December 24, 2014

HMM: Off duty, black cops in New York feel threat from fellow police. But there’s also this:

“It makes good headlines to say this is occurring, but I don’t think you can validate it until you look into the circumstances they were stopped in,” said Bernard Parks, the former chief of the Los Angeles Police Department, who is African American.

“Now if you want to get into the essence of why certain groups are stopped more than others, then you only need to go to the crime reports and see which ethnic groups are listed more as suspects. That’s the crime data the officers are living with.”

Blacks made up 73 percent of the shooting perpetrators in New York in 2011 and were 23 percent of the population.

I’d be interested in hearing whether the non-black minority members of the NYPD have this experience, too, or if it’s just the black cops.

THE MAN BEHIND the Empire State Building’s Christmas Light Show.

A FISH, A BARREL, A SMOKING GUN: Moe Lane On Naomi Klein’s Knowledge of Science Fiction.

OH GOODY: CDC reports potential Ebola exposure in Atlanta lab. “As many as a dozen scientists may have been exposed to the Ebola virus at a lab of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, agency officials said Wednesday. The potential exposure took place Monday when scientists conducting research on the virus at a high-security lab mistakenly put a sample containing the potentially infectious virus in a place where it was transferred for processing to another CDC lab, also in Atlanta on the CDC campus. The accident comes after a series of incidents earlier this summer involving the mishandling of dangerous pathogens at the nation’s labs, including one in June at a CDC lab that potentially exposed dozens of employees to live anthrax because employees failed to properly inactivate the anthrax when transferring samples.”

This is not a confidence-builder.

ROBERT TRACINSKI: You may not be interested in the culture war, but the culture war is interested in you.

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CHANGE: F.D.A. Lifting Lifetime Ban on Gay Blood Donors. “The Food and Drug Administration announced Tuesday that it would scrap a decades-old lifetime prohibition on blood donation by gay and bisexual men, a major stride toward ending what many had seen as a national policy of discrimination. However, the agency will continue to ban men who have been sexually active in the last year, saying that the barrier is necessary to keep the blood supply safe, a move that frustrated rights groups that were pushing for the ban to be removed entirely.”

21ST CENTURY RELATIONSHIPS: A New App Is Shattering a Major Myth About Polyamorous Relationships.

HOWIE CARR: LIBERALS LIED, COPS DIED.

Of course no one is supposed to call out any of the protected classes on their irresponsible rhetoric — isn’t that right, Rev. Al?

“The blame game,” Sharpton now says, “will only lead to further kinds of venom and further division.”

Ironic words from the tax deadbeat who invented Tawana Brawley and who has spent a lifetime denouncing “white interlopers,” “diamond merchants” and “fags.” None dares call it hate speech.

Have you ever noticed that when these hate-mongers say, “Stop the finger-pointing,” they’re talking about you accusing them? When they accuse you — of anything — they’re speaking truth to power, and don’t you ever forget it.

Donna Brazile tweeted: “Stop the politics.”

So I guess it wasn’t politics when Barack Obama said the protests/riots were necessary because the “country’s conscience has to be triggered by some inconvenience.”

Eric Holder, Obama’s attorney general, touted the riots as “momentum to a necessary conversation.”

Holder’s idea of a conversation is himself harshly lecturing other groups of Americans on behalf of “my people,” as he describes blacks. I guess the two murdered NYPD officers are not his people.

Then there’s the mayor of New York, Warren Wilhelm, I mean, William de Blasio. (What is it with these leftist pols and their multiple names?)

This is the bum who was ranting two weeks ago about the “scourge” of alleged police violence. After last week’s brutal assault on two cops (a thug SEIU organizer and Ivy League grad students have been charged) he pooh-poohed one cop’s broken nose as an “alleged attack.”

On Monday, though, Hizzoner takes the last refuge of a scoundrel. He blames the press for the violence.

“Are you going to keep dividing us?” the city’s Divider in Chief asked a reporter.

It gets worse with this bum de Blasio. Two weeks ago, he had the gall to say that he was worried about the safety of his half-black son, Dante.

Read the whole, hurtful, thing. I suspect that this “climate of hate” thing is pinching a bit now that the shoe is on the other foot.

FIRST VERMONT, NOW THIS: “CoOportunity Health, a fledgling Iowa health-insurance company set up under the Affordable Care Act, is being taken over by the state health-insurance division because of a financial crunch. CoOportunity Health is an insurance cooperative set up to give consumers and small businesses an alternative in a market with few choices. The company relied on tens of millions of dollars in federal loan guarantees provided under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. It began selling policies in 2013.” It appears that they ran out of other people’s money.

21ST CENTURY RELATIONSHIPS: Furries Say They Aren’t A Fetish, They’re A Community, And They’re Ready To Be Taken Seriously.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: If approached by a police officer, do not pull out a revolver and point it at him.

As I have noted here on several occasions, the militarization of the police in the US is a minatory development that should be scrutinized and reversed. American police should not be swaggering about town in armored vehicles and accoutered like a Navy SEAL en route to bin Laden’s Pakastani retreat. In America, the default posture of the police should be like something out of Mayberry, province of sheriff Andy Taylor, protector of the peace on The Andy Griffith Show. Deep down, of course, it is not Andy but the townspeople of Mayberry who are responsible for maintaining order. . . .

Sharpton, no doubt recalling the palmy days when he was peddling lies about Tawana Brawley, Sharpton has done everything he could to stoke the fires of racial hatred and social unrest. Really, though, Sharpton, ridiculous figure though he be, is yesterday’s news. The real news about these protests emanates from the more sinister sources.

This brings me to the core piece of deception that is operating in the protests against supposed police brutality. It is a textbook case of the radical left using and abusing democratic freedoms in order to destroy those freedoms. On the one hand, you have the contention that the protests are simply a healthy expression of peaceful democratic protest. You’re not against free expression of political differences are you? Thus we have “progressive” Mayor de Blasio defending the protests: “Do we tell people they’re not allowed to raise their voice? Do we tell people they’re not allowed to march?”

Then there is the other hand, e.g. the protests Saturday, December 13, when the operative chant was “What do we want? Dead cops! When do we want it? Now!” And listen to the voice from Ferguson gleefully chanting “Pigs in a blanket” the night the two NY police officers were murdered by a black Muslim. That is the voice not of democratic protest but of anti-democratic savagery. It is barbarism battling against civilization.

Well, there are commies behind it, working with Al Sharpton, so what else would it be?

UPDATE: Seen on Facebook:

matrixcops

Note, of course — as I suspect the author of this image knew — that “murdering” and “killing” are not identical.

IN THE MAIL: Open Immigration: Yea & Nay.

TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 594.

BUT OF COURSE: Obama’s nominee for Pentagon post implicated in alleged theft of CIA documents.

CLIMATE OF HATE: CUNY Newspaper Editorial Calls For Violent Protests. “A disturbing editorial in a CUNY grad-student newspaper calls for rioters protesting the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown to arm themselves and wage violent war with cops. ‘The time for peace has passed,’ says a revolutionary editorial titled ‘In Support of Violence’ that was penned by editor-in-chief Gordon Barnes in the Dec. 3 issue of The Advocate.”

CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR: Obama’s popularity falls to record low among US troops. Why?

Obama’s sinking popularity among the troops can be traced to a number of factors: budget cuts, falling troop morale, frustrations over the Obama administration’s foreign policy, gay and gender equity initiatives within the military, and US political leaders in general.

According to the Military Times’ poll, troops are more unhappy under Obama than they were under previous commanders-in-chief. Some 91 percent of active duty service members were satisfied with their quality of life in 2009. This year, that figure dropped to 56 percent. . . .

Events in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the rise of the Islamic State, have also led some in the military to challenge Obama’s foreign policy.

His decision to remove all troops from Iraq in 2011 helped lead to the rise of the militant group ISIS, according to some military experts, who see Obama as a weak leader in foreign policy. The rise of ISIS forced Obama to return US troops to the region, another unpopular decision among troops. When asked whether the US should send a large force of combat troops back to Iraq to fight Islamic State militants, 70 percent of survey respondents said, ‘No.’

Similarly, the report found troops were unhappy with the outcome of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, for which they blame their commander-in-chief.

Well, all things considered he’s been an even worse commander-in-chief than he has been a President.

BYRON YORK: Will Obama defy Congress on Gitmo prisoners?

SHOCKER: Emails Show UVA Coordinator Hoped To Put ‘Positive People’ In Touch With Rolling Stone Reporter. “The emails, obtained by The Daily Caller through a Freedom of Information request, show UVA campus sexual assault awareness project coordinator Emily Renda informing the university’s PR department about her communications with Sabrina Rubin Erdely, the Rolling Stone reporter.” Yeah, it’s seemed likely for a while that Renda was the key inside mover.

REPUBLICANS IN CONGRESS SHOULD OFFER A BILL ON POLICE VIOLENCE NEXT MONTH, AND THE CENTERPIECE SHOULD BE OUTLAWING POLICE UNIONS: Affidavit Shows Cop Union Targeting Foes. There’s a window of opportunity here if the GOP is smart enough to take it. Never let a crisis go to waste!

TIM CARNEY: Free-market populism opportunity: Resist over-regulation of child care.

The Obama administration, according to Katharine Stevens in the Wall Street Journal, is paving the way for more regulation of child care. This seems like a great place for conservatives to fight for the interests of the poor and working class, against overbearing government.

In other words, it’s an opportunity for free-market populism.

The administration is pushing guidelines for who can get federal grants, but Stevens — who is a fellow research fellow of mine at the American Enterprise Institute — worries that these grant guidelines are a “Trojan horse bearing counterproductive requirements,” on early-childhood educators and daycare providers.

These aren’t rules governing basic health and safety standards, like drinking water, cleanliness or broken glass. Some are micromanaging: “cot placement” for daycare. Others are about requiring credentialing — such as requiring preschool teachers to have bachelor’s degrees. . . .

Excessive regulation of daycare and preschool mostly hurts the poor and working class. For one thing, it makes daycare rarer and more expensive.

Some on the Left will respond and say, “well, let’s just subsidize them more.” That doesn’t address the other problem: curbing work opportunities for women.

More importantly, unnecessary regulation and credentialing requirements take away from many women the best way they could make money: at-home daycare.

The Dems don’t want them to be self-sufficient. They want them to be unionized government employees.

THE HILL: Obama Heads To The Golf Course Again In Hawaii.

SALON: Christmas Is Just A Rape Celebration, You Know.

JOURNALISM: Readers Unload On Mother Jones For Pushing Bogus ’1 in 5′ Rape Stat.

BLUE MODEL COLLAPSE: Florida Passes NY in Population: Power of Low Taxes, Spending, Less Regulation.

ACE OF SPADES: Why Feminists Are Obsessed With Rape:

You may wonder why feminists never stop writing about rape.

The answer is simple: Minus rape, feminism stands exposed as a trivial lists of complaints — women not “empowered” enough in TV shows, Liz Lemon selling out the sisterhood on 30 Rock, Negative Body Image You Guys in the media, etc.

Minus rape, feminism is rather too obviously a list of trivial complaints by comfortable yet hysterical semi-affluent white women.

So they always are struggling to bring rape up as a topic, because it’s obviously more serious than the six millionth whine that Men Expect Too Much Regarding Make-Up and Beauty Myth You Guys.

And that’s it. It’s the “serious” veneer slapped upon a very silly and trivial channeling of personal anxieties and hysterias into an alleged “politics.”

Indeed. Related thoughts here. “One notices that feminists seldom debate or engage in dialogue with their critics. We may take this as evidence that feminist rhetoric and ideology cannot withstand careful scrutiny.”

Also: “Christmas is a special hell for feminists.”

WHEN YOU USE SOCIAL MEDIA TO ORGANIZE THESE THINGS, IT MAKES THE RICO SUIT EASIER: ‘Black Lives Matter’ protest organizers to face charges for Mall of America shutdown. “On one of the busiest shopping days of the year, management was forced to shut down the stores on one side of the mall. Officials are reportedly gathering estimates of how much money the stores lost.”

JUSTICE: Feds conceding Greeneville couple wrongfully convicted. “The move is extraordinary on a number of fronts. It comes after the Sens were publicly accused, tried and sentenced in a case deemed so important U.S. Attorney Bill Killian announced the couple’s indictment and, later, their conviction via news releases. The action to drop the case is being undertaken by the Justice Department’s civil division in Washington, D.C., although it was Killian’s staff who prosecuted the case and normally would have handled the appeal. And, Brinkman wrote in the motion the Justice Department plans to dismiss the case ‘with prejudice,’ meaning it can never be resurrected. . . . Now, it appears the couple will be vindicated. But court records show it may be too little, too late. Yarbrough said when news of the pair’s arrest went public, insurance companies cut ties with them and hospitals sought to revoke Dr. Sen’s medical privileges to treat patients at those facilities. Dr. Sen suffered a stroke during the prosecution process. Although he has recovered and many patients have remained loyal, Little wrote in a court memorandum the Sens have been ‘ruined’ personally and professionally.”

CHARLES C.W. COOKE: The Left’s “Climate Of Hate” Hypocrisy.

Consider, if you will, the recent behavior of Salon’s Joan Walsh, who yesterday suggested in earnest that the conservative-led condemnation of the “climate” that supposedly provoked the shootings in New York City represented the unconscionable “politicization” of murder. “To blame the peaceful movement against police brutality that’s emerged nationwide,” Walsh wrote, is “the worst in demagoguery.” “Right wingers,” she added, “are using a terrible tragedy to make sure that no one can find middle ground.” Prima facie, I concur with Walsh, of course. But what, we might ask, has finally led her to this conclusion? After the shooting of Gabby Giffords in 2011, Walsh fretted dramatically about “the rhetoric of violence”; asked aloud, “Will any prominent conservatives denounce ‘reload’ and ‘crosshairs’ imagery?”; inquired dishonestly, “Is it really controversial to suggest that the overheated anti-government rhetoric of the last two years, with its often violent imagery, ought to be toned down?”; described Sarah Palin’s pretty standard political-campaign map as “unconscionable”; hoped that Republicans would find it in their hearts to “listen to Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, who denounced ‘the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths about the government’ at a Saturday night press conference”; played a remarkably dishonest game of “But Anyway . . . ,” repeatedly noting that there was “no evidence” that Jared Loughner had reacted to any right-wing rhetoric before insinuating in the next breath that he must have; and, when her well was running dry, went so far as to suggest without any attestation at all that the shooter was a registered Republican.

Later, talking characteristically out of both sides of her mouth, Walsh proposed that “even if Tuscon exists in a vacuum,” it would still be the case that the “Tea Party’s violent rhetoric is dangerous.” Naturally, these accusations were part of a trend. Two years earlier, Walsh had cynically blamed conservative talk-radio for a shooting at the National Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. The perpetrator turned out to be a neo-Nazi.

If it weren’t for double standards the left would have no standards at all.

Related: The Monsters Who Screamed For Dead Cops.

A little over a week ago, a group of people marched down the streets of Manhattan and called for police to be killed. But exactly who cried out for violence has been something of a mystery as New York goes through its most tense moment in more than a decade.

Evidence from photos, videos, social-media posts and interviews suggest that a group—the New York chapter of the Trayvon Martin Organizing Committee, or TMOC—might have been involved. There is no definitive proof that TMOC led the call for dead cops, but there is a web of circumstantial ties with the group at its center.

TMOC’s own social-media posts put them near the scene of the cry for police blood. Some of the slogans used that night—including “arms up, shoot back!”—are the same as the ones used by TMOC. And recently TMOC has been soliciting money for the legal defense of people it calls its “comrades” who were arrested for allegedly assaulting police officers on the Brooklyn Bridge, just hours after the “dead cops” chant was recorded.

The bedrock of TMOC’s politics, judged by their social-media output, is hatred for police and endorsement of violence against them. The group seems to blend “black bloc” anarchist street violence with social-media campaigns. Keeping their organizing online, members can plan and incite without coming out from behind their digital masks until they hit the streets. (The group did not respond to repeated requests for comment.)

Finding TMOC started with an interview of the man who shot the video showing marchers chanting, “What do we want? Dead cops! When do we want it? Now!” . . . It would be interesting to find out more about the radicals whose slogan is “shoot back.” What we know now is that, out of the people arrested on the bridge, one is a Harvard-educated poet and another was making more than $100,000 a year working for one of the most the most powerful unions in New York City.

I think further inquiry is worthwhile. And if this were a Tea Party event, every journalist in New York would be tracing all the connections. But the Tea Party famously leaves places cleaner than it finds them. The left, not so much.

JESSE WALKER: Amanda Marcotte Is Confused. An evergreen headline!

“Amanda Marcotte has a history of misrepresenting the views of the people she criticizes. Today her strawman shares a name with me.”

JONATHAN FARLEY: It’s Time For A New Standard On Judging Rape Accusers.

December 23, 2014

WORKING TOWARD A WARP DRIVE in a Nebraska garage.

CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: How a Top Obama Crony Moved From Idaho To a $2 Million Washington Estate.

REMINDER: The Pope Is Catholic, Not An American Politician.

POLITICS: Rand Paul Airs ‘Festivus’ Grievances on Twitter, Hints at 2016 Run.

IF A.N.S.W.E.R DOESN’T START A LEFTY PROTEST, IT TRIES TO TAKE IT OVER: Communists Are Behind the Anti-Police Protests In New York. “A.N.S.W.E.R. is close to unique, in that it advocates for pretty much every form of evil in the world.” Communists are on the same moral plane as Nazis, just with better press relations.

The anti-war protests of the Bush era were also A.N.S.W.E.R productions, as David Corn and Christopher Hitchens noted. The Corn piece will be particularly informative to those who don’t follow hard-left agitators. ‘They’re Maoists.’ But they’re the only game in town, and I’ve got to admit they’re good organizers. They remembered everything but the Porta-Johns.”

NOEMIE EMERY: A Bad Couple of Weeks for the Liberal Narrative.

TO BE FAIR, THAT’S NOT DIFFICULT THESE DAYS: German Protestants Put America’s Mainline to Shame.

THEY SEEM TO HAVE A MANAGEMENT PROBLEM: Audit: UVA cuts corners with purchases, student fees.

THE PERILS OF the office candy bowl.

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ASHE SCHOW: Huffington Post suddenly doesn’t care about sexual assault statistics. “The claim that one in five women will be raped during their time in college was all the rage this year — until it became indefensible. Now, suddenly, statistics don’t matter.”

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Walter Russell Mead: Living Large In A Shrinking Cocoon. “Never have liberal ideas been so firmly entrenched within America’s core elite institutions. Never have those institutions been so weak and uninfluential.”

SO BLOGGING HAS BEEN LIGHTER THAN I’D HAVE LIKED; I’d wanted to put up some longer posts on various events, but I’ve been kind of busy — the Insta-Dad was in the hospital over the weekend, and I had grades to turn in, and well, I could post links but nothing longer. He’s out now and doing okay. Sorry for the distraction, but life comes first.

SONY BACKS DOWN FROM ITS BACKDOWN: Sony to release ‘The Interview’ after all. “Sony Pictures has approved limited Christmas Day screenings of ‘The Interview,’ reversing course after taking heat for canceling its planned release after threats from hackers.”

WHAT FERRIS BUELLER CAN TEACH US about who counts as “the media.”

CHICKS DIG JERKS: J.K. Rowling Is ‘Unnerved’ by Everyone’s Crushes on Draco Malfoy.

UPDATE: Given the surprisingly detailed Harry Potter discussion in the comments, let me once again recommend my colleague Ben Barton’s Harry Potter and the Half-Crazed Bureaucracy, an explanation of how the series is a libertarian manifesto for the world’s youth. “This partial list of activities brings home just how bleak Rowling’s portrait of government is. The critique is even more devastating because the governmental actors and actions in the book look and feel so authentic and familiar. . . . Lastly, Rowling even eliminates the free press as a check on government power. The wizarding newspaper, The Daily Prophet, is depicted as a puppet to the whims of the Ministry of Magic.”

ANOTHER UPDATE: From the comments: “So college girls today live in constant fear of being raped. While daydreaming about Draco in leather pants and reading the S&M fantasy 50 Shades of Grey. What would Freud say was their problem?”

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EBOLA: C.D.C. Head Says Fight on Ebola Will Be Long.

NO SURPRISE: Children Are Leading The Cord-Cutting Revolution. “The cable industry has long pretended that the cord cutting phenomenon either isn’t real or that the only people cutting the cord are aging losers living in their parents’ basement. Of course when you actually look at the data, while cord cutting remains a slow but growing phenomenon, most of the cord cutters are young, highly educated, employed, and make a good amount of money. As it turns out, you’ll be surprised to note these folks are having children — and these children are also starting to prefer on demand, a la carte services like Netflix instead of traditional cable.”

A NICE STOCKING-STUFFER: The Photon Keychain LED Light. I have one of these and it’s very handy.

PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: Tech groups send Miss. AG a “friendly reminder” about how bad SOPA was. “Trade groups that represent the industry’s biggest companies along with several public interest groups sent a letter to Hood this afternoon reminding him about how widely unpopular SOPA was. Attached are several other letters from prominent persons and groups who fought against SOPA back in 2011.”

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SPOILER: YOU CAN’T SEE THROUGH IT. Here’s What The Sun Looks Like In X-Ray.

UNLESS YOU HUG SOMEONE WHO HAS A COLD, I GUESS: A Hug A Day Keeps The Cold Virus At Bay.

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SHOCKER: De Blasio Taking NYC Back To 1970, Just As Republicans Warned.

LIFE IN DEBLASIO’S NEW YORK: 911 operators made ‘anti-police’ remarks, causing quarrel with FDNY dispatchers as 2 NYPD cops were dying, sources say. “The war of words occurred when news broke that NYPD cops Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were shot Saturday. One dispatcher allegedly said the cops ‘deserved it,’ said a law enforcement source.” Incredible.

MY USA TODAY COLUMN IS UP: We Need A House Of Repeal To Prune Back Overgrown Laws.

IN THE MAIL: From Michael Totten, Tower of the Sun: Stories from the Middle East and North Africa.

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TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 593.

RAPE HOAX FALLOUT: A Joint Letter From Civil Rights Attorneys To UVA President Teresa Sullivan About UVA’s Illegal Sexual Assault Policies. This reads like the outline for a lawsuit under Title IX and Section 1983.

Related: U.Va. board chair blasts Rolling Stone for damage to university’s reputation. “During a meeting held by the University of Virginia Board of Visitors, Rector George K. Martin called Rolling Stone’s treatment of the university ‘drive-by journalism’ and denounced the damage done to the university’ reputation. Martin opened the meeting by expressing the board’s ‘collective sorrow’ for the students, faculty, fraternities and others on campus who had been ‘wrongly maligned and traumatized’ by Rolling Stone’s now disputed article alleging a gang rape and massive cover up by U.Va.”

You know, UVA President Teresa Sullivan has been remarkably supine in the face of Rolling Stone’s libel since, false or not, it advanced her preferred campus agenda. But the Board may feel differently.

OF COURSE, AN AWFUL LOT OF THESE STORIES TURNED OUT TO BE LIES: Why the Personal Became Political for Women in 2014: Women have discovered the power of going public with deeply intimate stories.

Lena Dunham, who shot to fame in no small part for her emotional and corporeal honesty, waited almost a decade to speak publicly about her experience with college sexual assault. “Speaking out was never about exposing the man who assaulted me,” she would later explain of the decision to go public. “Rather, it was about exposing my shame, letting it dry out in the sun.” In many ways, Dunham has made the political connections to her work explicit, as when she teamed up with Planned Parenthood and EMILY’s List on her book tour. Dunham has also continued work on her critically acclaimed, albeit controversial, TV show Girls, a fiction that for many feels uncomfortably real.

You’d think that National Journal’s Lucia Graves would mention that Dunham’s story about being raped by a top campus Republican named “Barry” was exploded, and that Dunham and her publisher have admitted that there was no “Barry.” (Her story about abusing her infant sister, on the other hand, which Graves unaccountably ignores, appears to be true.)

The, of course, there’s the UVA rape hoax, and the 1-in-5 campus sexual assault figure that Kirsten Gillibrand — prominently mentioned in the article — has backed away from, something that Graves also doesn’t mention. And Gillibrand’s own fat-shaming story — like Dunham’s, suspiciously non-specific, and eventually tied to a conveniently dead Democrat — seems just a little too convenient.

So when we talk about “personal stories,” maybe the emphasis here is on the “stories” part (stories as in “fiction”), rather than the personal. But Graves is right about one thing: It’s all about power.

EXPULSION IS SILLY, BUT A CONSERVATIVE STUDENT WHO MADE SIMILAR RACIST TWEETS WOULD BE IN TROUBLE NOWADAYS: At Brandeis, Outrage Over Student’s Tweets. I’d like to go back to the idea that campuses are places that prize free speech, but under current rules I think lefties should suffer just as much blowback as anyone else.

THE STORY OF A COLUMBIA STUDENT falsely accused of rape.

He says that he is innocent and that the same university that found him “not responsible” has now abdicated its own responsibility, letting mob justice overrule its official procedures. The mattress project is not an act of free expression, he adds; it is an act of bullying, a very public, very personal, and very painful attack designed to hound him out of Columbia. And it is being conducted with the university’s active support.

“There is a member of the faculty that is supervising this,” he said. “This is part of her graduation requirement.”

Most of the lynch-mob justice on campuses is actively facilitated by faculty and staff. This is why, as I say, Congress needs to look at holding universities responsible for this kind of bullying.

ED MORRISSEY: Five Resolutions for Republicans in 2015.

TOM MAGUIRE TO TA-NEHISI COATES & CONOR FRIEDERSDORF: Send Better Arguments. “All too often when our friends on the left stage a protest it turns violent. At which point, we hear explanations about how it was hijacked by a radical fringe and we are all supposed to be surprised. Maybe one day these leaders on the left will achieve a better understanding of their base.”

UPDATE: From the comments: “Maybe they should hire the Tea Party folks to help train their minions on how to protest without violence or destruction of property.”

Heh. But (barely) deniable violence for purposes of intimidation is all part of the scheme. That’s what “no justice, no peace” means. As Richard Fernandez has written: “It is impossible to understand the politics of the Left without grasping that it is all about deniable intimidation.” That’s why they don’t want you to own guns, and that’s why they’re so panicked at groups, like the Tea Party, that aren’t intimidated.

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MY USA TODAY COLUMN IS UP: We Need A House Of Repeal To Prune Back Overgrown Laws.

HOLLYWOOD: Do Sony E-Mails Expose a Wider Racism?

A HEARTWARMING STORY: After family’s presents were stolen, Lexington police officers took kids shopping.

FIGHT THE POWER: Supreme Court to hear ObamaCare subsidy challenge in March.

The highly anticipated case challenging ObamaCare’s subsidies will officially reach the Supreme Court on March 4.

Justices will hear arguments in King v. Burwell in just under three months, according to the court’s schedule posted Monday afternoon.

The case, led by conservative groups, questions whether the federal government can legally hand out healthcare subsidies in 34 states that have opted out of creating their own exchanges.

The plaintiffs of the case also released their opening brief on Monday, a 129-page document that lays out their case against the subsidies.

The court announced in November that it would take up the case, surprising many court-watchers and healthcare experts. Democrats, including the authors of ObamaCare, have come to the law’s defense.

Stay tuned.

IRS SCANDAL UPDATE: Bombshell Report: IRS Targeted “Icky” Conservative Groups.

Top IRS officials specifically targeted tea party groups and misled the public about its secret political targeting program led by ex-official Lois Lerner, according to a bombshell new congressional report.

The Daily Caller has obtained an advance copy of a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee report set to be released Tuesday morning that definitively proves malicious intent by the IRS to improperly block conservative groups that an IRS adviser deemed “icky.” (That’s right. “Icky.”)

“The Committee has identified eight senior leaders who were in a position to prevent or to stop the IRS’s targeting of conservative applicants,” the Oversight report states. “Each of these leaders could have and should have done more to prevent the IRS’s targeting of conservative tax-exempt applicants.”

Much more at the link.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: The AAUP’s Ludicrous Declaration. “The truth of the matter is that American professors have gotten themselves into this pickle. They have through their acceptance of lower standards and elimination of general education requirements made college education less rigorous, more obscure, and completely haphazard.”

THE COLUMBIA JOURNALISM REVIEW PUTS ROLLING STONE’S BOGUS RAPE STORY AT THE TOP OF ITS roundup of “the worst journalism of 2014.”

MICHAEL BARONE: Free speech, political correctness struggle to coexist on campus.

The total discrediting of Rolling Stone’s story on rape at the University of Virginia has shined a light on one of the least palatable features of American life: the so-called epidemic of rape on campus.

Authorities from Barack Obama on down have cited the phony statistic that one in five college women is raped. Phony, because it’s based on a 2007 survey conducted at two Midwestern schools, not of a random sample, but of a small number of self-selected respondents. The study also includes unwanted touching and kissing in its broad definition of “sexual assault.”

A Department of Justice survey released this month presents a different picture. Between 1995 and 2013, it reports, an average of 0.61 percent of female students were raped or sexually assaulted every year — 2.4 percent over four years, not 20 percent. Moreover, DOJ reports, that rate has been declining significantly in recent years, in line with a national decline in rape.

In other words, there is no suddenly raging epidemic of rape on campus. Nevertheless, colleges and universities have been scampering to comply with mandates from the Obama Department of Education to set up procedures in which campus administrators, with no legal training, act as investigators, prosecutors, judges, juries and executioners.

Accused students are not allowed to have lawyers or to confront witnesses, and legal rules of evidence do not apply. State legislatures have passed or are considering laws requiring schools to adopt (and many schools are adopting) a “yes means yes” standard, requiring express consent at each stage of a sexual encounter.

These kangaroo courts can and do expel male students, putting a blot on their records for life. No wonder dozens of them are suing universities and getting big cash settlements. No wonder 28 current and retired Harvard law professors signed a letter calling such processes “deeply unfair and undemocratic.”

Some day, I suspect, this frenzy will be seen as akin to the hysteria over satanic abuse in day care centers in the 1980s. Many people went to jail over utterly fraudulent charges based on bogus psychological research, akin to the Salem witch trials.

Administrators’ thumbs are heavily on the scales here, and it’s not on the side of free speech. As I say, this is ripe for Congressional civil rights legislation.

EUGENE VOLOKH: How many crimes can you see being committed in this anti-gun ‘public service’ ad? “I can imagine some impressionable teenager seeing what the appealing protagonist is doing, and trying to copy it, especially since the serious tone of the video seems to invite its being taken seriously. And the results could include expulsion, criminal prosecution, or even death.”

The thing about ratting out your parents adds a nice Stalinist touch.

FREE SPEECH ON CAMPUS: Augustana College bans Yik Yak.

THIS SEEMS LIKE A STRONG TITLE IX CASE AGAINST THE UNIVERSITY, as well as a civil suit against the students involved. Unpunished vandalism rampage inspired by Rolling Stone’s U.Va. rape story: Student activist who led vandalism attack on Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house says he has no regrets.

I also think that university toleration of lynch-mob behavior is a serious civil rights problem on campuses, and something that the next Congress should look at remedying.

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: Obama Palling Around With Al Sharpton Is A Disgrace. (Audio).

AMY MILLER: We should all sneer in the face of North Korean fearmongering.

December 22, 2014

LAYERS OF FACT-CHECKERS AND EDITORS: The Curious Case Of The T.V. Attorney And Twitter.

LIFE IN THE ERA OF HOPE AND CHANGE: NYC police chief: Tensions like ’70s.

You know what else is like the Seventies? The Democratic solutions to the problems they caused: Dem: Cops should focus on gun control. These guys haven’t had a new idea since 1968.

AT AMAZON, Year-End Deals on Apps & Games.

Plus, 12 Days Of Deals Ends Today. New markdowns, but not for much longer.

MY USA TODAY COLUMN IS UP: We Need A House Of Repeal To Prune Back Overgrown Laws.

AT Y-12: A Brown And Radioactive Burp.

MILO YIANNOPOULOS ON THE LATEST FEMINIST OUTCRY: What is ‘Manspreading’ and Why are People Angry about It?

After the numerous and well-publicised feminist fiascoes of 2014, it has become clear to all but the most ideologically determined observers that the intersectional third-wave harpies who so dominate in the American and British media and to whom obeisance has been paid for many years have nothing left to fight for and no arguments left to win.

Witness the absurd, offensive, ludicrous spectacle of inanity and stupidity currently surrounding the New York subway: a campaign to stop men sitting comfortably on public transport. We “manspread,” apparently, which observers have interpreted as “sit in such a way as not to painfully crush the testicles or penis” but which feminists insist is an expression of patriarchal authority. You could not, as British newspaper columnists like to say, make this shit up. . . .

The manspreading complaint is couched as a response to “rudeness” by men, but it is no such thing: it is pathetic feminist pipsqueakery, the last dying gasp of a movement with nothing to win and nothing to say, determined to abuse and antagonise the male sex at all costs and for whatever perceived or outright imaginary infraction it can conjure from the vicissitudes of everyday life. It is offensively trivial, and those associated with it ought to be ashamed.

Such people include the author of a New York Times story on this otiose playground jihad against men, and the subway officials who endorsed a poster campaign warning men of the social anxiety caused by their choice of sitting position. Not a word about those shopping bags, or–the real irritant for me, on the rare occasion I take the Tube–stilettoes digging into the back of my heels and capacious handbags clogging the gangways.

Is it any wonder women these days complain of being alone? They mistake their own, self-induced isolation as the inevitable consequence of patriarchy, not realising that their generation has spent a decade doing everything possible to isolate and alienate men.

Yep. You could write a whole book on that phenomenon.

Plus: “Feminism is a poisoned term. It is tainted; stained by the petty misandrist misdeeds of a thousand spoilt brats on the pages of the Guardian; an army of Jessica Valentis whinging about wrapping Christmas presents instead of objecting to the acid thrown in Indian women’s faces.”

Feminism died in 1998, and it was so obvious that even Maureen Dowd noticed. “Feminism died in 1998 when Hillary allowed henchlings and Democrats to demonize Monica as an unbalanced stalker, and when Gloria Steinem defended Mr. Clinton against Kathleen Willey and Paula Jones.” Now the corpse is just twitching.

JOHN HAYWARD: Collectivism And The Presumption Of Guilt.

TRANSPARENCY: Reprisals Against Whistleblowers In Military Hospital Care. “Physicians, nurses and medical workers at military hospitals say they have been brushed off, transferred, investigated and passed over for promotion after they pointed out problems with care.” Par for the course these days.

GEORGE WARREN FULLER, the man who crushed typhoid.

THE INSTA-WIFE: Is Pornography the Cause or the Effect of Men on Strike?‏ “Men go where they are wanted, needed and have autonomy. If they can’t find it in the real world, a virtual world might just work too.”