August 19, 2019

JOHN HINDERAKER: The Washington Post Lies About a Conservative Journalist.

ARTHUR CHRENKOFF: Here come the eco-fascists.

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO . . . OH, HELL, THIS IS JUST TOO SAD: A former West Virginia teacher and 2 aides were arrested after alleged abuse was caught on secret recordings.

UM: Chinese police cars parked on the streets of Australia spark alarm amid Hong Kong protests. “Authorities are investigating after fake Chinese police cars were seen cropping up in major Australian cities amid pro-Hong Kong demonstrations across the nation over the weekend. . . . It’s been suggested the vehicles, similar to the police cars stationed in Tiananmen Square in Beijing, are an attempt to intimidate local pro-democracy protesters.”

OPEN THREAD: Hope you had a great Monday.

JUST AS OUR POLITICIANS WANT TO REPLACE THE ELECTORATE WITH SOMETHING MORE TRACTABLE: Maybe CEOs Are Fed Up With Shareholders.

The Business Roundtable said Monday that it is changing its statement of “the purpose of a corporation.” No longer should decisions be based solely on whether they will yield higher profits for shareholders, the group said. Rather, corporate leaders should take into account “all stakeholders”—that is, employees, customers and society writ large.

It is a major philosophical shift for the association, which counts the chief executives of dozens of the biggest U.S. companies as its members. The group, led by JPMorgan Chase & Co. CEO James Dimon, is a powerful voice in Washington for U.S. business interests.

The Business Roundtable’s old statement of purpose espoused economist Milton Friedman’s decades-old theory that companies’ only obligation is to maximize value for shareholders.

Like loyalty to voters, loyalty to shareholders limits your freedom to do what you want. In both cases, the abrogation of that loyalty is treated as a moral step, when it is really a species of betrayal.

HOW’S THAT SPACE PROGRAM COMING ALONG? America’s Largest Asteroid Impact Left a Trail of Destruction Across the Eastern United States. “About 35 million years ago, an asteroid traveling nearly 144,000 mph (231,000 km/h) smashed into the Atlantic Ocean near the modern-day town of Cape Charles, Virginia. The space rock vaporized instantly, but its impact triggered a gargantuan tsunami, cast up a monsoon of shattered rocks and molten glass that spanned hundreds of miles and carved out the single largest crater in the United States — the so-called Chesapeake Bay impact structure.”

GENERAL JACK D. RIPPER, VINDICATED AT LAST: Study Links Fluoridated Water During Pregnancy to Lower IQs.

Flashback (From Ed): “Impurifying our precious bodily fluids” — Fear of fluoridation takes a left turn. (From Ronald Bailey of Reason in December of 2001.)

MODERATOR SHOCKED BY LACK OF NATIVE AMERICAN ENTHUSIASM FOR ELIZABETH WARREN: ‘I would expect more excitement from our native citizens.’

Related: Warren scrubs website of Cherokee ancestry claims.

TRIUMPH OF THE NARRATIVE WILL:

Here are two ‘narratives’ for you to consider:

  1. a) Donald Trump is a New York Republican who became president by accident. His primary interest for future historians will be his use of new digital technologies like Twitter.
  2. b) Donald Trump is a white nationalist. His primary interest for future historians will be his mobilization of white resentment to build a Fourth Reich in North America.

Narrative A is probably closer to the truth than Narrative B. But it’s certainly less exciting than Trump being Hitler, or a Russian agent. Narrative B is far more dramatic. It’s darkly historic. It’s going to be all over the New York Times for the next year. It shifts books. It drives engagement. It gets people out on the street and to the voting booths.

There is an obvious objection to this: aren’t the president’s lies more important than those of the Times? Trump lies with breathtaking alacrity, there’s no denying or excusing it.

But the most interesting thing about this presidency is that reactions to Trump have unveiled truths far greater than any lies he has told. Like Tony Montana at the end of Scarface, Trump somehow always tells the truth – deep truths about America – even when he lies.

* * * * * * * *

How they react to him tells you who they really are, and what they really want. The ‘narratives’ they weave, and the facts they’re happy to omit from those stories reveal even more.

Related: Trump Unmasks the Media’s Liberal Advocacy.

(Headline via Power Line.)

THE GUILD PROTECTS ITS OWN: “Mark Halperin has inked a new book deal about political strategy in the Trump era and was blasted by women who accused the disgraced NBC commentator of sexual misconduct. The political journalist — who was fired in 2017 after a dozen women made accusations against him — was aided by dozens of prominent Democrats who participated in the book.”

WELL, THAT’S JUST WHAT I THOUGHT IN 2016: Susan Sarandon: Trump Might Be Better for America Than Hillary Clinton.

LEFTIST CNN PANELIST BLOWS UP WHEN CONFRONTED OVER PALESTINIAN TERRORISM: “Liberal writer Peter Beinart erupted at fellow CNN panelist Rich Lowry on Monday while attempting to excuse Palestinian violence toward Israelis, saying he didn’t agree but they also didn’t have to be ‘saints’ to have rights.”

Video at top of article — Beinart seemed ready to throttle the cool and collected Lowry by the time he was done ranting.

Elsewhere in the violent world of CNN: NJ Court Issues Summons For April Ryan’s Bodyguard Who Allegedly Assaulted Journalist.

ANALYSIS: TRUE.

CHANGE: Barr ousts prisons chief after Epstein suicide. “Jeffrey Epstein’s suicide has produced the rarest of events in government scandals these days — actual career consequences for those in authority. Attorney General William Barr demoted acting Bureau of Prisons director Hugh Hurwitz as more details have come to light about multiple failures in the facility where Epstein was housed. . . . The sudden injection of accountability has its own value in that process. It only takes a couple of demotions or terminations for the message to sink in, a phenomenon Barr undoubtedly hopes will work quickly at the Bureau of Prisons.”

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Adult Spinal Deformity: What To Expect.

AT AMAZON, save in Blu-Ray and DVD.

Plus, deals in Generators and Portable Power. Winter is coming.

TAMARA KEEL’S PET PEEVE: “The phobia some cultures have for pocket knives, no matter how small or innocuous, is one of those things that just grinds me to a halt.”

Okay, it’s one of her pet peeves. . .

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: Yale & The Crisis Of American Elites.

Inoue is the director of the UW-Tacoma Writing Center and has explained that “White language supremacy is perpetuated in college classrooms despite the better intentions of faculty, particularly through the practices of grading writing.” It appears that grading on writing ability is one of those acts of white supremacy. He has insisted that professors who use a single neutral standard for all students are perpetuating racism: “[using] single standard to grade your students’ languaging, you engage in racism. You actively promote white language supremacy, which is the handmaiden to white bias in the world.”

You might be thinking, “OK, that’s nuts, but that kind of thing would never fly in STEM disciplines.” Let me introduce you to a peer-reviewed 2017 paper by feminist scholar Donna Riley, who in the same year became head of the Purdue University department of engineering education. Purdue is one of the top engineering schools in the country. Here’s the abstract:

Rigor is the aspirational quality academics apply to disciplinary standards of quality. Rigor’s particular role in engineering created conditions for its transfer and adaptation in the recently emergent discipline of engineering education research. ‘Rigorous engineering education research’ and the related ‘evidence-based’ research and practice movement in STEM education have resulted in a proliferation of boundary drawing exercises that mimic those in engineering disciplines, shaping the development of new knowledge and ‘improved’ practice in engineering education. Rigor accomplishes dirty deeds, however, serving three primary ends across engineering, engineering education, and engineering education research: disciplining, demarcating boundaries, and demonstrating white male heterosexual privilege. Understanding how rigor reproduces inequality, we cannot reinvent it but rather must relinquish it, looking to alternative conceptualizations for evaluating knowledge, welcoming diverse ways of knowing, doing, and being, and moving from compliance to engagement, from rigor to vigor.

In the paper, she writes:

One of rigor’s purposes is, to put it bluntly, a thinly veiled assertion of white male (hetero)sexuality” because rigor “has a historical lineage of being about hardness, stiffness, and erectness; its sexual connotations—and links to masculinity in particular—are undeniable.

Er, right. Here’s a tip for travelers: if you arrive at a bridge over a gorge, you’d better hope that it stands stiff and erect, and that one of Donna Riley’s rigorless students, with their diverse ways of knowing, didn’t have anything to do with engineering the thing.

See also: the 2018  Florida International University bridge collapse that killed six and injured eight, but whose engineers were praised beforehand for their environmentalism and gender equality.

Read the whole thing, which also explores the New York Times’ racialist “1619 Project” as well.

MONEY NEVER MEETS MOUTH HERE: This Is What Happens When You Ask Pro-Taxers to Pay More.

NEWS YOU CAN USE? Libertarian Comedians: A No Doubt Incomplete List.

JEFF GOLDSTEIN: The post I’d hoped I’d never have to write.

As many of you know, my oldest son, Satchel, had a rare form of brain cancer, which — thank god — he’s had successfully treated. He’s fine, though he has to take a regimen of medicine every day to replace pituitary function, having lost his pituitary gland during the surgery.

Bottom line is this: we need to somehow get out from under our medical debt, which we put on credit cards mostly, so that we’re able to wait out the sale of our house and not have to declare bankruptcy.

This site of course doesn’t have the readership it once did, as many of my former readers have moved on to new places and new things. But if my long-time readers and friends can possible help us out and would ever be inclined to do so, I ask that you please do so now — and pass the word along to others you think might be able to help.

Read the whole thing, and if you can, maybe chip in. I’m on my way over to PayPal to do just that.

UPDATE (FROM GLENN): I just made one of my larger blogger donations.

THIS SCIENTIFIC BREAKTHROUGH COULD INCREASE THE ODDS THAT HILLARY CLINTON RUNS FOR PRESIDENT AGAIN: “Though difficult to conceal under a pantsuit, the Arque could provide Hillary with a less cumbersome solution to her balance issues compared to full-body exoskeleton alternatives. It is not currently known whether the tail’s development is related to Keio University professor Tomohiko Taniguchi’s 2018 visit to the Clinton School of Public Service in Arkansas.”

1/1024 CREDIBLE: Liz Warren’s $10 Billion-Plus Bid to Gain Cred with Native American Tribes.

REVIEW: Charter Arms 3″ Mag Pug .357. “The gun seemed to favor the heavier .357 magnum loads, which is good, because I buy a .357 Mag. revolver for a reason.”

THE LEFT’S VICTIMHOOD PECKING ORDER IS DEPENDENT IN PART ON GEOGRAPHY: AOC, Omar, Tlaib Silent as Palestine Outlaws LGBT Activity in West Bank.

WELL, THIS IS THE 21ST CENTURY, YOU KNOW? Soft Exosuit Makes Walking and Running Easier Than Ever.

THE RETURN OF ASSASSINATION FASCINATION: Chicago Democrat Martin Sandoval Raises Funds by Pretending to Assassinate Trump.

(Classical reference in headline.)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MR. PRESIDENT: Did Bill Clinton See This Coming? “Today, as he marks a birthday he might once have doubted he’d have, Clinton’s name means something different than it did 20 years ago, particularly among Democrats. Nearly all the two dozen 2020 candidates vying for the party’s nomination would likely hesitate to accept his open endorsement.”

Obamaism was the party’s rejection of Clinton’s DLC-style centrism, and whatever could be said is happening now is the party’s rejection of Obamaism.

Or to coin an Instaphrase, the Montagnards always turn on the Girondists.

IMPORTANT NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF SCIENCE: Fatty meal might affect how you absorb CBD.

YOU’RE GONNA NEED A BIGGER BLOG: Democratic Clown Car Update for August 19, 2019. “Hickenlooper is Out, Sanders slams the press, Gabbard comes out for legal pot and serves joint duty, and Biden just keeps chug-chug-chuging along.”

BREAKING: Is Russia Hiding Another Chernobyl?

DON’T GET COCKY: Joe Biden won’t win.

MEANWHILE, OVER AT VODKAPUNDIT: Desperate for Attention, ‘Beto’ Goes to Gun Show to Talk Gun Control.

Snarky headline aside, I’d actually like to see more stories like this one.

WELL, THIS IS THE 21ST CENTURY, YOU KNOW: Electric brain stimulation may help people with severe mental illness.

ADAPT, IMPROVISE, OVERCOME: Marines Use Armored Vehicle to Defend Navy Ship from Small Boats off Iranian Coast. “Members of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit were photographed sailing through the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf this week with a Light Armored Vehicle on the flight deck.”

SKYNET SMILES: The U.S. Navy Wants To Build the World’s Largest Robot Warship.

FLASHBACK: California’s Background Check Law Had No Impact on Gun Deaths, Johns Hopkins Study Finds.

Johns Hopkins isn’t exactly a rightwing think tank.

JON GABRIEL: No one is immune from the Cancel Culture.

Cancel culture is spreading for one simple reason: it works. Instead of debating ideas or competing for entertainment dollars, you can just demand anyone who annoys you to be cast out of polite society.

Way back in the mists of time, say five years ago, if you didn’t like a TV show or movie, you wouldn’t watch it. Now you can ensure that no one watches it, just by slinging some outrage on social media.

Our woke mentality is America’s new Puritanism. Instead of a handy list of sins written thousands of years ago, modern sins are ever-changing. A joke that was deemed progressive a decade ago is retroactively condemned as hate speech.

“If you say the wrong thing,” Silverman said, “everyone is, like, throwing the first stone. It’s a perversion. It’s really, ‘Look how righteous I am and now I’m going to press refresh all day long to see how many likes I get in my righteousness.’ ”

When the mob has burned one witch, they tighten the buckles on their hats and pore through old YouTube videos for their next victim.

It isn’t healthy, culturally, and worse it’s just no damn fun.

ANNALS OF LEFTIST AUTOPHAGY: Rapper Jay-Z Partner with the NFL, Joins the Ranks of the Insufficiently Woke. “The social-justice Left sees only one path to redemption for the NFL, and that’s a team signing Colin Kaepernick…Most NFL teams either are in a mode to ‘win now’ or are rebuilding for the future. Kaepernick [now age 31, and out of football since the end of the 2016 season] isn’t good enough to help a team that’s built to win now, and he’s probably too old to be a building block for the future.”

Related: You know things are bad when the PC mob comes for Jay-Z. “Recall that Nike canceled an entire line of shoes over Kaepernick’s inane PC complaints. In defending the deal, the rapper said: ‘You can’t just throw someone out if they make a mistake. This is the real world. You can’t say, ‘Oh, you made a mistake, you’re canceled. I’m never speaking to you again.’ That doesn’t accomplish anything.’ He’d better hope people will be making that argument on his ­behalf, too.”

ANALYSIS: TRUE. Trump Isn’t the One Dividing Us by Race: He hardly mentions it, while his adversaries are obsessed with ‘whiteness’ and ‘white privilege.’

Long before the El Paso massacre, President Trump’s political opponents accused him of sowing “division” with his “racist language.” Mr. Trump “exploits race,” “uses race for his gain,” is engaged in a “racially divisive reprise” of his 2016 campaign, stokes “racial resentments,” and puts “race at the fore,” the New York Times has reported over the past several months.

Yet Mr. Trump rarely uses racial categories in his speech or his tweets. It is the media and Democratic leaders who routinely characterize individuals and groups by race and issue race-based denunciations of large parts of the American polity.

Some examples: “As race dominates the political conversation, 10 white Democratic candidates will take the stage” (the Washington Post); Mr. Trump’s rally audiences are “overwhelmingly white” (multiple sources); your son’s “whiteness is what protects him from not [sic] being shot” by the police ( Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand ); white candidates need to be conscious of “white privilege” (South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg ); “white supremacy manifests itself” in the criminal-justice, immigration and health-care systems ( Sen. Cory Booker ); “ Michael Brown was murdered by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri” ( Sen. Elizabeth Warren ); whiteness is “the very core” of Mr. Trump’s power, whereas his “predecessors made their way to high office through the passive power of whiteness” (Ta-Nehisi Coates in the Atlantic).

Liberal opinion deems such rhetoric fair comment, even obvious truth, not “racially divisive.” America’s universities deserve credit for this double standard. Identity politics dominate higher education: Administrators, students and faculty obsessively categorize themselves and each other by race. “White privilege,” often coupled with “toxic masculinity,” is the focus of freshmen orientations and an ever-growing array of courses. Any institutional action that affects a “person of color” is “about race.” If a black professor doesn’t get tenure, he’s a victim of discrimination; a white professor is presumed to be unqualified.

That interpretive framework explains asymmetries in how the political and media elites analyze the Trump phenomenon. . . .

But according to the academic template, to criticize a “person of color” is inevitably “about race.” Mr. Buttigieg ran afoul of this rule after firing South Bend’s black police chief for secretly taping officers’ phone calls. The idea that the mayor fired the chief because he was black is absurd, yet Mr. Buttigieg inevitably faced charges of racial insensitivity. Likewise, advocates and the media deemed Mr. Trump’s nonracial denunciation of Baltimore’s leadership racist. Never mind that the victims of the city’s almost daily drive-by shootings are black. Race shields minority politicians from criticism.

Ms. Warren recently provided an unwitting summary of academic identity politics. Mr. Trump’s “central message” to the American people, she declared, is: “If there’s anything wrong in your life, blame them—and ‘them’ means people who aren’t the same color as you.” She has in mind a white “you,” but change the race and you encapsulate the reigning assumption on college campuses—that white people are the source of nonwhite people’s problems, and any behavioral or cultural explanations for economic disparities are taboo.

The academy’s reflexive labeling of nonconforming views as “hate speech” has also infiltrated popular rhetoric against Mr. Trump. The president’s views on border control and national sovereignty are at odds with the apparent belief among Democratic elites that people living outside the country are entitled to enter at will and without consequences for illegal entry. To the academic and democratic left, however, a commitment to border enforcement can only arise from “hate.” Such a pre-emptive interpretation is a means of foreclosing debate and stigmatizing dissent from liberal orthodoxy.

Identity politics, now a driving force in the Democratic Party, celebrates the racial and ethnic identities of designated victim groups while consigning whites—especially heterosexual white men—to scapegoat status. But its advocates should be careful what they wish for. If “whiteness” is a legitimate topic of academic and political discourse, some individuals are going to embrace “white identity” proudly.

They’ve been trying to conjure that into existence for a decade, but they may not like the result. As John Podhoretz tweeted in November of 2016, “Liberals spent 40 years disaggregating [the] U.S., until finally the largest cohort in the country chose to vote as though it were an ethnic group.”

Related: Roger Simon: 90% of the Racism in America Comes from the Democratic Party and the Left. I’d say we’re up to 95% by now.

CLAUDIA ROSETT REPORTING FROM HONG KONG: ‘It’s All for Our Kids’: Hong Kong’s Protesters Double Down on Demands for Freedom.

IN THE MAIL: From Jeremy Black, Imperial Legacies: The British Empire Around the World.

Plus, browse today’s Gold Box and Lightning Deals.

USA TODAY: The Southern Poverty Law Center is a hate-based scam that nearly caused me to be murdered. (Bumped).

VIDEO: ‘It’s a Large Real Estate Deal’: Trump Confirms He’s ‘Looking at’ Buying Greenland.

If it happens they’ll call it “Trump’s Folly” or something similar, but then it will turn out to have been a brilliant move.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Michigan State orders student employees not to say ‘but’ – it’s triggering.

EVERGREEN QUESTION: What Will California Ban Next?

Starting Tuesday, the sale of plastic water bottles will be banned at San Francisco International Airport, one of the few places they actually make sense. California has many dumb laws and statutes and bans, but this one is especially brainless—spurred by futile self-righteousness.

After running late for your flight after a 30-minute security line only to have TSA confiscate your Fiji water bottle, you’ll now have to stop at a crowded water fountain to fill your own metal flask. Or buy an overpriced glass or aluminum bottle at the concession stand, paying another 10 cents for a bag. And your teeth will chatter if you drink through a paper straw. Of course you could risk dehydration instead: Men lose up to a half-gallon of water during a 10-hour flight. Oddly, you can still buy sugary drinks in plastic bottles at SFO; only healthy, calorie-free water is banned in plastic. You can’t make this stuff up.

In California, you never have to.

HAPPY 88th BIRTHDAY TO ARTHUR FRY, CO-INVENTOR OF THE POST-IT NOTE: Fry didn’t actually invent the not-so-sticky adhesive used in post-it notes. That was his fellow 3M employee chemist Spencer Silver.  But Silver wasn’t sure what to do with it.  Fry’s contribution was to come up with a use.

The story goes that Fry sang in his church choir, where he would frequently use pieces of paper as bookmarks, which would sometimes fall out. One Sunday in 1973, it occurred to him that Silver’s adhesive used on a small piece of paper would make a great bookmark.

Yes, it does.  And sometimes invention is the mother of necessity rather than the other way around.

Here’s George Jones to sing about it.

(Full disclosure:  There is also another person who claims he, not 3M’s team, was the true inventor.  3M disagrees, and happily it’s not my job to sort this out.)

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Student gov president faces calls for removal after asking people to respect others’ opinions.

KRUISER’S MORNING BRIEF: RECESSION! (Or Probably Not). “Few things can turn the tide in an election like a tanking economy so the Democrats are now praying to whatever passes for a god over there and hoping that, absent a real recession, they might be able to scare voters into thinking one is on the way.”

It worked in ’92, when the media played along with Bill Clinton’s claim that the sharp (but short) ’90-’91 recession was the “worst economy since the Great Depression,” and that it was still going on months after it was over.

BUFF OVER THE PACIFIC: A USAF B-52 flies over the Pacific Ocean July 14, near the coast of Brisbane, Australia, after being refueled by a USAF KC-10 Extender in support of Exercise Talisman Sabre 19.

PARTY OF HATE: Illinois state senator apologizes for staged Trump assassination photos at fundraiser.

Photos posted by a woman who witnessed the mock assassination on Friday night show supporters of Sen. Martin Sandoval, who represents Illinois’ 11th District — including parts of Chicago — acting out in front of guests, according to WCIA.

One of them can be seen pointing a fake machine gun at a man wearing a Trump mask and Mexican costume. The individual appears to simulate being shot — grabbing his chest and leaning back.

In another photo, Sandoval can be seen standing next to the person holding the gun.

But it’s not a Republican state senator, so it’s not national news.

ANALYSIS: TRUE. Red-light cameras undermine rule of law.

The Confrontation Clause grants criminal defendants the right to be confronted with the witnesses against them. Since it is a camera and not a person that witnessed the offense, such violations generally cannot be considered a criminal offense. The ticket is issued to the owner of the vehicle, not to the person driving it, leaving a lack of certainty as to the identity of the offender.

Therefore, the “ticket” in most places is nothing more than a civil fine, making enforcement and collection difficult. To date, governments have avoided this problem by requiring payment of the fine before motorists can renew their driver’s license or auto registration. Although there generally are appeals procedures, they typically do not give drivers a day in court. In other words, what happened to being innocent until proven guilty?

Indeed.

Plus:

There is more evidence that greater public safety actually depends on the timing of yellow and red lights. Longer yellow and all-way red times have been shown to significantly reduce accidents. Sometimes local governments actually decrease yellow-light timing to catch more red-light runners, a result of the perverse financial incentives that tempt government officials and camera companies. Studies also show motorists are more likely to hit the brakes hard at camera-enforced intersections, increasing rear-end collisions.

They’re just bad news.

PAUL BEDARD: Trump report card: A better than average 51% approval, but economic clouds forming.

Well, even if real clouds don’t appear, you can expect the Democrats and the media — but I repeat myself — to fire up the smudge-pots.

OH: James Comey and Wife Donated Nearly $20K to Democrats This Year. “Klobuchar, Harris, Abrams among recipients of Comey cash.”

REMEMBERING THE CHINESE CULTURAL REVOLUTION’S RED AUGUST (ADDENDUM): Last week I did a post about August of 1966, the month in which the Red Guard student gangs started going on the rampage. But where did these students come from? And what made them so angry?

I can give you only partial answers: During this early stage of the Cultural Revolution, they were very disproportionately the sons and daughters of privileged party members.  (Surprised?  I suspect not.)

Red Guard students also tended to be the beneficiaries of preferential treatment in admissions. All during the 1950s and 1960s, the children of party members and at least in theory the children of peasants and workers received a kind of “affirmative action” in admission both to elite schools and to colleges and universities. Frequently a revolutionary pedigree was a more important credential than a good academic record. Early on, a popular meme (if not exactly a Shakespearean couplet) was “If the father is a hero [of the Revolution], the son is a good fellow; if the father is a reactionary, the son is a good-for-nothing—it is basically like this.”

Like students who receive preferential treatment here in the USA—diversity students, legacy students, and athletes—on average the Chinese recipients of preferential treatment got poorer grades than other students. Mao is reported to have acknowledged this: “The political performance of the children of revolutionary cadres in schools can only be rated as second-class, but students with bad family backgrounds [i.e. the children of alleged capitalists, landlords, rich peasants, and counter-revolutionaries] have performed very well. However, no matter how well they have performed, revolutionary tasks cannot be put on their shoulders.”

Loyal Instapundit readers know that I have written extensively about the problem of affirmative action “mismatch” in this country. (If you haven’t already read one of my essays, they are here and here. Please take a look.) Alas, large gaps in academic performance between identifiable groups tend to cause resentments. Perversely, a group that has been given preferential treatment may come to believe, against all evidence, that the system is rigged against them, when in fact the problem is that the system was rigged in their favor.

In China, the myth that the “Born-Reds” (as they sometimes called themselves) had been mistreated by the educational system prior to the Cultural Revolution was a strong one. “We Born-Reds gasped for breath under the suppression of the cow ghosts and snake demons [i.e. the teachers and school administrators], and bourgeois bastards [i.e. children with “bad” family backgrounds] in schools,” wrote several of the Red Guard crybullies. In fact, in the years leading up to Red August, school administrators were often far too inclined to indulge the “Born-Reds,” in part out of fear of their political clout.

Mao pandered to these students. For him, poor academic performance was not really a problem. He was contemptuous of the Chinese system of education anyway. And he was especially contemptuous of its examination methods: I am in favor of publishing the questions in advance and letting the students study them and answer them with the aid of books.” He seemed not to be troubled by cheating. “If you answer is good and I copy it, then mine too should be counted as good.”

Mao complained about too much emphasis on “foreign dead people much the same way that leftists today complain about about “dead white males.” And he sympathized with students who dozed off during lectures. “You don’t have to listen to nonsense, you can rest your brain instead.” He accused the schools of favoring students from “bad” family backgrounds.

No wonder the Born-Reds loved him (and weren’t too fond of their teachers).

LEON IS GETTING LARGER:

In 1969, Americans were, it would appear, much thinner — men and women equally. (That guy picking his way through the crowd at Altamont has not an ounce of body fat.) As it happens, this superficial impression is borne out by the available data, since in 1971 the average 19-year-old man weighed just 159.7 pounds, according to figures compiled by the National Center for Health Statistics, and the average woman 131. A hippie now at Woodstock 50 — if such existed and if a planned anniversary concert had not fallen apart — would have added an additional 14 pounds to his frame and a woman another 20.

My own impression from being around a campus is that while older Americans started getting fatter in the 1980s, it wasn’t until after the turn of the millennium that you saw 19 year olds looking fatter, and the change seemed fairly swift. Also, the male students aren’t just fatter but it’s often a more female-like fat distribution — not the sturdy frat guy with a keg belly, but a kind of soft overall fatness, around the hips, lower back, and thighs. I suspect there’s something hormonal going on.

NOW THAT’S THE 21ST CENTURY I WAS HOPING FOR: The U.S. Navy Wants To Build the World’s Largest Robot Warship.

HE’S RIGHT. BOTH ARE DUMB VIRTUE-SIGNALING BY DEMOCRATS WHO NEITHER UNDERSTAND NOR CARE ABOUT THE ACTUAL PROBLEM. Cedric Richmond (D) Compares Banning Assault Weapons to Banning Plastic Straws.

HMM: In blue Seattle, Trump supporters are starting to come out of hiding.

The latest federal-election reports show that Trump is doing surprisingly well getting backers in this bluest of blue places. With nearly 15 months to go before the 2020 election, he already has drawn more donations from Seattle addresses than he did during the entire 2016 campaign.

In Washington state, where his approval rating is 28 points underwater, Trump has still racked up far more donations, big and small, than any of the Democratic candidates — in fact more than the top six Democrats combined.

I’m not talking about total dollars raised — though on that front Trump is a juggernaut, too. But the total number of donations reflects how many people are inspired enough by a candidate to send any amount of money, sometimes repeatedly. As I wrote in 2016, about how democratic socialist candidate Bernie Sanders was swamping the field in the donations category, “it’s like a measure of people power.”

Well, now Trump, of all candidates, has nearly three times as many donations from Washington state as Bernie Sanders does. The Vermont senator has 8,080 itemized donations here, while Trump has the most ever recorded at this point in an election, by any candidate in either party, 21,657.

We just saw an almost identical story last week, but in California.

HMM: Republican challengers rushing to unseat Ocasio-Cortez.

The Democrats’ problem is that she’s got such a high profile that if they keep the House, but she loses her seat, it’ll look like a win for Trump.

PRETTY MUCH EVERYTHING: Woodstock at 50: What Went Wrong With the ‘Summer of Love’?

August 18, 2019

AT AMAZON, Education Supplies for Teachers & Homeschoolers.

Plus, Used Textbooks – Save up to 90%.

THE BABYLON BEE IS INCREASINGLY SAVAGE: Snopes Strikes Deal With Netflix To Provide On-Screen Fact Checks Of Fictional Shows, Movies.

MICHAEL YON EMAILS FROM HONG KONG:

Yesterday’s protest was massive. I have not even slept yet. Estimated 1.7m people. Crowds are notoriously difficult to estimate, but I will confirm it was absolutely massive, stretching for miles in pouring rain. Massive.

Hong Kong is China’s brain tumor. Do nothing…tumor grows. Operate…the procedure could kill the communist party.

This is very serious, Gentlemen. Do not underestimate what is happening here.

I won’t.

KAMALA HARRIS & ELIZABETH WARREN GET 4 PINOCCHIOS FROM WAPO FOR CLAIMING MICHAEL BROWN WAS MURDERED BY OFFICER WILSON:   All these efforts to make it sound like the police are the source of all the problems in inner city neighborhoods won’t end well.

OPEN THREAD: Savor the remains of the day.

FREE MUMIA: THE NEXT GENERATION. Philly protest will support suspect accused of shooting six cops: ‘I don’t understand it,’ police commissioner says. ‘There’s certain marches I do understand; this is definitely not one of them’

THE MOOCH, BILL KRISTOL AND THE NEVERTRUMP QUEST FOR RELEVANCE: From Roger Kimball at the American edition of the London Spectator. “Consider this headline: ‘Anthony Scaramucci talks to Bill Kristol about trying to force Trump off the GOP ticket in 2020.’ Can you guess the source? If you said ‘The Onion,’ you would have made a perfectly rational judgment… But no. A joke it may be — an absurdity, too — but the source of that story is not The Onion but CNBC, not exactly an unimpeachable source, I know, but at least one with some pretensions to reporting as distinct from satire.”

As Tom Wolfe wrote thirty years ago,“We live in an age in which it is no longer possible to be funny. There is nothing you can imagine, no matter how ludicrous, that will not promptly be enacted before your very eyes, probably by someone well known.”

OUT: SELF-DEPORTATION. IN: SELF-DEFUNDING. Planned Parenthood May Reject Federal Funds Over Trump Administration Rule. “Despite years of fighting calls to ‘defund Planned Parenthood,’ the reproductive healthcare organization may now voluntarily remove itself from a massive government funding program, after a federal appeals court allowed a controversial new abortion rule to go forward.”

RICHARD FERNANDEZ: Without a Stable Moral Currency, There Is Terror Without Trust.

Traditionally the solution to the problem of immorality has been the diffusion of power. Thus the current crisis of morality signifies a crisis in the containment of power. Many of the old checks and balances that once curbed power have been weakened by “changing cultural mores” which expanded the role of Big Government into areas once proscribed by religious taboo. The compartmentalization of formal structures was compromised by international travel, financial mobility, and ubiquitous telecommunications.

Jeffrey Epstein’s little black book is a map of a social network whose power can outflank most walls.  It had a list of Hollywood, royalty, political consultants, billionaires, publishers, financiers, entertainers, foreign world leaders, American presidents, state governors, politicians, corporate executives, influential scientists, rock stars, lawyers, Nobel Prize winners, comic book moguls,  socialites by the dozen,  comedians and of course fixers and assorted low characters.  There are dozens of similar social networks in the world.  Some are even more powerful.

Bringing power under control again will require expanding the scope of trustless systems and reestablishing a stable moral currency. Readers will recall that such systems don’t actually do away with trust. They simply move it away from one actor to a system where provenance, transaction, and state can be verified independently by anyone through the mathematical security of cryptography.  The idea is that you don’t have to trust if you can verify.

But while systems can capture what is through the blockchain and other devices, no amount of technology can say how things ought to be without postulating a set of values.

Read the whole thing.

(Via Small Dead Animals, which also has a related video rant on Epstein and conspiracy theories by PJTV alum Steven Crowder.)

MORE QUESTIONS FOR REP. TLAIB: When will you speak out against this obvious human rights violation being committed by the Palestinian Authority? Not that any MSM reporters have the guts to ask: she hates Trump, they hate Trump, and well, you know, priorities…

ILHAN OMAR WITHDRAWS SUPPORT FROM BILL TO SAVE THE EARTH AFTER LEARNING THAT’S WHERE ISRAEL IS.

I’m so old, I can remember when the Babylon Bee was still satire, before it transformed itself into America’s paper of record.

A FAILURE OF INTERSECTIONALITY: Palestinian Authority bans LGBTQ activities in West Bank.

PREFERENCE CASCADE: In blue Seattle, Trump supporters are starting to come out of hiding. “So what, you may be saying, Trump’s not going to win out here anyway. True. But when your fundraising is breaking records, it indicates an intense passion for the candidate, as it did for Bernie Sanders. That counts for a ton in politics — and likely means Trump is stronger right now than his dismal polls indicate.”

His polls aren’t dismal. He has 51% approval.

#TIMESUP: Katy Perry accused of sexual harassment by a second person.

Related: If you’re a feminist, you have to take the allegations against Katy Perry seriously. Apparently, no one is a feminist. “If Josh Kloss was a woman and Katy Perry was a man, his accusations would be all over the news and Perry would be off the radio. But that’s not the case.”

UM: Dem rep: I’m not surprised to see Trump taking sides against peaceful protesters like … Antifa. “What’s odd, and ominous, about this more ambitious spin from freshman Rep. Deb Haaland is that it whitewashes violence by Antifa *while also* implicitly justifying it.”

Standard practice with Dems. Plus: “We shouldn’t be surprised. If the country is far enough along into its Weimar period to have gangs of ideologues swinging at each other in the streets, it’s far enough along to have members of the legislature defending their own side’s gang.”

As I’ve said before, you don’t get Hitler because of Hitler — there are always potential Hitlers hanging around. You get Hitler because of Weimar, and you get Weimar because the people in charge of maintaining liberal democracy are too weak and corrupt to do the job. And there are a lot of those now, not exclusively in the Democratic Party. Related item here.

Flashback: Lubricating the Slippery Slope: The Intellectual Astroglide of the Elite.

InstaPundit is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.