February 23, 2017
IRAQ SUICIDE BOMBER WAS A FORMER GITMO DETAINEE: Family members identified Abu-Zakariya al-Britani as the suicide bomber who attacked a military base in Mosul this past week. He was released from Guantanamo in 2004.
I FIND THIS EASY TO BELIEVE: Bad Hospital Design Is Making Us Sicker. And I can second the bit about noise and sleep disturbance.
BRIDGET JOHNSON REPORTS FROM CPAC: Gov. Scott Walker Compares Today’s ‘Angry Mobs’ to 2011 Wisconsin Protesters.
IN THE AGE OF TRUMP, APOCALYPTIC RHETORIC BECOMES MAINSTREAM.
You went full John Birch Society, leftists. Never go full John Birch Society.
But as Charles Cooke asked the left early last year, during Trump’s ascendency in the GOP primaries, “Has Donald Trump’s remarkable rise done anything to change your mind as to the ideal strength of the State?”
Speaking of which:
DISPATCHES FROM THE REALITY-BASED COMMUNITY: Witches Unite To Cast Spell Against Donald Trump.
Related: “These days, the left has no moral high ground over the religious right. In fact, I’d take a conservative Christian over a demon-haunted leftist any day, because at least conservative Christians admit that their beliefs are faith-based. They don’t go around screaming ‘science! science! science!’ while drinking sacrificial goats’ blood Santeria-style because the rain gods are angry.”
I SAW THE BEST MINDS OF MY GENERATION DESTROYED BY TRUMP DERANGEMENT SYNDROME, STARVING HYSTERICAL NAKED, DRAGGING THEMSELVES THROUGH THE TRANSGENDERED BATHROOMS AT DAWN LOOKING FOR AN ANGRY FIX. Billionaire Democrat Party Donor J.B. Pritzker: Protest Trump use the other gender’s bathroom today.
Critics and supporters alike are wondering who might be the next person to lead the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights, which has overseen in recent years an expansion of responsibilities related to campus sexual assault.
One name being pushed as a nominee is Gail Heriot, a law professor at the University of San Diego and a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. Heriot has been a critic of OCR’s overreach, even joining fellow Civil Rights commission member Peter Kirsanow in writing a letter to Congress opposing a budget increase for the department.
“[W]e have noticed a disturbing pattern of disregard for the rule of law at OCR,” the two wrote in the letter. “That office has all-too-often been willing to define perfectly legal conduct as unlawful.”
Heriot and Kirsanow added that OCR was only “under-funded” because it had given itself additional responsibilities. “Increasing OCR’s budget would in effect reward the agency for frequently over-stepping the law. It also would provide OCR with additional resources to undertake more ill-considered initiatives for which it lacks authority,” they wrote.
Heriot and Kirsanow argued that OCR’s 2011 “Dear Colleague” letter, which greatly expanded the office’s role in combating an alleged epidemic of campus sexual assault, created a dangerous situation for accused students by requiring schools to adopt a low “preponderance of evidence” standard.
“[G]iven the importance of safeguarding the rights of accused students, the ‘clear and convincing’ standard would seem to be the more appropriate one in at least some situations,” the two wrote.
A group dedicated to the rights of accused students sent a letter to the Trump transition team after the election in support of Heriot to lead OCR. The letter, written by a group called Stop Abusive and Violent Environments (SAVE), was sent with more than 240 signatures supporting Heriot and was published last week.
Although I’ve pushed Robert Shibley of FIRE for this position, I’d also be quite happy with Gail Heriot.
More at CNNLeaks.com.
IN THE MAIL: From Henry V. O’Neil, Glory Main: The Sim War: Book One.
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Inspired by my reading of Gary Taubes’ The Case Against Sugar.
ABOLISH THE ATF: A.T.F. Filled Secret Bank Account With Millions From Shadowy Cigarette Sales. “Working from an office suite behind a Burger King in southern Virginia, operatives used a web of shadowy cigarette sales to funnel tens of millions of dollars into a secret bank account. They weren’t known smugglers, but rather agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The operation, not authorized under Justice Department rules, gave agents an off-the-books way to finance undercover investigations and pay informants without the usual cumbersome paperwork and close oversight, according to court records and people close to the operation.”
Laws and rules are for the little people.
FAKE NEWS, THE EARLY DAYS. After the ‘Cronkite Moment,’ LBJ doubled down on Viet policy: “One of the most cherished stories in American journalism is also a tenacious media-driven myth,” W. Joseph Campbell writes.
As was often the case with Walter Cronkite, “that’s the way it is” usually wasn’t, as his left-leaning biographer reluctantly admitted a few years ago.
ED MORRISSEY: How Trump Could Spark a New GOP Split – or Maybe a Love Fest. It all depends on whether people will be mature, or will let childish primary antagonisms live on.
INSULARITY COMBINED WITH A SENSE OF ENTITLEMENT WILL DO THAT TO YOU: Academia Is Its Own Worst Enemy.
The campaign for more intellectual diversity in higher education just got an eloquent and influential new champion: John Etchemendy, Stanford University’s provost from 2000 to 2017. In a recent speech to the elite university’s trustees, Etchemendy said that while many on campus perceive higher education to be under siege from right-wing populists, he believes that the greater danger is that academia destroys itself from the inside through its own stifling intellectual orthodoxies. . . .
Over the course of Etchemendy’s career, academia has indeed become more of a monoculture, with the overall ratio of liberal to conservative faculty increasing from 2:1 in 1990 to 5:1 in 2014, and with conservatives virtually without representation at many elite social science and humanities departments (one study found that Democrats outnumber Republicans at top 40 history departments by a more than 33:1 margin). And there is no sign the trend is abating; younger American professors are even more uniformly liberal than the older cohort.
Etchemendy’s speech calls for efforts to bring in more faculty with heterodox views—not as a kind of spoils system for conservatives, but because a greater diversity of viewpoints is likely to increase the rigor of scholarship overall, no matter the viewpoint of the person conducting it.
Plus: “It is telling that Etchemendy chose to deliver this speech once his tenure as provost was over; perhaps he thought that it would generate too much political blowback if he was still Stanford’s number two administrator. Hopefully his fellow academics take note.” Oh, they’ll take note of the fear of blowback, for sure.
STOP THE DEMOCRATS’ WAR ON WOMEN AND NATIVE AMERICANS! Schumer to GOP: Stop promoting Elizabeth Warren as the face of Democrats.
Why is Chuck Schumer such a misogynistic anti-imaginary-diversity reactionary?
ANTISOCIAL MEDIA: Facebook Suspends Christian Homeschool Mom’s Account for Citing the Bible. She should sue them for religious discrimination. Bake that cake, Zuckerberg!
TEACH WOMEN NOT TO LIE ABOUT RAPE! Teen charged with lying about being raped by college football players. “Nikki Yovino, 18, of South Setauket, NY, has been charged with second-degree falsely reporting an incident and tampering with or fabricating physical evidence in connection to an incident at a Sacred Heart University football party in October, the Connecticut Post reports. When pressed about inconsistencies in her original statement, Yovino admitted that she made up the rape allegations against the two football players in hopes of gaining sympathy from another man — a prospective boyfriend, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.”
JONATHAN TURLEY: Trump Attacks On Judges Perfectly Presidential:
When President Trump called Senior District Court Judge James Robart “this so-called judge” after the issuance of an order temporarily restraining Trump’s executive order on immigration, the response from all sides of the political spectrum was immediate and alarmed. It was called “bone-chilling” and “authoritarian.” Some even compared Trump to Hitler.
However, it was not only relatively mild for Trump but positively tame in comparison with past conflicts between presidents and judges.
That’s true, as anyone who knows any history should realize.
BLACK BLOC BACKERS HARDEST HIT: Arizona Senate votes to seize assets of those who plan, participate in protests that turn violent.
Related: More than 200 inauguration day protesters indicted for rioting: Prosecutors called out the protesters for utilizing so-called “black bloc” tactics that involve vandalism, violence and destruction.
Protests that “turn” violent are one thing. Violence that was planned from the beginning, on the other hand, is just crime.
DO TELL: Trump foreign policy surprises on the upside: His national security team is performing much better than it is being given credit for. “The brouhahas with the news media that Trump complains about are largely of his own making. But many pundits do seem more concerned about faux pas and political incorrectness rather than actual national security policies. While the administration remains full of the former, the latter are looking much better than could have been expected a few short months ago.”
THE HILL: Poll: Senate Should Confirm Gorsuch.
A plurarity of Americans say the Senate should confirm President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, who is expected to face vigorous opposition and a likely filibuster from Democrats.
According to data from a Harvard-Harris survey provided exclusively to The Hill, 44 percent say the Senate should confirm Gorsuch. Thirty-two percent say they’re unsure and 25 percent say Gorsuch should not be confirmed.
“Gorsuch is off to an excellent start in his nomination process,” said Mark Penn, the co-director of the Harvard-Harris poll. “A quarter, however, is holding back judgment for now, suggesting televised confirmation hearings could be critical for him and them.”
He should be a slam-dunk, by all appearances.
WHY THE PRESS IS FALLING APART:
So when does the other shoe drop? Who’s going to break the story proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that the president of the United States is so deeply connected to Russian President Vladimir Putin that the White House has become a Muscovite colony in all but name?
Time to use some common sense—it’s not going to happen, there is no story. The narrative that Donald Trump is effectively Putin’s prison wife is an information operation orchestrated by Democratic hands, many of whom served in the Obama administration, sectors of the intelligence community, and much of the American press. The purpose of the campaign is to delegitimize Trump’s presidency by continuing to hit on themes drawn from the narrative that Russia “hacked” the election and stole it away from Clinton.
The narrative is contorted because it’s not journalism. It’s a story that could only make sense in a profoundly corrupted public sphere, one in which, for instance, Graydon Carter is celebrated for speaking truth to power with an editor’s letter critical of Trump in a magazine that has no other ontological ground in the universe except to celebrate power.
Oh, sure, there are regular hints that there’s still more to come on Trump and his staff’s ties to Russia—the big one is about to hit. But the steady sound of drip-drip-drip is the telltale sign of a political campaign, where items are leaked bit by bit to paralyze the target. Journalists, on the other hand, have to get their story out there as quickly, and as fully, as possible because they’re always worried the competition is going to beat them to it.
No, if Trump really was in bed with the Russians, the story would already be out there, and I’m pretty sure it would have had a Wayne Barrett byline.
It’s mostly Fake News, these days.
ASIA PIVOT, MOSCOW EDITION: Russia to Deploy Division on Kuril Islands in 2017.
Those are the disputed islands just north of Japan which the Soviet Union seized from the Empire of Japan in the closing days of World War II.
THIS SEEMS UNWISE: Couple Caught Having Sex On Speeding Motorcycle While Driving Down Busy Highway. Nobody tell Florida Man about this.
HEY, DIVERSITY IS OUR STRENGTH, RIGHT? Iowa, North Carolina Bills Would Require ‘Partisan Balance’ In Faculty Hiring.
NASA’S BIG REAL ESTATE DEAL: Potentially Habitable Planets.
We’ve been seeking out new worlds for quite a while now. When do we get to boldly go?
February 22, 2017
ACTUALLY, I HOPE IT HURTS A LOT:
Because even a flatworm is smart enough to turn away from pain. And that’s about how smart you “antifa” guys are. At most.
UPDATE: People in the comments are saying this is fake. But this isn’t: More than 200 Inauguration Day protesters indicted for rioting.
PAUL KRUGMAN ON ELECTION NIGHT: “If the question is when markets will recover, a first-pass answer is never.”
Today: “There is no denying the fact that the markets have absolutely been blowing up since the election! In fact this is one of the biggest rallies since the Taft Administration. The DOW is up over 13% and the other markets are also up double digits!”
Whenever editors say that they refuse to acknowledge “two sides” on such matters as “marriage equality” or Darwinism or climate change, they are paying homage to Lenin’s devious politics by shorthand. They pay homage to it whenever they substitute their opinions of the news for actual reporting of the news. Even the squabbling among journalists recently over whether or not to suspend “conventional reporting” in Trump’s case, or whether front-page stories should declare his misstatements “lies,” is a tacit acknowledgment of that politics. With Lenin, the Christiane Amanpours have no use for the peskiness of precise responses. Just call Trump a “liar,” their attitude goes, and “everyone will understand everything.”
But that demagogic shorthand only works as long as Republican politicians defer to it. For years journalists opined self-servingly under the guise of objectivity and got away it because Republicans were too afraid to shatter that illusion of objectivity. They permitted the media to serve as the arbiter of what qualifies as “mainstream,” “extremist,” “racist,” and so forth, and made sure to stay within the media-determined parameters of any discussion.
Donald Trump has blown up that absurd arrangement and is beating the media at its own game. He labels reporters in the same way that they label him. He upends their dishonest framing of debates by treating them as what they are, liberal partisans. His exchange last week with April Ryan, a correspondent for the American Urban Radio Network, captured that perfectly. She asked him a loaded question not as a neutral reporter but as a water-carrier for the Congressional Black Caucus. So he treated her that way. “I’ll tell you what, do you want to set up the meeting?” the president said to her, after she asked if he would meet with the CBC. “Do you want to set up the meeting? Are they friends of yours?” Of course, they are friends of hers and she was trying to score a partisan point for them. Had Trump not deconstructed that for the audience, her question might have done him damage. Instead, it fell flat and looked unserious.
Reporters are thrown by a president who questions them as aggressively as they question him. And they resent that he refuses to accept as “facts” what is nothing more than their biased interpretation of the facts.
Well, it makes life harder for bylined operatives.
EMERGENCY INFRASTRUCTURE: UK mobile carrier unveils mini-blimps for providing emergency cell coverage. The picture looks more like a tethered balloon than a blimp, but the idea is a good one.
HMM: Men, Is Exercise Putting a Damper on Your Sex Life? Note that the exercise here — “running, cycling, and triathlon” — all involves lengthy cardio.
WHY ARE WOMEN’S SPORTS SUCH CESSPITS OF MISOGYNY?
“I was proud to a be a woman, and it didn’t fit well in that culture,” said Candice Wiggins, speaking about the culture within the Women’s National Basketball Association. She’s abandoning her stellar career 2 years early, because of her “mental state.” She says she was bullied for her femininity and heterosexuality.
I’d boycott the WNBA except that, well, isn’t everybody doing that already, pretty much?
YOUR CONGRESS AT WORK: Legislation Will Help Kentucky’s Bourbon Producers.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senator Rand Paul, Congressmen James Comer and Bret Guthrie have put their names on two pieces of legislation which they say will help the state’s bourbon producers.
The Advancing Growth in the Economy through Distilled (AGED) Spirits Act was filed in the U.S. Senate and it would help bourbon producers on their tax returns. Under current law, interest expenses are not deducted until the Bourbon is bottled and sold, which could be anywhere from 2 to 23 years after aging. This situation has been likened to a homeowner not being able to deduct the interest on a home mortgage until the sale of the house.
Eric Gregory, President, Kentucky Distillers’ Association, said, the act will free important capital on aging barrels, allowing distilleries to increase investments and create more jobs.
Sadly, there’s no legislation that can speed up the aging process, so it’s going to be a long while yet before bourbon producers are able to catch up with booming demand.
Perhaps President Gudni Johannesson should focus on more serious issues, like putting a stop to Chicago-style so-called “pizza.”
LIFE AMONG THE TRANSHUMANISTS. Well, I don’t exactly want to live forever. Just a lot longer and healthier.
Plus, more reason to like Trump: “Under President Donald Trump, the quest for immortality might pick up steam: Among the candidates he is reportedly considering to head the Food and Drug Administration is Jim O’Neill, who sits on the board of the anti-aging SENS Research Foundation.”
Related thoughts here. “Even much more modest progress–extending healthy middle age from 60 to, say, 80–would permit significant shifts in retirement ages and allow for a longevity dividend that could go a long way toward preventing the looming pension meltdown. Greater progress might make the problem go away entirely. So perhaps it would make sense to steer some of the federal money currently going to research on treating the diseases of old age–an approach that leads to older, but frailer, people who are a drain on public resources and whose quality of life is iffy–to research on slowing or reversing the damage that aging does, leading to healthier old people who can work (and pay taxes) longer, while feeling better and enjoying life more.”
K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Texas Pre-School Teacher Suspended After Call to ‘Kill Some Jews’ on Social Media.
Anti-Semitic remarks made online by Nancy Salem, a teacher for 2 year-olds at the the Children’s Courtyard in South Arlington, Texas, resurfaced after a secretive campus watchdog group, Canary Mission, exposed her together with other 23 anti-Israel activists at the University of Texas. She’s is now subject to a pending investigation by the pre-school and is suspended from teaching, according to The Algemeiner.
On her now-deleted Twitter account, Salem made numerous derogatory comments about the Jewish people, including replying to a question “How many Jews died in the Holocaust?” with “Not enough…HAHAHAHA.”
In another tweet, she openly suggested murdering Jewish people: “Have a safe trip Lulu. I love you baby girl! See you in 3 weeks! Kiss the Palestine ground for me and kill some jews!”
THEY TOLD ME THE TRUMP ERA WOULD BE A FASCIST ONE, MARKED BY INFORMERS AND PUNISHMENT FOR FREE SPEECH. AND THEY WERE RIGHT! Hundreds of campuses encourage students to turn in fellow students for offensive speech.
I suggest sending a copy of this to your campus bias-response team, and to the administrator in charge.
THE 10 WORST COLLEGES FOR FREE SPEECH, brought to you by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). It wasn’t easy to narrow down the list. Which school do you think is the worst? Vote!
BE STILL MY BEATING HEART! OH, WAIT, MY PULSE HASN’T INCREASED AT ALL. Ford will reveal the new Fiesta ST in 3 days.
QUESTION ASKED: “If it’s a fireable offense when Milo says it and it’s ‘horrifying’ when George Takei says it, where’s the outrage over this old clip of Bill Maher condoning sex between an adult and a 14-year-old teenager?”
Over to you, Time-Warner-CNN-HBO.
I’M FILING THIS ONE AWAY FOR WHEN MY SONS ARE OLDER: Mom’s Care Package for Son in College Is a Box of Trash.
I’M SURE THIS IS DONALD TRUMP’S FAULT SOMEHOW: Texas Pre-School Teacher Removed From Classroom After Twitter Calls to ‘Kill Some Jews’ Come to Light. “Salem — a member of the UTA chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine and a supporter of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement — used her now-disabled Twitter account to post such remarks as: ‘How many Jews died in the Holocaust? Not enough…HAHAHAHA.'”
“For too long the kuffar [non-Muslims] have spit in our faces and trampled our rights. This cannot continue. I cannot speak of anything. Say your dua [prayers], sleep, and watch the news tomorrow. It will only be the beginning . . .”
A search warrant executed at Grimsley’s apartment resulted in the recovery of an AK-47 rifle, four 30-round magazines and about 340 rounds of ammunition, authorities said.
“I am just shocked someone would want to kill us, that they had AK-47s and bombs and they were going to kill everyone that wasn’t Muslim. It’s shocking,” said neighbor Kelly Biagianti.
Yeah, who could have seen this coming?
SPACE: Scientists discover 7 ‘Earthlike’ planets orbiting a nearby star. “The newly discovered solar system resembles a scaled-down version of our own. The star at its center, an ultracool dwarf called TRAPPIST-1, is less than a tenth the size of the sun and about a quarter as warm. Its planets circle tightly around it; the closest takes just a day and a half to complete an orbit, the most distant takes about 20 days. If these planets orbited a larger, brighter star they’d be fried to a crisp. But TRAPPIST-1 is so cool that all seven of the bodies are bathed in just the right amount of warmth to hold liquid water. And three of them receive the same amount of heat as Venus, Earth and Mars, putting them in ‘the habitable zone,’ that Goldilocks region where it’s thought life can thrive. Still, ‘Earthlike’ is a generous term to describe these worlds.” Well, to be fair, it’s a generous term for parts of New Jersey.
TOO SOON? Democrats face fierce urgency of 2018.
“The 2018 races are central not only to the individual states, but also to the federal policies in the House of Representatives,” Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, vice chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, said in an interview. “The key that unlocks the governors’ doors also unlocks the House of Representatives. And we’ve got to get the national team to understand that.”
As Republicans captured control of both chambers of Congress and the White House, Democrats have suffered deep losses at the state and local level in recent years.
Republicans control about 4,170 state legislative seats across the country, almost 1,000 more than they held in 2009 when Barack Obama was sworn in. Today, 33 governors are Republican; when Obama took office, just 21 governors were Republican.
“Their backs are against the wall,” said Matt Walter, who heads the Republican State Leadership Committee, a group that supports GOP candidates in state-level races. “In 2018, they’re in full panic mode about it, so we’re anticipating as a result of that, that they’re going to be throwing everything but the kitchen sink to try to restore the ground that they’ve lost.”
There is one bright spot for Democrats. The party holding the White House loses an average of 26 House seats in off-year elections — enough to turn control over to the Democrats in January, 2019.
Then again, Democrats are still actively avoiding the soul-searching their party has needed since 2010.
So who knows?
NO SURRENDER IN THE WAR ON COLLEGE MEN, APPARENTLY: Universities Face Pressure to Hold the Line on Title IX.
Advocates are starting a campaign to try to persuade colleges to maintain the Obama administration’s tough policies for protecting women on campuses from sexual assault, even if the Trump administration relaxes enforcement.
Many people expect the Trump administration to tilt the balance of federal guidance to make it harder to discipline the thousands of students, almost all of them men, who are accused of sexual violence against women each year.
Women’s groups are leading the push, along with an organization that represents the campus administrators responsible for enforcing federal sexual assault policy — a group whose numbers have grown into the thousands in just a few years.
The main goal of those involved in the effort is to convince college presidents that the Obama-era policies have positively transformed the lives of women on college campuses.
Note that they don’t care about what they’ve done to the lives of men. And do women really benefit if colleges become pink-collar institutions? Meanwhile, if Title IX is enforced evenhandedly, a lot of colleges will face serious grief for their mistreatment of male students.
DEMOCRACY DIES IN DARKNESS: WaPo: ‘Demonic activity was palpable’ at Trump’s rally, pastor says.
This is what journalism has come to:
And, of course, the inevitable reference.
In its manufacture, the container must first be coated on the inside with a rough surface.
A very thin layer is then placed over this. And, finally, a liquid is added that fills in any troughs to form a very slippery surface – like an oily floor.
The ketchup hovers on top and just glides out of the bottle.
According to Prof Kripa Varanasi, who developed the slippery surface, the technology is completely safe.
“The cool thing about it is that because the coating is a composite of solid and liquid, it can be tailored to the product. So for food, we make the coating out of food-based materials and so you can actually eat it.”
The technology’s co-inventor Dr David Smith told me that it could also help reduce waste.
NOTHING TO SEE HERE, MOVE ALONG: No One Can Figure Out What’s Behind a Mysterious Radiation Spike Across Europe. “But what’s most disconcerting about the event isn’t the level of radiation that spread through Europe – it’s the fact that no one can say what actually happened.”
TRUMP IS BEATING THE MEDIA AT ITS OWN GAME: “If he treats it as an opposition party, that’s because it is one. The fury of the media is the fury of exposed partisans, for whom ruling had once come so easy and now is too hard.”
Read the whole thing. Hopefully Trump won’t be the last Republican to play hardball with the DNC-MSM.
Sweden welcomed more than 160,000 asylum-seekers in 2015, and nearly 40,000 in October of that year alone. For a country of fewer than 10 million, this was almost equal to 2 percent of the population — in one year. The flow doubled the number of asylum-seekers at the height of the Balkans crisis in 1992.
The foreign-born proportion of the Swedish population was 18 percent in 2016, double that of 1990. As of 2015, the most common country of origin for the foreign-born was Finland, which makes sense as it’s a neighboring Scandinavian country. Next are Iraq and Syria.
Predictably, it isn’t easy to integrate people who don’t know the language, aren’t highly skilled and come from a foreign culture. Sweden’s economic polices don’t help. As a report of the Migration Policy Institute puts it politely, Sweden is “an interesting case” because “the state is committed to fostering large-scale immigration despite huge integration challenges in the labor market.”
There’s a stark gap in the labor-force-participation rate between the native-born (82 percent) and the foreign-born (57 percent). As the Migration Policy Institute points out, Sweden is an advanced economy with relatively few low-skills jobs to begin with.
On top of this, high minimum wages and stringent labor protections make it harder for marginal workers to find employment, while social assistance discourages the unemployed from getting work.
None of this is a formula for assimilation or social tranquility. In a piece for the London Spectator, Swedish journalist Tove Lifvendahl writes, “A parallel society is emerging where the state’s monopoly on law and order is being challenged.”
For some, that last item is a feature, not a bug.
THINGS THAT DON’T SUCK: I got this knife sharpener the other day. The suction cup holds it securely to the counter, and it sharpened my knives quickly and easily.
SO THE WAPO IS POSTING ITS MISSION STATEMENT RIGHT ON THE FRONT PAGE NOW?
HMM: More than just a new GT, the 2018 Lexus LC 500 is a marker for the future. “History will look on the LC chiefly as the first time Lexus’ current design lexicon—dominated by that massive grille—actually works visually.” Yeah, I don’t like the new Lexus look, and the interiors look like they escaped from the 1980s.
AMAZON GOT A RECORD SCORE OF 86.27 ON THE HARRIS CORPORATE REPUTATION RANKINGS, and they’re celebrating by taking $8.62 off your Prime orders over $50 today. Just use the promo code at the link.
To be fair, neither did she.
TRUMP DERANGEMENT SYNDROME: Howie Carr: It’s the desperate Democrats who are truly deranged.
They’re losing it, folks. All of Madonna’s F-bombs failed to overturn the election results. The temper tantrums on TV, the insane tweets, the disruptions of the town halls — for people who used to sometimes refer to themselves as “the reality-based community,” they seem strangely disconnected from reality.
It’s true. I’ve never seen such an extended display of unhinged political hysteria as what’s been going on since November.
THE GOP HAS DONE WORSE, AND WILL AGAIN: Kid Rock’s Name Floated as GOP Senate Candidate.
Six or seven years ago, Bill Whittle said, “I don’t know who the next President is going to be, but they’ll come from the pop culture.” That was spot-on, so why not Kid Rock in the Senate?
THE INTERNET IS CHOKING ON ITSELF, EXHIBIT #1,000,006: Not Even IMDb Is Safe From Trolls.
The message boards on IMDb long served as a home for film geeks. For popular movies — even ones that were decades old, like 1977’s Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope — it wasn’t uncommon for a half-dozen or more threads to be active at once, with users swapping theories and debating possible plot holes or filming errors. The boards, a de facto comment section for films, TV shows, actors, directors, producers, and Unnamed Man With Mole at the Bars, was where songs from trailers were tracked down in the pre-Shazam era, where a Q&A from a Teen Mom cameraman gone rogue was preserved and a Brittany Murphy conspiracy theory was invented. It was, enthused a New York Times commenter in 2008, a great place for “messing with Harry Potter fans … by purposely getting key facts wrong and then arguing as if they are right.”
They could also be much more than that: Many of the site’s avid users had been posting for years; IMDb’s database actually predates the internet, and its online message boards first came about in the ancient-web days of 2001. Deep in threads of subgenre arcana, users met friends and spouses and sometimes people who sounded like they might be trivia items on their own IMDb pages: “I met the guy I lost my virginity to thanks to IMDb’s message board almost a decade ago,” wrote one user recently.
On Monday, that message board closed.
Read the whole thing.
ENDORSED: Law professor who slammed kangaroo courts could lead Trump’s education civil rights office. Gail Heriot would be a great choice.
MILO YIANNOPOULOS RELEASES A Tape Of George Takei Joking About Child Molestation. That’s different because shut up.
SCOTT JOHNSON: American attitudes to Jews.
It is somehow reported as big news that President Trump denounced anti-Semitism yesterday. Was his attitude seriously in doubt? He is a proud supporter of Israel and vocal friend of Benjamin Netanyahu. His appointed ambassador to the United Nations is Nikki Haley, who is trying to right wrongs against Israel committed by the United Nations and, ahem, the Obama administration. His daughter converted to Judaism. He has Jewish grandchildren. In the Clintonian world of as-if, he may be the first Jewish President. To those who found President Obama’s support of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Iranian regime indicative of nothing important, I can only put it this way for public consumption: Give me a break.
Incidentally, the Jewish Community Center to which I belong in St. Paul was one of the 11 subjected to bomb threats on Monday. Even if those threats were empty, the vandalism perpetrated at the Jewish cemetery in University City, Missouri is real. And there seems to be something going on at main campus of the University of Minnesota as well.
Obama imports a lot of antisemites. Incidents of antisemitism rise. And it’s Trump’s fault because, well, what isn’t?
BYRON YORK ON THE HARVARD LUNCH CLUB PODCAST: On enforcing immigration laws: “It’s one of those things Trump can do on his own. His radical agenda was to enforce the existing immigration laws; not in a draconian way, but going after people who, in addition to being in the country illegally, have committed or have been accused of committing crimes – and sometimes quite serious ones…It’s something he can do on the basis of his executive authority just as Obama used his executive authority to choose not to enforce those laws.”
The e-commerce giant confirmed to Recode on Monday that it plans to sell beer and wine from the Seattle store. The confirmation came after I inquired about a flyer I spotted on the store’s window that mentioned its application for a liquor license.
“When we start offering beer and wine, there will be an associate checking identification,” an Amazon spokesperson wrote in an email.
Dubbed Amazon Go, the store concept allows shoppers to grab prepared food and drinks off of shelves and automatically be billed without stopping to pay on the way out. Amazon accomplishes this feat by making shoppers scan an app on the way in, and then uses a mix of sensors, cameras and computer vision to track the items that each customer takes. When the computers can’t figure it out, humans step in.
When the business histories of the early 21st Century are written, it may turn out that Amazon had to destroy retail in order to save it.
RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE — UNDERSTANDING THE MILO PHENOMENON: “Those on the receiving end of group polarization experience a wall of ignorance and intolerance. Spend much time on an elite campus, and you’ll be amazed at the sheer paucity of conservative voices. Entire faculty departments don’t include a single conservative voice. The result is a community that often can’t conceive of a single, non-bigoted reason for classical conservative social views. There is no good answer to this group polarization, but conservatives have generally tried three different approaches: Reason with the machine, replace the machine, or rage against the machine.”
Read the whole thing.
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The latest news is that Defense Secretary James Mattis has told NATO allies that if they don’t start carrying their weight, the U.S. is going to “moderate its commitment” to the region. Now, as an abstract matter of principle, I’m firmly behind this. Only five NATO countries actually hit their targets, and three of them are a lot poorer than the sponging grifters that have cut their militaries back … while enjoying the safety of the U.S. security umbrella.
The freeloading countries don’t even send a fruit basket to Washington to say thanks. In fact, as a rightish American who’s spent a bit of time abroad, I can personally attest that many of those NATO members’ citizens feel free to disparage our massive military budget, as if their smaller budgets were some sort of moral sacrifice rather than an unearned benefit paid for by U.S. taxpayers.
There, I got that off my chest. I hope we all feel better.
Nonetheless, even for me, Mattis’s statement is a sort of “gulp” moment. The Europeans aren’t the only people who benefit from the American security umbrella. The fact that the world’s biggest rich economy is willing to spend so much of its GDP on the military doesn’t just mean that other countries don’t have to; it also means that other countries don’t bother, because they can’t possibly catch up.
Like dealing with slobbish roommates, it may make sense to keep cleaning the toilet yourself, but a credible threat to leave may encourage them to do a bit less free-riding.