July 6, 2015


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NOBEL PEACE PRIZE UPDATE: ‘This will not be quick,’ Obama says of campaign against the Islamic State. “Coalition operations against the Islamic State have scored successes in Iraq and Syria, but the battle against the extremist group promises to be a ‘generational’ one, President Obama said after military leaders briefed him on the campaign.”

Well, if you wage it at a glacial pace, yes.

THE DEMS’ PROBLEM IN A NUTSHELL: CNN’s Jake Tapper blasts critics: ‘I can’t help it if the entire Democratic field is white.’

THE COMING DARK AGES: Obama’s Renewable Energy Fantasy.

On June 30, one day after the Supreme Court struck down the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulation of mercury emissions from power plants, President Obama committed the United States to the goal of generating 20% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030. This would nearly triple the amount of wind- and solar-generated electricity on the national grid.

The EPA ran afoul of the law by failing to conduct a cost-benefit analysis before it acted to reduce mercury emissions from coal-power plants. There is no objective cost-benefit analysis that could justify the president’s target for renewable energy.

Recently Bill Gates explained in an interview with the Financial Times why current renewables are dead-end technologies. They are unreliable. Battery storage is inadequate. Wind and solar output depends on the weather. The cost of decarbonization using today’s technology is “beyond astronomical,” Mr. Gates concluded.

Google engineers came to a similar conclusion last year. After seven years of investigation, they found no way to get the cost of renewables competitive with coal. “Unfortunately,” the engineers reported, “most of today’s clean generation sources can’t provide power that is both distributed and dispatchable”—that is, electricity that can be ramped up and down quickly. “Solar panels, for example, can be put on every rooftop, but can’t provide power if the sun isn’t shining.”

If Mr. Obama gets his way, the U.S. will go down the rocky road traveled by the European Union. . . .

It’s not just the costs–which are substantial by any measure–of President Obama’s war on coal and other fossil fuels. It’s the negative impact on daily lives. When I lived in Ireland as a Fulbright scholar in the winter/spring of 2011, one of the most shocking things was the inability to buy a real and bright lightbulb. I looked literally everywhere–hardware stores, home improvement stores, grocery stores. But there were no bright bulbs to be bought, at any price. They were all these “energy efficient” bulbs– no brighter than 60 watts, and even those did not strike me as providing as much light as the incandescent 60w bulbs I had known back home.  It was so dark in our house–even with all the lights on–that I had to buy a little desk lamp with a halogen bulb, so that I could have sufficient light for reading.

So if President Obama’s agenda is to force the U.S. to go the way of the EU, energy-wise–with or without our legislative branch’s approval–be prepared for (literal) darkness.

SO ALL THE TALK ABOUT THE CIVIL WAR, coupled with the recent Scottish vote and now Greece and the EU has me thinking: If a state or states wanted to secede from the United States now, would there be another civil war? It was basically unthinkable — at least, as far as I know, nobody thought it — that Britain might use troops to keep the Scots in by force. The EU isn’t talking about sending gunboats to Greece. So if, say, Texas — or maybe a group of states — really wanted to leave the Union today, would the United States really be willing to, once again, slaughter vast numbers to prevent that?

Of course, there’s a better solution.

People also talk about secession for more serious reasons. They feel that the central government doesn’t respect them, forces them to live under laws they find repugnant and takes their money away to pay off its own supporters. You see secession movements based on these principles in places like Scotland, Catalonia, Northern Italy, and elsewhere around the world. Some might succeed; others are less likely to. But in every case they represent unhappiness with the status quo.

America has an unfortunate history with secession, which led to the bloodiest war in our history and divisions that persist to this day. But, in general, the causes of secession are pretty standard around the world: Too much power in the central government, too much resentment in the unhappy provinces. (Think Hunger Games).

So what’s a solution? Let the central government do the things that only central governments can do — national defense, regulation of trade to keep the provinces from engaging in economic warfare with one another, protection of basic civil rights — and then let the provinces go their own way in most other issues. Don’t like the way things are run where you are? Move to a province that’s more to your taste. Meanwhile, approaches that work in individual provinces can, after some experimentation, be adopted by the central government, thus lowering the risk of adopting untested policies at the national level. You get the benefits of secession without seceding.

Sound good? It should. It’s called federalism, and it’s the approach chosen by the United States when it adopted the Constitution in 1789. As James Madison wrote in Federalist No. 45, “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government, are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.”

It’s a nice plan. Beats secession. Maybe we should give it another try.

Maybe we should. But the problem with federalism is, it offers insufficient opportunities for graft.

WHY NOT? IT WAS PUT UP BY DEMOCRATIC GOV. FRITZ HOLLINGS: Republican-Controlled South Carolina Senate Votes To Remove Confederate Flag. The vote was 37-3.

SKYNET IS NOT AMUSED: New AI Safety Projects Get Funding from Elon Musk. “When Silicon Valley entrepreneur Elon Musk is not trying to build rocket technology to colonize Mars or revolutionize energy storage on Earth, he worries about how artificial intelligence could someday slip its shackles and become a danger to humanity. Now some of Musk’s ample wealth is helping fund a newly-announced group of research projects aimed at keeping AI in check.”

FULL DISCLOSURE? CNN ANCHOR WHO’LL INTERVIEW HILLARY RECENTLY ATTENDED CLINTON AIDE’S WEDDING: Just as a great musician works with silence as much as actual sound, the many hard-hitting questions CNN’s Brianna Keilar won’t be asking Hillary will be fascinating!

RELATED: “Chuck Todd ‘Sympathetic’ to Clinton Campaign Roping Off Press:” But of course — past and current Democratic operatives are loyal to the cause.

WELCOME TO CULTURE WAR 4.0: THE COMING OVERREACH, as explored by Benjamin Domenech and Robert Tracinski at the Federalist. Though based on this passage, it sounds like the left’s overreach in the culture wars has been in full-swing for quite a while now:

If history repeats itself, it is good news for traditional Americans and bad news for the Left, which has taken on the role of Grand Inquisitor so rapidly that overnight civil liberties have become a Republican issue. Slowly but surely, the American Right is adopting the role of the cultural insurgent standing up for the freedom of the little guy. They crowdfund the pizza shop, baker, and photographer; they rebel against the establishment in the gaming media and at sci-fi conventions; they buy their chicken sandwiches in droves. The latest acronym that came out of the Sad Puppies movement says it all. They describe their opponents as CHORFs: cliquish, holier-than-thou, obnoxious, reactionary, fascists. This is their description of the cultural Left.

There is significant potential for a new, diverse coalition that responds to this overreach. The religious Right, libertarians, and even the moderate Left are already being drawn together by their refusal to be cowed into conformity by social justice warriors. The comedians who rebel against an audience that calls every joke racist or sexist, the professors who refuse to be cowed by the threat of Title IX lawsuits, the religious believers who fight for their right to practice their beliefs outside the pew represent a coalition that will reject the neo-Puritanism of the Counterculture, rebel against its speech codes and safe spaces, and reassert the right to speak one’s mind in the public square. Atheists and believers alike can unite in this belief—as we, the authors of this piece, have.

The culture war will always be with us. There are always people who want to change the culture and an establishment that wants to ward off these insurgents. The Sad Puppies are just the Salon des Refusés with different players—and what were the Renaissance and Enlightenment, if not one giant culture war? But there is some good that comes of it, as well.

The culture wars of the past produced great achievements in art, architecture, literature, and science as the opposing parties strove to demonstrate that they had more to offer and deserved the people’s admiration and loyalty. Those culture wars gave us Michelangelo’s David, Galileo’s science, Milton’s “Paradise Lost,” the Declaration of Independence and the First Amendment, and the movement for the abolition of slavery.

As Domenech and Tracinski write, “Yes, this can be a dangerous time to be active in the culture. But it’s very hard to make speech codes, safe spaces, and other anti-thoughtcrime measures work in the long term. Sometimes all it takes for the whole apparatus to come crashing down is a handful of people brave enough to speak their minds without fear.”

That sort of preference cascade is long overdue.

A GERMAN COMPANY IS BUILDING AN ARMY OF ROBOT ANTS: “SkyNet fears aside, what becomes of the human race when our every whim is catered to by robots?”, Steve Green asks. Come for the photos of the freaky-deaky German robot ants, stay for the Arthur C. Clarke versus H.G. Wells-inspired philosophical mediation on the future of mankind. Or the lack thereof:

This Progressive thinking goes back to Plato and his Republic: Centralize the economy, abolish religion, raise children by the state, mold Perfect People. That’s more or less what Europe has attempted in the postwar period, but instead of molding Perfect People they’re running out of people to mold, period.

The irony is this. Progressives believe that religion is a danger to humanity’s continued existence, and in need of tempering (at the very least) by the State. But if religion really is contra-survival, then why do religious societies tend to thrive while officially atheistic ones do not? This isn’t an endorsement of any particular god or religion, but it is a perfectly valid observation about human nature.

As an intelligent species, without the hope provided by spirituality and the excitement provided by struggle, maybe we’re just no damn good.

Read the whole thing.

RICK PERRY TALKS ABOUT RACE: Rick Perry’s speech last Thursday at the National Press Club haven’t received much attention in the mainstream media over the holiday weekend, until today’s Wall Street Journal editorial, which observes:

But his remarks are far more than a mea culpa. He also lays out a rationale and a specific agenda for how the GOP can earn—and deserve—the support of black Americans. In particular he points out how Republican policies have improved life for all races in Texas. And he contrasts those results for blacks in progressive states that purport to do so much more for minorities but have left them behind economically.

“There is a lot of talk in Washington about inequality. Income inequality. But there is a lot less talk about the inequality that arises from the high cost of everyday life,” Mr. Perry says. “In blue state coastal cities, you have these strict zoning laws, environmental regulations that have prevented builders from expanding the housing supply. And that may be great for the venture capitalist who wants to keep a nice view of San Francisco Bay, but it’s not so great for the single mother working two jobs in order to pay rent and still put food on the table for her kids.”

That’s a nice turn of the equality argument against Democrats. Mr. Perry does the same on education, pointing out that “in too many parts of this country black students are trapped in failing schools.” He notes that in 2002 Texas ranked 27th in high-school graduation rates; by 2013 it was second, and its most recent graduation rate for blacks was first.

Mr. Perry also stressed Texas’ impressive record on prison and sentencing reform, especially for nonviolent drug offenses.

I like Perry’s approach, and it’s clear that he’s learned some hard lessons from his 2012 quest for the GOP nomination. His speech wasn’t pandering to minorities, but articulating how conservative policies help their everyday lives in far more palpable ways than the race-baiting, divisive, blaming, entitlement approach of the liberals/progressives. My favorite line from Perry’s speech:

If we create jobs, incentivize work, keep nonviolent drug offenders out of prison, reform our schools, and reduce the cost of living—we will have done more for African-Americans than the last three Democratic administrations combined.

The question is: Will black, Hispanic and Asian voters open their minds to the GOP policies or have they been permanently brainwashed by the political left elites’ incessant accusations of racism?

RELATED: Steven Hayward at PowerLine has some interesting observations in support of Perry’s attempts to reach out to minority communities.

NOBEL PEACE PRIZE UPDATE: Russia Rebuilding and Repairing Its Navy.

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ROGER SIMON: The Rick Perry Revival, And My Back.

Perry’s piece is well detailed (you should read it) but the substance is what many of us have thought for a while. It’s time for Republicans to go into African-American communities with our proposals to revive those communities, since the Democrats, who have been in near total control of them for decades, have failed utterly with their approach. We must engage, be the party of Lincoln once again, start supporting the 14th Amendment (“equal protection”) as well as the states-rights oriented 10th. Perry is openly self-critical, which is so often a good strategy.

This speech comes – and how could it not – at an interesting moment, not just because of the violence in Ferguson, Baltimore, etc., but in the wake of Donald Trump’s, let’s say, “much remarked upon” comments about Mexicans during his presidential campaign announcement a couple of weeks ago. (Donald’s almost as worried about rape as Kirsten Gillibrand.) Like most of the Republican candidates, Perry condemned Trump’s comments, calling them “offensive.” But unlike the other candidates, and Trump obviously, this man has walked the walk on border security. More than any other candidate, I trust Rick actually to get border security accomplished – no racial slurs necessary.

And, yes, we certainly do need it and were reminded of that once again by this Francisco Sanchez character who shot the young woman on the San Francisco pier last Wednesday. To call such maniacs “undocumented workers” or some such is just gaga. And it’s hardly surprising he told a KGO-TV reporter he kept returning to San Francisco because it’s a “Sanctuary City.” Sanctuary for what? Well, never mind.

Back to Rick (and back to backs). As some readers will recall I was a strong Perry supporter early on in the last presidential campaign. I had gotten to know him somewhat on trips to Austin and he’s a tremendous guy one-on-one, just the kind of person you’d love to have a beer with. He looked like a born president, a second Reagan. Then the debacle occurred. He stumbled at that debate, unable to recall the names of the government agencies he wished to disband. As we learned later, Perry had just had back surgery and was on pain-killers. But it didn’t matter. Bye-bye, campaign.

But as it happens, it does. I can attest to that. I’m on pain-killers right now — Vicodin 3-300. My back went out over a week ago and hasn’t gotten better, despite steroids. I’m having an MRI this afternoon. Yes, I can write an article and read The Wall Street Journal, obviously. Maybe even practice my Spanish. But the last thing in the world I would want to do is participate in a debate on national television – or even at the local middle school.

So believe me, Perry deserves more than a second chance. Nobody’s campaign has really caught fire yet and maybe it will be his. Perry-Fiorina — try that on your piano.

Good point. And hope you feel better, Roger!

EUROPEAN ENABLERS: John Fund warns, “Beware of Greeks Casting Blame.

Now the Greek people, although many of them profess that they still want to be part of the EU, have effectively blown up any chance they can continue using the euro, the linchpin of the EU’s monetary policy.

I fear that this track record will not sway European Union die-hards. Belgium’s Guy Verhofstadt, the leader of liberal forces in the European parliament, has already called for giving Greeks “a second chance” to stay with the euro.

There will be other calls to forgive Greece its debt in order to keep the troubled country within the euro zone. Doing so would set a terrible precedent for other countries and be patently unfair to the Italians, Spanish, and Portuguese who have suffered under austerity measures over the last five years to pay off their debts.

The rhetoric of Greek’s far-left leaders has been so outrageous and over-the-top in recent months as to invent a new chapter in “non-diplomacy.” Tsipris has already warned Brussels in the aftermath of Sunday’s vote that Greece is going through a “humanitarian crisis,” the clear implication being that if euro-zone ministers don’t acquiesce to his demands for debt forgiveness and more loans, any human suffering will be on their conscience.

Yep–this is what happens when you let progressives run a country. They spend like drunken sailors, then demand a bailout from others, accusing them of bigotry and hatred if they don’t acquiesce. Most families have at least one of these types. They have the emotional and financial maturity of a two year-old (sorry, two year-old readers out there). By repeatedly caving into these childish demands, the EU acts like parents who enable their children’s prodigal habits. It never turns out well.

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WHY DO SJW-TYPES HATE WOMEN? Rachel Ryan: Here’s Why Insisting That Gender Is A ‘Social Construct’ Is Oppressive To Women.



“LAHOOD: I think in terms of opening markets for our farmers, particularly in Cuba, I’m supportive of that. You know, this is the 17th largest agriculture district in the country … when you think about the commodities that are grown and produced in central Illinois, we have to open up more markets. That’s jobs and economic opportunity for our farmers in our ag community in Central Illinois. So I’m supportive of opening up new markets, such as Cuba, for our corn and our soybeans and other products. That’s a good thing.

“In the past, obviously Cuba has had some issues with human rights and other things. But I think this is a way to, you know, transition them to democracy and economic freedom and I’m supportive of it.”


Why Restoring Diplomatic Relations with Cuba Is another Bad Deal: It’s mythical thinking to believe opening up to Cuba will improve the prospects for democracy.

As Ron Radosh concludes “to his shame, President Obama himself has let it be known that he too will soon be traveling to Cuba. Does anyone really think this will be a victory for the United States? I’m sure Fidel and Raul Castro are laughing together, raising their glasses and making a toast to their new Yanqui friend in Washington.” Illinois voters have a choice tomorrow as to whether or not they will send another Yanqui friend to Washington for Fidel and Raul to chuckle over. Vote Mike Flynn.

EXPOSING KIDS TO CULTURE: HOW YOUNG IS TOO YOUNG AND HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH? How old does a child need to be before you’d let him watch a well-made, historically (more or less) accurate but deliberately brutal film such as Saving Private Ryan?

WISCONSIN’S SHAME: David French’s latest on the human side of the John Doe investigation into conservatives: “He could have been shot. Over politics.”

It was still dark outside when “Jonah” (not his real name) heard the pounding on his front door. As luck would have it, he was awake — or mostly awake. He’d gotten up at 4:00 a.m. on October 3, 2013, to see his parents off to the airport. They were leaving on a quick trip to raise money for the children’s charity his father runs. Jonah was 16 at the time, old enough to stay home alone for a short time, but not old enough to deal with what awaited him on the other side of the door. . . .

Jonah’s father may have been the target of the raid on his home, but according to the family, investigators went well beyond the scope of the warrant to seize business records in his mother’s possession, including confidential donor and financial information for two conservative Wisconsin nonprofits, which were paralyzed for weeks as a result. Yet despite the overly expansive search, to this day, no one in Jonah’s family has been charged with a crime.

The damage to the family’s reputation was immense. Soon after the raid, and despite court orders mandating confidentiality (orders that prevented the family from publicly defending themselves), their names leaked to the press. Jonah’s father — working to help the most disadvantaged kids — found himself struggling to defend a professional reputation under siege. In both his day job as a political consultant and his nonprofit work, even the slightest rumor of illegality can cause clients and donors to shy away. As he puts it, when you’re hired as a consultant, “No matter how good you are, you can’t become the issue.” A consultant whose home was just raided by law enforcement is, most definitely, an “issue” for any politician or political movement.

I strongly suspect there is much more to be revealed about the vast scope of Chisholm’s John Doe investigation. It will make the Salem witch hunts look restrained.

As for Chisholm and his cohorts: Tar, feathers, Sicilian bull–or at least a substantial civil rights lawsuit victory.

IN THE MAIL: From David B. Coe, Spell Blind.

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TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 788.

THE REDDIT REVOLT as history’s biggest sympathy strike.

Of course, the predictable analysis from Vox’s Max Fisher:

Screen Shot 2015-07-06 at 9.26.40 AM

Ever notice how every revolt against corrupt authority is now characterized as racist and misogynist . . . by the tools of corrupt authority?


One of the women present, a lecturer called Connie St Louis, complained on Twitter about his “sexism”, triggering the usual lynch mob. By the time the professor had returned to London, his career lay about him in broken shards.

The scary thing here is not the Twitter reaction — we are familiar enough with the ugly psychology of mobs. What is truly depressing is the behavior of those directly involved. For it soon emerged that Mrs. St Louis had given only a partial account of events. You would not have gathered from her version that the professor was being ironic, making a little joke before the “now seriously” that led to his main point about female scientists playing an important role in Korea. Plenty of the women present were journalists but, as is the way when a lynch mob forms, they were reluctant to step into its path.

UCL behaved abominably, first ordering the professor to resign quietly to avoid being sacked, and then allowing its ultimatum to become known. It has since emerged that Sir Tim’s accuser had made some seriously false claims about her own qualifications, but no one has suggested that she lose her post. As another Nobel prize-winner, Sir Andre Geim, remarked: “No Vice Chancellor would take on an ethnic-minority militant feminist. Those are not humble Nobel laureates who can be forced to resign quietly.” . . .

It’s always easier to keep your head down. Write about these subjects, as I’m doing now, and you run the risk of being called a sexist or a racist or whatever. But surely we have to take a stand. The next time you see a mob gibbering and shrieking and demanding someone’s dismissal, don’t hunker down. Speak up. Someone has to, for Heaven’s sake.

As President Obama advises, punch back twice as hard. Make this sort of thing as personally unpleasant as possible for the administrators, the false-accusers, and everyone else in the lynch mob and this sort of thing will fade away.

WELL, LET’S HOPE: Americans Keep Getting More Independent.

More Americans will celebrate the Fourth this year with their own sparklers and bottle rockets, thanks to newly relaxed fireworks regulations in red and blue states alike. . . .

At first glance, this development might seem simple: cash-strapped states are looking to balance their budgets in any way they can and lifting firework restrictions will bring in revenue. That’s certainly a factor, but on another level this story is of a piece with a less well-understood trend: the live-and-let-live cultural libertarianism that increasingly defines our age: You want a same-sex marriage? You can have one. You want pot? You can have it. You want guns? Be my guest. You want to play slots? Go ahead. You want fireworks? Here they are.

This libertarian political culture transcends left and right. The left cheers the decline of traditional moral values, but abhors the impact of individualism on economic regulation. The right, for its part, cheers the declining support for ‘group based’ policies like affirmative action and the growing suspicion of government regulation but is horrified by the impact of libertarianism on social issues related to church, sex, and family. Similarly, the liberalization of fireworks laws—in states from Georgia to New York—does not appear to be a traditional left-right issue.

As a longtime member of the leave-me-alone caucus, I certainly hope this is true. I wrote something similar a while back.

A CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO “DIGNITY”: Jonathan Turley has an intriguing oped in the Washington Post, discussing why Justice Kennedy’s majority opinion in the same-sex marriage case, Obergefell v. Hodges, may portend a much broader and more nefarious right to “dignity”:

In reality, he has been building to this moment for years, culminating in what might now be called a right to dignity. In his 1992 Casey decision, he upheldRoe v. Wade on the basis of “personal dignity and autonomy [that] are central to the liberty protected by the Fourteenth Amendment.” Kennedy wove this concept of protected dignity through a series of cases, from gay rights to prison lawsuits, including his historic 2003 Lawrence decision striking down the criminalization of homosexuality. These rulings on liberty peaked withObergefell, which he described as an effort of the petitioners to secure “equal dignity in the eyes of the law.” He used the word “dignity” almost a dozen times in his decision and laid down a jurisprudential haymaker: “The Constitution promises liberty to all within its reach, a liberty that includes certain specific rights that allow persons, within a lawful realm, to define and express their identity.” . . .

Dignity is a rather elusive and malleable concept compared with more concrete qualities such as race and sex. Which relationships are sufficiently dignified to warrant protection? What about couples who do not wish to marry but cohabitate? What about polyamorous families, who are less accepted by public opinion but are perhaps no less exemplary when it comes to, in Kennedy’s words on marriage, “the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family”? The justice does not specify.

Nor could they specify, even if they wanted to (which they don’t). The progressives have long dreamed of constitutionalizing a right to “dignity,” precisely because it’s so amorphous.  In many ways, Turley’s piece echoes a longer recent piece by Jeffrey Rosen in the Atlantic explaining the vast, subjective possibilities it offers for progressive judges and its dangerous incompatibility with the First Amendment:

I won’t rehearse here the objections to reading the text and history of the Constitution at such a high level of generality; with this approach, the connections to the specific concerns that animated the framers is hard to discern. Suffice it to say that Justice Louis Brandeis, the greatest defender of the right to privacy in U.S. history, originally tried to persuade courts to recognize a new right to dignity, after confessing that American law, unlike Roman and European law, had not, traditionally protected offenses against honor and dignity.

But, as Neal Richards demonstrates in Intellectual Privacy, Brandeis changed his mind about the wisdom of constitutionalizing a right to dignity—defined as the right to restrain the press from publishing truthful but embarrassing information about celebrities—after concluding that it clashed with the First Amendment guarantees of free press and free expression. Instead, Brandeis came to embrace a more carefully defined notion of intellectual privacy and freedom of thought and belief, more closely rooted in the text of the First Amendment itself.

In the ultimate irony, the progressives so excited by a right to dignity are the ones have intellectually led the charge against recognition of economic liberties, such as the right to contract, exemplified in cases such as Lochner v. New York (1905), on grounds that they are too subjective.  There is far more substance and historical/founding era support for a right to contract than a right to dignity, but of course we all know the progressives don’t care about being consistent or original meaning; it’s only the ends that matter.

DAN MITCHELL: Learning Valuable Lessons from History on How to Reduce Poverty.

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HMM: Mexican government wants to tame disruptive teachers’ union. “They have seized public plazas and filled them with sprawling tent cities. They have burned government buildings and choked off a city’s gasoline supply. They have held marches and torched ballots and closed schools for weeks at a time. Mexico’s rowdy public school teachers’ union — particularly the branch based in the southern state of Oaxaca — has long been a thorn in the government’s side, as it wages its battle against President Enrique Peña Nieto’s restructuring of the education system. But now that last month’s midterm election has passed, and the teachers’ threats of an election boycott largely failed, Peña Nieto’s administration wants to strike harder at the union by sapping its funding and wresting control back into the hands of the state, according to Mexican officials.”

The teachers’ watchword: “We’re here for job security. That’s what we’re fighting for.”

IF YOU LIKED BAGHDAD BOB, YOU’LL LOVE IRAN’S CHIEF NUCLEAR NEGOTIATOR, JAVAD ZARIF: “Zarif speaks fluent English — as buttery smooth as Viennese chocolate, but wrapped around an astounding collection of demands and lies,” Claudia Rosett warns.  He and John Kerry should hit it off remarkably well, much to the rest of the world’s chagrin.

ROLL CALL: Six Senators Demand Ex-Im Bank Liquidation Plan. “Ex-Im supporters felt modest comfort Tuesday knowing that a lapse in the charter’s authorization didn’t mean total demise, as it could still service existing accounts until Congress voted for reauthorization — if Congress voted for reauthorization. But the letter points out that one of the few allowable actions the bank can take without reauthorization is to ‘exercise certain functions for purposes of orderly liquidation.’”

JEFF CARTER ON THE GREXIT: “What it feels like to me is a pro draft. Portugal, Italy, and Spain are on the clock. To a certain extent, France is on the clock too but it just doesn’t have a lottery pick.”

Plus: “The EU and the euro don’t allow the full economic effects of their policies to work given the different government policies at work. The invisible hand is handcuffed. It’s not a free market system. It’s a bureaucratic centrally planned system that is doomed to fail. Germany has 6% unemployment. The PIGS all have unemployment that would be considered a Depression anywhere else. Yet they have the same price system and currency. The communists in those countries are watching closely. July 20, the Greeks owe the EU 3.5 billion euros. I don’t think there is a chance that they pay it. If the EU caves, look for the communists in other countries to make a move. The long term political fallout could be even worse than the financial fallout.”

Communism/socialism/fascism is an opportunistic infection of the body politic brought about by the failure of liberal democracy to manage things properly. Expect to see a lot of opportunism.


NOT SO FREAKISH, GIVEN HER EXPERIENCE AND TRACK RECORD: Reminder: Margaret Thatcher Was Freakishly Correct About Why The Euro Would Be Such A Big Disaster.

CAYMAN REPORT: Okay, I’ve been slow to post this because I got home a day late (thanks, Delta!) and had a lot to do. But here goes. First, the diving: As usual, it was great. Interestingly, I wondered if hitting the Rippetoe-style weight training was going to hurt my air consumption, but it didn’t. My fear was that having added a substantial amount of muscle mass, that muscle would require more air. But, in fact, my air consumption was the best it’s ever been: I was finishing hour-long dives at 50-60 feet and still getting on the boat (after a safety stop) with 1200 pounds. (Starting with 3000-3200 pounds of pressure in the tank). Perhaps more muscle made me swim more efficiently, or maybe — and I think this is likely based on my experience doing aerobically demanding stuff — the weight training has boosted my cardiovascular fitness. Whatever, it was a relief.

The weather was terrific, the reefs looked good, and I dove the Kittiwake again, which I thought would bore me but which didn’t. There’s just so much to explore there, and the marine life changes every time. This time it was full of silversides, which made huge clouds that were super-cool to swim through. One caveat: If you tend toward claustrophobia, which I absolutely do not, you probably don’t want to dive the Kittiwake, and you might find being in the middle of a cloud of fish that cuts off your vision upsetting.

The fight between Cayman officials and the Cayman Compass over a corruption editorial was still the talk of the town, with most people I talked to saying that the Governor (a British official with great but seldom-used power) might wind up intervening. (Islands are basically like municipal governments pretending to be a nation, and the possibility of outside supervision is salutary.)

But that’s not the big story or conflict. The big conflict is over a proposed cruise ship dock that would damage a lot of the reef. The folks at Sunset House, a dive resort that I’ve stayed at in the past, write:

The Environmental Impact Assessment indicates that dredging and its silt plume will destroy much of the unique, thousands of years old reefs that we currently earn over $20 million/year from and upon which numerous watersports operations are primarily dependent.

The Wreck of the Balboa will be dredged up, as well as Soto’s South will certainly perish, but the deadly silt plume will likely affect all of the reefs in the harbor to various extents, including Soto’s Central, Soto’s North (Cheese Burger Reef) and Eden Rock.

The massive silt plume will destroy the reefs to the South of Sunset House to as far North as Treasure Island Resort.

Seems like a terrible idea to me. The cruise ships bring in lots of people, but they don’t stay long, they only spend money in the rather tacky cruise-ship area of town, and, frankly, I think they give people a bad impression of the island. As Doug Weinstein and I have noted, when you drive past, you never see the cruise ship people smiling. They generally look tired and disgusted as they trudge around. And when I talk to people who say they’ve “been to Cayman” on a cruise ship, their impressions are usually not favorable. Divers, on the other hand, tend to stay a lot longer — a week, say — and spend a lot more money, as well as coming away with a lot more good things to say about the place. Cruise ships are kind of the “fast food” of tourism.

The dive community has a petition and a Facebook page. I’ve reported here before about how Cayman has done a good job of balancing environmental and financial concerns; this would seem to be a departure from that.

Lionfish, which I’ve written about before, were vastly less plentiful everywhere I dove, and more restaurants were serving lionfish appetizers (the ceviche is excellent) and entrees. Lionfish is quite tasty, and while they still thrive at depths recreational divers can’t reach — there aren’t enough tech divers to make much of a dent in the population at 300 feet down — they have been significantly beaten back. Also, they’re delicious.

I briefly met the fair Fiona, who married a Caymanian and has thus been able to stick around (and have a kid) despite Cayman’s highly restrictive immigration laws.

Here’s a sporadically updated Cayman political/economic blog.

In terms of equipment, not much change in my setup. I’ve used this Cressi Travelight BC for the last couple of years, as my old SeaQuest was getting kind of frayed. I use an Atomic Aquatics M1 regulator which I like a lot, and I still use a Suunto Vyper dive computer, which I’ve had for a decade now. I dive with the Spare Air, too, though I’ve never used it. Best investment? A prescription dive mask that I got at Diver’s Supply on Cayman a while back. They fitted me on the spot and although I can see okay underwater without it, it’s a lot nicer to be able to see clearly. I highly recommend one of these.

When on Cayman I generally dive with Nat Robb’s In Depth Watersports. Great service, great boats, a great experience.

WASHINGTON POST: The OPM Cyberattack Was A Breach Too Far. But do they really expect Obama to stand up to China?

Related: White House sprints to patch security flaws. Horse, meet barn door.

WORTH REMEMBERING, as it shows that even the NYT doesn’t buy a standard lefty trope: The Myth of ‘the Southern Strategy.’

IT’S POTEMKIN VILLAGES ALL THE WAY DOWN: TWO PEOPLE Have Filed OVER 1,700 Sex Discrimination Complaints With Dept. Of Education. “Exactly two people are responsible for filing over 1,700 sex discrimination complaints with the federal Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights in the last few years. Catherine E. Lhamon, the Education Department’s secretary for civil rights, won’t identify these two highly litigious individuals. . . . Under the Obama administration, the growth in the Department of Education’s sex discrimination complaints has been astounding. In 2010, Lhamon’s office saw just 391 such complaints. In 2014, the number was 2,354.”

Sounds sketchy. This story’s from March, but I just ran across it. I don’t think anything has improved.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: UNC prof. awarded back pay after drug smuggling conviction. “The appellate court determined that the university incorrectly put Frampton on unpaid leave, without first seeking disciplinary action. The court decided that the professor is to be awarded his lost pay from the time his case began up until the date of his firing.”

It’s actually kind of a sad, pathetic story. He’s written a book on his experience, Tricked!: The story of an internet scam.

IS THE WORLD BECOMING FED UP? “A great pushback is awakening here and abroad, but its timing, nature, and future remain mysterious,” Victor Davis Hanson writes, adding that Trump’s polling success is a potential harbinger of things to come:

Presidential candidate Trump is supposedly enjoying a bump in the polls. How could that be, given his plutocratic hubris, his flamboyance and his often sloppy rhetoric? Again the answer is predictable. He is blunt — and uncouth; while the Left is sly and uncouth. The public sometimes prefers their exaggerations as bold and not packaged in nasal whines. We are supposed to shudder at the reaction when writer Ann Coulter, promoting a supposedly nativist book about immigration, is rushed by illegal immigration activists at a book signing. Then she confirms our stereotypes by declaring that Latin Americans typically express criticism in such a riotous fashion. The media forgets that she is matched and trumped by the activists themselves. They disrupted a peaceful book signing; they tore up books that they disagreed with (an act which has a good 20th-century fascist pedigree); some brought out Mexican flags to show solidarity with the country that they most certainly do not wish to return to. And there was a shout or two, in racist fashion, that Coulter should return to Europe — as if a guest here illegally from a foreign country has a greater claim on residence than does a U.S. citizen.

As in the case of Paula Deen, Duck Dynasty, and the addled Donald Sterling, the nation unleashed its thought police to destroy Trump in the fashion that has worked so well with other intemperate or biased speakers (at least those who are not of the liberal bent of politically incorrect gaffers like a Sen. Harry Reid, Vice President Joe Biden, Al Sharpton, David Letterman — or Barack Obama who believes “typical” white people (all 220 million?) stereotype blacks while there are apparently “gangbangers” crossing illegally into the U.S. on his watch).  But so far, the politically-selective yanked sponsorships and corporate ostracism seem to have little effect on the self-promoting and boisterous multibillionaire Trump. Why so?

Read the whole thing.

JOEL KOTKIN: Green Pope Goes Medieval On Planet. “There are of course historical parallels to this kind of game-changing alliance. In the late Roman Empire and then throughout the first Middle Ages, church ideology melded with aristocratic and kingly power to assure the rise of a feudal system.”

MILO YIANNOPOULOS: Randi Harper, Part 2: The Fact and Fiction of the Troll Formerly Known as @freebsdgirl.

Here’s Part One.

WELL, I THINK THAT’S THE GOAL: Will Christian Colleges (And Law Schools) Lose Their Tax Exemption After Obergefell?

RICK PERRY: I Can Help African-Americans More Than Past 3 Dem Presidents.

Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry said the time has come for the Republican Party to “reclaim” its heritage as the only political party in America founded on the “principle of freedom” for African-Americans.

Perry argued that his policies could help African-Americans more than the last three Democratic administrations combined.

The former Texas governor said Republicans have emphasized their message on the 10th Amendment but not on the 14th Amendment, which Perry called “one of the great contributions of the Republican Party to American life, second only to the abolition of slavery.”

“For too long we Republicans have been content to lose the black vote because we found we didn’t need it to win, but when we gave up trying to win the support of African-Americans we lost our moral legitimacy as the party of Lincoln, as the party of equal opportunity for all,” he said in a speech at the National Press Club.

“It is time for us to once again reclaim our heritage as the only party in our country founded on the principle of freedom for African-Americans. We know what Democrats will propose in 2016 – the same things the Democrats have proposed for decades – more government spending on more government programs,” he added.

Perry said there is a “proper and an important role” for government assistance in keeping people on their feet.

“But few presidents have done more to expand government assistance than President Obama. Today, we spend nearly $1 trillion on means-tested-type poverty programs and yet black poverty remains stagnant,” he said.

Perry told the audience the best welfare program in America is a job.

Related: Kevin Williamson: Rick Perry is running a smart, thoughtful campaign — will anyone notice?

July 5, 2015

WHY PRETTY GIRLS HATE BEING ASKED OUT BY NERDS: “When someone asks you out on a date, they are basically saying that they think your standards are low enough to voluntarily go out with them. If the asker clearly has high dating market value himself, his advances don’t indicate that he thinks you have a low dating market value. But if you get asked out on a date by someone with a low social status, and other people find out, then others might reasonably downgrade their estimate of your dating market value, especially if the person doing the asking is a shy, cautious nerd. . . . What’s a girl to do if asked on a date by a smart, thoughtful, shy, low social status boy? Ideally, she would prevent others from learning about what happened, but if this proves impossible she needs to act as if what the nerd did was utterly unacceptable and so not an indication of her place in the social order. And as human brains excel at truly believing things that serve our self-interest, pretty girls politely asked out by nerds probably genuinely feel sexually harassed.”

I HATE TILAPIA: The Truth About Tilapia.

RUNNING OUT OF OTHER PEOPLE’S MONEY: Sugar, flour, rice: panicked Greeks stock up on essentials.

BECAUSE HE TALKS TO THE BASE THAT THE ESTABLISHMENT GOP HATES AND IGNORES: Why Trump Is Resonating. If you don’t address the concerns of a large group, someone else will, and it won’t be someone you choose.

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WHEN YOU HATE ON SELFIE STICKS, YOU’RE BEING SEXIST: Getting the entire family in the shot. As in, Dad stops being the person consistently missing from the kids’ childhood photos.

WHOLE FOODS FESSES UP: Admits overweighting, promises third party audits.

WELL, IT MAKES SECESSION EASIER: Texas Repatriates Its Gold. “Texas is the only state that owns an actual stockpile of gold, according to public sector and financial industry experts – not just gold futures or investment positions, but approximately 5,600 gold bars worth around $650 million. The holdings, stored at a New York bank, for some harken back to century-old fears about the security of currency not backed by shiny bullion.”


Something that can’t go on forever, won’t. Debts that can’t be repaid, won’t be. Promises that can’t be kept, won’t be. Plan accordingly.

LIBERIA: 200 Reportedly Had Contact With Ebola Victim. “The World Health Organization reported Friday that nearly 200 people had been in contact with a 17-year-old in Liberia who was confirmed to have died of Ebola on June 28, the country’s first Ebola case since May 9, when it had been officially declared free of the highly contagious disease. In an assessment posted on its website, the W.H.O. said that all of the contacts of the teenager were being closely monitored and that two of them had already tested positive for the virus, confirming what the Liberian health authorities had reported this week.”

So if Liberia was Ebola-free, where did he get it?

AT AMAZON, it’s the Geek Boutique.

Also, introducing Amazon Echo.

NANOTECHNOLOGY UPDATE: Linking together small DNAs to build more diverse DNA nanostructures.

DANIEL DREZNER: Pixar movies ranked by “feels.”

THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT HEALTH INSURANCE IS FOR: Unexpected medical catastrophes, especially treatable ones, not routine checkups and fully foreseeable contraception. I faced similar “you’re stealing from the common pot” criticisms when I wrote about my own cancer and the expensive but miraculous drug Herceptin back in 2009. (She’s terribly naive about the British system, however.)

THIS IS WHY I DON’T GENERALLY pair my phone with rental cars.

FREEDOM’S MARCH: As more states legalize fireworks, what’s behind the pyrotechnic boom?

Early protester against nannyism Henry Reed would approve.

GOOD TRY, BUT I’M NOT BUYING IT:  George Will on Chief Justice Roberts’ interpretive methodology: “A Wrinkle in the ACA Decision.

IN THE MAIL: From Tony Daniel & David Drake, The Savior.

Plus, today only at Amazon: Bestway Lay-Z-Spa Palm Springs Inflatable Hot Tub, $337.49 (44% off).

And, also today only: Up to 60% Off Select Pet Treats.

TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 787.

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO RAPE! (CONT’D): Teacher Charged For Victimizing Male Teen With Month-Long Sex Fling Has Worked At Dirty Dick’s. You can’t make this stuff up. Plus: “Umphlett’s name has been scrubbed from the Currituck County High website, though the Internet Archive shows she had been listed there previously. On Monday, a grand jury indicted the English teacher on a felonious sex offense charge. On Tuesday, she turned herself in. She was processed and quickly released on $5,000 bail.”

LOUISE MENSCH: The railroading of Tim Hunt.

First, The Sun published a photo of Sir Tim smiling at the time, contradicting the claims he “wasn’t joking” and “everybody in the room was stony-faced”.

Second, it appears that members of the Royal Society’s Diversity Committee, Britain’s leading organisation of scientists, had slammed Sir Tim before he’d even said a word to the media.

Professor David Colquhoun, also of UCL, said: “I collected some stuff about the misogynistic Nobel prize winner on my Facebook page.”

And what did he put in that thread about alleged “sexism”?

“Here you can see Tim Hunt tipping a bucket of ice water over his (very successful) wife.” That’s right, an Ice Bucket Challenge!

Then there’s the BBC, which seems to have put words in Sir Tim’s mouth. The Today show quoted him as referring to “women in the lab” and “the trouble with women”. But those words were not in any audio of him they broadcast.

Did he say that? They wouldn’t answer me.

“We treated Professor Hunt fairly,” a BBC spokesman told me. “His words were not selectively edited to change their meaning.”

Oh yeah? Then why did the show use Tim’s words “I was only being honest” in TWO different places referring to two different things?

Meanwhile, the President of the European Research Council, Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, went on the record in an exclusive statement to me on Friday.

He confirmed he had “the testimonies of eyewitnesses” that Tim was being ironic and praising women.

He also said that Sir Tim Hunt “actively supported” and voted for ERC pro-women science initiatives.

Jean-Pierre said Sir Tim was “keen” to talk to “young researchers, male and female” and answer all kinds of questions, which was “precisely why I chose him to accompany two women ERC grantees to attend the very special conference in Seoul.” Oops!

I’ve asked the BBC to release the full audio of what Sir Tim said in his Today interview, and the questions he was asked.

So far they’ve refused to do that. If the Beeb has evidence that can clear him, they have a duty to provide it. Let’s hear that entire tape.

This whole thing stinks.

THE JOY OF just the right amount of sex. “The lesson is not simply to avoid participating in academic sex studies.” I dunno, the illustration and description suggest that maybe it is.

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DANA MILBANK: Clinton And Obama Are On The Wrong Side Of History. Well…

THIS IS COOL: The Hermione Sails Into New York Harbor, Cannons Blazing. “On Wednesday a replica of the Hermione, the three-masted, 32-gun frigate that carried Lafayette to America in 1780 with news of his king’s military support for the Americans, docked at the South Street Seaport. More than two centuries later, the crowds were smaller but the scene was still clangorous. After passing Governors Island, the Hermione sent a round of cannon blasts echoing off the buildings of Lower Manhattan before gliding into port. A band played ‘Down by the Riverside’ as costumed crew members scrambled from the masts for another deafening — and apparently unplanned — salute.”

As a big fan of Napoleonic-era sea stories from Patrick O’Brian, C.S. Forester, et al., I wish I could take a tour.

LIFE IN THE 21ST CENTURY: Gibson Says Self-Tuning Guitars Are Here To Stay, Even As Purists Fret.

BIG BROTHER IS TAXING YOU: Oregon Launches Program To Tax Drivers By The Mile. “According to a national usage fee alliance, 28 states are in various stages of following down the same road. However, there are also privacy concerns. Two of the three OReGO systems track and store a car’s every move.”

As I wrote on this a while back, Don’t Track Me, Bro.

July 4, 2015

REVIEW: Your Stupid Questions Have No Answers: Martin van Creveld vs. the Chimera of Equality. Political and social equality doesn’t mean you’re actually, you know, the same.


IF IT WERE A PILL, EVERYONE WOULD TAKE IT: Older Athletes Have a Strikingly Young Fitness Age. “Older athletes can be much younger, physically, than they are in real life, according to a new study of participants in the coming Senior Olympics. The study found that the athletes’ fitness age is typically 20 years or more younger than their chronological age, providing a clear inspiration to the rest of us to get out and start moving more.”

What’s most striking is that most of them hadn’t exercised vigorously their entire lives, but rather started late in life.

FASTER, PLEASE: Flying on a private jet is getting much cheaper.

PRESS ROPED IN BY AIDES AT HILLARY EVENT: I’m not sure what the usage rights are to the photos in Daniel Halper’s post at the Weekly Standard, which is also currently atop Drudge, so I don’t want to embed any of them here, but if you haven’t seen them yet, by all means click over. I’ll wait.

OK, back? That the press went along with this with such docility tells you everything you need to know about which party they support — they are, as Glenn likes to say, Democratic operatives with bylines. If they were real journalists, or if this technique was employed a GOP presidential campaign, their first thought would be: I’m cutting the rope. Even if I don’t have a knife. I’ll start sawing away with car keys — or simply duck under it, just to see what happens next.

Because what happens next is a headline. One that will quickly become what former AP man Joseph Campbell calls a classic media myth that feeds upon itself: HILLARY’S GOONS HARASS JOURNALIST. JOURNALIST HAULED AWAY BY CLINTON SECURITY.  I BROKE HILLARY’S PRESS BLOCKADE! A real journalist would dine out on the headline for months.

And if this was an opportunity to employ the same headlines but with Bush, Trump, Perry, Cruz or Rubio, the press would be chomping at the bits to write such a story. As Cruz told Glenn Beck on Thursday, “Nothing would make [a journalist] happier than to take your life and filet [a GOP candidate or his operatives] on the front pages.”

But why go out of the way to cause bad press for one of your own?

And for the furious reaction from Twitter users from the photos of the “press lapdogs herded like sheep,” Twitchy has you covered.

ONWARD, CHRISTIAN SOLDIERS: Iraq Christians train to recapture homes from IS.

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JACK NEELY: Was The South Ever Confederate Anyway?

The Civil War is a big bagful of ironies and paradoxes, and not a recommended study for folks who like to keep things simple. It would be a particular challenge for anyone to survive the 1860s in Knoxville and either idealize one side or demonize the other. It took a later generation, one that didn’t remember the war, to glorify it.

I do want to point out something provable. Whether the Confederate flag is an irredeemably racist and oppressive symbol or not, the Confederacy is not “the South.” It is not “the South now,” certainly. It was not even “the South” in 1861. The conflation of the Confederacy with “the South” began, I suspect, as some tired editor’s attempt to make a headline fit.

People of European and African ancestry have been living in the South for 400 years. The Confederacy lasted for four years, about 1 percent of that time. And even during that 1 percent, a large proportion of the people who lived in the South—perhaps even a majority—were skeptical of the Confederacy. . . .

The Confederacy was not universally popular, even in the South. It would be difficult to prove that as much as half the people who lived in the South in 1861 were fond of the Confederacy. Sam Houston, who grew up in East Tennessee and spent his entire life in the South—except when he was in D.C., representing Southern states in Congress—despised the Confederacy and denounced it publicly. David Glasgow Farragut and Gen. William Sanders—whose last names survive in multiple institutions in Knox County—both grew up in the South and fought against the Confederacy. Sanders, who’d spent most of his life in Kentucky and Mississippi, was killed by Confederate bullets. Several of Knoxville’s fiercest Unionists, Parson W.G. Brownlow, William Rule, and Thomas Humes, were lifelong Southerners.

It might take years to do a thorough study on the subject, but judging by what we know of those who favored secessionism or the Union, here in East Tennessee at least, Confederate sympathies didn’t necessarily suggest Southern roots. Many of Knoxville’s notable Confederates were immigrants from Switzerland, Germany, or Ireland. John Mitchel, probably Knoxville’s most nationally famous secessionist—editor of The Southern Citizen, which advocated slavery—was an Irish revolutionary Unitarian who’d spent several years in prison in Tasmania and never laid eyes on the South until 1853. J.G.M. Ramsey, the secessionist most influential locally, was from a Pennsylvania family. Father Abram Ryan, Knoxville’s “Poet-Priest of the Confederacy,” grew up in Maryland and Missouri, son of Irish immigrants. Thousands of New Yorkers, many of whom had never seen the South, were Confederate sympathizers.

Meanwhile, many of Knoxville’s Unionists grew up in multi-generational Tennessee families. Did Southern heritage even play a role in affiliation with the Confederacy? Here in Knoxville, a demographic study might even prove the opposite. Maybe it was the people with the deepest roots here who were most skeptical of the noisy rebel bandwagon.

In any case, in 1861 more than 30 percent of Tennessee’s Southerners voted against secession, against joining the Confederacy. Well over 30,000 Tennesseans took up arms against the Confederacy.

Yes, but the important point is letting low-information white Democrats feel superior.

UPDATE: Oh, look: Here’s one of those now. Though to be fair, I considered using the “outside agitator” line myself.

JEFF CARTER: A House Divided.

LIFE IN THE 21ST CENTURY: “It’s a surreal moment when you discover that a) ISIS has a blocklist, and b) you’re on it.”

MARK JUDGE: In retrospect, Woody Allen’s Manhattan looks like a conservative countercultural film. “I’m from Philadelphia, we believe in God.”

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ANGELO CODEVILLA: Standing Up To The Ruling Class.

HENRY MILLER: When Bureaucrats Get Away With Murder.

AUSTIN BAY: Democracy, Whiskey, Sexy: Liberty Demands Responsibility.

SHOCKER: Mass Killings Inspire Copycats, Study Finds.

We’ve known about the copycat effect for a while. But the press blames everyone but itself when these happen.

BERNIE SANDERS IN THE 1960S: “I love the photo. I’m sure I would have had a crush on him back then. It was very typical for younger people of that time to regard ordinary middle-class people going to work as shuffling, horrifying zombies.”

IN THE MAIL: From MF Thomas & Nicholas Thurkettle, Seeing by Moonlight.

Plus, today only at Amazon: Save 30% on this Bowflex Xtreme Home Gym.

And, also today only: “The West Wing: The Complete Series” Collection on DVD, $58.99 (80% off).

TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 786.