February 24, 2017

TRUMP DERANGEMENT SYNDROME: It’s Really A Thing. “In her 35 years as a therapist, Arlene Drake has never heard so many clients talking about the same issue. Week after week, they complain of panic attacks and insomnia because of President Trump. They’re too anxious to concentrate at work. One woman’s fear turned into intense, physical pain.”

And, as always, Trump manages to expose the dishonesty behind claims of neutral professionalism:

Drake was trained not to reveal her personal beliefs, but now will agree with clients if they say they don’t support Trump.

“If this were just another session, if this weren’t such a big thing, if this weren’t so evil, I wouldn’t,” she said. “But I have to stand for what I stand for and that does cross over into politics.”

In so many settings, neutral professionalism seems like a lie now, doesn’t it?

CROWD OUT THE ASTROTURF: Pence Urges CPAC Activists to ‘Make Voices Heard’ at Angry GOP Town Halls.

I’M SO OLD, I CAN REMEMBER WHEN SCIENCE WAS SETTLED: Most scientists ‘can’t replicate studies by their peers.’

FASTER, PLEASE: New Drugs May Stop Migraines Before They Start.

WELL, YES: A Wooden Sword Can Actually Do Some Serious Damage. I mean, that’s basically what Indian “war clubs” were.

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IT AIN’T NO C-130: The C-130 Hercules rules, with good reason. Spain has asked Airbus to explain the 400M’s deficiencies. This isn’t mansplain’ femni-psycho agitprop to get HuffPo links. This is a real world defense issue.

Spain has invited the head of Airbus to travel to Madrid next month to brief defence officials about its troubled A400M military transport plane, the defence ministry said Friday.

The A400M was commissioned jointly in 2003 by the governments of Germany, Belgium, France, Britain, Luxembourg, Spain and Turkey, but since its delayed launch in 2013 it has run into difficulty, with delays in delivery of the plane.

A spokesman for the ministry told AFP Airbus CEO Tom Enders had asked to meet representatives from these countries, and Spain’s junior defence minister Agustin Conde had responded by inviting him and defence officials from those nations to Madrid.

“He sent him a letter inviting him to attend a meeting with the programme’s partner countries, on March 30 in Madrid,” the spokesman said.

Airbus refused to comment when contacted by AFP.

THE INSTA-WIFE: Men: Quit Providing. “Seriously, how dare anyone ask women to appreciate anything?”


DRAGON LADY WITH A MILESTONE: On February 2 a U-2 spy plane surpassed 30,000 hours of flight time. This is a USAF propaganda photo — and a good one. Just so y’all know, I missed it when StrategyPage’s webmaster posted it.

In October 2007 I saw one of these classic planes take-off on a mission. I was at an “undisclosed airbase somewhere in the Middle East.” Shortly after the U-2 take-off, a Global Hawk UAV landed.

Extract from a very old essay:

The U-2 is no beauty, either, though over time my opinion of the Dragonlady’s looks has changed for the better. On the ground, its huge, thin wings are awkward, but once aloft the black spy plane has the stubborn elegance of an ocean-hopping seabird.

I wonder if that’s the way Kelly Johnson and his Lockheed Skunk Works engineers envisioned the U-2 when they designed it in the 1950s — a manned albatross with the altitude and range to take pictures of the Soviet Union so we could count the Kremlin’s missiles, bombers and tanks.

The Soviet Union no longer exists, and the U-2 on its silent vigil helped defeat it, as did its snazzy, hypersonic offspring, the SR-71, another example of Skunk Works genius. Information gleaned from these planes and satellites first helped contain the Cold War (for example, we learned there was no bomber gap), then win it.

The downside of the U-2, however, hit the headlines in 1960, when U-2 CIA pilot Francis Gary Powers was shot down over the Soviet Union. A spy plane with a man in it runs that risk — all manned aircraft do.

This is one of the upsides of UAVs like the Global Hawk, Predator and the new, improved attack UAV, the MQ-9 Reaper. When a UAV goes down, we don’t lose an American pilot to death, injury or the humiliation and torture of a Hanoi Hilton.

Aw, go read the whole, old thing. The column discusses the supposedly “au courant new improved invented six minutes ago” concept of mixing UAVs and manned aircraft. Hey, I’ll wager there were U.S. military officers thinking about mixing manned aircraft and semi-autonomous unmanned air frames (in a coordinated strike scenario) at least three decades ago.

LAW: Hugging employees may create a hostile work environment, appeals court rules. “In a decision Thursday, a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals revived a sexual harassment lawsuit against Yolo County Sheriff Edward G. Prieto, who was charged with hugging a female correctional officer more than 100 times over a 12-year period.”

100 times! That’s a lot, the lawyers who no doubt framed it this way want you to think. But there are 4,380 days in 12 years. That means he hugged her approximately once every 43.8 days.

THE LIVERY STABLE BLUES: February 26, 1917. It’s still a controversial recording. But then, man, like, “what qualifies as jazz?”

Strange contemporary resonance:

The New York Times published editorial after editorial throughout the late 1910s and 1920s touting the dangers of jazz, which had historically been associated with the brothels where it was initially played…

Why, that’s racism and sexism, straight up. Will CNN and the Huffington Post condemn?

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Why should elite universities get more taxpayer support than regional public colleges?

Public institutions frequently go begging because they are supported by a combination of steadily rising tuition and declining tax revenue. And state legislatures must publicly balance the share of tax revenue allocated to these colleges against competing budget demands, such as highways, health care and public K-12 education.

In contrast, taxpayers, for the most part, unknowingly support private institutions primarily through tax deductions and exemptions. For example, gifts to university endowments are tax deductible and the earnings on these endowments are exempt from taxation, as are the endowments themselves. For elite private institutions, those with endowments in the billions of dollars, the size of these tax breaks can dwarf the direct subsidies that taxpayers send to public institutions.

These tax breaks are rarely debated because they are hidden in the tax code. Meanwhile affluent private universities, claiming their importance to the realization of the American dream, do everything in their power to silence any questioning of their right to enrich themselves through favorable tax treatment. However, it is important to remember that these tax breaks are not divinely ordained.

No, they’re not. Plus: “Few students attend these elite private schools. In contrast, the vast majority of American students enrolled in four year schools attend regional state universities. These unassuming institutions are the workhorses of American higher education. Yet compared to the level of taxpayer subsidies received by their rich private brethren, these regional campuses are grossly disadvantaged.”

GREENLAND VIKING DISAPPEARANCE UPDATE: And you thought the science was settled…FWIW, the article treats the Medieval Warm Period as the fact it is.

MALE PRIVILEGE: Women’s life expectancy on track to hit 90 in some nations. “The men who could look forward to the longest lives in 2015 were in Switzerland, Iceland and Australia — all within a few decimal points of an 81 year lifespan.”

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From 2009 until early last month, the Washington Post would have dubbed such a gesture a racist hate crime. But didn’t Hillary urge cooperation from the losing party’s representatives back in September and October?

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MORE EVIDENCE LINKING GUM DISEASE TO STROKE RISK. Floss! But maybe it’s just a marker for poor self-care: “It could be that people who neglect their oral health are also less likely to go to the doctor for medical conditions or take medications as prescribed.”

I LOVE PLAYING WITH FIRE, BUT I DON’T WANNA GET BURNED: Teaching Children to Play With Fire. “Mr. Karawahn’s workshops aim to prevent tragedies caused by children playing with fire in secret. Young children who make a fire alone often won’t tell adults for fear of punishment. Even worse, they sometimes hide after setting a fire and end up dying from smoke inhalation. So Mr. Karawahn teaches children how to burn things properly — how to hold a match, use a lighter, light candles and build small bonfires. He lets them play with fire openly, under adult supervision, so they can indulge their curiosity and learn about fire without feeling the need to do so in secret. Mr. Karawahn has trained nearly 2,000 educators in Germany in his method and earned the support of fire officials, insurance companies and safety organizations in that country. His approach stands in stark contrast to the ‘Learn Not to Burn’ message promoted by the National Fire Protection Association in the United States, which urges children never to touch matches or lighters, let alone explore their use.”

Good idea. Now, about firearms safety. . . .


Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother of North Korea’s leader, was killed by a highly toxic nerve agent, says Malaysia.

Mr Kim died last week after two women accosted him briefly in a check-in hall at a Kuala Lumpur airport.

Malaysian toxicology reports indicate he was attacked using VX nerve agent, which is classified as a weapon of mass destruction by the United Nations.

There is widespread suspicion that North Korea was responsible for the attack, which it fiercely denies.

I discussed Kim Jong Nam’s assassination in my latest Creators Syndicate column (written February 21). Emerging evidence appears to support the report that the victim’s face was sprayed with toxic liquid.


LIST INCOMPLETE: The Best Keyboards For Serious Typists.

They leave out both the Unicomp and the Azio, both of which (but especially the Unicomp) I like a lot.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Pew: How Governments Support Higher Education Through The Tax Code. “The federal government and the states each invested more than $70 billion in higher education-related spending programs, excluding loans, in academic year 2014, the latest year for which data are available. But that figure, as substantial as it is, does not paint a full picture of federal and state investments in higher education. It excludes the billions of dollars that the federal government and the 41 states plus the District of Columbia that levy personal income taxes provide to students and their families through tax expenditures—such as credits for tuition and college savings incentives—to help offset postsecondary costs.”


I’m so old, I remember when the left seethed with anger over the notion of an actor running for the presidency – – let alone the world’s biggest celebrity.

NIGEL FARAGE ON TRUMP AT CPAC: The EU Is ‘Absolutely Terrified of Him – Good.’ Video at the link.

SHE PERSISTED: A state senator is removed from the chamber for her comments about Tom Hayden and Vietnam.

Hayden was an outspoken critic of the Vietnam War and made celebrated trips to North Vietnam and Cambodia, offering to help broker a peaceful end. Nguyen, who did not speak during the remembrance of Hayden earlier in the week, said the late Democratic activist’s efforts were seen differently by refugees and “all those who fought in Vietnam for freedom and democracy.”

In the statement which she later posted on her official Senate website , Nguyen criticized Hayden for siding “with a communist government that enslaved and/or killed millions of Vietnamese, including members of my own family.”

Lefties throw the word “treason” around a lot these days. But this. . . .

NEWS YOU CAN USE: “Here’s a simple test for detecting whether you are living in George Orwell’s ‘1984.’ If you feel free to tell everyone you’re living in ‘1984,’ you aren’t.”

Not to mention how embarrassing such talk sounds to those us who lived through the original 1984, when a Republican president engendered the same comparison, from many of the same people.


Speaking at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, DeVos initially brought up the First Amendment as it relates to college students during her opening remarks, saying that college faculty often tell students “what to think.”

“They say that if you voted for Donald Trump, you are a threat to the university, too.” DeVos said. “But the real threat is silencing the First Amendment rights of people with whom you disagree.”

After her brief opening remarks, DeVos was interviewed by CNN commentator Kayleigh McEnany. While much of the focus of the interview was on school choice and DeVos’ recent letter regarding Obama-era guidance on school bathrooms, McEnany briefly touched on the issue of academic freedom, asking DeVos what advice she would give to conservative students who feel “bullied” after sharing their views.

“I think my first advice would be don’t shut up. Keep talking. Keep making your arguments,” DeVos said, to applause. “You can do so respectfully and with civility, but I think you need to do so with confidence.”

Remember: You’re not stuck there with them. They’re stuck there with you.

SHE’S SEETHING WITH EMPOWERMENT: “It was July 2014, Nashville Tennessee. I was walking into a gas station for a bottle of water when the man behind me stepped up to open the door for me. With that act of kindness, something inside me snapped and I flew into a blind rage. I began screaming at him at the top of my lungs.”

It would take a heart of stone not to laugh. Read the whole thing.

WHY ARE UNIVERSITIES SUCH CESSPITS OF HATRED? Michigan State Bans Whiteboards in Dorms Because of ‘Racist, Sexist’ Messages.

IT’S NICE TO SEE BETSY DEVOS speaking out against academia’s hostile environment for conservative and libertarian students. Meanwhile, the commenters over at Inside Higher Ed immediately proceeded to prove her right.

UPDATE: And now, Inside Higher Ed has taken down the comments on the piece. Not exactly undercutting DeVos’s point there, either. . . .

ANOTHER UPDATE: And the comments are back, now. . . .

WORKS FOR ME: Bannon vows a daily fight for ‘deconstruction of the administrative state.’

C. BRADLEY THOMPSON: Donald Trump And The Revolt Of The Unseen.

ANALYSIS: TRUE. Nobody cares about any recent Best Picture Oscar winners.

CHANGE: Ruth Bader Ginsburg uncertain about future on Supreme Court: ‘What will be next year?’

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said she intends to finish out 2017 on the Supreme Court but is uncertain about how much longer she will remain on the bench.

Ginsburg, 83 years old, told the BBC she plans to take stock of her future one year at a time.

“At my age you have to take it year-by-year,” Ginsburg told BBC. “I know I’m OK this year, but what will be next year?”

She added, “I’m hopeful, however, because my most senior colleague, the one who most recently retired, Justice John Paul Stevens, stepped down at age 90. So I have a way to go.”

Well, stay tuned.

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MESSAGE FROM CPAC: Conservatives to Congress: Get moving.

SALENA ZITO: Why all your news now comes with a heap of condescension.

Coverage of Trump is often treated as a proxy for how the press thinks of Trump’s supporters. That might be unfair to national reporters chasing down a controversial president. But the disconnect is exacerbated by the fact that far too many Americans don’t have a local press that understands them, and thus all their news comes with a heap of condescension.

Reporters don’t like it when these voters talk down “the media,” as if they’re all part of one monolithic blob. But to those who used to have local news and reporters who lived among them, that’s precisely what the national press is.

Read the whole thing.


There are three reasons I think it’s shortsighted to direct liberal fury at the entire mass of Trump voters, a complicated (and, yes, diverse) group of 63 million people.

First, stereotyping a huge slice of America as misogynist bigots is unfair and impairs understanding. Hundreds of thousands of those Trump supporters had voted for Barack Obama. Many are themselves black, Latino or Muslim. Are they all bigots?

Second, demonizing Trump voters feeds the dysfunction of our political system. One can be passionate about one’s cause, and fight for it, without contributing to political paralysis that risks making our country ungovernable.

Tolerance is a liberal value; name-calling isn’t. . . .

Well, I dunno about that. Plus:

The third reason is tactical: It’s hard to win over voters whom you’re insulting.

Many liberals argue that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote and that the focus should be on rallying the base and fighting voter suppression efforts. Yes, but Democrats flopped in Congress, governor races and state legislatures. Republicans now control 68 percent of partisan legislative chambers in the U.S.

If Democrats want to battle voter suppression, it’s crucial to win local races — including in white working-class districts in Ohio, Wisconsin and elsewhere.

Yes, a majority of Trump voters are probably unattainable for Democrats, but millions may be winnable. So don’t blithely give up on 63 million people; instead, make arguments directed at them. Fight for their votes not with race-baiting but with economic pitches for the working and middle classes.

Clinton’s calling half of Trump voters “deplorables” achieved nothing and probably cost her critical votes. Why would Democrats repeat that mistake?

Because feeling superior to the deplorables is one of the main reasons to be a Democrat?

SURE, BUT WHEN DEMOCRATS DO IT IT’S DIFFERENT BECAUSE SHUT UP: Despite the Hysteria, Trump Is Trending Less Authoritarian Than Obama.

PROFESSOR: Don’t Ignore Your Republican Students:

I worry quite a bit for students who I know feel passionately about Republican politics. They, too, deserve to come to class feeling as though they are welcome to share their opinions, that what they have to say matters, and that the classroom is indeed a space for debate and conversation about differing viewpoints. My conservative and progressive students aren’t mounting attacks against each other, but with the intensity of the debate on the liberal side, I fear that Republican students will not only self-censor in my course, but also feel even more marginalized on the college campus than they have in the past. . . . And I also know this still to be true: Despite Trump’s victory, this is also a terrible time to be a college Republican — perhaps one of the worst. College campuses, by and large, tend to be progressive places. Republican students see protests of Trump decisions they may agree with — the implication being that what Republicans stand for is racist, evil, and perhaps a threat to the very nature of American democracy.

Good advice, even if she goes on to say that there’s a “moral imperative” to dismiss Trump.

I THINK, TO DATE, THIS IS MY BEST BOOK: This is an e-arc, i.e. an uncorrected manuscript that the company allows readers to buy if they want the book RIGHT NOW.   E-arc of Darkship Revenge.

Oh, and this cover, by Stephen Hickman is probably the best or second best cover I’ve ever got (vying too close to call to the cover of Darkship Thieves.)  As authors have no say over these, this was an exceptionally lucky draw.

YOUR MASTERS ARE THOSE YOU CAN’T MOCK: Danish man who videoed himself burning the Quran charged with blasphemy.

SO MANY YEARS AGO I WROTE A VERY SILLY MYSTERY: Finally, after many years, it and its two sequels have reverted to me.  I’m bringing them out and will probably finish and add the never-published fourth by mid-March. (Yes, I know I have other series to continue as well.  After the year of … 5? 6? moves we’re settling in and that too will happen. There’s mostly a lot of final edits to get through.) So, without further ado, here is Dipped, Stripped and Dead.  BTW, the cover is by Jack Wylder, a friend of Larry Correia’s and a superb artist.  Highly recommended.

CIRCLING FIRING SQUADS TO THE LEFT: Liberal activists warn party’s lawmakers: Primaries are coming.

IT’S BEEN A LONG TIME COMING: Outside The Beltway, It’s Morning In America Again.

WHY WAS SHE HIRED IN THE LAST DAYS OF THE OUTGOING ADMINISTRATION? Questions loom over who picked America’s chief statistician.

GOOD SHOW, SIR: European welfare benefits help fund ISIS fighters.


OH, I DON’T KNOW ABOUT THAT.  THE LEFT THINKS IT’S WRONG TO BAIT THEM: Milo Yiannopoulos got punished despite having done nothing wrong!

OUR HAWKISH ‘WORLD WAR T’ ELITES: On transgender bathroom access in schools, ruling class waging war on common sense.

To mash-up Donald Rumsfeld, Thomas Sowell, and Hillary Clinton,  when you’re the anointed, you go to war against the deplorables you have.

February 23, 2017

CHANGE: AFL-CIO cutting staff as union membership declines. “The union spokesman blamed the downsizing on ‘well-financed anti-union opposition’ but it’s really the result of former members who have been freed up by right-to-work laws to not have union dues taken from their paychecks. Wisconsin saw a decrease of over 100,000 union members after the passage of ACT 10 in 2011. Michigan, which passed a right-to-work law in 2013, lost 20,000 union members between 2015 and last year. AFL-CIO is not the only union to downsize since Trump was elected. In December the SEIU announced it was planning for 30% budget cuts.”

If unions provided value, people would pay dues voluntarily.

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TED CRUZ AT CPAC: ‘Do Democrats Understand They Need to Control the House to Impeach?’

On the flip-side, does their base understand this is simply the posturing the establishment left does every time there’s a Republican in the White House?

STRESS HORMONE LINKED TO PERSISTENT OBESITY. “The paper published today in the journal Obesity found that people who have a higher level of the stress hormone cortisol, which affect’s the body’s metabolism and how it distributes fat, over a long period of time may be more likely to be obese. Their levels of cortisol were measured through hair samples.”

WAIT, SOCIAL-MEDIA PHOTOS ARE OFTEN prettied up with makeup? Next you’ll tell me that people photoshop themselves to look better.

HEH: Schumer to GOP: Stop promoting Warren as face of Democrats.

THIS IS CNN. Chris Cuomo: If a 12-Year-Old Girl Doesn’t Want to See a Penis In the Locker Room, That’s Either Because of Her “Overprotective Dad” or Her Own Lack of “Tolerance.”

Related: Video surfaces of Time-Warner-CNN-HBO’s Bill Maher condoning sex between an adult and a 14-year-old.


(Classical reference in headline.)

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Skills and bills: What state governors have to say about vocational education.

SAD NEWS: Knoxville’s Back Door Tavern closes its doors. I remember when Deana Carter tended bar there, before she made it big.

INDONESIA MAY CONDUCT JOINT PATROLS WITH AUSTRALIA IN SOUTH CHINA SEA: Beijing’s “artificial island imperialism” continues to get push back.

Indonesia is talking softly, but just mentioning joint military patrols indicates Jakarta is upset.

Indonesia President Joko Widodo will discuss the prospect of joint patrols with Australia in the South China Sea when he meets his counterpart Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at the weekend.

Widodo told The Australian newspaper he would like to see joint patrols with Australia, but only if did not further inflame tensions with China.

“If there is no tension I think it’s very important to have the patrols together. We will discuss this with PM Turnbull,” said Widodo.

Indonesia has traditionally taken a neutral position on the South China Sea, acting as a buffer between China and fellow members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) that have the most at stake, the Philippines and Vietnam.

But after China angered Indonesia by saying the two countries had “overlapping claims” to waters close to Indonesia’s Natuna Islands, Jakarta staged large-scale exercise on the edge of South China Sea in October.

Here’s some background on the “slow invasion.”

RELATED: This post from last year explains why the The U.S. Third Fleet’s operating area has expanded. The USS Carl Vinson is conducting operations in the South China Sea and remains under Third Fleet command.


Given its infamous — and entirely deserved — reputation as a wretched hive of scum and villainy, the UN is arguably an even worse swamp to drain than DC.

MARK RIPPETOE: Strength Training For People My Age.

NO. NEXT QUESTION? Is Chelsea Clinton Donald Trump’s most formidable Twitter foe?

CHRISTINA HOFF SOMMERS: The ‘Factual Feminist’ debunks stats about sexual assault and the wage gap. “As a feminist and an academic, I felt the need to set things right.”

DIVERSITY IS OUR STRENGTH: Teacher, 28, ‘Gang Raped By 9 Iraqi Immigrants In Vienna Attack.’

HMM: The Race For Autonomous Cars Is Over. Silicon Valley Lost.

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SPACE: Finish Line Looms for Google Lunar XPrize Finalists.

IRAQ SUICIDE BOMBER WAS A FORMER GITMO DETAINEE: Family members identified Abu-Zakariya al-Britani as the suicide bomber who attacked a military base in Mosul this past week. He was released from Guantanamo in 2004.

I FIND THIS EASY TO BELIEVE: Bad Hospital Design Is Making Us Sicker. And I can second the bit about noise and sleep disturbance.

BRIDGET JOHNSON REPORTS FROM CPAC: Gov. Scott Walker Compares Today’s ‘Angry Mobs’ to 2011 Wisconsin Protesters.

VIDEO: Stare into the Abyss of the Mesmerizing ‘Glory Hole’ Spillway.

OF COURSE IT DOES: Media Ignores Disturbing Alliance Between ‘Progressives’ and Anti-Semites.


You went full John Birch Society, leftists. Never go full John Birch Society.

But as Charles Cooke asked the left early last year, during Trump’s ascendency in the GOP primaries, “Has Donald Trump’s remarkable rise done anything to change your mind as to the ideal strength of the State?”

Speaking of which:

DISPATCHES FROM THE REALITY-BASED COMMUNITY:  Witches Unite To Cast Spell Against Donald Trump.

Related: “These days, the left has no moral high ground over the religious right. In fact, I’d take a conservative Christian over a demon-haunted leftist any day, because at least conservative Christians admit that their beliefs are faith-based. They don’t go around screaming ‘science! science! science!’ while drinking sacrificial goats’ blood Santeria-style because the rain gods are angry.”


ASHE SCHOW: Due process defenders back Education Department critic to lead Office for Civil Rights.

Critics and supporters alike are wondering who might be the next person to lead the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights, which has overseen in recent years an expansion of responsibilities related to campus sexual assault.

One name being pushed as a nominee is Gail Heriot, a law professor at the University of San Diego and a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. Heriot has been a critic of OCR’s overreach, even joining fellow Civil Rights commission member Peter Kirsanow in writing a letter to Congress opposing a budget increase for the department.

“[W]e have noticed a disturbing pattern of disregard for the rule of law at OCR,” the two wrote in the letter. “That office has all-too-often been willing to define perfectly legal conduct as unlawful.”

Heriot and Kirsanow added that OCR was only “under-funded” because it had given itself additional responsibilities. “Increasing OCR’s budget would in effect reward the agency for frequently over-stepping the law. It also would provide OCR with additional resources to undertake more ill-considered initiatives for which it lacks authority,” they wrote.

Heriot and Kirsanow argued that OCR’s 2011 “Dear Colleague” letter, which greatly expanded the office’s role in combating an alleged epidemic of campus sexual assault, created a dangerous situation for accused students by requiring schools to adopt a low “preponderance of evidence” standard.

“[G]iven the importance of safeguarding the rights of accused students, the ‘clear and convincing’ standard would seem to be the more appropriate one in at least some situations,” the two wrote.

A group dedicated to the rights of accused students sent a letter to the Trump transition team after the election in support of Heriot to lead OCR. The letter, written by a group called Stop Abusive and Violent Environments (SAVE), was sent with more than 240 signatures supporting Heriot and was published last week.

Although I’ve pushed Robert Shibley of FIRE for this position, I’d also be quite happy with Gail Heriot.

TRANSPARENCY: #CNNLeaks: Project Veritas Releases Over 100 Hours of Audio From Inside CNN.

More at CNNLeaks.com.

IN THE MAIL: From Henry V. O’Neil, Glory Main: The Sim War: Book One.

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MY USA TODAY COLUMN: Government can’t get us off sugar: Policies promoting sugar, in no small part, got us into this mess.

Inspired by my reading of Gary Taubes’ The Case Against Sugar.


ABOLISH THE ATF: A.T.F. Filled Secret Bank Account With Millions From Shadowy Cigarette Sales. “Working from an office suite behind a Burger King in southern Virginia, operatives used a web of shadowy cigarette sales to funnel tens of millions of dollars into a secret bank account. They weren’t known smugglers, but rather agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The operation, not authorized under Justice Department rules, gave agents an off-the-books way to finance undercover investigations and pay informants without the usual cumbersome paperwork and close oversight, according to court records and people close to the operation.”

Laws and rules are for the little people.

FAKE NEWS, THE EARLY DAYS. After the ‘Cronkite Moment,’ LBJ doubled down on Viet policy: “One of the most cherished stories in American journalism is also a tenacious media-driven myth,” W. Joseph Campbell writes.

As was often the case with Walter Cronkite, “that’s the way it is” usually wasn’t, as his left-leaning biographer reluctantly admitted a few years ago.

ED MORRISSEY: How Trump Could Spark a New GOP Split – or Maybe a Love Fest. It all depends on whether people will be mature, or will let childish primary antagonisms live on.


The campaign for more intellectual diversity in higher education just got an eloquent and influential new champion: John Etchemendy, Stanford University’s provost from 2000 to 2017. In a recent speech to the elite university’s trustees, Etchemendy said that while many on campus perceive higher education to be under siege from right-wing populists, he believes that the greater danger is that academia destroys itself from the inside through its own stifling intellectual orthodoxies. . . .

Over the course of Etchemendy’s career, academia has indeed become more of a monoculture, with the overall ratio of liberal to conservative faculty increasing from 2:1 in 1990 to 5:1 in 2014, and with conservatives virtually without representation at many elite social science and humanities departments (one study found that Democrats outnumber Republicans at top 40 history departments by a more than 33:1 margin). And there is no sign the trend is abating; younger American professors are even more uniformly liberal than the older cohort.

Etchemendy’s speech calls for efforts to bring in more faculty with heterodox views—not as a kind of spoils system for conservatives, but because a greater diversity of viewpoints is likely to increase the rigor of scholarship overall, no matter the viewpoint of the person conducting it.

Plus: “It is telling that Etchemendy chose to deliver this speech once his tenure as provost was over; perhaps he thought that it would generate too much political blowback if he was still Stanford’s number two administrator. Hopefully his fellow academics take note.” Oh, they’ll take note of the fear of blowback, for sure.

STOP THE DEMOCRATS’ WAR ON WOMEN AND NATIVE AMERICANS! Schumer to GOP: Stop promoting Elizabeth Warren as the face of Democrats.

Why is Chuck Schumer such a misogynistic anti-imaginary-diversity reactionary?

ANTISOCIAL MEDIA: Facebook Suspends Christian Homeschool Mom’s Account for Citing the Bible. She should sue them for religious discrimination. Bake that cake, Zuckerberg!