March 22, 2018

IT’S ONLY A WEAPON WHEN REPUBLICANS USE IT: How Facebook Went From ‘Ideal Way’ to Reach Voters to Being ‘Weaponized.’

YOU’LL NEVER GUESS NUMBER 23! Bradley Areheart: The Top 100 Law Reviews: A Reference Guide Based on Historical USNWR Data.

UH OH: Mumps vaccine protection may be waning, driving rise in U.S. cases.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION: Savannah Law School Sells Building, To Close After Spring 2018 Semester. This is a good place, with good faculty, in a good location, and if it can’t make it it bodes poorly for some other schools.

BRIDGET JOHNSON: Spending Deal Stipulates Border Security Funding Can’t Build Concrete Wall. “Ryan pitches plan personally at White House to secure Trump’s support as Schumer declares ‘at the end of the day we Democrats feel very good’.”

I bet.

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: Camouflaged Elites. “Even in the mostly egalitarian city-states of classical Greece, the wealthy were readily identifiable. A man of privilege was easy to spot by his remarkable possession of a horse, the fine quality of his tunic, or by his mastery of Greek syntax and vocabulary. . . . But today, the line separating the elite from the masses has blurred. First, the cultural revolution of the 1960s made it cool for everyone to dress sloppily and to talk with slang and profanity. Levis, T-shirts, and sneakers became the hip American uniform, a way of superficially equalizing the unequal. Contrived informality radiated the veneer of class solidarity. Multimillionaires like Bruce Springsteen and Bono appear indistinguishable from welders on the street. The locus classicus is perhaps Facebook owner Mark Zuckerberg.”

HEALTH: Passive Detection of Atrial Fibrillation Using a Commercially Available Smartwatch. “This proof-of-concept study found that smartwatch photoplethysmography coupled with a deep neural network can passively detect AF [atrial fibrillation] but with some loss of sensitivity and specificity against a criterion-standard ECG. Further studies will help identify the optimal role for smartwatch-guided rhythm assessment.”

LIZ PEEK: Rivals and consumers will rein in Facebook, not regulation.

Also advertisers.

BEN SHAPIRO: Stop Making Children Into Moral Authorities.

On March 14, high school students from Parkland, Florida, led a school walkout in favor of gun control. The media have already appointed student witnesses of the horror at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School untouchable moral authorities; their opinions are not to be questioned.

But now, the left has found even more sympathetic faces for its agenda: kindergarteners. According to The Wall Street Journal, “Schools are grappling with how to address the event with children as young as 5 years old and with finding ways for children who are too little to be told about school shootings to take part.” Children in pre-K at Manhattan Country School will sing, “If I Had a Hammer” and “Paz y Libertad.” Public schools like PS 321 in Brooklyn allowed children to do activities linked with the protests.

There is something deeply perverse about using children to promote a political agenda.

Yes, but they don’t care.

IN THE MAIL: From Brian J. Noggle, Coffee House Memories.

Plus, fresh Gold Box and Lightning Deals. New deals every hour. Your patronage is always appreciated!

HE’S SCARED: Zuckerberg Says He’s Open to Government Regulating Facebook. “‘I’m actually am not sure we shouldn’t be regulated,’ the Facebook CEO told CNN.”


I got to that via a WaPo piece titled “Jeffrey Toobin to his former professor Alan Dershowitz: ‘What’s happened to you?,'” which makes it seem as though Toobin got the better of Dershowitz, which is certainly not how I would score it. The clip ends with Dershowitz giving a definitive defense of himself as consistent on rule-of-law arguments: “I’m not carrying [Trump’s] water. I’m saying the exact same thing I’ve said for 50 years. And Jeffrey, you ought to know that, you were my student.The fact that it applies to Trump now rather than applying to Bill Clinton is why people like you have turned against me.”

Consistency is an obstacle to the narrative.


IMMIGRATION AND NULLIFICATION: John Calhoun’s California. “There is one sense in which California’s position is even more extreme than that taken by the incendiary South Carolinians of 1832. After all, the proto-confederates at least claimed, however unreasonably, that the federal law they opposed was unconstitutional. California’s politicians, in contrast, do not assert the unconstitutionality of America’s immigration laws. They just don’t want them to be enforced.”

GOOD LORD: Police shot at a man 20 times in his own yard, thinking he had a gun. It was an iPhone.

Video released by the Sacramento Police Department depicts a frantic foot pursuit through darkened streets pierced by white slivers of police flashlight.

The officers spot Clark approaching a house and shout: “Show me your hands! Stop! Stop!”

Clark is seen running, and the two officers round the corner of the house and find him under a covered patio.

An infrared camera on an overhead helicopter briefly loses sight of Clark at this moment.

“Show me your hands! Gun!” an officer shouts and ducks behind the wall in a fraction of a second.

The helicopter footage shows one of the officers appearing to grab his partner to pull him to cover.

Clark steps toward the officers. Behind the wall, one of the officers issues another command. “Show me your hands!” And then: “Gun, gun, gun!”

Both officers open fire. Sparks from the bullets light up the helicopter’s infrared camera in sharp white pops.

The sequence, from the first glimpse of Clark on the patio to the first gunshot, unfolds in about six seconds.

The officers are never heard identifying themselves as police before fatally shooting Clark.

What a mess.

NICK GILLESPIE: Hillary Clinton, Not Donald Trump or Cambridge Analytics, Is Gaslighting America: When can we as a country admit that the “most-qualified candidate in history” lost the 2016 election and get on with living our lives?

nstead of nailing down every electoral vote in less-glamorous precincts, the Clinton campaign spent time raising money and running up popular vote counts in California and New York (she won the popular vote by about 3 million). The same take-it-for-granted attitude that led to her loss was on brazen display in her recent comments to an Indian audience, where she explained “I won the places that represent two-thirds of America’s gross domestic product… I won the places that are optimistic, diverse, dynamic, moving forward…. We don’t do well with married, white women…and part of that is an identification with the Republican Party, and a sort of ongoing pressure to vote the way that your husband, your boss, your son, whoever, believes you should.”

Whenever an election is unexpectedly close, there will always be weird things that crop up to “explain” the result. But just as with George W. Bush’s razor-thin victory in 2000, the real question isn’t what put the underdog over the top but how the hell the odds-on favorite managed to squander such a lead. In 2000, Bush didn’t win so much as Al Gore lost. So it is with 2016: Trump didn’t win as much as Hillary Clinton did everything possible to lose. And now we are paying for her loss by being treated to an endless procession of explanations that will take the measure of every possible reason except for her own incompetence, arrogance, and sense of entitlement.

The literal insanity coming from our alleged best-and-brightest in the wake of the 2016 election (undiminished in 2018!) is proof that our ruling class is unfit to rule.

LEAVING FACEBOOK — IT’S GONE VIRAL! Facebook Advertisers Start Pulling Out.

LIZ SHELD’S MORNING BRIEF: McCabe, Tariffs, Omnibus Hot Mess and Much, Much More. “”Sources tell ABC News that fired deputy ‘Andy’s office’ McCabe had opened a secret investigation against Attorney General Jeff Sessions.”

#IM(NOT)WITHHER: Hillary’s Blame Game Comes Back to Haunt McCaskill’s Re-Election Hopes.

RAND PAUL ON BUDGET: A ‘rotten, terrible’ way to govern. “Really, should we be looking at 1,000 page bills with 24 hours to decide what’s in them? It’s really not a good way to run your government.”

He’s right, of course.

MICHAEL BARONE: Women Against Free Speech.

Majorities of students polled said they supported both free speech and “inclusion and diversity.” When asked which was more important, 53 percent said inclusion and diversity and only 46 percent said free speech.

What I found most striking — the numbers that stood out for me — was the difference between men and women. Among men, 61 percent favored free speech. But only 35 percent of women did so. That’s a result I certainly hadn’t expected.

That number is of particular concern, because women are now a majority of college and university students. They appear to be a preponderance of the campus administrators who enforce schools’ speech and sexual assault codes, at a time when administrators outnumber teachers in higher education. . . . Female students’ willingness to subordinate free speech to political values is disturbing, in a time when habits of mind and behavior developed on campus tend to leach out to the larger society.

Defeat the matriarchy!

GET WOKE, GO BROKE: Survey Says Politicized Sports, Entertainment Driving Viewers Away.

DEPLATFORMED: Reddit announces new addition to site-wide rules regarding the use of Reddit to conduct transactions.

Hello All—

We want to let you know that we have made a new addition to our content policy forbidding transactions for certain goods and services. As of today, users may not use Reddit to solicit or facilitate any transaction or gift involving certain goods and services, including:

Firearms, ammunition, or explosives.

Good catch from “Sam” on Twitter who explains that “the subreddit r/GunDeals [was] merely posts and links to gun retail websites that are fully FFL compliant.”


An increasing number of insiders say, contrary to the multitude of studies and seminars we’ve slogged through, that there is not a shortage of Science Technology and Engineering Majors (STEM) but a glut. . . .

The norm now, in biomedicine and other science fields, is for newly minted PhDs to take three or more one-year stints as postdoctoral fellows in other research labs before getting a tenure-track job. Depending on the discipline and their boss, they may have a chance to pursue some independent work without the distractions of teaching and administration that beset regular faculty. But, more likely, they will serve simply as low-paid help. In large, well-funded labs dealing in hot topics, postdocs and graduate students may be little more than over-specialized technicians.

No, that couldn’t be it.

SMART MOVE: Russia reportedly helped Venezuela launch its petro cryptocurrency to skirt US sanctions.

An executive at a Russian state bank told Time that senior advisers in the Kremlin oversaw the development of the petro and that Russian president Vladimir Putin signed off on the project in 2017. “People close to Putin, they told him this is how to avoid the sanctions,” the executive told Time. “This is how the whole thing started.”

Earlier this week, the Trump administration issued an executive order prohibiting US citizens from purchasing the petro, which Maduro hopes will raise $6 billion and help shore up the country’s failing economy. Venezuela’s currency, the bolívar, has suffered from hyperinflation as a result of government mismanagement and US sanctions. The US has also frozen assets of four current and former officials of the Venezuelan government.

Cryptocurrencies could be an effective form of skirting sanctions. Time reports that Russia floated the idea of creating a digital version of the ruble, but Russia’s central bank said it would risk destabilizing the ruble itself.

“So Russia made its stronghold here in Venezuela,” Armando Armas, an opposition member of Venezuela’s parliament, the National Assembly told Time. “Now they are using Venezuela as a guinea pig for their experiment.”

All that might be true, and yet still not the whole story. If I were Putin, I’d want to help keep Maduro in power for as long as possible by almost any means available. So long as Venezuela remains socialist, the Venezuelan oil industry will continue to underperform — which means higher prices and less competition for Russian oil.

MY WEEKLY DAILY CALLER COLUMN IS UP: “Collusion, Corrections And ZOMBIE FACTS That Refuse To Die.” A look into how corrections are handled — or mishandled — and the effect it has on readers and our collective knowledge.


BILL ROGGIO: US military will not pursue Taliban into Pakistan.

“We have no authority to go into Pakistan,” Pentagon spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Mike Andrews told Pajhwok Afghan News. US forces could ask for authority to chase Taliban fighters as they cross the border into Pakistan, but approval for such action “would certainly be the exception and not the norm,” he continued.

“Say, for example, we have troops in contact and then the Taliban forces go across the border,” Andrews told Pajhwok. “They are clearly inside Pakistan then. There’s no change with regards to respecting the territorial sovereignty of Pakistan.”

In the past the US military has defended its right to pursue Taliban forces retreating into Pakistan under its “inherent right of self defense.”

The US military has in rare cases pursued Taliban fighters as they crossed the border into Pakistan after battling US forces in Afghanistan. Pakistan has responded furiously to such incursions.

I wonder if there’s been a genuine policy change, or if we’re just keeping up appearances with Islamabad.

OF COURSE IT DOES: Under Fire And Losing Trust, Facebook Plays The Victim.

One possible explanation for Facebook management’s blasé attitude is that the company has weathered complaints about violating user privacy since its earliest days. The first revolt came in 2006, when users protested that the service’s news feed was making public information that the users had intended to keep private. The news feed is now the company’s core service. In 2009, Facebook began making users’ posts, which had previously been private, public by default. That incident triggered anger, confusion, an investigation by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, and, ultimately, a consent decree. In 2014, the company disclosed that it had tried to manipulate users’ emotions as part of an internal psychology experiment.

Nothing to see here, move along.

MARK ZUCKERBERG: “We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can’t then we don’t deserve to serve you.”

Here’s a timeline of the events:

In 2007, we launched the Facebook Platform with the vision that more apps should be social. Your calendar should be able to show your friends’ birthdays, your maps should show where your friends live, and your address book should show their pictures. To do this, we enabled people to log into apps and share who their friends were and some information about them.

In 2013, a Cambridge University researcher named Aleksandr Kogan created a personality quiz app. It was installed by around 300,000 people who shared their data as well as some of their friends’ data. Given the way our platform worked at the time this meant Kogan was able to access tens of millions of their friends’ data.

In 2014, to prevent abusive apps, we announced that we were changing the entire platform to dramatically limit the data apps could access. Most importantly, apps like Kogan’s could no longer ask for data about a person’s friends unless their friends had also authorized the app. We also required developers to get approval from us before they could request any sensitive data from people. These actions would prevent any app like Kogan’s from being able to access so much data today.

In 2015, we learned from journalists at The Guardian that Kogan had shared data from his app with Cambridge Analytica. It is against our policies for developers to share data without people’s consent, so we immediately banned Kogan’s app from our platform, and demanded that Kogan and Cambridge Analytica formally certify that they had deleted all improperly acquired data. They provided these certifications.

Whether or not you trust CA’s certification or Zuckerberg’s explanation, Stephen Miller notes a curious omission:


Update: Sorry — had attached the wrong tweet to this post. Fixed now.

ZIMBABWE REDUX: A White Farmer Is Killed Every Five Days in South Africa and Authorities Do Nothing About It, Activists Say.

If the numbers are accurate, then South Africa’s ethnic cleansing is just getting started — wait until the locals grasp just how much they can get away with.

In the meantime, I’m sure we can soon expect a few popular protest songs, along with calls for divestiture and sanctions on South Africa’s racist regime.

ROBERT SPENCER: College of the Holy Cross Axes ‘Crusader’ Mascot to Avoid ‘Islamophobia.’


OUT: FAT ACCEPTANCE. IN: FAT SUPREMACY. Asos Slammed For Stocking Size Two Clothing.

March 21, 2018

THIS ALL SEEMS TO HAVE STARTED AFTER TRUMP’S TRIP TO SAUDI ARABIA, WHERE THE PRESS COMMENTARY WAS MOSTLY FOCUSED ON MAKING FUN OF THE “ORB” PICTURE: The Saudis Take On Radical Islam: The crown prince charts a course toward moderation, which prevailed before the 1979 attack on Mecca.

The year 1979 was a watershed for the Middle East. Iranian revolutionaries overthrew the shah, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, and Sunni Islamic extremists tried to take over the Grand Mosque of Mecca in Saudi Arabia, Islam’s holiest shrine. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman hadn’t been born, but he is fighting the ghosts of 1979 as he dramatically reforms the kingdom.

The attempted takeover of Mecca was a defining event in my country, mainly because of what happened next. Saudi rulers, fearing Iran’s revolutionary example, decided to give more space to the Salafi clerical establishment in hope of countering the radicals. Traditional Salafi preachers are neither violent nor political, but they hold a rigid view of Islam. Their legal rulings and attempts to police morals made the kingdom increasingly intolerant, setting back the gradual opening up that had occurred in the 1960s and ’70s.

In Saudi schools, education was largely in the hands of foreign nationals, many with Muslim Brotherhood backgrounds. In the 1960s and ’70s, Saudi Arabia was more concerned with Gamal Abdel Nasser’s Arab nationalism than with Islamist radicalism. Thus the Muslim Brotherhood wasn’t much of a worry. But the combination of the brotherhood’s political outlook and the rigid Salafi doctrine injected a virus into the Saudi education system. That virus allowed Osama bin Laden to recruit 15 Saudis to take part in that terrible deed on Sept. 11, 2001. We Saudis failed those young men, and that failure had global implications.

The Salafi clerics and Muslim Brotherhood imports also worked in concert as they were given unsupervised access to private donations to fund mosques and madrasas from Karachi to Cairo, where they generally favored the most conservative preachers.

The policy makers’ idea was simple: Give the political Islamists and their Salafi affiliates room to influence educational, judicial and religious affairs, and we will continue to control foreign policy, the economy, and defense. Saudi rulers were handling the hardware, while radicals rewrote the nation’s software. Saudi society, and the Muslim world, is still reeling from the effects.

I can attest that when the Saudi money hit northern Nigeria, the Islam there went from a rather mellow Sufi variety to, well, Boko Haram. Even if all that happens is the Saudis stop funding and promoting radical Islam worldwide, that will be huge. Remember, after the Soviet Union folded, all sorts of “grassroots, authentic” terrorist movements dried up along with the Soviet funding. Something similar could happen here.

AT AMAZON, Lee Men’s Dungarees Belted Wyoming Cargo Shorts.

ALAN DERSHOWITZ: Trump is right: The special counsel should never have been appointed.

IF YOU’RE NOT PAYING FOR IT, YOU’RE THE PRODUCT:  “You’re not Facebook’s customer. You’re Facebook’s product,” Ed Morrissey writes at The Week.

Or as John Podhoretz adds at the New York Post, “Sorry: Facebook was never ‘free.’”

DIDN’T STALIN TRY THIS? Prominent Science Fiction Author Calls for Depopulating Rural Areas.

Seems like another reason why rural parts of states might want to secede from urban areas. More on that here.

WHO COULD HAVE SEEN THIS COMING? Pro-Life High School Students Plan A Walkout. Let a thousand lawsuits bloom when schools treat them differently than they did the GunSense-backed kids.

OPEN THREAD. That is all.

EMBRACE THE HEALING POWER OF “AND.” Justin Trudeau on guns: Stupid or liar?

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Students’ visit to gun range ‘none of your damn business,’ parents say.

Angered by word of the disciplining of two Lacey High School students for a gun-related social media post, 200 parents, community members and other supporters of the Second Amendment on Monday let the Board of Education know they don’t want the district trampling on their rights or meddling in their home lives.

“You guys are reaching into our private life, the private life of our children,” said one parent, Lewis Fiordimondo, who has twins in pre-kindergarten and a daughter at the high school. “It’s not your place. It’s not the school’s place.”

Another dad, Frank Horvath, whose son is a senior at Lacey High, put things in blunter terms.

“It’s none of your damn business what our children do outside of school,” Horvath told the seven board members toward the end of a four-hour meeting, most of it occupied by speaker after speaker venting anger and frustration at school officials largely unable to respond due to confidentiality rules.

The unusually large turnout for Monday night’s board meeting in the high school auditorium was prompted by a five-day in-school suspension of two senior boys after one of them posted a photo of themselves with guns at a local shooting range, away from school property and not during school hours.

Punch back twice as hard.

WELL, BLAMING THE RUSSIANS, AND WHITE WOMEN, HASN’T WORKED AND THEY STILL CAN’T FACE REALITY: Those who cannot believe Trump won the election need a scapegoat and that scapegoat is Mark Zuckerberg.

IT’S ALWAYS IN THE LAST PLACE YOU LOOK: Platypus milk: The key to preventing deadly infections?

WITH YOUTUBE CENSORING EVEN BLAND FIREARMS VIDEO, firearms channels are moving to PornHub. I love it.

“HERE’S YOUR DAILY REMINDER OF HOW PATHETIC CNN HAS BECOME:” Parkland’s Kyle Kashuv Says CNN Canceled Interview After RT Calling Out Their Bias.

Not just any retweet: Kashuv “said that CNN cited a Clay Travis retweet calling out Brooke Baldwin for being a ‘fake news hypocrite.’ Travis, of course, was the sports commentator who was booted off of Baldwin’s CNN Newsroom in September for saying ‘boobs.’”

Not surprisingly, Travis will be interviewing Kashuv on Friday.

Related! Category Five Stormy: CNN Primetime Spends 149 Minutes Ogling Stormy Daniels Scandal.

BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE STUPID: Why no one should be surprised that hospitals face dangerous opioid shortages. “This shortage doesn’t surprise me, though I’m surprised that the media appear to be concerned now about an opioid shortage after spending so much energy on whipping up political and public anger toward opioids.” Actually, the media’s 180 from one kind of hysteria to the other is the least surprising thing of all.


GET WOKE, GO BROKE: Dick’s Posts ‘Deeper than Expected’ Losses Weeks After Taking Anti-Gun Stance.

WE NEED TO BAN SOCIAL MEDIA. FOR THE CHILDREN. Too much Facebook, Instagram could be tough on girls.

DISPATCHES FROM THE K-12 IMPLOSION. Watch: Pissed Off Dad GOES OFF on Principal for Allowing 12-Year-Olds to Hold Gun Control Walkout.


JUST THINK OF THE MEDIA AS DEMOCRATIC ACTIVISTS WITH BYLINES, AND IT ALL MAKES SENSE: Anybody recall the media looking at Gina McCarthy’s travel expenses?

JACK DUNPHY: Los Angeles Times Buries the Lede in Brendon Glenn Shooting.

FASTER? PLEASE! Cadillac debuts CT6 V-Sport with new twin-turbo V8.

The CT6 is a good-looking sedan and has been earning some solid reviews since it debuted two years ago, even with the smaller V6 engines.

I just wish they’d give it a proper Cadillac name.

PRIVACY: How I went dark in Australia’s surveillance state for 2 years.

In 2015, during the transition from paper to Opal [contactless public transit cards], Australia passed sweeping new data retention laws. These laws required all Australian internet service providers and telecommunications carriers to retain customers’ phone and internet metadata for two years — details like the phone number a person calls, the timestamps on text messages or the cell tower a phone pings when it makes a call.

Suddenly, Australians were fighting for the right to stay anonymous in a digital world.

On one side of the fence: safety-conscious civilians. They argued that this metadata was a powerful tool and that the ability to track a person’s movements through phone pings or call times was vital for law enforcement.

On the other side of the fence: digital civil libertarians. They argued that the data retention scheme was invasive and that this metadata could be used to build up an incredibly detailed picture of someone’s life.

And sitting in a barn two paddocks away from that fence: me, switching out burner phones and researching VPNs.

When it emerged that police had the power to search Opal card data, track people’s movements and match this to individual users, it was the last straw. August 2016 rolled around, paperless tickets were phased out and I hatched my plan.

It’s a fascinating story.

INSIDE EVERY LIBERAL IS A TOTALITARIAN SCREAMING TO GET OUT: Prominent Science Fiction Author Calls for Depopulating Rural Areas.

(Classical reference in headline.)

I’LL BE ON THE DREW MARIANI SHOW (GUEST HOSTED BY ED MORRISSEY) in a few minutes, talking about my state secession paper.

IF IT MOVES, TAX IT: EU proposes online turnover tax for big tech firms.

Under the Commission’s plan, companies with significant digital revenues in Europe will pay a 3 percent tax on their turnover on various online services in the European Union, bringing in an estimated 5 billion euros ($6.1 billion).

EU Economics Commissioner Pierre Moscovici brushed off accusations that he was going after rich American tech companies to enrich EU coffers at a time when the bloc is at odds with the Trump administration over trade and taxation issues.

“This is neither a GAFA (Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon) attack nor an anti-U.S. attack proposal that will target any company or any country,” he told a news conference.

The tax would apply to large firms with annual worldwide revenue above 750 million euros ($920 million) and annual “taxable” EU revenues above 50 million euros.

I was frankly surprised to read that there are enough EU leaders opposed to make approval uncertain.

REVIEW: 2018 Audi Q7.

BUT OF COURSE: Man Convicted of Hate Crime for Video of Dog Making Nazi Salute.

PAST PERFORMANCE IS NO GUARANTEE OF FUTURE RESULTS: Arnold Schwarzenegger Promotes Gas Guzzling Helicopter Ride over L.A. While Suing Oil Companies for ‘Murder.’

MISS LIBERTY: Social Justice Mocked: Eight Short Films.

Seven more at the link.

GUESS WHAT’S MISSING FROM THIS STORY: Federal Agency Courted Alcohol Industry to Fund Study on Benefits of Moderate Drinking.

If it had happened in 2017 instead of 2014, it would be “Trump Administration” not “Federal Agency.” You know I’m right.

ANTI-ANTI-SOCIAL MEDIA: WhatsApp Co-Founder Joins #DeleteFacebook Movement.

The #DeleteFacebook movement just gained a notable supporter: Brian Acton, co-founder of Facebook-owned WhatsApp.

Acton and fellow WhatsApp Co-Founder Jan Koum sold their messaging app to Facebook in 2014 for $16 billion, becoming very rich in the process. After leaving Facebook last year to start his own nonprofit, Acton is now speaking out against the social media behemoth in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

“It is time. #deletefacebook,” Acton wrote on Twitter Tuesday. “Delete and forget. It’s time to care about privacy.”

Leaving Facebook — it’s gone viral!

WINNING: EPA Ends The Use Of “Secret Science” In Crafting Regulations.

GOOD NEWS FOR MICE: Newly discovered human antibody protects mice from malaria.

BRIDGET JOHNSON: Bipartisan Effort Fails to Rein in U.S. Military Involvement in Yemen. “Senate tables War Powers Resolution as Trump meets with Saudi crown prince and touts sales of ‘the missiles and the planes and all of the military equipment’.”

BUT OTHER THAN THAT, WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THE SHOW, MR. TOTO? Michael Caine’s ‘Dear Dictator’ isn’t just morally repugnant. It’s slow, painfully unfunny, and a stain on the legendary actor’s resume.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: How To Delete Your Facebook Account.

DEPLATFORMED: YouTube Suspends Major Gun Manufacturer, Bans Instructional Gun Videos.

“While we’ve long prohibited the sale of firearms, we recently notified creators of updates we will be making around content promoting the sale or manufacture of firearms and their accessories, specifically, items like ammunition, gatling triggers, and drop-in auto sears,” reads a statement from a YouTube spokesperson.

The list of prohibited content now includes links to sites that sell firearms, videos that teach installation of certain accessories, and videos that teach the entirely legal acts of manufacturing guns and reloading ammunition.

It’s time to regulate YouTube, Google, Facebook, and Twitter as common carriers.

I’VE THOUGHT OF DOING THIS, BUT I’VE NEVER GOTTEN AROUND TO IT: Free Divers Defy The Limits of Science, And We’re Beginning to Understand How. I wouldn’t try the absurd 700 foot stuff, but I was talking to a free diver on Cayman when they had a competition going, and he told me he could train me to do 150 feet in a day. But I’ve never gotten around to it.

I’m probably better off with a tank of Nitrox on my back anyway.

FOX, HENHOUSE, ETC: Last month, holier-than thou Oxfam was embroiled in a scandal with staff accused of using charitable funds to buy prostitutes. Now the head of another British charity admitted five indecent and serious sexual assaults on a child under 16 and was sentenced to six years and eight months.

Beware the pious.


The Times coverage is decent but overlooks a lot. The short version is this: the incumbent, Dan Lipinski, is a pro-life anti-ObamaCare Blue Dog Democrat who was locked in a near-death struggle with a progressive challenger. The Nazi, Jones, had been kept off the ballot in cycles past by the invocation of technicalities. So the plan was to DQ Jones and let Republican crossover voters in the primary keep Lipinski alive. Since Lipinski won, barely, that part of the plan succeeded.

In 2016, for example, the Republican Party also failed to run a conventional candidate. Jones was the only one to submit signatures but the party managed to disqualify him to keep him off the primary ballot. They had the same plan for 2018 but Jones outmaneuvered them with a last-minute filing. . . .

The peril and promise of these ballot access rules is that ordinary registered voters are empowered – the party bosses cannot unilaterally dismiss reform minded, “rage against the machine” candidates like in the good old days. On the other hand, sometimes shit happens. . . .

Apparently Republicans will muster a write-in sacrificial lamb for the November vote. And Krugman, Oliver and the other progressive entertainers will have their fun.

Personally, I hate Illinois Nazis.

WE’RE FROM GOOGLE AND WE’RE HERE TO HELP: Google Makes $300 Million Commitment to Supporting News.

In New York on Tuesday, the company announced the launch of the Google News Initiative, which it says is designed to help news organizations strengthen quality journalism, develop new business models and upgrade their technology.

As part of the initiative, Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc., GOOGL -0.39% detailed several efforts to help publishers drive more subscription revenue, under the umbrella of a program called Subscribe with Google.

Google unveiled a new feature that will appear on its search results pages that will highlight stories from publications to which a user subscribes. The component won’t affect the rankings on the rest of Google’s search results page, according to a company spokeswoman.

The company says it will help simplify the subscription process so consumers can easily subscribe to multiple news outlets. Following through on plans announced in October, readers will be able to use their Google login credentials as a single sign-on for their various news subscriptions, helping to prevent users from constantly hitting paywalls, particularly when switching devices.

It’s another data-harvesting scheme, paid for by an “investment” in the very news business Google has helped put in its current predicament.

CONRAD BLACK: The Anti-Trump Effort Backfires.

As the parallel investigations and diluvian leaking have unfolded, the anti-Trump Resistance has received a series of gradually suppurating mortal wounds. The Steele dossier was commissioned and paid for by the Clinton campaign; over a hundred FBI agents and Justice Department lawyers expected Hillary Clinton to be charged criminally, and President Trump was correct in saying conversations by his campaign officials had been tapped, a claim that was much ridiculed at the time. Deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe testified that the Steele dossier was essential to obtaining a FISA warrant on a junior Trump aide (Carter Page), and McCabe and former director James Comey’s rabidly partisan helper Peter Strzok, and his FBI girlfriend Lisa Page, texted suggestions for influencing the FISA judge in the case. The judge recused himself, voluntarily or otherwise, after granting the warrant. Mueller set up his “dream team” of entirely partisan Democrats; McCabe failed to identify to the Bureau his wife as a member and beneficiary of the Clinton entourage and political candidate in Virginia; and the fourth person in the Justice Department, Bruce Ohr, met with Steele, and Mrs. Ohr helped compose the Steele dossier.

The Justice Department inspector general, Michael Horowitz, whose report is expected imminently, showed the FBI director, Christopher Wray, findings about Andrew McCabe’s conduct that caused him to retire McCabe prematurely. The Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR), one of the few centers of unquestionably ethical and nonpartisan conduct in Washington, advised the attorney general to fire McCabe.

The wheels are coming off.

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LOCKER ROOM TALK: Biden says he would have ‘beat the hell out’ of Trump in high school for disrespecting women.

“A guy who ended up becoming our national leader said, ‘I can grab a woman anywhere and she likes it,'” Biden said. “They asked me if I’d like to debate this gentleman, and I said ‘no.’ I said, ‘If we were in high school, I’d take him behind the gym and beat the hell out of him.'”

“I’ve been in a lot of locker rooms my whole life,” Biden continued. “I’m a pretty damn good athlete. Any guy that talked that way was usually the fattest, ugliest S.O.B. in the room.”

He’s running.

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K.C. JOHNSON: “Last week, a New Haven jury acquitted Yale student Saifullah Khan of rape. Coverage of the case provided only the latest reminder of the one-sided, often effectively misleading manner in which the mainstream media covers the issue of campus sexual assault.”

WELL, GOOD: South Korea to deploy ‘artillery killer’ to destroy North Korean bunkers.

The South Korean Army plans to deploy surface-to-surface missiles in a newly created counter-artillery brigade by October, with the aim of destroying North Korea’s hardened long-range artillery sites near the Demilitarized Zone, should conflict erupt on the Korean Peninsula.

The plan is part of South Korea‘s defense reform for developing an offensive operations scheme, a defense source said. The tactical missiles are developed locally.

“The Ministry of National Defense has approved a plan to create an artillery brigade under a ground forces operations command to be inaugurated in October. The plan is to be reported to President Moon Jae-in next month as part of the ‘Defense Reform 2.0’ policy,” the source said. “The brigade’s mission is fairly focused on destroying North Korea’s long-range guns more rapidly and effectively, should conflict arise”

The three-year development of the GPS-guided Korea Tactical Surface-to-Surface Missile was completed last year. Hanwha Corporation, a precision-guided missile maker, led the development in partnership with the state-funded Agency for Defense Development, or ADD.

The missile, dubbed “artillery killer,” has a range of more than 120 kilometers and can hit targets with a 2-meter accuracy, according to ADD and Hanwha officials.

One of the reasons North Korea gets away with so much is that its dug-in artillery effectively holds Seoul — home to 25 million South Koreans — hostage for as long as it would take to destroy or silence those big guns.

This will shorten that time.

HMM: Tempe police chief says early probe shows no fault by Uber.

Pushing a bicycle laden with plastic shopping bags, a woman abruptly walked from a center median into a lane of traffic and was struck by a self-driving Uber operating in autonomous mode.

“The driver said it was like a flash, the person walked out in front of them,” said Sylvia Moir, police chief in Tempe, Ariz., the location for the first pedestrian fatality involving a self-driving car. “His first alert to the collision was the sound of the collision.”

From viewing the videos, “it’s very clear it would have been difficult to avoid this collision in any kind of mode (autonomous or human-driven) based on how she came from the shadows right into the roadway,” Moir said. The police have not released the videos.

They should.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Indiana University of Pennsylvania has reinstated a conservative student who was temporarily banned from his religious studies class recently for disputing his instructor’s claims regarding the “reality of white male privilege.” “Lake Ingle was initially told that he could not finish the course, which he needs in order to graduate, unless he delivered an apology in front of the entire class and then sat silently while his peers and his professor judged him. . . . The incident appeared in national headlines, stoking public outcry, and Ingle reported in a Facebook status that a ruling on his case would be released on March 19. President Eugene Delgaudio of Public Advocate, an organization that describes itself as ‘a dedicated group of young conservatives in Washington, D.C.,’ filed a Letter of Complaint the morning of March 19 addressed to various federal authorities in response to IUP’s handling of the case.”

They always go full Red Guards, but as a famous American said, punch back twice as hard. And with the change in Administrations, the threat of complaints to the Department of Education and the Department of Justice carries more weight. Elections matter.

LIZ SHELD’S MORNING BRIEF: Austin Bomber Dead, Gov’t Shutdown Redux and Much, Much More. “Police caution that they do not know where the suspect has been in the last 24 hours and to be vigilant as there might be more packages out there.”

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HERE’S WHY TOM HOMAN IS STILL ONLY THE ACTING ICE CHIEF: Thomas Homan has been the acting director of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency and the federal official at the point of President Trump’s war against illegal immigration. He’s been a visible, articulate defender of strict enforcement of immigration law and Trump nominated him as the permanent director months ago. But the Republican Senate hasn’t even held a hearing on his nomination.

LifeZette’s Brendan Kirby makes clear there is much more to this story than Homan’s explanation that there’s a lot of paperwork involved. And in the process, Kirby provides insight into why asking these Republicans to drain the swamp may be akin to speaking Olde English to an Eskimo.