June 22, 2019

HUFFPOST GETS SHAMED FOR PEDDLING ANTI-VAXX HYSTERIA:

Insider.com did a deep dive into one of the largest purveyors of anti-vaxxer conspiracies — the Huffington Post — and discovered that it may have been a primary driver in the early days of vaccine paranoia:

Under Huffington’s leadership in the 2000s, the site was one of the largest platforms for the then-novel allegation that vaccines, or certain ingredients used in vaccines, could trigger autism in young children. It was in part through their frequent posts on the site, then known as the Huffington Post, that McCarthy and Kennedy became so publicly associated with the discredited theory. But it wasn’t just by virtue of HuffPost’s status as an open platform for celebrities that the conspiracy theory took hold there; INSIDER has learned that Huffington actively recruited at least one writer who questioned the safety of vaccines to air his views on her site.

Arianna Huffington was making the transition from conservative-ish to liberal back then and, like all libs, was enamored of anything celebrities had to say. That’s how a former Playboy Playmate became the well-publicized spokesperson for a nascent movement of anti-science zealots.

All is proceeding as Andrew Breitbart foresaw.

HMM: Processed foods may lead to autism, study says. “Researchers found large amounts of propionic acid used to produce processed foods can damage brain cells in a fetus, which may lead to autism, according to a study published Wednesday in Scientific Reports.”

Plus, interesting effects on gut bacteria.

THE CORBYNIZATION OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY CONTINUES APACE: Bananas: After slamming Biden for civility towards segregationists, Booker says he … won’t rule out meeting Louis Farrakhan.

QUESTION ASKED: Human nature: is it good or is it bad?

I’m wondering where the stupid idea that people are inherently good got started. Until fairly (in historical terms) recently, everyone understood that the basic rule of human conduct was, as Thucydides put it, “The strong do what they can, the weak suffer what they must.” Was it Rosseau? Marx? And why would anyone believe humans were inherently good when all of human history shows the opposite?

In 1987’s The Closing of the American Mind, Allan Bloom wrote:

A few years ago I chatted with a taxi driver in Atlanta who told me he had just gotten out of prison, where he served time for peddling dope. Happily he had undergone “therapy.” I asked him what kind. He responded, “All kinds— depth-psychology, transactional analysis, but what I liked best was Gestalt.” Some of the German ideas did not even require English words to become the language of the people. What an extraordinary thing it is that high-class talk from what was the peak of Western intellectual life, in Germany, has become as natural as chewing gum on American streets. It indeed had its effect on this taxi driver. He said that he had found his identity and learned to like himself. A generation earlier he would have found God and learned to despise himself as a sinner. The problem lay with his sense of self, not with any original sin or devils in him. We have here the peculiarly American way digesting Continental despair. It is nihilism with a happy ending.

Or as a legendary community organizer said to a Chicago Sun-Times reporter covering religion-themed topics when asked “What is sin?” in 2004,  “Being out of alignment with my values.”

BRET STEPHENS: Histrionics, Hysteria and Joe Biden. Will the Democratic Party banish its democratic instincts?

The same people who think it’s a good idea to maintain an open line to foreign enemies apparently now believe it’s appalling for Biden to have observed collegial norms with fellow Democrats. The author Ta-Nehisi Coates went so far as to call it “a secondary endorsement, as crazy as it sounds, of Jim Crow,” on the theory that Biden’s civility meant making his peace with a racist system.

In fact, Biden made no such peace; all the landmark civil-rights legislation was passed well before he arrived in the Senate in 1973. He simply dealt with the Congress as he found it and looked for opportunities to be constructive and consequential rather than destructive and obnoxious. That is now his brand as a presidential candidate, and it’s what his critics find so objectionable: How dare he try to work with his opponents instead of seeking to shun or annihilate them?

These same critics have also ripped Biden for saying a kind word about Mike Pence and Michigan Republican Fred Upton (the latter for advancing legislation for treatment of pediatric cancer). The goal isn’t simply to discredit Biden as generationally out-of-touch or too politically clubby or insufficiently transformational or otherwise gaffe-prone. It’s to rid the party of compromisers of any sort — that is, to purge the Democratic Party of its democratic instincts.

All of this is evidence of what psychologist Pamela Paresky calls the “apocalyptic” approach to politics that increasingly typifies today’s progressivism. “It is an apocalyptic view, not a liberal one, that rejects redemption and forgiveness in favor of condemnation and excommunication,” she writes in Psychology Today. “It is an apocalyptic perspective, not a liberal one, that sees the world as needing to be destroyed and replaced rather than improved and perfected.”

Stephens discovered that apocalyptic approach to politics first-hand when he joined the Times in 2017: Times Columnist Blasted By “Nasty Left” For Climate Change Piece.

“After 20 months of being harangued by bullying Trump supporters, I’m reminded that the nasty left is no different. Perhaps worse,” Stephens tweeted Friday afternoon, as the hateful messages kept rolling in.

“Go eat dog d—s,” fumed one Twitter user.

“When is the Times going to get rid of you?” another asked.

Stephens even managed to tick off fellow journalists.

“You’re a s–thead. a crybaby lil f–kin weenie. a massive twat too,” tweeted Libby Watson, staff writer at Gizmodo.

“I’m gonna lose my mind,” seethed Eve Peyser, politics writer at Vice.

“The ideas ppl like @BretStephensNYT espouse are violently hateful & should not be given a platform by @NYTimes,” she said.

In the column, Stephens never states that he believes climate change is a farce. He simply asserts that people should look at claims from both supporters and deniers, in the attempt to get all the facts.

But the exposure to the social media equivalent of the Maoist struggle session may have changed Stephens’ mind on at least one topic dear to the left, causing one of the Times’ token faux-cons to go from supporting concealed carry in 2016 when he was still with the Wall Street Journal, to writing the following year, “Repeal the Second Amendment. I have never understood the conservative fetish for the Second Amendment.”

G.K. Chesterton has a fence he’d like to show Stephens.

I KNEW THERE WAS A REASON I LIKE THE USA MORE THAN I LIKE BELGIUM:  “Prosecutors Call for an End to Jury Trials [in Serious Criminal Cases in Belgium]”

WELL, AFTER THE POLITICIANS STOLE THEIR SHARE, THERE WASN’T ENOUGH MONEY LEFT TO ACTUALLY FIX THE ROADS: Michigan Roads Declined Even As Funding Rose Sharply.

IF YOU GO CARRYING PICTURES OF CHAIRMAN MAO, YOU AIN’T GONNA MAKE IT WITH ANYONE, ANYHOW: John Lennon’s Son Denounces Political Correctness, Says Leftist Intellectuals Have Become Pathetic.

Dad eventually may have figured that out also, in his last days, before his life was tragically cut short. His personal assistant from 1979 until his death late the following year has said, “John, basically, made it very clear that if he were an American he would vote for Reagan because he was really sour on Jimmy Carter.”

Because of Lennon’s murder, and because so much footage exists of him recording the Imagine album in 1971, his radical chic image has become freeze-dried. But it was simply another phase for Lennon, in-between the psychedelia of the mid-‘60s, the booze-fueled “lost weekend” of the mid-‘70s, his house husband phase raising Sean few years later, and his return to recording near the end of the ‘70s.

As Lennon himself said in one his last interviews, “I dabbled in politics in the late 1960s and 1970s, more out of guilt than anything. Guilt for being rich and guilt thinking that perhaps love and peace isn’t enough and you have to go and get shot or something, or get punched in the face to prove I’m one of the people. I was doing it against my instincts.”

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.

DISPATCHES FROM THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON: Roger Waters Sings Maduro’s Praises While Venezuela Burns.

Presumably, former bandmate David Gilmour approves of Maduro’s spectacular achievement in flat-lining Venezuela’s carbon footprint.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Fight-Ready Fitness: Staying in Shape for Self-Defense. The main point about staying fit is right, the training advice is so-so.

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Plus, deals in Beauty and Grooming.

THE CORBYNIZATION OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY CONTINUES APACE: Ilhan Omar (D-MN): Don’t Know Why Calling Facilities Concentration Camps Is Controversial.

Which seems an odd statement, considering that “Omar [Re-Tweeted] Publication That Claimed the Holocaust Was ‘Different from How the Jews Tell It.’”

Related: Tucker Carlson: Why Is Ilhan Omar So Ungrateful To The Country That Saved Her At The Public’s Expense?

Exit question: “Why does this woman, who fled Somalia and came to the U.S. at the public expense because we’re a nation who is compassionate towards real refugees, then dedicate her life to attacking it?”

SPACE: SpaceX Falcon Heavy’s third launch set for Monday night in Florida.

NEVER MIND? E. Jean Carroll tells Lawrence O’Donnell it would be ‘disrespectful’ to file criminal rape charges against Trump.

Related: Trump Haters Furious: How Dare He Defend Himself Against Rape Accusations?!

UPDATE (FROM GLENN): I started to blog this earlier, but it seemed like obvious book-promotional BS to me. I’m feeling pretty good about that intuition.

Also, look what Monica Showalter has to say.

KYLE MIZOKAMI: A Closer Look at the MQ-4 Triton, the Recon Drone Iran Just Shot Down.

NEW SOCIALIST “IT GIRL” GIVEN CHANCE TO DISCOVER PRE-2017 HISTORY: Polish Parliament Member Invites AOC To Visit Real Concentration Camps.

COLOR ME UNSURPRISED: Researchers Shocked by Findings of Post-Gamergate Study: Female Gamers Are More Sexist. “In a surprise twist, the female gamers in both groups turned out to be significantly more likely to engage to send sexist jokes to their partner, and most of the sexual harassment was of men.”

DISPATCHES FROM THE INTERSECTION OF THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE AND THE NEWSPEAK DICTIONARY: Transgender Colorado STEM Shooter Motivated by Revenge Over Pronouns, Bullying.

Earlier: Pediatric gender clinics: We may look back and ask ‘what were we thinking?’

ON THIS DAY IN 1871: Arthur Wynne, the inventor of the modern crossword puzzle, was born. Yes, crossword puzzles had to be invented. They didn’t just fall from the sky.  Very little in life just drops from the sky.

ELIZABETH WARREN CONTINUES TO RISE IN POLLS:  Okay, but her medical bankruptcy study still looks a lot like a case of academic fraud.

NOW THAT NATIONAL REVIEW HAS NOTICED THE OBVIOUS, WHAT LEG DO THE NEVERTRUMPERS HAVE TO STAND ON? Subtract Trump’s taste for controversy and rhetorical brinkmanship, and you’re left with an incrementalist center-right government. “Subtract Trump’s taste for nonstop controversy and rhetorical brinkmanship, and you’re left with an incrementalist center-right government that has pursued an expansionary fiscal policy and avoided foreign war, for a period of peace and prosperity that — in any other universe — would be at the core of a stay-the-course reelection message.”

Related: Donald Trump is a symptom of a new kind of class warfare raging at home and abroad. “To understand events around the world today, one must think in terms of the class struggle. This sentence sounds like something that could be written by a doctrinaire Marxist. But it is nonetheless true. Much of the current tension in America and in many other democracies is in fact a product of a class struggle. It’s not the kind of class struggle that Karl Marx wrote about, with workers and peasants facing off against rapacious capitalists, but it is a case of today’s ruling class facing disaffection from its working class.”

DISPATCHES FROM GROUND ZERO OF THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: David Gibson on Oberlin College verdict: Kept fighting so his father didn’t “die being labeled as a racist.”

As the extended legal battle dragged on, many asked why I didn’t just quit. Wouldn’t it be easier to close up shop and move on?

What few understand is that this situation not only affected our business; it touched every aspect of our lives.

In the end, the words of my father inspired me to continue the fight. He said, “In my life, I’ve done everything I could to treat all people with dignity and respect. And now, nearing the end of my life, I’m going to die being labeled as a racist.”

There wasn’t enough time, he feared, to set the record straight. His legacy had been tarnished and he felt powerless to stop it. I had to see this case through.

This experience has taught me that reputations are a fragile thing. They take a lifetime to build, but only moments to destroy.

Something Oberlin has discovered in recent weeks. As Steve Hayward wrote in earlier this month, “Will Oberlin Learn Its Lesson? Short answer: No, they won’t.”

 

THE POWER LINE WEEK IN PICTURES: Inconceivable Edition!

NEW FROM THE VODKAWIFE™: Destined: Fated, Book One (A Romantic Adventure).

DAVID GILMOUR’S GUITAR AUCTION NETS $21M FOR CLIMATE CHANGE CHARITY:

David Gilmour isn’t satisfied being “Comfortably Numb” when it comes to the planet.

The Pink Floyd axeman auctioned his guitars for $21 million Thursday — and he’s donating every penny to ClientEarth, a nonprofit fighting climate change.

“The global climate crisis is the greatest challenge that humanity will ever face, and we are within a few years of the effects of global warming being irreversible,” tweeted Gilmour, the singer, guitarist and songwriter for the legendary Brit rock band.

“We need a civilized world that goes on for all our grandchildren and beyond in which these guitars can be played and songs can be sung.”

Related: Pink Floyd’s last North American tour, in 1994, played in many of America’s largest outdoor stadiums. According to the “Pink Floyd North American 1994 Production manual and contract,” the Floyd’s tour involved 28 semis, each with a 48-foot long trailer, plus eight crew buses, five rental cars, runner vans and cars, and five vans for the band itself from the hotel to the stadium, along with up to seven golf carts at the arena. The promoter at each venue was required to provide nine forklifts, one cherry picker, one 35-ton mobile crane and one 60-ton mobile crane. “A supply of fuel for all of the above machinery must be kept onsite and topped up as required.” The production manual noted that “The band party will comprise approximately forty (40) persons who will arrive either on board their private, charter aircraft, or via commercial airlines. Either a fifty (50) seat luxury coach or four (4) twelve (12) seat mini-vans will be required to meet the plane and transport the band party to and from their hotel. A small truck will also be required with driver to transport the band party’s luggage to and from the hotel and airport. Should the size of the band party increase, Pink Floyd reserve the right to increase the quantity of the aforementioned transportation accordingly.” The band carried its own generator to power its massive lighting, laser, and amplification rig. The tour’s production manual demanded that the promoter have access to a 24-hour emergency 800-KVA generator.

I really don’t want to hear another word about Glenn Reynolds’ carbon footprint.

THEY TOLD ME THAT IN A TRUMP PRESIDENCY, OPEN RACISM WOULD BE THE ORDER OF THE DAY. AND THEY WERE RIGHT! Rutgers to host ‘Recognizing and Dismantling White Organizational Culture’ event.

MORE REASON NOT TO TRUST THE INTERNET OF THINGS: The GE smart bulb reset video, a comic masterpiece.

SOMERSETT’S CASE: On this day in 1772, Lord Mansfield, Chief Justice of the King’s Bench, held that chattel slavery was unsupported by the common law of England and Wales.

James Somersett had been brought to England in 1769 by customs officer Charles Stewart, who had purchased him in Boston. In 1771, Somersett escaped. Stewart recaptured and imprisoned him, intending to ship him off to the Caribbean to be sold. But anti-slavery advocates sued in court for his release.

Stewart warned of dire consequences if slavery were to be unrecognized. Mansfield responded, “Fiat justitia, ruat caelum.” (Let justice be done though the heavens fall.)

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Feminist TA suggests men are not women and UCSB students are NOT happy.

In 2019, the proper feminist answer is that men can be women whenever they want — and they’re better at it than regular women when they are.

BARBIE GETS WOKE, MATTEL GOES BROKE: Barbie maker Mattel ‘is insolvent’ and can’t be ‘salvaged.’

Weird, you would have thought “Hijab Barbie” would have saved them.

SHOCKER: A BOGUS #METOO CLAIM AGAINST A POPULAR CONSERVATIVE POLITICIAN. Police called to Boris Johnson flat after neighbour reportedly heard screaming. Bottom line: “There were no offences or concerns apparent to the officers and there was no cause for police action.”

WHY IS THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY SUCH A CESSPIT OF MISOGYNY? CNN Panel Slams House Democrats for ‘Offensive’ Treatment of Hope Hicks: Rep. Nadler addressed Hicks by the wrong name three times.

WHY CONSERVATIVES SHOULD SUPPORT REBUILDING NEW YORK’S PENN STATION:

American greatness in an urban train station? It sounds strange, even absurd. But reconstructing New York’s Penn Station in its original grandeur could be just the thing to reinvigorate conservatism in America’s cities and suburbs.

Restoring its beauty and traditional architecture would warm the hearts of commuters and travelers, and its magnificence could stand as a monument to American triumph past and present. A reborn Penn Station would be the centerpiece of much-needed infrastructure upgrades in New York, while showing urban and suburban conservatives that the Republican Party has not forgotten them.

Waaaaay ahead of you on that one.

IF YOUR HATRED FOR TRUMP EXCEEDS YOUR HATRED OF POINTLESS WARS: You have some serious problems. It’s about a week behind, but here’s a “must watch” clip of Tucker Carlson calmly, rationally, and factually praising Trump for not starting a war with Iran.

Look, I can’t bear the idea of an Islamic theocracy anymore than the next person (and a Jew at that) but this would not be like swooping in on Grenada. Anyone with a lick of military experience would tell you this would evolve into a debacle we’ve seen before, with horrific loss of blood and treasure.

Of course, the deepest sufferers of Trump Derangement Syndrome egging us into war are never the ones who pay with their lives on the line. To them, our soldiers are (to paraphrase John Kerry) expendable idiots who are not smart enough to marry rich condiment heiresses.

LIBERATED GRIFT: A third of women only date men because of the free food: study. “‘Foodie calls,’ can happen when money’s tight, the grocery store is out of a favorite frozen meal, or a must-try entree is just too extravagant to justify — when the tab comes out of your own bank account. . . . The researchers — Brian Collisson, Jennifer Howell, and Trista Harig of Azusa Pacific University and UC Merced — also noted that the woman who felt dating for food was socially acceptable were more likely to exhibit the ‘dark triad’ of personality traits. That’s ‘psychopathy, Machiavellianism, and narcissism’ for those without a PhD in psych.”

Related: Denmark Begs Men to Have Sex with its Feminists.

TODAY’S DEMOCRATS DO A LOT OF ANGER-PROVOKING THINGS: Rare C-SPAN anger flashed in first coverage ban in 40-year history. “How rare was the decision by the party to bar C-SPAN gavel-to-gavel coverage? Scully told the Washington Examiner, ‘This is the first time in C-SPAN’s 40-years history of covering ‘Road to the White House’ that we have been denied live coverage of a state party convention.'”

ONLY IF THEY’RE WILLING TO LEARN: The Oberlin Case Gives College Leaders a Teachable Moment. “If they don’t rein in the political zealotry of their administrators, they might also face a suit like Oberlin’s.”

Related: Oberlin bakery owner speaks out.

PETER GARRETSON: The first duty of a Space Force is to protect space commerce.

OF COURSE YOU DO: Bank of America CEO: ‘We want a cashless society.’ A cashless society means that bankers control transactions.

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.

QUESTION ASKED…AND NOT ENTIRELY ANSWERED: Why Does The Left Love Islam So Much?

MORE LIKE THIS, PLEASE: Clarence Thomas Benchslaps the Federal Government in a Property Rights Case. Quoth Thomas:

The United States…urges us not to enforce the Takings Clause as written. It worries that requiring payment to accompany a taking would allow courts to enjoin or invalidate broad regulatory programs “merely” because the program takes property without paying for it. According to the United States, “there is a ‘nearly infinite variety of ways in which government actions or regulations can affect property interests,’ and it ought to be good enough that the government “implicitly promises to pay compensation for any taking” if a property owner successfully sues the government in court. Government officials, the United States contends, should be able to implement regulatory programs “without fear” of injunction or invalidation under the Takings Clause, “even when” the program is so far reaching that the officials “cannot determine whether a taking will occur.”

The Constitution isn’t about making it easy and painless for government officials to do whatever they want.

Related: In Sharp Dissent, Neil Gorsuch Faults SCOTUS for Letting the Attorney General ‘Write His Own Criminal Code.’ Bring back the non-delegation doctrine.

MY EMPLOYER IS RE-NAMING THINGS: The University of San Diego, whose campus is graced with beautiful Spanish architecture and mission imagery, has resolved to “better recognize the rich history of the Kumeyaay Nation.” To that end, the University President announced in an email message a while ago that “Serra Hall,” previously named for St. Junipero Serra has been re-named “Saints Tekakwitha and Serra Hall.” According to the message, this is “meant to encourage continued dialogue on the important topic of colonialization, the spread of the Catholic faith and the impact both had on Native American populations.”

Tekakwitha, however, was a 17th century Mohawk woman who spent her life in New York and Canada. It’s unlikely Tekakwitha and her fellow Mohawks had ever heard of the Kumeyaay Nation. Moreover, it’s worth noting that the Mohawks of her era were not known for respecting the autonomy of neighboring tribes, so it’s not clear why anyone should regard this as an effort to recognize the Kumeyaay.

History is messy.

June 21, 2019

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JORDAN PETERSON ON what women want.

OPEN THREAD: It’s Friday night.

WHAT ARE THEY DOING NOW THAT THEY’LL BE APOLOGIZING FOR IN 50 YEARS? U.S. psychoanalysts apologize for labeling homosexuality an illness.

Related (From Ed): I’ll take “Headlines I wasn’t expecting this week in the Minneapolis Star Tribune for $500,” Alex: Pediatric gender clinics: We may look back and ask ‘what were we thinking?’

I HAD MISSED THIS ON MONDAY: Jed Babbin: The CIA Is Running Scared — Barr’s bloodhounds are sniffing up Langley’s skirts.

STANDING UP TO COLONIALISM: Indigenous people level a crushing blow to U.S. funded anti-oil sands campaign.

Dozens of Indigenous groups are turning forcefully against the anti-pipeline agenda of Greenpeace and other U.S.-funded green and social justice groups. . . .

He’s fed up with American anti-oil influence. Some U.S. money has gone to Indigenous protest groups.

Wapass said he won’t allow for outside interests to keep his people impoverished. “We need money to create that hope within our kids and their kids,” he said. “We need money to look after our most vulnerable and we don’t have that.”

He’s determined to stand up against the U.S.-funded lobby. “The only card they could play is what they played, which is, ‘Let’s use the Indigenous people as a block to advance our personal interests here in the U.S. and let’s pump money into it.’ But we recognize that, we see that, and we’re saying, ‘No, no, no, no. Not on our watch.’ ”

Good.

WELL, THIS IS THE 21ST CENTURY, YOU KNOW: The FDA may soon give women more options for boosting their libidos.

CALIFORNIA UNPLUGGED: Jim Meigs writes about the “planned blackouts” that are coming. “Many California residents—especially retirees—are drawn to rural areas by the natural beauty. Who wouldn’t want to live in the Sierra foothills? But many also move to escape soaring housing costs in the state’s notoriously anti-development major cities. More people inhabiting the wildland-urban interface means more lives and structures placed at risk. As a result, today’s routine fires cause even more damage than those in the past.”

My advice: Move. Or buy a generator.

BUT OF COURSE: More baby boomers opting for cosmetic surgery. “If we were having this conversation in the year 2000, we would only be talking about surgery. Now we have minimally invasive and even nonsurgical techniques available to us.”

ROSIAK EXPOSES ANOTHER HILL COMPUTER OUTRAGE: The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Luke Rosiak busted Pakistani computer rogue Imran Awan in 2017, and now he’s peeling back the layers of deception, deceit and denial in yet another Hill IT scandal.

Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.) is a former CIA agent and freshman congressman, who hired Samantha DeForst-Davis, accomplice to convicted felon Jackson Cosko, the former Senate IT aide behind what federal prosecutors called “the largest data theft in Senate history.”

“Spanberger’s spokesman Connor Joseph did not respond to a request to explain whether the congresswoman’s office called anyone in the Senate to get a job reference and why her central Virginia constituents should trust that her office safeguards their personal data,” Rosiak reports today.

“Capitol Police spokeswoman Eva Malecki did not respond to a request to explain why it did not alert Spanberger that the House’s newest pending hire was a suspect in an ongoing criminal investigation. Spanberger is a member of the House’s Foreign Affairs Committee, which deals with information of interest to America’s adversaries,” Rosiak writes.

If you haven’t already got it, be sure and get your hands on a copy of Rosiak’s “Obstruction of Justice,” his detailed account of how he broke open the Awan outrage. Just click on the Shop Amazon button above.

AN INTERVIEW WITH MY OLD DIVE INSTRUCTOR, Liz Parkinson, who’s now working with James Cameron.

UPDATE: People want more Liz Parkinson pics, visit her Instagram.

UNEXPECTEDLY:  Ilhan Omar agrees with AOC on America running “concentration camps.”

As Glenn has noted, “getting Reps. Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib, and Omar elected was Roger Stone’s finest dirty trick.”

INSTITUTE FOR JUSTICE: Louisiana Hair Braiders File Lawsuit to Untangle State’s Unnecessary Braiding License.

Lynn Schofield, a plaintiff in the lawsuit, experienced firsthand the harms of Louisiana’s unnecessary red tape. She moved to Louisiana in 2000 and opened Afro Touch, the state’s first salon dedicated solely to hair braiding. It was so successful, she expanded her business to four locations with more than 20 employees. But that all changed in 2003 when the Board created the braiding license. Braiding without a license is punishable by fines of up to $5,000 per incident. Unable to fully staff her salons, Lynn could no longer expand her business, and instead was forced to shut down salons.

“I want to grow my business, but it’s impossible with Louisiana’s rules,” Lynn said. Today, only one salon remains.

“It is unconstitutional to license something as safe and common as hair braiding,” said IJ Attorney Jaimie Cavanaugh. “Economic liberty—or the right to earn a living in the profession of one’s choosing—is a right protected by the Louisiana Constitution.”

More like this, please.

DAN MARKEL UPDATE: Dan Markel Murder Suspects To Stand Trial On Sept. 23.

ATTENTION, SNOPES: THIS IS SATIRE. But is it really? Ocasio-Cortez Gets Head Stuck In Bucket, Journalists Rush To Explain Why It Was Actually A Genius Move.

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CONDI RICE SHUTS DOWN NBC CLAIM RACE RELATIONS ‘WORSE’ UNDER TRUMP:

“There are people who will say it feels worse now when we’re talking about race, or it just feels like a divisive environment,” [NBC’s Sheinelle Jones] claimed. Rice completely dismantled the premise: “Look, it sure doesn’t feel worse than when I grew up in Jim Crow Alabama, okay? So let’s drop this notion that we’re worse race relations today than we were in the past.”

“There are people” = Good Ol. Mr. Somesay. And as one person noted on Twitter, “Don’t play the ‘race relations are getting worse’ card with a woman who lost a childhood friend in the Birmingham church bombing. She lived through real, actual trauma.”

TRAVEL: FAA bars US planes from flying over Mideast areas amid tensions.

PEOPLE ARE EXPECTING AN EARTHSHATTERING KABOOM: Poll: Americans Want NASA To Focus More On Asteroid Impacts, Less On Getting To Mars. Of course, if you want to build capabilities for dealing with dangerous asteroids, asteroid mining should be the technology we prioritize, because there’s a lot of crossover there.

SAD: Cuba Ration Lines Grow Tense as Economy Flails. “On island hit by U.S. sanctions and Venezuela downturn, Cubans flash back to post-Soviet hardships.”

Pushed by the implosion of top ally Venezuela and sanctions imposed by the Trump administration, Cuba has driven into an economic ditch. The government has tightened state rations. Residents stand in lines for hours to buy scarce basic goods such as eggs, flour and chicken.

For many Cubans, ration lines and ostrich farms recall the grim “Special Period” in the 1990s after the collapse of its benefactor, the Soviet Union. As the Communist-run island endured near famine conditions, residents devoured cats and fried “steaks” made of breaded grapefruit rind.

“We are starting to go into a new special period,” said Osmary Armas, 45, who owns a neoclassical mansion turned bed-and-breakfast that has been largely bereft of U.S. visitors in recent months. “Things are very bad.”

For years, American officials made no secret of their belief that if the U.S. turned the economic screws, the Cuban government would be forced out. But the Cuban regime has had nearly six decades of experience defying the U.S., administering scarcity and dishing out repression.

Cuba’s police state is intact. The government has scant opposition, and commands the loyalties of many.

Is there so little opposition because the Castroite police state is so effective, because people have been conditioned to believe that scarcity is normal, or is this a time to embrace the healing power of “and?”

HONG KONG SEA PARTS; MOSES UNAVAILABLE FOR COMMENT: World attention has been garnered by those massive protests in Hong Kong of an extradition bill that would result in residents accused of crimes being shipped to mainland China for trial.

A major factor in the protests is Christianity, thanks to both Catholic and Protestant groups, so much so that, as HillFaith points out, even the New York Times has noticed. Be advised, Beijing: The world is watching. And a lot of us remember this. And this. Berlin Fang remembers because he was there.

 

 

 

I’M NOT SURPRISED: Study: Healthcare workers with colds, flu go to work anyway.

FOR SALE: A hovercraft built to look just like a DeLorean.

Doc Emmett Brown smiles.

BAN ALL THE THINGS! San Francisco Bans Vaping for Some Reason.

When you hear the name “San Francisco,” what images come to mind? A cable car? A box of Rice-A-Roni? The TransAmerica Pyramid? A homeless heroin addict defecating in the street?

It’s none of those things, of course. “San Francisco” has now become synonymous with “Teenagers addicted to vaping.” It’s definitely the city’s #1 problem. The good news is that they’re finally doing something about it.

Finally. Leftist utopia is just a banned product away…

 

MEANWHILE, OVER AT VODKAPUNDIT: It’s Another Florida Man Friday.

NOTHING TO SEE HERE, MOVE ALONG: Trump, Senators Have Been Briefed on UFO Sightings.

InstaPundit readers, of course, already know the score.

NEWS YOU CAN USE? Everything You Need To Know About the Chinese Military If You Don’t Read Chinese. “The Pentagon has released three very detailed reports this year on the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. They are exceptional sources at a critical time in the modernization of China’s military.”

GOOD: U.S. Cases of Infant Gut Illness Plummet After Vaccine Introduced.

HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF: A Black Eye for the Columbia Journalism Review.

Last month, the CJR published an article by trans activist Parker Molloy essentially demanding that when it comes to the issue of male-bodied individuals seeking to compete in female athletics, journalists should present only one side of the issue—on the basis that naysayers don’t “have all the facts,” and their words “could be used to reinforce ignorance.” These are thinly coded appeals to de facto self-censorship, and it is strange to see them published by an outlet whose nominal purpose is to promote excellence in journalism.

This month, CJR stepped over the line again. And this time, the resultant hit on the CJR brand was worse. Molloy’s piece was torqued and one-sided. But it did not contain any actual errors. The same was not true of Jared Holt’s June 12 CJR piece, entitled Right-wing publications launder an anti-journalist smear campaign, which attacks a study by researcher Eoin Lenihan that shows a close ideological connection between Antifa and the journalists who follow Antifa most closely on Twitter.

As a Quillette editor, I initially was interested to see what Holt had come up with, since he often has performed valuable work as an investigator with the progressive advocacy group People For the American Way, and because Quillette is featured as one of the “right-wing publications” that allegedly served to “launder” Lenihan’s work.

But, to quote a headline from last week, Holt’s article “backfired.”

Read the whole thing.

Hat tip to Will Collier, who tweeted, “The Columbia Journalism Review serving partisan and ideological ends is not a surprise. @VodkaPundit and I had a notable dust-up with the late Steve Lovelady, then executive editor of the CJR and not exactly impartial 15 years ago.”

AS I’VE BEEN SAYING: Asia has most to lose if Middle East turmoil hits oil supplies. “As Trump spelt out in the interview, the U.S. is no longer as dependent on oil from the Middle East as it was, thanks to burgeoning domestic production. Air Force General Paul Selva, vice chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, emphasized the message a day later, pointing out that China, Indonesia, Japan and South Korea were heavily dependent on supplies moving through the Strait of Hormuz, and needed to protect their interests. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has made similar comments.”

When Iran was America’s problem, much of the world was less than supportive. So Trump’s making Iran the world’s problem.

THE CASE FOR LOCKING JOE BIDEN IN A CUPBOARD:

Then there is the race issue. Biden entered politics in the 1960s, when desegregation was a contentious issue. He supported desegregation, naturally, but opposed ‘busing’, or the transportation of black and white children to different schools to increase their multi-racial mix. There were many different reasons to oppose busing, but to modern progressives Biden’s stance makes him look soft on racism.

Worse, for them, was Biden’s significance in promoting tough measures against crime in the Eighties and Nineties. For sure, Republicans like Charlie Kirk who opportunistically use this Biden’s past to smear him as some kind of racist are being ridiculous given that he was reacting against enormous rates of murder and rape – but progressives blame him for his role in establishing America’s sky-high rates of incarceration.

Of course, Biden was also the right hand man of America’s first black president, but, still, you might expect him to be warned not to say anything dubious about race which could offend the sensitivities of hot-tempered progressives. Bam. Out of nowhere, Biden decided to pay tribute to segregationists. It would have irritated liberals enough that Biden was singing the virtues of civility when most of them think nothing less than howls out outrage are a suitable response to the Age of Trump, but to use as an example his collaborative work with segregationist senators like Herman Talmadge is hilariously tin-eared. Doubling down and demanding an apology from fellow Democrat candidate Cory Booker for criticizing him must have made his staffers gaze longingly towards the cupboard door.

While the evidence continues to mount, as David Harsanyi writes today, that “Biden Was More Than ‘Civil’ With Segregationists. He Was An Ally,” you can’t lock up Joe in a cupboard — that’s where he locks up his operatives with bylines.

THAT OBERLIN BAKERY OWNER explains what happened.

FLASHBACK: Vegetarians are ‘less healthy and have a lower quality of life than meat-eaters’, scientists say.

I’m reposting this in case you haven’t yet made any weekend grilling plans. For your health.

NEW SOCIALIST “IT GIRL” CONTINUES TO PAY DIVIDENDS: Please Don’t Shut Up, AOC, writes David Limbaugh.

It’s no secret that today’s leftist extremists are no friend of the Jews, but where are the famous liberal fact-checkers — the watchdogs so dedicated to truth? Let them explain to AOC that migrants detained for breaking the law are not being placed in concentration camps. If she persists, she also condemns former President Obama for the same sin.

But here’s the good news. AOC is unteachable, because she is unwilling to be taught. Full of hubris, she already knows everything and is the champion of every leftist cause. She leads with her unbridled emotions, happily ignorant of the facts. House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi would love to corral her but would not dare even hint at that, shrewdly recognizing the mob attraction AOC enjoys with the Party’s shrieking base. Pelosi knows better than to chastise AOC and so ducked the question when asked why AOC never shuts up.

Well, I’m with Pelosi, for different reasons. Please don’t shut up, AOC. We appreciate your drawing a sharp contrast every day between the noxious views of your party, which now dutifully embodies your extremism, and those representing responsible governance. Thank you for liberally exercising your First Amendment freedoms.

As Glenn has noted, “getting Reps. Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib, and Omar elected was Roger Stone’s finest dirty trick.”

SALENA ZITO: Richard Trumka and Big Labor try to come home.

KING OF COMEDY UPDATE: Judge Appoints Special Prosecutor to Investigate Kim Foxx’s Handling of Smollett Case.

IN THE MAIL: From Dr. Insensitive Jerk, Dandelion Slap.

Plus, browse today’s Lightning Deals and Deals of the Day.

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