July 1, 2015

GOOD FOR HIM: Ex-CNNer Lynne Russell’s husband kills robber in wild motel shootout. “De Caro was shot twice in the abdomen and once in the leg — but managed to kill the gunman with his return fire. The intruder fled the motel room and collapsed in the parking lot, where cops later found him.”

Related: Famous Ex-CNN Anchor Says Her Husband Is Her ‘Hero’ After He Takes Out Armed Robber With Several Well-Placed Bullets.

THEY DON’T CALL IT the “unexpected martial art” for nothing. 95-year-old veteran fights off would-be robber with cane.


With regard to the abusive Chisholm investigation, the GOP isn’t exactly powerless. It controls all three branches of Wisconsin government.

Where is the investigation by the legislature? Subpoenas to all of the people on Chisolm’s team? Televised hearings!

The GOP could hit back really really hard if it wanted to.

At the end of the day, power belongs to those with the guts to use it. Obama completely gets this.

The GOP needs to wise up.

I agree. Punch back twice as hard.

AT AMAZON: Beautiful things, updated daily.

ACE: Bill DiBlasio Vs. Mike Flynn on Freedom and Humility in Government.

MARK RIPPETOE: Deconstructing the Deadlift: A Deep Analysis of Proper Deadlift Mechanics.


[Former CNN-Headline News anchorwomen] Lynne Russell told Action 7 News she and her husband were robbed at gunpoint at the Motel 6 near Coors and Iliff around 11:30 p.m.

Her husband, Chuck de Caro, worked as a correspondent for CNN as well.

Russell said they were exhausted Tuesday night and decided to go to a motel to rest. She went out to the car to get something when a man put a gun to her head, dragged her back into the motel room and demanded her valuables.

Her husband grabbed his gun and the two exchanged gunfire. Russell said the suspect fired first.

Police said both men fired multiple rounds.

Russell said her husband was hit three times. He underwent surgery at University of New Mexico Hospital and is expected to recover.

Officers found the other man in the parking lot. He died at the hospital.

A former CNN correspondent who was armed? Piers Morgan could not be reached for comment. (On the other hand, I don’t recall Russell or her husband being all that vocal during Morgan’s nightly screeds railing against the Constitution.)

PROGRESS: IF IT’S RACISM, IT’S PROBABLY FAKE RACISM: Black Man Arrested For Posting KKK Signs Outside Black Church.

FASTER, PLEASE: Blood Test IDs Pancreatic Cancer in 250 of 250 Patients.

DON’T TURN AROUND — DER KOMMISSAR’S IN TOWN: De Blasio: We’re Reviewing Trump’s NYC Contracts over ‘Disgusting’ Comments. Freedom of speech is like a bus — when you reach your station, you get off.

FOUND IN HILLARY EMAILS: SID BLUMENTHAL EDITED HER SPEECH to the Council on Foreign Relations for ‘Vague and Gauzy Liberal Universalism.’

Huh — Hillary’s never lacked for that.

SHE SPEAKS THE TRUTH:  Katie Pavlich: America is not racist.

It’s interesting how those on the left, in this case Obama and Heschel, make broad, general statements about how far we have to go on race issues but don’t give specifics about what’s left to fix. What do white churches have to do with the Charleston killer? They’ve offered support and unity. Is that something they should hang their heads over? The answer is no. And despite what Obama says, racism is not passed along in DNA through the generations. If that were the case, America wouldn’t be the tolerant, multi-racial country it is today.

Yes, America, like the vast majority of the rest of the world, at one time participated in slavery. While the sin of slavery is not justified, it is important to acknowledge that the sin of slavery isn’t a uniquely American sin, but rather one of mankind throughout the course of history. Further, owning slaves is not a sin unique to white people; in fact, black Africans sold other blacks into slavery (and still do today). Slavery is uniquely human, but societies and countries that respect human dignity, like America, have stopped the horrifying practice.

We need more direct refutations of the “racism” accusation like this. Liberals/progressives talk incessantly about racism, yet there are spectacularly few examples of the phenomenon, so they pounce on every conceivable black-white interaction–think Ferguson and Baltimore–even if the facts don’t support their immoral, divisive accusations.

The Charleston shootings have given race-baiters an excuse to ramp up their rhetoric and double down on their strategy of divisiveness. Too bad the good folks in Charleston keep disappointing the progressive/liberal racism promoters with their acts of good faith, unity and charity. One can almost feel the race-baiters’ frustration that a random evil act didn’t spark race riots. But hey, they are at least getting traction on their longstanding agenda to erase all memory of Confederate soldiers and, of course, the Confederate flag.

PRIVACY: This Online Anonymity Box Puts You a Mile Away From Your IP Address.

WITH OVER 1600 DOWNLOADS, my Third Amendment Penumbras piece is still #1 on SSRN’s Top Recent Papers chart. Thanks to everyone who downloaded!

I BLAME THE CONFEDERATE FLAG: Google Apologizes After Photos App Labels Black Couple as Gorillas. I don’t understand why Google was unable to “correct the issue” with the software, though. Is their bot racist?

TEST DRIVE: 2015 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid SEL Premium.

CAN GREEKS BECOME GERMANS? “Poll: 85% of Greeks Believe the Jews Have Too Much Power Over Global Finance.”

(Somehow, I don’t think this was the answer Thomas Friedman was expecting to his characteristically goofy 2011 headline.)


RELATED: “You Can’t Compromise with Culture Warriors,” Jonah Goldberg writes:

By no means are social-justice warriors always wrong. But they are untrustworthy, because they aren’t driven by a philosophy so much as an insatiable appetite that cannot take yes for an answer. No cookie will ever satisfy them. Our politics will only get uglier, as those who resist this agenda realize that compromise is just another word for appeasement.

Read the whole thing.

SULTAN KNISH: You Cannot Accommodate The Left. I recommend operant conditioning instead. Complaining and crusading is what they do, but even a flatworm is smart enough to turn away from pain. Make it painful for them to mess with things that you consider important, and they’ll likely turn their attentions elsewhere.


In March 2014, State Sen. Leland Yee, in the midst of a campaign for secretary of state, was arrested in part of a massive raid in the FBI area, accused of political corruption and helping arrange illegal firearm deals on behalf of violent group in the Philippines.

That scandal was crazy enough, but adding fuel to the fire was the fact that Yee, a Democrat, was also an open supporter of tougher gun control laws and was a proponent of legislation in California to ban the sales of violent video games to children, a law that the Supreme Court subsequently struck down as unconstitutional. Yee was a critic of games like Grand Theft Auto, even though he apparently behaved in real life like one of its characters. He took political hypocrisy to brand new heights.

Today it all ends with a plea deal. He has agreed to plead guilty of one count of racketeering in federal court and faces the possibility of up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Shackford describes Lee’s crimes as “the craziest political scandal to hit California in a while.” And that’s really saying something considering the wretched hive of scum and villainy that is the Mos Eisley cantina Sacramento.

WHEN SOCIOLOGISTS GO BAD, as spotted by Andrew Klavan:

I just finished reading Alice Goffman‘s in-the-field study of Philadelphia’s black slums, On The Run: Fugitive Life in an American City. I recommend it highly. It’s a wonderful piece of reporting. It’s also nuts. It’s worth reading for both reasons.

Goffman — a slight, attractive white girl and the daughter of famous sociologist Erving Goffman — lived for six years in a place she calls Sixth Street in Philly. There she befriended various black drug dealers and gangsters and their girlfriends. Completely losing her objectivity along the way, she actually reached a point where she chauffeured one of these thugs around town while he, his gun on his lap, searched for a man he wanted to kill. She’s lucky he didn’t find him. I don’t think that would’ve been sociology exactly. More like felony murder.

Somehow, I don’t think Christopher Reeve and Morgan Freeman intended Street Smart to be a how-to guide to journalism or sociology. And as Andrew notes:

Also, for myself, while I think it’s nonsensical to blame the police for the criminality of poor black people, it is not nonsensical to note that the dysfunctions of modern poverty are generationally self-replicating. A kid with no father and a crack whore for a mother is going to have a difficult time learning moral self control — and that’s going to be true of the fatherless child he fathers too. I do not believe such behaviors are related to race in any way. They’ve appeared too often in too many people throughout history. Read Germinal by Emile Zola. Read Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. Read some of the writing about the Irish in England during the Victorian period. The poor have children out of wedlock and fatherless children commit more crimes.

There’s a reason why Life at the Bottom, Theodore Dalrymple’s report as a psychiatrist working inside the British prison system, is subtitled, “The Worldview That Makes the Underclass.”

“MY UTERUS LITERALLY ACHES:” “We built a luxury dream home but can only afford to have two children. Most people do not understand this statement.”

Actually, virtually everyone who is sentient understands on some level that there are tradeoffs in life in attempting to best calculate the equation of time, money, and goals. And to be fair, as one Twitter commenter noted, “at least [the writer and her husband] have a handle on living within their means, more than can be said for the average American.” But otherwise, this article is remarkably Fisk-worthy.

But then, as Tom Wolfe warned us all 40 years ago in “The Me Decade,” imagine living with millions of people who share the mentality of “my life becoming a drama with universal significance . . . analyzed, like Hamlet’s, for what it signifies for the rest of mankind. . . .”

Of course, the latest generation now entering the workforce, which Ashe Schow mockingly dubs “The Survivor Class,” is poised to make the Me Decade crowd appear in retrospect as industrious well-adjusted citizens: “Are employers going to start using precious resources to create safe spaces for people who are so unable to handle their anxiety they force the rest of the world to handle it for them?”


AT AMAZON: Best toys & games of the month.

SCIENCE RAPPERS:  A rap performance summarizes findings in my NYT science column on the changing perceptions of “mate value.” One of the excellent rhymes: “We live in a world with mating that’s assortative / People care a lot about education and how short he is.”




Which is just the way the DNC-MSM wants it — just ask this woman, or Tom Brokaw and Charlie Rose.

FUNDAMENTALLY TRANSFORMED: Survey says: 35 percent of Americans would expatriate. A country that has generous social benefits, with high taxes and many political/regulatory barriers to success, will attract the unproductive and chase away the productive. End result: “Bad luck.”

UPDATE: Poll: Obama Millennials Want to Leave the America They Created.

UH OH: New Cases of Ebola Put an End to Liberia’s Status as Virus-Free.

REASON TV ON THE SECRET SCAM OF STREETCARS: How to Sell a 100-Year-Old Technology as the Future of Transportation:

“Meet the Thighmaster of urban public policy: streetcars,” proffers Reason TV’s Rob Montz, who, other than borrowing one of Frank Gorshin’s Riddler suits from the old Batman TV series, delivers a spot-on indictment of the graft and Barack to the Future mentality that, as he notes, causes “municipal politicians across the country” to convince themselves “that this costly, clunky hardware can revitalize their flabby downtown economies.”

Or as a CATO report described such thinking a few years ago, “The Desire Named Streetcar.”

On Twitter today, Iowahawk, who spotted the video, quips:

But that’s really an insult to ’93 Hondas, which as Montz notes, have far more maneuverability than a giant streetcar — as do taxis and municipal buses — but there’s not as much room for graft, given that the infrastructure for these vehicles doesn’t need to be built from scratch. And note who makes several prominent appearances pimping for more streetcars: Obama’s former transportation secretary, RINO Ray LaHood, the father of Darin LaHood who is running for Congress in the Illinois seat vacated by disgraced former Rep. Aaron Schock. Darin isn’t responsible for his father’s disasters, but still, why take a chance? Vote Mike Flynn for Congress.

SPACE: SpaceX Rocket Explosion: Can The Commercial Space Industry Recover From The Falcon 9 Rocket Failure? Rockets, whether commercial or governmental, blow up sometimes, especially new rockets. That’s just part of the business.

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO LIE ABOUT RAPE! (CONT’D): False rape report filed by Manhattan girl. “Officers have filed a report for filing false information in the rape reported over the weekend. Investigators found that the juvenile female’s claims of rape against a 19-year-old acquaintance were not true. Because the case involves allegations of a sexual crime, RCPD is not releasing additional information at this time.”

Related: Woman accused of false rape claim ‘after fitness watch proved she wasn’t dragged from bed.’

IT’S GREEK TO THEM: Steven Hayward on “The Decadence of the Liberal Mind in One Sentence.

ARE LAWYERS the new Linotype operators? “Don’t know what a linotype operator is? Exactly.”

21ST CENTURY RELATIONSHIPS: I lived like a man for a couple of weeks. It helped me understand my husband. Taking a dose of testosterone gave me a new sense of empathy.

I wanted to do them all. Men – young and old, thin and heavy, coiffed and shaggy – walked past my gate in Hartsfield-Jackson as I waited for my connection to visit my sister in Connecticut. Not all rated attractive, but I found the idea of sex with each captivating.

The young man with the tight shoulders, the bookish guy with Clark Kent glasses, the soldier in fatigues? Yes, yes and yes. The sweatshirt-clad-torn-jeans man was not my type, but I ogled him anyway.

I had been taking estrogen replacement therapy for four years prescribed after my hysterectomy at 36. But two weeks ago, my doctor added a special cream to boost my testosterone. She warned me of “odd symptoms,” but she didn’t mention this constant sexual distraction. Or the irrational anger. The day before, I dropped a fork in the kitchen and kicked it. It clattered into the base of the cabinet, but that wasn’t enough. I picked it up and threw it into the sink with a force intended to harm. When the mailman carelessly slammed a box onto the front steps, I resisted the urge to slap him silly.

At the follow-up, my doctor said, “Now you know what it’s like to have your brain bathed in testosterone.” In other words: What it’s like to live like a man.

All women — at least, all women who write on gender relations — should have this experience.


TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 783.

MICKEY KAUS SAYS OBAMA’S OVERTIME MOVE IS A SCAM: “Isn’t that kind of pathetic? Obama’s increase (in the upper salary threshold covered by the overtime rule) may boost the pay of “nearly” 5 million workers. There are about 122 million workers in the U.S. economy — so according to my calculator the change will affect 4% of them. If that’s the biggest action Obama can take to help the middle class, it shows the severe limitations of his vaunted “pen and phone” strategy, no?” It’s not about actually helping. It’s about looking as if he’s helping to low information voters.


So Hillary can’t work a fax machine and hasn’t driven a car since 1996, but journalists are still recycling false stories about Bush #41 and barcode scanners?

On the other hand, Hillary has other transportation issues to wrestle with:


THE JUNIOR ANTI-SEX LEAGUE AT WORK: The Future of Sex Is Terrifying: Proposed changes to U.S. sex-crime laws seek to set new sexual norms by criminalizing ordinary behavior.

Forget sex robots, virtual reality porn, and any of the other technological advances feared capable of disrupting current sexual mores. The biggest threat to sex as we know it is the coming revision of U.S. sex-crime laws. For a glimpse into this frightening future, look no further than Judith Shulevitz’s latest in The New York Times. Shulevitz chronicles how “affirmative consent” (the principle, often referred to as “yes means yes,” that the mere absence of a “no” is not sufficient permission to proceed sexually) has been quietly spreading from California universities to colleges across the country, and could soon mutate out of academia entirely.

The American Law Institute (ALI)—a respected body of professors, judges, and lawyers that draft model laws oft adopted in whole by state and federal government—has spent the past three years deliberating over sexual assault statutes (an area it hadn’t revisited since 1962). A draft of the group’s recommendations, released in May, endorsed “the position that an affirmative expression of consent, either by words or conduct, is always an appropriate prerequisite to sexual intercourse, and that the failure to obtain such consent should be punishable under” criminal law.

“The traditional premise in the law has been that individuals are presumed to be sexually available and willing to have intercourse—with anyone, at any time, at any place—in the absence of clear indications to the contrary,” states ALI. The new model “posits, to the contrary, that in the absence of affirmative indications of a person’s willingness to engage in sexual activity, such activity presumably is not desired.”

Perhaps officious busybodies need to meet with more aggressive pushback from normal people.

PARENTING: “I’m Sick of Hearing ‘You’ve Got Your Hands Full!’”, Bethany Mandel writes at the new PJM Parenting Website. She says these days in response to “Boy, you have your hands full!” she’s started saying “Yeah, I do, thank G-d.”

Read the whole thing.

FUNNY, THE SAME KIND OF POLITICS ALWAYS PRODUCES THE SAME KIND OF RESULTS: What’s Really Happening in Puerto Rico? The commonwealth is facing a serious debt crisis that could result in default, but that’s only part of the problem.

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THE SADDEST THING ABOUT HILLARY’S EMAILS: Relax, you don’t have to pick just one, but emails reveal weak grasp of reality among global power players. We have the worst political class in American history, and most of the rest of the world isn’t doing so great either. And it is an embodiment of the Dunning Kruger effect.

ANOTHER WISCONSIN CONSERVATIVE BRINGS RETALIATION LAWSUIT: This time it’s Cindy Archer, a longtime aide to Governor Scott Walker, whose home was raided, SWAT-style, as part of an investigation witch hunt against conservatives in the state initiated by Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm.

Archer has filed her civil rights-First Amendment lawsuit against Chisholm in Wisconsin state court. Explaining her decision to file the suit in the Wall Street Journal, Archer reveals:

I was a close adviser to Scott Walker in the county executive’s office and then in the statehouse, but it never occurred to me that my own happiness would be collateral damage in a political vendetta.

Nothing could have prepared me for waking up to the shouts of men with battering rams announcing that they were about to break down my door on that morning in 2011. It was so unexpected and frightening that I ran down from my bedroom without clothes on. Panicked by the threatened show of force, I was then humiliated as officers outside the window yelled at me to get dressed and open up. I quickly retrieved clothing and dressed as I unlocked the door.

Agents with weapons drawn swarmed through every part of the house. They barged into the bathroom where my partner was showering. I was told to shut up and sit down. The officers rummaged through drawers, cabinets and closets. Their aggressive assault on my home seemed more appropriate for a dangerous criminal, not a longtime public servant with no criminal history.

After they left, I surveyed the damage. Drawers and closets had been ransacked. My deceased mother’s belongings were strewn across the floor. Neighbors gathered in small clusters at the end of their driveways and the press arrived in force.

What had prompted the raid? My guess: As an adviser to Gov. Walker, I had played a lead role in drafting and implementing public-employee labor reforms that would propel him to the national stage.

The governor’s reforms, commonly referred to as Act 10, prompted angry union protests. The reforms also enraged many politicians, including, as I would later find out, Mr. Chisholm and members of his staff. My ties to Gov. Walker and Act 10 made me a prime target for Mr. Chisholm’s campaign to intimidate anyone close to the governor.

In other words, I was targeted because of my politics—in plain violation of the First Amendment and federal civil-rights statutes.

Like so many Walker and union reform supporters who were targeted by Chisholm’s “John Doe” investigation, Archer was never charged with a crime. Her reputation has been irreparably damaged, and Archer states that she lost her job working for Walker because she was a target of the investigation:

I have also been subjected to derogatory headlines and made the butt of jokes on talk radio and anti-Walker websites about everything from my personal appearance to my sexual orientation and mental stability. Neighbors became distant and suspicious.

Worst of all, I have discovered that my demotion as Gov. Walker’s deputy director of administration, which came four weeks before the raid on my house, appears to have been engineered by the governor’s team after word reached them that I had been targeted by the district attorney. Subsequently, I have not been given any role in the administration that may bring public attention.

Archer is now working as the Chief Information Officer for the Wisconsin Public Defenders’ Office. Her lawsuit will provide a much needed opportunity to discover more information about the motive of Chisholm’s investigation, including what should be some very interesting depositions. A similar First Amendment retaliation lawsuit filed by Eric O’Keefe and the Wisconsin Club for Growth had early success in a federal trial court, but the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the lawsuit dismissed due to its belief that the federal civil rights claims should be resolved by the Wisconsin state courts.

Now, with the Archer lawsuit, the facts can finally be discovered. I am hoping O’Keefe and the Wisconsin Club for Growth consider refiling their lawsuit in Wisconsin state court, too.  It ain’t over ’til it’s over.

CHANGE: Europe rallies behind Merkel as Greeks hit breaking point.

Related: USA Today: No Tragedy If Greece Leaves The Eurozone. Actually, I’d say it’s no tragedy if everyone does. Plus, a larger lesson:

There are also some unsettling parallels between Greece and highly leveraged U.S. states, as well as the territory of Puerto Rico, which announced this week it could not make its current payment on $72 billion in debt.

While Puerto Rico might be a lost cause at this point, major states are not. They could put their financial houses in order if their governments just showed some spine. A demonstration of how little appetite there is for bailouts, even in liberal Europe, should send a clear message on both sides of the Atlantic.

Sooner or later, you run out of other people’s money.

WHEN THE AVANT-GARDE BECOME GARDE:  James Lileks spots the British magazine Standpoint ruminating on the pitiful status of modern art after well over a century of “épater le bourgeois,” or shocking the middle class:

The great oaks of Western art were burned to the ground. Today, radical artists are left scouring through the embers, still looking for last traces of life. Their primary target is now the taboo — the unspoken memory of a once-communal system of values. Tracey Emin shows us her unmade bed, strewn with used condoms and bloodied underwear. Damien Hirst suggests that the 9/11 hijackers “need congratulating”. Every last inherited standard — every last comfort — must be torn from us once and for all.

Lileks responds:

You might think “oh, so it’s going to be one of those. Quotes out of context for sensationalist effect, that’s your first clue: handwringing and over-exaggeration. It’s not that bad.


“The thing about 9/11 is that it’s kind of like an artwork in its own right. It was wicked, but it was devised in this way for this kind of impact. It was devised visually… You’ve got to hand it to them on some level because they’ve achieved something which nobody would have ever have thought possible, especially to a country as big as America. So on one level they kind of need congratulating, which a lot of people shy away from, which is a very dangerous thing.

It is a dangerous thing to suppress people’s desire to applaud the conceptual audacity of a terrorist attack. Well, Hirst is a modern artist of the first water, so you’d expect that. (The second water is tears. The first is urine.)

Read the whole thing.

Meanwhile, after three decades similarly built around shocking the bourgeois via pop culture, Mark Judge of Acculturated checks out the latest hackneyed song by Madonna Louise Ciccone and explores “Why Madonna is the New Pat Boone” — which is anything is a shot at the latter performer, as Judge writes:

Madonna, who is not adept at any musical instrument and has a weak voice, has been doing this for over three decades. Like Pat Boone, Madonna takes music based on African-American rhythms and dices it into digestible bites. Yet whereas Boone transitioned to gospel music when his pop star began to fade (and even, God help us, made a heavy metal album), Madonna’s formula has been unchanged since Reagan’s first term: She hires the hottest producers of dance music, writes some lyrics about self-empowerment and clubbing, adds some nudity or other obnoxious antinomian element, and cashes in.

Without her rosary wearing, her sex book, cussing on TV, or putting profanity in the mouths of children—which is tastefully featured in the first few seconds of “Bitch I’m Madonna”—Madonna Louise Ciccone would be playing the Howard Johnson’s in Paduka. What’s truly scandalous is that people are still buying it. She has been pushing these same buttons for so long that it has gone past repetitive and into a kind of altered consciousness of catatonic sameness. Madonna’s stunts are now like Nietzsche’s eternal recurrence, where a person is fated to live the exact same life not for eternity, but multiple eternities. Everything changes but the avant-garde.

As original Saturday Night Live writer Anne Beatts once quipped as the edge was being sanded off that show during its first few seasons, “you can only be avant-garde for so long, before you become garde.”

Which incidentally, rather neatly sums up the last 35 years of that now-venerable television institution and its late-night spin-offs as well.

CAMPUS CULTURE: A Parent’s Perspective. “Apparently the only thing a women’s studies degree prepares one for is working for a university admissions office to promote that degree to other gullible students.”

DOES ANYBODY REMEMBER LAUGHTER? 5 Comedies to Get You Ready for Campaign 2016.

SAVE THAT FOR WHEN THERE’S A REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT: Senate Republicans slam the door on scrapping the filibuster.

“DID PARKINSON’S DISEASE LOSE HITLER THE WAR? STUDY CLAIMS THE CONDITION MADE THE FUHRER RECKLESS AND VIOLENT.” Gee, I don’t think Hitler needed much help in that department, but do go on, London Daily Mail:

Parkinson’s can also cause a slow gait, bent posture and a dull stare, along with cognitive disorders such as a lack of imagination and a general apathy.

The researchers suggest that Hitler’s condition may have led him to attack Russia prematurely in 1941, according to a report in Discover.

A previous study claimed that Hitler’s decision to invade Russia, before defeating Britain on the western front, was a direct result of his failing health.

The study points to other bad decisions of Hitler’s such the failure to defend Normandy in 1944, alongside keeping his forces in Stalingrad in 1942.

They say this was the result of the dictator’s ‘volatile temperament’ which may have been aggravated by his Parkinson’s.

The study also goes on to suggest that Hitler’s lack of remorse and sympathy can be associated with his Parkinson’s.

Parkinson’s disease let to Hitler attacking Russia in 1941? Umm, if you say so, but I would attribute the invasion of Russia far more to Hitler’s Germany not having sufficient naval power to implement Operation Sea Lion and invade England via the Channel, nor an air force powerful enough to take out the RAF. As historians Ian Kershaw and John Lukacs have each written, in 1941, what Hitler did have at that moment was the world’s most powerful land-based army, which he could maneuver via mechanized divisions into the Soviet Union. He assumed that with Russia out of the war, he could then pivot back and finish off England with the vast conquered resources of the Russian territory at his will, or England would be demoralized and sue for peace. (Victor Davis Hanson also tackled the question of why Hitler invaded the Soviet Union in one of his PJM columns a couple of years ago, and came to similar conclusions.)

It sounds like the “did Parkinson’s drive Hitler mad” theory is yet another example of those earlier theories explored by my one-time PJM colleague Ron Rosenbaum in his book Explaining Hitler: The Search for the Origins of His Evil.

Besides being a terrific read, Rosenbaum’s book is sort of like mirror universe production of Citizen Kane — recording the attempts by American and German intellectuals to boil Hitler — and the causes of World War II — down to a single Rosebud-like explanation: Hitler had syphilis, he was unloved by his parents, had malformed genitalia, etc. Ultimately such efforts, as Rosenbaum writes, do little to explain the epoch-shattering events of the 1930s and ’40s, but like the cast of Citizen Kane, tell us far more about the people who conjure them up — and in many cases, their reasons why.

As Rosenbaum wrote in 2006, “the focus on Hitler’s alleged personal peculiarities de-historicizes the causes of the Holocaust; making it some kind of outgrowth of personal revenge and perversion rather the culmination of centuries of murderous anti-semitic hatred in Europe carried out by hundreds of thousands of…accomplices to Hitler. It de-politicizes the genocidal hatred in an utterly trivializing way.”

Chalk up yet another example.

OR FOR HILLARY’S UNPAID CAMPAIGN WORKERS, I IMAGINE: Overtime Pay Not Likely for Congressional Staff.

JESSE WALKER: Whatever Happened To Jim Webb? The populist Democrat and his barely-visible campaign. At a guess, Hillary’s got some dirt on him.


YOUR FINAL DOSE OF INSOMNIA THEATER: FREE SPEECH AND JAZZ – Check out this video of legendary critic and civil libertarian Nat Hentoff on the unique power of the First Amendment and his lifelong love of jazz.

June 30, 2015

IS ANYBODY SURPRISED? The Israel Defense Forces has just appointed a special team to plan a military strike against Iran’s nuclear weapons facilities. Promising to “snap back” sanctions if Iran cheats is likely an empty threat, but Israel’s margin of error is zero.

CINDY ARCHER: Why I’m Filing a Civil-Rights Lawsuit: Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm and his agents ransacked my house and ruined my career.

After much soul-searching, I am filing a civil-rights lawsuit on Wednesday against Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm. I fear his retaliation, given what I know of his methods, but the Chisholm campaign against me that began at dawn on Sept. 14, 2011, requires a legal response to discourage the prosecutor’s continued abuse of his office.

Some background: Mr. Chisholm launched his first round of investigations into the affairs of Scott Walker in May 2010, when he was serving as Milwaukee county executive and Mr. Walker’s office reported the disappearance of some charitable funds. Rather than seek out the perpetrator—whom Mr. Walker’s office had also identified—the district attorney’s crew turned its attention to Mr. Walker and his staff.

The investigation grew in size, scope and intensity as Mr. Walker rose in Wisconsin politics, eventually winning election as governor in 2011, reforming public-employee union laws and prevailing in recall elections. By that time, the investigation by Mr. Chisholm, a Democrat, had moved well beyond the matter of the missing funds, citing a grab bag of potential offenses as justification to vacuum up the internal communications of Mr. Walker’s aides, apparently for anything that could be used against the Republican governor.

I was a close adviser to Scott Walker in the county executive’s office and then in the statehouse, but it never occurred to me that my own happiness would be collateral damage in a political vendetta.

Nothing could have prepared me for waking up to the shouts of men with battering rams announcing that they were about to break down my door on that morning in 2011. It was so unexpected and frightening that I ran down from my bedroom without clothes on. Panicked by the threatened show of force, I was then humiliated as officers outside the window yelled at me to get dressed and open up. I quickly retrieved clothing and dressed as I unlocked the door.

Agents with weapons drawn swarmed through every part of the house. They barged into the bathroom where my partner was showering. I was told to shut up and sit down. The officers rummaged through drawers, cabinets and closets. Their aggressive assault on my home seemed more appropriate for a dangerous criminal, not a longtime public servant with no criminal history.

After they left, I surveyed the damage. Drawers and closets had been ransacked. My deceased mother’s belongings were strewn across the floor. Neighbors gathered in small clusters at the end of their driveways and the press arrived in force.

What had prompted the raid? My guess: As an adviser to Gov. Walker, I had played a lead role in drafting and implementing public-employee labor reforms that would propel him to the national stage.

This was a serious abuse of power for the most craven of political reasons. John Chisholm and his minions should end up broke, unemployable, and possibly in jail. As an example to the others.

SO I’M BACK. I was supposed to get back Monday evening, but my Delta jet returned from the runway on Grand Cayman with a bad flight computer. They couldn’t fix it, and I wound up spending an extra night on Cayman. Which wasn’t as good as it sounds because I spent a lot of time waiting in lines or in airport lounges. They flew us out Tuesday morning, and I was supposed to have a confirmed seat on the 3:15 flight for Knoxville, but when I got to Atlanta that confirmed seat had mysteriously become a standby seat on an oversold plane. Wound up renting a car and driving home, rather than risk taking a much later flight and, possibly, being stuck overnight in Atlanta. Thanks to the folks at the Holiday Inn Resort Grand Cayman, who put up about 200 stranded passengers on short notice and were quite hospitable. This wasn’t exactly Delta’s fault — you can’t fly with a bad flight computer — but I did feel that they ran us through too many unnecessary hoops and lines. (They bused us to the airport Tuesday at 5 am, but there was nobody at their ticket counter until 6:15, costing us about 200 hours of unnecessarily lost sleep in total. . . ) I found the counter people in Atlanta pretty much useless, but Delta Assist on Twitter helped me out by canceling my Atlanta-Knoxville leg and refunding that portion, which covered the rental car — a very reasonably priced ($122) Audi A4 from Sixt.

This is my second overnight stranding in a month, though, which makes me feel less cheerful about flying in general. Anyway, I’m tanned, rested, and ready. Thanks to my guestbloggers for doing an excellent job while I spent some much-needed time offline (and this seems like it was a good week to miss), and for helping out an additional day while I was stranded. I honestly think the blog’s better when they’re around, so after this bravura performance, I’ve invited them to drop by and put up a post whenever the mood strikes.


OBAMA: “IT’S BEEN A GOOD FEW DAYS FOR AMERICA“: President Obama takes to the Huffington Post to praise the Supreme Court for rewriting the laws and our Constitution, and to push his new agenda for higher wages:

This week, I’ll head to Wisconsin to discuss my plan to extend overtime protections to nearly 5 million workers in 2016, covering all salaried workers making up to about $50,400 next year. That’s good for workers who want fair pay, and it’s good for business owners who are already paying their employees what they deserve — since those who are doing right by their employees are undercut by competitors who aren’t.

That’s how America should do business. In this country, a hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay. That’s at the heart of what it means to be middle class in America.

Notice that the President does not articulate any arguments for growing the economy or ensuring that anyone has a job to begin with. It’s all so very European of him– high wages, high unemployment, high government unemployment benefits.  How depressing.

THEY DIDN’T JUST TWEET A PHOTO: As Ed Driscoll reports below, when TSA flack Lisa Farbstein tweeted a photo of the contents of a passenger’s luggage–$75,000 in cash–with a snarky comment, the gratuitous invasion of privacy generated quite a bit of public backlash. But the story gets worse. The TSA took a photo, but other federal agents took the money. Christopher Ingraham of the Washington Post‘s Wonkblog reports:

In this case, the cash was seized by a federal agency, most likely the Drug Enforcement Agency, according to Richmond airport spokesman Troy Bell. “I don’t believe the person was issued a summons or a citation,” he said. “The traveler was allowed to continue on his way.”

No charges. No citation. No due process. Just perfectly legal theft.

AT AMAZON: The Geek Boutique.

JIMMY CARTER WORKS ON HIS LEGACY OF “NO LONGER WORST PRESIDENT”: Jimmy Carter: Obama’s Foreign Policy Accomplishments ‘Minimal’.

NOT A DREAM. AN ILLUSION BORN OF THE MIASMAS OF WWI: Europe’s dream is dying in Greece. Perhaps a warning too.  These super-states controlling everything in the lands under their sway are never a good idea.


Farbstein faced a well-deserved backlash on Twitter; this round-up at Twitchy is just a hint of the response.

WORKER’S PARADISE. Cuba has ice cream. They have a chronic shortage of ice cream, but they do have some ice cream.

A couple of non-gullible journalists went down there with a video camera and recorded the state-run ice cream parlor. The line on a Sunday was two hours long. Only one flavor—strawberry—was available. It costs a little more than two dollars for a scoop. That’s more than ten percent of Cuba’s state-imposed Maximum Wage of twenty dollars a month. Such is life when the dictator insists on “socialism or death.”

OBAMA’S ‘BEST WEEK EVER’ AND THE COMING BACKLASH, from Noah Rothman at Commentary:

If history is any guide, change is coming. Dispirited conservatives will balk at the notion that Republicans can serve as change agents, but the out-party is the most frequent beneficiary of this voter sentiment. For progressives, the irrefutable moral justification of their cause renders any setback to its agenda a deviation from the norm, but this is self-flattery. American political history and the inherent dynamics of republican politics suggests that voters will soon correct for the excesses of the progressive left that it once empowered. When it happens, it will probably come as a shock to all those progressives who are forever citing the long march of history to justify their peculiar policy preferences.

It’s entirely possible that the GOP could win the White House in 2016, but as far as the long march of history, while elements of the New Deal and the Great Society have been updated over the years (such as welfare reform), how much of Big Government has actually ever been rolled back?  Yesterday’s Fox Butterfield-esque original New York Times headline on the Greek fiscal debacle, “Trillions Spent, but Crises Like Greece’s Persist,” could apply equally well to own bloated socialist leviathan.

CLAUDIA ROSETT ON NUCLEAR GROUNDHOG DAY: Today, You’ll Hear That State Dept. Needs ‘More Time’ To Finish Iran Nuke Deal They Can’t Possibly Enforce.

What could go wrong?

AND AFTER SHIRTSTORM, WHO’D BE SURPRISED: Vagina Vigilantes never sleep.

TWITCHY: THIS SCHOOLING OF GUN-GRABBING IDJIT STEPHEN KING BY DANA LOESCH, OTHERS WILL CRACK YOU UP: “What’s a ‘30-shot clip?’” “Also, clips and mags are two different things, natch. Unrelated: You made me hate clowns.”

Just a reminder: You can catch Dana Loesch speaking at Bullets & Bourbon in December in the Dallas area.

THEY REALLY, REALLY SHOULD HAVE LISTENED TO THATCHER: The Greek Crisis: Too Little Democracy, Too Much Bureaucracy.

THOMAS SOWELL: Supreme Court disasters.

Many people are looking at the recent Supreme Court decisions about ObamaCare and same-sex marriage in terms of whether they think these are good or bad policies. That is certainly a legitimate concern, for both those who favor those policies and those who oppose them.

But there is a deeper and more long-lasting impact of these decisions that raise the question whether we are still living in America, where “we the people” are supposed to decide what kind of society we want, not have our betters impose their notions on us. . . .

When any branch of government can exercise powers not authorized by either statutes or the Constitution, “we the people” are no longer free citizens but subjects, and our “public servants” are really our public masters. And America is no longer America. The freedom for which whole generations of Americans have fought and died is gradually but increasingly being taken away from us with smooth and slippery words.

This decision makes next year’s choice of the next President of the United States more crucial than ever, because with that office goes the power to nominate justices of the Supreme Court. Democrats have consistently nominated people who shared their social vision and imposed their policy preferences, too often in disregard of the Constitution.

Republicans have complained about it but, when the power of judicial appointment was in the hands of Republican presidents, they have too often appointed justices who participated in the dismantling of the Constitution — and usually for the kinds of social policies preferred by Democrats. . . .

Can the Republicans — or the country — afford to put another mushy moderate in the White House, who can appoint more mushy moderates to the Supreme Court?

Most emphatically, no.

THEY SHOULD HAVE LISTENED TO THATCHER: The Decadence of the liberal mind in one sentence.

PROFESSOR: WHITE PEOPLE ARE CONDITIONED TO COMMIT MASS MURDER LIKE IN CHARLESTON: “Zandria Robinson still has a job at the taxpayer-funded University of Memphis.”

UPDATE: Well, not anymore, apparently; Katherine Timpf amends her article to note, “A University of Memphis spokesperson told National Review that Robinson was no longer working at the school, but refused to give further details – promising to release a statement on the issue soon. In the meantime, the school has posted the following on its Twitter account:”


HOWARD KURTZ: GOLLY, THE MEDIA HAVE TURNED INTO AN INTOLERANT MOB LATELY: Alternate headline of this post by Ed Morrissey at Hot Air: Kurtz finally discovers that media bias is real — nearly 20 years, as Ed writes, after then-CBS insider Bernard Goldberg first openly discussed its existence in a Wall Street Journal column.

THE FUTURE OF THE PAST: Cooking With Glass: How Pyrex Transformed Every Kitchen Into a Home-Ec Lab.

WINNER TAKE WHAT? “Ever wonder why no interesting center-left Democrats aren’t challenging an increasingly vulnerable Hillary Clinton? There aren’t any. Nobody. No one,” Noemie Emery writes in the Washington Examiner:

For several cycles, the GOP starting gates will be filled with fresh horses, while the Democrats have, at least for the moment, a collection of aging and battle-worn nags.

Ever wonder why no interesting center-left Democrats aren’t challenging an increasingly vulnerable Hillary Clinton? There aren’t any. Nobody. No one.

As Britain and France were bled white by their World War I battles, the Democrats were drained by a series of midterm debacles in which those in swing states were punished by voters, and all but the bluest of blue were cut down. On the altar of healthcare, Democrats sacrificed the fruit of two cycles of party-expansion, the picking of people who could win in red states and red districts, to bolster the party’s breadth and appeal.

Now, these Democrats were told by liberal bloggers that it was their duty to lay down their political lives for this unpopular measure that most of their voters despised. As a result, Clinton’s most viable challengers are a 75-year-old socialist from deep-blue Vermont, and the colorless former governor of very blue Maryland, who was so weak he could not help to elect his lieutenant governor, who lost to only the second Republican governor in a very long time. The Democrats’ bench is not merely weak, it is non-existent. And that is Obamacare’s work.

As Moe Lane adds in his post linking to Emery’s column, “I suspect that we have at least one last hurrah lurking down there in the crevices of the Grand Old Party, and that the folks over on the Other Side are telling themselves the exact same damned stories to boost their morale that I was telling myself in 2007. And we all know how that ended, huh?”

Still though, to borrow from one of the Insta-Professor’s recurring leitmotifs, this is not the time for the younger members of the right to embrace an overly arrogant or smugly self-assured pose.

TOMORROW IS THE ONE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF FIRE’S STAND UP FOR SPEECH LITIGATION PROJECT: SUFS is an unprecedented national effort to eliminate unconstitutional speech codes from our nation’s public colleges and universities. Check out SUFS’s successful and pending cases here.


Unbelievable. According to a third-party EU official, and Sir Tim Hunt himself, she took words out the context, and concealed the fact that Hunt’s remarks were jokes at his own expense.

The Guardian has now heavily re-edited this Social Attention Whore’s story to make it less defamatory — but the Guardian doesn’t alert you to that, contrary to its own claimed rules.

Hunt has now resigned from his important work in cancer research. And this Social Attention Whore got her scalp.

New revelations about the speech and the context of the joke have surfaced. An account of a European Commission Official who took detailed minutes of the event adds key information absent from the original report:

According to the new account, Sir Tim started with: “It’s strange that such a chauvinist monster like me has been asked to speak to women scientists” which makes clear he mocking sexism, rather than indulging in it. St. Louis reported this as Hunt simply admitting: “he has a reputation as a male chauvinist.”Immediately after the now infamous joke, according to the new evidence, he proceeded to make several very pro gender equality remarks, including: “Now seriously… Science needs women and you should do science despite all the obstacles, and despite monsters like me,” which was similarly disregarded in St. Louis’s twitter report.

Hunt has already protested that he added, “now seriously” to indicate the joke was over.

The Daily Mail is now vetting this #SocialAttentionWarrior, Connie St. Louis, and finding lots of troubling facts.

Troubled by Sir Tim’s fate, a collection of eminent scientists, including eight other Nobel Prize winners (and several senior female academics) chose to speak out publicly in support of him. Many professed outrage that, in the echo-chamber of social media, a single careless remark, just 37 words long, could apparently derail the career of a pioneering scientist.

Hey, these days all it takes for a SJW to derail a leading scientist’s career is his wearing the wrong shirt. Read the whole thing, and then follow the link to the London Daily Mail article — a publication that St. Louis claimed to have written for, and yet according to the author of the above piece, the newspaper can find no evidence of her contributions in their archives or accounts payable department.

CRUZ REMINDS YAHOO VIDEO BLOGGER KATIE COURIC THAT HILLARY CREATED ANTI-OBAMA BIRTHER MOVEMENT:The look on Couric’s smug face when he correctly reminded her that it was the Hillary Clinton campaign in 2008 that birthed the anti-Obama Birther movement, is priceless.”

AT AMAZON: All-New Kindle Paperwhite.

“WHAT CHUMPS!” wrote Chief Justice Roberts, dissenting in Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission.

Just over a century ago, Arizona became the second State in the Union to ratify the Seventeenth Amendment. That Amendment transferred power to choose United States Senators from “the Legislature” of each State, Art. I, §3, to “the people thereof.” The Amendment resulted from an arduous, decades-long campaign in which reformers across the country worked hard to garner approval from Congress and three-quarters of the States.

What chumps! Didn’t they realize that all they had to do was interpret the constitutional term “the Legislature” to mean “the people”? The Court today performs just such a magic trick with the Elections Clause. Art. I, §4. That Clause vests congressional redistricting authority in “the Legislature” of each State. An Arizona ballot initiative transferred that authority from “the Legislature” to an “Independent Redistricting Commission.” The majority approves this deliberate constitutional evasion by doing what the proponents of the Seventeenth Amendment dared not: revising “the Legislature” to mean “the people.”

BUZZFEED’S JOURNALISTIC STRUGGLES ON SAME-SEX MARRIAGE, IN GIFS: Images so easy to follow, even a BuzzFeed editor can understand them!

RELATED: An accurate albeit painful to read transcript of Ben Smith of BuzzFeed’s rapid-fire dissembling during his interview with Hugh Hewitt yesterday. Interesting question from Hugh:

Elsewhere, John Nolte of Big Journalism listens to Hewitt’s interview with Smith and spots this juxtaposition: “BuzzFeed Pledges Allegience to Gay Flag — Editor Ben Smith Won’t Call Shariah Evil.”

Or as Ace notes, “it is quite obvious that [Smith] has never even thought about the questions Hugh Hewitt poses before. Simple, obvious questions everyone even pretending to be a thinker must ask himself, like ‘Why is it I feel comfortable declaring there are no two sides on gay marriage, and yet I cannot bring myself to criticize Shariah law?’”

Which dovetails well with this observation from Matt Lewis of the Daily Caller, when as a (more or less) conservative, he debates leftists: “I’ve noticed an uptick in the following phenomenon: I go on a TV debate show, and the people I’m talking to fail to grasp my points. I don’t mean they disagree with me — I mean they don’t comprehend what I’m saying.

Why, it’s as if the left and right are speaking an entirely different language — as Insta-guest blogger John Tierney noted here yesterday.

RELATED:  “It is essential to our understanding of how we’ve been bested in the propaganda battles and culture wars — not on the merits but rather through the very kernel assumptions about language we’ve allowed to become settled truths.”

A COLLEGE BALKS AT HILLARY CLINTON’S FEE, BOOKS CHELSEA FOR $65,000 INSTEAD: “As with Hillary Clinton’s paid speeches at universities, Chelsea Clinton made no personal income from the appearance, her spokesman said, and directed her fee to the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation,” the Washington Post reports. “Just shy of her 34th birthday, Clinton commanded a higher fee than other prominent women speakers who were considered, including feminist icon Gloria Steinem ($30,000) and journalists Cokie Roberts ($40,000), Tina Brown ($50,000) and Lesley Stahl ($50,000), the records show.”

RELATED: “Chelsea Clinton too expensive? You can hire me for a lot less!” Ashe Schow of the Washington Examiner makes her case — and she’s guaranteed to be an infinitely more interesting speaker — but how does her appearance offer allow universities the opportunity to fund the Clinton family’s personal slush fund?

THIS WEEK’S NEWEST FINAL COUNTDOWN: “Robert Redford Sees ‘Last Chance’ to Fix Climate:”

Robert Redford told the United Nations on Monday that negotiations on a global deal to tackle climate change could be the world’s “last chance” to save the planet.

“This December, the world must unite behind a common goal,” said the American actor and producer.

“Because look, this is it. This is our only planet, our only life source.

“This may be our last chance.”

It’s the final countdown! Or actually, the latest final countdown, which have been arriving on a regular basis from those warning of first global cooling and then global warming since the first “Earth Day” in 1970; just add it to all of these earlier “last chances” to save the earth.

Once he made his pronouncement, Redford may have retreated back to here:

As the InstaProfessor 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. (Oh, and I don’t want to hear another goddamn word about Glenn’s carbon footprint either.)

Though it’s interesting that Redford is playing weatherman after supporting Bill Ayers’ old Weathermen via his disastrously timed The Company You Keep movie, which inadvertently debuted in April of 2013, the same month as another real life terrorist bombed the Boston Marathon. Appearing at the start of that month on Good Morning America with Hillary Clinton flack George Stephanopoulos, who asked Redford if he was still sympathetic to the Weathermen, “Even when you read about bombings,” (i.e. the bombing of the Pentagon among others) the actor-director chillingly responded, “All of it. I knew that it was extreme and I guess movements have to be extreme to some degree.”

And finally, speaking of extreme, what’s up with Redford’s hair in the photo of him at the UN, which is beginning to take on unsustainable Trumpian proportions?

CURB YOUR (SEXUAL) ENTHUSIASM: Love is dead. Feminists killed it, Stacy McCain writes:

Do young people no longer have desires, instincts, urges? Have words like “passion” and “seduction” and “romance” lost all meaning? Does anyone expect hormone-addled teenagers parking in the moonlight on Lovers Lane to conduct their adolescent trysts like diplomats negotiating a trade agreement? Is there no longer any expectation or hope for spontaneous magic in human sexual behavior? What kind of dingbats are giving kids this wretched advice about sex?

Read the whole thing.

RELATED: At Reason TV, Professor Laura Kipnis Explores How Campus Feminism Infantilizes Women.



Like others across the country last week, a Washington, D.C., couple and their housewarming guests buzzed about the Supreme Court’s ruling that legalized gay marriage in all 50 states. But they were far more interested in Chief Justice John Roberts’ dissent than the majority opinion that made same-sex marriage the law of the land.

The couple – a husband and his wife – are polyamorous, and had just moved in with their girlfriend. And in Roberts’ dissent, they saw a path that could make three-way relationships like theirs legal, too.

“Did you see we were mentioned by Roberts?” the husband beamed as he welcomed guests the day after the ruling. The chief justice wrote that polygamy has deeper roots in history and that the decision allowing gays to marry ”would apply with equal force to the claim of a fundamental right to plural marriage.”

“If the majority is willing to take the big leap,” he added, “it is hard to see how it can say no to the shorter one.”


“But why stop there when the concept of liberty goes a lot further?”, Richard Epstein writes in “Hard Questions on Gay Marriage,” at the Hoover Institute’s Defining Ideas Website. “In particular, Kennedy never explains why his notions of dignity and autonomy do not require the Supreme Court to revisit its 1878 decision in Reynolds upholding criminal punishment for polygamy, which is still on the books. Nor does he ask whether the dignity of workers could, and should, be used as a reason to strike down the full range of labor regulations on both wages and hours that make it flatly illegal for two individuals to enter into a simple employment contract on mutually agreeable terms.”

TURKEY PLANS AN INVASION OF SYRIA–not to fight ISIS, but to fight the Kurds.


I’M GLAD THAT SOMEBODY NOTICED: “Blogger Glenn Reynolds noted that when the South was solidly Democratic, we got ‘Gone With the Wind’ nostalgia. Now that it is profoundly less racist, but also less useful to Democrats, it’s the enemy of all that is decent and good.”

WHO NEEDS SHAKESPEARE? A high-school English teacher caught flak for bragging in the Washington Post that she refuses to teach Shakespeare and believes he doesn’t belong in the curriculum. But Mark Bauerlein says her critics are wrong to focus on her. She’s merely following the principles she learned in teacher training programs:

  • Students need “representation”—black students need to see black authors and black characters (humanely portrayed), and it’s best if they are presented by a black teacher.
  • The past is irrelevant or worse—history evolves and mankind improves (if steered in the right social-justice directions); to emphasize the past is to preserve all the injustices and misconceptions of former times.
  • Contemporary literature is better—it’s more diverse and more real.
  • Classics are authoritarian—they deny teachers and students the freedom to chart their own curriculum and take ownership of their learning.

“Shakespeare can’t survive hack teachers, and he can’t survive progressive principles, either,” Bauerlein writes.

Shakespeare endures in the classroom on aesthetic and cultural grounds that progressivism refuses.  It casts aesthetic excellence as a political tool, the imposition of one group’s tastes upon everyone else.  And it marks the culture at whose pinnacle Shakespeare stands (the English literary-historical canon) as an outdated authority.

To say that Shakespeare is central to our cultural inheritance—beloved by audiences in the 19th-century American west, quoted by presidents, source of countless American idioms—is to dispel the multiculturalist breakthrough of the mid-20th century.  If progressivism reigns in secondary and higher education, Shakespeare, Pope, and Wordsworth are doomed.

Yeah, but we’ll still have The Joy Luck Club and The House on Mango Street


THE IRS SCANDAL, DAY 782: “IRS Won’t Release Lois Lerner Emails — Because They Might Be Duplicates.”