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KEVIN WILLIAMSON ON HOW THEY DO ‘JOURNALISM’ AT NEW YORK MAGAZINE:

Imagine an election in which the majority votes to disenfranchise some despised minority group and then defends the results as “democracy.” In a similar way, social media is purportedly an instrument for the enabling of discourse that is in fact used to prevent actual exchange—and, unhappily, the same desire to preempt genuine dialogue can be found throughout the ordinary news media. That is even true at prestigious publications such as New York magazine, which either is or is not interested in what I think about abortion and capital punishment, depending on which is more politically useful at the moment.

Read the whole thing.

FEAR WILL KEEP THE LOCAL STUDENTS IN LINE: The Hidden Legacy of Columbine: Ignorance About School Violence. “On another National School Walkout day, 57 percent of teens are worried about dying in a school shooting. They shouldn’t be.”

Invoking Columbine is meant to remind people that such attacks have been happening for decades, and to imply that this is because national leaders have continually failed to implement solutions.

But Columbine should teach us a different lesson: The press, the public, and policymakers are often ignorant, and doing the wrong thing can be just as counterproductive as not doing anything. In the wake of Columbine, so-called experts completely misdiagnosed the causes of the crime, and they decided to implement “safety” policies that gravely undermined students’ rights without making schools any safer.

Read the whole thing.

JEFF JACOBY THINKS WE USE THE F-WORD TOO MUCH IN PUBLIC DISCOURSE:  Ordinarily, I would agree with him wholeheartedly.  But he leads with the example of Red Sox Designated Hitter David “Big Papi” Ortiz just after the Boston Marathon massacre.  At the first home game after the incident, just hours after Dzhokhar Tsarnaev had been apprehended, there was a ceremony honoring the victims and first responders.  Big Papi took the microphone: “We want to thank you, Mayor Menino, Governor Patrick, the whole police department for the great job they did this past week,” he said.  “This is our f**king city.  And nobody’s going to dictate our freedom.  Stay strong,” he said.

If the f-word has any place in public discourse, that has to be it.   Among other things, Big Papi can lay claim to the baseball exception to all otherwise-applicable rules of etiquette.  (I kind of remember reading in Emily Post that such an exception exists, didn’t I?)  Moreover, the far more egregious obscenity had occurred earlier in the week.

CANDACE OWENS’ MOMENT: “Owens uses a theme from the movie The Matrix to urge young people to ‘take the red pill’ and become conservatives like her. She has even had the courage to take on the Black Lives Matter movement. Yesterday morning, Kanye West tweeted his approval of Candace… That caused the Left to go insane.”

Read the whole thing.

DARKLY CONSPIRATORIAL HILLARY CLINTON: “I Knew They Would Never Let Me Be President.”

The Daily Beast has another damning quote — “Basket of Deplorables” was no off-the-cuff line. Hillary routinely used it as a laugh line in big-money fundraising dinners in swank places like the Hamptons… Funny, I don’t remember [Amy Chozick of the New York Times] or anyone else covering Clinton during the campaign reporting that little nugget. It’s almost as if they were trying to protect her from herself, and deliberately hiding relevant information from the public they were allegedly helping to make an informed choice.

Read the whole thing.

THE GALLERY OF REGRETTABLE FOOD, THE EARLY DAYS:

The book is called Perfection Salad: Women and Cooking at the Turn of the Century. Written by Laura Shapiro, it’s a history of the “Scientific Cooking” movement, in which a group of women of the late 1800’s and early 1900’s tried to revolutionize American cooking, introducing the idea of order and form as paramount considerations. Sounds rather dull, but I found the book surprisingly riveting.

It turns out that these ladies were trying to tame food and civilize it. The goal was to make it an esthetic and refined experience, as far from its “animal” roots as possible, and devoid of any “low” and ethnic influences–such as, for example, that tiny detail known to us as taste (if you are of a certain age, like me, and you wonder why the food of your youth was so uniformly bland, these ladies share some of the blame). Color was elevated to a matter of extreme importance, and white was the very best color of all.

Read the whole thing. P.J. O’Rourke once joked that “When you think of the good old days, think one word: dentistry.” Much of yesterday’s cooking qualifies as well.

(Speaking of which, classical reference in headline.)

KEVIN WILLIAMSON EXPLAINS WHAT HAPPENED AT THE ATLANTIC. While Kevin Williamson’s response to the Atlantic’s fiasco is behind the Wall Street Journal’s paywall, Jonathan Last quotes several paragraphs of it at the Weekly Standard, before concluding:

Liberalism controls the commanding heights of industry, technology, the media, entertainment, and the academy. Conservatives control, what . . . churches? (Though maybe not as much as people think.) And yet, the progressive left seems to genuinely believe that they are beset on all sides by conservative monsters.

Ultimately, the firing of Kevin Williamson wasn’t really about Kevin Williamson. It was simply a case of Who? Whom?

Just as it always is.

Read the whole thing.

YOUR DAILY TREACHER: ‘They Were Never Going to Let Me Be President,’ Said the Woman Who Thought It Was Her Due.

Norm Macdonald, in addition to being the best Weekend Update anchor ever, is also a keen student of human nature. Last year he summed up the results of the 2016 presidential election with this koan-like observation: “People hated Hillary Clinton so much that they voted for someone they hated more than Hillary Clinton in order to rub it in.”

Heh. Read the whole thing, needless to say.

ANDREW KLAVAN: “This is a country of 325-million people. If two guys getting tossed out of a coffee shop is news, then things in Donald Trump’s America must be going pretty damned well.”

Read the whole thing.

MOLLIE HEMINGWAY: Comey’s Memos Indicate Dossier Briefing Of Trump Was A Setup.

Keep in mind that nothing we now know about the dossier had been reported at the time. It wasn’t yet reported that it was used by the FBI to provide a substantial basis to wiretap at least one Trump affiliate despite the fact it was unverified. It wasn’t yet reported that the product was bought and paid for as a Hillary Clinton campaign operation, or that it was secretly funded by the DNC using a law firm as a pass-through to hide its provenance in federal campaign filings. It wasn’t yet reported that its author’s working relationship with the FBI was terminated because he had lied to the agency about how he wouldn’t talk to the media.

After nearly a year of wrangling, the seven memos written by Comey were finally handed over on Thursday to Congress, which oversees the operation and funding of the FBI and the Department of Justice (DOJ). The memos purport to show Comey’s version of his interactions with the president before Comey was fired last May. According to Daniel Richman, the original recipient of Comey’s leaks who now claims to be his personal attorney, Comey gave him four memos. Four of the seven memos are classified, meaning that at least one of the memos he leaked was classified. By his own account, Comey orchestrated these leaks to the media in order to launch an aggressive special counsel to avenge his firing by Trump in May 2017. The memos given to Congress on Thursday were quickly leaked to the media.

Read the whole thing.

ANDREW FERGUSON ON BARBARA BUSH’S SUBVERSIVE SECRET TO HAPPINESS:

These seemingly anodyne, Hallmark-y words, when taken seriously, are the most subversive words that could be uttered, then or now, on a college campus—a place where subversive words are supposed to be prized and protected but often aren’t. Mrs. Bush’s subversion wasn’t a matter of left or right, or even of feminism or traditionalism. She cut much deeper, into an American faith that transcends political categories.

Read the whole thing.

ACCUSING THE EVIL WRECKERS AND SABOTEURS OF HAVING A FALSE CONSCIOUSNESS, 21st CENTURY EDITION: The Dark Side of the Starbucks Stand-Down.

In more rational times, Starbucks would discipline the manager responsible, notify the rest of its employees that discriminatory behavior will not be tolerated, and be done with it. After all, no one reasonably  believes that Starbucks — a company that consistently competes for gold in the corporate Woke Olympics — turns a blind eye to systemic racism. No one reasonably believes that the company’s founder is anything other than committed to racial equality.

But we live in hysterical times, and hysterical times call for hysterical measures. So Starbucks hasn’t just publicly apologized. It hasn’t just sent its CEO to meet with the men and personally apologize. It’s ordering a national stand-down at more than 8,000 company-owned stores and forcing more than 175,000 employees to undergo “racial bias” training, including training in so-called unconscious bias.

Starbucks employees, welcome to the world of Orwellian junk science.

Read the whole thing.

(Classical references in headline.)

TONY HELLER: Thirty Years Of The James Hansen Clown Show. “It has been thirty years since CO2 hit 350 PPM and NASA’s James Hansen warned that the Midwest was going to burn up and dry up.”

You’ll want to read the whole, schadenfreudelicious thing.

PRECIOUS GEMS: These diamonds are tiny, flawed, and may come from a long-lost planet.

A new study published in Nature Communications today offers a dramatic origin story for the meteorite. Based on materials found inside the diamonds nestled within, researchers think this may be the remnant of a long-lost planet or planetary embryo; one that was still in its infancy when the chaos of the early solar system obliterated it.

In this case, the diamonds aren’t the most important part of this story. They’re just the heavy-duty packaging for much more precious cargo held inside. While a jeweler might see a bit of rock trapped inside a diamond as a flaw, to a geologist it is precious. Because of their strong crystal structure, diamonds can preserve minuscule bits of material that would otherwise disappear under the relentless changeability of the universe over time.

Researcher Farhang Nabiei—of the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland—was looking at the relationship between the diamonds and the layers of graphite surrounding them when he started wondering about the small pockets of substances trapped within.

Upon closer inspection, he found that the material inside the diamonds could only have been formed at incredibly high pressures—much higher than anything the meteorite would have been subject to as it crashed toward Earth. These diamonds must have held the weight of an entire world — literally.

Read the whole thing — this is an amazing find.

NEO-OTTOMANS: Erdoğan seeks to expand Turkey’s influence in the Middle East through diplomacy – and force.

On our third trip to Istanbul, my wife and I visited the 19th century Dolmabahce Palace, once the administrative centre of the Ottoman Empire. As we toured the 285-room palace my wife was struck with not just how well preserved it was, but that it was one of at least five palaces from the Ottoman era in Turkey that are now museums open to the public.

This is telling, because it is not something found across the rest of the Middle East and Arab world, where such palaces are still very much in use as palaces – for example, the nine palaces in Jordan. Turkey is a modern republic created from the heart of the former Ottoman empire, established since the 14th century. Few of the other former regions of the empire across the Middle East and North Africa can boast of such a long political history, with countries such as Jordan not yet even 100 years old.

Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, is well aware of this fact, and does not distinguish between glorious empire and modern republic. “The Republic of Turkey is also a continuation of the Ottomans,” he declared in a recent speech.

Read the whole thing.

UNPOSSIBLE, HE USES NONE OF THE APPROVED STOCK PHRASES: Roger Simon: Trump Vastly Better than Obama at Foreign Policy.

Now that we have learned CIA director and secretary of State nominee Mike Pompeo met with Kim Jung-un over Easter, it is time to acknowledge the obvious: the foreign policy of political novice Donald Trump has been vastly more successful that that of the supposedly experienced Barack Obama.

And vastly is an understatement. Obama’s foreign policy was a disaster, beginning with the peculiar apology tour that mystified much of its Middle Eastern audience, through the yet more peculiar (misspelled) reset button with Russia that further mystified Sergei Lavrov, on to Obama’s overheard whisper to Medvedev telling Putin he would be more accommodating on missile defense after the election (imagine the apoplectic reaction of our media if Trump did that!) to the Libyan war leading to the assassination of Qaddafi (the only Arab leader to voluntarily denuclearize) that created a failed state and a raft of refugees to Italy and elsewhere, and, of course, the rapid exit from Iraq that gave rise to ISIS.

And this omits the equally egregious examples – the failure to enforce the red line on Assad’s use of chemical weapons, about which he naively believed Putin, and the never-signed, never published Iran Deal itself, which has done nothing but enrich the mullahs who wreak havoc from Venezuela to Yemen. This duplicitous and unverifiable non-agreement prolonged the monstrous Syrian civil war, causing the greatest refugee crisis since World War II and changing the character of Europe possibly forever.

There’s more but you get the point. Not even Jimmy Carter had that bad a record. And this is without Obama’s sickening lack of response to the freedom demonstrators in Iran. (“Obama, Obama, are you with us or are you with them?” Well, we know.)

And Trump?

To begin with, there’s the near-annihilation of ISIS. Then there’s the renewed alliance with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States without, miracle of miracles, the ostracism of Israel. Indeed, while announcing the move of the US embassy to Jerusalem (with little protest by ME standards), the Israeli-Saudi alliance has flourished. Does this mean an solution to the Israeli-Palestinian problem is imminent? Probably not. But at least the decades of moribund unchanging policy since Oslo have finally been bypassed and new perspectives made possible.

Read the whole thing.

ON STARBUCKS AND “RACISM:”

  1. Now Starbucks is saying this was all contrary to their policy and, presumably, anyone who wants to sit in their shops and not order anything and use the bathrooms has the right to do so as long as they like.
  2. Starbucks, in other words, has just announced its stores are not stores primarily, but are now privately-funded shelters and bathroom facilities for the homeless. You don’t have to spend a slim dime in the store to sit as long as you please and use the bathrooms.
  3. That’ll be great for Starbucks’ business. Their yuppie douchebag clientele love the homeless in the abstract, but we’ll see how much they appreciate their coffee shops being jammed with them, close-up-like, occupying most tables and chairs.
  4. I don’t even want to defend Starbucks; I want them to have the full taste of Social Justice Warrior progressivism. If this is the company’s ideology, then they should live that ideology to the full.

Read the whole thing.

Live by Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, die by it as well.  I don’t think Starbucks realizes what they’ve let themselves in for after years of leftwing virtue signaling. As Noah Rothman writes at Commentary in a post titled “Eating Their Own,” Starbucks’ management brought much of the ongoing fury on themselves via their own virtue signaling and speaking in SJW pieties:

Rosalind Brewer, Starbucks COO and a young African-American woman, called the incident a “teachable moment for all of us” and recommended “unconscious-bias” training for every Starbucks staffer. Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson joined ABC’s “Good Morning America” to personally apologize to the men involved in this incident when protesters interrupted his appearance. “A whole lot of racism, a whole lot of crap, Starbucks coffee is anti-black,” they chanted. You can’t blame these demonstrators for noticing that the terms of engagement had broadened significantly.

* * * * * * * *

It is easy to see why this kind of activism is more satisfying than, say, going on about Chick-Fil-A’s Christian values. Despite a six-year-long liberal campaign dedicated to educating the public on the deliciousness of its products, the benefits and time off afforded its employees, and franchising opportunities in underserved urban markets, this chain just keeps on expanding. Imagine that. Routinely rebuffed assaults on a fortified position are exhausting. They are nowhere near as rewarding as a direct attack on a receptive target that yields a quick and gratifying victory. That explains why social justice activists are increasingly focused on exacting concessions from like minds: young adult novelists, liberal filmmakers, Hollywood executives, painters, restauranteurs, university professors and administrators, socially conscious corporations, and the left-of-center politicians who have folded these activists into their core constituencies.

These intramural feuds are transforming the progressive movement from within, but it’s not clear that the social-justice movement has secured anything other than the illusion of efficacy.

By appeasing the mob, Starbucks’ management have walked into a box canyon. Get woke, go broke? It’s going to be fascinating to see what happens next.

ANALYSIS: TRUE. The Photo of Protesters at Starbucks Is a Sad but Accurate Representation of Our Times.

We can all agree that racism is bad, and shouldn’t be allowed. The social justice warriors claim this too, but their solution isn’t understanding and togetherness. It’s finding a culprit, generating outrage about said culprit, and finding a way to make said culprit a pariah. That culprit can play any part they need it to as well. Corporations, the rich, white people, men, Christians, police, Trump, Pence, guns, NRA, Republicans, or even women if you’re Hillary Clinton.

It doesn’t matter if you fit any or all of these qualifiers. To the social justice mob, we are all sinners. They demand you repent and apologize for your transgressions against their religion’s version of morality, but unlike Christ, the true definer of morality in our western culture, you are not forgiven after your penance. You’re still a pariah, only now you’re a useful one. An example of how the mob is all-powerful and ready to conquer you at any moment.

It doesn’t matter if you did it or not. You still better fall on your knees and swear obedience.

Read the whole thing. Ironically, as Mollie Hemmingway noted in 2015, Starbucks’ then-CEO (now executive chairman) Howard Schultz wanted Zack and the rest of his baristas to be the ones preaching the ol’ time social justice gospel to the heathens:

The whole campaign reminded me so much of this story from 2004, when an American Airlines pilot got on the loudspeaker and asked passengers who were Christian to raise their hands. Then he suggested to the ones who raised their hands that they spend the remainder of the flight trying to convert those who hadn’t. The passengers were so confused by the request that they wondered if the pilot was a terrorist.

Listen, I love few things more than sharing the good news that Jesus has triumphed over sin, death and Satan with others and I hate racism. But there’s a reason why the American Airlines pilot and the Starbucks approaches freak people out! Yes, part of it is that there’s a time and place to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ and discuss difficult social problems. But also, these things are highly ineffective when done outside of a personal relationship.

I don’t know if Zack was working for Starbucks in 2015, but he (including whatever is left of his hearing) is definitely paying penance for the sins of his boss.

Local Black Lives Matter activist Asa Khalif, left, stands inside a Starbucks, Sunday April 15, 2018, demanding the firing of the manager who called police resulting the arrest of two black men on Thursday. The arrests were captured on video that quickly gained traction on social media. (AP photo and caption.)

OH: Turns Out That New York Times’ Clinton Email ‘Botched Story’ Actually Wasn’t.

The Clinton campaign, which requested the corrections in the first place, seized on those small inconsistencies and attempted to use them to discredit the entire story. The campaign wrote a nearly 2,000-word public letter to the Times demanding an explanation for the “egregious” story and attacking the paper’s “apparent abandonment of standard journalistic practices.”

Liberal media outlets were more than happy to join in the pile-on. Newsweek‘s Kurt Eichenwald declared the Times guilty of “a level of recklessness that borders on, well, criminal behavior.” The Atlantic called the “botched story” a “huge embarrassment” for the paper. Salon.com declared it “another shoddy Clinton smear.” Mother Jones wrote that it was an “epic screw-up.”

But former FBI director James Comey’s new book indicates that the ridiculous semantics game was even more moot than it appeared. The Times actually understated the reality: Clinton was already under criminal investigation at the time by the FBI, and yes, she was definitely the target.

“Though The Times may have thought those clarifications were necessary, their original story was much closer to the mark,” Comey writes. “It was true that the transmission to the F.B.I. from the inspector general did not use the word ‘criminal,’ but by the time of the news story, we had a full criminal investigation open, focused on the secretary’s conduct.”

Read the whole thing.

YOUR DAILY TREACHER: Even Starbucks Is Racist Now, Apparently.

In three years, Starbucks has gone from this…

…To facing this:

As Treacher writes:

I hope this fiasco proves instructive to Howard Schultz and everybody else at Starbucks. No matter how liberal you are, no matter how hard you work to establish and maintain your #woke credentials, all it takes is one slip-up. Just one viral video, taken on one of the cameras that we all carry now, and the angry mob will descend on you. Nothing you do or say will appease them. No apology will be sufficient. You can’t grovel low enough.

Read the whole thing.

UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES: Oxycontin Tweak Helped Turn Addicts to Heroin.

“We attribute the recent quadrupling of heroin death rates to the August 2010 reformulation of an oft-abused prescription opioid, OxyContin,” continues the report, authored by William Evans and Ethan Lieber, both from the University of Notre Dame, and Patrick Power from Boston University.

Deaths from heroin jumped to more than 15,000 in 2016, up from around 3,000 in 2010, according to the KFF data. And the fatalities from semisynthetic opioids stayed relatively flat for a few years and then grew, but much more slowly than previously.

Read the whole thing.

ROGER KIMBALL ON ROBERT MUELLER’S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE.

Read the whole thing.

WAIT, YOU MEAN OBAMA’S DACA ENCOURAGES ID THEFT BY ILLEGAL ALIENS? Yes, that’s exactly what Dale Wilcox of the Immigration Reform Law Institute contends and he’s got the data to prove it. As Glenn famously says, read the whole thing.

ANALYSIS: TRUE. California Is the Model for National Divorce, Not Democratic Domination:

Third, while Teixeira and Leyden point to California as a model for combatting inequality, it’s one of the most unequal states in the nation. The most prosperous parts of the state are not only undeniably beautiful, they’re also populated by a creative and entrepreneurial class that gives each place a distinctive intellectual energy. If you’re rich enough, parts of California are very, very nice places to live. If you’re not, housing prices will keep you out more effectively than the guards at any gated community.

The end result is inequality so great that the nation’s tech titans happen to live in the poverty capital of America. According to the Census Bureau’s Supplemental Poverty Measure, nearly one out of five state residents is poor.

Finally, California’s progressive supermajority has led to a spate of petty authoritarianism that most Americans reject. I’ve written extensively about how California is seceding from the Constitution. The state has taken direct aim at the First Amendment rights of its pro-life citizens, implemented confiscatory gun-control policies, regulated pronoun usage, and repeatedly attempted to restrict religious liberty. All too often California progressives have demonstrated that “California values” are incompatible with the Bill of Rights.

Read the whole thing.

THE IMPORTANCE OF STRIKING SYRIA’S SCIENTIFIC STUDIES AND RESEARCH CENTER: As Claudia Rosett writes, “Leading from in front, President Trump is finally redrawing the red line that President Obama erased in 2013. Whatever the threats and criticisms that will surely follow, the world will be safer for it. The vital message is that America is no longer the hamstrung giant of the Obama era.”

Read the whole thing.

ANDREW FERGUSON RECORDS THE END OF ‘CIVILISATION:’

In the closing moments of the final episode of Civilisation, Clark intended to strike a note of optimism. “When I look at the world about me in the light of these programs, I don’t at all feel as though we are entering on a new period of barbarism,” he said. He shows us the campus of the then-new University of East Anglia. Apple-cheeked college students pop in and out of classrooms, labor over books—the baby boomers as Clark hoped they were in 1969. “These inheritors of all our catastrophes look cheerful enough. . . . In fact, I should doubt if so many people have ever been as well-fed, as well-read, as bright-minded, as curious, and as critical as the young are today.”

Watching at home, we can assume, was the 14-year-old Mary Beard, all a-tingle and raring to go to college herself, where she could use her curiosity and reading and bright-mindedness to prove the great man and his theory wrong.

Read the whole thing. Back in 2013, I described watching Kenneth Clark’s seminal program as akin to reading “Notes from Atlantis” – the postwar British culture that made it simply no longer exists. As Ferguson writes, from the title onward, the BBC’s new sequel, Civilisations (note the title is of course, now plural), “pokes us in the ribs” repeatedly with its successor intellectual culture – a queasy mélange of postmodernism and multiculturalism. Exit quote from Beard, one of the hosts of the new series:

‘We’ know that ‘we’ are civilised by contrasting ourselves with those we deem to be uncivilised. . . . The inconvenient truth, of course, is that so-called ‘barbarians’ may be no more than those with a different view from ourselves of what it is to be civilised, and of what matters in human culture. In the end, one person’s barbarity is another person’s civilisation.

No. (Nice paraphrase of the motto at Reuters that “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter,” though.) As Saul Bellow famously said in the early 1990s, eternally angering the left, “Who is the Tolstoy of the Zulus? The Proust of the Papuans? I’d be glad to read him.”

ROGER SIMON: Why I Won’t Read James Comey’s Book.

Unlike Comey’s book, read the whole thing.

DISPATCHES FROM THE INTERSECTION OF THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE AND THE RETURN OF THE PRIMITIVE. Josh Blackman: Students at CUNY Law Protested and Heckled My Lecture about Free Speech on Campus.

A student shouted out “Fuck the law.” This comment stunned me. I replied, “Fuck the law? That’s a very odd thing. You are all in law school. And it is a bizarre thing to say fuck the law when you are in law school.” They all started to yell and shout over me.

Read the whole thing; don’t miss the many photos of the protestors and their, err, colorful signage.

HEH: Mick Mulvaney says it’s Elizabeth Warren’s own fault he doesn’t have to answer her questions.

“I encourage you to consider the possibility that the frustration you are experiencing now, and that which I had a few years back, are both inevitable consequences of the fact that the Dodd-Frank… Act insulates the Bureau from virtually any accountability to the American people through their elected representatives,” Mulvaney wrote.

Read the whole thing.

Related: Keith Ellison Thinks ‘Frosted’ Glass Is an Assault on Government Transparency — The Minnesota Representative took CFPB Director Mike Mulvaney to task for ‘frosted’ glass office.

THE PRE-MORTEMS HAVE BEGUN: Our awful Congress.

Read the whole thing.

(Classical Insta-reference in headline.)

BLESS HER HEART: Molly Ringwald Tries to Make The Breakfast Club a MeToo Moment.

Ringwald’s essay is suffused with a sense of sorrow and rebuke, competing with a sheepish suspicion that she is being a tad ungrateful for what Hughes did for her. The National Lampoon writer-turned-filmmaker, who died in 2009 and can no more defend himself than Pope Formosus can, plucked her headshot out of a stack of photos and began inventing scenarios for the girl he imagined her to be. Without Hughes, there would be no Ringwald. Ringwald’s scolding of him is a bit hard to justify: She explains how she feared it would cause distress to her daughter, with whom she viewed The Breakfast Club recently, to watch the scene in which Bender (Judd Nelson) crawls under the desk and peeks up the skirt of Ringwald’s character, Claire. It is implied that he touches her inappropriately. This scene didn’t involve any exploitation of Ringwald, because an adult body double filmed it. Ringwald’s daughter isn’t bothered by it. It’s the sort of thing directors have randy teens do in larkish high-school comedies because kids watching know they can’t actually get away with it in school. Yet Ringwald is determined to make a thing of it.

Of course she is. Read the whole thing.

UPDATE: “But if the revisionist attacks on Hughes go much beyond what Ringwald has done here, I will be putting a knife in my teeth and flinging myself over the trenches and leading the charge in the culture war. Hughes simply must be defended, both because he was a singular talent and because he could be considered the most overtly America-loving filmmaker since Frank Capra. In this respect, an unstated issue here explains why Ringwald might be looking back and seeing herself in these films at the center of a worldview she doesn’t like. Hughes was allegedly a Republican, but as anyone familiar with the personalities coming out of National Lampoon in the 1970s knows, he most likely had a very libertarian perspective that was really a counterculture to counterculture.”

THIS TOWN NEEDS AN ENEMA: Cynthia Nixon Is Ripping The NY Democratic Party Apart.

Jazz Shaw:

Unless there’s a radical change in the polls over the next month or two, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is in little danger of being booted to the curb by Sex and the City star Cynthia Nixon. But even if she doesn’t manage to take the Governor’s office, it’s looking more and more as if Nixon will have a lasting effect. The Empire State’s Democratic Party is currently undergoing an identity crisis as some of the most vocal and established activist groups square off against one another in a fight to see whether they should veer further to the left or stick with mainstream, machine politics which have kept them in power. And some of those voices are already picking sides, seeing something in Nixon which rings a chord in their Berniecrat hearts.

Read the whole thing.

(Classical reference in the headline.)

ROGER SIMON: Trump Must be the Strong Horse Now.

Read the whole thing.

MELISSA MACKENZIE: Those who’ve declared war on the elected president see this as the beginning of the end for him.

To the lawyerly among the Twitterati, there must be a there, there. One commenter mused upon the “slow roll of the Nixon investigation” and saw an analogy. And he’s right. There is an analogy. The media hate Donald Trump just as they hated Richard Nixon. Democrats hate Donald Trump just as they hated Richard Nixon. And there are enough Republicans who cannot abide the shift in the demographics of the Republican electorate that they profoundly desire to see Donald Trump fail. And then, Donald Trump’s own pugnacious streak makes him frustrating enough that even his devoted followers grow exasperated at his behavior.

But, Donald Trump is not Richard Nixon and America today is not the Vietnam-era times fraught with an unpopular foreign war. Today, the war being fought is cold and civil and cultural. In D.C. and cities around the country, elites are shocked and horrified that someone such as Trump even is in office. They hate him. They hate anyone who would support him. The fact that Donald Trump enjoys 86% approval among Republicans fills them with revulsion at him and them. Those people.

Many from Mueller on down believe they are doing God’s own work by investigating Trump and following the trail to wherever it leads, even though it’s leading away from Russian collusion and into the Siberia of business sleaze.

Read the whole thing.

SPENGLER: President Trump Is Magnificently Right and Catastrophically Wrong. “America’s trade deficit is like a giant benign tumor: It’s troublesome and ultimately dangerous, but it’s a symptom, not the cause, of the underlying problem. Cut it out with a rusty scalpel and the patient will bleed to death. Trump is entirely right to address the problem, but some of the advice he is getting may have disastrous consequences.”

Read the whole thing.

RICHARD FERNANDEZ: An Evitable Disaster.

“The Great Lesson of California in America’s New Civil War”, according to Peter Leyden and Ruy Teixeira in Medium is “there’s no bipartisan way forward at this juncture in our history — one side must win. … The solution for the people of California was to reconfigure the political landscape and shift a supermajority of citizens — and by extension their elected officials — under the Democratic Party’s big tent.”

This conquer or die view, unlike Kevin Williamson’s, is not beyond the pale. In fact Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey described the Medium article as a “great read”. The idea that only one side of the political aisle leaves the room while the other is clapped in irons plainly expresses many may have secretly thought except heretofore it was necessary to conceal it. Now the decks are cleared and some are itching to raise the Jolly Roger.

The major problem with this strategy is China, whose relentless competition will penalize all irrational political correctness and all serious division. America can become as dysfunctional as California but China will own it. As David Goldman noted in a speech delivered at Hillsdale College “China is a phenomenon unlike anything in economic history.”

Plus:

The American elite is no longer as it is accustomed to thinking of itself, “the only adult in the room” whose patience with the childish Red states is now at an end, but a fragile civilization hanging on to its advantage by a thread against China. Before the left raises the Jolly Roger they should note the giant war junk bearing down on them fast. America’s sole remaining advantage Goldman notes, is that it is ruled consensually, which is precisely the advantage Leiden and Teixeira intend to surrender. The dilemma for the Left is they can’t indulge their fantasies in the face of a peer competitor any more than an army can divide its forces in the face of the foe. They will need the Deplorables to survive. But they haven’t realized that yet.

Opening the borders to replace the Deplorables won’t work because the replacements won’t be as cooperative as those they are intended to replace. As David Goldman points out a low skilled balkanized population nurtured on gender studies and political correctness won’t save America from the Chinese challenge. . . .

The lesson being administered to Europe, with its stagnation, anomie and political crisis, is that the elites cannot rule without their core populations. The bureaucrats can command no real loyalty from their imported auxiliaries, who at the first default of payoffs will turn on the apparatchiks who will by then have nowhere to appeal for support. Thus the logic of civil war, as proclaimed in the Medium article, is the logic of the fall. This does not change the fact Leyden and Teixeira are probably correct in anticipating what happens next. Someone’s going to go for the brass ring or die trying.

Read the whole thing. May God save America from the fecklessness of its awful political class.

Related thoughts here.

ROGER SIMON: Assad’s Gas Will End the Iran Deal.

Read the whole thing.

SALENA ZITO: History proves that Americans can unite even when torn in two.

The Civil War was over.

“As the sun rose that morning neither man would know by mid-afternoon the war, for all intents and purposes, would end that day,” explained Ernie Price, a park ranger and director of education at Appomattox National Park.

But by mid-morning, Lee knew the Confederate cause was finished. He sent a message to Grant to meet for the purpose of surrender, and the Appomattox home of grocer Wilmer McLean was chosen for the moment.

When they met, Grant was poorly dressed, his uniform rumpled and covered in mud from the ride the night before. Years later in his memoirs, he admitted that he had no idea what he was going to ask from Lee in the surrender.

Yet, once he sat down at a small spindle desk in McLean’s front parlor, words of reconciliation poured out.

“Grant knew that the Confederate soldiers from that moment on were going to be US citizens again,” said Price. “Instead of placing them in prisons in the North he sends them home. His reasoning is: The sooner the South’s economy rebounds, the sooner the country can reconcile, so he paroles them.”

Grant also allowed Lee’s men to keep their personal sidearms and animals, knowing they would desperately need rations to survive.

This of course was back when Americans enjoyed leaders capable of seeing past the next news cycle or major poll.

But do read the whole thing.

ANDREW KLAVAN: ON KEVIN WILLIAMSON, THE ATLANTIC HAS NO EXCUSE.

There is only one reason to silence someone like Kevin: your arguments are so bad you can’t stand up to him in a fair debate.

On top of which, hiring a man away from his job, then firing him for being exactly who you knew he was is simply a skunk thing to do. Shame on [Atlantic editor Jeffrey] Goldberg, really.

In today’s political debate, there are two kinds of people: those who want to silence the voices they disagree with, and the good guys. Kevin Williamson is one of the good guys. Goldberg, it turns out, not so much.

Read the whole thing.

ED MORRISSEY REVIEWS CHAPPAQUIDDICK:

At nearly every turn in the film, Ted has a choice between the truth and his “version” of it, and every time he makes the wrong choice. In the end, faced with a decision about remaining in public life, he tells Gargan in a final betrayal that Moses had a bad temper and Peter betrayed Jesus, and yet both still led the people of God.

“Moses had a bad temper,” Gargan shoots back, “but he never left a girl at the bottom of the Red Sea.”

That scores a direct hit, as does Chappaquiddick in general. For those familiar with the details, there is an inexorable air to it that might leave one with the feel of a true-crime re-enactment, but the performances are powerful enough to make it worth seeing in the theater.

Read the whole thing. 

Related: NewsBusters rounds up some of the worst of the DNC-MSM’s takes over the years in their service as Ted Kennedy’s PR machine.

MATTHEW CONTINETTI OBSERVES “THE BATTLE OF WOKE ISLAND” AND ITS ORIGINS:

The hiring of a conservative writer for the opinion pages of a liberal publication now occasions a ferocious debate over whether the cause of social justice is being served by implicitly legitimizing an “offensive” voice. Such a debate, of course, assumes that the object of a publication is not to inform or entertain readers, nor to provide them a range of views, but to advance a party line. That is the logic of the campus. And that logic prevailed in the case of Kevin Williamson—a pungent libertarian writer hired by The Atlantic only to be terminated a week later over his views on abortion. (Needless to say, those views are pro-life.) Indeed, even the language of the announcement of Williamson’s firing, which accused him of “violent” speech, echoed the denunciations of student activists.

What I cannot predict are the ultimate consequences of the transformation of media, tech, and entertainment conglomerates into satellite campuses of Middlebury and Berkeley. It may well be the case that multiculturalism and intersectionality are good for Internet traffic and digital subscriptions, that to get woke is glorious for the bottom line. But these short-term profits come at the long-term cost of definitive, comprehensive, quality journalism. Nor should we forget the damage done to the livelihoods and futures of the people who run up against the intersectional vanguard. Violate the unwritten laws of micro-aggression in Silicon Valley, for instance, and you could be de-platformed from both the technological public squares of Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube and, in the case of James Damore, from within the companies themselves.

At the Federalist, Ben Domenech writes that “Firing Kevin Williamson Is Just the Beginning,” and also spots the academic origins of his being de-platformed:

Williamson’s mistake, as an adopted son born to an unwed teenage mother, was being too honest about his belief that what he sees as the daily murder of infants should, in a more just society, have severe legal consequences. Well, that’s not what we want around here.

This brings to mind Herbert Marcuse’s “Repressive Tolerance”, published in 1965. This essay does a good job of summing it up.

Marcuse argued that, because of the radical repressiveness of Western society, a tolerance for all viewpoints actually contributed to social oppression. A pervasive network of assumptions and biases implicitly privileges the viewpoint of the powerful, so that seemingly “equal” presentations of opposite opinions actually end up benefiting the viewpoint of the powerful… Because of social programming, the inhabitants of a given society automatically favor certain values. The ideological playing field’s lack of levelness means that seemingly equal presentations of ideas are not really equal.

In the light of this situation, Marcuse made a rather cunning inversion (one that has been aped countless times since by cultural organs across the United States): The fact that society is so radically unequal means that we should be intolerant and repressive in the name of tolerance and liberty. He rejected what he termed “indiscriminate tolerance” — a tolerance that accepts all viewpoints — in favor of “liberating tolerance” or “discriminating tolerance.” Unlike many of his disciples, Marcuse was frank about what this intolerance would mean: “Liberating tolerance, then, would mean intolerance against movements from the Right and toleration of movements from the Left.

That is what is required to make ones living primarily from these institutions: you must bend the knee.

To which Rod Dreher adds, “The Atlantic Cashiers Kevin Williamson, Its Reputation:”

Eventually the wokesters will be the establishment at The New York Times, and everywhere else. See, readers, this is why all the campus craziness I keep talking about here is not just Dreherbait. These norms shape the way those rising in the ranks at institutions see the world, and, in turn, shape the world.

Again: Kevin Williamson’s fate is a bellwether. This is not going to end well, if it ends at all.

Why, it’s like the culture war is a leading indicator for the “Cold Civil War” as a whole or something.

MARK STEYN ON THE YOUTUBE SHOOTING AS THE GRAND CONVERGENCE:

What happened [Tuesday] is a remarkable convergence of the spirits of the age: mass shootings, immigration, the Big Tech thought-police, the long reach of the Iranian Revolution, the refugee racket, animal rights, vegan music videos… It was the latest mismatched meeting between east and west in the age of the Great Migrations: Nasim Aghdam died two days before her 39th birthday, still living (according to news reports) with either her parents or her grandmother. She came to America at the age of seventeen, and spent two decades in what appears to be a sad and confused search to find something to give her life meaning. But in a cruder sense the horror in San Bruno was also a sudden meeting of two worlds hitherto assumed to be hermetically sealed from each other: the cool, dispassionate, dehumanized, algorithmic hum of High Tech — and the raw, primal, murderous rage breaking through from those on the receiving end.

Read the whole thing.

MICHAEL BARONE: How genetic science is undercutting the case for racial quotas.

Reich obviously wishes to avoid the demonization endured by Murray, who was attacked by a mob at Middlebury College just last year. He is careful indeed to make clear that his findings should not be used to justify racist practices like the slave trade, the eugenics movement, and the Holocaust.

Reich also makes a point that is obvious to the ordinary person but which he — along with some of his critics who wrote to the Times — thinks needs reiteration. Which is, as one puts it, “differences in individuals vary far more widely than in populations.” When we are comparing traits of people with different genetic ancestry, we are looking at averages, like the differences between American whites’ and Asians’ IQ scores (Asians’ on average are higher). But within the white and Asian populations there is wide variety — which can be represented as an actual bell curve.

The assumption of “well-meaning people” is that ordinary Americans aren’t capable of grasping this. My view is that they understand it very well. They have learned, from school, from work, from everyday life, from public events, that there is a wider variation within each measured group than between measured groups.

Read the whole thing.

ANNALS OF LEFTIST AUTOPHAGY: Gender Madness Alienates Democratic Insider.

Not long ago, when my wife was pregnant, a coworker asked if we knew what we were having. I told this friend, and we were all excited.

Another coworker immediately started lecturing me in front of everyone about how this was grossly cis-heteronormative and that rather than forcing an identity on my child because of genitals, I should cultivate an environment in which the child would be able to flourish and explore the play of gender.

This went on for fifteen minutes. Now, the thing is that people at my work know that I have a hot temper and usually avoid talking to me about something as trivial as whether or not one lunch spot is better than another. Nobody wants to get dragged into it because they all think that I will, in the words of one former colleague, “Go Full Kanye” on them. In spite of this trepidation, a colleague felt that this gender nonsense was important enough to risk my temper and bloviate in front of our staff. The points gained from performed holiness, what we called “being ‘pi’ (short for ‘pious’, but contemptuously)” growing up, were worth the risk of my explosion, possibly, but more terrifying was that this colleague of mine simply didn’t care about the risk of my temper and was so committed to this gender nonsense that she just went for it.

The room for reasonable people on sex/gender issues is vastly closing in this party.

Read the whole thing.

ADVANTAGE: VDH.

Sadly, I think Kevin Williamson will soon find that National Review was far more tolerant of his controversial views than will be true at The Atlantic. As I noted in the essay in question concerning progressives’ situational regulation, so too the Left also embraces situational free speech. Indeed, well before Williamson had even written his inaugural column, Jeffrey Goldberg, the editor of The Atlantic, had defended his hiring of Williamson on grounds that he preferred “all things being equal, to give people second chances and the opportunity to change,” and he further seemed delighted about Williamson’s promise to cease tweeting given that it would be interpreted as “a positive development and a sign of growth.”

As Derek Hunter of the Daily Caller tweets, “I want [Victor Davis Hanson] to pick my next lottery numbers. This was posted just a few hours ago.”

UPDATE: “Kevin Williamson’s firing is how you got Trump, as well as the alt-right’s near-mainstreaming. Here’s why,” Ben Shapiro writes. Read the whole thing.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: A Guide to Properly Hating Old Movies.

There are interesting ideas floating somewhere beneath the surface of The Guardian’s article, but whatever insights might be offered are lost in the all-too-typical emphasis on personal experience as objective analysis. I’m open to reading an article about what The Shining lost during the adaptation process, or why Wendy Torrance is a disappointing female lead given the horror genre’s history of progressive female characters, or even how a movie like The Shining transitions from a disappointment to a work of genius in just a few decades. Instead, we get two very familiar and, frankly, boring arguments: I Was Personally Unimpressed and This Film’s Audience Is Annoying.

But you know what? I’m a helpful guy. If authors are dead set on publishing these types of pieces, then the least we can do is take a moment and work out the perfect template. This way, the argument gets made, the author gets paid, and audiences can breathe a little easier knowing that they aren’t actually missing anything if they don’t click. Film criticism moves a little closer to its future as a perpetual motion machine that chugs continuously on without outside interference. Let’s give it a shot.

Heh. Read the whole thing.

Note that in the era of #metoo, with just a few minor changes, the template that follows the above quoted passage can do double-duty, serving those who priggishly choose to hate on old TV sitcoms as well for insufficient wokeness.

JACK SHAFER: TRUMP IS RIGHT. IT IS THE AMAZON WASHINGTON POST.

Bezos became the world’s richest person through his labors at Amazon, which he still controls. He purchased the Post in 2013 with $250 million of his Amazon pin money. While it might be more accurate to call the newspaper the “Bezos Washington Post,” seeing as Bezos and Amazon are joined at the hip, it’s not ridiculous to speak of the paper—at least in the vernacular—as the Amazon Washington Post. If Amazon didn’t exist, it’s unlikely the Washington Post would exist in its current form.

Read the whole thing.

ED MORRISSEY: Did Police Miss a Chance to Head Off Yesterday’s Shooting at Youtube’s HQ?

Police can’t simply arrest everyone that sleeps in their cars, even when families suggest that they may be a threat. Their range of potential options also depends on the specificity of the warning provided by her family too, which we do not yet know, and the constitutional requirement of probable cause before arrest. If they warned that Aghdam might be planning to attack YouTube’s offices, though, would the police have had the option of requesting her to come to the station for an interview? Should they have gotten a search warrant for the car and detained her at the scene until they got one, if the warning was specific? That could be a fruitful discussion in the aftermath of this shooting.

Read the whole thing.

I’m not sure if “sleeping in your car” is in and of itself sufficient cause for suspicion these days in the insanely expensive real estate market that is California: QED, this recent L.A. Times article which notes that “The number of cars, campers and vans serving as homes in the city of Los Angeles has gone up significantly, reaching more than 4,700 in 2017’s homelessness count.”

WEST SIDE INTERSECTIONALITY STORY: “The Left’s favorite playwright, Tony Kushner, is in a bind,” Ben Shapiro writes:

Kushner, you’ll recall, is the author of such politically radical travesties as Angels in America and Munich — and the author of far more mature works, such as Lincoln and Fences. Kushner is the type of fellow who says: “The founding of the State of Israel was for the Jewish people a historical, moral, political calamity. . . . I wish modern Israel hadn’t been born.” But he still likes to stand on his Jewish ethnicity as a crutch for his leftism. He’s an anti-capitalism radical who has earned millions of dollars and summers in a Provincetown vacation home.

And now, Kushner has a problem.

His problem: He’s a Jewish gay guy remaking West Side Story — a musical about Polish and Puerto Rican gangs, originally written by four Jews. This violates the core tenet of intersectionality, which maintains that it’s cultural appropriation when people of one culture write about another culture, and that it’s “white privilege” when too many members of “white America” (which now includes Jews) earn money on a particular endeavor. Kushner declares himself a “big believer in identity politics and political correctness.”

So how will he square this circle?

By tap dancing faster and much more artfully around his fellow leftists’ faddish intersectionality obsession than any of the choreography that will be in the film. Read the whole thing.

ROGER SIMON: Corporations Endanger Free Speech with Ingraham Boycott.

Read the whole thing.

OF COURSE HE DID: Mueller Found a Very Dishonest Way to Shroud His Investigation in Secrecy.

Special counsel Robert Mueller and his deputy Andrew Weissmann filed a three-page notice on Monday arguing that Alex Van Der Zwaan should not be allowed to file Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests related to the ongoing Russia investigation.

As the notice points out, Van Der Zwaan originally agreed to waive his rights to “request or receive” such records from the government during his plea agreement. In the notice, Mueller claims his legal arguments are being filed because the court “drew attention” to a similar waiver agreement during Richard Gates‘ recent arraignment.

That’s likely true, but it strains credulity to think there’s not at least something else going on behind the scenes here. One plausible scenario: Van Der Zwaan’s attorneys have signaled their intent to challenge the government’s FOIA waiver because there’s not much in the way of precedent that actually binds the court to enforce the waiver.

Such waivers are generally considered enforceable, but this is a hotly contested body of law and civil libertarians–as well as defense attorneys–frequently press the issue in the U.S. court system. The Supreme Court has yet to rule on the exact question, so consider this all in flux.

Read the whole thing.

REMINDER: THE LEFT HATES OUR CIVILIZATION.

Here once again we should repair to the observation of British historian Sir Geoffrey Elton, who wrote: “There are times when I incline to judge all historians by their opinion of Winston Churchill: whether they can see that, no matter how much better the details, often damaging, of man and career become known, he still remains, quite simply, a great man.”

Ah—that “great man” thing: contemporary leftist egalitarians cannot tolerate such distinctions among human beings.

Read the whole thing.

MEDIA GO NUTS AFTER SINCLAIR LOCAL HOSTS ALL READ ANTI-FAKE NEWS MESSAGE. Here’s Why That’s Ridiculous:

There are companies that have tried to cram down particular viewpoints on hosts. That’s awful. But this isn’t that. Again, this message is utterly anodyne. The leftist media’s universal rush to condemn Sinclair for the message is actually more lockstep political than Sinclair’s message, which is lockstep but not political. Kimmel’s tweet is actually more telling than it looks: all the statements about Sinclair being “dangerous for our democracy” are just as collectivized and unanimous, and far more political, than Sinclair’s top-down edict to read an apolitical message on air.

Read the whole thing.

Related:

The big four broadcast networks, ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC, have around 200 affiliates each, but they’re pikers compared to CNN’s Newsource, which goes out to more than 800 stations across the country. That wide distribution practically guarantees a story will get decent play. The Newsource story about e-mail aired on at least 225 stations, according to Matthew Koll, chairman of the software company that was featured.

Like the networks, CNN makes it easy for local stations to run these stories by providing scripted introductions for local anchors to read. And read them they do, even when they don’t make much sense.

“The final days of a campaign can get a little salty,” parroted one anchor after another in November, whatever that was supposed to mean. The line provided by Newsource set up a story about election-themed drinks and food, and it earned a dozen local anchors a starring role in another Conan montage.

—“What’s wrong with local TV news?,” NewsLab, April 15, 2013.

As Stephen Miller tweets today, “Journalists took such a hardcore deep 8 year nap that they are just now waking up to pioneer cutting edge journalism of.. *Checks notes* … Conan O’Brian.”

From five years ago.

BETHANY MANDEL: The Troubling Connections between Scientology and the Nation of Islam.

And now, Scientology and the Nation of Islam are working together even more closely. An independent Scientology news service, @IndieScieNews, first tipped me off to the connection. On October 20, the Church of Scientology honored the Nation of Islam’s Tony Muhammed with its Freedom Award in Inglewood, Calif., in recognition of his “humanitarian” efforts. What, exactly, are those efforts? Muhammed travels the world showing a documentary on vaccines, claiming they cause autism. Just this week, Nation of Islam members held a blessing and naming ceremony for Tony Muhammed at the Scientology Land Base Chapel in Clearwater, Fla.

The individual behind IndieScientologyNews told me:

The extent of the integration of Scientology into the Nation of Islam is demonstrated by the fact that members of the Nation of Islam are not only practicing the religion of Scientology, they are also becoming Ministers and Ministers-in-Training of the Church of Scientology.

The connection between the two groups goes far deeper than just a gala or a naming ceremony. One of the stars of Leah Remini’s docuseries, Aaron Smith-Levin, laid out the financial connection and the incentive for Nation of Islam members to become involved in the Church of Scientology, and vice versa.

Read the whole thing.

SALENA ZITO: THE MIDDLE OF SOMEWHERE.

Earlier this year, Bill Kristol, editor at large at the Weekly Standard, tweeted ahead of the Super Bowl that it was too bad two Acela Corridor teams, the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles, had to play their matchup “in the middle of nowhere.”

It was a reference to the host city of Minneapolis’ location in the Midwest, far from the “civilized worlds” of Boston and Philadelphia – the assumption being that unless you are on the East Coast, your town’s sophistication and glamour could not live up to the modern amenities of a cosmopolitan city.

In my estimation, there is no patch of geography in this country that is the “middle of nowhere.” This is America; everywhere is the middle of somewhere.

Read the whole thing.

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: Fahrenheit 451 updated: On the Amy Wax controversy surrounding the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Roger Kimball writes:

At some point in March, a social justice vigilante came across an internet video of a conversation between Glenn Loury, a black, anti–affirmative action economics professor at Brown University, and Professor Wax. Titled “The Downside to Social Uplift,” the conversation, which was posted in September, revolved around some of the issues that Professor Wax had raised in her op-ed for the Inquirer. Towards the end of the interview, the painful subject of unintended consequences came up. The very practice of affirmative action, Professor Loury pointed out, entails that those benefitting from its dispensation will be, in aggregate, less qualified than those who do not qualify for special treatment. That’s what the practice of affirmative action means: that people who are less qualified will be given preference over people who are more qualified because of some extrinsic consideration—race, say, or sex or ethnic origin.

Professor Wax agreed and noted that one consequence of this was that those admitted to academic programs through affirmative action often struggle to compete. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a black student graduate in the top quarter of the class,” Professor Wax said, “and rarely, rarely in the top half.” Professor Wax also observed that the Penn Law Review had an unpublicized racial diversity mandate.

Uh-oh.

Read the whole thing.

(Found via Scott Johnson of Power Line, who also has some thoughts on Wax’s thoughtcrimes.)

AMERICA’S CAMP OF THE SAINTS:

This story — the migrant mass moving north — is the political equivalent of a tropical depression spotted far out into the Atlantic, one that is not much now, but once it hits warm water, could become a dangerous hurricane. Don’t believe me? Check out Tom Edsall’s must-read piece on how new statistical analysis shows that 2016 exit polling was wrong, and the white working class is actually more important to the Democrats than previously thought.

* * * * * * * *

That migrant mass headed north through Mexico could well be a perfect political storm for the Democrats, who can’t afford to lose the Roseanne vote this fall.

Read the whole thing.

UNEXPECTEDLY: Cultural-Marxist Left Doesn’t Like Term ‘Cultural Marxism,’ Michael Walsh writes.

Read the whole thing.

BROWN M&Ms AND RELIGIOUS ILLITERACY: A pair of tweets spotted by Rod Dreher highlight the smug ignorance of the MSM when it comes to religious matters.

If we can’t count on leading journalists to understand the most basic facts about Christian practice and belief, how on earth can we trust them to report fairly and accurately about something as complicated as Christian sexual teaching? How can they trust themselves? How can they even begin to understand why we believe what we believe on all kinds of issues?

The rock band Van Halen was famous for putting a rider in their contracts requiring that a bowl of M&Ms be backstage for them, and that there be no brown M&Ms in the bowl. It sounds like typical rock star vanity, but there was actually a good reason for it. The band had this provision buried in their contract as a trick to see if the local crews assisting the band had actually read the contract. In a similar way, minor mistakes like these are the brown M&Ms of journalism about religion. They reveal a fundamental carelessness that might have more serious consequences.

Read the whole thing.

STEPHEN L. CARTER: Secretly, Americans Love Guns. Watch ‘The Walking Dead.’

I don’t know how the debate over gun control is going to play out. But there’s a challenge at the heart of the matter to which we pay too little attention.

Secretly, Americans love guns — if not the actual physical devices then at least the abstract idea. We say we don’t, but our collective id, as represented by what we watch on the screen, suggests otherwise. Because for every police procedural where the suspect who swears he’s innocent finds his licensed handgun missing from its lockbox, there are two popular post-apocalyptic thrillers where the possession of firearms is the only ticket to survival. . . .

My point, once more, is the opposite: that such shows are popular because of a deep-set fear that perhaps things might one day spin out of control, that government, law enforcement, all the institutions that exist to protect us, might one day fail. No doubt the fear is stronger in some quarters than others. But in our debate over how best to control gun violence, let’s remember that fear can’t be legislated away.

Read the whole thing.

ROGER SIMON: First Investigate, then Dismantle, the FBI.

The FBI, in sum, no longer looks out for the American citizen.  It looks out for itself or the leaders it chooses.  It deserves to be dismantled and a new FBI built from the ground up.  An entirely new system must be devised.  As perspicacious as the Senate and House committees have been, they are not enough.  Congresspeople alone cannot oversee this, nor should they have to.

After the IG reports have all been published, as suggested by Alan Dershowitz, an independent commission should be convened to review what has happened, devise these systems, and reconstitute a new FBI that  is organized differently and directly responsible to the citizenry.  This will not be easy.  Bureaucracies abhor transparency.

Read the whole thing.

JEAN-LOUIS GASSÉE: Mark Zuckerberg Thinks We’re Idiots.

With the Guardian’s new exposé, things are different for Facebook: They’re much worse. The company is in a new kind of defensive stance as it tries to explain how the data of as many as 57 million users was aspirated by a researcher named Aleksandr Kogan and handed over to Cambridge Analytica, a political influence peddler.

After a few days of silence, Zuckerberg talked to the New York Times, to CNN, to Wired and Recode to explain what happened and, more important, to tell us what his company intends to do to put things right.

Carefully reading and re-reading Zuckerberg’s words puts me ill at ease. Of course, simply complaining that Facebook’s CEO sounds well-rehearsed won’t do. He’s a pro at managing a major crisis. Persphinctery statements are part of the fare (from the NYT interview):

“Privacy issues have always been incredibly important to people. One of our biggest responsibilities is to protect data.”

But we quickly get to the misrepresentations.

Read the whole thing.

MICHAEL WALSH: WHAT FRIGHTENS THE LEFT MOST? THE CONSTITUTION.

What the Left is really afraid of is that the census might be used to identify individuals or concentrations of illegals and thus alert the authorities to their locations. This is why the rogue state of California has declared itself a “sanctuary” (note the corruption of the Christian term) and is vigorously opposing the exercise of the federal government’s lawful authority within its state lines. Indeed, Xavier Becerra, the Golden State’s attorney general, has already filed suit against the move, even though California has no legal control over either immigration or the census.

So now you see what the Left is, at root, afraid of. Not simply guns or crackdowns on illegal immigration, but of something far more fundamental. They fear, and therefore hate, the Constitution of the United States.

Read the whole thing.

THE GASLIGHTING OF CONSERVATIVES IS OUT OF CONTROL:

Did you hear? They’re talking about repealing the Second Amendment. It started with former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens and George Washington University Law Professor Jonathan Turley. And it sure does seem like those calls prompted skeptics of American gun culture to echo their remarks. Turley and Stevens were joined this week by op-ed writers in the pages of Esquire and the Seattle Times. Democratic candidates for federal office have even enlisted in the ranks of those calling for an amendment to curtail the freedoms in the Bill of Rights. Of course, this is just the most mainstream invocation of anti-Second Amendment themes that have been expressed unashamedly for years, from liberal activists like Michael Moore to conservative opinion writers at the New York Times.  Those calling for the repeal of the right to bear arms today are only echoing similar calls made years ago in venues ranging from Rolling Stone, MSNBC, and Vanity Fair to the Jesuit publication America Magazine.

Are you sitting down? You might be surprised to learn that none of this occurred. It’s only your vivid or, some might go so far as to say, fevered imagination. Rest assured, CNN host Chris Cuomo insists that “no one” is calling for the repeal of the Second Amendment.

Read the whole thing, which is a reminder that the left has been gaslighting conservatives for quite a long time, as this 2014 video by Bill Whittle illustrates.

DAN MCLAUGHLIN: The Supreme Court Proves It Didn’t Mean What It Said in King v. Burwell.

In June 2015, the Supreme Court ruled that Obamacare provided subsidies to buyers of health insurance on the federally operated exchanges, not just exchanges established and operated by a state. Many legal observers at the time, myself included, argued that the decision in King v. Burwell was a politically driven outcome that disregarded longstanding rules for how the Court reads statutes, and that the Court in the future would have to either accept a dramatic sea change in those rules or admit (at least implicitly) that King v. Burwell was a political, not a legal, decision. Well, what do you know? The Court’s decision last month in Digital Realty Trust, Inc. v. Somers makes it crystal clear that the Court does not take King v. Burwell seriously as a legal precedent, and would have decided that case differently if it had not been so politically charged.

To recap, the Court in King v. Burwell upheld a rule passed by Obama’s IRS that extended subsidies to buyers on the federal exchanges. To reach that conclusion, however, the Court had to leapfrog the language of the statute, which made its meaning obvious in four ways.

Read the whole thing.

I’d just add that for all the charges against Trump for incivility, it was Obama who all-but-threatened a political war with the Supreme Court to force decisions he wanted on his namesake health insurance law.

ROGER SIMON IS ASKING THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS: Can Roseanne Save America?

Read the whole thing.

AT SLATESTARCODEX, A REVIEW of Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life.

I got Jordan Peterson’s Twelve Rules For Life for the same reason as the other 210,000 people: to make fun of the lobster thing. Or if not the lobster thing, then the neo-Marxism thing, or the transgender thing, or the thing where the neo-Marxist transgender lobsters want to steal your precious bodily fluids.

But, uh…I’m really embarrassed to say this. And I totally understand if you want to stop reading me after this, or revoke my book-reviewing license, or whatever. But guys, Jordan Peterson is actually good.

Read the whole thing.

RICHARD FERNANDEZ: Our All-Consuming, Incomprehensible News Cycle. “Even with all this bandwidth, we can’t judge what really matters.”

With misinformation as with miseducation, the public sees but not in due proportion. Its calculations are put all out of reckoning. The image of the world is presented like a reflection in a funhouse mirror, with certain aspects greatly enlarged while others are minimized almost to invisibility.

Read the whole thing.

MY COLLEAGUE MAURICE STUCKE, IN THE HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW: Here Are All the Reasons It’s a Bad Idea to Let a Few Tech Companies Monopolize Our Data.

“It’s no good fighting an election campaign on the facts,” Cambridge Analytica’s managing director told an undercover reporter, “because actually it’s all about emotion.” To target U.S. voters and appeal to their hopes, neuroses, and fears, the political consulting firm needed to train its algorithm to predict and map personality traits. That required lots of personal data. So, to build these psychographic profiles, Cambridge Analytica enlisted a Cambridge University professor, whose app collected data on about 50 million Facebook users and their friends. Facebook, at that time, allowed app developers to collect this personal data. Facebook argued that Cambridge Analytica and the professor violated its data polices. But this was not the first time its policies were violated. Nor is it likely to be the last.

This scandal came on the heels of Russia’s using Facebook, Google, and Twitter “to sow discord in the U.S. political system, including the 2016 U.S. presidential election.” It heightened concerns over today’s tech giants and the influence they have.

That influence comes in part from data. Facebook, Google, Amazon, and similar companies are “data-opolies.” By that I mean companies that control a key platform which, like a coral reef, attracts to its ecosystem users, sellers, advertisers, software developers, apps, and accessory makers. Apple and Google, for example, each control a popular mobile phone operating system platform (and key apps on that platform), Amazon controls the largest online merchant platform, and Facebook controls the largest social network platform. Through their leading platforms, a significant volume and variety of personal data flows. The velocity in acquiring and exploiting this personal data can help these companies obtain significant market power.

Is it OK for a few firms to possess so much data and thereby wield so much power? In the U.S., at least, antitrust officials so far seem ambivalent about these data-opolies. They’re free, the thinking goes, so what’s the harm? But that reasoning is misguided. Data-opolies pose tremendous risks, for consumers, workers, competition, and the overall health of our democracy. Here’s why.

Read the whole thing.

SARAH HOYT: OF GUNS AND LAWS AND MEN.

Read the whole thing.

HMM: American who escaped al-Qaeda captivity in Syria says the FBI under Mueller and Comey ‘betrayed’ him and claims the bureau tried to run an intelligence operation instead of rescuing him.

Matt Schrier, now 39, was taken hostage by Jabhat al-Nusra, a militant group aligned with al-Qaeda, while he traveled through Syria back in December 2012.

He claims he was tortured and beaten by Syrian rebels who accused him of working for the CIA and imprisoned him in dark cell for seven months until he managed to escape.

Following his return to the US, Schrier said he started investigating his abduction and claims to have uncovered a pattern of ‘betrayal’ from the FBI agents assigned to his case.

In an interview with Fox News’ The Story on Monday, Schrier said the FBI was monitoring his bank accounts after the terrorists used his money to purchase a dozen computers and tablets.

He claims the agents were trying to run an intelligence operation by trying to track the computers and learn more about the terror group’s activity.

The New York native says the FBI should have instead been investigating how to rescue him.

‘So they’re monitoring my financial records straight off the bat. They’re letting them steal this money. Why are they letting them steal the money, what’s the angle? Well, what are they buying? They’re buying laptops and tablets,’ he said.

Read the whole thing.

STEPHEN L. CARTER: Twelve SF Rules For Life.

Like so many other scribes, I have been inspired by psychologist Jordan Peterson’s fascinating book to sketch my 12 rules of life. But mine are different, because each is drawn from canonical science fiction. Why? Maybe because this is the literature on which I grew up, or maybe because I have never lost the taste for it. Or maybe because the sci-fi canon really does have a lot to teach about the well-lived life. Here, then, are my 12 rules. I cannot pretend that I always follow them, but I certainly always try.

Read the whole thing. Could use more Heinlein.

NO ENEMIES TO THE LEFT: Liberals refuse to face the left’s growing anti-Semitism.

Resorting to hateful stereotypes in response to accusations of anti-Semitism is, sadly, a bit of a trend on the left. When the Republican Jewish Coalition demanded the resignations of seven Democratic members of Congress who have met with Farrakhan while in office, one of the RJC’s targets, Andre Carson, responded by refusing to denounce the preacher of hate and asking Jewish Republicans to denounce Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — playing the classic anti-Semitic dual-loyalty card.

Read the whole thing. Late last week, presumably because I had retweeted several anti Farrakhan pieces, Twitter, err, helpfully suggested that I follow him:

Note that he still retains his blue checkmark. As Erick Erickson asked three weeks ago, “Twitter has revoked blue checkmarks of white supremacists and other racists. Why does Farrakhan still have one?” And why is he still in their algorithm for follow suggestions? Twitter has long been accused of “shadow banning” conservatives its censors don’t approve of, but Louis Farrakhan? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

Apparently “no enemies to the left” really is Twitter’s policy.

DANIEL HOROWITZ: Blueprint for the new conservatives.

Most of conservative media has already moved on from the spectacular political adultery of last week’s budget betrayal, built on top of an entire year of endless betrayals from GOP leaders. They are all focused on responding to the gun control agenda espoused at the “March for Life.” But what purpose does it serve to fight the Left when we don’t have a Right that is providing an alternative vision on guns or any other issue? The spending betrayal bill included gun provisions that violate every tenet of what was once a universal GOP principle.

Sure, it’s important to combat the Left’s dangerous lies about guns and public safety, but what’s the point of having raucous fans in the bleachers while the team on the field is throwing the ball in the opposite direction? We must win the fight for our own movement and our own party before we can fight the Left.

If you consider yourself a conservative member of Congress, by now you should be asking what the purpose is of serving in that body any longer. But if you deciding to run for re-election, you must ask yourself two important questions: Why are you running, and how will you ensure victory, even in a relatively safe Republican seat, if you continue to get tainted by the sins of the establishment – of both parties?

The only answer to both questions is to disengage from this bog, declare independence, and broadcast a new message and vision to voters. For far too long, we’ve avoided pursuing a new party because it is impossible to create new ground in one election cycle. But it doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing proposition. To that end, it’s time for grassroots activists fed up with both parties to pursue a new movement, and it’s time for members of Congress who still believe in our founding principles to break away and help lead that movement.

Read the whole thing. And as Inez Stepman notes, “A quasi third party while maintaining ballot access via GOP is not a bad idea.”

ROGER SIMON: Trump Is Justified in Using the Military Budget for the Wall.

Read the whole thing.

MICHAEL WALSH ON LETTING TRUMP BE TRUMP.

Read the whole thing.

“ADMISSIONS,” A NEW PLAY AT LINCOLN CENTER: A SCATHING DISSENT FROM THE CHURCH OF DIVERSITY.

Is pizza racist? Is Kim Kardashian an Asian-American because she’s half Armenian and Armenia is in Asia? Oh, and should a less-qualified black student be given a place at Yale over a more-qualified white student? What if the white kid is a child of privilege? What if the black kid is, too?

Such are the questions raised in Admissions, Joshua Harmon’s scathing and searching new play at Lincoln Center, directed con brio by Daniel Aukin. It’s a relentless, often very funny exposé of the hypocrisies and self-contradictions of the diversity craze that defines virtually every elite campus in America.

* * * * * * * *

The New York City theater scene is so insular — virtually everyone on both sides of the curtain is of the Left — that it paradoxically offers far more space for self-questioning than you’d expect. Because it’s simply assumed that no Republicans are listening in, ever, progressives in theater fall into animated quarrels among themselves about the defects in their own moral reasoning. Admissions is what happens when they’re forced to work through the injustices created by their social-justice obsession. Late at night. After a couple of glasses of pinot noir.

Read the whole thing.

ANDREW KLAVAN: What is John Brennan Hiding?

It now seems clear that Barack Obama, in transforming the federal government into a Chicago-style machine, allowed and perhaps encouraged the leadership of the Department of Justice and the FBI to behave in shamefully political and dishonest ways.

Read the whole thing.

SPENGLER: Uber’s Death Car and the Cracks in Liberal Culture.

Industry experts know that driverless cars are more hype than reality. As I noted earlier this week in Asia Times: “The Information, a consulting organization that showcases industry specialists, recently held a conference call on self-driving where one expert warned: ‘You have to remember that self-driving does not work, at least in… a highly functional, driverless robotaxi sense. It does not work. And there are many folks clamoring for architectures to get there. Again, think back to flight. Do you ever watch those YouTube videos where the guy pumping the umbrella and the dude with a big corkscrew and the person with the bird wings? I would think of it more that way. It is left to be seen which one of those architectures gets you to a useful outcome.'”

That is cold comfort to the family of Ms. Herzberg, whose death we can watch in a real-life horror movie. It is probable that improved sensors and communications might be able to prevent this sort of accident in the future; the sort of situations which AI never will master are things like lane changes in traffic in which one driver has to communicate intention to other drivers in order to avoid collisions.

But that is now beside the point. The cultural damage done by the Utopian vision of brain-as-a-machine is enormous, and the skepticism with which the public now must view Artificial Intelligence is a healthy corrective.

Read the whole thing.

DANIEL GREENFIELD: INTERSECTIONALITY, TRIBALISM AND FARRAKHAN.

The comingling of black nationalism with intersectional politics has produced a new generation (often of second-generation radicals) that dresses up its racism not only in the lyricism of the old black nationalism of Wright and Baraka, but in the obtuse academic jargon of intersectionality.

That’s where Tamika Mallory and Ta-Nehisi Coates come from. But political word salads and poetry only conceal what you choose not to pay attention to. And that’s why we’re talking about Louis Farrakhan.

The mass of progressive media articles, essays and explainers deployed to protect the Women’s March can be summed up as, “Stop paying attention.” And what we’re not supposed to be paying attention to is the slow death of liberalism and its substitution by the intolerant tribal extremism of identity politics.

It’s why the echo chamber of progressive media has turned against the New York Times editorial page where too many articles questioning identity politics and political censorship have appeared. Bari Weiss and Quinn Norton, articulate young women, are the most immediate targets, but the larger target is James Bennet, the page’s gatekeeper, who is unwisely giving liberals a glimpse of where they’re headed.

The remaining liberals still wandering the open plains of a dying ecosystem don’t understand that they are becoming extinct. When they endorse vocal identity politics movements, it is because they believe that addressing the grievances of their extremists is a necessary step to a tolerant colorblind society.

They haven’t grasped that a tolerant multiracial society is the last thing supremacists of any race want.

Read the whole thing.

JOHN HAWKINS: Seven Brutal Truths That Will Make Your Life Better If You Accept Them.

Read the whole thing.

MICHAEL GRAHAM: What if Trump is right and there is no collusion?

In one sense, the question is irrelevant: Paul Manafort is facing serious money-laundering charges that could land him in jail for 305 years; Gen. Mike Flynn’s been found out for his shady dealings with Russia and Turkey; and various other Papadopouli have pleaded guilty to actual—if relatively minor—crimes. So Robert Mueller could eventually issue stacks of indictments whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia or not.

But…

For more than a year now, Democrats in Congress like Adam Schiff and liberal media outlets have promised Americans proof that “Trump colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 election using hackers and propaganda,” as one far-Left activist put it. Back in October, Ezra Klein at Vox.com said it’s “almost impossible to believe that there wasn’t collusion between Trump’s operation and Russia.”

Even now, two out of three Democrats still believe Russia actually tampered with the polls to steal the election from Hillary Clinton.

With Trump declared guilty by Democrats and all but convicted in the press, what happens if Mueller confirms the findings of the Republican-controlled House Intelligence Committee — that there’s plenty of Trump campaign incompetence, but no collusion?

Read the whole thing.

SJW ANGER AT GAL GADOT’S TWEET ON STEPHEN HAWKING’S DEATH EXPOSES A DISTURBING FACT ABOUT THEM:

As RedState’s Joe Cunningham pointed out, actress Gal Gadot made mention of  constraints when she tweeted out her sympathies at the recent death of Steven Hawking.

“Rest in peace Dr. Hawking,” tweeted Gadot. “Now you’re free of any physical constraints. Your brilliance and wisdom will be cherished forever.”

Disabilities come in many forms. In the case of the recently passed Hawking, his was amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The disease is terrifying, and essentially stops motor function to your body. Without constant help, you’re a mind trapped in a shell you can hardly move if you can move it at all.

To any normal person, this is a sweet sentiment. It’s nice to think that Hawking is now free of his disability, and is free to do whatever he wishes for the first time in decades. It’s a sentiment that was seen quite often at his passing, including from yours truly.

As Cunningham pointed out, however, this sentiment from Gadot enraged SJWs and attacked the actress for being “ableist,” or viewing Hawking’s sickness as a negative.

* * * * * * * *

But according to the SJW crowd, merely saying that having ALS is debilitating and horrible is a grave sin worthy of labeling the person who says it as hateful toward those without properly working bodies. This is, of course, madness, but pointing this out will cause an SJW to scream “THIS IS SAFE SPACE” then attempt to kick you into a pit where you’re made to feel like a pariah, and possibly deplatformed.

But this line of thinking is disturbing.

For one, SJWs seem to be arriving at the fact that diseases are somehow a good thing. That instead of acknowledging that diseases hinder and harm, they choose to glorify the disability or disease. The disease itself, and the effects it has on a person are not to be thought of as bad according to them, but should be celebrated and applauded.

It gets worse; read the whole thing. But who knew that Mr. Spock was so ableist for wanting to return the crippled Capt. Pike to Talos IV to be free to live out the rest of his life inside the allusion of his once healthy body? Who knew Gene Roddenberry was such an alt-right reactionary? The “burn all the things” impulse regarding our pop culture past over the next few decades will be amazing to witness.

Related: Let this thread be your warning never to engage a social justice warrior at a party.

DISPATCHES FROM THE NEWSPEAK DICTIONARY:

Eric had everything that transgender activists say they want — and still, he killed himself. The poor kid was plainly tormented, but doesn’t that indicate that the entire world can rearrange itself to suit what these people want to believe about themselves, and it still won’t be enough? What more could have been done for him?

The thing that jumped out even more about this story is this: the Miami Herald chose to call this male teenager who had not yet transitioned “she”. This might seem like a small thing, but it in fact is a massive one. In this case, the media is attempting to change the way we use language, which is to say, trying to change at a foundational level how we think.

We cannot conform to this lie. We cannot. The stakes are enormous. You change a people’s language, and you change the way they construe reality. George Orwell addressed this point in his famous essay “Politics and the English Language.” Here:

I have not here been considering the literary use of language, but merely language as an instrument for expressing and not for concealing or preventing thought. Stuart Chase and others have come near to claiming that all abstract words are meaningless, and have used this as a pretext for advocating a kind of political quietism. Since you don’t know what Fascism is, how can you struggle against Fascism? One need not swallow such absurdities as this, but one ought to recognise that the present political chaos is connected with the decay of language, and that one can probably bring about some improvement by starting at the verbal end.

The Miami Herald — along with almost all our media today — insist on calling a thing what it is not, for entirely political reasons. I could understand using the feminine pronoun if Eric Verbeeck had completed his transition. I wouldn’t agree with it, but I could understand it. But Eric was still legally named Eric, and had only begun to transition. Yet here are major English language newspapers destroying the language to accommodate a politically correct mental condition. What they’re doing is accustoming their readership to accepting as real and true the claim of a mentally ill teenage male that he is in fact a female.

Read the whole thing.

DC COUNCILMAN TRAYON WHITE SR. (D-WARD 8): HEY, SORRY FOR THAT WHOLE “JEWS CONTROL THE WEATHER TO OWN THE CITIES” THING.

Related:

Al Sharpton’s Group And Black Lives Matter Team Up For Pro-Farrakhan Protest.

‘He Does Outstanding Things’: Danny Davis (D-IL) Clarifies His Position On Anti-Semite Farrakhan — Again.  

Nine Democrat Lawmakers with Ties to Anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan.

But of course, “NYT’s [Jonathan] Weisman Sees Anti-Semitism Solely on Right:”

Weisman has himself been the victim of anti-semitism. Yet as deputy Washington editor, he’s also responsible for offensive reporting, and an incredibly offensive chart, targeting Jewish lawmakers who care about Israel.

In September 2015 he proudly claimed responsibility for a New York Times chart labeling Democratic lawmakers against the Obama administration’s controversial nuclear deal with Iran as “Jewish?” or not (the “Jewish?” part was removed from the online version after outcry). Under the heading “Democrats against the deal,” the lawmakers’ names were arranged out of alphabetical order solely to stack all the “Yes” names that qualified as “Jewish?” at the top of the chart.

As Twitchy quipped at the time, “Have you ever thought to yourself, ‘Gee, wouldn’t it be great if I could keep track of all the Jews, all in one place?’ Well, the wait is over. The New York Times is here to help.”

That last sentence might just be the eight scariest words in the English language.

THE HIGHER EDUCATION CRACK UP BEGINS. Plus, news you can use: “You’d be astounded at how politicized some foreign language departments are. Many English departments are totally lost to the left; one easy screen is to see whether they have dropped Shakespeare as a requirement for an English degree. When you see that, you can cross them off your list.”

Read the whole thing.

MICHAEL WALSH: McCabe & Mr. Mueller.

Conventional wisdom says the president has to take his beating in the stocks for as long as Mueller feels like keeping him there. But nothing about Trump is conventional and, on the evidence of this weekend, there’s no reason to think he feels himself constrained by such thinking. So what if he does order Rosenstein to shut down Mueller? Then what?

Read the whole thing.

Related: Don Surber on “Why the press defends McCabe’s crime.”

(Classical allusion in Michael’s headline.)

KARL MARX’S JEW-HATING CONSPIRACY THEORY: Marx didn’t supplant old ideas about money and commerce; he intensified them.

When God became sidelined as the source of ultimate meaning, “the people” became both the new deity and the new messianic force of the new order. In other words, instead of worshipping some unseen force residing in Heaven, people started worshipping themselves. This is what gave nationalism its spiritual power, as the volksgeist, people’s spirit, replaced the Holy Spirit. The tribal instinct to belong to a sacralized group took over. In this light, we can see how romantic nationalism and “globalist” Marxism are closely related. They are both “re-enchantment creeds,” as the philosopher-historian Ernest Gellner put it. They fill up the holes in our souls and give us a sense of belonging and meaning.

For Marx, the inevitable victory of Communism would arrive when the people, collectively, seized their rightful place on the Throne of History. The cult of unity found a new home in countless ideologies, each of which determined, in accord with their own dogma, to, in Voegelin’s words, “build the corpus mysticum of the collectivity and bind the members to form the oneness of the body.” Or, to borrow a phrase from Barack Obama, “we are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”

Read the whole thing.

ROGER SIMON: The Reckoning of the FBI Has Begun.

From the FBI and across the intelligence agencies an astonishing number of people are going to find themselves accused, one can safely predict at this point, of some atrocious behavior in a free republic. And it will not just be the small change of Peter Strzok (the dimwitted director of counter-intelligence) and his gal pal Lisa Page. It will include—on one level or another—James Comey, Loretta Lynch, John Brennan, James Clapper, Susan Rice and, almost inevitably, Barack Obama, not to mention others known and unknown.

All these people’s reputations will be damaged forever for the pathetic purpose of getting Hillary Clinton elected president and later for their determination to manipulate the FBI and intelligence agencies to wound as severely as possible Trump’s presidency. That they didn’t stop to think that they might be wounding America at the same time is extraordinarily selfish and nauseating.

Further, that a Russia collusion investigation was employed by these people for their nefarious purposes is darkly ironic because their technique itself reeks of Stalin’s NKVD.

Read the whole thing.

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: The Reductio Ad Absurdum of Diversity.

Last fall, St. Catherine University invited 30 businesswomen and inspirational speakers to lead the breakout sessions at a popular annual leadership conference.

But the conference, which was billed as a networking and career-building event, never took place. The university canceled it because of what it called a lack of diversity among the invited speakers.

The decision, which caught many of the speakers by surprise, has cast the Catholic university in St. Paul in an uncomfortable national spotlight. Last week, the conservative website Campus Reform reported that St. Catherine had pulled the plug on the event because “most, if not all the scheduled speakers ended up being white.”

Read the whole thing. St. Catherine University’s tuition and fees are $38,349. Parents and students, choose where to spend your money wisely.

THERE IS ONLY A WAR BETWEEN RUSSIA AND THE UNITED STATES: Radio Free Europe at its ever loving best.

A quote attributed to a Russian merc in Syria:

There is a bigger motivation, the mercenary claimed. “If you are fighting under a Russian flag, with a Russian weapon, even if you are eating moldy food and are 10,000 kilometers from home, you are nonetheless fighting for Russia,” he said.

“There is no Syrian war,” he added. “There is no Ukrainian war. There is only a war between the Russian Federation and the United States.”

MORE:

The first Russian mercenaries were sent to Syria by an organization called Slavic Corps in 2013 — 267 men, according to an investigation by the St. Petersburg website Fontanka.ru. Their official mission was to guard oil facilities and pipelines, but they were soon caught up in the country’s civil war and suffered heavy losses. When the survivors returned to Moscow in October 2013, their leaders were arrested and sentenced to three years in prison for illegal mercenary activity.

Communazi-Paganism?

A “private military contracting firm called ChVK Vagner” hires these mercs.

“Vagner is a cruel fellow,” one of the Vagner commanders told RFE/RL. “He’s no fool.” The man added that Vagner has a swastika tattooed on his shoulder, wears a helmet with horns, and practices a form of paganism, a description that RFE/RL could not confirm.

“Vagner” shows up in most Western press commentary as “Wagner.” The RFE description is right out of “Flight of the Valkyries” (Walkürenritt”). Read the whole thing…and welcome to the 21st century.

JOE PAPPALARDO: Why Would We Need a U.S. Space Force, Anyway? An expert discussion about a new military branch becomes a master class on why things need to change.

The Air Force, which runs most of America’s space-related defense activities, is strongly opposed to the Space Force. And there are plenty of hurdles to clear, political and otherwise, before the United States comes close to realizing a real Space Force.

What’s more interesting is why America needs a space force in the first place. The answers to that question emerged from a House or Representatives meeting in the wake of Trump’s announcement, in which space war experts tore into the issue before the House Armed Services Committee. . . .

One reason that superiority may erode is that disparate space-related efforts are scattered across the Army, Air Force, and Navy, not to mention intelligence officers, National Reconnaissance Office and Space and Missile Systems Center. Doug Loverro, a former DoD Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space Policy, noted that fighting in space is different than fighting anywhere else, in the same way that the Navy prepares for unique combat at sea. “We lack that focus for space, one of our five main warfighting domains,” he said.

Read the whole thing.

ED MORRISSEY: Settle down, Democrats.

Democrat Conor Lamb appears to have narrowly edged out Republican Rick Saccone in a district that went for Trump by 20 points, which certainly gives Republicans a headache they didn’t need and Democrats a reason to brag.

Does that translate to a blue wave in November, though? Almost certainly not. (Although that doesn’t mean a blue wave isn’t coming in November, either.) Using special elections as a harbinger for regularly scheduled contests ignores significant differences between the two, and the singular nature of most special elections.

Here are three key reasons to resist the urge to either pop champagne for Democrats or declare the GOP dead — at least on the basis of PA-18.

Read the whole thing.

THOMAS PAINE GOT IT RIGHT: My weekly column at the Daily Caller is up, and it explains why we need a Federal Anti-SLAPP law to protect citizens speaking out against government actors and powerful interests. Because when you think about it, free speech is a core conservative value.

No less a figure than George Washington proclaimed in 1783 that “The freedom of Speech may be taken away—and, dumb & silent we may be led, like sheep, to the Slaughter.”

As Glenn says: “Read the whole thing.”™

“YOU DON’T GET TO INVITE THE RADICAL LEFTISTS INTO YOUR CORPORATE UTOPIA WITHOUT OPENING THE DOOR TO A MAJOR FIFTH COLUMN:” Jordan Peterson on corporate virtue signaling.

Read the whole thing.

Related: Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos is still #1 most read at Amazon.

MICHAEL DORAN: The Real Collusion Story.

While the establishment press was singing in harmony with the Clinton campaign, a cacophonous debate erupted inside government. At the end of July, James Clapper, the director of National Intelligence, said at a public forum that the intelligence community was not “ready yet to make a call on attribution” — not ready, that is, to attribute the DNC hack to Putin. Clapper was also unready to say that the intention of the hackers was to get Trump elected. The goal, he said, may simply have been “to stir up trouble.” When combined with similar comments by other intelligence officials, Clapper’s statements undercut Hillary Clinton’s efforts to brand Trump as Putin’s active accomplice.

Enter John Brennan. In early August, Brennan launched a personal campaign to force a consensus in support of Clinton’s propaganda. Before long, Clapper became his partner in this effort. They would succeed, however, only after the election — and then only by establishing an ad hoc and highly unorthodox intelligence-assessment team. To man the team, Brennan and Clapper handpicked a small number of analysts, tasking them with reaching a consensus before the inauguration of Donald Trump. The team, no surprise, did not disappoint. In January 2017, it produced the “consensus” that Brennan had been trying to orchestrate for the previous five months. By then, it was still useful as a propaganda tool against President Donald Trump, though it had arrived far too late to help Hillary Clinton win the election.

Of course, Brennan has never admitted his political motives. On the contrary, according to an in-depth Washington Post investigation (based on interviews with either Brennan himself or people very close to him), the CIA director claimed to be in possession of eye-popping intelligence reports about the DNC hack. These reports supposedly “captured Putin’s specific instructions on the operation’s audacious objectives — defeat or at least damage the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, and help elect her opponent, Donald Trump.” Yet even if this intelligence trove actually did exist and truly did convince the CIA director, it obviously did not have the same persuasive impact on his colleagues, as evidenced by Brennan’s failure to deliver a consensus assessment of Putin’s motives.

This is a lengthy piece, and with a little effort I think Doran could (and should!) make it book-length.

But you should still read the whole thing.

BYRON YORK: House GOP delivers blow to Trump-Russia collusion story. Will others follow?

It has long been the key question of the Trump-Russia affair: Did Donald Trump’s presidential campaign collude with Russia to influence the 2016 election? Now, we have the first official, albeit partisan, answer.

“We have found no evidence of collusion, coordination, or conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Russians,” said Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee Monday as they released findings from a 14-month Trump-Russia investigation.

GOP Rep. Mike Conaway of Texas, who formally oversaw the committee probe, said, “We found perhaps bad judgment, inappropriate meetings, inappropriate judgment in taking meetings.” But no collusion.

Committee investigators looked at the events often cited as evidence of collusion. They looked at the June 9, 2016 meeting in Trump Tower in which Donald Trump Jr. and other top campaign officials talked to a group of Russians who promised, but did not deliver, damaging information on Hillary Clinton. They looked at the activities of peripheral Trump advisers George Papadopoulos and Carter Page. They looked at the allegations in the Trump dossier. They looked at all that, and they could not find a thread connecting events into a narrative of collusion.

“Only Tom Clancy or Vince Flynn or someone else like that could take this series of inadvertent contacts with each other, or meetings, whatever, and weave that into a some sort of fictional page-turner spy thriller,” Conaway said. “But we’re not dealing with fiction, we’re dealing with facts. And we found no evidence of any collusion, of anything that people were actually doing, other than taking a meeting they shouldn’t have taken or inadvertently being in the same building.”

The collusion question is the most contentious of the Trump-Russia investigation. Some Democrats have long said we know enough now to prove collusion. Indeed, just last month, Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the ranking Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, said, “There is already, in my view, ample evidence in the public domain on the issue of collusion if you’re willing to see it.”

When Republicans released their findings, though, Schiff did not mention collusion. . . .

Would-be believers in collusion could suffer another disappointment later this year when the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee releases its report. Shortly after the House findings were made public, the chairman of that committee, Sen. Richard Burr, told CNN he has not seen evidence of collusion in the more than a year his committee has been looking for it.

It’s as if the whole thing was invented out of whole cloth, to keep the Democrats’ troops riled up after Hillary’s unexpected and humiliating defeat.

YES: The Right Needs To Learn From The Left’s Astroturfing Of The Parkland Survivors.

Ashe Schow:

In the wake of the Parkland school shooting, something amazing happened. Unlike other mass shootings, which cause a flurry of calls for gun control that usually fizzle out in a week or so, this one resulted in a sustained conversation and some sort-of tangible damage to the NRA.

The change came because many of the Stoneman Douglas High School students who survived the shooting became organized — attending rallies, tweeting, and appearing on major networks — to call for gun control. Or so we thought.

About two weeks after what was reported as a movement by the students, forensic science specialist David Hines discovered that the whole “movement” was actually a coordinated plan from the Left. Within two days of the shooting, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., was helping the kids; teacher’s unions, groups associated with Michael Bloomberg, and people connected to the Women’s March were all assisting in securing funding and promotion. Planned Parenthood, George Clooney, and Oprah Winfrey all donated money to the effort.

There’s more. Tweets referring to the NRA’s Carry Guard insurance as “Murder Insurance” went from being largely ignored during prior pushes to getting certain Center for American Progress-related accounts hundreds of retweets. Those tweets were being pushed and circulated in a way they hadn’t been before.

Basically, the left had money and infrastructure ready to go for an all-out assault on guns and the NRA, they just needed the right moment — the right victims.

And the shamelessness to carry it out.

Anyway, do read the whole thing — the Right has aways tended to get lapped on this kind of stuff, while the Left is getting even better at it.

THE PROMISE OF POMPEO.

Read the whole thing.

SARAH HOYT: The White Supremacists’ Self-Identify.

Some weeks ago, my friend Larry Correia wrote an article in which he defended poor people against the charge of not being able to cook, or otherwise take care of themselves. An elitist snob claimed – basically – that poor people had no choice but to buy fast food because learning to shop and cook from scratch, let alone buy the utensils necessary to the process, was an impossible ramp to climb.

Larry, who grew up, if not poor on paper, certainly not particularly well-off in reality, had lots of fun with this concept. So did all of us who read his article.

Imagine our surprise when that same day his Wikipedia entry was vandalized to identify him as a white supremacist writer.

Read the whole thing.