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SHE NEEDS TO FIGURE OUT WHAT THAT CONSTITUTION IS SHE PROMISED TO OBEY.  YOU KNOW, RIGHT TO A FAIR TRIAL, ETC? ALSO IF I REMEMBER THIS IS THE ASS WHO THINK CATHOLICS CAN’T SERVE IN PUBLIC POSTS:  Hirono (D) Calls For Kavanaugh Impeachment .  Senator Hirono, I invite you to contemplate my middle fingers. I have a matched set.

ANNALS OF LEFTIST AUTOPHAGY: The Root Writer Blasts Joe Biden’s ‘Negro Summer Safari Adventure’ With ‘Corn Pop The Gansgta.’

The Root’s Michael Harriot called out a recently-surfaced video of former Vice President Joe Biden, referring to claims that he faced off with a gangster named Corn Pop as “Biden’s Negro Summer Safari Adventure.”

Biden’s story revolved around a summer he spent working as a life guard at a pool in a primarily black neighborhood and a confrontation with a group of guys carrying straight razors.

Biden claimed that he met Corn Pop and the others and threatened them with a length of chain, and that was how they came to respect him and ensure that others would leave him alone.

But Harriot wasn’t buying it.

“I’m always astounded by the imaginings of white people as it relates to race. Many of them have this fictionalized jigaboo version that is almost alien-like. And one of the greatest examples of this ever is Joe Biden’s story about Corn Pop the gangsta,” his thread began.

Harriot apparently didn’t check The Root’s archives before trashing Biden. In 2010, the left-wing African-American-themed Website ran a puff piece titled “Joe Biden’s Black Pass,” built around Biden and “Corn Pop:”

Shortly after he ousted a guy named Corn Pop for breaking the rules at the all-black pool, Joe Biden considered calling the police to escort him to his car once his shift ended.

Corn Pop belonged to a gang known as the Romans, and Biden, the lone white lifeguard at Prices Run—one of the few public pools in Wilmington, Del., open to non-whites during the 1960s—made fun of the man’s pomade-slathered hair before kicking him out.

Word from the black lifeguards was that Corn Pop, who took his coiffure pretty seriously, would be waiting outside with a straight razor, ready to fight. Calling the cops was a no-no, Biden was warned, unless he planned to never return to the pool.

Biden, then a 19-year-old college student, didn’t take long to deliberate. He made his way to one of the back rooms and emerged with a 6-foot-long piece of chain wrapped around his arm. He knew what he had to do.

Luckily, a little public posturing was enough to satisfy Corn Pop, and the two men made peace; Biden even apologized for the insult.

It was possibly the first in a long line of verbal slip-ups that would land the vice president in hot water, but to let Wilmington’s black residents tell it, that day at the pool was fateful. It was there that Delaware’s star politician earned the respect of the African-American community, which would see him through many elections.

“That’s where it all started,” says Joe Brumskill, a former Wilmington school board president who worked on several of Biden’s U.S. Senate campaigns. “He grew up working with black people, and we got to know him well.”

Of course, Biden’s interactions with “Corn Pop” are still up for debate; and I certainly understand Harriot’s skepticism, especially given Biden’s many other gaffes and mis-remembrances. The story also sounds far too similar to T-Bone, Corey Booker’s frequently mentioned imaginary friend.

The Root was one of the last Internet redoubts of the Graham Family, until they sold it to Univision in 2015. The Grahams previous sold the beleaguered Washington Post in 2013 to Jeff Bezos for $250 million — tip money to Bezos — after off-loading Newsweek for $1.00 three years prior.

 

I’M SO OLD I REMEMBER WHEN OVERPRICED COFFEE AND BUGGY SOFTWARE WERE ALL SEATTLE EXPORTED:  Proposal would buy bus tickets for Seattle-area homeless.

WE’RE GOING TO MISS T. BOONE: Whatever you may have thought of his corporate raids, or superego, or prairie populist orneriness, T. Boone Pickens was one of a kind, as this delightful Forbes profile by Christopher Helman makes clear.

Those of us who also graduated from Oklahoma State University have our own special reasons for admiring Pickens. He will be buried on the campus in Stillwater, so I wonder how long till reports circulate of his ghost being seen around the football stadium named after him and the geology  classrooms in which he first began learning where to look for black gold.

MICHAEL GOODWIN: US feels divisive in 9/11 aftermath as memories of unity fade.

Yet few anniversaries of 9/11 have been as fraught with troubling emotions as today’s. From the vantage point of the 18th anniversary, it is unfortunately true that the worst day in American history forged the last great moment of national unity.

The mourning and sense of common purpose that were so distinct then seem as if they happened in a different country in another century. Now our nation is not just polarized. It is fractured.

“I’ve never seen it like this,” an elderly friend told me recently. “I’m afraid of what’s happening to our country.”

She is not alone. And while the 9/11 attack certainly didn’t cause our bitter divisions, its ramifications are among the powerful forces still shaping our dangerous world.

I don’t remember any “unity” lasting more than a few weeks, or months at best.

SO NOW IT’S THE 18TH ANNIVERSARY OF 9/11. Back then, InstaPundit was shiny and new new. Now it’s not, and some people have been warning of “blogger burnout.” But I’m still here. On prior 9/11 anniversaries, I’ve given shooting lessons to a Marine, I’ve taken the day off from blogging, and I’ve even gone to a Tea Party with Andrew Breitbart.

This year, as in most past years, it’ll be blogging as usual. And here’s a link to my original 9/11 coverage — just scroll on up. At this late date, I don’t have anything new to say on 9/11. But these predictions held up pretty well. Which is too bad.

The picture above is by my cousin-in-law Brad Rubenstein, taken from his apartment that day. You might also want to read this piece by James Lileks.

And here’s a passage from Lee Harris’s Civilization And Its Enemies.

Forgetfulness occurs when those who have been long inured to civilized order can no longer remember a time in which they had to wonder whether their crops would grow to maturity without being stolen or their children sold into slavery by a victorious foe.

They forget that in time of danger, in the face of the Enemy, they must trust and confide in each other, or perish.

They forget, in short, that there has ever been a category of human experience called the Enemy. And that, before 9/11, was what had happened to us. The very concept of the Enemy had been banished from our moral and political vocabulary. An enemy was just a friend we hadn’t done enough for — yet. Or perhaps there had been a misunderstanding, or an oversight on our part — something that we could correct. And this means that that our first task is that we must try to grasp what the concept of the Enemy really means.

The Enemy is someone who is willing to die in order to kill you. And while it is true that the Enemy always hates us for a reason — it is his reason, and not ours.

I’ve mentioned it before, but it bears repeating today.

One thing I guess I didn’t believe 17 years ago is that America would elect such a feckless President in 2008, and stand idly by while he flushed our global position, and security, down a left-wing toilet. But we did, and we’ll be paying the price for a long time. That said, for the first time I feel like our diplomacy is on a good track, and that — thanks also to fracking — the problems that led to 9/11 are being addressed.

God bless America. We need it.

GIBSON’S BAKERY V. OBERLIN REVIEWED: Law geeks and people concerned with the “inmates running the asylums” theme at today’s college campuses might find this of interest.

It’s a “point/counterpoint” sort of piece where I was squared up against a University of Michigan Law Professor (a genuinely nice guy, but drowning in the Kool-Aid). He insisted — against the facts — that Oberlin was being “punished for the students’ speech.” That’s the narrative of the MSM, anyway.

I took issue with that:

The narrative that this case “holds a college responsible for the improper speech of its students” is not correct. While the plaintiffs’ painted such a picture in their Complaint, when you read the depos and trial transcript, you’ll see that it is undeniable that school officials did in fact print and distribute the defamatory flyer. The judge called this “indisputable” in the summary judgment opinion. At least 3 credible witnesses testified in depositions and at trial that Dean Raimondo and another school employee carried stacks of the flyers to the protest and handed them out, which satisfied the “publication” element in Ohio libel law. At trial, Raimondo said one of the witnesses (a local journalist) “was lying.” Additionally, the jury heard Leslie Lubinski, an administrative assistant in the Dean’s office, admit that school staff made additional photocopies of the flyer for the protesters. (Trial Tr. 5/30/19, pg. 62).

The refusal of media lawyers to admit reality (remember Gawker’s lawyers insisting that sex tapes of Hulk Hogan “served the public interest”?) and just baldly pretending the facts are not there is just as responsible for the public’s ever-dwindling lack of trust in what is supposed to be one of our most trusted institutions.

Who are you going to believe? Me, or your lying eyes?

ANNALS OF LEFTIST AUTOPHAGY: Author Walter Mosley Quits Star Trek: Discovery After Using N-Word in Writers Room.

Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that season three showrunners Alex Kurtzman — who sources say personally recruited Mosley to the Discovery room — and Michelle Paradise were informed of the complaint via human resources but were not present for the incident in which Mosley allegedly used the N-word multiple times. Sources note that HR called Mosley to inform the acclaimed writer and novelist that typical use of that word was a fireable offense but there was to be no course of action taken against him. Instead, HR informed Mosley that a writer in the room was uncomfortable with it and effectively wanted to ensure he was aware of the studio’s policy.

“Earlier this year, I had just finished with the Snowfall writers’ room for the season when I took a similar job on a different show at a different network. I’d been in the new room for a few weeks when I got the call from human resources. A pleasant-sounding young man said, ‘Mr. Mosley, it has been reported that you used the n-word in the writers’ room,'” Mosley wrote in the Times. “I replied, ‘I am the N-word in the writers’ room.'”

Mosley went on to explain that the individual in HR said that while he was free to use that word in a script, he “could not say it.” Mosley then clarified, “I hadn’t called anyone it. I just told a story about a cop who explained to me, on the streets of Los Angeles, that he stopped all n—ers in paddy neighborhoods and all paddies in n—er neighborhoods, because they were usually up to no good. I was telling a true story as I remembered it.”

Mosley wrote that he is unaware who complained about his use of the word. “There I was, a black man in America who shares with millions of others the history of racism. And more often than not, treated as subhuman,” he continued. “If addressed at all that history had to be rendered in words my employers regarded as acceptable.”

“There I was being chastised for criticizing the word that oppressed me and mine for centuries. As far as I know the word is in the dictionary,” said Mosley. “As far as I know the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence assure me of both the freedom of speech and the pursuit of happiness.”

Mosley, who has a blinding resume as a novelist, appeared as an actor in Denzel Washington’s George W. Bush-era remake of The Manchurian Candidate. And just discovered the hard way that Mao’s struggle session is alive and well in 2019.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Beware Greta Thunberg’s Science Fiction — The End Of The World Is Not Nigh.

Related: CNN’s Presidential Climate Change Town Hall Was Insane. “It’s really one of the tragedies of our age that so many anxious young people have been brainwashed into believing they live on the cusp of dystopia when, in fact, they’re in the middle of a golden age — an era with less war, sickness, poverty, and suffering than any in history.”

I’m so old, I can remember the 1970s, the first time the world was coming to an end:

NEW YORK TIMES BLAMES SEXISM FOR FAILURE OF GILLIBRAND, ‘LONG A CHAMPION OF WOMEN.’

Perhaps this is progress of a sort for the Democratic Party. I’m so old, I can remember when Democrat primary voters were dubbed racists by their party house organs in 2008 for championing a distaff presidential candidate.

DEMOCRACY DIES IN DOXXING: Washington Post: Did a barista mishear a name or was it anti-Islamic bias?

So the Post story is basically a rewrite of this CAIR press release only the Post doesn’t tell you that. That’s an odd choice given that CAIR has a vested interest in seeing stories of anti-Islamic bias make the news. Also, the Inquirer quotes the line from the CAIR press release which acknowledges that this might have been an innocent mistake. The Post never mentions that even though it seems like a significant admission, one that matches with the explanation given by Starbucks.

The Post is literally pushing the bias incident angle harder than CAIR. Let that sink in a moment.

I’m so old, I can remember when the media pretended their goal was “speaking truth to power,” instead of getting shop clerks fired for clicks and grins. As Stephen Miller tweeted on Friday night, “Congrats guys, you just got a barista probably fired for mishearing a name in a loud working environment,” adding, “But whatever you do don’t go digging through the old tweets of these people,” and “We’re not the enemy of the people. Also yo, that barista misheard a dude, let’s go f**k their life up with the weight of millions of dollars behind us.”

 

WOW, WHAT GROUNDBREAKING, ORIGINAL ANALYSIS: Capitalism-bashing prof now has a new punching bag: ‘White men.’

Remember, when taxpayers tire of funding this sort of thing, we’ll be told it’s because of “anti-intellectualism.”

THE BABYLON BEE: Liberals Clarify They Only Want Black Voices To Be Heard When They’re Saying Liberal Things.

I’m so old, I can remember the Babylon Bee’s wild and crazy early years producing satire, before they morphed into America’s paper of record.

NOT A CULT: My Bauhaus childhood, when molding was a crime.

My Bauhaus-educated parents had a hand in this transformation, though my younger self struggled to understand their passionate opinions about design.

I remember back in 1983 when my architect father traveled all the way from New York City to Columbus, Ohio to visit my first apartment. The ratty brick house cost less to rent than my parents’ parking spot. My father stepped into my beige-carpeted room and said, “These old places sure do have a lot of molding.”

I commented, “It’s kind of sweet, isn’t it?”

He turned pale. “If you like molding, you are a fool and a failure.” The profound disappointment in his voice made the charge sting even more. He had dedicated his life to Bauhaus values, and he had evidently raised a daughter who, tragically, didn’t seem to share them.

* * * * * * * *

It has taken me most of my life to figure out what is “good,” design-wise, from the amalgam of my parents’ tastes. I remember asking myself as a kid, over and over inside my head. “Am I supposed to like this?” I still ponder that question when I find an object that pushes the crafty boundaries of art. My parents’ opinions are sometimes surprising. They loved Shaker furniture. They disliked Andy Warhol. They loved “The Yellow Submarine.” They hated black velvet paintings. They loved laboratory glassware. Designer clothes were stupid. It was all so hard to figure out!

In the second half of my life I’ve worked to communicate their fine-tuned aesthetic to my children and now my wife, Peggy, who asked, while we were first dating, “Who is this Mr. Bauhaus?”

You really won’t like what you see, if you look too closely at the answer.

CNN APOLOGIZES TO STALIN, MAO AFTER COMPARING THEM TO TRUMP.

I’m so old, I can remember when the Babylon Bee was still satire, before becoming America’s paper of record.

WELL, THAT’S A RELIEF: Newsweek: Cannibalism Is Taboo ‘For Now.’

However, one CNN newsreader got a jump on things in 2017: CNN’s Reza Aslan Sparks Outrage After Eating Human Brain in New Show: It Tastes Like ‘Charcoal.’

As I wrote at the time (and am recycling it here as an excuse to link to an ancient rock video), I’m so old, I can remember when the notion of CNN anchors devouring the brains of their viewers was only a metaphor. Not to mention, I can remember when Total Coelo promised me that cannibalism would taste much better. (Yet another myth painfully destroyed by Ted Turner’s demon spawn.)

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Study finds ‘ideological similarity, hostility, and discrimination’ rampant in academic philosophy. Remember, when taxpayers tire of funding this, we’ll be told it’s because of “anti-intellectualism.”

THE PROVOCATIONS OF CAMILLE PAGLIA: The maverick critic and scholar has championed great art, defended free speech, and offered groundbreaking analysis of popular culture.

A professor of humanities and media studies at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, where she has taught since 1984, Paglia became an intellectual celebrity after the 1990 publication of Sexual Personae, her first book, which carries the subtitle Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson. Melding history and psychology with art and literature and laced with references to popular culture, the book delivered a one-two punch to academe. A feminist critical of the modern women’s movement, Paglia insisted on the greatness of Western civilization, though it was already unfashionable to do so. And she asserted that its greatness resulted from a creative but violent tension between male and female—between the Apollonian male principle of order (civilization) and the Dionysian female principle of chaos (nature). Two of the book’s most quoted lines are “If civilization had been left in female hands, we would still be living in grass huts” and “There is no female Mozart because there is no female Jack the Ripper.” Reading Sexual Personae, one reviewer wrote, was “a bit like being mugged.”

Now, nearly 30 years later, Paglia has once again found herself in the middle of the culture wars. Taking aim at the #MeToo movement, she told an interviewer that it is “ridiculous that any university ever tolerated a complaint of a girl coming in six months or a year after an event. If a real rape was committed, go frigging report it to the police.” In April, students at her university, upset by such statements, tried to de-platform Paglia, a lesbian who identifies as transgender. When they failed to get her scheduled lecture, “Ambiguous Images: Sexual Duality and Sexual Multiplicity in Western Art,” canceled or moved off campus, they organized a protest during the talk—and someone pulled the fire alarm. Later, the protesters urged the university to replace Paglia with a “queer person of color.”

Fortunately, the university’s president, David Yager, did what many of his peers at other schools roiled by such protests have failed to do: issued a statement defending freedom of expression. “Artists over the centuries,” Yager wrote in an e-mail to campus, “have suffered censorship, and even persecution, for the expression of their beliefs through their work. My answer is simple: Not now, not at UArts.” Paglia was delighted. An outspoken defender of free speech, she is horrified by the rise of censorship in academia—and was especially aghast, given her own history, at Yale’s attempt to police students’ Halloween costumes in 2015.

In her latest book, an essay collection called Provocations, she states that she’d like to be remembered as a “dissident writer who defended free thought and free speech.” But Provocations is not just a polemic against political correctness. The career retrospective, which includes writings from the last 25 years, covers subjects like gender, education, popular culture, and art. It showcases Paglia’s sweeping scholarship and puckish irreverence for PC pieties. “To questioning young people drawn to the siren song of hormones and surgery,” she writes, “I say: Stay fluid! Stay free!”

Read the whole thing.

CONCERNING SURVEY FINDS TOO MANY PEOPLE BELIEVE SNOPES IS A LEGITIMATE FACT-CHECKING WEBSITE.

I’m so old, I can remember when the Babylon Bee was still a satirical Website, before morphing into America’s paper of record.

CHRISTIAN TOTO: Why ‘Hot Air’ Is a Chilling Assault on Free Speech. “The drama, set in the world of conservative talk radio, is the Left’s latest broadside on the First Amendment.”

I was going to use an “I’m so old, I remember when the Left at least gave lip service to free expression” gag, except that really is a long time ago now.

ON THIS DAY IN 1919, RODDIE EDMONDS WAS BORN NEAR KNOXVILLE, TENNESSEE:  Almost a century later, in 2015, he was posthumously recognized as “Righteous Among the Nations,” Israel’s highest honor for non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust.

He never told his story to his friends or family. His son learned about it only after his father’s death.

Master Sergeant Roddie Edmonds’ unit was surrounded by the Nazis during the Battle of Bulge. While they held out as long as they could, they eventually surrendered on December 19, 1944. On January 27, 1945, Edmonds arrived at Stalag IX-A along with well over a thousand fellow POWs, all of them exhausted, dirty, half-starved, cold, and no doubt frightened. As the highest-ranking non-commissioned officer among them, he was in charge.

For reasons I cannot begin to understand, the camp commandant’s first priority was to separate the Jewish from the non-Jewish POWs. Germany’s defeat was all but certain by then; you’d think he’d have given it a rest. Nevertheless, as soon as Edmonds arrived with his men, the commandant ordered Edmonds to assemble all Jewish soldiers the next day so that they could be dealt with separately.

“We are not doing that. We are all falling out,” Edmonds’ men remember him saying to them. So instead, all of the American POWs assembled that morning. The irate commandant held a pistol to Edmond’s head and ordered him to identify the Jews: “They cannot all be Jews!”

We are all Jews,” Edmonds replied.

Edmonds told him that if he wanted to kill the Jewish POWs, he was going to have to kill them all. He reminded him that there is such a thing as a war crime and that under the Geneva Conventions name, rank, and serial number are all you get, not religion.

Miraculously, the commandant relented.

The Jewish-American prisoners at the other camp—Stalag IX-B—were not as lucky. It’s not clear what the facts were there. By some accounts, Jewish prisoners were asked to identify themselves and the senior officers there urged cooperation. By other accounts, the Nazis picked out the prisoners who looked Jewish (along with prisoners who were identified as troublemakers). Both stories may be true. In any event, those selected were sent to a slave labor camp where the death rate was horrifically high, despite the fact that the war in Europe lasted only another 3 ½ months.

Jews were only about 2 or 3% of the American population at the time, but they were a higher percentage of the prisoners at Stalag IX-A.  Edmonds’ courage is thought to have saved about 200 lives that cold, winter morning. He was then, now, and forever an American hero.

THE ENEMY WITHIN: Amid US-China trade war, dozens of colleges still spew Chinese ‘propaganda.’ I’m so old, I remember when colluding with foreign governments was supposed to be bad.

ILHAN OMAR WITHDRAWS SUPPORT FROM BILL TO SAVE THE EARTH AFTER LEARNING THAT’S WHERE ISRAEL IS.

I’m so old, I can remember when the Babylon Bee was still satire, before it transformed itself into America’s paper of record.

IS THAT EVEN ALLOWED? Janet Albrechtsen: Let us now praise masculine men.

On Tuesday afternoon a handful of men ran into the face of danger. Going about their business only seconds before, they confronted a man brandishing a bloody knife, pinning him down in the middle of a bustling Sydney street. The men who stopped further bloodshed have been called heroes, and they will be recognised for their courage. In passing, can we praise masculinity too? Or is that too controversial in an age when masculinity is raised only to condemn what is wrong with men and to preach how to change them.

Today, any celebration of masculinity is limited to praising men who do more housework and get involved with their kids, men who are able to cry, empathise with women and express their feelings. All very important stuff. But none of that would have restrained a crazed man who was threatening more violent carnage in Sydney’s CBD. Can we praise men who do both please?

Lawyer John Bamford picked up a wicker chair from the cafe he was in, raced outside and chased the attacker, 21-year-old Mert Ney, who was bloodied, jumping on a car bonnet while wielding his knife and screaming at passers-by. Ney was jammed to the ground by men using a milk crate and two chairs. Bamford returned the chair to the cafe and ordered a pie.

Traffic controller Steven Georgiadis tried to tackle Ney to the ground. “As soon as I saw the knife I moved to the side so I could crash tackle him sideways so he wouldn’t stab me,” said Georgiadis, who managed to stand on the bloody knife.

From their office window, brothers Luke and Paul O’Shaughnessy saw the mayhem unfolding in the street below and raced down to help. They followed a trail of blood to the man who is alleged to have murdered one woman and stabbed another. “(We) were like ‘Right, where is he? Where is he?’ … I’m shouting, because I’m a bit more risk-averse than Luke, (who is) straight in there.”

NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller described these men as heroes of the highest order. It is also true that the heroes were all men exhibiting traits now routinely derided as part of traditional masculinity — brute force and ­aggression, taking charge, adrenalin pumping, taking risks.

Do we fear praising masculinity in case it leads to a scolding for encouraging toxic masculinity?

It’s not an unreasonable fear because the conflation of masculinity with toxic masculinity, to use the phrase favoured by the roving gender police, has become routine. This common sleight of hand to use gender to confect some crudely defined phenomenon stokes pointless gender wars and risks harming both men and women. . . .

Perhaps Gillette’s next foray into “The Best Men Can Be” will include some vision of those brave men saving Sydneysiders from further violence earlier this week. It does no one any favours when gender is used as a cheap weapon, a stunt for ulterior motives.

I remember when people used to say with a straight face that feminism isn’t about hating men.

WOMEN WHO DON’T BELIEVE ISRAEL HAS RIGHT TO EXIST NOT SURE WHY THEY GOT BANNED FROM ISRAEL.

I’m so old, I can remember when the Babylon Bee was satire, in the days before it became America’s paper of record.

BIOSCAM: Short on cures and cash – California’s stem cell agency to ask voters for billions more. I remember when this was going to be the answer to George W. Bush’s cruel refusal to unleash the easy miracle cures that were just waiting to be deployed via embryonic stem cell research. And yet, 15 years and billions of dollars later, all they’ve produced is a demand for more cash:

Californians voted in 2004 to shell out billions of dollars in taxpayer money to fund cutting-edge stem cell treatments.

Proposition 71 could lead to cures for cancer, Alzheimer’s and other devastating diseases, voters were told. Actor Michael J. Fox, who has Parkinson’s disease, said in one campaign ad that the measure “could save the life of someone you love.”

But 15 years later, there are no readily available cures. And the state’s stem cell agency, which administered the bond money, is about to run out of funding.

And Michael J. Fox flushed his career with that commercial that basically said Republicans want people to die because they’re meanies.

Flashback: Adult Stem Cells Now the ‘Gold Standard.’ Related: MIT Technology Review: Will Embryonic Stem Cells Ever Cure Anything? “In fact, no field of biotechnology has promised more and delivered less in the way of treatments than embryonic stem cells.”

In 2004, of course, we couldn’t know how the science would turn out. But that didn’t stop Fox from making a mean-spirited ad for the Democrats. And how bad must he feel, to have flushed (at least) half his fan base for John Kerry?

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Univ. BANS BURGERS to ‘tackle climate change.’ Where could it happen next?

Remember, higher ed was sold on the idea that it would make people critical thinkers who are less subject to mass hysteria.

REMEMBERING THE HORRIFIC RED AUGUST: In August of 1966, the Chinese Cultural Revolution was shifting into high gear. Egged on by Chairman Mao, student groups calling themselves the “Red Guard” had been popping up at schools, colleges, and universities all over the country. They were drunk with power and convinced of their own victimhood (rather like our Antifa).

To rebel is justified!” Mao told them.

At an August mass rally in Tiananmen Square attended by over a million, Mao’s right-hand man, Lin Biao, instructed his young audience on what to do. Standing next to Mao, Lin Biao exhorted them to destroy “all the old ideas, old culture, old customs and old habits of the exploiting classes.”

Yes, all of them.

Destroy they did. According to historian Frank Dikötter in The Cultural Revolution: A People’s History 1962-1976, the first death occurred in a school for girls run by Beijing Normal University. On the afternoon of August 5th, self-appointed Red Guard students accused five of the school’s administrators of disloyalty to the Revolution. Forcing them to kneel, the students hit them with nail-spiked clubs. When the vice principal, Bian Zhongyun, after hours of torture, lost consciousness, her body was stuffed into a garbage can.

The students had no need to fear retaliation. Mao had ensured that no measures would be taken against them. At Beijing’s 101st Middle School, where powerful party leaders sent their own children, more than 10 teachers were forced to crawl on their hands and knees through hot coals. In the same city, at the Third Middle School for Girls, the principal was beaten to death and the dean hanged herself. At another Beijing middle school, the principal was forced to stand in the summer heat while students poured boiling water on him. And at yet another, a biology teacher was tortured and dragged to her death. Her colleagues were then forced to take turns beating her dead body.

Fellow students were not exempt. Students from so-called “bad backgrounds” (i.e. the sons and daughters of alleged capitalists, landlords, rich peasants and counter-revolutionaries) were forced to engage in heavy labor, locked up, and sometimes tortured to death.

Beijing was the epicenter of the most extreme varieties of violence during that month. But in Shanghai, things were nevertheless out of control. More than 150 faculty members were arrested at their homes and paraded around the campus of Huadong Teachers University in dunce caps with heavy signs around their necks identifying them as “Reactionary Academic Authorities.”   Rampaging Red Guard students destroyed everything they viewed as “bourgeois luxuries”—things made of silk or velvet, cosmetics, fashionable clothes and curio shops. Flower shops were a particular target. On August 23, 36 such shops were attacked.

In Xiamen, Red Guard gangs destroyed anything thought to be old and bourgeois or foreign—from ornamental brass doorknockers to antique signs to decorative elements on buildings. Shoes with pointed toes were confiscated, and high heels were sliced off. Wearing foreign or bourgeois fashions or hair styles could get one attacked. Passersby with long braids or foreign hairstyles were forcibly shorn. Stove-pipe pants—a style thought to be foreign—were ripped up.

The Liberation Army Daily, which was directly under the control of Lin Biao (and hence of Mao), continued to support—even rhapsodize—the actions of the Red Guard. On August 23rd, it cheered them on: “What you did was right, and you did it well!” The following day, it promised the students the support of the army and declared to its readers: “Learn from the Red Guards! Respect the Red Guards!

As the month wore on, massive book burnings took place in several cities. Temples, churches and public monuments were attacked.  Staggering numbers of homes were ransacked in search of evidence of the occupants’ disloyalty or a piece of porcelain to smash.

August of 1966 was a ghastly month in China. But then again the Cultural Revolution was just getting started.

By the end, according to Dikötter, “between 1.5 and 2 million people were killed, but many more lives were ruined through endless denunciations, false confessions, struggle meetings and persecution campaigns.”

(By the way, Lin Biao himself was dead under mysterious circumstances before it was over.)

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO RAPE! (CONT’D): Katy Perry Accused Of Sexual Misconduct By ‘Teenage Dream’ Video Co-Star: ‘The Most Assaulting Job’ Ever. ““Can you imagine how pathetic and embarrassed I felt? I just say this now because our culture is set on proving men of power are perverse. But females with power are just as disgusting.”

I’m so old, I can remember when Katy Perry was standing up for #MeToo. Now she’s become just another perp. That DJ lost his job for (allegedly) groping her ass. What will happen to Katy for (allegedly) pulling down a teenager’s pants to expose his penis to a group of her followers?

UPDATE: Oops, I confused Taylor Swift with Katy Perry on the DJ thing. Then again, who hasn’t mixed them up?

ROGER KIMBALL ON “WHITE SUPREMACY:” Like Manna to the Left.

Readers of Nineteen Eighty-Four will remember the daily ritual in which the inhabitants Oceania are required to watch a film depicting the hated Emmanuel Goldstein, enemy of the state. In Orwell’s novel, the hate-fest was only two minutes long, whereas the supposed anti-white supremacist fanatics have their propaganda on an endless loop.

Back in May, PJ Media’s Sarah Hoyt put her finger on what the rallies against “white supremacism” are really all about when she noted that “We Don’t Have a Problem with White Supremacy. We Have a Problem with Leftist Supremacy.” Bingo. “The left is obsessed with white supremacists,” Hoyt observed, “the way that children are obsessed with Santa Claus, and for more or less the same reasons.” Santa doesn’t exist, but the presents pile up every December 25 because the right people have a stake in perpetuating the myth of his existence.

Another curious feature of the hysteria over the made-up tort of white supremacism is that its very frenetic quality, instead of highlighting its disingenuousness and absurdity, tends instead to function as a sort of camouflage. Parsing the psychological dynamics of this phenomenon would doubtless take us into deep waters—I’m not at all sure I can explain it—but the Freudians would probably explain in terms of the idea of projection: concealing one’s own unpalatable impulses from oneself by attributing them to another.

Plus: “Pop quiz: who is James T. Hodgkinson? Can you say without Google’s help?”

YOUR DAILY TREACHER FEATURES NEWS YOU CAN USE: Amnesty International Issues Warning to Travelers Visiting the United States.

This is my favorite part:

“Depending on the traveler’s gender identity, race, country of origin, ethnic background, or sexual orientation, they may be at higher risk of being targeted with gun violence, and should plan accordingly.”

Did Richard Spencer write this? It sounds like white-nationalist fanfic.

Funny how the well the identity-politics-obsessed mainstream left mirrors the fringe alt-right. I’m so old, I can remember when Amnesty International appeared quite rational, before, as the late Steven Den Beste spotted in 2003, they began pandering to their membership:

JOHN KASS IS UNSPARING: Weaponizing the dead of El Paso and Dayton.

Those angry loner white boys with guns, this time in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, have again erupted on the body politic.

And those with eyes to see are reminded that the American culture is ill.

But what of the mass shootings in Chicago, the 55 people shot over the weekend, with seven hit near a park and then eight more not far away?

You might think these are “mass shootings” too, but, in political/media terms, they’re not treated as such. The victims, and in all likelihood the shooters, are black. And Democratic politicians find no political advantage in weaponizing the victims of everyday street violence in a Democratic town. So Chicago’s dead are stepped over by national media and national Democrats on the way to 2020. . . .

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke, flailing and desperate for attention, eagerly picked up on the prompts given him by former Democratic political staffers turned TV news anchors. He blamed Trump for El Paso and pronounced the president a racist. Other Democrats denounced him as well, even Sen. Bernie Sanders, the socialist of Vermont, who should know better.

Because it was also a crazy white madman who stalked those Republican Congressmen as they played baseball in a park in 2017 and tried to massacre them all with a rifle. He was a Sanders supporter and the cry went up wherever we talk politics, in the common square and in newsrooms, that blaming the left for the insane actions of an insane man would be unthinkable.

The shooter in Dayton was, reportedly, of the political left and a supporter of Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, but you don’t hear much of that, do you?

In other, saner times, leveraging the political persuasions of absolute madmen against a political opponent would be a signal for a gentleman to rise from the table and leave the room without comment. But now it is the blood of our politics.

And remember, these are the people constantly lecturing Republicans about decency.

Related: Dem Rep. Joaquin Castro: Here’s a list of the names of max Trump donors from my hometown, to do with as you wish.

Plus: Kamala Harris Is Already Fundraising Off the Mass Shootings.

UPDATE: From the comments: “The Democrats became Fred Phelps so easily they never noticed. Perhaps they should hold rainbow signs at the funerals saying ‘God hates MAGAs.'”

OUTWAITING TRUMP WON’T WORK, BECAUSE TRUMP IS THE SYMPTOM, NOT THE DISEASE: Richard Fernandez: The End Of Normal. “Where Applebaum is correct is predicting that things will never go back to normal. They can’t because it was unsustainable.”

Plus: “What no one wants to remember is that Russian collusion, if it happened at all, happened under Obama. . . . In reality the good old days when ISIS ruled the Middle East, Russia could invade the Ukraine, China steal the OPM data and the South China Sea and kill the entire CIA network in the Middle Kingdom were never that good. Neither Trump nor Brexit nor the Democratic party left wing sprang out of thin air. They sprouted from a crisis.”

Flashback: The Suicide of Expertise.

RICHARD PETTY’S ONCE LOST NASCAR PLYMOUTH SUPERBIRD IS HEADING TO AUCTION AND THE SKY’S THE LIMIT: “‘A car like this, there’s just no way to predict what will happen at an auction,’ he said. ‘If you’re older, you remember it from the racing, but to younger people it’s the Dinoco car from ‘Cars’ that was voiced by Richard Petty. Either way, everyone has a connection to it in some way.’”

FIRED BY GOOGLE, A REPUBLICAN ENGINEER HITS BACK: ‘THERE’S BEEN A LOT OF BULLYING.’

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.—Kevin Cernekee was still a “Noogler”—Google’s term for a new employee—when his conservative take on political and social issues raised hackles within the search giant.

After several posts on the company’s freewheeling internal message boards in early 2015 rankled some colleagues, he was given an official warning from human resources about conduct deemed disrespectful and insubordinate. Around that time, a senior manager wrote on the boards that he added Mr. Cernekee to a “written blacklist” of employees he wouldn’t work with.

Mr. Cernekee, 41 years old, spent much of the next three years battling Google over his perceived violations, and pressing his contention that right-leaning employees were being treated unfairly, according to interviews, documents and copies of posts on Google’s internal message boards. In one example from 2017 that he reported to human resources, a manager publicly asked on a board about employees holding views like Mr. Cernekee’s: “Can’t we just fire the poisonous assholes already?”

In June 2018, Mr. Cernekee was fired.

I’m so old, I can remember when leftist corporations posed as being against blacklists.

Related: Google Employees Donate over $350K to Democrat Presidential Candidates.

I’M SO OLD I REMEMBER WHEN IT WAS A CIVIL LIBERTIES ORGANIZATION: ACLU Stumps for the New Transgender Patriarchy. Meanwhile, the men’s-rights activists are basically fine with this: You go to war with the patriarchy you have, not the patriarchy you want.

WATCH: Video Emerges Of Elijah Cummings Calling Baltimore ‘Drug Infested.’

I’m so old, I can remember two days ago when the word “infested” was a racist dog whistle, according to CNN.

REAPING THE WHIRLWIND: Readers of my old blog back in the paleolithic era of the web will remember I frequently wrote about Tony Blair’s dismantling of the British constitutional settlement. Two of the most radical experiments of the Blair era were regional devolution and the introduction of referenda. Fraser Nelson points out in the Spectator today that Boris Johnson’s way of governing is a child of these innovations:

Boris Johnson is different. He is the creature of two Blair-era inventions: devolution and referendums. The team he is building around him in No. 10 is from City Hall and Vote Leave, where he was able to pioneer a new style of politics and government…

The result of this will be to reject the old rules: that you govern, then at some stage switch to campaign mode. The Boris project is starting in campaign mode, and I doubt it will ever stop. This is one of Donald Trump’s innovations: never stop campaigning. To apply pressure to the insiders, appeal to the outside…

But Brexit or no, I suspect it will be the changes to government that will last. Boris’s team will apply the techniques of modern campaigning and a more modern system of governing to Westminster, pioneered in the labs of Tony Blair’s constitutional reform.

Hosea 8.7 applies.

 

BEFORE JIM ACOSTA, THERE WAS MIKE WALLACE: Mike Wallace Is Here: New Documentary Exposes 60 Minutes Reporter’s Theatrical Shtick.

How he nailed those wingtip-wearing bastards, those human-rights-violating tyrants, those smarmy politicians! He destroyed every one of them, such as . . . er, well, such as . . . I mean, you know. But you don’t, really. Did Wallace nail . . . anybody important? Even anybody we remember? Or was he just really good at playing the role of a truth-seeking, take-no-prisoners, holy-man-on-a-mission journalist?

Avi Belkin’s new documentary, Mike Wallace Is Here, tries to make the case for Wallace’s importance but pretty much comes up empty. If Wallace, 60 Minutes’s attack dog on so many Sunday nights, did in fact line his trophy room with the skulls of the men he’d vanquished, you would think a documentary would provide the evidence. It doesn’t. There isn’t a single shot of Wallace really nailing anybody you’ve ever heard of, though there is a bitter exchange with the Vietnam War general William Westmoreland, who sued Wallace and drove the reporter to depression and a suicide attempt before dropping the case. If Wallace ever got a scoop that mattered, it isn’t in this film. One time he exposed a small-time dirtbag who was selling kiddie porn. Lots of times he managed to get shoved aside on camera, or to have people dramatically stalk off the set or try to put their hand over the lens. But that’s all theater, not journalism.

Kyle Smith doesn’t mention in his review whether or not the documentary mentions this infamous moment in Wallace’s career, as described by the late Roger Ailes, someone else who understood the blending of theater and journalism:

Recognize that any time you are in the presence of a newsperson, the conversation is fair game for the record. Jimmy Carter’s famous confession that he sometimes had lust in his heart for women other than his wife was uttered to a Playboy magazine journalist as he was leaving Carter’s home at the conclusion of the formal interview. Even Mike Wallace, big-game hunter of the unguarded moment, got caught in this snare. As recounted on the op-ed page of the Wall Street Journal by TV critic Daniel Henninger in March of 1981, Wallace:

was interviewing a banker in San Diego about an alleged home improvement fraud involving mainly black and Hispanics, who supposedly had signed contract they couldn’t understand, which led to foreclosures on their home mortgages.The bank hired a film crew of its own to record the interview with Mr. Wallace. The bank apparently left its recorder running during a break in the CBS interview, and the tape has Mr. Wallace saying, in reply to a question about why the black and Hispanic customers would have signed their contracts, “They’re probably too busy eating their watermelon and tacos.”

When the Los Angeles Times got wind of this indiscretion and reported it, there was at least a minor uproar from reporters and others about Wallace’s “racially disparaging joke”. Wallace ultimately pleaded “no bias”, admitting that over time he’d privately told jokes about many ethnic groups but that his record “speaks for itself”. Henninger added, “Needless to say, this has to be the most deliciously lip-smacking bit of irony to pop out of the oven in a long time. Here we have the dogcatcher cornered. The lepidopterist pinned. The preacher in flagrante delicto. This is the fellow who has imputed all manner of crimes against social goodness to a long lineup of businessmen and bureaucrats. From here on out, all future victims of Mr. Wallace can take some small comfort in knowing that although they may stand exposed as goof-offs, thieves and polluters, he’s the guy who made the crack about the watermelons and tacos.”

Eventually, as the cost of the equipment Wallace used for his stings became affordable to all, James O’Keefe and others on the right would begin to employ the same investigative techniques that 60 Minutes pioneered, only aimed at Wallace’s fellow leftists. As I wrote in 2011: Investigative Journalism: It’s All Fun and Games until the MSM Gets Stung.

MICHAEL YON ON FACEBOOK LAST NIGHT:

Hong Kong: This is going to get very serious.

I am one of the most experienced conflict correspondents alive. I am saying with high certainty that Hong Kong is a key battlefield with Communist China, and this will get bloody serious. This is still in the warm up stage.
All my long term readers know that when I say “mark my word,” you can safely bet your money.

This is just the beginning.

Important: Anyone who says this is about the Extradition Bill should be ignored. This is NOT about the Extradition Bill, despite thousands of signs saying this at the protests I am at.

Let’s put this in American terms. Remember the massive and bloody riot after the Rodney King case in Los Angeles?

‘Analysts’ who say that was about a court verdict should be ignored. The causes of the bloody rampage had little to do with the verdict other than that was a specific trigger.

Any flaming match will set a dry forest ablaze, and we don’t name matches. The rampage was based on historical and cultural issues. That was and is the dry forest.

Similarly with the information war coming from China and Korea heavily targeting Japan. (Especially Japan — but America is also heavily targeted and is the ultimate target. China is also targeting Korea and the Koreans are mostly blind to this.)

We will see increasing sparks of violence against Japanese. Mark my word. And then someone will blame this or that specific match that starts the fire. Meanwhile, China continues with a giant blow-drier prepping a giant forest to burn. Waiting for that match.

The conflict in Hong Kong is not about the Extradition Bill — and now many other issues are piling up almost weekly. The issue is that Communist China is trying to swallow and digest Hong Kongers who know the taste of freedom.

Humans are far more likely to fight to keep something they have than to fight for something they do not have. Mainland Chinese as a group never in their lives have tasted freedom. The communist cowboys in Beijing ride their broken slave horses daily and the broken horses just stare at the ground and go where they are told.

The British helped Hong Kongers taste freedom, and rule of law, and Hong Kongers love their freedom and legitimate judicial system. They will fight. The real fight is beginning.

Honk Kong is a key battle ground in a much larger war. Taiwan and others are watching.”

More to come, I’m afraid.

Related (From Ed): Green Activists With Ties to China Advised Obama State Department.

UPDATE (FROM GLENN): Reminder: After years of warnings, U.S. finally investigating secret foreign funding of American universities. “They can no longer expect to ignore the law with impunity.”

Related: China, not Russia, is the biggest threat.

Also Related: While Everyone Is Distracted By Russia, Chinese Spying And Influence Runs Wild. But it’s not just China.

I’M SO OLD, I CAN REMEMBER WHEN NOT ACCEPTING A PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION RESULT THREATENED AMERICA’S DEMOCRACY: Vogue Editor Anna Wintour Doesn’t Acknowledge Melania Trump Is First Lady.

KURT SCHLICHTER: The Democrats’ 2020 Campaign Theme Is ‘You Americans Are Terrible.’

The Democrats’ 2020 theme is that you are terrible and the party’s slogan will be “Americans suck, vote for us.” The precise candidate who will employ it is not important because they all embrace the notion that punishing the essential moral failure of you and me and every other Normal American is the key goal of the Donkey Party. That goes equally for the Handsey Old Prospector, the Socialist Squaw, Crusty the Commie, Spartacus Sharpton, Starchild, the Furry, Not Ms. Willie Brown, the Unfabulous Gay Guy, and the many Unfabulous Ungay Guys.

They all agree that you are terrible because you don’t know your place, which is behind a rock pushing it endlessly uphill for the benefit of people who hate you.

Remember Animal Farm from back when you were in school and they taught it as a chilling warning about socialism instead of as a how-to manual? Remember the horse who got worked nearly to death then got sent to the glue farm?

Guess what? You’re the horse.

Yeah, pretty much. Plus: “Besides being the engine that powers the establishment, you also fulfill another important function. You’re the liberal elite’s punching bag, the scapegoat, the convenient excuse for every flaw, failing and foul-up in the society that very same elite runs. You don’t get the credit you’re due; instead you get scorn, because that scorn both gins up the elite’s dopey allies and acts to keep you in line. It’s a stick to beat you and a chain to bind you. Except people are getting sick of being beaten and bound. Unless you are a Never Trumper, in which case you’re probably into that scene.”

J.D. VANCE: Libertarians Don’t Understand Culture And Politics. I mean, he’s not wrong. As I get older, the biggest weakness of libertarianism seems to me that it takes culture for granted. The libertarian critique of politics is quite valid, but libertarian solutions to the problems the critique brings out don’t seem to fly very often in the real world.

That said, it’s also worth remembering that the tremendous progress we’ve seen, lifting people out of poverty all over the world in colossaly unprecedented numbers, isn’t the result of political programs but of (comparatively) free enterprise and free markets. You’ve got to give credit there, if you’re honest.

BYRON YORK: Pushups Won’t Make The Biden Campaign Stronger.

Can a candidate who is leading the field by 12 points be weak? That’s the question of Joe Biden’s run for the Democratic presidential nomination.

The fact is, Biden’s campaign is showing signs of weakness. So is the candidate himself. And doing pushups, as Biden suggested he might do to show up President Trump, won’t make him any stronger.

In mid-May, Biden led the sprawling Democratic field by 26 points in the RealClearPolitics average of national polls. By late May, the lead was 17 points. By late June, it was 15 points. Today, it is 12.

So Biden’s lead is still big, but it’s less than half what it was not that long ago.

What might be more concerning to Biden supporters are the signs Biden is not running at full strength, that the 76-year-old former vice president has lost a step.

Some voters became concerned about that at the first Democratic debate on June 27, when rival Sen. Kamala Harris hit Biden with an attack about his opposition to busing to desegregate schools in the 1970s. (Harris began the exchange with a zinger: “I do not believe you are a racist.”) Even though Biden’s old position had been in the news, he seemed unprepared. His response was feeble and disorganized, ending with, “My time is up. I’m sorry.”

Afterward, Biden complained that there was no way to explain a nuanced issue in the 30 seconds required by a televised debate.

In a conversation Tuesday with MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski, Biden admitted he was blindsided by Harris. “I didn’t expect that particular attack,” Biden said, “and that question starting off, ‘I know you’re not a racist.'” He complained again about debate time limits.

And then, Brzezinski asked, “The public is interested in how you’re going to fight Donald Trump. Kamala Harris — if you weren’t ready for her, are you ready to fight this guy who doesn’t play fair?”

“My strategy is just to go out,” Biden responded, “and remember that famous expression my grandpop used to use, when they said to Harry Truman, give ’em hell, Harry, and he said no, I’m just going to tell the truth, they’re going to think it’s hell.”

Biden explained that he expects the campaign to be ugly and that Trump will not run an “honorable” race. “But I’m not backing down at all from him,” Biden said. Yes, he was surprised when Harris “said something so off the wall to me,” but Biden pledged to “take on” the president.

It wasn’t exactly confidence-inspiring. And then, Brzezinski asked what Biden would do if Trump “starts making fun of your age, your mental state, starts going after you …”

“I’d say, ‘Come on, Donald,'” Biden said. “‘Come on, man. How many pushups you want to do here, pal? I mean, jokingly. Run with me, man.'”

Uh huh.

JAMES LILEKS: Remembering a WWII vet, an American original, a father. “I don’t know where he bought his Sunday Strib to read my column, but there will be one unsold paper today. Ralph Lileks — father, husband, up-from-nothing businessman, veteran, sportsman, aviator and by-God American original, died at his home this week [at age 93]. I found his WWII cap on the seat of his Harley in the garage. Thank you for reading, and if you see a man with that hat, thank him, too. We owe them the world.”

Read the whole thing.

OH: Joe Biden Used Tax-Code Loophole Obama Tried to Plug. “Former vice president structured his speaking, writing business in a way that cut his tax bill.”

Mr. Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, routed their book and speech income through S corporations, according to tax returns the couple released this week. They paid income taxes on those profits, but the strategy let the couple avoid the 3.8% self-employment tax they would have paid had they been compensated directly instead of through the S corporations.

The tax savings were as much as $500,000, compared to what the Bidens would have owed if paid directly or if the Obama proposal had become law.

“There’s no reason for these to be in an S corp—none, other than to save on self-employment tax,” said Tony Nitti, an accountant at RubinBrown LLP who reviewed the returns.

I’m old enough to remember when paying your fair share was patriotic.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: How to Tell If Someone Is Bugging or Tracking You. I’m so old that I can remember when the impedance change produced by a parallel connection — literally, a “tap” — on your phone line gave it a characteristic hollow sound.

SPIRIT OF ’76: Forty years on, America’s bicentennial cohesion may be unrecoverable.

The Bicentennial was blessed with good timing, arriving on the heels of a long post-1960s hangover that culminated with two bleak closing acts, less than a year apart: the fall of an American president elected in large part to quell the previous decade’s disorder, and the fall of Saigon to the Communist North Vietnamese, bringing a tragic end to the war that had inspired much of the disorder. With that depressing coda, there was nowhere to go but up, and the Bicentennial became, as Lance Morrow wrote in Time, “a star-spangled ceremony of self-forgiveness.” After a long gaze inward, many concluded that the country and its republican traditions still looked pretty good.

That pride was reflected in the American Freedom Train, a 26-car locomotive loaded with historical exhibits and decorated in stars and stripes. It stopped in all 48 contiguous states from April 1, 1975, in Wilmington, Delaware, to December 31, 1976, in Miami. “It was by far the greatest event on rails since the end of the steam era,” declares a commemorative website, which estimates that tens of millions of Americans stood to watch it pass by and that more than 7 million bought tickets and attended.

I was one of those 7 million, or at least my parents were—they paid for the tickets. We stood in the Freedom Train’s fabled long lines on a hot summer day in suburban Illinois. Sometimes people waited for hours before they could get on board and see the exhibits, and even then, they were hustled along on a moving walkway that rushed them through in 15 minutes (later slowed to 22). It was all a bit overwhelming: “Zuni necklace, golden spike, first English Bible, first edition of Poe, Henry Aaron’s home run bat, Edward G. Robinson as Little Caesar, the familiar, sinister voice intoning ‘The Shadow knows,’ Thomas Hart Benton’s painting, Gerald R. Ford proclaiming, ‘Our Constitution works’—more than half a thousand features flash by before one has a chance to focus,” the New York Times observed. Still, the Freedom Train is remembered fondly, and, like the gifts sent to President Ford, it’s hard to imagine it happening again. The political battles alone—from what stops to make and what exhibits to include to whether to employ unionized workers or use renewable energy—would probably keep a twenty-first-century Freedom Train stranded in the station.

In-between Walter Cronkite droning on about the impending eco-disasters of a new ice age and overpopulation to viewers of the CBS Evening News, and episodes of M*A*S*H as a thinly-disguised Vietnam War commentary full of moral equivalence between the US and North Korea, CBS could still muster up some of its biggest stars to host “Bicentennial Minutes” on the important events that led up to the nation’s founding. Today, the network would likely draft Stephen Colbert and Colin Kaepernick to opine on how the nation was born in Original Sin. Perhaps it was the lack of a 24-hour cable news cycle, or the increasingly left-leaning network remembering that it still needed to serve a wide swatch of viewers. In any case, even with a Republican president in the White House, the Bicentennial proved that as late as 1976, the Democratic Party-dominated overculture still offered room for all, decades before today’s “no escapism” mentality on the elite left.

I’M SO OLD, I REMEMBER ITS FIRST SEASON: Yesterday was “the 30-year anniversary of the premiere of ‘Seinfeld,’” Ann Althouse notes.

I REMEMBER WHEN LARRY TRIBE WAS CONSIDERED A SERIOUS PERSON:

The “Resistance” warned us that if we elected an authoritarian such as Donald Trump, eventually there would be tanks in the streets of our nation’s capital. Well, on Thursday, their predictions finally came true.

I’m kidding, of course, but some on the left are not. Harvard Law professor Laurence H. Tribe tweeted a photo of tanks arriving in Washington for Trump’s “Salute to America” and declared “The resemblance to days before Tiananmen Square is chilling.” At Tiananmen Square in Beijing in 1989, the Chinese regime broke up pro-democracy protests with tanks and troops in a military action that resulted in a still-uncertain number of deaths that is believed to range between several hundred and several thousand. Totally comparable situation.

Of all the stupid freak-outs we have experienced since Trump was elected, the hyperventilation over his Fourth of July address and celebration on the Mall may be the stupidest.

His critics called his decision to insert himself into the Independence Day celebrations virtually unprecedented. Sorry, but Trump is not the first U.S. president to give a major speech on the Fourth of July. Harry S. Truman once delivered an Independence Day address in front of the Washington monument. Presidents Woodrow Wilson, John F. Kennedy, Gerald Ford, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush all gave Fourth of July addresses from Independence Hall in Philadelphia. And, in 1986, Ronald Reagan delivered a Fourth of July address from the deck of an aircraft carrier, the USS John F. Kennedy, strategically placed in front of the Statue of Liberty.

Trump’s address took this tradition to new heights on Thursday. Democrats complained before the speech that Trump was politicizing the Fourth of July. He did nothing of the sort. In a speech reminiscent of his outstanding remarks last month at Normandy, Trump delivered a soaring presidential address — a celebration of the greatness of our country. “As we gather this evening, in the joy of freedom, we remember that we all share a truly extraordinary heritage,” Trump said. “Together, we are part of one of the greatest stories ever told — the story of America.”

He went on tell that story — from our struggle for independence, the fight to abolish slavery and secure women’s suffrage and civil rights. He called out the many great Americans who “defined our national character” from the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. to Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman and Jackie Robinson. He celebrated our inventors and explorers — from Lewis and Clark to Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, the Wright brothers, Amelia Earhart and the Apollo 11 astronauts. And he vowed “we will plant the American flag on Mars” because “for Americans, nothing is impossible.” . . .

Millions of ordinary Americans who tuned in to watch must have been wondering what the fuss was all about. Democrats promised they would witness a partisan address. But instead, they saw the president deliver a deeply unifying speech that celebrated America’s accomplishments, and the courage of our men and women in uniform. With each passing minute, the president looked larger while his critics looked increasingly petty and small.

As one of my friends said, Trump maneuvered his opponents into attacking the Fourth of July.

KYLE SMITH: This Fourth of July, why have we lost our patriotism?

For the haters, it’s open season on the American ideal.

Colin Kaepernick doesn’t like today’s American flag because it reminds him of police brutality and he doesn’t like Betsy Ross’ O.G. flag because it reminds him of slavery. I’m starting to think maybe Colin Kaepernick is not so fond of the flag, or of the country that made him rich.

Nike supported him by withdrawing the Betsy Ross-flagged sneaker. That’s right, the American flag, in any form, is now apparently a toxic symbol. The governor of California, Gavin Newsom, actually praised Nike.

Meanwhile, the Charlottesville City Council just voted to stop celebrating Thomas Jefferson’s birthday in the city where he died on the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence he wrote. American patriotism has just reached a record low entirely because of Democrats, of whom only 22% say they’re “extremely proud” of their country. To celebrate the Fourth, America’s most prominent newspaper is bidding for the trolling Hall of Fame by running a video, titled “Please stop telling me America is great,” that argues how America is “just OK.”

Remember the distant past of 2016, when leading voices of progressivism were saying, “America never stopped being great” (Hillary Clinton) and “America is already great” (Barack Obama)? All that’s over.

Which is why the left’s motto today, Stacy McCain writes, is “Happy Fourth of July, You Fascists!

The Democrats are now a party of paranoid conspiracy theorists:

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said in a new interview that she believes the United States is heading in a fascist direction under President Trump.
“Are we headed to fascism? Yes. I don’t think there’s a question,” Ocasio-Cortez told Yahoo News earlier this week after she visited migrant detention facilities managed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
“If you actually take the time to study, and to look at the steps, and to see how government transforms under authoritarian regimes, and look at the political decisions and patterns of this president, the answer is yes.”

They define fascism as “whenever Democrats lose elections,” and therefore when Ocasio-Cortez says we are “headed to fascism,” what she means is that Trump will be re-elected. After all, Democrats believe the Betsy Ross flag is a symbol of “white supremacy,” so we shouldn’t be surprised that they consider patriotism a synonym for “hate.”

In contrast, Cocaine Mitch ensures that at least today, cooler heads prevail:

Related: Of course, the DNC-MSM freaking out on the Fourth isn’t all that new a phenomenon: NewsBusters compiles nearly 30 years of choice quotes: Fourth of July Flashback: The Press Blasts Racist and Awful America.

MSNBC GUEST COMPARES BETSY ROSS FLAG TO SWASTIKA, BURNING CROSS:

MSNBC guest Michael Eric Dyson compared the Betsy Ross American flag to the Nazi swastika and a burning Ku Klux Klan cross during an appearance Wednesday.

Nike canceled a release of shoes featuring the iconic flag with the 13 stars representing the original colonies, after former NFL quarterback and liberal activist Colin Kaepernick objected because it was “offensive.”

Dyson, a Georgetown University professor who frequently comments on racial issues from a left-wing perspective, defended the cancellation, citing its connection to the revolutionary period and that it was “deeply embroiled in enslavement.”

As Steve noted earlier, “It’s weird how many things became offensive only after Obama left office:”

Never thought I’d see an MSNBC regular tacitly call Obama a Nazi. I’m so old, I can remember when the only lefties who did so were Lyndon Larouche-ites:

Matt Guice, center, a field organizer for Larouchepac.com, distributes flyers as he stands near posters he has propped up on Wall Street in New York’s financial district, Monday, Aug. 19, 2013 in New York. Larouchepac.com is a political action committee of conservative activist Lyndon LaRouche. (AP Photo and caption.)

Exit question: “Who had the Democratic Party coming up with ‘our flag is racist’ on the Fourth of July on their Self-Destruction Bingo card?”

EVEN IF YOU’RE NOT OLD ENOUGH TO REMEMBER TOM HAYDEN: You should sit down with Bradley Birzer’s excellent survey in The Imaginative Conservative of the many reasons why the political correctness destroying the American political consensus is very much the prime legacy of Hayden and the New Left of the 1960s.

STACY MCCAIN: ‘Godless Commies!’

One of the reasons younger people — and by “younger,” I mean, under 40 — are so vulnerable to leftist “progressive” propaganda is because they aren’t old enough to remember the Cold War. Today’s 35-year-old was in kindergarten when the Berlin Wall fell, and thus has no personal memory of what it was like to live during the decades when we were faced with the possibility of annihilation by Soviet aggression. The permanent sense of terror inspired by the menace of Communism, a godless creed of murderous hatred, was so deeply embedded into American culture during my youth that my children (the oldest of which was born some six months before the fall of the Berlin Wall) can scarcely understand what it was like. When my oldest was a teenager, I was driving her and her friend to a Christian music festival and, to pass the time, began talking about politics and history. I tried to explain to them how, growing up in a Baptist church in Georgia, I was horrified by stories of how Christians were persecuted in the Soviet Union, in Red China and wherever else Communist regimes came to power. The worldview of Communism — “historical materialism,” or “dialectical materialism” — was based explicitly in atheism, and Communists everywhere were determined to destroy Christianity. Imagine what it would be like to live in a dictatorship where you could go to prison for possessing a Bible!

“Godless commies!” I yelled, as we rolled along the highway, and the vehemence of my expression rather startled my daughter and her friend.

To deny the existence of God is, as Nietzsche foresaw, to deny that there is any eternal law. The categories of “good” and “evil” are meaningless to the atheist, so that the most basic of moral maxims — “Thou shalt not steal,” “Thou shalt not kill,” etc. — meant nothing to the godless Commies, whose only ideas of right and wrong were summarized by Lenin’s frightening question: “Who? Whom?” Anything that advanced the “dictatorship of the proletariat” was justified, including deliberate deceit and cold-blooded murder, so that the Communists claimed unquestioned authority to lie, steal and kill on behalf of their revolution, and none of their victims had any claim to justice.

As Tom Wolfe wrote of Nietzsche in his essay, “In the Land of the Rococo Marxists,” part of his 2000 collection of his then-recent non-fiction articles, Hooking Up:

But if there was decadence, what was decaying? Religious faith and moral codes that had been in place since time was, said Nietzsche, who in 1882 made the most famous statement in modern philosophy—“God is dead”—and three startlingly accurate predictions for the twentieth century. He even estimated when they would begin to come true: about 1915. (1) The faith men formerly invested in God they would now invest in barbaric “brotherhoods with the aim of the robbery and exploitation of the non-brothers.” Their names turned out, in due course, to be the German Nazis and the Russian Communists. (2) There would be “wars such as have never been waged on earth.” Their names turned out to be World War I and World War II. (3) There no longer would be Truth but, rather, “truth” in quotation marks, depending upon which concoction of eternal verities the modern barbarian found most useful at any given moment.

Flash-forward to the College Fix last week: Cornell summer seminar asks: Should we still use concepts like ‘rationality’ and ‘reason’?

MEANWHILE, BACK AT THE MEMORY HOLE: Destroying Our History: Of Wokeness and ‘Moralistic Therapeutic Barbarism.’

Pity future generations who will live in a world scrubbed clean of the sins of our forefathers.

And sins there were. No one denies that. No one questions it. But to judge their entire lives — their foibles as well as their majestic accomplishments — without viewing both sides of their Janus face, demonstrates a towering ignorance and an aggressive denial of the truth.

What is truly frightening about the current attitude present in our “woke” culture, is the utter lack of care and concern for the damage being done to history on the part of the self-proclaimed arbiters of purity. Someone (always unnamed), somewhere might/could be offended by a sculpture, a painting, or a statue. The “offense” is that viewing this devil’s work might/could “trigger” an unwanted emotion of some kind. (Not to mention the encouragement it gives to white supremacists!)

Then there’s the case of the San Francisco school board voting to spend $600,000 to destroy a Depression-era mural of George Washington painted by an ardent Communist.

Forget “future generations” — found via Maggie’s Farm, a Website called McSweeney’s is getting a jump on things by publishing satiric “Obituaries for the Recently Canceled:”

Matthew Edwards, 41, was canceled early Friday evening after he was seen in his car singing along to “Remix to Ignition.” Mr. Edwards has not watched the R. Kelly documentary, but colleagues say he was aware of its existence and general content. He leaves behind his intersectional feminist wife Julia and two woke children.

– – –

Following a long battle in defense of a controversial Facebook post, Meredith Van Dorn, 20, finally succumbed to cancellation at her home on Thursday night. Ms. Van Dorn was surrounded by friends and loved ones who, upon her cancellation, insisted they always had kind of a weird feeling about her, actually. Ms. Van Dorn’s parents, Peter and Linda, would like their daughter to be remembered for her sweet smile and love of dancing, rather than her provocative feelings about Japanese toilets.

* * * * * * * *

Simon Mulchfield, 27, was a rising journalist at The Atlantic. On Saturday he canceled himself at his parents’ Westchester home, after re-reading an essay he wrote in his freshman year of college about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Mr. Mulchfield leaves behind his uncanceled fiancé, Shayna Al-Ahmadi, who is fluent in both Hebrew and Arabic and whose undergraduate essays have been read before Congress. Ms. Al-Ahmadi remains grateful for their time together and notes that if Mr. Mulchfield had not canceled himself, she absolutely would have done so.

* * * * * * * *

On Wednesday, three-day-old Lily Hobbes became the youngest person ever to be canceled, when her father read to her from Michelle Obama’s memoir Becoming and she immediately started crying.

Mao’s Struggle Sessions: a warning from the past for the rest of us — a how-to guide for today’s left.

The Red Guard parades an official through a Peking street and force him to wear a dunce cap as a mark of public shame. He is the member of an anti-revolutionary group and, according to the writing on the cap, he has been accused of being a political pickpocket. This picture was made in the Peking on Jan. 25, 1967 and was obtained froom Japanese sources in Tokyo. (AP caption.)

IT’S COME TO THIS: Ohio’s Bowling Green State University Strips Name of Lillian Gish (1893-1993) from Campus Theater.

The “First Lady of American Cinema” Lillian Gish has had her name removed from a university theater and it’s not sitting well with many movie buffs. More than 50 film industry leaders ranging from Martin Scorsese to Helen Mirren to James Earl Jones are protesting the decision of Ohio’s Bowling Green State University to remove the name of actress Lillian Gish from a campus theater because she appeared in the 1915 film The Birth of a Nation.

The letter accuses the university of making “a scapegoat in a broader political debate.” Lillian Gish is considered a pioneer of film acting. Her career spanned 75 years, beginning in 1912 in silent film shorts. The Whales of August in 1987 was her last film. She was called the First Lady of American Cinema, and for more than 40 years, the theater at Bowling Green has honored Ohio-born actresses Dorothy and Lillian Gish with its name.

According to the IMDB, Gish appeared in 120 movies and TV shows during her lengthy career, which spanned the first eight decades of the movie industry. But if we’re going to banish all the bad people of the past because of hurt feelings, when does early “Progressive” Woodrow Wilson face the memory hole, given that he was an enthusiastic proponent of Birth of a Nation, including screening it in the White House and proclaiming the film “is like writing history with lightning.”

As Jonah Goldberg wrote in the Christian Science Monitor in 2008 to promote Liberal Fascism (Wilson stars in several early chapters, not surprisingly), “You want a more ‘progressive’ America? Careful what you wish for. Voters should remember what happened under Woodrow Wilson.”

Of course, all of the memory holing of the recent years helps to greatly reduce the odds of that happening. For that reason alone, perhaps it’s a good thing his name remains at Princeton.

YELLING “FIRE” IN A CROWDED RIVER: The Cuyahoga Story at 50.

By 1969 local efforts to improve water quality in Cleveland were starting to make headway but were ironically impeded by bureaucratic red tape. As [Jonathan Adler, law professor at Case Western Reserve University] explained:

Cleveland had embarked on a long and costly cleanup effort before the Cuyahoga became a national symbol. Subsequent federal efforts received more attention – and far more credit– but it appears the tide was turning well before Congress enacted the 1972 Clean Water Act. One problem Cleveland faced was that the Cuyahoga was treated as an industrial stream, and state permits inhibited local clean up efforts. Public nuisance actions and enforcement of local pollution ordinances, in particular, were precluded by state regulation, while federal laws protecting commercially navigable waterways went largely unenforced.”

On this day in 2004, Adler noted that “The 1969 fire on the Cuyahoga was a relatively minor story in Cleveland at the time. Although reportedly intense, the fire lasted less than 30 minutes. It was so quick that the flames were out before local photographers arrived. All the local papers could show was a fireboat spraying down a railroad trestle after the fire was under control. Time magazine ran a striking photo of the river ablaze–no doubt the photograph Carol Browner remembers–but this picture was not of the June 1969 fire. It was an old photo of an earlier, more serious, fire from 1952,” as Time eventually confirmed.

I’M SO OLD, I CAN REMEMBER WHEN THERE WERE STILL ANTI-COMMUNIST DEMOCRATS: Communist Party, USA praises Democrats’ policy shifts ahead of centennial celebration.

THUGGERY: Oregon Governor Threatens to Send State Police to Round Up Republicans after Walk-Out over Cap-and-Trade Stalemate.

UPDATE (FROM GLENN): I don’t think this is actually thuggery, since legislatures generally can compel the attendance of absent members. (I’ve written about this before). Presumably, the state police would be deputized by the sergeant-at-arms or somesuch. But Ann Althouse notes the shifting media narrative here: “They were ‘stars’ when they were Democrats. And a bad old Republican — remember Bill O’Reilly? — had to be hypothetically dragged into the picture to give it a good-and-evil dimension. With the Republicans absconding, in Oregon, the fleebaggers are automatically bad and the Democrats — ready to legislate and deprived of the quorum — are the easy good guys. The narrative clicks into place.” As usual.

BITTER CLINGERS, 2019 EDITION: The Daily Beast declares that The Democratic Party is full of sexists.

Democrats are still wrestling with one rather uncomfortable question in terms of how the primary race is shaping up in the early stages. We’re in the latest “Year of the Women” as well as the #MeToo era, right? So why are two ancient old white dudes still outperforming all of the qualified women who are running? Elizabeth Warren has been showing some momentum lately and Kamala Harris has manged to at least stay above the background noise level, but Biden and Sanders remain the definite leaders thus far on a national level.

How do we explain this? Well, at least according to some recent reporting at the Daily Beast, the answer should be obvious. The Democratic primary voters around the country are a bunch of sexists.

Perhaps that’s a small step forward, in a way. I can remember back in 2008 when the Huffington Post declared that Democratic primary voters around the country were a bunch of racists.

I’M SO OLD, I REMEMBER WHEN LEFTISTS DISAPPROVED OF WHITESPLAINING: Beto Tells Black Leaders They Need Protection ‘From their Own Country.’

YES, WE ALREADY KNOW THAT COCAINE MITCH PLAYS FOR KEEPS, NANCY. Nancy Pelosi’s latest shot at Mitch McConnell is already backfiring and we’re here for it:

Curious that Democrats have no problem holding up a sign that says “McConnell’s Graveyard.” I’m so old, I can remember when they accused political clip art of having murderous intent, and demanded a new civility from both sides of the aisle. Despite the plethora of left-on-right violence since November of 2016, Nancy Pelosi seems to have no problem with rhetoric that could be seen as eliminationist, and I eagerly await Paul Krugman’s stern condemnation.

Related: McConnell: As long as I’m Senate leader, Democrats’ ‘socialist schemes’ won’t become law.

THE HILL’S REBECCA KLAR: Trump administration to send migrant children to former Japanese internment camp.

ALEX GRISWOLD ON TWITTER: The “former Japanese internment camp” is also just a U.S. Army base that’s been continually operating since the 1860’s.

PLUS:

I’m old enough to remember when The Hill was a reasonably forthright, centrist publication. But despite the old Instagag, that has me feeling pretty old right now.

AKA, STAR TREK:The World Is a Mess. We Need Fully Automated Luxury Communism,” screams a headline at the New York Times. (Link safe; goes to US edition of the London Spectator):

This time, our maximum leader is Aaron Bastani. Instead of Marxist-Leninism or Mao Zedong Thought, it’s what Bastani calls ‘Fully Automated Luxury Communism’.

‘Asteroid mining. Gene editing. Synthetic meat,’ Chairman Bastani writes. ‘We could provide for the needs of everyone, in style. It just takes some imagination.’

Cockburn, unlike the Times, can take a political joke. He often sits down of an evening with a half-bottle of whiskey, a family bag of Doritos and a volume of Karl Marx. Bastani is selling an updated version of Marx’s sales pitch that communism is a better way of managing the technology and output of capitalism. Aaron has asteroids, and Karl had hemorrhoids, but both promise the workers that automation and centralized redistribution will give a life of comfort for all.

I’m so old, I can remember when other New York-area fully automated luxury communists wrote manifestos telling the world it needed to ban airplanes, let alone asteroid mining.

BAN ALL THE THINGS! Philadelphia Politicians Want to Ban…[Checks List]…Bay Windows.

City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson has introduced an ordinance that would ban these protruding windows in the neighborhoods of Point Breeze and Grays Ferry. Balconies would be verboten too. His aim, he says, is to prevent undue clashing with the traditional brownstone homes that populate the area.

“I call them pop-out windows,” he told local radio station WHYY last week. “That’s where we have these monstrosity developments with windows with aluminum siding that are green or orange or blue, and they don’t fit on these blocks that are all red-brick rowhouses.”

For some, the bay windows that have been popping up on new townhomes and condominiums throughout the city are just the most outward sign of the city’s rapid gentrification.

“They are an icon of that change, and maybe for a lot of people, they are an icon of unwelcome change,” Patrick Grossi of the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia tells the Philadelphia Inquirer.

I’m so old, I can remember 2008, when “Change” was a mantra of the far left.

OLD AND BUSTED: When it Comes to WWII, Document Everything, and Never Forget.

The New Hotness? YouTube Pulls Triumph of the Will For Violating Hate Speech Policy, left-leaning film industry Website IndieWire reports:

On Wednesday YouTube revealed extensive new policies around hate speech in a move to “reduce more hateful and supremacist content from YouTube,” as the company announced in a blog post.

The policy also meant the removal of Leni Riefenstahl’s 1935 Nazi propaganda epic “Triumph of the Will,” which left the site hours after YouTube announced its new standards. After all, “Triumph of the Will” falls under the rubric of “videos that promote or glorify Nazi ideology, which is inherently discriminatory,” as YouTube explains one prohibited category. The movie is also regarded as one with major historical value, raising essential questions about the nature of the film medium. Does it belong in the same category as Lunikoff, a German Neo-Nazi band whose channel also got the boot?

Riefenstahl’s harrowing depiction of the Nuremberg Rallies remains an essential look at the ideological power of the moving image, and how it can be co-opted on a mass scale. Despite the film’s aims, it has been taught in universities for decades — and not because film professors hope to advance the horrific mindset of the Third Reich. The movie uses the singular power of the medium to glorify Adolf Hitler in visceral terms: From the moment the filmmaker’s camera advances through the clouds, tracking Hitler’s descent to the rising crescendo of Wagner’s “Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg,” it elevates the rising dictator to god-like stature. Similarly, montages of soldiers saluting their leader — and, later, children in a Hitler Youth parade — illustrate the capacity of the Third Reich to convey the deranged euphoria of subservience.

A few paragraphs down, the moral equivalence begins:

As a matter of pure formalism, the movie exists on the same continuum as Sergei Eistenstein’s “Battleship Potemkin” in its capacity to galvanize a sense of national pride through the language of film. However, that deeper understanding is essential when considering these films; without it, their capacity to enchant continues to grow unchecked. North Korean media cranks out its own variations of “Triumph of the Will” on a regular basis; Fox News, in its lowest moments, has been guilty of similar charges.

Is that you, Ted Turner? Everybody has been declared guilty of similar charges. I remember a profile in the sports section of a Philadelphia paper on Cherry Hill, NJ-based NFL Films around the mid-1980s, which described their dazzling slow-motion telephoto footage of football plays and their hagiographic profiles of NFL players as being akin to Riefenstahl’s filmmaking techniques. But I missed the memo when Roger Ailes approved of mass murder. Indeed, during his reign, the network ran programming explicitly condemning revolutionary socialism in all its forms.

As Glenn wrote in timely new book, The Social Media Upheaval:

In bragging about how he manipulated the political news media, Obama foreign policy advisor Ben Rhodes described them this way: “Most of the outlets are reporting on world events from Washington. The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing.”

Knowing nothing makes you easy to manipulate. Lack of relevant life experience makes you easy to manipulate. So maybe people should know more?

It’s an idea so crazy, it just might work — not least of which, for those who wish to become future curators of YouTube, wishing to avoid repeating history.

 

DISPATCHES FROM REDNECK NATION: Segregation Comes to Minnesota.

It has often been observed that progressives are re-segregating some areas of the country, especially college campuses. But Minnesota has never been segregated, so our progressives are boldly venturing to segregate our citizens by race for the first time.

The City of Minneapolis has scheduled a series of “sacred conversations” with the city’s staff. The series goes under the title, “400 Years of Resistance and Liberation. Remembering, Recovering, Reimagining.” Here is the flyer; following, my comments on it. Click to enlarge:

(Classical reference in headline.)

GOOGLE CLOUD MELTS DOWN, LEAVING MILLIONS WITHOUT SERVICES: NEST, YOUTUBE, ICLOUD, SNAPCHAT, OTHERS AFFECTED.

In Glenn’s new book, The Social Media Upheaval, he quotes Columbia Law Professor Tim Wu in The Curse of Bigness: Antitrust in the New Gilded Age, and then adds:

In total, Wu reports, “Facebook managed to string together 67 unchallenged acquisitions, which seems impressive unless you consider that Amazon undertook 91 and Google got away with 214 (a few of which were conditioned). In this way, the tech industry became essentially composed of just a few giant trusts: Google for search and related industries, Facebook for social media, Amazon for online commerce.” And these new tech monsters have a one-two punch that Standard Oil lacked: not only do they control immense wealth and important industries, but their fields of operation – which give them enormous control over communications, including communications about politics – also give them direct political power that in many ways exceeds that of previous monopolies.

I’m so old, I can remember when the Internet was all about diversity and looseness, rather than intertwined monopolies.

HE’S NOT A SCIENTIST, BUT HE PLAYS ONE ON TV: Bill Nye: There’s a ‘Pearl Harbor’ Moment Every Week on Climate.

Just days after Memorial Day, when veterans are remembered for giving their lives in battle, Nye nonchalantly claimed there is a “Pearl Harbor” moment on climate change every week — but is only being recognized by his side: “the science side.”

The actual act of war at Pearl Harbor killed 2,403 people, and led to the U.S. declaration of war. Yet, he considered this an apt metaphor for natural disasters he claims are fueled by human-induced climate change.

“We don’t have Pearl Harbor, by analogy. We never had this catastr—- people from the U.S. were fighting the war in Europe. They were flying missions since the late 1930s. Flying bombing runs. But it wasn’t until Pearl Harbor where everybody really got serious about winning,” Nye said. He failed to specify that Americans who fought the Axis ahead of Dec. 8, 1941, did so as voluntary and private citizens. War was not declared until after the Pearl Harbor attack.

He continued, “But the trouble with climate change is it’s happening in slow motion.”

“So there will never be a Pearl Harbor moment?” Stelter asked.

“Well, for us there’s one every week. And so, for us on the science side,” Nye insisted.

Forget Vietnam — here’s the real quagmire: “Progressive” philosopher William James’ moral equivalent of war trope is over a century old, and sees no sign of a peaceful resolution. Which is why, as Tim Blair quipped in January, if radical environmentalism is refighting WWII, “Fair enough. Nuking Hiroshima it is, then.”

NEW SOCIALIST “IT GIRL” CONTINUES TO PAY DIVIDENDS: Ocasio-Cortez Blocks The Daily Caller On Twitter.

I’m so old, I can remember when politicians blocking people on Twitter was declared unconstitutional.

MAN SETS HIMSELF ON FIRE NEAR WHITE HOUSE:

Other witnesses told Fox 5 DC that the man was wearing a sweatshirt — despite the 90-degree heat — and carrying a black bag. The shirt had writing on it but the witnesses couldn’t make out what it said.

The Ellipse is a 52-acre public park that lies south of the White House.

The man, who wasn’t immediately identified, was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries after suffering burns to 85 percent of his body, sources told TMZ.

A suspicious package that was on fire was also found in the park, near where the man was extinguished.

Democrats hardest hit: During a life-threatening event on the White House Lawn the House Democrats account complains about a protest being interrupted.

“The thing to remember is that in the face of such a dramatic tragedy playing out, the Dems managed to stay focused on what is truly important here.”

Heh, indeed.™

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: Colluders, Obstructionists, Leakers, and Other Projectionists.

How ironic that Russian “collusion” was used as a preemptive charge from those who actually had colluded with Russians for all sorts for financial and careerist advantages.

* * * * * * * *

Imagine the cries of outrage from Representatives Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) and Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) had Trump inadvertently blurted out to the world that he was willing to warp U.S. security interests to fit his own reelection agenda. (Remember: “This is my last election . . . After my election, I have more flexibility.”) Such a stealthy quid pro quo certainly would have been the crown jewel of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report.

The locus classicus of Russian collusion, however, is Hillary Clinton’s effort in 2016. The facts are not in dispute. Using the three firewalls of the Democratic National Committee, the Perkins Coie law firm, and Glenn Simpson’s Fusion GPS, the Clinton campaign paid a foreign national, British subject Christopher Steele, to compile a smear dossier against Clinton’s then-opponent, Donald J. Trump.

Read the whole thing.

NARRATIVE UBER ALLES: Why the Media Suddenly Lost Interest in the Latest School Shooting.

After the shooting, other than some virtue signaling by the media, the story has left the front pages, as the narrative may be inconvenient for the leftist agenda. CNN and MSNBC have lived up to their reputation as “drive-by media” by quickly moving on. No interviews with David Hogg or other gun control fanatics. So, what are some of the inconvenient aspects to this story that the media would prefer to drive by without any discussion or analysis?

Let’s start with the weapons. The two shooters, “opened fire with handguns that were concealed in a guitar case”, as reported by the Daily Mail in an unexpected good faith effort at honest journalism. Handguns? What happened to those evil AR-15’s or “assault weapons” that Democrats and the media constantly warn about? These are what the Huffington Post calls “weapons of war.”

The reality is that most gun crimes are committed with handguns not rifles. But this doesn’t fit the media narrative and it’s better to drive-by the story rather than explain this inconvenient truth.

Next are the bystanders. Remember the admonition, “When seconds count, help is minutes away”? This played out in the Colorado shooting. You can “hide under your desk,” as one option suggested by the New York Times.

In Colorado, a student who was also an aspiring Marine, took a different approach. He “jumped into action,” throwing himself on the shooter, and sadly died for his sacrifice.

He was joined by another brave student who “rushed to help his two classmates subdue the shooter.” The point is that these heroic students immediately went on offense, rather than passively hiding, perhaps unnerving the shooter and preventing this from becoming a mass casualty event.

Then there was the school vigil in Colorado, a time for holding candles and chanting about “common sense gun control measures.” Attending were local Democrat politicians, including Senator Michael Bennet, one of dozens running for president. Rather than a receptive audience, the vigil organizer, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, instead saw, “A walkout by students opposing what they viewed as politicization of the tragedy.”

This was not the narrative that the media wanted to report on. They would prefer David Hogg ranting and raving, blaming Trump, the NRA, and toxic white masculinity for the shooting. How inconvenient that the affected students chanted “mental health” and didn’t join in the predictable politicization of a tragedy by the left.

One of the two shooters didn’t fit this mold. He was anti-Christian, critical of President Trump, a registered Democrat, and supportive of left-wing Occupy Democrats. In other words, his views were perfectly aligned with the Democrat Party base, a perspective big media would prefer to avoid discussing.

Well.

REMEMBER THEM: 2 decorated French soldiers killed in rescue mission that saved American, other hostages in Africa.

I’M SO OLD, I REMEMBER “SAFE, LEGAL, AND RARE.” Planned Parenthood supporters mock Students for Life display by chanting about how great abortion is.

YOUR DAILY TREACHER: Nobody Knows the Hood Like Joe Biden.

You might think Joe Biden is a racist, just because he has a long history of saying racist things and even voted to posthumously restore Robert E. Lee’s American citizenship. You might think his words and actions indicate who he really is. You couldn’t be more wrong. As it turns out, Joe Biden is down with the hood. And not the Klan hood!

Joseph Simonson, Washington Examiner:

Joe Biden Wednesday bragged about time he spent in the “hood,” a place where he said he found “women of color” he helped train to do computer coding…

“Through a program we had through community colleges [in Detroit], we can teach people how to code,” Biden said. “We went out, literally into the hood, and they found, turns out, 54 [people], they happened to be all women, the vast majority were women of color, no more than a high school degree, aged 25-54, and a third of them only had GEDs.”

At Hot Air, Allahpundit adds:

Here’s a fun one that I hadn’t heard before from all the way back in 1975, though, retrieved from the mists of time by the Examiner:

“I still walk down the street in the black side of town,” he told the Washington Post in 1975. “Mousey and Chops and all the boys at 13th, and — I can walk in those pool halls, and quite frankly don’t know another white man involved in Delaware politics who can do that kind of thing.”

Some intrepid reporter in Delaware should try to track down “Mousey” and “Chops” and “the boys at 13th” and see how they’re feeling about a President Biden. Who knows? Maybe they’ll stumble across T-Bone in the process.

Don’t miss the forest for the trees in Biden’s story, though. The chatterati is snickering over his use of the term “the hood” but the story he’s telling is about not taking the abilities of blue-collar people in the Rust Belt, black or white, for granted. They went to work, learned to code, and helped bring Detroit back to life.

Forget Joe’s experiences “in the hood,” I’m so old, I remember when saying “learn to code” was an instant banning on Twitter.

I’M SO OLD I CAN REMEMBER WHEN “NET NEUTRALITY” SUPPORTERS WERE THREATENING HIS FAMILY: Ajit Pai-proposed upgrade to 25Mbps starts paying off for rural ISPs.

ANNALS OF LEFTIST AUTOPHAGY: Cancel Culture Comes for Counterculture Comics. Today it’s creators, not cops, who want to banish R. Crumb, onetime king of the comics underground:

The American culture that R. Crumb and his contemporaries grew up in restricted the ways people could talk about sex, violence, race, and class. The first wave of underground comix artists reacted with metaphorical explosive violence, especially once they realized nothing was stopping them but the constraints of their own minds. That freedom, in all its messiness and ugliness, upset and unnerved and offended many. It also inspired massive amounts of interesting, strange, life-enhancing art, not just in the comics world but in such offshoots of Crumb’s aesthetic as National Lampoon, Saturday Night Live, and The Simpsons.

The attitudes Crumb satirized were real and, he thought, deserving of ridicule via crazed exaggeration. His feelings of hostility toward women are, as he has insisted in his comics and in interviews, true to him (and, he is certain, to many other men). What is to be gained by pretending they’re not? Crumb was honest about being the sort of resentful nebbish who in his pre-fame days saw women as controlling something he desperately wanted and couldn’t have—what would now be called a corrosive “incel” mentality, after the men who self-identify as involuntarily celibate.

In a 1991 interview with The Comics Journal, Crumb said art should be judged not on ideological purity but on whether it is “interesting or boring…honest and truthful and real…saying what’s really on [the artists’] minds.…If it’s really in there it ought to come out on paper.” At the same time, he reflected, “I don’t know, maybe we’re all just dragging society down. Maybe we should all be locked up.”

The paradox of liberal tolerance remains: Neither the transgressors nor the offended have a right to force the other side to just shut up about what its members think, feel, or imagine. The two are intimately linked in a mutually frustrating tango. The offended want certain expressions to go away or be universally recognized as unacceptable, and the transgressors want a social space to express themselves without feeling driven from society.

Read the whole thing. I’m so old, I can remember when the left celebrated the 1970s for all of its radical changes to society. Eventually though, all of its pop culture will be airbrushed out of existence, as left’s overculture goes full-on Mao.

MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY: It happened on this day in 1789. And if what you know about the mutiny is what you saw in the 1935 movie or the 1962 movie, then you may be surprised that the acerbic William Bligh was more the hero of the story than the villain. It was complicated.

The HMS Bounty had been sent on its long journey to Tahiti to collect breadfruit trees and transport them to the British West Indies. But when it arrived it turned out that, among other things, the trees needed to be dug up, potted, and allowed to take root before they could be taken away. As a result of all the delays, for a period of five months, the crew of 45 had to remain on Tahiti and be entertained by the … uh … extremely hospitable ladies of the island. The men—especially Acting Lieutenant Fletcher Christian—really hated to leave. He was in love.

Contrary to the early 20th “history,” the 33-year-old Bligh was not physically cruel to his men—not by late 18th century standards anyway. He used the lash rather less than most captains. That is not to say that he was Mr. Congeniality. He could give humiliating tongue-lashings with the best of them. But the mutiny, which occurred about three weeks after leaving Tahiti, was more about a rash group of fools who desperately wanted to go back to the lovely ladies of Tahiti than it was about unreasonably harsh treatment.

And they were vicious. As leader, Christian’s plan was to cast Bligh and the men who were loyal to him adrift in the Pacific, where the odds that they would survive were very slim. One problem was that it turned out half the crew were loyalists and there was not enough room in the launch for all of them.   Several therefore stayed with the ship, some of them begging Bligh to remember that they were not among the mutineers. “Never fear, lads,” he told them. “I’ll do you justice if ever I reach England.”

The launch, which held 19, was equipped with only five days of food and water, a sextant, a compass, a few tools and cutlasses, nautical tables and little else. It was only Bligh’s impressive seamanship skills through stormy seas that saved their lives. Or at least some of their lives. An early effort to get food and water on the island of Tongatapu resulted in one crewmember getting stoned to death by the natives. They dared not stop in the Fiji Islands given their reputation as a home to cannibals. Instead, they headed for the Dutch settlement at Kupang some 3500 (yes, that’s 3500) miles away, requiring them to navigate their way through treacherous parts of the Great Barrier Reef and through a maze of other hazards.

Miraculously, they made it.   On June 14th they arrived Kupang, although several of the men were in such poor health they ultimately died before making it home.

Bligh arrived in London in March of 1790 where he was hailed as a hero. He was formally court martialed for the loss of the Bounty, but it was a foregone conclusion that he would be acquitted. (Of course, no mutineer was there to testify.)

Meanwhile, the mutineers had made it back to Tahiti (in a somewhat roundabout way). There, the group broke up. Fearful that British authorities would catch up with them and aware that many Tahitians had begun to view them with hostility, Christian and eight others essentially abducted 20 Tahitians (14 women and 6 men) and headed for faraway, uninhabited Pitcairn Island. If there was anyplace they could successfully hide, Pitcairn was it.

The rest of the crewmembers, including several loyalists, were allowed to remain on Tahiti, where ultimately they were arrested by British authorities. Some died in a shipwreck on the way back to London. After a trial (at which, fairly or unfairly, Bligh’s reputation was somewhat tarnished), four were acquitted, three were pardoned, and three were hanged.

The Pitcairn Island contingent was not discovered until 1808. By that time, things there had long since come undone. Five of the mutineers, including Christian, had been killed in 1793 by the Tahitian men, who themselves were killed later on. Violence and alcoholism had ravaged the island for more than a decade. In 1808, only one mutineer was alive—John Adams—along with several women and children.  It is a ghastly story, softened only by Adams’ efforts to ensure the children would learn to read and become good Christians.

WAPO: The Far Right Opposes Suicide Bombings.

I’m so old, I can remember when this was (more or less) a bipartisan issue.

(Link safe, goes to Power Line.)

RYSZARD LEGUTKO on his new book, The Demons In Democracy. “The book is about how liberal democracy tends to develop the qualities that were characteristic of communism: pervasive politicization, ideological zeal, aggressive social engineering, vulgarity, a belief in inevitability of progress, destruction of family, the omnipresent rule of ideological correctness, severe restriction of intellectual inquiry, etc. All of these I remember from my young days in communism, and all these I have been observing, with a growing sense of alarm, in today’s liberal democracy. In the heyday of the communist rule it was customary that the communist students disrupted the lectures of old ‘bourgeois’ professors, accusing them of having reactionary views, of trying to corrupt the young minds with idealist philosophy, and of being at the service of imperialist forces.”

Well, to be fair, it’s basically communists who are behind it now, too.

DON’T GET COCKY: Four Reasons Why the Dems Will Lose in 2020.

The nation is actually doing quite well under President Trump, although you could never tell if your news comes from MSNBC, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, collectively the propaganda wing of the Democratic Party. Those manufacturing jobs we were told were gone? They are back. That 3% GDP that eluded Trump’s predecessor has returned and been exceeded. Those young black men who could not find work previously? They have found it now. That wealth disparity that Brother Bernie goes on and on about? It has diminished in recent years. Those flat wages? They have increased. Those who gave up looking for jobs? Many have now found the work that eluded them. Such positive news is always downplayed by the media and the Democrats.

The Democrats do best when the nation does poorly.

Remember in ‘92, Bill Clinton said; “It’s the economy, stupid”. When he said that, he did not have the facts regarding the economy on his side, but the message was clear: The economic condition will play a key role in determining the outcome of the election. Today that plays into President Trump’s hands.

Yeah, but I remember the press falling all over themselves to go along with Clinton’s claim that the short and relatively mild recession of late-1990/early-1991 was the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression — even though it was over before the campaign began.

HOW OUT OF TOUCH WITH REALITY DO YOU HAVE TO BE, TO THINK THAT TRUMP IS “SLAVISHLY SUBORDINATE” TO PUTIN?

Reality: Democrats, Join Trump Against Russian Aggression: His administration has been tough on Moscow’s meddling, both in U.S. elections and abroad.

Mr. Mueller did indict 13 Russian nationals for offenses related to election meddling. We know Moscow spent money on Facebook ads designed to exploit America’s divisions, targeting voters on both sides of the aisle. And Mr. Trump and the Republicans have responded. Under legislation enacted by a Republican Congress, the Trump administration imposed sanctions on Russian oligarchs and intelligence agencies.

Beyond the meddling, Mr. Trump has slammed Russia with bold moves designed to weaken Mr. Putin on the world’s stage. This administration imposed sanctions on Russia for violating nonproliferation laws by supporting weapons programs in Iran, Syria and North Korea. The Trump administration also issued more sanctions in response to Russia’s actions in Ukraine and its continuing occupation of Crimea. In 2017, the administration expelled 60 Russian intelligence officers and ordered multiple Russian consulates to close after Russia used a military-grade chemical weapon in the U.K. Mr. Trump even blocked Mr. Putin’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which could generate hundreds of millions of dollars for Russia if it goes ahead.

These tough actions have had an effect. Between January and July 2018, the Russian ruble declined 9% against the U.S. dollar. Russia’s Economic Development Ministry expects its economy to grow only 1.3% in 2019. The U.S. economy grew 2.9% in 2018 and is headed for another strong year.

In 2017, Mr. Trump supplied Ukraine with weapons so it could defend itself against Russian attacks. Remember, it was President Obama who stood idly as Russia invaded Crimea in 2014. Under the Trump administration, the U.S. has also engaged in hard-fought battles with Russian mercenaries in Syria.

In a sense, Russia succeeded in its mission to stoke division and fear within America. Some top Democrats have played right into Moscow’s hands by pursuing endless partisan investigations. If Democrats care about thwarting Russian meddling and aggression, they will disavow their conspiracy theory that our president is Mr. Putin’s puppet, and stop wasting taxpayer money peddling disproved collusion narratives. Instead, they can support this administration’s efforts to stand tall against the consistent threat Russia poses to America’s national security.

As Walter Russell Mead wrote in 2017:

If Trump were the Manchurian candidate that people keep wanting to believe that he is, here are some of the things he’d be doing:

Limiting fracking as much as he possibly could
Blocking oil and gas pipelines
Opening negotiations for major nuclear arms reductions
Cutting U.S. military spending
Trying to tamp down tensions with Russia’s ally Iran

That Trump is planning to do precisely the opposite of these things may or may not be good policy for the United States, but anybody who thinks this is a Russia appeasement policy has been drinking way too much joy juice.

Obama actually did all of these things, and none of the liberal media now up in arms about Trump ever called Obama a Russian puppet; instead, they preferred to see a brave, farsighted and courageous statesman. Trump does none of these things and has embarked on a course that will inexorably weaken Russia’s position in the world, and the media, suddenly flushing eight years of Russia dovishness down the memory hole, now sounds the warning that Trump’s Russia policy is treasonously soft.

Think of them as Democratic operatives with bylines, and no particular loyalty to the country’s best interests, and you won’t go far wrong.

But remember while America’s political class is focused on Russia, Chinese influence is running wild. That’s not an accident.

WITH DNC IN MIND, CITY BANS CARRYING URINE, FECES: Kevin Williamson on the real reasons why New Yorkers are fleeing the city:

True story: My wife and I both are former residents of New York City, and on a recent business trip there she was taking a nostalgic walk through the Upper West Side on a lovely fall day, talking to me on the phone about the possibility of moving back there. And then the crusty guy walking in front of her on the sidewalk stopped, dropped trou and took a dump right there on the sidewalk on Central Park West.

“Never mind,” she said.

I’m so old, I can remember when it was San Francisco copying New York’s style, not the other way around. Read the whole thing.

(Classical reference in headline.)

SPIN, SPIN, SPIN: ‘Propaganda,’ ‘a Farce,’ and ‘a Disgrace’: 2020 Dems Slam AG Barr’s Press Conference.

I’m so old I can remember when we were told we must accept the results of the Mueller investigation.

REMEMBER, WHEN TAXPAYERS TIRE OF SUPPORTING WOKE ACADEMIC BULLSHIT LIKE THIS, WE’LL BE TOLD IT’S BECAUSE OF “ANTI-INTELLECTUALISM.” “The building was so overburdened with meaning that its burning feels like an act of liberation,” says Patricio del Real, an architecture historian at Harvard University.

But seriously, why should taxpayers fund — and frankly coddle — people whose mission in life is to destroy the taxpayers’ culture? See also Ms. Sofia Leung, below.

AT THE INTERSECTION OF FAHRENHEIT 451 AND THE NOTRE DAME FIRE: Don’t Oppress My People With Your Public Libraries! As David Thompson writes:

Further to recent rumblings in the comments, Captain Nemo steers us to the Twitter feed of Library Journal, a “global community of more than 200,000 librarians and educators,” and which proudly directs its readers to the mental exertions of Ms Sofia Leung:

Our library collections, because they are written mostly by straight white men, are a physical manifestation of white men ideas taking up all the space in our library stacks. Pause here and think about this.

Ms Leung, an academic librarian, is unhappy that public libraries in the US, a white-majority culture with a white-majority history, tend to have, among other things, lots of books by authors with pale skin. This, we’re told, is an “interesting mini-eureka moment” that our Queen of Intersectional Rumination feels compelled to share. When Ms Leung discovers that public libraries in China and South Korea have quite a few books by Chinese and Korean authors, I’m sure she’ll be equally aghast. Every bit as offended.

Ms Leung airs her distaste for “white men ideas” — as if they had been uniform across continents and throughout history — while reminiscing about attending a “white AF conference” two years earlier. I was unsure what the “AF” might refer to and searched for some literary or scholarly explanation. It then occurred to me that a “white AF conference” is, to borrow the woke vernacular, a white as fuck conference. Which is how not-at-all-racist academic librarians convey their thoughts, apparently.*

Rod Dreher describes Ms. Leung’s actions as “A Smokeless Cathedral Burn:”

Do you not see what’s happening here? Those who control a culture’s memory control its people. Sofia “Social Justice Work Is Library Work” Leung wants to throw certain books down the memory hole because they are racially impure. If this catches on, then some sane institutions stand to inherit some valuable books tossed out by woke universities … unless Sofia Leung Thought requires the burning of those whiteness grimoires so they can’t pollute the minds of others ever again.

Why can’t universities simply expand their collections to include books and documents from a greater diversity of writers, scholars, and artists? If Leung was calling for that, who could possibly object? Not me. But she’s not calling for that at all. She’s calling for getting rid of books and documents that incarnate “whiteness,” whatever the hell that is.

As Ray Bradbury wrote in the introduction to the 50th anniversary edition of Fahrenheit 451, “There is more than one way to burn a book. And the world is full of people running around with lit matches.”

* Curious how the mainstream left sounds increasingly like the mirror image of the alt-right, huh?

UPDATE (FROM GLENN): Remember, when taxpayers tire of supporting this sort of “woke” academic bullshit, we’ll be told that it’s because of “anti-intellectualism.”

OH: Russian National Who Offered Dirt on Hillary Clinton Was an FBI informant.

Former Trump campaign adviser Michael Caputo says “a Russian national FBI informant” offered to give him dirt on Hillary Clinton in May of 2016, but no one, including DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz and U.S. Attorney John Huber, seems interested in hearing about it.

Caputo says that he forgot to mention a couple of suspicious episodes when the House and Senate Intelligence Committees first asked him if any Russians had offered him dirt on Clinton.

It wasn’t until the New York Times published a bombshell story in May of 2018, disclosing that the FBI had indeed used informants in its “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation in 2016, that Caputo says a “light bulb” went off in his head.

He says he went back and shared the information with the House and Senate Intelligence Committees as soon as he remembered.

Not long after that, Caputo was interviewed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team. He told PJ Media that he expected to be there until nightfall. As it turned out, he was done by 3 p.m.

Curious all around.

YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME: Sore Loser Stacey Abrams Subverts Democracy, Still Won’t Concede Georgia Governor’s Race.

I’m old enough to remember when Democrats insisted everybody had to accept election results.

A FRIEND ON FACEBOOK REALLY LIKED this Kevin Williamson essay on Trump and nationalism, but I was unimpressed. Okay, it has one truly brilliant line:

The Capitol dome is a great dome, but I know who’s in there.

But it rambles on and on and misses the obvious source of Trump’s nationalism talk and why it resonates. For 50-plus years, the academic and political classes have been telling people that America isn’t great, and often that it’s uniquely evil, and that anyone who thinks otherwise is a loser. This is pushback against that attitude. It’s working-class defiance in the face of the political/academic elite. Remember: In America, culture war is generally just a disguise for class war.

You can’t understand what’s going on in America today without understanding that and Williamson doesn’t seem to understand that. Which is weird, because in 2015 he wrote this: “Questions about patriotism and love of country are, according to our self-appointed referees, out of bounds, déclassé, boob bait for bubbas, etc. Those are questions that we are not allowed to ask in polite society. Why? Because polite society does not want to hear the answers. Does Barack Obama like America? The people around him certainly seem to have their reservations.” Strange that he should miss the point now, when he correctly identified our political class as a bunch of Holden Caulfields then.

Related: “Listening to Trump’s pitch, I felt it was so upbeat, so admiring and praising of people who usually hear that they’re washed up and pathetic.” These days, even from Kevin Williamson.

I’M SO OLD, I REMEMBER WHEN CNN STILL PRETENDED TO BE OBJECTIVE:

Don Lemon tells Cory Booker ‘nice job’ in ‘hot mic’ moment during CNN town hall.

Don Lemon Says He Texts Jussie Smollett Every Day Following Attack.

Last October, during the Kavanaugh hearings, when the Journolist decided that calling the violent left a mob was not permissible on DNC-MSM airwaves, the Daily Caller noted that “CNN host Don Lemon lost his cool with [right-leaning] network commentator Matt Lewis while discussing the ‘mob behavior’ of liberals versus conservatives Tuesday, telling him to ‘shut up’ while he made his point:”

Lewis tried to respond but Lemon wasn’t having it. “Will you let me finish, Matt, please, before you jump in? I’m making a point. Okay?,” he said. “I’m making a point. I can’t make it if you keep interrupting me.”

“You’re making a point. Are you the moderator or the host or arguing a liberal talking point,” Lewis shot back.

It’s the latter. Just think of the media as Democratic Party operatives with bylines, and it all makes sense.

SHOCK AND AOC: NY Dem Rep. Tom Suozzi: “We need” Green New Deal even though ideas in it are “fantasy land.” “So we’re clear:  He is saying they don’t really believe in the Green New Deal; they just want to shock people with it.”

I’m so old, I can remember when “Progressives” were against the concept of Future Shock:  

APPLE SEEKS TO INCREASE REVENUE WITH NEW SINGLE-USE LIGHTNING CABLES.

I’m so old, I can remember when the Babylon Bee was still satire…

CLOWN NOSE OFF: Colbert Rushes To Defend AOC from … Herself.

I’m so old, I can remember when late night talk show hosts still made jokes about their fellow Democrats.

TENN. CONGRESSMAN MARK GREEN: Democrats, Join Trump Against Russian Aggression: His administration has been tough on Moscow’s meddling, both in U.S. elections and abroad.

Mr. Mueller did indict 13 Russian nationals for offenses related to election meddling. We know Moscow spent money on Facebook ads designed to exploit America’s divisions, targeting voters on both sides of the aisle. And Mr. Trump and the Republicans have responded. Under legislation enacted by a Republican Congress, the Trump administration imposed sanctions on Russian oligarchs and intelligence agencies.

Beyond the meddling, Mr. Trump has slammed Russia with bold moves designed to weaken Mr. Putin on the world’s stage. This administration imposed sanctions on Russia for violating nonproliferation laws by supporting weapons programs in Iran, Syria and North Korea. The Trump administration also issued more sanctions in response to Russia’s actions in Ukraine and its continuing occupation of Crimea. In 2017, the administration expelled 60 Russian intelligence officers and ordered multiple Russian consulates to close after Russia used a military-grade chemical weapon in the U.K. Mr. Trump even blocked Mr. Putin’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which could generate hundreds of millions of dollars for Russia if it goes ahead.

These tough actions have had an effect. Between January and July 2018, the Russian ruble declined 9% against the U.S. dollar. Russia’s Economic Development Ministry expects its economy to grow only 1.3% in 2019. The U.S. economy grew 2.9% in 2018 and is headed for another strong year.

In 2017, Mr. Trump supplied Ukraine with weapons so it could defend itself against Russian attacks. Remember, it was President Obama who stood idly as Russia invaded Crimea in 2014. Under the Trump administration, the U.S. has also engaged in hard-fought battles with Russian mercenaries in Syria.

In a sense, Russia succeeded in its mission to stoke division and fear within America. Some top Democrats have played right into Moscow’s hands by pursuing endless partisan investigations. If Democrats care about thwarting Russian meddling and aggression, they will disavow their conspiracy theory that our president is Mr. Putin’s puppet, and stop wasting taxpayer money peddling disproved collusion narratives. Instead, they can support this administration’s efforts to stand tall against the consistent threat Russia poses to America’s national security.

As Walter Russell Mead wrote in 2017:

If Trump were the Manchurian candidate that people keep wanting to believe that he is, here are some of the things he’d be doing:

Limiting fracking as much as he possibly could
Blocking oil and gas pipelines
Opening negotiations for major nuclear arms reductions
Cutting U.S. military spending
Trying to tamp down tensions with Russia’s ally Iran

That Trump is planning to do precisely the opposite of these things may or may not be good policy for the United States, but anybody who thinks this is a Russia appeasement policy has been drinking way too much joy juice.

Obama actually did all of these things, and none of the liberal media now up in arms about Trump ever called Obama a Russian puppet; instead, they preferred to see a brave, farsighted and courageous statesman. Trump does none of these things and has embarked on a course that will inexorably weaken Russia’s position in the world, and the media, suddenly flushing eight years of Russia dovishness down the memory hole, now sounds the warning that Trump’s Russia policy is treasonously soft.

Think of them as Democratic operatives with bylines, and no particular loyalty to the country’s best interests, and you won’t go far wrong.

But remember while America’s political class is focused on Russia, Chinese influence is running wild. That’s not an accident.

JOEL KOTKIN: Understanding the appeal of democratic socialism is the key to defeating it.

In their race to save an unpopular president and their lack of a positive agenda, many Republicans and conservatives increasingly identify the rise of “democratic socialism” as their ultimate, if you will, Trump card. Given the fact that most Americans, particularly older ones, still favor capitalism and are less than enthusiastic about expanding federal power, this approach might work.

But conservatives, in or out of the White House, underestimate the intrinsic appeal of the resurgence of neo-Marxism at their own peril. Already more Democrats have a favorable view of socialism than capitalism. Some millennials — soon to be the nation’s largest voting bloc — even see neo-Marxism as “hip” and even “sexy.” . . .

With rampant inequality and shrinking middle class, the case for socialism should be stronger than any time since the Depression; many, if not most Americans, certainly would not object to taxing the uber-wealthy much more. But socialism’s leading messengers, reared in the ideological hot-houses of elite universities, also constitute the wealthiest and whitest of America’s political tribes.

Not surprisingly the neo-socialists carry attitudes ill-suited for capitalizing, as did Donald Trump, on the mass middle and working class disaffection. All too often they adopt the intersectional, and sometimes openly anti-American, agenda incubated throughout our culture and educational system. Their obsessions with racial redress, including reparations and open borders, seemed ill-suited to winning over most working class voters, something that more seasoned socialists, like Bernie Sanders, recognize.

Read the whole thing. I’ll just note that you can’t be a champion of the working class and also back open borders. This is why, traditionally, labor unions were anti-immigration.

Plus: “Those on the right, with all their fulsome defense of capitalism, need to be reminded that free markets need to create increased opportunity as well as the better living conditions. Our increasingly hierarchal, and feudal, capitalism all too often fails this test. My fellow capitalists, please remember that only a broadly inclusive version of capitalism can exorcise the ghost of socialism.” I agree, which is why we need to break up tech monopolies that can’t realistically be described as “free market” entities.

Related: Capitalism Saved Sweden.

It is important to refute, using simple and widely available empirical evidence, the claim that Sweden is “socialist.” It is not. In fact, Sweden is one of the most robustly capitalist nations on earth.

By socialism, I mean a system that relies on state ownership and control of the means of production, state direction of production decisions, and direct state control of education and employment decisions of individuals. If one does not mean those things, then that would require a little more thinking about what “socialism” means. If by “socialism” you mean prosperity and rule of law, then you are confused.

Sweden does have an extensive welfare state, though as its population becomes more diverse, support for that apparatus is declining.

MICHAEL BARONE: Old political rules of thumb are yielding to even older ones.

One reason old political rules stop working is that one generation of voters has different experiences from those of the generations before. Voters who remembered the Depression and World War II in the 1940s rewarded incumbent presidents who seemed to have produced prosperity and peace with landslide re-elections.

They were willing to cross party lines to express their gratitude for policies that seemed to prevent horrors that were then all too familiar. So incumbent presidents of both parties won between 57 and 61 percent of the popular vote in 1956, 1964, 1972 and 1984. Since 1988, only a shrinking sliver of voters remembers what Americans used to call “the Depression” and “the War,” and no president has won more than 53 percent.

Just as Trump has not been able to raise his job rating to the improving economy, so his political enemies have not been able to lower it significantly. Each new supposedly shocking personal revelation has failed to shock; each eagerly whispered allegation of criminal collusion has failed to disenchant.

It’s apparent now that Trump’s support (the 21st-century Republican core, minus a couple million white college grads, plus a couple million white non-grads) is sticking with him pretty much regardless of events or outcomes. And the coalition that makes up the 21st-century Democrats, with the reverse adjustments, is solidly arrayed against him.

This is actually in line with old political rules, rules with origins going back long before the 1930s and 1940s. The Republican Party, from its formation in 1854, has been built around a core of people considered to be ordinary Americans, but not by themselves a majority. The Democratic Party, from its formation in 1832, has been a coalition of those regarded as out-peoples, often at odds with each other, but together often a majority.

Both parties’ voters today are acting in characteristic fashion. The vast body of Republicans has no truck with the complaints of Never Trumpers. The Democrats are in turmoil, panicking at the possibility of having enemies on the Left, to the point that House Democrats couldn’t pass a resolution decrying the blatant anti-Semitism of one of their own.

Well, it’s hard to decry blatant anti-semitism when a major constituency of yours consists of blatant anti-semites.

THE APOCALYPSE PRIMARY:

Predictably, much of the doomsday rhetoric is focused on the issue of climate change. The United State must act now. Eliminate the filibuster. Enact the Green New Deal immediately to authorize trillions of dollars in new spending to reduce our country’s 15 percent (and falling) share of global carbon emissions, even though most Americans say they are unwilling to spend even $10 a month to accomplish that goal.

But absent some ambitious military campaign to carpet bomb Chinese and Indian industrial centers, it’s unclear how eliminating cars, euthanizing the U.S. cattle population, and installing solar panels on every single building in America is going to forestall the end of the world, should the most dire predictions prove accurate.

All the Democrats have to do is not be crazy, and they can’t even do that.™

But to paraphrase Kathy Shaidle on Trump as Hitler, I’m already on (at least) my fourth apocalypse.

REMEMBER THIS? Police release more records in Las Vegas massacre.

There were no new revelations among the more than 750 pages of documents, and authorities have not determined a motive for the 2017 carnage that killed 58 people and injured more than 850 others at an outdoor concert.

Police and the FBI have each concluded investigations, saying 64-year-old shooter Stephen Paddock acted alone and was not inspired by any outside group or ideology.

FBI profilers determined Paddock — a high-stakes video poker player and former accountant — might have been seeking infamy and trying to follow in the criminal footsteps of his bank robber father, who made the agency’s most-wanted list in the 1960s.

Police said the 35th batch of material released since May under court order in a public records lawsuit will be the last.

There’s still so little there, there.

I’M SO OLD I CAN REMEMBER WHEN THEY WERE ACCUSING TRUMP OF WAGING WAR AGAINST TIME-TESTED AMERICAN INSTITUTIONS: David Harsanyi: Democrats Want To Kill The Electoral College Because They Fear The Constitution.