News of the Week (September 8th, 2019)

 

News of the Week for Sept. 8th, 2019


 

Gun Rights

 

A Michigan Court Case Shows the Right of Armed Self-Defense Is Broader Than You Might Think
Brandishing a weapon without firing it is sometimes the appropriate response to a threat.

Siege at Ruby Ridge: The Forgotten History of the ATF Shootout That Started a Militia Movement
Siege at Ruby Ridge: The Forgotten History of the ATF Shootout That Started a Militia MovementThe Siege at Ruby Ridge is often considered a pivotal date in American history. The shootout between Randy Weaver and his family and federal agents on August 21, 1992, is one that kicked off the Constitutional Militia Movement and left America with a deep distrust of its leadership – in particular then-President George H.W. Bush and eventual President Bill Clinton and Attorney General Janet Reno.

Making a ‘Gunlike Hand Gesture’ Is a Crime, Pennsylvania Court Rules
Remember the case of a 7-year-old Maryland boy who ate his pop tart into the shape of a gun? He was suspended for two days because he apparently upset some of his classmates.

San Francisco officials brand NRA a “domestic terrorist organization”
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors has passed a resolution declaring the National Rifle Association a “domestic terrorist organization” and urged the federal government to do the same – the latest escalation in the heated rhetoric from Democrats regarding the NRA in the wake of several deadly mass shootings.

Woman shoots man who reached into car and tried to steal purse in SW Houston: Police
A woman shot and wounded a suspected robber who reached for her purse, police say.

Houston Woman With Concealed Handgun Shoots Man During Attempted Robbery
A young African-American woman in Houston, Texas fired two shots and wounded a man who attempted to steal her purse early Tuesday morning, according to police.

Gun Used in Texas Shooting Was Illegally Manufactured and Sold: REPORT
Authorities believe the gun used in the drive-by shooting in Midland and Odessa, Texas this past weekend was illegally manufactured and sold by a Lubbock, Texas man, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

Why the Right to Bear Arms Is an Individual Right
Does the Second Amendment protect an individual right to gun ownership, or is it a collective right that can and should be heavily regulated by the state?

Feds Order Apple And Google To Hand Over Names Of 10,000+ Users Of A Gun Scope App
Own a rifle? Got a scope to go with it? The government might soon know who you are, where you live and how to reach you.

UCLA prof: “I don’t see the Second Amendment as absolute, just like I don’t see the First Amendment as absolute”
The University of California, Los Angeles recently published an interview with a professor who claims that mass shootings motivated by racism have only been a problem since Trump’s election.

 

Hide the Decline

Environment &
“Green Energy”

 

The Left Discovers Eco-Fascism
How charming: the left has belatedly discovered something conservatives have known for 50 years or more—that environmentalism, especially in its dominant ideological forms, is prone to fascism. Remember that “environmentalism” very quickly replaced “ecology”-the more generic scientific term—not long after the first Earth Day in 1970. Keep in mind that the left was initially indifferent or even hostile to “the ecology craze” (as some leftist critics called it at the time), but they soon figured out the potential for the issue. “Ecology,” New Republic writer James Ridgeway wrote, “offered liberal-minded people what they had longed for, a safe, rational and above all peaceful way of seeming to remake society . . . [and] developing a more coherent central state. . .” Except for the “safe, rational and peaceful” part, he was on to something! And people think it started with the Green Nude Eel.

Batteries: A Forlorn Hope
The most efficient wind turbines produce electricity around 40% of the time, solar panels far less often in most climates. So how do “green” energy advocates propose to produce electricity the 60% of the time when the wind isn’t blowing, or the 85% of the time (in some areas) when solar panels are ineffective? They build natural gas plants that ramp up and down depending on the weather. In other words, wind and solar (unlike nuclear power) lock in a dependence on fossil fuels for the indefinite future.

This Greta Thunberg thing is child abuse
Adolescent climate change protester Greta Thunberg has stage-parents, literally. Her mother sang opera internationally until the teenager convinced her to quit due to greenhouse gas emissions from flying, and her father and grandfather both gained fame through acting and directing.

Houston Woman With Concealed Handgun Shoots Man During Attempted Robbery
A young African-American woman in Houston, Texas fired two shots and wounded a man who attempted to steal her purse early Tuesday morning, according to police.

“Eat Less Meat”: 2020 Democrats Mull Changing Laws on Meat Consumption to Fight Climate Change
Several of the 2020 Democratic presidential contenders took to the stage of Thursday night to lay out their plan to address climate change, and in doing so, some of them mulled ideas of changing laws surrounding meat consumption.

Here’s why Bernie Sanders is talking about birth control at a climate crisis town hall
Sen. Bernie Sanders was asked if he’d make curbing population growth through birth control a key part of his climate plan.

Dems at climate forum: Ban everything!
“There’s no question I’m in favor of banning fracking”

Andrew Yang Wants Buybacks… for Your Car?
Entrepreneur and Democratic presidential longshot Andrew Yang can have my diesel SUV when he pries the steering wheel from my cold, dead hands.

Julian Castro: I’ll Make It Easier For Americans To File Lawsuits Over “Environmental Racism”
Nuts.

Buttigieg: If You Eat Hamburgers Or Use Straws, You Are “Part Of The Problem”
Democrats, all about control.

Kamala Harris says she supports plastic straw ban during CNN climate change marathon
Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., came out in favor of banning plastic straws on Wednesday during CNN’s climate change-focused town hall marathon.

MPs ‘checked with EU chiefs over Brexit delay’ before passing bill
MPs prepare for legal battle in case PM attempts to defy law forcing him to ask for extension

 

Obamacare

Government in Healthcare

 

What Really Happens if We Get Medicare for All
A huge issue in the coming national election, Medicare for All, has been pitched as the next step by Leftists who want to nationalize our health care system. Yet it seems very little introspection has been done on the subject as to what really will happen. It is time we take a look.

 

War & Terror

 

Without ‘terror’ group label for Antifa, ‘it’s difficult for universities to effectively respond,’ former member says
In a newly published FoxNews.com op-ed, former Antifa member Gabriel Nadales explains why he believes the U.S. should label Antifa a domestic terror organization.

Burkina Faso leader laments ‘dark stain’ after attack kills 24 soldiers
Gunmen killed 24 soldiers in an attack on an army unit in Burkina Faso, the deadliest yet in the West African nation’s fight against Islamist militants, which the president on Tuesday called a “dark stain” on the country’s history.

Japan warns North Korea now has miniaturized nukes small enough to fit on its ballistic missiles and is a ‘serious and imminent threat’
Tokyo defence chiefs warn about North Korea’s capabilities in a new white paper

Marxist guerrilla fighters return to war thanks to Venezuela’s Maduro
Thursday a splinter group of Marxist guerrilla fighters, known as FARC, announced a return to violence despite a peace deal it signed with the government of Colombia in 2016.

Hong Kong police storm subway with batons as protests rage
Protesters in Hong Kong threw gasoline bombs at government headquarters and set fires in the streets, while police stormed a subway car and hit passengers with batons and pepper spray in scenes that seem certain to inflame tensions further in a city riven by nearly three months of pro-democracy demonstrations.

Hong Kong Freedom Fighter Arrested on His Way to CPAC Japan
On Friday morning, Hong Kong police arrested 22-year-old freedom fighter Joshua Wong on the eve of the 5-year anniversary of the 2014 pro-democracy “Umbrella Revolution” Wong himself led as a teenager. Protests scheduled for Saturday, the anniversary, were officially banned and two other activists were also arrested. Hong Kong police arrested 28-year-old Hong Kong independence leader Andy Chan Ho-tin on his way to go speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Japan this weekend.

China’s Mass Internment of Uighurs Is a ‘Modern Cultural Genocide’
Activist Nury Turkel discusses the vast network of camps that may hold over a million Uighurs in western China.

NBC posts major correction to story about citizenship for military families
“Correction: Experts who have looked at new USCIS policy say it applies if a service member adopts a child overseas, but children born to service members on deployment would still automatically get citizenship”

Trump cuts Bolton out of decision on Afghanistan
The Washington Post reports that John Bolton, President Trump’s national security adviser, has been excluded from discussions about an Afghanistan “peace deal” between the U.S. and the Taliban. Bolton apparently doesn’t favor such a deal.

Speaking of family separations: Chicoms remove Hong Kong protester kids from their parents
The Chicoms’ all-out war on Hong Kong’s freedom-loving people has hit a new, and very communistic, low.

China ‘will not sit idly’ if US sells fighter jets to Taiwan, warns Chinese general
China “will not sit idly by” if the United States proceeds with a sale of advanced F-16V fighter jets to Taiwan, a Chinese general said, while warning of other potential counter measures in addition to punishing foreign firms involved in the deal.

Boston Judge refused to dismiss charges against Antifa, jailed lawyer who argued with him
Saturday, 36 people were arrested in connection with Boston’s “straight-pride parade.” Only two of those people were part of the parade itself. The rest were part of the Antifa counter-protest. As you can see in this arrest log, about half of the people arrested had serious charges against them including assault against police officers. Four officers were injured Saturday and, as of Wednesday, had not returned to duty. The other half were arrested for disorderly conduct and/or resisting arrest, i.e. relatively minor charges.

With the help of Venezuela and Cuba, Colombia’s Marxist narco-terrorist group FARC is officially back in action
Not that the FARC ever stopped committing acts of terrorism funded by narcotics trafficking, but thanks to support from Cuba and its colony of Venezuela, which are rearming the terrorists, they are now officially back.

 

National

 

Study suggests fluoride in water supplies may harm IQ of children
People worried about the fluoridation of municipal water supplies seem to occupy the same fringe space in American life as flat-earthers. But a new study published by JAMA Pediatrics appears to lend credence to the idea that fluoridated water has an impact on the IQ of children. The Washington Post reports that the study was subjected to additional scrutiny but ultimately found an impact on the IQ of boys

Reps. Omar and Tlaib Post Cartoon From Finalist of Iranian-Sponsored Holocaust Contest
The battle cry of many an anti-Semite on the left is, “I’m not an anti-Semite. I’m anti-Zionist!”

Earth’s inner core is doing something weird
Data from old Soviet weapons tests are helping scientists get a high-resolution look inside our planet.

RI Gov will face ethics investigation over lottery deal
Roughly one month ago we covered the story of some trouble that the Democratic Governor of Rhode Island, Gina Raimondo found herself in. In case you missed it, the nutshell version is that the Governor ran through a deal to renew a state contract with the company that handle’s Rhode Island’s lottery system, including a new sports betting system that was just approved. Nothing too unusual there, right? Sure, except the former CEO of the company in question is now a lobbyist with deep ties to the Governor. Also, the contract was renewed on a no-bid basis and there had already been complaints about their performance.

Will the Supreme Court affirm the definition of “sex” for us?
This is a story we touched on a few weeks ago, but it’s back in the news over at National Review raising even more questions. It deals with the lawsuit involving G. R. Harris Funeral Homes, a company that was sued by a male employee who announced that he was going to begin living life (and dressing) as a woman, but was told he could not do so at work.

Colorado Teachers Asked to Take ‘White Privilege’ Survey
Teachers at Colorado’s Cherry Creek School District have been presented with a “white privilege” survey in an effort to make sure they treat racial minority students well. Yet the survey and the documents accompanying it teach a radical version of political correctness that will arguably promote racial division. An anonymous teacher from the district sent PJ Media the packet, and Cherry Creek Schools verified its authenticity. The district said the survey was not mandatory.

YouTube Removes Robot Fighting Videos After Declaring Them ‘Cruelty to Animals’
Robots have rights, too, y’all! YouTube says so – at least, their algorithms do. After declaring that videos of robots fighting violates restrictions against depictions of cruelty toward animals, the video streaming site has begun removing the robot battle videos.

NC art prof slams faculty diversity workshop, claims admin using Orwell as “instruction manual”
Professors at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) were told to choose from two diversity and inclusion workshops to attend.

Howard Zinn’s Anti-American Propaganda Takes Over The Smithsonian
‘Teach-ins’ at the taxpayer-funded Smithsonian and in New York City promise anti-historical indoctrination from socialist Howard Zinn’s ‘A People’s History of the United States.’

Area 51 county declares state of emergency
It’s now less than a month until masses of UFO enthusiasts are set to descend on the tiny hamlet of Rachel, Nevada for “Alienstock.” (Formerly known as Storm Area 51. They Can’t Stop Us All.) With Rachel having a population of slightly more than fifty, this has caused understandable levels of distress. Feeling in need of help with how they will deal with an estimated 25,000 people (if not more) showing up uninvited, the town’s residents have turned to Lincoln County for help. But the total population of the entire county is only 5,200. So they did the only thing that seemed practical. This week they declared a state of emergency.

Gender pronouns and the Supreme Court
We’ve touched on this subject a few times recently, but there’s another layer to the upcoming Supreme Court case of R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes Inc. v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that’s worth considering. It has to do with the battle over the chosen use of pronouns in court filings. The Associated Press picked up on this yesterday and the story highlights the different approaches being taken by the two sides.

Miss Nevada Banned From Entering Ms. America Over Her Support For Trump
“I was officially disqualified.”

A Betrayal of Trust: Child Molestation Alleged in Contra Costa CPS
The Contra Costa County Department of Children and Family Services (CFS, or CPS) in California appears to have a problem with the sexual abuse of children.

Latest Attack On Obama Legacy: Dem Party Requires Dem Nominee Pledge Not To Duplicate “Organizing for Action”
“[M]any Democratic Party officials still fume about Barack Obama’s decision to create his own political group outside of the Democratic National Committee, Organizing for Action”

SAT’s “adversity score” is gone. Or is it?
Earlier this year, John wrote about the implementation of “adversity scores” being used by colleges when evaluating applicants and their SAT scores. This was a “tool” used to evaluate the economic background of students and basically awarded bonus points to those who came from less economically prosperous neighborhoods with higher crime rates. This led to considerable confusion and protests from high scoring students from middle-class backgrounds who felt that their own efforts were being penalized.

Yikes: Republican Johnny Isakson resigning from Senate at the end of the year
A sad end to Isakson’s political career and a minor, possibly major, disaster for the GOP in the making.

Bernie Sanders: China Has Done a Lot of Things for Their People!
For a guy who boasted he was going to be tough on China, President Trump certainly is quiet about certain issues. It took a long time for Trump to speak about the protests and clashes in Hong Kong, and when he did, he declared, President Xi “is a great leader who very much has the respect of his people. He is also a good man in a ‘tough business.’ I have ZERO doubt that if President Xi wants to quickly and humanely solve the Hong Kong problem, he can do it.” His administration keeps giving extensions for American companies to deal with Huawei, the Chinese smartphone company that Trump previously called a national security threat.

DNC Blocks ‘Vote-By-Phone’ for Iowa and Nevada Caucuses, Citing Security Concerns
The Democratic National Committee has thrown a monkey wrench into the caucus preparations for Iowa and Nevada. The DNC will recommend against the “virtual caucus” idea that was being proposed in both states that would have increased participation. The DNC says the vote-by-phone procedures would be too easily hacked.

Conservative education org must be blocked like porn, Google insists in court
A lawyer representing PragerU in federal court says Google’s reasons for denying some viewers access to videos produced by the conservative education organization on the tech giant’s YouTube subsidiary defy belief.

Not Born This Way After All?
Read the whole story, which is pretty good overall. It quotes the scientist who, in 1993, claimed to discover a “gay gene,” saying that this new study wasn’t actually looking for a gay gene. I’m not sure about that conclusion. If I understand this study, it’s saying that researchers found no significant genetic cause for same-sex behavior. That is not to say that being gay is a “choice,” as we understand the word. The researchers conclude that environmental factors likely predominate. How can you fault a gay man or gay woman for having grown up in an environment that might have nurtured them towards same-sex desire? It seems from this study, “born this way” is inaccurate; “grew up to become this way” is more precise.

Poll: 73 percent of Republican students have withheld political views in class for fear their grades would suffer
“I’m a conservative, but my essays are very liberal”

Blasey Ford Attorney Admits Abortion Support “Motivated” Anti-Kavanaugh Accusations
The attorney for a woman who made unsupported allegations of sexual assault against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh admitted that she and her client Christine Blasey Ford were motivated by their support for abortion. The admission, first reported in Ryan Lovelace’s new reported book “Search and Destroy: Inside the Campaign Against Brett Kavanaugh,” was confirmed with video footage.

Calif. court sides with prof who claims he was fired for conservative views
A California court sided with a conservative professor who argues that the school dismissed him because of his views.

Pope Francis Tells Journalist: “I Am Honored That The Americans Attack Me”
Pope Francis said that he is “honored that the Americans attack” him, referring to conservative criticism of the pontificate in a new book.

Ruling in Minnesota Wedding Videographers’ Case Properly Prioritizes First Amendment Rights
A recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals in a case arising from Minnesota strikes the right balance between First Amendment rights and the statutory right to be free from discrimination.

New Marquette Poll: Trump Trails Biden by Nine Points in Wisconsin, But Ties Warren and Harris

Federal court undercuts progressive efforts to nullify Electoral College, rules electors can vote freely
In a major blow to state-by-state progressive efforts to effectively replace the Electoral College with a nationwide popular vote, a federal appeals court ruled on Tuesday that presidential electors in the Electoral College have the absolute right to vote for presidential candidates of their choice.

Uh-oh: Silicon Valley is building a Chinese-style social credit system
In China, scoring citizens’ behavior is official government policy. U.S. companies are increasingly doing something similar, outside the law.

RNC Chief: Tying Dems To Socialism Sways Suburban Women
Republicans believe framing Democratic candidates as proponents of socialism will boost GOP appeal among college-educated suburban women, a demographic that gave the Republicans trouble in last November’s midterms and could be critical in 2020.

Los Angeles homeless dying in droves
We’ve covered a number of stories here dealing with the homelessness crisis in Los Angeles which has been out of control and growing for several years now. Most of these tales have to do with drug addiction, mental illness, crimes committed both by and against the homeless and people using the streets as their bathrooms. But there’s another, even darker element to this story featured in the LA Times this week. As it turns out, the homeless are not just living on the streets. They’re dying on them and in large numbers.

At Virginia Tech, mixed reactions to a politicized freshman orientation
Sessions “pointless and not very productive,” one student says; others more receptive

Castro Wants ‘Structural Change’ to Keep Conservative Ideas Out of Schools
During the CNN climate town hall on Wednesday, 2020 presidential candidate and former HUD Secretary Julián Castro called for “structural change” to make sure that schools don’t get hijacked into teaching anything besides the liberal agenda, especially on climate issues.

Major League Soccer Declares Betsy Ross Flag a “Symbol of Hate”
Major League Soccer took an unpatriotic stand against one of America’s national symbol. They announced a ban on the Revolutionary War era Betsy Ross flag. Perhaps their lack of patriotism is one of the reasons why Soccer will never be a major sport in the United States.

Why Are Marriage Rates Down? Study Blames Lack Of “Economically-Attractive” Men
Marriage rates have steadily declined over the past few decades, and now researchers from Cornell University are offering up a possible explanation: there just aren’t as many economically-attractive men for unmarried women to meet as there used to be.

Proposed California bill would ban most school suspensions for disruptive behavior
Teachers’ lives may be getting even more difficult in the Golden State as new legislation seeks to ban schools from suspending kids in grades K through 8, and from expelling students in all grades.

Flag Battles In Massachusetts
Flags are, by the their nature, entirely symbolic. Maybe that helps to explain why liberals get away with such utter nonsense whenever they talk about them. The New York Times reports on liberal attacks on the state flag of Massachusetts.

 

Economy & Taxes

 

New Trump stimulus idea: A payroll tax cut?
I laughed when I got to the part of this Times story where “Administration officials said the idea had not been pushed with Mr. Trump and tried to tamp talk of it down.” I can just imagine how the chatter about a payroll tax cut got started in the Oval Office

An update on Stockton, California’s Universal Basic Income experiment
Last year when I wrote about the pilot program for Universal Basic Income now taking place in Stockton, CA, I predicted that the outcome would be stories with headlines like “Stockton Recipients Benefit from Basic Income in a Variety of Ways.” That’s not the headline of this Associated Press update on the UBI program in Stockton, but honestly, it could be. The piece opens by highlighting one of the 125 people selected for this trial.

Fitch Downgrades Hong Kong Over China’s Stronger Hand
Hong Kong’s economy, already damaged by weeks of protests, was dealt a further blow on Friday when Fitch Ratings downgraded its credit rating on the territory, citing China’s growing influence in the territory’s affairs.

Clark County sales tax increase a boondoggle in the making
A super majority on the Clark County Commission voted Tuesday to increase the sales tax. They’re going to figure out how to spend it later. That sounds like the start of a parody, but that’s what happened this week.

Worker-rights bill does no favors for drivers or consumers
Let’s think back to ancient history – to, say, five or more years ago when the process of getting a ride in a big city involved standing on a corner and trying to wave down one of the taxicabs that zoomed by. Cabs usually were drab and smelled like air freshener. In bad weather, your chances of hailing one – without getting cold or soaked – was in the ballpark-zero range.

 

International

 

The First Human-Monkey Hybrid Embryo Was Just Created in China
Last week, news broke that a prominent stem cell researcher is making human-monkey chimeras in a secretive lab in China.

In Venezuela talks, Maduro allies said they would consider fresh elections: sources
Allies of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro had discussed holding a presidential election in the coming months during talks to find a breakthrough in the country;s political crisis, four sources told Reuters on Monday.

China’s Warning to Global CEOs: Toe the Party Line on Hong Kong
As anti-government protests in Hong Kong intensified this month, KPMG issued a directive to its employees in the city: Don’t speak on behalf of the company in public. It went on to say that the firm supports China’s policy for governing Hong Kong.

Merkel to Johnson: You’ve got 30 days to solve the Irish border issue
A “blistering timetable” indeed, as Boris Johnson observed, considering his Tories haven’t come up with a plan to leave the Irish border open for the past three years. The UK’s prime minister acknowledged as much in their joint remarks after meeting to discuss Brexit. Johnson had declared his intention to demand that the EU drop the backstop in order to negotiate a deal, but Merkel told Johnson to solve the border issue that the UK’s exit will create instead

‘Failed state’: Venezuelan displacement and starvation multiply
Less than a decade after major strides addressed malnourishment, Caracas now faces massive refugee and hunger crises.

Venezuelans turn to US dollars and gold as the value of Bolivars continues to drop
This video of Venezuelan garbage men throwing away trash bags of paper money caught my attention today

Italy: Will Salvini Become Prime Minister?
Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced his resignation Tuesday, an event Forbes describes as “creating more chaos for Italy just 17 months after the last election.” If you want to know what it really means, however, read Vox Day, who sees Conte’s resignation as a prophetic omen of an October victory for nationalist Matteo Salvini, “the most popular man in Italy now.” Salvini is leader of La Lega, which was originally Lega Nord per l’Indipendenza della Padania (Northern League for the Independence of Padania), dating back to the 1990s.

Hong Kong lawmakers Jeremy Tam and Au Nok-hin arrested, as police continue round-up of democrats
Pro-democracy lawmakers Jeremy Tam and Au Nok-hin were arrested on Friday evening – the latest of the high-profile pro-democracy activists to be rounded up by Hong Kong police.

Fishing With Sulphuric Fire
Many fishes are attracted towards light just as moths and flying ants are—a behavior that fishermen around the world exploit to bring them together and keep them in one place until they could be caught. Most fishes that are caught using light are pelagic fish, such as herring, mackerel, sprat, anchovy, and sardine. These fishes spend most of their time swimming near the surface of the water, making them easy to prey upon.

Hong Kong protester: “Freedom is never free”
Because they can’t reveal his identity or anything specific about him, ABC News refers to the student protester they interviewed as Citizen X. Citizen X is well aware that by taking a stand against the communist tyranny of mainland China, he could very well wind up in prison or worse. While he worries about that some, he’s convinced he has to stand up or he and future generations won’t have any freedom to lose

Brexit Shock: Boris Johnson Moves to Suspend Parliament
Decision aimed at preventing pro-EU lawmakers from blocking no-deal Brexit.

“Constitutional outrage”: BoJo asks Queen to extend Parliament suspension to prevent Brexit block; Queen approves
It’s not quite proroguing Parliament, but the term is accurate enough. Boris Johnson has reportedly asked Queen Elizabeth to order Parliament to extend its normal recess for an additional five-week suspension. The prime minister insists that this is a normal procedure, but it would conveniently render Parliament powerless to stop a no-deal Brexit

EU Demands UK Must Pay $48Bn “Divorce Bill” Even After No-Deal Brexit
EU Spokesperson: “United Kingdom would be expected to continue to honor all commitments.”

Potential Hot Spots: Venezuela The Republic Of Fear
The Maduro dictatorship admits it has been negotiating with the United States for several months. The U.S. wants free elections while Maduro wants immunity for himself and everyone who works for him. The U.S. supports Juan Guaidó, the last legally elected Venezuelan official who qualifies as the legitimate leader of Venezuela. But Maduro controls the security forces, thanks to a secret police force trained and reinforced with Cuban security specialists.

EQUALITY: Australian University Lowers Standards For Women Looking To Enter Engineering Degrees
Equality? No thanks. Women at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) will be able to enter engineering and construction degrees with a lower score on an admissions test than their male counterparts.

France’s Macron: EU “Ready to Scrap” Deadline to Avoid No-Deal Brexit
EU gambit to weaken PM Johnson, embolden the pro-EU lawmakers trying to stall the Brexit, says ex-Premier Gordon Brown

Women-Only Rape-Relief Shelter Defunded, Then Vandalized
Despite boycotts, threats, and a slaughtered rat nailed to its front door, this Canadian women’s shelter soldiers on.

Meltdown: Parliament votes to seize control from Boris Johnson’s team, may block no-deal Brexit
Major foreign news involving parliamentary procedure, with all sorts of domestic political unknowns in the mix: It’s an ignorant American blogger’s worst nightmare. The sort of thing where you need to BS your way through 95 percent of the post instead of the usual 80.

Boris Johnson Still Has An Ace Or Two To Play
There is some good reason to believe the Benn-Burt Bill will not be enacted—at least not in its current form. One cannot be sure—as the final decision will largely rest with Speaker Bercow. The Benn-Burt Bill, in certain situations, mandates that the PM seek a further extension of the Article 50 process for negotiating a withdrawal from the EU. Furthermore, in certain situations, the bill mandates that the PM agree to the extension offered by the EU. The bill ties the hands of the PM in regard to negotiations and, if there is no timely Brexit on October 31, 2019, the bill will also tie the PM’s hands thereafter.

Hong Kong Caves to Protestors’ Original Demand: So Now What?
Following months of unrest, Hong Kong’s Chief Secretary Carrie Lam has formally withdrawn the controversial extradition bill that spurred the protestors when introduced earlier this year.

Johnson to “great big girl’s blouse” Corbyn: I triple-dog-dare ya to back elections in October
The first rule in setting an elephant trap? Don’t let the elephant see it. After Parliament wrested control of the agenda away from PM Boris Johnson and Tories expelled 21 of its MPs, Johnson demanded a snap election on October 15th and dared Jeremy Corbyn to agree to it

Maduro’s “Blacklist” Forces Dissidents To Flee Venezuela
Former local Venezuelan politician Brian Fincheltub knows the hardships facing his failing state and the danger of speaking out against its leadership. He fled Venezuela in October 2018 after he was threatened with incarceration by President Nicolas Maduro’s government for attempting to challenge a Maduro supporter in a local election.

Beijing folds on Hong Kong extradition law, but the genie is out of the bottle
After lots of growling from Beijing about how the communist regime wouldn’t “sit on its hands” over the massive protests disrupting Hong Kong, and new threats to “show no mercy” to the protesters, the Chicoms have folded.

Revealed: Lords plan to block Remainer legislation
Guido can today reveal that pro-Governemnt forces in the House of Lords have a comprehensive, co-ordinated plan to prevent Hilary Benn’s anti-No Deal “Surrender Bill” from becoming law, in the likely event it is passed in the Commons this evening.

Germany’s Right-Wing AfD Surges in Eastern Elections
German state broadcaster DW News: “Berlin is searching for a strategy to deal with the new reality.”

Hong Kong: “Category 1 Insurgency”
Student demonstrations, new communication apps, Chinese threats, Hong Kong leaders to quit, and a plea to President Trump.

The Threat of Red Britain
It’s hard to exaggerate the threat represented by Corbyn and Co. taking control of our most important ally.

Argentinian Cowboys Use Bullwhips On Vegan Activists At Rodeo
Vegan activists who tried to stop the rodeo festivities were promptly physically removed by gauchos on horseback.

Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s strongman ex-president, dies aged 95
Robert Mugabe, the Zimbabwean independence icon turned authoritarian leader, has died aged 95. Mr Mugabe had been receiving treatment in a hospital in Singapore since April. He was ousted in a military coup in 2017 after 37 years in power.

Parliament to Johnson: No quick elections; Update: House of Lords approves Brexit delay
Clever. Completely impractical, but clever

BBC Pidgin Edition
Multiculti moonbat pandering has reached the last extreme of self-parody. British taxpayers are footing the bill. This is an actual headline from the BBC: “Na every woman dey ejaculate? Di qweshion wey make dem start Pussypedia, free online vagina encyclopaedia”

MPs ‘checked with EU chiefs over Brexit delay’ before passing bill
MPs prepare for legal battle in case PM attempts to defy law forcing him to ask for extension

Hong Kong: violence follows calls for Trump to ‘liberate’ territory
Protesters clash with police in shopping districts after rally to petition US to “resist Beijing”

 

Opinion

 

“Luxury beliefs” are the latest status symbol for rich Americans
A former classmate from Yale recently told me “monogamy is kind of outdated” and not good for society. So I asked her what her background is and if she planned to marry.

Do governments have a duty to reduce racial gaps?
John has demonstrated how the Washington Post lied about a statement Katherine Kersten made regarding racial discipline quotas in the St. Paul school system. The lie appears in an article by Rebecca Tan called “Racial gaps prove hard to reduce.” On the internet, the article is called “Local governments are trying to fix racial inequity. But the path forward isn’t clear.”

I’m not ready for a world where Arizona has two Democratic senators
Yeah, yeah, I know: “They had two Democratic senators when McCain and Flake were there.” Har dee har.

How the great truth dawned
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s three-volume opus, The Gulag Archipelago, which some have called the most important masterpiece of the twentieth century, is subtitled: “An Experiment in Literary Investigation.” Consider how odd that is. No Westerner would call such a work “literary,” lest someone discount its documentary value. Literature is one thing, truth another, isn’t that correct? But Solzhenitsyn insists that absolutely everything included is strictly factual, a claim validated when the Soviet Union fell and archives were opened. What, then, is literary about the book? It is worth noting that Russia’s most recent winner of the Nobel Prize for literature, Svetlana Alexievich, also produced literary works that were purely factual. With these two writers we encounter something essential to the Russian tradition.

Governors Are Losing the Space to Govern
As the bulk of state spending shifts toward mandatory programs, experimentation is grinding to a halt in the laboratories of democracy.

The Roots of Our Educational Failure
As I’ve been saying for the twenty years I have been with the Martin Center (previously known as the Pope Center), our colleges underperform. Of course, some students get a superb education that equips them well for life, but on the whole, students get surprisingly little value from college. Standards are low and the curriculum is weak. Many faculty members are more concerned with being popular than with sound education.

Biden’s Best Bet Is a Front-Porch Campaign
The gaffe-prone front-runner should stay out of the Democratic mosh pit and campaign via social-media videos.

Identity politics as a substitute for family ties
Mary Eberstadt sees a strong connection between the rise of identity politics and the decline of the American family. Such a connection seems clear if one thinks about it, but the idea never occurred to me.

Do Citizens Have A Right To See The Algorithms Used By Publicly-Funded Software?
In 2009, the Spanish government brought in a law requiring electricity bill subsidies for some five million poor households in the country. The so-called Bono Social de Electricidad, or BOSCO, was not popular with energy companies, which fought against it in the courts.

Fall Back To The Fortified Blogs!
Given the ongoing “cancelling” of conservatives and libertarians on social media, I’ve been using the title of this post as something of a catchphrase, and occasionally educating random yoots on how blogs worked before Jack and Zuck enticed us into their walled gardens. The rest of us ought to be giving some serious thought to those alternatives in case Google, Facebook, and Twitter decide to take the gloves off and just boot everyone who even looks like they might vote for Trump off their platforms before the 2020 elections.

Identity politics as a substitute for family ties
Mary Eberstadt sees a strong connection between the rise of identity politics and the decline of the American family. Such a connection seems clear if one thinks about it, but the idea never occurred to me.

Democrats: No More Heterosexuals!
Longtime readers may remember Dr. Marcie Bianco. Three years ago, the Harvard-educated lesbian professor inspired me to write this

The Cultural Fallout From Identity Politics, Sex, And Dissolving Families
Is the rise of identity politics a direct result of the sexual revolution? Mary Eberstadt, Senior Fellow at the Faith and Reason Institute, joins Culture Editor Emily Jashinsky on the Federalist Radio Hour to argue that the collapse of the family unit leaves us lost and pitted against each other in new tribal ties.

Tom Cotton: We should buy Greenland
President Trump has come in for considerable ridicule for saying that the U.S. should purchase Greenland from Denmark. But Sen. Tom Cotton, writing in the New York Times, makes a strong case for buying Greenland.

Note to Conservatives: Burke Believed in Trade Liberalization
Whenever the conservative movement loses its way, it’s only a matter of time before some turn for guidance to the figure most associated with modern Anglo-American conservatism’s emergence. More recent intra-conservative debates have addressed Edmund Burke’s views on topics ranging from natural law to the nation

Justice for Victims of School Shootings Act Could Have Unintended Consequences
Another member of Congress, this time a Republican, has succumbed to the temptation of creating a federal crime where one isn’t needed.

Can a State Rewrite a Movie Script?
Minnesota tried to compel Christian filmmakers to celebrate gay marriage.

Jim Mattis: Duty, Democracy and the Threat of Tribalism
Lessons in leadership from a lifetime of service, from fighting in the Marine Corps to working for President Donald Trump

Free Association for Me . . .
Recent events have left me – admittedly not much of a sophisticate – confused. When I heard that Debrah Messing was looking to effectively blacklist actors who deigned to attend a rally for the president of the United States, I started wondering when it is (and is not) okay to exercise freedom of association.

Five Things They Don’t Tell You about Slavery
It didn’t begin or end in the United States.

Will Trump still be running the GOP after he leaves office?
Philip Klein peers into the near future, after Trump has returned to private life, and sees the post-Trump GOP

Government Shouldn’t Force Teachers to Use Transgender Pronouns
A high school teacher in Jacksonville, Florida, faced criticism and disciplinary action because a transgender student asked him to refer to the student by female pronouns, although the student was born male. The teacher refused.

The Tories Should Weaponize the Culture War
I have a piece over at The Spectator (U.K.) today on why, in terms of strategy, the Tories should weaponize culture war issues ahead of Britain’s impending election.

Beyond the Hypatia Affair: Philosophers Blocking the Way of Inquiry
Philosophers are notorious for their willingness to consider questions that ordinary people find silly, such as whether or not we have knowledge of the material world. Recently, however, some philosophers having been trying to take hard questions about gender identity off the table. This camp remains a minority, but an energized and noisy minority that seems to be enjoying cultural ascendance and a sense of empowerment.

Our National Interest and the South China Sea
It’s difficult to explain how a country goes about defining its national interests.

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