May 8, 2021

ONLY BECAUSE THEIR EXPERTS ARE RELIGIOUS BELIEVERS IN SOCIALISM:  The economy surprises the “experts” – again.

IT’S OKAY. WE’RE NOT DEALING WITH TRUE BELIEVERS:  Types of Tyranny.

I TOO AM LOYAL TO THE DREAM:  Inspiration from a Comic Book: A Blast from the Past.

I bleed red white and blue. To the last drop if needed.

AGAIN, SURE, THEY’RE TOTALLY CONVINCING US THEY’RE NOT USURPERS:  GOP Chairwoman Gives Update on Maricopa County Ballot Audit and Details of Push-back By Arizona State Senate Against DOJ Intervention,

OF COURSE:  Biden Insists April’s Dismal Jobs Report Shows U.S. Economy is on the ‘Right Track’.

The big lie is their last hope.

IF IT WERE ONLY THAT:  Brown U. Professor: Teaching Identity Politics is a ‘Criminal Abdication’ of Our Responsibilities.

What it actually is, is tap dancing on the dynamite barrel of Western civilization. This will not end well, unless we end it soon.

MORE OF THIS, PLEASE:  Oklahoma Gov. Stitt Signs Bill Banning Critical Race Theory From Public Schools.

YEAH. THEY’RE TOTALLY NOT FASCISTS:  Maryland A.G. To Appoint Panel To Audit Record of Chauvin Expert Witness Dr. David Fowler.

Totally.  Has anyone seen my shocked face? Looks appropriate here.

GUYS? BUY POPCORN:  Black Hammer Group “Liberates” Colorado Land For CHOP Commune.

These guys are at a higher altitude than Vail. Good luck growing anything. Even if any of them were capable of working, and there were more than one woman, and their leader didn’t look like a reject of community college theater class and sound like someone who consumes way too much soy, they’d be doomed. This way? They’ll be doomed in interesting ways. Their story will become a legend of these mountains, and the site of their hilarious and horrible demise another touristic site in Colorado.

They should name it the Alferd Packer Memorial Camp and cut through the chase.

IT WAS NEVER ANYTHING TO BE THAT SCARED OF:  Don’t buy the fearmongering: The COVID-19 threat is waning.

Now they’re trying really hard to make “climate crisis” a thing, apparently forgetting that those of us who aren’t autistic Swedes were already over that bs before they ran the virus scare.

THE SOCIALISTS IN VARIOUS COUNTRIES HAVE LONG SINCE STOPPED BEING ABOUT THE WORKING CLASS:  The real question Labour can’t answer.

Of course, since Marx, it never was. The imagined proletariat was never real working people. It was the febrile dreams of radical losers who imagined this creature, capable of the violence they themselves feared, being the instrument of their vengeance on the world.  Let’s face it, a lot of pain could have been saved by giving Marx thorazine.

May 7, 2021

YOU DON’T KNOW IF SOMEONE HAS FAILED UNTIL YOU KNOW WHAT THEY’RE TRYING TO ACHIEVE: The Gospel of Failure: Our ruling classes just keep insisting on the same bad ideas.

HAHA:

BRYAN PRESTON: Will The Oak Island Money Pit Mystery Ever Be Solved?

It’s a VIP piece, but if you want to sign up for PJ VIP you can use the code PRESTON for a discount.

OPEN THREAD: Time to open up your window and let in better weather.

SPACE: Virgin Orbit schedules next LauncherOne mission for June.

OUT: JIM CROW ON STEROIDS. IN: JIMMY CARTER ON STEROIDS. Liberal Knickers in a Twist After Trump Jr. Compares Biden to Jimmy Carter.

Plus:

BUREAUCRATIC OPPRESSION: Biden’s ‘Ghost Gun’ Ban Proposal Officially Arrives.

I CAN SMELL THE CHEMICALS: Follow the science and abandon the cult of Clorox.

GOING DOWN: Mexico City Is Sinking at an Alarming And Largely Unstoppable Rate, New Data Finds. Down, down, down, down, down.

#JOURNALISM: Profiles in Really Bad Media Headlines: Pre-April Jobs Report Edition.

Related, from a friend:

CIVIL RIGHTS UPDATE: Kansas Legislature Overrides Veto to Pass Gun-Carry Bill.

OF COURSE SHE DOES: St. Louis circuit attorney denies misconduct charges stemming from Greitens probe.

I THINK THIS WAS AN UNFORCED ERROR: Decision to pull police from Knox County Schools “beyond comprehension” says Anderson County sheriff. I predict that public school enrollment for next year, already under pressure from Covid experiences, will drop further because of this decision. The percentage of voters in the city who actually want this is relatively small, though they are noisy.

Mostly I just note that a decade ago everyone wanted cops all over the schools because the issue du jour was school violence. Now that everyone’s yammering has changed topics, the policy shifts 180 degrees. Maybe responding to hysterical people is a bad basis for policy.

SECRET WARS: TAKE MY MONEY AWAY! Blinken refuses to call Biden’s superpower competition with China a ‘new Cold War.’

HMM: Unnecessary MRI exams may be symptoms of a larger healthcare problem. “Though MRIs are relatively harmless to the patient, Young notes that the willingness to authorize unnecessary imagings heightens concerns that other types of inappropriate procedures—including surgeries—may be referred to patients inappropriately.”

AT HELEN’S PAGE: A Liberty Loving Coffee site. “When you purchase Full Metal Java, we give back to those who serve and have served our great country!’

HAMBURGER ADS! POP UP IN MY HEAD! McDonald’s comes roaring back as restrictions ease.

GOV. DeSANTIS INTENDS TO REQUIRE UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIMANTS TO SHOW THEY’VE BEEN LOOKING FOR WORK:   That sounds like the right call to me.

I spoke to someone very familiar with the restaurant industry here in San Diego a few days ago.  She told me much the same thing as Power Line’s Paul Mirengoff reports from Florida:  Restaurants here are having a hard time staffing up.  Their former employees are getting unemployment benefits, and many of them don’t want to come back to work until they have to.  My “informant” told me her own roommate doesn’t want to go back to work.  Alas, stories like that seem to be everywhere these days.

GOOD: Young Americans are Turning Down Gun Control. “Three years ago, 65% of those polled supported more gun control. This year that number is 45%.”

SAY ANYTHING: Biden’s Amtrak Tale, Was It Lyin Joe Biden Or Dementia Joe?

STANDING UP AGAINST HATE: Tennessee Bans Schools from Teaching Critical Race Theory.

BECAUSE WE’RE PAYING THEM GENEROUSLY NOT TO WORK, AND FOR AN EXTENDED TIME. NEXT QUESTION? The Jobs are There So Why Aren’t People Going Back to Work?

UPDATE (FROM GLENN): Even at the NYT, this is a high-rated comment:. “Maybe paying people more to be unemployed than to work has consequences? I’ve been out to eat with 2 waiters working an entire establishment. No one wants to work now. Same thing with Lyft and gig work. Bring back proof of looking for employment and curtail unemployment benefits when we have this many job openings. Helicopter money is temporary, not permanent.”

NOTHING TO SEE HERE, MOVE ALONG: Election Auditors Say Maricopa County Is Refusing to Provide Routers.

(UPDATE: Link was broken, fixed now. Sorry.)

NEWS YOU CAN USE: How to Hone Your Handgun Skills.

WILL RELIGIOUS FREEDOM SURVIVE: Ken Starr thinks it will because America has such a robust legal bulwark and cultural tradition of protection, but Casey Chalk, writing in The Federalist, is not so sure. A bit lengthy, but well worth the reading time.

BIDEN’S RETURN TO CLEAN GOVERNMENT: Biden Admin Hiding Damning Report on Student Debt Crisis, Lawmakers Say. “In a letter to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), Representatives Virginia Foxx (R., N.C.) and Greg Murphy (R., N.C.) say Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona is hiding information from a Trump-era report that found that student loan repayments have continuously fallen short of the Education Department’s projections. Taxpayers may end up footing the bill for that discrepancy, which could amount to roughly one third of the federal government’s $1.6 trillion student loan portfolio.”

WE’LL DANCE IN THE GARDEN IN TORN SHEETS IN THE RAIN: Treasury warns of need to deal with national debt limit.

THE BIDEN ECONOMY: Who’s Hiring And Who’s Firing In April: A Golden Age For Waiters And Card Dealers. “The reality is that the number could have been even worse: had it not been for some 187,000 workers added in food service and drinking places (i.e. waiters and bartenders) as well as 72,700 gambling, amusements and recreation workers (i.e., card dealers), the April print would have been virtually unchanged from last month.”

TATER TUMBLES: CNN’s Brian Stelter returns from vacation to host lowest-rated Reliable Sources of year. “To make matters worse for Stelter, his own show performed better last week when replacement host John Avlon filled in. The Avlon-hosted edition of ‘Reliable Sources’ on April 25 averaged 907,000 for nearly a 100,000-viewer increase over Stelter’s return.”

(Via Ace.)

NEWS YOU CAN USE: 1 in 4 heart attacks arrive with ‘atypical’ symptoms. “Atypical heart attack symptoms include breathing problems, extreme exhaustion and abdominal pain.”

WHAT AN ACTUAL INSURRECTION LOOKS LIKE: Portland BLM/Antifa Draw Guns on Drivers to Enforce No-Go Zone in Broad Daylight.

WHY IS THE LEFT SUCH A CESSPIT OF RACISM? Biden Restaurant Relief Fund: White People Need Not Apply.

Flashback: “I am concerned, as I’m sure many of you are, that these jobs not simply go to high-skilled people who are already professionals or to white male construction workers.”

—Robert Reich, testimony to Congress on the Obama administration’s proposed economic stimulus, January 7, 2009.

To paraphrase Jon Gabriel’s tweet of the (previous) decade, my favorite part about the Obama-Biden era is all the racial healing.

ALSO, IT’S DELICIOUS: Study: Mediterranean diet may help ward off dementia.

PANDEMIC THEATER: Fauci to virtually address in-person commencement ceremonies “Dr. Fauci will not be attending due to concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, though the university has deemed the ceremony itself safe enough to be in person.”

BETHANY MANDEL: On the Anniversary of “Grandma Killer” and Empathy. “I’m angry that we’re here a year later, with not one, not two, but three different vaccines on the market, and I’m expected to feel sorry not for the people who lost everything, but for those who at best stayed silent, and at worst loudly cheered the ‘necessity’ of the lockdowns across the country.”

Call it people being “institutionalized” by COVID, for lack of a better phrase.

AT HELEN’S PAGE: Titles By Setsoru.

THAT ’70s SHOW: Media suddenly focused on inflation after massive spending spree in DC.

Oddly, no one’s talking about the six trillion dollars or so that Congress and the White House has spent off the books as part of the pandemic response. That’s essentially the same as printing money, and that has its own inflationary effects. But the conditions and incentives created by those massive spending bills have inflationary impacts of their own. Lawmakers are using those conditions to force an artificial increase in labor costs, which go directly to producer and consumer prices and inflation. Direct stimulus, a key part of all three relief bills, produces a “sugar high” of consumption that puts strain on supply, which results in — ta da! — price increases.

From Amity Shlaes’ recent book, Great Society: “Another expert safely out of reach of [Lyndon] Johnson, at the National Bureau of Economic Research, was Arthur Burns. [Alan] Greenspan was just one economist; Burns, who headed the NBER, was the voice of the entire economics profession, independent and proud. Back in the 1950s, he had warned that ‘the problems of inflation will return to haunt us.’ It had been Burns who back in 1960 had warned the presidential candidate Richard Nixon—correctly, as it turned out—that tight monetary policy at the Fed was slowing growth and could cost Nixon the election. Lately, Burns had been charging that Lyndon Johnson’s brand of prosperity featured serious ‘perils of inflation.’ Burns, like Greenspan, pointed to the costs of the butter, not the guns. To attribute the recent large increases in the budget, and certainly future increases, to the costs of war, Burns said, frankly, was ‘a misconception.’ The anti-poverty programs were the problem—a good share of them, as Burns told the New York Times, were ‘pure waste.’ Precisely because they were outsiders, Greenspan and Burns could speak truth to power. Johnson was trading in the Great Dollar for the Great Society, and it was a lousy trade.”

VODKAPUNDIT PRESENTS YOUR DAILY INSANITY WRAP: Tonight We’re Gonna Party Like It’s 1979.

Insanity Wrap needs to know: What could possibly be worse than the 1970s?

Answer: The next four years, at least.

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

  • How do you get a second coup when there was never a first one?
  • Portland Commies Double Down on Commie Holiday
  • Rosanna Arquette says if Jesus were alive today He’d be dead

And so much more.

Bonus Sanity: Britain’s Labour party got kicked in the teeth.

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

NOBLE SAVAGES, LIVING IN HARMONY WITH NATURE: Humans were altering ecosystems with fire some 92,000 years ago.

It wasn’t capitalism that made the mammoths and the saber-tooth tigers extinct.

HEADLINES I DIDN’T SEE COMING: Eldridge Cleaver: The Mormon Years.

Cleaver still had harsh words for some of the cops he’d clashed with in the 1960s. But now he had been to the socialist world, and he had come away convinced that the cops there were even worse. “The thing that I used to resent the most about American police, in my own personal experience, was one time the police in San Francisco kicked my door down,” he said. “But I had an experience in Algeria…over there, the police came through the wall.”

The American left suffers from a lack of perspective.

HMMM: A potential herbal remedy for coronavirus? Massachusetts researcher studies plant’s impact on virus. Sweet wormwood blocks the replication of the virus, according to new research.

FACEPALM: AOC Calls Herself a ‘Planned Parenthood Baby.’

POLITICRITES, SELLING DOPE: Baltimore Vaccine Plant’s Troubles Ripple Across 3 Continents. But it’s Baltimore, so what do you expect?

GLENN TRIES IT: So I bought Glenn a bottle of the men’s shaving soap from Old Post Road Oils that has a listing at Helen’s Page. It showed up by USPS a few days later and I gave it to him. He read the instructions, used it for a few days and pronounced it “the best shave I have ever had.” His face is smooth and the soap smells amazing. It comes in Sandalwood and Bay Rum which sounds awesome too. The soap had been sold out thanks to all of you buying it but is now back in stock and you can also get the men’s set which comes with the soap and shaving oil together. The shaving oil will probably be my next purchase for Glenn.

UPDATE: The Bay Rum shaving soap now in stock here. (Bumped)

OUT ON A LIMB: The Wuhan-Lab Theory Is Not Far-Fetched. Just Look at China’s Reckless Rocket Program.

The Chinese government does not give a rat’s patootie if it hurts or kills people in other countries. It wants what it wants, and it doesn’t care who pays the price in blood.

Oh, and one other point in that Times article: “Chinese space officials have not publicly addressed the uncontrolled re-entry since then, despite attention and worry around the world.”

When the Chinese government is confronted with a problem, the regime’s default setting is to deny the problem exists.

The Chinese government’s official statistics would have you believe that the COVID-19 pandemic effectively ended in that country in March 2020. The official statistics declare that the most populated country in the world, with more than 1.4 billion people, ranks 96th among all countries in cases, with just over 90,000, and 58th in deaths, with 4,636. To believe the Chinese official numbers, the entire country has seen four people die from COVID-19 since April 2020, and that they’ve never had more than 1,000 active cases on any given day over the past year. According to the Chinese government, no variant of COVID-19 has touched them in any significant way.

Meanwhile, just across the border, India reported 414,188 cases of infection and 3,915 deaths.

And that’s just today.

Want to see something really odd? The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, an independent global-health-research center at the University of Washington, published a new estimate of the total death toll from COVID-19, attempting to account for cases missed earlier and left out of data from unreliable regimes. The report concludes, “Our analysis estimates that by May 3, 2021, the total number of COVID-19 deaths was 6.93 million, a figure that is more than two times higher than the reported number of deaths of 3.24 million.”

But the only reference to China comes in a footnote.

And speaking of footnotes: Fauci’s NIH funded controversial gain-of-function viral research at Wuhan lab to get around US ban on dangerous research.

IF YOU OFFER PEOPLE MONEY NOT TO WORK, MANY OF THEM WILL TAKE IT: South Carolina and Montana to end all pandemic unemployment benefits for jobless residents.

WARTHOG PRE-FLIGHT: The business end of the A-10.

ON THE NAVY’S RECENT “ROBOT AND DRONE” FLEET BATTLE PROBLEM: U.S. Navy Must Win Wars, With Robots and Perhaps Without Them.

…Navy Fleet battle problems have a remarkable history for testing technology, training sailors, developing organizations and informing long-term decisions that have greatly benefited the United States. I’m referring to the 1920s and 1930s battle problems, which always had a trans-oceanic campaign against Japan as their strategic backdrop.

Prescient? Yes. And the battle problems were rigorous in execution and detailed in evaluation.

2021’s fleet problem, under wartime-like operational conditions, tested gee-whiz military and communications technology, specifically unmanned warships and unmanned aircraft, some remotely controlled, some autonomously or semi-autonomously controlled.

Check it out.

BIDEN BUST: Unemployment Rate Up, Numbers ‘Way Worse Than Expected,’ Inflation May Be Coming.

I can’t say I thought much of That ’70s Show the first time around, and suspect it will be even worse in reruns.

WHAT CHINA’S WUHAN LAB AND LONG MARCH 5B ROCKET HAVE IN COMMON: “Negligent” and “irresponsible” come immediately to mind, according to National Review’s Jim Geraghty.

JAMES LILEKS:

There is a huge piece of Chinese space junk — sorry, sorry, JUNKO-21 — landing somewhere soon, and I’m surprised it hasn’t spawned any novelty songs. When Skylab came down — before we figured out how not to dump 22 tons of uncontrolled metal on the planet — we had a novelty song about it.

Disco dreck with a guitar solo that wouldn’t be out of place in another genre. That was 1979, in the Fun Culture. But listen to the music used for NASA’s 1975 documentary.

If you go beyond the credits, it’s a fascinating look at an era generally ignored these days. We go from “Moon” to “Shuttle.” In-between were these guys, having to ride up to a crippled station and do hours of work outside to fix it.

It still seemed typical of the era. Not “adversity was overcome,” which was the previous message, but “we sent up a lemon,” which was how the country felt about itself in the 70s.

If you lived through that, you never wanted to go back. Not to sideburns and polyester pants and disco and urban decline and gas lines and inflation and the rest of it. But everything’s a cycle, and they never look the same. History repeats, but changes enough details so it doesn’t get a copyright strike.

With riots, rising gas prices, the strong whiff of inflation in the air, and frequent headlines about choo-choos (the massive Penn Central bankruptcy and the government’s creation of Amtrak marked the early 1970s), Biden and his handlers seem determined to see America reliving that decennium horribilis once again. In the meantime, click over to Lileks’ latest Bleat for the cultural clash of the dueling Skylab videos.

Related: On the flip-side, Jim Geraghty explores: Reasons to Doubt that America Is Reaching a Scheduled Nervous Breakdown.

TOM SLATER: Why Trump’s Facebook ban still matters.

When Facebook punted Trump’s case over to this new ‘independent’ board – set up in 2018 as a kind of Supreme Court for the social network – it was trying to outsource to the ‘experts’ the question of what to do about his ban in the long-term. That the board has refused to do so will at least force Zuckerberg et al to take some responsibility. But the ruling, from this group of human-rights types, journalists and former politicians, has nevertheless lent legitimacy to the decision to ban Trump in the first place.

That’s a problem, because that decision represented one of the most terrifying corporate interventions into democratic politics in recent memory. In removing Trump from its platform, used by around 70 per cent of adult Americans, Facebook was effectively standing between a president and his people, depriving him of access to what now constitutes the public square. This is an assault on democracy that makes the surreal storming of the Capitol pale into insignificance.

The Left has to keep calling the January 6 riot an “insurrection” in order to keep Trump quiet and the Right down.

THE ENEMY WITHIN: West Point probed for allegations it’s pushing critical race theory on cadets. I’m not surprised that the enemies of our civilization would try to infiltrate our most important institutions. What surprises me is that they’ve met so little resistance.

FURNITURE IS NOW RACIST:

So close, and yet so far — if “Hyperallergic.com” really wanted to discuss a racist connection to modern furniture — they should have gone back a few decades and explored the dark history of modernism’s founding fathers, not the next generation of artists whom they inspired.

YOU’RE GONNA NEED A BIGGER BLOG: This Is Why The U.S. Is Crazy to Sign on to Any Global Climate Agreement.

LIZARDS AND FLATWORMS CAN DO IT, SO WHY CAN’T WE? Persuading the Body to Regenerate Its Limbs. And no CRISPR needed: “The most astonishing part was that Levin hadn’t touched the planarian’s genome. Instead, he’d changed the electrical signals among the worm’s cells. Levin explained that, by altering this electric patterning, he’d revised the organism’s ‘memory’ of what it was supposed to look like. In essence, he’d reprogrammed the worm’s body—and, if he wanted to, he could switch it back.”

SCIENCE! Fauci to virtually address in-person commencement ceremonies. “Dr. Fauci will not be attending due to concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, though the university has deemed the ceremony itself safe enough to be in person.”

FOLLOWING THE DATA:  Death and Lockdowns. There’s no proof that they save lives, but plenty of evidence they end them. The latest: Alcohol Deaths Rise in England and Wales. 

FASTER, PLEASE: A Federal Judge Just Struck Down One of the CDC’s Most Blatant Power Grabs.

UNEXPECTEDLY!

More: April’s expected hiring boom goes bust as nonfarm payroll gain falls well short of estimates.

Plus:

But hey, this is 2021. The press will do it for him without even being asked.

UPDATE: Joe Biden: Economy Killer.

DECIVILIZATION: Cost of Colorado’s forced wolf introduction already rising; a ‘circular self-destruction formula.’ “According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, after the 1994 forced wolf introduction to Yellowstone National Park, through 2012, elk herds decreased by more than 80%. Most of the natural dispersion of wolves in the west since 1994 centers on the Yellowstone packs. As wolf populations increase and prey species decrease wolves migrate in search of better prey opportunities and open range for the new packs.”

“SHUT UP,” THEY EXPLAINED. That Was Quick: Twitter Bans Trump’s New Account.

MY NEW YORK POST COLUMN: Caitlyn Jenner’s punchy anti-Newsom ad is a preview of a big challenge for Dems.

PEOPLE HAVE GOTTEN ‘INSTITUTIONALIZED’ BY COVID:

In the film The Shawshank Redemption, an elderly character named Brooks gets released after 50 years in prison. Instead of celebrating his release, however, he is tentative — and shortly after experiencing the freedom of the outside world, he hangs himself.

“These walls are funny,” Morgan Freeman’s character Red explains to his fellow prisoners as they process the news. “First you hate them, then you get used to them. Enough time passes, you get so you depend on them. That’s ‘institutionalized.’”

As the vaccine has brought the promise of liberation from a year of masks, lockdowns, canceled travel plans, and forgone family visits, there is a contingent of Americans who are simply not prepared to move on. They have somehow gotten used to the restrictions and are wary of returning to their pre-COVID-19 lives. In short, they’ve become “institutionalized.”

Related: Is it time to reopen everything? “But at some point, whether now or in two weeks or in a month, we all arrive at the place [Kyle] Smith is. We’ll have given everyone a meaningful chance to get vaccinated. If they haven’t taken that chance, that’s their choice. Society can’t cater to the willingly unvaccinated forever.” However, “Mark my words, within the next few months the therapy industry is going to start rolling out ‘re-entry counselors’ to help those nervous but well-heeled lefties feel comfortable going out to eat again.”

RE-REGULATION: Biden repeals Trump-era rule on gig workers.

SCIENCE: Kiss off: Vaccinated Harris and her husband smooch with masks on.

KRUISER’S MORNING BRIEF: Gretchen Whitmer Tries to Reclaim ‘Worst Governor in America’ Crown. “Last year at this time, I thought that Whitmer was the worst of the bunch. It was partially because I have so many relatives in Michigan and was hearing the tales of woe from there so often. What really grated me about Whitmer though was the fact that she was even more smug than Newsom while flexing her totalitarian muscle, which is quite an achievement.”

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)

LET ME JUST GET OUT AHEAD OF THE STORY AND SAY THAT BILL GATES DID NOT COMMIT SUICIDE: Melinda Gates Warned Bill About Jeffrey Epstein.

(Classical allusion in headline.)

HE KEEPS USING THAT WORD: Cuomo Claims Deadly Directive Was “Smart”. “From New York Health Commissioner Howard Zucker’s dodging a simple question to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s extended paranoid response to whether he would testify about New York’s COVID nursing home deaths scandals in the U.S. Congress.”

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

Straight Out of Atlas Shrugged: Biden Will Waive Patents on Vaccines, Enraging Big Pharma.

Straight Out of Prayers for the Assassin: ‘One Mosque Is Erected Every 15 Days in France, While One Christian Building Is Destroyed At the Same Pace.’

Straight Out of Brazil: Think America’s COVID Bureaucracy Is Bad? Check Out What’s Happening in France.

THOMAS LIPSCOMB: Simon & Schuster’s Good Sense on Pence. There’s literally no reason to let woke underlings run your company. Or your country.

MY NEW YORK POST COLUMN: Caitlyn Jenner’s punchy anti-Newsom ad is a preview of a big challenge for Dems.

May 6, 2021

SPACE JUNK: BETTER PUT UP MY UMBRELLA: Watch out, New York? Russian space agency posts map of where Chinese rocket booster might crash.

EZRA LEVANT: HELP: PayPal is trying to shut down Rebel News!

FREE SPEECH: N.Y. Court Pressuring Mother to Remove Rock with Small Painted Confederate Flag.

HEATHER MAC DONALD: Diversity Over Discovery. Biden’s war on merit puts America’s scientific edge at risk. “His candidate to head the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, the largest funder of the physical sciences in the U.S., is a soil geologist at the University of California, Merced. She has no background in physics, the science of energy, or the energy sector. She has never held a position as a scientific administrator.”

Asmeret Asefaw Berhe is, however, a black female who has won “accolades for her work to promote diversity in science,” as Science puts it. Berhe would be the first black woman to head the $7 billion office, and that is reason enough, according to the diversity mantra, why she should oversee X-ray synchrotrons, the development of nuclear weapons, and ongoing research on nuclear fusion. Her nomination requires Senate confirmation; if Berhe will not commit to hiring and grantmaking on the basis of scientific expertise alone, irrespective of race and sex, senators should vote her appointment down.

Previously, this office was typically headed by a physicist with managerial experience in a major physics lab. But then, none of her predecessors could boast of co-authoring an article titled, “A critical feminist approach to transforming workplace climate in the geosciences through community engagement and partnerships with societies.”

 

ROGER SIMON: We Live in the Era of the New Conformists.

In his latest piece, the estimable Victor Davis Hanson asks the rhetorical question “Are Americans Becoming Sovietized?”

Without a doubt. And a key reason behind this, I have been thinking for a long time, is that the left and the semi-left, progressives and liberals, masses of them in our country from the corporate world to the media to the academy to entertainment, are the New Conformists.

Well, not completely new, but conformists beyond doubt. Hardly ever an original thought among them.

They are like the “Triplets” song from Vincente Minelli’s classical musical “The Band Wagon.” (“We do everything alike, we look alike, we dress alike. We walk alike, we talk alike.”)

With this mindset, becoming “Sovietized” scarcely takes an effort. You don’t have to learn a word of Russian beyond “nyet.”

Back in the Fifties, conservatives were accused of being the “organization men” or the “men in the grey flannel suit,” but these days it’s the other way around.

No one is more predictable, more conformist, than the so-called “woke.”

In his compelling new book—“Curiosity: And Its Twelve Rules for Life”—my friend law professor F.H. Buckley, under the heading “Don’t Be a Conformist,” warns us of where conformity can lead:

“Italian novelist Alberto Moravia tried to explain why so many of his countrymen became Fascists under Mussolini. It was because of their desire to fit in, to seem normal, to follow the crowd. He called the novel ‘The Conformist’.”

Sound familiar?

Related: The China model: why is the West imitating Beijing?

It is one thing to compete with China. I firmly believe we need to do that in every domain, from artificial intelligence to COVID vaccines. But the minute we start copying China, we are on the path to perdition.

Consider the way many western countries mistakenly concluded last year that strict Chinese-style lockdowns were the right way to cope with COVID, not realizing that no free society could possibly tolerate restrictions as draconian as the ones imposed all over China from late January last year, which relied on the vast network of Communist party members in every neighborhood to police citizens’ behavior. Neil Ferguson, the Imperial College epidemiologist, who was influential in the UK’s decision to lock down, has been quite open about his inspiration. ‘If China had not done it, the year would have been very different,’ he admitted in an interview in December. ‘“It’s a communist one-party state,” we said. “We couldn’t get away with it in Europe,” we thought. And then Italy did it. And we realized we could.’

In his 1976 article, “The Intelligent Co-Ed’s Guide to America,” Tom Wolfe wrote:

The publication of The Gulag Archipelago in 1973, however, was a wholly unexpected blow. No one was ready for the obscene horror and grotesque scale of what Solzhenitsyn called “Our Sewage Disposal System”—in which tens of millions were shipped in boxcars to con­centration camps all over the country, in which tens of millions died, in which entire races and national groups were liquidated, insofar as they had existed in the Soviet Union. Moreover, said Solzhenitsyn, the system had not begun with Stalin but with Lenin, who had im­mediately exterminated non-Bolshevik opponents of the old regime and especially the student factions. It was impossible any longer to distinguish the Communist liquidation apparatus from the Nazi.

Yet Solzhenitsyn went still further. He said that not only Stalinism, not only Leninism, not only Communism — but socialism itself led to the concentration camps; and not only socialism, but Marxism; and not only Marxism but any ideology that sought to reorganize morality on an a priori basis. Sadder still, it was impossible to say that Soviet socialism was not “real socialism.” On the contrary — it was socialism done by experts!

Why are we surprised that the socialists running the increasingly corporatist business world take their cues from — and overlook the myriad horrors of — socialism done by today’s experts?

OPEN THREAD: Enjoy!

QUESTION ASKED AND ANSWERED:

Shot:

Chaser: Scientists Claim to Spot Fungus Growing on Mars in NASA Rover Photos. “Fungi thrive in radiation intense environments.”

The researchers did caveat their findings, pointing out that “similarities in morphology are not proof of life,” and that “we cannot completely rule out minerals, weathering, and unknown geological forces that are unique to Mars and unknown and alien to Earth.”

But it’s a wild conclusion nonetheless. The researchers’ peers will likely go over the paper with a fine-toothed comb, and likely shred the results — it’s not every day that researchers are willing to stick out their necks and claim to have found evidence of life on Mars.

Well, stay tuned.

SPACE JUNK: China’s huge rocket booster falling from space highlights orbital debris problem.

Related: Here’s a piece that Rob Merges and I wrote on space debris a while back.

NOWADAYS IT SEEMS NEWSWORTHY WHEN ANYONE IS PUNISHED FOR THIS: 41 Months in Prison for Arson of Minneapolis Police Station, Theft. Plus: “ATF is committed to investigating the civil unrest arsons of 2020 that occurred throughout the Twin Cities.”

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