Wednesday, 9/21/16

  1. Lobbing softballs at power
  2. Obama hits a home run
  3. The coming debate
  4. So three ditzy mayors walk into the New York Times …

1

“Are you concerned that this weekend’s attacks or potential incidents in the coming weeks might be an attempt by ISIS or ISIS sympathizers, or really any other group, maybe the Russians, to influence the presidential race in some way and presumably try to drive votes to Donald Trump, who is, as you’ve said before, widely seen as perhaps being somebody who they would be more willing to — or see as an easier person to be against?” Bloomberg’s Jennifer Epstein asked.

(Joe Concha at The Hill, H/T @MZHemingway) I do hope Jennifer Epstein was called on the carpet with an angry “What the hell were you thinking?!” question.

2

I have said, and do not retract, that Barack Obama is the worst President the U.S. has ever had when it comes to issues of religious freedom. He has demoted religious freedom to freedom of worship. He has reduced the national vocabulary on religious freedom to slogans about diversity, strength, discrimination, with nary a mention of “Constitution.” His signature legislation, Obamacare, was not only deceptive in its overblown promises, but needlessly sought to coerce those, like certain nuns, who cannot properly pronounce our national contraceptive Shibboleths.

But in other areas, I have been anything but deranged by our first African-American President, and I now get to praise him for a great service to the nation:

The White House will release a report Tuesday that will fundamentally change the way many criminal trials are conducted. The new study from the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) examines the scientific validity of forensic-evidence techniques—DNA, fingerprint, bitemark, firearm, footwear and hair analysis. It concludes that virtually all of these methods are flawed, some irredeemably so.

Americans have long had an abiding faith in science, including forensic science. Popular TV shows like “CSI” and “Forensic Files” stoke this confidence. Yet the PCAST report will likely upend many people’s beliefs, as it should. Why trust a justice system that imprisons and even executes people based on junk science? …

(Judge Alex Kozinski in, of all places, the Wall Street Journal)

May the conclusions “trickle down” quickly to my fair state.

3

I will be otherwise occupied during the September 26 first Presidential debate. But were I not, I fear I would be watching in the unedifying hope of seeing two (metaphorical) pools of blood on the floor.

4

And, here we go:

Investing in the integration of refugees and immigrants is not only the right thing to do, it is also the smart thing to do. Refugees and other foreign-born residents bring needed skills and enhance the vitality and growth of local economies, and their presence has long benefited our three cities.

The general issue of immigration is a big deal, but that’s not what the public is objecting to in this case. It is afraid of Muslim immigration. What “needed skills” do refugees from the Muslim world bring to European cities? Only a week ago in Germany, industrialists brought the bad news to Mama Merkel:

Germany’s blue-chip companies will have to explain to Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday why they have managed to hire fewer than 100 refugees after around a million arrived in the country last year.

Merkel, fighting for her political life over her open-door policy, has summoned the bosses of some of Germany’s biggest companies to Berlin to account for their lack of action and exchange ideas about how they can do better.

Many of the companies say a lack of German-language skills, the inability of most refugees to prove any qualifications, and uncertainty about their permission to stay in the country mean there is little they can do in the short term …

UPDATE: I’m not sure why this is so hard to understand. Of course there is a moral argument for welcoming Muslim migrants. I don’t know how persuasive that argument is, but it’s there, and it’s a serious one. That is not the argument that these mayors make. They are making an economic argument — and it’s extraordinarily weak. Padding it with “diversity” and “inclusivity” cant only makes it more transparently feeble. You can’t very well respond to me pointing out that the economic argument the mayors make is terrible by saying, “Yeah, but morality! Christianity!”

(Rod Dreher, criticizing an uncommonly fatuous joint OpEd in the New York Times from the Mayors of New York, London and Paris)

* * * * *

“In learning as in traveling and, of course, in lovemaking, all the charm lies in not coming too quickly to the point, but in meandering around for a while.” (Eva Brann)

Some succinct standing advice on recurring themes.