Saturday, March 25, 2017

(03:00 PM)

AT AMAZON, deals on Herbs, Spices and Seasonings.

Plus, Mowers and Outdoor Power Tools.

(02:30 PM)

FASTER, PLEASE: A Norfolk doctor found a treatment for sepsis. Now he’s trying to get the ICU world to listen.

Valerie Hobbs, 53, was in the throes of sepsis – an infection coursing through her veins that was causing her blood pressure to tank, her organs to fail and her breathing to flag.

“When you have a person that young who’s going to die, you start thinking, ‘What else can we pull out of the bag?’ ” said Dr. Paul Marik, who was on duty that day in the intensive care unit of Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.

In this case, he reached for Vitamin C.

Marik, chief of pulmonary and critical care at Eastern Virginia Medical School, had recently read medical journal articles involving the vitamin, and decided to order IV infusions of it, along with hydrocortisone, a steroid, to reduce inflammation.

Then, he went home.

The next morning, Hobbs had improved so much she was removed from four different medications used to boost her blood pressure. Her kidney function was better. Her breathing eased.

Three days later, she left the ICU.

That was in January 2016. Today, Hobbs is back at her home in Norfolk.

“At first we thought it was a coincidence, that maybe the stars aligned just right and she got lucky,” Marik said.

Ten days later, another patient, a paraplegic, arrived in the ICU with sepsis, and Marik prescribed the same thing. That patient improved as well.

A third patient, a man so sick with pneumonia he was on a ventilator, also received the treatment. The results were the same.

Faster, please. But there’s a catch:

He wants there to be a comprehensive study, and he said that Stanford University has expressed some interest. But he said it will be difficult to fund because it uses drugs that have been on the market for decades: “We are curing it for $60. No one will make any money off it.”

Studies take money, and that money often comes from pharmaceutical companies.

Somebody should fund it. A friend on Facebook suggests that health insurance companies should fund it, since it could save them a bundle.

(02:23 PM)

BUILDING A DEDICATED MUSIC PROJECT STUDIO CONTROL ROOM AND ISOLATION BOOTH, PART TWO OF TWO: Welcome to “This Old Studio:” Into the actual construction of my project studio, with plenty of in-progress photos. (Part One online here.)

Incidentally, this weekend is the one-year anniversary of our reverse Grapes of Wrath saga, fleeing California to Texas.

(02:00 PM)

JOGGING WON’T HELP THAT: Two-Thirds of Cancer Mutations Are Random and Unavoidable, Scientists Claim. “Almost two-thirds of cancer mutations are caused by random DNA-copying errors during cell division and are impossible for us to avoid, regardless of lifestyle and the genes we inherit from our parents, according to new research. . . . If the findings end up being accepted by other cancer researchers, the idea that randomness – in other words, bad luck – is more significant in causing cancer than other contributing factors could amount to what Tomasetti calls ‘a complete paradigm shift in how we think about cancer and what causes cancer’.”

(01:30 PM)

HMM: Prosecutors Have Pulled Data From More Than 100 Phones Seized From Inauguration Day Protesters.

(01:00 PM)

HMM: Treatment with a simple chemical restores DNA repair to aging mice.

A recent paper published in Science shows that a chemical used in the DNA repair process, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+), has a concentration that declines with age. This decline may drive the age-associated accumulation of DNA damage—a finding that suggests supplementing NAD+ might offset some of the effects of aging.

The team behind the paper used human embryonic kidney cells (which grow well in the lab) to look at the role of this chemical. The authors found that NAD+ binds to the protein “deleted in breast cancer 1” (DBC1), which—as its name implies—was previously implicated in cancer. DBC1 normally binds to and inhibits another protein that performs DNA repair. But NAD+ blocks this interaction, releasing the inhibition on DNA repair.

Therefore, as NAD+ concentrations decline with age, it’s possible there is insufficient NAD+ to bind to the DBC1 protein, leaving it free to block DNA repair.

To test this proposed mechanism in a living organism, the authors used aging mice. As expected, NAD+ concentrations declined as the mice aged. With its decline, DBC1 was increasingly binding to and shutting down the DNA repair enzyme. The authors then gave the mice the chemical precursor to NAD+, which should restore their NAD+ concentrations. Once the mice were given this treatment, their DNA repair activity increased, and the levels of DNA damage were reduced.

I take Niagen, which contains nicotinamide riboside, a precursor to NAD+. Does it help? Ask me in 20 years.

(12:48 PM)


Why, yes I can, considering TNR’s response to the Obama-approved government “slimdown” in 2013:

As Jim Geraghty tweeted in 2013, “The New Republic: Your first choice for violent, authoritarian, eliminationist rhetoric!”; little has changed since Marty Peretz left the building, apparently.

(12:44 PM)

GET ‘EM WHILE THEY’RE YOUNG: Teen Vogue Writer Tweets ‘All White People Are Evil’

(12:18 PM)

MIKE ALLEN: Inside the Trumpcare meltdown.

When the balky hardliners of the House Freedom Caucus visited the White House earlier this week, this was Steve Bannon’s opening line, according to people in the conference room in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building:

Guys, look. This is not a discussion. This is not a debate. You have no choice but to vote for this bill.

Bannon’s point was: This is the Republican platform. You’re the conservative wing of the Republican Party. But people in the room were put off by the dictatorial mindset.

One of the members replied: “You know, the last time someone ordered me to something, I was 18 years old. And it was my daddy. And I didn’t listen to him, either.”

Started on the wrong foot: Repeal-and-replace was always snakebit. Ryan had begun the process before Trump’s inauguration. “He boxed us in,” said one person close to the fight. “We didn’t have any choice.”

Was always wobbly: Trump relied too long on assurances from Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and HHS Secretary Tom Price that they had the process in hand. And “Ryan was telling him it was fine, and they’d bring it together at the end.” Instead, the bottom fell out.

What a mess.

(11:00 AM)

IN THE MAIL: Emotional Intelligence 2.0

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(10:55 AM)

WELL, THEN MAYBE THE CDC SHOULD SPEND MORE TIME ON THIS SUBJECT, AND LESS TIME ON SALT SHAKERS AND SATURATED FAT: The Real Threat To National Security: Deadly Disease. Especially since they were wrong about the saturated fat. And the salt. . . .

(10:51 AM)

TAXPROF: The IRS Scandal, Day 1417.

(10:44 AM)

AL HUNT: Democrats Have a Gorsuch Problem.

(10:32 AM)

SCIENCE! Student Discovers Previously Unknown Form of Oppression.

(10:30 AM)

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Foreign Students Say U.S. High School Classes Are Absurdly Easy.

When the Brookings Institution’s Brown Center on Education Policy surveyed foreign exchange students studying in the U.S. in 2001, it found that they thought that American education was a cake walk compared to secondary education in their home countries. And when it conducted the survey again in 2016, it found that exchange students thought that U.S. education was even less challenging than before. . . .

Foreign exchange students’ perceptions of U.S. education clearly depends on their own educational background and their school placement. Students placed in underperforming Chicago schools, for example, are more likely to say that U.S. education is easier compared with foreign students placed at top-tier high schools in upper-middle class university towns.

The study doesn’t offer details about these alternative variables that might offer a more granular account of where U.S. schools are succeeding and failing; nonetheless, the overall picture—that teenagers from abroad overwhelmingly think that American schools demand less of them than schools in their home countries—is not exactly a ringing endorsement of this country’s educational establishment.

Well, our educational establishment — like most of our establishments these days, really — sucks.

(10:00 AM)

GOOD: NRA Will Target Democrats Who Vote Against Gorsuch.

(09:00 AM)

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(08:59 AM)


In: Trump son-in-law’s ties to Israel raise questions of bias.

(08:56 AM)

MY LATEST NEW YORK OBSERVER COLUMN: Art of War meets art of the deal. Tillerson pulls a Trump card on North Korea.

(08:52 AM)

THE NATURAL ENDPOINT OF SOCIALISM: Venezuela is out of food, out of medicine, and running out of gas. That’s right: “The country with the largest proven oil reserves in the world is now running out of gasoline.”

(08:43 AM)

CIVIL RIGHTS UPDATE: “Constitutional Carry” Passes in North Dakota.

(08:30 AM)

MEGAN MCARDLE: If it’s easy to reach lawmakers, they’ll ignore you.

The problem with political action is that it’s hard. You have to get up early, go to meetings, write your representative, find a stamp for the envelope you don’t have for the letter you want to write your representative.… Shouldn’t technology solve this problem, and make it easier to get the political results we want?

Apparently, someone’s been asking that question. My social media feed has supplied me with word of a new application that aims to make political action as easy as sending a text.

The idea is that you text the word “resist” to a number, and after getting a small amount of information (your name, your ZIP code) it will let you set up a letter to fax to your senator. It’s the sort of thing you can do with any spare moment.

It’s a great idea — at first. It’s so great that I suspect it will soon devalue the fax as political currency.

Allow me to explain. There’s a hierarchy of political actions that you can take to impress your legislators with your commitment to an issue. Sending a letter or calling is high on that hierarchy; social media, email and signing petitions ranks much lower. The new service effectively acts as a political currency converter, allowing individuals to do something easy (text) while appearing to have done something less easy (fax).

There is a reason that more primitive means of communicating with your legislator tend to make them more interested in what you have to say: Those forms of communication cost more of your time, and therefore indicate a level of commitment that might reflect your intentions to donate and vote (for or against the lawmaker in question).

Showing up in person, of course, shows still more commitment.

(08:16 AM)

AT AMAZON, New DASH Buttons galore.

(08:00 AM)


Supporters of President Donald Trump disrupted a town hall held by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra in the Inland Empire town of Ontario on Thursday evening, the San Bernardino Sun reports.

Becerra has led California’s charge against many of President Trump’s policies. Earlier this week, for example, he filed a brief supporting a lawsuit by Santa Clara County challenging the president’s executive order that threatens sanctuary cities with the loss of federal funding.

An earlier town hall at the San Bernardino Valley College had proceeded without incident, the Sun reports. However, in Ontario, Becerra faced a hostile audience.

The hair-pulling stuff goes both ways. And it appears that Trump supporters are willing to pull some hair.

(07:37 AM)

STEWART BAKER: Surveillance Sauce For The Goose. Imagine it’s 2020 and Trump is spying on Democratic candidate Kamala Harris.

Faced with that scenario, who thinks the press would be mocking Harris’s claim that her campaign was wiretapped by its enemies? So why are reporters mocking Trump’s?

Fact is, there’s a very real problem at the bottom of President Trump’s complaints. The Obama administration decided to conduct what was bound to be one-sided surveillance. Any evidence the investigators turned up would hurt the President’s adversary, not his side. The same would be true of any leaks. And widespread distribution of intelligence from the investigation would dramatically increase the risk that his adversary will be hurt by leaks. If you’re the President, or anyone in his administration, what’s not to like?

Who made the decision to expose the Trump campaign to this scrutiny and the risks that came with it? Thanks to FISA, national security surveillance decisions must be made mainly by political appointees. This is meant to be a protection for civil liberties but it’s the reverse in a partisan context.


(07:30 AM)

DEMOCRATS: Kamala Harris Won’t Vote For Gorsuch Because He Rules With The Law Not Feelings.

(07:00 AM)

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Why College Graduates Still Can’t Think.

Traditionally, the “critical” part of the term “critical thinking” has referred not to the act of criticizing, or finding fault, but rather to the ability to be objective. “Critical,” in this context, means “open-minded,” seeking out, evaluating and weighing all the available evidence. It means being “analytical,” breaking an issue down into its component parts and examining each in relation to the whole.

Above all, it means “dispassionate,” recognizing when and how emotions influence judgment and having the mental discipline to distinguish between subjective feelings and objective reason—then prioritizing the latter over the former.

I wrote about all this in a recent post on The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Vitae website, mostly as background for a larger point I was trying to make. I assumed that virtually all the readers would agree with this definition of critical thinking—the definition I was taught as a student in the 1980s and which I continue to use with my own students.

To my surprise, that turned out not to be the case. Several readers took me to task for being “cold” and “emotionless,” suggesting that my understanding of critical thinking, which I had always taken to be almost universal, was mistaken.

I found that puzzling, until one helpful reader clued me in: “I share your view of what critical thinking should mean,” he wrote. “But a quite different operative definition has a strong hold in academia. In this view, the key characteristic of critical thinking is opposition to the existing ‘system,’ encompassing political, economic, and social orders, deemed to privilege some and penalize others. In essence, critical thinking is equated with political, economic, and social critique.”

Suddenly, it occurred to me that the disconnect between the way most people (including employers) define critical thinking and the way many of today’s academics define it can be traced back to the post-structuralist critical theories that invaded our English departments about the time I was leaving grad school, in the late 1980s. I’m referring to deconstruction and its poorer cousin, reader response criticism.

Just more Gramscian Damage.

(05:00 AM)

POOR RICH PEOPLE: Financial Stupidity.

(04:37 AM)

THE SCIENCE IS SETTLED, COVERING YOUR BOOBS IS MICROAGGRESSION: Staring at boobs may give a boost to male lifespans.

(04:00 AM)


(03:33 AM)

FISH GETS BICYCLE; NEEDS TRAINING WHEELS: Anne Hathaway Achieves Enlightenment—Sort of.

(03:00 AM)

FOR THE TIMES THEY ARE ACHANGING: Song parody dubbed ‘the anthem of the right’ catches fire thanks, in part, to New Media.

(02:30 AM)

IT AIN’T THE BODY: The surprising male body type women lust after most.

(02:00 AM)


(01:27 AM)

PORN MOVIES MOST AFFECTED:Soon, your pizza delivery guy could be a robot.

(01:00 AM)

DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE OF SELF-DECLARED IDENTITY: The story of Rachel Dolezal gets even more bizarre.

(12:29 AM)

INESCAPABLE: 12 Pieces Of Proof: The MSM Knew Obama Spied On Trump and LIED To Cover It Up.

Friday, March 24, 2017

(11:36 PM)

MICHAEL WALSH: Paul Ryan Takes The Barzini Meeting. “In a proper parliamentary democracy, of course, Ryan would have already stepped down. The speaker has one primary job, which is to shepherd legislation through the House. And while there’s renewed talk about a revolt against his ‘leadership,’ there’s no one on the horizon as a plausible replacement at the moment. Still, Ryan’s now roadkill, and it’s just a matter of time before even he realizes it.”

(11:00 PM)

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(10:17 PM)

ANDREW MALCOLM: What’s really hidden deep within all this intel squabbling.

Here’s what really matters: During the waning days of the Obama administration U.S. intelligence was indeed monitoring the conversations of foreign persons of interest after the Nov. 8 election and before the Jan. 20 inauguration. That’s normal and actually encouraging given how many key things those agencies have missed in recent years.

In those eaves-droppings they overheard Trump aides being mentioned or talking to agencies’ foreign targets. That’s called “incidental contact” in the intel world. That means they weren’t supposed to be targeting the American, but he or she came up. That’s unavoidable in intelligence-gathering if you’re doing a thorough job.

T​o avoid “unmasking” those innocent bystanders, t​ranscripts of those overheard conversations refer to the foreign target by name and identify the other person simply as American ​No. ​1 or American ​No. 2. ​A very small number of very senior intelligence officials ​will ​know the actual identity of the American​, people like, oh, then-CIA director John Brennan or Susan Rice, Obama’s national security adviser.​

​Remember Trump’s first national security adviser, retired Gen. Michael Flynn? He was picked up talking with the Russian ambassador as part of his transition work. Subsequently, he was fired​, not for the conversation but for misrepresenting that conversation to Trump teammates, including Vice President Pence. Trump accurately saw that as fatally corroding the trust he needs in such a close aide.

But here’s the deal: We should never have known it was Flynn.

Yes, as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency Flynn was very unpopular among Obama administration members and indeed was frozen out of contact with the commander-in-chief because he favored a much stronger response to ISIS, among other things. Talk about a president dodging opposing views.

Like Flynn or not, it is illegal — as in against the law — for anyone to reveal the name of an incidentally-overheard American. Someone in a small circle of Obama intelligence officials who knew the identity of that American No. 1 committed a felony by leaking Flynn’s name to media.

Safe to say the leak, like numerous others since Hillary Clinton was not inaugurated as president, was not intended to facilitate the smooth presidential transition that Obama so often publicly promised.

Prosecute the leaker.

(10:00 PM)

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(09:14 PM)

MAYBE GOV. BILL HASLAM NEEDS TO INTERVENE: Tennessee bills teen to replace guardrail that killed her.

The state of Tennessee has billed a dead teen nearly $3,000 to replace the guardrail that killed her in a car crash in November.

Her flabbergasted father said that he not only would not pay but also contends that the model of guardrail that struck his daughter was poorly designed and dangerous.

Around 5:44 a.m. ET Nov. 1, Hannah Eimers, 17, was driving her father’s 2000 Volvo S80 on Interstate 75 northbound near Niota, Tenn., when the car left the road, traveled into the median and hit the end of a guardrail with the driver’s side door, according to a Tennessee Highway Patrol crash report.

Instead of deflecting the car or buckling to absorb the impact, the guardrail end impaled the vehicle, striking the teen in the head and chest and pushing her into the back seat, according to the report. She died instantly.

Four months later, Steven Eimers of Lenoir City received a $2,970 bill from the Tennessee Department of Transportation, dated Feb. 24 and addressed to Hannah for the cost of labor and materials to install 25 feet of guardrail at the scene of the crash.

“I’m shocked, the audacity,” he said. “What bothers me is that they’re playing Russian roulette with people’s lives. They know these devices do not perform at high speeds and in situations like my daughter’s accident, but they leave them in place.”

The guardrail end Hannah hit was a Lindsay X-LITE, a model that the state transportation department had removed from its approved products list just one week earlier.

Sadly, Steve Eimers is a longtime InstaPundit reader. He emails:

I am pushing to get the Lindsay X-Lite off Tennessee roads. Will you please share this story?

But if you do please include this post about Hannah. I am tired of only talking about the way she died! How she lived is far more impressive. Graduated Home School at 15. Self taught ASL, German, and Russian. Self taught piano, guitar, Ukulele, psaltry, and numerous primitive instruments. Wrote six novels, accomplished photographer, and videographer. Worked on the set of Dog Years with Adam Rifkin and Burt Reynolds. Most importantly was how she was an advocate for the orphan. I want this to be what Hannah is known for.

Here’s his Facebook post.

(09:09 PM)

HMM: Terror alert in Lille as ‘gangster’ gunman shoots three people outside a Metro station ‘to settle scores’ as the French city is put in lockdown by armed police just two days after London attack.

(09:03 PM)

METHAMPHETAMINES AND COAL MINES: Forgive the bitter visual pun, but both sources of revenue contribute to the endless combat in Myanmar (aka Burma).

Drug war in Burma– yes. They’re also fighting over control of coal mines.

It’s an old story but new blood continues to spill:

In Shan state, for example, the army and tribes are fighting over lucrative coal mining operations. In Kachin state the army violence is connected with the illegal gold mining and the tribal fear that the army cannot be trusted to observe the terms of any peace deal. Along the west coast (Arakan and Chin states) it’s about the army effort to control (tax) illegal logging by tribesmen. The tribes have been mistreated by the military for so long it is difficult to generate a lot of trust for a new peace agreement.

(09:03 PM)

HOW TO BE: The Krystal Counter Code: A 1954 Fast Food Server Guide.

(08:24 PM)

THE 21st CENTURY ISN’T WORKING OUT THE WAY I HAD BEEN PROMISED: Transgender ‘Girl’ Saddened and Shocked That Straight Boys Aren’t Interested in Her. “In a lot of ways, I don’t like telling a guy. Once I tell him all respect goes out of the window. Straight guys just can’t get over you having the male parts.”

Don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll find the other half of that folie à deux eventually.

UPDATE (FROM GLENN): If you still have a penis, you’re not a woman. You’re just another man who hasn’t made a commitment.

(08:04 PM)

A DOUBLE WAKE-UP: Are bikini clad baristas the next Hooters waitresses? I like the folks in my local coffee shop, but there aren’t many of them I’d like to see with fewer clothes.

Video here. Because it’s Blog Sweeps Week!

(06:55 PM)

TITANIC-SIZED UNDERSTATEMENT ALERT: The Conservatives Made a Mistake, Andrew Klavan writes.

That Hindenburg in flames photo atop the Drudge Report right now isn’t because Matt really digs Led Zeppelin I.

(06:46 PM)


Art of the Deal Meets Art of War in North Korea fills in the dangerous historical details (a bump for my latest Observer column).

(06:29 PM)

BUT OF COURSE: College ‘Diversity Council’ Admits to Posting Fake Racist Flyers On Campus.

(06:13 PM)

A “REVENGE BODY?” I’ve never really seen the point of that, but whatever. It’s Blog Sweeps Week!

Welcome to the family!! @cashiethefrenchbulldog 🐶 Click link in my bio!! 👙🍩

A post shared by Christina El Moussa (@christinaelmoussa) on

(05:08 PM)

FOR MATURE AUDIENCES ONLY: Florida retirement home employee accused of filming residents having sex, sharing it online. “Alexis Williams was an employee at Bristol Court Assisted Living Facility in St. Petersburg when she recorded a 81-year-old woman and a 59-year-old man making love last August, according to police.”

(04:38 PM)

PAUL RYAN: “This is a disappointing day for us.”

(04:03 PM)

A CAR THAT CAN do a burnout at 160 mph.

(04:01 PM)

FRACTURED CAUCUS: House Cancels Vote on GOP Health-Care Bill.

Mr. Trump asked Paul Ryan to pull the health care bill from the floor, an aide to the House GOP leadership said.

Mr. Ryan is scheduled to hold a news conference shortly.


The House has postponed the health-care vote, a, Republican leadership aide said.

The House unexpectedly went into recess ahead of the planned vote, and is now holding an emergency GOP caucus meeting. Speaker Paul Ryan plans a press conference shortly.


(02:48 PM)

WELL, GOOD: The Harvard Crimson Condemns Campus Riots.

(02:35 PM)


(02:34 PM)

KATIE HOPKINS: Welcome to London: We can say we’re not afraid, light candles and make hearts of our hands but the truth is that we can’t go on like this. The electorate is figuring this out faster than the politicians, I suspect.

(02:30 PM)

A MOUTHFUL OF TROUBLE: Dental Problems In The Elderly.

(02:19 PM)


WSJ has a liveblog going, and the no votes are still trending up.

(02:05 PM)


I’m so old, I can remember when Rush Limbaugh was excoriated by the left for hoping a president would fail.

(02:04 PM)

CLAIM: Peak oil? Sooner than you think.

To be clear, this is about peak oil demand rather than peak oil supply.

You don’t seem to read much these days about peak oil supply.

(02:00 PM)

HMM: Double Filters Allow Tetrachromatic Vision in Humans. “Humans have three types of cone cells in the back of the eye to differentiate color. Some react to blue, some to green and some to red. The cones do their work by responding to the difference in wavelength of the incoming light. Such vision is known as trichromatic. In this new effort, the researchers have found a way of fooling the brain into seeing as if there were a fourth type of cone, by wearing glasses with two types of filters. The result is tetrachromatic vision. . . . The filters remove some parts of the blue light spectrum. But the filters each remove a different part. When the filters are fitted into a frame and worn like regular glasses, the wearer is able to see colors that are normally hidden—metamers. In a sense, it is rather the opposite of what occurs with people who are color blind. They might see blue and red as the same, even though there is more light information there. Adding spectrum identification to color blind eyes allows for seeing more of what is already there. With the new combined filter system, a person is able to look at what appears to be an object that is all the same color, such as purple, and see more colors in it—those normally hidden metamers.”

(01:48 PM)

FREEDOM OF SPEECH FOR ME BUT NOT FOR THEE: Bus Denying Transgender Identity Vandalized in New York City.

(01:35 PM)

READER BOOK PLUG: From reader Miriam Davis, Axeman of New Orleans: The True Story.

(01:35 PM)

WELL, THIS IS THE 21ST CENTURY, YOU KNOW: Synthetic Neurons Are Advancing Computing Power.

(01:30 PM)

21st CENTURY HEADLINES: Lice-Hunting Underwater Drone Protects Salmon With Lasers.

(01:27 PM)

DAVID BOAZ: 25 Years Later, Is It Still the Hayek Century?

(01:20 PM)

DR. WES FISHER shows why it’s good to have a blog.

Also, what the hell is going on with the American Board of Internal Medicine?

(01:12 PM)

THAT’S REAL MONEY: $15,000 a month offered to ‘A Teams’ to fight Trump agenda.

Fight for the Future, started in 2011 as a digital activist group, on Monday issued the offer with this eye-catching opening: “Terrified about Trump? Quit your job, start an A-Team. We’ll fund it.”

“We’re currently taking applications for an initial launch of the project, and will be providing a few select teams with funding, guidance, and support,” said Evan Greer, campaign director for Fight for the Future.

Who funds the funders?

According to WikiPedia, Fight for the Future got its initial funding from the Media Democracy Fund, which the Capital Research Center says is backed by George Soros.

(01:04 PM)

COUNTERING POLITICAL ISLAMISM: A “must read” assessment by Ayaan Hirsi Ali (via the Hoover Institution).

Insisting that radical Islamists have “nothing to do with Islam” has led US policy makers to commit numerous strategic errors since 9/11. One is to distinguish between a “tiny” group of extremists and an “overwhelming” majority of “moderate” Muslims. I prefer to differentiate among Medina Muslims, who embrace the militant political ideology adopted by Muhammad in Medina; Mecca Muslims, who prefer the religion originally promoted by Muhammad in Mecca; and reformers, who are open to some kind of Muslim Reformation.

These distinctions have their origins in history. The formative period of Islam can be divided roughly into two phases: the spiritual phase, associated with Mecca, and the political phase that followed Muhammad’s move to Medina.


By not fighting a war of ideas against political Islam (or “Islamism”) as an ideology and against those who spread that ideology, we have made a grave error.

If Islamism is the ideology, then dawa encompasses all the methods by which it is spread. The term “dawa” refers to activities carried out by Islamists to win adherents and enlist them in a campaign to impose sharia law on all societies. Dawa is not the Islamic equivalent of religious proselytizing, although it is often disguised as such by blending humanitarian activities with subversive political activities.

Dawa as practiced by Islamists employs a wide range of mechanisms to advance the goal of imposing Islamic law (sharia) on society. This includes proselytization, but extends beyond that. In Western countries, dawa aims both to convert non-Muslims to political Islam and to bring about more extreme views among existing Muslims. The ultimate goal of dawa is to destroy the political institutions of a free society and replace them with strict sharia. Islamists rely on both violent and nonviolent means to achieve their objectives.

Dawa is to the Islamists of today what the “long march through the institutions” was to twentieth-century Marxists. It is subversion from within, the use of religious freedom in order to undermine that very freedom. After Islamists gain power, dawa is to them what Gleichschaltung  (synchronization) of all aspects of German state, civil, and social institutions was to the National Socialists.

Read the whole thing.

(01:00 PM)

SO SHE’S LIKE A GIRL-VERSION OF BEN CARSON: New Role Model Alert: This Is Johns Hopkins’ First Black Female Neurosurgery Resident. Have you noticed the press holding Ben Carson up as a role model much?

(12:58 PM)

PATRICK POOLE: Accused Killer Nasser Hamad Invokes ‘Islamophobia’ Defense in Double Homicide.

Pre-emptive murder?

(12:54 PM)

THE EUROPEAN UNION TURNS 60: Analysis from USA Today.

Just six of the EU’s current 28 members were signatories to the Treaty of Rome in 1957, the agreement that established the European Economic Community, the EU’s predecessor. This weekend’s ceremony takes place five days before British Prime Minister Theresa May invokes legislation that starts Britain’s two-year legal path to a formal exit from the bloc.

(12:45 PM)

THIS IS THE PART OF OBAMACARE THE GOP “CAN’T” REPEAL: Obamacare Regulations Drove Up Premium Costs By Up to 68%.

(12:35 PM)

VIDEO: “DON’T SHUT DOWN THE JEW!” Ezra Levant turns the table on campus fascists.

(12:31 PM)

CHALK ONE UP FOR THE PRESS: The Mayor Will Now Take Your Questions. Wait, Where’d He Go?

Mayor Bill de Blasio walked out on his own news conference on Thursday without answering any questions, irked that reporters were not asking what he wanted them to ask.

In an extraordinary test of wills with the City Hall press corps, Mr. de Blasio refused to respond to questions that might ordinarily be considered well within the bounds of what the mayor of New York City would be expected to address. He was asked about the murder of a black man who police said was stabbed to death in Manhattan by a white man who had come to the city to harm black people, and the arrest in Israel of a man accused of making a string of telephone threats against Jewish community centers and other sites in the United States.

The mayor had called reporters to a chilly block of East 56th Street to make a pitch about his proposal for a so-called mansion tax on the sale of apartments or houses of more than $2 million, to pay for rent relief for older New Yorkers. The plan would need approval by the state legislature and is seen as having little hope of success in a State Senate that has generally responded with hostility to both new taxes and the mayor’s initiatives.

Against the backdrop of a luxury high-rise (with a handwritten sign in one window reading, “De Blasio doesn’t care about the working middle class”), the mayor spoke about the tax over the din of construction, passing trucks and a heckler who shouted, “Everyone hates you, de Blasio!”

Then he said he would take questions on the tax proposal.

Reporters didn’t oblige — and good for them.

(12:10 PM)

BREAKING: Republican leaders struggling to win GOP votes with hours left before the vote.

(12:05 PM)

WHAT FEMINISM HAS COME TO: Why Guys Get Turned on When You Orgasm — and Why That’s a Bad Thing.

UPDATE (from Steve): It’s official now — there’s nothing that a determined Third Wave feminist can’t ruin. Also note the damage author Hannah Smothers (Dickens couldn’t have named her better) does to women with this piece. She’s attempting to disparage men in a way which, if successful, would make women feel self-conscious about their own orgasms.

You almost wish Cosmo would stick to its traditional beat of constitutional analysis.

(12:04 PM)

ELECTIONS HAVE CONSEQUENCES: TransCanada Receives Presidential Permit for Keystone XL.

(11:00 AM)

IN THE MAIL: From Michael Savage, Trump’s War: His Battle for America.

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(10:58 AM)

MY LATEST NEW YORK OBSERVER COLUMN: Art of War meets art of the deal. Tillerson pulls a Trump card on North Korea. (bumped)

(10:56 AM)

MILLENNIAL WOMEN RESPOND: ‘Tomi Lahren Doesn’t Speak for Us’

(10:55 AM)

TAXPROF: The IRS Scandal, Day 1416: ‘Media Attention’ And IRS Abuse.

(10:37 AM)

DON’T TREAD ON ME: At Least One Freedom Caucus Member Revolts After Trump Ultimatum.

This is what Rep. Thomas Massie tweeted moments ago: “If Exec branch tells Legislative branch “when 2 vote” “how 2 vote” & “what it will b allowed 2 work on if vote fails,” is that a republic?”

If Exec branch tells Legislative branch “when 2 vote” “how 2 vote” & “what it will b allowed 2 work on if vote fails,” is that a republic?
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) March 24, 2017

Should other members of the Caucus share Massie’s sentiment and feel compelled to join him, Trump’s last ditch gamble for a successful vote after the close on Friday, may yet backfire bigly.

Trump ran on keeping the popular parts of ObamaCare while getting rid of the unpopular parts which made it kinda-sorta-temporarily hold together. Ryan’s bill is an attempt to give Trump what he promised, even though the math doesn’t add up and it isn’t what his Republican caucus has been promising to do since 2010 — all in a way that might squeak through the Senate via reconciliation.

If the execution to date has been a hot mess, that’s because the plan was a hot mess from the concept stage.

(10:30 AM)

GOOD: Saudis Are the Oil Market’s Biggest Losers.

The last few years have been difficult for anyone in the business of selling oil, as prices tumbled from over $110 per barrel to a nadir of just $27, before rebounding to the middle ground they reside in today, at roughly $50 per barrel. Bargain crude has forced state producers like Russia or OPEC’s members to cut budgets in an attempt to stop the bleeding, and it’s forced many private firms—especially those operating in relatively high areas like shale—out of business.

But no supplier has been harder hit by the collapse of oil prices than Saudi Arabia. Riyadh has had to dip into its sovereign wealth fund to help cover the budget deficit bargain crude has brought about, and it’s also had to do the heavy lifting for the production cut plan OPEC and 11 other petrostates agreed to adhere to during the first six months of this year. That combination—lower production and lower prices—has been nothing less than vicious to the Saudis. . . .

Perhaps it’s not surprising that Riyadh would be the one most unduly affected by cheap crude. After all, the Saudis are and will remain for the foreseeable future the world’s biggest oil power. But the kingdom’s decision to agree to production cuts—and to shoulder the heaviest burden of those cuts, as well—is having something of a self defeating effect. As prices rise, so too do the prospects of struggling shale producers, which means that the Saudis are effectively giving valuable market share to their American competitors.

I’m so old I remember when Barack Obama mocked Sarah Palin by saying that we couldn’t drill our way out of our energy problems.

Related: Canada’s Oil Sands Looking Like A Smart Bet.

(10:21 AM)

CUE WORLD’S SMALLEST VIOLIN: Just like her mother, Chelsea Clinton never gets a break.

The studious interest in Chelsea’s next move is understandable coming from the right, which has always hated the Clintons and no doubt welcomes the distraction Chelsea offers from the president’s dismal approval ratings and damning intelligence hearings. Bill, Hillary and Chelsea have long been enthusiasm-boosters for the Republicans, and they’re reluctant to give them up.

But the laser-focused Chelsea vitriol is perplexing when it comes from the left. Shouldn’t such first-daughter hatred be reserved for Ivanka? Wouldn’t their attention be better spent on potential 2018 and 2020 candidates who have already declared their interest? Aren’t there bigger battles to fight — and aren’t they glad that such a prominent Democratic figure is registering her dissent with the current administration?

Tweeting pablum hardly rises to the level of “dissent.” And if the unaccomplished daughter of a President who left office almost two decades ago and of a two-time presidential loser, counts as “such a prominent Democratic figure,” then the Democrats have bigger worries than than who deserves the most “first-daughter hatred.”

(10:06 AM)

OF COURSE IT WAS: Ukraine’s leader calls killing of Putin critic a Russian terror act.

A former Russian lawmaker and Kremlin critic who fled to Ukraine last year was shot dead Thursday in Kiev — a killing that Ukraine’s President called a “Russian state terrorist act.”

Denis Voronenkov, who’d been a Communist member of Russia’s lower legislative house before he left, was fatally shot outside a hotel in broad daylight, officials said.

Voronenkov becomes the latest in a string of Russian critics of President Vladimir Putin and the Russian government who were killed or injured in mysterious circumstances.

Vladimir Lenin — the founder of the Soviet Union which taught Putin to be the “sword and shield” of the State — said, “The purpose of terrorism is to terrify.”

(10:00 AM)

HOW CAN YOU TELL? Canada’s Diplomats Told to Stop Using Cardboard Cutouts of Justin Trudeau at Events.

(09:00 AM)

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(08:58 AM)

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Everything You Think You Know About Campus Sexual Assault Is Wrong.

It’s a review of K.C. Johnson & Stuart Taylor, Jr.’s The Campus Rape Frenzy: The Attack on Due Process at America’s Universities, which is a must-read.

(08:58 AM)

ART OF WAR MEETS ART OF THE DEAL: Tillerson pulls a Trump card on North Korea.

(08:56 AM)

A BLOW FOR FREE SPEECH: Charles Murray speaks at Columbia, with support of nearly 150 faculty members.

(08:53 AM)

GOOD LORD: Maryland Man Was on Mission to ‘Kill as Many Black Men’ as Possible in NYC, Prosecutor Says.

(08:49 AM)


(08:41 AM)

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: Want To Buy A Law School (or Three) On The Cheap? InfiLaw May Have A Deal For You.

(08:36 AM)

WINNING: Team Trump is already kicking butt at the United Nations.

According to the group UN Watch, in the decade since its inception, the council condemned Israel 68 times, compared to 67 condemnations of all other countries combined.

No wonder Secretary of State Rex Tillerson wrote recently to UN supporters that unless the council in Geneva ends its bias — and stops admitting serious human rights violators as members — the United States will walk.

And guess what: In other UN corners, such pressure is already showing results.

A UN agency called the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia recently issued a hefty report denouncing Israel’s “apartheid.”

It was written by Richard Falk, a 9/11 truther who in the past also accused America and Israel of responsibility for the Boston Marathon bombing.

Last week, Haley, who’s been outspoken about anti-Israel bias since arriving in New York, demanded that Secretary-General Antonio Guterres remove the agency’s report from the UN website.

He did. Then the director of that agency, Jordanian national Rima Khalaf, resigned.

And with that, a bit of Israel-bashing was gone.

But fighting the UN’s obsession with the Jewish state is just the start.

The UN is usually where mediocrities go to have their careers put on life support, but Haley has proven to be an inspired — and energetic — choice.

(08:26 AM)

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(08:19 AM)


The question Republican Congressmen need to ask themselves this morning is, “Who is the constituency for this bill?”

Odds are, Mr. or Mrs. Congressperson, it isn’t the voters who elected you, nor is it Democrats who would prefer something even closer to single-payer.

(08:12 AM)

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO GROPE: Female CEO Resigns, Accused Of Grabbing Boobs.