The Morning Jolt

Berkeley 2017: ‘We Will Control the Streets. This Is War.’

Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow this morning, indicating six more weeks of winter. Here in Authenticity Woods, northern Virginia, that means six more weeks of delayed school openings for any dusting of snow whatsoever.

Berkeley 2017: ‘We Will Control the Streets. This Is War.’

We didn’t expect the hard Left to learn anything useful from the 2016 election. Instead, they have chosen to double down:

The Hard Left doesn’t fear the law. They’ve decided they are the law.

Let’s be clear: a significant number of Americans, both on and off America’s college campuses do not believe in other people’s right to give speeches with perspectives and ideas they oppose. The boss noticed how frequently the term “un-American” is thrown around these days in the debates about immigration law. Physically attacking people because they have different beliefs is about as un-American as it gets.

Kiara Robles braved the crowd wearing a red “Make Bitcoin Great Again” hat in the style of President Trump’s red hats, which made her and our crew a target. The video in the player above shows the graphic exchange between a protester and Robles, who was pepper sprayed. “I’m looking to make a statement by just being here and I think the protesters are doing the same. Props to the ones who are doing it non-violently, but I think that’s a very rare thing indeed.”

She later told ABC7 News she was alright.

She was not the only person attacked at the protest Wednesday.

“I hope I don’t have a broken nose over this,” said Joe Scherer, an observer. “The First Amendment is fundamental to our Constitution.”

By 9 p.m. protesters had taken to the streets of Berkeley carrying protest signs. Some marched while others threw rocks at buildings. A Chase location and a Wells Fargo location were vandalized. Broken glass could be seen flying into the streets from Sky7.

Officials held a news conference while the protests were happening saying it wasn’t a proud moment for the city.

The violence and vandalism spread far beyond the school’s campus.

U.C. Berkeley police and university officials issued warnings to the students not to exit their dorms. A shelter-in-place was ordered as well.

When you are willing to pepper-spray right in front of the television cameras, you’re not just attacking that person; you’re trying to intimidate everyone else who sees that image, too. It’s a signal to everyone else – if the angry hard-Left mob thinks you’re against them, they won’t wait to read the fine print on your red cap. They will inflict pain on you and not even bother to ask questions later.

Meanwhile, across the bay in San Francisco:

The San Francisco police department is suspending ties with the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force.

The announcement comes amid growing concerns of spying on Muslim Americans by the new Trump Administration.

While you’re at it, why not paint a bulls-eye on the TransAmerica building?

The DeVos Nomination: This Is Why It’s Hard to Trust ‘Moderate Republicans’

If Betsy DeVos gets confirmed, it is going to be by the skin of her teeth. The editors contend that a pair of Republican senators are on the verge of making a terribly consequential mistake:

Two Republican senators — Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski and Maine’s Susan Collins — have declared that they intend to vote against Betsy DeVos, putting Donald Trump’s nominee for Education secretary at risk of failing confirmation. Murkowski and Collins, and any other Republicans who might be on the fence, should think twice before giving America’s teachers’ unions a huge victory.

Assume all 48 Democrats in the Senate vote no, and the vote is 50-50, with Vice President Mike Pence offering the tiebreaking vote… assuming that Jeff Sessions is still a senator. Otherwise, you would have to wait for his replacement to be named and sworn in.

I’ve got a Facebook friend, nice woman, very much on the left and I don’t bother to argue with her. I’m not going to change her mind, and she’s not going to change mine. But a few days ago, I saw her comment on her page that in Detroit, DeVos “completely destroyed their public school system.”

Completely destroyed! Apparently there are no public schools in Detroit anymore, it’s just an apocalyptic wasteland, with desperate huddled masses of desperate parents and uneducated children, lamenting that everything went to hell once Axel Foley went out West and yearning for the arrival of a messiah figure like Jesus Christ or RoboCop.

Our Ramesh Ponnuru has written a lot about Detroit’s charter schools, and the increasingly dramatic reinterpretation of study results about student test scores:

Here are some of the conclusions of a study: Based on the findings presented here, the typical student in Michigan charter schools gains more learning in a year than his [traditional public school] counterparts, amounting to about two months of additional gains in reading and math. These positive patterns are even more pronounced in Detroit, where historically student academic performance has been poor. These outcomes are consistent with the result that charter schools have significantly better results than [traditional public schools] for minority students who are in poverty. 

The study found that 47 percent of Detroit charter schools significantly outperformed traditional public schools on reading and 49 percent of charters significantly outperformed traditionals on math. One percent of charters significantly underperformed on reading and 7 percent on math. For the rest, the study found no significant difference. 

That’s a really different definition of “completely destroyed” than I know.

‘In War, Truth Is the First Casualty.’

Remember yesterday’s Jolt point about the New York Daily News headline, “First President Trump-ordered raid kills 8-year-old American girl?”

Today the New York Times reveals new details about the raid that make that headline even more appalling.

With the crucial element of surprise lost, the Americans and Emiratis found themselves in a gun battle with Qaeda fighters who took up positions in other houses, a clinic, a school and a mosque, often using women and children as cover, American military officials said in interviews this week.

When terrorists use children as human shields, the odds of a child being killed increase exponentially. Responsibility for this tragedy falls at the feet of the al-Qaeda members who chose to use them as cover, rather than the American and Emirati soldiers engaging.

And to use her death as a not-so-subtle to slam Trump… look, guys, I know you hate President Trump so much, it makes your Bush derangement syndrome from 2005 to 2008 look mild. But this move is cheap and exploitative.

ADDENDA: Inspired by the mad-lib “STOP (insert name here)” signs, I offer my own vanilla version that’s ice cold on our heated partisan passions…

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