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Whose Side Is the IG On?

 

From reactions across the board, it seems the DOJ Inspector General Report on FBI Investigation of Hillary Clinton is a Rorschach test. We see what we want to see. How can that be? In part, columns by Andrew McCarthy and Mollie Hemingway explain our reactions. The reactions follow from the nature of the writing of the report and suggest we must look elsewhere for solutions.

Do you see this?

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Everyday Hero

 

When a young man has a calling to step up and help others, without pressure or financial reward, he should be recognized and lauded. I want to celebrate Rodney Smith. He serves as a model of selflessness by helping others, just because he can.

Rodney’s journey to help others began in the fall of 2015 when he saw a senior citizen struggling to mow his lawn:

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Happy Fathers Day

 

Click here for original.

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Democrat Buffet

 

Original artwork available here.

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Celebrating the Flag and the Army on June 14th

 

June 14th is officially designated both Flag Day and the Army Birthday in the United States. These two are intertwined, as the need for a flag, and the need of an army, arose from our bid for independence. The Army traces its birthday to an act of the Continental Congress in 1775, more than a year before the Declaration of Independence. The flag’s birthday is traced to another act of the Continental Congress, one year after the Declaration of Independence. The Army has marched under the flag, in its many configurations, and sometimes come home draped in the flag.

Happy 243rd Birthday, Army!

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Historic Snooker

 

The headline writers adore the word “historic.” It was ubiquitous in reporting on the April meeting between Kim Jung Un and Moon Jae-in. Kim shook Moon’s hand and then guided him over the military demarcation line to step onto North Korean territory. This prompted swoons. What rot. If that was a bona fide gesture of peaceful intent, time will tell. In the meantime, let’s assume it was a stunt.

So too with the summit between Kim Jung Un and Donald Trump, though in this case the media hype couldn’t compete with Mr. Trump’s own. He has basked in talk of a Nobel Peace Prize and predicted that he and the butcher of Pyongyang were “going to have a great discussion and a terrific relationship.” Obviously panting for a meeting, Trump was reportedly livid with National Security Advisor John Bolton, whose May comments about a “Libya solution” to the nuclear weapons problem apparently spooked Kim into withdrawing from the summit. Trump insisted that it was he who canceled, just as he did with the Philadelphia Eagles’ White House visit.

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ACF #36: Stagecoach

 

Prof. John Marini and I continue our series on John Ford and the Western. And today we come recommended by Powerline! Glad to see the gentlemen there are friends of the show and we’re looking forward to having them on the podcast! Today, we deal with the movie that made John Wayne a star and made the Western an art form. Ford seems to have thought it both possible and necessary to establish a national form of poetry–and, for two generations, the Western really was that. Ford’s idea was to tell the story of America’s past in a heroic way–his art was essentially anti-Progressive. Things and people past were not, in his eyes, worse, essentially, than things and people present or future. Instead, going back to the origins of civilization, the essential character of man and city emerge in his movies, and in a way that defends and criticizes civilization at the same time.

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Summit Agreement

 

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Why the Delay in Kim’s Denuclearization, Big D?

 

“Why didn’t Kim Jong Un allow you to sniff his night soil, Mr. President?” CNN’s Jim Accoster screamed accusingly, piercing the solemnity of the Singapore Summit’s silent opening prayer.

Big D continued praying in silence as Kim’s interpreter explained the question to the Chairman.

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Trump’s G7 Free Trade Zone Is a Breathtakingly Ambitious Idea. But Has It Been Thought Through?

 

President Trump’s idea to turn the G7 into a free trade zone strikes one as a bit impulsive and underthought. After all, the Trump trade record this year seems to suggest a different direction, from solar panel and washing machine tariffs back in January to the steel and aluminum tariffs in March to China tariffs perhaps coming up.

Of course, none of that makes a G7 free trade zone necessarily a bad idea. Not at all. In theory, at least, it’s a remarkable one, breathtaking in its ambition. As Financial Times trade reporter Shawn Donnan writes:

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In Polk County, We Take Care of Our Own

 

While some school districts are struggling with the politics of protecting their kids from shooters in schools, Florida has taken action. Here in Polk County, the Sheriff’s Department and other law enforcement agencies will be hiring citizens to be part of the Guardians Program. When they put the call out, 400 people applied for the 90 positions.

The program was enacted in response to the Parkland school shooting. Applicants will be put through a rigorous screening process, including psychological testing. These employees will be hired in addition to the school resource officers in place. Here is a partial job description:

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Group Writing: Living in the Shadows

 

He’d had a long, productive life. On reflection, he said he had no complaints. He took care of himself, ate right, and took regular exercise. He’d raised an independent brood, all who eventually went on to make their own way in the world. He tried to talk them into staying close by, but they were determined to forge their own paths. And now he’d outlived them all.

Unfortunately, life changed in these parts. He had always felt free and independent, keeping his own schedule and company. He explored whenever he felt like it, relaxed when he could and pretty much lived a life of leisure. He’d always been a night owl; the silence and safety of darkness never stopped having its appeal.

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Hairstoric Summit

 

For the original artwork, click the link.

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An Ill-Conceived New Wave of Asbestos Liability

 

The United States Supreme Court will hear Air and Liquid Systems v. Devries in its next term, a case which raises the important question of whether a manufacturer that sold equipment to the United States Navy with no asbestos can be held liable for asbestos-related injuries resulting from other suppliers adding in their own products containing asbestos. The Third Circuit held that suits against any “bare metal” supplier—one who made their products in accordance with Navy specifications—might indeed be proper because it was “foreseeable” to that supplier at the time of its initial sale that products containing asbestos could be added on by independent parties. This theory, which works against any one supplier, can be brought simultaneously against multiple manufacturers who, years before, supplied bare metal components for naval ships.

This novel legal theory is a third-best alternative that takes the law far beyond its current contours. The obvious defendants are either the U.S. Navy or the supplier of those asbestos-contaminated products. But the Navy is immune from tort suit, and the suppliers of the asbestos products have all been bankrupted by a succession of earlier suits. Standard legal theories of causation hold that one person should not be held responsible for the wrongful acts of an independent party, and thus these cases ought to have been dismissed.

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Feeling the Pain of Bill Clinton … Not

 

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More Golf Ball than Moonscape: The Red Zone in France

 

Serving in Bavaria during the last years of the Cold War, the battalion’s officers took a bus trip to Verdun, for a professional development weekend. The terrain, even in 1988, was a stark, silent testament to the horror that reigned between trenches in the Great War. Moonscape? Try golf ball, for the ubiquity and closeness of deep dimples in the ground. Thirty more years have not erased the scars.

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The Left Has a Lot of Hot Ideas. Too Bad It Doesn’t Have Much Hayekian Humility.

 

It’s frustrating when the facts have yet to catch up to your insight. Prudence and patience can be maddening when you’ve devised a ready-to-go clever solution — even if that solution might be for a problem that really isn’t a problem. Even worse: When that clever solution and that possible problem neatly sync with the way you think the world works and your long-term policy goals.

For instance: Some progressives have been arguing the rise of the “gig economy” means it’s time for a rash of new business mandates — health insurance, vacation days, sick days, paid leave, pensions for all workers whatever their status — to provide economic security. But as The New York Times sums up a new Bureau of Labor Statistics report on nontraditional work: “The old-fashioned job remains king.” Turns out a smaller share of workers today are employed in “alternative work arrangements” than back in 2005. (I would like to see how things have shaped up over the past five years or so.)

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The Art of Hanging Loose and Riding the Perfect Wave

 

Link to the original.

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Winning the Information Campaign in Singapore

 

The White House communications team was on offense in Singapore. They rolled out Secretary of State Pompeo, and then posted a short statement, suggesting something significant was happening, in the hours leading up to the two leaders’ meeting. As it turned out, something significant did happen.

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Three-Parent Babies: A Slippery Slope?

 

First, the term “three-parent babies” is a misnomer; it refers to a fertility technique that originally was proposed to deal with dysfunctional mitochondria which are inside most human cells. These mutations can lead to a number of incurable and often fatal diseases that are passed on to the baby. This describes the process:

Scientists remove the nucleus from an egg of the mother-to-be. They then insert it into a donor egg, extracted from a woman who has perfectly healthy mitochondria. (First, they have to strip that healthy egg of its nucleus.)

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Making Army Great Again: Commie Beebop Receives Other Than Honorable Discharge

 

Was this young man always planning to leverage military service as a stunt, a springboard to leftist political activism? Or did he misjudge the “arc of history,” believing the K-12, media, entertainment echo chamber’s propaganda? Whatever the case, Mister Spenser Rapone is a civilian again, well before the end of his military obligation.

Spenser Rapone sought an appointment to West Point out of high school. When he did not receive one, he signed up and went for the really tough duty. He became an infantryman, then he volunteered again to join the Army Rangers. As a junior soldier, he would wear the scroll-shaped unit insignia but not attend the leadership course, Ranger School, which awards the Ranger qualification “tab.” He graduated jump school and air-assault training. He deployed with his unit to Afghanistan and served honorably, earning the Combat Infantryman Badge. You can read all of that on his uniform.

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Technology Defeats Climate Change

 

I’ve written about the scientific basis for why I’m skeptical about catastrophic anthropogenic climate change before — have fun reading that one! — but if you didn’t find my rationale convincing, the reasons to ignore catastrophists are really piling up. If it’s true that “tomorrow’s technologies will solve today’s problems,” we live in an age of wonders.

Why is that? Harvard scientists have announced the invention of an energy-efficient means of carbon capture:

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Quote of the Day: “We Just Got Here!”

 

Retreat, hell! We just got here. 

One hundred years ago this week, American ground forces, under American leadership, entered the fighting in France. At Belleau Wood, the United States Marines moved forward through retreating French forces. It should have been a relief in place, with Americans entering the lines and relieving the French soldiers in the trenches. Instead, it seemed to be turning into a forward passage of lines, transitioning into a meeting engagement, where two advancing forces run head-on into each other.

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Group Writing: Getting to the Truth

 

For the second time in a single minute, I looked at my watch. Although I felt some anxiety, I knew that I had truth and justice on my side. Ordinarily a Chief of Staff wouldn’t have taken on this task, but I was glad to be leading it. And I had to admit going to war on these issues was thrilling; we had waited far too long to act in a decisive and forceful way.

I ducked my head into the President’s office. “I’m heading over,” I said. Any last thoughts, Mr. President?”

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ACF Anniversary Edition: Terry Teachout on Vertigo

 

Friends, the American Cinema Foundation movie podcast is on its first anniversary. To celebrate, the celebrated Terry Teachout joins me to discuss Hitchcock’s Vertigo. It’s a pleasure to have him join and I am even more pleased to announce we will be doing such conversations in future, with whatever regularity circumstances permit. I’m also glad to return to Hitchcock, who was on my mind last year, when the podcast was just getting started–I was preparing for my journey to America, to become a Publius Fellow at the Claremont Institute, and at that time, thinking about Hitchcock’s reflections on American society–I did several podcasts that I thought revealed the power of tragedy: Psycho (with a discussion of the moral teaching of the art on display in the movie), The Birds, and later Rope. That was when I conceived a book on Hitchcock’s movies from 1948 to 1963–his analysis of the post-war transformation, which mirrors his own change from the thriller to the horror. Listen and share, friends–I hope you will be delighted with this conversation and find some insights!

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