December 5, 2021

IT’S NOT JUST HOLLYWOOD: “Hollywood doesn’t want us to be happy. Sad audiences are easier to manipulate.”

That’s Andy Kessler, talking about why the Bond franchise has become a downer:

I’ve proudly seen every James Bond movie ever made, even the George Lazenby, Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan doozies, plus Woody Allen’s 1967 “Casino Royale” spoof. As a kid, I even inhaled Duco Cement fumes assembling a plastic model 1964 Aston Martin DB5—with a working ejector seat!

Bond films delivered a feeling of sophistication and fun. The original James Bond was suave and sassy while he resolved sinister plots. He exemplified cool: He drank vodka martinis but never to excess, was impeccably dressed and, though flirty, was a gentleman. The early films were filled with innuendo and scenes that were simultaneously exotic and a touch campy. Sean Connery’s Bond had a joie de vivre. Roger Moore’s was less serious and a little over the top, but the audience was in on the joke.

Scholars love to analyze Bond creator and author Ian Fleming’s work as an allegory: Bond is the new Churchill, saving the British Empire from its inevitable postwar decline. Bond’s motivation in Her Majesty’s Secret Service is always God and country, epitomized in the opening scene of “The Spy Who Loved Me” when he skis off a cliff and unfurls a parachute emblazoned with the Union Jack.

But since Daniel Craig took over in 2006, things have turned strange, especially with his final Bond film, “No Time to Die,” which I recently watched. It was dark and gloomy like 2012’s “Skyfall.” Billie Eilish practically whispers the theme song, seemingly from a shrink’s couch. Bond was brooding, with a constant scowl on his face. What was he so depressed about, Brexit? No wonder Mr. Craig reportedly couldn’t wait to finish his run as 007.

What the heck is going on? After paying for $15 movie tickets plus overpriced and overbuttered popcorn, I expect to escape the drudgery of real life for a couple of hours. I want to come out of a dark theater with a huge smile on my face, not feeling as if I got hit by a sad sack of potatoes.

Why does Hollywood sulk so much these days? Is it simply reflecting society? This moody movement certainly ruined “Star Wars” and Batman—“Dark Knight” indeed—and even enjoyable Marvel characters like Iron Man’s Tony Stark, who started out snarky and ended up despondent. Gloomy dreck like “Parasite” and “Nomadland” now win the Oscar for Best Picture. Anything good, like Joaquin Phoenix’s performance in “The Joker,” gets shouted down as insensitive.

The movies are depressing because Hollywood is depressed. Hollywood is depressed because it’s not very good at its job anymore, and no matter how many awards they give to each other, they know it.

OPEN THREAD: You made me smile, for a little while.

SPACE: NASA to award SpaceX three more commercial crew flights. “NASA originally envisioned alternating missions between SpaceX and Boeing, assuming both companies’ vehicles would be certified around the same time. However, Boeing has yet to fly a crewed Starliner mission, and its second uncrewed test flight, OFT-2, has been delayed to some time in 2022.”

Poor Boeing.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Meet a single mom and adjunct professor with $430,000 in student debt: ‘I’m in a hole that I’m never going to get out of.’ “I hate to say it this way, and it’s morbid, but I’ll probably die still owing student loans.”

EPIC DAILY DEAL: Snow Joe SJ626E Electric Snow Thrower | 22-Inch | 14.5 Amp. #CommissionEarned

TAKE A RIDE, RIDE, RIDE ON HEAVY METAL, IT’S THE ONLY WAY YOU CAN TRAVEL DOWN THAT ROAD; Heavy Metal Exoplanet Found Orbiting Nearby Star: With a density close to that of pure iron, GJ 367b may be the remnant metal-rich core of an evaporated giant world.

GOODER AND HARDER: Brutal, brazen crimes shake L.A., leaving city at a crossroads.

Crews of burglars publicly smashing their way into Los Angeles’ most exclusive stores. Robbers following their victims, including a star of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” and a BET host, to their residences. And this week, the fatal shooting of 81-year-old Jacqueline Avant, an admired philanthropist and wife of music legend Clarence Avant, in her Beverly Hills home. . . .

Some wonder if this could be a turning point for California, which for decades has been at the center of the movement for criminal justice reform, rolling back tough sentencing laws and reducing prison populations.

Polls in 2020 showed that California voters largely support many of these measures, and both San Francisco and Los Angeles have elected district attorneys with strong reform agendas. However, those concerned about crime and those who believe liberal policies have contributed to its rise have grown more vocal.

It is a discourse defined by glaring differences of opinion and, at times, a yawning disconnect between the perception of local crime and the reality on the ground.

Dominick DeLuca, owner of the Brooklyn Projects skateboard shop on Melrose Avenue, a commercial corridor that has seen burglaries and robberies spike sharply in recent months, said things have gotten so bad that he carries a gun to work — and desperately wants ramped-up enforcement.

“I have never seen anything like it,” he said. “In the last two years, I have been broken into three times.”

At a Thursday press conference, Mayor Eric Garcetti and Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore said more offenders should be locked up and questioned pandemic-related policies that have allowed many nonviolent arrestees to be released without bail.

Moore said arrests had been made in several high-profile “smash-and-grab” burglaries but lamented that the suspects had all been released pending trial. Garcetti said warehousing criminals in jails without rehabilitating them is not a solution, but neither is ceding the streets to repeat offenders.

Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. George Gascón, whose progressive policies around prosecution and sentencing many blame for the uptick in crime, was notably absent at the press conference but said through his office that he is working closely with law enforcement partners to hold perpetrators accountable for such brazen crimes.

The heightened rhetoric marks a departure from language shared by many of the same officials just last year, after George Floyd’s murder by a Minneapolis police officer.

Even a flatworm is smart enough to turn away from pain.

THE END OF THE APARTHEID ALIBI:

During the local election campaign Ferial Haffajee wrote about the sad state of her part (and every part) of Johannesburg: litter everywhere, potholes, street lights and traffic lights that don’t work, irregular water, irregular power, uncollected rubbish and all the rest of it. When she recited this lament to the ANC she was angrily accused of “nostalgia for the white city”.

In today’s South Africa it is, of course, politically inadmissible to say that the whites got anything right so instead Ferial recorded sadly how in the years before 1994 there had been lots of bold talk by the UDF about how much better in every respect things would be in the new, liberated South Africa. The developmental state. People’s education. Reconstruction and development. The comrades gave such inspiring speeches about these matters.

Ferial is a nice woman but her perspectives are so encased in a sort of terminal political correctness that she can’t call a spade a spade. But imagine the angry black voters of Soweto or Ekurhuleni who booed Ramaphosa, or the Indian voters of Chatsworth, or the Coloured voters of the Cape Flats: if you accused them of “nostalgia for the white city” you’d be told “Absolutely. You bet. So’s everybody.”

It is indeed a no-brainer. Cheap, plentiful and reliable electricity. Sewage and water systems that work properly. Street lights and traffic lights ditto. Decent roads, litter that gets collected, law and order: what’s not to like?

The point is this. Whenever anyone tries to hold the ANC responsible for anything its first instinct is to find a way of blaming apartheid. But in the local election campaign this was impossible. They’ve been in power for 27 years so if people don’t like the mess they’ve made of their towns and, indeed, of their country, there’s no one else to blame. So the best the ANC can do is try to invalidate their complaint by the accusation of “nostalgia for the white city”. Quite obviously it didn’t work and won’t work.

Moreover, it carries the suggestion that the broken state of the towns and cities is what you ought to expect in an African-run country, that things not working is somehow more authentic. This is a very dangerous notion: “Vote for us! We expect to fail, and we will! We stand for backwardness, for candles not electricity.” This leads nowhere.

What did socialists use before candles? Electricity!

Plus:

It was not surprising that the effect of colonial conquest and the easy superiority of whites in white-ruled South Africa should have left many Africans with a diminished self-confidence and a low sense of their own worth. But the hope was that with all legal barriers removed and access to good education, a new sense of egalitarian self-confidence would be born, particularly in the younger generation.

This has not happened for no one has paid a higher price for the failure of ANC governance than young black South Africans. Far from improving, as one would have hoped, the state education on offer to them has declined in standard. If they get through Matric they often then find themselves way out of their depth on overcrowded university campuses, where standards have fallen too. The failure rates are horrendous, encouraging the sense that black students are inferior, always clustered at the bottom of the class.

Finally, young blacks face a horrendous labour market and the probability of long-term unemployment. Many of them get caught in pointless symbolic politics – arguing about statues, for heaven’s sake, or accepting that the only way ahead lies through racial populism. These are really dead-ends.

The ANC has taught young black South Africans that African government doesn’t work, that their politicians are crooks and that it’s not worth voting. The exact opposite of Mandela’s dream.

Moreover, the party was handed on a plate the richest country in Africa with the best infrastructure, the richest mining industry and the most productive agriculture. Within a generation it was an almost bankrupt country in which very little worked. What to say after that?

It’s not black rule. Botswana next door is well-run. It’s rule by leftists, which always makes everything suck. And they always use race as an excuse for their failures. You can see that in the deep-Blue parts of the United States.

Flashback: Over a decade ago, Nick Kristof reported that Zimbabweans were nostalgic for the old days of Rhodesia:

The hungry children and the families dying of AIDS here are gut-wrenching, but somehow what I find even more depressing is this: Many, many ordinary black Zimbabweans wish that they could get back the white racist government that oppressed them in the 1970’s.

“If we had the chance to go back to white rule, we’d do it,” said Solomon Dube, a peasant whose child was crying with hunger when I arrived in his village. “Life was easier then, and at least you could get food and a job.”

Mr. Dube acknowledged that the white regime of Ian Smith was awful. But now he worries that his 3-year-old son will die of starvation, and he would rather put up with any indignity than witness that.

An elderly peasant in another village, Makupila Muzamba, said that hunger today is worse than ever before in his seven decades or so, and said: “I want the white man’s government to come back. Even if whites were oppressing us, we could get jobs and things were cheap compared to today.”

His wife, Mugombo Mudenda, remembered that as a younger woman she used to eat meat, drink tea, use sugar and buy soap. But now she cannot even afford corn gruel. “I miss the days of white rule,” she said.

Nearly every peasant I’ve spoken to in Zimbabwe echoed those thoughts.

You’d think that Zimbabwe would have been a cautionary example for South Africa, but it seems to have been more of a how-to guide. And hey, the political insiders got rich.

THE CORBYNIZATION OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY CONTINUES APACE: Pelosi Looking To Punish Boebert For Islamophobia But She Ignores Antisemitism.

WELCOME BACK, CARTER: Ron Klain cannot gaslight Biden’s way to reelection.

We are used to White Houses of all political stripes lying to us, but the lies the Biden administration tells are betrayed by everyone’s eyes, ears, and pocketbooks. It doesn’t matter how great Klain boasts our (artificially) tight labor market when we all know service is getting slower, worse, and more expensive.

Biden can bleat about how “transitory” this inflation is, but can you believe that when your paycheck covers less and less of your regular budget? The average person spends the majority of that budget on food, transportation, and housing — the three things exploding in price right now. Not only are those things we experience and ascertain as fact, but these are things that directly infuriate us.

At some point, maybe Klain and company will realize lying to voters about how great things are is a losing strategy. But by then, it may no longer be their government to control.

The article is focused on Team Biden trashing the economy, and doesn’t even mention the other big reason for Brandon’s sagging poll numbers: Americans give Biden low marks on Afghanistan pullout: Reuters/Ipsos poll.

JUST IN TIME FOR ALL YOUR CHRISTMAS SHOPPING NEEDS: ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ store opens in Massachusetts.

FIGHT THE WOKE: In defence of academic freedom at McGill University. “We insist that inclusivity must begin with a commitment to a broad diversity of thought, opinions, theoretical interests and political views.”

SAN FRANCISCO RESTAURANT DEFENDS DENYING SERVICE TO ARMED POLICE OFFICERS: ‘We were uncomfortable.’

The co-owner of a San Francisco restaurant defended refusing service to three uniformed police officers following backlash over the move, calling the establishment a “safe space.”

“It’s not about the fact that we are anti-police,” chef and co-owner of Hilda and Jesse, Rachel Sillcocks, told ABC7 News. “It is about the fact that we do not allow weapons in our restaurant. We were uncomfortable, and we asked them to leave. It has nothing to do that they were officers. It has everything to do that they were carrying guns.”

“We understand how much the police support and protect the community,” she added. “We want to again reiterate the fact that this is about guns being in our space, and we don’t allow it.”

Well, that’s one way to (temporarily, alas) tank your Yelp rating.

STILL AVAILABLE: New Apple AirPods Pro. #CommissionEarned

GOODER AND HARDER, FUN CITY: Manhattan workers warned not to use public transit. Is this the new normal?

There is at least some hope that when Bill de Blasio is finally gone next month and Eric Adams is in office, a greater measure of security will be restored and a more normal commuting routine will be possible. One CEO told reporters that he hoped this was the case but, “it’s almost like he can’t get here soon enough to restore law and order.”

The subway stations are not safe. If you’re not being shaken down for money, somebody may be along shortly to randomly shove you onto the tracks. The sidewalks near Penn Station and the bus terminal are danger zones, with people regularly being stabbed, shot, or mugged as soon as the sun goes down. People didn’t ride out the pandemic just to have their city stolen from them by gang members. Something has to be done sooner rather than later.

If only there was a system with a proven track record designed to lower crime in Manhattan.

SENATOR AND WAR HERO: Remembering Bob Dole.

JONATHAN TURLEY: Epidemic of smash-and-grab crime is definitely man-made.

Crime is raging across the country, from violent attacks to brazen shoplifting to mob “smash and grab” attacks. The White House this week had a simple answer for the cause of this rising lawlessness: It was not “defund the police” efforts, or more restrictive policies for police and prosecutors. It was the familiar scourge cited in debates ranging from infrastructure to supply chains to tax increases — the pandemic.

The pandemic now seems to have reached the mythic levels of gods who once were blamed for everything that went wrong in life. Africans had Anansi the Spider, while the Norse had the trickster Loki. Both were known to assume different identities to wreak disorder or steal precious things.

For politicians, it is useful to have a lurking Loki to explain that social problems are not really of their making, the result of their failures. The Loki factor was evident in the press conference this week when Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy asked about the rising lawlessness seen in major cities such as New York, Chicago and Los Angeles: “Does the president still think that crime is up because of the pandemic?” White House press secretary Jen Psaki replied that “many people have conveyed that.”

Doocy persisted: “So when a huge group of criminals organizes themselves and they want to go loot a store — a CVS, a Nordstrom, a Home Depot until the shelves are clean — do you think that’s because of the pandemic?” Psaki replied: “I think a root cause in a lot of communities is the pandemic, yes.”

To be fair, there’s a connection in one sense: San Jose Spends COVID Aid to Fight Flash Mob Robberies. “The San Jose, Calif., city council has approved spending a portion of COVID-19 pandemic funds in an effort to combat smash-and-grab robberies in the Bay Area, according to CBS affiliate KPIX. The city council unanimously voted to allocate $250,000 of pandemic funds toward license plate readers (LPRs). The $250,000 came from the $18.3 million the city received from the Biden administration’s American Rescue Plan Act, according to KPIX.”

NO, AND THEY’RE STUPID: Flight bans won’t stop Omicron: The virus is coming from inside the house.

EXPLORING THE IMPORTANT ISSUES: Ultimate Proof That 6 Wheels Are Cooler Than 4.

TRUST THE SCIENCE: Nature: When scientists gave 1,000 vulnerable people hepatitis over 30 years: What sort of system nurtures a decades-long programme of deliberately infecting children and prisoners with a dangerous disease? “There was a time when we could have casually looked down our noses at mid-twentieth-century ignorance about infectious diseases. But with the world still in the throes of a coronavirus pandemic, I was struck by the parallels. Witness how efforts have been focused on the acute impacts of disease (hospitalization, death) without much thought to long-term consequences (disability). Or think of how those with the least agency — children, people in prison, people with severe mental illnesses — have been put at risk by those with the most power.”

QUESTION ASKED: How’s ‘shutting down the virus’ going, Joe?

We are less than a month away from entering 2022 — so why does it feel like March 2020 all over again?

Cable news networks are obsessively covering the new Omicron variant of Covid-19. They are hellbent on scaring the daylights out of any unsuspecting viewer who accidentally flips onto their programs. To be fair, the media is taking cues from the president. According to the Washington Post, the Biden administration is reportedly weighing up a seven-day self-quarantine for all travelers arriving on our shores, regardless of vaccination status, including US citizens and permanent residents. Travel bans, which fell out of fashion in the Trump years because they were “xenophobic”, are suddenly back in vogue.

It all begs the question: didn’t Joe Biden promise to shut down the virus?

Back in October 2020, then-candidate Biden — or whoever was running his Twitter account at the time — proudly tweeted, “I’m not going to shut down the country. I’m not going to shut down the economy. I’m going to shut down the virus.” That’s right. Joe was going to shut down the virus all while eating ice cream, wearing aviators and saying things like “God love ya.”

Unfortunately that tweet has aged about as well as the president. The only thing Biden has shut down since taking over in January is the Keystone XL Pipeline.

We are now eleven months into the Biden presidency and more people have died from Covid on Joe’s watch than under his predecessor. You might think that counting and comparing deaths in order to score political points is ghoulish and unproductive. I’d agree. But since Biden gladly used this tactic during a 2020 debate with Trump, it’s only fair he be held to his own standard.

It was a Trump-like boast from Team Biden — and apparently, no one in his administration thought that he’d be judged by it once in office: Democrats livid over GOP’s COVID-19 attacks on Biden.

GOOD: Gene test spots breast cancer patients who can skip post-op chemo.

ROGER KIMBALL: Oh, Oh, Omicron!

So far, I have to say, it’s been pretty much of a dud—unless, that is, you’re the stock market, which has taken a beating this last week or so, in part because of this new kid on the medical block (there is also that much more toxic financial emergency, the Biden Administration, but that’s for another day). The new variant has also been a godsend for scolds, nags, bureaucrats, and meddlesome so-called public health officials nannies who are just itching for another excuse to lock down your world, introduce new travel restrictions, and impose new testing protocols.

How will it all play out? TSTS—Too Soon to Say, but I suspect this sequel is going to be a flop at the box office. For one thing, although only recently named, there is abundant evidence that Omicron has been around for months. If it had been previously unnamed, that is perhaps because it is no big deal. The South African doctor who first identified the strain noted that while the virus was possibly more contagious than versions named for letters earlier in the Greek alphabet, symptoms tended to be mild, indeed “very mild.” A typical news report notes that “patients mostly suffered from mild muscle aches, scratchy throat and dry cough.” (Remember colds? Remember the flu?)

So why the panic? Partly, it is because panic is an antidote to boredom. People are heavily bored. Panic also licenses the people who want to run your life to, well, run your life. “Most Omicron cases so far have been mild,” runs one headline, “but experts say it will take weeks to understand how severe the variant can be.” Ah, “experts”! What would we do without them?

One thing we’d do is ride public transportation without wearing a mask. But apparently there are sufficient numbers of people who are cowed enough, or bored enough, to don the little badge of their submission and pretend that they are not only “staying safe” but keeping you safe, too. Where did your mother tell you that road paved with good intentions led?

Here’s the reality: the COVID “pandemic” is over. I hasten to add: also, it will never end.

Earlier: Panic is a Lifestyle Brand.

R.I.P. Bob Dole Dies at 98.

THE SENSE OF AN ENDING: Is America—and the world—prepared for what comes next?

Whatever happens, I find I cannot escape the sense that America has reached an impasse, that it has arrived at a moment of transition, and not just on the matter of abortion. Whether one looks at politics, economics, or the world, one sees a realignment of forces, a shuffling of players off and on the stage, to prepare for the next act in the drama. The Trump presidency seems less like the harbinger of a new beginning than a spectacular climax to a historical epoch. If so, we are living through a sort of denouement, a working through of conflicts left unresolved. “It feels like the order we have all taken for granted since the end of the Cold War is badly decaying, and has gotten so fragile that it might well shatter soon,” wrote Damir Marusic of Wisdom of Crowds last month. Question is: What replaces it?

If the Court does overrule Roe next summer, America will have entered uncharted territory. Many states will ban abortion immediately. Others will legalize it for the duration of a pregnancy. Still others will restrict and limit the practice. Abortion will be a matter for legislatures—including the U.S. Congress. Both Democrats and Republicans believe that abortion would become a major issue in next year’s midterm campaign, with unforeseeable consequences. Would a pro-choice backlash help Democrats? Perhaps. Then again, some of us thought that Texas’s fetal heartbeat law might help Democrats in Virginia and New Jersey. That didn’t happen.

Conversely, if the Court does preserve Roe, many conservatives and Republicans fear a pro-life backlash directed at the GOP infrastructure and conservative legal movement. No less an authority than former attorney general Ed Meese wrote in the Washington Post that the “success” of constitutional originalism depends on the Court’s ruling in Dobbs. Tension already is high within the conservative legal movement over former president Donald Trump, his attempt to remain in office, and the intellectual challenges from “common-good” constitutionalists and from advocates of judicial “engagement” over “restraint.” A disappointing ruling may not only deflate Republican enthusiasm, but also turn grassroots conservatives in more radical directions.

Read the whole thing.

VERY SMALL, BUT YES: Rand Paul: Chris Cuomo firing ‘a small step toward CNN regaining any credibility.’

‘CHRISTMAS WITH THE CHOSEN:’ Looks like the holiday special from the crew behind the immensely successful, crowd-funded series have another winner. Here’s a trailer for the special and here’s a surprisingly positive report from the Wall Street Journal. Quality, like cream, does rise to the top.

OCEANIA HAS ALWAYS BEEN AT WAR WITH CHRIS CUOMO:

Shot: CNN’s Brian Stelter speculates Chris Cuomo could return to air by January.

The Colorado Springs Gazette, Wednesday.

Chaser: Hmmm: Brian Stelter Says Chris Cuomo Caused ‘So Many Headaches’ at CNN.

—Matt Margolis, PJ Media.com, today.

CONSEQUENCES ARE FOR THE LITTLE PEOPLE: Disgraced FBI agent John ‘Zip’ Connolly in Massachusetts on full pension: You can thank Congress for passing the ‘Hiss Act.’ “He kept his pension, despite being convicted of second-degree murder in 2008, because Congress passed the Hiss Act in 1954 that allows lawmakers, and therefore federal employees, to keep their retirement benefits unless convicted of espionage or treason.”

REPORT: Former U.S. presidential candidate Bob Dole has died at age 98.

BYLINES OF BRUTALITY: Listen: Unhinged NYT Journalist’s Foulmouthed Voicemail for Great Lakes Gun Rights.

Remember this when they brag about their own professionalism. (Classical reference in headline.)

UPDATE: From the comments: “Imagine her call to AAA after Waukesha.”

ANOTHER UPDATE: New York Times reviews Wirecutter editor Erin Marquis over voicemail for gun rights group after Michigan shooting.

Times spokeswoman Danielle Rhoades Ha, in an email to CNBC, said, “We expect our employees to behave in a way that is consistent with our values and commitment to the highest ethical standards.”

“We are currently reviewing this matter, which involves an employee of Wirecutter, our product recommendation site, who does not work in The New York Times newsroom,” the spokeswoman said.

Marquis declined to comment.

She’s not even an actual NYT reporter, so she was lying as well as crazy.

STILL POPULAR: Better Off Dead: A Jack Reacher Novel. #CommissionEarned

TO BE FAIR, FREEDOM ISN’T ONE OF STANFORD’S VALUES: ‘Pro-freedom’ Pence speech denied funding by Stanford student government.

EPIC DAILY DEAL: Snow Joe SJ626E Electric Snow Thrower | 22-Inch | 14.5 Amp. #CommissionEarned

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Stanford University: Masks required, clothes optional.

TODAY IN MEDIA-MANUFACTURED CONTROVERSIES: Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie tweets pro-gun photo days after Michigan school shooting.

That’s because he was pro-gun before and after this random event. What they’re unhappy about is that they weren’t able to cow him into not expressing his position, and accepting that guns are somehow evil. Good for him.

NOW OUT FROM MY FRIEND HIAWATHA BRAY: Power in the Blood. (Bumped).

THE STEPHANOPOULOS INTERVIEW WAS AWFUL: ‘He Confessed.’ Actor Adam Baldwin’s Blistering Takedown of ‘Preening’ Alec Baldwin’s CYA ABC Interview.

F MINUS: White House Report Card: Jobs mixed, virus raging, Harris failing.

IN THE MICHIGAN SCHOOL SHOOTING THEY’RE CHARGING THE PARENTS, BUT WHAT ABOUT THE SCHOOL? “This is part of a larger issue of government declining to keep the peace and attempting to convince us that it cannot keep the peace, something I wrote about last month, after the Rittenhouse verdict and the Waukesha massacre.”

If the government can’t and won’t keep the peace, why have it around at all?

BOB ZUBRIN NOTES Growing support for nuclear power on the left.

The thing to remember is that the anti-nuclear movement wasn’t really about nukes. It was designed, by Tom Hayden, et al., to keep the infrastructure of the anti-Vietnam War movement alive after the Vietnam War was over.

FIGHT THE POWER, STICK IT TO THE MAN: Alumni Withhold Donations, Demand Colleges Enforce Free Speech.

Two years ago Cornell University asked a California real-estate developer and longtime donor for a seven-figure contribution.

Carl Neuss didn’t write the check immediately, saying he was worried about what he saw as liberal indoctrination on campus and declining tolerance toward competing viewpoints.

To allay Mr. Neuss’s concerns, the development office introduced him to some politically moderate professors, he said. The attempt backfired. The professors, he said, told him they felt humiliated by the diversity training they were required to attend and perpetually afraid they would say something factual—but impolitic.

“If you say the wrong words, you could lose your position or be shunned,” said Mr. Neuss. . . .

Mr. Neuss, who graduated from Cornell in 1976, withheld his donation and then helped start the Cornell Free Speech Alliance. It is one of about 20 such dissident alumni organizations that have taken root on college campuses over the last couple of years—including several this fall.

Many of the groups are driven by politically moderate or conservative men who graduated from college in the late 1960s and 1970s, according to interviews with several of the group leaders. They believe progressive groupthink has taken over college campuses, and are urging schools to protect free speech and encourage a diverse set of views. In some cases, alumni are withholding donations to pressure schools to take them seriously.

“This is a battle for our culture and, in many ways, for Western civilization,” said John Craig, who heads a similar organization at Davidson College in North Carolina called Davidsonians for Freedom of Thought and Discourse. “Open and free expression is what makes our country great, and if we lose this, our country is in deep trouble.” . . .

This fall, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology disinvited University of Chicago geophysicist Dorian Abbot from delivering a scientific lecture at the school because he alleged that a new cadre of diversity, equity and inclusion officers was creating a climate in which faculty were self-censoring.

The disinvitation prompted Tom Hafer, a 1970 MIT graduate, to withhold donations and then to help launch the MIT Free Speech Alliance to support free speech, open inquiry and viewpoint diversity. It currently has about 250 members. He is calling for the school to host a debate between Dr. Abbot and one of the six new associate deans for diversity, equity and inclusion.

A spokesman for MIT said the school is grateful for their alumni, respects their perspective and declined to comment about specific views.

“This is our litmus test because he holds ideas that the woke crowd finds anathema,” Mr. Hafer said. “He needs to be able to explain his position without being harassed or interrupted or intimidated.”

Indeed.

DIPLOMACY RIGHT NOW:

Related: U.S. warns of possible Russian invasion of Ukraine with 175,000 troops in 2022.

THEY CAN FUCK RIGHT OFF: Joel Kotkin: The great nudge: Government, Big Tech and the media are all trying to nudge us into adopting the ‘right’ behaviour.

When we think of oppressive regimes, we immediately think of the Stalinist model portrayed in Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, the heavy-handed thought control associated with Hitler’s Reich or Mao’s China. But where the old propaganda was loud, crude and often lethal, the contemporary style of thought control takes the form of a gentle nudging towards orthodoxy – a gentle push that gradually closes off one’s critical faculties and leads one to comply with gently given directives. Governments around the world, including in the UK, notes the Guardian, have been embracing this approach with growing enthusiasm.

Nudging grew out of research into behavioural economics, and was popularised in Cass Sunstein and Richard Thaler’s 2008 book, Nudge. It now has widespread public support and has influenced everything from health warnings for cigarettes to calorie counts for fast food. Yet nudging also has an authoritarian edge, employing techniques and technologies that the Gestapo or NKVD could only dream about to promote the ‘right behaviour’.

Tech firms, both in the US and China, already use messaging nudges to ‘control behaviours’. They use their power to purge their platforms of the wrong messages, as both Facebook and Twitter did when they censored the New York Post’s pre-election story about President Biden’s dissolute son, Hunter.

They’re garbage, and this shouldn’t be tolerated.

December 4, 2021

OPEN THREAD: Sometimes I get a good feeling.

EVERYTHING IS GOING SWIMMINGLY.

#JOURNALISM:

UPDATE: From the comments: “Questioning authority, resistance and protests were the stuff of our youth. Clapton and Morrison’s response IS what I expect of them. F the fascist authorities and administrative nazi enablers. The UK could use a few million others to stand with them.”

Plus: “I don’t know when this distressing trend of musicians not toeing the establishment line appeared, but it has to be quelled instantly! Popular art and music is all about supporting the dominant narrative!”

I WOULD LIKE TO SEE US AS A TYPE II AT LEAST: The Kardashev scale: Classifying alien civilizations.

CNN TERMINATES CHRIS CUOMO ‘EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY:’ And so, as he flies the blue lady of the skies into the sunset, we say aloha, Five O’Clock Fredo, and return to our duties. Let me me remind you that the Weblog is open 24 hours a day for your dancing and dining pleasure.

EVERYTHING IS GOING SWIMMINGLY: Harris faces staff exodus as questions on her leadership style emerge: ‘This is a sinking ship.’

NO, THEY DON’T MEAN 2021: One American Culture Actually Benefited From ‘The Worst Year in Human History’.

EAT DURING THE DAY: Study: Nighttime eating affects body clock, can lead to glucose intolerance.

WHAT SPREADS FASTER THAN COVID-19? VACCINATION.

It deserves a wow. Some 57% of the human population has received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, and 45% are fully vaccinated, in less than a year.

This means the vaccine has spread approximately twice as fast as the virus, never mind that the virus itself is an exceptionally fast spreader that organizes its own distribution without help from trained administrators and sub-zero storage.

Add that infection also offers a kind of vaccination, so now two kinds of resistance to Covid-19 have been spreading with unprecedented rapidity through the human population.

Numerous were the complaints about how Delta spoiled the summer even for vaccinated people, but it’s not clear why this was so. Vaccination takes away Covid’s deadliest property, its novelty to the human immune system, turning it into the equivalent of a cold or flu. Nobody lets the prospect of a cold or flu spoil their holiday (though perhaps they should for the sake of their elderly in-laws).

The point is not frivolous. It suggests why, rather than a dark new chapter, the Omicron variant may be our last big wallow in hysteria, from which we will awake slightly red-faced in the morning.

Start with numbers and remind yourself that what turned Covid into a global catastrophe wasn’t its unusual deadliness—in unvaccinated people, it appears to be roughly twice as deadly as the flu when unvaccinated apples are compared to unvaccinated apples; in vaccinated people it appears to be significantly less deadly given that our standard flu mortality estimate of 0.1% arises in a U.S. population in which vaccination approaches 70% for the riskiest age brackets.

The big disturber of our equanimity was Covid’s rapid spread—with so many of us getting our high-risk first exposure in a compressed period of time, straining the world’s hospitals.

With flu, the U.S. government estimates that 5% to 20% of us (with or without symptoms) are infected each year; about half of us are vaccinated. With Covid, a government-sponsored study recently estimated that 100 million were infected in 2020, or 30% of the U.S. population, at a time when almost nobody was vaccinated.

This speed of transmission is what keeps throwing the world for a loop; moreover, it seems indisputable in retrospect that we squandered our best point of leverage by failing to focus on protecting the elderly and those at highest risk.

Well, some people proposed that, you know. Others, like Andrew Cuomo, put Covid patients into nursing homes.

Related: The Lancet:

High COVID-19 vaccination rates were expected to reduce transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in populations by reducing the number of possible sources for transmission and thereby to reduce the burden of COVID-19 disease. Recent data, however, indicate that the epidemiological relevance of COVID-19 vaccinated individuals is increasing. In the UK it was described that secondary attack rates among household contacts exposed to fully vaccinated index cases was similar to household contacts exposed to unvaccinated index cases (25% for vaccinated vs 23% for unvaccinated). 12 of 31 infections in fully vaccinated household contacts (39%) arose from fully vaccinated epidemiologically linked index cases. Peak viral load did not differ by vaccination status or variant type [[1]].

In Germany, the rate of symptomatic COVID-19 cases among the fully vaccinated (“breakthrough infections”) is reported weekly since 21. July 2021 and was 16.9% at that time among patients of 60 years and older [[2]]. This proportion is increasing week by week and was 58.9% on 27. October 2021 (Figure 1) providing clear evidence of the increasing relevance of the fully vaccinated as a possible source of transmission. A similar situation was described for the UK. Between week 39 and 42, a total of 100.160 COVID-19 cases were reported among citizens of 60 years or older. 89.821 occurred among the fully vaccinated (89.7%), 3.395 among the unvaccinated (3.4%) [[3]]. One week before, the COVID-19 case rate per 100.000 was higher among the subgroup of the vaccinated compared to the subgroup of the unvaccinated in all age groups of 30 years or more. In Israel a nosocomial outbreak was reported involving 16 healthcare workers, 23 exposed patients and two family members. The source was a fully vaccinated COVID-19 patient. The vaccination rate was 96.2% among all exposed individuals (151 healthcare workers and 97 patients). Fourteen fully vaccinated patients became severely ill or died, the two unvaccinated patients developed mild disease [[4]]. The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identifies four of the top five counties with the highest percentage of fully vaccinated population (99.9–84.3%) as “high” transmission counties [[5]]. Many decisionmakers assume that the vaccinated can be excluded as a source of transmission. It appears to be grossly negligent to ignore the vaccinated population as a possible and relevant source of transmission when deciding about public health control measures.

The vaccinations seem to be underperforming. It may be that we should have focused vaccination on the elderly and infirm too.

ADVICE: How To Keep Your Corporation Out of the Culture War.

[W]e believe the main reason Gen Z wields more influence is because a critical mass of their Millennial bosses and managers are sympathetic to them. . . .

Ever since they entered the corporate world in the early 2000s, some members of the Millennial generation (born 1982 to 1996) have pushed for being able to “bring their whole selves to work.” Companies in the creative industries encouraged this shift, erasing boundaries between work life and private life. But as America became ever more politically polarized, the problem with this policy became evident: Some whole selves cannot tolerate working alongside other whole selves that have different political beliefs and voting patterns.

Compartmentalization is essential to civilization.

THEY KILLED FREDO: CNN Terminates Cuomo.

I’ll be interested to see what the “additional information” is.

GREAT MOMENTS IN CHUTZPAH AND/OR AMNESIA: Democrats livid over GOP’s COVID-19 attacks on Biden.

Democrats are up in arms this month over GOP charges that President Biden is to blame for the prolonged COVID-19 crisis.

They argue that Republicans, from former President Trump to his most vocal allies in Congress and in state capitals, bear plenty of responsibility for public resistance to masks and vaccines, noting the opposition to those leading mitigation efforts comes overwhelmingly from the right.

The criticism of masks and vaccines has sabotaged Biden’s efforts to get the nation past the pandemic, some argue.

“They’ve done everything possible to ensure that we can’t get past it,” Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-Texas) said of the Republicans. “They’ve fought mask requirements, vaccine requirements. They’ve spread misinformation. They have amplified dangerous conspiracy theories.

“There is one group to blame in this country for the continued spread of COVID,” she added, “and that’s those actors who have done each and every one of those things.”

Flashbacks to early March of 2020:

Chuck Todd: Coronavirus Can Be to Trump Like Iran Hostages Were to Carter.

‘She’s actually smiling:’ MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace and guest discuss coronavirus that could become ‘Trump’s Katrina.’

And later in the year:

Kamala Harris says she will be ‘first in line’ for a coronavirus vaccine if health experts approve it, but ‘if Donald Trump tells us we should take it, then I’m not taking it.’

Business Insider after the debate between Harris and Mike Pence, October 7th, 2020.

Here’s a montage of Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, and Andrew Cuomo saying not so long ago that you shouldn’t trust the feds, the FDA, and the vaccine.

Not the Bee, September 11th, 2021.

And speaking of amnesia:

Joe Biden: I’m going to ‘shut down the virus’, not the US.

—The Grauniad, October 23rd, 2020.

STILL POPULAR: New Apple AirPods Pro. #CommissionEarned

BIDEN’S CHIEF OF STAFF CAN’T STOP EMBARRASSING HIMSELF ON TWITTER:

The president’s chief of staff is arguably the most demanding job inside any White House. President Joe Biden’s top staffer, Ron Klain, isn’t making things easier for himself lately with the absurd things he’s posting on Twitter.

Klain is what we can only call a Very Online person. He is constantly tweeting and sharing other people’s posts to his half-million followers in an incessant effort to cheerlead for his boss and the Democratic Party more broadly. While this is the role of any outward-facing political staffer, Klain is taking his shilling so far that he’s now just making embarrassing public statements on the regular.

For example, Klain recently tweeted that “America is back at work” alongside this graph, which shows the opposite.

The Biden staffer boosted the graph hoping to show that the labor force participation rate, the percentage of people working or seeking work, is back to normal after the pandemic. Yet it actually shows that it’s still significantly below pre-pandemic levels, even a year and nine months later. Anyone with eyes can clearly see this.

In actuality, we are 8.2 million jobs below the pre-pandemic trend, according to economist Aaron Sojourner. So much for America being “back at work.”

Earlier: The Mark of Klain. “[A]ll in all, things have worked out pretty darn well for Ron Klain. For America? Not so much.”

FORMER PRODUCER HARASSED BY CHRIS CUOMO SAYS INTERNAL INVESTIGATION AT CNN ISN’T ENOUGH:

A former executive producer at ABC when Chris Cuomo worked there accused him of sexually harassing her in September. Her claim of abusive behavior by Chris Cuomo goes back to 2005. Not only did Cuomo grab her backside at a going-away party for a colleague, but he did so in front of her husband.

At the time Cuomo told his former producer, Shelley Ross, that he could do that because she was no longer his boss as the producer of his Primetime Live show on ABC. She objected, telling him that no he could not do so and pushed him away. Ross produced an email from that time that came from Cuomo after the incident. He apologized for his behavior to both her and her husband, thus admitting guilt. The older Cuomo brother isn’t the only one with a problem with controlling his hands around women, apparently. Ross now says that an internal investigation at CNN over Cuomo’s egregious professional behavior that resulted in an indefinite suspension just won’t cut it. An in-house investigation isn’t enough and she suggests that CNN should do as CBS did over the Dan Rather fake reporting of George W. Bush in 2000 and hire independent investigators to do the job.

Good luck with that: CNN’s Brian Stelter speculates Chris Cuomo could return to air by January.

SEEN AT THE MALL: I was walking by a t-shirt store and this caught my eye: “Don’t California My Tennessee” T-Shirt. It is also available in a bumper sticker.

FASTER, PLEASE: Printing technique creates effective skin equivalent, heals wounds.

CANCEL CULTURE FINALLY COMES FOR ANCIENT ROME: Ancient Roman ‘homophobic graffiti’ found in unearthed Pompeii snack bar.

LEE SMITH: Here Comes the Limited Hangout. America’s Nixonian press corps takes a page from the Watergate playbook to try and cover up its active role in the criminal Russiagate hoax:

In other words, all of Russiagate—the initial crime and the criminal cover-up—is based on the dossier. No matter how much reporters now try to sever themselves from it while maintaining Trump really did collude with Russia, there was only ever the dossier.

So should the Pulitzer committee strip the Post and the Times of their 2018 prize, as Trump and many of his supporters are saying? By no means. That would only further obscure the damage the media have done to American citizens, U.S. national security, and government institutions during the past several years. The press sponsored an intelligence operation that, among many other outrages, violated the privacy rights of an American citizen (Page); forced another to flee his adopted home for fear of false imprisonment (Millian); dragged a decorated combat veteran through the mud and cost him his home and millions of dollars in legal fees (Flynn); interfered in an election, and helped spies target the president through leaks of classified information. Demanding they simply return the awards they use to credential themselves obscures the larger truth. Instead, it would be more fitting for the Post and Times to have the prize’s citation emblazoned on their mastheads for posterity to commemorate how they injected poison into the national bloodstream and burned down our free press.

Read the whole thing.

UPDATE: Before Russiagate, There Was Watergate.

TOP SELLER: Marino Mens Genuine Leather Ratchet Dress Belt with Open Linxx Buckle. #CommissionEarned

THAT’S OKAY, THE REPORTING OF NEWS IS ALSO BASED ON FEELINGS: Study: People choose to learn about health, world news based on feelings.

TIM BLAIR ON LET’S GO BRANDON, THE EARLY YEARS: “According to conventional wisdom, the Let’s Go Brandon movement began in Alabama two months ago. That’s the theory, anyway. But reader Kris has discovered evidence that LGB commenced 39 years earlier, during an Ashes Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in 1982.”

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Chicago Public Schools Making Bathrooms Gender-Neutral.

DEAR FELLOW AMERICANS, STEVE GREEN CAN’T DO IT ALL HIMSELF, YOU KNOW: Global survey finds the drunkest country in the world — and it’s not the US.

NOW OUT: Everything You Believe Is Wrong. #CommissionEarned

ROGER SIMON: Eighty House Republicans Vote for More Government Spying.

Welcome to Stasi America!

I used to think that cry was excessive, was an unrestrained accusation of some semi-existent phenomenon called the alt-right. The East German Stasi, after all, topped even the KGB when it came to intruding on the private lives of citizens, fundamentally destroying the individual at the hands of the state.

No longer.

Our lack of privacy, not to mention the increased ability of the government to spy on us, has been ratified by eighty—count ‘em eighty—House Republicans, including minority leader Kevin McCarthy (who wants us to see him as a viable replacement of, an actual savior from, Nancy Pelosi) and Burgess Owens of all people (Et tu, Burgess? Who can we rely on now?)

What these GOP members of what seems more and more like the People’s Congress of Cambodia under Pol Pot have voted for en masse, joining one hundred percent of the Democrats (something suspicious right there), is a bill to fund a Federal Vaccination Database.

Known as the Immunization Infrastructure Act (H. R. 550), this baby would provide $400 million of your dollars and mine for an “immunization system data modernization and expansion” of “a confidential, population-based, computerized database that records immunization doses administered by any health care provider to persons within the geographic area covered by that database.”

In other words, it’s a handy way to get the “wrong” people fired, ostracized or whatever, while getting their children kicked out of school.

The Lives of Others was never meant to be a how-to guide for good government.

IT’S SAD THAT THIS COUNTS AS A WIN NOWADAYS, BUT IT DOES: ‘Win for academic freedom’: College will not fire professor who defended rigorous math standards.

COMING SOON: THE MUELLER REPORT DELUXE BOX SET, WITH OUTTAKES AND ALTERNATE MIXES! More Russiagate Nonsense: DOJ Considers Releasing Alternate Mueller Report.

FIGHT THE POWER, STICK IT TO THE MAN: Princeton students call out dean’s Rittenhouse email for ‘factual inaccuracies, misconstrual, and virtue signaling.’

“There is a sizeable cohort of your students who agree with the Rittenhouse verdict; they think––as we do––that the jury executed its fact-finding mission faithfully and thoroughly, and that the facts of the case were applied to produce an outcome in accordance with what the law (not the moral judgment of a dean) requires.

That opinion has been echoed by many serious legal commentators. Issuing such a one-sided and misleading statement in your capacity as Dean, we fear, sends a message to students that the institution (qua you) has taken a position on the matter (the “right” position), and runs the risk of chilling serious intellectual discussion on important public issues. In sum, we found your statement to be factually and pedagogically erroneous.

Good.

Though in this case it’s not The Man, but The Woman.

AMERICA CAN’T BE GREAT AGAIN UNTIL IT IS ACCOUNTABLE: That’s the core message of OpenTheBooks.com founder and CEO Adam Andrzejewski’s recent address to hundreds of state legislators from across the country at the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) conference.

This guy and his troops filed more than 40,000 Freedom of Information (FOI) requests for spending data at all levels of government. As somebody who has fought the transparency-in-government fight for three decades, I can attest to what a phenomenal achievements that is. Adam’s address is 22.37 minutes long and worth every minute.

WE’VE DESCENDED INTO SOME SORT OF BIZARRE HELL-WORLD IN WHICH SARAH SILVERMAN IS A VOICE OF SANITY: The truth has to matter’: Sarah Silverman (!!!) scolds Joy Reid over the Florida State Guard story.

Background here: DeSantis Derangement Syndrome Starts to Rear Its Ugly Head. “On Thursday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, likely fed up with the lack of support from the Biden administration, proposed a civilian-military force in the Sunshine State. The Republican introduced plans to re-establish the Florida State Guard to quickly aid responses to emergencies like hurricanes. Several other states across the country, including deep-blue California and New York, have similar civilian forces…Florida would be the 23rd state to establish such a force.”

GOODER AND HARDER, NEW YORK: Utility Bills to Rise up to 10 Percent to Green NYC Electricity Grid.

GOODER AND HARDER, CALIFORNIA: 14 California Looters Arrested by Police Have Been Released Due to the State’s Zero Bail Policy.

ON EAGLES’ WINGS: When you see a Boeing 747’s wing, you know somebody designed it. So the central question posed by “The Genius of Flight”  is why don’t we come to the same conclusion when looking at the vastly more complicated design of an eagle’s wing?

Yes, the issue here is design versus evolution, but regardless of which side you take on that long-running debate, this is a marvelously crafted and intellectually inspiring presentation that is at once entertaining and instructive.

WHY DON’T THEY TELL US THIS ABOUT OMICRON? Drew Holden and Aaron Sibarium of The Washington Free Beacon report African leaders are turning down additional shipments of the Coronavirus vaccine.

That’s directly contrary to Mainstream Media reports such as the recent one from the New York Times claiming “the continent was yet again bearing the brunt of panicked policies from Western countries” that limit supplies of the vaccine.

Why is it, one wonders, that the West in general and usually the U.S. in particular is always made to appear to be the bad guy? And then these people wonder why their public credibility is in the toilet?

JUST ASK ERIC GARNER: New Report Shows Why Congress’s Plan to Raise Cigarette and Nicotine Taxes is Such a Terrible Idea.

Suffice it to say this isn’t a good thing. Black markets fuel criminal activity and lack the same accountability and quality standards of free, legal markets. But fueling the black market is just another unintended consequence of big government meddling with legal markets.

“The crafting of tax policy can never be divorced from an understanding of the law of unintended consequences, but it is too often disregarded or misunderstood in political debate,” Boesen concludes. “Sometimes policies, however well-intentioned, have unintended consequences that outweigh their benefits.”

Flashback: It Wasn’t Just a Chokehold That Killed Eric Garner.

ALEC BALDWIN: I feel no guilt over Hutchins’ death.

By speaking publicly now, Baldwin locks himself into a series of claims which evidence may later contradict. If so, Baldwin has already impeached himself and that may make him more vulnerable to prosecution on criminal grounds, and certainly in the wrongful-death lawsuit to come. This is precisely why people involved in these kinds of incidents shouldn’t go on national television or anywhere else to offer “explanations.” They should let their attorneys do all the talking until absolutely necessary otherwise.

This is even worse, from a PR standpoint. Baldwin may not have loaded the live round, but the pistol he held fired it anyway — after Baldwin apparently didn’t check for safety himself before pointing the weapon at Hutchins and director Joel Souza. Instead of taking responsibility for what were undeniably his own actions, Baldwin instead paints himself as a victim with no moral responsibility for what transpired, let alone legal responsibility, even as one of the producers of the film with a duty to ensure safety on the set.

In its way, it’s as absurd a statement as Darrell Brooks’ complaint that the media had turned him into a “dehumanized … monster.” Both men ought to seriously consider all of the benefits that flow from keeping their mouths shut while the wheels of justice turn, rather than open them and help grease those wheels.

As Jim Treacher adds: Baldwin Proves Not All Publicity Is Good Publicity.

OCEANIA INCREASES CHOCOLATE RATIONS FROM 30 GRAMS PER WEEK TO 20! Biden Hasn’t Fixed The Port Crisis — Ships Are Just Being Counted Differently.

December 3, 2021

NOW OUT FROM MY FRIEND HIAWATHA BRAY: Power in the Blood.

OPEN THREAD: Sow a little tenderness.

TO BE FAIR, THEY PROBABLY COULDN’T HAVE FOUND THEIR WAY OUT ANYHOW: Snow storm forces customers to sleep in IKEA showroom.

SPACE: Space Force plans to launch experimental satellites early Sunday. Why are we launching “a satellite to aid detection of nuclear detonations in space?” Is it to watch out for the Chinese Orion tests?

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