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No Excuses: Guns and Faith

 

We’ve arrived! My husband and I have taken a road trip, and the first part of our agenda is attending the Couples for Liberty five-day workshop at Hillsdale College—lessons on shooting guns and on understanding the Constitution. We originally signed up for the workshop in May, but we had court dates assigned for the same time and we had to be there. But we found out there were two slots open for Hillsdale’s September workshop. They let us make the switch, and we were delighted–

–until a few weeks ago I realized that Yom Kippur fell during the same week. (I thought I also had a conflict with Rosh Hashanah, but there wasn’t a scheduling problem.)

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If the Old US-China Game Is Over, What Comes Next?

 

Phrase it whatever way you prefer. As my CNBC colleague said today on “Squawk on the Street,” “I think the president is saying, ‘Hey, listen guys, you are not going to make as much money in China as you used to. That game is over.’”

Or as my AEI colleague Derek Scissors writes in a new blog post, “…the Sino-American economic relationship is going to shrink, sooner or later.”

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We May Not See the Tsunami Until It Is Upon Us

 

In two recent posts I discussed forecasts for the November midterms, including predictions about the potential for a Blue Wave and the odds of Republicans maintaining control of the Senate. But those polling numbers, interesting as they are, may not capture an aspect of the forthcoming blue wave. That aspect was touched on recently by both Sen. Ben Sasse on the latest episode of The Remnant and Harry Enten writing at CNN: Turnout sometimes just overwhelms the polling.*

It’s important to understand how pollsters operate. They don’t just call up 1,038 random people and the chips fall where they may. Pollsters balance the sample they look at based on what they think turnout will look like on Election Day. Using dissimilar turnout models, two different pollsters, working from the same data set, could come up with different numbers. So pollsters make educated guesses as to what the turnout will be in a various elections, based on voter enthusiasm.

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S.O.B.

 

Order and Laughter

101 years ago today, my father, Eaton Jackson Bowers, III, known to all as “Jack,” was born. A walking bundle of contradictions, he crackled and sparked with energy like a severed high voltage wire, and had only two speeds: high and asleep. Always impatient but ever dutiful, he loved to travel, but hated change. He dressed impeccably, practiced straight-laced Victorian manners, and kept all his things orderly and polished to perfection. Outwardly he was the grand Southern Gentleman, charming, hospitable and openhanded.

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Me and Brett and the Aliens

 

It happened sometime during the summer of 1997. My recollection of the events is a little bit fuzzy because the memory itself is now old enough to buy a drink, and I never bothered to write it down … besides, who would write something like this down? It might prove embarrassing later.

At any rate, that was the summer between my high school graduation and starting college, and I was working as an intern in the lab at my father’s office. My folks had left for the week on a trip and taken my younger sister with them, so I was watching the house by myself. After I got home that night (again, I can’t recall if it was a Monday … but whatever) I went about my business of sorting out the animals and fixing some food. That’s when I got an unexpected knock on our door.

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Hypocrite’s Tale

 

View original artwork here.

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Welcome to Seattle

 

Seattle’s Mayor, Jenny Durkan, held a town-hall meeting in Lake City, in North Seattle. Here is a bit of what happened (from the KOMO web site):

“The city government works for the people, and more and more these days there’s more disconnect between people and their government,” Mayor Durkan said. “I think it’s really important to get into communities and listen to what’s working, what’s not working, how we can get better.”

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How Much is a Jewish Life Worth?

 

On Sunday morning, we awoke to the terrible news: Ari Fuld, a fierce advocate for Israel both on and offline, had been tragically murdered while shopping for his family. Ari’s full name is Aryeh, which means lion, and like the lion he was, despite getting stabbed in an artery, he managed to get up, chase his attacker, jump a wall, and neutralized him with a pistol before collapsing.

In the wake of his funeral, a family friend has put together a fund to benefit his wife and four children. As of this writing, it had raised almost half a million dollars from around the world.

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No! Just, No!

 

Sorry, but with all due respect to everyone trying to be respectful and even-handed, the Senate should not devote a single second, a tenth of a second, a microsecond, to the supposed charges against Brett Kavanaugh.

Line it up. Senator Feinstein has for over a month sat on an unsubstantiated 30-year-old allegation of teenage misconduct brought by a progressive activist against a respected jurist, and then brought it forward at the last minute in an attempt to stall the process and if not thwart the nomination, to smear the integrity of the nominee so that he is forever tainted.

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Trump Orders Declassification of FISA-Related Documents

 

From the White House:

At the request of a number of committees of Congress, and for reasons of transparency, the President has directed the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Justice (including the FBI) to provide for the immediate declassification of the following materials: (1) pages 10-12 and 17-34 of the June 2017 application to the FISA court in the matter of Carter W. Page; (2) all FBI reports of interviews with Bruce G. Ohr prepared in connection with the Russia investigation; and (3) all FBI reports of interviews prepared in connection with all Carter Page FISA applications.

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Right Angles, Legal Correspondent, Reporting from Washington!

 

Right Angles, Legal Correspondent, Reporting from Washington!

Amid all the controversy swirling around Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, a new bombshell! This reporter has learned of yet another dire accusation against the beleaguered judge, and I will share it with you now. I think you’ll agree that this will sink this nomination for good:

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When Hot-Take Ideas Meet Economic Reality

 

Even though it’s now a thing on the left, we really don’t want to MAG: Make America Germany. Or any other nation, necessarily. As I recently wrote for The Week, politicians here shouldn’t breezily suggest we do things just like policymakers over there — and then offer some 3-5 point plan that fails to acknowledge potential costs or show awareness of key differences.

For instance: Might radically altering the rules under which American corporations operate to mimic those in Germany have negative unintended consequences? The US certainly wouldn’t want to accidentally import Europe’s difficulty in generating tech startups. It’s not obvious that Elizabeth Warren’s Accountable Capitalism Act reflects serious thinking about that and other unwanted outcomes.

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Kavanaugh in the #MeToo Era

 

In the wake of the revelation of Christine Blasey Ford’s identity, some have suggested that her allegation against Brett Kavanaugh will be handled more sensitively than such accusations once were thanks to the #MeToo movement. That may turn out to be true, but only if at least one other woman comes forward with similar charges.

#MeToo gave courage to women, and some men, to speak up about sexual harassment and abuse. It helped to clarify that gross sexual misconduct is not a perk of power. It revived a sense of shame. Whereas for too long, many women felt powerless in the face of this abuse, the movement offered strength in numbers. Once one victim of a brutish man found her voice, others summoned the courage to come forward.

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The Bezos Busters

 

Trust the New York Times to go gaga over bad ideas concerning antitrust law. This past week, the front page of the print version of its business section featured an article entitled, “Be Afraid, Jeff Bezos, Be Very Afraid.” The drumbeat continued with the online version, entitled “Amazon’s Antitrust Antagonist Has a Breakthrough Idea.” Its author, the journalist David Streitfeld, profiles Lina Khan, a recent Yale Law School graduate, in his lead article. Khan, he claims, “has reframed decades of monopoly law” with a student note published in the Yale Law Journal entitled “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox.” Khan thinks Amazon should be broken up because its large size and pervasive reach allows it to extend its tentacles into too many markets at the same time.

The title of Khan’s note is intended to be an attack on the late Robert Bork’s influential 1977 book, The Antitrust Paradox: A Policy at War with Itself. Bork’s Chicago-school critique of antitrust law was largely directed to what he called the “reckless and primitive egalitarianism” of Chief Justice Earl Warren’s Supreme Court, which sat from 1954 to 1969 and wrought havoc over many fields of legal study, antitrust included. On antitrust, the Warren Court often held that mergers that resulted in virtually no increase of market power could be enjoined by the government, even though they had no adverse affect on either the price or quantity of goods sold. In so doing, the Court deviated from the original antitrust design which was intended to supplement state law, as argued in another Yale law student note, in dealing with large combinations—the so-called trusts—that did exert enormous market power.

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#HimToo? Call Wavering Senators’ Bluff

 

If Sen. Flake, who the careful John Hinderaker now calls “traitor,” truly believes Judge Kavanaugh’s 11th -hour Democrat accuser, he will immediately call for the judge’s impeachment. If Flake and the abortion-on-demand supporters, Senators Collins and Murkowski, believe a word of the accusation against Judge Kavanaugh, if they even really believe the allegation is serious, then they will also immediately hold a press conference demanding the impeachment of Justice Clarence Thomas. They will do no such thing because they believe none of this.

As John Hinderaker explains:

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A Mother-in-Law for the Ages: How Great Thou Wert

 

It’s been eleven years since my mother-in-law passed away, and perhaps it’s time to tell a bit of her story.

Geraldine Virginia was born on May 13, 1918. She’d have been 100 this year, had she lived. And she might have.

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Drawing the Wrong Lessons – Bad Book Review Clickbait

 

Per some rather head-smackingly daft articles @titustechera has been bringing to my attention on Facebook (I’ll not link to them so as to spare the guilty), let’s have a game. The goal here is to come up with one or two sentence article titles on life lessons you can draw from classic or famous books or stories, but with a catch. You see, you must demonstrate that while your article title does indeed convey that the you may have read the story in question, you obviously did not understand it, and are instead trying to wring out whatever preconceived life lessons you think the story should have been about. Some starters are:

  • A Christmas Carol: How hard work, thrift, and personal sacrifice allow generous philanthropy in old age.
  • Wuthering Heights: How to stay true to yourself.
  • Game of Thrones: How your siblings can help you get ahead in life.
  • McTeague: How occupational licensing laws ruin lives.
  • The Great Gatsby: The evolution of automotive safety.
  • Tom Sawyer: How to leverage networking your friends to distribute workloads more evenly.
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: When to bring out your inner wolf to achieve success.

Have fun with this, and show no mercy to the ignorant.

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Is Judge Kavanaugh being Smeared?

 

It appears that Judge Kavanaugh is being smeared by an allegation of “possible sexual abuse” when he was in high school. According to WSJ,

“Sen. Dianne Feinstein has reported to the FBI an allegation concerning Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh that appeared to be connected to an incident of potential sexual abuse when he was a teenager, a person familiar with the matter said.

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Thoughts on Kavanaugh

 

When the anonymous accusation of sexual misconduct on the part of Brett Kavanaugh first came out, many people (myself included) stated that unless the accuser came out publicly the accusation should be completely ignored. Well, now the accuser has come forward. Christine Blasey Ford has publicly claimed that she was assaulted by Kavanaugh when they were both in High School 30+ years ago. This changes the situation and now the accusation must be dealt with.

That is not to say that the accusation has merit. Let me first state that if the claim is true, Kavanaugh should immediately recuse himself and resign from his current seat on the DC Court of Appeals. But is it true? On the one hand, we have the statement of Ford that it happened. She can’t say exactly when or exactly where. She only shared the story of what happened that night with anyone else a few years ago in 2012. The vague nature of her claim makes it hard for anyone to confirm or refute her statement. On the other hand, Kavanaugh has vigorously denied that any such incident ever happened, as has the one other person who supposedly witnessed the alleged assault. Over 65 women who also knew Judge Kavanaugh back in High School have come out in support of him.

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Order! Order in the…Book?

 

I write books. Yeah, I know. It’s a bad habit, but I can’t help myself.

Fiction or non-fiction, any writing the size of a book needs order. It doesn’t have to be an order that is easily understood by the reader, although that generally helps. Roger Zelazny once wrote a book where all the chapters were labeled “One” or “Two.” The Ones had a specific order, but given the book dealt with time travel, the Twos did not have a specific order, so he threw them up in the air and determined the order by where they came down. Not every book is amenable to that sort of ordering, so authors must find other ways of ordering the chapters or subjects within their books.

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Leftist Google Algorithm

 

View original artwork here.

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Confessions of an Old Reporter

 

I spent 31 years as a reporter for a small-town newspaper. I want to make it clear it was a small-town newspaper, which is not the same thing as the mainstream media, if for no other reason than the reality a small-town reporter is closer to his subjects than a reporter for a newspaper in a major urban centre. (Forgive me for the occasional Canadian spelling.) It was a newspaper serving a strongly conservative community, in what was once called the Bible Belt. I don’t see that term used anymore. Has it fallen out of fashion? That made it possible for me to be conservative.

With that in mind, I find myself troubled to hold the media in as much contempt as I do at present. It bothers me to be contemptuous of people in an industry that provided occupation for many years. What follows are random thoughts about reporting.

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