July 20, 2017

SAYS THE MAN WHO BY ALL APPEARANCES GOT BULLIED INTO CLAIMING THAT A MANDATE IS A TAX: Chief Justice Roberts says criticism won’t stop judges.

J. CHRISTIAN ADAMS: President Trump’s Voter Fraud Commission Meets, Smeared by Deniers.

SO AFTER HAVING IT FOR A COUPLE OF MONTHS, I can report that the MantelMount is a complete success. It’s easy to use, brings the TV down to a comfortable viewing angle, and the “expert installation” bundled with it was first-rate.

BUT WHEN WILL THEY GET SERIOUS ABOUT ISLAMISTS INSIDE THEIR OWN BORDERS? Germany Is Now Warning Travelers About Going To Turkey.

ANALYSIS: TRUE. The collapse of GOP support coincides with the popularization of a militant brand of liberal political activism that gestates on college campuses.

Noah Rothman for USA Today:

The Missouri story is indicative of the broader crisis on at many American colleges. Increasingly, the evidence shows, they are places of strictly enforced intellectual, cultural and political homogeneity. That rigid conformity may be enforced from below by energetic activists, but it finds succor and rationalizations for its conduct from above.

A study of “Faculty Voter Registration in Economics, History, Journalism, Law, and Psychology” published in Econ Journal Watch in late 2016 found that at 40 leading universities, registered Republicans were outnumbered by their Democratic counterparts by an average ratio of 11.5-to-1. This disparity isn’t new, but it’s been exacerbated as identity politics has polarized the academy.

The Heritage Foundation’s Kim Holmes, author of The Closing of the Liberal Mind, blames the rise of multicultural studies departments. “If you’re going to have a Gender Studies Department, or something like that, the progressive assumptions are built into the very idea of the department, so you’re not going to hire any conservative professors,” said Holmes. If conservatives self-select out of programs like these, it follows that those who emerge from these programs will consider conservative ideas alien and threatening.

The irony of course is that it’s a mainstay of progressivism that only conservatives are held hostage by such primitive thinking.

IN THE MAIL: Strength Training Anatomy, 3rd Edition.

Plus, fresh Gold Box and Lightning Deals. Get them while they’re hot!

ROGER SIMON PROFFERS ADVICE TO TRUMP: Cultivate the Fine Art of Boredom.

Calvin Coolidge, pictured below with his ghostly Jedi halo, once said that one of his administration’s greatest accomplishments was that it minded its own business. The Tea Party’s goal, as Glenn has said, was a government that would leave us alone. In the days of Leviathan government, is that still possible?

JAWBONING WORKS: Jeh Johnson: Trump ‘scared off’ illegal immigrants with ‘rhetoric.’

UPDATE: Link was broken before. Fixed now — sorry!

GOOD LORD: Low IQ costs Oregon parents their kids.

IT WAS ALWAYS JUST AN EXCUSE FOR GRAFT, AND THAT HAS GONE VERY, VERY WELL: California’s Green Policies Are Going Haywire.

Jerry Brown can label this extension as “courageous” as he wants, but it won’t change the fact that this is merely extending the life of a broken policy.

Let’s take a look at the current state of California’s carbon market. The system ostensibly works by auctioning off carbon credits to emitters, but these auctions have been resounding failures. Credits have been selling for the bare minimum price allowed by the scheme, and emitters are buying the bare minimum of credits required by the state. In other words, companies aren’t buying into the plan (literally), which doesn’t just reflect poorly on the outlook industry has on the state’s carbon market, it also dilutes the price of carbon to levels too low to actually incentivize heavy emitters to change behaviors.

Read the whole thing.

YES. NEXT QUESTION? Has the Republican Party Lost Its Backbone?

CHANGE: Trump Kills 16 Regulations For Every New 1, Crushing 2-for-1 Goal.

MAKE AMERICA HAPPY AGAIN: Survey: Americans Are Happier Than They Have Been In Years.

ALL IS PROGRESSING AS MARK STEYN HAS FORESEEN: As Europe’s migrant crisis enters a new phase, it’s clear that European leaders have neither the will nor desire to preserve their own civilization.

John Daniel Davidson:

Take women’s rights, for example. In Europe as in America, the equality of the sexes has for decades been held as an immutable fact. But Europe is even more militant about its feminism than America. For Europeans, the very idea of a housewife is backwards and oppressive; mothers are expected to work and send their children to state-subsidized child care, not opt out of the workforce to raise a family. This is the official policy of the EU, which has entire commissions dedicated to ensuring more women enter the workforce.

For Muslim immigrants to Europe, who come from societies in which women are generally subordinate to men, this comes as a shock. Yet for a long time Europe insisted that newcomers adopt western attitudes regarding women’s rights and sexual freedom. As Christopher Caldwell has noted, this was the only non-negotiable demand Europe made of its immigrants. The European ruling class might have been willing to look the other way on free speech and denounce as fascist anyone who worries about Islam and terrorism, but on feminism there was no room for negotiation: “It is the litmus test according to which assimilation—and even membership in the national community—is judged. It is the one area where Europeans retain both a deep suspicion of Muslim ways and a confidence in their own institutions that is free of self-doubt.”

At least, that’s how it used to be.

Read the whole thing.

Professional feminists have no interest in protecting the rights of Western women, because it’s different when they’re being oppressed by oppressed “migrants.”

SO THIS REUTERS HEADLINE LOOKS BAD FOR TRUMP, BUT IF YOU READ PAST THE HEADLINE HIS BASE IS ACTUALLY MORE SUPPORTIVE THAN IN MAY: One in eight people who voted for Trump having second thoughts. In May, 82% of Trump voters said they’d vote for him again. In July, it’s 88%. His support has actually increased by 6%. A more accurate headline would be something like Trump’s Base Happier Than In May: Support Rises 6%. But, you know, narrative.

YOU CAN’T JUDGE THEM. THAT’S THEIR CULTURE! Govt To Take Over Muslim School Where Child Died and Books Say Husbands Can Beat Wives.

EXPERTS WARY THAT U.S. COULD TRADE CHINESE SOUTH CHINA SEA CONTROL FOR NORTH KOREA DENUCLEARIZATION: I say this cynical trade and sell-out won’t happen but somebody sure needs to write about that. (HINT: It’s Option 3.) (Bumped from earlier this morning, but now with additional hint.)

HINT 2: Read the North Korea options essay (second link). This trade won’t happen. However, there are people in southeast Asia who are scared it might. It is a course of action option– a very bad one. However, I think it’s a deal Beijing’s imperialists believe is possible, which says something about Beijing’s imperialists.

SO I GUESS THIS MEANS THAT CHARLES C.W. COOKE IS WORKING FOR PUTIN TOO: Louise Mensch’s Destructive Fantasies. I think she’s actually secretly working for Trump, throwing out endless absurdities to discredit his conspiratorial opposition. In which case, Mission Accomplished!

SUPERB BOMBER PIC: A B-2 banks over Scott AFB. A majestic photo.

SHUT UP, THEY EXPLAINED: UC Berkeley BLOCKS Shapiro Event At University On September 14.

On Wednesday, Young America’s Foundation and the Berkeley College Republicans were told by the University of California, Berkeley administration that Berkeley would not facilitate an event by Daily Wire editor-in-chief Ben Shapiro on September 14 on campus. Instead, administrators have informed YAF and BCR that they are “unable to identify an available campus venue.”

I think what they meant to say is that they are unable to identify a safe campus venue, because the Berkeley administration has taken a sort of wink-and-nod approach to violence against conservatives.

IRAN THREATENS U.S. TROOPS NEAR ITS BORDERS:

The head of Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard warned the U.S. that it better move its forces away from his country if Washington imposes new sanctions on his paramilitary group.

The Trump Administration just certified Iran as compliant with the Obama-Ayatollah Nuclear Collusion Arrangement and this is the thanks we get.

ANDREW MCCARTHY: Mueller’s Investigation Must Be Limited and Accountable. I predict it will be neither. I think that Mueller should resign, or alternatively be replaced by a second independent counsel to look at any obstruction issues, while Mueller is limited to the Russia issue, which appears to be a nonstarter.

Related: Is Mueller Too Conflicted To Investigate Trump Fairly?

Plus: Alan Dershowitz on James Comey’s leaked memos: Who will guard the guardians?

OUR BEST AND BRIGHTEST AREN’T: ‘Dunkirk’ reviewers show their lack of historical knowledge.

Never has so much ignorance been rendered about such a great feat by so few.

Such is the historical record of reviewers of the new movie, “Dunkirk.”

First, a brief historical primer. Dunkirk was the site of the British Army’s evacuation from northern France in May-June 1940. The evacuation was made necessary after the British Army in France, deployed as the British Expeditionary Force, was encircled by a rapidly advancing German army. Thanks to the immense courage of rearguard forces, RAF pilots, and British civilians (who lent their boats to the effort), 200,000 British soldiers and 140,000 French, Belgian and Polish soldiers were saved from capture.

Now to the reviews…

At USA Today, Brian Truitt laments “the fact that there are only a couple of women and no lead actors of color.” This, Truitt explains, “may rub some the wrong way.”

Let me be clear. The “some” that might be offended are the same “some” that attempt to swim with polar bears and saltwater crocodiles. The Washington Free Beacon’s Alex Griswold beat me to it, explaining why Truitt’s review is so silly. But let me add one point. What measure of honor would there be to inject “actors of color” into a historical event in which no persons of color served? It would be like making the civil rights movie, Selma, but hiring all white actors to play the parts that black demonstrators played in real life.

In a similarly silly take, at Slate.com, Dana Stevens suggests the British Army at Dunkirk was the “last bulwark against Nazi invasion of the British mainland.”

Read the whole thing, and weep.

U.S. ARMORED VEHICLES SEEN POURING INTO SYRIA:

Over the last week videos and pictures posted by Kurdish activists on social media show flatbed trucks delivering U.S.-made MRAP, M-ATVs, and up-armored bulldozers into Syria.

Military officials say these vehicles are not part of the U-S.-led coalition’s aid to Kurdish allies on the ground who are currently engaged in a tense street-by-street urban battle in Raqqa — ISIS’s self-proclaimed capital.

Stay tuned for more on this.

EXPERTS WARY THAT U.S. COULD TRADE CHINESE SOUTH CHINA SEA CONTROL FOR NORTH KOREA DENUCLEARIZATION: I say this cynical trade and sell-out won’t happen but somebody sure needs to write about that. (HINT: It’s Option 3.)

WALTER WILLIAMS: The Key Facts About Slavery That the Left Conveniently Ignores.

Slavery is by no means peculiar, odd, or unusual. It was common among ancient peoples such as the Egyptians, Babylonians, Assyrians, Hittites, Greeks, Persians, Armenians, and many others.

Large numbers of Christians were enslaved during the Ottoman wars in Europe. White slaves were common in Europe from the Dark Ages to the Middle Ages. It was only after A.D. 1600 that Europeans joined with Arabs and Africans and started the Atlantic slave trade.

As David P. Forsythe wrote in his book, “The Globalist,” “The fact remained that at the beginning of the 19th century an estimated three-quarters of all people alive were trapped in bondage against their will either in some form of slavery or serfdom.”

While slavery constitutes one of the grossest encroachments on human liberty, it is by no means unique or restricted to the Western world or United States, as many liberal academics would have us believe.

Much of their indoctrination of our young people, at all levels of education, paints our nation’s Founders as racist adherents to slavery, but the story is not so simple.

Read the whole thing.

“Everybody does it” is no excuse, but not everybody fights a horrible Civil War over it, then constitutionally elevates former slaves to full citizenship.

LEGALIZARLA: Uruguay Becomes First Nation to Oversee Pot Sales, From Seed to Smoke.

The new policy comes as much of Latin America, Canada and numerous U.S. states have legalized marijuana for limited use, even as several countries continue to have tough interdiction policies against the cocaine trade.

Some leaders in the region on the front lines of the U.S.-backed war on drugs have increasingly voiced fatigue with those hard-line policies. But so far, Uruguay has most decidedly broken with the prohibitionist approach, making this country’s experiment a test case that is being closely watched by governments and activists on both sides of the drug-legalization debate.

The move has also encouraged businesses, like Vancouver-based International Cannabis Corp., which has a license to harvest and export the marijuana it is producing in Uruguay.

“We are ready to start exporting to more than 12 countries, and we will do it with a seal of quality from the Uruguayan Health Ministry,” said Alejandro Antalich, chief executive of the company.

The report also claims that Uruguay’s program has “enthralled pro-pot activists and smokers abroad but has lukewarm support at home.” But the expected tax revenues certainly have big support in Montevideo.

KURT SCHLICHTER: We Must Elect Senator Kid Rock. ” His campaign slogan should be ‘You’ve done a lot worse,’ because we have.”

PATRICK POOLE: Why Did NPR Lie About the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas?

LEFTIST POLITICAL VIOLENCE: Police release video of ‘person of interest’ in Heller threat.

Las Vegas police have released a video of a person of interest in the investigation into a threatening note that was left on the door of Sen. Dean Heller’s (R-Nev.) district office.

Police described the individual as a white adult male between 50 and 60 years old wearing a black baseball cap, shorts and a collared shirt.

A threatening note telling Heller to vote against the legislation was found taped to the door of his district office on Sunday.

The Nevada Independent reported the note warned Heller that the individual would loser their healthcare if the senator voted for the ObamaCare repeal and replace plan, and Heller would die in return.

I hope they find this person, and give him free government healthcare in prison.

TRUMP TURNS ON SESSIONS, A TRAGIC TRUMPCARE AUTOPSY, AND RUSSIA-RUSSIA-RUSSIA: Liz Sheld is on travel, but Tyler O’Neil has all that and more in today’s morning brief.

PROCUREMENT: DARPA, BAE Systems Developing Small Unmanned Underwater Vehicles to Hunt Enemy Submarines.

Well, good. Small and quiet, air-independent propulsion subs like China is building can be tough and dangerous to root out of coastal waters.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Toni Airaksinen: Prof alleges rampant anti-Christian discrimination in academia.

Maranto claims that religious discrimination impacts Christians at all rungs of academia, from undergraduate students to tenured professors, but says that “compared to racial and gender discrimination, this kind of religious discrimination gets little attention from researchers,” whose disinterest in the subject he considers revealing in and of itself.

Maranto told Campus Reform that he believes Christians face an unusual level of religious discrimination in academia, especially compared to observant followers of religions like Islam or Hinduism, remarking that “we’re not at all critical of those traditional faiths, but we are often very critical of traditional Christianity, and I think there’s a double standard there.”

Well you have to discriminate against some people, or you’re not being inclusive.

VIDEO: Bernie Sanders Claims He Never Said Republicans’ Health Plan Was Going to Kill People.

As Ken Layne said, “We can fact-check your ass.”

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: My University Treated Me Like A Criminal Over A Joke.

For the past six years, I have taught an undergraduate course on international economics at Johns Hopkins University. Most of my students thought it was a very good course. So I was shocked when, on December 6, 2016, I was met at the door of my classroom by Johns Hopkins security personnel and barred from entering.

The next day, I received a letter from my dean suspending me from my teaching duties—just three classes before the end of the semester.

What had I done to cause such a reaction by the administration? I had told a joke when discussing off-shoring, the practice of firms shifting work abroad, often in search of lower wages. Here it is:

An American loses his job due to his work being off-shored. He is very depressed and calls a mental health hot line. He gets a call center in Pakistan where the call center employee asks, “What seems to be the problem?” The American responds that he has lost his job due to the work being sent overseas and states, “I am really depressed and actually suicidal.” The call center employee says, “Great. Can you drive a truck?”

The lecture on off-shoring took place several weeks earlier. The stated reason for my suspension was that three students (out of 68) complained that my joke had created a “hostile learning environment” in the class. That’s a charge most college administrators now take with the utmost seriousness.

At the time of my suspension, the investigation into those complaints by Johns Hopkins’ Office of Institutional Equity (OIE) had not even started, but still the administration somehow concluded that my teaching had to be terminated immediately.

I believe that the real reason I was barred from class and suspended was that in response to being informed two weeks earlier that a complaint had been made, I had noted the Orwellian characteristic of the OIE.

Two points: Of course it’s Orwellian, but you’re not supposed to rub their noses in it. Second, they didn’t treat him like a criminal. If he were an actual criminal, they’d probably have offered him a scholarship.

THIS IS MY SHOCKED FACE: Fmr. U.N. Amb. Power Emerges As Central Figure In Obama Unmasking Investigation.

OF COURSE THEY DO: Group that Protested NRA Over ‘Violent’ Rhetoric Embraces Convicted Cop Killer.

THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD TO PUBLICATION: How Did We Get to This Point?

EVERYONE IS A LOSER FOREVER IN THE VICTIMHOOD STAKES: That Didn’t Take Long.

IS THIS MORE OR LESS EMPOWERING THAN FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION AND WIFE BEATING?  ‘Halal sex’ guide aims to empower Muslim women in the bedroom.

HEY, IT’S THE LEAST YOU CAN DO:Not Enough Sex? Stop Having Threesomes With the Government.   You don’t know where that government has been, nor the diseases it’s carrying.  Next thing you know, you’ll wake up with Hoof ‘n Mouth disease.

INDEED:Why McCain’s Glioblastoma Will Be the Fight of His Life.

WELL, I’VE TRIED EVERYTHING ELSE: Stop snacking and eat a big breakfast if you want to lose weight.

July 19, 2017

“PRO TIP: REPLACE ‘BOOK’ WITH ‘WEDDING CAKE:’” D’oh! Bookseller’s dilemma backfires big time when just one word is replaced.

THE LEFT’S ‘HAMBURGER PROBLEM’ IS NOT GOING AWAY, Kyle Smith writes at NRO:

Progressives have a problem: They ladle unto every decision, even the most mundane and trifling one, an unattractive glop of gooey political significance. They can’t resist warning the rest of us that we’re abetting the destruction of the planet every time we, say, tuck into a Quarter Pounder.

Josh Barro is a recovering ex-Republican who is now a member of a niche political group: the non-crazy Democrats. He coined a cute phrase — “the hamburger problem” — to describe the relentless politicization of everything by progressives and Democrats. He writes, “Democrats’ problem isn’t that they’re on the wrong side of policy issues. It’s that they’re too ready to bother too many ordinary people about too many of their personal choices, all the way down to the hamburgers they eat.” He cites nonstop Democratic hectoring on, inter alia, the team name of the Washington Redskins, the way men sit on subway trains, and even some Americans’ choice not to abide by China’s one-child standard as the reasons why the party is today as electorally wobbly as Rocky Balboa in the 15th round. Yet the GOP’s success puzzles him still, because so many core Democratic cultural ideals (notably, gay marriage and marijuana decriminalization) poll more and more strongly.

When John Stuart Mill called the British conservatives “the stupidest party,” it stuck. Today the Democrats are the Annoying Party. The Left thinks Americans are picturing Mary Poppins when they talk about the nanny state; in truth, they’re thinking of Nurse Ratched. The prospect of a new set of nuisances being dreamed up and lashingly enforced by Hillary Clinton is what led voters to roll the dice with an Atlantic City grifter.

Related: Rod Dreher on the left’s “Law of Merited Impossibility, which states: ‘It will never happen, and when it does, you bigots will deserve it.’”

AT AMAZON, save on Men’s Sunglasses.

CULTURE OF LAWLESSNESS: LEFTIST JUDGES TURN ADMINISTRATIVE LAW INTO A SHAM. Though to be fair, there hasn’t been much pushback from judges on the right, either.

AT AMAZON, save in Grocery and Gourmet Food

Plus, save in Storage and Organization.

SARAH HOYT: Not Enough Sex? Stop Having Threesomes With The Government.

DRUG EXPIRATION DATES: Largely meaningless.

BRITAIN’S EXCLUSIVE CLUB FOR ROUGH MEN: Great title, good read.

MEANWHILE, BACK IN REALITY, BERNIE BROS SHOOT CONGRESSMEN AND CNN THREATENS THEIR VIEWERS. Pelosi: The Republican Budget “Stirs” Up Violence.

Reminder:

RATS ON THE WEST COAST, BEDBUGS UPTOWN: Man contracts hantavirus after staying in cabins at California park, family says.

A man was hospitalized with hantavirus, a rare and potentially fatal rodent-borne respiratory disease he may have contracted after staying in cabins at California parks, his family said.

Spencer Fly, 22, began having symptoms of the disease during the Fourth of July weekend, his family told Fox 40. The family wrote on a crowdfunding page they were camping at Lee Vining when Fry began having consistent headaches over five days. One day, he woke up with a 104-degree fever.

“My mom, Haven Fry, and I insisted he return Sacramento with us not knowing how fast this was going to progress,” Fry’s brother wrote.

“After a couple hours in the ER vomiting began and his lungs began to fill with fluid. He was quickly rushed to the ICU where he has now been for 9 days,” he added.

Not good.

NETFLIX AND CHILL: Television’s 10 Best Anti-Heroes of All Time.

Alas, neither Julie Newmar’s nor Eartha Kitt’s Catwoman made the cut.

BRAWN IN AN AGE OF BRAINS: At City Journal, Victor Davis Hanson asks, “Does physical labor have a future?”

Read the whole thing.

PROGRESS? Google unveils new ‘smart feed’ in Search with a ‘follow’ option.

At an unveiling in San Francisco on Tuesday, the Mountain View search giant gave a preview of the new “smart feed” scheduled to roll out for Apple iOS and Google Android mobile devices. It identifies areas of interest selected by a user, and their history of using Search, YouTube and other Google products, to produce a stream of news stories and other information intended to be unique to each user.

“None of us has quite the same mix of passions, interests and goals as the next person,” said Shashi Thakur, Google’s vice-president of engineering for Search. “It’s hard to find one place to stay in the know about exactly what matters to you.”

A “follow” button will appear next to certain search results including those concerning movies, sports, bands and celebrities. Hitting the button puts the topic into the feed.

The feed also relies on Google’s algorithms, which find out about a user’s interests by combing through their search history, the videos they watch on YouTube, music downloaded via Google Play, and their use of all other Google services. Location data is also used, according to Google.

Sounds helpful, but I’ll never be comfortable with that level of tracking.

DIESEL IN DECLINE: Porsche may abandon diesel in push for electric cars, CEO says.

DAVID STEINBERG: The Voter Purges Aren’t Coming, Just Another Silly Democratic Narrative.

I’VE LONG SUSPECTED THIS: That Drug Expiration Date May Be More Myth Than Fact.

SOMETHING THAT CAN’T GO ON FOREVER, WON’T:

● Shot: Illinois state workers highest paid in nation. Cost of Living Gives Illinois State Workers Top Stop.

Newsalert, today.

● Chaser: Moving out: Illinois has country’s worst outbound rate in 2016.

Illinois Policy, January 3rd, 2017.

THE PATRIARCHY — IS THERE ANYTHING IT CAN’T DO? Peter Daou goes off on pretty much EVERYBODY after HuffPo reality check about Hillary.

ANTISOCIAL MEDIA: A massive botnet was tweeting you porn for months.

AT AMAZON, 70% off or More on Vitamins for Men.

BUT MICHELLE OBAMA ASSURED ME LAST YEAR THAT “WHEN THEY GO LOW, WE GO HIGH.” Bill Maher Goes Too Far: ‘Does Trump Have to Actually Blow Putin?’

Earlier: Stephen Colbert’s Shocking Attack On Trump Concludes With A Homophobic Slur: “In fact, the only thing your mouth is good for is being Vladimir Putin’s cock holster,” which elicited gasps from the studio audience.”

Why are Democrat monopoly institutions such cesspits of homophobia, especially considering that Trump supported gay marriage even before Dick Cheney did?

SAMANTHA POWER, NOT CONTENT WITH KILLING HORDES OF PEOPLE IN THE MIDEAST AND NORTH AFRICA, MEDDLES IN POLITICS: Fmr. U.N. Amb. Power Emerges As Central Figure In Obama Unmasking Investigation: Congress demands answers on why Obama officials demanded classified intel that harmed Trump. I think I know why.

CHARLIE MARTIN: Where Does Global Warming Come From?

The essential measurement on which the climate change debate is based is the Global Average Surface Temperature (GAST). Conceptually, this is really pretty simple: you just put a thermometer on every point on the surface of the earth, take continuous readings for an entire year and then divide the sum of all those readings by the number of readings.

Practically, that presents problems: that’s a lot of thermometers and people use the surface of the Earth for doing other things than taking temperature readings. The reality is that the thermometers are anywhere from miles apart to thousands of miles, and they’re not at all uniform. So to estimate the GAST, the temperature measurements are fed into a model, which includes corrections. When I was writing about this in 2013, the difference between GAST and the predictions of GAST was becoming too big to ignore. Climate scientists then looked for reasons and added new corrections — but some of them were controversial.

Those who take the readings decide nothing. Those who model the readings decide everything.

IF YOU WANT TO UPGRADE ANYTHING, START WITH YOUR TIRES: If you want to upgrade your brakes, start with your tires.

MEET THE RESISTANCE: Antifa Site Includes Tips on Committing Sabotage.

GOOD LORD: North Korea firing squad carries out public executions in school yards, report says.

The report, released by The Transnational Justice Working Group in Seoul, gathered information from more than 300 North Korean refugees who witnessed the regime’s firing squad executing criminals in public areas to attract large crowds and instill fear in its citizens.

“In ordinary areas outside the prison system, our interviewees stated that public executions take place near river banks, in river beds, near bridges, in public sports stadiums, in the local marketplace, on school grounds in the fringes of the city, or on mountainsides,” the report stated.

The report said people were publicly executed for crimes such as stealing rice and livestock and distributing South Korean media.

Just another paradisiacal workers’ state.

THE MERCEDES OF PICKUP TRUCKS is a Mercedes.

STARRING FELICITY JONES? REALLY? The Ruth Bader Ginsburg Biopic Will Be A Superhero Movie Or Something.

AARON BLAKE: This poll is a warning sign for Democrats.

A new Washington Post-ABC News poll, as Mike DeBonis and Emily Guskin report, presents a pretty mixed bag for Democrats. It shows that registered voters say they want Democrats to control Congress to be a check on Trump by a 52-38 percent margin, but it also shows Democrats are — rather remarkably — less enthusiastic about voting than Republicans are. While 65 percent of Republicans and GOP-leaning adults say they are “almost certain to vote,” just 57 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning adults say the same.

The question from there is which is more predictive of what lies ahead. And the answer won’t necessarily make Democrats feel better.

Great, kid — don’t get cocky.

LATE-STAGE SOCIALISM: Venezuela’s National Oil Company On Its Last Legs.

Venezuelan refineries are operating significantly below operational capacity, a product of a lack of investment and maintenance, as well as a lack of technical knowledge (a lot of the highly qualified personnel from PDVSA who rebelled against Hugo Chavez’s regime in 2002 were fired and now work in various other countries, such as; Colombia, Mexico, Canada and the USA). Falling output at refineries means that Venezuela needs to import gasoline, further squeezing the national budget. Refineries are currently working at less than 40 percent of average 2016 levels as state-run oil company PDVSA is importing between 100 and 150 thousand barrels per day of gasoline and between 80 and 90 thousand barrels per day of diesel.

Venezuela’s daily demand for gasoline and diesel are 225 and 170 thousand barrels respectively. Several tankers are waiting off the coast of Venezuela to discharge cargoes as the PDVSA has difficulties in paying their shipping bills, resulting in a penalty of $26 000 per tanker per day. An almost surreal paradox in a country that owns twenty refineries; five in Venezuela and fifteen worldwide.

In the last ten years, Venezuela crude oil production has lost more than 500 thousand barrels per day. Since the beginning of 2017, the country has lost 92 thousand barrels per day. Between May and June 2017, Venezuela’s oil crude production has decreased from 1,951 to 1,938 million barrels per day, representing 13 thousand barrels lost in one month, based on the secondary sources used by OPEC.

“Bad luck.”

CAN I GET ONE OF THESE FOR MY POOL DECK? The Army’s Drone-Killing Lasers Are Getting a Tenfold Power Boost.

BUT THE NARRATIVE! HHS analysis finds Cruz amendment lowers premiums, boosts enrollment.

SMEARS ARE WHAT YOU USE WHEN YOU’VE LOST ON FACTS AND REASON: As Policy Shift Looms, Left Smears Campus Due Process Advocates As Rape Apologists.

Ashe Schow:

In addition to meeting families of students ultimately found falsely accused of rape, DeVos is meeting with several groups that insist this guidance has led to more false accusations and a culture on campus that sees anyone accused as guilty until proven innocent. Leftist articles about this meeting describe the groups as “men’s rights” groups.

Slate’s Christina Cauterucci described them as “trolls.” Cauterucci is the same writer who lambasted ESPN’s “30 for 30” documentary about the Duke Lacrosse rape hoax because “it’s a bizarre experience to watch a documentary that expects the viewer to root for a bunch of accused rapists.” But by now everyone knows they were falsely accused. Cauterucci wants us to root instead for someone who falsely accused people of a horrible crime.

Only one of the groups meeting with DeVos, the National Coalition for Men, could be considered under the “men’s rights” label. Now, the label is a smear for some, but shouldn’t be. Men do face issues specific to them, such as paternity fraud. They’re also largely ignored when we talk about rape or domestic violence. Trying to advocate for people who are suffering shouldn’t be a smear.

Harry Crouch, the president of NCM, has said some things I don’t agree with, like the widely circulated quote about Ray Rice’s then-fiancée having “aggravated him,” which led to him hitting her. But the articles from Slate, ThinkProgress, Mic, and others also lump in two other groups with the “men’s rights” label. Stop Abusive and Violent Environments do a lot of work on false accusations, which mostly happen to men, but believe in those protections for women as well.

The final group being smeared is Families Advocating for Campus Equality, a group started by mothers of students who have been accused of sexual assault and went through the campus process, finding they were unable to present evidence that proved their innocence. Members of FACE tell me some women have been falsely accused and joined their group.

None of these groups think rape is acceptable. They simply want protections for accused students put in place and for the hysteria surrounding the issue to stop.

Historically, those seeking control over others have often whipped up hysteria in order to get it.

SINGLE PAYER, SINGLE DECIDER: Charlie Gard is given legal permanent residence in US by Congress so ‘he can fly to the States for world class treatment.’ “But legal sources said Charlie is the subject of a High Court order and it made no difference what passport he held.”

ANSWERING THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS: Why Does My Eye Twitch?

IT’S NOT ME; IT’S YOU: Saying goodbye (again) to the GOP.

“CIVIL FORFEITURE IS INHERENTLY ABUSIVE:” Institute for Justice Statement Responding to DOJ’s Announced Policy Change Increasing Use of Civil Forfeiture.

Sessions has been a big disappointment. He let Obama holdovers bully him into an unnecessary recusal, which let Comey fake DOJ into appointing Mueller, and is wasting time and trampling the Constitution with this sort of crap. Trump should replace him with somebody competent.

UPDATE: I incorrectly said that Sessions appointed Mueller. Fixed.

OF COURSE THEY WILL: The Robots Will Make the Best Fake News.

SJW “SCHOLARSHIP” FAILS: Here are Two More Instances of Nancy MacLean’s Inexcusable Sloppiness. “These facts – and they are as straightforward and as accessible as facts about a scholar’s work get – are completely at odds with Nancy MacLean’s thesis.”

Aren’t we past the point were we’re just talking about “sloppiness,” really?

KYLE SMITH: The Left’s “Hamburger Problem” Is Not Going Away. Scroll down to the independent-bookseller post and you’ll see how right that is. . . . Key bit:

Just this week, the Women’s March celebrated a cop-killer; a self-proclaimed member of the “resistance” said, in Cosmopolitan, “My seven-year-old asked if the president was going to hurt him”; Phil Donahue called the election of Trump “the darkest political moment in American history” and USA Today complained that Dunkirk didn’t feature enough minorities and women. After using the term “fake news” while talking to a dinner companion in a Beverly Hills restaurant, the writer and non-Trump voter Bret Easton Ellis was accosted and yelled at by a total stranger who accused the novelist of “colluding with Russia” at a West Hollywood hotel. Asked Ellis on Twitter, “Is the Left f—ing NUTS?” Why, yes, Bret. Yes they are. Declaring hamburgers to be problematic is just the symptom, not the disease.

I like the term “Selma envy.” Thing is, my dad was at Selma, and people there were a lot more realistic than their degenerate successors.

THE NAME GAME: Indonesia responds to China’s absurd claims in the South China Sea by referring to a sea area northwest of Borneo as the North Natuna Sea.

The renamed tract is near the Natuna Islands, an Indonesian chain of 272 maritime features, and overlaps the southernmost part of China’s so-called “nine-dash line” claim extending from its south coast.

This is diplomatic push back but push is on the way to becoming shove. The article notes that Chinese fishermen routinely violate Indonesian waters and claim they are fishing in a “traditional fishing ground.”

INDEPENDENT BOOKSELLER: I don’t like selling Hillbilly Elegy because it’s basically like Mein Kampf. From the comments: “And this is why people prefer Amazon. Great prices, awesome delivery, no judgment. No hectoring. No bullying. No preaching. Clickity-click, and I’ve purchased what I want.”

Flashback: Book ’em.

WELL, THIS IS THE 21ST CENTURY, YOU KNOW: Navy Unveils World’s First Active Laser Weapon In Persian Gulf.

The LaWS, an acronym for Laser Weapons System, is not science fiction. It is not experimental. It is deployed on board the USS Ponce amphibious transport ship, ready to be fired at targets today and every day by Capt. Christopher Wells and his crew.

It costs “about a dollar a shot” to fire.

IN RESPONSE TO MY POST FROM YESTERDAY ABOUT TESTOSTERONE NOT PRODUCING AGGRESSION, READER JOHN STEAKLEY SENT THIS LINK: I lived like a man for a couple of weeks. It helped me understand my husband. Taking a dose of testosterone gave me a new sense of empathy.