Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Blevins case

Just a few words about the Thurman Blevins case. The video makes clear what happened, but that's not particularly important if your mind is already made up:
Protesters interrupted a news conference by Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman that was scheduled to announce a charging decision in the June 23 officer-involved shooting of Thurman Blevins by Minneapolis police. Freeman didn’t get to his analysis or decision in the case before community activists and the Blevins family took control of the podium. He later issued a press release to announce no criminal charges will be filed against Officers Justin Schmidt and Ryan Kelly.

Freeman exited the room after his words were drowned out by the shouting of a group gathered in the back of the room. That group, including members of Thurman Blevins' extended family, eventually took control of the podium.

"We’re tired. We’re going to tear this city up," one said. "Black people are tired of being hunted down."
I would be tired of it, too. There's more:
"The family is hurt, the family is devastated," Blevins' cousin, Sydnee Brown said. "I don’t want the media to think we are angry. We’re not angry, we’re disgusted by the leaders of the world and Minnesota. We want the cops arrested in 48 hours because this was murder. Maybe we need to start changing some laws here in the United States."
No, ma'am, you're angry. It's certainly understandable. If my cousin were shot on the streets of Minneapolis, I would be angry, too. I would suggest removing due process is more likely to hurt Ms. Brown and her family more than it would hurt the officers, though.

It's pretty clear -- Blevins was chemically altered in some way and was shooting his gun randomly in the neighborhood. He was making bad decisions. Should he have paid with his life for that? You'd hope not, but one must be aware of the consequences of one's actions. And no matter how many laws we pass or change, we cannot change human nature.

Monday, July 30, 2018

What you see

Back home after a quick trip. A few random observations:

First, Ann Althouse again gets points for stating what should be obvious, but apparently isn't:
Isn't it interesting that therapists are seeing the reaction to Trump as a disorder?! And that Politico framed it that way.

Maybe mainstream media is noticing a lot of people who feel the way I do, that the antagonism to Trump is so over-the-top that it's weirder than Trump. We turn away... and toward the man we originally resisted because he was too weird.
Emphasis in original. People get into a sputtering rage about everything Trump says. They aren't even paying attention to what he's actually doing. It's a bizarro world version of this scene in the movie "Miracle":

There's one exception, of course -- the sputtering rage is motivating ongoing stupidity, not improved performance. It's the aside at the end of the scene that matters.

Closer to home, you might have seen Erin Murphy's campaign ads on television over the weekend. I had to grab a screen image of the ad, because it fascinates me:

All the white people clap your hands on the four, now
The woman over Murphy's shoulder is her lieutenant governor candidate, Erin Maye Quade. Throughout the ad, she's flashing this strange rictus grin. There's something really off about her that goes beyond her political views. I don't know what it is, but Murphy and Quade are frankly pretty creepy. As an introductory ad, it's quite effective -- for their opponents.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Courier service

On the road again. Light posting for the next few days. So it's an open thread. Tell us something you think we should know.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Top 40 and Memory

Memory is a tricky thing and it gets trickier as you age. It's been a good 30 years since I paid much attention to what was going on in Top 40 radio, but in my youth it was important. I recently discovered a cool site, Weekly Top 40, that provides a chronological listing of the Top 40, week by week, going all the way back to 1955. If you want to know what was on the radio at different points in your life, you can find out at the site. For example, the number one song in the land on the day I was born was this surprisingly successful offering:

And the number one song in the land on the day I graduated from high school?

How about college?

I don't if there's a progression there, but it's amusing that in my lifetime we went from the Singing Nun to Madonna. It may not be a window into the soundtrack of your life, but it does remind me of the passage of time and how much things can change in a short period of time. In this era where you can dial up anything you want, any time you want, we don't have a shared experience in the same way we did back then. I don't miss the mediation of the Top 40, but I do wonder if we've lost something in our ability to customize our playlists.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Althouse cuts to the quick

Why do people love Trump? Or at least some people? As Ann Althouse suggests, maybe it's not who he is, but rather who he isn't. More to the point, he's not Richard Cohen, whose WaPo column Althouse eviscerates: This is one of the better takedowns of smug liberalism that you'll see:
Cohen has exactly one sentence that tries to say why people like Trump, and it's incredibly weak:

My guess is that it’s a low-boil rage against a vague and threatening liberalism — urbane, educated, affluent, secular, diverse and sexually tolerant. 

Yes, yes, I know. You're so sure you and your friends are the good people. Your unshakeable love for yourself and your friends is glaringly evident, as usual. By the way, if the Trumpsters are raging against the sexually tolerant, why are they they tolerating Trump's sexual behavior?
It's that "unshakeable love for yourself" that gets liberals in trouble. Self-regard is never attractive and while Trump himself is a vast sea of self-regard, he finds ways to give people a wink that shows he knows it's a game. Consider this tweet, which sent one of my lefty college friends into a paroxysm of sputtering rage :

Everybody's favorite!
 "Your favorite President" is a wink to his audience. Trump knows full well that millions of Americans, like my college friend, go ballistic at such rhetorical tropes. Not in My Name, you orange-y Hitler! Back to Althouse:
A more accurate headline would be a question, "Why do people like Trump?," not what looks like a promise to answer that question. Elite media people like Cohen should finally come around to asking the question humbly, confessing to their abject failure even to admit that they've needed to ask it and rejecting their imperious concentration on telling people what they should think. Look at all these reasons to loathe Trump. Come on, you idiots, you're embarrassing yourselves by not loathing him yet. It hasn't worked, and yet you continue to do it.
And because they continue to do it, they are Bourbons, forgetting nothing and learning nothing.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Daily News delenda est

Don't believe I'm taken in by stories I have heard 
I just read the Daily News and swear by every word 

-- "Barrytown" by Steely Dan, circa 1974

If you want to read the news about the Daily News, you need to go elsewhere:
The New York tabloid Daily News cut half of its newsroom staff Monday including Jim Rich, the paper's editor in chief.

The paper was sold to Chicago-based publisher Tronc last year for $1, with the owner of the Chicago Tribune assuming liabilities and debt.
The eternal rival of the Daily News, the New York Post, was even saddened about this result:
The numbers are brutal: a newsroom staff slashed in half; no staff photographers at a place that long billed itself as “New York’s Picture Newspaper.” A sports department down from 34 people to just nine — how can a New York tabloid survive with that?

Yes, the News has been The Post’s competitor for decades, and the rivalry’s often turned bitter. But rivalry has its joys, as well: Even getting beaten to a story is an inspiration to do better next time.
Any time an enterprise with the history of the Daily News starts to circle the bowl, you can assume multiple factors are involved. The newspaper business is not particularly healthy right now and there's no easy way to turn it around. I do think the Daily News made things worse by being strident and nasty. A few recent covers tell the tale:

Wrong on the facts and the motivation, but hey, whatever

There are dozens of others that equally nasty. Furious leftism has only so much appeal, and most lefties can get their hate on for free these days. I should be sad about this development, but they chose their path.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Trump Went a Tweetin'

And he did ride, uh huh. He's covering a lot of ground this morning:

Did he just threaten Iran? Why yes, yes he did
That's a lot to chew on. Certainly more than I can cover in the limited amount of blogging time I have this morning. But a few thoughts are in order:

  • No surprise that Trump would be all over the FISA document dump that took place over the weekend. I'm reasonably certain his most recent Tweet is accurate? So, why put up with the redactions? Trump is the Leader of the Free World. He can order his people to publish the whole thing without the redactions. At some point, he's going to have to, don't you think?
  • Of course, if the story of the day was supposed to be the FISA skulduggery, threatening Iran in ALL CAPS steps on the narrative.
  • That's a hell of a threat he delivered to Iran. ALL CAPS, even. Is he prepared to back it up? What would that look like? A couple of Tomahawk cruise missiles isn't going to cause Rouhani and the Mullahs (a great band name, by the way) much suffering. Thunderbolts and lightning, very very frightening. To make good on his threat, you'd need regime change in Iran. Do you think the CIA, last seen trying to take out Trump, would be up for another Mossadegh adventure? Or are we talking bunker busters all over Qom? Or something else entirely? Lotta questions here.

    Friday, July 20, 2018

    Fair reading

    Writing for the American Spectator, former federal prosecutor George Parry provides a valuable service by pointing out what is obvious:
    So, what did Trump do that for the thousandth time has summoned the furies of Le Résistance de la Gauche?

    He — gasp — declined to publicly scold and insult Putin to his face and questioned the probity of our intelligence community, i.e., the deep state cabal who have been trying for the past three years to frame him for colluding with the Russians. In doing so, he pointed out the obvious fact that these ongoing efforts to destroy him have complicated and impeded his ability to conduct foreign policy especially in regard to this nation’s fraught relations with Russia, the world’s second largest nuclear power.

    He was even so unpatriotic as to question the basis for Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s latest pretend indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officers which — to put it kindly — appears to be the product of questionable investigative work. Most tellingly, he asked how Team Mueller had determined that the Russians had hacked the Democratic National Committee’s computer when the DNC has forbidden law enforcement access to its server. This is a not inconsiderable question. 
    Parry is reading things correctly I noticed one thing about Trump's remarks that stand out. He tweeted the following:

    "MY" does not equal John Brennan
    Trump also mentioned Dan Coats, the Director of National Intelligence, by name. Coats has to manage a lot of people who are gunning for his boss, but he can't really get rid of those people easily, or even at all in many cases.

    It may not be possible to completely reform the Swamp. Its denizens are intelligent, resourceful, remorseless, and ruthless. There are thousands of Peter Strzoks in Washington, willing to do whatever they can to stop this administration from succeeding. Cleaning them out is a big job.

    Thursday, July 19, 2018

    Open thread

    Nothing has changed it's still the same
    I've got nothing to say but it's okay
    Good morning, good morning

    Wednesday, July 18, 2018


    I made this argument in the comments on yesterday's post, but Byron York makes it more elegantly here:
    There have always been two parts to the Trump-Russia probe: the what-Russia-did part, which is the investigation into Russia's actions during the campaign, and the get-Trump part, which is the effort to use the investigation to remove him from office.

    Trump's problem is that he has always refused, or been unable, to separate the two. One is about national security and international relations, while the other is about Donald Trump.
    And he has his reasons. Back to York:
    The president clearly believes if he gives an inch on the what-Russia-did part — if he concedes that Russia made an effort to disrupt the election — his adversaries, who want to discredit his election, undermine him, and force him from office, will take a mile on the get-Trump part. That's consistent with how Trump approaches other problems; he doesn't admit anything, because he knows his adversaries will never be satisfied and just demand more.

    But Trump's approach doesn't work for the Trump-Russia probe. There's no reason he could not accept the verdicts of the House Intelligence Committee, the Senate Intelligence Committee, the Intelligence Community, and, yes, Mueller, that Russia tried to interfere in the election. There would be no political loss, and, in fact, great political gain, for Trump to endorse that finding.
    Benefits would be fleeting, I suspect. But there's more:
    At the same time, there is nothing wrong with Trump fighting back hard against the get-Trump part of the investigation. Voters know that Democrats, Resistance, and NeverTrump activists have accused Trump of collusion for two years and never proven their case. Mueller has charged lots of people with crimes, but none has involved collusion. That could still change — no one should claim to know what is coming next from Mueller — but Trump, as a matter of his own defense, is justified in repeating the "no collusion" and "witch hunt" mantras.
    Trump may never go to war with Putin; I doubt that would happen. But he's been at war with the Deep State from the moment he declared his candidacy. Trump is going to have a complicated legacy; he's been a complicated figure throughout his public life, which stretches back nearly 40 years now. Future historians will marvel at how Trump turned his opposition into a mirror image version of InfoWars.

    A question for the audience

    If the Russians really wanted to control Donald Trump, or thought they could, why is the Steele Dossier in the public domain? One would think the Russians would have let Trump know they had this information, rather than his political opponents.

    Tuesday, July 17, 2018


    Taking a deep breath here. Trump and Putin. Thoughts? Why yes, I have a few:

    • Did anyone think Trump was going to bash Putin from the podium yesterday? Really? How would that have worked?
    • Putin doesn't have the strong hand here. He never will, really. The oligarchs who really run Russia will accept his strutting around so long as it is beneficial to them. The minute it isn't, he's gone. Trump certainly knows this.
    • Last I checked, we weren't actually at war with Russia. Anyone who is shouting "treason" at this point is assuming facts not in evidence.
    • Did the Russians meddle in the 2016 elections? Of course. I'd be more surprised if they hadn't. Governments always prefer to pick the person across the table. Obama never liked Netanyahu and sent his operatives to get involved in the Israeli election. The CIA, apparently back in fashion, had no trouble getting rid of Salvador Allende, and Jacobo Arbenz, and Mohammad Mossadegh. There were others. Hillary Clinton positively gloated about her role in getting rid of Gaddafi in Libya. Given how our government has conducted itself, it would be an upset if other countries weren't trying to put their thumb on the scale of our elections.
    • Personally, I would have phrased things differently were I at the podium. I'm not, though. I'm sitting at my dining room table, tapping on a laptop. I am not privy to the information Trump has at his disposal. It's possible Trump is a Russian stooge, but it's not likely. There is no reason to be one if you are President of the United States.

    Monday, July 16, 2018


    I don't use Twitter much, but I admire people who use it intelligently (h/t AoS):

    It's easy if you try

    Top left is the Jason Howerton's tweet of Chris Cillizza of CNN, who doesn't like it that Donald Trump won't put up with his network's whiny Sam Donaldson wannabe, Jim Acosta. All those halo shots of Mr. Trump's predecessor tell the tale quite nicely.

    And while we're at it on the explanation front, here's Kurt Schlichter with another hunk o' red meat:

    One of the secrets of Trump’s success is having really, really stupid enemies, enemies who are so tone-deaf and out-of-touch that they simply cannot adopt commonsense positions that resonate among normal Americans. The establishment instead insists on telling Americans that up is down, black is white, and girls can have penises. Nope. No wonder the Normals have gotten militant, and no wonder a leader like Donald Trump came along with the vision to exploit the opening the establishment left for an outsider to rise and prevail by embracing the obvious.
    And seriously, wouldn't all the halo shots of the former Leader of the Free World be another example of telling people up is down?

    Saturday, July 14, 2018

    Fearless predictions

    I have two this morning, in the wake of the news that Robert Mueller has been indicting ham sandwiches again:

    • The indicted Russians will never stand trial. That's the easy one.
    • The Russians will retaliate. They will either (a) indict 12 random U.S. military officials; (b) kick 12 random Americans out of Russia, accusing them of espionage; and/or (c) arrest 12 Americans for espionage. It could be all three, actually.
    As an aside, I would not be surprised if an attorney shows up in a U.S. court, as happened with Mueller's previous indictments, purporting to represent the indicted Russians, and then asks for discovery and a speedy trial. And Mueller will have to delay and obfuscate yet again. 

    Friday, July 13, 2018

    The best five minutes of yesterday's Strzok hearing

    Congressman John Ratcliffe gets to the heart of the matter. It's all good, but starting about at the 3 minute mark we get to an incredibly important point about our betters in Washington:

    Strzok never crossed the line of letting his personal judgments interfere with his actions. Except in the 50,000 text messages he exchanged with Lisa Page. Sweet.

    Face the Face

    Our benevolent overlords:

    Weasel and the white boys' cool


    I can do anything I want

    They don't have to answer to you. They just don't.

    Thursday, July 12, 2018

    30-Pack of Home Truths

    Over at PJ Media, John Hawkins has compiled a list of 30 aphorisms from Thomas Sowell, the brilliant economist. It's a great list and a reminder of why Sowell is one of the best public intellectuals we have had in this nation's history. No. 12 is an excellent question for our woke friends:
    "Since this is an era when many people are concerned about 'fairness' and 'social justice,' what is your 'fair share' of what someone else has worked for?"
    No. 13 is also exceptionally germane these days:
     “Considering how often throughout history even intelligent people have been proved to be wrong, it is amazing that there are still people who are convinced that the only reason anyone could possibly say something different from what they believe is stupidity or dishonesty.”
    Which relates directly to No. 8:
    "It is amazing how many people think that they can answer an argument by attributing bad motives to those who disagree with them. Using this kind of reasoning, you can believe or not believe anything about anything, without having to bother to deal with facts or logic."
    I don't suspect Sowell is actually amazed by any of it, of course. Which leads us to No. 27:
     "Virtually no idea is too ridiculous to be accepted, even by very intelligent and highly educated people, if it provides a way for them to feel special and important. Some confuse that feeling with idealism."
    Go read the rest. Sowell is now 88 years old, so he's not going to be around all that much longer. The shoddy thinking he decries is eternal.

    Wednesday, July 11, 2018

    It's satire. Sorta.

    I like the Babylon Bee, something of a Christian version of the Onion, which isn't as oxymoronic as you might imagine. A sample:
    The Resistance movement, formed to oppose President Trump, has stepped up its efforts against the right’s “rapidly encroaching tyranny.” They have vowed to do whatever they can to stop Trump, other than showing even basic respect to the tens of millions of Americans who voted for him.

    “This is unlike any other time in history,” said Adrienne Stokes, an activist and self-proclaimed member of the Resistance. “We have to be willing to do anything we can to bring down Trump and stop the rise of the alt-right. Spend every day protesting. Mob his cronies. Go to jail if we have to. Absolutely anything… as long as it doesn’t involve acknowledging the cares and concerns of people who don’t share our politics.”
    The response you might expect?

    See me? I'm not laughing

    Tuesday, July 10, 2018


    Brett Kavanaugh is a good pick for the Supreme Court. I would have personally preferred Amy Coney Barrett, but at this moment a guy like Kavanaugh, with a gold-plated resume and a substantial history on the D.C. Court of Appeals, is the smarter choice. If President Trump has more Republican senators next time, and I suspect he will have as many as three more bites of this apple, he can go with someone like Barrett.

    Kavanaugh is the wise pick this time for a simple reason -- his record and his history, especially working for Justice Elena Kagan, makes it obvious that Democratic Party opposition is strictly about partisanship and not about principle, hardly a surprising observation to regular readers of this feature but others might learn something. It also puts a number of incumbent Dem senators in the box; do you really want to oppose a central casting judge like Kavanaugh and then face the voters if you're Jon Tester, or Heidi Heitkamp, or Joe Donnelly, or Joe Manchin, or even Claire McCaskill?

    Speculation always turns to Roe v. Wade, but I think that's misplaced. The ruling that needs to be addressed first is Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which further codified Roe. With Anthony Kennedy leaving the Court, Clarence Thomas is the only justice who was on the original case. I think PP v. Casey matters more. Having said that, the ruling I'd really like to see challenged is Wickard v. Filburn. I wrote about that case here.

    No matter what, the next few months should be entertaining.

    Saturday, July 07, 2018

    Marquette gets its ass kicked

    I never attended Marquette University, but it's always had a place in my heart, especially from my childhood memories of Al McGuire's great basketball teams of the 1970s, which was about the only successful sports entity in Wisconsin in those days. I always rooted for those teams. To this day, I still root for Marquette's basketball team, even when they are playing my otherwise beloved Wisconsin Badgers.

    Having said that, I'm delighted that Marquette lost yesterday. And they lost a big way:
    The Wisconsin Supreme Court is ordering Marquette University to give a suspended professor his job back.

    "That feels very good. My case has finally been vindicated," John McAdams said Friday, July 6.

    It's been nearly four years -- seven semesters -- since John McAdams taught a political science course at Marquette University.

    "It's frustrating. I don't like being out of the classroom. I like teaching," McAdams said.

    McAdams was suspended in 2014 for a blog post that criticized another instructor who had refused to allow a debate over gay marriage in her classroom.
    As a reminder, Marquette is a Catholic university. And as a reminder, in 2014 gay marriage was still very much a topic of conversation and debate -- the Obergfell case did not come down until 2015. Writing for National Review, David French provides a succinct summary of what happened:
    The facts of the case are relatively simple. In late 2014, a student approached Professor McAdams and told him that his instructor, a graduate student named Cheryl Abbate, had “listed a number of issues on the board” — including “gay rights” — and then said, “Everybody agrees on this, and there is no need to discuss it.”

    After class, the student approached the instructor and attempted to engage her in a discussion about gay marriage. After an initially appropriate exchange, the instructor shut down the discussion, saying that “you don’t have a right in this class to make homophobic comments” and “in this class, homophobic comments, racist comments, will not be tolerated.” She then “invited the student to drop the class.”

    The student recorded the encounter and played the recording for McAdams. McAdams wrote up the encounter on his blog, the “Marquette Warrior,” named the instructor, and linked to her public personal webpage. As his post gained increasing public attention, Abbate received a series of hateful messages from third parties, including some that threatened violence.
    Marquette decided that McAdams had doxxed Abbate. Back to French:
    Marquette responded to this incident by rallying behind Abbate and immediately placing McAdams under investigation. It convened a Faculty Hearing Committee (FHC) that featured a member who’d signed a statement condemning McAdams and then laughably claimed that the statement showed no disqualifying bias. After a four-day proceeding, the FHC recommended that the university suspend McAdams for “no less than one and no more than two full semesters.”

    The president of the university then suspended McAdams without pay and said that his reinstatement would be contingent upon his signing a letter that — among other things — acknowledged his blog post “was reckless and incompatible with the mission and values of Marquette University.” McAdams refused to sign the letter and thus remained suspended. He filed suit, seeking reinstatement and back pay.
    As a matter of law, this is easy. Marquette and McAdams had a contract. Marquette breached the contract and McAdams is entitled to relief. While I would prefer that private universities have latitude in how they run things, a contract is a contract. Back to French:
    When a private university makes binding promises to its employees, courts can and must hold the university to its word. In my more than 20 years of battling censorship on college campuses, I’ve seen the same pattern time and again. Elite private universities — often using flowery, aspirational language — promise a marketplace of ideas and then deliver less academic freedom than the community college across town. They use their academic freedom to make a poetic promise, and then claim that same freedom allows them to go back on their word.

    The Wisconsin Supreme Court rejected this reasoning, noting that the university could not “excuse its breach of the Contract as an exercise of its academic freedom.” Instead, the analysis was simple: If McAdams’s blog post fit within the scope of protected academic expression, then the university was barred — by the terms of its own faculty handbook — from punishing McAdams for it. The handbook was crystal clear: “In no case, however, shall discretionary cause [for discipline] be interpreted so as to impair the full and free enjoyment of legitimate personal or academic freedoms of thought, doctrine, discourse, association, advocacy, or action.”
    For its part, Marquette doesn't get it. The university posted a remarkably snotty response on its webpage:
    The McAdams vs. Marquette case strikes at the core of who we are as a university. When a professor violates professional responsibility toward one of our students, Marquette must be able to respond with discipline. This is not about academic freedom or freedom of speech – it is about a professor’s unprofessional conduct toward a student teacher that resulted in direct, irreparable harm. John McAdams treated our student in a manner that does not represent our Guiding Values as a Catholic, Jesuit university, and in doing so, violated his contract.
    Not to put too fine a point on it, but that's a pile of crap. The only contract that matters in this case is the employment contract Marquette had with McAdams. McAdams did not violate his contract in any way. Marquette knows that, which is why they aren't going to appeal. There's more:
    This case has never been about academic freedom or a professor’s political views. Had the professor published the same blog without the student-teacher’s name or contact information, he would not have been disciplined. Marquette has been, and always will be, committed to academic freedom. Marquette welcomes a wide variety of views and perspectives and is a place where vigorous, yet respectful, debate happens every day.
    The point of publishing the name of Cheryl Abbate was simple -- to warn people who might take her classes that the academic freedom Marquette claims to revere was not operative in her classroom. People have a right to know that. As for the claim that she received threats after McAdams published his blog post, I would hope that law enforcement would seek out the individuals who made those threats and deal with them appropriately.

    At bottom, the problem here is hardly unique to Marquette. Plenty of colleges have decided to set themselves up as judge, jury, and executioner by setting up one-sided and frankly ludicrous disciplinary processes. French asks the relevant question:
    How many times must universities lose in court before they learn to embrace true academic freedom? Time and again, they’ve lost challenges to their speech codes, speech zones, and restrictive rules that defund conservative and religious organizations. McAdams’s case represents the latest loss to a conservative professor who cried foul. At present, however, the calculation seems to be that universities would rather endure litigation than face the internal consequences of defying the most radical members of their academic communities — the professors, students, and administrators who demand censorship and repression.

    Conservative students and professors have precious little internal leverage, so they are forced to appeal to courts to vindicate their rights. 
    Or, in the case of the University of Missouri, universities face other consequences:
    In an effort to manage a $49 million budget shortfall, the University of Missouri will eliminate 185 positions and lay off 30 staff members.

    In addition, the university will reduce travel, eliminate some courses with low enrollment, cut down on sponsorships of some events and convert several printed products into online-only publications, said MU Chancellor Alexander N. Cartwright and Vice Chancellor for Finance Rhonda Gibler in an announcement made public Thursday.
    Marquette could turn this around by affirming it is a place where academic freedom is revered and available to all. It does not appear they are ready to do so yet. Al McGuire isn't going to be able to help them.

    Friday, July 06, 2018

    The Nub of It

    So I'm reading my FB feed and the word came down that Scott Pruitt was out at EPA. Many of my college classmates were on the thread and the common theme was the physical violence they wanted to inflict on Pruitt. I'm not going to reproduce it here, but apparently Pruitt needs to be kicked in the head, throat-punched, and more. Mind you, most of the people proposing such a course of action are in their mid-50s.

    Then you have this guy:

    This happened at a Whataburger in Texas. Charming fellow.

    So why are people behaving this way? As usual, Victor Davis Hanson gets to the nub of it:
    In 2009, Obama seemed to usher in a progressive revolution for a generation.

    Democrats controlled the House. They had a supermajority in the Senate. Obama had a chance to ensure a liberal majority on the Supreme Court for years.

    Democrats had gained on Republicans at the state and local levels. The media, universities, professional sports, Hollywood, and popular culture were all solidly left-wing.

    A Republican had not won 51 percent of the popular vote in a presidential election since George H.W. Bush’s 1988 defeat of Democrat Michael Dukakis. Before 2016, Republicans had lost the popular vote in five of the previous six presidential elections.

    And then visions of a generation of progressive grandeur abruptly vanished.
    It was all supposed to have gone so differently. The Democrats had a tremendous opportunity, but it all went wrong. And the Democrats aren't taking things well, primarily because they're nursing rage more than anything else. Back to Hanson:
    To progressives, Trump became not an opponent to be beaten with a better agenda, but an evil to be destroyed. Moderate Democrats were written off as dense; left-wing fringe elements were praised as clever.

    Voters in 2016 bristled at redistribution, open borders, bigger government, and higher taxes, but progressives are now promising those voters even more of what they didn’t want.

    Furious over the sudden and unexpected loss of power, enraged progressives have so far done almost everything to lose even more of it.
    If the Democrats had a better agenda, they'd offer it. Instead, they're letting their freak flag fly and embracing full-on socialism. And they're harassing people. Even in 2009, when all looked lost, I never felt the rage or underlying despair that I'm seeing today. Put simply, like many conservatives I hold the tragic view of mankind (original sin, all that rot) but I am generally optimistic in my own worldview. The liberals I know think mankind can be perfected but seem to be falling into rage and despair because they can't break enough eggs to get that tasty omelet they ordered 9 years ago.

    Thursday, July 05, 2018


    Brad Carlson noticed this tweet, which I endorse:

    Dan McLaughlin‏

    If Donald Trump and/or Barack Obama significantly affected how much you love America, you don't really love or understand America.

    Yep. Obama's presidency was a disaster. Trump's may turn out better, or it may not; early returns are encouraging, but I'm not a fan of tariffs, among other things he's done. We continue to find out together. We are more than our government. We have to be.

    Tuesday, July 03, 2018

    The question to ask a "Democratic Socialist"

    If you come to power through an election, and then lose a subsequent election, do you step aside as the voters have requested? And, if your successor dismantles your handiwork, do you accept that?

    Okay, that's two questions. I would be disinclined to believe anything a "Democratic Socialist" says. It's almost certainly a one-way ratchet. And if you doubt that view, consider the way the Loyal Opposition has been behaving in the past 18 months.

    Lifetime sentence

    At one point, Jennifer Rubin was proffered as a conservative blogger for the Washington Post. She's apparently grown in office:
    Sarah Huckabee [Sanders] has no right to live a life of no fuss, no muss, after lying to the press—after lying to the press, after inciting against the press. These people should be made uncomfortable, and I think that's a life sentence, frankly.
    That's Rubin, opining on MSNBC's "Morning Joy." Life is a long time. Sanders is, at the time I write this, 35 years old. It's reasonable to assume she will live another 50 years or even more. Should we assume that, in 2068, angry people ought to be harassing her? To what end?

    As a wise old blogger has written more than once, this is how you get more Trump.

    Monday, July 02, 2018


    I don't often go to Mass twice on Sunday, but we did yesterday. We went to our normal (but not for long) 10 a.m. Mass at St. Rose for the farewell Mass of our parochial vicar, Fr. Jim, who will be taking over at a parish in Watertown that has been doing without a pastor for six months. We then went to Corpus Christi at 6 for the final Mass of Fr. Fitz, who is retiring.

    The new pastor arrives today. His name is Fr. Marc and he arrives from Pax Christi in Eden Prairie. He's a young man, half the age of Fr. Fitz, and he now has the task of being pastor at the two parishes in Roseville, St. Rose and Corpus Christi. He comes highly recommended and we're grateful to have him, because sending a younger priest to St. Rose and Corpus Christi is a vote of confidence from the Archdiocese.

    We have a shortage of priests in the Archdiocese. Until about 10 years ago, it was rare for one priest to be pastor of multiple parishes. We are members at St. Rose and have been for about 3 1/2 years now. We like St. Rose more than our previous parish, St. John the Baptist. We've never lived in Roseville but we've felt at home there. St. Rose is a suburban parish with an aging population, in keeping with Roseville generally. You see a lot of gray hair in the pews there and many of the members of the parish have been there for 40 or even 50 years. Corpus Christi is also in Roseville, but its history goes back to the St. Paul campus of the University of Minnesota. It's a significantly smaller parish and it is an oasis of calm just a half mile south of the madness of Rosedale. The congregation at Corpus Christi is perhaps a bit younger, but still aging.

    People come to Roseville to shop and to dine, but you don't hear much about the city itself. It's easy to get on an expressway and never take a look at anything beyond the mall. Still, Roseville remains a good place to live and, like some of the other first-ring suburbs, may be ready for a renaissance. We're eager to find out.