News of the Week for May 8th, 2022
- Gun Rights
- Hide the Decline
- War & Terror
- National News
- Economy & Taxes
- International News
Court has voted to overturn Roe, according to draft opinion published by Politico
The Supreme Court has voted to overturn Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, according to a copy of an apparent draft opinion obtained by Politico.
Biden says ‘radical’ Supreme Court decision on abortion endangers gay marriage
President Joe Biden told reporters Tuesday that the leaked Supreme Court opinion on overturning Roe v. Wade could pave the way for decisions undermining various other policies, including same-sex marriage.
U.S. Supreme Court launches probe into leak of draft abortion opinion
U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts on Tuesday said the Supreme Court will investigate the leak of a draft decision indicating that a majority of the nine justices are set to overturn the constitutional right to abortion, a breach of the court’s trust that he called a “betrayal.”
Making Sense Of The Apparent Leaked Opinion In Dobbs
My instant reaction to Leakgate.
Chief Justice Roberts’s “Long Game” Was Turned Upside Down In An Instant
Once again, the “fatal conceit” of the long game becomes clear.
Now what? ‘Trigger laws’ go into effect if Roe v Wade is struck down
Thanks to some liberal activist working somewhere at the Supreme Court, the big news today is that it is very likely that Roe v Wade will be overturned. According to a leak provided to Politico, Justice Samuel Alito wrote the majority opinion in a draft of the court’s decision. Allegedly. If the story turns out to be factual, the question becomes what happens next?
It begins: California will introduce amendment to make abortion a state constitutional right
Rarely do I point you back to one of my posts as predictive of where politics is going but you could do worse today than to read (re-read?) this one from December.
Another leak: Roberts trying to save Roe while sacrificing Casey?
First someone leaks a draft opinion to Politico, and now insiders are leaking about SCOTUS deliberations and negotiations to CNN. The issue of abortion has apparently transformed the Supreme Court into the Sieve Court. With an apparent 5-3 lineup set to overturn Roe based on Justice Samuel Alito’s draft majority opinion in Dobbs, Chief Justice John Roberts has reportedly argued to retain Roe while dumping Casey as a compromise position.
Chief Justice Orders an Investigation
Chief Justice Roberts has issued a statement on the leak
The Shocking Supreme Court Leak
And our race to the bottom.
Worst Twitter ‘Hot Take’ Ever?
In the 24 hours since Politico leaked the draft of the Supreme Court majority decision which, evidently, will overturn Roe v. Wade, liberals have outdone themselves in piling up stupid “hot takes” on Twitter. None of them, however, exceeded the stupidity of Amanda Duarte’s take
Left-Wing Group Organizes Protests in Front of Conservative SCOTUS Justices’ Homes
Ruth Sent Us also wants people to disrupt Catholic churches on Mother’s Day.
Joe Rogan on Roe reversal: I support a woman’s right to choose 100%, but…
I mentioned him yesterday in the Dave Portnoy post so it’s only right that I give you his take on the leak heard ’round the world.
Escalation: Louisiana introduces bill to let prosecutors charge women who abort with homicide
This is just a bill, not a law, and it’s being offered in a state whose governor is a Democrat. (Albeit a pro-life Democrat.) So it may never end up on the books. But it’s of a piece with the bill that was introduced recently in Missouri to let private citizens sue anyone who helps a Missouri resident obtain an abortion out of state. Both bills represent breaks with the traditional conservative view of how to regulate abortion.
A Rape and Incest Exemption Would Still Ban More Than 98 Percent of Abortions
In the coming weeks and months, prepare to hear a common red herring trotted out by abortion-rights advocates: the “rape and incest” trope. Pro-lifers must be extremely clear, of course, that rape and incest are horrific and wrong, and that rape, in particular, is one of the single worst things that one human being can do to another. “The tragedy of sexual violence,” as Senator Ben Sasse (R., Neb.) put it eloquently in a 2018 speech, “is an act from the pit of hell. People — men and women — are created in the image of God — imago Dei, as we say in Christianity. Sexuality is a deep and precious gift — it is an intimacy, it is a oneness — that is to be shared and given — never taken. Sex is big, not small — and you don’t get to decide it for someone else.”
Dave Portnoy: If Republicans try to ban abortion, I vote Democrat
There’s no evidence yet that Roe’s imminent demise will flip many votes this fall. But if you’re looking for anecdotes, have I got the clip for you.
Abortion Activists Vandalize a Catholic Church in Boulder for the Second Time in Seven Months
“Once again a parish community showed up for a morning mass and had to walk in and witness that their parish had been targeted. I hate to say it. I was not surprised to learn of this, this morning.”
How the Supreme Court could proceed with the Roe leak probe
The Justice Department does not plan to get involved for now, meaning the marshal of the court would be left to her own devices.
What Alito Got Right
The Court’s job is not to determine which rights we should possess but rather which rights we do possess.
Justice Alito’s Originalist Triumph
Chief Justice Rehnquist planted the seeds for the abortion opinion in a 1997 case involving assisted suicide.
British Gaming Journalist Wants to Know if You’d Murder Justices Alito, Thomas if You Could
If you could kill Alito and Thomas “should you do it while Biden can get his nominees to replace them confirmed?”
Chief Justice Roberts Must Find the Leaker
The Dobbs leak is a big deal. Here’s what a real Supreme Court investigation would look like.
Alito’s Opinion Is Brilliant and Shrewd
What he has penned is the crowning achievement of the conservative legal movement.
Alighting on Alito
When Justice Alito was nominated to the Court by President Bush in 2005, the editors of National Review invited John and me to comment. Our article was published in the November 21 issue of the magazine that year. I thought it might be a timely moment to take a look back.
Clarence Thomas: Government institutions can’t be bullied into outcomes
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is worried about declining respect for the rule of law and institutions. He told judges and lawyers at the 11th Circuit Judicial Conference that government agencies cannot be bullied into giving people outcomes that they want. He specifically dinged young people for their “different attitude” toward respect for the law.
NYC Mayor Eric Adams wears ‘End Gun Violence’ tux to Met Gala 2022
The Meta Gala returned to the first Monday in May after years of pandemic upheaval
Earth Day Activists Ignore Big Wind’s “Carnage” for Eagles
Earth Day came and went April 22 without self-described environmentalists and their allies in the media devoting much, if any, attention to the deleterious effects of wind power on wildlife habitats, especially for eagles.
India State High Court Rules That Nature Is a ‘Living Being’ with ‘Rights’
The Madras High Court in India, which has jurisdiction over the state of Tamil Nadu, has declared that nature is a living being with rights.
Global warming hysteria is lowering living standards around the world, but the real disasters are generally a ways off in the future. If countries actually try to meet their foolish carbon reduction pledges, the result will be a human disaster rarely paralleled in history.
Electric Bus Catches Fire After Battery Explosion
A video recording shows the start of the fire which completely consumed an electric RATP bus on Friday 29 April. The incident caused no injuries. The bus burst into flames within seconds. This is what can be seen on the video that captured the very beginning of the fire of an electric vehicle of the RATP in Paris , this Friday, April 29. In the images, we can see a small explosion occur on the roof of the bus, where the batteries are located, followed by huge flames that spread to the entire body, at breakneck speed.
NJ bag ban goes into effect
One of the strictest bans on single-use bags in the country has gone into effect in New Jersey. The ban started at midnight on Wednesday.
China, Coal, and John Kerry’s Clout
China, John Kerry has explained, is crucial to fighting climate change. Take this story from September.
Biden DOJ Announces New ‘Office of Environmental Justice’
“Although violations of our environmental laws can happen anywhere, communities of color, indigenous communities, and low-income communities often bear the brunt of the harm caused by environmental crime, pollution, and climate change”
The Newest Climate Criminals: Oncologists?
We may have reached peak climatista absurdity with this article in the Journal of Clinical Oncology: “Prescriptions for Mitigating Climate Change–Related Externalities in Cancer Care: A Surgeon’s Perspective”
Biden Climate-Activist Advisor Gina McCarthy Chortles Over 100 New Rules for Appliances
Meanwhile, the country is dealing with a shortage of critical appliances.
Government in Healthcare
UK midwifery students taught males can give birth through their penises
A midwifery workbook given to students at Edinburgh Napier University in Scotland asserted that males can give birth to children through their penises, according to a recent report at the website Reduxx.
“EU Empire”: Army, Centralised Brussels Powers Approved By Conference
The Conference on the Future of Europe has approved measures calling for the establishment of a European Union army and centralising power in the hands of Brussels eurocrats on Saturday.
Ukraine Updates: Kremlin Admits Deporting Over a Million Ukrainians to Russia
President Zelenskyy: Russia is trying to “empty” the Donbas of people
Whoa. Putin to undergo cancer surgery, transfer power
We’ve been hearing repeated rumors about Vladimir Putin having some undisclosed medical problems for a while now. And some of his public appearances lately have shown him to be not in top physical form, to say the least. But if a new report out today is confirmed, there could be a reason for all of these rumors. Putin is allegedly scheduled to have surgery for cancer very soon and he will be handing over control of Russia to Nikolai Patrushev, the head of the Russian police Security Council and one of Putin’s closest and most trusted allies in the government. Patrushev would take control during the surgery and during Putin’s recovery, assuming all goes smoothly.
Russian Generals Keep Getting Killed
This is either the ninth or 10th killed so far: “Russia has lost another general in Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, according to top Ukrainian officials, The Kyiv Post has reported. Maj. Gen. Andrei Simonov was killed near the city of Izyum in the Kharkiv region, which is currently occupied by Russian forces, Ukrainian authorities said.”
Surprise: Putin’s war may sink Belarus’ Lukashenko
What if having NATO on the Finnish border is only the second-worst geopolitical outcome for Vladimir Putin? The Russian tyrant may have figured a quick win over Volodymyr Zelensky’s Ukraine would send a signal to restive Belarusians that they would be next. And in that. Putin may be proven right — in a completely different way than he expected
Kremlin on high alert as coup rumours grow in Moscow: Disgruntled generals join FSB looking to oust Putin and end Ukraine war
Rumours are swirling in Moscow that a number of former generals and KGB officials are preparing to oust Russia’s president Vladimir Putin and plan to end the war in Ukraine, which is increasingly seen across Russia as a strategic mistake and, above all, an economic disaster.
Oh, great. Taliban using abandoned biometric data to target Afghan helpers
It’s long been known that America’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan last summer left behind a massive trove of more than seven billion dollars worth of weapons and other military equipment. This has made the Taliban one of the most well-armed military forces in the region. But there were other goodies left behind for the terrorists to rummage through. There were countless computers and other data storage devices. Some of these contained all of the personnel records of our Afghan helpers ranging from translators to teachers and general maintenance workers. Those records included all manner of biometric and personal data such as home addresses and the identity of relatives living in the area. Now the Taliban is using that data to track down the helpers that we left behind and imprison or execute them, and members of the Senate want answers as to how this happened.
China’s Troubling New Military Strategy Is Coming Into View
The last time the outside world paid much attention to the Solomon Islands was in 1943: More U.S. troops lost their lives in the six-month Battle of Guadalcanal there than in the deadliest four-year period of the Afghan War. Since World War II, this remote chain of South Pacific islands has gone from occupied territory to colony to frequently chaotic independent state, all without the great powers seeming to notice. Last month, however, a secret deal between the Solomons and China aroused fear of Beijing’s expanding presence throughout the region. China’s rivals worry that it may be shifting its security strategy, from a focus on economic sway alone to an increased emphasis on military dominance.
Pope Francis blames NATO for invasion of Ukraine, once again refuses to denounce tyrannical rulers
The editorial board of The Wall Street Journal has published a scathing essay on Papa Che’s blame-shifting and his reluctance to criticize Czar Vlad’s war crimes against Ukraine.
Belarus admits Russia’s war ‘drags on’
Belarus’ authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko defended Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in an interview Thursday with The Associated Press, but he said he didn’t expect the 10-week-old conflict to “drag on this way.”
Great: Yes, of course we helped sink Russia’s Black Sea flagship, U.S. officials admit
I can’t believe I have to ask this but here it is: Are we trying to get Putin to attack NATO?
Terrifying video shows Chinese super drones hunting humans in PACKS – amid fears they could be primed to KILL
TERRIFYING footage has emerged showing Chinese super drones hunting down humans in packs, sparking fears they could soon be primed to kill. The breakthrough achievement has prompted concerns that they could put to sinister use.
How Ukraine Uses Obsolete Soviet Grenades To Destroy Russian Tanks From Above
Ukrainian fighters have found a new use for outdated grenades that is proving spectacularly effective at destroying Russian tanks and other armored vehicles.
Ukraine’s Kharkiv Counter-Offensive Could Threaten Russians in Izyum
On the one hand, the past week has been good for Russia in that they seem to have gone the past six days without having another general killed, but on the other hand, the Ukrainians have scored crucial victories around Kharkiv. The invaders have been pushed back north and east of the city, which has endured weeks of shelling from Russian artillery. The Ukrainian push eastward from Kharkiv is especially promising, as they have advanced about 40 miles, all the way to Pechenihy on their left (north) and past the MO3/P07 highway crossroads of Chuhuiv as far as Malynivka on their right (south). While the Russians have retreated behind the Donets east of Pechenihy, with the river as an obstacle to further Ukrainian advances there, the prospect for Ukraine pushing southeast from Malynivka could be crucial. They are now roughly 45 miles from Kupiansk, a crossroads on the supply line of the Russian forces at Izyum, who thus now face a threat to their flank and rear.
U.S. Spooks Can’t Keep Their Mouths Shut About Helping Ukraine Kill Russians
U.S. intelligence agencies are deeply concerned about a steady flow of leaks pointing to extensive assistance by the United States, helping Ukraine score some of its biggest victories of the war.
Public schools slashing budgets as more parents choose homeschooling
Over the course of the pandemic, most public schools around the country were closed for significant lengths of time. In retrospect, this decision is increasingly being seen as having been a bad idea that did little to prevent the spread of infections and caused disruptive harm to students in a variety of ways. But the schools themselves managed to stay afloat through generous federal pandemic relief payments. Now, most of those funds have dried up and the schools are almost all open again. But many schools are now cutting their budgets, laying off staff, consolidating, or even closing in some cases. The reason is that a significant number of students have not yet returned. Some are continuing to blame the absences on the pandemic, but many families have decided that homeschooling is a better option for their children than the indoctrination systems that make up the public schools. And since public school budgets are at least partly based on enrollment numbers, cuts are being made.
The Disney Executive Who Donated $10 Million to Help Trump in 2020
A great irony that I believe went unobserved and unmentioned, in the recent controversy surrounding Disney, and its fight with Florida governor Ron DeSantis and Republicans in general . . .
Short Circuit: A Roundup of Recent Federal Court Decisions
Neighbors from hell, unvaccinated prison staff, and unconscionable sentences.
Higher Education Makes People More Libertarian
A major new British study reinforces the conclusions of previous research from the United States.
Woman Gets Surprise Upon Returning From Vacation: Squatters in Her Home and $50K in Belongings Gone
A Maryland woman returning from vacation got a nasty surprise when she walked in her door. Her residence had been emptied of everything but her bed. And on the bed, she found two squatters.
Affirmative Action—Even More Unpopular Than Democrats
In other survey news, a brand new Pew Research Center survey finds that the public opposes race-based college admissions by a whopping 74 percent.
DeSantis Supports Ban on Child Sex-Change Operations in Florida
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said he would support banning child sex-change operations in Florida in a Monday podcast interview on “The Truth With Lisa Boothe.”
‘Latine’ is the new ‘gender-neutral’ term out to replace ‘Latinx’
In response to complaints that ‘Latinx’ is culturally insensitive, ‘gender non-binary and feminist’ activists have proposed ‘Latine’ as an alternative.
Another College Gets ‘Woke’
Very few American college leaders have resisted the temptation to signal their “progressive” virtue by adopting various stances and policies. One that has clearly fallen for “wokeness” is Meredith College in Raleigh, N.C.
Unanimous SCOTUS: Boston discriminated against Christians in flag-flying process
It’s indisputably a big win for the First Amendment, but … which part? Another 9-0 victory for religious expression, or a unanimous verdict against government as arbiters of speech? Let’s call it both, although NBC News takes pains to emphasize the latter. In a unanimous opinion written by liberal Justice Stephen Breyer, the Supreme Court ruled that the city of Boston violated the Constitution by barring a Christian group from a flag-flying program meant to celebrate “diversity.”
CCSD to have students role-play asking for sex
The Clark County School District can’t keep kids safe or teach them to read, so now it wants them to role-play asking each other for sex.
DC elementary school gives 4-year-olds books to report racist family members
A Washington, D.C., elementary school is under fire after instructing students as young as 4 years old to go home and identify racist family members.
Florida Textbook Publishers Surrender to DeSantis, Scrub Woke Content
Textbook publishers are surrendering to Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ demands that math instructional materials get in line with state standards, allowing more books to be added to the approved list, according to the Florida Department of Education.
NBC News: Reporter terminated over eleven instances of plagiarism
Yesterday afternoon, NBC News offered a curious statement regarding the discovery of plagiarism by one of its reporters. Initially, that’s all NBC disclosed — not the articles, not the name of the reporter, and not actions taken to deal with the plagiarism, if any.
Banner Day for the 1st Amendment
Aside from Leakgate, the other big legal news from the Supreme Court yesterday was its unanimous ruling that the City of Boston exercised impermissible discrimination against religious freedom with its refusal to fly a Christian flag over city hall while allowing flags from some 200 other organizations. Justice Stephen Breyer wrote the opinion, saying “When the government encourages diverse expression — say, by creating a forum for debate — the First Amendment prevents it from discriminating against speakers based on their viewpoint.” (Just a hunch, but I’ll bet his confirmed replacement doesn’t believe this.)
Trends: California’s population drops for second straight year
In our latest edition of “Escape from New York’ shifts to “Escape from Los Angeles,” the latest analysis of yearly census data in California has been compiled. The news for California is once again not optimal, with the Golden State showing a net decrease in population in 2021. While slightly slower than in 2020, this marks two years in a row where the state’s total population has decreased. The real reason for this trend is a bone of contention among media analysts and scientists, but the final numbers appear solid. California has bled off residents for a variety of reasons, but the total number of net people lost is still well into six figures.
The First Commercial Brain Computer Interface Is Entering Human Trials
Synchron Inc., which develops a so-called brain-computer interface and competes with Elon Musk’s Neuralink Corp., enrolled the first patient in its U.S. clinical trial, putting the company’s implant on a path toward possible regulatory appr
Next Time Really May Be Different
New York’s highest court has the final say in the state’s partisan-redistricting battle.
Male students define a ‘man’
Auburn University students felt that identifying as a man does not alone make a person a man.
Of course. Satanic temple wants Boston to fly their flag
The Supreme Court recently issued a unanimous ruling saying that the City of Boston discriminated against a Christian group by refusing to fly their flag at City Hall, despite having flown flags for other organizations. Celebrations of this victory for the freedom of religion may be a bit more muted this week, however. Sensing an opportunity to garner some headlines and stir the pot, the Satanic Temple has sent a request to Boston to fly their flag for one week in July. The Mayor’s office declined to comment on the request, saying only that they are currently reviewing the court’s decision and going over the City Hall flag guidelines. So will we wind up seeing an image of Lucifer flying over a government building in Beantown this summer?
Did Alito just save the legislative filibuster?
Sound crazy? Before ordering me a straitjacket, consider just how much the leaked opinion draft from Justice Samuel Alito has changed all of the incentives in the US Senate. The Washington Post’s Amber Phillips starts us off with an explainer for why Senate Democrats “probably” won’t get rid of the filibuster.
Elon, South Africa, and the New York Times
Elon Musk is a native of South Africa, although he left that country at age 17. The New York Times obviously saw some potential in Musk’s heritage.
Here we go: Taxpayers sue DeSantis alleging violation of rights in ending Disney’s special district
Sarah Rumpf has a copy of the complaint, which strikes my admittedly untrained eye as amateurish in some respects. For instance, instead of citing to relevant language in state statutes and official documents like the bonds issued by the Reedy Creek Improvement District, the complaint cites a story from a newspaper that quotes that language. The punctuation in some places is … spotty. And at one point the plaintiffs ask the court to “repeal” the new law abolishing the RCID, a word I’ve never heard used in a judicial proceeding. Legislatures repeal laws; courts enjoin them.
Saga of Sage
The following is the story of a 15 year old girl, Sage Lily. The author, her adopted mother (who happens to also be her grandmother), wants the world to know what is happening to vulnerable trans identified children like her daughter. When we received her story, we immediately got her in touch with people in our network who could be in a position to help her, and to get her story visibility with a broader audience. All of that is currently in motion. Please take the time to read this heartbreaking story for yourself.
The Danger of Social Transitioning
Each of the three stages of “gender affirmation” therapy — social, medical, and surgical — leads to the next. If a child’s parents, teachers, and peers have all “affirmed” him in his belief that he is a girl, he is more likely to pursue puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones. And once these hormonal changes set in, he is more likely to seek out genital surgery.
They’ve Come for Lincoln
Remember when Democrats assured us that they just wanted to get rid of statues of Confederate generals, plus Jefferson Davis? That was the issue in Charlottesville. But of course it didn’t stop there. Liberals don’t hate the Confederacy, they hate America. So inevitably, the Great Emancipator is now in their sights.
Reddit Censors Forum That Makes Leftists Look Like Nazis
The radical left is driven purely by hate. They don’t try to hide it as they openly scorn straight white men for merely existing. When one forum on Reddit sought to expose that vile hatred from the left, it found itself censored by the platform.
Seattle: Alleged rapist was released and three days later raped another woman telling her he ‘knew he could get away with it’
If this story is accurate it’s a major screw up by the Seattle police. A 57-year-old man named Myron Lee Jacobs was arrested on April 25 for allegedly raping a woman at a homeless camp. The rape itself was violent and Jacobs was caught naked at the scene.
UNC Journalism program has accreditation downgraded after failing to hire Nikole Hannah Jones
You may recall that last year NY Times journalist and 1619 Project author Nikole Hannah Jones was denied tenure by the University of North Carolina last year after she was offered a position at the school
Short Circuit: A Roundup of Recent Federal Court Decisions
Prosecutor-induced perjury, a satirical arrest (and prosecution), and an unraised winning argument.
Porcine virus may be to blame for death of pig heart transplant patient
Doctors said they found traces of a virus in a pig heart transplanted into a Maryland man earlier this year, which may explain why he died two months later.
Can the World Feed Itself? Historic Fertilizer Crunch Threatens Food Security
For the first time ever, farmers the world over — all at the same time — are testing the limits of how little chemical fertilizer they can apply without devastating their yields come harvest time. Early predictions are bleak.
More States Are Starting to Require High School Students to Take Financial Literacy Courses
There’s been a move over the past few years to help young Americans learn how to manage their money better. And it’s long overdue. It can be easy to wonder what sort of problems financial literacy courses could have prevented for the generations before those who are in school now.
Bernie Sanders wants to bring back “blacklisting” of contractors to force unionization
Bernie Sanders has scheduled a hearing this Thursday before the Senate Committee on the Budget. It has the foreboding title, “Should Taxpayer Dollars Go to Companies that Violate Labor Laws?” Given Sanders’ history, it’s not hard to imagine what this is about.
Food Banks Serving More People Due to Inflation
“Typically, about $6 to $7 million dollars is what we would spend on food. This year we’re going to spend more than $16 million. So we need to purchase more food and right now the cost of that food is more. It’s not only more food, but it’s more expensive.”
Biden and Harris Reportedly Divided Over Dealing With Student Debt
“the vice president has been increasingly wary of becoming part of the public face of the administration’s response”
Massive Earthquake Swarm in Antarctica Suggest Sleeping Volcano Awakening
The swarm of 8500 earthquakes lasted three months in 2020 and was triggered by a “finger” of magma.
U.S. drone carrying guns intercepted after flying into southwestern Ontario
A bag containing 11 handguns was attached to the drone, which was stuck in a tree
Israel Erupts After Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov Claims Hitler Had Jewish Blood
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has sparked outrage in Israel after telling the Italian television news program Zona Bianca that even Adolf Hitler had “Jewish blood.”
Mexico’s secret deal to buy enslaved doctors from Cuba’s Castro dictatorship
On the outside the media reported it as a great humanitarian gesture by Cuba’s communist dictatorship to send doctors abroad to help. On the inside, however, it is modern-day slavery.
Ripples of Cinco de Mayo, 160 Years Later
Today marks the 160th anniversary of the Battle of Puebla. I took a long look at the importance of the battle two years ago. One item to expand upon: As I discussed, the French setback in 1862 fatally doomed the French effort to install Maximilian, the younger brother of Austrian emperor Franz Joseph, as emperor of Mexico, leading to Maximilian’s execution by firing squad in 1867. Had Maximilian lived, he would have become the next in line for the Austrian throne when Franz Joseph’s only son, Crown Prince Rudolf, died in a joint suicide with his mistress in 1889. There are a lot of other contingencies: Maximilian’s Mexican empire might have failed anyway, and he formally renounced his claim to the Austrian throne in 1864 when he sailed for Mexico. But the brothers may well have reconsidered that renunciation after Rudolf’s suicide, or they might have considered a son of Maximilian (had he had one; that’s another story) as the next in line, had the Mexican empire endured. In either event, it was the death of Maximilian without an heir that caused the Austrian line of succession to run to Franz Joseph’s second brother, Karl Ludwig — and, on Karl Ludwig’s death in 1896, to Karl Ludwig’s son Franz Ferdinand.
UK Conservatives lose London strongholds, in blow to Johnson
Britain’s governing Conservatives suffered local election losses in their few London strongholds, according to results announced Friday that will pile more pressure on Prime Minister Boris Johnson amid ethics scandals and a worsening economic picture.
Mystery ‘hybrid’ monkey leaves baffled scientists in ‘awe’ after jungle spot
The monkey, spotted near the Kinabatangan River in Malaysian Borneo, appears to be a combination of two different species that are actually competing for forest space, a new study states
Irish reunification? Sinn Féin win in Northern Ireland shakes up UK
The elections in Northern Ireland produced the political earthquake that the polls predicted — but what will happen when the ground stops shaking? For the first time since partition, a nationalist party has gained the most votes in an election — and not just any nationalist party, but Sinn Féin, the party that long served as the political wing of the Irish Republican Army. The formerly dominant unionist party, DUP, dropped into second place by eight points, 29%/22%, and fell seven points from its 2017 results
As Tunisia’s Democratic Experiment Unravels, Economic Collapse Looms
The last time Tunisia plunged into political crisis — its infant democracy unraveling amid political deadlock, assassinations and mass unrest — it fell to the country’s traditional guardians to find a way forward.
Victims of Communism Day – 2022
Why May Day should be a day to honor victims of an ideology that took tens of millions of lives. But we should also be open to alternative dates if they can attract broader support.
Should American Bar Association Be Stripped Of Its Monopoly Law School Accrediting Power?
“Most recently, the [ABA] Council adopted new ‘anti-bias’ educational requirements as part of its accreditation standards.”
You Mean There’s More to College Than ‘Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion’?
The DEI triumverate is just about all we hear these days. One might think that learning and academic standards had been forgotten in this obsession.
Will the Real J. D. Vance Please Stand Up?
On the menu today: How well do you know the Ohio Republican Party’s new Senate candidate, J. D. Vance? I suppose I should specify whether I mean the old J. D. Vance or the new J. D. Vance, because they seem like two drastically different guys. Maybe he has a split personality. Meanwhile, President Biden pledges to defend the right “to choose to abort a child,” while the numbers indicate that we live in a country where abortion is much rarer than it was a generation ago. And finally, another genius on the left contends that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is about to begin an effort to ban interracial marriage. It’s as if the whole Ginny Thomas controversy never happened.
The Dictatorship of Theory
Professor “X” teaches at a prominent private university. Recently, he taught a course on “Topics in Theory and Criticism.” He thought the class was going poorly–it was difficult to get the students to talk about the material–but on the last day of class, he received an ovation.
Did “Glee” Lead to Glum?
I had a long conversation once with one of the most important behind-the-scenes leaders of the long drive to legalize gay marriage—one of the most shrewd and sophisticated (and therefore realistic) leftists I’ve ever met. He was candid and direct in dismissing the efforts of the Human Rights Campaign Fund—actually he held HRCF in contempt—and other high-profile and self-congratulatory activist groups. He said the two most important things that made gay marriage legalization possible were TV shows: “Will & Grace,” and “Modern Family.” I suspect a close look at survey data of changing public attitudes on the issue might well be matched up with the ratings of these two pop culture hits.
What’s Really Going On with These Food-Facility Fires?
We made it to Friday! First, with two small planes crashing into or near food-processing plants, and reports of fires at various food-processing plants and facilities, it’s fair to wonder if something sinister is going on, but the evidence is pointing in one clear direction
How Americans Became a Constitutional People
A new book by Gordon S. Wood, the great historian of the Founding, details how Americans drafted, ratified, and incorporated written constitutions into their politics and government as fundamental laws.