NO BIG DEAL, NEW YORK’S NOT A BIG BANKING TOWN ANYWAY: Indoor mask mandates would choke big banks coming back to NYC.

AT HELEN’S PAGE: You can get signed copies of Kurt Schlichter’s new book The Split. Now #1 in Military Thrillers.

LOCK HIM UP, THE MASS MURDERER: Team Cuomo continues its underhanded attacks on his investigators.

AND HOW ABOUT HIS CHINESE PARTNERS? Fauci Defends U.S.-Funded Research at Wuhan Lab: ‘We Have Always Been Very Careful.’

ERASING PEOPLE: Unemployment Up 800% Among Ethnic Mascots.

“These are troubling signs for the BIPOC mascot community,” said leading economist Dr. Matais Zendejas. “We had made so much progress, with mascots of all ethnicities being welcomed by the American public. But now it seems they are being fired at record rates, with the mascots and brand icons being replaced by genderless, white, inoffensive mascots, or else by nothing at all.”

“It’s really not a good time to be a mascot of color. The unemployment crisis is affecting mascots of color disproportionately. It’s racism, plain and simple.”

Related, via a former student:

Related (From Ed): Meet Louis Sockalexis, the First Native American Pro Baseball Player, Said to be Inspiration for ‘Cleveland Indians.’

THE BIG LIE: Joe Biden’s ridiculous denial that cop-defunders are overwhelmingly Democrats.

FACT-CHECKING THE FACT-CHECKERS: PolitiFact Claims Joe Biden ‘Doesn’t Want to Ban Handguns,’ But Here Are His Actual Words.

PolitiFact lies? Analysis: True!

MAKE THEM PAY: 8th Circuit Again Finds University Of Iowa Administrators Personally Liable For Deregistering Christian Student Group That Required Leaders To Affirm ‘Basic Biblical Truths Of Christianity.’ “What the University did here was clearly unconstitutional. It targeted religious groups for differential treatment under the Human Rights Policy—while carving out exemptions and ignoring other violative groups with missions they presumably supported. The University and individual defendants turned a blind eye to decades of First Amendment jurisprudence or they proceeded full speed ahead knowing they were violating the law. Either way, qualified immunity provides no safe haven.”

I’m in favor of limiting or removing qualified immunity for police. But there’s no justification whatsoever for providing qualified immunity for university administrators, who never have to make split-second decisions, and who have counsel available at all times.

July 25, 2021

IF YOU’RE WOKE, YOU SHOULD SEND YOUR KIDS TO COMMUNITY COLLEGE: Dallas ‘racial equity’ group demands white parents not send their kids to Ivy League schools.

Related: To reduce inequality, abolish the Ivy League.

JAMES MORROW: Covid Mania Returns Australia to Its Roots as a Nation of Prisoners: Citizens in Sydney may leave their homes only for ‘essential’ purposes and not go more than six miles.

It’s hard to know exactly when Australia’s pandemic response crossed the line from tragedy into farce. But future historians could do worse than pinpoint the moment when Sydney’s chief health supremo told the city’s residents to stop being friendly to one another when they ventured out to buy essentials, lest they get themselves and others killed.

“Whilst it is in human nature to engage in conversation with others, to be friendly, unfortunately this is not the time to do that . . . don’t start up a conversation,” scolded Kerry Chant, the endlessly tut-tutting chief health officer of New South Wales, at a news conference last week. “We want to make sure as we go about our daily lives that we do not come into contact with anyone who could pose a risk.”

Never mind that you can’t even go near a shop without a mask, she said. Masks aren’t foolproof and this is, in her words, “no time for complacency.” A simple g’day, in other words, could be deadly.

Happily, most of us who live in Sydney ignored the warning. Supermarket checkout staff remained as chatty as ever behind their masks after Dr. Chant handed down her edict. My local butcher was more than glad for the chance to tell me how things were “a bit slow,” but added that she “can’t complain.”

Given this level of official hysteria, an outsider might imagine that Australia is a Covid charnel house. In fact, all of Australia is recording around 150 coronavirus cases a day. The current outbreak of 2,000 or so cases total over the past month has been associated with eight deaths so far, almost all of them people over 70.

This in a nation that records, on average, about 460 deaths a day from all causes. Cancer kills nearly 50,000 Australians a year. Shark attacks killed eight in 2020.

A good 18 months into the pandemic, the nation is still trapped in April 2020. Adelaide and Melbourne are hoping to come out of lockdown in some form this week; Sydney, the economic engine room of Australia, is likely to remain under restriction through at least August.

Australians need permission from the federal government to leave the country—applications succeed about half the time—and Australia’s states throw up their borders against one another at the slightest hint of trouble. Residents of Sydney may leave their homes only if it is “essential,” and not stray more than six miles when they do.

This is before discussing the economic fallout from the latest lockdowns. Billions will be spent by government or lost by businesses as a result. A restaurant-industry representative told me last week that many chefs and waiters are leaving for greener pastures. Many iconic restaurants will likely never reopen.

So how did Australia become a hermit kingdom? Geography plays a large part. By mistaking their good luck for brilliance in being able to pull up the drawbridge to the world at the start of the pandemic, Australians quickly became trapped in an “elimination” mindset that is now officially referred to as Covid Zero.

Politics, too, conspired to create this outcome. Labor state premiers (the equivalent of U.S. governors) quickly learned to play Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s center-right government like a fiddle, forcing the commonwealth to bail states out for the economic wreckage created every time they locked down their cities or shut their borders.

Elected officials have allowed their judgment to be replaced by that of the new priestly class of health mandarins like Dr. Chant, on whose edicts the country hangs. Hiding behind the “health advice” of such officials has become the national sport of Australia’s politicians. Earlier this year federal health secretary Brendan Murphy declared that vaccine distribution was “not a race,” which became a mantra picked up by the prime minister to justify an initially cautious rollout. As a result, only around 15% of the nation has been fully vaccinated.

Don’t trust the experts. They aren’t trustworthy, and they aren’t actually very expert.

HEH:

OPEN THREAD: You know, people can’t use you if you’re useless.

SPACE LAWFARE: Court denies Viasat attempt to halt Starlink launches pending legal action.

Viasat has a vastly inferior product — everyone I know who uses it hates it — and realistically its only hope is to somehow shut down the competition. But it’s good that the courts aren’t cooperating.

NEWS FROM MY NECK OF THE WOODS, from Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs:

WEIRD INDEED: The Weird Case of a Man 3 Doctors Declared Dead Who Woke Up Just Before His Autopsy. “The prisoner, then-29-year-old Gonzalo Montoya Jiménez, was found unresponsive in his cell during a morning roll call on 7 January 2018 and had been transferred to a hospital mortuary in a body bag when pathologists heard something strange. Snoring. Coming from inside the bag.”

DEMAND NORMALCY: Thousands protest lockdown in Sydney, several arrested.

IS THERE ANYTHING IT CAN’T DO? Protecting your liver with coffee.

AMERICA’S NEWSPAPER OF RECORD: FBI Discovers Building Full Of Dangerous Extremists Organizing Acts Of Terror Across Country.

BROKEN RECORD: Brian Stelter Puts On Carl Bernstein to Call Trump a Domestic War Criminal.

Related:

Flashbacks:

The Five Times Carl Bernstein Bellowed ‘Worse than Watergate!’ at Trump.

Carl Bernstein: Bush [43] More “Disastrous” Than Nixon.

● “The lowest form of popular culture – lack of information, misinformation, disinformation, and a contempt for the truth or the reality of most people’s lives – has overrun real journalism. Today, ordinary Americans are being stuffed with garbage.”

Carl Bernstein, 1992.

VIA A FRIEND:

MAGIC WORDS:

Today, on the political left, we’re making up new norms all the time: calling people “Latinx,” announcing our pronouns, capitalizing “Black.” A year or two ago, none of us had ever heard of “deadnaming.” Today it’s the digital equivalent of pissing on someone’s grave. You can already see which norms are in the process of cohering today, in real time: erasing any metaphorical references to physical or mental disabilities (“lame,” “crazy,” etc.) from our vocabularies; acknowledging “stolen lands” before every meeting; recognizing people’s declared mental disorders as identity markers conferring upon them special accommodations and sympathies; narrowing our definition of consent to sex to exclude adults who are significantly younger than their partners, or who are employed in a less powerful position within the same industry, or who belong to an identity category purportedly lower on the power continuum.

Every time someone is compelled to apologize for violating such a norm, that norm is soldered more firmly into the structure of our collective consciousness as an accepted part of the new moral order. A year ago, almost nobody capitalized “black” in reference to “Black people.” Today, it’s part of the style guide of most major news outlets. In a year, you’ll probably be called a racist if you don’t do it in your personal communications. Each one of those steps was and will be accompanied by countless call-outs and apologies.

Exit quote: “The path we’re tumbling down is slippery and steep, and we’ve already picked up momentum. There’s only one way to break our fall. Fortunately, it’s easy and straightforward: Stop apologizing.” Read the whole thing.

SHOCKING NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF SCIENCE: $3 Million Government Study Finds Link Between Excessive Drinking and Aggressive Nightclub Behavior.

Like Miss Anne Elk’s theory about dinosaurs, this one really hits the nail on the head. (Yes, I know it’s from three years ago).

DEAR DIARY:

Shot:

● Chaser: Beto O’Rourke group gives $600,000 to Texas House Democrats’ stay in Washington, D.C.

—The Texas Tribune, Thursday.

● Hangover: Texas Democrats unravel — “I’m just pissed off” that Biden won’t meet with them.

Hot Air, yesterday.

DON’T TREAD ON ME ADJUSTABLE SNAKE RING: No_system, a Helen’s Page Advertiser has a new item out. At $8.95, I might just order a few for gifts.

UPDATE: Now sold out but I am told more are being made.

AT HELEN’S PAGE: Karl K. Gallagher’s Storm Between the Stars: Book 1 in the Fall of the Censor.

DISPATCHES FROM THE INTERSECTION OF HOLLYWOOD, INTERRUPTED AND THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: Film Flam: The University Film Studies Con.

Tuition did not cover the cost of making a student film. Unable to afford it, Stoteraux switched to writing and entered a script in the program’s screenplay contest. The faculty judges rejected it in the first round. Stoteraux later sold the script through a production assistant he randomly met without any help from the school. Two credits short of his master’s degree, he asked Columbia if he could complete the program while working in LA. The university disdainfully refused — until his career took off, when it invited him to speak to the current class, offering to help him attain his degree. The program chair had him fly to New York for a meeting.

The conclusion of Stoteraux’s story gives away the whole shell game. “So I spent a fortune on a last-minute flight in order to hear his proposal,” he tweeted. “But instead of telling me what I need to do to satisfy the requirements to get my degree, the Chair began pitching me his idea for a TV pilot. In excruciating scene-by-scene detail. I nodded along, waiting to get back to the terms of me getting my degree. But to my horror … I slowly begin to realize this IS the deal … if I wanted my degree, I needed to help him sell his tv pilot. Yep, the Chair of Columbia’s prestigious graduate film program tried to shake me down in order to jump-start his own stalled out career.”

That could be the most valuable lesson to be learned from one’s film school experience — and it’s free.

Read the whole thing.

THE NOBLE PRIMITIVE: Last Meal of History’s Most Famous ‘Bog Body’ Hints at Human Sacrifice.

MORE LIKE THIS, PLEASE: The World Has Had It With China Flu Lockdowns: Protests Rock Cities All Over the Globe.

“MAY.” Meeting Paris Agreement emissions reduction target may generate 8M jobs.

The “green jobs” promise has so far been BS. Though to be fair, under President Trump the U.S. both expanded payrolls and slashed carbon emissions.

LAWN ORDER, CHINESE STYLE:

California is home to nearly 40 million people and the supply of water does not always meet demand, particularly in times of drought. A recent newspaper article offered the solution of snitching on one’s neighbors.

On July 9, the Sacramento Bee published an article headlined, “Is your neighbor wasting water? Snitching on them may ease California drought, study says.” According to the report, “ratting out one’s neighbors could help relieve some of the pressure from California’s current drought.”

* * * * * * * *

The study supports the idea of “participatory surveillance” and cites the Chinese research article “Social ties and citizen-initiated contacts: the case of China’s local one-stop government,” written by Youlang Zhang, assistant professor in public administration at China’s Renmin University, and Xufeng Zhu, professor of public policy and management at China’s Tsinghua University. The article examines why some citizens are “more likely to initiate contact with the government than others.”

Orwell didn’t write 1984 as a how-to guide. As Jim Geraghty wrote in October of 2019, when the CCP-NBA connection exposed for millions of Americans to see: We’re Not Exporting Our Values to China — We’re Importing Theirs.

PLEASE SUPPORT THESE HELEN’S PAGE ADVERTISERS: Korving & Company, author of Before I Go and Before I Go Workbook; The Hard Man Novels, Greek Biblical T-shirts (now with new t-shirts for women), Old Post Road Oils and King Harv’s Coffee (new July specials at the link).

WELL, GOOD: Parkinson’s drug may ease dementia-linked psychosis.

NYPD BRINGS A RECKONING ON LEFTISTS WHO SEIZE PROPERTY AND CALL THEM ‘SLAVECATCHERS.’

It’s as though, after all the crime and violence from radical leftists, that the police have just had enough and have stopped giving them the kid gloves treatment.

As we reported, the LAPD let loose at the WiSpa last weekend actually responding to getting attacked by Antifa, whacking them with batons and taking them down with non-lethal impact munitions. A bunch of them were also arrested. Lo and behold, Antifa isn’t out again this weekend. Could it be that if they finally get a response to their violence that they learn not to continue, if there are consequences?

In New York City yesterday, left wing activists took over some vacant retail space that was under construction in Brooklyn, claiming it for the “community.” That got problematic when construction workers who came to work on the property found them there. That’s when the police were called and it didn’t end well for the leftists.

Evergreen:

FROM A FRIEND: “Inflation will impoverish the nation. Regressively. And everyone knows it.”

ROGER KIMBALL: Losing Our Liberty All at Once?

Joseph Hackett, you see, is a 51-year-old Trump supporter and member of an organization called the “Oath Keepers,” a group whose members have pledged to “defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic.” (You can see how this ends already, can’t you?) The FBI does not like the Oath Keepers. They arrested its leader in January and have picked up many other members in the months since. Hackett came from his home in Florida to join the Trump “Stop the Steal” rally that took place on January 6. According to court documents, he entered the Capitol at 2:45 that afternoon. He left some ten minutes later, at 2:54. The next day, he went home. On May 28, he was apprehended by the FBI and indicted on a long list of charges, including conspiracy, obstruction of an official proceeding, destruction of government property, and illegally entering a restricted building.

As far as I have been able to determine, no evidence of his destroying property has been made public. According to his wife, it is not even clear that he entered the Capitol. But he certainly was in the environs. He was a member of the Oath Keepers. He was a supporter of Donald Trump. Therefore, he must be neutralized. What about the Antifa and Black Lives Matter “peaceful protestors” who destroyed some $2 billion of property, killed or injured scores, and toppled countless public monuments? Take your time.

Earlier: The insurrectionary crime of “parading.” “Now the press hypes up a bunch of people protesting in the Capitol as some sort of combination of Pearl Harbor and 9/11. How different it was when Marxists stormed the Senate Building in October 2018 to protest the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh.”

BUT THEIR PRONOUNS WERE PERFECT: Team USA falls to France at Tokyo Games for first Olympic men’s basketball loss since 2004.

Earlier, from America’s Newspaper of Record: Inspiring: US Women’s Soccer Team To Boycott Scoring Goals Until Racism Is Defeated.

OCEANIA HAS NEVER BEEN AT WAR WITH YOUR LOCAL POLICE DEPARTMENT: Is Joe Biden Calling ‘Defund’ Democrats Crazy?

“Are there people in the Democratic Party who want to defund the police?” a reporter asked the president. Biden snapped back: “Are there people in the Republican Party who think we’re sucking the blood out of kids?” he said to the sound of bewildered silence. Check and mate.

To translate*, Biden’s veiled answer to the question posed by his interlocutor is, yes, of course, some Democrats support defunding the police. But they are as fringe, paranoid, and, indeed, vicious as the Republicans who subscribe to the most unhinged QAnon conspiracies. If that were true, we would be in big trouble. By any objective assessment, the number of Republicans who subscribe to some version of Q’s incomprehensible theories is dwarfed by the amount of elected Democrats who weren’t just amendable to defunding police but tried to translate that slogan into policy.

Flashbacks:

George Soros funneled $1M to defund the police movement as violent crime continues to surge.

Many Big-City Democrat Mayors Defunded Police While Spending Heavily on Their Security Details, Watchdog Finds.

Good Luck With That! Chicago mental health professionals will be dispatched on 911 calls instead of cops following defund the police protests — as gang members now outnumber officers ten to one.

Atlanta mayor says city has been ‘defunding the police’ for the last few years.

Come On, Fact Checkers, Republicans Did Not Defund the Police. “Here’s an easy test to see whether fact-checking websites can make any claim to be ‘independent’ and nonpartisan in tone. Biden staffers claimed Republicans ‘defunded the police.’ That’s a bald-faced lie.”

Revisionist History Now: How Will the Future See ‘Defund the Police’?

White Progressives Shocked to Learn Black and Latino Voters Don’t Share Their Radical ‘defund the Police’ Views.

● Andy McCarthy: Republicans Mustn’t Get Hoodwinked on ‘Defund the Police’ Pivot.

So many receipts, so little time! Check out the many many many times Democrats did indeed call to defund the police (video).

* Also to translate: Joe Biden Had the Opportunity to Denounce ‘Defund the Police.’ But He Says Something Disturbing and Unhinged Instead.

JACKIE MASON: 1928 -2021, May He Rest In Peace (Videos).

JAMES LILEKS ON THE SOCIAL MEDIA VIRUS:

The great thing about Twitter is the way it allows corporations and nobodies to auto-clown in public in the same forum. Imagine picking up Saturday Evening Post in 1935, and there’s a big beautiful ad for a car, or a cigarette, or a bus trip. The height of the advertising craft, with a gorgeous illustration, elegant typefaces unique to the ad, attractive people engaged in the joy of the moment, all cares set aside. Directly across from the ad is a 27-word manifesto from Bob0323423 about how all pencils should be registered with the State.

“That’s impossible,” you say. “Bob couldn’t afford to buy the space.” True. Bob had to write a letter, and get it through the gatekeepers. Thus the magazine appealed to the widest possible audience, at least within the parameters it set, and Bob was resigned to writing his ideas on postcards and mailing them to everyone in the House of Representatives, where they were tossed, unread.

Twitter, let us agree, is not the Saturday Evening Post. Herewith some fun from the last week.

Read the whole thing.

(Classical reference in headline.)

FIGHT THE POWER, STICK IT TO THE MAN: Chicago teacher sues school district after being fired for criticizing city’s violence.

IT’S A SLAVE STATE RUN BY BILLIONAIRES: Nikole Hannah-Jones hails Cuba as among the ‘most equal’ countries.

MANHATTAN GOES SUE ELLEN MISCHKE: “People, in other words, are running around half-naked.”

AT HELEN’S PAGE: Robert Zimmerman’s Conscious Choice: The Origins of Slavery in America and Why it Matters Today and for Our Future in Outer Space.

HOW’S THAT SPACE PROGRAM COMING ALONG? Asteroid the size of Giza pyramid, Taj Mahal to pass ‘close’ to Earth.

R.I.P., Capt. Dale “Snort” Snodgrass, USN.

MISTER, WE COULD USE A MAN LIKE ERIC HOFFER AGAIN: On this day in 1898 … or maybe it was 1902 … and maybe it wasn’t even this day … maybe it was July 15, the great longshoreman-philosopher Eric Hoffer was born. Maybe I’m just being nostalgic, but it seems to me that The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements is still worth a read … maybe now more than ever.

VOTERS ARE FIGURING OUT THAT THEY’RE GETTING IT GOOD AND HARD: Weekly Biden Report Card gives D-: Zogby ‘miserable,’ Babbin says #Bidenflation worsens. “#Bidenflation took a starring role this week. I define it to mean price increases caused by wild government overspending, the prescribed cure for which is more government spending. The Democrats are loading things such as amnesty for illegal immigrants and tax increases in their next $3.5+ trillion spending bill. Republicans thwarted it briefly with a filibuster, but the proponents will likely end-run the filibuster by including it in another budget reconciliation bill. Our national debt is soon going to be over $30 trillion.”

Promises that can’t be honored, won’t be. Debts that can’t be paid, won’t be. Plan accordingly.

PETER WOOD:  Critical Witchcraft Theory.

NOT FITTING THE NARRATIVE: ALERT: Lib Summer Havens Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard Are COVID-19 Hotspots.

AT HELEN’S PAGE: The Weightless Ribbon: Rolling with Ease in Seven Lessons and Driving With Ease. (Bumped)

YES, BUT IN ALL AREAS THE IMPORTANT THING IS FOR THE GENTRY CLASS TO FEEL SUPERIOR: America Is Getting Unvaccinated People All Wrong: They’re not all anti-vaxxers, and treating them as such is making things worse.

QUESTION ASKED: Is the Honeymoon Over? Biden’s Approval Rating Slips to 50 Percent.

Kamala’s polling even worse numbers: “The polls have not been kind to Vice President Kamala Harris of late, with the Real Clear Average of surveys now putting her at an under-water favorability of 44.3 percent — notably lower than her unfavorability of 46.3 percent.”

BUT HE DOESN’T WANT TO BECAUSE HE WORKS FOR THEM: Here’s all the proof Biden needs to conclude Covid-19 was leaked from a lab.

Biden administration officials are suddenly everywhere in the news, warning that the origins of the COVID-19 virus may remain shrouded in mystery for all time.

This curious effort to lower expectations comes as our spy agencies are halfway through the 90-day review that Joe Biden loudly and publicly “ordered” them to conduct back on May 26.

May 26 was, as it happens, the very same day we learned that, a few weeks earlier, Biden had secretly canceled an investigation launched by the Trump administration into exactly the same question.

Damage control? You may draw your own conclusions.

Oh, I have. And my conclusion is that Biden doesn’t want to find out because he works for the Chinese.

ARE YOU A NON-CONFORMIST? “Conformist societies aren’t tolerant.”

Related: It’s easy to be socialist in a free society. It’s impossible to be free in a socialist society.

Also: “A free society is a society where it is safe to be unpopular.”

I REMEMBER WHEN “EPISTEMIC CLOSURE” WAS SUPPOSED TO BE BAD: WaPo columnist lives in a partisan bubble and he likes it.

July 24, 2021

BUT THEY OPPOSED TRUMP BECAUSE “DECENCY.” The Lincoln Project celebrates intrusive rudeness.

Of course, by “decency” what they always meant was “grift.” Then there’s the tolerated sexual predation.

Plus:

None of this is new. For years the left has encouraged its side to harass conservatives. Whether it’s Obama telling supporters to “get in their faces,” or Maxine Waters telling progressives to harass Trump admin officials, or the violence of Antifa and BLM in the streets. And they can get away with it because if any conservative responds as would be appropriate- a punch in the mouth- there’s a progressive DA ready and willing to pursue all charges for the maximum penalties. All this is amplified by social media, which allows these nutjobs to become progressive heroes and get their fifteen minutes of fame.

Click, click, click goes the ratchet, and conservatives continue to buy more guns…

Well, understanding that actions have consequences isn’t what the left does.

RIP: Jackie Mason Dies: Rabbi Who Later Rose To Fame As A Comedian, Actor & Author Was 93.

As a comedian, Mason released albums including I Am the Greatest Comedian in the World, Only Nobody Knows It Yet! and I Want to Leave You With the Words of a Great Comedian. Mason was also well known for writing and performing in plays and one-man shows including The World According to Me, which earned him a Special Tony Award, an Outer Critics Circle Award, an ACE Award, an Emmy and a Grammy nomination.

Mason appeared in TV series including The Simpsons, featuring on the film side in titles such as The Stoolie (1972), Steve Martin’s The Jerk (1979) and Mel Brooks’ History of the World, Part I.

He and Myron Cohen were perfectly cast as the voices of the robot tailors in Woody Allen’s Sleeper:

OPEN THREAD: Green grass and high tides forever.

THE PUBLIC ISN’T ACTUALLY BUYING WHAT THE PEOPLE RUNNING THINGS ARE SELLING: ‘Today Show’ Ratings Crater to 30-Year Low.

JAMES LILEKS FISKS an ignorant socialist.

And I just recently shared his famous Olive Garden screed with my daughter.

MICHAEL WALSH: The FBI is made of snitches, often trapping Americans into committing crimes.

UPDATE: FBI Delenda Est-But No Cato or Scipio Are In Sight.

After all, the FBI had advanced warnings about the Pulse nightclub shooter, the Parkland HS shooter, the Fort Hood shooter, and the San Bernardino shooters. Yet they all blazed away unmolested by our vigilant Federal dicks. (I also wonder about the Las Vegas shooter, whom the FBI cannot even figure out ex post. Or supposedly can’t. Maybe their ex post befuddlement is an attempt to conceal ex ante knowledge.)” . . .

The FBI operates as the elite’s political police. Not the president’s–as demonstrated by its concerted campaign to get Trump. The elite’s/oligarchy’s/ruling class’/administrative state’s political police.

(The FBI also shanked Nixon, BTW. Cf. Mark Felt.)

What is the FBI good at? Setting up mouth breathers to commit crimes, whom it can then arrest and then claim with great fanfare to have protected us from. If you look at most of the high profile terrorism cases the FBI prosecuted post-911, they were low-IQ losers cajoled by FBI informants (operating, of course, at the direction or at least strong suggestion of FBI agents) into committing crimes.

Most recently, the hair-on-fire claims about the allegedly dastardly plot to assassinate Wretched Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, appear to be less than a real threat than another prêt-à-porter FBI setup, with 12–12!–FBI informants/provocateurs outnumbering the actual dim bulb alleged conspirators.

But this is just one part of the bill of particulars against the FBI. It has also proved shockingly inept (to give it the benefit of the doubt) or complicit in some horrible crimes.

For example, in addition to the terrorism fails mentioned above, it let serial sex offender Larry Nasser operate with impunity for years. Its response to the revelations by the DOJ IG? Not even a “whoops, my bad.” It had copious information on Jeffrey Epstein whom it also allowed to continue his romps for years. (Given Bill Clinton’s and others’ involvement with Epstein, this may have been part of its political police function.) And just recently, FBI agent David Harris was arrested by Louisiana authorities–n.b. state authorities, not the FBI itself–for a sickening trail of child sexual abuse.

Again, in each case: incompetent, or complicit?

In the Nasser case (and others) an FBI agent lied when being questioned. If you or I lie when the FBI questions us–hard Federal time. They lie? No biggie!

Indeed.

I GOT MY GAMES last week, hope you will order yours.
The Virtue Signal game is still in stock but the Deplorables game is now out. So if you want the Virtue Signal game, order now before it runs out.

LIKE ALL WOKE CULTURE, IT’S BEEN FOISTED ON US BY A BULLYING MINORITY WITH MEDIA ASSISTANCE: The End of “Cancel Culture”? Young Americans may return us to a culture of compassion and forgiveness.

Overall, cancel culture is quite unpopular among all cohorts, with each generation viewing it more negatively than positively. Millennials appeared to be most supportive of cancel culture: 19 percent said they had a positive view of it, while 22 percent were neutral, 36 percent were opposed to it, and 22 percent said they had no opinion.

Perhaps surprisingly, given its progressive leanings and similar social and political beliefs to the millennial generation, Gen Z was the cohort most opposed to cancel culture: 55 percent said they had a negative view of cancel culture, 8 percent were supportive of it, 18 percent were neutral, and 19 percent had no opinion. Moreover, it’s the youngest cohort within Gen Z—currently ages 13 to 16—who are most opposed to cancel culture, with 59 percent having a negative view of it. That number falls to 48 percent for the oldest cohort within Gen Z—ages 21 through 24.

Morning Consult didn’t offer any theories about why this sizable split may exist between and within the generations. One possible explanation is that hypersensitivity may simply be a fad that is starting to burn itself out.

We can hope.

AN INTERVIEW WITH MATT RIDLEY: How Science Lost The Public’s Trust.

“Science” has become a political catchword. “I believe in science,” Joe Biden tweeted six days before he was elected president. “ Donald Trump doesn’t. It’s that simple, folks.”

But what does it mean to believe in science? The British science writer Matt Ridley draws a pointed distinction between “science as a philosophy” and “science as an institution.” The former grows out of the Enlightenment, which Mr. Ridley defines as “the primacy of rational and objective reasoning.” The latter, like all human institutions, is erratic, prone to falling well short of its stated principles. Mr. Ridley says the Covid pandemic has “thrown into sharp relief the disconnect between science as a philosophy and science as an institution.” . . .

Vaccines have been central to the question of “misinformation” and the White House’s pressure campaign against social media to censor it. Mr. Ridley worries about the opposite problem: that social media “is complicit in enforcing conformity.” It does this “through ‘fact checking,’ mob pile-ons, and direct censorship, now explicitly at the behest of the Biden administration.” He points out that Facebook and Wikipedia long banned any mention of the possibility that the virus leaked from a Wuhan laboratory.

“Conformity,” Mr. Ridley says, “is the enemy of scientific progress, which depends on disagreement and challenge. Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts, as [the physicist Richard] Feynman put it.” Mr. Ridley reserves his bluntest criticism for “science as a profession,” which he says has become “rather off-puttingly arrogant and political, permeated by motivated reasoning and confirmation bias.” Increasing numbers of scientists “seem to fall prey to groupthink, and the process of peer-reviewing and publishing allows dogmatic gate-keeping to get in the way of new ideas and open-minded challenge.”

The World Health Organization is a particular offender: “We had a dozen Western scientists go to China in February and team up with a dozen Chinese scientists under the auspices of the WHO.” At a subsequent press conference they pronounced the lab-leak theory “extremely unlikely.” The organization also ignored Taiwanese cries for help with Covid-19 in January 2020. “The Taiwanese said, ‘We’re picking up signs that this is a human-to-human transmission that threatens a major epidemic. Please, will you investigate?’ And the WHO basically said, ‘You’re from Taiwan. We’re not allowed to talk to you.’ ”

He notes that WHO’s primary task is forestalling pandemics. Yet in 2015 it “put out a statement saying that the greatest threat to human health in the 21st century is climate change. Now that, to me, suggests an organization not focused on the day job.”

In Mr. Ridley’s view, the scientific establishment has always had a tendency “to turn into a church, enforcing obedience to the latest dogma and expelling heretics and blasphemers.” This tendency was previously kept in check by the fragmented nature of the scientific enterprise: Prof. A at one university built his career by saying that Prof. B’s ideas somewhere else were wrong. In the age of social media, however, “the space for heterodoxy is evaporating.” So those who believe in science as philosophy are increasingly estranged from science as an institution. It’s sure to be a costly divorce.

Everything run by the global ruling class becomes church-like, except, oddly, actual churches.

Plus:

Mr. Ridley notes that the question of Covid’s origin has “mostly been tackled by people outside the mainstream scientific establishment.” People inside not only have been “disappointingly incurious” but have tried to shut down the inquiry “to protect the reputation of science as an institution.” The most obvious reason for this resistance: If Covid leaked from a lab, and especially if it developed there, “science finds itself in the dock.”

Other factors have been at play as well. Scientists are as sensitive as other elites to charges of racism, which the Communist Party used to evade questions about specifically Chinese practices “such as the trade in wildlife for food or lab experiments on bat coronaviruses in the city of Wuhan.”

Scientists are a global guild, and the Western scientific community has “come to have a close relationship with, and even a reliance on, China.”

The Chinese must be astounded at how easy it has been to suborn our institutions.

AT HELEN’S PAGE: Fun gifts for kids at MomentToMemorybyMel or how about some Alpaca socks for yourself?

BRING ME MY WARP DRIVE: Electromagnetism is a property of the spacetime itself, study finds.

SUPERSREADER EVENT FINALLY BURNING ITSELF OUT: Texas Democrats unravel — “I’m just pissed off” that Biden won’t meet with them.

GREAT MOMENTS IN TROLLING: The racist Cleveland Guardians baseball team must be renamed.

This country is experiencing a long overdue racial reckoning — and the city of Cleveland and Major League Baseball have failed another major test. The new name for the professional baseball franchise in Cleveland — Guardians — must go. As several states work to remove imperialistic statues of cis white men, the city of Cleveland has reached into its racist past to honor them. This is not the progress that Nikole Hannah-Jones has been dreaming of.

The new mascot, for the team that will henceforth only be referenced as the ‘Cleveland Baseball Team’, is supposedly a reference to four giant stone statues that ‘guard’ the Hope Memorial Bridge just outside the city’s stadium. Hope Memorial Bridge was named after comedian and long-dead old white man, Bob Hope, who made problematic sexist and homophobic jokes over the course of his career. The statues loom over the stadium. They also loom over any progress that is expected to be made in the wake of the George Floyd murder a year ago.

Read the whole troll.

VISIONS OF THE ANOINTED: Thomas Sowell vs. “The Anointed Charlie Rose” — Shares personal stories on Clarence Thomas & Milton Friedman (video).

NEWS YOU CAN USE: 3 Essential Tips for Personal Defense.

DISPATCHES FROM THE INTERSECTION OF COVID ONE YEAR AGO AND SOMEONE SET UP US THE BOMB: Black Lives Matter protests may have slowed overall spread of coronavirus in Denver and other cities, new study finds.

SORRY, I WANT MY FLYING CAR, NOT SOME SOY-BOY LEFTY WISHLIST: We Don’t Need a Jetsons Future, Just a Sustainable One: “Cozy futurism” reimagines tech for the greater good. “What if, instead of self-driving cars, digital assistants whispering in our ears, and virtual-reality glasses, we viewed a technologically advanced society as one where everyone had sustainable housing? Where we could manage and then reduce the amount of carbon in our atmosphere?”

Imagine a future without annoying lefties. I wonder if you can.

I HOPE WE’RE NOT TOO MESSIANIC, OR A TRIFLE TOO TRUNALIMUNUMAPRZURE: President Biden: ‘I Don’t Care if You Think I’m Satan Reincarnated.’

I’M NOT ONE OF THEM, BUT A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE SCARED OF NEEDLES: Making the case for intranasal COVID-19 vaccines.

WELL, THIS IS THE 21st CENTURY, YOU KNOW: Florida’s First 3D-Printed Home Under Construction Amid Housing Affordability Crisis.

ILYA SOMIN: Thoughts on the Sixth Circuit Ruling Against the CDC Eviction Moratorium. “The ruling is unsurprising. But it does further strengthen the case against the moratorium, and increases the odds the issue might eventually make it to the Supreme Court.”

MARK JUDGE: The Drop: Surfing, Addiction and God.

JOURNALISTS ARE “CENTERING” THEIR “TRAUMA” BECAUSE IT ENABLES THEM TO ACQUIRE POWER:

The state of the media industry is such that journalists are now incentivized to be as effusive as possible in professing how emotionally unstable they are. Why? Because it’s a surefire way to bolster their pleas for a redress of various workplace or personal grievances. No longer are these psychological issues thought to be best dealt with in the privacy of a therapist’s office, or among trusted confidants. Instead, these journalists create a public spectacle, beckoning colleagues to flood their tweet threads and affirm unstinting support. When Taylor Lorenz of the New York Times recounted her own emotional turmoil stemming from allegedly “violent” online criticism, the International Women’s Media Foundation, an NGO devoted to “[recognizing] badass female journalists and photographers whose courage sets them apart,” issued a rousing statement in her defense.

Subsequently, these journalists’ union representation will rush to amplify their grievances by echoing the therapeutic trauma jargon, such as stating matter-of-factly that the workplace policy decisions at the Washington Post are not just ill-advised, poorly-conceived, or even unfair — but “harmful.” Obviously, this harm cannot be externally adjudicated because one’s harm must never be subject to contestation or (god forbid) falsification. So the logic goes, every person has the right to say they are harmed without ever having the legitimacy of that harm questioned, because to question the harm compounds the harm. The New York Times appears to be completely on board with this new harassment/harm framework. With results like these, it’s only rational that more and more journalists are employing therapeutic trauma jargon to advance their professional and social self-interest.

Read the whole thing. When the Times’ crybully staffers melted down over Tom Cotton’s op-ed last year, claiming en masse that “Running this puts Black @NYTimes staff in danger,” I wonder if any long-serving Timesmen who reported from, oh, say, Fallujah or Kabul thought about such melodramatic rhetoric.

HOW LONG UNTIL THEY FIND SOME THAT ORIGINATED ON EARTH? Scientists unveil European Mars rover’s meteorite-hunting instruments. After all, we find Martian meteorites on Earth regularly.

THE POWER LINE WEEK IN PICTURES: Blowout Edition.

WILL BARNETTE: There is No Conservative Case for Class Actions. Not sure I agree with that.

AT HELEN’S PAGE: You can get signed copies of Kurt Schlichter’s new book The Split.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: University debuts nation’s first bachelor’s degree in diversity, equity and inclusion.

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