It’s a jolly film, Passport To Pimlico, one of those Ealing Studios comedies so well done it might melt an IRA stooge’s hardness toward Things English. The plot (the synopsis is here) concerns the London neighborhood’s locals, who are attempting to set themselves up as rations-dodging citizens of the foreign soil of the ancient Duchy of Burgundy (a take-a-few-years-to-explode Nazi bomb revealed some subterranean chamber containing Ye Olde Burgundian historic documents establishing etc. etc.). Hilarity ensues.
Hilarity ain’t ensuing in the Emerald City. Your Humble Correspondent finds Seattle’s Kingdom of CHAZ/CHOP to be the Mad Max version of the 1949 comedy. Let’s admit that the CHAZ/CHOP citizen-beasts did have a head start: Last year Yours Truly wrote about the documentary Seattle Is Dying, an account of the city’s Fathers/Mothers/Others providing the handbasket for the journey to Hell — rampant vagrancy, streets running with whiz and its cousin, thieves assured that they will not be prosecuted. In other words, lawlessness.
In other words, CHAZ/CHOP. Its glories, and the many other such glories of this city under siege, aided and abetted by the nasty Leftists who run the show, are best seen on the Facebook page dubbed Seattle Looks Like Sh**.
In other other words, Jason Rantz reported from the madness. From the article:
Inside, it’s an overwhelmingly white crowd, but organizers and speakers are represented by people of color. In the daytime, it’s become a tourist attraction. Locals lounge on the artificial turf of the nearby field eating or playing frisbee. Behind the park, a loosely organized group has set up a camp of tents and several small gardens. A mobile medical unit is parked near the community square where activists deliver speeches, and a No Cop Co-op hands out free snacks to anyone who wants them (except, of course, the cops).
On the other hand, CHAZ is also a spot where self-proclaimed Antifa members and anarchists hang out, and clashes are all too common. This past Saturday, a white man started a fight on stage as black women were set to speak about their experiences. The man, who later claimed his cell phone was stolen, was immediately taken to the ground by organizers and CHAZ security. One of the organizers grabbed the mic to ask for “white people who have experience in security” to help because “it really isn’t the job of the black people to handle this situation.” Cops would have made an arrest. Without them, the man was released, only to start a fight five minutes later with a new set of activists.
Once the sun goes down, CHAZ sees more frivolity (e.g. dodge-ball games), but also more skirmishes. Last week, one man was falsely accused of stealing and almost beaten by what appeared to be a CHAZ security member with a bat. And over the weekend, there were tense fights over disagreements on changing the name from CHAZ to the Capitol Hill Organized (or Occupied) Protest (CHOP). (Indeed, protesters still haven’t decided what the “O” stands for in CHOP, or who made the decision to push for the name change.)
When fights break out, nearby activists caution you not to record them for posting online, as it may bring the wrong kind of attention to the commune they’re portraying as peaceful. When I recorded the Saturday afternoon fight, one of the CHAZ security members repeatedly bumped into me to try and prevent me from doing so. He used the same strategy to stop a colleague from another outlet trying to film the fight. And on Twitter, self-proclaimed Antifa groups and other CHAZ activists post the photos and names of people in the crowd so they can be targeted for possible harassment or watched in case they cause trouble.
Folks, as The Thing might say, it’s clobberin’ time. Almost. Right now, it’s time for the Jolt. Enjoy!
1. Gorsuch leads the SCOTUS Left to redefine sex in Bostock. We castigate. From the editorial:
To begin with, this is an unhealthy way to make law in a democracy. The law is now read to mean something different in 2020 from what even the most liberal Justices would have said in 1964. Congress for years has been debating bills to amend the statute to cover these topics; the Court just did its work for it, and without any of the compromises or conscience protections that legislators typically debate. We understand what the Court’s liberal justices were up to, but a decent respect for democratic lawmaking should have cautioned Justice Gorsuch and Chief Justice Roberts against going down this path.
The decision steals a number of bases without admitting what it is doing. Men must get the same treatment as women, says the Court, but who is a man and who is a woman? In the transgender case, that is itself effectively the question, one better resolved by the people’s representatives if the law must decide it. The Court says that a man cannot be fired for marrying a man if a woman would not be fired for marrying a man — but this is not discrimination on the basis of sex at all, it is discrimination on the basis of behavior. The Court says that it is not (yet) abolishing bathrooms and dress codes that distinguish by sex, but it is difficult to see how its rigid, ahistorical logic of “all must be the same” does not lead that way.
We think Justice Alito had the better of the argument: The law has long understood that sexual orientation and identity are distinct concepts from sex. When the military banned gays and lesbians alike from serving, or the immigration laws banned homosexuals from entering the country, the response was to change the law, not to pretend that the question was one of gender discrimination.
2. And then in its DACA ruling, SCOTUS comes to the aid of illegal immigration and the violation of the law. From the beginning of the editorial:
For the second time in a week, the Supreme Court has allowed liberals to enact one of their longstanding legislative priorities without the consent of Congress or the president. Conservatives could be forgiven for wondering why liberals need win only one election — or none — to have their choices made permanent, while President Trump’s voters could not even accomplish the modest goal of seeing the executive branch stop acting illegally to protect people who broke the law.
At issue this time was President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy, which let illegal-immigrant “Dreamers” stay in the country and receive federal benefits if they had been brought here as children by their parents. The DREAM Act was introduced in 2001, extensively debated during the 2006 and 2013 immigration fights on Capitol Hill, and voted on in 2007 and 2010. While reasonable minds may differ on the merits of that proposal, nobody disputes that this is an important public-policy question on which Congress has the power to legislate. When Congress did not deliver the answer Obama liked, he used his “pen and phone” to make DACA the law of the land by executive fiat. The Court’s decision rejected Obama’s legal arguments for having that power, yet it told the Trump administration that it needed better reasons to repeal DACA than the fact that it breaks the law.
Justice Thomas got it right in his dissent: In a nation of laws, no federal agency should ever need more reason to pull an unlawful regulation up by the roots. The Court’s flimsy rationales — that the Department of Homeland Security should have addressed whether people relied on DACA and whether there were alternatives to complete repeal of DACA — might be a fair critique on a job evaluation of DHS staffers, but they are no basis for ordering the president to enforce a policy that exceeds the president’s legal power. Meanwhile, thanks to a nationwide injunction, the “resistance” has managed to run out the clock for nearly four years.
3. Google, aided by NBC, bites the First Amendment via The Federalist’s ankles, then says it didn’t. We stand up for free speech. From the editorial:
On Tuesday, NBC News published a story claiming that Google had “banned” the Federalist, a right-wing news and commentary site, from its advertising platform. The Federalist, according to NBC News, was being “demonetized.” Google shortly thereafter asserted that no such thing had happened with the Federalist; Google took issue with some of the content in the Federalist’s comments section and worked with the publication to resolve the issue.
This was all generally related to criticism of the recent protests originating in Minneapolis and Black Lives Matter, an organization of which the Left intends to permit no criticism.
NBC News did what looks like some bad reporting. But NBC News also was at the heart of the story: A complaint from NBC News is what started off Google’s review process to begin with, at least according to a report from NBC News, which, apparently, is not to be trusted here.
The Federalist may not be everybody’s cup of tea, but NBC’s campaign against the publication looks like the new rabid normal in journalism. Adele-Momoko Fraser, the NBC journalist at the center of the story, festooned her tweeting gloating about the Federalist’s fictional demonetization with the Black Lives Matter activist hashtag and described her work as “collaboration” with left-wing activists.
Collaboration, yes. Journalism? No.
4. John Bolton’s White House memoir proves a dispiriting thing. From the editorial:
That said, Bolton is facing legitimate questions about the propriety of taking a sensitive, high-level job in an administration and then immediately turning his experience into a best-selling book when back out of office. He’s also getting dinged for having information that he believed would have made the case for impeaching the president more compelling, yet not sharing it while impeachment proceedings were ongoing (although there would have been complications — including disputes over what material was classified or privileged — and nothing he said would have changed minds in the Senate).
The White House has done everything in its power to delay the release of the book, and the Department of Justice has filed an injunction against its scheduled publication early next week on grounds that it contains classified information and violates various non-disclosure agreements.
The government’s motive is clearly pretextual. The president hates Bolton and the book is damaging, so Trump wants it buried. Squashing the publication on this basis would be a flagrant violation of the First Amendment. Besides, the book has already been reviewed by and reported on by major publications, excerpted in the Wall Street Journal, and sent to bookstores. The cat is out of the bag.
20 Pieces of Sanity to Provide a Life Raft During this Spate of Amok Leftism
1. Zach Evans and John Loftus continue to update the chock-full “Cancel Counter.” You’ll find Numbers 42 and 43 right here:
42. A Catholic chaplain at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology was made to resign after sending an email to the school’s catholic community on June 7 noting that George Floyd had “not lived a virtuous life.”
“While Fr. Moloney’s comments should not reflect on the entirety of his priestly ministry, they nonetheless were wrong and by his resignation he accepts the hurt they have caused,” archdiocese officials said.
Moloney agreed to step down just two days after sending the email, which noted that Floyd’s killing was unjustified, but questioned whether it was motivated by racism, the Boston Globe reported.
“In the wake of George Floyd’s death, most people in the country have framed this as an act of racism,” Moloney’s email read. “I don’t think we know that. Many people have claimed that racism is a major problem in police forces. I don’t think we know that.”
Suzy Nelson, dean of student life at MIT, characterized Moloney’s comments as “deeply disturbing” in an email to the student body.
“By devaluing and disparaging George Floyd’s character, Father Moloney’s message failed to acknowledge the dignity of each human being and the devastating impact of systemic racism,” Nelson wrote.
Moloney said he felt his email was misunderstood in a statement to the Globe.
“I regret what happened, I regret it was misunderstood, I regret that [it] became difficult for me to be a voice for Christ on campus,” Moloney said. “The whole thing went down in a way that I wish were otherwise.”
43. San Diego Gas & Electric fired an employee after a stranger accused him of making a “white power” symbol.
Emmanuel Cafferty was photographed driving his SDG&E truck with his hand hanging out the window in what appears to be an “OK” symbol made with the first finger and thumb, a symbol that has been used by white supremacists but does not carry that connotation for most Americans. The stranger who photographed Cafferty uploaded the picture to Twitter, and while the post has since been deleted, SDG&E has fired Cafferty.
“When my supervisor said that I was being accused of doing a white supremacist gesture, that was baffling,” Cafferty told the San Diego NBC affiliate. “I don’t know how long it’s going to take me to get over this, but to lose your dream job for playing with your fingers, that’s a hard pill to swallow.”
2. Kevin Williamson checks out the class war, and the squalor it creates, and the hypocrisy it screams. From the essay:
There is no revolution in these United States by the poor and the excluded against the rich and the powerful. Instead, there is a civil war among certain members of the broad affluent class against the adjacent affluent cohorts. There is no hatred in this world quite like the hatred of a $100,000-a-year man for a $200,000-a-year man, except maybe the hatred of a $200,000-a-year man for a $200,002-a-year man.
The class war in our country is business class vs. first class; in automotive terms, it’s E-Class vs. S-Class. Everybody’s comfortable. And that produces some odd outcomes: Nobody’s going to do one goddamned thing about how they conduct business in Philadelphia or Chicago or any other corrupt, Democrat-dominated city, but there are going to be some “new representation and inclusion standards for Oscars eligibility,” and we are going to be treated to — joy of joys! — a deep national discussion on whether some Broadway stars don’t have it quite as good as other Broadway stars. The bloody-snouted hyenas have looked up from the kill just long enough to announce the creation of the Goldman Sachs Fund for Racial Equity.
It’s always the same thing: Our newspapers are full of intense interest in Harvard’s admissions standards but have very little to say about New York City’s dropout rate. People can’t help being fascinated with themselves and their peers. If you want to know what is on the minds of the leaders of the American ruling class, it’s no secret. They’ll tell you, if you ask — and if you don’t.
George Floyd is still dead. Jacob Frey is still mayor of Minneapolis. Medaria Arradondo is still the chief of police. More than a third of black students will drop out of high school in Milwaukee. But Forbes has announced a change in its in-house stylebook and will henceforth honor the woke convention of uppercase Black vs. lowercase white. And George Floyd is still dead. Jacob Frey is still mayor of Minneapolis. Medaria Arradondo is still the chief of police.
3. Victor Davis Hanson considers the fate of cultural revolutions, the current one in particular. From the piece:
Mao cracked down on supposed Western decadence such as the wearing of eyeglasses, and he made peasants forge pot iron and intellectuals wear dunce caps.
Moammar Qaddafi’s Green Book cult wiped out violins and forced Libyans to raise chickens in their apartments.
The current Black Lives Matter revolution has “canceled” certain movies, television shows, and cartoons, toppled statues, tried to create new autonomous urban zones, and renamed streets and plazas. Some fanatics shave their heads. Others have shamed authorities into washing the feet of their fellow revolutionaries.
But inevitably cultural revolutions die out when they turn cannibalistic. Once the Red Guard started killing party hacks too close to Mao, it began to wane.
4. More VDH: Why the military-intelligence complex assembling to confront Donald Trump proves troubling to the body politic. From the essay:
The point, then, is that we either ignore these technical regulations that apply to high-ranking military officers, or we do not. But we do not pick and choose, for political purposes, when to apply them — in the manner that the Obama Justice Department began its harassment of incoming national-security adviser Michael Flynn on grounds that he had violated the ossified and never successfully prosecuted Logan Act.
After all, it was not as if Trump without precedent had ordered thousands of troops into the streets to quell violent protestors, the way President George H. W. Bush did, following long-accepted precedents, in 1992. In that year, Bush characterized the racially sensitive riots in Los Angeles, over the beating of Rodney King, as mob-like: “What we saw last night and the night before in Los Angeles is not about civil rights. . . . It’s not a message of protest. It’s been the brutality of a mob, pure and simple.”
5. The Trump administration did not have a COVID-19 testing strategy, right? Wrong. Rich Lowry shares the facts the MSM won’t. From the article:
The Trump administration’s general approach was to catalyze and support the private sector while working with the states to identify the testing capacity available to them and to secure the necessary supplies to meet their goals. The FDA worked to approve new tests and technologies as rapidly as possible, which was enormously important to nearly every aspect of testing. The Defense Production Act was used, but sparingly, and as way to buttress companies rather than take them over.
The emphasis was on improvisation and innovation. “It was very clear that the normal institutions of government under any administration wasn’t going to solve this and could not solve it, particularly in a country as vast as America,” says Giroir.
In early March, the White House called leaders of the diagnostic manufacturers and the commercial labs to talk about scaling up. Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus-response coordinator, describes it as “really a call to action by the president and vice president to say very clearly, ‘We need enhanced and greater diagnostic laboratory capacity. You are the private sector that have the technical ability to do this.’”
It coincided, weeks later, with the first big bump in testing.
Scott Whitaker, the CEO of the medical-technology association AdvaMed, explains the progression, from the first lift in numbers in March to the plateau in April to the recent sharp increase: “You get a handful of companies that were quick to the gate, and you started running all those tests on the machines that they had available with the labs. The next round comes in and scales up even more dramatically on the high-throughput machines,” machines capable of running a lot of tests quickly.
6. Sam Ashworth-Hayes says the pandemic has made the case for deregulation. From the piece:
In normal times, regulations dissuade innovation, hold back production, and raise prices. The coronavirus pandemic handed the U.S. a stark reminder that these costs are not merely financial.
And yet these costs are often invisible to us. They’re things that don’t happen rather than things that do, and an absence of change is hard to notice. If we could witness the destruction of wealth, then we would have a far sharper sense of the burden of red tape. As it is, the counterfactual of cheaper food or better testing is generally something of which only insiders are aware.
A silver lining of the coronavirus outbreak is that it is stress-testing government systems across the board. The need for industries to rapidly adapt to changing circumstances highlights the difficulties added by red tape. And with the Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow estimate showing an annualized drop in GDP of 48.4 percent (or about 15 percent for those of us who use sensible numbers), any competent regulator would be looking to cushion the blow to businesses and workers.
The best way of doing that is to scrap the regulations.
7. Andy McCarthy predicts that Lindsey Graham’s Judiciary Committee hearings will produce little more than collusion theater. From the analysis:
Given that Graham has no power to send any good candidates to jail, and the real investigative work either has already been done by the Justice Department’s inspector general, or is in the process of being done by prosecutor John Durham, one can’t help but ask: What is the objective of this scattershot production?
This is a pressing question now that Graham, on a party-line vote of his committee, has been authorized to carpet-bomb Obama-world with subpoenas. Dozens of them: the Trump–Russia Who’s Who, to be hauled in for what we’re supposed to believe will be hours of grueling testimony. Sure, it may take Senate Republicans a year or four to get around to historic Democratic abuses of the government’s awesome law-enforcement and foreign-intelligence apparatus for political purposes, but man oh man, do they mean business now . . . even though, um, there are only 50 business days left in the Senate’s calendar before Election Day, the Senate has lots of other pending business, and the pendency of Durham’s probe renders the notion of significant congressional testimony a pipe dream.
Welcome to Senate Collusion Theater — Season II: “The Investigation of the Investigators.”
8. More Andy: In Atlanta, he finds prosecutorial cave-in to the mob. From the analysis:
No one, including the police on the scene that night, wished death on Brooks. In fact, bodycam footage shows Rolfe performing CPR on the wounded Brooks, saying, “Mr. Brooks, keep breathing, keep breathing for me.”
But Brooks is very far from the Black Lives Matter media’s depiction of a devoted husband and friendly father of four who was murdered by racist cops after he had just a tad too much to drink.
Brooks was passed out drunk in the car he had been driving while at a Wendy’s drive-thru. This was a violation of his probation conditions. Yeah, he was on probation. As recounted by Britain’s Daily Mail (it is hard to get such information from American media sources), Brooks had been convicted in 2014 for felonies committed against his family: multiple battery charges, false imprisonment, and cruelty to children. He was sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment. But, as often happens in the criminal-justice system you’re supposed to see as institutionally racist and just spoiling to let black men rot in cages, the seven-year sentence wasn’t really a seven-year sentence. He served just one year and was released on probation.
As frequently happens with probationers, Brooks repeatedly violated the terms of his release. You’re supposed to look the other way on that, too. We’re supposed to prefer alternatives to prison for violent criminals; then, when the criminals habitually flout the conditions under which they are spared incarceration, we’re supposed to ignore that, too, since … well, we’d otherwise have to admit that criminals belong in prison — and that’s such Cro-Magnon thinking.
Brooks actually was sent back to prison after his first probation violation, but not for the remainder of the seven-year term. Again, the system is geared to minimize, not maximize, the incarceration of convicts. So Brooks was out in just twelve months. He then violated probation yet again, last year. This time, the system deemed the infraction minor (leaving the state without alerting his probation officer), so the violation was simply dismissed as if it never happened.
9. Dan McLaughlin lays into the Bostock ruling. From the commentary:
The Supreme Court’s Bostock v. Clayton County decision today held that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which makes it “unlawful . . . to discriminate against any individual . . . because of such individual’s . . . sex,” applies to discrimination based not only on sex but also on sexual orientation and transgender status. The logic of Justice Gorsuch’s opinion, however, breaks down completely in the transgender case, in a way that is likely to lead to unanticipated consequences. The Court should have had the decency to admit what it was doing.
Justice Gorsuch’s reasoning goes back, over and over, to the same logical syllogism: If a man and a woman do the same thing and only one of them would get fired for it, that’s discrimination on the basis of sex. So, for example, if a woman and a man both bring a male spouse to the office Christmas party, and only the man gets fired, that’s sex discrimination.
10. Those rushing to reform cops should, say John Yoo and Horace Cooper, maybe first consider reforming America’s cities. From the essay:
None of these reforms truly addresses the Floyd killing, and many of the proposals circulated are repackaged and stale ideas from well before. Progressives reveal their actual agenda with their proposals to beef up spending on existing social programs. “Biden supports the urgent need for reform — including funding for public schools, summer programs, and mental health and substance abuse treatment separate from funding for policing — so that officers can focus on the job of policing,” a campaign spokesman said.
This spend-first, assess-later approach will only repeat the mistakes in social policy from the time of the Great Society. According to some estimates, the federal government has poured anywhere from $15 trillion to $22 trillion into these welfare programs. Meanwhile, problems in the cities have not improved or have even gotten worse. Our urban K–12 public schools are a disgrace, homelessness runs rampant, and a permanent underclass has developed that cannot escape the inner cities. Academic studies show that while the Great Society programs have transferred trillions of dollars of income to alleviate poverty, they may have also actually harmed communities by creating incentives against family formation, work, and personal responsibility.
Liberals at the state and local levels are pursuing changes that will do even worse than those of the Great Society. Minneapolis, home to the Floyd killing and some of the worst riots, has voted to eliminate its own police department. “Defund the Police” has become a rallying cry at protests in many of the nation’s largest cities where, it must be said, liberals have enjoyed political dominance for a half century. Several left-wing mayors and city councils, such as in Los Angeles and San Francisco, have voted to transfer hundreds of millions of dollars from police budgets to social programs.
11. The blithering author of this epistle noted a 2016 study that clarifies BLM as more of Marx and Engels than civil-rights giants. From the post:
Key to BLM’s strategy is suppressing free speech and dissent, by means of force and intimidation if necessary. And so it has come to pass that if you stand on the sidewalk to oppose a protest, you will get a concrete shake bounced off your head, (the assailant will not be charged) and a tweet of repute will result in a pink slip. The Orwellian media — a force multiplier for BLM’s messaging — seems not to notice the suppression of free-speech rights. Heck, they don’t see riots and fires before their cameras. From the report (again, keep in mind it was written in 2016):
The Black Lives Matter movement is wholly against dissent and freedom of speech and their success rests upon the silencing of dissent, but they are savvy enough to accomplish this through other means than solely legal. First, Black Lives Matter has created an atmosphere where forces more emotionally compelling than “truth-seeking” encourage fealty through the threatened stigma of being an outsider, and discourage diversity of opinion. Through our research, we found that both the Activists and the Allies were united by the fear of being ostracized from the left’s cultural community and clung to the community they were provided by publicly supporting Black Lives Matter.
Black Lives Matter frequently uses shows of force – either by seeking them from university administrators or through aggressive demonstrations – to silence dissent, as well. Activists recounted to us that they found it appropriate to ask administrators to step in and stop perceived “hate speech,” although they considered themselves to be supporters of free speech. Finally, by portraying criticism of their cause as an attempt to stiﬂe their speech, they in effect demand freedom from criticism.
Somewhere through the flames, Saul Alinsky is smiling.
12. David Harsanyi covers how the Left is fully supportive of science — as long as it is ideologically correct. From the piece:
Then came the marches. Science-based absolutism was quickly shelved. Today, liberals are mobilizing to preemptively dismiss the notion that Black Lives Matters protests could possibly trigger a spike in cases. New York mayor Bill De Blasio, who’s ineptly presided over the epicenter of the disease, is instructing city contact tracers not to ask infected New Yorkers if they attended marches or rallies.
How long have we been assured that testing and contact tracing were the keys to controlling the spread of the virus? New York City tracers will reportedly ask citizens about “close contacts” — which is defined as standing within six feet of another person for at least ten minutes — but not if a person attended a Black Lives Matters protest where, need it be said, tens of thousands of our most vulnerable citizens were marching shoulder to shoulder, chanting for more than ten minutes — and often without any mask.
13. Jim Geraghty gives John Bolton what-fer. From the piece:
Bolton was approaching 70 years old when he took the job as Trump’s national-security adviser. Bolton didn’t need to stay on good terms with anyone for future career prospects.
Four things can be simultaneously true:
One: The anecdotes from Bolton, describing Trump as erratic, uninterested in details, easily flattered by foreign leaders, and far too credulous when listening to their pledges and explanations, are disturbing. Of course, the Trump that Bolton describes is not all that different from what we have seen and heard from him in public. The president has colossal confidence in his own persuasiveness and ability to make a deal, and once negotiations start, Trump always wants to believe that any agreement reached represents a grand step in the right direction.
Two: Bolton’s steadfast refusal or reluctance to testify during the impeachment hearing does not reflect well on him. Bolton apparently believes that what the president says behind closed doors, when the cameras aren’t watching, in negotiations with foreign leaders is vital and shocking information of utmost importance to the future of the country that the American people need to know . . . after they’ve paid $32.50 hardcover.
Three: Bolton’s refusal to testify probably had little or no impact on the outcome of the trial in the Senate. People who believe his testimony would have convinced 19 Republican senators to remove Donald Trump from the presidency are fooling themselves.
Four: A White House national-security adviser writing a denunciatory tell-all book and releasing it the summer before a presidential election, as payback for policy and personal disagreements, sets a terrible precedent for future presidents. Whether or not you think Donald Trump deserves loyalty from his staff, the President of the United States deserves to have his conversations within the White House about policy and decisions — and his conversations and negotiations with foreign leaders! — not blasted out for the whole world to evaluate.
14. Armond White dethrones The King of Staten Island. From the review:
Judd Apatow’s The King of Staten Island, a semi-biopic starring Saturday Night Live comedian and celebrity screw-up Pete Davidson, never gets its act together. As in all Apatow products, from TV’s Freaks and Geeks to the movies Knocked Up and Trainwreck, the main character’s underlying social and psychological issues are avoided. Apatow’s Gen X-, Y-, and Z-indulgent comedy specializes in a particular kind of identity politics — trash narcissism.
Pale, skinny, pop-eyed Davidson, flaunting his real-life Illustrated Man body tattoos, meanders through the arrested-adolescent frustrations of his alter-ego Scott Carlin, a 24-year-old from Staten Island’s working-class enclave who still lives with his widowed mother (Marisa Tomei). He pouts, “I need that safety net!” but talks about opening a tattoo parlor/restaurant — an idea that recalls Adam Sandler’s zaniness minus the whimsy. He mostly smokes pot with his ne’er-do-well friends who play video games and idly plan to rob a pharmacy. Scott/Davidson’s lifestyle, scoffing at other people’s ambition, resenting his sister’s college choice and his mother’s attempt at middle-aged dating, which causes Oedipal angst, isn’t a new form of rebellion but a new form of privilege.
15. Yuck Yucky: Aaron Zubia catches Hannah Gadsby’s comedy and finds that woke doesn’t invoke knee-slapping. From the review:
Portraying comedy as a tool of the oppressor, Gadsby turned the tables on comedy itself, or rather, her audience. In Nanette, which was supposed to be her parting shot before retiring from comedy, she exacted vengeance on her audience by lecturing them on how they, by laughing, have participated in the systemic injustice of a comedy-club-industrial-complex designed to crush the self-esteem of historically marginalized groups. Isn’t that funny?
Perhaps not. But laughter is not the point of Gadsby’s performance. Her whole schtick, rather, is highly theoretical. And that is the problem. Gadsby often incorporates art into her routine, and an art analogy might be the best way to describe her approach to comedy.
16. Michael Auslin whips out the crystal ball and sees a terrible thing: the 2025 Sino-American War. From the piece:
The Littoral War began with a series of accidental encounters in the skies and waters near Scarborough Shoal, in the South China Sea. Beijing had effectively taken control of the shoal, long a point of contention between China and the Philippines, in 2012. After Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte, who had steadily moved Manila toward China during the late 2010s, was impeached and removed from office, the Philippines’ new president steadily moved to reassert Manila’s claim to the shoal, and by the summer of 2025 sent coastal-patrol boats into waters near the contested territory. When armed People’s Armed Forces Maritime Militia (PAFMM) vessels pushed out the Philippine forces in early July, Manila appealed to Washington under its security treaty for assistance.
Prior Philippine requests for U.S. help in dealing with China had been largely shunted aside by Washington, even during the Trump administration. However, new U.S. president Gavin Newsom, who had been dogged during the 2024 campaign by allegations that Chinese cyber operations had benefited his candidacy, saw the Philippine request as an opportunity to show his willingness to take a hard line against Beijing. Newsom increased U.S. Air Force flights over the contested territory, using air bases made available by Manila, and sent the carrier USS Gerald Ford, along with escort vessels, on a short transit. On two occasions in late July, U.S. and Chinese ships came close to running into each other due to aggressive maneuvering by the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN), and a U.S. Navy FA-18 operating from the Gerald Ford was forced to take emergency evasive action to avoid colliding with a PLANAF J-15. Despite the increasing tensions, the U.S. Navy ships returned to Japan at the beginning of August, yet no diplomatic attempts were made to alter the trajectory of events. The fact that both sides knew some type of armed encounter was increasingly possible, if not probable, yet seemed to ignore the risk, led pundits to call the events surrounding the clash an example of a “gray rhino,” unlike the complete surprise represented by a “black swan” occurrence. Ironically, CCP general secretary Xi Jinping himself had warned about the dangers of “gray rhinos” back in 2018 and 2019.
17. More China Martial: Daniel Tenreiro analyzes the deadly flare-up on the Sino-Indian border. From the piece:
On May 5, Chinese and Indian troops engaged in fisticuffs and stone-throwing on the banks of Pangong Lake, and on May 12 a similar clash broke out in the Naku La region near Tibet. In the subsequent days, the PLA mobilized at least 5,000 troops to the region. According to Ajai Shukla, a former Indian colonel, the PLA also deployed artillery guns in six locations in Ladakh.
The mobilization of artillery violates protocols that effectively demilitarized the border in 1993. Two subsequent agreements that solidified those protocols have helped limit casualties in the long-simmering conflict. While the last death in the region occurred in 1975, confrontations have periodically flared up since Xi Jinping rose to power in China eight years ago. Most recently, in 2017, China’s construction of a road through Doklam, near Bhutan, set off two months of brinkmanship, ending with a Chinese retreat and heightened caution on both sides. Before that, the Chinese twice encroached on Indian territory in Ladakh, in 2013 and 2014.
Monday night’s fatalities mark a turning point in the conflict, calling into question the ability of military protocols to prevent hostilities. While the skirmish did not include the use of weapons, the recent military buildup has positioned both sides to escalate the situation rapidly. Jaishankar says that Chinese and Indian leaders frequently point out that they have “found a way to be responsible and make this a peaceful, if unsettled, border.” But that uneasy status quo may no longer be sustainable.
18. Home Depot founder Ken Langone says free enterprise was not a victim of Covid-19. From the article:
When it came time to attack the virus itself, businesses around the country showed the same decency and ingenuity, quickly repurposing to meet demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks and gowns for frontline medical workers. Apparel company Brooks Brothers and MLB uniform tailor Fanatics switched their stitch to make masks. So did hockey company Bauer and retail stores David’s Bridal and Jo-Ann Stores. A NASCAR team, North Carolina-based Stewart-Haas Racing, helped its neighbors by putting idle racing transports back on track, delivering 2 million medical masks to Novant Health facilities in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. Whiskey and vodka distilleries, especially small, locally owned ones, switched to making bottles of alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Cutting-edge manufacturers used 3-D printers to make PPE. Charlottesville-based women’s shoemaker OESH made a mask that had soft edges, making its seal as strong if not better than what would be provided by N95-rated masks. There wasn’t time for FDA approval (which is a question we should take up later), but the skillful engineering made the mask a success.
One Delaware company, ILC Dover, worked with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health to shorten the regulatory review process from one month to a week. That way the company could make its new Powered Air Purifying Respirator hood, which provides 100 times the protection of an N95 mask, available to health-care workers attending to patients with COVID-19.
National big-box stores, corner-store pharmacy chains, and delivery services really stepped up in hiring temporary workers. Wal-Mart, Walgreens, CVS, Costco, 7-Eleven, Ace Hardware, Dollar Tree, Dollar General, Domino’s, Pizza Hut, Papa John’s, Instacart, FedEx, UPS, and grocery chains around the country all upped their hiring to meet demand and provide opportunities to the recently unemployed.
19. Dmitri Solzhenitsyn says police reformers could learn a thing or two from Russell Kirk. From the piece:
Radical reform, whether through the abolition of police departments or through their dramatic attenuation, may be said to be the “devil we don’t know.” How, after all, are we even to imagine a society in which no one may be there to answer the call when a theft, rape, or murder is occurring? We would be right to prefer our current devil to this unknown one. But take even the case of budget cuts, which are somewhat less radical: Assuming that the funds drawn away from police departments and given to minority communities result in long-term crime reductions, we are still left with an interim period of many years during which the police will be less able to do their job. Certainly, this will be the case whenever we speak of fully dissolved crime units or nine-figure budget cuts. This is another unknown devil: an unstable period of power vacuums that might well lead to unforeseen social disorders.
Rather, those changes for which we should strive are the prudent, measured ones: The restriction of the power of bad-apple-shielding police unions, the rigorous teaching of deescalation techniques, and the administration of thorough psychology tests to all aspiring officers, for example. Dallas, Seattle, Baltimore, New York, and Las Vegas, for instance, have pioneered deescalation training and have subsequently enjoyed fewer civilian complaints. There is no contradiction between the desire for such reforms and the adherence to conservatism, as Kirk teaches. “By proper attention to prudent reform,” he writes, “we may preserve and improve [our] tolerable order.” Nevertheless, Kirk exhorts us not to abandon the greater principles: “If the old institutional and moral safeguards of a nation are forgotten, then the anarchic impulses in man break loose: ‘the ceremony of innocence is drowned.’” It is all well and good to reform policing. But to abandon the institution of policing, to suppose that relying on a man or woman to answer the call when danger lurks is permanently outdated — or that, through proper social engineering, it will become outdated — is to embrace anarchy.
20. Jimmy Quinn reports that the UN Human Rights Council is a thugs’ club pushing America hate. From the piece:
In the wake of Floyd’s death and the upheaval that has followed, an “urgent debate” was requested last week in a letter to the council written by Burkina Faso’s U.N. delegation on behalf of 54 African countries. Their intention was to examine “racially inspired human rights violations, police brutality against people of African descent and the violence against the peaceful protests that call for these injustices to stop.” The request for a debate was also backed by more than 600 non-governmental organizations and Floyd’s family. And so, it began yesterday and ended Thursday morning. The council will vote on a resolution Friday or Monday.
The United States was notably absent, having quit the council in 2018. The Trump administration withdrew after an unfruitful attempt to reform the body’s handling of Israel and its conciliatory stance toward a number of human rights–violating countries. Some opponents of that move claimed vindication this week, arguing that the vacuum left by the withdrawal has enabled authoritarian regimes, leaving America with less sway on the international human-rights body. “This situation is the end result of a series of catastrophic miscalculations of the Trump administration in its relations with the U.N.,” Marc Limon, a former diplomat, told the New York Times.
He and other experts might say that the way this week’s debate unfolded supports their view. The act of convening an urgent debate on the United States’ human-rights record makes it only the third such country at the center of one — a session on Israel’s raid on a Gaza flotilla in 2010 and three concerning the Syrian civil war round out the list. Perhaps this could have been avoided with American membership on the council. On the contrary, though, this week reprises significant questions about the council’s ability to effectively and fairly promote universal human rights.
The July 6 Issue of Your Favorite Magazine Is Flapping on the Flagpole, Awaiting Your Salutage
As is our quaint custom, here are four recommendations of excellence, chosen from the cover-to-cover excellence that greets you in the new issue of National Review.
1. Jerry Hendrix finds U.S. military systems and carriers are in great need of a strategic overhaul. From the essay:
According to the most recent National Defense Strategy, the U.S. military exists to “provide combat-credible military forces needed to deter war and protect the security of our nation. Should deterrence fail, the Joint Force is prepared to win.” To implement this strategy, the Joint Force needs to be able to strike quickly at specific enemy military, economic, and even political centers of gravity in increasingly contested environments. Today’s military, using air-based and space-based surveillance assets, has ever-increasing abilities to identify targets, but dwindling capacities to strike them. To remedy this situation, the Navy should invest in new air wings—much as it did in the years immediately following World War II, when it effectively replaced its entire naval-aviation inventory—that can operate effectively from outside the range of a prospective adversary’s “anti-access/area denial” networks to credibly put key targets at risk.
Such an air wing would necessarily retain some legacy components. It would make sense, for example, for each wing to have combat-search-and-rescue (CSAR) helicopters; a squadron of four E-2D Hawkeyes to provide airborne surveillance and command-and-control in carrier-controlled airspace; and a squadron of six EA-18G Growlers to provide jamming and spectrum control around the carrier and its strike group. The new air wing might also have one squadron of ten F-35Cs to perform combat air-patrol missions as well as airborne-coordination roles. Only one squadron should be necessary, since the carrier would be positioned far out to sea, beyond the immediate range of enemy short-range fighters and escorted by cruisers and destroyers capable of providing air and missile defense. Shifting the carrier’s area of operations farther from the enemy’s “anti-access/area denial” forces would make it possible to reverse the modern naval bias towards defensive “anti” missions within the carrier strike group (anti-air, anti-surface, and anti-submarine) and move back towards offensive operations, including power-projection ashore.
2. Kyle Smith is in North Carolina and sees an amazing display of white guilt. From the article:
Amidst nationwide Black Lives Matter protests, a black man and woman are seated on a park bench while a white woman wearing a sweatshirt that reads “LOVE” takes to her megaphone. “We repent on behalf of, uh, Caucasian people,” she says. A small crowd of white people comes to kneel before the two seated black folks, who are co-pastors of a local church. Some of the kneelers wash the feet of the black people. A white man with an English accent solemnly intones, “It’s our honor to stand here on behalf of all white people, . . . repenting, Lord, for our aggression, Lord, repenting for our pride, for thinking that we are better, that we are above.” Police officers join the ritual. Several people start audibly weeping, or keening, as the speaker continues. Roughly a dozen people join in the gesture and kneel before the black couple. “We have put our necks, put our hands, our knees, upon the necks of our African-American brothers and sisters, people of color, indigenous people,” says the English man. “Lord, where we as a church, a white church, have used you as a persecution towards black people, Lord, as we’ve burnt crosses, as we’ve burnt churches, . . . we’ve used it as a weapon against people of color.”
It’s been coming for some time, this transmutation of white guilt into a cult, a religion that borrows from and intersects with Christianity but substitutes its own liturgy. In the Nineties, liberal white Hollywood filmmakers began to nourish a fantasy that black people were imbued with magical powers, and they built stories around angelic or Christlike black redeemers who stood apart from and above this fallen race we call humanity. Will Smith in The Legend of Bagger Vance, Cuba Gooding Jr.in What Dreams May Come, and Michael Clarke Duncan in The Green Mile served as spiritual and/or actual caddies to troubled white men, guiding them toward salvation.
Today those “magical negro” films, as Spike Lee dubbed them, get ridiculed by the critical intelligentsia, but the same impulse is visible in different form. White people continue to have difficulty perceiving blacks as individual human beings, instead conferring on blackness a holy quality. Fallen white people can get closer to the divine by showing due deference in any way they can. Books that promise to assist white people with the project of metaphorically scourging themselves—White Fragility, How to Be an Antiracist—bounded up the best-seller lists. Black Americans report, with more annoyance than appreciation, that white friends are calling them nervously, seeking absolution.
3. Ramesh Ponnuru and Michael Strain find the China tariffs have been an economic flop. From the essay:
The emerging consensus holds that opening U.S. markets to China was part of a naïve policy of engagement. Elites in both parties, on this view, held the utopian expectation that liberalized trade with China would enrich us and them while also making them more responsible, peaceful, and democratic. But the Chinese government refused to follow the script. It continued to act as a predatory and mercantilist power, notably by refusing to protect American intellectual property and by practically requiring American firms to transfer their technology to Chinese ones to do business in the country. It acted aggressively in the South China Sea, launched a genocidal campaign against Uighurs, curtailed the liberty of Hong Kong, and threatened Taiwan’s de facto independence. Instead of exporting our values to them, we started importing their values: The National Basketball Association responded to protests in Hong Kong by closing ranks against the protesters.
What we got from trade with China—again, on the view of the regnant school of critics of that trade—was, at best, short-term efficiency gains that came at the expense of our society’s cohesion and resilience. A much-discussed recent essay goes further than that: “For the benefit of a few billionaires, Western societies have immiserated their voter base, dramatically weakened themselves, and helped shorten the lives of hundreds of thousands of their own people.” Learning during the pandemic that we are now dependent on China for everything from medicines to masks has added humiliation to our losses.
It follows that we should be much more willing to use tariffs and government subsidies to bring the manufacture of critical goods home. Beyond that suggestion, though, the new consensus gets fuzzier about what practical steps should be taken. Additional tariffs to “make China pay” for the coronavirus have been mentioned. And President Trump’s preference for bilateral negotiations over global trade deals is seen in some quarters as a template for the future of trade policy. Senator Josh Hawley, a Missouri Republican, has urged a U.S. withdrawal from the World Trade Organization to pursue this new path. Peter Navarro, one of Trump’s advisers on trade, told CNBC viewers in May, “If we don’t learn from this crisis that the only way this great country is going to prosper is by making the stuff we need as much as possible, then we will have learned nothing and we will sink into the abyss.” The president himself has mooted another option: “We could cut off the whole relationship” and thus eliminate our $500 billion trade deficit with China.
4. Graham Hillard checks out the deluge of corporate anti-racist pronunciamentos and finds that they’re truly about . . . profits. From the article:
In fact, corporate race missives are no more harbingers of conservative defeat than corporate ethics codes are heralds of a forthcoming moral paradise. To read them is to observe not the fruit of leftist persuasion but the cold-eyed realism required of actors in a market economy. To the extent that such statements mean anything at all, they merely affirm a truth that conservatives needn’t fear and ought rightly to celebrate. In a free society—in a nation that is capitalist not only in its laws but down to its marrow—profit-seeking organizations will do whatever is necessary to maximize their profit.
For most of the firms attempting to weather recent storms, whatever is necessary has been modest indeed, a state of affairs that should surprise no one given how dependent the Left has become on support from the cultural heights. At corporations such as Salesforce and Twilio, for example, assuaging the revolution has thus far required nothing more than an anodyne tweet featuring the message “We stand with the Black community.” (Actual meaning: “Please leave us out of your news cycle.”) At YouTube and Disney, rhetorical support has been accompanied by social-justice donations, but the sums in question have amounted to less than an hour’s revenue. (The companies have pledged $1 million and $5 million, respectively.) While Netflix’s tweeted assertion that “to be silent is to be complicit” is close to the despicable rallying cry du jour, even the corporate home of the Obamas can’t bring itself to declare that “silence is violence.” And these are the signifiers that American businesses are securely in the pocket of the activist Left?
The Mahoney Special
Why? Because the trenchant Daniel J. Mahoney always offers conservative brilliance, that’s why, and that’s what you’re looking for in these here parts, right? Right! Now at Law & Liberty’s “Law Talk” podcast, host Richard Reinsch chats with Dan about the sober liberalism you can believe in during a time of widespread unrest, anger, and sadness. Do listen here.
1. On the new episode of The Editors, Rich, Charlie, and Michael discuss the Supreme Court’s Bostock ruling, and what’s going on as states begin to reopen. Hear here.
2. And then, on a special episode of The Editors, Rich interviews the president of Americans for Prosperity, Tim Phillips. Listen right here.
3. On the new episode of The Victor Davis Hanson Podcast, VDH discusses the emerging, partisan Military-Intelligence Complex; statue-toppling and base-renaming; the ironies and paradoxes of revolutions; Senator Graham’s planned Judiciary hearings on Flynn and collusion; BLM being a Marxist front; media madness; and the Seattle CHAZ scene. Hear ye here, ye.
4. On the new episode of The Great Books, John J. Miller is joined by Paul Rahe of Hillsdale College to discuss Giovanni Boccaccio’s The Decameron. Wizen up right here.
5. Then JJM takes to The Bookmonger, where he is joined by Daniel Halper to discuss his and Alana Goodman’s book, A Convenient Death. Strap on the ear buds and listen here.
6. I Would Like to Buy a Vowel: On Political Beats, radio guru and Townhall columnist Mark Davis talks Lynyrd Skynyrd with Big Bad Scot Betram and The One and Only Jeff Blehar. Get in the grove here.
7. On the new episode of Radio Free California, David and Will find that California Democrats are suddenly BFFs of states’ rights, and then discuss politicized police reform and Golden State pension-investing madness. Listen, learn, and prosper, right here.
8. On the new episode of Mad Dogs and Englishmen, Kevin and Charlie discuss the Downton Abbey movie and propose that National Review take on a society columnist. Listen here.
9. On The McCarthy Report, Andy and Rich discuss the attempts to stop the publication of John Bolton’s book, what’s going on in Atlanta, and two recent Supreme Court cases. Hear here.
1. At Law & Liberty, Theodore Dalrymple expounds on moral thuggery. From the essay:
In London, there have been large demonstrations in the wake of George Floyd’s death, mostly but not entirely peaceful. These were allegedly to protest against racism, but in reality, they reinforced and propagated an obsessive interpretation of the world through the lens of race and racial discrimination. As a strange illustration of one of the three supposed laws of dialectical materialism—the interpenetration of opposites—racists and modern anti-racists are united by the importance they ascribe to race, though they are divided by their explanation of why race should be so important. The racists believe that it’s because of biology and the anti-racists believe it’s because of socially-sanctioned racism.
They are united too in their totalitarian (or at least bullying) tendencies, though in this respect the modern anti-racists are now more dangerous, not because they are worse people than the racists, but because racism as a doctrine is mostly, if not entirely, discredited. Racism is truly opposed not by anti-racists, but by non-racists, that is, people who do not judge or behave towards others according to their race.
2. At The Pipeline, John O’Sullivan investigates when science kisses the can of politics. From the piece:
And in the last seven days, this argument—that Black Lives Matter protests are uniquely aimed at improving public health, damaged as it is by racism—has spread to Britain where large crowds turned out for BLM rallies accommodated by the police who were otherwise fining people for meeting in “crowds” of more than six—and to partisan politics in the U.S. where public health professionals were critical of the GOP for pushing ahead with plans for a Republican Convention while tamely hoping that BLM protesters will wear marks.
The public reaction to these medical self-contradictions has been stronger in Britain than in America, partly because the lockdown regulations have been more stringent and more toughly enforced (with police handing out thousands of fines) than in the U.S. Allowing some people to protest and (not incidentally) to indulge in violent rioting in a self-righteous frame of mind, but fining others for attending a parent’s funeral has created a lot of free-floating anger. And one side-effect is a rise in skepticism towards other claims of both medical scientists and their brethren in other disciplines.
Take the Covid-19 claims first.
Britain’s media and opposition have been strongly critical of the handling of the Covid-19 crisis by the Boris Johnson government, suggesting that Ministers had ignored the advice of its SAGE committee of scientists and demanding that the minutes of SAGE now be published. Well, the minutes have now been published, and they show that Ministers followed the advice of SAGE more or less to the letter. If mistakes were made, they were scientists’ mistakes more than ministerial ones (though Ministers have to take responsibility for them on the proper constitutional grounds that “advisors advise, ministers decide.”) Well and good.
3. At Gatestone Institute, Daniel Pipes whips out the enigma machine in order to decipher the utterances of Joe Biden. From the article:
There is a brand-new game: decipher the rhetoric of Joe Biden, former vice president and presumptive Democratic nominee for president.
American politics has never had a top politician who (apparently suffering from dementia) makes such wandering, incoherent, garbled comments. The game he has inspired has two simple rules: (1) prune the gibberish and (2) add what is needed to make sense.
Here is an example on an important topic, taken from a long interview with New York Times editors on December 16, 2019. Speaking about Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Biden said:
“He has to pay a price for whether or not we’re going to continue to sell certain weapons to him. In fact, if he has the air defense system that they’re flying F-15s through to see how they can try to figure out how to do it.”
Come again? Sure, read a second and even a third time. I’ll wait. A bit murky, no? But with the magic of the above two rules, it does make sense. I dropped the fluff and added the implicit bits (in square brackets), resulting in an intelligible new version:
He has to pay a price for [acquiring Russia’s S-400 missile system and we must decide] whether or not we’re going to continue to sell certain weapons[, in particular, our most advanced F-35 aircraft,] to him. In fact, if he has the [S-400] air defense system that [the Turks are] flying F-15s to [test how well it works, we must not sell F-35s to Turkey].
Condensed: Erdoğan purchased the S-400, so we must not sell him F-35s.
4. Down Under, at Quadrant, Peter Smith calls out the fear of institutions to challenge the Left. From the commentary.
Those calling the shots in Black Lives Matter (BLM), in Antifa, in GetUp! in MoveOn and in other Marxist organisations, and also numbers of academics, commentators and journalists sympathetic to their cause, are far from silent or dumb. They know the facts and are not morons. But like their authoritarian Islamist cousins they practice taqiyya. Lying is their second nature and they are not shy about it because they are not called out.
No ordinary person of any decency or sense would buy their bill of goods so they hide its horror behind mindless slogans. And that seems to work among many of those who should be leading the counter charge. It is easy to find so-called conservatives, like Soames, going along with the fiction that protecting black lives is a laudable part of the BLM agenda. In truth, BLM doesn’t give a fig about black lives or anybody’s lives. They are interested in power.
5. At The College Fix, Troy Sargent reports on Harvard professor Roland Fryers’ study, which finds that defunding the police will result in many black violent-crime deaths. From the article:
“Pattern-or-Practice” investigations are used by federal and state governments to mitigate unconstitutional police activity including, but not limited to, excessive force and racial bias.
According to the Harvard scholars’ working paper on the impact of these investigations into police activity on homicide and crime rates, published in early June, the investigations resulted in “almost 900 excess homicides and almost 34,000 excess felonies.”
This spike in the crime rate occurred over the course of two years in the five cities where those deaths and viral incidents occurred: Freddie Gray in Baltimore, Laquan McDonald in Chicago, Timothy Thomas in Cincinnati, Tyisha Miller in Riverside, California, and Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
While the underlying cause of this dramatic spike is unknown, Fryer and Devi hypothesize that it is caused by a substantial decrease in proactive police activity.
6. At City Journal, Paul Starobin says that America must save the marketplace of ideas. From the essay:
More voices in the working press—voices outside the tenured precincts of academia, voices without bestselling books to their names, especially younger voices—need to join this resistance. It is the younger ones who have been reared on the notion that the marketplace of ideas is a “myth,” a “confused argument that promises the triumph of good ideas while delivering ordinary and unproductive provocation,” as suggested by Aaron Hanlon, an assistant professor of English at Colby College, in a 2017 article for The New Republic.
Sharp questioning might lead to strained relations in the workplace. A challenge to a claim like the one put forward by some Times staffers—that publishing Cotton’s op-ed put black staff “in danger”—would require a thick skin on the part of the dissident. Nevertheless, any claim merits scrutiny. Of course, news organizations must take seriously workplace-safety concerns posed by journalists responsible for gathering the news in dangerous situations, whether on the streets of Minneapolis or in the mountains of Afghanistan. But should such concerns guide what appears on opinion pages? To say yes is to jeopardize the autonomy of the opinion section—to collapse the wall that separates newsrooms from opinion departments.
BONUS: At The Imaginative Conservative, Andrew Garnett makes the case for being right to be wrong. From the essay:
I began teaching in the spring semester of 2017. It was a strange time and I expected our campus climate to be increasingly divided as a result of the election in 2016. What I found in my philosophy courses was not so much division as something else. I would throw questions that were deliberately controversial to the class in order to spur debate, dialogue, and through them the activity of the mind: the use of reason. My questions would at best elicit a hand from a student or two and some a talking-point based answer or other. When challenged as to why they held such a position, more often than not, the reasoning or support would evaporate. It was feelings that were often cited. No student ever took a risk or offered anything out of the ordinary.
Having not been out of school for very long, I could not lie down and simply accept that this was the way college students acted: the “new normal,” if you will. I knew that something had changed. Something was broken. I have spent some time reflecting on what has caused this change and on the effects that the silence that it produces has had on our young people. The most obvious is that our culture has stifled these students’ spirit, their drive for scholarship, for excellence, for responding to the deep questions. It has coaxed their minds into a quiet coma: It has made them ready repeaters of the popular opinions of the masses. What is true, they believe, is what I am told and what is convenient. What is false is what challenges what I am told: that which may cause me to change or grow. The students are made into utilitarians. They reject change and growth. They are usually painful.
What we need to reclaim is our students’ drive, their spirit, their thirst for knowledge—real knowledge—and to give them the tools with which to engage their awesome gift of reason.
BONUS BONUS: At Reason, Robby Soave says 1619 holds nothing when compared to 1793, because the need for “safety” has the requirement of terror. From the essay:
Recent events at The New York Times are an almost perfect demonstration of how this is playing out. Staffers angry about an op-ed by Sen. Tom Cotton (R–Ark.) claimed that its publication threatened their very lives. They specifically chose “running this puts black Times staff in danger” as their mantra because it invokes workplace safety. When the authority figure—the boss, the principal, the government—is responsible for ensuring safety, and safety is broadly defined as not merely protection from literal physical violence but also the fostering of emotional comfort, norms of classical liberalism will suffer. (One activist told me that for him, safety requires other people to affirm him.) The Times conflict ended with opinion page chief James Bennet out of his job.
He’s not the only one. UCLA recently suspended a lecturer, Gordon Klein, after he declined a demand that he make a final exam “no-harm”—that is, it could only boost grades—for students of color traumatized by the events in Minneapolis. Klein refused, in accordance with guidance from UCLA’s administration not to give students much leeway on exams. In response, the activists launched a change.org petition to get Klein fired, and the school suspended him. His irritated reply to the activists—that he would not give preferential exam treatment to students because of their skin color—has prompted UCLA to investigate him for racial discrimination.
University of Chicago economist Harald Uhlig, who had the temerity to criticize some of the more radical demands the protesters have made, is now being pressured to resign as editor of the school’s Journal of Political Economy. In this case, it’s not random students doing the pressuring, but some of the biggest names in economics: New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, University of Michigan professor Justin Wolfers, and even former Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen, who told the Times that “it would be appropriate for the University of Chicago, which is the publisher of the Journal of Political Economy, to review Uhlig’s performance and suitability to continue as editor.”
The Times article is a master class in guilt-by-insinuation. The authors could not find a single fact to support the notion that Uhlig is a racist or that he has used his position to thwart black scholars. But he holds some views that would be in conflict with the more progressive Black Lives Matter protesters—he doesn’t approve of rioting, and he criticized NFL players for kneeling—and that apparently is suspicious enough.
Its fortunes over the decades — through 1960 — in the team’s original incarnation in the nation’s capital proved bleak. Yes, there was that one World Series championship (The great Walter Johnson winning the 12-inning Game Seven against the New York Giants in 1924), but in toto the Senators were a hapless franchise (pre-Twins), with a .465 win-loss percentage in a smidge over 9,000 games. The worst of many worses happened early on in the Senators’ history — the last-place 1904 squad had a 38–113 record. Few teams ever fared more poorly.
And few ever had as many pitchers who lost 20 or more games: The Senators had three such hurlers on their anemic-hitting (.227 team batting average) staff. Southpaw Casey Patten, who lost 22 games the year before, and who would lose 21 in 1905, was the Senators’ ace at 14–23. It was slim pickings after that: Righthander Happy Townsend posted a somewhat sad 5–26 record (for his six-year career he was 34–82), which was little better than that of rookie Beany Johnson, who posted a 5–23 record.
Could there have possibly been another team with as many, if not more, 20-plus losers? If you thought “yes,” you’d be right — the 1905 Boston Beaneaters (precursor to the Doves, Rustlers, Braves, Bees, and once again Braves) had four hurlers with an aching amount of losses. And so did the 1906 Boston team, doing so with an almost entirely new starting rotation.
The seventh-place (51–103) 1905ers were led by southpaw Irv Young, mis-nicknamed “Cy the Second.” He topped the staff with a 20–21 record (he’d also lose 25 for the Beaneaters in 1906, and another 23 in 1907, on his way to a career record of 63–95). Young was followed by Chick Fraser, who went 14–24. Fraser had lost 24 the previous year for the Phillies, and after the 1905 season, when the Beaneaters traded him to Cincinnati, he would lose 20 for the Reds. Quite the multi-franchise feat. The man he was traded for, Gus Dorner, would drop 25 games for Boston in 1906. And then there was Kaiser Wilhelm. He had lost 20 games for Boston in 1904. In 1905, he would put up a horrific 3–23 record. And baseball wasn’t done with him: Sold to the minors, Wilhelm next popped up in the big leagues in 1908, when he would go 16–22 for the Brooklyn Superbas.
But the 1905 cake-taker was surely future Hall of Famer Vic Willis: He set an MLB record for single-season losses, going 12–29 for Boston (worse than his 1904 performance of 18–25). Life would improve though: Traded after the season to Pittsburgh, Willis would win more than 20 games each season for the Pirates between 1906 and 1909.
As for the 1906 Boston team, it finished in last place with a 49–102 record: In addition to the aforementioned Young and Dorner, the Beaneaters starting staff also included Big Jeff Pfeffer, who went 13–22, and rookie Vive Lindaman, who went 12–23.
Of interest: This was not the era of relief pitching. In 1905, the four Beaneater starters pitched 125 complete games, and the 1906 quartet tossed 131.
The unjustly accused deserve our prayers, and in the faith of Your Sinful Yet Humble Correspondent, in which is held as a matter of faith a thing called “the communion of saints,” we address five such holy souls — English Jesuits John Fenwick, John Gavan, William Harcourt, Thomas Whitebread, and Anthony Turner — who may serve to hear your supplications and act on them, given their spiritual proximity to the Almighty.
It was on this very day some 341 years ago when, falsely accused of treason against the Crown, part of the infamous Popish Plot, these priests were hung to death. King Charles knew of their innocence but, having the courage which so many today seem to have, which is none, refused clemency. Although, quite sporting of him, he allowed that they not be drawn and quartered, the usual ghastly English way of creating martyrs. May the quintet do their Heavenly service as intermediaries, as force multipliers, for your petitions, and gain those of us here below a modicum of sanity as the fevered brains of the Left (including many a 21st-century Jesuit, ignorant of the hundreds of members of their order who died for their faith) prowl about the world and social-media platforms, seeking the ruin of careers. And souls.
God’s Empowering Graces Be upon You and All Those You Love and Protect,
Jack Fowler, who is ready to receive theological lectures from modern Reformationists at firstname.lastname@example.org.