May 28, 2018

IN FLANDERS FIELDS:  Why Red Poppies on Memorial Day?

SPAM SPAM SPAM SPAM:  More than 228K pounds of Spam recalled.  (I’m reading a WWII era mystery and someone just waxed wishful about spam!)

SURE THING. I’M ALWAYS SHOCKED THAT GIRL REMEMBERS TO EXHALE:  Zero Situational Awareness: Chelsea Clinton Attacks Trump for Being Anti-American.

NO ONE HAS THE RIGHT NOT TO BE OFFENDED:  Opinion: Free Speech Falls Again.

THE MORE THE MASKS COME OFF, THE BETTER:  For years, “liberal privilege” has been the ability to pretend to be non-partisan and middle of the road.  They’re fast squandering that.  For which we should be grateful.  Why Conservatives Shouldn’t Fear That Obama-Netflix Deal.

DISNEY BEING DISNEY:  Why ‘Solo’ Is Paint-By-Numbers ‘Star Wars’ Fan Fiction.

USING OLD TACTICS:  In England, Gandhi is Spelled Yaxley-Lennon.

WE AIN’T SCANDINAVIA:  Why Government Doesn’t Scale.

IS IT A BAD THING TO ROLE PLAY DEFENSE/COUNTER-ATTACK IN SCENARIOS?  Someone is actually making an ‘active shooter’ video game.

NEWS YOU CAN USE:  Congrats, class of 2018: How to land a job, when you’re ready.

I REMEMBER WHEN PUBLISHERS STARTED DOING THIS IN THE OUGHTS:  Studios are now looking for actors who are Insta-famous.  Let’s say it’s not a good sign, okay?

THIS IS MY SHOCKED FACE:  Campaign contributor helped Obamas score Netflix deal.

May 27, 2018

WELL, THEY’RE NOT WRONG: ‘They deserve no mercy’: Iraq deals briskly with accused ‘women of Isis.’ “More than 40,000 foreigners from 110 countries are estimated to have travelled to Iraq and Syria to join the jihadist group. Of those, around 1,900 are believed to have been French citizens, and around 800 were British. . . . Guards who bring the women from a nearby prison said most were unrepentant. ‘An Isis prisoner once asked me for something which I couldn’t provide and she called me an infidel.'”

I HAD NO IDEA THAT DONALD TRUMP WAS A hot baseball prospect in his youth. But I’m not surprised that he “chose ‘real money’ over ‘baseball money.'”

BUT IT’S TOMMY ROBINSON WHO’S WHISKED OFF TO JAIL: Reminder: Councillors and police ‘had sex’ with Rotherham abuse victims.

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OPEN THREAD: No Chrissie Hynde references this time.

THE PELTZMAN EFFECT APPLIES TO SEX, TOO: How PrEP, the pill to prevent HIV, may be fueling a rise in other STDs.

Even before PrEP hit the US market in 2012, there were fears that it would promote promiscuity, more risky sex, and unintended health consequences. The president of the AIDS Health Foundation called it a “party drug.” “Truvada Whore” emerged as a slut-shaming label for people who took it in the gay community.

Though some of those fears were tinged with moral judgement, there’s now data showing the concern about the health consequences is justified. A systematic review published in March in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases found that some PrEP users are having more risky sex — and as a result, getting more sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

And also transmitting more sexually transmitted infections. But of course, the Peltzman effect applies everywhere.

NEWS FROM A DYING NATION: A judge has called for a drastic rethink on the way we use knives in kitchens in a bid to reduce the number of young men dying on our streets because of knife crime.

I think the problem isn’t that ordinary Brits are too violent, it’s that they’re not violent enough.

BEARING ARMS: United Airlines CEO Confronted on Severing Ties with the NRA, Says Political Decision Wasn’t Political.

As Glenn has noted, “The thing is, the executives making these decisions aren’t so concerned with what their customers think, as with what their peers think.”

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BRUCE BAWER: Swift Injustice: The Case of Tommy Robinson.

TOO MUCH BUN, NOT ENOUGH MEAT: I tried the Big Mac, Whopper and Dave’s Single. They share the same major flaw. I find that too many places — including allegedly fancy burger places — put a half pound of bread on the burger.

Also, the secret to making all McDonald’s non-Big Mac burgers better is to add Big Mac sauce.

WHEN DO AMERICANS SAY ‘IT ISN’T RIGHT’ TO SPY ON CAMPAIGNS? Interesting question, posed by House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-NC) earlier today on CBS “Face the Nation.”


SOD OFF, SWAMPY: There’s a growing movement to ban plastic straws.

(Classical reference in headline.)


Found via Small Dead Animals, where a commenter writes, “Heh….cool, now do a biology one on gender. For that one I’ll make popcorn.”

Heh, indeed.™

Update: “No irony lost: academics who have built careers pedalling post-modern theory now lamenting the advent of a ‘post-truth’ society.”

ILYA SOMIN: Give Susette Kelo Her Land Back.

BLUE WAVE? The GOP’s Midterm Prospects Brighten by the Day.

Nice polls, kid. Don’t get cocky.™

THIS IS NICE: Trump welcomes ‘overwhelmed’ man held in Venezuela. Yawn, just another prisoner released, nothing to see here.

DEMOCRACY DIES IN DARKNESS. Mayor Bill de Blasio: ‘I Will Not Shed a Tear’ if NY Post Goes Under.

CIVIL RIGHTS UPDATE: Breaking: Governor Edwards signs Louisiana switchblade-legalization bill.

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21ST CENTURY RELATIONSHIPS: 4 Reasons I Refuse To Change My Last Name For My Future Husband. It’s very important to list all the things you won’t do for your future husband before you meet him.

UPDATE: Oh, and this will help: Why I Don’t Give Blowjobs. Am I being selfish? Probably.

Same author, three years later: “Hello I need work. Will someone give me work? You can give me money too. Help.”

AT YOUR THROAT OR AT YOUR FEET: Germany’s German Problem — and Ours.


“The cable guy was there to work on her box and while waiting for it to reset as he was sitting on a couch, she came over, grabbed his hand and forcefully placed his hand on her own breast,” Strepay said.

The unidentified technician, in his 30s, tried to resist Newsome’s “unwanted sexual advance,” but she persisted and performed oral sex on him, Strepay said.

Newsome then told the man that she would “turn the story on him” if he reported the alleged assault to police, saying she would tell authorities that he was the aggressor, Strepay said.


AND YOU THOUGHT THE SCIENCE WAS SETTLED: Science still isn’t clear if yawns really are contagious.

PUBLIX ABANDONS FREE SPEECH AFTER PARKLAND RAGE-A-HOLIC DAVID HOGG THROWS IN-STORE TANTRUM: Don’t miss the photo at the end of the post of Publix shoppers selecting their fruit from a wall cooler after having stepped around Hogg’s staged “die-in” of kids lying on a supermarket floor.

IT’S CERTAINLY BEEN A BLESSING TO ME: If you’re attractive and therefore have ‘erotic capital’, do you possess an advantage to earn more money?

MEDIA MYTH ALERT: Hagiographic WaPo buys into ‘Cronkite Moment.’

ONCE AGAIN OBAMA CLAIMS ‘I DIDN’T HAVE SCANDALS:’ Why is the media still not challenging Obama’s absurd claims of being “scandal-free?”

Just think of the media as Democratic operatives with bylines, and it all makes sense.

ANNALS OF LEFTIST AUTOPHAGY: Google in deep doo-doo from environmental wackos over feeding stray cats. “As you might imagine, the leftists over at Google are cat people. And since they feed themselves, they feed nearby cats, too – tons of stray feral cats on their corporate headquarters grounds, known as the Googleplex. They call that not feeding strays, but more grandly: “colony care.” And according to this New York Times report, that’s a problem, because the cats are now doing what cats do, which is eat birds, specifically, the local owls, which has gotten the equally powerful local environmentalists up in arms.”

CLARICE FELDMAN: The Great Unmasking.

IN THE MAIL: From Senator Mike Lee, Written Out of History: The Forgotten Founders Who Fought Big Government.

Plus, fresh Gold Box and Lightning Deals.

BRITAIN IN 2018: Was Tommy Robinson Arrested For Being Tommy Robinson?

More here.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, RACIAL DISCRIMINATION EDITION: Why does MIT have so few Asian Americans compared to Caltech? Study blames ‘holistic’ admissions.

Related: Asians Get The Ivy League’s Jewish Treatment.

UPDATE: From the comments: “Why the GOP doesn’t hold senate hearing[s] and put force these Ivy League presidents to defend racial discrimination on camera, is beyond me.”

CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: Campaign contributor helped Obamas score Netflix deal.

Or as Byron York explains it:. “How it works: Netflix exec & wife bundle big donations to Obama in ’08. Wife is rewarded with ambassadorship. Now Netflix exec steers $50m contract to Obamas through ‘Higher Ground Productions.'”

Yet another argument for my revolving-door surtax.

YAWN, ANOTHER HOSTAGE FREED: Utah man incarcerated in Venezuela jail is on his way home, officials say.

MOLON LABE: ‘Surrender Your Firearms Within 24 Hours or Be Shot.’

THUNDERBOLTS OVER MIAMI: A-10 Thunderbolt IIs in formation over Miami Beach. The photo was taken May 26. The aircraft were participating in a Memorial Day weekend air show.

STANDING UP FOR FREEDOM: Banks Tried to Curb Gun Sales. Now Republicans Are Trying to Stop Them.

PAUL BEDARD: Warning: 2018 political ‘civil war’ threatens, fueled by media.

More and more voices are raising concerns that the 2018 elections will ignite a terrible clash between supporters of President Trump and his increasingly agitated critics in a partisan battle that has been brewing for years.

Stanley Greenberg, former President Bill Clinton’s pollster, is warning of a “civil war.”

Purdue University President Mitchell E. Daniels, former President Ronald Reagan’s political director and a two-term Indiana Republican governor, sees the nation dividing into feuding “tribes” that gravitate to tyrants who “bludgeon” opponents.

In two separate reports, the two opposites come to a similar conclusion that the nation and even families are terribly divided and that the media has played a big role in creating the split.

When do you think the press will start asking itself, “are we the baddies?” Just kidding, we all know it’s not capable of such reflection.


A SHOCKING CALL FOR diversity at Harvard. “Shocking because it comes from the editors of the Harvard Crimson, and because the diversity they call for is ideological.”

Plus: “Many public high schools–most, I fear–are now dominated by the wacky left. Thus, a student may easily arrive at an institution like Harvard without ever having encountered conservative ideas. If Harvard really wants to stand out from the crowd, it should give Western civilization, classical liberalism, social conservatism, and the free markets that have done more for humanity than anything else in history a fair shake.”


Allard’s abrupt departure is unusual in legal education, where law deans typically announce their intention to step down months or even a year in advance. Even when law school leaders clash with university officials or faculty, they are typically allowed to plan graceful exits out of the dean’s office. …

Allard’s deanship coincided with the national downturn in law school applications, and the school struggled with financial issues during that time. It has sold a number of its residential properties in the highly sought-after Brooklyn Heights neighborhood, and in 2016 sold off an office building across the street from its downtown Brooklyn campus for $76.5 million.

But those sales don’t appear to have been enough to keep the school in a strong financial position.

Last month, Moody’s Investors Service lowered the law school’s outlook from stable to negative, citing, “ongoing tuition pricing challenges and operating deficits that are deeper than previously projected and will continue for a period longer than anticipated, leading to a likely deterioration of spendable cash and investments.” But Moody’s also noted that the school’s unrestricted reserves give it time to “move to operating equilibrium.” Moody’s reported that the school generates $43 million annually.

More at the link.

MEN WITHOUT CHESTS: Deadbeat son is a sign of America’s failure to raise boys.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, CULTURE OF BIGOTRY EDITION: What’s Wrong With Being From the South? Just Ask an Academic in the North.

That kind of crass regionalism creates well-earned suspicion of ivory-tower elites. The stereotyping works in both directions. Each sustains the other, leading to electoral results that help neither the professors up north nor the pig farmers where I grew up. Regionalism creates openings for populists to exploit and worsen these divides. These attitudes pit rural against urban, college-educated against non-college-educated. If those of us in academe are truly so smart, we ought to be the ones taking the first step toward bridging this divide.

Unfortunately, the opposite is occurring. In the age of Trump, anti-Southern attitudes seem to have crystallized and worsened throughout higher education. Any Trump-voting area, in fact, seems to be fair game for ridicule. These attitudes undercut the efforts of those seeking to advance the rights of marginalized groups in regions of the country where evidence-based scholarship might be needed the most. . . .

It is strange to me that so many academics cannot see when they show prejudice against the rural, the religious, and the less formally educated. We are trained to recognize systematic bias in terms of race and gender — but we remain too often unaware of our geographic prejudices. . . .

Intellectual laziness is on the rise with disturbing results. After the mass shooting in Las Vegas, I spoke with a student who was bothered that she felt no sympathy at first for the victims. As we talked, she began to realize the rash of assumptions she had made about them: If they were attending a country-music concert, they must have voted for Trump, which meant they loved guns and thus deserved death. It’s an extreme example of our discourse of dehumanization — a vivid one in my memory. But it isn’t rare for me to hear similar assumptions expressed by students or faculty members, often without the critical self-reflection.

Looking down on the flyover people, and the unearned feeling of moral superiority it brings, is the coin with which the left pays its foot soldiers. Without that, many of them would be gone.

UPDATE: From the comments: “What’s most laughable is that the fans believe they are part of the team.”

May 26, 2018

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MICHAEL WALSH: Germany’s German Problem — And Ours.

WHY THE HECK do so many Koalas have chlamydia?

I dunno, but Bill Clinton visited Australia in 1996.

OPEN THREAD: Hey, it’s Saturday night, everybody’s havin’ fun. I’m in the comment thread, trying to get some comments done. Watching the comments go round, watching the comments go round. . . .

ADDRESSING THE IMPORTANT ISSUES: Every Durango Kid Movie, Ranked From Worst to Best, With No Further Explanation. I confess, I am not enough of a Durango Kid fanboy to dispute these. Is anyone?


CNN struggles to break 1 million viewers on a nightly basis.

There are plenty of reasons for this. CNN has to compete with MSNBC for a liberal audience and, unlike MSNBC, its liberal anchors pretend to be unbiased. MSNBC’s primetime anchors are more similar to Fox News’s talent, which embraces its distinctive ideological voice.

But so far, it seems, America is turned off by CNN’s panels of pundits yelling at each other about an aggrieved porn star.

How much crazier could CNN get if its anchors stopped pretending to be “unbiased?”




As Harry Shearer tweets, “Just Asking: Is the message Harvey Weinstein was sending by holding a copy of the bio of Elia Kazan at his arraignment, ‘I can name names, too’?”

CHANGE: Ireland Votes to Liberalize Abortion Law.

JOE PAPPALARDO: 10 of America’s Hidden Battlefields.

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CHRISTIAN TOTO: Seven Funny, Fawning Reviews of HBO’s ‘The Final Year.’

The Guardian tries oh, so hard to rally to Team Obama’s side in its review. But the film, as the critic begrudgingly admits, can’t ignore reality.

The Final Year uneasily concedes the possibility that Obama was on the back foot on Syria and may have been outsmarted by Putin: a constant, shrill complaint from the right.

Spoiler alert: The Right was right.

And there’s the other unintentional comedy coming from the film. The movie trumpets Obama’s trio of foreign relationship coups – the Paris Climate Accord, the Iran Deal and warmer relations with Cuba.

President Trump torpedoed the first two, and the third is fading. A sharper documentary might have dug deeper into Obama’s unwillingness to work with Congress rather than flexing his executive power pen.

Two can play at that game, apparently.

Meanwhile, film critics mourned the end of the Obama era via their “Final Year” reviews. The New York Times summons our lust for superhero movies in its closing comments about the film.

“The Final Year” may make viewers miss President Obama’s people. Unlike Marvel or DC superheroes in the movies, they won’t be back any time soon.

Read the whole thing — Christian is milking the soft power dividend of schadenfreude for all it’s worth here.

A “BIONIC VEST” that helps assembly-line workers work over their heads with less fatigue. “What also sets the vest apart is that it’s completely mechanical. There’s no cord, no battery, no electricity; it’s powered by springs. They kick in gradually once the wearer raises their arms to about chest-height and beyond.”

I’ve always found working over my head one of the most fatiguing jobs there is. It’s gotten modestly better as my shoulders have gotten stronger — as I discovered when taking down some blinds for my daughter recently — but I can’t imagine doing this for 10 hours a day without feeling like crap and eventually messing up my shoulders. Which is exactly what happens, and what this vest is in response to. Result with the vest: “Aw, I feel fine. My neck — instead of having to Icy Hot it down three or four times like I told you earlier, I feel fine at the end of the day.”

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Colleges Bend the Rules for More Students, Give Them Extra Help: With an influx of students classified as disabled, schools move to accommodate their needs.

As many as one in four students at some elite U.S. colleges are now classified as disabled, largely because of mental-health issues such as depression or anxiety, entitling them to a widening array of special accommodations like longer time to take exams.

Under federal law, students can be considered disabled if they have a note from a doctor. That label requires schools to offer accommodations depending on the student’s needs. A blind student, for example, would have access to specialized software or a reader for an exam.

The rise in disability notes for mental-health issues has led to a surge in the number of students who take their exams in low-distraction testing centers, are allowed to get up and walk around during class or bring a comfort animal to school, among other measures. . . .

At Pomona, 22% of students were considered disabled this year, up from 5% in 2014. Other elite schools have also seen a startling jump in disabilities, according to data from the federal government and from the schools. At Hampshire, Amherst and Smith colleges in Massachusetts and Yeshiva University in New York, one in five students are classified as disabled. At Oberlin College in Ohio, it is one in four. At Marlboro College in Vermont, it is one in three.

Small, private schools have the greatest concentration of students with disabilities. Among the 100 four-year, not-for-profit colleges with the highest percentage of disabled students, 93 are private, according to a WSJ analysis of federal data.

Public schools have also seen a significant uptick in test accommodations. From 2011 to 2016, the number of students with special accommodations increased by an average of 71% among 22 flagship state schools, according to data obtained by The Wall Street Journal.

The most common accommodations come during testing. Students who receive extended time may get twice as long as their classmates to take an exam.

Some professors question how this affects the fairness of exams.

With reason.


“Apartheid” is a strong word that requires immediate action. Why aren’t Chris and the rest of his fellow MSNBC anchors heading to the Comcast boardroom to demand a blackout of NBC’s Sunday Night Football?

And the NBA as well, since the NFL is simply implementing their rules for the national anthem?

10 REMINDERS OF AMERICAN BRAVERY AND COURAGE: Here is a fascinating Memorial Day weekend selection of illustrations, beginning with George Washington’s Revolutionary War camp kit to Hanoi Hilton pajamas from the Vietnam era and Texas hero Sam Houston’s Bowie Knife.

There’s also a sequence of videos that should stir the heart of every patriot. As LifeZette’s Kyle Becker explains: “They invite us to understand what went into the creation — and the defense — of our country over the years.” And much more.



Tommy Robinson, a British activist and journalist, has been arrested outside a Leeds courtroom for livestreaming information about a Muslim gang on trial for raping and grooming hundreds of victims, some as young as eleven. Robinson was taken immediately to prison.

George Orwell wrote 1984 as a warning, not a how-to guide for British government. Read the whole thing.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Frustrated Profs Shut Down A Chancellor Search, Leaving President ‘Mortified.’ “The search for a new chancellor of the University of Massachusetts at Boston was shut down on Monday after the three finalists for the job dropped out. The candidates made their decision following faculty criticism of both the finalists and the search process. That’s an unusual outcome to a very common controversy. The widespread use of search consultants, the decline in shared governance, and the politicization of higher education have all contributed to the marginalization of faculty input in searches.”

Outside search firms are all the rage, but they don’t seem especially good at what they’re hired for. In fact, at my own institution, I think it’s fair to say that the quality of our administration has dropped since we started using them as opposed to promoting internally.

RIP: Alan Bean, 4th man to walk on the moon, dies at 86.

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO LIE ABOUT RAPE: “WYFF News 4 Investigates has obtained new records in the case of the Clemson University student who said she was sexually assaulted. Sarah Campbell is now charged with a felony for filing a false report.”

THIS IS WHERE BANS ON “HATE SPEECH” LEAD: UK Arrests Islam Critic For Reporting On Grooming Gang Trial.

Anti-Islam activist Tommy Robinson was arrested Friday outside of a British court hearing on a gang accused of forcing women into sex, prompting protests Saturday.

Robinson was livestreaming on Facebook outside of a Leeds court when police arrested him for allegedly breaching the peace, according to The Independent. The Independent attempted to downplay Robinson’s claim of reporting on the grooming gang trial by putting “reporting” in quotes.

Video shows Robinson being whisked off by police as he demands to know the reason for his arrest. “This is ridiculous, I haven’t said a word…I’ve done nothing,” he said.

Robinson was sentenced to 13 months in jail for the crime, while the judge prohibited reporting of the verdict within the United Kingdom. No major British outlet reported on the sentence, and Breitbart redacted Robinson’s name from its report on the case.

According to The Independent, a contempt of court offense can be used to silence reporting on criminal procedures. Robinson was arrested while on a suspended sentence for a similar offense. In 2017, he was arrested and convicted of filming accused rapists as they headed into court.

Just by existing, he’s a threat.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: CPAP machines may help your sex life.

In a semi-related note, one of my friends recently remarked that being single in your 40s nowadays means taking a CPAP along to a booty-call.

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Plus, summer deals in Storage and Organization.

FASTER, PLEASE: Every 3-5 years SpaceX is adding a decade lead on competitors.

FYI: Jordan Peterson’s Reddit Ask Me Anything.

IN MY CASE, I CERTAINLY HOPE NOT: Could eating more fish boost fertility?

CINEMA TECH HISTORY: Joe Pappalardo: There Are Secrets In The Texas Theatre. Being a projectionist was once dangerous work.