May 7, 2021

TRUNALIMUNUMAPRZURE! Jen Psaki admits Biden taking impromptu reporter questions is ‘not something we recommend.’

MY NEW YORK POST COLUMN: Caitlyn Jenner’s punchy anti-Newsom ad is a preview of a big challenge for Dems.

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

Straight Out of Atlas Shrugged: Biden Will Waive Patents on Vaccines, Enraging Big Pharma.

Straight Out of Prayers for the Assassin: ‘One Mosque Is Erected Every 15 Days in France, While One Christian Building Is Destroyed At the Same Pace.’

Straight Out of Brazil: Think America’s COVID Bureaucracy Is Bad? Check Out What’s Happening in France.

THOMAS LIPSCOMB: Simon & Schuster’s Good Sense on Pence. There’s literally no reason to let woke underlings run your company. Or your country.

MY NEW YORK POST COLUMN: Caitlyn Jenner’s punchy anti-Newsom ad is a preview of a big challenge for Dems.

May 6, 2021

SPACE JUNK: BETTER PUT UP MY UMBRELLA: Watch out, New York? Russian space agency posts map of where Chinese rocket booster might crash.

EZRA LEVANT: HELP: PayPal is trying to shut down Rebel News!

FREE SPEECH: N.Y. Court Pressuring Mother to Remove Rock with Small Painted Confederate Flag.

HEATHER MAC DONALD: Diversity Over Discovery. Biden’s war on merit puts America’s scientific edge at risk. “His candidate to head the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, the largest funder of the physical sciences in the U.S., is a soil geologist at the University of California, Merced. She has no background in physics, the science of energy, or the energy sector. She has never held a position as a scientific administrator.”

Asmeret Asefaw Berhe is, however, a black female who has won “accolades for her work to promote diversity in science,” as Science puts it. Berhe would be the first black woman to head the $7 billion office, and that is reason enough, according to the diversity mantra, why she should oversee X-ray synchrotrons, the development of nuclear weapons, and ongoing research on nuclear fusion. Her nomination requires Senate confirmation; if Berhe will not commit to hiring and grantmaking on the basis of scientific expertise alone, irrespective of race and sex, senators should vote her appointment down.

Previously, this office was typically headed by a physicist with managerial experience in a major physics lab. But then, none of her predecessors could boast of co-authoring an article titled, “A critical feminist approach to transforming workplace climate in the geosciences through community engagement and partnerships with societies.”

 

ROGER SIMON: We Live in the Era of the New Conformists.

In his latest piece, the estimable Victor Davis Hanson asks the rhetorical question “Are Americans Becoming Sovietized?”

Without a doubt. And a key reason behind this, I have been thinking for a long time, is that the left and the semi-left, progressives and liberals, masses of them in our country from the corporate world to the media to the academy to entertainment, are the New Conformists.

Well, not completely new, but conformists beyond doubt. Hardly ever an original thought among them.

They are like the “Triplets” song from Vincente Minelli’s classical musical “The Band Wagon.” (“We do everything alike, we look alike, we dress alike. We walk alike, we talk alike.”)

With this mindset, becoming “Sovietized” scarcely takes an effort. You don’t have to learn a word of Russian beyond “nyet.”

Back in the Fifties, conservatives were accused of being the “organization men” or the “men in the grey flannel suit,” but these days it’s the other way around.

No one is more predictable, more conformist, than the so-called “woke.”

In his compelling new book—“Curiosity: And Its Twelve Rules for Life”—my friend law professor F.H. Buckley, under the heading “Don’t Be a Conformist,” warns us of where conformity can lead:

“Italian novelist Alberto Moravia tried to explain why so many of his countrymen became Fascists under Mussolini. It was because of their desire to fit in, to seem normal, to follow the crowd. He called the novel ‘The Conformist’.”

Sound familiar?

Related: The China model: why is the West imitating Beijing?

It is one thing to compete with China. I firmly believe we need to do that in every domain, from artificial intelligence to COVID vaccines. But the minute we start copying China, we are on the path to perdition.

Consider the way many western countries mistakenly concluded last year that strict Chinese-style lockdowns were the right way to cope with COVID, not realizing that no free society could possibly tolerate restrictions as draconian as the ones imposed all over China from late January last year, which relied on the vast network of Communist party members in every neighborhood to police citizens’ behavior. Neil Ferguson, the Imperial College epidemiologist, who was influential in the UK’s decision to lock down, has been quite open about his inspiration. ‘If China had not done it, the year would have been very different,’ he admitted in an interview in December. ‘“It’s a communist one-party state,” we said. “We couldn’t get away with it in Europe,” we thought. And then Italy did it. And we realized we could.’

In his 1976 article, “The Intelligent Co-Ed’s Guide to America,” Tom Wolfe wrote:

The publication of The Gulag Archipelago in 1973, however, was a wholly unexpected blow. No one was ready for the obscene horror and grotesque scale of what Solzhenitsyn called “Our Sewage Disposal System”—in which tens of millions were shipped in boxcars to con­centration camps all over the country, in which tens of millions died, in which entire races and national groups were liquidated, insofar as they had existed in the Soviet Union. Moreover, said Solzhenitsyn, the system had not begun with Stalin but with Lenin, who had im­mediately exterminated non-Bolshevik opponents of the old regime and especially the student factions. It was impossible any longer to distinguish the Communist liquidation apparatus from the Nazi.

Yet Solzhenitsyn went still further. He said that not only Stalinism, not only Leninism, not only Communism — but socialism itself led to the concentration camps; and not only socialism, but Marxism; and not only Marxism but any ideology that sought to reorganize morality on an a priori basis. Sadder still, it was impossible to say that Soviet socialism was not “real socialism.” On the contrary — it was socialism done by experts!

Why are we surprised that the socialists running the increasingly corporatist business world take their cues from — and overlook the myriad horrors of — socialism done by today’s experts?

OPEN THREAD: Enjoy!

QUESTION ASKED AND ANSWERED:

Shot:

Chaser: Scientists Claim to Spot Fungus Growing on Mars in NASA Rover Photos. “Fungi thrive in radiation intense environments.”

The researchers did caveat their findings, pointing out that “similarities in morphology are not proof of life,” and that “we cannot completely rule out minerals, weathering, and unknown geological forces that are unique to Mars and unknown and alien to Earth.”

But it’s a wild conclusion nonetheless. The researchers’ peers will likely go over the paper with a fine-toothed comb, and likely shred the results — it’s not every day that researchers are willing to stick out their necks and claim to have found evidence of life on Mars.

Well, stay tuned.

SPACE JUNK: China’s huge rocket booster falling from space highlights orbital debris problem.

Related: Here’s a piece that Rob Merges and I wrote on space debris a while back.

GLENN TRIES IT: So I bought Glenn a bottle of the men’s shaving soap from Old Post Road Oils that has a listing at Helen’s Page. It showed up by USPS a few days later and I gave it to him. He read the instructions, used it for a few days and pronounced it “the best shave I have ever had.” His face is smooth and the soap smells amazing. It comes in Sandalwood and Bay Rum which sounds awesome too. The soap had been sold out thanks to all of you buying it but is now back in stock and you can also get the men’s set which comes with the soap and shaving oil together. The shaving oil will probably be my next purchase for Glenn.

Anyway, everything is stocked up and you can get the the products directly from Old Post Road Oils here and here.

NOWADAYS IT SEEMS NEWSWORTHY WHEN ANYONE IS PUNISHED FOR THIS: 41 Months in Prison for Arson of Minneapolis Police Station, Theft. Plus: “ATF is committed to investigating the civil unrest arsons of 2020 that occurred throughout the Twin Cities.”

IT’S LIKE YAWNING, SORT OF: ‘Chameleon effect’ and smartphone use: Spontaneous mimicry in social situations.

I’M SO OLD I CAN REMEMBER WHEN EVERYONE WAS WORRIED ABOUT SCHOOL SHOOTINGS AND WANTED POLICE IN SCHOOL. KPD will pull officers out of Knox County Schools this summer while school security needs are reevaluated. Literally because a student with a gun was killed fighting with cops, in what was obviously a legitimate shooting.

More reason for Knoxvillians to attend private school, or homeschool, or online school. And everyone else.

JUST A REMINDER IF YOU’RE A YALE ALUMN: Please vote for my Knoxville friend Victor Ashe in the ongoing Yale Corporation elections. He’ll be a breath of fresh air in a place that really needs it.

CIVIL RIGHTS UPDATE: Texas Senate advances bill allowing handguns without license.

So you shouldn’t need a permit to carry a gun. But as a matter of politics, I don’t know if this is 100% good. People who have invested in carry permits are a self-identified interest group, who’ll fight restrictions. The public at large is less so. Are there enough dedicated carriers in the general public to offset that? Probably, but not certainly.

On the other hand, a major part of the anti-gun campaign was to denormalize gun ownership. Guns on hips in public certainly put an end to that. Meanwhile, I’d like to see businesses that ban people from carrying guns on their property made guarantors of their safety.

MONEY FOR SPACE LAW AND SPACE LAWYERS! How would actual alien spacecraft influence asset prices?

HMM: Moderna says vaccine booster looks promising against COVID-19 variants.

I think the “variants” are being oversold, but I could be wrong. But if Moderna requires a booster, while Pfizer is 95% effective against at least one variant, then that’s a reason to favor Pfizer I’d think.

JOSH BLACKMAN: The Per Curiam Facebook Oversight Board:

We are left with a per curiam decision that refers to an unnamed “minority” view. Really, this opinion is not a law review article. Most forms of scholarship are signed. We have no idea who wrote this opinion. We have no idea who disagreed with it. For all we know, Michael McConnell, the lone conservative in the group, dissented. We will never find out. I suppose one of the plus sides is that the authors will be immune from public criticism for their decision. And they will not be trolled online for their actions–unlike virtually everyone else in the world. One of the reasons why tenure protections are afforded is to promote judicial independence. But now, the Oversight Board hides behind a fancy moniker.

Finally, one other note on the substantive issue. For the reasons Eugene explained, I am sensing a schism. More and more libertarians are trending towards the position that social media companies should be treated similar to phone companies. These sites seem to be viewed as different in kind from other types of private entities. These tech giants may be viewed as expressive forums, as distinguished from government-designated public forums. I hope to write more about this issue in due course.

Plus, some thoughts from Randy Barnett. Also, it says a lot about the pernicious role of social media today that the members of the Oversight Board are left unnamed so they won’t face rabid personal attacks on social media. . .

SHOCKER: Facebook’s ‘independent’ board stocked with Trump haters.

HMM: Zhe ‘Shelly’ Wang: Who is Bill Gates’ interpreter? She also works for Yale and Harvard. “While it’s currently unclear why, Wang is seeing a surge of public interest in her name, which is closely associated with Bill’s in popular online search engines.”

WOKENESS HAS COME FOR ADOPTION:  “It’s the children who will suffer.”

There’s a long history to this stuff.  The National Association of Black Social Workers has vehemently opposed inter-racial adoptions for many decades.

DISRUPTING THE SCRIPT: Why Doing the Unexpected Aids in Self Defense.

CANCEL CULTURE IS ALL IN YOUR MIND: Today’s blacklisted American: Football coach fired for criticizing Democrat.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Eight Lovely AR-15 Facts (#7 Is the Best) You Need to Argue With a Lib.

I BLAME THE CONFLICTING AND DISHONEST STATEMENTS FROM OUR PUBLIC HEALTH LEADERSHIP: Parents Are Reluctant to Get Their Children Vaccinated for Covid-19, Poll Shows.

It’s also the case that kids seldom get sick, and seldom spread Covid. So the risk calculus is different than for, say, 70-year-olds.

And I’m increasingly annoyed with people who act like herd immunity can only be reached by vaccination. It can — and will — be reached by natural infections, in time. For high risk people it’s better to take the shot than to get infected. For low-risk people, that’s not so clear. But either way, enough of the population will eventually have immunity.

Plus, don’t you know they were disappointed not to be able to blame dads here: “Fathers are becoming more accepting, with their resistance falling to 11 percent from 14 percent since February. But over a quarter of mothers, researchers said, still say they are ‘extremely unlikely’ to vaccinate their children. Both genders are more resistant to the vaccine for younger children than for teenagers. Other research shows that mothers tend to have more sway over the final decision than fathers.”

Look, if you don’t want to vaccinate your kid for whooping cough or measles, you’re an idiot. But the calculus here is different, and there’s nothing crazy about what these women are thinking.

THURSDAY AT 3:30PM EASTERN: ‘Five O’Clock Somewhere’ Live Chat with Kruiser, Preston, VodkaPundit.

Hot takes, cold drinks, good cheer.

FED UP: Texas House Passes ‘Urban Camping’ Ban. “Interesting that such a significant number of Hispanic Democrats back the ban.”

AS A LEGENDARY COMMUNITY ORGANIZER ADVISES, PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: College Soccer Player Suing Coach Who Benched Her After She Refused to Kneel During Protest.

The conflict escalated at a September 12 game against the University of Virginia, when [Kiersten] Hening’s teammates knelt during the reading of a unity pledge developed by the Atlantic Coast Conference‘s committee for racial and social justice. Hening remained standing, an act she claims sparked a “campaign of abuse.”

According to Hening, she was “verbally attacked” by her coach at halftime. Adair “singled her out and directly attacked her, pointing a finger in her face,” the lawsuit reads. “He denounced Hening for ‘bitching and moaning,’ for being selfish and individualistic, and for ‘doing her own thing.'”

Adair then benched Hening. Before the incident, she acted as a media spokesperson for the team and had played the most minutes of any athlete on the team. At the September 12 game, however, she played a total of five minutes.

Hening alleges she was continuously targeted by Adair and received considerably fewer minutes of playing time in ensuing games. By September 20, she had reached her breaking point: “Coach Adair’s campaign of abuse and retaliation made conditions for Hening so intolerable that she felt compelled to resign,” her lawsuit states. “Hening did not want to leave.”

In March, Hening filed the federal lawsuit against Adair, claiming his treatment violated her right to expressive conduct protected by the First and 14th Amendments. “Hening’s stance was costly—too costly,” the suit reads, “Her coach dislikes Hening’s political views. Because she refused to kneel, he benched her, subjected her to repeated verbal abuse, and forced her off the team.”

Hening is suing Adair for undisclosed compensatory, punitive, and nominal damages. She also is seeking reinstatement on the soccer team and requesting that Adair receives training on the First Amendment.

Heh, indeed,™ on that last item.

Evergreen:

 

FINALLY: Blue Origin will fly first crew to space in July.

IT’S THE DEMOGRAPHY, STUPID: Number of Births in U.S. Hits Lowest Mark Since 1979.

(Classical reference in headline.)

YES. Newsweek Op-Ed: Wokism Is Systemic Racism.

VODKAPUNDIT PRESENTS YOUR DAILY INSANITY WRAP: Liz Cheney Takes Her ‘True Conservative’ Message to… The Washington Post?

Insanity Wrap needs to know: Will the real Liz Cheney please stand up?

Answer: We were hoping for “shut up,” but we’re just not that lucky.

Before we get to the sordid details, a quick preview of today’s Wrap.

  • The real Left and Right of American politics, in handy chart form
  • The two times you really just ought to let the police around you, in handy video form
  • Liz Cheney’s post-Congressional career, in handy tweet form

Bonus Sanity: Texas passes statewide law banning CRT.

And so much more at the link, you’d have to be crazy to miss it.

MORE DATA: Study sheds more light on rate of rare blood clots after Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. “The findings show slightly increased rates of vein blood clots including clots in the veins of the brain, compared with expected rates in the general population. However, the researchers stress that the risk of such adverse events is considered low.”

MOLON LABE: Samantha Bee Wants to ‘Take Your Guns.’ “Bee’s upcoming show is just part of the comedy Left’s war on guns.”

I’m so old I remember when comedy was funny.

TRUNALIMUNUMAPRZURE! What’s up with Biden’s bizarre train story?

FACTS YOU LIKELY DON’T KNOW ABOUT JERUSALEM: It is holy to three faiths, but as Jeff Dunetz points out on The Lid, there is much more about the city that most people don’t know. For instance, Jerusalem has been conquered and reconquered but did you know this about one of those conquests?

“It is noteworthy that an earlier capture of Jerusalem by the Greek-Egyptian King Ptolemy, son of Lagus, provided an opportunity for the obscure Agatharchides of Cnidus (second century BCE) to remark about the fact that the people of Jerusalem, who inhabited the most strongly fortified of cities, lost their city because they would not defend it on the Sabbath,” Dunetz writes.

And why am I pointing this out? Because Sunday, May 9 is an important day in modern history:

“Sunday night, May 9th, 2021 begins the day-long Israeli holiday called Yom Yerushalayim, which celebrates the reunification of the holy city during the six-day war in 1967, It’s a day that should be celebrated by Muslims, Christians, and Jews as the city is holy to those faiths. And unlike before 1967, when the city was occupied by Jordan, under Israeli rule holy sites are open to all faiths.”

IF “CHINESE VIRUS” IS RACIST, WHY ISN’T “BRITISH VARIANT?” Israel study finds Pfizer vaccine 95% effective, even against ‘British’ variant.

SCIENCE, UNSETTLED: Dunbar’s number debunked: Research suggests you can have more than 150 friends.

SANDY’S WAR (FOR MEDIA ATTENTION) ROLLS ON: Move over Marine Corps, AOC’s pushing for 1.5M-strong ‘Climate Corps.’

The moral equivalent of war has been the organizing principle of the left since the start of the 20th century, trapping them in the moral equivalent of a quagmire, with no sign of an exit strategy in sight. In response, Tim Blair is succinct: If radical environmentalism is refighting WWII, “Fair enough. Nuking Hiroshima it is, then.”

WHITE HOUSE FLUFF CORPS: Psaki-Worshipping Media Openly Roots for White House Spox.

GIVEN THEIR PREDICTIONS’ TRACK RECORD SO FAR, I’M UNIMPRESSED: CDC predicts spring peak in COVID-19 cases before ‘sharp’ decline in July.

SORRY SHE GOT CAUGHT: Kristen Clarke Regrets Attacking Senators Crucial to Her Nomination.

DISPATCHES FROM THE INTERSECTION OF THE K-12 IMPLOSION AND THE 1619 PROJECT: Why Are We Teaching Kids That America Was Always Racist? “Whoever Controls The Past Controls The Future. Whoever Controls The Present Controls The Past.”

AT CAFE HAYEK, a roundup of Covid links.

FASTER, PLEASE: Why COVID-19 May Be the Last Pandemic. Medical breakthroughs mean we will never again suffer through diseases like the novel coronavirus—if politicians will get out of the way. New video from Reason TV:

Related: Costs of Mitigation Efforts Vastly Outweigh Benefits for 89% of Population, Health Researchers Conclude.

KRUISER: Kyrsten Sinema Has the Guts to Keep Annoying Her Fellow Democrats. “Since taking office, the running joke with conservatives here is that Sinema is a better Republican than Jeff Flake, the squish she replaced. Low bar, I know, but not too far off base.”

JUST THINK OF THE MEDIA AS DEMOCRATIC PARTY OPERATIVES WITH CHYRONS, AND IT ALL MAKES SENSE: CNN and MSNBC Mostly Ignore Bombshell Report on Cuomo Nursing Home Cover Up.

Which is why: Andrew Cuomo will get away with it all.

Evergreen:


BUTCHERS ENDORSE SAUSAGE FACTORY: 5 Former IRS Commissioners Endorse Biden’s Tax Plan.

NO. NEXT QUESTION? Will national service create unity?

RETURN TO NORMALCY: Paycheck Protection Program runs dry for most loan applicants.

KEVIN DOWNEY JR: A Deep Dive into Mass Shooting Data (Rachel Maddow Hardest Hit).

SPACE: Blue Origin isn’t pricing its first launch seat—it’s auctioning it.

On Wednesday, Blue Origin officially announced that its first crewed flight to space is targeted for July 20, suggesting that its extended period of test flights is finally coming to an end. Rather than simply placing a seat on sale, however, the company announced it will auction one off, with the proceeds going to the company’s charity.

New Shepard flights will take passengers above much of the atmosphere and into space, then allow them an extended period of apparent weightlessness as the capsule free-falls back to Earth. The capsule itself is relatively spacious and is equipped with large windows and cushy-looking seats, which are clearly meant to make flight a pleasant experience. The free fall is followed by a parachute-assisted landing, with the booster performing a powered landing separately.

If that sounds like a compelling experience to you, your first chance to get in on it is via an auction for a single seat on its first crewed flight. You can get the process started now by submitting a bid at the Blue Origin website. On May 19, the highest bids will be unsealed, and any further online bidding will have to exceed an existing bid. On June 12, the auction will wrap up with live online bidding.

Sounds lovely, but will there be in-flight WiFi?

I REMEMBER WHEN HIGHER EDUCATION WAS SUPPOSED TO FOSTER TOLERANCE AND CRITICAL THOUGHT: White students on spring break is ‘colonial violence,’ campus journalist says.

I FEEL INFRINGED EVERY TIME I’M LUCKY ENOUGH TO FIND 9MM AT SOME OUTRAGEOUS PRICE: In the Democrats’ New Crime-Ridden America, You Can Buy Guns But You Can’t Find Ammo.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, RACISM EDITION: Campus paper Editor in Chief ‘couldn’t walk past a white person without shaking.’ This is the statement of a bigot, or a mentally ill person. Or both. Or of someone who’s just putting on a performance, as is usually the case in the “literally shaking” genre. Pathetic.

PRIVACY: Signal’s smartass ad exposes Facebook’s creepy data collection.

The resulting adverts can be eerily intimate and potentially harmful. Just last week, researchers found that Facebook had allowed advertisers to target teenage children interested in smoking, gambling, and extreme weight loss.

Signal’s plan was to use Facebook’s own tools to highlight these practices.

“The ad would simply display some of the information collected about the viewer which the advertising platform uses,” Signal said in a blog post. “Facebook was not into that idea.”

According to Signal, Facebook promptly disabled the ad account. Facebook denied that the account has been shut down and dismissed the ads as a publicity stunt. But Signal has maintained the claim.

The company also shared examples of what Facebook ads would look like if they were open about the targeting.

While it isn’t true that Facebook can access your phone’s mic, the company’s data-Hoovering is so complete that the ads you see will make you swear that they did.

Anyway, much more at the link.

GLEICHSCHALTUNG! ABA Mulls Racism, Bias Training Accreditation Requirement For Law Schools.

VACCINES: Patents Aren’t the Problem; Supply Chain Problems are the Problem.

Plus: “Plastic bags are a bigger bottleneck than patents. The US embargo on vaccine supplies to India was precisely that the Biden administration used the DPA to prioritize things like bioreactor bags and filters to US suppliers and that meant that India’s Serum Institute was having trouble getting its production lines ready for Novavax.”

Why does the Biden Administration want Indians to die?

UPDATE: Heh.

WELL, YES: Mary Grabar: American History Is Being Falsified to Sow Political Division.

The version of history the left/academia are serving up is the kind of history you’d impose on a conquered people whose will you were trying to break.

DOES LIZ CHENEY WANT TO LOSE HER LEADERSHIP SPOT? Jordan says ‘votes are there’ to oust Cheney from GOP leadership.

VACCINE MADNESS IN HONG KONG: A Hong Kong reader sends this:

Take for example a residential building in Hong Kong.
They found one case so they mandated a 21-day quarantine for every resident in the building.
Residents: “But we’ve taken the vaccine – both shots!”
HK Government: “We don’t care”.

So where is the incentive to take the vaccine?
Unless you are planning to travel, there is essentially zero motivation.

He’s prepared a helpful flow chart for navigating the system.

Not only does this remove the incentive to vaccinate, it provides a powerful incentive to avoid testing. But plenty of US jurisdictions would do this if they could get away with it, I expect.

DUMB: Basecamp FOLDS on Non-Woke Workplace Policy, Suspends Exec After Employee Cries. “Days after banning politics from the workplace to keep employees focused on their mission rather than distracted by wokeness, software firm Basecamp appears to have reversed course, suspending its chief strategist after he said he does not believe the company is white supremacist and after employees reportedly cried and screamed.”

The only thing my kids (when they were much younger) ever got for throwing a temper tantrum was a brief spanking — these so-called grownup crybullies deserved far worse.

SUPERB COVID ORIGINS READING LIST: Compiled by U.S. Right to Know, this list of credible analyses, news reports  and studies on the origins of the Covid-19 virus is continually updated. The evidence is becoming undeniable that the open-air meat market near the Wuhan lab had little or nothing to do with the spread of the disease from China to the entire world.

REALCLEARINVESTIGATIONS: Washington Post Toys With Its Readers On Fatal Police Shootings.

KRUISER’S MORNING BRIEF: The Democrats Want Your Ammo and Your Freedom. “I really wish I were being over the top about this but I read and stuff. This asterisked occupier administration continually exhibits a disdain for all of the freedom parts of the Constitution. They like the part where they can tax you to death but they hate almost everything else.”

ALEXANDER RILEY:  “The Origins of the Cruel Ritual of Diversity Training.”

So at the recommendation of Sarah Hoyt, I read Cry Bullies: Protecting yourself against social muggers and victimhood aggression and it was worth the time. It is a short read from a few years ago that packs a lot of information that is still relevant in dealing with the current lot of Karens, SJWs and beta males who think they run the show. They don’t. This book teaches you how to fight back by understanding the mindset of the social harasser and how to put a stop to their nonsense. The right tools and the will to fight back is the only way to deal with our current political climate. Better arm yourself. (Bumped)

JERRY STRATTON: Two weeks, and the madness of experts.

Last month we passed one year since the beginning of “two weeks to flatten the curve”. The curve was flattened. Hospitals were readied. Yet the two weeks never ended—in some cases, those ready hospitals had to shut down or fire employees while people outside were dying from lack of care. The experts decided that the process was the goal, and that our health—COVID-related and not—was secondary to the shutdowns and new regulatory powers.

At its heart, conservatism, like science, is a belief in the fallibility of experts. That the wisdom of millions of individuals acting in their own self-interest exceeds the wisdom and probity of experts trying to discern someone else’s best interests.

The left requires Jefferson’s magical angels of genius, who both know the best interests of others and who will not pretend that their own desires are the best interests of others.

Read the whole thing.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Some CEOs Suggest Dropping Degree Requirements in Hiring.

Millions of jobs requiring a four-year college degree can be done without that level of education, some corporate leaders say.

To address inequalities in business and society, some executives suggest that companies shake up their approach to hiring and consider unconventional candidates. Black Americans in particular are often left unprepared by the U.S. education system, and companies could help by hiring workers without a degree and giving them training, Kenneth Frazier, CEO of Merck & Co., said Tuesday at The Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council Summit.

“It’s really important for us to recognize that because people haven’t had an opportunity early in their lives, it doesn’t mean that they can’t make a real contribution to your company,” Mr. Frazier said. “We want to just recognize that, in some ways, this is a harder population, but, at the same time, if we’re committed to being the kind of country that we want to be, then this is something that business has to be willing to do.”

Higher education is the greatest engine of inequality in America today, with K-12 following close behind.

Plus: Subsidized privilege: The real scandal of American universities.

Related: To Reduce Inequality, Abolish The Ivy League.

WHO COULD HAVE IMAGINED THIS WOULD HAPPEN: Taliban attacks in Afghanistan are on the rise, Just the News’ Susan Katz Keating reports. Note her inclusion of the key difference between the withdrawal strategies of Trump and Biden. Susan and I worked together years ago at the Washington Times. Cloning her could save American journalism from its current death spiral into propaganda.

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

Matt Margolis: How Biased for Biden is PolitiFact? The Media Research Center Has the Receipts. (Hacks pretending to out hacks are the worst hacks.)

Bryan Preston: An Intriguing New Find Begs the Question: Will the Oak Island ‘Money Pit’ Mystery Ever Be Solved? “The mystery question still remains: What actually happened on Oak Island, and who did it? The show hasn’t answered that. It has found evidence that the Templar Knights or someone carrying a little lead cross identified with them and their regional base in France was there; evidence that the British military was there; evidence that the French military was there and built what appear to be some defensive fortifications; evidence that some of island’s stranger features are man-made as many treasure hunters have suspected; evidence that someone created a swamp for some reason several hundred years ago.” (After that, things get weird.)

Yours Truly: The Burgeoning Bureausclerosis. “If the law is an ass, as Charles Dickens noted almost two centuries ago, then the bureaucracy is an ass***.”

MAYBE SOCIAL SECURITY SHOULD BE BASED ON HOW MANY KIDS YOU HAVE: The U.S. Birthrate Has Dropped Again. The Pandemic May Be Accelerating the Decline. “Over all, the birthrate declined by 4 percent in 2020. Births were down most sharply in December, when babies conceived at the start of the health crisis would have been born.”

In the old days, this would have led to more kids. But now that everyone has birth control, simply jamming couples together with nothing to do doesn’t lead to more births. And economic uncertainty and social fear don’t help.

Of course, this is just a worsening of an existing trend: I was blogging about the coming global baby bust when InstaPundit was shiny and new: Fertility rate: ‘Jaw-dropping’ global crash in children being born.

Related: The Parent Trap.

Also: car seats as contraception: “Since 1977, U.S. states have passed laws steadily raising the age for which a child must ride in a car safety seat. These laws significantly raise the cost of having a third child, as many regular-sized cars cannot fit three child seats in the back. Using census data and state-year variation in laws, we estimate that when women have two children of ages requiring mandated car seats, they have a lower annual probability of giving birth by 0.73 percentage points. Consistent with a causal channel, this effect is limited to third child births, is concentrated in households with access to a car, and is larger when a male is present (when both front seats are likely to be occupied). We estimate that these laws prevented only 57 car crash fatalities of children nationwide in 2017. Simultaneously, they led to a permanent reduction of approximately 8,000 births in the same year, and 145,000 fewer births since 1980, with 90% of this decline being since 2000.”

FROM JAMES YOUNG:  Ride of the Late Rain.

“Ride of the Late Rain is a great read with well-crafted dialogue and outstanding, realistic battle scenes…”–Pop Cults.

“A captain’s first duty is to the Confederation..”–Confederation Fleet General Order #1

The destroyer Shigure is the oldest destroyer in the fleet…or so she seems. Equipped with a powerful, new device, the “Late Rain” is chosen for a special, dangerous project. With a young crew and modifications that makes her vessel not what she seems, Commander Leslie Hawkins presses into unknown space to examine structures detected by an Confederation Fleet survey vessel…and discovers that Mankind is not alone.

“Ride of the Late Rain” received an Honorable Mention in the Fall 2012 “Writer’s of the Future Contest.” Judges included Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle, Orson Scott Card, and Kevin J. Anderson. Its full length sequel, _An Unproven Concept_, is now available via Amazon in both electronic and hard copy, with the “Kraken Edition” consisting of this short story and the novel combined.

“Recommended” Rating from “Right Fans: Sci Fi from the Other Side” Blog.

THREE REASONS TO THINK TWICE ON GENE-EDITING: Wouldn’t it be great if cancer could be eliminated forever with gene-editing? Yes, but there may be other much less pleasant results we haven’t conceived, argues the Colson Center’s Brook McIntire, who offers three reasons to slow down, take a deep breath and think about what we’re doing and where we could be heading with this promising new technology,

WHAT PART OF YOU GET MORE OF WHAT YOU PAY FOR IS OPAQUE?  Why Our Current Approach To Work Is Unsustainable.

Right now, we’re paying people to be useless and helpless victims. Well, the government is. With my money.  And yours.

AS G-D AND HEINLEIN INTENDED:  Starship #15 launches AND lands successfully.

KNOW YOUR PLACE, PEASANT:  Today’s blacklisted American: Football coach fired for criticizing Democrat.

THE STARS ARE EMPTY, AND ALL THE ALIENS ARE IN DC:   Breakthrough Listen finds no signs of alien transmissions from 60 million stars.

SERIOUSLY, IF WE CAN’T ABOLISH PUBLIC EDUCATION, AT LEAST ABOLISH EDUCATION SCHOOLS ALREADY:  Find the racist teacher in this movie. clip.

AS I SAID: Remember “it’s for the environment” (graphic video warning).

IT WON’T WORK. IT HASN’T WORKED FOR YEARS:  Turning Opinion into Science Fact.

SO PEOPLE WILL BURN WOOD:  Victoria Announces the End of Affordable Home Heating, Because Climate Change.

Every single “climate saving initiative” has the opposite effect. Low water washers make me wash things three times. Low flush toilets have to be flushed multiple times. Low water dishwashers run for a longer time. Etc. etc. etc.

OH, IF IT WERE ONLY CIVILITY, BUT IT’S SANITY THAT’S DYING:  Public Civility is on Life Support – Beware its Death.

I keep running into increasingly crazy, out there behavior, from people I always thought were sane before. It’s getting…. weird.

NOT EVERY COUNTRY HAS LOST ITS MIND:  Olympic Committee Bans Black Lives Matter Apparel, Threatens to Punish Those Who Protest.

WELL…. THAT’S SPECIAL:  Biden Restaurant Relief Fund: White People Need Not Apply.

THEY HATE US AND FEAR US:  Biden Administration Denies Permit for Veterans’ Motorcycle Group to Hold Memorial Day Event.

And by us I mean Americans.

STATES SHOULD TOO. IT’S A VIOLATION OF PROPERTY RIGHTS:  Federal Judge Throws Out CDC Eviction Moratorium.

And it’s going to result in a ton less rental properties.

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