May 26, 2017

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JUSTICE: Judge overturns life without parole sentence for DC sniper Lee Boyd Malvo.

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SO, HERE’S SOME SWELL NEWS TO START THE WEEKEND OFF RIGHT: Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said that if we knew what he knows about terror threats in this country, we’d “never leave the house.”

UPDATE (FROM GLENN): I think he left off “unarmed.”

LONG MARCH THROUGH THE INSTITUTIONS: Push to get more anti-Israel activists into power at American Anthropology Association.

The countermove is to get state legislatures and trustees to defund travel to their conferences, and departmental memberships. In fact, given the widespread Gramscian damage, a move to defund all conference travel, and all departmental memberships in academic associations, would be an effective move.

A MEASURE OF ACCOUNTABILITY: Charges filed against Tim Kaine’s son, others who crashed MN Capitol Trump rally. “The chaos that counter-protesters brought into the Minnesota Capitol in March during a rally in support of President Donald Trump included smoke bombs, mace in people’s faces and fireworks, prosecutors said Friday as they announced charges against eight people. . . . ‘When people seek to prevent others who are peacefully assembled from making their voices heard, it threatens the very foundation of our democracy and I am very pleased that we have gathered sufficient evidence to charge these individuals who we allege unlawfully took their counter protest activities too far,’ Choi said Friday.”



● Shot: The conservative mind has become diseased.

—Former GWB speechwriter Michael Gerson in the Washington Post today on Hannity and Limbaugh’s Seth Rich conspiracy theories.

● Chaser: Tim Kaine’s kid hit with criminal charges after disrupting pro-Trump rally.

● Hangover: De Blasio employee arrested for child pornography.

—Both from the New York Post, today.

NIXON WASN’T IMPEACHED, OF COURSE. BUT HEY, BILL WAS: Hillary Jabs Trump at Commencement Speech, Brings Up Nixon’s Impeachment.


Meet the new Hillary – just the same as all of the old Hillaries.

THE OBVIOUS COURSE OF ACTION IS TO SUE APPLE: Working Theory in Jet Crash: iPhone in Cockpit Is to Blame. “The theory is that the co-pilot plugged the device into a socket not meant for such things, which eventually caused the lithium battery to explode and ignited a fire in the cockpit.”

TO DO THAT, DON’T YOU HAVE TO GO AWAY FIRST? Obama Attempts Government In Exile.

The unprecedented extent to which the Democrats have tried to delegitimize Trump’s presidency, starting the day after the election, has done tremendous damage. But most of the tongue-clucking from pundits is aimed at Trump, for some reason.

CHARLOTTE ALLEN: We’re Living The Handmaid’s Tale Now, But Not The Way Feminists Think:

At first I scoffed. There couldn’t be any more unlikely a theocrat than Trump, what with his misquotes from the Bible and speculation that he hasn’t been in a church more than twice since the inauguration. But then I realized that the liberal paranoiacs were right. Except not in the way they think. Instead of seeing Atwood’s fictional Gilead as a near-future militant fundamentalist Christian elite dystopia, we should see it as the mostly secularist elite dystopia we live in right now.

Take those elite-class Wives. Liberals typically assume the 1% consists of striped-pants tycoons off the Monopoly board who reliably vote Republican and want to cram retrograde religious ideas down people’s throats. In fact, as social scientists (Charles Murray in “Coming Apart”) and political analysts (Michael Barone, writing recently for the Capital Research Center) have observed, it’s the Democratic Party that’s the party of the 1%: the tech and finance billionaires, the media and entertainment moguls who cluster in expensive ZIP Codes around metropolitan Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York and Washington.

Those folks aren’t known for their church-going, and they vote in favor of liberal social and economic causes from abortion and immigration rights to sustainable energy to higher taxes. They contribute heavily to political campaign, and with their upper-middle-class epigones they run the culture, deciding who gets banned on Twitter, which kinds of “diversity” are allowed on campuses, and what television programs we’ll be allowed to see. Today’s overclass Wives typically hold Ivy League degrees, “lean in” to high-status careers, and stand with Planned Parenthood.

We also have a rigidly defined caste of Marthas (and “Marthos,” their male counterparts), because the Wives and their high-earning husbands need them to mop their floors, care for their children, mow their lawns and trim their trees, all for bargain-basement wages. And so we have the irony of Malibu declaring itself a sanctuary city out of “solidarity” with its servant class, many of whom are in the country illegally, who can’t afford to live anywhere near their wealthy and high-minded masters and mistresses.

Finally, the Handmaids. As in the fictional Gilead, real-life elite-class Wives have something of a fertility problem, although it’s related not to environmental degradation but delayed marriages and childbearing attempts of women who pursue high-power careers. Thanks to 30 years of advances in egg-transfer technology since Atwood published her novel, today’s gestational surrogates don’t have to get into embarrassing “threesome” sexual positions with the Commanders and their Wives in order to do their jobs. And they tend to be drawn not from the ranks of political dissidents, but from the financially strapped Econowife class (military bases are common surrogate-recruiting centers) who are willing to put up with a year’s worth of uncomfortable hormone treatments and possible pregnancy problems for the $40,000 or so that they receive.

Related: How Serfdom Saved The Women’s Movement.

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: Yale Cements Its Line in the Academic Sand by Awarding the Student ‘Truthtellers’ Who Bullied Faculty. In 2015, an email over Halloween costume propriety prompted a public debate over free speech and race. Its conclusion is telling.

Related: Campus ‘Snowflakes’ Will Never Face the ‘Real World.’

WHY TRUMP GOT ELECTED, PART 1,322,217. “‘Far Cry 5’ Is About Living Under Fear in America. The game will put the player up against a Montana based cult and militia that has plenty of real world analogues:”

Dan Hay, creative director and executive producer of Far Cry 5, is standing in front of a TV displaying the word pressure, written out in all caps. PRESSURE. He’s telling a room of games journalists about the game he’s wanted to make since the 2008 recession, one that engaged with the rise of rural, American militias during Obama’s presidency. What if, Hay said, one of these groups so dedicated to preparing for the end days of America decided to actively push for it, instead.

But he couldn’t find enough support for the game: the core premise seemed “unrealistic.” After all, the world—the western world, it is implied—was “a global village.”

* * * * * * * *

Though the game’s “key art” and first teaser trailer focus only on the cult, Hay’s presentation (and many of the assets that Ubisoft sent to the games press for today’s embargo lift) additionally evoke a more mundane, almost idyllic Hope County: Bait shops. Main street bars. Little league fields. Two bedroom homes with flags out front. Taken alone, these parts of the FC5 press blast read like a love letter to the “fly over states” like Montana.

Responses to that key art over the past few days has been mixed, including arguments that FC5 will simply be about killing stereotypical, white “rednecks.” This response (and Far Cry’s own history) shows why this focus on “everyday” Montana is necessary. Far Cry as a series has always labored over transforming beautiful, distant places into chaotic playgrounds—these are even the words Hay uses to describe the series, “beauty and chaos”—and it has often done so with limited or mishandled interest in the inhabitants of these places.

Hat tip, Kathy Shaidle, who adds, “No word on when the same company will be doing a video game about Muslim terrorists.”

That’s different because shut up and maybe they’ll all go away.

Related: 7 Virtue-Signaling Celebrities Silent on Massacre of Coptic Christians.

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Trump supporters, apparently, have it the worst.

For the vast majority of conservatives who work in entertainment, going to set or the office each day has become a game of avoidance and secrecy. The political closet is now a necessity for many in an industry that is among the most liberal in the country.

The Hollywood Reporter also weighed in on the subject. A magazine columnist decried the “new McCarthyism” facing conservatives in the entertainment business.

In an astonishing reversal of Hollywood history, just as liberals here once considered themselves an endangered species, so do conservatives today. They no longer are free to talk in the open, because they feel — rightly — we’re no longer prepared to listen, any more than they’re prepared to listen to liberals. There’s deafness on both sides.

Why are we acting like this is a “shocking,” “astonishing” new development, or the new blacklist is exclusive to Trump supporters? Roger Simon’s autobiography of his screenwriting days, was originally titled Blacklisting Myself when first published in early 2009 for a reason: in Hollywood, admitting that you were a supporter of President Bush or for simply not laughing at the reflexive Bush bashing by Learjet leftie Hollywood executives was a near-guarantee of losing a writing or acting gig.

Nothing has changed except for the level of hatred by the Hollywood left – which is now so bad, ABC cancelled Tim Allen’s Last Man Standing series, despite it being the number two-rated sitcom on the network,very likely because of its conservative tone.

I STILL MISS HARVEY’S, WHICH DID OLD-SCHOOL OLD-SCHOOL. The Stalwarts: 7 Classic Washington D.C. Restaurants. “The Restaurant of Presidents.” I didn’t realize that it still existed in the suburbs until I looked it up.

TRUMP’S RAMADAN MESSAGE: Holiday Can Strengthen Muslims’ Resolve to Battle Terrorists’ ‘Perverted Ideology’

RULE OF LAW: Byron York: On travel ban, judges reach ‘Trump only’ decision. “Chief Judge Roger Gregory’s majority decision is 79 pages long, but it boils down a single point: It doesn’t matter whether the text of the Trump order is constitutional, because the president’s previous statements about Muslims, made mostly during the campaign, prove that it is based in animus against a religion, and is therefore unconstitutional. . . . The majority’s decision, as laid out by Gregory, suggests a mind-bending possibility: If the Trump executive order, every single word of it, were issued by another president who had not made such statements on the campaign trail, the court would find it constitutional.”

The judiciary’s prestige-well is going to dry up pretty fast at this rate.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: How to launch your own beer brand for $5,000.

Although I can’t help but think of an old joke I first heard in Napa. “How do you make a small fortune in wine? Start with a huge fortune…”

YOU DON’T SAY: Comcast customer satisfaction drops 6% after TV price hikes.

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And speaking of pain, in-between coughing fits, Hillary told graduating Wellesley students,  “There will be trolls galore, online and in person, eager to tell you that you don’t have anything worthwhile to say, or anything meaningful to contribute. They may even call you a nasty woman.”

Wow, she’s still really bitter about how her fellow Democrats discarded her in 2008 like Bill tosses used interns, isn’t she?

IS THERE ANYTHING IT CAN’T DO? Drinking coffee may help prevent liver cancer, study suggests. I’ve blogged about this before, but the evidence keeps piling up.

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BUT OF COURSE: De Blasio Confirms He Will March In Parade Honoring Puerto Rican Terrorist.

WHY ARE LEFTWING UNIVERSITIES SUCH CESSPITS OF INTOLERANCE AND VIOLENCE? Police Tell Prof He’s in Danger for Not Participating in Campus ‘No Whites’ Day.

HE’S NOT ACTING LIKE A COMMIE STOOGE: Trump Launches First FONOP in South China Sea. “For the first time since President Trump took office, the U.S. Navy has conducted a freedom-of-navigation operation in the South China Sea, provoking a predictable protest from Beijing. . . . This patrol has been a long time coming. Along with others, we have been wondering whether the Trump administration had so far declined to approve FONOPs in a gambit to solicit China’s cooperation on North Korea. If that logic indeed held sway early on, it seems that the administration has now changed its tune, rightfully recognizing that going easy on China in one dispute won’t guarantee its cooperation on another. The exercise also sends an important signal in its own right that the U.S. refuses to recognize China’s claims, and that it will not remain passive as Beijing seeks to expand its maritime reach.”


BANNING LOU REED: The Cultural Revolution Eats Its Fathers.

I wrote about the left’s counteraction to Reed just a few days ago.

S.C. SERIAL KILLER: Todd Kohlhepp pleads guilty in seven South Carolina slayings.

Todd Kohlhepp admitted his role in the deaths of seven people less than seven months after he was arrested when investigators checking on a missing couple rescued a woman “chained like a dog” inside a shipping container on his Spartanburg County property. “48 Hours” investigated the case in the episode, “Buried Truth.”

The woman, Kala Brown, had been raped and locked inside the container for more than two months after Kohlhepp shot and killed her boyfriend, authorities said. Charles David Carter, 32, was the last of the seven murder victims.

CBS News does not normally identify victims of sexual assault, but Brown has spoken publicly about her ordeal. She said on the “Dr. Phil” show in February that Kohlhepp raped her daily during her captivity and bragged that he was good at killing, claiming that his victims numbered nearly 100.

The plea deal keeps Kohlhepp from facing execution, but the story doesn’t say whether it includes cooperating on identifying any victims beyond the seven he pleaded guilty to killing.

HMM: Alzheimer’s deaths are skyrocketing, CDC reports.

PUTTING THE “C” IN GENOCIDE: Hunter College Offers ‘Abolition of Whiteness’ Class.

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ELI LAKE: Trump’s Allies, Convicted of High Crimes Without a Trial.

Flynn has yet to be charged with a crime. If there is evidence that he betrayed his country, it has yet to be presented. None of the many news stories about Flynn’s contacts with Russians and Turks has accused him of being disloyal to his country. And yet a decorated general has already been tried and convicted in the press.

None of this would be happening without some very dirty business from the national security state. It’s a two-pronged campaign. First there are the whispers. Anonymous officials describe in detail elements of an ongoing investigation: intercepts of conversations between Russian officials about how they could influence Flynn during the transition; monitored phone calls about how Flynn had lied about his conversations with the Russian ambassador to his colleagues; how Flynn failed to disclose his payment from the Russian propaganda network on his official forms. This prong of the campaign is at least factual, but the facts don’t speak for themselves.

The second and more insidious element here is the innuendo. Yates never says Flynn was a spy for Russia. But her public remarks to Congress and the media appear designed to leave that impression. As she told Lizza, Flynn was “compromised by the Russians.” This sounds far more sinister than Flynn’s explanation when he left his post in February. Back then he said he had forgotten elements of his discussion with the Russian ambassador that covered a wide range of issues.

Yates’s innuendo is nothing compared to that dropped by former CIA director John Brennan.

Read the whole thing and remember: The Deep State does what it wills.

CAN WE QUANTIFY MACHINE CONSCIOUSNESS? “Computationalism is based on the assumption that if two systems are functionally indistinguishable, they will be mentally indistinguishable. Because we experience the world, the argument goes, a digital computer that is functionally equivalent to us would necessarily also experience the world as we do—that is, it would also be conscious. But is this assumption warranted? To answer such a question, we need a principled, quantitative theory of what consciousness is and what it takes for a physical system to have it.”

I wrote a song once called Shut Up And Compute! but I’m not sure I actually adhere to that philosophy, whether in physics or in AI.

THE WINE-GLASS CEILING: Hillary on handling defeat: “Chardonnay helped.”

But maybe some of it went down the wrong way: Hillary Clinton has a coughing fit while delivering Wellesley graduation speech.

HAVE YOU HUGGED A FRACKER TODAY? Gasoline prices ahead of Memorial Day are higher than 2016, but second lowest since 2009.


The Constitution protects freedom of speech and freedom of the press not just for reporters, but for everyone. And the Constitution guarantees due process for the criminally accused. Someone who would “strongly condemn a politician committing assault on a reporter” might also demonstrate a love of constitutional values by refraining from assuming that a particular individual accused of committing a crime is guilty. The hesitation to condemn Gianforte — I believe, even though I averted my eyes from yesterday’s swarming and feasting — had to do with a fear that an audiotape was being exploited and possibly distorted to raise a sudden frenzy just as an election was occurring.

You talk about courage, but jumping into a frenzied mob isn’t a mark of courage. Show me everyone who without hesitation condemned Gianforte, and I’d like to know whether he or she either: 1. Wanted the Republican to lose the election, or 2. Was afraid of getting attacked for endorsing violence. Is there anyone left? Show me the man or woman of true courage.

You can forgive people for believing that any last-minute pile-on directed at at GOP candidate is probably a hoax, because it’s so often the case — and the news media, functioning as Democratic Party operatives with bylines, are not to be counted on for accuracy.

SKYNET (OR MAYBE HOWARD WOLOWITZ) SMILES: Meet the Most Nimble-Fingered Robot Yet.

KARL HERCHENROEDER: Dem Bill Would Require ‘Good Cause’ for FBI Director Dismissal.

How many more good causes would Comey have required?

THE FALL OF CONSTANTINOPLE: May 29, 1453. RealClearHistory links to a 1999 Economist article that reviews the historical event then relates it to more contemporary issues involving Europe and Turkey.

For example:

The fall of Constantinople brought to a head many trends already under way. One was the slide of the Byzantine empire’s power, as the loss of Anatolian lands left it short of revenue and recruits, and thus more dependent on fickle Italian allies; another the flight of Greek scholars (particularly brilliant in Byzantium’s final years) to Italy, where they helped to stimulate the Renaissance.

Yet another was the emergent contest in south-eastern Europe between the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires. The Turks were besieging Vienna in 1683 and repeatedly at war with Russia or Austria in the 130 years thereafter. They held southern Greece until 1832, today’s Bulgaria, Romania, Bosnia and nominally Serbia until 1878, the lands south of these down to liberated Greece until 1913. Hence the Muslim pockets—Albania, Bosnia—that for most Europeans today are the only reminder that the country they see as a source of cheap, resented, migrant labour was once a mighty power in Europe.

But a part of Europe? Allied with Germany in the first world war, and therefore stripped of their remaining Middle Eastern empire, the Turks by 1922 were strong enough again to drive Greece’s troops, and centuries of Greek society, from Anatolia. Old enmities were resharpened by the Turkish invasion of northern Cyprus in 1974. If the European Union still hesitates, despite Turkey’s decades inside NATO, about its wish for EU membership too, the real reasons lie centuries deep; not least in 1453.

Yes, an 18 year-old article that’s still rather current.

RELATED: UN calls off Cyprus talks. That’s a headline from today, May 26, 2017.

The negotiations that began in May 2015 have made significant progress on how to share power in an envisioned federation, but they have stumbled on pivotal issues of post-reunification security arrangements and how much territory each side would administer.

The current impasse concerns the 35,000 troops that Turkey keeps in the breakaway Turkish Cypriot north. Greek Cypriots want all Turkish troops gone as part of any deal and propose an international police force to oversee security. The minority Turkish Cypriots say the troops are their only security guarantee. Turkish officials have said there can be no peace deal without a Turkish troop presence.

ALSO RELATED: A column on Cyprus written 13 years ago — it’s dated but still useful background. “…in these embedded conflicts involving land, religion and culture, no one forgets, and only the wise few forgive.”

ABSOLUTE POWER, BABY: Sweden’s Controversial Blocklist Based on One Feminist’s Personal Whims.

SOMEONE SHOULD ASK ALL THE PEOPLE WHO COMPLAINED ABOUT COMEY’S FIRING WHAT THEY THINK ABOUT THIS: Declassified memos show FBI illegally shared spy data on Americans with private parties.

Question: If it’s illegal, will anyone be prosecuted? And you know the answer.

RELIGIOUS CLEANSING: On Eve of Ramadan, Islamic Gunmen Kill 28 Coptic Christians on Pilgrimage in Egypt.

PROCUREMENT: The Army has developed a bullet that penetrates 5.56 mm-resistant body armor.

During a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the Army’s budget request, Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, asked Milley how the Army was doing in developing a new rifle to replace the M4 and a more powerful round to replace the 5.56 mm bullet it fires.

“We think we have a solution,” Milley said. “We know we have developed a bullet that can penetrate these new plates.”

Milley said that rifles and body armor for U.S. troops are “critically important,” noting that 70 percent of U.S. casualties are borne by ground troops, mostly infantry and special operators conducting infantry-type missions.

“The 5.56 round, we recognize there is a type of body armor it does not penetrate, and adversarial states are selling that stuff on the Internet for about 250 bucks,” Milley said.

As I learned years ago from reading Austin Bay and Jim Dunnigan, in the escalating battle between thicker armor and deadlier projectiles, typically the deadlier projectiles win out in the end.

FASTER, PLEASE: Navy Adds Second Attack Sub to 2021 Plans; Considering 3 SSNs in Future Years.

Due to concerns about overwhelming the two sub construction yards – Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Newport News Shipbuilding and General Dynamics Electric Boat – with too much new work, as the Block V boats are set to include a new Virginia Payload Module section around the same time SSBN construction will begin, the Navy previously planned to buy just one SSN in years it also bought an SSBN. Due to an impending attack sub shortfall, though, Navy plans have continued to up and up the amount of work that could come to the two builders.

“In the past we had anticipated dropping down our submarine construction, our attack submarine construction, during years of the Columbia program procurement,” Acting Navy Secretary Sean Stackley told the Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee this morning.

“In fact, we intend to, and we’re laying the groundwork, to sustain [a] two submarine per year procurement rate – because that is our number-one shortfall.”

Our aging Los Angeles-class attack subs are being retired faster than the Virginia-class boats can be built to replace them — too fast even by our plan to shrink the submarine fleet.

ROGER SIMON: Leakers and Journalists Are Destroying Our Republic.

Like former President Obama and his colleagues, I doubt many of either group are losing much sleep over that.


It would be wise for the nation’s objective and center-left media outlets to join the right in dedicating some attention to a bombshell scoop alleging the systemic violation of American civil rights in the Obama years.

According to an unsealed document obtained by Circa’s reporters, an opinion authored by a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court disclosed that about 5 percent—or one out of every 20—intercepts of foreign communications by the National Security Agency swept up data on American citizens. Intercepts increased by three-fold following the Obama administration’s loosening of U.S. privacy rules in 2011. Those intercepts were self-reported by the Obama administration in late 2016, but the court issued an uncommon rebuke of the administration for failing to make those disclosures sooner. That “institutional lack of candor” concealed a “very serious Fourth Amendment issue,” the court document read.

This is no small matter. In January, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Attorney General Loretta Lynch approved of new rules for the NSA that would further loosen standards regarding what raw intelligence data it was allowed to share with the rest of the intelligence and law-enforcement community. At the time, privacy advocates demanded the administration rein in the powers of the presidency if only to box in Trump. Not only did the Obama administration do precisely the opposite, “former Obama administration officials” bragged to reporters about the obvious trail of intelligence gleaned from foreign intercepts they left behind for anyone interested in investigating the Trump campaign’s links to Russia.

Our “intelligence community” is looking more and more like a political machine.

OH: No funding plan doesn’t stop lawmakers from moving health care bill along.

A California Senate committee tasked with reviewing bills that spend state money passed a $400 billion universal health care proposal Thursday with no funding plan.

Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, introduced SB 562, a sweeping overhaul of the state’s health insurance market. He’s also the chair of Senate Appropriations. The committee passed the bill with a 5-2 vote during a fast-paced suspense file hearing, clearing the way for it to be taken up on the Senate floor next week.

The vote came days after the committee revealed the Legislature’s first cost assessment of the bill, which turns out to be more than the entire state budget for the year beginning July 1.

Lara has yet to reveal a detailed plan about how the state would come up with the money to provide health care to the nearly 40 million people living in California. Opponents argued that the funding issue should have been addressed before the committee voted on the measure.

It looks increasingly as though Sacramento is going to go ahead with single payer — and so far, without a care for how to pay or for the likely consequences.

BEGUN, THE LEAK WAR HAS: Declassified memos show FBI illegally shared spy data on Americans with private parties.

In his final congressional testimony before he was fired by President Trump this month, then-FBI Director James Comey unequivocally told lawmakers his agency used sensitive espionage data gathered about Americans without a warrant only when it was “lawfully collected, carefully overseen and checked.”

Once-top secret U.S. intelligence community memos reviewed by Circa tell a different story, citing instances of “disregard” for rules, inadequate training and “deficient” oversight and even one case of deliberately sharing spy data with a forbidden party.

For instance, a ruling declassified this month by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) chronicles nearly 10 pages listing hundreds of violations of the FBI’s privacy-protecting minimization rules that occurred on Comey’s watch.

The behavior the FBI admitted to a FISA judge just last month ranged from illegally sharing raw intelligence with unauthorized third parties to accessing intercepted attorney-client privileged communications without proper oversight the bureau promised was in place years ago.

The Deep State does what it wills.

JOURNALISM: Shock: Complete MSM News Blackout on NSA Illegal Spying Bombshell.

MEMORIAL DAY THOUGHTS: Bitter, Party of One.

AMERICANS TO MEDIA: DROP DEAD! Greg Gianforte Campaign Raised $100K After Candidate Assaulted Reporter.

For once, maybe the question “Why do they hate us?” is actually germane.

(Classical reference in the headline.)

CONVOY DUTY, SUMMER OF ’41: A color photo of the battleship USS Texas (BB-35) participating in a North Atlantic convoy operation in the summer of 1941. A silhouette at sunset.

WHY ARE DEMOCRAT-DOMINATED INSTITUTIONS SUCH CESSPITS OF REPRESSIVE VIOLENCE: Bay Area college professor used U-shaped bike lock in beating, police say: Alleged Antifa bike lock attacker Eric Clanton held in Berkeley jail.

Eric Clanton remained in custody in lieu of $200,000 bail at Berkeley Jail on Thursday and is scheduled to be arraigned at 9 a.m. Friday at Oakland’s Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse. He was arrested on three counts of suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon that isn’t a firearm and assault causing great bodily injury.

In a statement Thursday, police acknowledged that video of the incident, captured by onlookers and posted on social media, helped them identify Clanton as the suspect behind “several violent assaults” that happened April 15 during the demonstration at Civic Center Park on Martin Luther King Jr. Way.

Police confirmed Clanton can be seen in videos hitting people in the head with a U-shaped bicycle lock. Three people received “significant injuries” because of the beatings, police said.

Homicide detectives handled the investigation because of the seriousness of the assaults, police said. Investigators served warrants Wednesday at unspecified addresses in San Leandro and Oakland, the latter of which is where authorities took Clanton into custody.

Nice to — finally — see some accountability here.

THE RENEWABLE JOBS LIE: It’s one of many peddled by leftists. This column in Forbes, by James Taylor, fisks an article written by Allan Hoffman, a former Dept. of Energy bureaucrat who makes the claim that the renewable energy sector creates more jobs than conventional energy.

Renewable energy advocates often claim renewable energy creates more jobs than conventional energy, but such claims are based on deception and false comparisons. In reality, renewable energy isn’t even in the same universe of job creation as conventional energy.


Public policy officials, do not be duped. The next time somebody claims wind and solar power create more jobs than natural gas and other conventional energy sources, ask them for specific definitions and parameters of the job numbers cited. If they falsely claim the definitions and parameters are similar, call them on it. If they truthfully answer that the definitions and parameters do not match up, ask them why they are presenting deliberately misleading data.

Indeed, a first class fisking!

BOY, THIS HAS BEEN A BAD YEAR FOR THE FBI: Bad intel from Russia influenced Comey’s Clinton announcement: report.

MEANWHILE, BACK ON THE CHINA-NORTH KOREA BORDER: The U.S. Acting Assistant Secretary of State Susan Thorton quoted Chinese officials as saying they have “tightened border inspections, beefed up policing on the border and stepped up customs inspections.”

However, Ms. Thorton added: “Their calculus about how much pressure to impose on North Korea is related to their tolerance for potential instability, which is low, I would say.”

Someone needs to remind Beijing that a nuclear war on the Korean peninsula will create actual instability.

BRAHMA CHELLANEY: China’s imperial overreach.

Yet Xi has set his sights much higher: he aspires to become modern China’s most transformative leader. Just as Mao helped to create a reunified and independent China, and Deng Xiaoping launched China’s ‘reform and opening up,’ Xi wants to make China the central player in the global economy and the international order.

So, repeating a mantra of connectivity, China dangles low-interest loans in front of countries in urgent need of infrastructure, thereby pulling those countries into its economic and security sphere. China stunned the world by buying the Greek port of Piraeus for $420 million. From there to the Seychelles, Djibouti, and Pakistan, port projects that China insisted were purely commercial have acquired military dimensions.

But Xi’s ambition may be blinding him to the dangers of his approach. Given China’s insistence on government-to-government deals on projects and loans, the risks to lenders and borrowers have continued to grow. Concessionary financing may help China’s state-owned companies bag huge overseas contracts; but, by spawning new asset-quality risks, it also exacerbates the challenges faced by the Chinese banking system.

The risk of non-performing loans at state-owned banks is already clouding China’s future economic prospects. Since reaching a peak of $4 trillion in 2014, the country’s foreign-exchange reserves have fallen by about a quarter. The ratings agency Fitch has warned that many OBOR projects—most of which are being pursued in vulnerable countries with speculative-grade credit ratings—face high execution risks, and could prove unprofitable.

The coming years will determine whether Beijing’s reach exceeds its grasp, or if China’s Communists have pulled Central Asia and East Africa more or less permanently into their orbit.

TO BE HONEST, CAN YOU BLAME THEM? Salena Zito: Americans have lost faith in government.

It is no mystery that Americans do not have trust in their government. A recent Pew survey finds only 3 percent of Americans actually trust the government with 16 percent saying they believe they will “get it right” most of the time.

In the 1950s almost 70 percent of the country expressed a high level of trust in government, when Pew first started measuring the public’s trust in its institutions. Clearly, confidence in America’s institutions and their ability to get it right has hit an all time low.

But how did it get this way?

How, indeed? The rise of social spending, and the accumulation of programmatic parasites probably play a role.

HORSE, BARN DOOR: After Manchester Attack, Britain Looks at New Ways to Curb Extremism.

As TIME reported this week, experts believe Britain is unlikely to strengthen its anti-terrorism legislation in the wake of the Manchester attack. David Anderson, the former independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, said police and intelligence agencies are broadly happy with the extremely robust laws they have in place – which Anderson says are “very strong by international standards.” Prime Minister Theresa May promised there would be no “knee-jerk style” crackdown on security. The current “critical” threat level is expected to be a temporary measure.

But if the Conservative Party wins the June 8 election, it could decide to renew its legal attempts to make extremism an offense. In its manifesto is a promise to create a “Commission for Countering Extremism” that would help the government “consider what new criminal offenses might need to be created, and what new aggravated offenses might need to be established to defeat the extremists.”

This, says Anderson, could lead to a “watered-down version” of a controversial Counter-Extremism Bill introduced by May when she was Home Secretary, the government minister who oversees national security. The bill was introduced in 2015 in response to the hundreds of British nationals flocking to Syria and Iraq to join ISIS, but never became law.

Given than up to eight known wolves — some going back as far as five years — may have been involved in the Manchester attack, simple follow through might go a long way towards stopping the next bombing.


Republicans shouldn’t get cocky, because special elections don’t mean much. But this is the third time the Democrats have made a big deal about a special election and failed. My own guess: The press is so unpopular that Gianforte’s bodyslam helped him more than hurt him with voters. That should inspire introspection with the press, as Kurt Schlichter says, but it won’t.

Predicted response: “Yeah, I’m in the Media — Screw You.”

Related: Loesch: Americans Are Tired of Being Manipulated & Lied to by Mainstream Media.

And on Facebook, Roger Kimball comments: “Was the Montana election a referendum on Trump? Only if the Dem won. He lost.” So true.

WHAT COULD GO WRONG? Denver Decriminalizes DOMESTIC VIOLENCE To Protect Criminal Immigrants.

Denver officials say the revised sentencing guidelines are a response to the Trump administration’s more aggressive enforcement of immigration laws. Although federal authorities have focused on illegal immigrants with criminal backgrounds, Hancock says the changes are necessary to ensure that city offenses can’t be used as a “deportation tool” against immigrants legally present in the U.S., reports the Washington Post.

“Over the past four months, the White House has issued a series of executive orders that have exacerbated our broken immigration system and have had a real impact on our community,” Hancock said Monday in a statement. “I have heard from many who are rightfully concerned. Denver is committed to taking actions that will protect our people’s rights and keep our city safe, welcoming and open.”

Denver joins several other U.S. cities that have revised prosecution or sentencing rules in order to prevent immigrants from facing deportation as a result of their criminal convictions.

Democrats are turning Denver into a stealth sanctuary city, in this case at the expense of domestic abuse victims.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Universities, Free Speech and the Rise of the Spit-Viper Left.

Free speech on campuses has come on hard times. By now, we are all too familiar with the litany: invited speakers disinvited, talks by honored guests disrupted by shouting protesters, vandalism and riots forcing the cancellation of events, campus security announcing it cannot guarantee public safety.

The disruptions and attacks come almost entirely from an emergent Spit-Viper Left (as I call it), drawn from a motley collection of campus grievance groups that are angry, uninformed, anti-intellectual and uniformly illiberal in their attitudes and beliefs. They may describe themselves as feminists, defenders of civil rights, or advocates for sexual minorities, but they are very different from the older, and more tolerant versions of such advocacy groups, and far removed from any manner of liberalism by their authoritarian ways and intemperate rage.

Whatever else may be among the concerns of this newly emergent Left, furthering its cause through rational discussion isn’t one of them. The 60s-era radical Todd Gitlin, distraught at this transformation of the campus Left, suggests it may subconsciously feel that reason and argument are no longer on its side. Free speech, a fruitful exchange of ideas, mutual intellectual enrichment — these are not its modus operandi. And those among the most illiberal segments of the Left on college campuses often attract to their protests even more radical and more illiberal supporters from beyond the university, who bring with them a love of violence, confrontation and disruption. Mayhem can be exhilarating for some people — especially young males — and outside anarchists and nihilists come to join in the fun.

It is important to realize just how far this newly emergent Left has strayed from the American Left of the immediate post-WWII decades. During the Cold War, it was often Social Democrats and other anti-Communist leftists who were leaders in the struggle to defend free speech, whether on college campuses or within the broader society.

In retrospect, it seems like that was really just a way of defending communists at universities, one that’s been discarded now that the communists are in charge.

TYLER O’NEIL: Another day, another cockroach infestation at the V.A.

EXCLUSIVE: Erdogan thug is Democrat donor.

A significant portion of the political left has a penchant for violence these days. From May Day protestors in Portland, Oregon, to Antifa rioters and arsonists at UC Berkeley, to melee-creating students at Middlebury College, for too many fists and Molotov cocktails are an appropriate response to opinions they don’t like.

Add to that list Eyup Yildirim, identified by beating victim Lucy Usoyan as one of the thugs who beat her up while she was protesting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last Tuesday (May 16) outside the Turkish embassy in Washington, D.C. At least 11 of the protesters were reportedly injured.

A check of Federal Election Commission records shows that Eyup Yildirim of Manchester, New Jersey, has donated to several Democratic Party candidates.

The FEC’s online database shows the following contributions in his name: $1,000 to Hillary Clinton for President; $1,000 to Rush Holt for Congress (Holt was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New Jersey’s 12th district from 1999 to 2015); $5,000 to the Obama Victory Fund; $2,300 to Obama for America; and $2,700 to the Democratic National Committee.

Read the whole thing. Yildirim seems like an excellent prospect for swamp-draining.

IT’S TRUE. HE LACKED COURAGE AND INTELLECT. Obama whines he just didn’t ‘have the tools’ to act on Syria.

Related: Obama seems eager to massage his legacy as it’s being written. We, therefore, are obliged to get the record right.

Well, here’s some history for you:

Rachel Maddow Tries to Rewrite History of Obama ‘Ending the War’ in Iraq.

Flashback: No Doubt About It — We’re Back in a Ground War in Iraq.

Without much fanfare, Obama has dramatically reversed his Iraq policy — sending thousands of troops back in the country after he declared the war over, engaging in ground combat despite initially promising that his strategy “will not involve American combat troops fighting on foreign soil.” Well, they’re on foreign soil, and they’re fighting.

It would have been easier — and would have cost far fewer lives — if we had just stayed. But Obama had to have a campaign issue.

And I suppose I should repeat my Iraq War history lesson: Things were going so well as late as 2010 that the Obama Administration was bragging about Iraq as one of its big foreign policy successes.

In the interest of historical accuracy, I think I’ll repeat this post again:

BOB WOODWARD: Bush Didn’t Lie About WMD, And Obama Sure Screwed Up Iraq In 2011.

[Y]ou certainly can make a persuasive argument it was a mistake. But there is a time that line going along that Bush and the other people lied about this. I spent 18 months looking at how Bush decided to invade Iraq. And lots of mistakes, but it was Bush telling George Tenet, the CIA director, don’t let anyone stretch the case on WMD. And he was the one who was skeptical. And if you try to summarize why we went into Iraq, it was momentum. The war plan kept getting better and easier, and finally at the end, people were saying, hey, look, it will only take a week or two. And early on it looked like it was going to take a year or 18 months. And so Bush pulled the trigger. A mistake certainly can be argued, and there is an abundance of evidence. But there was no lying in this that I could find.


Woodward was also asked if it was a mistake to withdraw in 2011. Wallace points out that Obama has said that he tried to negotiate a status of forces agreement but did not succeed, but “A lot of people think he really didn’t want to keep any troops there.” Woodward agrees that Obama didn’t want to keep troops there and elaborates:

Look, Obama does not like war. But as you look back on this, the argument from the military was, let’s keep 10,000, 15,000 troops there as an insurance policy. And we all know insurance policies make sense. We have 30,000 troops or more in South Korea still 65 years or so after the war. When you are a superpower, you have to buy these insurance policies. And he didn’t in this case. I don’t think you can say everything is because of that decision, but clearly a factor.

We had some woeful laughs about the insurance policies metaphor. Everyone knows they make sense, but it’s still hard to get people to buy them. They want to think things might just work out, so why pay for the insurance? It’s the old “young invincibles” problem that underlies Obamcare.

Obama blew it in Iraq, which is in chaos, and in Syria, which is in chaos, and in Libya, which is in chaos. A little history:

As late as 2010, things were going so well in Iraq that Obama and Biden were bragging. Now, after Obama’s politically-motivated pullout and disengagement, the whole thing’s fallen apart. This is near-criminal neglect and incompetence, and an awful lot of people will pay a steep price for the Obama Administration’s fecklessness.

Related: National Journal: The World Will Blame Obama If Iraq Falls.

Related: What Kind Of Iraq Did Obama Inherit?

Plus, I’m just going to keep running this video of what the Democrats, including Harry Reid and Hillary Clinton, were saying on Iraq before the invasion:

Because I expect a lot of revisionist history over the next few months.

Plus: 2008 Flashback: Obama Says Preventing Genocide Not A Reason To Stay In Iraq. He was warned. He didn’t care.

And who can forget this?

Yes, I keep repeating this stuff. Because it bears repeating. In Iraq, Obama took a war that we had won at a considerable expense in lives and treasure, and threw it away for the callowest of political reasons. In Syria and Libya, he involved us in wars of choice without Congressional authorization, and proceeded to hand victories to the Islamists. Obama’s policy here has been a debacle of the first order, and the press wants to talk about Bush as a way of protecting him. Whenever you see anyone in the media bringing up 2003, you will know that they are serving as palace guard, not as press.

Related: Obama’s Betrayal Of The Iraqis.

Plus: Maybe that Iraq withdrawal was a bad thing in hindsight. Obama’s actions, if not his words, suggest that even he may think so.

RAND PAUL: Say au revoir to Paris Climate Agreement.

President Trump has delivered on almost all of his promises to have an America First energy plan. He has directed the EPA to suspend, revise, and rescind certain actions related to the Clean Power Plan. He has removed regulatory roadblocks to American energy independence, including signing the resolution Congress sent him to repeal the Stream Buffer rule. He has also instructed agencies to review existing administrative policies harming domestic energy production.

But there’s one missing piece to being truly America First, something President Trump promised on the campaign trail. He promised he would cancel the Paris Agreement as president. Can we really have an America First energy plan if we are needing to seek the endorsement of the U.N. as we make determinations about our country’s environmental and energy policies? The federal government should be beholden to one authority and one authority alone—our Constitution—and not some U.N. bureaucrats.


EIGHT YEARS OF DIPLOMATIC FAILURE: YIKES: News out of Iran provides ANOTHER reason to say ‘thanks Obama!’

GOOD MORNING: It’s the TGIF edition of Liz Sheld’s morning brief, and also on Hot Mic today, PJM’s own Richard Fernandez has joined the crew.

IT’S ALWAYS NICE to make Twitchy.


AS THOUGH I NEEDED AN EXCUSE:Hooray, scientific justification for having a mocha.

I AM SHOCKED, SHOCKED, SHOCKED:  New Study Concludes Government Fat Guidelines Based on Poor Science.

NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART; OR STOMACH: ‘I Might . . . Pull Off a Leg or Two’.

YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME! Call them what?

AS I SAID BEFORE, THESE ARE UNSPANKED CHILDREN: “Mattress Girl’s” New Art Exhibit Is Powerful Garden of Sculptures Showing a Genuine Artistic Talent

DEPENDS.  ARE DEMONS BUYING GLOVES AND ICE-SKATES? What Celebrities Can Actually DO About Terrorism.

DEAR MR. CORBIN, PLUGGING THE HOLE IN THE POWDER BARREL TIGHTER DOES NOT IN FACT PREVENT THE COMING EXPLOSION: Jeremy Corbyn suggests Britain’s wars abroad to blame for Manchester suicide bombing. You can blame your pet hatreds, but you’re not fooling anyone but your echo chamber.

YES INDEED, RACISM DOES EXIST IN AMERICA: It’s a proud racism, stupid and ridiculous.  And no one dares tell the racists that. Interracial Marriage: The Silent Plague That is Destroying Black America.

WELL, THAT IS SCARY: So this is inevitably where we wind up.



The lefties at young adult Website* are also calling it for Gianforte.

PJTV alumnus John Phillips: “if you’re gonna bodyslam someone he picked the right target.”

As Glenn noted this morning:

Contrary to a lot of what we’ve been hearing, it’s not okay to punch (or body-slam) your political opponents just because of what they say.

* * * * * * * *

One might almost say that the political class is happy to wink at political violence, until it affects one of their own. One of the things I really don’t like about following news and politics on a daily (hourly?) basis for so long is how cynical I’ve become about this sort of thing. I’d rather not feel this way, but it’s pretty hard to escape, given the realities.

* * * * * * * *

It occurs to me that this mess is bad for both parties in a way. Dems have been desperate for a special-election win that will show a wave is building against Trump, but if they win here, they’ll have trouble portraying it as such given that they beat a guy who bodyslammed a reporter the day before the election. On the other hand, if the GOP wins, they’re stuck with this guy in Congress. Or they have to get him to resign, or refuse to seat him, which has problems of its own.

According to the House of Stephanopoulos earlier today, “Gianforte unlikely to face discipline if elected, ethics expert says.” (Note: auto-play video atop ABC link.)

* Classical reference.

HEY DEMS, THIS IS NOT THE TURN-AWAY FROM TRUMP YOU WERE LOOKING FOR: Montana Special Election: Live Coverage And Results.



In the economically illiterate hope that raising prices would increase incomes and restore prosperity, the New Deal cartelized agriculture. Landowners raked in subsidies for taking land out of production and destroying crops and livestock, which threw huge numbers of agricultural laborers, tenant farmers, and sharecroppers out of work and made food and clothing more expensive. FDR himself, having created the opportunity, built his coalition by decrying “one-third of a nation ill-housed, ill-clothed, and ill-nourished.”

* * * * * * * * *

Of course, not all groups saw increased opportunity during World War II. The book’s shocker is buried on page 299, thanks to the perverse geographical organization: Hello to Manzanar—or at least, to Tule Lake. Every collectivist agricultural revolution needs its kulaks, and the administration at last found a population that was compelled to obey commands and (at least in the case of its businesses) be liquidated. Japanese Americans, subject to intense racial discrimination before the war, had created an entrepreneurial niche in truck gardening: fruits and vegetables for urban markets that we would today call “locally sourced.” After being forced to sell their businesses for pennies on the dollar, they were shipped off to internment camps.

You can’t make omelets without breaking eggs, and you can’t collectivize agriculture without creating food shortages: The Roosevelt administration disrupted the West Coast’s efficient fruit and vegetable agricultural sector just as the region’s population exploded with war workers. New Deal Photography offers a single color Russell Lee picture (1942), which the OWI presumably hoped would depict the internees as happy collective farmers among the furrows. They don’t look too happy—nor should readers be, because this appalling culmination of the FSA project has been addressed in depth in several previous books, as opposed to the cursory treatment here.

“Image of a Decade,” Jay Weiser, the Weekly Standard, May 29 issue.


A California farmer is facing a $2.8 million fine for failing to get a permit to plow his own field.

John Duarte bought 450 acres of land near Modesto in 2012 and is now being sued by the federal government for plowing near areas the government considers to be “waters of the United States.”

The case will head to trial in August. The government claims that Duarte violated the Clean Water Act because he did not obtain a permit to work near the wetlands.

“Farmer facing massive fines for… plowing his own field,” Jazz Shaw, Hot Air, today.

(Classical reference in headline.)

May 25, 2017

CHARLIE MARTIN: Stop the Leaking! Just Stop!

This week, the New York Times and other U.S. papers published the name and photograph of the Manchester suicide bomber, as well as detailed explanations of how he avoided security, and photographs of essential components of the bomb itself, and they did so before the bomber’s — yes, I’m consciously not naming the son of a bitch — before the bomber’s network had been rolled up.

Worst of all, it turns out that this information was leaked to the New York Times by a member of the U.S. intelligence community from information shared by the Brits.

Prime Minister Theresa May was quite blunt about it this morning: the U.S. can forget further intelligence sharing on this topic. I expect she was quite firm with President Trump when they met privately later.

This has got to stop.

There are people in positions of trust within the United States government who are leaking very sensitive secrets because they have decided the Trump presidency must be undermined By Any Means Necessary (as they say in Berkeley).

There are people in positions of trust within the United States government leaking sensitive information about the murderers of little children, making it harder to catch them, and to prevent other attacks on other little children.

They are doing it with motivations I simply do not understand.

I cannot conceive of someone who would interfere in the capture of child murderers simply to damage Trump.

Or maybe I can. “By any means necessary,” right? “Got to break a few eggs.”

It’s wrong. It’s evil. It has got to stop.

Because they think that Trump is unfit for the job the voters, their alleged employers, elected him to, they’re demonstrating that they are unfit for the job they currently occupy. These leaks are, remember, criminal, and they’re crimes engaged in for political purposes. It’s a disgrace, and if Trump decides to go scorched-earth on them he’d be well within his rights to do so. And hey, Obama was already spying on journalists and government employees, so it shouldn’t be hard to find the leaker.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Total Solar Eclipse 2017: When, Where and How to See It (Safely).

Don’t forget your Eclipse Glasses.

And I highly recommend David Baron’s new book, American Eclipse: A Nation’s Epic Race to Catch the Shadow of the Moon and Win the Glory of the World.

ANALYSIS: TRUE. The Education System Isn’t Designed for Smart Kids.

DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM? DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM? Wasserman Schultz Threatened Police Chief For Gathering Evidence On Her IT Staffer’s Alleged Crimes.

The Florida lawmaker used her position on the committee that sets the police force’s budget to press its chief to relinquish the piece of evidence Thursday, in what could be considered using her authority to attempt to interfere with a criminal investigation.

The Capitol Police and outside agencies are pursuing Imran Awan, who has run technology for the Florida lawmaker since 2005 and was banned from the House network in February on suspicion of data breaches and theft.

“My understanding is the the Capitol Police is not able to confiscate Members’ equipment when the Member is not under investigation,” Wasserman Schultz said in the annual police budget hearing of the House Committee On Appropriations’ Legislative Branch Subcommittee.

“We can’t return the equipment,” Police Chief Matthew R. Verderosa told the Florida Democrat.

“I think you’re violating the rules when you conduct your business that way and you should expect that there will be consequences,” Wasserman Schultz said.


UPDATE (FROM GLENN): As I’ve noted before, the Democrats seem awfully anxious not to have anyone look into this affair. It’s quite odd. (Bumped).

HEH: Mysterious Tea Party Members Found with AK-47, Grenade and Bomb-Making Equipment. “We figure identifying them as Tea Party members will get more attention than identifying them as likely Muslim terrorists. You know it would be headline news across the nation if they were. This story has barely gained any notice, in reality.”

AT AMAZON, deals in Mysteries, Thrillers, and Suspense.

Plus, save on Packaging and Shipping Supplies.

HMM. I DON’T KNOW WHAT I THINK ABOUT THIS: Trump plan to sell off half of oil stockpile sparks debate. On the one hand, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is a creature of a time when our production was falling and OPEC was strong, conditions that have been reversed. On the other hand, we still consume more oil than we produce, and simply by existing the reserve imposes a downward force on prices, since too much of a price rise, or efforts to interrupt supply, might lead to a release.

On balance, I think I’d keep it because I’m a big believer in being prepared for bad situations. But I don’t think it’s crazy to feel otherwise.

UPDATE: In this column, Austin Bay notes the global earthquake in petroleum and says selling off half the reserve is a good idea.