June 3, 2015

IN THE MAIL: From John Ringo, Live Free or Die: Troy Rising I.

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TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 755.

IT’S FUNNY HOW IT SEEMS THAT EVERY SINGLE HIGH-PROFILE CAMPUS “RAPE” CASE THEY PUSH TURNS OUT TO BE A FRAUD: The continuing collapse of ‘The Hunting Ground,’ a campus sexual assault propaganda film.

AUSTIN BAY: Confessions of a NATO Trip Wire: Why Poles and Balts Want US Trip Wire Forces.

MEGAN MCARDLE: Campus Justice: Punished Until Proven Innocent.

Northwestern put Kipnis through a lengthy process in which she wasn’t allowed to know the nature of the complaint until she talked to investigators, nor could she have representation.

But the process worked, says Justin Weinberg, because Kipnis was eventually exonerated. Weinberg, who teaches philosophy, also thinks it’s “not obvious” that writing an article about an ongoing complaint, which does not mention either the students or professors by name, is retaliation under Title IX. Like Brian Leiter, I find his summation of the facts underwhelming, and as Leiter says, “If Kipnis’s opinion piece about sexual paranoia on campus, in which the graduate student is not even named and barely referenced, constitutes adverse ‘treatment,’ then there is no right for any faculty member at any institution receiving federal funds to offer any opinions, however indirect, about any question surrounding allegations of sexual misconduct at the institution.”

But I’ll let Leiter argue with Weinberg about the case itself, because I want to take issue with this passage: “As I noted earlier, the Title IX investigation yielded no finding of retaliation against Kipnis. One can only imagine how disappointed she will be with this. It turns out that the process she had been demonizing—which of course may have its flaws—pretty much worked, from her point of view.”

I think this is deeply wrong, and for all that, it is not an uncommon sentiment. You often hear this sort of argument when people complain about the byzantine procedures that colleges use to adjudicate charges of a racial or sexual nature, or when they argue that we should always presumptively believe any rape accusation: “Well, if they didn’t do that, the system will figure it out eventually, so what’s the big deal?”

This ignores the fact that the process itself can become the punishment. Sexual assault, racial harassment and similar crimes are serious charges, that should be treated seriously. This makes being charged with such an offense a very big deal for the accused. The judicial process is time consuming, often confusing, and scary. The accused may need to pay for legal advice, even though they often aren’t allowed to take counsel into the system with them. Then there’s the worry of knowing that however crazy the charge sounds to you, the campus judicial process may have very different ideas.

The campus system is, in its own way, especially punishing: The accused has limited rights, the system is opaque, and it’s hard to even know how other cases get resolved. The system cannot send you to jail, but it can expel you with a mark on your permanent transcript that will make it harder to get admitted elsewhere, or if you work for the school, start the wheels in motion to get you fired. These are not small punishments. Some of the system’s defenders say it does not need the same due process standards as a legal charge would, because it can’t result in prison time. But I doubt these defenders would be so sanguine about this Kafkaesque process if it were directed at them, threatening their futures.

Well, I predict that more lefty professors will experience this personally, and their views will change. Remember, the entire notion of academic freedom was boosted mostly to protect campus communists. Once lefties were fully in charge, their commitment to academic freedom evaporated. If lefties find themselves in the crosshairs again, I predict a newfound movement in favor of free speech and free thought.

USA TODAY: Bernie Sanders’ ‘rape essay’ raises eyebrows.

BOWLING ALONE, FOREIGN POLICY EDITION: Edwin Corr and Elliott Abrams have a terrific oped in the WSJ today, “Allies Beware:The U.S. is a Fair Weather Friend:”

It may be dangerous to be an enemy of the United States, but in recent decades it often has been almost as risky to be a friend. There was Ngo Dinh Diem, the first president of South Vietnam, overthrown and assassinated by his army in 1963 after losing American support. Or the thousands of Iraqis and Afghans who assisted American troops a decade ago but are still waiting for the visas for safe haven in the U.S. The uncomfortable truth is that America has too often treated former allies as expendable.

The drama that played out this year around Carlos Eugenio Vides Casanova is a reminder of what can happen when time passes and Americans forget. Gen. Vides was El Salvador’s minister of defense in the government of José Napoleón Duarte in the 1980s. Duarte was an American favorite, with plenty of backing from the Reagan administration and Democrats who understood his commitment to democracy and human rights. . . .

Mr. Vides moved to the U.S. in 1989 because his safety in El Salvador could not be protected. He has since lived in Florida, and his children and grandchildren are all U.S. citizens. . . .

An immigration judge ruled on Aug. 16, 2012, that he should be deported under laws allowing such treatment for human-rights abusers. On March 11, 2015, Mr. Vides’s initial appeal was rejected and he was given 30 days to depart. He decided he would leave the U.S. and return to El Salvador while his attorneys appealed the case.

But allowing him to take a commercial flight home, where his brother stood ready to meet him, was too dignified for the U.S. government. Two weeks later Mr. Vides was pulled over while driving near his home, arrested, shackled hand and foot, and transported to the immigration jail in Jena, La. His car was left at the side of the road. After days of complaints by his attorneys he was finally taken back to El Salvador on April 8 aboard a special Department of Homeland Security flight at taxpayers’ expense.

A person of Vides’s stature can be shackled and forcibly removed from the U.S., yet somehow millions and millions of illegal immigrants cannot, supposedly because it would be a violation of “human rights,” even if those illegal immigrants have committed violent crimes.  Sounds rational to me. With friends like the U.S., who needs enemies?

LIFE IN OBAMA’S AMERICA: Probe targeted threats to behead police officers.

The FBI and Boston police shot and killed a knife-wielding Roslindale man known for extremist views and arrested another person at an Everett home yesterday as part of an anti-terrorism task force investigation into threats to behead law enforcement officials, the Herald has learned.

The two-state probe by the Joint Terrorism Task Force included a raid of an Everett triple-decker and an investigation in a Warwick, R.I., neighborhood, all within hours after police say 26-year-old Usaamah Rahim came at cops and an FBI agent with a military-style knife and was shot twice in a Roslindale CVS parking lot around 7 a.m.

More: “The Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center said its security firm hired Rahim as a security guard for a month in mid-2013. Executive director Yusufi Vali said Rahim didn’t regularly pray at the center and didn’t volunteer there or serve in any leadership positions.”

CONOR FRIEDERSDORF: Why Is It a Crime to Evade Government Scrutiny? Prosecutors may suspect Dennis Hastert of serious misconduct, but charging him with trying to avoid surveillance risks criminalizing harmless behavior. Yeah, that’s not so much a “risk” as a deliberate intention. But say, why not make it a crime for government officials to evade public scrutiny? Yeah, I know, that’s crazy talk. . . .

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TO BE FAIR, WHILE SHE’S THE ONLY 2016 CANDIDATE WHO VOTED FOR THE IRAQ WAR, HER VOTE WAS ENTIRELY A MATTER OF POLITICAL CALCULATION: Tim Cavanaugh: Hillary is more vulnerable on Iraq than any Republican candidate.

ADDING TO THE VIBRANT YOUTH AND DIVERSITY OF THE DEMOCRATIC FIELD: Lincoln Chafee expected to announce longshot presidential bid.

The face of America’s future?

SO I GUESS I NEED TO BUY SOME WELLIES: The Miami Herald has an editorial, “The End of Florida?,” which echoes the Al Gore/Barack Obama doom and gloom predictions about global warming climate change:

But as bad as hurricanes are, they do not pose existential threats to Florida, or to our future. The recurring peril of windstorms has certainly not stopped the influx of millions of new residents that began in the post-war years and has turned Florida into the third most populous state in the union.

But climate change — specifically, sea-level rise caused by global warming — poses a challenge of another order of magnitude. A hurricane hits our shores like a big bang. It’s here and then gone, leaving disaster in its wake. We clean up, we move on.

Sea-level rise is something else: an insidious attack, slowly gnawing away at our beaches, our coastline, our coastal cities. It doesn’t go away.

And it’s here already. Look at the flooded streets in Miami Beach. Or, further up the coast, the 450-year-old city of St. Augustine, whose streets already flood about 10 times a year, and homes built on sand dunes teetering over open space as the Atlantic encroaches on the foundations. All of Florida’s coastal cities face similar threats. Over on the Gulf side, the Tampa/St. Pete area is deemed particularly vulnerable to rising seas because roads and bridges weren’t designed to handle higher tides. . . .

These are not wild guesses or alarmist warnings. They’re predictions, based on accepted science. . . . We don’t think the end of Florida is inevitable, or even likely. But the end of Florida as we know it is certainly possible, and growing more likely every year as the state’s once limitless future erodes along with the vanishing beaches and shrinking shoreline.

Um, the flooding of streets in Miami recently was caused by heavy, slow-moving thunderstorms, not global warming climate change. And St. Augustine has always flooded because 90% of the city is located in an historic floodplain and the development of barrier islands has reduced the ability of the land to absorb the brunt of storms entering from the Atlantic side.  It has nothing to do with global warming climate change.

I live in Key Largo– one of the most “vulnerable” little islands in the Florida Keys. I have lived here for many years, and I can tell you that I haven’t noticed even the slightest change in sea levels. The tide comes in; the tide goes out. Sometimes the tide rises higher and our street even floods near our boat basin. Other days it doesn’t. It ebbs and flows, as tides do.  Rainy season comes and goes.  When it rains a lot, we have some minor flooding. When it doesn’t, we don’t.  Yes, the climate changes–every single day, minute by minute.  But this isn’t a reason to fundamentally transform the energy sector, taxation policy or the global economy.

These scaremongering tactics are just that. And it’s  far from “accepted science” that global warming climate change is an “existential threat” to Florida, or anywhere else.

ASHE SCHOW: Hillary Clinton needed men to rescue her ‘women-only’ event.

Hillary Clinton tried to hold a “just for women” fundraiser on Monday, but few women signed up, so she had to open up the event to men in order to fill seats.

The $2,700-per-person event was supposed to attract 125 women, but only 50 bought tickets by the Sunday morning deadline, so the deadline was extended and opened to men, according to Page Six.

Clinton took photos with guests and spoke for 30 minutes about topics such as America’s drug problem and “mental healthcare for college kids,” according to Page Six.

If that wasn’t embarrassing enough for Clinton, CNN released a new poll showing Clinton’s favorability rating plummeting since November. Back then, she was only hinting at a presidential campaign, and her approval rating was at 60 percent. But since she announced (and has been in the news for scandal after scandal), her approval has dropped 14 points to 46 percent. . . .

As I wrote back in March, Clinton’s biggest problem comes from being in the spotlight. She’s much more popular when the focus is not on her. Once the focus is on her, people see that she’s just not a likeable person. And coverage of her scandals is far outweighing any positives she may have (the “first woman president” cheer only goes so far).

Yes, the “Vote Vagina” approach appears to have its limits.

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EUGENE VOLOKH: Prof. Alice Goffman, ‘On the Run,’ and driving a gang member around, looking for a mutual friend’s killer. Note that this discussion deals with the criminal and ethical issues of what Goffman did, but not with Lubet’s charges of fraud.

STACY TABB’S GOOD PEOPLE — SHE DESIGNED THE INSTAPUNDIT SITE — and you can help her out by voting for her here if you’re so inclined.

STRANGELY, THIS DOESN’T INCREASE MY CONFIDENCE IN OBAMA: Obama confident in the TSA despite failure to detect explosives.

President Obama has confidence in the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) despite the ease with which undercover agents were able to smuggle explosives into airports, the White House said Tuesday.

“The president does continue to have confidence that the officers of the TSA do very important work that continues to protect the American people,” press secretary Josh Earnest said.

A report released Monday found TSA employees failed to find fake explosives, weapons and other prohibited items in 95 percent of internal tests. The undercover agents successfully evaded security in 67 of 70 tests at major airports.

The report prompted Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson to remove the agency’s acting director, Melvin Carraway, who had led the TSA since the beginning of the year.

I suspect that Obama’s mostly confident that the unionized TSA workers will vote Democratic. Which is their real reason for existing anyway.

DISARRAY: Hoyer Urges Civility Among Democrats in Trade Debate.

Democrats attacking Democrats over trade is neither productive nor welcome, House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer said Tuesday.

At his weekly pen-and-pad briefing Tuesday, Hoyer told reporters the rancor surrounding the debate over Trade Promotion Authority, which could come up in the House as early as next week, needs to be toned down.

He specifically discussed labor’s outsized influence in pressuring members to oppose legislation that would give President Barack Obama latitude to negotiate a major trade deal with Pacific nations. The AFL-CIO in particular has threatened Democrats who support so-called fast-track authority.

“Leader Pelosi and I have … urged our friends in labor to have respect for the decisions of members,” Hoyer said. “The Democratic Party and its members have been strong supporters of working men and women’s rights to bargain collectively and organize, strong supporters of the minimum wage and unemployment insurance, strong supporters of workers generally, and I would think that that would be a major consideration in going forward in support of members.”

Hoyer also addressed the extent to which lawmakers are pressuring their colleagues, and responded to a question about a letter penned by Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla., that specifically named the 18 members of the House Democratic Caucus expected to vote in favor of TPA.

“As a public service, we provide you their office numbers,” Grayson wrote to potential donors as part of his 2016 Senate campaign, according to Politico. “Call one; call them all. Call as many as you want. Exercise your constitutional right to redress your grievances.”

“I think Mr. Grayson’s actions are not helpful and I don’t think fair to other members,” Hoyer said. “Members ought to refrain from directing pressure at their colleagues. That doesn’t mean their colleagues won’t get pressure, but it ought not to be directed by other members.”

Uh huh.

MOST TRANSPARENT ADMINISTRATION IN HISTORY: New York Times lawyer outlines FOIA nightmare.

High-level journalists around Washington have engaged in a game of one-upmanship in recent years over denunciations of the transparency track record of the Obama administration. USA Today’s Susan Page perhaps takes the blue ribbon with her declaration that the Obama administration has been not only “more restrictive” but also “more dangerous” to the media than any of its predecessors.

Specific examples, however, sometimes carry more punch. On that front, New York Times Vice President and Assistant General Counsel David McCraw provides some assistance. In prepared testimony for hearings today and tomorrow of the House committee on oversight and government reform on the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), McGraw notes that last year he filed eight FOIA lawsuits for the New York Times. Remember: FOIA lawsuits arise after FOIA requests stall.

One of the lawsuits was particularly noteworthy. The New York Times had asked the Justice Department for a number — how much money had the agency shelled out to pay the legal fees of FOIA requesters? (The law allows for such fees awards in cases where the requester wins FOIA litigation). McCraw: “It was a straightforward request about a budgetary matter. No FOIA exemption could possibly apply. But weeks passed without a response. Over a four-month period, we repeatedly contacted the FOIA office handling the request. We called more than 10 times and left messages. Almost all of those calls went unreturned. Finally we filed a lawsuit out of frustration.”

The lawsuit moved things along, to the point that an assistant U.S. attorney got involved in the process. “[T]he Assistant U.S. attorney ended up doing what the FOIA officer should have done in the first place,” notes the prepared testimony.

Make agencies pay a real price for delays. Otherwise nothing will happen.

IF YOU REALLY WANT TO HURT THEM, BAN ANY EXPENDITURE ON BOOZE, CONFERENCES, OR RESTAURANT MEALS: House panel moves to block State funding over Benghazi emails.

House Republicans on Tuesday unveiled a spending bill that would withhold some funding for the State Department until officials cooperate with their investigation into the terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya.

The House Appropriations Committee’s State and Foreign Operations bill for fiscal 2016 “withholds 15 percent of State Department’s operational funds until requirements related to proper management of Freedom of Information Act [FOIA] and electronic communications are met,” Republicans said in a statement.

The bill makes good on a threat the House GOP had been considering earlier this month to use funding as leverage to obtain documents related to Hillary Clinton’s time as the nation’s top diplomat.

“The Hillary emails would be wholly contained within the net that they are casting,” said an Appropriations Committee source. . . .

Alec Gerlach, a spokesman for the State Department, warned a 15 percent cut would be “counterproductive” by making it harder to keep up with requests for documents from the public and members of Congress.

See, that’s why you go after the booze and junkets.

CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: Bill Clinton’s foundation cashed in as Sweden lobbied Hillary on sanctions.

June 2, 2015

UP THROUGH THE ATMOSPHERE, OUT WHERE THE AIR IS CLEAR: So, let’s go . . . fly a drone.

BECAUSE “RAPE CULTURE” IS A LIE, AND BECAUSE “SOCIAL JUSTICE WARRIORS” ALWAYS LIE: Radley Balko: Why do high-profile campus rape stories keep falling apart? “The anti-campus rape activists often claim that false accusations of sexual assault are practically nonexistent. . . . But that so many of the accusations that they themselves have chosen as emblems of the cause have been proved false or debatable suggests that they’re either wrong about the frequency of false accusations or that the movement itself has had some extraordinarily bad luck.” Yeah, I know which way to bet on that one.

THE NEW YORK DAILY NEWS EDITORIALIZES: “Madness has been unleashed on college campuses — not by drunken frat boys but by the White House.”

THESE ARE THE CRAZY YEARS: The next wave of “body diversity”: Disabled by choice. “People like Jason have been classified as ‘transabled’ — feeling like imposters in their bodies, their arms and legs in full working order.”

AT THE VERY LEAST: Michael Barone: Is it Time for Civil Disobedience of Kludgeocratic Bureaucracy?

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KATRINA ON THE HUDSON: The horror stories of New Jersey’s Sandy relief program.

SO LATELY IT’S JUST ONE YOU’RE-SO-PARANOID ITEM FROM THE 1990S TURNING OUT TO BE TRUE AFTER ANOTHER: FBI flying surveillance aircraft over US cities; planes traced to fake companies. “The FBI is operating a small air force with scores of low-flying planes across the country carrying video and, at times, cellphone surveillance technology — all hidden behind fictitious companies that are fronts for the government, The Associated Press has learned. The planes’ surveillance equipment is generally used without a judge’s approval, and the FBI said the flights are used for specific, ongoing investigations. In a recent 30-day period, the agency flew above more than 30 cities in 11 states across the country, an AP review found. . . . U.S. law enforcement officials confirmed for the first time the wide-scale use of the aircraft, which the AP traced to at least 13 fake companies, such as FVX Research, KQM Aviation, NBR Aviation and PXW Services. Even basic aspects of the program are withheld from the public in censored versions of official reports from the Justice Department’s inspector general.”

KNOW YOUR PLACE, PEASANTS! Clinton rally in N.Y. forces out children’s event, jeopardizes blood drive: ‘It’s just tone-deaf.’

Well, you know, the ears go with age.

ASHE SCHOW: California’s sexual re-education camps are coming soon. “Not content to redefine consent to mean asking permission before every step of the sexual process, California is now on the path to teaching high school students the proper way to have sex — because human nature is now wrong.”

UM, NO–I MEAN, JUST NO:  Obama told David Axelrod,”I am the closest thing to a Jew that has ever sat in this office.” Can we get some serious psychotherapy for this guy? I’m pretty sure Obamacare would cover it, right?

WHY ARE SO MANY BLACK DEMOCRATS TRANSPHOBIC? Marc Lamont Hill: Caitlyn Jenner’s Vanity Fair cover celebrates cis/Eurocentric standards of beauty. I guess the rampant homophobia that black Democrats demonstrated in successfully backing California’s Proposition 8 should have been a tipoff.

AT LEAST THEY HAVE A BRAIN, WHICH IS MORE THAN I CAN SAY FOR HER: New York Magazine’s Annie Lowrey tells MSNBC’s Alex Wagner that she wants GOP presidential candidates to “unleash their lizard brains” during the debates. Her full comment is even worse:

“Even in terms of getting a better bread and circus type ludicrous production, which as a journalist is all that I care about, I just want chaos, anarchy, racist comments, sexist comments, I want, I want the worst of these people, I want them to, like, unleash their lizard brains.”

Yeah, that seems like reasonable, objective journalistic analysis. I’m sure Ms. Lowrey wants Hillary Clinton and the other Democratic presidential candidates to also make racist, sexist comments that unleash their lizard brains, too.

SO MY UNITED AIRLINES FLIGHT OUT OF NEWARK WAS CANCELLED SUNDAY NIGHT, they put us on a Delta flight out of La Guardia Monday morning, and said our bags would be sent to Knoxville. They’re still not here, and nobody at United or Delta seems to be interested in helping us. It’s really pathetic.

UPDATE: Okay, so after a day and a half of useless interactions with websites and call centers, we just got in the car and went to the airport, where the friendly Delta guy (Tony was his name) took us in hand, went over to United and looked our bags up, and informed us that they were (as we had kind of hoped, though United wouldn’t tell us) coming in on the 9:15 nonstop from Newark. Sure enough, there they were, no worse for wear. And just in the nick of time, as the Insta-Daughter leaves for her internship tomorrow and needed a lot of the stuff that was in her bag.

WAR ON MEN: Manspreading arrests: the long arm of the law just invaded our personal space.

AL SENATE VOTES TO END MARRIAGE LICENSES: The Alabama Senate has voted 22-3 to scrap the State’s issuance of all marriage licenses. The bill, SB 377, would transform marriage into a contract, rather than a license, and would not require a marriage ceremony to be valid.

The purpose? Presumably, by taking the State out of the business of issuing marriage “licenses,” marriage would just become another private contractual undertaking, and any Supreme Court ruling that, under the Due Process or Equal Protection Clauses, States must issue marriage “licenses” to same-sex couples would not bind the State of Alabama, which would no longer be in the marriage license business, as a technical, formal matter.

But this seems a bit silly, since SB 377 says, “Effective July 1, 2015, the only requirement to be married in this state shall be for parties who are otherwise legally authorized to be married to enter into a contract of marriage as provided herein.”  It then lists the required form of the contract. But the key question is who is “legally authorized to be married”?  Presumably, the State of Alabama would continue to specify this (and has, pursuant to a state constitutional amendment limiting marriage to one man, one woman). And also presumably, the Alabama Senate did not intend to authorize contractual marriage among multiple persons (polygamy) or among closely related individuals (incest).

Whatever the purpose, the measure now moves to the Alabama house for consideration.  Stay tuned.

MEET THE MAN TRYING TO GET RID OF “ONE MAN, ONE VOTE” IN THE SUPREME COURT.

Predictably, Talking Points Memo isn’t enthused. But really, limiting the pool to eligible voters and not counting illegals for purposes of redistricting isn’t really a challenge to the logic of Baker v. Carr, but rather an application of that logic. So casting this as an effort to undo one-man-one-vote is a bit shaky.

But given the way in which small urban enclaves exercise total control over such states as Illinois, California, and New York, perhaps the equal-protection analysis in Baker v. Carr needs to be tempered with the Republican Form Of Government considerations contained in the Guaranty Clause, which would recognize the right of different communities to have more of a voice in their own governance rather than being ruled from afar. Thus, the real critique here has to do with not trying to overturn Baker.

BRING BACK DDT: New Tactics for Battling Head Lice.

NOW SHIPPING: The second in John Birmingham’s new trilogy, Dave vs. The Monsters: Resistance. I read the first volume recently and quite enjoyed it. Birmingham has gone off in a Larry Correia sort of direction, and it works.

CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: WaPo: The inside story of how the Clintons built a $2 billion global empire.

THE AUTHOR IS NINA BURLEIGH, WHO FAMOUSLY OFFERED TO FELLATE BILL CLINTON IN GRATITUDE FOR HIS ABORTION STANCE: Deeply Confused Newsweek Story Compares Republicans to Timothy McVeigh. “When she isn’t getting the past wrong, Burleigh is being confused about the present. . . . Evidently Burleigh didn’t get the memo. Or else the memo just didn’t serve her purpose, which is to build toward a conclusion comparing McVeigh’s fertilizer bomb to peaceful politics.” When kneepads are your claim to fame, a firm grasp of the issues is unnecessary. And, as we saw with Arizona, Democrats are quick to resort to blood libel as a means of smearing their political opponents.

HEALTH: Alzheimer’s Origins Tied to Rise of Human Intelligence.

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I PITY THE FOOL: Naomi Shaeffer Riley is en fuego at the New York Post, penning an oped on Laura Kipnis’s sad, slow awakening to the progressive culture of which she is/was a part:

The charges against Kipnis were dropped over the weekend, but not before she submitted to what she referred to as her “Title IX Inquisition.”

A law firm hired by Northwestern to investigate at first even refused to reveal the nature of the accusations against her. Lawyers told her they wanted to ask her questions but she wasn’t entitled to have her own lawyer present.

Nor could she record the session, during which she was interrogated about her writing, her teaching and even tweets she’d sent.

It’s hard to work up too much sympathy for Kipnis, though. One wonders where she’s been for the past two decades when kangaroo courts were set up at institutions of higher education all over the country.

Has she been rushing to defend all the men convicted by campus courts of sexual assault with no lawyers present?

Kipnis learned (much to her surprise) that, as she wrote, “any Title IX charge that’s filed has to be investigated, which effectively empowers anyone on campus to individually decide, and expand, what Title IX covers. Anyone with a grudge, a political agenda, or a desire for attention can quite easily leverage the system.”

No kidding. And Title IX is only the tip of the iceberg. Anyone with a political agenda and an ax to grind can get professors reprimanded, students kicked off campus and commencement speakers disinvited.

Did self-described feminist Kipnis rush to the defense of Ayaan Hirsi Ali or Condoleezza Rice when they were told they couldn’t come to Brandeis and Rutgers? (In an essay for Slate, Kipnis referred to Condi as President George W. Bush’s “Stepford Wife.”)

Has she been defending Christina Hoff Sommers when the students at Georgetown and Oberlin tried to prevent her from giving a visiting lecture and then demanding “safe spaces” to be protected from her harsh words?

Of course she didn’t.

Do I feel sorry for Kipnis? Yes, I pity the fool, for not opening her eyes and seeing what little fascist enclaves universities have become thanks to progressive intolerance and lack of ideological “diversity.”  Other than that, as a court of equity would say, Kipnis has “dirty hands,” and her involvement in the progressive cabal diminishes her entitlement to relief.

JOE PAPPALARDO: How Russian and American Weapons Would Match Up in a New Cold War.

RACISM IN HIGHER EDUCATION: To get into elite colleges, some advised to ‘appear less Asian.’ “Some call it ‘the bamboo ceiling’ of racial quotas, telling stories of Asian-American students with perfect SAT scores and GPAs turned down by elite colleges who limit the number of Asians they will admit, effectively forcing them to face a higher bar for admissions than other racial groups, including whites.”

CAN YOU TEACH AN OLD DOG NEW TRICKS? Richard Epstein: An Economics Lesson For Bernie Sanders.

DEMOCRATS’ #WARONWOMEN: S.E. Cupp has an incisive oped about the Democrats’ objections to a GOP effort to increase over-the-counter (OTC) access to birth control:

If you’re one of the 10 million women in America who uses the pill, the prospect is nothing short of life-changing. Going to the doctor to refill the pill every month or even a couple times a year is annoying and time-consuming. And, according to many doctors, it’s unnecessary. The pill is safe to take without a prescription. . . .

But if Republican Sens. Cory Gardner of Colorado and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, along with four other GOP senators, were expecting flowers from Planned Parenthood and others for their bill, the Allowing Greater Access to Safe and Effective Contraception Act, they should brace for disappointment. Suddenly, the idea doesn’t sound so great, and the former supporters aren’t mincing words.

Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards said the bill is a “sham and an insult to women.”

Karen Middleton of NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado even got personal, saying, “Cory Gardner can’t be trusted when it comes to Colorado women and their health care.”

Beneath the fear-mongering lies the more likely reason for the change of heart on the left. The bill was simply introduced by the wrong party.

If Democrats cede this issue to Republicans, they lose a major chit in their “war on women” narrative. For years, pro-choice groups have been peddling the charge that Republicans are against access to birth control. But it’s utterly (and provably) false.

Indeed. Republican presidential candidates should push this issue hard.

IN THE MAIL: From David Weber, Shadow of Freedom (Honor Harrington).

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TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 754.

TENURE’S DEMISE BEGINS?: A Wisconsin state legislative committee approved a measure that would, if ultimately enacted, cut $250 million from the University of Wisconsin over two years, and eliminate state laws guaranteeing tenure.  The $250 million cut can be absorbed with little effect by eliminating the unnecessary layers of bureaucracy. As for the tenure reforms:

The elimination of tenure protections was first suggested by [Gov. Scott] Walker back in February, but was considered a longshot proposal. The Joint Finance Committee, however, is tremendously influential, and its decision to send the rollback to the floor of the legislature is seen as making passage much more likely.

By itself, the measure wouldn’t end tenure, but it would remove the current protections it has under state law and allow universities to set their own policies on the matter. In response, current UW system president Ray Cross said the school’s board of regents will act to enshrine tenure as university policy in a meeting later this week.

More details:

In addition to removing tenure from state law, the budget committee called to make it easier for tenured faculty to be fired or laid off. One provision eliminates current law requiring that tenured faculty only be removed for just cause and only after due notice and hearing. Another provision gives Regents authority to lay off any employee, including tenured faculty, if budget circumstances call for it. Seniority protections would go away, although seniority would be one factor considered in who loses jobs.

Darling stated that Wisconsin is the only state that has job protections for tenured faculty written into statutes, which Radomski said was a point of pride for many faculty and a reason faculty find System campuses a desirable place despite comparatively low salaries. The GOP motion calls for the Board of Regents to determine whether to have tenure and what it would entail.

UW faculty are fighting mad. I have mixed feelings about this, and it’s not because I have tenure (which I do).  Undoubtedly, tenure inherently creates some “dead wood”–faculty that slack off and lose interest in their jobs once they know they have a presumptive job for life.  And it would be nice to have a higher education system that reflects a real world ethos of rewarding excellence and punishing lethargy–among faculty, staff and administrators.

On the other hand, the original justification for tenure in higher education (and notice that this emphatically does not apply to lower education, where elementary, middle school and high school teachers do not undertake scholarship as part of their job) is that the job does generally require and involve scholarship, and sometimes that scholarship is politically controversial. Tenure was designed to ensure that scholars could feel free to express their views, without fear of retribution based on viewpoint discrimination. And frankly, it’s conservative professors who need this protection the most, as they are inherently swimming in a sea of progressive colleagues/deans/administrators/sharks who would be tempted to “punish” conservative scholarly viewpoints and activities. These concerns potentially could be allayed with robust statutory protections against viewpoint discrimination, but this would encourage expensive litigation whenever a faculty member is fired. Whether these costs would outweigh the benefits isn’t as clear as it may seem initially.

In any event, the Wisconsin legislature’s proposal represents a thoughtful beginning to an important discussion about what tenure means, and when it is needed (if ever).

FORTUNATELY, WE HAVE SMART DIPLOMACYTM ON THE JOB, SO NO WORRIES: The Middle East Aflame: Sectarian War in Saudi Arabia?

fter ISIS struck two Shi’a mosques in Saudi Arabia with suicide bombs, the worst sectarian violence the Kingdom has seen in recent times, Saudi authorities have begun a security crackdown in the country’s Eastern Province. But that hasn’t reassured the country’s minority Shi’a population, who are now forming militias for protection. In turn, the authorities are alarmed by these volunteers, and report that some are already being arrested. In the midst of the Saudi war on the Shi’a Houthi in Yemen, anti-Shi’a sentiment within the Kingdom is on the rise. ISIS is making use of that feeling to recruit; as one expert put it, “Rather than going after foreigners in well-defended compounds, [young Saudis] are blowing up fellow Saudis, who happen to be Shia.”
When ISIS struck Saudi Arabia two weeks ago, we noted that, “An attack like this both strengthens ISIS’ claim to be a pan-Sunni, anti-Shi’a “defense” force and sows division within what ISIS would see as a rival for the leadership of the Sunni world, Saudi Arabia.” The development of the Shi’a militias would appear to show the early success of that strategy. Divide et impera is a universal principle, after all—and ISIS has thrived since its beginning on ethnic strife.

The dark hopes of groups like ISIS for a region-wide sectarian war have been having a good run lately, with local forces separating into religious camps from Syria to Yemen. In the absence of an American-guaranteed regional balance of power, such patterns are likely to continue.

You know, maybe Obama’s not crazy here. I remember back after Saddam fell, Josh Marshall worried that we hadn’t killed enough Iraqis to have the kind of psychological effect that World War II generated in the Germans and the Japanese, quelling further resistance. Perhaps the foreign policy geniuses in the Obama Administration have taken this advice to heart, and figure that a decade or so of bloody religious strife throughout the Muslim world will produce a renewed appreciation for secularism. I don’t know if this is their plan or not — I mean, if it were, they wouldn’t come out and say so, would they? — but if it is their plan, then congratulations on stellar execution.

BUT WE WERE SUPPOSED TO SAVE $2,500 PER YEAR!: Brace yourself for Obamacare sticker shock.

Health insurers are proposing to raise Obamacare rates more than in the past — some by more than 70 percent — now that they are finally equipped with all the information they need to price those plans.

Plans wanting to raise rates by at least 10 percent next year posted the proposed increase online Monday, as required by the 2010 healthcare law. Insurers are allowed to raise rates each year, but they must publish significant increases ahead of time.

Insurers have sold plans in the law’s new insurance marketplaces for two years in a row. But the difference in 2016 is that for the first time, they have a full year of claims data from enrollees that tells them how high or low to set the price tag. . . .

While plans and rates vary by state, a look at rate increases published Monday on healthcare.gov shows many hovering around 10 to 30 percent in many states.

But there’s also a sprinkling of even bigger hikes. Blue Cross wants to raise its most expensive “platinum” plan in Alabama by 71 percent next year. Aetna wants to charge 59 percent more for one of its small group plans in Virginia. Time Insurance Co. is proposing a 64 percent hike for an individual plan in Georgia.

Gosh, what happened to that $2500 per year savings we were promised? Same thing that happened to the “if you like your plan/doctor, you can keep it/him.”  I think we need trigger warnings for all Obamacare-related news items, since it inevitably causes painful flashbacks of these promises.  It’s like intellectual rape over and over again. 

“REYNOLDS’ LAW” IN AN INTERNATIONAL CONTEXT: “There’s nothing more valuable than a U.S. passport. And there’s nothing that would reduce global inequality more than issuing a few more of them.” Americans are rich and successful compared to the rest of the world. Bring foreigners to America and they’ll be rich and successful too! To be fair, he does admit that there’s a tipping point somewhere. . . .

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HILLARY: Great moments in retail politicking: “Go to the end of the line”?

Related: Women-Only “Conversation With Hillary Clinton” Event Sells Only 50 Tickets, So Men Are Invited. Maybe this whole “vagina politics” thing is overrated?

CLUELESS: Obama claims he has restored the U.S. to the most respected nation on earth:

“People don’t remember, but when I came into office, the Untied States in world opinion ranked below China and just barley above Russia, and today once again, the Untied States is the most respected country on earth. Part of that I think is because of the work we did to reengage the world and say we want to work with you as partners with mutual interests and mutual respect. It was on that basis we were able to end two wars while still focusing on the very real threat of terrorism and try to work with our partners in Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s the reason why we are moving in the direction to normalize relations with Cuba and the nuclear deal that we are trying to negotiate with Iran.”

What is he smoking? As John Hayward points out in his new Breitbart oped:

A “recovery” that just gave us a negative 0.7 percent contraction, a health care plan that hasn’t lived up to a single one of its promises – and is bidding to blow health insurance costs into orbit next year – and foreign policy that wiped out America’s influence in virtually every corner of the world, especially the Middle East, where the gains in Iraq were thrown away, and the group Obama misjudged as the “junior varsity league” of terrorism is sacking cities? What’s not to love? Hey, America is more popular in Cuba and Iran now, right? . . .

How will history judge Obama? Who cares? It’s how the present is judging him that should scare us out of wits. It’s also hard to avoid noticing that his prospective Democrat successors aren’t exactly treating him as a model President whose policies they intend to emulate.

Exactly. It’s the present danger presented by President Obama’s incompetence/indifference/indolence that matters–and we still have 18 long months to go.

LACKING SELF AWARENESS:  Obama tells Asian leaders, “One of my core principles is that I will never engage in a politics in which I’m trying to divide people or make them less than me because they look different or have a different religion,” Obama said. “That’s a core principle, that’s not something I would violate.”

How principled of him. But then again, notice he limits his principle to dividing or devaluing people because they look “different” or have a “different” religion. So inferentially, individuals in the majority (whites and Christians) can/should be divided or devalued?

WELL, THAT’S BECAUSE HE IS: Americans, 3-1, say Obama is losing fight against ISIS.

President Obama, under fire in Congress and on the presidential campaign trail for doing too little to stop the Islamic State terror group, has lost the support of America, with most now saying that the administration isn’t winning the war.

A new poll out Monday found that American voters believe the U.S. and its allies are losing the fight by a margin of 64 percent to 17 percent. “Republicans, Democrats and independent voters, and men and women, all agree the U.S. is losing,” said the latest Quinnipiac University national poll.

And you get the feeling that Obama isn’t all that bothered about it.

JUNIOR VARSITY: While nobody was looking, the Islamic State launched a new, deadly offensive.

THE GERMAN PRESS DISCOVERS THE COLUMBIA MATTRESS-GIRL RAPE HOAX: “What is unimaginable in Germany has a tradition in the United States.”

SO IF CAMPUS RAPE IS SUCH A BIG PROBLEM, HOW COME ALL THE FAMOUS EXAMPLES TURN OUT TO BE LIES? Emily Yoffe looks into The Hunting Ground, finds it wanting.

The recent documentary The Hunting Ground asserts that young women are in grave danger of sexual assault as soon as they arrive on college campuses. The film has been screened at the White House for staff and legislators. Senate Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand, who makes a cameo appearance in the film, cites it as confirmation of the need for the punitive campus sexual assault legislation she has introduced. Gillibrand’s colleague Barbara Boxer, after the film’s premiere said, “Believe me, there will be fallout.” The film has received nearly universal acclaim from critics—the Washington Post called it “lucid,” “infuriating,” and “galvanizing”—and, months after its initial release, its influence continues to grow, as schools across the country host screenings. “If you have a daughter going to any college in America, you need to see The Hunting Ground,” the MSNBC host Joe Scarborough told his viewers in May. This fall, it will get a further boost when CNN, a co-producer, plans to broadcast the film, broadening its audience. The Hunting Ground is helping define the problem of campus sexual assault for policymakers, college administrators, students, and their parents. . . .

Willingham’s story is not an illustration of a sexual predator allowed to run loose by self-interested administrators. The record shows that what happened that night was precisely the kind of spontaneous, drunken encounter that administrators who deal with campus sexual assault accusations say is typical. (The filmmakers, who favor David Lisak’s poorly substantiated position that our college campuses are rife with serial rapists, reject the suggestion that such encounters are the source of many sexual assault allegations.) Nor is Willingham’s story an example of official indifference. Harvard did not ignore her complaints; the school thoroughly investigated them. And because of her allegations, the law school education of her alleged assailant has been halted for the past four years.

The Hunting Ground does not identify that man. His name is Brandon Winston, now 30 years old. Earlier this year, he was tried in a Massachusetts superior court on felony charges of indecent assault and battery—that is, unwanted sexual touching, not rape. In March, he was cleared of all felony charges and found guilty of a single count of misdemeanor nonsexual touching. Following the trial, the Administrative Board of Harvard Law School, which handles student discipline, reviewed Winston’s case and voted to reinstate him. This fall, he will be allowed to complete his long-delayed final year of law school.

Like most journalists and critics, I first wrote about The Hunting Ground on Feb. 27 of this year, the day the film made its theatrical debut, and did so unaware that, the same week, the unnamed man Willingham calls a rapist was standing trial in Middlesex County on the charges stemming from her criminal complaint. I learned of Winston’s trial when a juror contacted me after it concluded to express dismay that Winston had been forced to stand trial—and had faced potential jail time—for what she saw as a drunken hook-up.

“Regret rape” isn’t rape, but rather a symptom of immaturity and an unwillingness to take responsibility for one’s own actions, which appear to be far too common among American college women these days.

Related: Central Allegation in The Hunting Ground Collapses Under Scrutiny: Undermines entire documentary.

Of the details Yoffe reported, I was must struck by the fact that Willingham had offered Winston—an old acquaintance who had come to Willingham’s apartment to rekindle their friendship—cocaine, which they both consumed. The night eventually included a trip to a bar in the company of a female friend of Willingham’s. All three drank copious amounts of alcohol, and Winston and the friend (“KF”) made out on the dance floor. If there was an initiator in this encounter, it seems to have been KF.

The trio returned to Willingham’s apartment at 2 a.m. And guess what? Their recollections of what happened aren’t that great (alcohol and cocaine tend to have that effect). All collapsed on a bed at various points; there was some kissing and sexual contact, but no intercourse. There’s not a shred of evidence that Winston did anything criminal to either of the girls, aside from Willingham’s error-riddled assertions that he did. Some of her claims border on parody: she insisted that Winston had raped KF and a bloody condom in her wastebasket was the proof. But according to a lab test, it was Willingham’s blood on the condom, not KF’s, and no traces of Winston’s DNA were found.

Yoffe wrote that Winston “was hardly a perfect gentleman” on the night in question, and perhaps that’s true. But only if one assumes that all men, by nature of their physiology (or perhaps because of rape culture), are always the instigators in sexual encounters, and that women have no sexual agency whatsoever, could it be said that he was a rapist.

For his non-criminal ungentlemanly conduct, Winston’s academic future was put on hold for years. He was prosecuted, and eventually acquitted of felony charges but convicted of a misdemeanor, “touching of a sexual nature.” The Hunting Grounds holds this up as a travesty of justice, and it is. But, as Yoffe persuasively argues, that victim in this case was the accused, not the accuser.

Yes. Willingham’s career is the one that ought to suffer here. She is not a victim, but a perpetrator.

MOTHER JONES DISCOVERS THE HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE: College Has Gotten 12 Times More Expensive in One Generation. Of course, Mother Jones being Mother Jones, this is seen as evidence that we need to pump more subsidies into the system.

June 1, 2015

CHANGE: Ebb Tide in the Golden Country: All is not as it was for Jews in America. “The golden age of the American Jews was just a moment in time.”

ROBBY SOAVE: “Feminism Devouring Itself:” We Literally Can’t Afford to Let the Title IX Inquisition Continue. “The prevailing interpretation of Title IX is a problem—not merely for freethinkers and contrarians, but for the basic operations of the university and for the bank accounts of today’s college students. Everyone can be accused of Title IX retaliation, and everyone can accuse everyone else of Title IX retaliation. The university will hire loads more bureaucrats to deal with the complaints, the lawyers will collect their checks, and tuition prices will continue to soar.”

ROGER SIMON: Keep Hillary-Slayer Carly Fiorina in this Thing.

IT’S ALWAYS NICE TO SEE AN ACTOR WHO ISN’T AN IDIOT: Vince Vaughn Thinks That Guns Should Be Allowed In School.

LIFE AFTER Mommy-Blogging. “The blogging world has gotten rather toxic and I just feel really drained. . . . The publishing schedule is just so extreme now. There’s an expectation that you’ll post at least once a day.”

FOR GERMANY, demography is doom. “Germany’s birth rate has collapsed to the lowest level in the world and its workforce will start plunging at a faster rate than Japan’s by the early 2020s, seriously threatening the long-term viability of Europe’s leading economy.”

KURT SCHLICHTER: 4 Pieces of Conservative Advice For Young Conservative Men.

ED KRAYEWSKI: The Long War On Guns. “The ATF started as an Internal Revenue Service spinoff that supplemented its arrests of moonshiners with arrests of firearm handlers. In 1980, Lewis reported that the bureau was more interested in justifying its existence by producing offenses such as paperwork violations than in preventing guns from being used in violent crimes. Today the agency has evolved into offering services and resources to police departments in increasingly common joint local/state/federal law enforcement operations.”

Abolish it.

ADHD LINKED TO COMMON PESTICIDE: A new study published in the journal Environmental Health has identified an association between a common pesticide, pyrethroid, and ADHD in boys.

Boys with detectable urinary 3-PBA, a biomarker of exposure to pyrethroids, were three times as likely to have ADHD compared with those without detectable 3-PBA. Hyperactivity and impulsivity increased by 50 percent for every 10-fold increase in 3-PBA levels in boys. Biomarkers were not associated with increased odds of ADHD diagnosis or symptoms in girls.

Pyrethroids are an insecticide used in mosquito control, flea/tick pet treatments and bug bomb foggers.

POLITICS: Corruption Is Winning.

MORE ON THE NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY KIPNIS AFFAIR FROM ED MORRISSEY.

Also from Ashe Schow.

FLASHBACK: Infographic: Women Control The Money In America.

ABERCROMBIE LOSES RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATION SUIT: The Supreme Court ruled today in favor of a Muslim young woman who was denied a job at an Abercrombie store because she wore a hijab, thus violating the store’s “look policy” for salespersons, which prohibited the wearing of any caps or other head coverings.  The policy violated the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin.

Justice Scalia, writing for a 7-Justice majority (Justice Alito concurred separately in the judgment but didn’t join the majority), concluded:

Instead, the intentional discrimination provision prohibits certain motives, regardless of the state of the actor’s knowledge. Motive and knowledge are separate concepts. An employer who has actual knowledge of the need for an accommodation does not violate Title VII by refusing to hire an applicant if avoiding that accommodation is not his motive. Conversely, an employer who acts with the motive of avoiding accommodation may violate Title VII even if he has no more than an unsubstantiated suspicion that accommodation would be needed.

Thus, the rule for disparate-treatment claims based on a failure to accommodate a religious practice is straightforward: An employer may not make an applicant’s religious practice, confirmed or otherwise, a factor in employment decisions. For example, suppose that an employer thinks (though he does not know for certain) that a job applicant may be an orthodox Jew who will observe the Sabbath, and thus be unable to work on Saturdays. If the applicant actually requires an accommodation of that religious practice, and the employer’s desire to avoid the prospective accommodation is a motivating factor in his decision, the employer violates Title VII.

Abercrombie urges this Court to adopt the Tenth Circuit’s rule “allocat[ing] the burden of raising a religious conflict.” This would require the employer to have actual knowledge of a conflict between an applicant’s religious practice and a work rule. The problem with this approach is the one that inheres in most incorrect interpretations of statutes: It asks us to add words to the law to produce what is thought to be a desirable result. That is Congress’s province. We construe Title VII’s silence as exactly that: silence. Its disparate treatment provision prohibits actions taken with the motive of avoiding the need for accommodating a religious practice.

Justice Clarence Thomas was the sole dissenter, concluding:

I would hold that Abercrombie’s conduct did not constitute “intentional discrimination.” Abercrombie refused to create an exception to its neutral Look Policy for Samantha Elauf ’s religious practice of wearing a headscarf.  In doing so, it did not treat religious practices less favorably than similar secular practices, but instead remained neutral with regard to religious practices. To be sure, the effects of Abercrombie’s neutral Look Policy, absent an accommodation, fall more harshly on those who wear headscarves as an aspect of their faith. But that is a classic case of an alleged disparate impact. It is not what we have previously understood to be a case of disparate treatment because Elauf received the same treatment from Abercrombie as any other applicant who appeared unable to comply with the company’s Look Policy. Because I cannot classify Abercrombie’s conduct as “intentional discrimination,” I would affirm.

I think Justice Thomas has the better argument here, as Abercrombie’s policy did not appear to be motivated by intentional discrimination against Muslims or any other religion.  Such neutral policies should be presumptively not discriminatory absent strong evidence to the contrary.  But the Court has been very protective of religious exercise in recent cases (both constitutional and statutory), and this decision’s rationale can be extended to provide more robust protection for all religions, not just Muslims. Employers, however, will likely be more constrained in their ability to impose dress restrictions (hair; facial hair; clothing) that disproportionately impact certain religions, as it will be argued that their dress policy “motivates” an adverse employment action, because they don’t want to “accommodate” a person who doesn’t satisfy their policy.

STACY MCCAIN ON THE TUMBLR FEMINISTS:

The thing about Tumblr feminists — as with all feminists, really — is their bedrock conviction that men know nothing. All men are bad and wrong and stupid, the feminist believes, and the only things men ever do is (a) enjoy male privilege and (b) oppress women.

Fortunately, the suffering victims of oppression have Tumblr, where they can advertise to the world how pathetic they are, and how racist/heteronormative their mom is, etc., etc.

When I call attention to these pathetic creatures, I’m sometimes accused of an intent to “bully” or “harass” them. Because this is the definition of “harassment” in 2015: Quoting what people publish on their blogs.

All I did was search Tumblr for “heteronormativity,” see?

Strange people you can find, if you know how to find them.

Would I like to help these crazy people? Sure, but feminism by its nature means that nothing I say is valid, all my ideas are wrong, and no advice I might offer would be helpful. The young feminist must only ever listen to what her fellow feminists tell her, because everybody else is evil in this world full of heteronormativity, misogyny and, of course, racism.

They have been catechized, as it were, into this belief system.

Well, people are vulnerable when they have no other.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Advice to take the bite out of bug season.

K.C. JOHNSON: Blue State Justice Rarer Than Red. “In a polarized country, it probably should come as little surprise that campus due process also is becoming polarized over alleged sexual violations. While the Office for Civil Rights seeks to eviscerate the rights of accused students nationwide, accused students increasingly have more rights in red states than in blue states—largely because blue state governments are eagerly taking those rights away.”

A GOOD SIGN FOR THE HOUSE LAWSUIT:  Judge digs deeper into House GOP’s lawsuit against Obama. The appropriations count of the complaint is very strong. If the House cannot protect itself against executive encroachments on its power of the purse, no one can, and this aspect of separation of powers is rendered merely precatory. The good news is that Judge Rosemary Collyer (a smart cookie) seems to understand what is at stake in this lawsuit.

MEGADOWNLOADS: The Insta-Wife’s documentary, Six, has gotten over one million views on YouTube.

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Plus, Generators and Portable Power for Storm Season. Just remember, when winter storms are over, spring and summer storms are on the way.

MY USA TODAY COLUMN, ON THE KIPNIS AFFAIR: Today’s Feminists Are Too Fragile To Read.

USELESS PIECE OF . . . . : French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius says a nuclear deal with Iran will be “useless” unless fully verifiable, including allowing access to Iranian military sites, which Iran has stated it will not allow.

THE SCIENCE ISN’T SETTLED. IT ISN’T EVEN SCIENCE: Sting Operation Shows How Full Of Crap Health Journals Are When It Comes To Dietary Studies.

FASTER, PLEASE: Hacking The Human OS. “Medicine has always sought to understand the human body’s operating system. Now, with biometric sensors and big data analytics, we’re learning how to fix the bugs.”

WELL, THIS IS THE 21ST CENTURY, YOU KNOW: The U.S. Air Force Wants Laser-Firing Jets By 2022.