Judge, if You Must, but Curb the Glee: Notes from Las Vegas

Source: National Review
by Kevin D Williamson

“When your children are going the wrong way in life, when you meet at addict, when your neighbor keeps showing up with unexplained bruises on her face, Judge not! is the worst of all possible advice. And yet … Did I ever tell you how I came to oppose capital punishment? In the 1990s, I went to write about a protest outside the prison in which Texas conducts its executions. There was a small group of people voicing their opposition to the execution — the usual hippies and protest hobbyists. They were pretty dusty. There was also a much larger and more expressive group cheering on Old Sparky — and they were having a great time. It was a rave, and their eyes were shining, and they were alive with joy. The horror of the scene, it seemed to me, was not what was being done to the man inside the walls of the prison — who surely had it coming — but what was being done to the citizens gathered outside those walls.” (07/18/19)


Navy warship sunk by German sub in WWII finally located

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“A private dive team has located the last U.S. Navy warship to be sunk by a German submarine in World War II, just a few miles (kilometers) off the coast of Maine. The sinking of the USS Eagle PE-56 on April 23, 1945, was originally blamed on a boiler explosion. But the Navy determined in 2001 that it had been sunk by a German submarine. The patrol boat’s precise location remained a mystery — until now. Garry Kozak, a specialist in undersea searches, announced this week that diver Ryan King, of Brentwood, New Hampshire, used Kozak’s sonar data to find the vessel 300 feet (90 meters) down in June 2018. King’s team, which later began working with the Smithsonian Channel, extensively explored the ship on the ocean floor, 5 miles (8 kilometers) off Cape Elizabeth, Maine. ‘With the deck guns, there was no mistaking it for what it was,’ said Paul Lawton, a Massachusetts attorney whose research helped to convince the Navy how the ship was sunk.” (07/19/19)


“Send Her Back”: The Bigoted Rallying Cry of Trump 2020

Source: The Atlantic
by Conor Friedersdorf

“On Wednesday night in North Carolina, Donald Trump agitated rally-goers with inflammatory rhetoric about Representative Ilhan Omar, a naturalized American born in Somalia, until his supporters began chanting ‘send her back’ –– as if a legal immigrant who became a U.S. citizen can or should be denied equal treatment under the law and extra-constitutionally deported by the president. Burning a copy of the U.S. Constitution would show no more contempt for it than the crowd’s bigoted, nativist reverie about tyrannically deposing an elected member of Congress. No opinion expressed by the congresswoman, no matter how wrongheaded, could excuse the un-American mob. The crowd’s authoritarian outburst and the purposefully divisive, irresponsible presidential rhetoric that prompted it portends an ugly Trump campaign for reelection.” (07/18/19)


It’s Not Strategy, It’s Racism [sic]

Source: The New Republic
by Alex Shephard

“The idea that Donald Trump plays ‘3D chess’ has never been particularly plausible; still, it was one of the most persistent themes of the 2016 election. The concept was (and is), to be fair, quite appealing: Trump’s public persona may appear, on the outside, to be a completely improvised and rarely coherent mess, but, on the inside, everything is well oiled and well organized, brilliantly conceived to play outside the lines and win seemingly impossible victories. The fact that Trump did end up winning the presidency made this theory even harder to kill. It was helped along by reporters and pundits, who used it to explain why they’d so badly misinterpreted the events leading up to the election. The chess meme was armor for prognosticators, proof that they got things wrong because Trump was a secret genius — not because they were, in fact, public fools. Since 2016, however, if the trope hasn’t exactly died, it’s yielded to an even simpler reality. In this White House, it has become impossible to ignore the fact that President Trump really doesn’t have any idea what he is doing.” (07/18/19)


CA: Cop charged with multiple rapes after DNA links him to cold case

Source: Yahoo! News

“A ten-year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department is facing life in prison after the department’s investigation into a rape accusation linked him to another unsolved sexual assault from 2015. William Rodriguez, 33, was arrested and charged with two counts of forcible rape, with a special allegation of multiple victims Tuesday, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said in a press release. Rodriguez is accused of sexually assaulting a female acquaintance at his home last November. … Police said when they entered Rodriguez’s DNA into the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System they got a ‘cold hit’ on a sexual assault that occurred in August 2015. That assault involved another woman who was raped “under similar circumstances,” the DA’s office said.” (07/18/19)


Cato Daily Podcast, 07/17/19

Source: Cato Institute

“Conservations are not a part of the conversation when it comes time to lease federal lands. Should that change? Shawn Regan of the Property and Environment Research Center comments.” [various formats] (07/17/19)


Seeing Russia everywhere

Source: spiked
by Paddy Hannam

“We have all heard the new conspiracy theories: Russians got Trump elected and Brexit is the work of Russian bots and dodgy, Russia-linked donors. Three years on from the 2016 referendum, Remoaners like Alistair Campbell are still trying to blame the outcome on Russian interference. Unable to get over the fact that Brexit was the conscious decision of the majority of voters, he and his ilk instead search for evidence that its proponents are crooked or the result was manipulated. … In the US, Democrats have spent most of Trump’s first term trying to impeach him for alleged collusion with Russia. The Mueller Report failed to find any conclusive evidence of Russian collusion. It turned out that Trump’s loudest critics had put an enormous amount of stock into a story that amounted to little more than hearsay.” (07/18/19)


Court upholds “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli’s conviction

Source: NBC News

“A federal appeals court upheld the securities fraud conviction against former drug company CEO Martin Shkreli, known as ‘Pharma Bro,’ on Thursday, along with a $7.3 million forfeiture of assets. A judge sentenced Shkreli to seven years in prison last year for his conviction on charges he looted a drug company he founded, Retrophin, of $11 million in stock and cash to pay back investors in two failed hedge funds he ran.” (07/18/19)


Facebook’s Libra Yields Before Congress. Bitcoin Can Never Be Controlled.

Source: Reason

“Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez will never get to interrogate Satoshi Nakamoto.” [Flash video] (07/18/19)


Limited Wars Are Forever Wars

Source: Foreign Policy
by Eoin Higgins

“Once the public is sold on a war with a limited aim, goal, and scope — unless things go disastrously wrong in a way that can’t be ignored or swept under the rug — the initial perception of a limited war remains, but one goal after another is substituted for the last, with the war itself never changing. When goals are always evolving, not changing or reassessing the military approach seems guaranteed to continue the conflict forever.” (07/17/19)