Links for 4-12-2018

Links for 7-7-2016

Links for 12-30-2015

Links for 10-8-2015

  • As part of his nuclear deal with Iran, President Obama plans to drop sanctions against the country and permit American companies to do business there. After analyzing all of the statutes governing sanctions against Iran, administration officials believe this is impossible without violating the law. Since the nuclear deal isn’t a treaty it doesn’t override existing law, and Iran plainly hasn’t met the conditions spelled out in existing law that would permit sanctions to be dropped. Of course President Obama routinely ignores laws, so as a practical matter this really isn’t an obstacle.

  • Heather Wilhelm wrote a very funny column that starts with an account of Hillary Clinton version 5.0, as presented by NBC:

    On Monday, NBC’s “Today” show hosted everyone’s favorite person who might actually be an android, Hillary Clinton, for a folksy “Pancakes and Politics” town-hall gathering. The setting was autumnal Hollis, N.H., in a cozy red barn; Hillary wore a cozy blazer the color of a minor explosion. The event opened with the jovial flipping of pancakes, because we all know that the former secretary of state—a woman whose inside desperately screams “Don’t blackball me, I NEED THIS!” but whose outside cleverly imitates an animatronic wax statue from Madame Tussauds—likes nothing better than to stay home and cook.

  • Ben Domenech thinks Hillary Clinton’s flip-flop on the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal is another sign that she thinks we’re stupid:

    Do Republican operatives think it is news to the American people after the decades of knowledge we have about Clinton that she is shifty? No one cares. That she will obfuscate to the point of congressional inquiry? No one is surprised. That she will flip-flop according to poll numbers? No one thinks otherwise! What matters is whether people think she’ll fight for them, and in this economically backward way, that’s what she’s promising.

  • After Hillary Clinton left the State Department, her employees configured a threat monitoring service to watch her private email server – only to witness attacks against it originating in China, South Korea, and Germany. At this point there’s no telling who may have attacked it while she was in office.

  • Congressman Trey Gowdy wrote a lovely poison pen letter to Elijah Cummings (PDF), the ranking member of Gowdy’s Select Committee on Benghazi:

    Your public posture, however, has been quite the opposite. For months you have done nothing but write letters dripping with vitriol and baseless allegations, driven, one would reluctantly conclude, by the desire to create a false partisan narrative. Your Democrat colleagues and you have contributed nothing substantively to the Committee’s investigation over the past seventeen months – you have not requested a single new witness interview nor have you made one single document request to any Executive Branch agency. In fact, your Committee Members have appeared infrequently at witness interviews; sometimes staying only long enough to apologize to the witness, ask questions about Secretary Clinton, and then address the media. I cannot nor would I make any Member participate in an interview. I would simply ask that if you are not going to participate at least do not distort the motives and actions of those who do.

    Further, it is you, not Republicans, who has selectively leaked information to promote your own false narrative – that this Committee is political – or protect Democrat political figures, when it is a fact Democrats and you are the ones who have treated the Committee as political from the outset. This is glaringly obvious – no testimony has been disclosed from people interviewed who were on the ground or from national security professionals. Instead, the only leaks have been regarding Democrat political figures, and the initial stories have all selectively disclosed testimony to fit with Democrat political narratives. Your letter from Monday is completely disingenuous in attempting to criticize Republicans for leaks and mischaracterizing testimony while at the same time leaking part of the transcript because the politics of doing so are apparently too good for you to pass up.

  • The U.S. and Israel routinely cripple their soldiers with absurd rules of engagement, and yet they’re still accused of war crimes. Elan Journo thinks it’s past time for both countries to put their own interests first.

  • The Taliban overran two more districts in northern Afghanistan.

  • Russia fired cruise missiles from ships in the Caspian Sea, targeting Syria. Those missiles had to cross Iran and Iraq, and at least four missiles crashed in Iran. It’s not known if there were any casualties on the ground.

  • Robert Hardy delivered a speech about Winston Churchill at Hillsdale College. As an aside, Hardy noted that he studied under C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien while he attended Oxford.

Links for 3-31-2015

  • Hans Fiene describes his generation's manufactured outrage at Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act:

    But we still misrepresented the bill, lied about it, shared articles on social media that labeled the legislation as intentionally, undeniably anti-gay, and dismissingly enclosed the phrase “religious liberty” in scare quotes. Just as we did with such success in Arizona, we screamed that this bill would unlock the gates of hell and allow a horde of bigoted devils to deny Hoosier homosexuals a chicken salad sandwich, all while knowing that, because sexual orientation isn’t a protected class in Indiana, these beasts have already been free to do so this entire time and yet, annoyingly, chose not to. But we had already laced up our boots for the march on New Selma and we’re weren’t going to take them off just because the modern-day segregationists wouldn’t do us the courtesy of existing.

    Just as our desire to believe that we really were as holy as the civil-rights saints was so strong that we willingly slandered the opposition and lied about the legislation, so we made ourselves impervious to shame and irony in defense of our newfound righteousness. We looked to the icon of racial equality, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a man whose greatest accomplishments included spearheading nationwide non-violent protests, preaching peace, giving speeches, and writing letters that will live forever in the annals of American history, and we felt not an ounce of humiliation when the best prophet we could place beside him was George Takei, a man whose greatest accomplishments include pretending to fly a spaceship on TV and sharing funny pictures of cats on the Internet.

    And what form of protest did Takei threaten as Pence prepared to sign the accursed bill into law? Sit-ins? Bus boycotts? No, he threatened that a gaming convention would move out of Indianapolis. Our leader didn’t say, “I have a dream,” he said, “If you sign this bill that we’re all pretending says something it doesn’t, a bunch of grown men who pretend to be fictional characters will pretend to be fictional characters in another state that we’re pretending won’t almost certainly have an identical law already on the books.” How can any self-respecting person not explode in a ball of humiliation when comparing Selma with Gen Con, you ask? We don’t need self-respect anymore. We sacrificed it to keep the cause and our moral superiority.

  • Andrew McCarthy can't understand why Congressman Trey Gowdy wants to privately interview Hillary Clinton instead of subpoenaing her to testify in public and under oath: “A good investigator is not indulgent of a recalcitrant witness who is making a mockery of the investigative process. He uses the tools the law gives him to make it crystal clear that that he is not running a kangaroo court. He makes certain that witnesses and the public understand that the law requires compliance with congressional-committee demands for information. This shouldn’t be a case of Gowdy asking Clinton to please do him a favor.”

  • A Travis County, Texas grand jury failed to indict University of Texas Regent Wallace Hall, but it did write a poison pen letter suggesting he be removed from his position and that the University of Texas make it more difficult for regents to file requests for public records (in the name of transparency, of course). Hall responded with his own letter attacking the instigators of this entire controversy: “The campaign by Speaker Straus, Representative Flynn and Senator Seliger to criminalize my service as a Regent constitutes abuse of office. Their use of the levers of political power to cover up wrongdoing by legislators should now be investigated, and those exposed for their abuses should be driven from office.”

  • The web site GitHub is normally used for collaborative software development, but it has also been used to circumvent the Great Firewall of China by hosting content that would otherwise be blocked. The Chinese government doesn't take kindly to this, so they staged a distributed denial of service attack that worked in a nefarious way. Requests sent by people's web browsers to innocuous Chinese web sites would be intercepted by the Great Firewall, and malicious JavaScript software would be returned and would execute in the browser. That malicious software hammered on GitHub – people were unknowingly complicit in the Chinese government's effort to take the site down.

  • A study commissioned by the Belgian government showed that Facebook is violating European Union privacy laws. Facebook tracks people who visit the site even if they don't have a Facebook account, and does so without asking the visitor's consent. They also track people who have a Facebook account but explicitly opt out of tracking.

  • HP sued the former CEO and CFO of Autonomy, a British software company that HP acquired in 2011 for $11.7 billion. HP claims Mike Lynch and Sushovan Hussain engaged in fraudulent activity at Autonomy, and they're seeking $5.1 billion in compensation.

  • Russia conducted another test of its nuclear-capable RS-26 missile at a range that puts it in violation of the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty. Russia claims the RS-26 is an intercontinental ballistic missile, but they've been testing it at intermediate ranges.

  • A group called Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) took an Istanbul prosecutor, Mehmet Selim Kiraz, hostage. Turkish special forces attacked the courthouse where Kiraz was being held. Kiraz was killed in the resulting melee, as were two DHKP-C members.

Links for 3-20-2015

Links for 3-8-2015