July 30, 2014

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Plus, up to 50% off on Pet Supplies.

#WOMENAGAINSTFEMINISM reaches the Today Show, so I guess it’s officially a gender-relations phenomenon.

IT’S CLOWN CARS ALL THE WAY DOWN: IRS Agents As Bad With Guns As With Hard Drives. “According to a government audit, IRS Agents ‘Accidentally’ Discharged Guns 11 Times between 2009 and 2011. Some of those weapons discharges resulted in property damage or personal injury, claimed the report. In fact, agents accidentally fired their guns more times than they did intentionally, said the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.”

ROGER KIMBALL: Thoughts on ‘Political Suicide’ and other tales from ‘Cloud-Cuckoo-Land.’

THE COUNTRY’S IN THE VERY BEST OF HANDS: Federal review stalled after finding forensic errors by FBI lab unit spanned two decades. Hell, I was writing about this kind of stuff in the first week or two of InstaPundit.

BEFORE I CLICKED ON THE LINK, I ALREADY HAD A PRETTY GOOD IDEA OF WHO IT WAS: Law Prof Sez: State Judges Have Contempt For Smart Guys Like Me.

“INTERNET OF THINGS” LOOKING MORE LIKE AN INTERNET OF TARGETS: Connected devices have huge security holes: study.

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Also, deals on bestselling Men’s Sunglasses.

I LOVE BENTON’S BACON from Madisonville, Tennessee. Here’s a short film about them.

MICKEY KAUS: Tell Boehner: “No New Laws.” “Senate Democrats are now explicitly saying they will try to use Boehner’s border bill as a vehicle for broad, ‘Gang of 8′ style amnesty, and immigration activists are urging them on. All the more reason to call ((202) 224-3121). A House vote on Boehner’s bill is expected Thursday.” Wow. The last time Mickey got this involved, Eric Cantor lost his job.

FROM THE COMMENTS TO MY EARLIER GOPRO POST, The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader GoPro Hula Hoop Video. “This is pretty much the pinnacle of human achievement, right here. Think how much technology went into my being able to watch that from my couch. Wow. And for such a good cause, too.”

A NEW PUSH FOR missile-proof planes. You know what makes a plane missile-proof? Nasty and near-certain consequences for anyone who shoots it down.

WAS QUARANTINE THE RIGHT MOVE? China’s dramatic response to a single case of plague is very telling.

POLITICO: Pat Roberts’ foe Milton Wolf begins to close the gap in Kansas. So I guess it’s time for the NRSC to unload a bogus attack that will render him less electable if he wins the nomination. Because, apparently, that’s how they roll there.

UPDATE: Don Surber: “Wolf has an unfair advantage. He actually lives in Kansas.”

SPYING: Analysis: Bill banning phone metadata collection gives NSA access to it.

THIS WILL END WELL: In New Sexual-Assault Bill, Harsher Penalties for Colleges. “Under the terms of the proposed legislation, whose exact language has not been made public, colleges that don’t comply with its rules could face fines of up to 1 percent of their operating budgets. For larger institutions, such a penalty could amount to several million dollars. The bill would also increase the maximum penalty for a violation of the Clery Act to $150,000 from $35,000.”

I don’t know why Marco Rubio is in on this. Two possibilities: (1) Once again, a senior Democrat has roped him into a “bipartisan” deal that he thinks will look good; or (2) He’s trying to accelerate the demise of the existing higher education apparatus. This is certainly setting a precedent for federal strong-arming of colleges and universities, which Republicans may find useful in the future. All is proceeding as Kurt Schlichter has foreseen.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: How to Build Your Own Home-Brewing Mash Tun.

STRONG PEOPLE ARE GENERALLY MORE USEFUL, AND HARDER TO KILL: Strong men keep a-comin’ on.

No, this is not a Rippetoe reference, but rather a post about Charles Cobb’s This Nonviolent Stuff’ll Get You Killed. But the point holds, for all kinds of strength.

Plus: “He was raised to believe that you were supposed to work hard, treat everyone right, respect everybody but take no mess off nobody, regardless of color.” Sounds about right.

NEWS FROM THE INTERNAL DEMOCRATS’ REVENUE SERVICE: ‘Nonpartisan’! Lois Lerner email bemoans right-wing ‘crazies,’ ‘assholes.’

As bad as the emails that have been released are, the ones they’re hiding must be just dreadful.

MICHAEL TOTTEN: Welcome To Vietnam.

TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 447.

THE GODS OF THE COPYBOOK HEADINGS SPEAK: Self-Control Makes for Savvy Saving.

A few weeks back, when I wrote about the joys of the 15-year mortgage, I got the same reaction from a lot of people: “Why would you repay a loan when at these low rates, it’s practically free money?”

I hear this about a lot of things. “Why would you buy a car for cash/save up to remodel the kitchen/have an emergency fund instead of a home-equity line of credit? Mathematically, that’s insane!”

I don’t think it’s quite as arithmetically unreasonable as my interlocutors suggest. Once you add risk into the equation, the calculations don’t come out quite so neatly. By refinancing to a 15-year mortgage with a lower rate, we locked in 125 basis points a year, completely risk-free. And when the mortgage is completely paid off, we’ll get another 3.25 percent, 100 percent guaranteed and risk-free. There are no risk-free investments that deliver that kind of return. You can make more money by adding risk — but you can lose more that way, too.

Moreover, math is not the only consideration. As I’ve noted before, personal finance is not primarily about math; the arithmetic part is so easy that even journalists can do it. The hard part is discipline.

I agree.

TRAIN WRECK UPDATE: Medicare Actuary Throws Cold Water on ACA Cheerleaders. “The cuts to Medicare’s reimbursement rates imposed by the ACA may have bought the program a little more time. But without a revolution in service delivery, those cuts won’t be sustainable.”

AT AMAZON, New Deals on Men’s Clothes.

Also, New Fashions for Women.

“LIKE ENDLESS JURY DUTY:” Virginia Postrel: Why Being A Part-Time Worker Is Miserable. “Scheduling software now lets employers constantly optimize who’s working, better balancing labor costs and likely demand. The process demands enormous flexibility from part-time workers, sometimes requiring them to be on call all the time without knowing when they’ll work or how much they’ll earn. That puts the kibosh on the age-old strategy of working two or more part-time jobs to make ends meet.”

GREAT NEWS! US economy grows by 4% beating expectations.

Er, except for this: “From January to March, the US economy shrank a revised 2.1% on an annualised basis as a result of harsh winter weather. However even with the rebound, the winter is likely to mean overall growth this year will be only 1.6% – less than in 2013.” How did the economy do in 1993, the year of the Great Blizzard?

BECAUSE THE CULTURAL ROT HADN’T GOTTEN BAD ENOUGH: McDonald’s Unveils . . . Tofu McNuggets.

CRONY CAPITALISM UPDATE: Emails Show Cozy Government-Insurer Alliance, Expectation of Bailout.

A BAR EXAM TECHNOLOGY DISASTER. “The biggest bar exam debacle in history.” Plus: “Failing the bar in this economy is a 6-month sentence of unemployment. Somewhere, a plaintiff’s lawyer is putting together a class-action suit for those who used ExamSoft and failed.”

WHAT COULD YOU POSSIBLY SAY ABOUT THE GREENTECH SCAM THAT WOULD BE WORSE THAN THE TRUTH? Judge dismisses GreenTech suit in win for First Amendment.

UM: Air Passengers Quarantined With Signs Of Ebola Didn’t Have It. The authorities seem extra-worried, don’t they? I think that’s good.

“SMART DIPLOMACY” AGAIN, I GUESS: Hillary Clinton: Hamas Operates in Civilian Areas Because Gaza is a Small Place or Something. They had to put their HQ in a hospital! There was nowhere else!

HE CHOSE . . . POORLY: Rubio Siding With Claire McCaskill on Campus Sexual Assault Bill.

RON FOURNIER: White House: When Impeachment Becomes A Fundraising Drive.

ED DRISCOLL: Yes, Next Question.

HEY, I’VE GOT AN IDEA: Let’s spend our highway money on . . . highways.

JOEL KOTKIN: Don’t Be So Dense About Housing.

FLASHBACK, 2012: Hillary Clinton criticizes Romney’s remarks on Russia.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hit back Sunday against Mitt Romney’s comments this week that Russia is America’s main “geopolitical foe.”

Labeling Romney’s words as “dated,” Clinton said in an interview with CNN there were more pressing matters of concern in global affairs.

“I think it’s somewhat dated to be looking backwards instead of being realistic about where we agree, where we don’t agree,” Clinton told CNN Foreign Affairs Correspondent Jill Dougherty.

On Monday, Romney set off a firestorm of criticism when he described Russia as the country’s primary enemy.

“In terms of a geopolitical foe, a nation that’s on the Security Council, and as of course a massive nuclear power, Russia is the geopolitical foe,” Romney said on CNN’s “The Situation Room.”

Romney’s rivals, Republicans and Democrats alike, immediately jumped on his remarks and used them as an opportunity to paint the candidate as out of touch on foreign policy issues.

Well, someone was out of touch.

THE DEEP STATE: Secretive Leftwing Network Discovered through Wisconsin Records Law.

A low-profile Google Group used by over 1,000 state and national leftwing leaders and activists has been discovered thanks to Wisconsin’s open records law. A Media Trackers inquiry into the actions of a University of Wisconsin professor turned up records and communications from “Gamechanger Salon,” an online community that provides a forum for leftwing activists and leaders to share tactics, strategies and opinions.

Operating as a closed Google Group, much of what the network does is unavailable for public review. However, a document listing the network’s membership and a policy manual describing the mission and ground rules for the entity were accessible when Media Trackers discovered a non-password protected link in the emails obtained through an open records request of a University of Wisconsin professor. . . .

The group has the self-described goal of creating a “more coordinated” movement for liberals across the country. Among those included on the membership list are:

Damon Silver, Policy Director for the AFL-CIO
Benjamin Joffe-Walk, Chief of Staff at Change.org
Medea Benjamin, co-founder of CODEPINK
Elizabeth Rose, Director of Communications at the Economic Policy Institute
Philip Radford, Executive Director of Greenpeace until earlier this year
Ilyse Hogue, President of NARAL
Raven Brooks, Executive Director of Netroots Nation
Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee
Deirdre Schifeling, National Director Organizing & Electoral Campaigns for Planned Parenthood

The group’s policy manual directs members to abstain from forwarding emails to recipients outside the group. It does warn, however, that with 1,000-plus members, anyone emailing the group should not say anything “you wouldn’t want to be subpoenaed by a Grand Jury or broadcast on Fox News.” . . . In addition to the prominent leaders and activists listed above, Gamechanger Salon also includes members of the leftwing “media” such as: Amanda Terkel, Senior Political Reporter and Politics Managing Editor at The Huffington Post, Ryan Grim, Washington bureau chief for The Huffington Post and MSNBC contributor, Josh Dorner, Communications Director at ThinkProgress, and Angelo Carusone, Executive Vice President at Media Matters.

So, it’s like Brother Of Journolist.

WAPO: Hillary Clinton still hasn’t found a good answer to questions about her wealth. And Chris Cilizza is eager to offer advice, and point out that she’s not that awful Mitt Romney. Which is true. He earned his money by building businesses; she earned hers by selling access. In WaPo-land, the latter is morally superior.

July 29, 2014

THAT’S A NICE TURNAROUND: Man With Face Transplant Poses For GQ.

PRIORITIES: Will The U.S. Chamber Of Commerce Keep The Senate In Harry Reid’s Control?

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Also, deals on bestselling Carpet Bots. That’s a category now? Well, it is the 21st Century.

POLITICAL ONANISM: Sandra Fluke’s biggest donor is … Sandra Fluke. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

SO, BASICALLY, ALL THE STUFF OBAMA’S OPPONENTS PREDICTED IS HAPPENING NOW: DIA Chief: Al Qaeda Ideology Rapidly Expanding. “That theology has spread at an alarming rate due in large measure to the fact that al Qaeda is winning the propaganda war, and the U.S. is seen as weak and compliant.”

Obama is the “weak horse.”

UPDATE: From the comments: “Too big for his britches, too small for his job.”

UNHAPPY WITH THE POLITICAL SYSTEM? WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE? Read Kurt Schlichter’s new book for ideas and inspiration.

UH OH. The DEEP SEVENs are extending their explorations of the surface. Two new mysterious giant holes found in Siberia, scientists puzzled.

RECENTLY LOOKED THROUGH MY ARCHIVES FOR “HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT.” Kind of interesting juxtapositions.

GEE, DO YOU THINK? CNN: Is foreign policy a liability for Hillary Clinton?

SO LOOKING IN THE ARCHIVES FOR STUFF ABOUT ROBERT FOGEL, I found this still-interesting interview by Arnold Kling.

JIM TREACHER: “They’re not even pretending anymore.”

SO LOOK AT THIS STORY ON WOMEN IN TECH. Now imagine a story on men being underrepresented in, say, university race-and-gender offices or corporate HR offices. I can easily imagine someone defending it by saying that women are more comfortable with feelings, while men’s thinking is “too linear.” Can’t you?

YOUR FEDERAL TAX DOLLARS AT WORK: A class for government workers on how to sound less Southern. Cancelled due to complaints of prejudice. “We’ve offered accent reduction training to foreign nationals for years. . . but this one obviously surprised some folks.”

CLAIM THAT LOWER-INTENSITY EXERCISE IS BETTER FOR FAT-BURNING probably not true.

PHOTO: Here’s What “Thigh Gaps” Looked Like In 1945. Back then, after a depression and a world war, people wanted to look well-fed. Now, when everyone is obese, people want to look super-fit. Whatever’s hardest. . .

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ANN ALTHOUSE ON JOSH MARSHALL ON OBAMA AND ISRAEL: “Marshall won’t say it directly, but this feels like desperation about the 2014 elections.”

Plus, from the comments: “The other day we read that with the defeat of Eric Cantor, American Jews don’t have a Republican they can go to. Today we are told the Republicans are working for the Israelis. Anyway, it’s all absurd. After all, the Israelis have no better friend than John Kerry; what do they need Republicans for?”

And: From “Smart Diplomacy” to “Smarm Diplomacy.”

THE TRUTH IS, IT’S NOT THE TRUTH: The Truth Behind that 1-in-5 College Women are Raped Statistic. “The problem is, the statistic is flimsy and unsubstantiated at best – and maliciously manipulated as a means to an end at worst.”

YOU KNOW, I’M BEGINNING TO GET A BIT CONCERNED: Ebola Fears Hit Close To Home. Usually, Ebola outbreaks burn out because it’s so fatal that it kills off its victims before they have time to do much spreading. I wonder if this is a new, longer-incubating strain or something. I couldn’t find any such reports, but this does seem to be an unusually widespread outbreak.

PSYCHEDELIA WITH DUCT TAPE: What it looks like when you tape a GoPro to a wheel.

SINGULARITY UPDATE: Could A Computer Persuade You To Serve It? I’ll be back in a minute . . . got to go plug my phone into the charger before it dies.

The bit about how it’s easier to pass a Turing test if the listener thinks you’re a non-native speaker of English explains the Terminator’s Austrian accent, I guess.

I’M SURE OBAMA AND HAGEL ARE ALL OVER THIS: A New Arms Race In Space. “In the age of communications and information technology, the safety of satellites is crucial. As an arms race in space begins to look a little more likely, it is important to remember that the cost of establishing missile defense for satellites would be yet another burden for the already overstretched U.S. defense budget. Anyone hoping that the U.S. will enjoy a ‘peace dividend’ after the end of the war in Afghanistan may be sorely disappointed.” It seems as if people who hoped for peace dividends over the last century either didn’t get them, or later wish they hadn’t.

ARE THE DEMS PUSHING AN IMPEACHMENT NARRATIVE NOW, so that when Obama does something really awful they can say it’s just politics, the Republicans were talking impeachment all along?

President Obama has long treated Congress with contempt, and has on many occasions taken executive actions that have bent or broken the limits of the executive’s discretion in our system. Perhaps above all, he has enforced Obamacare selectively — ignoring some clear requirements of law and conjuring up others that do not exist. These have been serious violations of his obligation to see that the laws are faithfully executed, and have caused serious problems for our system of government. They will leave the next president with a lot of damage to undo. But what the administration appears to be contemplating here is of a different scale and character. It is not selective enforcement of a new statute but rather just an action outside the law, in an arena in which the president himself has said unilateral action is beyond his authority and in which there is no case for extreme urgency.

White House officials clearly understand that such a move would invite a firestorm of opposition and criticism, and they appear to see that as an advantage. Maybe they’re right that such a step and its aftermath would work to their political benefit, and maybe they’re not. But surely it would all harm the country — dividing the public and debasing our system of government. It seems like just the sort of thing that a national leader would seek to avoid, rather than work to invite. Let’s hope the reports aren’t true.

They manifestly don’t care about the division and debasement, but rather see it as a feature — division and debasement of the political system make it easier to rule, if you don’t care much about the well-being of the country you’re ruling.

SORRY, I’M CHANNELING SEINFELD. CATFIGHT! The dispute between radical feminism and transgenderism. “First, the organizers hoped to refute charges that the desire to ban prostitution implies hostility toward prostitutes. Then they were going to try to explain why, at a time when transgender rights are ascendant, radical feminists insist on regarding transgender women as men, who should not be allowed to use women’s facilities, such as public rest rooms, or to participate in events organized exclusively for women. . . . Anyone born a man retains male privilege in society; even if he chooses to live as a woman—and accept a correspondingly subordinate social position—the fact that he has a choice means that he can never understand what being a woman is really like. By extension, when trans women demand to be accepted as women they are simply exercising another form of male entitlement.”

Is that superficial reaction mean of me? No, actually, under the circumstances, I think it’s fairly kind. . . .

TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 446.

USA TODAY: Teacher Tenure Refugees Flee Public Schools. “When public school administrators and teachers in Washington, D.C., recently laced up their sensible shoes and launched an unprecedented canvassing campaign to goose slumped enrollment rates, the panicked affectation was unmistakable. Short of horse-drawn carriage makers, few industries have suffered such a pronounced decline in market share than government-run schools in America’s urban centers.”

Yeah, it’s like there’s some kind of implosion going on or something.

MICKEY KAUS IS TELLING PEOPLE TO melt Boehner’s phones. Hey, the last time he did that kind of thing, Eric Cantor wound up out of a job.

KEVIN WILLIAMSON: Downscale: Big Government Is Hard On The Little Guy. “Progressives argue that we need deeper government involvement in the economy in order to assuage the ill effects of economic inequality. But, as Joel Kotkin points out, inequality is the most pronounced in places where progressives dominate: New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago. The more egalitarian cities are embedded in considerably more conservative metropolitan areas in conservative states.”

MEGAN MCARDLE: Paul Ryan’s Anti-Poverty Program Sure Can’t Hurt.

We do, in fact, spend a lot of our entitlement money on the chronically poor — much more than you would think from hearing these statistics. That’s why Ryan is right to make that sort of relatively intractable poverty the focus of his plan. . . .

But my point is also that chronically poor people are more likely to require extra government benefits because they don’t have any of the assets that the temporarily poor bring with them from the middle class: reliable cars, houses, savings accounts, credit cards, friends and family who have spare cash to help out. The chronically poor will need more help, for longer, than folks who are struggling through a temporary job loss or divorce. Which means that, at the very least, they take up a disproportionate share of resources. It seems entirely possible — perhaps even likely — that the chronically poor still account for the majority of spending in many programs.

Frankly, “can’t hurt” would all by itself make it better than most of the anti-poverty programs we’ve seen to date.

ALARMISM AT THE ATLANTIC: The U.S. Army plans to select a new standard-issue handgun. If history is a guide, similar pistols will soon start appearing at gun stores and crime scenes near you. Given the U.S. military’s history on pistol procurement, is this so awful? (Start gun-geek wars in comment thread now . . . ) But really, this lame piece reads like a bunch of pasted-together Brady Campaign releases.

UPDATE: From the comments: “Never trust that a neutrally presented source is actually neutral. Look the guy up. He’s not just from John Hopkins, but the director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research. Among other recognizable names, it’s funded by Mike Bloomberg through Bloomberg Philanthropies. Yeah, that guy.”

HANS VAN SPAKOVSKY AND JOHN FUND: The IRS Scandal And The Politicization Of Justice.

INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY: Democrats Admit Amnesty Is For Political Purposes.

THE WASHINGTON POST, SOMEWHAT HOPEFULLY: Has President Obama bottomed out yet?

Perhaps he should just import some new voters who will think of him more favorably: Obama Mulls Massive Move on Immigration. After all, while the median American household’s net worth has fallen 36%, these people will be experiencing a drastic increase.

REPORT: Rick Perry to Blast Obama on Border — In New Hampshire Campaign.

ROLL CALL: In D.C., Response to Judge’s Handgun Ruling Is Mixed and Muddled.

For all practical purposes, a federal judge’s weekend ruling that overturned local laws prohibiting District of Columbia residents from carrying guns outside of their homes has opened the door for non-residents to tote handguns into the city and has made it potentially easier for members and staffers to transport firearms across the District to the Capitol.

D.C. police have been ordered not to arrest people for carrying pistols and deadly weapons in public. Washingtonians can still face criminal charges for carrying unregistered firearms and ammunition, but the millions of people who visit the nation’s capital are exempt from those provisions under an order from Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier. The chief’s guidance effectively put the District’s firearm regulations, at least for non-residents, on a par with the most permissive gun jurisdictions in the country. D.C. police got additional guidance from Lanier on Monday afternoon. She clarified that the ruling applies only to handguns, not long guns or shotguns that are still illegal, and that committing crimes with handguns remains illegal.

For non-residents, legal possession of a handgun in D.C. is based on the laws of their home jurisdiction, meaning D.C. police will be responsible for knowing and enforcing licensing and permitting restrictions from around the country. Lanier noted that additional information on gun laws in other states will be forthcoming and said that in the meantime, officers can call a 24-hour information line.

I think that Congress should pass a law making any state’s carry permit valid in the District of Columbia. As our nation’s capital, it should be welcoming to all Americans.

USA TODAY: Deficits drop but debt bomb ticks on.

The Tea Party is the reason deficits dropped after 2010. But we’re still adding debt — and even during the “surpluses” of the Clinton era, the debt continued to climb. Something that can’t go on forever, won’t.

SEEMS LEGIT: White House: Israel has ‘no stronger defender’ than John Kerry.

POLLING: Dems Down, Rick Perry Up.

SHE’S THE WRONG KIND OF BLACK WOMAN: Ashe Schow: Why Doesn’t The Left Care About Shaneen Allen?

Allen had been robbed twice in 2013, so she bought a handgun legally in Pennsylvania and obtained a concealed-carry permit. She didn’t realize the permit wasn’t valid in every state and was driving in New Jersey when she was pulled over for a minor traffic offense. She informed the officer she had a weapon and provided her permit, thinking she was within the law.

But she wasn’t. New Jersey’s stringent gun laws don’t recognize Pennsylvania’s concealed-carry permits.

National Review Online noted last week that the prosecutor in Allen’s case, Jim McClain, could have been lenient on Allen. . . . But McClain didn’t. He sought maximum punishment for Allen — three years for firearm possession and an additional year for the ammunition.

As I noted in my Second Amendment Penumbras piece, we need much stricter judicial scrutiny — and, probably, federal civil rights legislation — to put an end to these absurd state laws, which are designed to deter people from exercising their rights.

THEY ALSO SEEM TO BE MORE ATTRACTIVE: Anti-Feminist Women Baffle Feminists. “The women who send pictures to the Women Against Feminism Tumblr page may not know or care to study all the nuances of feminism through the ages. What they do experience is the culture that contemporary feminists are in actuality trying to create for all the members of their sex. Most women today support aspects of traditional feminism, but that support does not mean blanket support for all of contemporary feminism’s agenda. Feminists seem upset by this selective support, or simply deny altogether that it is possible. If one doesn’t affirm the notion of rape culture or the necessity of feminist biology, then according to feminists, neither does she appreciate laws against marital rape or universal suffrage.”

ANOTHER PRESS RELEASE VIA EMAIL FROM PROF. JOHN BANZHAF:

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner – MY RAPIST
Had Dinner Twice With Parents Just After, But Still Found Guilty
WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 28, 2014): In a bizarre twist on the famous movie “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” a complaint in federal court charges that a coed invited a male student to have dinner with her and her parents twice – and then, shortly afterwards, and only after learning that he had not been faithful to her, charged that an act of intercourse they admittedly engaged in just before the first dinner was really a rape.

If the facts in this complaint against Philadelphia University and his female accuser are correct, it seems hard to believe that, if she had been raped, she would have had anything to do with him thereafter, especially inviting him to have dinner with her parents not just once but twice immediately following the alleged rape, says public interest law professor John Banzhaf.

He notes that the two had been in a sexually active romantic relationship for some two years before the more recent act of intercourse which she branded as a “rape.”

But, says Banzhaf, who is studying the legal issues, this is only one of several truly bizarre situations in which colleges have found students guilty where the evidence seemingly doesn’t warrant it.

In an equally bizarre situation at the University of Michigan, a female student agreed to spend the night in the bottom bunk of a male student’s bunk bed. They kissed, and then had intercourse, while the male student’s roommate was trying to sleep in the top bunk.

Although their amorous activities were so noisy that the roommate in the top bunk texted the accused to complain that the two in the bottom bunk were “loud and inconsiderate,” he never heard the female cry out for help or otherwise complain. Yet, according to his law suit, the student was expelled.

At Swarthmore, a female student climbed into bed with a guy she had been having sex with for three months. She successfully rebuffed his first attempt at sex one night but, when he later made a second attempt, “I just kind of laid there and didn’t do anything – I had already said no [earlier in the evening]. I was just tired and wanted to go to bed. I let him finish.”

Getting into bed with a sexual partner of some three months, and then letting him both start and “finish” without saying “no” again, because she was just too tired and wanted to go to sleep, probably don’t sound much like rape to many, including fellow male and even female students, suggests Banzhaf.

Interestingly, a female student – whose complaint that Swarthmore violated Title IX by ignoring her report about rape triggered major changes in how the school handles date-rape cases – has now come out in strong support of a male student whose law suit is challenging those very procedures as unfair, says Banzhaf, noting that it is only one of many such law suits.

Banzhaf has been studying a new legal movement in which males found guilty of date rape are then successfully suing their colleges, sometimes under the same Title IX which triggered the problem.

Also, some are being urged to videotape their sexual encounters to help prove that the intercourse wasn’t against the woman’s will, and several accused have used videotapes successfully in the their defense, says Banzhaf, noting that in many states such surreptitious tapings may not be illegal.

Interestingly, even those who are sympathetic to the problem of campus date rape, and are in charge of the campus adjudication process, are now recognizing that it can be unfair if not illegal.

For example, the director of the Association of Title IX Administrators bluntly warned that some male students may have been improperly penalized.

“Some boards and panels still can’t tell the difference between drunk sex and a policy violation,” he wrote. “We are making Title IX plaintiffs out of these men.”

In the Swarthmore case, “John Doe” and “Jane Row” had two sexual encounters in 2011 which did not involve intercourse. Subsequently, the male and female had intercourse, which the woman agrees was consensual.

But, 19 months after the fact, she suddenly claimed that the two earlier episodes had been coerced. The school originally thoroughly investigated and then cleared the man in January 2013 without even filing disciplinary charges.

However, sometime thereafter, the student newspaper published articles charging that women who reported rape felt re-victimized by the college’s failure to take their complaints seriously, and Mia Ferguson’s highly publicized Title IX complaint against Swarthmore went public. Less than two weeks later, Swarthmore told the male, a law student, that they had reopened a complaint filed against him a year earlier.

Then, after an emotional hearing before a panel made up of faculty, staff, and students, he was expelled. His attorney charges that the inference is clear.

“To correct one wrong – its past unresponsiveness to female complaints – [Swarthmore] committed another wrong against John based on his gender . . . He was a male accused of sexual misconduct at the wrong time and in the wrong place.” Mia now apparently agrees.

Swarthmore has subsequently changed its adjudication procedures, and now has such cases heard before and decided by a retired judge; a tacit admission, suggests Banzhaf, that its former procedure – using possibly biased and also untrained faculty members and students – had serious problems.

Male students have already used legal action successfully at Brown (2X), Central College, Denison, Duke (2X) , George Washington, Holy Cross, Occidental, Saint Joseph, University of the South, and Xavier.

Meanwhile, law suits filed by male students convicted by their universities of rape and/or sexual assault are pending against Bucknell, Cincinnati, Columbia, Delaware State, Depauw, Drew, Kenyon, U of Michigan, Philadelphia U, Swarthmore, Vassar, Williams, and perhaps others.

“When even rape victims and Title IX administrators admit that men are being convicted unfairly, and male students are being found guilty in cases where the facts seem so clearly to suggest some consent, it’s long past time to consider changing the procedures,” argues Banzhaf.

Banzhaf, as I’ve mentioned, has a nose for where the legal action is.

DEEP STATE DIRTY TRICKS: Wisconsin Police Chief Admits He Signed Up Tea Party Activist To Porno Sites And Whatnot.

PARTYING like it’s 1939.

MARK TAPSCOTT: Is The Obama Administration Losing Touch With Reality? “There is an air of unreality about the Obama crew these days that became starkly evident last week with a letter to Congress from National Security Advisor Susan Rice seeking repeal of the 2002 authorization for the invasion of Iraq and White House press secretary Josh Earnest claiming Republicans are seriously seeking to impeach his boss.”

July 28, 2014

CAMPBELL BROWN ON CHALLENGING TEACHER TENURE IN NEW YORK.

Related: Second lawsuit challenging teacher tenure to be filed by group of New York families.

IT’S ALMOST LIKE HE DIDN’T WANT TO: WaPo: Obama failed to stop the Islamic State when he had the chance. “Obama was not taken by surprise by the Islamic State offensive, as administration officials have repeatedly claimed. He had been warned by Iraqi officials, and even by officials in his administration. U.S. intelligence had identified the camps. Obama had not only been given a green light from the Iraqis to strike, but they also were pleading with him to do so. Obama simply refused to act.”

MARY KATHARINE HAM: Maybe We Need To Talk About Ebola.

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ON THIS POST BY ROGER SIMON, AN INTERESTING COMMENT:

A person I trust posted the following on a local Jewish e-board in NJ. She advised that it is from an IDF solider presently serving in Gaza:

“What’s happening here in the staging area [area where soldiers prepare to enter Gaza] is beyond comprehension, not rationally, not emotionally and begs the imagination.

Almost every hour a car shows up overflowing with food, snacks, cold drinks, socks, underwear, undershirts, hygiene supplies, wipes, cigarettes, backgammon and more. They’re coming from the North and the Center, from manufacturers, from companies and private businesses, from prisons, Chareidim and Settlers, from Tel Aviv and even Saviyon.

Every intersection on they way down here we get stopped, not by the police, but be residents giving out food. What is amazing is that the entire situation wasn’t organized and everyone is coming on their own without coordination between the folks coming.

They’re writing letters and blessings, how they’re thinking of us all the time. There are those who spent hours making sandwiches, so they’re as perfect and comforting as possible.

Of course representatives of Chabad are here to help soldiers put on Tefillin and distributing Cha’Ta’Ts (Chumash, Tehillim, Tanya) for every troop transport and Breslov are showing up to the border and dancing with the soldiers with great joy.

The Chareidim are coming from their yeshivot to ask the names of the soldiers with their mothers’ names so that the whole yeshiva can pray for them. It should be mentioned that all of this is done under the threat of the terrorist tunnels and rockets in the area.
Soroka Hospital (in Be’er Sheva) today looks like a 5 star hotel. A wounded friend who was recently discharged told us how the MasterChef truck is parked outside and is preparing food for the wounded.

It goes without saying the amount of prayer services that are going on. On the religious front as well, there are lectures and Torah classes, all the food is obviously Kosher. Shachrit, Mincha, and Maariv with Sifrei Torah. They’re giving out tzitzit and Tehilim by the hundreds. It’s become the new fashion! The Rabbi of Maglan [Special Forces unit] told me that almost the entire unit has started wearing them, because the Army Rabbinate has been giving out tzitzit that wick away sweat. They’re gaining both a Mitzva and a high quality undershirt. We’ve started calling them “Shachpatzitzti” (a portmanteau of the Hebrew term for body armor and tzitzit). We’re having deep conversations late into the night without arguments, without fights and we find ourselves agreeing on most stuff.

We’re making lots of jokes at Hamas’s expensive and without politics. There’s lots more to add but my battery is running low and the staff has been requesting someone give a class on Likutei MoharaN (Breslov).

How happy is the nation that is like this.”

Well, to be fair, they have a leader who believes in the country he leads.

UPDATE: Question: Come a real confrontation with Obama — which seems possible — could the Israelis flip and ally with Putin? The Soviets backed the Israelis pre-1967, and right now Putin’s siding with Assad against the Islamists. Israel would be a game-changing ally for Russia in the Middle East, especially with all the traditional Arab powers looking shaky — not only in terms of military assets, but more significantly in terms of intelligence assets.

I’m sure the crack Smart DiplomacyTM team at the State Department has considered this.

FEMINISTS NOW TARGETING COMIC CON.

HOW’S THAT RUSSIAN RESET GOING FOR YA, HILLARY? Russians’ Test Called Breach Of Missile Pact. “The United States has concluded that Russia violated a landmark arms control treaty by testing a prohibited ground-launched cruise missile, according to senior American officials, a finding that was conveyed by President Obama to President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia in a letter on Monday.”

The Russian fear is that we’d scrap the treaty and push new weapons systems. Putin knows that Obama won’t do that, so why stick to the treaty?