Search Results

DISPATCHES FROM THE LUXURY BELIEF CLASS:

The economist and social theorist Thomas Sowell once said that activism is “a way for useless people to feel important, even if the consequences of their activism are counterproductive for those they claim to be helping and damaging to the fabric of society as a whole.” The same could be said for luxury beliefs. They are similar to luxury goods, but present new problems. Attaching status to luxury goods or financial standing meant there were limits to how much harm the leisure class could do when it came to their conspicuous displays. For example, fashion is constrained by the speed with which people could adopt a new look. But with beliefs, this status cycle accelerates. A rich person flaunts her new belief. It then becomes fashionable among her peers, so she abandons it. Then a new stylish belief arises, while the old luxury belief trickles down the social hierarchy and wreaks havoc.

Read the whole thing.

KEVIN WILLIAMSON: Northwestern’s bungling student journalists were just copying the professionals.

On and on it goes: NPR fired a movie critic, David Edelstein, for making a joke about an infamous movie scene (that butter in “Last Tango in Paris”). ESPN hired the controversial commentator Rush Limbaugh and then fired the controversial commentator for producing controversial commentary, i.e. that a black quarterback had been overestimated for reasons of racial politics.

The strange thing is that while doing real journalism will get you fired or produce a groveling apology, inept journalism generally will not: Nobody actually got fired when Rolling Stone published a hard-hitting story in 2014 about a horrifying rape at the University of Virginia that turned out to be an utter fiction; managing editor Will Dana was permitted to make a graceful exit some months later without the stigma of being given the boot. The New York Times published a hit piece during the 2008 presidential campaign suggesting John McCain was having an affair with a lobbyist based on precisely squat (the paper’s own ombudsman confessed as much) and later published an absurd non-retraction retraction — after the election, in the face of litigation. Jim Rutenberg, the lead author on that article, still writes for the Times.

Read the whole thing, as needless to say, Kevin knows a thing or two firsthand about “professional” journalism’s cowardice in the face of the mob. Thinking of the MSM as Democratic Party operatives with bylines, does help to make a bit more sense of it all, however.

DANIEL JOHN SOBIESKI: Time to Subpoena Alexandra Chalupa.

Thanks to disgraced FBI agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, who told us in a text message that “POTUS wants to know everything we’re doing,” we know that President Obama was kept fully informed about the deep-state coup against President Trump. Liar and leaker James Clapper has thrown Obama under the bus by saying the plotters would not have proceeded without President Obama’s approval.

In a CNN interview deep-state conspirator and perjurer James Clapper gave with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, he points his finger directly at Obama as leader of the coup against Donald Trump. . . .

Now we find out, thanks to Tom Fitton and Judicial Watch that DNC contractor Alexandra Chalupa, who worked with Hillary Clinton to get Ukraine dirt on Trump, visited the Obama White House 27 times and even had meetings with the alleged Ukraine whistleblower whose name dare not be spoken, Eric Ciaramella.

This is the whistleblower coached by Adam Schiff and who colluded with him, a deep-state CIA agent whom we are told might wet his pants out of fear if his identity was publicly acknowledged. Ironically, as I noted recently, in a major goof-up, Schiff forgot to redact Ciaramella’s name in a posted PDF of the transcript of Ambassador Bill Taylor’s testimony.

Read the whole thing.

IRAN BURNING: Shock Gas Price Hike Triggers Violent Protests After Subsidy Cuts. “There are also reports that protesters have begun targeting banks, after video was posted online of what appears to show the Central Bank In Behbahan, Iran being engulfed in flames as demonstrators chant.”

UPDATE: “Thank Trump,” Rick Moran writes at the PJ Mothership:

The oil industry is broken, the economy is dead in the water, inflation is at 30 percent and rising, there’s little food, and little hope for younger Iranians. These demonstrations could easily become a referendum on the incompetent and corrupt government currently in power. That’s what happened in neighboring Iraq and Lebanon. And it wouldn’t take much to start a revolution in the streets in Iran.

Read the whole thing.

OLD AND BUSTED: “Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?!”

The new hotness? “Was it over when the Japanese bombed Michigan?!” How the Japanese bombed Michigan during World War II:

November marks the 75th anniversary of the start of an unusual, mostly unknown chapter of World War II — Operation Fu-Go, the Japanese launching of more than 9,300 large, bomb-laden, hydrogen balloons, carried east across the Pacific Ocean by the jet stream at high altitudes to cause destruction and chaos in the U.S. and Canada.

* * * * * * * *

[M]orale among Japanese citizenry had taken a blow following the Doolittle Raid, a surprise attack on Tokyo on April 18, 1942, by long-range U.S. bombers. While the raid itself inflicted little damage, it humiliated Imperial Japan and its military, said Michael Unsworth, a retired history librarian at Michigan State University who has written and lectured on the balloon bombs.

“They felt honor-bound to retaliate,” he said.

But the Japanese had no similar long-range capabilities — particularly after the significant losses their Pacific fleet had taken in the Battle of Midway in June 1942.

That’s when Japanese strategists and researchers hit upon using the jet stream, a west-to-east air current in the upper atmosphere only discovered by a Japanese researcher, Wasaburo Oishi, in the mid-1920s. His research didn’t receive extensive international attention because he published it in Esperanto, a dialect invented in the 1880s in an attempt to create a uniform international language.

Read the whole thing.

DO YOU FEEL IN CHARGE HERE? Bain Of Their Existence? Deval Patrick Officially Enters The Race; Update: Resigned From Bain Capital Yesterday.

Speaking of closing off paths to the American dream, let’s not forget that Patrick famously retreated from politics into the so-called “vulture capitalism” of Bain Capital. Bain operates in part by dismantling troubled firms and leveraging their most valuable assets, a normal capital function but one that Patrick’s fellow Democrats demonized when Mitt Romney ran for president. It’s a process that necessary closes jobs in the short run, although one can also argue that proper use of those valuable assets means more and better jobs in the long run.

Will Democrats forgive that? Early signs point to no:

Read the whole thing for some echos of Mitt Romney’s demonization by the left in 2012.

WHERE HAVE YOU GONE, NAT HENTOFF? Journalists Against Free Speech. The First Amendment is no longer sacred among  journalists steeped in progressive orthodoxy about “hate speech” and “repressive tolerance.” My piece in City Journal discusses the new censors at HuffPost, Vox, the New Republic, Slate, the Washington Post, the Columbia Journalism Review and other media outlets.

These mostly younger progressive journalists lead campaigns to get conservative journalists fired, banned from Twitter, and “demonetized” on YouTube. They don’t burn books, but they’ve successfully pressured Amazon to stop selling titles that they deem offensive. They encourage advertising boycotts designed to put ideological rivals out of business. They’re loath to report forthrightly on left-wing censorship and violence, even when fellow journalists get attacked. They equate conservatives’ speech with violence and rationalize leftists’ actual violence as . . . speech.

Read the whole thing.

JIM HANSON: Alex Vindman Is Living, Breathing Proof That The Deep State Exists, And It Is Corrupt.

The game is fixed in DC: politicians come and go, but the bureaucracy chugs along protecting and advancing its own interests. Two perfect examples unfolded in the most recent presidencies. Barack Obama chose a nuclear deal with Iran as the legacy achievement of his foreign policy. He pursued it relentlessly to our detriment, both in actual ability to stop Iran from getting nukes, and in subjugating our entire foreign policy to this one goal.

The Deep State loved it. They were all in on his side, and the media had never more completely acted as palace scribes dutifully parroting every administration talking point and obfuscating or attacking contrary views. They faithfully misinformed the public to the best of their ability, and in the end Obama, the bureaucrats, and the media rammed the deal through while the American public showed 2-1 disapproval. It was a victory for the Deep State.

Shift forward to the 2016 election campaign and the collusion between Democrats and Deep Staters to stop the Trump train and then, after it left Inauguration Station, to derail it. The Trump-Russia witch hunt is an egregious example of the power of the state being abused for partisan political purposes.

Read the whole thing.

AYN RAND DIDN’T INTEND FOR THE RETURN OF THE PRIMITIVE TO BE A HOW-TO GUIDE: Mass extinction — The only way to tackle Extinction Rebellion is by dissecting its ideology.

The only way to tackle Extinction Rebellion is by dissecting its ideology, by explaining what it would mean for human societies if its demands were to be met. The world has already rejected industrialized socialism in the shape of the Soviet Union. The case needs ceaselessly to be made that Extinction Rebellion’s brand of primitive, anti-industrial socialism would be an even surer way to mass poverty.

Read the whole thing.

JIM TREACHER: Democrat Sen. Mazie Hirono: ‘Believe in Climate Change as Though It’s a Religion.’

Many years ago, the journalist Michael Kinsley noted an odd truth about American political life: “A gaffe is when a politician tells the truth — some obvious truth he isn’t supposed to say.” While there are any number of other gaffes that a politician can make (please refer to anything ever uttered by Joe Biden), this particular type of screw-up has become known as a “Kinsley gaffe.” It can be very embarrassing for a politician to accidentally tell the truth. He’ll usually catch himself and start lying again immediately, and his partisans will pretend to believe the falsehoods over the truth, but everybody still knows he screwed up. He can lie about being momentarily and unintentionally honest, but he can’t unsay it.

Or she! It’s 2019, and it’s time we all recognized that women can be every bit as deceptive and untruthful as men. Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI) certainly is.

Read the whole thing.

NOBODY KNOWS WHAT TELEVISION IS ANYMORE:

These days, television—whatever it is—is on your phone, on your PlayStation, on YouTube, on your laptop, and even, sometimes, on your actual television, the big thing you bought from Amazon. TV is increasingly indistinct from the world of big-budget Hollywood feature films and also from big tech, which now makes shows, the things you watch, in order to sell phones, watches, diapers, plush toys, and lunch boxes. On occasion, TV even seems to be melding with video games and vice versa. You can consume as much of it as you want, from virtually any place you can imagine, on anything that has a screen. TV is everything now, and everywhere, an amorphous cultural and commercial blob backed by billions in tech and media spending. Its cultural dominance is unchecked by anything except your own time, and it is increasingly tailored to your unique interests and obsessions.

Read the whole thing. There’s a massive amount of product being created now, via all of the major players entering the streaming game, the traditional networks, and the cable outlets. But as Sonny Bunch asked last year at the Weekly Standard*, “Overload: Will any shows from the Golden Age of TV endure?”

* Another product of the digital age which met a swift demise.

DON CHERRY’S IMMIGRANT COMMENTS AND CANADA’S HIGHLY SELECTIVE CULTURE OF FORGIVENESS: “The driving spirit of most current criminal justice reform is that we’re all more than the worst thing that we have done. And earlier this fall, the Canadian public decided that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s multiple occasions of wearing blackface can be forgiven. But apparently that mercy is only available if you’re on a particular side of the political divide.”

Read the whole thing.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Pity the poor avocado-eating graduates: University-educated millennials have absorbed elite values but will never enjoy the lifestyle.

Countless articles have rehearsed the class insecurities of the “left behind” Brexiters. Generally these unfortunates are depicted fulminating over pasties and ale in shabby market towns and grim post-industrial cities outside the London area. The object of their antipathy is the shiny “elite”, plugged into a promise-filled, multicultural urban life and the knowledge economy, seemingly buoyant in the new, frictionless modern world.

Leaving aside its substantive, real-world pros and cons, Europhilia has become a mark of devotion to the culture and worldview associated with this “elite” and the modern world it navigates. It is a value set strongly correlated with tertiary education and that has come to be called “openness”. . . .

Meanwhile, the boom in openness-promoting tertiary education produced not so much a boom in graduate jobs as inflation in the qualification levels required to do the jobs we already had. This has left many young people struggling to service a mountain of debt on salaries that are never likely to show much of the “graduate premium” they were promised.

Today, thanks in part to the “open” economy whose values form the foundation of the “cultural Remain” identity, the cost of living — and especially home ownership — has rocketed. Simple aspirations that were within the reach of the working class in the 20th century are an unattainable dream today for millions of young people far higher up the sociocultural pile. And yet those young graduates have all, in the course of moving away to get their degree, absorbed the “open” value set now explicitly taught in tertiary education.

The result is an Everywhere precariat, that has absorbed the values of a world that has little to offer it in terms of concrete benefits, and resolves this conflict by renting the heavily-subsidised and internet-enabled perks of a smarter lifestyle than it can afford to buy. Where once rentals might have just been housing and cars, today that can even include clothing.

Related: Kenneth Anderson: The Fragmenting of the New Class Elites, or, Downward Mobility.

n social theory, OWS is best understood not as a populist movement against the bankers, but instead as the breakdown of the New Class into its two increasingly disconnected parts. The upper tier, the bankers-government bankers-super credentialed elites. But also the lower tier, those who saw themselves entitled to a white collar job in the Virtue Industries of government and non-profits – the helping professions, the culture industry, the virtueocracies, the industries of therapeutic social control, as Christopher Lasch pointed out in his final book, The Revolt of the Elites.

The two tiers of the New Class have always had different sources of rents, however. For the upper tier, since 1990, it has come through its ability to take the benefits of generations of US social investment in education and sell that expertise across global markets – leveraging expertise and access to capital and technological markets in the 1990s to places in Asia and the former communist world in desperate need of it. As Lasch said, the revolt and flight of the elites, to marketize themselves globally as free agents – to take the social capital derived over many generations by American society, and to go live in the jet stream and extract returns on a global scale for that expertise. But that expertise is now largely commodified – to paraphrase David Swenson on financial engineering, that kind of universal expertise is commodified, cheaply available, and no longer commands much premium. As those returns have come under pressure, the Global New Class has come home, looking to command premiums through privileged access to the public-private divide – access most visible at the moment as virtuous new technology projects that turn out to be mere crony capitalism.

The lower tier is in a different situation and always has been. It is characterized by status-income disequilibrium, to borrow from David Brooks; it cultivates the sensibilities of the upper tier New Class, but does not have the ability to globalize its rent extraction. The helping professions, the professions of therapeutic authoritarianism (the social workers as well as the public safety workers), the virtuecrats, the regulatory class, etc., have a problem – they mostly service and manage individuals, the client-consumers of the welfare state. Their rents are not leveraged very much, certainly not globally, and are limited to what amounts to an hourly wage. The method of ramping up wages, however, is through public employee unions and their own special ability to access the public-private divide. But, as everyone understands, that model no longer works, because it has overreached and overleveraged, to the point that even the system’s most sympathetic politicians understand that it cannot pay up.

The upper tier is still doing pretty well. But the lower tier of the New Class – the machine by which universities trained young people to become minor regulators and then delivered them into white collar positions on the basis of credentials in history, political science, literature, ethnic and women’s studies – with or without the benefit of law school – has broken down. The supply is uninterrupted, but the demand has dried up. The agony of the students getting dumped at the far end of the supply chain is in large part the OWS. As Above the Law points out, here is “John,” who got out of undergrad, spent a year unemployed and living at home, and is now apparently at University of Vermont law school, with its top ranked environmental law program – John wants to work at a “nonprofit.”

Read the whole thing(s).

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON ON THE LOOMING 1984 ELECTION:

In his own way, Trump also fights back in 360-degree fashion, from the existential to the trivial, railing against Colin Kaepernick, tit for tatting Hollywood stars, weighing in on radical abortion, open borders, power outages, the homeless and subway jumping. The result is not just that there looms a choice between two different agendas, but two quite different American lifestyles and experiences—and histories.

Like it or not, 2020 is going to be a plebiscite on an American version of Orwell’s Nineteen-Eighty-Four. One side advocates a complete transformation not just of the American present but of the past as well. The Left is quite eager to change our very vocabulary and monitor our private behavior to ensure we are not just guilty of incorrect behavior but thought as well.

The other side believes America is far better than the alternative, that it never had to be perfect to be good, and that, all and all, its flawed past is a story of a moral nation’s constant struggle for moral improvement.

One side will say, “Just give us more power and we will create heaven on earth.” The other says “Why would anyone wish to take their road to an Orwellian nightmare?” The 2020 election is that simple.

Read the whole thing.

THE ORIGINAL INGLORIOUS BASTERD: Heroes of a Generation: OSS spy Martin Gelb, 100 years old.

“I don’t know if I was fearless,” he added, “all I know is a few times, I disobeyed orders and I got rewarded for it.”

The OSS wanted spies who could think on the run. “The ideal OSS candidate was described as a Harvard PhD that could handle himself in a bar fight,” said Charles Pinck, a native of Massachusetts and president of the OSS Society. “The OSS needed people who could think and act independently.”

People like Martin Gelb.

Read the whole thing.

JOHN KASS: The ‘Whistleblower’ and Rep. Adam Schiff should be first to testify in Trump Impeachment Theater.

Is the whistleblower a heroic patriot fighting against overwhelming odds to save the republic, as Democrats insist?

Or is he a Democratic operative and pajama-boy tool of former CIA boss and Trump loather John Brennan, as Republicans have alleged?

Who is he? What’s his name? Does he have allies on Schiff’s committee? Why is he doing this?

When you hold hearings to take out a president, you want to know how it all began, don’t you?

You might want to read the fascinating and important piece in RealClearInvestigations by Paul Sperry. It discusses the “whistleblower” in detail.

If you don’t want to read it, then please just admit that all you want is just another steaming platter of “Orange Man Bad” analysis.

After the whistleblower is questioned about Brennan and who he met in Schiff’s committee and whether he was indeed booted out of the White House for partisan leaking, as alleged in the RealClearInvestigations story, then Schiff should take the stand.

And Schiff should testify, under oath, about how all this was orchestrated and what he did and whether he told the whole truth.

If the whistleblower is not compelled to testify under oath, Democrats risk a self-inflicted wound. And wounds become dangerous when infected in a swamp.

Read the whole thing.

Flashback: ‘Watergate’ Doesn’t Mean What the Press Thinks It Means.

THE UKRAINE SCANDAL SPREADS:

So Obama administration corruption relating to Ukraine may well have extended beyond Burisma’s $3 million bribe to the Biden family. President Trump was entirely correct in wanting this Obama/Biden administration corruption to be investigated, but the Democratic Party press seems to have succeeded, bizarrely, in painting Trump as the villain of the story. Who says the “mainstream” press no longer has any power? The Biden family’s self-enrichment is a great example of the swamp against which Donald Trump ran for office, and America’s reporters and editors, with few exceptions, are swamp members in good standing.

Read the whole thing.

A RETROSPECTIVE ON THE BERLIN WALL, 2009: I wrote this column ten years ago.

Here’s an excerpt:

Many in the West, including the U.S., believed that the communists had history on their side. The wry debate reply from the defeatist lefties favoring unilateral U.S. nuclear disarmament was “better Red than dead.” For decades — I repeat, decades — this crowd had a media pulpit from which its self-proclaimed intelligentsia preached the moral equivalency of the U.S. and the Soviet Union, and at times dropped the all pretense and fingered the U.S. as the “fascist state” and global oppressor.

In the language of the defeatist left, the U.S. was the jailer, the warmonger, the threat to world peace.

The Berlin Wall’s collapse exposed that Big Lie, as did the documented moral, political, economic and ecological wretchedness of the Soviet Union. Unfortunately, we still hear echoes of this “blame America” cant lacing al-Qaida propaganda and the lectures of hard-left reactionaries like Bill Ayers. The great anti-American lies of the Cold War are recast as the great anti-American lies of the War on Terror.

Breaching the wall in 1989 was bloodless, but the Cold War certainly wasn’t. World War III did not break out along the intra-German border and produce a nuclear conflagration, but the Cold War’s battles on the periphery (e.g., Greece, Korea, Vietnam, El Salvador, Angola, Afghanistan) were expensive, fatiguing and deadly.

I think the essay has legs. But read the whole thing and decide.

RELATED: A column from May 2009 recalling May 1989’s propitious events, like Hungary’s decision to open the Austrian-Hungarian border. It also discusses the 1956 Hungarian Revolution’s military leader, General Bela Kiraly. Yes, there are some historical disagreements (some in print) regarding the demolition of the huge ammo dump and the Soviet reaction. However, he told me the version in the column on two different occasions.

ALSO RELATED: The Berlin Airlift Memorial. Nose art on a static C-54 transport.

CONRAD BLACK: Mr. Machiavelli Headed For Big Win in Britain.

The main reason a majority of Britons want to leave the EU is the micro-management of British public life and British courts and legislators by a regime in Brussels that is not answerable or accountable either to the European Parliament or to the governments of the major constituent states. The second reason is immigration: the famous Polish plumbers are welcome (and much needed), but masses of penniless and unskilled migrants from the Middle East and Africa coming to Britain via Europe are another matter.

Britain will not replace the institutions it has developed over centuries with newly invented institutions run by foreigners, or revert to the level of government accountability that followed the Magna Carta in 1215. The main argument to remain has always been the economic scare: according to the same people who predicted a worldwide economic crash for the day after Donald Trump’s election, British incomes will decline on average by 6% over a few years because of a huge exodus of the financial industry from London to Frankfurt (completely implausible).

Unless the British voters plumb a new depth in perversity, Mr. Johnson should win a sizable majority, little of the London financial industry will depart, and there will be a thunderous in-rush of capital investment to celebrate Britain’s increasing proximity to the United States and reconfirmation as a low-tax country, especially the rejection of the Labor Party’s outright advocacy of widespread nationalization of industry, sharply higher taxes in upper personal income brackets, increased powers to organized labour, and wild fiscal incontinence.

The entertaining Boris Machiavelli will crush the born-again Marxist Labor Party and its advocacy of what President Emmanuel Macron of France has called “Cuba without the sun.”

Read the whole thing.

WHAT’S MOST NOTABLE IS THAT THAT THEY’VE BECOME A BASTION OF BAD IDEAS IS TAKEN FOR GRANTED: Erik Gilbert: How Ed Schools Became a Bastion of Bad Ideas.

A few years ago, when I was on my university’s Graduate Council, a new course proposal came to us from our College of Education. The proposal referred to the different learning styles of students, something that struck me as odd — I remembered having heard years before that the learning-styles theory had been discredited. Trusting my colleagues’ expertise, I kept my mouth shut and, assuming that learning styles must have been rehabilitated by new research, voted to pass the proposal.

I later polled the education majors in one of my history classes: Not only did they know about learning styles, they all knew the acronym “VARK,” which stands for visual, auditory, reading/writing and kinesthetic — the four alleged learning styles. The theory, it seemed, was alive and well.

Then I sought out the supporting research. Instead, I quickly came across a New York Times article on the curious persistence of learning styles — curious because of widespread evidence debunking the theory (The Atlantic has since published a similar piece). Despite all this, learning styles still apparently pervade colleges of education. A 2014 article in Nature Reviews Neuroscience on the topic of “neuromyths” found that over 90 percent of teachers it surveyed believed in learning styles. . . .

Evidence shows that virtually anyone can learn to read if they are taught to associate letters with particular sounds (phonics) and that trying to teach students to read using the whole language approach works poorly. Still, colleges of education continue to resist phonics. . . .

There are real costs to these inertial, anti-scientific ways. Researchers warn that trying to accommodate students’ beliefs about their own learning styles may actually make it harder for them to learn. The fact that fewer than 40 percent of American eighth graders are proficient readers is partially attributable to educators’ dogged opposition to phonics. . . .

No doubt there are useful things we could learn from the high schools and they from us, but what’s wandering in from the sidewalk may be the worst aspects of the high school, not the best. Instead of the enthusiasm of the robotics team and the Latin club, it’s the top-down administration and the stifling, centralized approach to curriculum and pedagogy that seem to be trying to get their noses under the tent.

Ed school graduates now occupy a growing role in academic administration, especially at lower-tier schools, and they are bringing an ed-school mentality with them.

In three words, ignorant, mediocre, authoritarianism.

NED RYUN: Our Elites Don’t See What’s Coming.

As our constitutional republic faces the wrecking balls of the Left and is asked to endure as they smash away at every norm that has made this country great, many Republicans find themselves conveniently absent from the action. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), for example, sure does love himself a TV hit—and I have to tell you, his super-duper “enthusiasms” while on TV almost make me want to believe him when he says he is serious about being effective. But then another day goes by and it’s clear he lacks the stones actually to hold hearings and subpoena the corrupt cabal that has massively abused our surveillance state and law enforcement regime.

Richard Burr (R-N.C.)? Well, he’s been off in “la-la land” for quite some time. At some point, for decency’s sake, he should just give the title of chairman of Senate Intel to Mark Warner (D-Va.) so as actually to reflect reality. One would think confronting injustice and illegal behavior should be pretty standard, common sense sort of stuff. But then again, Swamp Creatures are hardly paragons of truth and justice. So let’s assume until things change that Graham and Burr have zero problem with what has happened over the last few years; heck, they might be implicated in what could be uncovered.

This all leads us to a serious problem that we as a country are facing: we’ve been losing trust in our institutions for quite some time.

Read the whole thing.

THE 2010s HAVE BROKEN OUR SENSE OF TIME: That’s the headline of a recent BuzzFeed article. James Lileks disagrees:

Without knowing history, facts, names, events, trends, concerns, panics, morals, tropes, and all the other shared threads of an era, you can’t understand what produced the thing you’re now claiming to have the right to reuse. If you can’t make sense of your current era, it’s because you don’t have the ability to make sense of any era, and hence don’t know how this all works in the flow of the last 100 years of the culture.

5. Most young generations have been cheerfully unconcerned with what came before, for the most part, because to be young is to be certain your time is the most important evah. But previous generations had time to sift and judge the products of their own time, because the pace of innovation and information was much mroe leisurely. Today everyone faces a firehose of content from waking to sleeping, if they’re Very Online, and mistakes their ability not to drown with understanding where the water comes from, and why, and what it all means. It’s like surviving waterboarding and concluding you’re amphibious.

6. And so on, and so on, unto the grave, etc.

Read the whole thing.

ABC’S EXCUSE FOR FAILING TO REPORT ON JEFFREY EPSTEIN MAKES ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE:

Three years ago, remember, Bill Clinton’s wife was in the midst of her presidential run. One imagines that a story detailing her husband’s vacations to a pedophile’s island retreat might have been newsworthy.

By the way, has Robach wrapped up that reporting on Clinton, yet?

The notion that she believes she was venting during “private moment” isn’t plausible, either. Any regular guest — and Robach is on TV every day — knows that a gaggle of producers are listening to everything that’s being said, and that everything that’s being said is going to be on tape.

Paired with NBC News’ burying of the Harvey Weinstein story, we now have evidence of two major media institutions protecting serial abusers. One wonders how many young women might have been saved if they hadn’t.

Read the whole thing.

GREG JONES: The Downfall of Conservatism, Inc. “How Donald J. Trump made me rethink my Republican heroes.”

What had happened to my heroes?

I understand their objection to Trump’s style—three years ago, I myself was put off by it—but style is nothing when measured against substance. Here was a president advancing their agenda—our agenda—didn’t that mean something?

At first, I attributed their open mutiny to pride. Pride is human, and prideful men often make for sore losers.

But now, after ample time to recover from their humiliation, the persistent whining from establishment conservatives has exposed a very ugly truth about our former “leaders.” The George Wills and Tom Nichols of the world were always more interested in self-promotion than advancing conservatism.

Needless to say, read the whole thing.

FIREWORKS: Fox News Host Accuses Marie Harf of Ukraine Cover-Up.

Before her Fox News gig, Marie Harf served as director of Strategic Communications to Secretary of State John Kerry. She also worked for a bit as Acting Spokesperson and Deputy Spokesperson of the State Department. She got her start as a CIA analyst on the Middle East, before getting involved in Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection effort. A fully-fledged member of the Revolving Door Community, Harf turned her low-responsibility duties as a bureaucrat and campaign official into a sweet-paying media gig. If anyone knows how the system really works, it’s a beneficiary of it like Harf.

And if the phrase “deep state” suddenly popped into your brain, well, it did into mine, too.

Read the whole thing, if you don’t mind me saying so myself.

RADICAL CHIC, THE GERITOL YEARS: It’s Petty When It Happens To Someone Else.

Currently, 17 percent of American homeowners have a smart video surveillance device, and unit sales are expected to double by 2023… The popularity of these devices has led to the “porch pirate gotcha” film genre, a sort of America’s Funniest Home Videos of petty crime.

In the pages of The Atlantic, our sympathies are solicited. Though not for the people being robbed, of course.

Read the whole thing.

HOW TO SERVE MAN:

The stories began to appear in the Soviet press in the autumn of 1921, each one more gruesome than the last. There was the woman who refused to let go of her dead husband’s body. “We won’t give him up,” she screamed when the authorities came to take it away. “We’ll eat him ourselves, he’s ours!” There was the cemetery where a gang of 12 ravenous men and women dug up the corpse of a recently deceased man and devoured his cold flesh on the spot. There was the man captured by the police after murdering his friend, chopping off his head, and selling the body at a street market to a local restaurant owner to be made into meatballs, cutlets, and hash. And then there was the desperate mother of four starving children, saved only by the death of their sister, aged 13, whom the woman cut up and fed to the family.

The stories seemed too horrific to believe. Few could imagine a hunger capable of driving people to such acts. One man went in search of the truth. Henry Wolfe, a high-school history teacher from Ohio, spent several weeks in the spring of 1922 traveling throughout Samara Province, in southeastern Russia, intent on finding physical evidence of cannibalism. In the district of Melekess, officials told him about a father who had killed and eaten his two little children. He confessed that their flesh had “tasted sweeter than pork.” Wolfe kept on searching, and eventually found the proof he had been looking for.

At first glance, it appears to be an unremarkable photograph of six individuals in winter dress: two women and four men, their expressions blank, betraying no particular emotion. But then our eyes catch sight of the grisly objects laid out across a wooden plank resting unevenly atop a pair of crates. There are two female heads, part of a rib cage, a hand, and what appears to be the skull of a small child. The adult heads have been cracked open, and the skulls pulled back. Along with human flesh, cannibals had feasted upon the brains of their victims.

Wolfe stands second from the right, surrounded by Russian interpreters and Soviet officials. There’s a faint look of satisfaction on his face at having accomplished his goal. Here, at last, was the incontrovertible proof he had set out to find.

Read the whole thing, which describes very bad luck, indeed.

JOHN DURHAM: THE LAST TRUSTED PROSECUTOR IN WASHINGTON.

From all this, we can surmise a few things about Durham’s ongoing investigation into the launch of the probe of Donald Trump and his potential connections to Russia during the 2016 campaign. Durham will not speak to the press at all until he is done, and probably not even then. He and his team are extremely unlikely to leak. He is not afraid to reach conclusions that will disappoint or frustrate Attorney General Barr or President Trump. He will not be rushed; there is no guarantee that Durham will reach any prosecutorial decisions before the 2020 elections. And he will investigate so extensively and thoroughly that no reasonable observer will be able to argue that something important was missed. As Sullivan describes Durham, “He will be in constant pursuit of the truth and the facts and the evidence. John doesn’t take days off. He is methodical, but he is always working.”

If Durham chooses to bring charges against any official who launched the Trump probe, history suggests he is extremely likely to persuade a jury to convict the accused and sustain those convictions upon appeal. And if he does not bring charges, it is extremely unlikely that any other prosecutor could have succeeded; regardless of what the official did, the evidence would not be there to convict or sustain a conviction.

John Durham’s career is full of big, high-stakes, politically charged cases, but this one is the biggest, highest-stakes, and most politically charged of all. Luckily, it seems like his whole life has prepared him for this moment.

Read the whole thing.

RONAN FARROW WANTS TO REVISIT JUANITA BROADDRICK’S “CREDIBLE” ACCUSATIONS AGAINST BILL CLINTON: Is It Time to Cancel Bill Clinton? “Let’s not forget the Left’s famous excuse for Clinton during his impeachment: ‘Everyone lies about sex.’ At one time or another, sure, of course, especially in high school. But hardly anyone lies about sex as President of the United States while under oath because decades of sexual misadventures landed them in a years’-long sexual harassment suit. In fact, I can pretty much only think of just the one.”

Read the whole thing, if you don’t mind me saying so myself.

GROUND ZERO OF THE HOMELESS CRISIS: Stanford professor who changed America with just one study was also a liar.

This may explain [Stanford psychology and law professor David Rosenhan]. He saw real problems in society: The country was warehousing very sick people in horror houses pretending to be hospitals, our diagnostic systems were flawed and psychiatrists in many ways had too much power — and very little substance. He saw how psychiatric labels degraded people and how doctors see patients through the prism of their mental illness. All of this was true. In many ways, it is still true.

But the problem is that scientific research needs to be sound. We cannot build progress on a rotten foundation.

In disregarding Lando’s data and inventing other facts, Rosenhan missed an opportunity to create something three-dimensional, something a bit messier but more honest. Instead, he helped perpetuate a dangerous half-truth.

And today, what we have is a mental-health crisis of epic proportions. Over 100,000 people with serious mental illnesses live on the streets, while we are chronically short of safe housing and hospital beds for the sickest among us.

Had Rosenhan been more measured in his treatment of the hospitals, had he included Lando’s data, there’s a chance a different dialogue, less extreme in its certainty, would have emerged from his study and maybe, just maybe, we’d be in a better place.

Read the whole thing.

Flash-forward to today: San Francisco, Hostage to the Homeless.

OLD WHITE GODS, NOT YET DEAD: Why Architectural Elites Love Ugly Buildings.

In large parts of post-World War II Europe, the bombs of war were followed by a three-decade-long blitz of dogmatic Modernist social engineering and megalomaniac town planning, most of it taking inspiration from the then hugely fashionable theories of the Swiss architect who called himself Le Corbusier. The most forgiving thing one can say of it all was that the trauma of the war had given rise to a widespread mood of alienation from all things past. But the consequences of this alienation from the past and an intelligentsia intoxicated with utopian dogma were a tragedy, and one that unfolded on a vast scale.

Great swathes of eminently salvageable traditional urban fabric fell victim to so-called “slum clearance,” to be replaced by a utopian landscape of impersonal and often windswept “public” open space that quickly became a joy only to the thug and criminal. These barren landscapes were dotted with high-rise blocks, concrete beehives that could fulfill the utopian fantasies of their creators if their mainly working-class residents had somehow been mentally reprogrammed. Meanwhile, mature town centers, with their urban fabric comprising a complex tapestry of building types, were casually violated and desiccated, their history now counting for nothing. A “libido for the ugly” was in full flux.

At least it’s over now? Well, yes and no. Certainly the arrogant certainties of utopian collectivism mercifully crumbled in the 1970s. Almost everyone now understands that to let architects and town planners decide what society’s “needs” are—and then dream up megalomaniac schemes for the wholesale satisfaction of these needs—is akin to kitting your small child out with power tools and a bag of cement, and setting him loose to decide what your home needs. Everyone, that is, except in the ivory towers of architectural academe; its luminary authors of revered set texts and in the more high brow professional journals.

Almost everyone now understands that the Corbusian legacy was entirely malign, even if they have never heard of the man himself. And the question is often asked how his grim concrete megalomania ever came to hold such sway in the first place. Step inside a Western school of architecture to pose this question, and you might get a shock. You are likely to find that the so-called “fathers” of the International Style in general, and Le Corbusier in particular (he of the tabula rasa concept of urban renewal in which everywhere “must” be “totally rebuilt” using only concrete), are still revered as the philosopher kings of architecture.

Read the whole thing.

(Classical allusion in headline.)

RICHARD FERNANDEZ: How the World to the Dark Tower Came.

Knowledge inequality makes “magical” solutions inevitable because an ever smaller fraction of the public know how things work or are paid for.  Healthcare woes?  Medicare for all. Housing crisis?  Make affordable housing a “right”.  Students choking under loans?  Write it off.  Graduates without literacy or numeracy?  Teach Woke Math.

Fix the wildfires by tightly regulating development sounds like a solution.  Following Arthur C. Clarke’s famous adage that “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic” many things are now solved by linguistic legerdemain.  Ever since Apollo politicians have been invoking associative magic as political spells:

“Nothing is impossible in this age of miracles. If we can put a man on the Moon, we surely are capable of seeing that our temporary surplus agricultural products are placed in many hungry stomachs of the world.” …

Nixon’s Democratic opponent, Vice President Hubert Humphrey, used the phrase in his standard stump speech: “If we can put a man on the Moon, certainly we can afford to put man on his feet on Earth.”

Sending a spacecraft to the lunar surface and solving homelessness might be different problems but with a few similes and metaphors they can be ‘magically’ connected and thus solved.

Read the whole thing.

REVIEW: ROOM 237 SHINES A LIGHT ON OBSESSIVES.

What you see here is what you see from most conspiracy theorists: an attempt to impose order on randomness. Like those obsessed with Dark Side of Oz—the theory that Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon is secretly a soundtrack for The Wizard of Oz—our Shining fans are trying to make the world cohere and use coincidences, real and imagined, to make it so.

You see similar efforts when our speakers try to excuse random continuity errors—chairs that go missing from shot to shot, that sort of thing—as deliberate ploys by Kubrick to add deeper meaning to the proceedings. I can see some of those prone to conspiracism looking at these sequences and sagely nodding their head. I can also see Stanley Kubrick, a noted obsessive in his own right, watching Room 237 and muttering under his breath “Shit. I thought I caught all those screwups.”

What you find time and again are Ascher’s interview subjects finding themselves in Kubrick’s work: consider the professor of history who focuses on the Holocaust reading the film as a comment on the Nazi’s killing of the Jews, or the man who lived near Lake Calumet deciding that the inclusion of Calumet baking powder in two key shots means that it’s a film about the slaughter of the Indians.

Read the whole thing. I know I enjoyed the review, if only to point out to my wife that there are far crazier Kubrick obsessives than me.

Related: Scooby-Doo with better CGI: Shining “sort-of-sequel” Doctor Sleep reviewed.

ROGER SIMON: Dems’ Impeachment Charade a Disaster for Them, Not the American People.

Meanwhile, if you watched Trump in Tupelo Friday night, you know the people are with him, just as they were in Dallas and Minneapolis a week or two back.  No one ever has had a grass roots response like that. And power, as we used to say back in the day, belongs to the people.

The deep state — the instigators of all this, from the fake Russia probe though Kavanaugh and now the risible Ukraine nonsense–made a big mistake in their approach. (And considering they’re in a large part CIA, that’s worrying.) It would have been smarter psychologically to have embraced Trump from the start, rather than try to subvert him.  He’s certainly favorably disposed to praise.  Then they could have coopted him.  But they bollicked up the entire thing and alienated a huge swath of the republic in the process.  After 2020, more of the deep staters will be gone. — and they know it (hence the panic).  Good for us.  Keep up the fight.  And, as you know, never give up. Pessimism is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Read the whole thing.

ANALYSIS: TRUE. Rachel McKinnon Is a Cheat and a Bully. “Rachel McKinnon — the so-called defending “world champion” of women’s track cycling — is a man. I’ll repeat that so my meaning cannot be misconstrued. He is a man.”

First, by pretending that McKinnon is not a man, we have allowed him to cheat at sports at the expense of his female competitors. Because McKinnon being a man is directly relevant to the argument that he should not compete against women, in calling him something other than a man, we obfuscate that argument — and all for the sake of a very recently invented set of blasphemy norms (e.g. “misgendering” and “deadnaming”) that don’t apply to us non-believers.

Second, by pretending that McKinnon is not a man — but rather a vulnerable woman — we have forsworn all expectations of accountability and decency. The most egregious example of this, and the precise moment I decided to stop lending McKinnon special courtesies, was when he lauded the terminal illness of a young woman, Magdalen Berns, whom I held (and still hold) in great esteem.

Berns believed strongly that men cannot be women. As she lay on her deathbed in Scotland, at the age of 36, surrounded by her loved ones, McKinnon tweeted that he was “happy” when bad people died, that this feeling is “justified,” that Berns is a “trash human,” and further advised his followers “don’t be the sort of person who people you’ve harmed are happy you’re dying of brain cancer.” By contrast, here is a characteristically civil, clear and courageous quote from Berns: “it’s not hate to defend your rights and it’s not hate to speak the truth.”

Men can be so rude sometimes.

Read the whole thing.

KRUISER’S MORNING BRIEF: Impeachment and a House Divided Perhaps Forever.

There isn’t an adult of sound mind in this country who sees all of this playing out in a way that sees a bunch of Republicans finally deciding that the president needs to go or the Democrats finally admitting defeat in their attempts to prematurely oust him.

Face it, we don’t like each other much anymore, the Right and Left in America. We’ve been heading towards this for a while. I blame Hillary Clinton, partially because she’s so adept at being unlikeable, but mostly because I believe she is more than likely Satan’s latest incarnation on Earth.

Just my opinion.

Granny Maojackets has spent the last three years fortifying herself with boxes of Franzia and remaining in the public eye to make sure Democrats continue to believe that the result of the 2016 election was illegitimate.

Her flying monkeys in the mainstream media have made sure that the message keeps buzzing in the air.

Read the whole thing.

I’d just add that every time Hillary Clinton speaks in public, she gnaws at the social fabric and institutions of this country. And maybe whenever she speaks in private, too.

COLD CIVIL WAR UPDATE: A transnational elite racing its way to a revolution. In America and around the world, a transnational elite postures for itself and despises the people it rules. This is a recipe for a bloody revolution.

Back in 1992, when I was a Democrat, I remember that one of cheers that Bill Clinton liked to use at his rallies to get the audience revved up was, “It’s time for them to go” — with “them” referring to the Republicans who had held the White House for 12 years, to America’s tremendous social and economic benefit.

I don’t look back fondly on the Clinton years, and regret my votes at the time, but I like that theme. Across the world, as weary, beaten-down people look at a ruling class that sees them as despicable, dirty deplorables, these ordinary people, these normals, need to rise up and say, “It’s time for them to go.”

And here’s a word of warning to the ruling class: You managed to keep a lid on things for seven decades after WWII. The people’s discontent, though, is boiling. Bad things happen when the pressure from that boiling finally blows off that tightly pressed lid. I suggest that the Western world’s ruling class, as well as the ruling class in China and the Middle East, gracefully backs away from the levers of power before its members get their greedy, smug little hands blown off of those same levers.

Read the whole thing.

AL-BAGHDADI’S DEATH AS COUNTER TERROR INFORMATION WARFARE: Al-Baghdadi was a mass rapist, savage torturer, mass murderer and slaver. ISIS propaganda extolled his crimes.

American aid worker Kayla Mueller belonged to an ecumenical Christian group. In 2013, ISIS captured her in Syria. She was tortured, enslaved and, in 2015, murdered. A photo sent from ISIS to her family showed her with facial bruises and wearing a black hijab.

From al-Baghdadi’s perspective. Mueller’s photo was terrifying, sexually swaggering propaganda. Then-President Barack Obama sent condolences to Mueller’s parents.

But in 2019, the Pentagon named the operation to arrest or kill al-Baghdadi Operation Kayla Mueller.

…that name has received little notice. However, it puts a woman who’d been raped, a dead lady’s face, on the Delta Force assault and signals that the U.S. military attack on al-Baghdadi and his henchmen sought personal justice for the slaughter of an innocent human being who came to Syria to aid refugees.

This is information warfare kudos to the Pentagon and Trump administration, for at some psycho core, zealot killer creeps like al-Baghdadi think they are untouchable.

Read the whole thing.

QUESTION ASKED: Why is blackface “quite rightly unacceptable while drag gets bigger by the day…if the Black and White Minstrels are insulting and reactionary, why aren’t drag queens? If someone can explain to me why race-based parody is bad and sex-based parody ‘a bit of fun’, I’d love to know. Woke me up and tell me why!”

It’s Julie Burchill at Spiked, so read the whole thing.

OLD AND BUSTED: “Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past.”

The New Hotness? “In the new world of trans identity, women are just a thing of the past:”

Where did we even get this idea that women are a thing? From men, probably. People without penises must be some kind of other. They must be weaker, the ones who maybe bear children. Which assumes that a man can’t become pregnant, which is flagrant bigotry. Of course a man can become pregnant, and with a lot less complaining, frankly. Pregnant men are still men; they bear their problems and children more stoically.

So what is the big issue these days? Women’s sports. Who cares? Nobody watches women’s sports anyway. It might as well be men pretending to be women. Men are faster, stronger, and more talented, after all. Why should we watch inferior cis women plod around when women born as men can kick their rear ends? Don’t we want to see the best athletes perform? I do.

That’s from David Marcus at the Federalist. Yesterday, Twitchy spotted Wired magazine demanding their readers embrace “‘The Glorious Victories of Trans Athletes’ because hey, sports ‘have never been fair’ anyway.”

As Marcus concludes, “Women had a good run. It’s over.”

I’m so old, I can remember when cancel culture simply took out one individual or Indiana pizza parlor at a time. Now whole genders are being cancelled overnight! (Evidently, Facebook will have to start reducing the tally from their current number of 71 or so.)

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: Debate professor: Science is a projection of whiteness.

“Our argument will be that space is not real. It’s not real. Science, technology, it’s all fake. It’s a projection of white fantasies that has worked to control our interpretation of how the world works.” That’s the statement of a college debate professor talking with his class. He added, “None of us have had the privilege of going to f**king space to verify that there’s these stars and these galaxies and these planets.”

Read the whole thing, which is apparently based on up a recording a student made of Ryan Wash, an instructor at Utah’s Weber State University, who sounds like he’s unintentionally or otherwise, channeling a page from 1984, where O’Brien is interrogating Winston Smith:

‘Nonsense. The earth is as old as we are, no older. How could it be older? Nothing exists except through human consciousness.’

‘But the rocks are full of the bones of extinct animals — mammoths and mastodons and enormous reptiles which lived here long before man was ever heard of.’

‘Have you ever seen those bones, Winston? Of course not. Nineteenth-century biologists invented them. Before man there was nothing. After man, if he could come to an end, there would be nothing. Outside man there is nothing.’

‘But the whole universe is outside us. Look at the stars! Some of them are a million light-years away. They are out of our reach for ever.’

‘What are the stars?’ said O’Brien indifferently. ‘They are bits of fire a few kilometres away. We could reach them if we wanted to. Or we could blot them out. The earth is the centre of the universe. The sun and the stars go round it.’

Winston made another convulsive movement. This time he did not say anything. O’Brien continued as though answering a spoken objection:

‘For certain purposes, of course, that is not true. When we navigate the ocean, or when we predict an eclipse, we often find it convenient to assume that the earth goes round the sun and that the stars are millions upon millions of kilometres away. But what of it? Do you suppose it is beyond us to produce a dual system of astronomy? The stars can be near or distant, according as we need them. Do you suppose our mathematicians are unequal to that? Have you forgotten doublethink?’

It’s apparently alive and well at Weber State.

SPENGLER: It’s Time for Every American Patriot to Rally Around Trump: The American Republic Is at Stake. “For the record, I don’t care whether there was quid pro quo with Ukraine or not. If President Trump used military aid as a bargaining chip to persuade the government of Ukraine to investigate foreign subversion of our political system, he was doing his job as commander-in-chief to protect this country from its external enemies. The parade of striped-pants cookie-pushers from the State Department feeding information to closed-door Democratic Party kangaroo courts in the House of Representatives is irrelevant. Trump is fighting a mutiny by the U.S. intelligence community. If the mutineers succeed, it will be the end of the republic. If a cabal of bureaucrats nestling in the bowls of our $80 billion a year intelligence bureaucracy can bring down an elected president of the United States, the republic is finished.”

Needless to say, read the whole thing.

SKYNET SMILES, LICKS HIS VIRTUAL CHOPS: Let’s Talk About That Video Of The Gun-Shooting Killer Robot.

I’m glad I didn’t actually say anything, because the video actually features a clever bit of CGI instead of a real hunk of clanking metal. In fact, if you watch the entire segment, it quickly becomes apparent that either the robot is fake or the guys at “Bosstown Dynamics” are terrifyingly ignorant of proper range safety. Do watch the whole clip, which is pretty amusing and an incredible example of just how realistic CGI can be these days.

Read the whole thing.

JIM TREACHER IS ASKING THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS ABOUT THE AL-BAGHDADI RAID:

Initial reports overstated the severity of the dog’s wounds, and she’s already back on duty. And although her name isn’t being released, her face is now famous…Seriously, though, I just have a few questions for this war hero:

  1. Who’s a good girl?
  2. Are you a good girl?
  3. Wanna go outside?
  4. Who is a good, good girl?

Sorry, cat-lovers, but you’ll never feel this sort of pride. Cats are useless on the battlefield. A cat would’ve just stared at al-Baghdadi as he ran away. A cat might’ve even helped him! Cats are cute, but you just can’t trust ’em when it counts.

Indeed. Read the whole thing.

MEANWHILE, OVER AT VODKAPUNDIT: Joe Biden: The Frontrunner Dems Don’t Really Like.

Democrats don’t like Joe Biden — he’s too popular.

From the Yogi Berra Institute for Advanced Whackery — er, Business Insider, actually — comes a new poll showing that while Joe Biden is the most-loved Democratic presidential contender, he’s also the least-liked. According to figures released on Sunday, “27% of likely Democratic voters would be unsatisfied with a Biden nomination, 21% would be dissatisfied with a Sanders win, and 15% would be dissatisfied with Warren.”

What that means is, should Biden win the nomination next summer, more than a quarter of Dems would face a serious “Meh” moment when deciding whether to even bother showing up at the polls in November.

Read the whole thing, if you don’t mind me saying so myself.

STACY MCCAIN ON THE SELF-DESTRUCTIVE ILLUSIONS OF ‘SOCIAL JUSTICE:’

A stunning finding about American Jews polled in the U.S. on the threat of antisemitism: more Jews believe that the “extreme political right” poses a bigger threat than Islamic “extremism,” according to an American Jewish Committee (AJC) poll… This despite the fact that Islamic antisemitism has had a huge impact, all the way up to Congress. Even a Washington Post article identified Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar as open antisemites. Their partnership with “vicious antisemites” who also aim to destroy Israel is well known.

Read the whole thing.

HMMM: America’s Delusional Elite Is Done.

The anti-male and anti-White rhetoric of the new left is extreme. The racial attacks on whites in particular approaches exterminationist propaganda seen only in, e.g., the Hutu against the Tutsi in 1990’s Rwanda.

For anyone who doubts this, consider the following few examples, which are far from complete:

A columnist for the Huffington Post, a major leftist publication, wrote an article titled “Towards a Concept of White Wounding,” apparently calling for racial violence.

The New York Times hired a columnist who had repeated vulgar racial attacks on whites, calling “whiteness” “awful,” whites “only fit to live underground like groveling goblins,” expressed great joy at “being cruel to old white men,” and declared that whites will be “extinct soon.” The Paper of Record stood by her when these attacks were exposed, and only quietly let her go recently when she supported a boycott against her own employer.

Symone Sanders, currently a senior adviser to Joe Biden and previously the national press secretary for Bernie Sanders, mocked a disabled white teenager who was tortured on camera in 2017 by a black mob screaming “Fuck Trump! Fuck white people!” and otherwise called cases of antiwhite political violence “a protest.”

The New York Times—again, hardly an unknown blog—published an opinion column by Michelle Goldberg with the eliminationist titleWe Can Replace Them,” ostensibly against “white nationalism,” but in fact directed against a demographic white majority as such, which the author seeks to replace with nonwhites for what she imagines to be political advantage.

Kevin Drum at Mother Jones, a major organ of the Left that pushes the security establishment’s Russia Hoax conspiracy theories, called this summer for “a literal or figurative war” on whites and a “race war” that the DNC must be willing to get “Lincolnesque” about.

Major leftist and establishment media such as Newsweek publish cover stories titled “Is Your Baby Racist”; major publishers promote books titled White Fragilityor The Dying of Whitenessand CNN—not white nationalist outlets—runs graphics on “The Vanishing White American.”

Again, all this is par for the course these days; as everyone knows, state-funded universities routinely hold “white privilege” seminars and orientation sessions, promoting a concept the plain meaning of which is to dispossess people of property and civil rights based on their biology.

Read the whole thing.

Earlier, from Richard Fernandez:

The World On Fire: Citizens Rebel Against Corruption and Ineptitude.

Belated Realization: The Old World Order Is in Shambles.

And as Glenn has written, “The problem is that today’s elites aren’t really the better sorts of people. As Richard Fernandez notes, today we have a principal-agent problem. Those happen when the agent (a lawyer, say, or a public official, or a journalist) cuts deals for himself instead of for the benefit of the people he’s representing. Our elites seem to be doing that now — looking after themselves, rather than after the country, with traditional limits on self-dealing having vanished.”

DON’T GET COCKY, KID: Marcellus Fracking Means Farewell to Dems in 2020.

Fracking does not cause earthquakes. Nor does it taint well water. The mixture used to fracture shale is in fact a benign blend of 90% water, 9.5% sand, and 0.5% chemicals such as the sodium chloride of table salt and the citric acid of the orange juice you had for breakfast.

Shale formations in which fracking is employed are thousands of feet deep. Drinking water aquifers are generally only 100 feet deep. There is a lot of solid rock between them.

It is fracking that has produced a boom in the production of natural gas, a fossil fuel that has produced a significant reduction in the U.S. of so-called “greenhouse gases.” . . .

The Democrats have no case, moral or otherwise, for banning fracking, which would ironically hurt the environment they allegedly want to heal while creating an economic collapse. If they insist on advocating, they will be caught between shale rock and a hard place.

Read the whole thing.

THIS IS CNN: Jeff Zucker And Brian Stelter Beclown Themselves At CNN Event.

Zucker said of his network’s competitor that it is not a news organization, it is state-run TV. He also that it is conspiracy TV that is doing a disservice to the country. He scolded Stelter for daring to suggest that even some of what Fox News presents is actual news. Mind you, this is the same guy who booked two dozen speakers for this event and couldn’t manage to find one Trump supporter who isn’t in the administration. So, I guess while not state TV, CNN is just Democratic Party TV.

Asked what he thought was the biggest thing CNN does wrong, Zucker had no answer. When Stelter provided one, namely that they use the term “Breaking News,” too often, he begrudgingly agreed, but basically sloughed it off as something everyone does. That is how blameless he envisions the product he creates. The panel finished with Zucker explaining how important it is to the world that CNN be strong.

One question that Stelter — CNN’s media critic, mind you — did not ask the guy who signs his paycheck is what if anything he knew about the accusations of sexual assault among NBC employees while Zucker was a top executive there. That seemed kind of an odd thing for Stelter to leave out, given that he had a reliable source on the story right next to him. But, whatever, right?

By the end of the half hour, I can honestly say I had experienced the smarmiest, most self-congratulatory, dishonest, and squirm-inducing discussion I have ever had the displeasure of witnessing in person. It was like watching Bill Clinton and Stormy Daniels discuss their unyielding dedication to chastity.

Heh, indeed. Read the whole thing.™

Related: You Think CNN is Bad? CNN-International Might be Worse!

Those Americans who’ve been overseas over the past couple of years know full well that about which I’m talking. Those who’ve not need to realize the CNN-I is carried in many if not most hotels around the world and is considered by a lot of people to be the “window into” the US. (Not by me!) You cannot believe what a HORRIBLY distorted picture is presented of America and of American policies by CNN-I! What CNN is doing in America in their all-out attack on President Trump and in the process to destroy America is mirrored in their international programming, which has changed drastically in the past 3 years from eclectic international coverage (like BBC or Al Jazeera) to 24/7 shrill anti-Trump pure outrageous propaganda. Even CNN founder Ted Turner has complained in the past about the radical incompetent hateful propaganda monster that CNN has become.

The late Roger Ailes had CNN-I’s number 15 years ago:

MOLLIE HEMINGWAY: GOP Has A Choice: Fight Anti-Trump Coup Effort Or Surrender Government To Democrats.

Some Republicans can be counted on to sit there and take it. This approach entails allowing Democrats to hold secret hearings where they handpick snippets to leak to a compliant media in service of setting a narrative. After the leaks are published by the compliant corporate press, these Republicans can impotently push back on some of it.

The other approach is to learn something from the previous few years. Trump’s surprising election was followed by attempts to delegitimize the Republican victory in 2016 by claiming it was due to “fake news,” desperate efforts to overturn the Electoral College, anti-Trump riots in Portland and D.C., the Clinton-directed claims that Russia “hacked” the election, the Russia collusion conspiracy theory, the release of the completely ridiculous dossier alleging that Trump was a Russian agent, the whisper campaign that the truth of Trump’s collusion was so bad that he might not be inaugurated. Yes, all this was before the inauguration.

Do yourself a favor and read the whole thing.

YOUR DAILY TREACHER: Kathy Griffin Thinks Old White Men Are Conspiring to Ruin Her Career.

This might be the only time she’s ever made me laugh. Unfortunately for her, she’s being serious.

So there’s a conspiracy of old white men keeping Kathy Griffin from working. That’s one theory. Another theory — and I know this might sound crazy — is that Kathy Griffin isn’t funny anymore, if she ever was. Maybe she was barely tolerable even before that whole mess, and ever since, she’s just become a bitter old crank. Perhaps she’s a deeply unpleasant narcissist who finally wore out her welcome, and most people have moved on.

Just a theory!

That’s pretty far out on a limb, but read the whole thing anyhow.

ROGER SIMON: Durham Investigation Going Criminal a Disaster for the MSM.

To those of us who have been watching this spectacle from the beginning, this was inevitable.  After all, where’d the Mueller/Russia probe come from in the first place?  Since there was absolutely no there there, it makes no sense that it wasn’t a fraud from the outset.  Who started it? Who are the treasonous/seditious culprits who conspired to overthrow an election? Well, we should soon be finding out, although we can make some educated guesses.

But we do know absolutely who collaborated in the crime, who were the accessories to and in some cases the instigators of this most heinous plot in American history….

… the mainstream media!

They were the more than willing conduits to lies leaked to them by a long list of truly dishonest, unpatriotic Americans — some inside our intelligence agencies and no doubt some foreigners as well.

Needless to say, read the whole thing.

THIS IS WHAT THEY DO WHEN THEY THINK WE’RE NOT LOOKING: David Marcus of The Federalist is a conservative journo who is quite adept with the English language. That makes him the perfect byline for a report on how mainstream media types act in their natural habitat of Gotham City.

Here’s a sample: “By the end of the half hour, I can honestly say I had experienced the smarmiest, most self-congratulatory, dishonest, and squirm-inducing discussion I have ever had the displeasure of witnessing in person. It was like watching Bill Clinton and Stormy Daniels discuss their unyielding dedication to chastity.”

Marcus’ prose is a delight, but the folks he’s writing about … not so much. Read the whole thing, but you might want to keep a large bottle of Pepto-Bismol handy.

THIS IS CATNIP FOR THE LONDON DAILY MAIL: Shocking photos of Congresswoman Katie Hill (D-CA) are revealed as she’s seen NAKED showing off Nazi-era tattoo while smoking a bong, kissing her female staffer and posing nude on ‘wife sharing’ sites.

One of the most scandalous photographs, shows a naked Hill holding a giant bong filled with a murky brown liquid.

Metadata from the picture reveals it was taken on 9/11 in 2017, before marijuana was legalized for recreational consumption in California.

It is unclear whether the congresswoman had a medical license for the drug at the time.

The picture also shows an iron cross tattoo on Hill’s pubic area, similar to the symbols formerly used by white supremacists referencing a World War II Nazi medal.

The tattoo could open the congresswoman to accusations of hypocrisy.

She has criticized racist Facebook posts that included a similar-looking cross, posted by a Santa Clarita veteran who was featured in her political rival’s campaign adverts last year

The veteran, David Brayton, posted racist memes on his Facebook page including the KKK insignia of a ‘blood cross’, a similar shape to the iron cross.

Hill called out the veteran at the time, saying the posts left her ‘deeply disturbed’ and that his ‘hateful rhetoric’ helped fuel ‘violence across America’.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) references in its hate symbols database that the iron cross symbol goes back to the 19th century, included on medals for the German Empire.

It was later adopted by Nazis for their medals, putting a swastika in the middle of the cross.

However, the ADL does note the ‘Iron Cross in isolation (i.e., without a superimposed swastika or without other accompanying hate symbols) cannot be determined to be a hate symbol,’ because bikers, skateboarders and extreme sports enthusiasts frequently use the symbol.

Yes, nice of the Daily Mail to dial it back there after the previous ‘graphs. Prolific Tweeter Neontaster writes, “Everyone claiming Katie Hill has a ‘Nazi-era tattoo’ wanted Talia Lavin fired for doing the exact same thing. Cool your jets.” Or as one wag quipped on Twitter, “So she rides Indy trucks on her [skate]board?” Their logo was the first thing I thought of when I saw the above (NSFW, obviously) photo.

However, while the tat itself isn’t damning, the rest of the story, as Iowahawk tweets, “may be a little tricky PR management-wise.” Including this development at RedState, where the Hill debacle is also catnip: Texts Reveal Concern About Katie Hill Drinking, Missing Flights.

UPDATE: Coverage of Rep. Katie Hill’s Affair Scandal brings up #MeToo Issues.

The scandal also highlighted potential issues related to the #MeToo movement. The #MeToo movement is an anti-sexual harassment movement that led to multiple scandals, such as male lawmakers resigning after past allegations came to light or male celebrities fading from public view due to sexual harassment and rape allegations linked to them.

As Politico noted there are #MeToo implications in this complex case:

“Yet the Hill case may prove a test for Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and the House Democratic Caucus. Pelosi and other Democrats took a hard line in sexual-harassment cases that emerged out of the #MeToo movement during the last several years, and a number of male lawmakers from both parties were forced to resign under pressure.”

“This is the first time such allegations have emerged involving a female lawmaker, and Democrats will be under scrutiny as to whether they can apply to same standards to a woman as a man.”

Speaking of #MeToo:

Related: We Need to Talk About Katie Hill and the Media:

This story, the story of Katie Hill, her “throuple,” and her subsequent affairs and scandal, is the story of a person in power who used that power for sexual satisfaction. Because of the nature of the allegations, even the House Ethics Committee is looking into the alleged affair with a congressional staffer – a huge no-no in Congress.

The mainstream media’s attempts to write [Jen] Van Laar and RedState out of the history of this scandal is saddening, but not entirely unexpected. The work that went into her series of articles detailing the scandal is the footwork of a true journalist. The use of certain images, while holding back on more scandalous ones, showed editorial restraint many outlets seem to have forgotten – that you can post enough to show something happened without posting too much and losing the point of the story.

CNN and other outlets are treating this story like it’s one they just stumbled across, like it’s a story that they plucked off some random corner of the Internet. But it isn’t.

Read the whole thing.

UPDATE: Just Wow: Katie Hill tweeted sooo much trash about Kavanaugh last year and gosh, was she projecting or what?

QED:

(Bumped.)

WILL COLLIER: The Republican SCIF Invasion and the Law. “Bringing your phone into a secure facility is a violation, but not necessarily a major one.”

Today’s Republican excursion into protest theater in the Capitol, wherein a large number of GOP members rushed the Intelligence Committee’s Secure Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) without first putting away their cell phones, has generated an . . . interesting response among left-wing Twitter.

Among the more histrionic responses came from self-described “Multimedia Journalist” David Leavitt, who issued this demanded: “Every @GOP member who invaded the SCIF should be taken into custody by the Capitol Police & questioned by the FBI to determine if they’re serving a foreign intelligence service. They should also be removed from the House until the investigation is completed & votes out of office.”

Well. Having spent the better part of 20 years working in SCIFs every day myself, I have some experience with these matters. Let’s take a moment to unpack this a bit before calling in the marshal of the Supreme Court.

A “heh” to the Classical Reference, and a “read the whole thing” to the rest.

WHOM THE GODS WOULD DESTROY, THEY FIRST MAKE CRAZY. AND HIGHER EDUCATION HAS BECOME OBJECTIVELY CRAZY: Universities Breed Anger, Ignorance, and Ingratitude.

A pernicious cycle begins even before a student enrolls. A typical college-admission application is loaded with questions to the high-school applicant about gender, equality, and bias rather than about math, language, or science achievements. How have you suffered rather than what you know and wish to learn seems more important for admission. The therapeutic mindset preps the student to consider himself a victim of cosmic forces, past and present, despite belonging to the richest, most leisured, and most technologically advanced generation in history. Without a shred of gratitude, the young student learns to blame his ancestors for what he is told is wrong in his life, without noticing how the dead made sure that almost everything around him would be an improvement over 2,500 years of Western history.

Once admitted, students take classes from faculty who, polls reveal, are roughly 90 percent liberal. According to one recent survey, Democrat professors on average outnumber Republican faculty by a 12-to-1 ratio on the nation’s supposedly diverse campuses. But such political asymmetries are magnified by a certain progressive messianic self-righteousness that turns the lectern into the pulpit, the captive class into a congregation. The rare conservative professor is more resigned to the tragedy of the universe and, in live-and-let-live fashion, vacates the campus arena to the left-wing gladiators who wish to slay any perceived heterodoxy.

It’s Victor Davis Hanson, so read the whole thing.

(Classical reference in headline.)

ARTHUR CHRENKOFF NAILS IT:

The media and the left (but I repeat myself) have spent the past three years ridiculing the concept of the “Deep State” and those who subscribe to its existence. We have been told it’s a crazy right-wing conspiracy theory to believe that some public servants, mostly in the fields of intelligence, law enforcement and diplomacy, might cooperate in informal cabals to pursue their preferred policies regardless of who is in power and to protect their fiefdoms from oversight, interference and the executive, legislative and judicial control. To wonder whether some influential people in the federal bureaucracy, connected through a revolving door with the progressive establishment, might have contemplated preventing the election of their bete noire and his removal from office once their initial efforts proved unsuccessful invited accusation of delusion and paranoia.

This narrative is now officially old and busted. The new and hot one: the Deep State exists and it’s good. . . .

The problem is that for all the left’s constant drumbeat the last three years about “this corrupt and corrupting administration”, Trump’s “excesses”, the “war on science, expertise and facts”, collusion, treason, and so on, the sound and fury signify pretty much nothing. There are no smoking guns, or even non-smoking guns, no evidence, no proof that would stand up anywhere outside the court of the left-wing opinion. And now after three years of baselessly accusing the President of being a Russian agent we have impeachment proceedings without an official vote to commence and without identifying which laws Trump is meant to have broken.

You could believe the whole “protect[ing] the interests… of the American people” shtick if after all this time and the incalculable amount of energy and effort expended on bringing down the President, all those patriotic public servants have been able to show something – anything – for it. So instead of disinterested paragons of civic virtue, it increasingly looks like the federal bureaucracy is full of hard core progressives and liberals who can’t stomach a non-Democrat usurper who doesn’t share their values, ideas and objectives.

Yeah, pretty much. But read the whole thing.

Related (From Ed): NYT Columnist Tells the Today Show the Deep State Exists…To Protect Us From Trump.

CLAIRE BERLINSKI PRESENTS: On Mexican State Collapse: a Guest Post by El Anti-Pozolero.

You may have read the news just a few days back: the Mexican military captured not one but two of El Chapo’s sons in the heart of Culiacán, the Sinaloan capital. One son freed himself—which is to say his entourage and retainers at hand overpowered and killed the soldiers at hand—and then, in a decisive riposte, seized the entire city center of Culiacán to compel the liberation of his brother.

The forces that emerged were in the literal sense awesome and awful. Heavy weaponry that would be familiar on any Iraqi, Syrian, or Yemeni battlefield was brought to bear. More and worse: custom-built armored vehicles, designed and built to make a Sahel-warfare technical look like an amateur’s weekend kit job, were rolled out for their combat debut. Most critically, all this hardware was manned by men with qualities the Mexican Army largely lacks: training, tactical proficiency, and motivation.

Then the coup de grace: as the Chapo sons’ forces engaged in direct combat with their own national military, kill squads went into action across Culiacán, slaughtering the families of soldiers engaged in the streets.

Cowed and overmatched—most crucially in the moral arena—the hapless band of soldiers still holding the second son finally received word from Mexico City, direct from President AMLO himself: surrender. Surrender and release the prisoner.

It’s an absolutely extraordinary episode even by the grim and bizarre annals of what we mistakenly call the post-2006 Mexican Drug War. The Battle of Culiacán stands on a level above, say, the Ayotzinapa massacre, or the Zetas’ expulsion of the entire population of Ciudad Mier. Killing scores of innocents and brutalizing small towns is one thing: seizing regional capital cities and crushing the national armed forces in open fighting in broad daylight is something else.

This is getting very little coverage in the US, so do yourself a favor and read the whole thing.

GET WOKE, GO BROKE: The End of Men’s Magazines. Great piece by Brian Patrick Eha explaining how men’s magazines lost faith in men — and lost their readers.

EsquireDetailsMen’s JournalMaximPlayboy—it would be easier to list the men’s titles that haven’t shut down, cut issues, changed owners, blown up their editorial strategies, or become all but unrecognizable since 2015. In a tough media environment, men’s magazines are suffering more than most. Some—notably, Playboy and Esquire—appear to have decided that appealing primarily to men is no longer the best way forward. Their recent issues serve as signposts toward the future that, we are told over and over these days, is female—or, better yet, divorced from the gender binary altogether. What we stand to lose from their cultural eclipse is a certain ballast and guidance just as men need it most.

Read the whole thing.

PREENING INTERRUPTUS: “Acts of planned and gratuitous aggression, including narcissistic aggression — which is what these ‘protests’ are — should be treated accordingly. It’s important that these cossetted pinheads, so gorged on their own sense of entitlement, learn to fear those on whom they recreationally impose themselves. Their expectations of impunity should be shattered.”

Read the whole thing.

HEATHER MAC DONALD ON THE DEFENESTRATION OF PLACIDO DOMINGO:

The AP had spent two years trying to get sources to talk about Domingo; a feminist music critic had also been on the hunt but abandoned the project for lack of cooperating witnesses. After the AP’s persistence finally paid off, other outlets scrambled to catch up. NPR was particularly aggressive but the well of complainants with first-hand experience of Domingo’s womanizing had apparently run dry. Nevertheless, on Friday, September 20, NPR ran a story headlined “Met Opera Faces ‘One More Catastrophic Crisis’ As Employees Must Work With Domingo.” The piece was based on four anonymous sources at the Metropolitan Opera, where the Domingo-starring Macbeth was set to open in a few days.

* * * * * * * *

There are three possible justifications for Domingo’s scourging, each more unpersuasive than the last. The first is to punish his past behavior. But his alleged infractions occurred decades ago, making punishment too belated to be just or meaningful. None of his accusers brought their objections to anyone in authority. If they wanted to punish him, that would have been the time to do so. Now, the overwhelmingly anonymous nature of the accusations and the passage of time prevent Domingo from mounting a defense. Some of the alleged incidents were undoubtedly more ambiguous than the accusers are disclosing. But without a known accuser, Domingo cannot establish the facts of these incidents, even if he could remember what may have been a fleeting and misunderstood gesture.

* * * * * * * *

This idea that Domingo poses a current risk to females even in his immediate orbit is pure hysteria. Domingo is a near-octogenarian. The most recent allegations against him, even if they constituted an actual danger at the time, date from over 15 years ago. After those allegations belatedly surfaced, his every movement would have been under a microscope. Were Domingo still inclined at his age to make advances, it would have taken a suicidal recklessness to engage in any behavior that could be massaged into a harassment incident. But, for the sake of argument, let us assume that he let slip, even now, an appreciative glance or ambiguous compliment. Are we supposed to believe, in this era of “strong women,” that a female chorister is so vulnerable and weak that, faced with someone who is operating under a potential death sentence, she can’t simply rebuff an advance? Domingo’s 20 accusers somehow survived the trauma of being propositioned by one of the opera world’s most charismatic stars. Why would the trauma today be so much more lethal to require proleptically snuffing out a still fertile career?

Read the whole thing.

Now that AP has devoted its considerable resources to destroy a — checking notes — 78 year old opera legend, and CNN its own efforts to gin up a moral panic around a comic book movie, when does the left’s new Moral Majority come for what Matthew Walther, writing in The Week in the fall of 2017, the peak of the #MeToo movement, dubbed “The sexual predators everyone still worships:” the world of rock and rap music? As Kay Hymowitz wrote in the LA Times in the following year, “#MeToo feminists may not realize it, but their other target is sex and drugs and rock ‘n’ roll.” Doesn’t AP now have to aim their guns there, to prove that they’re not simply shooting down the easy targets that are elderly men who would be nearing the ends of their careers anyway, even without a push from what Heather Mac Donald dubs “the brittle rigidity of contemporary feminism… Drunk on its own power, it is turning its massive armamentarium of narcissistic grievance on male success with an ever more neurotic standard of transgression?”

MARK STEYN REVIEWS THE DOWNTON ABBEY MOVIE:

A week ago I was having a conversation in the Fox News green room about the Downton Abbey movie with …well, go on, guess: Tucker? Kilmeade? No, it was Tyrus. A hulking ex-professional wrestler who could crush the average effete English earl between his toes doesn’t seem the most obvious fan of Downton’s doings, and we disagreed on Lady Mary, for whom he has an intense loathing and to whose icy bitchery I’ve warmed up over the years. But it does suggest the broad appeal of Julian Fellowes’ “franchise”, and helps explain why, franchise-wise, Downton Abbey clobbered the latest Rambo at the box office: Stallone’s swan song cost three times as much and its box-office take is less than half.

To be sure, if you’ve never seen the earlier capers, it will be largely meaningless as a stand-alone movie — but then that’s true of the new Rambo and X-Men and Ant-Man and everything else at the multiplex. Perhaps, in the manner of The Avengers, they should have subtitled it Downton: Endgame, or Infinity Tea or Age of Carson. Strung around a visit to the Abbey by George V and Queen Mary, the plot hinges on a broken boiler and the servants’ resentment at a toffee-nosed Page of the Back Stairs from Buckingham Palace — so it makes a nice change from the Incredible Hulk ripping yet another hole in the space-time continuum.

Indeed it does, and I can say that as someone who’s watched the movie after only having seen about 15 minutes of the original TV series. Read the whole thing.

THIS IS WHY WE CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS: SEMA files lawsuit against NHTSA over failure to implement replica car rules.

“Companies have not hired workers, businesses have lost money, and consumers have been denied their rights to purchase replica cars,” SEMA [Specialty Equipment Market Association] President Chris Kersting said in the press release.

Earlier this year, Craig Corbell scuttled his plans to build a Cord replica and put the Cord trademark up for sale in part because of the NHTSA’s [National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s] delay. “Until we get all the information from the government, I don’t want to get a long way toward getting stuff made and then have to do something different,” he said.

Former race team owner Charley Strickland hasn’t yet given up on his plans to build a replica Lamborghini Countach – one that’s already designed, prototyped, and ready for production – but said he has lost funding for the project entirely due to the NHTSA’s delays.

“I’ve done the proof of concept, but without further funding it will not exist, and I won’t get the funding as long as people are clueless about the Low Volume act and whether I can build it,” he said. “I’m the only one whose eat, breathed, and lived the Low Volume act for the last three years, and I’m the only one who it’s life or death to.”

Other companies interested in building replica cars under the act have found it difficult to keep suppliers on hold as well. Jim Espey, vice president of the De Lorean Motor Company, noted two years ago that he’d already missed windows for long-lead tooling necessary to begin production of replica DeLoreans. “The supplier said ‘Are you real, or are you jerking us around?’” he said.

It’s possible to buy near-perfect replicas of 1957 Fender Telecasters and Stratocasters, and reissues of vintage German tube microphones from the 1960s. But if you’ve ever wondered why you can’t buy a modern clone of a classic 1957 Chevy Nomad or ‘65 Ford Mustang, read the whole thing.

THREAD:

Plus:

Not much was told about their motivation in the media.

The farmers gave harsh climate change and environmental protection laws as their primary goal, also complaining about being treated as lower class scum by media elites.

The media ran with the latter.

Of course.

And do read the whole thing.

JON GABRIEL: The Fog of Impeachment.

“If it’s a mist in the pulpit, it’s a fog in the pew.” An old Baptist preacher said that years ago and it always stuck with me. Translated into secular-speak, if the speaker doesn’t present a simple, direct, crystal-clear message, the audience will never retain it.

Speaker Pelosi apparently never heard this advice.

Read the whole thing.

NO ENEMIES TO THE LEFT: Obama endorses Justin Trudeau despite his history of blackface.

As good as Justin must feel today, this has to be causing Joe Biden to flinch a bit. Biden is struggling to raise money and last night’s debate showed that the other candidates now see Elizabeth Warren as the leader of the pack. So where is the Obama endorsement for Uncle Joe? Biden claimed months ago that he had asked Obama not to endorse him but I bet he’d welcome a surprise endorsement now. It’s true that Biden has made some odd and awkward statements but at least he hasn’t worn blackface.

Read the whole thing.

JIM MEIGS IN CITY JOURNAL: California Goes Dark.

Read the whole thing.

BRYAN PRESTON: We Teach Nothing, We Know Nothing — and That Could Cost the United States Everything.

Texas fought a whole revolution over just this idea — centralist government or federalist (republican) government. Thankfully the latter won. But hardly anyone is aware of this, and the left will rewrite that story the first chance they get and turn it into a war over race and class — not ideas. The left won’t forget the Alamo, they’ll just remember it incorrectly. Or do we think the same forces denouncing Jefferson now don’t have designs on the Alamo, Gettysburg, Mount Vernon, Yorktown… wherever the American story can be destroyed? Of course they do. They’ve already attacked the national anthem and the Betsy Ross flag.

Because millions know nothing, warnings about what’s happened in the past or now don’t work. Thomas Jefferson is worse than that Cambodian dictator they’ve never heard of. The National Basketball Association should’ve been more specific with the “national” part of its branding. Which nation do they belong to now? This past week they’ve enforced speech codes on behalf of Maoist communist China. Golden State (social justice) Warriors coach Steve Kerr, an outspoken critic of the United States, refused to criticize China’s abysmal human rights record. They’ve been joined by Apple and Blizzard. Right now, Hong Kong may be the most important city in the world. But too many Americans who know nothing don’t understand that, and are happily selling it out for Chinese money.

Why, it’s almost as though there’s a method to this madness.

DENNIS PRAGER: An Open Letter to Sergey Brin.

My four weeks in the USSR were, of course, life-changing. This young American, lucky beyond belief to have spent his entire life in the freest country in the world, experienced what it was like to live in a totalitarian police state. People feared merely being seen speaking with a Westerner, lest the KGB arrest and interrogate them. People arranged to meet me at a certain tree in a certain park and only spoke to me while walking to avoid eavesdroppers. I met with Jewish engineers, doctors and professors who could find no work because they were known to the government to be “otkazniki,” or “refuseniks” — Jews who had applied for exit visas to leave the Soviet Union and been refused permission. I’m sure you know of them from your parents.

I left the Soviet Union angry and grateful — angry there are people who have the audacity to tell other people what they could and could not say, and grateful beyond measure to have been born in America, where no one could tell anyone what they could say. From that day to this, I have never taken freedom, especially freedom of speech, for granted.

Why I am writing to you about this?

Because, beyond my wildest dreams, two things are happening in America.

One is that for the first time in America’s history, free speech is seriously threatened.

Read the whole thing.

INDEED: ‘Freedom is not free’: Celtics’ Enes Kanter responds to LeBron James’ China, Daryl Morey comments.

Kanter is in a longstanding feud with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan that has resulted in him being exiled from his homeland and facing constant threats. The Boston Celtics center tweeted a list of intimidation he and his family have been a victim to over the last five years, with the line “FREEDOM IS NOT FREE” at the end.

That tweet followed three others that appear to be reactions to James’ comments.

Read the whole thing.

Needless to say, LeBron wouldn’t recognize real oppression if he and the league he plays for were knee-deep in its pocket.

Oh, wait

HARSH, BUT FAIR:

Scroll the whole, devastating thread.

Plus:

UPDATE: From the comments: “They’re setting things up so they won’t have to let their audiences see Andy McCabe’s perp walk.”

ANOTHER UPDATE: Also from the comments:

“Hunter Biden is not running for public office, he’s not a public figure…”

Yeah, he’s just the bagman who collected the millions of dollars the Ukrainians and the Chinese spent to buy the office of Obama’s vice president.

Also harsh, but fair.

AN ITALIAN-AMERICAN EXPLAINS HIS DEFENSE OF COLUMBUS DAY:

Italian-Americans for decades have taken pride in the celebration of Columbus Day in the United States and rightfully so, not because of some modern claims of white Europeans committing genocide against Native Americans but because the Italian American experience in the United States is, more than most, one of the most unique events in American History.

Read the whole thing.

CHANGE: Apple’s Loudest Supporters Turn Against the Company over Hong Kong.

Late Friday, Apple Insider writer Mikey Campbell revealed that “Apple told Apple TV+ content creators not to besmirch China.” The order apparently came from on high, “by Apple SVP of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue… and head of international content development Morgan Wandell.” If capitulation to Chinese demands is “a bad look” for Apple, what do you call it when the company preemptively capitulates?

Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman has long been known as an Apple blogger with great sources inside the company, and usually writes well-informed pieces about the company’s plans and processes. He noted that Greater China “is Apple’s largest market after the U.S.,” which is almost certainly why they “recently pulled the Taiwan flag emoji from some iPhones.” He says that moves underscores “the difficult balance the company must strike in supporting free speech while appeasing China.”

Except that it doesn’t appear to have been very difficult at all for Apple.

Read the whole thing, if you don’t mind me saying so myself.

NOTHING TO SEE HERE. MOVE ALONG. CalPERS is Heavily Invested in Chinese Companies. “As NBA frets over PRoC, Yu Ben Meng bets big with dollars from America’s largest pension fund.”

California’s public employees should know that their retirement funds have invested in companies controlled by the Chinese military, which manufacture parts for the DF-41 missile, along with a range of aircraft, unmanned aircraft systems, and airborne weapons.

For that matter, these pension funds not only invest in Chinese companies (and index funds, tracked by mutual funds, that are heavily weighted with Chinese companies) directly involved in manufacturing military equipment and surveillance equipment, they also invest in Chinese companies involved directly or indirectly in human rights, labor rights, and environmental protection violations all over the world.

California’s largest public employee pension fund, CalPERS, provides a case in point. Despite its quest for the elusive 7 percent annual return, CalPERS nonetheless foregoes investments in Iran, Sudan, assault rifles, tobacco products, and thermal coal. Yet CalPERS continues to invest in Chinese companies.

Read the whole thing.

BUYING FENTANYL ON THE STREETS OF SAN FRANCISCO—An Interview with Heather Mac Donald:

Quillette: What’s a nice lady like you doing buying fentanyl from drug dealers on the streets of San Francisco?

Heather Mac Donald: I wanted to test how easy it would be. Very easy, it turns out.

You weren’t worried about being hurt?

It’s a possibility. But I figure that my value-added as a writer is on the ground reporting.

It cracked me up that you offered just $8 for fentanyl. Was that because you were worried they would think you were a cop?

I really didn’t want to overpay! Literally, I had no idea what the going rate was for fentanyl. I’ve never used drugs in my life. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to be outed. I just didn’t want to be a patsy.

* * * * * * * *

What is your basic argument?

On homelessness my argument is simple: You just don’t allow this behavior. That’s the starting point. It’s not compatible with the long-term life of cities. Once you establish that — something that was uncontroversial 50 years ago when the police would move people along, and there was unanimity that if you were in public you would have to meet basic norms of public behavior — then you don’t let people colonize the sidewalks.

Why is any given city where someone ends up on the street morally obligated to provide housing to that person? Nobody’s ever explained why that is. Say somebody comes from Seattle or Iowa to be homeless in San Francisco. When did San Francisco taxpayers become obligated to provide housing for him?

So is this just about enforcing norms?

Once you establish that this behavior is not acceptable, then you have to answer the question of where to put people. And so for the sake of argument, let’s assume that cities are obligated to provide housing for everyone who ends up on their streets.

If that’s the case, there is still no entitlement to be housed in the most expensive housing market in the country. Politicians should be far more careful stewards of taxpayer dollars. We can get far more addiction and mental health services from building clean and sober facilities in abandoned industrial or rural areas than spending $800,000 for a single unit in San Francisco.

Read the whole thing.

 

 

LET THE SUNSHINE IN: Democrats ratchet up impeachment secrecy.

Friday’s interview of Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, marked a new point — a low point, as Republicans see it — in Democratic efforts to keep impeachment information out of public view.

In this way: The two previous impeachment interviews, with former special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker and Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson, were conducted in the format of what is known as a transcribed interview. Rep. Adam Schiff, who is running the Democratic impeachment effort, decreed that transcripts not be released to the public. At the same time, there were no heavily restrictive rules on what would happen should any member of Congress, acting from memory, reveal things that were said in the interview.

The Yovanovitch session was different. Democrats conducted the interview in the format of a deposition, which is different from a transcribed interview. One key difference is that there are serious penalties for lawmakers who reveal the contents of a deposition. Doing so would almost surely subject the offending member to a House ethics investigation.

Read the whole thing.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi: We’re in a permanent coup: Americans might soon wish they just waited to vote their way out of the Trump era.

My discomfort in the last few years, first with Russiagate and now with Ukrainegate and impeachment, stems from the belief that the people pushing hardest for Trump’s early removal are more dangerous than Trump. Many Americans don’t see this because they’re not used to waking up in a country where you’re not sure who the president will be by nightfall. They don’t understand that this predicament is worse than having a bad president.

The Trump presidency is the first to reveal a full-blown schism between the intelligence community and the White House. Senior figures in the CIA, NSA, FBI and other agencies made an open break from their would-be boss before Trump’s inauguration, commencing a public war of leaks that has not stopped.

I’ve been warning that these people are playing with fire since the beginning. But they think they’re bulletproof. If they wind up hanging from lampposts, well, they should have thought this through. The big question, though, is why are they acting so crazy? It’s either because they are crazy, or because they have something to hide that’s so bad it’s worth the risks they’re running to try to hide it.

In the meantime, read the whole thing, which is unsparing.

CHRISTIAN TOTO: Rise Of Jordan Peterson Pushes Past Partisan Bickering.

Peterson is a gifted but surprisingly naive intellect. He lobs culture war smart bombs in interviews, only to be taken aback when they blow up in his face.

Take his comments about women who wear makeup and high heels in the office. You can sense his contrarian take, a willingness to challenge our preconceptions. Yet he’s shocked when the observations take on a life of their own.

What did he expect, especially since the Left has a virtual APB out on him?

Peterson deserves a documentary willing to capture his family, his flaws and his hunger to help his growing flock. “Rise” delivers on all of the above.

Read the whole thing.

Related: Jordan Peterson enters rehab after wife’s cancer diagnosis.

ROGER SIMON: Trump Makes Real Progress with China while Dems Play Impeachment.

It’s incumbent on us to find the better, more moderate parts of the regime and subtly encourage them (forming economic ties that work is one way) while still making sure that as Americans we see and sympathize with the cause of the democracy demonstrators. Thus far, Trump has done a rather accomplished job of this for a “diplomatic amateur,” letting his sharp criticism of the brainless, pandering comments of NBA managers Steve Kerr and Gregg Popovich–their absurd and stunningly ignorant claims of human rights equivalency between the USA and Communist China–make clear his feelings about the protestors in Hong Kong.

Meanwhile, the president publicly praises depots like Xi and Kim, much to the consternation of the CNNs of the world. It’s a strategy, obviously. It’s not clear the extent to which it will work. But if it does even some of the time, it’s miles ahead of what his predecessors ever did.

Read the whole thing.

 

SAN FRANCISCO, HOSTAGE TO THE HOMELESS:

For the last three decades, San Francisco has conducted a real-life experiment in what happens when a society stops enforcing bourgeois norms of behavior. The city has done so in the name of compassion toward the homeless. The results have been the opposite: street squalor and misery have increased, even as government expenditures have ballooned. Yet the principles that have guided the city’s homelessness policy remain inviolate: homelessness is a housing problem; it is involuntary; and its persistence is the result of inadequate public spending. These propositions are readily disproved by talking to people living on the streets.

It’s Heather Mac Donald, so read the whole thing.

 

MOVING THE OVERTON WINDOW: Robert Francis “Beto “O’Rourke Calls for Stripping Churches of Tax-Exempt Status If They ‘Oppose Same-Sex Marriage.’

As Stephen Miller tweets:

“What Beto O’Rourke said last night is a perfect example of why many orthodox Christians who despise Donald Trump will vote for him anyway,” Rod Dreher adds:

The survival of our institutions depends on keeping the Democrats out of the White House (and Congress) for as long as we can. Commenting on Beto’s remark, Denny Burk is a theologian and a pastor. He points out what’s at stake:

Read the whole thing.

THE LAST WASP IN PRIMETIME — What the 1950’s quiz show scandals can teach us about meritocracy and the elite:

[Herb] Stempel’s grievance was doubtless legitimate, regardless of whether [Charles] Van Doren missed a handshake or whether [Dan] Enright cheated him out of a job. But that grievance’s effectiveness ultimately had more to do with congressional desire for good publicity and Van Doren’s own mistakes than its own justice. Van Doren did his part to undermine public acceptance of WASP privilege, not only by cheating, but by going on Twenty-One in the first place. He hoped his participation would promote elite education and erudition as attainable for everyone—but if it’s for everyone, then people like Mark and Carl Van Doren had no unique claim to it, or to the position of America’s teachers. Twenty-One subjected Charles’s aristocratic virtues to meritocratic standards, and he didn’t live up.

Popular memory considers the ’60s a moment of great disruption, including of the WASP elite, but that disruption began earlier, at the height of WASP popular cultural influence. Today’s elite stands at a similar apex of influence, cooperating with mass media not to spread knowledge of literature, history, and philosophy, but of diversity, inclusivity, and intersectionality. But this cooperation can be risky. There may be no better way to create and spread discontent with reigning elite values than broadcasting them nationally. Mass media might end up making promises that elites can’t keep. And no matter how entrenched and widely beloved a cultural elite may seem, it can only take a few years, a slighted outsider, or a broken public promise to change everything.

Read the whole thing, which perfectly captures the end of a bygone era.

Related: The Ethics of a Movie on the Quiz Show Scandal.

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: Who killed the American arts?

The idea that Americans could educate their own sensibilities to international standards lasted little longer than Emerson and Whitman. By the late 1800s, the United States had adopted a university system along German lines, and ambitious Americans were funneling themselves into its specializing disciplines. By the early Sixties, University of California administrators were boasting that they had created a ‘multiversity’ geared to the needs of technocracy, while University of California students were rioting about an alleged lack of free speech.

By the end of the Sixties, students and administrators had arrived at a Westphalian peace. The students permitted the university to stay in the business of training specialists and technicians. The university let the students redefine the humanistic curriculum. Henceforth, the purpose of liberal education was to prevent the education of classical liberals.

In the new age of identity politics, Americanization had to be reverse-engineered, the glorious miscegenation returned to pure essences. No more mingling of Debussy and Gershwin, or Gershwin and Louis Armstrong in the marketplace of musical ideas. No more mingling of European high culture in impressionable American minds. The arts served to confirm political principles. As Soviet film-makers had cranked out propaganda about tractors and steel, so American teachers vouched for provincial mediocrities like Frida Kahlo and Alice Walker. In subsequent decades, these brave innovations filtered into school syllabi.

The idea was to turn the culturally patriotic melting-pot into a radical rainbow coalition. The result, as we know, was Bill Clinton on sax, a collapse in Humanities enrollments in colleges, and the production of historical illiteracy on a scale not seen since the Roman empire went south.

Read the whole thing.

Flashback: Law professors argue colleagues’ ‘bourgeois’ ideal is racist and classist.

WHY WAS THE WHISTLEBLOWER “VISIBLY SHAKEN”? Who Does the Whistleblower Know?

UPDATE (FROM GLENN): I think it’s worth breaking out this bit from Charlie’s piece:

It seems to me — and this is just a plausible inference, I’m not asserting it’s the truth — it seems to me that the only people who would be “visibly shaken” by that would be someone who already has guilty knowledge of Crowdstrike, Burisma, or both.

Now, look at the really just astonishing irregularity of the “impeachment inquiry”: not just refusing to take it to the floor of the House, but the secrecy, the selective cherry-picking of releases, and the plan to prevent Republican members — not to mention the Nation — from learning anything about either WB1 or WB2.

I think the most plausible inference is that the whistleblowers are connected to Biden’s campaign, or to the DNC, and were shaken by the possibility of Biden and Crowdstrike being investigated because they know there is something there to be found.

It’s time for the Democrat majority on HPSCI to come clean: what did they know, when did they know it, and who are they really protecting with their unprecedented secrecy?

But read the whole thing, because there’s much more.

ROGER SIMON: Democrats’ Fear of Durham About to Reach Panic Level.

The important news of the day — far beyond the inevitable tedious impeachment jousting — is that John Durham’s investigation of the provenance of the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation of possible Trump-Russia collusion has expanded, according to several administration officials.

Read the whole thing.

PUSHING BACK AGAINST THE WHITE GODS: In Search of a Sacred Order: Belief and Cultic Temptation in the Architectural Profession.

Beaux Arts wisdom, derived from a long tradition of comprehensive treatises and essays, gave way to dry and distilled manifestoes that relied on bold critiques of the status quo and a call to action to implement dramatic social change. Reform became urgent after the destruction of war, and past solutions no longer applied to new problems. Innovation was needed, and a reliance on individual genius would become its main source. With the German Bauhaus school, a new educational model arose that tapped into this call, eliminating references to the past and encouraging exploration through experimentation and self-reflection.

However, the public spirit of the Bauhaus, as well as all other architecture schools that it subsequently influenced, masked an essentially individualistic perspective to problem-solving. It elevated the person to the status of a hero whose sweeping vision promised a universal solution to all problems. A new pantheon of architectural gods emerged, with a sort of religious worship for individuals such as Frank Lloyd Wright, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier, and Louis Kahn. Pretty soon, architectural education devolved into producing designers who treated a set program as merely a vehicle to project the prevailing aesthetic styles championed by their preferred god.

Students now believed that it wasn’t enough to reveal God’s transcendent order through buildings, but instead it was better to become a god creating designs inspired by the gods they studied. A modernist canon formed to justify the new truths; it served not necessarily to enlighten students but to enforce a strict social order over them. The teacher-student, or master-apprentice relationship, always harbors the potential to turn into cultic one, particularly in a studio environment. Duo Dickinson, FAIA, a widely read architect and educator from Connecticut, expands on this further: “Inside baseball cults of personality, defensive manifestations of common fear avoidance make lemmings of the young that become social movements. Those movements become cults when the aesthetics of their origins become polemic and holistic canon. Architecture is said, by many, to have a canon that is easy to describe as ‘modernism’ but in truth is more about the narcissistic ego as manifest in elitist vision: that ‘my way or the highway’ basis of our present canon means the ossification of diversity to the status quo, where the various cults of personality like Wright, Soleri, and Gropius have been subsumed into a stultifying Canon of the Now: Modern, Correct, and Unquestioned. Diversity has become a uniform cultural good, but it has largely vanished from the Canon of Architecture.”

Long before the phrase “political correctness,” after Hitler’s Germany caused the founders of the Bauhaus to arrive in America to teach, and were welcomed, as Tom Wolfe so memorably wrote in From Bauhaus to Our House, as “The White Gods! Come from the skies at last!”, corporate and government architecture became one of the most blinkered professions around. Sure, there were plenty of successes (such as Mies’s Seagram Building and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Guggenheim Museum) but acres and acres of stillborn clones of steel and glass Mies boxes, the outright disasters of public housing (inspired by Corbusier’s theories) and the underground nightmare of Penn Station. Read the whole thing, which is by Dallas-area architect Julien Meyrat, the co-author of the Architecture+Morality blog from the pre-Twitter/Facebook golden era of the Blogosphere.

ANALYSIS: TRUE. Liberals Hate Free Speech When We Presume To Use It. And this is quite an opening by Kurt Schlichter:

I have a confession to make: I hate the pseudo-conservative scribblings of David French with the same kind of smoldering loathing I reserve for foot fungus, movies about spunky young women who triumph over the patriarchy, and the music of Maroon 5. With rare exceptions explicable due only to the vagaries of chance, I hate his prose, his premises, his conclusions and his insufferable fussiness. I contend that his writings are fit only to be served up to traitors and terrorists at Gitmo to wring out confessions, and the only thing I enjoy about his terrible, terrible views is that they validate my longstanding negative impression of Army JAGs. But it has never occurred to me that David French should be barred from writing whatever the hell he pleases.

The whole idea that, simply because his opinions make me long for the joyous peace of death, he should be in any way prevented from sharing them with those people who inexplicably wish to endure them, and those unfortunate enough to stumble upon them unawares, is utterly foreign to me and to all actual conservatives. Censorship, to us, is both alien and appalling, like an Oberlin College feminist hot oil twerk-off.

Needless to say, read the whole thing.

HOUSTON ROCKETS GM DARYL MOREY ISSUES APOLOGY FOR CONTROVERSIAL* TWEET ABOUT HONG KONG, WILL NOT BE DISCIPLINED BY THE NBA:

Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey issued an apology on Sunday for a tweet sent out regarding the Hong Kong protests.  Morey’s job appears to be safe, according to multiple reports, and he will not be disciplined by the league for his words, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. The now-deleted message read simply “Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong,” but has led to significant repercussions for the Rockets in China.

Tencent, the NBA‘s exclusive digital partner in China, has suspended business relations with the Rockets, and is offering fans who purchased a year-long “team pass” to watch Rockets games the chance to switch it to a different team. A number of other Chinese companies have pulled sponsorship deals with the Rockets as well. Morey issued the following statement on Twitter:

Read the whole thing. I suspect Morey’s eyes were blinking S-O-S while he typed his forced apology.

And as Clay Travis tweets in response, “This NBA-Hong Kong-China mess is fascinating. The NBA is super woke when it comes to things like made up US transgender bathroom disputes, but bent the knee to China when Daryl Morey came out in support of democracy & upset communists. Shows you how hypocritical the league is.”

* The headline is from CBS, where supporting freedom and democracy is always a controversial move.

At Disney-ABC-ESPN, Morey’s pro-Hong Kong statement isn’t just controversial — it’s “offensive:”

While, the above screen capture shows 75 retweets, it doesn’t show the amount of comments in response — they’re over 700 as of the time of this post being written, which is quite a ratio.

UPDATE: Enough of a ratio that Shelbourne deleted the above tweet, and tried to explain her wording — but didn’t apologize for the sentiment.

Clay Travis addsThink about this for a minute, Adam Silver banned the use of the word ‘owner’ in the NBA because he said it was racially insensitive & then apologized to Chinese communists because one of his executives had the gall to say he supported democracy.”

More round-up at Twitchy:This is a hostage video:’ Houston Rockets GM apologizes to Communist China for his ‘stand with Hong Kong’ tweet.

SUDDEN-DEATH PLAYOFFS:

Think of the next year in the Trump wars as sudden-death playoffs. Should the House impeach President Trump on charges of bad conduct or whatever and the Senate convicts him, he’ll be out of office and out of luck. But since the Senate is unlikely to convict him, he’ll advance to the election, where his bid for four more years will be decided.

By simplifying the process, one can avoid the agony of minute-by-minute reporting, news of “bombshells,” and media hype. It will make the election year more pleasant and the chances of missing important matters slim.

And there’s no need to rely on the media’s unreliable scorekeeping as to how the Trump wars are going. The hunches of an average citizen who checks the news from time to time and gabs with neighbors are likely to be closer to the truth.

Read the whole thing.

OLD AND BUSTED: In the future, everyone will be Hitler for 15 minutes.

The New Hotness? Everybody Is Tipper Gore Now. Kevin Williamson on the New York Times wanting to nationalize the news media, and the Times, Slate, and other leftists getting the vapors over the new Joker movie:

The moralistic busybodies were wrong in the Eighties. They’re wrong today. They deserved the contempt they received then. They deserve it now. The difference is that free speech and heterodoxy used to have allies in such venues as The New Yorker and the New York Times, where both political and artistic freedom now have so many enemies. But I understand that retro-Eighties nostalgia is hot right now. If we’re going to bring back big hair and shoulder pads, we may as well resuscitate the public career of Tipper Gore, last seen skulking around Democratic fundraising circles at the junior-varsity level. Perhaps we could bring back Johnny Carson and the constant threat of nuclear annihilation while we’re at it.

And maybe we can find someone to speak for the cause of art that declines to be subordinated to anybody’s political agenda, current social-improvement projects, the tender sensibilities of critics at the New York Times, or the increasingly baroque rules of etiquette that organizes the lives of New Yorker readers as they sway in the wind like a field of ripe corn.

Nuclear annihilation remains the safer bet, but one may still dream.

Heh, indeed. Read the whole thing.™

MILE MARKERS ON THE ROAD TO THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: Napoleon Chagnon, the Yanomamö bushmen, and Noble Savages Revisited.

Exit quote:  “‘Chagnon…turned the romantic image of the ‘noble savage’ on its head.’ He had to pay the price.”

Read the whole thing.

GOP SENATOR RON JOHNSON RIPS INTO CHUCK TODD’S ‘VERY BIASED’ OPEN, FIGHT ENSUES:

Todd moaned and groaned and then said “I have no idea why Fox News conspiracy propaganda stuff is popping up on here. I have no idea why we’re going here.” When Johnson said this is why people hate the media, “This is not about the media! Senator Johnson, please!!” As in “please stop criticizing the heroic press.”

* * * * * * * *

If Johnson was going to get “personal” with Todd, he would have brought up Todd working for Tom Harkin’s presidential campaign, or his wife’s Democrat direct-mail fundraising business, or the couple’s 2015 dinner party at their home for Hillary Clinton’s campaign communications director.

Read the whole thing.

Related: Touched a nerve? Chuck Todd comes unglued when Sen. Ron Johnson brings up Strzok/Page texts.

DECLINE IS A CHOICE: In the Wall Street Journal, Heather Mac Donald maps the Streets of San Francisco.

This city has been conducting a three-decade experiment in what happens when society stops enforcing bourgeois norms of behavior. It has done so in the name of compassion for the homeless. The result: Street squalor and misery have increased, while government expenditures have ballooned. Yet the principles guiding city policy remain inviolate: Homelessness is a housing problem, it is involuntary, and it persists because of inadequate public spending. These propositions are readily disproved by talking to people living on the streets.

“Everyone’s on drugs here . . . and stealing,” an ex-convict named Shaku explains from an encampment of tents, trash and bicycles across from Glide Memorial Church in the heart of the Tenderloin district. A formerly homeless woman living in a city-subsidized hotel, asked if she does drugs, replies: “Is that a trick question?” Jeff, 50, slumps over his coffee cup at 7:30 a.m. A half-eaten muffin sits next to him on a filthy blanket. “I use drugs, alcohol, all of it,” he tells me, his eyes closed. “The whole Tenderloin is for drugs.”

* * * * * * * * *

The stories the homeless tell about their lives reveal that something far more complex than a housing shortage is at work. The tales veer from one confused and improbable situation to the next, against a backdrop of drug use, petty crime and chaotic child rearing. There are few policy levers to change this crisis of meaning in American culture. What is certain is that the continuing crusade to normalize drug use, along with the absence of any public encouragement of temperance, will further handicap this unmoored population.

Carving out a zone of immunity from the law and bourgeois norms for a perceived victim class destroys the quality of life in a city. As important, that immunity consigns its alleged beneficiaries to lives of self-abasement and marginality. Tolerating street vagrancy is a choice that cities make. For the public good, in San Francisco and elsewhere, that choice should be unmade.

Read the whole thing.

The entire city, whose last Republican mayor left office at the beginning of 1964, is a monument to the Fox Butterfield effect, which the SF Weekly publication stumbled into a decade ago: “Despite its spending more money per capita on homelessness than any comparable city, [San Francisco’s] homeless problem is worse than any comparable city’s.”

The city is just waiting to be used as backdrop for a Trump 2020 campaign commercial. And Trump’s cabinet has already started teeing off on it, finally.

ANDREW MCCARTHY: If the House Won’t Vote, Impeachment Inquiry Is Just a Democratic Stunt.

Only the House can impeach the president. If there is to be an inquiry about invoking this most solemn and consequential of the House’s powers, the House must vote to conduct it. It is not for the Speaker and her adjutants to decree that there is an inquiry. If the inquiry is to be legitimate, the House as a whole must decide to conduct it.

Members of the House are the representatives of the sovereign — the People. In November 2020, the People are scheduled to vote on whether Donald Trump should keep his job. If Democrats, who control the House, truly believe the president has committed impeachable offenses and is so unfit for his duties that we can’t wait just 13 months for the sovereign to render that verdict, then they should vote to conduct an impeachment inquiry. If they are afraid to vote on it, then they shouldn’t be doing it. And, as their committee chairmen are fond of saying, we should draw a negative inference against them.

Read the whole thing.

Related: ‘The fact that House Democrats invite you to their circus does not require you to beclown yourself.’

QUOTE OF THE DAY: The Tea Party Movement.

It was hopeful and enthusiastic, open to anyone – and the Left treated it like the KKK merged with radical anarchists. The Republicans took their support and generally did nothing.

So, people tried something different. Romney was the ultimate nice-guy candidate. Unimpeachable ethics, a proven record of success, and moderate credentials. The Left chewed him up and spat him out. If Abe Lincoln or George Washington rose from the grave and ran for president, they would get the same treatment.

Thus, after you send in friendly folks with SUV and pickups, then a philanthropist in a limo, might as well send in a tank. Trump refuses to just take it like a proper Republican; he’s not a model of civility and noble citizenship, he’s a brawler. This is why TEA Party conservatives are flocking to his banner.

Read the whole thing.

QUESTION ASKED: Why does The New York Times want you to have less free speech?

What moralistic scolds like Marantz and his kind want is control. They want to monitor your speech so that they never feel uncomfortable, and so that only the views they agree with are heard. They yearn for fiats. They are certain that if they just shut you up, then some sort of social justice utopia will surely emerge. What they never seem to understand is that they’re next. For some reason, they always assume that they have immunity from the mob. Wise observers of our culture over the last few years know that no one is safe. Marantz and The New York Times are free to rail against free speech, but it is unwise to do so. Free speech is one of those sacred, fundamental rights that, once taken away, is impossible to get back.

Read the whole thing. The Times’ attitude is very much akin to Meryl Streep’s Hillary-esque “Chief Elder” character in the 2014 movie The Giver: “When people have the power to choose, they choose wrong. Every single time.” Best to let the Deep State take care of all those decisions for you. It’s for your own good, you know.

Related: Free Speech Is Killing Us — a Babylon Bee op-ed by Kim Jong Un.

Using “free speech” as a cop-out is intellectually dishonest and morally bankrupt. Yes, free speech is a glorious pastime of our wonderful, prosperous empire, but it’s not the only one. It must be held in tension with other values, such as equality, safety, good citizenship, worshiping me, and stamping out anyone who would be foolish enough to speak up against our utopia.

Look, I am not calling for repealing free speech entirely. What I’m arguing for is silencing those whose speech your majestic rulers—namely, me—find to be potentially seditious. Only when speech is carefully policed, with your betters determining what can be said and what cannot be said, can speech truly be “free.”

The intentionally satiric Babylon Bee shouldn’t give the Gray Lady any ideas for guest contributors, since they’ve already allowed Vladimir Putin to have a column there — on September 11, 2013. (Evidently, Bill Ayers couldn’t generate 500 words for them that year.)

SULTAN KNISH: They say that Disneyland is the happiest place on earth, but Hillaryland must be the saddest.

What is Hillaryland? It’s a social network “aiming to connect all the people who’ve worked for Hillary Rodham Clinton during her more than 40 years of public service.” It’s run by “volunteers” and offers a plain white $15 Hillaryland tote bag which it claims that it’s selling “at cost” and “not for profit”.

How the mighty have fallen.

Once upon a time, Hillary and her people gaslit the country on the big issues. Now they’ve gone from Benghazi to trying to convince a declining handful of suckers that $15 is the cost price for a tote bag.

Hillaryland is the sad successor to Clintonworld networks like the Clinton Foundation which connected world leaders, foreign criminals and a prospective president. The alumni network is now a joke. The Clintons will never hold public office again. Hillaryland isn’t an alumni network, it’s a political leper colony run by “volunteers” too dumb to realize that the S.S. Slick Willy will never rise again.

Hillaryland promotes such promising ventures as Nasty Women Serve which holds an annual Hillary Rodham Clinton Day of Service. The highest level of service in Hillaryland is hosting a “house party” on November 8, which is National Hillary Day, also known as the day of Hillary’s downfall and defeat. The party will have, “in the true spirit of HRC — some Chardonnay” and will go on “until the wine runs out”.

Only Nazi war criminals in Argentina have sadder and more pathetic reunions than Hillary minions.

Nazis and potheads have 4/20 to get high. Hillary fans have 11/8 to get drunk on white wine. And both of them even blame the Russians for the defeat of their miserably corrupt murderous regimes.

Heh. Do yourself a favor and read the whole thing.

ROGER SIMON: The Joseph Mifsud Story: The Great Movie Hollywood Will Never Make.

It’s the great movie that will never be made.  It  would blow Hollywood’s narrative to smithereens.  Robert De Niro’s head would explode.  He’d release a fusillade of f-bombs the likes of which you have never heard and probably take it out on the nearest female.

But if you’re looking for an explanation for why the world has gone crazy–at least the American part of it–if you want to know how such an outrageous liar as Adam Schiff (aka the Jussie Smollett of Congress) has been able to take center stage, if you want to know why half the country doesn’t talk to the other half, you should look no further than the story of the missing Maltese professor Joseph Mifsud.

Read the whole thing. Though heck, I’m still waiting for Hollywood to finally get cracking on Total Eclipse.

CLAUDIA ROSETT REPORTING FROM HONG KONG: Fueling Hong Kong’s Fury, Carrie Lam Invokes Emergency Powers, Ban Masks. “Having invoked emergency powers, Lam is now in a position to do almost anything. As the New York Times sums it up: ‘Under the emergency powers, Mrs. Lam has a wide discretion to create new criminal laws and amend existing laws — all without going through the legislative process.’ Newspapers can be censored or shuttered, web sites closed down, property seized, searches carried out galore, and so forth.”

Read the whole thing.

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: How China ‘Woke’ America.

First, the Chinese overreached and systematically began militarizing neutral islands in the South China Sea. They derided international commercial treaties.

In racist fashion, they treated Asian and African countries as if they were 19th-century colonies. And they unapologetically lifted technology from America’s biggest and most powerful corporations to turn China into something akin to George Orwell’s “1984.”

Meanwhile, Beijing began rounding up dissidents, cracking down in Hong Kong and “re-educating” millions of Muslims in detention camps. All that brazenness finally drove the left to drop its multicultural blinders and accept the truth of renegade Chinese oppression.

Second, Donald Trump got elected president, all the while screaming that the Chinese emperor had no clothes. The cheerleaders finally listened and admitted that China had been buck naked after all.

Now we will learn whether America woke up just in time or too late. Either way, no one will credit the loud Trump for warning that China was threatening not just the U.S. but the world as we have known it.

Read the whole thing — it’s VDH, after all.