News of the Week (August 19th, 2019)


News of the Week for Aug. 19th, 2019


Gun Rights


California’s Background Check Law Had No Impact on Gun Deaths, Johns Hopkins Study Finds
The findings—which run counter to the conventional wisdom that gun control saves lives—have received almost no media attention.

Liz Warren Vows to Tax Gun Owners Back to the Stone Age with Radical Anti-Second Amendment Agenda
“The power to tax is the power to destroy.” -John Marshall, 4th Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court

14-Year-Old Uses Handgun To Defend Sisters From Intruders
Right now, so-called “safe storage” laws are all the rage in anti-gun states. I also kind of see why. When you no little about guns or using one in self-defense, you simply assume that it can be easily accessed should the need arise, but locking up a gun keeps it out of the “wrong” hands, be that burglar or child.

I used to think gun control was the answer. My research told me otherwise.
Before I started researching gun deaths, gun-control policy used to frustrate me. I wished the National Rifle Association would stop blocking common-sense gun-control reforms such as banning assault weapons, restricting silencers, shrinking magazine sizes and all the other measures that could make guns less deadly.

Gun sales are up in El Paso and concealed carry classes are packed
While Democrats and the media responded to the mass shooting in El Paso with renewed demands for gun control, many El Paso residents are responding in a different way. Yesterday Reuters reported that Hispanic residents of the city are buying guns and flocking to concealed carry classes

Nearly 200 House Dems Now Support Bill Outlawing All New Semi-Automatic Weapons
Proving once again they’re absolutely clueless on firearms, nearly 200 House Democrats have indicated their support for legislation banning all semi-automatic firearms nationwide.

“Mandatory Buy-Back” Means “Confiscation”
One more time, with feeling: “Mandatory buy-back” is a cowardly and cynical euphemism, and members of the press should not be using it outside of quotation marks. What O’Rourke is proposing here is gun confiscation, coupled with limited compensation. Every time somebody in the media uses the term “buy-back,” they are laundering O’Rourke’s extremism.

Could Democrats Pass the Assault Weapons Ban in 2021?
While Republicans in Washington are talking about the possibility of passing a “red-flag” law and expanding background checks for gun sales, 2020 Democrats continue to put the Assault Weapons Ban front and center.

Government and the need to feel safe
Life is supposed to be a dangerous adventure fraught with gigantic melancholy and mirth. The interplay between individuals and each other or the environment brings about, in theory, the chance to gain knowledge or goods through the exchange of ideas, currency, or other items despite the obvious peril of going out and interacting with others. The advent of the Internet and e-commerce still produces the chance of financial peril because one is putting their product or wealth at risk for some scammer to take without proper reimbursement. Free will brings about its own risk and the chance malevolent forces will attempt to cause harm to others.


Hide the Decline

Environment &
“Green Energy”


Three Years Later, the French Solar Road Is a Total Flop
It’s too noisy, falling apart, and doesn’t even collect enough solar energy.

Fighting the Blacklist (With Comment by Steve)
Steve wrote on Thursday about Nature magazine publishing a blacklist of prominent global warming realists. Steve and I were both happy to be on the list. Others have responded in various ways. Australia’s Joanne Nova created this hilarious parody of the cover of Nature, “The International Journal of Fashions In Science.”

Two mass murders a world apart share a common theme: ‘ecofascism’
Before the slaughter of dozens of people in Christchurch, New Zealand and El Paso, Texas this year, the accused gunmen took pains to explain their fury, including their hatred of immigrants. The statements that authorities think the men posted online share another obsession: overpopulation and environmental degradation.

“Green” Energy Is Sinister
We conservatives tend to argue that “green” energy (wind and solar) is unreliable, inefficient, expensive, and virtually useless, even if we accept the climate change gospel*. But the truth is worse than that. Far from being well-intentioned, as most assume, “green” energy is the great corporate scam of our age. And green energy is not kind to the Earth as school children are taught. Rather, wind and solar are terrible for the environment.

Vivienne Westwood Calls for Making Teen Climate Activist Greta Thunberg “World Controller”
The Swedish student shot to world fame with her Fridays for Future initiative, encouraging teens all over the world to protest in order to pressure governments into taking action on climate change. The endorsement from the fashion legend comes as the 16-year-old activist, who has been named a Nobel Prize nominee, is heading to the UN headquarters.



Government in Healthcare


Important ACA insight
“ACA’s exchange is basically an entitlement, not an insurance product. It’s worth bearing in mind, this was all *before* mandate repeal and STLDI deregulation went into effect”


War & Terror


Diplomatically Countering Threats to Arctic Real EstateLatest
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s candid May 6 speech at the Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting in Finland startled many in his well-heeled audience.

Here we go: NYT, Politico report Trump working with Dems on gun-control package
What can you do when populists start, er, populisting? Just hope that they don’t list too far to the Left. Both the New York Times and Politico report overnight that Donald Trump wants to put together a major gun bill in the wake of two mass shootings this month, although just how major remains to be seen

Venezuela is torturing military officers to retain power
If you’re a socialist dictator whose country is suffering from hyperinflation leading to starvation and mass suffering, what do you do? The answer for Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro is that you maintain your grip on power by making sure the armed forces remain loyal. That has become increasingly difficult in Venezuela as the hunger has become a serious problem for everyone, including rank and file members of the military.

U.S. sails massive, F-35-laden warship in disputed South China Sea
In the latest show of military muscle in the South China Sea, the U.S. has apparently sailed its USS Wasp amphibious assault ship near a strategic reef claimed by Beijing and Manila that lies just 230 km (140 miles) from the Philippine coast.

After launch of two projectiles into East Sea, North Korea announces it has “new weapon”
A North Korean official stated that South Korea’s attempts to maintain peace talks would make “boiled head of a cow [fall into] a side-splitting laughter.”

Illinois state senator apologizes for staged Trump assassination photos at fundraiser
A Democratic state senator from Illinois came under fire over the weekend after pictures were posted online showing his supporters at a fundraising event performing a mock assassination of a faux President Trump.

Meet the Polar Star, the Coast Guard’s Vital But Neglected Icebreaker. It’s Falling Apart
The icebreaker Polar Star was 1,000 miles out of its home port of Seattle last December, three days into its yearly voyage to resupply scientific bases in Antarctica, when a powerful swell hit its bow and flooded the deck.




California Introduces Radical Anti-Semitic High School Curriculum
Outrage in Jewish, pro-Israel community after anti-Israel activists hijack curriculum

Middle school teacher in hot water for handing out “gender identity” info sheets
A California middle school teacher is under fire for giving students a handout about gender identity and sexual attraction.

MSNBC Panelist On Most White People: “Destroy Them”
In a Sunday segment on MSNBC, Elie Mystal called for the majority of white people in America to be destroyed.

As YAF president, Scott Walker vows to “open the eyes of the next generation”
Slams Ocasio-Cortez for misleading young people

Flowchart tells non-minority students they could be “taking up space”
Last month, the SD Board of Regents announced an investigation into campus diversity offices after conservative lawmakers accused the centers of leftist bias.

Our Galaxy’s Supermassive Black Hole Has Emitted a Mysteriously Bright Flare
The supermassive black hole at the heart of the Milky Way, Sagittarius A*, is relatively quiet. It’s not an active nucleus, spewing light and heat into the space around it; most of the time, the black hole’s activity is low key, with minimal fluctuations in its brightness.

Astronomers Creep Up to the Edge of the Milky Way’s Black Hole
Hot spots have been discovered orbiting just outside the supermassive black hole at the galaxy’s center. Their motions have given us the closest look at that violent environment.

“Gender stereotypes”: Judge rules Harvard sanctions on single-sex clubs may violate Title IX
“Withholding benefits from students who fail to conform” is unlawful

Epstein Had Multiple Broken Bones In Neck, Common In Homicide By Strangulation, Experts Say
An autopsy of convicted pedophile and alleged sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein reportedly found that the wealthy financier had multiple broken bones in his neck which deepens the speculation surrounding his death last Saturday.

Hoo boy. The UK “gender stereotype” rules are up and running
Following complaints from the public over the past couple of years, the UK Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) has implemented new rules for television and print advertising. The purpose of these regulations is to eliminate “harmful gender stereotyping” in ads. If that phrase leaves you scratching your head, don’t worry. You’re not alone.

Sure, why not: Trump reportedly asking advisors if the U.S. can buy Greenland
If I wasn’t already drinking in the morning to cope with the news, this would be the moment when I start.

Baylor lets female professors fool around with students, punishes males for doing the same: lawsuit
Christian school hid evidence from accused professor, he says

“Social justice” majors, courses, events are new norm on college campuses
The University of Michigan recently began a partnership to create a social justice-themed public high school.

Florida Man Planned Stabbing Attack at Elementary School, Police Say
Before we get into this latest “Florida man” story, let me ask you a trivia question: Who wrote the Pledge of Allegiance?

High School U.S. History in California Taught “From Perspective of Marginalized Groups”
Advancing “the fight for social and racial justice” in public schools

Will Vote for Kavanaugh Cost Susan Collins Her Senate Seat?
Cook Political Report has moved Collins’ 2020 Senate race from “leans Republican” to “toss up”

Biden: Republicans are decent people, you know
Joe Biden said something nice about Republicans Saturday during a fundraiser in Massachusetts. Will he be punished for it on the campaign trail, assuming he gets back on the trail and doesn’t just continue doing private fundraisers?

The push is on to get Joe Kennedy III in the U.S. Senate
The push is on in Massachusetts to get another Kennedy into the U.S. Senate, even at the cost of Senator Edward Markey.

Trump “not happy” with Fox News because its polls show him losing
President Trump lashed out at Fox News after its polling showed him losing to all four major Democratic presidential candidates. “There’s something going on at Fox News,” Trump said, ominously.

“Handicap Spot” Trial Triggers #FakeNews Tsunami
CNN report about the case gets almost everything wrong.

American University trains faculty not to judge quality of writing when grading
Because that would be racist

Court orders Planned Parenthood to pay $3M to whistleblower
Former Planned Parenthood workers have been reporting what happens behind closed doors at Planned Parenthood for years, but major media outlets continue to ignore them. Now, a jury has unanimously awarded a Planned Parenthood whistleblower $3 million in damages two years after she sued the organization for wrongful termination. Mayra Rodriquez, a former health center administrator of Planned Parenthood in Arizona, was fired after reporting to superiors a variety of fraudulent and negligent activity that was endangering patients.

Short Circuit: A Roundup of Recent Federal Court Decisions
A fake university, safe and sanitary conditions, and old school equal protection.

Calling Informants “Snitches” May Be a Federal Felony
That’s so regardless of whether the statement is seen as a true threat or incitement—and it applies to any “harmful” speech “inten[ded] to retaliate” against anyone giving law enforcement “any truthful information” related to a federal crime.

Rachel Maddow’s Racist Smear of Second Circuit Nominee Steve Menashi
Rachel Maddow launched a disgusting smear of my Scalia Law School colleague (on leave) and Second Circuit nominee Steve Menashi.


Economy & Taxes


Uh oh: Recession indicators flashing red?
For the first time since the Great Recession, a major signal of impending recession has emerged. The inverted yield curve has sent investors running away from the stock market this morning, and appears to corroborate earlier warnings that the US economy is heading into a major problem

Economic Variables
There is much to be said about Matthew Desmond’s New York Times essay on how slavery shaped the U.S. economy, which is a very interesting read even if much of its argument is fanciful in its parallelism, e.g.: Antebellum slave overseers developed quantitative tools for measuring slaves’ productivity, modern corporations use quantitative tools for measuring workers’ productivity, ergo . . . ? The difference between slavery and non-slave labor is so radical and so fundamental that comparisons between the two are not very illuminating in most cases.

A trade war that’s not so easy to win
Reportedly, there is a division within the White House over how to proceed with China on trade. One camp, which includes Steven Mnuchin and Larry Kudlow, is optimistic that the administration can reach a trade deal with Beijing as things stand now. But Peter Navarro, the senior trade adviser, believes stronger tactics are required to change China’s approach. President Trump is said to agree with Navarro.




Hong Kong protesters defy police ban amid city-wide clashes, as tear gas fired inside MTR station
Hong Kong saw its tenth consecutive week of social unrest as protesters defied police bans by descending on multiple districts, with scores of people arrested in police clearance operations.

Hong Kong protesters defy police ban amid city-wide clashes, as tear gas fired inside MTR station
Hong Kong saw its tenth consecutive week of social unrest as protesters defied police bans by descending on multiple districts, with scores of people arrested in police clearance operations.

Police warn people mocking convicted drug dealer’s hairstyle they could be prosecuted
Gwent Police used 21-year-old’s mugshot in bid to track him down

Four Questions as Hong Kong Rises to Protest China’s Communists
The Chinese communist government must be feeling a sense a deja vu as Hong Kong’s democracy protests gather strength. It was 20 years plus two months ago this summer that pro-democracy protesters gathered and then became a force on Tienanmen Square in Beijing. That protest saw peaceful Chinese citizens camp and sing and build a likeness of the Statue of Liberty to symbolize their quest for the freedoms we all too often take for granted: freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion, freedom of the press, the freedom to be left alone.

Recession indicator with perfect track record flashing red
The yield curve is blaring a recession warning. The spread between the U.S. 2-year and 10-year yields on Wednesday turned negative for the first time since 2007. Such a development has occurred ahead of each and every U.S. recession of the last 50 years, sometimes leading by as much as 24 months.

A nation is vanishing: Has Venezuela lost almost 20 percent of its population?
A staggering 15 to 19 percent of Venezuela’s total population has left the country amid an economic and political crisis with no clear end in sight, a new survey estimates. And those numbers are likely to increase in coming months and years if there are not profound changes in the South American country.

China’s information war is trying to turn its citizens against Hong Kong protesters
China has manipulated the context of images and videos to undermine the protesters

Ashers ‘gay cake’ row referred to European Court
A case involving a Christian bakery, which refused to make a cake with a slogan supporting same-sex marriage, has been referred to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

Mexico Is Becoming Less Free And More Socialist
Lopez Obrador’s constitutional amendments expose the interventionist tendencies of the Mexican president.

The Rise of “Hate Speech” Policing in Europe
Free speech is increasingly under attack on college campuses – but if you think it’s bad here, look across the pond to Europe. Authorities over there are increasingly cracking down on so-called “hate speech” – a label that’s been applied to speech critical of Islam, homosexuality, and more. Paul Coleman, a British attorney who’s had a front row seat to this concerning trend, explains the origin of these hate speech laws and give his assessment about the future of free speech.

Bangladesh slum fire leaves 10,000 homeless
At least 10,000 people are homeless after a massive fire swept through a crowded slum in the Bangladesh capital and destroyed thousands of shanties, officials said Sunday.

‘It’s All for Our Kids’: Hong Kong’s Protesters Double Down on Demands for Freedom
Undaunted by Chinese troops drilling just across the border and Beijing’s threats about perishing by fire, Hong Kong’s protesters on Sunday amplified their calls for freedom and democracy. They held a huge rally in which hundreds of thousands spilled peacefully over the cramped boundaries set by police. Some protesters brought their children. Everyone sweltered under the subtropical summer sun, then got soaked in a torrential cloudburst. Most of the protesters then carried on for hours more in the lingering rain, umbrellas deployed and feet wet, calling for “Free Hong Kong” and “Democracy now!”

Are we secretly negotiating with Venezuelan socialist party leaders?
Last time we checked in on the situation in Venezuela it was basically a stalemate. Negotiations between the government of Nicolas Maduro and supporters of self-declared interim President Juan Guaido, being hosted by Norway have stagnated and were recently suspended. Guaido hasn’t been able to rally the military to his side to forcibly remove their dictator and Maduro is viewed as having too tentative of a hold on power to arrest Guaido and deal with the international backlash. But there may be some new action afoot.

Twitter ran paid ads from China’s state news media criticizing the Hong Kong protests
Twitter has been distributing sponsored posts from Chinese state media criticizing the Hong Kong protests, as spotted by the account of Pinboard, a social-media bookmarking site run by the entrepreneur and developer Maciej Ceglowski.

China lashes out at Taiwan over Hong Kong asylum offer
China lashed out at Taiwan on Monday over its offer of political asylum to participants in Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protest movement, a day after hundreds of thousands of people marched peacefully in the latest massive demonstration in the Chinese territory.

Tiananmen Then, Hong Kong Now
Orville Schell, who covered the Tiananmen Square protests for the New York Review of Books 30 years ago, has an essay in Foreign Affairs that is worth your time. Schell compares what happened in Beijing then with what is going on in Hong Kong now. The similarities are not reassuring.




The Left’s Exclusionary Language
The writer moves on to a topic he understands better, the shortcomings of his fellow leftists, he makes some good points–points that are especially noteworthy because they come from inside the leftists’ closed world

Why U.S. Schools Don’t Produce Adults
One of the hallmarks of modern America is the tendency toward prolonged childhood. While it used to be the norm to enter the adult working world by one’s mid-to-late teens, students now extend their preparation for career well into their twenties (and sometimes beyond), enabled by parents who act as their caretakers, education experts who insist that they get as much classroom education as possible, and a government that encourages them to stay on the family health plan until age 26.

Despite What You Might Think, Major Technological Changes Are Coming More Slowly Than They Once Did
Major technological shifts are fewer and farther between than they once were

Democracy dies in global governance
Anne Marie Slaughter was an official in the Obama State Department. Now, she’s a professor at Princeton and head of New America (formerly the New America Foundation), a liberal think tank


Why Do Transgender Users Get Away With What Gets Other People Banned From Twitter?
Should people using social media be forced to act as if biological sex is meaningless? Why can trans people threaten and dox others to no consequences, while others are banned from Twitter for lesser offenses?

Getting Snooty about Service Jobs
Michael Brendan Dougherty writes: “There’s nothing wrong with being a barre instructor. There’s nothing wrong with detailing cars. But we should be wary of the social and political effects of an economy that encourages the creation of these types of jobs instead of others.” The nation’s barre instructors and car detailers no doubt would express their gratitude to Michael for his affirmation, if only they knew how.

Parental Nightmares in Public Schools
Public schools are reopening for business across America, meaning it’s time to get back to reading, writing, arithmetic…and revolution.

What Will California Ban Next?
Snatching away plastic bottles is the latest blunder in a state thick with invasive laws.

How the woke devour their own
See how the revolution devours its children? Last week, Britain’s sole Green Party MP, Caroline Lucas, called for a government of national unity to step in and cancel Brexit. Not just any government of national unity, though. One made up wholly of women.

Woke professors are failing in their duty to teach students the value of open-mindedness
People keep asking me what I plan to do after Brexit. To be honest, I’ve always wanted to have a go at teaching. I have spent the past three weeks at a summer school in Normandy, tutoring, lecturing and marking essays for teenagers from around the world, and I have discovered two things.

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