The comments by Rouhani and Salehi parallel those made last month by Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, who was quoted in Iranian media saying that Iran had “succeeded to make operational the most advanced centrifuges that were just an idea at the time of approving the [nuclear deal].”
“Zarif has, in a sense, been able to generate a fundamental lie about this whole deal, that somehow these centrifuges make economic sense for a civil program,” said Albright.
Florida senator Marco Rubio told TWS that such statements about advanced centrifuge development cement long-standing concerns about the nuclear deal.
“A bipartisan majority of Republicans and some Democrats in Congress warned President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran would enrich the radical regime and ultimately bring it closer to acquiring nuclear weapons, and that is exactly what is happening,” Rubio said.
Rubio is a co-sponsor of legislation introduced in March that slaps sanctions on Iran over its non-nuclear illicit activities. The bill has the backing of several pro-Iran deal Democrats.
The Iranians may be making progress on centrifuges beyond what’s allowed under the nuclear deal, in part through a so-called “quality assurance” loophole that Iran is exploiting to test centrifuges, Albright said.
“You have this undercurrent where Iran is either violating the deal, it’s inconsistent with the deal, or it’s just pushing the envelope,” he said.
The Obama administration was not willing to rebuff Iran’s inconsistencies with or violations of the deal, Albright added. “There needs to be a really hard push back,” he said. “I’m hoping that the Trump administration will do that, because the Obama administration just refused.”
Posted at by Stephen Green on Apr 19, 2017 at 8:33 am Link
I’M OLD ENOUGH TO REMEMBER WHEN PRESIDENT OBAMA TOLD US WE COULDN’T DRILL OUR WAY OUT OF OUR ENERGY PROBLEMS: US Shale Grows Stronger.
Rigs aren’t a perfect metric for measuring the health of the oil industry. When oil prices were high, companies were expansive in their shale ambitions and the rig count ballooned accordingly. Following the crude price collapse, those same firms shut down their least-productive and least-profitable wells, leaving behind the gushers and the real money-makers. While the rig count fell from more than 1,600 down below 400, U.S. oil production dipped just 200,000 barrels per day over that time period.
That said, it’s fair to say that the rig count today, coming off the back of a bearish time in the oil market, is a more accurate measure of how well the U.S. shale industry is doing. The fact, then, that it added 11 rigs in the past week is confirmation of something we’ve been watching carefully in recent months: Shale is booming once again, and the U.S. energy outlook is looking awfully bright.
Posted at by Glenn Reynolds on Apr 16, 2017 at 10:30 am Link
“When the Democrats return to the majority and capture the presidency ― which we will, that day is going to arrive ― we will restore the 60-vote margin,” Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) told MSNBC on Monday. “We will ensure that for the Supreme Court, there is that special margin that any candidate has to reach, because that is essential to ensuring that our country has a confidence in people who are nominated, rather than just someone who passes a litmus test.”
This isn’t what the Democrat base wants to hear before winning back the majority, and it isn’t how the Democrat base expects to exact its revenge after winning back the majority, and it certainly isn’t what the Democrat base wanted when it forced Chuck Schumer into the ill-advised Gorsuch filibuster.
Posted at by Stephen Green on Apr 11, 2017 at 8:28 am Link
In general, it is the FBI that conducts investigations that bear on American citizens suspected of committing crimes or of acting as agents of foreign powers. In the matter of alleged Russian meddling, the investigative camp also includes the CIA and the NSA. All three agencies conducted a probe and issued a joint report in January. That was after Obama, despite having previously acknowledged that the Russian activity was inconsequential, suddenly made a great show of ordering an inquiry and issuing sanctions.
Consequently, if unmasking was relevant to the Russia investigation, it would have been done by those three agencies. And if it had been critical to know the identities of Americans caught up in other foreign intelligence efforts, the agencies that collect the information and conduct investigations would have unmasked it. Because they are the agencies that collect and refine intelligence “products” for the rest of the “intelligence community,” they are responsible for any unmasking; and they do it under “minimization” standards that FBI Director James Comey, in recent congressional testimony, described as “obsessive” in their determination to protect the identities and privacy of Americans.
Understand: There would have been no intelligence need for Susan Rice to ask for identities to be unmasked. If there had been a real need to reveal the identities — an intelligence need based on American interests — the unmasking would have been done by the investigating agencies.
The national-security adviser is not an investigator. She is a White House staffer. The president’s staff is a consumer of intelligence, not a generator or collector of it. If Susan Rice was unmasking Americans, it was not to fulfill an intelligence need based on American interests; it was to fulfill a political desire based on Democratic-party interests.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell guaranteed Tuesday that there will not be an effort to change the debate rules surrounding legislation, even as senators are hurtling towards a rule change on Supreme Court nominees.
“There’s no sentiment to change the legislative filibuster,” the Kentucky Republican told reporters at his weekly press conference. Asked if he was committing to not changing the rules to end debate on legislation while he is the GOP leader, McConnell said, “Correct.”
Requiring 60 votes to invoke cloture, or end debate, on legislation is a unique characteristic of the Senate, which has the effect of requiring some bipartisan support or agreement to move legislation forward. Senators often argue that changing the protocol for cutting off debate — the cloture rule — would fundamentally alter the nature of the chamber.
McConnell has signaled he is prepared to change the cloture rule relating to Supreme Court nominations so that President Donald Trump’s high court nominee, Judge Neil Gorsuch, can advance by a simple majority vote. This week McConnell is expected to employ the so-called nuclear option and effectively change the Senate rules by a majority vote, rather than two-thirds of the senators who are present and voting.
But Sen. John McCain, who had pushed against previous uses of the nuclear option, was not terribly optimistic about the legislative filibuster’s future.
“I can’t say with confidence, and I’m afraid we’re on a slippery slope,” the Arizona Republican said. “Benjamin Franklin somewhere is turning over because he’s the one that advocated for the role of the Senate.”
Franklin wasn’t talking about the filibuster. And I’m positive that our next Senate Majority Leader, Kamala Harris, won’t be so generous. We no longer have the trust, thanks to Harry Reid, to believe that Democrats won’t undo the filibuster the next time they’re in the majority. So the main question is, are the Republicans suckers?
Also, if McCain believes that eliminating the filibuster means we effectively have a unicameral legislature, well . . . he’s just as dumb as I think he is.
Posted at by Glenn Reynolds on Apr 05, 2017 at 8:00 am Link
Peter de Keizer, a molecular geneticist at Erasmus University, reports in the journal Cell that he and his colleagues have developed a technique that kills off senescent cells. Our bodies have two ways of preventing damaged cells from becoming cancerous: kill them off, or cause them to cease replication and thus become senescent. Senescent cells accumulate as we grow older, secreting inflammatory substances that harm neighboring cells and contribute to many age-related diseases, including atherosclerorsis and diabetes.
De Keizer and his colleagues have developed a treatment in mice that selectively kills senescent cells while leaving healthy normal cells alone. They discovered that old or damaged cells become senescent rather than die when the FOXO4 protein binds to the tumor suppressor gene p53. They have designed another protein that interferes with the ability of FOXO4 to halt p53 from causing cells to die.
De Keizer’s team administered the new protein to both fast-aging and normally aged mice. The treatment worked as they had hoped, jumpstarting the ability of p53 to make senescent cells commit suicide. Eliminating senescent cells restored stamina, fur density, and kidney function in both strains of mice. The researchers report that they are continuing to study the rodents to see if the treatment extends their lifespans. They plan to try the treatment to stop brain cancer in human beings, but the ultimate goal is to treat aging as a disease. “Maybe when you get to 65 you’ll go every five years for your anti-senescence shot in the clinic. You’ll go for your rejuvenation shot,” de Keizer told the Tech Times.
In the same week, another group of Harvard researchers led by molecular biologist David Sinclair reported in Science about experiments in mice that thwart DNA damage associated with aging and exposure to radiation. As we age, our cells lose their ability to repair the damage to the DNA that makes up our genes. The repair process is orchestrated by the SIRT1 and PARP1 proteins. Both proteins consume the ubiquitous coenzyme nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) to operate. As we grow older, the amount of NAD in our cells declines, thus allowing another protein, DBC1, to inhibit the DNA repair activity of both SIRT1 and PARP1.
I’m taking Niagen, which contains the NAD precursor nicotinamide riboside. How well does it work? I have no side effects that I can identify, and my workouts seem to have been more productive since I started taking it, but really there’s no way to tell if it’s slowing aging or not.
Posted at by Glenn Reynolds on Apr 02, 2017 at 7:00 am Link
Trump told the Post that he first thought of it after the Republican loss in the 2012 presidential election. Republicans were surprised at the loss, having thought their nominee Mitt Romney could have beat President Barack Obama, and Trump was considering how he could brand a run for president as a revival of the party and the country.
“As soon as the loss took place, I said, ‘I’ll tell you what, assuming I’m in a good position, assuming all of the things that you have to assume, which are many, I’m going to run next time,'” he told the Post. “And I sat back and I said, ‘What would be a good expression? And I said, let’s do this.'”
Trump outlined his thought process to the Post: “I said, ‘We’ll make America great.’ And I had started off ‘We Will Make America Great.’ That was my first idea, but I didn’t like it. And then all of a sudden it was going to be ‘Make America Great.’ But that didn’t work because that was a slight to America because that means it was never great before. And it has been great before.”
He continued: “So I said, ‘Make America Great Again.’ I said, ‘That is so good.’ I wrote it down. I went to my lawyers. I have a lot of lawyers in-house. We have many lawyers. I have got guys that handle this stuff. I said, ‘See if you can have this registered and trademarked.'”
One of the designers of the Hillary H-logo was Michael Bierut, who was featured in the (actually really fascinating) film Helvetica, released in 2007 to celebrate the ubiquitous font’s 50th anniversary. When I wrote a long post on the movie in 2010, I dubbed it “Liberal Fascism: The Font,” due to how seamlessly the Helvetica font unites the world of business and government into a seamless corporatist whole.
He didn’t know his logo had been chosen by Clinton, however, until he saw it in Clinton’s official launch video in April.
“What we had been working on in secret was suddenly public,” Bierut wrote. “It was really happening.”
The majority of the reviews were negative, which was difficult for Bierut to deal with, but he was told by the campaign to “adopt a no-comment policy about the logo.”
Though he was unable to defend the logo publicly, he believes that “the world noticed” how great it actually was as the campaign went on and its versatility became known.
Bierut also thought that Donald Trump’s visual campaign was awful—”Bad typography; amateurish design; haphazard, inconsistent, downright ugly communications”—and that gave him added confidence as he settled into the Clinton campaign’s election night victory party in New York City.
“It was going to be the most thrilling night of my life,” Bierut wrote. “As I walked the darkening streets of midtown Manhattan toward Jacob Javits Convention Center, from blocks away I could glimpse an enormous image on the JumboTron over its main entrance, a forward-pointing arrow superimposed on a letter H.”
The night, of course, did not go as planned.
Heh.™ In the Helvetica movie, there’s a clip of Bierut that to date as received 94,000 views on YouTube, as it neatly summarizes both the film and its subject matter’s history, which is quite a double-edged sword:
The pre-war socialist modernists of Weimar Germany’s Bauhaus and Holland’s De Stijl produced some genuinely impressive graphic design and architecture, but as with political correctness, another prewar German product that flourished in America after WWII, by the 1960s, architects and designers were trapped by the soul-crushing limitations of its rules: only Mies van der Rohe steel and glass boxes were considered acceptable architectural designs, and only Helvetica-based logos were considered acceptable graphic design, destroying much Americana and great design in their wake.
Just as Pauline Kael infamously described Nixon voters as “outside my ken,” no wonder Bierut couldn’t imagine being defeated by “Bad typography; amateurish design; haphazard, inconsistent, downright ugly communications” – everything terrible except a slogan that genuinely resonated with the American people exhausted after eight years of Obama and dreading another four of the same.
And speaking of graphic design and Obama, lest you think I’m reflexively bashing the left, compare Hillary’s soulless H with the iconography of the 2008 Obama campaign. The Obama “O” logo’s brilliant graphic design – the sun rising, the red, white and blue “Morning in America” symbolism all inside Obama’s namesake initial — leaves Hillary’s clunky H in the dust, as PJM’s own Bill Whittle explained in 2009:
Posted at by Ed Driscoll on Mar 30, 2017 at 10:27 pm Link
What is Mike Pence’s alleged “medieval vision?” As Parker reported, “In 2002, Mike Pence told the Hill that he never eats alone with a woman other than his wife and that he won’t attend events featuring alcohol without her by his side, either.”
Perhaps, following the major scandal of President Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky, Pence decided to avoid any appearance of impropriety or infidelity, no matter how seemingly insignificant. Mike Pence had served in Congress for years, and had major political ambitions. He did end up becoming governor of Indiana and vice president to boot.
Pence and his wife (not to mention his campaign manager or chief of staff) may have set ground rules to make certain no enterprising photographer could snap a picture intended as blackmail later on — or a juicy story on a left-wing website. Stranger things have happened.
But Social Justice Warriors on Twitter had a different interpretation — Pence’s personal self-limitations are … the right-wing version of Sharia law!
Xeni Jardin, who I’ve enjoyed reading on occasion in the past, doesn’t come off well in this piece.
Read the whole thing.
Posted at by Stephen Green on Mar 30, 2017 at 2:06 pm Link
Appearing on MSNBC’s 3 p.m. ET hour on Tuesday under the guise of being a “presidential historian,” left-wing pundit Douglas Brinkley accused President Trump and his associates – without evidence – of committing an act of “treason.” He went on rant that the President’s new executive order rolling back onerous Obama-era environmental regulations was “an assault on the public lands.”
Anchor Kate Snow started off the discussion by inviting Brinkley to elaborate on recent comments he made to the Washington Post about the administration betraying the country: “You told the Washington Post last week that, quote, ‘There’s a smell of treason in the air,’ when it comes to this [Russia] investigation. Why did you say that and has anything changed about your view in the last week?”
Brinkley’s “not worried” about appearing biased, he tells the New Orleans Times-Picayune in a “wide-ranging interview in the soaring lobby of his Uptown home” published August 27. Sure, he says, “I’m sympathetic to Kerry in his 20s.” And “it’s no secret I think he would make a first-rate president.” And, okay, Brinkley’s “angry” about “false accusations made against Kerry’s military record.” Also, Brinkley cohosted a fundraiser for Kerry in February 2003. Plus which, he spoke at a rally for Kerry in New Orleans this past March. . .
But, hell, “I’m not a partisan” or anything, he points out. “I don’t have some ax to grind against President Bush. I try to be judicial.”
A judicial activist, you might call him.
Heh. So Trump is merely razing Obama’s legacy in a fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, you might say. In 2012, Brinkley wrote a fascinating biography of fellow lefty Walter Cronkite, in which he portrayed Mr. “That’s The Way It Is” as being a less than objective “just the facts, ma’am” journalist, who famously veered from reading the news to injecting his (invariably partisan Democrat) opinion on it during numerous occasions, not least of which were viciously attacking Barry Goldwater in ’64, declaring Vietnam unwinnable in ’68, and becoming an enviro-crank just in time for the first “Earth Day” in 1970, when the Gleichschaltung demanded that all good lefties embrace radical environmentalism and its related doomsday talk. (Here’s a look at some of the zanier predictions from the first Earth Day.)
In Cronkite, Brinkley noted:
Republicans had always liked the idea that Cronkite, even if liberal leaning, was pulling for the United States to whip the Soviets in the space race. But Nixon was now in the White House, and Cronkite’s promotion of the 1970s as the Decade of the Environment was a slap at petroleum companies, forest product industries, auto companies, and corporations seeking minerals. All his heroes in Eye on the World— Senator Ed Muskie (D-Maine), Dr. Barry Commoner, biologist Dr. Paul Ehrlich, and consumer activist Ralph Nader— were left-of-center political figures.
The Big Four villains of Eye on the World were Dow Chemical, the Florida Power & Light Company, Consolidated Edison, and Chevron Oil Company. It seemed that Union Carbide caught a break for sponsoring The Twenty-First Century for so long, as Cronkite took aim squarely at corporate polluters. With uncanny prescience, he scolded them for the damage carbon dioxide was causing the planet’s health. Long before Al Gore made global warming household words in his 2006 Academy Award– winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth, Cronkite sounded the alarm on CBS Evening News and in Eye on the World. “Every year American power plants pour more than 800 million tons of carbon dioxide into the skies,” Cronkite warned. “Some scientists suspect that carbon dioxide can turn the planet into a kind of greenhouse, sealing in heat so that temperatures gradually rise until the polar icecaps melt and a new deluge covers the lands of the earth.”
“Some meteorologists fear that dust is already filtering out too much sunlight, so that the world’s temperature already has started down toward a new ice age. And that pattern repeats: a science so far behind technology that it can’t predict which of two opposite catastrophes will occur.”
“Unexpectedly,” Brinkey’s book also doesn’t reference Cronkite’s prediction of global cooling, which featured in this memorable 1972 segment:
Five years later, Howard K. Smith, Cronkite’s rival at ABC was similarly predicting that “an ice age is returning to the Earth, with glaciers down to the Mason-Dixon line and freezing temperatures south of that.”
With nearly a half-century of enviro-doomsday crankery and not-so-final countdowns, no wonder Trump is taking a much more balanced approach between man, nature, and the economy. If this be treason, make the most of it – in much the same fashion as another legendary environmentalist, Genghis Khan himself.
Posted at by Ed Driscoll on Mar 29, 2017 at 5:26 pm Link
“They are a highly respected couple, and Schumer made a scene, yelling, ‘She voted for Trump!’ The Califanos left the restaurant, but Schumer followed them outside.” On the sidewalk, Schumer carried on with his fantastical filibuster: “ ‘How could you vote for Trump? He’s a liar!’ He kept repeating, ‘He’s a liar!’ ”
Hilary confirmed the confrontation, telling Page Six, “Sen. Schumer was really rude . . . He’s our senator, and I don’t really like him. Yes, I voted for Trump. Schumer joined us outside and he told me Trump was a liar. I should have told him that Hillary Clinton was a liar, but I was so surprised I didn’t say anything.”
Joe Califano was my boss back at Dewey Ballantine. I’m glad to hear he’s doing well, though the Joe I remember probably wouldn’t have let some punk Senator yell at his wife. And good for Hilary.
But this is pretty much proof that Trump is living rent-free in the heads of the Democratic leadership. His victory really did cause a party-wide nervous breakdown.
UPDATE: From the comments: “Clearly this shows that the Senator from New York may be losing his ability to direct the affairs of state!”
Plus: “People who are confident do not do that in public.” True.
Posted at by Glenn Reynolds on Mar 28, 2017 at 8:27 am Link
The last few years have been difficult for anyone in the business of selling oil, as prices tumbled from over $110 per barrel to a nadir of just $27, before rebounding to the middle ground they reside in today, at roughly $50 per barrel. Bargain crude has forced state producers like Russia or OPEC’s members to cut budgets in an attempt to stop the bleeding, and it’s forced many private firms—especially those operating in relatively high areas like shale—out of business.
But no supplier has been harder hit by the collapse of oil prices than Saudi Arabia. Riyadh has had to dip into its sovereign wealth fund to help cover the budget deficit bargain crude has brought about, and it’s also had to do the heavy lifting for the production cut plan OPEC and 11 other petrostates agreed to adhere to during the first six months of this year. That combination—lower production and lower prices—has been nothing less than vicious to the Saudis. . . .
Perhaps it’s not surprising that Riyadh would be the one most unduly affected by cheap crude. After all, the Saudis are and will remain for the foreseeable future the world’s biggest oil power. But the kingdom’s decision to agree to production cuts—and to shoulder the heaviest burden of those cuts, as well—is having something of a self defeating effect. As prices rise, so too do the prospects of struggling shale producers, which means that the Saudis are effectively giving valuable market share to their American competitors.
I’m so old I remember when Barack Obama mocked Sarah Palin by saying that we couldn’t drill our way out of our energy problems.
“Whiteness studies” is all the rage these days. My friends who teach U.S. history have told me that this perspective has “completely taken over” studies of American ethnic history. I can’t vouch for that, but I do know that I constantly see people assert, as a matter of “fact,” that Irish, Italian, Jewish and other “ethnic” white American were not considered to be “white” until sometime in the mid-to-late 20th century, vouching for the fact that this understanding of American history has spread widely.
The relevant scholarly literature seems to have started with Noel Ignatiev’s book “How the Irish Became White,” and taken off from there. But what the relevant authors mean by white is ahistorical. They are referring to a stylized, sociological or anthropological understanding of “whiteness,” which means either “fully socially accepted as the equals of Americans of Anglo-Saxon and Germanic stock,” or, in the more politicized version, “an accepted part of the dominant ruling class in the United States.”
Those may be interesting sociological and anthropological angles to pursue, but it has nothing to do with whether the relevant groups were considered to be white.
Here are some objective tests as to whether a group was historically considered “white” in the United States: Were members of the group allowed to go to “whites-only” schools in the South, or otherwise partake of the advantages that accrued to whites under Jim Crow? Were they ever segregated in schools by law, anywhere in the United States, such that “whites” went to one school, and the group in question was relegated to another? When laws banned interracial marriage in many states (not just in the South), if a white Anglo-Saxon wanted to marry a member of the group, would that have been against the law? Some labor unions restricted their membership to whites. Did such unions exclude members of the group in question? Were members of the group ever entirely excluded from being able to immigrate to the United States, or face special bans or restrictions in becoming citizens?
If you use such objective tests, you find that Irish, Jews, Italians and other white ethnics were indeed considered white by law and by custom (as in the case of labor unions). . . .
When I’ve pointed this out to people, they often rejoin that people in the late 19th and early 20th centuries often referred to the “Irish race,” the “Italian race,” the “Jewish race.” That’s true, but they also referred to the “Anglo-Saxon race,” and the “Teutonic race,” the latter two generally considered to be superior. The racist pseudo-science of the day divided Europeans into various races by nationality or perceived nationality, and often created a hierarchy among those groups. But that was a racist hierarchy within the white group, not evidence that these groups weren’t considered to be white. This point is often obscured by the whiteness studies crowd, because racism within a white hierarchy conflicts with their understanding of American racism solely being about “whiteness.”
I’m deeply suspicious of the “whiteness studies” movement.
Posted at by Glenn Reynolds on Mar 23, 2017 at 7:00 am Link
I’m stronger than my dad ever was — he didn’t lift — but less otherwise athletic, since he went to college on a basketball scholarship, and my hoop skills are, well, pathetic. (I can shoot pretty well, but I’m not very good as a dribbler.) But I’m not a millennial. And my grip strength is way, way better than the Insta-wife’s. So I’ve got that going for me, which is nice.
Posted at by Glenn Reynolds on Mar 22, 2017 at 11:09 pm Link
It was experts that gave us the financial crisis, it was experts that gave us the Middle East meltdown, it was experts who gave us the obesity epidemic and the opioid crisis. And yet the experts pay no price for their failures, and cling bitterly to their credentials and self-esteem, while claiming that the problem lies in the anti-intellectualism of ordinary citizens.
UPDATE: These lines of David Mamet’s from The Verdict say it well. “You guys, you’re all the same. The doctors at the hospital, you, it’s always what I’m gonna do for you. And then you screw up and it’s ‘Uh, we did the best that we could, I’m dreadfully sorry.’ And people like us live with your mistakes.”
Posted at by Glenn Reynolds on Mar 18, 2017 at 9:00 pm Link
MAKE THE PUNISHMENT FIT THE CRIME: Charles Murray sympathizes with the difficulty facing Middlebury in disciplining the students who disrupted his speech. The ones who physically assaulted him and a Middlebury professor should be expelled, of course, but what about all the ones whose chanting prevented him from speaking? “We’re talking about violations that involve a few hundred students,” Murray says, noting that a “serious tutelary response” would be more appropriate than expulsion.
Here’s my suggestion: Summer school. Require them to take (and pass) a special course this summer devoted to the history of censorship and free speech. The 20th-century portion can delve into the role of university students as the vanguard of the Chinese Cultural Revolution and the fascist movements of the 1920s. (The reading list should definitely include Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism.)
One potential problem: Who will teach the class? Who will want to this face this mob regularly in a lecture hall? But I’m sure the professors at Heterodox Academy could lend a hand.
Posted at by John Tierney on Mar 16, 2017 at 10:14 am Link
THE TELEVISION WILL NOT BE REVOLUTIONIZED:
I’ve begged them to follow up and document the “Real News Media’s” other obsessive clickbait beat — blogging about what Stephen Colbert or Seth Meyers or John Oliver said that last night, and which persons were SHREDDED during these momentous news events of rich white guys talking to a television camera.
I’m tellin’ ya, this now seems to be 80% of their net output — clips of tv clowns telling jokes.
* * * * * * * *
You know, there was a time, say 20 or 30 years ago, when someone belonging to the media class might have been flattered to be insulted as “one of those pointy-headed intellectuals who always has his nose stuck firmly in a book.”
Well — I’d say there’s very little chance of our current media class being slurred like that any longer. I literally never hear these guys talking about a book.
What’s the one book you saw them talking about this last year? Yes, they did talk about one. Hillbilly Elegy. They talked about it for two weeks, and it was all pretty clear they just read the same excerpt from a blog.
Then it was right back to nonstop Stephen Colbert.
Even our alleged intellctual genius of a former president never, and I mean never, talked about books. What he talked about was ESPN’s Sports Center, his brackets, Homeland and Game of Thrones.
The New York Times devotes a long article, with video clips, to last night’s Saturday Night Live show. It appears that the entire program was devoted to attacking President Trump, or members of his administration or family.
* * * * * * * *
So why is a bad Democratic Party comedy show, which has attacked Republicans in the same boring way for 40 years, taken seriously as news? That isn’t hard to figure out. The Times and the AP would like to engage in the same vicious smears that the “comedians” of Saturday Night Live do, but they have to maintain some pretense of being news outlets rather than propaganda machines. The solution? Enthusiastic coverage of the left-wing “comedy” show with blow-by-blow repetition of its pro-Democratic Party smears.
That may or may not be effective–I can hardly believe that it is–but it certainly isn’t news, except of the fake variety.
Once the world’s most-wanted fugitive, the political extremist known as Carlos the Jackal appeared in a French court Monday for a deadly 1974 attack against a Paris shopping arcade, a trial that victims’ families awaited for decades.
The Venezuelan-born Ilich Ramirez Sanchez is accused of throwing a hand grenade from a mezzanine restaurant onto a shopping area in the French capital’s Latin Quarter. Two people were killed and 34 injured at the trendy Drugstore Publicis.
Known worldwide as Carlos, the 67-year-old is already serving a life sentence in France for a series of murders and attacks he has been convicted of perpetrating or organizing in the country on behalf of the Palestinian cause or communist revolution in the 1970s and ’80s.
Asked to state his profession before the court, he called himself a “professional revolutionary,” and said “I’m doing fine” in prison – after more than 20 years behind bars.
If convicted of first-degree murders in the trial, which lasts through March 31, he could get a third life sentence.
Professional revolutionary? Was Soros paying him way back then?
MORE–and very good:
Prosecutor Remi Crosson du Cormier argued that the trial remains relevant today. “Democracy has two principal enemies – totalitarianism, and terrorism,” he said, suggesting that Carlos is among “those who threaten democracy by their actions.”
Yeah, Carlos is doing time. But the jerk should have been put to death.
Alas. But. He escaped the noose. See, at one time –when Marxism was the future– Carlos had a minor league Che Guevera cult following among people who claimed they were very smart and knew the future.
I hope we eventually jack a lot of these leftists who think they got away with it because they had the leftist media behind them. Bill Ayers, for example. What would Ayers be? Ah — here’s a stab at it. Rich Kid Pretend Revolutionary Murdering Fellow Americans.
Posted at by Austin Bay on Mar 13, 2017 at 9:55 pm Link
Late-night news satire show “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” is apologizing for including a young man with brain cancer in a segment about all the “Nazi haircuts” at the annual Conservative Political Actional Conference.
The “Wither Conservatism” segment — which aired Wednesday —featured a montage of CPAC attendees sporting similar “Nazi haircuts.” One of those included was Kyle Coddington, a college student a contributor for OUTSET magazine.
Afterwards, a Twitter user claiming to be Coddington’s sister tweeted at host Samantha Bee that they were making fun of someone with stage 4 cancer. He reportedly had just finished getting his first round of chemotherapy treatment just before the CPAC conference late last month.
I’m old enough to remember when late-night comedians weren’t just Democratic operatives with punchlines.
Posted at by Glenn Reynolds on Mar 10, 2017 at 8:30 am Link
I’m so old, I can remember when the notion of CNN anchors devouring the brains of their viewers was only a metaphor. Not to mention, I can remember when Total Coelo promised me that cannibalism would taste much better. (Yet another myth painfully destroyed by Ted Turner’s demon spawn.)
As NewsBustersquips on Twitter, “Can’t wait for [CNN spokesman/apologist Brian Stelter] to address the media ethics of human brain-eating on a CNN documentary series.”
Posted at by Ed Driscoll on Mar 09, 2017 at 4:14 pm Link
WHAT GOOD IS THE WASHINGTON POST’S GLOBAL WARMING COVERAGE, IF IT CAN’T EVEN CONVINCE ITS BOSS TO CHANGE HIS WARMIST WAYS?
Shot: The electoral college is thwarting our ability to battle global warming.
As Jonah Goldberg sardonically quipped when the smash Pixar film Cars debuted a decade ago, “The No. 1 movie in America today is a fun, family-friendly romp of a cartoon about sending Jews to the gas chamber:”
It’s actually the movie “Cars” by Pixar. But according to some people, there’s not much difference. Indeed, the No. 1 movie in the hearts of liberals and environmentalists is “An Inconvenient Truth,” starring Al Gore, a man who believes that the threat posed by the internal combustion engine is not only the gravest peril mankind faces, but that defeating it is a moral imperative equal to stopping the Holocaust.
* * * * * * * *
Al Gore and his confreres argue time and again that Americans must change their habits and culture to avoid the ecological holocaust. Chief among these changes is for Americans to give up their addiction to driving or driving “unnecessarily.” Surely a film that teaches young children to love cars is a great moral crime given the supposed moral stakes. Similarly, why isn’t Gore – or anybody else in the Democratic Party – denouncing NASCAR? If global warming is the moral equivalent of the Holocaust, aren’t NASCAR races the moral equivalent of corporate-sponsored, televised neo-Nazi rallies? NASCAR creates greenhouse gasses for pure entertainment. Millions of people drive to these races, poisoning the atmosphere, to watch grown men poison the atmosphere even more. Where is the condemnation?
I know I’ll hear from all sorts of angry readers for taking Gore’s position to the extreme. But this has it backwards. I’m merely taking Gore’s extreme position seriously.
To paraphrase Glenn Reynolds, I’d be much more willing to believe the people who tell me that global warming is a crisis, when they’re able to convince their bosses that it’s a crisis, first. And based on Amazon’s latest video offering – and the massive air-conditioned server farms that house it, not to mention the giant warehouses and fleets of aircraft and trucks that deliver Bezos’ physical product – Bezos could well strike many as that dreaded figure on the left: the carbon-wastrel “climate skeptic.” At a minimum, unlike Al Gore, he appears to believe that global warming is no “Ecological Kristallnacht.”
Posted at by Ed Driscoll on Mar 08, 2017 at 5:14 pm Link
Many were shocked to find that they couldn’t seem to find in Jonathan Gordon what they had admired in Hillary Clinton—or that Brenda King’s clever tactics seemed to shine in moments where they’d remembered Donald Trump flailing or lashing out. For those Clinton voters trying to make sense of the loss, it was by turns bewildering and instructive, raising as many questions about gender performance and effects of sexism as it answered. . . .
We heard a lot of “now I understand how this happened”—meaning how Trump won the election. People got upset. There was a guy two rows in front of me who was literally holding his head in his hands, and the person with him was rubbing his back. The simplicity of Trump’s message became easier for people to hear when it was coming from a woman—that was a theme. One person said, “I’m just so struck by how precise Trump’s technique is.” Another—a musical theater composer, actually—said that Trump created “hummable lyrics,” while Clinton talked a lot, and everything she was was true and factual, but there was no “hook” to it. Another theme was about not liking either candidate—you know, “I wouldn’t vote for either one.” Someone said that Jonathan Gordon [the male Hillary Clinton] was “really punchable” because of all the smiling. And a lot of people were just very surprised by the way it upended their expectations about what they thought they would feel or experience. There was someone who described Brenda King [the female Donald Trump] as his Jewish aunt who would take care of him, even though he might not like his aunt. Someone else described her as the middle school principal who you don’t like, but you know is doing good things for you. . . .
I remember turning to Maria at one point in the rehearsals and saying, “I kind of want to have a beer with her!” The majority of my extended family voted for Trump. In some ways, I developed empathy for people who voted for him by doing this project, which is not what I was expecting. I expected it to make me more angry at them, but it gave me an understanding of what they might have heard or experienced when he spoke.
So switching genders basically allowed Democrats to see clearly.
Posted at by Glenn Reynolds on Mar 06, 2017 at 6:50 pm Link
A Russian pol is proposing that “Soccer hooliganism” be made a spectator sport. And the AP –ever in search of click bait — is reporting it. I’d say “you can’t make this stuff up” but of course you could manufacture it. In fact, cable tv more or less treats hooligan violence as a sport, at least when Red Fascists beat up conservatives.
A Russian lawmaker has proposed an unorthodox solution to the country’s problems with soccer hooliganism ahead of next year’s World Cup – legalize it and make it a spectator sport.
The Rooski dude’s raison d’etre for staging gang fights as a sport:
Organized groups of Russian fans, many with martial arts training, fought English fans on the streets of Marseille during last year’s European Championship.
Better Than Snopes and The Washington Post Fact Check: This is sensationalist spout-off that approaches fake news.
Like, who in the heck is dumb enough to square off with British football rowdies?…Oh, wait…Russian football rowdies…
Actually, the Russian politico could be a cable tv producer. He wants to stage a “draka,” the Russian word for fight.
“…20 fighters on each side, unarmed, in an arena.”
Hold it. I’m being too hard on this guy. If he’d ginned up this concept six months ago Obama would’ve wiretapped him. By exhibiting showmanship of this caliber ole Barack would’ve been convinced he got the idea from Trump.
This is what Hollywood calls blockbuster concept. We all know what’ll happen. The Russians will stack their rowdies with Spetsnaz and the Brits will stack their rowdies with Special Air Service (SAS) commandos. War would once again become a contest of tribal champions. Stay tuned!
The U.S. shale boom is back and better than ever. After weathering a collapse in crude prices that saw the value of a barrel of oil drop from more than $110 in June 2014 down below $30 in January 2016, American fracking firms (the ones that survived, that is) are looking fit once again. As Bloomberg reports, these companies are already taking advantage of a petrostate production cut that ceded valuable market share and pushed oil prices back above $50 per barrel. . . .
So now, nearly three years after a global glut sent oil prices into a tailspin and American oil producers to their nearest lenders, U.S. oil production is once again floating above 9 million bpd. And as positive as this is for both the American economy and our country’s energy security, it’s a major threat to oil-soaked states both inside and out of OPEC. Those petrostates banded together late last year to finally agree on a production cut, and they managed to induce a price rebound of roughly $10 per barrel as a result. Now, however, their worst fears are being realized: U.S. shale producers are seizing the opportunity and bringing rigs out of retirement.
I’m beginning to wonder if that Obama fellow knew what he was talking about.
Posted at by Glenn Reynolds on Mar 05, 2017 at 10:30 am Link
Posted at by Glenn Reynolds on Mar 03, 2017 at 2:59 pm Link
USEFUL, BUT STILL SAD. Adulting School Teaches Young Adults Grown-Up Skills. “Get your car’s oil changed? That’s adulting. Cook dinner instead of order takeout? That’s adulting. And now a new school in Maine, called the Adulting School, is dedicated to teaching skills like these to fledgling adults so they can become successful grown-ups. The school offers private social media groups and live events at local bars and restaurants. At these events, attendees can learn skills like how to network as a pro or how to fold a fitted sheet. Carly Bouchard, 29, sat among a couple of dozen young adults sipping drinks at a Portland restaurant and hoping to uncover their true financial self. ‘I’m a financial cripple,’ Bouchard said. Although she went to business school, Bouchard said, she now needs the Adulting School.”
At 29. My mom had 3 kids and ran a household in Germany — cooking, cleaning, shopping, learning the language — by that age.
Posted at by Glenn Reynolds on Mar 02, 2017 at 9:00 pm Link
America’s crude trade balance is changing. On the import front, the decision by petrostates to cut production (with the intention of erasing a global oil glut to help induce a price rebound) is expected to reduce the amount of oil the U.S. buys from Saudi Arabia and Iraq. Those OPEC members have been constraining output since the beginning of the year, but because it takes roughly six weeks to ship crude from the Middle East to the Americas, we haven’t yet started to see a reduction in supplies from the region.
Now, however, analysts are expecting Saudi and Iraqi imports to start declining as those cuts start to make American oil more attractive to U.S. refiners than their Middle East competitors. . . .
Of course, U.S. oil production has a pivotal role to play in all of this. The shale revolution was the chief reason behind the market oversupply that necessitated these petrostate cuts in the first place, and our rising oil output isn’t just changing how we’re buying crude, it’s also changing how we’re selling it. As Bloomberg reports, our exports are surging to a 24-year high.
I’m old enough to remember when President Obama mocked Sarah Palin by saying we couldn’t drill our way out of our energy shortage.
Posted at by Glenn Reynolds on Feb 26, 2017 at 10:30 am Link
I attended a brunch in the Oakland Hills this morning and, other than me and the children under the age of five, there was not a single person who had not voted for President Obama. Someone asked me what folks thought of the mortgage bailout and while my answer was predictable, the level of distaste for it was enormous. This included a couple (each a state worker) I know to be underwater on their mortgage. “We’re paying our mortgage because we agreed to do it. But maybe we should stop.” was what that couple said and most seemed to agree. A crowd of state workers, college professors, practicing psychologists and the like in up-rent, deep blue Oakland (the precinct went 254-37 Obama over McCain) – and they all thought it was crap.
I think a lot of people feel this way.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Joshua Dixon writes:
I had my “something in the air” moment this weekend.
My father-in-law, a life-long Minnesota Democrat, visited our house for the first time since the election. When he walked into the kitchen he looked sick. After greeting the family, he hesitated and said, “The Democrats are doing everything they can to ruin this country. My grandchildren won’t live long enough to pay off that stimulus bill. I may as well become a Republican, because there’s not going to be another Democrat elected to national office while I’m alive.”
It’s one thing to read blogs or watch videos about a supposed rebellion building among the population. It’s something else to see an old man you’ve known and respected for years be heartsick and broken from the actions of a party he’s supported his whole life.
Well, heartsick, maybe. But instead of “broken,” suggest he try “determined to fix things.” And, you know, it wouldn’t take a lot of Congressional Democrats changing their minds to make a difference.
MORE: Reader Kurtis Fechtmeyer writes:
I can certainly attest to your earlier email report from Oakland Hills, which is where I also live.
The Oakland Hills is the heartland of affluent support for the Obama brand, and yet no one is interested in the least in defending his mortgage plan (or any of his economic policies for that matter).
The problem for the next generation of Republicans if they are to take advantage of this disaffection is: (a) developing simple, yet intelligent, counter-solutions and (b) getting those solutions heard through the left-liberal media fog.
I’m so old, I can remember when “Not My President” was racist.
Posted at by Stephen Green on Feb 21, 2017 at 7:06 am Link
FROM GLENN’S INBOX:
Having listened to Milo’s podcast and the deceptive editing on the video, as well as comparing his statements to what was said “on the air” as it were, I’m more than a little disappointed that Stephen Green fell for a clickbait headline saying “Milo advocates for sex between men and boys.” In my opinion this was not true but if the goal is to remove Milo’s pro-Trump rhetoric from CPAC than it makes sense to use whatever dirty tactics are at hand. (I especially liked the touch where the headline was left standing but Milo’s rebuttal was not quoted, especially the relevant bits where he lists the pedos he’s personally busted and said that the legal age of consent is in the right place.)
I don’t know if anyone else was planning to partake in this but if anyone does I’d be even more disappointed if no one weighed the value of Milo’s words on their own merit. Smear campaigns shouldn’t have a place at Instapundit or any other blog.
Per longstanding Instapundit tradition, the link in a post is the headline as written on the linked site. Those words are Paula Bolyard’s, not mine.
On an issue like this one, sometimes the best thing a blogger can do it provide context. So I gave you three links: First, to the hysteria. Second, to the transcript. Third, to Milo’s defense of himself.
Milo’s money quote, which was edited out of the video, is this:
The law is probably about right, that’s probably roughly the right age. I think it’s probably about okay, but there are certainly people who are capable of giving consent at a younger age, I certainly consider myself to be one of them, people who are sexually active younger. I think it particularly happens in the gay world by the way. In many cases actually those relationships with older men…This is one reason I hate the left. This stupid one size fits all policing of culture. (People speak over each other). This sort of arbitrary and oppressive idea of consent, which totally destroys you know understanding that many of us have. The complexities and subtleties and complicated nature of many relationships. You know, people are messy and complex. In the homosexual world particularly. Some of those relationships between younger boys and older men, the sort of coming of age relationships, the relationships in which those older men help those young boys to discover who they are, and give them security and safety and provide them with love and a reliable and sort of a rock where they can’t speak to their parents. Some of those relationships are the most -”
And this was edited out as well:
“You’re misunderstanding what pedophilia means. Pedophilia is not a sexual attraction to somebody 13-years-old who is sexually mature. Pedophilia is attraction to children who have not reached puberty. Pedophilia is attraction to people who don’t have functioning sex organs yet. Who have not gone through puberty… That’s not what we are talking about. You don’t understand what pedophilia is if you are saying I’m defending it because I’m certainly not.”
“It’s complicated” is usually the correct answer about questions concerning sex. But Milo’s actual position on pedophilia — he’s outed three pederasts in his reporting — doesn’t seem complicated at all.
Posted at by Stephen Green on Feb 20, 2017 at 1:58 pm Link
In an essay that makes Meryl Streep look like an astute political commentator, The New Republic’s social media editor, Sarah Jones, claims “Trump Has Turned the GOP Into the Party of Eugenics.” Well, not literally, Jones concedes in the sixth paragraph. Or at all, it turns out, once you’ve waded through all 2,300 words of increasingly desperate argumentation. . . .
Jones omits a major target of anti-Republican rants: the GOP’s pro-life stance, which is inconvenient for her argument because it entails rejecting tools favored by coercive eugenicists: abortion, euthanasia, and sterilization. She also conspicuously ignores the intimate relationship between eugenics and progressivism. It was progressive icon Oliver Wendell Holmes, after all, who declared that “three generations of imbeciles are enough” in Buck v. Bell, the 1927 Supreme Court decision upholding Virginia’s forced sterilization of “mental defectives” (a decision that was joined by progressive luminary Louis Brandeis). Jones quotes a book about that case in her second paragraph but shows no interest in the ideological roots of the policy Holmes endorsed. She is so intent on exposing metaphorical eugenicists that she overlooks the political philosophy of actual eugenicists.
Jones’s article is an excellent example for progressives who want to alienate allies while discrediting criticism of Trump. She manages to exaggerate the odiousness of the president’s views even while conflating them with those of mainstream Republicans, turning what should be a discussion of Trumpism’s peculiar dangers into a familiar attack on cruel privatizers and budget cutters. If this is what the anti-Trump movement is all about, you can count me out.
Well, it pretty much is. A cynic might conclude that if they had good arguments against Trump, they’d be using them, instead of these. But then again, it is The New Republic.
Posted at by Glenn Reynolds on Feb 16, 2017 at 6:28 pm Link
“It’s hard to tell people who don’t see health care needs in the year ahead that they should be paying premiums and higher deductibles to make the system work for everyone else,” says JoAnn Volk, a senior research professor at Georgetown University’s Center on Health Insurance Reforms. “But the going-in idea is that you’ll need health insurance at some point.”
To 42-year-old Tiffany, one of several people U.S. News spoke with whose last names are being withheld to protect their privacy, the costs of coverage to her and her husband this year were overwhelming: $1,221.20 per month, with an $11,700 deductible. If they were to divorce, they realized, they would qualify for cheaper coverage. Alternatively, Tiffany’s husband, who is self-employed, would need to make an extra $20,000 a year to make up the difference once medication and doctor visits are factored in.
Though the option of ending their 17-year marriage wasn’t truly on the table, to them it accentuated the lack of options they faced this year. The Columbus, Ohio-area residents already had been unhappy with the plan they bought the previous year, finding that it covered few of the services they needed. Their regular medical needs include providing medication for a daughter with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and another with mild asthma.
As a family of five making between $115,000 and $125,000 a year, they did not qualify for subsidies. And doctors in the plans available were far away.
“This year, I just cried,” Tiffany says of the moment she saw how much insurance was going to cost them. “I’m not an emotional person. I was just floored. I completely shut down because there were no options.”
Somebody needs to tell JoAnn Volk that the choice between going broke now for certain, or taking a chance on going broke later, is no choice at all.
Anyway, ObamaCare sticks it to the middle and upper-middle class because, as Willie Sutton is supposed to have said, that’s where the money is.
Posted at by Stephen Green on Feb 16, 2017 at 8:25 am Link
I’m so old, I can remember when conservative leaders actually championed the notion of a small government that would leave average Americans alone, rather than a faceless army of weaponized unaccountable bureaucrats.
Posted at by Ed Driscoll on Feb 14, 2017 at 5:17 pm Link
In an interview on NBC’s “Meet The Press,” Webb said the Democrats are looking at 2018 and they “don’t have a message.”
“When you can’t have a Jefferson-Jackson dinner, which was a primary celebratory event of the Democratic Party for years, because Jefferson and Jackson were slaveholders,” Webb, a candidate in the 2016 Democratic primary race, said.
“They were also great Americans in their day. Something different has happened to the Democratic Party.”
Webb said the Democratic Party’s message has “been shaped toward identity politics”
“And they’ve lost the key part of their base,” he said.
“The people who believe that regardless of any of these identity segments, you need to have a voice in a quarters of power for those that have no voice. And we’ve lost that for the Democratic Party.”
Webb said the Democrats haven’t done the kind of “self reflection” they needed starting in 2010.
“You’ve lost white working people. You’ve lost flyover land, and you saw in this election what happens when people get frustrated enough that they say, ‘I’m not going to take this,'” he said.
“There is an aristocracy now that pervades American politics. It’s got to be broken somehow in both parties, and I think that’s what the Trump message was that echoed so strongly in these flyover communities.”
Webb also declined to share his vote in the presidential election.
Posted at by Glenn Reynolds on Feb 13, 2017 at 7:09 am Link
The other night Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell rebuked her for impugning colleague Jeff Sessions. Exercising a little-known rule, the Senate revoked Warren’s floor privileges for 24 hours. Now, says the Times, “Ms. Warren is considered a very early frontrunner for 2020, should she run.”
I’m sorry. I just can’t. We are three weeks into the presidency of Donald J. Trump, the most unusual and unconventional man to inhabit the White House in a century, possibly ever, and the New York Times is already naming the frontrunner to replace him? The same media and consultant class that assumed Hillary Clinton would win the presidency in 2008 and again in 2016 presumes to declare how a Senate kerfuffle in February 2017 will affect Iowa caucus-goers in 2020? Who are these people? Where did they come from? What makes them so obtuse, so beholden to gossip, so given to wish-casting, so certain that their momentary impressions of trivial matters carry cosmic weight? Was it college that inflated their sense of self-worth? Is that what $50k a year buys you—a degree in smug? We may never know.
Let me make a confession. I have no idea who the Democratic nominee will be in 2020. Nor am I completely sure, since we are being honest, who the Republican nominee will be. (Trump, I guess?) McConnell’s decision to cut off Warren may have been a disaster of epic proportions for the GOP. Or it could have been a brilliant strategic move, elevating an unlikable Massachusetts liberal to the top of her party. McConnell himself is probably ambivalent.
I do suspect, however, that if Harry Reid had cut off Ted Cruz’s microphone in 2013 the Nevada Democrat would have been hailed as a hero and genius. Even so: The shoe-on-the-other-foot argument may not count for much any more. Nothing may count for much any more. If the last year and a half has taught us anything, it is that what we think is supposed to happen does not. Brexit was not supposed to happen. Trump was not supposed to happen. The Patriots’ comeback was not supposed to happen. Yet here we are.
And no one seems to be drawing lessons from any of this.
One of the great things about being a pundit is that they don’t dock your pay for being wrong.
Posted at by Glenn Reynolds on Feb 11, 2017 at 9:08 pm Link
Fifteen years ago, de Grey was lead author of a paper in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences which claimed the “indefinite postponement of aging . . . may be within sight”. Since then, he says, his position among gerontologists — the scientists of ageing and its related ills — has changed from sidelined dilettante to one of the discipline’s most influential and public voices.
Most approaches aimed at combating ageing focus on arresting the harmful byproducts of metabolism, he says. These cause cellular damage and decay, which, in turn, accumulate to trigger the age-related disorders, such as cancer or dementia, that tend to finish us off.
For de Grey, this strategy turns anti-ageing treatment into an impossible game of Whac-A-Mole. Because we understand metabolism so poorly, our efforts to interfere with it remain crude and the process of decay races through the body far quicker than treatments to avert it can keep up.
Instead of stopping the damage, the approach that de Grey has developed at his research centre — Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence (SENS), a public charity that he co-founded in 2009 — focuses on repair. This “engineering” approach is designed to keep the process of degradation below the threshold at which it turns into life-threatening disease. “If you can repair the microscopic damage then you are sidestepping the bigger problem [of prevention]”.
While his science may now be more widely accepted, his pronouncements of impending immortality remain unpopular among his peers. Their squeamishness is unsupported by the evidence, he says. It belies an intellectual dishonesty that has at its heart a deeply emotional — and increasingly erroneous — attachment to the inevitability of death, according to de Grey.
Historically, accepting the inevitability of death was the rational choice and a necessary requirement, he says, “to get on and make the most of our miserably short lives”. Today, when technology has advanced enough to put us “within striking distance” of extending human life by a multiple of existing lifespans, this acceptance has become a huge obstacle to achieving that goal. The traditional emotional need to accept our own mortality has generated a “pro-ageing trance” which is hobbling even the best scientists from pursuing the enterprise with the ardour it demands.
Well, get over it, guys. I’m not getting any younger here — and neither is anybody else.
Posted at by Glenn Reynolds on Feb 09, 2017 at 6:09 pm Link
Perhaps the most remarkable thing about the 9th Circuit oral argument over President Trump’s executive order was that lawyers for both sides seemed to know nothing about some of the most basic real-world issues surrounding the case. Two examples:
First, the question of terror-related crimes committed by people who come from the seven nations covered by the Trump order. Many of the president’s adversaries have claimed that no terror-related crimes have been committed by nationals of the affected countries — Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, and Iran. “The various people who have, in fact, committed terrorist acts in this country, from 9/11 on, none of them came from any of the seven countries that are the subject of the president’s executive order,” New York Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler said on CNN Jan. 28.
Even James Robart, the judge on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington State who temporarily stopped the Trump order, believed the talking point.
“How many arrests have there been of foreign nationals for those seven countries since 9/11?” Robart asked a Justice Department lawyer in court on Feb. 3. When the lawyer said she didn’t know, Robart said, “Let me tell you. The answer to that is none, as best I can tell.”
It turns out the judge, and Nadler, and everybody else repeating the talking point had it wrong. Last year the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest released information showing that at least 60 people born in the seven countries had been convicted — not just arrested, but convicted — of terror-related offenses in the United States since Sept. 11, 2001. And that number did not include more recent cases like Abdul Artan, a Somali refugee who wounded 11 people during a machete attack on the campus of Ohio State University last November.
So the talking point wasn’t true. And yet at the 9th Circuit oral argument, the judges appeared to believe it was true, and Justice Department lawyer August Flentje didn’t know enough to correct them. . . .
The other example of the lawyers’ lack of knowledge comes from the other side — Washington State Solicitor General Noah Purcell. It concerns another basic question in the executive order debate — whether the order is somehow a “ban” on Muslims. That is not only at the heart of Washington State’s case but has also been a staple of discussion about the Trump order. Yet when Judge Clifton quizzed Purcell, he appeared to know nothing.
“Let me ask you about the, I’ll call this religious discrimination claim,” Clifton said to Purcell. “To reach both the equal protection and Establishment Clause claims, and I’m not entirely persuaded by the argument if only because, the seven countries encompass only, I think a relatively small percentage of Muslims. Do you have any information as to what percentage or what proportion of the adherence to Islam worldwide are citizens or residents of those countries? My quick penciling suggests it’s something less than fifteen percent.” [The actual figure is about 12 percent, according to Pew Research.]
“I have not done that math, your honor,” Purcell said.
“I have trouble understanding why we’re supposed to infer religious animus when in fact the vast majority of Muslims would not be affected as residents of those nations,” Clifton said. “And where the concern for terrorism with those connected with radical Islamic sects are sort of hard to deny.”
Purcell argued that, according to the law, Washington State does not need to prove that the Trump order would harm every Muslim. “We just need to prove that it was motivated in part by a desire to harm Muslims,” he said.
“How do you infer that desire if in fact the vast majority of Muslims are unaffected?” Clifton asked.
Because it’s Trump and everyone knows he’s super-eevvill. It says so right on NPR.
Posted at by Glenn Reynolds on Feb 09, 2017 at 8:31 am Link
The popular TV maker Vizio began in 2014 to incorporate software into its TV sets to collect information about our viewing habits on a second by second basis. Then, working with a data analytics company, they were able to associate that data with very detailed and specific personal information of the viewers. Yes, Vizio sold you a TV set and turned around and spied on you as a thank you for your business!
Vizio installed the software on 11 million TV sets without ever asking for permission or informing their owners that they were collecting the data. After a lawsuit was filed by the FTC and the State of New Jersey, Vizio settled and paid a fine of $2.2 million.
We have one of those so-called “smart” TVs, but Samsung is crazy if they think I’m ever going to give it the password to my WiFi.
Posted at by Stephen Green on Feb 08, 2017 at 8:52 am Link
Christopher Cooper – a.k.a. “Coop” – is an artist with some libertarian sensibilities known for skateboards, concert posters, album covers. He noted Monday night that he’s thinking of leaving Twitter. His thoughts, cleaned-up for a family newsletter:
Had lunch today with a friend (with way more twitter followers that me) and we both agreed we’re just about ready to shutter our accounts. Neither of us needs the promotion badly enough to deal with the constant barrage of ****heads. If you tweet about politics, you get trolled by ****s, and if you deliberately do not tweet about politics, you get attacked by “woke” ****s. I’ve also seen too many of my friends on here get threats against their families from ****heads & I don’t want to go down that road.
Whatever Twitter once was – I initially used it to stay in touch with far-off friends – it’s now a way to reach a mass audience. Almost anyone can interact with almost anyone. The bad news is, this gives almost anyone in the world an ability to send you messages, and to do so anonymously. No inventor ever likes to contemplate the worst possible application of their new creation; surely Jack Dorsey didn’t think in 2006, “Hey, I’ve just found an amazing way to empower racists, stalkers, psychos, and the most malevolent voices in society!”
Will Rogers famously said he never met a man he didn’t like. Put him on Twitter today and within a week he would turn into H.L. Mencken. Jean-Paul Sartre was close; Hell is other people on Twitter.
The world is full of people who you would never choose to have a conversation with – not because you aren’t open minded or you’re hypersensitive, but because you have better things to do with your life than to spend time around people who mock, berate, sneer, or just overall hate you. And yet, on Twitter, they’re metaphorically right in front of you. Yes, you can block them with the touch of the button. But very few people like being hated, or being reminded that they are hated. And in 2017 America, whatever your view on politics is, someone hates you for holding that view, and is eager to let you know how much they hate you.
(All of this should be a deep, deep concern to the Twitter company.)
So why is anyone on Twitter? Because there’s positive feedback, and that feels good. It feels like an affirmation. You’re right. People agree with you. People like you. They like your one-line joke, your thought, your snappy headline, your photo of what you’re about to eat. Every once in a while, they react in ways that make you think or reconsider what you thought before.
On Twitter, the ratio of useful/enjoyable interaction to useless/unenjoyable interaction has been steadily sliding in the wrong direction.
One of my many friends also feeling this way, Sarah Barak, wrote on Facebook recently: “I feel hectored. I’ll be happier if I unfollow the worst offenders. It’s just too much and the constant negative coverage is affecting my happiness.” It’s not just in our imaginations; there’s plenty of social science research that indicates surrounding oneself with Negative Nancies has a way of turning you into a Negative Nancy also. It’s impossible to know for sure, but it seems many who were once politically ambivalent at best are now caught in a negative feedback loop, perpetually hysterical because all of their friends are as well.
The problem with Facebook political rants is this: It is not Twitter. I do not “follow” my high school best friends because of their insightful political commentary; I want to see updates on their lives and pictures of their adorable children. Unlike Twitter, I don’t want to unfollow or unfriend them because of their rants, because if I do so, I’ll miss out on the all-important baby announcements and updates.
If all you’re using Facebook for is to yell into the digital void about politics, you will find your audience for such rants is getting smaller by the minute. Sorry, random friends from all walks of life: I just don’t care what you think about Donald Trump today.
I hoped the tone would improve post-election, but with the inauguration and every statement or story out of the Trump administration, the hysteria remains at a fevered pitch. And I’m sick of it.
My solution, and that of many friends, has been significant or total disengagement from the social network, shifting usage to Instagram instead to catch most of those important baby and kid pictures.
This past weekend, a self-described Princeton neuroscientist, whose amygdala was suddenly hijacked by all things Trump, decided to take out his concerns over our new president by doing what any serious academic would do at that moment: he addressed his anger towards Dave Burge, aka Iowahawk, who was busy, as is his wont, tweeting photos of hot rod cars. “Glad to see brave conservatives face up to a Constitutional crisis with…Sunday car talk,” our brave Princeton neuroscientist speaking truth to gearhead tweeted to the Bard of Des Moines.
In response, Burge tweeted (among other things), “let me break it down for you, ‘neuroscientist’: I’m not a conservative, and not a public utility to argue on topics you choose.” Eventually, he followed up with a series of 36 Tweets on why he’s burning out on Twitter. I was hoping a site like Twitchy or Storify would link them together in one place, but I haven’t found it yet. But If you’re reading this post on the day it went up, go to Iowahawk’s Twitter homepage and keep scrolling, and you’ll come across it eventually. Exit quotes:
Posted at by Ed Driscoll on Feb 02, 2017 at 12:59 am Link
The Democratic National Committee is kicking a candidate out of the chairman’s race after he told The Hill that Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) should not be the party’s next leader because he is Muslim.
In a Jan. 5 email to The Hill, Vincent Tolliver, a former House candidate in Arkansas, said that Ellison, the first-ever Muslim elected to Congress, should not be chairman because of Islamic positions on homosexuality.
“His being a Muslim is precisely why DNC voters should not vote for him,” Tolliver wrote. “Muslims discriminate against gays. Islamic law is clear on the subject, and being gay is a direct violation of it. In some Muslim countries, being gay is a crime punishable by death.”
“Clearly, Mr. Ellison is not the person to lead the DNC or any other organization committed to not discriminating based on gender identity or sexual orientation,” Tolliver continued. “I’m shocked HRC [Human Rights Campaign] has been silent on the issue. A vote for Representative Ellison by any member of the DNC would be divisive and unconscionable, not to mention counterproductive to the immediate and necessary steps of rebuilding the Democratic Party.”
A spokesperson for Tolliver said he stands by the statement.
Why are Democrats so anti-gay?
Posted at by Glenn Reynolds on Feb 01, 2017 at 8:00 am Link
This past Wednesday, college presidents and Title IX coordinators met on Capitol Hill to discuss the issue of campus sexual assault and what to do under the new Trump administration.
Under the Obama administration, colleges were required to adjudicate accusations of sexual assault in a way that denied due process and the presumption of innocence. While President Donald Trump hasn’t spoken on the issue, the media has stoked fears that his administration will roll back protections for accusers, who are always labeled as “victims.”
The media has seized upon a comment made by Betsy DeVos, Trump’s nominee for U.S. secretary of education, to create a culture of fear. DeVos, when asked during her confirmation hearing about Obama-era guidance documents from the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights, said she couldn’t commit to upholding the guidance because of “a lot of conflicting ideas and opinions” that she needed to review.
This was a good answer, as the original 2011 “Dear Colleague” letter requiring colleges and universities to use a lower “preponderance of evidence” standard when adjudicating accusations of sexual assault didn’t go through the notice-and-comment period that almost certainly would have reined in the document’s overreach.
During the first of two panels put on by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, four college presidents said they would continue their post-2011 process for sexual assault claims even if the “Dear Colleague” guidance was overturned.
The panel, which featured Diane Harrison of California State University-Northridge, Alisa White of Austin Peay State University in Tennessee, Barbara Gitenstein of the College of New Jersey, and John Jasinski of Northwest Missouri State University, wasn’t all bad. Still, some statements should be concerning to anyone who values due process and the rule of law.
I’m beginning to doubt whether higher education institutions are capable respecting due process and the rule of law.
Posted at by Glenn Reynolds on Jan 31, 2017 at 8:31 am Link
EB and Newport News Shipbuilding build two Virginia-class attack submarines a year. Former Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, in one of his last visits to EB, handed out mock punch cards that said “Buy 9 subs, get the 10th one free!” referencing the $2 billion in savings achieved through a $17.6 billion contract, the largest in Navy shipbuilding history, awarded to EB in April 2014.
When negotiating that contract, certain initiatives were implemented to reduce design costs, the most significant of which was a redesigned bow that included a new sonar array and two larger payload tubes instead of 12 individual, vertical-launch missile tubes. Twenty percent of the ship’s design was changed to save about $100 million per submarine. Other cost-saving measures include the ability to buy materials far in advance.
“Those of us who have worked with EB over the years know that affordability is a factor in their business model,” said Bob Ross, executive director of the state’s Office of Military Affairs.
The company is “well aware” of how “incredibly expensive” it is to build submarines, and works “very hard to be as efficient and affordable as they can,” Ross said.
But he noted that a high price tag is inevitable, given the advanced technology being built.
“There’s more technology in the Virginia-class submarines than in the space shuttle program. It’s never going to be a low number,” he said.
The Virginia-class attack subs have been a rare post-Cold War procurement success for the Navy, with boats coming in ahead of schedule and under budget. I’m not sure how much more in savings Electric Boat can wring out of the program, particularly Congress approves an increased production rate and the increased facility investments that would be required.
Posted at by Stephen Green on Jan 30, 2017 at 10:50 am Link
By and large, these were men who had voted for Trump, but few of them seemed to really support him in the full sense of the word. They were apprehensive about his presidency, they didn’t know what to expect from it, but many of them had made the choice anyway.
Why? One of the men present told me you could summarize it with a single word: “Hillary!” Another described it with a variant on Trump’s famous proposition to black voters, which these white people clearly felt applied to them, too: “Whaddaya got to lose by making a change?”
Certain predictable conservative issues came up: meddlesome government, for example. Farmers these men knew of complained bitterly about the Environmental Protection Agency. Small bankers, too, were said to feel micromanaged. “We don’t like to be told what to do, how to do it,” someone said.
But it was not all standard-issue Republican talking points. These men groused about how big banks avoided being taken over by the FDIC, they used “Goldman Sachs” as verbal shorthand for wealth and influence, and I even heard complaints about billionaires controlling the state’s political process.
What did crop up persistently when I talked to this group was a disgust with the perceived moral haughtiness of liberals. More than one member of the club referred to himself as one of Hillary Clinton’s “deplorables”, for example. There was resentment of “Ivy League graduates” who felt entitled to “micromanage the rest of the country”. The man who told me that – a fellow wearing a US Army Retired cap – also told me that “if you want to be an obnoxious slob, you have a right to be one”.
This right-to-obnoxiousness raises a fascinating point: these men saw liberals as loudmouthed Pharisees, intolerant moralists who demanded that the rest of the nation snap into line – an exact reverse of the John Ashcroft stereotype liberals used to hold of conservatives.
Well, the shoe fits.
UPDATE: Brendan O’Neill on Facebook: “I wonder if those arguing that America has gone fascist and Islamophobia is rampant and Trump is an illegitimate president who should not be indulged by other world leaders realise how much they are confirming Trump voters’ view that a morally haughty liberal elite has replaced politics with hissy fits and has become so arrogant it thinks everything that doesn’t conform to its worldview is Nazism? I’m against Trump’s executive order, but this reaction… it is an own goal of epic proportions.”
Posted at by Glenn Reynolds on Jan 29, 2017 at 6:03 pm Link
Trump is a man of action and it’s working for him, in a way. Call a meeting with CEOs, visit key cabinet agencies, hold signing ceremonies, watch yourself being discussed on cable TV late into the night, legislate by fiat, and tweet your heart out. By no means stop to read a briefing book or study what’s gone before. Make moves based on instinct and impulse. . . .
The media shouldn’t let the last outrage go. But news by definition is what is happening now. Who remembers the 12 women who accused Trump of sexual assault, or all the vendors stiffed by him? It’s so yesterday. Trump has put up a photo of his inauguration in the White House taken at an angle that avoids the vast empty spaces. By his standards, he’s won. The dishonest media, Metro statistics and our own eyes have lost.
To say this is a strategy is to ascribe a master plan to an ever-flitting hummingbird. Trump’s actions are more a reaction to external stimuli and his roiling inner metabolism, both at odds with his colleagues on the Hill and some in his own cabinet.
Oh, I’m not so sure about that. But I think the political class is unused to the speed at which businesspeople make decisions. Flit like a hummingbird, sting like a bee!
Posted at by Glenn Reynolds on Jan 29, 2017 at 10:30 am Link
The Drink Tank looks a lot like a piece of industrial camping equipment, or maybe a NASA-issued extraterrestrial water collection container. It’s a formidable piece of technology that has inspired more than a couple coworkers to ask what the hell it is. It can hold up to 128 oz. of beer (or any liquid). That’s 8 pints or just under 11 cans of beer. Plus it would easily fit in a backpack. Its double-wall insulated chamber can keep beer cold for 24 hours after an initial filling. So if your friends don’t finish the limited edition saison you brought back from Vermont, you can have it again for breakfast the next day. Waste not.
What really takes this Hulk-sized Thermos to the next level is the keg accessory cap. With a screw-on top, a CO2 cartridge, and a keg hose, this package turns the already impressive growler into that walk-around keg I was dreaming about. That CO2 pressure keeps beer fresh for longer, as opposed to a “Once You Open It, You Finish It” policy that comes with a regular growler—or crowler. No tipping and spilling. No flat beer. Just the pinch of a tap hose.
I’m not sure what problem these solve — they don’t keep beer cold long enough for a weekend camping trip, but they’re too big for most anything else — but they certainly are a clever concept.
Posted at by Stephen Green on Jan 26, 2017 at 8:00 pm Link
MY FATHER DIED YESTERDAY. He did so peacefully, and surrounded by family and friends. It wasn’t unexpected, so I had a lot of posts scheduled for today. This column from a few weeks ago tells the story pretty well.
I’m not going away, but I’m taking a week off from the USAT column, and blogging here — by me, at least, as the co-bloggers are stepping up nicely — will be lighter than usual.
And here are some words from Charles Black that mean a lot to me:
In process of letting go the breath,
Moment for relieving your eyes’ ache,
You see bark patterns, a child’s hand
Catching and throwing, next to the tree.
You have to relive all your days
To receive the gift of surprise
At words you didn’t quite hear, once riding.
Do what you can; everything will come
In memory if never in experience.
Revisit, retell. Love sounds deeper
Out of time than in time. Act love
Imperfectly; you will remember love itself.
Posted at by Glenn Reynolds on Jan 26, 2017 at 4:47 pm Link
SEWING CLOTHES IS JUST LIKE REPLACING A TANK TRACK: Well, no, it isn’t. I’ve done both. Still, this is a heck of a photo, even if it’s staged. You have to wonder where the soldier got the sewing machine. We know where he got the tank. I’m guessing SGT Phelps had genuine tailor skills as well as tanker skills — all-weather tailor and tanker skills. The caption says the photo was snapped on January 23, 1945. And today it’s StrategyPage’s Battle of the Bulge commemorative pic.
Posted at by Austin Bay on Jan 25, 2017 at 10:53 am Link
MORE ON THAT SECRET SERVICE AGENT WHO SUGGESTED SHE WOULDN’T “TAKE A BULLET” FOR TRUMP: Glenn beat me to the punch on this one, but there’s another angle worth considering. It takes a special kind of commitment to join the Secret Service. You have to be willing to die — not for a noble cause, not for your home or family, not for a comrade in war, but for a person, a stranger, simply because they hold a particular office. I’m not certain I could make that kind of commitment, which is why I would never consider a job with the Secret Service. If Kerry O’Grady can’t make that kind of commitment, she needs to reconsider her job.
Posted at by Stephen Green on Jan 24, 2017 at 1:46 pm Link
The press’s “insider” status — which it cherishes — is going to fade. (This is producing waves of status anxiety, as are many other Trump-induced institutional changes). And, having abandoned, quite openly, any pretense of objectivity and neutrality in the election, the press is going to be treated as an enemy by the Trump Administration until further notice.
So I guess love isn’t in the air anymore with the MSM — why, it’s like they’re Democrat party operatives with bylines or something.
Posted at by Ed Driscoll on Jan 23, 2017 at 8:14 pm Link
Beachbody, founded in 1998 with VHS workout tapes sold through infomercials, launched Beachbody on Demand in 2015. The streaming-workout service has 800,000 members paying $100 annually, with much of the growth coming from people uncomfortable with going to a gym, says Carl Daikeler, Beachbody CEO and co-founder.
“We got rid of the commute, the gross locker room and the uncertainty of what to do at the gym,” Mr. Daikeler says. The company also sells DVDs.
People who used this on-demand approach for the first time in 2016 spent 37% of their total fitness budget on these services, according to Cardlytics. They spent nearly 40% of their workout budget at traditional gyms, and the rest on fitness boutiques, according to Cardlytics.
A year earlier, those on-demand fitness users had spent nearly 67% of their exercise dollars on gyms.
The Insta-Daughter does online sessions with Ballet Beautiful. It seems to work for her.
UPDATE: David Kirkham writes:
Did you know about www.startingstrengthonlinecoaching.com
I am using one of their coaches and am closing in on that elusive 400 pound squat with their help.
I’ve already pulled over 400 in a dead lift.
Great coaches. Great motivation. They know lifting.
Posted at by Glenn Reynolds on Jan 23, 2017 at 5:07 pm Link
A FORMER STUDENT, HERSELF SUCCESSFUL AND UPWARDLY MOBILE, WRITES: “When I was growing up, people my age who were enjoying the fruits of their success and focused on being even more successful were called yuppies. It’s not a thing anymore. We have millenials, hipsters, but no term for the young newly upper middle class with good jobs and nice homes. Is that because success is shameful now? Are there not enough of these people?”
I’m guessing this is more of that fundamental transformation. Yuppies were a phenomenon of the 1980s economic boom — they were baby boomers hitting their career stride. Millennials make a lot less than boomers. So there’s not such a visible phenomenon. Am I wrong?
Posted at by Glenn Reynolds on Jan 21, 2017 at 6:30 pm Link
Don’t look now, but there’s a shale rebound underway, and it’s being powered by Texas’s Permian Basin. The U.S. has added 482,000 barrels of oil per day since mid-October, an increase of more than 5 percent that’s been driven in large part by burgeoning output out of that west Texas shale formation. This resurgence can partly be put down to an uptick in oil prices, itself a result of the recent petrostate production cut that’s helped add more than $10 to the price of a barrel of oil. But, as the New York Times reports, the real driver behind the Permian’s prowess lies in its geology (or, more accurately, its stratigraphy). . . .
Geology is one of the (many) reasons American shale producers have enjoyed such wild success over the past decade while their counterparts abroad have struggled to get any sort of commercial production off the ground. Tectonic movement often “crunches” rock layers into uneven, tangled messes, which can be problematic for drillers looking to hit a specific layer to extract hydrocarbons. Here in the continental United States, our rock layers are relatively evenly layered, so much so that they have even been compared to a wedding cake. That makes it much easier for producers to drill the horizontal wells into productive zones, frack the shale rock, and then extract the oil and gas trapped within.
But in the Permian’s case, multiple shale layers are stacked on top of one another, which makes rigs plumbing plays in the region that much more productive. That in turn has helped to bring down the region’s breakeven costs well below current prices, which helps explain why west Texas is leading the shale rebound.
I’m old enough to remember when President Barack Obama mocked Sarah Palin and said that we couldn’t “drill our way out of” our energy problems.
Posted at by Glenn Reynolds on Jan 20, 2017 at 10:30 am Link
Is anybody keeping track of Robert Creamer, Jan Schakowsky’s (D-IL) husband, who ginned up violence at Trump rallies on behalf of Hillary’s campaign? Because what’s going on now isn’t some sort of spontaneous upwelling. It’s organized, which means that there are organizers.
Posted at by Glenn Reynolds on Jan 17, 2017 at 8:52 am Link
SO A FATAL COFFEE SPILL killed the Apple “Magic” Keyboard that came with my iMac. I wasn’t too broken up about that because I never liked that keyboard. I tried substituting an old (ca. 2005) Apple USB keyboard, but it kinda sucked too. I’m not sure why exactly, but my typing was bad, and the feel was unsatisfactory. I wound up getting this Azio mechanical keyboard and I’m pretty happy with it. It’s not as good as my old IBM AT keyboard was, but it’s better than any keyboard I’ve used from Apple. The backlighting is a nice touch, and the clatter of the keys makes me feel more productive somehow.
Posted at by Glenn Reynolds on Jan 15, 2017 at 9:31 pm Link
I’m posting this oldie without comment and current links — really don’t have time to do what I did yesterday with Strategic Weapons. Scan the decade-old post, consider current U.S. intelligence reports in the media, etc.
Posted at by Austin Bay on Jan 15, 2017 at 1:24 pm Link
DEEP CONTEXT ON THE NEWS: How new is the news? Often it isn’t so new. For about five years the StrategyPage webmaster and I have been discussing starting a “Ten Years Ago On StrategyPage” feature. Two years ago a reader said we should have a feature that linked posts and analysis in the archive to current news. I told her we’re a garage band. Who has the time?
But we’re going to give it a try. When I became an Instapundit co-blogger Glenn encouraged me to make use of StrategyPage’s archives to provide readers with background on current defense and international topics.
Modernizing the U.S. nuclear arsenal is a current topic.
This archived post from January 18, 2007 is also related to current strategic weapons issues: THAAD Goes Into Production.
A battery of Terminal High Altitude Area Defense missiles is now operational on Guam. Note the system’s name has changed but its acronym hasn’t.
I’m not sure how often I’ll have the time to do this, but I’ll try another one tomorrow. Maybe.
Posted at by Austin Bay on Jan 14, 2017 at 2:57 pm Link
As with Meryl Streep, perhaps it’s time for old media to come clean about what they think about their customers and dust off those old Washington Post-approved “Yeah, I’m in the media, screw you” buttons once again. At least they’d points for honesty for a change.
Posted at by Ed Driscoll on Jan 09, 2017 at 6:41 pm Link
Whether you see Trump as a hero or a goat—or something in between, which is our still-tentative view—his unlikely ascension to the presidency was a hell of a story. Most journalists missed the story because they were too caught up in defending a system of cultural authority of which they had foolishly allowed themselves to become an integral part.
Speaking of missing stories, last month the Washington Post’s Paul Farhi reported that major newspapers “are facing a shortage of people able, or more likely willing, to write opinion columns supportive of the president-elect.” Even conservative columnists at places like the Post and the New York Times are generally hostile to Trump. Smaller newspapers like the Des Moines Register and the Arizona Republic, Farhi noted, have the same problem.
“USA Today may have been the only large newspaper to buck the general trend,” Farhi wrote. “It published Trump-supportive columns from law professor and Instapundit founder Glenn Reynolds and regular contributor James Robbins.” (As a point of personal privilege, we note that Reynolds was a Best of the Web contributor before he launched InstaPundit in August 2001.)
I was! Taranto is going on to run the OpEd page at the Journal, where I’m sure he’ll do well. But I’ll miss his daily voice, though I wish they hadn’t put him behind the paywall.
Posted at by Glenn Reynolds on Jan 04, 2017 at 8:45 am Link
FUNDAMENTAL TRANSFORMATION: Inside Trump’s strategy to remodel the Supreme Court. “Trump’s team wants to make filling the seat held by the late Justice Antonin Scalia one of the earliest acts of his presidency, according to multiple transition officials, in hopes of scoring an energizing and unifying victory for the conservative movement. . . . While Scalia’s seat is the only current opening, Trump’s advisers are plotting how to fill that vacancy in tandem with the next one — a slot if vacated by a liberal justice like Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 83, or swing-vote Justice Anthony Kennedy, 80, could far more dramatically move the court’s political center of gravity to the right.”
I’m so old, I can remember when Trump was impulsive, ignorant and incapable of thinking strategically.
Posted at by Glenn Reynolds on Jan 03, 2017 at 8:58 am Link
Unions and groups that benefit from the need to hire additional employees and lawyers to coordinate procurement contracts, change orders, and other issues don’t want a new system that saves money by cutting labor costs.
Labor is the biggest driver of infrastructure costs, and you can’t save much money without touching it. Over the past few decades, private firms across industries have become more efficient by replacing people with machines and by streamlining processes so they don’t have to hire as many workers and outside consultants. Because of pressure from special interests and organized labor, governments (blue and red) haven’t been able to realize these efficiencies. As the cost of hiring a single employee continues to skyrocket thanks to health care and pension expenses, the urgency of reducing labor needs grows.
Both New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio and Cuomo have come around to supporting design-build, but special interests continue to stand in the way. How blue politicians manage this opposition will be a key determinant of the future of Democratic Party. The old system is unworkable, and states that rely on it are bordering on ungovernable in some ways—if the government can’t afford to maintain public roads, what is it good for? But the new system weakens core Democratic constituencies by reducing the government payroll.
In a contest between effective government and opportunities for graft, I know which side I’m betting on.
Posted at by Glenn Reynolds on Dec 28, 2016 at 10:30 am Link
I’m guessing that by “radical” he means century-old conventional hard-left ideas that have failed everywhere they’ve been tried. If these people weren’t dangerous, they’d just be tedious.
Related: “Looking at his public history of books and articles, it’s hard to believe Drexel didn’t know who they had hired. A socialist who writes for Jacobin thinks revolutionary violence is a good thing? Color me shocked!”
Posted at by Glenn Reynolds on Dec 27, 2016 at 7:30 am Link
BUMP: The Infuriating Math Behind Overbooking. “The most frustrating part? This math could be tuned to ensure the maximum number of tickets sold with a near zero percent chance too many people show up. Instead, the most profitable solutions often involve a decent chance a few passengers getting screwed, because the extra ticket sales outweigh having to put someone up in a hotel now and then. So just make sure you get to the airport early, and hope that someone else is running late.”
I think that if I’m bumped, they should have to charter a private jet to get me to my destination on time.
Posted at by Glenn Reynolds on Dec 22, 2016 at 6:04 pm Link
EU officials said the proposals, which were first mooted in 2015, will restrict access to some high-caliber weapons and give law enforcement authorities new tools to trace the weapons’ origins and avoid them being sold on the black market.
Support for the new rules gained traction following several terror atrocities on European soil, including the Paris, Nice and Brussels attacks over the past two years.
“We have fought hard for an ambitious deal that reduces the risk of shootings in schools, summer camps or terrorist attacks with legally held firearms,” European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said in statement.
But Juncker said Brussels “would have liked to go further.”
Posted at by Glenn Reynolds on Dec 22, 2016 at 7:00 am Link
Venture capitalist Peter Thiel and others have successfully pushed for advocates of commercial space ventures to join President-elect Donald Trump’s NASA transition team, a result of an internal tug of war over policy directions and future decision makers at the agency.
Transition leaders are poised to tap Alan Stern, chairman of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, a leading trade group, and Alan Lindenmoyer, a former head of NASA’s commercial space taxi program, to serve on the agency’s so-called landing team, according to people familiar with the matter.
Consultant Charles Miller, another ex-NASA official who championed commercial space programs over the years, also is slated to be appointed to the same panel, they said.
I’m happy to see this treated as a priority. It was beginning to look like too many business-as-usual types at NASA, and this is a welcome correction. Also, see this column of mine from last month.
Posted at by Glenn Reynolds on Dec 20, 2016 at 4:25 pm Link
The driver, who had a passenger in his vehicle, was travelling to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
“At approximately 5:50 a.m. today, there was a gentleman operating an Uber and picked up a fare here in Aventura at one of the local condos,” Aventura police Sgt. Chris Goranitis told reporters Sunday, according to ABC affiliate WPLG.
The Uber driver’s vehicle was then cut off by a Dodge Caravan minivan on the William Lehman Causeway.
“The driver of the Caravan exited the vehicle and he had two firearms in his hands and he pointed them at the Uber driver and demanded items from the driver,” Goranitis said. “This was an attempted robbery. We don’t believe it was road rage.”
But the unidentified Uber driver was also armed, and he proceeded to fire at the would-be thief, police said. The suspect, who was not identified, was pronounced dead at the scene.
I get the feeling Uber won’t treat their driver kindly, but I hope I’m wrong.
Although the driver was licensed to concealed-carry, Uber bans firearms for riders and drivers alike.
Posted at by Stephen Green on Dec 19, 2016 at 8:06 am Link
For decades, the news media benefitted from the deference paid by courts to the judgments of newspaper editors. The judge in federal court treated Gawker’s editors as if they were running a newspaper, and he declined to second-guess them about what constitutes the news. The jury in state court did the opposite. The question now is whether the law, instead of treating every publication as a newspaper, will start to treat all publications as Web sites—with the same skepticism and hostility displayed by the jury in Tampa. The new President and his fellow-billionaires, like Thiel, will certainly welcome a legal environment that is less forgiving of media organizations. Trump’s victory, along with Hulk Hogan’s, suggests that the public may well take their side, too.
I’m not sure exactly what “Trump-Era Threat” is supposed to mean. There doesn’t seem to be a threat from Trump, who knows exactly how to get what he wants out of the press. Are we supposed to feel threatened by an “era” merely because of its unseemly namesake? Perhaps then “Trump-Era Threat” is in the headline just to generate pageviews.
So then a more important question is, would the New Yorker have headlined a “Clinton-era threat” in Gawker’s wake had Hillary won the election?
Let’s talk about that Clinton-era threat — hypothetical, thank goodness — because it seems certain that there would have been one.
Hillary Clinton was the subject of the movie in the Citizens United case, which as a candidate she promised to see overturned — silencing political filmmakers for generations to come. It was on Clinton’s behalf (following her blunder at Benghazi) that an innocent YouTube videomaker was jailed for nearly a year. Just last week it was Clinton who urged “that Congress should take action against” purveyors of what she deems to be “fake news.” And forget mere threats, what about two years ago when Democrats tried to repeal the First Amendment? That, too, was backed by Hillary Clinton.
Whatever you might think of Donald Trump or the merits of the Gawker verdict, Hillary Clinton’s record on freedom of speech is atrocious — for which she has never been held accountable by the very press she has sought to control.
Even if Trump were to somehow turn out to be as hostile to free speech as Clinton is, at least he’d have Jeffrey Toobin et al. to hold him to account.
UPDATE: From the comments:
Was this summer the Era of Trump? First everything was George W Bush’s fault, even after he left office. Now it’s all Trump’s fault, even before he’s formally elected President.
Obama hasn’t even left the White House and it’s already like he was never there.
Posted at by Stephen Green on Dec 12, 2016 at 1:03 pm Link
Posted at by Glenn Reynolds on Dec 08, 2016 at 7:30 am Link
GLENN LOURY: Black Lives Matter — And Maybe Trump Is The Answer: “The discourse about race, violence, and the value of human life has been held hostage to partisanship — Black Lives Matter vs. Blue Lives Matter. We can do better than that. The election is over. And, the body count mounts. I’m interested now in SOLUTIONS and, frankly, I don’t give a damn where they come from. Obama ignored this catastrophe unfolding in his adopted home town for nearly a decade. At the moment, I’m inclined to #GiveTrumpAChance to ‘fix it.’ Anybody with a better idea? Speak now.”
Posted at by Glenn Reynolds on Dec 08, 2016 at 7:17 am Link
HONESTLY, I’M WONDERING IF “FAKE NEWS” ISN’T AN IMPROVEMENT OVER THE “REAL” THING: NYT Reporter: Why Can’t We Assassinate Conservatives? “Cool down, Gardiner! You can’t kill American citizens who say things you don’t like with drones. You know you are in trouble when it takes Josh Earnest to explain the First Amendment to you. . . . I’m so old, I can remember when reporters not only had heard about the First Amendment, but were in favor of it. But I guess the ‘fake news’ crisis is so acute that the Left can’t let such niceties get in the way.”
Posted at by Glenn Reynolds on Dec 07, 2016 at 6:33 pm Link
TRUMP DERANGEMENT SYNDROME: Trump’s election stole my desire to look for a partner. “Once it was clear that Donald Trump would be president instead of Hillary Clinton, I felt sick to my stomach. I wanted to gather my children in bed with me and cling to them like we would if thunder and lightning were raging outside, with winds high enough that the power might go out. The world felt that precarious to me. . . . I’ve lost the desire to attempt the courtship phase. The future is uncertain. I am not the optimistic person I was on the morning of Nov. 8, wearing a T-shirt with ‘Nasty Woman’ written inside a red heart. It makes me want to cry thinking of that. Of seeing my oldest in the shirt I bought her in Washington, D.C., that says ‘Future President.’ There is no room for dating in this place of grief. Dating means hope. I’ve lost that hope in seeing the words ‘President-elect Trump.'”
I’m pretty sure that the guy she was dating before dodged a bullet here. It’s another Trump miracle!
Posted at by Glenn Reynolds on Dec 06, 2016 at 12:52 pm Link
Authorities say the suspect was prowling cars early last Sunday when he found an unlocked BMW 550i with the key inside and sped away. The owner—who had gotten married the day before and loaned her car to a friend—realized the car was missing at around 5 a.m. and reported it stolen to police.
After contacting BMW corporate, officers were given the current location of the vehicle by an employee. Police say they found the car idling in an alley with the suspect asleep inside. From the SPD Blotter:
BMW employees were able to remotely lock the car’s doors, trapping the suspect inside, presumably while hissing something terrifying like “I’m not locked in here with you, you‘re locked in here with me” into the car’s sound system.
Officers roused the suspect, who quickly, but unsuccessfully, tried to drive away.
Police say they then booked the suspect for auto theft and drug possession.
Catching thieves is all well and good, but for now I’m going to stick with driving older cars.
Posted at by Stephen Green on Dec 06, 2016 at 12:27 pm Link
It’s an ongoing and vexing public health problem: People once vigilant about vaccinating their children aren’t nearly as careful about protecting themselves as they age, even though diseases like influenza, pneumonia and shingles (a.k.a. herpes zoster) are particularly dangerous for older people.
“Trying to prevent these common and often debilitating conditions is incredibly important for older adults,” said Dr.Carolyn Bridges, associate director for adult immunization at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Yet in the C.D.C.’s 2014 and 2015 reports on vaccination coverage, she said, “we really didn’t see much change.”
Most Americans over 65 get an annual flu shot, but the proportion actually declined a few percentage points last season to about 63 percent. The C.D.C. estimates that of the 226,000 people hospitalized for flu in an average year, 50 percent to 70 percent are over 65; so are the great majority of those who die from it. “Older adults take the brunt,” Dr. Bridges said.
Similarly, in 2014, about 61 percent of older adults had received one or both of the two pneumococcal vaccines, which protect against pneumococcal infections that can lead to pneumonia and meningitis. That represented no improvement, leaving millions of older people still vulnerable.
I’m meticulous about keeping my shots up.
Posted at by Glenn Reynolds on Dec 04, 2016 at 6:00 pm Link