I JUST WANT TO TELL YOU GOOD LUCK — WE’RE ALL COUNTING ON YOU. Starbucks Prepares to End Racism with ‘5/29’ Racial Bias Training.
(Classical reference in headline.)
CRAZED SEX POODLE GETS SALTY: Al Gore uses eliminationist rhetoric in address to U. Maryland graduates. Urging that a presidency be “terminated early” is worse than any of the stuff Sarah Palin was pilloried for. To be fair, Sarah Palin is a former candidate people actually listen to.
HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: UNH prof gloats about disrupting conservative speaker. “One of the protesters who temporarily disrupted a speech by Dave Rubin at the University of New Hampshire on May 1 turns out to be a Women’s Studies professor at the school. Shortly after the event, Dr. Joelle Ruby Ryan gleefully tweeted that ‘we were able to disrupt this man’s hate speech as much as possible,’ declaring that ‘”civil discourse” with him is impossible.’ Ryan will be teaching a course called ‘Trans/forming gender’ next fall, which is reserved exclusively for incoming freshmen and will ‘explore the multiple ways in which gender is constructed.'”
At least some of it seems to be constructed out of shrieking harpies with no regard for the rights of others.
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PRESSURE STARTS TO MOUNT ON IRAN: From the Wall Street Journal (scroll down for story).
Iran’s widening influence in the Middle East — already under pressure from the U.S. — also faces growing resistance from within its close regional allies, Syria and Iraq.
In Iraq, discontent among the country’s Shiite Muslim community with Iranian influence was reflected in cleric Moqtada al-Sadr’s victory in this month’s election. Mr. Sadr, himself a Shiite, is a fierce nationalist whose supporters sometimes chant slogans criticizing Iran, the region’s top Shiite power.
Syrians in the largely secular capital, Damascus, have meanwhile accused Iran of stoking religious tensions. And Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s other main foreign partner, Russia, has showed impatience with Iran’s growing military presence in Syria, which Israel has moved to contain with airstrikes.
The pushback poses another challenge for Tehran as it tries to defend its gains in the region and avoid international isolation following President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the landmark 2015 nuclear accord.
JUMPING ALL AMERICAN WEEK: Army paratroopers jump in the 82nd Airborne Division Airborne Review at Fort Bragg, N.C., May 24, 2018. A great photo.
MICHAEL BARONE: Obama officials’ spying on Trump a departure from norms.
“FBI used informant to investigate Russia ties to campaign, not to spy,” read the headline on a lengthy New York Times story May 18.
“The Justice Department used a suspected informant to probe whether Trump campaign aides were making improper contacts with Russia in 2016,” reads a story in the May 21 Wall Street Journal.
So much for those who dismissed charges of Obama administration infiltration of Donald Trump’s campaign as paranoid fantasy. Defenders of the Obama intelligence and law enforcement apparatus have had to fall back on the argument that this infiltration was for Trump’s — and the nation’s — own good.
It’s an argument that evidently didn’t occur to Richard Nixon’s defenders when it became clear that Nixon operatives burglarized and wiretapped the Democratic National Committee in June 1972.
Until 2016, just about everyone agreed that it was a bad thing for government intelligence or law enforcement agencies to spy (er, secretly collect information?) on a political campaign. Especially a campaign of the opposition party. Liberals were especially suspicious of the FBI and the CIA. Nowadays, they say that anyone questioning those agencies’ good faith is unpatriotic.
Well, they’ll say anything. But I think the matter was serious enough that it probably had to be authorized from the top.
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MCCONNELL TO SENATE: Don’t Book Nonrefundable Travel for August Recess.
President Trump on Friday signed a series of executive orders making it easier to fire federal government workers and to curb the workplace role of unions that represent them.
Andrew Bremberg, the head of the White House Domestic Policy Council, said the president was “fulfilling his promise to promote more efficient government by reforming our Civil Service rules.”
But the push also reflects conservatives’ long-running suspicion of the federal bureaucracy, one reflected in pronouncements by the president’s advisers. Shortly after Mr. Trump took office, Stephen K. Bannon, then his chief strategist, called for “the deconstruction of the administrative state.”
Unions representing government workers were quick to denounce the actions, calling them an “assault on democracy,” in the words of the American Federation of Government Employees, the largest federal employee union, which represents 700,000 workers.
Making federal workers subject to elected officials isn’t an assault on Democracy, as even FDR knew.
And, once again, Trump is the most conservative, and most libertarian, president of my lifetime.
HORSE, MEET BARN DOOR: FBI issues formal warning on massive malware network linked to Russia. We’ve ignored cyber defense against Russia — and more significantly China — for a decade, and the result is a debacle.
I DUNNO, IT’S ALREADY KINDA OVERPRICED AND TOXIC: Should Higher Education Be More Like Chipotle?
WELL, IT DOESN’T ALLOW FOR APPROVED RACIAL POSITIONING: Ayaan Hirsi Ali: The anti-woman violence feminists are afraid to confront.
Coates is a symptom of a larger mood. Over the past several years, for instance, whites across the country have been taught that it isn’t enough to understand that racism exists. Rather, the good white person views themselves as the bearer of an unearned “privilege” because of their color. Not long ago, I attended an event where a black man spoke of him and his black colleagues dressing in suits at work even on Casual Fridays, out of a sense that whites would look down on black men dressed down. The mostly white audience laughed and applauded warmly—at a story accusing people precisely like them of being racists.
This brand of self-flagellation has become the new form of enlightenment on race issues. It qualifies as a kind of worship; the parallels with Christianity are almost uncannily rich. White privilege is the secular white person’s Original Sin, present at birth and ultimately ineradicable. One does one’s penance by endlessly attesting to this privilege in hope of some kind of forgiveness. After the black man I mentioned above spoke, the next speaker was a middle-aged white man who spoke of having a coach come to his office each week to talk to him about his white privilege. The audience, of course, applauded warmly at this man’s description of having what an anthropologist observer would recognize not as a “coach” but as a pastor.
I have seen whites owning up to their white privilege using the hand-in-the-air-palm-out gesture typically associated with testifying in church. After the event I have been describing, all concerned deemed it “wonderful” even though nothing new had been learned. The purpose of the event was to remind the parishioners of the prevalence of the racist sin and its reflection in themselves, and to offer a kind of forgiveness, this latter being essentially the function of the black people on the panel and in the audience. Amen.
Some might see all of this as a healthy sign of moral advance. And I suppose if I had to choose between this performativity and the utter contempt most whites had for any discussion of discrimination 50 years ago and before, I’d choose our current moment. But goodness, it piles high and deep, this—well, I’ll call it fakeness. . . .
The self-affirming part is the rub. This new cult of atonement is less about black people than white people. Fifty years ago, a white person learning about the race problem came away asking “How can I help?” Today the same person too often comes away asking, “How can I show that I’m a moral person?”
They want religion. But they don’t actually want to be told to do anything they don’t already want to do.
AND OF COURSE THEY DO: Harvard Extension School Now Offers ‘Social Justice Certificate’ Program.
IOW, DO THEY USE ‘SHUT UP, THEY EXPLAINED?’: Five Ways to Know if You Can Talk to Someone about Climate.
TEACH WOMEN NOT TO SEXUALLY ASSAULT: Cable customer forced oral sex on repairman: cops.
THAT ISN’T FAT, IT’S A PROACTIVE BARRIER: Obese people twice as likely to survive infectious diseases.
WHATEVER YOU DO, DON’T GO THROUGH THE TSA CHECK! FBI tells women how to protect themselves from sexual assaults on flights.
PEAK JAPAN? HOLD MY SAKE AND WATCH THIS! Hello Kitty bullet train is peak Japan.
ALIENS, IT’S GOTTA BE ALIENS! Mystery lasers spotted shooting out from nebula.
N.B. – THIS BLOG IS NOT DIGITAL HEROIN, IT’S MORE LIKE DIGITAL REEFER [VODKA? SINGLE MALT? FINE WINE?]: Our digital addictions are killing our kids.
READER BOOK PLUG: From reader Clayton Barnett, The Fourth Law. I get a cameo, of sorts.
WELL, IT IS OKLAHOMA CITY, AFTER ALL: Turns out the OKC shooter wasn’t stopped by a good guy with a gun — he was stopped by TWO good guys with guns. Twice as nice. Sort of like my Sonny’s BBQ story. “I’m happy to have you carrying — if somebody tries to rob me, it’s two against one.”
OPEN THREAD: Please reserve your DogMan discussions for the earlier post.
THE DIRE WOLVES ARE COMING BACK: Mysterious wolf-like creature shot in northcentral Montana near Denton.
21ST CENTURY RELATIONSHIPS: What Happened When I Let A Womanizer Take Over My Tinder Profile.
WATCHING DIFFERENT MOVIES, AS SCOTT ADAMS SAYS: The Left And The Right Aren’t Hearing The Same Jordan Peterson.
JACK JOHNSON: MILES DAVIS GOES THE DISTANCE. In honor of President Trump’s pardon of the late heavyweight prizefighter yesterday, over at Ed Driscoll.com, I’m reposting my 2003 review of A Tribute to Jack Johnson, Miles Davis’ seminal 1971 jazz-rock fusion recording.
BRITS REFLECT: Is Meghan’s wedding our ‘Obama moment’? Let’s hope not. “Here’s something to bear in mind over the next few years. Be wary of taking advice on social justice from someone whose wedding dress cost 200,000 quid.”
A LOT MORE THAN I’VE GOT: Here’s How Much Money You Need for Bankers to Think You’re Rich.
WHAT COULD GO WRONG? Mark Zuckerberg Envisions a Facebook ‘Supreme Court.’
JOHN McWHORTER ON “ATONEMENT AS ACTIVISM: Today’s consciousness-raising on race is less about helping black people than it is about white people seeking grace.”
Once Nietzsche declared “God is dead,” the entire “Progressive” project slowly coalesced into cults of secular religions to replace Him.
NON-BIASED SPORTS JOURNALISM, YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG:
—Shalini Ramachandran, the Wall Street Journal, yesterday.
—The Hollywood Reporter, today.
THE DUDE IS SERIOUSLY OUTMATCHED HERE: Houston Police Chief Says He’s ‘Watching’ Dana Loesch. She Torches Him.
THAT’S NOT FUNNY: Why comedians say college audiences can’t take a joke.
MEMO RE: EVENTS OF JULY 4, 1776: Is everyone else being buried in emails and notices about Europe’s new data protection regulations (GDPR)? I am sure there are many fine provisions, but “the right to be forgotten” has serious First Amendment problems. I hereby notify readers that FIRE will not be subjecting the information we host to the judgments of EU bureaucrats. Because America.
IT ALWAYS SEEMED TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE: ‘Impossible’ EM drive may actually be impossible after all.
The idea, championed by inventor Roger Shawyer, uses trapped microwaves in a conical cavity. Previous tests by NASA showed that the microwaves bouncing off the walls of the cavity appeared to produce enough force to push the cavity in one direction. However, a group from TU Dresden in Germany has been unable to replicate these results, or at least they have, but not for the reasons NASA originally thought.
The German team copied the NASA experiment exactly, piping microwaves into the cavity, using lasers to monitor movement and a spring to measure thrust. The setup did indeed produce thrust, as indicated by the spring. But when the researchers positioned the microwaves so they definitely could not produce thrust in the direction of the spring, the drive pushed just as hard. Furthermore, the same degree of thrust remained even after power was cut in half. So clearly, there are other factors at play.
The team suggests that the thrust may actually be produced by an interaction between the cables that power the microwave amplifier and Earth’s magnetic field. If this is the case, it won’t work in space
UPDATE (FROM GLENN): You know how to find out it it’ll work in space? Test it in space.
TRUMP TO SEEK MORE TAX CUTS: Hey, if a first helping was good, just think how much better a second one could be! LifeZette’s Connor Wolf has the details.
IT’S SCIENCE: Why Can’t a Woman be More Like a Man?
ANDREW KLAVAN: Trump Moves the Narrative Football.
Read the whole thing.
THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT? Chuck Todd’s Daily TDS. “To watch an episode of Chuck Todd’s show is to see a cavalcade of liberal journalists work through Trump Derangement Syndrome on-air.”
THERE’S ALREADY MORE WATER-TAXI SERVICE IN NYC: Fleet of autonomous boats could service cities to reduce road traffic. Though the biggest aquatic-commuting city I’ve ever spent time in is Sydney.
COLEMAN HUGHES: The Racism Treadmill.
NEWS YOU CAN USE: 5 Things Not To Put In Your Vagina.
WE ALWAYS KNEW SHE WAS A FRAUD: Rachel Dolezal Charged With Welfare Fraud. “Investigators say she failed to report $84K.”
The Pentagon plans to invest more than $20 billion in munitions in its next budget. But whether the industrial base will be there to support such massive buys in the future is up in the air — at a time when America is expending munitions at increasingly intense rates.
The annual Industrial Capabilities report, put out by the Pentagon’s Office of Manufacturing and Industrial Base Policy, has concluded that the industrial base of the munitions sector is particularly strained, something the report blames on the start-and-stop nature of munitions procurement over the last 20 years, as well as the lack of new designs being internally developed.
Some suppliers have dropped out entirely, leaving no option for replacing vital materials. Other key suppliers are foreign-owned, with no indigenous capability to produce vital parts and materials ― setting up the risk that a conflict with China could rely on Chinese-made parts.
NO PROBLEM, PROVIDED THEY ASK THIS OF EVERYONE: Facebook Demands Driver’s License, Social Security Number to Run Ad for Obama Expose Book.
STEVEN WILLS: Why Peacetime Naval Buildups Are Difficult.
There has been much gnashing of teeth and complaint in response to the U.S. Navy’s slow build toward a goal of 355 ships. Peacetime naval buildups by free societies have never been simple undertakings. Such governments usually retire large numbers of warships in search of “peace dividends,” from which recovery is often a challenge. If ill-timed, they can result in large numbers of warships that are out of date before they complete even a decade of service, or need to be retired before the end of the service lives to cut costs. Getting to the right numbers of ships, especially in a period of tight finance may mean holding onto old ships well past their expected service life. Past examples of peacetime buildups by the British Royal Navy and U.S. Navy suggest that while getting to larger numbers of ships is possible, the costs can be prohibitive; especially in an environment of rapid, technological advancement.
In desperate times, armies can be trained and thrown into battle in a hurry. The cost, in terms of blood lost, is high — but it can be done.
The same is not true for navies and, in these days of fifth generation jets and bombers, air forces. We cut both to the bone — and beyond — following victory in the Cold War, and never built back up (or even sped up procurement) despite constant low-level warfare since 9/11/2001. Now that China and Russia are getting frisky again, we have naval and air forces which are too few, too old, and stretched too thin.
So it may turn out that there’s nothing more expensive than a peace dividend.
-Susan B. Glasser, The New Yorker.
AG SESSIONS ON CAMPUS FREE SPEECH: This is America. The government should have a position on free speech on public campuses, and given our Constitution that position should be for freedom of speech, not against it. It’s nice to see DOJ recognizing that Americans on campus are being denied justice, and getting involved in defending that most precious of civil rights.
CHARLIE MARTIN: Five Ways to Know If You Can Talk to Someone about Climate.
HMM: Congressional Measure to Recognize Israeli Sovereignty Over Golan Heights Killed. “Officials blame House GOP leadership for preventing vote on historic measure.”
Damascus can’t even keep control over the 99% of its territory Israel didn’t annex.
HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: George Washington University blocks appeal by accused student after accuser caught inventing evidence: lawsuit.
BLUE STATE BLUES: Swamped by Growth, Silicon Valley Weighs Taxing Big Employers.
It is unusual for cities to opt for a direct tax on employment to fund housing or services, said Jared Walczak, an analyst at the Washington, D.C.-based Tax Foundation, a conservative-leaning research group that tracks U.S. tax policies. Cities usually try to incentive growth, keeping business taxes low or concocting tax incentives.
But up and down the West Coast, cities are struggling to manage multidimensional housing crises and growing wealth gaps, where pockets of prosperity displace others on the fringe.
In Silicon Valley, the problem is so severe that some are hoping for a limit—or at least a remedy—to growth while housing supply and public transit catch up.
It’s damn near illegal to build affordable housing in the Bay Area, and Sacramento has wasted tens of billions on a high-speed train to nowhere while the state’s streets and highways crumble — but more government is always the answer to failed governance.
“Get the hell out of my way!” the wise man once said.
DEPORTATIONS OF ILLEGALS AREN’T KEEPING UP WITH ARRESTS: Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials are arresting more illegal immigrants but deportations of those previously arrested and processed through the legal system are lagging big-time. That’s according to data compiled by Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC). LifeZette’s Brendan Kirby reports there is more to this story than the numbers.
LIZ SHELD’S MORNING BRIEF: What Happened at the DOJ-Congress Meeting Yesterday and Much, Much More. “Yesterday Congressional leaders met with DOJ and intelligence officials to obtain information about the agency’s rogue, unchecked investigation into RUSSIA-collusion and the 2016 presidential campaign. As I predicted immediately upon hearing about this meeting, there was no document production. We don’t know much about the meeting because classified information was discussed, but one person did make a statement. Guess who that was? Mr. Adam Schiff.”
The most dangerous place in the world is between Schiff and a CNN camera.
GET WOKE, GO BROKE: Evergreen State cutting dozens of faculty, staff positions.
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POLL: Majority says calling MS-13 members ‘animals’ is fair. “Fifty-six percent of American adults in the Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll said referring to members of the gang as ‘animals’ is fair, compared to 44 percent who said the characterization was unfair.”
Yet another torpedo, circling back.
BLUE WAVE: Poll: Menendez lead narrows to just 4 points over GOP foe Hugin. Amazing for New Jersey, but then again, the whole underage-Dominican-hooker thing probably doesn’t sit well in the #MeToo era.
President Trump’s 2020 campaign manager Brad Parscale and the Republican National Committee are taking their fight against the censorship of conservative views right to the source.
Parscale and the RNC on Thursday sent a letter to Facebook and Twitter expressing concern about conservative voices being suppressed and asking the social media giants for transparency about how they will ensure that everyone has a voice on their platforms.
We’re going to see antitrust regulation, I think.
U.S. FORCES JAPAN TOP DOG COMPETITION: A “decoy” Navy petty officer gives Air Force military work dog Benjo a human target (a well-protected human target).
FURTHEST THING FROM MY MIND, ACTUALLY: Don’t Make Bill Kristol Run For President.
BLUE WAVE? How the Battle for the House Is Shaping Up.
If you had asked me six months ago who I thought would win control of the House of Representatives in 2018, I wouldn’t have hesitated before answering, “It’s early, but Democrats are heavily favored, although conventional wisdom has been very slow to catch up.” With a raft of GOP retirements in highly vulnerable open seats, a president with job approval ratings in the 30s, and a generic ballot lead for Democrats in the double digits, it was increasingly difficult to spell out a path to victory for Republicans. In fact, things were bad enough that it appeared their losses could grow into the 40 or even 50 seat range.
Things have changed. If the election were held today, it’s not clear who would hold the chamber. I might put a thumb on the scale for Republicans, but right now – and it is still early – the House is likely to be close. Once again, conventional wisdom seems slow to catch up, with analysts still discussing the toxic environment for Republicans.
Read the whole thing. After that, try spending less time on the internet and more time volunteering for a local campaign.
THIS IS MY SHOCKED FACE: DOJ Employee Donations Overwhelmingly Favor Democrats.
HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: Applicants To Law School vs. Applicants To Med School.
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THE SCIENCE IS SETTLED: FBI Report Highlights Effectiveness of Concealed Carry.
The FBI’s recently released “Active Shooter Incidents in the United States in 2016 and 2017” report [PDF] indicates 16 percent of crimes that qualify for inclusion in the paper were stopped by a law-abiding citizen with a gun. The figure represents more than a five-fold increase from the agency’s 2000-2013 study [PDF], when the figure was 3.1 percent.
The 2014 and 2015 report, the first biennial study on the topic released by the agency, adds statistical weight to the long-term trend. During those years, 5 percent of the attacks were stopped by armed citizens.
More armed citizens means more crimes stopped by armed citizens.
THE BROWARD SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT IS LOOKING KINDA LIKE A SHITHOLE: REPORT: Deputy Peterson Accused Of ‘Covering Up’ Alleged Sexual Assault By Broward Sheriff’s Son. “A local Miami news station released an explosive report on Thursday night about a ‘disturbing assault’ that happened at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School four years to the day before the tragic shooting in February. The alleged incident involved one of the sons of Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel and was allegedly ‘covered up’ by Officer Scot Peterson, the resource officer who infamously failed to confront the Parkland shooter.”
STEPHEN KRUISER AND TWEET OF THE DAY: “Actors were more enjoyable when they had publicists who didn’t let them speak to the public & reveal how stupid they were.”
The old studio system did have its charms.
KIMBERLEY STRASSEL: The Real Constitutional Crisis.
We are told that Mr. Trump cannot be allowed to have any say over the Justice Department’s actions, since this might make him privy to sensitive details about an investigation into himself. We are also told that Congress—a separate branch of government, a primary duty of which is oversight—cannot be allowed to access Justice Department material. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes can’t be trusted to view classified information—something every intelligence chairman has done—since he might blow a source or method, or tip off the president.
That’s a political judgment, but it holds no authority. The Constitution set up Congress to act as a check on the executive branch—and it’s got more than enough cause to do some checking here. Yet the Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation have spent a year disrespecting Congress—flouting subpoenas, ignoring requests, hiding witnesses, blacking out information, and leaking accusations.
And the executive power is vested in the President, and no one else. Everyone else in the executive branch just works for the President.
UPDATE: Amazing to see this headline at CNN of all places:
PEACE THROUGH STRENGTH: Pentagon Is Speeding Up Arms Exports to Saudi Arabia, Other Allies.
I REMEMBER WHEN PEOPLE SAID IT WAS A MODEL FOR HUMANE, FEMALE-LED STARTUPS: A NEW LOOK INSIDE THERANOS’ DYSFUNCTIONAL CORPORATE CULTURE.
WELL, YES: Venezuela is now a dictatorship.
Maduro is not alone in the world. In recent years, Venezuela has rebuilt its strategic global alliances, giving clear preference – in the form of oil diplomacy and insider access to Latin American politics – to countries that share Maduro’s world view and governing style.
The regime’s relationships with the authoritarian governments of Russia, China, Turkey, Bolivia and Cuba – all of which congratulated Maduro on his win – are strong.
These countries’ leaders practice a new kind of authoritarianism. In the 21st century, dictatorships do not necessarily take on the classic form – that of Mao, Lenin or the Latin American military juntas of the 1970s and 1980s.
Instead, Vladimir Putin, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the like often maintain a democratic facade. They hold elections – but they do so under corrupt conditions, ensuring that they and their parties stay in power.
They decry capitalism and imperialism, claiming to rule in the name of the people. Meanwhile, they amass great personal wealth and power.
Venezuela’s Maduro, who enriched his inner circle while the country starved, is now indisputably part of this crowd.
Looting the country is the entire point of stealing elections.
I DO NOT TRUST THE “INTERNET OF THINGS” (CONT’D): Woman says her Amazon device recorded private conversation, sent it out to random contact.
BUT I THOUGHT THE SCIENCE WAS SETTLED: 3.5 Billion-Year-Old Fossils Challenge Ideas About Earth’s Start.
IT’S FRAUD ALL THE WAY DOWN: Leftist Fraud All the Way Down.
ON THE ROAD TO TOTALITARIANISM: Duke strikes another blow against freedom of thought,