April 19, 2024

Friday: Below the Fold

“Limited” Israeli strike on Iran, leftist threatens to murder city council, redefining women at the federal level, and more.


  • Israel conducts “limited” strike on Iran: After last night’s “limited strike” by Israel on Iran, which comes in retaliation for last weekend’s largely thwarted drone-and-missile attack by Iran on Israel, the question now becomes: Have both sides saved enough face? We say this because it’s clear by their actions that neither side is interested in a hot war with the other. As Fox News reports, last night’s strike involved missiles but no aircraft, and it was targeted at the Iranian province of Isfahan, which is home to a major Iranian airbase and sites associated with both missile production and the country’s nuclear program. Earlier on CNN, Iran’s foreign minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, had warned the Biden administration and Israel that if the Israelis do attack, then the Iranian response will be “decisive, definitive, and regretful for them.” Uh-huh. Following the attack, Iranian state media dutifully downplayed its effects, which should help to cool things down and allow the mullahs to avoid a more serious escalation with Israel and get back to its preferred business of fomenting strife by funding dirty proxy wars throughout the Middle East. Jonathan Conricus, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, summed things up well: “Iran seeks to return to the shadows and is downplaying the Israeli strike on the strategic city of Isfahan, but I think they’ve gotten the message: Israel can penetrate Iranian defenses and strike wherever it wants.”

  • Crazed leftist threatens to murder city council members: To watch the rank stupidity with which 28-year-old leftist organizer Riddhi Patel behaves, it’s a wonder she can find the doorknob to get out of the house each day. How else to explain her recent performance before the mayor and city council of Bakersfield, California, during discussions about the council’s stance on a ceasefire resolution aimed at Israel for its actions in Gaza? Patel, to her “credit,” began calmly enough by saying that the council members “are all horrible human beings, and Jesus probably would’ve killed you himself.” She was just getting warmed up, though. She went on to add that the council didn’t care about “anything happening in Palestine or any other country where oppression occurs,” and then this: “I hope one day somebody brings the guillotine and kills all of you motherf**kers.” But it wasn’t just the situation in Gaza that had her so riled up. When she spoke a second time, Patel criticized the council for installing metal detectors at the building, which she said were an affront to her and her fellow rabble. To that indignity, she said: “You guys want to criminalize us with metal detectors? We’ll see you at your house. We’ll murder you.” Um, that’s not exactly protected speech, Riddhi. And she wonders why she’s been arrested and charged.

  • Wikipedia cofounder excoriates new NPR CEO: Larry Sanger, the cofounder of Wikipedia, was recently interviewed by journalist and free speech activist Christopher Rufo concerning NPR’s new CEO, Katherine Maher. Ms. Maher served as the CEO of the Wikimedia Foundation prior to taking up her new gig. After noting recent videos that have come to light wherein Maher expresses her views on truth and free speech, Sanger stated: “I did not know just how radical-sounding Katherine Maher is. [T]o say that it was somehow a mistake for Wikipedia to be ‘free and open,’ that it led to bad consequences — my jaw is on the floor. I can’t say I’m terribly surprised that she thinks it, but I am surprised that she would say it.” Later in the interview, Rufo asked, in light of her radical anti-free speech views, what should happen to Maher. Sanger answered, “If NPR wanted to prove that they were still committed to free speech, to being ideologically neutral, and simply nonpartisan, they would let her go right away.” He then added: “I don’t expect them to do that. They don’t listen to people like us. They don’t care what we think. But nevertheless, this is an important story because it shows just how cynical it is. It is getting to the point where you can’t accuse people like Katherine Maher of hypocrisy anymore because they’re not being hypocritical. They’re actually saying it out loud: ‘We don’t really believe in this freedom stuff anyway.’”

  • Redefining women at the federal level: The Biden administration is finalizing its Title IX rewrite, specifically focusing on expanding the definition of sex to include the “transgender” identity. Title IX was passed in 1972 for the express purpose of protecting equal access for women in education, which included school sports. Ironically, by redefining sex, the Biden administration is effectively eliminating that protection, as biological males legally will be allowed to invade women’s spaces, so long as they claim to be women. While the Biden administration has paused applying its sex redefinition to include “transgender” participation in sports until after the election, the Department of Education is moving forward in implementing its definitional change to Title IX provisions that deal with sexual harassment and discrimination. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), chairwoman of the House Education and Workforce Committee, blasted the Biden administration’s action: “The rule also undermines existing due process rights, placing students and institutions in legal jeopardy and again undermining the protections Title IX is intended to provide. Evidently, the acceptance of biological reality, and the faithful implementation of the law, are just pills too big for the Department to swallow — and it shows.”

  • Gender-confused teen allegedly planned Covenant 2.0: Thankfully, authorities in Maryland thwarted a copycat mass attack against a high school by a woman who identified as a man. According to reports, the 18-year-old had a 129-page “manifesto” containing a myriad of disturbing views, including pedophilia fantasies, praise for the Covenant School attacker, and her own mass attack plot that included worries over whether or not she would be “misgendered” following her crime. Court documents reveal portions of her manifesto. In one instance, she wrote: “I really want to be famous. Even infamous.” In another entry, she says: “I sometimes think I’m a pedophile. I get turned on by little kids.” Regarding the Covenant School assailant, she wrote: “Makes me want to change my name legally before I commit a shooting to make sure the news doesn’t misgender me. He was suicidal before the shooting. Just like me. He, too, wanted to kill little kids. A rush of adrenaline fills my body. He’s so relatable.” This individual was hospitalized in December 2022 after expressing threats to “shoot up a school” a few months before the Covenant School attack. She did not go back to school in person since that time, but did return home and attended school online. She was hospitalized last month, at which time she shared her manifesto with another patient who reported it to the authorities. She was subsequently taken into custody.

  • Racist bean counters decry MLB while ignoring NBA and NFL: Thirteen percent. That’s the relative percentage of blacks that make up the whole of the American people. And because Major League Baseball isn’t represented by at least 13% of blacks among its players, then the enterprise itself must be racist. If you doubt us, just listen to MSNBC race-baiter Joy Reid: “The number of Black American players in Major League Baseball has plummeted to just 6%, offering a warning about what can happen when institutions de-emphasize diversity.” Diversity, of course, is just a euphemism for the race-based discrimination favored by leftists. And all this racial bean counting is emblematic of a pernicious and destructive phenomenon we wrote about recently called disparate impact. Put it this way: Would the recently concluded NCAA men’s basketball tournament have put out a better product if it enforced a strict limit of 13% of its players being black? What about the NBA, which, in the 2022-23 season, had just 17.5% white players — a number that would surely be down in the single digits if European players were excluded from the “white” tally? And what about the NFL? What if strict quotas were enforced to ensure that 71% of its running backs, wide receivers, and cornerbacks were white? What about hip-hop artists? Concert pianists? Mechanical engineers? Brain surgeons? Airplane pilots? You can see the awful place where counting by race invariably takes a people. It pits them against each other and instills bitterness on all sides. Forget the appalling black skills gap and the equally appalling underachievement of black students at all levels. Just cry Racism! As researcher Heather Mac Donald puts it: “At present you can have proportional diversity or you can have meritocracy. You cannot have both.”

  • Harder workers break bigly for Trump over Biden: A recently released survey from Emerson College Polling found that registered voters who work 40 or more hours a week on average support Donald Trump over Joe Biden by a significant margin. The poll found that 50% of voters working 40 to 49 hours a week support Trump, whereas 38% support Biden. And when the hourly load increases, so does support for Trump. Of those voters working 50 to 59 hours a week, 59% picked Trump, while just 35% chose Biden. And for those working 60-plus hours a week, an astounding 80% favored Trump to just 7% for Biden. Meanwhile, the survey found that those voters who were working fewer than 40 hours a week favored Biden. The biggest spread was between voters working between 20 to 29 hours a week, with 52% picking Biden and 37% picking Trump. Those who embrace individual freedom the most also appear to be those who embrace self-reliance and hard work rather than government handouts.

  • NASA Mars crew has a Muslim but no white people: The Left’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion obsession isn’t limited to sports. Otherwise, NASA wouldn’t still be trying “to reach out to the Muslim world … to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science, math, and engineering,” as Barack Obama infamously ordered his NASA chief, Charles Bolden, to do back in July 2010. Take, for example, one of NASA’s most recent projects: a simulated trip to Mars. About this, the Johnson Space Center’s X page proudly trumpets, “A new team is set to enter HERA! On May 10, four volunteers will step inside the 650-square-foot HERA habitat and begin a 45-day simulated journey to Mars, helping NASA test how isolation affects crews on deep space journeys.” As FrontPage Magazine’s Daniel Greenfield observes, “Now the four-person crew for the ‘virtual’ mission to Mars has been unveiled and they carefully screened out the white people.” Perhaps there’s a simple explanation for the lack of white guys. Perhaps there just aren’t any white astronauts anymore. Yeah, that’s the ticket.


  • House advances Ukraine, Israel aid as Dems help Speaker Johnson, GOP (The Hill)

  • FBI director Christopher Wray warns Chinese hackers lying in wait to attack U.S. infrastructure: “Upon us now” (NY Post)

  • Biden wants to triple China tariffs on steel, aluminum imports (CNBC)

  • Biden wades into Caitlin Clark contract controversy after WNBA Draft (NY Post) | Caitlin Clark salary criticism a “false narrative,” says WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert (CNBC)

  • Biden DOJ enlists Kristen Clarke, who defended black nationalists charged with voter intimidation, to combat voter intimidation (Washington Free Beacon)

  • Rep. Gallagher cites swatting as a reason for his resignation (RedState)

  • 108 arrested at pro-Palestinian protest at Columbia University (NBC News)

  • Ilhan Omar’s daughter, Isra Hirsi, suspended from Barnard College for her involvement in anti-Israel protests (NY Post)

  • Justice Department agrees to pay $100 million to Simone Biles, other victims of gymnastics team doctor (RedState)

  • Scotland to ditch key climate change target (BBC)

  • Humor: NPR says it always strives to feature a broad range of opinions from slightly communist to very communist (Babylon Bee)

For more editors’ choice headlines, click here.

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