July 31, 2021

POWER LINE: The Decline of the West.

DAVID BARON, CALL YOUR OFFICE: Bear runs into Tennessee restaurant, then meanders along the sidewalk beside visitors. “At the time, officials with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency had reminded people that Gatlinburg is part of the bears’ natural habitat and roaming area.”

If you shot every bear that crossed the Gatlinburg city limits, within a few years the bears wouldn’t do that anymore. Deer know exactly where they can be hunted, and bears are smarter than deer.

I’M STILL TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHY DEMOCRATS THINK RUINING THEIR OWN STATES is a winning strategy.

Democrats: Well, those are the only ones we can ruin right now.

OPEN THREAD: If you choose not to comment, you still have made a choice.

SPACE JUNK, BETTER PUT UP MY UMBRELLA: Who’s going to fix the space junk problem?

Here’s a piece on space debris that Rob Merges and I wrote some years ago.

WAIT, I THOUGHT THE CHINESE HAD ELIMINATED COVID OVER A YEAR AGO THROUGH THEIR SUPERIOR HEAVY-HANDEDNESS: China outbreak spreads as WHO sounds alarm on Delta.

SO FAR, IT SEEMS THAT THE VACCINE RISKS HAVE BEEN EXAGGERATED: Teen heart risk from COVID-19 far exceeds that of vaccination, study says.

The risks in both cases are quite low. However, the “vaccinate teens so they won’t kill grandma” argument seems invalid based on this: CDC: Vaccinated people spread COVID-19 Delta variant as easily as unvaccinated.

Except that that conclusion doesn’t really follow from the Provincetown experience.

The “knowledge” here seems pretty uncertain, to be delivered in such tones of ringing certainty.

KURT SCHLICHTER: Imagine If They Hadn’t Lied To Us For The Last 18 Months.

BACK IN STOCK: OPR’s Bayrum Shave Soap.

IT’S COME TO THIS: Did a terrorist actually just win an Olympic gold medal? “The Tokyo Olympics may go down in history as the most bizarre Olympics yet. Star athletes quitting, transgender individuals competing against the opposite sex, and now this, a member of a terrorist group bringing home the gold.”

MORE FALLOUT FROM YEAR ZERO HYSTERIA: Man Hit by Toppled Confederate Statue Last Year Suffering From Traumatic Brain Injury. “Even though Green was at the protest, my heart breaks for him and his family. The story also makes me even more angry at the people who fueled this hysteria. At the height of this madness last spring, the magazine ‘Popular Mechanics’ published an article on how to more effectively pull down statues. A professor at John Jay College offered similar advice.”

OLD GLORY, NEW ANGER:

The odd election of 2020 does not sit well with a great many Americans. They are not in the mood to engage in the equivalent theatrics of Ben Cohen’s mockery of Bush or the pussyhat feminists’ sneers against Trump.

President Biden is, in their view, a hollow figure not even worth mention. Their complaint lies far deeper as they see the purposeful destruction of American values by an elite that bullies and derides them.

What will come of this? How might revolt manifest itself? I hope it will be a successful recapture of key institutions, perhaps beginning with the schools. But the political elite that prefers to scorn the common people for wanting a say in their government is playing an awfully risky game. Despair breeds wrath and that fire, once ignited, will engulf us all.

From Peter Wood, the author of the 2007 book on America’s increasing anger, A Bee in the Mouth, which included (among many other anecdotes) a brilliant interpretation of the legendary scene of Jack Nicholson’s character accosting a waitress in the 1970 film, Five Easy Pieces: Nicholson’s Bobby Dupea “isn’t really a working-class guy. He was born to wealth and was successful as a concert pianist, and his work as an oil rigger is just his personal quest for authenticity. The waitress, however, is the real thing: a woman with few other options trying to make a living at a tough job. So the restaurant scene really offers a privileged elitist who has the freedom to float among whatever social roles he pleases, raging against someone he regards as beneath him because she is so bound to the conventions of her job. She is a resident of the working class; he is merely a truculent visitor. But the movie essentially invites us to see things his way. We, the sophisticated audience, are asked to share in Dupea’s contempt for meaningless conventions, even if we squirm a little at his cruelty to the waitress.”

STANDING UP FOR FREEDOM: Over 200,000 people protest against health pass in France.

NEW ORLEANS MAYOR’S MEDICAL ADVISOR ON COVID: “She added it is also more dangerous than smallpox and polio.”

Science!

THE 21st CENTURY ISN’T TURNING OUT AS I HAD HOPED: I’m a Furry. Netflix’s Sexy Beasts Misses the Entire Point of Dressing Up Like an Animal.

No word yet if the author is actually Robert “Beto” O’Rourke.

ANCESTRY: Neandertal and Denisovan blood groups deciphered.

READER BOOK RECOMMENDATION: Larry Niven’s and Jerry Pournelle’s Lucifer’s Hammer: A Novel.

GET READY FOR THE ‘NO-BUY’ LIST:

When I helped create PayPal in 1999, it was in furtherance of a revolutionary idea. No longer would ordinary people be dependent on large financial institutions to start a business.

Our democratized payment system caught fire and grew exponentially with millions of users who appreciated its ease and simplicity. Traditional banks were too slow and bureaucratic to adapt. Instead, the revolution we spawned two decades ago inspired new startups like Ally, Chime, Square, and Stripe, which have further expanded participation in the financial system.

But now PayPal is turning its back on its original mission. It is now leading the charge to restrict participation by those it deems unworthy.

First, in January, PayPal blocked a Christian crowdfunding site that raised money to bring demonstrators to Washington on January 6. Then, in February, PayPal announced that it was working with the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) to ban users from the platform. This week the company announced it is partnering with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) to investigate and shut down accounts that the ADL considers too extreme.

Why is this a problem? Isn’t it perfectly reasonable to make sure bad actors don’t fund hate through these platforms?

I’m a Jewish American who has special appreciation for the ADL’s historical role as a watchdog against antisemitism. Whether it came from the Aryan Nation or the Nation of Islam, the ADL did admirable work in combatting it. But the ADL has changed. Like the Southern Poverty Law Center, the organization has broadened its portfolio from antisemitism (or racism in the SPLC’s case) to cover what it considers to be “hate” or “extremism” in general.

The new ADL opposed the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh because of his “hostility to reproductive freedom.” It partnered with such beacons of philosemitism as Al Sharpton (you read that right) to boycott Facebook for allowing “hate speech on their platform.” It opposed Trump’s executive order banning Critical Race Theory in federal government training. And it called for Fox News to fire Tucker Carlson for his comments on immigration.

Whether one agrees with any of these positions is beside the point. The point is that the ADL, like the SPLC, now weighs in on issues far beyond its original purview.

Related: Target Banning Books from Website.

Given the endless series of political controversies Woke Capital keeps throwing up, it is understandable if most people have forgotten about the entire pitiful episode. Here is a quick refresher: Back in November 2020, Target.com had among its catalog two books that upset Twitter activists: Irreversible Damage by Abigail Shrier, and The End of Gender by Dr. Debra Soh. A Twitter user complained that books they did not like were being sold, prompting a rapid response from Target. Both books were removed. Naturally, this produced a political backlash, so Target reversed the ban the next day.

That appeared to be the end of the story; yes, an embarrassment for a major corporation, and a bad omen for the direction of corporate America, but the books were again available on Target’s website. Until they weren’t. Prior to attending Target’s annual meeting on June 9, we dug into the controversy again and found that Abigail Shrier had tweeted about her book being unavailable on Target.com — months after the ban was supposedly reversed.

We checked ourselves, and both Irreversible Damage and The End of Gender are once again unavailable on Target’s website. We asked a Target Investor Relations representative why these books were apparently banned again. The answer? Despite their rapid reversal last fall in the face of widespread outrage, Target quietly introduced a new set of “guidelines” that determines what books they will let people read. Even though this is clearly a matter of controversy and interest to shareholders and the general public, Target introduced its new policy without any apparent press notifications. (Target’s Investor Relations Department declined to answer when we asked if this policy had been formally announced before the annual general meeting.) Typically, corporate prostrations to the trinity of “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion” are accompanied by enthusiastic fanfare in the form of advertisements and tweets and infographics. Not so with Target. Their new book-banning policy was instead hidden away in an obscure corner of their corporate website; technically public, yet conspicuously unpublicized.

As Ray Bradbury wrote in the introduction to the 50th anniversary edition of Fahrenheit 451, “There is more than one way to burn a book. And the world is full of people running around with lit matches.”

Speaking of which, flashback: Antifa Forces Portland Book Store to Stop Selling Andy Ngo’s Book About Antifa.

OUR POLITICAL CLASS WOULD RATHER FEEL SUPERIOR THAN PERSUADE PEOPLE, THOUGH: Study: Understanding negative vaccine view of skeptics could get more people vaccinated.

Related:

IT’S FUN WATCHING BILL MAHER BEING SLOWLY RED-PILLED: Maher: Maybe the “woke Olympics” shouldn’t have taken its cues from the Oscars.

BOOK RECOMMENDATION: Commenter aelfheld suggests Larry Niven’s and Jerry Pournelle’s The Mote in God’s Eye. “Possibly the greatest science fiction novel I have ever read.”- Robert A. Heinlein. Now that is praise. (Bumped)

FRUITS OF THE LOCKDOWN AND OF MEDIA HYSTERIA: Study: Severe opioid overdoses up by nearly one-third during pandemic.

GOOD AND HARD: Bacon may disappear in California as pig rules take effect.

THE DEMOCRATS SHOULD INVESTIGATE THEMSELVES FOR INSURRECTION:

For nearly a month last summer a violent insurrection claimed control of Capitol Hill — in Seattle, that is, not Washington DC. The insurrectionists were leftists who proclaimed the six or so city blocks under their power to be a new state-within-a-state, the ‘Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone’, or CHAZ. Multiple shootings, murders and acts of arson took place before police finally restored legal authority on July 1.

This insurrection, and the many other lethal incursions against the rule of law that took place last summer, have not occasioned much soul-searching or anger from progressives and liberals in the commentariat. The contrast with their fury over the riot at the US Capitol on January 6 of this year could not be more striking. Only one person died violently in that shameful episode, and she, Ashli Babbitt, was shot by law enforcement. Yet this time, for reasons that readers will have to deduce for themselves, the police are not being criticized for the use of force against unarmed lawbreakers. Instead, Democrats, and Liz Cheney, are treating this mostly peaceful protest — many thousands protested, a few hundred broke into the Capitol — as the new 9/11. Why?

2020 was supposed to be the American left’s Year Zero, and yet, the events of January 6th, 2021, requires the left to memory hole many of the events of the previous year. The rest of us should not forget.

THE POWER LINE WEEK IN PICTURES: Lockdown Sequel Edition.

BOOK SUGGESTION: From commenter el diablo loco poco, John Ringo’s books The Last Centurion and Live Free or Die.

ROGER SIMON: Quit Complaining about Twitter and Quit Already.

And there are alternatives—Gab, GETTR, Parler, Tell and Mind, to name a few. None have caught fire in the way Twitter has, but that may be our fault.

Or, maybe we don’t need that means of communication at all. Maybe it’s just too 2010s and should now be dispensed with. I’m happy having my say here at The Epoch Times and enjoy very much reading the comments, which are often extraordinarily good.

Whatever the case, I am publicly calling on Dave Rubin to do something unusual and laudable, to tell Twitter to “stuff it.” They may have locked him out, but he’s not coming back anyway, even if they let him.

Or, to put it another way, since Jack Dorsey might know something of revolutionary history, Dave should be our version of Dolores Ibárruri (La Pasionaria) who, during the Spanish Civil War, famously said, “Better to die on your feet, than to live forever on your kneesNo pasaran! [They will not pass.]

Yes, I know Dolores was a communist, but the shoe is on the other proverbial foot these days, and it is the new American communists who, with sites like Twitter leading the way, stand in opposition to “freedom and justice for all.”

No pasaran, indeed.

Abandoning the decentralized Blogosphere for the walled gardens of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube was a huge mistake, particularly for conservatives. Somebody should write a book about the reasons why.

 

IF THAT HAPPENS, FAUCI SHOULD GET LIFE: ‘Health misinformation’ should be a federal crime, First Amendment law professor says.

What if “constitutional rights misinformation” were a crime?

THAT MUCH CLOSER TO THE MID-TERMS, HUH? The Justice Department won’t have January 6 evidence ready until 2022.

MON DIEU! Unlicensed Dog Grooming Alarms Local News Reporter.

ANNALS OF LEFTIST AUTOPHAGY: Susan Sarandon Protests Outside AOC’s Office: “We are losing hope that you represent us.”

MARK LEVIN ON A ROLL: Another 157,000 copies of American Marxism sold in week two.

GOOD: Congress fails to extend eviction moratorium expiring Saturday.

The eleventh-hour bid, which came as thousands of people may soon face the process of being forced from their homes, faltered amid caucus divisions. About a dozen House Democrats opposed the measure and were unwilling to budge, two senior Democratic aides told NBC News.

“Definitely don’t have the votes,” one leadership aide said.

House Speaker Nancy Nancy Pelosi and the sponsor of a measure to extend the ban, Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., were at odds Friday over whether to hold a vote and force members to make their positions publicly known.

Waters wanted a vote, which would have allowed progressive activists to blame specific Democratic lawmakers for its failure, while Pelosi didn’t want to expose some of her caucus members to the wrath of the base, according to the second aide.

Ultimately, the effort died when Majority Leader Steny Hoyer tried to pass the measure by unanimous consent — a process that doesn’t require a vote — and a Republican member objected. Congress is now leaving town, with the House not expected back in until Sept. 20.

Related: “[T]he moratorium has left an enormous $21 billion tab in unpaid rent built up. Whenever the order finally expires, crushing bills will come due. They will either bankrupt delinquent renters, leave landlords in the lurch, or, unfortunately, be passed on to taxpayers via a bailout.  The longer the eviction moratorium continues, the more this dysfunction magnifies. Of course, that only gives politicians more incentive to expand it into perpetuity to avoid having to face the fallout from their poor policy decisions. The ultimate loser from such cowardice, though, is American taxpayers. Remember that next time you hear the word ‘temporary’ attached to a proposal for a new government program.”

JIM TREACHER: The Rules Wouldn’t Keep Changing If You Peasants Just Did What You’re Told at That Particular Moment.

We got some new COVID-19 rules yesterday. They were different than the rules we got the day before that, and I assume they’re different than the rules we’ll get tomorrow.

To recap:

  1. Absolutely do not wear a mask
  2. You must, must, must wear a mask or you’re killing Grandma
  3. Don’t leave the house or you’re killing Grandma
  4. If you can’t avoid leaving the house, stay at least six feet away from any other human being you see or you’re killing Grandma
  5. Wash your hands 20 times a day
  6. Do not touch your face or anything else, ever
  7. Get vaccinated so you don’t have to wear a mask
  8. You have to wear a mask even if you’re vaccinated
  9. When the above rules change, and then change back, and then change back again, shut up about it or you’re a stupid MAGA-head
  10. Don’t forget to vote Democrat.

As Glenn wrote on Thursday in the New York Post: No, Karen, we’re not masking again: A winning GOP message for 2022 & beyond.

WELCOME BACK, CARTER: Benchmark Inflation Measure Hits Highest Level In 30 Years.

A WELL-OILED MACHINE: White House Walks Back Biden Statement that National Vaccine Mandate Is Under Consideration.

JOHN PODHORETZ: Bill de Blasio and the Decline of New York City. “This is not the result of COVID. It is the result of a disastrous mayoralty and the ideas, prejudices, and idiocies that have animated it. De Blasio’s legacy as he prepares to leave office is just that: a city in decline.”

HERE IT IS: The actual data on which the CDC’s new mask guidance is based.

This isn’t a leaked powerpoint of uncertain provenance. This is the genuine article, a CDC study of an outbreak several weeks ago in Provincetown, Massachusetts, that caused the agency to scramble and recommend masking for every American in a community with substantial transmission.

Having now read through it, I have the same reaction as Greg Pollowitz: “[W]hat the CDC data on Provincetown actually shows is that even under perfect conditions for a superspreader event, the vaccine works spectacularly well.”

The study tracks a nasty outbreak in P-town over the first two weeks of this month. On July 3, cases in Barnstable County were rock-bottom at zero per 100,000 residents due in large part to the state’s high vaccination rate of 70+ percent partially immunized and 60+ percent fully immunized. Two weeks later, after locals partied on July 4 and attended a series of summer events, cases had exploded to 177 per 100,000 over the previous 14 days. Many of those infections were afflicting fully vaccinated people.

That’s not good news. But is it as terrible as the reporting has cracked it up to be?

Approximately three quarters (346; 74%) of cases occurred in fully vaccinated persons (those who had completed a 2-dose course of mRNA vaccine [Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna] or had received a single dose of Janssen [Johnson & Johnson] vaccine ≥14 days before exposure). Genomic sequencing of specimens from 133 patients identified the B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in 119 (89%) and the Delta AY.3 sublineage in one (1%). Overall, 274 (79%) vaccinated patients with breakthrough infection were symptomatic. Among five COVID-19 patients who were hospitalized, four were fully vaccinated; no deaths were reported. Real-time reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) cycle threshold (Ct) values in specimens from 127 vaccinated persons with breakthrough cases were similar to those from 84 persons who were unvaccinated, not fully vaccinated, or whose vaccination status was unknown (median = 22.77 and 21.54, respectively).

* * * * * * * *

Which brings us to the first wrinkle in the data. How much of the P-town outbreak is due to the circumstances being absolutely ideal for a mass outbreak?

Click to enlarge.

As Byron York tweets, “Not a Trump hotspot. The proper response is not to blame Blue America for outbreak but for those finger-pointing commentators to be a little more circumspect, a little less Trump-obsessed, a little more reasonable. Would be good idea.”

But the narrative is all, alas.

Related: A gay rights activist explains why the CDC’s Provincetown study may be fatally flawed.

ANDREW SULLIVAN: Let it Rip: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Live With The Virus.

I’m double-vaccinated. The chances of becoming sick enough to be hospitalized are extremely small; the chance of death, none at all. My friend who first texted me is super-fit (as are most of the young torsos who show up that week), but he’s also my age (weirdly enough, he’s the same friend I went to stay with when I first tested HIV-positive in 1993). He endured a nasty week of a fluish bug: the kind of thing that happens without any plague at all. Just part of the inherent risks of being human on a planet that does not belong exclusively to us. . . .

So let it rip. The one silver lining of plagues in the past is that, at some point, they blew themselves out, by creating herd immunity. What we have done with Covid is greatly slow that process down. We did so for good reasons — because it would give us time to get a vaccine, and because a full-scale epidemic would overwhelm the healthcare system. But now that we have several vaccines, and can adjust them from time to time, and the healthcare system is not on the verge of collapse, the logic for lockdowns and masking has completely disappeared. . . .

These viruses challenge the psyche, and the trick, it seems to me, is not to deny their power and danger, but to see past them to the real goal: the living of your life. If you are not careful, this one viral threat can crowd out all other perspectives, distort your judgment of risk, and cause you to be paralyzed by excessive caution and fear. But defeating a virus often does mean living with it. We already do this with the flu. There’s no reason we can’t do it with Covid as well.

Indeed.

MATT TAIBBI: From ‘Yes we can’ to ‘No, you moron’: Dems have selves to blame for vaccine hesitancy.

I’m vaccinated. I think people should be vaccinated. But this latest moral mania — and make no mistake about it, the “pandemic of the unvaccinated” p.r. campaign is the latest in a ceaseless series of such manias, dating back to late 2016 — lays bare everything that’s abhorrent and nonsensical in modern American politics, beginning with the no-longer-disguised aristocratic mien of the Washington consensus.

If you want to convince people to get a vaccine, pretty much the worst way to go about it is a massive blame campaign, delivered by sneering bluenoses who have a richly deserved credibility problem with large chunks of the population, and now insist they’re owed financially besides. . . .

Now this new vaccine debate has been amped to 11. The universal consensus of the “Powerhouse Roundtable” types is that it’s time to start opening the cans of whoop-ass on the vaccine-hesitant, yanking services and civil liberties from those murderous holdouts who are, the president tells us, “killing people.” They do this acting like the public doesn’t remember the messaging from the Biden-Harris campaign last year, which was talked about at the time as being irresponsible precisely because it set a precedent of urging the public to distrust the vaccine.

“Sneering bluenoses who have a richly deserved credibility problem,” indeed. Well said.

It’s also really apparent, as Taibbi notes, how much bipartisan consensus there is among members of the ruling class that people should knuckle under to the ruling class, or suffer.

July 30, 2021

OPEN THREAD: I hope you had the time of your life.

WHEN DO I GET MY ORION SPACESHIP? Space Force sees ‘advantages and opportunities’ in nuclear-powered space missions.

If the Chinese beat us to this, don’t say you weren’t warned.

JOHN HINDERAKER: Censorship is Here. What to do about it?

Our freedoms are under threat as they have not been in a very long time. The question is, what to do about it. Private action is appropriate; we should support non-leftist alternatives to platforms like Facebook and Twitter, for example. But that is not going to be good enough. The major platforms may be natural monopolies on account of network effects, and I don’t know how individual action can create alternatives to Amazon’s web hosting dominance or the Apple-Google duopoly.

We need to bring government action to bear while we still can. Specifically, we need to encourage as many states as possible to legislate against internet censorship. In my opinion, the best way to do that is through state legislation that creates a private cause of action when a tech platform discriminates on the basis of political or philosophical viewpoint. I won’t elaborate on this idea at length; I have drafted legislation to that effect which I embedded here.

As a famous man said, punch back twice as hard.

BREAKING: CDC Director Says Biden Admin Is Considering a Vaccine Mandate.

That will play well with Biden’s core supporters: Biden’s talk of vaccine mandates sends labor into disarray.

MICROBIOME NEWS: Centenarians have a distinct microbiome that may help support longevity.

IT’S BEEN ON NOTICE FOR DECADES. WHAT’S NEXT? Cuba Quakes: Mass Protests Put the Regime on Notice.

One dissident gets it right: “This great, beautiful island of Cuba has been converted by the Castro brothers into their own personal estate.”

That’s how socialism ends up.

Plus: “In general, the Cuban dissidents and political prisoners ought to be famous. Their pictures ought to be on T-shirts. There ought to be songs and movies about them. They ought to have, say, half of Mandela’s fame. But they are almost entirely neglected.”

Mandela was a communist. These protesters are trying to overturn communism. You can’t expect the media to side with that.

PEOPLE HAVE KNOWN THIS FOR DECADES: Study rates New Zealand best place to survive global collapse. Though some may prefer collapse to living under Karen-in-Chief Jacinda Ardern.

BLAME THE DEVICE YOU’RE READING THIS ON, AMONG OTHERS: Study: More than half of people in U.S. plagued by back, leg pain.

STEALTH GUN CONTROL: “EAR” Restrictions Imposed On 3D Printed Firearms. “Earlier this year, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a preliminary injunction that removed such technologies from the U.S. Munitions List (USML) and made them exempt from International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). In response, the BIS has now declared that anyone engaged in manufacturing, exporting or ‘furnishing’ 3D printed firearms, are subject to Export Administration Regulations (EAR) instead.”

QUESTION ASKED: Which Biden Official Asked The NSA To Unmask Tucker Carlson?

WITH THAT FAMED MITSUBISHI RELIABILITY: Mitsubishi Confirms New Outlander Plug-In Hybrid Arriving in 2022.

ON SALE: “Don’t Tread on Me” earrings. There is also a new “Don’t Tread on Me” T-shirt.

QUESTION ASKED: Do Democrats Really Want to Die on ‘Mask Hill?’

Related: No, Karen, we’re not masking again: A winning GOP message for 2022 & beyond.

More: Wait, That’s the Risk of Symptomatic Infection That Has the CDC So Worried? “That comes out to 1 out of every 4,628.57 people. I like those odds! I’m sure someone would say ‘yes, but that’s per week, meaning you face the same risk the next week!’ Okay, so every week, I face a new metaphorical lottery of being that one person out of 4,628 or so who has a symptomatic breakthrough infection. I can live with that, and you can, too. Yes, it will stink to feel sick for a couple of days, but symptomatic breakthrough infection almost never results in hospitalization or death.”

UPDATE: The New York Post’s cover today puts things in graphic perspective. AKA, Brainless Policy from Topless Administration:

NOT THE BABYLON BEE: LeBron James “Space Jam” mural in his hometown vandalized with clown nose.

THE COVID RESPONSE: The “greatest medical screwup in history”?

I’VE SEEN THE FUTURE AND IT DOESN’T WORK: The Dissident California Right Is the Future. “The rest of America’s Right has a ways to go before it catches up to the dissident California Right. We were here first and you should listen to us.”

STILL POPULAR: Last Stands: Why Men Fight When All Is Lost.

BIDENFLATION: World’s Largest Food Company Will Raise Prices Amid Inflation.

IF THIS IS TRUE, “DEMOCRACY” DESERVES IT: Actual Atlantic headline. I read it so you don’t have to. Basically, Lindell thinks the Chicoms stole the election by hacking it in Biden’s favor and is spending millions trying to prove it using experts, holding a conference, etc., after which the Supreme Court will vote to put Trump back in office. Article author Anne Applebaum doesn’t think he will be able to prove it, but assuming he did somehow, he would apparently be destroying democracy by… putting the actual winner of the election back in office.

Exit question: We have been hearing a whole lot since January 6 about how our “democracy” is threatened, but is there any substantial number of evil terrorist seditious insurrectionist Q-anon folks out there who don’t think Trump was, in fact, the actual winner of the election?

FLASHBACK: Most Jamaicans Want Jamaica to be a British Colony.

YOU’RE GONNA NEED A BIGGER BLOG: What Biden’s Vaccination Plan Gets Wrong.

Why, it’s as if: The CDC’s New Mask Guidance Punishes The Vaccinated To Protect The Non-Vaccinated.

MY NEW YORK POST COLUMN: No, Karen, we’re not masking again: A winning GOP message for 2022 & beyond.

SPACE: Report Flags Space Rescue Concerns.

The United States government and commercial spaceflight providers have no plans in place to conduct a timely rescue of a crew from a distressed spacecraft in low Earth orbit, or anywhere else in space.

Without rescue plans in place, today’s space travelers will journey at their own risk.

The present posture, of not planning for in-space rescue and not having responsive in-space rescue capabilities, needs to be addressed before the need for a rescue materializes. The U. S. has the wherewithal to establish space rescue capabilities and to do so with a sense of urgency.

A new report — The In-space Rescue Capability Gap — seeks to raise awareness of the need to revisit space rescue policies and put in place measures to address this issue.

Author of the report, Grant Cates, is a senior project leader for The Aerospace Corporation’s Space Architecture Department.

The report is here.

HMM: Navy charges USS Bonhomme Richard sailor with setting blaze that destroyed ship. “The statement did not identify the sailor, and Robertson did not respond to a emailed query by Stars and Stripes.”

RIOTS FOR THEE, BUT NOT FOR ME: Democrats want police protection for themselves, not for the rest of us.

(Classical reference in headline.)

MAYBE IF DEMOCRATS HADN’T SPENT SO MUCH OF 2020 DENIGRATING THE “TRUMP VACCINE,” NONE OF THIS WOULD BE NECESSARY: Joe Biden Calls on States to Bribe Citizens to Get Vaccinated.

THEY’RE JUST THROWING THEIR OFFICIAL LAWLESSNESS IN OUR FACES: House Democrats Pass Measure to Allow Some Illegal Immigrants to Work in Congress.

DON’T GET COCKY: Is the Harris Brand Poison for Midterm Democrats?

ROGER SIMON ON THE CASE OF FAUCI: Why Bureaucrats Need Term Limits More Urgently than Politicians.

Just the other day, he was seeming to wobble under withering examination from Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) over the NIAID director’s relationship, including possible funding, with the Wuhan Institute of Virology from emails recently exposed via a Freedom of Information Act request.

This points to the extraordinary danger posed by Fauci and other unelected bureaucrats who, due to years of basically unsupervised activity, make decisions that affect foreign policy as greatly as presidents.

What could be more alarming than the funding or sponsoring of gain-of-function research in communist China by American taxpayers?

Was the doctor not aware of information that is publicly available, such as this report from Japan Forward: “Biological Weapons the Focus of China’s Military Research in the Last 20 Years.”

In a way, we can read Fauci’s strangely erratic behavior over the past couple of years, including disagreeing with Trump over the then-president’s decision to block travel from China at the beginning of the pandemic, as an attempt to evade scrutiny of his relationship with the communist Chinese.

To this day, he’s avoiding answering questions on this relationship that could end up linking him to some of the most heinous research ever conducted, both abroad and, alas, at home.

Fauci himself could have what the French call “mains sales” (dirty hands) in the horrifying global tragedy that has transpired and is continuing to plague us.

Or not.

But what is he hiding and why are we, the citizens of a supposedly free country, prey to his edicts?

Speaking personally, I took the Pfizer shots and now wonder if I should have, as it becomes more clear that the death rates for healthy people are exceptionally low, even for 70- and 80-year-olds, and that readily available drugs like ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine work just as well, most probably better, than the vaccinations, to keep us healthy.

But someday this will end, or more likely be abated, and something else will come up. For that reason, term limits for the bureaucracy should be at the top of the agenda when the Republicans next hold the presidency and the Congress.

No more Faucis, please.

Endorsed.

Related: No, Karen, we’re not masking again: A winning GOP message for 2022 & beyond.

NEW FRONTIERS IN “RACISM:” U. of Illinois-Chicago professor reported to school for urging student to turn assignment in on time.

These students sound like characters in a Kurt Schlichter novel.

GREAT QUESTION: Which NSA (or other high-ranking executive branch) official unmasked Tucker Carlson? Prediction: The identity of Ashli Babbitt’s killer will be known before Tucker’s nemesis.

MAP: Critical Race Theory bans by state.

ANOTHER LOOK AT THE RESURRECTION HOAX: J. Warner Wallace, the “Evidence Whisperer” of NBC’s Dateline, knows a bit about evidence and conspiracies. His three reasons why Jesus’ resurrection could not be the product of a conspiracy among the disciples should give critics something to think about, carefully.

GREAT. DOES THIS MEAN THEY’LL FINALLY ACTIVATE BY BETA SERVICE SOON? SpaceX Will Resume Starlink Satellite Launch in August After Two-Month Pause.

KRUISER’S MORNING BRIEF: Yeah, Nobody Really Likes Kamala Harris. “Biden ended up picking Kamala Harris as a running mate because he’d been studying the Book of Things Democrats Say and barfed up a diversity promise during a debate. Apparently, his entire team hadn’t paid any attention to the primary season that their boss had just triumphed in and was unaware that even Democrats don’t like Kamala Harris.”

OOPS: Russia’s new space-station module has glitched, firing its thrusters and pushing the entire station out of position. “The long-awaited science module had already encountered several technical issues on its way to the ISS, but once it docked to the space station on Thursday morning, it seemed to be in the clear. Then about three hours after its arrival — at about 12:34 p.m. ET — Nauka suddenly began firing its thrusters.”

ICYMI: Just 41% buy into Biden re-masking and only 40% will wear one.

LET’S TALK ABOUT SOME REAL ‘DARK MONEY:’ Wes Walker at The Lid looks at a new analysis that found $1.8 billion in political spending by Big Labor unions, plus another $67 million that went to politically active left-wing outfits but which was classified as either “charitable” or “representational” spending. All of it paid for with compulsory union dues.

VIDS OR IT DIDN’T HAPPEN; Release the Videos Showing Capitol Rioters Calling the Crying Police Officer the ‘N Word.’

PLAINLY ILLEGAL RACE DISCRIMINATION: The City of Portland, Oregon plans to spend millions in federal funds on “struggling artists of color.” Note that Portland isn’t talking about giving money to just any struggling artist. Whites don’t count, no matter how much they are struggling and no matter how artistically gifted.

This kind of blatant race discrimination isn’t going to stop until lawsuits—lots of ‘em—are brought. To do that here, we need a struggling artist of pallor in Portland who might be willing to be the plaintiff.

Instapundit is not exactly the place I expect to find a lot of struggling non-POC artists living in Portland, so this is a long shot. But if you are such a person and might be willing to help us fight this, please contact me via email. I will pass your info on to the lawyers who are hoping to mount a lawsuit. Alternatively, if your best friend from high school or your daughter-in-law’s mom lives in or near Portland and might know a struggling artist or two, please find out if they can help.

A MIND (AND SOUL) ARE TERRIBLE THINGS TO WASTE ON CRT: Greg Smith, writing for The Dissenter, points to the doleful results of Christians going woke, as is becoming a significant problem in evangelical circles these days.

WELL, YES: Sen. Ron Johnson: It’s Democrats Who Politicized COVID.

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