Category Archives: Culture

Thank you, Veterans

100 years ago today, the guns fell silent all across Europe as the final cease fire went into effect. Today, we remember the veterans of that bloody war and all of the veterans who have served, in peace and war, before or since.

To all of you who were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for our liberty… THANK YOU.

Critics Slam “The House That Jack Built” for Horrifying Violence

Yuck.

The House That Jack Built follows the serial killer over the course of 12 years in the 1970s and 1980s during a murder spree in the state of Washington.

The film marked the return for director Lars von Trier at the Cannes Film Festival, where the movie debuted in May, where it was criticised for being ‘vomitive’ and ‘pathetic’.

Over 100 people were reported to have walked out of the film’s screening at the French festival, as they were ‘disgusted’ by the many extremely violent scenes where victims including children were graphically murdered on screen.

At the time, several film critics tweeted their disgust with the movie as they joined the many others who left the screening before it was over.

‘Walked out on LarsvonTrier. Vile movie. Should not have been made. Actors culpable,’ Showbiz 411’s Roger Friedman wrote.

Al Jazeera reporter Charlie Angela said she left midway through ‘because seeing children being shot and killed is not art or entertainment’.

Here’s the best part…

In February, Von Trier explained the film was inspired by Donald Trump’s presidency: ‘The House That Jack Built celebrates the idea that life is evil and soulless, which is sadly proven by the recent rise of the Homo trumpus – the rat king.’

So the film maker makes an utterly unwatchable, violent film because… Trump. Such is the state of insanity on the Left right now.

Google Walkout

Good for them.

Staff at Google offices around the world are staging an unprecedented series of walkouts in protest at the company’s treatment of women.

The employees are demanding several key changes in how sexual misconduct allegations are dealt with at the firm, including a call to end forced arbitration – a move which would make it possible for victims to sue.

Google chief executive Sundar Pichai has told staff he supports their right to take the action.

“I understand the anger and disappointment that many of you feel,” he said in an all-staff email. “I feel it as well, and I am fully committed to making progress on an issue that has persisted for far too long in our society… and, yes, here at Google, too.”

A Twitter feed titled @googlewalkout has documented the movement at Google’s international offices.

 

Trump and Birthright Citizenship

Eh

In an interview with “Axios on HBO” scheduled to air Sunday, President Trump said he believes he can end birthright citizenship with an executive order.

“It was always told to me that you needed a constitutional amendment. Guess what? You don’t,” Trump said. “No. 1, no. 1, you don’t need that. You can definitely do it with an act of Congress. But now they’re saying I can do it just with an executive order.”

Trump called the concept of birthright citizenship “ridiculous,” even though it is guaranteed by the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, which reads: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States…” He claimed, falsely, “We’re the only country in the world where a person comes in and has a baby, and the baby is essentially a citizen of the United States for 85 years with all of those benefits.”

First, I disagree that this can be done without amending the constitution. The language is clear and has been interpreted that way since it was written.

Second, I do think it is worth considering amending the Constitution to exclude birthright citizenship. That was a provision specifically targeted at ensuring that former slaves were granted full citizenship. The need for that has passed and we, as a nation, have the right and duty to decide whether birthright citizenship continues to make sense. Birthright citizenship is rare in the world. That doesn’t make it wrong, but that’s why we should have the national debate.

Third, the only reason that birthright citizenship is an issue is because we do a terrible job at enforcing our borders. If we were more competent at managing legal and illegal immigration, then the number of people to whom birthright citizenship matters would shrink to insignificance. Birthright citizenship would be merely an arcane quick of our Constitution that could be evaluated dispassionately. As it is, the debate over birthright citizenship becomes tainted with overtones of race.

It it were up to me, I’d leave birthright citizenship alone and enforce our borders better. But as I said, if we have solid border security, then birthright citizenship doesn’t really matter anyway.

American Muslims Raise Money for Jewish Victims

God Bless America.

American Muslims have raised more than $120,000 since Saturday for the families of those killed and injured in the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, in a demonstration of interfaith solidarity.

“We wish to respond to evil with good, as our Islamic faith teaches us, and send a powerful message of compassion to the Jewish community – our Abrahamic cousins,” said Tarek El-Messidi, director of CelebrateMercy.

“Through this campaign, we hope to send a united message from the Jewish and Muslim communities that there is no place for this type of hate and violence in America or anywhere worldwide. ”

The Islamic Center of Pittsburgh will distribute funds to affected families in consultation with the Tree of Life synagogue, where the attack took place. The aim is to help with immediate needs such as funeral expenses and medical bills, said El-Messidi.

Saving Nature

You really do have to sit back and marvel at how astonishingly stupid this statement is:

This is the ‘last generation’ that can save nature, WWF says

Audrey Hepburn: Nazi Hunter?

Fascinating.

Beloved actress Audrey Hepburn worked directly under Dutch Resistance leaders to help defeat the Nazis, a new book reveals.

In Dutch Girl: Audrey Hepburn and World War II, author Robert Matzen writes of his proof that the Breakfast at Tiffany’s star was involved in fighting the Nazis during World War II.

Born in 1929 in Belgium and relocating to Holland at the start of the war in 1939, Hepburn was traumatized by the murder of her uncle Count Otto van Limburg Stirum.

In Matzen’s book, due to release in April, he reveals the discovery of a 188-page diary Hepburn’s uncle Otto wrote during the four months he was imprisoned by the Nazis before his death in 1942.

Hepburn’s son, Luca Dotti, says Matzen’s book solves mysteries he’s had about his mother.

‘I now understand why the words Good and Evil, and Love and Mercy were so fundamental in her own narrative. Why she was open about certain facts and why she kept so many others in a secluded area of her being,’ Dotti writes in the forward.

Matzen says Hepburn worked in the Dutch Resistance as a doctor’s assistant during the Bridge Too Far battle of Arnhem in 1944.

For the first two years of the war, Hepburn had to contend with the fact that her father was a Nazi agent and her mother was pro-Nazi.

Hating Trump

Apparently I’m not the only one who has taken note of the fact that the Democrats only have a single plank in their platform – Trump Hate.

For now, though, the left’s only issue is “We hate Trump.” This is an instructive hatred, because what the left hates about Donald Trump is precisely what it hates about America. The implications are important, and painful.

Not that every leftist hates America. But the leftists I know do hate Mr. Trump’s vulgarity, his unwillingness to walk away from a fight, his bluntness, his certainty that America is exceptional, his mistrust of intellectuals, his love of simple ideas that work, and his refusal to believe that men and women are interchangeable. Worst of all, he has no ideology except getting the job done. His goals are to do the task before him, not be pushed around, and otherwise to enjoy life. In short, he is a typical American—except exaggerated, because he has no constraints to cramp his style except the ones he himself invents.

Mr. Trump lacks constraints because he is filthy rich and always has been and, unlike other rich men, he revels in wealth and feels no need to apologize—ever. He never learned to keep his real opinions to himself because he never had to. He never learned to be embarrassed that he is male, with ordinary male proclivities. Sometimes he has treated women disgracefully, for which Americans, left and right, are ashamed of him—as they are of JFK and Bill Clinton.

But my job as a voter is to choose the candidate who will do best for America. I am sorry about the coarseness of the unconstrained average American that Mr. Trump conveys. That coarseness is unpresidential and makes us look bad to other nations. On the other hand, many of his opponents worry too much about what other people think. I would love the esteem of France, Germany and Japan. But I don’t find myself losing sleep over it.

The difference between citizens who hate Mr. Trump and those who can live with him—whether they love or merely tolerate him—comes down to their views of the typical American: the farmer, factory hand, auto mechanic, machinist, teamster, shop owner, clerk, software engineer, infantryman, truck driver, housewife. The leftist intellectuals I know say they dislike such people insofar as they tend to be conservative Republicans.

Sarah Silverman and C.K.

Gross.

Sarah Silverman has revealed she gave her old friend Louis CK permission to masturbate in front of her on multiple occasions.

The comic, 47, speaking on The Howard Stern Show on Monday, said the incidents happened when both were much younger.

‘I’m not making excuses for him, please don’t take this the wrong way, but we are peers we are equals, so when we were kids and he used to ask if he could masturbate in front of me, sometimes I would go “f*** yeah, I wanna see that.”‘

She also said this:

So I tell you this, I will vote for Hillary with gusto, as I continue to be inspired and moved to action by the ideals set forth by Bernie, who will never stop fighting for us. I am proud to be a part of Bernie’s movement and a vital part of that movement, and a vital part of that movement is making sure Hillary Clinton is the next president of the United States. Boo yah. Baba booey.

When will we stop allowing Hollywood to lecture us when they keep proving themselves to be a bunch of weirdos and creeps?

Dead Babies Found Stuffed in Ceilings and Freezers

Horrible… just, horrible.

Detroit (AFP) – Police in the US city of Detroit have found 63 fetuses at a funeral home during a widening investigation of alleged malpractice at such facilities, US media reported.

“This is larger than we might know,” The Detroit News quoted Police Chief James Craig as saying. “It’s unbelievable.”

He spoke to reporters after officers on Friday raided Perry Funeral Home, where they found the remains of 36 fetuses in boxes and an additional 27 in freezers.

Michigan state regulators suspended the home’s license, a week after investigators found the remains of 10 fetuses in a false ceiling at another funeral home in the city.

[…]

One parent has sued Perry Funeral Home, and other agencies, alleging that the home stored the remains of stillborn and live birth babies at a university morgue for up to three years without notifying parents, the News said.

Recruitment Issues

Here’s a stunning, if not surprising, bit of data in the Washington County Daily News:

According to a news release, 71 percent of the nation’s youth are ineligible for military service. The most common reasons for exclusion are obesity, drug use, low aptitude and physical and/or mental health issues. Muth said obesity is the “largest disqualifier” at about 31 percent.

On the other hand, I would question the need for physical fitness for many jobs. In an era where many military jobs – even combat roles -involve sitting at a computer, who cares how many sit-ups the person can do? Cyberwarfare is probably fought best by the Cheetos-eating basement-dwellers.

Woke School Cancels Education

Sigh

When Shorewood High School chose “To Kill a Mockingbird” as this year’s annual fall play, it seemed a relevant commentary on the times.

Based on the Harper Lee classic about a white southern lawyer defending an innocent black man in the 1930s, it is a story about segregation and racism, a broken criminal justice system and the sacrifices of those who would stand up for what is right.

But Lee’s book, which has been banned by many schools across the country, remains as controversial today as it did when she wrote it. On Thursday, just hours before the curtain was to go up, Shorewood canceled the production in response to a planned protest over the use of the ‘N’ word in some scenes.

News of a protest had circulated on social media early in the day.  And by mid-afternoon, Superintendent Bryan Davis pulled the plug, saying the district should have done a better job engaging the community “about the sensitivity of this performance.”

“We’ve concluded that the safest option is to cancel the play,” Davis said in a statement.

Taylor Woke

Why? WHY!?!? am I finding myself agreeing with Piers Morgan TWICE in a month?

Oh Taylor.

Why, why, WHY?

Just when I thought you were the only sane celebrity left in this increasingly mad world of frenzied partisan bullsh*t, you suddenly decide to go all ‘woke’ on me.

As you once sang: ‘Why would you wanna break a perfectly good heart?’

Of course, we all know the answer.

Taylor Swift, who is hugely popular in middle America, hasn’t chosen this moment to abandon her very sensible apolitical stance and come out as a Democrat because she genuinely thought: ‘Oh, I must alienate half my audience today.’

No, she’s done it because the howling Twitter mob hammered her into submission.

‘I’m not going to sit here and go into my political views,’ she said a few years ago, ‘because that’s not what I choose to do. I choose to do music.’

Exactly.

She was right then, and she would be right now.

But such a refreshing attitude from an entertainer is now deemed unacceptable.

Ever since Donald Trump was elected President, Taylor has been roundly abused by vicious trolls on social media for NOT attacking him in public.

She was branded a coward and a traitor, and a dog whistler for white supremacists.

Even mainstream media piled on her, condemning her for her silence.

Astronaut Kelly Apologizes for Quoting 20th Century Hero

What a disgrace that (1) people thought he should apologize and (2) that he did.

One of the unwritten rules of social media is avoid inspirational quotes.

American astronaut Scott Kelly put that to the test on Sunday when his use of Winston Churchill quotes landed him in hot water with people who oppose the wartime British prime minister’s views on empire and race.

But when Kelly tried to apologise for the tweet and offered to educate himself, Churchill fans attacked him for discrediting the politician’s record.

Kelly, whose sister-in-law is former Democrat Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, used a famous remark by Churchill to comment on deep divisions in American politics.

One Judge

From Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate Brian Hagedorn.

ONE JUDGE. Our country is bitterly divided over the nomination of one judge to fill one seat on one court. Think about that. This began long before the recent allegations came to light. Our political leaders have, since Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court this summer, described this as a fight for the future of our country. But should the appointment of one judge really cause such significant social division?

In our constitutional order, judges were meant to have a modest role, applying the law to the facts of individual cases. Alexander Hamilton assured his readers in Federalist 78 that the judiciary was designed to be the “least dangerous branch.” But over time, increasingly political judges have assumed an increasingly significant role over American life. As judges began to act more like legislators, is it any wonder that the American people and their representatives treat them so?

Indeed. The anger that is rending the country is a symptom of the fact that we have invested far too much power in the Supreme Court.

Deer Transport Regulation Repealed

Excellent.

NORTHWOODS – This hunting season, the Department of Natural Resources put some extra effort into stopping the spread of chronic wasting disease. They tried to pass a regulation on Monday that will make it so hunters cannot remove deer carcasses from CWD affected counties. The Legislative Joint Committee on Rules and Regulations revoked that regulation this week.

The regulation prohibiting hunters from moving deer carcasses out of CWD-affected counties was supposed to take effect on Monday.

Those who voted to repeal the regulation say they did so because they felt there wasn’t enough time and notice to the deer hunters of Wisconsin. Four committee members voted to keep the regulation, six voted to repeal it.

“I was very glad to hear that the court system vetoed it,” said Jay Schaefer who owns a small butcher shop in Crandon.

Jay Schaefer owns a small butcher shop in Crandon. He and his team process around 500 deer every hunting season. This regulation might have meant some lost customers for him.

“People buy tracts of land in different counties and set up their deer camps and cabins there so there is much travel involved,” Schaefer said.

This would also mean less choice for hunters. According to Dan Grunst, who owns an archery store in Rhinelander, this idea wasn’t popular with the people who came into his shop either.

“If they harvest a deer they want to be able to take it to their processor back home,” Grunst said.

I question how much of a positive impact this regulation would have had on stemming the tide of CWD, but I am certain that it would have butchered the income of SE Wisconsin processors. A lot of folks from the urban areas go up north to hunt, but bring their deer home for processing. This saves another trip way up north to collect the butchered deer later in the winter.

Belief Is Not a Substitute for Evidence

Brilliant.

That’s especially because Blasey is a compelling, even emblematic, figure, and the fight against sexual assault a good and necessary cause. The history of civil-rights abuses is often connected to such causes. The McCarthyism of the 1950s sprang from well-grounded fears of communist espionage and Soviet intentions. The well-documented miscarriages of justice in campus sexual assault investigations are the outgrowth of an effort to stamp out a real problem.

The enduring challenge of liberal societies is to react to such challenges, not overreact. The guardrails against overreaction are based in the presumption of innocence and the legal, institutional and personal norms that bolster that presumption. To deny Kavanaugh’s confirmation based on Blasey’s allegation alone — never mind those of Deborah Ramirez or Julie Swetnick — is to remove one of the guardrails for all future nominees of whatever party.

Is that a good idea? More particularly, is it an idea for liberals to embrace, given that we live in an era in which a right-wing demagogue can mobilize millions of Americans to believe just about anything? When politics becomes solely a matter of “I believe” versus “I believe,” it descends into a raw contest for power. Historically, it’s been fascists, not liberals, who tend to win such contests.

Money = Happiness?

Given the wild swing in results in one year, I’m going to suggest that their survey methodology is flawed.

At $118,000 a year, the price tag for men’s happiness amounts to about twice as much as the $58,500 annually, on average, that Millennial woman say they need, according to a recent survey of 1,519 people age 21-37 by TD Ameritrade.

It’s also more than twice as much as the $55,000 that Millennial men said they needed to be happy just two years ago. Women reported only needing $48,500 to be happy in 2016.

Of course, we all know that money doesn’t always translate to happiness, so the premise of the question is flawed.

Trump Asserts America at U.N.

Don’t read the news reports of Trump’s speech at the U.N. today. It was a long speech that covered a lot of topics. The media will only cover small parts and will focus on the parts they didn’t like. Instead, go read the whole thing. It was an impressive speech for its clarity of vision and robust assertion of American values.

For example, here’s one part:

Each of us here today is the emissary of a distinct culture, a rich history, and a people bound together by ties of memory, tradition, and the values that make our homelands like nowhere else on Earth.

That is why America will always choose independence and cooperation over global governance, control, and domination.

I honor the right of every nation in this room to pursue its own customs, beliefs, and traditions. The United States will not tell you how to live or work or worship. We only ask that you honor our sovereignty in return.

Amen. And this:

I spoke before this body last year and warned that the U.N. Human Rights Council had become a grave embarrassment to this institution, shielding egregious human rights abusers while bashing America and its many friends.

Our Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, laid out a clear agenda for reform, but despite reported and repeated warnings, no action at all was taken. So the United States took the only responsible course: We withdrew from the Human Rights Council, and we will not return until real reform is enacted.

For similar reasons, the United States will provide no support in recognition to the International Criminal Court. As far as America is concerned, the ICC has no jurisdiction, no legitimacy, and no authority. The ICC claims near-universal jurisdiction over the citizens of every country, violating all principles of justice, fairness, and due process. We will never surrender America’s sovereignty to an unelected, unaccountable, global bureaucracy.

This:

I spoke before this body last year and warned that the U.N. Human Rights Council had become a grave embarrassment to this institution, shielding egregious human rights abusers while bashing America and its many friends.

Our Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, laid out a clear agenda for reform, but despite reported and repeated warnings, no action at all was taken. So the United States took the only responsible course: We withdrew from the Human Rights Council, and we will not return until real reform is enacted.

For similar reasons, the United States will provide no support in recognition to the International Criminal Court. As far as America is concerned, the ICC has no jurisdiction, no legitimacy, and no authority. The ICC claims near-universal jurisdiction over the citizens of every country, violating all principles of justice, fairness, and due process. We will never surrender America’s sovereignty to an unelected, unaccountable, global bureaucracy.

And:

In America, we believe in the majesty of freedom and the dignity of the individual. We believe in self-government and the rule of law. And we prize the culture that sustains our liberty -– a culture built on strong families, deep faith, and fierce independence. We celebrate our heroes, we treasure our traditions, and above all, we love our country.

One might not agree with all of it (I disagree with him regarding trade policies), but he has articulated a clear vision for his administration. Go read it.

Claim: Facebook Fails to Protect Moderators from Mental Trauma

Who’s watching over the watchers?

A former Facebook contract employee has lodged a suit against the company, alleging that content moderators who face mental trauma after reviewing distressing images on the platform are not being properly protected by the social networking giant.

Facebook moderators under contract are “bombarded” with “thousands of videos, images and livestreamed broadcasts of child sexual abuse, rape, torture, bestiality, beheadings, suicide and murder”, the lawsuit said.

“Facebook is ignoring its duty to provide a safe workplace and instead creating a revolving door of contractors who are irreparably traumatized by what they witnessed on the job,” Korey Nelson, a lawyer for former Facebook contract employee Selena Scola, said in a statement Monday.

Facebook in the past has said all of its content reviewers have access to mental health resources, including trained professionals onsite for both individual and group counseling, and they receive full health care benefits.