LIFE IN THE 21ST CENTURY: This Is What California’s Autonomous Vehicle Driving Permit Looks Like.
September 21, 2014
CHANGE: Medieval Weapon Finds Modern Appeal. “Longpoint, held in July, is one of several annual tournaments around the world, manifestations of renewed interest in what enthusiasts call historical European martial arts, or HEMA. It includes events like grappling — similar to Greco-Roman wrestling — and several types of swordfighting. But the focus is on the most iconic medieval weapon, forged from cold, lustrous steel: the longsword.”
You know, under Tennessee’s new, liberalized knife law I think it might be legal to wear a sword in public now.
TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 500. Hard drives keep crashing, but revelations keep coming, and John Koskinen keeps looking like a putz.
MEGAN MCARDLE: How Many Rape Reports Are False?
The number of false accusations is what statisticians call a “dark number” — that is, there is a true number, but it is unknown, and perhaps unknowable. For a deep dive into the reasons it’s so hard to know, I commend you to Cathy Young’s new piece at Slate, in which she details all the problems that confound investigations into false rape accusations.
Here’s what we do know: The 2 percent number is very bad and should never be cited. It apparently traces its lineage back to Susan Brownmiller’s legendary “Against Our Will,” and her citation for this figure is a single speech by an appellate judge before a small group of lawyers. His source for this statistic was a single area of New York that started having policewomen conduct all rape interviews. This is not data. It is an anecdote about an anecdote.
The 41 percent number beloved of men’s-rights activists is better; it involves a peer-reviewed study by Eugene Kanin of a police department in some unknown small city. False reports could only be declared if the victim herself withdrew the charge. However. We’re talking about one city, in which 109 rapes were examined over a period of nine years. As feminists point out, victims might have withdrawn the charges simply because they found it too traumatic to engage with the police department, not because the accusation was false. And the study itself is now pretty elderly. A lot has changed in 20 years, including, possibly, the number of false rape accusations in this city and the rest of the nation. This number should be used only with grave caution.
But so should any other numbers, such as the 8 percent figure that is commonly attributed to the FBI. When you dig into the research itself, you find it is often heavily inflected with the authors’ prior beliefs about what constitutes the “real problem”: unreported cases of rape or false reports? So Kanin is frequently chided for accepting the results of a police department investigation that included offering the victims a polygraph, because this is intimidating for true victims as well as women making false reports, and it could raise the incidence of false negatives. On the other hand, if the rate of false rape reports is quite high — much higher than that of other crimes — then this might be a reasonable precaution. It’s possible that by encouraging police departments not to polygraph rape victims, we have fixed a cruel system in which innocent victims are bullied into recanting. It’s also possible that we’ve increased the number of false accusations that proceed to investigation and conviction.
Shorter: You cannot treat “percentage of reports that were found to be false by investigators” as “percentage of reports that were actually false.” Some women may simply have recanted to disengage from the system. Some police officers may decide a case was false when it wasn’t. On the other hand, we also know that false accusations can make their way through the system pretty far — witness the Duke lacrosse players and Brian Banks.
What we know is that we don’t know.
Thing is, all the rape-talk isn’t about getting justice for victims. It’s about stirring up female voters for Hillary, while demonizing, marginalizing, and silencing men, and about justifying policies that generate employment and self-esteem for “social justice warriors.” Given that these are generally execrable people, any policy that enlarges their power or perks should be viewed with deep suspicion.
LET’S HOPE THE STRATEGY IS BETTER THAN THE ONE FOR ISIS: U.S. Aims to Curb Peril of Antibiotic Resistance.
WHY MEN NEVER REMEMBER ANYTHING: This is crap. I remember my first birthday. At any rate, what this story actually says is that men remember different things than women do.
HALFHEARTED, ON THE CHEAP, AND BY COMMITTEE: Our Strategy Against ISIS Seems To Be Bush’s Plan, But On The Cheap. Obama’s strategy isn’t to win. It’s to make it look like he’s doing something until after the November elections.
WELL, THIS IS THE 21ST CENTURY, YOU KNOW: SpaceX launches cargo ship with 3-D printer to International Space Station.
I THINK IT’S IMPORTANT THAT THEY DO: Will Tea Party, GOP establishment be ‘mending fences’ to win Senate in November? If Dems control the Senate, Obama will pack the Supreme Court, and you can bet Harry Reid will go nuclear on it.
SMART DIPLOMACY: State Department Unsure How Many Countries Are In The UN. But it’s worse than mere incompetence.
TEACH WOMEN NOT TO RAPE! (CONT’D): Female teacher sentenced for raping 17-year-old student. Would a male teacher have gotten off this light? “After pleading no contest, Antrich was sentenced to a 10-year suspended sentence and the rest of the charges were dismissed.”
RON RADOSH TO EZEKIEL EMANUEL ON THE UNDESIRABILITY OF LIVING PAST 75: No Thanks, Dr. ObamaCare, and I’m Not Taking Your Advice. But how long will it stay “advice?”
HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: S&P Lowers Thomas Jefferson Law School’s Junk Bond Rating to CC (3 Notches Lower Than Venezuela’s); Default Is Expected.
WITH THINGS FALLING APART ALL AROUND THE WORLD, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel Is Talking About the NFL.
UPDATE: From the comments: “And even there, he’s punching above his weight.”
September 20, 2014
THIS IS CUTE: LOOK: A&M cadet delivers key block to protect Reveille.
MOLLIE HEMINGWAY: Proof That Sarah Palin Derangement Syndrome Is Real.
We all say, think or tweet stupid stuff. It’s best to just acknowledge that we can all be idiots at times, say we’re sorry, and move on. It may be a good idea for Goldberg to explain precisely what he was thinking, but apology accepted. I’m just using the whole incident as a means to discuss the broader oddity of American progressives’ Palin Derangement Syndrome.
Now, I’m no reflexive Palin-defender. See, for example, my “No, Sarah Palin, Baptism Isn’t A Good Punchline For A Terrorist Joke.”
But more than anything I might say in favor of or against her policies, I’m struck by how she causes people with progressive tendencies to lose their ever-living minds. What is that about? And I’m interested in that not just because she gets everyone to Peak Freud in under 10 seconds, but because she’s just a great example of how progressives treat all women who share some of her characteristics.
And that’s whether we embrace life in all its messiness — fertile wombs, grizzly bear mothering, shooting wolves out of helicopters, you know the usual — or simply reject the victimization status so graciously conferred upon us by feminism or, horror of horrors, we trust in God.
I’m honestly wondering why, though. Why are we such a threat? Is it the power of our non-barren wombs? Is it the power that comes with not accepting progressive politics of constant victimization? Are women only really acceptable to liberal elites if we’re constantly trying to be just like men? Is it our understanding of guns? (A friend noted in response to Goldberg’s odd comment that of course that picture isn’t reminiscent of Sarah Palin since “Palin knows the third rule of gun safety.”) Is it the confidence we exude as faithful women? . . .
I don’t know Goldberg. And I like his writing a lot. But if this kind of derangement can get even to someone like him, it’s disconcerting.
Just understand, it didn’t happen by accident, but by design.
SKINTIGHT SPACESUITS ARE AN OLD IDEA, BUT THIS IS STILL COOL: MIT’s New BioSuit Shrinkwraps Astronauts to Hold Them Together.
SEXISM: It’s 2014: Why Are Men Still Paying for First Dates? “Who pays for dates … is one arena where women may be resisting gender changes more than men.”
AT AMAZON, deals on best-selling GPS and Navigation Units. You know, I like the built-in Nav on my car, but it cost a lot more than one of these units, and the dealer charges me to update the maps. These gadgets, on the other hand, are a lot cheaper and most come with free maps and traffic for life.
Plus, big savings at the Movie & TV Deals Of The Week.
WORRIED ABOUT BEING RAPED ON A COLLEGE CAMPUS? Try Reynolds Online University: “The One Where Nobody Gets Raped.”
BUSINESS GENIUS: So I didn’t realize that popular college party website The Chive has Chapters.
What this means is you could go to online school — avoiding rape or accusations thereof — and still enjoy a college party lifestyle. The best of both worlds, and quite possibly cheaper than regular college.
I wrote about unbundling Higher Ed in The New School, but here you can see it happening.
SO APPARENTLY, IT’S NOT JUST THE BORDER THAT NEEDS A BETTER FENCE: Police comb White House lawn after ‘unarmed’ fence jumper got inside front doors. “The incident prompted fresh questions about the storied agency and its ability to protect the president.”
You know, one of the Secret Service’s best tools has been a reputation for extreme competence, such that people who think about killing the President decide the chance of success is too low to bother. That reputation has taken quite a hit over the past few years.
I WOULDN’T BRING UP OBAMA IF I WERE YOU, IT’S POOR SALESMANSHIP: These days, Democrats aren’t talking much about Obama in congressional speeches.
IMPORTANT NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF SCIENCE: Is Drinking Wine Better Than Going To The Gym? According To Scientists, Yes!
But don’t go full Depardieu. You never go full Depardieu.
SO THIS PIECE BY JAMELLE BOUIE SAYS THAT blacks share the views of most Americans on corporal punishment, and that’s the white man’s fault. Take it from somebody with African family — the attitudes on corporal punishment over there are pretty stout, too.
Bouie’s real problem is that while 70% of Americans support corporal punishment, basically nobody among the politico-journalistic Clerisy does. So defending blacks on the ground that they’re just like other Americans risks someone throwing an oikophobia flag — ewww, just like other Americans? Yuk.
RAISING AWARENESS OF SEPSIS. “Dr. Patrick Conway, the chief medical officer for the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services, said that in a pilot study, 73 hospitals had been able to reduce deaths by sepsis by 10 to 40 percent. He expects the proven techniques to become national standards.”
TEACH WOMEN NOT TO RAPE! (CONT’D): Female teacher, 25, who ‘abused a teenage student after showing her sexually explicit movie’ takes a plea deal to avoid jail.
WELL, DON’T BLAME ME. I DIDN’T VOTE FOR HIM: Intruder Made It Through White House Doors, Secret Service Says.
MOST TRANSPARENT ADMINISTRATION IN HISTORY: AP: 8 ways the Obama administration is blocking information.
IN THE MAIL: From Jody Lynn Nye, Fortunes of the Imperium.
Plus, today only at Amazon: Save Big on Select HP Chromebooks with Free 4G for Life!
AS THE ADMINISTRATION FLOUNDERS ON IRAQ, let’s remember a time when Democrats were more forceful. Here’s a flashback to what the Democrats, including Harry Reid and Hillary Clinton, were saying on Iraq before the invasion:
ANGELO CODEVILLA: Washington’s Ruling Class Is Fooling Itself About The Islamic State. “Yet again, consensus within the ruling class is setting America on course to demonstrate impotence. Its preferences, prejudices, and proclivities guarantee that the Islamic State and those among us whom it inspires will be a growing problem as months and years pass. Harsh consequences will follow until a political vehicle for the expression of the American people’s common sense comes into being.”
I said something similar recently. “It’s like antibiotics and bacteria: Best to kill them all before they up their resistance.”
TEACH WOMEN NOT TO RAPE! (CONT’D): Teacher at troubled youths center charged with rape. “A female teacher at a residential center for troubled youths in Yonkers, N.Y., was arrested Wednesday after allegedly having sex with a 16-year-old male student, authorities said Thursday. The 34-year-old Leake & Watts teacher, Meaghan White, is charged with rape. She is accused of having sex with the boy at Willson’s Woods Park, a Westchester County park in Mount Vernon, N.Y., said Kieran O’Leary, a county police spokesman.”
ASHE SCHOW: If Republicans can roughly tie Democrats when it comes to women votes, the GOP will win, according to recent history. That’s because the Dems have a dreadful gender gap with men.
HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: The Hottest Seat on Campus: With growing competition for students, enrollment leaders face more scrutiny and less job security.
Making their problem worse: White House Plans to Roll Out Campaign Against Sexual Violence on Campuses.
And of course, their worst nightmare is emerging:
K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Girl aged 14 raped in school toilets after teachers’ plan to ‘use her as bait’ backfires.
September 19, 2014
TEACH WOMEN NOT TO RAPE! (CONT’D): Queens teacher accused of sex with students being treated for ‘psychiatric disorder,’ lawyer says. “Joy Morsi, 39, who allegedly had sex with two teenage boys who attended Grover Cleveland High School in Ridgewood, missed a court appearance because she was being tested for psychiatric disorder, her attorney said. She is due back in court Oct. 6.”
THE NRSC’S WORK PROPPING UP DODDERING NONRESIDENT PAT ROBERTS WORKING OUT AS EXPECTED: In Kansas, Incumbent Pat Roberts Down 5 Points Against “Independent” Candidate. “This all raises a bigger question as to Roberts’ viability. He’s just a horrible campaigner, and doesn’t seem comfortable in his home state. I hope Roberts wins, but someone has to shake him out of his stupor.”
Meanwhile, Roberts primary challenger Milt Wolf comments: “Remember when the GOP establishment said that they, and only they, can win in November? Good times, good times.”
TEACH WOMEN NOT TO HIT WOMEN: Report: Keyshia Cole Arrested After Attacking Woman at Birdman’s Condo.
I’M STILL UNCLEAR ON WHAT OUR MILITARY IS SUPPOSED TO ACCOMPLISH, AND HOW THEY ARE TO KEEP SAFE: Lockdown Begins in Sierra Leone to Battle Ebola. “The most ambitious and aggressive government campaign against the Ebola epidemic gripping parts of West Africa began on Friday when Sierra Leone ordered everyone in the country to remain indoors for three days, suspending commerce, emptying the streets and halting this beleaguered nation in its tracks in an attempt stop the disease from spreading.”
OBAMACARE ARCHITECT EZEKIEL EMANUEL: Die Young, Please. “Doubtless, death is a loss. It deprives us of experiences and milestones, of time spent with our spouse and children. In short, it deprives us of all the things we value. But here is a simple truth that many of us seem to resist: living too long is also a loss. It renders many of us, if not disabled, then faltering and declining, a state that may not be worse than death but is nonetheless deprived. It robs us of our creativity and ability to contribute to work, society, the world. It transforms how people experience us, relate to us, and, most important, remember us. We are no longer remembered as vibrant and engaged but as feeble, ineffectual, even pathetic.”
I dunno, I think of some people that Ezekiel knows as feeble, ineffectual, and even pathetic even though they’re nowhere near 75. . . .
THAT MAKES SENSE: Human sense of fairness evolved to favor long-term cooperation.
As I’ve noted, people’s hardwired economic instincts date back to the near-zero-sum existence of the Paleolithic, and track poorly with modern economies, something that many political movements take advantage of. And let me recommend Robert Frank’s excellent Passions Within Reason: The Strategic Role Of The Emotions.
WELL, THAT’S DISCOURAGING: Despite Apple’s Privacy Pledge, Cops Can Still Pull Data Off a Locked iPhone. “Jonathan Zdziarski offered a word of caution for the millions of users clamoring to pre-order the iPhone 6 and upgrade to iOS 8. In many cases, he points out, the cops can still grab and offload sensitive data from your locked iPhone without Apple’s help, even in iOS 8. All they need, he says, is your powered-on phone and access to a computer you’ve previously used to move data onto and off of it.”
NOMOPHOBIA: The fear of being disconnected from your smartphone. “A full 66 percent of all adults suffer from ‘nomophobia.’”
Two-thirds is by definition normal. Maybe God made us to want to be jacked into the matrix all the time.
OKAY, HE’S JUST TROLLING US NOW: Biden to women’s conference: I miss Republicans like Bob Packwood. “Nothing says ‘outreach to women’ more than getting nostalgic for a man bounced out of office for sexual harassment. Right?”
SOME PROMINENT LIBERALS ARE unhappy with the dumb campus sexual assault bill. Well, they should be. And some prominent Republicans — like Sens. Heller, Rubio, Grassley, & Ayotte — should be ashamed for backing this un-American legislation.
MORALE: The U.S. Navy Is Fading Away. “The U.S. Navy recently ran an opinion survey which confirmed that morale was low and getting worse, with a growing number of experienced sailors eager to get out of the navy. The most common gripe was the length of time spent at sea and the belief that those long voyages to distant waters were going to get longer. There was also growing disillusionment with navy leadership. Sailors saw senior officers more concerned with political correctness and ‘zero tolerance’ than with legitimate complaints of sailors and junior officers.”
When the “social justice warriors” take over the military, the real warriors are inclined to depart. Which may well be the plan.
JIMMY WALES, CALL YOUR OFFICE: Why Is Wikipedia Deleting All References To Neil Tyson’s Fabrication?
TEACH WOMEN NOT TO HAZE! Lawyer: UNM women’s soccer players forced to strip, drink alcohol, sprayed with urine. “Members of the UNM women’s soccer team are alleging they were hazed by teammates Sunday night. A victim’s parent confirmed to KOB Monday night that freshmen on the women’s soccer team were forced to strip naked, consume large amounts of alcohol and were sprayed with urine. One of the victims ended up in the hospital, according to UNM police, who also said someone called 911 just before midnight Sunday night to report the incident.”
IN THE MAIL: From Alex Epstein, The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels.
Plus, today only at Amazon: Irwin Vise-Grip GrooveLock 8-Piece Plier Set, $58.99 (63% off).
And, also today only: Jurassic Park Trilogy on Blu-Ray: $29.99 (65% off).
BIG NEWS FROM LAST NIGHT: Wisconsin Dem. Gubernatorial Candidate Mary Burke Blames Consultant For Campaign Plagiarism.
Was it Fareed Zakaria?
SO, BASICALLY, MSNBC MIGHT AS WELL HAVE JUST BROADCAST DIRTY LIMERICKS FOR SIX MONTHS: The Hill: Report: Bridge scandal probe finds no tie to Christie.
Federal officials on Thursday said they have not found information linking New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) to traffic lane closures on the George Washington Bridge, a move that could help Christie repair his political image if he decides to launch a 2016 White House bid.
While the Justice Department investigation into the 2013 lane closures that caused major traffic is ongoing, federal officials told NBC 4 New York they have so far uncovered no evidence Christie had knowledge of or directed the road closures.
“My experience with federal law enforcement is that once you reach critical mass if you don’t have it within nine months or so you’re not likely to ever get it,” former federal prosecutor Robert W. Ray, who is unaffiliated from the Christie investigation, told NBC 4.
Christie has repeatedly denied claims he knew about or was involved in the closures, which caused problems for drivers and Fort Lee, N.J., Mayor Mark Sokolich, a Democrat who didn’t endorse Christie’s reelection.
GREGG EASTERBROOK: What Happens When We All Live To 100?
Viewed globally, the lengthening of life spans seems independent of any single, specific event. It didn’t accelerate much as antibiotics and vaccines became common. Nor did it retreat much during wars or disease outbreaks. A graph of global life expectancy over time looks like an escalator rising smoothly. The trend holds, in most years, in individual nations rich and poor; the whole world is riding the escalator.
Projections of ever-longer life spans assume no incredible medical discoveries—rather, that the escalator ride simply continues. If anti-aging drugs or genetic therapies are found, the climb could accelerate. Centenarians may become the norm, rather than rarities who generate a headline in the local newspaper. . . .
If medical interventions to slow aging result in added years of reasonable fitness, life might extend in a sanguine manner, with most men and women living longer in good vigor, and also working longer, keeping pension and health-care subsidies under control. Indeed, the most-exciting work being done in longevity science concerns making the later years vibrant, as opposed to simply adding time at the end.
I wrote about this in Forbes back in 2009.
I DUNNO, WON’T THIS JUST ENCOURAGE THE SCOTS TO TRY AGAIN? Astronomers To Revisit Question Of Whether Pluto Is A Planet.
HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Colleges Give Students Academic Credit for Pushing Socialist Causes on Campus.
INSTAVISION ON YOUTUBE: War on Men? Sexual Assault Hysteria Could Mean Fewer Male Students. I talk with the Washington Examiner’s Ashe Schow about campus sexual assault hysteria.
Plus, InstaVision acquires a new sponsor:
IT’S COME TO THIS: Exclusive: Angry with Washington, 1 in 4 Americans open to secession.
I suggest that federalism is the answer.
TEACH WOMEN NOT TO RAPE! (CONT’D): Teacher Nicole Dufault charged with sex with 3 teen students at Columbia High School.
WAR ON WOMEN: Democratic Men Declare War On Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
Democratic National Committee Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., is coming under fire from her party — and male Democrats are hanging her out to dry.
Wasserman Schultz has become a liability to the DNC due to a string of gaffes, including one recently in Wisconsin that caused Democrats such a headache that she may no longer be welcome to campaign for the gubernatorial race in the state.
Wasserman Schultz has also drawn ire for focusing on her political ambitions ahead of DNC goals, Politico reported, and for attempting to get the DNC to buy her clothing for multiple events.
President Obama hasn’t liked Wasserman Schultz since 2011, when she complained to him that she couldn’t hire a donor’s daughter to the DNC. “Obama summed up his reaction to staff afterward: ‘Really?’” the article recounted.
Though Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., had a monthly lunch with Obama while he was DNC chair, Wasserman Schultz does not. She’s also not involved in strategy talks with Obama or the administration.
Obama is apparently also growing tired of Wasserman Schultz’s constant requests for photos with him.
After being asked Thursday if Obama had “complete confidence” in Wasserman Schultz, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said only that the president has “strong confidence” in her abilities.
After the 2012 election, several men in Obama’s inner circle wanted to replace Wasserman Schultz with a man — R.T. Rybak, a DNC vice chair and former mayor of Minneapolis.
Then-DNC executive director Patrick Gaspard, Obama’s re-election campaign manager Jim Messina, and political strategist David Plouffe all “intensely” debated the idea of replacing Wasserman Schultz.
And it appears the only reason they didn’t replace her was, according to the article, “the optics of Obama dropping a woman from the party leadership,” especially after they spent 2012 blaming Republicans of waging a “war on women.”
Well, that didn’t last.
EXPOSED: The Secret Mailing List of the Gaming Journalism Elite. It’s basically Journolist for people who didn’t go to Harvard. “The sight of journalists not only engaging in activism on behalf of their reporting subjects but also discouraging other reporters and editors from covering stories of interest to their readers will be disturbing to many in the industry, who have long suspected a persistent bias and unusual levels of co-operation and co-ordination from senior journalists.”