August 18, 2019

ANALYSIS: TRUE. We Have Ruined Childhood: For youngsters these days, an hour of free play is like a drop of water in the desert. Of course they’re miserable.

School days are longer and more regimented. Kindergarten, which used to be focused on play, is now an academic training ground for the first grade. Young children are assigned homework even though numerous studies have found it harmful. STEM, standardized testing and active-shooter drills have largely replaced recess, leisurely lunches, art and music.

The role of school stress in mental distress is backed up by data on the timing of child suicide. “The suicide rate for children is twice what it is for children during months when school is in session than when it’s not in session,” according to Dr. Gray. “That’s true for suicide completion, suicide attempts and suicidal ideation, whereas for adults, it’s higher in the summer.” . . .

And so for many children, when the school day is over, it hardly matters; the hours outside school are more like school than ever. Children spend afternoons, weekends and summers in aftercare and camps while their parents work. The areas where children once congregated for unstructured, unsupervised play are now often off limits. And so those who can afford it drive their children from one structured activity to another. Those who can’t keep them inside. Free play and childhood independence have become relics, insurance risks, at times criminal offenses. . . .

Kids need recess. They need longer lunches. They need free play, family time, meal time. They need less homework, fewer tests, a greater emphasis on social-emotional learning.

What’s the obvious, but never-mentioned solution?

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WHILE SIMULTANEOUSLY REHABILITATING SOVIET COMMUNISM: NY Times Wants to ‘Reframe’ American History to Make Slavery Central to Our Founding.

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY, the State of Tennessee became the last necessary state to ratify the 19th Amendment, thus guaranteeing women the vote.  Here is an essay I wrote a while ago with Nancy Gertner on the subject.  It tells a few interesting stories about the road to women’s suffrage that you may not know.

ANNALS OF LEFTIST AUTOPHAGY: Bill Maher Calls BDS: Bullsh*t Purity Test–Rep. Talib Calls For Boycott Of Maher.

THEY’RE NOT THE ONLY ONES: Epstein’s Attorneys: We’re Not Fully Buying The Suicide Ruling.

“Gross negligence” is the absolute kindest possible take on what happened.

I WAS EXPECTING AN EARTH-SHATTERING KABOOM: A Doomed Comet Just Fell Into the Sun. Here’s the Video.

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RICHARD EPSTEIN:  “Forced Migration to Wind and Solar Could Hamper Nevada Economy.”

SPACE: Senators Defend Pork. The spin in this story is that Bridenstine hasn’t kowtowed to them enough; I think he’s been too kind.

OH, THE INTERSECTIONALITY OF IT ALL!:  The are many ways in which the Grand Progressive Coalition is jerrybuilt.  This is just one of them.  I don’t see how it can last.

AND WE’RE LESS WELL-PREPARED: A Major Cyber Attack Could Be Just as Deadly as Nuclear Weapons, Says Scientist.

WHY WE’RE STILL TALKING ABOUT CHARLES MANSON: Get Lost, Charlie. “Neil Armstrong’s footprints may be on the moon, but Manson’s footprints (or fingerprints, more aptly) seem more pervasive than do those of the Apollo heroes,” writes Paul Beston in a terrific essay on Manson’s cultural impact and the new film. “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is a Tarantino opus that contains all his hallmarks, good and bad, along with what seems a new sense of humanity and justice.” Read the whole thing.

IT HASN’T BEEN MARKETED TO THEM, FOR ONE THING: Older People Need Rides. Why Aren’t They Using Uber and Lyft? I agree that this can be a game-changer in terms of independence.

SHOCKER: Report: Epstein Prison Guards “Not Cooperating” With DOJ Probe.

SOME OF THE BEST-RUN MEDIUM-TERM IMMIGRATION DETENTION FACILITIES ARE PRIVATE: I’ve toured both a public and a privately-run medium-term* facility (and reported on them here). The private one was significantly nicer. I’ve also spoken to a federal official whose job it was to inspect both types. He told me that facilities dedicated to immigration detention tend to be well-run, whether public or private. It’s jails and prisons that do immigration detention as a sideline that tend to have problems, because they are not familiar with the special rules that apply to immigration detention. Yet a vastly disproportionate share of the energies of those who object to the conditions at detention facilities is aimed at privately-run facilities in particular.

This is true when the Left objects to conditions at regular jails and prisons too. It is apparently driven in significant part by unions that object to the lower wages at private prisons.

*I claim no familiarity with the holding tanks at which illegal immigrants are initially held, sometimes for a day or two, after being initially picked up. I have never visited one. The detainees I talked to had no complaints concerning the longer-term facilities I toured, but some did complain about the place they were initially taken. The most common complaint was that they were too cold.

WHO COULD HAVE SEEN THIS COMING? Pot poisonings among kids, teens double after medical marijuana law passed.

SECONDS: Kathy Shaidle looks back at the brilliant and terrifying 1966 John Frankenheimer film starring Rock Hudson.

Much has been written about the multiple subtexts of Seconds — the Hollywood “blacklist,” as well as Hudson’s then-secret (more or less) gay identity; the crazy “Brian Wilson connection”; the extraordinary lengths to which Wong Howe and Frankenheimer went to realize their vision: For one thing, to thin out a section of Grand Central Station to capture their opening shots, they hired a woman in a bikini to create a crowd-forming spectacle at the other side of the terminal.

And all these factors do indeed add invisible yet palpable depth to a film that is in and of itself a stunning feat of storytelling, acting and technical prowess.

Liberal fans of Seconds praise it as — you guessed it — a chilling condemnation of shallow materialistic American consumerism and conformity. Yet few of them mention that when Hamilton gets his twice in a lifetime opportunity to savor the idealized progressive lifestyle instead, he’s miserable then too. Actually more so.

In fact, coming out as it did in that pivotal year between the early Sixties New Frontier/Mad Men era, and the late Sixties of Woodstock and Manson, Seconds could just as easily be read as a critique of the then-nascent youth “drop out” counterculture.

Read the whole thing, though as James Lileks once wrote, “The hero wakes up to find himself looking like Rock Hudson. He does not adapt well.  The viewer thinks: you moron. Cheer up! You look like Rock Hudson! Get to work! Enjoy!”

HOTS ON FOR NOWHERE: Bill Maher: Yes, a recession would be worth it to get rid of Trump.

As Fox News host Martha MacCallum said to Victor Davis Hanson on Thursday,  “I was listening to a lot of different news networks this morning, as I often do…getting a read on what everybody’s saying about what’s going on and, you know, I couldn’t help but feel that there was a bit of sort of enthusiasm for the possibility that maybe the economy might tank.”

Virginia Postrel dubbed it “Depression lust” in late 2008.

IN THE MAIL: From George Will, The Conservative Sensibility.

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ROGER SIMON: Real Clear Politics Is What the New York Times Pretended to Be.

WHAT IF THE “GLOBAL TEMPERATURE” DOESN’T EVEN EXIST? Issues & Insights (I&I) has the answer. The I&I guys are on Al Gore’s amazing Internet (HT: Chris Plante), but he’s not going to like what they say on this one.

PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: College settles anti-male bias lawsuit rather than face a jury.

The actions of Grinnell officials were called into question by U.S. District Judge Rebecca Goodgame Ebinger in the July ruling.

One of them is former chief justice of the Iowa Supreme Court, Marsha Ternus, now a lawyer in private practice who specializes in student conduct adjudications.

She apparently refused to consider evidence that one of Doe’s female accusers consented to sexual activity with him. Ternus also may have relied on gender stereotypes about women and birth control to determine that Doe lacked consent, and appeared to go easier on a female student found responsible for sexual misconduct in a different case.

Ebinger scrutinized the actions of other officials. Andrea Conner, assistant vice president for student affairs, invited Ternus to possibly violate a policy she oversaw, while Title IX Coordinator Angela Voos invented a policy requirement in her deposition.

The judge even called out Grinnell’s legal team for falsely characterizing its adjudication policy in her court.

I hope they’ll be sanctioned.

PHILANTHROPIC TYRANNY IS WHAT SPLC IS ABOUT: Capital Research Center’s Hayden Ludwig zeroes in on what this advance guard of the People’s Republic of America seeks in its campaign against Donor Advised Funds (DAF) on the Right, but not on the Left.

“THE 1619 PROJECT:” The New York Times Rewrites American History.

Earlier: Is The New York Times a Newspaper, Or the Oberlin Faculty Senate?

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: ‘Social justice’ majors, courses, events are new norm on college campuses.

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“CLARENCE THOMAS AND THE LOST CONSTITUTION”:  Written by Myron Magnet.  Reviewed by Peter Wood.

THIS EXPLAINS A LOT: ‘Luxury beliefs’ are the latest status symbol for rich Americans.

A former classmate from Yale recently told me “monogamy is kind of outdated” and not good for society. So I asked her what her background is and if she planned to marry.

She said she comes from an affluent family and works at a well-known technology company. Yes, she personally intends to have a monogamous marriage — but quickly added that marriage shouldn’t have to be for everyone.

She was raised by a traditional family. She planned on having a traditional family. But she maintained that traditional families are old-fashioned and society should “evolve” beyond them.

What could explain this?

In the past, upper-class Americans used to display their social status with luxury goods. Today, they do it with luxury beliefs.

People care a lot about social status. In fact, research indicates that respect and admiration from our peers are even more important than money for our sense of well-being.

We feel pressure to display our status in new ways. This is why fashionable clothing always changes. But as trendy clothes and other products become more accessible and affordable, there is increasingly less status attached to luxury goods.

The upper classes have found a clever solution to this problem: luxury beliefs. These are ideas and opinions that confer status on the rich at very little cost, while taking a toll on the lower class. . . .

In other words, upper-class whites gain status by talking about their high status. When laws are enacted to combat white privilege, it won’t be the privileged whites who are harmed. Poor whites will bear the brunt.

It’s possible that affluent whites don’t always agree with their own luxury beliefs, or at least have doubts. Maybe they don’t like the ideological fur coat they’re wearing. But if their peers punish them for not sporting it all over town, they will never leave the house without it again.

Because, like with diamond rings or designer clothes of old, upper-class people don a luxury belief to separate themselves from the lower class. These beliefs, in turn, produce real, tangible consequences for disadvantaged people, further widening the divide.

Well put.

ROGER KIMBALL ON TRUMP AND TONE: “At any rate, the situation in China reminds me of one of the political philosopher James Burnham’s famous political laws: Where there is no alternative there is no problem. What’s the alternative to Donald Trump on any of these issues? Joe Biden? Elizabeth Warren? Bernie Sanders? To ask the question is to answer it.”

Read the whole thing.

UPDATE (FROM GLENN): What’s funny to me about China is that the same people who were saying that Trump would blunder into a war with some thoughtless angry tweet are now dumping on Trump for not interrupting his delicate negotiations to call the Chinese murderers.

WHICH IS SAYING SOMETHING: Gov. Gavin Newsom’s claim about the homeless was so absurd even Politifact couldn’t spin it.

LOG CABIN REPUBLICANS: Trump Met His Committments To LGBTQ Americans. He Has Our Endorsement.

IS THAT EVEN ALLOWED? Janet Albrechtsen: Let us now praise masculine men.

On Tuesday afternoon a handful of men ran into the face of danger. Going about their business only seconds before, they confronted a man brandishing a bloody knife, pinning him down in the middle of a bustling Sydney street. The men who stopped further bloodshed have been called heroes, and they will be recognised for their courage. In passing, can we praise masculinity too? Or is that too controversial in an age when masculinity is raised only to condemn what is wrong with men and to preach how to change them.

Today, any celebration of masculinity is limited to praising men who do more housework and get involved with their kids, men who are able to cry, empathise with women and express their feelings. All very important stuff. But none of that would have restrained a crazed man who was threatening more violent carnage in Sydney’s CBD. Can we praise men who do both please?

Lawyer John Bamford picked up a wicker chair from the cafe he was in, raced outside and chased the attacker, 21-year-old Mert Ney, who was bloodied, jumping on a car bonnet while wielding his knife and screaming at passers-by. Ney was jammed to the ground by men using a milk crate and two chairs. Bamford returned the chair to the cafe and ordered a pie.

Traffic controller Steven Georgiadis tried to tackle Ney to the ground. “As soon as I saw the knife I moved to the side so I could crash tackle him sideways so he wouldn’t stab me,” said Georgiadis, who managed to stand on the bloody knife.

From their office window, brothers Luke and Paul O’Shaughnessy saw the mayhem unfolding in the street below and raced down to help. They followed a trail of blood to the man who is alleged to have murdered one woman and stabbed another. “(We) were like ‘Right, where is he? Where is he?’ … I’m shouting, because I’m a bit more risk-averse than Luke, (who is) straight in there.”

NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller described these men as heroes of the highest order. It is also true that the heroes were all men exhibiting traits now routinely derided as part of traditional masculinity — brute force and ­aggression, taking charge, adrenalin pumping, taking risks.

Do we fear praising masculinity in case it leads to a scolding for encouraging toxic masculinity?

It’s not an unreasonable fear because the conflation of masculinity with toxic masculinity, to use the phrase favoured by the roving gender police, has become routine. This common sleight of hand to use gender to confect some crudely defined phenomenon stokes pointless gender wars and risks harming both men and women. . . .

Perhaps Gillette’s next foray into “The Best Men Can Be” will include some vision of those brave men saving Sydneysiders from further violence earlier this week. It does no one any favours when gender is used as a cheap weapon, a stunt for ulterior motives.

I remember when people used to say with a straight face that feminism isn’t about hating men.

August 17, 2019

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POST-CHRISTIANITY: Methodist University Hires a Muslim Chaplain.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Via Jim Geraghty.)


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

(Via Terry Teachout.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Related: Chicago Politicians Are In Bed With The Gangs.

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

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


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

—Michael Barone, yesterday.

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

—Allahpundit, Hot Air, Thursday.

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

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

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

MARK ELLIS: Trump’s Gray Column.

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

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

NO. NEXT?   July 2019 – Hottest July Ever?

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

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

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

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

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



August 16, 2019


OPEN THREAD: Bring on the weekend.

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