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GERMAN CROSSBOW VICTIMS WERE PART OF MEDIEVAL SEX CULT.

Ayn Rand beabsichtigte nicht, dass die Rückkehr des Primitiven eine Anleitung sein sollte.

AYN RAND DIDN’T INTEND FOR THE RETURN OF THE PRIMITIVE TO BE A HOW-TO GUIDE: People are putting cannabis up their bums and vaginas to have better sex.

GEORGE KORDA IS ASKING TOUGH QUESTIONS: Is there a race problem at the University of Tennessee?

The University of Tennessee’s leadership owes citizens an answer to this question: Is there a race relations problem at the state’s flagship university?

The reactions of Wayne Davis, University of Tennessee-Knoxville chancellor, and Randy Boyd, interim UT system president, cannot possibly be motivated by the “blackface” incident in which two young white men were photographed with a black substance on their faces. The photo, with an unambiguously racially-charged caption, appeared for a period of time on a social media platform before being taken down.

Was the individual who wrote the caption racist, drunk, stupidly thinking they were being clever, or some combination thereof? There seems to be no intense interest in finding out why. The focus is on what’s to be done about it.

Twice in 2018 a swastika was painted on the Rock at UT. No one knows whether it was a true act of hate, an anti-Nazi trying to stir controversy, or a drunken prank. Nevertheless, these are anecdotal incidents in the context of the entire, massive university community made up of approximately 29,000 students and nearly 5,000 faculty and staff.

Nevertheless, after the latest incident, Chancellor Davis swung into action. As the News Sentinel reported on March 6, “immediate and ongoing” bias and sensitivity training will be put in place for faculty, staff, and administration, beginning with executive administration. “Student training” will begin in summer orientation and incorporated into First-Year Studies classes. . . .

The same Tennessean story’s second paragraph said, “The idea comes after an incident where two people, believed to be University of Tennessee-Knoxville students, appeared to wear blackface in a Snapchat image with a racist caption.”

Believed to be? Two individuals, weeks after the incident, were still “believed to be” students? And in response, all 29,000 UT-Knoxville students, as well as faculty and administrators, and perhaps nearly 200,000 pre-college students, are being funneled into training programs to ensure … what?

Well if there’s not a race problem, we’re wasting a lot of money on administrators and programs, so of course there is.

JOHN MERLINE: Democrats’ promise of Medicare for All is remarkably misguided and unrealistic.

Medicare for All backers say that even though it has never been successfully implemented anywhere and would provide “free” cradle-to-grave coverage, their plan will cut national health spending $2 trillion over the next decade by reducing overhead, cutting drug prices, and slashing payments to doctors and hospitals.

Those promised savings are as unrealistic as everything else about Medicare for All.

Private insurance overhead costs account for less than 7 percent of health costs, so even if you were to eliminate it altogether, without adding new paperwork costs on the government side, you’d save a relative pittance. Plus, it overlooks the fact that Medicare and Medicaid are already big drivers of overhead costs for doctors and hospitals, problems that would likely get worse if Medicare were the only game in town.

It’s like running on a platform of flying pigs

Slashing payments to doctors and hospitals is a sure way to drive providers out and force hospitals to close.

And despite all the hoopla over drug prices, prescription drugs account for less than 10 percent of the nation’s health care bill — the same share as in 1960, according to official government data.

They’ll stifle innovation, drive providers out of business, and increase costs on the surviving providers. When Americans notice that they’re paying more, getting less, and waiting longer, Democrats will scream, “We need wider powers!”

And do read the whole thing — it’s filled with useful numbers.

UNEXPECTEDLY: Australia’s Obsession With Hopelessly Intermittent Wind & Solar Wrecking Entire Power Grid.

Australians once enjoyed affordable power, reliably delivered: the chaotic delivery of wind and solar changed all that. Australian power prices have rocketed out-of-control: its wind and solar power capital, South Australia pays the highest electricity prices, in the world.

Mass power cuts (aka load shedding and demand management) and mass blackouts are the new normal. And yet, the lunatics responsible are hell-bent on doubling down to deliver the final and fatal blow to Australia’s Eastern Grid (geographically, the largest interconnected power grid on the planet).

As Jo Nova explains, electricity generation and delivery is a finely balanced thing; and the sudden massive surges and collapses that are part and parcel of wind and solar generation are taking their toll, with much worse to come.

Ayn Rand didn’t write The Return of The Primitive as a how-to guide.

AYN RAND’S RETURN OF THE PRIMITIVE WAS NOT AN INSTRUCTION MANUAL: Number Of Witches Rises Dramatically Across U.S. As Millennials Reject Christianity.

AYN RAND DIDN’T INTEND FOR THE RETURN OF THE PRIMITIVE TO BE A HOW-GO GUIDE: The Typhus Epidemic that LA’s Government Has Cooked Up Has Now Spread to… City Hall.

AYN RAND DIDN’T INTEND FOR THE RETURN OF THE PRIMITIVE TO BE A HOW-TO GUIDE. Gag Alert: PETA Puts Pasty Vegans with Carrot Schlongs in Sexual Stamina Video.

AYN RAND DIDN’T INTEND FOR THE RETURN OF THE PRIMITIVE TO BE A HOW-TO GUIDE. New Feminist Lunacy: ‘Januhairy’ (Empowerment Through Armpit Hair).

NEW SOCIALIST “IT GIRL” CONTINUES TO PAY DIVIDENDS: Alexandria Occasional Cortex Compares Campaign Victory to Moon Landing.

To be fair, in the coming years, both NASA and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will be enormous bonfires of taxpayer money. But even Ayn Rand approved of the moon landing as “Man’s Shining Hour.” In contrast, as Twitchy notes, for AOC, “That’s one small step for a socialist; One giant leap for wild exaggerations!”

THE 21st CENTURY IS NOT WORKING OUT AS I EXPECTED: Woman Who Had Belly Button Removed Now Says She Regrets Procedure.

Paulina Casillas Landeros, 23, got mad at her family, so she decided to hit them where it hurts: Her belly button.

Landeros, from Guadalajara in Jalisco, Mexico, decided to have her belly button removed in an act of revenge against her estranged family, The Sun reports.

After the removal, she sent the belly button to her then-boyfriend as a “present.”

Her family was not happy with her lifestyle choices, from her tattoos to her “extreme body modifications such as a back corset – where piercings are created on either side of the spine, laced with ribbons and pulled tight – along with a split tongue,” The Sun said.

So she had her belly button removed because, as she said, it’s “what makes us human.”

Ayn Rand didn’t intend for The Return of the Primitive to be a how-to guide for life.

AYN RAND DIDN’T WRITE THE RETURN OF THE PRIMITIVE AS A HOW-TO GUIDE. The De-Civilizing Process:

In his new book, “In Pursuit of Civility”, British historian Keith Thomas tells the story of the most benign developments of the past 500 years: the spread of civilised manners. In the 16th and 17th centuries many people behaved like barbarians. They delighted in public hangings and torture. They stank to high heaven. Samuel Pepys defecated in a chimney. Josiah Pullen, vice-principal of Magdalen Hall, Oxford, urinated while showing a lady around his college, “still holding the lady fast by the hand”. It took centuries of painstaking effort – sermons, etiquette manuals and stern lectures – to convert them into civilised human beings.

Reading Thomas’s book on a train recently I was gripped by a terrible realisation: everything our forebears worked so hard to achieve is now reversing. A process that took centuries has been undone in just a few decades.

While linking to a post by “Tax Prof” Paul Caron titled “Paying The Price For Breakdown Of The Country’s Bourgeois Culture,” Glenn noted in August, 2017 that “Bourgeois culture is bad because it limits the flexibility of the elites. When the middle class was ascendant, it had the power to force bourgeois norms on elites, and even many of the poor. This led to social goods that people miss now, but it was also experienced as confining by those so constrained.”

THE UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE HAS A NEW PRESIDENT, AND SINCE HE’S A REPUBLICAN THERE WERE PROTESTERS:

Several UT students attended the meeting and protested Boyd’s appointment, holding signs saying “LIES” and “#RunoutRandy.” Several also spoke during the meeting, saying they had concerns about his appointment.

UT student Alayna Cameron said she thought the appointment of Boyd was “a clumsy decision.”

Cameron, a member of the Student Senate, said she thought “hiring Randy Boyd would be disastrous for the political climate” at UT.

A bill will go before the Student Senate tonight opposing Boyd’s appointment, she said.

The bill says “the administration has forgone any review of student opinion as to any of their administrative changes as of late,” and Boyd “has no experience in academia or running a college or university.” Another concern raised in the bill is Boyd’s “record of forgoing the needs of marginalized communities including the LGBTQ+ community, as well as women, people of color, and immigrants.”

The bill asks the Board of Trustees to not approve Boyd and to create a “student representative committee to approve the candidates for the office of UT Systems President.” . . . When it was time for the board to vote, protesters attempted to interrupt the vote, asking why they weren’t being listened to and calling Boyd “racist and homophobic.”

Sad. I think he’s a good choice — we’ve had management problems, and he’s an excellent manager. But better woke-and-broke for some people, I guess.

AYN RAND DIDN’T WRITE THE RETURN OF THE PRIMITIVE AS A HOW-TO GUIDE: Group baths at Burning Man: Dirty burners line up at Dr. Bronner’s soap-funded camp.

AYN RAND DIDN’T INTEND THE RETURN OF THE PRIMITIVE TO BE A HOW-TO GUIDE: “A Woman Apparently Lost Her Internship At NASA For Telling Homer Hickam To ‘Suck My Dick And Balls,’” BuzzFeed* reported on Wednesday, adding, “Naomi’s Twitter avatar appeared to indicate she was a furry, which has been the focus of many when discussing this story and the privacy she should of had on a personal Twitter account,” and that “Hickam said the woman apologized, and he approached NASA about getting her job back.” As NRO’s Jim Geraghty tweeted when the story broke, “You know, maybe it’s time everyone retired their edgy, in-your-face, no-holds-barred social media personas and just went back to old-fashioned polite decorum, and kept the smack-talk offline.”

Well, it’s a nice thought at least. Today, a Twitchy headline screams, “FURRY FURY! Homer Hickam deletes his Twitter account after uproar over fired NASA intern,”  noting that “Apparently Naomi is a ‘Furry’ — people who dress up in animal costumes — and members of the Furry community got furious at Hickam, which caused him to delete his Twitter and the blog post he wrote where he explained how he was trying to help Naomi.”

Hickam, 75, was a 1st lieutenant in the US Army who served in the Vietnam War, who went on to train NASA crews for the Space Shuttle and wrote the bestselling 1998 book Rocket Boys, which Hollywood adapted as the movie October Sky the following year. He currently serves on the National Space Council. “The Twitter bullies have mobbed and harassed Homer Hickam…into deleting his Twitter account. What a generation. What a generation,” Yomi Adegboye of MobilityArena.com tweets.

* Yes, curious how this BuzzFeed story is sympathetic towards someone possibly losing her job over a rude tweet, when in the past, BuzzFeed played an active role in a woman losing her job over a rude tweet.

AYN RAND DIDN’T WRITE THE RETURN OF THE PRIMITIVE AS A HOW-TO GUIDE: “’Just 66 percent of millennials firmly believe that the Earth is round,’ read the summary from the pollster YouGov.”

AYN RAND DIDN’T WRITE THE RETURN OF THE PRIMITIVE AS A HOW-TO GUIDE: We Traveled Out To The Bayou To Check Out An Anti-Pipeline Hippie Camp. When We Got There, A Man In A Dress Climbed Out Of A Tree.

DEATH BY ENTITLEMENT:

Times readers called the couple heroes. No, the heroes are not these poor fools who stumbled into an ISIS-controlled area; the heroes are the soldiers from the U.S. and elsewhere – most of them a decade or so younger, and centuries savvier, than Austin and Geoghegan – who, while the two 29-year-olds were on a year-long cycling holiday, were risking their lives to beat back ISIS. What, then, is the moral of this couple’s story? In the last analysis, it’s a story about two young people who, like many other privileged members of their generation of Americans, went to a supposedly top-notch university only to come away poorly educated but heavily propagandized – imbued with a fashionable postmodern contempt for Western civilization and a readiness to idealize and sentimentalize “the other” (especially when the latter is decidedly uncivilized). This, ultimately, was their tragedy: taking for granted American freedom, prosperity, and security, they dismissed these extraordinary blessings as boring, banal, and (in Austin’s word) “beige,” and set off, with the starry-eyed and suicidal naivete of children who never entirely grew up, on a child’s fairy-tale adventure into the most perilous parts of the planet. Far from being inspirational, theirs is a profoundly cautionary – and distinctly timely – tale that every American, parents especially, should take to heart.

Ayn Rand didn’t intend for The Return of the Primitive to be a how-to guide for life. Read the whole thing.

ZOMBIE BOY* KILLS HIMSELF: The meaning of a man who tattooed his head to resemble a skeleton’s.

Ayn Rand didn’t intend for The Return of the Primitive to be a how-to guide for life.

* No relation, I believe, to the veteran Bay Area blogger.

21st CENTURY HEADLINES: WORLD NAKED BIKE RIDERS IN ST. LOUIS EXPOSED PENISES AND VAGINAS, SEXUALLY MOLESTING MY KIDS.

Ayn Rand didn’t intend for The Return of the Primitive to be a how-to guide for life.

AYN RAND DIDN’T WRITE THE RETURN OF THE PRIMITIVE AS A HOW-TO GUIDE: “Tech Elites Recreate Burning Man Inside Their Living Rooms,” and the New York Times is on it: “Like a modern version of a medieval minstrel, a singer named Jess Magic is helping A-list entrepreneurs get in touch with their inner child in private ‘songversations.’” Click over, if only for the photos, which are yet another reminder that the ‘70s is the decade that refuses to die:

“The finance and tech scene is still riding the waves of hypermasculine values,” she said. “Coffee to get through the day, alcohol to wind down, then sleeping pills at night to turn off the mind from all that they have going on.”

“People forget that they are human beings rather than human doings,” she added.

Enter the Soul Salon, which Ms. Magic calls “a play date for your inner child” and performs as a “gift,” she said (although guests are invited to “contribute in accordance with the value they feel they received”).

* * * * * * * *

Ms. Magic looked ready to jam with the “Exile on Main St.”-era Rolling Stones, wearing skintight bell bottoms and platforms, and admitted to being nervous.

“One of the reasons why I do what I do, and why I am, honestly, on this planet, is to show up with such a level of vulnerability and sincerity and authenticity, that it almost gives people permission to let it go for a little while,” she said.

Whatever the topic, Ms. Magic speaks with a faraway sense of wonder, her hazel eyes seeming to sparkle. When the singing commenced, Ms. Magic invited the assembled to sit on the floor in a semicircle, where a musician named Elijah Ray droned a mystical tune that called to mind images of saffron robes and singing bowls.

As the music swirled, Charles Eisenstein, a proponent of what he calls “sacred economics,” talked about the unending human injury to Mother Earth. “If you knew she could feel, would you stop?” he said.

Was Jerry the actor also there?

LATE-STAGE SOCIALISM: The Army Took Over the Spigots, Forcing Thirsty Venezuelans to Pay.

Venezuela’s military has come to oversee the desperate and lucrative water trade as reservoirs empty, broken pipes flood neighborhoods and overwhelmed personnel walk out. Seven major access points in the capital of 5.5 million people are now run by soldiers or police, who also took total control of all public and private water trucks. Unofficially, soldiers direct where drivers deliver — and make them give away the goods at favored addresses.

Ayn Rand called it “the aristocracy of pull,” and in late-stage socialism it always belongs to those with the most guns.

THE 21st CENTURY IS NOT WORKING OUT AS I HAD HOPED. Not the Onion: American Airlines bans insects, hedgehogs and goats as emotional support animals.

Ayn Rand didn’t intend for The Return of the Primitive to be a how-to guide for life.

IN SEATTLE, AMAZON SHRUGS: The city attempts to wring more money from its employers rather than fix its housing problems.

Well. Amazon already is doing a great deal to fend off homelessness. For starters, it is employing tens of thousands of people—thereby providing them with steady income with which to pay their mortgage or rent.

On top of that, Amazon has given millions to the city’s affordable-housing fund and millions more to two organizations that help the homeless. (To which Seattle officials say: Yeah, but what have you done for us lately?)

But more to the point: If Amazon declines to pay the tax, the city will take it to court. If Amazon continues not to pay, then it could be subject to liens on its property and, eventually, seizure of the property. Some people, such as actor Wesley Snipes, have even served time in prison for failing to pay their taxes, but it’s not clear if Amazon’s officers would face similar jeopardy over the head tax.

Extortion is simply obtaining money through force or the threat of force. So if anybody is practicing extortion in this case it is Seattle, not Amazon. Amazon isn’t threatening anyone with force, and it isn’t demanding money from anyone else. (At least not in Seattle; the company’s shameless gold-digging for its second headquarters, known as HQ2, is another story entirely.) Seattle is doing both.

In fact, by debating whether it will continue to grow in Seattle, Amazon is merely taking a page out of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged: It is, after a fashion, threatening to go on strike.

Reportedly, Rand said she wrote the book to show how badly “the world needs prime movers.” The linguistic overlap with Amazon Prime is coincidental, but apt.

As a wise businessman once said “Get the hell out of my way!”

FROM THE GENIUSES AT THE DUFFELBLOG: Ayn Rand Delivers Your Weekend Safety Brief.

Or, if you prefer, there’s the Hemingway version.

UPDATE: Or the H.P. Lovecraft version.

AYN RAND DIDN’T WRITE THE RETURN OF THE PRIMITIVE AS A HOW-TO GUIDE: Parents Are Getting Tattoos of Their Kids’ Artwork.

As Mark Hemingway wrote last year, We All Need To Admit That America Has A Tattoo Problem.

IT’S COME TO THIS: Famed gay rights lawyer sets himself on fire in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park in protest suicide against fossil fuels.

David Buckel, 60, was found in the park at 6.30am on Saturday before hundreds descended on it to enjoy the warm Spring weather.

He left a note in a bag for police which read: ‘My name is David Buckel and I just killed myself by fire as a protest suicide.

‘I apologize to you for the mess.’

The note was left in an envelope labeled ‘for the police’.

He was protesting over climate change, his note read, and the dramatic method was intended as a metaphor for how fossil fuels are destroying the planet.

Ayn Rand didn’t intend for The Return of the Primitive: The Anti-Industrial Revolution to be a how-to guide.

JOHN PODHORETZ: The Ryan Retirement in Seven Points. Including:

The nature of the Tea Party and post-Tea Party GOP caucus is so fundamentally anti-institutional that the prerogatives of leadership are nothing now in the GOP. If a Republican is elected speaker after the 2018 midterms, it will be interesting to see how long he or she lasts.

2. A Republican likely won’t be elected speaker after the 2018 midterms. Ryan’s decision suggests he and others have seen enough internal data to know their capacity to hold their 23-seat majority is slipping away. Already this morning, another Republican, Dennis Ross of Florida, announced his decision to retire. That makes 42 GOP retirements among the 237 Republican members of the 115th Congress—a number vastly higher than any recent Congress’s. Most of these retirements are in districts a Republican will win anyway. But while all signs have pointed to significant Democratic gains in the 2018 midterms, the Ryan retirement isn’t just a sign. It’s like a fireball from the sky. And it will occasion more retreats and embolden more Democrats.

At the Federalist, Ben Domenech explores “How Paul Ryan Went From Young Gun To Gone:”

It’s easy to forget how Paul Ryan was vilified by the media. For a politician with so few marks against him – the worst thing one could say was that he suggested staffers read Ayn Rand – Ryan was treated incredibly unfairly in 2012 as a vice presidential candidate, with no moment greater than when his policies were described inaccurately by Martha Raddatz in a terribly run debate with no question was even asked about his signature Medicare reform policies.

Ryan’s response to this trend was to grow frustrated, and irritated, but also to carefully and politely explain his policy perspective in more detail, to try and convince his interviewers, to build momentum for the type of Republican Party he thought the nation needed. Donald Trump’s response to this was to punch the media in the face, repeatedly. The voters let us know which response they prefer.

When one of the most milquetoast Republican members of Congress is subjected to this sort of treatment

…is it any wonder why GOP voters prefer someone who pushes back hard?

DISPATCHES FROM THE INTERSECTION OF THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE AND THE LUDDITES: Profs claim scientific objectivity reinforces ‘whiteness:’

Two University of Colorado at Denver professors say that science educators must do more to combat “whiteness” and “White ideology” in the classroom.

According to Cheryl Matias and Paul Le, “our science is out of touch with the experiences of our students of Color and, instead, represent post-colonial discourses of White power and control.”

Curiously, they published their findings on the Internet, a computer network originally developed by white men to survive a power struggle with a Marxist foe. Or as David Thompson adds:

[I]f you demur, or suggest that the laws of electromagnetism don’t dramatically alter depending on the melanin levels of the person doing the maths, then you just don’t care about “students of Colour” being “victims of deculturalization” and being “invalidated.” Indeed, you are “erasing the values and culture of indigenous people,” and are bolstering “post-colonial discourses of White power and control over people of Colour via forcing the internalization of Western science knowledge.” Instead, all people of pallor must denounce themselves as oppressors, embrace “other ways of knowing” and “re-imagine what science education spaces can look like.”

Sadly, however, and despite the assertions above, the aboriginal alternatives to Maxwell’s equations and commutative algebra remain oddly unspecified.

Ayn Rand didn’t write The Return of the Primitive as a how-to guide.

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: “Who Are We to Judge?”

“The Lottery” is a classic short story written by Shirley Jackson in 1948. It’s the tale of a rural, farming community in America of about three hundred residents. The town seems normal by all accounts as it prepares for a traditional, harvest-time event known as The Lottery.

* * * * * * * *

Then in the 1990s, something started to change dramatically in how her students responded to the sobering tale. Rather than being horrified by it, some claimed they were bored by it, while others thought the ending was “neat.”

When Ms. Haugaard pressed them for more of their thoughts, she was appalled to discover that not one student in the class was willing to say the practice of human sacrifice was morally wrong! She describes one interaction with a student, whom she calls Beth:

“‘Are you asking me if I believe in human sacrifice?’ Beth responded thoughtfully, as though seriously considering all aspects of the question. ‘Well, yes,’ I managed to say. ‘Do you think that the author approved or disapproved of this ritual?’

“I was stunned: This was the [young] woman who wrote so passionately of saving the whales, of concern for the rain forests, of her rescue and tender care of a stray dog. ‘I really don’t know,’ said Beth; ‘If it was a religion of long standing, [who are we to judge]?’”

“For a moment, I couldn’t even respond,” reports Ms. Haugaard. “This woman actually couldn’t seem to bring herself to say plainly that she was against human sacrifice. My classes of a few years before would have burst into nervous giggles at the suggestion. This class was calmly considering it.”

At one point, a student explained she had been taught not to judge, and if this practice worked for them, who was she to argue differently.

Appalled by the student’s moral indifference, Ms. Haugaard concludes, “Today, for the first time in my thirty years of teaching, I looked my students in the eye and not one of them in my class could tell me that this society, this cultural behavior was a bad thing.”

As a wise woman once wrote, “Judge, and be prepared to be judged.”

AYN RAND DIDN’T WRITE THE RETURN OF THE PRIMITIVE AS A HOW-TO GUIDE: How cultists used poison and politics to take over an entire town.

AYN RAND DIDN’T WRITE THE RETURN OF THE PRIMITIVE AS A HOW-TO GUIDE: San Francisco Is Suffering From The Excesses Of Its Own Liberalism.

THE 21ST CENTURY IS NOT TURNING OUT AS I’D HOPED: Fistfights, nude masturbation and dead pets: What’s going on with airline travel?

Ayn Rand didn’t write The Return of the Primitive as a how-to guide.

(Classical reference in headline.)

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: Graffiti at Evergreen State College equates science with white supremacy.

Ayn Rand didn’t write The Return of the Primitive as a how-to guide.

JILL ABRAMSON, VOODOO PRIESTESS: Michael Walsh spots an astonishing admission from Abramson, the “first, and so far, last, female editor of the New York Times [who] has found a second career as a spokeswoman for the lunatic Left:”

It’s easy to look at what’s happening in Washington DC and despair. That’s why I carry a little plastic Obama doll in my purse. I pull him out every now and then to remind myself that the United States had a progressive, African American president until very recently. Some people find this strange, but you have to take comfort where you can find it in Donald Trump’s America.

Read the whole thing. I wonder if Abramson ever commiserates with Sally Quinn, the widow of the Washington Post’s Ben Bradlee, who recently admitted to a life-long obsession with Ouija boards, talismans, and magical incantations.

I’m pretty sure that Ayn Rand didn’t write The Return of the Primitive as a how-to guide for east coast elitists. But I do know that Mary Katharine Ham did predict the omnipresent Obama doll back in 2008:

WHAT DO YOU CALL BLACKSHIRTS WHO USE VIOLENCE TO STIFLE DISSENT? Antifa mob shuts down Yaron Brook event at London college.

Violent protests also erupted outside the event hall, which led the college to bar all non-student ticket holders from attending the event. The Ayn Rand Institute estimates the hosting student group, King’s Libertarian Society, was forced to turn away roughly 200 external ticket holders.

“I was told that due to a ‘risk assessment’ that it was only open to students. So I just huffed and went home! I’m not surprised it’s just an underhand tactic to effectively censor ideas they dislike. Which is fine I just wish they were more honest about it,” one individual who was turned away told Red Alert Politics, who commented anonymously.

John Switzer Haagensen, another non-student ticket holder, told Red Alert Politics, “it was somewhat chaotic at the campus. We were all their [sic] hopeful to get in but the university wouldn’t botch claiming security concerns … we were outside in the hallway prevented from entering, the antifascists aggressors arrived with smoke bombs.”

“I strongly feel the university caved into the antifa protesters. They need to protect free speech and not prevent people from joining peacefully. They changed criteria just 2.5 hours prior to the event despite it having been scheduled for months. I am very disappointed in an institution a top university in the world acting cowardly like this,” Switzer Haagensen continued.

Video at the link.

AYN RAND DIDN’T WRITE THE RETURN OF THE PRIMITIVE AS A HOW-TO GUIDE: #MeToo Fashion Show Features Pig-Faced Men Handcuffed to Models with Angel Wings.

AYN RAND DIDN’T WRITE THE RETURN OF THE PRIMITIVE AS A HOW-TO GUIDE:

● Shot:

In the chapters on the 1950s, I make the point that the whole idea that American life was characterised by conformity and mediocrity was just nonsense. The 1950s were the high point of American popular culture, when most people are listening to symphonies and buying thoughtful books. It’s an extraordinary period of intellectual life among the middle class. I am a child of the 1950s, and the people I grew up around all had wonderful paperbacks. They would read Thomas Mann and Andre Schwarz-Bart (The Last of the Just). The idea that people were just marching along like penguins was just bizarre.

The Revolt Against the Masses — Fred Siegel on the long history of liberal elitism, Spiked, February 2018.

● Chaser: Twitter Loses Its Collective Mind Over ‘Lady Doritos’ That Don’t Actually Exist.

— Headline, PJ Media.com today.

L.A.’S HOMELESSNESS SURGED 75% IN SIX YEARS. HERE’S WHY THE CRISIS HAS BEEN DECADES IN THE MAKING:

Three out of four homeless people — 41,000 — live in cars, campers, tents and lean-tos, by far the biggest single group of unsheltered people in any U.S. city. If you took out Los Angeles, national homelessness would have dropped last year for the first time since the recession.

People left behind by the economic recovery can’t compete with young professionals who have bid rents up to record levels.

In another era, they might have found refuge in crumbling hotels and tenements. But many of those buildings were lost in the city’s post-recession spree of building, evictions and renovations.

The problem has only gotten worse since Mayor Eric Garcetti took office in 2013 and a liberal Democratic supermajority emerged in 2016 on the county Board of Supervisors.

Unexpectedly. And if you missed it last month, here’s California in a single headline: Anaheim to evict homeless to make way for flood-control project and preserve bike path.

The video in the post at Twitchy of ten speed-bicyclists in full spandex Lance Armstrong Tour de France gear and GoPro-equipped helmets videotaping themselves riding past an endless row of homeless tents is California in a single video:

Ayn Rand didn’t write The Return of the Primitive as a how-to guide.

AYN RAND DIDN’T WRITE THE RETURN OF THE PRIMITIVE AS A HOW-TO GUIDE: ‘Credible Philosophers’ Attribute Consciousness to Inanimate Objects Like Rocks and Tableware.

“Credible.”

AYN RAND DIDN’T WRITE THE RETURN OF THE PRIMITIVE AS A HOW-TO GUIDE: Your political leaders are now using “talking sticks” to communicate with one other.

Huh – don’t they know that real coastal elitists communicate with each other via Pinch Sulzberger-brand stuffed moose toys?

CALIFORNIA IN A SINGLE HEADLINE: Anaheim to evict homeless to make way for flood-control project and preserve bike path.

And the video in the post at Twitchy of ten speed-bicyclists in full spandex Lance Armstrong Tour de France gear and GoPro-equipped helmets videotaping themselves riding past an endless row of homeless tents is California in a single video:

 

Ayn Rand didn’t write The Return of the Primitive as a how-to guide.

NO. Cooking With Your Mouth: Why using a knife for chopping your carrots is so last year.

Chopping up food with your teeth before spitting it into your mixing bowl is not going to be the big food trend of 2018. For a while, though, it was touch and go.

When a video appeared at the beginning of the year showing a woman preparing the ingredients for Christmas turkey stuffing with her mouth it picked up more than a million views in a matter of days. There she was, gamely dicing garlic, onion, carrot and celery with her incisors, grinding spices with her molars and whisking eggs and softening butter with her tongue, before regurgitating it all into a bowl to be mixed and stuffed into the waiting turkey.

Ayn Rand’s Return of the Primitive was not meant to be a how-to guide.

THE 21st CENTURY ISN’T WORKING OUT THE WAY I HAD HOPED. Topless activist tries to steal Nativity baby Jesus at the Vatican.

Ayn Rand didn’t write The Return of the Primitive as a how-to guide.

THE LEFT GRAPPLES WITH WHAT TO DO ABOUT ONCE FAVORITE ARTISTS WHO ARE OR WERE VERY DAMAGED SOULS: First up, at Slate, “Does Rotten Apples Toss Out Some Good Ones, Too? The website seeks to sort the movies of bad men from everything else. That’s more fraught than you’d think:”

More than two dozen men with ties to the entertainment industry have been fired, suspended, or otherwise censured in the 10 weeks since the New York Times published its initial exposé of producer Harvey Weinstein. If you’re having trouble keeping up with all the boldface names you should now refile under alleged scum, you’re not alone. In keeping with the rest of the news from this terrible year, the downfalls of accused creeps quickly became a torrent of stomach-churning but easily mix-up-able updates. For moviegoers who wish to avoid films made by or starring sexual malefactors, there should be an effortless way to find out how to watch responsibly.

That, anyway, is the thinking behind Rotten Apples, a searchable database that aims to inform users if a movie involves an actor, screenwriter, director, or producer facing allegations of sexual misbehavior. Enter a movie in the search window, and the site’s left half will deliver a verdict in stark red or green: Rotten Apples or Fresh Apples. “Rotten” results include a link to an article about the pertinent accusations.

And in the book world one blogger asks, “The Book That Made Me a Feminist Was Written by an Abuser. ‘The Mists of Avalon’ changed my life—how do I reconcile that with what I now know about its author?”

By the time I left home for a women’s college in 1989, I’d reread The Mists of Avalon several times. I arrived ready to smash the patriarchy.

And then, in 2014, Moira Greyland, Marion Zimmer Bradley’s daughter, told the world that her mother had sexually abused her and many other children for more than a decade. I didn’t even know how to process this information. I believed Greyland, absolutely, but I just couldn’t make this revelation fit with The Mists of Avalon and what that book meant to me. Bradley was not an author to whom I had a personal attachment. I’d never gotten into anything she’d written besides The Mists of Avalon. Had I been more of a fan, I might have seen the pedophilia threaded through her other work. I might have known that Walter Breen — Bradley’s husband and Greyland’s father — died in prison after being convicted of molesting a child. (Greyland says that there were many, many more victims.) Had I been more of a fan, I might have known that rumors about Bradley and Breen had circulated in the science fiction and fantasy communities for years.

As “Pervnado” extends to more and more of Hollywood, and as more and more past authors are discovered to either have committed real crimes, as Greyland’s parents did, or have simply run afoul of the left’s latest PC censors, there stands a good chance that a fair amount of pop culture history will be tossed into Orwell’s proverbial Memory Hole, as that’s always the left’s first instincts.

It’s much easier for those of us more or less on the right to believe that bad people can great art (including great pop art), as we already know that many of the people who working in Hollywood and the music industry hate our guts — and in many cases, hate the notion of America itself.

Beyond Polanski’s brilliant Chinatown and Woody Allen’s Annie Hall and Manhattan, there’s a bottomless supply of brilliant pop culture created by awful people. In the 1970s, Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas were Marin Marxists who believed the communist North Vietnamese were the good guys during the Vietnam War, and worked to put those themes into their movies, but who’d want to be without Apocalypse Now and the original Stars Wars?  The subtext of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey fits the definition of fascist moviemaking for both Susan Sontag’s 1975 “Fascinating Fascism” article and the chapter on Hollywood in Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism perfectly. It also contains some of the most arresting images captured on celluloid and its production design and special effects techniques paved the way for the Star Wars, Alien and Star Trek movie series. Ayn Rand’s writing in the ’50s and ’60s was fueled by Benzedrine and she had an affair with young acolyte Nathaniel Branden while they were both married to other partners, but was (and is) many a teenager’s gateway drug into libertarianism. In the music world, John Lennon was a nihilistic pro-NVA wife beater, but also wrote some of the Beatles’ finest songs. Led Zeppelin’s terrifying excesses are legendary.

But as I said, this list is endless. As a result of Harvey Weinstein and the rest of the “Pervnado,” the left’s goal of airbrushing the works of artists who led deeply flawed personal lives out of history has followed almost seamlessly after the recent wave of their statue topplers. Back in August, while the left were still in full-on statue smashing mode, in “The Orwellian War on History,” Brendan O’Neill of Spiked wrote:

The history erasers claim they only want to show how fair our societies now are. Rubbish. This isn’t about making the present better, it’s a projection of political correctness into the past. It’s the punishment of historical figures – even good historical figures, such as Jefferson, and good historical events, such as the settlement of Australia – for not sharing our exact modern world view.

And it reeks of PC paternalism. The idea that minority groups can’t cope with seeing statues of dead people who did some dodgy things is an affront to their intelligence and autonomy. It infantil­ises them, even suggesting they will feel physically wounded by history: after all, “there is a violence” to these statues.

It’s disturbingly ironic: this treatment of certain groups as fragile, as needing to have public life sanitised on their behalf in the way a new mum might baby-proof her home, is riddled with some fairly racist assumptions of its own.

One of the great things about public life is that it’s a patchwork of the historical events that made our nations. Take a walk through a city and you’ll see statues of soldiers, politicians, authors, suffragettes and others who shaped our societies. And most of them will have held views or done things we would consider questionable in 2017. So what? The point is they made history, and it’s right for the public sphere to reflect that.

The logic of the Year Zero crew is that we should see only historical figures they approve of (if there are any). They police history with an eye for policing what we citizens can see and by extension think about the societies we live in.

Earlier this month, when Minnesota Public Radio tossed Garrison Keillor’s segments of the Prairie Home Companion down the memory hole Rod Dreher wrote, “If you only chose to partake of art, music, and literature created by morally upstanding persons, you’d quickly come to the end of what’s available. Museums would empty out. Concert halls would fall silent. Bookstores would have to be repurposed as yoga studios, and movie theaters as hipster churches. The unfortunate truth is that bad, or at least deeply flawed, people often make the best art.”

THE 21st CENTURY ISN’T WORKING OUT THE WAY I HAD HOPED. OR, TATTOO EWWW: Dear Prudence “counsels a letter writer who regrets getting a tattoo she now regards as culturally insensitive:”

I am a white person who grew up without any faith and started practicing Buddhism during college. I attended a temple, studied the history, and genuinely followed it for 13 years. During that time I got a large om symbol tattooed on my hand, which admittedly was a fad. While Buddhism is still extremely near to my heart, I kind of let it go after having to move to an area with no temples. And as the conversation about cultural appropriation has developed, I’ve been feeling deep tattoo regret.

I’ve seen a few tattoo artists who have turned me away because any cover-up will likely only turn into a giant blob. I also sought laser removal but was told the color and placement of the tattoo will render treatment ineffective. Recently, an Asian friend of mine asked me to cover the tattoo around her family because it really bothers them. I feel like a total jerk. I’ve gotten several annoyed stares and I’m not sure how to make things right.

Appropriation was just something I was not aware of a decade ago when I got this tattoo. I try to keep it covered with sleeves or gloves, but I need a better long-term solution. What do you think is the best path here?

As Dr. Theodore Dalrymple once warned, the tattoo parlor is “the refutation of the doctrine that the customer is always the right. In the tattoo parlour, the customer is always wrong.”

Similarly, Ayn Rand didn’t write The Return of the Primitive as a how-to guide.

AYN RAND DIDN’T WRITE THE RETURN OF THE PRIMITIVE AS A HOW-TO GUIDE: Jewish Groups Demand Poland Explain Naked Game of Tag in Nazi Gas Chamber. After learning 2015 video was shot in the Stutthof death camp in Poland, groups representing Holocaust survivors pen letter to country’s president asking who gave permission.

JEAN-LOUIS GASSÉE HAS A Dare To Congress: Go Ahead, Vote A Golden Key Encryption Law.

Above all else, politicians play the crowd, it’s how they keep their jobs. The ostentatious plea for “responsible encryption” is mere grandstanding aimed at gaining Law and Order votes from people who justifiably don’t like the idea of Bad People being able to hide their communications from authorities.

The grandstanding often takes the form of a hackneyed hypothetical: A terrorist is hiding the location of a dirty bomb on his smartphone. Who wouldn’t want a trusted government agency to unlock the device and save a city?

The hypothetical isn’t just painful, it’s dishonest and manipulative.

Instead of arguing, let’s issue a dare to Congress: Stop dickering already and enact a law that would compel any entity that makes, sells, or uses encryption to place the one and only decryption key for their product or service — the Golden Key — in escrow with a newly created REA, the Responsible Encryption Agency.

Congress, will you stop the posturing and vote for such a law?

No. They would come to their senses and see the ugly consequences of the legislation.

I’m less sanguine about the wisdom of the elected masses.

21ST CENTURY HEADLINES: EPA employees asked to stop pooping in hallway. “Poop bandit” may still be on the loose.

Ayn Rand didn’t write The Return of the Primitive as a how-to guide. On the other hand, after Obama’s EPA destroyed Colorado’s Animas River last year, as Jonah Goldberg tweets, “I’m just glad to know somebody at the EPA gives a crap.”

THE 21ST CENTURY ISN’T TURNING OUT AS I’D HOPED: Goat Yoga, Meet the Zoning Board.

Ayn Rand didn’t write The Return of the Primitive as a how-to guide.

THE 21st CENTURY ISN’T TURNING OUT THE WAY I HAD HOPED: Woman who got an eyeball tattoo may lose her eye, now she’s warning others.

A Canadian woman posted graphic images of her eye leaking purple dye after she says a risky tattoo on her eyeball that may leave her partially blind.

Catt Gallinger, a 24-year-old body modification enthusiast from Ottawa, is trying to warn others after getting a “scleral tattoo,” which consists of injecting ink into the white part of the eyeball.

Gallinger, who has a forked tongue, piercings and tattoos, has undergone painful procedures before, but she wrote on Facebook that immediately after the tattoo was done on Sep. 5, purple dye began streaming down her face, and her eye was swollen shut the next day.

“I took my eyesight for granted and trusted someone I shouldn’t have,” she said in a video posted Monday. “And even if this heals, my eyesight is not going to be back.”

Ayn Rand wrote The Return of the Primitive as a warning, not a how-to guide.

LONGTIME ESPN HOST SHARES NAME WITH INFAMOUS NAZI WHO SUPERVISED SLAVE LABOR:

ESPN refused to acknowledge whether or not it had plans to pull pundit Robert Ley off of the air, despite the fact that he has the same name as an infamous Nazi official.

The original Ley was head of the German workers’ front, and was quoted as saying that “The only person who is still a private individual in Germany is somebody who is asleep” — now a mantra for CNN and Google in 2017.

WILL ROBOTS STEAL HUMAN JOBS?

In recent years, there has been increasing concern about the effects of artificial intelligence and robots on humans. Some people have worried that humans will be marginalized to the point of being put out of work. Why hire a human when a much cheaper robot can do the job without being distracted? Of course, we can never be sure about the future. But a look at technological revolutions in the past should make us more optimistic than pessimistic about the fate of human labor in the age of AI.

In the past, the introduction of more and more machinery made people more and more productive. And since real incomes—wages and salaries—are closely tied to productivity, machinery caused people’s real incomes to increase. The same will be true of robots, whether we define robots narrowly as human-looking machines that move purposely on a factory floor or more broadly as machines that involve artificial intelligence. The fear of robots is similar to the fear of automation that was common only a few decades ago—and just as bogus.

In 1930, British economist John Maynard Keynes, reflecting on the progress of technology, predicted that his generation’s grandchildren would have a 15-hour workweek. Assuming that a generation is 30 years, we should have had that 15-hour workweek in 1990. Did we? Not even close. Twenty-seven years after 1990, we still don’t. But why don’t we? Where did Keynes go wrong?

It wasn’t in his assumption about increasing productivity. Rather, Keynes was probably assuming that people would work enough to get the same standard of living they had in 1930. If that was his assumption, then he was quite accurate in predicting our productivity per hour. In the four score and seven years since Keynes made his prediction, our productivity has doubled and doubled again. We could easily have what we had then if we worked 15-hour weeks now.

Read the whole thing. But how far forward can we project the trends of the past?

THE EU: AUTHORITARIANISM THROUGH COMPLEXITY:

It’s not a bad maneuver, but it unravels at a certain point. The British team consists of well-educated and experienced civil servants. In claiming that this team is not up to the task of understanding the complexities of EU processes and regulations, the EU has made the strongest case possible against itself. If these people can’t readily grasp the principles binding Britain to the EU, then how can mere citizens understand them? And if the principles are beyond the grasp of the public, how can the public trust the institutions? We are not dealing here with the complex rules that allow France to violate rules on deficits but on the fundamental principles of the European Union and the rights and obligations – political, economic and moral – of citizens. If the EU operating system is too complex to be grasped by British negotiators, then who can grasp it?

As Ayn Rand wrote in Atlas Shrugged:

“Did you really think that we want those laws to be observed?” said Dr. Ferris. “We want them broken. You’d better get it straight that it’s not a bunch of boy scouts you’re up against — then you’ll know that this is not the age for beautiful gestures. We’re after power and we mean it. You fellows were pikers, but we know the real trick, and you’d better get wise to it. There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted — and you create a nation of law-breakers — and then you cash in on guilt. Now, that’s the system, Mr. Rearden, that’s the game, and once you understand it, you’ll be much easier to deal with.”

Why, it’s as if European elites went from vanquishing both National Socialism and International Socialism, and had second thoughts, and decided that parts of them weren’t so bad after all – and that’s never happened before there!

UPDATE (FROM GLENN): We all know what happened to the Gordian Knot. And I’m guessing the Knot didn’t enjoy it much.

WHOA – CNN TURNED OBJECTIVIST SO SLOWLY, I HARDLY EVEN NOTICED! Journalist Carl Bernstein Declares ‘Cold Civil War’ In America:

On Sunday, appearing on CNN’s Reliable Sources, Carl Bernstein, who along with Robert Woodward, broke the story of Watergate for The Washington Post,  claimed, “We are in the midst of a cold civil war in this country.”

Bernstein, who along with Woodward relied on anonymous sources to discover information related to the Watergate break-in, made his comment about a “cold civil war” to distinguish the era of Watergate from the current political climate.

I wonder if Bernstein thinks he invented that phrase – when perhaps its very first use was by Ayn Rand in a 1962 column with that same title, back when she was giving speeches and proposing book titles railing against JFK’s “Fascist New Frontier.”

(She lost her long-suffering editor, the famous Bennett Cerf, a What’s My Line panelist, over that title – but she may have been more right than she knew.)

Hit the “Continue reading” link for a lengthy look at the “Cold Civil War” phrase in the 21st century and some background on Carl Bernstein’s radical past.

Continue reading ‘WHOA – CNN TURNED OBJECTIVIST SO SLOWLY, I HARDLY EVEN NOTICED! Journalist Carl Bernstein Declares…’ »

ASKING THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS: Is America Encouraging the Wrong Kind of Entrepreneurship?

In a 1990 paper, “Entrepreneurship: Productive, Unproductive, and Destructive,” Baumol argued that the level of entrepreneurial ambition in a country is essentially fixed over time, and that what determines a nation’s entrepreneurial output is the incentive structure that governs and directs entrepreneurial efforts between “productive” and “unproductive” endeavors.

Most people think of entrepreneurship as being the “productive” kind, as Baumol referred to it, where the companies that founders launch commercialize something new or better, benefiting society and themselves in the process. A sizable body of research establishes that these “Schumpeterian” entrepreneurs, those that are “creatively destroying” the old in favor of the new, are critical for breakthrough innovations and rapid advances in productivity and standards of living.

Baumol was worried, however, by a very different sort of entrepreneur: the “unproductive” ones, who exploit special relationships with the government to construct regulatory moats, secure public spending for their own benefit, or bend specific rules to their will, in the process stifling competition to create advantage for their firms. Economists call this rent-seeking behavior.

In Baumol’s theoretical framework, depressed rates of entrepreneurship aren’t the culprit for periods of slow economic growth; rather, a change in the mix of entrepreneurial effort between the two kinds of entrepreneurship is to blame — specifically, a decline in productive entrepreneurship and a coincident rise in unproductive entrepreneurship. But is this what’s actually happening in the U.S.?

Well, for starters, we and others have documented a pervasive decline in the rate of new firm formation during the last three decades and an acceleration in that decline since 2000. In fact, we found that by 2009 the rate of business closures exceeded the rate of business births for the first time in the three-decades-plus history of our data.

Washington is diverting ever more of the country’s creative energies away from innovation and towards “pull peddling.”

Atlas Shrugged was not supposed to be a how-to manual.

ASKING THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS: “Superman v Objectivism: Could Ayn Rand Be Superman’s Biggest Enemy?”

IN THE MAIL: From Randy Wayne White, Mangrove Lightning (A Doc Ford Novel).

Plus, today only at Amazon: Save on Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifiers from Pure Enrichment.

And, also today only: Save 40% on Skque Self Balancing Hoverboard with LED Lights.

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And, of course, Fresh Lightning Deals, Updated Every Hour. Browse and save!

WOLVERINES! 7 Best Movies About the Russians: From Bolsheviks to Berlin.

Missing from the list? The World War II Italian production of Ayn Rand’s We the Living about life, such as it was, during the early days of Russian communism. Director Goffredo Alessandrini pitched it as anti-Communist propaganda in order to get the government greenlight, but he delivered Rand’s anti-totalitarian message a little too well for Mussolini’s comfort. As a result, the movie was banned shortly after its release, then forgotten for 40 years. The restored film is beautifully shot, well-acted, and true to the source material, which of course young Rand lived through.

Highly recommended.

ALSO: Seriously, no Red Dawn? That’s everything you need to know about the Russians, and the Cuban commies, too.

ADRIANA COHEN ON THE DEMOCRATS’ ELECTION-DENIAL:

Since Donald Trump’s unexpected victory, Democrats have been trying to delegitimize his historic upset.

U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), who sent shock waves through the media echo chamber this weekend when he said in an NBC interview, “I don’t see this president-elect as a legitimate president. I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected. And they helped destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton.” Former Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon went on CNN Friday to chime in as well. . . .

I’ll tell you real reasons Clinton lost. In addition to failing to campaign in key battleground states, she lacked an inspiring message. Hillary thought she could win by (A) riding Obama’s coattails and (B) attacking Trump.

Never mind that she alienated voters with her “Pay to Play” family foundation, her Wall Street ties or her failure to maintain national security by insisting on doing government business on a private email server — all to dodge public scrutiny. After the lies she told from “I didn’t send or receive any classified emails,” to blaming a video for the terrorist attack that killed four Americans in Benghazi, voters got skittish.

Add to it skyrocketing Obamacare premiums and her goose was cooked — quite apart from any alleged hacking.

Remember, Vladimir Putin didn’t announce Obamacare costs were going up double digits on average in 2017 — the Health and Human Services Department did — right before the election.

But no matter, Dems are still trying to delegitimize Trump’s victory. Can you imagine if GOP members of Congress called Obama’s presidency in 2008 or 2012 illegitimate? They would’ve been called racist. If Clinton won this election and Republicans said her presidency wasn’t legitimate, they’d be called sexist. It would be the War on Women all over again.

Yep. And I don’t think this is playing very well, but I also don’t think it’s so much a planned strategy as something they just can’t help. But Joe Manchin understands that this is playing badly with swing voters:

Georgia Rep. John Lewis’ comments about President-elect Trump were “uncalled for,” Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin said Sunday.

“I’ve got the utmost respect for Congressman Lewis. He’s an icon, if you will,” Manchin told CBS’ John Dickerson. “I just think that was uncalled for. I just wish that rhetoric would tone down from both back and forth.”

Lewis had said last week he doesn’t view Trump as a “legitimate” president, nor does he look forward to working with the president-elect once he enters office.

The “bickering going on back and forth” between Lewis and Trump makes the U.S. look weaker to its allies, Manchin said.

Related: Don Surber: When Atlanta’s High Crime Rate Is Acceptable To The Journal-Constitution. When treating it as a problem might help Trump, of course.

Plus: The Left Hates Trump Because His Victory Was A Cultural One, Not Just A Political One:

The left is used to losing political battles. They scream and cry over these but they don’t truly panic, because they know that as long as they maintain their hammerlock on the culture, Republicans can’t really change anything.

Blue Team Progressivism is a church, offering you moral superiority and a path to spiritual enlightenment. As a church it’s got a lot going for it. It runs religious programming on television, all day every day. Every modern primetime program is like a left-wing Andy Griffith show, reinforcing lessons of inclusion, tolerance, feminism, and anti-racism.

Watching a 90-pound Sci-Fi heroine beat up a room full of giant evil men is as satisfying to the left as John Wayne westerns were for the right.

The Blue Church controls the HR department, so even if you don’t go to church, you have to act like a loyal churchgoer in every way that matters while you’re on the clock. And off the clock, on any kind of public social media platform.

Jon Stewart and John Oliver are basically TV preachers. Watching them gives the same sense of quiet superiority your grandma gets from watching The 700 Club. The messages are constantly reinforced, providing that lovely dopamine hit, like an angel’s voice whispering, “You’re right, you’re better, you’re winning.”

Hollywood award shows are like church talent shows – the skits and jokes aren’t really funny, but it’s fun to look at the pretty girls, and you’re all on the same team. . . .

For the first time in decades, voters explicitly rejected the Blue Church, defying hours of daily cultural programming, years of indoctrination from the schools, and dozens of explicit warnings from HR.

We’ve been trained since childhood to obey the pretty people on TV, but for the first time in decades, that didn’t work.

Donald Trump won because flyover America wants their culture back, and Blue Team has not been rejected like that before.

The younger ones have grown up in an environment where Blue Faith assumptions cannot even be questioned, except anonymously by the bad kids on Twitter.

But now the bad kids are getting bolder, posting funny memes that make you laugh even though John Oliver would not approve, like passing crude dirty pictures under the table in Sunday School.

Meryl Streep is panicking because for the first time voters have rejected HER, and everything her faith has taught her to believe.

I think there’s a lot to that.

YAHOO? Marissa Mayer to depart; company to be renamed Altaba.

The high-profile Mayer, who was brought in to save the Internet icon in 2012; Filo, who co-founded the company at Stanford University in 1994; board chairman Maynard Webb; and three others are departing. It is unclear, however, if Mayer will remain in some capacity.

Eric Brandt, a new member of Yahoo’s 11-member board, was named chairman immediately.

In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing late today, Yahoo said the resignations are “not due to any disagreement with the Company on any matter relating to the Company’s operations, policies or practices.”

The filing also said the company would be renamed Altaba after the Verizon deal closes.

Altaba?

SALENA ZITO: Why Hillary Clinton is still losing supporters.

Audrey and Robert, a Virginia couple, were heading to Montana to visit their daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren; Edward of Lancaster, Pa., was traveling to see his mother and brothers and sisters in Fort Wayne, Ind. All had voted for Trump — and all had noticed the way they were still being portrayed by the losing side.

“On Nov. 8 I went from a responsible, hard-working, upstanding citizen to an uninformed bigot who gleefully supports Russian interference in our elections and the destruction of our republic,” Robert said. “At least that’s what I have read in the newspaper or seen on television, so it must be true, right?”

Edward smiled, paused, and then said, “It is refreshing to hear your candor, it’s gotten to the point where you are afraid to not only express your opinion, but to stand by your opinion. Yes, I supported him and yes, I would do it again.”

“They’ve thrown everything at everyone who voted for Trump to deteriorate or place doubt in his supporters’ minds,” said Audrey.

“It astounds me that the press still doesn’t get it, that my party (Democrats) are blaming everyone but themselves for a poor message, poor messenger and the responsibility she bears for placing her email security in jeopardy . . . it’s not Comey’s fault. It’s hers,” said Elizabeth who was sitting in the booth across the aisle.

Elizabeth voted for Clinton, but wasn’t sure she’d do so again. “The way everyone is acting now post-election shows that no one, no one, has learned anything. She is just proving she deserved to lose,” she said.

Nobody likes a sore loser.

THE THINGS YOU LEARN IN THE WASHINGTON POST: “Did you know that the incoming Trump administration is an Objectivist conspiracy intended to install a cabal of Ayn Rand ‘acolytes’ at the highest levels of the United States government?,” Robert Tracinski asks in the Federalist, adding “Neither did I, and I actually am an Objectivist.”

Plus this: “Oh, no! Important figures in the new administration have been influenced by an author who advocated freedom. And integrity. Does that perhaps sound a little less frightening?”

Read the whole thing.

Related: Kevin D. Williamson on The Parochial Progressive Obsession with Ayn Rand.

ACTUAL HEADLINE IN THE WASHINGTON POST: Ayn Rand-acolyte Donald Trump stacks his cabinet with fellow objectivists.

Would that it were true, but somehow I doubt very much that Rand — who famously proposed a 1962 collection of her anti-Kennedy essays be published under the title “The Fascist New Frontier,” until Bennett Cerf, her editor got an understandable case of cold feet — would have approved of Trump’s cronyism and foreign policies.

UPDATE (FROM GLENN): Lefties always seem especially afraid of Ayn Rand supporters. I think that’s because — at least until recently — Randians were almost the only people on the right who were both unafraid of lefties and willing to call leftism, even in its comparatively mile FDR form, immoral. Both traits can be very triggering.

SO IF PICKING THE SECRETARY OF STATE IS A “BRAND DECISION” FOR TRUMP, what does the Rex Tillerson pick say? Honestly, to me it looks like a bad pick. As CEO of Exxon, I’m sure the guy is competent, and he probably knows more about foreign relations than the average Senator, even those with Foreign Relations Committee experience. (Cough! *Joe Biden* Cough!)

But we’re talking branding here. What signal does Trump send with this pick? Some possibilities: (1) The Business Of America Is Business! (2) Remind me why Russia is our adversary? (3) We’re the #1 oil producer in the world thanks to fracking, and we’re going to increase our lead, so we want someone who understands how we can use the Oil Weapon. (4) I got nothin’.

As for #1, well, fine, but I don’t think that’s where Trump wants to go, is it? As for (2), Russia pretty clearly is our adversary. Just because you don’t want to risk nuclear war with them like Hillary did doesn’t mean that they’re our friend. Putin fooled Bush, who thought he looked into his soul, but Trump should have the benefit of that experience. (3) The oil thing kinda makes sense, but do you need an Exxon CEO for that? (4) This is pretty much my main take. I’m comforted, though, that Robert Gates and Condi Rice like Tillerson. Maybe Trump just thinks his own brand is so strong that he doesn’t need to make a branding statement with his Secretary of State pick? Or maybe it’s a literary conspiracy. “Ayn Rand was perhaps the leading literary voice in 20th century America for the notion that, in society, there are makers and takers, and that the takers are parasitic moochers who get in the way of the morally-superior innovators.” Well, if Rand didn’t convince people of that, Obama should have.

Any thoughts? Weigh in in the comments.

CHANGE: An Ayn Rand-Loving Banker Huddles With Donald Trump.

While less known than his peers at big banks, Mr. [John A.] Allison ranks as one of the most legendary bank CEOs in recent history, said Christopher Marinac, director of research at FIG Partners LLC. “He’s head of the class,” said Mr. Marinac. “A lot of folks didn’t understand the conservatism of BB&T until the crisis, but they appreciated it after.”

Mr. Allison’s worldview was shaped when he was a college student at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and stumbled across a collection of essays by Ms. Rand.

Mr. Allison joined BB&T out of college in 1971 and became CEO in 1989. As CEO, he penned a 30-page handbook, “The BB&T Philosophy,” to give to employees on their first day of work. The first maxim was reality. “The existence of the law of gravity does not mean men cannot create an airplane,” he wrote. “However, an airplane must be created within the context of the law of gravity. At BB&T, we believe in being ‘reality grounded.’”

In 2006, Mr. Allison made headlines when he declined to lend money for commercial projects on private land seized by eminent domain—a government practice that Mr. Allison believed was an affront to individuals’ property rights.

And this:

Mr. Allison instilled a conservative lending culture. BB&T avoided negative-amortizing loans and complicated structured products that Mr. Allison called “esoteric” and “illogical.”

That meant BB&T was often overshadowed by North Carolina rival Wachovia Corp., whose risky mortgage loans fueled huge growth before the crisis—only to then cause its downfall. That bank was purchased during the height of the crisis by Wells Fargo & Co.

Seeking Alpha reports Allison might be under consideration for Treasury, which seems like a great fit for his talents.

More like him, please.

STEVE DITKO: THE RECLUSIVE COMIC BOOK LEGEND WHO CREATED DOCTOR STRANGE — AND FELL OUT WITH MARVEL’S STAN LEE:

Ditko hasn’t given a formal interview since 1968 and has avoided fans for almost as long. He has become the comic industry’s J.D. Salinger, though with much more extreme political views. Ditko became a devotee of Ayn Rand, a man who practices a strict philosophy of self-reliance*, creative control and absolutely no truck with the supernatural. And yet he lost control of much of his signature work, while one of his most famous creations uses magic to travel to other dimensions. So how did one of the industry’s legends become such a contradictory figure?

* * * * * * * *

It was positively bizarre that Ditko was the man to invent Strange. The weirdness of those comics is hard to overstate: Strange went into bizarre realms of twisting, Escher-like shapes that reflected Ditko’s history in 3D work, and faced enemies with names like Nightmare and Eternity (a galaxy in human form). Yet since about 1960, Ditko had been a devotee of Rand, the strict Objectivist who mandated a hyper-capitalistic* philosophy of rational self-interest, small government and the moral primacy of creators.

The above passage brings new meaning to the phrase “magical thinking.” Why, it’s like Ditko was a creative writer imagining fiction or something! Next thing you’re going to tell me is that Bob Kane didn’t live in a mansion with cave under it before envisioning Batman, and Gene Roddenberry never flew on a NASA space flight before creating Star Trek.

* I’m old enough to remember when the London Telegraph didn’t view self-reliance and free markets as evil scary things.

A BERKELEY SOCIOLOGIST MADE SOME TEA PARTY FRIENDS — AND WROTE A CONDESCENDING BOOK ABOUT THEM. As Carlos Lozada of the Washington Post notes, in order to write Strangers In Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right, Arlie Russell Hochschild “made 10 trips to southwestern Louisiana from 2011 to 2016, extended forays away from her perch at the University of California at Berkeley, to delve into her ‘keen interest in how life feels to people on the right — that is, in the emotion that underlies politics:’”

“To understand their emotions,” she writes, “I had to imagine myself in their shoes.” She interviewed some 60 people, including 40 professed tea party supporters, visiting their homes, communities and workplaces. It is the same technique Hochschild employed in “The Second Shift” (1989), a well-reviewed look at how couples manage duties at home when both work outside of it. In this case, however, Hochschild arrives with so many preconceived ideas that they undercut the insight she claims to desire.

Hochschild preps for her conservative immersion by reading “Atlas Shrugged,” because we know tea party types are into that. “If Ayn Rand appealed to them, I imagined, they’d probably be pretty selfish, tough, cold people, and I prepared for the worst,” this acclaimed sociologist writes. “But I was thankful to discover many warm, open people who were deeply charitable to those around them.”

When she lands in Louisiana, Hochschild realizes, “I was definitely not in Berkeley, California. . . . No New York Times at the newsstand, almost no organic produce in grocery stores or farmers’ markets, no foreign films in movie houses, few small cars, fewer petite sizes in clothing stores, fewer pedestrians speaking foreign languages into cell phones — indeed, fewer pedestrians. There were fewer yellow Labradors and more pit bulls and bulldogs. Forget bicycle lanes, color-coded recycling bins, or solar panels on roofs. In some cafes, virtually everything on the menu was fried.”

Dear God, no yellow Labs or solar panels? How do you live?

Through Hochschild’s time in Lake Charles, La., and nearby cities and small towns, readers meet people who complicate our oversimplified “whither white America” moment. Especially memorable are Lee Sherman, who repaired pipes carrying lethal chemicals and drained toxic waste illegally into nearby waterways before becoming an environmentalist and, yes, a tea party supporter; and the Areno family, disagreeing over the benefits and risks of local industries, even as they watched turtles go blind and cows die from drinking polluted water. They are the strength of the book, yet Hochschild interrupts their stories to place everything in a formulaic big-picture context, a capitalized and italicized theory of the right. The author, we learn, hopes to scale the Empathy Wall and learn the Deep Story that can resolve the Great Paradox through a Keyhole Issue. These contrivances guide, and ruin, this book.

“An empathy wall,” Hochschild lectures, “is an obstacle to deep understanding of another person, one that can make us feel indifferent or even hostile to those who hold different beliefs.” The author has traveled to the South to conquer that wall, and she constantly refers to it. “As I was trying to climb this slippery empathy wall, a subversive thought occurred to me,” she says at one point. Or when she doesn’t quite get another person’s thinking, she feels “stuck way over on my side of the empathy wall.”

Beyond the wall awaits the deep story. “A deep story is a feels-as-if story — it’s the story feelings tell, in the language of symbols,” Hochschild writes.

Read the whole thing, which for the Post, is a pretty good deconstruction of yet another variation of the proverbial “Gorillas in the Mist” books and articles that the left always writes around election time. But as Dana Loesch noted, you can’t run a country you’ve never been to. And good luck simply writing about it.

(Via Kathy Shaidle.)

SOUTHSIDE WITH YOU REVIEW: “Hagiographic retelling of Obama’s first date likely to disappoint those uninitiated into his cult of personality,” Sonny Bunch writes at the Washington Free Beacon, noting that the film comes complete with a funhouse mirror version of John Galt’s lengthy stemwinder near the end of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged:

Like Galt’s rambling ode to the Makers-Not-Takers Class, Obama’s vision of a world that works best when compromise is prized bears little relation to the world we’ve seen for the last few years.

The rest of the film is less annoyingly, but rarely more artfully, put together. It’s a lot of shot/reverse shot and slow walk-and-talks, with Barack and Michelle’s faces all-too-often draped in shadows. Oddly, the movie often works better when Michelle and Barack are not on screen together, as in the early going when the two of them discuss the evening’s events with their respective families.

There’s an interesting film to be made about Obama’s relation to his father, but director Richard Tanne doesn’t make much use of this fertile territory.

That’s OK. Bill Whittle already made it five years ago, in a video that moves at a much brisker pace than the 84 minute running time of Southside With You:

I SHOUTED OUT WHO BROUGHT YOU HILLARY, WHEN AFTER ALL, IT WAS…KATHY SHAIDLE? “INTJs account for an estimated 0.8 percent of the female population. We’re the rarest of the sixteen types, and having to share that distinction with Hillary takes some of the fun out of it. Then again, taking the fun out of things is an INTJ specialty, our Bitchy Resting Face telegraphing our disapproval of your trivial, so-called ‘fun’ preoccupations, even if that’s not our intention. ‘Ayn Rand, party animal’ is not a phrase that has ever been typed before this actual moment….learning that Hillary Clinton is basically my evil (in a different way) twin has been a revelation.”

YOUR OBAMACARE FAIL OF THE DAY: Ayn Rand got it right again.

HE WAS EXPENDABLE: “California refuses to honor John Wayne, but the state lavishes tributes on liberal-friendly figures guilty of similar (or worse) sins,” Matthew Hennessey writes at City Journal:

For example, in 1988, the California legislature voted unanimously to declare April 21 John Muir Day. The Sierra Club founder, according to current governor Jerry Brown, was “a giant of a man” whose “scientific discoveries, engineering innovations and writings still inspire us today.” Presumably, Brown hasn’t read Muir’s reflections on “negroes” as “easy-going and merry, making a great deal of noise and doing little work.” It’s shocking to the modern ear to hear the celebrated naturalist declare that “one energetic white man, working with a will, would easily pick as much cotton as half a dozen Sambos and Sallies.”

Muir—the “great man”—evidently also had little regard for Native Americans. As The New Yorker’s Jedidiah Purdy surmised last year, Muir and other early environmentalists viewed communing with the American wilderness as “a way for a certain kind of white person to become symbolically native to the continent.” Yet, John Muir Day endures in California, celebrated with an official proclamation from the governor’s office every April 21, presumably because Muir’s status as the granddaddy of the environmental movement trumps his racist views.

On March 31 of every year since 2000, California formally celebrates Cesar Chavez Day, in honor of the founder of the United Farm Workers. “I ask all Californians to join me in continuing to build on his dream of a world where all workers are treated with dignity and respect,” Brown says in his annual proclamation. Countless California schools, parks, monuments, and public buildings bear Chavez’s name. And in 2014, President Obama declared March 31 a federal commemorative holiday in Chavez’s honor. All this for a man who, in a 1972 interview, called strikebreakers from Mexico “wetbacks,” a term widely considered racist and unmentionable today.

Not to mention Chavez’s later years leading a Jim Jones-like cult, as a left-leaning, Berkeley-born Atlantic author discovered much to her chagrin, in a 2011 piece appropriately titled “The Madness of Cesar Chavez.”

ANALYSIS: TRUE. California: The Ultimate Nanny State.

Related: California Democrats Brand John Wayne ‘Racist,’ Reject Marking Day in His Honor.

That’s what happens when a once all-American state is fundamentally transformed. Somewhere in hell, the ghosts of the Frankfurt School old boys are chuckling at this development.

QUESTION ASKED AND ANSWERED: “Why Do Some People Reject Capitalism?”, Ayn Rand asked in a 1967 audio interview.

DONALD TRUMP VS. HOWARD ROARK: WHO COULD BUILD A CLASSIER BUILDING? Dyspeptic presidential candidate reveals love for Ayn Rand novel The Fountainhead, but no understanding of its political implications.

ALOE VERA NOW CAUSES CANCER IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA: For those of you not familiar with California’s Proposition 65, this 2009 L.A. Times article is a reasonable introduction:

Whether you are pumping gas or buying a fillet of salmon, your eyes have no doubt landed on an ominous sign documenting the presence of “chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm.”

Such alarming notices began appearing in the state in 1986 thanks to Proposition 65, otherwise known as the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, which prohibits businesses from discharging potentially harmful chemicals in drinking water and requires them to disclose the presence of such chemicals on their premises. The 19-page list of hundreds of potentially dangerous chemicals kept by the state is updated annually.

Today, the warnings are everywhere: parking lots, hardware stores, hospitals and just about any decent-sized business including, as of May, those of medical marijuana suppliers — because marijuana smoke is now on the list of known carcinogens.

Flash-forward to 2016, when as the California Political Review notes, Aloe Vera has been added to the state’s Prop. 65 List:

You read that correctly: Aloe vera. In December of last year, the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) published its intent to list Aloe vera, whole leave extract to the Proposition 65 list of chemicals known to the state of California to cause cancer. Despite the widely accepted extensive health benefits of Aloe vera, an unelected regulator in Sacramento can now tell you and all consumers it will cause cancer, even if no cases of cancer from Aloe vera exposure exist.

The problem is that the 800+ chemicals listed in Proposition 65 are not devised to protect consumers, but rather serve as a cash cow for private trial lawyers to sue small business and reap the hefty settlement payout. Since 1986, nearly 20,000 lawsuits have been filed, adding up to over half a billion dollars in settlement payments by business owners.

Unfortunately, the most profitable thing regulators give to trial lawyers at the expense of job creators is confusion. Recent Proposition 65 proposed regulatory revisions create compliance difficulties, increase frivolous litigation, and add consumer confusion.

Which for trial lawyers, is a feature, not a bug. Or as Ayn Rand wrote a half century ago in Atlas Shrugged, “There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for me to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed or enforced nor objectively interpreted — and you create a nation of law-breakers — and then you cash in on guilt.”

FRED SIEGEL ON THE HOUSE DIVIDED:

Trump is both a reaction to and expression of liberal delusions. [Arthur] Schlesinger’s fears have largely come to pass; we’ve become what he called a “quarrelsome spatter of enclaves.” Schlesinger was too much a part of the elite to imagine that the class he always thought of as representing the best of the future would come to be despised by a broad swath of Americans for its incompetence and ineffectuality. But what Schlesinger saw on the horizon seems to have arrived, with no sign of abating: we are in the midst of a soft civil war.

Read the whole thing.

What Ayn Rand once dubbed a “Cold Civil War” in the early 1960s has in recent years become increasingly hotter. But if elites had been more competent civil servants and less eager to gin up class and race wars, they might not have caused conditions to go from Defcon-3 to Defcon-Trump.

AND HE WEARS AYN RAND T-SHIRTS: So, there’s that.  From Marine Corps to ‘Star Wars’: ‘Force Awakens’ actor Adam Driver savors success.

AMERICA’S STASI: “In a new low even for the New York Daily News, which recently branded NRA chief Wayne LaPierre a terrorist, columnist Linda Stasi has penned a vile column justifying the San Bernardino jihad murders, saying that one of the victims was ‘the male equivalent of Pamela Geller.'”

Related: Stasi Sees Social Media Backlash After Saying San Bernardino Victim Had It Coming.

Earlier: The toxic implication that Geller had her terror attack in Texas coming, back in May.

 

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS HEADLINE: “BAM’S NEW TERROR PLAN: BE AFRAID:”

Travel at your own risk.

Just in time for the holidays, the State Department issued a global travel alert to U.S. citizens warning of the increased likelihood of terror attacks by legions of terrorists — including the murderous Islamic State.

The terse warning, posted on the State Department website Monday, said American travelers should use “particular caution” in the coming weeks and through Feb. 24.

“Current information suggests that (ISIS), Al Qaeda, Boko Haram and other terrorist groups continue to plan terrorist attacks in multiple regions,” the State Department wrote.

The possible attacks could include “a wide variety of tactics … targeting both official and private interests,” the State Department added.

That’s odd – 11 days ago, on Friday morning before their Paris attack, President Obama reassured us all that ISIS is “contained.” Perhaps Mr. Obama failed to add, “within our solar system.”

But speaking of being afraid, journalists at the Daily News, serving as Charles Schumer’s Democratic operatives with bylines, are way ahead of Barry on the fear front:

ny_daily_news_be_afraid_11-24-15

As AWR Hawkins writes at Big Government, “NY Daily News Sets Up NRA To Be Scapegoat For Future Terror Attack:”

After a week of subtly baiting the NRA to enter into a shouting match over the Democrats’ efforts to expand background checks to include the no-fly list, the New York Daily News is taking the not-so-subtle approach of setting up the NRA to be the scapegoat for any future firearm-related terror attack.

The NY Daily News is going about this in the classic leftist sense by vilifying NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre–criticizing him for refusing to take the Democrats’ bait and come out swinging in the wake of the heinous Paris terror attacks. And having vilified him, they then continue their attack without ever feeling the need to explain why a no-fly list that includes a 4-year old going to visit his grandmother is supposed to be part of the database through which background checks are run.

Moreover, they do not explain how a no-fly list so imprecise that it once barred Senator Ted Kennedy from commercial flights is now the key to keeping American safe.

Instead, the NY Daily News overlooks the imprecision of the no-fly list and quotes Senator Church Schumer (D-NY) saying, “The same nefarious individual we monitor and bar from our planes, we turn the other way when it comes to allowing them to get guns and explosives. The NRA has fought tooth and nail to prevent these individuals from the terror watchlist from being added over the past several years.”

And for good reason, Sean Davis adds at the Federalist.Sorry Democrats, But There Is No ‘Loophole’ That Allows Terrorists To Legally Buy Guns — In their zeal to defeat Republican terrorists, Democrats have decided that the constitutional right to due process is a loophole that must be closed:”

According to several Democratic sponsors of the bill, the proposed law would allow the attorney general to deny a criminal background check clearance to any individual whose name appears on the national terror watch list. The huge problem with this expansive new power is that there are precisely zero statutory criteria for inclusion on this massive list. In fact, when statutory authority for the centralized government database was first codified into law via the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, Congress gave all authority for determining criteria for inclusion in the watch list to unelected, unaccountable government bureaucrats. If some faceless Beltway bureaucrat decides you might be a terrorist, then you’re a terrorist. End of story.

It gets even worse, though. If your name erroneously appears on that watch list, which as of 2013 included nearly 900,000 names, the Democrats’ proposed legislation renders you virtually powerless to find out why your name is on there, let alone to have it removed. And having your name erroneously or fraudulently added to that list isn’t as far-fetched as you might think.

In 2014, for example, Weekly Standard writer and Fox News contributor Stephen F. Hayes was informed that somebody added his name to the Department of Homeland Security’s terrorist watch list. There is zero credible evidence that he has any ties whatsoever to terrorism or to any terrorist organizations. Yet, under the Democrats’ new bill, he and everyone else who is erroneously listed would be banned from ever purchasing or possessing a firearm. Hayes’ apparent crime was traveling overseas for a cruise. Hayes is not alone. Each year, thousands of names end up on the terror watch list for no good reason whatsoever.

Under the Democrats’ proposal, the government doesn’t have to tell you why your name is on the list. The proposed law allows the government to keep that information secret. And if you decide to take the government to court over it, the Democrats’ bill creates a brand new legal standard that tilts the scales of justice against you.

As Charles Cooke writes, “Let us avoid gloss or euphemism and speak plainly: This idea flies directly in the face of every cherished American conception of justice, and it should be rejected with extreme prejudice:”

You will note, I hope, that Reid, Schumer, Jentleson, and co. are not proposing to place restrictions on those who have been “accused,” “charged,” or “convicted,” but upon those who are “suspected.” They are not referring to those who are working their way through the judicial system, but to those who remain outside of it. They are not seeking to limit the rights of those who are out on bail or awaiting trial, but those who have not so much as been handcuffed. Loudly and proudly, they are arguing in favor of removing fundamental rights from anyone whose name has been written down on a list. Because they hope to confuse the public, their talk is peppered with references to “Paris-style” “assault” rifles and “automatic” weapons. But this is a red herring: Their proposal applies equally to guns of all types, not just those that give Shannon Watts and Diane Feinstein the willies.

In times past, officials advocating the simultaneous undermining of a range of constitutional rights would have been tarred, feathered, and dumped into the sea, along with their staff, their press agents, and anyone else who saw fit to acquiesce in the scheme. A little of that spirit might be welcome here.

However the press might cast it, there are not in fact “two sides” to this issue. It is not a “tricky question.” It is not a “thorny one” or a “gray area” or a “difficult choice.” It is tyranny. Somewhere, deep down, its advocates must know this. Presumably, Chuck Schumer would not submit that those on a terror watch list should be deprived of their right to speak? Presumably, Harry Reid would not contend that they must be kept away from their mosques? Presumably, Diane Feinstein would not argue that they should be subjected to warrantless searches and seizures? Such proposals would properly be considered disgraceful — perhaps, even, as an overture to American fascism. Alas, there is something about guns that causes otherwise reasonable people to lose their minds.

And lose their minds the bill’s champions have. As of today, there are almost one million names on the terror watch list — that’s names, not identities — of which around 280,000 are linked to nothing much at all. This should not surprise, for one does not in fact have to do a great deal in order to find one’s way onto the list. Perhaps you know someone who is already on it? That’s suspicious, right? On you go! Perhaps you have annoyed someone powerful? Oops! On you go! Perhaps you once said something intemperate in public? Better to be safe. On you go! Perhaps you are a Muslim? On. You. Go.

Oh well – “travel at your own risk,” the New York Daily News would likely sniff in response.

Related: Schumer plans for Senate Democrats to “bring a universal background check bill to the floor of the Senate early next year.” Moe Lane responds, “Senate Democrats could have done this in 2009 when they had sixty votes in the Senate, instead of the forty-five they have now.  Of course, if they had we’d probably have sixty votes in the Senate right now and a President who would have cheerfully signed a repeal bill in 2013. What is Senator Schumer’s victory condition, here? Does he even know?”

MIZZOU AND YALE SHOW WHY IT’S TIME TO BURN UNIVERSITIES TO THE GROUND, Robert Tracinski writes at the Federalist. Bertolt Brecht famously advised overly harried socialist governments to simply dissolve the people and elect another. The university system is the assembly line that performs the transformation, as Tracinski writes:

The most prescient thing said about this kind of student protest culture was an observation made by Ayn Rand back during the first go-around, in the 1960s. The purpose of all the marches and sit-ins and riots, she wrote, was to condition students to accept mob rule. Here we are fifty years later, and this is quickly becoming the openly declared purpose of universities.

This is higher ed’s time for choosing. If this is the new purpose of the universities—to nurture a crop of activists trained at whipping up angry mobs, and a generation of college graduates conditioned to submit to those mobs—then there is no longer any purpose served by these institutions. There is certainly no justification for the outrageous claim they are making on the economic resources of the average family, who sends their kids to schools whose tuition has been inflated by decades of government subsidies.

The universities have done this to themselves. They created the whole phenomenon of modern identity politics and Politically Correct rules to limit speech. They have fostered a totalitarian microculture in which conformity to those rules is considered natural and expected. Now that system is starting to eat them alive, from elite universities like Yale, all the way down to, er, less-than-elite ones like Mizzou.

They created this Frankenstein monster, and it’s up to them to kill it before it kills them.

I agree – it’s time for the rest of us to stand back and remember the sage advice frequently attributed to Napoleon: Never interfere with an enemy while he’s in the process of destroying himself.

(Apologies for that previous sentence being rendered in sadly all too cisgender normative language.)

Related: “If you hate seeing your kid grow up, for $50,000 a year we can transform your teenager back into a f***ing baby.”

HOW RED WAS MY HOLLYWOOD: Timothy Stanley reviews Hollywood Traitors: Blacklisted Screenwriters—Agents of Stalin, Allies of Hitler, by Allan H. Ryskind:

Ryskind succeeds in three regards. First, he conclusively proves that each of the Ten was guilty of having been a Communist at some stage and that the degree of Communist subversion of Hollywood was substantial. The lying was extraordinary. In the case of the writer Lillian Hellman, it lasted a lifetime: obfuscating the details of her support for Communism until her death and, along the way, gaining plaudits for her supposedly noble resistance to false charges. Entertainment professionals joined cells so secret that each could operate quite separately from the others. These men and women put into their movies Marxist messages ranging from the subtle to the overt. MGM’s 1944 film “Song of Russia” stars Robert Taylor as an American conductor who visits the USSR in 1941. His love affair with a beautiful pianist in a surprisingly prosperous socialist republic is ruined by Operation Barbarossa. Ayn Rand, testifying before HUAC, described the Nazi invasion as depicted in “Song of Russia.” Border guards are shown listening peacefully to a Tchaikovsky concert:

Suddenly there is a Nazi attack on them. The poor, sweet Russians are unprepared. Now realize—and that was a great shock to me—that the border that was being shown was the border of [Soviet-occupied] Poland. That was the border of an occupied, destroyed, enslaved county which Hitler and Stalin destroyed together. That was the border being shown to us—just a happy place with people listening to music.

Ryskind’s second success is to remind us of the moral ghastliness of the Nazi-Soviet pact. One of the frequent excuses made for Communist sympathy in the 1930s is that it was a form of opposition to fascism. Yet between 1939 and 1941, Stalin carved up Eastern Europe with Hitler, allowing the German dictator to wage war uninterrupted in the West. Ryskind shows how faithful Soviet agents fell in line, switching overnight from advocating an anti-fascist front to urging America to stay out of the war. It is upsetting to see included on the list of guilty people the names of some the century’s greatest writers: “Lillian Hellman, Donald Ogden Stewart, Langston Hughes, Dashiell Hammett, and Erskine Caldwell backed [the antiwar effort], which savaged the parties resisting Hitler and the nations overwhelmed by his armies as ‘imperialist’. Caldwell, author of Tobacco Road and God’s Little Acre, sent greetings from Moscow.”

And all largely airbrushed out of history, or remembered if at all, as the inspiration for Orwell’s “Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia/Eurasia” pitch black running joke throughout 1984. But then, as Daniel Hannan wrote last year in the London Telegraph, “The greatest cultural victory of the Left has been to disregard the Nazi-Soviet Pact.”

(Via Orrin Judd.)

THE FREE MARKET: It’s like Uber, but for everything! “Uber has been hit with complaints that it’s running ‘an Objectivist LARP,’ a live-action role playing of a capitalist utopia from an Ayn Rand novel. That’s pretty much what it is doing, and the results are awesome. And the benefits don’t stop with more drivers and lower rates. Uber is ploughing a fair portion of its profits into another wave of technological innovation—self-driving cars—that promises to offer even greater improvements in the future. All of this should counter some of the despair about how to promote free markets, especially among urban elites who have been programmed by their college educations to embrace the rhetoric of the Left. Give them half a chance, and they will flock to capitalist innovations run according to the laws of the market. The problem is that they don’t want to admit it. That’s where the euphemism ‘ride-sharing’ comes in.”

TRUE! Yes, Computers Have Improved. No, Communism Hasn’t.

At the New Republic, Malcolm Harris asks an interesting question: Was the Soviet Union’s problem that Communism can never work? Or did the Soviets just need a lot more MacBook Airs?

Actually, Harris is channeling Paul Mason, the author of the book he is reviewing, and unfortunately, he doesn’t really try to answer the question. Instead he makes the stridently timid argument that this won’t happen because the capitalists won’t let it, at least without a healthy dose of revolutionary action.

I’ll swing for the fences and argue that no, even with better computers, Communism isn’t going to work. Nor some gauzy vision of post-capitalism that looks like Communism, but with YouTube videos.

In retrospect, Communism seems wildly stupid, or at least, incredibly naive. Did the people who dreamed up this system not understand the enormous incentive problems they were creating? As Ayn Rand dramatized the problem in “Atlas Shrugged”: “It’s miseries, not work, that had become the coin of the realm — so it turned into a contest among six thousand panhandlers, each claiming that his need was worse than his brother’s. How else could it be done?” The incentives of “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need” drive toward falling production, which means there won’t be enough to cover the needs.

Or as a former colleague who fled Communist Poland once told me, “They pretended to pay us, and we pretended to work.” There is a reason that basically all the Communist and Socialist regimes ended in some degree of authoritarianism.

To most people espousing communism, the authoritarianism isn’t a bug, it’s a feature. All the talk about “sharing” and “compassion” is just to fool the rubes. People espousing communism should be treated as if they are on the same moral plane as people espousing Nazism, because they are.

ANDREW KLAVAN: Science Plus Politics Equals Politics:

“In any compromise between food and poison, it is only death that can win,” wrote Ayn Rand. And, with considerably more charm, Mark Steyn wrote, “It’s a good basic axiom that if you take a quart of ice-cream and a quart of dog feces and mix ’em together the result will taste more like the latter than the former.”

Read the whole thing.

THE UNITED STATES OF SELF-DOUBT: “Today, on the 46th anniversary of Apollo 11’s triumph, its celebration feels hollow. America no longer leads the way into space. She doesn’t even have a vehicle to get astronauts into orbit. Americans no longer seem intrigued by what might be possible. Instead, they fear it. The unknown that was once so inviting is now forbidding. In the mistaken pursuit of a paradise on Earth, America has ceded the heavens:”

Conservatives would contend that private firms are better suited to pick up where NASA has left off. Democrats might claim that space exploration and its associated technological benefits is a great project worthy of a great nation, but so, too, are universal health care or federally-funded pre-kindergarten education programs. Both attitudes would indefinitely consign mankind to its rocky cradle.

Put me down in the former camp — while even Ayn Rand celebrated NASA landing a man on the moon, getting there was essentially yet another variation on the left’s century-old moral equivalent of war trope (as even NASA admits), which it always uses to grab more power and money. Best to use the memories of this day in 1969 as the inspiration for more commercial development than government spending.

TIME SLIMES AYN RAND AS A FAN OF CHARLESTON CHURCH SHOOTER DYLANN ROOF: Which seems rather odd, when in The Virtue of Selfishness, Rand wrote that “Racism is the lowest, most crudely primitive form of collectivism. It is the notion of ascribing moral, social or political significance to a man’s genetic lineage—the notion that a man’s intellectual and characterological traits are produced and transmitted by his internal body chemistry. Which means, in practice, that a man is to be judged, not by his own character and actions, but by the characters and actions of a collective of ancestors.”

MILA YIANNOPOULOS: In Defense of Ayn Rand, Monster Under the Progressive Bed. “Liberals are constantly begging for more female authors and female lead characters in literature, but one woman author and philosopher remains stubbornly absent from progressive reading lists. . . . Of all the tiresomely self-satisfied rituals played out regularly in the liberal blogosphere, competitive Rand-hating is among the most fatuous and infuriating. But why do the chattering classes hate her so much?”

NONJUDGMENTALISM IN ACTION: “Miley Cyrus Claims She’s ‘Least Judgmental Person Ever,’ Calls Christians ‘Insane Motherf–kers.’”

“Oh, Miley.  Thanks for giving us the best example of what ‘tolerance’ looks like in Hollywood: it looks a lot like contempt,” Bristol Palin responds at Patheos.

Ayn Rand was pointing out the hypocrisy of those who profess to be “nonjudgmental” as far back as the chapters written in 1962 for her book The Virtue of Selfishness, and the cult of “nonjudgmentalism” has only been accelerating in the years since. Today, how much do you want to bet that the majority of the “Fire the CEO!”, “Has Justine Landed?” and “Destroy the Pizza Parlor!!!” leftwing crowd will casually claim that nonjudgmentalism is their personal credo, even as they remain increasingly on hair-trigger alert for new ways to be offended, followed by new targets to destroy?

 

CATHY YOUNG: The Most Radical $10 Bill Candidate: Ayn Rand. The only problem is, our current political class is treating Atlas Shrugged as a how-to manual, rather than a cautionary tale.

WELL, IT’S A BETTER FACE THAN RON PAUL’S, YOU HAVE TO ADMIT: Will Belle Knox really be the face of Libertarian victory? “I, for one, would be interested to hear her thoughts on Ayn Rand and Friedrich Hayek.”

SO AT THE RECOMMENDATION OF MY BROTHER, I’ve been reading Nathan Lowell’s Solar Clipper books — here’s the first one — and they’re kind of unusual because, by the standard of science fiction not much happens. No alien attacks, no space pirates, just running a ship and trading. But they’re still interesting and good! And while Lowell’s style isn’t much like Ayn Rand’s — more like a Heinlein junior — this passage from Captain’s Share is pretty pro-commerce:

He looked at me curiously. “What was your main objective, Skipper? Improve the ship’s reputation?”

I shook my head. “You can’t improve reputation by focusing on reputation, Avery. You always earn it by your actions.” I stopped to think for a couple of heartbeats. “I almost didn’t take the berth because of the Agamemnon’s reputation on the docks, but once I was here, my main goal was simple. Make money.”

He cocked his head to one side. “Isn’t that rather cold, skipper? Make money?”

“Maybe,” I shrugged. “But it’s why we’re out here. It’s why the ship exists. We’re all out here because we make money. If we didn’t make a living at it, we couldn’t do it.”

I wish more people understood that basic point.

REMINDER: Ayn Rand Was Not A Defender Of The Rich. “Ayn Rand, the famous novelist and free market advocate, is often caricatured as a defender of the rich or big business. But, as Steve Horwitz explains at the Bleeding Heart Libertarian blog, there are more wealthy villains in her books than wealthy heroes. And many of her heroes – including John Galt, whom Rand portrayed as the person best exemplifying her philosophy – are not particularly wealthy. Ultimately, Rand’s work praises producers, not wealthy people as such.”

In today’s America, as in that of Rand’s books, the two sets are increasingly distinct.

JAMES TARANTO: These Boots Are Made for Harvard: Feminist mythology and the Wendy Davis tale.

Ehrenreich’s joke is a nod to the reality of female hypergamy, the drive to mate upward. “Marrying a $10-an-hour man gets you nowhere” may be a heartless thing to say, but that’s another way of saying it’s a coldly rational analysis. Achieving economic self-sufficiency is a challenging goal for someone without a privileged upbringing, but for many women it’s a more realistic one than finding a husband who’s a good provider. Men in turn have less incentive to be ambitious and conscientious when women no longer need or expect them to be providers.

Thus in an important sense “women’s liberation” is a myth, at least for nonaffluent women. A consequence of the past half-century’s massive social changes has been to burden these women with the role of provider and deprive them of much of the help their grandmothers got from men (as well as depriving children of the benefits of a stable family).

Which brings us to Wendy Davis, who turns out to be a personification of this feminist myth. Davis is the Fort Worth, Texas, state senator who became a feminist cause célèbre last year when she led a failed filibuster against a bill to impose modest restrictions on abortion. Now she is running for governor.

Davis’s campaign has leaned heavily on autobiography: “Mine is a story about a teenage single mother who struggled to keep her young family afloat,” she declares on her campaign website. “It’s a story about a young woman who was given a precious opportunity to work her way up in the world. It’s a story about resiliency, and sacrifice, and perseverance. And you’re damn right it’s a true story.”

Well, yes and no. She was a single mom, having married, given birth and divorced by age 21. But “in an extensive interview . . ., Davis acknowledged some chronological errors and incomplete details in what she and her aides have said about her life,” Wayne Slater of the Dallas Morning news reported in a Saturday story that has roiled the campaign.

“My language should be tighter,” the candidate told the reporter. “I’m learning about using broader, looser language. I need to be more focused on the detail.”

She’s damn right she does. Slater quotes Davis’s website bio: “With the help of academic scholarships and student loans, Wendy not only became the first person in her family to earn a bachelor’s degree but graduated first in her class and was accepted to Harvard Law School.”

It turns out that in addition to “academic scholarships and student loans,” she benefited from a marriage to a high-status man. . . .

The details of the Davises’ marriage and divorce would be a purely private matter were they not so sharply at variance with the up-from-the-bootstraps tale she has been spinning. “My story of struggle and sacrifice is not unique,” she tweeted defiantly yesterday. “it is the story of millions of Texas women.”

That’s an example of feminism’s false promise. As it turns out, for Wendy Davis marriage really was the answer to poverty. But even in Texas, there aren’t millions of Jeff Davises to go around.

Read the whole thing.

ROGER SIMON: Who Needs Ayn Rand? America Has Already Gone John Galt.

Although I admit to libertarian tendencies, I don’t think any of us can celebrate because of this. It’s an economic disaster that should be blowing even Chris Christie off the front pages.

In fact, it’s much worse than that. It’s a human emotional disaster. Freud may have been wrong about a number of things, but he was right about this. Two mainstays that get us through life, other than religion, which Freud didn’t cotton to, are “love and work.” I don’t know about love, but the work part of our lives has been brutally kicked out from under us in the Obama years.

The implications of this are actually terrifying. What are those nearly 92 million people doing with their time, other than sitting around depressed?. Many, of course, are on some version of welfare. Some are panhandling. We see the homeless on the streets of all our big cities. Others are moving into a shadow economy, much of it illegal (drugs, prostitution), not paying taxes on whatever they earn. It’s truly a sad situation. No wonder so many states are moving toward legalizing grass. Everyone wants to zone out.

This is rapidly approaching a a pre-revolutionary condition, but not for a revolution many of us would want to undergo. To avoid it, a massive change must occur at the federal level. But Barack Obama, mired in a dead ideology, doesn’t seem prepared to do anything but prolong the situation with highly conventional liberal solutions that have failed for decades, maybe even centuries.

And yet there is so much he could do.

Only if he wants to succeed.

OLD DEM SLUR: REPUBLICANS TOO DUMB TO READ. New Dem Slur: Sen. Durbin to GOP: Put down Ayn Rand books. Sorry, Dick, but you bear way too much resemblance to an Ayn Rand villain to be persuasive here.

KEVIN WILLIAMSON: The Ignorant Left: An Ongoing Series.

I’ve long argued that one of the problems with our political discourse is that the Left and (to the extent that they can be considered a separate entity) the media do not really know very much about what conservatives think or why. Exhibit 1,526: Yahoo News’s Dylan Stableford is surprised that National Review has reiterated an editorial position that the magazine has held for decades. It’s not a big deal when somebody on, say, the sports desk doesn’t know much about what conservatives think, but here is a guy writing a piece about National Review and marijuana policy who does not (or did not; he’s corrected the piece) know what the magazine has had to say about the issue for years upon years.

You find this a lot. Most people who haven’t taken the time to learn about the issue (which is to say, most people) believe that conservatism is either a largely Christian fundamentalist movement or principally informed by Ayn Rand or, if you listen to the geniuses at places like Salon or MSNBC, both.

Likewise, there are those who apparently are surprised that in the case of homosexuals vs. Russians who wish to put them into ovens, Glenn Beck has taken the side of the homosexuals. If that is surprising to you, you really need to get out more.

But knowing more would interfere with the demonization. And the demonization is the point.

THE HILL: Keep government out of healthcare, poll finds. “A majority of voters say the federal government shouldn’t be involved in the business of healthcare, according to a Gallup survey released on Monday. The poll found that 56 percent say making sure people have health insurance shouldn’t be a government responsibility, against 42 who say that it should be. Prior to 2008, federal involvement in healthcare enjoyed strong support, but the bitter Congressional fight to pass the Affordable Care Act, and the ensuing botched rollout, seems to have soured the public on the notion.”

When does it leak out that Obama is really an Ayn Rand sleeper agent?

JAMES DELINGPOLE: Shale Gas Is Rearden Metal.

For my summer holidays I have been mostly reading Atlas Shrugged. Ayn Rand has her faults but, boy, was she prescient.

One of the things she foresaw was the current nonsensical, dishonest, canting campaign against shale gas. In Atlas Shrugged it takes the form of Rearden Metal, the miracle technology which is going to transform the US economy if only the progressives will let it. But of course, Rand’s fictional progressives don’t want Reardon Metal to succeed any more than their modern, real-life equivalents want shale gas to succeed.
Why not? For the same rag-bag of made-up, disingenuous reasons which progressives have used to justify their war on progress since time immemorial: it’s unfair, it uses up scarce resources, it might be dangerous. Rand doesn’t actually use the phrase “the precautionary principle.” But this is exactly what she is describing in the book when various vested interests – the corporatists in bed with big government, the politicised junk-scientists at the Institute of Science (aka, in our world, the National Academy of Sciences or the Royal Society), the unions – try to close down the nascent technology using the flimsiest of excuses.

Read the whole thing.