America Is Too Dumb for TV News:

Until recently, the narrative of stories like this has been predictable. If a candidate said something nuts, or seemingly not true, an army of humorless journalists quickly dug up all the facts, and the candidate ultimately was either vindicated, apologized, or suffered terrible agonies. Al Gore for instance never really recovered from saying, “I took the initiative in creating the Internet.” True, he never said he invented the Internet, as is popularly believed, but what he did say was clumsy enough that the line followed him around like an STD for the rest of his (largely unsuccessful) political life. That dynamic has broken down this election season. Politicians are quickly learning that they can say just about anything and get away with it. Along with vindication, apology and suffering, there now exists a fourth way forward for the politician spewing whoppers: Blame the backlash on media bias and walk away a hero.

Predatory Islamic State Wrings Money From Those It Rules:

Across wide expanses of Syria and Iraq, the Islamic State, with the goal of building a credible government, has set up a predatory and violent bureaucracy that wrings every last American dollar, Iraqi dinar and Syrian pound it can from those who live under its control or pass through its territory. Interviews with more than a dozen people living inside or recently escaped from the Islamic State-controlled territory, and Western and Middle Eastern officials who track the militants’ finances, describe the group as exacting tolls and traffic tickets; rent for government buildings; utility bills for water and electricity; taxes on income, crops and cattle; and fines for smoking or wearing the wrong clothes.

Extraction economy.

The Human Impulse to Live Beyond the Law:

The problem in our politics, I think, and certainly the problem of the connection between violent rhetoric and violent action, which is real and growing, lies in the fact that the people who run campaigns—and, increasingly, the people on whose behalf those campaigns are run—construct them along a consumer model and as branding exercises aimed at faceless target audiences. For all the stories of real people that we hear from the stump, the people who organize and run our politics have grown so distant from the actual human beings they seek to represent that many of them have forgotten human nature entirely in their attempts to capitalize on those aspects of it that will close the deal for them at the polls. They have forgotten that humans are not by nature social, and that humans construct laws—and, therefore, governments—to keep both the lone wolf and the pack at bay. Once you’ve forgotten that, you can appeal to the worst instincts of both and walk away from the consequences.

Charles Pierce nails it.

4 Things Everyone Gets Wrong About Free Speech and College:

The same month that both the Mizzou protester stories went viral, a Missouri legislator tried to stop a University of Missouri grad student’s research into abortion, saying that the school was breaking the law by allowing her to continue. This happened at literally the exact same school as the protests, and it’s a way more cut-and-dry threat to free speech. The government is literally telling a grad student what they’re allowed to study, which is precisely what the first amendment is meant to prevent.

Student protests are literally free speech. When you complain about free speech, even idiotic free speech you are literally doing the opposite of defending free speech.

Think Campus P.C. Is Out of Control? Look at the Military.:

it turns out that even the most macho youth, the people who sign up to fight in wars, don’t want to be the butt of racist jokes. And when they are, they turn to an authority to make it stop.

Most talk about millennials and political correctness has an old man yells at cloud vibe to it. Millennials don’t like to be made fun of. They don’t accept being the butt of jokes. Times change and what is acceptable changes with it. Millennials grew up in a consumer cultural with service economy where service is rated by customers. They expect universities being paid a lot of money to treat them like customers and meet their whims, not just their needs.

Looks like this is true in the military as well.

To families of mass-shooting victims in U.S., Paris attacks sadly familiar:

She has become painfully familiar with mass shootings since a gunman killed her daughter in a crowded suburban Denver movie theater, and she’s frustrated when pundits wonder if similar attacks on “soft targets” could happen in America.

“What ‘soft-target’ are you talking about? A school? Oh, gee, it’s already happened, several times. A movie theater? Oh, gee, it’s already happened,” Phillips said. “Who are we fooling? We’ve been living under terrorist attacks since Columbine. They’re just being done by our own people.”

Inside an undercover network trying to expose Islamic State’s atrocities:

“We are nonviolent activists. We can’t fight Daesh with weapons. We can only fight them with words,” he said, using an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State. “To defeat us, they would have to shut down the Internet. And they can’t do that because all of them use the Internet.”

What does a ISIS held city look like? North Korea in the making.

Fear and Friends:

nobody in the GOP field wants to say anything positive about the strength of Western democracy, or make a remark about the nature of a cause that has nothing going for it except the ability to kill innocent civilians. Instead, we have Jeb! insisting that we’re looking at a plan to destroy Western civilization, and Ted Cruz declaring that what we need to do is abandon our own scruples aboutkilling innocent bystanders.

In Response To Paris, Ted Cruz Calls For Airstrikes With More ‘Tolerance For Civilian Casualties’:

Translation from GOP to sane person, this attack on civilians needs was intolerable therefor we should attack someone with less regard for civilian casualties. It’s two eyes for an eye, a whole mouth for a tooth. Of course, ISIS uses US attacks as propaganda, so what would this accomplish? The right wing in this country is barbaric. The only concern is that blood be spilled.