News of the Week (December 31st, 2018)

 

News of the Week for Dec. 31st, 2018


 

Gun Rights

 

NYT Reporters Advocate Tracking Gun Purchases Made With Credit Cards
The New York Times published an article on Monday suggesting that credit card companies surveil cardholders who purchase firearms.

Gun Owners Of America Formally File Lawsuit Against Bump Stock Ban
Immediately after the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) announced its decision to rescind its approval of the bump stock, the Gun Owners of America announced its plan to file a lawsuit to try and overturn the move.

Police struggle to stop flood of firearms into UK
Senior officer warns supply of guns has increased in the past year and will continue to do so in 2019

 

Hide the Decline

Environment &
“Green Energy”

 

Nancy Pelosi Announces Plans For A House “Climate Crisis” Committee After Flying Thousands Of Miles To A Hawaiian Resort
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi announced Friday that Democrats would create a Select Committee on the Climate Crisis in 2019, which will be headed by Florida Democratic Rep. Kathy Castor.

House Democrats Are Lining Up Behind What Could Be The Largest Expansion Of Government In Decades
Democrats are increasingly lining up to support a “Green New Deal,” which, while vague on details, could end up being the largest expansion of government in decades.

 

Obamacare

Government in Healthcare

 

New Mexico’s Radical Assisted Suicide Legislation
Assisted suicide advocates pretend they just want a very limited death license, a “safety valve,” as they put it, for suffering in the terminally ill that cannot otherwise be alleviated (almost always, a false premise).

It Sure Looks Like This Obamacare Program Has Led to More People Dying
Under the health law, Medicare started penalizing hospitals for too many readmissions. Now mortality rates are up.

 

War & Terror

 

Chinese Hawk Admiral: Strike at What the U.S. Fears
Luo Yuan, rear admiral in the People’s Liberation Army Navy, the deputy secretary-general of the Chinese Academy of Military Sciences, and a well-known hawk, was invited to attend a meeting in Shenzhen on December 20 and delivered a speech regarding the current Sino–U.S. relationship.

Satellite images reveal Beijing’s new weapon installed in South China Sea
While our backs were turned, China quietly installed a sophisticated new network of devices in the South China Sea.

Putin: I have this new hypersonic missile, you know…
While most of you were opening up gifts around the Christmas tree this week, Russian President Vladimir Putin was unwrapping another “present” for the people of his nation. It came in the form of an apparently successful test launch of their new Avangard hypersonic missile system. While questions remain over precisely how functional this new weapon is, claims that it has an intercontinental range at speeds in excess of Mach 5 have military observers rightly concerned. And why Putin would want to engage in this sort of saber-rattling, potentially violating standing missile treaties, remains something of a mystery.

German ISIS Bride Charged with Murder of 5-year-old “Slave”
“Authorities said that Jennifer W. and her husband, also a jihadi, bought a 5-year-old girl as a household slave in 2015.”

 

National

 

Supreme Court calls time out on Mueller’s magical mystery subpoena
It’s not a decision, or even a grant of certiorari, but the mystery corporation subpoenaed by Robert Mueller won a momentary victory for its pocketbook at the Supreme Court. Yesterday, Chief Justice John Roberts ordered the Department of Justice to respond by New Years Eve to the appeal from the target from a unanimous DC Circuit court decision upholding the subpoena. While they wait, the order stops the clock on fines imposed on the company for non-compliance

Transgender Rage: You Can’t Have a Women’s Symbol at a Women’s College
Mount Holyoke College is a “prestigious” women’s college, in the sense that “prestigious” is a synonym for expensive ($64,658 a year, including room and board). It’s one of the so-called “Seven Sisters” colleges of New England, so if you’re rich and your daughter is a radical lesbian with a mania for social justice, Mount Holyoke is the place to send her. (When I jokingly called it the “Western Massachusetts Marxist Lesbian Indoctrination Camp,” some students at Mount Holyoke adopted this as an unofficial slogan and actually printed it on T-shirts.)

Americans’ faith in faith is failing
Although Americans’ church attendance is declining and they believe its importance in national life is dwindling, nearly three-quarters of them maintain that faith is important to them.

Jerry Brown Grants Pardons to Immigrants Facing Deportation Due to Criminal History
California Gov. Jerry Brown’s Christmas granted 143 pardons and 131 commutations for Christmas, including a handful of refugees and immigrants that he hopes to spare from deportation by scrubbing their criminal histories.

The Congressional Workload and Deadlines of 2019
In today’s Morning Jolt, I wrote about how the U.S. Senate will need to take time early in the year for confirmation hearings and votes for a new attorney general, a new secretary of defense, a new secretary of the interior, a new U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, and a new administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.

It’s official. California moves up its primary
We talked about this a few weeks ago when the measure was still being debated, but now it’s a done deal. Outgoing California Governor Jerry Brown has signed a bill into law which will move California’s 2020 presidential primary election up to March 3rd, the earliest date possible for anyone besides Iowa and New Hampshire. Due to the state’s already “generous” voting possibilities, that means that Californians will have the option of voting at the same time as the early states, raising questions of how and where candidates will spend both their time and money in the early going.

Montana State faces trial for punishing student who is “uncomfortable with transgender lifestyles”
Suspended based on a single, disputed, private conversation

Democratic Senators vs. the Knights of Columbus
Two Democratic senators – Mazie Hirono of Hawaii and Kamala Harris of California – are making an issue of a district-court nominee’s membership in the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic social and charitable organization founded in 1882. The organization has heretofore been roughly as controversial as the Rotary Club.

Mizzou official: Asking a smaller woman on a date violates Title IX
“Power or authority” not limited to supervision and evaluation

Suspended MSU student sues college for gender bias in rape trial
Michigan State University suspended a student accused of rape for two years.

Washington could become the first state to legalize human composting
Washington residents “are very excited about the prospect of becoming a tree or having a different alternative,” state Sen. Jamie Pedersen said.

OWU offers ‘social justice’ major with mandatory ‘activism’ work
Ohio Wesleyan University offers a “social justice” major to students with one course specifically focused on “activism.”

 

Economy & Taxes

 

A stunner: National debt interest will soon exceed national defense spending
President Trump has harshly criticized the Federal Reserve in recent weeks for inching up the standard interest rate to guard against rising inflation and threatening the four percent economic growth rate the billionaire likes to brag about.

Jerry Brown Blasts “Rural Areas” for Not Liking Gas Tax That Disproportionately Harms Them
The California governor also compared fighting climate change to WWII

A Response to Wilkinson about Socialism
I thank Will Wilkinson for his thoughtful response to my column about the trendy talk of socialism among Democrats.

How Income Share Agreements Are Better than Government College Loans
It’s too bad that Uncle Sam ever got into the college-financing business. The feds have no constitutional authority to lend money to students (or anyone else) and millions of students have gotten themselves deeply in debt for education of dubious value. Easy federal loans were essential in fueling the “college for everyone” movement that has raised the cost and degraded the educational value of earning a degree.

 

International

 

How the Europhiles are blowing up Britain
You want to know what’s going on in British politics at the moment? Frankly, cousins, it’s a bloody shambles.

Nicaragua news director accused of terror after station raid
The director of a TV station critical of President Daniel Ortega was accused Saturday of inciting terrorism after authorities raided and shut down the station’s offices in their latest salvo against independent media and nongovernmental organizations.

Desperate women fleeing Venezuela sell hair, breast milk, sex to get by
Although the sun has barely risen, this border city with Venezuela is already bursting with chaos

Without ISIS, Mosul Ladies and Men Flock to Salons for Makeovers
Salons give people a chance to achieve beauty goals, but also find comfort and friends after spending three years under ISIS.

Oh, great. Russia takes over Venezuela’s oil industry
We already learned that Russia was sending bombers to Venezuela for military exercises and supporting the country’s imploding economy. What could Vladimir Putin have wanted in exchange? We’re probably seeing the answer come into focus as Russia moves in to “help” Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro as we head into the new year. Putin is going to bail out Maduro’s failing government with some cash in exchange for establishing some measure of control over that nation’s vast crude oil reserves that are currently lying mostly dormant.

As predicted, Erdogan is “determined” to drive the Kurds out of Syria
Earlier this week we heard rumors that the President’s decision to pull out of Syria abruptly was reached during a phone call to Turkish tyrant Recep Tayyip Erdogan. At the time, I wrote, “The real danger to the Kurds comes from Turkey, where Erdogan has been hell-bent on exterminating them for quite some time. I’m somewhat less concerned with allowing ISIS in Syria and Iraq to slip the noose than abandoning the Kurds to a massacre.”

Peru enforces tough measures for Venezuela migrants
Peru says that, after December, it will not offer work permits to the 2,000 Venezuelan migrants that are crossing the border daily, but will keep the border open.

7,648 cracks in Ecuador’s socialist delusion
The New York Times published an interesting story on Christmas Eve about continuing fallout from the economic decisions made by former Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa. Correa is a socialist who served two terms between 2007 and 2017. His time in office was highlighted by a rejection of Ecuador’s debt (he defaulted) and American influence in the country. Instead, he invited China to come into the country and accepted $19 billion in loans for infrastructure projects in exchange for 90% of Ecuador’s oil production until the cost of the projects was paid off. The largest of the projects was the Coca Codo Sinclair dam. The dam was supposed to generate enough electricity to power a third or more of the country’s needs. But the reality has been something quite different.

Mysterious 6,500-year-old Culture in Israel Was Brought by Migrants, Researchers Say
Genetic analysis shows ancient Galilean farmers warmly embraced blue-eyed, fair-skinned immigrants from Iran and Turkey in the late Copper Age<.p>

Angela Merkel: “Nation-states should be willing to give up their sovereignty today”
Angela Merkel calls for willingness to surrender sovereignty. Chancellor Angela Merkel advocated a reconciliation of interests at the international, parliamentary level.

Nine military personnel jailed for plotting to overthrow president
Nine members of the Venezuelan armed forces were sentenced to up to eight years in prison for plotting to overthrow President Nicolas Maduro in 2014, the Supreme Court said on Wednesday.

One rule for Macron, one for Salvini
When Italy’s Eurosceptic government ran a deficit, the EU forced a new budget on it. When France’s Euro-fanatical President did the same thing, the EU waved it though. Who could have predicted such a thing? Oh…

Royal Mail criticised for D-Day stamp mix-up
Royal Mail has withdrawn a stamp design marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day – after BBC News pointed out it showed US troops landing in what was Dutch New Guinea, nearly 8,500 miles from France.

British Food Nannies Want to Slap That Burger Right Out of Your Hand
In order to fight obesity, a U.K. health agency wants calorie caps on everything.

Indian Human Spaceflight Initiative: Two unmanned & one manned flight planned
First manned flight in 40 months

UK proposes SIX-YEAR prison sentence for Brits who criticize Islam
BRITS who are hostile towards religion online could face up to six years in prison according to new proposals.

‘Think of it as an ice cube’: How Venezuela became a disaster state
Venezuela currently controls over about 303 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, which is about 20 percent of the world’s total. Nevertheless, broken oil rigs and a mismanaged government have led to a rapid decline in production.

 

Opinion

 

Yes, Babies of Americans “Deserve” U.S. Citizenship
This post is outside of my usual portfolio, but I am steamed.

Falling IQ scores may explain why politics has turned so nasty
I’ve worked out why we loathe each other so much – why democracy throughout the West, and especially in the United States, has become so partisan, so adversarial, so angry.

Beware Silicon Valley Santas in the Schools
When it comes to Silicon Valley Santas bearing gifts for our children, I am a big Scrooge. Every responsible parent should be, too.

Character Is Destiny
Trump’s character will be his downfall.

Silicon Valley May Rue the Day it Called for Government Intervention Against Microsoft
Facebook, Google, Apple, and others are now facing the sort of regulatory and antitrust animus once leveled at Bill Gates’ company.

Western IQ scores are falling. Is it computers or something else?
It’s unquestioned that IQ scores are dropping in the West, but I think there’s more to it then screen time. Educational trends and culture matter too.

Robert Uithoven explains what happened to Nevada Republicans
Record Democrat turnout doomed Nevada Republican candidates in last month’s election. That turnout was driven, in part, by the left’s dislike for President Donald Trump. Trump’s campaign needs to make an early investment in Nevada to be competitive in 2020. That’s all according to Robert Uithoven, a Republican political consultant.

“President Bloomberg” could actually happen
America’s perpetual presidential campaign is on the upswing, with Democratic national chairman Tom Perez wondering about how best to sort out an oversized candidate field that ranges from left to hard-left to even-harder left.

Western IQ scores are falling. Is it computers or something else?
It’s unquestioned that IQ scores are dropping in the West, but I think there’s more to it then screen

Bernie Bros See Beto as Another Obama and That’s a Big Problem
“Socialists generally regard Obama as a failure”

Faux Hate 2018
“If one doesn’t maintain some kind of victimhood status, your opinion is worth less, your accomplishments are dismissed, and your success is written off as the product of privilege.”

A Tale of Two Cities: The Modern Soothsayers
Five weeks on from the #GiletsJaunes, managerial elites in London conspire to chain the United Kingdom to ever closer union with the fate of Europe. There is something profoundly emblematic about the sight of Emmanuel Macron facing down the people of his once great nation.

Trump: The Last President?
Donald Trump may be the last President of the United States.

The Happiness Industrial Complex
Young people (and by “young,” I mean under 40) generally know nothing about the 1960s, except what they’ve seen in movies or on TV, and therefore some are falling prey to the same scams and hustles that typified the so-called “Age of Aquarius.” For the benefit of these young fools, therefore, I must explain that during the 1960s, a lot of alienated youth in the West got heavily into Eastern mysticism – yoga, Buddhism, Hinduism, etc. – which became a sort of racket, and sometimes turned into weird cults. Shady characters were able to pass themselves off as gurus and “enlightened masters” possessed of esoteric knowledge, and attracted followings of naïve spiritual seekers. Many thousands of American kids from middle-class suburbia devoted their lives to a perpetual adolescent rebellion against their parents, and this phony Eastern “enlightenment” gold rush that began circa 1967 was one aspect of that rebellion.

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