October 22, 2014

PERSONALLY, I FAVOR CULTURAL IMPERIALISM. AND FOR IMMIGRANTS, DISPLAYS OF CULTURAL SUBMISSION. “When we import Islamic immigrants, we are importing a wide range of mores. The veil is acceptable, but to many, troubling. You might think that clitoridectomy is obviously beyond the pale, but no.”

“AFFIRMATIVE CONSENT,” LIKE SO MUCH ELSE, IS FOR THE LITTLE PEOPLE. I thought only “yes” means yes: Did Obama get true, verbalized consent from that woman before he kissed her? No. He did not. Plus, a case study in the privilege of the powerful male lording it over the lower-class male:

Obama orders her to kiss him: “You’re gonna kiss me. Give him something to talk about. Now, he’s really jealous.” As you see in the video, he makes that declarative statement and immediately grabs her and kisses and hugs her.

Why is that acceptable? He’s using her in an effort to regain dignity and to humiliate the man who humiliated him. It might all be dismissed as play humiliation and play counter-humiliation. But the woman’s body was used as an object of that play, a means of communication between men.

Must be part of that war on women I’ve been hearing about.

October 21, 2014

IF YOU SUPPORT BROAD ABORTION RIGHTS, you probably don’t want to suggest that America should become “more European.”

LET’S HOPE THESE ARE FALSE ALARMS: Officials: 2 patients being monitored at Chicago hospitals for Ebola-like symptoms.

Related: Liberian Passenger With Ebola Symptoms Arrives In Newark Liberty – Moved To University Hospital Newark. Since “Ebola symptoms” and “flu symptoms” are basically the same, maybe it’s nothing. But good to be careful.

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TRIFECTA: Voter Suppression via Obama: Democrats Flee Former Political Prodigy.

SHE SHOULD HAVE BEEN MORE CAREFUL ABOUT BODILY FLUIDS, I GUESS: Monica Lewinsky: I was “patient zero” in Internet bullying.

SCIENCE: A Pill Could Help Alcoholics, and Let Them Drink in Moderation.

21ST CENTURY RELATIONSHIPS: Why I Visit Prostitutes. “I was an engineer in Silicon Valley entering the first dot-com boom, and the odds of finding love were long. Santa Clara County was known for having the highest ratio of single men to single women in the country. And let’s face it, tech workers are not the most socially adept.”

WHY WOULD ANY MAN VOTE DEMOCRAT? “First, ask what have the last two Democratic administrations done for boys, men and fathers?”

IF YOU’RE WORRIED ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING, YOU’LL CHEER THIS DEVELOPMENT: In Tennessee, Time Comes for a Nuclear Plant Four Decades in the Making. Naturally, environmentalists oppose it. But since I’m in a position to benefit from its reliable electricity, I’m happy.

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO RAPE! (CONT’D): Cheerleader coach accused of having improper relations with student.

YEAH, YEAH, FEWER YOUNG PEOPLE ARE DRIVING. But isn’t that in part because, in the Obama Economy, they don’t have jobs?

SPYING: Virginia Police Have Been Secretively Stockpiling Private Phone Records.

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NEWS YOU CAN USE: 7 Simple Exercises That Undo the Damage of Sitting. These are good, especially the Table Pigeons. But . . . and you knew this was coming . . . squats and deadlifts are the single best thing to undo sitting-related damage to your back.

THE ONE THEY GAVE ME TO TEST-DRIVE DIDN’T HAVE THIS CAPABILITY, BUT IT WAS STILL COOL: Watch an Audi RS7 Drive Itself Around a Track at 150 MPH—with Nobody Inside.

EBOLA: Duncan “Atrios” Black is exactly right: “The virus itself is a minor problem, but the inability of institutions to respond is not.” It’s possible that Ebola will become a major problem, but the broad and deep institutional incompetence it has revealed is already a major problem.

21ST CENTURY RELATIONSHIPS: Woman Gets Trapped in Man’s Chimney After Six Online Dates. “It’s a classic tale of boy-meets-girl, girl-tries-to-break-into-boy’s-house-through-the-chimney. Firefighters came to the aid of Genoveva Nunez-Figueroa, 28, after she became lodged in the flue at the Thousand Oaks, Calif., home of a man she said she met online. . . . ‘She seemed totally cool until the first flag was her actually being on my roof two weeks ago,’ Lawrence told KTLA.”

AMERICAN STUDIES ASSOCIATION UPDATE: ASA policy reversal delegitimizes BDS, but does not reverse past discrimination. “If the ASA’s original action was important for popularizing such boycotts (at least in the narrow quarters of area studies), its reversal is equally important for showing them to be beyond the pale. It will be extremely hard for other academic groups to now put a good face on adopting a boycott that the ASA has done so much to distance itself from. This is underscored by the ASA’s dodgy and frantic triangulation about its boycott policy. . . . While having the revolutionary vanguard of the boycott movement disclaiming such efforts is welcome, their rewriting history to claim the boycott never happened is less so.”

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Cornell Deer Sterilization Fiasco: “you can’t make this stuff up.”

THE FEDERALIST SOCIETY responds to Cathy Young. “We appreciate Ms. Young’s contributions to the public debate on these questions. But based on feedback from Federalist Society student chapter members who had invited her because they were eager to hear her point of view, at the present time we are opting to recommend other individuals (who share Young’s basic perspective) to debate and speak about these issues.”

I GUESS OBAMA HAS GONE RACIST: DHS requires West Africa travelers to arrive at five airports.

IN THE MAIL: From Alexander Watson, Ring of Steel: Germany and Austria-Hungary in World War I.

Plus, today only at Amazon: Little Giant Adjustable Step Ladder, $168.00 (44% off).

And, also today only: “Hill Street Blues,” The Complete Series, $79.99 (60% off).

TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 530.

SHIKHA DALMIA: The Left’s Creeping Totalitarianism on Affirmative Consent; Depriving men of their due process rights won’t help women. I’d say it’s more galloping than “creeping.”

OBAMA’S HOME TOWN: Chicagoland voting machine casts candidate’s vote for his Dem opponent.

Admitting his confidence in Cook County ballot integrity is shaken, State Representative Candidate Jim Moynihan (R-56), was shocked today when he tried to cast a vote for himself and the voting machine cast it for his opponent instead.

“While early voting at the Schaumburg Public Library today, I tried to cast a vote for myself and instead it cast the vote for my opponent,” said Moynihan. “You could imagine my surprise as the same thing happened with a number of races when I tried to vote for a Republican and the machine registered a vote for a Democrat.”

While using a touch screen voting machine in Schaumburg, Moynihan voted for several races on the ballot, only to find that whenever he voted for a Republican candidate, the machine registered the vote for a Democrat in the same race. He notified the election judge at his polling place and demonstrated that it continued to cast a vote for the opposing candidate’s party. Moynihan was eventually allowed to vote for Republican candidates, including his own race. It is unknown if the machine in question (#008958) has been removed from service or is still in operation.

Hmm. Well, that’s why I’ve been pushing paper ballots since 2002. Not that the Chicago crowd couldn’t cheat with them, too. . . .

UPDATE: Illinois poll workers break law, tell Obama to “vote Democrat.”

EBOLA: WORSE THAN REPORTED?

[Sorious] Samura, a television journalist originally from Sierra Leone, said the Liberian authorities appeared to be deliberately downplaying the true number of cases, for fear of increasing alarm in the west African country.

“People are dying in greater numbers than we know, according to MSF [Médecins sans Frontières] and WHO officials. Certain departments are refusing to give them the figures – because the lower it is, the more peace of mind they can give people. The truth is that it is still not under control.” [...]

Samura believes sexual promiscuity among westerners could play a role in the virus’s spread abroad. Almost immediately after the outbreak was reported in March, Liberia’s health minister warned people to stop having sex because the virus was spread via bodily fluids as well as kissing.“I saw westerners in nightclubs, on beaches, guys picking up prostitutes,” he said. “Westerners who ought to know better are going to nightclubs and partying and dancing. It beggars belief. It’s scary.”

Plus: “If true, Ebola may not come to the West via Liberian or other West African citizens, but from returning aid workers, tourists, business people and others. . . . It’s much too soon to tell what the course of the Ebola epidemic will be, but so far it has to be said that Ebola has been easier to catch and harder to contain than officials everywhere have anticipated.”

AIRBRUSHING: White House Deletes Obama’s ‘Unpaid Bills’ Admission from Transcript.

GOOD NEWS: Hero Carries Man Out Of Burning Building In Fresno, Calif., Then Vanishes. “The video shows the man walk into the smoke and flames. At one point, a crash or explosion sends other would-be rescuers fleeing, but not the hero, who emerges from the blaze with the 73-year-old man draped over his shoulder.”

CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: Massachusetts “Ratepayer Advocate” Martha Coakley Took Utility Donations. “Attorney General Martha Coakley, charged with protecting ratepayers against utility company price gouging, held two gubernatorial campaign fundraisers hosted by National Grid’s lobbyist this year and accepted donations from the utility’s top executives right before they socked it to ratepayers with big hikes in electric bills.”

JOEL KOTKIN: Democrats Move Left.

Much has been written about the right-ward shift of the Republican Party, but far less about a mounting left-wing movement among Democrats. While the media tends to dismiss the right-wingers of the GOP as “wingnuts,” it typically refrains from categorizing even the extreme left of the Democratic Party in a similar manner.

President Barack Obama has accelerated this leftward trend in two ways. First, his administration, particularly in contrast to that of former President Bill Clinton, has laid the rhetorical basis for a move to the left by shifting the party agenda on social, environmental and economic policies. Clinton may have declared that “the era of big government is over,” but under Obama an ever-expanding federal government has become the essential raison d’être for the party.

Yet if Obama’s soaring rhetoric set the stage, his weak record of achievement has sparked mounting concern among left-leaning activists. Obama’s success has hinged in part on the far-left portions of the party controlling their more-fevered passions, particularly about ever-increasing income inequality and bans on fossil fuel use.

But now many on the political left are openly critical of the president, notably for his close ties to the moguls of Wall Street and Silicon Valley. These moguls have been the predominant beneficiaries of his economic policies while middle-class incomes have continued to languish – and even fall.

Hey, they don’t call him President Goldman Sachs for nothing.

NO TARGET IS TOO SMALL for Wisconsin’s Deep State. The only reason the election is close is because of abuses of power targeting Walker donors and supporters.

TRANSPARENCY: Obama’s New Ebola Czar Refuses To Testify.

The White House’s new Ebola czar will not testify before lawmakers Friday on the U.S. response to the epidemic.

Ron Klain, a Democratic operative, was named as the Obama administration’s point man on Ebola last Friday and will assume the job Wednesday.

Two days after that, the House Oversight Committee will hold a hearing on the government’s Ebola response, with Klain among those invited to testify.

The White House declined the invitation on Monday, according to a source close to the back-and-forth.

To be fair, he’ll have only been on the job 48 hours, though that itself raises questions about the White House’s seriousness.

UPDATE: Hey, we’ve gone five whole days without a new Ebola case! Success already!

A “SMART DIPLOMACY” RETROSPECTIVE: Gaddafi died 3 years ago. Would Libya be better off if he hadn’t?

SURE LOOKS LIKE IT: Michael Barone: Does the end of history result in political decay? “The bottom line is that good things (stable government, lack of defeat in war or major economic collapse) tend to produce bad things (decay of bureaucratic institutions, capture of regulators by the regulated, protracted litigation over needed projects and changes). And conservatives’ lament that a government that tries to do too many things ends up doing none of them well rings true.” More and more, lately.

PROF. MARK PERRY DOES THE MATH: If only 12% of campus sexual assaults get reported, then only 1 in 32 women at Ohio State are sexually assaulted, not 1 in 5.

And bear in mind, “sexual assault” is a far more diluted term than rape.

REPUBLICANS SHOULD PUSH THIS ISSUE: 70% of Americans Favor Making Birth Control Pills and Patches Over-the-Counter.

UPDATE: In the comments, people point out the hazards of hormonal birth control as a reason for regulation. Yeah, but doctors pass these out like candy now, with no oversight that you wouldn’t get with a blister-pack at Walgreen’s.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Public university offers ‘breakup training.’

HISTORY DOESN’T REPEAT BUT IT RHYMES: Biden Cocaine Scandal Mirrors Joe McCarthy Scandal:

Evidently there was an effort, successful for eight months, to conceal this curious episode. But while the attempted cover-up is, perhaps, understandable from Vice President Biden’s perspective, the real scandal here is not Hunter Biden’s cocaine use, or his father’s protection of an errant son, but the fact that Hunter Biden was commissioned in the naval reserve in the first place.

A year-and-a-half ago, Biden was selected for a direct commission in the Navy under a program that allows certain civilians, with no prior military service, to receive a “limited-duty” reserve commission after attending a brief course in military etiquette, drill, and history instead of boot camp. Such commissions are usually offered to non-combatant candidates with special qualifications or particular skills: In 1980, for example, Sen. Gary Hart became a lieutenant commander in the naval reserve at the age of 44. . . .

A more instructive parallel, however, might be to Sen. Joseph McCarthy, of all people. When one of McCarthy’s Senate aides, G. David Schine, was drafted into the Army and sent to basic training at Ft. Monmouth, N.J., Roy Cohn, another McCarthy aide and reputedly Schine’s lover, intervened persistently to obtain an officer’s commission for Schine. When the Army protested about repeated threats and interference from the senator’s office, McCarthy charged that the Army was attempting to retaliate against his investigations into communist subversion in the armed forces. The televised hearings that were held during April-June 1954 to investigate the matter — the famous Army-McCarthy hearings — not only revealed that McCarthy and his staff had repeatedly wielded their influence on behalf of Schine, but had done so despite Schine’s complete lack of qualifications for an officer’s commission.

The differences between Joseph McCarthy and Joseph Biden are self-evident, of course. But just as the effort to make G. David Schine an Army officer taught the country something about Senator McCarthy, so the brief, inglorious naval career of Hunter Biden tells us something about Vice President Biden — and the culture of entitlement in political Washington that has tarnished the Navy.

Indeed.

TRANSPARENCY: Ebola Czar Vanishes from Democracy Alliance Website; Ron Klain no longer listed as a trustee for Third Way.

Third Way, a progressive think tank with ties to the Democracy Alliance, has removed newly appointed Ebola czar Ron Klain from its website, following a Washington Free Beacon report.

The Free Beacon reported Friday on Klain’s status as a trustee for Third Way, and his past experience lobbying on behalf of a drug company that was accused of denying life-saving drugs to dying cancer patients.

Good practice for the Ebola Death Panels, I guess.

October 20, 2014

EBOLA: Why The Guard And Reserve? Why Now?

I THINK TED CRUZ IS SECRETLY RUNNING HER CAMPAIGN: Wendy Davis Wants To Know If Greg Abbott, Whose Wife Is Mexican-American, Supports A Ban On Interracial Marriage. “Her last-ditch ad with the empty wheelchair didn’t turn out very well among sane people, so now she’s falling back to the last-last-ditch: racism.” Democrats used to use racial fearmongering to get white voters to turn out. Now they use racial fearmongering to get black voters to turn out. Not much else has changed. . . .

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PUNCHING BACK TWICE AS HARD: Former UH students sue school over sex assault investigation.

Two former University of Houston students. expelled in connection with an alleged sexual assault on campus, are suing the school and two administrators, claiming they were denied due process in the investigation and administrative hearings.

The lawsuit calls into question the pressure universities face to crack down on campus sexual assault. The plaintiffs claim they were kept in the dark about the investigation and given little chance to defend themselves.

UH officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the suit.

According to the lawsuit, Ryan McConnell, a former UH student, went drinking at the Den, a campus bar, on Nov. 19, 2011. While there, he met a female student, and the two ended up kissing, then going back to McConnell’s room at the Calhoun Lofts together. There the two, heavily intoxicated, according to the lawsuit, had sex and fell asleep naked on the floor.

McConnell’s girlfriend, Natalie Plummer, came home to find the two on the floor. Plummer made a video recording of the two “because she was mad that McConnell was cheating on her and wanted to be able to confront him about his behavior later,” the lawsuit said.

Plummer led the female student into the hallway and to the elevator, where she recorded her again, according to the lawsuit. The female student was found naked in the elevator by other students and UH police were called.

According to the lawsuit, UH police, along with the prosecutor, determined there was insufficient evidence that any criminal conduct occurred, in part because “the Female UH Student ‘has no memory’ of the incident.”

Plummer posted a photo of the incident on Facebook and later deleted it, and also shared the two videos with a friend. The videos later ended up in the hands of the Harris County Sheriff’s office.

Three months later, the student filed a complaint with the university against McConnell, saying she believed she was a victim of sexual assault.

Three months later.

THE SMELL OF DESPERATION: Pro-Hagan Flier Uses Lynching Image, Warns Of ‘Obama’s Impeachment’ If Democrat Loses.

WOW, YET ANOTHER DEMOCRAT FLIPS, BECOMES RACIST: Cuomo changes course on travel ban. “Goveror Andrew Cuomo now says the federal government ‘should seriously consider’ a ban on flights from West Africa, a call at odds with most public health officials, the White House and his own past statements. On Thursday, during a press conference to discuss the state’s Ebola readiness, Cuomo was dismissive of the suggestion that flights be banned, something his Republican opponent, Rob Astorino, said is necessary.”

That sudden a flip means they polled the old position over the weekend, and the results were dreadful.

IT’S NOT CLEAR TO ME THAT THE WHITE HOUSE IS SUFFERING FROM A VAGINA SHORTAGE AT THE MOMENT: “What is the case for Hillary…? It boils down… She has experience, she’s a woman, and it’s her turn.”

REASON TV: Shake it Off: Obama Version (w/ Remy).

WE DON’T WANT NUMBERS THAT MIGHT HURT THE NARRATIVE: White House Mandated Campus Climate Surveys Likely To Ignore Male Victims. “Note how they define sexual intercourse above. Apparently men can’t have sexual intercourse.”

SHOCKER: Vegetarians Have Much Lower Sperm Counts. “Vegetarians and vegans had significantly lower sperm counts compared with meat eaters, 50 million sperm per ml compared with 70 million per ml. They also had lower average sperm motility – the number of sperm which are active. Only one third of sperm were active for vegetarians and vegans compared with nearly 60 per cent for meat eaters.”

NBC NEWS: U.S. Doctor Catches Ebola And Recovers From It Without Anyone Knowing. “An American doctor infected with Ebola in Sierra Leone last month has gone quietly home after spending six weeks at Emory University’s special biocontainment unit, the hospital said Monday. The doctor, who has asked not to be named for now, was working for the World Health Organization when he was infected.” So, wait, he was infected six weeks ago?

That inspires confidence. Are there any other Ebola patients we haven’t been told about?

A RETURN TO SANITY IN AUSTRALIA? Girls leading way in new gun trend as parents tell anti-gun lobby to back off. The anti-gun people seem to be arguing that since their own kids are idiots, so are other people’s.

HMM: MIT Wristband Could Make AC Obsolete. “Why heat or cool a building when you could heat or cool a person?”

Compare with the Stanford Glove.

UPDATE: Is the Stanford Glove just hype? Thanks to Tom Maguire for the reference.

A POSSIBLE Isis Terror Attack in Canada?

SURVEILLANCE CAMERA RECORDS BALLOT BOX STUFFING IN MARICOPA COUNTY. I believe the traditional remedy for this sort of thing was to beat the offender senseless, then dump him off in front of his party headquarters. Are we going back to those times? ‘Cause I kinda prefer the more civil approach.

FORBES: #GamerGate Is Not A Hate Group, It’s A Consumer Movement.

Related: #GamerGate Makes the Left Uncomfortable Because Gamer Gaters Have Adopted the Left’s Tactics. “At the risk of engaging in some questionable psychoanalysis, allow me to suggest that one of the reasons the left is so disturbed by the rise of #GamerGate is that this is the first time in many years that these self-proclaimed Social Justice Warriors have met any sort of organized pushback. And they find it doubly infuriating to see the tools they have used so successfully—the Twitter mob, the email campaign, the claims of grievance—turned against them. This is why you see Whedon et al resorting to dull ad hominem. “#GamerGate is a hate group” is an easy slogan, one that can be used to intimidate media outlets trying to give the story fair coverage. Time will tell if the tactic works.”

FITBIT UPDATE: Fitbit Says It Will Make Changes to Address Complaints About Allergic Reactions.

AMERICAN SCHOOLS ARE TRAINING KIDS FOR A WORLD THAT DOESN’T EXIST. But there’s exciting new stuff happening.

Do tell.

SO MANY DEMOCRATS ARE SUDDENLY TURNING RACIST: Jeanne Shaheen Flips, Endorses Ebola Travel Ban.

A FUEL-MILEAGE CHALLENGE: The 2015 Audi A3 TDI. “The goal? Albuquerque, New Mexico, to Coronado, California, on one tank of diesel. That’s a distance of 834 miles.”

Well, I got that kind of range out of the A8L TDI, which is a much bigger car. On the other hand, it also has a bigger tank.

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TEACH WOMEN NOT TO LIE ABOUT RAPE! (CONT’D): Woman claims she was sexually assaulted, admits it didn’t happen. “This brings up a difficult question: What would it take for an accuser to be charged with filing a false report?”

UPDATE: Tom Maguire looks at claims that women don’t lie about rape, is unpersuaded.

LESSONS LEARNED: How Did Nigeria Quash Its Ebola Outbreak So Quickly?

AS SOMEONE SAID ON TWITTER, NEXT WENDY DAVIS WILL SUGGEST THAT GREG ABBOTT’S MARRIAGE ISN’T REALLY INTERRACIAL BECAUSE THEY’RE BOTH REPUBLICANS: Wendy Davis supporters try to suggest Greg Abbott is against interracial marriage, but…

THE EARTH’S MAGNETIC FIELD COULD FLIP FASTER THAN WE THOUGHT. “Regardless of the speed at which it occurs, that next reversal might happen sooner than originally thought. Geophysicists have noticed that the earth’s magnetic field has been weakening faster than expected lately, leading them to conclude that a full flip could happen sooner rather than later. (Don’t panic. ‘Sooner’ in this case, means within the next two millennia.)”

EVEN THE “EBOLA MAGIC DATE” is conveniently post-election.

EBOLA VS. OBESITY: The Politicized NIH.

OBAMA NOT POLLING SO WELL: Poll: Obama Worse Than Bush. Battleground voters say Bush a better manager of government.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: How To Survive Being Run Over By A Train.

THIS IS UNSURPRISING: Women Prefer Male Bosses Even More Than Men Do. “The survey, which collected responses from 1,032 adults living in the U.S., found women were more likely than men to want a male boss. . . . In the 60 years that Gallup has conducted this survey, women have never preferred a female boss.”

ANDREW KLAVAN ON THE PROBLEM WITH ELITISM: “The elite are stupid.”

TINA BROWN: Women Feel “Unsafe” With Obama. “Economically, they’re feeling unsafe. With regard to ISIS, they’re feeling unsafe. They feel unsafe about Ebola. What they’re feeling unsafe about is the government response to different crises. And I think they’re beginning to feel a bit that Obama’s like that guy in the corner office, you know, who’s too cool for school, calls a meeting, says this has to change, doesn’t put anything in place to make sure it does change, then it goes wrong and he’s blaming everybody.”

UPDATE: Contrasting the Tina Brown of 2008.

LIFE IN THE 21ST CENTURY: Welcome to Oculus XXX: In-Your-Face 3D is the Future of Porn.

IN THE MAIL: From Rob Steiner, Muses of Terra (Codex Antonius Book 2).

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TAXPROF: The IRS Scandal, Day 529.

AS THEY SHOULD. THE NEW POLICY IS A POISON PILL FOR HIGHER EDUCATION. Harvard Profs Hate New Campus Sex Laws.

WELL, THAT’S MORE THAN THE U.S. CAN SAY: Nigeria declared Ebola-free after containing virus.

WHY NEW YORK HATES AIRBNB:

New York is the obvious business case for a service such as Airbnb: a dense city where a lot of people want to visit, and hotel rooms are limited in number. You’ve got a population of educated professionals who travel a lot, leaving their apartments empty. You’ve got insane housing costs in desirable areas, leaving renters open to making a few extra bucks on their abode. Unsurprisingly, almost 30,000 NYC units are available on the site.

It turns out, however, that New York is also one of the most challenging environments for Airbnb. You’ve got a powerful hotel lobby that likes the shortage of affordable rooms for rent. You’ve got an extremely high percentage of renters rather than owners, most of whom probably have leases that forbid subletting without permission. You’ve got a lot of apartments, whose fellow tenants may object to your giving strangers the keys to the front door. And don’t forget the well-organized affordable housing groups who object to landlords converting rental units to short-term stays. All of which has culminated in a law that effectively outlaws the majority of Airnb rentals in the city by making it illegal to sublet a New York apartment for less than 30 days.

Entrenched interests. Plus:

Whenever a new market opens, there’s a sort of wild west period when gaps in the law allow people to make a bunch of money. Over time, however, legislators and regulators wake up, and start laying down the law. Entrenched competitors are protected, numerous interest groups are given concessions, fees are tacked on. The end result is greater certainty, but lower profits and innovation.

I’m afraid that’s going to be the story of the entire Internet soon. Interesting, isn’t it, that most of our growth comes from the parts of the economy that politicians haven’t gotten their sticky fingers on yet.

WAIT, DOES THIS MEAN RON KLAIN IS RACIST? Ebola czar to the rescue? Why the White House may soon retreat on a travel ban.

REMINDER: In 2009, President Obama “Joked” About Auditing His Enemies.

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ESPECIALLY SINCE HE DOESN’T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT EBOLA. OR MEDICINE. The uphill battle for Obama’s new “Ebola czar.”

Well, okay, this isn’t helping: “The White House has argued that the chief management credential that qualifies Klain for the job is his experience in helping to implement the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the 2009 stimulus package that poured about $800 billion into the troubled U.S. economy by way of tax breaks, investments and entitlements.”

A near-trillion-dollar crony giveaway that entirely failed to achieve its stated goals. If the White House regards that as a shining credential, exactly what are they expecting him to accomplish here?

ROLL CALL: Before Ending Chairmanship, Issa Sets Ebola Hearing for Oversight Next Week. Lots of questions to ask.

DEATH OF THE LIBERAL ARTS: Less A Murder Than A Suicide?

Agresto said that much humanities instruction has been co-opted by hyperspecialization and especially by critical theory. He said overly-critical approaches at once demean the subject matter and limit students’ free inquiry. For example, he said, when professors portray the founding fathers as mere “white racists,” no student or parent “in their right mind” would pay $50,000 a year to study them.

To save the humanities, professors must value opening up students’ minds over “preaching and converting,” he said. That means returning to an older mode of instruction, and instilling critical thinking skills. It means getting students to ask questions and helping them see the “variety” of answers – not leading them to a specific point of view, he added.

In the past and at their best, the liberal arts were a “gift” given to everyone, Agresto said. “It didn’t matter that Dante and Homer were dead white males,” and keeping Shakespeare alive wasn’t an “ethnocentric act.”

Indeed. In fact, it’s trying to kill off Shakespeare that is an act of temporal chauvinism.

UPDATE: At the link, lefty commenters already launching ad hominem attacks. Because that’s what they do.

21 DAYS OF FEAR AND LOATHING: Life In Quarantine For Ebola Exposure.

HEINLEINIAN “BAD LUCK:” Rich Karlgaard: America’s Missing Wealth.

Suppose the U.S. economy, since 1949, were giving up 2% extra growth per year because of bad economic policy. Or, as Ramsey might say, because Presidents, legislators and unelected regulators were born stupid or try their best to act that way.

Now, 2% a year doesn’t sound like much. Most of us could spend 98% of our budget next year without too much pain. The quip about compound interest is noteworthy only because it would take a genius like Einstein to observe something so profoundly simple yet subtly opaque.

But run the numbers yourself–and prepare for a shock. If the U.S. economy had grown an extra 2% per year since 1949, 2014′s GDP would be about $58 trillion, not $17 trillion. So says a study called “Federal Regulation and Aggregate Economic Growth,” published in 2013 by the Journal of Economic Growth. More than taxes, it’s been runaway federal regulation that’s crimped U.S. growth by the year and utterly smashed it over two generations.

Not all regulation is bad. Mandatory seat belts have helped cut traffic fatalities by 51% on a population-adjusted basis since 1949. Far fewer people are now killed or maimed in industrial accidents. The air in downtown Los Angeles is breathable again. Would this have happened without federal regulation? Yes, but likely not as fast.

So let’s, for the sake of argument, posit that some regulation has been good for us, while many other regs have only hurt economic growth. Let’s also argue that sensible regulation, combined with the retirement of outdated regulation, could have brought about the same improvements to health and safety–but at a cost of 1% potential growth per year, not 2%. Where would the U.S. economy be today?

–The 2014 GDP would be $32 trillion, not $17 trillion.

–Per capita income would be $101,000, not $54,000.

–Per capita wealth would be $480,000, not $260,000. It would probably be higher than that, since savings rates might be higher.

–The U.S. would have no federal, state or municipal debts or deficits.

–Pensions would be solid. So would Social Security.

–The trend of new entrants to The Forbes 400 would not favor entrepreneurs in software, the Internet and financial services but would be more broadly distributed across all industries. Electronic bits–money and software–are less prone to regulation than such physical things as factories, transportation, etc.

–Faster, quieter successors to the supersonic Concorde? Cheap, safe nuclear power? Cancer-curing drugs for small populations? Bullet trains financed by private investors? Yes!

–The U.S. would have the resources to fight the multiplicity of threats from abroad, from ISIS to hackers.

Am I guilty of positing ideal outcomes from all that extra wealth? Perhaps. Still, it would be wonderful to have that extra wealth in people’s pockets and in government treasuries. What a missed opportunity!

But all that regulation — while making the country much poorer — has vastly enriched the parasite class. They have a bigger slice of a smaller pie, and they like it that way because it makes them feel important.

This is a good time to reference Joel Kotkin on the New Class Conflict again. (Thanks to commenter Greg Ale for pointing me to the Karlgaard column, which I had missed.)

JOHN FUND: The Trouble With Early Voting.

SO KAY HAGAN AND AND MICHELLE NUNN ARE RACISTS NOW, I GUESS: Why Democrats are sounding like Republicans on Ebola.

SEND MORE ADVIL: Roll Call: Iowa Senate Race Becomes Headache for House Democrats. “Recent polls show state Sen. Joni Ernst, a Republican, with a small lead over Rep. Bruce Braley, a Democrat. But the Republican’s advantage has percolated to three of Iowa’s four House contests, keeping one competitive district in contention for Republicans, plus putting two Democratic seats in play.”

K.C. JOHNSON: Ezra Klein’s Confusion on the California Sex Law.

In an attempt to defend the indefensible, Ezra Klein penned a meandering column responding to the many critics of his “yes-means-yes” defense. Or, I should say, responding to some critics: he ignored perhaps the most troubling response to his piece, Cathy Young’s observation that he had blatantly misrepresented a column by her—which suggested that false rape reports are actually more common than believed—to instead claim (with emphasis) that false rape reports are “very, very rare.”

In the event, Klein (unconvincingly) suggested that Jon Chait had misinterpreted him. (Chait had little difficulty in rebuttal.) Klein stuck by his defense of stats alleging that one in five college women will suffer rape or attempted rape—which means that he must believe, as FIRE’s Robert Shibley noted, that colleges now face “a law enforcement problem of staggering proportions. Yet instead of making sure the police are involved, the state of California has put its faith in a law that by its plain language makes nearly everyone guilty of rape — but only in a campus kangaroo court.” (Klein has urged no greater law enforcement presence on campus.) And Klein was forced to issue corrections about basic elements of legal procedure, which suggested that Vox’s touted explanatory journalism isn’t too good at explaining legal affairs. Shibley’s thorough fisking is a must-read.

Perhaps the most striking—and risible—item in his column was the following assertion about the California law: “There’s a related, and serious, concern here that the process by which colleges manage sexual assault cases is a mess . . . The Yes Means Yes law interacts with these processes a bit, but mostly by telling colleges to clarify them, which will, in many cases, be an improvement.”

This claim is absurd.

Ezra regularly displays breathtaking ignorance and regularly makes absurd claims. This does not appear to have harmed his standing in the lefty journosphere at all.

THAT’S DEEPLY DISAPPOINTING: Cathy Young: The Federalist Society Caves to “Rape Culture” Orthodoxy. “After a fourteen-year relationship, I was blacklisted so thoroughly that you’d think I had showed up for a talk visibly drunk, or had used racial or sexual slurs.”