Saturday, May 14, 2022

The License to Leak: How Years of Attacks on the Court Created a “By Any Means” Mentality – JONATHAN TURLEY

Even in a city that traffics in leaks from every agency and every corner of government, this was an unspeakably unethical act. The Supreme Court deals with transformative cases that drive to the very heart of our political, cultural and religious divisions, yet justices and clerks have maintained a tradition of strict civility and confidentiality on such drafts.

So what changed?

We changed.

We do not know what motivated this leaker other than to unleash a public and political firestorm. The assumption is that the individual wanted to pressure the court to reconsider its purported path, and to push Congress to pass pending legislation to codify Roe. Yet, this act is such an attack on the very foundation of the court that it is dangerous to assume a specific motivation other than disruption.

What is clear is that the court has become a tragic anachronism in our age of rage: an institution that relied on the integrity and ethics of its members and staff at a time when such values are treated as naive. It relied on justices and clerks alike remaining bound to the institution and to each other by a constitutional faith.

But we are living in an age of constitutional atheism, so it is only surprising that it took this long. For years, politicians, pundits and academics have called for reckless political action against the court.

Many Democrats in Congress have pledged to achieve political goals “by any means necessary,” including packing or gutting the court. Democratic leaders have hammered away at the court and its members, demanding that the court adhere to political demands or face institutional disaster. The threats have grown increasingly raw and reckless as politicians sought to outdo each other in their attacks. In the age of rage, restraint is a lethal liability.

The message has been repeated like a drumbeat: The ends justify the means.

via jonathanturley.org

Jonathan Turley.

May 14, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Is Putin Sick – Or Are We Meant to Think He Is? - New Lines Magazine

What New Lines can establish is that there is indeed a growing chorus of those close to Putin or in his domestic intelligence apparatus who are murmuring much the same as those quoted in the supermarket checkout lane rags and who are in a better position to know of his state of mind and body. Whether these sources are telling the truth or trying to sow disinformation is unknown. It would behoove those disillusioned by Putin’s totalitarian leadership, for instance, to portray him as incapacitated or not long for this world, the better to weaken his hand at home and on the battlefields of Ukraine. Spreading rumors of his declining health could also preempt something more catastrophic such as an order to launch a nuclear weapon, which is less likely to be carried out by military commanders on behalf of a terminally ill despot.

Western governments, not to mention the news organizations they leak to, are similarly inclined to have us envision Putin and the regressive state he rules in the worst possible light. When Alexander Solzhenitsyn sought an allegory to depict the Stalinist slave empire after the purges — one in which everyone from the Central Committee member to the petty apparatchik to the man-in-the-street was made to look complicit in the cannibalization of society — he opted for cancer. Treatment for a metastasizing tumor, as Solzhenitsyn knew from firsthand experience, could be every bit as destructive to the organism as the pathology itself.

Perhaps something of Solzhenitsyn’s literary legacy informs the whispers of Putin as the modern Sick Man of Europe. Then again, maybe he is just that. New Lines has obtained an audio recording of an oligarch close to the Kremlin who describes Putin as “very ill with blood cancer,” although the type of blood cancer was unspecified. Needless to say, we are unable to independently confirm this allegation, Putin’s medical charts being notoriously difficult to come by. But the recording represents rare testimony by someone with proven ties to the Russian government that its fanatical dictator may well be seriously unwell. And the oligarch had no idea he was being recorded.

via newlinesmag.com

May 14, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thomas: That leak has changed the Supreme Court -- maybe forever – HotAir

“You begin to look over your shoulder,” Clarence Thomas told a conference audience in Dallas, and he’s not talking about the protesters at the houses of his fellow justices. The most senior Supreme Court justice spoke openly about the impact of the leak on the court itself, especially about the erosion of trust it has created between the jurists and their teams. Thomas’ blunt assessment of the current environment contrasted sharply with Samuel Alito’s demurral a day before.

via hotair.com

May 14, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

China expands its religious war to the Catholic Church | Washington Examiner

Not content with its genocide against the Uyghur Muslim people, China is expanding its war on religious freedom. Beijing's new front: the Catholic Church.

On Wednesday, Cardinal Joseph Zen was arrested by Hong Kong police. Officials say the 90-year-old, who retired from active service in 2009, is "accused of urging foreign organizations to impose sanctions against Hong Kong, which could endanger national security." Translation: He spoke freely in a manner that the Chinese Communist Party disagrees with. Zen was arrested alongside a former pro-democracy lawmaker.

The basic takeaway is clear — this is yet another terrible act of disdain for basic human rights. But it's also a gratuitous insult to the global Catholic Church. General Secretary Xi Jinping's government is aware that this arrest will cause profound upset around the world. Another despotic regime might have considered that risk before taking this action. Not Beijing. Nothing is more important to the CCP than its unyielding presentation of absolute control. If in doubt, it must strike out. But in this truth, the broader lesson becomes clear: Zen is an enemy of Xi's despicable regime because he is incompatible with it. He is a man of decency who has spent his entire life in the service of higher values and those less fortunate. Zen thus represents everything that the CCP is not.

via www.washingtonexaminer.com

May 14, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Arrest of Cardinal Zen Marks a New Low in Hong Kong - WSJ

The arrest this week of 90-year-old Cardinal Joseph Zen marks a new low in China’s destruction of Hong Kong’s democracy. Cardinal Zen, the Roman Catholic bishop of Hong Kong from 2002 through 2009, was arrested along with other prominent activists, including lawmaker Margaret Ng and pop star and gay-rights activist Denise Ho. Their alleged crime? Involvement in an organization that provided bail and legal counsel to those arrested during the 2019 pro-democracy demonstrations.

China’s strategy for outlawing dissent has evolved since the brutal crackdown on protesters in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square 33 years ago. It no longer relies on tanks; in Hong Kong, it is silently smothering opposition.

via www.wsj.com

Why isn't Pope Francis taking Chairman Xi to task for this arrest? Why is he abandoning the faithful in China?

May 14, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

How Disagreement Became ‘Disinformation’ - WSJ

Such was the mental disposition of America’s enlightened politicos and media sophisticates when the pandemic hit in early 2020. The challenge of public policy, as they saw it, was not to find practical, broadly acceptable solutions. The challenge, rather, was to find and implement the scientifically “correct” solution, the one endorsed by experts. Sound policy, for them, was a matter of gathering enough data and “following” it.

But of course you can’t follow data. Data just sits there and waits to be interpreted.

When Covid-19 came ashore, the country’s political class, in thrall to the authority of public-health experts and the journalists who listen to them, was singularly ill-equipped to lead in a sensible way. What the pandemic required was not the gathering and mastery of information and the quick implementation of “data driven” policy. The data was wildly elusive, changing shape from day to day and yielding no obvious interpretation. No one understood the spread of this astoundingly resilient virus, least of all the experts confidently purporting to understand it. There was, in fact, no clinically correct response.

The situation called for the acknowledgment of risk, the weighing of costs against benefits, the clear declaration of reasonable compromises between competing interests. What happened was an exercise in societal self-ruin—in the U.S. and elsewhere in the developed world. Politicians, especially those most inclined to see themselves as objective, pro-science data-followers, ducked accountability and deferred to experts who pretended to have empirically proven answers to every question put to them. They gave us a series of policies—business shutdowns, school closures, mask mandates—that achieved at best minor slowdowns in the disease’s spread at the cost of tremendous economic destruction and social embitterment.

With the two-year pandemic response now all but over, what stands out most is the absence of any acknowledgment of error on the part of anyone who advocated these disastrous policies. There is a reason for that absence other than pride. In the technocratic, data-following worldview of our hypereducated decision makers, credentials and consensus are sure guides to truth, wisdom is nothing next to intelligence, and intelligence consists mainly in the ability to absorb facts. That mindset yielded a narrow array of prescriptions, which they dutifully embraced, careful to disdain alternative suggestions. They can hardly be expected to apologize for following the data.

via www.wsj.com

May 14, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

What Caused the Baby Formula Shortage? - WSJ

America’s baby-formula shortage illustrates how bigger government can make big business bigger, thereby limiting competition and choice. This is especially worth noting as Democrats push to expand entitlements and government control over the private economy with Medicare for All, free child care, universal pre-K and more.

It also illustrates that global trade has its uses, and there are costs to the faddish drive to produce everything in America. Members of both parties in Congress want to subsidize domestic production, but this can create its own supply-chain vulnerabilities. Globalization nowadays may be a dirty word, but having diverse suppliers is an economic strength.

via www.wsj.com

May 14, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Elon Musk Says His $44 Billion Twitter Deal Is ‘On Hold’ - WSJ

Elon Musk said his planned acquisition of Twitter Inc. TWTR -9.67% was “temporarily on hold” because of concerns about fake accounts, a surprise twist that jolted investors and raised questions about his willingness to go through with the $44 billion transaction.

Mr. Musk’s grenade came in a tweet posted at 5:44 a.m. Eastern Time that was followed just over two hours later by another saying he was “still committed to acquisition.” Lawyers close to Mr. Musk urged him to send that follow-up tweet, according to people familiar with the matter.

The initial announcement was unorthodox not just in its timing and format, but because Mr. Musk referenced a recent Twitter disclosure about fake and spam accounts that it has made consistently for years—and because Mr. Musk has already signed an agreement for the purchase and waived detailed due diligence on the deal.

The sudden shake-up fueled questions about whether Mr. Musk is committed to a deal that was struck amid a sharp decline in technology stocks that has made Twitter less valuable on paper than it was a month ago when he made his offer of $54.20 a share. Twitter shares, which were already trading well below that level, closed down 9.7% in afternoon trading at $40.70.

via www.wsj.com

This is what happens when you get ahead of your lawyers.

May 14, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Ukraine Launches Counteroffensive to Disrupt Russian Supply Lines - WSJ

“A strategic break in Ukraine’s favor is under way. This process will take time. But, in the long term, these trends make Russia’s defeat inevitable,” Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said in an address to Ukrainian citizens.

After Russia’s initial plans to seize the capital, Kyiv, failed amid Ukrainian resistance, Mr. Putin in late March ordered his forces to pull back from northern Ukraine and concentrate on seizing the entirety of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions that make up Donbas. Mr. Putin in February recognized the independence of the Moscow-created proxy states in Donbas, the Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics, which controlled roughly one-third of these two regions at the time.

Russia has established the forward headquarters of its operations to conquer Donbas in the town of Izyum, which straddles the Siverskyi Donets river in the Kharkiv region. Ukrainian troops have begun to push successfully toward the town, the head of the Kharkiv regional military administration, Oleh Synehubov, said Saturday.

“The Izyum direction remains our hottest point. That’s where our armed forces have begun a counteroffensive,” he said in a video address. “The enemy is retreating in some directions, which is the result of the character of our armed forces.”

via www.wsj.com

May 14, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, May 13, 2022

Calling men 'bald' at work now considered sexual harassment in the UK

Insulting a man for being bald in the workplace amounts to sex harassment in the UK, a panel of balding judges have ruled, according to a report Thursday.

Hair loss is far more common among men than women, so using the term is “inherently related to sex” — and equivalent to commenting on the size of a woman’s breasts,  the employment tribunal said, according to the UK Telegraph.

The finding — made by three judges who lament their own lack of locks in the judgment — came in the case of an electrician, Tony Finn, who sued a small Yorkshire-based family business over the term.

via nypost.com

Based.

May 13, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Ukraine war: Putin 'purges army top brass as Gerasimov is suspended' | Daily Mail Online

Russia's top commander General Valery Gerasimov has been suspended, a top adviser to the Ukrainian president has claimed, while a clutch of other officers have been sacked or arrested amid a rumoured purge of top brass.

Oleksiy Arestovych, a veteran of military intelligence and one of President Zelensky's inner circle, claimed late Wednesday that Gerasimov - the chief of staff of the Russian army - has been suspended as Putin looks for senior commanders to blame over his blundering invasion of Ukraine.

Arestovych, speaking to dissident Russian lawyer and politician Mark Feygin on YouTube last night, said: 'According to preliminary information, Gerasimov has been de-facto suspended. They are deciding whether to give him time to fix things, or not.'

via www.dailymail.co.uk

May 12, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

The California Mathematics Framework is 'fundamentally flawed' and based on shoddy research – HotAir

Turning the focus of math education away from the right answers and toward anti-racism is bad enough but in recent weeks professional math educators have pointed to a number of other problems with the new framework. For instance, you may have noticed that my excerpt from chapter nine (above) includes a bunch of citations to published studies. Clearly a framework with this many references must be carefully researched, right? Well, not so much it turns out. Professor Brian Conrad who is the director of undergraduate math studies at Stanford decided to check the links as it were and found that a high percentage of them were simply misleading in significant ways.

via hotair.com

May 12, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

The culture wars have crept into Oxbridge admissions | The Spectator

At the moment the really disadvantaged candidates are arguably the white males from outstanding independent schools. If they are rejected by their first-choice college and placed in the ‘pool’ so other colleges can look at their application, they nearly all sink without trace. So they go instead to Durham, St Andrews, Bristol and other Russell Group universities, excellent places – but, as Toope has hinted, they too are under pressure to cut numbers from certain types of school. One head talked to me about a potential brain drain as some of the best and brightest head to Harvard and Princeton, maybe never to return to Britain.

It is vital to remember that admitting students is all about individuals. University admissions have become another site for culture wars in which ‘white’, ‘male’ and ‘privileged’ are terms of disapproval, linked together to justify injustice. Imagined class must not determine admissions. School names should probably be omitted from application forms. Penalising applicants for their parents’ choice of school ‘strips the pupil of any agency’, to quote one distinguished head. It is a betrayal of the principles by which a great university has flourished.

via www.spectator.co.uk

May 12, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Ban on ‘Excessive’ Gasoline Prices Is Heading for House Vote By Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) -- The US president would have the authority to declare an emergency that would make the sale of gasoline at “excessive” prices illegal under legislation House Democrats plan to bring to the floor next week. 

The effort, announced Thursday by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, comes as Democrats seek to blame record high gasoline prices on the oil industry amid fears that angry voters could punish Democrats in the midterm elections in November. 

“Price gouging needs to be stopped,” Pelosi said at a press conference Thursday. “This is a major exploitation of the consumer.” 

The legislation being brought for a vote, the Consumer Fuel Price Gouging Prevention Act, would also give the Federal Trade Commission the power to issue penalties for price gouging, according to a summary of the legislation. The measure would prioritize penalizing larger companies, while protecting independently owned gas stations. 

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has also said he plans to bring to the floor legislation beefing up the Federal Trade Commission’s authority to go after gasoline price manipulation. That effort is unlikely to draw the Republican support necessary to pass in the evenly divided Senate. 

via www.investing.com

I don't like high gas prices but I also don't like long lines. One hopes this ill conceived legislation won't pass the Senate.

May 12, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (2)

I Criticized BLM. Then I Was Fired. - by Zac Kriegman

I had been at Thomson Reuters for over six years—most recently, leading a team of data scientists applying new machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms to our legal, tax and news data. We advised any number of divisions inside the company, including Westlaw, an online legal research service used by most every law firm in the country, and the newsroom, which reaches an audience of one billion every day around the globe. I briefed the Chief Technology Officer regularly. My total annual compensation package exceeded $350,000.

In 2020, I started to witness the spread of a new ideology inside the company. On our internal collaboration platform, the Hub, people would post about “the self-indulgent tears of white women” and the danger of “White Privilege glasses.” They’d share articles with titles like “Seeing White,” “Habits of Whiteness” and “How to Be a Better White Person.” There was fervent and vocal support for Black Lives Matter at every level of the company. No one challenged the racial essentialism or the groupthink.

This concerned me. I had been following the academic research on BLM for years (for example, here, here, here and here), and I had come to the conclusion that the claim upon which the whole movement rested—that police more readily shoot black people—was false. 

The data was unequivocal. It showed that, if anything, police were slightly less likely to use lethal force against black suspects than white ones. 

via bariweiss.substack.com

May 12, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Untrained Passenger Lands Airplane - WSJ

A passenger with no flight experience safely landed a private plane at Palm Beach International Airport Tuesday afternoon after the pilot suffered a medical emergency.

“I’ve got a serious situation here,” the passenger can be heard telling Air Traffic Control in Fort Pierce. “My pilot has gone incoherent. I have no idea how to fly the airplane.”

“Roger. What’s your position?” Air Traffic Control responded.

“I have no idea,” the passenger said. “I can see the coast of Florida in front of me. And I have no idea.”

“Maintain wings level and just try to follow the coast, either north or southbound,” Air Traffic Control told him. “We’re trying to locate you.”

Minutes that must have seemed endless went by until controllers located the plane off the coast of Boca Raton.

via www.wsj.com

What a way to start your day.

May 12, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Duke Commencement Speaker Is ‘Mortified and Embarrassed’ After Similarities in Speech Spark Probe - WSJ

A Duke University student said she is taking “full responsibility” for parts of her commencement speech that included passages similar to those in a Harvard University graduation speech years ago, prompting a university probe.

Undergraduate commencement speaker Priya Parkash spoke to her fellow classmates at Duke’s graduation ceremony on Sunday. The following day the Duke Chronicle—the university’s student newspaper—reported that several passages of Ms. Parkash’s speech were similar to that of a Harvard speech in 2014 given by then-student Sarah Abushaar.

Duke is investigating the matter, a spokesman said. Ms. Parkash said she would fully cooperate with the university’s probe.

She said she incorporated ideas for passages provided by friends without researching if they had been used previously. Ms. Parkash said she didn’t find out until the day after the speech that those passages had come from the speech given at Harvard, which she said she hadn’t previously seen.

“I was mortified and embarrassed to find out through a news article after I had already given the speech in front of thousands of people that parts of it were directly taken from [the Harvard] speech,” Ms. Parkash, who majored in statistical science and economics, said in an interview. “I sincerely regret this incident and I wish I could go back and undo it. I wish that I had been more diligent.”

via www.wsj.com

One can easily see how this could happen. Just write everything yourself, no matter how lame it ends up sounding, I guess.

May 12, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Cardinal Zen and the Art of Chinese Oppression - WSJ

China has already crushed political dissent, a free press and an independent judiciary in Hong Kong, and its latest target is religious liberty. That’s the message with the arrest Wednesday of Cardinal Joseph Zen.

The Catholic prelate, age 90, was arrested and charged with violating the city’s national security law. Also arrested were pro-democracy lawmaker Margaret Ng, pop singer Denise Ho, and academic Hui Po-keung.

via www.wsj.com

It certainly looks for all the world as if the Vatican Department of State is in league with the CCP, which would be very bad. Seems to me it high time for Pope Francis to speak up, He could take JP II as his example.

May 12, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Ukrainian Forces Hold the Line in Donbas as Western Heavy Weapons Join the Battle - WSJ

“Our first task was to stop and destroy the enemy, but after that we have to liberate everything that they have taken from us. This will take time, at least the whole summer. It won’t be quick,” Pavlo Kyrylenko, the head of the Ukrainian military administration for Donetsk region, said in an interview. “The important thing is that the weapons from our partners, especially the U.S., arrive quickly.”

With the conflict turning into a war of attrition, only continuing foreign support could allow Ukraine to survive and repulse its much bigger and better-armed neighbor, Ukrainian officials say. This now largely hinges on the U.S. Senate moving quickly on the $40 billion Ukraine bill that was passed by the House on Tuesday, they say. The bill includes more than $18.7 billion in military and security aid to Ukraine and to backfill already distributed U.S. defense supplies.

via www.wsj.com

May 12, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Chris Rufo | Laying Siege to the Institutions | Livestream April 5, 2022

via www.youtube.com

May 11, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Ukraine war: Kharkiv counter-attack drives Russia back to its border | Daily Mail Online

Ukraine has driven Russian troops back to their own border near Kharkiv and now threatens supply lines into Donbas as Putin's army suffers another humiliating loss.

Commanders said late Tuesday they had recaptured four small towns to the north of Ukraine's second-largest city, with reports overnight suggesting they had pushed to within three miles of the Russian border.

If confirmed, it would put the city of Vovchans'k - a key supply hub linking Russia's Belgorod to its frontlines in Donbas - within artillery range, threatening to cut supply lines and hamper Putin's efforts to take the region.

via www.dailymail.co.uk

May 11, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Our SCOTUS Brief: “The Grand Judicial Experiment of Excusing Racial Discrimination in University Admissions … Has Failed”

The biggest case this U.S. Supreme Court term is abortion. The biggest case (so far) for next term is affirmative action, specifically lawsuits brought on behalf of Asian students claiming illegal racial discrimination at Havard University and the University of North Carolina which diminished admission of students of Asian ethnicity. The plaintiff and petitioner in SCOTUS is an entity called Students for Fair Admissions, Inc.

We have covered previously mostly the Harvard lawsuit, which Harvard won at trial and again on appeal.

via legalinsurrection.com

May 11, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Here Are the 90+ 'Equity' Plans Taxpayers Are Now Funding Across the Federal Government | RealClearInvestigations

Under the Biden administration, more than 90 federal agencies have pledged their commitment to equity by adopting action plans that put gender, race and other such factors at the center of their governmental missions.

The Equity Action Plans, which have received little notice since they were posted online last month following a document request from RealClearInvestigations, represent a “whole of government” fight against “entrenched disparities” and the “unbearable human costs of systemic racism.”

via www.realclearinvestigations.com

May 10, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tech Industry Warns That More Remote-Work Jobs Are Headed Out of U.S. - WSJ

WASHINGTON—Tech-industry representatives are coming to Capitol Hill this week to warn that the remote-work trend will lead to more offshoring of software developer and other technology jobs unless the U.S. admits more high-skilled immigrants.

Remote jobs in tech jumped by more than 420% between January 2020 and last month, growth that was intensified by the pandemic, according to a jobs data review by Tecna, a trade group for regional tech councils. In February, more than 22% of all tech jobs were listed as remote, compared with 4.4% in January 2020.

via www.wsj.com

May 10, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Is This the Supreme Court Leaker?

Will Chamberlain of the Internet Accountability Project and Human Events had a lengthy Twitter thread about who this leaker could be and zeroed in on Elizabeth Deutsch. It's pure speculation based on information from the public domain, but after he makes his case—it sort of sounds like she could fit the bill. She's a current law clerk for Justice Breyer. Chamberlain leaves it open that he could be wrong about her, but let's go through what he found: 

via townhall.com

Yale Law School! In the news!

May 10, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (1)

The Cathedral Vs. The Orthodox Church - The American Conservative

Now, before I begin to deconstruct this ridiculous propaganda piece, I concede that it is based on a kernel of truth: some outsiders are finding their way to Orthodoxy, thinking that it will be the far right at prayer. A friend who attends a large parish told me last year that they are seeing some young men showing up with that in mind, only to find out otherwise. Let me be clear at the start of this essay that I concede that this phenomenon is not invented out of whole cloth.

In my own small parish, we have seen a surge of young inquirers, but they are coming not with far-right politics in mind, but because they are looking for something more stable and deeper than the churches they had been attending. And yes, it is true that some come because they correctly sense that Orthodoxy is much less likely to surrender to the wokeness that is infesting many Protestant and Catholic congregations. Note well, though, that to NPR, all of this is “far-right.”  

This Riccardi-Swartz talks about how these people are “really changing the faith.” Are they? In my experience of being within Orthodoxy for sixteen years, these leftists — like those quoted in Yousef’s story — are angry at converts like me because they want to change the faith to make it more compatible with American liberalism. Converts like me come into the Orthodox Church warning the unsuspecting cradle Orthodox what people like these activists within the Church are really doing — and how if the Orthodox congregations don’t wake up, they will find themselves turned into Baklava Episcopalians.

via www.theamericanconservative.com

I heard the ad for this on npr and thought "come on, man!"

May 10, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Elon Musk Says He Would Reverse Donald Trump’s Twitter Ban - WSJ

Elon Musk said he would reverse Twitter Inc.’s TWTR -1.46% ban on former President Donald Trump.

“I do think that it was not correct to ban Donald Trump. I think that was a mistake because it alienated a large part of the country, and did not ultimately result in Donald Trump not having a voice,” said Mr. Musk, who was speaking virtually at the Financial Times Future of the Car summit.

Mr. Musk called the ban a “morally bad decision,” saying permanent bans undermine trust in Twitter.

“If there are tweets that are wrong and bad, those should be either deleted or made invisible, and a suspension—a temporary suspension—is appropriate, but not a permanent ban,” Mr. Musk said.

via www.wsj.com

There's a great job here for some young First Amendment lawyer.

May 10, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, May 9, 2022

White House urges peaceful protests, support for judges in wake of abortion rights demonstrations | The Hill

“The President has made clear throughout his time in public life that Americans have the fundamental right to express themselves under the Constitution, whatever their point of view,” a White House official told The Hill on Monday. “But that expression must be peaceful and free of violence, vandalism, or attempts to intimidate.”

Republican lawmakers have condemned the protests and warned about violence.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) on Sunday called pro-abortion rights protests outside the homes of Kavanaugh and Roberts “mob violence.”

via thehill.com

WH takes a bold stand on principle.

May 9, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (2)

Chicago Decline Accelerates, Boeing Abandons City | National Review

The move comes as Chicago is increasingly ravaged by crime and random drive-by shootings in the middle of downtown. In recent weeks, the theater district in downtown Chicago has had to shut down plays because the area has become so unsafe at night.

Crime in Chicago is up 35 percent this year compared with the same period in 2021. Theft is up by 67 percent.

The business climate is dismal, the result of punishing tax and regulatory policies that make Illinois the third-most unfriendly state for job creation in the nation. So it’s no surprise that the state’s unemployment rate is the sixth-highest in the nation.

Democratic governor J. B. Pritzker has proposed a record $46.5 billion budget, with extra cash for everyone from state legislators to households, with the latter slated to receive direct cash benefits.

via www.nationalreview.com

May 9, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (1)

All the President's Border Policies That Have Illegals Heading North | RealClearInvestigations

While a federal court has stayed the Biden administration’s attempt to lift pandemic-prompted restrictions on immigrants pouring across the southern border, that is just one setback in a largely successful push by the president to make it easier for migrants to enter, live, and work in the U.S.

Since Joe Biden’s first day in office, when he signed seven executive orders on immigration that, among other things, suspended deportations and ended the Trump administration’s “Remain in Mexico” program that had eased the crush of those awaiting asylum hearings, the president has in word and deed sent signals that migrants have interpreted as welcoming. The initiatives include reviving the Obama-era policy known as “catch and release,” “paroling” illegal border crossers so they can enter the country, resettling migrants through secret flights around the country, and ending the “no match” policy that had helped the government identify people who were using fraudulent credentials to find work.

via www.realclearinvestigations.com

May 9, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (1)

The Sorry Situation of Catholic Schools | Mark Bauerlein | First Things

The Common Core episode is just one instance of Catholic school conformity. At this point it is standard practice, most importantly in matters of personnel. What we now have in Catholic schools are too many administrators and teachers who have been seasoned in secular institutions and conceive of their practice in conventional liberal terms. They have adopted “diversity” and “relevance” and other progressive ideals as the proper way of formation. In American history courses, they don’t assign Wilfred McClay’s Land of Hope. Instead, they assign, for example, the politically-correct Give Me Liberty! An American History, by the leftist Columbia professor Eric Foner. Canonical authors remain on the syllabus, but they are given an au courant edge—for instance, Emily Dickinson is often cast as a suppressed lesbianLittle thought is given to how Catholic doctrine should guide the study of the arts, humanities, and social sciences. It doesn’t even occur to our practitioners to think that way.

via www.firstthings.com

I'll never forget my 6th grader explaining to me that the Catholic missions in California were just concentration camps that the Spanish set up for the Native Americans. He got this in Catholic school, which presumably was teaching the California state curriculum. As far as lesbians go, there is lots and lots at the local girls' Catholic high school, I hear.

May 9, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

University of Pennsylvania: Don’t Fire Amy Wax, Debate Her Views | RealClearEducation

Say what you will about Wax, the lady has courage. In a December 2021 podcast with Brown University professor Glenn Loury, Wax claimed that the U.S. has too many Asians, warning about the “danger of the dominance of an Asian elite in this country.” Responding to a critic, Wax raised concerns about the large percentage of Asian and South Asian Americans voting for Democrats. Her conservative host, Loury, described Wax’s statements as “outrageous.”

To his credit, Penn Law School dean Theodore Ruger defended Wax’s free speech rights while also denouncing her views as “xenophobic and white supremacist.” Despite her having won a teaching award, Penn long ago banned Wax from teaching required courses, fearing her presence would emotionally trigger the Ivy League school’s sensitive future attorneys, many of whom have repeatedly demanded her firing.

via www.realcleareducation.com

I don't think Amy Wax should be fired, though I disagree with her about Asian-Americans. I tend to agree with Andrew Yang that "our Asians are better than their Asians," i.e., that we get the best or at least more than our share of the smartest, and hardest working people of Asian extraction as immigrants to the US, and thank God we do. As with the Jews and the Irish and other Atlantic Islanders, not to mention the ethnicities of your choice. But Amy is entitled to her views and if she is fired for having unacceptable views, that surely hurts everybody.

May 9, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Survey Shows Millennials and Gen Z Are More Capitalist Than Socialist - Bloomberg

The study demonstrates that younger Americans continue to believe in the holy trinity of competition, individual responsibility and earned success: Some 68% of younger millennials agree that “competition is good” and “stimulates people to work hard and develop new ideas,” while only 9% disagree.

While that may seem a banal stance, majorities also support spikier propositions. Roughly two-thirds agree that “there’s nothing wrong with trying to make as much money as you honestly can.” Nearly half agree that “people who overcome all competitors on the road to success are models for young people to admire.” Some 73% of younger millennials agree with or are neutral about the idea that “people should be allowed to keep what they produce, even if there are others with greater needs,” only slightly less than the 78% of all Americans who said the same in a 2019 Cato Institute study. The figures are similar for older Gen Zs and older millennials.

Majorities are skeptical about the sort of government activism that is commonplace in Europe, rejecting the idea that government should be solely responsible for healthcare. Asked how responsibility for post-high school education should be divided between individuals, business and government, they say 51% of responsibility belongs to individuals, 11% to business and 38% to government. Asked the same question about retirement they believe that 43% of the responsibility lies with individuals, 18% with business and 38% with government. Not quite Ayn Rand but hardly socialism either.

via www.bloomberg.com

May 9, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Supreme Court Leak Prompts New Look at Old Way of Doing Business

The leak of a bombshell draft abortion opinion has left the U.S. Supreme Court confronting whether to make radical changes to its tradition-laced work habits.

Companies fight document leaks by taking steps such as placing identifiable marks on paper, disabling laptop USB ports and checking employee thumb drives. But the uniquely small and secretive high court has, until now, been able to keep draft opinions from real-time public scrutiny without using a full array of high-tech tools.

“The court has always relied on being able to trust the small group of people who have access to inside information,” said Kermit Roosevelt, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School. “Once that trust is broken, there’s no easy replacement or way back.”

via www.bloomberglaw.com

Hindsight is 20/20, but it now seems it would have been a good idea for Ch. J. Roberts to modernize the Court's security before now.

May 9, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Obstruction of Justice at the Supreme Court - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics

In short, these conspirators appear to have made history by endeavoring to obstruct justice at the highest possible level of the judiciary.

So, will these history-making events cause the Biden regime to task the woke warriors of the FBI with getting to the bottom of this conspiracy to obstruct justice at the Supreme Court? And, if given the job, will the FBI act in the manner of its January 6 Capitol Hill manhunts by mounting an aggressive and thorough round up of these miscreants?

Equally important, will the FBI use the same aggressive investigative technique that it used against Project Veritas by raiding Politico’s offices to learn who leaked the draft opinion?

And, if arrests are made, will the Justice Department demand that the defendants charged with this unprecedented and profoundly deleterious assault on the nation’s highest court be held without bail? Like those of the January 6 Capitol Hill defendants, will their trials be delayed for months or even years?

On Thursday of last week, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked about the publication of the Justices’ home addresses. She replied, “Look, I think the president’s view is that there’s a lot of passion, a lot of fear, a lot of sadness from many, many people across this country about what they saw in that leaked document.”

She then added, “We want people to protest peacefully if they want to protest. That is certainly what the president’s view would be.”  (Emphasis added)

The next day, Psaki was asked by a reporter, “Does the president want protesters to influence Supreme Court justices so they uphold Roe?” She replied, “I wouldn’t say that he has a view on that” and then added that the president “believes in peaceful protests, but they’re [the Court] going to make the decisions they make, and we’re not going to prejudge a final decision.”

Was Psaki actually speaking for the mentally-challenged Biden or for the people who pull his strings? Either way, it would appear that the conspirators have nothing to fear from the Biden regime or its FBI and Justice Department.

After all, speaking through Psaki, the White House has explicitly  approved the “peaceful protests” at the Supreme Court and the Justices’ homes despite the fact that those demonstrations  are illegal since they clearly and unequivocally were undertaken to influence and  intimidate the Court in the adjudication of a case pending before it.

Of course, this approval should come as no surprise since the Biden regime serves to promote the interests of the abortion industry and its advocates who comprise a favored constituency of the Democrat party.

So it is that, as a matter of simple political calculation, despite the historic and outrageous nature of the obstruction of justice at issue, it remains to be seen whether or not the Biden regime and its law enforcement apparatus will bring the conspirators to justice

via spectator.org

I find this alarming and unsettling. But I am overly excitable.

May 9, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, May 6, 2022

What is Russia's Poseidon nuclear drone and could it wipe out the UK in a radioactive tsunami? | Euronews

"This thing is at least 1.5 m in diameter and weighs tens of tons, so it's carrying a very big warhead".

However, the three experts Euronews Next spoke to all cast serious doubts on the claim made by Russian TV anchor Kiselyov that Poseidon’s warhead packed a yield of 100 megatons.

Hambling called the claim "simply insane - that would be the biggest warhead ever deployed".

"I mean, with the current Russian regime, who knows? It's possible that they might have the hubris to build something like that, but it certainly is grotesquely gigantic," he said.

via www.euronews.com

Those darn Rooskies.

May 6, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (1)

TikTok’s Work Culture: Anxiety, Secrecy and Relentless Pressure - WSJ

With a seemingly bottomless feed of goof-offs, dance-offs and good-natured pranks, TikTok bills itself as the happiest place on the internet.

Fueling its success: an exacting management style and demanding internal culture that belie its buoyant public image, say employees at its U.S. offices.

The employees, many of them veterans of other major tech companies, say TikTok emphasizes relentless productivity and secrecy to a degree uncommon in the industry.

As TikTok continues its torrid growth, those conditions are increasingly a source of tension at U.S. offices of the app, a unit of Beijing-based ByteDance Ltd. Founded just six years ago, TikTok recorded the most downloads of any app through the first quarter of 2022, according to analytics firm Sensor Tower.

via www.wsj.com

Evidently, the Tik Tok algorithm relies on the little motion sensors in your mobile device that tell it how you're holding your phone, which in turn is a remarkably accurate indicator of how engaged you are. I don't know if you hold your phone more still if you're entranced, or if your hand quivers a bit, but whatever you do, Tik Tok picks it up and radios it up to HQ to be evaluated. If you like it (or perhaps hate it enough) you get more. Thus do the Communists psychoanalyze and hypnotize our youth. What could go wrong.

May 6, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (1)

White House Won’t Condemn Supreme Doxxing | RealClearPolitics

Other conservative judicial activists are pointing to a federal law barring “pickets or parades” near a courthouse or a judges home with the “intent of interfering with, obstructing, or impeding administration of justice, or with the intent of influencing any judge, juror witness or court officer….”

When Doocy pressed Psaki on whether Biden cares whether protesters are planning to gather outside justices’ private residences, she tried to sidestep the question. “I don’t have an official U.S. government position on where people protest,” she said.

“Really?” Mike Davis, a former Gorsuch law clerk and the chief counsel for nominations on the Senate Judiciary Committee, tweeted. “How about Title 19, Section 1507 of the United States Code?”

Meanwhile, Congress is stepping in to provide greater protections for high court justices. Sens. John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, and Chris Coons, a Delaware Democrat close to Biden, have introduced the “Supreme Court Policy Parity Act” to provide greater law enforcement protections to the justices and their families. The bill would extend security protection to justices’ families, give greater arrest authority to the police assigned to the high court and make obstructing or impeding those police a crime.

Cornyn, during a Judiciary Committee meeting Thursday, called the leak of the Supreme Court draft opinion “an attack against the independence” of the U.S. court system, the U.S. government’s “crown jewel.”

“That’s the reason why we go through this laborious process of advice and consent for federal judges – to protect that independence,” he said. “And it’s not just an attack against the independence of the judiciary, this risks violence against members of the Supreme Court and their families.”

“We can’t stoop to the level of the mob – we have to stand up for what we believe to be right,” he concluded.

via www.realclearpolitics.com

May 6, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, May 5, 2022

The xenotransplant patient who died received a heart infected with a pig virus | MIT Technology Review

The pig heart transplanted into an American patient earlier this year in a landmark operation carried a porcine virus that may have derailed the experiment and contributed to his death two months later, say transplant specialists.

David Bennett Sr. was near death in January when he received a genetically edited pig heart in a pioneering between-species transplant that has been hailed as a success—and was, at first.

A few days after his heart was replaced with one from a pig, Bennett was sitting up in bed. His new heart was pumping fantastically and performing like a “rock star,” according to his transplant surgeon, Bartley Griffith of the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

But about 40 days later Bennett, who was 57, took a turn for the worse. After two months he was dead. In a statement released by the university in March, a spokesperson said there was “no obvious cause identified at the time of his death” and that a full report was pending.

Now MIT Technology Review has learned that Bennett’s heart was affected by porcine cytomegalovirus, a preventable infection that is linked to devastating effects on transplants.  

via www.technologyreview.com

Those darn viruses.

May 5, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

‘Not Good for Learning’ - The New York Times

When Covid-19 began to sweep across the country in March 2020, schools in every state closed their doors. Remote instruction effectively became a national policy for the rest of that spring.

A few months later, however, school districts began to make different decisions about whether to reopen. Across much of the South and the Great Plains as well as some pockets of the Northeast, schools resumed in-person classes in the fall of 2020. Across much of the Northeast, Midwest and West Coast, school buildings stayed closed and classes remained online for months.

These differences created a huge experiment, testing how well remote learning worked during the pandemic. Academic researchers have since been studying the subject, and they have come to a consistent conclusion: Remote learning was a failure.

In today’s newsletter, I’ll cover that research as well as two related questions: How might the country help children make up the losses? And should schools have reopened earlier — or were the closures a crucial part of the country’s Covid response?

via www.nytimes.com

May 5, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Some Lessons from the Sorry History of Campus Speech Codes

Concern about the proliferation of hate speech motivates many who oppose the recent acquisition of Twitter by billionaire Elon Musk, who says he plans to turn the heavily moderated platform into a bastion for free speech. Sources ranging from writers at major news publications to CEOs have voiced fears that free-speech-friendly policies will make the platform a haven for “totally lawless hate, bigotry, and misogyny,” as actress Jameela Jamil put it in her farewell-to-Twitter tweet. 

But those who take for granted that hate speech should be policed on Twitter would do well to learn the history of attempts to police hate speech on campuses in the United States. Some readers may be surprised to learn that American universities have attempted to regulate hate speech for four decades now: This real-world experiment has shown how subjective and nebulous restrictions chill speech in often-surprising ways. What began as an attempt to police hateful speech in the 1980s has resulted in ever-changing policies that do little to increase tolerance, but have ended the careers of many students and professors, chilled legitimate discourse, and—in the process—undermined public faith in the intellectual integrity of higher education.

Future participants in the discussion of hateful speech should recognize that discriminatory harassment can be banned in a way that doesn’t lead to the abuses and collateral consequences that characterize campus efforts to ban the hazy concept of hate speech.

via www.persuasion.community

May 5, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

The New Cold War Could Soon Heat Up | Foreign Affairs

Taken together, these developments constitute a dangerous new reality. Gone are the days when Russia’s war aims consisted solely of “de-Nazifying and demilitarizing” Ukraine. Also gone are the days when U.S. and allied governments limited their involvement to helping Ukraine defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity. Leaders on both sides of the conflict have now crossed a series of lines that cannot easily be uncrossed. The result is a new Cold War between Russia and its opponents—one that promises to be less global than its twentieth-century counterpart but also less stable and predictable.

via www.foreignaffairs.com

May 5, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Pope Francis Blames NATO - WSJ

The Pope said he has requested an audience with Mr. Putin but hasn’t heard back. Asked whether he’d visit Kyiv, he said he must go to Moscow first: “If Putin decided to leave the door open . . . ” This is a pattern. Recall that the Pope declined to meet with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in 2020, at least partly because of America’s opposition to the Vatican’s egregious deal-making with the Chinese Communist Party.

This isn’t about whether the Vatican aligns perfectly with the West or the U.S. Pope John Paul II was a vociferous critic of the 2003 Iraq War but kept the respect of those who remembered his opposition to Soviet imperialism. Consistency matters.

The Pope is the spiritual leader of more than one billion Catholics, but the moral authority behind the papacy—damaged as it is—can still transcend religion from time to time. This makes Francis’s equivocating on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine all the more frustrating for those who recall how powerful a force for good a Pope can be.

via www.wsj.com

May 5, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Unexplained Attacks Inside Russian Territory Raise Prospect of Wider Conflict - WSJ

A series of attacks inside Russian territory and unexplained explosions at Russian targets near the border with Ukraine have expanded the scope of the conflict in recent weeks, underscoring Russian vulnerabilities in regions that are crucial to Moscow’s renewed offensive in eastern Ukraine.

Russian officials said last month that two Ukrainian Mi-24 helicopters entered Russian airspace flying at low altitudes to evade air defenses and launched a missile attack on a fuel depot in Russia’s Belgorod region, a province that sits on the western edge of the country, less than 20 miles from Ukraine’s war-ravaged city of Kharkiv.

Since then, an explosion sparked a blaze at an ammunition depot near the city of Belgorod and blasts have been reported inside the city. Last week, fires erupted at other oil depots, including one at a Russian military base. Other explosions have damaged rail lines beyond Belgorod in the provinces of Kursk and Bryansk. Ukraine has denied a role in the incidents.

via www.wsj.com

May 5, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (1)

The Abortion Disinformation Campaign - WSJ

“None of the other decisions cited by Roe and Casey involved the critical moral question posed by abortion,” the draft says. “They do not support the right to obtain an abortion, and by the same token, our conclusion that the Constitution does not confer such a right does not undermine them in any way.”

It’s true that those past decisions have been criticized by conservatives. Griswold is where the Court said the Bill of Rights has “emanations” that create “penumbras,” a phrase long lampooned by the right. Justice Anthony Kennedy’s opinion in Obergefell asserted that the Constitution guarantees rights for free Americans to “define and express their identity.” Justice Antonin Scalia’s dissent compared that line to “the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie.”

Yet unlike Roe, both of those decisions have established themselves as durable precedents with broad public acceptance. A Gallup poll in 2019 found that 92% of Americans believed using birth control to be “morally acceptable.” That was up three points since 2012, and it included 90% of the respondents who identified as conservative or very conservative.

On gay marriage, 70% of people told Gallup last year that the law should treat such unions no differently than traditional ones. That’s up from 58% the year Obergefell came down. As for Loving, Gallup says 94% support black-white marriages.

That stands in contrast to abortion, which remains a contested moral and political issue. As Justice Alito’s draft opinion points out, even Roe acknowledged that the state has a legitimate interest in protecting “potential life.” There’s a reason that thousands of Americans have spent nearly 50 years enduring the January cold in Washington at the annual March for Life.

In 1975 Gallup found that 21% of Americans said abortion should be always legal, 22% never legal, and 54% legal only in certain circumstances. Last year the figures were 32% always legal, 19% never, and 48% sometimes. Whatever the High Court thought it was doing in Roe and again in Casey, it didn’t come close to settling the debate. And judges are ill equipped to draw the distinctions in abortion policy that a plurality of Americans say they want.

In the marriage cases, there are also what the Court calls “reliance interests” at stake. Hundreds of thousands of Americans are married to people of the same sex. The Supreme Court isn’t going to invalidate those unions and disrupt so many lives. The same goes for interracial marriage. By the way, Justice Clarence Thomas is married to a white woman.

via www.wsj.com

Hmmmph.

May 5, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Justice Alito’s Originalist Triumph - WSJ

Justice Samuel Alito’s draft opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization represents the auspicious culmination of the conservative legal movement, which has fundamentally transformed U.S. constitutional interpretation over the past quarter-century

via www.wsj.com

May 5, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Shanghai Covid Lockdown Protests Could Spark Democracy Movement | National Review

The new wave of infections from the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 has been far less deadly than the original outbreak in Wuhan. Chinese authorities reported no Covid deaths, and only nine people who tested positive were reportedly in serious condition. The overwhelming majority of infections between March 1 and April 12 were asymptomatic. Epidemiologists and other pandemic experts — including Dr. Wenhong Zhang, who leads Shanghai’s Covid task force — have pleaded with central authorities not to impose a lockdown or other draconian measures but to accept the reality of coexistence between humans and the virus. China’s central government, insisting that the number of Covid be zero, has plunged Shanghai into a man-made disaster.

via www.nationalreview.com

May 4, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Eighty-four percent demand voter ID, want ‘Zuckerbucks’ banned | Washington Examiner

Despite President Joe Biden’s assault on election integrity efforts in several states, voters in record numbers are demanding that identification be presented to get a ballot and want reforms across the board in all 50 states.

New polling provided to Secrets Monday showed that 84% want voter ID, and huge percentages of black and Hispanic voters are behind the surge in support as the nation readies for the fall congressional midterm elections.

via www.washingtonexaminer.com

May 4, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

AP evidence points to 600 dead in Mariupol theater airstrike | AP News

LVIV, Ukraine (AP) — She stood in just her bathrobe in the freezing basement of the Mariupol theater, coated in white plaster dust shaken loose by the explosion. Her husband tugged at her to leave and begged her to cover her eyes.

But she couldn’t help it — Oksana Syomina looked. And to this day, she wishes she hadn’t. Bodies were strewn everywhere, including those of children. By the main exit, a little girl lay still on the floor.

Syomina had to step on the dead to escape the building that had served as the Ukrainian city’s main bomb shelter for more than a week. The wounded screamed, as did those trying to find loved ones. Syomina, her husband and about 30 others ran blindly toward the sea and up the shore for almost five miles (eight kilometers) without stopping, the theater in ruins behind them.

“All the people are still under the rubble, because the rubble is still there — no one dug them up,” Syomina said, weeping at the memory. “This is one big mass grave.”

via apnews.com

May 4, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Who Leaked the Supreme Court Draft Overturning Roe v. Wade?

As soon as the story published on Monday night, speculation began about who inside the Court might benefit from revealing that the conservative justices are prepared to dismantle the ruling providing abortion rights for the past 50 years. Here are some of the leading theories.

via nymag.com

May 4, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)