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So, this Uzbeki jihadist who killed New Yorkers today is here on a “diversity visa”. Apparently, we have a program where we list countries who haven’t yet sent many of their useless and backward citizenry to our shores, and invite their nationals to enter a lottery to come here. The lucky winners are randomly chosen! […]

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The Last Halloween, and the First

 

I don’t know which Halloween was the “last” one for you as a kid. For me, it was 6th grade, when I was 12. My neighbor and I dressed up as soldiers, complete with camo and face paint, and trooped through our neighborhood. At that time we were living in an old and wealthy area filled with massive brick and stone houses and mansions, so while the houses were spread far apart and had long driveways or yards to traverse to get to the front doors where the candy was doled out, the walk was worth it for the haul you got. I remember one house just giving away whole Snickers bars, and others gave candy out by the handful. You could not help but come back weighed down with enough sugar to give you the jitters right through Thanksgiving.

This neighborhood had its perils, however. Being old, it was filled with tall, dark trees. Being high on the pecking order, the street lamps were more decorative than illuminative. The lots being large and well landscaped, high shrubs and high fences made it dark and secluded between stops. Being what it was, some of the kids were spoiled terrors and bullies. On a darkened sidewalk, my friend and I were tackled by a group of much older boys, armed with cans of spray-on hair color. They didn’t take our candy (I suppose it would have burdened them on their hunt for other kids), but we got knocked around and my hair was spray-painted bright pink.

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I don’t follow Pakistani news. An image search on “devil’s food cake” did return this charmingly-captioned series of spooky cakes, though, from an outlet called Parhlo.com, along with the following informative description of Halloween as a holiday: Halloween is celebrated throughout the world on 31st of October. The celebrations stretch to around the week or […]

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 Today marks the 500th anniversary of the traditional start of the Reformation in Germany 1517. Within a hundred years of it Europe would be split apart in a religious divide that would last until the present day. Thousands would die. Millions more would flee finding themselves in the wrong state. Monarchies were freed from the […]

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I just finished reading the short (150 pages) e-book: The Tragedy of the Euro.  The author’s (Philipp Bagus) basic theme was that the way in which the euro was implemented created a tragedy of the commons.  According to him, the situation is almost one in which each country using the euro has a printing press […]

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Junk Obama’s Clean Power Plan

 

In 2015, the Obama administration’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued its Clean Power Plan (CPP) that prescribed detailed regulations for the control of carbon dioxide emissions from existing coal-powered power plants as part of its effort to control climate change. Earlier this month, the Trump EPA under Scott Pruitt issued its own proposed rule to undo the Obama administration’s guidelines without a commitment to replace them with a substitute set of rules dedicated to the same end. In response to Pruitt’s major shift in policy direction, states like Massachusetts and New York are suing to prevent the new legal regime from going into effect.

Pruitt’s reversal in environmental policy raises two issues—one scientific and one legal. The scientific issue revolves around the 2009 endangerment findings from an Obama administration study, which determined that carbon dioxide emissions are a pollutant whose emissions levels must be regulated under the Clean Air Act (CAA) because “greenhouse gases in the atmosphere may reasonably be anticipated both to endanger public health and to endanger public welfare.” Other chemicals on the list of six designated pollutants—like methane and nitrous oxide, with known toxicities—surely deserve that designation, but the Obama report overstates the risks of carbon dioxide to the environment.

Although that report acknowledges that the relevant science is evolving, it does not recognize that new information about climate change could weaken the case for regulating carbon dioxide. For example, the 2009 report assumes that modest increases in temperature are likely to create dangers to crops by shortening the growing season. But more careful studies since that time have shown that the increase in carbon dioxide has resulted, as Matt Ridley reports, in a dramatic increase in the greenery on the earth’s surface of about 14 percent over the last 30 years. This far outpaces any supposed harm that might come, as the EPA report suggests, from “weed and pest growth,” which are best controlled by specific technologies and not by top-down policies addressing climate change generally.

Breaking: Reports of Deadly Attack in Manhattan

 

Update (5:07 pm ET): Several news organizations have reported that six people were killed and nine injured in lower Manhattan when a Home Depot rental truck plowed into pedestrians, not far from the World Trade Center. Witnesses told the NYPD that the driver shouted “Allahu Akbar!” The FBI has taken over the investigation and is treating it as possible terrorism.

Original Post (4:30 pm ET): Details are sketchy with contradictory reports at this time, but here’s the coverage from the New York Post:

At least two people were killed near Stuyvesant High School in lower Manhattan Tuesday afternoon in a wild incident that involved a shooting and a car ramming into victims on the West Side bike path, police sources said.

A Progressive Scandal of Monstrous Proportions

 

So let me get this straight…

Paul Manafort has been indicted for alleged criminal activities in connection with advocating Russian interests, advocacy done in conjunction with a heavily Democrat-connected lobbying firm headed by a close associate of the Clintons and Barack Obama. The head of the lobbying firm’s brother is a senior Democratic operative and the target of the lobbying was the Obama Administration.

Who Censors YouTube? Maybe Not Google.

 

Since PragerU filed their lawsuit against Google/YouTube last week, there’s been a lot of discussion about its merits. While only part of PragerU’s claim concerns the First Amendment, that part of the claim received a lot of attention here on Ricochet, with the overwhelming consensus being that it runs counter to the principle of free enterprise to force a private company (which is not a governmental body) to uphold free speech rights, rather than being able to choose what it publishes. I’m not arguing against that view, but I do wish to make the case that there may be a bit more going on here than meets the eye and that Google might have something to hide that could, in fact, bring First Amendment issues legitimately to the forefront.

Last year I was doing some work for a non-political nonprofit which had an interest in caching and analyzing certain YouTube videos, for reasons that aren’t really relevant. As part of this, we were in discussions with a senior legal counsel from Google about what they could do to help our noble cause. As the tech guy, I was invited to participate in one of these discussions to answer some questions about our internal processes. It was mostly about tech stuff, but near the end of the conversation it became apparent that the Google lawyer was on a completely different track, and that what they wanted (and what we were offered, semi-informally) was for our organization to become a “trusted flagger,” with the ability (I presume) to restrict and/or demonetize videos based on our own criteria. I should perhaps add that the sorts of videos we were interested in would have violated YouTube’s terms of use without a shadow of a doubt, so it all seemed very reasonable from their point-of-view. However, we didn’t pursue it because that wasn’t our goal at all.

I didn’t think any more about this until yesterday when I finally got around to reading the claim issued by PragerU. In particular, paragraph 66:

Security: A Movie Review

 

I’m not a film aficionado. The fact that John Wick didn’t win an Oscar was scandalous. But last night, tired, sore, and frustrated (reasons for which will be in my next Group Writing submission, I think on November 5), I needed an excuse to drink as much as I required to be able to get some sleep. I fired up Netflix and hit whatever came up first in the “we recommend for you” category.

The movie was Security, it was outstanding. Classic scrappy, outgunned underdogs fight to keep the MacGuffin away from totally well-trained, well-equipped, thoroughly evil antagonists. A great set up for any storyline. As I’ve read and believed repeatedly, all good stories are basically conservative. So I got ready to watch a rote, pro forma guns ‘n’ explosive fireballs movie. Security was that, and much, much more.

“C’mon, it’s a shoot ’em up, how great could it be?” asks the philistine who thinks it fitting that John Wick didn’t win an Academy Award. They did three things making this movie that put it over the top.

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We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. Given; We have […]

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It’s Halloween!  There’s no point in trying to watch a movie tonight, what with all trick-or-treaters ringing the doorbell off the hook. As for music, unless you’re a serious classical music buff, there’s only so many times you can here Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor, the first movement of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, and […]

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Scrolling down my Facebook feed I come across a kerfuffle over Tomi Lahren’s use of the flag as a theme for her Halloween costume. It’s a good opportunity to bring up a question about the flag code and what it says about flags and clothing: 4 U.S.C. § 8 (d) The flag should never be used […]

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Darvish’s Excellent Response to Racism

 

America has become an outrage machine. Tolerance is in the past. The media has become an unending tantrum of “social justice.” Professional sports is the most prominent stage of late to become mired in this junk. Thankfully a foreign baseball player, Yu Darvish, was able to stand above Yuli Gurriel’s offensive gesture and teach us all how to respond to insensitivity. Here are three things we can learn from his example after Game Three of the World Series.

1. We are all human

This includes racists. Gurriel is probably no more racist than Brian Gumble. But let’s say his unfortunate gesture is evidence that he’s secretly a member of the Cuban chapter of the KKK (they’ve been excommunicated by the Bama Chapter … for, ya know, being Cuban and Communist). I know this is hard to believe for some people but membership in the KKK does not get you excluded from membership in the club of humanity. The bar for membership in that club is really low. It starts with conception and there really isn’t anything you can do to get kicked out.

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At work we always throw something together last minute for the group costume contest. The only real requirement for me is that it can be worn with jeans. This year we went as a Pantone color palette. Please share your costumes in the comments! Preview Open

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The US, UK and western Europe are faced with quite a few of their citizens who were ISIS fighters and have been left alive after rolling the group up in Syria and Iraq. They now are at the beginning of figuring out what to do with them. The UK is much farther along in debating […]

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