Thursday, December 18, 2014

Dispatch From the Religion of Peace

We haven't posted an outrage from the RoP recently, because honestly who has time to keep up? Sometimes, though, a group will outdo even the usual ongoing violence:

"At least 150 females, including pregnant women, were executed in Fallujah by a militant named Abu Anas Al-Libi after they refused to accept jihad marriage," said the Ministry. "Many families were also forced to migrate from the province's northern town of Al-Wafa after hundreds of residents received death threats."

The militants buried the victims in mass graves in the city. The families who left lost many children after they were stranded in the desert.

The Islamic State slaughtered over 50 people from the Al Bu Nimr tribe in Iraq's Anbar Province on November 2. The massacre included six women and four children. Witnesses said the militants lined up the victims, whom they "publicly killed one by one." Over seventeen people were kidnapped, as well. Militants murdered 98 people from the same tribe 24-48 hours before the massacre. The tribe is Sunni, which holds the same belief of Islam as the Islamic State, but now, they view the tribe as a threat

Columnist John Ransom has no idea what President Obama is doing.

There could be things that the president and I could agree on. Of course I wouldn't know-nor would you-- because most of the time I have no earthly idea-nor do you-- why he does what he does or what he means by doing them.

Why for example did he pitch global warming as a key campaign message during the 2014 mid-terms, or helpfully campaign for Democrat candidates who made it known they didn't appreciate his help?

Is he that dumb? Or was it a clever ploy to cover up the last stupid thing he did?

There is a whole cottage industry devoted to deciphering the intended unintended consequences of the ideological incompetency and inconsistency that exudes from Obama.

Vermont tried to setup a taxpayer funded single payer "free" healthcare system but they couldn't do it:

Legislators in the state of Vermont have been making moves toward establishing a single-payer health program that would make all health care available to all residents at taxpayer expense. The state had intended to apply for a waiver to free the state from Obamacare mandates for the purpose of setting up an in-state single-payer system.

Unfortunately, the liberal dream has been mugged by reality: Democratic Gov. Shumlin announced that they're going to abandon the plan because it's too expensive.

Victor Davis Hanson identifies the moral inconsistency of banning "torture" while raining simultaneously raining missiles from drones:

How is assassinating a suspected terrorist - and anyone unfortunate enough to be in his general vicinity - with a drone missile morally or legally different from waterboarding a confessed terrorist at Guantanamo Bay? At least the waterboarded suspect survives the ordeal.

The Senate Intelligence Committee report failed to disprove the CIA's contention that only three detainees were waterboarded. A small number of detainees were subject to sleep disturbance or excessive temperatures. In contrast, drone strikes ordered by Obama may have assassinated thousands.

Were those who were waterboarded more or less likely to be plotting terror than those blown to smithereens? We do not know that answer. Yet the former were in detention - one of whom confessed to plotting the 9/11 attacks, and another suspected of masterminding the USS Cole attack - while the latter were never caught, much less questioned, and their status as terrorists was far less assured.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Andrew McCarthy proposes an interesting idea.

Here is a thought experiment I have been using for many years as we've debated this topic. It goes to what Obama says about the intolerably brutal nature of waterboarding, the most coercive of the enhanced techniques that were used.

If you were to take everyone in America who is serving a minor jail sentence of, say, 6 to 18 months, and you were to ask them whether they'd rather serve the rest of their time or be waterboarded in the manner practiced by the CIA post 9/11 (i.e., not in the manner practiced by the Japanese in World War II), how many would choose waterboarding? I am guessing, conservatively, that over 95 percent would choose waterboarding.

Now, if you take the same group of inmates and ask them whether they'd prefer to serve the remainder of their time or be subjected to Obama's drone program (where we kill rather than capture terrorists, therefore get no intelligence from the people in the best position to provide actionable intelligence, and kill bystanders - including some children - in addition to the target), how many would choose the drone program? I am guessing that it would be . . . zero.

I believe President Obama is too smart not to grasp this obvious point.

Here's a brilliant observation from Peter Kirsanow:

Do a quick scan of major media reporting on the Senate Democrats' so-called torture report. Pay particular attention to liberal reaction and commentary. Then go back and examine major media reporting on the Ferguson grand jury's decision not to indict Officer Wilson. Again, pay particular attention to liberal reaction and commentary.

Many of the same media outlets that dismissed as incredible the Ferguson grand jury's decision - a decision based, in part, on the testimony of more than 40 witnesses to the event in question - now find credible a report on a CIA program prepared by Democratic staffers who interviewed none of the individuals involved in establishing and running the program.

Who says liberals aren't religious?

Monday, December 08, 2014

Roger Simon has a pithy analysis of Hillary Clinton's thought process:

You can almost see the wheels grinding when asked a question:

What did I think in the days of Saul Alinsky? What did I think back in Little Rock? What did I think when Bill was president, first term, second term? Should I bake cookies? Why did Monica keep that dress? How could I have left those billing records in the White house? Is this good in Ohio? What did I think when senator? When do the Watergate hearings start? What did I think when secretary of State? Is this a war zone? Am I under fire? What did Sergei Lavrov do with that reset button? Will Lanny Davis back me up on Fox? Why does Putin always show off his pecs? Is my old friend Suha still at the Bristol? I should ask Huma. What did Obama say? Should I be separating from him on this one or not?

TILT!

Yes, like a pinball player, you can only handle so much. With all those different personas, opinions and rationalizations racing around in the brain, the machine overloads. And in Hillary's case that machine is long overfilled, like one of those computer hard drives we've all junked.

Here's an awesome blog post by Daniel Greenfield on the class warfare that drives the left:

Medicine is individual and the collectivization of medicine is a technocratic solution that leads to broad stroke solutions, like adding calories to menus and other rats in a maze tactics designed to modify human behavior on a national level. The targeting of fast food restaurants, public school meals and food stamps reeks of the same elitist arrogance that drives the nanny state.

The politicization of food by the elites of the left always comes down to class, no matter how it may be disguised in liberal colors. From exotic to locally grown, the trajectory of food politics follows the upselling of food prices The only difference is that the dominance of the left has wrapped the added cost with no added value in their own politics. The more affordable food becomes, the more the left finds ways to add cost to food, without adding value.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The left never stops pushing. There's always a new cause that must be pushed, and the ratchet only turns one way. That's how gay rights became transgender rights. That's how access to abortion became free abortions. John Stossel has noticed to, and he points out that some people have finally had enough.

Rule-makers always want more. At first, they just asked for bans on TV's cigarette ads. Then they demanded no-smoking sections in restaurants. Then bans in airplanes, schools, workplaces, entire restaurants. Then bars, too. Now sometimes even apartments and outdoor spaces.

Can't smokers have some places?

So far, smokers just ... take it. But maybe that's changing. The town of Westminster, Massachusetts, recently held hearings on whether to ban the sale of tobacco products altogether, and 500 angry people showed up.

Joseph Bottum notes that Jon Gruber (the economist who created Obamacare) and Matt Taylor (the rocket scientist who landed a robot on a comet) essentially committed the same faux pas:

Gruber and Taylor - Jonathan and Matt. They're blood brothers, in their way, joined by their place in the current news cycle. Joined by more than that, in fact, for they both made the same mistake. They both thoughtlessly assumed that behaviors that were risk-free in their small social groups would be risk-free in the larger culture. They both mistook the manners of the tribe for the manners of the nation. [. . .]

They both took behavior that is thought acceptable and even admirably daring within their particular subgroups and found that it doesn't play so well on a larger public stage. In Taylor's case, that's the geeky world of rocket scientists and science-fiction devotees, where it's hip - among those not typically known for their hipness - to make knowing references back to the bullet-breasted heroines in tight costumes who graced the covers of 1950s sci-fi pulp. Taylor's shirt is the kind that would have gotten a cheer at the monthly programmers' club meeting in Palo Alto.

In Gruber's case, the subgroup is powerful professors. Professors, that is to say, who've been let in on some important business or government project and return home to tell their fellow academics all about it. Watch any of the Gruber videos, and you'll see it right away. What the man is trying to tell his audiences in these mostly college settings is that he's an insider. He's seen how the sausage is made, and he's returned home to confirm his friends' suspicions about how comic, duplicitous, and bizarre are the inner workings of government. Of course, he's also seeking the admiration of his fellow academics. The subtext of his performances is that, just as we scholars always suspected, the American political system can be gamed and beaten by us smart professors (especially admirable, cynical me). Gruber is a hipster, among those not typically known for their hipness, and he wowed 'em at the faculty club.

Charles C.W. Cooke visits Canada's oil sands production facilities, and he is impressed by the operation. But not so much by the protestors:

In the hotel's bar on my final evening, I meet two environmentalist girls who are having dinner with the NBC TV crew. We strike up a conversation. Their lexicon is replete with insistent and earnest calls for "renewable energy" and for doing "something different." We must have a "conversation," they say. The "public must get involved!" One of them repeatedly insists that there needs to be a "compromise." I suggest that this "compromise" is precisely what has happened here: The province of Alberta allows private companies to operate within very strict guidelines and, if they break the rules, they lose their license to manufacture. She doesn't push back against this directly, but she is "worried" that oil production still has its "drawbacks." I agree in principle. After all, what doesn't? But I'm struck by the thought that she's striving for an impossible perfection and has chosen the wrong target.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Dispatch From the Religion of Peace

We haven't had one of these dispatches in quite some time. Not because the Religion of Peace has slowed down, rather quite the opposite. The violence in the name of the RoP is so unrelenting, dispatches would simply be a reiteration of the daily news. Beheadings, bombings and general mayhem in the name of Islam are simply a matter of course these days. Still, this story seemed worthy of note:

Four Israelis were killed and eight more wounded in a frenzied assault by two Palestinian men on Jewish worshippers praying at a Jerusalem synagogue in the most lethal incident in the city in years.

The two assailants who launched their attack with meat cleavers and a gun during early morning prayers were then killed by police officers in the ensuing gun battle at the scene of the attack.

Meat cleavers. Meat cleavers! In a synagogue. CNN's report had it this way: "DEADLY ATTACK ON JERUSALEM MOSQUE." Meanwhile, the good people of Gaza reacted with predictable outrage at their co-religionists:

Gazan revelers in Rafah handed out sweets and brandished axes and posters of the said perpetrators in praise of the deadly attack.

David French: Modern feminism is appalling stupidity backed by hysterical rage.

While I had numerous brushes with extremist feminists in law school - women who declared that all (heterosexual) sex was rape and often responded with literal screams to classroom speech they didn't like - it all felt fashionably fake. Surely no one took that level of extremism into the real world, did they? Then my wife encountered a lesbian couple in Ithaca, N.Y., who was raising their child to be "genderless." They refused to call him a boy or girl, allowing him to "choose his gender" identity during his teenage years. And, apparently, they are not alone.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

With this Gruber character (can we please stop calling him an "architect"?) running around extolling the lies he perpetrated on the "stupid" American populace in pursuit of his health insurance law, David French adds a little perspective.

Obamacare was so expansive, so unpopular, and so outside the perceived will of the voters, that Gruber and his administration allies felt that they had to intentionally confuse and deceive the American people to pass health care reform through a Democrat-dominated Congress. [. . .]

They knew that if they wrote a law in plain English that even their Democratic allies in Congress would reject it. They knew that if they explained the true effects of the law - including the existence of very real trade-offs - that not even a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate could save them. [. . .]

Mr. French goes on to note that a lot of smaller reforms could have been achieved in a bi-partisan fashion, because Republicans had just been squashed in the election and were looking for opportunities to compromise. But the President was far more ambitious:

(A)id for the poor and near-poor wasn't enough. It had to increase access to abortion. It had to turn employee health plans into the next front of the culture war. It had to give the IRS an even greater degree of access to Americans' private lives. It had to increase regulatory authority over myriad aspects of American health care. It had to engage in stealth redistribution of wealth.

While the truly partisan pundits are unfazed by Gruber's compulsive truth-telling, will the allegedly more mainstream media revise its own history of the Obama presidency? Is the problem with Obamacare truly Republican "obstructionism," or is it administration deception - featuring a willingness to deliberately make the provision of American health care needlessly complex to accomplish hyper-partisan ideological goals?

How bad was Obamacare? So bad it couldn't even pass through a Democratic supermajority on its own merits.

Friday, November 07, 2014

Daniel Greenfield says there is a Democratic Party civil war getting ready to erupt. The two factions are the old-time traditional corruptocrats and the progressive true-believer leftists.

Sometimes the two Democratic parties blend together really well. Bill Clinton combined the good ol' boy corruption and radical leftist politics of both parties into one package. The secret to his success was that he understood that most Democrats, voters or politicians, didn't care about his politics, they wanted more practical things. He made sure that his leftist radicalism played second fiddle to their corruption.

Bill Clinton convinced old Dems that he was their man first. Obama stopped pretending to be anything but a hard core progressive.

The 2014 election was a collision course between the two Democratic parties. The aides and staffers spilling dirt into the pages of the New York Times, the Washington Post and Politico reveal that the crackup had been coming for some time now. Now the two Democratic parties are coming apart.

It seems the family of "Gentle Giant" Michael Brown is getting a little contentious out there in Ferguson, Missouri. This snit is over the sale of commemorative merchandise:

Police in Ferguson, Mo., are investigating a fight between members of the family of Michael Brown which allegedly erupted over the sale of merchandise last month.

Pearlie Gordon, Michael Brown Sr.'s mother-in-law, told police that she was selling "Justice for Mike Brown" items in a parking lot Oct. 18 when a group of about 20 to 30 people rushed toward her, according to an incident report. Gordon said that Brown's mother, Lesley McSpadden, told her that she couldn't sell the merchandise.

Gordon then told McSpadden that "unless McSpadden could produce documentation stating she had a patent on her son's name, she (Gordon) was going to continue to sell her merchandise," the report states.

That's when McSpadden's mother started to rip down items from the booth. Gordon told police she was hit on the head and knocked to the ground. She said McSpadden punched her during the incident, in which more than $1,500 in merchandise and at least $400 in cash was stolen.

900 vintage video games are online at The Internet Arcade.
Newly inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame: Green Army Men. Who even knew there was a "toy hall of fame?"

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Kevin Williamson thinks increasing energy production is the way to get our economy back on track:

The energy industry itself is a generator of enormous wealth, and it pays very good wages for everybody from Ph.D.s to truck drivers. But it is the ripple effect that makes it so important: More abundant energy means that everything that moves by road, rail, or air - i.e., basically everything - is a bit less expensive, that all of our factories are a bit more efficient, that everything made with plastics and petrochemicals - i.e., basically all manufactured goods - is a little more affordable. Those marginal changes can add up to something dramatic in an economy as complex and globally integrated as ours, because it makes the entire economy more efficient. And even with the stepped-up production of the past several years, petroleum imports alone still amount to more than half of the U.S. trade deficit - not Korean electronics and cheap plastic toys from China, but stuff we have in the ground in Pennsylvania and Texas and New York and California. Basically, we're standing knee-deep in a pile of money, waiting for government's permission to pick it up. You might not change Andrew Cuomo's mind about that - or Jerry Brown's, speaking of 1970s flashbacks - but when it comes to the millions of Americans who are not much enjoying the relative growth rates of their paychecks and their utility bills, Republicans have a pretty solid argument to make for energy abundance.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Here's an interesting piece on the nature of today's "Feminism" and how truly unserious it is:

Modern feminism is defined by talking non-stop about the things that don't matter to avoid talking about the things that do. It long ago stopped being a movement and became a series of distractions. When feminists actually hit on a relevant issue they quickly scramble to avoid talking about it. That's what happened with the viral Hollaback video of a woman walking around New York City and being harassed by minority men. The video quickly went from a hit to an embarrassment as feminists realized that they had unintentionally documented something that they could not talk about. [. . .]

Professional feminists don't want to fight rape; they want to fight an intangible "rape culture". They don't want to help women. Instead they want to exploit the problems facing women to advance their own agendas and careers. They are part of a movement cut off from ordinary people and rooted in academia. Few women want to identify as feminists, because feminism doesn't identify with them.

Feminism can't talk about the problems facing women because it is a prisoner of the left. It's a fundraising gimmick, an election turnout gimmick and a way to sell pricey shirts.

The whole thing is worth a read.

Jay Nordlinger reports on Gary Kasparov's speech at the Oslo Freedom Forum:

Garry Kasparov, the chess great and democracy activist, is onstage. He is a physically robust and quick-moving fellow. You think the mind is quick, too?

Kasparov says, "Putin has engaged with and co-opted the West." Also, "we have more leverage than we think." "We"? Kasparov means democrats and well-wishers to democracy.

He says that Russia exports more than 80 percent of its oil and gas to the EU. And just a third of the EU's oil and gas comes from Russia. So who has the leverage? "Sellers need buyers," notes Kasparov.

He further says, "The Free World must break all forms of dependency on dictatorships. Engagement has failed." The Free World "holds many winning cards in this game of global poker." Yet "we fold our hands when Putin bluffs."

Kasparov wants people to wake up, it seems to me.

He cites this frequent caution: "Putin is too dangerous to challenge." Then he points out that, when President Truman launched the Berlin airlift, Stalin was in the Kremlin! He also brings up the Cuban Missile Crisis and KAL 007.

"It's all about us," he says. "Do we have the political will? The courage? Too many of us have forgotten how to fight dictatorships."

He gives a stirring speech, Kasparov does.

I wish Mr. Kasparov could give that talk in the Oval Office. Continuing with another post from the effusive Mr. Nordlinger, this time on Arkansas Senator-Elect Tom Cotton:

He was expected to win in Arkansas. But that should not dim the joy of it, for the likes of me: He is one of the most impressive people in American politics. He is an officer and a gentleman, and an intellectual. He also turns out to be an adept politician. He should be a superb representative of Reagan-style Republicanism for years to come.

Covering his race for the House two years ago, I met a woman at a Cotton luncheon. She said to me, "He's perfect." I later related this to Cotton's mother - who said, "No, he isn't."

He is still awfully good, and his election to the Senate is wonderful.

Finally, Nordlinger yet again:

In Maine, Governor Paul LePage was reelected. He may be the most interesting politician in America. He may also be the most unusual. He is fantastically blunt. He is almost anti-political, in his bluntness, his political incorrectness. He was born in the mill town of Lewiston in 1948. His family was Franco-American. Paul did not really speak English until he was in college. He was the first of 18 children. His father was a mill worker and a drunk. A violent drunk. He beat Paul so bad, the boy left home at the age of eleven. He lived in the streets for two years - seeking shelter here and there. He saw everything, at that tender age. Finally, a couple of families sort of looked after him. And he rose. He became a success in business and politics. He and his wife adopted a black kid from Jamaica.

Ladies and gentlemen, if Paul LePage were a liberal Democrat, he'd be celebrated across the country. He would be on the covers of magazines, and there would be movies about him. His story would be sung in folk songs. But he's a conservative Republican. So . . .

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The natural conclusion of the "pro-choice" position is starting to reveal itself:

Anecdotal evidence by leaders of prolife groups such as Created Equal and Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust said in interviews that not only do they see more college students willing to say they support post-birth abortion, but some students even suggest children up to 4 or 5-years-old can also be killed, because they are not yet "self aware."

"We encounter people who think it is morally acceptable to kill babies after birth on a regular basis at almost every campus we visit," said Mark Harrington, director of Created Equal. "While this viewpoint is still seen as shocking by most people, it is becoming increasingly popular."

Three months, six months, nine months, five years. What's the difference, right? It's just a "choice."

David French calls out the left for their childish, sophomoric approach to governing:

Next, there's the sophomoric, malicious style of campus rhetoric, where stigma is the preferred method of argument. It's hard to overstate the propensity towards name-calling even of "elite" academics, and the culture of the academy is one where groupthink is enforced and reinforced through vicious rhetoric. Their opponents can't be merely wrong. Instead they are racist, bigoted, homophobic, or - despite professed love of the disabled - "Aspergery." The arrogance is overwhelming, and the fake tough-guy posture of name-calling elitists is laughable to everyone but themselves.

(By the way, have you noticed how much the elite drop profanity into conversations and commentary to signify how darn angry and serious they are? There's nothing like a cursing nerd to strike fear into the hearts of our enemies - or friends.)

Jay Nordlinger, in Part IV of his series on the Oslo Freedom Forum, identifies what it will take to "fix" Africa:

There is such a thing as oversimplifying. There is also such a thing as overcomplicating. What do Africans need? The same things everyone else needs: the rule of law; property rights; an independent judiciary; accountability in government; economic freedom; other freedom. Then they will zoom. They are not born to be poor and desolate. The systems that control them make them that way.

Mankind knows pretty well what leads to prosperity and what leads to the opposite. Our experience has been ample - redundant. The road to prosperity is blocked by collectivists, tyrants, and spoilers.

Monday, October 27, 2014

I came across this blog post today, showing gas for 18 cents a gallon in 1939. Curious, I went to BLS CPI Inflation Calculator to see what that looks like in 2014 dollars. Answer: $3.08. So, with gas locally at around $2.80, it's cheaper now than it was in 1939. Interesting.

Heather MacDonald points out how ridiculous it is to expect the CDC to be effective at fighting real disease, when it is instead steeped in social justice concerns.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Healthy Communities Program, for example, focuses on "unfair health differences closely linked with social, economic or environmental disadvantages that adversely affect groups of people." CDC's Healthy People 2020 project recognizes that "health inequities are tied to economics, exclusion, and discrimination that prevent groups from accessing resources to live healthy lives," according to Harvard public-health professor Nancy Krieger. Krieger is herself a magnet for federal funding, which she uses to spread the message about America's unjust treatment of women, minorities, and the poor. To study the genetic components of health is tantamount to "scientific racism," in Krieger's view, since doing so overlooks the "impact of discrimination" on health. And of course the idea of any genetic racial differences is anathema to Krieger and her left-wing colleagues.

Dennis Saffran notes that the New York Times has apparently discovered its support for the second amendment. It seems it's not easy enough for mentally ill persons to keep and bear arms, and this is anathema to the Times.

The tone and prominence of Sunday's article suggest that the Times has decided that its support for expansive rights for the mentally ill trumps its support for expansive gun-control legislation. Speaking favorably for what must be the first time of "the right to bear arms" (without a single harrumph about a well-regulated militia), the Times frets that the provision has denied this right to 34,500 "people with mental health issues," though it notes that only 278 of them actually had gun permits. Trotting out its usual talking points about the rights of the mentally ill (rather than its usual talking points about gun control), the Times quotes unnamed "advocates" and "experts" who warn that such laws "stigmatize people with mental illnesses" and "discourage patients from seeking help." They lecture us that "the vast majority of people with mental illnesses are not violent." [...]

While the Times blasted the Heller decision as "wrongheaded and dangerous" (and sure to "cost innocent lives, cause immeasurable pain and suffering and turn America into a more dangerous country") for recognizing a limited individual Second Amendment right, it now appears to lament the failure to fully extend to the mentally ill what it would deny to everyone else. Such are the perils of knee-jerk orthodoxy.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The micromanagement of the college student's love life has now reached this level:

A SUNY school is teaching students how to properly end a relationship as part of an initiative begun this year in response to increased Title IX reports dealings with post-breakup harassment.

SUNY Delhi implemented the training at this year's freshmen orientation but says it will continue to offer workshops concerning the issue of healthy relationships throughout the year . . .

That's right. Breakup Training.

Democrat Joel Kotkin documents the Democrats surge to the left:

The new left Democrats have little interest in embracing Obama's clever meme of portraying himself as a moderate, bipartisan figure, something that helped him both win suburban voters and raise a ton of money from parts of the corporate elite. Instead of expanding crony capitalism, which has been the Obama default, but the new Left openly seeks to reshape the economic system itself.

This leftward shift has been intensified by the growing geographic bifurcation of our political culture. Just as the Republican's rightward shift reflected the domination of the traditionalist South and, to some extent, the socially conservative Great Plains, the Democratic march to the left similarly mirrors the party's growing reliance on its urban Northeast and West Coast base. [. . .]

In the new Democratic calculus, greens, wealthy venture capitalists, Hollywood producers, feminists and ethnic warlords matter much more than coal miners, factory or construction workers.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Ann Coulter takes down the illusion of government competence in dealing with Ebola.

Unfortunately, everything the government says about this disease keeps being proved untrue - usually within a matter of days.

They told us that you'd basically have to roll in an infected person's vomit to catch the disease. Then, nurses at two first-world hospitals in Spain and the U.S. contracted Ebola from patients.

With no evidence, the CDC simply announced that the nurses were not following proper "protocol." The disease didn't operate the way CDC said it would, so the hospitals must be lying.

The government told us that national quarantines won't work, but then they quarantine everyone with Ebola - or who has been near someone with Ebola, such as an entire NBC crew. To me, this suggests that there's some value in keeping people who have been near Ebola away from people who have not.

What a disgrace.

As part of a plan to close a $2.4 billion gap in the two-year budget, Gov. Terry McAuliffe has directed the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to hike the costs of liquor.

The Commonwealth of Virginia operates a monopoly on the sale of liquor, and the governor (who I didn't vote for) has unilaterally declared that prices be raised across the board. And it is illegal for Virginians to purchase alcohol elsewhere. If a private company tried such a thing, McAuliffe would rightly drag them into court.

Heather MacDonald has a lengthy essay on the increasingly bizarre state of sexual relations on college campuses.

It is impossible to overstate the growing weirdness of the college sex scene. Campus feminists are reimporting selective portions of a traditional sexual code that they have long scorned, in the name of ending what they preposterously call an epidemic of campus rape. They are once again making males the guardians of female safety and are portraying females as fainting, helpless victims of the untrammeled male libido. They are demanding that college administrators write highly technical rules for sex and aggressively enforce them, 50 years after the proponents of sexual liberation insisted that college adults stop policing student sexual behavior. While the campus feminists are not yet calling for an assistant dean to be present at their drunken couplings, they have created the next best thing: the opportunity to replay every grope and caress before a tribunal of voyeuristic administrators.

The ultimate result of the feminists' crusade may be the same as if they were explicitly calling for a return to sexual modesty: a sharp decrease in casual, drunken sex. There is no downside to this development.

Middle East scholar Daniel Pipes thinks ISIS will eventually implode:

As in every other aspect of life, the Islamic State unabashedly and brutally applies premodern Islamic law, making no concessions whatsoever to modern mores. It seeks to establish a universal caliphate as though it were again the seventh century. Beheadings and enslavement being among the most shocking Koranic injunctions to a modern sensibility, the group most exults in precisely these and imposes them on those it considers infidels.

The wild, reactionary impulses of the Islamic State appeal to a minuscule number of observers, while its messianic zeal has carried it very far, very fast - from the borders of Turkey to the outskirts of Baghdad. But its actions appall the overwhelming majority, Muslim and not, which will lead to its inevitable collapse while it does irreparable damage to Islam.

Let's hope he is correct.

Victor Davis Hanson points out the absurdity of racial identity these days:

We still live under antiquated, 50-year-old ideas that grant some ethnic groups privileges over others. Because these racial rubrics can be advantageous for things like college admissions and employment, and because the idea of racial purity is becoming ever more problematic, fantasy becomes inevitable.

That is why the charlatan Ward Churchill, a noted activist, tried - and succeeded in - fabricating a Native American identity to land a job at the University of Colorado. Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren invented a Native American pedigree and so became Harvard Law School's first recognized Native American professor. When other elites hyphenate their last names and accentuate first names, they remind us that without such IDs, one might not otherwise learn - or care about - their particular racial pedigree.