The Right Coast

Editor: Thomas A. Smith
University of San Diego
School of Law

Friday, November 22, 2019

The Tragedy of the ‘Trans’ Child | National Review

The Younger case has gained much media attention, in the U.S. and beyond. The New York Times, the Washington Post, and the BBC all seem to cast the father as the villain, in particular for his refusal to agree that his child is transgender. Rolling Stone opines that the Younger story has become a “terrifying right-wing talking point.” Vox is worried about Republican state legislators’ trying to introduce bills prohibiting chemical and surgical interference with the sexual development of children who say they’re transgender, and “what [this] could mean for families nationwide” when “legislators want to have a say in whether Luna Younger should be allowed to socially transition.” For the Left, the Younger story is a tale of backwards attitudes victimizing a child.

via www.nationalreview.com

How many on the left actually believe that it's OK to "transition" a child of 7? Very strange.

November 22, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

What jobs are affected by AI? Better-paid, better-educated workers face the most exposure

Artificial intelligence (AI) has generated increasing interest in “future of work” discussions in recent years as the technology has achieved superhuman performance in a range of valuable tasks, ranging from manufacturing to radiology to legal contracts. With that said, though, it has been difficult to get a specific read on AI’s implications on the labor market.

via www.brookings.edu

November 22, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Hunter Biden is the father of a child in Arkansas, DNA test reveals - Business Insider

A DNA test confirmed that Hunter Biden is the father of a baby in Arkansas that he has denied having, says a court filing first reported by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

via www.businessinsider.com

Man's got needs.

November 21, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Case details — Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians

In October 2018, an elderly nun applied for a place in a retirement home in Vesoul, run by the city's Centre Communal d'Action Sociale (CCAS) in her home prefecture of Haute-Saone. After nine months on the waiting list, on July 2019, her request for housing was accepted, but with one condition: "With due respect for secularism, any ostentatious sign of belonging to a religious community cannot be accepted in order to ensure the serenity of all. Indeed, religion is a private affair and must remain so." The nun was told she could only wear a discreet cross. Having worn her religious habit all of her adult life, she refused to comply and was thus denied a place.

via www.intoleranceagainstchristians.eu

Those darn French secularists.

November 21, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Prince Andrew departs from public life as he prepares to give evidence to Epstein investigation in US

The Duke of York is preparing to give formal evidence to a US criminal investigation into the disgraced paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, The Telegraph can disclose.

In an unprecedented move, the Duke announced on Wednesday evening that he was stepping back from public life in the wake of a BBC interview over his friendship with Epstein that backfired in spectacular fashion.

A well-placed royal source said on Wednesday night that the Queen had summoned the Duke to Buckingham Palace to effectively sack her second-born son – said to be her favourite child – from official duties, ordering him to stand aside. The Prince of Wales, who is on a tour of New Zealand, was consulted by telephone.

via www.telegraph.co.uk

November 21, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Impeachment inquiry: Trump seemed vulnerable. It didn't last | CBC News

Within 90 minutes of his earlier, dramatic reaction, Starr was back on the air, tempering his assessment: "Extremely helpful" is how he characterized the cross-examination of Sondland. 

By evening, Fox News was mocking other outlets for what it described as over-reacting to Sondland's testimony, and running sound bites of rival programs.

And it seemed once again that Republicans would keep rolling their eyes at impeachment; that Trump's overall approval rating, which has not budged in 18 months, would remain mired in cement; and that if Trump gets impeached by the House, it's almost inconceivable the Republican-led Senate will remove him

Which would leave the issue in the hands of American voters to litigate, at the ballot box, in a general election less than a year away. 

via www.cbc.ca

Unless we all die of boredom first.

November 21, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

California high court strikes down state law targeting Trump tax returns | TheHill

In a unanimous ruling, the California Supreme Court held that key portions of the Presidential Tax Transparency and Accountability Act, signed in July, violated the state’s constitution.

The law also requires gubernatorial candidates to disclose their tax returns for ballot access, but the California justices did not address that portion of the law. 

via thehill.com

November 21, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (1)

China demands Trump veto bills on Hong Kong

BEIJING (AP) — China on Thursday demanded President Donald Trump veto legislation aimed at supporting human rights in Hong Kong and renewed a threat to take “strong countermeasures” if the bills become law.

via www.yahoo.com

November 21, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (1)

The Pressure on China | Geopolitical Futures

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army has begun minor operations to try to quell the unrest in Hong Kong. This is a step that the Chinese hoped to avoid. For one thing, they wanted to portray the unrest as minor, not requiring their intervention. For another, they did not want issues raised about Chinese human rights violations, which inevitably emerge in such interventions. At a time when China is trying to portray itself as the global alternative to the United States, it doesn’t want other countries, particularly those in Europe, noticing human rights abuses.

This strategy took another huge blow with the leak over the weekend of government documents describing in detail a broad Chinese assault that has been underway for several years on the ethnic minority Uighur community in the western province of Xinjiang. The documents gave detailed accounts of massive detention camps for “retraining” purposes and the separation of families on a scale that is startling even for China. Beijing clearly wants to break the back of Islam in the province.

via geopoliticalfutures.com

November 21, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

2019 Wriston Lecture: The End of the Computer Age | Peter Thiel

Question 1: AI. You tech people are so annoying. How many of us old people know what AI is? But it's artificial intelligence. Why is it communist?

Peter Thiel: Well, again, there are a lot of qualifiers to this. AI is sort of the buzz word of the day. It could mean the next generations of computers, the last generation of computers, anything in between. It can mean the Terminator movie where it's a robot that kills you, it can mean sort of all these sort of creepy social credit scoring things in China. But in practice, the main AI applications that people seem to talk about are using large data to sort of monitor people, know more about people than they know about themselves. And in the limit case, maybe it can solve a lot of the sort of Austrian Economics type problems where you can know enough about people that you know more about them than they know about themselves, and you can sort of enable communism to work, maybe not so much as an economic theory, but at least as a political theory. So it is definitely a Leninist thing. And then, it is literally communist because China loves AI; it hates crypto. And so that, I think, tells you something. And then I think there's a commonsense level on which people are creeped out about it and this is why. And we should label it accurately.

via www.manhattan-institute.org

November 21, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Andrew McCarthy: Schiff games Trump impeachment show – In legitimate proceedings, you can't have it both ways | Fox News

This testimony would not be allowed in a court proceeding under rules of evidence and due process, where witnesses are permitted to address only matters about which they have direct knowledge. If they only know what they’ve read in the papers, their testimony isn’t any more reliable than ours would be.

This is why, for all the formal trappings and somber tones, Democrats are running a kangaroo court.

The hearings are taking place under one-sided rules that enable Chairman Adam Schiff, a fierce partisan, to determine which witnesses are permitted to testify.

Republicans have asked to call such witnesses as Hunter Biden, Nellie Ohr, and Alexandra Chalupa. Biden the younger was lavishly compensated by a Ukrainian energy company, Burisma, while his father was running Obama administration Ukraine policy and demanding that Kiev fire a prosecutor who was investigating Burisma.

via www.foxnews.com

I find I have to carefully limit my exposure to this whatever-it-is: scandal theater or whatever. At least there's not a Supreme Court seat at stake. But that's coming.

November 21, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

How Democrats Would Tax High-Income Professionals (Not Just the Mega-Rich) - The New York Times

Much of the Democratic primary race has focused on taxes aimed at the billionaire class — policies devised to reduce inequality and fund progressive goals on health care and education.

But there’s also a less discussed tax increase in leading Democratic policy proposals that would affect not just a tiny sliver of the ultra-wealthy, but also millions of high-income workers. For these people, many of them affluent professionals in Democratic strongholds, it would be the biggest tax increase in recent memory.

This year, American workers and their employers owe a combined 12.4 percent on Social Security payroll taxes for income up to $132,900 (rising to $137,700 in 2020). They owe nothing on earnings above that level.

via www.nytimes.com

This is just great. I have been thinking lately that I have more money than I know what to do with. As to the State of California, they seem to need more money too. By all means, come and feast on my substance, you greedy cannibals you.

November 21, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

The Three Personalities of America, Mapped - CityLab

A few years ago, Jason Rentfrow, a psychologist at the University of Cambridge, dug into a question that has captivated him for decades: Do different places have different personalities? Do people in Los Angeles, for instance, have measurably different temperaments than the residents of Augusta, Georgia? If so, what does that mean for both places? Rentfrow decided to test these questions on a phenomenon that has captivated all of America lately: The rise of Donald Trump.

via www.citylab.com

November 20, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (2)

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Rep. Eric Swalwell appears to fart on live TV

“Chris, so far the evidence is uncontradicted that the president used taxpayer dollars to help him cheat —” Swalwell says with a pause, as the noise is clearly heard, “— an election.”

But the 39-year-old Democrat, who’s been in Congress since 2013 and sits on the House Judiciary Committee, was quick to deny the apparent tummy troubles.

via nypost.com

November 19, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Why Taiping 2.0 Isn't in the Cards: A Reply to 'China’s Looming Class Struggle' - Quillette

Over the decades since, I’ve watched commentators, many on my own conservative side of the spectrum, offer cheery dreams of the imminent collapse of communist power, or at least hopes that the facade would drop off a few storefronts of the Potemkin village. While I was living in South-Central China a few years back, a friend cited one such source from North America, and informed me that the “peasants” in inland China were desperate and half-starving. I replied that I’d walked past a “peasant” home that very afternoon, and found the family out washing the car and having a water fight. Over time, I have grown jaded in the face of flamboyantly expressed doubts that China can survive in its current political form.

via quillette.com

November 19, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Michelle Obama’s new book is just another craven cash grab

Available for sale: a “Becoming” hoodie for $65, baseball cap for $35 and tote for $30; a “Find Your Voice” mug, $20; a “Find Your Flame and Keep It Lit” candle, $35; a keychain, $15 (!); pencils and a bookmark, $10; and, proving that there’s no claim to partisan supremacy that can’t be commodified, a “When They Go Low, We Go High” T-shirt for $35.

via nypost.com

I might get one if they come in Men's XL.

November 19, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Masked Intruders Set Fire to Hong Kong Epoch Times Printing Press

Four masked intruders set a fire in the printing warehouse of the Hong Kong edition of The Epoch Times in the early hours of Nov. 19, marking the fourth attack on the facility since its opening more than a decade ago. The attack is believed to be the latest effort by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to silence The Epoch Times.

via www.theepochtimes.com

November 19, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Trump Needs Tax Cut 2.0 | RealClearPolitics

Every single plausible Democratic candidate for president has endorsed tax increases as a centerpiece of their economic agenda. Think about what we are hearing from Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and the rest of the "Punch and Judy" show: new wealth taxes, carbon taxes, energy taxes, higher death and income taxes with rates up to 70%. Payroll taxes would rise to pay for Social Security benefit expansions and Medicare for All.

I remember a time when liberal Michael Dukakis, running against George H.W. Bush, declared he would only raise taxes as "a last resort." Now Democrats think raising taxes on employers, investors, companies and the wealthy is some kind of badge of honor and the option of first resort. They also cite a few outlier economists who tell them what they want to hear: that tax rates of 50% to 70% or more won't hurt the economy at all. Yes, and Warren is of Native American descent.

via www.realclearpolitics.com

Cut taxes and the State too. Just a thought.

November 19, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Trump Needs Tax Cut 2.0 | RealClearPolitics

Every single plausible Democratic candidate for president has endorsed tax increases as a centerpiece of their economic agenda. Think about what we are hearing from Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and the rest of the "Punch and Judy" show: new wealth taxes, carbon taxes, energy taxes, higher death and income taxes with rates up to 70%. Payroll taxes would rise to pay for Social Security benefit expansions and Medicare for All.

I remember a time when liberal Michael Dukakis, running against George H.W. Bush, declared he would only raise taxes as "a last resort." Now Democrats think raising taxes on employers, investors, companies and the wealthy is some kind of badge of honor and the option of first resort. They also cite a few outlier economists who tell them what they want to hear: that tax rates of 50% to 70% or more won't hurt the economy at all. Yes, and Warren is of Native American descent.

via www.realclearpolitics.com

Cut taxes and the State too. Just a thought.

November 19, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Democrats' Abortion Policy: Safe, Legal, and Unlimited | National Review

Today, with the exception of Gabbard, Democratic presidential candidates uniformly oppose the Hyde amendment and all forms of abortion restrictions. Several support a federal bill that would block any state law limiting abortion, even after fetal viability. Some have said they’d consider packing the Supreme Court to prevent the overturning of Roe and subsequent abortion jurisprudence. Most are on record saying they’d impose a litmus test on potential judicial nominees to ensure that they’d support Roe.

via www.nationalreview.com

November 19, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, November 18, 2019

Why Is Google Slow-Walking Its Breakthroughs in AI? | WIRED

Google began to publicly grapple with the tension between the promise and potential downsides of AI last year, in part because it was forced to. Cofounder Sergey Brin marveled in an open investor letter that recent AI progress was “the most significant development in computing in my lifetime,” but also warned that “such powerful tools also bring with them new questions and responsibilities.” The letter was released just days after employee protests against Google’s participation in a Pentagon AI project called Maven. The company said it would not renew the contract. It also released AI ethics principles it said would forbid similar projects in future, although they still permit some defense work.

via www.wired.com

November 18, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Attorney General Barr accuses the left of systemic 'sabotage' of Trump administration | Fox News

Attorney General Bill Barr accused congressional Democrats Friday of “using every tool” to “sabotage” the Trump administration by setting a “dangerous” precedent in implying that the government is illegitimate.

During a speech at the Federalist Society’s dinner in Washington, Barr took aim at the “resistance,” accusing liberal lawmakers of attacking the very foundations of the Constitution.

via www.foxnews.com

Those darn Democrats.

November 16, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (2)

Friday, November 15, 2019

Boise’s New Stadium Referendum Requirement Should Be a Model for Other Cities – Reason.com

Voters in Boise, Idaho, voted overwhelmingly last week to require more votes before the city can spend public money on stadiums. It's an idea that other cities and states should copy.

via reason.com

Good idea.
Also: Idaho! In the news!

November 15, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

California Sued Over Law Requiring Corporations To Adopt Woman Quotas – Reason.com

A new lawsuit is challenging a California law that requires corporations to elect a minimum number of women to their boards of directors.

via reason.com

November 15, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (1)

San Francisco's new DA pledges not to prosecute public urination, other quality-of-life-crimes | Fox News

San Francisco's newly elected district attorney has promised not to prosecute public urination and other quality-of-life crimes that have plagued the lucrative Bay Area amid a crippling homelessness crisis affecting urban communities across California.

via www.foxnews.com

Dandy.

November 15, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

China’s Risky Endgame in Hong Kong by Minxin Pei - Project Syndicate

CLAREMONT, CALIFORNIA – Although the rapid escalation of violence in Hong Kong seems terrifying enough, things may be about to get much worse. The communiqué of the recently concluded fourth plenum of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) indicates that Chinese President Xi Jinping is planning to tighten his grip on the former British colony at any cost. He should prepare to rack up a formidable bill.

via www.project-syndicate.org

Hoo boy.

November 15, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Henry Kissinger warns of ‘catastrophic’ conflicts unless China and US settle their differences | South China Morning Post

Conflict between the will be “inevitable” and result in “a catastrophic outcome” that “will be worse than world wars” unless the countries settle their differences, according to former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger.

via www.scmp.com

November 15, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (2)

Thursday, November 14, 2019

We are human and want to have sex too, disabled women say

"Women with a disability are viewed as asexual - that we are not human and do not have needs or sexual desires," said Mildred Omino, a campaigner with Kenyan charity Women and Realities of Disability who needs crutches to walk.

via news.trust.org

I'm sure you could find plenty of male volunteers if you put an ad on Craigslist.

November 14, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

I wish I'd never been born: the rise of the anti-natalists | World news | The Guardian

In 2006, the South African philosopher David Benatar published a book which is widely credited with introducing the term anti-natalism. In Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming into Existence, Benatar quotes the Greek tragedian Sophocles (“Never to have been born is best / But if we must see the light, the next best / Is quickly returning whence we came”) and the text of Ecclesiastes (“So I have praised the dead that are already dead more than the living that are yet alive; but better than both of them is he who has not yet been, who has not seen the evil work that is done under the sun”). These quotes suggest that the sentiments at the heart of anti-natalism have been around for a very long time.

via www.theguardian.com

There is more to anti-natalism than it might initially seem, but they're still wrong, IMHO.

November 14, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (1)

'Prozac pollution' making fish less aggressive, says study | Science & Tech News | Sky News

Psychoactive drugs - including antidepressants - are altering the reproductive behaviour, anxiety levels, and anti-predator responses of fish in the wild, according to Australia's Monash University.

via news.sky.com

Somebody should reproduce this study, if they're not too zoned out on Prozac to do so.

November 14, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Movie Review: 'Ford v Ferrari' a Delightful Throwback with Manly Appeal | National Review

Ford v Ferrari is a glorious throwback to the era when big stars did quality movies about actual people with real-life problems, but the scripts nevertheless adhered to basic Hollywood formulae such as “Have an exciting climax.” Today, the “awards-season” pictures tend to be allergic to entertainment, and they often trickle out rather than conclude. They seem more interested in making us feel guilty than inspiring us. Ford v Ferrari, though, is delightful old-school entertainment.

via www.nationalreview.com

I am so going to see this movie, probably by myself, but I'll see it. I still remember watching Grand Prix in 1966, when I was only 9. That's when I was inoculated with the car bug, of which I've had a mild case ever since.

November 14, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Bishop who investigated sex abuse accused of sex abuse

NEW YORK (AP) — A Roman Catholic bishop named by Pope Francis to investigate the church’s response to clergy sexual abuse in Buffalo, New York, has himself been accused of sexual abuse of a child, an attorney for the alleged victim notified the church this week.

The attorney informed Catholic officials in New Jersey that he is preparing a lawsuit on behalf of a client who says he was molested by Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio in the mid-1970s, when DiMarzio was a parish priest in Jersey City.

DiMarzio said there is no truth to the accusation.

via apnews.com

November 14, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Federal deficit hits $134 billion in one month | TheHill

The federal deficit reached $134 billion in October, the first month of fiscal 2020, according to data the Treasury Department released Wednesday.

That figure is about 34 percent higher than last October, a sign of a steadily increasing gap between federal spending and revenue.

via thehill.com

Worrisome.

November 14, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

California high school is on lockdown after at least five people are shot | Daily Mail Online

A 15-year-old California student was taken into custody and transported to a hospital for treatment after allegedly carrying out a school shooting that killed one person and injured several others, two of them critically. 

The shooting was reported st 7.45am Pacific Time at Saugus High School on Centurion Way in Santa Clarita, about 40 miles from downtown Los Angeles.

via www.dailymail.co.uk

November 14, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Salvation Army took on LGBTQ activists.... and won

The Salvation Army did something that few do when the angry social media mob comes for them – they fought back. More importantly, they educated Ellie Goulding. Now that she understands what the charity does for those for which she was showing concern, she’s changing her tune. As of now, she’s still expected to be the half-time performer during the annual Thanksgiving Day football game in Dallas.

via hotair.com

It's always better to fight back.

November 14, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

The impact of money on science: Evidence from unexpected NCAA football outcomes - ScienceDirect

How productive are university research investments, and do the resulting pools of knowledge create valuable, downstream technology — or simply accumulate in the “ivory tower”? This paper uses unexpected NCAA athletic outcomes to vary research support to university faculty and estimate knowledge productivity. We find positive, significant effects of research expenditures on articles published and patents filed. Then, using data on university technology licensing income, we show that these investments produce large returns in real terms.

via www.sciencedirect.com

November 12, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigrants Prosper in The U.S.—But Will Their Generational Progeny Keep Moving Upward?

These findings may come as a surprise at a time of pervasive pessimism about the American dream. But as the struggles along our southern border and with visa over-stayers from other parts of the world suggest, strivers everywhere still see the U.S. as the promised land. Immigrants endure painful leave-takings and dangerous journeys because they knew that the grinding poverty, ancient hatreds, violence, and entrenched social hierarchies of their home countries would block their aspirations. They knew their children would be better off in rich, relatively orderly, and socially fluid America—even today, with its immigration ambivalence. Mexicans making their way here, to take one example, have on average only a little over a ninth-grade education; in rural Mexico, high school is a luxury for families who require their sons’ help in the fields. The U.S.-born children of Mexican parents, on the other hand, receive 12.4 years of education, by virtue of growing up in a country with an extensive public school system, compulsory school attendance, child-labor laws, ESL classes, subsidized lunches, and Medicaid—even if their fathers don’t graduate beyond peeling potatoes in a sweaty restaurant kitchen.

via www.city-journal.org

November 12, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Reckless Driver Told Cops He Was Racing Home After "Cheating On His Wife" | The Smoking Gun

When stopped by a Tarpon Springs Police Department officer around 7:30 PM, Pickard was apparently en route to his Palm Harbor residence following an extramarital assignation. Pickard reportedly “indicated his driving was reckless and endangering because he needed to get home in a hurry because he was cheating on his wife.” 

via thesmokinggun.com

November 12, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Meritocracy Is Killing High-School Sports - The Atlantic

If you want to understand how income inequality and opportunity-hoarding by the rich can combine in toxic ways to hurt the less fortunate, you could look in all the usual places—elite colleges, housing policy, internships.

Or you could look at high-school sports.

via www.theatlantic.com

November 12, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (1)

The Daily Northwestern Apologizes to Students for Reporting News That Triggered Them – Reason.com

If a recent editorial co-signed by the paper's top editors is to be believed, The Daily Northwestern will no longer fully report on campus events if the reporting runs the risk of making marginalized students feel unsafe or upset.

This is no exaggeration: Read the editorial if you don't believe me.

The incident that generated this sniveling, embarrassing apology was a recent visit to campus by former Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Sessions addressed the College Republicans while student activists protested the speech, objecting to the Trump administration's treatment of immigrants.

via reason.com

By golly we wouldn't stand for this back when I was at the Cornell Daily Sun. Would we?

November 12, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Food made in Israeli West Bank settlements must carry special labels, European court rules - The Jewish Chronicle

Retailers must mark food made in Israeli settlements with special labels, the European Union’s highest court has ruled, in a decision that could affect products found on British shelves.

via www.thejc.com

Good lord.

November 12, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Furious backlash after it emerges Google has secretly amassed healthcare data on millions of people | Daily Mail Online

Lawyers, medical professionals and tech experts have reacted with a mixture of horror and fury after it emerged that Google has been secretly acquiring sensitive medical data on millions of people without their knowledge or consent.

via www.dailymail.co.uk

I should think so.

November 12, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Looming ‘1984’ Election – American Greatness

The choice in reductionist terms will be one between a growing, statist Panopticon, fueled by social media, a media-progressive nexus, and an electronic posse. Online trolls and government bureaucrats seek to know everything about us, in Big Brother fashion to monitor our very thoughts to ferret out incorrect ideas, and then to regiment and indoctrinate us to ensure elite visions of mandated equality and correct behavior—or else!

In other words, the personality quirks of a Trump or an Elizabeth Warren or a Bernie Sanders will become mostly irrelevant given the existential choice between two quite antithetical ideas of future America. In 2020 we will witness the penultimate manifestation of what radical progressivism has in store for us all—and the furious, often desperate, and unfettered pushback against it.

via amgreatness.com

VDH might be a little hysterical here but not much I fear. I also worry about the growing Panopticon panopticonning me. I don't use social media (except for this old school blog) and it's probably just a matter of time before the PC police catch up with me, though maybe not. I am at a nominally Catholic and small but undeniably cute university, after all, though getting less small and cute all the time, seemingly, not to mention less Catholic. Stay tuned.

November 12, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Antitrust as a Barometer of Big Government

Today, however, the Court’s antitrust jurisprudence is sounder than its constitutional law jurisprudence. In Verizon Communications v. Trinko, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote a hymn to the virtues of permitting businesses to seek a monopoly, because that pursuit encouraged innovation and skill to the benefit of consumers. Scalia implied that these animal spirits are the lifeblood of the economy. And this opinion commanded a unanimous court. Justices Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg subscribe to the pro-market model of antitrust more than the justices they replaced.

Outside the Court today, however, ominous signs are gathering that the pro-government model is making a comeback. One of Elizabeth Warren’s leading campaign ideas is to break up the big tech companies, requiring them to serve only as platforms for others’ products. For instance, Google could not promote its own maps or Amazon could not sell its own products. Warren is returning to the view that monopolies should be condemned without requiring proof of bad conduct.

via www.lawliberty.org

I have the greatest respect for John McGinnis and count him a friend, but I have some doubts about this analysis of antitrust law. Not about his history-- I would only add some color this history, such as illustrations of the arrogance of Brandeis and the idiocy of the Warren Court. What worries me is how much we can take this past to inform us about where we are now. Is Google the next Microsoft, or are they uniquely entrenched and getting more so all the time? It certainly looks like the latter. Is the existence of the Chinese Communist Party a reason to fear Google--I think so-- they're not exactly patriots, unless you count China as your country, or Space Village 3000 or some such imaginary place. Maybe a reason not to break the Googles up is we need the strongest tech industry we can manage now given China. And is technology really accelerating? Or are we stuck in a rut, as Peter Thiel argues, persuasively, at least when you're listening to him. He also, however, seems to agree that building monopolies is what it's all about and presumably would be against a Big Tech breakup, at least his Big Tech. What would John say to repealing Section 230 of the Decency act I wonder. That alone would solve some of the problems of Big Tech monopolies. At least that might stop them from being the arbiters of speech in our razmataz digital age.

November 12, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Supreme Court Allows Sandy Hook Families' Case Against Remington Arms To Proceed : NPR

The court opted not to hear the gun-maker's appeal, in a decision that was announced Tuesday morning. The justices did not include any comment about the case, Remington Arms Co. v. Soto, as they turned it away.

Remington had appealed to the highest federal court after the Connecticut Supreme Court allowed the Sandy Hook lawsuit to proceed in March. In recent court filings, Remington says the case "presents a nationally important question" about U.S. gun laws — namely, how to interpret the 2005 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which grants broad immunity to gun-makers and dealers from prosecution over crimes committed with their products.

via www.npr.org

Well, this just shows again the problem with Certiorari review -- it allows the Court to duck important and timely issues of law. Alexander Bickel would say this is a passive virtue, but it looks more like the Court is conserving its political capital so it can use it in the future, such as when it solved the abortion issue. Oh wait.

November 12, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Fervor Grows for Regulating Big Tech - The New York Times

“In a time when Republicans and Democrats can’t really agree on anything, there seems to be a pretty wide bipartisan consensus that we should be paying more attention to this,” he said. “Now the question is, where does that go, and how does that develop over the next year?”

via www.nytimes.com

The question is, what would be better--the Borg-like growth of our current Big Tech oligopolies, or the dog's breakfast of what Congress will make of them with its rent-seeking-riddled reorganization of these industries? It's hard to tell. My gut says break them up, but my gut is only right half the time.

November 12, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, November 11, 2019

Guess Who Was Called a 'Fascist,' Back in the Day

Bigotry. Fascism. A threat to women’s rights. Alliances with foreign dictators. A president as entertainer, trampling labor and the environment.

It sounds like the contemporary complaints against President Trump.

Actually, it’s a 1984 newspaper advertisement from “Scholars Against the Escalating Danger of the Far Right.”

via www.nysun.com

You don't have to tell me. I remember it well. Of course, PDT is no Ronald Reagan. Everybody is the same, though, only worse.

November 11, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Why Pete Buttigieg Is The Most Destructive Candidate For Christianity

Buttigieg’s resume glows with accolades and qualifications. He is a Harvard University graduate, a military veteran, and a Rhodes scholar, and each time he takes the stage, we are reminded he is a polished, articulate candidate who models presidential decorum. He embodies social progressivism and diversity, even being LGBT, and he speaks a farsighted message of unity and bipartisanship and faith. This multilingual, Midwest mayor of South Bend, Indiana, checks all the boxes, including religion.

And he is without a doubt the most dangerous candidate for Christianity and the gospel.

via thefederalist.com

November 11, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Why Impeachment Will Stay Partisan - WSJ

“Quid pro quo” has become this year’s “if it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.” But it doesn’t follow. The Constitution and voters both give the president broad leeway to make foreign policy. For this reason, it is hard to delegitimize Mr. Trump because he doesn’t care as much about a given Ukrainian government’s struggles as some of his officials do, or that he puts a higher priority on eliciting Kyiv’s cooperation in investigations of a previous U.S. administration, or that he pursues these goals with his own agents outside normal (i.e., Trump-unfriendly) channels. Consider the lazy and oxymoronic conflation that you see everywhere accusing him of using foreign policy to advance his “personal political interests.” What president doesn’t?

Mr. Trump’s Ukraine actions are not illegal, and I doubt the sacredness of Ukraine policy matters to many Americans. But any reason is good enough if you believe an incompetent president should be removed for the sake of the country.

via www.wsj.com

Holman Jenkins, right as usual.

November 11, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Mya Kretzer fought for girls high school wrestling in Kansas. After four years, she won. - Washington Post

She could compete and enter any tournament she chose. But because Kansas didn’t recognize girls’ wrestling as an official sport, she would have to beat the best boys in her weight class to win a state title — a virtual impossibility given the greater strength and muscle mass boys tend to develop as they get older.

What girls needed, she believed, was to have a sport of their own. Achieving that goal came to define her high school wrestling career.

“Wrestling gives you what you need to be successful,” Kretzer explained. “It gives you dedication, commitment. It gives you somewhere where you belong. You can be your own self and be a total badass.”

via www.washingtonpost.com

November 11, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)