November 29, 2020

ROGER SIMON: Now Is the Time for All Good Men and Women to Get off Twitter.

That Twitter has just censored (“suspended the account” in their parlance) the film version of Lee Smith’s “The Plot Against the President,” directed by Amanda Milius, is not in the least surprising.

It’s only the latest example of what Twitter does, what we have come to expect of it—censor or whatever euphemism you want to apply because the massive site, we are informed ad infinitum, is a private company and can do what it bloody well pleases without having to pay the slightest obeisance to the Bill of Rights or even the Magna Carta.

Yes, it’s good publicity for the film, an accurate retelling of the horrifying Russiagate story, but that’s no excuse.

Whatever Jack Dorsey and his minions dislike, whatever threatens them, is automatically banned or, at best, temporarily tolerated with some supercilious notation about its supposed wrongheadedness. (And they claim they’re a public facility—like the phone company.)

Almost never do they say with any specificity why they are censoring. They just do it.

What is surprising is that so many of us are still on Twitter, addicted as any homeless crackhead in Santa Monica while fattening the coffers of a maniacal “progressive” billionaire by living as inadvertent vassals on his online totalitarian estate.

I wanted to get out years ago but hung on, even through the extraordinary blocking of the New York Post’s reporting on Tony Bobulinski’s testimony regarding the China-centric business dealings of Hunter Biden and the “big guy,” an act of hyperpartisanhip worthy of Goebbels or Beria.

That may have been the proverbial straw on the back of the proverbial camel for me.

I got out shortly thereafter and intend to stay out.

I urge everyone else to follow me, not because I’m anything special—as I noted it took me years to make the break—but because it’s by far the best thing to do.

Leaving, taking your business elsewhere, is the only way to destroy the pernicious influence of Twitter and the other tech giants. I’ve said it before, but this time I’ve done it myself. (Finally.)

And we can’t expect the government to do it for us.

Especially if Biden’s election goes through (I know, thankfully getting iffy), the chances of Section 230, the provision allowing Twitter and the others to avoid legal responsibility for what they publish, is unlikely to change. Big Tech literally owns the Democratic Party.

And if Donald Trump has a second term, I’m, alas, skeptical he will do much. He’s evidently addicted to Twitter as well. He should also get out.

I’m not going to spend time criticizing the narcissistic reasons so many media players, even those on the right who are mistreated, stay on. Obviously, I was one of them.

But I will address, via a personal anecdote, the question of whether both sides actually can discuss the issues together in a collegial manner, putatively the intention of Twitter, although totally ludicrous in its execution because the site’s bias against one of the sides is so extreme, even to the point of banning or censoring them (again, a distinction without a difference in the real world).

In addition to its high-tech totalitarianism, it’s a virus of the mind as well — somebody should write a book about the multifaceted elements of Twitter’s insidious nature.

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DAILY BEAST SETTLING NICELY INTO ITS COMING FOUR YEAR SLUMBER: Joe Biden’s Dogs Have Told This Pet Psychic a Lot About Their Beloved Master, and His Future.

The pop-up add above that article is a hoot:

Support our fearless journalism!

COLOR ME SKEPTICAL THAT THIS WILL BE A GOOD THING: Digital License Plates Coming to Michigan in 2021 after Debut in California. “By making the license plate a screen, Rplate lets people display their own (approved) messages. The plate can also warn people that the car it’s on has been stolen, or maybe to show an Amber or Silver Alert, if the state wants that functionality.”

DISPATCHES FROM THE PARTY OF TOLERANCE AND DIVERSITY:

Morning Joe: We Have No Reason to Tolerate, Understand Anyone Who Supported Trump.

NewsBusters, Wednesday.

Barack Obama Smears Trump’s Latino Voters.

Legal Insurrection, yesterday.

FASTER, PLEASE: New therapy to target the spread of bowel cancer.

THERE’S BARELY ENOUGH NATURAL INTELLIGENCE IN THAT FIELD: Exploring the use of artificial intelligence in architecture.

PAST PERFORMANCE IS NO GUARANTEE OF FUTURE RESULTS:

● Shot: Fauci resists Republican effort to turn testimony against protesters.

—Reuters, July 31st.

● Chaser: Fauci: There will ‘almost certainly’ be an uptick in COVID-19 cases after Thanksgiving travel.

The Hill, today.

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HMM: MS has mixed impact on risk for cancer, study says.

RIP: Darth Vader actor David Prowse dead at 85. Prowse was asked to audition for the roles of Darth Vader and Chewbacca but he said he chose Luke Skywalker’s father because ”you always remember the bad guys.”

That’s such a curious statement, since he chose to play one of the series’ most important good guys.

INTERVIEW: Glenn Greenwald on Biden, Free Speech, and Leaving The Intercept.

TAKING A SECOND LOOK AT WWII WITH VICTOR DAVIS HANSON’S THE SECOND WORLD WARS.

My review at Ed Driscoll.com. Where else will you see Mussolini’s Italian biplanes fighting in the Battle of Britain?

(Bumped.)

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UTAH MONOLITH: The mysterious silver monolith in the desert has disappeared.

Has anyone checked the lunar crater Tycho recently for magnetic anomalies under its surface?

UPDATE (FROM GLENN): The last known photo of the monolith may provide a clue to its disappearance:

IF ONLY THERE WAS A LIQUID AVAILABLE THAT COULD RELIABLY POWER CARS, AND WAS EASY AND INEXPENSIVE TO REFILL: ‘Why did it take nine hours to go 130 miles in our new electric Porsche?’

NYC ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS TO REOPEN FOR IN-PERSON LEARNING ON DEC. 7: DE BLASIO.

No word yet how badly Andrew Cuomo will lash out at reporters over this decision.

IN THE MAIL: Slanted: How the News Media Taught Us to Love Censorship and Hate Journalism.

IT’S COME TO THIS: Broncos won’t have quarterbacks against Saints because of COVID contact concerns.

WITH A NAME THAT CONTROVERSIAL, THEY’RE DOOMED: ‘Students for Western Civilization’ wants to set up shop at Canadian university.

CONSPIRACY TO INTERFERE WITH CIVIL RIGHTS: Incoming Texas freshmen threatened with doxxing if they join conservative campus groups.

IT’S EXTREMELY EASY IF YOU TRY. Thought experiment: Imagine if Iran had assassinated an Israeli nuclear scientist.

ROGER KIMBALL: Reality and the Narrative.

The strongest argument for Biden’s victory is not the vote tally. It is the monolithic narrative, pumped up like one of those inflatable play castles at a child’s birthday party. With every passing day, that narrative becomes more boisterous, more assertive, more uncompromising. It is a collective primal scream, emitted with eyes shut and ears plugged.

There is a problem for the narrative, however. Or more to the point, there are 73 million problems. A major concession in the Biden-won-give-it-up-narrative is revealed by the hawkers of the “Unity Now” meme. Let us all come together as one nation, under Joe, and reassert the American normality that has been so sorely missing under the despotic reign of Donald Trump.

No. No, that’s not going to fly, and not only because of the snarling viciousness that attended Donald Trump and his entire administration from the moment he was elected until now. Granted, Democrats are masters of hypocrisy. I will give them that. Brazenness is part of the formula. They are utterly unembarrassed by double standards. Indeed, they glory in them.

Plus: “Inquiring minds want to know, how is it possible that voter turnout in just those key cities in just those key states was so high: often 90 percent or more? How is it possible that Joe Biden, who barely campaigned, garnered more votes in just those spots than even Barack Obama had done? How is it possible that, as everyone was getting tucked into bed on the night of November 3, Donald Trump had notable leads in almost all of those states and then, suddenly, all at once, in the wee hours, floods of votes poured in and—wouldn’t you know it—they were overwhelmingly, sometimes exclusively, for Biden? And what about those voting machines from Dominion: are we confident that they are secure?”

Read the whole thing.

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JOHN KERRY, REPORTING FOR DOODY: Apparatchik John Kerry, Climate Czar.

Suppose you are a man with a long history of personal mediocrity in important positions. You aren’t quite as publicly toxic as, say, Hillary Clinton. But no one really respects you either. You’re old, 76. You’re definitely a “me too” lothario. You have said nothing notable in 35 years in the public eye, first as a U.S. Senator, then failed presidential candidate, and finally Secretary of State.

Your biggest success was in being the face of Obama’s Iran deal, the entire premise of which was to set up an untrustworthy, fundamentalist regime hell-bent on acquiring nuclear weapons, and deeply hated by its own people, as a dominant regional power.

So which job do you get in a Joe Biden Administration?

Climate Czar!

For the sake of the nation’s economy, let’s hope Kerry is as useless at that job as he has been at everything else in the past:

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HANNAH COX: How Big Government Stacked the Deck Against Small Business.

MICHAEL WALSH: Why traditional masculine attributes still matter on the battlefield.

Heroism — the willingness to put your life on the line for family, tribe, duty, honor, country and God in the face of the greatest possible adversity — used to be considered one of the foremost masculine virtues.

Indeed, the history of western civilization from the ancient Greeks to the recent present has been the history of heroism as well: the last stands at Thermopylae, Masada, the Swiss Guard at the Vatican in 1527, the Alamo, Khartoum, and Stalingrad are still names to conjure with, learn from, and celebrate.

Indeed, just 70 years ago this week, the First Marine Division fought its way into the pages of history with their gallant stand at the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea. In temperatures as low as minus-30 degrees, the Marines held off some 100,000 Chinese attackers and fought their way in hellish conditions back to the allied lines.

Today, however, we live in a decidedly unheroic age, one in which the traditional masculine attributes of courage, physical strength, and moral fortitude have been disparaged by feminists and soy boys nearly into oblivion.

QED: Sarah Fuller Becomes The First Woman To Play In A Major College Football Game. “Props to Fuller for carving out her place in history, but Vanderbilt is in trouble if this is where their kicking game is at.”

FOR A GUY WHO SUPPOSEDLY LOST, TRUMP SURE HAD COATTAILS. FOR A GUY WHO SUPPOSEDLY WON, BIDEN SURE DIDN’T. How Democrats Suffered Crushing Down-Ballot Losses Across America.

This year, Democrats targeted a dozen state legislative chambers where Republicans held tenuous majorities, including in Pennsylvania, Texas, Arizona, North Carolina and Minnesota. Their goal was to check the power of Republicans to redraw congressional and legislative districts in 2021, and to curb the rightward drift of policies from abortion to gun safety to voting rights.

In all cases, Democrats came up short. None of their targeted legislative chambers flipped, even though Biden carried many of the districts that down-ballot Democrats did not. It could make it harder for Democrats to retain a House majority in 2022.

They did badly in Congressional races, too.

DIVERSITY RULES: Biden Creates Diverse Covid-19 Advisory Board To Contrast With Trump.

Please tell me there will be a Muslim outreach program, too.

LIKE ALL THE OTHER RULES IN THE MODERN OLIGARCHY: Pandemic Rules Are Only for the Little People. “We’re expected to suffer discomfort, economic pain, and emotional distress or else pay fines or serve jail time. Government officials, meanwhile, take offense when called out for violating the standards they created.”

OPEN THREAD: Have fun, you crazy kids.

IT’S THE WINTER OF LOVE ON STATEN ISLAND: NYC Pub Borrows a Page From Leftists in Lockdown Dispute.

A clever bar owner in New York City is borrowing a tactic from left-wing anarchists in an ongoing spat with the government over coronavirus lockdown restrictions. The pub, located in Staten Island, declared itself an “autonomous zone” as a new ban on indoor dining at bars and restaurants took effect on Wednesday.

The New York Post reported on Saturday that a sign outside Mac’s Public House in Grant City read, “!ATTENTION! We hereby declare this establishment an !!!AUTONOMOUS ZONE!!!”

Saul Alinsky smiles.

WELL, THIS IS THE 21ST CENTURY, YOU KNOW: Physicists could do the ‘impossible’: Create and destroy magnetic fields from afar.

MORE FROM MICHAEL YON: Antifa in Atlanta.

THE BACKLASH IS INTERNATIONAL: More than 150 arrested in London during anti-lockdown protest.

I don’t recall Black Lives Matter protesters being arrested in London.

DON’T OPEN THEM AT LEAST UNTIL 2020 IS OVER: Egypt Has Unearthed 160 Ancient Coffins Since September. Some Were Sealed With a ‘Curse.’

STRONGER, BUT LESS VERSATILE: Neanderthals’ thumbs were well-suited to ‘squeeze,’ study says. “The paper, published Thursday in Scientific Reports, said Neanderthals were well-adapted to grip tools the way we grab hammers — but would have struggled to hold a pencil or shake hands with someone else.”

NOW OUT FROM VIRGINIA POSTREL: The Fabric of Civilization: How Textiles Made the World.

MICROBIOME NEWS: Gut microbes: The key to normal sleep. Gut flora seem to be the key to a lot of things.

PAGING TRUMP’S ELECTION RECOUNT TEAM:

Twitter thread assembled by Thread Reader.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Just Put the F*cking Turkey in the Oven.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: SIG SAUER Cross Recall. “Sig Sauer has viewed an online video that presents a single CROSS Bolt-Action Rifle with a potential safety concern. This gun has been returned to Sig Sauer and upon evaluation it has been confirmed that the rifle exhibited a delayed discharge after the trigger was pulled. Sig Sauer has decided to issue a safety recall in order to implement a modification to the firing action to address this potential safety concern.”

ROLL OVER THOMAS THE TANK: Intelino is the new Smart Train in the Toy World.

Over at the PJ Media Lifestyle section, I have a review of the Intelino Smart Train, which I first observed in action at the start of the year at the giant Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and wrote about here at Instapundit.

(Bumped.)

AP SOUNDS THE ALARM: Biden’s win hides a dire warning for Democrats in rural U.S.

Democrats once dominated Koochiching County in the blue-collar Iron Range of northern Minnesota. But in this month’s presidential election, President Donald Trump won it with 60% of the vote.

That’s not because voters there are suddenly shifting to the right, said Tom Bakk, who represents the area in the state Senate. It’s because, he said, Democrats have steadily moved too far to the left for many rural voters.

“We’ve got to see if we can get the Democratic Party to moderate and accept the fact that rural Minnesota is not getting more conservative,” said Bakk, who announced last week that he would become an independent after serving 25 years as a Democrat. “It’s that you guys are leaving them behind.”

While Democrats powered through cities and suburbs to reclaim the White House, the party slid further behind in huge rural swaths of northern battlegrounds. The party lost House seats in the Midwest, and Democratic challengers in Iowa, Kansas, Montana and North Carolina Senate races, all once viewed as serious threats to Republican incumbents, fell, some of them hard.

Though Democrats’ rural woes aren’t new, they now heap pressure on Biden to begin reversing the trend. Failure to do so endangers goals such as curbing climate change and winning a Senate majority, especially with GOP Senate seats in Iowa, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin up in 2022.

“The pressure for Democrats has to be on conveying an economic message for rural America,” said Iowa Democrat John Norris, a former candidate for governor. “We have a great one to convey, but we haven’t put enough emphasis on it.”

Gee, I’m not sure that “learn to code” has the flyover country selling power the left thinks it has.

THIS COULD BE BIG: Protein regulating inflammation in atherosclerosis identified.

GOOGLE IS A CULT? I JUST CAN’T SEE IT MYSELF: YouTube Celebrates “Unthanksgiving” Instead of Thanksgiving.

WE SHOULD PUT ITS REPLACEMENT ON THE FAR SIDE OF THE MOON, AS GOD AND ROBERT HEINLEIN INTENDED: World’s most powerful radar telescope at Arecibo will be scrapped.

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SHOCKER: Opioid deaths in young Americans often involve other drugs.

I MENTIONED ELON MUSK’S ANNOUNCEMENT OF A HIGH ALTITUDE STARSHIP TEST, but I want to particularly break out this bit:

Elon Musk said in a follow-up tweet on Wednesday that lots could go wrong in this first high-altitude test. “Lot of things need to go right,” the billionaire said. When asked on Twitter what he thought the odds were of Starship landing in one piece, he answered “1-in-3.”

He’s willing to learn through iterative failure. NASA is not, which is why he’s progressing so much faster.

UPDATE: My friend Dale Amon comments on Facebook:

Just got around to watching the Nov 24 launch. 7th landing for that particular Falcon 9. They are building experience. I wonder what the life span is going to turn out to be?

I’m quite sure that is a question that many folk are looking forward to finding out. You can design your arse off, but it doesn’t matter a whit until you actually do the testing.

I’ve been smiling for quite some time about how Elon has solved the problem which everyone has been complaining about for decades. Flight rate. How do you get enough business? The answer is to start another business that makes a lot of money and is a regular customer. The beauty of Starlink isn’t just that it is a money maker. It is also that it is going to require a continuous high rate of satellite replacement since these things are all in LEO and not intended for 20 year runs like the billion dollar GEO sats.

More importantly, with the rate of technology progression still accelerating (hey, that singularity ain’t so far off any more!) you actually want assets that are upgradeable or replaceable, because otherwise you are stuck with last week’s tech and losing market to the guy who launched this week’s tech.

Watch for Starlink service to improve at a jaw dropping rate.

Excellent point.

ANOTHER UPDATE (Charlie): Here’s a tease from my upcoming Stack Overflow blog article:

This is the world of the SpaceX Starlink program. According to SpaceX, the Starlink program has two purposes:
* To provide fast, reliable Internet connectivity to the billions of people who don’t have it now,
* and to use the revenues to make life interplanetary.
Stop and contemplate that for a moment: world-wide Internet to provide the revenue needed to colonize the planets. Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX, along with Tesla, the Boring Company, and many others, is not a man who sets easy goals.

NOT ONLY IS 2020 STRANGER THAN WE IMAGINED, IT IS STRANGER THAN WE CAN IMAGINE: South Africa considers ‘dimming’ the sun to avoid running out of water.

It sounds like a plot lifted from a science fiction flick, but scientists have suggested permanently dimming the sun to save South Africa from deadly dry spells.

The hairbrained scheme would involve pumping vast quantities of gas into the atmosphere above Cape Town to preserve local water supplies.

It evokes the plot of 2007 sci-fi movie sunshine, in which scientists head off on a daring mission to reignite the dying sun with a nuclear bomb in 2057.

Put forward by experts at the University of Cape Town, it’s hoped the plan would dramatically reduce the chances of a water crisis engulfing the city.

Fears over a “Day Zero” drought – the point at which there’s not enough water for everyone – hitting the region have been brewing for years.

With the climate crisis tightening its grip on our planet, the chances of such a dry spell hitting Cape Town will triple by 2100, according to research.

In a study published last week in the journal Environmental Research Letters, scientists outlined one bonkers way to avoid such a catastrophe.

The plan is controversial, South African newspaper The Mail and Guardian reports, both due to its climate impacts and geopolitical implications.

In their paper, the researchers suggest injecting particles of sulfur dioxide gas into Earth’s upper atmosphere above Cape Town.

The gas would form a huge cloud above the city that reflects sunlight, dimming the environment on the ground below.

According to researchers, the sci-fi tactic could reduce the chances of a Day Zero drought hitting Cape Town by 2100 by up to 90 percent.

Former Obama “Science” “Czar” Robert Holdren, your time to shine (or in this case, reduce it) has come at last!

 

NOT ONLY IS 2020 STRANGER THAN WE IMAGINED, IT IS STRANGER THAN WE CAN IMAGINE: Deer steals hunter’s gun, probably gearing up for the Apocalypse.

HOW THE COVID NUMBERS WORK:

The U.S. counts coronavirus deaths differently from other countries. Indeed, we are counting deaths differently than we have for any other disease.

“The case definition is very simplistic,” Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of Illinois Department of Public Health, explains. “It means, at the time of death, it was a COVID positive diagnosis. That means, that if you were in hospice and had already been given a few weeks to live, and then you also were found to have COVID, that would be counted as a COVID death. It means, technically even if you died of [a] clear alternative cause, but you had COVID at the same time, it’s still listed as a COVID death.” . . . Beyond including people with the virus who clearly didn’t die from it, the numbers are inflated by counting people who weren’t even infected. New York has classified many cases as coronavirus deaths even when postmortem tests have been negative. The diagnosis can be based on symptoms, which are often similar to those of the seasonal flu.

Just a reminder.

THE POWER LINE WEEK IN PICTURES: Tryptophan Edition.

IN THE MAIL: Rush Revere and the Star-Spangled Banner.

THE TAWK OF THE TOWN:

This book takes in a lot of territory, all solidly researched and footnoted. But dry? Fuhgeddaboutit. White is particularly entertaining when she discusses underworld slang from the city’s ‘sensitive lines of business’ and she’s also good on song lyrics, from Tin Pan Alley days to hip-hop. She dwells lovingly on the ‘sharp, smart, swift, and sure’ lyrics of the golden age of American popular music – roughly, the first half of the 20th century. It was a time when New York lyricists, nearly all of them Jewish, preserved in the American Songbook not only the vernacular of the Lower East Side but also the colloquialisms of Harlem and the snappy patois of advertising.

You Talkin’ to Me? is engrossing and often funny. In dissecting the exaggerated New York accents of Bugs Bunny and Groucho Marx, White observes that ‘Bugs even wielded his carrot like Groucho’s cigar’. And she says that the word ‘fuck’ is so ubiquitous in Gotham that it has lost its edge, so a New Yorker in need of a blistering insult must look elsewhere. ‘There may be some truth to the old joke that in Los Angeles, people say “Have a nice day” and mean “Fuck off,” while in New York, people say “Fuck off” and mean “Have a nice day.”’

Norman Gorman called and said, “Read the whole thing, already!”

IF THIS IS TRUE, THEN THE FATALITY RATE IS AWFULLY LOW: Government Model Suggests U.S. COVID-19 Cases Could Be Approaching 100 Million. “The model, created by scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, calculated that the true number of infections is about eight times the reported number, which includes only the cases confirmed by a laboratory test.”

IT SEEMS AS IF TRUMP’S THE ONLY ONE NOT GUILTY OF RUSSIAN COLLUSION: MIT accepted over $51 million from Russian foundation later deemed security risk by U.S. government.

ROBERT FISK, FABRICATOR AND FRAUDSTER:

Fisk’s reputation among scholars and journalists in the Middle East was destroyed by years of distortions of the truth in his work on Syria. But even before he started embracing pro-Assad conspiracy theories, Fisk’s relationship with the truth was widely scrutinised. It is a monumental absurdity that we have a word, “Fisking”, in the Cambridge English Dictionary derived from his surname, without any mention of him.

The dictionary defines it as “the act of making an argument seem wrong or stupid by showing the mistakes in each of its points, or an instance of doing this.” The frequency with which falsehoods can be found in Fisk’s work wasn’t so much an open secret as a widely shared joke understood by all who worked in the industry.

Fisk got away with it because he always got away with it. The falsehoods he published were often tolerated, excused or dismissed because people agreed with the stories he was telling. But our job as journalists, especially in the Middle East, isn’t to tell stories — it’s to tell the truth.

Following Fisk’s passing, away from the newspaper obituaries, an entirely different narrative was expressed by those who saw him up close. Syrian journalist Asser Khatab wrote an excoriating article for the online platform Raseef22, sharing his experiences of working alongside him in Homs, including his lack of Arabic and his reliance on a translator connected with the Syrian mukhabarat (secret police).

Of course, Fisk’s greatest online moment will always be his column from December of 2001: My Beating is a Symbol of this Filthy War.

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NO: UVA prof calls for ‘Secretary of Equity.’

I MENTIONED THIS STORY EARLIER, BUT TYLER O’NEIL HAS MORE: Justice Is Coming: Carter Page Takes Comey, McCabe, Strzok to Court in $75M Obamagate Lawsuit.

WELL: Pennsylvania State Judge Upholds Halt To Certification, Finds Likelihood Mail-In Balloting Procedures Violate PA Constitution. “A Pennsylvania state court Judge has issued a preliminary injunction preventing Pennsylvania from taking any further steps to perfect its certification of the election, including but not limited to appointment of electors and transmission of necessary paperwork to the Electoral College, pending further court hearings and rulings. The ruling upholds an injunction from earlier in the week, and is significant because of the findings made in the Opinion released tonight. The case has been somewhat under the radar, because it doesn’t involve claims of fraud. It appears to be a pretty straight legal argument. This is not the federal court case that has received a lot of press attention and in which the Third Circuit Court of Appeals denied relief.”

Full opinion here.

WHERE DO I GET ONE OF THESE? Seen on Facebook:

WHEN FRENCH INTELLECTUALS THINK THE AMERICAN LEFT HAS GOTTEN TOO CRAZY… France: Prominent Academics and Macron Administration Attack American Anti-Racist Ideology as “Anti-White.”

JORDAN PETERSON: HOW THE LEFT MANUFACTURED A FOLK DEVIL.

Over the past few days, Jordan Peterson’s critics have been doing their utmost to publicise his forthcoming book, Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life. The famous clinical psychologist announced the publication on his YouTube channel on Monday, and within hours the book was being widely denounced on social media for its hateful content. This is quite a feat of the collective imagination, given that nobody has read it yet.

Much of the furore has come about because employees at the Canadian branch of the publisher, Penguin Random House, have called for the book to be cancelled. After multiple complaints were filed, they confronted their management at a meeting in which some burst into tears and shared their stories of how the evil Professor Peterson had caused such emotional havoc in their lives due to his ‘problematic’ opinions. According to a report in Vice, ‘one co-worker discussed how Peterson had radicalised their father and another talked about how publishing the book will negatively affect their non-binary friend’.

This is just the latest example of a new trend of activist employees threatening to strike for ideological reasons. At the audio-streaming company Spotify, workers recently demanded editorial control of Joe Rogan’s newly acquired podcast series, after they had successfully removed a number of episodes deemed to be controversial. At publishing giant Hachette, employees threatened to walk out after JK Rowling’s children’s book, The Ickabog, was announced. All these internal revolts have failed, presumably because figures such as Rowling, Rogan and Peterson are too popular to cancel. One wonders how a less lucrative artist would fare under such circumstances.

As Ray Bradbury predicted in Fahrenheit 451, books will be burned to protect everyone’s feelings as much as to block the content within them. But I’m not sure if even he would have predicted that it would be the publishers’ staffers who would be manning the flamethrowers. Of course, in Penguin’s case, their bosses are partially to blame as well:

On Wednesday, America’s Newspaper of Record had a simple cure: Staffers Crying Over Jordan Peterson Book Cured By Forcing Them To Read Jordan Peterson Book. Those who manage such a crybully workforce would benefit from reading Peterson as well.

OF COURSE THEY DO: Democratic Senators Announce National Face Mask Legislation.

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THE PRESS KEEPS TELLING US THIS IS A FRINGE VIEW, BUT IT’S NOT: Most back election recounts, GOP wants Trump to run again. “New polling shows that a sizable majority of all voters back the president’s demands for recounts in states where the final count was razor thin. . . . In a poll from McLaughlin & Associates for Newsmax TV, 67% of all voters said it is fair for Trump to ask for recounts where the final margin was 1% or closer.”

THIS IS WHY UNITED IS HAPPY TO PROVIDE CHARTER FLIGHTS FOR PFIZER’S VACCINE:

NEVER LET A PANDEMIC GO TO WASTE. The Great Reset: If Only It Were Just a Conspiracy.

Fair enough, not least because the Great Reset is, in essence, corporatist, not communist. The participation of companies of the type that Sixsmith mentions is, in reality, the participation of certain members of their senior management, using shareholder funds for purposes that have nothing to do with the bottom line and everything to do with the wielding of power within a system akin to a concert, with the state — if not necessarily the government — acting as the conductor.

In the course of an article on the Great Reset I wrote last month, I described corporatism as:

[A] hydra-headed ideology with origins in the premodern, and a very mixed past — sometimes benignly (it influenced the formation of West Germany’s social market economy) and sometimes not (it was an important element in pre-war fascist theory.) The different forms corporatism has taken make it tricky to define with precision, but they share a common core: the conviction that society should be organized by and for its principal interest groups — let’s call them “stakeholders” — intermediated by, and ultimately subordinate to, the state. The individual does not get a look in.

Recently, one expression of corporatism, “stakeholder capitalism,” has won strong support on both sides of the Atlantic. This might be expected in Europe, but that it has been taken up by the Business Roundtable and many leading firms in the U.S. — allegedly a bastion of both free enterprise and democracy — is depressing. Looked at optimistically, the BRT and its C-suite cheerleaders are useful idiots. Looked at realistically, they are part of a managerial class grubbing for the power that flows from other people’s money.

Stakeholder capitalism rests on the notion that a company’s management owes a duty to more than its shareholders. It’s something that Klaus Schwab, the WEF’s founder and executive chairman, has been advocating for a long time. A key feature of the Great Reset is the idea that stakeholder capitalism should, one way or another, be adopted.

That would reduce a company’s shareholders to just another category of “stakeholder,” effectively transferring the power that capital should confer away from its owners and into the hands of those who administer it. They are then accountable to, well, it’s not quite clear whom. It’s not difficult to grasp why so many corporate bosses are enthused by stakeholder capitalism.

You may not be interested in the Gleichschaltung, but the Gleichschaltung is interested in you.

(Found via Kate of Small Dead Animals, who writes, “I’ll believe there’s no conspiracy when the people who say there’s no conspiracy stop acting like conspirators.”

AT AMAZON, Le Creuset Stoneware Mini Round Cocotte, 8 oz., Marseille.

NOTHING TO SEE HERE, MOVE ALONG: ‘Historically strange’ spike in incomplete Nevada voter files, casinos as ‘home.’

PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: Carter Page Sues DOJ, FBI, James Comey, And Others Behind Crossfire Hurricane FISA Abuse.

In an eight-count complaint filed Friday in the D.C. District Court, Carter Page seeks damages of no less than $75 million from the U.S. government, the Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigations, and individuals responsible for obtaining four illegal Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act orders against Page.

Page’s 59-page complaint lists as defendants a veritable “Who’s Who” of the SpyGate scandal, including former FBI Director James Comey, Assistant Director Andrew McCabe, and the disgraced team of Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. Also singled out were Kevin Clinessmith, who earlier this year pleaded guilty to falsifying an email to hide Page’s past service as a source to the CIA, and FBI Agents Joe Pientka, Stephen Somma, and Brian Auten, with additional defendants identified merely as John Doe 1 – 10 and Jane Doe 1 – 10.

Just in case they thought this stuff would go away after the election.

MATTHEW CONTINETTI: Natan Sharansky and the Meaning of Freedom.

ANNALS OF LEFTIST AUTOPHAGY: Former Cuomo aide Alexis Grenell in The Nation on The Collapse of the Cuomosexual.

The whole thing was already very Through the Looking Glass before the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences announced on Friday that they were awarding the governor an Emmy for his “television shows with characters, plot lines, and stories of success and failure.” Next he’ll be playing himself in an Aaron Sorkin movie, taking three points off the back end. Aside from having just barely survived the delusion that elevated a reality TV character to the presidency, we’re now giving a real-life governor an entertainment award for doing his actual job. Where does that leave governors like Michigan’s Gretchen Witmer, who also gave press briefings, but didn’t take a bow—and got death threats instead?

There’s something genuinely depressing about seeing the son of a man who refused a seat on the Supreme Court so eager to be flattered by Ben Stiller. It’s almost hard to remember how he ridiculed two-time Emmy Award–winner Cynthia Nixon back in 2018 for being an unqualified celebrity.

Turns out he just wanted to trade places all along.

As Jeff Dunetz adds, “It turns out that Alexis Grenell, a Democratic Party consultant, has got Andrew Cuomo down to a ‘T.’ He doesn’t act like a politician. He acts like an absolute ruler—a tyrannical one.”

Which is why, you’re gonna need much more Cuomosexual Conversion Therapy:

But in the last few days, more New Yorkers have enrolled in Cuomosexual Conversion Therapy. Their two major sticking points? Vaccines and schools.

There was widespread optimism when Pfizer-BionTECH and Moderna announced success rates of over 90 percent for their COVID-19 vaccines. For the first time in months it seemed as though there was hope for America. Enter Andy-Vaxxer Cuomo, using his platform as governor to undermine public trust in the FDA’s potential authorization of vaccine which we will all need to take. ‘We can’t let this vaccination plan go forward the way that Trump and his administration is designing it,’ he said last week, with all the scientific expertise of an Instagram wellness blogger. ‘I’m pushing hard to make sure that we have a process in place to check what the FDA says before people start getting the vaccine in New York.’

People were happy to put up with Cuomo’s pettiness when he was moving his daughter’s boyfriend to the Canadian border, or deploying the State Liquor Authority to target bars that mocked his dumb food rule by serving ‘Cuomo pizza’. But the prospect that his tussling with Trump might delay the climax of the COVID carnage has given many pause for thought.

The governor compounded his misstep with another display of logger-headed machismo posturing this week, clashing with Mayor Bill de Blasio over school closures. The mayor, after dithering for days, introduced an arbitrary 3 percent positivity rate to re-close NYC’s public schools. The governor contradicted this, saying at a Wednesday press conference that schools could remain open as the positivity rate was only 2.5 percent. A Wall Street Journal reporter expressed confusion on behalf of parents — and Cuomo, acting as hard as a pierced nipple in winter, snapped:

The delivery of Cuomosexual deprogramming tools should be prioritized so that Emmy Award voters receive theirs first:

OPEN THREAD: The turkey is left over, but the comments are fresh!

ATTEMPT NO LANDINGS THERE: Jupiter’s ocean moon Europa may spout water plumes from its icy crust.

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