News of the Week (December 22nd, 2019)


News of the Week for Dec. 22th, 2019


Gun Rights


Virginia’s Second Amendment Sanctuaries: An Update
Last week I wrote about the spread of Virginia’s “Second Amendment sanctuaries” – counties, towns, and cities that vow not to enforce state gun laws they deem unconstitutional, in the wake of the Democrats’ taking control of the state government. There are a few new developments worth noting.

Danforth shooting victims launch class-action lawsuit against Smith & Wesson
Plaintiffs allege gun manufacturer failed to incorporate safety features into weapon

Judge Blocks Los Angeles Law Forcing Contractors to Disclose Ties to NRA
Los Angeles City Council rules “suppress” the speech of the NRA and its sponsors.

Virginia: County Board of Supervisors Forms an Active Militia
You can’t stop an idea whose time has come. That’s a lesson we’ve seen hammered home by the Second Amendment Sanctuary movement in Virginia in the last month.

The VA AG Seems A Little Cheesed Off Over Those Second Amendment Sanctuary Proclamations
The state Attorney General of Virginia seems to have finally grown tired of pesky counties and cities in his state passing Second Amendment sanctuary resolutions and would like to put the whole unpleasant affair behind him. But how does one do that? Why, by calling a press conference and issuing a proclamation, of course. Such resolutions are meaningless (according to the AG) and will have no effect on anything whatsoever. You have his word on it.

Ultra Sensitive Consumer Group Criticizes Nerf for Selling “Assault Weapons” Toys
A consumer group is demanding that toy brand Nerf discontinue selling “assault weapon toys” to children. The group, the Empire State Consumer Project, argues that the company is promoting a culture of fear where children are becoming scared of mass shootings taking place at their schools.


Hide the Decline

Environment &
“Green Energy”


Governor Newsom doubling down to dismantle the California economy
With California’s energy costs for electricity and fuels among the highest in the country, Governor Newsom just doubled down to increase inflation with actions to further reduce oil production and putting more electrical loads on a state that cannot generate enough electricity to meet its own needs. The Governor’s recent actions will further “fuel” (no pun intended) the growth of the homeless and those on poverty.

Michael Bloomberg Plays to the Left, Saying He Would Close U.S. Coal Plants
“We”ve proven that you can transition to clean energy and strengthen the economy at the same time”

Barbican Estate’s Beech Street to become Britain’s first 24-hour zero-emissions road under ‘radical’ new plans
Petrol and diesel cars are set to be completely banned from a busy London street under plans for Britain’s first 24-hour zero-emissions road.

Greta Owns Two Environmentally Unsustainable Doggies! Pet Food Production Accounts For 64 Million Tons Of Carbon-Dioxide Equivalent Per Year!
OMG! Dogs and cats are responsible for a quarter of the greenhouse gas emissions caused by animal agriculture, according a new study out Wednesday, which adds up to a whopping 64 million tons of carbon-dioxide equivalent emitted in the production of their food

Why We Had Reason to Believe Greta When She Said She Wants to ‘Put World Leaders Against the Wall’
By now, most readers will be familiar with climate Muppet moppet Greta Thunberg, who famously said that “we will put world leaders against the wall” at a recent public demonstration in Turin Italy.

Omnibus Spending Bill Misses Mark on Nuclear Energy Leadership
Don’t get me wrong. I love nuclear energy and think it has the power to change the world for the better. But Congress is working its way toward creating a new, $230 million-plus subsidy program for the nuclear-energy sector that’s a waste of taxpayer resources, is problematic for the industry, and that totally ignores issues where congressional leadership is desperately needed.

In western Massachusetts, a group of a dozen or so climate activists tried to stop a trainload of coal heading for a power plant in New Hampshire…by standing on the railroad tracks in front of the train. Evidently they thought the train could, and would, screech to a halt.

Governor Newsom doubling down to dismantle the California economy
With California’s energy costs for electricity and fuels among the highest in the country, Governor Newsom just doubled down to increase inflation with actions to further reduce oil production and putting more electrical loads on a state that cannot generate enough electricity to meet its own needs. The Governor’s recent actions will further “fuel” (no pun intended) the growth of the homeless and those on poverty.

Debate Moderator Pushes Relocating Whole Cities from Climate Change
Thursday’s Democratic debate hosted by PBS and Politico was a rather dull affair, but one question regarding climate change from Politico chief political correspondent Tim Alberta stood out as particularly nutty by any reasonable standard. In back-to-back questions, he presses candidates on their plans to pick up and relocate the entire population of certain cities.

Climate change realist Naomi Seibt: “Greta is stuck in a bubble”
Keean Bexte of Rebel News reports: Naomi Seibt is a self-described “climate realist”, and we caught up with her outside the United Nations Climate Change conference.

Colleges nationwide push an environmentally friendly, pro-sustainability Christmas
Across the nation, universities have a message: Have yourself a merry little environmentally friendly, pro-sustainability Christmas.

Biden Says Willing to Sacrifice Hundreds of Thousands of Energy Workers for a Green Economy
At debate, enthusiastically says “Yes” would risk displacing hundreds of thousands of blue-collar workers in order to combat climate change.



Government in Healthcare


NHS ‘over-diagnosing’ children having transgender treatment, former staff warn
Children treated for gender dysphoria are “over-medicalised” as psychologists fear being branded “transphobic”, it is claimed.

Appeals court rules ACA’s individual mandate unconstitutional; lower court to decide whether rest of law can stand without it
A federal appeals court Wednesday struck down part of the Affordable Care Act, ruling that its requirement that most Americans carry insurance is unconstitutional while sending back to a lower court the question of whether the rest of the law can remain without it.


War & Terror


Cayman Regiment recruitment begins
National Security Council gives green light for first troops

China: Balance of Terror
The trade war with the Americans has prompted China to accelerate its plan to eliminate dependence on American technology. This includes abandoning the U.S. dominated SWIFT bank transfer system, computer operating systems and the Internet. China is also hustling to replace all the American computer hardware (mainly key components) and software. This won’t happen quickly and may cost the economy more than expected.

China Fires Shot Across Bow With New Aircraft Carrier
The People’s Republic of China this week officially became a producer of aircraft carriers.

U.N. Peacekeepers Fathered Hundreds of Children in Haiti with Girls as Young as Eleven: Report
United Nations peacekeeping forces fathered hundreds of children with girls as young as eleven years old while deployed in Haiti, according to an academic study published by The Conversation on Wednesday.

China flight systems jammed by pig farm’s African swine fever defences
Reports of criminal gangs using drones to spread infection led to installation of jamming device. Unauthorised equipment interfered with navigation systems of planes flying overhead

How Beijing Controls Chinese Citizens Through Family, Education, and Speech
You may have read about China’s practice of foot-binding. It’s an ancient custom dating back to the supposedly pleasing aesthetic sense of the 10th century.




Recently Retired USAF General Makes Eyebrow Raising Claims About Advanced Space Technology
Retired Lt. Gen. Steven L. Kwast says fantastic technology exists that could transport a human anywhere on earth within an hour.

Congress poised to ban tobacco sales to anyone under 21
Congress appears poised to permanently prohibit the sale of tobacco to anyone under the age of 21.

University ditches “Women’s Night” at gym after male student threatens Title IX complaint
But he still wants a “legally binding document” promising the change is permanent

Student op-ed: STEM departments need to be “less white and male”
University of Washington student Andre Lawes Menchavez is but the latest undergraduate to put PC “studies” terminology to paper, in this case to demand “less white and male” college STEM departments.

Spongebob, Tom Brady, & cow ‘rape’: The 5 most insane academic works of 2019
Campus Reform reported on a number of eyebrow-raising academic works in 2019.

Mitch McConnell Responds to Chuck Schumer Impeachment Trial Demands: Get Stuffed
“The Senate is meant to act as judge and jury, to hear a trial, not to re-run the entire fact-finding investigation because angry partisans rushed sloppily through it.”

Did Ole Miss prof suggest criminal punishment for speech ‘bias’?
An Ole Miss professor recently said that the school would benefit from its Bias Incident Response Team enacting stricter punishments.

Conservative students “swatted” as officers swarm dorm over false report
Once again, right-of-center students at St. Olaf College harassed

Hillsdale College receives $4.6M after it sues Mizzou for ignoring donor’s wishes
Months before Sherlock Hibbs died in 2002 at the age of 98, he drafted his will, laying out his wish to invest in the economic principles that had shaped his life.

Hillsdale College receives $4.6M after it sues Mizzou for ignoring donor’s wishes
Months before Sherlock Hibbs died in 2002 at the age of 98, he drafted his will, laying out his wish to invest in the economic principles that had shaped his life.

Calif. grad students take over dining hall, steal food because school is “starving” student workers
Graduate students at UCSC are demanding a pay increase of $1,400 to account for high rent in the area.

Prison footage from Epstein’s first suicide attempt has gone missing
Surveillance footage outside Jeffrey Epstein’s cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center during his first attempted suicide has gone missing, assistant US Attorney Jason Swergold told Southern District of New York Judge Kenneth Karas on Wednesday.

House Impeaches Trump For Abuse Of Power, 230-197-1; And Obstruction Of Congress, 229-198-1
“House impeaches Trump for abuse of power for the first time,” I should say.

Ginsburg Hints: Senators Who Can’t Be Impartial In Trump’s Trial Should Be Disqualified
The clip below is short so it may be that her remarks are incomplete, but the point seems clear enough from the excerpt. “The House indicts, and the Senate tries. Should a trier be impartial? Of course, that’s the job of an impartial judge,” she says, adding that a judge who can’t be impartial in a matter should be disqualified.

Wakanda nonsense is this? USDA removes fictional Marvel comics nation from free trade list
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has been left red-faced after one sleuth discovered the fictional nation of Wakanda in its online list of nations with whom the US has free trade agreements.

Judge Willett’s Change of Heart
Upon reconsideration, Judge Willett splits with his colleagues over whether Black Lives Matter activist can be liable for violent protests

Americans’ Religious Affiliation Has Declined over the Last Decade
The Wall Street Journal is publishing a series of reports to end the year, looking back at the last decade of life in the United States from a number of angles. In one of its latest entries, Ian Lovett examines the way that Americans’ affiliation with institutional religions has declined from 2010 to now.

As House votes to impeach Trump, McConnell pushes 13 judge nominations through Senate
While the rest of Washington focused on impeachment proceedings Wednesday, Mitch McConnell successfully pressed forward on a subject that has been the one knockout success for the Republican Senate and President Donald Trump: judges.

Three unvaccinated children potentially exposed Denver and Los Angeles airport travelers to measles, health officials say
Three unvaccinated children with measles likely exposed travelers at Denver and Los Angeles airports to the virus, health officials have warned.

California Supreme Court refuses to review expulsion of student whose accuser consented to sex
In California, you can be expelled if your accuser says in writing that she consented to sex but later insists she could not give consent.

POLL: 88% of college students say it’s NOT offensive to wish “Merry Christmas” to a stranger
It appears the political correctness grinch hasn’t entirely stolen away the Christmas joy on campuses.

Court Rules Federal Government Flooding of Homes During Hurricane Harvey is a Taking
The decision is significant in itself and has important implications for other cases where the government deliberately damages private property in the process of coping with natural disasters.

Officials at Penn State can’t say what “equity promotion” means on the school’s budget
The budget for Pennsylvania State University’s 2019-2020 academic year includes funds devoted to “equity promotion,” but it’s not clear that university officials know what that even means.

SantaGate: Microsoft Removes Santa Hat Icon After a Single User Complained It Was ‘Pushing Religion’
There was a huge dust-up in the IT community this week after Microsoft caved to a developer who complained about a festive Santa hat embedded in the code, saying the “religious” symbol was “offensive.”

Dorm Housing, Communal TVs, Underground Tunnels Envisioned For “All-Inclusive” $3 Billion, 300-Acre City For The Homeless
A California crowdfunding effort is hoping to solve the U.S. homeless crisis by building a 300-acre city open exclusively to those without a home.

US Woman Charged With The Death Of UK Teen Despite Diplomatic Immunity
When teen motorcyclist Harry Dunn was killed in a road accident in the UK in August, his parents assumed the person responsible would go to jail. But it turned out the person responsible was an American, the wife of an intelligence officer working at an RAF military base. Three weeks after Dunn’s death, Ann Sacoolas returned to the United States claiming diplomatic immunity. Dunn’s parents have since been to the US to call for her return and even met with President Trump. Despite the fact that case is unlikely to be resolved, the Crown Prosecution Service has charged Sacoolas and started extradition proceedings:

Immigration Will Shift Electoral College in Favor of Democrats, Study Finds
A new analysis finds that immigration will dramatically reshape the Electoral College map in favor of the Democratic Party after completion of the 2020 census.

California Gov. Newsom defends “wine caves” after debate debacle
Supporters of the presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders took advantage of a fundraising opportunity with the sudden interest in wine caves.

Trump Admin to End War on Incandescent Light Bulbs
“The American people will continue to have a choice on how they light their homes”

Nike Sued For Seven Figures Over “Misgendering”
Poor Nike. First, they blew all that money on Colin Kaepernick and now a transgender contractor is suing them for more than a million dollars over being “misgendered” at the office. A software engineer who didn’t even work for Nike, instead being assigned to their office through the Mainz Brady Group, filed numerous complaints with both the contracting firm and Nike about colleagues refusing to use his or her (I’m honestly not sure in this case) preferred pronouns. Those would be “they/them/their” in this case. Not receiving a satisfactory resolution to the conflict, the engineer is now asking for a million dollars in, um… damages (?) over the affair.

California Sees Slowest Population Growth Since 1900
California’s population inched toward 40 million last year, but the state experienced the slowest rate of population growth since 1900.


Economy & Taxes


Student Loans A Lot Like The Subprime Mortgage Debacle, Watchdog Says
Mike Calhoun is a man on a mission. He’s flying around the country, warning state lawmakers and prosecutors, sounding the alarm at conferences and with members of Congress.

Mitt Romney Teams with Democrat Michael Bennet to Propose a Bigger Child Tax Credit
Bipartisan Senate duo Michael Bennet and Mitt Romney have a new proposal to substantially boost the child tax credit as part of a new round of tax reform. I’m generally a fan of the credit but have mixed feelings about some of the particulars here.

The 2020 Economic Outlook Remains Modestly Cheery
Every now and then I look through business magazines, just to see how the endless circus of our politics appears to those who worry more about profits and growth and who aren’t as focused on the latest Washington controversies. Kiplinger’s Personal Finance thinks the coming year will be a good, but not great, year for the American economy.

The “Cadillac Tax” Repeal Will Sock Taxpayers With Debt And Increase Health Costs
The current definition of a bipartisan “deal” occurs when both sides get what they want—at the expense of taxpayers, or more specifically future generations.

Impending California Gig Law Triggers Vox Media to Cut Hundreds of Freelance Jobs
“Contractors who wish to continue contributing can do so but ‘need to understand they will not be paid for future contributions.'”

California Won’t Release Its Spending Records
Are you already familiar with It’s a nonpartisan private group dedicated to transparency in government spending. For the past six years, they have been requesting and publishing the spending records of all fifty states so taxpayers can be made aware of where their money is going. Well… make that 49 states. The lone holdout is California which has consistently failed to turn over the records. Their excuse? Apparently, the Golden State isn’t sure where all the money goes.




Painting of naked Mexican revolutionary hero unleashes controversy
A painting depicting Mexican revolutionary hero Emiliano Zapata naked but for high heels and a pink sombrero, astride an aroused white horse, has sparked controversy in socially conservative Mexico, prompting protests that briefly flared into violence.

Slouching toward Chaos in Nicaragua
The economy has contracted 5 percent and nationwide protests have become the norm. The government’s heavy-handed crackdowns have triggered widespread international criticism. Even the Washington Post has begun denouncing Ortega’s authoritarianism. When you’re a Marxist autocrat and you’ve lost the support of the Washington Post, you’re clearly not having a good year.

Pervez Musharraf Sentenced To Death In High Treason Case: Pak Media
Pervez Musharraf, 76, has been living in exile in Dubai since March 2016 after he left Pakistan for medical treatment and has not returned since citing health and security.

Boris Johnson threatens BBC with two-pronged attack
No 10 boycotts Today programme and considers decriminalising non-payment of licence fee

Is It 1979 Again?
“Blowout” was how one U.K. newspaper described the decisive victory of Boris Johnson and his Conservative Party in last week’s election.

Trudeau’s plan to censor Internet “hate speech” just started a trade war
Justin Trudeau published the “mandate letters” of his cabinet ministers last week, and one handed to Steven Guilbeault caught my eye.

Boris Johnson is in a more powerful position now than Tony Blair was in 1997
Winston Churchill lost to Labour’s Clement Atlee, ushering in the NHS, the welfare state and a new era of progressive politics. Margaret Thatcher won a landslide, a response to economic stagnation, industrial chaos and years of decline. Tony Blair trounced the Conservatives, bringing down the curtain on an exhausted, deeply unpopular government.

Mexico Is In Crisis And It’s Not Just The Cartels, It’s The Elites
Drug cartels increasingly threaten Mexico’s sovereignty, but the corruption of the elites is rotting the country from the inside.

Swedish Government Told Country’s Crime Authority to Censor “Politically Sensitive” Data
Scandinavian country’s problems with migrant crime being buried.

British Hindus are proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with British Jews
Lord Popat writes on why he called a House of Lords debate on Jew-hate, saying British Jews ‘supported us in our hour of need’

Academic Wants to Ban the Insults “Nerd” and “Geek” as Hate Crimes
Says anti-IQ terms are “divisive and humiliating.”

Test case rules against Maya Forstater, tax expert sacked over transgender tweet
One trip, two iconic European cities: visit Paris & London

J. K. Rowling Indicted by Woke Enforcement Agency
“Destroy the legacy of Harry Potter?” What does that mean? Does Vox think people are going to stop enjoying Harry Potter stories? Or does “legacy” in this context simply mean “the good will of people who think like Vox writers?” Wouldn’t it have been more accurate for the tweet to ask, “Did J. K. Rowling just incur the wrath of Vox?”

J. K. Rowling Criticizes Transgender Extremism
J. K. Rowling, the celebrated author of the Harry Potter series, has not been shy in the past about expressing her political views: for example, her scathing tweets about Donald Trump. However, when it comes to transgender extremism she has – until now – trodden more carefully.

Drug-resistant dysentery emerges among gay men
Australian researchers are sounding the alarm over cases of a highly infectious intestinal illness that appear to be resistant to all forms of standard oral antibiotic treatment.

Boris Johnson passes EU withdrawal agreement bill with huge majority
Britain is set to leave the EU on January 31

The Hungry Generation
Malnutrition curses the children of Venezuela




The next election will be decided by the suburbs
The fate of the 2020 election, whether for Congress or the White House, will be decided in the suburbs. Neither the pro-Trump countryside nor the intensely anti-Trump urban core have enough voters to put their preferred candidates in office.

It’s Spreading Like the Plague – Social Justice Education
More and more, education in the U.S. is turning into propaganda for statism. What’s taught is not knowledge that helps people to live their lives but rather beliefs that are calculated to turn them into obedient citizens of the welfare state. The overseers of that state don’t want people who can think, but people who won’t question what the state does.

What Would A Sanders Administration Look Like?
Politico has a piece speculating about what a Sanders administration would actually look like. Some of it is based upon what Sanders has said about his own priorities and people he’d like to see in his cabinet. The rest is based on talk among his campaign staff. The staff hasn’t officially started making lists of people who’d be invited into a Sanders administration but they’ve talked about it. The person at the top of the list, as I mentioned yesterday, is Elizabeth Warren

It is not secret that the wokerati are making steady inroads into the domain of the hard sciences (physics, chemistry, engineering, etc). But Nature magazine, although left of center, might have been thought immune from the sillier aspects of the PC culture.

Right-Wing Populism Is Boxing Itself In
The movement has a math problem. There’s a solution, but it will require some soul-searching.

Impeach Him If You Like, but for the Love of God Stop Pretending You Care about the Constitution
Perhaps Donald Trump deserves to be impeached for his Ukrainian adventure. Heck, maybe he deserves to be impeached for sending that insanely entertaining letter yesterday. But those are political considerations for Democrats. Impeaching the president isn’t a Constitutional imperative. Nor is it a patriotic obligation. Democrats, who today ludicrously wrap themselves in the patina of “rule of law,” know this well. Not very long ago, they were rationalizing and cheerleading unprecedented abuses of power under the Obama administration. And they’ll be cheerleading for more abuses of the Constitution the next time they win the White House.

Government and Citizenry
On the homepage today, we publish the last in my three-part series on Mitch Daniels: here. In this installment, I have him quoting Jim Edgar, who was governor of Illinois during most of the 1990s: “Good government is boring.” True, says Daniels – although I recall a phrase used by George Will, when he introduced Daniels before a big speech in 2011. There is such a thing as a “charisma of competence.”

An Impeachment Role for the Supreme Court?
Do the charges against Trump pass constitutional muster? The justices should decide before the Senate does.

The Voter-Purge Myth
It’s nothing more than destructive scaremongering.

6 Reasons Pelosi’s Senate Obstruction Gambit On Impeachment Articles Is A Disaster
If Nancy Pelosi truly thought Democrats had made the case that Donald Trump was an “urgent threat” to America, she wouldn’t be refusing to send the articles of impeachment against him to the Senate for a full trial.

Two Reasons Pelosi Will Probably Delay Impeachment Until After the Election
Honestly, before I thought this through, I figured the idea that Pelosi would actually hold articles of impeachment indefinitely was farfetched. In fact, it’s possibly unconstitutional, but until the courts determine that, let’s assume for the moment she can do whatever she wants. As much as I’m sure she wants to get it over with and move on to other things, like trying to take credit for the USMCA, it’s become clearer to me that Pelosi has primary political motives to do this.

J.K. Rowling & Havel’s Greengrocer
Let me remind you all that Rowling is a social liberal, a feminist, a backer of gay rights and a public supporter of the Labour Party. And now, she’s cancelled. I wonder if the NYT op-ed page will invite a column from a liberal feminist who agrees with Rowling. I hope so, but I doubt it. On the left today, pseudo-women are more important than actual women. I see Rowling as a kind of Havel’s Greengrocer figure: a person who refuses to go along to get along, no matter what comes ‘ and in so doing, shows that one doesn’t have to surrender to tyranny. Here’s what I wrote about Havel’s greengrocer in The Benedict Option

Tucker Carlson’s False and Misleading Claims About The Heritage Foundation
In a segment that aired Friday night, Fox News Channel host Tucker Carlson made several false, outrageous, and unfounded accusations against The Heritage Foundation.

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