Links for 6-3-2015

  • One of Rush Limbaugh’s callers came out as a black man:

    RUSH: This has to be hell because here you are, you’re Caucasian, but you know you’re black, but nobody can see that you’re black, so nobody can see who you really are.

    CALLER: Exactly.

    RUSH: And you’re desperate to be seen who you really are. You’re desperate to be known for who you really are. You’re not an actor. You want to be known for who you are. You know you’re black, but nobody can tell it. And you go tell people you’re black, and they think you’re nuts, right?

    CALLER: Right. I mean, I’ve signed up for, like, minority grants and that sort of thing, and, you know, they all just laugh at me.

  • Liberal ideology and the transgender movement aren’t compatible:

    For years, a major aim of the sexual revolution has been to deconstruct gender differences as being “social constructs,” mere cultural projections of what maleness and femaleness are and mean. This critique evacuated gender of any physical meaning and reduced it to an existential feeling — a feeling of being male or female, regardless of one’s sexual biology.

    The effect of this critique has been to relativize gender, and thus to abolish it as a meaningful category. Because you can no longer tie “femaleness” to a normative set of traits or acts (for example, wearing dresses or marrying men), the category itself cannot help but lose its meaning. To call any particular act a “male” or “female” act would be to revert back to antiquated, repressive, patriarchal norms—norms that only serve to foster social inequality.

    This is the ideology that governs liberal sexual philosophy, and it collides head-on with major aspects of the transgender movement. Transgenderism is unavoidably based on a kind of gender essentialism. It recognizes gender identities as being associated with certain socially accepted norms. What does it mean, for example, that Jenner’s “gender” is female? It means that he gets a sex change. It means that he poses in traditionally female attire for the cover of Vanity Fair. It means that he reaffirms traditional gender norms, even as he attempts to flee from them.

  • Lincoln Chafee is running for president as a Democrat. His campaign platform includes switching to the metric system.

  • Hillary Clinton’s lawyers are challenging voting integrity measures in several battleground states. These lawsuits are primarily campaign stunts, but I’m sure they’re interested in cheating at the polls, too.

  • Boston police shot and killed an Islamist, Usaamah Rahim, who threatened them with a knife. Rahim reportedly intended to behead Pamela Geller, but settled for attacking an easier target, the police.

  • Kevin Williamson wrote this about the TSA’s extraordinary incompetence:

    And on Monday, the acting chief of the TSA, Melvin Carraway, was transferred to a comfortable new sinecure (he’ll be at Homeland Security’s office of state and local law enforcement) after he successfully discovered the answer to a question that has puzzled White House watchers: What does it take to embarrass the Obama administration? In this case, it was revelations that 95 percent of explosives and weapons intentionally sent into the TSA apparatus for the purpose of testing its efficacy went undetected. Which is to say, when it comes to detecting bombs and guns, the TSA’s success rate was found to be approximately 5 percent. A chimpanzee taking the LSAT does better than that.

  • Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval signed an education savings account bill into law:

    When Nevada parents remove their child from her assigned district school, the state takes 90 percent of the statewide average basic support per pupil (about $5,100) and instead deposits it into a private, restricted-use bank account. The family can then use those funds to purchase a wide variety of educational products and services, such as textbooks, tutoring, educational therapy, online courses, and homeschool curricula, as well as private school tuition. Low-income students and students with special needs receive 100 percent of the statewide average basic support per pupil (about $5,700). Unspent funds roll over from year to year.

  • Someone shot up a campaign minibus belonging to Turkey’s pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), killing the driver. There’s a parliamentary election on June 7 and the HDP is hoping to win enough votes to clear the 10% threshold required to win seats.

  • ISIS is using water as a weapon in Iraq by closing the gates of a dam on the Euphrates River.