An Old Favorite

It's Medieval, and rewards patience.

Hey, DEA: FYI, These Folks Can't Afford the Drugs They're Dying From

The DEA is mystified about why the opioid crisis is so bad.
“I gotta tell you, it scares the hell out of me,” Rosenberg said, adding, “these things can be lethal, believe it or not, to the touch.”

In another era, the DEA would have responded with force alone. But in late 2015, Rosenberg launched a 360-degree strategy that blends traditional police work with public education.

“Changing behavior is tough. But we have to keep at it,” Rosenberg said. “We have to talk to middle and high school kids. … And we just have to be relentless about it.”
Look, the people who are dying from these drugs can't afford them at market prices. What's going on here is well within the government's power to solve, for the most part, because government is creating the problem for the most part. The government is who makes it possible for people to buy large quantities of opioids for cheap. First, it allows prescriptions at lethal levels, which means that even for people with real pain there's some extra to sell. Then, welfare programs for drugs let you buy these drugs for pennies on the dollar -- the rest is picked up by the taxpayer. Then, that same government pays out food stamp money that gets laundered, providing free cash for buying up the drugs your welfare programs have flooded into the streets.

You can stop this whenever you want, Federales. You're the ones paying for it.

Adventures in Persuasion

A left-leaning social scientist has a message for his fellow progressives: memes are not persuasive. If you want to win elections, sharing back-slapping memes like this doesn't get it done.

That's true! You know what else is true? You can't persuade people you haven't taken any trouble to understand in the first place.
Take that “Obamacare” meme. For many conservatives it felt like an “epic burn” to liberal supporters of the Affordable Care Act.

But if you’re a liberal like me, it doesn’t even make sense. Obamacare isn’t a “thing” you can “have.” It’s an individual mandate to purchase health insurance, a Medicaid expansion, a bunch of regulations, and tons of other stuff. But aside from that, it’s not even clear what point this meme is making. Why wouldn’t Democrats want to be “first in line” to “have” Obamacare?
If the joke doesn't even make sense to you, you might take that as a warning that you haven't understood your opponents' position. I frequently see liberal memes that I don't get, and when I do I make it a point to look up what they're about. You aren't required to agree, but you should at least understand why they think it's funny. That's an important part of understanding how the world looks to them.

In this case, the author doesn't understand the conservative position enough to know that the joke wasn't pointed at "Democrats," but at Congress. Congress passed a huge and burdensome law, and while they didn't take time to read it before they passed it, they did take time to include provisions exempting themselves from the burdensome positions. That's the joke: if it's such a great law, why did they go to so much trouble to make sure they would never have to live under it?

That act fed the popular sense of Congress as a bunch of distant elites who didn't care about the country they saw themselves as ruling. They wouldn't pass laws for you and not for themselves if they didn't see themselves as different from you, separate from you. They wouldn't pass laws they didn't bother to read but that would govern your life if they cared about you. That emotional sense of distance and disdain is what is at work in this meme, and it is also what won Trump the White House in November of last year.

But hey, no need to understand that. Let's get on with persuading people to vote for leftists instead.
Some of these people have views that we might think of as racist. It might seem "wrong" to be nice to people like this. But in a democracy racists can vote.

We can’t stop them from voting unless we are willing to sacrifice the entire idea of democracy. So if there are enough racists in America to swing an election, and we don’t want them running the place, our only option is to convince at least some of them to stop being racists.
Emphasis in the original.

"Be nice to the racists" isn't going to get him where he wants to go. He's first going to have to understand the actual arguments. Along the way, he might realize that his opponents aren't who he thinks that they are.

Scandalous Behavior

I once asked a Democrat about the disparity in media treatment between Democratic and Republican sex scandals. He replied that the media focused on Republican scandals more because the Republican party made a big deal of family values, so it was hypocrisy when they did it.

I replied by asking if it should be a scandal when we find out a Democrat isn't cheating on his wife. My interlocutor was not amused by this.

Well, just when I thought it would be difficult to be any more disgusted with the American left, I find out that apparently Republicans are going to get slammed whether they have sex scandals or go out of their way to avoid them.

Interstate 85 Collapses in Atlanta

Following an intense fire, a section of bridge collapsed that shut down the entire north bound Interstate near downtown Atlanta. No injuries are reported at this time, and the cause of the fire remains unclear.

Georgia's DOT has no timeline on when they might be able to make such major, unexpected repairs to one of the city's main arteries. It's going to be ugly for people using I-85 for a long time to come.

When they do come up with the money to build the bridge back, though, I have a proposal. They should call the bridge the William T. Sherman Memorial Interchange.


It begins.

Dem: Obama Should Testify He Was "Disgraceful & Disastrous"

One of the party's faithful, former Senatorial aide Brent Budowsky, comes to a painful conclusion.
If [as reported] it turns out that Comey wanted to go public about Russia last summer but was overruled by the Obama White House, that would be disgraceful and would shed new light on one of the seamiest stories in American political history.

Comey was criticized for a double standard in going public about the investigation into Hillary Clinton's email scandal, but not going public about the Russia investigation.... If he wanted to go public earlier about Russia but was overruled by Obama, that would be equally disgraceful and equally disastrous....

The attempt by Russia to choose our next president is so extreme and momentous that it is not enough to criticize leaders of one political party.... The Senate Intelligence Committee should ask President Obama what he knew about Russia, what he did and did not do about Russia, and why.
The idea that the Russia story shifted the election grows paler every day. Nevertheless, if you believe it, the #1 guy responsible for letting it happen was Barack Obama.

"Donald Trump Has No Values"

That proposition can't be true in the strict sense, as without any values one would never act. Nevertheless, the criticism is pungent.
The president is not a moral figure in any idiom, any land, any culture, any subculture. I’m not talking about the liberal enlightenment that would make him want the country to take care of the poor and sick. I mean he has no Republican values either. He has no honor among thieves, no cosa nostra loyalty, no Southern code against cheating or lying, none of the openness of New York, rectitude of Boston, expressiveness and kindness of California, no evangelical family values, no Protestant work ethic. No Catholic moral seriousness, no sense of contrition or gratitude. No Jewish moral and intellectual precision, sense of history. He doesn’t care about the life of the mind OR the life of the senses. He is not mandarin, not committed to inquiry or justice, not hospitable. He is not proper. He is not a bon vivant who loves to eat, drink, laugh. There’s nothing he would die for....

He has no sense of military valor, and is openly a coward about war. He would have sorely lacked the pagan beauty and capacity to fight required in ancient Greece. He doesn’t care about his wife or wives; he is a philanderer but he’s not a romantic hero with great love for women and sex.
She goes on for a while longer. It is clear that she loathes the man, of course. Still, at least some of this criticism is warranted. It can't be that he has no values, but he does not seem to have many strong values. He loves winning, and he loves 'big, beautiful' things that are associated with himself. He would like America to be one of those things.

That is a kind of patriotism, in that it implies a willingness to take on the country's problems in order to make her bigger (economically) and more beautiful (as he sees it). He will want to win at this project, but I'm not sure he cares exactly how he wins, or exactly what he wins -- for example, I wouldn't be surprised if he ends up endorsing single-payer health care if he decides he can win that battle and thereby claim credit for having done something 'big' and 'beautiful.'

Or is that wrong? His administration has so far adhered much more strongly to conservative actions, the health debate aside, than his history or his language would suggest. Is that coming from him, or from the people he has chosen? Is there a core moral vision that he has hidden for some reason?

Brexit a Go

This momentous letter is diplomatically worded, courteous in the best British tradition. Also in the best British tradition, it upholds the value of self-determination.

Good luck, Britannia.

Bringing it to ISIS

We are taking increased risks with men who are, each one of them, strategic assets of the United States. Every one of these operators who dies represents a significant loss to our capacity as a nation to project force, in addition to an unutterable loss to their families and loved ones.

We are taking this risk in order to cut down on the loss of innocent life, unavoidable in a war in which the enemy intentionally leverages civilians as shields.

Remember that the next time you hear someone shout about how the US doesn't care as much as it should about civilian casualties. Those civilians benefit more than anyone else in the world from the destruction of ISIS. We are risking the lives of our very best to bring that about in the least destructive way possible. May God defend the innocent who have been thrust into this war, but may God defend the right.

Jim Webb Declines Naval Academy Alumni Association’s Distinguished Graduate Award

He is one of the more distinguished graduates of that institution -- Navy Cross, Silver Star, Secretary of the Navy, Senator, author, scholar, and diplomat. But he wrote an article critical of including women in combat forces back in 1979(!), so of course there were loud protests toward him being honored today. He put out a statement on his decision to decline the award, rather than cause a scene at Annapolis.
While this article was controversial, many of these protests have wrongly characterized my reasons for having written it, my views of women, and also my record of government leadership in addressing opportunities for women in the military and in our society. Having opened up more billets for women in the Navy than any Secretary of the Navy before me, it is particularly ironic to see that these same women who are criticizing me for a magazine article in 1979 have benefited so greatly from the policies I unilaterally put into place in 1987.
To defend his own honor, he compiled some statements from women who have worked with him. The truth is, he needn't have bothered. It won't convince the first one of his critics, none of whom did so much as he did himself -- not even on this score. When the field of accomplishment is widened to include the whole of human activity, he remains distinguished well above almost any of his contemporaries.

Visits to Mars Not Yet Possible

A new technology aims to do something like this.

I don't know enough about how this works to say much about it. In general, though, I don't patronize businesses that don't want me there. If you don't want my business, posting a sign is enough.

The Good of an AR-15

It's a soft-shooting rifle that almost anyone can handle accurately with training. That's what makes it dangerous, but "dangerous" does not equal "bad." Sometimes, having one can be very good.
"These three individuals came to this residence with the intent to burglarize it," Deputy Nick Mahoney said, "One was with brass knuckles, the other one was with a knife."

They said the 23-year-old resident was sleeping in the home when he heard "loud bangs" coming from the back door.

Mahoney said, "They were masked at the time, all had gloves on. They entered in through a black door, shattering the back door and they entered into the residence."

Deputies said the resident armed himself with an AR-15 rifle and walked toward the back door where he encountered the three masked burglars.

"Armed with a rifle, there were some shots fired, and, at this point, three people are deceased,” Mahoney said.
The right three.

Associated Press: We Will Now Sometimes Refer to Single Persons as "They"

The one use of 'they' where this makes a kind of sense is not, of course, the one they're using it for. That use is as a pronoun for "someone," "anyone," "a person," or similar constructions that are technically single, but also not strictly single as they could refer to many different individuals. "No one," for example, refers literally not even to a single person, but in the same act invokes every person. It makes a kind of sense to use a plural pronoun in these cases, e.g., "If anyone wants to join the expedition, they should send notice by Friday."

No, the AP means to do it as a half-step between applying logic and accepting a duty to refer to people by "preferred pronouns."
In stories about people who identify as neither male nor female or ask not to be referred to as he/she/him/her: Use the person’s name in place of a pronoun, or otherwise reword the sentence, whenever possible. If they/them/their use is essential, explain in the text that the person prefers a gender-neutral pronoun. Be sure that the phrasing does not imply more than one person.
So, 'avoid this nonsense as far as you can, but if you absolutely cannot, at least make clear that you're dealing with someone who absolutely refuses to be referred to in standard English.' Making them sound like difficult weirdos should do wonders for the acceptance of *trans* persons!

Dual Loyalty in Philadelphia

The author of this Politico piece makes one of the nastiest accusations one can make against an immigrant community, but it's Russian immigrants so no one cares.
Here, in a self-created cocoon of familiar cultural touchstones, I detected a kind of dual nationalism among the residents—a manifest love for countries that once were home and an equal adoration for the populist president many of them voted for. “Trump is a fighter, a negotiator, a successful businessman. Four times he go through the bankruptcy. He understand how the world works from a business perspective,” says Alexander Shapiro, who came to the states in the early-1990s from what’s now Ukraine. “During the campaign, he ran against governors and senators. He beat everybody like babies.”

Hearing how jazzed residents sounded about Trump’s first 60 days in office, I half expected to find shelves laden with Russian nesting dolls featuring Barron, Ivanka, Don Jr. and the whole gang. There was nothing so brazen inside the Knizhnik gift store, a mom-and-pop-looking place where I was repeatedly reminded that the inventory was “all Russian —all.” There was, however, a Russian biography of Trump prominently displayed. It was the same book that became a popular giveaway at Trump-friendly election watch parties in Moscow, the one whose title has been dubbed in English as “The Black Swan.”

It’s an apt metaphor for how Bustleton and Somerton fit into Philadelphia writ large. Meaning, hardly at all.
What's so wrong with them? Turns out, they're not Democrats, and they don't want a government handout.
In fact, Lipkovskaya suggests that the population hailing from ex-Soviet states might be predisposed to an up-by-the-bootstraps message like that of the Trump campaign, and a drain-the-swamp message, too. “In my family, we paid for everything with our hard work and great attitude toward this country,” she says. “Eastern Europeans are not so much depend on public benefits. We’re not waiting for dollars to fall from the trees.”

After all, many of these immigrants ended up here, during the 1990s, seeking freedom from ethnic or religious persecution in their respective states. “Most of the Russians here are almost libertarians,” says Andre Krug, president and CEO of KleinLife, a senior-citizen program that caters to many Russian-speaking adults. “They came from a country where the country dictated how they were going to live their lives, so when they came to this country, they feel like the less government does, the better they’re going to be ultimately.” Their ideology—to draw a generality—is more like an attitude of rugged individualism, Krug says.
Sounds a lot like that "mountain pride" that the last administration made it a priority to undermine. Maybe we could use some more immigrants from Russia, if they're of this mold.

Voulez-vous monter à cheval avec moi?

This guy and his mare are really something:

"John Brown Gun Club"

In Phoenix, Arizona, a journalist encounters a left-leaning armed protest group. Also, a group called the Brown Berets, which also literally wears brown shirts with their uniforms.

Boston Antifa has a message for you: "There's a war going on, and if you're not part of it, you're in the way."

Amazingly, they have decided that while fighting a 'war' to 'overthrow this fascist regime' is the perfect time to press their own diversity agenda to try to make sure their leadership ranks aren't so darn male.

"Start dressing as women at home for practice, to see if you wouldn't mind it."

That's how you want to train for the revolution, by trying on clothes? The 101st Airborne won't have a chance, huh?

"Because as we know, women are better public speakers and far more eloquent than men."

Right, that's why all the famous speeches of human history were given by women.

They're apparently not joking about any of this, which is funnier still.

Naming Conventions

The state of Georgia won't let parents name their kid Allah. Why not? Not for the reason you may think.
State officials, however, said the child's name — ZalyKha Graceful Lorraina Allah — does not fit the naming conventions set up by state law. They say that ZalyKha's last name should either be Handy, Walk or a combination of the two.
The Feds have naming conventions for us, too. My wife apparently changed her name when we married in a way that the Social Security Bureau accepted but the IRS refused to recognize. That left her with a Social Security Number that the tax people refused to associate with her FICA taxes. It took her ages to get that straightened out.

Flashback: The War on 'Mountain Pride'

How much of it is left?
While researching the efforts by the administration to expand food stamp participation, Caroline May of the Daily Caller unearthed one particular point of frustration for food stamp officials: "mountain pride."

Mountain pride prevents many Appalachian residents from accepting food stamps even though they're eligible, according to the Ashe County North Carolina Department of Social Services. As a result, social workers in the rural Appalachian county, which borders Tennessee and Virginia, are developing strategies and offering rewards for defeating mountain pride. Apparently, as they see it, they need to get more silly hillbillies to take their government handouts like other Americans.

Appalachian culture, above all else, is defined by self-reliance. Where cities had specialists -- carpenters, blacksmiths, tanners and bakers, for example -- isolation created by the difficult terrain meant Appalachian settlers and generations of their descendants were forced to be jacks of all trades. Every person was his own butcher, baker and candlestick maker.

If hard times hit or tragedy struck, these tough souls didn't rely on the government for assistance. They simply persevered, maybe with a helping hand from their church or their closest neighbors, who were often miles away.

While there might be fewer outhouses and more satellite dishes in hollows of rural Appalachia today than in times past, that independent spirit and self-reliance persists. As a result, some people would sooner go to bed hungry than accept a government handout. That is the essence of mountain pride.
That article was from 2012, so we had a whole second term of trying to cut down on mountain pride. I wonder how it turned out. Some of it's left, I can well warrant, but I wonder just how much.

Boys Want to Be Dangerous

Let them.