• The Readiness Vortex


    For the past several years, members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have been painting a bleak portrait of the state of the armed services. Testifying to the senate Armed Services Committee in January 2015, recently retired Army chief Gen. Ray Odierno admitted that Army readiness “has been degraded to its lowest level in 20 years.” This year, Odierno’s successor, Gen. Mark Milley, went farther: the Army is not well prepared to engage a major power. “If we got into a conflict with Russia then I think it would place our soldiers’ lives at risk,” he said. Other service leaders have made similar statements regarding other potential adversaries, including China, Iran, and North Korea. READ MORE...

  • What Indiana’s RFRA Wrought


    When I give talks about the Benedict Option, I tell people that the signal event was not Obergefell, but the Indiana RFRA debacle a couple of months earlier. That was when Big Business took sides in the culture war in a very big way — and did so against social conservatives, who lost massively.

    A reader sends in this Politico piece about how the RFRA loss shattered the GOP coalition in the Hoosier State. The hook? Ted Cruz’s failure to connect with locals regarding his socially conservative message. Excerpts: READ MORE...

  • DOJ Drops Bombshell against Hillary Clinton’s Email Investigation: “It’s a Law Enforcement Matter”


    Hillary Clinton has laughed off the probe into her illegal email server which has compromised hundreds of classified documents. She has mocked the FBI at every turn and said there would be no way she would be put in handcuffs. To top it off, she’s even claimed that the FBI’s investigation is nothing more than a “security review.” However, the Department of Justice has shot that down and claimed that the investigation into Clinton’s crimes are “a law enforcement matter.” READ MORE...

  • Ancient Shopping Lists Confirm God’s Word



    When soldiers at a remote desert fortress in Judah penned their shopping lists (or, more accurately, their provisions lists) over 2,600 years ago, they probably did not think that archaeologists would be poring over their handwriting years later!

    Using a computer algorithm program, researchers from Tel Aviv University have been studying these ancient lists of military provisions written on pieces of pottery (called ostraca).1 By analyzing the handwriting, they were able to deduce that at least six individuals were involved in writing these inscriptions. The inscriptions themselves are rather mundane, merely featuring instructions on what supplies to send to a remote desert fortress; but the writing is accurate and well done. Much of the writing was penned by rather low-ranking officials, suggesting that even humble soldiers serving in a remote corner of the country could both read and write. READ MORE...

  • Look to States, Not Just Courts, for Drone Privacy Protections


    Raymond Nhan argued in a recent post at the Pacific Legal Foundation’s blog that as things stand, “there is no clear answer as to the question whether the use of a drone to examine someone’s property would require a warrant.” (Although some states have passed drone warrant requirements.) This ambiguity is in part thanks to Supreme Court precedent that predates the emergence of widely available drones. When judges are faced with questions related to police drones and the Fourth Amendment in the inevitable lawsuits to come it would be worth them remembering, as Nhan points out, “that Fourth Amendment protections are highest in one’s own home.” However, it’s also worth us keeping in mind that courts are not the only entities that can reconsider privacy in the age of the drone. READ MORE...

  • In Turkey, the revolution eats its own


    Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has long been content to play the role of the submissive puppet Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who reprises the role and leadership style of Russian strongman Vladimir Putin. But, like for so many past enablers and apologists for the Turkish strongman, Davutoğlu’s time has come.

    Such slights are not coincidence, but are highly symbolic.

    In recent weeks, the full power of the presidential palace has turned on Davutoğlu to scapegoat him for the myriad failures Turkey now experiences. Erdoğan has long had a penchant for humiliating Davutoğlu. Consider this image published last year. At a public, filmed gathering, Erdoğan and his wife get glass water bottles and cups while Davutoğlu and his wife get plastic bottles. That’s akin to President Obama sitting at a dinner eating from fancy china, while Vice President Biden sits next to him eating off a paper plate. Such slights are not coincidence, but are highly symbolic. Turkish officials, after all, tend to be far more obsessed with etiquette and symbolism than counterparts elsewhere. READ MORE...

  • How Kulturkampf Works


    Two examples, from new releases of young people’s books, sent in by two different readers this morning. First, from the YA shelf:

    Amanda Hardy is the new girl in school. Like anyone else, all she wants is to make friends and fit in. But Amanda is keeping a secret, and she’s determined not to get too close to anyone.

    But when she meets sweet, easygoing Grant, Amanda can’t help but start to let him into her life. As they spend more time together, she realizes just how much she is losing by guarding her heart. She finds herself yearning to share with Grant everything about herself, including her past. But Amanda’s terrified that once she tells him the truth, he won’t be able to see past it. READ MORE...