September 27, 2021

THE MOVEMENT SPREADS: There’s now a “Fuck Joe Biden” flag for sale.


MARK JUDGE: Is Anita Hill a Worse Lawyer Than Michael Avenatti? “In an excerpt in The Atlantic, Hill defends Christine Blasey Ford. Hill’s is a poor argument that, like recent efforts by Jennifer Rubin, could set back the cause of women fighting to prevent sexual assault. Hill substitutes emotion for reason. She ignores facts or offers partial truths. Hill’s performance is not only unconvincing, it is damaging to the very cause she champions.”

Or purports to.

FIRST SIRHAN SIRHAN, NOW THIS: John Hinckley, Who Shot President Reagan, Wins Unconditional Release.

Hmm. As Biden grows more and more embarrassing, assassins are suddenly being released from prison. I’m just saying. . .

THE PRESS LIES FOR THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION. THEY OPENLY REGARD THAT AS THEIR JOB. Latest Media Lie: Border Patrol Agents “Charged at” Those Poor Illegal Aliens.

It seems like a bad idea for the president of the United States, in the middle of an unprecedented crisis at our southern border, to alienate the very men and women on the front lines of that crisis. That’s because Joe Biden is an endless font of bad ideas. The worse the idea, the greater his investment. So when it was time for ol’ Joe to badmouth his own people to save his ass, he really went for it.

That’s what you get for doing your job in Biden’s America.

And he’s getting plenty of help from our moral, ethical, and intellectual betters in the media. First they spread the lie, which Biden repeated, that Border Patrol agents were whipping Haitian migrants. Here’s what actually happened. . . .

That’s it. That’s what all the fuss is about. There was no whipping. Nobody got whipped.

But everybody has already decided those agents did something wrong, up to and including the president and vice president of the United States. They can’t all just get un-outraged about it. And they certainly can’t admit they were wrong.

So now we see this sort of framing from the press. . . .

It’s one thing when the media misses a key detail, or mishears a quote, or otherwise craps the bed. That’s just reporters screwing up. But this whole “whipping” thing is a deliberate lie. And now that the lie has been exposed, the media is workshopping alternate lies to replace it. It’s all garbage. Those Border Patrol agents did nothing wrong.

Advice to the press: If you don’t want people to think of you as garbage, stop being garbage.

Meanwhile, the Democrats don’t seem very bright here. On the one hand, they act sometimes as if they’re deliberately provoking a civil war. On the other they’re alienating everyone — police, the military, the Border Patrol, whatever — that might physically take their side if a civil war happens. See, when you want to establish a police state, you generally want the police to be on your side, not — as reportedly happened in Knoxville today — high-fiving a guy running around with a Trump flag. Just saying.

OPEN THREAD: You’re in the driver’s seat now.

VIDEO: The Babylon Bee’s Side-Splitting Parody of the FBI.

IT’S PROBABLY SAFER THAN MANY OTHER EXTREME SPORTS: Do space tourists really understand the risk they’re taking?

THE MAGICAL MYSTERY TRUNALIMUNUMAPRZURE: Joe Biden’s history tour from hell — from 1970s gas lines to the 1918 pandemic, where will the President take us next?

The first stop was the late 1970s. This came back in spring after a ransomware attack on a major American pipeline resulted in a gasoline shortage that sent lines at gas stations snaking around the block. Throw in inflation as the economy began to reopen, and Biden suddenly looked a lot like Jimmy Carter, only without the beer deregulation and awesome stories about homicidal rabbits. Instead, this exhibit was all animatronic Karens filling Tupperware with regular unleaded while glowering at the unmasked mom headed into the grocery store to buy $4 milk.

The next stop was the autumn of 1918, hospitals filled to capacity, portentous static over the CNN wireless. The Spanish flu killed millions of people, but it wasn’t until the second wave in the fall that its true lethality was brought to bear. And while the delta variant hasn’t been quite so devastating, sheer exhaustion with this pandemic has nonetheless forced a comparison. Hot Vax Summer has been canceled. One in 500 Americans has now died from COVID. This is the part of the tour where Biden gets punchy and starts shouting ‘come on, man!’ in the direction of perceived vaccine skeptics.

And then it’s on to the third exhibit, Saigon circa Gerald Ford by way of Afghanistan. Here, docent Biden’s defensiveness only increases. Just how in the hell was he supposed to know that Afghanistan would fall apart?! Other than, you know, the endless intelligence reports over the eight months that he had to plan and coordinate our withdrawal? Cut to the passengers looking leerily at the emergency exit and contemplating a duck and roll.

* * * * * * * *

The risk isn’t so much that America is going to come apart tomorrow. It’s that Biden will prove one of those weak placeholder leaders — cheers again, Jimmy Carter! — who fails to sufficiently grapple with the issues of his time. So it is that we enter the last room on the tour, a dark tunnel where trippy images flash on the walls: Americans trapped in Afghanistan, Haitians squatting at the border, immigration agents on horseback, anti-vaccine protesters, Frenchmen in berets shaking their fists.

Suddenly, for just an instant, docent Biden looks more like Charon at the ferry helm. The President’s flashes from the past are just that, flashes. It’s his inability to meet the challenges of the present that’s far more ominous.

The seemingly omnipresent “F*** Joe Biden” chants sure has powerful sense of ’60s and ’70s deja vu as well.

ASKING THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS: What Happened in 1971? Edward Snowden and Jack Dorsey Want to Know.

Did you catch that last part? Though citizens couldn’t exchange paper money for gold, foreign governments could. So the US dollar was still tethered to gold, which the US promised to redeem at an exchange rate of $35 per ounce. This meant the US couldn’t inflate the money supply without depleting its gold reserves.

Unfortunately, however, the US did inflate its currency, in large part to finance the escalating costs of the Vietnam War and LBJ’s Great Society. This is one reason, Newman explains, that the US depleted roughly 55 percent of its gold stock from the 1950s to 1971.

In that year—1971—facing depleted gold reserves and a dollar facing increasing inflationary pressure from government expenses, Nixon made a critical decision: he “temporarily” paused gold redemption.

Nixon’s move was not temporary, however.

In her 2019 book, Great Society, Amity Shlaes wrote:

Nixon and Connally would now present a policy package containing most of or all their ideas, a package so sudden and revolutionary, like Nixon’s decision to go to China, that it outclassed either the New Frontier or the Great Society for sheer drama. Shultz and Connally got in the spirit. “I think it’s the biggest thing in economic policy since World War II,” Shultz concluded, accurately enough. Nixon had always known he could out-Kennedy Kennedy and out-Johnson Johnson, and now he was going to do it.

And we’ve all paid the price ever since. Exit quote: “Monetary policy may be confusing and some may find it dull—though I no longer do. But one thing is clear: it’s monumentally important.”

NOW THERE’S NO MORE OAK OPPRESSION. FOR THEY PASSED A NOBLE LAW, AND THE TREES ARE ALL KEPT EQUAL — BY HATCHET, AXE, AND SAW: $3.5T spending package includes big money for ‘tree equity,’ bias training and more.

Among the most contentious provisions, the bill gives a substantial funding boost to the Internal Revenue Service, which stands to gain an additional $78.94 billion over the next 10 years. The money would help the IRS strengthen tax enforcement activities, expand audits and modernize its technology. An additional $410 million would go to IRS oversight.

Democrats also are putting equity at the center of the bill. The Agriculture Committee has earmarked $3 billion for a tree-planting program “with a priority for projects that increase tree equity.” The legislation dishes out another $4 billion for “neighborhood access and equity grants.” Meanwhile, its “electric vehicle charging equity program” comes with a $1 billion price tag.

The bill generally doesn’t elaborate on the meaning of equity in this context, though American Forests defines “tree equity,” for example, as a tree-planting program that “identifies the cities that can gain the most significant health, economic and climate benefits by increasing tree canopy in places of high need.”

The legislation would add billions of dollars in climate change funding, starting with the “Civilian Climate Corps,” which would get at least $7.5 billion across multiple committee budgets. The organization, which President Biden has placed at the top of his climate wishlist, would employ thousands of young people to carry out conservation and climate change-related projects on public lands.

But what on earth is “tree equity?” Here’s a word salad of an article from June that tries to explain it: Finally Quantified: Tree Equity Has an Impact on Poorer Neighborhoods.

The effects of the decades-long systematic denial of mortgages to people of color, called redlining, are undeniably visible across the country. One effect has been the persistence of poverty in predominantly Black communities across the United States. Another is a distinct lack of tree cover in these communities. For the first time, the inequality in neighborhood vegetation has been quantified through the Tree Equity Score, developed by the nonprofit conservation organization American Forests.

Assessing nearly 500 municipalities representing more than 70 percent of the U.S. population, staff at American Forests found that neighborhoods consisting mostly of people of color have an average of one-third less tree canopy than majority white communities.

What’s the issue with tree equity, or lack thereof?

The prevailing problem with having too few trees in an urban area is the heat. Some neighborhoods have so much exposed concrete absorbing sunshine that they become heat islands, which can be up to 10 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than nearby areas with natural cover. One study found that urban heat islands can experience warming up to twice as strong as that caused by global warming.

In the face of elevating heat, the Tree Equity Score opens new opportunities for effective planting. Its tally puts an exact number on the trees needed to achieve equity amongst neighborhoods, leading to better health and livability. American Forests has calculated a total of 522 million trees needed nationwide, but not planted just anywhere. The online, publicly-accessible map shows exactly where cities need to plant trees — the goal, after all, is community uplift through equity.

“We don’t just need more trees in America’s cities. We need tree equity,” Jad Daley, president and CEO of American Forests, told Fast Company.

Not surprisingly, Twitter users had loads of fun dunking on the phrase “tree equity” this afternoon. Exit quote: “Spending $3B on ‘tree equity’ is really the perfect encapsulation of Democrats in 2021.”

WHITHER TARTARIA? At Astral Codex Ten, Scott Alexander writes:

Imagine a postapocalyptic world. Beside the ruined buildings of our own civilization – St. Peter’s Basilica, the Taj Mahal, those really great Art Deco skyscrapers – dwell savages in mud huts. The savages see the buildings every day, but they never compose legends about how they were built by the gods in a lost golden age. No, they say they themselves could totally build things just as good or better. They just choose to build mud huts instead, because they’re more stylish.

This is the setup for my all-time favorite conspiracy theory, Tartaria. Its true believers say we are those savages. We live in the shadow of the Taj Mahal, Art Deco skyscrapers, etc. But our buildings look like this:

[Snipped – a photo of  a very 1970s-looking modern campus box, with the caption, “The headquarters of Google, one of the richest corporations in the world. A third-rate 1500s merchant would be ashamed to live anywhere as bare.” — Ed.]

So (continues the conspiracy) probably we suffered some kind of apocalypse a hundred-ish years ago. Our elites are keeping it quiet, and have altered the records, but they haven’t been able to destroy all the buildings of the lost world. Their cover story is that technology and wealth level haven’t regressed or anything, those kinds of buildings have just “gone out of style”.

People say that conspiracy theories are sometimes sublimated expressions of critiques of our society. No mystery what this one is criticizing. Some people don’t like modern architecture. How many? I sometimes see claims like “nobody really likes it”, and certainly it feels intuitively incontrovertible to me that the older stuff is more beautiful. But I know some people who claim to genuinely like the modern style. Are the modern-is-obviously-worse folks just over-updating on their own preferences?

The best source I can find for this is a National Civic Art Society survey, which finds Americans prefer traditional/classical buildings to modern ones by about 70% to 30% (regardless of political affiliation!). In a poll of America’s favorite architecture, 76% of buildings selected were traditional/classical (establishment architects said the poll was invalid, because you can’t judge buildings by pictures). A study of courthouse architecture determined that “[our] findings agree with consistent findings that architects misjudge public likely public impressions of a design, and that most non-architects dislike “modern” design and have done so for almost a century.”

Yet 92% of new federal government buildings are modern. So I think there’s a genuine mystery to be explained here: if people prefer traditional architecture by a large margin, how come we’ve stopped producing it?

Read the whole thing, which reads like an extension of Tom Wolfe’s 1981 book, From Bauhaus to Our House. As Wolfe wrote:

The compounds—whether the Cubists, Fauvists, Futurists, or Secessionists—had a natural tendency to be esoteric, to generate theories and forms that would baffle the bourgeoisie. The most perfect device, they soon discovered, was painting, composing, designing in code. The peculiar genius of the early Cubists, such as Braque and Picasso, was not in creating “new ways of seeing” but in creating visual codes for the esoteric theories of their compound. For example, the Cubist technique of painting a face in cartoon profile, with both eyes on the same side of the nose, illustrated two theories: (1) the theory of flatness, derived from Braque’s notion that a painting was nothing more than a certain arrangement of colors and forms on a flat surface; and (2) the theory of simultaneity, derived from discoveries in the new field of stereoptics indicating that a person sees an object from two angles simultaneously. In music, Arnold Schoenberg began experiments in mathematically coded music that proved baffling to most other composers, let alone the bourgeoisie—and were all the more irresistible for it, in the new age of art compound.

Composers, artists, or architects in a compound began to have the instincts of the medieval clergy, much of whose activity was devoted exclusively to separating itself from the mob. For mob, substitute bourgeoisie—and here you have the spirit of avant-gardism in the twentieth century. Once inside a compound, an artist became part of a clerisy, to use an old term for an intelligentsia with clerical presumptions.

Alexander asks, “92% of new federal government buildings are modern. So I think there’s a genuine mystery to be explained here: if people prefer traditional architecture by a large margin, how come we’ve stopped producing it?”

Hey, the previous president tried to right this aesthetic debacle, but in late February, as the Politico noted, “Biden tosses Trump’s classical architecture order:”

Former President Donald Trump’s attempt to favor classical architecture got the ax on Wednesday as part of a sweeping scrapping of Trump-era executive orders by President Joe Biden.

Trump’s executive order in December, titled “Promoting Beautiful Federal Civic Architecture,” disparaged the modernist architectural styles of some federal buildings as “ugly” and a jarring contrast with local architectural styles. The Trump administration hailed Greco-Roman-inspired buildings as an important homage to democracy in antiquity.

The executive order, signed in the final moments of the Trump presidency, promptly met condemnation from architects as aesthetically myopic, though it had relatively weak enforcement. The order only placed a preference for classical styles in future buildings and did not outright ban brutalism.

The lede of the article was “Brutalists, rejoice!”

Rejoice in stylish, handsome buildings that look like this:

Headquarters of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI, The J. Edgar Hoover Building at 935 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., Thursday, March 23, 2017. Construction finished in September 1975, and President Gerald Ford dedicated the structure on September 30, 1975. (AP Photo/NewsBase)

Because Trump despised brutalism, knowing that the vast majority of the public did as well , and because the media moved in a reflexive lockstep against him, he had Slate defending Brutalism with this classic 2018 moment: “Of Course Trump Hates Brutalism — Buildings like the FBI headquarters are everything Trump is not.”

I’m not sure how he ever recovered from that comparison.

STARLINK UPDATE: Here’s what I got just now, pretty typical:

Generally, speeds have been pretty stable — sometimes a bit higher than this, up to about 300mbps plus a little occasionally, seldom below 120mbps though occasionally dipping down to 60-70 in a storm. Upload speeds seem to have been edging up, and ping times edging down overall, probably because of increasing numbers of satellites.

Overall, much better performance than my wired Comcast/Xfiniti service, though certainly not as good as you’d get with a fiber connection. On the other hand, won’t go out when someone digs up the fiber (as happened to a friend of mine the other day) and won’t go out in a blackout extended enough to outlast the battery backups in the various cable-system electronics.

It’s really designed for rural customers, of course, who can’t get fiber or cable. I’m just in on the beta test because it’s cool.

PROFESSOR CARRINGTON, CALL YOUR OFFICE: Official Sources Warn a Geomagnetic Storm Is Imminent, So Get Ready For Auroras.

THE VIRTUE SIGNAL GAME SEEMS MORE LIKE REALITY THAN A GAME: You can still get all the games on sale here. They make fun gifts for those in your life who would get the humor or maybe even better for those who don’t.


NEWS FROM 1982: Smoke from nuclear war would trigger massive climate change.

DON SURBER: The End Game of the Election Audits. “The audits are not going to overturn the 2020 election. We all know this. But this is not about 2020. It is about 2024.”

HMM: Allergic stimulation activates mast cell precursor cells. “Mast cell precursors are extremely rare in healthy individuals, but their frequency increases during inflammation, which later causes an increase in mature mast cells. It is well documented that mast cells increase with many types of inflammatory diseases.”

GOOD NEWS FOR MY INDUSTRY: The Fall 2022 Law School Admissions Season Opens With A Bang: Applicants Are Up 15%.

THEY’RE NOT JUST TOOLS OF THE REGIME, THEY’RE ALSO JUST TOOLS: WaPo Tries a Bogus Peter Doocy Narrative to Deflect from CNN’s Shameful Cuomo Media Scandal.

IT’S ON: John Stossel Suing Facebook Fact-Checkers for Defamation.

TRUST BUT VERIFY: Function-Checking Your Guns.


GIULIANI’S NEW YORK IS DEAD; DEMOCRATS KILLED IT: ‘City of the Walking Dead:’ Junkies shoot up in broad daylight in Midtown.

HMM: Study: Insulin resistance doubles risk for depression, even without diabetes.

You know what fights insulin resistance? Weight training.

IT WAS MY UNDERSTANDING THAT THERE WOULD BE NO MATH: Biden Bizarrely (and Falsely) Claims His $3.5 Trillion Spending Agenda Has a Price Tag of ‘Zero.’

DON’T GET COCKY: Odds for a Republican Takeover of the Senate Keep Getting Better. “A more fired-up Republican base has already coalesced behind Herschel Walker and the crossover vote favors him, as well.”

ROLLING BACK THE WOKE IDIOCY, ONE STATUE AT A TIME: The “Forward!” statue — photographed by me, yesterday — is back in its place of honor at the State Street corner of the Wisconsin Capitol Square.

Related: The statue of Hans Christian Heg, restored to its place of honor at the Wisconsin Capitol.

It’s nice to see this idiocy undone, but it’s disgraceful that it was allowed to reign at all.

STRAY VOLTAGE: Latest Media Lie: Border Patrol Agents “Charged at” Those Poor Illegal Aliens.

It’s one thing when the media misses a key detail, or mishears a quote, or otherwise craps the bed. That’s just reporters screwing up. But this whole “whipping” thing is a deliberate lie. And now that the lie has been exposed, the media is workshopping alternate lies to replace it. It’s all garbage. Those Border Patrol agents did nothing wrong.

If you tell the truth about Hunter Biden’s laptop, you get banned by Silicon Valley. If you lie about the Border Patrol, you get quoted by the president.

If politicians and “journalists” will lie about what you’ve seen with your own eyes, what else will they lie about? An entire generation has been taught there’s no such thing as objective reality, and this is what happens when they enter the workforce.

Just think of the media as Democratic Party operatives with bylines, and it all makes sense.


THIS IS COOL: SpaceX satellite signals used like GPS to pinpoint location on Earth.


Mayorkas finally got a rather obvious and long overdue question from the media. Fox’s Chris Wallace asked him why weren’t they building a wall to stop an obvious stream of people crossing, as happened in Del Rio? Suddenly, Wallace realized when he saw the pictures, how the wall can have great utility.

“It is the policy of this administration: we do not agree with the building of the wall,” Mayorkas said. “The law provides that individuals can make a claim for humanitarian relief. That is actually one of our proudest traditions.”

Apparently entering illegally is a “proud tradition” to the Biden administration.

As David Frum tweeted in 2018 regarding the left hurling the F-bomb at the Trump administration, “If liberals insist that enforcing borders is a job only fascists will do, then voters will hire fascists to do the job liberals won’t.” And American voters on the right have gotten used to be called fascists at election time for over 70 years. (By those wishing to impose socialism on a national scale, curiously enough.)

“It is the policy of this administration: we do not agree with the building of the wall,” might be very good GOP soundbite material for the midterms and/or the presidential election cycle.

PLAYING BY THE LEFT’S NEW RULES: FedEx Driver Announces He Won’t Deliver to People Supporting Biden or BLM in Viral TikTok Video.

AND THE HITS JUST KEEP ON COMING: John Hinckley, Who Shot President Reagan, to Be Granted Unconditional Release. “The Justice Department agreed to a settlement but will monitor Hinckley for nine months to ensure he remains mentally stable, as he will be living on his own for the first time in about 40 years and because one of his primary doctors is set to retire and dissolve Hinckley’s therapy group. The department said it would file a motion with the court before June if it had new concerns, according to NPR.”


UM…: Chernobyl’s Blown Up Reactor 4 Just Woke Up. “Scientists don’t understand why.”

EVERYTHING SEEMINGLY IS SPINNING OUT OF CONTROL: Rowdy celebrations erupt in Norway as COVID restrictions end. And the AP is not happy:

The Norwegian government abruptly announced Friday that most of the remaining coronavirus restrictions would be scrapped beginning Saturday and that life in the nation of 5.3 million would return to normal.

The unexpected announcement by outgoing Prime Minister Erna Solberg to drop coronavirus restrictions the next day took many Norwegians by surprise and led to chaotic scenes in the capital, Oslo, and elsewhere in the country.

“It has been 561 days since we introduced the toughest measures in Norway in peacetime,” Solberg said on Friday at a news conference. “Now the time has come to return to a normal daily life.”

Rowdy celebrations by hundreds of citizens across Norway started Saturday afternoon and lasted until the early hours of Sunday. Police said unrest was reported in several places, including in the southern city of Bergen and the central city of Trondheim, but the situation was the worst in Oslo.

The photo accompanying the article, showing Norwegians politely queuing up and riding scooters on an Oslo street on Saturday night doesn’t exactly illustrate the “human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together — mass hysteria!” story AP is trying to sell.

(Classical reference in headline.)

SAY ANYTHING: Biden’s Math for Dummies: Five Trillion Dollars Equals Zero Dollars. “Biden’s ‘adds zero dollars to the national debt’ pledge is only off by about THREE TRILLION DOLLARS.”

MATTHEW YGLESIAS: Education polarization is only growing: And it’s making everyone mad all the time.

I usually like to offer solutions, but my main thought about all this is that having society sharply polarized around occupational categories and educational attainment is going to make it very difficult for us to function effectively as a country.

Jay Varma has a good piece in the Atlantic titled, “Not Every Question Has a Scientific Answer: The toughest COVID-19 policy questions are matters for politicians—not health experts—to decide.” That’s completely correct. But it’s not unique to Covid-19. Most policy questions have a significant technical dimension but also feature ineradicable elements of political judgment about tradeoffs, priorities, and risk tolerances. That’s true whether you’re talking about a pandemic, macroeconomic policy, climate change, how to build a school system, or basically anything else under the sun. . . .

Conversely, if all the people with degrees are on the same side of certain big moral and political questions, it’s going to be very hard for them to draw the line between actual expert knowledge and beliefs they happen to hold. Perhaps the greatest recent example of this was tons and tons of public health academics joining a sign-on letter in favor of the George Floyd protests. Note they didn’t just say something like “outdoor activity is relatively safe and we encourage everyone to do things outdoors that are important to them (church services, social justice protests, gatherings with family).” Instead, they decided to endorse the agenda of the protests. . . .

This surely did approximately nothing to actually advance anti-racism causes (who cares what public health academics have to say about this?) but a great deal to burn the credibility of public health academics in the eyes of a huge swathe of the population.

There can be a healthy relationship between expertise and politics, but it’s extremely difficult for that relationship to exist when education is so strongly correlated with partisanship.

This is yet another negative externality foisted on the country by the higher education industry. As we know, from many articles written by leftist academics, negative externalities call for regulation of the industry practices that produce them.


A few months ago, Vox co-founder Ezra Klein excused [How to Blow Up a Pipeline author Andreas Malm’s] suggestions for terrorist bombings of oil pipelines in a New York Times column titled “It Seems Odd That We Would Just Let the World Burn.” When asked whether Klein’s worries that poor people would be harmed by ecoterrorism on infrastructure are founded, Malm once again claimed the ends justify the means.

“If you engage in property destruction that causes such disruption to prices, you run a risk of alienating people, but I think that if people go about this in a careful fashion, and if they time property disruption of this sort to moments when the impact of the climate crisis are being felt, there would be a decent chance to also gain popular support for these kind of actions,” he said.

The host then asked how Malm would avoid Fox News labeling his actions as eco-terrorism, to which the author replied, “Well, I don’t think that we should adapt our tactics after the enemy’s script.”

Just as a reminder of how eco-terrorism is on the minds of many leftists, the LA Review of Books and the New Republic also wrote favorable reviews to Malm’s book.

CLIMATE PANIC INDOCTRINATION: ‘Humanity is doomed,’ say 56% of youth. “Nearly 60 percent of those surveyed felt ‘very worried or extremely worried,’ and more than 45 percent said their anxiety about the climate affected their daily lives. Three-quarters said they thought the future was ‘frightening.'”

I don’t see any of this fear in the kids I talk to. I wonder how much of it is genuine, and how much is just young people telling grownups what they think they want to hear.

RICHARD FERNANDEZ: The Collapse of Biden’s World.

The fate of large parts of the U.S. economy consequently depends not on regulatory actions in Washington but on bureaucratic decisions in China. The global world that Joe Biden had hoped to inherit is falling apart right under him, like a comedy car shedding its parts as it rattles down the road. As Niall Stanage of the Hill put it, “President Biden’s biggest vulnerability isn’t any single issue. It’s the risk that he could be seen as losing control of events.”

The dissolution of the landscape means the Biden administration isn’t plagued by any one malady anymore but by multiple organ failure.

At a time when America and the West need firm and imaginative leadership, we got Joe Biden.

UPDATE (FROM GLENN): We didn’t “get” Joe Biden. Joe Biden was foisted on us by a “cabal” of insiders whose grift and graft and self-worth was threatened by an outsider president. This is the establishment’s doing, and the consequences will be their fault, and there should be an accounting.

NIFTY: FAST lets lunar landers make their own landing pads pre-touchdown.

Being developed in collaboration with Honeybee Robotics, Texas A&M University, and the University of Central Florida under a Phase 1 NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts award, the in-Flight Alumina Spray Technique (FAST) project has completed its year-long preliminary study of the concept.

In FAST, alumina ceramic particles are injected into the rocket plume as the lander descends. These particles coat the surface beneath the lander, consolidating the regolith into a hard pad that has more thermal and ablation resistance. This protects the lander not only during descent, but also when it takes off again to return to lunar orbit.

To make this idea work, Masten and its partners explored the best thickness for the pad, how to determine how the ceramic particles will stick together, how they will survive the heat inside the rocket plume, what the best deposit rate should be, how the particles will adhere to the regolith to form the solid pad while the lander hovers above, and how effective the pad would be in stopping cratering and dust scattering.

In addition, the team conducted hot-fire landing simulation tests using Masten’s vertical takeoff and landing rockets. From these tests, it was determined that the idea is feasible even for a craft as large as the Artemis crew lander and that the pad building can be controlled by the size and temperature of the engine plume.

Previously: How will NASA deal with the moon dust problem for Artemis lunar landings?

Mars, too.

MAKE THEM PAY: Professor’s lawsuit alleges he was punished for objecting to ‘woke’ DEI dogma.

YOU’RE GONNA NEED A BIGGER BLOG: Yet Another Dr. Fauci Deception for Those of You Keeping Track.

SEGREGATION NOW, SEGREGATION TOMORROW, SEGREGATION FOREVER! Yet another school introduces race-based housing.

OTHER PEOPLE’S MONEY: Jayapal On Democrats’ $3.5 Trillion Bill: It’s ‘A Zero-Dollar Bill’ Since It’ll Be Paid For With Taxes. “But President Biden also said something very important the other day, which is, this is a zero-dollar bill because it’s going to be completely paid for with taxes on the wealthiest and the largest corporations.”

Spoiler: No, it won’t be.

THE ADMINISTRATION IS AT WAR WITH FIRST RESPONDERS ON SEVERAL FRONTS: From Heroes to Zeroes: How Vax Mandates Are Purging Our First Responders.

FLASHBACK: ‘Tolerant’ educators exile Trump voters from campus.


NIALL FERGUSON: Evergrande’s Fall Shows How Xi Has Created a China Crisis.

“The regime which is destroyed by a revolution is almost always an improvement on its immediate predecessor,” wrote Alexis de Tocqueville in “The Old Regime and the Revolution.” “And experience teaches that the most critical moment for bad governments is the one which witnesses their first steps toward reform.” I often thought of that passage as I watched Gorbachev inadvertently destroy the Soviet Union by trying to reform it. Only recently did it occur to me that it might also apply to Xi, the anti-Gorbachev. Although his reforms go in the opposite direction from Gorbachev’s — turning back the political clock to Marxism-Leninism, rather than forward to liberalism — the effect may be the same.

Xi’s crackdown on the property developers is just the latest blow he has struck against “capitalism with Chinese characteristics.” First in line were the big tech companies — Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., Tencent Holdings Ltd. and ride-sharing leader Didi Global Inc. Then it was the turn of the for-profit education sector. All of this reflects Xi’s conviction that China needs to move from “fictional growth” to “genuine growth,” and his determination to make the old CCP slogan of “common prosperity” a meaningful antidote to the rampant inequality of the “get rich quick” era. Investors who have ignored this anticapitalist turn in China have only themselves to blame if they have lost money.

While I doubt Evergrande will bring Xi down with it, Xi’s economic clampdown doesn’t look much like a sign of strength.

This is a longer piece, technical in places, but as is usually the case with Ferguson it’s thought-provoking and worth your time.

SALENA ZITO: Life along the border collapses as Biden fiddles.

Take all of the imagery you have seen of the over 14,000 Haitian migrants camped under a under the international bridge in the small Texas border town of Del Rio and add the complications of disease, public excrement, unbearable heat, and heightened frustrations. It has led to violence that has injured Border Patrol officers .

Now close your eyes and imagine that it is 100 times worse.

Because that is what it is, said Texas Rep. Tony Gonzales, the freshman Republican who represents 42% of the border. The overwhelmed city of Del Rio had been in a rapidly deteriorating crisis situation when illegal immigrants first began surging into the community in January, but Gonzales now says the situation here is a “Category 5” and that the environment is unlike anything he has ever seen before.

“I arrived here today to pure chaos,” he said. “I’ve never seen it in this environment. There literally is no border left.”

Gonzales said Del Rio is in dire straits. “There’s no doubt there’s COVID here, there’s measles, tuberculosis, all kinds of diseases,” he said. “You’ve got kids running around in nothing but diapers. A handful of port-a-potties — my God, the stench is terrible. This is not good for the migrants. It is not good for the residents. It’s not good for wherever our government is sending them in the interior of the country.”

Despite the Department of Homeland Security insisting repeatedly the Haitians would be deported, as of Tuesday, it had only removed 1,000 of the estimated 15,000 under the bridge. Multiple news organizations including CNN reported that buses have been escorting them to a nonprofit organization in town where they purchase bus or plane tickets. They are then moved to a gas station where buses pick them up and take them to other parts of the country.

The Washington Post reported that the number is in the thousands of those released to parts unknown in the interior of the country.

Read the whole thing. It’s a crisis by design.

GETTING BACK FROM MARS MIGHT BE EASIER THAN FIRST THOUGHT: It’s a long way to and from Mars, so having enough fuel to return to Earth might well seem problematic.

But maybe not, according to University of Cincinnati College of Engineering and Applied Science assistant professor Jingjie Wu. He’s got this reactor that converts C02 to methane, which can be used as rocket fuel.

KRUISER’S MORNING BRIEF: Yeah, Biden’s a Mess But Republicans Can’t Get Cocky. “Many of us are fond of reminding people that one should never underestimate the ability of the Republican party to completely screw things up. GOP history is littered with missed layups. While next year is looking pretty idiot-proof at the moment, the train wreck potential should not be forgotten.”

WE HAVEN’T HEARD THE END OF THE ARIZONA AUDIT: Arizona’s state senate got the report Friday, according to The Epoch Times, of the audit of Maricopa County’s 2020 presidential voting and the MSM instantly reported that it gave His Fraudulency an even bigger lead than was certified early on election night. End of story, right?

Wrong. As usual, there is more, much, much more, to the story and the ball is now in the court of Arizona’s Attorney General, Mark Brnovich. He is not known as an enthusiast for the Biden administration and his promise to “take all necessary actions supported by the evidence” suggests Brnovich has a plan. This story is not over.

ICYMI: Stalin’s War: A New History of World War II.

TAX THE RICH: Biden Could Owe As Much As $500K In Back Taxes, Congressional Research Service Indicates.

Who am I kidding? We all know that taxes are for the little people.

VACCINE PASSPORT REQUIREMENTS HAVE A DISPARATE IMPACT: Yes, of course, they do. Everything has a disparate impact on some group. That’s why I wrote Title VII Disparate Impact Liability Makes Everything Presumptively Illegal. Our laws are utterly incoherent.  Sometimes I wish we could just start from scratch.

CHRIS RUFO: The White Backlash That Wasn’t: Opposition to critical race theory is broad and bipartisan.

Over the past year, the left-leaning media has peddled the narrative that an emotional constellation of “white resentment,” “white fragility,” “white rage,” and “white fear” drives opposition to critical race theory in America’s public schools. Now NBC News claims it can prove it.

In a long story featuring analysis of demographic data, NBC News reporter Tyler Kingkade and data editor Nigel Chiwaya claim that the parent uprisings against critical race theory, which have occurred in more than 200 school districts across the country, are a “backlash” against “rapid demographic change” and “the exposure of white students to students of color.” Or, to put it bluntly, it’s the ugly reaction of white racism in the face of rapidly integrating schools. As left-leaning Slate concluded, NBC’s reporting proves that fear of “white replacement” and the desire to “protect whiteness” motivate the anti-critical race theory movement.

There is only one problem: NBC’s analysis is nonsense. The report, like the left-wing narrative about critical race theory more generally, fails both statistically and imaginatively. NBC News builds its narrative on the claim that “many of the school districts facing backlash over equity initiatives are diversifying faster than the national average.” The report provides data for 33 school districts, which undermine its argument in two ways: first, one-third of these districts have diversified slower, rather than faster, than the national average; and second, according to NBC News’ own reporting, there have been anti-critical race theory protests in at least 220 school districts nationwide, which means that NBC failed even to analyze 85 percent of the evidence.

But the NBC report, like almost all mainstream media coverage, fails an even greater imaginative test: these publications cannot imagine a world outside the framing of the 1960s civil rights era, comparing opposition to critical race theory with racial segregation, Jim Crow, and the Ku Klux Klan. NBC suggests darkly that these communities “have long segregated their schools” to exclude blacks, while the Slate piece makes a more explicit comparison between parent protesters and “Louisiana’s White League,” “racist mass shooters,” and the “Capitol insurrectionists.”

These comparisons fall apart after the most basic examination. Parents in Loudoun and Fairfax County, Virginia, whom the NBC News report cast in a negative light, aren’t old-line racists and segregationists but educated, affluent, and diverse citizens in the elite suburbs surrounding Washington, D.C. Contrary to the narrative about white families lashing out against an influx of black students, Loudoun County has roughly the same proportion of blacks as it did 20 years ago; the highest rate of population growth has been among Asians and Latinos, who, according to a recent Rasmussen poll, oppose critical race theory by a two-to-one margin—the same as white voters. In nearby Fairfax County, the leader of the parent opposition is an Indian-American woman, Asra Nomani, who has blasted critical race theory for reducing academic standards and discriminating against high-performing Asians.
NBC News’s misleading report is part of a broader campaign to confuse the public about critical race theory.

Critical race theory is just a form of intellectual toxic waste, dumped on society by Big Education. Since we hear a lot about various industries’ negative externalities, maybe it’s time to look at Higher Ed the same way.

And of course NBC and the rest of the media are trying to confuse the public. Keeping the public from realizing what’s being done to them has become their #1 mission.

IF BEZOS CAN’T GO TO THE MOON, NOBODY CAN: NASA’s moon mission is waiting on a fight over meetings. “NASA administrator Bill Nelson says he can’t firm up plans to return Americans to the moon by 2024 until a lawsuit against the space agency, brought by Jeff Bezos’ space company Blue Origin, is resolved. The suit contends that NASA should not have chosen Elon Musk’s SpaceX to build a lander that will carry astronauts to the lunar surface.”

Meanwhile: SpaceX considers increasing Crew Dragon fleet after Inspiration4.

ICYMI: CLAIMS ABOUT AN INSURRECTION CONTINUE TO EVAPORATE: “But statements from the informant appear to counter the government’s assertion that the Proud Boys organized for an offensive assault on the Capitol intended to stop the peaceful transition from Mr. Trump to Mr. Biden.” “On the eve of the attack, the records show, the informant said that the group had no plans to engage in violence the next day except to defend itself from potential assaults from leftist activists…. Then, during an interview in April, the informant again told his handlers that Proud Boys leaders gave explicit orders to maintain a defensive posture on Jan. 6. At another point in the interview, he said that he never heard any discussion that day about stopping the Electoral College process…. According to the records, the informant first began to tell the F.B.I. what he knew about Jan. 6 in late December after a pro-Trump rally in Washington that month turned violent…. [T]he records contain no indication that the informant was aware of a possible plot by Proud Boys leaders to purposefully instigate those normal Trump supporters — or what members of the group refer to as ‘normies’— on Jan. 6.”

Plus: “My hypothesis has been that if there had been a plan, the FBI would have known about it and it would have been defended against. If the government has evidence of a plan now, my question is why didn’t they know in advance and defend the Capitol properly? The simplest answer is that there was no plan.”

And, from the comments: “The narrative being fed to us is that the FBI had an insider of a far-right group feeding information to the FBI but given the repeated lies fed to us by the FBI and federal officials it seems more likely the FBI had people undercover inciting a protest group to riot.”

THEY TOLD US THE SCIENCE WAS SETTLED: Food myths busted: dairy, salt and steak may be good for you after all.

Over the past 70 years the public health establishment in Anglophone countries has issued a number of diet rules, their common thread being that the natural ingredients populations all around the world have eaten for millennia – meat, dairy, eggs and more – and certain components of these foods, notably saturated fat, are dangerous for human health.

The consequences of these diet ordinances are all around us: 60% of Britons are now overweight or obese, and the country’s metabolic health has never been worse.

Government-led lack of trust in the healthfulness of whole foods in their natural forms encouraged us to buy foods that have been physically and chemically modified, such as salt-reduced cheese and skimmed milk, supposedly to make them healthier for us.

No wonder that more than 50% of the food we eat in the UK is now ultra-processed.

The grave effects of this relatively recent departure from time-honoured eating habits comes as no surprise to those of us who never swallowed government “healthy eating” advice in the first place, largely on evolutionary grounds.

Is mother nature a psychopath? Why would she design foods to shorten the lifespan of the human race?

And time is vindicating. This bankrupt postwar nutrition paradigm is being knocked for six, time and again, by up-to-date, high quality research evidence that reasserts how healthy traditional ingredients and eating habits are.

Will there be any accountability for the experts, who with preening hauteur instructed everyone in how to eat, and claimed that those who disagreed were practically murderers?

Haha, I crack myself up.

Related (From Ed): LBJ The Egg Czar & Other Gov’t ‘Heroes.’ “In 1966, the price of eggs rose to a level that President Lyndon Johnson judged, God knows how, was too high. There were two culprits – supply and demand – and Johnson’s agriculture secretary told him there was not much that could be done. LBJ, however, was a can-do fellow who directed the US surgeon general to dampen demand by warning the nation about the hazards of cholesterol in eggs. “

ABOUT THAT JONAH FISH STORY: HillFaith on one the atheists got right. (Yes, you read that right).

THE DEMAND FOR HATE CRIMES IN AMERICA FAR EXCEEDS THE SUPPLY: Hate Hoax: Black employee arrested over racist graffiti on Emory University building.

Suspected vandal Roy Lee Gordon Jr., an-ex Emory University employee and black man, has been arrested for allegedly spraying racist graffiti at his workplace.

In what appears to be another incident in a string of hate hoaxes in the past several months, the former part-time Emory staff member is accused of vandalizing the university’s Autism Center with racist and antisemitic graffiti in early August.

According to the Daily Wire, racial slurs were written near the workspace occupied by two African-American women. There was also a swastika painted near the office of a Jewish individual. In addition, a glass door had been ruined and nearby vending machines were damaged.

As Roger Kimball wrote when Jussie Smollett’s story broke last year, “The less hate there is in the United States, the more hate crimes must be manufactured in order to keep the Fraternal Order of Victims afloat.”

EDWATCHDAILY is a new blog covering the education apocalypse.

VICTORIA TAFT: FBI Narrative About the Jan. 6th Capitol ‘Insurrection’ Is IMPLODING.

ICYMI. THEY’RE NOT WRONG: Hillary Clinton Booed, Called a War Criminal By Crowd While Accepting Chancellorship.

Flashback: Africans are being sold at Libyan slave markets. Thanks, Hillary Clinton.

Related: It’s happening again:

What’s surprising is that it’s surprising that college kids are jeering old, corrupt, politicians.


SOCIAL DEMOCRATS BEAT MERKEL’S PARTY IN TIGHT GERMAN ELECTION: “Germany’s Social Democratic Party (SPD) won a narrow victory in Sunday’s general election, topping the outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in the race to replace her after she stepped down following 16 years in power. It was the worst ever showing for the CDU. However, the slim margin of 1.6 percentage points separating the top two parties means that both could potentially form a ruling coalition and it could take weeks or months of horse trading before a new government takes shape.”

September 26, 2021

WHEN WOKE CULTURE IS DEFEATED: The statue of Hans Christian Heg, restored to its place of honor at the Wisconsin Capitol.

It helps that wokies are idiots, of course.

HOWIE CARR: Abolish the FBI: You heard it here first.

I saw a headline this week in The Wall Street Journal that made my day: “Abolish the FBI.”

The reason I was so pleased was because above my column in this newspaper on Jan. 24, 2018, was this headline: “Scandal-ridden FBI must be abolished.”

Is there an echo in here?

All I can say is, what took everybody else so long to realize how rotten to the core the Famous But Incompetent G-men have become, and actually have been for more than half a century now?

As the Journal noted, the FBI’s last sustained good “run of publicity … came more than 50 years ago thanks to Efrem Zimbalist Jr. and his weekly show on ABC, “The FBI,” which went off the air in 1974.

Even by dismal modern FBI standards, though, the news just keeps getting worse and worse.

Last week, one of Hillary Clinton’s lawyers was indicted by Russian collusion hoax Special Counsel John Durham. The Democrat operative was charged with lying to a James Comey briefer about one of the largely forgotten lies in the Russian hoax — Alfa Bank’s “secret servers,” which of course didn’t exist except in the fevered imaginations of far-left Democrats and their stenographers in the media.

Durham has been taking his own sweet time bringing these corrupt Deep State bad actors to justice, but better late than never. He knows a lot about how deep the corruption runs. He first brought down Whitey’s FBI hitman, Zip Connolly.

This latest indictment came only days before the five-year statute of limitations ran out.

Five years! It took that long to bring a single one of these bent Democrats before the bar of justice. But then, in this case, as in so many others involving the FBI, the cops are the actual criminals.

The joke in this latest bust is that obviously the FBI knew that Hillary’s lawyer was lying when he told the agent that he was peddling his ludicrously false stories.

Maybe not, though. They’re not making special agents like Inspector Lew Erskine anymore.

Durham’s indictment happened the same week that a newly declassified court rulings showed that the FBI had 100% lied during its illegal investigation into Trump aide Carter Page.

In the FBI’s botched frame-up of Page, one FBI lawyer has already been convicted of obstructing justice, although his punishment scarcely rose to the level of a slap on the wrist.

Accountability is for the little people. The bigshots, and their henchmen, get off light, when they suffer any consequences at all.

OPEN THREAD: “This is where the music school was. It’s the College of Law now.”

I VOLUNTEER AS TRIBUTE: Love and rockets: We need to figure out how to have sex in space for human survival and well-being. Though the Insta-Wife gets seasick easily, so I don’t know how she’d handle space.

I ALREADY LINKED THE VIDEO, BUT HERE’S MORE: Fans Chant ‘F**k Joe Biden’ During The Wisconsin/Notre Dame Game.

GETTING AHEAD OF OURSELVES: There’s a Pretty Glaring Issue With Tesla’s Autopilot, Says New Study. “The study highlights the awkward in-between phase that we’re now in: Self-driving tech has become good enough to handle many aspects of staying on the road, but can’t be relied upon to take over everything, all of the time. That is potentially more dangerous than both fully human driving and fully automated driving, because when people get behind the wheel they assume they don’t have to give their full attention to every part of the driving experience – as this study shows.”

But, this glaring caveat: “The latest study doesn’t make any link between attention span and safety, so there are no conclusions to be drawn here about whether or not Autopilot is more or less safe than manual driving. What is clear is that it makes drivers pay less attention to the road.”

YOU BETTER LAVA ME NOW, OR LAVA ME NOT: Lava from La Palma eruption has burned almost 400 structures so far.

DON’T MESS WITH TEXAS: Gov. Abbott extends generous offer to Border Patrol agents who could be punished by Biden administration. “Abbott announced Sunday that he would hire any Border Patrol agent punished by the Biden administration over the controversy involving mounted agents and Haitian migrants last week.”

In other Texas news: Texas sues EEOC over transgender guidance.



Along with suspense, horror, and romance, Hitchcock movies depict cinematically another basic human sentiment, and do so better than any other filmmaker has done: anxiety. Donat in The 39 Steps, Grant in North by Northwest, James Stewart and Doris Day in the remake of The Man Who Knew Too Much, and other characters in Hitchcock movies find themselves in a world whose physical features are familiar but in which they are buffeted by sinister forces that they do not understand and cannot control. Their world has suddenly and unexpectedly become both baffling and frightening. They have, somehow, to navigate their way to safety in a threatening environment.

This is the stuff of nightmares, and Hitchcock evokes them vividly. Truffaut observes at the end of their series of interviews:

It might be said that the texture of your films is made up of three elements: fear, sex, and death. These are not daytime preoccupations, like in films that deal with unemployment, racism, poverty, or in the many pictures on everyday love conflicts between men and women. These are night time anxieties, therefore, metaphysical anxieties.Hitchcock’s fundamental subjects are the distressing feelings that human beings, no matter how successfully they repress them when awake, cannot escape in their sleep. That is why, one hundred years after he began and forty years after he died, Alfred Hitchcock’s films remain, in their way, inescapable.

Hitchcock’s best films were built with bravura editing, such as the classic symphony orchestra scene in the remake of The Man Who Knew Too Much:

No wonder François Truffaut was so eager to interview him — these sorts of scenes became the textbook for future Hollywood editors. And as James Lileks would note, there’s an obligatory Star Trek connection as well in the above scene, courtesy of actor Reggie Nalder, the film’s sinister assassin.

UNEXPECTEDLY: FBI Narrative About the Jan. 6th Capitol ‘Insurrection’ Is Imploding.

KURT SCHLICHTER: Let Them Destroy Each Other.

This means Joe Biden is at grave risk of seeing his entire agenda go down at flames. This does not mean that he is at grave risk of realizing that what he is seeing is his entire agenda going down in flames because he is manifestly senile, but that’s another column.

Just watching Manchin and Sinema mock Schumer, who (as Hugh Hewitt noted) is desperate to ward off a primary challenge from up-talking, irony-free socialista AOC, restores one’s faith in cosmic justice. The libs are furious that Joe Manchin is ruining their party – it’s awesome. And their fussy threats are even more precious. Yeah, someone’s going to successfully primary Manchin from the left in West Virginia, right after the Boy Scouts let the Lincoln Project be honorary jamboree co-sponsors.

That Schumer and Pelosi are not feared like they should be by their own caucus is delightful. Mitch McConnell is feared by his caucus, and rightly so. And he’s playing this masterfully. Yeah, we have our own fights – including Trump’s silly campaign against McConnell, who is indisputably the most effective legislative knife fighter in generations. The guy drives me nuts too – his insurrection whining was stupid and lame – but no one wrecks the Dems’ dreams like the Murder Turtle. He just threw a Baby Ruth bar in the Capitol Hill pool by refusing to help raise the debt ceiling – the Dems have a majority, so it’s their problem. Of course, the Dems don’t want to do it because it looks bad – they want GOP cover. Mitch refuses to provide it, which is chum in the water to another Dem feeding frenzy.

It’s glorious.

I hope that Kurt is indeed correct that “Biden is at grave risk of seeing his entire agenda go down at flames.” Because otherwise: Biden Plan’s $3.5 Trillion Price Tag is Actually a Huge Underestimate.

FASTER, PLEASE: Reprogramming heart muscle cells to repair damage from heart attacks.

SOCIAL MEDIA ASTROTURF: Biden-boosting influencer ‘Brooklyn Dad’ slammed for taking PAC money. “Majid Padellan, who runs the nearly 900,000-follower-strong Twitter account — and has been slammed previously for urging Bernie Sanders to drop out of the 2020 presidential race — allegedly accepted more than $57,000 from a pro-Biden PAC, Really American, last year, according to, which cited tweets circulating Tuesday.”

KEVIN WILLIAMSON: The Gangs of L.A. — A shocking new report suggests that in Los Angeles County, sheriff’s deputies make up some of the most dangerous crime syndicates of all.

This sort of thing appears to be endemic to law enforcement in Los Angeles. For years in the 1990s, the single most dangerous crime syndicate in Southern California was the LAPD, where members of the Rampart Division created a blue crime wave involving everything from falsifying evidence to bank robbery to selling huge quantities of cocaine stolen from evidence rooms to murder.

On one end of California, you have politicos such as San Francisco mayor London Breed and Governor Gavin Newsom blowing off COVID-19 rules as obligatory for the little people but optional for the high and mighty. On the other end of the state, you have a sheriff’s department acting as the goon squad for the elected official at the head of the agency, while deputies mob up like Crips and Bloods. Political enlightenment comes when you begin to understand that, in spite of the superficial differences between Nancy Pelosi’s beauty-parlor antics and the deeds of the East Los Angeles Banditos, they are two manifestations of the same phenomenon.

To the extent that this sort of thing is tolerated — and it is a considerable extent — the people of California have ceased to be citizens and have become subjects. And California is a national bellwether: What happens in Los Angeles today will happen in Tulsa tomorrow.

Also from Kevin as a follow-up: A Few Bad Apples in Uniform.


Last week, one of the founders of the Taliban declared that executions and hand amputations would return in Afghanistan. Mullah Nooruddin Turabi — who was justice minister and head of the Ministry of Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice during the Taliban’s previous reign — told the Associated Press, “Cutting off of hands is very necessary for security.”

“Everyone criticized us for the punishments in the stadium, but we have never said anything about their laws and their punishments,” Turabi said. “No one will tell us what our laws should be. We will follow Islam and we will make our laws on the Quran.”

Earlier: Reporter Discovers ‘Thousands’ in Kabul Still Attempting to Flee, Including US Citizens and Green Card Holders.

No wonder the Biden Administration was so eager to promote the phony “Border agents whipping migrants” narrative to generate some stray voltage.

JAMES PINKERTON: The Mask Comes Off in a Two-Tier Society Where There’s One Rule for Elites and Another for the Rest of Us.

Which side of the velvet rope are you on? Are you one of the cool kids? Were you born on the right side of the tracks? Did your ancestors come over on the Mayflower? Are you on the Forbes 400 list of the richest Americans? And now another question to test your social standing: Do you have a high enough status so that you don’t have to wear a face mask?

That last question comes to mind as we think about last weekend’s Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, which were staged on a strictly two-tier basis: The Hollywood glitterati performers and guests did not wear masks, while the help did.

Read the whole thing.

BEATLES ON THE BRINK: How Peter Jackson pieced together the Fab Four’s last days.

In the end, there was a compromise. Having begun working at Twickenham, the Beatles relocated to a makeshift studio in the basement of 3 Savile Row, the central London address that was the home of their company Apple. The plan for a televised concert was abandoned, and it was agreed – just about – that the group were now being filmed for a feature-length documentary. And on Thursday 30 January, the four of them – joined by the American keyboard player and singer Billy Preston – played, with a mixture of panache and joyous energy, on the Apple building’s roof. No one knew it was their last public performance, but, in retrospect, they ensured that such a significant moment passed off almost perfectly.
Such was the finale of four weeks of filming and recording that eventually resulted in an 80-minute feature-length film titled Let It Be, and the album of the same name. What remained in the Beatles’ vaults – although some of it subsequently fell into the hands of bootleggers – was 50 additional hours of rushes and more than twice as much audio, brimming with an immersive sense of who they were and how they worked.

Eventually, in preparation for Let It Be’s 50th anniversary, most of this material was collected together. In 2017, Apple recruited the New Zealand-based director Peter Jackson – the creator of the six film versions of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, as well as the documentary They Shall Not Grow Old, built from restored footage of the first world war – to cut a new feature-length film. As it eventually turned out, the pandemic made a normal theatrical release impossible, and opened up the possibility of something even more ambitious. Jackson ended up creating three two-hour documentaries, which will premiere at the end of November on the streaming platform Disney+.

As Jackson puts it, his new films tell the story of the Beatles “planning for a concert that never takes place”, and “a concert that does take place, which wasn’t planned”. Thanks to his and his team’s restoration work, everything is pin-sharp, and unbelievably evocative of time and place: the tale unfolds in a London of trilby hats, Austin Powers-esque fashions and copious cigarette smoke. But the films’ key attribute is their intimacy, and the light they shine on the Beatles’ instinctive creativity, their deep personal bonds and, as they neared their final split, their thoughts about their future.

To be fair, they had one more album in them before the split, which was written to be their finale, after the Get Back/Let It Be debacle: Solid State: New Book Provides In-Depth Look at the Making of the Beatles’ Swan Song, Abbey Road.

Related: George Harrison’s Great Song That Doesn’t Get Talked About. An appreciation of “It’s All Too Much.” As one of the commenters notes, “The once heavily bootlegged long version of the recording is the one to hear, actually.” Well, here you go!

ANALYSIS: TRUE. Scientific American Says Jedi Are Problematic White Saviors, Practice Toxic Masculinity.

Scientific American, founded in 1845, has published such brilliant minds as Albert Einstein, Linus Pauling, and J. Robert Oppenheimer, and explored subjects as diverse as perpetual motion and solar neutrinos.

These days, however, the magazine is concerning itself with somewhat different topics — like how “problematic” the fictional space warriors known as Jedi are.

In a story published Thursday, titled “Why the Term ‘JEDI’ Is Problematic for Describing Programs That Promote Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion,” a group of five authors argue, “The Jedi are inappropriate mascots for social justice.”

They say the scientific world should jettison the Jedi, including naming anything after them or displaying any Star Wars memorabilia in common work spaces, because the space knights are “emblems for a host of dangerously reactionary values and assumptions.”

It’s good to see the staid reactionaries at Scientific American finally reaching consensus with Jonathan Last from 19 years ago in the Weekly Standard:The Case for the Empire,” and Sonny Bunch in the Washington Post in 2015: The destruction of Alderaan was completely justified.” Not to mention Last that same year, who pointed out that the Rebels kept slaves.

THE GUN YOU HAVE WITH YOU IS THE BEST GUN: Is the .357 Magnum the Best Option for Personal Defense?

ROGER KIMBALL: How It Might End, Act I.

As we look around at the many assaults on free discussion today, the prospects for the continuation of our regime of liberty seems up for grabs in a more fundamental way than at any time since World War II. It was only a few years ago that the United Nations pondered an international law against blasphemy—against blasphemy!—to defend Islam against its detractors. A bit later, representatives of the United States met in London with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to discuss whether speaking about religion can violate international law. Yes, that’s right. Around the same time, Egypt convicted eight Americans in absentia for blasphemy; if apprehended, they could face the death penalty. Meanwhile in Afghanistan, the Taliban has just announced that it is reintroducing barbaric punishments like stoning and amputation for offices against the faith.

I think Bagehot was right: free discussion is an integral ingredient, a veritable pillar of liberty. But that freedom is under serious threat today by religious fanatics, overweening government bureaucrats, and a complacent populace. David Hume once observed: “It is seldom that liberty of any kind is lost all at once.” It seems to be that we have alarm bells going off all around us. The oddity is that so few people seem to hear them. No wonder secession is once again in the air.

Read the whole thing.

MELLOW BLACK HOLES ARE THE BEST BLACK HOLES: Gamma rays and neutrinos from mellow supermassive black holes.

XI’S GOTTA HAVE IT! China Detains Business Chiefs as Its Corporate Crusade Expands:

China has kicked up its campaign to tame its free-spending, debt-laden companies, as the authorities punished the corporate chiefs of two troubled companies while letting a troubled property giant continue to struggle under the weight of more than $300 billion in debt.

The authorities in China have taken into custody the top two executives of HNA Group, a transportation and logistics conglomerate that bought up businesses around the world before quickly collapsing under heavy debts. The company said late on Friday that the police on Hainan Province, where it is based, had seized its chairman, Chen Feng, and chief executive, Tan Xiangdong.

Both men were detained “in accordance with the law for suspected crimes,” the company said in a statement, without specifying those offenses. HNA did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Mr. Tan appears to be a U.S. citizen, according to personal information about him that the company provided in a filing to Hong Kong regulators in 2019. A U.S. passport number was included.

The announcement came on the same day that the state-run Xinhua news agency said Yuan Renguo, the former chairman of Kweichow Moutai Group, which produces a high-end Chinese liquor often consumed by the business class, was sentenced to life in prison for accepting more than $17 million in bribes.

Those punishments are taking place against a broader backdrop of pressure on corporate practices that the Chinese Communist Party increasingly regards as dangerous to the economy and its own grip on power. They occurred as global investors await the fate of another troubled Chinese corporate giant, China Evergrande Group.

Earlier: Evergrande crashes as China dumps ‘build, build, build’ playbook.

Flashback to November of 2019: How to Conduct Business with Chinese Companies That See a Dark Future.

SKYNET SMILES: How the U.S. Army Is Turning Robots Into Team Players.

MEDIA MYTH ALERT: No, Politico — Viewer-listener disagreement is a myth of JFK-Nixon debate. 61 years ago tonight, “John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon met in the first-ever televised debate between major party presidential candidates.”

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