Sunday, August 20, 2017

Robert Tombs, The English and Their History


I'm lining up some books on British history. Like Rome, it's a big subject. Besides the general history book here or there, I'll start with the Tudors and work back and forth.

For now, though, check out Robert Tombs, at Amazon, The English and Their History.

Americans Don't Trust the Media, and for Good Reason

From Sharyl Attkisson, at the Hill:
Trust in the mass media is at an all-time low. Two-thirds of Americans believe the mainstream press publishes fake news.

Yes, there’s still much good journalism to be found, if you know where to look. Yet, ask reporters who’ve been around a while,  and many will tell you that a lot of good journalism is being left unpublished. Good journalists hate what’s happening to the news.

We have only ourselves to blame...

David Mattingly, An Imperial Possession

At Amazon, David Mattingly, An Imperial Possession: Britain in the Roman Empire.

The Left Normalizing Police Hatred (VIDEO)

It's Tomi Lahren.

Look for her to get a gig at Fox News in no time, thanks to Sean Hannity's promotion especially.

Robin Fleming, Britain After Rome

At Amazon, Robin Fleming, Britain After Rome: The Fall and Rise, 400 to 1070.

Dodgers Acquire Curtis Granderson

So I saw Curtis Granderson featured at the Dodgers' Twitter feed, and I thought "Why's he putting on a Dodger jersey? Must be doing cross-team MLB promotions, or something." Then I thought, "Wait, the Dodgers traded for Curtis Granderson?" And I googled it. Yep, they snagged the dude from the Mets. Granderson's got tremendous energy and charisma. I've seen him play clutch baseball here and there, but I've never really followed his game closely. His acquisition by the Dodgers illustrates the team's intent to win the World Series, and of course Granderson's totally stoked.

Here's Bill Plaschke, at LAT, "The Dodgers' front office swings for the fences with acquisition of Curtis Granderson":

It happened again. They did it again.

Late innings, out of nowhere, a screaming line drive, a sprint toward home, dust flies, fans gasp, victory appears.

It happened again. The Dodgers’ front office did it again.

The magic of this wondrous baseball team is nearly being matched, walk-off for walk-off, by the magic of the guys who have assembled it. Andrew Friedman and Farhan Zaidi went deep in extra innings for the second time in less than three weeks Friday night, picking up October-honed outfielder Curtis Granderson from the New York Mets for virtually nothing, and now can there be any question?

In their third season here, Friedman and Zaidi understand Dodgers fans’ anguish. They connect with their desperation. They share their hope. They get it, and they’re going for it.

Even with the team steamrollering to what might be the best regular-season record in baseball history, possibly breaking the fabled 116-victory mark, Friedman and Zaidi are still shaking things up, adding a veteran left-handed hitter, sending down former top prospect Joc Pederson, emphasizing that their only goal is one shared by anyone who has spent the last 29 years going out of their blue minds.

“We’ll take the 11 wins in October over the 116 wins in the regular season any day,” Zaidi, the team’s general manager, said in a phone interview.

Remember when everyone was worried that they were satisfied with building for the future at the expense of today? About five minutes before the July 31 nonwaiver trade deadline, with nothing big happening, folks everywhere were beginning to gripe about two guys who cared more about the process than the present.

Then, boom, they walked it off with the deal for starting pitcher Yu Darvish, who has done just enough to help the team win all three of his starts. And now, wham, they have walked it off again by acquiring Granderson, a great clubhouse guy who has 18 home runs since May 1, who can still work up some serious exit velocity against right-handed pitching, and who has played in a dozen postseason series, including two World Series.

He is a big-swinging starting outfielder against right-handers. He is invaluable bench depth on other days. He is 36, he has seen it all, he batted .389 against the Dodgers in a 2015 division series, hit three homers in the 2015 World Series, and becomes yet another gleaming chess piece that can shine under the lights.

“He has the kind of grinding mentality that plays in October,” Zaidi said...

Courtney Friel Update

Following-up from eight years ago, "Courtney Friel, Political Scientist."

She's updated her Twitter profile photo, plus another pre-broadcast selfie:

New York Times Applauds Far-Left Violence

It's Glenn Reynolds, linking Power Line, at Instapundit, "THEY’RE NOT AGAINST VIOLENCE WHEN IT COMES FROM THEIR SIDE: New York Times Applauds Far-Left Violence."

Have We Crossed a Line in Media Coverage of the Presidency?

My short answer is no. As soon as a Democrat retakes the White House, we'll be back to fawning, far-left news coverage starring journalists with Democrat bylines.

But see the Los Angeles Times, "Has the Trump presidency permanently changed how the media cover the presidency?":

Quick quiz: Name just one press secretary who served under President Obama or George W. Bush.

If you’re Googling for answers, congratulations, and condolences: You’re no different than most Americans.

Now ask yourself the same question about President Trump’s administration. It’s likely you’re rattling off names as spontaneously as a freestyle rapper: Spicer, Scaramucci, Huckabee Sanders.

Drop the mike. Take a victory lap. All those hours of flipping among CNN, MSNBC and Fox, watching wall-to-wall coverage of the Trump White House and everything that touches it, have finally proved useful. Addiction has it rewards.

And make no mistake, watching cable news is no longer just a casual pastime or a way to stay informed. It’s an addiction, an American epidemic that started with a gateway drug known as the Trump presidency.

Checking in with first-name commentator anchors like Anderson, Rachel or Tucker for the latest developments, drama and crises emanating from the White House is now habit, like checking your smartphone for messages, after you just checked it two seconds ago, after you just checked it three seconds before that.

And most of what we’re getting is opinion. The phrase “let’s ask the panel” has become the mantra of the 24-hour news cycle — Trump just tweeted threats to North Korea, let’s ask the panel; the Russia probe is looking into Trump family connections with Moscow, let’s ask the panel.

Pundits may argue that President Trump hasn’t accomplished much in his first six months in office (no Obamacare repeal, no Hillary incarceration, no wall other than the one Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions bangs his head on nightly), but the Showman Trump has turned cable news into a must-see spectacle that’s hard to resist.

His lasting influence could very well be altering the way in which we consume politics and news, turning coverage of how the nation is governed into a talk show about an unhinged reality show. To quote a phrase popular with the president: It seems we’ve “crossed the red line” for how we ingest news, and it’s unlikely we’ll ever be able to turn back to simpler times, when Senate hearings were C-Span fodder and press briefings an exercise in protocol.

Americans have come to rely on the continuous feed of wacky, sad and terrifying White House moments for entertainment, even if the ultimate effect jangles nerves and overloads synapses.

When Sean Spicer resigned six months into Trump’s presidency, you could almost hear the collective disappointment — “Awe. Spicey’s out! Who and what are we going to watch next? Will they be as entertaining and outlandish?” Enter Scaramucci. Hooray! Next.

The news machine is hooked on Trump’s superlatives, which are more Barnum & Bailey circus barker (“Like the World Has Never Seen!”), John Wayne (“Locked and Loaded!”) and Cersei Lannister (“They’ll be Met With Fire and Fury”) than presidential.

“What Trump Said” and “Words Matter” were the taglines that flashed on the screen during an hour of panelist prattle devoted to Trump talk last week on prime-time CNN. Everyone from the network’s outspoken star commentator Ana Navarro to former Defense Secretary William Perry to Trump biographer Michael D’Antonio deconstructed POTUS’ ultimatums to Kim Jong Un, Trump’s threat of military intervention in Venezuela, his taunting of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (give this to Trump: He’s an equal opportunity mocker; Republicans feel it as much as Democrats).

Absent from broadcasts: Actual reportage on real news, especially if it doesn’t directly concern Trump or the partisan warfare that’s distorted our world view. Even when there is real news — like the horrific violence spurred by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Va. — it’s subsumed by angry debates about what the president should have said and the frightening foothold the alt-right has gained in our nation. Lots of sound and fury to be sure, but not much significance.

All Trump talk, all the time, is a ratings bonanza. Cable’s three major news networks saw double-digit ratings growth in the second quarter of this year. MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” and “Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell” are up 86% in prime-time viewership compared with the same period in 2016.

CNN saw a 39% leap in viewers ages 25 to 54, and that’s after having its most-watched first quarter in 14 years. Even Fox News, which took major hits the last year with the loss of founder Roger Ailes and its star host Bill O’Reilly, saw record numbers for daytime viewership for any cable news network.e highest-rated quarter of total day viewership

So why would they ever go back to old-fashioned “boring” coverage? And would that satisfy the need for our hourly political fix?

The wall-to-wall coverage we’ve come to expect now didn’t start with the inauguration in January. It’s been unprecedented drama all the time for the last two years, ever since Trump threw his hat in the ring for the presidency...
Still more (FWIW).

And, at the video at top, "Watch CNN's Kate Bolduan shut down a Republican Senate candidate for claiming the problem is 'the violent left'."

Let's Get One Thing Clear About #Antifa

"Antifa is an Anarcho-Communist cause."

Note to CNN and the "alt-left" fake news outfits:

CNN's Hot Take on #Antifa: 'Peace Through Violence'

From John Sexton, at Hot Air.

What the Symbols and Slogans Used by White Nationalists and Their Counterprotesters Mean

From the fake-News Washington Post, "Deconstructing the symbols and slogans spotted in Charlottesville: Each side comes to rallies armed with chants, banners, shields and flags. Here’s a closer look at the political context and history behind the words and the logos":

As well-coordinated and meticulously organized white nationalists converged to rally in Charlottesville, they brought with them chants, banners, slurs, shields and flags. Counterprotesters, including anti-fascist groups and local residents, church groups and civil rights leaders, had their own symbols and slogans. Each of the icons spotted carried its own political context and history.

Symbols on display ranged from exact replicas of the Confederate flag to altered versions of a National Hockey League team logo. Some date from the Crusades, while others were designed in the wake of President Trump’s election. Those marching with far-right groups were generally well organized, with many wearing group uniforms and carrying shields. Those protesting in opposition were less consistent in their branding. Here’s what was seen on the streets of Charlottesville...
Keep reading.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Harry Turtledove, How Few Remain

Well, I enjoyed American War, but little did I know about Harry Turtledove and his "Southern Victory" saga, an alternative history in which the South wins the Civil War. I swear, this is just what I need right now, lol.

More about these books later.

Meanwhile, at Amazon, Harry Turtledove, How Few Remain (Southern Victory).

Anton Myrer, Once an Eagle

This book's apparently required reading in the Marine Corps, said to be one of the best books ever written on moral leadership.

At Amazon, Anton Myrer, Once an Eagle.

Stephen Kotkin, Stalin

This is one I'm really excited about. It's out on Halloween.

At Amazon, Stephen Kotkin, Stalin: Waiting for Hitler, 1929-1941.

Anna Funder, Stasiland

At Amazon, Anna Funder, Stasiland: Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall.

Svetlana Alexievich, Secondhand Time

At Amazon, Svetlana Alexievich, Secondhand Time: The Last of the Soviets.

Shop Today

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BONUS: William Manchester, The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill: Visions of Glory, 1874-1932.

Steve Bannon Out

Well, this is the crazy big news at Memeorandum.

Here's the story at the Los Angeles Times, "Steve Bannon out as Trump's chief strategist."

He's not the kind of guy to sit around and pout. Apparently he was chairing Breitbart's editorial meeting yesterday, with big plans for a post-White House agenda.

See, "Steve Bannon Speaks After White House Departure: 'I'm Going to War for Trump'." (At Memeorandum.)

Wilber Smith, River God

At Amazon, Wilber Smith, River God: A Novel of Ancient Egypt (Novels of Ancient Egypt).

Alexa Ray Joel Gets Sexy (VIDEO)

At Sports Illustrated Swimsuit:

Margaret George, The Autobiography of Henry VIII

At Amazon, Margaret George, The Autobiography of Henry VIII - With Notes by His Fool, Will Somers: A Novel.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Anya Seton, Katherine

At Amazon, Anya Seton, Katherine.

Evelyn Taft's Solar Eclipse Forecast

She's got your epic eclipse weather forecast, lol.

The lovely Ms. Evelyn, for CBS News 2 Los Angeles:

Alison Weir, The Life of Elizabeth

At Amazon, Alison Weir, The Life of Elizabeth.

G.J. Meyer, The Tudors


G.J. Meyer, The Tudors: The Complete Story of England's Most Notorious Dynasty.

Richard Miles, Carthage Must Be Destroyed

At Amazon, Richard Miles, Carthage Must Be Destroyed: The Rise and Fall of an Ancient Civilization.

ICYMI: Norman Mailer, The Executioner's Song

At Amazon, Norman Mailer, The Executioner's Song.

Ken Follett, A Column of Fire

It turns out Ken Follett had a blockbuster sensation with the publication of his medieval novel, The Pillars of the Earth (1989). That was followed up by a second volume of a trilogy, World Without End (2007).

So now he's got the third installment coming out on September 12. At Amazon, A Column of Fire.
In 1558, the ancient stones of Kingsbridge Cathedral look down on a city torn apart by religious conflict. As power in England shifts precariously between Catholics and Protestants, royalty and commoners clash, testing friendship, loyalty, and love.

Ned Willard wants nothing more than to marry Margery Fitzgerald. But when the lovers find themselves on opposing sides of the religious conflict dividing the country, Ned goes to work for Princess Elizabeth. When she becomes queen, all Europe turns against England. The shrewd, determined young monarch sets up the country’s first secret service to give her early warning of assassination plots, rebellions, and invasion plans. Over a turbulent half century, the love between Ned and Margery seems doomed as extremism sparks violence from Edinburgh to Geneva. Elizabeth clings to her throne and her principles, protected by a small, dedicated group of resourceful spies and courageous secret agents.

The real enemies, then as now, are not the rival religions. The true battle pitches those who believe in tolerance and compromise against the tyrants who would impose their ideas on everyone else—no matter what the cost.

Set during one of the most turbulent and revolutionary times in history, A Column of Fire is one of Follett’s most exciting and ambitious works yet. It will delight longtime fans of the Kingsbridge series and is the perfect introduction for readers new to Ken Follett.

Jennifer Connelly, 46, Flaunts Age-Defying Figure in Skimpy Bright Yellow Bikini

She's nice. At London's Daily Mail, "PICTURE EXCLUSIVE: Sizzling Jennifer Connelly, 46, displays her sensational age-defying figure in a bright yellow skimpy bikini as she frolics on Ibiza beach with husband Paul Bettany."

British Foreign Office Warns More Terror Attacks Likely

Millions of Brits visit Spain for summer vacation, creating a target-rich environment for Islamic State jihadists.

At London's Daily Mail, "Europol chief warns British tourists they face highest threat in Europe for a generation - but there WON'T be refunds for holidaymakers who want to cancel or come home: Foreign Office warns over one million Britons to be vigilant while visiting Spain."

Islamic State Claims Responsibility for Barcelona Truck Jihad Attack (VIDEO)

At the Other McCain, "Neo-Nazi Alt-Right Trump Supporter Commits Racist Terrorism in … SPAIN?"

And Hot Air, "Second Attack: Spanish Police Kill Four Terror Suspects in Town 0f Cambrils."

More at Telegraph U.K., "Live - Barcelona and Cambrils: Terrorists planned bigger attacks, police reveal amid hunt for van driver - latest news."

Faith Goldy Fired from Rebel Media

I mentioned this before. If Rebel Media reporters go too far right, hanging out with white supremacists, and so forth, that's too much for Ezra Levant. And it's too much for me.

Faith is pretty righteous. Frankly, I'm surprised she'd go and interview with the Daily Stormer, a KKK/neo-Nazi stronghold. But it is what it is. She'll land on her feet, no doubt.

I fully support this, though. Ezra's totally pro-Israel and anti-racist, just like me.!

Here's Ezra:

Paul Joseph Watson Demonetized at YouTube (VIDEO)

I was just starting to warm up to the dude, lol.

Shop Books on Fascism

At Amazon, "Fascism."

See especially, Julius Evola, Fascism Viewed from the Right.

Mark Bray, Antifa

Out September 12. And it's certainly timely.

At Amazon, Mark Bray, Antifa: The Anti-Fascist.

Sinclair Lewis, It Can't Happen Here

At Amazon, Sinclair Lewis, It Can't Happen Here (Signet Classics).

David Horowitz, The Black Book of the American Left - Volume 4

David Horowitz, The Black Book of the American Left - Volume 4: Islamo-Fascism and the War Against the Jews.

Peter H. Merkl and Leonard Weinberg, Encounters With the Contemporary Radical Right

At Amazon, Encounters With the Contemporary Radical Right.

President Trump Puts 'Shrinking Base' Before 'National Healing'

There's so much to question about this report at the Los Angeles Times. Is Trump's base really "shrinking"? It wasn't particularly big in the first place, at around 40 percent. And why are we having a "national healing" over Charlottesville? It's not that different from the police massacres in New York and Dallas, where BLM supporters hunted down to policeman for execution. It's the national double standard that we live with today, and it's what's dividing the country. That, and the Obama administration's 8-year campaign of race grievance-mongering.

At LAT, "Trump shuns healing gestures, redoubling support for Confederate memorials and slamming fellow Republicans":
President Trump, increasingly isolated, appears caught in a cycle of anger and provocation as he pushes wider the nation’s longstanding racial and cultural divide to solidify his dwindling base of populist political support.

The latest examples came Thursday: Trump further inflamed the incendiary debate over the nation’s Confederate memorials, saying American culture was “being ripped apart” by their removal; lashed out at some perceived Senate enemies; and repeated a religiously offensive myth about an American general using bullets bathed in pigs’ blood to kill Muslim terrorists.

His fusillade came throughout the day on Twitter even as critics, including in Trump’s party, implored him to instead try to unite the nation. As the restive president ostensibly vacationed at his golf club in New Jersey, his unnerved aides were left to deal with the fallout from his tweets and verbal blasts in the days since Saturday, when white separatists provoked deadly violence in Charlottesville, Va.

For Trump, the challenge of governing has grown ever more daunting since he took office in January without the usual bounce of popularity for a new president. As his support has declined, he has relied more on his most ardent supporters, who generally are white, older, nonurban and deeply conservative.

Yet by his efforts to please the hard-right activists, the president is pushing mainstream supporters further away. Polls show his job approval rating below 40%, sometimes dipping into the low 30s, and they suggest his core support — the people who say they will never abandon him — amounts to about 1 in 4 Americans.

That base, together with some more moderate voters who hoped Trump would use his impulsiveness and business instincts to shake up Washington, allowed him to eke out a narrow electoral college victory against an unpopular Hillary Clinton. But governing has been a struggle, diminishing Trump’s leverage over congressional Republicans the more they fear his unpopularity will imperil their majorities.

Trump struck back hard with his Twitter finger Thursday from early morning on, all but endorsing the Republican opponent of Jeff Flake, a GOP senator from Arizona who has criticized him, and assailing local efforts to remove monuments to Confederate heroes.

After news broke of a terrorist attack in Barcelona, Spain, the president repeated a dubious myth he previously invoked on the campaign trail, to much criticism, about a general who used bullets coated in pigs’ blood to execute insurgents in the Philippines in the early 20th century​; to followers of Islam, pigs are impure.

“Study what General Pershing of the United States did to terrorists when caught,” Trump tweeted. “There was no more Radical Islamic Terror for 35 years!”

Trump’s quick condemnation of the Barcelona carnage as a terrorist attack, and his suggestion that Muslims were at fault, came before Spanish authorities had released conclusive information. As such, Trump’s rapid response contrasted with his slowness in calling out the white supremacists in Charlottesville — blame he rescinded on Tuesday, when he said “both sides” were culpable for violence there — and contradicted his claim in that instance that he only comments on such incidents after all the facts are known.

Trump still has not called the fatal attack in Charlottesville, in which a car driven by an alleged white supremacist plowed into a crowd, an act of terrorism...
Still more (FWIW).

Save on Cuisinart MultiClad Pro Set (8-Piece)

At Amazon, Cuisinart MCP-8NW MultiClad Pro Set (8-Piece).

Plus, check all of Today's Deals.

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BONUS: Neal Stephenson, The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O.: A Novel.

Diarmaid MacCulloch, All Things Made New

At Amazon, Diarmaid MacCulloch, All Things Made New: The Reformation and Its Legacy.

Christopher Kelly, The End of Empire

At Amazon, Christopher Kelly, The End of Empire: Attila the Hun & the Fall of Rome.