Monday, July 31, 2017
The U.S. Pentagon and State Department have devised plans to supply Ukraine with antitank missiles and other weaponry and are seeking White House approval, U.S. officials said, as Kiev battles Russia-backed separatists and ties between Moscow and Washington fray.
“I just dropped out of nowhere,” Sam Shepard said of his arrival in New York, at nineteen, in the fall of 1963. “It was absolute luck that I happened to be there when the whole Off-Off Broadway movement was starting.” Shepard, a refugee from his father’s farm in California, had spent eight months as an actor travelling the country by bus with a Christian theatre troupe, the Bishop’s Company Repertory Players. Acting had been his ticket to ride; he’d been so scared at his Bishop’s Company audition that he’d recited the stage directions. “I think they hired everybody,” he said. Once he’d taken up residence in Manhattan—“It was wide open,” Shepard said. “You were like a kid in a fun park”—he proceeded to knock around the city, “trying to be an actor, writer, musician, whatever happened.” He had no connections, no money (he sold his blood to buy a cheeseburger), and nothing to fall back on but his lanky, taciturn Western charisma. He did, however, have renegade credentials and a store of arcane knowledge: he had been a 4-H Club member, a sheepshearer, a racecourse hot walker, a herdsman, an orange picker, and a junior-college student.
But that lack of predictability is not all bad, I think. The next generations of robots may be quite different in appearance from what we envision now — and they may contribute quite creatively and ethically to our pleasure.
This is way too weird for me.
Russia won in Syria thanks to President Barack Obama’s inaction. The Middle East unraveling of the past decade is due in no small part to America not listening to her allies in the region. Never mind President Donald Trump’s Muslim-bashing rhetoric, he may just be a better partner.
The decision to remove Mr. Scaramucci, who had boasted about reporting directly to the president not the chief of staff, John F. Kelly, came at Mr. Kelly’s request, the people said. Mr. Kelly made clear to members of the White House staff at a meeting Monday morning that he is in charge.
Here is an incredibly insightful quotation about chaos and how chaotic it is. Really chaotic. Good lord.
The Constitution’s legal language is significant. Theoretically, it shows that original methods originalism is the correct form of originalism, because the Constitution’s legal interpretive rules are crucial to cashing out its meaning. Practically, the richness of its idiom provides resources to address otherwise unresolvable interpretive questions.
A new paper by the inimitable team of McGinnis and Rappaport. Don't miss it.
On Friday July 21st, Imam Ammar Shahin delivered a sermon at the Islamic Center of Davis calling for the extermination of the Jews. He quoted an infamous Islamic Hadith which claims that Judgement Day won’t come around until the Muslims hunt down and exterminate the Jews.
Ah, Dahvis, Cahlifornia. Such a lovely, little town.
Unless there’s a drastic (and probably violent) change in course, the stage seems to be set. Maduro has completed his takeover and will now be able to rule essentially as a dictator. He’ll probably gather the support of a few other authoritarian regimes, but even that will be limited until he can get his oil production back up. (Assuming he can manage it.) For now, Venezuela will likely become a hermit kingdom, much in the style of either Fidel Castro’s Cuba during the early years or North Korea’s present regime. And the real losers in all of this will be the Venezuelan people. They are currently starving while living on some of the richest farmland on the continent and their government is almost bankrupt while sitting atop some of the largest proven crude oil reserves in the world. These are the fruits of socialism. Watch closely if you are cheering for similar policies in the United States.
Bernie Sanders will not be taking questions about Venezuela.
I wonder what gun control policies are in Venezuela. I really do think that the fact there are so many guns in the hands of U.S. citizens is one of the things that makes this turn of affairs impossible here or at least unlikely. That view makes me crazy in the view of bien pensant academics, certainly. Yet it seems so obvious to me.
Far from being a modern-day “profile in courage,” McCain’s vote against advancing Obamacare reform represents a complete reversal of the position he won his Senate election with last year. John Merline of Investor’s Business Daily notes that “In the private sector, promising one thing and delivering the other could be referred to as ‘deceptive trade practice.’ For some members of Congress, it’s just another day at the office.”
I don't particularly like or admire Senator McCain. This is probably good for him, since experience shows such people usually have long lives, often refusing to die until well into their 90's. You would think feeling the whoosh of the Grim Reaper's blade would have made the Senator think that it was high time to start behaving in a principled manner. Of course, things rarely work out that way. Character is destiny, they say.
Trump’s national security cabinet is bitterly divided on the future U.S. role in Afghanistan. Senior national security officials like Secretary of Defense James Mattis and National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster are reportedly pushing Trump to allow a surge of approximately 4,000 troops into Afghanistan, while White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon has lobbied against the effort.