Robert Maranto describes a scenario wherein a grad school applicant is mocked for her Christian beliefs and observes that such mockery would be unacceptable if targeted at a racial or religious minority.

Compared to racial and gender discrimination, this kind of religious discrimination gets little attention from researchers. Professors do not find the topic interesting, which itself is telling. Yet the extant research findings are concerning.

Back in the 1980s, J.D. Gartner found Christianity reduced the chances of admission to psychology doctoral programs. Using 1999 data, "The Still Divided Academy" by Stanley Rothman, April Kelly-Woessner, and Matthew Woessner offered strong statistical evidence that (typically religious) socially conservative professors must publish more to get the same academic posts.

More recently, George Yancey's "Compromising Scholarship" showed that in many academic fields, significant numbers of professors, more than enough to blackball hiring decisions, express reluctance to hire evangelical and fundamentalist Christians.

None of this makes secular professors bad people. As psychologists William O'Donohue and Richard E. Redding argue, people generally express willingness to discriminate against those of other political or religious ideals. The danger comes when individual institutions lack ideological diversity, enabling an arrogant tendency to dismiss dissenters as unacceptable people with unacceptable opinions.

It's easy to lose sight of the fact that, other than Jews, Christians have been the most persecuted people on the planet for 2,000 years.


I gotta say, I not only love all these examples of retro 90s-style web design, but many of them are easier to navigate than modern "optimized" sites. Click all the links.

To navigate the website for Arcade Fire's coming album, "Everything Now," users need to click through a cluttered cascade of Windows 98-style pop-ups.

Balenciaga's new website looks as stripped down as a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, with plain black boxes and no-frills Arial font.

And the D.I.Y.-looking home page for Solange resembles the desktop of a candy-colored iMac, complete with QuickTime windows and rows of blue folders. ...

One way is to create a website the old-fashioned way: by enlisting a friend who knows basic HTML. That is what Billy Silverman, 40, a restaurateur, did in the harried final days before opening Salazar, his acclaimed Sonoran barbecue restaurant in Los Angeles.

He tapped his buddy Zack McTee, who runs a small production company in New York, to slap together something quick. The two decided that, if they didn't have the time or money to make the website good, they would at least make it fun.


My opinion on the Trump Jr.-Russia thing is that everyone does it, but the Trump campaign wasn't shrewd enough to keep it at arms length. I don't think this is good or right, but I also don't believe the shocked, shocked responses I'm reading in the media.

Regarding the use of opposition research obtained in distasteful ways:

For his part, Carney, writing via email, offered ways a campaign might have handled such a situation, had it arisen. "If the emails did show up, most serious campaigns would not touch them directly -- legalities and all. But friends of the campaign would strongly encourage the turncoat to dump them to reporters. Easier not to have fingerprints on questionable documents."

"Foreign governments would always use high-level U.S. third parties, not any direct campaign contacts, and most likely they would end up in the media," Carney continued. "So YES -- campaigns would seek the emails, but not directly if they were not legally available or the sources were questionable."

Trump Jr.'s meeting with the Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya was unseemly, but does it better serve America for campaigns to perform such distasteful activities through deniable intermediaries?

This discussion of the ethics of opposition research is very high-minded, but I believe the crux is here:

JUDY WOODRUFF: Right, but even if -- Christina, even if the campaign says, we're not going to do this, there are other tabloids and others out there who may be engaging in this kind of research.

CHRISTINA REYNOLDS: Sure.

"Everyone in politics would have taken that meeting," says Jeff Berkowitz, a veteran Republican opposition researcher, but:

the task instead should have fallen to a lower-level campaign researcher or paid consultant, rather than the candidate's son. Berkowitz, a former White House official who worked as research director for the Republican National Committee and Rudy Giuliani's 2008 presidential campaign, said the revelations about the younger Trump's meeting with the Russian also serve to underscore the bare-bones nature of his father's unorthodox political operation.

The senior Trump, a novice to politics, defied convention by running his 2016 presidential campaign aided by a core group of family members and a few dozen staffers and consultants, compared to the hundreds on Clinton's campaign workforce.

"You didn't have gatekeepers to handle these things and decide whether it was something useful," Berkowitz said of advance vetting of the Veselnitskaya meeting.

"Everyone in politics would have taken that meeting. This is the nature of politics," he said. But, he added: "It just should have been someone other than Donald Jr."

It seems to me that Trump Jr.'s primary offense was failing to sufficiently distance himself and his candidate from the Russian source.


Says Senator Pat Toomy by way of explaining why Congressional Republicans are floundering.

No kidding. I too can report that, from June 16, 2015, to November 8, 2016, the feeling among the elected officials, party functionaries, consultants, strategists, and journalists in our nation's capital was that Donald J. Trump stood no chance of becoming president of the United States. And because the political elite held this view with such self-assurance, with all the egotism and snobbery and moral puffery and snarkiness that distinguishes itself as a class, it did not spend more than a second, if that, thinking through the possible consequences of a Trump victory.

Among those consequences: The expectation that Republicans might actually try to keep the promises they've made to voters over the last eight years.

Congress needs to get its act together fast or people will rightly conclude that Republicans aren't capable of governing.


In a bizarre turn of events, CNN has threatened to dox an anonymous internet GIF artist who made fun of the network.

CNN reporter Andrew Kaczynski opted not to identify the user "because he is a private citizen who has issued an extensive statement of apology, showed his remorse by saying he has taken down all his offending posts, and because he said he is not going to repeat this ugly behavior on social media again."

But Kaczynski then added that "CNN reserves the right to publish his identity should any of that change," seemingly indicating that CNN would identify the user if he repeats his "ugly behavior" on social media. That sentence was widely interpreted as a threat.

CNN's meltdown continues.

Update:

Now CNN is claiming that their victim has assured them that he doesn't feel threatened. Do they not see how bad this looks? What else would the victim say, with CNN holding him hostage?

Kaczynski also said the Reddit user had been made aware of the ongoing Internet kerfuffle and had gotten in touch with him again.

"FYI 'HanA**holeSolo' just called me. 'I am in total agreement with your statement. I was not threatened in any way,'" Kaczynski wrote.

Kaczynski initially said the user "posted his apology before we *ever* spoke" to him, calling KFile afterwards to apologize again. But after further questions, Kaczynski said the initial apology didn't come until CNN had contacted the user and asked to talk to him.

And of course, now there are a million more GIFs mocking CNN.


Pictures of zip ties holding together a new R186 car are drawing outrage online, but to me the real scandal is the reliance on "specially designed brackets".

"The ties are a back-up way of securing a cable on the subway car. It's used in conjunction with other fasteners," said MTA spokeswoman Beth DeFalco. "It's 100 percent safe and only used on some cars on the #7 line. We have a specially designed bracket that is being engineered and is set to be installed in the next few weeks."

The need for a "specially designed bracket" to secure a cable undoubtedly contributes to the disastrous condition of the New York subway. It's extremely expensive to design unique parts for such simple applications, and the MTA would save some money if their suppliers could standardize more efficiently. Zip ties probably aren't the right answer (haha), but just think of the advantages they brings: they're cheap, and they can secure anything. Why "specially design" a custom bracket instead of creating a strong, permanent fastener with the versatility of a zip tie?

An MTA engineer will no doubt respond: "silly blogger, it's not that easy!" Sure, I'm simplifying, but there's no way that something as simple as securing a cable should require a custom fastener.


UK and European courts have decided that 10-month-old Charlie Gard will be removed from life support despite his parents' desire to take him to America for treatment.

The parents of terminally-ill baby Charlie Gard are 'utterly distraught' and facing fresh heartbreak after losing their final appeal in the European Court of Human Rights.

Chris Gard, 32, and Connie Yates, 31, wanted to take their 10-month-old son - who suffers from a rare genetic condition and has brain damage - to the US to undergo a therapy trial.

Doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London, where Charlie is being cared for, said they wanted him to be able to 'die with dignity'.

But the couple, from Bedfont, west London, raised almost £1.4million so they could take their son to America but a series of courts ruled in favour of the British doctors.

If this frightens and sickens you, blame the single payer system: whoever has the gold makes the rules.

What parent wouldn't gladly kill or die to protect their child?


Robert Thomson, CEO of News Corporation, laments the evisceration of his industry by cruel and calculating algorithms -- and the humans behind them.

Instead of making books appear, Amazon now also makes entire publishing houses disappear. I don't mean to speak well or fondly of competitors, given that HarperCollins is part of News Corporation, but one certainly felt much sympathy for Hachette, which was in dispute with Amazon over commissions, and so its books vanished from the site. It was Amazon's Hachette hatchet job. Shipment times were delayed, searches for Hachette authors were redirected to works of other publishers, etc., etc.

That is the wonder of an awesome, almighty algorithm - a tweak here and a tug there and you no longer exist, you are non-person or a non-company.

How can liberty flourish when the power over the algorithms that run our lives is concentrated in so few hands? Perhaps we should take steps to divide up that power before it's too late.


Fifty to a hundred shots fired at Congressional Republicans during baseball practice:

Five people including the House Majority Whip Steve Scalise were shot at a GOP baseball practice on Wednesday morning.

The gunman opened fire from the third base dugout at Eugene Simpson Stadium Park in Alexandria, Virginia, as the group practiced batting at 6.30am.

He fired between 50 and 100 rounds before being shot by Capitol Police who were accompanying Scalise. The shooter is now in custody and being treated at a local hospital.

A congressional staffer and two Capitol Police officers were shot. Senator Rand Paul, who was at the scene but was not injured, said it was a 'killing field'.

The shooter asked the group if they were Republicans or Democrats before opening fire from the third base dugout as the men practiced batting.

We pray for the health and recovery of Rep. Scalise and the police who were shot, and for the safety of all our leaders.

1 Timothy 2:1-4, "First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

We'll have to see who this shooter is and why he committed this atrocity. Prominent people have been fomenting anger and violence for months now, and it wouldn't surprise me to learn that this attack is a result of that incitement.


Near the end of his "so what?" post about Russia influencing America's presidential election, Scott Adams notes:

But something much larger than government-on-government influence is happening, and I'd like to call that out in this post. We keep talking about physical border security, but what about influence security? Any country with widespread Internet access is susceptible to the same kind of fake news and other social media influence that we suspect Russia of doing. And every citizen can play this game. For example, if I were highly motivated to influence an election in Great Britain, I'm sure I could move a few thousand votes in any direction I chose. Could it be said in that case that America is trying to manipulate a foreign election? Yes, unambiguously so. And I believe it is totally legal, even if I use fake news as my persuasion.

From 2017 onward, the democratic process in any country is open to "voting" by the entire world. The foreign "votes" will come in the form of social media influence on the local voters. There is no practical way to stop any of that from happening. And that means political power will migrate from the traditional triumvirate of politicians, rich people, and the media, to individual persuaders who are good at it. In 2017 and beyond, the best persuaders in the world will be influencing democratic elections in every country. And those persuaders will be from anywhere on the globe. Borders can't stop persuasion.

The cross-border application of persuasion is an effect of a larger trend: global cultural convergence. It will still probably take a few more centuries (or just decades??), but in the long run cultures will be more defined by geography and industry than by lines on a map.


Oren Cass explains that the Paris Agreement is pointless, whether America participates or not. This fact isn't based on right-wing antipathy for the environment, but on the details of the agreement itself.

Even before President Trump had completed his announcement that the United States would withdraw from the Paris Accord on climate change, howls of disbelief and outrage went up from proponents of the agreement. But the critical dynamic underlying the 2015 Accord, willfully ignored by its advocates, is that major developing countries offered "commitments" for emissions reduction that only mirrored their economies' existing trajectories. Thus, for instance, China committed to reaching peak emissions by 2030--in line with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's prior analysis. India committed to improving its emissions per unit of GDP--at a rate slower than that metric was already improving. President Obama, meanwhile, pledged America to concrete and aggressive emissions cuts that would require genuine and costly change. ...

The giveaway for the Paris charade is the refusal to set baselines. If nations are to hold one another accountable for progress on greenhouse-gas emissions, surely they must agree on a starting point from which to progress. Yet the framework for Paris pointedly omitted this requirement. Countries could calculate their own baselines however they chose, or provide none at all. Now, per Chait, the pledges have themselves become baselines, and each country receives applause or condemnation in inverse proportion to its seriousness.


Giant corporations are leveraging their widespread popularity and public trust to pressure President Trump to stay in the Paris Agreement.

Major U.S. corporations and leading business figures are raising an eleventh-hour appeal to President Donald Trump, urging him to not pull the country out of the landmark 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change. ...

Oil giants ExxonMobil (XOM, +0.01%) and ConocoPhillips (COP, +0.31%) were among companies that reiterated their support for the accord ahead of Trump's announcement, reports Bloomberg. ...

It's also reported that Apple CEO Tim Cook called the White House Tuesday to argue the case in favor of staying, while Dow Chemical's Andrew Liveris backed an open letter by more than 30 top corporate executives. And a TV commercial urging the administration to stay and renegotiate the agreement's terms featured the names of CEOs like Musk, JPMorgan's Jamie Dimon and General Electric's Jeff Immelt.

It's hard to imagine a less convincing group of interlocutors than these big corporations who stand to make billions of dollars researching "green energy".


John Hinderaker writes that the leaks from the White House and the breathless stories in the media have had only one significant effect.

The Democrats desperately hope that someone on Trump's campaign team may have conspired with the Russians to phish the DNC's email server, as well as the RNC's. (Not sure how that works, but liberal conspiracy theories don't have to make sense.) But we know there is no such evidence. If there were, Democrats in the intelligence agencies, who, it now appears, were violating the law to a massive extent in search of dirt on Donald Trump, would have leaked it before the election.

Absent evidence of collusion, the Left's hysteria over Russia is going to fizzle out. In the end, it will look silly. Meanwhile, everyone knows that the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, MSNBC, the Associated Press, etc., are using anonymous leaks in an effort to bring down the Trump administration on behalf of their party, the Democrats. I doubt that ten percent of the population could deny that proposition, and pass a lie detector test. So if nothing else, we have achieved clarity.

Information like this is good, because it helps people make decisions in the market of ideas. Citizens can observe the chaos in Washington and decide how to vote locally and in the midterm elections in 2018.


California is considering implementing a single-payer health system for everyone in the state. If such a system is created I think the results would be disappointing, but I'm completely in favor of the state giving it a shot.

Overall, many of the details behind California's single-payer proposal remain in flux. Under questioning from fellow lawmakers, Lara said the 15 percent payroll tax is "hypothetical" and "we don't have a financing mechanism yet for this bill."

Lara said he has sought a review from researchers at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst into potential funding sources for the measure. Lara also said there's no guarantee the Trump administration would grant the federal waivers necessary for California to shift Medicare and Medicaid funding into a single pot for universal health care.

States should be free to experiment, and I hope the federal government gives California the leeway it needs to make the best possible attempt.


The Manchester concert bombing is an example of the limits of defensive security.

There was security at the concert, but the bomber apparently didn't try to get into the venue, instead blowing himself up in an entrance foyer area as concertgoers flooded out of the arena. Prime Minister May said the attacker had deliberately chosen "his time and place to cause maximum carnage" in the young crowd.

No matter how you play defense, no matter where you put the security perimeter, you can't avoid creating a choke-point that is itself a soft target for an attack. Security waiting lines, entrances and exits, are impossible to secure by their very nature.

This harsh reality is why relying on defensive measures against terrorism is a fool's game. We can only win by going on the offense.


A report by Luke Rosiak claims that shady IT service providers might be blackmailing House Democrats.

Congressional technology aides are baffled that data-theft allegations against four former House IT workers -- who were banned from the congressional network -- have largely been ignored, and they fear the integrity of sensitive high-level information.

Imran Awan and three relatives were colleagues until police banned them from computer networks at the House of Representatives after suspicion the brothers accessed congressional computers without permission.

Five Capitol Hill technology aides told The Daily Caller News Foundation's Investigative Group that members of Congress have displayed an inexplicable and intense loyalty towards the suspects who police say victimized them. The baffled aides wonder if the suspects are blackmailing representatives based on the contents of their emails and files, to which they had full access.

"I don't know what they have, but they have something on someone. It's been months at this point" with no arrests, said Pat Sowers, who has managed IT for several House offices for 12 years. "Something is rotten in Denmark."


President Trump has scored another impressive deal for American industry: opening the Chinese beef market to American beef.

Well, I was wrong. Several weeks ago in this blog, I expressed my skepticism that China would act anytime soon on its promise to open its borders to direct import of U.S. beef. I based my skepticism on the past 13, now nearly 14, years of hollow promises by the Chinese government that it would relent.

And I based my skepticism on the fact that China has stringent import requirements that serve as non-tariff trade barriers. The main hurdles are no use of ractopamine and a national animal ID system. While the U.S. has infrastructure in place to deal with both those, I was sure that China would hold the line on animal ID. Since the U.S. can't meet the nationwide animal ID requirement, I was sure the deal would fall apart once again.

I got Trumped.

I'm not tired of winning yet.


Victor Davis Hanson outlines four Never-Trump nightmares, and I want to highlight one of them and then his conclusion.

First: violence. For all the bloviating about Trump as a rising fascist dictator, the only political violence that has occurred since he entered the race for President has come from the left.

So far all the political violence associated with the election of Trump, from Inauguration to the latest campus rioting, has been on the Left. No pro-Trump crowds don masks, break windows or shut down traffic.

Political violence has no place in American politics; it should be condemned by everyone, and vigorously pursued by law enforcement.

Finally, VDH points out that Trump's election is the result of the Republican party's failure. When the "reasonable" politicians ignore people for too long, they create an opening for an "unreasonable" politician.

Finally, there was something deeply wrong in the Republican Party that at some point required a Trump to excise it. The Republican Party and conservative movement had created a hierarchy that mirror-imaged its liberal antithesis, and suggested to middle class voters between the coasts that the commonalities in income, professional trajectories, and cultural values of elites trumped their own political differences. How a billionaire real estate developer appeared, saw that paradox, and became more empathetic to the plight of middle-class Americans than the array of Republican political pundits is one of the most alarming stories of our age.

Trump was not so much a reflection of red-state Americans' political ignorance, as their weariness with those of both parties who ridicule, ignore, or patronize them--and now seek to overturn the verdict of the election.


President Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey completes Comey's hero's journey. I agree with Scott Adam's assessment: Comey didn't want to take away America's ability to choose our president. You can say, "that wasn't his job", or "he should have just followed the law", or whatever. All true. It's hard to know what's right/best when you're in the middle of a disaster.

In this case, the disaster was created by Hillary Clinton, and Comey did what he thought was best for America. It cost him his job and reputation, but he was successful in exposing Hillary's guilt without hamstringing America's democracy. If you don't like the outcome (the election of President Trump) then blame Hillary for her actions, not Comey for revealing them.

My opinion of Comey's handling of the Clinton email issue remains the same. I believe he sacrificed his career and reputation to avoid taking from the American voters their option of having the leader of their choice. If Comey had pushed for Clinton's indictment, the country would have ended up with a President Trump without a "fair" election. That was the worst-case scenario for the country and the world. Comey prevented that disaster while still making it clear to the American public that Clinton was not guilt-free with her email server. He let the voters decide how much weight to assign all of that. In my opinion, Comey handled the Clinton email situation like a patriot. The media is spinning the situation as "making it all about himself." That's true in the same sense that a Medal of Honor winner who jumped on a grenade to save his buddies is "making it all about himself." I don't disagree with the characterization that Comey was trying to be the "hero" because that's how it looks to me too.

I once heard a story about a guy who pulled a woman out of a car that was on fire. He got burns on his arms doing it. He saved her life, but I don't like him because he was trying to be a hero. That guy made it all about himself.

Megan McArdle sees Comey's firing as autocratic and inept.

Start with the reason Comey was fired. Coming from the man who basked in chants of "Lock her up!" at his campaign rallies, firing someone for mishandling the investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails does no more than provoke helpless laughter, liberally mixed with tears. Politico's reporting offers a much more plausible explanation: Trump was frustrated by the investigation into his campaign's Russia connections, and wants it to go away. So he fired the guy at the head of the agency that's conducting it.

This is not the behavior of an American president; it is the behavior of a tinpot autocrat who thinks that the government exists to serve him, rather than the country. And it's almost as troubling that Trump seems unaware that he is not a tinpot autocrat; he is the head of a state with a long (if perhaps somewhat checkered) democratic tradition.

However, the fact is that Comey was irrevocably tainted by his heroism. He bravely went outside the law to do what he thought was best for America, and thereby damned himself. Democrats have been demanding his ouster for months -- does anyone think that a President Hillary Clinton would have kept him as FBI director? Of course not.

It makes for a certain type of good story when the hero triumphs and prospers, but that's not always how things work in real life.


Kurt Schlichter asks a good question (among some provocative hyperbole):

Here's a little test. It's been about six months since Trump treated The Smartest Most Accomplished Woman In The World like a NordicTrack treats Harry Reid, and does anyone know even one person who has said, "You know, I voted for Trump, but now after Neil Gorsuch, General Mattis and H.R. McMaster, I really wish I had checked the box for Felonia von Pantsuit?"

There are people who disliked Trump before the election and still do; there are people who are disappointed with what he has accomplished so far; there are people who think he's doing a great job -- but is there anyone who voted for President Trump and now wishes that Hillary Clinton had won?

I doubt it.

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