November 23, 2015

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MY USA TODAY COLUMN: Obama’s Syrian Refugee Debacle. To be fair, Hillary helped.

THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND SEEMS TO BE GETTING A LOT MORE ASSERTIVE ALL OF A SUDDEN: Archbishop Cranmer: Nissar Hussain battered with a pickaxe in Bradford for converting from Islam to Christianity.

orefathers. Some are brave enough to convert to Christianity and make a public profession of their new faith in Jesus, but most commit quietly and incrementally (and often unconsciously) to morph to the secular-non-theistic attitudes of society. It’s no big fuss: they just prefer texting girls to reading the Qur’an, and watching Gogglebox instead of listening to some tedious imam drone on about dīn and duʿā. Not many would call themselves atheists, but there are very many thousands of young British ex-Muslim agnostics. They daren’t go any further for fear of..

Well, the grainy picture above is of Nissar Hussain being bludgeoned not-quite-to-death with a pickaxe. He and his entire family converted from Islam to Christianity in 1996, and life in Bradford has been hellish ever since. . . .

There’s a lot in here to chew over, but there is one fundamental dichotomous tension: “The Muslim community are largely decent people but because of the taboo of converting to Christianity we are classed by them as scum and second-class citizens.”

No “decent people” classify converts to Christianity as “scum and second-class citizens”. All decent people will respect the fundamental freedom of religion and the inviolable human right (and ‘British value’) to manifest whatever faith one chooses and to abandon that faith if one wishes and do so with impunity.

So, Archbishop, what are you saying about the Muslim community in Bradford? And, more significantly, what are you doing about it?

JAMES O’KEEFE STRIKES AGAIN: O’Keefe Releases Undercover Video Of Huma Abedin Discussing Syrian Refugees.

RON FOURNIER: Leaderless: I once asked, “What if Obama can’t lead?” The answer after Paris is painful. “On IS­IS, Obama breaks every rule. He min­im­izes the threat and dis­misses our fears, which raises doubts about his candor and cap­ab­il­ity. An over­whelm­ing ma­jor­ity of Amer­ic­ans dis­ap­prove of his hand­ling of IS­IS, a new poll shows, and 81 per­cent think IS­IS will strike the United States.”

Related: Mistrusting Obama on ISIS—and Refugees.

WHY IS THE WASHINGTON POST SO RACIST? Tom Maguire disassembles their “fact check” of Ben Carson.

There’s no lie they won’t tell to keep a black man down.

PLANNED PARENTHOOD HARDEST HIT: States Lead Effort to Let Pharmacists Prescribe Birth Control.

THIS SEEMS LIKE A PRETTY OBVIOUS APPLICATION: Utilities see potential in drones to inspect lines, towers.

PRINCETON’S SNOWFLAKE FASCISTS GET A SCALP: “Woodrow Wilson goes down in New Jersey,” Jonathan Last writes at the Weekly Standard:

We have yet to find a term for the student protests going on across the country that beats Mona Charen’s “snowflake fascists” and last week the precious little Maoists at Princeton got the biggest scalp since Tim Wolfe: They brought down Woodrow Wilson himself.

“Care to guess how long this group of fifteen students had to protest before the school’s current president agreed to do his best to disappear Wilson? Twenty hours,” Last adds. Read the whole thing.

“First They Came for Andrew Jackson, Now They’ve Come for Woodrow Wilson, So Who’s Next?”, Aaron Goldstein asks at the American Spectator:

This isn’t to say Jackson and Wilson are above criticism. Far from it. There ought to be a robust discussion about their presidencies both good and bad. But The Left doesn’t want a robust discussion on anything. It simply seeks to delegitimize the people who shaped American history. When we delegitimize those who shaped the history of America, we delegitimize America.

Related: “It never looks like hysteria when you are in the middle of it.”

I THINK THERE’S A LOT TO BE LEARNED HERE: Parasites Found To Influence Fertility In Women.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: “If you read Vox on how to survive Thanksgiving, you are the person your family is trying to survive.”

Update: Great URL on a Washington Free Beacon article titled “How to DESTROY Your Crazy Relatives Who Think Bad Thoughts at Thanksgiving:” “Arguing about politics at Thanksgiving should be punished by catapult.”

Endorsed. (Barring that, as John Podhoretz suggests, “If anyone brings up politics at Thanksgiving, everybody else, no matter their views, should shriek ‘SAFE SPACE! SAFE SPACE!’”)

NARRATIVEFAIL: More millennials are moving out of cities than into them. Plus: “Well, lets jump ahead 10-15 years and assume fully autonomous vehicles are widely available and working well. What will that do to willingness to commute longer distances? Will knowledge workers let the car do the driving and work on their software, spreadsheets, presentations, and sales calls while they commute to outer suburbs? Or will they still live as close to work as possible, at least on week nights, and only go to second homes further away on weekends? Also, will video conferencing and virtual reality ever reduce how often people work from the office? So far it is amazing how much people stay anchored to physical offices. Is that ever going to change?”

Why, I was writing about this a decade ago.


“One in four men ‘suffer MAN PERIODS’: Time of the month triggers cramps, irritability, cravings and erratic emotions.”
—Headline, London Daily Mail, November 19th, 2015.

“It’s a man-ternity shoot! Dad-to-be shows off his beer-belly in hilarious ‘pregnancy’ photos to entertain expecting wife.”
—Headline, London Daily Mail, August 2nd, 2014.

“Uterine Transplants May Allow Men to Give Birth.”
—Headline, PJ Media, November 21st, 2015.

To paraphrase British scientist J. B. S. Haldane, not only is the 21st century stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we can imagine.

FIRE CAN’T MELT STEEL: Who Needs Bolt Cutters When You Can Burn Through Locks At 5,000 Degrees?

LIBERAL STUDENTS, FACULTY MOST LIKELY TO SILENCE SPEAKERS: A Daily Caller News Foundation analysis of Foundation for Individual Rights in Education of efforts to dis-invite speakers on U.S. college campuses between 2000 and 2014 comes up with a surprise. One hundred and sixty student and faculty groups from the Left sought to silence somebody. That’s not a surprise. What is unexpected is the fact 96 such groups from the Right did the same thing. Whoa!

“Conservative students and faculty were most likely to protest invited speakers with criminal histories and those with contrary views on abortion and Israeli-Palestinian confrontation, while liberals were most likely to protest speakers’ views on sexual orientation, immigration and Islam,” the DCNF’s Kathryn Watson reported.

Previously, Watson reported that among the Ivy League schools, only the University of Pennsylvania gets a green rating from FIRE. Yale and Dartmouth got yellow, while Harvard, Princeton, Brown, Columbia and Cornell just stomped all over the First Amendment.

TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 928.

SLOUCHING TOWARD BIDENHEM: Fox Poll: Six Republicans Would Beat Hillary Clinton. “Six GOP presidential candidates would beat Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton in a head-to-head matchup, according to a Fox News poll released Sunday. Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) would do best against Clinton, 50 to 42 percent, pollsters found. Billionaire Donald Trump, retired pediatric neurosurgeon Ben Carson, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie would also win hypothetical elections, according to the new poll, taken after more than 100 people were killed and more than 300 others injured in a wave of terrorist attacks in Paris. Clinton and former businesswoman Carly Fiorina would tie with 42 percent each.”

VIA PROFESSOR JACOBSON: Denounce Hate and Bigotry at UT-Austin. Why are our colleges and universities such hotbeds of hatred and intolerance?

HERE’S MY RECIPE FOR Thanksgiving Leg Of Lamb. And here’s a review! I’ll be cooking a turkey and two legs of lamb once again this year, for Helen’s family and mine. We’ve been having a joint Thanksgiving since we first started cohabiting, now over 20 years ago, and it’s still a major family event.

MUSLIMS IN N.J. CHEERING AFTER 9/11? This is what Donald Trump has asserted, and according to the Washington Post report of Sept. 18, 2001, Trump is right.  John Hinderaker over at Power Line has uncovered this Washington Post piece–conveniently archived and available only if one pays $3.95 for it–that the Washington Post’s own fact checker, Glenn Kessler, apparently could not find.

Here’s an excerpt from the 2001 Washington Post story:

In Jersey City, within hours of two jetliners’ plowing into the World Trade Center, law enforcement authorities detained and questioned a number of people who were allegedly seen celebrating the attacks and holding tailgate-style parties on rooftops while they watched the devastation on the other side of the river.

So the real question here is this: Why is the mainstream media–and even conservative media–unable to find a story like this, that appeared immediately after 9/11, in one of the largest papers in the country? I think Hinderaker gets it right:

Why does this happen? Are NPR, the Times and the AP incapable of using Google? Perhaps. But here is another possibility: note that the Times and the AP coyly limited their denials to news accounts of “mass cheering” or “mass celebrations” in Jersey City. I think they found the Washington Post story but preferred not to mention it. Instead, they deceived their readers by silently making the implicit judgment that “a number of people” are not a “mass.”

I think that these news outlets are so hysterically eager to discredit any concerns about Islam that they won’t let something as minor as the facts get in their way. There is dishonesty here, but it is on the part of NPR, the New York Times and the Associated Press, not Donald Trump.

Yep. Muslims in New Jersey cheering after 9/11 doesn’t further the liberal/progressive narrative (so it is simply ignored).  And many of the conservative outlets are still hoping that Trump goes away very soon, so they’re not likely to jump to his defense.

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WHAT HATH DAN RATHER WROUGHT? We’re celebrating our tenth anniversary with a look back at “The Evolution of PJ Media” at World Net Daily. While the piece has my byline on it, Roger L. Simon, Stephen Green, Aaron Hanscom, Joan Seavey, and several others from PJM also made large contributions to the piece.

TERRORISM: James Gillespie Reports From Paris.


VICTOR DAVIS HANSON ON Politics and What Remains of the English Language:

What Has Happened to Language?

This tiny vocabulary sampling reflects another recent epidemic of victimhood, as the English language is further squeezed and massaged to create reality from fantasy.

First, over a half-century of institutionalized equal opportunity has not led to an equality of result. Particular self-identified groups feel collectively that they are less well off than others and are bewildered that this is still possible, since they can point to no law or custom that precludes their opportunity by race, class, or gender. Therefore, inventing a vocabulary of grievances is far more effective in gaining concessions than self-criticism and self-reliance are in winning parity.

Second, in an affluent, leisured and postmodern society of $300 Jordan-label sneakers that sell out in hours, big-screen televisions at Walmart that become prizes for warring consumers on Black Friday, and over 50% of the population exempt from income taxes, it is becoming harder to define, in the material sense, oppression-driven victimhood. In such a world, even multi-billionaire Oprah has difficulty finding discrimination and so becomes reduced to whining about a perceived snub in a Swiss boutique that sells six-figure purses. Language is pressed into service to create victims where there are few, but where many are sorely needed, psychologically — and on the chance such a prized status might lead to a profitable trajectory otherwise impossible by passé notions of work and achievement.

It’s doubleplusgood; read the whole thing.


GUN TURN-IN PROGRAM not living up to media spin:

Police-community partnerships are a positive measure to increase public safety, but good intentions aren’t the same thing as a good (or effective) plan. A report by Time-Warner Cable News tried to put a positive spin on things by noting that “almost 1,000 people” responded to take the pledge, leading one to believe that 1,000 firearms had been turned in, but this was hardly the case. As evidenced by the footage accompanying the story, the gun turn-in apparently resulted in a single BB pistol and a single sheathed hunting knife being “taken off the streets.”

It’s Potemkin coverage all the way down.

I GUESS, UNLIKE OBAMA, SHE ACTUALLY READS THE INTEL REPORTS: Top Dem to Obama: We’re running out of time to beat Islamic State. “Sen. Dianne Feinstein criticized the president’s strategy against the Islamic State on Sunday, saying that the terrorist group has grown despite Pentagon claims that it has lost ground. . . . Analysts said that the president’s unwillingness to revise the plan suggests an overconfidence, while other countries like France and Russia are increasing their strikes in Syria.”

Overconfidence in the face of reality is a hallmark of our president.

Related: CBS News: Majority Of Democrats Say Obama Lacks A Plan To Deal with ISIS. “Just over a week after the terrorist attacks in Paris, only 23 percent of Americans think President Barack Obama has a clear plan for dealing with the militant group ISIS, the lowest number yet recorded in the CBS News Poll. Sixty-six percent do not think he has a clear plan – a new high. Large majorities of Republicans and independents say the President doesn’t have a clear plan, and almost half of Democrats (40 percent) agree. More Democrats (45 percent) say he doesn’t have a plan than say he does.”

WHAT NO ONE SEEMS TO KNOW about Ted Cruz’s past.

At the FTC, Cruz’s agenda could have been written by Milton Friedman.

Cruz promoted economic liberty and fought government efforts to rig the marketplace in favor of special interests. Most notably, Cruz launched an initiative to study the government’s role in conspiring with established businesses to suppress e-commerce. This initiative ultimately led the U.S. Supreme Court to open up an entire industry to small e-tailers. Based on his early support of disruptive online companies, Cruz has some grounds to call himself the “Uber of American politics.”

Moreover, and perhaps surprising to some, Cruz sought and secured a broad, bipartisan consensus for his agenda. Almost all of Cruz’s initiatives received unanimous support among both Republicans and Democrats.

Ted Cruz a consensus-builder? He was, at the FTC.


DURING THIS HOLIDAY SEASON, LET’S ALL PRAISE THE SOFTER SIDE OF ISIS: In a tweet Sunday afternoon, Joyce Carol Oates asked why “All we hear of ISIS is puritanical & punitive; is there nothing celebratory & joyous? Or is query naive?”

Why, yes it is. On the other hand, it seems pretty obvious from their snuff films that ISIS does lots of joyous celebrating after each beheading. But why rely on hearsay? “I suspect that you have the funds to visit Raqqa and come to your own conclusions,” Bob Owens tweets in reply. “I suspect you’ll come out a head.”

Related: “Remember the time Joyce Carol Oates tweeted about the dead Triceratops? Yeah … this one on ISIS is worse.”

DAWKINS’ ACTIONS SURPRISE ME LESS THAN THIS SUDDEN ASSERTIVENESS BY THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND: Richard Dawkins says UK cinemas should screen the Lord’s Prayer: Vociferous critic of religion says anyone thin-skinned enough to be offended by church advert deserves to be offended. I certainly agree with Dawkins. I’m tired of rewarding cry-bullies for being easily offended. Toughen up or shut up.

Dawkins has been a long time advocate for free speech, arguing that protecting religious sensibilities is not a reason for censorship. And despite attracting controversy over his views on religion, the author of the God Delusion has previously described himself as a “cultural Anglican”.

The advert he was defending is to promote a new Church of England website,, which encourages people to pray. The film shows Christians, beginning with the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, saying one line of the Lord’s Prayer. The following lines are said by a diverse range of people including weightlifters, a police officer, a commuter, refugees in a support centre, schoolchildren, a mourner at a graveside and a festivalgoer.

Video at the link. And Dawkins isn’t the only one:

The Conservative MP Sarah Wollaston, also an atheist, rejected the idea of the advert causing offence. She wrote on Twitter: “As a gentle atheist, I’m not offended by Church screening gentle cinema adverts; we shouldn’t reject our deep cultural roots in Christianity.”

The assistant secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra, told the Mail on Sunday he was “flabbergasted that anyone would find this prayer offensive to anybody, including people of no particular religious belief”.

Well, several people might have complained. And in the PC world, that’s enough to shut something down, so long as they’re the right several people.

FUNDAMENTALLY TRANSFORMED: In Paris’s wake, a changed presidential contest — and electorate. “The attacks that killed 130 and injured more than 350 in France’s capital Nov. 13 changed the 2016 contest for president — by changing what voters worried about. Across the country, among both Republicans and Democrats, have come pronouncements of anger and fear not seen after the terrorist attacks in London or Madrid — or even, in some ways, after Sept. 11, 2001.”

The sense that the people running things don’t really care what happens to ordinary Americans is what makes it different this time.

AUSTIN BAY: War For The Terms Of Modernity:

The terms of modernity in the free societies Bin Laden and his successors despise have historical roots; the Enlightenment and the Treaty of Westphalia are two significant examples. Enlightenment skepticism spurred scientific inquiry and technological success that spurred economic development.

After the disaster of the 30 Years War, Westphalia attempted to separate religion and politics. Catholic princes would tolerate Protestant subjects, and vice versa. It took a couple of centuries, but Europe and North America began producing societies that were experiments in “liberating reform”; they were political experiments permitting individual freedom of expression, which would include free expression of religious faith.

In contrast, violent Islamist utopian idealists only permit their expression of religious faith.

Democracy, as a vehicle for freedom, is never perfected. Because they hold regular and meaningful elections — which produce peaceful changes in power — democracies structurally deny the possibility of human perfection, at least on Earth. Like communists, violent Islamists are peculiar utopians, convinced they create a perfect society that, once created, will remain perfect. Shared utopianism is one reason al-Qaida — and now ISIL — find it useful to rework anti-U.S. and anti-democracy communist propaganda tropes. The Guantanamo Bay gnashing and wailing is revised communist Cold War-era agitprop.

Al-Bagdadhi shares Bin Laden’ s goals of correcting history. He did Bin Laden one better by proclaiming himself caliph. History has been going wrong for Islamic expansionists since at least the 16th century, but really took a nosedive in 1924 when Turkey’s reforming general and political genius, Kemal Ataturk, ended the caliphate.

In fall 2001, Bin Laden released a tape where he damned “80 years” of Muslim indignation. He was referring to Ataturk’s decision.

Erdogan, sadly, is no Ataturk.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: Amidst 32% Enrollment Decline, Gonzaga Law School Offers Buyouts To All 17 Tenured Faculty (4 Accept).

THE CITY OF THE WHITED SEPULCHRES: “Brussels today is the West’s tomorrow; unless we change course we will find ourselves more and more living in a world in which reality mocks our aspirations,” Walter Russell Mead writes.

Reality has mocked President Obama’s aspirations since almost immediately after he took office; yet his desire to transform America into Europe is unshakeable, not least of which, because it’s been fundamental to the American “Progressives’” vision for over a century. As Mead writes, consider their current state a useful sneak preview of what’s to come for America unless the fundamental transformation is fundamentally stopped.


Notice that ISIS does something terrible, and the overwhelming thrust of the conversation on Meet the Press is that the American people have done something wrong and must look inside their hearts and feel guilty over the overwhelming racism and Islamaphobia in their society. “News flash: We’re not the villains here,” Jim Geraghty reminds NBC.

We’ve seen this movie before a few times in the last 14 years, haven’t we? In August of 2010, in response to the infamous Ground Zero Mosque, the DNC-MSM was lashing out at the American people over “Islamophobia” largely because they knew they were about to lose control over Congress, and possibly the Senate as well during the year of the Tea Party. (And remembering the previous year when all things seemed possible in the era of Hopenchange, when Newsweek (then controlled by the Washington Post) proclaimed “We Are Socialists Now” and James Carville predicted “40 years” of Democrat rule made the prospect of November of 2010 all the more painful.)

This time around? Partially it’s the media’s fear that Hillary doesn’t quite have that Rich Corinthian New Candidate Smell that Obama had in 2008 and thus won’t be able to make it over the finish line no matter how much assistance they can provide as her operatives with bylines. But far more, as Jonah Goldberg wrote on Friday, the real reason is that the MSM is responding to terrorism by retreating to the “Safe Space” of “Progressive” ideology and biting down hard on their binkies. As for why, the reasons are multifaceted. The MSM is (a) very well aware of the debacle that Obama made of the Middle East, after bragging about “his” success there in 2012, (b) has no concrete answer for fighting terrorism beyond singing “Imagine” and “Give Peace a Chance,” and (c) knows that Hillary, as Obama’s first Secretary of State, must follow down the landmined path he’s set out for her.

And (d) — any day the MSM gets to scold the American people is a good one in their book, particularly after they rejected the glorious utopian revolution of 2008. (QED.)

Oh, and speaking of Islamophobia among presidential candidates

THEY’RE NOT WHAT THE LEFT THINKS: The Lessons of U.S. Refugee Failures Past.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Half Of People Who Went To College In The Recession Haven’t Graduated. So, a better deal for colleges than for students.

CHOOSE TO BE GRATEFUL. It will make you happier.

WHEN THE OPPORTUNITIES FOR GRAFT ARE EXHAUSTED: When will our leaders face up to the truth that the EU is a gigantic sham? “The shambles that was the migrant crisis was predictably exploited by terrorists, but the chaos itself might have been avoided if separate nations had been dealing with migration instead of being forced to accept the consequences of the EU’s failure to act. All attempts to institute some organised response to mass migration collapsed with mortifying speed.”

ASKING THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS: Why Does Global Warming Only Turn Muslims Into Terrorists?


And, no, I’m serious.

DISCOVERING MICRO-AGGRESSIONS: Micro passive-aggressive analysis.

YOU CAN’T REPEAL THE LAWS OF ECONOMICS: It’s a science, not a suggestion. Head In The Clouds.

THEY HATE US, THEY REALLY HATE US: More anti-gun-owner fantasies.  The idea that we can oppose their brilliant plans for us, just upsets our aristos no end.

IT MIGHT BE TOO LATE FOR OUR ELITES BUT: The Thought Screen Helmet Stops Space Aliens From Abducting Humans. (Yes, it’s a joke.  Well, I don’t know if it knows it’s a joke, but it’s a joke.)

BUT ONLY BECAUSE THEY’RE OUT OF CHOCOLATE HAMMERS: In Wake of Terrorist Attacks, France Looks to Fight ISIS with Cultural Preservation.

THE SOUNDS OF YESTERYEAR: An Archive of 10,000 Cylinder Recordings Readied for the Spotify Era.


WOULDN’T REPEAL EUTHANASIA BE MORE HUMANE:  After all its end of life is very expensive. ObamaCare’s imploding even without repeal.

SPEAKING OF RIDICULOUS: College leaders’ pathetic appeasement of campus fascists.

REALLY?  THAT WAS HIS EXCUSE: Jared Pleads Guilty, Blames Subway Diet.

IT’S COME TO THIS: Global warming in Oxford?

WHAT IS OVER THERE: Brussels still on highest alert.  Schools, subway system closed.

November 22, 2015

THIS DOES SEEM TO BE THE CASE: “America is in the grip of a crisis, namely a shortage of normal people.”

THE WASHINGTON POST’S FACT CHECKER doesn’t read the Washington Post.

It’s like you can’t trust “fact check” columnists to actually check facts.

BARACK OBAMA: The Media Needs To Go To War! And Tom Maguire does, though perhaps not quite as our President anticipated. “After all, two million Parisians were not killed in the Friday night attacks. So when a guy with Secret Service protection tells you not to be afraid, listen up.”

Plus: “In any case – There was a time when dissent was the highest from of patriotism, or so progressives told us. Its almost as if that was partisan BS.”

CHANGE: Argentina Votes Evita’s Heirs Out of Office. “Argentina’s election on Sunday represented the starkest choice the country has faced since the authoritarian era of Juan and Evita Peron began in the 1940s. The seven-point victory of center-right candidate Mauricio Macri may herald a real shift towards more sensible economics and less anti-U.S. policies in Latin America. Defeated Peronist candidate Daniel Scioli was a hand-picked defender of the interventionist economics of his party’s retiring President Christina Fernandez de Kirchner.”

“Interventionist economics” is a synonym for “increased opportunities for graft.”


SULTAN KNISH: Obama Wants to Defeat America, Not ISIS. “Obama’s failed wars occupy a space of unreality that most Americans associate with Baghdad Bob bellowing that there are no American soldiers in Iraq. (There are, according to the White House, still no American ground forces in Iraq. Only American forces in firefights on the ground in Iraq.) There’s nothing new about any of this. Obama doesn’t win wars. He lies about them.”

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THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO A LEFTY: HATING THE RIGHT PEOPLE. Bette Midler: ‘Caitlyn may be a woman – but she’s still a Republican.’

BRENDAN O’NEILL: After Paris: Where’s Our Fire? “The problem here isn’t those much-feared ‘ordinary people’. The good citizens of Paris, through getting on with life pretty much as it had been before the massacres, have demonstrated the everyday human dignity that separates these inhabitants of a democratic republic from the self-styled representatives of a death-cultist state. No, the problem is Europe’s political class and opinion-forming set, whose instinct after Paris has been to police the public’s response to it, and to water down anything even remotely resembling a passionate, proud, nationalistic or simply strong-willed reaction.”

Well, that sort of thing might interfere with opportunities for graft.

FUNDAMENTALLY TRANSFORMED: Labor Department throws football party, but bans Redskins jerseys.

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO LIE ABOUT RAPE! (CONT’D): Body camera helps discredit accusation against Knox deputy. “This allegation was said to have taken place at the side of the vehicle. Prior to body cameras, we would have had no video at the side of the vehicle. We are very pleased with what we have right now.”

I’ve praised Knox County Sheriff Jimmie Jones for adopting body cameras before, but I’m sure his deputies are glad he did it now.

TWEET OF THE DAY, PROFESSIONAL COURTESY IS IMPORTANT EDITION: “On a lighter note, [Italy's] La Stampa daily reported that a gang of masked robbers had stormed into a bank shouting: ‘Relax, we are not Isis. It is only a hold-up.’”

Heh, indeed.™

HE’S RIGHT: Trump says he’d bring back waterboarding. Good for him for clinging to his common sense.  It isn’t “torture,” as the President’s Office of Legal Counsel concluded in a well-reasoned legal memo back in 2002. The “torture” label is (as usual) just a liberal/progressive subjective conclusion, not an actual legal argument.

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THE LEFT, THIS PAST WEEK: Mister, we could use a sensible Republican like George W. Bush again!

The left today: ZOMG, Donald Trump supports waterboarding!!!!1!!1!!!!!

File under: “Be careful what you wish for.”

SCIENCE: Alcohol As A Sex Enhancer. As always, it depends on the dose.

YEP: Europe is battling ISIS (and Russia) with wimpy defense budgets.

21ST CENTURY HEADLINES: After Death, Nevada Issues Cryotherapy Guidelines. None of these guidelines sound like they would have prevented the death in question, though, which is sadly typical.

READER BOOK PLUG: From Paul Rahe, The Grand Strategy of Classical Sparta: The Persian Challenge (Yale Library of Military History).

WELL, IT’S NOT THE “RADICAL JIHAD” STATE, YOU KNOW:  Rex Murphy writes in the Canadian National Post about Hillary Clinton’s doublespeak hypocrisy:

It’s an odd world. Glamour magazine recently named the former Bruce Jenner as its Woman of the Year. In all respectable circles, she is of course now recognized as Caitlyn Jenner, after coming out as a woman. In this context, coming out is simply to be understood as an act of self-declaration. If a person self-identifies as X, Y or Z, then he, she, ze or hir has to be what he, she, ze or hir professes to be. If it’s a nightmare for grammarians, just think of the chaos in biology departments. .  . .

This is a Euclidean axiom in the new geometry of gender and progressive thought. Names matter — what people are called, and what they themselves wish to be called, matters greatly. So if Jenner says “call me Caitlyn,” Hillary will not oppose the right-thinking baptism. . . .

ISIL is of course Islamic, and it is radical by any definition of that weary word. The president of France, François Hollande, declared war on radical Islam in the wake of its multiple ambushes on Paris’ defenceless citizens. He recognizes it for what it says it is — radical, Islamic and terroristic.

Yet in a debate on this very subject, Clinton refused to utter the phrase radical Islam, pushed vigorously against the idea of naming Islamic terror for what it is, even though ISIL itself wears its radical Islamist motivations, goals and methods with arrogant pride.

On Jenner’s right to call herself what she wants, Clinton is on board. On a fanatic organization brutalizing the Middle East and exporting terror to the capitals of the world, she declines.

She is one with U.S. President Barack Obama on this — they steadfastly refuse to call our enemies by their name. In other words, when it comes to words and concepts that correspond to unalterable reality, she will deny words their meaning to the point of refusing to say them. But on matters that Glamour magazine takes seriously, on which DNA itself has spoken, Clinton is one with all the buzz factories of trendy thought.

She was, it must be noted, for four years the secretary of state of the most powerful country on Earth, and now wishes to be its president. Heaven help us.

Amen. ISIL stands for the “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant,” not the “Radical Jihad State of Iraq and the Levant,” which Clinton, Obama and the other P.C. Democrats seem to think it is. Geez.

Besides, why do Clinton and the Democrats think they need to further clarify matters by prefixing the word “radical” in front of “jihad”? Jihad alone isn’t radical enough?

While the term “jihad” can refer to the struggle to maintain Islamic faith, it also (more commonly) refers to a Holy War against non-Islamists. Either way, “jihad” is an exclusionary term, reflecting a religious zeal that is highly intolerant, and possibly quite violent. Under either definition of jihad, it seems pretty “radical” to me.

Liberals/progressives defend Islam so vigorously that they insist on qualifying “jihad” with the adjective “radical,” and they refuse to utter the (accurate) phrase “radical Islam.” How ironic that these liberals/progressives–who repeatedly evince an overt hostility to religion, and who wave the banner of “tolerance” in our faces, to the point of aggression–are so deeply committed to defending such intolerant, religiously motivated actions and beliefs.

CHINA’S “GHOST CITIES.” But I totally believe their economic data.


It hardly needs stating, also, that the Islamist terrorists are as brutal to those Muslims who aren’t of a hardline Salafi creed as they are to non-Muslim infidels. . . .

The West — Europe, in particular —is in a terrifying bind, for it has living in its midst substantial populations of Muslims, the majority of whom are poorly integrated into Western society. And by integration I don’t simply mean a case of Abdul or Cherif or Aicha getting up every morning to go to work with other citizens of Belgium or France or Denmark, but an embracing of the civic and social and constitutional values of these countries — what might, by useful shorthand, be called the Western “way of life”.

To the extent that we have the full facts, we know that every single perpetrator of the carnage in Paris was home-grown. That is a chilling fact (and phrase), conjuring visions of a venom that eats away at the body-politic, with echoes of a cancer in the human body. The fault, I fear, is that of Europe’s elites. For decades, they ignored — and even actively worked against — integration, scorning it as unfashionable, old-fangled, and, worst of all, racist. Is Our Way, they asked, with impressively self-destructive hubris, really better than Their Way?

That question now has an answer. It’s an answer the West must live and, increasingly, die with.

All these eggs keep being broken, but the promised omelettes never appear. . . .

TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 927.

STEVE JOBS IS OUT. TIM COOK IS IN. APPLE IS SLIDING. “Gone are the fundamental principles of good design: discoverability, feedback, recovery, and so on. Instead, Apple has, in striving for beauty, created fonts that are so small or thin, coupled with low contrast, that they are difficult or impossible for many people with normal vision to read. We have obscure gestures that are beyond even the developer’s ability to remember. We have great features that most people don’t realize exist. The products, especially those built on iOS, Apple’s operating system for mobile devices, no longer follow the well-known, well-established principles of design that Apple developed several decades ago. These principles, based on experimental science as well as common sense, opened up the power of computing to several generations, establishing Apple’s well-deserved reputation for understandability and ease of use.”

Prediction: The worse Apple does, the more Tim Cook will talk about social justice.

REMAIN CALM, ALL IS WELL: 900 ‘homegrown’ ISIS cases being investigated in US: FBI.

FLASHBACK: Me In September: The Obama/Hillary Mideast Debacles. It’s only gotten worse, of course.

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BUT WILL THEY TAKE OVER CHRIS EISGRUBER’S OFFICE? Princeton Students Petition University to Reject Protester Demands.

JAMELLE BOUIE IN 2013: Why Do These Stupid Wingnuts Still Have Any Respect for That Idiot, George W. Bush?

Jamelle Bouie in 2015: These Stupid Wingnuts Need To Pay Attention To The Excellent Example Set By George W. Bush.

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UPDATE: Bush as Hitler, Swastika-Mania: A Retrospective.

Plus, from the comments: “Yes, Virginia, they are in that much trouble and even they know it.”

ED MORRISSEY: Does the strange claim that Hillary campaign demanded comedy club remove video really hold up? As Ed notes, the sourcing is thin, but what’s really damning is how plausible the story was. After all, Hillary successfully suppressed The Path to 9/11, and put a guy in jail over a YouTube video. So she’s not exactly above suspicion here.

And check out Blocking ‘The Path to 9/11′.

HMMM: CNN Selectively-Editing Trump’s ‘Muslim’ Comments?

WHY ARE DEMOCRATS SO RACIST? Gov.-elect Matt Bevin Lashes Out at ‘Overtly Racist’ Cartoon published by the Lexington Herald-Leader. “Bevin and his wife Glenna adopted four Ethiopian children in 2012.”

The Herald-Leader also apparently thinks that Syrians are black.

FUNDAMENTALLY TRANSFORMED: Reuters/Ipsos Poll: Majority of Americans Feel Like Strangers In Their Own Country.

According to the Reuters survey, 58 percent Americans say they “don’t identify with what America has become.” While Republicans and Independents are the most likely to agree with this statement, even 45 percent of Democrats share this feeling.

More than half of Americans, 53 percent, say they “feel like a stranger” in their own country. A minority of Americans feel “comfortable as myself” in the country.

There are no doubt lots of reasons underlying this feelings. Demographically, Americans holding these views tend to be white, older, live in the South and have less than a college education. Politically, they are cordoned off as the white working class. While they rarely attract much attention from the political class, they still represent an enormous block of voters.

Their numbers may be declining relative to the entire population, but they are still the largest single block of voters. In many critical swing states like Ohio, Florida, and North Carolina, they represent a significant base of voters that can determine the outcome of elections.

The reasons for their alienation are both cultural and economic. The economic anxiety sparked by the financial crisis in 2007-8 has likely pushed them further away from the mainstream political parties. This isn’t solely a phenomenon on the right, as the resurgent popularity of explicitly socialist policies on the left attest. . . .

The Democrat party, for now at least, has staked its future on appealing to young and minority voters.

Whether or not this is the politically smart play for the future remains to be seen. In the present, however, it means that a huge block of voters feel alienated and are up for grabs politically. Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again,” is perfectly attuned to those voters who feel increasingly like “strangers” in their own country.

Panic breeds actions born out of emotions rather than somber reflection. The Republican establishment is understandably panicked at the thought of Donald Trump capturing the party’s nomination for President. It is convinced, perhaps incorrectly, that a Trump candidacy will doom the party’s chances next year.

Its zeal to derail his campaign carries huge risks for the party, however. The Trump phenomenon is not simply the product of a media-savvy, hyper-personality candidate. It is drawing strength from very real sentiments of a huge block of voters. The Republican party may take out Trump, but it alienates these voters at its peril.


CONSERVATISM, YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG: Jeb: ‘Compelling Argument to Be Made’ for Internet Sales Tax.

Say what you will about Dubya, but after Democrats talked Papa Bush into raising taxes, and watching Bill Clinton go into full “you f***ed up, you trusted us” mode by sticking the shiv in during the ’92 campaign in response, he knew enough not to raise taxes. If Jeb’s going to lose the nomination anyhow, apparently he’s decided that he wants to go out full RINO.

Who knows — maybe Hillary will call for the veep position?

TO BE FAIR, AMERICA’S LEADERS ARE DOING WORSE: Michel Houllebecq: How France’s Leaders Failed Its People. “Who exactly weakened the capacities of the police forces until they were totally on edge and almost incapable of fulfilling their mission? Who exactly drilled into our heads for years the notion that borders were a quaint absurdity, and evidence of a foul and rancid nationalism? The blame, as one can see, is widely shared. . . . For 10 (20? 30?) years, our successive governments have pathetically, systematically, deplorably failed in their essential mission: to protect the population under their responsibility.”

EVIDENCING A SURPRISING DEGREE OF SANITY AND REALISM: D.C. Chief Lanier encourages people to “take the gunman out” in active shooter situations.

In an upcoming segment of “60 Minutes,” Metropolitan Police Chief Police Chief Cathy Lanier says it’s unrealistic to think police will make it to an active shooter situation in time to save lives, so victims will have to prepare to “run, hide or fight.”

“If you’re in a position to try and take the gunman down, to take the gunman out, it’s the best option for saving lives before police can get there,” she tells Anderson Cooper for the segment, which will air Sunday at 7 p.m. on CBS.

Lanier said this is radically different from what police have often told people. But after a series of tragic domestic attacks – including the 2013 murders at the D.C. Navy Yard — it is clear that merely calling 911 and waiting for a response isn’t enough.

This is an argument, of course, for widespread gun-carrying, though I’m not 100% sure that Chief Lanier actually realizes that.

ROGER SIMON: As Terrorism Dominates, Can Trump Be Stopped?

Byron York explains how “How the crazy Trump Muslim database story got started,” but to the average blue collar voter, imagine how much sensible that sounds in response to the ISIS attack on Paris when compared to Hillary’s boilerplate PC “Muslims are peaceful and tolerant people and have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism” drivel?

YES, BUT WHEN IT HAPPENS TO WOMEN IT’S BECAUSE OF SEXISM: Overweight men just as likely as overweight women to face discrimination in retail settings. Though I’m not sure the study really does what the headline claims.

MARK STEYN: The Week in Nothing to do with Islam.

LIFE IN OBAMA’S AMERICA: Federal agents took more money and stuff from Americans in 2014 than burglars did.

In 2014, the federal government confiscated some $4.5 billion from Americans through civil asset forfeiture, according to a recent report from the Institute for Justice, a nonprofit libertarian law and research organization.

That’s a figure which has been growing rapidly in recent years—as recently as 2008 it was “just” $1.5 billion, and there’s compelling evidence that law enforcement agencies use this license to bolster their budgets in lean years.

In the words of one officer, civil asset forfeiture funds are “kind of like pennies from heaven. It gets you a toy or something that you need is the way that we typically look at it to be perfectly honest.”

That $4.5 billion figure is shocking on its own.

But it’s even more shocking when you put it in this perspective: in that same year, FBI records show burglars took only $3.9 billion from Americans.

So in 2014, the federal government took more money and stuff from Americans than actual burglars did.

Our government is “getting really good at separating the citizen from their property — not just really good, criminally good.”

Think of the state as a band of thieves and you will not go far wrong.

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