September 22, 2021

SOMEBODY ORCHESTRATED THIS: This, as in the growing crisis on our Southern border. Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Joshua Trevino has a lengthy but incredibly revealing and disturbing report from the border. It is quite likely much worse than you imagined.

WHAT COULD GO WRONG? San Francisco is finally building tiny cabins for homeless people. One reason: it may be cheaper than tents.

After years of resistance, San Francisco is finally jumping onto the trend of sheltering homeless people in tiny homes, with plans to install them on two parking lots about nine blocks away from City Hall.

The lots at 33 Gough St., between Market and Mission streets, have been used since December as a city-sanctioned “safe sleeping village,” holding 44 tents for unhoused people while they get counseling aimed at routing them into permanent homes. Those tents will be replaced by late fall with 70 tiny homes, dubbed cabins, similar to those already in use for years in Oakland, the Peninsula and San Jose.

Each 64-square-foot cabin will have a steel frame, 2-inch-thick walls, heat, a desk, a bed and a window. The revamped village will get improved bathrooms, storage spaces and a dining area.

The cost of up to $1.7 million for building and installing the cabins, along with the dining and other facilities, will be paid for by the nonprofits DignityMoves and Tipping Point Community. The cabins will remain for 18 months, when the lease the city signed for using the parking lots as outdoor shelter spaces runs out.

Related: It’s mental health, stupid: How Team Biden misunderstands homeless crisis.

What links all these troubled populations is a desperate need for treatment. There was a time not long ago when we understood this — and every state maintained an extensive network of residential psychiatric hospitals to provide care, or at least try to do so.

Now tent encampments (and jails and prisons) have replaced those inpatient facilities. The Treatment Advocacy Center reports that 20 percent of those in jails and 15 percent of those in prisons are estimated to suffer from serious mental illness: “Los Angeles County Jail, Chicago’s Cook County Jail and New York’s Riker’s Island Jail each hold more mentally ill inmates than any remaining psychiatric hospital in the United States.”

The total behind bars: as many as 383,000.

These are unfortunate souls who could be helped by treatment — but who lack the financial means to get private care or a practical publicly supported alternative. In other cases, their disease itself prevents them from realizing they need help, and the autonomy-obsessed, libertarian approach pushed by activists bars governments from offering involuntary inpatient treatment.

Exit quote: “We don’t leave those suffering from most ailments to forage for food from garbage cans, as many homeless must. We provide treatment, including through Medicare and Medicaid. Yet we pretend that the mentally ill, addicted souls on our streets just need more government housing. They are being cruelly used by subsidized-housing advocates, the activists who first started applying the very term homeless to them and who believe that government-provided housing is the universal substitute for a flawed private housing market.”

SHOCKER: After Mandating Masks Outdoors, Oregon’s Active COVID-19 Cases Increased 73 Percent.

OPEN THREAD: Ain’t no fury like a woman scorned.

OLD AND BUSTED: Biden launches review of Guantanamo prison, aims to close it before leaving office.

—Reuters, February 12th.

The New Hotness? Biden Administration Eyes Guantanamo Bay To Hold Migrants.

Forbes, today.

SHOCKER: Boeing’s next Starliner test launch for NASA may slip to 2022: Starliner’s valve issue remains unresolved.

Flashback: Boeing’s Spaceship Problems Show Just How Amazing Musk’s SpaceX Is.

DISPATCHES FROM THE HOUSE OF STEPHANOPOULOS: Joy Behar Snubs Bill Clinton Accusers: ‘Real Victim’ Was Hillary!

The View co-host Joy Behar callously dismissed the women who accused former President Bill Clinton of sexual assault and rape as “so-called victims,” on Wednesday’s show. She went on to passionately argue that Hillary Clinton was “the real victim,” and America, for losing such a worthy would-be president.

The hosts were discussing whether or not Monica Lewinsky should be considered a victim of Bill Clinton and whether he faced any consequences. Talking about his impeachment, Ana Navarro claimed that Democrats would’ve impeached him today, because they “tend to hold themselves and their own accountable and to a higher standard.”

Related: Bill Clinton lays out a stark choice for voters in his Democratic National Convention speech.

—CNBC, August 18th, 2020.

ANNALS OF LEFTIST AUTOPHAGY: Maxine Waters bashes Biden for ‘whipping’ of Haitian migrants and calls it worse than slavery: ‘What the hell are we doing here?!’

“And I want to know in the first place, who is paying these cowboys to do this work? They got to be gotten rid of! They got to be stopped! It cannot go on!” she continued.

Waters had previously pushed the false accusation that the Border Patrol agents had used whips on the migrants.

For her Wednesday media briefing, she instead said that they had used their reins to whip the migrants away.

She also called for the children at the Del Rio encampment that want to come to the U.S. be allowed in immediately.

“Let people know that they trying to take us back to slavery days! And worse than that!” she yelled.

More here: Maxine Waters Has the Craziest Remark You May Find on the CBP and Haitians.

But funny thing, on top of all that, is Waters saying that it is “worse than what WE witnessed in slavery.” I know that Waters is bordering on ancient, right up there with the rest of the over-80 Democratic crew like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), but I didn’t know that she was actually so old that she had witnessed slavery which hasn’t been around since 1865. Tell me more, please, Maxine? And she didn’t “witness” what happened in Del Rio either. Because had she “witnessed” it, she would have known there were no whips and no one was whipped.

Earlier: Border Patrol Debunks the Fake ‘Whipping’ Haitians Story but Media Doesn’t Care About the Truth.

After Biden’s infamous smear that Mitt Romney would “put you all back in chains” in 2012, Biden deserves everything he’s getting from Waters.

Related: Why Trump Didn’t Have a Haitian-Migrant Crisis.

Trump was willing to use sticks, and not just carrots, to ensure cooperation from Mexico and Northern Triangle countries.

Morgan cites the importance of Trump’s “commitment that if Mexico didn’t step up he was going to take very specific actions on tariffs. The same thing with the Northern Triangle countries where relief and assistance was temporarily removed until they stood up and did what they needed to do to address this as a regional crisis.”

By last year, the former administration official says, “the relationship we had with Mexico was in a very solid place.” The Mexicans had initially been skeptical of the Trump approach but changed their view when it began to show results. “They saw,” he adds, “that suddenly their border towns weren’t overwhelmed. Suddenly their immigration services weren’t overwhelmed.” So the Trump team and its Mexican counterparts had, he continues, “this professional understanding that a little bit of preventative work today would prevent a much bigger problem tomorrow.”

Morgan points out that caravans that gathered to our south in 2020 didn’t go through. The Mexicans, Morgan says, “increased their southern border enforcement between them and Guatemala. So, Guatemala stepped up. A lot of the caravans were stopped in Guatemala before they even reached the Guatemala–Mexico border. And those that got through Guatemala, Mexican officials stopped.”

But hey, no mean tweets anymore.

UPDATE (FROM GLENN): Via a friend:

WHEN THINGS GET SO BIG, I DON’T TRUST THEM AT ALL. YOU WANT SOME CONTROL, YOU’VE GOT TO KEEP IT SMALL: The triumph of bedroom pop. From Joe Meek to Taylor Swift: a short history of lo-fi.

I must have been about 16 when I got my first Portastudio. The compact home recording unit had first been introduced by Japanese electronics firm Teac in 1979, offering unprecedented multitrack dubbing to the bed-bound amateur musician. For a little less than $1,000, you could record four separate tracks of instrumentation — as much as the Beatles had when making Sgt. Pepper — on an ordinary cassette tape. By the time I got my teenage hands on a four-track machine of my own, that price had come down by an order of magnitude. It was a chunky little unit in pigeon blue with just two microphone sockets and a small handful of mixing dials for volume control and stereo panning. Anything you fed into it would be squashed and smudged into its limited dynamic range and smeared all over with a waterfall of tape hiss. But to me that little box was magic.

Recording music myself in the comfort of my bedroom made sound into something plastic. It gave me a sense of agency and allowed me to think in a different, more holistic, but also more experimental way. At that time, most of the songs in the charts and on the radio seemed to be made in big, expensive studios with mixing boards that looked as though they could launch a space shuttle, by highly paid producers wielding microphones that cost, individually, more than everything I owned put together. My friends and I were grabbing beats from the presets on toy Casio keyboards, plugging our guitars directly into the Portastudio jack inputs, then turning the tape over so the sound would play backwards, looping the signal from a daisy chain of cheap effects boxes until it fed back a sound that fooled my friend Marc’s older brother into thinking we had a Moog synthesizer. We bought records by artists with an aesthetic (almost) as scrappy as our own, poring over the badly photocopied sleeves of short-run CDs issued by micro-labels in Nottingham, Wetherby and Olympia, Washington. Never would I have imagined that scarcely more than two decades later, some of the biggest pop stars on the planet would be embracing lo-fi aesthetics and making records in their bedrooms just like us.

To be fair, people are making records on laptops in their bedrooms these days, because digital audio workstation (DAW) software is ubiquitous, and as such, it’s done much to kill the traditional recording studio. Also, it’s much cheaper for an artist to rent a real studio to bring the band in to record the drum tracks, and then everything else can be edited and overdubbed at home, in a small project studio, or a bedroom with some decent acoustic treatment on the walls.

And the notion that “For a little less than $1,000, you could record four separate tracks of instrumentation — as much as the Beatles had when making Sgt. Pepper — on an ordinary cassette tape,” isn’t quite true. I’m surprised that Fostex never got sued for false claims for this mid-’80s ad:

Sure you can make the next Sgt. Pepper — you just need John, Paul, George, Ringo, George Martin, and engineer Geoff Emerick, and plonk them down into one of the best equipped recording studios in the world. And hire plenty of sidemen to play the exotic instruments that the Fab Four couldn’t. And an orchestra for the finale. Oh, and ditch the hissy cassette four-track which jams all those tracks onto a 1/8th” wide audio cassette, and invest in a few Studer J-37 reel-to-reel machines, which spreads the four tracks over one-inch-wide tape for infinitely greater fidelity. And noticed I said “a few.” Martin and his engineers used two J-37s synced together to record the massive orchestral overdubs on Pepper’s closing track, “A Day in the Life.” There was also an additional reel-to-reel recorder that ran when mixing to create the Beatles’ famous Artificial Double-Tracking (ADT) effect on many of their lead vocals. But hey, other all of that, you’re good to go with a portable Fostex X-15 cassette recorder!

To be fair though, the impact of the cassette four-tracks of the 1980s was long-lasting: it democratized music recording and songwriting; and it’s not a coincidence that several of us early bloggers had our roots tinkering in that earlier DIY-era.

Speaking of which, classical reference in headline:

 

SCIENCE! Study: More women using marijuana to help ease menopause symptoms.

FASTER, PLEASE: Study finds that catheter-based valve replacement helps more heart patients.

RAN ACROSS MY OLD InstaVision interview with Camille Paglia. Still fun to watch.

IRON DOME FLAP PUTS DEMS’ ANTI-SEMITISM ON FRONT BURNER: Jeff Dunetz at The Lid has the full story on how and why it happened — in a word, bigotry — and why there remains hope that $1 billion in Iron Dome funding for Israel will yet be approved by Congress.

THE VIRTUE SIGNAL GAME SEEMS MORE LIKE REALITY THAN A GAME: You can still get all the games on sale here. They make fun gifts for those in your life who would get the humor or maybe even better for those who don’t.

CONFUSION ABOUT THE MEANING OF “AXIOM.”

STILL #1 IN ARGENTINIAN HISTORY: The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse.

IT’S FAIR TO CONCLUDE THEY JUST WANT PEOPLE DEAD: Bureaucrats and Politicians Seem Determined To Cripple a Lifesaving Alternative to Smoking.

GUN CONTROL IS PEOPLE CONTROL: The Media Make It Clear The Problem Isn’t The Guns, It’s You.

ANOTHER RED LINE CROSSED WITHOUT CONSEQUENCE: Another Russian Ransomware Attack on America’s Food Supply Because Nobody Takes Biden Seriously.

SARAH HOYT’S SHOCKED FACE IS STUCK LIKE THAT: UC Berkeley’s latest ‘cluster hire’ fails to add intellectual diversity. “Maya Carrasquillo, one of the new hires, describes herself as a ‘Social Justice Engineer’ and ‘Scholar Activist’ whose research combines critical race theory with environmental studies and urban infrastructure.”

SHE’S NOT WRONG: Marcia Lucas Was ‘Furious’ Over Star Wars Sequel Trilogy: ‘They Don’t Get It.’

“They don’t get it,” Lucas writes. “And J.J. Abrams is writing these stories — when I saw the movie where they kill Han Solo, I was furious… Absolutely, positively there was no rhyme or reason to it. I thought, You don’t get the Jedi story. You don’t get the magic of Star Wars. You’re getting rid of Han Solo? And then at the end of this last one, they have Luke disintegrate. They killed Han Solo. They killed Luke Skywalker. And they don’t have Princess Leia anymore. And they’re spitting out movies every year.”

Lucas seems to have little love for Daisy Ridley’s Rey either, pointing to the many unanswered questions surrounding the character and her background pre-Episode IX (when this foreword appears to have been commissioned).

“And they think it’s important to appeal to a woman’s audience, so now their main character is this female, who’s supposed to have Jedi powers, but we don’t know how she got Jedi powers, or who she is. It sucks. The storylines are terrible. Terrible. Just awful.”

If you loved the original Star Wars — and who doesn’t? — Marcia Lucas is a big reason why, having saved her ex-husband’s movie in the editing bay: Five Ways Marcia Lucas Gave Star Wars Its Heart.

I’VE SEEN THE LOCKDOWNS AND THE DAMAGE DONE: COVID has made it tougher for some young kids to communicate.

COVID MAKES FOR STRANGE BEDFELLOWS: When It Comes to Vaccine Mandates, Black Lives Matter Agrees with… Tucker Carlson?!?

If Tucker Carlson is a murderer for opposing vaccine mandates, what does that make BLM supporters who oppose vaccine mandates? Where’s the goofy video about them? Are these Democrat political action committees so afraid of being called racists that they won’t save these misguided African-American anti-vaxxers from themselves?

I don’t believe vaccine mandates are racist. I also don’t believe vaccine mandates are American. You should be able to refuse for any reason, no matter how ridiculous. It’s not up to anybody else to tell you what to put in your body, and the more they try to coerce you, the less you should trust them.

Yes, I’m vaccinated. No, it’s nobody’s business but my own.

So I stand with BLM on this one. Doing the right thing for the wrong reasons is still the right thing.

Guess that’s just my white privilege talking!

Earlier: “Why Bill de Blasio’s COVID Passport Edict Is About to Backfire Hard:” “Black Americans remain the demographic that’s least likely to be vaccinated in the city. I’m just shocked it took this long for the liberals to shoot themselves in the foot on this one. Why would Mayor Bill de Blasio pass such a racist edict? You think you know someone, huh? No, but seriously, he chucked this boomerang and it’s about to break his face. So much for being part of those BLM murals over the summer, huh, Bill?”

RESTORING TRUST IN THE WHITE HOUSE OR WHATEVER: OUCH: Biden’s Approval Ratings Hit a New Grim Milestone.

LOW-FAT DAIRY IS OVERRATED: Sticking to low-fat dairy may not be the only heart healthy option, study shows. “New research amongst the world’s biggest consumers of dairy foods has shown that those with higher intakes of dairy fat—measured by levels of fatty acids in the blood—had a lower risk of cardiovascular disease compared to those with low intakes. Higher intakes of dairy fat were not associated with an increased risk of death.”

They told us the dietary science was settled.

REMEMBER ‘WRONG-WAY FELDMAN?’ No, probably not, but the guys at Issues & Insights do and they suggest “Wrong-Way Biden” is now the appropriate title for the guy in the White House who appears to also be lost in the clouds.

CHANGE? Why Democrats are getting squeamish about taxing the moderately rich. “It’s notable that the most avid supporters of SALT cap repeal in Congress haven’t limited themselves to arguing the provision hurts Democrats or makes it harder for states to raise taxes. Rather, they’ve deployed the kind of unabashed anti-tax rhetoric that until recently was almost exclusively the domain of the GOP.”

Trump’s SALT deduction cap continues to pay interesting political dividends.

JUST PAY SPACEX TO BUILD ONE? U.S. must prepare now to replace International Space Station, experts urge.

BIDEN VOTERS POSTING THEIR L’S ONLINE:

● Shot: Meghan McCain: Who knew Biden would turn out to be this awful?

—Ed Morrissey, Hot Air, today.

● Chaser: Meghan McCain talks to Joe Biden ‘all the time.’

—CNN, August 2nd, 2018.

OLD AND BUSTED: Genetically engineered Frankenfood is a “gigantic experiment with nature and the whole of humanity which has gone seriously wrong.”

THE NEW HOTNESS: Let’s make lettuce that gives you an mRNA vaccine when you eat it! “[We] have long-term goals of people growing it in their own gardens… Farmers could also eventually grow entire fields of it.”

Dr. Ian Malcom’s wisdom is needed now more than ever.

I REMEMBER WHEN THE PRESS WAS DUMPING ON RON DESANTIS FOR CHAMPIONING THIS TREATMENT: Study: Monoclonal antibodies reduce COVID-19 hospitalization, death risk.

GETTING MORE RELEVANT EVERYDAY: Street Survival Skills: Tips, Tricks and Tactics for Modern Survival.

10 REASONS TO REJECT VACCINE PASSPORTS: Australian authorities have taken a much more authoritarian approach in several respects than the U.S. to dealing with the Covid pandemic and the availability of vaccines. So perhaps it shouldn’t surprise that an Aussie blogger, Kurt Mahlburg of Cross and Culture, offers a convincing case against vaccine passports that applies here in the states, too.

TRUNALIMUNUMAPRZURE! We need to talk about Joe Biden:

After his speech to the UNGA, he still had a bilateral meeting with Boris Johnson at the White House. As such, Biden’s staff made sure he was armed with a laminated notecard for the meeting, which contained commands like ‘sit’, ‘stay’ and ‘roll over’.

Not really, but the notes snapped by an eagle-eyed press photographer did remind the President to welcome Johnson to the White House and speak positively about the relationship between the UK and the US. An easy thing to forget for a president, apparently.

The most shameful portion of the sit-down, however, came when the leaders began to interact with the press in the room. Biden derisively replied ‘good luck’ when Johnson suggested the pair take questions from the pool reporters then refused to call on any members of the American media.

Once Johnson had taken questions from the British press, Biden’s wranglers cut the British PM off mid-sentence, yelling at the media to leave the room. Biden eventually appeared prepared to respond to a question about the border from CBS’s Ed O’Keefe, but the wranglers continued to shout so that reporters could not hear the President’s answer.

More here: White House Reporters File ‘Formal Complaint’ Against Biden After Aides Shout Them out of Oval Office.

XI’S GOTTA HAVE IT! Twitter Cedes Taiwan to China: “China has finally taken control of Taiwan, according to social networking giant Twitter, which redirects some searches for the word Taiwan to results for the word China. China’s regime has long laid claim to Taiwan, an independent island founded by those fleeing communism. Journalist Jeryl Bier on Friday morning noticed Twitter’s discrepancy, which mirrors Chinese Communist Party talking points. The Washington Free Beacon confirmed the pattern and estimated that between four and five tweets with the word China show up for every one that references Taiwan.”

FILE UNDER SHOW-BIZ HYPOCRISY: The networks are virtue signaling as hard as they can, by creating this pablum. Meanwhile:

FASTER, PLEASE: Hannah Cox: 4 Ways Americans Are Fighting Back Against Anti-Science COVID Restrictions. “What’s more American than apple pie? Civil disobedience.”

I LOVE A LITTLE BLUE-ON-BLUE ACTION: Abandon Ship! Progressive Caucus Threatens to Bail on Infrastructure Deal. “Progressive Congresscritter Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) told CNN’s Jake Tapper Tuesday afternoon that her caucus is more than willing to torpedo the smaller bipartisan bill if they don’t get their way on the bigger bill.”

WELL, THE MOST OBVIOUS TELL IS WHEN THEY’RE A JOURNALIST: Here’s How to Tell Within 5 Minutes If Someone Isn’t as Smart as They Think.

DAVID MARCUS: Newsom, Dems all about racism until Larry Elder is attacked.

It began with the Los Angeles Times running a piece claiming that Elder is the “Black face of White supremacy,” a claim that was repeated by an official speaker at a Newsom event. After that, Elder was accosted by a person wearing a gorilla mask who threw an egg at him.

We all know that if this had happened to a Black Democrat, we would be days into a national conversation about systemic racism. But Elder is a Black conservative, so that isn’t happening.

What lies at the root of this hypocrisy? Why would the media and the country’s elite who are so quick to bemoan the supposed racism of America suddenly go silent at such obvious examples? The answer is that Black conservatives are the greatest possible threat to the established political order.

The Black vote is the bedrock foundation of the Democratic Party’s power structure. And because of the geographical demographics of the Black vote, it holds serious sway in big cities and big states. There is nothing that could unravel the party as quickly or efficiently as a significant movement to the right by Black voters. That’s why the blatant racism directed at Elder is whitewashed.

Read the whole thing.

WOKE: How Racial Anxiety Conquered an Orchestra and Crushed a Career.

Most people haven’t heard of James Zimmermann, but most have heard him. A decorated musician with a long string of acoustic accolades, Zimmermann, 39, has made the sound of his clarinet difficult to avoid. He played at President Barack Obama’s second inaugural, has recorded tracks for best-selling video games, and helped create Walt Disney World’s new theme.

Zimmermann was also the principal clarinetist of the Nashville Symphony Orchestra for more than a decade—that is, until the orchestra fired him last February over accusations of racial harassment. To hear his accusers tell it, Zimmermann had insulted, intimidated, and even stalked his black colleagues, going so far as to menacingly drive by their homes. Human resources had already warned the clarinetist in 2019 that his behaviors could be grounds for dismissal, the orchestra claimed in its termination letter to Zimmermann. His refusal to heed that warning was ostensibly why he was fired in 2020.

But six of Zimmermann’s ex-colleagues and the orchestra’s own documents tell a very different story. They suggest that Zimmermann himself was the target of a witch hunt, instigated by a black oboist whom Zimmermann had stuck his neck out to help.

This is a fascinating story, well told.

MANY OF US ALREADY HAVE BUT IT ISN’T YET ENOUGH: How Far Will COVID-19 Medical Authoritarianism Go Before We Say ‘Enough’?

THE WHEELS ARE COMING OFF THE CLOWN CAR: White House Reporters File Formal Complaint Against Biden For Refusing To Answer Questions. “The entire editorial component of the U.S. pool went immediately into Jen Psaki’s office to register a formal complaint that no American reporters were recognized for questions in the president’s Oval Office, and that wranglers loudly shouted over the president as he seemed to give an answer to Ed O’Keefe’s question about the situation at the Southern Border.”

IN NYC, IT’S THE COMMIES VS. THE KARENS: Black Lives Matter to NYC: COVID Vaccine ‘Mandate Will Not be Another Racist Social-Distance Practice.’

Related: “As of today, only 38% of Black New Yorkers are vaccinated. The fact that over 60% of the Black community in New York City can’t eat inside Carmine’s is, of course, discrimination. But it’s not discrimination by Carmine’s. It was forced on them by an out-to-lunch Mayor Bill de Blasio and a complacent city that does not question directives that make no sense.”

THE DECLINE OF ERWIN CHEMERINSKY: ‘Partisan hacks’: Law school dean criticizes SCOTUS justices appointed by Republicans.

Jonathan Turley calls it a “bizarre statement.” It is.

BOMBSHELL BUT HARDLY SHOCKING: Former Biden Border Chief Makes Bombshell Accusations Against Administration. “Of grave concern is the fact that the Secretary and other political appointees within DHS have provided factually incorrect information to Congressional Representatives and to the American public. Furthermore, they have directed USBP personnel to allow otherwise ineligible aliens to remain in the U.S. inconsistent with the … established legal processes and law.”

HECKUVA JOB, JOE: ISIS terrorist who killed US troops in Kabul was one of the terrorists released in Bagram. “America’s disorganized retreat from Afghanistan has led to hundreds of highly-competent and highly-committed terrorists being set free to rejoin the Islamic State, al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups.”

LESLIE EASTMAN: American Press Pushes Ridiculous Comparisons Between Spanish Flu and COVID. In the early days, with reports from China (which were probably deliberate disinformation) claiming a 4-5% death rate, such comparisons weren’t implausible. But we’ve known better for a very long time.

KRUISER’S MORNING BRIEFING: Biden’s Fake Presidency Could Wreck the Dems For a Long Time. “While I do worry about the damage to the U.S. Constitution our senile, alleged president and his puppet masters can do before November of 2022, I also relish the fact that his scorched-earth commie plan might relegate the Democrats to the backbench for quite some time.”

SOME PEOPLE REALLY HATE “STAND YOUR GROUND” LAWS:  In Ohio, a lawsuit has been filed.  It claims procedural irregularities in the passage of Ohio’s “Stand Your Ground” law.  Evidently, legislators didn’t “debate and consider” the bill three times before passing it.  At issue is whether that was actually required. Also at issue is whether the law flunks Ohio’s single-subject rule.

(Some historical background on “Stand Your Ground” laws can be found here.)

R.I.P.: Michael Walsh: The Prince: Angelo Codevilla, 1943-2021.

KAROL MARKOWICZ: Black Lives Matter wants to ‘cancel Carmine’s’ and no one can tell the truth.

In a city that was inflamed by protests over inequity and racism in the summer of 2020, it’s amazing that so little conversation ensued over the obvious bias of this vaccine mandate. As of today, only 38% of Black New Yorkers are vaccinated.

The fact that over 60% of the Black community in New York City can’t eat inside Carmine’s is, of course, discrimination. But it’s not discrimination by Carmine’s. It was forced on them by an out-to-lunch Mayor Bill de Blasio and a complacent city that does not question directives that make no sense.

Restaurants were never a major spreader of COVID. And if you’re vaccinated, why do you care if others are not?

Karen cares — and will find one way or another to make you feel just how much.

A GERMAN VIEW ON AUKUS: Snookered by Anglo-Saxons: The Europeans have misread Biden and misjudged Johnson. A bad combination.

Why is the UK part of this shift, and not France? The US considers France and the EU unreliable with respect to China because of their special relationships. Germany and France have pushed the EU-China comprehensive agreement on investment just before Biden’s inauguration. Germany runs massive export surpluses with China that it wants to protect. Armin Laschet and Olaf Scholz are both in favour of extending the bilateral relationship. Europe has also left a door open to Huawei for its 5G networks. It was only the UK that really cut the links. The Chinese ambassador in the UK reacted with unbridled fury. His colleagues in Paris and Berlin, by contrast, stayed quiet. I assume that they have received reassurances through back-channels.

The UK is clearly the junior partner in Aukus. But it is the only European country the US can trust in the pursuit of its strategic interests in the Indo Pacific.

Given the quality of US leadership, I’m not sure how junior. Plus:

The UK’s strategic realignment was not inevitable. It is to a large extent the result of how the EU conducted the Brexit talks. The EU leadership never missed an opportunity to criticise Brexit. Donald Tusk, former president of the European Council, aligned himself to the second referendum campaign in the UK. The EU could have, but did not, support MPs in the UK who sought compromise, like Kenneth Clarke or Stephen Kinnock.

The second mistake, even worse than the first, was the intent to force the EU’s regulatory system on the UK as a price for a free trade deal. At no point did the EU even consider what kind of strategic relationship it wanted with the UK after Brexit. The EU let anger over Brexit get in the way over rational decision-making.

The enormous cost of this stupidity is slowly becoming apparent. The UK will not flood the EU with cheap goods, as France had feared. The UK’s strategy is more subtle. It will gradually cut off from European security policy. It will also cut off from the GDPR data protection regime and financial regulation. The UK has invested more into artificial intelligence than any EU member states. It is a permanent member of the UN security council and the G7. What on earth was the EU thinking?

And no, Biden is not going intervene on the EU’s behalf in the current standoff over Northern Ireland. EU leaders have always underestimated Boris Johnson. And they always overestimated Joe Biden.

Well, it’s easy to overestimate Joe.

Also: “The EU’s diplomacy is driven by emotion and a superficial understanding of US politics, and UK politics for that matter. Why did the EU place so much hope, so publicly, into regime change in Washington last year? Donald Trump was loud and crass, but all he ever did to the EU, other than insult them, was impose tariffs. Europe never experienced anything nearly as hostile as Biden’s withdrawal from Afghanistan or the Aukus deal. But all of this was perfectly foreseeable.”

TO BE FAIR, WHAT’S THERE TO APPROVE? Iowa back to disliking Biden, just 31% approve.

ONE OF MY FAVORITES: LPF USA John Adams Liberty Once Lost Forever Bumper Sticker (Libertarian Quote Decal).

NOT FROM THE BABYLON BEE: Democrats Agree: Criticizing Our Behavior Is Racist, Sexist, Homophobic.

UNEXPECTEDLY! Inflation has turned $15 an hour wages into a setback.

OFTEN CORRUPTLY: How our culture and our government gave too much power to Facebook.

YOUR LYIN’ EYES: Are We Supposed to Believe Dr. Fauci or the Data Collected on COVID-19? “How much longer is Dr. Fauci going to be allowed to make proclamations that contain confounding variables, data-free assumptions, and outright falsehoods with no pushback?”

NEWS WE WON’T USE: I was in charge of the CDC. Here’s my advice on verifying vaccines.

IT DOES SEEM FATAL: The FBI’s Incurable Rot. “The bureau is an institution with no shame, no remorse, and no accountability. There’s no fix for that.”

Well, there is. But it’s ugly.

September 21, 2021

GOOD: Politico: Biden’s domestic agenda near collapse — and Dems know it.

I THINK BILL LEE IS WRONG ABOUT THIS: Tennessee Follows Federal Guidance, Recommends Vaccinated Don’t Get Monoclonal Antibodies.

One of Helen’s friends who was vaccinated nonetheless got Covid at a small party — where everyone vaccinated contracted Covid, but the friend who had actually had it escaped unscathed — and became sick enough to be hospitalized. She got the antibodies and went from deathly ill to fine in short order.

UPDATE: Some in the comments are confused. It was a party where everyone but one person was vaccinated. All the vaccinated people got Covid. One of them was hospitalized and might have died but for the antibodies. The non-vaccinated one who had had Covid was protected by natural immunity.

FOLLOW THE SCIENCE! NO, NOT THAT SCIENCE! Heads Explode Over Florida’s New Surgeon General.

Has anyone noticed that Ron DeSantis is basically operating as a sort of shadow counter-president?

Plus: “Meanwhile, the media have decided that a bunch of know-nothing journalism majors have more knowledge of COVID than a tenured professor who got his medical degree from Harvard.” Credentials really matter, except when the narrative is in peril.

LEVELING THE PLAYING FIELD: Break Up Big Tech? Luigi Zingales, a University of Chicago economist, offers City Journal’s Allison Shrager some suggestions for reforming the FAANGs (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google).

While I wouldn’t go as far as breaking the FAANGs up, there is one thing I’d love to see. Why can’t I have software that monitors both Signal and WhatsApp and can receive and send data to both at the same time? In 2008, a company called Power Ventures did just that, but Facebook sued the hell out of it and established a principle in U.S. courts that if I give you my Facebook log-in credentials and you download data with my consent, then you are committing a federal crime and should go to jail. I think this is crazy, and it’s one of many legal issues making solutions difficult.

Another thing he’d like to see:

First, we should separate the editorial role from the sharing role. In the editorial role, where there are no network externalities, we can have competition. I can have a University of Chicago editor, and another person could have Jacobin as editor. Newspapers can redefine their role as editors. I could subscribe to the Wall Street Journal editorial-selection services: the Wall Street Journal would edit and select from the web the articles or tweets I want to read. For example, I hate it when people talk about their lives on Twitter; other people love that. There should be free competition on curating these information feeds.

By contrast, the sharing function (which benefits from network externalities) should be considered a common carrier, with the restrictions typical of a common carrier, including universal service. Everyone should be allowed to post on Facebook, unless she violates the law.

In the same way, the sharing function of Facebook should retain protection from legal liability, while the editorial function should not. Think about Reddit. You can write posts on Reddit, and Reddit doesn’t promote those posts, so Reddit should be free from editorial liability. The moment Twitter or Facebook choose what post to promote to keep users more engaged, they become editors and should be liable for content.

Read the whole thing.

OPEN THREAD: I look at you all, see the love there that’s sleeping.

BIDEN VOTERS POSTING THEIR L’S ONLINE:

● Shot: It Took Biden 48 Years to Be President and 8 Months To F*** It Up.

—Matt Lewis, The Daily Beast, today.

● Chaser: This Virginia Conservative Republican Is Ridin’ With Biden.

—Matt Lewis, The Daily Beast, March 4th, 2020.

● Hangover: “Don’t underestimate Joe’s ability to f*** things up.”

—Barack Obama, as quoted by the Politico, August 8, 2020

(A quote that’s missing from Lewis’ latest article.)

DON’T GET COCKY: As Biden’s Presidency Crumbles, Democrats in Congress Lose Hope.

Related: The Biden administration: lying with impunity.

So what are the lies for, if not to persuade? They are meant to give the already-convinced – the Democratic rank-and-file voter – their ready-made excuses for not paying attention to whatever objections the right may make or point out. The Democratic voter can shrug off any concerns they themselves may have, too, in a shallow and facile way. They also give the many pundits on the left their talking points, and if the talking heads on TV and the columnists hammer them home enough, the repetition makes the lies sound more like truths. After all, if all these smart people agree, who is the listener to differ?

Lastly, these lies have a function that is similar to what was going on with the Soviets – the lie as mockery and insult and sadistic tease. In that regard, obvious lying is a feature, not a bug, and it helps that the lie is absurd. It’s a show of power meant for the opposition to view, a way to say, “we can state any stupidity we want as truth, things both you and I know are ridiculous, and will we say it with a straight face to illustrate the extent of our power over you. We don’t have to pretend to make sense. We’re in control and you’re not. We are laughing at you.”

That’s the point we have reached.

They’re also designed to get (P)resident Biden past each horrendous news cycle, to give his operatives with bylines something to justify his administration’s disasters du jour.

Evergreen:


THE NEW SPACE RACE: NASA plans to send lunar rover to Nobile region of moon’s South Pole.

NOW OUT FROM FRANK MINITER: The Deep State Revolution. I’ve read it and blurbed it (follow the link to see my blurb) and it’s good.

RULES ARE FOR THE LITTLE PEOPLE: Democrat Rep. Pramila Jayapal Celebrates Birthday Maskless After Bashing Anti-Maskers.

Earlier: Rule-Breaking Elites Let the Mask Slip On COVID Protocols: “Historians looking back at this period in our history may well come to regard this week as the moment the dam began to crack. It is tough during the best of times for America’s elites to make demands, but, when the citizenry turns on its TV sets and sees the very people who have been lecturing it begin to cavort around without a care, the project becomes ineluctably futile. Of all the ills in all the world, duplicity is the hardest to recover from. And, despite the best efforts of our feckless smart set, there can be no herd immunity from its effects.”

KAROL MARKOWICZ: The Carmine’s COVID altercation was preventable but I predict we’ll see more of this.

To eat inside a restaurant in New York, a diner has to present their vaccination card and an accompanying identification. Last week, a hostess had to deny service to unvaccinated patrons and violence ensued.

Three women visiting New York from Texas had an alleged altercation with the hostess because she would not seat some of their friends who were unable to present a vaccination card. The women were arrested and charged with assault and criminal mischief.

They deserve what they get.

But what occurred was extremely predictable and preventable. And it will happen again. Obviously a hostess at a restaurant should not have to require personal medical information for a visitor.

“Also on Monday, Black Lives Matters protesters descended on Carmine’s to protest what they say was discrimination by the restaurant,” Markowicz adds.

Which is “Why Bill de Blasio’s COVID Passport Edict Is About to Backfire Hard,” Matt Vespa wrote at Townhall earlier today:

Black Americans remain the demographic that’s least likely to be vaccinated in the city. I’m just shocked it took this long for the liberals to shoot themselves in the foot on this one. Why would Mayor Bill de Blasio pass such a racist edict? You think you know someone, huh? No, but seriously, he chucked this boomerang and it’s about to break his face. So much for being part of those BLM murals over the summer, huh, Bill?

Perhaps though, America’s Newspaper of Record provides a solution that de Blasio will approve: New York Restaurant Adds Voting Booth So They Can Allow People In Without ID.

IT’S COME TO THIS: Men caught smuggling KFC into lockdown-hit Auckland.

Via Jesse Kelly who tweets, “I can’t tell you how much this story has rocked me. I had such cool plans for the black market. I was gonna be a gun runner or an ocean smuggler. (I’ve read enough pirate books. Pretty much an expert.) But now, I think I need to be the guy who can get you fried chicken.”

THE CORBYNIZATION OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY CONTINUES APACE: AOC, ‘Squad’ force House Dems to spike $1B for Israel’s Iron Dome from spending bill.

K-12 UPDATE: The Exploitation of Young Minds: How indoctrination shortchanges K-12 students.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: A year of committed exercise in middle age reversed worrisome heart stiffness.

LOCKDOWN DAMAGE: ‘Staggering’ Doubling of Type 2 Diabetes in Kids During Pandemic.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Maspeth HS diplomas ‘not worth the paper’ they’re printed on.

Maspeth High School created fake classes, awarded bogus credits, and fixed grades to push students to graduate — “even if the diploma was not worth the paper on which it was printed,” an explosive investigative report charges.

Principal Khurshid Abdul-Mutakabbir demanded that teachers pass students no matter how little they learned, says the 32-page report by the Special Commissioner of Investigation for city schools, Anastasia Coleman.

“I don’t care if a kid shows up at 7:44 and you dismiss at 7:45 — it’s your job to give that kid credit,” the principal is quoted as telling a teacher.

Abdul-Mutakabbir told the teacher he would give the lagging student a diploma “not worth the paper on which it was printed” and let him “have fun working at Taco Bell,” the report says.

The teacher “felt threatened and changed each student’s failing grade to a passing one.”

The SCI report confirms a series of Post exposes in 2019 describing a culture of cheating in which students could skip classes and do little or no work, but still pass.

We’re really seeing just how little public schools have to do with learning. And how little they care.

ANNALS OF LEFTIST AUTOPHAGY: Why Bill de Blasio’s COVID Passport Edict Is About to Backfire Hard.

In New York City, you need your photo ID and a vaccination card to enter these locations. The liberal self-own here is just epic. Photo identification is Jim Crow 2.0, but it’s okay for COVID vaccination status. It’s mind-blowing how liberals so expertly dice their talking points into sashimi. For Carmine’s, they’re about to be besieged by Black Lives Matter activists after a hostess and black patrons from Texas were involved in an altercation when proof of vaccination status was refused by the diners. Racial slurs were allegedly hurled at the black patrons. We’ll see about that, but the fact that BLM is coming to the Big Apple to protest the racist COVID passport ordinance is just as entertaining as it is predictable…

* * * * * * * *

Black Americans remain the demographic that’s least likely to be vaccinated in the city. I’m just shocked it took this long for the liberals to shoot themselves in the foot on this one. Why would Mayor Bill de Blasio pass such a racist edict? You think you know someone, huh? No, but seriously, he chucked this boomerang and it’s about to break his face. So much for being part of those BLM murals over the summer, huh, Bill?

As Glenn wrote yesterday:

Now in NYC you’ve got a vaccination-passport requirement that disproportionately affects black people, who are much less likely to get vaccinated than whites and asians, and you’re surprised that the response is violent? Once you teach people that it’s okay to be violent if they feel mistreated, you don’t get to choose when they feel mistreated.

Meanwhile, I understand there’s already a war among NYC progressives, as blacks and hispanics hate all the Covid security theater, while the white Karen wing of the party is loving it. I’m hoping for a war of mutual destruction. Hey, maybe Curtis Sliwa can make it to the mayoralty after all!

Insert Henry Kissinger Iran-Iraq war quote here.

HOWARD HUSOCK: It’s mental health, stupid: How Team Biden misunderstands homeless crisis.

BYRON YORK: Democrats panic.

There is a method in Senate rules for getting around a filibuster and passing a bill with a simple majority, or even a tie, plus the vice president. It is called reconciliation. The problem for Democrats is that it can only be used a limited number of times, usually once a year, and it must only be done with a budget bill — the idea being that a minority should not be able to use the filibuster to keep Congress from passing a budget for the U.S. government. To be included in a reconciliation measure, a proposal must be “germane” to the budget. It can’t be just any policy whim. It must have a real budgetary effect.

But Democrats had an idea. We don’t have enough votes to break the filibuster or to pass big parts of our agenda, they reasoned, so let’s just throw everything into one gigantic budget reconciliation bill. We can even throw immigration reform in there! Sure, that’s not what reconciliation is for. But let’s just do it. We can get around the filibuster and pass a New Deal-sized bill without even controlling a majority of seats in the Senate.

Put the idea in the category of too clever by half. Some Democratic centrists in both the House and Senate are uncomfortable with the $3.5 trillion figure, especially with inflation plaguing the U.S. economy. The Senate parliamentarian blocked the effort to put immigration reform in the reconciliation bill. Several Democratic senators have their doubts about getting rid of the filibuster. They don’t agree on climate measures. There is a fight coming over the debt ceiling. Amid all those Democratic disagreements, all of a sudden, the super-clever, let’s-put-it-all-in-one-big-bill-Republicans-can’t-stop plan looks very vulnerable.

Which is why we’re also seeing headlines such as this: Democrats tie government funding to debt bill, GOP digs in.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said he’s not about to help pay off past debts when Biden is about to pile on more with a “reckless” tax and spending package.

“Since Democrats decided to go it alone, they will not get Senate Republicans’ help with raising the debt limit. I’ve explained this clearly and consistently for over two months,” McConnell said Monday on the Senate floor.

Old and busted: Republicans pounce and seize. The new hotness? Republicans dig in!

 

REVIEW: Colt Anaconda Revolver.

FEDERALISM: As Biden Continues to Foment Border Crisis, Governors Step Up.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE:

Yes, it’s creepy and wrong — and it’s Politico and Comcast approved:

And it’s Nation magazine approved as well:

You may not be interested in the Gleichschaltung, but the Gleichschaltung is interested in you (and your kids).

UPDATE: Saving Your Child From The Village. “It used to be that it takes a village to save a child. Now, you have to work hard to save your child from the village.”

(Updated and bumped.)

AND SO IT BEGINS: The Commission on Civil Rights released a report last week that asserts women are 50% more likely to die as a result of childbirth today than they were a generation ago. In my dissent, I explained why that assertion is false. Nevertheless it is being repeated in the press (as this item from the Tampa Bay Times shows). I guess it’s now officially a meme.

Here’s the weird part: At the bottom of the Tampa Bay Times piece, it says, “The Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg provides partial funding for Times stories on equity. It does not select story topics and is not involved in the reporting or editing.” What the heck is that? Are progressive 501(c)(3)s really funding “stories on equity” in supposedly independent newspapers? What would happen if a newspaper announced that a conservative foundation was funding “stories on the plight of working whites”?

AJ KAUFMAN: Biden Claims He’s ‘Prioritized Rebuilding Our Alliances’ at Debut UN Speech. “The unilateral retreat last month from ‘America’s longest war’ and its horrific aftermath gave Beijing an opportunity to produce an unholy alliance with the Taliban.”

IN THE MAIL: Love & Aliens: The Abnormally Normal Life of Claire Sullivan.

PLANTS AS RECHARGEABLE LIGHTS: What will they think of next? I can hear the neighbors complaining about not being able to sleep at night because of the bright plants.

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