August 23, 2019

AXIOS: The #MeToo election isn’t happening.

IT’S PART OF HIS PITCH TO SPEND FOUR YEARS FLYING ON THE WORLD’S MOST EXCLUSIVE PRIVATE JET: Bernie Sanders Unveils His Own $16 Trillion ‘Green New Deal’ Plan.

COLUMBIA LAWPROF PHIL HAMBURGER: Education Is Speech: Why New York’s Attempts To Control Private Schools Are Unconstitutional.

EVOLUTION IN ACTION: Vegan parents whose strict diet left baby ‘severely malnourished’ avoid jail. “Authorities discovered the couple’s child so malnourished that at 19-months she weighed just 4.9 kilograms (10.8 pounds). Further medical tests revealed that her bones had not developed since birth. Her development was so stunted she didn’t even have any teeth, Seven News reported. Her parents said they had kept the girl on a strict vegan diet.”

August 22, 2019

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A SECOND LOOK AT OUR OVERLAWYERED STYLE OF WARFARE? SECNAV orders comprehensive review of Navy, Marine Corps JAGs.

HEH.

BUT THE WOKE WHITE PEOPLE AREN’T THE ONES WHO PAY IT: Don Surber: The 5.2% illegal alien tax.


BIGOTRY AT THE NEW YORK TIMES:Who knew about Tom Wright-Piersanti, and when did they know it?
As Glenn pointed out here, Breitbart News discovered that Senior Editor Wright-Piersanti has been polluting social media with racist filth since at least 2009, possibly as early as 2007.

He apologized. And locked down his Twitter account. And as of this writing he inexplicably still works at the ̶T̶e̶m̶p̶l̶e̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶R̶i̶g̶h̶t̶e̶o̶u̶s̶ ̶S̶a̶n̶c̶t̶i̶m̶o̶n̶y̶  The New York Times. He has been posting racist garbage for at least nine years. And it is only logical to assume that some, if not many of his workmates and even superior-ranking editors follow him on Twitter. Is it even remotely plausible that nobody at The Times followed Wright on Twitter and never saw his screeds? I don’t think so.

Which leaves us with the question that must be asked of each and every “Timesman” that worked there between 2007 and now: Did you know? Why didn’t you say anything?  Margaret Sullivan was their Public Editor from 2012 to 2016. How could she have not known? Bill Keller was the paper’s Executive Editor from 2003 to 2011. Did he follow Wright-Piersanti? Did anyone complain to Keller about him? Did Jill Abramson, now under fire for alleged plagiarism by the paper at which she served as Executive Editor from 2011 to 2014 follow Wright-Piersanti?

Look, this isn’t a partisan issue, it’s an honesty issue. This episode is so parallel to the #MeToo movement it’s scary. Being Harvey Weinstein wasn’t bad enough. People were (rightfully, IMHO) being held accountable for looking the other way, for enabling, and even encouraging behavior that can’t be described as anything other than despicable.

So too, bigotry is despicable, and The New York Times has embarked on a campaign to remind us of this self-evident truth. Not only The New York Times, but its cadre, its core leaders and rank-and-file past and present have to be asked these questions. Heaven knows the “media watchers” from the same club won’t ask.

So I’m encouraging you and your friends to ask. Be polite, be direct, don’t use foul language or rabid hyperbole. The emails addresses for some of these people are ([email protected]); ([email protected]) and ([email protected]). This is not a call for harassment or doxxing. These people have made a living communicating with the public and have assumed the very genuine mantle of the public trust in so doing. Thus, asking them politely “what did you know and when did you know it?” is not just fair, but important, and like the #MeToo movement it  starts with ordinary people speaking truth to power.

THE TRUMP 2020 CAMPAIGN THEMES ARE ALL HERE:

HARSH, BUT FAIR:

OPEN THREAD: Go.

LIBEL: Mississippi prof, who went to Georgetown Prep with Brett Kavanaugh, sues HuffPost. The lawsuit was filed in Gulfport, Mississippi.

ANALYSIS: TRUE. Nuclear Propulsion Could Be ‘Game-Changer’ for Space Exploration, NASA Chief Says: And the tech could power asteroid-deflecting lasers as well. Well, this is the 21st Century, you know.

SHE’S GETTING THE BERNIE TREATMENT: Payback: Democrats rig Tulsi Gabbard right out of their next debate.

Funny how Democrats can never just let their own process play out. It has to be “nudged” to be sure that the right people win.

WHEN NARRATIVES FAIL: Minorities Don’t Believe Trump Is a Racist. “Trump is winning urban voters and has record support with African Americans.”

THE BABYLON BEE IS RELENTLESS: Reality Criticized For Not More Clearly Distinguishing Itself From Satire.

“The problem with all these real news sites is they’re reporting things that would have been satirical just six months ago,” said a representative for one popular joke-checking website. “It makes it really hard for satire sites to do their job effectively when all this reality is out there muddying the details of satire.”

Heh.

TO BE FAIR, HE SAID “YOU CAN HAVE,” NOT “I CAN HAVE.” Obamas Make Offer for Multimillion-Dollar Martha’s Vineyard Estate. Said last year ‘there’s only so big a house you can have.’

FORESHOCKS ARE A THING: Scientists finally know how big earthquakes start: With many smaller ones.

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Plus, deals in Office and School Supplies.

SUZANNE VENKER: American men need to take back their manhood. “Men who are overly accommodating get burned, particularly if they’ve married a woman who prides herself on being ’empowered’ or who has absorbed feminist messages about American women’s so-called oppression.”

SOMEBODY SET UP US THE BOMB: CBS’s Gayle King Blames Slavery for No Universal Health Care.

I blame the Growing Slavery Crisis.

(Classical reference in headline.)

NICE, CLEAN, RELIABLE NUKES: Britain’s blackout points to need for more reserves.

IN SOVIET GERMANY, BONDS CHARGE YOU FOR LENDING! “On Wednesday, for the first time ever, the German government sold 30-year bonds at a negative interest rate. The bonds pay no coupon interest at all. Yet bidders at the auction were willing to pay more than the face value they would receive back when the bonds mature.”

Despite its strong credit rating and demand for its bonds, Germany is a big part of the growth problem for the eurozone. The German economy shrank 0.1 percent in the second quarter and could tip into recession with another quarter of falling output.

Negative rates aren’t just an indicator of economic distress. They can cause problems in the financial system, too. They make it harder for banks to turn a profit or for insurance companies to fund their future payouts.

“Why would you want to lend money when you can’t make money?” Sohn said.

Indeed, bank stocks have tumbled — 24% in Europe and 23% in Japan — over the past year.

Most of the negative-yielding debt is in government bonds, in part because they are seen as ultra-safe. But there are also about $60 billion U.S. corporate bonds that are in negative territory.

Something similar is going on with U.S. government debt: The yield on the 10-year Treasury note has sagged to 1.57% — a rate that would amount to a negative one after accounting for inflation. Japan has been stuck in years of low inflation and sluggish growth. And growth rates in Europe have slowed in recent quarters. 

This news seems like good leverage for Boris Johnson and Brexit, and in related news, “Sterling soars as Brexit deal hopes rise,” the London Telegraph reports today.

ANALYSIS: TRUE. The Real Reason Elites Behave Hypocritically On Climate Change Is Because They Want To.

Some people chalk up such hypocrisy to ignorance. “They turn up with unnecessary entourages in helicopters or fast cars and then preach about saving the world,” complained an insider. “They just don’t seem to be aware that they’re the ones burning huge amounts of fossil fuels.”

But it’s inconceivable that the celebrities don’t know they are behaving hypocritically. It’s common knowledge that flying by jet results in significant carbon emissions. If it weren’t, then Harry and Meghan wouldn’t have triggered such an intense reaction.

Indeed, they implicitly acknowledged their hypocrisy. Elton John bought carbon offsets to supposedly cancel out Harry and Meghan’s emissions, while a spokesperson for Thunberg acknowledged, “It would have been less greenhouse gas emissions if we had not made this departure.”

A simpler explanation for the hypocrisy of celebrities who moralize about climate change is that it is a way of flaunting their special status.

Hypocrisy is the ultimate power move. It is a way of demonstrating that one plays by a different set of rules from the ones adhered to by common people. Hypocrisy demonstrates how unaccountable one is to conventional morality.

Such displays work because, unlike wealth, status is inherently subjective. The more of it you are perceived to have, the more of it you actually have.

To be sure, the Duke, the Duchess, and Thunberg didn’t consciously decide to flaunt their status. But neither did Harry and Meghan pledge to never fly private again nor did Thunberg cancel her trip.

And it is a mistake to imagine that human behavior is mostly conscious. Much of human behavior is unconscious and driven by an innate urge for power, of which status is one (highly-social) form.

This also dovetails with James Delingpole’s “Drawbridge Effect:” “You’ve made your money. Now the very last thing you want is for all those trashy middle class people below you to have a fair shot at getting as rich as you are. That’s why you want to make energy more expensive by opposing Keystone XL; why you’re all for environmental land sequestration (because you already own your exclusive country property); and Agenda 21 – which will make all Americans poorer, but you not so much, because you’ve enough cash to cushion you from the higher taxes and regulation with which the greenies want to hamstring the economy.”

IT’S ALWAYS IN THE LAST PLACE YOU LOOK: Stardust found in Antarctic snow, scientists say.

MASCOTS OF THE ANOINTED: Why is Jessica Yaniv still on Twitter and not in jail?

(Classical reference in headline.)

I’M GLAD TO SEE PRESIDENT TRUMP SPEAK OUT AGAINST THE SHAMEFUL HATRED AND BIGOTRY THAT INFEST TODAY’S NEWS MEDIA: White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham ‘Disgusted’ by Antisemitism from New York Times Editor.

HE WHO IS WITHOUT ZINN: Review of Land of Hope: An Invitation to the Great American Story By Wilfred M. McClay.

There have always been rancorous debates among historians, and schools of history are often tinctured by dogma. But our current predicament is, to some degree, unprecedented. What we might call the pathological view of the United States—American history as a chronicle of injustice, oppression, inequality, violence, and little else—is firmly established in the academy and insulated against institutional dissent by the custom of tenure and the folkways of academic publishing. To make matters worse, one of the seminal texts of contemporary doctrine—Howard Zinn’s People’s History of the United States (1980)—is also one of the few academic bestsellers of our time.

So McClay has his work cut out for him. Does he succeed? Well, he begins at the beginning—the archaeological evidence of our aboriginal inhabitants—and like most American histories, McClay’s tends to pass a little quickly over the first century-and-a-half of European settlement. But this is a minor complaint. His description of America on the eve of revolution is perceptive and succinct, and capacious as well. The reader never doubts the author’s perspective on the colonists’ revolt, or British government in America, but he tells the story with illuminating clarity and, above all, fair-mindedness. The answer to ignorance is not indoctrination but knowledge.

This virtue in the writing of history is not necessarily self-evident. The American Revolution, like any such episode, was a complicated matter, reaching back in history and forward in effect; and both sides—one is tempted to say all sides—were benighted and heroic, generous and arbitrary, products of their various places and time. George Washington was not without his flaws, and the Loyalists were not without their reasons. McClay sets all this out in crisp detail, balancing his judgment in conjunction with the evidence, flattering his readers to draw their own conclusions.

Read the whole thing, and then, as Glenn quipped this morning regarding a related book, Debunking Howard Zinn: Exposing the Fake History That Turned a Generation against America., “Send a copy to the folks at the New York Times.”

SECOND WORLD PROBLEMS: China Has A Great MMA Fighter. Problem: The Communist Government Hates Him.

HATE CRIMES:  The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights just voted to adopt a mammoth report on hate crimes that liberally cites the Southern Poverty Law Center.  I voted against it for several reasons.  One of those reasons is that the federal hates crimes statute, which purports, in part, to be an exercise of Congress’s authority to ban slavery, is unconstitutional, as explained here.

CALIFORNIA’S WAR ON CARS: Add a congestion “crisis” to the list of other California crises, but the state government hasn’t been building roads and simply wants to punish us for getting around.

This is how government works, and how California’s government works the most. They provide crummy public services. Instead of fixing the problems of their own making, officials spend their time punishing us for relying on private alternatives. California lawmakers couldn’t fix the congestion situation even if that were their goal. Worse yet, they use their own failings to justify their real goal: getting us out of our cars and into their lousy transit systems. They won’t succeed, but they have an infinite capacity to make us miserable in the process.

Read the whole thing.

DON’T GET COCKY: GOP Smashes Another Fundraising Record in July.

UH HUH: Facebook Bans ‘Women For Trump’ Ads.

ANSWERING THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS: Why You Need To Be Planking On Your Side.

FOR THE RECORD: ‘I AM NOT SUICIDAL,’ Says Man Who Exposed Hillary’s Ties to Google.

THIS HEADLINE CONTAINS ONE ADJECTIVE TOO MANY: Rising Warren faces uphill climb with black voters.

YOU’RE MORE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR KIDS THAN EVER, BUT WITH LESS AUTHORITY OVER THEM THAN EVER: States are finding ways for teens to get HPV shots without parental consent.

THEY’LL DO ONE ON MATT LAUER NEXT, RIGHT? RIGHT? Lionsgate Drops ‘Bombshell’ Trailer: Margot Robbie, Charlize Theron & Nicole Kidman Take On Roger Ailes.

FLASHBACK: Remembering Frankie Housley, Heroine and Stewardess.

GOOD: U.S. Clears Sale of F-16 Jets to Taiwan. “Export valued at $8 billion and is first major warplane deal since 1990s.”

These are top-of-the-line Block 70 models, the most-capable version of the F-16 currently available, and a huge step up from the aging F-16A/B Block 20 planes Taiwan currently flies.

SOUTH CHINA SEA: Has Beijing Given Up Fortifying Its Illegal Islands?

More than a century before France built the ill-fated Maginot Line, Napoleon Bonaparte supposedly was presented with a similar fortification plan, and his response (perhaps apocryphal) was, “What are you trying to defend me against, smugglers?” American General George S. Patton is on the record saying, “Fixed fortifications are monuments to man’s stupidity.” More broadly, from the SWAT team preparing to bring in a criminal holed up in a bank, to a bunker-buster bomb crippling the best-engineered underground fortress, if there’s one thing governments know how to do, it’s how to bring overwhelming force down on a known location.

That’s been my line of thinking while most everyone else has been fretting about China’s unprecedented fortification of the South China Sea (SCS) — and now it seems that even Beijing has caught on to their error.

Read the whole thing, if you don’t mind me saying so myself.

THE JOYS OF BUYING YOUR OWN FIGHTER JET. A colleague of mine looked into buying a surplus Mig-17 but basically concluded that despite the low purchase price it would be a money pit.

NOT SO FAST! NYT Sr. Staff Editor Thomas Wright-Piersanti deletes anti-Semitic and racist tweets after being outed (we got ’em!).

More here: ‘Crappy Jew Year’: New York Times Editor’s Antisemitism, Racism Exposed.

Between Wright-Piersanti and Sarah Jeong’s racism, no wonder the Times recently embarked on its “1619 Project” — it’s pure projectionism. Or as Andrew Sullivan, astonishingly enough, wrote last year, “I don’t think the New York Times should fire [Jeong] — in part because they largely share her views on race, gender, and oppression. Their entire hiring and editorial process is based on them.”

UM, REALLY? The Surprising Surge of Andrew Yang.

Andrew Yang was sitting here in a rented silver Suburban outside a black chamber of commerce surrounded by five members of his rapidly growing campaign staff when he saw a new Fox News poll in which he was tied for fifth in the sprawling Democratic presidential primary.

He stared at the screen of his phone and scrolled.

“Three percent!” Yang said, in his characteristically dry, droll way. “This team. Is the team. That’s going to go … all. The. Way. To the White House!”

Yang breezily walked into the chamber building and got onto a packed elevator. To the county party chair squeezed into a corner, Yang excitedly passed along the results of the poll, listing in order the only people who were ahead of him—a former vice president (Joe Biden) and three high-profile senators (Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris).

“And then me!” he exclaimed, flashing a goofy, exaggerated smile.

Perhaps you haven’t noticed, but Andrew Yang is … surging?

He’s trading at 10-to-1 or sometimes 11-to-1 on the PredictIt market.

SHOCKING NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF SCIENCE: Study: Selfie-takers viewed as self-absorbed, less successful.

CROWDSOURCING LIBERTY: How the Hong Kong Protestors’ Tactical Brilliance Backed Beijing into a Corner.

One of the reasons for the effectiveness of the protest movement is the decision to remain leaderless. In an op-ed article in 2017, Nicholas Berggruen, chairman of the Berggruen Institute, suggests that resistance movements need strong and charismatic leaders to succeed. Many resistance movements such as the Civil Rights Movement with Martin Luther King Jr., the resistance to apartheid with Nelson Mandela, and the India Independence Movement with Gandhi benefited greatly from such leadership.

But the outcome of Hong Kong’s 2014 pro-democracy movement suggests that the current protests would not be nearly as robust or effective if it did have such leaders. Joshua Wong, the strong and charismatic leader of the Umbrella movement in 2014, was jailed in 2017 for unlawful assembly. With strong leaders present, the authorities can arrest them, fatally weakening a movement. Given the deterioration of the rule of law in Hong Kong, the authorities could conceivably jail all of the movement’s linchpins with considerable ease. But with a leaderless movement, the authorities have no such power. So far, the Hong Kong Police Force has arrested hundreds of protesters while the movement has not lost any momentum because the contribution of no single individual is vital.

Didn’t somebody write a book about this, once upon a time?

OLD AND BUSTED: Avoid Gas Station Sushi.

The New Hotness? Avoid Gas Station Sex Pills: Major League Baseball warns of stiff penalty over gas station sex pills.

NOBODY, NOT EVEN A HOLLYWOOD ACTOR, IS ACTUALLY THIS STUPID: Lori Loughlin reportedly thought college ‘bribe’ was like donating a library.

DEPRESSION LUST: No One Wants a Recession… (Video):

(Classical reference in headline.)

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Intimidation-Produced Silence at Stanford.

Cost of attending the toxic environment of Stanford University: $68,152 per year.

IT’S THE SAME OLD SONG: Biden Promises Unions Can Keep Their Health Insurance Plans if He’s Elected.

MSM LAUNCHES JIHAD AGAINST RIGHT MEDIA? Tuesday, it was The Epoch Times in the cross-hairs of the fact-free-zone newsrooms at NBC/MSNBC today it’s the New York Times going after Floyd Brown and the Western Journal. Anything contrary to the elitist MSM narrative is branded “disinformation,” or worse.

The people in those newsrooms call themselves “journalists,” yet, with few exceptions, that is no longer a credible label for what they do. Who will be tomorrow’s target, The Federalist? The Daily Caller? Washington Examiner? Washington Free Beacon? Instapundit?

GONE WITH THE WIND: Strong wind blows dozens of air mattresses through Denver park (video).

YOUR DAILY TREACHER: Team Biden to Dems: Sorry, You’re Stuck with Joe.

SOME THINGS ARE BETTER LEFT UNSAID: Ring asks police not to tell public how its law enforcement backend works.

A VIPER ON ITS WAY TO WORK: A USMC AH-1Z Viper attack helicopter takes off from the deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer. The ship is passing through the Strait of Hormuz– which means Iran is nearby. Note the Light Assault Vehicle (LAV) on the deck. That seems to be a standard procedure. Here’s a LAV on the deck of the USS Wasp. I put this photo up on Instapundit earlier in the month. At the earlier post you’ll find a link to a discussion about Iranian small boat “swarm” tactics.

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.”

“WE BLEW IT:” 50 Years Later, the Spirit of ’69 Feels Like a Hangover.

THIS DOESN’T SURPRISE ME: The Truth About Faster Internet: It’s Not Worth It.

The Wall Street Journal studied the internet use of 53 of our journalists across the country, over a period of months, in coordination with researchers at Princeton University and the University of Chicago.

Our panelists used only a fraction of their available bandwidth to watch streaming services including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and YouTube, even simultaneously. Quality didn’t improve much with higher speeds. Picture clarity was about the same. Videos didn’t launch quicker.

Broadband providers such as Comcast Corp., Charter Communications Inc. and AT&T Inc. are marketing speeds in the range of 250, 500 or even 1,000 megabits a second, often promising that streaming-video bingers will benefit. “Fast speeds for all of your shows,” declares one online ad from Comcast.

But for a typical household, the benefits of paying for more than 100 megabits a second are marginal at best, according to the researchers. That means many households are paying a premium for services they don’t need.

What follows is our evidence that you’re being oversold.

We upgraded our speed when we ditched cable, figuring why not, because the overall bill was lower. But except for being able to complete large downloads in less time — which I hardly ever do — I haven’t noticed any real-world difference.

INDOCTRINATION DISGUISED AS TOLERANCE: NC art prof slams faculty diversity workshop, claims admin using Orwell as ‘instruction manual.’ And the disguise has worn pretty thin.

KRUISER’S MORNING BRIEF: Spicey’s Dancing With the Stars on Liberal Feelings. “Democrats all across the land are having yet another foot-stomping, snot-bubbling, toddler-esque meltdown, this time because a Republican guy they don’t like is going to be on a television show they’ve never watched.”

WHAT HATH HONG KONG’S PROTESTS WROUGHT?: China is the Pentagon’s “number 1 priority” says Secretary of Defense Mark Esper. Of course those fake islands filching territory in the South China Sea and Beijing’s pervasive spying and intellectual property theft (theft of American creativity) factor in America’s military and economic response to China’s aggressive expansionism.

My latest Creators Syndicate column examines the disinformation campaign Beijing is waging against Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement.

DEEP BACKGROUND: Chapter 3, Cocktails from Hell. The Dragon Revives. Beijing’s cocktail from hell of intimidation and lies isn’t working out as the ChiCom leaders thought it would.

QUESTION ASKED: If Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib can boycott Israel, why can’t Israel boycott them?

Of course, there’s no guarantee such a boycott could work

 

SKYNET FROWNS: Google DeepMind Co-Founder Placed on Leave From AI Lab.

POSEURS GONNA POSE:

How does one “bully” a prince and a duchess?

Related: How green is St Greta’s Ark? Er, not very. “Some intriguing revelations about the crewing arrangements emerged soon after departure. It turns out that the three westbound crossing crew will be flying back from New York to Europe, while the replacement crew of five will be flying from Europe to New York for the return passage.”

HMM:

THINK OF THEM AS LEFTIST OPERATIVES WITH BYLINES AND IT ALL MAKES SENSE: I was an Irish student at the YAF conference – the entire Irish media lied about it.

Related: The Irish media’s despicable smearing of Killian Foley Walsh.

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.

IF PUSH COMES TO SHOVE, WE’LL FEEL LESS BAD ABOUT BLOWING THEM UP: Russia develops unmanned T-72s Main Battle Tanks.

RICHARD FERNANDEZ: “The notion that the world might not be real may seem like madness but it is a serious proposition at least in academic circles.”

JON CALDERA: I want to give away one of my guns to a first timer.

I’ll say it for the millionth time — politics is the lagging indicator of culture. And the anti-gun left knows how to influence culture through government-run education, Hollywood and the media.

There was a time when schools had shooting clubs. Now they are not just gun-free zones, but political tools for gun control. Just ask my high-school-aged daughter after being bullied to tears for her pro-gun stance.

We could be just a generation away from losing our guns.

I have an idea and I hope you will follow my lead. I want to see it turn into a movement.

If you weren’t raised with guns, getting into your first gun can be very intimidating. We need to make it easy and enjoyable. We gunnies all know that one friend, co-worker or family member that should be a gun owner, but yet isn’t.

Let’s give, yes give, that person one of our guns. Let’s help them learn to shoot it properly. Help them go through the process I went through.

I love this idea.

CHANGE: ‘We will continue to represent men at their best’: Gillette’s backflip after ‘toxic masculinity’ backlash.

Advertising is increasingly the battleground of the culture wars, with big brands like Target, Nike and Starbucks copping backlash, and praise, for taking sides in divisive social and political issues like race, gender and sexuality.

But by alienating roughly 50 per cent of potential customers, many brands end up taking a hit to their bottom line — “Get woke, go broke.”

Hey, where have I heard that before?

WHEN YOU UNDERSTAND THAT SNOPES IS JUST A DEMOCRATIC PARTY MESSAGE-CONTROL TOOL, IT ALL MAKES SENSE: A ‘Fact Checker’ Declares War On Satire: When we make fun of liberals, Snopes pretends to take us seriously and labels our jokes ‘false.’

If your job is to make people laugh, what do you do when your brand of humor is classified as dangerous?

I run the Babylon Bee, a satirical website, and we’ve had to face that question a lot lately. The “fact checkers” at Snopes.com—once a reliable source for distinguishing reality from urban legends—have been smearing the Bee as “fake news.” They don’t seem to have a problem when we make fun of Trump-worship, conservatives, fundamentalism and megachurches. But when we target Democrats and the left, suddenly we’re branded liars.

The most recent controversy began when Snopes published a thorough “debunking” of our satirical take on Georgia state Rep. Erica Thomas ’s false claim that a white man in a supermarket told her to “go back to where you came from.” Our humorous headline: “Georgia Lawmaker Claims Chick-fil-A Employee Told Her to Go Back to Her Country, Later Clarifies He Actually Said ‘My Pleasure.’ ”

Snopes knew this was a joke but questioned our “brand” of satire. The website called us “junk news” and a “ruse.” It accused us of intentionally “muddying the details” of a current event to “fool” people. . . .

This ugly dispute has demonstrated the danger of assigning authority to supposedly unbiased fact-checkers. They have the power to slap a joke they don’t like with a “false” rating and defame the authors as purveyors of lies and fakery. Last year Facebook threatened to forbid us to collect money from ads, and even to boot us entirely, after Snopes “fact checked” a piece of ours headlined “CNN Purchases Industrial Washing Machine to Spin the News.”

The Left understands and employs the power of mockery. And it wants to keep that power to itself.

“AS USUAL IN AMERICAN JOURNALISM, WHERE THE TIMES LEADS, ITS ACOLYTES AROUND THE COUNTRY WILL FOLLOW:”

CART ON A HOT TIN ROOF: All Fired Up: Walmart Sues Tesla.

No, Walmart was not using fleets of pricey electric vehicles to get 56-cents-a-pound bananas to budget-conscious shoppers; rather, the chain had outfitted a slew of its stores with rooftop solar panels assembled and managed by Tesla subsidiary SolarCity.

Now Walmart’s feeling burned. Literally.

Following rooftop blazes at at least seven stores and a recent investigation, the shopping giant filed a lawsuit against Tesla on Tuesday, alleging the company “engaged in widespread, systemic negligence and had failed to abide by prudent industry practices in installing, operating, and maintaining its solar systems.”

Walmart’s relationship with SolarCity goes back a number of years; a trio of earlier fires in 2012, 2016, and 2017 were brushed off as random flukes. Then the fires began occurring with greater frequency.

That’s not good.

BOTTOM STORY OF THE DAY: Jay Inslee ends his Democratic presidential bid.

JOHN KASS: Robert Mueller crushed their dreams, so Democrats pivot to race.

They had invested so much in their fantasy that President Donald Trump was a treasonous agent of Russian boss Vladimir Putin. But when special counsel Robert Mueller’s report came out, and there was no collusion, no crime charged, their fantasy collapsed.

And so, after a brief spasm of despair, the left pivoted to their default position: race.

Race. Race. Race. Race. Race.

With Americans working and with money in their pockets again, with the 2020 election approaching, Democrats are reaching for the race card the way a sick man reaches for the waters of Lourdes. Desperately. Their allies in media followed suit, with Trump called everything from a white supremacist, to a Nazi, and on and on.

Meanwhile, the New York Times embarks on an ambitious new series, the 1619 Project — marking the 400th anniversary of the first slave ships to our shores.

The newspaper said it hopes “to reframe the country’s history, understanding 1619 as our true founding, and placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of the story we tell ourselves about who we are.”

NYT editor Dean Baquet, a former colleague of mine at the Chicago Tribune, a thoughtful man now with his newsroom in turmoil, expressed the pivot in a different way.

In terms of Mueller.

In a transcript of a newsroom meeting with his liberal staff that made its way to Slate, Baquet said this:

“The day Bob Mueller walked off that witness stand, two things happened,” Baquet said. “Our readers who want Donald Trump to go away suddenly thought, ‘Holy s—, Bob Mueller is not going to do it.’ And Donald Trump got a little emboldened politically, I think. Because, you know, for obvious reasons. And I think that the story changed. A lot of the stuff we’re talking about started to emerge like six or seven weeks ago. We’re a little tiny bit flat-footed. I mean, that’s what happens when a story looks a certain way for two years. Right?”

So the Times pivoted.

The story of slavery in America is compelling and worthy of such attention. But reducing the whole of America to the sin of slavery and racism that America has tried so hard to reject — by shedding blood in the Civil War, by passing the Civil Rights Act, by twice electing Barack Obama to the White House — is absurd. But revealing.

They are awful people who don’t care what damage they do, so long as they regain power — or at least manage to feel superior to their countrymen.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: More Private Colleges Cut Tuition As Discount Rate Hits All-Time High Of 52%.

If only there had been some sort of warning.

UH-HUH: Facebook Pulls Trump Campaign Ads Over Alleged Policy Violations.

UNFAIR — IT WAS ONLY EVER MEANT TO HOLD MEN ACCOUNTABLE: Katy Perry has a #MeToo problem, and she’s the one who’s in trouble.

DEIRDRE MCCLOSKEY: Slavery Did Not Make America Rich. “Slavery made a few Southerners rich; a few Northerners, too. But it was ingenuity and innovation that enriched Americans generally, including at last the descendants of the slaves.”

AND AN UNEXPECTED AND HEARTENING PERSONAL BOOST:  Monsters Among Us.

AS LONG AS THEY DON’T MAKE US USE WAFFLE STRAWS:  Better for the Planet?

IT’S A VIRUS. AND WE CAN’T ALLOW IT TO KILL US:  Howard Zinn’s Anti-American Propaganda Takes Over The Smithsonian.

IF IT’S NOT THE ROMAN THING, WHERE YOU WILL EVERYTHING TO THE EMPEROR WHO ORDERED YOU TO COMMIT SUICIDE; AND IN THE PUBLIC READING THE WILL REVEALS ALL THE CRIMES AND TRANSGRESSIONS OF THE EMPEROR, I’M GOING TO BE DISAPPOINTED:  Epstein’s will.

AND SPEAKING OF IGNORING THE LESSONS OF HISTORY:  Europe Considers The Nazi Idea Of Requiring Jewish Businesses To Identify Themselves On Labels.

GIVEN HOW MANY VOTES THE DEMOCRATS HARVEST FROM DEMENTED PATIENTS, HE’S THE IDEAL CANDIDATE:  Biden Botches Assassination Dates of MLK and RFK.

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