January 17, 2021

KURT SCHLICHTER: Refuse to Be Silenced.

Parler’s gone for now, the victim of a conspiracy to silence, but it will return. The fascists can try, but they can’t shut us up forever. Truth flows like water around obstacles. The Twitbookgram decided to start playing whack-a-prole to bonk unapproved ideas on the noggin and pretty soon too many heads will be popping up out of too many new holes. They will pop up on Gab, or Clouthub, or Dave Rubin’s Locals.com. People will find a way to be heard.

Once you leave their personal domains, the tech overlords become…irrelevant, and powerless.

Now, they can conspire, collaborate, and likely violate antitrust laws, though it is hilarious to assume that a Biden* DoJ will find anything out of sorts about that. The Democrat Party, and far too many Fredocon hacks in the GOP, are bought and paid for. They are happy to auction themselves off in a bidding war between Silicon Valley and Beijing. And there are a few remaining Muh Free Enterprisers who confuse capitalism and monopoly corporatism, and who are happy to surrender their sovereignty if their twisted principles so demand. But there is only so much the silicon villains can do. Eventually, some enterprising entrepreneur in Latvia is going to have a server farm no one in Cupertino can switch off.

They are shooting their wad, as far as the corporate tech censorship goes. It’s a hassle right now, but we will not be gagged. . . . Free speech, now and forever. No compromise, no exceptions, no excuses. It’s not enough to favor free speech – you must be affirmatively anti-censorship!

Read the whole thing.

OPEN THREAD: Are we having fun yet?

ANALYSIS: TRUE. China’s, Not Sweden’s Or Denmark’s, Is The Government Democrats Want. To be fair, the governments of Sweden and Denmark are largely non-corrupt, so why would the Democrats want to emulate them?

YOU CAN TELL WHO’S ON THE PAYROLL, OR AT LEAST ON THE TEAM: Why Doesn’t Twitter Ban the Chinese Government for Their Lies About Forced Labor?

Our tech oligarchs admire the Chinese, want to make America more like China, and cover for their allies and the other big corporations who do business with them.

NOT SO SURE CONSUMERS WILL BE ENTHUSIASTIC ABOUT MORE BIG-TECH “MONITORING.” My Doctor the Car? Future Cars Might Monitor Drivers’ Health and Wellbeing.

IT’S COME TO THIS: More U.S. Military Troops Needed To Install Joe Biden Than We Have in Afghanistan.

Related: Biden builds the wall! A 12-Foot Wall Is Going Up Around The Capitol To Protect Joe Biden And That’s Weird Because I’ve Been Repeatedly Told By Dems Like Joe Biden That Walls Are Immoral.

More: Federal prisons locked down ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration.

Last link found via Kenny Webster, who asks, “I’m sorry, the federal prisons weren’t locked down before the inauguration? Did they use an honor system with the prisoners or something?”

WE’RE PUTTING THE BAND BACK TOGETHER: Biden Is Already Rewarding Failure.

AFP reported Saturday that Biden has appointed Wendy Sherman, whose chief claim to fame is negotiating the notorious Iran nuclear deal, to be deputy secretary of state. It’s a classic example of failing up.

Biden said of Sherman and anti-Russia career diplomat Victoria Nuland, whom he named undersecretary for political affairs, that they “have secured some of the most defining national security and diplomatic achievements in recent memory. I am confident that they will use their diplomatic experience and skill to restore America’s global and moral leadership. America is back.”

And file this under “#Unity:” Bracing for the “flurry” of Biden’s day one executive orders.

BOMB CANADA: THE CASE FOR WAR. North Vancouver councillor says pickup truck is ‘glorification of violence’, ‘petro masculinity.’

Has he ever been to Texas? That pickup would be considered a subcompact here. Great response from Jesse Kelly, by the way:

Flashbacks: Boston Globe opinion columnist Renee Graham in October:

“The top 3 best selling vehicles in America are pick-ups. Question to reporters: do you personally know someone that owns one?”, Ace of Spades’ John Ekdahl asked on Twitter at the beginning of 2017. As Sean Davis of the Federalist noted in his article on that seemingly innocuous tweet, “Watch A Bunch Of Journalists Freak Out After Being Asked If They Know Anybody Who Drives A Truck.”

And from an MSM journalist this past August: “Sales of mega-pickups, which have basically been deliberately designed to intimidate and kill pedestrians, are booming.”

(Classical reference in headline.)

SINCE THE ELECTION, THINGS HAVEN’T EXACTLY GOTTEN MORE NORMAL SO FAR: Joe Biden’s presidency could make America normal again.

Flashback: Sorry, there will be no return to normalcy under Joe Biden.

Related: Welcome to Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer’s new abnormal.

FLORIDA FAN: Former NYS Dem Party head gets vaccinated — in Florida.

SOMEHOW, IT’S TWITTER’S COMPETITION THAT GETS DEPLATFORMED: Why Was Parler Censored by Its Competitors?

OUT: CAMPERS. IN: GLAMPERS. 2021 Mercedes-Benz Metris Weekender: Four-Wheeled Escapism.

VIETNAM WAR ‘NAPALM GIRL’ PHOTOGRAPHER DEFIES BACKLASH RISK AND ACCEPTS AWARD AT WHITE HOUSE; is assaulted following night. AP photographer Nick Ut and Trump “had met before, in Los Angeles, before Trump was elected president. Ut recalled in his essay that Trump ‘loved my picture of Vietnam. He said to me: ‘Nick, your picture changed the world.’”

There are plenty of myths surrounding that iconic photo; read the whole thing.

FLORIDA MAN FINDING STRANGE NEW RESPECT FOR OREGON MAN: Police say Oregon man who stole a car with a child in the backseat came back and ‘lectured’ the mom about parenting.

SLS UNDERPERFORMS: NASA’s moon rocket roars to life during shortened test-firing. There’s nothing wrong with a test that “fails,” of course. That’s how you learn. But SLS has been a series of failures, and the learning isn’t obvious.

UPDATE: A friend emails: “That static fire was the first time in the program that something finished ahead of schedule.”

CHANGE: New therapeutic approaches for SARS-CoV-2. Ivermectin looks promising, and a lot of doctors seem to be prescribing it already.

THE GEEK IN PICTURES: PRE-CRASH EDITION.

As David P. Goldman, aka “Spengler” wrote yesterday at PJM: Bidenomics Will Bankrupt Us.

WELL, GOOD: Saliva-based COVID-19 tests as accurate as those using nose, throat samples.

LISTS, PURGES, AND CRIMINALIZING OPPOSITION ARE THE LEFT’S HALLMARKS: The left’s ‘urge to purge’ response to the Capitol assault.

COLLUSION: Another University Professor Charged In China Ties, Grant Fraud. “I’m not sure how many more of these we need to see before we realize that we’ve got a very serious China problem on our hands and it has nothing to do with their military (or at least not much) or their control of the global supply chain, though that’s a disaster of its own. China has been stocking up our country with spies and shoveling technological secrets out by the bucketload. Some of their biggest bases of operation are found in our universities, where their money allows them to get their hooks into American liberals who are very hungry for that sweet, sweet, Chinese cash cow.”

This time it’s at MIT.

AS ALWAYS, LIFE IMITATES THE EARLIER, FUNNIER SEASONS OF SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE: Episode 2: Barbarians at the Oval.

The White House became a strange ghost town in the days after the election. Trump’s schedule — already unstructured — became more so. It was impossible to shift his focus from his grievances about the election to important policy matters. In conversations in the Oval Office, Trump would occasionally slip and seem to acknowledge he lost, saying, “Can you believe I lost to that fucking guy? That fucking corpse?”

Jon Lovitz as Michael Dukakis in SNL’s 1988 parody of the second Bush-Dukakis debate: “I can’t believe I’m losing to this guy!”

MARK STEYN: Shaidle Among the Stars.

A week ago today, I had the sad duty of announcing the death of our irreplaceable movie columnist Kathy Shaidle. Kathy wrote everything from poetry to The Weekly World News‘s “Ed Anger” column and was a piercingly clear-headed thinker on almost any subject, as you can see in our video compilation of her appearances on The Mark Steyn Show. I hope you’ll also read Laura Rosen Cohen’s touching remembrance of our never-to-be-forgotten friend.

Last Saturday in this space, I rounded up a few autobiographical asides from Kathy’s movie columns, little glimpses of her life and her world. But of course that’s not why someone writes about film: You do it because you have something to say about the picture, the writing, the direction, the stars… So what follows are a few of my favorite Shaidle insights on some of the players who caught her beady eye.

Read the whole thing.

BUT I WAS TOLD THAT THE WUHAN CORONAVIRUS WAS SPREADING SO WIDELY BECAUSE PEOPLE WEREN’T TAKING PROPER PRECAUTIONS: COVID-19 protection measures likely limiting flu spread.

BETTY WHITE TURNS 99 SUNDAY: She’s no ‘egomaniac,’ COVID-19 is ‘afraid’ of her.

Damn straight it is. But if by chance Covid does kill her, it’s time to go full Linebacker II on Beijing.

BUT IT WAS IGNORED, OR CHEERED ON, BY THE PEOPLE WHO ARE NOW SCREAMING “INSURRECTION:” Flashback: Violence flares in Washington during Trump inauguration. “Black-clad activists among hundreds of demonstrators protesting Donald Trump’s swearing-in on Friday clashed with police a few blocks from the White House, in an outburst of violence rare for an inauguration. . . . In the violence, knots of activists in black clothes and masks threw rocks and bottles at officers wearing riot gear, who responded with volleys of tear gas and stun grenades as a helicopter hovered low overhead.”

LIKE CLOCKWORK: On Bill Maher Show, Katie Couric Says Romney ‘Seems Like Nelson Mandela At This Point.’

Which seems like an awfully strange comparison for a completely objective journalist who is no way a Democratic Party operative with a byline to make, considering that President Elect Biden assured me that he was going to put black people “back in chains” in 2012.

JOSEPH EPSTEIN: The Making of a Misogynist.

The misogynist of my title, as Flaubert said of Madame Bovary, c’est moi. I became America’s most notable one on Saturday morning, December 12, upon the release of an 800-or-so-word op-ed I wrote in the Wall Street Journal published under the title “Is There a Doctor in the White House? Not If You Need an M.D.” I had written the piece to get what I thought a minor pet peeve off my chest: the affectation of the president-elect’s wife in calling herself, and insisting that everyone else refer to her as, “Dr. Jill Biden.” She is not a physician; rather, she was awarded a degree by a graduate school of education. What I thought was a fairly light bit of prose whose intentions were chiefly comic set off a forest fire of anger toward, abuse of, and outright hatred for its author. It proves you can be a naïf even at the age of 83.

Nearly 5,000 readers wrote online to the Wall Street Journal to argue about my op-ed. My name “trended,” as they say, number one on Twitter. The New York Times published a full-blown article about it, as did the Guardian in England. My local (that is, Chicago) press and television channels ran stories about it. It was discussed on MSNBC, Fox News, CNN, and on Stephen Colbert’s late-night show, where Mrs. Biden deplored “the tone” and said, “One of the things I love most is my doctorate…. I worked so hard for it.” Meanwhile, the English Department at Northwestern University, where I taught for 30 years, flushed me down Orwell’s memory hole by taking my name off its website and sending out an online message disassociating itself from my “noxious” and “misogynistic” views.

Read the whole thing.

LET IT BE: Jailed music producer Phil Spector dies at 81. “In 2009, he was convicted of the 2003 murder of Hollywood actress Lana Clarkson. His death was confirmed by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.”

Spector produced the last album the Beatles issued as a group, 1970’s Let It Be (though Abbey Road, their true swan song, was recorded after the Let It Be sessions of early 1969), after being given the master tapes by John Lennon. As longtime Beatles producer George Martin drolly commented to EMI’s management when he wasn’t given a credit on Let It Be, “I produced the original, and what you should do is have a credit saying ‘Produced by George Martin, over-produced by Phil Spector.’”

UPDATE: Five Artists Reportedly Held at Gunpoint by Phil Spector.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Bugatti Veyron Basic Maintenance Can Cost Upwards of $50,000 a Year.

The upside is pretty amazing though:

REST ASSURED, HE WILL BE IGNORED: Former Democratic Leader Tom Daschle Warns Against Trump Impeachment.

DETROIT REPORTER TRIES TO EXPOSE LIONS COACHING CANDIDATE, GETS EXPOSED HIMSELF:

Now, as you guys know, OutKick doesn’t believe in outing people to play gotcha and have them fired over tweets. Nobody should be firing Alter or trying to prevent Campbell from getting a job. The human resource executives can sit this one out.

It would just be nice if Alter acknowledged his own past in his report on Campbell. All it would take is a brief passage at the bottom of the story where Alter says, “On more than one occasion, I have used ‘fag’ on social media.”

That’s it. Just be fair and balanced, Marlowe.

“I apologize for the unacceptable tweets from my past. There is no excuse for the language I used and I’m embarrassed. I do not condone that language. I’m sorry to anyone I have offended and deeply regret my actions,” Marlowe tweeted Friday night.

Now we need to hear from Marlowe on if he thinks Campbell should be disqualified from the Lions job. Go ahead Marlowe, say it.

It gets worse from there.

Flashbacks:

Twitter says it wants to solve the “journalists’ careers end because someone digs up an old tweet” problem.

Mutually Assured Cancellation.

BLESSED ARE THE PEACEMAKERS: Trump receives Morocco’s highest award for Middle East work. “The United States in the last five months helped broker deals between Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco. The agreements are aimed at normalizing relations and opening economic ties.”

FIGHT THE POWER: Columbia law professor uses anti-male bias lawsuit to roll back the administrative state. This is Phil Hamburger’s New Civil Liberties Alliance, on whose board I serve.

RIOTS IN THE AGE OF MORAL NARCISSISM: Selfie-Snapping Capitol Hill Rioters Leave FBI a Trail of Over 140,000 Images.

And won’t have Kamala Harris to bail them out this time around, unlike Minneapolis rioters.

Related:

Flashback: Hundreds of rioters destroyed property, set fires during Trump’s 2017 inauguration, and all charges were dropped.

(Classical reference in headline.)

CAMPUS HATE: Prof: ‘All’ Republicans are ‘guilty’ of Capitol attack; should be ‘forced to shut the hell up.’

To be fair, this is the left’s message right now. They’re very big on forcing people to shut up.

OUT ON A LIMB: No, AOC, It’s Not the Government’s Job to ‘Rein in Our Media.’

LINCOLN PROJECT FOUNDER ACCUSED OF HARASSMENT, GROOMING.

I CERTAINLY HOPE SO: A new crop of Texas-led lawsuits awaits Joe Biden’s White House.

HMMMM: Ex-Florida data scientist Rebekah Jones ‘turning herself in’ to face new charge.

In a series of tweets Saturday, Jones alleged the state failed to connect her to a message sent on the state’s emergency management system last year calling on civil servants to blow the whistle on Gov. Ron DeSantis’ COVID-19 pandemic response. That had been the basis for a search warrant executed by armed FDLE agents of Jones’ home on Dec. 7 where they seized phones, computers and memory drives.

“The state has issued a warrant for my arrest – even though the ‘crime’ is not related to the warrant,” Jones tweeted Saturday, referring to the December search warrant.

“To protect my family from continued police violence, and to show that I’m ready to fight whatever they throw at me, I’m turning myself into police in Florida Sunday night. The Governor will not win his war on science and free speech. He will not silence those who speak out,” she tweeted.

Flashbacks: From last month: Florida Police Raid Home Of Fired State Covid-19 Data Scientist Rebekah Jones.

About ten officers with guns drawn raided her home in Tallahassee at around 8:30 a.m., Jones told CNN, as the Florida Department of Law Enforcement worked to execute a search warrant as part of an investigation into whether the data scientist accessed a state government messaging system without authorization to encourage employees to speak out about coronavirus deaths, according to an affidavit obtained by the network.

“It’s time to speak up before another 17,000 people are dead,” the November 10 message said, according to the affidavit. “You know this is wrong. You don’t have to be part of this. Be a hero. Speak out before it’s too late.”

* * * * * * * *

She said officers also “pointed a gun six inches from my face” and took all of her “hardware and tech” including her computers, phone and flash drives that she says contained “proof that (state officials) were lying in January about things like internal reports and notices from the CDC” and “evidence of illegal activities by the state.” She said that she accessed those reports legally and some had been sent to her by other people after she was removed from her position.

Rick Swearingen, the law enforcement department’s commissioner, said in a statement that “at no time were weapons pointed at anyone in the home.”

And from May: Rebekah Jones’ firing is the COVID clickbait the media dreams of – but it’s all fake.

Jones also has an extensive criminal history in Leon County, where she’s been arrested and charged with three felonies, including one for robbery, and a handful of misdemeanor cases including “sexual cyberstalking,” a case where she created a website and used it to sexually harass her ex-boyfriend. The website has been taken down, but images from the case exist in Leon County court records.

Most of the charges filed against her came after she was hired by the Department of Health, so they would not have turned up in any background check.

The bottom line: Rebekah Jones was fired for performance issues, not for “refusing to manipulate data.” And her extensive criminal history, which predates her employment in Florida, lends credence to the DeSantis administration that she was just a troublesome employee who is now disgruntled and trying to get media attention about her firing. The easiest way to get media attention right now is to claim a Republican elected official is involved in a conspiracy to cover up COVID-19 data detrimental to reopening the state economy.

The media outlets listed above will not issue retractions. They will double down on the idea that DeSantis’s administration is withholding / manipulating / deleting / altering data. That, too is totally false. But mark these words, the embarrassment of touting Rebekah Jones as their coronavirus martyr will quickly fade into the mainstream media memory hole.

But hey, good enough to be named Forbes’ 2020 ‘Tech Person of the Year.’

JOSH HAMMER: Trump’s Parting Shot To China Should Be Full U.S. Recognition of Taiwan.

President Donald Trump’s two greatest foreign policy accomplishments both involve departures from outmoded paradigms that had, for decades, enraptured bipartisan neoliberal elites: unprecedented Arab-Israeli rapprochement in the Middle East and an assertive China containment strategy in the Asia-Pacific. On the former front, Trump boldly departed from the misbegotten “inside-out” conflict resolution approach, which elevated to the forefront the need for Israeli capitulation to Palestinian-Arab intransigence; on the latter front, Trump became the first president since Richard Nixon’s famous 1972 trip to China to openly call into question our relationship with that ascendant, hegemonic Communist regime.

The key difference is that, as Trump prepares to ride off into the sunset, progress on the latter is likely at greater risk of a prompt post-inauguration reversal from his Democratic successor. The physical moving of the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, one of the Trump administration’s myriad displays of staunch friendship with the Jewish state, is unlikely to be undone. Nor would any sane politician seek to nix the Abraham Accords, the series of landmark peace deals between Israel and Islamic nations that the administration helped negotiate. But pugnacious China-skeptical rhetoric, hardline opposition to Huawei’s emergent 5G telecommunications network and harsh tariffs on Chinese imports are the sort of moves that would be all too easy for a longtime China dove, such as Joe Biden, to quickly reverse.

In order to help box in his successor and secure the continuity of our long-overdue recalibration with our preeminent 21st-century geopolitical threat, there is one farewell action above all that would stick in the craw of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and redound to America’s substantive benefit. Trump ought to formally recognize Taiwan (also known as the Republic of China) as an independent state, distinct from the Beijing-based regime—and he must do so, with all the diplomatic accoutrements such a formal recognition entails, posthaste.

Read the whole thing.

WOKE GOVERNMENT IS WHAT THEY GIVE YOU WHEN THEY CAN’T BE BOTHERED TO GIVE YOU GOOD GOVERNMENT: Poll shows New Yorkers want their new mayor to fix NYC — not spout ‘wokeness.’

BUT THAT’S ONE OF BIDEN’S STRONGEST VOTING BLOCS!  Prisons locked down ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration.

OVER TWO YEARS OF BATTLING TO GET RECOGNITION:  Westchester teen wins battle to start conservative school club.

And a note to Alexandria Occasional Cortex: Honeychild, you have your work cut out for you. Apparently nowadays “white supremacists” come in all colors.  Or perhaps they’re just sentience-supremacists. In which case it sucks to be you.

I AM AS I SWORE TO BE, A DEFENDER OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES:  Blacklists are back and the Democrats have got ’em.

And these Marxian totalitarians can gaze lovingly on my middle fingers. Behold! A matched pair.

SHOCKED, SHOCKED, SHOCKED!  Another professor arrested for hiding ties to China.

Oh, deary me. My stars and garters.

WELL, OF COURSE THEY DO:  Twitter Allows Chinese Propaganda to Remain.

Apropos nothing, btw, so I was re-reading Heinlein’s The Sixth Column the other day…..

WELL, OF COURSE:  Pelosi Proves Again She Wants To Wear The Crown.

Would-be socialist and communist systems, like any oligarchy, are a continuous, internal battle for the top stop.  The top spot is the only one in which you are relatively (very relatively for anyone who spent a long period of years watching the May Day parades on TV) safe for any time at all. They all want the top spot. And will do anything to get it.

OH, THE POCKETBOOK WAS PART OF IT: HuffPo: Trump Supporters’ Main Problem Was Never The Economy.

But I take the point. The peons should not have the money for even small luxuries.  Also note “the insurrectionists wore costumes.”
Dear Lord. The future historians, if there are future historians, will laugh themselves sick over this nonsense.
Dear left, no matter how many papier mache puppets you deployed in the service of your causes, you were never serious revolutionaries.  You were privileged, elite common or garden variety idiots putting on a show of outrage and revolution for your peers.

And the people in “costumes” at the capitol were just …. people letting steam off. Not serious insurrectionists or revolutionaries of any kind. The greatest danger for Pelosi was catching buffalo lice or something.

WELL, WE DIDN’T: Don’t Just Resist—Insist!

We let the toddler get away with stealing the entire candy isle.  Now it’s going to be a very rocky road better to some kind of normalcy and representative republic. To allude to Doctor Peterson, “Never let your political opponents become people you legitimately hate.” Now it’s too late, and all we can do is salvage it.

EVERYTHING:  National Guard At The Capitol – What Could Go Wrong?

They’re scared. They’re not too bright.  For a while dad volunteered to cull the feral pigs that would invade agricultural land.  And he told us over and over again there is nothing quite so dangerous as a wounded and dying boar. Which is what the American left is. No high flying ideals, no persuasive arguments, no brilliant operators: all they have left is greedy kleptocrats in the pay of a foreign power.  They’re terrified of the changing world. And they intend to make sure we die first.

POSSIBLY. BUT I STILL THINK THEY’RE SCARED:  Aslan at the Stone Table.

THESE ARE NOT NORMAL PEOPLE:  RATIO ALERT: NYT journo shocked to discover that ‘regular humans’ use zip ties for ‘legal’ purposes.

They’re the pampered and coddled children of privilege, almost impossibly divorced from toil and effort.
Someone on Facebook was screaming at me, just the other day, that of course it was an attempted revolution and they wanted to kidnap and kill legislators. Why else would they have zip ties in their possession?
If I can figure out where my husband put these very dangerous implements, (he had them last) I have some rose bushes to bind. I don’t intend to kill the rose bushes, note. Though granted I probably will, since I have an anti-green-thumb. As you see,t his proves the left’s case. Or something.

AND THIS ONE IS MINE:  The Stink Of Fear.

WELL, THERE ARE TWO TAKES ON THIS: Fear.

IN THE FIELDS I KNOW, SHE’S RIGHT:  Everything Is Broken.

January 16, 2021

IT WILL NOT BE HEEDED, BECAUSE THE REGIME IS GOING TO BE FILLED WITH IRANIAN SYMPATHIZERS: Henry Kissinger’s wise warning to Joe Biden on the Iran nuke deal.

OPEN THREAD. “15 years ago, the Internet was an escape from real life. Now real life is an escape from the Internet.” Discuss.

JUST BUY ‘EM FROM CHINA. JOE BIDEN SAYS THE CHINESE ARE OUR FRIENDS. Report: U.S. military space programs at risk of losing domestic sources of key components.

LIFE IS TOUGH ALL OVER: The Pandemic Has Made Dating Difficult, Even For a Rhinoceros.

HOUSEHOLD COVID UPDATE: So it’s been nearly a month since I showed the first symptoms, such as they were — my symptoms were barely identifiable as anything in particular for the most part — and the worst part of it was probably just feeling vaguely weak, tired, and achy for a couple of weeks. (Even that wasn’t very specific, since as a middle-aged man who lifts weights, I’m tired and achy a lot anyway). But everything seems back to normal now. Helen and I both took an antibody test, and to my non-surprise even though she had tested negative for Covid on the PCR test, she was positive on antibodies, as was I. She had very similar symptoms, and for whatever reason she tends to get false-negative results on a lot of tests for infections. We both feel fine now, at least to the point where any remaining malaise or “blahs” can just as easily be explained by cold gray weather and a depressing political situation. I’m still taking low-dose aspirin, but I’m going to start tapering off it. I’m going to look into how to donate convalescent plasma, too, though apparently that’s more complicated (even in the signing-up process) than just giving blood.

Anyway, I’d say we were lucky, but really we probably had a close to median Covid experience: Worse than the 30-40% who have no identifiable symptoms, but better than the people who are sicker. We’re certainly glad to have not been among the percentages of people who got sicker.

SPENGLER: Bidenomics will bankrupt us.

WHY WOULD YOU STAY? The NYC exodus that de Blasio refuses to see. “Mayor de Blasio released his new, bigger-than-ever city budget this week pretending that federal aid would make up for City Hall’s losses thanks to the pandemic. And, worse than that delusion, he still hasn’t faced up to how his policies had New York shrinking long before the pandemic even began. That’s right: The mass exodus from the city dates to at least 2018; the flight since then is just adding to New York’s woes.”

I am, by the way, working on making the “Welcome Wagon” project a reality. I’ll report more at an appropriate time. I realized that instead of calling on other people to make it happen, it was time for me to take a hand myself.

FASTER, PLEASE: Target discovered that halts osteoarthritis-type knee cartilage degeneration.

AMERICA’S NEWSPAPER OF RECORD: After Capitol Riots, Sesame Street Pulls All Episodes Featuring The Letter ‘Q.’

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: Harvard Students Launch Petition to Revoke Degrees of Trump Supporters in Government.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: How to Make Yourself a Hard Target.

#FIGHTFOR15: Biden minimum wage proposal could lift more than 1 million workers out of poverty.

Also in the same CBS article: “The CBO also estimated the move would cost 1.3 million American jobs, a claim long made by conservative economists. Mr. Biden’s call to boost the minimum wage to $15 an hour ‘is the absolute last thing that unemployed workers need right now,’ Michael Farren, an economist with the right-leaning Mercatus Center at George Mason University, said in an email. ‘After all, they can’t benefit from higher wages if those higher wages result in slower job growth.’”

A CONTRARIAN TAKE: Is the Great Deplatforming of 2021 an Assault on Free Speech? No, says Techdirt’s Mike Masnick, but he wants to see a more decentralized Internet and thinks the solution is relying on protocols, not platforms.

LOCKDOWNS: The Pandemic Could Be Harming Kids’ Eyesight, But It Isn’t The Virus to Blame. “School closures are among the more controversial options for controlling the COVID-19 pandemic, with authorities debating whether the preventative measure is worth the potential educational, social, and emotional costs. Researchers in China have uncovered yet another health concern faced by children kept in isolation for extended periods; deteriorating eyesight.”

IN CASE YOU MISSED THEM: The 10 Worst Helicopter Parenting Hysterias of 2020.

THE PROFITS OF DOOM: A 25-Year-Old Bet Comes Due: Has Tech Destroyed Society? In 1995, Kevin Kelly, a cofounder of Wired, challenged Kirkpatrick Sale to a $1,000 bet. The Luddite-loving doomsayer was predicting that society would collapse by 2020.  Kelly, inspired by the economist Julian Simon’s bet against Paul Ehrlich, got him to put his money where his doom was. Now, despite a biased referee, the better prophet has collected his winnings.

NUTRITION: Scientists identify nutrient that helps prevent bacterial infection.

FASTER, PLEASE: Designer cytokine makes paralyzed mice walk again.

EVERYTHING’S POLITICAL AND IT’S ALL LIES: Nancy Pelosi’s waiting games prove ‘boot Trump’ movement is just another political ploy.

REMY: It Wasn’t Me! New video from Reason TV:

BIDEN’S PLAN FOR HIGHER UNEMPLOYMENT: Feel Good Now — Pay Later. Biden’s stimulus is a feel-good populist measure that will ultimately harm the most vulnerable people in the American economy.

MICROBIOME NEWS: Bacteria in the gut may influence COVID-19 severity, study says.

THIS IS CNN: CNN issues correction of the week, noting that Rep. Ted Lieu grabbed a ProBar energy bar and not a crowbar during the Capitol siege.

Their correction led to this parody, which was floating around Twitter last night:

…Or is it?

 

 

WHAT IF SPARTACUS HAD A PIPER CUB? What If Chevy Made a Corvette SUV to Compete with the Porsche Cayenne?

THE POWER LINE WEEK IN PICTURES: Trumpeachment Edition.

ROGER SIMON: Should the Real ‘Resistance’ Start Now?

Literally within minutes of the 2016 election of Donald J. Trump, his opponents took to the streets declaring themselves “The Resistance.”

Some of us, myself included, considered that an act of what the “woke” like to call “cultural appropriation,” indeed an extreme—I would even say obscene—one.

CA is a term, many will recall, applied to those insensitive souls who allegedly steal from another group for their own gain or amusement, as in fraternity boys donning sombreros and drinking margaritas for Cinco de Mayo.

What was appropriated back in 2016 was something quite serious—“La Résistance”—the clandestine and highly-dangerous underground movement to subvert Nazi Germany’s control of France during the Second World War.

Although an astonishing number of younger Americans have little or no knowledge of the Holocaust, I would imagine most readers of this outlet realize that Germany’s takeover with the Vichy government’s compliance resulted in such events as the notorious July 1942 night time roundup in suburban Paris of 7000 Jews, including 4000 children, before they were shipped off for extermination.

Comparing that to the election of Donald Trump really is obscene, and also wildly anti-Semitic, unless, of course, you think saying nasty things about your opponents on Twitter is the equivalent of Auschwitz.

Many of our supposedly “progressive” friends evidently did, overwhelmed by a delusional case of moral narcissism all out of proportion to reality, allowing them to “act out” in the most self-aggrandizing manner, identifying with the true heroes of “La Résistance” when there was no discernible threat to them whatsoever.

Indeed, what actually happened to the daily lives of our liberal friends during the Trump administration was next to nothing.

Until COVID came along, they got to enjoy the lowest unemployment virtually ever, including minorities, with actual wages going up for the lower classes for the first time in years, a booming stock market, lower gas prices through energy independence, peace in the Middle East and peace in general.

They weren’t censored in any way and maintained control of most of the media, entertainment, and the schools throughout.

Yet still they raged.

But to continue with the French analogy, what’s going on today is “toute autre chose,” entirely different.

The now victorious left is attempting to erase the right, to drive it out of existence forever.

We see signs of this everywhere, from the clearly fascistic actions of Big Tech in destroying upstart Parler on grounds of hosting some violent posts (something they themselves have been doing for years) to ridiculous virtue signaling like Macaulay Culkin signing on for having Donald Trump’s cameo removed from “Home Alone 2.”

Communist Chinese-style “social credit” controls are being instituted across our economy with the likes of Master Card, PayPal and Stripe canceling conservative groups that protested the election and automated business email systems doing the same.

In many ways this is more effective and dangerous than the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution because we are so reliant on technology now and because it is so sub rosa. No need for prancing around in dunce caps. An individuals’ access to his or her daily needs can be turned off with the click of an invisible mouse.

American versions of “Good Germans” are coming out of the woodwork as many are beginning to live in fear of what this could do to their lives. Others have been asked to recant or soon will be.

The traditional Republican Party politicians have been of little help, disconnected, as many, maybe most, are from their rank-and-file.

So is this time for a new, and more justified, “Resistance”?

As Caroline Glick writes, Biden is continuing the left’s shopworn tradition of comparing conservative Republicans to National Socialists: Goebbels and the New American Terror.

What purpose did it serve for President-elect Joe Biden to liken Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Josh Hawley (R-MO) to Adolf Hitler’s top propagandist Joseph Goebbels?

In response to a question about the two Republican lawmakers following remarks on January 8, Biden said, “I was being reminded by a friend of mine…when we’re told [about] Goebbels and the great lie, you keep repeating the lie, repeating the lie.”

Although Biden’s comparison was imperfectly stated, it was clear enough to follow. He was saying that the lawmakers’ efforts to challenge the Electoral College votes from disputed states was a Nazi-like effort.

By speaking this way, Biden did many things at once. First, he whitewashed Goebbels’ barbaric crimes. Goebbels was the chief architect of totalitarianism in Nazi Germany and one of the lead architects of the Holocaust.

In his literary warning about the fragility of freedom and the allure of totalitarianism, 1984, George Orwell demonstrated that total control over a society is achieved through total control over the information its members can see.

Goebbels implemented this in Nazi Germany. As Hitler’s propagandist, Goebbels exerted total control over information. He ensured that Germans would view Hitler as their infallible savior. He conditioned them to view Jews as subhuman vermin, to be exterminated like cockroaches. And he made them believe that all Germans who didn’t accept what they were told were enemies of the people.

Goebbels achieved all of these things by blocking public access to accurate information while inundating the Germans with images and words that repeated and amplified his monstrous lies. Goebbels’ success in controlling information was the necessary precondition for all he and his comrades unleashed on Jews, and on humanity as a whole.

The second thing Biden did by comparing Hawley and Cruz to Goebbels was to whitewash the unspeakable crimes of Nazi Germany. After all, if merely questioning certain election returns is the moral equivalent of Goebbels’ “Big Lie,” then the Big Lie was actually no big deal.

The third thing Biden did by comparing Hawley and Cruz to Goebbels was set them up for what Orwell referred to as “un-personing”—or in today’s culture, “canceling.”

Obviously, if Cruz and Hawley are Goebbels, then all right-thinking people must work to silence them and remove them from positions of influence in the Senate and larger society.

As if on cue, shortly after Biden said what he did, Senate Democrats began debating whether to censure the lawmakers. Senate Republicans, for their part, began discussing the possibility of denying the two members cherished committee assignments. According to Senate officials, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is leaning toward denying the two their subcommittee chairmanships—thereby removing them from the line of seniority.

As Glick writes, “A sense of foreboding and fear now grips millions of Americans—and, indeed, conservatives worldwide. Unless something is done quickly by those who wield power to restore freedom, it is impossible to see a happy end to this story.” #Unity!

WELL, THAT CERTAINLY PROVES HIM WRONG: College set to fire professor who tweeted ‘Black privilege is real.’

JIM TREACHER: Leave Ariel Pink Alone.

Pink doesn’t think Biden stole the election, and he’s “perfectly fine” with Biden as president. He’s not spreading conspiracy theories. He’s not condoning the Capitol riot that happened after he left. He’s not calling for anyone to be harassed or hurt in any way.

Ariel Pink was just… there.

So now you have to destroy his life?

Back in the ’60s, John Lennon made a wisecrack about the Beatles being “bigger than Jesus.” Fundamentalist Christians throughout America were outraged and publicly burned Beatles records in protest. If you’re doing this to Ariel Pink now, how are you any better than those people?

I’m as angry about the Capitol riot as anybody, and every single person who participated in it must be held accountable, up to and including the president of the United States. But this is just wrong. Speaking as a cuck RINO traitor who, as of last week, now hates Donald Trump more than I’ve hated any other president in my lifetime: Please leave Ariel Pink alone.

The southern Beatle album burners were a deeply religious lot. So are those who are determined to destroy Pink now. It’s just a very different religion they practice in 2021.

IT’S ALL A LIE: Twitter bans Trump over risk of violence, but these leftist profs get a pass.

ONE YEAR AGO:

The pandemic — and the response thereto — fixed that in time for the election. Now let’s see if they can undo the damage, or even want to.

MICHAEL BARONE: From impeaching incitement to canceling conservatism.

But a moment’s reflection should have left any believer in free speech feeling queasy about a private firm censoring the president of the United States and preventing him from effectively communicating with citizens over a chosen medium of universal reach. And especially queasy, since a large body of opinion sees this suppression of free speech by Big Tech monopolies not as a one-time exception but as the new rule.

Oliver Darcy of CNN wants its cable rivals to be held “responsible for the lies they peddle.” Law professors are surprisingly open to speech suppression, as Thomas Edsall reported in his New York Times blog. Yale’s Robert Post lamented that “the formation of public opinion is out of control”; California, Irvine’s Rick Hasen lamented “a market failure when it comes to reliable information voters need”; Columbia’s Tim Wu suggested “the weaponization of speech” makes the First Amendment jurisprudence “increasingly obsolete.”

Democratic worthies have been singing the same tune. Michelle Obama took the lead in urging the permanent ban on Trump, which Twitter promptly promulgated. Presidential candidate Andrew Yang called for cable news channels to be required to air competing views. Biden press aide Bill Russo wants Facebook to censor “misleading” information.

The law professors leave it ambiguous who would “control” information and decide what is “reliable information.” But Democrats obviously expect the decisions to be made by folks on their side of the political divide.

The speech restrictions and speech suppression by Twitter, Facebook, Apple, and Google, including the expulsion from the cloud of Twitter competitor Parler, are all intended to benefit the Left and penalize the Right. These firms come as close as nongovernment actors could to canceling if not criminalizing at least certain strands of conservatism.

The left always wants to criminalize its opposition.

ANALYSIS: TRUE. Crying ‘whataboutism’ doesn’t make the left’s support for rioting go away. “Whataboutism” is just a deflection-word for when leftists are caught out in blatant hypocrisy.

LUCASFILM LEFTISTS JOIN FORCES WITH COMMUNIST CHINA:

Edward Cheng, Chief Executive Officer of China Literature, says they are very excited to be partnering with Disney and Lucasfilm. I imagine he is. Edward is also the Vice President of Tencent and Chief Executive Officer of Tencent Pictures, which has plans to release a film celebrating the brutal CCP according to China Daily:

Updates on a total of 56 projects were announced, including plans to release an epic film 1921 to commemorate the centenary anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party of China, as well as the second season of Qing Yu Nian, a sought-after drama adapted from a namesake popular online novel.

Now that the CCP’s pet gerbil has been placed into the U.S. Presidency, and with the possibility of Bob Iger being appointed as ambassador to China, the propagandist possibilities are endless.

It’s a logical progression for the Star Wars franchise, which began with Bay Area leftist George Lucas using science fiction as a metaphor for the Vietnam War in the mid-1970s. The Rebels (and later the Ewoks) were inspired by the Vietcong, the Empire by America, and Palpatine by Richard Nixon. So it’s not exactly a great leap forward (sorry) to go from admiring Vietnamese communists for their resourcefulness in beating America, to being in bed with the CCP four decades later. It’s also a reminder of why the American media was so soft on China while the coronavirus was sweeping through America:

(Via Ace of Spades.)

FIGHT THE POWER: Andy Ngo’s antifa book No. 1 weeks before release.

QUESTION ASKED: Did the Democrats Steal the Presidential Election?

Even greater doubts about the election arise from the deliberately loose procedures that governed voting. Something like 69 million mail-in votes were cast, and until two months ago, everyone agreed that mail-in voting is highly susceptible to fraud. But the laxity in 2020 went far beyond the risks inherent in mail-in votes. I put it this way: I don’t know whether the Democrats stole the 2020 election, but I do know that they tried hard to steal it.

Read the whole thing.

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