Don’t Know Much About History

If you don’t know where you came from and whether it was a good place to be, you could wind up choosing to go back there—whether it’s in your best interest or not. There’s a post up over at Acculturated that deals with the problem of historical illiteracy among college graduates and the effect that could have on civic discourse.

To make sense of contemporary policy debates, you need a certain amount of perspective. If you lack that perspective, you can be more susceptible to overreaction and partisan hysteria.

Take the issue of executive power and national security. If you don’t know what Lincoln did during the Civil War (suspend habeas corpus), what Woodrow Wilson did during World War I (severely restrict civil liberties), or what Franklin Roosevelt did during World War II (put Japanese Americans in internment camps), it’s hard to have any real perspective on the actions that George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and now Donald Trump have taken in the war against Islamic terrorism.

Read the whole thing.

Trump’s Speech

The President spoke to Congress last night. I’m not going to do a review of his speech. You can find more of those than you want on the Interwebz already. This is about the Left’s reactions to the speech.

They didn’t like it.

That’s not surprising. They don’t like Trump, and they don’t like his expressed intention to rein in the size of government. But what they really seem to be upset about is almost-but-not-quite-completely-levelheaded demeanor of the speech. It was almost … well … presidential.

There are parallels being drawn between Andrew Jackson and Donald Trump. Jackson is generally graded poorly for his methods and well for his results. Jackson is credited with advancing the interests of the folks on the frontier (flyover country) over those of the coastal elites. Jackson permanently changed the way American politics were done for a century. If Trump has a similar impact on the county and politics, he will truly be the Left’s worst nightmare, and last night’s speech will have been akin to a visit to Room 101 for them.

CPAC Registration

The registration procedure at CPAC has been streamlined this year. Those of us who had preregistered were sent an email with a QR code. All I had to do was display that email on my iPhone to the camera on an iPad at the registration desk, my credentials were printed, and they were issued to me along with a swag bag with a few freebies.

So far I’ve run into Pete Ingemi (DaTechGuy), Jim Geraghty (NRO), Mickey White (@biasedgirl), Jeff Dunetz (Yid with Lid), and Grizzly Joe (@OccupyBawlStree). I’ll have more to report astroturfing the weekend goes on.

img_7096UPDATE—Before supper, I spent some time with a group of bloggers in the lobby bar of the convention center, including Kurt Schlichter, who received the good news that his client Ben Shaprio was awarded attorney’s fees in the Clock Boy defamation lawsuit today. Supper was over at the Public House where the RINOCON party was held.

I’m Not Making This Up, You Know

There’s now a “movement” to eliminate the use of black targets in law enforcement training because of claims that “young black men are 3X more likely to be shot by trained shooters than their white peers” and a “study by University of Illinois researchers that concluded shooters were more likely to fire at a black target.” (H/T,

aw20170219Correlation is not the same thing as causation, so statistically, there are two questions that should examined concerning that “3X more likely” claim—if it is true. First, young black men are a small subset of the population, but, as a group, they appear to be more likely that average to be involved in crime. How much more likely? 3X? More? If more likely, one is led to wonder why they would be shot less frequently than their share of dangerous interactions with police (or armed victims) would suggest. Second, how much more likely than average are young black men to be shot at (including being missed) by untrained shooters? It could be that one reason young black men are only 3X more likely to be shot by trained shooters is that training reduces the probability of an unjustified shooting.

Both of those factors may come into play. Or neither.