PC Police-ism

In re the matter of Professor Richard Ned Lebow, of King’s College London, and Professor Simona Sharoni, of Merrimack College and a member of the International Studies Association, the ISA’s Executive Committee has spoken.

I demur from the ISA’s politically correct (if ever there were an oxymoron, here is one) position, in particular their Item 7.

7) … Although you explained that your comment was intended as a joking reference to an old, cultural trope, your email was not apologetic and PRR (and eventually ExComm) found that it was marginalizing and trivializing Prof. Sharoni’s reaction to your comment and that it was an attempt to intimidate her….

Another Free Trade Deal

As Ashley Tellis, of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, pointed out, a free trade deal with “Taiwan” would be a Good Thing.  Indeed, that would be a good start, but it really would be better to sign a free trade deal with the Republic of China rather than with an island.

He also pointed out that such a trade deal would go a long way toward easing, if not stopping, the People’s Republic of China’s effort to diplomatically isolate the RoC.

Accordingly, a free-trade agreement would demonstrate American solidarity with Taiwan is just a bit ironic given the thrust of Tellis’ piece.

Second Thoughts?

The New York City city council has decided to hold a series of hearings on the just concluded Amazon HQ2 deal cut with the city.  The council’s beef is the secretive nature of the negotiations between amazon.com and the folks purporting to represent the city.

Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen, Economic Development Corp President James Patchett, and Amazon executives have been invited to the hearings, which will take place during the next few months, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson’s office said Thursday.

There’s nothing wrong with the negotiations themselves being done behind closed doors; that’s the only place “frank and open” discussions can occur.

Veterans Administration Fails Again

Recall the VA’s failure regarding paying our veterans all of the funds they’re due under the GI Bill; those student veterans are being shorted the money they’re owed.  That shortchanging will continue next year due to a “software glitch” that the VA isn’t fixing any time soon.

Now we get the VA’s Undersecretary of Benefits, Paul Lawrence, saying that the agency has no plans to retroactively pay shortchanged GI Bill recipients or to make next year’s VA victims whole.  He didn’t even have the integrity to admit this to the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs subcommittee before which he was testifying—under oath, mind you, as is typical for witnesses before Congressional hearings—until he’d been pressed on the matter by several Congressmen.

Desperation

With his legacy mostly erased, and more of it on the way after the current temporary interruption—an outcome ex-President Barack Obama (D) will thank us for in the fullness of time and his clearer understanding—Obama is desperate to preserve such of it as he can with his revisionist history.

Former President Barack Obama on Tuesday took credit for the boom in US oil and gas production, saying, “That was me, people.”

Of course, it was.  His sequestration of Federal lands and offshore fields from oil and gas exploration with his slow-walking of the necessary permits were instrumental in triggering the boom.

Paying for Groceries

A farm bill is wending its way through Congress, finally, as the House and Senate have agreed to a common version.  What’s in this version?  Good question.

Lawmakers for months have been deeply divided over the farm bill, which funds crop insurance and farm subsidies, as well as programs to help low-income people pay for groceries.

But these…lawmakers…won’t talk publicly about the details of their compromise.

Ukraine and Russia, Again

The Wall Street Journal had an editorial on this earlier, but they’re selling the Ukraine situation short along with several others.

The [Russian] attack violated a 2003 treaty that designated the Azov Sea as shared territory between Russia and Ukraine.

Sadly, this accepts as fait accompli the existing invasion, partition, and occupation of Ukraine by Russia.

The attack, and that invasion, partition, and occupation, also violated, and violate, the Budapest Memorandum, which the Western signers (the US and UK) appear too timid to enforce—even though we’d be confronting a country whose economy is roughly akin to that of the Black P-Stone Nation, and whose morals are those of MS-13.

“We Need to Decide”

So says President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China.

Speaking in Spain while enroute to the G-20 conference in Argentina, Xi said

I think we are at a crossroads. In economic terms we need to decide if we are going to follow the economic globalization and free market or if we are going to choose unilateralism and protectionism.

A Thought on Elitists and Common Sense

Not mine; Thomas Sowell’s, from his The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy:

The charge is often made against the intelligentsia and other members of the anointed that their theories and the policies based on them lack common sense. But the very commonness of common sense makes it unlikely to have any appeal to the anointed. How can they be wiser and nobler than everyone else while agreeing with everyone else?

 

h/t Seawriter at Ricochet

Justice and Law

An Indian, a Creek, stands accused of murdering a fellow tribesman.  He was arrested on the Creek’s Oklahoma reservation, and with that, he’s demanding that he be tried in Federal court rather than in an Oklahoma State court.  The matter of which court should have jurisdiction, which centers on the existence or absence of the Creek Nation reservation in Oklahoma, now is before the US Supreme Court.

The government’s lawyer, US Deputy Solicitor General Edwin Kneedler, declaimed

This would be a dramatic change from the way everyone has understood it for the past 100 years[.]

He continued: