October 23, 2019

I GIVE TWICE A YEAR, BUT MAYBE I CAN MANAGE THREE: Hospitals Around The World Have A Dire Shortage Of Blood.

Maybe they should make it easier to give blood. I’ve written about this since InstaPundit was new.


Shot: Americans Need to Get Over Their Fear of Math.

—The Harvard Business Review, today.

Chaser: “Woke Math:” Seattle Public Schools Will Start Teaching That Math Is Oppressive. A new ethnic studies curriculum will teach students that “ancient mathematical knowledge has been appropriated by Western culture.”

Reason, yesterday.

(Via Newsalert.)

I LIKE A GOOD JOKE AS MUCH AS THE NEXT PERSON…but writing any cease-and-desist letter on an admittedly false and frivolous basis is sanctionable behavior. The Society of Professional Journalists’ Florida chapter fails to understand the difference between speech and behavior:

 A Florida chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) has applied to trademark the term “fake news”[…] So yes, this is satire. It’s a joke. But it’s a joke with a point, and as any student of public discourse will tell you, a joke sometimes hits harder than the truth,” [Teen Vogue writer]  Bloch wrote. “And if anyone accuses us of trolling the president, well, nothing else seems to work with him, so what do we have to lose?” While the SPJ chapter waits on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Bloch writes, it intends to send letters to President Trump warning him he is infringing on a pending trademark.”

It’s also worth noting that filing a legal demand without a good-faith basis is more likely than not a violation of the Florida Bar Rules of Professional Conduct, which states in part that “A lawyer should use the law’s procedures only for legitimate purposes and not to harass or intimidate others.”

I’m waiting for some attention-seeking lawyer jerk to do this. Makes me wonder: Is Avenatti licensed in Florida?

21ST CENTURY STORIES: Man Uses His Heat-Seeking Drone to Find Missing Child.

BLUE ON BLUE: AOC Defies Pelosi, DCCC With Texas Endorsement.

Ocasio-Cortez endorsed progressive Jessica Cisneros in her primary challenge against Rep. Henry Cuellar (D., Tex.), citing Cisneros’s status as a “strong new ally in the fight for Medicare for All.” Cisneros is supported by Justice Democrats, the same progressive group that backed Ocasio-Cortez and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) in 2018.

Ocasio-Cortez’s endorsement marks another act of defiance toward Democratic leadership. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairwoman Cheri Bustos (D., Ill.) have endorsed Cuellar.

Ocasio-Cortez attacked Cuellar in her endorsement, accusing the incumbent Democrat of fighting for “big corporate donors” and suggesting he is “quite regressive” compared to his constituency. The Cuellar campaign denounced the freshman congresswoman’s endorsement as out-of-state meddling. Ocasio-Cortez, his spokesman said, does not speak for the people of Texas.

She speaks for everyone, everywhere. Just ask her.

UNEXPECTEDLY: Rasmussen Reports polls voters:

“It is time for us to get out of these ridiculous endless wars, many of them tribal, and bring our soldiers home. We will fight where it is to our benefit, and only fight to win.” 55% of Democratic Likely Voters agree. We did not name the quote source.

Two guesses as to who said it.

THIS MIGHT BE MY FAVORITE PART: Gutfeld: The Better Trump Does, The More Insane The Left Acts.

IT’S BACK ON: Christian Ministry Appeals ‘Hate Group’ Defamation Lawsuit Against SPLC.

THIS IS SWEET: 13 years later, soldier meets students who wrote him letters while he was in Iraq.

HE’S NOT WRONG: Trump aide Stephen Miller pushes back: ‘Permanent bureaucracy a mortal threat to America.’

In an interview, Miller called inside attacks a “very grave threat,” and he explained it this way:

“It is best understood as career federal employees that believe they are under no obligation to honor, respect, or abide by the results of a democratic election. Their view is, ‘If I agree with what voters choose, then I’ll do what they choose. If I disagree with what voters choose, then I won’t, and I’ll continue doing my own thing. So basically it’s heads I win, tails you lose.

“‘If you elect Hillary Clinton, then I’ll implement all of her policies very faithfully, and if I see massive evidence of corruption on Hillary Clinton’s part, then I’ll keep it all a secret. If you elect a candidate I disagree with, then I’ll lie, I’ll leak, I’ll cheat, I’ll smear, I’ll attack, I’ll persecute, and I will refuse to implement, and I will obstruct at every single step of the way.’”

But, said Miller, Trump’s most loyal nonfamily staffer who also worked on the 2016 election, said that the president isn’t “cowed” by the attacks. In fact, he said the criticisms steel the president.

“We’ve made clear that your leaks will backfire and your sabotage will fail, and we’ll simply implement the policy doubly,” he said. “Not only will you not change the outcome, but the more that you try to leak and disrupt, the more determined the president will be in his course to accomplish that which he was sent here to do,” said Miller.

The top aide, interviewed in his second-floor West Wing office, also mocked insider critics who have been responsible for failed policies, especially in the intelligence, foreign policy, and defense arenas.

“The same people who made wrong judgment calls in Iraq, with respect to strategy in Afghanistan, Libya, Egypt, too … the people who made all these decisions now are so utterly convinced that they alone know what the right policy is,” Miller said.

Related: Hawley to Introduce Bill Moving Federal Agencies out of Washington D.C. to Economically Stagnant Areas.

YES, AND THEY’RE ALL EVEN WORSE. NEXT QUESTION? Anxious Democratic Establishment Asks, ‘Is There Anybody Else?’

Will have more on this later in the week, courtesy of Bill Whittle.

I’D LIKE TO SEE MORE THAN “REDUCED CLINICAL DECLINE.” Biogen seeks FDA approval for drug targeting Alzheimer’s disease.

SO THAT’S HOW WARREN PAYS FOR HER PLANS! Color printers are wonderful inventions. Babylon Bee explains it all.

WE’RE SAVED! Bed Bath & Beyond Pulls Halloween Decorations Following Racism Complaint. “The whole ball of stupid got rolling in Nyack, New York, where someone from a local law firm picked up a few of the nasty-evil-vile-racist-hater plastic pumpkins for office Halloween decorations. Local Westchester News 12 reported that ‘the jack-o’-lanterns upset some community members,’ and so the law firm of Feerick, Nugent, MacCartney got rid of them. Then, following a vital news investigation into this horrific act of pure …[checks notes] holiday charm… Bed Bath & Beyond decided to stop selling them.”


A pernicious cycle begins even before a student enrolls. A typical college-admission application is loaded with questions to the high-school applicant about gender, equality, and bias rather than about math, language, or science achievements. How have you suffered rather than what you know and wish to learn seems more important for admission. The therapeutic mindset preps the student to consider himself a victim of cosmic forces, past and present, despite belonging to the richest, most leisured, and most technologically advanced generation in history. Without a shred of gratitude, the young student learns to blame his ancestors for what he is told is wrong in his life, without noticing how the dead made sure that almost everything around him would be an improvement over 2,500 years of Western history.

Once admitted, students take classes from faculty who, polls reveal, are roughly 90 percent liberal. According to one recent survey, Democrat professors on average outnumber Republican faculty by a 12-to-1 ratio on the nation’s supposedly diverse campuses. But such political asymmetries are magnified by a certain progressive messianic self-righteousness that turns the lectern into the pulpit, the captive class into a congregation. The rare conservative professor is more resigned to the tragedy of the universe and, in live-and-let-live fashion, vacates the campus arena to the left-wing gladiators who wish to slay any perceived heterodoxy.

It’s Victor Davis Hanson, so read the whole thing.

(Classical reference in headline.)

HOWIE CARR: Mitt Romney, thy name is . . . Pierre Delecto. “Willard has been a rather pathetic figure for quite some time now, but really this Pierre Delecto nonsense is, as he himself conceded, a new low. Has anyone ever seen Pierre Delecto and Carlos Danger together in the same room? Anthony Weiner was employing his nom de perv in a sick attempt to pick up underage girls. Mitt Romney was trying to respond to the unkind words of . . . Jennifer Rubin? Mitt, are you serious? Jennifer Rubin?”

ROGER SIMON: “Anonymous” and the Whistleblower: DC’s Epidemic of Cowardice.

FIGHT THE POWER: In-N-Out Burger Tosses Out Crazy Climate Change Protester.

THE LINER NOTES OF THE GODS: My review of Led Zeppelin: The Oral History of the World’s Greatest Rock Band, over at Ed Driscoll.com.

NO MORE LAW BY “DEAR COLLEAGUE LETTER”: The National Association commends (and in doing so explains) the Trump Administration’s recent executive orders curbing “rule by bureaucracy.”

THE APPARAT TAKES CARE OF ITS OWN: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Wins $1 Million Berggruen Prize.

THE BALLS BACK IN HIS COURT: Trans Provocateur Loses Legal Battle to Force Women to Wax His Genitals.

Related (From Ed): “Jessica” Yaniv loses lawsuits against female estheticians who refused to wax his genitals. New video from Canada’s Rebel TV.


HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: The Intimidation Game: Bullying and Retaliation at the University of Tulsa.

WILL MARK ZUCKERBERG BE ASKED WHY FACEBOOK KILLED DENEEN BORELLI’S VOICE? Don’t hold your breath, but Facebook’s silencing of a black conservative woman should be front and center in today’s hearing.

SHOW ME THE MAN AND I’LL FIND YOU A CRIME, MAYBE, SOMEDAY: Democrats Want to Impeach Trump. They Haven’t Decided Why.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Fliers single out Asian-American conservative activist at University of Michigan as ‘white supremacist’.

21ST CENTURY HEADLINES: Google Confirms Achieving Quantum Supremacy. “This morning, Google scientists confirmed in a blog post that their quantum computer had needed just 200 seconds to solve a problem that they claim would take the world’s fastest supercomputer 10,000 years to complete.” Your secure encryption just became much less so.

WORST. NAZI. PRESIDENT. EVER. First Ever Sukkah at the White House.

YES. NEXT QUESTION? Is It Time For America To Begin Decoupling From Communist China?

There is a case to be made that since President Richard Nixon’s historic 1972 visit to China, the United States has become more like China than China has become like us. We may have been sowing the seeds of our own destruction.

The National Basketball Association (NBA) is just one of many prominent Western industries as diverse as automobiles, fashion, and lodging that have cowed to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) line, and engaged in self-censorship out of a desire for the almighty dollar. While the NBA is a particularly deserving target of ire, given the fact its social justice warriors have shown themselves to be hypocritical sellouts, one would be hard-pressed to find any entity with substantial profits or funding tied to China willing to permit the voicing of views that might rankle the CCP.

“Stealth War: How China Took Over While America’s Elites Slept,” a new book by U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Robert Spalding (Ret.), confirms this assessment. Spalding served as the chief China strategist for the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as senior U.S. Defense official and defense attaché to China in Beijing, and later in the Trump National Security Council (NSC), where he was the chief architect of the NSS’s framework for national competition.

According to Spalding, even organizations that would seem to have a vested interest in exposing China’s malign behavior remain mum.

I believe it was Lenin who wrote, “Money talks, BS walks.”

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: UConn students ARRESTED for ‘ridiculing’ speech in viral video. That’s ridiculous.

ANALYSIS: TRUE. Gabbard: Clinton’s Foreign Policy ‘Proven to be Incredibly Destructive.’

UPDATE (FROM GLENN): Thanks to Obama’s policies — and Hillary Clinton’s — black people are sold as slaves in Libya. That’s what establishment “expertise” gets you.

NOW OUT FROM FRANK J. FLEMING: Hellbender, the audiobook.

THAT’S DIFFERENT, BECAUSE SHUT UP: Apparently Every Democrat In Existence Used the Term “Lynching” To Defend The Clintons.

LATE-STAGE SOCIALISM: Venezuelans buy gas with cigarettes to battle inflation. “Motorists in socialist Venezuela have long enjoyed the world’s cheapest gasoline, with fuel so heavily subsidized that a full tank these days costs a tiny fraction of a U.S. penny. But the economy is in such shambles that drivers are now paying for fill-ups with a little food, a candy bar or just a cigarette.”

Weird how currencies always seem to end up worthless when the government dictates prices.

REALCLEARINVESTIGATIONS: Giuliani-Style ‘Shadow’ Diplomacy: Par for the Course of U.S. History. “In fact, presidents since George Washington have turned to individuals without formal government positions to pursue foreign policy interests and objectives. Private citizens, often acting as special envoys, have helped negotiate issues ranging from trade to war. While critics deride such efforts as ‘back-door,’ ‘secret,’ or ‘shadow’ undertakings, many presidents have found it useful to dispatch people they trust, who can think and operate outside the constraints of official channels in handling delicate matters.”

Reporters might know this, if they weren’t 27 year olds who literally know nothing. And if they cared about the truth.

ANALYSIS: TRUE. Byron York: Facebook shouldn’t be political speech police.

“We don’t fact-check political ads,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a recent speech. “We don’t do this to help politicians, but because we think people should be able to see for themselves what politicians are saying.”

That might be simple common sense to many Americans, but to some Democrats these days, and particularly the Joe Biden campaign, it’s a dangerous point of view.

Biden recently complained when Facebook declined to censor an ad from the Trump reelection campaign that said, “Joe Biden promised Ukraine $1 billion if they fired the prosecutor investigating his son’s company.” Even though that is an entirely defensible assertion — “Everything in the ad is factually accurate,” Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh told me, adding that the spot was reviewed by lawyers prior to its release — and even though it is certainly in line with the political debate that dominates today’s news, the Biden campaign demanded Facebook ban the ad.

“Whether it originates from the Kremlin or Trump Tower, these lies and conspiracy theories threaten to undermine the integrity of our elections in America,” a Biden spokesman said. “It is unacceptable for any social media company to knowingly allow deliberately misleading material to corrupt its platform.”

A Facebook spokesman replied that the company made its decision out of respect for free expression and faith that a controversial ad will receive intense scrutiny in today’s media world. “In mature democracies with a free press, political speech is already arguably the most scrutinized speech there is,” the spokesman said.

The left wants to silence its opponents. The right wants the left to just keep on talking.

PROBABLY THE SAME PEOPLE WHO TOLD HARRY REID THAT MITT ROMNEY DIDN’T PAY ANY TAXES: John Kerry Implies To Amy Schumer Republicans Are Privately Telling Him Trump’s ‘Off Balance.’ Or maybe it’s just Mitt Romney, which would be strangely fitting.

THE THRESHOLD IS HIGH FOR POLITIFACT TO CALL A DEMOCRAT STAR A LIAR: PolitiFact: O’Rourke Falsely Claimed He Doesn’t Want to Confiscate Guns. Then again, Beto’s no longer much of a star.

WELL, THIS IS THE 21ST CENTURY, YOU KNOW: Artificial Intelligence Will Detect Hidden Targets In 2020 Wargame.

ILYA SHAPIRO: The Supreme Court Is Poised to Strike Down a Major Obama-Era Agency.

The CFPB is the most independent of independent agencies, with power to make rules, enforce them, adjudicate violations in its own administrative hearings, and punish wrongdoers. And yet a single director heads the agency, one who can be removed only “for cause” — malfeasance rather than, say, a change in presidential policy priorities. The CFPB doesn’t even need Congress to approve its budget, because its funding requests are rubber-stamped by another agency insulated from political control: the Federal Reserve. The CFPB has regulatory authority over 19 federal consumer-protection laws. This concentration of power in the hands of a single, unelected, unaccountable official is unprecedented and cannot be squared with the Constitution’s structure, or with its purpose of protecting individual liberty from government overreach.

The Constitution created three co-equal branches keeping one another in check to promote liberty and prevent any single person or entity from growing too powerful. During the 20th century, however, the federal government began creating “independent agencies,” typically headed by multiple commissioners appointed by the president; think of the Securities and Exchange Commission or the Federal Communications Commission.

The Supreme Court has held such multi-member commissions to be constitutional, but most of these agencies include various other mechanisms to check their powers, such as staggered terms (meaning that a new president cannot replace the whole commission at once, but can fill some seats on it); limitations on how many members of a given political party may sit on the commission at a time; and a multi-member structure through which the commission discusses potential actions and moves forward only with a majority or consensus decision.

Then Congress created the new type of agency that is the CFPB. Without multiple leaders to appoint, there can be no staggered terms, no partisanship restriction, and no discussion among commissioners.

Woodrow Wilson would have smiled, but hopefully the Supreme Court won’t.


The media and the left (but I repeat myself) have spent the past three years ridiculing the concept of the “Deep State” and those who subscribe to its existence. We have been told it’s a crazy right-wing conspiracy theory to believe that some public servants, mostly in the fields of intelligence, law enforcement and diplomacy, might cooperate in informal cabals to pursue their preferred policies regardless of who is in power and to protect their fiefdoms from oversight, interference and the executive, legislative and judicial control. To wonder whether some influential people in the federal bureaucracy, connected through a revolving door with the progressive establishment, might have contemplated preventing the election of their bete noire and his removal from office once their initial efforts proved unsuccessful invited accusation of delusion and paranoia.

This narrative is now officially old and busted. The new and hot one: the Deep State exists and it’s good. . . .

The problem is that for all the left’s constant drumbeat the last three years about “this corrupt and corrupting administration”, Trump’s “excesses”, the “war on science, expertise and facts”, collusion, treason, and so on, the sound and fury signify pretty much nothing. There are no smoking guns, or even non-smoking guns, no evidence, no proof that would stand up anywhere outside the court of the left-wing opinion. And now after three years of baselessly accusing the President of being a Russian agent we have impeachment proceedings without an official vote to commence and without identifying which laws Trump is meant to have broken.

You could believe the whole “protect[ing] the interests… of the American people” shtick if after all this time and the incalculable amount of energy and effort expended on bringing down the President, all those patriotic public servants have been able to show something – anything – for it. So instead of disinterested paragons of civic virtue, it increasingly looks like the federal bureaucracy is full of hard core progressives and liberals who can’t stomach a non-Democrat usurper who doesn’t share their values, ideas and objectives.

Yeah, pretty much. But read the whole thing.

Related (From Ed): NYT Columnist Tells the Today Show the Deep State Exists…To Protect Us From Trump.

KRUISER’S MORNING BRIEF: Words Can Hurt Wednesday Edition. “We are supposed to be scandalized by all of this because OMG RAAAAACISM and stuff but the outrage falls flat when you find out that it was the Democrats who got the ‘impeachment as political lynching’ narrative going over twenty years ago.”

That was different because shut up.

FLASHBACK: Trump is FDR with the fireside tweet.


PS- Frank, remember Havey likes his gooshy food, and do not nibble on his little ears. No matter how nibblable they are.  We’ll exchange him at the agreed place in half an hour, right?

PESTILENCE APPEARS TO BE IN PLAY. THE OTHER THREE NOT FAR BEHIND:  Newly discovered virus disturbs scientists who have no idea how it infects hosts.


SIGNS OF MENTAL HEALTH IN OUR LEGAL SYSTEM:  Federal Judge Refuses to Dismiss Chicago Lawsuit Against Jussie Smollett.

HEY, THROW HER AND HILLARY CLINTON INTO A ROOM. THE WINNER CAN RUN:  Michelle Obama floated as savior of Democrats from radical left general election disaster.

IT’S VIRTUE SIGNALING ALL THE WAY UP:  Air Canada to Its Passengers: ‘Screw You’.


THAT OR THE REPUBLIC WILL:  Impeachment Will Fail.

OH DEAR LORD:  Leftist heroes of the Week? Hillary, Schiff, and Mitt.

WELL, HIS MOM SAID… OH, WAIT, THAT’S NOT WHAT YOU MEANT?  Justin Trudeau—Illegitimate Premier?


TAPPER IS BOGARTING THE SOMA AGAIN: Jake Tapper Throws Anti-Semitism Grenade On Twitter.

October 22, 2019


Today’s doozy: Trump compared the Democratic attempts to impeach him over Ukraine to a ‘lynching’.

Sure enough, the media explainers did their job. Lynching, we are told by every wired copy monkey who has to file 600 words to their line editor, is a ‘racially charged/loaded term’ that refers to — here I quote the BBC — ‘historic extrajudicial executions by white mobs mainly against African Americans.’

The inevitable ‘backlash’ follows.  Cue pundits and politicos all agreeing that this sort of language from a president is ‘unprecedented’.

Yes, all the people who spent the last four years calling Trump a Nazi are suddenly getting the vapors over this “unprecedented” violation of civility.

UPDATE: Apparently Every Democrat In Existence Used the Term “Lynching” To Defend The Clintons.

Why, it’s as if Trump and staffers researched this stuff before he dropped the L-word.


(Updated and bumped.)

SETH BARRETT TILLMAN: If Trump Were Playing Hardball.

AT AMAZON, Fall Savings in Patio, Lawn, and Garden.

Plus, deals in Sports Collectibles.

FLASHBACK: Hillary Clinton so far ahead in polls that she ‘doesn’t even think about’ Donald Trump anymore. “Buoyed by a double digit lead in some national polls, Mrs Clinton has said she is now looking past Mr Trump entirely, and will no longer counter allegations made by her rival.” And now she thinks about him 24/7/365.

Related: Asylum Orderlies Return Hillary Clinton To Padded Cell Disguised As Oval Office.

OPEN THREAD: Comment with gusto.

DON SURBER: CNN latest news cesspool uncovered.

Project Veritas is exposing the deep dark secrets of the seditious CNN which is cahoots with Obama to bring down President Donald John Trump and our republic as well.

Today’s installment shocked me, “Part 4: #MeTooCNN Video Exposes Alleged Sexual Misconduct by CNN Exec and Possible Cover-Up by Senior CNN Management.”

What? This I did not expect.

People went on the record.

Project Veritas reported, “When speaking about CNN Politics Supervising Producer and White House Unit Supervising Producer/Coverage Manager, Steve Brusk, ‘The Lead with Jake Tapper’ Senior Producer Rick Saleeby said: ‘he would like make advances if there was a social gathering and they were drunk… Put his arms around them, try and touch their leg. Try and build up emails to the level where he would get flirty and inappropriate.'”

These are not anonymous attacks by cowards.

The allegations come after endless panels on CNN berated Harvey Weinstein and Al Franken for their conduct with women. Weinstein engaged in transactional sex with actresses (and apparently rape) while Franken pretended to grope a sleeping woman.

If what Saleeby said about Brusk is true — and CNN is not addressing the accusation — then Brusk [was] harassing women while he was booking Michael Avenatti to appear on Tapper’s show to accuse President Trump of adultery.

But I got to thinking. Television news departments sure h[ave] a lot of trouble with sexual harassment even as they engage in news actualities and lengthy panel discussions condemning the practice.

The louder the speak of their honor, the faster you should count the spoons.

HOW’S THAT SPACE PROGRAM COMING ALONG: Fireball That Flew Over Japan in 2017 Was Tiny Piece of Giant Asteroid that Might One Day Threaten Earth.

DUNKING ON LEBRON: Shaq defends free speech on NBA opening night: ‘Daryl Morey was right.’

YEP. Media Begins Canonization of Mitt Romney. “Remember when Mitt Romney was a heartless capitalist, torturer of the family dog, and driving his ex-employees into cancer? It wasn’t that many years ago, when he had the effrontery to run against the nation’s First Black President, that Mitt Romney was a cartoon villain so far as the media and other Democrats were concerned. That was then, but now that Donald Trump is president and Romney a senator who may be called to cast a vote in a Senate impeachment trial, Romney is enjoying the media’s ‘strange new respect,’ much like a Republican-appointed Supreme Court justice voting with the liberal bloc.”

MORE SAVAGERY FROM THE BABYLON BEE: Cash-Strapped CNN Now Just Recycling Old Articles But Replacing ‘Russian Collusion’ With ‘Ukrainian Scandal.’ “‘This is a green, Earth-friendly way to recycle news stories,’ said a CNN rep. ‘We have discovered a completely carbon-neutral way to produce indefinitely renewable outrage.'”



NASHVILLE IS VERY DISAPPOINTING THESE DAYS: Nashville Officials Want to Track People on Scooters in Real Time. “Nashville officials are demanding scooter companies turn over GPS and route information that would allow the government to track people who ride scooters in real-time. Scooter companies can already track their customers’ movements, but officials at the Nashville-based Beacon Center of Tennessee say government officials ought not to have the same privilege.”

AT AMAZON, save in Science Fiction and Fantasy.

Plus, bargains on Bedding.

CHANGE: A Slumbering European Crisis Awakens: Catalonia.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: The Best Headphones According to Top Record Producers.

There are some pricy models on the WSJ’s subscription-only report, but I’ve used $75 Sony MDR-V6 sets for 30 years, and haven’t heard anything good enough to bother spending more.

PUSHING BACK AGAINST LEFTY PRIVILEGE: Extinction Rebellion Has A Rough Weekend As People Fight Back Against Climate Protests.

Later reports from Extinction Rebellion San Francisco’s Facebook page indicate that the protesters tried to get police involved and  that the group filed an official complaint against the unnamed man who stole their banner. But, the activists said sadly, police officials told demonstrators that they probably wouldn’t investigate the incident.

Further down the California coast, in Long Beach, Extinction Rebellion ran into another set of “intolerant” Americans after the tried to invade an In ‘N Out burger and were summarily ejected by several non-plussed restaurant workers.

At least Marx and the first batch of “Progressives” tried to pose as champions of the working class. A lefty screaming into a bullhorn at a low-wage fast food clerk isn’t a good look — and one that we’ve seen before:

Related: Found via Ace’s sidebar, Extinction Rebellion isn’t about the Climate. It’s about Heteronormativity.

VANS SNEAKERS TAKES A KNEE FOR CHINA: ‘It was really unfair,’ Toronto teen says after her Hong Kong-themed shoe removed from contest.

A Toronto teen is finding out just how controversial making an artistic statement about the unrest in Hong Kong can be: her shoe design garnered hundreds of thousands of votes, but suddenly disappeared from an online contest.

Naomi So’s family has roots in the former British colony that the 17-year-old has visited several times, so she decided to create a Hong Kong-themed shoe for the Custom Culture design contest held by Vans —  an American manufacturer of skateboarding and other footwear and apparel.

“My mom and dad have been keeping up with the Hong Kong news, and from that I became interested and researched more on what was happening,” she told CBC Toronto.

Naomi, whose family asked that CBC News not show her face or reveal the location of her school, found out that pro-democracy demonstrators have been protesting in the streets for months in sometimes violent clashes with police. She also learned it all started with a bill that would allow people accused of crimes to be extradited to mainland China.

Using ink as her medium, the shoe is mostly black and yellow — the colours worn by protesters. The design also includes a red Bauhinia flower, Hong Kong’s floral emblem.

* * * * * * * *

Vans released a statement on Facebook about the decision to remove “a small number of artistic submissions” based on the global competition’s guidelines. It’s been met with a flurry of comments on social media.

“As a brand that is open to everyone, we have never taken a political position and therefore review designs to ensure they are in line with our company’s long-held values of respect and tolerance, as well as with our clearly communicated guidelines for this competition,” the statement reads.

Related: “The brothers, Paul Van Doren and James Van Doren, started The Van Doren Rubber Company in 1966.  Over the next 40 years, they opened factories in California and later contracted factories in China and Vietnam to make the classic Vans vulcanized shoes.”

I’LL BELIEVE IT’S A CRISIS WHEN THE PEOPLE WHO KEEP TELLING ME IT’S A CRISIS START ACTING LIKE IT’S A CRISIS: Study Finds the Wealthy & Celebrities Aren’t Changing Their Flying Habits to Reduce CO2 Emissions.

21ST CENTURY RELATIONSHIPS: I tried a polyamorous relationship, and it kinda worked—until it didn’t.

COVERING THE IMPORTANT STORIES: The pizza box hasn’t evolved in decades, but now Pizza Hut is trying out a new round design.

And so what might seem like a small step — Pizza Hut’s announcement Tuesday that it’s trying out a high-tech new design that’s round instead of square — feels like a giant leap for pizza-kind.

“For the most part, only marginal changes have been made to pizza boxes through the years,” Nicolas Burquier, Pizza Hut’s chief customer and operations officer, said in an email. “This round box leverages new technology and represents step change innovation.”

The pie chain’s claims about the new box are many. Some of its shiny new features are meant to improve its function and use: The round shape means there’s less waste (i.e., it’s better for the environment), and it’s made of sustainably harvested plant fiber. It’s industrially compostable.

You don’t want to know what the pizza inside that box will eventually “evolve” into.


OLD AND BUSTED: “We Are All Socialists Now.”

The New Hotness? We Are All Pierre Delecto Now.

This is the damage Twitter hath done. It is a time suck, irresistible even to those with the least to gain. Romney’s sad, secret account reveals something about Twitter’s strategic reliance on human nature: we all just want to be heard, and social media affords us that catharsis. So powerful is this catharsis, even Mitt Romney, a man with a Senate office and the means to build a car elevator, chases its fleeting satisfaction.

Pierre Delecto is holding a mirror up to the rest of us. Social media brings out the worst in everyone, and that outcome is fundamental to its design. We’re wasting so much time.

Somebody really needs to write a book about the virus-like nature of social media.

YES, LET’S MAKE ALL AMERICANS PAY NEW YORK CITY RENTS:  Strangling the Cities. The Democratic candidates want to make a housing a federal issue — and nationalize the progressive policies that have wrecked local housing markets.

REVIEW: The 2020 Charger Hellcat Widebody Proves That Sedans Aren’t Dead.

WORSE THAN A CRIME, IT’S A BLUNDER: Trump Warns Democrats on Dangerous Precedent They’re Setting With Impeachment.

In a similar vein, Salena Zito’s piece that Glenn linked to earlier, made me wonder if Never Trump Republicans and Democrats aren’t the new Bourbons: They’ve learned nothing and forgotten nothing.

WASHINGTON STATE’S REFERENDUM 88:  Peter Kirsanow explains how the Washington State legislature guts Washington State’s 1998 initiative prohibiting preferential treatment based on race or sex.  Very tricky these Washington State legislators. Vote No.

BOOB BAIT FOR THE BOBOS: Beto O’Rourke defends likening Donald Trump to Nazis like Hitler and Goebbels.

Alternate headline: Apocalyptic, race-obsessed, meat-hating socialist who wants to ban your guns, punish churches, and regulate every aspect of your life compares Trump to Hitler.

OOPS: Russian Nuclear Sub Misfires During Putin-Supervised Drills.

The Ryazan Delta III class nuclear-powered vessel was one of five submarines, more than 100 aircraft, 200 missile launchers and 12,000 troops involved in the Grom-2019 military exercises last week. Putin supervised Grom-2019 on the last of three days of drills on Thursday.

The Ryazan submarine fired only one one ballistic missile into a test range in the Barents Sea instead of the two that had been announced by the Russian military before the launch, Vedomosti reported.

“The second R-29R [missile] did not exit the silo launcher, and the submarine returned to its home base with an unexploded missile,” it wrote, citing two unnamed sources close to Russia’s Defense Ministry.


COLOR ME UNSURPRISED: Study shows class bias in hiring based on few seconds of speech.

TEXAS JURY RULES SEVEN-YEAR-OLD BOY CAN UNDERGO ‘GENDER TRANSITIONING:’ “What the hell is going on in Texas? I always thought it was one of the few states left that could discern fantasy from reality, but clearly not. If this can happen in Texas, it can happen anywhere. I feel bad for this little boy. It’s not his fault. He shouldn’t be punished. He’s just a kid being a kid, and his lunatic mom is so #woke that she wants to ruin his life under the guise of helping him.”

COMMUNISM, INC: All About the Money: Why Hong Kong Matters So Much to China.

Since 1997, mainland Chinese companies have raised $335 billion by floating in Hong Kong, tapping a broader range of shareholders than they could onshore.

Over the years, the pool of capital available at home has gotten much larger. But since the Hong Kong dollar is pegged to its U.S. equivalent, and the city has no capital controls, a listing there can generate hard currency for foreign takeovers and investments. It would be harder to use a Shanghai stock sale for the same goal.

For technology firms and others, New York has been another favored listing destination, but worsening U.S.-China relations could make this more problematic. Hong Kong offers a convenient way to tap many investors who are familiar with China.

For global investors, Shanghai and Shenzhen have become more accessible. But investors typically prefer Hong Kong’s legal protections, and they have other concerns about mainland markets, including the difficulties of moving money out.

Plus: “Foreign companies and state investors have long used Hong Kong as a staging post for investing in companies or building facilities in mainland China. As it grows richer, China is also deploying larger sums abroad through foreign direct investment, which rose from $2.6 billion in 1997 to $143 billion last year, according to data from China’s Ministry of Commerce. Much of this outbound FDI goes through Hong Kong.”

Hong Kong is a goose that lays golden eggs, but also contains a poison pill.

MAKE THEM LIKE BOLOS: A Path Towards Reasonable Autonomous Weapons Regulation.

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