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You can forgive conservatives especially for worrying about this in today’s political climate. There’s a dangerous slippage that’s entered the mainstream discourse surrounding conservatism and Republicans, one that fails to distinguish between the alt right and more mainstream figures. Joy Reid was only the most recent to make this category error when she took to Twitter to write of the rally: “What did they think they were getting in the White House? What did they say when he hired Bannon and his crew? Or Sessions or Kobach?” But Bannon and Sessions are entirely different animals; by equating them, Reid highlights why conservatives are wary of the thought police going after people’s jobs.

Cole White was the first to lose his job to the Charlottsville rally. Peter Cvjetanovic, 20, currently attending the University of Nevada in Reno, is another person identified from the white supremacist rally who now will be hard-pressed to find employment after he graduates (if he’s allowed to stay enrolled and isn’t hounded off of campus, that is). For White and Czjetanovic, being white nationalists has no impact on their ability to do their jobs. Had they held other jobs in which their white nationalism would directly affect their job performance, perhaps the internet mob would be justified in its quest to take heads (white nationalists shouldn’t be teaching WWII history to impressionable middle school students, for example).

But firing individuals based on their personally held beliefs not only creates a slippery slope, but also as one of my Twitter followers half-joked, “an outcast class of bright, reactionary, but unemployable young men with little to lose. What. Could. Possibly. Go. Wrong?”

Read the whole thing.

FAKE NEWS AND FASCISTS: The Paranoid Style in American Journalism: Blogger Anthony Senatore does some historical review of interest.

Hofstadter offered evidence that paranoia was not the exclusive domain of politics and conservatives in his claim that a paranoid style was often a component of the left-wing press. The history of journalism as seen through the lens of paranoia and grandiose conspiracy is well documented. Fox News provided the fertile ground for President Trump’s birther beliefs from 2011 to 2016. Even so, on December 8th, 2015, Rachel Maddow and MSNBC took the paranoid style of journalism to heights hitherto unknown.

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RETIRED MARINE CORPORAL JONATHAN LAFORCE: America Already Has A Single-Payer System, And It’s Killing Veterans Like Me.

In addition to medical care, the VA also provides compensation and pension for those who are injured in service. You go in, speak with a veteran services’ officer, present your medical records, file for the injuries (while continuing to lack treatment), and then you wait.

Why wait? What are we waiting for? Good question. First, the electronic paperwork has to move through a labyrinthian process of review, after which you get a letter telling you the VA has now received the paperwork you filed a month or more prior and somebody will be getting in touch with you to determine what’s next. A couple months will pass (if you’re lucky), after which you will receive a phone call telling you that appointments have been scheduled for examination. You must make those appointments or you cannot receive a rating.

Notice what’s missing? If you said a human being to check if this exam is compatible with your schedule, you’d be correct. The appointments are filed without any input or knowledge on your part. You’ve got work and can’t make it? Tough luck, Joe. You’re a single parent and don’t have anybody to watch your kids so you can make your appointment? Too bad. Guess you’ll have to do without.

Nor can you go into a local doctor with forms for them to fill out and mail to the VA.

Read the whole thing.


It is not easy to live in a pluralistic democracy. Left-wing identitarians and those who empower them — I’m especially looking at you, university administrators and corporate managers — are making it much harder. A workplace where people have to be on edge for fear that they will be reported to Human Resources for microaggressing someone by engaging in “lookism” is a place that, sooner or later, is going to blow.

And so is a society whose imagination has been formed by this malevolent catechism.

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DAVID BLANKENHORN: Charlottesville, Trump, And Our Bitter Politics.

Like so many, I’m saddened and deeply troubled by what happened in Charlottesville this past weekend, and its aftermath. And I also worry that more argument about it at this point is unlikely to do much good and may even do harm. Yet silence, somehow, feels cowardly.

Let’s review the basic story to date. An innocent woman lies dead, murdered. Far-right hate groups, for decades essentially exiled from anything but the most marginal participation in our public life, are now being discussed around the world (whether accurately or not) as a viable and perhaps growing presence among us. And the polarization of our society, much of it stoked by our market-share obsessed media—the rancor, the bitterness, the frantic hyperbole, the relentless either/or framing of issues, our fear of and anger at each other—appears only to have been increased by Charlottesville and its aftermath.

I agree with, or at least can understand with some sympathy, many things President Trump said. Left-wing provocateurs do exist; and they, too, use telegenic violence to recruit new members and raise money. Labels such as “alt-right” or “neo-Nazi” probably don’t describe everyone who showed up for the rally. There is more than one side to the issue of the Confederate statues and monuments; indeed there are at least three sides, since some African-American members of a Charlottesville city commission formed by the Mayor to consider the issue favored keeping the statues partly as “teaching moments” for the future.

The President also said yesterday that neo-Nazis and white nationalists “should be condemned totally,” a sentiment for which I’m grateful and with which I fully agree—but which also seems both forced and late.

But here’s the heart of the matter, for me. The great majority of Americans on both sides of the political aisle recognize that, in this land we all love and want to make better, racism exists. It’s deep and it’s serious. It dishonors us, and we need to do everything we can to erase it and put it behind us.

In that light consider: The rally in Charlottesville was planned and carried out by openly racist groups in pursuit of openly racist objectives. These facts should and do cause the great majority of Americans to feel distress, embarrassment, regret, shame, remorse, anger, and a renewed determination to do all that we can to minimize this terrible thing that crawled out of the fever swamps this past weekend to highjack our attention. Almost all of us—liberals and conservatives, Republicans and Democrats—know this and feel this in our bones.

Read the whole thing.


Over the last few days, my friends, who range from soft-left to in-your-face Libertarians have been getting in fights and otherwise losing friendships because they tell their leftist friends to keep their hair on, and also that no, there isn’t a sudden upsurge of Nazis ready to take over the country.

The truth is, dear leftists, that you’ve been scaring yourself with fables.  It started after the election of Donald Trump.  Yes, I know, mentioning that Hillary didn’t win still gives you PTSD, but I need you to focus and listen to me, okay?  You can have your coloring books and crayons after.

Read the whole thing.

CRYBULLIES: This Picture Of Mike Pence ‘Triggered’ An Entire Campus Of California Private College Kids.

When McKenzie Deutsch posted a picture of herself posing with the Vice President of the United States at the White House she probably didn’t expect to set off a mass ‘triggering’ event at her ritzy Southern California private institution of higher indoctrination, Scripps College, but that’s exactly what happened.

According to the Daily Caller, Deutsch, a rising junior at Scripps, was an intern this summer in the office of U.S. Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and was excited by the opportunity to meet the Vice President. So, after snapping the pic below she posted it to Facebook with the caption: “The places you’ll go, the things you’ll see, the people you’ll meet… What a day it was in DC!”

Of course, it wasn’t long before Deutsch was effectively tried and convicted of a hate crime by her peers at the ritzy, $70,000-per-year college.

Read the whole thing.

PATRICK POOLE: Dallas ISIS Recruiter Gave Green Light to Manchester Suicide Bomber: ‘Kill Them and Show No Mercy.’ Plus, “Even more remarkable, U.S. authorities knew about the conversations months in advance of the terror attack and cited them in court document this past March when they charged the ISIS recruiter — 40-year-old Said Azzam Mohamad Rahim of Richardson, Texas — for lying to FBI investigators.”

Read the whole thing.

BRET STEPHENS: Trump, Obama and the Politics of Evasion.

Consider the following propositions:

(1) James Alex Fields Jr., the young man who on Saturday, police say, rammed his Dodge Challenger into a crowd in Charlottesville, killing Heather Heyer and injuring 19 others, was not a “domestic terrorist.”

(2) He was a fatherless, troubled individual who likely experienced economic disenfranchisement as a child of Kentucky and was moved to violence for motives about which we can only guess.

(3) The marchers who gathered in Charlottesville to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee are not necessarily “alt-right.” After all, the alt-right movement encompasses a diverse spectrum of opinion, only some of it racist, and should not be tarred by the rhetoric or actions of a few.

(4) White people should feel no sense of responsibility because a tiny handful of so-called white “nationalists” and “supremacists” falsely claim to speak in their name.

(5) The blame for the events in Charlottesville does not lie with any particular group. Both sides bear their share of guilt and should have shown greater restraint.

(6) President Trump was right on Saturday to avoid stigmatizing any particular group in his remarks condemning violence and hatred. Doing so would unnecessarily elevate the profile of the angry losers and occasionally violent extremists who defame Americans and give them the P.R. victory they were seeking all along.

O.K., now here’s hoping you’re revolted by each of the six preceding points. Because, if you are, then maybe we can at last rethink the policy of euphemism, obfuscation, denial and semantic yoga that typified the Obama administration’s discussions of another form of terrorism.

Read the whole thing.


We are calling one side the “alt-right” for no other reason than it’s easier to keep score, I guess, like we call one team a home team and the other visitors, but they’re both baseball teams. What we really saw in Charlottesville was two far-left groups having at each other because neither will countenance a competitor.

Yes, some of the demonstrators carried Nazi flags, just as some of the counter-demos carried hammer-and-sickle Soviet flags. In fact, those flags are almost interchangeable. Everyone knows and acknowledges that Soviet Communism was based on Marxism, hence Marxism and its spawn today are “Left,” but everyone also apparently thinks that Fascism and Nazism apparently just sprang up our of thin air with no relation to political theories and contexts that came before, and that Fascism and Nazism were and are “Right.”

Untrue. Both Fascism and Nazism were founded on Marxist theory and belonged firmly on the Left side of the spectrum, according to their founders.

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BRENDAN O’NEILL ON ‘THE NARCISSISM OF SMALL DIFFERENCES:’ “It’s becoming so clear now why the war of words between SJWs and the new white nationalists is so intense. It isn’t because they have huge ideological differences — it’s because they have so much in common.”

It’s a fairly short, but spot-on Facebook post. Read the whole thing.

END IT, DON’T MEND IT: Beware the Obamacare industrial complex.

The danger of a Republican bailout of Obamacare is mounting with every passing day. A group of “moderate” Republicans calling themselves the Problem Solvers Caucus is quietly negotiating with Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer to throw a multi-billion dollar life line to the Obamacare insurance exchanges.

This bailout, of course, would be an epic betrayal by a Republican Party which has promised to repeal and replace the financially crumbling Obama health law.

Republicans who are “negotiating” this bipartisan deal, such as Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, object to the term “bailout” for this rescue package. The left prefers the euphemism “stabilizing the insurance market.” The Washington Post’s left-wing fact checker, who just can’t seem to get his facts straight, says “bailout” is misleading pejorative language. The Post claims this is merely a payment to low income families to help pay for the escalating premiums under Obamacare. These payments were allegedly always part of the law as passed.

The hypocrisy here is towering. These are the same people who told us over and over again that Obamacare was going to “bend the cost curve of health care down.” These are the same people who promised that Obamacare was going to “save” the average family $2,500 a year in lower insurance premiums. (If Obamacare were lowering insurance costs not raising them, there would be no need for these bailout funds in the first place.)

These were also the same people who swore to us that Obamacare wasn’t going to raise the federal deficit by a dime. Oh really. Where is the $10 to $20 billion to pay for this new federal subsidy going to come from? Pixie dust?

Incidentally, is there even one single promise of Obamacare that has been kept after seven years?
So why is everyone suddenly rallying for an Obamacare bailout?

Read the whole thing.

KURT SCHLICHTER: Conservatives Must Regulate Google And All of Silicon Valley Into Submission.

There’s sometimes a moment when a system is unstable because one participant has changed the rules, but the other side hasn’t yet reacted – like the period after feminism demanded total female social equality with men, but men still generally picked up the check. That imbalance cannot persist forever; eventually the people on the other side feel like suckers, so they stop playing by the old rules. That’s when the new rules arise. And that’s why conservatives now need to savagely regulate companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter. We need to use our political power in Congress and red state legislatures to incentivize Silicon Valley to return to a system where its companies embrace political and cultural neutrality, or suffer crippling consequences.

Yeah, I know that heavily regulating private businesses is not “free enterprise,” but I don’t care. See, “free enterprise” is a bargain, and they didn’t keep their part of it, and I see no moral obligation for us to be played for saps and forgo using our political power to protect our interests in the face of them using theirs to disembowel us. I liked the old rules better – a free enterprise system confers huge benefits – but it was the left that chose to nuke them.

So what are we talking about? Well, size matters, and Silicon Valley’s giants are just too darn big. Time to chop them up like old Ma Bell. Let’s apply the antitrust laws that were made for taming just these types of octopod monopolies. For example, Google and Facebook’s tentacles have slithered into every corner of the web and strangled the competition. There was a word for that back in the day – what was it? Oh, yeah. “Monopoly.” The left used to like breaking up monopolies until its leftist allies starting controlling them. But the leftists don’t control the executive branch. Since Attorney General Sessions isn’t busy investigating the Democrats, maybe he can get his army of lawyers busy breaking up these enormous, bloated, anti-competitive conglomerates.

Remember, no corporation should be too big to fail – or nail.

Google previewed a future of conformity and fascism when it fired that engineer for talking about things that made social justice warriors sad. It’s not hard to imagine that they’ll soon try and silence the rest of us. One way is by weaponizing the information they maintain on all of us from search histories, purchases, and even email, information that gives leftist hacks incredible leverage to intimidate and extort opponents. “Gee, Mr. Conservative, it’d sure be a pity if the world found out about your browser history involving brony and furry erotica….”

So we need legislation – at both the federal and individual red state levels – that will impose staggering, gut-wrenching monetary penalties for not only the active misuse of this information, but even for the mere failure to safeguard it – any failure to safeguard it.

Read the whole thing.


Finally, we on the Right have to start speaking out without fear against identity politics — and calling out people on the Left, especially those within institutions, for practicing it. The alt-right has correctly identified a hypocritical double standard in American culture. It’s one that allows liberals and their favored minority groups to practice toxic identity politics — on campus, in the media, in corporate America, on the streets — while denying the possibility to whites and males. By speaking out against left-wing identity politics, and by explaining, over and over, why identity politics are wrong and destructive, conservatives strengthen their position in chastising white nationalists on the Right.

But none of this will matter at all as long as the Left refuses to oppose identity politics in its own ranks. As I keep saying here, you cannot have an identity politics of the Left without calling up the same thing on the Right. Left-liberals who want conservatives to stigmatize and denounce white nationalism, but conservatives who do so will be sneered at by white nationalists as dupes and fools who advocate disarmament in the face of racist, sexist forces of the Left.

Read the whole thing.

UPDATE (FROM GLENN): David Marcus was warning of this over a year ago: How Anti-White Rhetoric Is Fueling White Nationalism: White people are being asked—or pushed—to take stock of their whiteness and identify with it more. This is a remarkably bad idea.

Related: We’ll have more Charlottesvilles. I’d rather have a culture in which people responded to ideas and groups they dislike with peaceful criticism, but we haven’t had that for a while.

ROGER SIMON: Is Charlottesville Really What’s Going on in the USA?

Read the whole thing.


Read the whole thing.

THE GOOGLE ARCHIPELAGO: In an article at the Weekly Standard that was likely written before Google’s meltdown this week headlined, “You Can’t Say That,” a review of the recent book The Demon in Democracy , Matthew B. Crawford asks, “Has liberalism taken a Soviet turn?”

Through the ’80s, ’90s, and into the new millennium, the phrase “politically correct” would crop up here and there. Among people who were credited as being sophisticated, use of the term would be met with a certain exasperation: It was needling and stale. The phrase had been picked up by the likes of College Republicans and Fox News, and if you had an ear for intellectual class distinctions you avoided it.

Originally a witticism, the term suggested there was something Soviet-like in the policing of liberal opinion. When it first came into wide circulation, was it anything but humorous hyperbole? Is that still the case today?

A sociologist might point to a decline in social trust over the past few decades—they have ways of measuring this—and speculate about its bearing on political speech. One wonders: Who am I talking to? How will my utterances be received? What sort of allegiances are in play here? In the absence of trust, it becomes necessary to send explicit signals. We become fastidious in speech and observe gestures of affirmation and condemnation that would be unnecessary among friends.

It’s a great review, and well worth your time to read the whole thing. Crawford’s question, “Has liberalism taken a Soviet turn?”, dovetails remarkably well with this week’s events. In the article by James D. Miller that Glenn linked to on Wednesday titled “Get ready for the ‘tech alt-right’ to gain influence in Silicon Valley,” Miller wrote:

It will be poisonous if the tech right feels compelled to not only hide their beliefs but also to actively pretend to believe in progressive diversity values. This pretending will embitter them, probably pushing many to the more radical alt-right.

It will prevent the left and right from getting meaningful feedback on their belief. Plus, if progressives never talked with people on the right, they wouldn’t get to learn that most of us do not fit their stereotypes of being sexist monsters.

When SJWs in Silicon Valley realize that their ideological enemies are hiding, they might actively search them out. They might become suspicious of the guy who was the first to stop clapping when a new diversity initiative was announced. Even worse, SWJs in human resources might become reluctant to hire those with characteristics correlated with conservatism, such as past military service.

That line about SJWs becoming suspicious about “the guy who was the first to stop clapping when a new diversity initiative was announced” is Straight Outta the Kremlin, comrade. In The Gulag Archipelago, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn wrote of the fate of the man who stopped clapping first:

At the conclusion of the conference, a tribute to Comrade Stalin was called for. Of course, everyone stood up (just as everyone had leaped to his feet during the conference at every mention of his name). … For three minutes, four minutes, five minutes, the stormy applause, rising to an ovation, continued. But palms were getting sore and raised arms were already aching. And the older people were panting from exhaustion. It was becoming insufferably silly even to those who really adored Stalin.

However, who would dare to be the first to stop? … After all, NKVD men were standing in the hall applauding and watching to see who would quit first! And in the obscure, small hall, unknown to the leader, the applause went on – six, seven, eight minutes! They were done for! Their goose was cooked! They couldn’t stop now till they collapsed with heart attacks! At the rear of the hall, which was crowded, they could of course cheat a bit, clap less frequently, less vigorously, not so eagerly – but up there with the presidium where everyone could see them?

* * * * * * * *

Then, after eleven minutes, the director of the paper factory assumed a businesslike expression and sat down in his seat. And, oh, a miracle took place! Where had the universal, uninhibited, indescribable enthusiasm gone? To a man, everyone else stopped dead and sat down. They had been saved!

The squirrel had been smart enough to jump off his revolving wheel. That, however, was how they discovered who the independent people were. And that was how they went about eliminating them. That same night the factory director was arrested. They easily pasted ten years on him on the pretext of something quite different. But after he had signed Form 206, the final document of the interrogation, his interrogator reminded him:

“Don’t ever be the first to stop applauding.”

And the world’s biggest search engine is well on its way to becoming The Google Archipelago. In an article Orwellianly titled “Internal Messages Show Some Googlers Supported Fired Engineer’s Manifesto” (heaven Lenin forefend — root out the hoarders and wreckers!) in Wired, which began as a libertarian-leaning publication before being purchased by the lefties at Condé Nast, the writer quotes from an anonymous Google employee. “‘Let’s take a step back,’ the Googler wrote, ‘and look at what is actually making everyone in Google upset on this thread and in general since the start of the 2016 election season.’ He went on to describe how the apparent uniformity of thought at Google led people like Damore to feel ‘like they are being forcibly dragged into [sic] ideological indoctrination chamber,’” including these passages that sound like mash notes smuggled out of the Ministry of Truth:

Weekly public (though thankfully anonymous) shaming of employees for misdeeds as slight as anachronistic use of “guys” for a mixed gender group

Frequent references to documents that stigmatize open disagreement with a a rage [sic] of positions

Call for employees to give each other hugs at an all hands meeting because the wrong candidate won a presidential election in the country, following by a mass mailing on how to help your kids deal with grief due to the same occurrence

In a piece at the Federalist titled “No One Expects The Google Inquisition, But It’s Coming,” Robert Tracinski spots another Stalin-esque element to be found in the above article at Wired:

In the new Internet version [of commercial advertising], we know these big companies are gathering specific personal information about our habits and preferences, far more than anyone has ever done, but we accept it because we think they’re just going to use it to sell us stuff, which might sometimes be annoying but isn’t ominous. But if we think there is a wider purpose, if we think they’re going to use our information for social engineering or political manipulation—will that break the bargain?

In this regard, the most important part of the story is those photographed screenshots intended to out Googlers who agreed with Damore. Why were they photographs of a computer screen rather than actual screenshots grabbed by the computer itself, which would have had much better resolution? I suspect it’s because this would leave evidence behind on work computers, so the leakers might get caught. This implies the leakers know what they’re doing is against internal Google rules—just as leaking Damore’s original memo to the media was against internal Google rules.

I don’t want to get into the debates we see around the Trump administration about which is worse: what we found out about our leaders because of the leaks, or the fact that so much information is being leaked. What’s relevant here is that Google now faces a pattern in which its employees are taking internal information and leaking it to the media, against the company’s own rules and safeguards, in order to achieve political objectives. If the wider public starts to figure out that this is happening, they just might decide this is not a company they want to trust with their information or access to their lives.

And they would be wise to do so. At the conclusion of a post today on the hypocrisy of Google firing Damore over his memo but making billions off of gender-based data-mining and targeted advertising code, Rod Dreher links to this scene from the 2006 film on the East German Stasi, The Lives of Others:

Dreher’s captions the clip, “A scene from the Google cafeteria.” He’s likely not all that far off.

BREAKING: These McMaster Advisors Are Running the ‘Smear’ Campaign to Save His Job.

Deputy National Security Adviser Rick Waddell, Senior Director for Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Gulf States Joel Rayburn, and Yll Bajraktari, a former special assistant to the deputy secretary of defense during the Obama administration, have been coordinating an extensive public relations campaign in support of embattled National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, according to multiple sources.

Members of the national security community who spoke with PJ Media describe the talking points used during this effort to defend McMaster’s tenure as NSA as “absurd,” “dishonest,” and “comically inaccurate.” But sources primarily expressed anger regarding insinuations that NSC members fired by McMaster or otherwise no longer in their positions — such as K.T. McFarland, Rich Higgins, Adam Lovinger, Ezra Cohen-Watnick, and Derek Harvey — are gone for reasons other than ideology.

Over the past week, several media accounts have painted them as “conspiratorial” members of the “alt-right,” possibly leaking information to the controversial Mike Cernovich, and possibly working in tandem with Russian social media accounts. Such claims, which have been picked up by several outlets, are reportedly doing lasting damage to reputations and careers.

Read the whole thing.

ANDREW KLAVAN:  Why Detroit Bombed:

People don’t want to spend their summer entertainment hours watching folks get tortured and killed by psycho racist cops.

I’m not sure there’s any more to the film’s failure than that. But if the left had wanted to destroy this movie’s commercial chances, if they had plotted and planned to strip it of legitimacy and appeal, they could not have done anymore than they have.

Read the whole thing.

Personally, I blame intersectionality. No – really. You can get whiplash spotting the dueling headlines over the past couple of weeks that (A) a white woman shouldn’t have directed a film about a significant moment in black American history and that (B) there should be a quota system in Hollywood to require more female directors. (As someone tweeted in response, “Everyone knows the best art is created with quotas.”)

When all entertainment is reduced to being “problematic” to this or that leftwing grievance group, no wonder the industry can’t do much beyond, as Glenn recently wrote, “Comic book movies, redos, and redos of comic book movies. A vast wasteland.” Dunkirk is the exception that proves the rule, but its director is a superstar thanks to his comic book movies and the rest of his past oeuvre. With the exception of Zero Dark Thirty (which didn’t top the magic 100 million dollar mark in its US gross), Kathryn Bigelow’s movies have never come close to Christopher Nolan’s box office.

All of which is why, as Kurt Schlichter writes, “Politically Correct Hollywood Is Doomed.” In no small part because once again, the SJW crowd is devouring their own.

MEGAN McARDLE: As a Woman in Tech, I Realized: These Are Not My People. The Google memo, saying women aren’t very into engineering, reached a similar conclusion.

Read the whole thing.

PETER SUDERMAN: Why Republicans Didn’t Repeal and Replace Obamacare.

Trump’s inexperience is a factor here. But the outsider president’s expectations were set in large part by seven years of Republican promises to repeal and replace the health care law. And throughout that time, Republicans were never really serious about developing a replacement plan that could pass.

Back in 2013, when Obamacare’s exchanges went online, and immediately crashed, it was clear that many Republicans were simply not interested in productive health policy improvements. Instead, they viewed the struggles of the health care law strictly as a political cudgel to wield against political opponents.

To be clear: I am not saying that there were literally zero Republican health care policy proposals. There were any number of white papers and policy frameworks and even a fully written piece of legislation or two. But there was very little effort to sell these plans to either the broader public or to Republican lawmakers, and to create the political conditions under which they were likely to both pass and be successful. What Republicans lacked was a shared vision—a theory of the case and how best to address it.

These efforts take significant time and energy. Democrats and their allies on the left spent nearly two decades working through ideas and building broad consensus after the failure of President Bill Clinton’s health care plan in the early 1990s. Republicans didn’t mount a similar effort. This was a widespread institutional failure driven by a combination of policy disinterest and political cynicism.

Read the whole thing.

ROGER SIMON ASKS, “What do Google, Evergreen State College and Middlebury have in common?

Answer: They’re all filled with free-speech hating snowflakes destroying their institutions’ brand names. And that of “Progressivism” in general. Read the whole thing.

ANDREW KLAVAN: Google Has Done a Horrible Thing to its Employees.

Read the whole thing.

ROD DREHER ON THE RELIGION OF IDENTITY LIBERALISM. There is no “right” and “wrong” there; there is only “good” and “evil:”

The problem with Identity Liberalism is not that it seeks to create workplaces that are fair to men and women both, and to people of all races, and so forth. We all want that, or ought to. The problem is only partly that it’s criteria for judging the fairness of a workplace are contradictory and unfair, as Dr. Miller points out above. The core of the problem is that identity liberalism construes disagreement as heresy, and viciously punishes heretics.

And it is therefore impossible for identity liberalism, and the institutions that embrace it, to self-correct, because all criticism is treated as evil. The critic finds himself, like [Google’s James Damore], defending not his thesis (which may or may not be wrong), but his moral worth.

If you want that kind of society, vote Democratic. If you want a society that turns into a war of all against all, based on race, sex, and whatnot, vote Democratic. That’s what it seems like to a lot of us. We are not about to swim to shore and volunteer to be netted, because we hate ourselves and our sons and daughters so much that we believe we deserve to have our careers sacrificed for the sake of creating Utopia.

Read the whole thing.

SLATE STAR CODEX: Contra Grant On Exaggerated Differences.

An article by Adam Grant called Differences Between Men And Women Are Vastly Exaggerated is going viral, thanks in part to a share by Facebook exec Sheryl Sandberg. It’s a response to an email by a Google employee saying that he thought Google’s low female representation wasn’t a result of sexism, but a result of men and women having different interests long before either gender thinks about joining Google. Grant says that gender differences are small and irrelevant to the current issue. I disagree. . . .

Galpin investigated the percent of women in computer classes all around the world. Her number of 26% for the US is slightly higher than I usually hear, probably because it’s older (the percent women in computing has actually gone down over time!). The least sexist countries I can think of – Sweden, New Zealand, Canada, etc – all have somewhere around the same number (30%, 20%, and 24%, respectively). The most sexist countries do extremely well on this metric! The highest numbers on the chart are all from non-Western, non-First-World countries that do middling-to-poor on the Gender Development Index: Thailand with 55%, Guyana with 54%, Malaysia with 51%, Iran with 41%, Zimbabwe with 41%, and Mexico with 39%. Needless to say, Zimbabwe is not exactly famous for its deep commitment to gender equality.

Why is this? It’s a very common and well-replicated finding that the more progressive and gender-equal a country, the larger gender differences in personality of the sort Hyde found become. I agree this is a very strange finding, but it’s definitely true. . . .

In the year 1850, women were locked out of almost every major field, with a few exceptions like nursing and teaching. The average man of the day would have been equally confident that women were unfit for law, unfit for medicine, unfit for mathematics, unfit for linguistics, unfit for engineering, unfit for journalism, unfit for psychology, and unfit for biology. He would have had various sexist justifications – women shouldn’t be in law because it’s too competitive and high-pressure; women shouldn’t be in medicine because they’re fragile and will faint at the sight of blood; et cetera.

As the feminist movement gradually took hold, women conquered one of these fields after another. 51% of law students are now female. So are 49.8% of medical students, 45% of math majors, 60% of linguistics majors, 60% of journalism majors, 75% of psychology majors, and 60% of biology postdocs. Yet for some reason, engineering remains only about 20% female.

And everyone says “Aha! I bet it’s because of negative stereotypes!”

This makes no sense. There were negative stereotypes about everything! Somebody has to explain why the equal and greater negative stereotypes against women in law, medicine, etc were completely powerless, yet for some reason the negative stereotypes in engineering were the ones that took hold and prevented women from succeeding there. . . . As long as you’re comparing some poor woman janitor to a male programmer making $80,000, you can talk about how it’s clearly sexism against women getting the good jobs. But once you take off the blinders and try to look at an even slightly bigger picture, you start wondering why veterinarians, who make even more money than that, are even more lopsidedly female than programmers are male. And then you start thinking that maybe you need some framework more sophisticated than the simple sexism theory in order to predict who’s doing all of these different jobs. And once you have that framework, maybe the sexism theory isn’t necessary any longer, and you can throw it out, and use the same theory to predict why women dominate veterinary medicine and psychology, why men dominate engineering and computer science, and why none of this has any relation at all to what fields that some sexist in the 1850s wanted to keep women out of.

Read the whole thing. And note this: “Silicon Valley was supposed to be better than this. It was supposed to be the life of the mind, where people who were interested in the mysteries of computation and cognition could get together and make the world better for everybody. Now it’s degenerated into this giant hatefest of everybody writing long screeds calling everyone else Nazis and demanding violence against them.”

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Ted Balaker: This University President Can’t Take a Joke.

A university president recently addressed his campus community about an incident that had shaken his Wisconsin school.

“The last few days have been painful ones for many members of our community, as they have also been for me,” wrote Lawrence University’s Mark Burstein. “The event and its aftermath have left many students wondering whether the University cares about their safety.”

Again and again, Burstein returned to the issue of safety: “We are working closely with the Appleton Police Department to investigate all instances where physical safety is threatened. If there is anyone who has an immediate safety concern, please contact Campus Safety….”

Television news crews captured the aftermath of an event so disturbing that Burstein never identifies it specifically. So what was it? A spate of muggings? A murder?

No. The disturbing event was a campus screening of my documentary, Can We Take a Joke? The film examines the clash between comedy and outrage culture, and in it comedians ranging from newbie college jokesters to successful veterans such as Gilbert Gottfried, Penn Jillette, Adam Carolla, Lisa Lampanelli, and Jim Norton push back against the “Outrage Mob” and stand up for comedy and free speech.

The film includes a variety of free speech scholars, and pays special attention to the college scene. It explains how universities have taught generations of students that they can shut down opinions they don’t like simply by declaring they’re offended.

Read the whole thing.

TOM NICHOLS: About Those Bombs.

First, let’s be clear about what kind of bomb the Norks have developed. A nuclear bomb relies on splitting atoms of uranium and plutonium through the process of nuclear fission to produce an explosion. This is the kind of bomb the North Koreans tested in 2006 and the only kind they have.

That’s plenty bad, but not as bad as the more powerful thermonuclear bomb uses that fission explosion to fuse hydrogen atoms together (which is why it’s also called a fusion bomb) to produce a much, much more devastating explosion. This is the bomb used in the nuclear arsenals of the advanced nuclear powers, and while the North Koreans claim to have tested one, it’s unlikely.

A bomb without a ride to its destination is just a really dangerous paperweight, and the North Koreans have made progress on testing an ICBM, the acronym for an inter-continental ballistic missile, a rocket that throws a warhead—the bomb—into space, after which that warhead falls back to earth at many times the speed of sound.

This is different from short-range rockets or artillery, or even Saddam Hussein’s infamous SCUDs, which are fired at short range and go relatively smaller distances. Those are easy to make; Saddam’s missiles were of 1960s vintage. ICBMs are a different game entirely. ICBMs are like the rockets that sent men to the moon, capable of traveling huge distances and landing close to a designated target.

A crude nuclear bomb isn’t that hard to make, if you have enough uranium and don’t care how big it is. (The first nuclear bomb was the size of a small automobile and had to be shoved out of an airplane in 1945.) A nuclear ICBM is a lot tougher to manufacture, because a small, reliable bomb is a lot more complicated, and placing that warhead on top of a space-capable vehicle is yet more of a challenge.

This is because a nuclear ICBM requires a small enough warhead to fit on top of a big, wobbly missile and withstand the pressures of launch, traversing space, and re-entry into the atmosphere. Nuclear bombs are not hand grenades; they are delicate and finely engineered weapons that will not explode if their machinery is destroyed while plunging to earth at Mach 20.

Read the whole thing.

THE HORROR. THE HORROR. Newark Terrorized by Whole Foods:

Let’s recap the slate of urban worries on the left. “Food deserts,” meaning a lack of availability of fresh food (or a lack of market demand for it), are bad. The opening of a gigantic store dedicated to selling healthy comestibles and produce, though, is also bad.

When large corporations don’t invest in urban communities, that’s shameful. Investment? Also shameful. White flight by people moving to suburbs in the 1960s? Racist. Their grandchildren’s return? Also racist. Increased disorder that leads to garbage-strewn vacant lots, abandoned buildings, and declining property values is troubling, but increased order that leads to refilled buildings, cleaned-up neighborhoods, and rising rents is also troubling. Segregation? Bad. Integration? Bad.

Exit quote: “Whole Foods is plainly worried that in Newark the shiitake might hit the fan.”

Heh, indeed.™ Read the whole thing.

MEGAN MCARDLE: Sick of Slow Wage Growth? Here’s Who to Blame.

The U.S. unemployment rate is 4.3 percent. That’s not just good; it’s fantastic. The last time unemployment was that low, “Stutter” was topping the Billboard charts, George W. Bush had just been sworn in as president, and Osama Bin Laden was a name known only to a few national security wonks.

Everywhere you look, you see signs of a tight labor market. Employers are complaining that they can’t find the workers they need, and when you look at the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (aka Jolts), you see that openings are up, while unemployment claims have fallen. Americans are less likely to be laid off than they have been in decades.

There’s just one place that the good news doesn’t seem to show up: wages, where growth remains, as the Washington Post recently remarked, “somewhat tepid.” If employers are having such a hard time finding workers, why don’t they do the sensible thing and offer more money? This, says Kevin Drum, is “the mystery of the tight labor market.”

It’s no fun reading a mystery without a solution, and as it happens, I have a few here in my pocket. Look at other recent trends in the labor markets: Both the supply curves and the demand curves for labor have been undergoing substantial transformations that may simply have shifted the economy to a new equilibrium. Which is an economic jargonish way of saying this may be the new normal.

Read the whole thing.

TROTSKY & HUTCH: After reading Kyle Smith’s “Channing Tatum’s Anti-Communist Manifesto,” at NRO over the weekend, I watched the first two episodes of Comrade Detective on Amazon Prime last night, which is a sort of mash-up of Woody Allen’s What’s Up Tiger Lily, Police Squad, Gorky Park, and SCTV’s Soviet broadcasting parody segment, as Smith explains:

According to an earnestly delivered prologue, what we’re watching is found footage: An actual Romanian buddy-cop TV show from the 1980s. The look and feel of the show (which was actually shot last year) are absolutely dead-on recreations, exactly what you’d expect if you happened to be watching prime-time state TV in Bucharest circa 1988. The actors are Romanian, the mustaches are thick, the art direction is lavishly gray. Everything is played with a completely straight face, and the series was actually filmed in Eastern Europe, which apparently still features lots of locations suffering from Soviet Bloc hangover. If you turned off the sound, you’d swear you were actually watching the Romanian Simon & Simon.

What makes Comrade Detective a comedy is the (intentionally ungainly) dubbing: Channing Tatum and Joseph Gordon-Levitt provide the voices of the mismatched detectives, Gregor Anghel and Iosif Baciu (played impeccably onscreen by Romanians Florin Piersic Jr. and Corneliu Ulici), and such familiar actors as Chloë Sevigny, Daniel Craig, Jake Johnson, Kim Basinger, Jenny Slate, and Mahershala Ali dub supporting characters. Nick Offerman, voicing the crusty, no-nonsense police chief, is especially fine.

* * * * * * * *

Explaining the board game Monopoly, which plays a surprising role in the plot, devolves into pained disbelief: “The more rent you get paid the more money you make,” says an expert on the West. “You’re telling me that the purpose of this game is to drive your fellow citizens into poverty so that you may get rich?” says one of the cops. Black-market racketeers inspire a near-riot amid desperate demand for their wares and protect themselves with machine guns . . . in the process of selling Jordache jeans. Because we’re watching Iron Curtain propaganda, a visit to the U.S. embassy reveals that average Americans are eating huge piles of hamburgers at all times, even at the office. Looming offscreen like the Emperor in Star Wars or Voldemort in Harry Potter, the ultimate source of bone-chilling unease is . . . Ronald Reagan.

Read the whole thing. And maybe even watch the whole thing as well. At nearly an hour each segment, it’s not laugh-a-minute funny, but almost every scene is punctuated by a laugh-out-loud take on either Soviet propaganda or American detective shows – and often both. Of the two Romanian leads, the senior detective is a sort of hardscrabble version of David Soul’s appearance (complete with funky leather sports jacket and sunglasses) on Starsky & Hutch, and his junior partner is the spitting image of young Leon Trotsky.

Based on the first two segments I watched, highly recommended.

THE ATLANTIC ON HOW SILICON VALLEY TOOK OVER JOURNALISM. The piece is written by Franklin Foer, who describes how Chris Hughes, co-founder of Facebook, bought the New Republic and promptly began the Buzzfeed-ification of that once august center-left magazine:

My master was Chartbeat, a site that provides writers, editors, and their bosses with a real-time accounting of web traffic, showing the flickering readership of each and every article. Chartbeat and its competitors have taken hold at virtually every magazine, newspaper, and blog. With these meters, no piece has sufficient traffic—it can always be improved with a better headline, a better approach to social media, a better subject, a better argument. Like a manager standing over the assembly line with a stopwatch, Chartbeat and its ilk now hover over the newsroom.

This is a dangerous turn. Journalism may never have been as public-spirited an enterprise as editors and writers liked to think it was. Yet the myth mattered. It pushed journalism to challenge power; it made journalists loath to bend to the whims of their audience; it provided a crucial sense of detachment. The new generation of media giants has no patience for the old ethos of detachment. It’s not that these companies don’t have aspirations toward journalistic greatness. BuzzFeed, Vice, and the Huffington Post invest in excellent reporting and employ first-rate journalists—and they have produced some of the most memorable pieces of investigative journalism in this century. But the pursuit of audience is their central mission. They have allowed the endless feedback loop of the web to shape their editorial sensibility, to determine their editorial investments.

“Unexpectedly,” the Atlantic’s own lust for clickbait isn’t mentioned the piece: CTL-F “Andrew Sullivan,” brings zero results. At the beginning of September of 2008, Jonathan Last of the Weekly Standard wrote a post at his Galley Slaves blog titled “The Atlantic Becomes a Laughingstock,” that neatly foreshadows what Foer wrote for the Atlantic’s September 2017 issue on TNR:

What’s caught my attention here, then is The Atlantic. I am, and always have been, an enormous booster for the Old Media, and smarty-pants general-interest magazines in particular. What’s so notable in this whole affair isn’t the tarring of Palin but the fact that The Atlantic Monthly is the vehicle for the irresponsible spreading of smears about Palin and speculation so inane that it can’t be counted, by any reasonable measure, as analysis. (Here, I’m thinking of Sullivan’s claim that he thought it possible both Palin and McCain would relinquish their nominations.)

If Andrew Sullivan were to have written everything he wrote this week at his own website, I wouldn’t have said a word about it. The real scandal here isn’t Sullivan: It’s what The Atlantic has become by publishing him.

As for Sullivan’s page views, I sincerely hope that David Bradley isn’t making his editorial decisions based solely on eyeballs and dollars. Were that so, you could simply give The Atlantic‘s pages over to Perez Hilton or Slashdot or Matt Drudge or any other number of content formats. But the point of The Atlantic, like other great journals, is to be something different–to be a stage in the world of ideas, even if it’s not the most profitable thing.

I find the prospect of The Atlantic devolving into some version of Free Republic or Daily Kos to be immensely worrisome. Hopefully David Bradley will do something to put his house in order. Soon.

Let’s give Foer the exit quote: “Journalism has performed so admirably in the aftermath of Trump’s victory that it has grown harder to see the profession’s underlying rot.”

I question both halves of that premise, especially the first.

HARRY REID’S LEGACY: The Senate must end the tyranny of the minority and abolish the filibuster.

Congressman Trent Franks:

Mr. Trump is extremely astute to recognize the ‘senseless 60,’ Senate rule to be the primary culprit responsible for turning the U.S. Senate into the fundamentally dysfunctional institution it has become.

Perhaps the president was paying attention in the last election cycle when then Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said (when he was assuming Hillary Clinton would become president and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) would become majority leader): “The country can’t be run this way, where nothing gets done.” … “Unless after this election there is a dramatic change to go back to the way it used to be” (before the “no-debate stealth filibuster”) “the Senate will have to evolve as it has in the past” … “But it will evolve with a majority vote determining stuff. It is going to happen” (emphasis mine), meaning that the majority, not 60 votes, would rule.

After such unequivocal statements, to predicate America’s future on the hope that Democrats will suddenly be seized with an epiphany of fair play toward Republicans and not follow through with Mr. Reid’s plan when given the chance, is to risk the survival of this republic on a hope that has never manifest in the past.

Read the whole thing.

GREG GUTFELD: Ethics Hipsters are the new Puritans.

Read the whole thing, or Lena Dunham will report you to American Airlines.

BRUCE BAWER: The Decline and Fall of an Academic Nitwit.

Just read the whole thing.

ANALYSIS: TRUE. The media needs Trump more than he needs them.

Michael Walsh:

On one side: the perpetually aggrieved White House press corps, whose members sit atop journalism’s pinnacle and yet are herded like cattle, made to stand behind rope lines and are generally treated with disdain by those they report on. Like fantasy-league baseball players, they’re convinced they can run the country better than the officials they so resentfully cover.

On the other: a beleaguered, media-conscious president who still harbors the notion that he can get dedicated ideological enemies to like him if he can just charm them enough and is prepared to go around them on Twitter if he can’t.

As the Trump administration revamps its communications operation yet again in the wake of the short-lived Anthony Scaramucci era, it’s time to face the fact that this is no longer an exercise in public relations, or even messaging strategy.

This is war.

That’s been true from the start — and do read the whole thing.

MONKEEING AROUND WITH CULTURE, a review of Michael Nesmith’s autobiography, Infinite Tuesday at the Washington Free Beacon:

The old middlebrow knowledge, the aspirations to culture of the middle class as late as the early 1960s, can be discerned in everything from the leather-bound sets of Great Books to the classical themes that made up the background music to Bugs Bunny cartoons. We had a kind of consensus that the high arts, what the Kennedy Center used to celebrate, were the goal of cultural knowledge. And as that consensus died, the music of the Monkees became part of what took its place. The pop songs of the 1960s merged with the movies of the 1970s to fill the vacuum. And regardless of its quality it became the new shared knowledge.

Sometimes that quality was quite high, but it isn’t Bach, Mozart, or Beethoven, and old episodes of I Dream of Jeannie are not Faust. If the key to culture is the greatness of the shared references, then we have no culture in America anymore. If the key is that something is genuinely shared, then we do have culture. We have the Monkees.

Read the whole thing, which is also a rumination on how badly the Kennedy Center awards have fallen, shifting from its earlier celebration of traditional classicism, to embracing pop culture. This year’s nominees include “‘television producer Norman Lear, singer-songwriter Gloria Estefan, music mogul Lionel Richie and hip-hop star LL Cool J,’ all of whom have innumerable other sources of popular praise. What need have we of the Kennedy Center, when its gold medals are just late imitations of the Grammys, Oscars, and Emmys?” (And as we noted yesterday, they’ll have to deal with Trump at their awards ceremony. Perhaps a professional cuddling service will be backstage for the artists.)

As for the Monkees themselves, as the reviewer writes earlier in the article, their music worked in spite of itself. Not least of which because of their powerful assist from the Brill Building pros writing their songs, and in-house, Nesmith wasn’t at all a bad songwriter himself, pioneering the country-rock-pop fusion sound that would print money for the Eagles in the following decade. And it’s worth noting how much of pop music that followed after the Monkees’ demise as a working band has been far worse. William Goldman once noted that “Every Oscar night you look back and realize that last year was the worst year in the history of Hollywood.” You can say the same thing about the Grammys as well.


[Trump] also told Pena-Nieto regarding illegal drugs coming into the U.S. from Mexico, “I won New Hampshire because New Hampshire is a drug-infested den.” Whether that description is accurate or not, he, er, did not win New Hampshire last year…

No, Trump didn’t win the general election in that state—Hillary won by a very small margin (.3%)—but he won the NH primary by a huge margin. That was a big big deal at the time, and gave him his very first primary win after a defeat in Iowa. New Hampshire made him legit, as it were, and if he’s bragging about his primary win there, it would make a lot more sense than talking about winning (or losing) New Hampshire in the general, where its paltry four electoral votes hardly matter.

Allahpundit questions whether that description of New Hampshire as “a drug-infested den” is accurate or is hyperbole. But although “den” is perhaps a bit colorful, it is accurate in terms of the seriousness of the drug problem that has come to plague the state.

Read the whole thing.

And right next door to that drug-infested den is another drug-infested den. As Slate noted in 2013, “The state with the biggest drug problem: It’s Vermont.”

YOU WILL BE MADE TO CARE. Bartleby The Bigots:

For nearly 40 years, the vibrant rainbow flag of the gay pride movement has come to represent diversity and tolerance. However, a decision by the National Trust to demand 350 of its volunteers at a Jacobean mansion wear the banner or be banished to backroom chores has triggering an angry backlash.

Bosses at Felbrigg Hall in Norfolk wrote to their army of volunteers asking them to all wear a lanyard or badge displaying the rainbow flag to welcome lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer visitors. The email, seen by The Telegraph, reveals that those who refused would not be allowed to meet and greet guests to the 17th Century hall.

Read the whole thing, which is a reminder that not even Seinfeld can escape Muggeridge’s Law: “We live in an age in which it is no longer possible to be funny. There is nothing you can imagine, no matter how ludicrous, that will not promptly be enacted before your very eyes, probably by someone well known.”


HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Mike Adams: My Resignation From UNC-Wilmington. “In a nutshell, as of last week, I have now accomplished the five main objectives I have set out to accomplish since the administration started to aggressively fight against the free speech and due process rights of professors and students in the UNC system. Having accomplished all of those goals, I have decided that it is time to start enjoying life instead of fighting against my employers in federal courtrooms and state legislative halls.” Read the whole thing to see what he’s been up to. And read to the end for the kicker.

ROGER SIMON ON IMMIGRATION AND HOW TRUMP DERANGEMENT SYNDROME DUMBS DOWN THE PRESS: “How many IQ points do you lose from Trump Derangement Syndrome or similar conditions of blind political rage?”

Read the whole thing.

IT NEVER LEFT: The Red Menace Is Back.

Read the whole thing.

WAIT, I THOUGHT THAT POEM WAS PART OF THE CONSTITUTION OR SOMETHING: White House aide: Statue of liberty poem not the test for immigration policy.

Top White House policy aide Stephen Miller on Wednesday defended the White House’s new legal immigration legislation in part by saying the famous poem inscribed on the Statue of Liberty was added years after the statue’s unveiling.

The poem includes the lines, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

Miller was responding to a CNN reporter quoting lines from the famous poem during a White House press briefing where Miller was discussing the White House’s newly proposed immigration proposal that gives preference to English-speakers. . . .

“I don’t want to get off into a whole thing about history here, but the Statue of Liberty is a symbol of liberty lighting the world, it’s a symbol of liberty lighting the world. The poem you are referring to, which was added later, is not part of the original Statue of Liberty,” Miller said.

Miller then peppered Acosta with historic immigration numbers, asking him what level of immigration would satisfy “Jim Acosta’s definition of the Statue of Liberty poem’s law of the land.”

Poet Emma Lazarus wrote the famous poem,”The New Colossus,” to celebrate the statue’s 1883 unveiling. Eighteen years later, the poem was inscribed on the statue’s pedestal, where it remains as a key fixture of the monument.

Besides, if we don’t base our immigration policy on a 19th Century poem, what possible guidance is there?

And then there’s this: After battle with Jim Acosta, Stephen Miller gets called a Nazi, white supremacist, and Hannibal Lecter.

Remember, these are supposed to be the sane, sensible people who get nuance. Not like those crazy, irrational Trumpies who will lash out at anything.

Related: CNN’s @acosta read a poem, then had a meltdown when Miller suggested new immigrants should be able to read it.

To be a lefty is to believe that the Constitution is a living document that changes with the timeS, but a poem on a statue binds immigration policy forever.

SOME PEOPLE THOUGHT STEM COURSES WOULD BE IMMUNE TO CAMPUS CRAZINESS: Engineering Education: Social Engineering Rather than Actual Engineering.

Alas, the world we engineers envisioned as young students is not quite as simple and straightforward as we had wished because a phalanx of social justice warriors, ideologues, egalitarians, and opportunistic careerists has ensconced itself in America’s college and universities. The destruction they have caused in the humanities and social sciences has now reached to engineering.

One of the features of their growing power is the phenomenon of “engineering education” programs and schools. They have sought out the soft underbelly of engineering, where phrases such as “diversity” and “different perspectives” and “racial gaps” and “unfairness” and “unequal outcomes” make up the daily vocabulary. Instead of calculating engine horsepower or microchip power/size ratios or aerodynamic lift and drag, the engineering educationists focus on group representation, hurt feelings, and “microaggressions” in the profession.

An excellent example is the establishment at Purdue University (once informally called the “MIT of the Midwest”) of a whole School of Engineering Education. What is this school’s purpose? Its website tells us that it “envisions a more socially connected and scholarly engineering education. This implies that we radically rethink the boundaries of engineering and the purpose of engineering education.”

I have always thought my own education in engineering was as scholarly as possible. Once I became a professor, I never worried about how “socially connected” the education we provided at Michigan State for engineering students was. With trepidation, I read on to see if I was missing something important. I learned to my dismay that Purdue’s engineering education school rests on three bizarre pillars: “reimagining engineering and engineering education, creating field-shaping knowledge, and empowering agents of change.” . . .

The recently appointed dean of Purdue’s school, Dr. Donna Riley, has an ambitious agenda.

In her words (italics mine): “I seek to revise engineering curricula to be relevant to a fuller range of student experiences and career destinations, integrating concerns related to public policy, professional ethics, and social responsibility; de-centering Western civilization; and uncovering contributions of women and other underrepresented groups…. We examine how technology influences and is influenced by globalization, capitalism, and colonialism…. Gender is a key…[theme]…[throughout] the course…. We…[examine]… racist and colonialist projects in science….”

This is a bad thing.

DEMOCRACY DIES IN VICTIMHOOD. Hot take: Trump using the term “paddy wagon” is offensive to Irish-Americans, James Mulvaney, adjunct professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and former deputy commissioner of the New York State Division of Human Rights moans in the Washington Post, (link safe; goes to Hot Air) including this embarrassing moment:

Two years ago, I complained to the New York Times about the appearance of “paddy wagon” in a crossword. Puzzle editor Will Shortz dismissed my objections, writing: “The Irish are not a group that’s discriminated against in the U.S.”

That’s generally true. But each use of the phrase “paddy wagon” evokes a time when they were.

As Allahpundit writes in response, “You know you’re in deep left field when the New York Times is telling you to sack up, snowflake.”

Read the whole thing – while imagining how painful it must be to be inside Mulvaney’s skull when he clicks past a Batman rerun on cable TV and sees Chief O’Hara.

Which brings us to this very much related column by Aaron Clarey on “The Pettiness of the Left:” “Understand this and understand this well about leftists.  They are miserable people who will waste their entire, precious lives being envious of what others have instead of appreciating what they have. And when the day comes that they’re on their death bed, all they will have to point to is a life of whining, complaining, hatred, and jealousy. A worse punishment does not exist.”

No. There is another.

MEMORY LANE: Remember all those left-wing pundits who drooled over Venezuela?

The list of Western leftists who once sang the Venezuelan government’s praises is long, and Naomi Klein figures near the top.

In 2004, she signed a petition headlined, “We would vote for Hugo Chavez.” Three years later, she lauded Venezuela as a place where “citizens had renewed their faith in the power of democracy to improve their lives.” In her 2007 book, “The Shock Doctrine,” she portrayed capitalism as a sort of global conspiracy that instigates financial crises and exploits poor countries in the wake of natural disasters. But Klein declared that Venezuela had been rendered immune to the “shocks” administered by free market fundamentalists thanks to Chavez’s “21st Century Socialism,” which had created “a zone of relative economic calm and predictability.”

Chavez’s untimely death from cancer in 2013 saw an outpouring of grief from the global left. The caudillo “demonstrated that it is possible to resist the neo-liberal dogma that holds sway over much of humanity,” wrote British journalist Owen Jones. “I mourn a great hero to the majority of his people,” said Oliver Stone, who would go on to replace Chavez with Vladimir Putin as the object of his twisted affection.

On the Venezuelan regime’s international propaganda channel, Telesur, American host Abby Martin — who used to ply her duplicitous trade at Russia Today — takes credulous viewers on Potemkin tours of supermarkets fully stocked with goods. It would be inaccurate to label the thoroughly unconvincing Martin, who combines the journalistic ethics of Walter Duranty with the charm of Ulrike Meinhof, a useful idiot. She’s just an idiot.


Read the whole thing.

STEALTH SINGLE-PAYER: We Need To Break The Law To Make Obamacare Too Big To Fail.

On Monday, a bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus in the House released their list of “solutions” regarding Obamacare. Developed over the past several months, the list can easily be summed up in a single phrase: Single payer.

The lawmakers didn’t come out and say as much, of course, but that would be the net result. In funding more bailout spending for insurers, the proposal clearly states that Obamacare is “too big to fail”—that no amount of taxpayer funding is too great to keep insurers offering coverage on the health exchanges. Enacting that government backstop would create a de facto single-payer health-care system—only with many more well-priced insurer lobbyists around to demand more crony capitalist payments from government to their industry.

Read the whole thing, but the short version is that the Democrats thoroughly screwed us in 2010, and the Republicans are too cowardly to unscrew us is 2017.

CLAUDIA ROSETT: Nikki Haley Nails It on the UN and North Korea.

Read the whole thing.

I THINK HE SHOULD GET THE NEXT OPEN SUPREME COURT SEAT: Don Willett’s Lone Star Legal Show: The Texas Supreme Court justice is witty and approachable, and he’s huge on Twitter. He’s also one of the most influential conservative jurists in the country right now.

In the past few decades, the number of American jobs requiring a state license has exploded. Roughly one out of every four workers must seek a license to work. Now some institutions are starting to push back. Perhaps the most prominent — or at least most fervent — of these is the Texas Supreme Court. In 2015, the court struck down the state’s licensing requirement for eyebrow threaders (cosmetologists who remove unwanted facial hair using a thread), finding it unreasonable.

One of the justices, Don Willett, who has served on the court since 2005, went much further. The state’s regulatory requirements were not just extreme, he concluded, but “preposterous.” To pursue the low-paying job, prospective eyebrow threaders had to pay thousands of dollars in fees and were required to complete more than five times as many hours of initial training as emergency medical technicians. “If these rules are not arbitrary,” Willett wrote in a concurring opinion, “then the definition of ‘arbitrary’ is itself arbitrary.”

Willett’s concurrence in the case, Patel v. Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, has been hailed as one of the most important conservative opinions of recent years. It was expansive enough to trigger talk about reviving a judicial approach to regulation that has lain dormant for decades. It’s one of the main reasons Willett’s name appeared on President Trump’s short list for the U.S. Supreme Court.

Willett is pretty blunt about his overall intent. He’s a champion of individual rights, claiming a central role for the judiciary in protecting those rights against state encroachment. “Liberty is not provided by government,” he wrote in Patel. “Liberty pre-exists government.” In that context, Willett wasn’t talking about speech or privacy rights. He was referring to economic liberty: the right to earn a living by unfettered free choice in a capitalist economy.

For someone in the important but relatively obscure position of state supreme court justice, the 51-year-old Willett has engendered an unlikely cult of personality. He’s hailed by conservative columnists and think tanks and has been profiled in The Wall Street Journal as one of the right’s leading legal thinkers. It’s hard to find anyone, even among his liberal critics, who won’t acknowledge Willett’s combination of legal acumen and down-home style.

Read the whole thing.

OH: “Overwhelming” Support For More Background Checks Not So Overwhelming After All.

How often have you heard gun control advocates quoting figures which indicate that “more than 90%” of gun owners, NRA members, hunters or whoever else support “universal background checks” in the past couple of years? If you follow this subject even casually your answer was most likely pretty often. It’s been repeated enough that we generally see it accepted as part of the conventional wisdom. But as is so often the case these day, the “conventional wisdom” is frequently neither. The NRA Institute for Legislative Action has dug into some of the actual numbers on this question and more, finding that how a question is phrased to the public can have a significant impact on the data.

Read the whole thing — which is much more than most people reporting the “numbers” have done.

SOCIAL JUSTICE ‘WAR AND PEACE:’ How dare a struggling Broadway musical ask the beloved Mandy Patinkin to step in for a few weeks?

Predictably, a Twitter mob formed, outraged that Patinkin, who is of Eastern European Jewish descent, would be temporarily replacing an African-American actor. Never mind that the role had been originated by the whiter-than-Vermont Josh Groban; and never mind that the show proudly proclaimed that it employed colorblind casting. And never mind, by the way, that two of Patinkin’s most beloved roles had him playing decidedly non-Hasidic characters. (Sure it’s one thing for him to play the narrator Che in Evita, but if you think somebody named Mandy Patinkin could play a character called Inigo Montoya in 2017 … then, again, you don’t know much about the year 2017.)

Equally predictable was the cave-in.

Read the whole thing.

FASTER, PLEASE: Oil and Gas Innovation Goes Well Beyond Fracking.

Linking the oil and gas industry with innovation these past few years isn’t controversial. The pairing of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal well drilling was a novel idea that set off an energy revolution over the past decade, remaking American energy fortunes and ushering in a new global oil reality (and increasingly a new global natural gas reality, as well). But innovation’s impacts on global energy security extend beyond the novelty of fracking. As David G. Victor and Kassia Yanosek write for Foreign Affairs, oil and gas companies are leveraging some of the same trends that are spurring on the information economy to extract hydrocarbons more profitably. . . .

It’s worth your time to sit down and read the whole thing. The authors embark on a brisk tour of the changing (and changed) energy industry in the 21st century. Big data, automation, and systems management aren’t just a hallmark of companies like Amazon—they’re also helping the bottom line of energy producers, and that’s good news for the global economy.

It’s also worth noting that new technologies don’t come with ideologies. When imagining how the international community might meet the climate targets set out in Paris in late 2015, many greens include the optimistic hope that technological breakthroughs will (in time) make clean energy options like wind and solar the only obvious choices. While it’s true that the cost of renewables has dropped significantly just in the past couple of years, it’s also true that breakeven costs for many fossil fuel operators has also come down over that same period of time. There’s no reason to think that innovation will favor one specific energy source over another—there exists the potential for breakthroughs in every corner of the industry, and that’s a tremendously exciting thought.

Well, unless you’re a green Command Economy enthusiast.

CHARLIE MARTIN ON STEPHEN HAWKING AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOMS: “That, I think, is the biggest problem with this, and most other science reporting. Follow science reporting in the legacy media, and you’re continuously seeing stories about a famous scientist predicting impending doom, or a study that shows something we’re eating or drinking will kill us all. They know that impending doom will sell papers, so impending doom is what we get.”

Read the whole thing. If climate change scientists (and those who play them on TV, such as Bill Nye, the Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering Guy) and their enablers in the DNC-MSM wonder why they’ve been tuned out by much of the country, perhaps because It’s been nearly 50 years since Paul  Ehrlich’s The Population Bomb began the left’s doomsday cult, and it’s been nothing but “Temples of Doom” since. How many different ways – and how many times – can you say the sky is falling and still be taken seriously?

MICHAEL WALSH: THE WAGES OF THE ‘COLLUSION’ MEME ARE BIG TROUBLE. “In short, the ‘Russia!’ meme has worked like a charm. If the Democrats/Compromised Media/Never Trumpers had wanted to set out to help Putin in his global chess match vs. the United States, they could not have done a better job. And perhaps that was their goal all along.”

Read the whole thing.

THE COLUMN THAT ALL AMERICA WANTS. THE COLUMN THAT ALL AMERICA NEEDS: Who else but David Brooks, the man, the myth, the sandwich shop legend, the Fonzie of Fifth Avenue, can explain to the readers of the New York TimesHow Cool Works in America Today”?

Cool had other social meanings. It was a way of showing you weren’t playing the whole Horatio Alger game; you weren’t a smarmy career climber. It was a way to assert the value of the individual in response to failed collectivisms — to communism and fascism, to organized religion. The cool person is guided by his or her own autonomous values, often on the outskirts of society.

To be cool was to be a moral realist. The cruelties of the wars had exposed the simplistic wholesomeness of good and evil middle-class morality. A character like Rick Blaine in “Casablanca” is trying to live by his own honor code in an absurd moral world.

Until he realizes that “the problems of three little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world,” and joins the effort defeat Hitler. Having taken an interest in the horrors of the world beyond his café’s doors, does that mean that Bogey’s Rick is no longer cool? Brooks goes on to explain to his readers at the Times the difference between “cool” and “woke:”

Cool was politically detached, but being a social activist is required for being woke. Cool was individualistic, but woke is nationalistic and collectivist. Cool was emotionally reserved; woke is angry, passionate and indignant. Cool was morally ambiguous; woke seeks to establish a clear marker for what is unacceptable.

But earlier in his column, Brooks wrote that “You can [still] see cool figures like Kendrick Lamar…” But if “cool was politically detached, but being a social activist is required for being woke,” how does that explain this album by Lamar and its cover, as Victor Davis Hanson noted last year:

A few hours before delivering that State of the Union, President Obama met with rapper Kendrick Lamar. Obama announced that Lamar’s hit “How Much a Dollar Cost” was his favorite song of 2015. The song comes from the album To Pimp a Butterfly; the album cover shows a crowd of young African-American men massed in front of the White House. In celebratory fashion, all are gripping champagne bottles and hundred-dollar bills; in front of them lies the corpse of a white judge, with two Xs drawn over his closed eyes. So why wouldn’t the president’s advisors at least have advised him that such a gratuitous White House sanction might be incongruous with a visual message of racial hatred? Was Obama seeking cultural authenticity, of the sort he seeks by wearing a T-shirt, with his baseball cap on backwards and thumb up?

To play the old “what if” game that is necessary in the bewildering age of Obama: what if President George W. Bush had invited to the White House a controversial country Western singer, known for using the f- and n- words liberally in his music and celebrating attacks on Bureau of Land Management officers?

For a much better definition of how “cool” changed American society, it’s still tough to beat the column the late Michael Kelly wrote on the topic 20 years ago, after Frank Sinatra passed away at age 82:

And what Frank Sinatra projected was: cool. And here is where the damage was done. Frank invented cool, and everyone followed Frank, and everything has been going to hell ever since.

In America, B.F., there was no cool. There was smart (as in the smart set), and urbane, and sophisticated, and fast and hip; but these things were not the same as cool. The pre-Frank hip guy, the model of aesthetic and moral superiority to which men aspired, is the American male of the 1930s and 1940s. He is Humphrey Bogart in The Big Sleep or Casablanca or Archie Goodwin in Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe novels. He possesses an outward cynicism, but this is understood to be merely clothing; at his core, he is a square. He fights a lot, generally on the side of the underdog. He is willing to die for his beliefs, and his beliefs are, although he takes pains to hide it, old-fashioned. He believes in truth, justice, the American way, and love. He is on the side of the law, except when the law is crooked. He is not taken in by jingoism but he is himself a patriot; when there is a war, he goes to it. He is, after his fashion, a gentleman and, in a quite modern manner, a sexual egalitarian. He is forthright, contemptuous of dishonesty in all its forms, from posing to lying. He confronts his enemies openly and fairly, even if he might lose. He is honorable and virtuous, although he is properly suspicious of men who talk about honor and virtue. He may be world-weary, but he is not ironic.

The new cool man that Sinatra defined was a very different creature. Cool said the old values were for suckers. Cool was looking out for number one always. Cool didn’t get mad; it got even. Cool didn’t go to war: Saps went to war, and anyway, cool had no beliefs it was willing to die for. Cool never, ever, got in a fight it might lose; cool had friends who could take care of that sort of thing. Cool was a cad and boastful about it; in cool’s philosophy, the lady was always a tramp, and to be treated accordingly. Cool was not on the side of the law; cool made its own laws. Cool was not knowing but still essentially idealistic; cool was nihilistic. Cool was not virtuous; it reveled in vice. Before cool, being good was still hip; after cool, only being bad was.

Spot on. (Which isn’t to say that Sinatra didn’t have many brilliant moments in his career as both a singer and actor.) To be fair to Brooks, not all of his takes are completely wrong in this column. As Mediaite notes, “David Brooks Tackles ‘Cool’ in New Column, Declares Kurt Schlichter ‘Woke.’”

Heh. OK, we’ll give him that one.

WITH DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ AND THE PAKISTANI COMPUTER GUYS, THERE’S MORE THAN BANK FRAUD GOING ON HERE, ANDREW McCARTHY WRITES: “This appears to be a real conspiracy, aimed at undermining American national security.”

Read the whole thing.

CLAUDIA ROSETT ON NORTH KOREA’S ICBMS AND OUR WORDS, WORDS, WORDS: “The predictable robo-condemnations, however ardently meant, have become a farce. Why not give something different a whirl?”

As Claudia writes, after eight years of Obama’s pablum, perhaps it’s time to unleash the Scaramucci Doctrine on the Hermit Kingdom. Read the whole thing.


Congressional aides suspected of criminally misusing their access to House computer systems owed $100,000 to an Iraqi politician who is wanted by U.S. authorities and has been linked to Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed Middle Eastern terrorist outfit.

Imran Awan and four of his relatives were employed as information technology (IT) aides by dozens of House Democrats, including members of the intelligence, foreign affairs and homeland security committees. The aides’ administrator-level IT access was terminated earlier this month amid a criminal probe by U.S. Capitol Police of a suspected security breach, including an off-site server housing congressional data.

The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group has reported that while working for Congress, the Pakistani brothers controlled a limited liability corporation called Cars International A (CIA), a car dealership with odd finances, which took–and was unable to repay–a $100,000 loan from Dr. Ali Al-Attar.

Read the whole thing.



It is now widely known that the Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election to weaken Hillary Clinton, both by hacking and releasing emails and by spreading disinformation on social media and state-funded news outlets.

But yesterday’s Senate Intelligence Committee hearings suggest that this may not be the whole story.

In the clip below, Senator Lindsay Graham asks Bill Browder—American businessman who has successfully lobbied for sanctions against Russia after his attorney was abused and likely murdered in a Moscow jail—about Russian involvement in the 2016 election. Browder notes that Fusion GPS—the opposition research behind the infamous “pee tape” dossier about Donald Trump—was at the time being paid by Russians to produce opposition research about him and undermine support for the Magnitsky Act, the bill Browder backed that froze the assets of a few dozen Russian oligarchs.

Fusion GPS is relevant to the Russia investigation for two reasons. First, as Browder says above, it was under contract by Russian oligarchs at the same time that it produced “dirt” on Trump. Second, Christopher Steele—the British former spy who produced the dossier on Fusion’s behalf—gathered much of his information from Russians.

The web of connections involved in this whole affair can get convoluted (if you want to be more confused, recall that the Russian firm that hired Fusion GPS, Prevezon Holdings, also retained Natalia Veselnitskaya—the lawyer who met with Don Jr. in Trump Tower last July). But the information we have now at least raises the possibility that powerful Russians were involved—as sources of information or money or both—in the creation of the Steele Dossier, perhaps the most influential piece of opposition research in history. . . .

As Graham says, it’s quite possible that the Russians were collecting dirt on both sides in a bid to sow chaos above all else. We are likely to learn more as the Congressional investigations proceed.

Oh, I hope so.

Related: Kimberley Strassel: Who Paid for the ‘Trump Dossier’? Democrats don’t want you to find out—and that ought to be a scandal of its own.

It has been 10 days since Democrats received the glorious news that Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley would require Donald Trump Jr. and Paul Manafort to explain their meeting with Russian operators at Trump Tower last year. The left was salivating at the prospect of watching two Trump insiders being grilled about Russian “collusion” under the klieg lights.

Yet Democrats now have meekly and noiselessly retreated, agreeing to let both men speak to the committee in private. Why would they so suddenly be willing to let go of this moment of political opportunity?

Fusion GPS. That’s the oppo-research outfit behind the infamous and discredited “Trump dossier,” ginned up by a former British spook. Fusion co-founder Glenn Simpson also was supposed to testify at the Grassley hearing, where he might have been asked in public to reveal who hired him to put together the hit job on Mr. Trump, which was based largely on anonymous Russian sources. Turns out Democrats are willing to give up just about anything—including their Manafort moment—to protect Mr. Simpson from having to answer that question.

Make him talk. Under oath. “What if, all this time, Washington and the media have had the Russia collusion story backward? What if it wasn’t the Trump campaign playing footsie with the Vladimir Putin regime, but Democrats? The more we learn about Fusion, the more this seems a possibility.”

EDWARD LUTTWAK: Could The Trump Dynasty Last 16 Years?

In Washington DC, post-electoral stress disorder has generated a hysteria still amply manifest after eight months: the “Russian candidate” impeachment campaign implies that any contact with any Russian by anyone with any connection to Donald Trump was ipso facto treasonous. The quality press is doing its valiant best to pursue this story, but it is a bit much to claim “collusion” – a secret conspiracy – given that, during the election campaign, Trump very publicly called on the Russians to hack and leak Hillary Clinton’s missing emails. And it did not seem especially surprising when the latest target, Donald Trump Jr, promptly released all his emails to and from the Russians to confirm that he did indeed try to help his dad by finding dirt on the other guy. As for the other impeachment track underway, triggered by the ex-FBI director James Comey’s accusation of attempted obstruction of justice, Comey’s failure to accuse Trump until he was himself fired will make it easier for the Republicans who control the House to dismiss an otherwise plausible accusation as a naive error. . . .

But another reason is that the major cause of last November’s electoral outcome has remained mostly unexplored, even un­discovered. That is not due to intellectual laziness, but rather reflects the refusal of almost all commentators to contend with the political economy that determined the outcome of the election. Long-term processes of income redistribution from working people to everyone else, non-working welfare recipients as well as the very rich, had been evident for at least two decades. . . .

In the dramatic crescendo of the 2016 elections that gave Trump to the United States and the world, very possibly for sixteen years (the President’s re-election committee is already hard at work, while his daughter Ivanka Trump is duly apprenticed in the White House that, according to my sources, she means to occupy as America’s first female President), none of the countless campaign reporters and commentators is on record as having noticed the car “affordability” statistics distributed in June 2016 via Derived from very reliable Federal Reserve data, they depicted the awful predicament of almost half of all American households. Had journalists studied the numbers and pondered even briefly their implications, they could have determined a priori that only two candidates could win the Presidential election – Sanders and Trump – because none of the others even recognized that there was problem if median American households had been impoverished to the point that they could no longer afford a new car. . . . The Clinton crowd even more than the candidate herself blamed the lethargy of the TV-watching, beer-drinking, gun-owning, church-going, and cigarette-smoking “deplorables”, who unaccountably failed to avail themselves of the wonderful opportunity to leave boring assembly-line jobs or downright dangerous coal-face or oil drilling jobs to become fashion designers, foreign-exchange traders, software engineers, or even political campaign operatives.

Read the whole thing.

THE 21st CENTURY ISN’T WORKING OUT THE WAY I HAD HOPED: Feminists Shout ‘VAGINA!’ in Public for Planned Parenthood. WTF?

Don’t try this at home, kids: “I took the challenge at church during prayers. You should have been clear this was just for women. Please send bail money.”

Heh, indeed. Read the whole thing.™

CHRISTIAN TOTO: Indie Doc Goes Where Hollywood Fears to Tread.

TV show after TV show altered its programming to embrace “The Resistance.” The progressive movement attempted to overturn the will of the people by removing Trump from office before he even set foot in the White House..

It all happened in less than a year. And we’ll be seeing the fruits of this new creative push for months, if not years, to come.

And then there’s ISIS.

The radical Islamist group’s barbarism is the stuff or our worst nightmares. And they’re on the march. ABC News succinctly captures ISIS’s impact on the globe last year:

…the world’s most brutal terrorist network, not only responsible for thousands of deaths in the Middle East but also linked to hundreds more in dozens of terrorist plots in the West.

It’s been that way since President Barack Obama dismissed the group as a “JV” threat in 2014.

The Democrat-Media Complex has had Obama’s back from the start — why would they stop now? That aside, City of Ghosts looks like great viewing, and believe it or not it’s from Amazon Studios.

And do read the whole thing.

‘LIFE, LIBERTY, AND THE PURSUIT OF FREE WIFI.’ Confirmed: ‘There’s No Joy Reid Parody Account For A Reason.’

Read the whole thing – and don’t miss the surprise cameo appearances by the ghosts of Eisenhower, Hanna, Barbera, and Gene Roddenberry!

Speaking of Roddenberry, Chevy Chase as Spock’s response when he mind-melded with an earlier NBC employee in the classic Michael O’Donoghue-penned “Last Voyage of the Starship Enterprise” parody from the first season of Saturday Night Live sums up Reid’s brain as well: “It was all dark and empty in there. And there were little mice in the corners and spiders had spun this web…”

NIALL FERGUSON: The meaning of Dunkirk.

The release of Christopher Nolan’s film “Dunkirk” provides a welcome reminder that there have been bigger disasters in British history than last year’s referendum vote to leave the European Union. We have made the best of worse jobs.

May 1940 was, as Winston Churchill said at the beginning of his peerless “finest hour” speech, a “colossal military disaster.” Nolan’s film is a powerful and moving work, but it still understates the magnitude of the calamity. The German newsreels of the time are more chilling for their black and white sobriety. For once, Joseph Goebbels had no need to exaggerate for propaganda purposes: Hitler’s forces really had inflicted a crushing defeat on Britain, not to mention France and Belgium. So chaotic was the retreat of the British Expeditionary Force that the shattered survivors had to be quarantined on their return for the sake of civilian morale.

The key point about “Dunkirk,” however, is that it could have been much, much worse. In a fateful decision often wrongly attributed to Hitler himself, Field Marshals Gerd von Rundstedt and Günther von Kluge recommended that the German forces around Dunkirk should halt, at a moment when their marauding panzers might well have finished off the encircled BEF. The killing or capture of around 338,226 Allied troops — the total number evacuated in Operation Dynamo, of whom roughly a third were in fact French — would have been a devastating blow from which British morale might never have recovered.

Read the whole thing.

MODIFIED LIMITED HANGOUT: Mohamed Noor’s attorney: Maybe Justine Damond was on sleeping meds?

As Ed Morrissey writes, “So what if Damond did take Ambien? Its side effects can include some odd behaviors, such as sleepwalking and night eating, but neither of those present a lethal danger to others, especially police who are presumed to be responsible enough to defuse odd situations. The speculation that Damond might have taken some widely used sleep medication created an angry backlash, especially in Damond’s native Australia.”

As well it should. Read the whole thing.

MICHAEL LEDEEN: Who Gets Purged by Trump?

I don’t think the Trumps et al. have a solid grasp of Washington. I think that they believe the bureaucracy should salute whenever the president expresses a conviction, and immediately impose his will on the system. Maybe so (elections really do have consequences. Most always). Except Washington doesn’t work that way. The bureaucrats know they will outlast any president. He’ll be gone in four or eight years, but they will still be there. Moreover, it’s almost impossible to fire a civil servant; maybe you can move him down the hall, or even half way around the world, but he’ll still be active. Somewhere. And he may well have friends.

Not so with political appointees, who can be purged. You have no doubt seen the laments from the Trump loyalists about the Obama “holdovers” who continue to work and often participate in some very sensitive meetings. Many of them are now out, but there has been a surprising purge of Trump loyalists, especially in national security, including Mike Flynn, Adam Lovinger, and Robin Townley.

Read the whole thing.


I went into the Thalia theater with those rosy hopes as unquestioned bedrock assumptions. I came out with such certitude shattered. If so advanced a society as Germany’s—with so glorious a past in music and philosophy, such mighty achievements in science and industry—could do this in modern times, all talk of moral progress was just wind.

* * * * * * * *

But who can deny that there are some truths that history has taught—the Copybook Headings, Rudyard Kipling calls them—that we ignore at our peril? Has not history’s recurring tale been, as Kipling cautions, that “a tribe had been wiped off its icefield, or the lights had gone out in Rome?” So beware of UN-style promises of perpetual peace through disarmament, which you’ll find will have “sold us and delivered us bound to our foe.” Beware of a sexual freedom that will end when “our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith.” Don’t believe that you can achieve “abundance for all,/ By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul,” because the eternal truth is, “If you don’t work you die.” And the truth that history teaches is that when

the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!

Man is a believing animal. We live by some of those beliefs, made plausible by the labors of the good and the great to embody them, and of the wise to explain how they have created a freer, more prosperous, more just, and more fulfilling life for mankind. But other beliefs, the stock-in-trade of the world’s deluded or power-hungry demagogues and charlatans, will kill us. Our nation’s fate depends on relearning the difference.

Read the whole thing.

DISPATCHES FROM THE K-12 IMPLOSION. New York City’s school buses are hell on wheels:

Nearly 1,000 city school-bus drivers and escorts were suspended or fired for misbehavior in 2015 — an alarming number that has skyrocketed in recent years, records show.

One driver was seen dropping his pants outside a school, twice in one day. Another urinated in a bottle on a bus with a child aboard because he had a “bladder and bowel condition.”

One carried Coors Light; another reeked of pot. One denied dozing off at the wheel, but was caught on video by frightened attendants.

The city Department of Education listed 760 disciplined drivers and 185 errant escorts. The vast majority were removed without pay for a few days to six months — but then allowed to return.

Read the whole, depressing, thing. Why are Democrat-monopoly cities such cesspits of institutional neglect?

STEVEN G. CALABRESI: How Democrats stole the nation’s lower federal courts.

Read the whole, shameful thing.


In fact, it seems to me — a reluctant Trump voter — President The Donald has done a pretty darn good job so far. Rough-hewn, inexperienced and sometimes too much of a loudmouth for his own and the country’s good, he has nonetheless managed to increase American freedom and productivity while dragging us back from the brink of the Moribund European Socialist Please-Kill-Us-Mohammed anti-Western vision of the last guy who held the office.

Read the whole thing.



The news media is dead broke. Print advertising is washed up and all the digital advertising that was supposed to replace lost revenue from print ads and subscribers has been swallowed up by Facebook and Google. But the good news is that people will still pay for stories, and it’s an awful lot easier to bill one customer than invoicing the 1,500 readers of your blog. The top customers for these stories are political operations.

There is no accurate accounting of how many of the stories you read in the news are the fruit of opposition research, because no journalist wants to admit how many of their top “sources” are just information packagers—which is why the blinding success of Fusion GPS is the least-covered media story in America right now. There’s plenty of oppo research on the right, but most of it comes from the left. That’s not because Republicans are more virtuous than Democrats and look for dirt less than their rivals do. Nor conversely is it because Republicans make a richer subject for opposition research because they’re so much more corrupt. Nope, it’s simple arithmetic: Most journalists lean to the left, and so do the majority of career officials who staff the federal government. There are more sounding boards on the left, and more sources. It’s not ideological, it’s business.

Thus, most of Fusion GPS’s contracts seem to come from the left—except for its most famous project, the Russia dossier. Before it was passed on to the Democrats, it started on the right, when one Republican candidate—thought to be Jeb Bush but never confirmed—hired the outfit to amass damning material on Trump. From humble beginnings, it has taken on the shape of a modern-day legend.

Read the whole thing.

Related: Co-founder of firm behind Trump-Russia dossier to plead the Fifth.

BRUCE BAWER: Highlights From a Summer in Eurabia.

You’ll want to read the whole thing.


Jerry Brown can label this extension as “courageous” as he wants, but it won’t change the fact that this is merely extending the life of a broken policy.

Let’s take a look at the current state of California’s carbon market. The system ostensibly works by auctioning off carbon credits to emitters, but these auctions have been resounding failures. Credits have been selling for the bare minimum price allowed by the scheme, and emitters are buying the bare minimum of credits required by the state. In other words, companies aren’t buying into the plan (literally), which doesn’t just reflect poorly on the outlook industry has on the state’s carbon market, it also dilutes the price of carbon to levels too low to actually incentivize heavy emitters to change behaviors.

Read the whole thing.

ALL IS PROGRESSING AS MARK STEYN HAS FORESEEN: As Europe’s migrant crisis enters a new phase, it’s clear that European leaders have neither the will nor desire to preserve their own civilization.

John Daniel Davidson:

Take women’s rights, for example. In Europe as in America, the equality of the sexes has for decades been held as an immutable fact. But Europe is even more militant about its feminism than America. For Europeans, the very idea of a housewife is backwards and oppressive; mothers are expected to work and send their children to state-subsidized child care, not opt out of the workforce to raise a family. This is the official policy of the EU, which has entire commissions dedicated to ensuring more women enter the workforce.

For Muslim immigrants to Europe, who come from societies in which women are generally subordinate to men, this comes as a shock. Yet for a long time Europe insisted that newcomers adopt western attitudes regarding women’s rights and sexual freedom. As Christopher Caldwell has noted, this was the only non-negotiable demand Europe made of its immigrants. The European ruling class might have been willing to look the other way on free speech and denounce as fascist anyone who worries about Islam and terrorism, but on feminism there was no room for negotiation: “It is the litmus test according to which assimilation—and even membership in the national community—is judged. It is the one area where Europeans retain both a deep suspicion of Muslim ways and a confidence in their own institutions that is free of self-doubt.”

At least, that’s how it used to be.

Read the whole thing.

Professional feminists have no interest in protecting the rights of Western women, because it’s different when they’re being oppressed by oppressed “migrants.”

OUR BEST AND BRIGHTEST AREN’T: ‘Dunkirk’ reviewers show their lack of historical knowledge.

Never has so much ignorance been rendered about such a great feat by so few.

Such is the historical record of reviewers of the new movie, “Dunkirk.”

First, a brief historical primer. Dunkirk was the site of the British Army’s evacuation from northern France in May-June 1940. The evacuation was made necessary after the British Army in France, deployed as the British Expeditionary Force, was encircled by a rapidly advancing German army. Thanks to the immense courage of rearguard forces, RAF pilots, and British civilians (who lent their boats to the effort), 200,000 British soldiers and 140,000 French, Belgian and Polish soldiers were saved from capture.

Now to the reviews…

At USA Today, Brian Truitt laments “the fact that there are only a couple of women and no lead actors of color.” This, Truitt explains, “may rub some the wrong way.”

Let me be clear. The “some” that might be offended are the same “some” that attempt to swim with polar bears and saltwater crocodiles. The Washington Free Beacon’s Alex Griswold beat me to it, explaining why Truitt’s review is so silly. But let me add one point. What measure of honor would there be to inject “actors of color” into a historical event in which no persons of color served? It would be like making the civil rights movie, Selma, but hiring all white actors to play the parts that black demonstrators played in real life.

In a similarly silly take, at, Dana Stevens suggests the British Army at Dunkirk was the “last bulwark against Nazi invasion of the British mainland.”

Read the whole thing, and weep.

WALTER WILLIAMS: The Key Facts About Slavery That the Left Conveniently Ignores.

Slavery is by no means peculiar, odd, or unusual. It was common among ancient peoples such as the Egyptians, Babylonians, Assyrians, Hittites, Greeks, Persians, Armenians, and many others.

Large numbers of Christians were enslaved during the Ottoman wars in Europe. White slaves were common in Europe from the Dark Ages to the Middle Ages. It was only after A.D. 1600 that Europeans joined with Arabs and Africans and started the Atlantic slave trade.

As David P. Forsythe wrote in his book, “The Globalist,” “The fact remained that at the beginning of the 19th century an estimated three-quarters of all people alive were trapped in bondage against their will either in some form of slavery or serfdom.”

While slavery constitutes one of the grossest encroachments on human liberty, it is by no means unique or restricted to the Western world or United States, as many liberal academics would have us believe.

Much of their indoctrination of our young people, at all levels of education, paints our nation’s Founders as racist adherents to slavery, but the story is not so simple.

Read the whole thing.

“Everybody does it” is no excuse, but not everybody fights a horrible Civil War over it, then constitutionally elevates former slaves to full citizenship.

BRAWN IN AN AGE OF BRAINS: At City Journal, Victor Davis Hanson asks, “Does physical labor have a future?”

Read the whole thing.

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: The Fifth American War. “The country is coming apart, and the advocates of radical egalitarianism are winning.”

During the Jacksonian Revolution of the 1830s, factions nearly ripped the country apart over whether the East Coast Founders’ establishment of a half-century would relinquish its monopoly of political power to reflect the new demographic realties of an expanding frontier — and its populist champions often deemed unfit for self-governance. For the most part, the Jacksonians won.

Three decades later the nation divided over slavery, prompting the most lethal war in American history to end it and force the defeated Confederate southern states back into the Union.

The Great Depression, and the establishment’s inept responses to it, left a quarter of the country unemployed for nearly a decade — hungry and desperate to expand government even if it entailed curtailing liberty in a way never envisioned by the Founders. The result was eventually the redefinition of freedom as the right of the individual to have his daily needs guaranteed by the state.

In the 1960s, the hippie movement — fueled by furor over the Vietnam War, civil-rights protests, and environmental activism — turned holistic in a fashion rarely seen before. A quarter of the country went “hip,” grooming, dressing, talking, and acting in a way that reflected their disdain for the silent majority of “straight” or “irrelevant” traditional America. The hipsters lost the battle (most eventually cut their hair and outgrew their paisley tops to join the rat race) but won the war — as the universities, media, foundations, Hollywood, arts, and entertainment now echo the values of 1969 rather than those that preceded it.

Read the whole thing.

LUNCH MEAT AND LIBERALS: “David Brooks’ friend doesn’t need him to ‘sensitively’ take her somewhere she already knows while pondering on the social signifiers that keep her from being as enlightened as he is,” Charlie Martin writes. “What she needs is for him to pull his nose down far enough to say ‘it’s salami.’”

But if you’re David Brooks, is life worth living if you can’t feel superior to the plebes?

Read the whole thing.

ANALYSIS: TRUE. Our Corrupt Media Is Now Haunted By All The Precedents They Set While Colluding With Obama.

Barack Obama trafficked guns to Mexican drug lords, secretly delivered pallets filled with billions in cash to Iran’s America/Jew-hating mullahs, left four Americans to die in Benghazi and then lied about it, allowed his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to exchange government favors for hundreds of millions of dollars slushed into the Clinton Foundation, sic’d his IRS on everyday, law-abiding Americans, and used a trillion dollars in “stimulus” funds to pay off his cronies, like those behind a boondoggle called Solyndra.

And all along, over eight terrible years, our media did a whole lot more than just let Obama get away with it. They wholeheartedly colluded. They allowed Obama to persecute them through the Department of Justice and to lie to our face (remember: I just now read about it in the newspaper, the IRS did nothing wrong, you can keep your insurance). And when that wasn’t enough, the media mercilessly attacked as racist anyone who criticized the Precious and ginned up nothingburgers like Todd Akin to distract from those four dead Americans. And when even that wasn’t enough, they themselves lied and obfuscated, covered up and dissembled, and most of all they set all kinds of precedents that, in a delicious form of irony, are now driving this utterly failed institution to the edge of insanity. . . .

And now — now! — this very same media (with the help of #NeverTrump’s forever-preening moral narcissists) is using the spear of Muh Principles to demand that those of us on the political right agree to destroy ourselves in their corrupt crusade, that we acquiesce like second-class citizens to their separate sets of rules?

Like hell.

People do notice hypocrisy.

BUT OF COURSE IT DOES. CNN COMMENTARY INCORPORATES A RARE MEDIA-MYTH TWOFER, W. Joseph Campbell writes at his Media Myth Alert blog, spotting CNN combine to classic self-serving media myths – that Ed Murrow brought down McCarthy, and Cronkite toppled LBJ:

Deep in his essay, Zelizer acknowledges that it is “much too early to tell” whether anti-Trump commentary by some conservative pundits “will turn into something bigger and more sustained, or if the majority of the coverage on these [conservative] outlets remains pro-Trump.” He takes a swipe at those news outlets, citing a New York Times commentary in stating that “most of the conservative media still clings to an ‘alternative reality’ that fits President Trump’s own narrative.”

“Alternative reality”? What are media myths if not expressions of “alternative reality”?

Heh, indeed. Read the whole thing.™

WILL COLLIER: Jacob Rees-Mogg Is Finally Having His Moment.. “For years, the Tory backbencher was mocked for his old-fashioned mannerisms and stuffy pedigree. Now, with Brexit triumphant and Theresa May struggling, his future looks bright.”

The time was January of 1991, the place the ramshackle debate chamber of the Oxford Union Society. The Union was debating an updated version of the infamous 1933 King and Country motion — “this House will in no circumstances fight for its Queen and Country” — on the eve of the first Gulf War.

My seatmate in the hall was referring to Jacob Rees-Mogg, then a gangly 22-year-old from Trinity College, who rose to speak against the resolution amid considerable cheers — and jeers — from the standing-room-only House. “You won’t believe this kid,” my new friend had told me before the debate. “He looks like Ichabod Crane, but he speaks like Churchill crossed with James Earl Jones.”

The details of the long debate that followed are now, sadly, lost to my memory, but the impression left by Rees-Mogg’s turn in the well is as sharp as it was on that cold and tense evening. While his delivery was every bit as stentorian as promised, the quality of Rees-Mogg’s rhetoric and sly humor far outstripped that of the others on his own side as well as his opponents.

I was struck at the time by the familiar themes at the core of his arguments. Several speakers on the Oppose side rose with arguments based on everything from the moral duty to oppose Saddam Hussein’s brutality (somewhat effective) to exhortations that supporting the war was a patriotic obligation (much less so).

Rees-Mogg, meanwhile, attacked the issue with arguments that could have come from a Reagan or Buckley, citing the need to defend the West’s national interests and giving short shrift to the vapid “no blood for oil” bleating that ignored the realities of trade, economics, and statecraft alike.

To an American conservative in a high bastion of Western left-wing academia, listening to his statement and his sharp responses to would-be gotcha questions from the floor was a delight. As we filed out on the Oppose side (which lost, Oxford being Oxford, despite Rees-Mogg’s best efforts), I told my fellow academic expatriate, “25 years from now, that guy is going to be prime minister.”

Missed it by that much? Maybe, we’ll see.

In the meantime, read the whole thing.

AFTER CONSERVATISM, SADISTS AND LOST BOYS. A review of Angela Nagle’s Kill All Normies: Online Culture Wars From 4Chan and Tumblr to Trump and the Alt-Right:

Sex and power are inseparable for both this online left and online right in a strange codependency. For the male-dominated rightist subcultures—especially and explicitly in what is called the “manosphere”—the idea of, desire for, and act of sex becomes the primary currency of power and status.

Meanwhile, as Nagle explains, in feminized spaces like Tumblr and the contemporary education system an economy of victimization has been created through intersectional theory. Here, limitless self-defined gender identities (e.g. “Omnigay – Genderfluid, with one’s attraction to other genders changing with one’s gender, so that the individual is always attracted to the same gender) allow bourgeois white kids, who would not normally have currency to spend in such a market, to compete with minorities and the poor through marginalized sexuality.

Nagle observes that contemporary reactionaries are driven to using the trolling tactics of online life by Tumblr-liberalism’s victim fetish. For those of this alt-right who claim a modicum of conservatism, trolling is a paradoxical attempt to protect the interior of the Overton Window by smashing its frame. And for all trolls it is a gleeful display of the “if you are going to cry I will give you something to cry about” mindset. Comparative disadvantage, safespaces, trolls, harassment, antifa, and the rest work together to create a vicious cycle of self-fulfilling prophecy.

Read the whole thing – Nagle has written a very timely book, and perhaps in the rush to get it into print, not very well edited, according to Micah Meadowcroft of the Washington Free Beacon.

Back when he was writing for the original, earlier, funnier Saturday Night Live, which, arguably, was the spearhead for the far left’s march through institutions such as NBC, and television in general’s radical change in tone and content, former National Lampoon co-creator Michael O’Donoghue was fond of quoting his hero William S. Burroughs’ catch phrase that “Nothing is true; everything is permitted,” which neatly foreshadows the rise of postmodernism in academia.

As Kurt Schlichter is fond of reminding them, the left’s not going to enjoy living under the rules they created.

Earlier: THE KIDS ARE ALT-RIGHT: Angela Nagle’s Kill All Normies Explores Alt-Right’s Roots & Rise.

REMEMBERING NEW YORK’S 1977 RIOTS, 40 YEARS LATER. Fred Siegel on “My Political Reeducation:”

Today, the graffiti and gang violence of the 1970s evoke a contrived nostalgia on the part of some hipsters, many of whom hail from out of town but wish that they could have been part of the funky seventies as evoked by Saturday Night Fever and other films of the time. But as a native New Yorker, I look back on the seventies as a kidney stone of a decade—a decade in which I heard the frightening, reverberating thud of a truck crashing through the old elevated West Side Highway a few blocks from my apartment. The city was too caught up in expanding its welfare system to pay much attention to small matters like bridge and road repair.

The dreadful 1977 riots hit Brooklyn the hardest of New York’s boroughs; the poorer the neighborhood, the greater the damage. The damage that I sustained was relatively trivial, but instructive: told that the vandalism that had destroyed Jack’s Pastrami King was an act of liberation, I lost much of my political innocence. The city itself had been mugged, I realized. I’m still haunted by that moment from 40 years ago, when my political reeducation began.

Read the whole thing – if only for the mouthwatering description of the food served by Jack’s Pastrami King, before it was “liberated” into the ground.


For those who don’t remember it, Journolist was just a listserv created by Ezra Klein. The list was invitation only and was mostly made up of progressive journalists. In theory, the list was a kind of digital water cooler where like-minded people could talk to others in the field. That may have been all it was much of the time, but when candidate Obama got in trouble in 2008, it also became a place for partisans to discuss a coordinated media strategy.

Author Jonathan Strong wrote this particular piece about the Journolist response to a crisis in the 2008 campaign. Rev. Jeremiah Wright, as you probably remember, was the pastor of the church Obama attended. He was the pastor who married Barack and Michelle and the person who inspired the title of Obama’s book: The Audacity of Hope. Wright was also a far-left crank who regularly denounced America…Obama would eventually denounce Wright and quit the church in June, but in the interim, it seemed possible the issue could seriously damage his campaign. Journolist members discussed various ways to respond to the Rev. Wright story. Michael Tomasky (now at the Daily Beast) wanted members of the list to “kill ABC” and thereby kill the story[.]

Read the whole thing.

Between 2000 and 2017, the Democrats pivoted on a host issues ranging from Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Russia, and gay marriage. But few moments have had the full “Oceania has always been/has never been at war with Eastasia” (which Orwell based on how the British left flip-flopped under Stalin’s orders in WWII) feel as the week between Rev. Wright’s racist 2008 NAACP speech, which CNN’s Soledad O’Brien (herself a Wright acolyte) proclaimed “a home run” to anchor John Roberts asking on-air then-candidate Obama if it was OK with him to declare the network “a Wright-free zone.” If CNN is angry that it’s now constantly being called “fake news,” transparently politics-motivated flip-flops such as this are a big reminder of how they brought that well-deserved epithet upon themselves:

UPDATE: From a 2010 Free Republic post, “JournoList: 157 Names Confirmed (With Organizations).”

DEROY MURDOCK: The vote fraud Democrats refuse to see.

Read the whole thing.


The demand for recognition and nonrecognition at the same time is surely one of the reasons for the outbreak of mass self-mutilation in the Western world in an age of celebrity. A person who treats his face and body like an ironmongery store can hardly desire or expect that you fail to notice it, but at the same time demands that you make no comment about it, draw no conclusions from it, express no aversion toward it, and treat him no differently because of it. You must accept him as he is, however he is, because he has an inalienable right to such acceptance. As a professional burglar once asked me, how could I expect him to give up burgling when he was a burglar and burglary was what he did?

I think the same dynamic (if I may call it such) is at work in the current vogue for transsexualism: “You must recognize me and not recognize me at the same time.” In this way, people can simultaneously enjoy the fruits of being normal and very different. To be merely the same as others is a wound to the ego in an age of celebrity, and yet we are herd animals who do not want to wander too far from the herd. And in an age of powerlessness we want to exert power.

What will be the next attempted reconciliation of our incompatible desires?

Read the whole thing.

(Via Kathy Shaidle.)

SARAH HOYT: What Happens When the Artist Chides His Audience?

I’m writing this from my garret, watched over by two small mice, who – enviously – watch my three remaining crumbs of bread. Tomorrow I eat them, and then it’s all up in the air whether or not I have the strength to finish the novel, my magnum opus upon which I have labored unrewarded for the last twenty years.

How many of you nodded along with that thinking it made any sense?

How many of you know I’m joking, but still think that is the way it should be?

Come on, reach deep into your soul and tell me the truth. How many of you think that for a work to be authentic it must be labored over in extreme poverty for a very long time, unappreciated by anybody until, possibly sometime after the author’s death, it is declared a genius masterpiece and talked about in hushed, reverent tones for the rest of eternity?

You can tell me the truth. You’re not an idiot. It’s the culture that’s stupid.

Read the whole thing.

DISPATCHES FROM THE INTERSECTION OF THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE AND DAVID BROOKS’ SANDWICH SHOP. In “The language of privilege,” Robert Pondiscio of the Fordham Institute writes, “We are ruining America, notes dour New York Times columnist David Brooks, suddenly and considerably alarmed by a standard feature of American life, if not human nature—the tendency of the privileged and powerful to guard jealously every advantage they have been handed or earned:”

To be highly proficient in Brooksian English—the language of privilege—requires mastery over not just an alphabet and rules of grammar, but also an enormous range of assumed knowledge, historical references, and cultural allusions that are commonly held by members of a speech community. “My kids know how to be Black,” one parent tells Delpit. “You all teach them how to be successful in the white man’s world.”

American education remains deeply reluctant to do this, since it requires overthrowing any number of traditions and practices—from child-centered pedagogies, assumptions about student engagement, and other progressive education ideals, to local control of curriculum, the privileging of skills over content, and the movement toward mass customization of education. Each of these in ways great or small work against the cause of language proficiency; in doing so, they make the task of educating for upward mobility more difficult.

Make yourself a soppressata, capicollo and prosciutto sandwich on a striata baguette and read the whole thing.

MICHAEL BARONE: Anti-Trump overreach could backfire.

Overreach. President Trump seems to have an uncanny knack for provoking it in his opponents and critics. This often hurts him and the country. But it has the potential to hurt those doing the overreach as well.

Start with Trump’s speech in Warsaw last week. “As the Polish experience reminds us,” he said after recounting in vivid detail how Poland rebounded from decades of horrors, “The defense of the West ultimately rests not only on means, but also on the will of its people to prevail. The fundamental question of our time is whether the West has the will to survive.”

Vitriolic criticism was quick to come from the left. “A statement of racial and religious paranoia,” wrote the Atlantic’s Peter Beinart. “The West is a racial and religious term,” he explained. An “alt-right” speech, said the New Republic’s Jeet Heer, “meant to conjure blood-and-soil nationalism.”

But Trump’s text included praise of Poland’s and Western civilizations’ resistance to Nazi and Communist totalitarianism, empowering women, striving for excellence, valuing the dignity of human life, debating and challenging “everything.” Presumably, Trump’s critics embrace each of these products of Western civilization.

Nonetheless, they sneer at Trump’s pledge to oppose “another oppressive ideology — one that seeks to export terrorism and extremism all around the globe.” But that threat of Islamic terrorism is real.

Trump was speaking for those, like Britain’s Douglas Murray in his book, The Strange Death of Europe, who fear that European leaders’ welcome of millions of unvetted Muslim “refugees” threatens to degrade and perhaps destroy the liberal achievements of the West. That is not racism, but prudence.

To maintain the opposite, to advocate entirely open borders, is not only problematic politically, but also as public policy. In the weeks since Trump spoke, Western eminences not considered illiberal have questioned the wisdom of allowing unlimited immigration to the West by peoples in African countries whose populations, according to United Nations projections, are set to zoom far above European levels.

Bill Gates, whose philanthropy has contributed to that growth, called for turning back boats of would-be migrants in the Mediterranean and said the influx to Germany is unsustainable. European Parliament President Antonio Lajani predicted an exodus “of biblical proportions” if migration is not limited now. French President Emanuel Macron said that Africa’s “civilizational” problems — “failed states,” “violent fundamentalism,” “Islamic terrorism” — make unlimited migration undesirable.

To call these statements “racism” or “dog whistles” to “white nationalists” is nonsense.

But that’s all they’ve got. Read the whole thing.

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: “I want to make a prediction: The next successful Republican politician will rally the Right by making America’s universities his punching bag — and the universities will prove even more vulnerable to that politician’s attacks than the media were to Donald Trump’s.”

If Republicans want to change the culture – really change the culture – reforming academy should be their top priority:

The next Trump, then, will play to the worst fears of parents by going after colleges and universities. In doing so, he will unite the best, the worst, and all the other elements of the Right. They will be primed to hear the critique, which will be partially or even largely correct. The next Steve Bannon will seek to “overthrow” the university system from behind the scenes. And the universities, like the media before them, will walk right into the trap, while the Left rejects potential voters as deplorable ignoramuses.

Can you see it yet?

You bet — read the whole thing.

Related: The Closing of the American Mind Now.

WELL, GOOD: Trump’s VA Secretary Is Off to a Fast Start.

In Shulkin’s five months on the job, the VA has been a whirlwind of activity:

The department announced last week that between President Trump’s inauguration and July 3, it had fired 526 employees, demoted another 27, and temporarily suspended another 194 for longer than two weeks.

•In April, the department launched a new website that lets veterans compare the wait times at its facilities and view Yelp-style reviews of each facility written by previous patients.

•Veterans Health Administration’s Veterans Crisis Line — designed for those struggling with PTSD, thoughts of suicide, and other forms of mental stress — is now answering “more than 90 percent of calls within 8 seconds, and only about one percent of calls are being rerouted to a backup call center.” A year ago, an inspector general report noted that “more than a third of calls were being shunted to backup call centers, some calls were taking more than a half hour to be answered and other callers were being given only an option to leave messages on voicemail.”

•At the end of June, Shulkin unveiled the world’s most advanced commercial prosthetic limb — the Life Under Kinetic Evolution (LUKE) arm — during a visit to a VA facility in New York. Veteran amputees demonstrated the technology, a collaboration among the VA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and the private sector. (The name alludes to the lifelike robotic hand that Luke Skywalker is fitted with in The Empire Strikes Back.)

•In May, Shulkin said the department had identified more than 430 vacant buildings and 735 underutilized ones that cost the federal government $25 million a year. He said that most of the buildings are not treatment facilities and could profitably be closed or consolidated. Of course, if he actually attempted to close or consolidate some of the buildings, he might face a controversy along the lines of those touched off by military-base-closing announcements in recent decades.

Shulkin has also gotten some help from Congress during his short time on the job. At a time when Republican legislators have had enormous difficulty passing big pieces of legislation, they’ve made great progress on VA reform.

Drain that swamp — and read the whole thing.

THE CORRECT ANSWER, OF COURSE, IS THAT IT’S ONLY A CRIME IF A REPUBLICAN DOES IT. Can it be a crime to do opposition research by asking foreigners for information?

Say that, in Summer 2016, a top Hillary Clinton staffer gets a message: “A Miss Universe contestant — Miss Slovakia — says that Donald Trump had sexually harassed her. Would you like to get her story?” The staffer says, “I’d love to,” and indeed gets the information, which he then uses in the campaign.

Did the staffer and the Miss Universe contestant just commit a crime? Yes, under the analysis set forth in the past couple of days by some analysts, such as my University of California colleague and leading election law scholar Rick Hasen (UC Irvine School of Law) and by Common Cause; Hasen was cited by the Wall Street Journal and CNN; similar arguments were quoted by Dahlia Lithwick (Slate).

Foreigners who aren’t U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents, the argument goes, are barred from providing candidates any “thing of value” in connection with any American election campaign. Campaign staff are barred from soliciting any “thing of value” from such foreigners. And, the argument goes, valuable political information about an opponent’s misdeeds is a “thing of value.” . . . Can Americans — whether political candidates or anyone else — really be barred from asking questions of foreigners, just because the answers might be especially important to voters?

Read the whole thing, by Eugene Volokh.

AMONG TRUMP VOTERS, IS THERE A TIPPING POINT? Not, I think, if things hinge on mainstream media reporting. Trump voters don’t trust them, and know they’ve been out to destroy him by fair means or foul since he was elected. (Those articles by mainstream journalists saying that they should jettison traditional notions of fairness when covering Trump didn’t help).

And this remains evergreen: The Basic Formula For Every Shocking Russia/Trump Revelation.

The basic formula for every breaking Trump/Russia story is essentially as follows:

The New York Times or Washington Post releases an article that at first blush appears extremely damning.
Anti-Trump pundits and Democrats react reflexively to the news, express shrieking outrage, and proclaim that this finally proves untoward collusion between Trump and Russia — a smoking gun, at last.
Aggrieved former Clinton apparatchiks *connect the dots* in a manner eerily reminiscent of right-wing Glenn Beck-esque prognostication circa 2009.
Self-proclaimed legal experts rashly opine as to whether the new revelation entails some kind of criminally actionable offense. (Recall the now-laughable certitude that felled National Security Advisor Mike Flynn violated the 200+ year old Logan Act.). . .
The notion of Russian “collusion” being key to toppling Trump becomes further implanted in the minds of the most energized Democratic activists. . . .
Pointing out these glaring flaws in the latest anti-Russia frenzy is immediately construed by cynics as “defending Trump” or “defending Sessions” when it most assuredly is not. At least in my own case, it’s a defense of not getting enraptured by irrational hysterics to further short-term political aims.
People who’d spent the past 12 hours frothing at the mouth gradually come to realize that their initial furor was probably overblown, and that a more sober look at the actual facts at hand reveal that the anti-Trump chorus probably got ahead of itself…again.

Read the whole thing.

MICHELLE MALKIN: The crisis in America’s crime labs.

Law journals and scientific publications are filled with similar horror stories that have spread from the New York City medical examiner’s office and Nassau County, N.Y.’s police department forensic evidence bureau to the crime labs of West Virginia, Harris County, Texas, North Carolina and jurisdictions in nearly 20 other states.

It’s the wrongfully prosecuted and convicted who suffer the heaviest deprivations — and taxpayers who must foot the astronomical bill for all the costs and damages incurred by crime lab corruptocrats and their enablers.

As I’ve been chronicling in my newspaper columns and investigative reports, many state crime labs and police departments are particularly ill-equipped and inadequately trained to interpret DNA evidence, especially “touch” or “trace” DNA — minute amounts of DNA of unknown origin often transferred through incidental contact — which has resulted in monstrous miscarriages of justice against innocent people.

The aura of infallibility conferred on crime lab analysts by “CSI”-style TV shows exacerbates the problem when juries place undue weight on indeterminate DNA evidence of little to no probative value. Just last week, North Carolina’s Mark Carver, who was convicted of murdering a college student based on dubious touch DNA that was likely the result of investigators’ contamination, won a new court date for a hearing that may set him free.

Costly errors and gross misconduct will continue as long as politicized prosecutors operate with a “win at all costs” agenda and stubbornly refuse to admit their failures.

Read the whole thing.

FLASHBACK: Ban AC for DC: If our rulers think global warming is a crisis, let them be a good example for the rest of us..

This makes sense to me. We’re constantly told by the administration that “climate change” is a bigger threat than terrorism. And as even President Obama has noted, there’s a great power in setting an example: “We can’t drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times … and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK.”

Likewise, it’s hard to expect Americans to accept changes to their own lifestyles when the very people who are telling them that it’s a crisis aren’t acting like it’s a crisis. So I have a few suggestions to help bring home the importance of reduced carbon footprints at home and abroad.

Read the whole thing.

WHEN IS A SANDWICH NOT JUST A SANDWICH? Rod Dreher on David Brooks, “condensed symbols, cultural elites, and Italian salami as a barrier to social mobility:”

The point is this: in our time and place — in liquid modernity — a man who can make and accommodate those kinds of radical shifts in perspective is a man who is enormously advantaged professionally over a man who cannot. More prosaically, a man who can walk into a gourmet sandwich shop and roll with it is enormously advantaged over the man who cannot. This is the real meaning of the David Brooks anecdote. Don’t laugh at it.

Read the whole thing.


Golly, folks at WaPo, does no one see the problem here?

The article starts out:

Early last August, an envelope with extraordinary handling restrictions arrived at the White House. Sent by courier from the CIA, it carried “eyes only” instructions that its contents be shown to just four people: President Barack Obama and three senior aides.

Okay, look: if it’s so sensitive that it can’t be in the Presidential Daily Brief but it’s delivered “eyes only” to Obama and three aides, what is it doing in the Washington Post?!

Oh, and just in passing, we have Clapper, Obama and three aides. Which three aides? You’ve just told us that someone revealed that information to you, and it pretty much has to be one of those five people. Unless there’s a secret pardon for them, one of them just violated the Espionage Act.

Read the whole thing.

IF YOU CAN HEAR THE DOG WHISTLE, YOU’RE THE DOG. Mark Steyn on Trump’s Warsaw speech: “Ours is the civilization that built the modern world — as even the west’s cultural relativists implicitly accept, if only because they have no desire to emigrate and try to make a living as a cultural relativist in Yemen or Niger. Because you can’t. Only a very highly evolved and advanced civilization can support a swollen elite grown rich on contempt for it.”

Read the whole thing.

BRUCE BAWER: The Terrifying Way Sweden Is Killing Itself.

This is a country where rapes by Muslim men are systematically ignored by the authorities or responded to with minimal punishment. Routinely, Swedish courts refuse to return these monsters – some of whom have repeatedly subjected small boys and girls to violent sexual abuse – to their home countries for fear that they’ll be put in danger. In other words, Swedish judges care more about the safety of foreign rapists than that of Swedish children.

It’s a country where even prominent Swedish feminists – fanatical boosters of multiculturalism – are now moving out of Muslim-heavy neighborhoods not only because of the Muslim rapists but because of the Muslim “morality police,” who are less concerned with monitoring rapists than with controlling women’s conduct. (One such feminist organized “coffee shop meetings” with Muslim male community leaders in an attempt to resolve the situation, but gave up.)

It’s a country where the government rolls out the red carpet for returning ISIS members, giving them special benefits, in hopes that they’ll see the light and put down their weapons.

Read the whole thing.