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The Rule of Law’s End

 

Politico has published a rather fascinating and disturbing report on Robert Mueller’s devastating power as a special prosecutor. It’s final two paragraphs neatly sums up the present state of the rule of law in America:

“What is happening to Mueller’s targets is the same thing that has happened to hundreds of others, for years and years, when faced with experienced, talented, determined, and patient prosecutors and agents. In those circumstances, federal criminal law wins almost every time,” he added. “These prosecutors knew that going in and they’ve kept their eyes on that ball.” [emphasis added]

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From the Earliest Days of the Sexual Revolution

 

This report of Harvard’s ongoing madness was recently posted at The College Fix:

Harvard recently launched a program to provide free menstrual products—pads and tampons—to women on campus. This in itself is actually a decent idea; it is nice for a university to provide essential goods for its students, and it is encouraging that the historical taboo surrounding menstruation is slowly but surely ebbing away: There’s no need to be scared of it.

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My 2018 Midterm Prediction Model

 

Inspired by @HeavyWater‘s challenge to come up with my own midterm prediction model, I’ve come up with a fairly simple one that anyone can use. I encourage you to plug in the relevant numbers based on the following algorithm.

I realize that reasonable people can disagree about how many of POTUS’s tweets qualify as “crazy” in any given week, so I trust you to use your own discretion. I gave him three this week for the tweets in which he rubbed salt in the wounds of Puerto Rico over last year’s hurricanes. I thought that was ill advised, and he paid the price in my model. Others may disagree.

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Quote of the Day: I, Claudius

 

“I, Claudius” was a wonderful BBC series based on Robert Graves’s book series. In one scene, the Emperor Tiberius finds out the head of the Praetorian Guard Sejanus has been plotting against him. His dissolute successor Caligula, wonderfully played by John Hurt, has the best lines:

Tiberius: She poisoned him with the help of Sejanus. And now they plot to assassinate me.

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Police Lives Matter. So Does My Life.

 

Matthew Walter suggests in The Week that the only proper response to the (very) questionable killing of Botham Jean by an off-duty Dallas police officer is to disarm the cops.

I think we should consider the possibility of a return to a style of policing in which officers do not, under ordinary circumstances, carry guns or wear black body armor. Bandying weapons around is not the best way to promote respect for the law.

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ACF Critic Series #7: Teachout “On Dangerous Ground”

 

Terry Teachout and I continued our series on noir movies and also meet each other in the flesh for the first time. Listen and share, friends–we talk about Nicholas Ray’s On Dangerous Ground, about the touch of greatness in Robert Ryan’s portrayal of justice turning to loneliness and, eventually, cruelty–about Ida Lupino’s remarkable portrayal of realism and innocence mixed together–Ward Bond’s equally compelling turn as a father mad for revenge, driven to the limits of humanity–and, of course, Bernard Hermann’s impressively Romantic score, which adds a solid depth to characterization, enough to give an American story the tragic depth it needs. We also talk about the loss of innocence of WWII and how American movies took a turn for the tragic, becoming less lovely, but more beautiful, in the process.

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Book Review: The Secret World

 

It is sometimes said spying is the second oldest profession. “The Secret World: A History of Intelligence,” by Christopher Andrew underscores the claim. It is a history of spying from the earliest days to the present.

Andrew starts with the first recorded accounts of spying, related in the Bible. He finished with the role of intelligence in the War on Terror. He attempts to cover all significant intelligence operations between those boundaries.

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The Virtue in Jeff Bezos’ $2 Billion Fund to Help Preschoolers and the Homeless

 

The $2 billion Bezos Day One fund might do a great job at helping the homeless and educating preschoolers from low-income families. Or it might be a bust. It’s obviously too early to make any sort of reasonable prediction about whether Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos will succeed as a philanthropists.

For critics, however, all that is pretty much beside the point. The effort is inherently “morally complicated.” Some see it as a tax dodge on the Amazon founder’s $160 billion fortune. They would prefer — in the name of “democratic accountability” or some such — for Uncle Sam to somehow grab a big chunk of that massive wealth to fund government efforts to help preschoolers and the homeless. (As if Bezos’ efforts wouldn’t be accountable to the democratic process that produces laws and regulations or accountable to parents who voluntarily choose to enroll their kids.)

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Price Gouging Is Not Evil

 

I watched a clip on the news yesterday concerning price gouging. The Attorney General of North Carolina was telling us how many reports of gouging they were receiving, what the penalties are, and how they are going to prosecute gougers. This shows a lack of understanding about the role of prices in determining the most efficient use of scarce resources.

If during a crisis, prices are allowed to rise, people won’t horde as much. They will only buy what they really need. If prices aren’t allowed to rise, there will be shortages. People that need gas won’t get it, while others will have filled every gas can they can find, “just in case.”

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Friday Roundup

 

Every week, I try to round up a few stories that might have been missed in the crush of a non-stop news cycle. This week will be a little lighter than usual, thanks to a root canal I spent the whole morning doing. While I was enjoying that experience, I listened to the latest Remnant podcast with Jonah Goldberg and my favorite Senator, Ben Sasse. I also got most of the way through the latest Commentary podcast, and enjoyed listening to JPod giving other people a hard time instead of me for a change.

 

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Twitter

 

View original artwork here.

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On Surveys and Monkeys

 

I had about 170 responses to my survey, most of which came from Ricochet. But unless I fork over $40, they will only let me see 100 responses. I’m a cheapskate, plus I got guns to buy, so I ain’t forkin’ it over. Still, some folks have asked to see the results of the first 100 responses, so here they are.

For those of you bad at math, since there are exactly 100 responses, the percentage and the number for each choice are…the same. But the third column has Arizona Patriot’s predictions.

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Leftists Are the Party of Pagan Weather Gods, Not Science

 

Earlier this week, the Washington Post ran an opinion piece titled “Another hurricane is about to batter our coast. Trump is complicit.” The gist of the article is that Trump has shown a bad attitude about Obama’s climate regulations and that is why the weather gods are sending a hurricane to punish America.

What kind of people believe that the mindset of a leader affects weather? It is certainly not any person of science. I did some research and it seems the idea of vengeful weather gods is the beliefs of Pagans. Checking with Witchipedia.com, the Leftists’ deity is Adad (Master of the Earth who is a Mesopotamian Storm God responsible for the destructive and regenerative powers of nature).

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Median Household Income. The Truth. Nothing But the Truth. The Whole Truth. And the Statistics

 

There is a great vignette in the book Moneyball, illustrating the gulf between what actually happens on a baseball field and what the statistics reflect. Imagine the following situation…

Two outs. Runner on third. The pitcher throws his best pitch, fools the batter who hits a lazy fly ball towards right-center field. But the right fielder is a guy like Albert Belle — all bat, no range, no glove. The Belle-ish outfielder can’t get there and the lazy fly ball drops in for a clean single and the runner scores from third.

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Underwhelming Swamp Draining Plans

 

Senator Ben Sasse (R–Corn) came out today with a column in USA Today where he outlines his new plan to Drain the Swamp. He starts off his article with a bipartisan attack on the DC swamp culture and he’s just barely scratching the surface. He points out a few examples from each party of corrupt behavior. (To be fair, a full accounting would take several books.) Then he lays out the bills he’s planning to introduce to fix DC’s ethical problems. I’m normally a fan of the Senator, but after reading the article my first thought was “That’s it? That’s all you’ve got?”

Let’s break down the plan. He splits the descriptions into two groups: Three bills that “drain the swamp once-and-for-all” and two that “stop feeding the swamp creatures.”

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Bad Hiring Practices

 

I posted these recollections on a forum that’s oriented toward mechanics and car guys, and the responses have been interesting, to say the least.

It’s been many years since I managed a large printing facility in San Antonio. We had a large work force (for the industry) and paid top dollar in the area for equipment operators, mechanics, and warehouse workers. Every time we had even a janitor position open we would get 20+ applications, in addition to people who just walked in and applied for any openings.

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Forecasting the Senate

 

Wednesday night, Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight released their much anticipated Senate model, forecasting the results of November’s election. According to Nate Silver, it’s basically the same thing as the House model, except it looks at Senate seats.

As with the House model, there are three versions: Lite, Classic, and Deluxe (represented on their website with burger icons). The Lite version is just based on polling. The Classic adds “fundamentals” (historical trends, fundraising, etc.), and the Deluxe adds expert ratings. (The three levels matter more in the Congressional model where there are fewer polls for individual districts.)

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