August 17, 2019

POST-CHRISTIANITY: Methodist University Hires a Muslim Chaplain.

OPEN THREAD: Saturday night’s all right for threading, get a little word play in.

I THINK HE OWES FRANK J. A ROYALTY: Elon Musk Floats ‘Nuke Mars’ Idea Again (He Has T-Shirts).

COLLEGE FIX:  UVA receives an award for increasing its diversity in its engineering school, but won’t clarify how ….  Alas, we can guess.

DISPLAYING ADAPTABILITY: Marines Use Armored Vehicle to Defend Navy Ship from Small Boats off Iranian Coast.

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I LOVE A STORY WITH A HAPPY ENDING: He awoke to the sound of breaking glass. Then he shot and killed the person who broke in.

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: Johns Hopkins University Fires Professor Who Defied Campus Protesters. “Daniel Povey, an associate professor of speech and language processing, who used bolt cutters to gain entry to an administration building on campus that was taken over by student protesters who had chained the doors shut.”

ZOOM: The Drako GTE Is a 1200-HP Electric Sedan That Can Hit 206 MPH. It’s pretty.

REVIEW: ROGER SIMON’S THE GOAT. A tennis pro pays a steep price to be the Greatest of All Time:

And so The GOAT follows the Faustian adventures of Dan Gelber, an aging screenwriter with back problems. When surgery fails to help him, he turns to the quackery of Himalaya herbs, offered by a guru who (this is California, after all) practices in a strip mall in Reseda.

The herbs have miraculous effect, promising to restore Gelber’s youth, if only he will swim deeper into the net. Which he does, of course, trekking off to the Himalayas to be transformed into an entirely new person—an athletic man in his twenties who returns to America pretending to be a tennis player from Tennessee named Jay Reynolds. A phenomenal tennis player, as it happens. And rapidly he progresses from local to international success, qualifying for Wimbledon where he will play the likes of Roger Federer and have a chance to prove himself the GOAT of tennis.

Most readers first discovered Roger Simon through his mystery novels about the 1960s student radical turned California private eye, Moses Wine—the best of which probably remains The Big Fix (1973), made into a 1978 movie with Richard Dreyfuss. A dozen books later, Simon is probably best known for his political work, transformed from a conventional liberal to a well-known conservative by such events as the O.J. Simpson verdict and the attacks of September 11. He helped found PJ Media (now PJ Media) in 2004 and writes regularly on socio-politics.

Which is all fine, of course, but he started as a solid middlebrow artist, and he’s returned to that art in the nonpolitical The GOAT. The only possibly politicized element is the fact that Simon has self-published The GOAT, which is an interesting option for an established author. Arguing that publishers do not know how to promote books and claim too high a percentage of the purchase price for the supposed power of their imprints, Simon has set out to become his own publisher, offering the book through online sellers. In its way, this is of a piece with the origins of PJ Media, which took its ironic name as a swipe at what was called “mainstream media” in those days—proclaiming that the online world of blogs had broken through the old gatekeepers of news, which had long ceased to hold to the political impartiality that had justified their existence.

DIY – it’s not just for music and journalism anymore. Buy The GOAT here.

OOPS: How a ‘NULL’ License Plate Landed One Hacker in Ticket Hell.

JFK, RFK, RONALD REAGAN, GABRIELLE GIFFORDS, STEVE SCALISE, AND RAND PAUL ALL COME IMMEDIATELY TO MIND AS A REBUTTAL: “No politician in living memory has been treated as badly as Ilhan Omar,” screams the London Independent, in a desperate bid to top their classic “Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past” headline from 2000.

(Via Jim Geraghty.)

MEDICAL EXAMINER RULES JEFFREY EPSTEIN’S DEATH A SUICIDE BY HANGING.

For a harrowing look at Epstein’s last days, this New York Times article, “Inmate 76318-054: The Last Days of Jeffrey Epstein,” with the exception of a boilerplate shot at the Trump administration midway through, is a brilliant piece of journalism.

(Via Terry Teachout.)

DECLINE IS A CHOICE: You absolute maniacs: Pumpkin Spice Spam to debut next month.

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BRITAIN’S BLACKOUT WAS CAUSED BY AN OUTAGE AT A WIND FARM: National Grid Failure Report Points To Wind Farms.

National Grid’s preliminary investigation into the blackout that caused widespread disruption in England and Wales last week has raised the possibility that it was caused by the world’s largest offshore wind farm accidentally going offline.

The provisional report, which was submitted to regulators on Friday, suggests for the first time that the Hornsea offshore wind farm, which is owned and run by Denmark’s Orsted, may have tripped offline seconds before an outage at a smaller, gas-fired station.

The findings, which were relayed to the Financial Times by people briefed on the report, suggest the blackout may have been avoided if not for an error at the wind farm.

Investigators had originally thought the shutdown of the Little Barford gas-fired plant in St Neots, west of Cambridge, had triggered a domino effect across the network that led to the blackout.

Investigators now suspect the problems on the grid started when lightning hit part of the network near Cambridge. This caused 300MW-400MW of capacity in the local electricity network, which normally means small-scale renewable power, to go offline. Such a small outage should not have caused any problem for the wider grid. Lightning strikes are common on National Grid infrastructure, which is hit on average three times per day, and they rarely cause serious problems.

But the strike coincided with the almost instantaneous total loss of supply from the Hornsea wind farm, which lies off the coast of Yorkshire. The facility, which is still under construction, was generating as much as 800MW for the grid last Friday afternoon before cutting to 0MW in less than a second.

Hmm.

GOOD: How a new antibiotic destroys extremely drug-resistant tuberculosis.

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: “Public schools are reopening for business across America, meaning it’s time to get  back to reading, writing, arithmetic….and revolution. As usual in matters such as these, California is leading the way. On the first day of classes at Denair Middle School near Modesto science teacher Luis Davila Alvarado handed out worksheets from a transgender advocacy group titled ‘The Gender Unicorn’ asking students about their ‘gender identity,’ ‘gender expression,’ and their sexual and emotional attractions. These are children. And yet the teacher did not ask permission to hand this out. Most parents were outraged. The school estimated about 50 children received the worksheet. It turns out Alvarado was educating the children about his own life. He declared he rejects the term ‘Mr.’ and prefers to be addressed with the newfangled ‘Mx.,’ pronounced ‘Mix.’ A school official quickly put a stop to it, but the damage was done.”

A TYPICAL ENDING FOR A MUCH-BALLYHOOED GREEN PROJECT: Three Years Later, the French Solar Road Is a Total Flop.

“YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO THIS, JOE, YOU REALLY DON’T.” Report: Obama Tried to Talk Biden out of Running for President.

DON’T MESS WITH TEXAS: “A coordinated ransomware attack has affected at least 20 local government entities in Texas, the Texas Department of Information Resources said. It would not release information about which local governments have been affected.”

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: The sex bureaucracy: I think curfews worked a lot better.

THE POWER LINE WEEK IN PICTURES: Fredo Edition.

CNN’S WEEK FROM HELL CONTINUES: Now There’s an Eyewitness to Don Lemon’s Alleged Assault. “What say you, libs? Anything to add, #TimesUp? Either we view unwanted sexual advances as a serious problem or we don’t. Is there a particular reason Don Lemon should be exempt? Don’t the rules apply to him as well?”

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Baylor lets female professors fool around with students, punishes males for doing the same: lawsuit.

THE CHINESE COMMUNIST PARTY RALLIES ITS FOREIGN TROOPS: Pro-China protest in Sydney: Activists respond to Hong Kong demonstrations.

BECAUSE ROUGHING PEOPLE IS PRETTY MUCH CNN’S BRAND THESE DAYS: Why did CNN’s April Ryan’s bodyguard oust reporter from speech?

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Why is there so much shooting and killing in Chicago?

Related: Chicago Politicians Are In Bed With The Gangs.

THAT IS GENDER APPROPRIATION, AND THAT IS NOT OKAY! Berkeley FEMALE profs wear BEARDS to protest alleged gender bias.

SWIMMER COMING UP: A Coast Guard MH-60T Jayhawk helicopter crew conducts a search and rescue demonstration in San Diego August 10, 2019.

QUESTION ASKED AND ANSWERED:

● Shot: Will Fact-Checkers Foil Democrats’ Attempts to Play the Race Card?

—Michael Barone, yesterday.

● Chaser: In the tank: PolitiFact won’t call Warren, Harris liars for labeling Michael Brown’s death a “murder.”

—Allahpundit, Hot Air, Thursday.

WELL, TO BE FAIR, TRUDEAU HAS ACCOMPLISHED A LOT LESS: Canadians sour on Trudeau, less popular than Trump.

MORE ON APRIL RYAN AND HER BODYGUARD’S ASSAULT ON A REPORTER: “The question now is, what is April Ryan hiding when she delivers these speeches to special interest groups?”

EVERGREEN HEADLINE: Joe Biden isn’t ‘gaffe-prone’, he’s losing his mind.

MARK ELLIS: Trump’s Gray Column.

IT’S COME TO THIS: An Alaskan Women’s Shelter Is Sued for Turning Away a ‘Man in a Nightgown.’

YOU NEED TO READ THIS:  How bad actors take down Google accounts.

NO. NEXT?   July 2019 – Hottest July Ever?

HOW MEDICARE FOR ALL CAN’T HELP BUT FAIL:  How the government’s hospital protection racket drives up costs.

WHAT DO YOU MEAN A NEW ORGAN? I THOUGHT THE SCIENCE WAS SETTLED:  Scientists discover new pain-sensing organ.

STORIES YOU WON’T SEE IN THE NYT:  It’s masculinity to the rescue .

LOOKEST THOU UPON MY FACE! SEEST THAT IT’S SHOCKED?  Media Hides Facts Regarding Israel Refusing Tlaib And Omar From Entry.

DEAR LORD: Beto Campaign Re-boot: State Fairs Are “Frivolous” And Trump Is Bad.

FOR MY KIDS IT STARTED IN ELEMENTARY. SO THERE WERE DISCUSSIONS ABOUT EVERYTHING AFTER SCHOOL:  Indoctrination Begins For The College-Bound.

OTHERING:

August 16, 2019

OUCH:

OPEN THREAD: Bring on the weekend.

TRUMP DERANGEMENT SYNDROME IS REAL, AND IT’S SPECTACULAR: MSNBC Host, Analysts Speculate About Removing Trump From Office.

WAR ON SCIENCE UPDATE: Hawaii’s Mauna Kea Observatories Will Reopen After Weeks of Telescope Protests.

HEH: “Sometimes people ask me how I, as a member of the very liberal newspaper industry, came to be a conservative. The answer is that I’ve been around liberals enough to know that we don’t want them running —— well, anything.”

Plus:

Thankfully, while these guilt trips used to work on me, no longer. Their white guilt is their problem, not mine. They can grovel in their self-hatred and parade their bleeding hearts all day in a futile effort at redemption. But when I left New England, I left that crap behind.

Why am I a conservative? Because I know liberals. There is no grace there. No love there. Only hatred and judgment and pettiness. I joined the St. George’s Facebook page hoping to find old high school classmates. Instead all I found was high school.

It is increasingly like dealing with an angry cult — run out of a middle-school lunchroom.

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ADVANTAGE: ARTHUR C. CLARKE. All-Digital Hollywood Actors? Arthur C. Clarke Called It Over 30 Years Ago, as I write in my latest post at Ed Driscoll.com.

(Bumped.)

DAVID BARON, CALL YOUR OFFICE: NJ Family Attacked By Wolf In ‘Something Out Of A Horror Movie.’

AN INTRODUCTION TO NASHVILLE-STRUNG GUITARS: Why your guitar should high-strung, not its player. Plus a review of Taylor’s GS Mini acoustic guitar, professionally setup for Nashville tuning. From your humble narrator, at the PJ Lifestyle section.

(Bumped.)

RACISM AT MSNBC? WELL, IT IS A DAY ENDING IN “Y:” Rachel Maddow’s Racial Smear of Second Circuit Nominee Steven Menashi.

SPACE: How SpaceX’s Starship Will Help Establish a Mars Base.

OUT ON A LIMB: Walmart shouldn’t be selling dildos.

THE GUILD PROTECTS ITS OWN: “CNN increasingly sees itself as subject to threats after incidents involving Cuomo, Lemon, Ryan,” the Washington Post “reports” on America’s least-loved doxx-obsessed television network.

Flashback: Jennings and Brokaw Defend Rather Who Sees Effort to “Smear” Him.

WOMEN WHO DON’T BELIEVE ISRAEL HAS RIGHT TO EXIST NOT SURE WHY THEY GOT BANNED FROM ISRAEL.

I’m so old, I can remember when the Babylon Bee was satire, in the days before it became America’s paper of record.

I LIKE THE WAY IT LOOKS: 2020 Chevy Corvette C8 Official Price Starts at $59,995.

YOUR DAILY TREACHER: Have You Seen the Creep Leaving Rice Cookers in NYC Subway Stations?

ANOTHER REASON TO SPLIT ILLINOIS: How Socialism Permeated The Chicago City Council.

IMPORTANT NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF SCIENCE: Drinking Bleach Won’t Cure Autism or Cancer, F.D.A. Says.

SKYNET SMILES: Disney Research Makes Dynamic Robots Less Wiggly, More Lifelike.

THE PUSHBACK GATHERS STEAM: Grassley, invoking ‘Uranium One,’ probes Biden-linked sale of sensitive tech company to China.

EMBRACE THE HEALING POWER OF “AND:” Is The New York Times a Newspaper, Or the Oberlin Faculty Senate?

If you keep your eye on media news, you know that The New York Times, the most important newspaper in America, has been roiled internally over whether or not a headline it published over a Trump story (about his post El Paso speech) exonerated the president from racism. The original headline read “Trump Urges Unity Vs. Racism.” After a staff revolt, the headline was later changed to “Assailing Hate, But Not Guns”.

The paper’s executive editor, Dean Baquet, met with the staff about the headline, and the paper’s coverage of race. Slate published the transcript of a leaked recording. I encourage you to read it to get an idea of how the people who put out the most influential newspaper in the world think about this stuff. They go on and on and on, torturing Baquet over this one measly headline that accurately and neutrally described Trump’s speech.

Rod Dreher includes a link to a Times page that illustrates just how badly Oberlin-style identity politics have seeped into the Gray Lady’s product:

The 1619 Project is a major initiative from The New York Times memorializing that event on its 400th anniversary. The goal of the project is to deepen understanding of American history (and the American present) by proposing a new point of origin for our national story. In the days and weeks to come, we will publish essays demonstrating that nearly everything that has made America exceptional grew out of slavery.

As Dreher writes:

The importation of the first slave into the land that would become the United State is the “true founding” of America? That is a breathtaking — and breathtakingly ideological — claim. This is substantially different from claiming that slavery was a key part of this country’s identity — a claim that is indisputably true, and important to recognize. The Times — our newspaper of record — is on record now saying that the establishment of slavery was the Ur-event of American history. If you want to know how they managed to come to that conclusion, well, that transcript will give you an idea. A staffer who “feel[s] like racism is in everything” asks the executive editor why racism isn’t in every single story they write — and he responds not by challenging the premise of the question (if only from a professional journalism point of view), but rather by pointing him to the 1619 Project.

In the weeks and months after 9/11, then-editor Howell Raines dusted off Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals #13 to “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it,” and aimed the massed reporting resources of his newspaper in the early days of the War on Terror on a target he deemed far more horrifying than Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein: the Augusta National Golf Club. In the era of Trump, current editor Dean Baquet has scaled Rule #13 up a bit to go after America itself as “the 1619 Project” and its identity politics-obsessed coverage of America’s first manned moon landing last month illustrate. Thankfully, we can still rely on the Times’ coolly objective look back at the Soviet Union to help balance things out.

(Curiously though, despite “the 1619 Project,” Ralph Northam remains entirely off the Times’ radar. Funny that.)

Read the whole thing.

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FINE. I BET CANADA WOULD GIVE US A SWEET DEAL ON BAFFIN ISLAND. Greenland to Trump: We’re Flattered But ‘Greenland Is Not For Sale.’

THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT CAVEMEN: Roughly half of all Neanderthals suffered from ‘swimmer’s ear.’ Heck, I didn’t even know they had pools.

BUT IS IT HARMFUL CONTAMINATION? Why stowaway creatures on the Moon confound international space law.

Actually, humanity’s only reason for existence is to spread tardigrades throughout the cosmos, where unkillable, they will last as long as the universe. Sort of a microbiological version of the Nine Billion Names Of God.

UPDATE: Some more serious thoughts from Rand Simberg.

JAMMED UP TIGHT BY RED TRAFFIC LIGHTS. ADVANCE ONE LEVEL ON GREEN. THESE OPPORTUNE COMMUTERS. THEY’RE BLASTING ON THEIR HOOTERS: Man Caught Playing Pokemon Go On Eight Phones In His Car.

(Classical reference in headline.)

I HAD BEEN ASSURED THAT TRUMP’S ABANDONMENT OF THE IRAN DEAL WOULD LEAVE US ISOLATED AND FRIENDLESS IN THE MIDDLE EAST: U.S. Arranges Secret Talks Between Israel, U.A.E. Over Iran. “Washington prods longtime adversaries on intelligence sharing, military cooperation against a common threat.”

The meetings were convened by Brian Hook, the State Department’s top official for Iran, and are the latest sign of a steady thaw between Israel and Gulf Arab nations, largely brought about by their shared antipathy toward Tehran and its attempts to spread its regional influence.

A first meeting took place this spring and a second was held more recently, a U.S. official said. The exact dates and locations of the unpublicized meetings couldn’t be learned. Their existence was known to only a handful of people within the U.S. government, officials said.

Israel has diplomatic ties among Arab states only with Egypt and Jordan. Historic disagreements remain with those two as well as other Arab nations, particularly over the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.

But covert, and occasionally overt, contacts between Israel and Gulf Arab nations have increased rapidly in recent years as concerns grew about Iran’s nuclear program and its role in conflicts in Iraq, Syria and Yemen.

Smart Diplomacy™.

FASTER, PLEASE: It’s Really Hard to Predict an Earthquake, but Scientists Are Getting Closer.

THE LEFT’S CLIMATE OF HATE: Man planned to stab Florida students because of elementary school’s ‘obnoxious pride in America.’

BECAUSE OF COURSE IT WAS: Rashida Tlaib And Ilhan Omar’s Botched Israel Trip Was Sponsored By Terror-Linked Organization.

AT-4 LIVE FIRE IN KUWAIT: The lance corporal’s photo captures the moment — missile trail and back blast.

ANDREW MCCARTHY: Hillary Ruins The Plan. “Plan A was to exonerate her and get her elected. Plan B, the failsafe, was an ‘insurance policy’ meant to destroy Trump.”

WELL, IT IS PARASITE CENTRAL: A New Species of Leech Is Discovered Near Washington, D.C.

21ST CENTURY PROBLEMS: A federal judge in D.C. hit ‘reply all,’ and now there’s a formal question about his decorum. I think reminding a federal judge who’s yammering about climate change that “the jurisdiction assigned to you does not include saving the planet” is entirely appropriate, and the bullshit response is just more evidence that “civility” codes are mostly about silencing people.

And why is Chief Justice John Roberts approving judicial training on climate change? That really isn’t within their jurisdiction. And if doubting climate change brings your impartiality into doubt, doesn’t promoting it do the same thing?

A SOLID WIN FOR ACADEMIC FREEDOM: New School prof charged with racial harassment for using the “n-word” in class while discussing author James Baldwin has charges dropped just days after FIRE took the case public. This business of treating certain words as though their mere utterance, regardless of context, has some kind of mysterious and unstoppable power, is not reasonable. It’s purely magical thinking, and has no place at a university.

‘SILENCED STAGES’ ON CAMPUS: It’s not just your imagination. George Leef reports on a new book out from Prof. George LaNoue: “Based on his study of 97 colleges and 28 law schools during the 2014-2015 academic year… [f]or most students in American higher education, the opportunity to hear on-campus debates about important public policy issues does not exist.”

DISPATCHES FROM THE DEEP STATE: IRS staffer pleads guilty to giving Michael Cohen’s confidential info to Avenatti.

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