News of the Week (December 23rd, 2018)

 

News of the Week for Dec. 23rd, 2018


 

Gun Rights

 

Federal court declares New York ban on nunchucks unconstitutional
A federal court says New York’s ban on nunchucks, the martial arts weapon made famous by Bruce Lee but prohibited in the state for decades, is unconstitutional under the Second Amendment.

Trump administration ban on bump stocks will be official later this week
A new rule banning bump stocks has been signed and will be formally published later this week. Once that happens, the rule will take effect in 90 days.

Law of Self Defense: When the 5th Amendment collides with the right of Self-Defense
When Your 5th Amendment Rights Collide with Your Burden of Production

University may regulate guns manufactured out-of-state, judge rules
Case highlights bizarre provision in state law

 

Hide the Decline

Environment &
“Green Energy”

 

D.C. Attorney General Sued for Documents Related to Bloomberg Scheme
Think tank says AG Racine is stonewalling, ignoring open records

 

Obamacare

Government in Healthcare

 

Understanding the New Obamacare Decision, Texas v. United States: Part I
Recently a federal district court found that the Affordable Care Act was unconstitutional. The reaction was swift and brutal. One prominent law professor at Harvard described the case as “a political objection in legal garb,” and concluded that “there is every reason to believe that a strong, nonpartisan majority of justices will do their constitutional duty, set aside how they might have voted had they been members of Congress,” and uphold the law.

Understanding the New Obamacare Decision, Texas v. United States: Part II
Part I of this series placed Texas v. U.S. in the broader context of the eight years of Obamacare litigation. This second installment will analyze the technical aspects of Judge O’Connor’s opinion concerning the individual mandate by responding to five common criticisms about the case.

 

War & Terror

 

Japan to buy more U.S.-made stealth jets, radar to counter China, Russia
Japan will accelerate spending on advanced stealth fighters, long-range missiles and other equipment over the next five years to support U.S. forces facing China’s military in the Western Pacific, two new government defense papers said.

US ‘will end airstrikes against Isil in Syria after American forces withdraw’
The US has reportedly decided to halt its airstrikes against the Islamic State (Isil) in Syria after it withdraws its troops, a move that would effectively bring an end to the entire Western air campaign against the jihadists.

Mattis “retiring” in February, Trump says; Update: Resigned in protest?
We sure he didn’t misspell “resigning in protest” here?

Did the Syria pullout start with a phone call to Erdogan?
No matter how you feel about the President’s announcement that we’ll be pulling out of Syria, I would hope that we could all at least agree that the decision needed to come from Washington. That’s an oversimplification, of course, because the Commander in Chief generally doesn’t make such decisions in a vacuum, consulting with his military leadership and foreign policy advisers, but it clearly needs to be our call. That’s why the recent claims in the media that President Trump made the decision as part of a phone call with the Tyrant of Turkey should be disturbing to everyone, assuming they’re true.

Saudi Arabia and UAE sending troops to help Kurds in Syria
Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia reach understanding with Russians on handling Hezbollah and Iranian activity, while Saudis plan Afghan peace talks

 

National

 

Science Article Castigates “Human Supremacy”
Environmentalism is growing darkly anti-human, a misanthropy that has also seeped into science.

Arizona governor to appoint Martha McSally to Senate
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has appointed GOP Rep. Martha McSally to the Senate seat being vacated by GOP Sen. Jon Kyl – tapping McSally as the Republican contender in a 2020 special election that will be among the most competitive Senate races in the country that year.

Tells Woman ‘Kill Yourself!’ For Claiming He’s Bad at Parking
A New York State Senator just joined the ranks of disgusting Twitter trolls by telling a woman to kill herself … because she ID’d him as the alleged culprit of a parking violation.

NY college offers course on promoting social justice through teaching
Hamilton College is offering an Education Studies class, titled, “Education, Teaching and Social Change.”

Martha McSally is Arizona’s New Senator, But Will She Hold The Seat?
The big question about Martha McSally isn’t her qualifications, it’s her prior failure as a campaigner.

Appeals Court dismisses all ethics complaints against Brett Kavanaugh
“Because Justice Kavanaugh is no longer a circuit, district, bankruptcy or magistrate judge, a circuit judicial council no longer has the power or jurisdiction under the Act to review his conduct”

Trump Reelection Campaign, RNC Merge Into One Body Called “Trump Victory”
The campaign and RNC hope this move alleviates any tension they had in 2016.

Real Witches Offended Trump Keeps Using the Term ‘Witch Hunt’
Witches traumatized by the history of Salem have urged President Donald Trump to stop using the term “witch hunt” to refer to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. Ironically, their complaints turn the whole idea of a “witch hunt” upside down.

South Carolina GOP could scrap 2020 primary to protect Trump
The South Carolina Republican Party could cancel its marquee presidential nominating contest in 2020 in a move to protect President Trump from any primary challengers.

South Carolina GOP might cancel 2020 primary to protect Trump from a challenger
Weird. Not unprecedented, but weird.

UMN pays for students to discuss how ‘heterosexism…has damaged us’
Participants in a University of Minnesota “Social Justice Leadership Retreat” will explore “race and racism, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic, and campus climate.”

University offers students contradictory instructions on sexual consent
School says actions can demonstrate consent, but also consent should not be assumed through actions

Facebook Allowed Companies to Read, Write, and Delete User Private Messages
So-called “integration partners” were given access to private user data without user knowledge

Judge Orders in Favor of ACLU’s Clients in Asylum Seeker Case
Orders plaintiffs originally denied refugee benefits to return to the US and have their cases reheard

In blow to free speech, Fourth Circuit reinstates lawsuit against University of Mary Washington
This morning, in a deeply disappointing ruling for students’ free speech rights, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit reinstated several claims against the University of Mary Washington that had previously been dismissed by a district court. The alarming upshot of the ruling is its suggestion that Title IX may sometimes require colleges to censor or block all students’ access to certain internet sites or services based solely on anonymous statements made in an online forum that the university does not control, by people who may not be on campus, or even affiliated with the university at all.

LA County’s New Sheriff Announces Plans to “Physically Remove ICE From County Jails”
Newly elected Los Angeles County Sheriff, Alex Villanueva, after being sworn in, briefly spoke at the LA County Board of Supervisors meeting announcing plans to comply with the Truth Act (Transparent Review of Unjust Transfers and Holds) and that “we [Sheriffs Dept] are going to physically remove ICE agents from the county jails”…. putting monsters on the streets of America.

New chairman looks to improve RSC’s messaging in minority
The new chairman of the Republican Study Committee (RSC) says he thinks his conservative group can help the House GOP conference regain its edge after losing the midterms and the messaging war to Democrats in 2018. Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.) is taking over the gavel of the largest conservative caucus in Congress from Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.).

Vegging Out in LA: one councilman wants a vegan food mandate
California is the global epicenter of healthy eating. The Golden State is one of the few places on the planet where it’s possible to get avocado on literally everything, fresh fruit isn’t something you only see on the Trix box six months out of the year and sushi is easier to come by than White Castle hamburgers. Yet, if you believe one Los Angeles city councilman we are way too hung up on meat and dairy.

Grad student who doxxed Republicans had “terabytes” of highly sensitive data
“There’s a sense of great risk to the public”

The State Of Colorado Is Still Trying To Destroy Jack Phillips
This state-sponsored harassment isn’t just about a cake shop. It’s a warning to all those with unpopular opinions to stay in line.

Colleges de-stress students for finals: therapy horses, coloring, massages, Fortnite tourneys
Therapy dogs and miniature horses. Coloring books. Massages. Even Fortnite tournaments.

Judge Thwarts Trump Bid To Limit Asylum Eligibility
The Trump administration may not enforce new policies that make it more difficult for immigrants to obtain asylum due to gender or gang violence, a federal judge in Washington, D.C., said Wednesday.

Trump Administration Proposes Food-Stamp Reform
As I detailed in April, House Republicans tried to enact a deep food-stamp reform through the farm bill this year. That failed — but so did an effort to block the president from changing the program through executive action, and the Trump administration has now offered some regulatory adjustments.

PETA condemns Popeyes’ ’emotional support chicken’ meal
The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) isn’t laughing at Popeyes’ jab at the raging national debate over emotional support animals on planes.

New Horizons, Meet Ultima Thule: Probe’s Next Target Gets a Nickname
The New Horizons spacecraft’s next flyby target now has a nickname befitting the object’s exotic nature and locale.

Students Petition to Ban “Offensive” Evolutionary Psychologist
More than 4,200 Northwestern University students have signed a petition demanding that administrators ban from campus an evolutionary psychologist whose research they deem “offensive” and “nonsense.”

Teamsters union takes all but $15 of UPS workers’ pay
While many workers around the country are fighting to get their dues money back from unions in the wake of Janus v AFSCME, some seasonal UPS workers in Boston are dealing with a very different problem this Christmas season. It seems that some employees who were hired to help with the holiday surge of shipping were informed that they would need to join the Teamsters to take part in these temporary jobs. Imagine their surprise when they finished putting in a lot of overtime during their first week on the job and opened up their paychecks, only to find that the union had taken all of their pay except for an amount that would barely buy two people dinner at McDonald’s. CBS Boston has the story of Sheila O’Malley, who found herself in exactly that position with little time left before Saint Nick arrived.

Christie: I keep telling Trump that there has to be an endgame when using executive power
“I don’t know what the endgame is here,” he says. “It hasn’t been articulated.”

How He’s Beating Homelessness Without Government Help
George Opudo used to drive for Uber. Picking up and dropping off customers at Union Station in Washington, just steps away from the U.S. Capitol, he’d look at homeless people and think: “That’d never be me.”

 

Economy & Taxes

 

Americans Want Paid Leave, Until They Realize They Have to Pay for It
Fully 74 percent of Americans say they support a national paid family leave program that would provide workers with 12 weeks of paid leave following the birth or adoption of a child, or to care for their own or a family member’s illness.

CA Democrats want to tax “money managers” at 30% rate
In California, the Democrats’ Jihad against the rich is gaining momentum. In 2019 they will try (again) to pass a bill to in essence ban “venture capitalists, hedge funds and private equity firms” from the Golden State. If implemented, the plan will work all too well. Boy, will it ever!

 

International

 

The Gulag Hunters
A group of Czech friends is venturing into the wilderness of the former U.S.S.R. to capture what remains of Soviet forced-labor camps.

The EU is now being protested over mass migration
Hey… aren’t you guys supposed to be protesting Trump?

South Africa: Malema warns that White people should not be allowed to leave SA, else they will poison the land
The controversial leader of the Economic Freedom Fighter EFF Julius Malema has warned that White South Africans must not be allowed to leave the country, otherwise they will poison the land and render it unproductive.

The Children of the Revolution
“Nobody is more dangerous than he who imagines himself pure in heart,” wrote James Baldwin, “for his purity, by definition, is unassailable.” This observation has been confirmed many times throughout history. However, China’s Cultural Revolution offers perhaps the starkest illustration of just how dangerous the “pure in heart” can be. The ideological justification for the revolution was to purge the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), and the nation more broadly, of impure elements hidden in its midst: capitalists, counter-revolutionaries, and “representatives of the bourgeoisie.” To that end, Mao Zedong activated China’s youth—unblemished and uncorrupted in heart and mind—to lead the struggle for purity. Christened the “Red Guards,” they were placed at the vanguard of a revolution that was, in truth, a cynical effort by Mao to reassert his waning power in the Party. Nevertheless, it set in motion a self-destructive force of almost unimaginable depravity.

Brazil’s Bolsonaro says he will target Venezuela, Cuba
Brazil’s far-right President-elect Jair Bolsonaro said on Tuesday that he would take all action “within the rule of law and democracy” to oppose the governments of Venezuela and Cuba.

In Europe, it’s begun to sink in that a No-Deal Brexit is coming
The long, tortured story of Brexit truly appears to be drawing to a close, but not in the way the Brexiteers had hoped. As of today, there are 100 days remaining until the March 29, 2019 deadline under the provisions of Article 50 and any hope for a better “deal” with Europe have basically gone out the window. The No Deal Brexit was the last option nearly everyone in Great Britain had in mind, but the Europeans have steadfastly refused to consider any better terms. At this point, the remaining EU nations are preparing for a worst-case scenario.

Chavistas and Anti-Chavistas
Antonio Ledezma was mayor of Caracas. He was arrested by the regime (brutally) and imprisoned for almost three years. Then he escaped into exile. Fascinating story. You will want to know about Ledezma. You can meet him on the homepage, here.

Bank of England refuses to return 14 tonnes of gold to Venezuela
The Bank of England claims to be one of the largest physical gold custodians in the world, holding gold bars in vault storage on behalf of and a number of commercial (bullion) banks.

Is UK Heading for a “No-Deal” Brexit?
With PM May facing impasse in Parliament, the UK and EU prepare “no deal” contingency plans

Sweden’s Parallel Society
“I don’t go to those places without security,” a Swedish journalist tells me when I ask whether she would accompany me to some of her country’s “especially vulnerable” areas. The label is given by police to neighborhoods where crime is rampant and parallel social structures compete for authority with the state. To the politically incorrect, these are also known as “immigrant ghettos.”

Germany: New Law Banning Child Marriage Declared Unconstitutional
The ruling, which effectively opens the door to legalizing Sharia-based child marriages in Germany, is one of a growing number of instances in which German courts are — wittingly or unwittingly — promoting the establishment of a parallel Islamic legal system in the country.

Church of England’s plan for transgender baptisms outrages bishops
The Church of England’s plans for transgender baptisms have been condemned by bishops who have described the practices as “theologically and pastorally questionable”.

 

Opinion

 

We need a bigger world
The elite wanted a world without God and they got it. Andrew Sullivan argues that with the decline of traditional religions the godless world has embraced political cults. They are finding the resulting world an uncongenial place.

Trumpism after Trump
Trump is sufficiently unorthodox that it’s unrealistic to think an ideological successor who convincingly subscribes to the full menu of Trumpism will emerge.

Trumpism after Trump, Part Two
Jim Geraghty has posted a thoughtful response to my suggestion that Tom Cotton might make the most natural ideological successor to Trump, and thus might be the figure most likely to keep the Trump coalition together. My suggestion was a response to Geraghty’s article arguing that there is “no natural ideological successor” because “there will be no one. . .able to bring together the same factions in the same way.” I suggested that Cotton might be able to keep the Trump coalition together, though not in the same way as Trump.

Make America Great Again by Cheering When People Lose Their Jobs at Christmastime
The Weekly Standard closed down last Friday after 23 years, four presidents, and one generation that has come of age believing that real socialism has never been tried. The warning signs of the magazine’s demise were there for weeks in advance, if not months, so it gave MAGA Nation plenty of time to plan their parade.

“Social Justice” and the Death Gap
Whenever you encounter a leftist advocating “equality,” you can be sure you are dealing with a fool. No such thing as “equality” has ever existed in human history, and none of the policies suggested by the Left can ever bring about this impossible condition. This is why, as the Nobel Prize-winning Friedrich Hayek famously explained, “social justice” is a mirage.

5 Myths About Nordic Socialism Peddled By the Left
In reality, socialism has hurt Nordic countries like Denmark and Sweden. The US should avoid their mistakes, not repeat them.

The Liberal Arts Weren’t Murdered – They Committed Suicide
The University’s Scylla and Charybdis

A Standard Footnote
The left has long liked to charge America with being an imperial hegemon, and in general a bad force in the world. The old isolationist right sometimes joins them, lamenting the presence of American military outposts around the world, and the large cost of this footprint, not to mention the way it embroils us in conflicts in so many places. In other words, as someone (I forget who, but it sounds like something Krauthammer would say), the left thinks America is too evil for the world, while (some of) the right thinks America is too good for the world.

I was a contract worker in Google’s caste system—and it wasn’t pretty
Google is a truly unusual place to work.

We Could Use More Politicians Like Dan Crenshaw
I know I’m going to trigger MAGA Nation by saying this, but President Trump’s behavior is sometimes… not so good. It could be better. Especially when he’s reacting to criticism. He shows room for improvement in that area, if I may be so bold. So, in the spirit of the Christmas season, I think it’s worth pointing out when a Republican behaves with grace, humility, and forgiveness toward somebody who disagrees with him.\

The Departure of Mattis and Engagements in the Middle East
The near-destruction of ISIS in a matter of months (losing 99 percent of its landed caliphate), the restoration of sound defense budgeting, a reestablished sense of deterrence, and stable recalibration with allies were the signature achievements of James Mattis. And it seems a mistake not to have him finish a four-year stint at Defense.

Lethal Weapon 5
Republicans celebrated the passage of the jailbreak legislation known as First Step with an event at a trendy restaurant in Washington. Naturally. What’s the use of passing feel-good, virtue-signaling bipartisan legislation unless you have a great party afterwards?

The Cost of Betraying Syria’s Kurds
A U.S. pullout would have catastrophic humanitarian consequences and cause harm to U.S. interests.

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