Video of the Day

The last part of Vice’s video series on ISIS:

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Afternoon Links

Oh what a fucking shock: the $3.1 billion Workforce Investment Act is a huge waste. Kevin Williamson points out the simple reason why this is the case here:

Consider the checkered history of the Workforce Investment Act, signed into law by President Bill Clinton, significantly expanded under President Barack Obama’s stimulus program, and recently reauthorized with broad bipartisan support in Congress. The strategy behind WIA could not be simpler: A. Identify unemployed or underemployed people; B. Make a list of jobs likely to be in high demand in the future; C. Match one of Column A with one of Column B, and spend a few billion dollars a year getting them together through training programs. This works about as well as you would expect. Employees of the federal government have (almost by definition) no competence when it comes to understanding demand for workers in the private sector, and they have effectively zero ability to determine whether an unemployed construction worker in Louisville has any affinity for working as a cardiovascular technician. The New York Times, in a far-reaching examination of the program, found a man in precisely that position, and the net effect of his experience was $20,000 in school loans training him for a job that never materialized and that probably never will. The Times found much evidence that the program leaves its so-called beneficiaries worse off than when they started; the federal government studiously keeps no records of whether those who sign up for the program ever earn a degree or a professional credential — or whether they find jobs as a result of it. If you don’t keep the data, it cannot be used against you. But when the government decides to spend $3.1 billion a year on some daft enthusiasm, you can be sure that a bucket brigade will show up to take that money off its hands. In this case, institutions ranging from dodgy for-profit vocational programs to local community colleges have been more than happy to take the money and have done precious little to see that some unemployed person benefits from it. Unsurprisingly, default rates on student loans taken out by people in these programs run very high — meaning that “beneficiaries” can add damaged credit to debt and unemployment on their list of financial woes. When it comes to making moves in the marketplace — for instance, by trying to connect particular unemployed people with particular job opportunities expected to develop in the future — it is a good general rule that the more specific the plan, the worse it will perform. The federal government knows this — that’s why it does not keep records on whether such programs work. Add another layer of specificity — we want to specifically help poor minority communities in areas with histories of concentrated poverty — and the problem becomes that much more difficult. It is notable that one of the most dramatic periods of progress toward closing the black-white income gap happened during the presidency of Ronald Reagan, whose administration did not do a great deal to address black families’ incomes as such — President Reagan’s program was one of general prosperity, which, if we take the economic data of the period as any guide, worked better than much of anything that’s been tried before or since. It is not as though the typical black family suddenly had a Windsor Hills income, but African Americans’ employment and incomes — both individual and business — grew faster than the national average from 1982 to 1988, and black unemployment was cut nearly in half. Programs such as the Workforce Investment Act stem from the fact that politicians always feel the need to “do something,” the more specific the better. No doubt President Obama will have some very specific ideas about how to help communities such as Ferguson. And no doubt they’ll be the wrong ideas.

I think Ben Carson is a bit overhyped as a political candidate, but boy would I LOVE to see him debate Al Sharpton.

Since the rise of ISIS, AQ leader Ayman al-Zawahiri has gone AWOL.

Sorry, but if a private business says they don’t want you breast feeding your kid while other people are trying to eat, that’s their right to do so.

If only there was a German word for how this makes me feel.

Under fire for a failed foreign policy, Obama to preside over the world’s most dysfunctional foreign policy entity.

Meanwhile, New Yorkers are learning that when you elect a far Leftist to run a major city everything gets worse really fast.

Hezbollah lowers fighting age as it takes on Islamic State.

Yes, I’m really worried about the feelings of the child mugger. Give me a break. Sonny Bunch has the proper response to this idiocy.

Oh, for fuck’s sake: Georgia woman arrested for being a good citizen and telling her kids/hubby to “stop squishing the fucking bread” in the supermarket.

This is so childish.

Big government + special interests, or, why everything sucks!

Democrat Congress members publicly unload on Obama for making zero effort to build relationships with them.

So…someone’s bombing Libya, but no one knows who. Take a moment and imagine the endless fucking SCREAMING that would be happening if a Republican president had bombed Libya and let it turn into a failed state swarming with Islamists. But it’s Obama, so the media will stay focused like a laser for another week on the degree to which people in Missouri are throwing a temper tantrum each night.

“Latinos move up, from picking crops to running the farm.” Good. That’s the American way.

Man is an innately, deeply religious creature and so even his atheism becomes a firebrand religion.

The great state of IlLOLinois.

Still have yet to see any evidence to disprove my longstanding theory that the TSA exists primarily to employ otherwise unemployable people.

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Unusually Stupid Primates of the Week

LOL Nice pick for your Senate candidate, Montana Democrats!

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Happy Hour Links

Oh my god, this is so great.

“History has handed President Obama one great opportunity after another, but he keeps throwing them away.”

One of the things I don’t understand about progressives is their smug arrogance about their policies. As Kevin Williamson points out here, hellholes like Detroit, Chicago, Newark, Philly, etc. have one main thing in common: “They are the places in which the progressive vision of government has reached its fullest expressions. They are the hopeless reality that results from wishful thinking.”

I worked in retail from the time I was 16 until I graduated college. This isn’t new. It’s the way it’s always been.

Not smart.

ISIS shamelessly pilfers from AQAP’s “Inspire.”

French models: Treat us like Renoir’s mistress – with a state pension – or we’re putting our clothes back on. LOL Never change, France, never change.

Oh, good.

More than 1,100 laboratory incidents involving bacteria, viruses and toxins that pose significant or bioterror risks to people and agriculture were reported to federal regulators during 2008 through 2012, government reports obtained by USA TODAY show…Data for incidents reported in 2013 is not yet finalized, CDC said. In 2012, lab regulators received 247 reports of potential releases of dangerous pathogens. They also received 247 reports in 2011. There were 275 reports in 2010; 243 in 2009; and 116 in 2008. The reports come from regulated select agent research labs as well as clinical or diagnostic labs that are exempted from registration with federal officials but still must report incidents if they identify a select agent. “More than 200 incidents of loss or release of bioweapons agents from U.S. laboratories are reported each year. This works out to more than four per week,” said Richard Ebright, a biosafety expert at Rutgers university in New Jersey, who testified before Congress last month at a hearing about CDC’s lab mistakes.

Idiotic argument made like clockwork, every five years: Just abandon Taiwan and peace on earth will follow. Sorry, NO.

There is no issue or event that these people will not co-opt to make it about themselves.

“Why we love to hate Martin Amis”: Because he’s a better writer and more interesting person than any of you? Just a guess.

Sainsbury’s branch buckles to anti-Semitism, strips kosher food from its shelves over fear of attacks.

Yes, but health care is free!

Beyond parody, Slate, beyond parody. “Is it offensive to address a woman as female?”

Heroic US Army reservist in Kabul takes bullets for British Colonel. (They both survived).

Ugh, NFL games are going to be unwatchable this season.

Gonna need Mo’ne Davis to keep crushing it at the Little League World Series because that is the only not-depressing news right now.

Today is the 70th anniversary of (the beginning of) the liberation of Paris. Meanwhile, in Paris…

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A few more (probably last) thoughts on Ferguson

I have to tell you I’m really bored and frustrated of this news cycle by now. None of us knows what happened and we’re not going to know what happened for awhile, we’ll probably never know what really happened. An investigation needs to take place. That’s how it works in a country with due process. The protesting and the temper tantrums are pointless and the destruction of innocent people’s property is ABHORRENT. Meanwhile, the media has turned this into a circus and made things exponentially worse for the people who actually live in Ferguson. Now every race hustler and criminal who wants attention has rolled into town and, at some point, when they and the media leave, the people of Ferguson are going to be left with a mess of epic proportions and the near total destruction of their community and economy to clean up on their own. The media, as usual, also latched onto a narrative from the beginning, which of course – as the facts begin to trickle out – is turning out not to be true. The “gentle giant” narrative has been pretty much destroyed now that we’ve seen the surveillance tape of Brown abusing the convenience store clerk. The autopsy ordered by the family (the most unbiased one we are going to get) by the expert who also did JFK and MLK’s autopsies reveals that Brown was not shot in the back. So now one of the witnesses (who insisted Brown was shot in the back while surrendering) has been completely discredited. All six shots were to the front of his body, and the locations of the shots on his arms call into question whether his arms were actually raised or not. The location of one of the head shots also shows it’s possible he was charging the cop. None of this is to exonerate the cop or imply that Brown was guilty of anything. We don’t know yet and we’ll probably never know, because WE WEREN’T THERE. A body cam or dash cam on the cop would have helped a lot, but unfortunately we don’t have that.

As for my earlier criticism of the cops (which still stands, as I still think the military garb is bullshit and it’s always wrong to point guns at peaceful protestors) I now endorse a heavier police presence. I have zero tolerance for looting. It’s a special kind of mean. It’s really despicable. Eight fucking nights in a row now. I’m a conservative libertarian, not an anarchist. If you’re going to be assholes and destroy people’s property, you deserve what’s coming to you. Congratulations looters, you had a chance to prove the state and its heavy handed response wrong and you said “no.” You failed yourself and your community. A police presence is now required, a state of emergency declared, no one will want to start a business in Ferguson for the next decade – and all for some shoplifted booze and hair extensions. Way to go! And to the people who decided to pointlessly chant and honk on street corners instead of help protect their neighbor’s businesses, way to go too! WE’RE TIRED OF POLICE OCCUPYING OUR TOWN. LET’S RIOT. THAT’LL MAKE THEM LEAVE. An unarmed white kid reportedly got shot in the back and killed by a cop in Utah last week and that town isn’t behaving like this because what the hell good does it do? All you’re doing is destroying the lives of people like this:

Like I said, I have a special contempt for looting. Legal immigrants who came here as refugees and made a life for themselves, held up their end of the social contract to take care of themselves and contribute to society, could now lose everything because of a bunch of fucking losers and thugs.

Meanwhile, we have the hard Left – helped by the media – insisting that the people of Ferguson have a right to be upset to the point of violence over this shooting because blacks supposedly live in a constant state of fear of being shot by white cops just for being black. Statements like this from prominent media figures, don’t help:

What charges would you bring based on the evidence at this point? You can’t just charge someone with a crime they may not have committed in order to appease the mob. I’m not black, so I’m not going to pretend I know what it’s like, but I do look at statistics and listen to African Americans like Jason Riley, Jerome Hudson, Larry Elder, among others. White people do not regularly kill innocent black people just for being black. That’s why when it happens (and when the facts come out it rarely comes out that way anyway) – once a year or so it seems – it turns into a media circus. No one pays attention to the dozen or so black people killed every week in Chicago because that’s black-on-black crime and it happens all the time. It’s not a novelty and it doesn’t serve to further one of the Left’s favorite narratives. Cops do pay more attention, for right or wrong, to young black men because, unfortunately, young black men commit a disproportionate amount of crime. As Jason Riley said and Jerome Hudson wrote yesterday:

The numbers are the numbers. Young black men (who accounted for about 1% of the population from 1980-2008) do, sadly, commit nearly 50% of the murders in America. Again, young black males commit a grossly disproportionate amount of the homicides and violence than their young white male counterparts do. If young white males regularly committed violent crimes with similar frequency as young black males, it would warrant nonstop fear, racial angst, and wall-to-wall media coverage…there were 7 people killed and another 29 wounded last weekend in Chicago. Since Michael Brown’s death, Washington D.C. has seen similar bloodshed which has galvanized zero peace protests or presidential press conferences, and has received very little national press coverage. Indeed, in a span of one week, the nation’s capital had at least 21 shootings, including that of a 24-year veteran detective, according to The Washington Post. Did you know that? It’s likely that you didn’t. And that’s probably because most of those city’s shootings had black victims and black assailants. And let’s be honest, black people aren’t nearly as indignant about young black males killing other blacks as they are about the rare instance of a white cop killing a black male–even though the former wreaks ten times more havoc in black communities. The national press and the civil rights establishment respond to black-on-black crimes with fierce indifference and white-on-black crime stories–like the two black guys who doused a white 13-year-old with gasoline and lit him on fire or ones like the 20 black kids who beat up white Matthew Owens on his porch, in retaliation to Trayvon Martin’s death–go nearly unnoticed. In the eyes of so-called civil rights leaders and the mainstream media, it appears that black and white deaths at the hands of blacks are worth less. And so it goes, the media and the civil rights establishment will care about the story of Michael Brown, as long as the story of Michael Brown benefits them.

Anyway, I think my favorite part of the Obama era is all the racial healing. If these people had jobs to go to they wouldn’t be out protesting/rioting/looting on a Sunday night. If only Sharpton, Jackson, et al devoted half the time they do to race hustling to actually help black people prosper economically we would all be much better off. But the Democrat party and its civil rights leaders won’t help black Americans prosper because it would put them out of a job. Democrats need the teacher’s unions, so we can’t do large-scale education reform where it’s needed most. Democrats need black Americans to be dependent on government and to always feel like victims, that’s how Al Sharpton lines his pockets and that’s the basis of the Left’s entire agenda – if people are dependent on government, then government gets bigger and the Left has more power. So, sadly, we will continue this cycle of blacks being used and abused by rich politicians clinging to power until African Americans wake up one day and realize that voting for the Democrat party for the last few decades has gotten them nowhere and brought them nothing but misery and the destruction of the family, the education system and their communities.

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Music Monday

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Poem for the Weekend

Inspired by Robin Williams and this excellent essay on Wiliams, Whitman and suicide, I obviously had to go this week with the following (even though Lilacs is the superior Lincoln death poem):

O Captain! My Captain! by Walt Whitman

O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,

The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won,

The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,

While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring:

But O heart! heart! heart!

O the bleeding drops of red,

Where on the deck my Captain lies,

Fallen cold and dead.

O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;

Rise up – for you the flag is flung – for you the bugle trills,

For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths – for you the shores a-crowding,

For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;

Here Captain! dear father!

This arm beneath your head!

It is some dream that on the deck,

You’ve fallen cold and dead.

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still,

My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will,

The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done,

From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;

Exult O shores, and ring O bells!

But I with mournful tread,

Walk the deck my Captain lies,

Fallen cold and dead.

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