December 1, 2015

MISSING LINK NECK: How did giraffes get their long necks?

CROSS-DRESSING IN DEATH: Was King Tutankhamun’s famous burial mask originally intended for his stepmother Nefertiti?

THEY DO REALIZE ONE OF THESE GUYS WAS FICTIONAL, RIGHT: What James Bond and Steve Jobs Have in Common: Absent Fathers.

CAN I GET A “DUH”: No, America Doesn’t Have a Christian Terrorism Problem.

THE TIMES WE LIVE IN: Short takes on the drifting wreckage.

ALCOHOL, TOBACCO AND FIREARMS SHOULD BE A CONVENIENCE STORE: Untouchable: The tradition continues for the ATF and not like in the movies.

WHAT IF WE STOPPED BOWING AND SCRAPING: What if… (Language warning.)


MOMMAS DON’T LET YOUR BABIES GROW UP IN THE IVIES: Ivy Leaguers need to stop with the PC obsession.

THE GOVERNMENT IS NOT YOUR FRIEND: Unless he’s your drunk friend who throws up in your new car and steals your girlfriend. How Uncle Sam chases away US jobs.

ALL WE ARE SAYING IS GIVE BOMBS A CHANCE: Bombing alone won’t destroy ISIS — but it’s a good start.

SOME FRIENDS ARE WORTH HAVING: Israel More Reliable Ally than the US for India.

EVER VIGILANT: Watchdogs are on the lookout for Obama appointees ‘burrowing in”.

NO MORE DANGEROUS FRIEND; NO LESS THREATENING FOE: On Ukraine’s front lines, U.S.-supplied equipment is falling apart.

AT AMAZON, Cyber Monday Deals in Tools & Home Improvement.

Plus, Deals in Electronics.

Also: Cyber Monday Savings in Amazon Video.

November 30, 2015

OBAMA’S CHIEF POSITIVE LEGACY: SPACE? My USA Today column: Cashing In On The Final Frontier.

UNEXPECTEDLY: The Hill Deliberately Lies About Ted Cruz Comments Regarding Colorado Shooter.

They’re probably still bitter that their efforts to draft John Cougar Mellencamp for the Senate never caught fire.

PAUL MIRENGOFF: Behind the left’s selective treatment of tragic violence.

WEIRD SIDENOTE TO MY EARLIER PITCHFORKS POST: When you search for pitchforks on Amazon, the search results come back “excluding Adult items.” No, I don’t know what that leaves out, and I’m pretty sure I don’t want to.


Related: Law Prof Accuses Associate Dean Of Retaliation For His Lawsuit Seeking Access To Admissions Data.


BULLETS & BOURBON UPDATE: Not only is the weather expected to be pretty darn awesome for Bullets and Bourbon coming up this weekend, our wonderful Venue, Rough Creek Lodge has freed up an additional room, so there is still time to join the festivities. Please call 770-952-1959 or 800-707-1634 and ask to speak with Cindy.

THREAT THAT SHUT DOWN UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO was threat to shoot white people, cops.

But now they’ve arrested the threatener, though his race is unreported. His name is Jabari Dean.

UPDATE: The FBI Just Arrested a Black College Student After What He Said He’d do to 16 White Men.

PARODY? THESE DAYS, WHO CAN TELL? Before we set up colonies on Mars, we need to discuss renaming its moons: Keeping Phobos and Deimos, which means ‘fear’ and ‘terror’, implies it’s totally cool to demonize our neighbor in the sky.

The naming of celestial bodies is currently highly regulated, overseen by the Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature, a branch of the International Astronomical Union (IAU). But back before the IAU there was a wild and wooly era of naming essentially by whim, the whim of whoever was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time.

In the case of Mars, that was Asaph Hall, the American astronomer who discovered the moons, cracked open a bottle of Champagne and decided on a pair of deities who embody panic/fear (Phobos) and terror/dread (Deimos).

These names strike very dark chords. Anyone at all familiar with epic poetry (the kind written here on Earth), knows what I mean. The words behind the names of the deities – phobos and deos (deimos is a poetic form of deos) – crop up hundreds of times in Homer’s Iliad, usually in depictions of brutal combat, explicit and grotesquely violent depictions in which, for example, a spear takes out an eye, the eye falls to the ground, the warrior topples onto his own eye. Whoa.

The words essentially form the infrastructure for the barbaric violence in the Iliad. And names matter. Is it really possible that we haven’t complained about the names? That no petitions are circulating demanding a softening of the names? We are basically implying, by doing nothing, that panic and terror are perfectly acceptable as appellations for our next-door neighbors in the sky.

If nothing else, we should be thinking of the children who will someday grow up to be Mars colonists. No one currently bats an eye when an adult leads a child out into the backyard to admire a planet orbited by panic and terror.

Most amusingly, the piece never mentions that Mars is named after, well, Mars.


This is where progressive urban governance leads: The combination of over-promising and under-delivering, corruption, institutional ineffectiveness, and clientelist politics ruptures the relationship between so-called public servants and the public they purport to serve. Chicago isn’t Detroit or Cleveland: It isn’t some lost city that has in effect been left to weed over. But employing the same kinds of institutional approaches with the same values and the same assumptions will produce — surprise — the same results. The Jesse Jacksons of the world instinctively respond by threatening to immiserate the functional parts of Chicago. But Jackson et al. shouldn’t be leading a march on the high-end retail district — they should be leading a march on the Democratic-party headquarters, which is the actual locus of malice in this sorry affair.

Republicans for the moment are pleased to be a non-factor. But that eventually is going to have to change. There is no city in the United States larger than San Diego with a Republican mayor. A Republican and a pseudo-Republican were, for a time, able to thrive politically in New York owing to the unusual character of Rudy Giuliani and the fact that the millionaire residents of an economically resurgent Manhattan wanted to be able to travel from a Broadway theater to a Soho restaurant without passing through Beirut. (New Yorkers, alas, have short memories, and thus have turned the city over to Bill de Blasio, with predictable results.) Conservatives as such are not players in the real-world politics of our largest cities: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Phoenix, Philadelphia. They are a relatively minor factor in some large metropolitan aggregates such as greater Houston and the DFW metroplex, but as for the cities themselves — not really. Consider that even in conservative Texas, the big urban political fight this season was whether Houston’s crusading lesbian mayor could subpoena church sermons as part of her campaign to pass a city law guaranteeing certain toilet privileges to men who pretend to be women. That bespeaks a certain battiness, to be sure, but it also suggests an operative political model that should not be that hard to beat: Houston, which is largely working-class and overwhelmingly non-white, rejected that ordinance by a wide margin.

Obviously, it’s long past time for a change:


But if the GOP wishes to seriously get in the game in those cities, as Scott Walker, Rick Perry and Lois Lerner’s victims have all discovered, Republican mayoral candidates are going to have to be prepared to go to war against “the Deep State,” which will maintain the left’s entrenched power and free-flowing graft “by any means necessary,” to coin a phrase.

OBAMACARE CRUMBLING? PALACE GUARD TO THE RESCUE! “President Obama’s signature health care overhaul is crumbling, and his lead from behind foreign policy is paying ominous dividends. Good thing he has his unofficial Hollywood SuperPAC to lend him a hand.”

As Christian Toto notes, “Funny or Die” will likely be pivoting towards Hillary’s defense next year, as the DNC’s Hollywood SuperPAC rolls on.

21ST CENTURY PROBLEMS: There Aren’t Enough Specialists To Treat Our Growing Obese Population.

FASTER, PLEASE: “British technology company to ‘transform’ air and space travel with pioneering new engine design. Reaction Engines says its invention will allow airliners to fly at five times the speed of sound.”

Good luck to them; I fear though that they’ll be added to the next update of the story that Glenn linked to last week: “11 Outlandish Attempts To Build The Next Concorde.”

NEWS YOU CAN USE: What happens if you actually go along with the person on the other end of the “Windows Technical Support” scam calls?

(Answer: “cancel your credit cards and talk to the credit card company to arrange a refund as the money has been paid fraudulently. You should also take to Facebook, and let as many of your contacts, friends and family in the local area, know that the scam is targeting your region.”)

We get these calls about once a week, sometimes more frequently. Since they claim they can “see” my computer has been “infected,” I simply ask them which version of Windows I’m using, how much RAM I’ve installed, etc.; they hang up pretty quickly.

THE SELECTIVE ARGUMENT THAT POLITICAL RHETORIC LEADS TO VIOLENCE: Jim Geraghty lists “The On-Again, Off-Again Arguments About ‘Dangerous Rhetoric’ Leading to Violence,” before concluding:

Do I have all that right? And does that make sense to anyone?

Wouldn’t Occam’s Razor suggest that those already driven by a desire or compulsion to kill other people are going to do so, and will merely latch on to whatever “reason”, justification or excuse is at hand or is most convenient? Isn’t it ridiculous to expect sane people to watch what they say and restrict what thoughts they express in order to prevent a rampage by someone with an inherently illogical, literally unreasonable, not-sane thinking process?

Isn’t “don’t say what you think, because it might set off a crazy person” the most insidious form of censorship, because none of us can really know what prompts a crazy person to go on a violent rampage?

Ace of Spades adds:

The Colorado governor says that the Planned Parenthood shooting is due to the rhetoric of “talk radio” and “bloggers.”

Ed Morrissey catches the Washington Post saying the same thing.

He notes an example where the left does not find its own hot rhetoric linked to a murderer’s rampage — the Family Research Council shooter. I can name another one — the Discover Channel Shooter, a shooter the left seized upon initially because they assumed he was rightwing, then discarded quickly when his manifesto indicated that he was so left-wing on climate change he thought the Discovery Channel was too soft in its climate change propaganda.

Gabriel Malor has documented the left’s “incurable” disease of blaming shootings on right-wing speech.

But never, ever on leftwing speech — obviously! Leftwing speech never inspires violence. Except when it does. And there’s an interesting argument to explain why, and that argument is complete media silence.

I find this part of the left’s broader mission of shutting down any thought of which they don’t approve. The left routinely — reflexively — links any sort of political thought they don’t like into a dire real-world consequence or crime.

If you deny the fake 1-in-5 claim, you’re encouraging rape.

If you publicize the fact that baby organs are in fact being harvested at Planned Parenthood, you’re encouraging shooting.

If you call a woman “bossy,” you’re both fostering an anti-woman “atmosphere” and encouraging violent crimes against women.

And so on. As I say, the left’s own hot rhetoric — that we need to reduce the human population to save us from global warming; that anyone who disagrees with this is a “denier” like a Holocaust denier; etc., etc. — is never, apparently, linked to any violence.

Well, that doesn’t help advance the DNC-MSM narrative; when it comes to their coverage of the other side of the aisle, as Andrew Klavan noted in 2009, all of their memes can be boiled down to two words:

Related: “These are some astounding facts about violence this year in Chicago,” Betsy Newmark notes:

As of November 23, there had been 2703 shootings which resulted in 440 deaths year-to date in heavily gun-controlled Chicago.

That is an increase of approximately 400 shootings over the same time last year.

And remember that Chicago has some of the most stringent gun control measures in the nation in a city that has been under totally Democratic control for decades.

Doesn’t fit the narrative; makes Obama and Rahm look bad. Thus memory holed in order to continue “defining deviancy downward,” to coin a phrase.

LIFE IN THE 21ST CENTURY: Namaste, Bitches is the Girls of Yoga.

MY USA TODAY COLUMN: Cashing In On The Final Frontier. You know, space development may turn out to be Obama’s main positive legacy.

PC RUINS EVERYTHING, EXAMPLE 9,327,263: A Pirelli calendar with NO nude models? Serena Williams, Patti Smith and Amy Schumer pose for iconic calendar as it abandons naked supermodels for, er, naked ‘women of achievement.’

Much like the NFL donning pink shoes in October, that should go over well with their core demographic.


● COP21: Obama on risk of ‘submerged countries, abandoned cities.’
—Headline, the BBC, today.

● “This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.”
—Then-Sen. Obama, as transcribed on 11/05/2008 in “Obama’s Nomination Victory Speech In St. Paul” at the Huffington Post.

Related: “The Paris Climate Talks Will Emit 300,000 Tons of CO2, by Our Math. Hope It’s Worth It,”

Wired magazine, broadcasting from Condé Nast’s giant air-conditioned server farm, which apparently they haven’t yet voluntarily shuttered as an example for the rest of us as to how serious this all is.

BIRTH CONTROL: The IUD: Can Birth Control Be Too Good?

AT THE MOVIES WITH FRANÇOIS AND HITCH: The New York Times looks back at a landmark book on movie production:

Culled from six days of interviews that the French director François Truffaut conducted with his idol Alfred Hitchcock, the book “Hitchcock” immediately stood out from other books about movies when it was published in an English translation in 1967.

“There is not another instance of one practicing director paying homage to another in the entire history of books on cinema,” the critic Andrew Sarris, one of America’s earliest Hitchcock champions, wrote in a review in The Chicago Tribune in January 1968.

In The New York Times, Eliot Fremont-Smith called it “one of the most revealing and engrossing books on film art, technique and history ever put together.” And the critic Charles Champlin of The Los Angeles Times offered a suggestion: “It’s one book that would absolutely make a heck of a movie.”

Now it has. The documentary “Hitchcock/Truffaut,” which opens Wednesday, Dec. 2, and takes its name from the informal title of Truffaut’s book, is both a companion piece to the text and an extension of it. Directed by Kent Jones, the movie draws heavily on Hitchcock clips, the original interview audiotapes, stills taken of the encounter by the photographer Philippe Halsman and interviews with current filmmakers.

Plus this very droll moment:

To Whit Stillman, director of “Metropolitan,” the book was so readable in part because of the familiarity of the films but also because of the tome’s graphic design: “the high-water mark of sans serif lettering,” he said by Skype of the cover.

To be fair, it seemed like all books published during that period looked like that, as Helvetica seemed omnipresent. But few books contained the knowledge of a master showman telling the world how it was done. Read the whole thing.

NARRATIVE UBER ALLES: Ann Althouse: Chuck Todd was heavily pushing the politicization of the Colorado Planned Parenthood shooting. The goal here is to discredit the videos — to be achieved, it seems, simply by calling them “discredited videos,” without doing any, you know, actual discrediting — and then rehabilitate Planned Parenthood and Hillary’s #waronwomen campaign theme.

HISTORY’S 7 Greatest Flying Aces.

SHUT UP AND PLAY YOUR COMPUTER: Product Review: Jam Origin’s MIDI Guitar 2 VST Plugin.

Apologies to Frank Zappa and his awesome “Shut Up and Play Your Guitar” albums for the above headline — but over at the PJ Lifestyle blog, I have a review of a pretty cool new computer music recording plugin for those who would like to get their electric guitars playing (reasonably) nicely with their software synthesizers.

MORE GOOD NEWS ABOUT SPACE: My USA Today column: Cashing In On The Final Frontier. You know, space development may turn out to be Obama’s main positive legacy.

AT AMAZON, deals on Dremel tools.

NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF SCIENCE: Don’t Hire The Hot Nanny. On Twitter, somebody invoked Arnold Schwarzenegger as the counterexample, but I think the answer is that if you’re on enough testosterone, they’re all hot.

THE NATIONAL INTEREST: Political Correctness Goes To War on American History. “George Orwell once remarked that Stalin’s Soviet Union was a place yesterday’s weather could be changed by decree. America, it seems, is not wholly immune to this totalitarian impulse either.”

JOSH BLACKMAN SPANKS RICHARD POSNER: Posner: The 14th Amendment is “Old, Cryptic, or Vague.” But What About Article III? “At bottom, Posner candidly rejects any fidelity to the text of the Constitution. That invariably includes, of course, the parchment barrier that allows him to append the honorific ‘Judge’ to his name. Yes, Richard Posner’s powers derive not from his boundless intellect, but from the bounds of Article III.”

This has implications that go far beyond the judiciary. The only reason for not tarring and feathering any government official for effrontery when they tell us what to do is that their power to do so is somehow legitimate. But that legitimacy comes from the exercise of constitutional power. If the Constitution doesn’t mean anything, well, then, maybe it’s time to go long on pitchforks. Because without the Constitution the angry mob is just as legitimate as the perfumed princes of the state.

ANALYSIS: TRUE. Charles Koch: Most Businessmen Don’t Support Free Market Capitalism.

Far more businessmen cease being capitalists and morph into corporatists, once their business reaches a large enough size.

EPA NEW-HIRE HITS BONUS JACKPOT: An unnamed EPA finance executive allegedly did such a fantastic job that she got two performance bonuses totaling $9,000 even though she’d been on the job for less than three months. The acting director of her office didn’t even know about the second bonus. The EPA’s inspector general said there are no rules that bar such quick bonuses but he could find no prior examples to match this one.

TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 935.

BRINGING NEW MEANING TO THE PHRASE, “RUN TO DAYLIGHT:” As it turns out, the NFL’s arrest streak is alive and well at 80 months.

After blogging quite a bit about the NFL during the early days of Ed in 2002-2003, I cut back greatly when I noticed that category was starting to resemble the police blotter far more than the sports page.

NO BLOW IS TOO LOW WHEN THE NARRATIVE IS AT STAKE: WaPo: Let’s hold free speech guilty for the acts of a lunatic, shall we? Ed Morrissey is uncharacteristically fierce:

So let’s get this straight. When a lunatic shoots up a Family Research Council office, it has nothing to do with its political opposition. When an abortionist runs loose because public officials are too intimidated to enforce the laws that do exist, it has nothing to do with political support for abortion. But when a lunatic shoots up an abortion clinic, it’s the fault of millions of Americans who oppose abortion, and who argue peacefully for limits on the practice and better oversight of those who operate in the industry?

Even when “police have not yet identified a clear motive for the shooting”?

The shootings in a clinic and the deaths of two people are horrific acts that everyone with a lick of sense and humanity abhors. But what the Washington Post and pro-abortion advocates are conducting in its wake is an attack on free speech and the political process, not to mention the unconscionable smearing of millions of Americans. It’s disgusting, manipulative, exploitative, and un-American. Shame on them, and shame on the Washington Post for its egregious bias.

Just think of them as Democratic Party operatives with bylines and you won’t go far wrong.

WALTER RUSSELL MEAD: Getting To The Next American Dream:

It’s small businesses that revitalize neighborhoods, give poor people a chance to get ahead. And ultimately, it’s some of the small businesses of today that will become the innovative big firms of tomorrow.

But these aren’t normal times, and small business matters even more. We live in times when the old drivers of employment like big business, government, and the NGO sector are less and less effective at generating growth and prosperity. The collapse of employment in the manufacturing sector, and the steady pressure on white collar and clerical work driven by automation, means that established firms aren’t generating jobs as quickly. That’s driving wage stagnation and exacerbating inequality. And the new normal of slower job growth also means that many of the conventional career tracks in business and the professions aren’t as reliable a glide path to a comfortable middle class existence as they used to be.

Accelerating the formation of innovative new businesses is the only real way to address this problem in the long run. Millennials and their successors are going to have to create the jobs they want rather than hoping that corporate and government bureaucracies will provide them with lifelong careers.

This isn’t an impossible dream. Today labor costs are relatively low and information and communications technology are creating resources that smart and creative people can use to build new businesses. Harnessing the power of the internet and information technology to improve the lives of people around you is one of the greatest business opportunities of all time. But as a society, we are making it harder, not easier, for these creative new business ideas to emerge.

Free enterprise is great for growth, income mobility and self-actualization. But it produces insufficient opportunities for graft.

But if you’re a campaign policy maven or speechwriter and you want to do something about this, let me recommend Jim Bennett and Michael Lotus’s America 3.0: Rebooting American Prosperity in the 21st Century: Why America’s Greatest Days Are Yet to Come. Read it. You’ll be glad you did.


Mayor de Blasio’s affordable-housing plan is in shambles. There’s traffic chaos in the streets. Sixty percent of New Yorkers say they see more homeless people around. And 48 percent of New Yorkers don’t want de Blasio to have a second term.

So what does the mayor do? He races back into the arms of the special interests who helped get him elected. That’s right — he’s re-embracing the nuts who want to ban the Central Park carriage horses.

Back in early 2011, when New York City was hip deep in a foot and a half or more of white powdery global warming and snow removal was spotty at best and nonexistent at worst, Victor Davis Hanson coined “The Bloomberg Syndrome:”

It is a human trait to focus on cheap and lofty rhetoric rather than costly, earthy reality. It is a bureaucratic characteristic to rail against the trifling misdemeanor rather than address the often-dangerous felony. And it is political habit to mask one’s own failures by lecturing others on their supposed shortcomings. Ambitious elected officials often manage to do all three.The result in these hard times is that our elected sheriffs, mayors, and governors are loudly weighing in on national and global challenges that are quite often out of their own jurisdiction, while ignoring or failing to solve the very problems that they were elected to address.

Quite simply, the next time your elected local or state official holds a press conference about global warming, the Middle East, or the national political climate, expect to experience poor county law enforcement, bad municipal services, or regional insolvency.

And in de Blasio’s case, the biggest political obsession with horses since Caligula.

THE FRAGILE FRENCH REPUBLIC: The country’s politics are beset by a unique anxiety that the entire system could collapse. Why? Because they’ve been living a fantasy for half a century.

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JOEL KOTKIN: Jerry Brown’s Insufferable Green Piety.

Outsiders think of California as a prosperous place that mints billionaires, but overall the state’s economic recovery has done little for many, if not most, state residents. Even with the boom in Silicon Valley, roughly one in three Californians live check to check, the state has [a] higher rate of poverty than Mississippi, as well as one-third of the nation’s welfare recipients. Among the emerging Latino majority, a prime Brown constituency, the state’s cost-adjusted poverty rate is more than 33 percent, compared to just 22.7 percent in Texas, a state often derided as unenlightened and cruel.

During this “boom,” most California blue-collar workers in farming, fishing, and forestry have experienced actual average wage decreases. Employment in fields such as construction and manufacturing remain well below their 2007 levels. Much of this has to do with environmental regulation, which has raised energy costs almost twice those of nearby competitors and also helped raise housing prices to an unsustainable level.

Once the beacon of opportunity, California is becoming a graveyard of middle-class aspiration, particularly for the young. In a recent survey of states where “the middle class is dying,” based on earning trajectories for middle-income cohorts, Business Insider ranked California first, with shrinking middle-class earnings and the third-highest proportion of wealth concentrated in the top 20 percent.

Most hurt, though, are the poor. California is home to a remarkable 77 of the country’s 297 most “economically challenged,” cities based on levels of poverty and employment, according to a recent USC study; altogether these cities have a population of more than 12 million. Some stressed cities exist cheek-to-jowl with the state’s uber-rich—Oakland, Los Angeles, as well as Coachella, near Palm Springs. Most others are in the poorer, more heavily Latino interior, places like Riverside, Stockton, and Vallejo. Journalists who come to California to praise the governor may think it’s still “California Dreamin’” but for all too many, particularly away from the coast (PDF), it’s more like The Grapes of Wrath.

Of course, there’s a long history of such bifurcated society, where people tend to stay in their class and the poor depend largely on handouts from their spiritual “betters.” It’s called feudalism.

And that’s what our “betters” want for all of us.

ANDREW KLAVAN: Narrative Wrestling After Colorado Planned Parenthood Shooting Dishonors the Dead:

In moments like this, it is always wise to remember Klavan’s First Rule of Mainstream Media Reporting: Whenever the prejudices and illusions of left-wingers are confirmed by an individual incident, the incident is treated as representative; when those prejudices and illusions are contradicted, the incident is considered an aberration — and treating it as representative is deemed hateful.

Read the whole thing.


Over 200 people were arrested earlier today in Paris when protesters on hand for the COP21 global warming talks turned violent and trashed a memorial at the Place de la Republique for the victims of the terror attacks earlier this month.

Huh — when headlines last year proclaimed that “Democrats say climate change a bigger threat than ISIS,” who knew this was what they had in mind?


One common denominator characterizes almost all unrest on college campuses: the demands to create more “-studies” courses (black, Latino, feminist, gay, etc.) and thus to hire more -studies professors.

An empiricist from Mars might observe that the chief beneficiaries of the protests are -studies academics. They alone will win more jobs and classes, which otherwise few students wish to attend and from which fewer gain any factual knowledge, written and oral speaking skills, or improvement in inductive thinking.

A good leftist would cite conflict of interest: the more -studies professors egg on students to protest for more -studies professors, the more their friends, students, and mentors profit. Or is it more insidious: students also want more -studies courses to ensure more gut classes with easy As to inflate GPAs and free up more time to hit the gym and the local protest? So far there are few demands to make the physics department more diverse or to hire more engineering professors.

If some right-wing nut wished to harm leftist students and wanted to ensure that they stay indebted, leave college poorly prepared, and do not impress future employers, then he would likely advocate for the curtailment of traditional history, language, science, math courses and their faculty, and the expansion of more -studies courses and professors.

Go forth and read the whole thing!



THEY’LL DO FOR IT WHAT THEY’VE DONE FOR HEALTHCARE, IF THEY’RE ALLOWED: Congressional Q&A: Feds finding ways to grab control of Internet.

Since the Federal Communications Commission passed Title II regulations reclassifying Internet service providers as common utility companies in February, Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., has been at the forefront of the fight to reverse them. Critics say the rule change represents an overreach by the FCC, erodes consumer protection and curtails free speech rights.

If a federal court takes action, there may be no need for a congressional solution. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia is set to hear oral arguments against the rules on Dec. 4. Blackburn has led a coalition of 22 lawmakers in filing an amicus brief supporting appellants in the case, arguing that Congress never granted the FCC the statutory authority to reclassify an industry on its own.

This should play out like MCI v. AT&T, but the courts have been AWOL a lot on administrative overreach.

AGE OF OFFENSE REACHES NEW LOW, Christine M. Flowers writes in the Philadelphia Daily News:

The reason? Well, they tried to dress it up in language that did not seem as if Tina Fey had written it for a Saturday Night Live sketch, but the truth was fairly obvious: “Yoga has been under a lot of controversy lately due to how it is being practiced and what practices from what cultures . . . they are being taken from. Many of these cultures are cultures that have experienced oppression, cultural genocide and diasporas due to colonialism and western supremacy, and we need to be mindful of this and how we express ourselves and while practicing yoga.”

The day that yoga becomes culturally offensive is the day that Mr. Rogers becomes a metrosexual icon. In other words, anyone who has a problem with Westerners (or rather, 21st-century colonialists) teaching yoga classes to disabled students — for free! — is a real pain in the asana.

This is up there with women on campus carrying around mattresses because they want the world to take their complaints about sexual abuse seriously (right, toting a Serta through the cafeteria line is exactly the way to avoid ridicule). This is up there with complaining about red Starbucks cups at Christmas. This is up there with Ivy League students being told what Halloween costumes they can wear so as not to offend indigenous zombies. This is right up there with a white guy going on a hunger strike until the University of Kansas instituted “mandatory, intense” racial re-education workshops for students (bro, look in the mirror). And yes, this is up there with allowing a same-sex couple to throw a legally compensated hissy fit because one particular baker out of the hundreds of thousands of millions in the world would not serve up a wedding cake.

Heh. Unless things have changed dramatically from when I last regularly read the Philadelphia Daily News 20 years ago, given the Bletchley Park-level sensitivities to offense of that paper’s readers, I’m surprised this article didn’t come with a giant red “TRIGGER WARNING” atop it.

Related: There Is No Bigger Threat to Millennials Than Liberalism.

GREAT MOMENTS IN AFFIRMATIVE ACTION: Firewoman allowed to graduate NYC Fire Academy despite flunking physical injured 10 days into job.

(Headline via Power Line.)

WASHINGTON POST: Hillary Clinton panders to middle-class voters with unrealistic tax promises.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT OVER THE WEEKEND: Walter Olson Highlights Demands Of Campus Activists.

JOHN LEWIS: Black Lives Matter Movement ‘Must Understand’ the Way of Peace.

I appreciate the sentiment — and I also remember Lewis’ role in racially demagoguing and playing the race card against an actual peaceful protest from the right.

SNOWFALLS ARE NOW JUST A THING OF THE PAST. Or, two London Independents in one!

● “Paris climate change talks: What the different groups attending expect from these crucial meetings.”

—Headline, London Independent, yesterday.

“Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past.”

—Headline, London Independent, March 20, 2000.

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Marco Rubio Vows to Restore Intelligence Programs Restricted by Obama.

From Roger Simon; article illustration by yours truly.


NEW YORK CITY BANS THE HOVERBOARD: The nanny state stands athwart the future, yelling stop.

New York’s punitive leftists are second only to Sacramento’s in starting each day thinking “What are we going to ban today?”

Related: “Rip Them Out.”

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ALLUM BOKHARI: Everything The World Has Culturally Appropriated From The West.

Cultural appropriation is the idea that adopting elements of a foreign culture, from dressing up as Mariachis to wearing dreadlocks if you’re not black, is oppressive. Ein volk, ein culture. Naturally, the concept was invented by campus progressives.

The consequence of this regressive, segregationist view of culture is the rise of racial identity politics on campus. But that’s not what this article is about. In my research on cultural appropriation, I’ve uncovered a shocking truth, a great, unspoken crime against humanity, hidden in plain sight. It is the greatest, longest-running, and most heinous act of appropriation in global history.

The appropriation of Western Civilisation.

This diabolical act of appropriation has been hidden in plain sight. For centuries, nation after nation brutally, viciously, mercilessly appropriated western culture. Just as they did Rwanda, an uncaring world averted its eyes, and this act of global racism has gone unacknowledged. Until now.

Half-Pakistani in descent, I feel a personal sense of guilt at how non-western countries have unapologetically oppressed their fellow nations. I’ve therefore taken it upon myself to compile a list of all the things the world has culturally appropriated from the west, in hope that this injustice might one day be corrected.

Read the whole thing. (Sorry, attribution was wrong at first.)


An outspoken and polarizing New York celebrity, who’s a bestselling author and familiar TV presence, decides to run for office even though he has no previous political experience. He’s famously contemptuous of political insiders, a seemingly contradictory stance considering he has an elite education and hails from a wealthy and well-connected family. His campaign ends up having significant impact on the national political conversation, in spite of the fact both the Republican and Democratic establishments are in agreement that his politics are too reactionary for him to actually win.

Sound familiar?

Read the whole thing — and don’t miss the spot-on comparison of Barack Obama to John Lindsay, and the same type of obsequious court stenographers that enabled both men.

THE NEW CAMPUS DISSENTERS: Not everyone is cowed by political intimidation at universities.

Even at the remove of several weeks, it is remarkable to recall that the disturbance at Yale University was over “offensive” Halloween costumes. But amid the protests, some important principles are now at risk, notably free speech. We asked at the time where the adults were on campus—either school presidents or boards of trustees? The answer, so far, is that most have caved like wet cardboard. The most hopeful adult response has come from 18- to 22-year olds—the students themselves.

At Claremont McKenna, where a dean was driven from office over a supposedly objectionable email, the student editors of the Claremont Independent published “We Dissent.”

The editors took themselves to task for not speaking out earlier. But no more. Their editorial ended: “We are not immoral because we don’t buy the flawed rhetoric of a spiteful movement. We are not evil because we don’t want this movement to tear across our campuses completely unchecked. We are no longer afraid to be voices of dissent.”

This political courage may be catching on. At Princeton last week, students under the banner of the Open Campus Coalition sent President Eisgruber their own strong statement of dissent. It describes a student body intimidated to silence by the likelihood of being vilified, in public or on social media. It ends: “Princeton undergraduates opposed to the curtailment of academic freedom refuse to remain silent out of fear of being slandered.” They signed their names and class years, and we hope their professors don’t dock their grades for thinking for themselves.

With campus administrators and faculty cowed by political correctness run amok, these students are shaping a movement of principled, civilized dissent. Let’s hope it grows.




STOP LAUGHING: Their “socialist program” will create “a sustainable reduction in deficits and debt.”  Because, you know, cheese and also radioactive penguins — which are as likely to cause a sustainable reduction in deficits as socialism is. In Portugal, being a socialist is never having to say you’re sorry.

NOT AGAIN: King Tut’s Tomb: Secret Chamber Search Is On.

THEY’RE COATING THEM IN POLITICIANS: Totally repellent: Quick and easy coating process makes surfaces omniphobic.

OKAY THEN: A threesome may explain behaviour of galaxy’s most bizarre star.

THEY’RE JUST MESSENGER BOYS PHOTONS: Physicists set quantum record by using photons to carry messages from electrons almost 2 kilometers apart.

SHUT UP, YOU’RE INTERRUPTING THE NARRATIVE: Media Rushes to Call Colorado Shooter ‘Right-Wing Activist.’ Here’s the Evidence For That Claim.  They probably know it’s not true, but if they can taint you by association they can make you shut up.

WHAT THE ACTUAL FLAN: Avis Should Try Harder, In Order to Avoid Breaking the Law.


IT’S COME TO THIS: Craft brewers say new FDA mandate will limit beer selection.

STOP SCARING ME: Polling the refugees: getting to know you.

November 29, 2015

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Marco Rubio Vows to Restore Intelligence Programs Restricted by Obama.

68 YEARS AGO TODAY THE U.N. CREATED A JEWISH STATE — They’ve Been Trying To Destroy It Ever Since.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: At UNC, abdicating the obligations of leadership in scandal.

WHY ARE DEMOCRAT-RUN CITIES SUCH HELLHOLES OF CORRUPTION, RACISM, AND VIOLENCE? The Corrupt System That Killed Laquan McDonald. “Until it is reformed, more Chicagoans will die needlessly at the hands of police. The failures are especially inexcusable in the aftermath of both a relatively recent police torture scandal and an off-the-books holding facility scandal where rights to an attorney were willfully denied. Each scandal illustrated the importance of sunlight in the Chicago police department. City leaders kept blocking it anyway.”

JOEL KOTKIN: Climate Hysteria Fostering A Climate Of Intolerance.

The Paris Climate Conference, convening this week, takes place in the very place where, arguably, the most dangerous exemplar of hysteria, the Islamic jihadi movement, has left its bloody mark. Yet the think tank mavens, academics, corporate shills and endless processions of bureaucrats gather in the City of Light not to confront the immediate deadly threat, but to ramp up their own grisly scenarios and Draconian solutions.

Welcome to the age of hysteria, where friends and foes, and even those who blissfully talk past each other, whip themselves into an emotional frenzy that bears no discussion, debate or nuance. Rather than entering a technological age of reason, we seem to lurching towards a high-tech middle ages, where warring bands – greens, jihadis, libertarians, social conservatives, nationalists – immerse themselves not in intellectual competition but, inflating their own individual outrage. In this environment, exaggeration and hysteria are weapons of recruitment, while opposition is met with demeaning attacks, potential imprisonment and, at the worst, vicious acts of violence.

Rather than address possible shortcomings in their models, climate change activists increasingly tend to discredit critics as dishonest and tools of the oil companies. There is even a move to subject skeptics to criminal prosecution for deceiving the public.

How much this does for our understanding of the complexities of climate seems questionable, but the incessant campaign on the issue clearly is having an effect on the society’s rationality. Canadian psychologists have already found elevated levels of anxiety among young people, who, after all, have been told that their world could be coming to an end, no matter what we do.

My solution: Tax the Blue Zones! Also, ban government funded travel for bureaucrats and academics. We have Skype now, and the planet is at risk!!!!

ODDLY ENOUGH, NOT AN ARTICLE ABOUT SMOD: Another danger of climate change: Giant flying boulders?


It was one of those stunning live-TV moments revealing the seamier side of TV news.  Pat Brown is a criminal profiler who has taken a principled stand on media appearances about mass murderers. She will not discuss individual criminals, their motives, etc., believing that to do so only increases the number of mass murders.

But when Brown appeared on CNN’s New Day this morning, co-host Christi Paul immediately tried to engage her in a discussion of Colorado Springs shooter Robert Dear’s possible “anti-government” views. Retorted Brown: “I’m a little disturbed because I made an agreement with CNN to appear this morning only under the condition that we do not talk about the particular shooter, use his name, or show his face.” Undeterred, Paul tried to lure Brown into a discussion of the shooting investigation, but again Brown rebuffed it There the interview ended, but co-host Victor Blackwell came on to claim that the agreement had been honored because neither Dear’s photo nor name had been used. Didn’t use Dear’s name? Really? Have a look at the screencap, Mr. Blackwell.

This is CNN.


On November 29, 1995, President Clinton grudgingly signed a highway bill repealing the much-hated National Maximum Speed Limit. In 1973, President Nixon signed the NMSL into law in an effort to force people to save gas. This law allowed the federal government to withhold federal highway money from states that didn’t drop their speed limit to 55 mph. Real-world fuel savings were negligible. Safety activists proclaimed that it saved a lot of lives, and would bring out charts showing that the highway fatality rate had dropped since the law was enacted. The starting point for said charts was when the law was enacted, and sure enough, the fatality rate decreased in the years after. Had they shown a chart going back decades, you would have seen that the fatality rate had been declining since the late 1940s.

Since she’s simultaneously running on nostalgia for the post-Cold War pre-GWOT go-go happy fun time 1990s and yet against so many of President Clinton’s policies, do we know what Hillary thinks about her husband signing this into law?

RAHM EMANUEL HOLDS OTHERS ACCOUNTABLE ON POLICE SHOOTING VIDEO, NOT HIMSELF: “If the video had come out during the election campaign, Rahm Emanuel would not be mayor today.”

Related: “Producer of anti-Islam film arrested, ordered held without bail.”

Also: “For violating a minor election law, Dinesh D’Souza was punished heavily. Even his liberal lawyer has realized his conviction was politically motivated.”

What is it with Obama and his associates such as Rahm (Obama’s former White House Chief of Staff) and Hillary (his Secretary of State) being complicit in suppressing videos and video makers?

ENVIRONMENTALISM HAS ALWAYS BEEN A RELIGION OF THE ELITES: Germans reluctant to go green, survey finds.

In fact, the modern environmental movement has its roots in efforts by rich landowners to block the (environmentally friendly!) Storm King pumped storage facility because they were afraid it would hurt their views. Not much has changed in 50 years.


Fans of state intervention in the economy — call them government creationists — insist on giving as much power as possible to an all-wise, all-powerful daddy figure whom they elect to, for instance, “fix” climate change or health care with a top-down agenda restricting innovation and imposing ever-more regulations. Their enemy is experimentation, incremental change — evolution.

Their intelligent designs turn out to be incredibly stupid in practice, and for their failures the central planners expect to be rewarded with more and more power. As British politician Douglas Carswell says in “The End of Politics and the Birth of iDemocracy,” planners “consistently underrate the importance of spontaneous, organic arrangements and fail to recognize that the best plan is often not to have one.”*

Plus this:

The Internet is a similar story; Al Gore and Barack Obama brag that the government created it. The truth is that it wasn’t until government got out of the way that what was once the Arpanet, a Pentagon creation, evolved into the Internet. “If you really want to see the Arpanet as the origin of the Internet,” Ridley asks, “please explain why the government sat on it for 30 years and did almost nothing with it until it was effectively privatized in the 1990s, with explosive results.”

Until 1989, the government actually prohibited Arpanet from being used for private or commercial ends. Ridley quotes a handbook distributed to MIT users of the Arpanet that read, in the 1980s, “sending electronic messages over the Arpanet for commercial profit or political purposes is both antisocial and illegal.”

Read the whole thing.

* So the benefits of dynamism over stasim, to coin a phrase.

AP BLOCKED REPORT THAT PALESTINIANS REJECTED ISRAELI STATEHOOD OFFER. In 2009, “a long-time Jerusalem reporter learned of an Israeli offer that would give a majority of the West Bank and all of Gaza—including a corridor between them—to the Palestinians. But his scoop was blocked,” as former AP man Mark Lavie writes in his article at Tablet:

In March 2009, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat was interviewed in Arabic on Al-Jazeera. When I saw the MEMRI translation I immediately understood its significance: Erekat disclosed that Abbas had turned down an offer that would have given the Palestinians a state in almost all of the West Bank, all of Gaza, and parts of Jerusalem. Then I found out about the map. No one else had the story.

Excited about this scoop, I raced into my bureau chief’s office at the AP in Jerusalem. Imagine my shock when I was told it’s not a story—and I was banned from writing about it. It just couldn’t be a legitimate story, in line with the new definition of journalism.

The profession I joined in the 1960s wasn’t about helping anyone. It was about reporting and explaining the news. This new definition of journalism, apparently requires choosing sides. This became clear to me as long ago as 1988, at the beginning of the First Intifada, when I saw a reporter jump out of her car in the middle of a Gaza riot and shout at the Palestinians throwing rocks at the vehicle: “Why are you doing this? I’m trying to help you!” Like most Western media sources, she wanted to frame the uprising—the Palestinians as people—as helpless victims, to pillory the Israelis as the cruel oppressors. Stories that didn’t fit that framework had a hard time seeing the light of day. Even a peace offer.

So, naturally, despite the fact that Israel offered the Palestinians a state twice—in 2000 and 2008—the world saw Israel as the intransigent side. The 2008 proposal was largely unreported in world media.