December 18, 2017

INSANELY PURSUING OFFENSE:  CNN Is Crazy, Bacon Edition [with comment by Paul].

LOOK, GUYS, CUT HIM SOME SLACK. MAYBE HE KNOWS HIS “FRIENDS” FROM HIS HOMEWORLD ARE LOOKING FOR HIM AND HE’S A LITTLE SCARED.  WOULDN’T YOU BE?  Harry Reid Started Pentagon Program to Look for Aliens.

BECAUSE ALLOWING PEOPLE TO KEEP MORE OF THEIR OWN MONEY IS TOTALLY THE EQUIVALENT OF ENSLAVING PEOPLE:  The GOP tax bill is as bad as the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850? Really?   In that it’s not the same at all…

PERHAPS IT’S MORE THAN A PAUSE IN WARMING?  The sun is blank, NASA data shows it to be dimming.

NEWS YOU MOST DEFINITELY CAN USE: The 5 Worst Movies of 2017 (No.1 May be the Worst EVER.)

APPARENTLY THE PENTAGON PAPERS WERE NOT DANIEL ELLSBERG’S ONLY ACT OF TREASON:  Man behind nuclear plans says we’re close to Armageddon.

NBC INVESTIGATION FOUND HIM NOT GUILTY OF HARASSMENT, MERELY A CASE OF HIM BEING “CHRIS MATTHEWS, IN THE FIRST DEGREE”:  NBC paid severance to producer who accused Chris Matthews of sexual harassment: report.

TELL ME AGAIN ABOUT HOW WOMEN NEVER LIE AND YOU CAN TRUST PROSECUTORS:  Rape trial falls apart after accuser’s 40,000 texts are revealed.

December 17, 2017

PERVNADO SACKS PANTHERS OWNER: Disgusting allegations emerge against Jerry Richardson.

UPDATE: “In an absolute bombshell of an announcement, Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson released a statement through the team on Sunday night that said he will put the team up for sale at the conclusion of the 2017 NFL season. The announcement came just hours after a Sports Illustrated report outlined allegations of sexual and racial misconduct by Richardson toward former Panthers employees.”

Related: Unsportsmanlike conduct: Sexual harassment at the NFL Network? Update: “When you gonna get on this already?”

(Bumped and updated.)

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TEACH WOMEN NOT TO LIE ABOUT RAPE: Rodney Anderson latest example of #MeToo movement gone too far.

While I was skeptical of the allegations, it’s not popular in 2017 to defend someone accused of rape. Facts be damned. So I would typically stumble through a couple of sentences and say something along the lines of, “Yea, it’s definitely not good. I guess we will have to see what happens exactly.” . . .

That was as far as I could go to defend Anderson, even though I wasn’t buying the accusations at the time.

Unfortunately, an allegation is now a guilty verdict in the public eye. That’s where we’ve gone too far in the other direction.

The news of Anderson’s rape accusation shocked the college football world, but notice the fact that charges were never filed, the accuser dropped her victim protection order, and then the latest report that she was allegedly doing this for a future political career did not gain nearly the attention that the initial accusation did.

NO one in my media circles have asked me about the story since the actual FACTS have come out and the story has unfolded as it did. No one littered me with questions about Cleveland County district attorney Greg Mashburn saying, “Definitely charges are not warranted under these circumstances.” No one asked me about Anderson passing a three-hour long polygraph test.

No one asked me about this latest report in The Oklahoman, which included the following:

One friend told police Thornton had said “this would be a ‘great thing’ for her political career following the Air Force,” The Oklahoman has learned. The friend told police Thornton had said “female-empowered political organizations would love something like this.”

That’s sick. Frankly, it’s just as sick as someone committing an act of sexual misconduct. Both people are trying to ruin someone else’s life.

There should be jail for false accusations.

NATION WRITER FINDS WHITE SUPREMACISTS “SEDUCTIVE:”

Why seductive? Because the white supremacists’ views on economic issues sound a lot like, well, like views espoused by the Nation and Democratic party progressives. In what could pass for Bernie Sanders campaign literature, she quotes Spencer saying “I support national health care” and railing against “the trillions spent in insane wars.” Minkowitz also quotes Spencer blasting the GOP tax plan as “stupid .  .  . Reaganite nostalgia” and supporting a universal basic income. Another speaker decried that everything is seemingly becoming “corporatized and capitalized.” Wait—is this a white supremacist conference or a New York Times editorial board meeting?

She quotes another speaker exclaiming that “2018 is going to be the year of leftists joining the white-nationalist movement!” . . .

While clearly bashing their abhorrent views on race, Minkowitz also seems sympathetic to the new white supremacist focus on income inequality: “The main reason they talked about it is because it’s there. Even middle- and upper-middle-class white folks face rising rents, falling wages, and increasingly inadequate and shoddy health insurance. Even they are dealing with ever rising work hours and the consuming need to increase income to fill the gaps.”

All this leaves The Scrapbook wondering: With white supremacists developing a left-wing political agenda, why have Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi been so slow to disavow them?

Well, Dianne Feinstein certainly isn’t siding with the working class:

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THE UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE IS USUALLY PRETTY GOOD ABOUT FREE SPEECH: Rocky Top Crumbles Under Cries of Hate Speech. And their first instinct here was good, but then they crumbled.

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO LIE ABOUT RAPE: Accused man who went through “mental torture”: “I feel betrayed by the system which I had believed would do the right thing.”

Liam Allan, 22, spent almost two years on bail and three days in the dock at Croydon crown court before his trial was halted yesterday.

The judge demanded a review of disclosure of evidence by the Metropolitan Police, Britain’s biggest force, and called for an inquiry at the “very highest level” of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). He warned of the risks of “serious miscarriages of justice” after hearing that, to save costs, material was not always handed to defence lawyers.

Mr Allan, a criminology undergraduate at Greenwich University, had been warned that he would be jailed for at least ten years if found guilty after being charged with six rapes and six sexual assaults against a woman who told police that she does not enjoy sex. Mr Allan said the sex was consensual and that the woman was acting maliciously because he would not see her again after he started university.

His lawyers had repeatedly been refused access to records from the woman’s telephone because police insisted that there was nothing of interest for the prosecution or defence, the court was told.

When a new prosecution barrister took over the case the day before the start of the trial, he ordered police to hand over any telephone records. It was revealed that they had a computer disk containing copies of 40,000 messages.

They showed that she continued to pester Mr Allan for “casual sex”, told friends how much she enjoyed it with him and discussed her fantasies of being raped and having violent sex. . . .

Julia Smart, for the defence, said she received the details of the woman’s text messages on the evening before she was due to cross-examine her, so stayed up reading them. When she told the court what she had found, the trial was halted. She said she believed that evidence from phones was being withheld from defence lawyers to save money.

Alison Saunders, the director of public prosecutions, has pushed to increase the prosecution and conviction of sexual offences.

It wasn’t about saving money, and people should be jailed for this.

ROMANTICIZING THE HUNTER-GATHERER. “Many of the recent articles in the popular media on hunter-gatherer societies have failed to represent these societies accurately. The picture you get from reading articles in publications like the New Yorker and the Guardian, or from anthropologists like Douglas Fry and James Suzman, is often quite different from what a deep dive into the ethnographic record reveals. The excessive reliance on a single paper published 50 years ago has contributed to some severe misconceptions about hunter-gatherer ‘affluence,’ and their relative freedom from scarcity and disease. There is a tendency to downplay the benefits of modern medicine, institutions, and infrastructure – as well as the very real costs of not having access to them – in these discussions. And, despite what some may wish to believe, the hunter-gatherer way of life is not a solution to the social problems found in modern nation states.”

To be fair, the picture of our own society that you get from the New Yorker and the Guardian isn’t any more accurate.

Plus, the politics involved: “Conversely, to look across human cultures and notice that even the smallest and most ‘egalitarian’ societies are still plagued by problems of violence, sexism, xenophobia, and inequality may be disheartening for many political progressives and anthropologists dedicated to social justice. These problems are not new–in fact they are very old indeed–and they cannot simply be wished away or made to disappear with misleading commentary. But there is a concern that acknowledging the deep roots of many human social ills is to excuse them, or to concede that they can never be mitigated or overcome. This is not only defeatist, it is completely misguided.” But that’s the standard leftist approach.

ALL HYSTERIA ALL THE TIME: All the lefty speculation that Trump will fire Robert Mueller? NEVER MIND!

I suspect that this was just ginned up to distract from the Strzok/Page “insurance policy” story. But I’m cynical that way.

PAST PERFORMANCE IS NO GUARANTEE OF FUTURE RESULTS: CNN Media Panel Claims Trump Is Leading World Dictators on Press Crackdown.

Curiously, given CNN’s origins and past behavior, Stelter and his cohorts don’t mean that as a compliment.

FLASHBACK: Why Women Think The Workplace Is Unfair, Even When It Isn’t.

MICHAEL WALSH ON GREED, HOLLYWOOD STYLE:

The old moguls — whether semi-literate glove salesmen or fast-talking Sammy Glicks — at least knew which business they were in. They had come from the Jewish Rialto on Second Avenue in Manhattan, from the nickelodeons, and the schmatta trade: they knew that the customer was a) fickle and b) king. When they went to Hollywood, they understood instinctively they needed a wide array of wares, goods that appealed to as broad a clientele as possible, not a one-size-fits-all union suit.

But ever since the studios started disappearing into the bean-counting maws of Gulf & Western, funeral-parlor and parking-lot operators, cable companies, and Japanese electronics manufacturers, the show has gone out of show business. The rise of the Internet, and the advent of the streaming services provided by Netflix, Amazon and others — which are so rich and successful that they are now not only creating their own content but outbidding studios for it as well — has meant that the theaters will soon be out of the theater business.

Comes the news of Disney’s tender for some bleeding chunks of 21st Century Fox, one of Hollywood’s Big Six studios that used to be known as 20th Century Fox or, in the old movie-biz parlance, simply “Twentieth.”

Read the whole thing.

ANITA HILL DEMANDS A COMEBACK AND HOLLYWOOD OBLIGES:

Hill is now a professor at Brandeis University and has been named Chair of The Committee on Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality in the Workplace. She’s gone Hollywood. Two dozen entertainment industry executives formed and are funding this committee.She’s gone Hollywood. Two dozen entertainment industry executives formed and are funding this committee.

“We will be focusing on issues ranging from power disparity, equity and fairness, safety, sexual harassment guidelines, education and training, reporting and enforcement, ongoing research and data collection,” Hill said. “It is time to end the culture of silence. I’ve been at this work for 26 years. This moment presents us with an unprecedented opportunity to make real change.”

Or perhaps not: Anita Hill Ran Cover For Bill Clinton When He Was Accused Of Sexual Assault [VIDEO].

WELL, THIS IS THE 21ST CENTURY, YOU KNOW: A Satellite Chunk Could Fall on Your Head at Any Moment. Get Used to It.

CHANGE: Wisconsin’s Welfare Reform Is Almost Complete.

THE TAMPA BAY BRANCH OF THE MINISTRY OF TRUTH: PolitiFact is the lie of the year, writes Don Surber.

Just think of them as Democrats with Truth-O-Meter clip art, and it all makes sense.

WHAT IF LISA BLOOM CROSSED THE CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM LINE? It may seem a bit of a stretch but Kathryn Blackhurst of LifeZette talked to a really smart lawyer who offered this intriguing observation:

“I don’t know that campaign finance law wanted to discourage people from coming out with factual allegations about candidates or anybody in society by requiring money to be reported. That was not the real purpose of campaign finance law. Although since this does appear to be trying to influence an election, it could fall under the realm of campaign finance law,” said Mark Fitzgibbons, president of American Target Advertising in Manassas, Va.

Fitzgibbons added that it would be “very troubling from a legal ethics perspective” if a PAC associated with Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign was involved in any way in Bloom’s activities.

REP. JORDAN: JUDICIARY COMMITTEE WILL SUBPOENA TOP FBI, JUSTICE OFFICIALS.

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ASKING THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS: We Now Know Soy Can’t Reduce Heart Disease – But What Foods Can?

HOW CAN THE STATE STAND IN THE WAY OF LOVE? AND WITH PARENTAL PERMISSION? Oklahoma teacher, 34, is fired after ‘filing for a marriage license with her 16-year-old student with his father’s approval.’

IT’S COME TO THIS: “CNN political commentator Hilary Rosen accused a Georgetown student of anti-semitism and bigotry because he wore a bacon-themed onesie to a basketball game.”

He’s an anonymous potential viewer – better doxx the daylights out of him, CNN! Or hire him as a newsreader, if he actually is anti-Semitic.

UPDATE: CNN contributor jumps to conclusions and is left eating crow. “It turns out the fan’s name is Michael Bakan, and he regularly wears the get-up just because his last name is pronounced like the non-Kosher breakfast staple.”

This is CNN.

PEOPLE ON THE RIGHT WHO’VE BEEN WARNING ABOUT THIS FOR YEARS HAVE BEEN CALLED RACIST ISLAMOPHOBES, BUTU NOW IT’S REACHED THE NEW YORK TIMES: The Uncomfortable Truth About Swedish Anti-Semitism. “Historically, anti-Semitism in Sweden could mainly be attributed to right-wing extremists. While this problem persists, a study from 2013 showed that 51 percent of anti-Semitic incidents in Sweden were attributed to Muslim extremists. Only 5 percent were carried out by right-wing extremists; 25 percent were perpetrated by left-wing extremists. Swedish politicians have no problem condemning anti-Semitism carried out by right-wingers. . . . There is, however, tremendous hesitation to speak out against hate crimes committed by members of another minority group in a country that prides itself on welcoming minorities and immigrants. In 2015, Sweden was second only to Germany in the number of Syrian refugees it welcomed. Yet the three men arrested in the Molotov cocktail attack were newly arrived immigrants, two Syrians and a Palestinian.”

Yet.

VIDEO: The Al Jazeera Interview With Israeli Scholar I Bet They Now Regret.

THERE’S A LOT OF WEIRD SEX IN JAPAN: Scientists Say Japanese Monkeys Are Having ‘Sexual Interactions’ With Deer. My question is, was the deer’s consent “affirmative and enthusiastic?”

THE DARK NIGHT OF FASCISM IS ALWAYS DESCENDING IN THE UNITED STATES AND YET LANDS ONLY IN EUROPE: “Pupils of the St-Gregorius College (a high school) in Utrecht, the Netherlands, recently participated in an event organized by DOX, a left-wing organization. DOX got the pupils to sing and dance to a song with lyrics such as ‘[Geert] Wilders rot op!’ (‘Wilders F— Off!’).”

RICHARD FERNANDEZ: IT’S FOR KEEPS. “But perhaps the most salient and disturbing lesson of the Alabama campaign is both sides are truly at political war. The sound of the closing polls was the sound of the door of history shutting behind us.”

A WHOLE WORLDVIEW IN A NUTSHELL: “The species may stop reproducing, but who the hell cares.”

SCOTT PRUITT, THE MAN THEY LOVE TO HATE:

Listing his principles, he started with one he often mentions. “We must reject as a nation the false paradigm that if you are pro-energy, you are anti-environment, and if you are pro-environment, you are anti-energy. I utterly reject that narrative. .  .  . It is not an either-or proposition.”

The New York Times is Pruitt’s most vigorous media critic. In August, it featured a front-page story under the headline “Scott Pruitt Is Carrying Out His E.P.A. Agenda in Secret.” The story, among other things, noted he’s “the first head of the agency to ever request round-the-clock security.”

Smart move by Pruitt. Given the way he’s been demonized, he needs the security. In September, the Washington Post reported that his guards—“triple the manpower” of his predecessors—are pulling agents away from “pursuing environmental crimes.” The story didn’t mention the EPA has 15,000 employees.

Read the whole thing.

Earlier: Think “Progress” melts down because “More than 700 employees have left the EPA since Scott Pruitt took over.” The rest of us think “faster, please.”

IN THE MAIL: From Naomi Schaefer Riley, Be the Parent, Please: Stop Banning Seesaws and Start Banning Snapchat: Strategies for Solving the Real Parenting Problems.

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HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, WAR ON CHRISTMAS EDITION: ‘Bows’ and ‘wrapped gifts’ now offensive on campus.

An academic department at the University of Minnesota declared that “bows/wrapped gifts” are “not appropriate for gatherings and displays at this time of year.”

According a copy of the guidelines obtained by Campus Reform, UMN’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS) encouraged its employees “to recognize holidays in ways that are respectful of the diversity of our community,” recommending a series of steps to take.

“Consider neutral-themed parties such as ‘winter celebration,’” the flyer suggests, adding that “decorations, music, and food should be general and not specific to any one religion.”

I believe Grandfather Frost and the Snow Maiden are still allowed.

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SCOTT JOHNSON: What happened in Wisconsin, cont’d. “The wrongdoing detailed in the WisDoJ report is of the deeply fascist variety that exceeds my poor powers of denunciation. Suffice it to say that it combines the instruments of tyranny — physical torture omitted — in the service of the suppression of conservatives. The story is shocking almost beyond belief. One might ask where the outrage is, but at this point we should probably ask if anyone is paying attention.”

Well, I wrote a column about it. But yeah. It’s gotten about 1% the attention it would get if the parties were reversed.

Related: Wisconsin, The Surveillance State.

HEH: ‘Internet Service Providers Should Not Be Able To Decide What People Can See Online,’ Says Man Who Decides What People Can See Online. “‘All content should be treated equally,’ he added, the slightest hint of a grin curling up the side of his mouth as the video ended.”

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AND ANOTHER ONE: NBC Made Payment To Staffer After Sexual Harassment Claim Against Chris Matthews.

So basically, all the people on the teevee going on about “have you no decency, sir?” are predators and pervs. Our media crowd is just one big Harper Valley PTA.

UPDATE: “MSNBC refused to say whether or not this is the only claim against Matthews.”

SALENA ZITO: Why depression and suicide are rampant among American farmers.

“There is particularly a lot of depression in rural society. It happens for a lot of different reasons. A lot of it is our roller-coaster economics. People outside of farming, I think, understand that farming is hard work. What they don’t understand is the depth of the lows that can hit you at any one time, with just one small problem that can lead to hundreds of little problems.

“I just had the discussion today with my son-in-law,” he explained. “We sold feeder steers. We missed by about 50 pounds what we were hoping to get. Well, that was about another $15,000 worth of income we’re not going to have. That’s a big deal, because the margins are so tough.”

His brother, who works on the ranch and keeps the books, told him that their diverse operation of crops and livestock should bring in enough money to keep the 3,500-acre ranch going next year. “You know, pay taxes, make sure you have money to pay people, pay for your seed, your fertilizer. And hope to hell no big catastrophes hit you in the side of the head.”

The 2016 CDC study of approximately 40,000 suicides reported in the US in 2012 — the most recent year for which statistics are available — showed that the rate for agriculture workers is 84.5 per 100,000. The next occupation most at risk were construction, extraction, installation, maintenance and repair workers who had a suicide rate hovering around the 50 per 100,000 mark. Meanwhile, the suicide rate among American male veterans is 37 per 100,000, according to a 2016 study by the Veterans Affairs department.

Read the whole thing.

ANOTHER RUBE SELF-IDENTIFIES: I’m A Brown Woman Who’s Breaking Up With The Democratic Party: I realize now that the love has been one-sided.

The first vote I ever cast, at 18, was for Bill Clinton. The last vote I cast was for his wife, Hillary. My adoration for Hillary bordered on mania. In college, I named my ficus plant after her. Twenty years later, I canvassed, held fundraisers, dragged my 8-year-old daughter door to door, proudly wore HRC’s face on T-shirts and housed campaign volunteers in my home.

I loved you so much that I cried each time I voted. Thinking about the women who died fighting for my right to vote did it every time. I cried when I voted for Bill. For Barack Obama. I wept when I voted for Hillary. You’ve been that kind of mad love to me.

And now I want to break up.

I realize now that the love has been one-sided, unrequited. You’ve never recognized me, as a brown woman. You’ve taken my love, my money, my tokenism, with nary anything in return. You married the white woman and hooked up with me on the side.

Oh dear. It’s much worse than that.

ONCE YOU START THE IMMIGRATION FLOOD GOING, THINGS GET UGLY ALL OVER: Angry about the slave trade in Libya? Spare some anger for Europe.

While Libya has been known for horrific abuses in its migrant detention centers, Europe has a large role to play in the horrific conditions that have led to black Africans being sold like livestock in Libya. A new report by Amnesty International says that European governments have been “knowingly complicit in the torture and abuses of tens of thousands of refugees and migrants detained by Libyan immigration authorities …by actively supporting the Libyan authorities in stopping sea crossings and containing people in Libya.” The report, called “Libya’s Dark Web of Collusion,” says that “the use of aid, trade, and other leverage to push transit countries, including some where widespread and systematic human rights violations against refugees and migrants has been documented, to implement stricter border control measures … risks trapping [them] in countries where they are exposed to serious human rights violations.” Italy and other member states have been supporting the Libyan coast guard to return migrants.

When it comes to Libyan attitudes toward other Africans, the report says that there is a “general acquiescence about detaining sub-Saharan Africans as a means of deterrence”; an unnamed Libyan official said off the record that the migrants and refugees “cannot be left to roam freely, and they will swarm the country.”

Hillary’s unauthorized war against Khadafy, plus Angela Merkel’s open-door policy, produced human tragedy. As virtue-signaling often does.

HAS AL FRANKEN RESIGNED YET? #MeToo? Star guest at last night’s Andrew Cuomo birthday party fundraiser was … Bill Clinton.

It’s like all this concern for women was just a political ruse that’s expired now that Roy Moore lost.

FLASHBACK:

Today: Maria Bartiromo: Dow 24,000 and the Trump boom. “The next morning, with the Trump victory confirmed, I told my colleague Martha MacCallum that I would be ‘buying the stock market with both hands.’ Investors began doing the same. U.S. markets have added $6 trillion in value since the election, with investors around the world wanting in on America’s new growth story. The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta is now forecasting the third straight quarter of U.S. gross domestic product growth around 3%.”

December 16, 2017

AND ANOTHER ONE: Democratic Congressman Bobby Scott Accused Of Sexual Harassment. “Another member of the Congressional Black Caucus has been accused of sexual harassment, Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA). According to WTKR, Congressman Scott now stands accused of forcing himself on a female staffer and then firing her when she rejected his advances.”

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ANDREW MCCARTHY: Was the Steele Dossier Used to Obtain a FISA Warrant Against Trump’s Campaign? We Need To Know The Answer. I figure that was the “insurance policy.”

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: The Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of the U.S. Antitrust Movement. I still think we’ll see some serious antitrust action in the next few years. And I think it’s time.

YOU JUST WANT PEOPLE TO DIE!!! ON THE LEFT, IT IS ALL HYSTERIA, ALL THE TIME.

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NY GIANTS FINE CORNERBACK ELI APPLE FOR TWEETING DURING GAME:

Apple was inactive for the game and not in uniform. However, tweeting from the sidelines, or in the immediate aftermath of games, is prohibited by the league.

“I wasn’t confused. It was just a mistake by me,” Apple said Thursday.

Apple hasn’t played in over a month as he’s been inactive for the Giants’ last four games. While the policy against tweeting is a league rule, the Giants fining him takes care of the matter and he won’t be fined by the league as well.

Huh. I thought the NFL couldn’t enforce against inappropriate sideline behavior

HIGH-RANKING INNER PARTY MEMBER CONFESSES TO BEING EXPOSED TO DOUBLEPLUS UNGOOD CRIMETHINK! Meryl Streep Admits She Reads Drudge, Watches Fox News.

That’s a surefire way to wind-up in Room 101. Or at least Room 102.

COUNT ME AMONG THE CRITICS: Critics alarmed at antibiotic use for livestock despite recent reduction. I’ve always felt that there’s a better case for strict controls on antibiotics than on recreational drugs. If you abuse recreational drugs, you’re hurting yourself. If you abuse antibiotics, you could create a resistant strain that will kill thousands.

EVERGREEN HEADLINE: Baby, It’s Unplayful and Ahistorical Outside. Neo-Neocon on “the current drive to ban ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’ for being insufficiently PC in the sexual assault/harassment realm.”

WHERE IS NAT TURNER?

A literary anniversary passed unobserved in 2017: the 50th anniversary of the publication of William Styron’s enthralling historical novel The Confessions of Nat Turner, which tells the story of the slave who led a bloody rebellion in Virginia. While Vintage International’s 25th anniversary edition remains in print, the publisher hasn’t offered an edition honoring the book’s 50th year, and to my knowledge, no commemorative articles have appeared.

* * * * * * * *

My guess is that the nonobservance springs from reluctance to get embroiled in a replay of the controversy that erupted soon after the novel appeared. The Confessions of Nat Turner was celebrated when it was published in 1967—a Pulitzer Prize winner and Book of the Month Club selection, it made the New York Times bestseller list and scored a movie deal with Twentieth Century Fox. But Styron was soon condemned by black intellectuals for an offense more broadly condemned in 2017 than in 1967: a white novelist and native of Virginia, he had presumed to write historical fiction in the first person about a real human being who had been a rebellious black slave. He even had the temerity to lift his title from the original “Confessions of Nat Turner,” the brief document based on statements by Turner that white lawyer Thomas Gray recorded shortly before Turner was hanged in 1831, at about the age of 31.

The attacks on Styron in the late 1960s sound like a prelude to what we often hear and read half a century later. Less than a year after the novel appeared, Beacon Press published William Styron’s Nat Turner: Ten Black Writers Respond, a collection of essays in which the novelist was called “an unreconstructed Southern racist” suffering from “moral senility” who “dehumanizes every black person in the book” to affirm “all of the myths and prejudices about the American black man.” The attacks prompted Invisible Man novelist Ralph Ellison to declare that he wouldn’t read the novel.

In his afterword to the 25th anniversary edition, Styron recalls that he naively persisted in making public appearances before “predominantly young black audiences” to plead his case. The encounters often turned out to be “raucous sessions, where the gathering was drenched with hostility.” Styron adds that “[b]y this time, I was being stalked from Boston to New Orleans by a young dashiki-clad firebrand, who unnerved me.” Twentieth Century Fox shelved plans for the film.

“The ultimate endpoint of keeping our mitts off experience that doesn’t belong to us is that there is no fiction,” novelist Lionel Shriver warned last year in a speech at the Brisbane Writers Festival. She put on a sombrero during the speech to demonstrate that novelists were being warned by SJWs that “you’re not supposed to try on other people’s hats. Yet that’s what we’re paid to do, isn’t it? Step into other people’s shoes, and try on their hats.”

Naturally, she was crucified by the left for telling the truth.

POWER CORRUPTS: Thoughts on how industry structure affects the rate of sexual harassment. I think it’s not just that the hierarchies are “stricter,” but that the standards are less discernible, so that there’s a bigger role for favoritism and punishment of non-favorites. That’s why you see so much abuse (sexual and otherwise) not only in Hollywood or in journalism, but in graduate PhD programs, where one person can derail a career without it being obvious that they’re doing it for bad reasons.

DISPATCHES FROM THE PARTY OF SCIENCE:

The Defense Department has never before acknowledged the existence of the program, which it says it shut down in 2012. But its backers say that, while the Pentagon ended funding for the effort at that time, the program remains in existence. For the past five years, they say, officials with the program have continued to investigate episodes brought to them by service members, while also carrying out their other Defense Department duties.

The shadowy program — parts of it remain classified — began in 2007, and initially it was largely funded at the request of Harry Reid, the Nevada Democrat who was the Senate majority leader at the time and who has long had an interest in space phenomena. Most of the money went to an aerospace research company run by a billionaire entrepreneur and longtime friend of Mr. Reid’s, Robert Bigelow, who is currently working with NASA to produce expandable craft for humans to use in space.

On CBS’s “60 Minutes” in May, Mr. Bigelow said he was “absolutely convinced” that aliens exist and that U.F.O.s have visited Earth.

—“Glowing Auras and ‘Black Money’: The Pentagon’s Mysterious U.F.O. Program,” the New York Times today.

It’s no secret that the Hillary Clinton campaign chairman is a UFO buff, but the recent WikiLeaks dump of Mr. Podesta’s hacked account sheds new light on how deeply interested he is in extraterrestrial conspiracy theories.

Messages between Mr. Podesta and fellow alien enthusiasts — including a former Apollo astronaut and the guitarist of pop-punk band Blink 182 — came as a welcome surprise to UFO researchers. They are more convinced than ever that a Clinton administration would bring about the declassification of some of the federal government’s deepest secrets, including what really happened at Roswell, New Mexico; activities inside the notorious Area 51; and other pieces of a complex puzzle involving alien craft and space travel.

“There have been people within the community working with Podesta and the Clintons on the subject,” Jan Harzan, executive director of the Mutual UFO Network, told The Washington Times. “Just having the conversation is very positive to realize the subject is real, and these intelligences, wherever they’re from, visit us from time to time and we get reports on it. … We’re delighted to see the conversation going on. Hopefully, it will wake people up to the fact that we’re not alone in the universe.”

Within Mr. Podesta’s private account is a trove of messages related to UFOs, aliens and conspiracies. Some are relatively benign, such as links to news stories about the return of the Fox TV show “The X-Files.”

But others show a much deeper level of interest, seemingly confirming Mr. Podesta’s stated desire for secret government documents to be made public.

— “Leaked Podesta emails encourage UFO buffs seeking declassification in a Clinton administration,” the Washington Times, October 16, 2016.

As Michael Graham wrote in Redneck Nation:

After a set at a hotel in Washington State, I was dragged into a long, drawn-out discussion with a graying, balding New Ager who just couldn’t get over my evangelical background. “You seem so smart,” he kept saying. “How could you buy into that stuff?”

Here’s a guy wearing a crystal around his neck to open up his chakra, who thinks that the spirit of a warrior from the lost city of Atlantis is channeled through the body of a hairdresser from Palm Springs, and who stuffs magnets in his pants to enhance his aura, and he finds evangelicalism an insult to his intelligence. I ask you: Who’s the redneck?

Come to think of it, I’m not sure if this guy—who believed in reincarnation, ghostly hauntings, and the eternal souls of animals—actually believed in God. It’s not uncommon for Northerners, especially those who like to use the word “spirituality,” to believe in all manner of metaphysical events, while not believing in the Big Guy. “Religious” people go to church and read the Bible, and Northerners view them as intolerant, ill-educated saps. “Spiritual” people go hiking, read Shirley MacLaine or L. Ron Hubbard, and are considered rational, intelligent beings.

Speaking of “spiritual people,” maybe the Washington Post’s Sally Quinn can use her Ouija board to make contact with the aliens. The truth is out there!

STACY McCAIN ON FEMINISM’S RAPE DOUBLE STANDARD:

What happens when a rape doesn’t fit within the ideological parameters of feminist discourse? It’s as if it never happened, although feminists have sometimes devoted enormous efforts to publicizing rapes that quite literally never happened, as in the case of Rolling Stone’s infamous 2014 hoax, where the non-existent “Haven Monahan” was invented by an emotionally disturbed freshman who falsely claimed to have been gang-raped at a fraternity.

That notorious hoax “sparked a national conversation about sexual assault at elite institutions,” the Guardian said in reporting the $3 million verdict against Rolling Stone after they were sued for defamation by a university official, former associate dean of students Nicole Eramo. Why did a lurid story about rape at “elite institutions” merit such treatment, but there is no “national conversation” about university students getting raped by cab drivers? Isn’t it because these crimes — real rapes with real victims — don’t fit the feminist narrative? Say hello to Jose Angel Moreno-Hernandez.

Read the whole thing.

TAKING IT TO THE STREETS: Eric Holder warns GOP: ‘Any attempt to remove Bob Mueller will not be tolerated.’

Obama’s Ethics Czar: ‘Take The Streets’ If Trump Fires Mueller.

And they keep telling us Trump is a threat to public order.

UPDATE (From Ed): Rob Reiner tweets, “Make no mistake, by attacking Mueller,DT’s state run TV (Fox) is pushing US to a constitutional crisis. Be prepared to take the streets.”

I really, really want to see Reiner at age 70, and, err, not the most physically fit of Hollywood’s denizens, personally attempt to “take the streets.”

UPDATE (From Glenn): The senior-citizen riot swells:

It’s easy to mock this — no, really, it is — but imagine if pro-Trump celebrities were calling for riots if Trump is charged by Mueller.

WEIRD, BECAUSE HE WAS SUPPOSED TO BE INVESTIGATING THINGS THAT HAPPENED BEFORE THE ELECTION: Scoop: Mueller obtains “tens of thousands” of Trump transition emails.

UPDATE: Trump lawyer: Mueller improperly obtained transition documents in Russia probe.

ROCK AND ROLL EDITOR: Andrew Ferguson reviews Sticky Fingers, Joe Hagan’s new biography of Jann Wenner, and the recent HBO documentary on Wenner.

From the first, Hagan makes clear, Wenner was as much a fanboy as a journalist, hoping to use his position as editor of a rising publication to bathe in the nimbus of his favorite rock-and-roll celebrities. The ambition often paid off editorially. Wenner’s obsession with John Lennon led to other early scoops and made Rolling Stone seem indispensable to anyone following the counterculture. In 1968 word came that Lennon and Yoko Ono had posed naked, front and back, for the cover of a new album called Two Virgins. After Wenner’s relentless transatlantic hectoring, Lennon agreed to license the photos to Rolling Stone, if only because no one else would take them. (Asked about the significance of the Two Virgins cover, Lennon’s bandmate George Harrison said everything that needed saying. “It’s just two not-very-nice-looking bodies,” said the Quiet Beatle. “Two flabby bodies naked.”) Wenner put the flabby backsides on the magazine’s cover and tucked the other, full-frontal photo inside. It made a worldwide sensation. Multiple printings of the issue sold out. “Print a famous foreskin,” Wenner said, “and the world will beat a path to your door.”

And Wenner had made a new friend. The HBO documentary gives Homeric treatment to the relationship between Wenner and the Lennons, from foreskin to aft. The friendship was transactional, as friendships between journalists and celebrities usually are. Lennon had a constant need to generate publicity, especially for the new commercial entity known as “John and Yoko,” and Wenner craved proximity to a Beatle. A few months after the Beatles broke up, Lennon agreed to grant Wenner a long interview. Coming off years of drug abuse and months of psychotherapy, Lennon was as garrulous as any ex-junkie analysand could be.

He hammered his former bandmates personally and musically and careened from self-adulation (“If there’s such a thing as [a genius], I am one”) to self-loathing (“the Beatles are the biggest bastards on earth”). The interview, its extravagant profanity uncensored, appeared over two issues and again generated headlines everywhere. In his nationally syndicated column William F. Buckley Jr. referred to the interview as “How I Wrecked My Own Life, and Can Help Wreck Yours.”

Heh, indeed. Read the whole thing.™ For my own review of the Wenner bio, click here.

HOW TO KEEP YOUR CAR BATTERY ALIVE THROUGH A FRIGID WINTER.

When the Insta-Daughter was away at college and left her car behind for 5 weeks over Christmas vacation the battery went flat. (Maybe it pulled more because it was a hybrid, my old Highlander). Anyway, the next year I got her this Noco solar charger with the adapter that lets it plug right into the OBDII connector underneath the dash. Problem solved! The next year it started right up after weeks of cold and disuse.

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PROGRESS: SpaceX has now successfully landed 20 rockets.

HOW TO BUILD A MORE RESILIENT POWER GRID.

Related thoughts from Sue Tierney. “A resilient grid is one with the following characteristics: It is one where the grid planners, operators and regulators assume that they cannot foresee and avoid every type of event that could take out the system in a very big way; where they therefore plan for how they will ride through big-impact events with as much of the system still intact as possible: where they can mobilize the resources to restore the system safely and quickly, especially to support the provision of critical services; and where the industry players learn lessons from prior disruptions and plan for how to better handle the next hit on the grid.”

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EMBRACE THE MACHINE: World’s First AI Citizen in Saudi Arabia Is Now Calling For Women’s Rights. What would Skynet say?

EUROPE: Exodus: Jews Flee Paris Suburbs over Rising Tide of Anti-Semitism.

THE NATION AND THE NAZIS:

If you’re ever looking for a hearty chuckle, the Nation never fails to deliver. It fashions itself as a “progressive” magazine—if your notion of progress is reviving Marxist nostrums of yesteryear.

There’s nothing much funny about white supremacists. But reading along as a left-wing Nation correspondent hangs out with white supremacists and realizes she shares some political beliefs with them? Well, this should be entertaining.

Writer Donna Minkowitz describes a secret meeting organized by alt-right figure Richard Spencer that she crashed in mid-November at an organic winery in Maryland. Upon arrival, Minkowitz writes that she was surprised to find that the discussion centered not only on the usual brown-shirt Jew-hating you might expect from neo-Nazis, but also on what she says is a “new emphasis on economic issues” that she found “seductive.”

Why seductive? Because the white supremacists’ views on economic issues sound a lot like, well, like views espoused by the Nation and Democratic party progressives. In what could pass for Bernie Sanders campaign literature, she quotes Spencer saying “I support national health care” and railing against “the trillions spent in insane wars.” Minkowitz also quotes Spencer blasting the GOP tax plan as “stupid .  .  . Reaganite nostalgia” and supporting a universal basic income. Another speaker decried that everything is seemingly becoming “corporatized and capitalized.” Wait—is this a white supremacist conference or a New York Times editorial board meeting?

Ahh, it’s always amusing to watch international socialists and National Socialists court each other and stumble upon how much they have in common (and not just on economic issues). The inevitable breakup is going to be awfully painful, however.

IN THE FUTURE, EVERYONE IN THE MSM WILL BE DAN RATHER FOR 15 MINUTES. And the future is now! These Media Screw-Ups Would Make Dan Rather Proud.

AT AMAZON, From Michael Medved, The American Miracle: Divine Providence in the Rise of the Republic.

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And you can still shop shop the Twelve Days of Deals! We appreciate your patronage very much. Especially this time of year!

LARRY DIAMOND: As authoritarian states like China double down on strategic investments and project their “sharp power” abroad, the United States may finally be reaching a new Sputnik moment.

Today, if a major American university is looking for government support to promote study of the foreign language—Chinese—that will be most crucial to the future shape of global competition, it may well come instead from the Chinese government, in the form of the Confucius Institutes that provide funding, teachers, and curricula to study Chinese language and culture. The goal of these institutes, explains the website of Hanban (their coordinating headquarters within the Chinese Ministry of Education), is to help develop “multiculturalism” and build “a harmonious world.” But for the Chinese Communist Party, “harmony” means never being questioned by society. China’s vast global network of some 500 Confucius Institutes (most of them on university campuses) may be the most benign dimension of an increasingly visible and troubling Chinese government effort to penetrate and influence democratic cultures and societies.

The experience of New Zealand and Australia suggests that what begins with the cultural and social progresses to the political. In November, an Australian commercial publisher postponed its commitment to publish a book by a highly respected professor, Clive Hamilton, detailing China’s efforts to shape and censor public expression in Australia. The clumsy cave-in to China’s sensitivities, reflecting rising Chinese pressure on Australian publishers and media companies, outraged the Australian public and appeared to confirm the book’s title: Silent Invasion: How China is Turning Australia Into a Puppet State.

More recently, as reported in the Telegraph this week, “An Australian MP was forced to quit over revelations he adopted pro-China positions after accepting donations from a wealthy Chinese property developer with links to China’s Communist Party.” As accounts have piled up of Chinese government-linked donations to Australia’s two major parties, Australia’s government has proposed legislation that would ban foreign donations to political parties and groups that lobby the government and institute a public register for foreign lobbyists. The political scandal—coming amid years of accelerating Chinese influence activities—may represent a “Sputnik moment” for Australia.

But the situation in neighboring New Zealand is more urgent still. . . .

What these two resurgent authoritarian states are projecting, argue Walker and Ludwig, is power that is not “soft” but rather “sharp,” like the tip of a dagger: It enables them “to cut, razor-like, into the fabric of a society, stoking and amplifying existing divisions” (in the case of Russia) or to seek, especially in the case of China, “to monopolize ideas, suppress alternative narratives, and exploit partner institutions.”

There is also an alarming technological dimension to China’s sharp power: a relentless, multidimensional, and highly orchestrated campaign to capture, transfer, and innovate the technologies of the future, including artificial intelligence, supercomputing, drone vehicles, robotics, gene editing, and other advanced medical technology. Within a decade, China could well overtake the United States in the development of these critical technologies, which will increasingly drive the next generation of global economic growth and China’s continued rise to superpower status.

Yeah, it was probably a mistake for the Clinton Administration to open up our technology to them so readily.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Profs propose using classrooms to counter Trump rhetoric.

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RETURN OF THE PRIMITIVE: Mystery Pooper Is Running Amok in Buffalo Suburb.

F-22 REFUELING OVER IRAQ: With serpentine river below.

END OF GOVERNMENT FM RADIO IN NORWAY: The government stations have gone to digital audio broadcasting (DAB).

However:

Some radio stations in Norway are maintaining an FM presence in protest of the government conversion.

Stay tuned?

MOLLIE HEMINGWAY: 8 Worst Defenses Of FBI Agent’s Anti-Trump ‘Insurance Policy’ Texts.

THE POLITICAL SUICIDE OF THE CREATIVE CLASS: “Earlier this year, I noticed something in China that really surprised me. I realized I felt more comfortable discussing controversial ideas in Beijing than in San Francisco. . . .. That showed me just how bad things have become, and how much things have changed since I first got started here in 2005. It seems easier to accidentally speak heresies in San Francisco every year. Debating a controversial idea, even if you 95% agree with the consensus side, seems ill-advised.”

CHANGE: NFL ratings down 9% this season amid Trump attacks.

THIS ISN’T AN ARGUMENT ABOUT POLICY, IT’S JUST A DUMB ATTEMPT TO PERSONALIZE THE ISSUE: Brookings fellow rips Trump: I entered through lottery system. It’s like the people who defend affirmative action by saying “I’m a product of affirmative action!” as if that should silence any critics.

JOURNALISM:

Well, as they say:

SOMETIMES NOT-SO-SECRETLY: 5 Things Women Do That Secretly Annoy Men.

REMEMBER WHEN TRUMP WAS LITERALLY HITLER: Graham rips Trump over interrogation policy: It’s like ‘Obama and his team never left.’

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) turned his fire on President Trump on Friday over the Trump administration’s hesitance to depart from trying suspected terrorists in the criminal justice system.

In a series of tweets Friday afternoon, the South Carolina Republican and frequent ally of Trump turned on the administration for its decision to charge Akayed Ullah, the suspect in Monday morning’s pipe bombing in New York, in criminal court.

“I am incredibly disappointed to see the Trump Administration continue to treat terrorists as common criminals,” Graham wrote. “Giving Akayed Ullah a lawyer and putting him directly into the criminal justice system means we lose the ability to gather intelligence from a person who fits the profile of an enemy combatant.”

In 2020, expect to see Kamala Harris attack Trump as a squish and promise to try terrorists in front of military tribunals and execute them by firing squad. Heck, she’s already got experience defending fake confessions.

SEA STORY: Two men sentenced in baby eel trafficking scheme.

WALL STREET JOURNAL: SECRETS THE FBI SHOULDN’T KEEP.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team is emphasizing its ejection of FBI agent Peter Strzok immediately upon learning about anti-Trump texts he exchanged with another FBI employee, Lisa Page, before the 2016 election. But when did the FBI learn of the messages? The inspector general’s investigation began in mid-January. The letter explains that the FBI was asked for text messages of certain key employees based on search terms, which turned up “a number of politically-oriented” Strzok-Page texts. The inspector general then demanded all of the duo’s text messages, which the FBI began producing on July 20.

But when did the FBI dig up and turn over that very first tranche? How long has the bureau known one of its lead investigators was exhibiting such bias? Was it before Mr. Mueller was even appointed? Did FBI leaders sit by as the special counsel tapped Mr. Strzok? In any case, we know from the letter that the inspector general informed both Messrs. Rosenstein and Mueller of the texts on July 27, and that both men hid that explosive information from Congress for four months. The Justice Department, pleading secrecy, defied subpoenas that would have produced the texts. It refused to make Mr. Strzok available for an interview. It didn’t do all this out of fear of hurting national security, obviously. It did it to save itself and the FBI from embarrassment.

This week’s other revelation of jaw-dropping FBI tactics came from a separate letter from Mr. Johnson. In November 2016, the Office of Special Counsel—a federal agency that polices personnel practices and is distinct from the Mueller probe—began investigating whether former FBI Director Jim Comey violated the Hatch Act, which restricts political activity by executive-branch officials, while investigating Hillary Clinton’s private server. The office conducted interviews with two of Mr. Comey’s confidantes: FBI chief of staff James Rybicki and FBI attorney Trisha Anderson.

Sen. Johnson in September demanded the full, unredacted transcripts of the interviews. But it turned out the FBI had refused to let the Office of Special Counsel interview them unless it first signed unprecedented nondisclosure agreements, giving the FBI full authority to withhold the information from Congress. The bureau has continued to insist the office keep huge swaths of the interviews secret from Congress, including the names and actions of key political players. (The Office of Special Counsel closed its investigation in May.)

In his letter this week, Mr. Johnson demanded that Mr. Wray authorize the release of the full transcripts and other documents. Even the redacted ones have revealed important information, for instance that Mr. Comey was drafting his Hillary Clinton exoneration statement well before she was interviewed. Congressional investigators believe the unredacted versions contain pertinent information about the actions of former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates and key investigators such as Mr. Strzok.

This whole thing stinks.