Shutting Down Research

Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t want serious research into his advertising targeting to be done.

Facebook is demanding that a New York University research project cease collecting data about its political-ad-targeting practices….
The dispute involves the NYU Ad Observatory, a project launched last month by the university’s engineering school that has recruited more than 6,500 volunteers to use a specially designed browser extension to collect data about the political ads Facebook shows them.

In particular,

Scraping tools, no matter how well-intentioned, are not a permissible means of collecting information from us….

“We’ve Never Been Great”

The soul of the Progressive-Democratic Party is Bernie Sanders’ and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’ blatant, enthusiastic socialism.  Now the Party’s heart is revealed, as well.  Here’s New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) at a bill-signing event for, ironically enough, an anti-human trafficking measure:

We’re not going to make America great again. It was never that great[.]

Of course, Cuomo has denied what he meant, but keep in mind: he’s a talented, smooth politician for whom words are stock in trade.  He knew what he was saying.

The fact is that the first time he spoke, he spoke from his heart.  He’s just speaking politically with his corrections.

Responsibility and Morality

LaVar Ball on the magnitude of his son’s shoplifting crime in the People’s Republic of China:

I’ve seen a lot worse things happen than a guy taking some glasses.

Son LiAngelo is a star basketball player, after all, and he only stole some shades.  So, no big deal.  Not for the privileged athlete, who chose not to check his privilege at the store’s entrance.  But for the workaday merchant or manufacturer from whom the glasses were stolen—yeah, it was a big deal.

Aside from that, though, the plain fact is, any theft is wrong. Full stop.

Moral Contextualizing

Moral contextualizing is the Saul Alinsky-esque technique of applying a context to behaviors in order to assess their morality—in particular, to assess the behaviors of men in the past within the context of today’s views of morality rather than the views extant at the time.

Paul Isaac had some thoughts on the matter in a letter to the editor of The Wall Street Journal:

The real issue is “contextualization” per se, which seems to be an aggressive technique to create false dialectics against historical straw men and to demand an implicit intellectual monopoly of the would-be contextualizers’ perspective on the defined hobbyhorse as the moral alternative, thereby defining other perspectives as both outdated and immoral.

Even Conservative News Outlets

Even putatively conservative news outlets are playing a foolish game, or are being carefully, timidly politically correct.

Here’s a Fox News headline over a piece concerning a terrorist assault in Burkina Faso Saturday:

At least 23 dead after Al Qaeda-linked militants attack upscale Burkina Faso hotel

No. These are not militants. Neither are they insurgents, as others are pleased to term such as these.

These are terrorists. These particular terrorists are Islamic terrorists. Full stop.

Republican Presidential candidates decry, rightly, President Barack Obama’s (D) refusal to name our enemy. So it is similarly wrong for our press to fear to name our enemy.


They must lead, says the guy who sits in the Secretary of State’s chair, regarding the Palestinian attacks on Israelis in Jerusalem—although Kerry was referring to the Israeli government, too, as though the Palestinian Authority is on the same moral plane as the Israelis who are victims of the PA’s incitement.

Still, Kerry is right. All we need now is for the motorboat skipper to go back to his yacht, sit down, and be silent, so the Israeli leadership can lead unhindered.

We Welcome Every Drop of Blood Spilled in Jerusalem

That’s what President Barack Obama’s and Secretary of State John Kerry’s favorite peacemaker is saying about the Palestinian knife and gun attacks against Jewish citizens currently going on in Jerusalem.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was talking about Palestinian blood spilled as Israeli police and soldiers defended those citizens; he had not a word about the Jewish blood shed—that’s beneath his notice. Jews, after all, in Abbas’ terrorist mind, are but “barbaric monkeys” and “wretched pigs.” Abbas went on:

This is pure blood, clean blood, blood on its way to Allah. With the help of Allah, every martyr will be in heaven, and every wounded will get his reward.

The Victim Should Tamp it Down

President Obama on Friday stood by his administration’s approach to the unrest in Israel, again urging both sides to “tamp down rhetoric” fueling the violence[.]

Because when the victim demurs from being attacked, he’s feeding the violence. Sure.

Because there’s an essential moral equivalence between the terrorist and his victim when the two are on a national or quasi-national level. That’s the Progressive position.


Or moral equivalence sewage? Of course, the two aren’t mutually exclusive….

Secretary of State John Kerry called Thursday for all claimants to disputed territories in the South China to Sea immediately halt provocative activities that have ratcheted up tensions in some of the world’s busiest shipping lanes. He also said the United States would not accept restrictions on navigation or overflights of the disputed territories

In remarks to East Asian officials in Malaysia, Kerry proposed a joint commitment from all involved….

Because the nations defending themselves and their territories from PRC aggression are being every bit as provocative as the PRC.

Mindset Matters

David Brooks had an interesting piece in Friday’s New York Times concerning our defeat at the “negotiating” table with Iran regarding the latter’s nuclear weapons program. RTWT, but a couple of comments of his really jumped out at me as he explored how this administration’s failure came about.

The big question is, Why did we lose? Why did the combined powers of the Western world lose to a ragtag regime with a crippled economy and without much popular support?

The first big answer is that the Iranians just wanted victory more than we did. They were willing to withstand the kind of punishment we were prepared to mete out.