New scandal

I have irrefutable proof that the White House photoshopped this publicity shot.

Never mind

HotAir reports that the "anonymous" whistleblower no longer wants to testify in the House's secret Star Chamber proceedings. It also points out, however, that the Schiff Show won't always be in charge of all the decisions about who gets to testify:
If Democrats vote to impeach Trump, a trial must begin in the Senate, where Republicans will control all of the processes that Schiff currently controls. It’s all but certain that Senate Republicans will take a very keen interest in just how this all started, and might start issuing subpoenas to House attorneys to testify as to their contacts with this whistleblower. They could also subpoena the whistleblower himself, although certain safeguards would still apply, but it might be sufficient to force transparency on House committee staffers in establishing who participated in this whistleblowing, at what time, and for what purpose.
At any rate, the fact that Democrats no longer want the whistleblower to participate in this process is not going to deter Republicans from pursuing this issue. In fact, it might just raise a big red flag for Lindsey Graham when — or if — he gets the case.
Maybe the plan is never actually to vote to impeach, but only to spend the entire time between now and November 2020 calling witnesses in secret and selectively releasing portions of their testimony. That's going to form an interesting counterpoint to the long-awaited Horowitz IG report and whatever indictments John Durham plans to hand down.

Can this marriage be saved?

From Stephen Kruiser at PJ Media:
Face it, we don't like each other much anymore, the Right and Left in America. We've been heading toward this for a while. I blame Hillary Clinton, partially because she's so adept at being unlikeable, but mostly because I believe she is more than likely Satan's latest incarnation on Earth.

Never never never never

On a recommendation from Maggie's Farm, I've been reading the recently deceased Vladimir Bukosvky's "To Build a Castle," about the astonishing success of resistance against Soviet totalitarianism even in the grimmest of prisons and work camps.
“The implacable force of one man’s refusal to submit” could, Bukovsky wrote, weaken the force of the leviathan, which rested “not [on] rifles … tanks, [nor] atom bombs [but] on public obedience.”
With such a thought, maybe he was crazy, you might say. But, having won his freedom, he outlived the Soviet Union by 30 years — not nearly enough for those of us privileged to know him or the millions of others forever in his debt.
Bukovsky and his fellow political prisoners resisted all day, every day, in the tiny ways they had available. They never rested.
The old jailers used to sigh, "You're hopelessly spoiled. Now, twenty years ago...." But we too were nothing like the rabbits who died without a murmur. We had grasped the great truth that it was not rifles, not tanks and not atom bombs that created power, nor upon them that power rested. Power depended upon public obedience, upon a willingness to submit. Therefore each individual who refused to submit to force reduced that force by one 250-millionth of its sum. We had been schooled by our participation in the civil rights movement, we had received an excellent education in the camps, and we knew of the implacable force of one man's refusal to submit. The authorities knew it too. They had long since abandoned any idea of basing their calculations on Communist dogma. They no longer demanded of people a belief in the radian future--all they needed was submission.
As Churchill said,
[S]urely from this period of ten months this is the lesson: never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never-in nothing, great or small, large or petty - never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy. We stood all alone a year ago, and to many countries it seemed that our account was closed, we were finished.... But instead our country stood in the gap.

Another interesting read this week:  James E. Mitchell's "Enhanced Interrogation."  Diane Feinstein doesn't come off well, but the author has good things to say about John Durham.  Mitchell is the man you've probably seen quoted as reporting KSM's astonishment that the "cowboy" George Bush didn't treat 9/11 as a law-enforcement matter, but instead took decisive action to disrupt al Qaeda's follow-up plans.

"The signal is coming from inside the house"

... As Glen Reynolds like to say. Californians naturally blame Republican policies for the collapse of their public systems, and even gloat that the Reagan Library, threatened by wildfire, is about to get its comeuppance. In case you're wondering, though, that's totally not hate speech. Everything is either woke or hate, and this obviously is woke.

DC Metropolitan Axis

Here I am once again. I’ll be in town until 10 November, if any of you are looking to meet up.

Katie, We Hardly Knew Ya

I actually only first heard of her when the story broke about her having multiple affairs with both sexes, while naked bong-smoking and nude hair brushing.  And now she’s already gone, just as she promised to be the most entertaining Congressperson since I can’t say when.

Nice of her to blame misogyny for her downfall, though. It was the affair with the female staffer by a female Congressperson that got noted female Nancy Pelosi to demand her resignation. I didn’t ask her to leave. I’d have rather she stayed. You can’t pay for entertainment like that, and it’s not like her district is apt to send anyone better.

Oh well.

ISIS to Review Institutional Culture Following Baghdadi Suicide

Via Tex, a post from the DB.

Also on topic, the BB offers an updated style guide for news organizations.

The Roots of California's Energy Problems Go Back Decades

Tex presented a couple of theories she'd come across about California's utility problems that have led to blackouts in much of Northern California.  One not so good, and the other started to get at the real issues- but it goes back much further than that.  I came across this thread of tweets by Mike Shellenberger, who is an interesting fellow- He's a lauded environmentalist (Time Magazine Hero of the Environment 2008), and now runs "Environmental Progress", an organization that promotes Nuclear power as a major force in clean energy.
"And so et al used renewables as public relations cover in order to kill the only technology, nuclear, that can replace fossil fuels, in large measure to protect their own family's oil monopoly, in addition to fear-mongering about nuclear for 40+ years."
There's too much in the thread for me to put it here, but it gets into Jerry Brown's first term, and the relationship of personal and oil interests in killing nuclear power, and promoting unreliable and impotent renewables instead.

He's coming out with a book next year that will go in depth, but the thread should give you a sense of what it's about.

The Great Cattle Raid of Eastern Lakes

Apparently a common and ongoing practice in South Sudan.
In South Sudan, brideprices may be anything from 30 to 300 cows. “For young men, the acquisition of so many cattle through legitimate means is nearly impossible,” write Ms Hudson and Ms Matfess. The alternative is to steal a herd from the tribe next door. In a country awash with arms, such cattle raids are as bloody as they are frequent. “7 killed, 10 others wounded in cattle raid in Eastern Lakes,” reads a typical headline in This Day, a South Sudanese paper. The article describes how “armed youths from neighbouring communities” stole 58 cows, leaving seven people—and 38 cows—shot dead “in tragic crossfire”.

Thousands of South Sudanese are killed in cattle raids every year. “When you have cows, the first thing you must do is get a gun. If you don’t have a gun, people will take your cows,” says Jok, a 30-year-old cattle herder in Wau, a South Sudanese city. He is only carrying a machete, but he says his brothers have guns.

Jok loves cows. “They give you milk, and you can marry with them,” he smiles.
It sounded cooler when Cúchulainn was doing it.

Is It Behind the Guillotine?

Marxist financial advice.

Operation Kayla Mueller

According to the New York Post:

The military operation targeting Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was named for Kayla Mueller, the humanitarian aid worker the terrorist leader captured and tortured until her death in 2015.

Mueller, of Prescott, Ariz., was 25 when she was taken captive by ISIS in August 2013 after crossing the Turkish border into Syria to visit a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Aleppo. She was held for 18 months before her death was announced in 2015.
An appropriate name for such an operation.

Ranger Up marks the occasion as well.

Update: USA Today has an interview with Mueller's parents, a sad but satisfying exchange.

Disturbing news regarding the "hero dog" of the al-Baghdadi raid.

Courtesy of the Babylon Bee

Riding Report

Saw another bear today, smaller than the last one. Classic shape and colors, black with a tan muzzle. I'd estimate 225-250 pounds, whereas I think the fellow from the Mexican restaurant was north of 350.

The light and the color of the leaves today was as fine as I've ever seen it. You get a real sense of verticality riding up and down these mountain roads, as you see ridges that you then descend in amongst, or rise back out of again. The weather was warm enough to ride without gloves, though as the afternoon lengthened I added a long-sleeved shirt.

Good day.

Wolf Lake.

Two great theories

We're all wondering how California could have painted itself into such a lurid corner on a lot of subjects, the most recently obvious one being a dramatic failure of the power grid.  USA Today helpfully quotes two citizens--one famous and one not--who are floating explanations that surely will catch on.  First,
For San Francisco resident and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer, the blame lies at the doorstep of the White House. He says, "We can't solve this within the Golden State. We are in a fight for our lives, and the president isn't doing anything to help us. In fact, he's making things worse."
Mr. Steyer offers no explanation for his theory, which perhaps needs none. Second,
Susan Smith, [a] resident of Shasta County, where 40,000 PG+E customers had their power turned off, has lived through tornadoes and hurricanes but has never dealt with as many outages as she has since moving from Texas [clue alert].... "If PG+E doesn't have faith in themselves that they can't withstand a wind storm, then they need to go out of business," Smith says Sunday while charging her phone at a community resource center set up in her hometown of Anderson.
Well, PG+E is in its second bankruptcy of the last two decades, so we'll see, but the special thing about state-regulated monopolies is that they generally don't go out of business no matter how fantastically they fail. It's kind of why people go for the monopoly gig in the first place.  In any case, while PG+E can expect limited sympathy considering whom it's in bed with, it is now and ever has been the truth that when a heavily state-regulated monopoly does a bad job, it might be a good idea to consider the barking-mad regulatory system it lives under. It's freaking California, after all, and when you untether a company from market forces by granting it monopoly status, all you have left for protection is the gummint.  That's the state gummint, by the way, the one answerable to California voters, not the Bad Orange Man in Washington.

Major Gabbard Worries the Democratic Establishment

She's only polling around three percent for now, but her attacks on Hillary Clinton -- and her heresy on abortion as well as foreign wars -- seem to have scared the party into backing her primary opponent.

She responded by declaring she wouldn't seek re-election to her House seat at all, but would focus on becoming President. That's shaken them up a bit.

So she's now a right-winger! A Russian Spy!

They're sounding a little bit crazy these days. I wonder if they're aware of the tinge of hysteria that is creeping into their collective voice.

Double-plus un-education

I know this has been going on for a while, but don't we detect a kind of end-stage frantic spiraling climax? If I understand correctly--however unlikely that be in light of my pathetic loyalty to stale intellectual customs that are destroying the world and literally (srsly you guyz) killing otherkin students of all otherilks--this seems to be the plan:
(1) “redesigning assessment ecologies,” and quite a few “dimension-based rubrics."
(2) ???
(3) righteous emancipation and “inclusive excellence.”
So allrighty then.