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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.

Hump Day odds & ends

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press
Wednesday, August 23, 2017 10:53 am

A Washington Post op-ed bemoans that pesky free speech and what it means for college campuses: "Here's the dilemma college presidents face in the fall: Either uphold free speech on campus and risk violent counterprotests, or ban conservative provocateurs and confirm the 'freedom of speech' crisis on campuses. Either way their institution's legitimacy is undermined." Or, hey, they could just get in the spirit of the First Amendment and, you know, let everybody have their say. As Ace of Spaces says, this kind of misses the entire point of free speech. And get this choice paragraph:

As college presidents try to figure out whether the First Amendment protects conservatives' right to create political spectacle and instigate violence, it might be useful to recall another time when American liberals were forced to sidestep First Amendment absolutism to combat a political foe: the 1940s, when New Deal liberals purged U.S. communists from American political life.

Did you get that? When those lousy conservatives say their hateful things, it "instigates violence." In other words, when a nutso leftist reacts to a conservative's tough words by slugging someone or setting fire to a car, it's the speaker's fault. This from a university professor.

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"The Navy is in a bad way now." Gee, ya think? Lt. Col. Ralph Peters (Ret.) said the latest collision between a U.S. warship and a merchant vessel in the Asia-Pacific region points out serious problems within the U.S. Navy: "Those sailors did not have the basic seamanship skills, but by God, they got their sensitivity, race relations and sexual harassment training," said Peters, adding that sailors can't fight without adequate navigational skills. "The neglect, the lack of focus that goes into an accident like this is just appalling," he concluded.

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This is just one of many commentators on the right who say that President Trump made the right decision on recommitting to Afghanistan: The world is filled with evil, and someone's got to be the sheriff to keep things under control, "to actually maintain the peace. America — of all nations — has done by far the best job of that, historically. No one else is even close. So, unfortunately, we're stuck with the job — unless you can think of a good replacement. That means we have to hold down the fort in Afghanistan lest it be used once again as a staging area for international terrorism, just as it was for 9/11. They seem to have been planning that and more already."

Boy, I dunno. For once I agree with Pat Buchanan, who asks how a few thousand more troops can get the job done, when 100,000 under President Obama couldn't. Yes, it makes a difference that Trump talks about "victory," a word Obama couldn't quite bring himself to use. But he doesn't exactly define it or say how we will know when the mission is accomplished. This seems to me like yet one more extension of our "getting stuck in the mire" habit, and it's certainly not what Trump campaigned on. Other than not getting a wall on the Southern border built, I'd think this is the one flip-flop his strongest supporters might feel the most betrayed by.

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It couldn't happen to a nicer guy: Mitch McConnell's approval rating is down to 18 percent . . . in Kentucky! Guess that makes the voters in my native state a bunch of ingrates. I mean, just look at what that guy has done for the agenda of President Trump on behalf of the people who voted for both him and McConnell. Come on, give the guy a chance. He's politely pointed out to those of us at the political kiddie table that, you know, it takes time to get things done. That's the Washington way! So, please, he only needs another 25 or 30 years to make sure the right things happen.

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Hey, Mike, you might want to rethink that a bit: Vice President Pence says President Trump's "vision, energy, and can-do spirit is reminiscent of President Teddy Roosevelt." Teddy was proud to be called a progressive, and if he were seeking the office today, he'd probably be teamed with Bernie Sanders, never mind Hillary Clinton. I know Trump is a much stronger believer in the use of government power than his base would like, but don't rub it in, OK? Some of us still want to think about the possibility of a conservative crumb or two being thrown our way.

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Nobody tell Al Gore, and it'll just be our little secret: The earth was warmer during medieval times than it is today:

The world would have warmed throughout the 20th Century even without carbon dioxide emissions from the industrial revolution, according to a new study.

“This suggests that even if there had been no industrial revolution and burning of fossil fuels, there would have still been some warming through the twentieth century – to at least 1980,” according to lead author Jennifer Marohasy.

The world was about as warm in 1980 as it was during the Middle Ages when the Vikings settled Greenland and “when men dressed in tunics and built grand cathedrals with tall spires,” Marohasy wrote in The Spectator Australia on Tuesday, summarizing her study's results.

Climate scientists Marohasy and John Abbot used a sophisticated artificial intelligence-like computer system to see what temperatures may have done since 1830 without human influence based on proxy climate records going back to 50 A.D.

To be fair, their use of a "sophisticated artificial intelligence-like computer system" could end up being just as unreliable as all those computer models the warmists use to support their claims. But if they can be so myopically pigheaded, why should I deny myself a little fun?

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Cross those legs and sit primly, gentlemen: Los Angeles Metro riders could face a $75 fine for "manspreading." Other offenses include eating, drinking, smoking, vaping,  placing chewing gum on seats, occupying more than one seat, blocking a door, disturbing others and playing loud music. Riders who commit third, fourth and fifth offenses could be banned for 30-90 days. I'd tell you what this all means, but mansplaining is probably a felony in some states.

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I guess we knew this was coming. A school board in California tries to explain to parents why they had transgender discussions in kindergarten classes"My daughter came home crying and shaking so afraid she could turn into a boy," another parent said. Oh, tell her to buck up and quit whining. For all you know, she really is a boy and is just afraid to tell you.

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Oh, for Pete's sake: The White House is asking the press — again! — to leave President Trump's youngest son, 11-year-old Barron, alone after a conservative outlet wrote that he should at least "dress the part when he steps out in public." The troublemaking miscreant had been spotted wearing shorts, a T-shirt and loafers without socks for Sunday's return trip to the White House from the family's home on Trump's private golf club in central New Jersey. "It's high time the media & everyone leave Barron Trump alone & let him have the private childhood he deserves." That tweet was from Chelsea Clinton, who was the subject of ridicule as a teenager growing up in the White House in the 1990s when her father was president.

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Amen, ya'll, amen: Normal Americans are bored by the fake drama. "Taking a break from Twitter and the media for a week to go be with normal people gave me an interesting perspective that I don't get when I'm surrounded by others invested in politics. None of them care. The exact number of times I heard normal people mention Nazis was zero. No one normal was talking about it, except on the occasional big screen I passed in my travels. No one normal was paying attention to the Wolf Blitzers or the Rachel Maddows. Everyone normal was living their lives, and this fake moral meltdown had no part in them. The fact that the whole thing is so ridiculous doesn't help it gain traction. Donald Trump is a lot of things, but a Nazi is not one of them." Of course, for a while there, normal Americans were a little beyond bored with all the fake drama in America. They were just a little irritated by it. That's what put Trump in the White house in the first place. Just sayin'.

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Be afraid, be very afraid: Scientists have remotely hacked a brain, controlling body movements. ". . . they were even able to prompt their test subject to run, freeze in place, or even completely lose control over their limbs." I'm sure this research will be completely used for good rather than evil — right? 

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