May 14, 2021

FIGHT THE POWER, STICK IT TO THE MAN: Josh Hawley’s Book Debuts As Top 10 Bestseller Despite Cancellation Attempts.

His book is The Tyranny of Big Tech.

SCIENCE!

Nice excuse, but let’s be honest — we’ve all seen his face, and the mask is a benefit.

UNIVERSITY TRAINING AS INDOCTRINATION: “How Often Do You Think People Make False Accusations” Related to Sexual Misconduct, Discrimination, or Retaliation?.

A correspondent of mine, who is a tenured professor at a prominent public research university, e-mailed me about this item in a mandatory online training that he had to go through:

When he answered “Sometimes,” he got the answer, “Not Quite” / “You might be surprised to learn that false reports aren’t common, and frivolous claims are almost nonexistent. According to a recent study, it is far more likely that troubling behavior will go unreported than that someone will make a false report. Try again.”

He couldn’t proceed until he gave the demanded answer, which is “rarely.”

But the faculty member pushed back: “It looks like the university is indeed going to ask the vendor (EverFi) that created the module to revise the structure of its questions; I’ll report more if I learn more.”

THE NEW SPACE RACE: China successfully lands Mars rover Zhu Rong after ‘nine minutes of terror.’

DIPLOMACY IN THE BIDEN ERA:

OPEN THREAD: Time flies, doesn’t seem a minute when your new credit card doesn’t have a limit. When you pay at this level, there’s no ordinary menu.

STARLINK UPDATE: So as I mentioned earlier, I installed a SpaceX Starlink terminal, and I’m posting this using Elon’s satellite Internet. (It’s just my way of supporting a growing African-American-owned business.) People wanted to know how it handled live data streams, so I had a 15 minute Zoom call with my daughter and the experience was very normal — a couple of brief dropped frames but no more than you typically experience with a Zoom call. No significant dropouts or slowdowns.

SUBMARINE ON EUROPA: NASA partners with deep-ocean explorers to develop tech for Europa mission.

IT’S THEIR ONLY HOPE FOR POPULARITY OR EVEN ACCEPTANCE ON THE WOKE LEFT: Brendan O’Neill: Why Won’t Israelis Let Themselves be Killed?

HMM: Gut microbiomes less diverse than they were 2000 years ago.

A SWEET MUSIC VIDEO FROM KNOXVILLE: “Half My Hometown.”

#JOURNALISM:

Related:

DAVID BARON, CALL YOUR OFFICE: Bears scavenge trash cans at Gatlinburg gas station.

To be fair, they probably came looking for gas and then just decided to try to salvage the trip.

AT HELEN’S PAGE: Author Richard G. Tuttle’s first novel called Wyoming is now out. It looks fascinating. (Bumped)

UPDATE: You can also get the book at Bookbaby.com here.

YES. Have We Reached A Covid-19 Tipping Point? “Before a population can reach herd immunity, an inflection point has to occur — the point where there’s enough immunity, through vaccination and previous infection, that cases begin to decline consistently. Experts suspect the United States hit an inflection point in late April.”

IT’S PERFECTLY NORMAL TO DELETE DATABASES BEFORE AN AUDIT, JUST ASK HILLARY: Dominion, Maricopa County Rebuff Arizona Senate’s Attempt to Get Election Machine Passwords: Auditors found an entire database from a machine deleted, raising concerns.

And they’re certainly acting like honest people with nothing to hide.

HOW COLLEGES SUPPRESS CURIOSITY: Effects like this are probably worse, long-term, than the political indoctrination. The political dimension is so obvious and in-your-face (especially now) that you can at least be aware of it — and people can always change their views. I’m not so sure you can restore curiosity once it’s been beaten out of a young person.

CHANGE: Ruger-57 Pistol Safety Retrofit.

THE PROOF OF THE PUDDING: Testing software so it’s reliable enough for space.

It’s very possible that SpaceX and StarLink write more code to test their software than the software they’re testing.

YES, BUT THEY’RE UP-TO-DATE ON DIVERSITY AND SENSITIVITY TRAINING: Despite Promises, USS Ford Heads To Shock Trials With 4 Broken Elevators. “U.S. Navy leaders have repeatedly assured Congress and the public that the USS Ford would be ready before the forthcoming shock trials. But with four of the USS Ford’s seven critical lower-stage weapons elevators still unready for service, naval credibility is at stake. If the shock trials go forward, testing an incomplete ship, the Navy stands to miss a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to fully validate the battle-hardiness of America’s future carrier fleet in real-world conditions.”

WELL, GOOD: Study finds lasofoxifene a promising treatment for resistant breast cancer.

AT HELEN’S PAGE: A still life oil on canvas painting of a cabbage and other vegetables with a copper saucepan by the noted South Carolina artist Pat Forsberg.

HAVING CHILDREN IS A VOTE OF CONFIDENCE FOR THE FUTURE: Denver’s elementary enrollment is falling. “Denver Public Schools was once the fastest-growing urban school district in the country. But several years ago, enrollment began to plateau. While middle and high school enrollment held steady or even grew, elementary enrollment began to fall. District officials pointed to declining birth rates and rising housing prices pushing families out of the city. Neighboring school districts including Aurora and Jeffco face similar challenges.”

GOOD NEWS FOR ORTHODONTIA: As Masks Come Off, People Try to Get Their Teeth Straight.

DISPATCHES FROM THE INTERSECTION OF THE NEWSPEAK DICTIONARY AND THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: Penn State Faculty Move to Erase the Terms ‘Junior’ and ‘Senior’, Calling Them ‘Male-Centric.’

VODKAPUNDIT PRESENTS YOUR DAILY INSANITY WRAP: Literally Everything Is Going to Hell… Who Wants a Drink?

Insanity Wrap needs to know: We have at least 44 more months of either Biden or Harris — is that more day-drinking than the human liver can endure?

Answer: Let’s find out.

Before we get to the sordid details, a quick preview of today’s Wrap.

  • Biden calls for at least some missile attack on Israel (really)
  • NBC’s Kassie Hunt follows the lemmings, not the science
  • More moral equivilance than a Karen can wag a finger at

Bonus Sanity: You wouldn’t believe what had to pass for sanity today.

And so much more at the link, you’d have to be crazy to miss it.

I’M POSTING THIS VIA MY NEW SPACEX STARLINK INTERNET SERVICE, which I just installed a few minutes ago. Installation was pretty simple; mounting the dish on my roof was the hardest part. After that it was just a matter of plugging it in, letting it find the satellites (which took about 2 minutes) and then naming the network. A speed test showed 262 mbps down and 16 mbps up. My only complaint is that the proprietary cable that comes with it has kind of a thick head, which required drilling a bigger hole than the actual cable needed. Also, I’m not big on proprietary cables, but it does have to carry power to the dish as well as signal back.

Still, so far quite impressive. I didn’t do the installation myself; I used At Home Audio Video, and they did a great, fast job. The installers seemed excited to be able to install a Starlink, since this is apparently the first one in Knoxville.

UPDATE: People are asking for more info so here’s the speedtest/ping time I just got:

THESE ARE THE FOLKS WHO DECIDE IF YOU’RE NUTS: My friend, Duke emeritus professor John E. R. Staddon, has been banned from an American Psychological Association email listserv for violating its circa-2019 “Code of Conduct,” which I am 100% sure was totally adopted based on SCIENCE and not as a transparent attempt to enforce ideological conformity. In true SCIENCE fashion, these SCIENCE-oriented people failed to point to what exactly got him banned, because specific evidence is totally unnecessary for SCIENCE, leaving him to guess it was the following shocking and intemperate remark: “Hmm… Binary view of sex false? What is the evidence? Is there a Z chromosome?” (Staddon, an Englishman, is one of the politest people I know.)

But then, I am just some lawyer and not an important SCIENCE man like Jonathon Crystal, Mark Krause, and Tony Puente, the “Presidential Trio” who announced Staddon’s ban. Now, if you will excuse me, I have to go not wear a mask because it will make things worse wear a mask even if I can’t breathe or else I will die wear at least two masks unless I am outside, because you gotta defer to the SCIENCE.

LIDBLOG: Why Liz Cheney Had to Go. “It Is Clear That Cheney Cares More About Earning Praise From Nancy Pelosi And The Corporate Press More Than She Cares About Fighting To Save Our Country From The Democrat’s Socialist Agenda.”

It’s a very simple thing that people seem to go to Washington to forget: If you’re going to take a party leadership position, then the party comes before your personal ambitions.

BOBBY! SHOULD I TAKE ‘EM TO THE BRIDGE? Nearly 800 Barges Stuck In Lower Mississippi River From Bridge Crack.

SOME MEN ASK, “WHY?” I ASK, WHY NOT? How to turn your cigarette lighter into a DeLorean (video):

ANALYSIS: TRUE. Trump Destroys Biden Administration: They ‘Zero to Do With’ COVID Vaccines.

RICHARD FERNANDEZ: Waking Up In The Wrong Movie.

The remarkable thing about the multiple crises facing Joe Biden is how quickly they’ve multiplied and worsened. These include, in no particular order:

the Mexican border problem;
the expanding war between Israel, Hamas, and possibly with Iran;
the gasoline supply disruption stemming from the cyberattack on the Colonial fuel pipeline;
economic trouble and warnings of impending inflation.

These sprung up in the first days of his term with an abruptness and progression that has taken pundits by surprise. The administration must have anticipated eventual problems would arise but not so soon nor from so many directions.

Not all of us were surprised, though even I have noted that it’s weirdly impressive how fast they’ve managed to wreck things:

The New York Times writes that the fighting in Israel caught Biden on the hop. Lulled by recent quiet in the region it did not seem a priority until all hell broke loose. “As spiraling riots, rocket attacks on Tel Aviv and airstrikes on Gaza threaten to escalate into a major conflict, calls are growing in the Democratic Party for Mr. Biden to play a more active role.”

They were also blindsided by the Colonial pipeline attack. CNN writes that “Biden administration officials have privately voiced frustration with what they see as Colonial Pipeline’s weak security protocols and a lack of preparation that could have allowed hackers to pull off a crippling ransomware attack, officials familiar with the government’s initial investigation into the incident told CNN.”

April’s dismal job numbers were also a total surprise. The administration had been expecting a boom. The NYT wrote that “April’s anemic job creation was so out of line with what other indicators have suggested that it will take some time to unravel the mystery.” It was so shocking that newsrooms had to junk prewritten articles announcing a Biden boom.

The progressives are hoping that the administration’s current woes are temporary in nature, that the misfortunes will soon wear away.

Yeah, don’t bet on that.

Plus: “Perhaps the biggest potential mistake the establishment might have made was that they overestimated the reserve buoyancy of the political system. With Trump gone they assumed they could rule as before, spend as before, lecture as before. Even Joe could do it. If Joe Biden’s woes are due to more than bad luck it, could be a sign that the design margin they had counted on for so long no longer exists.” They burned through that during the Obama Administration. Trump knew that, even if they didn’t.

WHAT A RIDE: SpaceX plans to send Starship to Hawaii via space. “An upcoming Starship prototype, paired with a Super Heavy booster, will blast off from the SpaceX development site in Boca Chica, Texas. Super Heavy would then separate and land, perhaps on a ship, off shore while Starship continues on to orbit, flying east all the way to Hawaii for a splashdown in the Pacific. The entire flight, from liftoff to splashdown, is expected to last 90 minutes.”

HMM: Could This Obscure Legal Case Change Control of the Senate?

CHANGE: Gun maker relocating headquarters in Middle Tennessee, investing $7.2 million. “Previously, Troy Industries, Inc. was based out of West Springfield, Mass.”

AMERICA’S NEWSPAPER OF RECORD: Racists Make A Comeback With All New Ways To Be Racist! (Video.)

SPOILER: HE ISN’T. Tesla owner jailed for leaving driver seat empty says he feels safer in back seat.

RULES ARE FOR THE LITTLE PEOPLE IN CUOMO’S NEW YORK: Governor Cuomo exempts faculty and staff from COVID vaccine mandate on public campuses.

WAIT, THE PANDEMIC IS OVER?

Other questions about the timing arise from the fact that this morning American Federation of Teachers Union President Randi Weingarten, who has been facing public backlash for her stances on school closures, suddenly came out and declared that schools must reopen in the fall of 2021. Dr Anthony Fauci echoed this sentiment during a cable news interview. This is a stunning reversal that suggests perhaps administration internal polling is playing a part. The further out we get from January 20, the harder it becomes to blame Biden’s stalled agenda and economic recovery on his predecessor. The Biden administration was heading into a weekend full of Sunday shows poised to talk about the administration’s current struggles. Now those programs will undoubtedly adjust their calculus to talk about the end of the pandemic, as the administration attempts to take a victory lap, one that several states like Florida and Texas have been taking since August of last year.

Flashback: The Suicide of Expertise.

INSTAPUNDIT READERS HAVEN’T BEEN: MIT Tech Review: No Need To Panic About COVID-19 Variants.

SEGREGATION NOW, SEGREGATION TOMORROW, SEGREGATION FOREVER! American University announces ‘Black Affinity Housing’: Other universities across the nation have instituted similar segregated housing plans. “Campus Reform recently covered an op-ed written by American University freshman Kayla Kelly, who argued that welcoming White students back to campus after COVID-induced shutdowns ‘could evoke similar effects of settler colonialism and negatively impact’ the Black community of Washington, D.C.”

MY NEW YORK POST COLUMN: Democrats refuse to prioritize REAL infrastructure — like Colonial Pipeline.

GENTLEMEN, YOU CAN’T COMMIT JOURNALISM HERE, THIS IS A NEWS WEBSITE! The Intercept Attacks Conservative Journalists For Reporting On Violent Black Lives Matter Riots.

THE NEW ANTIRACISM LOOKS AN AWFUL LOT LIKE THE OLD RACISM: Lawsuit Alleges Racism in Biden Administration’s Covid Relief for Restaurants and Bars.

WITH MALICE AFORETHOUGHT: How The New York Times Manufactures Lies For Democrats To Attack Their Opponents.

THE NEW SPACE RACE: China’s Mars Orbiter Is About to Attempt a Risky Landing on The Red Planet.

SHE’S TOTALLY MET MY EXPECTATIONS: Biden urged to dump ‘absolutely abysmal’ Harris as border czar, poll agrees.

TUCKER CARLSON TORCHES BIDEN’S MASK ‘ULTIMATUM.’

“‘Well, it’s not a request, it’s a demand, and the president of the United States does not get to tell me or any other American citizen what to wear.,’ Carlson said. ‘He’s not offering a choice. He’s laying down an ultimatum. He’s saying if you don’t get vaccinated, you must wear a mask. Again, that’s not within his powers to demand.’”

KRUISER’S MORNING BRIEF: Biden Needs To Stop the COVID Vaccine Harassment Already. “The relentless mask/vaccine one-note messaging from the Biden administration is getting more wearisome by the minute. There are other things going on in the world that the empty husk’s handlers should be making him pretend to deal with.”

Look around. It’s all they have.

THE CORBYNIZATION OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY CONTINUES APACE: Muslim Brotherhood Praises Dems for Abandoning Israel in Time of War.

Related: Why won’t Israelis let themselves be killed? The global woke loathing for Israel is taking an even darker turn.

LAWFARE: Pentagon Backs Off Xiaomi Blacklisting After Legal Challenge. “The U.S. Defense Department agreed to remove Xiaomi Corp. from a blacklist banning U.S. investment in the Chinese tech giant, opting against further defending a Trump administration action that alleged ties between the smartphone maker and the Chinese military.”

IF ALL CONSERVATISM, INC. HAS IS LIZ CHENEY, DAVID FRUM, AND CHRISTINA TODD WHITMAN, IT’S NOT MUCH: Populists, Revolutionaries, and Conservatism, Inc.

QUESTION ASKED: How are we enjoying the Biden presidency so far?

HOWEVER, TAKING IN ACCOUNT THE TROUBLES IN THE MIDDLE EAST, I’D LIKE TO LEAVE YOU WITH THIS:

Only Israel (video).

But hey, there is a solution.

SAYS IT ALL: From The Daily Gouge, a thrice-weekly roundup of news, analyses and the Lighter Side from the desk of a former Navy F-14 pilot.

YOU’RE GONNA NEED A BIGGER BLOG: Joe Biden Gives Us More Reasons to Question His Cognitive Health.

AND OH, YEAH, HAIL LOBSTER:  Becoming Who You Are.

And posting might be somewhat irregular as the next week will involve travel. But I’ll still try to post at least a few links per evening. (Otherwise the least of shareables will become too long.)

OH, LOOK, SOME EVIDENCE OF TESTICLES:  House Republicans Defy the January 6 Narrative.

OH, NO, NO, NO, NO:  International Energy Agency report shows that green energy transition is a fantasy because of dependence on key rare minerals.

It’s a fantasy for a ton of other reasons. Like, a lot more reasons. Not just rare minerals. Don’t believe me? Find a friendly engineer, wind him up with a few questions and watch him go. And if you have two buddies, one an engineer and one an expert in international politics, tell them what the greenies want, then sit back. You can probably sell tickets to that show.

OUR HIGHER EDUCATION SYSTEM NEEDS REFORM:  Today’s blacklisted American: Conservative commencement speakers at all American universities.

And I think by “reform” I mean rebuilding from the ground up.

THE JUNTA’S COUP:  Tampering and serious discrepancies found in Arizona election audit.

Me? I want heads on pikes. I’m a traditionalist.

IT’S POSSIBLE SINCE BOTH “OUR DEMOCRACY” AND “WHITE SUPREMACY” ARE LARGELY IMAGINARY:  AG Merrick Garland Says White Supremacists ‘the Most Dangerous Threat to Our Democracy’.

This is kind of like saying that the Beagle Brothers are the greatest threat to uncle Scrooge’s money bin. It might be true. But since neither exists, the threat is contained.
On the other hand, communists, which Mr. Garland has identified at one time or another, are the greatest threat to our constitutional republic. So, why are we listening to Mr. Garland’s eructations, again?

LOOK, NO ONE WANTS TO TOUCH HIM WITH A TEN THOUSAND PIXEL POLE. WE MIGHT GET THAT * ON US: Anti-Israel Congressman You Never Heard Of Whines About Why No One Is Attacking Him On Social Media.

*Whatever is eating his brain.

NOT PRECISELY. THIS IS MORE EMBEZZLEMENT:  Federal Law Enforcement Stage Bank Heist.

As opposed to taxation, which is armed robbery.  Look, if we’re going to talk about all the ways that the feds — which are now entirely composed of corrupted institutions topped by a Junta which got there by a coup under the cloak of “elections” — are stealing from us? You’re going to need a bigger dictionary.

IF YOU HAVE A KID IN CALIFORNIA PUBLIC SCHOOLS IT’S TIME TO GET HIM OUT ASAP: California State Board of Ed Dumbing Down K-12 Math Curriculum to Ensure “Equitable Outcomes”.

This is your final alarm. Sauve-qui-peut. Eject, eject, eject!

DOESN’T MICHIGAN HAVE THE ABILITY TO REMOVE A GOVERNOR FOR MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES?  Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Threatens Shutdown of Great Lakes Oil Pipeline.

Look, they keep these games going, it will end in tears.

THE LEFT HAVE VERY SMALL MINDS: Wonder Woman Actress Takes Incoming For Peace Prayer.

AND I’LL GET ALL THE OWN-HORN TOOTING OUT OF THE WAY:  BARBARELLA RETURNS TO SAVE THE UNIVERSE, BATTLE SPACE ALIENS IN FIRST LOOK AT DYNAMITE’S NEW COMIC SERIES.

Quick answers:

No it’s not based on movie with — spit — Jane Fonda. I actually leaned heavily on the original French comics, but well…. she might be a little more libertarian than the original, because I’m still me.

Yes, I am ashamed of myself for self promoting. That is a permanent condition with me, which is why I promote my friends more than I promote me. But, on the other hand, I’m trying to promote myself more, ashamed or not. Because I have bills to pay, cats to feed and things I want to do that require money. That’s why.

 

I AM PART OF THIS: FIVE BOOKS MAY GIVEAWAY. $80 VALUE, THREE WINNERS.

May 13, 2021

MY NEW YORK POST COLUMN: Democrats refuse to prioritize REAL infrastructure — like Colonial Pipeline.

WE WERE SOMEWHERE AROUND MINNEAPOLIS ON THE EDGE OF THE PRAIRIE WHEN THE DRUGS BEGAN TO TAKE HOLD: This meteorologist started multiplying on screen and she handled it like a boss.

OPEN THREAD: It’s a thin line between despair and ecstasy.

WELCOME BACK, CARTER: Inflation Is the Issue That Will Topple the Democrats.

The bond market’s measure of expected inflation – the difference between the yield of ordinary Treasuries and the yield of inflation-indexed Treasuries – jumped to 2.82% after the CPI announcement. That’s a hair below the all-time high for this measure of inflation expectations in March 2005.

The Federal Reserve continues to pump trillions of dollars of liquidity into the US economy by purchasing US Treasury securities, financing most of the US budget deficit, now running at a peacetime record of 15% of gross domestic product (GDP).

That leaves the Fed painted into a corner. If it raises interest rates to suppress inflation, the cost of financing the deficit will rise drastically. If it does nothing, eventually the market will force interest rates up, with the same effect.

Federal payments now make up 34% of all personal spending in the US, an all-time record. Ultimately the Treasury will have to cut back, leading to a sharp reduction in spending and an economic recession.

Mister, we could use a man like Paul Volcker again.

THE GRIFTERS: Rebekah Jones, the COVID Whistleblower Who Wasn’t.

JEALOUSY OF A RED STATE: Senate Intelligence chairman wants further review of decision to relocate U.S. Space Command.

HE’S VACCINATED AND ASYMPTOMATIC: HBO’s ‘Real Time With Bill Maher’ Canceled This Week After Host Tests Positive For Covid-19.

BRINGING “LOCK IN” TO AN END: Stanford scientists’ software turns ‘mental handwriting’ into on-screen words, sentences. “Stanford University investigators have coupled artificial-intelligence software with a device, called a brain-computer interface, implanted in the brain of a man with full-body paralysis. The software was able to decode information from the BCI to quickly convert the man’s thoughts about handwriting into text on a computer screen. The man was able to write using this approach more than twice as quickly as he could using a previous method developed by the Stanford researchers, who reported those findings in 2017 in the journal eLife.”

ALSO, EVERYTHING ELSE: Biden is failing to protect America from the next pandemic.

I FIGURED IT WAS JUST MY NATURAL STUDLINESS: No, Trader Joe’s Employees Are Not Trained to Flirt with Us.

NOW OUT FROM SOHRAB AHMARI: The Unbroken Thread: Discovering the Wisdom of Tradition in an Age of Chaos.

BREAKING: Maricopa County Election Audit Uncovers ‘Significant Discrepancies.’

IT’S TIME AND PAST TIME: Why many COVID experts think Americans can ditch their masks soon.

CHRISTIAN TOTO: You Won’t Believe How Trevor Noah Spins Hamas’ Assault on Israel. “This time the ‘both sides’ rationale sounds even more nauseating than usual.”

INFRASTRUCTURE: Over 15,000 Gas Stations Out of Fuel Nationwide: Gas shortages ease in some states, but worsen in others.

UPDATE: Poll: Less Than Half of U.S. Voters Confident Government Can Protect Pipelines. “Forty-seven percent (47%) of Likely Voters said they’ve experienced gasoline shortages or higher gasoline prices since the May 7 malware attack that temporarily shut down the Colonial Pipeline, which supplies petroleum to much of the Eastern U.S. Forty-one percent (41%) said they had not experienced shortages or higher prices for gasoline, and 12% were not sure.”

By all appearances, the FBI and the intel agencies seem more focused in going after political opponents.

Related: The FBI is very good at woke politics, not so good at catching killers.

So at the recommendation of Sarah Hoyt, I read Cry Bullies: Protecting yourself against social muggers and victimhood aggression and it was worth the time. It is a short read from a few years ago that packs a lot of information that is still relevant in dealing with the current lot of Karens, SJWs and beta males who think they run the show. They don’t. This book teaches you how to fight back by understanding the mindset of the social harasser and how to put a stop to their nonsense. The right tools and the will to fight back is the only way to deal with our current political climate. Better arm yourself. (Bumped)

IT HAS ITS PLACE, BUT I’M NOT CRAZY ABOUT IT: How Do You Off-Body Carry?

DANEGELD: Colonial Pipeline Paid Nearly $5 Million In Ransom To Hacker Group.

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