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December 15, 2018

INSERT DANNY THOMAS SPIT-TAKE HERE: CNN’s Chris Cuomo Says Viewers ‘Frustrated’ Because He’s ‘Too Balanced.’

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Be careful how you read the stock markets’ crazed gyrations.

Sometimes a little perspective is in order.

I THOUGHT THAT WAS ALREADY PRETTY WELL SETTLED: More Evidence of HPV Link to Cervical Cancer.

OH, THAT DEATH OF THE GROWN-UP: “Adulting” classes teach millennials basic skills like sewing, cooking and changing a tire.

Found via Twitchy, where former investment banker Carol Roth tweets, “This is on parents. What exactly *are* they teaching their children? Life preparedness started to slide with participation trophies and at this point it seems they have learned no basic life skills.”

Jesse Kelly agrees, adding, “My sons are 8 and 10. They make their own lunches for school. They can navigate an airport. They have debit cards. Teach your freaking kids how to live life without you.”

(Classical reference in headline.)

Related: Top 10 Worst Helicopter Parenting Moments of 2018.

“I NOW UNDERSTAND HOW NELSON MANDELA FELT:”

So what are we to make of my ban? The only sensible conclusion is that Twitter is run by a coterie of crypto-fascists. Needless to say, this bodes ill for the social justice movement. Like it or not, the successors to humanitarians such as Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi are now to be found on social media. One thinks immediately of Gary Lineker, Lily Allen, and that guy who played Mr Sulu on Star Trek.

Unfortunately, those who fight for the progressive cause are continually bombarded by alt-right trolls who like to engage in a form of harassment known as “debate.” Only a few days before my suspension, a misogynist referred to me as “shrill and humourless.”  As I was quick to point out, humour is a patriarchal construct. This is why it has been so gratifying to see the success of our current wave of feminist comedians, those brave women who are subverting the genre by ensuring that it doesn’t make anyone laugh.

Do not pity me. As a woman in a heteronormative patriarchal world I am accustomed to males like Jack Dorsey attempting to keep me silent. In my absence from Twitter, I took the opportunity to spend some time at a resort in Val d’Isère, where I could relax and contemplate my oppression. I even managed to write a book which I have entitled Woke: A Guide to Social Justice. I did want to call it My Struggle, but that title was already taken apparently.

It’s satire — or is it?

MEMORIAL TO TREE OF LIFE SYNAGOGUE SHOOTING VICTIMS VANDALIZED AT POMONA COLLEGE: But the perpetrators were apparently leftist activists, not neo-Nazis, so no one at Pomona cares. As the saying goes, if the left didn’t have double standards, they’d have no standards at all.

TODD HENDERSON’S THRILLER NOVEL MENTAL STATE, which I’ve praised here before, is now $2.99 on Kindle.

SCOTT WALKER TO DC? THE TIMING’S RIGHT. Report: Walker listed as possible replacement for Trump’s interior secretary.

CLAIM: The Cadillac CTS V-Sport Is Criminally Overlooked. “The V-Sport brings everything into balance. The chassis tuning is spot on and the transmission, an Aisin unit, not one from GM, is excellent. It’s been at the top of its class since it debuted, a better interpretation of a German sports sedan than most German companies are building.”

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OLD AND BUSTED: Radical Chic.

The new  hotness blandness: Radical Bleak. At Quillette, Conor Barnes explores life among the “Sad Radicals:”

When I became an anarchist I was 18, depressed, anxious, and ready to save the world. I moved in with other anarchists and worked at a vegetarian co-op cafe. I protested against student tuition, prison privatization, and pipeline extensions. I had lawyer’s numbers sharpied on my ankle and I assisted friends who were pepper-sprayed at demos. I tabled zines, lived with my “chosen family,” and performed slam poems about the end of the world. While my radical community was deconstructing gender, monogamy, and mental health, we lived and breathed concepts and tools like call-outs, intersectionality, cultural appropriation, trigger warnings, safe spaces, privilege theory, and rape culture.

Read the whole thing. As Norman Podhoretz once wrote about his time as a nascent anti-Vietnam War radical,  “Do you realize that every young person in this room is a tragedy to some family or other?”

THE 21ST CENTURY ISN’T TURNING OUT AS I’D HOPED: In Pennsylvania, People Lined Up For Free Naloxone. I was hoping that if we had a drug problem it would at least be something interesting and futuristic, like thionite or anagonon. Can’t find a zwilnik when you need one.

PAST PERFORMANCE IS NO GUARANTEE OF FUTURE RESULTS: Democrats’ Border-Barrier Flip-Flop.

Why are Democrats ignoring the advice of Bill Clinton and Harry Reid?

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IF YOU’VE LIVED RIGHT, BY THE TIME YOU’RE OLD THERE SHOULDN’T BE MANY THAT ARE NEW TO YOU: Doctors should encourage elderly people to try new SEX positions, study claims.

MEET MARC ELIAS, QUITE POSSIBLY THE MOST DANGEROUS DEMOCRAT IN D.C.: Political junkies Left and Right have heard of him but even folks with an above-average interest in public affairs could rarely pick Marc Elias out of a lineup of D.C. VIPs.

Name a major national Democratic figure, issue, donor or campaign entity, however, and odds are Elias is an advisor, counsel or otherwise involved at the highest level, and that creates something akin to a political MOAB.

The reason, as Capital Research Center’s Christine Ravold explains, is “this constellation of left-leaning interests shows a unique concentration of Democrat strategic intelligence—all protected by attorney-client privilege.” Go here for the first of Ravold’s two-parter on Elias. Part two will be worth the short wait.

TOUT CE QUI EST VIEUX EST NOUVEAU: Macron’s Speech To Yellow Vest Protestors Channels Jimmy Carter’s Malaise Talk.

Though the American left have pretty much been in perma-malaise mode since Bobby Kennedy.

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CHANGE: Fetal Tissue Research Is Curtailed by Trump Administration. “Should the government pay for medical research that uses tissue from aborted fetuses? This debate, ever smoldering, has erupted again, pitting anti-abortion forces in the Trump administration against scientists who say the tissue is essential for studies that benefit millions of patients. In a letter last week that read like a shot across the bow, the National Institutes of Health warned the University California, San Francisco, that its $2 million contract for research involving the tissue, previously renewed for a year at a time, would be extended for only 90 days and might then be canceled.”

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: Stanford Professor: Dungeons and Dragons Perpetuates Systems of White, Male Privilege.

No, it just perpetuates Doritos-covered fingers. But I’m so old, I can remember earlier blue noses who thought that D&D was a gateway drug to Satanism and witchcraft.

LET’S GET METAPHYSICAL: If God Is Both All-Good And All-Powerful, Why Did He Allow The Star Wars Prequels?

It’s from the Babylon Bee, so it’s satire — or is it?

THE POWER LINE WEEK IN PICTURES: PHOTO OP EDITION.

YOUR DAILY TREACHER: Elizabeth Warren Finally Says Something True.

IN THE MAIL: Real Life Organizing: Clean and Clutter-Free in 15 Minutes a Day.

ROGER SIMON: Good Riddance to Obamacare.

PALEFACE FINALLY SPEAKS TRUTH. Elizabeth Warren: By the way, “I’m not a person of color.”

Why not? I thought personal identity was entirely fungible in the 21st century.

COMING? Get Ready For The Coming War Against Merit.

CROSSING OVER THE CREEPY LINE: Google Hosts Sharia Law App Enabling Muslims to Report Blasphemy and Heresy to the Police.

(Classical reference in headline.)

HIGHER EDUCATION LIES: USM gave false info in response to anti-Kavanaugh course backlash.

MICHAEL WALSH: Does the Unfortunate 20th Century Foretell a Worse 21st?

That would be a most depressing prospect indeed.

JUDICIAL OVERREACH ENCOUNTERS THE STREISAND EFFECT:

An Australian court’s gag order and the forces of the Information Age collided on Thursday in a largely futile effort to keep news about the conviction of a high-ranking Vatican official from reaching readers.

While some U.S. and British news organizations, including the New York Times, did not report on the conviction of Australian Cardinal George Pell on the judge’s order, social media and other news outlets defied it.

Pell, 77, was convicted Tuesday on five counts of child sexual abuse in Melbourne, becoming the most senior official ever found guilty in the Catholic Church’s long-running child sexual-abuse scandals. The judge in the case, Peter Kidd, immediately subjected news of Pell’s conviction to a suppression order, the Australian equivalent of a gag order on press coverage.

Australian courts impose such orders to shield defendants from negative publicity that could prejudice future jurors in upcoming trials. Pell faces another trial next year on a separate set of abuse charges dating to the 1970s.

Kidd’s order prevented Australian media outlets from reporting the news about Pell. But news organizations based outside the country also complied with it, apparently out of concern that their Australian operations could be subjected to contempt of court penalties.

Oh, well.

THESE WARNINGS GET LESS ATTENTION THAN THE CLIMATE-CHANGE ONES: Federal panel warns of national blackout in EMP attack.

It said that the grid is a “prime target” of terrorists and that Americans are not ready for living without electricity, transportation, fuel, money, and healthcare.

“People no longer keep enough essentials within their homes, reducing their ability to sustain themselves during an extended, prolonged outage. We need to improve individual preparedness,” said the report.

“There needs to be more individual accountability for preparedness,” adds the report, Surviving a Catastrophic Power Outage.

Secrets earlier this week pointed out some of the issues raised in the report:

Given the growing frequency and severity of disasters and other risks, there needs to be an increase in individual accountability, enterprise, and community investment in resilient infrastructure.
There is a misconception that events occur infrequently.
There needs to be more individual accountability for preparedness.
Resilience at the state and local level will be critical to enable people to shelter in place and facilitate faster recovery. Any event that requires a mass evacuation will use up critical resources, clog transportation pathways, and reduce the workforce necessary for infrastructure recovery.
Electricity, fuel, clean drinking water, wastewater services, food/refrigeration, emergency medical services, communications capabilities, and some access to financial services have been identified as critical lifeline services that would be needed to sustain local communities and prevent mass migration.

As I’ve been writing for years, we should be hardening our systems. And I don’t want to live in One Second After, or even in Lightning Fall.

TRUMP SPRANG THREE TRAPS ON PELOSI AND SCHUMER ON WEDNESDAY:

Never forget that Trump was the most successful producer of reality television in the history of the medium.  He understands drama and a story arc.  Chuck Schumer leading a Senate filibuster right before Christmas to stymie border protection is exactly the story Trump wants the nation’s TV-viewers to absorb.

Read the whole thing.

THAT DANGED CONSTITUTION: “In a rare and somewhat frightening bout of honesty, California Democrat Ted Lieu made two stunning (or maybe not) admissions on the air recently 1) that he would love to control speech and 2) the only thing stopping him from doing so is that danged US Constitution.”

TRIBUNE, TRONC AND BEYOND: A SLUR, A SECRET PAYOUT AND A LOOMING SALE:

At the dinner, as at other moments, [Chicago investor Michael Ferro, who ran Tribune Publishing, which then-published the L.A. Times] railed against those who he felt were impeding him — including perceived rivals and competitors. Among them: the Southern California billionaire and civic leader Eli Broad, whom Ferro called part of a “Jewish cabal” that ran Los Angeles.

* * * * * * * *

Early this year, however, Tribune Publishing made the first in a series of secret payments to total more than $2.5 million to avert a threatened lawsuit filed by a fired newspaper executive, according to three people with knowledge of the deal. That had the effect of keeping Ferro’s anti-Semitic slur out of the public spotlight.

The payments, reported here for the first time, are stark embodiments of the consequences of Ferro’s actions that contributed to a series of crises at Tribune Publishing. The LA Times has been sold. Tribune Publishing has put itself on the auction block and is reviewing three bids from potential buyers.

Ferro no longer controls day-to-day operations; he stepped down as chairman after sexual harassment accusations arose involving his conduct outside Tribune Publishing.

According to NPR, the fired official was then-editor in chief Davan Maharaj, who “hired a prominent Beverly Hills attorney to pursue a wrongful termination suit. Maharaj had ammunition, having recorded Ferro in unguarded conversation with associates.”

Read the whole thing.

Harriet Ryan of the L.A. Times tweets, “You’re the editor of the LA Times. You find out the CEO is an anti-Semite. Do you: a) confront him? b) assign an investigative reporter to expose him? Or c) use the information to get a $2.5M personal payout at a time the company is laying off journalists and closing bureaus?”

C’mon – it’s the L.A. Times; he newspaper that “kept rockin’” as it buried the John Edwards story in 2008 and has still kept the tape of Obama’s meeting with former PLO mouthpiece Rashid Khalidi in 2003 in the vault. Of course, you ignore the story. Or as Jim Treacher would say:

TONI AIRAKSINEN: Creepy New App Lets You See What Your Kid’s Googling in Real Time. “This should never be a thing.”

MATTHEW CONTINETTI: China’s Drive To The Western Pacific.

I’ve had to wait on the tarmac for planes ahead of mine to take off before, but never F-15s. Naha airport here shares a runway with Japan’s Air Self Defense Forces, leading to delays whenever Japanese fighters scramble to counter Chinese incursions into the airspace above the Senkaku Island Chain in the East China Sea. The pace of such incursions has accelerated over the last half decade. The Japanese scrambled a high of 1,168 times in 2016, mostly in response to Chinese activity. The sight of active afterburners on a U.S. commercial runway would be shocking. In Okinawa, it’s everyday life.

More than 1 million Okinawans share the southernmost prefecture of Japan with some 25,000 U.S. air, ground, naval, and marine forces. More than half of U.S. bases in Japan are located within these 463 square miles. The crowded space has long been a site of tension. A brutal crime committed against a local girl by American soldiers in 1996 precipitated negotiations between the United States and Japan over the consolidation and relocation of our forces.

The process has been delayed by local and national Japanese politics. Opposition to the expansion of Camp Schwab in the less densely populated northern part of the island to replace Futenma airbase became a rallying cry for opposition lawmakers. The prefectural governor, Denny Tamaki, was elected on an anti-expansion platform last October. Tamaki defeated the candidate backed by Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party by a surprisingly large margin. His father was a U.S. Marine.

The national interests of the United States, Japan, and China meet in Okinawa. The island has been essential to the forward deployment of U.S. forces in Asia since World War II. The base is the keystone of the U.S.-Japan alliance. Our presence signifies America’s guarantee of Japanese security and helps sustain the economy of Japan’s poorest prefecture.

Expect the Chinese to try to stir up local “grassroots” opposition to the U.S. bases.

ON THIS DAY IN 1791, THE BILL OF RIGHTS WAS RATIFIED BY THE REQUISITE NUMBER OF STATES: The Commonwealth of Virginia had the honor of putting the amendments over the top. It had earlier ratified proposed amendment I. Then on December 15, it ratified proposed amendments II through XII. That made three-quarters of the 14 states (Vermont had been recently admitted) for proposals III through XII, which were then re-numbered 1 through 10.

Proposed amendment I and proposed amendment II didn’t make it (though, in one of history’s quirkier moments, the latter made it into the Constitution many years later).

LIFE IN THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF MADISON: “Having been shouted down and bullied at several meetings of the Madison School Board over the past several months … Blaska is uniquely qualified to expose the pusillanimous hand-wringing that passes for decision-making by those who shape educational policy in this city. He has seen firsthand how a small cadre of vocal extremists, called Freedom Inc., have cowed the current School Board with their unique brand of cop-hating venom.”

SUDDEN BLINDING WHITEOUT IMPERILS NATION:

● Shot: CNN Election Analyst On Dems’ 2020 Race: “I am not sure it’s the time to nominate a white man.”

—Headline, Hot Air, yesterday.

● Chaser: The best shot for Democrats is Biden/Beto.

—Headline, Real Clear Politics, today.

THE ONLY CRIME HERE IS THE FIRST AMENDMENT VIOLATION BY THE UNIVERSITY: West Virginia University Student Investigated For Border Patrol Halloween Costume. The university even admits that he has a constitutional right to wear the costume. FIRE is on the case.

OPEN THREAD: Put your special stamp on it.

COURT: ObamaCare mandate unconstitutional.

UPDATE: More here.

IT WOULD TAKE A HEART OF STONE NOT TO LAUGH: Hero to Zero — The Rise and Fall of Michael Avenatti.

AND THEY’LL DO ANYTHING FOR A SMOKE: Former nicotine research monkeys now at primate sanctuary.

THE UNIVERSE IS NOT ONLY STRANGER THAN WE IMAGINE, IT IS STRANGER THAN WE CAN IMAGINE: Giant Black Hole Powers Cosmic Fountain.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: The Eight Best Christmas Songs You’ve Probably Never Heard.

STEPHANIE GUTMANN: Millennials, banning ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’ won’t keep you warm at night. “In the modern, ‘affirmative consent’ version of this classic Christmas song, the man could not care less whether his girlfriend stays or goes. Hot!”

Now with correct link!

THIS WOULD BE SWELL, SO LONG AS YOU NEVER NEED SURGERY: Anti-opioid vaccine shows promise in mice.

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NEARLY 156 PEOPLE LEAVE CHICAGO DAILY: DEMOGRAPHIC TRENDS.

Even migration is bigger in Texas. Dallas leads all U.S. cities as the largest net gainer with 246 people arriving daily, according to a Bloomberg analysis of 2017 Census data on migration to the 100 largest U.S. metropolitan areas. In 2014, the crown belonged to Houston with 269 migrants per day.

Two things: First, as Austin said yesterday, to anyone thinking of fleeing to Texas, “please stay away. It’s absolutely terrible down here. We have hurricanes and tornadoes and sweltering summers and gazillions of feral hogs. The worst of it: increasingly terrible traffic thanks to tax migrants fleeing California.”

I’ve been telling people the exact same thing after I left California in 2016! And second, billionaire GOP contributors and libertarian-types like the Koch Brothers really need to get going on Glenn’s Welcome Wagon idea for new arrivals who fail to heed the warnings of us veteran Texans.

HIDE THE DECLINE: As French Protests Grow, Media’s Climate Focus Shrinks.

Putting this all together, as news coverage of the Paris protests has ramped up, discussion of the protests’ origins as a rejection of climate change taxes has rapidly faded. In part this may be due to the evolution of the protests into a broader rejection of the direction of French society and airing of grievances ranging from the economic divide to education reforms. At the same time, the timing of the rapid climate deemphasis as the protests have grown larger and more violent suggests media outlets are also not keen to draw negative scrutiny to environmental efforts. In the end, we are reminded that media outlets strongly shape our understanding of stories through the choices they make in framing them.

Classical reference in headline; as Jim Treacher would say:

I WAS PROMISED A NUCLEAR WINTER: Bad Bad Futures Which Didn’t Happen – I Expected An Earth-Shattering Kaboom!

ROBERT “BETO” O’ROURKE: ‘I DON’T KNOW’ IF I’M A PROGRESSIVE.

I think what he means is that he serves as a blank screen on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views, to coin a phrase spoken by an earlier hard left presidential candidate.

JOHN PODHORETZ: THE ‘MURDER’ OF THE WEEKLY STANDARD WASN’T ABOUT TRUMP.

Narrator voice: There is some evidence that being perpetually never-Trump may have played a factor. QED:

SOMETHING ELSE TO WORRY ABOUT: Could Medical Procedures Transmit Alzheimer’s?

APOLLO 17: On this day in 1972, at 5:55 p.m. EST, the lunar module carrying Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt noiselessly lifted off from the moon. It would later rejoin the Command Module piloted by Ron Evans.

No human being has since returned. Most Americans alive today were not yet born then.

THAT YOU LIKE BEER? Here’s What Ordering Your Favorite Lager Might Say About Your Personality.

WHAT A COVERUP LOOKS LIKE. Also this.

JUST A REMINDER: It’s Not A Carry Gun If You Don’t Carry It.

TWO INTERESTING POINTS:

“MIGRANTS”: Tijuana Official Provides Update On Spike In Crime. “There have been like 280 arrests. Before it was only for drug possession and being drunk in the streets. Now it’s for breaking and entering into the homes. People have made citizens arrests.”

UGH: Study: 15 percent of infants exposed to Zika develop abnormalities.

THERE ARE NOT ENOUGH “UNEXPECTEDLY!”S FOR THIS REPORT: Off-Schedule and Over-Budget, California’s Bullet Train Is Hurtling Towards Disaster.

HMM: Aerobic activities like jogging and interval training can make our cells biologically younger; weight training did not have the same effect. I do interval training, but lifting hard can boost your heart rate just as much.

CYBERSECURITY: The 25 worst passwords of 2018 based on 5 million leaked passwords on the internet.

Have we learned nothing from the numerous hacks and leaks in recent memory?

Apparently not.

Password-management company SplashData released its annual list of the 100 worst passwords of the year based on 5 million leaked passwords on the internet. The worst passwords continued to be “123456” and “password.”

Some of you have switched things up, as there are several new entries to this year’s list, like “donald” ranked at number 23, presumably inspired by President Donald Trump.

Password managers exist to generate strong passwords that you don’t have to remember, and some operating systems even have them baked in. But I also understand that many corporate IT departments have their own password rules, which actually result in less security, not more.

ICEBERG HIT: Weekly Standard, RIP.

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DESTRUCTION OF EVIDENCE, OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE: Mueller’s Office Scrubbed Strzok-Page Text Messages Before IG Could Review Them.

CHANGE: Verizon cuts 10,000 jobs and admits its Yahoo/AOL division is a failure.

A POWERFUL STATEMENT FROM IMPRISONED CHINESE PASTOR WANG YI: My Declaration of Faithful Disobedience.

IF YOU LIKE YOUR PLAN, YOU CAN KEEP YOUR PLAN: Barack Obama Slams Those ‘Making Up Whatever Facts They Want’ in RFK Human Rights Award Speech.

I HOPE SHE GETS IT, THOUGH I HAVE MY DOUBTS: It’s Juanita Broaddrick’s Birthday. Here’s What Her Birthday Wish Is.

SPACE DEBRIS: The Pentagon Is Declassifying Lots of Info About What’s in Orbit.

YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW: This Is What Happens to Your Body When You Eat Instant Ramen.

FORMER DEMOCRATIC OHIO STATE SENATOR CAPRI CAFARO: Democrats won’t win in 2020 unless they remember that the road to the White House runs through Main Street.

ASKING THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS: Is Lincoln bringing back a Continental with suicide doors?

YOUR DAILY TREACHER: Russian Robot Turns Out to Be Fake, Just Like Everything Else.

JOHN HAWKINS: Christine Blasey Ford Is the Poster Girl for Fake Sexual Assault Allegations. “So why did Sports Illustrated choose Ford to hand out an award?”

Gotta maintain that narrative, John.

BABY, IT’S HOT IN HERE: The definitive, final word on “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” — until next December.

COMING TO MIKE FLYNN’S DEFENSE: Ruth Bader Ginsburg!

Related: Crime Follies: Overcriminalization, Independent Prosecutors, and the Rule of Law.

NICE: Navy Achieves New F-35 Fighter Jet Milestone on USS Carl Vinson.

The Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 147 “Argonauts” completed carrier qualifications Wednesday, a final requirement for the commander of Joint Strike Fighter Wing (CJSFW) to endorse that the squadron has met its safe-for-flight operations certification, the Navy said in a release.

“The safe-for-flight operations certification (SFFOC) is the final step for VFA-147’s transition from the F/A-18E Super Hornet to the F-35C Lightning II,” the release said.

“This process ensures a squadron is manned with qualified personnel to implement maintenance and safety programs in support of fleet operations. All transitioning squadrons are required to complete this certification prior to independently conducting flight operations,” it said.

The Vinson is about to get some interesting new capabilities.

TAKING SIDES: New ‘Network of Concerned Academics’ rallies against the ‘right-wing.’ They’re against “outside agitators” who come around to stir things up. Well that stance has a long history in Democratic Party politics.