August 24, 2019

YEAH, THE SITUATION IN HONG KONG IS MAKING ME QUEASY. AND THE PRESIDENT REALLY CAN DO NOTHING THAT DOESN’T RISK A SERIOUS CONFRONTATION. BUT HEY, WE CAN DO SOMETHING. READ THE LABELS, MAKE CHINA HURT. MAKE THEM THINK TWICE:  The Whole World is Watching?

HEY, ANTIFA, HERE’S A MIRROR:  Point of Information.

WHAT SCHOLARSHIP? IT’S PULLED FROM AIR TO FIT THE NARRATIVE. THE LEFT ISN’T EVEN PRETENDING ANYMORE:  The 1619 Project: Scholarship Or Race Hustling? (Updated).

WELL, THE NEW YORK TIMES IS A WELL KNOWN SATIRE WEBSITE. THEY’RE JUST NOT GOOD AT IT. ALSO PEOPLE INSIST ON PRETENDING THEY’RE A REAL NEWSPAPER:  The 1619 Project Says We Fought American Revolution In Order To Keep Slavery Intact.

I mean if people were so deeply insane as to propagate this sort of America-hating idiocy and expect it to be taken seriously we’d have to deport them or something. Would make them happier, right?

OH, NO. NOT THIS EXCRETA AGAIN:  Marcotte: Republicans Want to Take Your Birth Control.

I HAVE A BETTER IDEA. SEND THE INVADERS BACK:  Mexico to Monitor USA’s Migrant Detention Centers.

WELL! FOR NOW BEING GENERATIONAL RED DIAPER BABIES DOES HAVE ITS PRIVILEGES.  FOR NOW:  Enough Yet? Obamas Buying $14.8 Million Home on Martha’s Vineyard.

YES. I HAVE COME TO THE CONCLUSION THE PRESIDENT IS CRAZY LIKE A FOX:  Was Greenland “for sale” when the Chinese were shopping in 2017?

OH, AND OTHER FORMS OF INSANITY:  Young Turks Host Hasan Piker Mocks Rep. Dan Crenshaw’s War Injuries, Declares America Deserved 9/11.

IT’S SEMANTIC INSANITY ALL THE WAY DOWN:  The Left Bastardizes Language: San Fran Criminals Must Now Be Called ‘Justice-Involved Persons’.

August 23, 2019

DON’T TELL THEM: Freaking Out over Trump’s Jokes Is a Great Way to Make Sure He Wins in 2020.

AT AMAZON, save big on Wheels and Tires. Winter is coming.

Plus, deals in Wellness and Relaxation.

INCITEMENT IS OKAY WHEN THEY DO IT:

AT LONG LAST, HAVE YOU NO DECENCY? NO DECENCY AT ALL? Bill Maher on David Koch: ‘F*ck Him, the Amazon Is Burning Up, I’m Glad He’s Dead.’

Maher’s not even right about the Amazon.

SNOPES TO FACT-CHECK THIS IN 3, 2, 1. . . Opinion: When The Founders Wrote The First Amendment, They Never Imagined There Would One Day Be Things I’d Disagree With. “Thus it’s time to get rid of that outdated amendment and finally crack down on hate speech, or at least speech I hate.”

MORE SAVAGE SATIRE FROM THE BABYLON BEE: Snopes Introduces New ‘Factually Inaccurate But Morally Right’ Fact Check Result.

HE’S NOT WRONG: 2020 Democrat John Delaney Worries His Party Is ‘Cheering on a Recession.’

CZECH STANDS UP TO CHINA: Prague mayor comes under international spotlight. “For many in the Czech Republic, Hřib has become a symbol of resistance against Chinese influence, pitting himself against Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and President Miloš Zeman, who are known for promoting Chinese investments.”

REMINDER: THE SOVIET COMMUNISTS WERE ALLIES OF HITLER. Russia reveals ‘secret protocol’ carving up Eastern Europe in 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop pact.

FACEBOOK SUCKS UP TO CHINA: Facebook Bans Ads From The Epoch Times.

Related: Why The Epoch Times Has Been Getting Spygate Right.

SO A LOT OF PEOPLE ON FACEBOOK ARE SAYING THAT OF COURSE PRESIDENT TRUMP CAN’T “ORDER” A PRIVATE BUSINESS TO GET OUT OF CHINA. In fact, he almost certainly can do just that, so long as he makes the right declaration. Under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, better known in the trade as IEEPA, presidents have a virtual blank check on regulating economic transactions with other countries, so long as they declare a national emergency — which can include one based on economic threats.

I’m not saying this is a good idea, but the people saying that “Trump’s an idiot, presidents can’t do that” are displaying their ignorance. Presidents absolutely can do that. Note that at present Trump is spreading fear, uncertainty, and doubt, by tweeting the order but NOT making the declaration that would be required to give it effect. It’s thus a shot across the bow — a metaphor that fits this quite well, really.

See also this earlier post, discussing an Obama action, and U.S. v. Spawr Optical, a disturbing but unexceptional example of judicially endorsed presidential power over international trade.

UPDATE: The folks at Twitchy seem to have missed the boat on this one.

OPEN THREAD: Hit the button, buddy.

SUPER GAFFE-O-MATIC ’76: Biden Gaffes Again, Says His Healthcare Plan ‘Not Quality,’ ‘Will Increase Premiums.’

VIDEO: I talk about social media, politics, beer, and why Whataburger should come to Knoxville on the Beacon Center’s Overcaffeinated Podcast. (Bumped).

NOTHING TO SEE HERE, MOVE ALONG: CBP refuses to publicly reveal how many migrants are sick with contagious diseases.

MORE IRONY THAN THE LEFT CAN HANDLE?

HARSH, BUT FAIR:

21ST CENTURY QUESTIONS: Can a New Lyme Disease Vaccine Overcome a History of Distrust and Failure?

AT AMAZON, save on Power and Hand Tools.

Plus, deals in Farm and Ranch.

ART OF THE DEAL: Trump announces additional increase in tariffs on China.

I’VE BEEN TELLING YOU WE NEED A STRATEGIC BACON RESERVE, AND NOW THIS: Bacon Prices Could Soar Due to the ‘Pig Ebola’ That’s Devastating the Pork Industry.

Personally, I keep my own tactical bacon reserve, just in case.

STEPHEN ALREADY LINKED THIS BUT IT’S WORTH BREAKING OUT THIS PART:

Here’s a question, and it’s a fair one. What has the ruling class done right in the last 20 years?

Come on, betters, “wow” us with your mad society-running skillz.

We know what America achieved under the old ruling class. It beat the Nazis – the real Nazis, not the fake bugaboo “Nazis” that the left labels everyone to the right of Felonia Milhous von Pantsuit. It fought through the Depression. It trashed the Democrat’s Jim Crow regime. It designed the ’65 Mustang, created the Big Mac and put a man on the moon. It crushed the dirty commies in the Cold War. The old elite was not perfect, but at least you can point to some ticks in the “WIN” column.

Not so with the coterie of half-wits running our institutions today. It’s all check marks under “LOSS.” Iraq. The Wall Street Meltdown. Obamacare. Obama himself.

Oh, and then there’s Jeffrey Epstein.

Do you see a lot of successes? Do you see any? Have I overlooked some tremendous victory this generation of our betters pulled off? I can’t think of any offhand – gee, how about social media? Yeah, there’s progress.

Related: The Suicide of Expertise.

AT AMAZON, Deal of the Day, Dyson Ball Multi Floor 2 Upright Vacuum, Yellow (Renewed).

IT’S NICE, THOUGH MAYBE A BIT EIGHTIES-BUSY IN PLACES: A Look at The New Electric Porsche’s Interior.

BECAUSE OF COURSE THEY DO: Fake Conservative Website The Bulwark Gives Joe Biden Campaign Advice.

WELL, GOOD: Cheap combo pill cuts heart, stroke risks, study finds.

I’M WITH WILLETT ON THIS ONE: Judge Don Willett Butts Heads With Fellow Trump Appointees Over Qualified Immunity for Cops. “Modern immunity practice—essentially ‘heads government wins, tails plaintiffs lose’—leaves many victims violated but not vindicated.” It’s a judge-made doctrine with no foundation in the Constitution.

But see: Federal court reverses decision granting immunity to off-duty Maryville policeman who held teens at gunpoint. “The lawsuit stems from an accident in May of 2016 when the plaintiff Logan Vanderhoef collided with Officer Marice Dixon’s personal vehicle. Dixon, who was not in uniform at the time and did not initially identify himself as an officer, approached the vehicle with his gun drawn, pointed it at the teen and ordered everyone in the car to get on the ground.”

The teens would have been within their rights to shoot him under these circumstances, as any reasonable person would fear for his life when some wacko responds to a car accident by pulling a gun and pointing it; it’s absurd to suggest such behavior should receive immunity. Note that the jury found for the plaintiff, but awarded minimal damages.

DON’T MESS WITH TEXAS: Stickup ends when cowboy store clerk lassos robber.

PHILIP MULIVOR: Why Red-Flag Laws Are Worse Than You Think.

TWITTER IS A CESSPIT, EXHIBIT #1,000,006: On Twitter, Some Liberals Are Celebrating the Death of David Koch.

WHEN YOU UNDERSTAND THAT DEMOCRATS SEE THE PRESS AS PART OF THEIR TEAM, EXISTING TO CARRY THEIR WATER, THIS MAKES SENSE: Democrat Governor Excludes Conservative News Service From Media List.

IMPROVE YOUR HANDGUN SKILLS. I’ve been hitting the range again after taking some time off and it’s definitely important to practice. For me it’s not so much actual shooting accuracy that suffers as speed and precision in gun handling, magazine changes, etc.

YOU CAN’T TOUCH THIS: Apple’s New Credit Card Stained by Leather, Denim, More. “Somebody at Apple — I’m looking at you, soon-to-be-departing Jony Ive — signed off on giving the physical card a specialty coating which stains when it comes into contact with the two most common materials for pants and wallets.”

SKYNET SAYS DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT: How Do We Stop Driverless Cars And Autonomous Delivery Drones From Becoming Weapons?

GREEN NEW DEAL, THE HOME GAME: Kevin McCloud’s eco homes to lose people up to 97% of the cash they put in.

BIGOTRY AT THE NEW YORK TIMES: Who knew about Tom Wright-Piersanti, and when did they know it?As Glenn pointed out here, Breitbart News discovered that Senior Editor Wright-Piersanti has been polluting social media with racist filth since at least 2009, possibly as early as 2007.

He apologized. And locked down his Twitter account. And as of this writing he inexplicably still works at the ̶T̶e̶m̶p̶l̶e̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶R̶i̶g̶h̶t̶e̶o̶u̶s̶ ̶S̶a̶n̶c̶t̶i̶m̶o̶n̶y̶  The New York Times. He has been posting racist garbage for at least nine years. And it is only logical to assume that some, if not many of his workmates and even superior-ranking editors follow him on Twitter. Is it even remotely plausible that nobody at The Times followed Wright on Twitter and never saw his screeds? I don’t think so.

Click to enlarge.

Which leaves us with the question that must be asked of each and every “Timesman” that worked there between 2007 and now: Did you know? Why didn’t you say anything?  Margaret Sullivan was their Public Editor from 2012 to 2016. How could she have not known? Bill Keller was the paper’s Executive Editor from 2003 to 2011. Did he follow Wright-Piersanti? Did anyone complain to Keller about him? Did Jill Abramson, now under fire for alleged plagiarism by the paper at which she served as Executive Editor from 2011 to 2014 follow Wright-Piersanti?

Look, this isn’t a partisan issue, it’s an honesty issue. This episode is so parallel to the #MeToo movement it’s scary. Being Harvey Weinstein wasn’t bad enough. People were (rightfully, IMHO) being held accountable for looking the other way, for enabling, and even encouraging behavior that can’t be described as anything other than despicable.

So too, bigotry is despicable, and The New York Times has embarked on a campaign to remind us of this self-evident truth. Not only The New York Times, but its cadre, its core leaders and rank-and-file past and present have to be asked these questions. Heaven knows the “media watchers” from the same club won’t ask.

So I’m encouraging you and your friends to ask. Be polite, be direct, don’t use foul language or rabid hyperbole. The emails addresses for some of these people are ([email protected]); ([email protected]) and ([email protected]). This is not a call for harassment or doxxing. These people have made a living communicating with the public and have assumed the very genuine mantle of the public trust in so doing. Thus, asking them politely “what did you know and when did you know it?” is not just fair, but important, and like the #MeToo movement it  starts with ordinary people speaking truth to power.

(Bumped up from late last night.)

DOCUMENT IT THOROUGHLY, BEFORE IT’S GONE. Dive team creates first 4K images of Titanic wreckage. “The exploration team discovered that sea currents, salt corrosion and metal-eating bacteria have caused deterioration to the ship.”

FASTER, PLEASE: Phone Companies Ink Deal With All 50 States And D.C. To Combat Robocalls.

AT AMAZON, save on Men’s Boots.

HMM: Loss of grip strength tied to lower cognitive function, memory loss. So if you exercise enough to boost your grip strength, will you do better? Maybe, as exercise helps prevent brain function loss. But maybe not.

UPDATE NEWSPEAK DICTIONARIES ACCORDINGLY, COMRADE: San Francisco Fights Crime with Euphemisms: Convicted Felons Are Now ‘Justice-Involved Persons.’

MICHAEL BARONE: The End of America’s 30-Year Engagement With China?

The hope through these years was that a more prosperous China would also become more democratic and tolerant at home, and less aggressive abroad. But as foreign affairs journalist James Mann pointed out in his 2007 book, “The China Fantasy,” and as longtime Kissingerian Michael Pillsbury wrote in his 2015 book, “The Hundred-Year Marathon,” China’s leaders weren’t interested in following this script.

On the contrary, Pillsbury argued that they had their own scenario, in which China would embark quietly but steadily on a long-term race to world supremacy by 2049, the 100th anniversary of Mao Zedong’s victory over Chiang Kai-shek.

China would use strategy and tactics laid out by Sun Tzu 2,500 years ago and restore the state to the primacy it enjoyed before the civil wars and invasions that started with the Taiping rebellion in 1849 and ended with Mao’s death in 1976, costing millions of Chinese lives. Before this strife, China had 40 percent of the world’s population and economic production, and an emperor reigning 60 years, who reportedly told the British envoy Lord Macartney in 1793, “Our Celestial Empire possesses all things in prolific abundance” and has “no need to import the manufactures of outside barbarians.”

Xi Jinping, as he disapprovingly watches peaceful marchers in Hong Kong week after week, perhaps feels similarly. His attempted crackdown on the independent judiciary Hong Kong was promised until 2047, and abolition of his 10-year term limit amounts to jumping the gun on Pillsbury’s 100-year-marathon finish line of 2049.

Presumably, Xi has the power to squelch the Hong Kong demonstrators as his predecessors squelched Tiananmen protesters 30 years ago. But not without significant economic cost, which he may be willing to pay. The economic ties symbolized by “Chimerica” are already unraveling. They could be completely split if the Red Army ravages Hong Kong.

Read the whole thing.

21ST CENTURY QUESTIONS: What Happens When a Drone Crashes Into Your Face? An 18-month study? Shouldn’t it take about 18 seconds? Well, actually this was pretty thorough. “ASSURE conducted 512 impact tests and simulations using 16 different vehicles including popular consumer drones like DJI’s Phantom and Mavic Pro as well as various objects and payloads (batteries, wood blocks) with weights ranging from 0.71 to 13.2 lbs. Full anthropomorphic and simplified head-and-neck-only impact tests were done as were Post Mortem Human Surrogate (cadaver) impact tests.”

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Opt out of all the data sharing you wouldn’t opt in to.

THE 21st CENTURY IS NOT TURNING OUT AS I HAD HOPED: Is Generation Z a Socialist Revolution in the Making?

SEEMS LEGIT:

TRUMP KNOWS THIS AND IS TAKING ADVANTAGE OF IT: China’s enormous debt ‘no longer can be ignored,’ analyst says.

21ST CENTURY PROBLEMS: The Complicated Issue of Transableism: Some people born in able bodies feel as if they were meant to have disabilities. How should the medical community be responding? Pointing and laughing would be rude, but these people are mentally ill and should be treated as such.

PERCEPTIVE: “Trump haters are always saying that Trump makes everything all about him. But Barbaro and Herndon are perceiving that Trump rallies are about the people… the people who love Trump. And maybe they love Trump because he creates a space in which they can love themselves. That’s why the slogan is ‘Make America Great Again’ (or ‘Keep America Great’).”

Plus: “The clown car of Democrats are Joni Mitchell at Atlantic City scolding the audience for not paying attention.”

NO ENEMIES TO THE LEFT: 2020 Democrats mostly play dumb when asked to denounce Antifa.

(Classical reference in headline.)

MEANWHILE, OVER AT VODKAPUNDIT: Florida Man Busted with Trump-Shaped Ecstasy Pills and So Much More.

It’s Florida Man Friday.

ANOTHER WAY TO COUNTER CHINA’S BELT AND ROAD IMPERIALISM: Jeff Goodson says we’re in a New Cold War that requires strategic thinking “analogous” to Cold War containment. The Belt and Road initiative requires pushback because it’s “debt-trap diplomacy.”

Smart thinking isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when most people contemplate Washington. But while China puts lipstick on its trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative, smart thinking on what to do about it is starting to settle in.

He cites Burma as an example of the kind of State Dept./USAID “SWAT team” pushback needs to employ:

…at the tactical level, one of the best ideas in years has been operationalized by the U.S. Agency for International Development. Under the leadership of Administrator Mark Green, USAID recently pulled together a high-octane team of interagency technical specialists to help the government of Burma review plans for a multibillion-dollar Chinese-funded deep water port and industrial zone. As reported by the Wall Street Journal, the team included USAID and State Department economists, diplomats and lawyers working as a public investment planning SWAT team of sorts. UK and Australian expertise also worked on the effort.

Read the entire essay.

IN THE MAIL: The Best of Jerry Pournelle.

Plus, browse today’s Gold Box and Lightning Deals.

TO BE FAIR, SOCIALISTS ARE NEVER HAPPY: Hasbro Has a New ‘Monopoly: Socialism’ Game and Socialists Are Not Happy.

WARTHOG ON THE HUNT: Fine photo of an Air National Guard A-10 Thunderbolt II getting in a little target practice at Idaho’s Orchard Combat Training Center.

IF YOU CAN’T BEAT’EM, WELL THEN, JUST REPLACE’EM: That appears to be a key part of Beijing’s emerging strategy for dealing with Hong Kong, replacing it as a world financial center with the city just across the border from it, Shenzhen. Those units of China’s Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) are still nearby.

HIGHER EDUCATION UPDATE: Wisconsin Republicans to reintroduce campus free speech bill. Good.

ANALYSIS: TRUE. All The People Who Think They Are Better Than You Are Much, Much Worse.

Never before have so many snobs had so little to be snobbish about. It’s not like the ruling caste that turns up its collective snout at the people who actually make this country work has a CV full of achievements to back up its arrogance. Our elite is anything but. It’s a collection of pedestrian mediocrities who inherited our civilization from the people who actually created it and fought for it, and like every spoiled child who was handed free stuff by his doting mommy and daddy, our elite is resentful and obnoxious.

We’re ruled by a bunch of Veruca Salts.

Kurt Schlichter, so read the whole thing.

HEH: Journalist Attempts To Buy Guns At Walmart, Ends Up Collapsing The Left’s Anti-Gun Narrative Instead.

Short version: Non-gun owner shocked by the legal hurdles involved in buying a gun, because Obama told her it was so easy.

AFRICAN NATIONS CANCELING DEALS WITH CHINA: Troubles begin for the lender when the lendees realize their kneecaps are in danger.

WELL: Former Overstock CEO: James Comey wanted me to sleep with Maria Butina. “‘There was political espionage conducted against Hillary Clinton, Rubio, Cruz, and Donald Trump,’ Byrne tells the Bulls & Bears panel, and that it was run by Peter Strzok. Byrne then claimed that he’d been offered ‘a billion-dollar bribe’ to keep quiet, that Warren Buffett told him to go public, and that all of this has to do with Strzok, McCabe and others.”

KRUISER’S MORNING BRIEF: Granny Maojackets’ Emails Are Back!

The more we learn about the Comey-era FBI, the more it seems as if it functioned as a subsidiary of the Democratic National Committee. The conclusion of this article questions “whether there are two systems of justice inside the FBI — one for the Clintons, and one for the rest of the country.”

Clinton apologists are fond of reminding everyone that they have never been indicted for anything. I’ve written for years that that is because they are very good criminals.

Maybe they’ve had more inside help than we knew.

Pretty sure the “maybe” is rhetorical.

PROBABLY BECAUSE THE ROCK HAS THE LIFESPAN OF KEITH RICHARDS: NASA Names Record-Setting Mars Rock After The Rolling Stones.

I’LL BELIEVE IT’S A CRISIS WHEN THE PEOPLE WHO TELL ME IT’S A CRISIS START ACTING LIKE IT’S A CRISIS:

OUR PARTNER IN MIDDLE EAST PEACE: Abbas Doubles Down on ‘Pay-to-Slay’ Policy, Says Palestinians Will ‘March Into Jerusalem By the Millions.’

MEMRI has the full translation here.

DIVERSITY IS OUR STRENGTH: Justice: 64% of federal arrests are noncitizens, with a 200% increase.

A WARNING TO JEWS: Ignore it at your peril: The Democratic Party is becoming unsalvageable.

IT’S COMPLICATED: Examining Claims About Induced Demand, Adding Road Capacity and Traffic Congestion. “The ‘iron law of roadway congestion’ isn’t.”

Here are some of the limitations with what Duranton and Turner did. First, their detailed analysis deals only with urban Interstates. Analytically, they treat parallel arterials and all other roadways in the metro area as a large blob. That leaves them unable to analyze (as opposed to only speculating about) the extent to which drivers shift trips from parallel arterials to the newly expanded urban Interstate (which would not represent new driving, but simply a re-allocation of existing driving).

Second, the authors’ premise that all such freeways have a “natural level of saturation” implies that all urban Interstates should fill up to the point of serious peak-period congestion. But in fact, actual congestion levels (in both extent and duration) vary considerably among the set of a metro area’s freeways. And the extent of congestion also varies enormously among large metro areas overall. In 2014, Randal O’Toole’s Antiplanner blog provided data on daily VMT per lane-mile on urban freeways around the country, finding a range from as low as 9,000 to a high of 22,000.

Third, since most metro areas in recent decades have added relatively little freeway capacity, the authors’ analytical results, even if correct, would tell us only that making marginal increases in freeway capacity produces little in the way of freeway congestion reduction.

We have a similar real-word experiment going on right where I live. The I-25 “gap” of two-lane highway between Monument (a Colorado Springs exurb) and Castle Rock (a Denver exurb) should have been widened 20 years ago, when traffic first became a noticeable problem. Instead, the decision wasn’t made until about two years ago, and only after two highway patrol officers were killed by oncoming traffic (the shoulders are quite narrow in most places) during routine ticket stops. And instead of two new lanes north and south, we’ll get just one new toll lane in each direction. In other words, the expanded interstate was obsolete at the planning stage, forget about 2022 when it’s finally completed.

Yet our “addiction to cars” or some such will get the blame for the unimproved traffic snarls, accidents, and deaths.

UPDATE: Link was missing. Fixed now — sorry!

WHY ARE THE “MAINSTREAM MEDIA” SUCH CESSPITS OF HATE? The Media’s Intersectional Embrace of Anti-Semitism.

THE CITIZENRY RESPONDS MORE SENSIBLY THAN THE ELITE: Arming up: Gun background checks spike after 80% of mass shootings.

WHY ARE OUR UNIVERSITIES SUCH CESSPITS OF SEXISM? Women-only STEM college programs under attack for male discrimination.

HILLARY WHO? MSNBC’s Kasie Hunt: Female Politicians Don’t Have Character Issues.

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