September 1, 2015

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WE USED TO HAVE STEELY-EYED CIVIL ENGINEERS RUNNING THIS STUFF. NOW IT’S THE DOMAIN OF CLUELESS POLITICAL HACKS. California’s Katrina Is Coming.

Most of the state’s water is drawn from the Delta, protected by levees that pretty much amount to mounds of dirt, even when compared to infrastructure that infamously failed New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. Hurricanes don’t hit NorCal, but these levees are alarmingly susceptible to disaster. If enough were to breach—in an earthquake perhaps, or severe El Niño storm—sea water from San Francisco Bay could rush in, tainting the water supply serving two-thirds of the state. The worst-case scenario could cause up to three years of severely curtailed water for most Californians.

Even if you’re not a California dreamer, this affects you. Delta water keeps Hollywood in the movie business, Silicon Valley in the tech business, and 750,000 acres of farmland in the business of producing half of America’s veggies, fruits, and nuts. If the levees go, so goes the water for 25 million residents of the world’s seventh largest economy.

The Delta is a singular place, even in California’s varied geography. Most of California’s interior water flows into two river systems—the Sacramento from the north, and the San Joaquin from the south. Where they meet, just east of the San Francisco Bay, they form a muggy tidal marsh with more than 70 inhabited islands. Most of these islands sit below sea level, due to groundwater pumping and natural compaction, and are ringed by tall, earthen levees. “An island in the Delta is really a bowl surrounded by a levee,” says Dave Mraz, chief levee engineer for the state Department of Water Resources. “If that levee goes, then that bowl is filled with water.”

Since 1900, over 160 levees have breached in the Delta. Several breached islands were never reclaimed, and now exist only as levee-top lagoons.

Don’t worry. Now that that dumb cowboy Bush is gone, we don’t have to worry about government incompetence anymore.

NEW SAN FRANCISCO RESTAURANT REPLACES HUMANS WITH IPADS: Eatsa in the city’s financial district offers iPad-based ordering, with meals prepared by people whom customers never have to see:

Not far from San Francisco, a hotel in Sunnyvale, the Aloft Cupertino, recently began testing a robot that assists its human colleagues with daily tasks such as changing linens and towels and delivering amenities to guests.

Riley Thomas, a San Francisco resident who works near Eatsa, was one of the few patrons who questioned the concept at a time when more and more families are struggling to survive in the city. “I like the food and love the price,” he said. “Still, it worries me that people will begin to think that this is how all restaurants should be run and it could really hurt jobs that are needed right now.”

Co-founder Scott Drummond said: “There is a fast food business model that we need to hit and we’re looking at ways that technology can increase efficiency … That way we can get the price down.”

Gee, what could have inspired these San Francisco restaurateurs so “unexpectedly?”

POLITICALLY INCORRECT SCIENCE: More Evidence That Brains Are Not Gender Neutral. “However much we’d like to think of gender as a social construct, science suggests that real differences do exist between female and male brains. The latest evidence: a first-of-its-kind European study that finds that the female brain can be drastically reshaped by treating it with testosterone over time.”

DISPATCHES FROM ICE STATION BARRY:

As the United States and Russia eye new shipping routes in the melting Arctic, political and military leaders in Washington are pointing to a crucial gap in the one type of vessel that can turn frozen waters into reliable lanes for commerce or national defense.

Icebreakers — the ships that smash through sea ice, opening routes for other craft and rescuing trapped vessels — are increasingly important to navigating in the far north. Russia has 40 of them, including nuclear-powered craft painted an intimidating red and black.

Meanwhile, the U.S. icebreaker fleet? Two.

But hey, we finally got that old dead white guy’s name off of an Alaskan mountain. Priorities, people — priorities!

“I AM NOT AN EMAIL CROOK!” The server fracas isn’t Watergate, yet, but the Democratic front-runner is starting to sound a little like Richard Nixon. More than a little, I’d say.

MSNBC GUEST: HILLARY ‘IS ON A TRAJECTORY THAT IS DRAMATICALLY DOWNWARD.’

On the other hand, Piers Morgan shouts, “Put a fork in her, because Hillary’s done. Nobody will ever trust her again” — which is a safe bet that Hillary’s got it in the bag.

NINTH PLANNED PARENTHOOD VIDEO: BABY PARTS VENDOR PAYS OFF CLINICS: And sometimes fully intact fetuses “just fell out,” implying they were born alive.

BLUMENTHAL URGES CLINTON TO SUPPORT IMPEACHMENT OF JUSTICE THOMAS: According to the Daily Caller, the latest batch of released Hillary Clinton emails reveals a telling one: Clinton’s top confidant, Sid Blumenthal, urged Clinton to support the impeachment of Justice Clarence Thomas, forwarding to her a 7-page “memorandum” penned by David Brock, the founder of Media Matters, and a self-proclaimed defender of Hillary Clinton.

The political left’s hatred of Justice Thomas is legendary, with the only black Supreme Court Justice routinely being called an “Uncle Tom” for holding conservative/libertarian views. But Blumenthal’s email to Clinton in October 2010 shows that the left was still actively scheming to ruin Thomas, trying to build a case for impeachment.

The utter ridiculousness of the effort is patent. Thomas’s impeachable “high crime and misdemeanor” offenses? According to New York Times and Washington Post hit pieces relied upon by Brock, women (including a former girlfriend) who were interviewed indicated that Thomas had an apparent interest–prior to being confirmed as a Justice–in pornography, and a healthy sexual interest in the opposite gender.

Um, so basically the left wanted to impeach Thomas because he was a red-blooded American male? Well, I guess that’s in keeping with the left’s utter hostility to all things male. But please, this is all you’ve got on Thomas? Yawn.

FASTER, PLEASE: Why a “universal” flu vaccine may soon be a reality.

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SHOCKER: French Minister: Hey, that 35-hour work week isn’t working out so well.

His comments, which echoed similar sentiments from an interview almost exactly a year ago – made a splash across front pages of French newspapers on Friday.

“The left was wrong to think that France would improve if people worked less. It was a false idea,” he said during his closing statement at the conference.

He added that “one shouldn’t ask what your country can do for you, rather what you can do for your country’s economy”.

Supporters say the flagship policy of the French left creates jobs by limiting the amount of time employees are allowed to work, thereby encouraging companies to take on more staff.

But critics at home and abroad say it is an inflexible law that hampers business and creates a bloated workforce.

Yeah, I’m going with #2 here.

FASTER, PLEASE: Stanford’s Low-Carbon Water Splitter Produces Hydrogen 24-7.

ALBANY HAS BEEN TAKING THE SHORT BUS TO SCHOOL FOR A VERY LONG TIME: Small business owners give New York a ‘D’ For business friendliness.

WELL, THAT LASTED LONG:

● Shot: “Stephen Colbert to Time: I Didn’t Want to Be a Political Champion (?)”

– Melissa Mullins, NewsBusters, August 29, 2015.

● Chaser: “Stephen Colbert Gets Political, Booking Supreme Court Justice, UN Secretary-General, Bernie Sanders.”

Deadline, August 31st.

Did anyone doubt that Colbert would turn Letterman’s former time slot into a late night version of his old Comedy Central series? (Not that Letterman wasn’t hyper-politicized by the end of his run as well, which greatly reduced his potential audience. But then, to paraphrase Santayana, those who failed to learn the lessons of HBO’s The Late Shift are doomed to repeat their mistakes all over again.)

THE JOY OF SAYING “I’m too old for this.”

WOULDN’T YOU EXPECT MOST NORTH DAKOTANS TO KNOW A RIFLE WHEN THEY SEE IT? Police Mistake Telescope For Gun.

BECAUSE TO LEFTISTS, RACISM IS A SIN COMMITTED ONLY BY WHITES: Dennis Prager, “The Left Only Sees White Evil.”

In the past week, two television reporters in Roanoke, Va. — Alison Parker and Adam Ward — were murdered by a black man who hated whites, and a white police officer in Houston — Darren Goforth — was murdered by a black man. Neither crime has been labeled a hate crime. And no mainstream media reporting of the murders attributes either to race-based hate.

For the mainstream media, the Roanoke murders were committed by “a disgruntled former employee,” and regarding the Houston policeman, the media report that, in the words of The New York Times, “a motive for the shooting remained unclear.”

The disregard of anti-white hatred as the motive for blacks who murder whites even when the murder is obviously racially motivated comes from the same people who denied that the Islamist Nidal Hasan’s murder of 13 fellow soldiers at Fort Hood was religiously motivated. These people — all on the left — have an agenda: to deny black racism and Islamist-based violence whenever possible. Only white police and other white violence against non-whites is clearly racist — even when not. . . .

So, too, the mainstream media depicted the black murderer of eight white people at a Connecticut beer warehouse in 2010 as a man who had been angered by white racism, not as the white-hater he was. Under the headline “Troubles Preceded Connecticut Workplace Killing,” a New York Times article reported: “He might also have had cause to be angry: He had complained to his girlfriend of being racially harassed at work, the woman’s mother said, and lamented that his grievances had gone unaddressed.”

And a Washington Post headline read: “Beer warehouse shooter long complained of racism.”

The fact was that the man was fired for stealing beer from his workplace, and there was a video of him doing so.

The left denies black racism in another way. When a white racist murdered nine blacks in a Charleston, S.C., church this past June, the left and the media correctly stressed the murderer’s racism. Indeed, whenever blacks are killed by whites — which, it is worth noting, is many times less likely than a white being murdered by a black — and especially by white police officers, the left attributes the killings to racism. But when blacks kill whites, the left attributes the killings to guns. This is all reinforced by the left’s position that only whites can be racist, because only the powerful can be racist, and whites have all the power. . . .

The left has been supplying both victimhood and lies to black America. The lies are that America is a racist society — as the president of the United States himself has said, racism is “still part of (America’s) DNA” — that the greatest problem facing young blacks is racism, and that white (and even black) police routinely kill blacks for no reason other than racism. . . .

Those lies in turn produce the anger-inducing victimhood that pervades too much of black life. Just this past weekend at the Minneapolis State Fair, a “Black Lives Matter” group chanted, “Pigs in a blanket, fry ‘em like bacon.”

Some blacks — as in Houston this past weekend and in Louisiana two weeks earlier when a black man murdered another white policeman — are taking this message literally and randomly murdering police officers. And some other blacks just want to kill whites, whether or not they are police. Such is the power of victimhood and lies.

There is a lot of blood on the left’s hands. And there will be more.

The far left notion that only whites can be racist has been part of Critical Race Theory (of which Obama has long been a proponent), which is a key component of Critical Legal Theory. CRT/CLT’s core philosophy is that whites have all the “power,” and design laws to keep minorities from getting any “power,” thus perpetually victimizing those minorities.  The far left needs hatred of whites and victimhood like fire needs oxygen; without them, its distorted view of law and society withers and dies.

The inherent evil of this far left philosophy should be obvious, as one of the founding fathers of the movement, Saul Alinsky–whose devotees include both Barack Obama and Hillary Clintonincluded in the beginning of his book, Rules for Radicals, the following statement of admiration for the community organizing talents of the devil:

“Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical: from all our legends, mythology, and history… the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom — Lucifer.”

The devil works in obvious ways sometimes. Hating other individuals simply because of the color of their skin–even if you think that brings them “power” or “privilege”–is racism. But at least two generations of Americans have been taught the opposite, thanks to the far left dominance of the academy. Prager is sadly correct when he ascribes growing black-on-white racial hate crimes to the far left’s “victimhood” narrative, as well as his conclusion that more bloodshed is likely to come.

A REMINDER:

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RICHARD EPSTEIN: How Democrats Stifle Labor Markets.

TACKLING THE IMPORTANT ISSUES: Here’s a PHENOMENAL Way to Explain Donald Trump to Your Kids…Dr. Seuss Style.

IN THE MAIL: From Dick and Liz Cheney, Exceptional: Why the World Needs a Powerful America.

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TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 845.

REFORM YES, CHANGE NO: Defying the EU the Italian Way.

Laws are passed, prime ministers take bows for the camera, and then…nothing.
Why? For one thing, even after parliament passes a bill and the president signs it into law, it isn’t quite law yet. The bureaucrats still have to issue an implementation decree that defines how, exactly, the law will be carried out. This can take months, years, even forever—and by the time the implementation protocols emerge from the bowels of the bureaucracy, they have often been amended and weakened to the point that they change little or nothing.

And the bureaucrats have an easy time of it; Italian reform laws tend to be thought through poorly and drafted poorly, and they are then amended in a complicated legislative process that usually both weakens the intent of the law and complicates its execution. All of that provides plenty of grounds for the bureaucrats to “interpret” what’s left into something bland and ineffective.

The second big reason is that the Italian state is weak—it is not very good at making people do what they don’t want to do, especially in the South. After all, the Mafia and other organized crime associations have been defying governments since the Middle Ages. They are still at it today, and Italy is a prime case. The politicians and even the bureaucrats in far away Rome may have decreed reforms, say, in the trash hauling business, but what matters much, much more to the officials on the ground in South Italy is what Tony Soprano thinks about the reforms.

Beyond that, Italy has far too many local governments. It has twice as many municipalities and towns, for example, as the much larger and more populous United States. The central government doesn’t have enough inspectors and overseers to keep them all in line, and even if it did, the inspectors and the overseers would often sympathize more with their fellow bureaucrats than with the grandstanding politicians in parliament. Beyond that, firing a tenured civil servant in Italy is virtually impossible, meaning that bureaucrats can pretty much run their offices to suit themselves.

Italy is far more sophisticated and clever, that is, than the hot-headed Greeks. Syriza is a party of naifs who made the mistake of attacking Germany and Brussels head-on. Italy is savvier than that: it knows how to say “yes” and look busy while doing little or nothing. Italy has a long history of using that strategy. The Goths conquered Rome and did a lot of damage—but they didn’t change Italy much. German emperors strutted through the halls of Italy’s palaces and issued decrees to both princes and popes—and Italy kept on being Italian all the same.

Perhaps we Americans should deal with our own ruling class the same way.

GLAD I PUT IN A GENERATOR, I GUESS: Electric Grid Reliability Fears Remain in Wake of Climate Rule.

COMMIES GONNA COMMIE: How Hugo Chavez Trashed Latin America’s Richest Economy. Note, however, that he left his daughter the richest person in Venezuela. That’s “socialist equality” for you!

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TIME TO DEFUSE CAMPUS RAPE HYSTERIA: Serial predator in your campus closet? Not likely: Research showing serial predators commit most campus rape includes just 1 flimsy study.

The truth is that there is no campus rape “crisis.” Instead, rape rates on campus are plummeting, just as they are everywhere else. What there is instead is a war on male students, and a power grab by campus educrats.

TODAY IN IMMIGRATION CRISIS NEWS: Hungary halts rail traffic in bid to stop migrants.

ONE TAKEAWAY FROM LAST NIGHT’S HILLARY EMAIL RELEASE:

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THE FEDS DIDN’T MAKE HER TREAT AN ENTIRE FRATERNITY AS GUILTY BASED ON A FALSE ACCUSATION AGAINST A FEW MEMBERS, OR LEAD A LYNCH MOB AGAINST IT. U.Va. president blames feds for response to Rolling Stone debacle.

University of Virginia President Teresa Sullivan blamed federal privacy regulations for her school’s failure to debunk the Rolling Stone gang-rape story.

Those regulations did not stop her from treating innocent people as rapists, however.

Sullivan, speaking to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, said the school couldn’t counter the Rolling Stone article about a now discredited accusation of a brutal gang rape because of a law known as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

“The university couldn’t say it wasn’t true because of FERPA,” said Sullivan, referring to federal student privacy law. “And the only reason I can say it to you now is because there’s a police chief’s report, which is not FERPA-protected.”

But in the wake of the Rolling Stone hoax, Sullivan, despite now admitting the school knew all along that the claims were false, spent little time suggesting evidence be collected before punishment meted out. Two days after the article was published, the Inter-Fraternity Council decided to suspend social activities for one weekend. Sullivan immediately expanded that suspension to two months, and only allowed fraternities and sororities to resume social activities after signing new agreements with the university.

Sullivan told the Times-Dispatch that universities should not “run roughshod over student privacy,” but that schools “are put into a position in which we cannot defend ourselves.”

Sullivan did try to defend her school – by placing blame on the fraternities when she and her administration had access to the reports made by the Rolling Stone accuser, Jackie, that did not line up with the magazine article.

Sullivan also said that the rector who apologized to Jackie during a board meeting did so due to “emotion” and “pressure.”

Her behavior has been disgraceful, a complete breach of the duty of fairness she owes to all students, even fraternity guys accused (falsely) of rape. She should resign — or be fired.

WAPO: Glenn Beck got 20,000 people to turn out for an ‘All Lives Matter’ rally. But the national media “was largely absent.”

WAYNE W. DYER HAS DIED. The king of ’70s self-help, in many ways. I read his Pulling Your Own Strings in college — my psychologist-stepmother liked it — and as I recall it was actually quite good.

IF YOU THINK KANYE’S GOT NO CHANCE, THEN YOU HAVEN’T BEEN PAYING ATTENTION FOR THE LAST EIGHT YEARS. A 24-year-old black Republican has launched a ‘Ready for Kanye’ PAC.

On Sunday night, Kanye West got a five-year jump on the next presidential election. “I have decided in 2020 to run for president,” he said, after accepting a lifetime achievement prize at the MTV Video Music Awards. “It ain’t about me, it’s about new ideas, bro, new ideas. People with ideas, people who believe in truth.”

West, at 38, is both old enough to meet the constitutional requirements of the presidency, and slightly young to be receiving recognition for “lifetime achievement.” His announcement moved Eugene Craig, a black Republican activist from Maryland, to create a new PAC: Ready for Kanye.

“If Mr. West is to seek the presidency in 2020, and if there is no incumbent Republican president, I would absolutely encourage him to run,” said Craig, 24, who has already created a Facebook group for the cause. “I think he will bring an interesting dialogue to our party, and he’ll find a lot of people who want that dialogue. He’s pointed out the crippling racial disparities in the law and the economy. He’s talked about the pipeline of private prisons. He’s a genuine entrepreneur. Oh, not to mention that his first big single was ‘Jesus Walks.’”

Craig also runs the Young Minority Republicans Fund, but said his filing was totally separate from his work for Maryland’s GOP. He was a fan on a mission. His favorite Kanye album was My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy; his favorite Kanye song was “Never Let You Down.” And his favorite cause was introducing the Republican Party to skeptics.

Well, this will get some attention.

DAVID SOLWAY SPOTS NINE SIGNS OF THE IMPENDING AMERICAN COLLAPSE. Nonsense — as President Obama and/or legendary Faber College ROTC man Chip Diller would calmly declare, remain calm, all is well!

THE DIOGENES FACTOR: WILL SUCCESS SPOIL BEN CARSON? As Roger Simon writes, “The country, as we know from the immense success of Trump, is fed up with the political class:”

Diogenes of Sinope, it will be recalled, was the ascetic ancient Greek philosopher famed for spending his life, or a good part of it, looking for an honest man. Carson, at least to some degree, is the man Diogenes, and a significant part of today’s Republican electorate, was and is searching for.  Given the other side has as its leading candidate someone who is quite literally the poster child for total political and ethical dishonesty, with a complaisant media doing cartwheels to ignore her behavior, it’s no wonder such a person as Carson is attractive.  And this is not even counting the serial prevarications of the incumbent, from “you can keep your doctor” to we will have “anytime, anywhere” inspections of Iran, among a host of others.  Most of us are up to our eyes in lies and are in desperate search, like Diogenes, of an “honest man.”

Read the whole thing.

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HEADLINE OF THE DAY: Lindsey Graham Questions New Hampshire Man’s Virility.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: “Yes, ‘Hillary Clinton Really Is Coming For Your Guns,’ the Daily Beast’s Jackie Kucinich reported Monday. ‘Clinton has been pushing to curb firearms for decades,’ added the subheadline.”

Keep that in mind, when, if like Kerry in 2004 and Obama in 2008, Clinton tries to pretend she’s pro-Second Amendment.

Perhaps someone might ask her point blank if she’s up for amending the Constitution. As Charles Cooke wrote last week in his “Open Rant Aimed at Those Who Would Repeal the Second Amendment:”

And remember, you can’t half-ass it this time. You’re not going out there to tell these people that you want “reform” or that “enough is enough.” You’re going there to solicit their support for removing one of the articles within the Bill of Rights. Make no mistake: It’ll be unpleasant strolling into Pittsburgh or Youngstown or Pueblo and telling blue-collar Democrat after blue-collar Democrat that he only has his guns because he’s not as well endowed as he’d like to be. It’ll be tough explaining to suburban families that their established conception of American liberty is wrong. You might even suffer at the polls because of it. But that’s what it’s going to take. So do it. Start now. Off you go.

How ‘bout it, Hillary?

“THE SILENT MAJORITY:” “I’ve suggested before that 2016 is beginning to look more and more like 1968,” Bill Kristol writes at the Weekly Standard. “This is true in terms of the presidential contests—on the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders is Eugene McCarthy, Hillary Clinton is Lyndon Johnson, Joe Biden will be Hubert Humphrey, and (the big question!) Elizabeth Warren could be Bobby Kennedy; and on the Republican side, where Donald Trump is ‘a kind of cartoon version of Richard Nixon.’”

Nixon won in ’68 in part by promoting himself as the “law & order” candidate, just as Trump is doing on the issue of illegal immigration. But the hangover from Johnson’s Great Society era and the left’s concomitant love of “Radical Chic” terrorism and economic and environmental Malthusianism lasted throughout the rest of the following decade, culminating in Carter’s infamous “Malaise” era.

Assuming a candidate with an (R) after his or her name wins next year, the hangover from the Obama era will be tremendous – as with the ‘70s, so will the punitive anger of the American left; don’t expect it to be “Morning in America” again for quite some time.

RELATED: “It’s GOP’s Race to Lose,” Ron Radosh writes. “Anything can happen, but Democratic prospects are weak no matter the candidate.”

C’mon – if anybody can blow it in 2016, it’s the Stupid Party.

WHY DOES THE EPA HATE NATIVE AMERICANS? Navajo Nation preps lawsuit against EPA over mine spill.

The Navajo Nation is preparing for a legal battle against President Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The tribe contends that the EPA’s Aug. 5 accident in Colorado, which made national headlines after turning portions of the Animas River bright yellow, also leaked hazardous substances into the San Juan River — one of the Navajo Nation’s primary water sources.

Now, they’ve hired law firm Hueston Hennigan LLP to represent them in what some are predicting could be a multibillion-dollar lawsuit expected to be filed in the coming weeks, as lawmakers on Capitol Hill prepare for a round of hearings examining the issue.

And heading their legal team is powerhouse attorney John Hueston, who was the lead prosecutor in the 2006 case against former Enron executives Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling, who were found guilty of fraud and conspiracy.

Russell Begaye — president of Navajo Nation, which totals roughly 300,000 people — also sent a letter to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials on Monday, calling on them to appoint a FEMA official to coordinate their efforts in the response to the spill.

“This expansion into Navajo lands via the San Juan River has critically impacted the River and its dependent ecosystems including wildlife, fish populations, and the land base adjacent to the River,” Begaye wrote in the letter, first obtained by The Hill.

He said that “the nature of this toxic chemical spill will acutely and chronically impact the River and dependent ecosystem if immediate and effective corrective actions and remedies are not taken.”

Navajo Nation Attorney General Ethel Branch said in a statement that the hazardous-material spill “has been devastating to our culture and economy, as well as to the peace of mind of our people.

If an Evil Corporation had done this, Obama would be talking about putting his boot on their neck.

A FRIEND’S BOOK: Sword of Arelion.

SO, WHAT IS ESPN’S PERSPECTIVE: ESPN punished Schilling for telling truth about Nazis and extremist Muslims.

WHO IS TAKING THEM? ‘Hillary for Prison’ signs keep getting stolen in the Hamptons.

SHAME ABOUT NY CITY SCHOOLS: How civic innovation helped New Orleans roar back.

August 31, 2015

AND OUR LITTLE DOGS TOO: Did Dog-Human Alliance Drive Out the Neanderthals?

TO BE FAIR, HILLARY’S PANTSUIT WAS IMPERFECTLY CREASED: How Your New York Times Op-Ed Sausage Gets Made.

brookssuckup

THE CAMP OF THE SAINTS IS NOT JUST A NOVEL: Migrant trains reach Germany as EU asylum system creaks. “Thank God nobody asked for a passport … No police, no problem.”

DO TELL: Slate: Obama Is a Climate Hypocrite. His Trip to Alaska Proves It. Taking your own jet 4,200 miles to talk about people’s carbon footprint. Par for the course.

TO BE FAIR, IT’S IN SHORT SUPPLY ALL OVER: “It’s uncomfortable watching a grown man doing this in public. There is no virtus there.”

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I THOUGHT I’D ALREADY BLOGGED THIS STORY, BUT APPARENTLY I JUST MEANT TO: YouTube-taught javelin thrower Julius Yego wins gold at world championships. “The 26-year-old does not have a coach, and learned how to throw by watching YouTube video of the sport’s greats. . . . ‘I watched YouTube and it really paid off for me, to see the training techniques and skills they are using.’”

OF COURSE THEY DO: New York’s Taxi Cartel Is Collapsing. Now They Want a Bailout.

BILL QUICK DOESN’T MINCE WORDS: “Chickenshit Charlie Manson wannabes.”

A POST ABOUT ELIZABETH WARREN, but not about politics.

IT’S ALL ABOUT CONTROL: The Latest Frontier In Total Regulation? Exercise. “If you think about this for a moment, it appears that the regulators have their eye on CrossFit, just as they want to strangle Uber.”

THIS WILL CAUSE SOME HEADS TO EXPLODE: Gluten-free GM wheat can help celiac patients.

AN EARTH-SHATTERING KABOOM: Blast Seen in Chemical Industry Zone in Shandong, Daily Reports.

FEDERAL RESERVE INCOMPETENCE: The Sleeper Campaign Issue of 2016?

Since the Great Recession ended in 2009, the recovery has been slow and painful. Wages have been so stagnant that the average American family earns $1,000 a year less in income than it did in 2008. That’s why some two-thirds of people believe that their children won’t be better off than they were — a reversal of the American Dream. A growing number of people believe the Federal Reserve has hurt rather than helped the recovery. It has pursued zero-interest-rate policies that have perversely made it impossible for many businesses to get credit to expand. The Fed and other central banks have injected trillions of dollars into the global economy; according to the New York Sun, the result is that “the world is now afflicted by a public-sector debt bubble that could rupture in any of a number of countries.” The Fed’s blatant attempt to prop up asset prices has fueled inequality. The Fed’s low-interest-rate policies have “exacerbated the wealth gap between the poor and the rich, because the rich have assets,” former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg recently said. “And that is what is being hiked here because of low interest rates, whether they own stocks or whatever the case may be.”

Plus:

Jeff Bell, a former adviser to Ronald Reagan and now the director of policy at the American Principles Project, told the conference he was excited by a new poll his group commissioned from pollster McLaughlin and Associates. It asked 1,000 likely voters whether they supported a gold standard, while recognizing that many people would be unfamiliar with the concept. But a surprising 39 percent agreed that the country would be better off with one, with only 15 percent disagreeing. The remaining 46 percent did not know. Surprisingly, support for a fixed monetary rule crossed demographic divides. While 45 percent of Republicans backed gold, so too did 37 percent of Democrats. A surprising 39 percent of African Americans favored a gold standard, the same number as the general population. Hispanics, at 45 percent, and Asians, at 61 percent, were significantly more in favor of the concept. By age, 38 percent of those younger than 30 wanted a gold standard, while only 34 percent of those over 65 agreed.

That is surprising. At least, I’m surprised.

WHEN “FIND” MEANS, BASICALLY, “SWAM RIGHT INTO IT:” Researchers find sunken military vessel missing for decades.

HOPE THE VACCINE IS BETTER TARGETED THIS YEAR: Flu Season Just Around the Corner.

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MISSING FROM THIS STORY IS ANY FOCUS ON THE FACT THAT THE KILLER WAS HIMSELF A NEWSMAN: Virginia TV Shooting Leaves News Crews Rattled. But it’s true that changes in technology — and budget cuts — make situational awareness tough. Used to be you’d have at least 3 people on a shoot. Now you’ve got the on air talent — who has to look at the camera — and maybe a cameraman — who has to look through the camera — and no producer or production assistant or anyone who can keep an eye on surroundings.

AT 20, SHE’S TOO YOUNG TO HAVE VOTED FOR OBAMA: Woman Who Can’t Spell “Whore” Allegedly Keyed Her “Wore” Friend’s Car.

“VESTER FLANAGAN, POSTER BOY FOR LEFTIST ‘MICROAGGRESSION’ CULTURE:” At Big Government, Ben Shapiro writes:

According to The New York Post, Williams took nearly everything as a racial insult. Trevor Fair, a cameraman at WDBJ, said Parker would say, “The reporter’s out in the field,” and Williams would respond, “What are you saying, cotton fields? That’s racist.” When a manager brought in watermelon for employees, Williams reportedly said, “You’re doing that because of me… You guys are calling me out because I’m black.” He even accused 7-Eleven of racism for selling watermelon-flavored Slurpees.

Bryce Williams may have been mentally ill. But he was the ultimate product of the left’s microaggression society, seeking offense everywhere and then lashing out at others based on a perceived sense of victimization. Some victimization is objectively true, but that doesn’t mean that all claims of victimization are. The notion that subjective self-assessment of victimization should take precedence over objective fact is deeply dangerous.

Jim Geraghty dubbed Flanagan a “Grievance Collector:”

There are disturbing ramifications if media discussions are indeed driving us to become a more grievance-minded society. Willard Gaylin, one of the world’s preeminent psychology professors, writes about the dangers of “grievance collecting” in his book Hatred: The Psychological Descent into Violence:

Grievance collecting is a step on the journey to a full-blown paranoid psychosis. A grievance collector will move from the passive assumption of deprivation and low expectancy common to most paranoid personalities to a more aggressive mode. He will not endure passively his deprived state; he will occupy himself with accumulating evidence of his misfortunes and locating the sources. Grievance collectors are distrustful and provocative, convinced that they are always taken advantage of and given less than their fair share. . . .

Underlying this philosophy is an undeviating comparative and competitive view of life. Everything is part of a zero-sum game. Deprivation can be felt in another person’s abundance of good fortune.

At the heart of the grievance collector’s worldview is that he is not responsible for the condition of his life; a vast conspiracy of malevolent individuals and forces is entirely at fault. There is always someone else to blame, and the Virginia shooter quickly finds ways to excuse his actions and deflect the responsibility to others.

For decades, the media has given “grievance collectors” plenty of fuel for their paranoia. In a fawning 1990 profile of Bryant Gumbel, then co-host of NBC’s Today Show, a New York Times journalist off-handedly wrote:

The writer-producer Allison Davis, who is also black, notes that Gumbel does many subtle things on the air to help change images. One example, she says: “Bryant Gumbel does not say ‘Black Monday’ when talking about the stock market. He’s constantly qualifying and looking at stories where the issue of race may or may not be germane.”

And every November, like clockwork, someone in the media sees racism in the phrase “Black Friday.” In 2012, the words “golf” and “Chicago” were deemed racist by a division of NBC.

In 2011, Democrats in the media instantaneously seized on Sarah Palin’s clip art as a cause for the shooting in Tucson. When it was obvious that the shooter never saw Palin’s clip art or its concurrent use by Democrats (it’s the nature of elections that everyone is being “targeted” for defeat by someone) this was followed by lots of trolling leftist articles demanding a new civility from politicians and the media on both sides of the aisle.

Naturally, nothing changed; don’t look for the media to stop providing rhetorical ammo to grievance collectors anytime soon, either.

(Of course, as long as the violence is merely rhetorical, it’s fascinating to watch the grievance collectors devour each other — such as the left turning against leftist house organ Salon for describing Trinidadian-born American rap star Nicki Minaj as “savage” in a tweet.)

UPDATE: Joe Scarborough: Cable news has put lives at risk, including MSNBC, for “a few ratings points.”

ALSO, A MILITARY BUILDUP: Fear of Russia Drives High-Voltage Power Projects in the Baltics.

THERE IS AN INDIVIDUAL WHO IS RESPONSIBLE. THAT INDIVIDUAL IS KNOWN. THAT INDIVIDUAL WILL EVENTUALLY TALK. Mystery deepens into how classified emails got onto Clinton’s unclassified server. “It is hard to move classified documents into the non-classified system. You couldn’t move a document by mistake.”

GOP OUTSIDERS SURGE IN LATEST IOWA POLL: The Monmouth University poll, conducted Aug. 27-30, now has Trump and Carson tied in Iowa at 23%, with Carly Fiorina third at 10%. Jeb Bush is far behind, at 5% support (pretty horrific for someone with such broad name recognition), and his unfavorables are higher than any other candidate, at an astonishing 51%.

It’s definitely the year of the anti-establishment candidate.

READER BOOK PLUG: From Dr. Michael Kennedy, War Stories: 50 Years in Medicine.

This isn’t his first book: He’s also the author of A Brief History of Science, Disease and Medicine.

IN THE 21ST CENTURY, MANY DISEASES ARE DISGUISED AS SUCH: Orthorexia Nervosa: The ‘Disease Disguised as a Virtue.’

HEALTH: New Alternatives to Statins Add to a Quandary on Cholesterol.

IS DONALD TRUMP PAT BUCHANAN’S HEIR? That’s the question that Jim Geraghty is asking:

A pugnacious, television-savvy, anti-trade, anti-illegal-immigration candidate comes out of nowhere, attracts intense enthusiasm from an angry Republican grassroots, gets denounced by a disgusted media, and suddenly endangers the hopes of a presidential frontrunner named Bush.

That was Pat Buchanan early in the 1992 presidential election; that is Donald Trump today.

Read the whole thing.

STUDY: BLIND PEOPLE CAN BE RACIST: “Twenty-five people? This is more like a large focus group than any sort of quantitative endeavor. It makes a good headline but this is hardly scientific.”

But then, starting in 2007, anybody could be weaponized by the left and declared racist if it advanced the narrative. As we approach 2016, anybody can be weaponized and declared sexist as well.

You could be next — yes, you!

VLAD, GET OFF THOSE GIRLY-MAN WEIGHT MACHINES AND TRY READING MARK RIPPETOE INSTEAD. THEN YOU’LL LOOK LIKE A REAL MAN. Putin launches a new arms race: Action man Vlad’s latest photo stunt shows him and Russian PM Medvedev pumping iron in the gym.

Of course, when your competition looks like this, it’s easy to put on airs, so don’t get cocky, Vlad.

ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, this New Republic piece on Randy Barnett and the libertarian constitutional movement is really pretty good. But I thought this part was revealing:

Barnett believes the Constitution exists to secure inalienable property and contract rights for individuals. This may sound like a bland and inconsequential opinion, but if widely adopted by our courts and political systems it would prohibit or call into question basic governmental protections—minimum wages, food-safety regulations, child-labor laws—that most of us take for granted. For nearly a century now, a legal counterculture has insisted that the whole New Deal project was a big, unconstitutional error, and Barnett is a big part of that movement today.

If your entire program is called into question by the notion that individuals have property and contract rights, maybe the problem is with your program.

And to the extent that, as believed by many, the Supreme Court’s eventual accommodation to the New Deal was the product of duress in the form of FDR’s court-packing scheme, then isn’t that accommodation, in fact, illegitimate?

WILL THE PHRASE, TECHNICALLY, NOT A FELON, FIT ON A BUMPER STICKER? Petraeus prosecutor: Clinton has committed no crime. But I remain unconvinced. Readers may ask which characteristic of the author is more important: That she prosecuted Petraeus, or that she donated to Hillary’s campaign? At least it’s acknowledged.

DOES FREE SPEECH OFFEND YOU? This is the topic I explore in my new video for Prager University, in which I discuss the threats freedom of speech faces worldwide, including European governmental censorship, campus speech codes, as well as newer challenges posed by trigger warnings and the policing of microaggressions. I also cover these topics in more detail in my short book Freedom From Speech and “The Coddling of the American Mind,” the article I co-wrote with Jonathan Haidt for The Atlantic.

TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 844.

HMM: ‘Pendulum Factor’ could land Trump in White House.

If you’re having trouble understanding the phenomenal rise of Donald Trump, buck up — you’re not alone. Even political pros are dumbfounded.

They were shocked when the reality-TV star and businessman first grabbed the lead in national GOP polls. Now they’re double shocked as he soars in primary states, grabbing a 24-point lead in New Hampshire and a 15-point lead in South Carolina.

In one survey, Trump more than doubled his favorability ratings among Republicans in a single month, from 20 percent to 52 percent. The Hill newspaper called the turnaround “political magic” and the poll’s director, Patrick Murray of Monmouth University, called it ­“astounding.”

“That defies any rule in presidential politics that I’ve ever seen,” Murray told The Hill.

Other pollsters made similar comments, but a closer look shows an explanation. I call it the Pendulum Factor.

It reflects the fact that the legacy of each president includes the political climate he leaves behind. In plain English, Barack Obama’s most ­important failures as a leader begat Donald Trump’s success.

This sounds a bit like the Insta-Daughter’s Theory Of Presidential Opposites.

THEY OUGHT TO BE FIRED: It’s back to school time, and progressive professors at Washington State University are gearing up to suppress speech they personally find “offensive,” such as saying “illegal alien,” using the terms “male” or “female,” or failing to “defer” to the “experiences of people of color”:

In his “Introduction to Multicultural Literature,” for example, professor John Streamas informs students in his syllabus that he expects white students who want “to do well in this class” to “reflect” their “grasp of history and social relations” by “deferring to the experiences of people of color.”

The taxpayer-funded critical studies professor also writes in his syllabus that Glenn Beck is a member of a group of “insensitive whites.”

Streamas, who obtained his Ph.D. at Bowling Green State University, is most notable because he told a student who supports limits on illegal immigration: “You are just a white shitbag.” . . .

A second Washington State faculty member, Selena Lester Breikss, warns students in her “Women & Popular Culture” course this semester that they risk “failure for the semester” if they use the terms “male” or “female.” . . .

“Students will come to recognize how white privilege functions in everyday social structures and institutions,” Breikss adds.

Finally, not to be outdone, Washington State American studies professor Rebecca Fowler similarly warns students that she will lower their grades if they utter the phrase “illegal alien” at any time in her “Introduction to Comparative Ethnic Studies” course.

The taxpayer-funded Fowler proclaims that she bans students from using the phrase “illegal alien” because the Associated Press stylebook “no longer sanctions the term.”

The Associated Press stylebook is purely an advisory publication for professional journalists. It has no force of law whatsoever. . . . Public university students who dare to use the phrase “illegal alien” “will suffer a deduction of one point per incident,” Fowler warns.

Apparently these sensitive little snowflake professors cannot tolerate any disagreement. For their failure to tolerate a diversity of views and engage in actual teaching (rather than proselytizing), they should be terminated for “cause.” Parents and students should avoid this university at all costs, unless/until the University’s administration takes appropriate disciplinary action to ensure that all viewpoints are welcomed, even those that are “offensive.” It’s called “free speech,” and yes, it protects offensive speech, too.

THIS WAS A DEBACLE OF THE FIRST ORDER, AND HASN’T GOTTEN THE ATTENTION IT DESERVES: China and Russia are cross-indexing hacked data to target U.S. spies, officials say.

HENCE THE POPULARITY OF TRUMP AND SANDERS: Poll: Nearly three-fourths of Americans unhappy with country’s direction. How’s that hopey-changey stuff workin’ out for ya?

I’M PRETTY SURE SHE WAS ALREADY INFECTED: Christie: Clinton caught ‘disease’ of lawlessness from Obama White House.

Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) said on Sunday that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is careless for using a private email server at the State Department.

“No one is above the law,” Christie told host Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday.”

“Unfortunately with the Obama administration, there has been lawlessness in this country,” said Christie, a 2016 GOP presidential contender. “Apparently Hillary Clinton has caught this disease as well.”

Christie argued on Sunday that Clinton’s actions as secretary of State flaunted her disregard for the laws governing transparency and national security.

He added that she is now presenting a haughty attitude while defending her technology habits on the 2016 campaign trail.

Well, that’s certainly true.

IT’S ALWAYS THE FAULT OF “HOARDERS AND WRECKERS,” NEVER THE FAULT OF THE CENTRAL PLANNERS: China pins market plunge on financial journalist, airs ‘confession.’ Just in case you thought they’d become civilized or something. Nope. Still commies when push comes to shove.

MIGRANTS: EU calls emergency immigration summit.

JOHN HINDERAKER: Obama’s Stonewall Tactics: A Case Study. “The Obama administration has proved to be the least transparent in our modern history. To an unprecedented degree, the administration is staffed by scofflaws who flout their legal obligations. When confronted with requests for information, let alone actual investigations, Obama’s habitual response is to stonewall. This strategy has been remarkably successful in avoiding accountability, in part because legal processes are so slow. We have seen this pattern dozens of times. One instance, which is highlighted by a federal court order issued on Friday, illustrates how the administration has operated from the beginning of Obama’s term in office.”

MORE ON OBAMA’S BIGGEST FAILURE:

Perhaps as much as any senior government official, Holder argued in support of a quota regime, which at its logical extreme guarantees that even the children of black billionaires get preferences easier than a white kid brought up in an Appalachian hovel.

Yet this is the same official who gently treated Wall Street malefactors—the very people in large part responsible for millions of foreclosures, including those that affected many blacks—to an extent that even the usually pro-Obama Rolling Stone openly wondered if he was a “Wall Street double agent.”

The Obama years—following the previous disasters left over from the Bush regime—have been largely an economic disaster for black America. Child poverty is at the highest level in 20 years, and among African Americans it stands at a disastrous 38 percent, rising even during the recovery. After decades of gradual decline, concentrated urban poverty has grown rapidly over the past decade.

Nor have African Americans benefited much from the recovery. White American unemployment is either about the same or below what it was before the recession levels, while the gap with African Americans has grown, in some states two and a half times that of the majority population. In Washington, D.C., the fundamental center of blue-state America, it’s five times as high.

Far more helpful than expanding racial quotas would have been steps to put African Americans to work, particularly teenagers, who suffer nearly 30 percent unemployment rate, twice the national average.

This is a point that Bernie Sanders has been making, actually, but the press doesn’t report what Bernie says much, just his crowd numbers, because what he says reflects badly on Obama.

VDH ON HOW ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION FINALLY TURNED OFF THE AMERICAN PUBLIC: “If there were not a Donald Trump, he would likely have had to have been invented,” Victor Davis Hanson writes:

Sometime in the last five years, the public woke up and grasped that Latino elite activists were not so much interested in illegal immigration per se, but only to the degree that the issue affected other Latinos. Were 3,000 Chinese illegally entering California per day by ship on the Northern California coast, Latino activists and politicians would probably be the first to call for enforcement of federal immigration law.

It is difficult for the National Council of La Raza to attempt to airbrush away vocabulary like “anchor baby” and “illegal immigration,” while insisting that its own nomenclature “La Raza” has nothing to do with race. The public knows that La Raza means “The Race,” and that those who founded that organization chose that racially charged noun for the precise purpose of ethnic triumphalism — in the way that every infamous 20th-century Latinate racist demagogue from Mussolini to Franco found a use for Raza/Razza, a mostly taboo term in Mediterranean Europe today. In an age when the Washington Redskins earn a presidential rebuke, it is inconceivable that the chief illegal-immigration advocate is a federally subsidized group known as the National Council of La Raza. No other organization would dare use such a term. In the public mind illegal immigration has gone from the old narrative that racists were enforcing the law to keep out mostly brown people to a new generation of racists who are trying to subvert the law to bring in mostly brown people.

Read the whole thing.

GOVERNMENT IS JUST ANOTHER WORD FOR THE THINGS WE CHOOSE TO DO TOGETHER: Anger builds at EPA over radioactive landfill.

FIGHTING THE FUTURE: With the new NLRB ruling, progressives have taken up William F. Buckley’s stance—”athwart history, yelling ‘Stop!’” It won’t work.

President Obama and the progressives in his Administration believe that by fighting this trend—and the NLRB ruling is intended to do exactly that—that by forcing corporations back into the old patriarchal model of a politically-defined and regulated patron-client/employer-employee relationship, they are fighting for the economic interests of poor people and the lower middle class most directly, but also indirectly and to a lesser extent for the rights of all workers. Union activists believe the same thing, passionately and sincerely.

What they don’t see is that the genie can’t be stuffed back in the bottle. All the king’s horses and all the king’s men can’t put blue Humpty Dumpty together again. Take the fast food industry, for example, an industry that virtually every economic and social policy of the contemporary progressive movement is trying to maim. From the $15-an-hour minimum wage in the industry demanded by New York to the fight against fast food on nutritional grounds by the Broccoli Police and the Nutrition Nannies, to this new NLRB ruling mandating that the employees of franchises be considered for certain regulatory purposes employees of the parent companies, the progressive movement is trying to do to McDonalds and related companies what Bill deBlasio and the taxi lobby want to do to Uber.

industryThe net effect of these changes will be to narrow the choices of food that poor people have, to raise the price of the food they have to buy, and to accelerate the automation of the restaurant industry, further reducing the already limited number of jobs open to people with few skills. Progressives will look on the consequences of this disaster and conclude that with urban unemployment higher and the cost of living for the poor rising, we obviously need more food stamps and rent subsidies—and so we must impose heavier taxes on the companies and industries that are still profitable in order to pay for these necessary benefits.

They’re not actually stupid. They’re pursuing a policy that produces more power for progressives, regardless of its effect on their alleged clients.

YET ANOTHER REASON FOR TRUMP’S POPULARITY: “Europeans are obsessed with Donald Trump — The loud-mouthed billionaire businessman embodies what Europeans love to hate about the U.S.,” sniffs a haughty Politico-Europe author as he dives for the fainting couch:

PARIS — The media here has got a Continental strain of Trump fever.

Since the real estate mogul made a shocking surge to the top of the Republican presidential polls in the U.S., Europe has fixated on the unapologetic showman, churning out a steady stream of news coverage and commentary.

On Thursday, France’s Libération newspaper devoted its entire front page to a photo of a snarling Donald, with an inch-high headline that read: “Donald Trump — The American Nightmare.”

The Continent has its share of outrageous personalities on the political right of center: Britain’s Nigel Farage, Italy’s Silvio Berlusconi, France’s family Le Pen. But Trump fits many perceived European stereotypes of America: excess, vulgarity, ignorance, superficiality, love of wealth, to name a few.

“Trump represents the America that we love to hate,” said Marie-Cécile Naves, a sociologist and author of “Le nouveau visage des droites américaines” (“The New Face of the American Right”). “He is our negative mirror image, a man we see as brutal, who worships money and lacks culture — someone who lets us feel a bit superior about being European.”

They have learned nothing and forgotten nothing — not the least of which how swell it worked on both sides of the Atlantic when America elected a Europe-approved candidate in 2008:

Obama Berlin 2008

Spectators listen to the speech of of the U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., seen on the screen, in front of the Victory Column in Berlin, Thursday, July 24, 2008. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)

BLACK LIVES MATTER MARCH DRAWS 325. GLENN BECK’S ‘ALL LIVES MATTER’ MARCH DRAWS 20,000:

Saturday, in Minneapolis, Reuters reported:

Several hundred protesters from the Black Lives Matter movement marched to the Minnesota State Fair on Saturday to bring attention to race issues ranging from policing to underrepresentation of minorities at one of the nation’s biggest state fairs.

The mixed-race crowd, including senior citizens and children, chanted slogans along the 1-1/2 mile route and briefly lay down on a bridge south of the fairgrounds

Minnesota media reported the number of marchers at 325.

A few hundred miles to the south, a throng of 20,000, led by Glenn Beck, marched in Birmingham, Alabama, along the same route marched by Martin Luther King. They were there to declare that “All Lives Matter.”

Guess which march received national media attention and which one didn’t.

Because controlling the narrative is what the DNC-MSM is all about.

ANOTHER PLACE WHERE THE MEDIA AND THE POLITICIANS FAILED: Mike Grunwald On The Army Corps Of Engineers And Katrina. “When Katrina hit, the Army Corps originally claimed it had overtopped and overwhelmed its levees. That’s why FEMA became the villain. But my engineer pals in New Orleans showed me the Corps was lying. You could see the debris line on the levees! 1800 people died because the Corps flood protection failed. They were victims of bad engineering & bad priorities.”

JOEL KOTKIN: Economic Progress is More Effective Than Protests: Ta-Nehisi Coates and the new wave of black nationalists are selling a line that is inimical to real racial progress in America.

The election of Barack Obama promised to inaugurate the dawn of a post-racial America. Instead we seem to be stepping ever deeper into a racial quagmire. The past two month saw the violent commemoration of the Ferguson protests, “the celebration” of the 50th anniversary of the Watts riots, new police shootings in places as distant as Cincinnati and Fort Worth, and renewed disorder, tied to a police-related shooting, in St. Louis last week.

When President Obama was elected, two-thirds of Americans thought race relations were good. Now six in ten think they are bad, according to a New York Times poll, including some 68 percent of African Americans.

This extreme alienation creates a rich soil for resurgence of a cramped form of black nationalism, as revealed in such widely read books as Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between the World and Me. Coates, like the black nationalists of the ’60s, is fawned over by today’s progressive gentry. New York Times film critic A.O. Scott gushed that Coates’s writing is “essential, like water or air.” Yet the new nationalists do not, like many previous iterations, look to Africa for salvation, and as a potential place of re-settlement. Instead they may look to Africa for inspiration, but seem content to stew in the American racial cauldron, always apart but also here.

Yet to this reader, it’s hard to regard Coates’s book as anything more than a narrow selfie that holds little hope for any future racial progress.

Demagogues gonna demagogue. They gain wealth and power from division. If most people suffer, that’s immaterial.

Related:

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Worst president ever.

A RESOURCE FOR SCIENCE FICTION WRITERS: Or just for fun.