November 28, 2015

THIS IS MY SHOCKED FACE: Obama’s new cancer Rx is a war on men.

IT’S ALRIGHT.  IT’S NOT LIKE I NEED TO SLEEP.  EVER: Obama’s Most Dangerous Year.

November 27, 2015


Satire: “Pardoned White House Turkey Defects To ISIS.”

DuffelBlog, yesterday.

Real Life:

Speaking at his annual Thanksgiving turkey pardoning on Wednesday, President Barack Obama joked about raising teenage daughters, his critics and the 2016 presidential race.

“As you may have heard, for months, there has been a fierce competition between a bunch of turkeys trying to win their way into the White House,” Obama said.

Following a long pause and some laughter he added, “some of you caught that.”

Obama pardoned two California-raised turkeys, named “Honest” and “Abe,” who will retire to a historic farm in Leesburg, Virginia, rather than end up on Americans’ Thanksgiving tables.

The turkeys were raised by Dr. Jihad Douglas, whom Obama referred to as “Dr. Douglas,” side-stepping the man’s first name, which can refer to spreading Islam through violence. Obama referred to a second turkey farmer, Joe Hedden, by his first and last names.

—Reuters, Wednesday.

Pictured standing to Obama’s right in this photo at the National Turkey Federation Website, Dr. Jihad Douglas is the federation’s current chairman, and president of Aviagen Turkeys, Inc.

RANDALL KENNEDY: Black Tape At Harvard Law:

In a grand corridor of Harvard Law School, framed professors’ photographs hang on a wall. A week ago, someone put slivers of black tape over the faces of most of the African-American professors. I am one of those whose photograph was marked.

Last Thursday, on my way to teach contracts, I received an email from a student who alerted me to the defacement. I saw the taped photos, including my own, right before class. Since then I have been asked repeatedly how I feel about having been targeted by what some deem to be a racial hate crime. Questioners often seem to assume that I should feel deeply alarmed and hurt. I don’t.

The identity and motives of the person or people behind the taping have not been determined. Perhaps the defacer is part of the law school community. But maybe not. Perhaps the defacer is white. But maybe not. Perhaps the taping is meant to convey anti-black contempt or hatred for the African-American professors. But maybe it was meant to protest the perceived marginalization of black professors, or was a hoax meant to look like a racial insult in order to provoke a crisis, or was a rebuke to those who have recently been taping over the law school’s seal, which memorializes a family of slaveholders from colonial times. Some observers, bristling with certainty, insist that the message conveyed by the taping of the photographs is obvious. To me it is puzzling. . . .

Disturbing, too, is a related tendency to indulge in self-diminishment by displaying an excessive vulnerability to perceived and actual slights and insults. Some activists seem to have learned that invoking the rhetoric of trauma is an effective way of hooking into the consciences of solicitous authorities. Perhaps it is useful for purposes of eliciting certain short-term gains.

In the long run, though, reformers harm themselves by nurturing an inflated sense of victimization. A colleague of mine whose portrait was taped over exhibited the right spirit when he jauntily declared that it would take far more than tape to slow him down.


THANKSGIVING FLASHBACK: The Pilgrims And Property Rights.

WELL, THERE’S AN ELECTION COMING: Number of Migrants Illegally Crossing Rio Grande Rises Sharply.


Paris (AFP) – A long list of seemingly harmless everyday actions contribute to emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other climate-altering greenhouse gases.

Driving a car and flipping a light switch have a clear “carbon footprint” — much less obvious is the harm caused by sending a simple text message or opening a bottle of water.

* * * * * * *

Sending even a short email is estimated to add about four grammes (0.14 ounces) of CO2 equivalent (gCO2e) to the atmosphere.

To put this into perspective, the carbon output of hitting “send” on 65 mails is on par with driving an average-sized car a kilometre (0.6 of a mile).

The culprits are greenhouse gases produced in running the computer, server and routers but also those emitted when the equipment was manufactured.

It gets worse when you send an email with a large attachment, which puts about 50 gCO2e into the air. Five such messages are like burning about 120 grammes (0.27 pounds) of coal.

So imagine how much carbon a giant electronic news gathering operation connected to a large server farm such as AFP emits. Since they’ve demonstrated that they believe their own efforts are hurting the environment so badly, they must take the lead and voluntarily shutter their doors to send the correct message to the rest of us, to prove that they take all of what they’ve written above seriously.

After all, as Glenn likes to say, I’ll believe global warming is a crisis when the people who tell me it’s a crisis start to act like it’s a crisis themselves.

Speaking of which, note the dateline on the above article. Aren’t there other, more pressing stories going on in Paris these days for AFP to reporting on? (Or is their article a retreat to their ideological “safe space” while under siege?)

IMAGINE THANKSGIVING WITHOUT THE STRESS: I don’t have to imagine it. I can remember it. It was just yesterday. But this is pretty much the approach I follow: “You know what we’re having for Thanksgiving at our house this year? With minor variations, we’re having the same thing we’ve had every year since my birth in 1973.” In my case, we’ve been doing it pretty much the same way since we first added lamb to the menu, which was about 15 years ago.

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Which is a reminder that not everyone who gets mugged by reality becomes a conservative.

UNEXPECTEDLY: LePen Leads First Presidential Poll After Paris Killings. And note this:

Europe’s far-Right will gain a lot of strength after the Paris attacks—and for that, you can largely blame the centrists.
Not surprisingly, figures like Marine Le Pen are making hay. Just after the attacks, Le Pen called for the “immediate halt” of the admission of refugees. Hungarian President Viktor Orban crowed that he was right all along. But in doing this, the far-Right is essentially doing what it’s always done. And what gives it oxygen is also the same thing as ever: The centrists declare any discussion of immigration (other than “it’s wonderful!”) off-limits, and so drive concerned voters to where they otherwise would not go.

Even in the wake of Paris, Euro-centrists couldn’t seem to stop preening, impugning their own citizenry, and generally insisting that all must go on as before. Less than a day after the attacks, EU President Jean-Claude Juncker declared that, “there is no need for an overall review of the European policy on refugees.” And while President Hollande has taken an admirably tough line on foreign policy and European matters, on November 18 he declared that France would increase its refugee intake over the next two years, to 30,000, in a speech whose upshot was that “France should remain as it is. Our duty is to carry on our lives.” Everything can go on the same as before, at the very least.

There may be both strategic and humanitarian arguments in favor of continuing to admit refugees, but the rhetorical tone on display from several of Europe’s highest-profile centrists, before and after the attacks, has seemed almost designed to alienate concerned citizens.

Hope is not a plan, and virtue-signalling is not a policy. American political elites have enabled the rise of Trump in much the same fashion.

NEITHER I NOR MY FAMILY ARE ANYWHERE NEAR THIS: And please note that despite being reported as Active Shooter Situation Near Planned Parenthood it’s noted later on that no one knows if PP is the target, or it just happened in the area.  I find it amusing they say Obama was briefed.  Really?  On a shooting in a Western town?  Why?  So he can make sure the crisis doesn’t go to waste?

TO BE FAIR, IT’S A CITY NOT KNOWN FOR QUALITY GOVERNANCE: Los Angeles Just Proposed the Worst Use of License Plate Reader Data in History.


NEWS YOU CAN USE: Why Living “Presently” Could Ruin Your Entire Life. “Living for the moment is the reason people leave marriages, lose control over their health, and why America is trillions of dollars in debt.”

MARK RIPPETOE: Women In Ground Combat: A Strength Coach’s Opinion.

FLASHBACK: The Obama-Hillary Mideast Debacles.

SKYNET SMILES: Robots Learning To Disobey Humans.

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It is an ominous feature of our American times that the three branches of government that operate out of Washington — the Supreme Court, Congress and the presidency — have all three shown critical weakness or incompetence recently and have historically low approval ratings. The aspirants to the Oval Office in 2016 don’t offer much chance of renewal. Late in life, the great Amb. George Kennan declared that America needed a “council of elders” to contain the excesses of democracy. The governors, perhaps meeting in a selective and representative regional council, like a board of trustees at a university or a board of directors of a corporation, might offer America saving grace at a time of dangerous crossing.

Hmm. Our big problem today isn’t the “excesses of democracy,” but rather the excesses of a corrupt and incompetent political class. Can a “council of elders” save us from that?

HEH: Google deems Bernie Sanders’ economic plan a ‘phishing scam.’

Democratic presidential hopeful Bernard Sanders’ economic plan triggered Gmail’s “phishing scam” antenna, with the mail system saying the senator’s liberal campaign promises — including lower prescription drug prices and free college for all — sound like frauds.

“Be careful with this message. It contains content that’s typically used to steal personal information,” Gmail said in a bright red warning box that appeared at the top of a message sent by Mr. Sanders’ campaign Friday, laying out his “Agenda for Working Families.”

“This message could be a scam,” Gmail says in its page explaining why it flagged the message as a “phishing scam.” Phishing is a specific type of spam email that scammers use to try to entice users to disclose bank accounts or other sensitive information. . . .

Ira Winkler, president of Secure Mentem and a cybersecurity specialist, said the campaign likely triggered Gmail’s filters because it included phrases that spammers use to try to sell prescription drugs and by offering things free of charge — in this case, the promise to pay for education at public colleges and universities.

Those bots may be onto something. People who promise you lots of free stuff are usually running some kind of scam.


GOOD: Breaking: Supreme Court Blocks Racially Discriminatory Hawaii Election.

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO RAPE! (CONT’D): Female teacher jailed for 10 years for sexually violating boy. “The starting point for Reriti’s punishment should be 14-15 years in jail, the prosecutor said. He suggested Reriti’s gender shouldn’t mean she should escape the sort of punishment a male teacher found guilty of child sex offences would face.”

TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 932.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Ivy League Presidents Try Appeasement.

With their campuses rocked by social justice protests, anxious Ivy League presidents are trying to appease campus radicals with huge payouts to left-wing identity programs. Peter Salovey, the president of Yale, apologized to protesters (“we failed you”) and wrote a campus-wide letter promising to create a new “university center” for the study of “race ethnicity, and other aspects of social identity.” He also pledged to double the budget for the African American, Native American, Asian American, and Hispanic cultural centers, and to devote new resources to “educating our community about race, ethnicity, diversity, and inclusion.”

Not to be outdone, Brown University President Christina Paxson has answered protests by unveiling a $100 million program for creating “a just and inclusive campus community.” Among the budget items: “expand mentoring resources for students of color, LGBTQ+ students, and first generation college students”; create “workshops” to “foster greater awareness and sensitivity on issues of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and gender identity and expression”; and “promote university-wide research and academic programming on Power, Privilege, Identity and Structural Racism.”

There is no doubt that there is still racism, sexism, and homophobia on college campuses, just as there is everywhere else in our society. But the idea that it can be stamped out with still more diversity training, still more cultural centers, and still more identity studies programs is a fantasy. American college campuses are already saturated with these programs (which, it goes without saying, inflate the budgets of colleges whose degree programs are already too expensive). If bigotry is still as widespread at Brown and Yale as the protesters claim, then perhaps the universities ought to try a different approach. After all, the available evidence suggests that diversity education programs are counterproductive, and segregated academic and residential programs may well exacerbate racial isolation and misunderstanding.

If a cabal of Evil Conservatives set out to destroy academia from within, what, exactly, would it be doing differently?


Current student anger eerily fits the pattern of most left-wing unrest, from the cycles of the French Revolution to the campus riots of the 1960s.

First, protests gradually grow more extreme. Venom is directed at fellow leftists who are deemed insufficiently radical.

In revolutionary France, wild-eyed Jacobins soon guillotined reformist Girondins, who were considered passé. During the Russian Revolution, extremist Bolsheviks marginalized liberal Mensheviks. In the 1960s, many members of the SDS and Black Panthers hated liberals who disapproved of their violence.

A group called the Black Justice League wants the name of liberal but bigoted President Woodrow Wilson removed from Princeton University. Liberals are aghast that the century-old memory of their progressive hero might vanish from the Princeton campus.

Don’t these wild-eyed “snowflake fascists” know that the memory hole is a weapon to be used only against Republicans?  And as VDH asks, will FDR be tossed down it next?

Read the whole thing.

ANALYSIS: TRUE. IF WE’RE SERIOUS ABOUT FREE SPEECH, WE SHOULD SAY ‘JE SUIS DIEUDONNÉ.’ He’s a putz, but he should be refuted, not jailed.

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MY USA TODAY COLUMN: Some good news, for a change.

SPENGLER: Top 10 Reasons to Vote for Ted Cruz.

There’s a lot I like about Ted Cruz, but I’m not sure if I can vote a candidate so heavily tatted up.


HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: UMass president aims to fire Dartmouth chief.

University of Massachusetts president Martin T. Meehan has moved to dismiss the chancellor of the Dartmouth campus, Divina Grossman, by the end of the academic year amid concerns about the campus’s performance, according to two officials with direct knowledge of the situation.

Under Grossman’s 3½-year tenure, enrollment has fallen and private fund-raising has plummeted, even as debt mounts.

In addition, the campus has cycled through three chief financial officers and as many provosts and fund-raising directors.

Obviously, they need to hire a new VP For Diversity.


Americans have become, Edmundson says, wholly pragmatic and small-minded, always on the lookout for the main chance and conditioned to be greedy for the gaudy trash supplied by our consumerist overlords. We move restlessly from want to want, never discovering any lasting satisfaction. As for living heroic or noble lives, our video games and movies do that for us. Meanwhile, Edmundson adds, “the profound stories about heroes and saints are passing from our minds.” Our days have no purpose. Instead of aspiring to grandeur, we surrender to pettiness and accommodation. . . .

It needn’t be this way. Edmundson devotes the first half of “Self and Soul” to several ancient exemplars of courage, compassion and contemplation, to those who, rejecting a safe and secure passage through life, consecrated themselves to some greater task. Achilles, for instance, knows he will die young, but his name and glory will last forever. In battle at Troy, he becomes fully himself. Alexander Pope summed up this warrior ethos in just three lines about another legendary fighter:

Now on the field Ulysses stands alone,

The Greeks all fled, the Trojans pouring on;

But stands collected in himself and whole

Today, Edmundson says, any commitment to military virtues is disdained “by middle-class men and women whose central aspiration is to endure and who seek not honor but respect, not ascendancy but stable existence.”

Now, one hardly expects an English teacher — a professor at the University of Virginia, no less — to celebrate the martial spirit. But Edmundson does, even going so far as to contrast Achilles with Hector, who is not just Troy’s greatest champion but also a loving son, father and husband. Nonetheless, he notes, Hector’s sheer humanity ultimately makes him a lesser soldier. Families call to us to be careful out there, to remember our children. The true warrior thinks only of honor and his code of valor.

The martial virtues are real, and are indeed forgotten today, though I am sadly near-certain that we will be recalling them more fully in the not-so-distant future. But a society that holds up the martial virtues as special exemplars is often a society in which other sectors are distinctly short on virtue of their own.

The book is Self and Soul: A Defense of Ideals. Without taking anything away from Edmundson (to paraphrase Arthur Leff, when non-ironic odes to martial virtue emanate from the academy these days, attention must be paid) here are some related thoughts of mine on martial virtues.


Wait’ll he discovers some of the stories that Rolling Stone has tried to serve up in recent years

THE DEMOCRATS’ BOUTIQUE ISSUES: Understanding why their presidential candidates talk of nothing but climate change.

SETH BARRETT TILLMAN: After Paris, questions for us all.


Related: Liberal Media Loses Interest in ‘Clock Kid’ After Islamic Attacks.

As Cindy Sheehan discovered the hard way when she was quietly tossed down the memory hole after November of 2008, in the future, everyone will be a mascot of the anointed for 15 minutes.


The Chicago government is under fire for taking 13 months to file charges against the officer, even with the video evidence. A lawsuit was filed by a freelance journalist to order the release of video. And the charges were only announced at the deadline set by a judge for the video’s release.

Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass noted that McDonald was shot in October 2014, and Emanuel was vying for re-election in the February 2015 vote.

“Rahm sat on the video, and kept sitting on it, all the way through his re-election, as black ministers and other African-American political figures rallied to his side to get out the black vote and deny that vote to Jesus ‘Chuy’ Garcia,” Kass wrote. “If the video had come out during the election campaign, Rahm Emanuel would not be mayor today.”

So Rahm suppressed a potentially career destroying video, and Hillary blamed a video for magically causing the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens while standing over his casket and simultaneously being complicit in suppressing its maker. But really, at this point, for both politicians’ Democratic supporters*, what difference does it make?

* Particularly in the television industry, appropriately enough.

FLASHBACK: Obama’s Syrian Refugee Debacle.

THAT SLY COME-HITHER STARE: “See how politics and witchcraft intersect. You knew they would.”

(So, second look at Christine O’Donnell?)

WHY DO THEY DESPISE US? “They invoke Allah, and we invoke John Lennon.”

(Headline via Mark Steyn: ”‘Why do they hate us?’ was never the right question. ‘Why do they despise us?’ is a better one.”)

THOMAS DEWEY, CALL YOUR OFFICE: Donald Trump mocks reporter’s disability:

At a rally in South Carolina Tuesday, when GOP frontrunner Donald Trump was defending the contention that “thousands and thousands of people” cheered the September 11th terrorist attack in Jersey City, New Jersey, he did an impression of a reporter’s physical handicap.

The reporter was Serge Kovaleski, who had, according to Politico, previously covered Trump when he worked for the New York Daily News. He also helped write a September 2001 Washington Post story that Trump has been using to back up his claim about what he saw at the attacks.

“Written by a nice reporter. Now the poor guy. You ought to see this guy,” Trump said.

When he made fun of Kovaleski verbally, Politico reported, he launched “into an impression which involved gyrating his arms wildly and imitating the unusual angle at which Kovaleski’s hand sometimes rests.”

Kovaleski suffers from arthrogryposis, which according to the National Institutes of Health, can impact the function and range of motion of joints and can cause muscles to atrophy. Kovaleski was familiar to Trump because he had, according to Politico, covered Trump for several years when he worked for the New York Daily News.

Shades of another GOP presidential candidate from a bygone era:

Tom Dewey was cursed with just this sort of personality. He was short, immaculately and expensively dressed, and he sported a mustache that led Alice Roosevelt Longworth famously to describe him as “the bridegroom on the wedding cake.” (It is no coincidence that Dewey is the last nominee of either party to sport any facial hair.)

But Dewey’s snobbishness went far beyond looks. Indeed, a single display of it may well have cost him the White House. On Oct. 13, 1948, in Beaucoup, Ill., Dewey was speaking on the rear platform of a train—part of a response to President Truman’s 30,000-mile whistle-stop campaign—when the engineer mistakenly backed the train up a short distance. Dewey snapped that “this is the first lunatic I’ve had as an engineer. He probably ought to be shot at sunrise, but I guess we can let him off because nobody was hurt.” Dewey may not have realized it, but to the hundreds of thousands who worked on railroads, their families, and the millions of others in blue-collar jobs, this smacked of something less than respect for the working folks. And on Election Day, such voters helped deliver Truman razor-thin pluralities in Ohio and Illinois, giving him enough electoral votes to pull off the most remarkable upset in presidential history.

Of course, Truman smearing Dewey as a fascist just three years after the end of WWII in the week before the election may have helped as well; and the left have taken to playing that worn-out record as well this month against Trump. But as with Dewey in 1948, Trump is his own worst enemy.


Related: “Trump claims he’s never met a disabled New York Times reporter that he’s been criticized of mocking during a recent campaign rally…The billionaire candidate went on, claiming he had ‘merely mimicked what [he] thought would be a flustered reporter trying to get out of a statement he made long ago.’”

DEMOCRAT OPERATIVES WITH BYLINES: Suspended CNN Reporter Conspired With Clinton Campaign to Smear Rand Paul.

KEVIN WILLIAMSON: A return to the paranoid style in African-American politics.

For example, I was listening to a program yesterday on Sirius XM Urban View (one of the half-dozen lefty-dominated stations that Sirius offers to offset its one conservative station, the Patriot) when the hosts presented as uncontested fact that Chicago’s street gangs, which are the source of much of the blood currently running in Chicago’s streets, are a creation of the FBI. Before the FBI, the host said, there were progressive community-improvement organizations in Chicago, not violent street gangs, but the FBI infiltrated these organizations and “turned them against each other.” Of course. “That’s what they do,” the host insisted. Who? They — you know: Them: the FBI, “sellout Negroes,” as the host put it. Never mind that that’s not only untrue but wildly, madly untrue — there are, for example, active Chicago criminal gangs that trace their origins back to the 1950s and earlier — it tells the sort of story that a certain kind of listener wants to hear. . . .

The conspiracy theory is tempting. But Detroit isn’t Detroit because of the FBI or the Ku Klux Klan or microaggression or privilege: Detroit has been for decades under almost exclusively black government, government that is at the municipal level in fact self-consciously black, practitioners of what one Detroit News columnist in 2009 called “the black nationalism that is now the dominant ideology of the council.” Detroit hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1957, and after its bankruptcy convulsions it elected Mike Duggan, a Democrat who is the first non–African American to hold that job since Coleman Young came into power in 1974. The implosion of Detroit ought to have occasioned some interesting discussion about the relationship between black-dominated cities, progressive ideology, and the Democratic party, but, instead, we got more conspiracy theory.

To be fair, there are plenty of people on the right who believe that the Clintons dictate interview terms and that the MSM supinely (or cheerfully) goes along, even sending out Clinton-serving tweets on command.

November 26, 2015

IF YOU TAX IT, THEY WILL GO: Pfizer’s Plan to Leave US Discomfits Drug Lobbyists.

It’s true internationally, as well as at the state level.

HOSPITALITY: Every Thanksgiving, My Parents Serve a Craigslist Stranger.


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NEWS YOU CAN USE: Light Treatment May Work on Nonseasonal Depression, Study Finds.

Bright light therapy has been used effectively for seasonal affective disorder, the kind of depression that comes on at a specific time every year, often the dark days of late fall and winter, and then lifts. Now a new study has found that it may work to treat nonseasonal depression as well.

Researchers randomly assigned 122 patients, 19 to 60 years old, with major depression to receive one of four treatments: 30 minutes of daily exposure to fluorescent light; 20 milligrams of Prozac daily; both light and Prozac; and a control group that received a dummy pill and exposure to an electric air purifier. The study, in JAMA Psychiatry, lasted eight weeks.

Using well-validated scales that quantify depression severity, the researchers found improvements in all four groups.

The difference between Prozac alone and the placebo was not statistically significant, but light therapy alone was significantly better than placebo, and light therapy with medication was the most effective treatment of all.

So, basically, your grandmother’s advice to stop sitting around moping and go outside for some fresh air and sunshine was right. But hey, if sunshine’s in short supply, you can always get a light box from Amazon!


Found via Maggie’s Farm, which also has a parody video of “Hipster Thanksgiving.” At least I think it’s a parody. In any case, I lasted about 30 seconds before wanting to go full ISIS on these people.

Related: “On This Thanksgiving, I’m Grateful For the Gullible Goons of Salon.”

A THANKSGIVING PERENNIAL: “As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.”

YOU KNOW, MAYBE HIGHER EDUCATION IS SUCH A HELLHOLE OF RACISM AND SEXISM THAT IT SHOULD JUST BE SHUT DOWN: Walter Olson highlights the demands of various student protest groups.


Obama Reminds Us That Pilgrims Were Refugees Once, Too “The world is still full of pilgrims.”

—Headline today.

Happy National Genocide (Thanksgiving) Day!

—Headline, Thanksgiving of 2013.

As Mark Tapscott noted earlier today here, the left might have had second thoughts about demonizing Thanksgiving so strongly in the past if they wanted to preserve it as a talking point to troll the rest of us.

HOW TO SAVE 500 CALORIES A DAY. I’ve got a friend with a weight problem who compulsively cleans his plate because that’s how he was raised. I keep saying: Just don’t finish the fries.

ACTUALLY, GERARD K. O’NEILL HAD THIS IDEA BACK IN THE LAST CENTURY: Airbus’s Dream For Faster Air Travel Is Planes With Removable Cabins. Though actually, his idea was somewhat better: The nose lifts up (already done) and the cabin floor and seats slide out and into the debarkation area on rails so that passengers just stand up and exit their seats to the side with no line.

I believe this was in his 2081: A Hopeful View Of The Human Future, which was a good book, if somewhat dated now.

FASTER, PLEASE: Ultrasound Microscopy Helps Image Tiny Blood Vessels.

BUT OF COURSE: Pardoned White House Turkey Defects To Isis.

NANOTECHNOLOGY UPDATE: Video: Atomic Precision For Medical Applications.

RED STAR FALLING: Ron Radosh on the Trumbo Train Wreck, and real story behind the pro-Stalin (and for a time pro-Hitler) author and screenwriter Dalton Trumbo.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Top 10 Firearms Deals on Black Friday.

MY USA TODAY COLUMN FINDS SOMETHING TO BE THANKFUL FOR: Amidst turmoil, a victory for the future.

TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 931.



NO, WE AREN’T A “CHRISTIAN NATION,” BUT DEMOGRAPHICS SAY WE ARE A NATION OF (MOSTLY) CHRISTIANS: San Francisco is the country’s least faithful city but America’s most Baptist and Catholic cities aren’t where you may think they are.

WEIRDLY, SPACE POLICY IS AN AREA WHERE OBAMA IS OUTPERFORMING MY EXPECTATIONS. President Obama signs bill recognizing asteroid resource property rights into law. This is something I was working for as long ago as the 1980s, and it’s interesting that it’s coming true now.

Some background here.

BYRON YORK: A Brief Theory Of Trump’s Outrageousness.

The first thing to remember is that many of Trump’s supporters, and a large part of the American public in general, support the very statements others consider outrageous. Deport 11 million illegal immigrants? Many Americans, including almost everyone in the media, think that’s crazy. But many other Americans agree with Trump.

The recent brouhaha over whether Trump did or did not suggest a federal government database of all Muslims in the United States is another example. Trump didn’t actually suggest it — the idea came from a reporter with Yahoo News — but he never clearly shot it down, either. Like deportations, a poll on the Muslim database question would likely show a significant number of Americans agreeing with the idea.

So maybe Trump just has a lot of outrageous ideas. Or perhaps something else, something more strategic, is going on. . . .

Trump got to the heart of the matter. “The word compromise is absolutely fine. But if you are going to compromise, ask for about three times more than you want. You understand? So when you compromise, you get what you want.”

Perhaps deporting all illegal immigrants is the political version of asking for about three times more than you want.

Trump has repeated his deportation vow many times. But few have noted that when Trump rolled out his written immigration plan, posted on his campaign website, there was nothing about mass deportation. In addition to Trump’s famous “beautiful wall,” the plan had a lot of mainstream conservative proposals about securing the border and tightening interior enforcement.

The effect of Trump’s deportation proposal was to pull the Republican immigration debate toward immigration and further right — that is, where Trump wanted it to go. When Trump made an actual written proposal, even an abbreviated campaign-style proposal, it was more measured.

He’s also — and this is related, but not quite the same — moving the Overton Window by making things that were previously unmentionable into subjects of popular discussion.

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MY USA TODAY COLUMN FINDS SOMETHING TO BE THANKFUL FOR: Amidst turmoil, a victory for the future.

NO, THE PILGRIMS WERE DEFINITELY NOT LIKE SYRIAN REFUGEES: The Daily Caller’s Scott Greer slices and dices the Left’s fallacious comparison like a succulent piece of Thanksgiving turkey. Here’s just a taste: “If it wasn’t for the Syrian refugee debate, sites like HuffPo, Salon and others would be running their usual ‘Happy Genocide Day’ coverage and dumping vitriol on the poor settlers who forged this nation.”

SOYLENT TOFURKY IS PEOPLE! Err, maybe not, but it’s awfully gross looking. Naturally, it’s a big hit with the Millennials.


GEORGE WILL: America’s Higher Education Brought Low. “People who are imprecisely called educators have taught, by their negative examples, what intelligence is not.”

GOOD: At Princeton: A Pushback Against Campus “Cry-bullies.”

A group of Princeton University students are pushing back against the protesters on campus that are demanding the administration bend to their will.

The student group, calling themselves the Princeton Open Campus Coalition, wrote a letter to Princeton President Christopher Eisgruber, which has been posted in full on the Powerline Blog. The students were seeking a meeting with Eisgruber in order to give their interpretation of the protests.

“We are concerned mainly with the importance of preserving an intellectual culture in which all members of the Princeton community feel free to engage in civil discussion and to express their convictions without fear of being subjected to intimidation or abuse,” the group wrote. “Thanks to recent polls, surveys, and petitions, we have reason to believe that our concerns are shared by a majority of our fellow Princeton undergraduates.”

The group wrote they would “not occupy” the president’s office, as protesters had done the previous week, demanding Woodrow Wilson’s name be removed from campus buildings due to his racism. They also said they would conduct themselves “in the civil manner.”

I admire this, but Eisgruber has already shown you by his actions what kinds of tactics he respects. His response to this campaign will be telling.

MICHELLE MALKIN: Have a Happy, Politics-Free Thanksgiving.

(And Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at PJM.)

ALWAYS THE LAST TO KNOW: The New York Times finally discovers what the right has known for years: that “Progressive” icon Woodrow Wilson and the man whose wartime administration was the prototype for FDR’s New Deal (whose collectivist slogan was “We Planned In War” — i.e., WWI) was a stone cold racist. As Steve Hayward writes at Power Line, the Times “still haven’t been able to connect the dots between Wilson’s racism and his progressive ideology, nor grasp the irony that Wilson was merely aiming to provide blacks with a ‘safe space,’ as we say nowadays. We know liberals are slow learners, but this is embarrassing, unless the Times is planning to announce tomorrow that it has in fact decided to compete with The Onion.

Charles Paul Freund wrote of “Dixiecrats Triumphant: The menacing Mr. Wilson” at Reason magazine back in 2002. Jonah Goldberg wrote about Wilson’s racism and his administration’s central role as the prototype of the New Deal in 2008′s best-selling Liberal Fascism and in this concurrent excerpt in the Christian Science Monitor. But it’s nice to see the Times finally stumble kicking and screaming into the truth as well — if only to really make an unperson of “the menacing Mister Wilson.” (Don’t let them.)

EXPENDABLE: Poor boys are falling behind poor girls, and it’s deeply troubling.

It’s become a fact of American life that girls are better than boys at school. They get better grades. They’re suspended less. For every generation since the boomers, women have been more likely than men to earn high school and college diplomas.

In fact, girls are pretty much the only reason the high school graduation rate went up in past 40 years, according to calculations by Harvard economist Richard Murnane. The male high school graduation rate has been stuck at 81 percent since the 1970s, while the female graduation rose from 81 percent to 87 percent.

Women have been so persistently superior it is perhaps time for a new stereotype about the sexes — girls as bookish mavens like Lisa Simpson; boys as goof-offs like Bart.

Yeah, that’s not a new stereotype. And negative stereotypes about boys — which abound, especially among the overwhelmingly female teacher corps — are probably one of the reasons for this.

Which 2016 Presidential candidate will support legislation to protect boys in the classroom?

But it’s also true that the revolution in family affairs — that is, the rise of single-parent families — has indeed hurt boys worse than girls. (You can read this study, or you can listen to hiphop, in support of that). The study, though, seems to think that single-parent families are caused by “income inequality,” when it’s more likely that things are the other way around.

AND THEN THERE WERE THREE: For Thanksgiving, Is the GOP Down to Three with the Rest Turkeys?, asks Roger Simon.


DANA MILBANK: Barack Obama, President Oh-bummer.

The two presidents stood in the East Room on Tuesday afternoon, united in their goal of defeating the Islamic State but separated by a stylistic gulf as vast as the Atlantic.

On the left, facing the cameras, was François Hollande, war president. He spoke of “cowardly murderers” who “dishonor humanity,” of a “relentless determination to fight terrorism everywhere and anywhere,” of “an implacable joint response,” of “hunting down their leaders” and “taking back the land.”

On the right stood Barack Obama, President Oh-bummer.

Defeating the Islamic State?

“That’s going to be a process that involves hard, methodical work. It’s not going to be something that happens just because suddenly we take a few more airstrikes.”

A political settlement in Syria?

“It’s going to be hard. And we should not be under any illusions.”

Could the Paris attacks have been prevented?

“That’s hard — that’s a hard thing to track. . . . That’s a tough job.”

Obama, in Turkey last week, responded to those who believe he isn’t tough enough on the Islamic State. “Some of them seem to think that if I was just more bellicose in expressing what we’re doing, that that would make a difference,” he said.

Well, yes.

Tough talk won’t defeat terrorists — but it will rally a nation. It’s no mere coincidence that the unpopular Hollande’s support has increased during his forceful response to the attacks, while Obama’s poll numbers are down.


UNIVERSITY GRACIOUSLY AGREES to allow men’s groups on campus.


Trigger warning: The photo atop this article may count as a serious safe space violation. You’ve been warned.

IT’S HARD FOR PEOPLE TO TRUST THE GOVERNMENT, WHEN THE GOVERNMENT IS RUN BY UNTRUSTWORTHY PEOPLE: Andrew Malcolm: One-in-five Americans still trusts the federal government!

A shocking new poll out on Americans’ growing cynicism about their federal government.

It’s not really surprising that after seven years of an administration of serial liars, empty promises and failed plans, an overwhelming percentage of the public does not trust elected officials, their politics or the government they’re supposed to be running.

What’s really shocking is that 19% of Americans still do.

Nearly one-in-five say they can always or most always trust that Washington crowd. Seriously? Who are these people? Cubs fans? Newly-arrived Martians? Rachel Maddowers?

Do you know five people who swallow everything they hear from the upside-down capital of our nation? How about two? ObamaCare is working really well? ISIS is on the run? The FBI is seriously probing Hillary Clinton’s email scam?

Nineteen percent trusting is actually among the lowest in almost six decades. People even had more trust in Jimmy Carter’s presidency. People had the most trust during the first year of Lyndon Johnson’s sudden presidency. But then came Vietnam and Richard Nixon.

The newest poll from the Pew Research Center is based on 6,000 interviews this fall. It confirms suspicions that most people have felt for some time. Trust in those institutions began sagging during the second term of George W. Bush. But has absolutely cratered during these past 2,499 days of Barack Obama’s hope and change.

Fundamentally transformed.

FLASHBACK: 3 Ways To Reduce Poverty.

WELL!  I FEEL SAFER NOW: Police Bust Weekly Mahjong Game Played By Elderly Women.

MY CATS ARE MICROAGGRESSIONS: Micro theory for dogs.

CUTE: Japan’s Funkiest Train Goes Star Wars.

AND WE’RE GRATEFUL: Those Zany Colonists and the Nation They Built.

WELCOME TO 1914: A Necessary Conversation.

THIS IS MY SHOCKED FACE: Islamic State Radicalizes ‘Thousands’ in United States.

REMEMBER: Required Reading.

SOFT SHELLED SNOWFLAKES: Ben Shapiro to Mizzou Protesters: ‘Toughen Up’ (Video).

November 25, 2015

FASTER, PLEASE: End of daily injections for diabetes as scientists restore insulin production.