THE NCAA IS A SHITTY CARTEL THAT SHOULD BE ABOLISHED: NCAA punishes several Kentucky athletes for pick-up soccer game with Foo Fighters.
THE NCAA IS A SHITTY CARTEL THAT SHOULD BE ABOLISHED: NCAA punishes several Kentucky athletes for p…
SO MANY LIES PASS FOR NEWS: US accounts for just 1% of mass shootings, not media-hyped 31%.. “Lankford’s study reported that from 1966 to 2012, there were 90 public mass shooters in the United States and 202 in the rest of world. We find that Lankford’s data represent a gross undercount of foreign attacks. Our list contains 1,448 attacks and at least 3,081 shooters outside the United States over just the last 15 years of the period that Lankford examined. We find at least fifteen times more mass public shooters than Lankford in less than a third the number of years,.”
WHOA: St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner has created an “exclusion list” of 28 police officers w…
"Is the independent doctor disappearing?" U.S. News & World Report asked earlier this summer. The answer is yes, argues J.D. Tuccille, and to a significant extent, that's a result of deliberate policy.
Just 33 percent of physicians "identify as independent practice owners or partners," the Physicians Foundation reported in its last last survey, conducted in 2016. That's down from 48.5 percent in 2012. But while a majority of doctors now opt to work as employees, "most physicians, even many who are themselves employed by hospitals, do not believe hospital employment of physicians is a positive trend," the foundation reported.
Why are doctors going to work for large organizations when they seem so resistant to the idea? Factors featured in the U.S. News article include "government insurance mandates and changes to health insurance design to new reporting requirements, escalating costs and the rise of urgent care clinics." U.S. News also notes that "unique for physicians are certain requirements surrounding electronic health records and new reporting requirements regarding patient visits as part of the Affordable Care Act."
Your doctors didn't jump out of business; they were pushed, writes Tuccille. And they were pushed by people way too convinced of their qualifications to redesign the world around them.
THE MASK COMES OFF: UN Appointed Climate Science Team Demands The End of Capitalism.
BJORN LOMBORG: How the war on climate change slams the world’s poor.
Activist organizations like Worldwatch argue that higher temperatures will make more people hungry, so drastic carbon cuts are needed. But a comprehensive new study published in Nature Climate Change led by researchers from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis has found that strong global climate action would cause far more hunger and food insecurity than climate change itself.
The scientists used eight global-agricultural models to analyze various scenarios between now and 2050. These models suggest, on average, that climate change could put an extra 24 million people at risk of hunger. But a global carbon tax would increase food prices and push 78 million more people into risk of hunger. The areas expected to be most vulnerable are sub-Saharan Africa and India.
Trying to help 24 million people by imperiling 78 million people’s lives is a very poor policy.
It’s great statism though.
FASTER, PLEASE: Intervening on mtDNA in Mice Reverses Skin Wrinkling and Hair Loss. “In what appears to be a world first, scientists at the University of Alabama at Birmingham have reversed two of the most common visual signs of aging—skin wrinkles and hair loss—in mice by turning off a gene responsible for mitochondrial dysfunction.”
For all the love lavished on Venezuela’s Bolivarian socialism by Bernie Sanders, Michael Moore, Sean Penn, et al, I wonder if any of them actually put any money on the regime?
Not really. I’m sure the answer is no.
MY UNDERSTANDING IS THAT THE CONSTITUTION FORBIDS ANY RELIGIOUS TEST FOR PUBLIC OFFICE: If Trump and…
MY UNDERSTANDING IS THAT THE CONSTITUTION FORBIDS ANY RELIGIOUS TEST FOR PUBLIC OFFICE: If Trump and GOP don’t understand climate change, they don’t deserve public office.
ANTISOCIAL MEDIA: Facebook has TRUST ratings for users – but it won’t tell you your score.
Earlier this year, Facebook admitted it was rolling out trust ratings for media outlets.
This involved ranking news websites based on the quality of the news they were reporting.
This rating would then be used to decide which posts should be promoted higher in users’ News Feeds.
User ratings are employed in a similar way – helping Facebook make a judgement about the quality of their post reports.
According to Lyons, a user’s rating “isn’t meant to be an absolute indicator of a person’s credibility”.
Instead, it’s intended as a measurement of working out how risky a user’s actions may be.
If Facebook were transparent about this stuff, users — the network’s actual content providers and creators — could work to improve trust.
But that kind of openness just isn’t in the company’s DNA, says Frederic Filloux on Monday Note:
Facebook’s DNA is based on the unchallenged power of an exceptional but morally flawed — or at least dangerously immature — leader who sees the world as a gigantic monetization playground. In Mark Zuckerberg’s world, the farther from home, the more leeway he feels to experiment with whatever comes to his prolific mind. Yielding on the Ford Pinto syndrome, he feels little incentive to correct the misuse of the tools he created. And he managed to have no one standing against him.
It’s a fascinating article, and I recommend reading the whole thing.
NEW SOCIALIST “IT GIRL” CONTINUES TO PAY DIVIDENDS: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez bans press from Queens town hall.
TRACKING EARTH’S MINI-MOONS: There could be many minis in orbit.
The time is past due to end the outdated, protectionist relic known as the Jones Act - Publications – AEI
Tim Taylor has a good primer on the protectionist, regulatory relic known as the Jones Act on his Conversable Economist blog (“A Primer on the Jones Act and American Shipping“) based on the Cato Institute‘s policy analysis “The Jones Act: A Burden America Can No Longer Bear” by Colin Grabow, Inu Manak, and Daniel Ikenson. Here are a few of Tim’s “money quotes” (my emphasis):
When thinking about the costs of the Jones Act, it’s worth remembering that shipbuilding and shipping are examples of US industries that have been dramatically protected from foreign competition for nearly a century. If sustained protection from foreign competition was a useful path to the highest levels of efficiency and cost-effectiveness, then US ship-building and shipping should be elite industries. But in fact, US ship-building and shipping–safely protected from competition– have fallen far behind foreign competition, with negative costs and consequences that echo through the rest of the US economy–and probably diminish US national security, too.
The argument a century ago, and since, has been that a domestic ship-building industry is essential for national defense. Maybe so! But if that is the goal, the Jones Act is sorely failing to accomplish it. Instead, the Navy can’t afford the extra ships it wants, the number of available US civilian ships and the knowledgeable workers to run them is shrinking, and military operations have had to find ways to make use of foreign ships.
As a general rule, it is unlikely that the solution for a problem is identical to the cause of the problem. But after nearly a century of protection from international competition sheltered US ship-building and shipping to compete with foreign competition and thus led it into near-obsolescence, the reason for keeping the Jones Act in place seems to be that, without it, the US shipping and ship-building industry would have a hard time competing. It’s a little like arguing that the cure for a drug addiction is a continuing supply of the drug to which you are addicted.
I’m willing to have a discussion about what policy steps might be useful in creating a US ship-building and shipping industry that is internationally competitive. The necessary steps might be dramatic and costly. But the first step in that discussion is the acknowledgement that the long-run effects of the Jones Act have been terrible and counterproductive policy for the US shipbuilding and shipping industries. It has rendered those industries essentially unable to compete on the world stage, while creating costs throughout the rest of the US economy and reducing US military security. Any plan for US shipbuilding and shipping which doesn’t focus on how to bring the Jones Act to an end is not serious.
Here’s part of the conclusion from the Cato Institute paper:
By any measure, the Jones Act has been a failure. Under its watch the U.S. shipbuilding industry has atrophied, its shipping fleet has withered, and any contribution to the military’s sealift capability has been trivial at best. The failure of the Jones Act to meet its intended objectives, meanwhile, has inflicted considerable economic harm through a variety of direct and indirect channels. Rather than serving to bolster national security, the Jones Act has stultified domestic shipbuilding, diminished the size of America’s merchant marine reserve, and hamstrung our ability to respond expeditiously and effectively to natural and manmade disasters.
Among the world’s cabotage laws, the Jones Act stands out for its extreme protectionism. Only a handful of countries require ships participating in their domestic maritime services to be built domestically and none have more onerous restrictions. Moreover, there are no comparably stringent regulations of other means of transportation in the United States.
That such a burdensome law has evaded meaningful reform for nearly 100 years speaks to the determination of a small, well-organized, well-connected class of producers and unions that have succeeded over the years in portraying any effort to reform or repeal the Jones Act as an affront to national security. The time has come to finally turn the tables and for Congress to repeal this onerous law.
MP: The Jones Act, like all protectionist measures, have the same predictable and inevitable economic outcomes: a) higher prices for businesses and consumers, b) reduced competition and fewer choices for consumers, c) concentrated, visible benefits for the protected industry and widespread costs on consumers throughout the entire economy, d) economic stagnation in the long-run, and e) overall reduced economic prosperity, growth, and jobs.
The Jones Act is also another example, along with the 25% tariffs on imported trucks and trade restrictions on sugar that drive up the US price to 2X the world price, that contradicts the popular, but somewhat false narrative that America’s markets are wide open to the entire world while bad foreigners restrict their markets for US exports.
HUH: Cannabis Oil Helped 80 Percent of Autistic Children, Israeli Study Finds. “It improved both beh…
HUH: Cannabis Oil Helped 80 Percent of Autistic Children, Israeli Study Finds. “It improved both behavior and communications in the children enrolled in the study.”
It’s 105 degrees as I stand with Rep. Devin Nunes on his family’s dairy farm. Mr. Nunes has been feeling even more heat in Washington, where as chairman of the House Select Committee on Intelligence he has labored to unearth the truth about the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s activities during and after the 2016 presidential campaign. Thanks in large part to his work, we now know that the FBI used informants against Donald Trump’s campaign, that it obtained surveillance warrants based on opposition research conducted for Hillary Clinton’s campaign, and that after the election Obama administration officials “unmasked” and monitored the incoming team.
Mr. Nunes’s efforts have provoked extraordinary partisan and institutional fury in Washington—across the aisle, in the FBI and other law-enforcement and intelligence agencies, in the media. “On any given day there are dozens of attacks, each one wilder in its claims,” he says. Why does he keep at it? “First of all, because it’s my job. This is a basic congressional investigation, and we follow the facts,” he says. The “bigger picture,” he adds, is that in “a lot of the bad and problematic countries” that Intelligence Committee members investigate, “this is what they do there. There is a political party that controls the intelligence agencies, controls the media, all to ensure that party stays in power. If we get to that here, we no longer have a functioning republic. We can’t let that happen.” . . .
It got worse. This spring Mr. Nunes obtained information showing the FBI had used informants to gather intelligence on the Trump camp. The Justice Department is still playing hide-and-seek with documents. “We still don’t know how many informants were run before July 31, 2016”—the official open of the counterintelligence investigation—“and how much they were paid. That’s the big outstanding question,” he says. Mr. Nunes adds that the department and the FBI haven’t done anything about the unmaskings or taken action against the Flynn leakers—because, in his view, “they are too busy working with Democrats to cover all this up.”
He and his committee colleagues in June sent a letter asking Mr. Trump to declassify at least 20 pages of the FISA application. Mr. Nunes says they are critical: “If people think using the Clinton dirt to get a FISA is bad, what else that’s in that application is even worse.”
Mr. Nunes has harsh words for his adversaries. How, he asks, can his committee’s Democrats, who spent years “worrying about privacy and civil liberties,” be so blasé about unmaskings, surveillance of U.S. citizens, and intelligence leaks? On the FBI: “I’m not the one that used an unverified dossier to get a FISA warrant,” Mr. Nunes says. “I’m not the one who obstructed a congressional investigation. I’m not the one who lied and said Republicans paid for the dossier. I’m just one of a few people in a position to get to the bottom of it.” And on the press: “Today’s media is corrupt. It’s chosen a side. But it’s also making itself irrelevant. The sooner Republicans understand that, the better.”
His big worry is that Republicans are running out of time before the midterm elections, yet there are dozens of witnesses still to interview. “But this was always the DOJ/FBI plan,” he says. “They are slow-rolling, because they are wishing and betting the Republicans lose the House.”
I wonder what else they’re doing besides “wishing and betting?”
DAMN LITTLE, AND MUCH OF IT WRONG:
THIS ISN’T THE REGTECH I WAS PROMISED: Anti-smoking activists *hate* vaping, despite the demonstrabl…
THIS ISN’T THE REGTECH I WAS PROMISED: Anti-smoking activists *hate* vaping, despite the demonstrable reduction in harm thanks to the technology (my wife gave up smoking cigarettes thanks to vaping). There has been an aggressive astroturf campaign aimed at the FDA in favor of anti-vaping regulations – and by astroturf I mean “submitting 255,000 fake comments from a single Internet bot.”
My colleague Michelle Minton has written a bunch on vaping and its role in harm reduction.
WHO SAYS LOCAL JOURNALISM IS DEAD? Chance the Rapper Buys Chicagoist, Promises to Investigate Rahm …
WHO SAYS LOCAL JOURNALISM IS DEAD? Chance the Rapper Buys Chicagoist, Promises to Investigate Rahm Emanuel: “And Rahm, you done, I’m expectin’ resignation…”
NOW THAT’S REAL SOCIALISM: Venezuela Inflation Could Reach One Million Percent by Year’s End.
Everyone knows you never go Full Zimbabwe.
Plus, this friendly reminder that the only thing socialist states never run short of is zeros.
I THOUGHT WE WERE TO ATTEMPT NO LANDINGS THERE: Europa Lander may not have to dig deep to find signs…
I THOUGHT WE WERE TO ATTEMPT NO LANDINGS THERE: Europa Lander may not have to dig deep to find signs of life.
The 1,900-mile-wide Europa harbors a huge ocean beneath its icy shell. What’s more, astronomers think this water is in contact with the moon’s rocky core, making a variety of complex and intriguing chemical reactions possible.
Researchers therefore regard Europa as one of the solar system’s best bets to harbor alien life. Europa is also a geologically active world, so samples of the buried ocean may routinely make it to the surface — via localized upwelling of the ocean itself, for example, and/or through geyser-like outgassing, evidence of which has been spotted multiple times by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope.
NASA aims to hunt for such samples in the not-too-distant future. The agency is developing a flyby mission called Europa Clipper, which is scheduled to launch in the early 2020s. Clipper will study Europa up close during dozens of flybys, some of which might be able to zoom through the moon’s suspected water-vapor plumes. And NASA is also working on a possible post-Clipper lander mission that would search for evidence of life at or near the Europan surface.
I’ve been waiting for this mission since reading 2010: Odyssey Two when it was first published in 1982. But since the post-Clipper lander mission isn’t even scheduled yet, I’ll have to wait a good while longer.
Finally, we might ask why, absent a very good reason, the federal government should ever be collecting data on our memberships and donations in the first place. What business of the government is it if you belong to a fishing club or the National Association of Realtors, or want to support Everytown for Gun Safety or the NRA?
Nonetheless, government agencies can be remarkably unwilling to surrender power or information. So praise is in order for Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and acting IRS Commissioner David Kautter for doing away with the requirement. . . .
Even more interesting, however, is the response of the progressive Left and the press. Because some of the organizations now exempt from filing donor information speak out about issues, or make some political expenditures (legally limited by tax law), this modest regulatory rescission is being portrayed as a victory for “dark money” in politics. Now, the Institute for Free Speech has pointed out repeatedly that “dark money” is the political bogeyman of our times — it amounts to a tiny percentage of political spending in the U.S., and attempts to completely end it intrude on the freedom of law-abiding people without providing any useful information to the public.
But let’s assume, for argument’s sake, that stopping “dark money” is an important goal. Here’s the thing: The information the IRS had been collecting was required by law to be kept private! So not reporting the information to the IRS has no legal effect at all on “dark money.” Think about that.
In short, what the progressive and media criticism of the IRS’s decision boils down to is some combination of the following:
They want to whip up hysteria about “dark money,” even when it is irrelevant to the policy at issue.
They want the IRS to illegally leak the data collected.
They hope that a database of donor memberships might be used by a future progressive administration for some unspecified purpose.
They simply don’t want to give up any potential power over Americans and perhaps hope, if the government is already collecting this information, it will be easier to pass more laws intruding on privacy in the future.
Yeah, I don’t trust them.
YES, THE FISA PROCESS WAS ABUSED AND WEAPONIZED, BUT IT’S ALSO CLEAR THAT THE FISA COURT IS IN FACT …
YES, THE FISA PROCESS WAS ABUSED AND WEAPONIZED, BUT IT’S ALSO CLEAR THAT THE FISA COURT IS IN FACT SERVING AS A RUBBER STAMP: Andrew McCarthy: “I’m really embarrassed because I told people for months that this could never happen….It’s astonishing. It’s as if they took the dossier and slapped a caption on [the Steele Dossier] to give it to the judge. They ought to be looking at the judges who signed this stuff.”
#FAKENEWS: Mystery as IDENTICAL letters appear in 21 newspapers across 12 states slamming Trump’s S…
ANALYSIS: TRUE. #PermitPatty Showcases the Dangers of Overregulation.
The real face of overregulation has been in the news in recent weeks, after bystanders called the police on three young people in different states for peaceful behavior. The incidents serve as a reminder that an overly broad “rule,” even if rarely enforced, can be weaponized at any time. Such rules can serve to empower pettiness and bigotry that otherwise might have been limited to rude speech.
The three incidents all went viral, from the pathetic marijuana-corporation executive who called the police on an eight-year-old girl for the “crime” of “illegally selling water without a permit” on a hot summer day, to the neighbor who called the police on a 12-year-old for his summer lawn-mowing business, to the 16-year-old boy who was cuffed and arrested in Charleston, S.C., for selling palmetto roses (a longstanding Charleston tradition). Luckily, the police did not act on the complaints in the first two cases — but the very fact that people feel empowered to call the police over harmless behavior shows the pernicious reach of the regulatory regime. In each of these cases, the regulations in question were the sort justified on health-and-safety grounds.
And in all three cases, the children were black. These regulations may not have been written with race in mind, like those of the hallowed Progressive Era were, but the fact remains that this all-encompassing regulatory regime allows racists to act on their prejudice with force. Those who oppose bigotry, and yet support high levels of regulation with good intentions, ought to bear in mind that enforcement often falls upon those who are already marginalized, as we have also seen with drug and gun laws.
Never agitate for a government power you wouldn’t trust your political opponents to wield — because someday they will.
SO DON’T EXPECT AN EARTH-SHATTERING KABOOM: NASA Reveals Experimental Quiet Supersonic Plane.
LUKE ROSIAK IS ON TOP OF THIS STORY, BUT ALMOST EVERYONE ELSE IS IGNORING IT FOR SOME REASON: In Ne…
LUKE ROSIAK IS ON TOP OF THIS STORY, BUT ALMOST EVERYONE ELSE IS IGNORING IT FOR SOME REASON: In Newly Obtained Memo, Congress’ Top Cop Said House Democratic Caucus Server VANISHED.
A secret memo marked “URGENT” detailed how the House Democratic Caucus’s server went “missing” soon after it became evidence in a cybersecurity probe. The secret memo also said more than “40 House offices may have been victims of IT security violations.”
In the memo, Congress’s top law enforcement official, Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving, along with Chief Administrative Officer Phil Kiko, wrote, “We have concluded that the employees [Democratic systems administrator Imran Awan and his family] are an ongoing and serious risk to the House of Representatives, possibly threatening the integrity of our information systems and thereby members’ capacity to serve constituents.”
The memo, addressed to the Committee on House Administration (CHA) and dated Feb. 3, 2017, was recently reviewed and transcribed by The Daily Caller News Foundation. The letter bolsters TheDCNF’s previous reporting about the missing server and evidence of fraud on Capitol Hill.
It details how the caucus server, run by then-caucus Chairman Rep. Xavier Becerra, was secretly copied by authorities after the House Inspector General (IG) identified suspicious activity on it, but the Awans’ physical access was not blocked.
And by “for some reason,” I mean: