July 27, 2021

MUGGED BY REALITY: Former Sen. Barbara Boxer Assaulted & Robbed In Oakland.

July 26, 2021

WELL, THEY HAVEN’T WON A WAR IN DECADES, SO WHAT’S THERE TO LOSE? The Conservative Case for Cyberbullying America’s Generals.

On July 22, Major General Patrick Donahoe, the Commanding General of Fort Benning, reported from his official Twitter account that he was seeing a “surge” in ICU visits among young soldiers due to Covid. He reported that he would mandate the vaccine if he had the power to do so.

I replied, pointing out that the DOD has lost a total of 26 out of over 2 million personnel in the last year and a half to the virus. In the fourth quarter of 2020, there was a 25 percent surge in suicides across all services. In those three months alone, 26 additional servicemembers took their lives compared to the prior year.

The military’s response to the Coronavirus is almost certainly to blame for the rise. I exited the service in May of 2020, having had plenty of time to witness these policies firsthand. Deployed troops returning home were forced to quarantine for weeks at a time. Masks were required in all public spaces on base. Gyms were shut down. Commanding officers dramatically reduced liberty limits to within only a few miles of base. Those, like me, who were stationed in Camp Pendleton, were prohibited from traveling just 30 minutes south to San Diego during our off hours.

In light of these draconian policies, it is no wonder that troops experienced a surge in psychological illness and suicidal ideation. Turning barracks into prisons is a recipe for problems. Nor did the catastrophic “outbreaks” of Covid materialize. Virtually all servicemembers known to be infected with the virus recover. The handful of Covid related deaths are sad, but they never rose to the level of a crisis. On average, nearly a thousand military personnel die because of training accidents, suicide, and illness every year.

General Donahoe accused me of engaging in “false equivalency” and of downplaying the vaccine, arguing that it was the path to “normalcy.” As the return of mask mandates for both the vaccinated and unvaccinated in cities like Los Angeles attest, this is clearly not true. The real path to normalcy is for military leadership to adjust their risk tolerance. Treating healthy people like biohazards over an illness that has killed two dozen personnel in a force of millions is insane. Those preventative policies have consequences, too; the surge in depression and suicide among the young is real. . . .

He also tweeted at the university where I am a student, Hillsdale College, and told them to “come get your boy” for questioning the military’s quarantine and lockdown policies. General Donahoe, apparently, thinks the private sector is just like the military, where criticism can be stopped, and careers ended, with a mere snap of the fingers. As the thread attracted more attention, one commenter asked the General “how many wars he’d won.” The General responded by accusing the questioner of “shilling for Putin.” When I asked if Putin was the reason America had lost in Afghanistan, the General blocked me.

My interaction with the General serves as a microcosm of the American military’s cultural rot. Here we have a two-star General who spends his days on social media hyping a vaccine for an illness that poses minimal risk to his troops. When pressed on why America can’t win wars and why he embraces policies that treat healthy people like biohazards, his first response is to accuse his critics of treachery and then block them from view.

This is what $693 billion a year buys you: unbridled arrogance from the leaders of a military that can’t win against third world tribesmen armed with small arms and homemade explosives. A significant portion of our military leaders, like General Donahoe, are totally detached from reality. They face no consequences for losing wars or losing troops to preventable suicides. Many of them don’t really command anything at all. They are so ensconced in layers of bureaucrats, staff, operations and logistics shops, briefs, intelligence reports, public affairs officials, and aides that there is usually no danger of the public uncovering their true character, lack of leadership, or empty careers.

Twitter, for all its many flaws, provides a direct line into the thought process and values of the military’s elite class. Too often, the minds of our great and courageous “warriors” are filled with nothing more than anodyne policy statements, automatic deference to other members of the elite expert class, and received wisdom from the mouths of MSNBC hosts. A painful lesson for patriotic citizens, perhaps, but a necessary one.

As these leaders spend their days scrolling twitter in the twilight of their careers, waiting to secure their pensions and post-retirement defense contractor gigs, they deserve to feel some heat from the people they allegedly serve. Getting “ratio’d” is, for many of them, the worst consequence they’ll ever face for overseeing institutional failure.

Our generals don’t have the record of success that justifies a high-handed attitude. They should be displaying contrition for the blood and treasure lost on their watches instead.

STARLINK UPDATE: My experience has been utterly reliable and boring. It just works. Here’s an excerpt from an email I just got from them:

Since our last update, the Starlink team has been hard at work building the systems and infrastructure to enable growth while continuously improving service quality. Below are some of the highlights:
Space Lasers
As Elon recently mentioned, the Starlink team is preparing to launch upgraded satellites that will include space lasers. Space lasers enable our satellites to transfer data between each other without having to go through a ground station. Once fully deployed, space lasers will
make Starlink one of the fastest options available to transfer data around the world.

Connecting to the Best Satellite
The team completed roll out of a new feature to all users that enables your Starlink to seamlessly switch to a different satellite in real time if communication with your assigned satellite is interrupted for any reason. There can only be one satellite connected to your Starlink at any time, but this feature will enable choice of the best satellite, resulting in far fewer network disruptions.

High Temperature Management
The Starlink team has initiated a series of software improvements that change how your Starlink responds to high temperatures. These improvements will roll out over the next few weeks and should address invalid “Thermal Shutdown” app alerts seen by some customers.

Continuous improvement, baby.

OPEN THREAD: Everybody come together and let’s love one another right now.

FOLLOW THE SCIENCE: Five Times More Children Died By Suicide Than Died From COVID In The UK.

SPACE: The Success of Artemis Hinges on NASA’s Commitment to Competition.

WHY IS THE LEFT SUCH A CESSPIT OF RACISM? Lightfoot says she would ‘absolutely’ exclude white journalists from interviews again.

WHAT COULD GO WRONG? PayPal Teams Up With Left-Leaning Group to Combat ‘Hate’ Funding.

FROM MY COLLEAGUE ALEX LONG: All I Really Need to Know About Defamation Law in the 21st Century I Learned From Watching Hulk Hogan. There’s a lot of interest in revisiting the current libel rules, and should be.

INSERT “POLICE” REFERENCES HERE: The Oldest Confirmed ‘Message in a Bottle’ Contained Some Fascinating Questions.

FOLLOW THE SCIENCE! AVOID EYE CONTACT!

BECAUSE IT’S A MADE UP THREAT TO JUSTIFY PERSECUTING AND SUPPRESSING THEIR POLITICAL OPPONENTS:

If it’s true they are saying anti-government right-wing groups or domestic extremist groups are THE greatest threat to national security, which is what Biden and the intelligence community are saying . . . greater than ISIS or al Qaeda or China or Russia, why do they need to manufacture a plot — and put in people’s heads — the idea let’s go kidnap Governor Whitmer? There should be tons of plots that they are detecting? That leads to the question people on your network and others have asked to the horror of the liberal sector of the corporate media, which is: What did the FBI know about the planning of the January 6 attack? How embedded were they in these groups? Because what happens is when these kinds of attacks happen, the FBI and the security state seize on them to say See? there are grave dangers, we need more money, more power, more surveillance authorities in order to keep you safe. And so if they are the ones driving it, it leads to the question of what those motives are.

I think I know the answer to that question.

HANGING AROUND AFGHANISTAN CAN ONLY TURN BAD. Did Haiti not teach us anything?

As Jon Gabriel tweets, “This history lesson serves as another reminder that Woodrow Wilson was the Worst President Ever.

I GOT MY GAMES recently, hope you will order yours.
The Virtue Signal game is still in stock but the Deplorables game is now out. So if you want the Virtue Signal game, order now before it runs out.

ZOOM: First Ride: 2022 Aston Martin Valkyrie Unleashed.

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: Dear Rich White Parents: Keep Your Kids Out Of Ivy League Schools To Make Room For POC — OR ELSE!

Click to enlarge.

HMM: Among effective antihypertensive drugs, less popular choice is slightly safer. “Our study shows that ARBs are associated with fewer side effects than ACE inhibitors. The study focused on first-time users of these drugs. If you’re just starting drug therapy for hypertension, you might consider trying an ARB first. If you’re already taking an ACE inhibitor and you’re not having any side effects, there is nothing that we found that would indicate a need for a change.”

WE JUST GOT PROOF THAT UBER HAS SAVED THOUSANDS OF LIVES:

A study by two economists at the University of California, Berkeley examined the impact that Uber, specifically, has had on alcohol-related traffic deaths and total traffic deaths in the US. They sought to investigate a simple question. By providing people with a safe, convenient, and relatively inexpensive alternative means of transportation, would Uber reduce drunk driving and traffic deaths?

According to their findings, the answer is a resounding yes.

Uber has reduced alcohol-related traffic fatalities by 6.1 percent, the study finds, which equates to roughly 214 lives in 2019. Similarly, Uber reduced overall traffic deaths by 4 percent, likely by reducing other forms of dangerous driving such as driving while very tired. This equates to 494 lives saved in 2019. (And that’s just Uber: To understand the full life-saving impact of ride-sharing technology, we would have to factor in competitors like Lyft, too).

They work extremely well, so naturally California and the Biden administration are trying to shut Uber and Lyft down:

Biden’s Labor Secretary Just Threatened Independent Contractors.

Biden’s ‘Rescue Plan’ Will Sic the IRS on Anyone Who Earns $600 in the Gig Economy: What does this have to do with the pandemic? Nothing.

With PRO Act, Congress Readies National Version of California’s AB5 Fiasco.

 

GOOD AND HARD: LA County Gas Prices Highest Since 2012.

Flashback: Aren’t California’s High Gas Prices What The Left Have Wanted?

Well, it’s a start, as Steven Chu, former President Obama’s then-incoming energy secretary, told the Wall Street Journal in the fall of 2008: “Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.”

So is it fair to ask if Biden is on the payroll of Putin? As Walter Russell Mead wrote in 2017:

If Trump were the Manchurian candidate that people keep wanting to believe that he is, here are some of the things he’d be doing:

Limiting fracking as much as he possibly could
Blocking oil and gas pipelines
Opening negotiations for major nuclear arms reductions
Cutting U.S. military spending
Trying to tamp down tensions with Russia’s ally Iran.

“Yep,” Glenn added in late 2019. “You know who did do these things? Obama. You know who supports these things now? Democrats.”

GLENN GREENWALD: The Biden Administration Is Launching A “Second War On Terror” Against American Citizens.

UPDATE (FROM GLENN): If it turns out like the other war on terror, right-wing militias will be seizing Washington, DC while Democrats chopper out under cover of darkness.

WELL, SOME ARE CERTAINLY TRYING TO PROVOKE ONE: Are Americans Preparing For a Second Civil War?

BOOK SUGGESTION: Michael Walsh’s Last Stands: Why Men Fight When All Is Lost. I am re-reading the book and it is even better than I remember.

ATTEMPT NO LANDING THERE: No Antenna Could Survive Europa’s Brutal, Radioactive Environment—Until Now.

HARRISON BERGERON WAS JUST A CAUTIONARY TALE, RIGHT? RIGHT??? BLM Group Demands Parents Pledge to Hold Back Their Kids’ Education. “Parents in Dallas just got a wake-up call. The local Black Lives Matter group Dallas Justice Now launched a new campaign, urging white parents in wealthy Highland Park to sign a pledge to keep their children back from America’s top colleges — in the name of ‘equity.’ The organization’s letter to parents lays on the guilt thick.”

WELL, THIS IS THE 21ST CENTURY, YOU KNOW: Drones could help save soldiers’ lives by delivering blood on demand.

JIM TREACHER: Being Rude to Tucker Carlson Will Not Fix What’s Broken in You.

This kind of stuff is why I use a pseudonym and don’t go on TV. Being famous seems like hell on earth to me. The first time I ever met Tucker in 2009, he flew to Indianapolis on a day’s notice to interview me to work for the Daily Caller, I met him at the Starbucks in the airport, and he hired me on the spot. (It’s still bizarre to me that it happened, but it happened.) And as we were sitting there chatting, a middle-aged woman walked up to our table, unprompted, and launched into a monologue about how she didn’t like Tucker and he should be more liberal and Keith Olbermann was better.2 No “Hello,” no “I watch your show,” nothing like that. She just marched up and went right into her speech, because she saw somebody she recognized from TV and somehow assumed they knew each other.

Tucker was very polite and cordial to her, and I got the impression that it happened to him all the time. He just brushed it off, but I was mortified. My momma raised me better than that. In our family, if you have a problem with somebody, you don’t make a big spectacle of yourself in public. You do the civilized thing and type up a snotty blog post about it.

This Montana incident also shows a big difference between Fox News and CNN. At CNN, the roles are reversed. It’s the employees who out of their way to call out the regular Americans who are just minding their own business.

But Tucker doesn’t need to resort to that sort of behavior because he isn’t desperate for ratings.

Read the whole thing.

 

TEXAS FLEEBAGGERS UPDATE: What to Know About How Those ‘Fugitive’ Texas Democrats Will Pay for Stay in DC.

As of Friday, the midpoint of the special session, taxpayers in Texas were spending at least $476,630 on a session that isn’t happening because of House Democrats’ exodus, according to an ongoing tally by GOP state Rep. Jared Patterson.

Texas is still losing money from a special session that isn’t happening because Democrats flew to Washington, Patterson explained.

“A session costs $43,000 per day and that equals a teacher’s salary,” the GOP lawmaker told The Daily Signal in a phone interview. “This is a conservative estimate that just looks at a couple of components.”

Those two components are the daily per diem of $221 for every day that a legislator is in session. The other is the increased budget to operate legislative offices during a special session.

“I don’t know anyone who thinks it’s better to choose fundraising in D.C. and lobbying Congress over their constituents in Texas,” Patterson said. “Texans believe you should show up for work.”

A small number of lawmakers reportedly said they would pay back their per diem to the state treasury.

“I’ll believe it when I see it,” Patterson said of Democrats’ forgoing their pay. “They haven’t yet, and have to fill out the paperwork to do so.”

KHOU-TV News reported that all the Texas legislators are continuing to receive their per diems.

The Texas House Democratic Caucus did not respond to inquiries from The Daily Signal for this article.

Still though, give what you can:

Earlier: Texas Democrats unravel — “I’m just pissed off” that Biden won’t meet with them.

FASTER, PLEASE: Investigational magnetic device shrinks glioblastoma in first-in-world human test.

PROFESSOR CARRINGTON, CALL YOUR OFFICE: New Method Can Detect ‘Stealth’ Solar Storms Before They Strike Earth .

WHATEVER HELPS GET MORE PEOPLE VACCINATED: Sarah Huckabee Sanders urges people to get the ‘Trump vaccine.’

To be fair though, I’m not sure how this sort of rhetoric will play with those red state rubes in Los Angeles: Masks Are Back In L.A. County Because Libs Are Really Anti-Vaxxers, Too: “Unless millions of toothless Republican rubes from the icky flyover hinterlands moved to Los Angeles in the last month, it would appear that a whole bunch of libs aren’t getting their vaccines either.”

Related: For the vaccinated, risks of delta variant are small.

MATT MARGOLIS: Will Biden DOJ Allow Us to See the Durham Report? I’m Skeptical.

WHY ARE LEFTIST MONOPOLY ORGANIZATIONS SUCH CESSPITS OF RACISM? Harvard downplays role in no-whites-allowed music seminar sponsored by Nike.

TOMORROW’S POSTMORTEMS TODAY! Politico helps Democrats spin possible 2022 ‘ballot carnage’ (naturally it WON’T be the Dems’ fault).

Don’t get cocky.

ANNALS OF LEFTIST AUTOPHAGY: The Telos of Leftist Racial Ideology.

When I first saw the letter reproduced here from something called “Dallas Justice Now,” calling on wealthy whites living in the affluent Highland Park neighborhood of Dallas not to have their kids apply to elite colleges so that there would be more room for minority applicants, I assumed that it was a satire or a hoax.

But it turns out to be authentic. And there’s actually much to recommend this if you think about it for a moment: what Dallas Justice Now is doing is calling out the smug virtue-signaling of liberal “white allies” and demanding that they put their money (and their children’s futures) where their mouth is.

Good luck, Highland Park. I want you to know we’re all counting on you:

Click to enlarge.

UPDATE (FROM GLENN): To reduce inequality, abolish the Ivy League.

OLD AND BUSTED: All the President’s Men.

The New Hotness? WaPo reporter sues paper for not assigning her to cover Kavanaugh matter.

Earlier: Journalists Are “Centering” Their “Trauma” Because It Enables Them To Acquire Power.

REMY: White Lightning. New video from Reason TV:

JOEL KOTKIN: The End of Merit.

Over time, our educational deficit with other countries, notably China, particularly in the acquisition of practical skills in mathematics, engineering medical technology, and management, has grown, threatening our economic and political pre-eminence. Our competitors, whatever their shortcomings, are focused on economic competition and technological supremacy. In math, the OECD’s 2018 Program for International Student Assessment found the United States was outperformed by 36 countries, not only by China, but also Russia, Italy, France, Finland, Poland, and Canada.

Critical Race Theory and its growing chorus of implementers—from the highest reaches of academia down to the grade school level—have little use for such practical skills acquisition and brook little dissent from teachers and researchers who raise objections to the new curriculum of racial grievance. Woke educators, like San Francisco’s School board member Alison Collins, claim that “merit, meritocracy and especially meritocracy based on standardized testing” are essentially “racist systems.” Some among the new racial cadres even denounce habits such as punctuality, rationality, and hard work as reflective of “racism” and “white privilege”.

In a world where brainpower pushes the economy, the denigration of habits of mind can only further weaken our economic future and undermine republican institutions. Even though the vast majority of corporate executives perceive a growing skills gap, they have failed to stop educators from abandoning skills in favor of ever greater emphasis on ephemera of race and gender.

It might as well be a foreign plot to weaken America.

YOU DON’T SAY: Stagflation is ‘a legitimate risk’ that would be painful for U.S. markets. “‘Imagine how scary it would be for the market if we had stocks and bonds selling off together,’ she said. Stagflation could pose a ‘major problem because central banks can’t really come to the rescue and cut interest rates.'”

I WASN’T SHOCKED: A Shocking Number of College Grads Wish They Had Been Taught More Life Skills.

WHEN YOU’VE LOST NPR … : Even NPR is concerned about rising crime now. Of course, the folks there see it as a public relations issue for the Democratic Party rather than a problem to be solved, but whatever.

Three years ago the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights issued a report on “Police Use of Force.” I used the opportunity to write a bit about the country’s history of treating black-on-black crime as if it doesn’t matter. It provides useful background now that things have gotten worse.

 

WOW: SpaceX to launch the Europa Clipper mission for a bargain price.

Slated to launch in October 2024, the $4.25 billion mission will spend much of the remainder of this decade flying to the Jovian system before entering an elongated orbit around Jupiter. The spacecraft will then make as many as 44 flybys of Europa, the intriguing, ice-encrusted Jovian moon that scientists believe harbors a vast ocean beneath the surface. It is possible that aquatic life exists there.

The total contract award amount for launch services is approximately $178 million, NASA said in a news release. This is a significant moment for SpaceX, as the company will be entrusted with one of NASA’s highest-priority exploration missions. The deal also saves NASA about $2 billion.

That’s about a 90% savings going SpaceX instead of SLS.

COLLUSION: University website scrubs reference to China origin for COVID after bias complaint. “The University of Minnesota system’s Bias Response and Referral Network asked students to report suspected bias ‘related to the COVID-19 outbreak.’ As a result, it appears that the School of Public Health removed a reference to COVID-19’s origin in China.”

To be fair, the truth has an anti-CCP bias, which is why the Chinese government and its satraps — who include many in the American higher education industry — work so assiduously to remove it.

KRUISER’S MORNING BRIEF: Let’s Cheer the Olympians Who Aren’t Pathetic, Woke Morons. “The Olympics are all about national pride and the celebration of the dedication of the athletes. They aren’t all anti-American pieces of uselessness like Megan Rapinoe. It’s sad that the modern media climate tends to spotlight the bad seeds. Today we will celebrate the good.”

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: ‘The time has come for ‘gaytheism’:’ library promotes radical, anti-Christian books.

AT HELEN’S PAGE: Old Post Road Oils who sells this shaving soap gets good news from a customer.

IN THE ATLANTIC*: “Airplanes release around 500 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year, representing a significant contribution to global warming. Electric flight replaces petrochemical consumption with cleaner, battery-powered electricity.”

Missing from this: Any discussion of where the electricity comes from.

* It’s “sponsored content,” — that is, a paid ad that looks like an article — not a regular Atlantic article. But it’s what the people who are paying think Atlantic readers will find persuasive, which reflects poorly on Atlantic readers.

BIDEN’S RETURN TO NORMALCY: Team Biden’s bizarre ‘Blame Canada’ border slap.

Canada (after a rocky start because it didn’t do as wise a job of advance-buying vaccines as the Trump administration) is now better-vaxxed than we are — 52.6 percent fully jabbed to just 48.7 percent of the total US population, and 69 percent with at least one dose to our 56 percent. (Trudeau expects to hit 80 percent fully vaxxed by month’s end.)

And Ontario, the province bordering New York, is at 64 percent fully vaxxed.

That matters because Upstate will now miss out on some much-needed tourism. And Team Biden’s slap puts needless stress on separated families and businesses all along the world’s longest international border.

They told me if I voted for Donald Trump we’d end up with a foreign policy naif who would anger and annoy our allies — and they were right!

WEIRD, LESS THAN A YEAR AGO PETROLEUM WAS CHEAP AND PLENTIFUL. NOW IT’S SCARCE AND EXPENSIVE: The jet fuel shortage is upon us. Though this seems to be mostly a supply chain problem.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Higher Ed Faces Existential Threat: Numbers And Salaries Are Down For Tenure-Track/Tenured Faculty, Way Up For Administrators; University Long-Term Debt Is Up 71%.

And note the administrative bloat: “From fiscal year 2011–12 to fiscal year 2018–19, the numbers of staff classified as “management” increased 12 percent per FTE student, real average salaries increased 7 percent, and salary outlays per FTE student increased 19 percent, including an extraordinary 24 percent increase in real salary expenditures per FTE student in public colleges and universities.”

All is proceeding as I have foreseen.

JOE BIDEN’S NEGOTIATING PARTNERS: At Least Three Dead After Iranian Police Open Fire on Protesters Demanding Water.

INCENTIVES: 1.8 Million Americans Have Turned Down Jobs To Stay On Unemployment.

BYRON YORK: Democrats, double standards, and the Capitol riot committee.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she barred Representatives Jim Jordan and Jim Banks from the Capitol riot investigating committee because the two Republicans “had made statements and taken actions that I think would impact the integrity of the committee.” Pelosi said Jordan and Banks also “made statements and took actions that just made it ridiculous to put them on such a committee seeking the truth.”

But what about Pelosi’s Democratic choices for the committee? Might some of their statements and actions in the past impact the integrity of the committee? And have some of them said and done things that were so at odds with the facts as to make it ridiculous to put them on a committee seeking the truth?

Start with Pelosi’s pick for chairman, Representative Bennie Thompson. On a long-ago January 6 — in 2005, when Congress met to certify President George W. Bush’s victory in the 2004 presidential election — Thompson challenged the certification of the results from Ohio. At the time, some progressive Democrats were promoting wild theories about alleged tampering with electronic voting machines in the state. The House Democrats who voted against certification for Ohio’s results said they were simply protesting the result, and not trying to overturn the election. But the fact is, they focused their challenge on a single state, which just happened to be the decisive state in the 2004 contest. Had they gotten their way, and had Ohio been put in Democrat John Kerry’s column instead of Bush’s, Kerry would have been elected president.

In June 2008, Thompson voted to move forward articles of impeachment against President Bush.

By 2017, Thompson had become a devotee of theories that the Trump presidential campaign colluded with Russia to win the 2016 presidential election. On January 20, 2017, Thompson boycotted Trump’s inauguration because of his concern “about the role that Russia had in our country’s democratic process,” according to a spokesman. Thompson was also angry that Trump had criticized Representative John Lewis after Lewis called Trump an “illegitimate” president.

In December 2017, and again in January 2018, Thompson voted to move forward articles of impeachment against Trump. While he believed more than ever in the collusion theory, the articles Thompson supported proposed to remove Trump from office for different reasons — for his comments on the Charlottesville riot, for his statements on the NFL, and in particular on quarterback/activist Colin Kaepernick, and for his reported description of Haiti, African nations, and El Salvador as “s—holes.” Thompson later also voted in favor of Russia-based impeachment as well.

Could one argue that Thompson, with his embrace of discredited and unproven conspiracy theories, has made statements and taken actions that would impact the integrity of the Capitol riot investigating committee?

Then there is another Democratic member, Representative Adam Schiff. As the ranking minority on the House Intelligence Committee, Schiff promoted the slanderous and unsubstantiated theories of the Steele dossier. For example, Schiff publicized a theory that Russia offered low-level Trump campaign adviser Carter Page potentially billions of dollars to influence Trump — Schiff actually read the dossier’s allegations aloud at an Intelligence Committee hearing. Schiff protested bitterly when his Republican counterpart on the committee, Chairman Devin Nunes, revealed that the dossier was paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic Party and that the FBI improperly used it to get a court-approved warrant to wiretap Page. Of course, the Trump-Russia special counsel, Robert Mueller, found no evidence to establish the claim about Page.

On the broader issue of collusion, Schiff claimed to have proof that it was true. There was “ample evidence of collusion in plain sight,” he said. But the Mueller investigation, which had infinitely more resources than Schiff, plus full law enforcement powers, could not establish that collusion ever took place, much less that it involved anyone in the Trump campaign. Schiff devoted years to leading his party — and much of the media — on a wild goose chase, even before he was chosen by Pelosi to lead the first Trump impeachment, which failed to convict the president. . . .

Like Chairman Thompson, another committee member, Democratic Representative Jamie Raskin, challenged the certification of Electoral College results. He did so on January 6, 2017, when Congress met to ratify Trump’s victory. Within a few months, Raskin was an adherent of the Russia theory, joining the earliest advocates for impeaching the president on the basis of that never-established supposition.

Could one argue that Raskin has made statements and taken actions that would impact the integrity of the Capitol riot investigating committee?

It’s all double standards. And if BLM had invaded the Capitol and done exactly what the Jan. 6, 2021 protesters did, it would have been used as an excuse to pass more BLM-friendly legislation. And the protesters would have been released posthaste on their own recognizance.

TODAY AT NOON EASTERN TIME & YOU’RE INVITED:  The Federalist Society has scheduled a book talk with my co-editor Maimon Schwarzschild and me for our anthology–A Dubious Expediency:  How Race Preferences Damage Higher Education.

NO BIG DEAL, NEW YORK’S NOT A BIG BANKING TOWN ANYWAY: Indoor mask mandates would choke big banks coming back to NYC.

AT HELEN’S PAGE: You can get signed copies of Kurt Schlichter’s new book The Split. Now #1 in Military Thrillers.

LOCK HIM UP, THE MASS MURDERER: Team Cuomo continues its underhanded attacks on his investigators.

AND HOW ABOUT HIS CHINESE PARTNERS? Fauci Defends U.S.-Funded Research at Wuhan Lab: ‘We Have Always Been Very Careful.’

ERASING PEOPLE: Unemployment Up 800% Among Ethnic Mascots.

“These are troubling signs for the BIPOC mascot community,” said leading economist Dr. Matais Zendejas. “We had made so much progress, with mascots of all ethnicities being welcomed by the American public. But now it seems they are being fired at record rates, with the mascots and brand icons being replaced by genderless, white, inoffensive mascots, or else by nothing at all.”

“It’s really not a good time to be a mascot of color. The unemployment crisis is affecting mascots of color disproportionately. It’s racism, plain and simple.”

Related, via a former student:

Related (From Ed): Meet Louis Sockalexis, the First Native American Pro Baseball Player, Said to be Inspiration for ‘Cleveland Indians.’

THE BIG LIE: Joe Biden’s ridiculous denial that cop-defunders are overwhelmingly Democrats.

FACT-CHECKING THE FACT-CHECKERS: PolitiFact Claims Joe Biden ‘Doesn’t Want to Ban Handguns,’ But Here Are His Actual Words.

PolitiFact lies? Analysis: True!

MAKE THEM PAY: 8th Circuit Again Finds University Of Iowa Administrators Personally Liable For Deregistering Christian Student Group That Required Leaders To Affirm ‘Basic Biblical Truths Of Christianity.’ “What the University did here was clearly unconstitutional. It targeted religious groups for differential treatment under the Human Rights Policy—while carving out exemptions and ignoring other violative groups with missions they presumably supported. The University and individual defendants turned a blind eye to decades of First Amendment jurisprudence or they proceeded full speed ahead knowing they were violating the law. Either way, qualified immunity provides no safe haven.”

I’m in favor of limiting or removing qualified immunity for police. But there’s no justification whatsoever for providing qualified immunity for university administrators, who never have to make split-second decisions, and who have counsel available at all times.

July 25, 2021

IF YOU’RE WOKE, YOU SHOULD SEND YOUR KIDS TO COMMUNITY COLLEGE: Dallas ‘racial equity’ group demands white parents not send their kids to Ivy League schools.

Related: To reduce inequality, abolish the Ivy League.

JAMES MORROW: Covid Mania Returns Australia to Its Roots as a Nation of Prisoners: Citizens in Sydney may leave their homes only for ‘essential’ purposes and not go more than six miles.

It’s hard to know exactly when Australia’s pandemic response crossed the line from tragedy into farce. But future historians could do worse than pinpoint the moment when Sydney’s chief health supremo told the city’s residents to stop being friendly to one another when they ventured out to buy essentials, lest they get themselves and others killed.

“Whilst it is in human nature to engage in conversation with others, to be friendly, unfortunately this is not the time to do that . . . don’t start up a conversation,” scolded Kerry Chant, the endlessly tut-tutting chief health officer of New South Wales, at a news conference last week. “We want to make sure as we go about our daily lives that we do not come into contact with anyone who could pose a risk.”

Never mind that you can’t even go near a shop without a mask, she said. Masks aren’t foolproof and this is, in her words, “no time for complacency.” A simple g’day, in other words, could be deadly.

Happily, most of us who live in Sydney ignored the warning. Supermarket checkout staff remained as chatty as ever behind their masks after Dr. Chant handed down her edict. My local butcher was more than glad for the chance to tell me how things were “a bit slow,” but added that she “can’t complain.”

Given this level of official hysteria, an outsider might imagine that Australia is a Covid charnel house. In fact, all of Australia is recording around 150 coronavirus cases a day. The current outbreak of 2,000 or so cases total over the past month has been associated with eight deaths so far, almost all of them people over 70.

This in a nation that records, on average, about 460 deaths a day from all causes. Cancer kills nearly 50,000 Australians a year. Shark attacks killed eight in 2020.

A good 18 months into the pandemic, the nation is still trapped in April 2020. Adelaide and Melbourne are hoping to come out of lockdown in some form this week; Sydney, the economic engine room of Australia, is likely to remain under restriction through at least August.

Australians need permission from the federal government to leave the country—applications succeed about half the time—and Australia’s states throw up their borders against one another at the slightest hint of trouble. Residents of Sydney may leave their homes only if it is “essential,” and not stray more than six miles when they do.

This is before discussing the economic fallout from the latest lockdowns. Billions will be spent by government or lost by businesses as a result. A restaurant-industry representative told me last week that many chefs and waiters are leaving for greener pastures. Many iconic restaurants will likely never reopen.

So how did Australia become a hermit kingdom? Geography plays a large part. By mistaking their good luck for brilliance in being able to pull up the drawbridge to the world at the start of the pandemic, Australians quickly became trapped in an “elimination” mindset that is now officially referred to as Covid Zero.

Politics, too, conspired to create this outcome. Labor state premiers (the equivalent of U.S. governors) quickly learned to play Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s center-right government like a fiddle, forcing the commonwealth to bail states out for the economic wreckage created every time they locked down their cities or shut their borders.

Elected officials have allowed their judgment to be replaced by that of the new priestly class of health mandarins like Dr. Chant, on whose edicts the country hangs. Hiding behind the “health advice” of such officials has become the national sport of Australia’s politicians. Earlier this year federal health secretary Brendan Murphy declared that vaccine distribution was “not a race,” which became a mantra picked up by the prime minister to justify an initially cautious rollout. As a result, only around 15% of the nation has been fully vaccinated.

Don’t trust the experts. They aren’t trustworthy, and they aren’t actually very expert.

HEH:

OPEN THREAD: You know, people can’t use you if you’re useless.

SPACE LAWFARE: Court denies Viasat attempt to halt Starlink launches pending legal action.

Viasat has a vastly inferior product — everyone I know who uses it hates it — and realistically its only hope is to somehow shut down the competition. But it’s good that the courts aren’t cooperating.

NEWS FROM MY NECK OF THE WOODS, from Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs:

WEIRD INDEED: The Weird Case of a Man 3 Doctors Declared Dead Who Woke Up Just Before His Autopsy. “The prisoner, then-29-year-old Gonzalo Montoya Jiménez, was found unresponsive in his cell during a morning roll call on 7 January 2018 and had been transferred to a hospital mortuary in a body bag when pathologists heard something strange. Snoring. Coming from inside the bag.”

DEMAND NORMALCY: Thousands protest lockdown in Sydney, several arrested.

IS THERE ANYTHING IT CAN’T DO? Protecting your liver with coffee.

AMERICA’S NEWSPAPER OF RECORD: FBI Discovers Building Full Of Dangerous Extremists Organizing Acts Of Terror Across Country.

BROKEN RECORD: Brian Stelter Puts On Carl Bernstein to Call Trump a Domestic War Criminal.

Related:

Flashbacks:

The Five Times Carl Bernstein Bellowed ‘Worse than Watergate!’ at Trump.

Carl Bernstein: Bush [43] More “Disastrous” Than Nixon.

● “The lowest form of popular culture – lack of information, misinformation, disinformation, and a contempt for the truth or the reality of most people’s lives – has overrun real journalism. Today, ordinary Americans are being stuffed with garbage.”

Carl Bernstein, 1992.

VIA A FRIEND:

MAGIC WORDS:

Today, on the political left, we’re making up new norms all the time: calling people “Latinx,” announcing our pronouns, capitalizing “Black.” A year or two ago, none of us had ever heard of “deadnaming.” Today it’s the digital equivalent of pissing on someone’s grave. You can already see which norms are in the process of cohering today, in real time: erasing any metaphorical references to physical or mental disabilities (“lame,” “crazy,” etc.) from our vocabularies; acknowledging “stolen lands” before every meeting; recognizing people’s declared mental disorders as identity markers conferring upon them special accommodations and sympathies; narrowing our definition of consent to sex to exclude adults who are significantly younger than their partners, or who are employed in a less powerful position within the same industry, or who belong to an identity category purportedly lower on the power continuum.

Every time someone is compelled to apologize for violating such a norm, that norm is soldered more firmly into the structure of our collective consciousness as an accepted part of the new moral order. A year ago, almost nobody capitalized “black” in reference to “Black people.” Today, it’s part of the style guide of most major news outlets. In a year, you’ll probably be called a racist if you don’t do it in your personal communications. Each one of those steps was and will be accompanied by countless call-outs and apologies.

Exit quote: “The path we’re tumbling down is slippery and steep, and we’ve already picked up momentum. There’s only one way to break our fall. Fortunately, it’s easy and straightforward: Stop apologizing.” Read the whole thing.

SHOCKING NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF SCIENCE: $3 Million Government Study Finds Link Between Excessive Drinking and Aggressive Nightclub Behavior.

Like Miss Anne Elk’s theory about dinosaurs, this one really hits the nail on the head. (Yes, I know it’s from three years ago).

DEAR DIARY:

Shot:

● Chaser: Beto O’Rourke group gives $600,000 to Texas House Democrats’ stay in Washington, D.C.

—The Texas Tribune, Thursday.

● Hangover: Texas Democrats unravel — “I’m just pissed off” that Biden won’t meet with them.

Hot Air, yesterday.

DON’T TREAD ON ME ADJUSTABLE SNAKE RING: No_system, a Helen’s Page Advertiser has a new item out. At $8.95, I might just order a few for gifts.

UPDATE: Now sold out but I am told more are being made.

AT HELEN’S PAGE: Karl K. Gallagher’s Storm Between the Stars: Book 1 in the Fall of the Censor.

DISPATCHES FROM THE INTERSECTION OF HOLLYWOOD, INTERRUPTED AND THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: Film Flam: The University Film Studies Con.

Tuition did not cover the cost of making a student film. Unable to afford it, Stoteraux switched to writing and entered a script in the program’s screenplay contest. The faculty judges rejected it in the first round. Stoteraux later sold the script through a production assistant he randomly met without any help from the school. Two credits short of his master’s degree, he asked Columbia if he could complete the program while working in LA. The university disdainfully refused — until his career took off, when it invited him to speak to the current class, offering to help him attain his degree. The program chair had him fly to New York for a meeting.

The conclusion of Stoteraux’s story gives away the whole shell game. “So I spent a fortune on a last-minute flight in order to hear his proposal,” he tweeted. “But instead of telling me what I need to do to satisfy the requirements to get my degree, the Chair began pitching me his idea for a TV pilot. In excruciating scene-by-scene detail. I nodded along, waiting to get back to the terms of me getting my degree. But to my horror … I slowly begin to realize this IS the deal … if I wanted my degree, I needed to help him sell his tv pilot. Yep, the Chair of Columbia’s prestigious graduate film program tried to shake me down in order to jump-start his own stalled out career.”

That could be the most valuable lesson to be learned from one’s film school experience — and it’s free.

Read the whole thing.

THE NOBLE PRIMITIVE: Last Meal of History’s Most Famous ‘Bog Body’ Hints at Human Sacrifice.

MORE LIKE THIS, PLEASE: The World Has Had It With China Flu Lockdowns: Protests Rock Cities All Over the Globe.

“MAY.” Meeting Paris Agreement emissions reduction target may generate 8M jobs.

The “green jobs” promise has so far been BS. Though to be fair, under President Trump the U.S. both expanded payrolls and slashed carbon emissions.

LAWN ORDER, CHINESE STYLE:

California is home to nearly 40 million people and the supply of water does not always meet demand, particularly in times of drought. A recent newspaper article offered the solution of snitching on one’s neighbors.

On July 9, the Sacramento Bee published an article headlined, “Is your neighbor wasting water? Snitching on them may ease California drought, study says.” According to the report, “ratting out one’s neighbors could help relieve some of the pressure from California’s current drought.”

* * * * * * * *

The study supports the idea of “participatory surveillance” and cites the Chinese research article “Social ties and citizen-initiated contacts: the case of China’s local one-stop government,” written by Youlang Zhang, assistant professor in public administration at China’s Renmin University, and Xufeng Zhu, professor of public policy and management at China’s Tsinghua University. The article examines why some citizens are “more likely to initiate contact with the government than others.”

Orwell didn’t write 1984 as a how-to guide. As Jim Geraghty wrote in October of 2019, when the CCP-NBA connection exposed for millions of Americans to see: We’re Not Exporting Our Values to China — We’re Importing Theirs.

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WELL, GOOD: Parkinson’s drug may ease dementia-linked psychosis.

NYPD BRINGS A RECKONING ON LEFTISTS WHO SEIZE PROPERTY AND CALL THEM ‘SLAVECATCHERS.’

It’s as though, after all the crime and violence from radical leftists, that the police have just had enough and have stopped giving them the kid gloves treatment.

As we reported, the LAPD let loose at the WiSpa last weekend actually responding to getting attacked by Antifa, whacking them with batons and taking them down with non-lethal impact munitions. A bunch of them were also arrested. Lo and behold, Antifa isn’t out again this weekend. Could it be that if they finally get a response to their violence that they learn not to continue, if there are consequences?

In New York City yesterday, left wing activists took over some vacant retail space that was under construction in Brooklyn, claiming it for the “community.” That got problematic when construction workers who came to work on the property found them there. That’s when the police were called and it didn’t end well for the leftists.

Evergreen:

FROM A FRIEND: “Inflation will impoverish the nation. Regressively. And everyone knows it.”

ROGER KIMBALL: Losing Our Liberty All at Once?

Joseph Hackett, you see, is a 51-year-old Trump supporter and member of an organization called the “Oath Keepers,” a group whose members have pledged to “defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic.” (You can see how this ends already, can’t you?) The FBI does not like the Oath Keepers. They arrested its leader in January and have picked up many other members in the months since. Hackett came from his home in Florida to join the Trump “Stop the Steal” rally that took place on January 6. According to court documents, he entered the Capitol at 2:45 that afternoon. He left some ten minutes later, at 2:54. The next day, he went home. On May 28, he was apprehended by the FBI and indicted on a long list of charges, including conspiracy, obstruction of an official proceeding, destruction of government property, and illegally entering a restricted building.

As far as I have been able to determine, no evidence of his destroying property has been made public. According to his wife, it is not even clear that he entered the Capitol. But he certainly was in the environs. He was a member of the Oath Keepers. He was a supporter of Donald Trump. Therefore, he must be neutralized. What about the Antifa and Black Lives Matter “peaceful protestors” who destroyed some $2 billion of property, killed or injured scores, and toppled countless public monuments? Take your time.

Earlier: The insurrectionary crime of “parading.” “Now the press hypes up a bunch of people protesting in the Capitol as some sort of combination of Pearl Harbor and 9/11. How different it was when Marxists stormed the Senate Building in October 2018 to protest the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh.”

BUT THEIR PRONOUNS WERE PERFECT: Team USA falls to France at Tokyo Games for first Olympic men’s basketball loss since 2004.

Earlier, from America’s Newspaper of Record: Inspiring: US Women’s Soccer Team To Boycott Scoring Goals Until Racism Is Defeated.

OCEANIA HAS NEVER BEEN AT WAR WITH YOUR LOCAL POLICE DEPARTMENT: Is Joe Biden Calling ‘Defund’ Democrats Crazy?

“Are there people in the Democratic Party who want to defund the police?” a reporter asked the president. Biden snapped back: “Are there people in the Republican Party who think we’re sucking the blood out of kids?” he said to the sound of bewildered silence. Check and mate.

To translate*, Biden’s veiled answer to the question posed by his interlocutor is, yes, of course, some Democrats support defunding the police. But they are as fringe, paranoid, and, indeed, vicious as the Republicans who subscribe to the most unhinged QAnon conspiracies. If that were true, we would be in big trouble. By any objective assessment, the number of Republicans who subscribe to some version of Q’s incomprehensible theories is dwarfed by the amount of elected Democrats who weren’t just amendable to defunding police but tried to translate that slogan into policy.

Flashbacks:

George Soros funneled $1M to defund the police movement as violent crime continues to surge.

Many Big-City Democrat Mayors Defunded Police While Spending Heavily on Their Security Details, Watchdog Finds.

Good Luck With That! Chicago mental health professionals will be dispatched on 911 calls instead of cops following defund the police protests — as gang members now outnumber officers ten to one.

Atlanta mayor says city has been ‘defunding the police’ for the last few years.

Come On, Fact Checkers, Republicans Did Not Defund the Police. “Here’s an easy test to see whether fact-checking websites can make any claim to be ‘independent’ and nonpartisan in tone. Biden staffers claimed Republicans ‘defunded the police.’ That’s a bald-faced lie.”

Revisionist History Now: How Will the Future See ‘Defund the Police’?

White Progressives Shocked to Learn Black and Latino Voters Don’t Share Their Radical ‘defund the Police’ Views.

● Andy McCarthy: Republicans Mustn’t Get Hoodwinked on ‘Defund the Police’ Pivot.

So many receipts, so little time! Check out the many many many times Democrats did indeed call to defund the police (video).

* Also to translate: Joe Biden Had the Opportunity to Denounce ‘Defund the Police.’ But He Says Something Disturbing and Unhinged Instead.

JACKIE MASON: 1928 -2021, May He Rest In Peace (Videos).

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