Links for 9-6-2017

Links for 8-8-2017

  • The Department of Defense released the names of the three Marines killed in the MV–22 crash off Australia: First Lt. Benjamin Cross, Cpl. Nathan Ordway and Pfc. Ruben Velasco. The Osprey crashed as it was landing on the USS Green Bay — it hit the ship’s stern and landed in the water. The Green Bay is an amphibious transport dock.

  • An Iranian drone approached to within 100 feet of a U.S. Navy F/A–18 as it was preparing to land on an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf.

  • Someone attacked a group of Shiite militia and Iranian Revolutionary Guard fighters near the border between Iraq and Syria, killing 36. The militia blamed the U.S. for the attack, while Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said ISIS was responsible.

  • The Washington Post arrived late at the story that North Korea has miniaturized its nuclear warheads to the point that they fit inside their missiles, but since the story was published by the Post it garnered more attention than it has before.

  • The New York Times broke the story that the Department of Justice is investigating “race-based discrimination” in college admissions, but spun it to make it look like the DOJ is protecting white applicants. In truth it’s Asians who are actively discriminated against in college admissions, and several Asian groups have filed lawsuits claiming as much.

    Not many people, including many Asians themselves, knew how hard they had to work until Princeton University published a study, titled “Admission Preferences for Minority Students, Athletes, and Legacies at Elite Universities.” The study uses the term “bonus” to describe how many extra SAT points an applicant’s race is worth. The study shows African Americans received a “bonus” of 230 points, and Hispanics received a bonus of 185 points. But if you are Asians, 50 points were deducted. So for an Asian kid to have a shot at an elite college, his/her SAT scores has to be several hundred points higher to make up for the penalty of being Asian. Obviously, Asian kids are punished for their successes.

  • Connor Mighell believes the U.S. should repeal the Seventeenth Amendment:

    Regardless of how it came to be, the Seventeenth Amendment savages the balance of power inherent in the constitutional structure. The Constitution created a system of checks and balances not only at the federal level, but between federal, state, and local governments. This system is fundamentally based on balancing self-interest.

    States are interested in exclusively maintaining as much power over health, safety, and welfare policy as possible. They naturally desire to prevent federal intrusion into these areas, and would work to shield their citizens from federal overreach. However, the Seventeenth Amendment deprives them of the ability to do so.

  • The state of New York confiscated a Vietnam veteran’s firearms because a hospital mistakenly labeled him “mentally defective”:

    On the advice of his lawyer, Hall began to contact local hospitals in an attempt to get them to certify that he had not been treated for any mental health conditions. At one hospital, Hall told the paper that a clerk “turned white as a ghost” when she read him a file with a matching name but slightly different Social Security number. Hall said that matched a mistake he noticed with the Social Security number listed on the confiscation order police showed him.

  • Former Israeli foreign minister Shlomo Ben-Ami argues that the Kurds deserve an independent state in the form of Iraqi Kurdistan:

    But the Kurdish community in Iraq, represented by the Kurdish Regional Government, has a real shot at statehood. The KRG is a quasi-sovereign entity overseeing an efficient military and an independent economy. Although it is plagued by corruption and cronyism, like every other political organisation in the region, the KRG represents the only truly functional government in Iraq, presiding over the country’s most peaceful and stable areas.

    The strength of the KRG’s position is not lost on its leaders. The ruling Kurdish Democratic Party plans to hold a referendum on independence this September. Yet even a resounding call for secession will not be enough to achieve success. For that, the US must throw its weight behind the pro-Western KRG and offer resolute support for the independence effort.

  • The European Commission is threatening to invoke Article 7 of the Treaty of the European Union against Poland, which would strip Poland of its voting rights in the EU Council.

  • Mazda plans to ship compression ignition gasoline engines in 2019. These operate on the same principal as diesel engines and are therefore more efficient than conventional gasoline engines, but they emit fewer pollutants than diesels.

Links for 4-11-2017

Links for 3-16-2017

  • Someone — possibly a foreign intelligence agency — appears to have hacked commercial cell phone towers in Washington, D.C. and other areas of the country, and they’re using that access to track people.

  • The federal district court judge in Hawaii who blocked Donald Trump’s latest immigration/travel executive order based his ruling on his beliefs about Trump’s motives, not the law:

    Throughout the ruling, Judge Watson concedes there’s nothing about the executive order that would be problematic if not for his interpretation of Trump’s statements made in the months and years prior to issuing it. He repeatedly states his feeling that Trump had a bad motive in issuing the order.

    Judges using campaign rhetoric to infer intent instead of plainly evaluating the law as written is a dangerous development. Also because the public can witness the selective use of this trick, it undermines confidence in the judiciary at a time when the judiciary can’t afford too much erosion of trust.

    These are also good points by @ThomasHCrown:




  • The latest debt limit deal expired yesterday, and the federal government added $1.4 trillion to its debt over the 16 months it was in effect. The current federal debt (not including unfunded liabilities) stands at $19.9 trillion.

  • The U.S. Navy demonstrated firing two SM–6 missiles in rapid succession at a ballistic missile target, which is something they couldn’t do with their previous generation SM–5 missiles. Firing two (or more) missiles is intended as a fail-safe in case one misses.

  • Kevin Williamson writes that the Republican and Democratic parties have swapped roles:

    The Democrats have become what the Republicans once were: the party of the respectable upper-middle class — and of many of those who aspire to it. (The poor are for patronage and vote-farming.) They are, as the bourgeoisie always are, obsessed with social convention and etiquette (If a young white woman in college wears hoop earrings, is it “cultural appropriation”? How ashamed should I be for having watched Speedy Gonzales cartoons as a kid — and enjoyed them?). The Republicans have gone seeking tribunes of the plebs. (Weird thing: Our tribunes of the plebs have an awful lot of private jets backed in Palm Beach.) Up is down, left is right, confusion reigns.

    In neither party’s case does this recent evolution constitute an improvement: It would be one thing if the Democrats had embraced their inner aristocrats with a decent and forthright spirit of public service rather than their current nastiness and stupidity, or if the newly class-conscious Republicans were proceeding as people who are (as Someone once put it) “poor in spirit,” putting generosity of spirit rather than seething resentment at the center of their new concern for those at the margins of modern life. But that is not the case. The Democrats have become ordinary snobs of a particularly embarrassing variety, and the Republicans have become incontinent rage monkeys, looking for someone — anyone — to blame. They are much more interested in afflicting the comfortable than in comforting the afflicted. But there is another approach to life’s losers, a better one, if only they could remember.

  • Congressman Thomas Massie has concluded that voters who supported libertarians and Donald Trump were just voting for the crazies:

    “All this time,” Massie explained, “I thought they were voting for libertarian Republicans. But after some soul searching I realized when they voted for Rand and Ron and me in these primaries, they weren’t voting for libertarian ideas — they were voting for the craziest son of a bitch in the race. And Donald Trump won best in class, as we had up until he came along.”

  • Federal and state prosecutors decided they will not charge New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio over his campaign fundraising practices.

  • Queen Elizabeth approved the law giving Prime Minister Theresa May authority to trigger Britain’s exit from the European Union.

  • Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s VVD won a parliamentary majority in yesterday’s election, but lost eight seats in the process. One of Rutte’s coalition partners, the Labour party, got blown out (they lost 29 seats), so Rutte will have to build a new coalition. Geert Wilders’ PVV party gained five seats, which is fewer than polls predicted. To win, Rutte and VVD had to co-opt many of Wilders’ stances on immigration, so Wilders did shift the public discussion.

  • Someone sent a letter bomb to the International Monetary Fund office in Paris.

Links for 2-8-2017

Links for 2-4-2017

  • Three brothers who provide IT services to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence were fired for accessing congressional computer networks without permission and stealing equipment. Other House members, including members of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, also employed the brothers. 

  • U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas Rueter ruled that Google must turn over to the FBI data that’s stored in an overseas data center. The Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals came to the opposite conclusion regarding a demand for data that was stored in an overseas Microsoft data center, so it’s not clear what’s going on with this judge.

  • Andrew McCarthy argues that we should be prosecuting left wing rioters, not lionizing them:

    The message could not be clearer: For the political Left in this country, violence in the pursuit of “social justice” is not to be condemned, it is to be understood. There is the occasional winking rebuke of the forcible methods, but the underlying “progressive” cause is always endorsed, and the seditionist vanguard is the object of adulation.

    It is a huge problem in our country.

    What is being championed is not dissent. It is the destruction of the right to dissent. It is the suspension of the rule of law, without which a free society protective of life, liberty, and property is impossible.

    Later:

    For too long, our elites have portrayed transgressive behavior (very much including its allegedly artistic expression) as virtue. The constant undercurrent is that our country, our principles, and our norms are not worth having — much less admiring or defending. We are perversely taught to loathe ourselves, and thus to excuse and even revere those who raise the loathing into intimidation, aggression, and violence. Much of this phenomenon is cultural, which means government cannot fix it. But government is duty-bound to uphold the rule of law, and thus to ensure that our problems can be addressed peacefully.

    Sedition and its related pathologies must be prosecuted. Equally important, they must be condemned. Without that, there cannot be a pluralistic, flourishing society.

  • The Home School Legal Defense Association is suing New York City’s public schools for reporting homeschool families to Child Protective Services.

Links for 12-20-2016