of views, and I changed my mind twice,” he said. “It had to be my decision alone.”

Ultimately, he decided against it, he said, because he had to consider foremost the sensibilities of Times readers, especially its Muslim readers. To many of them, he said, depictions of the prophet Muhammad are sacrilegious; those that are meant to mock even more so. “We have a standard that is long held and that serves us well: that there is a line between gratuitous insult and satire. Most of these are gratuitous insult.”

“Gratuitous insult.” The NYT tries to avoid gratuitously insulting people of faith. They had an international news story about people being murdered for creating blasphemous art, and that art wasn’t shown because it was gratuitously insulting. Dean Baquet chose not to offend the sensibilities of religious people.
What triggered this column?  Another photo in The Old Gray Lady that was a gratuitous insult to Catholics.

There is a joke in here, but I am not sure what it is.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, June 29, 2015

Revising Laws For Sex Crimes

For John, BLUFThe Democrats worry about Republicans peering into the bedroom and then work to criminalize normal conduct.  Prosecute rape, not regret.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

I wonder about the title of this article by Ashe Schow in The Washington Examiner, "Has the federal government ever had sex?".  Here is the lede.
The act of sex is not illegal.  But if two members of the American Law Institute have their way, it will be — unless you follow their rules.

Law professors Stephen J. Schulhofer and Erin Murphy are trying to update the criminal code when it comes to sex offenses, believing current definitions of rape and sexual assault are antiquated.  The focus of their draft is on what constitutes consent.  It adopts the "yes means yes," or "affirmative consent" model that was passed in California last year.

The California law applies only to college campuses, however.  Schulhofer and Murphy aim to take that definition of consent — which says that before every escalation of a sexual encounter, clear and convincing consent must be given — to the state or federal level.  No one actually has sex this way, requesting permission and having it granted perhaps a dozen times in a single encounter.

But the theory that millions of Americans are having sex wrongly has gained currency among campus activists.  This new attempt to alter the American Law Institute's Model Penal Code, a highly influential document that has been adopted in whole or in part by many states' legislatures, is part of a push to bring authoritarianism into the bedroom.

Blogger Glenn Harlan Reynolds is on vacation, so we were missing the line "They said if I voted for Romney the Government would move into our bedrooms, and they were right".

If passed, this won't have a good outcome.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Carrots and Sticks

TRIGGER WARNING:  In which I mention a nuclear Iran.
For John, BLUFKicking the can down the road is a good approach when you have nothing else.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is another wrinkle in the ongoing negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program:
July 9—Due date for President Obama to submit the Iran nuclear agreement to Congress for a 30-day review.  (If submitted after July 9, Congress will have 60 days.)
The source is the Friends Committee on National Legislation.

And from yesterday's edition of The New York Times we have an article on the Iranian Chief Negotiator returning "to Tehran for Consultations on Nuclear Talks".

A lot of drama.

No treaty is ever going to be good enough for some.  For some no treaty is necessary, because they can't believe Iran would be so stupid as to use a nuclear weapon.  The rest of us have to work in the middle ground.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, June 28, 2015

"Love Among the Ruins"

For John, BLUFGood win for our gay friends, but life is rushing on.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

In an Opinion Piece in The Wall Street Journal Mr Bari Weiss gives us "Love Among the Ruins".  The sub-headline is:
Hurrah for gay marriage.  But why do supporters save their vitriol for its foes instead of the barbarians at our gates?
Yes, on the day SCOTUS released its same sex marriage ruling there were terror attacks in France, Tunisia and Kuwait (probably with at least some connection is Daesh) and Al-Shabaab killed 30 African Union peacekeepers in Somalia.

Mr Weiss is a strong advocate for same sex marriage.  But he thinks there are other challenging issues we need to show an interest in. 

The barbarians are at our gates.  But inside our offices, schools, churches, synagogues and homes, we are posting photos of rainbows on Twitter.  It’s easier to Photoshop images of Justice Scalia as Voldemort than it is to stare evil in the face.

You can’t get married if you’re dead.

So, the conclusion is that all of us, straight and gay, need to work together to resist those who would kill folks just for being different.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  My view is more mixed.  I think homosexual sex is a sin, like adultery.  Sorry.  I expect some of my bests friends, and the odd relative, may fall into one or the other area.  On the other hand, I see no reason to criminalize it or to make such relations outside the laws of the land.  I am accepting of the SCOTUS Ruling, although I think a legislative solution would have been better.
  Such as the elimination of Christians from the Middle East, like they were Jews in German occupied Europe.  This is not a good thing.
  Like a couple of days when Daesh pushed a couple of homosexuals off the roof of a building in Mosul, Iraq.  Then there is Iran, where the Government pushes sex change operations on gays and lesbians.  That is pretty strong stuff, but not as strong as the death penalty.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Lynching in Israel

For John, BLUFThe Middle East has the diversity of Lowell, but without any interest in getting along and a lot of interest in winning by killing.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Independent Reporter Michael J. Totten, who operates out of the Middle East, is one of two people who can usually be trusted to provide the straight word, in this case a look at the Druze in Israel, Syria and Lebanon.  This article is "The Background of a Lynching".
Earlier this week, on the Golan Heights, an enraged mob assaulted an ambulance and attacked two wounded men inside with rocks, clubs, and chains, killing one and seriously wounding another.

The ambulance was Israeli.  The wounded men were Arab fighters from Syria.  The assailants were also Arabs, though they were Druze rather than Muslims.

Several readers have emailed and asked me to explain this, so I assume others are also scratching their heads. I don’t have all the answers.  What kind of person attacks an ambulance?  I can easily imagine it’s someone who is steeped in some real political craziness, is emotionally unstable, and has some kind of personality disorder.  But a mob mentality sometimes sets in with people who are otherwise psychologically normal.  I can’t psychoanalyze these people.

I can, however, explain some of the background that might shine some light on what happened and why.

Read the whole thing for a quick (short read) look at the complexity of the Middle East.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  The other is Nir Rosen.

Warnings About Warnings

TRIGGERCONTENT WARNING:  Were we talk about "content' warnings.
For John, BLUFFor those who tend to swoon, everything can be upsetting.  We are back to the deep Victorian Era.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Mr Ed Driscoll, a substitute blogger over at Law Professor Glenn Harlan Reynolds' blog InstaPundit, gives us this update on "Trigger Warnings", from National Review, noting that the correct term is "Content Warning", as "Trigger" can be traumatizing of and in itself.

From the Blog Post:

Well, it’s all come full-circle. According to the Feminist Internet, the phrase “trigger warning” is now in itself also a trigger.

The blog Everyday Feminism recently re-published an article explaining the idea of “trigger warnings” to those of us who are not as culturally literate and sensitive as they are, and began it with the following disclaimer:

Like this phenomenal article, Everyday Feminism definitely believes in giving people a heads up about material that might provoke our reader’s trauma.  However, we use the phrase “content warning” instead of “trigger warning,” as the word “trigger” relies on and evokes violent weaponry imagery.  This could be re-traumatizing for folks who have suffered military, police, and other forms of violence.  So, while warnings are so necessary and the points in this article are right on, we strongly encourage the term “content warning” instead of “trigger warning.”
I wonder if "Button Warnings" are out, since that is what served as a "trigger" for the famed eight gun Spitfires of Battle of Britain fame?

Lets face it, with this kind of thing, it is triggers all the way down.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff