Topics and articles chosen with care. Linked articles in bold purple
◆ North Korea displays new missiles but holds off another nuclear test (Washington Post)
Comment: The situation is incredibly dangerous. North Korea’s leader is not only bellicose. He may well be mentally unstable. No one is sure.
South Korea’s capital and largest city, Seoul, is very close to the DMZ, and very vulnerable to attack–including a nuclear attack by Pyongyang.
China could put the squeeze on North Korea, but that does not mean it has control over the Kim regime’s actions. Beijing knows that China’s population is also threatened by North Korean weapons and that the two countries have a complicated, sometimes fraught history.
My hunch is that Beijing would prefer to engineer a change of leadership that is friendly to China, less bellicose, and willing to pursue a Chinese-style market opening. But trying to achieve that is very risky.
◆ Good news on free speech at one college, Wichita State They tried hard to do the wrong thing, but they eventually got it right.
An embattled student group at Wichita State University is finally free to engage in on-campus activism as a registered student organization. On Wednesday, the Supreme Court of the Wichita State University Student Government overturned the Student Government Association’s unconstitutional decision to deny recognition to Young Americans for Liberty, a libertarian student group, because of the group’s belief in First Amendment principles. –FIRE, Foundation for Individual Rights in Education
Comment: If you support free speech and don’t already know about FIRE, you’ll be happy to learn about it. It is truly even-handed, defending right and left alike.
◆ Related Story: Meanwhile, at Wellesley, a very selective liberal arts college, the student newspaper writes:
Wellesley is certainly not a place for racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, transphobia or any other type of discriminatory speech. Shutting down rhetoric that undermines the existence and rights of others is not a violation of free speech; it is hate speech. (The Wellesley News via HotAir)
These students actually say that the “Founding Fathers” (a phrase that must stick in their craw) “put free speech in the Constitution as a way to protect the disenfranchised . . . [and] suppressed, not to protect a free-for-all where anything is acceptable, no matter how hateful and damaging.”
Comment: The First Amendment does not mean “anything is acceptable.” As everyone knows, you cannot yell fire falsely in a crowded theater. Nor can you take a bullhorn and wake up the whole neighborhood at 3 am with your rendition of “I did it my way.” There are, in other words, some legal restrictions on the time, place, and conditions for speech. There are legal remedies for “damaging” speech, if it is false and defamatory (and perhaps known to be false when uttered).
But for Wellesley students to actually defend their speech suppression as being true to the First Amendment is either disingenuous or historically clueless. Either way, it is wrong.
◆ Two data-driven opinion pieces on wealth disparities between blacks and whites with college degrees
- Ray Boshara, Black college graduates are losing wealth. Here’s what can help. (Washington Post)
- Mona Charen, Why Are Black College Graduates Less Wealthy than Other Grads? The missing element may be a stable family structure (National Review Online)
Comment: The disparity is troubling and thoughtful, open-minded discussion is valuable.
Going back to the previous two stories: this kind of discussion is much harder to have on campuses where everyone walks on eggshells, fearing a wrong word might offend.
◆ How deep is the Clinton camp’s denial?
There were the obvious crazy things happening like the website melting down, Ukraine, and the horrible ISIS beheadings; these sort of manufactured press stories that hopefully you all have forgotten about. –Daily Caller
Comment: Those manufactured stories were nothing compared to that fake moon landing.
Many thanks to Christopher Buckley for the Wellesley story
Hand-picked and farm-fresh–
⇒Linked articles in bold purple
◆ If I wrote checks . . . I would undoubtedly be writing 2016 on them and then crossing it out. Actually, I would probably be putting 1996 on them.
◆ You know the country is goin’ to hell when . . . a waitress gets fired from the Waffle House for shooting at robbers. (Newnan Times-Herald in Georgia)
Comment: I thought shooting at robbers outside a Waffle House made you employee of the month.
◆ Minimum Wage Hikes in 20 States. California, for instance, raised it 50¢ to $10.50. Gov. Jerry Brown fought for $15 but couldn’t get it. The story is here. (Daily Caller)
Comment: In Austin, Texas, the starting wage at Dairy Queen is $12/hour. That’s because Austin is at full employment and every business there has a “help wanted” sign. As it turns out, higher demand for entry-level workers is a better route to raising their incomes than passing laws.
Why? Because Dairy Queen knows that it can make money from new workers of average skills at that rate. Jerry Brown and the legislature don’t know. The rate that works in San Francisco might–just might–be too high in Stanislaus or Shasta, California. If so, then businesses will employ fewer workers (taking those with more skills) or not hire anyone at all. As Tom Sowell once wisely observed, “The effective minimum wage is $0.”
◆ Stronger together, sinking into oblivion. Minyon Moore writes an opinion piece entitled “Hillary Clinton is Not Done Making History Yet!”
Comment: Wrong. Hillary is extinct, gone to meet her maker, joined the choir invisible. She is toast.
As for Ms. Moore, you can read her piece as, “please, Bill and Hill, put me on your payroll.” Moore is a Democratic “strategist” who was named in court documents as putting together an illegal campaign fund for Hillary Clinton in 2008.
Related Story: Van Jones says “Clinton days are over,” and enthusiastically says the days of the Democrats being a moderate party are over, too. (CNN) He has endorsed Keith Ellison as a great progressive leader for the Democratic Party.
Comment: When Jones says the days of moderation are over and touts Keith Ellison, every Republican shouts “Hallelujah” from the rooftops. Most would even be willing to tell Democrats what that word means.
◆ Guardian names Hillary their “person of the year.” Story here.
Comment: These people are idiots. Did they go on vacation in early November?
◆ School choice saves money, says a study of Wisconsin schools. Jason Riley writes about it in the Wall Street Journal.
Comment: America has one of the highest per student expenditures in the world and is still getting mediocre outcomes. My own sense is that people are much more worried about schools’ poor performance than their cost. The costs become more irritating when we see generations of students leave urban schools with minimum skills.