May 10, 2021

MA’AM? YOUR RACE CARD IS OVERDRAWN:  Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby Claims Fox Affiliate Coverage of Her Is “Racist” – Files FCC Complaint.

FEEL GOOD STORY OF THE DAY:  Iranian Man Accidentally Sets Himself On Fire While Burning Israeli Flag.

May 9, 2021

COLOR ME UNSURPRISED: Report: Chinese People’s Liberation Army 2015 Dossier On Bio-Warfare Plans Included Coronaviruses. “A document obtained by The Australian, titled ‘The Unnatural Origin of SARS and New Species of Man-Made Viruses as Genetic Bioweapons,’ predicted that World War III would be fought with biological weapons.”

REPORT FROM THE BLUE ZONES: Angry Residents Say Venice Beach ‘Crippled’ by Rampant Homelessness and Crime.

BOB MCMANUS: Cost of left’s anti-anti-crime folly: 4-year-old shot in Times Square.

OPEN THREAD: One night in the open thread makes a hard man humble.

THAT’S FAST: Pfizer, BioNTech ask FDA for full approval of COVID-19 vaccine.

HELEN TRIED IT: There is a book listed at Helen’s Page that I read a while back called Before I Go: Preparing Your Affairs for Your Heirs. I have it sitting on one of my bookshelves and have used it from time to time to help me update a list of important information in case someone in my family needs it. It is not a very uplifting topic but the book is really good at helping you organize your financial and important documents to help your family in case you become sick or die. Though I don’t recommend the topic, I do think the book is worth a read if you ever wondered what kinds of things like bills, insurance, finances etc. your family needs to know about if something does happen to you. (Bumped)

UPDATE: For those of you who are interested, there is also an accompanying workbook called Before I Go Workbook. (Bumped)

WOULD IT NOT BE EASIER FOR THE GOVERNMENT TO DISSOLVE THE PEOPLE AND ELECT ANOTHER? Defeated Labour councillor: ‘The voters have let us down.’

Related: The working-class revolt against Labour.

Another problem is Labour’s embrace of identitarianism and its shamefacedness about Britain. From Emily Thornberry’s haughty sneer at a working-class household that was flying the English flag to Starmer’s taking of the knee to the regressive politics of Black Lives Matter, from Corbynistas’ claim that British history is one horrendous crime after another to Labour politicians’ rage against the Sewell report for daring to suggest the UK is not actually a racist hellhole – working-class voters clock all of this. Not surprisingly they do not feel enthused by the ideology of national shame now promoted by many in Labour, or by the snotty suggestion that loads of Brits are racist. A cartoon in Private Eye captured it well – it featured a Labour candidate doorstepping two working-class voters and asking: ‘Why won’t you racist fascists vote Labour?’

But will the GOP, dubbed “The Supine Loser Party” by Roger Kimball, learn from this?

GOOD. In fight against COVID variants some firms target T cell jabs. As I’ve been saying for a while, I think the role of T-cell immunity has been underplayed.

THIS STUFF IS ONLY POPULAR AMONG A SMALL PERCENTAGE OF AMERICANS; IT’S MOSTLY IMPOSED BY FEAR: Dallas Suburbanites Lead Revolt Against Critical Race Theory Curriculum.

DEMOCRATS CAN’T QUASH THE ‘BIG LIE.’ The “Big Lie,” of course, isn’t that the 2020 election was stolen—it’s that the election was perfectly fair and lawful.

Texas and Arizona have passed several proposals that will tighten election requirements; Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed a massive election reform bill in March that enraged Democrats across the country including Joe Biden.

Which is why Democrats, the media, and NeverTrumpers like Liz Cheney must keep the “Big Lie” taunt alive. The cowardice of congressional Republicans notwithstanding, political leadership at the state level and rank-and-file Republicans are working to ensure a redo of the 2020 election doesn’t happen again—most would rather be considered liars than craven bystanders while the country burns.

Unfortunately, the “Big Lie” faces more headwinds than just a Jake Tapper tantrum or a Liz Cheney op-ed: Joe Biden’s Justice Department is poised to use its power to halt election reform in advance of the 2022 election. During a congressional hearing this week, Attorney General Merrick Garland made clear he would use the agency’s Civil Rights division to fight Republican-backed election laws in court, especially those requiring photo identification.

“The question on voter ID is what kind of disparate impact it has on voters of different races, colors and language groups, and whether it violates the Constitution by having a disparate impact on people’s ability to vote,” Garland told a House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday. “The Supreme Court has held that voter ID as a concept is constitutional. And the issue is what, in any individual cases [sic], the record shows about whether it deprives certain groups protected by the 14th Amendment right to vote.”

Or as America’s Newspaper of Record puts it: White Liberals Watch In Amazement As Black Man Acquires ID.

HOW MARK ZUCKERBERG PUT JOE BIDEN IN THE WHITE HOUSE: Writing in The American Conservative, Capital Research Center’s Hayden Ludwig reports the results of his in-depth examination of the $400 million in activities of Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg’s Center for Technology and Civic Life (CTCL) during the 2020 presidential campaign and found a distinct pattern:

“Our conclusion is that across the board, the CTCL’s grants favored the biggest, most vote-rich Democratic counties, which helped turn out the most left-leaning voters in U.S. history—and secure Joe Biden as the country’s 46th president. Far from ‘nonpartisan,’ CTCL’s oceans of money made it easier for fraudsters to cheat and the Democrats to win in 2020.”

Ludwig may well be pointing to the most significant unwritten story of the 2020 election. And you can bet Zuckerberg will be looking for repeat performances in 2022 and 2024. After all, when your estimated net worth is $118 billion, $400 million every two years is barely pocket change.

CHANGE: Porsche Boxster EV Concept Could Be Coming Soon.

RUSSIA! RUSSIA! RUSSIA! Hillary Clinton blames the Russians for Brexit.

Flashback: Hillary Clinton May Have Cooked Up a Trump-Russia Hoax Back in July 2016.

Related: “A biography of Hillary Clinton, written by Gail Sheehy and published in late 1999, stated that Mrs. Clinton had refused to talk to the president for eight months after the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke. She resumed talking to her husband only when she phoned him and urged him in the strongest terms to begin bombing Serbia; the president began bombing within 24 hours.”

REVIEW: Springfield Armory Hellcat RDP Pistol.

ALSO ELECTRICITY SHORTAGES: EVs Will Drive A Lithium Supply Crunch.

BOMB CANADA — THE CASE FOR WAR: Canadian Pastor Swarmed and Arrested by ‘SWAT’ Team for ‘Inciting’ People to Attend Church.

(Classical reference in headline.)

ON THE BACK SIDE OF THE FEAR CURVE: States scale back vaccine orders as interest in shots wanes. Well over 100 million Americans have had Covid, of course, and thus probably see the vaccine as superfluous.

OLD AND BUSTED: “In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups: The police, who investigate crime, and the district attorneys, who prosecute the offenders. These are their stories.”

The New Hotness? Maryland Judge Bans ‘Thin Blue Line’ Clothing For Court Employees. The judge cited concerns about a perception of bias.

I’VE HAD SOME THAT WAS BAD ENOUGH TO MAKE DEATH PREFERABLE: Hospital Food Is Never Great, But For Some Patients It Means Death.

RIP: Former Delaware Governor Pierre ‘Pete’ Du Pont IV Dies. “As a [1988] presidential candidate, du Pont attracted attention for staking out controversial positions on what he hoped would reverberate with voters as ‘damn right’ issues. They included random drug testing for high school students, school vouchers, replacing welfare with work, ending farm subsidies, and allowing workers to invest in individual retirement accounts as an alternative to Social Security. Some of those ideas have since become more mainstream.”

ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ. TBS’s Samantha Bee Just Says It: I ‘Want to Take your Guns.’

DOUBLE-WHAMMY: Gene tied to balding may also raise COVID-19 risks for men.

AMERICA’S NEWSPAPER OF RECORD: Non-Menstruating Partner Wishes Menstruating Partner A Happy Birthing Person’s Day.

IT’S THE DEMOGRAPHY, STUPID: The great American birth dearth has arrived.

(Classical reference in headline.)

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: UMass Gives Incredible Punishment to Students Not Wearing Masks Outdoors, off Campus. “Wild story. Three UMass-Amherst students were sent packing- losing credits and tuition — for taking a picture outdoors without a mask. Parents are furious and wonder why same rules didn’t apply to hockey players celebrating on campus after nat’l championship.”

‘IS THIS SATIRE?’ Journo lists things ‘Trump’s un-American regime’ did and what ‘journalists never expect.’

If Kosinski “never expect[s]…your own government to lie to you, repeatedly,” then she’s definitely misspelled “Democratic Party operative with byline wrong.”

It’s some ratio on her tweet – perhaps she’s not used to being in the deep water that is Twitter:

 

 

A long time reader of Instapundit has a new book out The Material Image: Reconciling Modern Science and Christian Faith.

LEGENDARY EMMY WINNER LOSES PR REP: Cuomo’s communications director resigns.

OCEANIA HAS ALWAYS BEEN AT WAR WITH GEORGIA: Gannett apologizes for stealth-editing Stacey Abrams’s op-ed.

THE 1933 PROJECT: Defounding America.

But, though the traders and Tea Partiers didn’t quite understand it, the federal government long ago had turned from the shield of individual liberty into a vast engine of redistribution. That transformation could occur because the Framers’ Constitution was body-snatched by the doctrine of the “living constitution,” which—as Woodrow Wilson first formulated it—saw the Supreme Court sitting as a permanent Constitutional Convention, making up laws as it went along, heedless of the 1787 scheme’s checks. Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal used Wilson’s doctrine as a license to remake America’s economy and society. Once the Supreme Court buckled to FDR’s threat to pack it and started voting his way, the justices allowed an utterly foreign governmental structure to devour the Framers’ republic from within, until it broke out of the shell as something altogether different.

Not that FDR was entirely frank about his transformative enterprise. Where Wilson had dismissed the Framers as obsolete relics in a Darwinian age, Roosevelt claimed to extend their great work even as he undid it. In his second inaugural address of 1937, he hailed the 150th anniversary of the Constitutional Convention, which had “created a strong government with powers of united action sufficient then and now to solve problems utterly beyond individual or local solution”—a wildly false characterization. Chastened by America’s near-loss in the Revolution, the Framers sought to create a government strong enough to protect national and individual independence but not so strong that, given mankind’s inherent power-hunger, it could become what they called an “elective despotism.” So they limited that power to such clearly enumerated tasks as raising an army, a navy, and taxes; coining and borrowing money; and regulating foreign and interstate commerce. All other matters they emphatically left to “individual or local solution.”

They certainly didn’t mean to put the whole U.S. economy under federal regulation. But as FDR later admitted, when he took the oath to defend the Constitution just before delivering the 1937 address, he had wanted to shout, “Yes, but it’s the Constitution as I understand it.” The New Deal’s main thrust, after all, was precisely to take total control of the economy, under the ruse of federal power to regulate interstate commerce.

Read the whole thing.

FOLLOW THE SCIENCE — SELECTIVELY: Stanford officially suspends COVID restrictions for… basketball parade?

THE 1939 PROJECT: Moscow’s war on history.

In the wake of Russia’s Victory Day military parade on Sunday, Russian lawmakers plan to ban any comparisons between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. The parade marks the 76th anniversary of the end of World War II and, as is traditional, will be held in Red Square.

The bill follows President Vladimir Putin’s orders to prohibit publicly equating the role of the two collaborationist powers during the war. Such moves illustrate that Putin’s expansionist ambitions not only involve the revision of post-Cold War borders but also the rewriting of European history.

The key event in Putin’s restoration mythology is the “Great Patriotic War” that ended in victory over Nazi Germany in 1945. The Kremlin’s historical myths have become state scripture and entail the omission of key events and the whitewashing of Soviet crimes. Histories in Russia remain silent about Stalin’s collaboration with Hitler. The two dictators jointly launched World War Two with the invasion of Poland in September 1939, after signing a nonaggression pact to carve up and incorporate Central-Eastern Europe in their growing empires. Putin has criticized the European parliament and neighboring capitals for condemning the Soviet-Nazi pact.

Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia.

Of course, Oceania has also been reported to have retconned WWII as well: Was It Over When the Germans Bombed Pearl Harbor During the ‘European Civil War?’

Between Moscow’s war on history, the EU’s war on history, and the New York Times’ war on history, Orwell didn’t know the half of it, when it comes to how malleable history can be.

 

SNL BRIEFLY BECOMES INTERESTING AGAIN: ‘SNL’: Elon Musk brings mom to monologue, jokes he’s giving her Dogecoin for Mother’s Day. “To anyone I’ve offended, I just want to say I reinvented electric cars and I’m sending people to Mars on a rocket ship. Did you think I was also going to be a chill, normal dude?”

Honestly, this is genius-level undercutting of the villainization he’s been subjected to.

LOGJAM! A journey to the heart of the lumber shortage.

XI’S GOTTA HAVE IT! Hunter Biden May Have His Own Chinese Spy Scandal.

Hunter Biden’s “laptop from hell” shows he had a “flirty” relationship with his secretary, who worked for a Chinese Communist Party company where he conducted business. The Daily Mail has the details:

After launching his multi-million-dollar joint venture with CEFC, Hunter was assigned a 29-year-old Chinese-American assistant, JiaQi Bao, who quickly struck up a close and intriguing relationship with her Biden boss.

At first, emails show the New York-based Bao diligently scheduled flights, hotels and even doctor’s appointments for the president’s son.

But mysteriously, the young assistant also sent him opposition research to help Joe Biden’s 2020 election bid, urged him to take cash from the joint venture’s accounts as the business collapsed and wrote flirty and personal messages and even ended up with Hunter’s military dog tags in her New York apartment – the same tags he can be seen wearing in home-made porn videos he recorded on his laptop.

After partnering with Chinese oil giant CEFC in the multi-million-dollar deal, Bao was appointed as his secretary and assistant, acting as a go-between for his Chinese business partners, translating documents and performing clerical work for Hunter in the joint venture.

According to Bao’s LinkedIn page, she has worked as an analyst and assistant in finance and private equity in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing and New York since 2011.

As CEFC started to collapse, Hunter Biden’s assistant encouraged him to withdraw money from the accounts held by the company. Further, the company’s Secretary General was known as the “spy chief of China.”

Does every man in the Democratic party have his own personal CCP honey trap? Beijing evidently has a whole gang of Fang Fangs to bang Democratic yanks.

SNOWFALLS ARE NOW JUST A THING OF THE PAST: England is on for its Coldest May since Record-Keeping Began back in 1659.

(Classical reference in headline.)

A REDUNDANT PROSECUTION IN MINNESOTA:  The federal prosecution of Derek Chauvin was likely undertaken as a hedge against the possibility that he would be acquitted in the state prosecution.  That obviously isn’t what happened.  But the prosecution apparently will proceed.

What’s jarring to a lot of Americans is that it’s possible to be acquitted of a crime in state court, but still prosecuted in federal court (and vice versa).  They think the Constitution protects them against double jeopardy.  It doesn’t (or at least that’s how it’s been interpreted for a long time). Back in the day that there weren’t many federal crimes, that may have been tolerable.  But these days there’s almost always a federal crime that can be charged, so double jeopardy is almost always possible.

I’ve argued in the past that in the specific and narrow context of the federal hate crimes act that this is unconstitutional. Some federal appellate judges have appeared to be sympathetic to the argument, but it will take the Supreme Court to do anything about it.

COVERUP: Biden Admin Hiding Damning Report on Student Debt Crisis, Lawmakers Say.

VIDEO SHOWS BLM PROTESTERS TRAPPING MOTORISTS AND BRANDISHING GUNS, WHAT POLICE DO HAS PEOPLE TALKING:

Instead of trying to clear the street, the officer just stands there and only gets involved to deal with the driver. While it’s obvious he’s trying to keep things from escalating, that’s no excuse to stand idly by when unlawful behavior is clearly happening.

In response to this video, I’ve seen several BLM supporters claim that the protesters have a right to be armed. That’s true, but pretending anything in that video is legal shows a fundamental misunderstanding of how open carry (or any carry of a firearm) works. One of the things that a firearms instructor will drill into you is that you can not instigate a confrontation and then finish it with a gun while claiming self-defense. In this case, you can’t block traffic, entrap people, and then threaten them with a firearm. You certainly can’t shoot anyone in that situation. Once you instigate a confrontation as the BLM protesters did, the legal hurdles to claim self-defense become massively high.

Further, I want to note that there is no situation in Texas where a protest can legally block a roadway. Even if this protest was originally permitted, it had reached the point of law-breaking by the time the camera started rolling. Police should have moved to clear the road to de-escalate the situation. Instead, nothing was done until motorists started to get into it with protesters. That’s a failure of the police to do their jobs, likely due to restrictions placed on them further up the food chain.

Very likely. Flashback to last year: Police Chief Walks With Protesters in Plano.

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)

ANDY MCCARTHY: The DOJ’s Abusive Indictment of the Police Who Killed George Floyd. Abusiveness seems to be the DOJ’s stock in trade these days.

ANALYSIS: TRUE. The pandemic has revealed a darkly authoritarian side to expertise.

DEFUND THE MARTHA’S VINEYARD POLICE DEPARTMENT: Michelle Obama: I Fear for My Daughters Every Time They Get in a Car.

RACIAL VIOLENCE: Portland BLM protesters beat and hospitalize a man, vandalize another man’s car.

THUG POLITICS: Baltimore State’s Attorney files complaint against Fox station for reporting about her. “As we’ve discovered over the past six months or more, Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby has been making plenty of headlines, none of them very flattering. With the various ‘irregularities’ showing up in her records, there is currently a grand jury investigation into the conduct of her office underway, along with an IRS audit of her and her husband’s tax records. Well, Ms. Mosby has had enough of these meddling reporters and their insinuations. She’s filed a complaint with the FCC over the Baltimore Fox News affiliate, accusing them of… well, I’m honestly not sure what she’s accusing them of. But it involves bias and persecution and, of course, racism.”

Turnabout is fair play. Perhaps someone should file a complaint against her with the Maryland Bar disciplinary counsel.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: States With Active Legislation to Fund Students Instead of Systems.

GREAT MOMENTS IN CCP ENGINEERING: Chinese Rocket Debris Reportedly Crashes Into Indian Ocean.

May 8, 2021

I WAS EXPECTING AN EARTHSHATTERING KABOOM: Debris from Chinese space rocket booster reenters Earth’s atmosphere over Indian Ocean near Maldives, China reports.

JOE BIDEN MAY YET SURPASS OBAMA AS America’s Greatest Gun Salesman.

OPEN THREAD: When you play at this level, there’s no ordinary venue.

YOU’VE GOT TO BLOW A FEW ROCKETS UP TO REALLY UNDERSTAND THEM: On This Day in Space! May 8, 1962: Centaur rocket explodes during maiden flight.

THIS IS AN AGE OF MIRACLES AND WONDERS: Perseverance Mars rover captures video, audio of fourth Ingenuity flight.

SHADY GOINGS-ON AT NORTHWESTERN LAW AND NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY. The substance of this email matches what I’ve heard from a Northwestern faculty member whom I know somewhat.

Northwestern law school is facing an unprecedented and outrageous situation. The university is trying to impose a critical-studies woke Dean on the law school; the faculty is fighting back. To overcome faculty resistance, the university set up a Dean search committee with exceptional procedures that violate the ABA rules and the law school’s own long-standing rules. Throughout the Dean search process, the faculty did not receive any information about the candidates, not even the names of finalists. The faculty complained to the Provost, citing the violation of ABA rule 203, but the Provost essentially dared the faculty to make this violation public and cause disaccreditation of their own law school. In response, the faculty unanimously passed a new voting rule, requiring secret ballots for all appointments-related votes, starting September 1.

On Friday, May 7, the interim Dean Jim “I am a racist” Speta sent an email (below). For the first time ever, the faculty learned the identity of the new Dean, Hari Osofsky of Penn State, the school far below Northwestern in rankings. The Dean needs tenure, so, the faculty is instructed to vote tenure to Osofsky the next working day, Monday.

This is an astonishing violation of faculty appointments rules long in effect at Northwestern. Osofsky never met with the faculty. There was no job talk, a strict requirement for all tenured appointments. There was no job talk paper. There were no office interviews. There was no committee of experts from the candidate’s field to study her work in detail and report, also a long-standing requirement that has never been violated in recent history. There were no outside recommendation letters, also mandatory. No reports of citations and other quantitative impact measures, another standard practice. There was no committee report issued in advance of the meeting, also mandatory.

This Saturday Night Special scheme — the surprise meeting, with a surprise candidate, announced on Friday, to be held on Monday morning — is clearly meant to thwart the faculty’s ability to gather information and coordinate. There is no legitimate purpose for this. The secret-ballot voting rule, passed unanimously in the face of the Dean search process, does not become operational until September 1. The faculty has been threatened with severe repercussions if they vote against Osofsky.

We have no choice but to make these egregious violations of ABA rules, law school’s own procedural rules, and basic decency and fairness known to the world. Anonymously.

[Email follows]

Sent: Friday, May 7, 2021 9:55 AM

To: [email protected]

Subject: Meeting Monday, at 10:00 a.m.: Candidacy of Professor Hari Osofsky

Dear colleagues:

I am calling a tenure-line faculty meeting for next Monday, May 10, at 10:00 a.m., for the purpose of discussing and voting on a recommendation that the Provost’s selection for our new dean, Professor Hari Osofsky, be named to the tenured faculty of the Law School. Professor Osofsky is currently the Dean of both the Law School and the School of International Affairs at Penn State. She was previously on the faculty at Minnesota Law, among other schools. She is an accomplished scholar in several fields, including international and environmental law, and, of course, an experienced administrator.

I attach to this email Professor Osofsky’s CV, and here is her webpage. Members of the search committee will also speak to her background and qualifications at the meeting.

This unusually expedited procedure is necessary, given the continuing nonpublic nature of the search. In that regard, this meeting is being held before any public announcement and before any broader internal announcement. I therefore request (as does the Provost) that you refrain from sharing this information either internally or externally and keep this confidential until the matter is concluded and such public announcements can be made.

Please let me know if you have any questions. A Zoom link will be forthcoming shortly.

Thanks,

Jim

James B. Speta

Interim Dean

This is, for those who don’t know about such things, quite thoroughly unusual. Normally a person isn’t hired as Dean until the faculty has met that person, and voted — as a binding or non-binding recommendation to the central administration — on acceptability as Dean. The tenure vote is always up to the faculty, and it is a grave breach to threaten the faculty about it.

I have no opinion on whether Hari Osofsky would make a good Dean because I know nothing about her, which places me in the same position as the faculty expected to vote on her tenure — by non-secret ballot — on Monday. Speaking personally, were I a candidate at an institution that was behaving as described above, I would withdraw my name in the face of such tactics, as I would expect them to taint my deanship. Perhaps there is some innocent explanation for this behavior, though I can’t think of one.

WHEN INSTITUTIONS FAIL: All Three Finalists to Be President of The Evergreen State College Withdraw From Process.

A year-long process to find the next president of The Evergreen State College came to a shocking conclusion Wednesday when the college’s Board of Trustees emerged from a three-hour meeting and announced that the three finalists for the job had withdrawn their names from consideration.

Board of Trustees Chairwoman Karen Fraser said all three finalists — Michael Dumont, Catherine Kodat and Lee Lambert — withdrew following recent interviews with faculty, students, staff and alumni. . . .

Trustee Ed Zuckerman defended the process the college undertook to find a president, but also said, “We have some learning to do as a community as to why they withdrew.”

“The process is not at issue from my standpoint,” he said.

Trustee David Nicandri said the common conceit about the college is that its biggest challenge is in recruitment and retention, but he also cited a “deeper set of problems” facing the college, which he did not identify.

The place has been a toxic stew of wokeness and entitlement for years. That’s the deeper set of problems.

LOOKING FOR SOMETHING ELSE IN THE ARCHIVES, I ran across this article from when Salon was actually readable.

GOOD NEWS FOR DRUG COMPANIES: One in 5 people in U.S. uses blood pressure-raising medications. “‘We’re not telling patients they can’t take these medications,’ Yang stressed. Instead, he said, ‘we treat the high blood pressure.'”

Of course, it’s partly a matter of definitions: “In 2017, the ACC and American Heart Association changed their definition of high blood pressure, lowering it from the old threshold of 140/90 mm Hg.”

Related: With Blood Pressure, Lower Is Not Always Better.

The observational study, published online in JAMA Internal Medicine, involved 4,480 people. In the 22 years covered by the study, there were 1,622 heart attacks and other serious cardiac problems. Cardiac events were more common in people whose blood pressure exceeded 140, and particularly among those with readings over 160.

But there was no difference in the risk for heart failure, stroke or heart attack between those in the normal range (120 to 140) and those with a level below 120. Researchers controlled for smoking, use of blood pressure drugs, and other variables.

Related: Why the New Blood Pressure Guidelines Could Lead to Harm.

The problem was not the guideline itself but some of the news coverage it prompted, with pronouncements that millions more Americans would need to lower blood pressure or that nearly half of Americans now had high blood pressure. A lot of the coverage made it sound as if something drastic had happened overnight.

Nothing had. We just changed the definition of hypertension. . . .

The results were significant, with fewer patients in the intensive therapy group having an acute cardiovascular event or death. The evidence was so compelling that the trial was stopped early, so the results could be announced sooner rather than later. This decision itself brought a fair amount of media attention to its findings. The fact that those in the intensive therapy group also had more adverse events, like hypotension, syncope and acute kidney injury, got less attention.

Plus:

The Sprint study essentially showed that people truly at high risk should have their blood pressure managed more aggressively than we thought. But that has not been the message of news on the new guidelines. That has focused far more often on the many newly reclassified people with mild blood pressure, who were not the focus of the Sprint intervention.

In fact, almost none of the newly labeled hypertensive people (those with systolic blood pressure between 130 and 140) should be placed on medications. These people should be advised to eat right, exercise, drink responsibly, and not smoke.

That’s exactly what physicians would have been advising people before these changes.

More at the link.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: A little alcohol may help the heart by lowering stress, study says. “Compared to those with low alcohol intake, moderate drinkers had less stress-related brain activity and a 20% lower risk of a major heart event.”

THE IRANIAN GOVERNMENT PAINTS AMERICAN AND ISRAELI FLAGS ON THE GROUND SO PEOPLE CAN WALK ALL OVER THEM. THE IRANIAN PEOPLE REFUSE TO COMPLY.

Why would the Iranian government want Iranian people walking over the American flag, when the Iranian government is currently walking all over Biden? Biden administration ‘dead set’ on re-entering Iran deal, despite high price. “Richard Goldberg, a senior adviser at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, as well as an expert on Iran negotiations and sanctions, told JNS that he believes the reports coming out of Iran reflect leaks that the Islamic regime is already declaring victory at the negotiating table with the United States giving into 90 percent to 95 percent of the sanctions relief the Iranians had been seeking.”

NEWS YOU CAN USE: How to Stick It to Facebook in One Easy Step.

IN BIDEN’S CARTER-ERA RERUN, GAS LINES WERE ALREADY INEVITABLE, THIS JUST SPEEDS THINGS UP: A cyberattack has forced the shutdown of a major gas pipeline in the U.S. that supplies 45% of all fuel consumed on the East Coast.

AMERICA’S NEWSPAPER OF RECORD: In New Cut Of Empire Strikes Back, Vader Will Now Say ‘I Am Your Non-Birthing Person!’

YES, AND…? DeSantis to unemployed: Start looking for a job.

GETTING A JUMP ON TOMORROW’S HEADLINES: The Democratic Party Wishes You a Happy ‘Birthing People’ Day.

SPACE-BASED LAWFARE: Protests over SpaceX contract put timetable for lunar return in limbo.

BETTER THAN THE VACCINES: Risk of COVID-19 reinfection less than 1%, study finds. My prediction is that natural immunity will “wane” less than they predict here, because SARS immunity — a very closely related virus — is still good after nearly two decades.

THE GASLIGHTING WILL CONTINUE UNTIL MORALE IMPROVES: Janice Dean Is Having None of Chris Cuomo’s Spin on Staged Basement Emergence.

CRITICAL RACE THEORY: Schoolhouse Scapegoat.

GOODER AND HARDER: Joe Biden Voters Discover They Voted for Joe Biden.

WOKE INDOCTRINATION and Sorokin’s Norma.

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.

(Bumped.)

ON WILLIE MAYS’ BIRTHDAY, NANCY PELOSI POSTS PHOTO OF WRONG GIANTS LEGEND NAMED WILLIE:

On Willie Mays’ 90th birthday Thursday, the Twitter account for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi posted a picture of … Willie McCovey.

The tweet, which showed the San Francisco Democrat with McCovey, was removed quickly and replaced with an image of Pelosi with the correct Willie, though the caption remained the same.

* * * * * * * *

It’s not the first time a high-profile politician has made an error like this one.

When civil rights icon and Georgia Rep. John Lewis died last year, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (or someone on his staff) posted a picture of himself with also-deceased Rep. Elijah Cummings instead and was criticized harshly.

Pelosi did not receive anywhere near as much blowback, and her office later blamed a staffer for the gaffe.

“Pelosi did not receive anywhere near as much blowback:”


RIP TO JAGUAR’S GREATEST SALESPERSON EVER: Tawny Kitaen, ’80s Music Video Vixen and Bachelor Party Star, Dies at 59.

BRITISH ACTRESS APPROPRIATELY HUMBLED BY EVERYDAY AMERICAN CULTURE: Kate Winslet Describes Being Awestruck By ‘Mythical’ Wawa Convenience Store.

Flashback: When Boris Yeltsin went grocery shopping in Houston.

THE POWER LINE WEEK IN PICTURES: Wide-Angle Edition.

NO MAN IS SAFE: There is a new book coming out soon by actor and director Greg Ellis called The Respondent: Exposing the Cartel of Family Law. There is an introduction by Johnny Depp who says about the book: “If you’re trapped in the dungeon that is the family court system, The Respondent should be your constant companion.” I need to read this.

ANNALS OF LEFTIST AUTOPHAGY: CAIR is demanding the NBA stop supporting China’s Muslim genocide. Join them.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Texas Virtual Academy trains students to enter workforce right after high school. Many institutions in our society are becoming obsolete, and the pandemic has accelerated that process.

WELCOME BACK CARTER: Twitter’s take on a tweet by Donald Trump Jr. is really something special.

“Fair enough. Carter won a Peace Prize and has built a lot of houses for charity in his post-presidency. But, economically speaking, his presidency was not a fun time for most Americans. So why is Twitter spinning for aggrieved Democrats? I’m assuming a person wrote this nonsense. Again, it sounds like a Vox headline, i.e. ‘Well, akshually…’”

I’m assuming the young tykes who program Twitter’s “Trending Posts” are far too young to have been around in the 1970s, and have no knowledge about just how gloomy the Carter years were, with runaway inflation, unemployment, interest rates, gas prices, a defenestrated military and the infamous “malaise speech.” They just know he has a (D) after his name,  he’s not the Bad Orange Man, and his son must be wrong, so Carter must be defended. Ben Rhodes famously said, “The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing.” Those who can’t cut as reporters wind up working for Twitter.

I SUSPECT THIS IS MORE ABOUT MONEY THAN HYGIENE: AALS Cancels In-Person Faculty Hiring Conference For Second Year In A Row Due To COVID-19. Though it seems like a bad call for AALS, if people realize they don’t need that conference to do hiring at all.

WELCOME BACK, CARTER: Milton Friedman’s Revenge.

Why anyone would want to repeat this experiment in the dismal science is a mystery. Biden, however, is fixated not on inflation but on repudiating the legacy of the man known for describing it as “always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon in the sense that it is and can be produced only by a more rapid increase in the quantity of money than in output.”

Milton Friedman, whose empiricism led him to embrace free market public policy, was the most influential economist of the second half of the 20th century. But Biden has a weird habit of treating Friedman as a devilish spirit who must be exorcised from the nation’s capital. For Biden, Friedman represents deregulation, low taxes, and the idea that a corporation’s primary responsibility is not to a group of politicized “stakeholders” but to its shareholders. “Milton Friedman isn’t running the show anymore,” Biden told Politico last year. “When did Milton Friedman die and become king?” Biden asked in 2019. The truth is that Friedman, who died in 2006, has held little sway over either Democrats or Republicans for almost two decades. But Biden wants to mark the definitive end of Friedman and the “neoliberal” economics he espoused by unleashing a tsunami of dollars into the global economy and inundating Americans with new entitlements.

The irony is that Biden’s rejection of Friedman’s teachings on money, taxes, and spending may bring about the same circumstances that established Friedman’s preeminence. In a year or two, the American economy and Biden’s political fortunes may look considerably different than when Janet Yellen blurted out the obvious about inflation. Voters won’t like the combination of rising prices and declining assets. Biden’s experts might rediscover that it is difficult to control or stop inflation once it begins. And Milton Friedman will have his revenge.

Or to put it another way: The Message Washington Needs to Hear Right Now: STOP!

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.

CHRISTOPHER RUFO: The Wokest Place on Earth.

The Walt Disney Corporation famously bills its amusement parks as “the happiest place on Earth,” but inside the company’s headquarters in Burbank, California, a conflict is brewing. In the past year, Disney executives have elevated the ideology of critical race theory into a new corporate dogma, bombarded employees with trainings on “systemic racism,” “white privilege,” “white fragility,” and “white saviors,” and launched racially segregated “affinity groups” at the company’s headquarters.

* * * * * * * *

Multiple Disney employees told me the political environment at the company has intensified in recent months. There are “almost daily memos, suggested readings, panels, and seminars that [are] all centered around antiracism,” said one employee. The company is “completely ideologically one-sided” and actively discourages conservative and Christian employees from expressing their views. “I attended several [training sessions] at the beginning just to see what the temperature of the discussion would be and to gauge if I would be able to bring up my own objections in a safe way—safe meaning for my career. And I’ve continually gotten the unspoken answer: ‘no,’” said the employee. “It’s been very stifling to feel like everyone keeps talking about having open dialogue and compassionate conversations, but when it comes down to it, I know if I said one thing that was truthful, based on data, or even just based on my own personal experience, it would actually be rather unwelcomed.”

Despite these internal warnings, there is no sign that Disney is slowing down its efforts to achieve ideological purity. The company recently fired actress Gina Carano for expressing a conservative viewpoint. Content managers have modified and added “content advisories” to films such as Dumbo, Aladdin, and Fantasia, which, according to an internal video I have obtained, executives have denounced as “racist content.” In the same video, executive chairman Bob Iger pledged that the company “should be taking a stand” on political controversies and will no longer “shy away from politics” in the future.

Disney’s premise has always been to provide an escape for middle Americans, but its executives seem to harbor growing contempt for the very people who visit their amusement parks, watch their films, and buy their merchandise. Once known as the “Happiest Place on Earth,” Disney has now committed to becoming the “wokest place on Earth”—whatever the cost.

If there’s anyone who studies Disney’s amusement parks Kremlinologist-style, it will be fascinating (and depressing) to see how management’s uber-wokeness manifests itself there, particularly in sections such as Liberty Square.

Related: Also from Rufo: What critical race theory is really about.

BIRTHING PERSON OF ALL SILLINESS:

I’m also not saying the majority should always give in—or give too much—to the minority. Take the recent algae plume of stupidity on Twitter. Rep. Cori Bush referred to mothers as “birthing people.” This elicited immediate, and deserved, mockery from many folks on the right, including yours truly. NARAL—or, at least, NARAL’s Twitter person—rallied to her cause.

Birthing-person-of-pearl! (Or for those of a certain faith, Holy Birthing Person of God!) This is a seamless disco ball of absurdity, radiating inanity from every angle. If one of the core tenets of the new Great Awokening is that the term “mother” is divisive or bigoted, then the Great Awokening is doomed (and deservedly so). Don’t tell me conservatives are too obsessed with silly and divisive culture war “distractions,” if in the next breath you’re going to lecture me on the need to erase the term “mother” from the English language.

One of the most interesting divides on the left is between socialists and critical race theorists. Some of the best pushback on the execrable 1619 Project came from socialists who think making race, as opposed to class, the focal point of the progressive project is counterproductive. It’s a fresh opening of a fascinating old divide that had once been central to the left when Marxism was taken more seriously by serious people. Anything that distracts from the class struggle is a gift to what Randi Weingarten calls the “ownership class.” This argument was applied to everything from Mickey Mouse to the welfare state to slavery reparations.

My point isn’t that mom-erasure sets back the class struggle, my point is that mom-erasure sets back the transgender cause, and virtually every other left-wing cause as well. People aren’t going to stop calling their mothers “mother” or “mom” or anything of the sort. Kids aren’t going to fall off a swing at the playground and shout, “Birthing person! I have an ouchie!” (And before you accuse me of perpetuating gender stereotypes, if dad is at the playground, they’re not going to shout, “Non-birthing person! I have an ouchie!” either.) And it’s absurd to ask them to, not just because it’s wrong on the merits, but because it’s an utterly doomed project that will invite 100 times more backlash against their cause.

Rep. Bush discovered this the hard way. She’s very mad that conservatives pounced (yes, I’m using that term ironically) on her birthing person comment while ignoring her larger point about the very real problems faced by pregnant black women.

I testified in front of Congress about nearly losing both of my children during childbirth because doctors didn’t believe my pain. Republicans got more upset about me using gender-inclusive language in my testimony than my babies nearly dying. Racism and transphobia in America.

This is bunk. Sure, transphobes and racists no doubt object to replacing “mothers” with “birthing people.” But you know who else does? Almost everybody. If Bush were more interested in communicating her actual message, she might have pondered that for a moment and used language that didn’t turn people off.

“Birthing person” sounds like a Newspeak Dictionary update too far. Read the whole thing.

SOCIALISM: IF YOU BUILD IT, THEY WILL LEAVE. California Population Fell by More Than 180,000 in 2020, State’s First Ever Yearly Drop.

CIVIL RIGHTS UPDATE: Glock wins (and Biden loses) in major liability suit.

IT’S NOT ALL IN YOUR HEAD, YOU KNOW:  The College of the Ozarks is suing Biden and HUD officials over the Administration’s insistence that transgender students be assigned to the dormitory they identify with, rather than the dormitory of their anatomy.

(The brief linked to here was written for the Title IX context rather than for the Fair Housing Act context, but I think the basic logic still applies.  Like Title IX, the Fair Housing Act forbids SEX discrimination, not GENDER discrimination.  At the same time, there seems to be a general agreement that the FHA allows colleges and universities to have separate dorms by sex. Once you get that far, even under the Supreme Court’s decision in Bostock v. Clayton County (in fact especially under Bostock), the College wins for the reasons outlined in the brief.

Here’s the quick version:  In Bostock, Justice Gorsuch was hyper-textual.  He essentially held that if an anatomical women who wears dresses would be hired, but an anatomical man who wears dresses won’t be hired, that’s sex discrimination under Title VII.  But the same logic doesn’t apply here:  If an anatomical woman who wears dresses can live in the women’s  dorm, but a anatomical man who wears dresses can’t live in the women’s dorm, that is indeed sex discrimination, but sex discrimination  is permitted in this context.  If it weren’t permitted, it wouldn’t just be transgender individuals who could “cross over” to the other dorm.  All men (and all women) are being discriminated against when they are not permitted to live in the opposite sex’s dorm.  Note that it doesn’t help HUD’s argument to say, “Well, transgender women (anatomical men who identify as women) really are women.  At that point, they are arguing that the college is treating two kinds of women differently.  But there is no law against discriminating between two different kinds of women; the statute forbids discrimination on the basis of sex.)

RIGGED: Social media’s ban on Trump: Our ‘silence of the lambs’ moment.

INFLATION IS ALWAYS AND EVERYWHERE A MONETARY PHENOMENON: Milton Friedman’s Revenge: The specter of inflation haunts Joe Biden’s presidency.

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