January 25, 2021

THIS REVOLUTION WILL BE BROUGHT TO YOU BY COSPLAY POLITICS.

BUT OTHER THAN THAT, WHAT DID YOU THINK OF HIS EXECUTIVE ORDERS? Biden’s Trans Agenda Threatens the Military, Science, and Women’s Rights.

UNEXPECTEDLY: Washington Post ‘Fact Checkers’ Won’t Count False Biden Claims; ‘Assume’ He’ll Be Like Obama.

That’s quite an interesting comparison by the amnesia-suffering WaPo “fact checkers:” Obama’s repeated “If you like your plan you can keep your plan” lies were so outrageous, even his fellow Democrats at “Politifact” couldn’t ignore it, dubbng it their “Lie of the Year” in 2013.

THE “TRUMP ANTIBODY TREATMENT” ADVANCES: Germany to use corona meds that helped Trump.

GREAT MOMENTS IN PIVOTS: The Echo Chamber Era. Trust in media is down, but if journalists don’t listen to critics anyway, why should they care?

A day after Joe Biden’s inauguration, the headline in Axios read: “Trust in media hits a new low.” Felix Salmon wrote that “for the first time ever, fewer than half of all Americans have trust in traditional media.” The Edelman survey showed overall faith in the press dropping to 46%.

* * * * * * * *

Balance isn’t about giving credulous coverage or equal time to Donald Trump or Josh Hawley or Ben Shapiro (though I think it’s crazy for news organizations to cut off all conservatives), it’s about being consistent. If you tell us on January 12th that all 50 state capitols are under serious threat — I was genuinely worried — you have to tell us what happens at the end of the story a week later. Was that threat real but deterred? Was it overblown? What happened to all of those warnings?

This has been an ongoing theme of coverage in the Trump years: hyping a threat for a news cycle or two, then moving to the next panic as the basis for the first one dissipates. How many headlines were aimed at our outrage centers in the last four years that were quietly memory-holed, once they’d outlived their political utility? We read dozens of stories before the election warning that Russia was already interfering in the 2020 election. A smattering of New York Times headlines alone:

  • Lawmakers Are Warned That Russia Is Meddling to Re-elect Trump
  • Russia Continues Interfering in Election to Try to Help Trump, U.S. Intelligence Says
  • ‘Chaos Is the Point’: Russian Hackers and Trolls Grow Stealthier in 2020
  • F.B.I. Warns of Russian Interference in 2020 Race and Boosts Counterintelligence Operations
  • Putin Most Likely Directing Election Interference to Aid Trump, C.I.A. Says

The Times almost weekly quoted people like the “American official” who said Russia was like a “tornado, capable of inflicting damage on American democracy now,” or FBI Director Christopher Wray, who said there was a “very active” campaign to influence the election and “denigrate Vice President Biden.”

Then Biden won the election, the story disappeared, and the near-immediate conclusion of the same New York Times was that the election had been “free of fraud.” They quoted the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency as saying the 2020 vote was “the most secure in American history,” and as for all of those pre-election scare stories?

A bipartisan consensus like this may tempt some people to conclude that the dire pre-election warnings were overblown, that the risks to the election were never that serious. The reality is the opposite…

Like the wider Trump-Russia story itself, which magically vanished from coverage before both the 2018 and 2020 election seasons, audiences were asked for a time to care about certain things as if their lives depended on it, then just as quickly asked to forget the issues ever came up. And they wonder why people feel manipulated?

Oceania has never been at war with Eastasia.

CHARLES LIPSON: Biden’s Biggest Decision.

How will President Biden resolve tensions between his party’s left wing and its establishment-corporate center? His first day in office showed one way. He will signal his virtue to progressives on hot-button issues like Keystone XL pipeline, the Guantanamo Bay detention center, and the Paris climate accord. He won’t build another new mile of border barrier. He wants a higher minimum wage. Those gestures are meant to please party activists without, he hopes, costing too much with average voters. Best of all, they don’t require any pesky, time-consuming procedures, like passing actual laws or ratifying treaties. They will be implemented by presidential orders and bureaucratic regulations

More broadly, President Biden will use EOs, bureaucratic regulations, and sub-Cabinet appointments to placate his party’s vital interest groups in education (teachers unions), criminal justice, race relations, immigration, and the environment. Important as those policies are, Biden has no intention of meeting the far-reaching socialist demands of Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

They seem more or less happy to wait him out, which might not take all that much waiting.

WELL, YES, CALLING PEOPLE BIGOTS IS HATE SPEECH. Did it ever occur to the people accusing others of “hate speech” that what they are saying is interpreted as hate speech?

Plus: “I will say it again. If you are a conservative or libertarian; if you are an elected Republican at any government level; if you are a conservative or libertarian publication; delete your Twitter ($TWTR) account and end your share link with them. Go to another social media platform to spread your views. I wrote about Fascist Jack but read wealth manager Josh Brown’s take on Twitter here. Sometimes to create momentum and a movement you need to take a scalp. Twitter is a scalp that is there for the taking. Take it.”

I quit Twitter a long time ago — and, TBH, should never have gotten on it and provided them with free content to begin with. I’ve never once regretted leaving it.

AUDIO: On Hugh Hewitt, former commander of Ranger Regiment slams Salon for attacks on Sen. Tom Cotton. “I don’t know Senator Cotton. I mean, I’ve looked at a lot of his statements. And to your point, to my knowledge, he’s never claimed to have been in the Ranger Regiment, or one of the Ranger battalions. He’s always clearly stated he was in the 101st and the Old Guard. And he was a graduate of the Ranger school. So I think, and this is not the first time it’s come up.” You can be a graduate of the Ranger School and not be a member of the Ranger Regiment. In fact, lots and lots of people are.

Plus: ” I think, you know, if you really want to understand this, there’s one Ranger Hall of Fame, and that Ranger Hall of Fame is comprised of two different groups of people – people that served in the Ranger Regiment and the battalions, and people that are Ranger qualified. So clearly, the Rangers who created the Ranger Hall of Fame believe they’re both inside that umbrella.”

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: The River of Forgetfulness.

We are expected to forget that for over 90 summer days, there was utter havoc in dozens of American cities. Downtowns were ravaged. Stores were looted. Arson was customary. More than 700 police were injured and spat upon. In all, those “mostly peaceful” protests did billions of dollars in damage, leaving thousands of business owners bankrupt, and at least three-dozen people dead.

In other words, the visuals were the same old, same old we had seen during the violent 2017 Inauguration Day protests in Washington, the rioting in Ferguson and Baltimore, in New York during the final stages of the Occupy Wall Street take over, and the WTO violence over two decades ago in Seattle—with one major exception. This time the authorities saw far more election-year political advantage in defending the violence than in suppressing it, and so made the necessary adjustments, at least until Election Day.

The mayors of the targeted cities like Portland, Seattle, Chicago, and Minneapolis contextualized and supported the mayhem (“block party” and “summer of love”). They cared little for the thousands of lives that were wrecked by the destruction.

Joe Biden excused Antifa as a mere “idea” (a presidential ante facto impeachable offense?)—largely because millions of his supporters condoned or explained away the violence, and they said so publicly. The New York Times architect of the “1619 Project,” Nikole Hannah-Jones boasted at the height of the unrest, “Destroying property, which can be replaced, is not violence.” She’s lucky none of the oppressed took her literally or seriously enough to storm the New York Times. One wonders what is the further utility of BLM and Antifa after the Biden election, and whether erstwhile dead-ender “protestors” may now be recategorized as “rioters” given the suddenly bad optics.

Of course, some of us haven’t forgotten: Pelosi and Biden Get Hoisted on Their Own Petard With Latest Antifa Video.

JUST SENT OUT THANK-YOU NOTES TO PEOPLE WHO DONATED VIA PAYPAL. Sorry that some were a bit late; I got a bit behind with the Covid and other stuff. I very much appreciate your support, especially now that the Amazon stuff is no longer happening as before.

(Bumped).

INDEED: In 2020, Teachers Unions and Police Unions Showed Their True Colors.

UNITY: Several Super Bowl Advertisers Bow Out over Fear of Offending Viewers.

DO NOT TRUST CHINA. CHINA IS ASSHOLE. China: America Probably Created The Virus, You Know.

ANALYSIS: TRUE. Rand Paul smackdown of George Stephanopoulos is what media deserve.

REFILL THE SWAMP: Hickenlooper Taps Lobbyist to Lead Senate Office.

ANIMATED POLITICALLY INCORRECT GUIDE TO AMERICAN HISTORY: It’s a jointly produced product from the Capitol Research Center (CRC) and Dangerous Documentaries, and it’s first episode of the first season (10 episodes, each 10-12 minutes long) debuts this week.

While we’re here, don’t miss CRC’s recent vidumentary on George Soros funding radically lefties seeking local prosecutorial offices. Soros has had a lot of success in this particular effort and is in part responsible for the spiraling crime rates in those jurisdictions, including Philadelphia and Chicago.

PORTMAN OUT: Ohio’s U.S. Sen. Rob Portman won’t run for re-election; Republican cites ‘partisan gridlock.’ “Portman still has $5 million in his campaign account and would’ve been a heavy favorite to be re-elected in 2022. He has never lost an election, winning all of them by double-digit margins. It’s expected to remain a safe seat for Republicans, who’ve been tightening their grip on Ohio for the past decade. Potential GOP candidates for Portman’s seat include: Congressman Jim Jordan, Ohio Republican Party Chairwoman Jane Timken, former state treasurer Josh Mandel and ‘Hillbilly Elegy’ author J.D. Vance.”

THE CORPORATE STATE: Through an obscure startup named Rebellion Defense, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt attempts to buy his way into the Biden White House. “The Biden administration will need to tread carefully to avoid Big Tech taking over functions of government. Early in Obama’s presidency, Google representatives attended more than one White House meeting a week, leading some to jokingly call the administration Google.gov. More than 250 Google employees moved back and forth between the company and government during the Obama years. Schmidt is now poised to have even more sway within the new White House.”

Everything is worse in reruns.

IF YOU SEE MONKEYS AND THINK OF BLACK PEOPLE, YOU’RE THE RACIST: University axes ‘three wise monkeys’ from conference promotion due to ‘racial stereotypes.’ “Experts in the field differ: ‘The monkey is a sacred being. They are vehicles of delight.’”

Universities are now largely run by ignorant people concerned that other people might be offended by things they don’t understand.

VODKAPUNDIT PRESENTS YOUR DAILY INSANITY WRAP: ‘CCP Joe’ Welcomes Communist Firms Back into U.S. Energy Grid.

Insanity Wrap needs to know: Is it good news that President Joe Biden turns out to be one of those honest politicians who stays bought?

Answer: Not when he’s a majority-owned subsidiary of the Chinese Communist Party, it isn’t.

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

  • Prime Minister Zoolander feeds the mouth that bit him
  • Woman who knitted those Bernie Sanders meme mittens driven out of business by feds
  • Who turned off the lights at the White House?

Bonus Sanity: You aren’t losing your mind — Joe is.

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

THE CDC IS A FAILED ORGANIZATION THAT SHOULD BE ABOLISHED BECAUSE OF ITS RECORD OF FAILURE: Reuters: CDC’s early COVID response “marred by . . . career scientists and frontline staff.”

THEY ALREADY HAVE, AND HE’S JUST GETTING STARTED. NEXT QUESTION? Will Biden’s Policies Lead to Job Losses? Here Are Possible Economic Impacts of 4 of Them.

HIS PEOPLE DON’T WANT HIM TO: Biden’s Not Healing the Nation.

PRIVACY: WhatsApp loses millions of users after terms update. “The exodus was so large that WhatsApp has been forced to delay the implementation of the new terms, which had been slated for 8 February, and run a damage limitation campaign to explain to users the changes they were making.”

WhatsApp claims they won’t share data with parent company Facebook, but for some reason, no one seems to believe them.

I’M SURE THESE TWO EVENTS ARE ENTIRELY UNRELATED:

Shot: California Governor Gavin Newsom expected to lift strict stay-at-home orders, sources say.

—Central California’s ABC 30, today.

Chaser: California campaign to fire Newsom nears threshold needed for ballot.

—Fox News, today.

CAN BIDEN CONTINUE TRUMP’S TOUGHER APPROACH ON CHINA?

President Joe Biden’s incoming secretary of state, Antony Blinken, agrees former President Donald Trump’s administration got communist China right.

During his Jan. 19 Senate confirmation hearing, Blinken told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee: “President Trump was right in taking a tougher approach to China. I disagree very much with the way that he went about it in a number of areas, but the basic principle was the right one. And I think that that’s actually helpful to our foreign policy.”

But Hunter Biden’s China investment scandal lurks in the diplomatic and criminal background.

The mainstream media and social media magnates who stifled preelection public examination of the Biden family’s involvement in what looks like and smells like a multimillion-dollar political payoff racket may have gotten Joe Biden elected.

However, until the Biden-China scandal is fully vetted, we won’t know if Beijing has inside information (blackmail leverage) that might soften Trump’s tougher approach.

Knowing matters. Given China’s documented record of pervasive spying, global intellectual property theft, a huge military expansion program, imperialist seizure of territory, bullying of neighbors, violations of treaty commitments, police-state terror and genocide of Muslim Uighurs, a softer approach at this moment in history ultimately puts American security at risk.

Read the whole thing. (bumped)

ECO-TOURISM, KIND OF: Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season. “Establishing an actual hunting season and issuing licenses for people who want to hunt Bigfoot will just draw more people to our already beautiful part of the state.”

LEAVING IN A MIST: Somewhere in the eastern Pacific a U.S. Navy Landing Craft, Air Cushion (LCAC) leaves the well deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Essex.

WELL, GOOD: Biden Wants to Raise Taxes, Yet Many Trump Tax Cuts Are Here to Stay.

KRUISER’S MORNING BRIEF: Joe Biden Is the Worst 5 Day President Ever. “I almost have to hand it to Ol’ Gropes, he’s spreading the pain all over the place. There have already been multiple moments for schadenfreude but that feeling is fleeting when I realize that I’m going to be miserable too. It hasn’t happened yet, but I’m sure there will be a knock at the door.”

RACISM, STRAIGHT UP: President Biden to reinstate COVID-19 travel rules, add South Africa, sources say.

DEMOCRATIC TOOL: The Lincoln Project co-founder says post-Trump he’s going after Cruz.

ANOTHER INDUSTRY SAVED BY DONALD TRUMP: Halfway Through The Fall 2021 Law School Admissions Cycle: Applicants Are Up 22%, With Biggest Increases Among The Highest LSAT Bands. It’ll be interesting to see what happens next year, with no “Trump Bump.”

SEDITIOUS CONSPIRACY: New Evidence Implicates FBI Higher-Ups in Dishonesty of Anti-Trump Lawyer.

The court filings reveal, among other things, that Clinesmith knew much earlier than has been reported about Page’s cooperation with the U.S. government, and was not alone in knowing that he had provided information on the Russians to the CIA — or in covering up that knowledge.

Several officials within his tightly compartmentalized chain-of-command — including former deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe, his counselor Lisa Page and counterintelligence chief Peter Strzok — learned of Page’s role with the CIA before they first sought to wiretap him during the 2016 presidential campaign. The CIA had confirmed his role two months earlier in an August 2016 memo it sent to the FBI. And Page’s status as a CIA contact had been documented in the FBI’s own electronic files going back to 2009.

Yet they all withheld this critical information attesting to Page’s loyalty from the spy court.

A rotten organization, headed by rotten, corrupt people.

SOMETIMES THEY ADMIT THINGS: Shocker: MSNBC host admits ‘Trump would be getting crushed’ if he had done what Joe Biden did.

BIG TECH BLUES: Google threatens to withdraw search engine from Australia.

Australia is introducing a world-first law to make Google, Facebook and potentially other tech companies pay media outlets for their news content.
But the US firms have fought back, warning the law would make them withdraw some of their services.

Australian PM Scott Morrison said lawmakers would not yield to “threats”.
Australia is far from Google’s largest market, but the proposed news code is seen as a possible global test case for how governments could seek to regulate big tech firms.

Tech firms have faced increasing pressure to pay for news content in other countries, including France, where Google struck a landmark deal with media outlets on Thursday.

In Australia, the proposed news code would tie Google and Facebook to mediated negotiations with publishers over the value of news content, if no agreement could be reached first.

On the one hand, this might be a case where the cure is worse than the disease — at least according to the man who invented the world wide web.

On the other hand, Google and Facebook.

“LIBERALS.”

NOT SATIRE: A confounding kimchi kerfuffle shows the CCP has made people at home hungry for news of China’s dominance. “When China came for their kimchi, South Koreans knew they had had enough. Over the past several weeks, China’s state-backed Global Times has turned its crosshairs on Korea’s beloved fermented cabbage dish, running a provocative series of pieces asserting a version of the dish from China’s Sichuan province is the authoritative version, and pointedly reminding Koreans China was the world leader in the kimchi industry.”

ICYMI: Reuters: Special Report: How U.S. CDC missed chances to spot COVID’s silent spread.

Critics have widely asserted that the CDC fumbled key decisions during the coronavirus scourge because then-President Donald Trump and his administration meddled in the agency’s operations and muzzled internal experts. The matter is now the subject of a congressional inquiry. Yet Reuters has found new evidence that the CDC’s response to the pandemic also was marred by actions – or inaction – by the agency’s career scientists and frontline staff.

Also.

THE MEDIA — AND ESPECIALLY SOCIAL MEDIA — ARE BASICALLY THE INTELLECTUAL EQUIVALENT OF THE TOBACCO INDUSTRY: How the Media Monetarized Polarization.

EVERY SUNDAY: I do a promo post for (mostly) indie writers on my blog.  Yes, the links are to Amazon. I’m assured AWS (data storage) is the bulk of Amazon business.  Ebooks are barely a blip, and for now the best hope of indie writers, and writers on the right. Btw, did you know you could pick Project Veritas in the Smile program?  I mean “Everyone does business with authority like everyone does business with gravity” but…. doesn’t mean we can’t put it to use.  Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike and Book Promo.

CONSTITUTIONAL ISSUES?  D.C. Mayor Bowser: Dem-Led House, Senate Will Pass D.C. Statehood, Bring It to Biden’s Desk.

We don’t need to address no stinking constitutional issues! What are you going to do? Vote them out?

THIS IS GOING TO END WITH WAR WITH CHINA:  Sunday Talks, Tom Cotton Discusses China Targeting Trump Officials With Targeted Economic and Financial Weapons.

One way or another. But you knew that.

WE DIDN’T VOTE OURSELVES INTO THIS MESS:  Masked Xhem Xir Whatever. .

JUSTICE FOR ASHLI BABBIT: Who shot Ashli Babbitt?

And while we’re at it, justice for the dead of Benghazi.
All the Marxism in the world won’t wash the bloody hands of this lot of clowns.  We’d best stop them before they fill mass graves.

BECAUSE THIS IS THE EARLY 20th CENTURY:  Biden’s Transport secretary Buttigieg tells laid-off Keystone XL workers he hopes they get ‘different union jobs’.

BECAUSE BOTH ARE PREMEDITATED ATTACKS ON THE US? Why Post-Inauguration Reminds Me of Post-9-11.

BEHOLD. MY SHOCKED FACE:  Mitch McConnell Shivved Us All In The Back.

IT’S NOT A SHOW OF FORCE:  A Guardsman at the Capitol.

They want the guard to protect them till March, because they intend to do things they know we’ll want to shoot them for.

REMEMBER THE LEFT PROJECTS LIKE AN IMAX?  Confessions of a Deprogrammed Trump Supporter.

So, maybe we should read this guy’s book?

EUGENICS BY ANY OTHER MEANS:  Biden Freezes Rule Capping Insulin And Epipen Prices.

THE PERFECT PUPPET FOR THE PSY-OPS:  A Short History Of How Anthony Fauci Has Kept Failing Up Since 1984.

AH, BUT THE ONLY TERRORISTS THAT EXIST ARE TRUMP SUPPORTERS:  Robert Spencer: The ‘Muslim Ban’ Is Gone. Now Come the Reminders of Why We Needed It..

IS THAT SO? Cindy McCain says Arizona GOP censure is ‘a badge of honor’.
And perhaps we should eat cake?

THERE ARE FOUR FINGERS: The River of Forgetfulness.

We will not be gaslighted.

WE ARE IN VERY REAL DANGER:  Denial Is Doom.

WE ARE IN DANGER: Comm Check.

Sauve qui peut! Now is the time for all hands on deck. Build alternatives. Now.

January 24, 2021

AND THE ANSWER IS NONE. NONE MORE RACIST: “Software that monitors students during tests perpetuates inequality and violates their privacy,” and Technology Review is on it!

I’m a university librarian and I’ve seen the impacts of these systems up close. My own employer, the University of Colorado Denver, has a contract with Proctorio.

It’s become clear to me that algorithmic proctoring is a modern surveillance technology that reinforces white supremacy, sexism, ableism, and transphobia. The use of these tools is an invasion of students’ privacy and, often, a civil rights violation.

If you’re a student taking an algorithmically proctored test, here’s how it works: When you begin, the software starts recording your computer’s camera, audio, and the websites you visit. It measures your body and watches you for the duration of the exam, tracking your movements to identify what it considers cheating behaviors. If you do anything that the software deems suspicious, it will alert your professor to view the recording and provide them a color-coded probability of your academic misconduct.

Depending on which company made the software, it will use some combination of machine learning, AI, and biometrics (including facial recognition, facial detection, or eye tracking) to do all of this. The problem is that facial recognition and detection have proven to be racist, sexist, and transphobic over, and over, and over again.

In general, technology has a pattern of reinforcing structural oppression like racism and sexism. Now these same biases are showing up in test proctoring software that disproportionately hurts marginalized students.

A Black woman at my university once told me that whenever she used Proctorio’s test proctoring software, it always prompted her to shine more light on her face. The software couldn’t validate her identity and she was denied access to tests so often that she had to go to her professor to make other arrangements. Her white peers never had this problem.

Similar kinds of discrimination can happen if a student is trans or non-binary. But if you’re a white cis man (like most of the developers who make facial recognition software), you’ll probably be fine.

It’s not only the software that’s racist and homophobic — it’s [Al Pacino voice] the whole damn system itself! [/Pacino  voice] According to this professor, ‘Science, statistics, and technology are all inherently racist:’”

University of Rhode Island and Director of Graduate Studies Erik Loomis recently claimed “science, statistics and technology” are racist.

“Science, statistics, and technology are all inherently racist because they are developed by racists who live in a racist society, whether they identify as racists or not,” Loomis tweeted in reference to a New York Times article.

“This is why I have so much contempt for those, including many liberals, who ‘just want the data.’ The data is racist!” he continued.

“You’re out of order! You’re out of order! The whole trial is out of order! They’re out of order!”

 

ABANDON YOUR AUDIENCE AND YOUR AUDIENCE WILL ABANDON YOU: Fox News Ratings Crash: Trailing CNN and MSNBC For The First Time Since 2000.

MAYBE HE DIDN’T ACTUALLY WANT TO LOWER THE TEMPERATURE: Andrew Sullivan: Biden’s Culture War Aggression: He may have needlessly crippled his chances for lowering the temperature already. Excerpt:

Biden has also signaled (and by executive order, has already launched) a very sharp departure from liberalism in his approach to civil rights. The vast majority of Americans support laws that protect minorities from discrimination, so that every American can have equality of opportunity, without their own talents being held back by prejudice. But Biden’s speech and executive orders come from a very different place. They explicitly replace the idea of equality in favor of what anti-liberal critical theorists call “equity.” They junk equality of opportunity in favor of equality of outcomes. Most people won’t notice that this new concept has been introduced — equity, equality, it all sounds the same — but they’ll soon find out the difference. . . .

In less tortured English, equity means giving the the named identity groups a specific advantage in treatment by the federal government over other groups — in order to make up for historic injustice and “systemic” oppression. Without “equity”, the argument runs, there can be no real “equality of opportunity.” Equity therefore comes first. Until equity is reached, equality is postponed — perhaps for ever.

It means a government empowered to reward its supporters and punish its enemies, along race/ethnic/sex lines. That certainly won’t lower any temperatures anywhere.

Related: Biden brings back Critical Race Theory, which Trump called ‘divisive, anti-American propaganda.’

JUST NBC THE SELF-AWARENESS!

Shot: Pompous Ali Velshi Declares Trump Caused ‘The Death of Shame.’

NewsBusters, yesterday.

Chaser: Ali Velshi Doesn’t Condone Rioting (Unless It Gets Him What He Wants).

—Jim Treacher, PJ Media, January 19th.

ENDORSED: Josh Hawley: It’s time to stand up against the muzzling of America.

Related: Liberal authoritarians like John Brennan are real threat to democracy.

Every time former CIA Director John Brennan appears on cable news to warn about some new “insidious threat to democracy,” I am reminded again that he deserves to be in federal prison.

In this corrupt media environment, however, the official who oversaw an illegal domestic-spying operation on the legislative branch of the US government, who tried to cover it up and blame innocent Senate staffers when discovered and who then brazenly lied about it to legislators and the American people — this man is held up as a paragon of civic virtue.

We still don’t even know what role Brennan played in spying on his political opponents during the 2016 campaign. We do know he went on TV for years after, alleging to have insider knowledge of an unprecedented seditious criminal conspiracy against the United States. Never once was he challenged by his hosts. And when an independent multimillion-dollar investigation couldn’t pull together a single indictment related to those claims, Brennan shrugged it off by saying that he may have “received bad information.”

Brennan was back on MSNBC last week, contending American intel agencies “are moving in laser-like fashion to try to uncover as much as they can about” the pro-Trump “insurgency” that harbors “religious extremists, authoritarians, fascists, bigots, racists, nativists, even libertarians.”

Even a former Communist such as Brennan surely understands there is nothing prohibiting Americans from being religious extremists, fascists, bigots, racists, nativists or even libertarians.

He’s a disgrace, and a tool.

HE’S NOT WRONG: The Moronic Firing of Will Wilkinson Illustrates Why Fear and Bad Faith Mob Demands Reign Supreme. “All of this is especially ironic given that the president of this colorless, sleepy think tank — last seen hiring the colorless, sleepy Matt Yglesias — himself has a history of earnestly and non-ironically advocating actual violence against people.”

My days of disrespecting the Niskanen Center are coming to a middle.

Plus: “The recent extraordinary removal of the social media platform Parler from the internet was clearly driven by these dynamics. It is inconceivable that Tim Cook, Jeff Bezos and Google executives believe that Parler is some neo-Nazi site that played anywhere near the role in planning and advocating for the Capitol riot as Facebook and YouTube did. But they know that significant chunks of liberal elite culture believe this (or at least claim to), and they thus calculate — not irrationally, even if cowardly — that they will have to endure a large social and reputational hit for refusing mob demands to destroy Parler. Like the Niskanen and Times bosses with Wilkinson, they had to decide how much pain they were willing to accept to defend Parler, and — as is usually the case — it turned out the answer was not much. Thus was Parler destroyed, with nowhere near the number of important liberal friends that Wilkinson has.”

Also: “Social media is one of the most powerful generators of group-think ever invented in human history, enabling a small number of people to make decision-makers feel besieged with scorn and threatened with ostracization if they do not obey mob demands. The other is that the liberal-left has gained cultural hegemony in the most significant institutions — from academia and journalism to entertainment, sports, music and art.”

Related: Is It Time to Boycott Niskanen? Why Jerry Taylor Must Resign.

OPEN THREAD: It’s there, it’s there for you, it’s what you want.

SPACE FORCE: U.S. Space Force is ‘on solid ground’ despite speculation.

TO BE FAIR, IT COULD BE MUCH LONGER: A Short History Of How Anthony Fauci Has Kept Failing Up Since 1984.

SALENA ZITO: Why the US Hispanic conservative movement is surging — even without Trump.

I’D LIKE THAT BETTER IF I TRUSTED THEM MORE ON OTHER FRONTS: Smart watches can detect symptoms of COVID-19 before wearer knows they are infected. “One of the early signs of a COVID-19 infection is inflammation in infected areas of the body. And when inflammation begins, the body responds by slightly altering blood flow. That change in blood flow can be seen in slight changes to a person’s heartbeat, detectable via smart watches like the one from Apple. By noting a person’s heartbeat over long periods of time, a smart watch can determine a normal baseline for the person wearing the watch. And when a sudden prolonged change happens, such as sustained heart rate variability, the device can detect that, too. In the test at Mount Sinai, the volunteers were asked to wear the smart watch full-time and also to install a watch app that specifically looked for sustained changes in their heartbeat. The researchers found that the watches were able to identify two-thirds of those people who were infected an average of seven days before the volunteers noticed any symptoms.”

IF THIS HAPPENED IN CHINA, NO ONE BUT PRC STOOGES WOULD DEFEND IT: Pretrial Release Condition: Can’t Speak About “the [Capitol] Protest or the Matters Related to the United States Government.”

Eugene Volokh comments: “The restriction on all speech about the riot, or criticisms of the federal government (even if read as limited to criticisms related to the substance of the riot) strikes me as pretty clearly unconstitutional, even given the extra authority the government has as to pretrial release conditions. . . . The protest attendance restrictions also seem to be unconstitutional, unless there’s specific evidence that Beckley is likely to engage in trespass, vandalism, or violence at future protests. (Note that the Oregon no-protest restrictions were quickly dropped.)”

WHERE IS THE SPICE? Giant sand worm discovery proves truth is stranger than fiction.

ANN ALTHOUSE: Rand Paul versus George Stephanopoulos. A great confrontation, and I do not agree with the title on this video, that Rand Paul “melts down.” “Paul never accepted or rejected the word ‘stolen,’ and he made his point very clearly and with detail and he effectively scolded Stephanopoulos for taking sides.”

A reminder of what you used to be able to say, the day before the election: Will your ballot be safe? Computer experts sound warnings on America’s voting machines.

SHOCKING NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF SCIENCE: MRI study reveals slowed brain activity during light sleep.

ERECTION CENSORED: ABC’s This Week edits out Schumer’s unfortunate Trump gaffe on Senate floor.

Evergreen:


BY ITS FRUIT THE TREE IS KNOWN: Sen. Rand Paul says Biden’s push for raising minimum wage shows he hates Black teenagers.

GREAT MOMENTS IN TIMING:

Shot: Walter Bernstein, Celebrated Screenwriter, Is Dead at 101. His movies included “Fail Safe,” “Paris Blues” and, perhaps most notably, “The Front,” based on his own experience of being blacklisted:

Mr. Bernstein and other blacklisted writers were forced to work under assumed names for sympathetic filmmakers like Sidney Lumet, who used Mr. Bernstein, now back in New York, throughout the ’50s on “You Are There,” the CBS program hosted by Walter Cronkite that re-enacted great moments in history.

It was during this period that Mr. Bernstein and his colleagues, notably the writers Abraham Polonsky and Arnold Manoff, began the ruse of protecting their anonymity by sending stand-ins to represent them at meetings with producers, a ploy later dramatized in “The Front.” (In addition to Mr. Allen, the movie starred Zero Mostel, who, like the film’s director, Mr. Ritt, had also been blacklisted.)

“Suddenly, the blacklist had achieved for the writer what he had previously only aspired to,” Mr. Bernstein joked in “Inside Out.” “He was considered necessary.”

—The New York Times, yesterday.

Chaser: New York Times Reportedly Cancels Contract of Editor Who Tweeted Having ‘Chills’ on Biden Inauguration Day.

Mediaite, Friday.

In accordance with the prophesy:

UPDATE: You may not be interested in cancel culture — but cancel culture is interested in you:

Or is this a case of the Gray Lady using cancel culture to provide cover while firing someone for other reasons?

MORE: NYT Rebukes Claims That Editor Was Fired Over ‘Single Tweet:’

The Times is now saying her tweet about Joe Biden was not the cause for her termination.

“There’s a lot of inaccurate information circulating on Twitter,” a Times representative said. “For privacy reasons we don’t get into the details of personnel matters but we can say that we didn’t end someone’s employment over a single tweet.  Out of respect for the individuals involved we don’t plan to comment further.”

“Developing,” as they say.

(Updated and bumped.)

JOURNALISTS AGAINST FREE SPEECH: The New Censors. When I wrote in 2019 about journalists’ new antipathy to free speech, it seemed bad enough that they were targeting rivals in their own profession with advertising boycotts and smear campaigns that led to conservative journalists being fired and banished from social media. But since the Capitol riot, they’ve gone beyond “de-platforming” individual heretics. Now they want to eliminate the platforms, too.

A LOT OF US SHOULD BE DELIVERING MESSAGES TO POLITICIANS: Aaron Rodgers Had A Blunt Message For U.S. Politicians.

THEY BLAME PARLER BUT DID WORSE THEMSELVES: Andy Ngo: Twitter Did Nothing to Stop Antifa Planning, Promoting Riots in Portland, Seattle.

GOOD: SpaceX launches record-setting mission without a hitch.

STALINIST PSYCHIATRY FROM YALE’S DR. BANDY X. LEE: The ‘Shared Psychosis’ of Donald Trump and His Loyalists.

I remember when it was considered a breach of professional ethics to diagnose the mental health of people you hadn’t personally evaluated. Another casualty of Trump-hatred, which has exposed our professional classes as ethical frauds more or less across the board.

GIVING NEW MEANING TO “FAT HEAD.” Study: Rising number of people getting weight-linked headaches.

QUESTION ASKED: Is 30 Minutes of Cycling A Day Enough for Weight Loss?

GLENN GREENWALD: Journalists Are Authoritarians.

‘YOU SAY WE’RE ALL LIARS:’ Rand Paul Has Fiery Debate With George Stephanopoulos. “You’re forgetting who you are as a journalist if you think there’s only one side.”

Paul understands of course that Stephanopoulos is not a journalist, merely a Democratic Party operative with a byline. But as Saul Alinsky would say, “Make the enemy live up to [his] own book of rules.”

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