June 15, 2019

OPEN THREAD: Yes, it’s that time again.


Note to Snopes: This is the Babylon Bee, so it’s satire — or is it?

MILE MARKERS ON THE ROAD TO TRUMP: CNN’s Jim Acosta recalls ‘quaint’ Romney gaffes, including one that wasn’t a ‘gaffe’ at all:

For many voters on the Right (myself included), the “binders” moment served as further proof that it does not matter who the GOP submits as its presidential nominee. He can be as kind and decent as Romney, and Democrats and their allies in the press will still savage him as a retrograde monster, grinding him into dust with a relentless torrent of attacks and criticisms. And if Democrats and their supporters cannot find legitimate controversies with which to destroy the GOP nominee, they will simply concoct them from thin air, as they did with “binders full of women” and similar episodes of ginned up outrage. It makes sense, then, that Trump’s inability to feel shame, coupled with his love for fighting with journalists, appealed to the same people who watched in dismay in 2012 as their perfectly honorable candidate was torn to pieces by the White House and the press.

“Romney ran a hard-fought, respectable race,” Acosta recalls in his book, referring to the former governor as a “thoroughly decent human being” with “good manners.”*

Is that so?

Because that most certainly was not the message voters received in 2012, back when Acosta and others were busy obsessing over supposed “gaaaaaaffes” committed by the man who threatened to deny their beloved Barack Obama a second term in office.

Choose the form of your destructor, to coin an Instaphrase.

* Curious how Republicans invariably get rehabilitated by the DNC-MSM as wise elder statesmen to bash the current Republican in office, assuming that the public has forgotten the previous smears.

IT’S COME TO THIS: Terrorism-Linked CAIR Forces U.S. Army War College to Capitulate on Raymond Ibrahim’s Islam Lecture.

DAVID LIMBAUGH: Leftists Declare Fundamental Moral Questions Beyond Debate.

Or to put it another way:


Reynolds has a deceptively simple prose style that he’s perfected at Instapundit. There, he’s the master of the understated quip used to accompany his links to the news and opinion of the day (mostly from a conservative-libertarian slant). At first glance, a Reynolds’s remark often seems merely to display a firm grasp of the obvious. In fact, on first read, these can seem like bromides of prosaic pabulum.

But in every case, there’s an underlying irony or twist of meaning that cuts deeper. Sometimes Reynolds can be quite profound while masquerading as the village simpleton, like a blogging Diogenes in a barrel. And you ignore a longer Reynolds homily at your peril. He employs the same style for The Social Media Upheaval:

The ‘marketplace of ideas’ approach to free political speech has always relied on a wide variety of different views from a wide variety of different speakers, many of which will inevitably be wrong or even dishonest. The presumption is that, overall, truth will win out most of the time. The danger of monopoly organs like Facebook or Twitter is that they will selectively silence some of those voices and amplify others. Encouraging these tech behemoths to police ‘bad’ content only makes that more likely.

To allow the free market and a resurgent American educational establishment to one day ride to the rescue, what we need at present is a president or attorney general in the mold of Teddy Roosevelt, argues Reynolds. This should be someone who will go after the monopolies in the same spirit the monopolies are going after the rest of us: mercilessly.

Related: What Is To Be Done About Facebook?

RIP: Romeo and Juliet director Franco Zeffirelli dies at 96.


Today’s populists overindulge in unwarranted economic nostalgia. For them, the immediate postwar decades were when America was really great. But maybe it’s a more recent period that they should be pining for. If you’re trying to make the case that “capitalism is broken,” then the Great Recession of 2007-2009 was your big moment. Capitalism seemed shattered, not just broken. It looked like this sucker was going down, to paraphrase President George W. Bush.

But then the economy started to recover, slowly but steadily. Indeed, the US expansion hit the 10-year mark this month and is on the verge of its longest-run on record if things stay on track through July. An economy that’s producing gobs of jobs every month — a total of 20 million since 2010 — as it grows year after year is a dodgy example of broken capitalism.

But there will always be leftists, particularly journalists, oddly enough, with a severe case of, “Depression Lust,” as Virginia Postrel dubbed it in December of 2008.

AND THE ANSWER IS NONE. NONE MORE WOKE: Emma Thompson’s Woke Late Night Grabs Gold In Victimhood Olympics.

UPDATE: “Unexpectedly,” Late Night didn’t grab the gold at the box office this weekend, either — despite Amazon spending nearly $50 million promoting the film:

Amazon’s Late Night, another misfire in the indie female cinema space with $4.7M after the studio spent $13M for the pic at Sundance, and from what we hear, another $35M in marketing. Poor results for a film with good exits of a B+ CinemaScore and an 80% on PostTrak from the core female 25+ audience, who showed up at 52%. Amazon observed weeks ago that Late Night was going to tank on tracking, with a $4M-$5M opening. They attempted to shift at the last minute by bowing the film in NY and LA last weekend, and notched the best specialty release theater average opening of $61.5k to date this year. Even though Amazon largely respects theatrical windows (that’s going to change with its awards season push for another Sundance pick-up,  The Report, this fall),  if you think about it, Late Night is an advertisement for Amazon Prime, because that’s the end game for this Mindy Kaling Working Girl comedy. It may also be one of the key reasons why people aren’t rushing out to it.

No, as Christian Toto notes in above, there are all sorts of reasons why people aren’t rushing out to see it.

THE POWER LINE SHOW, EP. 129: Cocktails From Hell, a podcast interview with fellow Insta-co-blogger Austin Bay.

THAT’S NOT CREEPY AT ALL: O.J. Simpson joins Twitter, says ‘I got a little getting even to do.’


Still though, we’ll always have the Clash: “Beto has now resorted to telling reporters that London Calling by the Clash changed his life. He was in a punk band, remember, he’s still cool, remember. The irony there is that phony Betomania has bitten the dust.”

HAVE I MENTIONED THAT I HAVE A NEW BOOK OUT? Don’t just sit there, buy a copy. And maybe one for your local library.

NEW SOCIALIST “IT GIRL” CONTINUES TO PAY DIVIDENDS: The Rise of Progressive Occultism — Or why Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez felt compelled to share her birth chart.

For an increasing number of left-leaning millennials—more and more of whom do not belong to any organized religion—occult spirituality isn’t just a form of personal practice, self-care with more sage. Rather, it’s a metaphysical canvas for the American culture wars in the post-Trump era: pitting the self-identified Davids of seemingly secular progressivism against the Goliath of nationalist evangelical Christianity.

There’s the coven of Brooklyn witches who publicly hexed then-Supreme Court candidate Brett Kavanaugh to the acclamation of the thousands-strong “Magic Resistance”—anti-Trump witches (among them: pop singer Lana del Rey) who used at-home folk magic to “bind” the president in the months following his inauguration.

Although “progressive occultism” isn’t an entirely new a development — Sally Quinn, then-married to Washington Post maximum editor Ben Bradlee, was playing with “Ouija boards, astrological charts, palm reading, talismans,” and casting spells she believed to be lethal since the late 1960s.

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: An Unhelpful Study about Women in Physics.

Regarding item 3, what constitutes “suggesting people of your sex or gender are not as good at physics or math”? If people have literally said “Women can’t do physics” then they should apologize and change. On the other hand, suppose that a peer mentions arguments from James Damore’s controversial memo on gender gaps in STEM. Damore repeatedly rejected blanket statements about women, emphasizing the wide ranges of interests and abilities in both sexes (see, for instance, the figures at the top of page 4 of the memo). Nonetheless, reporters at leading newspapers have characterized him as arguing “that maybe women were not equally represented in tech because they were biologically less capable of engineering.” Since even journalists with professional obligations to check printed statements against original sources mischaracterize Damore’s detailed, footnoted memo in this way, it is quite possible that a student would similarly misinterpret offhand summaries of such arguments. Still, it would not follow that the physics community is a hotbed of sexism; it would simply mean that physicists should reflect on how to better approach difficult conversations.

Regarding item 4, how do people know that treatment is unequal and due to gender? Yes, sexist treatment does happen, and it is never acceptable. However, too many people have said “they’d never do this to a man” about things that routinely happen to men. For instance, a woman professor has lamented to me that a man delivered a soliloquy about how terrible his professors were when he took classes on her subject (at a different university), and suggested that everyone in her field should follow his suggestions for improvement. She took this to be a classic example of “mansplaining.” Alas, non-physicists—of both sexes!—routinely tell me (a cisgender male) what was wrong with their high school or college physics classes. What she regards as mansplaining, I experience as a daily occupational hazard.

Conversely, it’s entirely possible that the survey respondents have experienced unambiguously unequal treatment. Unfortunately, we don’t know what that mistreatment is or who perpetrates it. Do we need to admonish male students to let female peers participate as equals in study groups? Do we need to train laboratory instructors to give equal attention to men and women as they troubleshoot equipment? Or do we need to fire department heads who only bestow plum research opportunities upon men? We lack sufficient information to take targeted, relevant, and effective steps.

Read the whole thing.

OH, TO BE IN SAN FRANCISCO IN THE SPRINGTIME: Heat wave left Baker Beach in SF swamped with 3 dumpsters worth of trash.

Temperatures made a rare midsummer surge into the 90s in the Bay Area earlier this week, and as San Franciscans flocked to Baker Beach to cool off, they left behind a trail of trash. Lots of trash.

“Baker Beach was one of several park sites with excessive trash due to the additional visitation. For every full can, there were at least three times as much trash overflowing next to it,” said Shalini Gopie, a spokeswoman for the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

Park maintenance workers ultimately collected 60 cubic yards of trash from Baker Beach, according to Gopie — enough to fill three large dumpsters, she said.

“The park did notice less garbage in park areas where trash cans were limited,” said Gopie.

Some people posted photos of the striking trash mounds to Reddit, prompting venting from commenters frustrated with the park visitors for failing to take their trash with them when they leave.

“People are terrible,” wrote user YikingViking.

“Then they proceeded to go home and post about how filthy our city is on social media,” wrote user ericgtr12 of the litterers.

To be fair, not every large gathering is as civic minded and cleanly as those deplorables in the San Francisco Tea Party movement.


[T]oday’s “woke,” educated white people would quite often lap up being apprised of the racism inside of them by a black speaker they paid, lodged, and fed. That speaker as often as not today is Ta-Nehisi Coates, who charismatically limns America as a cesspool of bigotry in his writing and in talks nationwide, and is joyously celebrated for it by the very people he is insulting.

Coates is a symptom of a larger mood. Over the past several years, for instance, whites across the country have been taught that it isn’t enough to understand that racism exists. Rather, the good white person views themselves as the bearer of an unearned “privilege” because of their color. Not long ago, I attended an event where a black man spoke of him and his black colleagues dressing in suits at work even on Casual Fridays, out of a sense that whites would look down on black men dressed down. The mostly white audience laughed and applauded warmly—at a story accusing people precisely like them of being racists.

This brand of self-flagellation has become the new form of enlightenment on race issues. It qualifies as a kind of worship; the parallels with Christianity are almost uncannily rich. White privilege is the secular white person’s Original Sin, present at birth and ultimately ineradicable. One does one’s penance by endlessly attesting to this privilege in hope of some kind of forgiveness. After the black man I mentioned above spoke, the next speaker was a middle-aged white man who spoke of having a coach come to his office each week to talk to him about his white privilege. The audience, of course, applauded warmly at this man’s description of having what an anthropologist observer would recognize not as a “coach” but as a pastor.

Similarly, in the first edition of Jonah Goldberg’s new email-only “Pirate G-File,” Jonah writes:

If you listen to The Remnant podcast – back next week by the way – you know I’m obsessed with a theory of contemporary politics. We live in one of the most partisan times in American history. No, it’s not as partisan as the 1850s or even the 1960s (thank God). But the difference between now and those periods is that partisanship is running white-hot even as the parties themselves have never been weaker.

Partisanship is now a lifestyle choice as much as it is a political or ideological orientation. That’s one reason politics are so ugly these days. When the political is personal and the personal is political, political disagreement feels like a personal attack. Politics today increasingly takes up the space in our brains normally reserved for religion, which is why there are houses in my neighborhood where people post signs listing social justice nostrums like they were Martin Luther’s 99 Theses.

While Nietzsche assured the Jurassic “woke” class of the late 19th century that “God is dead,” most of the branches of the “Progressivism” that followed are forms of a substitute religion to fill the void. (See also: radical environmentalism and even socialist health care.) As the late Tom Wolfe wrote in his epochal 1976 article, “The ‘Me’ Decade and the Third Great Awakening,” “It is entirely possible that in the long run historians will regard the entire New Left experience as not so much a political as a religious episode wrapped in semi military gear and guerrilla talk.”

GREAT MOMENTS IN PROGRESSIVE PARENTING: Gun Advice from the Worst Column Ever.

AT AMAZON, deals in Lab & Scientific.


● Shot: CNN: Of course we don’t hate Trump or favor Democrats.

—Jazz Shaw, Hot Air, Thursday.

● CNN’s Camerota: ‘It’s Our Job’ to Teach Viewers To ‘Shut Down’ Conservative Arguments.

—Joseph Chalfant, NewsBusters, Friday.

And if necessary, doxx those making them sufficiently that they don’t ever try to repeat them again.


This punch-in-the-gut article undoubtedly knocks the wind from its author most. David Garrow, who won a Pulitzer for a biography of King, boasts membership in the Democratic Socialists of America, and remains, alongside Taylor Branch, the most acclaimed biographer of the civil rights leader, undoubtedly becomes not only part of the story — a fate dreaded by historians — but a villain in it. Most U.S. press outlets ignore his shocking research. The Washington Post, which rejected his article, focuses not so much on his revelations but the critical reaction to them in its story, “‘Irresponsible’: Historians Attack David Garrow’s MLK Allegations.” At its conclusion, Garrow displays a naïveté in answering whether he worries about the publication damaging his reputation. “No,” he maintains. “Not at all. I think that’s impossible.” In the final line of his article published by the UK’s Standpoint magazine, Garrow writes that some aging King scholars — he is only 66 — may not live to see the 2027 release of the transcripts and audio, suggesting a motive for releasing an article on the summaries now before others get the jump on the information or before the grim reaper gets the jump before 2027.

The King revelations reveal several curious inflection points of the 21st century American elite left. In March Star Parker noted that “The Left’s Identity Politics Rejects the Vision of Martin Luther King Jr.,” and as Garrow told Dominic Green of the London Spectator at the beginning of the month, “the King transcripts are not about race. They are about the abuse of male power,” a topic that’s been at the forefront of the American left since the fall of 2017. But the DNC-MSM would not give Garrow’s revelations traction, because, Green writes, “Garrow alleges that the editors are afraid of being attacked as racist by Twitter mobs — a theory that seems to be confirmed by the Post’s attack on Garrow,” adding:

We might add that King is sacred to liberalism — perhaps so much a saint that the prelates of the press are covering up his feet of clay. Whether caused by misplaced paternalism, cowardice, or simple partisanship, this is a dereliction of journalistic duty. It’s hard to imagine the same newspapers demurring from running transcripts involving Richard Nixon or Donald Trump.

While lesser figures can be easily consigned by the left to the permanence of the Memory Hole, it’s understandable that the media refused to do the same to King’s reputation. as one of Rod Dreher’s readers wrote, “I hope Dr. King remains celebrated; I also hope that his sexual behavior (again, assuming this story is true) is not forgotten. And in the future, when someone on the Left advocates the abolition of Columbus Day, or the taking down of monuments to Washington or Jefferson or many less well-known figures, I hope that people bring up Dr. King, NOT in the spirit of ‘Whataboutism’, but in order to remind them that there is no incompatibility between celebrating the achievements of people in the past and acknowledging that those people had – as we all do – major flaws.”



The official music video for “Hatrio Mun Sigra,” the Icelandic submission to this year’s Eurovision song contest, included real leather, fake blood, and strobe lights, one part Studio 54 remake and one part zombie Backstreet Boys apocalypse. Like most reveries dreamed up by overeducated, artistically inclined youth it landed with a thud, too breathless and mirthless to deliver real shock. The heavily publicized Icelanders lost.

Not that the band didn’t try hard: As soon as they were selected as their nation’s emissaries to the popular continental competition, held last month in Israel, Hatari—the name means “haters”—challenged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to a wrestling match, promising, should they win, to replace the Jewish state with a republic dedicated to sexual kinks. When that provocation, too, failed to elicit more than a chuckle, Hatari delivered its showstopper: As the points were being tallied, the band’s members flaunted the contest’s no-politics rules and waved red, white, green, and black scarves emblazoned with the word “Palestine.”

As musicians, Hatari’s members are tragically uninteresting, binding the worst of metal and EDM in a BDSM aesthetic that is more amusing than arousing, like the musical act in a bad Eastern European strip club. As political activists, however, Hatari is legitimately fascinating: If you’d like to understand the emotional valence of the contemporary European left, look no further than these bare-chested boppers.

Exit quote: “So here’s Iceland, a European nation troubled by a collaborationist Nazi past, eager to reinvent itself as a champion of all that is enlightened and good. To distance itself from one murderous made-up ideology, which it used to its own benefit, it aligns itself with another group of murderous haters. Against this kind of historical backdrop, the band’s S&M drag and nihilistic poses make perfect sense.”

The Weimar-esque photo atop the article is unintentionally laugh aloud funny; read the whole thing, for a look at how the children of Europe’s elite become Radical Chic: The Next Generation.

HEZBOLLAH ISN’T JUST IN BEIRUT. IT’S IN NEW YORK, TOO: The trial of a senior operative reveals the extent of the terrorist organization’s reach in the United States and Canada.


Truman, on advice of his counselors, had resisted bipartisan calls for a declaration of war. Such a request would have forced his administration to define and submit its objectives to a vote by both Houses of Congress. But by creating the fiction that the war was by, of, and for the United Nations, Truman et al. believed they were gaining flexibility, which is of great strategic value—but only to leaders who know what they’re doing. But Truman and his advisors did not, so their flexibility and disunity acted like a sail in the winds of events.

Truman, after convening the National Security Council, also chose not to answer MacArthur’s request for orders. “This present telegram is not to be taken in any sense as a directive. Its purpose is to give you something of what is in our minds.” U.S. troops’ successful resistance would demonstrate that aggression does not pay and would encourage others to believe in America’s pledges of assistance. “We recognize, of course, that continued resistance might not be militarily possible with the limited forces with which you are being called upon to meet large Chinese armies…if we must withdraw from Korea, it [must] be clear to the world that that course is forced upon us by military necessity.” Translated from bureaucratese, the message was: hold on with the forces and restrictions you’ve got, regardless of how many American lives it costs.

And cost it did. Some three fourths of the Americans killed in Korea died after the U.S. government stopped trying to win the war. Since Truman’s decision taught the world that no-win wars were now the American ruling class’s modus operandi, the cost of three later generations’ wars, including the incalculable toll of domestic decay resulting from Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan, should also be added in.

* * *

The November 1950 elections had repudiated Democratic foreign policy. Democrats retained narrow majorities on Capitol Hill, but lost 28 seats in the House and five in the Senate. On March 20, 1951, Douglas MacArthur had answered a private letter from Republican Representative Joseph Martin, the House minority leader, seeking his views on opening a Chinese Nationalist front against China’s effort in Korea. On April 5, Martin read MacArthur’s answer from the House floor. The Truman Administration chose to see this as something akin to a military coup, and fired MacArthur in the name of civilian supremacy. In fact, however, MacArthur had become a clear and present danger not to the U.S. Constitution, but to the preferences and reputations of the Democratic Party’s foreign policy apparatchiks, and to Truman’s ego—domestic politics writ small.

MacArthur returned from Korea to a conquering hero’s reception: ticker-tape parades and a speech to a joint session of Congress. The pledge he made and kept to “just fade away” belied the contention that he had tried to usurp the Constitution, and bolstered the two warnings he left his fellow citizens. First, “In war, there is no substitute for victory.” Forgetting something so very basic had been no mere mistake, but a symptom of moral decay. Hence his other warning: “History fails to record a single precedent in which nations subject to moral decay have not passed into political and economic decline. There has been either a spiritual awakening to overcome the moral lapse, or a progressive deterioration leading to ultimate national disaster.”

Read the whole thing.

THE POWER LINE WEEK IN PICTURES: Prince of Whales Edition.

IN THE MAIL: The Vikings and Their Enemies: Warfare in Northern Europe, 750-1100.

PAULA BOLYARD: Pinterest Blacklists PJ Media, Other Conservative Sites and This Is Just the Tip of the Censorship Iceberg. “Worse, when I tried to add an image to the pin and clicked ‘save from site,’ which ordinarily brings up images from the website you’re linking to, I got this message:”

Of course, we don’t allow nudity on PJM—in fact, it is our editorial policy to blur it out when it appears in an image that is necessary to explain a story. We are not a po*rn site either, although we do write about it from time to time, most often in the context of pointing out its deleterious effects on the culture and on the relationships between men and women. That doesn’t stop the Big Brothers of Big Tech from categorizing us that way in order to shut us up.

PJM reached out to Pinterest for an explanation but received no reply.

Related: Tech Billionaire to Joe Rogan: ‘The Left Has Won the Culture Wars. Now They’re Just Driving Around Shooting Survivors.’

More: Stacy McCain On Corporate Censorship: A Short History Of The Social Media Thought Police Regime.


THERE’S “WOKE” THEN THERE’S “FAKE WOKE.” The mark of the crybully is when a corporation’s CEO postures and preens, but it’s all a PR front. Take Apple, the “wokest” of the “woke”, whose CEO is the openly gay Tim Cook. Spent millions of shareholder money on LGBTQWTF marketing and virtue signalling this month, yet there are still plenty of Apple stores in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where this is a not uncommon occurrence:

Photo: Amnesty International

What I want to know is, where are the shareholder activists?


IT’S AN IDEA SO CRAZY, IT JUST MIGHT WORK: Trump to Move USDA Personnel From D.C. to Where Food Grows.

WELL, GOOD: Unlike House, U.S. Senate Unanimously Condemns Anti-Semitism.

ANNALS OF LEFTIST AUTOPHAGY: Aren’t delirious Democrats now accusing Team Obama of treason?

If you read the newspapers, tuned into the cable TV pundits or received an email from one of the Democrats running for president, you’d swear Donald Trump was back to his treasonous ways.

All that was missing was an annoying OMG text exclamation punctuating the unfounded claims that Trump might violate the law in 2020 by accepting intelligence on a political rival from a foreign country. The inference, of course, is that it would come from a hostile power such as  Russia or North Korea or Iran.

Actually, what Trump told ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos was that he’d consider taking intelligence dirt about a rival from a friendly ally. (Norway was the actual example he used.)

Sound familiar? That is EXACTLY what the Obama administration did in 2016. It’s something no one in the media or the political space grasped during the tsunami of breathless reaction that followed the interview.

Related: Stephanopoulos has now been branded by Trump: “You’re being a little wise guy,” Trump exclaims in testy exchange with Stephanopoulos.

That’s going to leave a mark.

#1 AT AMAZON, MARK LEVIN’S Unfreedom of the Press.

BUT WHY IS GUATEMALA HUNGRY? The Answer Eludes Nicolas Kristof:

Kristof, who has been feeling a little literary of late, interposes snippets of high-end conspicuous consumption with his tale of Guatemalan woe. The headline reads: “The World’s Malnourished Kids Don’t Need a $295 Burger.”

Ah, but they do. That is exactly what they need.

Guatemala has many hungry children. “In another world,” Kristof writes, “on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, the restaurant Serendipity 3 offers a $295 hamburger. Alternatively, it sells a $214 grilled cheese sandwich and a $1,000 sundae.”

(I am not sure about the word “alternatively” in that sentence; I believe the word he is looking for is “also.” These are And People we’re talking about, not Or People.)

* * * * * * * *

The economic arrangements that produce the $295 hamburger also produce the abundance that ensures practically no one in the United States is starving to death for purely economic reasons. Hunger, like genuine homelessness — sleeping-on-the-street homelessness, not living-in-cramped-quarters-with-people-I-would-rather-not-live-with “homelessness” — is in the United States a phenomenon that has little to do with economic exchange (much less insufficient production) but is instead mainly the product of addiction, mental illness, and — worse — the terrible condition of being a child dependent upon someone who is an addict, mentally ill, or indifferent.

* * * * * * * *

What Guatemala needs is capitalism. But what capitalism needs are physical security, property rights, an independent judiciary, political stability, the rule of law, and a functioning civil society. Guatemala does not have these.

But it does have an abundance of “bad luck.” Unexpectedly, of course.

THE ARC OF THE MORAL UNIVERSE IS LONG, BUT IT BENDS TOWARD THE MEMORY HOLE: Obama White House Deleted Online Speeches About The Immigration Crisis Hours Before Trump Entered Office: Report.

(Via Ace of Spades.)

HERE’S TO ANOTHER 80:  Today is the 80th birthday of Ward Connerly, the University of California Regent who, in 1996, chaired the successful Proposition 209 initiative. Happy Birthday, Ward!

Proposition 209’s core provision reads as follows:

The state shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.

It is now, of course, part of the California Constitution.

This article, which was written a few years later, will give you a sense of how Proposition 209 was beneficial to minority students at the UC.

Later research (mentioned here) has found that between 1997 and 2003 Proposition 209 increased both the GPAs and the graduation rates of under-represented minority students at the UC. Plus it increased the rate at which under-represented minority students major in STEM. Not bad.

(Yes, I was one of three co-chairs of the campaign.  Yes, I’m proud of it.  Alas, since then, the UC has largely learned to get around Proposition 209.  I wish more resources had been and were being devoted its enforcement.)

FASTER, PLEASE: Gregg Abbott Is Making It Fun to Watch Authoritarianism Die.

The 21st CENTURY ISN’T WORKING OUT AS I HAD HOPED: An Addiction Crisis Disguised as a Housing Crisis — Opioids are fueling homelessness on the West Coast.

The consequences of such denial have proved disastrous: no city on the West Coast has a solution for homeless opioid addicts. Los Angeles, which spent $619 million on homelessness last year, has adopted a strategy of palliative care—keeping addicts alive through distribution of the overdose drug naloxone—but fails to provide access to on-demand detox, rehabilitation, and recovery programs that might help people overcome their addictions. The city has been cursed, in this sense, with temperate weather, compounded by permissive policies toward public camping and drug consumption that have attracted 20,687 homeless individuals from outside Los Angeles County.

No matter how much local governments pour into affordable-housing projects, homeless opioid addicts—nearly all unemployed—will never be able to afford the rent in expensive West Coast cities. The first step in solving these intractable issues is to address the real problem: addiction is the common denominator for most of the homeless and must be confronted honestly if we have any hope of solving it.

What, and risk scaling back an ever-growing bureaucracy?

REVERSE WHAT? AND WHAT GREEN NUDE HEEL? “Losing Earth”… Bad SciFi at its best! And a preview of the Green New Deal.

HINT: SMOKE SIGNALS ARE GOING UP. Which 2020 Democrat Reminds You the Most of Hillary Clinton?


Fear not. The Gods of the Copybook Headings are already on the way.

In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
By robbing selective Peter to pay for collective Paul;
But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “If you don’t work you die.”


CRIKEY! NOW HERE’S MY SHOCKED FACE. SHE’S A BEAUT:  Experts Claim It’s Quite Easy To Get Firearms Illegally In Australia.

OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN, GUN FREE ZONES KILL. ABOLISH THEM. IT’S FOR THE CHILDREN: ‘Gun-Free Zone’ Policy Stopped Virginia Beach Victim From Carrying Her Gun To Work.


GOOD:  Unlike House, U.S. Senate Unanimously Condemns Anti-Semitism.

SHE’S RIGHT, YOU KNOW? Jack Phillips, Public Accommodation, Monopolies, and Social Media.

FOR THE TIMES THEY ARE ACHANGING:  America’s Fabian revolution: Prelude to a Second American Revolution.

MORE LIKE THIS, PLEASE, TOO:  Sci-Fi Scribe Rejects PC Groupthink Via New Anthology.





MORE OF THESE PLEASE:  The Bell Tolls: Oberlin College’s $33 Million Lesson.

June 14, 2019

OPEN THREAD: Opinions: Share ’em if you got ’em.

DEBATE ALL THE CANDIDATES! DNC Announces the Twenty Candidates Who Will be on the Stage for First Debates.


As Variety noted in May, “Year to date, Fox News’ ‘Gutfeld’ has secured a bigger average viewership – more than 1.73 million – than any of TV’s late-night offerings except CBS’ ‘Late Show’ and NBC’s ‘Tonight Show.’” A Washington Examiner analysis of Nielson data for the year compared Gutfeld’s average audience on Fox News to his competitors’, and the results were illuminating:

Gutfeld’s show, which airs on Saturdays at 10 p.m. EST, has an average of 1.7 million viewers. Meaning his show averages more viewers than:

-HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” (1.5 million viewers)
-NBC’s “Late Night with Seth Meyers” (1.2 million viewers)
-CBS’ “Late Late Show with James Corden” (1.2 million viewers)
-HBO’s “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” (1 million viewers)
-TBS’ “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” (835,000 viewers)
-Comedy Central’s “Daily Show” (732,000 viewers)

The difference between Gutfeld’s show and the programs eating his dust is a steady drumbeat of media coverage inflating their cultural influence. Outlets regularly pluck clips from every late-night show trailing Gutfeld’s while virtually ignoring him, despite the gaps in viewership.

It’s a smaller-scale version of the Mad Men effect, as spotted by veteran media critic Richard Rushfield in 2011: “Mad Men at its height was watched by 2.9 million viewers. In contrast, CBS’ military police procedural drama NCIS last week was seen by 19.7 million viewers. As far as I can tell, NCIS has never been featured on the cover of any major American magazine apart from TV Guide and one issue of Inland Empire, the magazine of California’s suburban Riverside and San Bernadino counties…It would be one thing if the papers (and the New York Times certainly is not alone in this) were to say, here’s our picks for the new season or what we think is the most interesting show on TV, or perhaps more to the point, here’s what we believe that the rarified niche of upscale, urban readers that we target will be interested in reading about. But they don’t; they still operate under the frayed pretence that they are covering the ‘news’ of culture, giving their readers a report on what the most important developments of the day in the entertainment world. By that standard, the ‘flood the zone’ coverage of Mad Men is completely unjustified in comparison to the information blackout on NCIS.”


It can be hard to keep track of all 23 Democrats running for US president, we know, but Google’s advertising enforcement systems don’t seem to realize that Beto O’Rourke is one of them.

Google has been treating Beto’s campaign ads as if they weren’t political content, raising questions over whether Google is capable of keeping its already anemic promise of transparency for political ads.

Just think of Google as Democratic Party operatives with a near-monopoly on Internet searches, and it all makes sense.

THIS IS FAR TOO ON BRAND: The DNC Has Spent More Money Than It’s Raised This Year. And as the metadata tag on this Bloomberg article notes, “Democrats’ 2020 Odds Against Trump Clouded by Party Finances.”

TO ASK THE QUESTION IS TO ANSWER IT: Steve Scalise Was Shot Two Years Ago Today. Why Is The Media So Silent On The Anniversary?


Earlier: Bernie Bro James T. Hodgkinson, Attempted Assassin Of Steve Scalise, Already Being Erased From History. And additional examples of leftist violence and eliminationist rhetoric at the link.

POWERLINE SHINES THE LIGHT ON ONE OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES’ SLEAZIEST POLITICAL FRAUDSTERS: I am referring to Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN). Powerline’s Scott Johnson has stayed on several tawdry Omar stories that the mainstream media ignores — actually covers with a pillow, to employ that brilliant quip. The link leads to Scott’s sixth post in a series looking into Omar’s campaign finance shenanigans (crimes) and likely bigamy. Check out the entire series of posts. You’ll see he’s also fencing with his local Democratic Party propaganda organ, the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Once again powerlineblog is breaking news biased media won’t break.

PAULA BOLYARD: Pinterest Blacklists PJ Media, Other Conservative Sites and This Is Just the Tip of the Censorship Iceberg. “Worse, when I tried to add an image to the pin and clicked ‘save from site,’ which ordinarily brings up images from the website you’re linking to, I got this message:”

Of course, we don’t allow nudity on PJM—in fact, it is our editorial policy to blur it out when it appears in an image that is necessary to explain a story. We are not a po*rn site either, although we do write about it from time to time, most often in the context of pointing out its deleterious effects on the culture and on the relationships between men and women. That doesn’t stop the Big Brothers of Big Tech from categorizing us that way in order to shut us up.

PJM reached out to Pinterest for an explanation but received no reply.

Related: Tech Billionaire to Joe Rogan: ‘The Left Has Won the Culture Wars. Now They’re Just Driving Around Shooting Survivors.’

STACY MCCAIN ON CORPORATE CENSORSHIP: A Short History of the Social Media Thought Police Regime.

Read the whole thing.

HOMETOWN CROWD VOTES THUMBS DOWN: Unthinkable: Could Kamala Harris Finish Fourth…In California?

HAVE I MENTIONED THAT I HAVE A NEW BOOK OUT? Don’t just sit there, buy a copy. And maybe one for your local library.

RIP: Denver Broncos mourn the loss of owner Pat Bowlen, “who passed away late Thursday night at age 75 following his courageous battle with Alzheimer’s disease.”

SNOWFALLS ARE NOW JUST A THING OF THE PAST: Joy Behar: Climate Change Could Prevent Joe Biden From Curing Cancer.

Joe’s been personally fighting global warming since 1987, and only curing cancer since 2015. If anybody can multitask both “Sputnik Moments” quickly to completion, it’s him.

SPOKESMAN FOR NEW SOCIALIST “IT GIRL” PAYS DIVIDENDS: My Precious! AOC spokesman loses it in tweet-rant against potential challenger then deletes like a coward (we got it):

As Twitchy asks, “Now, why oh why would Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s spokesman be so defensive and even angry about the idea of someone challenging his precious?”

Just off the top of my head, I can think of at least 25,000 reasons.


HEY, BERNIE, WHAT HAPPENS TO THOSE WHO WON’T JOIN THE COMMUNE? Or, as the scribes of Issues & Insights put it in a thought-provoking editorial: “The big question that never gets addressed regarding these and other ‘explanations’ of socialism is: Why do the self-identified ‘democratic socialists’ feel it’s OK to force those who’d rather be free into their collective?”

YOUR DAILY TREACHER: Charlamagne tha God: Elizabeth Warren Should Just Admit She Lied About Her Ancestry. “A white woman looks a black man in the eye and lies to him, and he refuses to pretend he believes her. That’s considered a good thing, unless the white woman is a Democrat. If Elizabeth Warren is the woman with a plan for everything, why doesn’t she have a plan for people asking her obvious questions about her brazen lies? Well, she rightly assumes that since she’s a woman and a Democrat, ‘journalists’ will protect her. Erin Burnett sure tries to protect her there. She’s part of Warren’s plan. Kudos to Charlamagne for seeing through it.”


BUTTERFIELD ALERT: Hispanics stick with Trump despite tough border stance.

“Despite?” Fox Butterfield, call your office. Presumably, many if not most of those who were born here, and/or whose families made the effort to become American citizens approve of that tough border stance.


Not a bad way to introduce your kids or grandkids to the Revolutionary War.

IT’S COME TO THIS: As James Lileks writes, “the Well Axtually lads over at Vox” defend Prohibition. Needless to say, Lileks, with much more of a sense of perspective and knowledge of that time period pushes back:

Fewer people got drunk and beat up other people. Maybe. The stats are not clear. There was the whole gang thing, but it was blown out of proportion. Yes, it made an entire nation learn to shrug at the law, but other than that, it worked better than you think.

Question is, how well did you think it worked in the first place? I think it did a pretty good job of shutting down every legitimate avenue for alcohol consumption. In fact I think it had a rather robust success rate for that. The failures were deeper and unsustainable.

To be fair, Prohibition is far from the worse thing that the Vox juiceboxers have come to the defense of.

HEALTH: The Real Gender Gap in Heart Disease.

The graph demonstrates that over the last few decades the number of women dying from heart disease has been significantly higher than men dying from heart disease. In the year 2000 alone the gap is the most impressive, with 70,000 more women dying than men. The problem with this chart is that it is completely misleading.

Mortality in this case is best judged by death rates that take into account age and the population at risk rather than the crude number of deaths. The following table assembled from the CDC database for heart disease deaths by gender and age group for the year 2000 paints a more descriptive picture. The number of men dying from heart disease exceeds women in almost every age group. It’s not even close.

The absolute number of men dying in the prime of their lives is staggering. Between the ages of 35 and 64, 92,000 men die every year, which is twice as many men as women, and equivalent to those who died in the Korean War and Vietnam War combined. Even after the age of 75 when more women die than men in total, men die at higher rates because there simply are far fewer men left alive.

My dad died at 41 of heart disease, which taught me the hard way to pay close attention to my health — especially heart health. Everyone should.

FASTER? PLEASE! US Air Force flight tests hypersonic missile on B-52 bomber.

THE BEST CRAIGSLIST AD OF ALL TIME: The Story Behind That Hilarious Toyota Corolla Craigslist Ad.

When I ran the CarFax for this car, I got back a single piece of paper that said, “It’s a Corolla. It’s fine.”

Let’s face the facts, this car isn’t going to win any beauty contests, but neither are you. Stop lying to yourself and stop lying to your wife. This isn’t the car you want, it’s the car you deserve: The fucking 1999 Toyota Corolla.

Hey, it’s a ‘90s Toyota. You can drop it off a building and it will start:

Needless to say, read the whole thing, which is a riot.

(Via Ace of Spades.)

TERMINATED HARVARD FACULTY DEAN WHO REPRESENTED WEINSTEIN SPEAKS OUT: Harvard prof and well-known attorney Ronald Sullivan, who (along with his wife) was defenestrated as faculty dean of Harvard’s Winthrop House after students complained that his decision to represent Harvey Weinstein made them “unsafe,” has released a video making it clear that Harvard has betrayed both its and America’s principles and that he’s not done with this situation. Harvard administrators have provided their own explanation, as per usual.

WILL OBERLIN LEARN ITS LESSON?: Steven Hayward has evidence that it’s unlikely.


Meanwhile at the Babylon Bee (yes, of course it’s satire, but it wouldn’t be funny if it weren’t fundamentally true):  “Walmart Self-Checkout Machine Wins Employee of the Month Award Again.”

DAVID SOLWAY: Time to Leave Western Civ Behind: Looking for a Place to Emigrate.

WHAT IS TO BE DONE ABOUT FACEBOOK? From Christine Rosen of Commentary, with a mention of Glenn’s new book:

Like the break up of AT&T in the 20th century, which led to further innovations in the telecommunications industry, a breakup of Facebook could spur innovation and competition in the social-media landscape and end Facebook’s unfair exercise of monopoly power. Facebook has made it impossible for competition to flourish. Even if half of Facebook’s users closed their accounts tomorrow, they would have nowhere else to go. We need legitimate alternatives to Facebook.

Fearful of anti-trust action, Facebook executives have taken to raising the threat of Chinese social-media companies as an argument against breakup or regulation. In an interview in May on CNBC, Sheryl Sandberg claimed Facebook was committed to earning back people’s trust but also warned, “While people are concerned with the size and power of tech companies, there’s also a concern in the United States with the size and power of Chinese companies, and the realization that those companies are not going to be broken up.”

But raising the specter of WeChat is a distraction. Anti-trust action such as requiring Facebook to relinquish control of Instagram and WhatsApp wouldn’t mean the destruction of those services or a takeover of the social-media sector by Chinese companies. It would mean the beginning of genuine competition. Competition would blunt the worst tendencies of Facebook while continuing to protect free-speech rights. As Glenn Harlan Reynolds argues in his new book, The Social Media Upheaval, many of the problems created by social-media platforms, such as polarization and disinformation, could be solved with competition. “If Twitter or Facebook were competing with five or ten other similar services, or maybe even two or three,” Reynolds writes, “this sort of thing would be more likely to damp out, after the fashion of the old, loosely coupled blogosphere.” Competition would also “promote greater attention to matters of privacy, algorithmic integrity, and so on because users could more easily leave for another service.”

This is a solution that would remove the free-speech questions inevitable in any attempt to moderate content on these platforms—in practice, even with sophisticated A.I., an impossible task given the scale of platforms like Facebook.

Second, the United States needs stronger data-privacy and -protection laws, including laws that grant users access to the data dossiers that Facebook has compiled on them and the option to deny Facebook the ability to share that data with third parties unless explicit permission (as opposed to byzantine terms of service agreements) is given. There are plentiful models for such laws, most notably data- and privacy-protection laws now in force in Europe. Another proposal would have Facebook safeguard user information the same way that other “information fiduciaries” such as lawyers and medical providers and financial advisers do for their clients, and face fines and other punishments if it did not.

Third, we need stronger and more consistent enforcement by the Federal Trade Commission of existing agreements it has signed with Facebook and harsher punishments when Facebook is found to be in breach of those agreements (which, if history is any guide, will be often). The time for symbolic punishments and slaps on the wrist and weakly enforced consent agreements is long past. At the beginning of June, the FTC announced that it was planning an anti-trust investigation of Facebook, which suggests that Facebook’s long honeymoon period with regulators might finally be over.

As Rosen notes, the end of that honeymoon has been a long time coming, and is extremely well-deserved. Lengthy, but well worth a read.

WHO WILL REPLACE SARAH SANDERS? A dozen contenders: Sanders’ departure triggers scramble for new press secretary.

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