News of the Week (January 6th, 2019)

 

News of the Week for Jan. 6th, 2019


 

Gun Rights

 

Washington state attempts to raise age limit for gun purchases
As you may recall from earlier this year after Walmart changed their firearm sales policy to include a minimum age of 21, a 20-year-old man from Oregon sued the retailer for age discrimination. He wasn’t the only one, with similar suits cropping up in Illinois and elsewhere. These are complicated cases that are still playing out, but the playing field may be getting a bit wider. Washington State has now decided to imitate Walmart and raise the statewide minimum age for gun purchases to 21.

Get ready for the big Democratic gun control push
Now that Nancy Pelosi has the Speaker’s gavel back in her hands, what will the first order of business be in the House? Ending the shutdown? Infrastructure? Healthcare? Nope. Aside from impeachment (which came up on day one), the first item on their list is gun control. I know… I know… you’re about to faint from shock. But the package they’ve assembled and plan to introduce on Tuesday isn’t nearly as broad and intrusive as many in the Democratic base might desire. In fact, the only confirmed detail in this plan is another move to expand background checks.

 

Hide the Decline

Environment &
“Green Energy”

 

Romanticizing a Suicide “for the Earth”
I was not at all pleased by the way that the New York Times’s annual “The Lives they Lived”-obituaries for notables who passed away in 2018 – depicted the death of David Buckel, a radical environmentalist who killed himself by self-immolation to benefit the earth.

Climate warming experiment finds unexpected results
Tropical forests store about a third of Earth’s carbon and about two-thirds of its above-ground biomass. Most climate change models predict that as the world warms, all of that biomass will decompose more quickly, which would send a lot more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. But new research presented at the American Geophysical Union’s 2018 Fall Meeting contradicts that theory.

 

Obamacare

Government in Healthcare

 

Obamacare Is Unconstitutional, But The Texas Judge Was Wrong To Strike It Down
Obamacare is probably the worst piece of legislation in American history, but this judge’s decision was based on a weak legal argument and will almost certainly be overturned.

Care you don’t get doesn’t cost as much Jan6 by
Do the math. Medicare or Medicaid for All really means no care for anyone.

 

War & Terror

 

A Chinese warship armed with an electromagnetic railgun appears to have set sail on the open ocean
A Chinese navy warship armed with what looks like a mounted electromagnetic railgun has apparently set sail, possibly for testing in the open ocean.

Chinese admiral: We might just sink a couple of U.S. aircraft carriers
Don’t we have enough pots boiling on the military front at this point? We’re already dealing with a madman in North Korea with nuclear weapons, Russia and Turkey talking about “taking over” the conflict in northern Syria, counter-terror operations in Yemen and a minor conflict in Afghanistan that’s been dragging on since before some of the people who will be voting in 2020 were even born. Do we really need to get into a shooting war with the Chinese on top of all that?

China: We’ll use force to “absorb” Taiwan if necessary
2019 is shaping up to be the year of Chinese aggression and challenges to the west. On the technological front, they just landed a spacecraft on the dark side of the moon. Far more troubling is the increasing level of military saber-rattling going on. After launching their first domestically constructed aircraft carrier, one of their admirals suggest that they might sink a couple of ours. And now, renewing a diplomatic battle that’s been going on for decades, China’s president is suggesting that they will bring Taiwan back under the direct control of Beijing, even if they have to do so by force.

The US and China are in a quantum arms race that will transform warfare
Radar that can spot stealth aircraft and other quantum innovations could give their militaries a strategic edge.

 

National

 

Scientists Successfully Made Sheep-Human Hybrids in 2018
Researchers in 2018 achieved a new kind of chimeric first, producing sheep-human hybrid embryos that could one day represent the future of organ donation – by using body parts grown inside unnatural, engineered animals.

New Horizons completes flyby of Ultima Thule
NASA’s New Horizons completed a close approach to a small body in the distant Kuiper Belt early Jan. 1, collecting data that may reveal new insights about the formation of the solar system.

NASA: Icy object past Pluto looks like reddish snowman
A NASA spacecraft traveling 4 billion miles from Earth has sent back its first close-up pictures of the most distant celestial object ever explored, and it looks like a reddish snowman.

Historian: Museums need to “reconsider” European art exhibits because … white supremacy
A Philadelphia-based art historian and curator believes exhibitions of European art in American museums should be “reconsidered” in light of “a surge in white supremacist violence” across the country.

RNC committee member calls for blocking primary challenges to Trump
The bad news if you’re worried about a primary challenge from Mitt Romney is that the head of the RNC happens to be his niece. In theory that makes any RNC effort to cancel the primaries to thwart him harder.

University offers class that explores “non-human perspectives” of LGBT
Course examines “the trouble with normal”

Trump: Let’s face it, the Soviets were right to invade Afghanistan
Having critically wounded what little was left of the Reagan revolution, today he administered the coup de grace. Soon Ronna McDaniel will add “It’s bad that the Soviet Union collapsed” to the 2020 GOP platform.

Brains of 3 People Have Been Successfully Connected, Enabling Them to Share Thoughts
Neuroscientists have successfully hooked up a three-way brain connection to allow three people to share their thoughts – and in this case, play a Tetris-style game.

California university gets pushback on new “principles of community”
Principles can’t actually be enforced, school official says

This clever AI hid data from its creators to cheat at its appointed task
Depending on how paranoid you are, this research from Stanford and Google will be either terrifying or fascinating. A machine learning agent intended to transform aerial images into street maps and back was found to be cheating by hiding information it would need later in “a nearly imperceptible, high-frequency signal.” Clever girl!

Death Metal Label Shuts Down After Paypal, Credit Processors Pull Out Due To DOJ, FDIC Initiative
A wide-sweeping initiative from the United States Department of Justice back in 2013 called Operation Choke Point was initially designed to curb payment processing for “terrorist” activities, “fraudulent” purchases, and money laundering. However, according to one record label owner, the banks who have been in the news for demonetizing and deplatforming legitimate businesses over the last few months are doing so at the behest of those overseeing Operation Choke Point.

Judge Confirms: Oregon Engineer Has a First Amendment Right to Call Himself an Engineer
Even if the Oregon Board of Examiners for Engineering and Land Surveying disagrees.

UMass-Dartmouth charges pretty penny for ‘ecofeminism’ course
The University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth is offering a $1,218 “ecofeminism” course in which students will learn about the “oppression of nature.”

Kansas Republican Senator Pat Roberts to Retire in 2020, Won’t Seek Reelection
Scramble to find a replacement well under way

UVA tells Latina sorority studying 25 hours a week is hazing, lawsuit says
A Latina sorority says it was wrongly punished for hazing by the University of Virginia after requiring its members to study 25 hours a week.

Supreme Court takes up new partisan gerrymandering challenge
Could have big implications for post-2020 Census redistricting.

 

Economy & Taxes

 

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Calls for 70 Percent Top Tax Rate in ‘Green New Deal’
In an interview Thursday evening, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) called for a top tax rate of 70 percent, pushing a “Green New Deal” that she admitted is “radical.”

 

International

 

Chinese schools monitor students activities, targeting truancy with ‘intelligent uniforms’
Chinese schools monitor student attendance with “intelligent uniforms”

Germany Wants UN Security Council Seat for the EU
German Foreign Minister Maas: “We need more international order.”

Trudeau demands organic garden, apiary, treehouse (with zip line) and more for Harrington Lake residence
The Christmas break can be a bit of a wasteland for actual news, but I really wanted you to know what we found in an exclusive access to information package related to Justin Trudeau’s growing fleet of taxpayer funded pleasure craft.

‘Obviously inappropriate’: Insurer says ASIMIL8 plate shouldn’t have been issued
‘We are considering serious disciplinary action for those who were involved and contributed to approving a plate that is so obviously inappropriate’

Germany wants British residents to “register their details” ahead of Brexit
As you’ve no doubt heard by now, Brexit is currently heading for a cliff in Great Britain, with the Prime Minister’s negotiated deal having very little support on either side of the aisle and a Parliamentary vote on it only weeks away. Barring some major turn of events, most likely requiring the ouster of Theresa May, Great Britain is heading for a No Deal Brexit in March. Many analysts are focusing on the complicated trade deals that the Brits will need to craft, but there’s also a serious question of residency for citizens living in other EU nations. The current, open borders policy of the European Union mostly allows people to come and go as they wish and take up residence in a different member country with very little muss or fuss. In the event of a No Deal Brexit, that will no longer be the case for British citizens.

China’s population ‘to peak’ in 2029 at 1.44 billion
China’s population will peak in 2029 at 1.44 billion before beginning a period of “unstoppable” decline, a government report says.

Egypt attempts to stop CBS airing President Sisi’s “60 Minutes” interview
In other news, Egypt will inaugurate the biggest cathedral in the Middle East.

 

Opinion

 

Learning From The Spanish Civil War
Over the past few days, I watched a 1983 British television documentary about the Spanish Civil War. It’s six hours long, but you can watch it all on YouTube, starting here. I think it was Uncle Chuckie who recommended it — and boy oh boy, was that ever a solid call. Last week I posted here that I knew almost nothing about the Spanish Civil War, but now I can’t say that. The passion, the pain, and the terrible tragedy of that three-year conflict (1936-39) came vividly alive in the series, which was impressively balanced. I expected it to be heavily tilted toward the Republican (leftist) side, but the UK producers allowed both left and right to tell their stories. One advantage the filmmakers had is that they made it in the early 1980s, when many of those who lived through and even fought in the conflict were still alive to offer their testimony.

Mickey Mouse will be public domain soon—here’s what that means
The Internet stopped another copyright extension without firing a shot.

“Disparate Impact” Again – This Time in Housing
Once again the Left is insisting that, if you don’t favor using the “disparate impact” approach in civil-rights enforcement to the nth degree, then you are a racist, and the MSM can be counted on to accept this narrative uncritically. We recently went through all of this with respect to school discipline, and now a front-page story in the Washington Post does the same thing with respect to housing.

2019: The Year of the Wokescolds
2018 was a chaotic year. It was a chaotic year for the markets, for domestic and international politics, and for social mores. 2019 promises more of the same, if the end of the prior year was any indicator. And it promises something else: the continued rise of the Wokescolds.

The great awokening
Do social justice warriors believe in magic?

Transactional Voters and Trump
J. J. McCullough is certainly right to caution us not to treat Trump-supporting columnists though they represented Trump-supporting voters. (I’ve made the same point.) But I think his overall argument – that Trump voters like the man rather than the policies – is mistaken.

Tucker Carlson’s Populist Cri de Cœur
Making the click-through worthwhile: Fox News host Tucker Carlson unleashes a monologue about America’s troubles that stirs intense reaction among conservatives, a hard look at whether Americans are properly prepared for the challenges of life, China’s economy stumbles, and beware the “super blood moon wolf eclipse!”

What’s Broken, and What We’re Not Going to Fix
A few points about Tucker Carlson’s viral speech, especially the bits about male wages

Cultural Marxism Is Real
A brief genealogy of different schools of Theory—which originated outside English departments, among philosophers and sociologists for example, but became part of English departments’ core curricula—shows not only that cultural Marxism is a nameable, describable phenomenon, but also that it proliferates beyond the academy.

The Right Should Reject Tucker Carlson’s Victimhood Populism
Carlson accurately identifies certain maladies, but they are maladies that public policy can’t cure.

Bridging C. P. Snow’s Two Cultures
Why science needs the humanities, and vice versa

Tucker Carlson Thinks the Problem With America Is Market Capitalism
The populist pundit couldn’t be more wrong.

The Brits Slander A Hero of the Revolution, Francis Marion
Frances Marion, the father of our modern special ops units, was both one of the finest military commanders our nation has ever produced and a good man. The slander that he was a “savage” killer and rapist is the worst of calumny.

Here’s One Thing Tucker Carlson Gets Really Right
As I’ve written on the home page today, I’ve got my own issues with Tucker Carlson’s viral populist monologue, but there’s one thing he says that’s exactly right

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