September 2, 2014

RING OF FIRE: Richard Fernandez On The Failure Of Obama’s Minimalist Approach In The Middle East.

“DIVERSITY EXPERTS” TO TECH INDUSTRY: Stop Being So Analytical.

THE U.N. IS PATHETIC. IF I RAN IT, NOBODY WOULD FUCK WITH MY PEACEKEEPERS, OR THEY’D FIND THEIR PEACE KEPT FOR GOOD. Filipino Force Defied UN Commander in Golan Crisis. “The Philippine military said Monday that a U.N. peacekeeping commander in the Golan Heights should be investigated for allegedly asking Filipino troops to surrender to Syrian rebels who had attacked and surrounded their camp. Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang said he advised the 40 Filipino peacekeepers not to lay down their arms, and they defied the U.N. peacekeeping commander’s order. Instead, they staged a daring escape from the Golan camp over the weekend, ending a tense, dayslong standoff. . . . Forty-five Fijian peacekeepers who surrendered their firearms to the rebels last week are still being held by the al-Qaida-linked insurgents.”

Never give them your guns. Your bullets, on the other hand, you can send.

IT’S LIKE IT’S ALL TWO-FACED POLITICAL CRAP OR SOMETHING: Rotherham has a real rape culture–which is why “rape culture”-obsessed feminists don’t care.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Aspiring Adults Adrift:

In their 2011 book Academically Adrift, authors Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa, argued that colleges are failing to educate students. Many undergraduates, the authors wrote, are “drifting through college without a clear sense of purpose,” with more than a third of students not demonstrating any significant improvement in learning over four years in college.

Now Arum and Roksa have revisited a large sampling of those same undergraduates for a new book examining how they’ve fared after graduation. They’re no longer students, the authors write, but they are still adrift.

Aspiring Adults Adrift: Tentative Transitions of College Graduates, published today by the University of Chicago Press, is the story of a generation’s difficult transition to adulthood. Based on surveys and interviews with nearly 1,000 recent college graduates from the cohort featured in Academically Adrift, the book reports that a large number of graduates are having difficulty finding jobs, living somewhere other than a parent’s house, assuming civic and financial responsibility, and even developing stable romantic relationships. . . .

“Colleges are implicated in this,” Arum, a professor of sociology and education at New York University, said in an interview. “They’ve legitimated this. Students are going away to college for a longer and longer time. Colleges are disinvesting in faculty and investing in amenities.”

Many four-year universities attend to students’ social adjustment rather than developing their characters, he said, allocating resources toward what will attract teenagers to their campuses rather than what will help them learn. Campuses cater to satisfying consumer preferences instead of providing rigorous academics and connecting what students learn to the real world, Arum and Roksa write. Like students and aspiring adults, they argue, colleges and universities are also adrift. . . .

One in four of the students surveyed and interviewed for the book reported that they were living at home two years after graduation, a proportion that is nearly double than in the 1960s. More than half said their lives lacked direction. Seven percent reported being unemployed, 12 percent said they had part-time jobs, and 30 percent were working full-time but earning less than $30,000 a year. Half of those graduates were earning less than $20,000.

College selectivity did not significantly affect the graduates’ chances of employment, the authors write, and neither did gender, race or parental education.

It’s not a pretty picture.

THAT WOULD ENCOURAGE MY BUSINESS: 57,000 Businesses Fight Back, Post ‘Guns Welcome’ Signs On Front Door.

SPYING: First US appeals court hears argument to shut down NSA database.

NOBEL PEACE PRIZE UPDATE: Obama Sends 350 More Troops To Iraq. Add a couple of zeros and they might do some good.

TRIFECTA: Whereabouts Unknown: Teacher Pens Mass-Shooter Fiction Book, Vanishes.

Related: Jerry Pournelle: Incarcerated for writing a science fiction novel? Or not?

UPDATE: Here’s more at Reason. Still very unclear what’s going on.

And here’s more from Popehat.

TED CRUZ TO BACK Marilinda Garcia in New Hampshire.

SO THERE’S THIS: Top Engineer and Futurist: Tomorrow’s Robots Might Mercy-Kill Mankind.

HOW DO YOU SHIP A $3 MILLION BUGATTI? Very carefully.

MY COLLEAGUE BEN BARTON –“THE RICHARD FEYNMAN OF LAW PROFESSORS” IS SPENDING THE YEAR IN SLOVENIA ON A FULBRIGHT WITH HIS FAMILY, and they’re blogging their experiences.

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VIDEO: Coach Rippetoe Puts PJ Media on Starting Strength (Part Two).

JONI MITCHELL: ANOTHER LAME, MISERABLE LEFTIST. “While living luxuriously between two homes, she’s adamantly negative on America and the industry that made her so successful.” To be fair, she say she hates all of humanity, too. Because of that scene in Bambi.

MISSING FROM THIS RATHER CREDULOUS PIECE: An explanation of why “violence against women” is worse than violence against men. Especially given that the latter is vastly more common.

MILLIONS OF PUBLIC DOMAIN IMAGES being put online.

YOU KNOW, I BELIEVE PEOPLE KNEW THIS WAS LIKELY IN THE 1970S, BUT ENVIROS STOPPED THE NECESSARY WATER PROJECTS: American Southwest has 80% chance of decade-long drought this century.

IN THE SOUTH WE HAVE AN EXPRESSION: “CAN’T FIND HIS OWN WEENIE WITH BOTH HANDS AND A FLASHLIGHT.” IN BRITAIN, THEY HAVE THIS: Just HALF of women can locate the vagina on a diagram of the female reproductive system.

I WAS EXPECTING AN EARTH-SHATTERING KABOOM: Move over Iceland: Tavurvur in Papua New Guinea is the volcano to watch: Caldera is overdue for a truly devastating eruption.

SO BASICALLY, EVERYTHING THE GOVERNMENT HAS TOLD US FOR DECADES WAS WRONG: A Call for a Low-Carb Diet.

People who avoid carbohydrates and eat more fat, even saturated fat, lose more body fat and have fewer cardiovascular risks than people who follow the low-fat diet that health authorities have favored for decades, a major new study shows.

The findings are unlikely to be the final salvo in what has been a long and often contentious debate about what foods are best to eat for weight loss and overall health. The notion that dietary fat is harmful, particularly saturated fat, arose decades ago from comparisons of disease rates among large national populations.

But more recent clinical studies in which individuals and their diets were assessed over time have produced a more complex picture. Some have provided strong evidence that people can sharply reduce their heart disease risk by eating fewer carbohydrates and more dietary fat, with the exception of trans fats. The new findings suggest that this strategy more effectively reduces body fat and also lowers overall weight.

The new study was financed by the National Institutes of Health and published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Gary Taubes wins again, as in this much more limited InstaPundit study.

CHANGE: ISIS Beheads American Journalist Steven Sotloff.

IN THE FUTURE, EVERYONE WILL BE A RAPIST FOR FIFTEEN MINUTES: Washington Post Columnist: ‘Weight Is the New Rape.’

Plus: “The mainstream press has also repeatedly mocked Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s weight, and there is no indication that future comments about Christie’s weight will be held to the same standard as those about Gillibrand’s.” You can’t talk about women the way you talk about men! Because equality.

10 WEIRD AND WONDERFUL ELECTRIC VEHICLES. The bike seemed pretty cool, until I saw the price tag.

CLAYTON CRAMER: My “Stroke” of Good Luck. “I’m still in the hospital recovering after a month but it could have been much worse.”

ARE YOU STRONGER THAN A SECOND-GRADER? The Benefits of Strength Training For Kids. I saw a woman at the gym recently training her boy — who looked to be 10 or 11 — in weights. I told ‘em I wish I’d started that young.

IF YOU CAN’T SAY SOMETHING NICE ABOUT A DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENT, DON’T SAY ANYTHING AT ALL: “This past weekend, the American Political Science Association (ASPA) held its annual meeting in Washington, DC. It was a huge affair, involving 53 ‘divisions’ and 60 ‘related groups,’ and featuring more than one thousand separate panels. Here is the kicker: this year, there were no sessions at all devoted to an assessment of the foreign policy of Barack Obama, and not one panel was dedicated to an examination of Obama’s domestic policy. . . . The fact that there was nothing on the program of this year’s APSA pertaining to the Obama administration is a sign that there is nothing good to say on the subject, nothing to celebrate, and nothing to take pride in. Left with no recourse, the academy turns silent. It was eerie. It was as if there has been no Obama presidency. If I am right in my analysis, the complete absence of panels assessing Obama’s record is an indication that the academy now regards Obama as an indefensible embarrassment.”

IN THE MAIL: The Sword of Michael (Depossessionist).

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TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 481.

CHANGE: Jeff Bezos Replaces WaPo Publisher With Politico Co-Founder. “Weymouth’s departure is the end of an era of Graham family involvement with the Post. Her great-grandfather bought the newspaper in the 1930s, and her uncle Donald Graham sold it to Bezos last August for $250 million. She’ll be replaced by Frederick J. Ryan, the founding CEO of Politico and a former Reagan administration official.”

UPDATE: Good luck to Ryan and Bezos. And tear down that paywall.

BRIT JOURNALISTS GUESS CELEBRITY VOICEMAIL PASSWORDS — HUGE INTERNATIONAL SCANDAL! Police Spy On Journalists’ Phone Records: Business As Usual. It’s illegal, but I bet we don’t see any top folks go on trial, as in the “phone hacking” scandal. But then, that was a chance to go after Rupert Murdoch. This is just the usual self-interested behavior of people in power.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: In Maryland, a Soviet-Style Punishment for a Novelist.

A 23-year-old teacher at a Cambridge, Md. middle school has been placed on leave and—in the words of a local news report—”taken in for an emergency medical evaluation” for publishing, under a pseudonym, a novel about a school shooting. The novelist, Patrick McLaw, an eighth-grade language-arts teacher at the Mace’s Lane Middle School, was placed on leave by the Dorchester County Board of Education, and is being investigated by the Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office, according to news reports from Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The novel, by the way, is set 900 years in the future. . . .

Imagine that—a novelist who didn’t store bombs and guns at the school at which he taught. How improbable! Especially considering that he uses an “alias,” which is apparently the law-enforcement term for “nom de plume.” (Here is the Amazon page for The Insurrectionist, by the way. Please note that the book was published in 2011, before McLaw was hired.)

According to an equally credulous and breathless report in the Star-Democrat, which is published in Easton, Md., the combined efforts of multiple law-enforcement agencies have made area children safe from fiction. Sheriff Phillips told the newspaper that, in addition to a K-9 sweep of the school (!), investigators also raided McLaw’s home. “The residence of the teacher in Wicomico County was searched by personnel,” Phillips said, with no weapons found. “A further check of Maryland State Police databases also proved to be negative as to any weapons registered to him. McLaw was suspended by the Dorchester County Board of Education pending an investigation and is no longer in the area. He is currently at a location known to law enforcement and does not currently have the ability to travel anywhere.”

These are the people you trust to educate your children, and keep your streets safe — and they’re complete, blithering idiots armed with the power of the state. Tar and feathers isn’t enough.

And, really, isn’t it parental malpractice to put your kids in the hands of people who can’t tell truth from fiction?

THE ROTHERHAM CHILD-RAPE SCANDAL reaches the New York Times,

The scale and brutality of the abuse in Rotherham have shocked a country already shaken by a series of child abuse scandals involving celebrities, public officials, clerics and teachers at expensive private schools. The Rotherham report suggests that it continues unchecked among the most vulnerable in British society.

It has highlighted another uncomfortable dimension of the issue, that of race relations in Britain. The victims identified in the report were all white, while the perpetrators were mostly of Pakistani heritage, many of them working in nighttime industries like taxi driving and takeout restaurants. The same was true in recent prosecutions in Oxford, in southern England, and the northern towns of Oldham and Rochdale, where nine men of Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Afghan origin were given long prison sentences in 2012 for abusing up to 47 girls. Investigators in Scotland have reportedly uncovered a similar pattern of abuse.

That’s more forthright than I expected, though there’s some backing-and-filling later.

UPDATE: As Cameron Gray notes, the Times is quick to tell us that the majority of convicted abusers in Britain are white — but misses the irony that these abusers weren’t even arrested. Because racism.

HEADLINES FROM 9/10/2001: Lost in America: Visa Program Struggles to Track Missing Foreign Students. “They get the visas and they disappear.”

ANOTHER FAILED PROMISE: NBC: Deep Racial Divide Remains Under Obama. Unsurprising, given that he’s seldom missed an opportunity to deepen it.

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THE HILL: Economy no savior for Democrats.

Democrats are running out of time for an economic savior.

They have long predicted that an economic turnaround would be the elixir that helps them retain control of the Senate in November.

But with just a handful of big economic reports left before Election Day, the economic picture is largely in place. And while the outlook is bright, voters continue to hold a dim view of their own financial prospects. . . .

Broadly speaking, the economy has made gains in the last several months. The unemployment rate has held steady or dropped every month for over a year, and new data shows the economy grew this spring at its fastest rate in more than 12 months.

But the good news isn’t resonating with the public.

Perhaps it doesn’t match up very well with the public’s actual experience.

WASHINGTON EXAMINER: IRS scandal needs a special prosecutor. I only sort of agree. Anyone Eric Holder appoints is likely to be a Dem shill. Let a Republican name a special prosecutor in January of 2017.

SARAH HOYT ON THE JOYS OF MODERN LIFE: “It just seems that every woman my age has been divorced three times, or is shacked up with some guy half her age who is eating out her savings. Every younger woman is having kids out of wedlock starting well before seventeen. And I keep thinking: Oh, h*ll. When did everyone who grew up with me become… low class?”

When things go downhill, they can go downhill pretty fast.

MICHAEL BARONE: Would black voter turnout matter in key Senate races?

Jonathan Martin of the New York Times reports on how Democratic Party strategists are hoping to maximize black turnout in order to preserve their Senate majority. One might question whether this really counts as news, given that black Americans have been voting overwhelmingly Democratic for a half-century: It always makes sense for Democrats to mobilize black turnout. But the fact that Democratic spinmeisters are evidently pitching this line carries a whiff of desperation. For the fact is that there are relatively few blacks in most of the states with seriously contested Senate races. . . .

It’s apparent that even the most vigorous black turnout effort in the eight states with low black percentages is not going to make much difference. Democrats there must hope that their candidates can maintain levels of support from whites at or above the levels achieved by Obama in 2008 and 2012. In addition, Democrats in Colorado must hope they can maintain something like the 75 to 23 percent margin Obama won among Hispanics there in 2012 according to the exit poll. . . .

In the five states with above-national-average black percentages, there’s obviously good reason for Democrats to try to bolster black turnout. But to win a Democratic candidate must also do significantly better than Obama did among whites in Arkansas, Georgia and Louisiana and somewhat better than in North Carolina. Black turnout was very robust in North Carolina, thanks to both the Obama organization and to spontaneous enthusiasm. And it was robust in the three other states as well, due to spontaneous enthusiasm and despite laws requiring voters to show photo identification, a measure which some have likened to the police dogs and fire hoses that Democratic National Committeeman Bull Connor unleashed on peaceful blacks in 1963.

No hyperbole there. . .

A COUPLE OF 55-GALLON DRUMS OF TEQUILA, AND I’D CALL THAT A PARTY TO REMEMBER: Passion Natural Water-Based Lubricant – 55 Gallon. What’s amazing is that there’s only one left in stock. But the reviews are amusing.

SPYING: Did Brennan Dodge A Bullet? “CIA Director John Brennan may have dodged a bullet over his agency’s potentially unconstitutional snooping on the Senate, but critics insist his reprieve is only temporary. Calls for the spy leader to resign after the CIA admitted that officials spied on the Senate have lost steam in recent weeks, since lawmakers left town for a five-week summer recess. . . . But lawmakers and advocates pushing for a change at the top of the spy agency say that the issue has only been temporarily sidelined and won’t disappear for good.”

PRESIDENT SUB PAR: Putin Plows on as West Watches. “Putin has made his open, naked and total contempt for the strategic intelligence and the political will of the West’s leaders impossible to ignore.” It’s increasingly hard to argue with, too.

NICK GILLESPIE: If Democrats Seek to “Rally Blacks” Against Police Militarization, They Might Start with the Congressional Black Caucus. “Among the African-American members of Congress voting against the amendment (and thus in favor of continued federally aided militarization of police): Rep. Lacy Clay (D-Mo.), who represents Ferguson.”

Expect absurd new highs in race-and-gender theater between now and November, as the Democrats desperately try to motivate their base in the face of massive Obama failure.

MORE WOMEN COMPLAINING ABOUT HOW Democratic Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois Pays Women Staffers Less Than Men.

JOEL KOTKIN & RORY COHEN: When patrimony trumps political preference.

Jews, despite their above-average affluence and their entrepreneurial bent, have long been among the most loyal constituencies of the Democratic Party. Half of American Jews earn more than $100,000 annually, three times the national average and far more than typical members of mainline Protestant churches. The only real competition, economically, comes from another outsider group: Hindus.

In 2008, President Obama received roughly 80 percent of the Jewish vote and, four years later, his percentage remained just under 70 percent, even though the alternative candidate was clearly more pro-Israel and enjoyed the support of some Jewish billionaires.

Some Republicans point out that Mitt Romney’s show of support among Jews was the strongest since Ronald Reagan ran against Walter Mondale in 1984. They suggest that Jews may finally be shifting toward the center and even to the Right.

Changes in attitudes toward Israel, and Jews, could hasten this process. After all, it is painfully obvious that opposition to Israel has now shifted from the traditionally anti-Semitic Right to the multicultural Left, and its various offshoots in the media and on campuses. The growing disconnect between left-leaning Jews, such as Peter Beinart, Jon Stewart, Max Blumenthal and Ezra Klein, and Israel makes such a shift easier.

This reflects a growing change in the nature of opposition to Israel, and anti-Semitism, in the West, from the old Right to the liberal-dominated media and the academy. Universities, for example, serve as ground zero for powerful boycott and divestment campaigns against Israel. The campaigns’ purpose is not only to hurt Israel’s economy, or protest its sometimes-unwise policies (such as expanding settlements), but also to cast her as a pariah state.

This is intriguing, indeed, since there seems to be no academic campaign to rein in such huge human-rights abusers – whether against Christians, females, gays or other minorities – as Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iran or Egypt. Only crimes by the Jewish state seem to qualify.

So many Jews seem to fear and dislike Christian Evangelicals. But that’s who’ll be standing beside them as anti-semitism grows. Maybe some people are starting to notice.

IRS SCANDAL UPDATE: Email Reveals Lois Lerner Ignored Political Expenditures By Unions.

September 1, 2014

GIVEN THE CURRENT SEX PANIC, ONCE AGAIN HERE’S PROF. MARK PERRY: Before declaring that there’s a ‘rape epidemic’ in the US, has anybody bothered to check the actual data? Apparently not.

We keep hearing in the news about a general “rape epidemic” in America and more specifically about a “campus rape epidemic.” A White House task force headed by Vice-President Biden tells us that “one in five female college students has been assaulted, but that just 12 percent of such attacks are reported.” I’ve demonstrated statistically using actual crime reports from various universities that if the 12 percent under-reporting White House claim is true, then the 1-in-5 claim can’t possibly be true – it’s more like 1-in-20 or 1-in-30. So there’s a little bit of statistical hijinx, misreporting, and hyperbole going on at the White House on this issue.

But before generating hysteria by reporting that there’s a rape “epidemic” (defined generally as “a rapid spread, growth, or development”), has anybody at the White House or elsewhere bothered to actually check the crime data on rapes in the US? Because if they had, they would find that there’s been a steady decline, not an increase, in the frequency of rapes in America for the last 20 years.

Note this chart.

raperate1

BECAUSE THEY FIGURE THE PRESS WILL COVER FOR THEM? Why Won’t Endangered Democrat Senate Candidates Repudiate Their Todd Akin?

Democrat Amanda Curtis makes YouTube videos. Here are some of her greatest hits, which run the gamut from merely obnoxious to aggressively bigoted, and which firmly entrench her as this cycle’s Todd Akin.

Albeit one with a nose stud, which would be an unequivocal signifier of an edgy nonconformist if it was still 1987. In fact, that affectation and Democrat Amanda Curtis’s general vibe tends to remind one of those strident feminists who hang around college quads busily endeavoring to take back the night from mysterious, unseen phallocentric oppressors. Except this one is a major political party’s candidate for the United States Senate, and unlike the goofy womyn’s studies majors we laughed at back in school, we can’t just ignore her. Nor, try as they might, can her fellow Democrat Senate candidates.

If she were a Republican, on the other hand, the press would make her the face of the GOP, stud and all.

THEY TOLD ME IF I VOTED FOR MITT ROMNEY, THE WHITE HOUSE WOULD BE A CESSPIT OF OLD-STYLE SEXISM. AND THEY WERE RIGHT! No Men Need Apply: Michelle Obama’s Staff 100% Female.

IS THE GAMING WORLD TEARING ITSELF APART? “Gamers have uncovered evidence of such widespread corruption and conflicts of interest that the gaming blogs may never recover from it. The response from reporters – for the most part, denial and dismissal – is akin to mass professional suicide.”

3 INDIANA CHURCHES VANDALIZED WITH ISLAMIC GRAFFITI.

GOLFER-IN-CHIEF: ‘You are not up to this job’: Parents of SEAL Team Six soldier killed in action call for President Obama’s resignation.

Absolute moral authority. Remember?

JUST THINK HOW WELL WE’D BE DOING IF THE U.S. GOVERNMENT WERE SUPPORTING THIS: America’s Oil Boom Overwhelms Global Production Decline.

DON’T WANT ME TO RECLINE MY AIRLINE SEAT? Pay Me.

ROGER KIMBALL: John Maynard Keynes’s revisionist history of World War I has had enduring—and harmful—consequences.

It is often said that the primary existential or spiritual effect of the war was disillusionment. Barbara Tuchman, for example, notes in one of her classic studies of the Great War that the war had many results but that the dominant one was “disillusion.” She quotes D. H. Lawrence, who observed that “All the great words were cancelled out for that generation.” Honor, Nobility, Valor, Patriotism, Sacrifice, Beauty: Who could still take such abstractions seriously after the wholesale slaughter of the war?

But it’s worth interjecting two points. First, it is sometimes said that the Great War, because of its body count, the tactics of its generals, the as-it-turned-out false promise that it was “a war to end all wars,” was therefore meaningless. I submit that, on the contrary, it was instinct with significance. As David Fromkin put it at the end of Europe’s Last Summer, “it was fought to decide the essential questions in international politics: who would achieve mastery in Europe, and therefore in the world, and under the banners of what faith.”

Second, on the matter of culture, it is worth noting that most of the primary innovations in form and sensibility that we associate with that spirit of disillusionment predated the war.

If the general culture becomes pervaded by a sense of disillusionment and “meaculpism” perhaps it’s worth looking at who has the greatest influence on the culture and asking cui bono?

CENSORSHIP: Russia And America.

YOUR DAILY MEMO from the Thought Police. Also the Junior Anti-Sex League.

TO START WITH, AVOID MANOLO-TYPE SHOES: What To Do About Bunions. I’ve had law students talk about having “the Manolo toe” and bunions from extreme shoes. Don’t wear those.

IT’S THE LAST DAY for the Amazon Labor Day Sale.

But there are fresh deals on Halloween costumes for women and Halloween costumes for men.

HEH: Rick Perry street art appears in Austin.

FLY A DRONE IN YELLOWSTONE, get six months in jail?

CENSORSHIP: Russia vs. America.

WELL, THAT’S A RELIEF: Yellowstone supervolcano eruption will be nightmarish but not catastrophic: Study.

JOURNALISM: “So maybe Arby’s story was accurate all along. After all, restaurant patrons make special requests all the time, and Arby’s customers tend to be people who like meat.”

OUT TODAY: Joel Kotkin’s new book The New Class Conflict. I think this will be one of the most important books of the year.

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TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 480.

DICK DURBIN LOOKING PRETTY WEAK IN ILLINOIS. The gap has shrunk to 7%, which is much closer than a Democratic incumbent in a deep-blue state should face. Maybe it’s those ads about him paying female staffers less than men. . . . .

INDIA IN ASIA: Asia will gain from India finally taking foreign policy seriously. Now if only America would!

Tighter relations with Japan are important for security (see article). With Australia, India is likely to sign a deal to buy uranium. It is welcome that the world’s most populous democracy should make its influence felt in its region. But India will not realise its true promise so long as it is held back by three legacies that still linger from the days of Nehru.

First, it has differences with two of its neighbours, which are at best a distraction and at worst an obstacle. Given how much it has to gain from peace with Pakistan, India should strive to launch talks that were recently put off because it objected to contacts between Pakistani diplomats and Kashmiri separatists. For Mr Modi, a Hindu nationalist who is feared by many Indian Muslims, a settlement with Pakistan should be a special priority. But Mr Modi also has a disputed border with China in the Himalayas. That too is a flashpoint for conflict, which he needs to discuss with Mr Xi—if only because India’s relations with China will count for more commercially and strategically than its relations with any other Asian country.

Second, to promote India as a trading nation, Mr Modi should ditch protectionism. He blundered in July when he rescinded India’s agreement to a World Trade Organisation deal to ease trade, opting instead to protect food and farm subsidies at home. Since India plays no part in many other regional trade forums, such as the Trans Pacific Partnership, it risks falling behind others who will set higher standards.

Last of all, he needs a government service that can support his diplomacy. India’s foreign service is roughly the size of New Zealand’s. The country’s defence-procurement system is rotten and dependent on second-rate state-owned firms. Newly eased restrictions on foreigners investing in defence could help. And India’s armed forces need skilled employees, modern equipment, more outside scrutiny and better co-operation between commands. For India to become influential abroad, Mr Modi has to do some tightening up at home.

Now if only America would . . .

I PREDICT A GROWTH OF STRANGE NEW RESPECT: Obama: Bush-Cheney ‘Security Apparatus’ Makes Us ‘Pretty Safe.’

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CONTROL IS THEIR TOP PRIORITY: Liberals Not So Hot On Uber. “One weakness of Uber’s business model is that it is easy to replicate, but so are cheap hamburgers, which is why we have lots of fast-food burger chains and we don’t need a Big Mac regulator, and why Uber is unlikely to achieve any kind of durable monopoly position. One way they actually might, however, is if app-based car services become subject to government regulation, in which case the industry will become cartelized for the benefit of incumbent firms. The scholarship on this point, and the empirical evidence behind it, is overwhelming—so overwhelming that you’d think even Salon might get it.”

ROGER SIMON: My ISIS Strategy. “I don’t have much question about what to do about ISIS. Obliterate it.”

SO THIS IS BASICALLY THE INTERNATIONAL-AFFAIRS VERSION OF THE “AMERICA HAS BECOME UNGOVERNABLE” COVER STORY: “It’s difficult virtually to the point of impossibility to have a grand strategy in a world that is so fluid.”

OUT: HOPE AND CHANGE. IN: PREPARE FOR ARMAGEDDON! Strategy irony: Obama declares ‘National Preparedness Month,’ ‘PrepareAthon.’

Well, you can start at . . . well, you know.

DANIEL HANNAN: Rotherham child sex scandal: these children were victims of ‘anti-racism.’

HAPPY LABOR DAY! As one of my Facebook friends comments, it’s a day where the rest of America can identify with organized labor — by drinking beer and not working.

LIKEWISE THE SELF-LOATHING OF THE U.S. LEFT: The self-loathing of the British Left is now a problem for us all. “We don’t need to rehearse the facts. We’ve all read them, and reeled away in horror. The interesting question is how and why would any country allow the racialised gang-rape of its own daughters? Why? Because too many in that country, especially on the Left, most especially in the Labour Party, despise their own ordinary people: the white working classes. . . . What kind of message does Straw’s statement send to everyone else? It says that the English are dislikeable, that they are to be feared, and contained, to be treated with contempt.” Pretty much the way much of our American ruling class sees Americans.

ROGER KIMBALL: Evolution Of The Obama Doctrine.

August 31, 2014

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IT’S COME TO THIS: Baby Boomers Shocked To Discover They’re Old Now. I think there are still fresh wellsprings of denial waiting to be tapped, though.

A FITTING EMBLEM OF “SMART DIPLOMACY:” Libyan militia uses vacated U.S. Embassy in Libya as swim club.

WE MUST CLOSE THE TWITTER-ABUSE GENDER GAP: Men get more than twice as much abuse as women on Twitter.

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Also, deals on bestselling Beauty Products.

A LOOK INSIDE the secret compartments on airliners. Okay, this wasn’t news to me.

IN 2014, THIS IS PRETTY UNFORGIVABLY STUPID: Attorney Mike Meier Meets The Streisand Effect, Does Not Enjoy Experience. “Mike Meier’s legal threat was not foolish just because it exposed his behavior to more readers. It was foolish because it exposed him widely as a fool. People hire lawyers they trust. They want to be able to rely upon their lawyer’s advice, and to make difficult decisions based upon that advice. But who would trust the advice of a lawyer who would engage in a legal tactic that is so foreseeably self-destructive? If Meier had sent the DMCA notices on behalf of a client, I would call it rank malpractice and tell his client to consider suing him. In 2014, minimal legal competence requires an attorney to anticipate and understand the Streisand Effect.”

Here’s some remedial reading. Here’s the short version.

NANOTECHNOLOGY UPDATE: Seeing and touching a single synthetic molecular machine.

WELL, THIS IS THE 21ST CENTURY, YOU KNOW: Watch A Robot Ride A Hovercycle.

IS A GREAT COMPANY a conspiracy to change the world?

Some thoughts on Peter Thiel’s new book, Zero To One: Notes On Startups, Or How To Build The Future.

YOUR FEEL-GOOD STORY OF THE DAY: Armed & dangerous: 89-year-old World War II veteran shoots armed robber.

The 89-year-old decorated World War II veteran foiled an armed robbery attempt Saturday afternoon at his Lake Park jewelry business that left a 44-year-old suspect with six gunshot wounds, but no loot.

Lewis was working behind the counter at The Jewelry Exchange at 900 N. Federal Highway when he was approached by a gun-wielding man around 3 p.m., according to an arrest report from the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. Lewis said he immediately grabbed the suspect’s revolver and pulled out a .38-caliber handgun from his own pocket.

The two men wrestled for several minutes and fired shots at each other. Despite battling someone half his age, Lewis got the best of it. A man identified by the sheriff’s office as Lennard Patrick Jervis, a Miramar resident, was shot six times by Lewis, including four times in the chest. Lewis’ left arm was grazed by a bullet, but he was otherwise unscathed. . . .

Lewis said Jervis continued to fight with vigor, even with four gunshot wounds to the chest and one each to the wrist and leg. Large bullet holes remained in the store’s walls Monday and the area behind the counter where Lewis and Jervis fought hand to hand was trashed.

“People think because he’s 89, he’s frail,” said Vivien Bresnahan, Lewis’ girlfriend. “That irritates me because he’s anything but (frail).”

Often, the best defense is a good offense. But maybe Lewis should upgun to a .44? Plus: “Court records show that Jervis has been arrested 20 times in Miami-Dade and Broward counties since 1989.”