December 6, 2021

MY LACK OF RESPECT FOR OUR GENERALS HAS BECOME MORE PRONOUNCED: LIES! Ex-D.C. Guard Officials Say Generals Lied To Congress About January 6.

OPEN THREAD: Hang on to your hopes my friends.

NOW OUT FROM TONY KATZ AND FINGERS MALLOY: Let’s Go Bourbon!: The Bourbon Reader You’ve Always Needed. They host the radio program Eat! Drink! Smoke! And they’re generally cool guys, as you can guess from the title.

VICTORY: After recount, Republicans confirmed as in control of VA House of Delegates.

BIDEN TO UYGHURS: DROP DEAD.

This isn’t just a scandal. It’s a moral stain on the Biden administration, whose chief diplomat, Antony Blinken, routinely invokes his stepfather—a Holocaust survivor—when it’s politically convenient.

No word from him yet on the Uyghurs, but we assume his deputy speaks for him, and the president, in urging Democrats to toss human rights under the bus in service of a climate deal.

Who knew “restoring the soul of America” meant turning a blind eye to slavery overseas?

The people who crafted this ad, last year?

Related: White House Confirms U.S. Will Play China’s Genocide Olympics.

THE NEW SPACE RACE: Military interest in the moon is ramping up.

“Cislunar space has recently become prominent in the space community and warrants attention,” a recent Air Force Research Laboratory document states.

There is growing interest in protecting strategic assets in cislunar space, the realm between Earth and the moon.

The U.S. Space Force is not the only entity engaged in reflecting on the topic of how best to extend military presence far from Earth. Other nations such as China are doing so as well.

Parallel to air, land and sea skirmishes between nations here on Earth, is cislunar space, and perhaps the moon itself, an emerging military “high ground” and new territory for conflict? There’s a variance of views, according to experts Space.com talked to.

Indeed.

Related: America is behind in the new space race China is determined to win.

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON ON PEARL HARBOR: New video from Prager University.

Related: Taking a Second Look at WWII with Victor Davis Hanson’s ‘The Second World Wars.’

INSTITUTIONAL SEXISM: Lawmakers drop proposal to add women to the draft as defense bill headaches mount.

THE PRESS, UNDERMINING AMERICAN DEMOCRACY:

WATCH: James O’Keefe confronts leftist protesters outside NY Young Republicans.

O’Keefe asks them if they’ve heard of Project Veritas and reveals that he’s the CEO. They proceed to call him an ‘insurrectionist’ and make false claims about him, including that he ‘edits’ his videos.

When he asks them to substantiate these claims, to find out why they are saying it, they either clam up or can’t cite any proof whatsoever. It’s just insults, like always.

Somewhere, Andrew Breitbart smiles.

JUSSIE SMOLLETT TRIES TO CONVINCE THE COURT ‘THERE WAS NO HOAX:’ “As I wrote back in February of 2019, the Smollett incident is a vital reminder that some hate crimes are hoaxes; it would behoove the media to tread lightly with respect to sensational claims that only feel true because they confirm certain biases. On college campuses, where what passes for hate crimes are termed bias incidents, and are often investigated by university officials, most go unsolved. But among those that do get solved, the vast majority are either deliberate hoaxes or misunderstandings: Somebody left some wires or shoelaces hanging from a tree or a doorknob, and an alarmed person reported it. There are, of course, thousands of real hate crimes committed every year, but the flashiest incidents—the ones that neatly conform to stereotypes about racist Trump supporters— should be approached with caution.”

NEO: Oh, and about that gun the Crumbleys kept in an unlocked drawer. . . well, maybe not. “We don’t know which version is true, but my guess is that it’s more likely to be the prosecutor who’s blowing smoke.”

This prosecutor has not inspired confidence so far.

GREAT GIFT: Survival Kit 17 in 1. #CommissionEarned

KAROL MARKOWICZ: Mask mandates are harming our kids’ development. “We can go to concerts, dinner, Broadway shows. But being in the same room as the population least at risk for a poor COVID-19 outcome is forbidden. It’s because our leaders have decided that concerts, dinners, Broadway shows matter while parental involvement in kids’ education just doesn’t. They pretend there are no consequences to this. There are.”

Plus:

This is not something we discovered at the end of 2021. We’ve known this all along and were forced to ignore it for political purposes.

The “Now It Can Be Told” pieces are there to cover up the fact that the teachers unions ran the show and spineless politicians did their bidding to needlessly keep schools shut. We broke children because Randi Weingarten said so. But it’s not just her. The rot is deep. The unions sat down with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to craft policies to keep schools shut. Anthony Fauci went from saying schools should be open to saying they could only open once President Joe Biden’s stimulus plan passed. Every force on the left aligned against children.

As usual.

ANALYSIS: TRUE.

LICENSE TO STEAL: Pueblo Police Chief: Thefts under $2,000 cannot result in jail time. “In 2021, theft and larceny in Pueblo is up 11%. Auto theft has almost doubled in the city, going up 46%.”

Blame it on the COVID.

ABOUT TIME: “Ongoing genocide”: Biden orders diplomatic boycott of Beijing Olympics. “If there was any doubt about the U.S. staging some sort of protest at the Games, the disappearance of Peng Shuai early last month and the hostage crisis that’s been playing out ever since settled it. It would have been queasy to proceed in a business-as-usual diplomatic manner towards China after they covered up the initial outbreak of COVID, subjugated Hong Kong, and continued their mass internment of Uighurs. But Peng’s kidnapping is an unusually brazen and visible example of China silencing someone who’s made trouble for the regime; it’s a case study of CCP ruthlessness directed at a prominent athlete just months before the Games will open, in full view of western media. It can’t be ignored the way most international developments are, especially with the WTA bravely refusing to keep quiet about Peng’s treatment.”

That said, I’d favor a full boycott.

47,000 MORE PEOPLE DIED OF THIS DISEASE IN 2020 DUE TO LOCKDOWNS, WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION REPORTS:

Governments around the world took drastic measures in 2020 in hopes of slowing the spread of COVID-19, in many cases locking down economies and confining people to their homes for months on end. The extent to which these measures actually helped contain the COVID-19 pandemic is highly dubious. But the death toll from the unintended consequences of lockdowns continues to mount.

The World Health Organization (WHO) just reported that pandemic measures delayed and disrupted medical care for the global malaria crisis, leading to tens of thousands of additional deaths. An astounding 14 million additional malaria cases were recorded in 2020 compared to 2019, the WHO says. So, too, we saw 69,000 more malaria deaths in 2020 compared to 2019, 47,000 of which the organization says are directly attributable to disrupted diagnosis and treatment stemming from government pandemic restrictions.

If only there was a proven method to fight malaria. If only.

INSERT HENRY KISSINGER IRAN-IRAQ WAR JOKE HERE*: Chris Cuomo claims CNN boss Jeff Zucker knew about involvement in gov scandal.

Canned CNN host Chris Cuomo has fired back at the network — accusing his boss of knowing everything about his involvement in trying to quash ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s sex scandal.

In a new statement, a spokesman for the fallen TV star threw his longtime ally CNN President Jeff Zucker under the bus, while insisting the journalist “has the highest level of admiration and respect” for him.

“They were widely known to be extremely close and in regular contact, including about the details of Mr. Cuomo’s support for his brother,” the spokesman told the Wall Street Journal Sunday of Chris Cuomo’s shady support for his big brother as the governor’s sex scandal unfolded.

“There were no secrets about this, as other individuals besides Mr. Cuomo can attest,” the spokesman added.

* Or not. As Jim Treacher writes, “I don’t doubt Zucker knew what Cuomo was up to, just like he knew what Matt Lauer was doing for years. And I assume there’s plenty of blackmail material to prove it. For the first time ever, I’m rooting for Chris Cuomo to defeat his enemies.”

WELL, THEY AREN’T. BUT I’D LIKE TO KNOW MORE ABOUT WHO WAS RESPONSIBLE. Nevada Supreme Court Finds Gun Makers Not Liable for Las Vegas Massacre. We never got many details about that case, which is suspicious.

THE CLINTON MONEY MACHINE: Ethics Experts Alarmed By 93% Decrease In Clinton Foundation Donations Since $250 Million Peak In 2009. “Money was pouring in when Hillary Clinton was a senior official and a candidate for president. The fact that foundation donors received special access to the Secretary of State isn’t surprising, nor is the fall in foundation funding after her 2016 election loss. Many people thought people were supporting the former president, but it really looks like they were cozying up to who they thought was going to be the future president — a situation that can’t be repeated.”

FINGERS CROSSED! Will a Disgruntled Chris Cuomo Take CNN Down With Him?

STILL POPULAR: New Apple AirPods Pro. #CommissionEarned

CONSERVATIVES POUNCE! Right-wing activists are openly ‘weaponizing’ Twitter’s new private media policy.

Twitter acknowledged on Friday that a new policy it unveiled this week to protect users from harassment is being abused by malicious actors — days after journalists, left-wing activists and self-described “sedition hunters” reported their accounts had been locked for sharing publicly available images of anti-maskers, anti-vaccine protesters and suspected Capitol insurrectionists.

The acknowledgment highlights how Twitter has been caught flat-footed by what it described in a statement as “a significant amount of coordinated and malicious” activity that led to “several errors” in Twitter’s enforcement.

“We’ve corrected those errors and are undergoing an internal review to make certain that this policy is used as intended — to curb the misuse of media to harass or intimidate private individuals,” Twitter said.

Unveiled on Tuesday, Twitter’s new policy prohibits the sharing of images of private individuals without those people’s consent. The rule was created, Twitter initially said, in a bid to prevent its platform from being abused to harass and intimidate people, particularly women, activists and minorities.

But right-wing groups and anti-mask activists have quickly determined that the new Twitter policy offers an opportunity to strike back at those who might draw attention to their real-world identities. And in a matter of days, they established a coordinated campaign to flood Twitter with complaints that left-wing activists, Jan. 6 investigators and journalists covering rallies have published their faces without consent in violation of the new rule.

The problem is that lefties didn’t think Twitter’s new rules applied to them.

But that’s lefties and rules, generally.

OUR BLOOD AND HIS GUTS: Anthony Fauci and the Creation of the Bio-Security State.

A new populist spirit, represented by Donald Trump, among others, has led to a reshuffling of seemingly settled ideological alliances.

The reshuffling is ongoing.

I know this because I find myself approving of at least parts of “The Real Anthony Fauci: Bill Gates, Big Pharma, and the Global War on Democracy and Public Health,” the new bestseller book by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

It is odd indeed that I find myself in nodding agreement with an anti-vax, climate warrior named Kennedy, but there you are—or, rather, here we are.

Towards the end of a long and riveting interview with Tucker Carlson about his book, Kennedy reflects on the extraordinary—indeed, “totalitarian” is not too strong a word—government impositions upon individual liberty in the name of battling the COVID pandemic and issues a critical admonition that we forget at our peril.

“We have to love our freedom,” he said, “more than we fear a germ.”

Can we pause for a round of applause?

The risks of COVID to the general population were and are wildly exaggerated.

Everyone knows that now, though not everyone is yet ready to admit it.

QED: NYC employers must soon mandate proof of COVID-19 vaccine, de Blasio announces.

QUESTION ASKED AND ANSWERED ‘Has CNN Lost Trust?’ Brian Stelter Explores the Consequences of the Chris Cuomo Scandal for His Network.

Flashbacks: CNN Host Angry Conservatives Don’t Trust the Media, But Here’s a Few Examples Why.

It wasn’t that long ago that CNN was falsely trying to tell you that Joe Rogan was treating his COVID-19 sickness with horse de-wormer and now a host on the same network is complaining that the right is somehow in the wrong for not believing the media.

This is, of course, right after they dedicated a segment advocating that the mainstream media should, indeed, discriminate against the right when it comes to reporting.

To give you some background, the drama started when Florida Governor Ron DeSantis appeared on Fox News and told Maria Bartiromo that the corporate media lies its head off that it’s pretty much a given at this point to not believe much of what they say.

This apparently upset the host of CNN’s ironically named “Reliable Sources,” Brian Stelter, who began ringing the alarm bell about the “GOP’s anti-media streak and made it seem as if people should be aghast that a leader of conservatives should be telling conservatives that the biased media controlled by the left lies about conservatives.

Gee, Brian, where to begin?

Dana Loesch: How CNN Set Me Up For The Near-Riot Parkland Town Hall.

And of course, even Stelter doesn’t believe what CNN tells him, particularly involving global warming:

And then there’s one of Stelter’s favorite guests on a show called “Reliable Sources:” A gentleman named Dan Rather.

As Glenn wrote in the aftermath of Rather’s meltdown in 2004:

The world of Big Media used to be a high-trust environment. You read something in the paper, or heard something from Dan Rather, and you figured it was probably true. You didn’t ask to hear all the background, because it wouldn’t fit in a newspaper story, much less in the highly truncated TV-news format anyway, and because you assumed that they had done the necessary legwork. (Had they? I’m not sure. It’s not clear whether standards have fallen since, or whether the curtain has simply been pulled open on the Mighty Oz. But they had names, and familiar faces, so you usually believed them even when you had your doubts.)

The Internet, on the other hand, is a low-trust environment. Ironically, that probably makes it more trustworthy.

That’s because, while arguments from authority are hard on the Internet, substantiating arguments is easy, thanks to the miracle of hyperlinks. And, where things aren’t linkable, you can post actual images. You can spell out your thinking, and you can back it up with lots of facts, which people then (thanks to Google, et al.) find it easy to check. And the links mean that you can do that without cluttering up your narrative too much, usually, something that’s impossible on TV and nearly so in a newspaper.

(This is actually a lot like the world lawyers live in — nobody trusts us enough to take our word for, well, much of anything, so we back things up with lots of footnotes, citations, and exhibits. Legal citation systems are even like a primitive form of hypertext, really, one that’s been around for six or eight hundred years. But I digress — except that this perhaps explains why so many lawyers take naturally to blogging).

You can also refine your arguments, updating — and even abandoning them — in realtime as new facts or arguments appear. It’s part of the deal.

This also means admitting when you’re wrong. And that’s another difference. When you’re a blogger, you present ideas and arguments, and see how they do. You have a reputation, and it matters, but the reputation is for playing it straight with the facts you present, not necessarily the conclusions you reach. And a big part of the reputation’s component involves being willing to admit you’re wrong when you present wrong facts, and to make a quick and prominent correction.

When you’re a news anchor, you’re not just putting your arguments on the line — you’re putting yourself on the line. Dan Rather has a problem with that. For journalists of his generation, admitting an error means admitting that you’ve violated people’s trust. For bloggers, admitting an error means you’ve missed something, and now you’re going to set it right.

What people in the legacy media need to ask themselves is, which approach is more likely to retain credibility over time? I think I know the answer. I think Dan Rather does, too.

That seems like pretty good advice. Naturally, Stelter completely ignores it, week after week.

YEP: From the Editor: Warning lights are blinking in Austin. Nashville should pay attention. You absolutely do not want to emulate Austin city government.

ANALYSIS: TRUE.

FASTER, PLEASE: Targeted nanomedicine reduces vascular lesions, could help prevent stenosis.

A CORROLLARY TO REYNOLD’S MAXIM: Teach women not to lie about rape, too:
The University of Maryland, Baltimore County will pay three former baseball players a combined $450,000 to settle a defamation case they brought against the college after they said they were wrongly accused of rape and had the false allegations printed in the college’s newspaper.

Truth be told, I don’t think $450,000 has quite enough “sting.”

 

52 YEARS AGO TODAY: Altamont: 6 December 1969.

From your humble narrator, last month: 52 Years Before the Astroworld Concert Disaster, There Was Altamont.

RUN AWAY: Democrats Fleeing Biden’s Sinking Ship. “Just to show you how desperate Democrats are right now, they’re putting the blame on the lamest of all political excuses: ‘Bad messaging.'”

EPIC DAILY DEAL: BLACK+DECKER 20V Max Handheld Vacuum, Cordless, Grey. CommissionEarned

MY NECK OF THE WOODS: Bear spotted in West Knoxville as hibernation season approaches. “At around 2:30 a.m. neighbors in West Knoxville spotted something new in their community — a black bear walking through the area. Home security footage in the Riverbend area near Lakeshore Park caught the bear as it approached a home before it walked back into the night. It smelled a home’s outdoor trash can before stepping away.”

This isn’t even very far out — it’s like 10 minutes from downtown. David Baron, call your office!

WHEN YOU’VE LOST THE WASHINGTON POST…:Washington Post Mocks DCCC for ‘Worst Defense’ of ‘Biden Administration Yet.’

DAMN NEAR KILLED HIM: Bomb Squad Called To UK Hospital After Man Gets WWII Mortar Stuck In His Rectum.

READER BOOK PLUG: Christmas in Idaho – Christmas Book with Audio CD – Unique Gift – by Emmy Award Winner Artist Ray Downing. #CommissionEarned

DOES HE EVEN REALLY KNOW? Did Biden Lie About Being Tested for COVID Daily?

JOE BIDEN ENTERED THE BUBBLE LAST NIGHT AND PERFECTLY ILLUSTRATED THE TWO AMERICAS:

“The fact that Weija Jiang, a CBS News reporter who often claimed racism during the Trump administration, was apparently there only further underscores how incestuous the beltway is. The politicians get standing ovations at buildings paid for by taxpayers and the press fawn over them as if they are covering royalty. Meanwhile, normal people are out on a Sunday evening paying $3.50 a gallon for gas so they can go to work the next day. By the way, Jiang still hasn’t told us who supposedly used the phrase ‘Kung flu’ to her face at the Trump White House. Weird that even after he left office, she’s never revealed who was behind that horror, right? But I digress.”

COLD WAR II: China may be eyeing its first military base on the Atlantic Ocean. “U.S. officials, citing classified American intelligence reports, told the Wall Street Journal that Beijing could be eyeing Equatorial Guinea’s port city of Bata for the base. The report said Bata already comes with a deep-water port that had been upgraded by China Road & Bridge Co. from 2009 to 2014. The report said U.S. intelligence first learned of the possibility of the base in 2019.”

Previously: John Kerry declares the end of the Monroe Doctrine era.

WHEN YOU’VE LOST MASSACHUSETTS…:‘Let’s Go Brandon’ Store Opens in Massachusetts.

GOOD BOOK: Strength Training Anatomy, 3rd Edition. #CommissionEarned

GOODER AND HARDER: How looting turned the most upscale part of San Francisco into a ghost town.

TODAY’S UNIVERSITIES ARE CESSPITS OF ANTI-SEMITISM: Positive, proactive task force launched to combat spike in anti-Semitism at Indiana University.

ALL OF OUR INSTITUTIONS ARE ROTTEN: Military Officers: To Combat ‘Disinformation,’ The Government And Its Big Tech Buddies Should Tell You What To Think. “Ironically, the article is itself misinformation. That this misinformation is published by military officers associated with two highly prestigious institutions, the NDU and the Cyber Institute, makes it all the more inappropriate and dangerous.”

THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE ELITES FOIST A MOCKABLE PRESIDENT ON US: Chinese Communists Mock America and Biden in Advance of Democracy Summit.

TOP SELLER: Victorinox Fibrox Pro Chef’s Knife, 8-Inch Chef’s. #CommissionEarned

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Rising popularity of ‘trauma-informed teaching’ contributes to intellectually intolerant campus climates.

STILL THE PARTY OF SLAVERY: House Democrats Won’t Schedule Vote on Bill to Sanction Chinese Slave Labor.

CUOMO AT CNN WAS BAD BUT THEN THERE ARE: So many far more egregious examples of journalistic malpractice in the Mainstream Media since 2016, according to Margot Cleveland of The Federalist:

“Consider too the innumerable New York Times and Washington Post articles pushing false claims of collusion, or the same appearing on the nightly news, cable and otherwise. Were those stories prompted by briefings provided by the hired guns of Fusion GPS and Christopher Steele?

“Both were paid by the Clinton campaign via a law firm to spread the Alfa Bank and pee-tape fantasies, and now years later the public is seeing unprecedented retractions following the indictment of one of Steele’s supposed sources.”

Sooner or later, there must be an accounting for what these people have done to corrupt an essential feature of Republican liberty, a free and responsible press.

HMM: Is This the Real Reason Chris Cuomo Got Fired? “There is an alleged Chris Cuomo sexual harassment victim represented by a high profile attorney, according to a source.”

AFTER 20 YEARS WE STILL HAD NO IDEA WHAT WAS GOING ON THERE: Taliban had sleeper agents in every major city, dressed like Westerners.

#RESIST: FBI: Black Friday week saw 687,788 gun background checks.

JOHN FUND:  A bunch of old folks.

KRUISER’S MORNING BRIEF: Even the Partisan Hack MSM Is Souring On Kamala Harris. “It has been difficult to not notice that the frequency of the ‘Wow, Kamala Harris is kind of a train wreck…’ articles has been picking up quite a bit lately. We’ve led the Briefing with that once in October and November, the most recent being around three weeks ago. In reality, there is enough material to do a daily diary about this political nightmare, but we probably do need to keep focusing on her even bigger train wreck of a boss.”

BE PREPARED: ReadyWise Camping Favorites Cook-in-Pouch Freeze Dried Food Kit – Great for Backpacking and Hiking. #CommissionEarned

I DON’T WANT TO HEAR ANOTHER GODDAMN WORD ABOUT MY CARBON FOOTPRINT (CONT’D): Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm hops into gas-guzzler in Boston. “The Department of Energy did not respond to a request for comment about the Suburban and how that squares with the discussions of sustainability and efficiency. It wasn’t immediately clear what year the SUV was.”

Plus: Feds fume over Herald’s Jennifer Granholm SUV gas story.

The Herald’s story about U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm riding around Boston in a gas-guzzling SUV has the federal department fuming.

Granholm made the front page in Saturday’s paper when she followed up her comments here about the need for more investment in efficient, sustainable infrastructure through President Biden’s “Build Back Better” bill by hopping right into a Chevy Suburban Premier, which doesn’t rank particularly well in terms of environmental friendliness.

But the feds felt like the Herald’s focus on the “gas-guzzler” SUV was just pumping up a non-issue.

“Would the Herald run this kind of a story if it was a minivan? Shame to see journalism like this at a time when there a real dollars coming to Massachusetts that will lower costs and create jobs for families and workers,” a Department of Energy spokeswoman said in a statement emailed over on Saturday. . . .

The webpage maintained by Granholm’s own Department of Energy that is the government “official source” for fuel economy lookups pegs the 2021 Suburban at somewhere between 16 and 23 miles per gallon overall, depending on whether it’s using diesel, premium gas or regular gas. For city driving — as the slow going in the area right around Fenway is — the SUV can get as few as 14 miles per gallon.

A couple of quick Google searches show the Suburban — whose webpage on the Chevy website reads “Welcome to the big life” — showing up on multiple top-10 “gas-guzzlers” lists. . . .

To answer Granholm’s flak’s question about minivans — the least-fuel efficient one of those still gets overall 20 miles to the gallon, rating better than her sizable ride in both gas consumed and emissions, per her federal website.

Minivans aren’t cool, though.

BATTLESWARM BLOG: A Roundup Of Things We Might Want To Pay Attention To. “Smaller than a LinkSwarm, here’s a list of foreign hot spots that we might want to pay more attention to than we are right now. And by ‘we,’ I mean ‘The U.S. Department of State,’ which seems to be run by feckless, corrupt Obama Administration retreads. So I doubt they’re up to the task.”

THEY CAN’T WIN A WAR, BUT THEY LIVE HIGH ON THE HOG: A Flock Of U.S. Military Business Jets Has Descended On Southern California: It’s a vivid reminder that the Pentagon’s brass flies in style. “These aircraft cost many thousands of dollars an hour to operate and cost many tens of millions of dollars to acquire. Some cry foul when Pentagon leadership whines about lack of funds for critical combat capabilities yet continue to use these aircraft constantly.”

I wouldn’t mind if they could win a war. Or even manage a freaking retreat.

Anyway, I don’t want to hear another goddamn thing about my carbon footprint.

#RESIST: 6th Circuit Delivers Another Body Blow to Biden’s OSHA Vax Mandate. “It turned out that being forced to choose between injecting yourself with a controversial novel vaccine or losing your livelihood, as well as the entire process of opening up your private personal business to intrusive stooges, was really unpopular.”

(ALMOST) EVERY SUNDAY I DO A PROMO POST FOR (MOSTLY) INDIE WRITERS:  Book Promo And Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike.

There is also a fun vignette thing.  Many a novel has started in the comments of According to Hoyt’s Sunday promo post.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, JOURNAL INTEGRITY EDITION: Another ‘Sokal’ Hoax? The Latest Imitation Calls an Academic Journal’s Integrity Into Question.

The legacy of the legendary academic prankster Alan Sokal lives on.

The journal Higher Education Quarterly published a study last month purporting to show that donations from right-wing benefactors influence scholars to promote similarly conservative causes and candidates for jobs. The authors are listed as “Sage Owens” and “Kal Avers-Lynde III” — initials that spell out SOKAL III. It didn’t take long for online sleuths to out it as a hoax.

The Higher Ed Quarterly paper appears to be the latest imitation of Sokal’s infamous 1996 prank, in which he tricked the journal Social Text into publishing an article that he later revealed to be entirely a joke.

Sokal, a professor of physics at New York University, was lauded by conservative critics of higher education for his sendup of the progressive political views taking hold in academe. The original Sokal hoax also raised a host of questions about the integrity of the peer-review process that remain as relevant today as they were 25 years ago.

Among the glaring issues with the Higher Education Quarterly paper is that the authors are not affiliated with the University of California at Los Angeles, as they are listed.

“After reading through it, I had my doubts,” said Robert K. Toutkoushian, a professor of higher education at the University of Georgia and a member of the editorial board of Higher Education Quarterly. For one thing, Toutkoushian said, the paper cited a survey of faculty that got an 83-percent response rate, which seemed highly improbable. “Good luck getting 5 percent of faculty to respond,” he said. . . .

The editors of the journal did not respond to a request for comment. Wiley, the journal’s publisher, initially did not respond to a request for comment. Late Wednesday, a Wiley representative said, “Higher Education Quarterly takes research integrity incredibly seriously and is moving swiftly to retract the article, given that the data has been identified as fabricated and the authors have not disclosed their true identities.”

But one of the purported authors of the paper did respond to an email from The Chronicle, writing that the journal “ought to be embarrassed” for accepting such obviously shoddy work. “No referee asked to see our data,” wrote the alleged author, using the name Sage Owens, from the email address [email protected] The writer declined to provide any other identifying details.

The conclusions were too good to check.

OH, DEAR LORD:  Tasmania Building a “Black Box” Recorder for Climate Change.

This is not from the Babylon Bee. Repeat: this is not from the Babylon Bee.

YES, YES, BUT SHOULD WE BE THANKING HIM?

FOR ONE, THE PANIC IGNORES HOW VIRUSES HAVE ALWAYS WORKED:  Sunday Talks, Dr. Ben Carson Discusses The Omicron Variant Madness.

ONLY FOOLS AND CRAZY PEOPLE WOULD DO THIS IN A LABOR SHORTAGE:  Mandates Have Consequences – Leesburg Virginia Finds Out The Police Were Not Bluffing, Now Facing a Shortage of Officers.

So, you know, democrats who never figured out the link between work and wealth.

BUT, BUT, BUT, TRUMP WAS IN COLLUSION WITH RUSSIA! ELEVENTY!  U.S. Intel: Russia Preparing Military Offensive Against Ukraine.

WE DON’T HAVE A DEMOCRACY:  China’s Communist Party Mocks U.S. Democracy Ahead of Biden Summit.

And why should we care if a 3rd world sh*thole who can only survive if we buy their crappy products mocks us?
Divest from China with all possible speed, and ignore them as they they fall apart. (Sending them Fauci and Biden in shipping containers with apples in their mouths is optional, but kind of cheery. We can stamp the containers “return to sender.”  Heck, send the rest of the Junta, to show willing.)

THAT’S BECAUSE ALL THE MEDIA TALK ABOUT HIM AS THOUGH HE WERE A CAR:  Waukesha Massacre Suspect Has The Sads.

OCCASIONAL CORTEX IS A HOAX, ACCORDING TO THINKING HUMANS:  Smash And Grab Is A Hoax Per AOC.

I DON’T WANT TO SAY ANYTHING TO DR. FAUCI:  Rand Paul: Americans, Live Your Life This Holiday Season.

I want him on a shipping container to China. With an apple in his mouth.

IT’S NOT WEAKNESS. HE’S ON THEIR SIDE:  U.S. Enemies Take Advantage of Biden Weakness.

Let’s go Brandon!

SOME OF US FIGURED IT OUT WHEN THE LOCKDOWNS MADE NO SENSE WHATSOEVER:  COVID-19 a Pandemic of Fear ‘Manufactured’ by Authorities: Yale Epidemiologist.

Let’s say you’re one of those insane people who dismissed the low numbers of death/serious illness aboard the Diamond Princess because apparently people on cruise ships have “top quality medical care” (Coo-ey! Is the sky made of candy floss in your world?) in what world — even a candy floss sky one — did it make sense to close local grocery stores but keep walmart open? In what world did it make sense to direct flow in stores so everyone crammed in through the same door, and everyone walked the same path (thereby a crowded/grimy, etc. path)?  In what world did reducing hours of stores make sense? In what world did it make sense to wear a mask to your table then remove it to eat? (Are you less contagious when sitting?) In what world did curfews make sense? In what world did mask mandates outside in botanic gardens and zoos make sense? In what world did it make sense that you were hectored for getting out and driving around, while remaining your car?
In what world did the government stomp on every — no matter how crackpot or inocuous — rumored treatment? In what world, despite all studies to the contrary, do two layers of thin fabric stave off viral infection? In what world are doctors and nurses laid off by the thousands during a supposed pandemic? And finally in what world does it make any sense that a completely ineffective — if not (the numbers are not trustworthy in the sense that we can’t trust anything from collection to reporting, but in the UK there are indications that way) counterproductive — vaccine is being forced on the population by government mandate?

Your government is trying to terrorize you. In face, governments all over the world are trying to terrorize their subjects.  As the “blue model” (Socialist/Marxist-lite model of governance) founders on its internal contradictions and the demise of mass media allows us all to see it, the overreaching, engorged governments and their minions are trying to subdue those they consider their subjects by any means necessary.

Proceed accordingly.

December 5, 2021

IT’S NOT JUST HOLLYWOOD: “Hollywood doesn’t want us to be happy. Sad audiences are easier to manipulate.”

That’s Andy Kessler, talking about why the Bond franchise has become a downer:

I’ve proudly seen every James Bond movie ever made, even the George Lazenby, Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan doozies, plus Woody Allen’s 1967 “Casino Royale” spoof. As a kid, I even inhaled Duco Cement fumes assembling a plastic model 1964 Aston Martin DB5—with a working ejector seat!

Bond films delivered a feeling of sophistication and fun. The original James Bond was suave and sassy while he resolved sinister plots. He exemplified cool: He drank vodka martinis but never to excess, was impeccably dressed and, though flirty, was a gentleman. The early films were filled with innuendo and scenes that were simultaneously exotic and a touch campy. Sean Connery’s Bond had a joie de vivre. Roger Moore’s was less serious and a little over the top, but the audience was in on the joke.

Scholars love to analyze Bond creator and author Ian Fleming’s work as an allegory: Bond is the new Churchill, saving the British Empire from its inevitable postwar decline. Bond’s motivation in Her Majesty’s Secret Service is always God and country, epitomized in the opening scene of “The Spy Who Loved Me” when he skis off a cliff and unfurls a parachute emblazoned with the Union Jack.

But since Daniel Craig took over in 2006, things have turned strange, especially with his final Bond film, “No Time to Die,” which I recently watched. It was dark and gloomy like 2012’s “Skyfall.” Billie Eilish practically whispers the theme song, seemingly from a shrink’s couch. Bond was brooding, with a constant scowl on his face. What was he so depressed about, Brexit? No wonder Mr. Craig reportedly couldn’t wait to finish his run as 007.

What the heck is going on? After paying for $15 movie tickets plus overpriced and overbuttered popcorn, I expect to escape the drudgery of real life for a couple of hours. I want to come out of a dark theater with a huge smile on my face, not feeling as if I got hit by a sad sack of potatoes.

Why does Hollywood sulk so much these days? Is it simply reflecting society? This moody movement certainly ruined “Star Wars” and Batman—“Dark Knight” indeed—and even enjoyable Marvel characters like Iron Man’s Tony Stark, who started out snarky and ended up despondent. Gloomy dreck like “Parasite” and “Nomadland” now win the Oscar for Best Picture. Anything good, like Joaquin Phoenix’s performance in “The Joker,” gets shouted down as insensitive.

The movies are depressing because Hollywood is depressed. Hollywood is depressed because it’s not very good at its job anymore, and no matter how many awards they give to each other, they know it.

OPEN THREAD: You made me smile, for a little while.

SPACE: NASA to award SpaceX three more commercial crew flights. “NASA originally envisioned alternating missions between SpaceX and Boeing, assuming both companies’ vehicles would be certified around the same time. However, Boeing has yet to fly a crewed Starliner mission, and its second uncrewed test flight, OFT-2, has been delayed to some time in 2022.”

Poor Boeing.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Meet a single mom and adjunct professor with $430,000 in student debt: ‘I’m in a hole that I’m never going to get out of.’ “I hate to say it this way, and it’s morbid, but I’ll probably die still owing student loans.”

EPIC DAILY DEAL: Snow Joe SJ626E Electric Snow Thrower | 22-Inch | 14.5 Amp. #CommissionEarned

TAKE A RIDE, RIDE, RIDE ON HEAVY METAL, IT’S THE ONLY WAY YOU CAN TRAVEL DOWN THAT ROAD; Heavy Metal Exoplanet Found Orbiting Nearby Star: With a density close to that of pure iron, GJ 367b may be the remnant metal-rich core of an evaporated giant world.

GOODER AND HARDER: Brutal, brazen crimes shake L.A., leaving city at a crossroads.

Crews of burglars publicly smashing their way into Los Angeles’ most exclusive stores. Robbers following their victims, including a star of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” and a BET host, to their residences. And this week, the fatal shooting of 81-year-old Jacqueline Avant, an admired philanthropist and wife of music legend Clarence Avant, in her Beverly Hills home. . . .

Some wonder if this could be a turning point for California, which for decades has been at the center of the movement for criminal justice reform, rolling back tough sentencing laws and reducing prison populations.

Polls in 2020 showed that California voters largely support many of these measures, and both San Francisco and Los Angeles have elected district attorneys with strong reform agendas. However, those concerned about crime and those who believe liberal policies have contributed to its rise have grown more vocal.

It is a discourse defined by glaring differences of opinion and, at times, a yawning disconnect between the perception of local crime and the reality on the ground.

Dominick DeLuca, owner of the Brooklyn Projects skateboard shop on Melrose Avenue, a commercial corridor that has seen burglaries and robberies spike sharply in recent months, said things have gotten so bad that he carries a gun to work — and desperately wants ramped-up enforcement.

“I have never seen anything like it,” he said. “In the last two years, I have been broken into three times.”

At a Thursday press conference, Mayor Eric Garcetti and Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore said more offenders should be locked up and questioned pandemic-related policies that have allowed many nonviolent arrestees to be released without bail.

Moore said arrests had been made in several high-profile “smash-and-grab” burglaries but lamented that the suspects had all been released pending trial. Garcetti said warehousing criminals in jails without rehabilitating them is not a solution, but neither is ceding the streets to repeat offenders.

Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. George Gascón, whose progressive policies around prosecution and sentencing many blame for the uptick in crime, was notably absent at the press conference but said through his office that he is working closely with law enforcement partners to hold perpetrators accountable for such brazen crimes.

The heightened rhetoric marks a departure from language shared by many of the same officials just last year, after George Floyd’s murder by a Minneapolis police officer.

Even a flatworm is smart enough to turn away from pain.

THE END OF THE APARTHEID ALIBI:

During the local election campaign Ferial Haffajee wrote about the sad state of her part (and every part) of Johannesburg: litter everywhere, potholes, street lights and traffic lights that don’t work, irregular water, irregular power, uncollected rubbish and all the rest of it. When she recited this lament to the ANC she was angrily accused of “nostalgia for the white city”.

In today’s South Africa it is, of course, politically inadmissible to say that the whites got anything right so instead Ferial recorded sadly how in the years before 1994 there had been lots of bold talk by the UDF about how much better in every respect things would be in the new, liberated South Africa. The developmental state. People’s education. Reconstruction and development. The comrades gave such inspiring speeches about these matters.

Ferial is a nice woman but her perspectives are so encased in a sort of terminal political correctness that she can’t call a spade a spade. But imagine the angry black voters of Soweto or Ekurhuleni who booed Ramaphosa, or the Indian voters of Chatsworth, or the Coloured voters of the Cape Flats: if you accused them of “nostalgia for the white city” you’d be told “Absolutely. You bet. So’s everybody.”

It is indeed a no-brainer. Cheap, plentiful and reliable electricity. Sewage and water systems that work properly. Street lights and traffic lights ditto. Decent roads, litter that gets collected, law and order: what’s not to like?

The point is this. Whenever anyone tries to hold the ANC responsible for anything its first instinct is to find a way of blaming apartheid. But in the local election campaign this was impossible. They’ve been in power for 27 years so if people don’t like the mess they’ve made of their towns and, indeed, of their country, there’s no one else to blame. So the best the ANC can do is try to invalidate their complaint by the accusation of “nostalgia for the white city”. Quite obviously it didn’t work and won’t work.

Moreover, it carries the suggestion that the broken state of the towns and cities is what you ought to expect in an African-run country, that things not working is somehow more authentic. This is a very dangerous notion: “Vote for us! We expect to fail, and we will! We stand for backwardness, for candles not electricity.” This leads nowhere.

What did socialists use before candles? Electricity!

Plus:

It was not surprising that the effect of colonial conquest and the easy superiority of whites in white-ruled South Africa should have left many Africans with a diminished self-confidence and a low sense of their own worth. But the hope was that with all legal barriers removed and access to good education, a new sense of egalitarian self-confidence would be born, particularly in the younger generation.

This has not happened for no one has paid a higher price for the failure of ANC governance than young black South Africans. Far from improving, as one would have hoped, the state education on offer to them has declined in standard. If they get through Matric they often then find themselves way out of their depth on overcrowded university campuses, where standards have fallen too. The failure rates are horrendous, encouraging the sense that black students are inferior, always clustered at the bottom of the class.

Finally, young blacks face a horrendous labour market and the probability of long-term unemployment. Many of them get caught in pointless symbolic politics – arguing about statues, for heaven’s sake, or accepting that the only way ahead lies through racial populism. These are really dead-ends.

The ANC has taught young black South Africans that African government doesn’t work, that their politicians are crooks and that it’s not worth voting. The exact opposite of Mandela’s dream.

Moreover, the party was handed on a plate the richest country in Africa with the best infrastructure, the richest mining industry and the most productive agriculture. Within a generation it was an almost bankrupt country in which very little worked. What to say after that?

It’s not black rule. Botswana next door is well-run. It’s rule by leftists, which always makes everything suck. And they always use race as an excuse for their failures. You can see that in the deep-Blue parts of the United States.

Flashback: Over a decade ago, Nick Kristof reported that Zimbabweans were nostalgic for the old days of Rhodesia:

The hungry children and the families dying of AIDS here are gut-wrenching, but somehow what I find even more depressing is this: Many, many ordinary black Zimbabweans wish that they could get back the white racist government that oppressed them in the 1970’s.

“If we had the chance to go back to white rule, we’d do it,” said Solomon Dube, a peasant whose child was crying with hunger when I arrived in his village. “Life was easier then, and at least you could get food and a job.”

Mr. Dube acknowledged that the white regime of Ian Smith was awful. But now he worries that his 3-year-old son will die of starvation, and he would rather put up with any indignity than witness that.

An elderly peasant in another village, Makupila Muzamba, said that hunger today is worse than ever before in his seven decades or so, and said: “I want the white man’s government to come back. Even if whites were oppressing us, we could get jobs and things were cheap compared to today.”

His wife, Mugombo Mudenda, remembered that as a younger woman she used to eat meat, drink tea, use sugar and buy soap. But now she cannot even afford corn gruel. “I miss the days of white rule,” she said.

Nearly every peasant I’ve spoken to in Zimbabwe echoed those thoughts.

You’d think that Zimbabwe would have been a cautionary example for South Africa, but it seems to have been more of a how-to guide. And hey, the political insiders got rich.

THE CORBYNIZATION OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY CONTINUES APACE: Pelosi Looking To Punish Boebert For Islamophobia But She Ignores Antisemitism.

WELCOME BACK, CARTER: Ron Klain cannot gaslight Biden’s way to reelection.

We are used to White Houses of all political stripes lying to us, but the lies the Biden administration tells are betrayed by everyone’s eyes, ears, and pocketbooks. It doesn’t matter how great Klain boasts our (artificially) tight labor market when we all know service is getting slower, worse, and more expensive.

Biden can bleat about how “transitory” this inflation is, but can you believe that when your paycheck covers less and less of your regular budget? The average person spends the majority of that budget on food, transportation, and housing — the three things exploding in price right now. Not only are those things we experience and ascertain as fact, but these are things that directly infuriate us.

At some point, maybe Klain and company will realize lying to voters about how great things are is a losing strategy. But by then, it may no longer be their government to control.

The article is focused on Team Biden trashing the economy, and doesn’t even mention the other big reason for Brandon’s sagging poll numbers: Americans give Biden low marks on Afghanistan pullout: Reuters/Ipsos poll.

JUST IN TIME FOR ALL YOUR CHRISTMAS SHOPPING NEEDS: ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ store opens in Massachusetts.

FIGHT THE WOKE: In defence of academic freedom at McGill University. “We insist that inclusivity must begin with a commitment to a broad diversity of thought, opinions, theoretical interests and political views.”

SAN FRANCISCO RESTAURANT DEFENDS DENYING SERVICE TO ARMED POLICE OFFICERS: ‘We were uncomfortable.’

The co-owner of a San Francisco restaurant defended refusing service to three uniformed police officers following backlash over the move, calling the establishment a “safe space.”

“It’s not about the fact that we are anti-police,” chef and co-owner of Hilda and Jesse, Rachel Sillcocks, told ABC7 News. “It is about the fact that we do not allow weapons in our restaurant. We were uncomfortable, and we asked them to leave. It has nothing to do that they were officers. It has everything to do that they were carrying guns.”

“We understand how much the police support and protect the community,” she added. “We want to again reiterate the fact that this is about guns being in our space, and we don’t allow it.”

Well, that’s one way to (temporarily, alas) tank your Yelp rating.

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