January 24, 2022

THE MAJESTY OF THE LAW: A neighbor’s noisy toilet is a human rights violation, Italy’s top court rules.

EVERYTHING IS GOING SWIMMINGLY:

Related:

NOTHING TO SEE HERE, MOVE ALONG: US puts 8,500 troops on heightened alert amid Russia tension. “The Pentagon said Monday that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has put up to 8,500 troops on heightened alert, so they will be prepared to deploy if needed to reassure NATO allies in the face of ongoing Russian aggression on the border of Ukraine. Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said no final decisions have been made on deployments. He said the order is about ensuring that the U.S. is ready to respond if NATO decides to deploy its response force.”

I DUNNO, IT POLICE-DEFUNDED ITS WAY INTO CHAOS AND VIOLENCE: Fagan: New York City Can’t Arrest Its Way Back to Safety.

Letting honest people carry guns would help too though, I admit.

SO CLASSES HAVE STARTED AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE, with masking optional but “strongly recommended.” I’m not on campus today (I don’t teach on Mondays) but the reports are that hardly anyone among the students is masking.

FIRE EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THESE NON-ESSENTIAL WORKERS: Standoff In Virginia As Schools Defy Governor’s Order Making Masks Optional.

EVERYTHING IS GOING SWIMMINGLY: Cruel ‘Bare Shelves Biden’ Policies Create Baby Formula Shortage.

TOP SELLER: TurboTax Premier 2021 Tax Software, Federal and State Tax Return with Federal E-file [Amazon Exclusive] [PC/Mac Disc]. #CommissionEarned

MORE LIKE THIS, PLEASE: This Mom Is Helping Parents Discover Pro-America Content for Kids. “We don’t want to do anything that’s political. We merely want to present families and educators with resources that unite us as Americans, that provide the rightful telling of who we are as Americans.”

VANDERBILT BANS ITS STUDENTS FROM ATTENDING HOME BASKETBALL GAMES BUT NOT VISITING STUDENTS. The ban may end today. Ten years ago, we discovered Vanderbilt admins were nuts when they kicked more than a dozen Christian groups off campus for requiring the “wrong” beliefs about homosexuality. Looks like not much has changed.

HOW TO GET A LOST PHONE BACK TO ITS OWNER. “If the lost phone’s owner has saved emergency contact details in their device, you can access these friends from the lock screen. On an iOS device, swipe up from the bottom or press the Home button to open the passcode screen, tap the Emergency link in the lower-left corner, and choose Medical ID. If you’ve picked up an Android phone, swipe up from the bottom of the screen, tap Emergency call and then View emergency Information. If you see an emergency contact listed, get in touch with them to find out whose phone you’ve found. While you’re at it, you should probably add emergency contacts to your own phone’s lock screen—just in case.”

MAKE AMERICA DEPENDENT AGAIN: Thanks Biden! Guess Who We’re Buying More Oil From Now?

UPDATE (FROM GLENN): Biden acts much more like Putin’s puppet than Trump ever did.

COLOR ME UNSURPRISED: Late-life exercise shows rejuvenating effects on cellular level. “For people who hate exercising, here comes some more bad news: it may also keep you younger. Not just looking younger, but actually younger, on an epigenetic level. By now, the benefits of exercise have been well established, including increased strength of bones and muscles, improved mobility and endurance, and lower risk of heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. . . . A study recently published in Aging Cell, “Late-life exercise mitigates skeletal muscle epigenetic aging,” suggests this could be the case. The paper was written by a team of seven researchers across three institutions, including Kevin Murach, an assistant professor in the Department of Health, Human Performance and Recreation at the U of A. Murach’s grant from the National Institute of Health funded the study, and he was one of three co-first authors.”

BUT DON’T TRY TO BEFRIEND ONE, IT DOESN’T END WELL: Hippos can recognize familiar voices, new study finds.

No, really, it doesn’t end well at all.

STUDY: COVID lockdowns did not reduce deaths, but did reduce employment.

THE SONG REMAINS THE SAME: RFK Jr’s anti-vaxx rant: Hey, at least Anne Frank could hide from the Nazis.

At a rally against vaccine mandates in Washington, DC, on Sunday, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. likened vaccine policies in the US to the actions of a totalitarian state, even suggesting Anne Frank was in a better situation when she was hiding from the Nazis.

“Even in Hitler Germany (sic), you could, you could cross the Alps into Switzerland. You could hide in an attic, like Anne Frank did,” said Kennedy, a prominent anti-vaccine advocate, in a speech at the Lincoln Memorial. “I visited, in 1962, East Germany with my father and met people who had climbed the wall and escaped, so it was possible. Many died, true, but it was possible.”

RFK  Jr. is a descendent of a family that has been diminishing the horrors of National Socialists since about 1938 or so: Joseph Kennedy, American Fascist:

In this meticulous, relentless biography, Joseph P. Kennedy is now firmly established in the annals of twentieth-century fascism. When he arrived in England in early 1938, he quickly found a home among the ruling elite who believed, as Susan Ronald puts it, that “fascism was the cure for communism.” Notwithstanding FDR’s unprecedented provocation of sending an Irishman with no diplomatic skills to Great Britain, Kennedy immediately sided with Prime Minister Chamberlain and the appeasers, believing that any deal with Hitler—no matter how humiliating and lethal to the lives of millions—was preferable to war. Kennedy never stopped believing that Hitler could be bought off, that businessmen could do business with fascists.

But appeasement, in and of itself, is not, of course, a form of fascism. Even Neville Chamberlain eventually realized that Hitler’s cruel lust for power could not be satiated by offering so much of Europe to his suzerainty. FDR understood that Hitler could not be appeased and became increasingly wary of Kennedy, but kept him in England because the President felt the Ambassador’s defeatist attitudes would demoralize the American people and undermine democratic life. Kennedy, on his leaves home, lectured FDR and said “very frankly” that the United States “would have to come to some form of Fascism here.” He did not believe Great Britain could survive a war against the fascist powers and that America would become increasingly isolated and lose control of its markets if FDR’s government did not take over control of the economy to counter Hitler’s hegemony over his capitalists. Kennedy proposed that the President “organize a small powerful committee under himself as chairman and this committee would run the country without much reference to Congress.”

Kennedy thought solely in terms of economics. Although he said he cared about the fate of Jews and persecuted minorities, in the end he thought they would have to be sacrificed for the greater good of the United States and its allies. Like Hitler, Kennedy believed in a Jewish cabal, which had thwarted him and that was intent on instigating incidents that would draw America into a disastrous war. “To defeat fascism,” Kennedy argued in a memorandum, the United States would “have to adopt totalitarian methods” and strike deals with dictators.

When the war actually began, Kennedy remained defeatist, proclaiming to journalists, to his British colleagues, and to FDR himself that Great Britain was finished as a world power and that a German invasion of the UK would succeed. Even after the heroic RAF victories during the Blitz and the Battle of Britain, Kennedy predicted defeat. In short, he never acknowledged that the will, the spirit, or the values of the democracies would triumph in war. Democracy, he insisted, would be vanquished.

Like father, like sons: Did John F. Kennedy Admire Adolf Hitler?

John F. Kennedy admired Hitler as a young man and felt fascism was right for Germany, according to a new book in German that mines the future president’s diaries.

According to Spiegel Online’s article on the book, the 20-year-old Kennedy pondered on August 3, 1937: What are the evils of fascism compared to communism? On August 21 he added that the Germans had been ganged up on.

The book is “John F. Kennedy Unter Deutschen” (“John F. Kennedy Among the Germans”) – featuring travel diaries and letters between 1937 and 1945. The work, edited by Oliver Lubrich, documents three visits by Kennedy to Germany – in 1937, 1939 and 1945. “At first glance, one could get the impression that Kennedy endorsed fascism and even admired Hitler,” Spiegel writes.

Bobby Kennedy’s Fascist Moment: “If our colleges and universities do not breed men who riot, who rebel, who attack life with all their youthful vision and vigor then there is something wrong with our colleges. The more riots that come on college campuses, the better the world for tomorrow.”

IMMUNE SYSTEM MODULATORS MODULATE THE IMMUNE SYSTEM. Arthritis drugs may reduce COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness. “Some arthritis drugs may reduce the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines, according to the Arthritis Foundation, which also offers advice on booster shots. Research is limited, but evidence suggests that disease-modifying drugs used for arthritis may reduce the response of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna, according to the foundation. . . . No research on the one shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine in people taking immunosuppressive medications has been reported, according to the Arthritis Foundation.”

Plus: “Karp added that it’s still unclear how much protection a third or fourth booster provides to immunocompromised patients, such as those with cancer, organ transplants and those taking immunosuppressive medications.”

I have a friend with MS who had undetectable antibody levels despite having had covid and two shots. On the other hand, when she had covid, which predated the vaccinations, she didn’t get all that sick. That’s probably because immunity has more to do with T- and B-cell responses, which I suspect people study less because it’s harder than studying antibody levels.

PUTIN BUDDIES CONTRIBUTED TO SCHUMER: Wait, there must be some mistake, Chuck Ross of the Washington Free Beacon. Don’t you mean Putin’s buddies contributed to Trump? Surely the esteemed Senate Majority Leader would never accept funds from people connected to Russia’s strong man.

INDECISION: War for Ukraine? Eastern Europe May Receive 1,000s of US Troops.

BE PREPARED: Augason Farms Lentil Beans Emergency Bulk Food Storage 4 Gallon Pail 231 Servings. #CommissionEarned

I THINK I’VE BLOGGED ABOUT THIS BEFORE: The Forgotten Medieval Habit of Two Sleeps. “And far from being a peculiarity of the Middle Ages, Ekirch began to suspect that the method had been the dominant way of sleeping for millennia – an ancient default that we inherited from our prehistoric ancestors. The first record Ekirch found was from the 8th Century BC, in the 12,109-line Greek epic The Odyssey, while the last hints of its existence dated to the early 20th Century, before it somehow slipped into oblivion. How did it work? Why did people do it? And how could something that was once so completely normal, have been forgotten so completely?”

JOANNE JACOBS: No School in Flint. “The district is receiving nearly $50,000 per student in federal Covid aid, the most in the state, reports Tom Gantert on Michigan Capitol Confidential. Schools have closed with little warning to parents.”

JACK DUNPHY: Better to be Tried by Twelve than Carried by Six. Kyle Rittenhouse would agree.

JEFFREY CARTER: “We are in a bear market. In early December, we tested it. Omicron happened in mid to late December. We have fundamentally turned a corner.. Instead of a big crash, we are losing .5% to slightly over 2% per day. That is death by a thousand cuts. Meanwhile, look at Crude Oil. Let’s go Brandon! . . . The market was frothy and everyone knew it. We just didn’t know where. However, when you look at the carnage in crypto, in stocks, in bonds, and commodities there is nowhere to hide from it. By the way, neither gold nor bitcoin is an inflation hedge. Otherwise, they’d be rallying. How frothy? We haven’t found a bottom yet. Capitulation hasn’t happened yet. The other thing that is different is we have President Biden.”

IF THE CHINESE STOPPED BRIBING OUR LEADERS AND THE PRESS, MAYBE: What Might Awaken Americans to the War With Communist China?

FLORIDA, MAN: Florida Is so Red, Democrats Can’t Even Field Candidates in Some 2022 Races.

WHAT RATIONAL REASON DO THEY HAVE TO SUPPORT HIM? AP wonders: Is Biden losing black voters? “The risk here isn’t that Republicans are making inroads among black voters in the way they are with Hispanics. It’s that black voters might sit on their hands in the upcoming midterms, and beyond that in 2024 as well. Democrats need a massive turnout to deal with the expected red wave hinted at by the current polling, perhaps especially with Hispanics starting to shift away from the hard-progressive rhetoric of the Democratic Party. That’s what makes this uncharacteristically unenthusiastic level of support from black voters so significant. It portends a lower turnout, a lower level of activist engagement, and therefore an even bigger collapse than Chuck Todd might imagine from this segment yesterday.”

Well-deserved if so. But don’t get cocky. Republicans haven’t won anything yet.

And if you care, you should be donating and volunteering. Winning takes work, and no, commenting on the Internet doesn’t count.

CHINESE INTEL GAVE HIS FRAUDULENCY’S FAMILY $31 MILLION: Government Accountability Institute (GAI) President Peter Schweizer lays out for Mark Levin some of the details of how Chinese individuals linked to Beijing’s intelligence establishment channeled $31 million to the Biden family. Must-watch, and Schweizer’s new book, “Red-Handed: How American Elites Get Rich Helping China Win,” is a must-read.

“There’s no question in my mind that they were targeted by the Chinese … This is unprecedented. I don’t know of a time in American history where the American first family has had this kind of a financial bond with a foreign intelligence service —particularly a foreign intelligence service that wants to defeat the United States in global competition,” Schweizer notes in the interview.

Levin points out in response that the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause was included by the Founders precisely to prevent this kind of foreign influence inside American government.

BOUGHT AND PUTIN-PAID FOR: Who is Nord Stream’s Matthias Warnig, Putin’s friend from East Germany? “Matthias Warnig is, in various ways, an exceptional person. The 65-year-old is the oldest German friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin and the most active German in Russian business circles. He is a former Stasi agent who became a banker in the 1990s. Since then, he has sat on the supervisory boards of numerous German-Russian banks and companies. He is currently the CEO of Nord Stream 2, and happens to play a part in the latest YouTube video by Alexei Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK), in which Russian opposition activists uncover an extensive network of corruption around the construction of a palatial estate for the Russian president on the Black Sea coast.”

Meanwhile, I suspect that rather a lot of German politicians are on Putin’s payroll. Both China and Russia seem to have discovered that it’s easier and cheaper to buy off the West’s corrupt, feckless ruling class than to wage traditional war.

ANYTHING FOR MONEY: Chinese tech giant Huawei paid Dem Tony Podesta $1 million for lobbying Biden White House.

Podesta began working for Huawei in August 2021, The New York Post reports. His Quarter 3 disclosure for 2021 shows that he made $500,000 lobbying the “Executive Office of the President.” He made $500,000 during Quarter 4 lobbying the “White House Office,” according to his disclosure filed Thursday. Both forms stated that he specifically lobbied on “issues related to telecommunication services and impacted trade issues.”

The Trump administration identified Huawei as a national security threat, and President Donald Trump issued regulations to prevent the sale of American products to Huawei.

In November 2021, restrictions on Huawei were tightened further after President Joe Biden signed legislation to stop new telecommunications equipment licenses from being issued to companies deemed to be security threats.

Documents released by The Washington Post the following month show that Huawei is connected to China’s mass surveillance program.

Apparently not even Biden still listens to Podesta.

#JOURNALISM, UNDERMINING THE POLITY ON A DAILY BASIS:

SUPREME COURT WILL HEAR PAIR OF COLLEGE AFFIRMATIVE ACTION CASES. I wouldn’t get too excited. Equal justice under law is pretty far in the rear-view mirror at this point.

SUPREME COURT AGREES TO TAKE HARVARD ADMISSIONS CASE:  Here’s one thing I hope they keep in mind:  The public is sick and tired of this stuff.

HE’S TOXIC: Beto Doesn’t Want Biden Anywhere Near Texas During Campaign.

OUT TOMORROW: Red-Handed: How American Elites Get Rich Helping China Win. #CommissionEarned

THE LEFT’S WAR ON WOMEN: ‘Women are now third-class citizens,’ says Penn swimmer in exclusive interview. “For years, liberals, Democrats, and leftists have routinely claimed that a patriarchy in the United States exists and makes women second-class citizens. Female athletes have echoed these claims, bemoaning significant inequalities between men’s and women’s athletics. Consider the numerous reports that highlight disparities between men’s and women’s sports, especially at the collegiate level. Now, with athletes who have the genetics of a man being permitted to take away athletic opportunities from women, females have been relegated to an even lower position.”

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Professor: Opposition to critical race theory is ‘rebranded Nazi-style antisemitism.’

A professor of creative writing, working class literature and “changing masculine roles” believes opposition to critical race theory (CRT) is not only antisemitic, but Nazi-style antisemitic.

Georgia Southern University’s Jared Yates Sexton, who according to his Twitter bio fancies himself a political analyst, made this claims in a Friday Twitter burst which also included the invocation of QAnon and “white supremacist paranoia.”

That Georgia Southern has a professor of creative writing, working class literature and “changing masculine roles” is itself evidence that higher education is in a bubble.

THEY’RE FROM THE GOVERNMENT AND THEY’RE HERE TO HELP: If You Thought the Supply Chain Crisis Was Bad Enough, DHS Could Make It Worse.

YOU KIDS AREN’T VERY BRIGHT, ARE YOU? Students feel ‘compromised’ after Defund the Police changes local sex offender policies.

BLUE ON BLUE: Arizona Democratic Party formally censures Sinema.

The executive committee of the Arizona Democratic Party (ADP) formally censured U.S. Senator Kyrsten Sinema over her vote against changing rules in the chamber to steer through voting rights legislation, the state party said on Saturday.

Sinema was one of two Democratic senators who joined with Republicans to vote against lowering the Senate’s 60-vote threshold to 50 so that the Senate could pass voting rights bill without bipartisan support. read more

The censure is mostly a symbolic move, but it does highlight criticism that Sinema has faced from members of her own party, with polling indicating that Sinema is facing a rising amount of backlash from Democratic voters.

Prediction: Sinema will win reelection handily in 2024, in no small part because she hasn’t joined in with party radicals.

POLICING FOR PROFIT: A Tiny Alabama Town Is Growing Its Police Force by Fining Everybody in Sight.

Here’s the original, much more detailed, report.

DEAL OF THE DAY: 5.0 Bluetooth Earbuds 9D Stereo Earphone Wireless Earphones Waterproof Earphones. #CommissionEarned

CONGRATS TO ‘THE LID’ ON ITS 16TH BLOGGIVERSARY.

SPACE NEEDS FEWER BUREAUCRATS, NOT MORE: Proposed NTSB commercial space regulation criticized by industry and FAA.

MORE BAD 2022 NEWS FOR DEMS: The polls keep showing Democrats have gotten themselves profoundly out of sync with the American public, as NBC finds three-fourths of its respondents think the country is going “downhill,” while a Fox survey’s respondents ranked Republicans as better able by 15 or more points to handle national security, border security, immigration, the economy and crime.

Meanwhile, over at The Lid, Jeff Dunetz is wisely warning against counting chickens that ain’t yet hatched: “In 2016 and 2020, Republicans didn’t believe the polls because they are usually wrong and have favored the Democrats. So now that the polls predict a good year for Republicans, are we supposed to believe them now? Many Congressional Republicans believe them and are counting their chickens before they are hatched.”

And I’m old enough to remember what happened to the GOP in 1998, as seen on this from C-SPAN. 

 

IN THE MAIL FROM WILLIAM MAYER: The Uses and Misuses of Politics: Karl Rove and the Bush Presidency.

JOE BIDEN’S RETURN TO NORMALCY: Biden Admin Withholds Secret Iran Agreement From Congress.

Reports emerged late Friday that Russia proposed an interim nuclear deal to Iran with the knowledge of U.S. officials. The deal would reportedly lift some sanctions on Iran in exchange for a limited set of restrictions on the country’s nuclear program. Russia offered the deal to Iran on the sidelines of ongoing negotiations in Vienna, according to NBC News, which first reported on the document. Tehran is said to have rejected the interim deal, saying that it prefers a large-scale agreement that will provide it with billions in cash windfalls. Republican lawmakers say details of the agreement are being kept from Congress.

“Russia sent a secret agreement to Iran,” Rep. Michael McCaul (R., Texas), lead Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told the Washington Free Beacon on Friday during a press call. “Russia is trying to take the lead now in the negotiations with Iran. This is a secret agreement. We haven’t seen it.”

The existence of this document indicates that the United States and international partners are eyeing an alternative interim agreement with Iran as efforts to ink a revamped version of the 2015 accord stall due to Iran’s increasingly hardline stance. Republicans in Congress say that, during the past year, the Biden administration has ignored requests for briefings on the status of talks and what a new deal will look like. The Free Beacon first reported last week that the Biden administration is obstructing more than a dozen congressional investigations into the negotiations and sanctions relief.

It’s all very Obama 2.0 but without Obama’s mock-moderation.

BOB MCMANUS: Time’s up for NYPD bashers. “Kathy Wylde of the Partnership for New York City is a municipal treasure, but she’s not one to stir pots in public. Her startlingly uncharacteristic early criticism of Bragg sent a stern message: The community that had invested uncounted billions in the city’s post-Giuliani- Bloomberg resurrection wants no part of the DA’s brave new world. This attitude is something New York’s antipolice political class will ignore at its peril — for the city seems to be waking up. When a rookie cop, an accomplished career woman and a 19-year-old fast-food cashier are murdered by violent career criminals on successive weekends, people pay attention.”

EVERYTHING IS GOING SWIMMINGLY: White House Report Card: When it’s so bad only a margarita can help. “This week’s White House Report Card finds President Joe Biden and his agenda at the one-year anniversary dead in the water, his administration trying to clean up confusing messages on COVID-19 and Ukraine, inflation rising, the stock market tanking, and his polls sinking further. His biggest failure was to win support for the House-passed election legislation in the Senate due to opposition from two key members of his own party.”

Oh, I don’t think that was his biggest failure. Not even his biggest failure so far.

KRUISER’S MORNING BRIEF: Pro-Life Movement Gains Momentum and Abortion Ghouls Panic. “As I was enjoying some coffee on Saturday morning this year’s local March for Life parade began passing in front of my house like it does every year. I went outside to wave to them, smile, and give them a thumbs-up. While talking to a friend later in the day I remarked that the group looked a lot bigger this year.”

CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: Granholm Failed To Properly Disclose Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars in Transactions. “Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm violated a law that requires her to disclose hundreds of thousands of dollars in stock trades. In 2021, Granholm made at least nine stock trades between April and October but failed to disclose them until months after the required deadline had passed, Business Insider reported on Thursday. The trades include companies like Gilead Sciences, whose value soared during the coronavirus pandemic.”

COLORADO: Gov. Polis makes cost of living a campaign issue, despite signing millions in new fees into law.

“What’s frustrating people is how costs have gone up faster than incomes,” Polis said at a recent event hosted by the Colorado Sun, adding that the main way he plans to drive down Coloradans’ costs is by providing relief from government fees. That includes reducing the price to register a car, eliminating the costs to start a new business in the state and reducing the amount of money people must pay to get licensed in certain medical occupations.

Yet, these are new fees he himself supported while they were making their way through the legislature, and that he signed into law in just the past year. Moreover, they were signed into law at the height of the Covid 19 pandemic, while families were struggling to pay rent and businesses were shut down or limited, forcing more layoffs.

The biggest problem with Polis is that he seems to sincerely believe whatever was the last thing he was told.

CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: Nicholas Wade: A Covid Origin Conspiracy? Newly released emails make more plausible the contention that Anthony Fauci and Francis Collins presided over the suppression of the lab-leak theory for political reasons.

From almost the moment the Covid-19 pandemic broke out in the city of Wuhan, the medical-research establishment in Washington and London insisted that the virus had emerged naturally. Only conspiracy theorists, they said, would give credence to the idea that the virus had escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Now a string of unearthed emails—the most recent being a batch viewed by the House Oversight and Reform Committee and referred to in its January 11, 2022 letter—is making it seem increasingly likely that there was, in fact, a conspiracy, its aim being to suppress the notion that the virus had emerged from research funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), headed by Anthony Fauci. The latest emails don’t prove such a conspiracy, but they make it more plausible, for two reasons: because the expert virologists therein present such a strong case for thinking that the virus had lab-made features and because of the wholly political reaction to this bombshell on the part of Francis Collins, then-director of the National Institutes of Health. . . .

A striking feature of the excerpts released in the committee’s January 11, 2022 letter is that the virologists had little doubt that the virus bore the fingerprints of manipulation. The focus of their attention was a genetic element called a furin cleavage site. This short snippet of genetic material is what makes the virus so infectious for human cells. Scientists sometimes add this element to laboratory viruses to make them more virulent, but in nature, viruses usually acquire runs of genetic material like this by swapping them with other members of their family. The furin cleavage site in the Covid virus sticks out like a sore thumb because no other known member of its family—a group called Sarbecoviruses—possesses a furin cleavage site. So how did the virus acquire it?

A member of the Andersen group, Garry of Tulane University, remarks in the latest emails on the fact that the inserted furin cleavage site, a string of 12 units of RNA, the virus’s genetic material, was exactly the required length, a precision unusual in nature: “I just can’t figure out how this gets accomplished in nature . . . it’s stunning. Of course, in the lab it would be easy to generate the perfect 12 base insert that you wanted.”

Another member of the Andersen group, Farzan of Scripps Research, apparently felt much the same way. “He is bothered by the furin cleavage site and has a hard time explain[ing] that as an event outside the lab (though, there are possible ways in nature, but highly unlikely),” the House committee’s letter says of his remarks. Farzan noted that viruses can acquire elements like furin cleavage sites when grown in cultures of human cells, so “instead of directed engineering . . . acquisition of the furin site would be highly compatible with the continued passage of virus in tissue culture.” Both routes— direct insertion of the cleavage site or tissue culture—would mean that the virus came from a lab.

The conferees were clearly aware of the possibility that the virus had originated in the Wuhan lab. “So I think it becomes a question of how do you put all this together,” Farzan wrote, “whether you believe in this series of coincidences, what you know of the lab in Wuhan, how much could be in nature—accidental release or natural event? I am 70:30 or 60:40,” meaning he thought lab origin considerably more likely than not.

You might think that the senior administrators present at the conference would have rushed to investigate the startling inference that their expert advisers had drawn. But just one day after the teleconference at which his experts explained why they thought the virus seemed manipulated, Collins complained about the damage such an idea might cause. “The voices of conspiracy will quickly dominate, doing great potential harm to science and international harmony,” he wrote on February 2, 2020, according to the new emails.

So as not to give the “conspiracy theorists” ammunition, let’s . . . have a conspiracy to suppress the likely truth!

EVERYTHING IS GOING SWIMMINGLY: U.S. food supply is under pressure, from plants to store shelves. “rizona, one in 10 processing plant and distribution workers at a major produce company were recently out sick. In Massachusetts, employee illnesses have slowed the flow of fish to supermarkets and restaurants. A grocery chain in the U.S. Southeast had to hire temporary workers after roughly one-third of employees at its distribution centers fell ill. Food-industry executives and analysts warn that the situation could persist for weeks or months, even as the current wave of Covid-19 infections eases. Recent virus-related absences among workers have added to continuing supply and transportation disruptions, keeping some foods scarce.”

PJ MEDIA VIP ROUNDUP: Don’t forget that VODKAPUNDIT promo code if you’ve been thinking of joining us.

Paula Bolyard: My ‘Free’ Covid Tests From the Government Arrived in Record Time… But There’s a Problem. “My tests sat in my mailbox all day in frigid temperatures—well below the required minimum 36°.” (Same here.)

Rick Moran: In Minneapolis, Robbery Arrests Plummet as Stores are Hit Multiple Times. “This has apparently emboldened the thieves to rob some stores multiple times.”

And a James Bond 60th Anniversary twofer…

Chris Queen: 60 Years of James Bond Theme Songs: Part 002. “We’ll start with the worst of the worst. These range from cringeworthy to truly bizarre.”

Yours Truly: Ranking the Bond Movies: Part 002 (The Ones That Really Blofeld). “It’s true that the franchise has been uneven over the decades, but there have been only five genuine stinkers.”

ON SUNDAYS I RUN A POST ON MY BLOG, IN WHICH I PROMOTE MOSTLY INDIE AUTHORS: Book Promo And Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike.

There is also a fun vignette challenge run by three fans.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: The Last Leg Universities Stand On Is Collapsing.

They have long ceased being the best way to gain knowledge.

More recently, the degrees they confer have ceased being the best way to signal employability; the only exception being jobs that legally require them. (Such jobs are increasingly stodgy, unattractive, bureaucratic, backwards, and subservient to tyrannical governments).

The final leg universities stand on is the mythology of social status. That’s it. That’s what gives them what waning power they have.

I can’t count the number of parents I’ve talked with who recognize that college is one of the worst places to learn and degrees are one of the weakest ways to try to get hired, but who still needlessly bite the bullet and send their kid anyway.

I’ve noticed a real change in attitudes over the past decades, even among academic/professional types.

I’VE READ THIS AND READ THIS, BUT THERE’S NO INDICATION SHE WAS EVER IN FLORIDA:  Woman rode motorbike naked, got fingered in the street and punched a blind man.

A GROUP DEMONIZED BY DOMESTIC ENEMIES:  Who are the Oath Keepers?

NOT EVERY MD IS INSANE:  Integrity. Dignity. Community.

Meanwhile, I just want to register that while most of my friends  are now catching Winnie the Flu, my entire family lost 3 weeks to some generic, unspecified URI.
Figures, doesn’t it? Other people get the brand-name virus. We get the Safeway Select of respiratory viruses.
I wouldn’t even mind, except that we’re still suffering from lingering tiredness and congestion though — everyone who asked, thank you! — rest assured we’re all much, much better. (And for a change I was never as sick as the guys.)

I’M SO OLD I CAN REMEMBER WHEN THE GOAL OF A COLLEGE EDUCATION WAS TO EXPAND YOUR THINKING: University language guide says ‘grandfather,’ ‘housekeeping,’ ‘spirit animal’ are ‘problematic’ words.

Okay, fine, I’m not that old. But I do remember when they used to pretend that was the goal. In fact, they were already crazy Marxists intent on indoctrinating us.

MEH – EVEN IF THEY’D REMAINED THE VOTE WOULD HAVE BEEN 2 TO 1 IN SUPPORT OF THE BAN:  Black Mississippi lawmakers walk out of Senate in protest of critical race theory ban.

Also, Mississipi, you need better educated less indoctrinated awmakers. Do better!

THEY CAN’T GIVE MY MONEY TO THE RUSSIANS:  Ukraine: Biden State Department Preparing Partial Embassy Evacuation Amid Fears of Russian Invasion.

They already gave it to the Taliban.

 

ONLY BECAUSE THERE WAS NO QUESTION RELATED TO BEING SANE:  NBC Poll: Biden’s “worst marks came on being competent and effective”.

FROM CHRISTIAN TOTO:  Virtue Bombs: How Hollywood Got Woke and Lost Its Soul.  #CommissionEarned


Inside Hollywood’s Descent into Dreary, Dull Leftist Groupthink

Hollywood’s Dream Factory is now a nightmare of woke restrictions, Identity Politics run amok, and freedom-snuffing rules and regulations. The Oscars are unwatchable, as are many films and television shows thanks to the woke revolution. Virtue Bombs breaks down where Hollywood went so wrong, illustrates the slow-motion disaster infiltrating the industry, and offers a glimmer of hope for a woke-free tomorrow. Award-winning film critic Christian Toto has all the receipts, showcasing Hollywood’s virtue-signaling follies and how it could get much, much worse before it gets better.

THERE IS A NIGHTMARE FUTURE IN WHICH WE DEAL WITH OUR OWN CRAZY AND THEN:  Quebec descends deeper and deeper into COVID tyranny.

And then…. we have to go and liberate Canada. I don’t want to. I mean, some beautiful scenery, but the parts that aren’t frozen speak French.

And yet, I can’t say it’s an unlikely future.

<grumbles. This is the stupidest timeline.

 

THEY MIGHT BE BEYOND HELP:  If You Need Inclusivity In Your Candy, Seek Help.

LET’S GO BRANDON:  Political Shenanigans.

January 23, 2022

CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: Baltimore State’s Attorney in even more trouble for campaign finance “irregularities.”

THREAT INFLATION: America is Controlled by Secrecy.

Nothing encourages conspiracy theories more than a government that’s dedicated to lies and secrecy. But bureaucrats lie and keep secrets by instinct.

OPEN THREAD: Say anything. ‘Cause I’ve heard everything.

EVERYTHING IS GOING SWIMMINGLY:

WE CAN HOPE: The Palin v. NYT trial will be an “excruciating experience” for the paper. I don’t think that Palin’s chances are quite as poor as these two experts suggest. And I think the courts, at least the Supreme Court, may be open to a change in the current libel regime.

NOT UNTIL THE ALIENS TELL US: Will we ever know the true nature of ‘Oumuamua, the first interstellar visitor?

SHAME THESE PEOPLE 24/7:

AN ANSWER TO THE DRIVER SHORTAGE? In Texas, driverless trucks are set to take over roads.

UNFORTUNATELY, MAJOR DRIVERS OF POLITICS AND CULTURE: Moms in middle age: Often online and increasingly lonely.

WELL, THIS IS THE 21ST CENTURY, YOU KNOW: IIHS to Add Safety Scores for Self-Driving Technology in Cars.

SPACE: NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope has reached its destination. Now what?

I’m happy to say that thanks to my insider contacts at NASA, I can present to InstaPundit readers the very first image received from the James Webb Space Telescope!

NOT SOON ENOUGH: Will Intel’s Ohio Chip Plants Fix Automotive Supply Chains?

STACY MCCAIN: Can We Make Thursday ‘Everybody Blog About Mass Formation Psychosis Day?’

Recall that people are trying to de-platform Joe Rogan for hosting Dr. Robert Malone, who has popularized the “Mass Formation Psychosis” theory to explain public reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Well, here’s some news for you: They can’t de-platform everybody.

If all of us with access to digital platforms — bloggers, columnists, people on Twitter and Facebook, etc. — will unite behind this idea, we can defeat these censors and make it impossible for them to suppress the idea.

Therefore, I propose that this Thursday, Jan. 27, be declared “Everybody Blog About Mass Formation Psychosis Day.” The objectives:

  1. Call attention to the censorship campaign by which COVID-19 panic brigades are attempting to suppress criticism. If you look at the Google results, you’ll notice that the first page of results (which is all that most Googlers ever see) is dominated by “fact checks” and people endeavoring to “debunk” Mass Formation Psychosis as a “conspiracy theory.” This obviously reflects manipulation of the Google algorithm in an attempt to support censorship of Joe Rogan and others.

Read the whole thing.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM MARCHES ON: Norway’s Worst Mass Murderer Seeks Parole From His Cushy Confinement.

HOW MUCH OF THE CONCERN OVER VARIANTS AND SUB-VARIANTS IS JUST A PRODUCT OF OUR ABILITY TO DO DETAILED DNA TESTING? Omicron ‘sub-variant’ throws up new virus questions.

Related: Deltacron: The story of the variant that wasn’t. “In an e-mail to Nature, Kostrikis explains that his initial hypothesis was that some Delta virus particles had independently evolved mutations in the spike gene similar to those common in Omicron. But after the wide news coverage, other scientists working on genetic sequencing and COVID-19 pointed out another possibility: a lab error.”

HMM: LG launches new digital medical device for pain.

REMEMBER WHEN THEY TOLD US BIDEN WAS GOING TO MAKE AMERICA RESPECTED AGAIN? German Chancellor Snubs Biden’s Request for Meeting on Ukraine Crisis.

They lied.

A FEMINIST ASKS: What if Brett Kavanaugh were Black?

Srinivasan acknowledges as much. In fact, she explores the liberal abuse of “believe all women” as a serious moral and cultural problem. She notes the work of Atlantic writer Jemel Hill. In October 2018, as the atomic blast surrounding the Kavanaugh hearing was slowly starting to dissipate, Hill went to Ozy Media’s “Take On America” town hall series in Baltimore. The gathering featured over 100 black men in the audience. Coming on the heels of the Kavanaugh battle, Hill was positive she was going to hear a lot of anguish over the Republican victory.

Instead, she heard support for Kavanaugh.

Well, false charges of rape by elite white women have a particular resonance for black men in America. The movie Marshall was all about that.

AND THAT’S NOTHING COMPARED TO WHAT IT DOES TO YOUR BRAIN: Watching TV for 4 hours or more daily may increase blood clot risk, study finds.

THIS SORT OF THING ISN’T EVEN A SURPRISE NOW:

THEY NEVER REGARD AN ELECTION AS LEGITIMATE UNLESS THEY WIN: Biden is hardly the first Democrat to try to delegitimize elections.

President Joe Biden joined Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and numerous other Democrats this week in a partisan attempt to preemptively delegitimize the 2022 election.

Twice the president was asked by reporters whether voters could trust the electoral system, and twice the president contended that a fair election was unlikely unless the Senate was blown up and the Democrats’ election power grab was passed — a maneuver that poses a far more serious and lasting threat to the constitutional order than anything Donald Trump is cooking up right now.

It’s only wrong to call elections illegitimate if you’re a Republican.

THAT’S BECAUSE “RACISM” IS JUST A MEANINGLESS POLITICAL SLOGAN NOW: Everything is racist to hypocritical Dems, liberal media — as long as Republicans are involved.

And it doesn’t even have to be Republicans, as demonstrated by “white nationalists” Sinema and Manchin.

BE PREPARED: Build the Perfect Bug Out Bag: Your 72-Hour Disaster Survival Kit. #CommissionEarned

WE SHOULD FIGHT COVID BY CLOSING KSU ENTIRELY: Prof pushes students at virtual ‘die-in’ to use ‘radical activist tactics’ for stricter COVID policies.

AND YET IT’S APPEARING ALL OVER THE SCHOOLS: Poll: Over half of American teachers oppose the teaching of critical race theory.

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