April 21, 2015

BILL NYE, THE UNCONSCIOUS-IRONY GUY:

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I’ll believe it’s a crisis when the people who keep telling me it’s a crisis start acting like it’s a crisis.

STEPHEN GREEN: Bringing The Sexy Back: “’d add that conservatives already do outbreed the left — which is why the left is so determined to maintain its iron hold on education, K-through-12-through-infinity. If they can’t (or won’t) breed more lefties, they know how to make them. That’s why homeschooling frightens them so much. That’s why they fight so hard against their own strongest constituents in the effort to prevent school choice and teach accountability.”

A LOOK AT the world’s nicest prison.

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SORRY, I DIDN’T SEE THE YOUTUBE VERSIONS OF THESE AND SO DIDN’T POST THEM LAST WEEK: Amber Smith: Shoot Like A Girl.

Plus, Guns, Grills, and Grand Ole Opry.

RUSH LIMBAUGH IS NAMING AND SHAMING WISCONSIN OFFICIALS OVER THE ANTI-SCOTT-WALKER PERSECUTION:

The innocent in Wisconsin were guilty because they were conservative. The left in Wisconsin was losing everything. They were losing their union domination and control. Scott Walker was decimating all the systems they had put in place.

They literally lashed out in panic, anger, and you name it to punish people who had voted for Walker, who had raised money for him, who they thought had voted for him. It was the kind of thing that Vladimir Putin does and we all laugh about because that’s what we expect in a tyrannical dictatorship like the Soviet Union or Russia. We find out that it can happen here and has happened here, and there was no mechanism to stop it. The prosecutor’s name is Chisholm, John Chisholm, and I hope his name is never forgotten. . . .

The judge, without whom this case could not have happened, is Barbara Kluka, K-l-u-k-a, and I’ll tell you what she did. She came along in the second John Doe investigation, and she approved every petition, every subpoena, every search warrant in the whole case in less than one day’s work. She enabled law enforcement to raid these innocent citizens’ homes. She’s since recused herself from this, but not before she enabled all of this to happen in the second phase of the John Doe 2 case here.

In the second John Doe case, the DA, John Chisholm, had no real evidence of wrongdoing by anybody. It didn’t stop him. Conservative groups were active in issue advocacy, which is protected by the First Amendment. It didn’t violate any campaign finance laws. Issue advocacy is politics 101. These people were targeted because they’re conservatives and liberals. As I say, what happened here in not only the treatment Scott Walker got, but everybody else, this is liberalism run amok without any checks, without any opposition, without anybody pushing back, and in its own way California is the same example.

Despite the fact that there were no violations of the law in any away, the DA, Chisholm, convinced “prosecutors in four other counties to launch their own John Does, with Judge Kluka overseeing all of them. Empowered by a rubber-stamp judge, partisan investigators ran amok. They subpoenaed and obtained (without the conservative targets’ knowledge) massive amounts of electronic data, including virtually all the targets’ personal e-mails and other electronic messages from outside e-mail vendors and communications companies. The investigations exploded into the open with a coordinated series of raids on October 3, 2013. These were home invasions,” including the ones that I have detailed previously in this half hour.

They should be shunned, protested, and humiliated whenever they dare to appear in public.

DAVE KOPEL: Guns on university campuses: The Colorado experience. “The experience on Colorado campuses since 2003, and at the University of Colorado since 2012, shows that adult students or professors who are permitted by their local Sheriff to carry a concealed handgun for lawful protection do not perpetrate unlawful aggression. . . . Colleges should respect the rights of responsible persons, such as Amanda Collins, to protect themselves. As the Sheriffs told the Colorado Supreme Court, law-abiding adults who have been licensed to carry guns throughout the state, should retain their self-defense rights when they attend or teach at a public institution of higher education.” I agree.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: The Best Person for the Job? Think Again. “Among the hiring myths that took root during the recession, here’s a particularly tenacious one: A person with a college degree makes a better employee than a person with a high-school diploma.”

EBOLA, LYING IN WAIT: “A growing body of scientific clues — some ambiguous, others substantive — suggests that the Ebola virus may have lurked in the West African rain forest for years, perhaps decades, before igniting the deadly epidemic that swept the region in the past year, taking more than 10,000 lives. Until recently, Ebola had been considered a threat mostly to Central African nations. Yet studies tell of possible Ebola antibodies in human blood samples drawn in West Africa long before the current outbreak. And genetic analysis suggests the West African virus broke off from a parent strain in Central Africa at least 10 years ago, possibly as long as 150 years ago.”

Related: Signs Ebola Spreads in Sex Prompt a C.D.C. Warning. “They were acting on evidence suggesting that a Liberian man who recovered from Ebola might have transmitted the virus to his female partner many months later.”

TWO (MILLION) SCOOPS!:   . . .of raisins, taken by the federal Raisin Administrative Committee.  The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a case tomorrow, Horne v. U.S. Dep’t of Agriculture, to decide whether this Committee may constitutionally confiscate–without compensation–raisins grown in excess of a quota established by the Committee.  The case is being brought (finally) by brave raisin farmers Marvin and Laura Horne, who were ordered by the Committee to hand over about 300 tons (approximately 30% of their crop) of raisins that the government decided were excessive.  The Committee is a vestige of the New Deal era, which in its wisdom, too often attempted to control agricultural prices by controlling supply.  According to today’s Wall Street Journal editorial:

The Hornes say this raisin toll is an unconstitutional seizure of their property. Under the Fifth Amendment’s Takings Clause, “private property” shall not “be taken for public use, without just compensation.” That clause is typically understood to make it illegal for the government to grab houses, cars or even raisins.

A three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals had a different view, ruling in 2011 that “the Raisin Marketing Order applies to the Hornes only insofar as they voluntarily choose to send their raisins into the stream of interstate commerce.” In other words, if you don’t want your raisins seized, you always have the option of going out of business.

After the Hornes sought rehearing en banc, the Ninth Circuit three-judge panel withdrew its opinion and replaced it with one that said the Hornes would first have to pay the fines and then appeal to the Court of Federal Claims. In June 2013 a unanimous Supreme Court overturned that decision and remanded it to the Ninth Circuit to decide on the merits. The court should “figure out,” Justice Elena Kagan said, “whether this marketing order is a taking, or just the world’s most outdated law.”

Hearing the case again, the Ninth Circuit went on another legal flight, ruling that the Takings Clause was meant to address the seizure of land, not other personal private property. And even if the government did take raisin farmers’ property, the confiscation created raisin scarcity which raised raisin prices, so the Hornes were compensated for their property in that way.

This is rewriting the Fifth Amendment. Under the Ninth Circuit’s logic, why couldn’t the government demand that an auto company hand over 20% of the cars off its production line to give to the poor or sell overseas? How about pharmaceuticals or iPhones to maintain stable prices or serve another regulatory purpose?

Exactly.  If the government can (literally) take raisins without compensation, they can take anything else, and sellers of virtually anything can have their goods confiscated by a government intent on regulating “supply.”  This regulation of supply was one of the basic principles of Soviet collectivism of agriculture, as well as industry, in Stalin’s Five Year Plans.  It is telling to see how the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit–the most liberal federal court of appeals–has engaged in contortions to avoid honoring the Takings Clause of the Constitution.

YOU’D NEVER KNOW IT, THOUGH, FROM WATCHING THE NEWS: There’s never been a safer time to be a kid in America.

WHAT’S THE RIGHT TRADEOFF between living standard and health care?

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WHAT IT’S LIKE WHEN YOU WIN: Some thoughts of mine from the NRA Convention.

JUSTICE: CSI Is A Lie: America’s shameful system of forensic investigation is overdue for sweeping reform. I’ve written about this problem since the very earliest days of InstaPundit, and I’ll repeat a story I blogged well over a decade ago: When I was in college, I interned for a criminal defense attorney who told me that although most people, including defense lawyers, assumed that the FBI lab was a gold standard, he always sent stuff to an independent lab for verification, and half the time it came back with a different result from the FBI lab. He said he didn’t understand why more lawyers didn’t do that, since a different result in itself might produce reasonable doubt.

GOVERNMENT IS JUST ANOTHER WORD FOR THE THINGS WE CHOOSE TO DO TOGETHER: “Justice Department officials have known for years that flawed forensic work might have led to the convictions of potentially innocent people, but prosecutors failed to notify defendants or their attorneys even in many cases they knew were troubled.”

HEY GUYS, CHECK OUT THIS MICRO-AGGRESSION!:  Man, it’s really bad.  I mean, bro, it’s serious.  It’s the micro-aggression of patriarchcal, male-centric words like “guys,” “mankind,” and “dude.”  And apparently, according to this self-described “very serious feminist,” it’s why us chicks pay more for deodorant and razors and other stuff — an unofficial “pink tax” against all things feminine, which is a micro-aggression of its own!

Plus, let’s not forget the daily assault of manspreading, which is a pressing microaggression that threatens all mankind chickdom personhood.

Seriously, dude, cut it out.  Because #waronwomen.

BLAST FROM THE PAST: 38 Amazing Black and White Photographs of New York’s Teenagers in the 1970s.

ED KRAYEWSKI ON TONI MORRISON’S LATEST DEATH FANTASY: From Being Judged by the Content of Your Character to Seeing a Cop Shoot an Unarmed White Teenager in the Back: A New Vision of a Post-Racial Society.

You could chalk it up to Morrison choosing her words poorly, but the idea that if more white people were victimized by the criminal justice system the way black people are that would signal racial progress is not a new one—a Bronx councilman admitted as much to me while trying to protest the killing of Ramarley Graham at the same time as he supported the drug war policies that contributed to his killing.

There are some statistics that might warm Toni Morrison’s blood-thirsty heart. Based on data reported to the FBI, in 2009 41.7 percent of people killed by cops were white. At 1,000 police killings a year—as fair an estimate as is possible to make with incomplete data—even assuming white deaths in police custody are over-reported to the FBI, that’s at least 200 white people killed by cops a year. For maximum racial retribution, Morrison can take comfort in the realization that, statistically speaking, at least one of those people was killed by a black cop.

The killing of white people by police generally doesn’t get the same attention in the media and the community as the killing of black people. A big part of that is that “white communities” aren’t sensitive to police violence in the first place, whether its directed at black people or at other white people. But from Seth Adams, shot by an undercover cop while checking on a suspicious car on his parents’ business property, to Chris Roupe, shot in the chest after opening his door holding a Wii controller, white people are shot by cops in controversial situations too. If she’s looking for a teenager shot an inordinate amount of time—18-year-old Joseph Jennings was shot by cops 16 times. He was suicidal and cops prevented his father from intervening. In Utah, a state that’s 88 percent white, you’re more likely to be shot by a cop than by a gang member or drug dealer. “White privilege isn’t bulletproof.” Even the teenage daughter of a judge can be killed by a cop. Would it be too much to wish Morrison and others judged victims of police violence by the content of their character* and not just the color of their skin?

Skin color has been the cornerstone of Morrison’s importance. Why would she abandon it now?

LAUGH ALL YOU WANT, but Art History can come in handy now and then.

IN THE MAIL: By Tooth and Claw (BAEN).

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TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 712.

CATHY YOUNG EXPLAINS why Garry Trudeau is a putz.

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO LIE ABOUT RAPE: U of A Student Arrested for Lying About Sexual Assault.

After the interview, police reviewed video footage from the Harmon Parking Garage during the time that Sweetin said the incident happened. Detectives did not find any men in the video matching the description Sweetin provided them. Detectives also spoke to potential witnesses who were in the garage at that time, and they told officers they did not hear or see anything out of the ordinary.

On March 11, Detective Josh Bowen interviewed Sweetin again at UAPD. Detective Bowen asked Sweetin if she was telling the truth about the incident, and Sweetin said no. When asked why she would lie, Sweetin said she did see a man that matched the description she gave on Dickson Street and he scared her, but that the man never followed her into the Harmon deck.

Good grief.

IT’S ALWAYS NICE to make Twitchy.

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MY THOUGHTS IN USA TODAY: Wisconsin’s Dirty Prosecutors Pull A Putin.

NUMBER FOUR, WITH A BULLET: Michael Cottone’s article, Rethinking Presumed Knowledge Of the Law In The Regulatory Age, has entered the SSRN Top Download List at #4. And he’s closing in fast on the guy from Harvard just above him.

OF UNICORNS & INCOME INEQUALITY:   “Income inequality” is fast becoming the unicorn of the 2016 presidential campaign– a mythical creature that has captured the hearts and minds of the political left and a good number of independents.

Hillary Clinton has signaled it’s going to be the centerpiece of her presidential bid.  She recently complained about CEO pay being “300 times what the average worker makes.” But the more accurate figure is that the average CEO makes only about four times the wages of the average worker (not 300).  And let’s face it, folks:  The average business owner/CEO often invests personal funds, mortgages personal assets, and puts in hours far in excess of the “average” worker.

Liberals/progressives tout income inequality as “America’s biggest problem.”  Self-described socialist-democrat Rep. Bernie Sanders (who caucuses, unsurprisingly, with the Democrats) is pushing Hillary even further left, threatening to challenge her and asserting that his campaign would be built around an argument for “fundamental changes in the way we do business in the United States of America in terms of income inequality.”

The problem with all of this is that there is zero evidence that higher incomes for the top X percent of Americans causes a rise in poverty rates.  If the rich get richer, in other words, the poor don’t get poorer.  Indeed, the population of America’s poor has remained steady at 15% since the advent of the “Great Society” programs.  The “war on poverty” is an income-sucking hamster wheel, getting us nowhere.

The income inequality “problem,” is merely a Marxist cry for income redistribution– i.e., theft of the earnings of one segment of society (mostly middle income) to subsidize another segment of society that wants a slice of someone else’s pie.  But the top 20% of income earners in the U.S. already pay 84% of all income taxes.  The bottom fifth pays zero– and, in fact, gets a 2.2% income bonus, paid for by the rest of society.  So any arguments about the rich not paying their “fair share” for the costs of our swollen government are ludicrous.

What we need is re-invigoration of the belief in the American dream–that any child can, with hard work and intelligence, improve his lot and achieve greatness.  And the data supports that this is still true.  One would think that someone with President Obama’s biography would have ardently touted this optimistic truth.   Off all the current GOP presidential candidates, Marco Rubio seems, at the moment, to embrace this optimism the most.  I hope they all do, eventually.

unicorn

THE HEAVY HAND OF THE STATE: Michigan Lawmakers Want Homeschooled Children Registered Like Dogs and Inspected by Social Workers. Based on the news stories we’ve been seeing, it seems as if we should instead be checking public-school students for signs of sexual abuse by teachers.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: Why law schools are losing relevance — and how they’re trying to win it back. “Nine months after graduation, a little more than half of the class of 2013 had found full-time jobs as lawyers, down from 77 percent of 2007, according to the most recent data from the American Bar Association and the National Association for Law Placement. Those who did find jobs had starting salaries that were 8 percent below the 2009 peak.”

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO RAPE! (CONT’D): U.S. cracks down on female teachers who sexually abuse students. “Child abuse experts agree it appears female teachers are being prosecuted more vigorously than in the past.”

ASHE SCHOW: We disagree with you, [insert insult here]!

We’ve reached the point where simply disagreeing with someone is not enough. One must both disagree and name-call to really get the point across.

One of the best examples of this kind of reaction comes from those who really, really want to believe that American colleges are the worst places for women on earth, despite evidence that not only are rapes and sexual assaults not the norm on college campuses, but also that they are more likely to occur off-campus.

Some students at Oberlin College have taken to their school’s newspaper to write their opposition to American Enterprise Institute scholar Christina Hoff Sommers, who will be speaking at the college Monday night at the invitation of the school’s College Republicans. Because the students (and some local groups) disagree with Hoff Sommers’ viewpoint about the prevalence of campus sexual assault, they have called her a “rape denialist.”

The proper response to these pathetic losers is to paraphrase Professor Kingsfield: Here’s a dime. Go call your mother and tell her you’re too immature for college.

THE HILL: Flat tax makes 2016 comeback.

The more corrupt and politicized the IRS looks — which, these days, is pretty damn corrupt and politicized — the more attractive a flat tax becomes.

LIFE IN THE ERA OF HOPE AND CHANGE: Gallup: Half Of Americans Have Money Worries.

LIFE IN THE ERA OF HOPE AND CHANGE: In New Millennium, No Jobs for Millennials.

This is the new normal. Men and women at the peak of their physical and mental development are increasingly frustrated in the job market precisely at the point when they are poised to launch careers and start families. Since the new century’s first recession in 2001, the unemployment rate for these young Americans has stayed higher than the rate of overall unemployment, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

What’s most striking is that the gap is wider now than it was in 2009, in the depths of the financial crisis. That’s an indication that the economic recovery hasn’t helped younger workers as much as it did after 20th-century slumps, Bloomberg data show.

That’s some “bad luck,” all right.

DIVERSITY PROBLEM: Just 7 percent of journalists are Republicans. That’s far fewer than even a decade ago.

Well, when you transform your profession into a collection of Democratic operatives with bylines, you’re not likely to find very many Republicans.

CIVIL RIGHTS UPDATE: Pew: Gun rights top gun control in major public opinion shift. “Exactly two years after President Obama’s bid for gun control following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting died in Congress, a new poll has discovered a huge shift in public opinion to backing Second Amendment gun rights and away from controlling gun ownership. The reason: Americans now believe having a gun is the best way to protect against crime, 63 percent to 30 percent.” Well, the gun-control folks were hoping that Sandy Hook would change everything. And it did. . . .

BRITISH POLITICIAN: We may have the monarchy, but you have the hereditary ruling class. “Here’s a clue. On the day she announced her candidacy, I had a look at Hillary Clinton’s Twitter page. What, I wondered, might it tell me about her likely priorities in government? She followed nine other accounts: Clinton Global Initiative, Clinton Foundation, Clinton School, Clinton Library, Bill Clinton, Chelsea Clinton, Women in Public Service, Too Small to Fail and Beyond Differences. (To be fair, five more accounts have since been added: @HillaryforSC, @HillaryforNV, @HillaryforNH, @HillaryforIA and @HillaryforNY.) And why not? When you’ve been in and around government at the highest level for long enough, you’re bound to start taking it for granted. You forget that you are passing through institutions that are greater than you are. It becomes all about you. This was precisely the phenomenon that the United States was created to forestall.”

To be fair, it’s always been that way with Hillary.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: Tamanaha, Estreicher Respond to Morriss’ Ten Reasons To Be Cheerful About The Future of Legal Education.

April 20, 2015

ONWARD, CHRISTIAN SOLDIERS! Er, okay, so maybe he’s not exactly a Christian soldier: A Colorado Biker Who Calls Himself ‘Necromancer’ Is Fighting ISIS In Iraq. “I’m here for the people, nobody else. I’m here for all of those who want to live a peaceful life that has been deprived to them by ISIS. I don’t care about politics or religion. That’s not what I’m here for.”

JOHN FUND: Fiorina Has Hillary Defenders Worried. I like Carly Fiorina. She fights. Can we find out what she drinks, and send it to all the other Republicans?

DON’T WORRY! WE HAVE SMART DIPLOMACYTM ON THE JOB! Oh, by the way: The U.S. and Iran may be headed for war off the coast of Yemen. Sink ‘em all!

LAWS ARE FOR THE LITTLE PEOPLE: Scooby hits the road at 92 MPH! Secret Service zooms Hillary to dinner through driving rain following secret afternoon house party. To be fair, if I were driving Hillary around I’d be in a hurry to reach the destination too.

ED DRISCOLL: How an Internet Stuffed to the Gills with ‘Nonjudgmental’ Users Became a Shame-Storm.

Lefties aren’t non-judgmental. They’re just afraid of being judged.

TONI MORRISON: “I want to see a cop shoot a white unarmed teenager in the back.” Get a grip, you old hater.

You know, I was reading some piece of historical fiction or other where physicians were talking about curing the plague by putting a dead rat over the buboes to draw the poisons to the surface. Barack Obama is our dead rat. Since he has occupied the White House, all manner of poisons — already there, but not visible — have been drawn to the surface. Toni Morrison is just the latest example. Though, if she weren’t a bitter racist, she’d know about stories like this one.

UPDATE: Ed Driscoll remembers when lefties were swearing off the rhetoric of violence. Yeah, that didn’t last long. It never does with them.

OBAMA’S NATIONAL SECURITY DREAM TEAM:  . . . is more like a nightmare.  Scott Johnson over at Powerline catalogs the top Obama security advisors, and reading it, one can’t help but feel like Edvard Munch’s The Scream.

It reminds me of a scrawny JV team (with DOD Secretary Ashton Carter as the only promising prospect), which is ironic, considering that President Obama referred to ISIS as an al Qaeda JV.

PATRICK FREY ON WISCONSIN’S DIRTY DEEP STATE DOINGS:

This is one of the creepiest articles I have ever read. It reminds me of my experience being SWATted — having armed police rush into my home in what looked like retaliation for my speech. Yet in the case described in the article, the SWATting is actually being carried out . . . by the government.

In Wisconsin, citizens had cops bust into their homes with battering rams. Property was taken from their homes, in full view of the neighbors — and in some cases officers mocked them. Then the citizens were told that they could tell nobody about what had happened. If they did, they could go to jail.

All for exercising their First Amendment rights. Essentially, for being conservatives.

And on Twitter, some lefties — including allegedly reputable outfits like the Alliance For Justice — are celebrating it. Alliance for Justice? More like “Alliance for Just Us.”

Related: “America, land of the free, home of battering-ram home invasions of conservative critics of state officials.”

UPDATE: Kevin Williamson:

Every time a local grand jury investigating a police department comes to a decision that some politicians don’t like, there is a call for a federal civil-rights investigation. In Wisconsin, we have a clear and obvious case of out-of-control authorities conducting a campaign, possibly criminal, of police suppression targeting people for their political beliefs, a gross violation of their civil rights.

Where’s the investigation?

Question for the lawyers here: Isn’t this a case for the Civil Rights Act of 1871, a.k.a. the Klan Act? That act forbids any state or local authority acting under color of law from depriving U.S. citizens of their civil rights under federal law. This seems like an obvious remedy to me.

Well, the Klan was a bunch of Democrats concerned about the locals getting uppity, too.

ANOTHER UPDATE: In the comments, Prof. Stephen Clark observes:

Every Democrat should repeatedly be asked whether they support the police state tactics used by Democrats in Wisconsin. As with Rand Paul every media interviewer should be asked by candidates to answer the same as the price for continuing the interview.

Wisconsin Democrats should be made into a public embarrassment for Democrats generally. Behavior of this kind will cease only when it carries a global political cost.

Indeed. Excellent point.

DISGRACEFUL: Automakers to gearheads: Stop repairing cars: Car Companies Say Home Repairs Are ‘Legally Problematic,’ Seek Copyright Restrictions. “Automakers are supporting provisions in copyright law that could prohibit home mechanics and car enthusiasts from repairing and modifying their own vehicles. In comments filed with a federal agency that will determine whether tinkering with a car constitutes a copyright violation, OEMs and their main lobbying organization say cars have become too complex and dangerous for consumers and third parties to handle.”

When you buy stuff, you should own it, and busybodies should stuff it. And this is just further proof that copyright law has gone way too far, and become a big-business-protection racket, not something devoted to promoting the progress of science and the useful arts.

WHISTLE, BLOWN: Fired staffer accuses Tammy Baldwin’s office of coverup in VA scandal.

WE VALUE DIVERSITY, WE JUST DON’T LIKE PEOPLE WHO ARE DIFFERENT: Calgary Expo faces consumer backlash after expelling female critics of feminism. “A group of female webcomic artists and online radio hosts have been ejected from the Calgary Expo, a Canadian pop culture convention, after publicly disagreeing with members of a feminist panel discussion. Staff at the expo informed them that they had received reports of ‘harassment’ at the panel, but footage of the discussion shows that no such behaviour took place. Consumers accused the Calgary Expo of engaging in political intolerance, and have begun a boycott of the convention’s sponsors. . . . Consumers aren’t just speaking out on Twitter. They’re also complaining to the Calgary Expo’s sponsors, which include CMP Chevrolet, Vue Weekly, Pattison Outdoor advertising, Air Electronics, and ATB Financial. Threads to co-ordinate the email campaign have been posted on Reddit and 8chan.”

SO THIS IS BASICALLY STATE-SANCTIONED HAZING: The Footwear Cadets Were Allegedly Forced to Wear During Political Event March Has Sparked an Uproar. As the commenters note, this was just an effort to humiliate men in the service of PC ideology.

UPDATE: From the comments:

The Canadian Army is deploying to the Ukraine.

The US Army is wearing high heels.

Yikes.

Hopey-changey. And admit it, if in 2012 I’d said, re-elect Obama and you’ll see American fighting men forced to march in red high heels, you’d have thought I was over the top crazy, wouldn’t you? But then, there were a lot of real predictions about Obama’s presidency that seemed crazy and paranoid, but that have also turned out to be true. . . .

TROLL LEVEL: GRANDMASTER. Kurt Schlichter: Sexy Conservatives Will Out-Breed Barren Liberals. “The last time some Twitter leftist sneered at me and called me a ‘breeder,’ I wondered whether this collectivist genius considered not reproducing to be a wise long-term strategy. . . . Liberal women, encouraged by the sour crones of the radical feminist movement, often wait far too long to marry and to begin families. They were lied to – you can’t have it all. Life is choices, and a family is a choice that means trade-offs. Choose unwisely, and one may not be able to undue the relentless ticking of the biological clock. And as far as liberal men go, well, just look at them. It’s hard muster raw sexual energy when you think foreplay consists of sobbing to your life partner about how you can’t bear the weight of your undeserved phallocentic privilege.”

BECAUSE EQUALITY! Pressure grows on Marines to consider lowering combat standards for women.

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Also, Mother’s Day Gifts in Home & Kitchen. Or just buy something for yourself. At the Insta-Daughter’s recommendation, I just bought these Kyocera ceramic knives, and they’re really good, especially for slicing vegetables that are hard to slice.

MY THOUGHTS IN USA TODAY: Wisconsin’s Dirty Prosecutors Pull A Putin.

UPDATE: More:

Eric O’Keefe and the Wisconsin Club for Growth — two of the targets in the John Doe investigations I wrote about today — have filed suit against the prosecution team that made their lives so unrelentingly miserable. Unfortunately, that lawsuit — like many lawsuits against the “deep state” — faces multiple hurdles that are wholly unrelated to the underlying merits of the case itself. In fact, the federal Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals held that O’Keefe’s case was barred by the federal Anti-Injunction Act, which prohibits federal courts from enjoining some state proceedings. O’Keefe and the Wisconsin Club for Growth have petitioned the Supreme Court for review, and the Court will determine whether to take the case very soon. Yet the Anti-Injunction Act is just one hurdle that litigants have to clear. Prosecutors enjoy extensive immunities, damages are notoriously difficult to obtain, and injunctions can’t turn back time to undo the effects of suppressed speech or make terrified families whole.

Nope. That’s why partisan prosecutor John Chisholm and his tame judge Barbara Kluka should be shunned, condemned, subjected to a shower of ethics complaints, protested wherever they appear, and otherwise given the kind of treatment that the Left dishes out to the people that it doesn’t like, until they have suffered more than their victims. Pour encourager les autres.

JAY NORDLINGER:

I say that I look forward to having a normal president again — or rather, a president whom people treat normally. A president whom the press criticizes, and gangs up on. A president whom comedians joke about. And a president who doesn’t treat all criticism, and all opposition, as illegitimate. (I’m talking about criticism of, and opposition to, himself, of course.)

Yeah, well, don’t expect that from Hillary.

CHILD SUPPORT NEWS: Skip Child Support. Go to Jail. Lose Job. Repeat.

By his own telling, the first time Walter L. Scott went to jail for failure to pay child support, it sent his life into a tailspin.

He lost what he called “the best job I ever had” when he spent two weeks in jail. Some years he paid. More recently, he had not. Two years ago, when his debt reached nearly $8,000 and he missed a court date, a warrant was issued for his arrest. By last month, the amount had more than doubled, to just over $18,000.

That warrant, his family now speculates, loomed large in Mr. Scott’s death. On April 4, he was pulled over for a broken taillight, fled on foot and, after a scuffle with a police officer, was fatally shot in the back.

The warrant, the threat of another stay behind bars and the potential loss of yet another job caused him to run, a brother, Rodney Scott, said.

“Every job he has had, he has gotten fired from because he went to jail because he was locked up for child support,” said Mr. Scott, whose brother was working as a forklift operator when he died. “He got to the point where he felt like it defeated the purpose.”

Related: Forgiving $38,750 in Child Support, for My Kids’ Sake.

Earlier this year, I spent three hours sitting on a hard, wooden bench in the Queens County Family Court, waiting for a judge to approve my petition to forgive $38,750 in child support arrears from my ex-husband.

The judge said, “Well this is a rare one,” then asked me several times if I was aware of what I was doing and if I had received legal counsel. When I told my single mom friends, they looked at me as if I had committed an act of treason. “Child support is all we have!” one friend exclaimed.

Is it?

This was not a decision for divorce lawyers or court clerks. Or the unofficial single moms club, for that matter. This was about redefining what child support really is, for our family — and it’s a redefinition that other families should consider.

We have too often reduced nonresidential fathers to being weighed and judged by a financial transaction. If you don’t pay, you’re a “dead beat.” End of one story, beginning of a new one, one that can mean suspended drivers’ licenses and professional licenses, seized bank deposits and tax refunds, and the very real risk of jail time. The family of Walter Scott, who was fatally shot in the back following a traffic stop, speculates that a similar narrative led him to flee the police, fearing another lost job and another jail stint. It can also mean some mothers blocking access to children (called “pay per view”) and children becoming pawns in a game that puts their development and psychological well-being on the line.

For many, many reasons, I was determined to ensure that our family story did not include any version of that too-common series of events.

And note this from the first item:

Rodney Scott said his brother resented that his ex-wife was not required to work and that the pressure was always on him to pay support. Critics of the child support system say this imbalance is reflected in rules that say that if a mother receives public assistance, the father must pay it back, even if he is also poor. . . .

Ms. Turetsky, the head of the federal child support office, said the system should be based on the expectation that both parents would contribute toward their children’s needs. “It’s nuts,” she said of the policy of making destitute fathers repay welfare. “She gets the assistance; he gets charged with the bill.”

The system takes a punitive approach to fathers that it would never take toward mothers.

BECAUSE DEATH IS SO FUNNY (OR BECAUSE THE DEAD DON’T VOTE?):   An op-ed in today’s Washington Post argues that it’s okay for health care professionals to make fun of dying patients.  And while I confess to chuckling at some of the euphemisms for death (e.g., “circling the drain”), overall I find such attitudes crass.  But in typical liberal/progressive style, the author tries to assure us that there are some limits:    “That’s not to excuse all humor by health-care professionals. For example, mocking disabilities and using racial, ethnic or other cruel epithets go too far.”

Okay, so let me get this straight:  It’s okay to make fun of the dying, but not their ethnicity or race.  Because racism and stuff.   Plus, cynically, dead people can’t vote Democrat, so they are fair game for off-color humor.  Well, wait a minute, that’s not quite true.

UPDATE:  As a viewer points out, apparently such macabre humor is completely unacceptable, however, when it emanates from conservatives, as the tea party candidate for U.S. Senate in Kansas (unsuccessfully challenging Pat Roberts), Dr. Milton Wolf,  found out.   As an added bonus, our informed reader notes that Dr. Wolf is a distant cousin of none other that President Obama.

OUT: STRING BIKINIS. In: C-String Bikinis.

DISPATCHES FROM LIBERTARIAN UTOPIA: Uber Driver With Carry Permit Stops Mass Killing By Shooting Gunman.

Authorities say no charges will be filed against an Uber driver who shot and wounded a gunman who opened fire on a crowd of people in Logan Square over the weekend.

The driver had a concealed-carry permit and acted in the defense of himself and others, Assistant State’s Attorney Barry Quinn said in court Sunday.

A group of people had been walking in front of the driver around 11:50 p.m. in the 2900 block of North Milwaukee Avenue when Everardo Custodio, 22, began firing into the crowd, Quinn said.

The driver pulled out a handgun and fired six shots at Custodio, hitting him several times, according to court records. Responding officers found Custodio lying on the ground, bleeding, Quinn said. No other injuries were reported.

Okay, it’s Chicago, which isn’t a libertarian utopia. But even there, tiny shards of libertarian utopia can creep through.

“HANDS UP, DON’T SHOOT!”:   But it’s not your stereotypical white-officer-in-minority-neighborhood situation, where we are admonished by the political left that “Black Lives Matter.“  Instead, it’s in America’s Heartland, Wisconsin.  And the targets are–gasp!–conservatives who supported modification of Wisconsin’s collective bargaining rules for public employees.  In this terrific new piece at National Review Online, David French breaks down the shocking excessive force used against conservative targets of the so-called “John Doe” investigation.  In the words of one target, “Anne”:

“It’s a matter of life or death.”

That was the first thought of “Anne” (not her real name). Someone was pounding at her front door. It was early in the morning — very early — and it was the kind of heavy pounding that meant someone was either fleeing from — or bringing — trouble.

“It was so hard. I’d never heard anything like it. I thought someone was dying outside.”

She ran to the door, opened it, and then chaos. “People came pouring in. For a second I thought it was a home invasion. It was terrifying. They were yelling and running, into every room in the house. One of the men was in my face, yelling at me over and over and over.”

It was indeed a home invasion, but the people who were pouring in were Wisconsin law-enforcement officers. Armed, uniformed police swarmed into the house. Plainclothes investigators cornered her and her newly awakened family. Soon, state officials were seizing the family’s personal property, including each person’s computer and smartphone, filled with the most intimate family information.

Why were the police at Anne’s home? She had no answers. The police were treating them the way they’d seen police treat drug dealers on television.

In fact, TV or movies were their only points of reference, because they weren’t criminals. They were law-abiding. They didn’t buy or sell drugs. They weren’t violent. They weren’t a danger to anyone. Yet there were cops — surrounding their house on the outside, swarming the house on the inside. They even taunted the family as if they were mere “perps.”

As if the home invasion, the appropriation of private property, and the verbal abuse weren’t enough, next came ominous warnings.

Don’t call your lawyer.

Don’t tell anyone about this raid. Not even your mother, your father, or your closest friends.

The entire neighborhood could see the police around their house, but they had to remain silent. This was not the “right to remain silent” as uttered by every cop on every legal drama on television — the right against self-incrimination. They couldn’t mount a public defense if they wanted — or even offer an explanation to family and friends.

Yet no one in this family was a “perp.” Instead, like Cindy, they were American citizens guilty of nothing more than exercising their First Amendment rights to support Act 10 and other conservative causes in Wisconsin. Sitting there shocked and terrified, this citizen — who is still too intimidated to speak on the record — kept thinking, “Is this America?”

Sadly, it is America, as controlled by a liberal/progressive agenda that inanely believes that conservatives who “coordinate” their political messages are somehow subverting the democratic process (rather than actually furthering it).

These secretive “John Doe” proceedings in Wisconsin are but a page in the progressives’ political playbook, evidenced by IRS targeting of tea party and other conservative groups, pressure on A&E to suspend Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson for making politically incorrect comments, and Rep. Raul Grijalva’s letter to 7 university presidents outing professors who dared to question global warming climate change (just to name a few): Harass conservatives; make it hard for them to raise money/make a living; get the media onboard to paint them as “shady,” subversive or dangerously ignorant; and tie them up with legal fees and lawsuits, with the goal of marginalizing and silencing them.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court is considering arguments in the case via papers only, to decide whether the secret prosecutions should be halted under Wisconsin law.  Oral arguments were cancelled to protect the identities of the targets.  Frankly, it’s shocking that it’s taken over 5 years to get consideration from the Wisconsin Supreme Court–5 years of abuse of free speech and association rights is too much.

SPACE: ‘Scientific wonderland’ expected as spacecraft approaches Pluto.

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LUXURY ON AND OFF ROAD: 2015 Lexus LX570.

VELOCIPEDE WITH A CAGE: Babel Bike could be world’s safest bicycle. Video at the link.

OPERATOR ERROR: Tulsa Reserve Sheriff’s Deputy Mistakes Gun for TASER. Could It Happen to Anyone?

LIBYA’S MELTDOWN: Awkward Questions For Hillary.

I DUNNO, IT WAS AN ORGANIZED CONSPIRACY TO DEFRAUD THE GOVERNMENT: Atlanta’s cheating teachers are not mobsters. So while I agree that racketeering laws are overused, I’m not sure this case is as big a stretch as some.

“COMPLICIT:” FDR’s Refusal to Save the Jews on the MS St. Louis.

LAWS ARE FOR THE LITTLE PEOPLE: WRONG WAY RAHM: Mayor’s SUV Runs More Red Lights, Drives Wrong Way, City Cameras Show.

PEOPLE SHOULD GO TO JAIL FOR THIS, AND, REGARDLESS, EVERY PATRIOTIC AMERICAN SHOULD WORK TO MAKE THESE PROSECUTORS’ LIVES AS MISERABLE AS POSSIBLE: Inside the Raids and Investigations that Targeted Wisconsin’s Conservative Leaders.

JOURNALISM: Media Mob Steps In It Again; Fails to Vet Britt McHenry Story in Rush to Judgment. “Another aspect that wasn’t even broached was the video clearly being edited via flash edits, which is often used in broadcast circles to marry different sound bites from one person without awkward jump cuts throughout (the flashes separate the bites while not breaking up the overall narrative).”

ROGER SIMON: Whatever You Think About Hillary, It’s Worse!

MYRON MAGNET: Free Speech In Peril. “If it sounds as though we are back in the days when ladies fainted at the mention of the legs of pianos, which had to wear skirts for decency, and when one couldn’t utter words ‘that would bring a blush to the cheek of a young person,’ as Dickens jeered, we are.” Punch back twice as hard. Censorship is less fun when it’s painful.

IN THE MAIL: From John Birmingham, Emergence: Dave vs. the Monsters.

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TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 711.

WELL, NOW WE KNOW WHY SHE WAS SO EAGER TO SCRUB THOSE EMAILS, EVEN AT THE COST OF CONSIDERABLE POLITICAL DAMAGE: New Book, ‘Clinton Cash,’ Questions Foreign Donations to Foundation.

The book, a copy of which was obtained by The New York Times, asserts that foreign entities who made payments to the Clinton Foundation and to Mr. Clinton through high speaking fees received favors from Mrs. Clinton’s State Department in return.

“We will see a pattern of financial transactions involving the Clintons that occurred contemporaneous with favorable U.S. policy decisions benefiting those providing the funds,” Mr. Schweizer writes.

His examples include a free-trade agreement in Colombia that benefited a major foundation donor’s natural resource investments in the South American nation, development projects in the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake in 2010, and more than $1 million in payments to Mr. Clinton by a Canadian bank and major shareholder in the Keystone XL oil pipeline around the time the project was being debated in the State Department.

That sort of behavior is, of course, a carryover from Bill’s time in office. But here’s why Hillary should worry: “Major news organizations including The Times, The Washington Post and Fox News have exclusive agreements with the author to pursue the story lines found in the book.”

HUNTING THE WHITE MALE VOTER:  Democrats are beginning to reap the electoral effects of the hatred and divisiveness they’ve sown.  White, male voters are increasingly abandoning the Democrat party, which has shown disinterest in their concerns about economic opportunity and national security, preferring instead to focus on balkanizing Americans with the “war on women,” paranoia about/hostility toward police, and global warming climate change.

Good luck, Democrats.  With op-eds like this one from Charles Blow at the New York Times, I think you’ve got a lot of introspection and attitude readjustment to undertake before you will convince any Americans who define themselves as just “American” rather than “hyphen-American” to vote Democrat.  Blow’s attitude is typical:  Shut up and take it, white men.  You’re increasingly irrelevant, we think you are “privileged,” angry closet racists (talk about projection) and we don’t care about you.  Message received.

RELATED:  Former Virginia Senator Jim Webb has suggested he may challenge Hillary Clinton for the Democrat nomination because he thinks her campaign isn’t capable of wooing white male voters.  His perspective is almost quaint.  The post-Obama Democrat party is incapable, at present, of realizing the damage it has done and reforming its “divide and conquer” strategy.

FIRST JEFFREY EPSTEIN’S PEDO/RAPE ISLAND, NOW THIS: Menendez co-‘conspirator’ hosted Bill and Hillary at vacation getaway.

WHY MEN WON’T GET MARRIED: Sorry, ladies, but it’s all your fault.

An excerpt from Peter Lloyd’s Stand By Your Manhood, with a nice shoutout to the Insta-Wife’s Men On Strike.

ELIANA JOHNSON: Will Chris Christie Have A Comeback? “New Hampshirites see a lot of presidential hopefuls — there are no fewer than 17 here this weekend — but they seem to like Chris Christie. A crowd, not just the media, is here for this event, and it cheers him heartily. With so many candidates crisscrossing the state from small town to small town, that’s saying something. Christie’s performance in New Hampshire, now and in the coming months, will do a lot to determine his political future.”

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ED DRISCOLL: Jerry Brown’s Oedipal Struggle. “It isn’t just Jerry Brown; since the mid-1960s, the entire new left versus old, New Deal-era left struggle has been driven by an Oedipal Boomer-era hatred of their parents.”

ONLY IDIOTS EVER THOUGHT IT WAS INVINCIBLE: Oversight chairman: Capital’s ‘aura of invincibility’ has disappeared.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) on Sunday claimed that an incident involving a gyrocopter landing at the Capitol had raised concerns about protecting Washington, D.C.

“The aura of invincibility that law enforcement will prevail if someone jumps a fence or flies a gyrocopter has disappeared,” Chaffetz told host Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday.”

“That shine is gone,” the House Oversight Committee chairman argued. “The question is what they’re going to do from here.”

Chaffetz said incidents like the gyrocopter landing or White House intrusions presented too much risk to vital Americans to treat lightly. After the 9/11 attacks, he continued, the stakes were too high for second guessing harsh defense measures.

“These are no-fail missions,” Chaffetz said of foiling potential safety threats. “You have to take them down and take them down hard.”

“You’ve got some real deranged people and some sophisticated terrorists that are going to come after us,” he continued. “This is going to happen again.”

The Utah lawmaker said he often worried about “coordination and cooperation” between Washington’s many law enforcement agencies. Their repeated failures, he continued, exposed major flaws in America’s domestic security.

My own feeling: There’s no reason to mount a big reaction here. The security agencies have been exposed as serially incompetent, and more money will probably just go for more hookers and blow. On the other hand, pretty much everything in the non-invincible capital is basically expendable. During the Cold War we used to worry that a Presidential assassination might be the precursor to a surprise massive nuclear attack, but those days are gone. The Republic would survive without you guys. It might even prosper. . . .

I THINK IT WAS IN NOVEMBER, 2008: When did America forget that it’s America? A lot of people did their best to help ensure that forgetfulness, though.

KEVIN WILLIAMSON: With Hillary, Appearances Are Everything.

Every Mystery Machine must have its Velma. You’ll remember Velma Dinkley, the grim-faced young fogey of the Scooby-Doo gang: turtleneck and knee socks, orange; pleated skirt and pumps, red; spectacle lenses a very groovy shade of aqua; hair in a severe, LPGA-ready bob. She was the thick and bookish counterpoint to the comely Daphne Blake. But the id moves in mysterious ways, and Velma has enjoyed a strange post-1970s career as a minor object of erotic fixation, being portrayed on film by the knockout Linda Cardellini and, in a dramatic illustration of Rule 34, by the pornographic actress Bobbi Starr. . . .

Sharon Stone, the Clintons, Scooby-Doo, the man-feminists of the New York art scene, the just-one-name-like-Sting-or-Cher thing: That Hillary Show has a distinctly retro feel to it already. We have seen this movie before: Last Vegas, The Bucket List, About Schmidt, John Podesta and Paul Begala starring in Grumpy Old Men. Once more unto the breach. The Lion in Winter, with all the domestic friction and succession drama but no lion.

Herself, who speaks in clichés and who gives some indication that she thinks in them, too, says that she is in the van — “Road trip!” she tweeted — because she is “hitting the road to earn your vote.” The Clintons — not too long ago “dead broke,” as Herself put it — have earned well more than $100 million since the president left office, the Washington Post reports, with his speech income alone amounting to some $105 million.

That’s armored-car money, and an armored car is of course what Herself is riding around in, as she did during her first Senate campaign. There is something ineffably Clintonesque in that: She declined the use of the customary limousine because she wanted to appear to share the lives and troubles of the ordinary people, so she rides around in a customized armored van, having spent a great deal of money — starting prices for such vehicles are comparable to those of Porsches — to avoid the appearance that she has a great deal of money. . . .

Appearances apparently do matter. That van is the cosmetic surgery of populism, the tummy tuck of a 1 percenter auditioning for a role somewhere between Evita and Auntie Mame. But the Clintons have always had a strange knack for getting people to admire them for their phoniness, not in spite of it. Their admirers — and there are many of them — are like those odd ducks who prefer breast implants to the genuine articles, the more obviously artificial the better.

That’s the strange thing about the career of Herself: Because she is a feminist, or at least a woman who plays one on television, to bring up the subject of her appearance is taken as prima facie chauvinism, boorish boobishness of the sort that illustrates exactly why we need a woman as president. (Maybe. But this woman?) At the same time, appearance is 83 percent of every presidential campaign, and 97 percent — at least — of a Hillary Rodham Clinton campaign. In some cases, the appeal is literally skin deep: When Team Herself unveiled its campaign icon — an uppercase “H” with a vector pointing to the right — the daft young actress Lena Dunham remarked that she wanted to get a “tramp stamp” tattoo of the logo.

Read the whole thing.

HMM: FBI agent testifies in Paula Broadwell cyberstalking case. “The FBI special agent who brought the David Petraeus-Paula Broadwell cyberstalking case to the attention of law enforcement recently testified that the FBI handled the case under political pressure because of the 2012 presidential election, ‘marginalizing’ and making crude insinuations about the victim in the case, Jill Kelley, whom they cast as ‘some femme fatale.’ . . . Though the Kelleys were the victims of the original cyberstalking case, as the Petraeus scandal exploded in the public, Jill Kelley’s name was dragged through the mud by unnamed Obama administration and law enforcement officials and many in the media painted her in a particularly unflattering light, the subject of the Kelley’s lawsuit.”

SO WHY ARE PEOPLE LEAVING? Every year since 2002, Minnesota has been losing residents to other states. What’s worse: Young adults are leaving in the greatest numbers. My first thought was that the cold climate hurts, and that they should be embracing global warming. But the evidence doesn’t really support that: “About a third of Minnesota’s ‘leavers’ tend to move to the border states of Wisconsin (16 percent), North Dakota (12 percent) and Iowa (6 percent).” Those are all pretty cold places.

TERRY MCAULIFFE, LOYAL FLACK: Va. governor defends Clinton’s ‘dead broke’ comments. “I cannot tell you the distress in that family at that time, with all the issues and all the legal fees, banks refusing to even give them a mortgage.”

Plus, from Chuck Todd: “They had nothing compared to a lot of rich friends.” Well, when you hang out with a lot of billionaires, yes, you have nothing compared with them. That’s not the same as “dead broke” except in a narcissistic psychological sense.

MICKEY KAUS: “Your Dem Dogma at Work: How to raise the (stagnant) median wage? Economist Jared Bernstein will propose anything – apprenticeship programs! pre-K education! refundable child care credits! – except tightening the labor market by controlling the influx of immigrant workers. … P.S.: Bernstein also wants something called ‘fair chance hiring’ for job seekers with criminal records. It would certainly be good if those people could get jobs. But does Bernstein really think employers will ever hire Americans ‘with criminal records’ if they can instead hire eager workers from an inexhaustible stream of immigrants?”

Bernstein won’t address this because the real point of immigration is to bring in a generation of docile Democratic voters.

CLICK AT YOUR PERIL: The Hillary Laugh Button.

April 19, 2015

IT’S COME TO THIS: Italian Government Says: We Must Bomb Libya To Make Sure Muslims Don’t Make Havoc In Italy. “Italy’s foreign minister, Paolo Gentiloni, is now calling for military airstrikes strikes against the Libyan coast in order to protect Italy from Muslim terrorists who want to enter the country through the coastal border, or bombard Italy with some sort of attack.”

The biblical references, however, would be better in PowerPoint.