February 14, 2016

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MY USA TODAY COLUMN: Antonin Scalia left us wisdom in dissent.


“TRUTH” BLU-RAY REVIEW: GLORIOUS FRONT-ROW SEAT TO RATHERGATE, BIRTH OF NEW MEDIA: I’d credit 9/11 for creating the Blogosphere as we know it (and did so back in 2002, shortly before launching my own Instapundit-inspired blog), but John Nolte is spot-on otherwise in his review of the low-budget Robert Redford cri de coeur at Big Hollywood. As Nolte writes, the otherwise stillborn, agitprop-laden “Truth” contains an insight into the minds of Democrat activists with bylines at the last moment before they realized that new media existed and that leftwing propaganda couldn’t just be broadcast into the airwaves without pushback.

And for a CBS News Division born of original sin (at the peak of his ratings influence, Walter Cronkite painted GOP presidential hopeful Barry Goldwater as a Nazi sympathizer), it was a glorious comeuppance indeed. It also illustrated how myopic the view of the world from Blackrock was – Mary Mapes had no idea that conservative blogs existed, as she later admitted after being defenestrated by them.

AND BOY, DOES IT EVER: Why younger women love Bernie Sanders, and why it drives older women crazy.

This urgency that women should support Clinton so she can defend causes can come across as condescending to young women. A great example of this was when Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz said in an interview with the New York Times, “Here’s what I see: a complacency among the generation of young women whose entire lives have been lived after Roe v. Wade was decided.”

And for women like Steinem, who has been fighting for feminism her whole life and just turned 81, this may well be their last chance to see a women elected to office. As Steinem quipped on Maher’s show, “Most people my age are dead.”

So who’s the Party Of Old White People, again?

Related: Sugar Daddy Sanders and the Seduction of Socialism.

CLAUDIA ROSETT: Could Someone Please Send President Obama a Necktie? Basic sign of respect gone missing from Obama’s eulogy of Justice Scalia.

Barry always finds one way or another of flipping the bird to someone he hates, doesn’t he?

ROGER SIMON: Rubio the Comeback Kid in South Carolina.

SHE’S ALWAYS BEEN LUCKY THIS WAY: So many coincidences help Hillary Clinton in her email scandal.

Like with the coin-tosses!

WHAT KIND OF SUPREME COURT NOMINEE WILL OBAMA SELECT? “Obama says he will defy GOP, nominate Scalia replacement,” the Washington Examiner reports.

As Paul Mirengoff writes at Power Line, “I think that President Obama’s nominee to replace Justice Scalia will be dead on arrival at the Senate, regardless of whom Obama selects. I suspect that Obama will reach the same conclusion. If so, Obama will select the person whose rejection will provide Democrats with the most political ammunition.”

One of Bernie Sanders’ chief inspirations once advised sharpening the contradictions, a notion that Obama has built his whole toxic career on.

WELL, HATRED AND CONTEMPT ARE FORMS OF CARING: Andrew Cadman: Does anyone care about white working class boys?

WHO DISLIKES OBAMA MORE — CONSERVATIVES OR LIBERALS? “There’s a reason why Hillary Clinton, campaigning as the guarantor of Obama’s third term, just got smoked by a kooky geriatric. Bernie Sanders is catching on in part because he tacitly concedes that Obama has been a dud.”

WHY ROMNEY LOST, IN ONE SHORT VIDEO: “Open borders cuts both ways — they come in, and (some) of us go out. In this case, manufacturing jobs on their way to old Monterey,” aka Mexico.

CULTURE CLUB: How Media Makes A Meme.

To understand the heavy lifting media is undertaking in attempting to make Bernie Sanders a plausible candidate for president, you have to understand who exactly Bernie Sanders is to begin with.

Sanders is a kookily proud outsider and self-declared Democratic Socialist who joined the House of Representatives in 1988 and the Senate in 2005. In the quarter-plus century he’s served in federal office, only 3 bills he’s sponsored have ever made it into law. Otherwise, he was that guy you would occasionally see yelling about rapine capital or the unnecessary proliferation of deodorant brands to an empty chamber of Congress on C-Span during midday break sessions. And this has been Bernie’s professional life for the past 35 years. Get up. Go to Congress. Fight with Lamp. Declare victory.

But Barack Obama’s election on charismatic socialist-lite soundbites packaged like a can of Pepsi commercial moved the needle further away from the moderate middle of the political Left that saw consecutive defeats by George W. Bush. And as culture-media has embraced the anti-capitalist rhetoric of astroturfed protest movements like Occupy, Climate March, and Black Lives Matter, the political left is ripe for a populist moment, even if the only available standard-bearer is the shabby retiree arguing with you over the last sack of quinoa/lentil mixed-blend grains at Whole Foods.

If a suitable ambassador for that message won’t present themselves, culture media will create one. Sanders doesn’t know his Reddit from his Snapchat but he doesn’t need to.

As Bernie Sanders waited backstage of the Ellen show, a program producer was seen doing everything in her power stopping short of using a cattle prod to get Bernie to lighten up and dance (this was Ellen DeGeneres’ ongoing schtick for guests). He clearly wasn’t having any of it, and after he was introduced, he managed a few side steps and hand waves before reverting immediately back into “NO TOUCH” mode.

These tiny moments are parlayed into memes and gifs of “Bernie as old-man-hippie hipster” that thrive on social media, and are then picked up by a sympathetic cultural mainstream media desperately trying to either relive or re-engineer the 1960s. The “social upheaval narrative” is just too alluring to pass up for them, especially when their own generation finds itself without a truly great social cause of its own. The lost decade of the Obama era is ending in a little less than a year and the far-Left quadrant of the media knows their pop-culture rockstar is hitting the exits with restively populist agitation brewing on both sides of the political aisle. College campuses and Hollywood have gone #FullCommunism with the silent approval of a President more interested on who the Best Actor Oscar goes to than how many heads ISIS is cutting off this week. Wall Street’s corporate darling Hillary Clinton, thinking the White House was hers for the taking, has once again found a jaded Left-wing commentariat desperate for Somebody To Love putting her on notice that this is not the party, nor the media she and her husband left behind.

This is why GOP donors would be much better off putting their money into media properties than into flushing it away in political contributions.

I THINK WE’RE ALL WONDERING THAT:  Now that Justice Scalia has died, what will Congress do?

LIBERTY’S NEMESIS, THE UNBRIDLED EXPANSION OF THE STATE: Turning back the leviathan of the administrative state.

THE ADMINISTRATION FROM ELIZABETHAN ENGLAND: The Pentagon’s vile ‘divided loyalty’ rules for Jews.

THE POLITICAL ORIENTATION THAT DARE NOT SPEAK ITS NAME: The media’s blindness to Bernie’s socialist extremism is telling.

INSOMNIA THEATER (AUDIO EDITION!): Today’s post features the podcast interview I did with the Cato Institute this week on “The Drive for Campus Speech Codes,” in which I explain how the Department of Education is the “secret engine” behind some of the wackier cases of campus censorship. The interview concludes my recent Cato Unbound debate, where University of Chicago Law School Professor Eric Posner, George Washington University Law School Professor Catherine J. Ross, and I each took turns writing essays on the topic of free speech on campus.

As you can see from our back-and-forth, Ross and I agreed on quite a bit, while Posner and I disagreed on most things. I actually started to get the impression that he wasn’t even reading my essays—just the titles, and basing his responses on that. See for yourselves and check out the entire debate over at Cato Unbound—curious to know what you think.

I GUESS THERE WAS A MILITARY SOLUTION, AFTER ALL? Putin proves Obama wrong with his ugly military solution in Syria.

FORTUNATELY WHEN AND WHERE I WAS BORN, NO ONE PUT ME IN ONE: Premature babies set back by ‘dungeon’ incubators.

IT’S TAX CONS ALL THE WAY DOWN: Revealed: the great wind farm tax ‘con’.

PAINFULLY DULL, INEPT, CLUMSY, UNDISCIPLINED, RAMBLING AND THOROUGHLY AMATEURISH: How Valley of the Dolls went from a reject to a 30-million best-seller.



FEELING THE BERN.  RESETTING THE 3 AM PHONE CALL: Hillary’s real Kissinger problem is spelled P-U-T-I-N.

SOMEONE WHO THINKS JUST LIKE HIM AND IS SOME PROTECTED MINORITY: What kind of Supreme Court nominee will Obama select?

OOH, OOH, TEACH, I KNOW THE ANSWER: Who dislikes Obama more — conservatives or liberals?

SOME MEN JUST WANT TO SEE THE WORLD BURN: A world aflame: Obama aides debunk the boss’s happy talk.

February 13, 2016

STEVEN CALABRESI: Scalia Reshaped A Misguided Legal Culture.

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FASTER, PLEASE: The pill that could stop millions getting dementia: ‘Statins for the brain’ may prevent the proteins that cause Alzheimer’s from ever forming.

In the meantime, I’m taking L-Serine. It might help, and it probably can’t hurt.

MY USA TODAY COLUMN: Antonin Scalia left us wisdom in dissent.


GOVERNMENT IS JUST ANOTHER WORD FOR THE THINGS WE CHOOSE TO DO TOGETHER: How the D.C. Government Is Targeting Its Homeless Population; A reminder that unlawful property seizure and intrusive laws hurt vulnerable members of society the most.



Steve Green and his bionic liver have the night off — but since I did a GOP meets Saturday Night Live theme for last week’s debate, Saturday Night Fever seemed the next obvious inspiration for Photoshoppery.


“Movement is not necessarily progress. More important than your obligation to follow your conscience, or at least prior to it, is your obligation to form your conscience correctly. Nobody — remember this — neither Hitler, nor Lenin, nor any despot you could name, ever came forward with a proposal that read, ‘Now, let’s create a really oppressive and evil society.’ Hitler said, ‘Let’s take the means necessary to restore our national pride and civic order.’ And Lenin said, ‘Let’s take the means necessary to assure a fair distribution of the goods of the world.’

“In short, it is your responsibility, men and women of the class of 2010, not just to be zealous in the pursuit of your ideals, but to be sure that your ideals are the right ones. That is perhaps the hardest part of being a good human being: Good intentions are not enough. Being a good person begins with being a wise person. Then, when you follow your conscience, will you be headed in the right direction.”

—Excerpted from Justice Antonin Scalia’s commencement address at Langley High School, in Virginia, where his granddaughter was graduating in June of 2010.

ROGER KIMBALL: RIP Antonin Scalia.

GOOD. Mitch McConnell: No new justice this year.

SCOTT OTT WILL BE LIVEBLOGGING TONIGHT’S GOP DEBATE AT PJM, where, as Glenn noted earlier, the stakes have been raised dramatically by today’s sad — and shocking — news.

UPDATE: “If Donald Trump wants to end this race tonight, he’ll vow that his first act as president will be appointing Ted Cruz to the Supreme Court,” Sean Davis of the Federalist tweets.


HMM: Disparity In Lifespans Of The Rich And Poor Is Growing. There used to be a big disparity between the lifespans of the rich and poor based on things like the ability to get enough to eat and to stay warm in winter. Now, however, it seems to be because the poor have more bad habits: “In recent decades, smoking, the single biggest cause of preventable death, has helped drive the disparity, said Andrew Fenelon, a researcher at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As the rich and educated began to drop the habit, its deadly effects fell increasingly on poorer, uneducated people. Mr. Fenelon has calculated that smoking accounted for a third to a fifth of the gap in life expectancy between men with college degrees and men with only high school degrees. For women it was as much as a quarter. . . . More recently, the prescription drug epidemic has ravaged poor white communities, a problem that experts said would most likely exacerbate the trend of widening disparities. Limited access to health care accounts for surprisingly few premature deaths in America, researchers have found.”

Hypothesis: Giving the poor more money wouldn’t solve this problem, but would make it worse by subsidizing smoking, overeating, and substance abuse. The rich live longer because the habits that, on average, help them to be rich — self-discipline, etc. — also help them stay healthier. In other words, it’s another case of Reynolds’ Law.

Suggestion: Want people to live longer and be healthier? Make them work. Holding a job helps inhibit self-destructive behavior. The problem is, this approach offers insufficient opportunities for graft, or social fiddling.

SOMEBODY TELL BERNIE: Johan Norberg: How Laissez-Faire Made Sweden Rich.

WELL, THIS UPS THE STAKES: Senior U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia found dead at West Texas ranch. “Associate Justice Antonin Scalia was found dead of apparent natural causes Saturday on a luxury resort in West Texas, federal officials said. Scalia, 79, was a guest at the Cibolo Creek Ranch, a resort in the Big Bend region south of Marfa.”

The Senate Republicans, of course, should not allow the seat to be filled until after the election. Like in 1968. Are today’s Republicans, even in the majority, as brave as the GOP minority of 1968?


Screen Shot 2016-02-13 at 8.28.17 PM

JUSTICE SCALIA HAS DIED: No indication yet as to the cause of death. He was 79 years old.

Will the Republicans in the Senate have the fortitude to resist the inevitable far-left Obama replacement nominee? The Constitution literally hangs in the balance.

EARBUDS THAT GIVE YOU Super Hearing Abilities.

MSNBC’S ANDREA MITCHELL WHINES ABOUT CRUZ CAMPAIGN AD: “Note Mitchell’s crocodile tears on behalf of Cruz, worrying that the ad might not play well in the Bible Belt: chutzpah in action. ‘A new level of lack of civility’? I know Mitchell is old enough to remember this exercise in Democrat civility,” Michael Walsh writes. Read the whole thing.

Related: From 2012, MSNBC’s Harris-Perry, Sharpton Make Excuses for Atrocious 2000 NAACP Ad Blaming GW Bush for James Byrd’s Death.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Last-Minute Valentine’s Day Gifts Dads Can Give to Moms.

LIFE UNDER PRESIDENT LIGHTBRINGER: If The CIA Apologizes For Lying About Torture, But Doesn’t Tell Anyone About The Apology, Does It Really Count?

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FUNNY, BUT THE INSTA-WIFE LOOKS NOTHING LIKE HER MOTHER: Proof every woman turns into her mother.

SPYING: Apple: Dear judge, please tell us if gov’t can compel us to unlock an iPhone; Lawyers: Federal prosecutors told us they will continue to invoke 18th-century law. “If Feng’s phone had iOS 8 or later installed—as 90 percent of iPhones do—this entire issue would likely be moot. Apple now enables full encryption by default, and the company specifically said the move happened ‘so it’s not technically feasible for us to respond to government warrants for the extraction of this data from devices in their possession running iOS 8.’”

CAN’T WE JUST FOG EVERYTHING WITH DDT? Prepare for ‘Guerrilla Warfare’ With Zika-Carrying Mosquitoes, Experts Warn.

NOW CAN WE HAVE SOMETHING AT THE FEDERAL LEVEL? Scott Walker signs civil service overhaul.

Gov. Scott Walker signed legislation Friday overhauling the state’s century-old system of merit hiring and firing, gaining the first legislative priority he set after calling off his presidential bid last year.

Inking the legislation at the offices of ManpowerGroup, Walker said the rewrite of the state’s civil service law would help the state keep the best possible employees and ensure that the state remains “efficient, effective and ultimately accountable to the people of Wisconsin.”

“This is really about bringing Wisconsin into the 21st century when it comes to recruitment and retention,” the Republican governor said.

Walker said the state needed to learn from the private sector hiring practices of companies like Manpower, a global human resources giant, and update its policies for hiring, overseeing and firing the 30,000 state workers affected by the changes.

Walker said the state is keeping its principles of hiring according to merit rather than politics, but is updating a system that had become too slow and inefficient.

It’s time to face up to the reality that the 19th Century notion of an apolitical professional civil service is dead. What we have now is a politicized monoculture in support of one party and one agenda.

FASTER, PLEASE: Supercapacitor On-a-Chip Now One Step Closer.

REVEALED: Plans For the Soviet Union’s 1960s Moon Base.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: Amidst 32% Enrollment Decline, University Of Minnesota Funds $16 Million Law School Operating Deficit.

Wow. Plus: “Wippman recalled a sense of optimism as he started the job eight years ago amid robust enrollment and a seemingly thriving economy. ‘I thought, “What could possibly go wrong?”’ he told the regents. ‘I don’t ask this question anymore.’”

CHARLES MURRAY NAILS “TRUMPISM” – Buzz is growing about this superb analysis of the Trump phenomenon. But there are a couple of key factors Murray fails to develop sufficiently and a sad implication of his analysis that those of us who had roles in the Reagan Revolution have been lamenting for a long time:

First, most Americans still profess some level of belief in (mostly Protestant) Christianity, but only about a third make their faith a living factor in their understanding of public policy and voting patterns. This is why Trump gives lip service to “religion” but nobody has any reason whatsover to fear that he would establish a theocracy (unless perhaps he would be the object of its worship).

Second, Trump’s impatience with criticism and quick resort to personal insult are a fertile breeding ground for an American Napoleon promising order and “greatness” in return for authoritarian power that functions within a merely ceremonial constitutional structure.

Finally, if Murray is right, it’s time to admit that Reagan was the high-water mark of the conservative movement, which in the decades since has watched in growing frustration as the GOP leadership has, for the most part, talked about it endlessly but utterly failed to deliver on the unfinished balance of his principled agenda.


IN THE MAIL: Edited by Mark Steyn, A Disgrace to the Profession.

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TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 1010.

LIFE IN THE ERA OF HOPE AND CHANGE: Predators on the Frontier: America’s rivals are probing U.S. defenses across the globe.

Revisionist powers are on the move. ‎From eastern Ukraine and the Persian Gulf to the South China Sea, large rivals of the United States are modernizing their military forces, grabbing strategic real estate, and threatening vulnerable U.S. allies. Their goal is not just to assert hegemony over their neighborhoods but to rearrange the global security order as we have known it since the end of the Second World War.

We first wrote about these emerging dynamics in 2010, and then in TAI in 2011. We argued three things. First, that revisionist powers were using a strategy of “probing”: a combination of assertive diplomacy and small but bold military actions to test the outer reaches of American power and in particular the resilience of frontier allies. Second, we argued that the small, exposed allies who were the targets of these probes were likely to respond by developing back-up options to U.S. security guarantees, whether through military self-help or accommodation. And third, we argued that that China and Russia were learning from one another’s probes in their respective regions, and that allies themselves were drawing conclusions about U.S. deterrence in their own neighborhood from how America handled similarly situated allies elsewhere.

Five years later, as we argue in a new book released this month, these dynamics have intensified dramatically. Revisionist powers are indeed probing the United States, but their methods have become bolder, more violent—and successful. Allies have grown more alert to this pressure, amid the steady whittling away of neighboring buffer zones, and have begun to pursue an array of self-help schemes ranging from arms build-ups to flirtations with the nearby revisionist power. It has become harder for the United States to isolate security crises to one region: Russia’s land-grabs in Eastern Europe provide both a model and distraction effect for China to accelerate its maritime claims in the South China Sea; Poland’s quest for U.S. strategic reassurance unnerves and spurs allies in the Persian Gulf and Western Pacific.

Well, when America is run by people who don’t believe in America, this is to be expected. It will not end well.

IT’S COME TO THIS: Rape accusers sue University of Tennessee for giving accused students due process. I think that’s something to be proud of, though this should all be handled by police, not university bureaucrats anyway.

HECKUVA JOB, ROGER GOODELL. Exclusive: Beyoncé’s Super Bowl poster boy for Black Lives Matter was ‘high on drugs’ then stabbed me and threatened to keep doing it — before he was gunned down by cops, reveals victim.

You went full radical chic at the Super Bowl, NFL. Never go full radical chic.


Nah. You only get that treatment if you’re Dinesh D’Souza, and a Republican campaign.

THE ESTABLISHMENT WANTS TO PAINT HIM AS THE CANDIDATE OF LOSERS, BUT INSTEAD HE’S THE CANDIDATE OF PEOPLE WHO LOOK AT THE NEWS AND SAY “WHAT THE HELL?” The Unexpected Breadth of Donald Trump’s Appeal: In New Hampshire, he won working class men without college diplomas—and most every other demographic group.

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The Nuge went full Mel Gibson. Pro tip: Never go full Mel Gibson.

CENSORSHIP, UNITED AIRLINES STYLE, as spotted by Steve Hayward of Power Line:

VDARE is unquestionably controversial, and perhaps nativist, but by no means should it be classified as a “Militancy/Hate and Extremist” website. Seriously—a site that runs a review of a university press-published biography is blocked?  I wonder what other right-of-center websites are blocked by United?

Well, since Steve asked, in late October, Mark Steyn tweeted, “Hey, United. I’m on your plane right now using your WiFi, which bans my website: http://www.steynonline.com  Why?”

Adjust your travel plans accordingly.

THE BLACK ESTABLISHMENT chooses Hillary Clinton.

WRONG TIME? Albright: ‘Special place in hell’ comment came at ‘wrong time.’

Former secretary of State Madeline Albright is softening her controversial comment that there’s a “special place in hell for women who don’t help each other” in a New York Times opinion piece released Friday afternoon.

Albright has received significant criticism for making the remark while campaigning for Hillary Clinton. In the op-ed, Albright said she now understands that she “came across as condemning those who disagree with my political preferences.”

“I have spent much of my career as a diplomat. It is an occupation in which words and context matter a great deal. So one might assume I know better than to tell a large number of women to go to hell,” she writes.

“I absolutely believe what I said, that women should help one another, but this was the wrong context and the wrong time to use that line. I did not mean to argue that women should support a particular candidate based solely on gender.”

She added that she’s made the comment a number of times in the past because she believes that “in a society where women often feel pressured to tear one another down, our saving grace lies in our willingness to lift one another up.”

Funny, Madeleine, I don’t remember you doing that for Sarah Palin, or Carly Fiorina, or any other Republican women targeted by the Democrats.

SURPRISE! “RICHARD WINDSOR” IS A CLINTON FOUNDATION BOARD MEMBER: “Lisa Jackson, the former Environmental Protection Agency administrator who was caught using an email account under the pseudonym ‘Richard Windsor,’ sits on the board of the Clinton Foundation, the charity of Hillary Clinton, of HDR22@clintonemail.com fame.”

HE’S NO SCOTT WALKER. Time to Talk About John Kasich’s Biggest Failure as Ohio Governor: Union Reform.


Two courses were open to us. We might have done nothing. That would have been utter ruin. Instead, we met the situation with proposals to private business and to the Congress of the most gigantic program of economic defense and counterattack ever evolved in the history of the Republic. We put that program in action. Our measures have repelled these attacks of fear and panic. . . . We have used the credit of the Government to aid and protect our institutions, both public and private. We have provided methods and assurances that none suffer from hunger or cold amongst our people. We have instituted measures to assist our farmers and our homeowners. We have created vast agencies for employment.

Name that president — and then pass it along to Bernie Sanders.

(H/T: Arthur Kimes.)


DO THEY STINK ON ICE? Quote of the Day, Debbie Wasserman Schultz Downplays Worries That Her Base Is Revolting edition.

Flashback: Had it occurred to me at the time, I would have linked to Harry Reid openly declaring that his base stinks on ice to my post on Thursday on leftwing elites smearing rank-and-file Democrats.

URGH! A MUSIC WAR.* Team Jeb: Rubio is a phony on family values given some of the hip-hop he listens to.

Good thing Rubio doesn’t chum around with Satan and Aleister Crowley-endorsing heavy metal stars like..err…Jeb’s brother, George W. Bush.

* Classical reference.

CHANGE: West Virginia Is Now The 26th Right-To-Work State.

February 12, 2016

WELL, YES: The media’s blindness to Bernie’s socialist extremism is telling.

Remember, people on the right are “crazed” and “full of hate.” People on the left are “idealistic” and “full of passion.”

CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: House ethics probe into Alan Grayson’s hedge-fund moonlighting.

CARRIE LUKAS: Euro-feminists in meltdown over immigrant rape. “Of course, there’s a way out for feminists: Refocus on the core principle of defending women’s equal rights and fair treatment. This requires recognizing that the West — including Western men — have actually come a long way in protecting women from physical harm and enabling their full participation in the public sphere.”

When you yammer about a nonexistent “rape culture” at home, and then import millions from a genuine rape culture, it’s not likely to go well. And you can’t acknowledge anything good about Western men, or that would defeat the entire purpose of feminism, which is to cow and silence Western men.

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DIVERSITY IS OUR STRENGTH: Protesters cheer on ‘refugee attack’ suspects. “Around 100 people spent Friday morning gathered outside a Swedish court where a group of men planning a violent attack at refugee housing were appearing. The protest delayed detention hearings for the 14 suspects linked to an an alleged plan to target refugees living in asylum housing on a campsite in Nynäshamn, a small town in a rural area south of Stockholm.”

ARMY OF DAVIDS, EARTHQUAKE EDITION: Developed by UC-Berkeley scientists, the MyShake Android app uses crowdsourcing to detect earthquakes. From the LAT report:

The cellphone MyShake app would not replace the USGS’ early warning system, Allen said. Smartphones will never be as effective as hundreds of sophisticated earthquake sensor stations installed underground to detect the first subtle signs that an earthquake has begun.

Still, a successful smartphone app, woven into the USGS system, could make the overall warning network even faster in California, Oregon and Washington state, he said. And it would enable the technology to be used in other areas of the world with few or no earthquake sensors.

“Nepal has almost no seismic stations. But they have 6 million smartphones. There are 600,000 smartphones in Kathmandu alone,” Allen said. “So if we can get MyShake working, then we could potentially be providing early warning in Kathmandu.”

Related, ICYMI, my report on the use of smart phone apps and crowdsourcing to collect economic data, especially in less-developed countries.

THE CUTENESS AWAKENS: The epic Calvin And Hobbes meets The Force Awakens mashup continues.

NANOTECHNOLOGY UPDATE: Rational design of protein architectures not found in nature.


NO MORE GILMORE-MANIA, ALAS: Jim Gilmore (R-VA) ends campaign for president.


“Senator Cruz, this might be my favorite political ad of all time,” Jim Geraghty writes, though he asks if the ad works “if you haven’t seen the Office Space scene? Is it funny enough to watch Hillary and her aides destroying her server?” I think the message comes through loud and clear even if you’ve never seen Office Space — though the copier destroying scene is probably the film’s most viral* clip.

* Explanation of the 21st century usage of this word in case Hillary is reading.

UPDATE: Democrat operatives with bylines “Andrea Mitchell and Chuck Todd were appalled by a new Ted Cruz commercial attacking Hillary Clinton, labeling it ‘vicious’ and ‘rough.’” Because they’re all about sensitive feelings and safe spaces at MSNBC.

SO TRUMP IS A WHITE OBAMA?: Reihan Salam has column in Slate (he is also an executive editor of National Review, btw), “I Can’t Hate Donald Trump: I Do Hate Republicans Who’ve Enabled His Remarkable Popularity.”  The thesis seems to be that Trump is essentially a “white Obama” whose campaign is a dog whistle for working class whites:

I can’t bring myself to hate Donald Trump. Part of this is a quirk of biography. Like a lot of native New Yorkers around my age, I find his outer-borough accent so comfortingly familiar that I can’t help but smile whenever I hear his voice, even when he’s saying something outrageously offensive. To a certain kind of smart, scrappy, lower-middle-class New York youth in the ’80s and ’90s, Trump was the living embodiment of gaudy success—a kind of mash-up of Santa Claus, Scrooge McDuck, and Vito Corleone. . . .

Trump is strongest not in the metropolitan corners of America, where he’s spent most of his life. Rather, his strongholds are the mostly overlooked sections of the South, Appalachia, and the rural and semi-rural North. . . .

Many have been struck by the overwhelming whiteness of Trump’s campaign, not least the small number of self-identified “white nationalists” who’ve rallied around his campaign. I would argue that the Trump coalition illustrates how whiteness as a category is so expansive as to be almost meaningless. The Scots-Irish or “American” whites who see Trump as their champion are profoundly different from the metropolitan whites who dominate the upper echelons of U.S. society—so much so that the convention of lumping them together as “white” detracts far more from our understanding of how they fit into our society than it adds to it. J.D. Vance, author of Hillbilly Elegy, a forthcoming book on the place of Appalachian whites in modern America, estimates that roughly one-quarter of whites belong to the Scots-Irish tribe that has embraced Trump. If we were to separate out these Americans as a race or ethnicity unto themselves, Vance writes, we would finds rates of poverty and substance abuse that would shock our national conscience. But we don’t generally collect detailed statistics on the Scots-Irish. . . .

When Barack Obama first emerged on the political scene, he excited voters who saw in him a reflection of their own experiences. His mixed ancestry, his upbringing as the son of an intellectually curious and at times very poor single mother, and his experience of upward mobility through higher education—all of these experiences resonated with Americans who’d had similar journeys, and who felt validated by Obama’s narrative.

Trump and Obama are almost as different as one American can be from another. Nevertheless, Trump has built a gut-level connection that is no less formidable, and with an entirely different set of Americans. . . .

I’m not sure what makes Salam think that Americans of “Scots-Irish” descent are poor Appalachian hillbillies with substance abuse problems. This odd racial stereotyping aside, Salam is simply wrong that Trump’s primary support emerges from poor, uneducated whites, an unsupportable myth I’ve written about before that keeps getting repeated by the GOPe and Democrats alike.

More importantly, I hardly think that a platform of issues that are important to all Americans–national security, jobs, immigration (all of which are intimately related)–is fairly characterized as a racial dog whistle, unless one believes that these issues are particularly “white” (or more specifically,
“Scots-Irish”) issues.

Salam’s column suggests to me that while elites may abhor finding themselves in political association with the unwashed masses (i.e., working class whites), they can’t seem to help themselves because like the masses, there’s something about Trump that they can’t help but like. It suggests that Trump’s political umbrella is (at least potentially) larger than many have acknowledged. Could it also be that Trump holds the potential to unite, rather than divide? Only time will tell.

ANDREW KLAVAN: Porn Star Scuttles My Political Career!



That’s so odd — CTL-F “Clinton” brings zero returns in the article text. Unexpectedly!

(Via John Nolte.)

HILLARY’S SECURITY DISEASE INFECTS REST OF STATE DEPARTMENT, TOO: Foggy Bottom’s Bureau of Energy Resources was created during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State. The bureau’s purpose was to be the department’s heartbeat for energy diplomacy and security issues. But Katie Watson of the Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group says State’s Inspector General found an amazing level of disregard for keeping sensitive and classified information out of the wrong hands. The laxity is so widespread in the bureau that nobody checks if secured government equipment is being taken out of the office at the end of the day.

THERE WAS A TIME WHEN THIS WOULDN’T HAVE BEEN A POSITIVE REVIEW: The Mercedes-AMG S65 Coupe Perfectly Encapsulates the Seven Deadly Sins: Something wicked this way comes. A turn in Lucifer’s personal ride.

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