Category Archives: United States

The feminist Bechdel Test makes films better

This week, National Review ran an article by Kyle Smith called “If You Like Art, Don’t Take the Bechdel Test.” The Bechdel test, although nothing new, was the subject of the article’s scrutiny. Apparently, a simple litmus test designed to help critics explore the role of women in Hollywood is the latest example of political correctness overreach.

But Smith’s analysis is far from the truth. The Bechdel Test is no example of political correctness infiltrating society and art — it’s simply a guide used by film buffs and critics to measure the role of women in a movie, based on whether two named female characters have a conversation with each other about something other than a man at any point.

Read the rest at: The Washington Examiner

Judge: Campus Carry Doesn’t Hurt Free Speech

Three University of Texas at Austin professors filed a lawsuit claiming that letting people carry firearms on their campus would have a chilling effect on speech. Last week, District Judge Lee Yeakel dismissed the suit claiming the professors could present “no concrete evidence to substantiate their fears” and that their fears rest on “mere conjecture.” Although it’s certainly refreshing to see professors using First Amendment justifications with such vigor, it’s even better that Yeakel dismissed their ludicrous arguments and protected campus carry.

In 2015, the Texas legislature strengthened their commitment to gun rights at public universities. Senate Bill 11, which came into effect in August 2016, permitted campus concealed carry in campus buildings within reasonable guidelines. Those guidelines vary from school to school. At UT Austin, guns must stay out of sight, and individuals professors can choose to make “gun-free zones” in their offices, provided they post their rules clearly.

Read the rest at: Reason

New York ‘Textalyzer’ Bill Threatens Privacy Under the Guise of Safety

In an effort to crack down on distracted driving, lawmakers in several states are looking to pass legislation that would allow police to use a new device that can determine if a driver was using their cell phone behind the wheel. While the intentions are benevolent, the potential for abuse with the “Textalyzer” is startling.

The device, which resembles a tablet, has not been approved for use by law enforcement yet. But it would involve police plugging the device into a driver’s cell phone at an accident scene to scan phone data, which would give police exact times of phone use. It can tell police if a motorist opened any apps, sent any texts, and received or made phone calls. If police determine that the driver was doing any of these things, they would be able to go after them for distracted driving.

Read the rest at: The Observer

Reduce Waste by Closing Excess Military Bases

As Republicans work to pound out a 2018 budget, one area of contention within the Republican majority has been over exactly how large the Defense budget should be. With the House Armed Services Committee proposing to set it at $696 billion and the Senate Armed Services Committee calling for $700 billion,  negotiations will continue until a specific price tag is set. What seems certain is that spending will be up dramatically from the $618.7 billion Defense budget in 2017.

These proposals align well with President Trump’s campaign pledges to increase military spending to rebuild the military and finance a renewed effort to combat global terrorism. However, amidst the Republican frenzy to produce a budget vastly ramping up military expenditures, few lawmakers are asking if the money already allocated is being spent as efficiently as it could be. Indeed, Congress may once again pass up an opportunity to work towards eliminating waste within the military by closing excess military bases.

Read the rest at: Real Clear Defense

Russia And The US Working Together Is Better Than The Alternative

Presidents Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump met for the first time during this week’s G-20 meeting in Germany. The G-20 is always contentious–at least outside among the ever-present protesters–however, the lack of conflict is what troubled a lot of observers. Trump has been dogged with accusations that he is too cozy with Russia for longer than his presidency. Whether those are true, baseless, or most likely, something, but not nearly as much of a something as alarmed liberals think is beside the point when faced with the disaster of Syria.

Read the rest at: The Daily Caller