December 9, 2021

CHUTZPAH: Jew-Hating Rep. Pressley Introduces Bill To Punish Rep. Boebert For Islamophobia.

QUESTIONS ASKED: Curiouser and Curiouser. “Over the past weekend, a strange news feed about possible white supremacists marching at the Lincoln Memorial popped up on one of my YouTube subscriptions; then disappeared within a few hours of being up…what audience was this meant for? Then today I come across this article from POWERLINE. So it would appear that not only are the ‘Patriot Front’ an Astroturf group, but according to the Washington Post headlines, ‘experts say’ a ‘white supremacist march in D.C. was pushed by a fake Twitter account.’ What in the wide world of sports is going on here? Your thoughts?”

 

WELL, THEY’RE RIGHT: Most say Biden failing COVID fight, Trump better 49%-39%.

EPIC RATIO: Dallas Cops Brag About Civil Forfeiture and Get Owned on Social Media.

KRUISER’S MORNING BRIEF: Commie Democrat Psychopaths Are In Crime Denial. “The farther left one of them goes, the more removed from reality they become. For the longest time, I thought that they were all merely pathological liars. Most are, of course, but I am now beginning to believe that some of them are in the midst of a full psychotic break.”

BIDEN ORDERS FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO BE CARBON NEUTRAL BY 2050:

The directive calls for the federal government to establish a carbon-free electricity sector by 2030 and to purchase only zero-emission vehicles by 2035. The government must also cut carbon emissions from federal buildings in half by 2032 and get to zero by 2045.

President Klain throws a symbolic bone to the Green Nude Eel crowd. Not surprisingly, though, he has desire to cut governmental carbon emissions by actually shrinking the government.

A YEAR AGO WE WERE AN OIL EXPORTING NATION: Biden cancels oil while Americans suffer and the world laughs.

TO BE FAIR, THEY WERE EAGER TO BE DECEIVED: Journalist-Authors Isikoff, Corn Also Fell For Danchenko’s Mythical Dossier Source.

THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT? Critics Savage Progressive Climate Change Satire ‘Don’t Look Up.’ “McKay once dabbled primarily in mainstream comedies like ‘Anchorman,’ ‘Step Brothers’ and ‘The Other Guys.’ Now, he fuses his progressive politics with his art, and the results are dividing critics who otherwise agree with his views on most issues.”

THE SORT OF HISTORY A CONQUEROR WOULD INFLICT ON A DEFEATED PEOPLE TO BREAK THEIR SPIRIT: Students at Maryland High School Shown Thanksgiving Video Depicting Pilgrims as Oppressors.

FROM CAFE HAYEK, a roundup of Covid links. “Adults are sacrificing children’s wellbeing to make themselves feel safe.”

THE BANNINGS WILL CONTINUE UNTIL MORALE IMPROVES: So…Twitter just suspended the popular account tracking the Ghislaine Maxwell trial.

The “Ghislaine Maxwell Trial Tracker” is back — at least for now. They also have a backup account — again, at least for now.

LIFE IN THE BLUE ZONES: ‘I’m unnerved by it’: Attorney calls for change after he says he was attacked while driving through Boston.. “They have got to put police officers out there on the street 24 hours a day. That has just got to happen. They have got to make it a driveable street.”

SPACE: Falcon 9 launches NASA X-ray astronomy satellite.

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

Athena Thorne: The Left’s Next Coup has Already Begun. “One of Big Left’s favorite tactics, when taking over an institution (or country), is to grab the steering wheel. When they have the presidency, they rule by executive command. When they have the court, they rule by judicial decree. When they want to decide how a state votes, they concentrate on getting their operatives into a state-wide position of power.”

Megan Fox: Feminism Has Made Western Women Stupid and Dangerous to Themselves and Others. “The local women of Ecuador recognize what feminists do not. Men are flawed. Danger is everywhere. It’s better to be with a group than on your own. Don’t let a shaman get you naked. These are basic truths that Western women should know, but they don’t because the left has made it a sin to understand the true nature of what it means to be a woman.”

Yours Truly: Soros-Backed DA Wants Jacqueline Avant’s Killer to Serve Less Time. “What to do as the chief prosecutor when your city is in shock and outrage over the shooting murder of 81-year-old philanthropist Jacqueline Avant in her own home? If you’re Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon, you leap immediately into action with a fundraising email ‘asking for money to push through a bill removing extra prison time for using a gun during a crime.'”

FROM PETER GRANT:  Silver In The Stones: A Classic Western Story of Greed and Revenge.


What comes with a silver boom? Backstabbers, claim-jumpers and con men – and that’s just the start.

Walt Ames is working hard to keep his horse ranch afloat and his transport business in motion when silver is discovered on his property. It’s going to take cunning, determination and more than a little luck to investigate the claim while others are trying to kill him for it.

Can he keep his business and integrity intact, or is everything Walt loves going to fall prey to the perils of a silver rush?

AN INCREASINGLY ISOLATED RULER FACING AN INCREASINGLY CYNICAL POPULACE DESPITE OVERWHELMING CONTROL OF THE PRESS: The pandemic is beating Putin.

NOTHING TO SEE HERE, MOVE ALONG: China Evergrande Defaults on Its Debt, a Ratings Firm Says. “The next steps were not immediately clear. Evergrande has already said it would “actively engage” with its foreign creditors to come up with a plan for restructuring — an often long and drawn-out process that can involve stripping a company down and selling off its parts to pay everyone off. But any move would require the blessing of the Chinese government, which worries that a sudden unwinding of the company could hit the country’s financial system or potentially the many homeowners in China who have already paid for apartments that are yet to be built.”

YOU KNOW WHAT? YES, THEY ARE FORMULAIC AND RIDICULOUS:  Guidelines For Female Protagonists In Hallmark Christmas Movies.

But the fact that women are consistently attracted to a happy ever after that involves marriage and a family might be a hint to progressives that what they want for women is not what they want for themselves.

Of course that would involve the left being wrong which is, as we know, un-possible.

IT’S ALMOST AS IF PROGRESSIVE GOVERNANCE DOESN’T WORK:  A dozen US cities set annual murder records with three weeks left in 2021.

Nah, that’s crazy talk. The country is in the very best of hands, I tell you!

WELL, THIS IS CERTAINLY AWKWARD:  Study can’t confirm lab results for many cancer experiments.

I AM CONFIDENT THAT THE TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER WILL DETER FURTHER INTRUSIONS:  Google warns over 1M devices have been infected in ‘Russian hack’.

Has anyone seen my straight face? Because I can’t say that intro line without cracking up.

BECAUSE HONORING IS THE SAME AS REVILING:  Today’s blacklisted American: Colorado Democrats move to blacklist all mascots and imagery honoring the American Indian.

Also REEEEE.

YEP:  Alternative Structure.

THIS TO BE HONEST:  You may have noticed that I haven’t delved too deeply into the Jussie Smollet trial.

LOOK FOR THE LEFT TO SLAM THE BORDER SHUT IN 3, 2, 1:  Hispanics continue to turn right.

HE IS THE SAME PIECE OF WORK NOW AS WHEN HE WAS CAUSING PEOPLE TO DIE OF AIDS, UNTREATED:  Book Review: The Real Anthony Fauci by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

DEFINE “GOOD” AND “EDUCATION”:  Proposed 2022 California Ballot Initiative Makes ‘High-Quality’ Education a Constitutional Right.

Also, you can’t give a right that depends on the labor of others.

By any sane measure of education providing life skills, California and most of our public school system fails. Hard.

I WISH HER TO GO TO A MORE CONGENIAL COUNTRY. SHE’S FAILED FIFO:  Rashida Tlaib Wants Taxpayers to Pay Off Student Loan Debts, Including Hers.

(FIFO — Fit In or er… F Off.  An immigrant who fails at this should choose a more congenial shore. So should a native. Yes, I’m saying America, love it or leave it. Why is that a bad thing? We have planes, trains and automobiles. Hate America? Go, leave, vamoose.)

WHY IS ANYONE ALLOWING THIS SOCIOPATH MEDIA SPACE?  Hillary Cries as She Shares Her Would-Be Presidential Victory Speech.

Yes, I get that she’s very funny, but seriously. The nausea she induces is stronger than the laughter.

I WANT THE ALLEGED DR. FAUCI TO SHOW SOME PROOF OF IQ FIRST:  Fauci Wants You to Check Your Family’s COVID Papers This Christmas.

No, I don’t want to know his IQ. I want proof that he has one. His biography doesn’t encourage this belief.

CULTURES SEEM TO BEHAVE LIKE SENTIENT BEINGS:  Under The Surface.

Very large ones. That move slowly. But oh, they do move.

December 8, 2021

OUR GARBAGE INSTITUTIONS:

OPEN THREAD: But it’s just the price I pay.

THANKS FOR ALL THE CHRISTMAS/HOLIDAY PAYPAL DONATIONS: They’re much appreciated. Thank you notes are underway.

AS ALWAYS, THERE IS NO WAY ANY SATIRIST CAN IMPROVE UPON REAL LIFE FOR ITS PURE ABSURDITY: Dozens of Camels Ejected from Saudi Beauty Contest over Botox.

Note that the article is from the AP wire, not the Babylon Bee.

I QUESTION THE PREMISE: The Beatles: Get Back shows that deepfake tech isn’t always evil.

What happened next is quite astonishing. Jackson had the grainy, desaturated film fed through a computer algorithm. Suddenly, the resulting video had bright, vibrant colors, with sharp images that looked like it was filmed yesterday, not in 1969. But even more impressive than the film restoration, which is a technical triumph in and of itself, is what they did with the audio. Per Jackson, in his Variety interview:

“To me, the sound restoration is the most exciting thing. We made some huge breakthroughs in audio. We developed a machine learning system that we taught what a guitar sounds like, what a bass sounds like, what a voice sounds like. In fact, we taught the computer what John sounds like and what Paul sounds like. So we can take these mono tracks and split up all the instruments we can just hear the vocals, the guitars. You see Ringo thumping the drums in the background but you don’t hear the drums at all. That that allows us to remix it really cleanly.”

The machine learning technology used here is very similar (if not identical) to what has been used in the past for deepfakes, making fake video look and sound real. A prime example of this is the Emmy Award-winning demonstration video produced by MIT’s Center for Advanced Virtuality, “In Event of Moon Disaster,” which depicts then-president Nixon reading a prepared statement that the Apollo 11 astronauts had perished in a catastrophe. To create it, MIT used Nixon’s likeness and speech from television appearances and fed it into a machine learning system to synthesize the audio and video and produce the uncanny film.

Uncanny is the right word — the video of deepfake Nixon reading William Safire’s proposed speech has that uncanny valley feel that Admiral Tarkin and Princess Leia had in the 2017 Star Wars prequel, Rogue One. The technology is making remarkable strides, yet you still know you’re watching a “synthespian” — but going forward, this technology is only going to get more and more realistic:

(Granted, simulating the fuzzy “Never Twice the Same Color” look of a live 1969 American TV broadcast helps to hide some of the flaws, unlike seeing Rogue One on a 25 foot tall movie screen.)

However, I’m not sure if the restoration techniques used to restore the audio and 16mm film from the 1969 Let It Be sessions counts as deep fakery. Jackson used even more powerful digital techniques to restore the scratchy, wiped out 1918-era WWI footage for his 2018 documentary, They Shall Not Grow Old. For Get Back, he had well-preserved 16mm color footage to begin with, giving the restoration techniques used on his WWI documentary that much more of a head start.

For the sound, once the band moves into their basement Apple studio, Jackson had a mix of the mono audio the filmmakers were recording of the group between songs, and the band audio was recorded on eight track reel to reel by Glyn Johns, one of rock’s best engineers (and in 1969, one of its wildest dressers).

To remix the mono audio of the band rehearsing in Twickenham Film Studios, Jackson used a version of the remix applet that’s included in several audio restoration programs, such as Izotope’s RX9:

Jackson was lucky that Billy Preston hadn’t arrived yet, since the current platform doesn’t separate keyboards from guitars. Perhaps the most powerful audio restoration was done in the scene where John and Paul discuss George quitting in the Twickenham cafeteria. But even with all of the sound restoration technology available to both Disney, and the director of the Lord of the Rings movies, he still had to subtitle the conversation for the viewer to understand what’s going on:

So it’s all very powerful digital audio and film restoration technology, but nothing in Get Back seems like we’ve entered into deep fake territory. (Unless you were a “Paul is dead” believer in 1969, that is…)

OUR UNPRECEDENTED SITUATION. “I have been in some part inclined to the opinion that present arrangements are unstable and may be approaching their end. Yet in thinking it through further, I am forced to admit that our times are marked by so many unprecedented trends and events that making predictions seems foolhardy. . . . America has yet formally to transform (if it ever will) from republic to empire. Yet in all important respects, our country is no longer a republic, much less a democracy, but rather a kind of hybrid corporate-administrative oligarchy.”

I’VE ACTUALLY WORRIED ABOUT THIS A BIT, BUT IF IT HAPPENS WE WON’T KNOW IT: Here’s how the universe could end in a ‘false vacuum decay.’

SENATE VOTES TO REVERSE BIDEN VACCINE MANDATE FOR PRIVATE COMPANIES: “The effort to block the mandate is likely to end at the Senate chamber doors, however. The measure heads to the House, where Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a vaccine mandate proponent, plans to ignore it. Pelosi has tagged the GOP as ‘anti-vaxxers,’ who do not believe in the science behind the shot. While it won’t become law, the Senate vote sent a strong message that the mandate is unpopular with many people and in particular businesses.”

YOU’RE GONNA NEED A MUCH BIGGER BLOG: Never Forget: All the Libs Who Fell for the Jussie Smollett Hate Crime Hoax.

Of course, there was one notable exception (seriously NSFW language warning, needless to say):

Related: Ashamed: ABC Hosts Wants You to Forget Their Embarrassing Smollett Reporting.

AN ACQUAINTANCE HAS BEEN IN THE HOSPITAL FOR A FEW DAYS, A BIT LONGER THAN PLANNED. She’s a bodybuilder and the lousy food and interrupted sleep have been especially hard on her. It reminds me of this column I wrote years ago. Excerpt:

Being in the hospital is an exhausting, draining experience even if you aren’t sick. I spent a lot of time, and a couple of nights, there, and I felt like I had been run over by a truck. Imagine how I’d have felt if I had been, you know, a patient with something actually wrong with me.

Sleep interruptions are one problem. The floor below my wife’s housed the sleep-disorder clinic, where they monitor people and try to help them overcome various problems, like sleep apnea, so that they can achieve an uninterrupted night’s sleep. Ironically, it’s probably the only place in the hospital where they let you sleep all night long if you want. My wife was interrupted, on average, about every 90 minutes or so all night long: To have blood drawn, to have vital signs checked, to have her temperature taken, to be given medications (“wake up, it’s time for your sleeping pill” isn’t just a hospital joke) and, most irritatingly, to be weighed.

Now, there are good reasons for a lot of this stuff. Medications have to be given at certain times, temperatures have to be monitored, and so on. Even the weight is important, especially for cardiac patients where fluid balance often matters a lot. (Though not in my wife’s case, as her problems were different.)

But the end result of all of this stuff, especially when it’s spread over the evening, is a huge amount of stress on somebody who’s already under stress from illness. I don’t think that anyone has done the experiment (as has in fact been done with regard to mental hospitals) of hospitalizing some healthy grad students for a couple of weeks and then measuring their condition on discharge, but I’m pretty sure I know what the result would be: Most of them would come out in far worse shape than they were when they entered, even if they managed to avoid other hospital hazards like nosocomial infections or malnutrition from lousy hospital food. And I rather doubt that anyone familiar with hospitals and hospitalization would disagree. That suggests to me that somebody ought to be thinking harder about ways of making the hospital environment more patient-friendly. It’s impossible to make a hospital as stress-free as, say, a spa or a hotel, but it seems to me that with a bit of planning and organization it would be possible to do a lot better than we’re doing now. (And several of the nurses with whom I discussed this problem agreed.) Like the traditional hospital gowns, an awful lot of things seem to be “flimsy, drab, and designed for the practitioner’s convenience rather than for the patient’s comfort.” It’s time for that to change.

Speaking of hotels and comfort, it might be a good idea for hospitals to pay more attention to visitors’ needs, too. No matter how good the nursing staff is, they’re understaffed almost everywhere. That means that hospitals rely, to greater or lesser degrees, on patients’ families and friends for everything from minor services like refilling water glasses to fairly major things like monitoring treatments and medications to make sure there aren’t errors. I always pay close attention to that sort of thing on behalf of my family members who are hospitalized, and have caught a couple of mistakes that might have led to serious problems.

You’d think that would be cheap malpractice insurance, and hospitals seem to notice in the abstract — I saw posters telling people that if they couldn’t have family or friends around they should hire someone to sit with them — but not much is done to make the lot of long-term visitors easy; even the chair in my wife’s room was excruciatingly uncomfortable. (“I’d rather be a patient than a visitor,” one nurse told me). While there are some efforts along these lines, there’s not enough.

Related: Why Hospitals Should Let You Sleep: Frequent disruptions are more than just annoying for patients. They can also cause harm.

Much more here.

IS IT A CAT? THEN YES. Scientists Developed a Questionnaire to Identify Whether Your Cat Is a Psychopath.

2019’s SOCIALIST “IT GIRL” CONTINUES TO PAY WANT YOUR DIVIDENDS: AOC Says Taxpayers Should Have to Pay Her $17K Student Loan—Even Though She Makes $174K a Year.

To be fair, in terms of wanting ever more amounts of taxpayer money, she’s got that aspect of socialism down cold.

Flashback: “In a famous Soviet joke, then-leader Leonid Brezhnev shows his mother his luxury apartment, his limousine, his fancy country house and his helicopter only to have her object: ‘But what if the communists come back?’”

SO DOCTORS ARE SPARING THEM THE RISK OF ADDICTION? Black, Hispanic people in U.S. less likely than White people to receive opioids.

THE ONLY BLACK LIVES THAT MATTER TO BLACK LIVES MATTER ARE THE ONES WHO CAN WRITE BIG CHECKS TO BLACK LIVES MATTER: Black Lives Matter Believes Jussie Smollett, ‘We Can Never Believe Police.’

Meanwhile: 81% of Black Americans Don’t Want Less Police Presence Despite Protests—Some Want More Cops.

SHOCKER: Social media clout doesn’t translate into book sales.

A book by Billie Eilish seemed like a great bet. One of the most famous pop stars in the world, Ms. Eilish has 97 million followers on Instagram and another 6 million on Twitter. If just a fraction of them bought her book, it would be a hit.

But her self-titled book has sold about 64,000 hardcover copies since it came out in May, according to NPD BookScan, which tracks most printed books sold in the United States — not necessarily a disappointing number, unless Ms. Eilish got a big advance. Which, of course, she did. The book cost her publisher well over $1 million. . . .

An author’s following has become a standard part of the equation when publishers are deciding whether to acquire a book. Followings can affect who gets a book deal and how big an advance that author is paid, especially when it comes to nonfiction. But despite their importance, they are increasingly seen as unpredictable gauges of how well a book is actually going to sell. Even having one of the biggest social-media followings in the world is not a guarantee.

Here’s the thing: Social media doesn’t have a lot of effect on the rest of the world. Facebook drives some traffic to sites, but in my experience not as much as it used to. Twitter never drove traffic. Instagram is designed not to drive traffic. Other sites like Tik Tok or Yik Yak aren’t any better. The thing about walled gardens is, the walls keep people in, and looking inward. Social media also cultivates an expectation for instant gratification, which books don’t offer.

ED WEST: The unbearable whiteness of being an academic. “Why are so many white people claiming to be black or indigenous?”

Until recently, Carrie Bourassa had been a woman to inspire all. An indigenous member of the Métis Nation who had overcome poverty and racism to scale the heights of academia in Canada, she was a scientific director for indigenous peoples’ health at a leading scientific institute and described as ‘a selfless leader and a tireless champion for all Indigenous peoples in this country’. She had also edited a book on indigenous parenting; all in all, the type of person you expect to see in pious public sector celebrations of women put out by the BBC.

On one occasion Bourassa had delivered a TEDx Talk at the University of Saskatchewan ‘with a feather in her hand and a bright blue shawl and Métis sash draped over her shoulders’. Calling herself Morning Star Bear, she had tearfully told the audience: ‘I’m just going to say it — I’m emotional…. I’m Bear Clan. I’m Anishinaabe Métis from Treaty Four Territory,’ and went on explain how she had grown up experiencing racism, violence and addiction in the community. Bourassa had in articles and talks opened up about the difficulties of being raised by her Métis grandfather and facing the ‘intergenerational trauma’ of her people. It was a story that seemed to push all the right buttons – which was perhaps the problem.

But then some serious allegations came to light casting doubt on Morning Star Bear’s fitness for office: Bourassa, it turned out, was white. Her forebears were all Russian, Czech and Polish farmers, who while the Metis struggled with the arrival of the Europeans were back in Tsarist Russia, living lives of unbridled white privilege as agricultural workers.

Read the whole thing.

QUESTION ASKED AND ANSWERED:

Some of its shakier proponents fell in love with fine trouser creases over substance. As did others who knew better, but hated missing out on all the best cocktail parties on both ends of the Northeast Corridor. Not to mention, the green room at MSNBC.

WELL, GOOD: Omicron ‘May Signal the End of COVID-19’ According to Healthcare CEO.

CORN, POPPED: CNN and Chris Cuomo Are on the Brink of All-Out War. “Despite the decisiveness of CNN’s actions following last week’s revelations, there are hints that the fireworks may only just be getting started. On Monday afternoon, the New York Post reported that Cuomo was ‘preparing to file [a] lawsuiT’ — reportedly to the tune of at least $18 million — ‘over the remainder of the four-year contract he signed last year.’ Sources on both sides told me they were caught off guard by the Post item, but Puck’s Matthew Belloni later reported that Cuomo had lawyered up with Bryan Freedman, who helped handle Megyn Kelly’s NBC exit, and that CNN was working with Daniel Petrocelli, who successfully battled the Trump administration when it attempted to scuttle a merger between AT&T and CNN’s parent company. Zucker reportedly told staff Tuesday that Cuomo did not receive severance.”

‘Tis a pity that can’t both lose.

HOW’S THAT “PERMANENT DEMOCRATIC MAJORITY” COMING ALONG? Hispanic Voters Are Now Evenly Split Between Parties.

FUN GIFT: Flingshot Slingshot Flying Screaming Monkey – Set of 4! – Watch them fly! #CommissionEarned

HILARIOUSLY UNWOKE: Mel Brooks says his only regret as a comedian is the jokes he didn’t tell.

It’s not too late to tell them, Mel…

FREEDOM ENABLES CREATIVITY: Imagine that, when you liberate the human spirit to create without guardrails, you can get more quality, independence, all kinds of good things. Darrel Eves, executive producer of the record-setting series”The Chosen,” explains how it works.

SHOCKER: Politico: Don’t look now, but Dems “souring” on vaccine mandates. “Gee, I wonder why Democrats might want some daylight between Joe Biden and themselves these days — especially on unconstitutional exercises of executive power? With Biden’s vaccine mandates getting shot down in federal courts, the political risks of angering vast swaths of the electorate for no good purpose have become apparent to Biden’s allies. For now, Politico reports, but it’s true inside and outside of the Beltway.”

It’s important that they experience this as a defeat, for educational purposes.

THIS CAN’T POSSIBLY END BADLY: Remy: Raise the Debt Ceiling Rap (Again). New video from Reason TV:

LIFE EXTENSION: Grape seed extract found to extend lifespan of old mice.

DISPATCHES FROM THE PARTY OF DIVERSITY AND TOLERANCE: Far-left Axios Is Mad Conservatives Are Building Their Own Internet.

What did they think would happen? I’m so old, I can remember when lefties told everybody to “learn to code.”

NOTHING TO SEE HERE, MOVE ALONG: Despite Near-Record Homicides, Philadelphia DA Proclaims No ‘Crisis of Crime.’

IF YOU GET UP MORE, MORE CHANCES TO FALL: Study links overactive bladder to increased falling risk in older adults.

DEMS SILENT ABOUT NEW DATA ON TRUMP TAX CUTS: Heartland Institute’s Justin Haskins took a look at the IRS Statistics of Income (SOI) data for 2017 and 2018 and found — surprise! — the Trump tax cuts helped middle class taxpayers far more than “the rich.”

Funny thing, though, neither His Fraudulency, nor Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi or any of the other leading Democrats asked yesterday for comment responded, even though the data demonstrates they were all wrong on the issue in 2017 and since. Why you suppose that is?

EIGHT YEARS TOO LATE: De Blasio Imposes New Vaccine Mandate And New Yorkers Scream ‘Enough!’ “Most businesses are already not complying with the existing mandates, and people are announcing they won’t comply with this one.”

NOT FROM ALIENS: Mars helicopter flies again; encounters radio interference on 17th flight.

OVERBRED: Most dog breeds are highly inbred, and unhealthy, researchers say.

As Bill Murray knew, better to be a mutt.

RACIST LITTLE FREE LIBRARIES:

This piece in the New York Times is really something, and I mean that in the worst possible sense.

Erin Aubry Kaplan lives in Inglewood, “a mostly Black and Latino city in southwestern Los Angeles County,” and she decides to build a Little Free Library, as they are called, in her front yard so neighbors walking by can borrow a book. She builds one because she loves books, but because in our puritanical times nothing can be as simple as that, she writes that she also put one up “to signal to my longtime neighbors that we had our own ideas about improvement, and could carry them out in our own way. There are organizations that help people build these little libraries, but I did mine independently. I envisioned it as a place for my neighbors to stay connected during the pandemic.”

Fine. But then things get a little crazy. A white couple stops and looks at her library and Aubry Kaplan freaks out: “Instantly, I was flooded with emotions — astonishment, and then resentment, and then astonishment at my resentment. It all converged into a silent scream in my head of, Get off my lawn!

She doesn’t yell “Get off my lawn,” thankfully, and she doesn’t take down the library because a white couple stopped and looked at it without even borrowing a book. But, while embarrassed by her initial reaction, she comes to see it as natural: “What I resented was not this specific couple,” she writes, “It was their whiteness.” Technically, she put the little library out for “everyone,” but it was really for everyone but white people, and when the white couple stopped and looked at the books, they were transgressing on black space, once again pushing black people to the margins, appropriating black expression, and gentrifying the black neighborhood. Aren’t whites the worst?

I’m so old, I can remember when librarians would judge people by the content of their character, not by the color of their skin.

NOT-SO-SHOCKING NEWS: Vaccination strengthens antibodies in people who have had COVID-19.

EPIC DAILY DEAL: OOU Kitchen Knife Set with Block. #CommissionEarned

NEVER AGAIN: The Hypersonic Global Pearl Harbor. “What if China wants hypersonic orbital weapons for a more practical warfighting mission? What if China needs a small number to hit our major ships in port where they are stationary, visible, and most vulnerable? Wouldn’t that prevent America from mobilizing and sending reinforcements to defeat China in the western Pacific?”

DISPATCHES FROM THE PARTY OF DIVERSITY AND TOLERANCE: The Democrats Have a Hate Problem.

Nearly a quarter of college students wouldn’t be friends with someone who voted for the other presidential candidate — with Democrats far more likely to dismiss people than Republicans — according to new Generation Lab/Axios polling.

Why it matters: Partisan divides — as each side inhabits parallel political, cultural and media universes —make a future of discord and distrust in the U.S. all the more likely.

By the numbers: 5% of Republicans said they wouldn’t be friends with someone from the opposite party, compared to 37% of Democrats.

  • 71% of Democrats wouldn’t go on a date with someone with opposing views, versus 31% of Republicans.
  • 30% of Democrats — and 7% of Republicans — wouldn’t work for someone who voted differently from them.

Bad things happen when you make politics your substitute religion.

WELL:

It would be delightfully ironic if the Democrats’ unflagging effort to boost the number of Hispanic voters bit them in the ass because their woke white activists made the party repulsive to Hispanic voters.

SHE CAN’T BE TRUSTED WITH ANYTHING: Top Ten Other Kamala Harris Make-Work Jobs.

“VICE PRESIDENT KAMALA HARRIS CONTINUES TO LEAD ON MATERNAL MORTALITY ISSUES”:  That’s the latest press release from the Democratic Party.  They seem to think that the racial disparities in maternal mortality are a top-line issue–one worthy of major legislation–even though maternal mortality itself is very rare.  The Commission on Civil Rights did a recent report on the issue, with several of its members blaming racism for the problem.  Here is my dissent from that report.  If you want more African American mothers to seek medical care early in their pregnancy, telling them that the doctors and nurses are a bunch of racists is a poor strategy. 

THE NARRATIVE POLICE AT WORK:

The account is here.

OH, THAT WAR ON CHRISTMAS: One arrested after Christmas tree set on fire outside News Corp. building.

MARK SIMON ON CHINESE POLITICAL PRISONER JIMMY LAI: I Want to See My Friend, Jimmy Lai. “To give the CCP their due, they know a threat when they see it. From 1997 to 2021 a variety of activists rolled through Hong Kong. But there was one constant, one thing that gave all these activists oxygen and public space. Jimmy Lai. . . . Jimmy Lai is in jail because he believes in freedom, because he believes in a free press, because he believes in religious freedom, because he believes in an individual’s economic freedoms, and most of all because Jimmy Lai believes no man or woman reigns above others.”

KEVIN DOWNEY JR: Reps. Greene and Gohmert Finally Met the J6 Political Prisoners: What They Saw Isn’t Pretty. “Several inmates need medical attention. One has a broken finger. A seventy-one-year-old inmate, Lonnie Leroy Coffman, who hasn’t seen a doctor, watched as his lower forearm has turned purple and his thumb turned black. The other inmates suggested that if anyone can be released, it should be Lonnie.”

BLUE CITY BLUES: Security Guard: Denver’s Union Station ‘Being Taken Over’ By Crime & Drugs, Is ‘Major Risk For Patrons.’

On a recent pre-dawn trip to Union Station, CBS4 observed dozens of people sleeping or passed out in the lower-level bus terminal. Others appeared to smoke narcotics on the plazas and inside the bus terminal. Twice, young men accosted a CBS4 reporter who was taking pictures, one threatening to stab or assault him if the videotaping continued. Bathrooms in the bus station section of Union Station are now unsafe, according to Fleming.

“If you want to stay safe, stay away from the restroom. Go where you are going and don’t make eye contact with people and take stairs instead of the elevator,” he recommended.

Fleming said that just an hour earlier, he and his colleagues had revived a young man who had apparently overdosed on fentanyl in the bus terminal.

Last Week: RTD union calls Denver Union Station a ‘lawless hellhole.’

TOP SELLER: What Really Happened In Wuhan: A Virus Like No Other, Countless Infections, Millions of Deaths. #CommissionEarned

CHINA AND RUSSIA: The Authoritarian-Imperialist Threat To World Peace

What we are witnessing in December 2021 are Russian and Chinese “power cocktails” mixing diplomacy with economic and military power. The cocktail goals: seeding moral weaknesses in democratic nations, exploiting sensational U.S. media, and manipulating the Biden administration.

The wages of weakness: the Afghanistan bugout and debacle exposed the Biden administration as pompous, militarily ignorant and inept.

Beyond December 2021? We will have to confront the troubling, deep history.

Read the entire essay.

BLUE ON BLUE: Matthew Dowd Ends Campaign for Texas Lt. Gov., Suggests Beto O’Rourke Should Also Quit. “Self-proclaimed ‘thought leader’ says ‘white male Christians’ should show ‘integrity’ by removing themselves from diverse Democratic primary fields.”

I WAS TOLD THIS WAS ONLY ABOUT CONFEDERATE GENERALS: Harvard, concerned over visuals that center ‘white men,’ plans racial justice redesign.

WHAT ABOUT THE EVIDENCE? When I was in a public elementary school in Oklahoma City back when Ike was in the White House, I vividly recall being in a Christmas play in which we read aloud Luke 2, the “Christmas story” about the birth of Jesus for an auditorium full of adoring parents.

No, I am not making that up. How times have changed, though, as we all know that any public school that tried to do the same today would soon be burned to the ground by a mob of “progressives” led by Antifa, the NEA/AFT, ACLU, and the U.S. Department of Education.

Even so, the Christmas story remains a prominent part of American culture today, even though prominent skeptics in the entertainment, academic and media worlds delight every year in trashing it during the holiday season, especially the part about the virgin birth.

But Dr. Frank Turek, with an assist from Harvard Law Professor Simon Greenleaf, offers six Es of testimony — “ETs,” if you will — concerning the evidence for the credibility of Luke and the other three Gospel authors, Matthew, Mark and John.

For example: the Gospels include “Embarrassing Testimony” about the authors themselves that they likely would not have included were they simply making up a fairy tale religion. Something to think about as you imagine those shepherds lying in the fields keeping watching over their flocks by night.

IT’S CUTE THAT THEY THINK THIS MATTERS: Law students unhappy they use same legal databases as ICE. Also, I’m sure the “law students” here are a small group that doesn’t speak for anything like a majority.

#RESISTANCE: Anti-vax protesters block traffic outside de Blasio’s Brooklyn home.

81 MILLION VOTES: Majority see Biden out by 2024, fear Harris not ‘qualified.’

Recently crushed by reports about staff fleeing her “bullying” management style and a slew of horrible approval rating surveys, Rasmussen Reports said Tuesday that voters are concerned about her taking over for President Joe Biden.

The fear: She’s just not “qualified” for the job.

And that matters because the latest poll previewed by Secrets found that by a margin of 49% to 36%, likely voters believe that something will happen to 79-year-old Biden that will result in Harris being elevated to the top job. That includes 41% of Democrats and 45% of independents.

The Rasmussen findings extend a long streak of surveys showing voters concerned about Biden’s health and longevity, though the White House recently said he did well on his latest physical.

Related: Just 22% Of Americans Want Joe Biden To Run For President Again.

VIRGINIA TECH STUDENT PUNISHED FOR BOOING AT SOCCER GAME. Great news! Virginia Tech has time to go after the “Shirtless Boys” superfans for yelling “what?!” at a ref, because all the other problems on campus have been solved.

OK THEN: Black Man Gets New Trial Because of Confederate Memorabilia In Jury Room.

COLOR ME UNSURPRISED: Israeli study: People with natural immunity have more protection than double-dose vaccinated. Hybrid immunity — those who’ve had the shot and covid — is strongest, though. “The clear winner in protection is hybrid immunity, at least in the near term, although the recently boosted and those with natural immunity from COVID after being infected four to six months ago aren’t far behind. The comparative loser is vaccination, with people who’ve had two doses within the past two months enjoying only as much protection as people who’ve had natural immunity for eight to 10 months. In fact, even that may understate the advantage from natural immunity considering that the unvaccinated paradoxically tend to be more willing to take risks with COVID than the vaccinated are, at least here in the U.S. The average naturally immune person may be exposing himself more frequently to the virus than the average vaccinated person is and yet still getting infected less often.”

Well, the naturally immune mostly experienced Covid as relatively mild and not living up to the hype.

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