Thelonious Monk by Debra Hurd

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Hillary Clinton’s Secret #Benghazi Phone Call

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If it’s almost 100% redacted, does it count as ‘unclassified’?

 writes: Another day, another tiny, minuscule, pin-width beam of light shining down on who knew what, when, and how during and in the wake of the 2012 attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.

Most recently, we saw Sid Blumenthal, having been dragged before a Congressional committee, providing investigators with a batch of then-PANTSUIT-REPORTSecretary Clinton’s private e-mails that the State Department failed to hand over. The very existence of those e-mails had members of the committee convinced that their much-maligned digging is not only justified, but necessary in the effort to figure out what was in the Administration’s collective hive mind in the wake of the attacks.

We already knew that Clinton and Obama spoke on the night of the Benghazi attacks; what we didn’t know is what they talked about. But finally! A federal court has released a new document, the contents of which have the potential to blow this whole thing wide open.

The problem? The “unclassified” document is almost completely redacted:

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READOUT OF PRESIDENT’S CALL TO SECRETARY CLINTON: *crickets*Does it count as “unclassified” if it’s covered in correction tape?

Of course, the Administration has a totally predictable excuse for all the white-out. They’re not arguing that the information contained in the call was classified, but that it “represents internal deliberations” about the 2012 attack.

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[Read the full story here, at Legal Insurrection]

This e-mail was released as part of a FOIA demand made by activist group Judicial Watch, and it’s a vital link in the timeline.

Via Fox News:

The emails also show that Rhodes, on the night of Sept. 11, 2012, and before the attack was over, endorsed a statement from Clinton that cited an anti-Islam Internet video.

That statement noted some tried to justify the assault “as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet.” Rhodes told Clinton’s aides that “we should let State Department statement be our comment for the night.” Read the rest of this entry »


That’s Not a Rainbow: Falling Drone Knocks Woman Unconscious During Pride Parade

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A drone struck a woman during Seattle’s Pride parade

(CBS Seattle) — Seattle police are looking to find the operator of a small drone that fell into a crowd of people watching Seattle’s pride parade, knocking one 25-year-old woman unconscious.

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The woman was standing on the parade route near 4th Avenue and Madison when the 18″-by-18″ drone crashed into a building, plummeted to the crowd and struck her on the head. The woman’s boyfriend caught her as she fell, and an off-duty firefighter was able to help treat the woman until police arrived….(read more)

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The Seattle Times reports:

A drone weighing about 2 pounds struck a woman during Seattle’s Pride parade.

Parade viewers cheer at the 41st annual Pride Parade Sunday, June 28, 2015, in Seattle. Rainbows and good cheer were out in force Sunday as hundreds of thousands of people packed gay pride events from New York City to Seattle, San Francisco to Chicago to celebrate a Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

A woman was knocked unconscious Sunday when she was struck by a small drone during the Pride parade in downtown Seattle. Read the rest of this entry »


Do You Worship in a State-Approved Church?

Originally posted on Strange Herring:

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So now that the call for pulling churches’ tax exemptions is gathering Internet speed, I wonder if future commissars will make a distinction between “bad” churches and “good” churches. The former would have their charitable status eradicated, while the latter would continue to enjoy the tax benefits of getting on History’s good side, and no negative stigma would be attached to flouting one’s membership in same.

A “bad” church, of course, would be one that remained impenitent and continued to believe, teach, and confess the historic Christian faith and uphold the moral code embedded in that faith (regardless of, and even because of, how many fail flawlessly to obey it).

Which is to say, Southern Baptist, confessional Lutheran and Reformed/Presbyterian, “continuing” and confessional Anglican, Assembly of God, and Eastern Orthodox ministers, pastors, and priests may very well have to have “the talk” with their members.

That talk will probably go something like this:

As we know from history, the…

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Are You Ready for the 4th of July?

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Justice John Roberts’s Obamacare Decision Is an Orwellian Mess

Originally posted on TIME:

For the second time in three years, Chief Justice John Roberts has saved President Barack Obama’s signature legislation, his eponymous healthcare law that seems to enjoy more legitimacy at the Supreme Court than among the American people. What is going on here? Is the George W. Bush appointee a secret liberal, or at least a jurist who “grew in office” like so many before him?

Actually no, quite the opposite. He’s the epitome of a small-c conservative, meaning that temperamentally and philosophically he works to preserve the status quo and not rock the boat. His mission isn’t to foment a constitutional revolution or expound some jurisprudential theory, but to “call balls and strikes.”

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You can see this in his too-smooth background, checking all the right boxes and excelling at the legal craft, but never identifying as an originalist or movement conservative. (For example, he attended the conservative Federalist…

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Panic at the State Department: Reporter Threatened at Briefing Detailing Obama Administration Concessions to Iran

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Read more…

Washington Free Beacon


HISTORY June 29, 1613: ‘Oh Sorrow, Pittifull Sorrow’ The Globe Theater Burns Down

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The Globe Theater, where most of Shakespeare’s plays debuted, burned down on this day in 1613.

The Globe was built by Shakespeare’s acting company, the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, in 1599 from the timbers ofLondon’s very first permanent theater, Burbage’s Theater, built in 1576. frts-richard-ii-q2-1598-1Before James Burbage built his theater, plays and dramatic performances were ad hoc affairs, performed on street corners and in the yards of inns. However, the Common Council of London, in 1574, started licensing theatrical pieces performed in inn yards within the city limits. To escape the restriction, actor James Burbage built his own theater on land he leased outside the city limits. When Burbage’s lease ran out, the Lord Chamberlain’s men moved the timbers to a new location and created the Globe. Like other theaters of its time, the Globe was a round wooden structure with a stage at one end, and covered balconies for the gentry. The galleries could seat about 1,000 people, with room for another 2,000 “groundlings,” who could stand on the ground around the stage.

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The Lord Chamberlain’s men built Blackfriars theater in 1608, a smaller theater that seated about 700 people, to use in winter when the open-air Globe wasn’t practical.

June 29, 2012, at theshakespeareblog.com, Sylvia Morris writes:

The remains must still have been smoking when the amusing ballad A Sonnett upon the pittiful burneinge of the Globe Playhouse in London was printed the next day. It consists of eight verses, each one ending with the refrain punning on the alternative title for Henry VIII, “All is true”.  “Oh sorrow, pittifull sorrow, and yet all this is true”. Here are two verses:

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No shower his raine did there downe force
In all that Sunn-shine weather
To save that great renowned howse;
Nor thou, O ale-house, neither.
Had itt begunne belowe, sans doubte,
Their wives for feare had pissed itt out.
Oh sorrow, pittifull sorrow, and yet all this is true.

 Bee warned, yow stage-strutters all,
Least yow again be catched,
And such a burneing doe befall,
As to them whose howse was thatched;
Forbeare your whoreing, breeding biles,
And laye up that expence for tiles.
Oh sorrow, pittifull sorrow, and yet all this is true.

Read the rest of this entry »


Egyptian Prosecutor General Assassinated on Eve of Anniversary of Morsi Overthrow

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Mary Chastain reports: An explosion has killed Egyptian Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat and injured at least seven more people on Monday morning in Cairo.

Hossam Abdel Ghaffar, a spokesman for the health ministry, said Barakat passed away after surgeries. Ghaffar had previously stated he did not believe the prosecutor had suffered life-threatening injuries.

A witness spoke to Daily News Egypt:

A Heliopolis resident told Daily News Egypt they heard the explosion early Monday, and stepped onto their balcony to see a damaged motorcycle.

The witness also said there was an exploded vehicle, which according to the testimony, was Barakat’s security vehicle. The witness added that surrounding vehicles were in flames.

The damages on the attack scene included seven other injuries from Barakat’s staff and passengers, in addition to damages to 35 cars and nine houses in the area of the explosion.

[Read more at Breitbart and Daily News Egypt]

No group has yet to take responsibility for the attack. A group called Giza Popular Resistance claimed it first, but someone removed it from their Facebook page and the Twitter account denounced the post. Read the rest of this entry »


OH YES THEY DID: S&P Lowers #Greece Credit Rating to CCC – Junk Status

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FOX Business on Twitter


Williamson in Wonderland: ‘The Supreme Court Has Firmly Established That It Does Not Matter What The Law Says Or Does Not Say’

Illustration: Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, Alice in Wonderland original vintage engraving. Tea party with the Mad Hatter, Dormouse and the White Rabbit. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Illustration from John Tenniel, published in 1865. TEXT: Kevin D. Williamson, National Review http://www.nationalreview.com/article/420406/john-roberts-decision-kevin-d-williamson

Opening paragraph of “Ayatollah Roberts and His Sharia Council” by Kevin D. Williamson
Read Kevin D. Williamson‘s article about the SCOTUS rulings here, at National Review 

 


Washington D.C. has met the Internet of things and it’s freaked out

Originally posted on Fortune:

The Internet of things has gone to Washington and the Capitol has responded with confusion and fear. This week Politico devoted an entire issue of its new magazine to the internet of things, and the content vacillates between trying to get politicians to understand the issue and making sure they are scared out of their minds at the technological change headed for us all.

Add to the Politico issue a column that ran Monday in the Washington Post by Vivek Wadhwa that claims that when your fridge stops ordering you cheesecakes because your scale told it you were overweight, the internet of things will have gone too far. Apparently it’s open season on scaremongering in D.C.

These stories suss out how much politicians know about the internet of things (some are confused and some have FitBits!) and tell us that our privacy – or in Wadhwa’s case, our free will…

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Donald Trump Presidential Campaign Dissected By Bill Maher And Panel

Originally posted on Deadline:

In case CNN anchor Jake Tapper didn’t have enough things to talk to guest Donald Trump about on tomorrow’s State of the Union:

Real estate mogul/reality TV Star/beauty pageant co-owner/GOP presidential candidate Trump is “the Frankenstein monster,” created by the Tea Party, who isn’t going away any time soon, Bill Maher pronounced last night on his HBO late night show Real Time.  “He never apologizes – he’s never wrong, no matter what crazy thing he says. He’s the white Kanye,” Maher  added for good measure. “For a party whose base adores belligerence, this is The Guy.”

Most recently, Trump’s been in the news when Univision announced it would not broadcast the Miss USA Pageant, which his organization co-owns with NBC, owing to comments Trump made about Mexico in announcing his White House bid.

Republican pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson, joining Maher in his show’s panel discussion, said the…

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Arianna Huffington’s new platform strategy has one big problem

Originally posted on Fortune:

If we know one thing about the media business right now, it’s that hardly anyone wants to be just a publisher any more. Everyone would much rather be a platform—or, failing that, hook up with a giant platform like Facebook [fortune-stock symbol=”FB”] that can achieve the kind of social distribution required in today’s media environment.

For The Huffington Post, the goal seems to be to try and turn the site into its own platform, by boosting the number of unpaid contributors to the one million mark.

This, according to media analyst Ken Doctor, is what founder Arianna Huffington has settled on as the next landmark goal for the company, which also recently announced that it is expanding into video by launching a 24-hour news network and a film division. Doctor said in a recent piece for Capital New York that Huffington talked about the million-contributor goal in a recent discussion…

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Does Japan’s Conservative Shinto Religion Support Gay Marriage?

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TOKYO — John Matthews writes: In January 1999, a Shinto priest unofficially married two men in a shrine in Kawasaki, an industrial city near Tokyo. Literally “the way of the gods,” Shinto is officially the state religion of Japan, but it does not influence modern Japanese life the way that Christianity dominates in the United States. Rather, it’s more a matter of a shared culture — of ritual practices and belief in spirits — against which some people define themselves.

The ceremony took place at Kanamara Shrine, best known for its annual Festival of the Steel Phallus, during which participants pray for easy childbirth or protection from sexually transmitted diseases. Hirohiko Nakamura, the priest who performed the rites, told local media then that this was probably the first time a wedding ceremony had been held for two men in Japan. “This may become a call to seriously think about the diversity of sex,” he said.

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“In Shinto, it says make many children, expand humanity, and be prosperous. And yet, it’s not explicitly written anywhere that homosexuality is wrong or a sin.”

— Hisae Nakamura

Fast-forward 16 years. On June 26, the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage in all 50 states, overturning decades of often active and religiously motivated government discrimination against a minority of Americans. In Japan, gay marriage remains illegal — except for in one district, or ward, in Tokyo, which began recognizing same-sex marriages in March. A month earlier, conservative Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has been arguing for revising Japan’s Constitution to allow a more assertive military, said that 41xdqF8bMlL._SL250_reforming the Japanese Constitution to allow for gay marriage would be difficult.

[Check out Louis Crompton‘s 2003 book “Homosexuality and Civilization” at Amazon.com]

Across Japan, opinions about gay rights diverge. Technically, homosexuality is legal, Kazuyuki Minami, a lawyer in Osaka, reminded a journalist from the Associated Press, “but the atmosphere is such that most people feel homosexuals should not exist.” Reuters, citing a mid-2013 poll by the research firm Ipsos, reported that while 60 or 70 percent of people in most Western nations say they know someone who is lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender, only 5 percent of Japanese do. Kanae Doi, the Japan director for the advocacy organization Human Rights Watch, told Foreign Policy that while many Japanese are not opposed to homosexuality, “they don’t really see it.”

[Read the full text here, at Foreign Policy]

And while Shinto doesn’t have a clear stance on homosexuality, it “advocates that it’s not natural,” as one Shinto priest told me in Tokyo’s prominent Meiji Shrine in early June, a few weeks before the Supreme Court ruling. The Association of Shinto Shrines, the administrative body that oversees Japan’s estimated 80,000 shrines and 20,000 priests, tend to be conservative on social issues, the priest said. Read the rest of this entry »


Twitterrific for iOS adds facial recognition for framing images, quote tweet notifications, more

Originally posted on 9to5Mac:

Twitterrific facial recognition

Facial recognition isn’t something you immediately consider when you think of a Twitter client, but Twitterrific has added the technology in a clever way to its latest update for iOS. Using Apple’s API for picking out faces in a scene (you probably see this in action the most in the Camera app), Twitterrific now enhances rich media previews by centering images around people rather than cropping around the center. You can see a before and after comparison above showing the new feature in action.

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Supreme Court Ruling Does Not Save the Coal Companies

Originally posted on 24/7 Wall St.:

coal trainThe U.S. Supreme Court Monday threw the U.S. coal industry at lifeline with a five to four ruling ordering the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to take into account the cost of regulations on mercury emissions before adopting further rules. The rules the Supreme Court tossed out Monday morning took effect earlier this year after being adopted by the EPA in 2012.

Coal stocks soared on the news, with Peabody Energy Corp. (NYSE: BTU) up more than 9% at $2.50 a share and Arch Coal Inc. (NYSE: ACI) up about 12.5% at $0.45 a share. The Market Vectors Coal ETF (NYSEMKT: KOL) was unchanged, after posting a new 52-week low right after Monday’s opening bell at $11.33. before rising to $11.61, up less than 1% from Friday’s closing price.

According to EPA estimates, the new rules that took effect in April for some coal-fired power plants would have cost $9.6…

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Mom pleads guilty to killing 2 kids found in home freezer

Originally posted on Q13 FOX News:

DETROIT (AP) — A Detroit woman has pleaded guilty to killing two of her children and storing their bodies in a home freezer.

Mitchelle Blair has never challenged the allegations. She entered her plea to murder Monday, saying she killed her 13-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son months apart.

She faces life in prison without parole.

The children’s bodies were discovered in a freezer in March, while Blair was being evicted from her Detroit home. Police believe they died in 2012 and 2013.

For weeks, the 36-year-old Blair has openly declared her guilt and even said she would accept the death penalty if Michigan had it.

Authorities also are seeking to end her parental rights to two other children.

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Analysis explains why sapphire Apple Watch and Edition lag behind glass Sport display outdoors

Originally posted on 9to5Mac:

DisplayMate_Photo_28_800 Apple Watch Sport’s Ion-X Glass display (left) vs Apple Watch w/ Sapphire display (right)

DisplayMate is out with a new report today, this time applying its usual detailed analysis to the different displays that come with the various models of Apple Watch. In case you didn’t know already, Apple is using a sapphire display on its pricier, mid-range collection of Apple Watch, as well as with the higher-end Apple Watch Edition. That’s opposed to the Ion-X glass display on the less expensive, entry-level Apple Watch Sport models. But the report shows a detailed analysis of what many users have already noticed: despite sapphire being more scratch resistant, in many cases the cheaper glass display performs better in terms of screen reflectance and visibility in outdoor lighting:

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Supreme Court rules against EPA

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John Siciliano reports: The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 against Environmental Protection Agency pollution rules for power plants Monday, in a blow to President Obama’s environmental agenda.

The majority decision, written by Justice Antonin Scalia, said the EPA has to consider the costs of complying with the rules and sent the air pollution regulations back to the agency.

The EPA rules in question regulate hazardous air pollutants and mercury from coal- and oil-fired power plants, known as the MATS regulations. The regulations went into effect April 16. The utility industry had argued that the rules cost them billions of dollars to comply and that EPA ignored the cost issue in putting the regulations into effect.

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“EPA must consider cost — including cost of compliance — before deciding whether regulation is appropriate and necessary. It will be up to the agency to decide (as always, within the limits of reasonable interpretation) how to account for cost,” Scalia wrote in agreeing with the industry.

The decision will have repercussions for other EPA regulations that are key to Obama’s climate change agenda. The EPA will now have to examine the cost of compliance for the Clean Power Plan, which is at the heart of the president’s environmental agenda. Read the rest of this entry »


Author Warns U.S. Military to Focus on China

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World War III scenarios could become a reality, says Peter Singer, Author of ‘Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War

WASHINGTON— Dion Nissenbaum writes: Peter Singer, one of Washington’s pre-eminent futurists, is walking the Pentagon halls with an ominous warning for America’s military leaders: World War III with China is coming.

In meeting after meeting with anyone who will listen, this modern-day soothsayer wearing a skinny tie says America’s most advanced fighter jets might be blown from the sky by their Chinese-made microchips and Chinese hackers easily could worm their way into the military’s secretive intelligence service, and the Chinese Army may one day occupy Hawaii.

“It may not be politic, but it is, in my belief, no longer useful to avoid talking about the great power rivalries of the 21st century and the real dangers of them getting out of control.”

The ideas might seem outlandish, but Pentagon officials are listening to the 40-year-old senior fellow at the New America Foundation, a nonpartisan think tank.

In hours of briefings, Mr. Singer has outlined his grim vision for intelligence officials, Air Force officers and Navy commanders. What makes his scenarios more remarkable is that they are based on a work of fiction: Mr. Singer’s soon-to-be-released, 400-page techno thriller, “Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War.”

[Read the full text here, at WSJ]

“World War III may seem like something that was either a fear in the distant past or a risk in the distant future,” Mr. Singer told a dozen Air Force officers during a Pentagon briefing last week. “But, as the Rolling Stones put it in ‘Gimme Shelter,’ ‘It’s just a shot away.’ ”

Pentagon officials typically don’t listen to the doom-and-gloom predictions of fiction writers. But Mr. Singer comes to the table with an unusual track record. He has written authoritative books on America’s reliance on 51h7dO6Lc8L._SL250_private military contractors, cybersecurity and the Defense Department’s growing dependence on robots, drones and technology.

[Order Peter Singer’s bookGhost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War” from Amazon.com]

The Army, Navy and Air Force already have included two of his books on their official reading lists. And he often briefs military leaders on his research.

Ghost Fleet,” co-written with former Wall Street Journal reporter August Cole is based on interviews, military research and years of experience working with the Defense Department.

“He’s the premier futurist in the national-security environment,” said Mark Jacobson, a special assistant to Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, who made sure his boss read the book. “Peter’s always where the ball is going to be. And people in the Pentagon listen to what he has to say.”

Release of the book by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on Tuesday comes during a new period of soul-searching for the U.S. military. Read the rest of this entry »


It Was #Socialism, Not #Austerity or Alexis Tsipras, That Wrecked #Greece

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Matt Purple writes: The stock market is getting walloped today and the reason is grave: Greece, dogged by enormous debt and an anemic economy, may be about to walk away
Marx-TVfrom its German creditors.

“Thanks to Greece’s socialist policies, its economy has long been creaking under the weight of crushing debt. It only endured in the debt-averse European Union because, with the help of Wall Street honchos like Goldman Sachs, it cunningly concealed its red ink for over a decade.”

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has called for a referendum over the latest concessions demanded by Germany and the European Commission. Votes will be cast on Sunday and Tspiras is actively campaigning against Greek cooperation. Four days earlier comes Tuesday, which is the deadline for Greece forking over an additional 1.6 billion euros to the International Monetary Fund. It’s now unknown whether Tspiras intends to default.

Greeks protest in Athens in 2010. (Photo: Thanassis Stavrakis, AP, 2010)

What is known is that the uncertainty is causing Greeks to party like it’s 1930. NBC News reports:

Greece imposed restrictions on money withdrawals and banking transactions to keep its financial system from collapsing due to a run on the banks.

Anxious Greeks rushed to ATMs to withdraw cash after Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras called late Friday for a referendum on the creditors’ reform proposals. …

Meanwhile, retirees lined up just after dawn at bank branches hoping they would be able to receive their pensions, which were due to be paid Monday. The finance ministry said the manner in which pensions would be disbursed would be announced later in the afternoon.

The euro tumbled to a nine-year low Monday as new worries flared over Greece, where a woman in Athens passed a currency-changing business. Associated Press

The president of the European Commission has declared that Greece’s departure from the euro is not an option, but even the most impenetrable of Eurocrats must comprehend that their little science project is falling apart.

[Read the full text here, at Rare]

This weekend’s referendum isn’t just about the current bailout package; a “no” vote will effectively jettison Greece from the euro and resurrect their old drachma currency. A “Grexit,” the prospect of which has long triggered dramatic sting music in the minds of European financial ministers, is looming over the Continent.

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“That debt is often attributed to the fact that ‘Greeks don’t pay their taxes,’ which has now reached near-aphorism status among economic writers. But rarely does anyone explore the reasons for all this tax dodging.”

And why not? The referendum is likely a leverage tactic by Tspiras—who’s resorted to such risibly desperate measures in the past as calling on Germany to pay Greece Nazi war reparations—but it intersects with one of the seminal themes of his election campaign last year: giving the Greek people a choice. Why should Athens, fuzzily remembered as the “birthplace of democracy,” have its finances determined in the back room of a foreign accounting office? Read the rest of this entry »


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