March 27, 2015

I’D LIKE TO SEE MORE EVIDENCE FOR THIS CLAIM: Co-Pilot of Germanwings Airbus Was MUSLIM CONVERT …’Hero of Islamic State’?

March 26, 2015

HMM: ‘Space nets’ aim to capture threats to satellites and spacecraft.

WHY GUN RIGHTS FANS SHOULD SHOP AT KROGER’S. Kroger knows that MomsDemand is just another Bloomberg-funded astroturf group. Why listen to them?

PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: Wesleyan student: My college discriminates against fraternities. We’re suing.

Their arguments attempt to portray fraternities, including the DKE house where I live, as bastions of ‘white male privilege.’

Not only is this an unproductive and unfair ad hominem attack, it is entirely inaccurate: two-thirds of our organization is on financial aid (compared to less than half of the campus as a whole) and 12 percent is African-American (as opposed to 7 percent of the entire campus). . . . At first, it was suggested that fraternities promote sexual assault. Yet the university’s own safety report states that 13 out of 15 forced sexual assaults in 2013 occurred in the university’s own co-ed dorms.

University administrators tend to be totalitarians by inclination, and their biggest objection to fraternities probably isn’t even that they are associated with Evil White Males, but rather that they are alternative power centers, and university administrators don’t want any alternative power centers.

AND, AS WITH “BAN BOSSY,” IT’S BECAUSE THOSE WORDS DESCRIBE HER PERFECTLY: Here Are The Words Hillary’s Supporters Won’t Let You Say. Hmm: Polarizing, Insincere, Entitled, Calculating, Disingenous. . . . Well, yeah, I can see why Hillary supporters don’t want those words used.

IT’S COME TO THIS: Obama: Hey, ObamaCare Was The Republicans’ Plan!

WIRED: Top Gear Shouldn’t Go on Without Jeremy Clarkson. He should start his own show, and steal the audience.

PRACTICING FOR PROMOTION TO THE PRESIDENTIAL PROTECTION DETAIL: DEA agents had ‘sex parties’ with prostitutes, watchdog says. “Agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration reportedly had ‘sex parties’ with prostitutes hired by drug cartels in Colombia, according to a new inspector general report released by the Justice Department on Thursday. . . . The stunning allegations are part of an investigation by the Justice Department’s inspector general into claims of sexual harassment and misconduct within DEA; FBI; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and the U.S. Marshals Service. The IG’s office found that DEA did not fully cooperate with its probe.” Unlike the Colombian hookers, who. . . . Oh, hell, you can figure out the rest.

LIFE IN THE OBAMA ERA: Things Fall Apart.

FIVE PROPOSALS for reforming the TSA.

On a more serious note, I’d just flat out abolish it. It’s a waste of time and money, all in the service of “security theater” rather than security.

UPDATE: Convicted terrorist Sara Jane Olson went through TSA Pre-Check. “Convicted domestic terrorist Sara Jane Olson, 68, of St. Paul, was allowed to go through TSA’s expedited security screening known as TSA Pre Check last year, despite her criminal background. And when a TSA Agent at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport recognized Olson, and alerted a supervisor, his concerns were ignored.”

Like I said. . . .

ED DRISCOLL: Synthespians: The Dawn Of The Digital Actor.

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MY PREDICTION: THE NUMBER OF NUKES IN EUROPE WILL INCREASE. The Future of NATO’s Nukes.

ABOUT TIME: Political Correctness Is Devouring Itself.

FLASHBACK: When Analog Computers Walked The Earth.

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APPARENTLY, I’VE BEEN USING THE WORD “IMMINENT” INCORRECTLY: Researchers Predict ‘Imminent Collapse’ Of Universe After Period Of Rapid Expansion. “Physicists Nemanja Kaloper at the University of California Davis and Antonio Padilla at the University of Nottingham proposed the ‘imminent’ collapse – which on the cosmological scale is a few tens of billions of years from today.”

WELL, THAT WOULD CERTAINLY BE NICE: Single-Dose Cures for Malaria, Other Diseases.

YOU WILL SELDOM SEE A MORE WRETCHED HIVE OF SCUM AND VILLAINY: The Real Life Tatooine is Under Siege by ISIS: The Tunisian filming location of “Star Wars” has become a major arms depot for the Islamic State.

READER BOOK PLUG: From Rod Magner: Where You Been, Boy? A Love Story. It’s about flying, and Magner is a Vietnam Navy pilot vet.

NANOTECHNOLOGY UPDATE: Automated synthesis expands nanotechnology building block repertoire. “The main limitation right now is that only 200 building blocks are available that carry both the halogen and the boronate groups, so only these can be used anywhere other than the first or last building block in the chain. If several thousand new building blocks become commercially available, it may not be too much of an exaggeration to talk about 3D printing of small molecules. . . . t will no doubt take several years to see just how big, how diverse, and how complex the products of this molecule synthesizer can be. It seems reasonable to expect a huge effect on drug discovery and other practical areas. Will it contribute to the development of APM? For example, could it synthesize small diamondoid parts? Could it produce useful catalysts or other functional components to attach to a large structural DNA framework? Or perhaps components for smaller, stiffer structural frameworks?” Faster, please.

IT’S MORE OF A GIFT, REALLY: Stephen Green: Obama Sells Out Israel To Iran.

UPDATE: Pentagon declassifies report, exposes details of Israel nuke program. “The Pentagon has just revealed a stunning amount of information on some of Israel’s the most closely guarded secrets, including details of its nuclear program. I haven’t the vocabulary strong enough to express what I think of the people who ordered and executed this.”

Two thoughts: (1) If the Obama Administration wants to ensure that no ally will trust the United States again, they’re doing what it takes; and (2) If I had as much to hide as the Obama Administration does, I’m not sure I’d start a leak-war.

DIESEL REVIEW: 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen. “With the seats up the SportWagen holds 30.4 cubic feet, almost 8 more than the Golf. The gap widens to nearly 14 cu ft with the seats folded; a max capacity of 66.5 cu ft puts the SportWagen into compact crossover territory. That added functionality leads VW to think it can sway buyers shopping the likes of the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4. And with the high-mpg diesel variant – 31 mpg city, up to 43 highway – VW hopes to lure those considering fuel-sipping MPVs like the Toyota Prius V and Ford C-MAX. What separates this Golf from those other two segments is the driving prowess we’ve come to expect from Wolfsburg’s best-selling nameplate.”

ASHE SCHOW: The Survivor Class: Coming To A Job Near You. “With all the attention being paid to college-aged social justice warriors and microagressions, one has to ask: What happens when all these delicate snowflakes enter the workforce?”

Related: Is the ‘Female Way of Learning’ Destroying Boyhood?

IN THE MAIL: The Dalai Lama’s Little Book of Buddhism.

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And, also today only: $5 Magazine subscriptions.

TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 686.

TALK OF CAMPUS “RAPE CULTURE” IS, BASICALLY, UNSCIENTIFIC HATE SPEECH, AS REUTERS POINTS OUT:

Campus rape is a serious problem. But while public attention is focused on students carrying mattresses and the discredited Rolling Stone report about rape at the University of Virginia, the fact is that sexual assault is more common off campus than on.

Consider this: If you lived in Gallup, New Mexico in 2013, you were 47 times more likely to be raped than if you attended Harvard, according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) statistics. Yet chances are you won’t see any protesters in New Mexico. Coverage of campus rape has likely increased for a variety of reasons – the social media influence of the at-risk demographic, the ability of victims and supporters to articulate the problem and because it — like any other type of violent crime in poor communities — is more of a surprise. That’s not to lessen one or the other; just a diagnosis of the arc of public attention.

A 2014 report from the Department of Justice called Rape and Sexual Assault Victimization Among College-Age Females, 1995–2013 found that non-students aged 18-24 were 20% more likely to be sexually assaulted than students. Also, as these Reuters graphics show, the severity of the assault was worse for non-students, the rate of completed rape as opposed to other kinds of assault being 50% higher.

Follow the link for the graphics. Also, note that 6.1 out of 100,000 isn’t the same as 1 in 5.

UPDATE: Eugene Volokh emails: “I think 6.1/100,000 is the yearly attempted/completed/threatened sexual assault rate as reported by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, and so isn’t directly comparable to the 1 in 5 assertion, which purports to measure the rate for the entire span of time in college; to make it comparable, I think you’d need to multiply it by 4 or 5 years. The difference remains vast, but not quite as vast.” A fair point. 24.4 out of 100,000 is still well below the 20,000 out of 100,000 we’d need for the 1 in 5 figure.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Manual Labor, All Night Long: The Reality of Paying for College.

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HMM: Germanwings Co-pilot Likely Crashed Jet Deliberately. Bring back Flight Engineers on all flights?

BYRON YORK: Did you know Obama just took new executive action on immigration? “This week President Obama took unilateral executive action — again — to change the nation’s immigration laws. Almost no one noticed. Obama intends to make it easier to bring more foreign guest workers to the United States — likely at significant cost to workers already here — by loosening the rules governing something known as the L-1B visa program. Under the program, a multinational company with offices in the United States can move workers from abroad to live and work in the U.S. for as long as five years in what is known as an intra-company transfer. There are almost no rules concerning what those workers can be paid, so there is no barrier to a company firing American employees and bringing in workers from foreign facilities to replace them at much lower pay. . . . Also, under Obama’s new rules, Customs and Immigration Services adjudicators will not be able to consider whether or not there are American workers available to do the job when determining whether to grant an L-1B visa.”

As I’ve suggested, this kind of thing is a ripe target for the GOP.

ASHE SCHOW: No, there is no ‘rape lobby’ trying to keep sexual assaults from being investigated.

Salon (because of course) has published an article titled “Fraternities plan to lobby Congress to prevent campus rape investigations.” The website’s Twitter account called the fraternities a “rape lobby.”

The article claims that the lobbying group, FratPAC, is trying to “make it more difficult for colleges and universities to investigate sexual assault allegations.”

The inference, of course, is that fraternities are trying to make it easier to rape.

What the Fraternity and Sorority Political Action Committee (note that it represents sororities as well) actually wants is for the American justice system, which has the training and expertise to investigate felonies like rape, to do its job before colleges and universities become caught up in political witch hunts.

FratPAC also wants universities to stop overreacting to accusations of sexual assault by suspending all Greek activity when an accusation comes from a single fraternity — like what happened at the University of Virginia following a now discredited gang-rape allegation.

These are both commonsense requests that, outside of the activist cult and supporting media, are not seen as extreme or crazy positions.

But to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., who actively refers to one of her constituents as a “rapist” even though he was exonerated by a campus investigation, these requests are “completely backwards.”

Kirsten Gillibrand is the Ben Tillman of the feminist lynching culture. She happily victimizes innocents for political gain, and she does it without shame. Of course, Tillman was a Democratic Senator too.

INTERESTING THAT DEMOCRAT MENENDEZ HAS BEEN NEUTRALIZED: New Jersey Republicans Set Stage for Fight on U.S.-Cuba Relations.

Lawmakers are always eager to use appropriations bills to make political statements; this year, House Republicans are using the power of the purse to weigh in on President Barack Obama’s move to normalize U.S. and Cuba relations.

GOP lawmakers began to set the stage Wednesday, when New Jersey Republican Reps. Scott Garrett, Leonard Lance and Tom MacArthur officially asked senior appropriators to withhold necessary funding to fulfill the diplomatic process unless the Cuban government agrees to extradite copkiller Joanne Chesimard, an enemy of the Garden State and a longtime fixture on the FBI’s “most wanted” list.

Chesimard was sentenced to life in prison after being convicted in 1977 of killing a New Jersey state trooper. Two years later, she escaped from her correctional facility and ultimately received political asylum in Cuba.

“It is unacceptable to me that President Obama would even consider normalizing relations with a regime that harbors someone convicted of murdering one of New Jersey’s finest, not to mention oppresses its own people and violates basic human rights and freedoms,” MacArthur said in a statement.

“The fact that Cuba flat-out refuses to extradite Chesimard and questions the judgment of our legal system proves they are not ready to continue discussions to normalize relations with the United States,” Garrett added in a separate quote accompanying the release of a letter the three lawmakers sent to the chairwoman and ranking member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign operations, Kay Granger, R-Texas, and Nita M. Lowey, D-N.Y., respectively.

Full text at the link.

THE HILL: Black business owners backing GOP estate tax repeal bid.

Republicans seeking to repeal the estate tax have rolled out the endorsements of black business advocates who argue the levy is especially painful for minority entrepreneurs.

Harry Alford of the National Black Chamber of Commerce and Robert Johnson, the founder of Black Entertainment Television (BET), separately argued in recent days that the estate tax is an especially bitter pill for minority business owners, many of whom only started getting successful in the last half-century or so.

“Full repeal of the estate tax would allow African Americans to pass the full fruits of their business success to the next generation and thereby laying the foundation for a permanent minority ownership class that can contribute to the economic growth and development of the United States economy,” Johnson, whose worth has been estimated at more than half a billion dollars, wrote to the House Ways and Means Committee last week.

Alford added in an op-ed for The Hill that black business owners are far more wary of the estate tax than entrepreneurs in general, making the case that what opponents dub the “death tax” puts pressure on minority-owned companies to sell at a discount price.

“It’s a legacy-killer,” Alford added in an interview with The Hill.

Well, pretty much literally.

IT’S COME TO THIS: Left-wing state legislator: Police are worse than ISIS.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Report: Homeland Security official used improper influence in visa cases involving prominent Democrats. “The No. 2 official at the Homeland Security Department improperly intervened on behalf of foreign investors seeking U.S. visas in three cases involving prominent Democrats, including a company run by the youngest brother of likely Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, the agency’s inspector general said Tuesday.”

March 25, 2015

RERUNS: The Woody & Bill Show.

DISCONNECTED FROM REALITY: White House: U.S. has ‘succeeded’ in Yemen, as President Hadi flees country.

REMEMBERING NORMAN BORLAUG: He Saved A Billion Lives.

WE’RE #1! It’s always nice to be number one.

MONEY: House passes $3.8 trillion spending plan.

UH OH: Pilot Locked Out of Cockpit in Germanwings Plane Crash: “You can hear he is trying to smash the door down.”

Related: Could Plane Cockpits Be Too Secure? Should pilots be allowed to lock themselves in the cockpit?

So over spring break we scored an upgrade to first class, and I saw something I hadn’t seen before: When the pilot left the cockpit to use the bathroom, the two flight attendants up front (1) barricaded the galley/lavatory/cockpit area with a cart; and (2) one of them went into the cockpit while the pilot was gone. Maybe this happens all the time, but I’d never noticed it before. Presumably the flight attendant went into the cockpit so that no one was left alone in there, just in case. Apparently, at least at American Airlines (the airline I flew out to LA), that has been a worry to be secured against. I asked a stewardess later if this procedure was new, but she just said they’re not supposed to talk about it.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: International Students Stream Into U.S. Colleges. Somebody on Twitter was presenting this as evidence that there’s no bubble. I think it’s more like evidence that tuitions have reached the point that there aren’t enough Americans willing to pay full-freight, and schools are having to look abroad, and in fact the story supports that take: “Amid rising costs, shrinking state support and student resistance to tuition increases, foreign students have become crucial to many public universities. Some hire foreign consultants to recruit students overseas, while others send their own staff on scouting missions.”

WE TRADED FIVE HIGH-RANKING JIHADISTS FOR A DESERTER: Bergdahl Charged With Desertion.

Related: Jen Psaki said Obama was “familiar” with the desertion accusations before making the deal.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: Law School Dean Average Tenure Is 2.78 Years, An All-Time Low. At Tennessee it’s been roughly double that since I arrived. But we get a new Dean next year.

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FRONTIERS IN FEMINISM: 10 Struggles Of Women With Big Thighs. Male privilege is everywhere! “6. You often find yourself comparing your thighs to thighs of the opposite sex. And when a guy has smaller thighs than you (which is pretty standard), you immediately want to curl up in a ball.”

SCIENCE: Men’s preference for certain body types has evolutionary roots. “This adds to a growing body of evidence that beauty is not entirely arbitrary, or ‘in the eyes of the beholder’ as many in mainstream social science believed, but rather has a coherent adaptive logic.”

FLY-FREE CORRIDORS: How Ancient Cattle Herders Avoided Sleeping Sickness.

WELL, THIS IS THE 21ST CENTURY, YOU KNOW: An Exoskeleton That Acts Like a Wearable Chair.

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CLEANUP: 6 Ways to Solve Our Dangerous Space Junk Problem.

Here, by the way, is a piece Rob Merges and I wrote for the Environmental Law Reporter on this topic back in 2010.

READER BOOK PLUG: From reader Grant Dossetto, The Hopping Bird, a baseball novel.

FOR MUSICIANS, survival in the age of Spotify. Hey, ASCAP just wrote me a couple of weeks ago to say that I’d never cashed a check from many years back — I don’t think I ever got it — and my thought was, hey for this $29 I’d have to have like twelve million plays on Spotify. . . . .

THE HILL: Clinton hit with racketeering lawsuit over emails.

DICK CHENEY: Obama to blame for Islamic State in Iraq, warns against nuclear Iran.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney on Tuesday night said President Obama “abandoned” Iraq despite warnings of chaos from Pentagon advisors, and the result is that “now you’ve got [the Islamic State] controlling a third or more of the country.”

In a forceful foreign policy address that was cheered at a fundraiser for the National Republican Congressional Committee, Cheney also declared that America must never let Iran get a nuclear weapon.

Just a reminder: As late as 2010, things were going so well in Iraq that Obama and Biden were bragging. Now, after Obama’s politically-motivated pullout and disengagement, the whole thing’s fallen apart. This is near-criminal neglect and incompetence, and an awful lot of people will pay a steep price for the Obama Administration’s fecklessness.

Related: National Journal: The World Will Blame Obama If Iraq Falls.

Related: What Kind Of Iraq Did Obama Inherit?

Plus, I’m just going to keep running this video of what the Democrats, including Harry Reid and Hillary Clinton, were saying on Iraq before the invasion:

Because I expect a lot of revisionist history over the next few months.

Plus: 2008 Flashback: Obama Says Preventing Genocide Not A Reason To Stay In Iraq. He was warned. He didn’t care.

And who can forget this?

AUTHORS AND the Kindle Unlimited program.

STEPHEN GREEN PROPOSES THE HOUSE OF DEMOCRATS: “All the trappings of power and none of the responsibilities? I say: Give them what they want.”

“SMART DIPLOMACY” UPDATE: Austin Bay: Yemen 2015: From Success to Cesspool.

BRENDAN O’NEILL: The vast Empire of Censorship in Europe – and how to fight it. The best cure for censorship is to punish a few censors. Like all bullies, they’re also cowards.

TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 685.

YEAH, THAT’S BECAUSE THEY’RE A BUNCH OF LYING LIARS: Megan McArdle: Rolling Stone Fails A Police Fact Check.

I called for the Charlottesville Police Department to investigate the case forthwith.

Well, they did. And today, at a press conference, they shared the results of that information. To summarize: “Jackie,” the alleged victim, refused to cooperate with police. The fraternity, however, did, and extensive attempts to corroborate her story failed.

There wasn’t much new here for people who have followed this case closely, and know about the various problems with Jackie’s story. They already knew that the guy she told friends raped her, with whom her friends had actually exchanged text messages with prior to their date that night, was a character named “Haven Monahan” who supposedly worked with her at the University’s Aquatic Center. Earlier reporting indicated that this is not the name of a UVA student, and the number they were texting belonged to a web-based service that allows people to send texts. Fraternity records do not show an event that night.

Mostly the police provided a few extra details here and there, which they were able to do because, well, they’re the law. For example, the story also includes a later incident where Jackie was attacked by people who threw a beer bottle at her, which broke on her eye. After that incident, Jackie told police that her nursing student roommate had had to take glass out of her skin from the thrown beer bottle; the roommate apparently denies this, and the police, who saw her wound about a week after the incident allegedly happened, said that while she did have an abrasion near her eye, appears to be more of an abrasion rather than a blunt trauma injury. . . .

Meanwhile, they said they actually found a timestamped photograph of the accused fraternity’s side entrance, taken at 11:30 pm on the evening of the rape, and it shows a guy standing there alone, with two chairs, which is not consistent with the sort of party described in the article, since the side entrance is right near the main staircase.

The police were at pains to say that they don’t know that nothing happened on the evening of Sept. 28, 2012, and that they are not closing the investigation, just “suspending” it, since they have no evidence with which to prosecute a crime. But what I took away from their press conference is that whatever happened on that night, it is almost certainly not what Sabrina Rubin Erdely wrote in Rolling Stone.

Well, that’s because what she wrote was a hoax, and she and the Rolling Stone either knew or should have known that it was false.

NO, JUST THE WORST: Is Teresa Sullivan The Unluckiest College President In America? And even this story can’t spin things convincingly on her behalf, despite heroic effort.

I’D RATHER SEE THE MEDIA END ITS SUBSERVIENCE: Ron Fournier: 5 Ways To End Hillary Clinton’s War On The Media. Of course, as someone noted on Twitter, when Hillary said she wanted an “open relationship” what she really meant was that they would both screw other people. . . .

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WE TRIED THAT “DON’T BE EVIL,” THING, BUT IT ADVERSELY IMPACTED SHAREHOLDER VALUE: Google Makes The Most Of Close Ties To White House.

On Nov. 6, 2012, the night of Mr. Obama’s re-election, Mr. Schmidt was personally overseeing a voter-turnout software system for Mr. Obama. A few weeks later, Ms. Shelton and a senior antitrust lawyer at Google went to the White House to meet with one of Mr. Obama’s technology advisers.

By the end of the month, the FTC had decided not to file an antitrust lawsuit against the company, according to the agency’s internal emails.

It is unusual for White House aides to talk with officials at a company or agency about law-enforcement matters involving the company or agency. Officials in the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division typically don’t meet with the White House during major investigations.

Yeah, but people who help swing elections are unusual too.

CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: Homeland Security exec used ‘improper influence’ to favor Reid, McAuliffe:

Department of Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas exerted “improper influence” on behalf of three applicants for a federal program that grants residency to foreign investors in U.S. projects, including one with links to Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and another to Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

Mayorkas was then director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agency with Homeland Security and made multiple changes in the Employment-Based Fifth Preference program even though it represented a tiny slice of his overall responsibilities in the position, according to the Homeland Security inspector general in a report made public Tuesday. . . .

Mayorkas created a hand-picked “deference review board” that reversed a series of decisions by the LA Films center to reject applications linked to film projects of Sony and Time Warner. “This board did not previously exist and was never used again after it voted to reverse the adjudicators’ proposed denials. Remarkably, there is no record of the proceedings of this board,” the inspector general said.

In the Las Vegas example, Mayorkas intervened at the request of Reid seeking “expedited review of investor petitions involved in funding a Las Vegas hotel and casino, notwithstanding the career staff’s original decision not to do so.” The inspector general said “Mayorkas pressured staff to expedite the review. He also took the extraordinary step of requiring staff to brief Senator Reid’s staff on a weekly basis for several months.”

In the Gulf Coast example, the inspector general said Mayorkas mounted an “unprecedented” intervention in the denial of an EB-5 application for funding of a firm “to manufacture electric cars through investments in a company in which Terry McAuliffe was the board chairman.” The inspector general said that “because of the political prominence of the individuals involved, as well as USCIS’ traditional deference to its administrative appeals process, staff perceived it as politically motivated.”

They’re crooks who belong in jail, not in office.

COMPARING THE PRESS TO GOEBBELS, ON THE OTHER HAND, WOULD HAVE BEEN A FAIR COP: No, George Zimmerman didn’t compare himself to Anne Frank. “The Post has not run a retraction, correction, or apology.”

LIFE IN THE ERA OF HOPE AND CHANGE: ‘Important Time’ to Prep Country for Chemical Weapons Attacks. “The head of the nation’s chemical defense program warned that the nation faces ‘an important time’ when it comes to addressing the potential for toxic attacks and the federal government is working with local agencies to both defend against assaults and go over how to respond should one occur. Appearing before the House Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response and Communications, Dr. Mark Kirk, director of the Chemical Defense Program in the Department of Homeland Security, reminded lawmakers that chemical agents are used to kill or incapacitate large numbers of people, cause permanent or long-lasting harm, contaminate critical infrastructure and create uncertainty, fear and panic.”

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Appalachian State University Publicly Shames ‘Privileged’ Students.

This is a civil-rights suit waiting to happen.

WHY SHOULD WE BELIEVE A STORY THAT EVEN THE TELLER WON’T STAND BY? How are we supposed to handle sexual assault accusers who won’t cooperate?

The story Jackie told was easy to discredit — her friends denied her account of a conversation between them, the fraternity didn’t hold a party the night in question, and even the supposed date she had that night was a fictitious person. But the police still wouldn’t close the case because something could have happened to Jackie and maybe one day, if she decides to cooperate or someone else comes forward, justice can be done.

But the situation brings up an interesting question: How should we handle accusers who refuse to cooperate, especially when their word is the only evidence available?

At some point, isn’t the collective societal good supposed to overtake the good of the individual? Isn’t that the liberal way?

Let’s say something horrible did happen to Jackie, something so terrible that she would rather tell a false story about a gang rape from phantom fraternity brothers than the truth. That would mean there’s a monster out there who could harm other students, other women. And if she is the actual victim of something, she’s not helping herself or other students who could be future victims.

Advocates who claim women should be taken at their word may continue to support an accuser’s right to proceed — or not proceed — with an investigation on her own terms. That could mean giving a statement to a college administrator, or to the police, or doing nothing at all. And that might be acceptable for the single accuser, but there’s a larger population in danger.

Sometimes, when an accuser refuses to cooperate with an investigation — even by a school — the case is dropped. This happened with Columbia University student Paul Nungesser. One of the three women who accused him of sexual misconduct stopped cooperating with the university and her accusation was dismissed.

Other times, an accuser’s word in the absence of other evidence is used to expel an accused student, as was the case with Joshua Strange, even when police couldn’t indict.

Of course, such behavior from the universities leads to lawsuits and headaches, and is one element in the current national debate over campus sexual assault. But as more lawsuits from accused students come in and are settled, more due process will have to be afforded to these students, resembling a more formal police process. And if, ideally, these cases are handled by the police, an accuser’s refusal to tell her story or provide any clues as to what happened will be a detriment to the case.

This isn’t about justice. This is about preparing the battlespace for Hillary 2016′s “war on women” narrative, and the preparers don’t care who gets hurt in the process: men, or women.

CHARGES BROUGHT ESSENTIALLY WITHOUT INVESTIGATION, UPON ACCUSATION ALONE: 20-year-old found not guilty of raping University of Akron student.

Charles Anderson, 20, of North Jackson was acquitted last Thursday by a jury made up of seven women and four men. The trial lasted two and a half days and the jury came back with a decision in about an hour.

“I would never sexually assault a girl or rape a girl,” Anderson said from his lawyers office near Youngstown surrounded by his mother and step father.

“I’m just relieved and thank God that I’m able to wake up today and wake up in my bed,” he continued.

The University of Akron student told campus police Anderson sexually assaulted her at her sorority house Alpha Delta PI on Spicer Street. The alleged assault happened around 5 a.m. as the victim said she was surprised and attacked.

Anderson did not testify in court but told police he and the victim had sent text messages to each other before and after the incident. The actual texts were not allowed in court. . . .

The victim and Anderson had been friends since middle school and met on social media, according to him. He said the two had been in a relationship and the September visit was not the first time he had gone to see the alleged victim at the University.

“There are 16 women in the sorority house,” said Anderson’s attorney Edward Hartwig. “There was the testimony from the alleged victim that she fought and she did yell. We thought it would have been prudent for officers to interview the women in the house that night and that wasn’t done.”

Hartwig said police only interviewed two women in the house some six months after the incident and a week before the trial.

Anderson said he has a new job and is working to reclaim his life and get his name back.

Note that the “victim” isn’t named.

DIVERSITY IS OUR STRENGTH: Cornell dean says ISIS welcome on campus in undercover video.

March 24, 2015

WELL, GIVEN THAT THE ACTUAL VICTIM WAS AN INNOCENT FRAT SMEARED AND ASSAULTED BY TERESA SULLIVAN’S BROWNSHIRTS, OKAY: Dem Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand: Let’s not blame the victim in this bogus UVA/Rolling Stone rape story.

But, of course, what Sen. Gillibrand really means is don’t blame me, for making political hay out of this now obviously made-up story. “Gillibrand et al. not wanting to deny Jackie her ‘victim’ status is also a function of them wanting to cover their own asses for having uncritically accepted the Rolling Stone UVA rape story. If Jackie’s a sympathetic figure even now, well, then the torches-and-pitchforks crowd really shouldn’t bear any blame for having viciously attacked Rolling Stone’s skeptics as rape enablers who might as well have been in the room at Phi Kappa Psi while Jackie was being assaulted. They reacted harshly only because they care so much about making sure that skepticism didn’t discourage genuine rape victims from coming forward. Gillibrand describing Jackie as a victim is a vestige of that attitude. Skepticism towards any accusation, for whatever reason, must be resisted to the bitter end and even beyond the bitter end, when the whole world knows what Jackie really did, and why.”

ED DRISCOLL: ‘Intended for a Domestic Political Audience,’ Then and Now.

REASON’S JESSE WALKER finds another reason to back Ted Cruz.

HOPELESSLY CORRUPT: Report: DHS showed favoritism to Democrat-linked immigrants. It’s all about importing enough Democratic voters to take over.

ED MORRISSEY: Former federal prosecutor: Rolling Stone-UVa fiasco shows danger of WH Title IX pressure. Activist Emily Renda, who had roles at the White House and the University of Virginia, may have been a conduit. Has anyone heard from her lately?

RACISM: The New Yorker’s John Cassidy Calls Latino Ted Cruz “Uppity.”

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO RAPE! (CONT’D): Jill Curry sentenced to 4 years in prison for sex with inmate. “Authorities said the sexual misconduct occurred while a deputy was at lunch, when Curry, a civilian jail services technician, was alone in the unit’s control room.That’s where she pushed a button, unlocking the inmate’s cell, and then met him in a supply closet. This occurred 13 times, said prosecutor Jeff Lesowski.”

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: U. of Virginia pats itself on the back even as police decry lost evidence in ‘Jackie’ case. There’s literally nothing about this case that should leave the University of Virginia feeling good about itself.

CENSORSHIP: Hydrogen Bomb Physicist’s Book Runs Afoul of Energy Department.

For all its horrific power, the atom bomb — leveler of Hiroshima and instant killer of some 80,000 people — is but a pale cousin compared to another product of American ingenuity: the hydrogen bomb.

The weapon easily packs the punch of a thousand Hiroshimas, an unthinkable range of destruction that lay behind the Cold War’s fear of mutual annihilation. It was developed in great secrecy, and Washington for decades has done everything in its power to keep the details of its design out of the public domain.

Now, a physicist who helped devise the weapon more than half a century ago has defied a federal order to cut from his new book material that the government says teems with thermonuclear secrets.

The author, Kenneth W. Ford, 88, spent his career in academia and has not worked on weapons since 1953. His memoir, “Building the H Bomb: A Personal History,” is his 10th book. The others are physics texts, elucidations of popular science and a reminiscence on flying small planes.

He said he included the disputed material because it had already been disclosed elsewhere and helped him paint a fuller picture of an important chapter of American history. But after he volunteered the manuscript for a security review, federal officials told him to remove about 10 percent of the text, or roughly 5,000 words.

Hmm.

THAT’S A PRETTY BIG SOFTWARE UPDATE: Tesla Model S: Summer Software Update Will Enable Autonomous Driving. “Let’s be very clear about one thing, though: no matter how fancy your Tesla’s autopilot is, you are still legally required to be in control of the vehicle. This means that if you decide to use the autonomous highway driving capability, you’d better be sitting there paying just as much attention to the road as you would be otherwise, because if anything goes wrong (like, if the autopilot gets confused), a resulting accident is your fault. Just the same as if you’d lost control of the vehicle yourself.”

I WANT A WORKING FORCE FIELD, DAMMIT! THIS IS THE 21ST CENTURY! That Boeing Force Field? It Probably Won’t Ever Work.

IS IGNORANCE OF THE LAW AN EXCUSE? No, but Michael Cottone argues that maybe it should be, in his Rethinking Presumed Knowledge of the Law in the Regulatory Age. I think this is a very important topic and an important piece. As he notes, it expands (significantly!) on some of the ideas touched on in my Ham Sandwich Nation: Due Process When Everything Is A Crime piece.

REMINISCENCES FROM A World War II B-17 Pilot.

FROM BMW, a plug-in X5 hybrid. “Taking into consideration the considerable extra heft and the expected higher cost, drivers of all stripes—eco-minded, performance-minded, and everyone in between—might conclude that they’re better off with a nonhybrid gasoline or diesel X5. But as we know, it’s government regulations that are providing the impetus behind automakers’ rush to plug-ins, not consumer demand—at least not yet.”

READER BOOK PLUG: From Raymond Jelli, Zugzwang.

ROGER SIMON: Krauthammer For President. No, but maybe Secretary of State.

STACY MCCAIN: After Police Review: UVA Should Expel Rape-Hoaxer Jackie. “This is it, you see? Jackie is a serial liar. She was a freshman having trouble in school, and so she lies. She tells the dean a vague story about being a rape victim. The dean asks police to investigate, but the liar won’t cooperate with the police because she knows her story is a lie. Jackie’s rape tale in May 2013, however, didn’t match the rape tale she told Rolling Stone in fall 2014. Why is this? The vague story she told the UVA dean was utilitarian, a deception meant to explain her problems in school, to depict herself as deserving of sympathy. The story Jackie told Rolling Stone, however . . .”

ONE YEAR LATER: Lessons From The Ebola Outbreak.