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But hospitals are far more desperate for ventilators more invasive than BiPAP and CPAP machines, which are usually used to treat sleep apnea — many doctors don’t even call them “ventilators,” the Los Angeles Times‘ Russ Mitchell reports. In fact, CPAP machines may have only helped spread COVID-19 through the nursing home outside Seattle that was the center of the U.S.’s initial coronavirus outbreak, NPR reports. These machines can “possibly increase the spread of infectious disease by aerosolizing the virus,” NPR writes. Health officials in King County, Washington, have since warned against using CPAP machines on coronavirus patients, as did the American Society of Anesthesiologists back in February.

Read the whole thing.

ELI LAKE: The FBI Can’t Be Trusted With the Surveillance of Americans.

On Tuesday, the Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz issued a new report that found systematic errors of fact in the FBI’s applications for warrants under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The memo does not speak to the materiality or significance of those errors — but they are startling nonetheless.

Out of 42 applications, the report says, 39 included major defects. All told, the inspector general uncovered 390 deficiencies, including “unverified, inaccurate, or inadequately supported facts, as well as typographical errors.”

The memo follows the report Horowitz issued in December that reviewed four FISA warrants for Carter Page, a former foreign policy adviser to then-candidate Donald Trump’s 2106 presidential campaign. The bureau suspected him of being a Russian agent, but the report found that it repeatedly relied on an opposition research dossier to persuade the secret court to renew the surveillance warrant even after agents knew the dossier was riddled with errors. Rules that have been in place for nearly 20 years to verify the accuracy of facts presented in the warrant and include exculpatory information, known as the Woods procedures, were ignored.

Read the whole thing.


One reason American parents—mothers mainly—are rushing their daughters onto the Pill or LARC implants (long-acting reversible contraceptives) is to make sure their offspring are not punished with babies in high school. “I can’t possibly stop her from doing what comes naturally, but I can temporarily sterilize her.”

The schools do their part by forcing children into mandatory early sex education classes that often include graphic illustrations of sexual positions and expose even kindergarteners to the infinite array of gender variants and sexual orientations newly discovered in the human genome.

Condom demonstrations on bananas? That’s so 1999.

High school sophomores now know how to prepare each other’s rectums for “safe anal play,” which is pitched as a zesty, natural activity for all genders. In 2019, California approved a terrifying, dystopian new statewide curriculum that includes a seventh-grade lesson that “identified sexual activities such as bathing together and mutual masturbation as safe options to avoid sexually transmitted diseases.”

Whew! I don’t know about you, but I’m always relieved when I finish preparing some organic, gluten free, plant-based after-school snacks and discover my sixth-grade daughter in the bath with her classmates! Because, you know, it’s much harder to transmit chlamydia in water than through intercourse. Bless you, Governor Newsom!

When it comes to sex ed, I live by a very simple rule: if an adult who is not our pediatrician tries to talk to my child about their genitals, this person’s kneecaps should expect to meet my crowbar. Normal adults do not wish to talk about children’s genitals or discuss children having sex with children in front of other children. Everyone knows only priests can do that!

Read the whole thing. Even before March resembled outtakes from The Andromeda Strain, the 21st century was not turning out as I had hoped, to coin an Instaphrase.

JIM TREACHER: Did COVID-19 Originate in a Chinese Lab? And Why Is It Crazy to Ask?

Yeah, I know, I know. This sounds like some Alex Jones $#!+. But even Alex Jones, after 17 shots of tequila and/or HGH, couldn’t have predicted where we are now. If I could die from this virus, if my loved ones could die, if millions of other people could die and even more could be plunged into poverty, then I don’t care what I’m not supposed to call it. And I certainly don’t care who tries to shame me for wanting to know what the hell is going on.

The only people who benefit from your reluctance to ask what’s happening to you are the people whose negligence, incompetence, and dishonesty are responsible for this fiasco: the Chinese Communist Party. Anyone who tries to shut you up is doing their bidding, directly or indirectly. If daring to say so means I’ll get some unpleasant tweets and emails and blog comments, go right ahead. I have absolutely nothing to lose.

Read the whole thing.

WILLIAM BENNETT & SETH LEIBSOHN: Time for a Second Opinion.

We truly are shutting down America and harming a great many Americans, based on the worst fears that have not been true and are not on the horizon. We are scaring the hell out of the citizenry. A few additional statistics help counsel a lowering of our national temperature: The vast majority of deaths from the virus are of people over the age of 70 with underlying frailties. The focus on New York where, of course, most of the media is based, is also flooding and distorting the picture for the rest of the country. Of course we need to pay attention to ground zero, which is New York. But what happens there is not what is happening everywhere. For example, our most populous state, California shows 149 deaths, 11% of the total in New York. Texas, our second most populous state, shows nothing like the death toll in New York, with 47 deaths, about 3.5% of the total in the Empire State.

Read the whole thing.


On Jan. 29, Farhad Manjoo published a column in the New York Times with the headline “Beware the Pandemic Panic.” Manjoo downplayed the danger of the virus and instead cautioned, “What worries me more than the new disease is that fear of a vague and terrifying new illness might spiral into panic, and that it might be used to justify unnecessarily severe limits on movement and on civil liberties, especially of racial and religious minorities around the world.” One thing we can never expect from elite journalists is accountability. Rather than admitting his own errors, Manjoo simply pivoted to blaming Trump: “Coronavirus Is What You Get When You Ignore Science” was the headline on his March 4 column, in which he asserted that the president had “gut[ted] the United States’ pandemic-response infrastructure.”

This is the “Orange Man Bad” theory of causation, where everything bad is ultimately Trump’s fault, and the proponents of this theory evidently can’t understand why it has cost them their credibility. When journalists insist on interpreting every event from a partisan perspective — “How can we spin this to hurt Trump?” — their errors follow a predictable pattern. Thus, at one point, the danger of coronavirus was Trump’s “xenophobia,” which threatened “racial and religious minorities.” Now, we are told, the problem is that Trump is “anti-science.” Last week, one New York Times columnist blamed “the science denialism of [Trump’s] ultraconservative religious allies” for the coronavirus pandemic. The “evidence” cited in such tendentious arguments is irrelevant; what matters to liberals is the conclusion, i.e., Trump, is always wrong.

Because they imagine themselves infinitely superior to the rest of us, the journalistic elite think we don’t notice the methods by which they dishonestly manipulate the narrative.

Read the whole thing.


Shortly after the second plane hit the tower on 9/11, a stunned WABC television news anchor speculated live on-air that “perhaps some type of navigating system or some type of electronics would have put two planes into the World Trade Center, within about 18 minutes of each other.” The idea of multiple terrorist hijackings and deliberate suicide attacks was so horrific and unthinkable, that the anchor’s first thought involved contemplating an even less likely scenario.

In April 2007, Treasury Secretary Hank Paulsen said troubles in the subprime mortgage market were not likely to spread throughout the economy. “I don’t see (subprime mortgage market troubles) imposing a serious problem. I think it’s going to be largely contained.”

When human beings encounter really, really bad news, a lot of us want to believe that it cannot possibly be true. We seek out an alternative explanation that contends things are not as bad as they seem.

* * * * * * * *

Today Dr. Deborah Birx, the response coordinator for the White House Coronavirus Task Force, said in a television interview that “if we do things together well, almost perfectly, we could get in the range of 100,000 to 200,000 fatalities,” but added, “we’re not sure all of America is responding in a uniform way.” I would bet that she knows what she’s talking about — certainly more than Random Guy on Social Media does. Perhaps her estimate is too pessimistic. But assume she’s not, and hope the coming weeks and months are better.

Read the whole thing.

THE CHINESE COMMUNIST PARTY V AMERICA: “Without putting too fine a point on it, China seems to have taken the position that if they were to suffer the coronavirus, so too was the United States and the rest of the world. What else is to explain the continuation of flights from China to the United States at the rate of some 20,000 passengers a day, until President Trump wisely shut them down?”

Read the whole thing.


Always loved that movie. They re-released the soundtrack coincident with its reappearance, and I remember reading the liner notes about how it was doomed by the evaporation of European markets. It came out in 1939. That year had a great fascination – the World’s Fair, Fantasia, everything seemingly modern and striving, recognizable but back in the Hat and Skirts era, everyone going about their business unaware of the edge of the abyss.

I don’t think this is the same, but there are years in which bright lines are drawn, and the lines flame and burn in a way that makes people want to avert their eyes from what came before. The events that concerned people in 2019 will be of little consequence going forward, and while this is all an expected development in the spasmodic, reactive way cultures adapt and then form a narrative later that attempts to make a continuous story, I have the feeling that much of what made up the landscape of the past will be forgotten with impatience amid stern new modes of thought.

That was a gas station, and there’s a reason it looked like that.

Uh huh. Who cares?

Well, it’s important.


I suppose it isn’t. But it was.

Read the whole thing.

And speaking of “events that concerned people in 2019 [that] will be of little consequence going forward,” here’s Kevin Williamson writing, “Goodbye, Green New Deal:”

If Americans are this resistant to paying a large economic price to enable measures meant to prevent a public-health catastrophe in the here and now — one that threatens the lives of people they know and love — then how much less likely are they to bear not weeks or months but decades of disruption and economic dislocation and a permanently diminished standard of living in order to prevent possibly severe consequences to people in Bangladesh or Indonesia 80 or 100 years from now?

Also well worth a read in its entirety.

* Googie: Architecture of the Space Age.

OUR BRAVE JOURNALISTS: In an uncertain time, the media falls back on the thing it knows best: dividing people.

Two years ago, CNN infamously tracked down a person responsible for creating a wrestling GIF lampooning their corporate logo, which just happened to be retweeted by President Trump. Reporter Andrew Kaczynski and CNN threatened  to reveal the monster’s identity unless he apologized.

CNN reporter Drew Griffen tracked down a senior citizen in Florida and parked a camera crew on her front lawn, accosting her over her Facebook group which he claimed was a Russian front group that bought ads on Facebook that swayed the 2016 election.

This browbeating of everyday people on social media by activist journalists has become all too familiar. The problem with publishing stories like Marc Fisher’s in the Washington Post is that there are more people with a voice to pushback on this kind of random targeting.

Within minutes of Fisher declaring on Twitter that he had contacted McMillen’s parents, he faced a tidal wave of backlash from people with plenty more than 495 followers.

A very well-deserved Twitter ratio; read the whole thing.

UPDATE (Charlie):

Nothing says serious journalist like “DUUDE I’m calling your MOM!”

I HOPE THIS IS TRUE, BUT I WOULDN’T TAKE ANY ACTION BASED ON IT: New Oxford study suggests millions of people may have already built up coronavirus immunity.

The Oxford research suggests the pandemic is in a later stage than previously thought and estimates the virus has already infected at least millions of people worldwide. In the United Kingdom, which the study focuses on, half the population would have already been infected. If accurate, that would mean transmission began around mid-January and the vast majority of cases presented mild or no symptoms.

The head of the study, professor Sunetra Gupta, an Oxford theoretical epidemiologist, said she still supports the U.K.’s decision to shut down the country to suppress the virus even if her research winds up being proven correct. But she also doesn’t appear to be a big fan of the work done by the Imperial College team. “I am surprised that there has been such unqualified acceptance of the Imperial model,” she said.

If her work is accurate, that would likely mean a large swath of the population has built up resistance to the virus. Theoretically, then, social restrictions could ease sooner than anticipated. What needs to be done now, Gupta said, is a whole lot of antibody testing to figure out who may have contracted the virus.

Before I’d rely on this to loosen anything, I’d want to see that lots of people had antibodies, and that those antibodies were reliably protective.

JIM TREACHER: The Virus Is a Fire, and the Arsonist Is China.

I stand with the United States of America, no matter who’s president. We did not do this. Every scrap of evidence points to the government of China. I will not say otherwise, no matter how anyone lies to me and tries to manipulate my emotions. You can’t shame me, because I’m not ashamed of the truth. You can’t gaslight me, because my powers of reason are stronger than your desire to destroy them.

Put the blame where it belongs. #ChinaLiedPeopleDied.

Read the whole thing.

THE ENDGAME? HHS Secretary Alex Azar Lays Out How Trump Will Defeat Coronavirus ‘Invisible Enemy,’ Reopen America.

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar told Breitbart News exclusively that President Donald Trump in the coming days will work with his medical and scientific advisers to make a determination on how and when to reopen the country after wide-scale closure in the effort to stop the spread of the Chinese coronavirus.

Azar is one of Trump’s closest advisers and a top member of Vice President Mike Pence’s Coronavirus Task Force to lead the American response to this crisis. He said that the president will consult with White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Robert Redfield, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci, commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Dr. Stephen Hahn, among others, about the so-called “curve” of the disease and how effective the extraordinary measures to stop its spread taken by Americans nationwide have been.

“The president will look at the data with his top medical advisers, people like Dr. Debbie Birx, Tony Fauci, Robert Redfield, Steve Hahn at FDA, as well as I’m sure outside advisers, and will make a decision in the next week whether to continue the 15 days or whether there are appropriate modifications he would make to the rest of the country,” Azar told Breitbart News in a phone interview on Tuesday afternoon. “For instance, whether it’s to look, as Dr. Birx I believe said yesterday in the press conference, to look at maybe focusing in localized areas instead of common national recommendations.”

Read the whole thing.

BRENDAN O’NEILL: The luxury of apocalypticism.

People’s refusal to panic has been a great source of frustration for the establishment in recent years. ‘The planet is burning’, they lie, in relation to climate change, and yet we do not weep or wail or even pay very much attention. ‘I want you to panic’, instructs the newest mouthpiece of green apocalypticism, Greta Thunberg, and yet most of us refuse to do so. A No Deal Brexit would unleash economic mayhem, racist pogroms and even a pandemic of super-gonorrhoea, they squealed, incessantly, like millenarian preachers balking at the imminent arrival of the lightning bolt of final judgement, and yet we didn’t flinch. We went to work. We went home. We still supported Brexit.

Our skittish elites have been so baffled, infuriated in fact, by our calm response to their hysterical warnings that they have invented pathologies to explain our unacceptable behaviour. The therapeutic language of ‘denialism’ is used to explain the masses’ refusal to fret over climate change. Environmentalists write articles on ‘the psychology of climate-change denial’, on ‘the self-deception and mass denial’ coursing through this society that refuses to flatter or engage with the hysteria of the eco-elites. Likewise, the refusal of voters to succumb to the dire, hollow warnings of the ferociously anti-Brexit wing of the establishment was interpreted by self-styled experts as a psychological disorder.

Read the whole thing.

I’d just add that the Soviets used to declare dissidents to be insane, so there’s nothing new here from the Left.

JIM TREACHER: Shellshocked.

Hello, Dear Reader. You haven’t heard much from me lately, because I’m feeling what you’re probably feeling right now: shellshock.

Not “battle fatigue.” Not “operational exhaustion.” Not “post-traumatic stress disorder.” Shellshock. Like George Carlin said 30 years ago, it’s a perfectly accurate and descriptive word for a horrible experience, and over the past century we’ve used euphemisms and distancing language to soften the impact and strip the meaning from it. You might not be shocked by a literal WWI artillery shell right now, but the fear response is the same. The pain and confusion are still real.

Read the whole thing.


Daily Beast Editor and MSNBC contributor Sam Stein marveled on Twitter at the response of local officials and the private sector, tweeting “I’m not the first person to make this observation but it truly is remarkable the degree to which local and state officials, as well as private entities and businesses, are making these massive public health policy decisions while the feds seem to be moving much more slowly.”

Another salient accidental light bulb appeared over the head of Daily Beast editor Molly Jong Fast, a fervent critic of President Donald Trump, when she tweeted “So the states are basically governing themselves because our president doesn’t know how to ‘president’ at all?”

There’s plenty to criticize about the Trump administration’s initial response to the virus appearing stateside, but Stein and Jong-Fast have the story completely backward. Letting the states handle responses from community to community is exactly what a president should do, and precisely what Trump is doing.

Read the whole thing.

AN ARGUMENT FOR LOCALISM: Disaster in New York does not require the same policy everywhere.

New York State has a whopping 810 cases per million residents, closing in on both Italy and Switzerland fast. And the vast majority of those cases are concentrated in the City and nearby commuter counties. Franklin County, in the Adirondacks (and where your Editor has been known to spend some time) has not yet had a single confirmed case.

By contrast, the other 49 states combined, including such hot zones as Washington and California, are at 54 cases per million residents. That puts the per million infection rate in the “other 49” just between Australia and North Macedonia. Or China, if you care to believe Commie numbers. Which we don’t.

One question, of course, is whether the rest of the country is just “behind” New York by a few days, or whether there are important differences that should inform policy. We suspect some of both is true. Yes, New York is the land of stainless steel subway poles, where the virus once deposited will linger a particularly long time, cheek-by-jowl restaurant tables, and terribly crowded sidewalks. But New York is also testing heaving masses of people, so it may be revealing its own infections more completely than other states that will soon catch up in the world’s most dubious league table.

Regardless, the vast difference in the apparent rate of infection between downstate New York and the rest of the country (and the considerable differences among the remaining 49 states) suggests that we need not apply precisely the same policies in every jurisdiction. Even in New York State, we do not understand the logic, beyond mere political calculus, for imposing the same burdens on the already poor towns of the Adirondacks as are the bare minimum, if that, in the boroughs.

Read the whole thing.


The mastermind behind Rocky Horror, and the original Riff-Raff, Richard O’Brien, has long labeled himself “third sex.” If anyone can claim original gangsta trans cred, it’s him.

And yet, here he is:

“I agree with Germaine Greer and Barry Humphries,” he said recently. “You can’t be a woman [just because you’ve had a sex change].

“You’re in the middle and there’s nothing wrong with that. I certainly wouldn’t have the wedding tackle taken off.

“That is a huge jump and I have all the sympathy in the world for anyone who does it,” O’Brien added.

“But you aren’t a woman.”

Read the whole thing.

RICHARD FERNANDEZ: World War V: The Coronavirus Is a Battle Between Freedom and Skynet. “Will ours be a world where populations confine themselves to progressively smaller rooms with ever-dwindling supplies? Or a world where each country, perhaps empowered by equivalents of the Defense Production Act, is busy rearchitecting the global supply chain and creating new workflows? Will it be a world where ‘government will save us’ or one in which we decide to do things differently?”

Needless to say, read the whole thing.

CHRISTIAN TOTO: HBO’s After Truth Perfectly Captures Why Journalism is Dying.

A talking head in HBO’s documentary tackling Fake News says the quiet part out loud.

“The worst part of 2016 is what we did to ourselves,” Georgetown University “disinformation expert” Molly McKew says about the subject in hand, revealing, well, everything.

We’ve seen the mainstream media, along with Hollywood and the Democrats, throw a three-plus year long tantrum over Donald Trump’s electoral victory.

Three-plus years!

And, given the very existence of “After Truth: Disinformation and the Cost of Fake News,” it’s not over yet.

Read the whole thing.


Liberal White House correspondents squirmed as One America News (OAN) reporter Chanel Rion asked President Donald Trump whether it was alarming that these White House correspondents push propaganda from the Chinese Communist Party.

“Do you consider the term ‘Chinese food’ racist because it’s food that originates in China?” Rion asked. The president, of course, said no.

“On that note, major left-wing news media, even in this room, have teamed up with Chinese Communist Party narratives and they’re claiming you are racist for making these claims about Chinese virus,” Rion responded. “Is it alarming that major media players — just to oppose you — are consistently siding with foreign state propaganda, Islamic radicals, and Latin gangs and cartels, and they work right here at the White House with direct access to you and your team?”

As Rion asked this question, left-leaning reporters at major news outlets turned around to stare at her or looked blankly up from their notes, stunned at the brazen condemnation coming from the OAN reporter.

Trump took the softball and ran with it.

Read the whole thing.

Related: ‘Possibly the Biggest self-own of all time!’ Ben Shapiro Blasts CNN’s Oliver Darcy for sharing note supposedly ‘left’ for OANN reporter.

HERE’S A NICE SUMMARY OF WHAT’S GOING ON IN KNOXVILLE. “Be prepared, not scared” is the motto of our mayor, and she’s really taken the lead on this issue, much to my approval. So far there’s still only one confirmed case in Knox County, a student from Japan who was quarantined on arrival. Tennessee now has a total of 52 cases confirmed, up from 39 yesterday, the vast majority in the Nashville area. [UPDATE: I should’ve hit refresh, now it’s 73 cases, and 2 in Knox County.] But they’re only now starting to do much testing, and I’m sure that more testing will reveal more cases. I’d be shocked if there weren’t dozens of people walking around Knox County with the virus, all unaware but probably infectious.

Meanwhile, the Insta-Wife and I are winding up necessary stuff this week — like seeing the tax accountant — while reducing our exposure everywhere else. We had what was possibly our last nice meal out at lunchtime today. We’ll still be going to medical appointments, grocery shopping, etc., but we’re going to start avoiding the gym, and most of our other haunts. I bought a pair of Bowflex adjustable dumbbells off Amazon, that go from 5 to 52.5 pounds. (I’d considered buying those for ages, but until now figured it was better to go out to the gym.) With that, a chinup bar, and the ability to go running or (once we open our pool, set for next week) to swim, we’ll manage to exercise sufficiently.

We have plenty of food — and toilet paper, natch — for an extended stay. I generally keep at least a couple of weeks of both on hand, not counting emergency stocks, and I’ve run those up while shopping over the past several weeks. It’s weird how our lifestyle of just a few weeks ago seems so free and easy in retrospect, but such is the way when calamity strikes. Let’s hope this calamity is no more serious than it has to be. And I know some of you all still think the whole thing is a hoax and a nothingburger — and I very much hope you turn out to be right, but that’s not the way to bet.

JOHN NOLTE: Left’s Pet Issues Like Mass Transit, Reusable Bags Prove Deadly During Coronavirus Crisis.

What do these environmental loons think? That the whole idea of disposable items was just for laughs? That single-use was developed by some Bond villain desperate to destroy the planet? That going out to the country for “fresh air” was just some quaint concept?

No, the reason disposable items became so popular was sanitation. What could be safer than removing a straw from a sealed paper sleeve? Those straws are now outlawed in California.

What could be safer than single-use grocery bags where you throw away that leaked meat juice instead of carrying it around until you finally throw the bags in the wash? Those single-use bags are now banned in eight states, including New York, whose ban took effect on March 1.

Read the whole thing.

ROGER SIMON: Looking at the Bright Side of a Pandemic.

I know—it’s hard to look at the bright side of a pandemic. But take it from someone who has self-quarantined for the better part of fifty years, it’s not always so bad.

That’s what professional writers do, sit alone in a room and work (or try to) for hours on end.

I didn’t realize at roughly age fifteen when I fell in love with the likes of Ernest Hemingway and Raymond Chandler that the writer’s life was one of loneliness. I thought it was about attracting Bennington undergrads at cocktail parties by bragging about your (unfinished) novel when you weren’t dreaming up your Oscar speech.

I learned quickly.

Anyway, a life of working alone at home (with the exception of a three-year stint at Universal Studios and seven years as CEO of PJ Media) has taught me a few things that might prove useful in the present environment.

Read the whole thing.

Earlier: I Work From Home. Here Are Some Tips To Make It Easier.

FLASHBACK TO 2009: “Well, shut his mouth: Blabbering Joe Biden was a swine flu dope,” said a New York Daily News editorial from Apr 30, 2009. It makes for fascinating reading nearly 11 years later:

Less than 12 hours after President Obama urged calm — along with hand-washing and covering the mouth when coughing — there was Biden on the “Today” show, pleased as punch to be on national television with Matt Lauer and ready to incite the American public to panic.

We quote: “I would tell members of my family — and I have — I wouldn’t go anywhere in confined places now. It’s not going to Mexico, it’s you’re in a confined aircraft when one person sneezes it goes all the way through the aircraft. That’s me. I would not be, at this point, if they had another way of transportation, suggesting they ride the subway. So from my perspective, what it relates to is mitigation.

“If you’re out in the middle of a field and someone sneezes, that’s one thing. If you’re in a closed aircraft or a closed container, a closed car, a closed classroom, it’s a different thing.”

Let’s keep all the kids home from school, why don’t we?

And destroy the already crippled world economy.

And kiss all we know and love about New York goodbye. Like our jobs.

Later, after someone read him the “Idiot’s Guide to Public Health Procedures for Powerful Politicians,” Biden dispatched aides to say he didn’t mean to say what he said. The aides had to say that because saying what Biden said made him a jerk.

Read the whole thing.



ROGER KIMBALL: Is the Wuhan Virus a ‘Crisis’ or a Crisis?

Over the past few weeks as the world got used to pronouncing the phrase “coronavirus” and learned new bits of jargon like “social distancing,” I have on a couple of occasions quoted, with approbation, Benjamin Jowett’s observation that “Precautions are always blamed. When they are successful, they are said to be unnecessary.”

Precautions are one thing, a good thing. Panic is another thing, and a bad one. By all means, wash your hands, be careful when coughing or sneezing, take reasonable precautions. But what we are witnessing now is an access of irrational hysteria whose end is less safety than sanctimoniousness.

It also, it is worth noting, plays right into the hands of power-hungry politicians who like nothing better than to forbid whatever it is they have neglected to make mandatory. These are the folks who stand to benefit by the ill wind of the Wuhan virus. Anyone who doubts this should ponder the case of Champaign, Illinois, whose city council just voted itself emergency powers to deal with the crisis, or “crisis.”

My friend David Horowitz likes to say “scratch a liberal and you’ll discover a totalitarian screaming to get out.” The evolution of the reaction and overreaction to the Wuhan flu is a textbook case illustrating the truth of that observation.

Read the whole thing.


It’s no use demanding ethics, logic or accountability from a mob because the mob has no identity or legal status. But as the cases of Kobe Bryant and Woody Allen show, the distinguishing problem with modern cancel culture isn’t just mobs per se: It’s the gatekeepers who surrender to the mob’s Manichean judgments, often under the guise of social justice, thereby encouraging more mobs in the future. As Stephen King put it, even Allen’s critics should be concerned: “It’s who gets muzzled next that worries me…Once you start, the next one is always easier.”

Read the whole thing.

MASCOTS OF THE ANOINTED: The ongoing creation of Greta Thunberg.

The account of Greta’s plight is undeniably moving. As is the portrait of Malena and Svante’s worry and anxiety, as they battle to stop Greta from wasting away. And wasting away she is. After dropping 10 kilograms in weight, the doctors tell Malena and Svante that she will have to be hospitalised unless she starts eating. It takes a heart of stone not to feel for this family, torn apart by a daughter who seems to be willing death.

It takes a heart of stone not to laugh, too, as the other Greta emerges in her mother’s proud re-telling, diagnosis in hand, and a cause for which to fight. This Greta is straight from the character stable of the 21st-century sitcom, the super-intelligent nerd whose truth-telling defies social norms, the geek who pays no heed to the feelings of others. Like that of Sheldon in The Big Bang Theory or Moss from the IT Crowd, her comedy is that of the absolutely humourless.

So to her father, who has just returned from Sardinia having taken Beata away for a restorative break, Greta’s first words are: ‘You just released 2.7 tonnes of CO2 flying there and back. And that’s the equivalent of the annual emissions of five people in Senegal.’ And to her mother one morning over breakfast, apropos of nothing: ‘You celebrities are basically to the environment what anti-immigrant politicians are to multicultural society.’

You’re a thought criminal! And apparently, as socialists, her parents’ reactions were very much akin to Parsons after he was arrested in 1984:

‘It was my little daughter,’ said Parsons with a sort of doleful pride. ‘She listened at the keyhole. Heard what I was saying, and nipped off to the patrols the very next day. Pretty smart for a nipper of seven, eh? I don’t bear her any grudge for it. In fact I’m proud of her. It shows I brought her up in the right spirit, anyway.’

Read the whole thing.

Related: Prince Harry Tells Russian Prankster Greta Thunberg Would Outsmart ‘Sick’ Trump.

ROGER KIMBALL: COVID-19 is terrifying — as a weapon of political propaganda.

[T]he Wuhan Panic is a textbook case of the Rahm Emanuel principle that you never want a good crisis to go to waste. Emanuel helped Barack Obama weaponize the government against freedom in the aftermath of the financial meltdown of 2008. The Dems and their megaphones in the media are trying to do the same thing now in the face of the spread of the Wuhan Virus. In about three weeks, maybe four, it will all be over and many people will feel sheepish about their overreaction. In the meantime, everyone seems to be signing up to be an extra in The Seventh Seal.

Read the whole thing.

Related: James Lileks is estimating “three bad weeks” as well. “That’s my prediction. But I was wrong before.”

RAMESH PONNURU: The Left’s Fantasy World Just Exploded.

The idea that Sanders could win was far from crazy, given his dedicated fan base. But the larger story line of socialism’s coming triumph was based on one misreading of political events after another.

In the first place, socialism hadn’t spiked in popularity. In 2010, Gallup found that 36 percent of the public embraced the label. Eight years later — following Sanders’s first run for the presidency, and in the same year Ocasio-Cortez got elected — that number had climbed up all the way to 37 percent.

Left-wing Democrats misunderstood the reason Sanders did so well in 2016. It was because Hillary Clinton was the front-runner. Few Democratic heavyweights were willing to take her on, and he was an idealistic alternative. He did more for socialism than socialism did for him. A poll taken that January found that Sanders’s supporters were less likely than Clinton’s to want a higher minimum wage or bigger government.

Clinton’s defeat that November further fed the myth. Sanders’s supporters instantly concluded that “Bernie would have won.” Many Democrats wondered whether Clinton had erred by not taking a tougher line on Wall Street or offering populist ideas on trade.

Read the whole thing.

TRUMP’S 2020 WINNING STRATEGY FLIPS THE SCRIPT ON RONALD REAGAN: “Trump has learned that the more personal the criticism the more questions are raised in people’s minds. For the president, there are no boundaries anymore — especially after his opponents have spread scurrilous rumors and lies about his personal life. The basic message is a winner, especially for presidents running for a second term: You’re taking a chance in voting for my opponent. Stick with me because I’m the safe choice.”

Read the whole thing.

IS THE STOCK MARKET CRAZY? “Many are freaking out over the steep decline in financial markets over the last couple of weeks. Not me: I haven’t lost a nickel. Why not? I haven’t sold anything.”

Exactly. Read the whole thing.

ANALYSIS: TRUE. Joe Biden Owes Clarence Thomas an Apology.

In 1986, the year before Biden was lifted to chairmanship of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Antonin Scalia had been approved 98–0 by the Senate. There weren’t really any Supreme Court confirmation battles before then. A year later, in 1987, Robert Bork — who, Warren Burger, the former chief justice, claimed was the most qualified jurist he’d seen in 50 years — would be grossly caricatured by real-life sexual harasser Ted Kennedy, who warned that “Robert Bork’s America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens’ doors in midnight raids.” Thomas would be accused of being a puppet of his white colleagues, among other racist stereotypes, merely for his ideological outlook. In those days, hyperbolic statements from Senators were somewhat rare. Now they are a modus operandi.

To be fair to Biden, he was an exceptionally incompetent and indecisive chairman, easily cowed and unable to control the hearings. After promising to support Bork, he switched his vote. After promising to afford Thomas some semblance of due process, he presided over what the future justice famously called a “high-tech lynching.”

Biden owes the entire nation an apology — and do read the whole thing.


I suspect this will seem, in retrospect, as the last “normal” week. The one in which there was other news.

This doesn’t mean everything will be actually horrible. It means the news will be horrible, in that it gives a sense of a rapidly escalating catastrophe that produces mass unease and uncertainty.

A few weeks ago, I think, I mused about some previous pandemic about which I’d forgotten, except that I bought masks, and noted a run on rice at Costco, That was the Swine Flu pandemic, of course. It was declared by the WHO to be A Thing in June 2009. I decided to go back to the StarTribune archives to see how it played out. From what I recalled, there was concern, but nothing like we’re seeing today. See if you recall any of this, or your local variant.

Read the whole thing.


Not that some of Terms of Endearment‘s most ardent fans don’t rankle a bit, too. And these are, tellingly, mostly women with cancer themselves, who give the impression that they never write about anything else.

This one calls it “my favorite movie of all time.” (Since my tumors didn’t strike my brain, I’ll stick with Psycho, thanks. Hell, it isn’t even my favorite cancer movie; give me Dark Victory any day.)

She interprets Emma’s exasperated admonition — “It’s OK to talk about the cancer!” — as a campaign slogan, as if, almost 40 years later, cancer isn’t all anybody talks about. (I call it “Big Boob,” a subsidiary of the Bourgeois Disease Complex.)

What these women often leave out are Emma’s lines just before that one:

“I want you to tell them it ain’t so tragic! People do get better.”

Her cracking voice (and nervous, gawky gestures) are that of someone trying to convince herself of this, not so much her uncomprehending friend. Emma knows very well that some people don’t.

I can’t prove that Michael Gore’s poignant, tinkly, oh-so-Eighties piano score for the movie was created in a lab, for the express purpose of forcing you to cry — but can anyone prove it wasn’t? Regardless, Emma’s death scene, and that darn music, pushed me over the edge.

Of course I cried — I cry during bits of Galaxy Quest.

My husband was in the other room and I called to him.

“I wahjj’d da sad moobee!” I blubbered at him through a Kleenex.

I got the hug I wanted, then some advice.

Read the whole thing, even if like me, Terms of Endearment isn’t really your thing at the movies or the Blu-Ray player.

GREAT MOMENTS IN PROJECTION: The outrage of Donna Brazile.

‘Ronna, go to hell! This is not about — No, go to hell! I’m tired of it!’ Brazile shouted on air, to the chagrin of her Fox News interviewers.

Cockburn wonders if Brazile takes particular offense at McDaniel’s allegation because she has her own experience in trying to rig the Democratic process.

Read the whole thing.

THE WOODY ALLEN WITCH HUNT: In a post written before Hachette Book Group cancelled the publication of Allen’s memoirs, and then updated after the axe fell, Rod Dreher writes:

I would love to know something about the demographics of the crowd — specifically, how many of the walkout protesters are under the age of 40. The reason I ask is because for a long time now, I’ve been hearing from conservative academics that as the old-school liberals move into retirement, they are being replaced by Millennial and Gen Z academics who are Jacobins, with no respect for liberal values of free speech, free inquiry, and expression.

* * * * * * * *

So if you get on the wrong side of the woke mob, neither the fact that the accusation against you has not been proved, nor your status as one of the most important film artists of the 20th century, will help. My God.

Who’s next?

UPDATE.2:More details on Hachette’s call, from the NYT. Excerpt:

Hachette Book Group on Friday dropped its plans to publish Woody Allen’s autobiography and said it would return all rights to the author, a day after its employees protested its deal with the filmmaker.

“The decision to cancel Mr. Allen’s book was a difficult one,” a spokeswoman for the publisher said in a statement. “We take our relationships with authors very seriously, and do not cancel books lightly. We have published and will continue to publish many challenging books. As publishers, we make sure every day in our work that different voices and conflicting points of views can be heard.”

Bulls**t. They caved to the progressive mob. Now woke 27-year-olds can push around the head of publishing houses, and determine who can and cannot be published. They ought to be ashamed of themselves.

Read the whole thing. Dreher goes on to link to a tweet by former Reason columnist Michael Moynihan, who notes that “Still available from Hachette Book Group: the autobiography of Joey, a ‘gripping’ account of a mafia serial killer who copped to 38 murders. You’ll be wowed by ‘the frank intelligence of’ the author!”

In December of 2017, Mark Hemingway explored  “Why Liberals Have Such A Hard Time With ‘Monstrous Men’ And Their Art:”

Frankly acknowledging this might suggest that the liberals have endorsed ideas — e.g. oxymoronic notions of “sexual liberation” — that have been deeply harmful to women, all for the sake of knocking down obstacles to political power. I wonder how much betrayal [Woody] Allen must feel now. He did his part to push a liberal sexual and political agenda, was celebrated for it, and now he’s being drummed out of polite society for enjoying the fruits of these efforts?

As Steve wrote linking to Hemingway’s piece, “I’d just add that perhaps the saddest part about Woody Allen et al. is that they never understood they’d become disposable once they were no longer useful to the cause.” Having starred in the 1976 anti-Blacklist film The Front (one of his few films strictly as an actor, not a writer-director), I wonder how Woody is taking being cancelled by his fellow leftists?


     [Biden] is a vicious self-serving political hack, for one thing, one whose ambition leads him from time to time into shocking indecency. You may have heard that Biden lost his wife and daughter in a horrifying drunk-driving wreck, the fault of a monster of a man who irresponsibly “drank his lunch,” as Biden puts it.

Never happened.

Biden’s wife and daughter did, in fact, die in a car wreck. That is true. It is not true that the driver of the other car was drunk, that he had been drinking, or that there was any reason to believe he was drunk or had been drinking — or even that he was at fault.

The late Mrs. Biden “drove into the path of [the] tractor-trailer,” the police report says. But Biden, like every other third-rate ward-heeler of his ilk, thinks and speaks only in terms of good guys and bad guys, white hats and black hats — and if something bad happens to good people, then it must be because somebody in a black hat did something nefarious.

The driver of that truck went to his grave haunted by Biden’s lies, to the point where his children were forced to beg the vice president to stop defaming their late father. The casual cruelty with which Biden is willing to subordinate the lives of ordinary people to his political ambitions — for the sake of a petty tear-jerker line in one of his occasionally plagiarized stump speeches — is remarkable.

Read the whole thing.

WOW: USAF Gunship Crew Awarded Medals For Nine-Hour Battle With ISIS That Saved 15 Wounded In Afghanistan.

In need of assistance, the Special Tactics operators on the ground called for an AC-130U “Spooky” Gunship, (Callsign Spooky 41) who arrived to suppress the enemy located in close proximity to the group.

As the gunship fired down on the enemy, at times less than 140 meters from the group, three medical-evacuation helicopters hovered more than an hour to safely rescue all 15 patients. The enemy was not able to get a single shot off at the MEDEVAC helicopters, due to the precise airpower strikes of Spooky 41’s aircrew.

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Jim Slife, commander of Air Force Special Operations Command, presented two Distinguished Flying Crosses with “C” device and 12 Single Event Air Medals with “C” device to 4th Special Operations Squadron Airmen, March 2, 2020, here, for their actions in April.

“The most lethal part of any gunship is not the 25 mm, the 40 mm, or the 105 mm [weapons] sticking out of the side of this big beautiful airplane,” said Slife during the ceremony. “The most lethal part of the gunship is the crew.”

What a crew. Read the whole thing.

ROGER SIMON: Sleepless in Nashville.

I went back to the bed and lay there, my mind racing. Should we go to the safe room? How bad was the Coronavirus? Who was going to win Super Tuesday? Would there be an Olympics in Tokyo? Could Sanders beat Trump? On and on and back again.

Sometimes I slept, mostly I didn’t. Sleepless in Seattle, I thought? No, sleepless in Nashville. And then I fell asleep.

I awoke with dim light filtering through the window, my hand still clutching the iPhone. I looked down at it. The screen was dominated by an image that looked like a battlefield in World War I.

But it wasn’t a war. It was Nashville. The tornado had hit.

Read the whole thing.


A number of America’s leading Never-Trump luminaries, including Bill Kristol, Evan McMullin, Rick Wilson, Amanda Carpenter, Tom Nichols and Ramesh Ponnuru, held a conference in Washington D.C. on Saturday to an audience of about 200 supporters.

Timed to compete with the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC),  the “Summit on Principled Conservatism” was hosted by Principles First, in partnership with Stand Up Republic, both of which describe themselves as “grassroots” organizations.

Read the whole thing.

THE CORBYNIZATION OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY CONTINUES APACE: Former top Obama official accused of blaming Jews for Iranian nuclear stockpile.

Former Obama aide Ben Rhodes received blowback on Twitter for suggesting that Iran was able to triple its nuclear stockpile of enriched uranium in four months because of American Jews.

The United Nations announced Tuesday that Iran has nearly tripled the amount of enriched uranium it has since November.

Rhodes was President Barack Obama’s deputy national security adviser and helped craft the Iran nuclear deal with world powers, which placed restrictions on Iran’s nuclear enrichment program at the time.

Read the whole thing.


For over a decade, I’ve been saying that we’ve been living through an extraordinary moment in human history – the conscious self-extinction of some of the oldest nations on the planet. Also for over a decade, I’ve been saying that if I had to pick a Continental country that would surrender to Sharia first, I’d plump for Sweden. As Laura noticed the other day, in a land that fifty years ago was almost entirely ethnically homogeneous, an increasing number of Swedish grade schools now have a student body whose first language is Arabic. Within thirty years, ethnic Swedes will be a minority in Sweden.

How do you manage such a transition? Obviously, you make it a hate crime even to raise the subject, you racist you. Still and all, people do tend to notice these things. So maybe it’s time to move to the next phase and make the total transformation of cultural mores a sexy lifestyle choice. The above magazine cover is from Swedish Elle, hailing Imane Asry’s stylish hijab as the “Look of the Year”.

There’s an utterly charming Irving Berlin song from a century ago:

The Girl I Love Is On The Magazine Cover

Now the girl I love is on the magazine covered. That’s not an improvement.

Plus some thoughts on Woody Gutherie’s “‘This Land Is Your Land’ Is Still Private Property, Court Rules.” Read the whole thing.

ANTHONY FAUCI, ET AL.: Covid-19 — Navigating the Uncharted.

On the basis of a case definition requiring a diagnosis of pneumonia, the currently reported case fatality rate is approximately 2%.4 In another article in the Journal, Guan et al.5 report mortality of 1.4% among 1099 patients with laboratory-confirmed Covid-19; these patients had a wide spectrum of disease severity. If one assumes that the number of asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic cases is several times as high as the number of reported cases, the case fatality rate may be considerably less than 1%. This suggests that the overall clinical consequences of Covid-19 may ultimately be more akin to those of a severe seasonal influenza (which has a case fatality rate of approximately 0.1%) or a pandemic influenza (similar to those in 1957 and 1968) rather than a disease similar to SARS or MERS, which have had case fatality rates of 9 to 10% and 36%, respectively.2 . . .

China, the United States, and several other countries have instituted temporary restrictions on travel with an eye toward slowing the spread of this new disease within China and throughout the rest of the world. The United States has seen a dramatic reduction in the number of travelers from China, especially from Hubei province. At least on a temporary basis, such restrictions may have helped slow the spread of the virus: whereas 78,191 laboratory-confirmed cases had been identified in China as of February 26, 2020, a total of 2918 cases had been confirmed in 37 other countries or territories.4 As of February 26, 2020, there had been 14 cases detected in the United States involving travel to China or close contacts with travelers, 3 cases among U.S. citizens repatriated from China, and 42 cases among U.S. passengers repatriated from a cruise ship where the infection had spread.8 However, given the efficiency of transmission as indicated in the current report, we should be prepared for Covid-19 to gain a foothold throughout the world, including in the United States. Community spread in the United States could require a shift from containment to mitigation strategies such as social distancing in order to reduce transmission. Such strategies could include isolating ill persons (including voluntary isolation at home), school closures, and telecommuting where possible.9

Read the whole thing.


We visited a Hutong (inner city – where the locals live) and saw raw chickens, skinned and bleeding, just laying on the floor, waiting to be thrown on a restaurant grill…for public consumption. No FDA or USDA or food inspectors or “codes” to comply with, here. But why? This is the last purely communist country on earth. You’d think there would be red tape everywhere. What was happening here?

Then, my wife and I had to rush our newly adopted, 8-month-old daughter to the public hospital…and suddenly it all started making sense.

As we stepped in more urine, took our number from the print-out machine, walked past the line of children whining and crying from the scalp IVs in their heads, then rushed to clean up blood and mucus (left by the last patient) on the plastic table they were now laying our baby on, then waited on the ONE overworked doctor (attending to no less than three hundred people) try to round up a basic anti-biotic to administer to my daughter (right there on site – no refills) it dawned on me what I was seeing and what I had been seeing this whole time. I wasn’t watching a “backward” culture or a third-world society. These people weren’t genetically inferior to first-worlders. They weren’t “less-evolved” than I was.

I was witnessing the kind of maximum, almost brutal efficiency a society must develop when the state is the master and the individual is merely a subject. Why would a Communist country not have an effective FDA? Because who are you going to complain to if you get tainted food? The government? They don’t answer to you. The press? They are owned by the government. And again, they don’t answer to you.

So what if you don’t like the conditions in the hospital? Where else are you going to go? This hospital is the last (and only) stop. You can’t opt for another place and then just pay out of your own pocket. The government has capped financial upward mobility. There is now “income equality.” And that means nobody has the means to buy their way into a different (or better) situation. And even if you could, one doesn’t exist. The state provides it all. You’re stuck.

Exit quote: “The thing about free-market solutions when it comes to healthcare, is that if they don’t work, you can always trash them and go to a public option. But once you nationalize healthcare, there is no going back. And that terrifies me. I’ve seen the natural conclusion of what happens when only one buyer is purchasing gauze and morphine; when one source pays the doctors and nurses.” Definitely read the whole thing.

(Via James Woods, now back on Twitter.)


Blocking Sanders with Biden is tantamount to writing off the Democratic party’s own youth activist wing. No one Biden could pick as his running mate would have the pull with the left-wing youth that Sanders has. And beating Trump in November will put Democrats in the awkward position of having to govern without the two-chamber congressional majorities and the massive popular mandate that Barack Obama came into office with in 2009.

Read the whole thing.


In 1981, Philadelphia Police Officer Danny Faulkner was murdered by Mumia Abu-Jamal. A racially diverse jury convicted Jamal of first-degree murder and sentenced him to death. Since then, he has pursued endless appeals in state and federal courts. Although his death sentence was overturned on a technicality, his conviction has been repeatedly affirmed.

Throughout this lengthy process, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania was zealously represented by three previous district attorneys. But now the defense of Abu-Jamal’s conviction is in the hands of District Attorney Larry Krasner, the self-styled “public defender with power,” who during his short time in office has established an appalling record of undercharging violent criminals and astonishing indifference to the interests of crime victims.

Read the whole thing.


Why were the Australians ahead of the world? For a very simple reason. They don’t trust the WHO. The information from multiple international sources is that the WHO is under intense pressure from the Chinese government, and succumbing to it.

The Australian Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer, Brendan Murphy, told the NSC that it was medically inexplicable that the WHO hadn’t already declared a global pandemic. It’s politics, in other words.

That’s why Australia had earlier forged ahead of the WHO in declaring the China travel ban, on February 1. It was, again, on the unanimous advice of the AHPPC.

The travel ban was decided immediately after the US made the same call. Beijing instantly lashed both the US and Australia on that occasion – the Chinese Communist Party’s official mouthpiece, People’s Daily, calling it “racist”.

But, of course, that decision now looks very wise, more so with each passing day.


“With the ongoing China travel ban, I’m very sympathetic about the impact on tourism and farmers, but I’m much less so with the universities,” he began. “Because they have been warned for years that they are over-reliant on the Chinese market, and for years they’ve reassured us that it was all fine, and that if anything happened they’d be able to withstand it. They rode the cycle up, now they can ride the cycle down.”

The universities receive $17 billion a year in federal cash already. Paterson said they should be given this opportunity to show they could indeed withstand the lost income. Addressing Scott Morrison, Paterson concluded: “We shouldn’t relax the travel ban, and there should be no financial bail-out for the universities.”

Read the whole thing.


BRIAN CATES: The ‘Wrong Scandal’ Keeps Winning.

One scandal, commonly referred to as “Russiagate,” claims that the man who had just won the election was an undercover agent who took orders straight from Moscow.

The other one that emerged claimed the first scandal was always a false construct of the rival Hillary Clinton campaign and its politicized allies within the federal government’s intelligence and law enforcement agencies. This second scandal came to be called “Spygate.”

One of these scandals was indeed fake and the other was very real.

Most of the U.S. media went all-in on the proposition that the fake scandal was real and the real scandal was fake.

However, the scandal that was endlessly promoted by mainstream news outlets turned out to be a hoax, as shown by the investigations by special counsel Robert Mueller and Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General Michael Horowitz. Meanwhile, the scandal they dismissed as a “wild conspiracy theory” turned out to be real.

Read the whole thing.

THE ROAD TO HELL: How Barack Obama’s Good ‘Intentions’ Destroyed Libya.

Humanitarian crusaders trot out a variety of excuses to evade responsibility when their military interventions go awry. One frequent excuse is that a failure is because the U.S. and Western commitment to the mission was either inconsistent or insufficiently robust. Another popular explanation for disappointing results is that the effort would have succeeded if not for malign foreign interference. That rationale has become a favorite for the architects of the Syria debacle, who contend that Russia’s intervention beginning in 2015 saved Bashar al-Assad’s beleaguered, evil regime. One striking feature is the absence of diminished confidence that a more determined U.S.-led effort can succeed or that Washington has a moral and strategic obligation to make the attempt, even when the previous meddlesome policy has imploded.

When those excuses are not available, defenders of a failed humanitarian crusade insist that their intentions were good, and that they should be judged according to that standard. The good intentions dodge is perhaps the most maddening. Barack Obama seemed to recognize the inherent deficiency when he first met Samantha Power, an advocate of the “responsibility to protect” (R2P) doctrine, and a passionate proponent of U.S. involvement in multilateral military interventions for humanitarian goals. Obama reportedly praised Power’s book on the Rwanda genocide, but then he observed that it “seemed like malpractice to judge one’s prospects by one’s intentions, rather than making a stren­uous effort to anticipate and weigh potential consequences.”

Obama was right, but he didn’t heed his own insights. Not only did he choose Power for a series of high-level policy posts when he became president, culminating in her appointment as ambassador to the United Nations, but he launched several disruptive, catastrophic interventions, most notably in Libya and Syria. The unintended negative results of those crusades continue to reverberate nearly a decade after the initial U.S. actions.

Read the whole thing.

Related (From Ed): Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak, The ‘Pharaoh’ Toppled By The Arab Spring, Dies At 91.

Curiously, CTL-F “Obama” in Reuters’ obit above brings up zero results. But as John Schindler wrote in 2016, “When his regime was collapsing in 2011, Hosni Mubarak, who had led Egypt for three decades as a loyal ally of America, was coldly abandoned by the White House. President Obama, against the advice of his own national security experts, cut Mubarak loose to the mob, refusing to take his panicked phone calls pleading for help.”

ON THE CULT OF PERSONALITY AND ITS CONSEQUENCES”: Most speeches by politicians don’t say much, and what they do say often isn’t true. But on this day in 1956, First Secretary of the Soviet Union’s Communist Party Nikita Khrushchev shocked the members of the 20th Party Congress by doing something completely novel: He laid some truth on them about their late leader Joseph Stalin:

Stalin acted not through persuasion, explanation, and patient cooperation with people, but by … demanding absolute submission to his opinion. Whoever opposed this concept … was doomed to removal from the leading collective and to subsequent moral and physical annihilation. …

Lenin used severe methods only in the most necessary cases …

Stalin, on the other hand, used extreme methods and mass repressions at a time when the revolution was already victorious. … It is clear that here Stalin showed in a whole series of cases his intolerance, his brutality, and his abuse of power. …

Stalin’s willfulness vis-à-vis the party and its central committee became fully evident after the 17th party congress, which took place in 1934….

It was determined that of the 139 members and candidates of the party’s Central Committee who were elected at the 17th congress, 98 persons, that is, 70 percent, were arrested and shot ….

The same fate met not only the central committee members, but also the majority of the delegates to the 17th party congress. Of 1,966 delegates with either voting or advisory rights, 1,108 persons were arrested on charges of anti-revolutionary crimes, i.e. decidedly more than majority. This very fact shows how absurd, wild, and contrary to common sense were the charges ….

(Note that there are different versions/translations of what Khrushchev said. This is one of them.)

The speech was intended to be secret. But it was leaked. Its effects were shattering all over the Soviet Union. Riots in Stalin’s homeland of Georgia had to be suppressed.

Here in the United States, its effects among Communists were sweeping. In a 2017 New York Times article entitled “When Communism Inspired Americans,” Vivian Gornick (a red diaper baby herself) wrote of the devastating effect the speech had on American Communists: “Night after night the people at my father’s table raged or wept or sat staring into space.” Gornick reported that within weeks of the speech’s publication in the West, 30,000 members of the party in the United States had quit.

Note that Khrushchev’s speech has been criticized (and for good reason). What he said about Stalin was true, but he concentrated on the horrors of Stalin’s actions against party members. What about the millions of non-party members who died at the hands of the party? And he repeatedly contrasted Stalin with Lenin, whom he praised, when both deserved to be condemned in the strongest possible terms. Still, it was a step forward for a nation that had seen nothing but horror from its leaders for decades.


Someone converted Robert Hester to Islam. That person or group was unable or unwilling to convince him that his new religion did not command him to commit treason and mass murder. That person or group was unable or unwilling to convince young Ali Talib Muhammad of the truth of the peaceful version of Islam that virtually every non-Muslim politician in the Western world assures us is as plain as day in the pages of the Qur’an. The implications of that are serious. No one dares contemplate them.

Read the whole thing.

DEEP STATE: FBI’s ‘Case Agent 1’ Stephen Somma ‘primarily responsible’ for FISA failures.

Horowitz said he did not have enough information to determine “whether it was sheer gross incompetence that led to this versus intentional misconduct or anything in between.”

When questioned by a lawyer from DOJ’s Office of Intelligence about Page’s prior relationship with the CIA, Somma claimed those “interactions took place while Page was in Moscow (which was between 2004 and 2007)” and were “outside scope.” Because of this, the attorney “did not include information about Page’s prior interactions” with the CIA in the FISA application. Horowitz said the information Somma provided was “incomplete, inaccurate, and in certain respects contrary to the information the other agency provided to the Crossfire Hurricane team on August 17, 2016 and that Carter Page had provided to the FBI in 2009 and 2013.” Page’s relationship with the CIA “actually overlapped with information alleged in the FISA application concerning his alleged ties to Russian intelligence officers.”

Horowitz showed that Somma omitted significant information provided by confidential human source Stefan Halper — known as “Source 2” in the report. Halper met with and recorded Page in October 2016, before the FBI filed its first FISA application. Horowitz concluded Somma failed to include key “exculpatory” information from that meeting, including Page denying meeting with Russians mentioned in Steele’s report, denying knowledge of the WikiLeaks dissemination of the DNC emails hacked by the Russians, and denying any role in the GOP platform related to Russia.

Read the whole thing.

ROGER KIMBALL: Media Serves Up Comedy in Effort to Get Trump.

It is a time- and labor-saving expedient. Instead of having deep-state operatives leak classified information to the press, why not simply invite the sympathetic (i.e., left-wing) press to sit in on the classified briefings? That way, venues like The New York Times and The Washington Post won’t be put to the inconvenience of having to wait for someone the leak the rumors and innuendos to them. They’ll have them firsthand.

In the meantime, it will be interesting to see how Russia 3.0 fares at the box office. The opening weekend, from all I can tell, was pretty dismal. What happens with this entertainment will probably depend on what competing acts the media comes up with to divert us.

Read the whole thing.

THE CORBYNIZATION OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY ACCELERATES: Bernie Sanders is The Corbynizer. A true socialist, Sanders has been poised on his Marx all his life for this moment:

The Democrats are now being unraveled by what Sanders might call the ‘contradictions of capitalism’. While the Democratic leadership was soaking Wall Street and Silicon Valley and pandering to the public sector unions, it outsourced the maintenance of its coalition to the radicals, and indulged them as they built their Potemkin villages of intersectionality. Now, as the party structure hollows out and the party leadership fails convincingly to answer Donald Trump, the radicals have the ground game and the ideology to remake the party from the bottom up. The result is a radically depraved version of the rainbow coalition, with Sanders as its Corbyn-style ‘Magic Grandpa’, a deceptively cuddly fellow traveler determined to ride their youthful exuberance into office.

When Magic Grandpa shakes the money tree, it’s not just that other people’s money falls out. A tangle of poisonous roots is also exposed. A coalition of coalitions has mobilized for Sanders: acrimonious initials like the DSA (Democratic Socialists of America) and CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations), Jew-baiting proxies like Ilhan Omar and Linda Sarsour, woke warriors like IfNotNow and the Justice Dems, and bongwater conspiracists like the Chapo Trap House chaps and the campus wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

Read the whole thing.

Related: Bernie Sanders: Twenty Things You Didn’t Know About Him.

RICHARD FERNANDEZ: For the Left, Morality Needs Muscle Behind It.

Riding in a motorcade in Lima, Peru, shortly after the 2016 election, President Barack Obama was struggling to understand Donald J. Trump’s victory.

“What if we were wrong?” he asked aides riding with him in the armored presidential limousine.

He had read a column asserting that liberals had forgotten how important identity was to people and had promoted an empty cosmopolitan globalism that made many feel left behind. “Maybe we pushed too far,” Mr. Obama said. “Maybe people just want to fall back into their tribe.”

His aides reassured him that he still would have won had he been able to run for another term and that the next generation had more in common with him than with Mr. Trump. Mr. Obama, the first black man elected president, did not seem convinced. “Sometimes I wonder whether I was 10 or 20 years too early,” he said.

The only possibility of error was timing. With respect to the overall arc of history, how could that be wrong? With Brexit an accomplished fact, globalism under threat from a looming pandemic, and his own party in disarray, it might occur to Obama that his ideology was not 20 years too early so much as a hundred years too old. But it probably won’t. There is no refutation of  “this is a moral issue, my friends.”

Read the whole thing.

MONICA SHOWALTER: “ALI WATKINS, IT SEEMS, WASN’T THE ONLY ONE.” More sleeping with sources in the swamp: Trump-hating DIA analyst pleads guilty to leaks to honeytrap reporter. “It’s apparently widespread practice in the mainstream media. . . . The Times, for one piously characterizes this whole sorry picture is an issue about the importance of protecting ‘whistleblowers,’ (sound familiar?), the First Amendment, and the press’s right to do its job. The rest of us see lovebird honeytrap journalism becoming more and more the norm as none of these reporters ends up seriously punished. Apparently, the managers up at the top of these organizations see nothing wrong with this news standard other than a little bit of egg on their faces, raising questions as to whether they are now hiring these comely women for just this purpose.”


A 17-year-old, Corey Johnson, murdered a 13-year-old, Jovanni Alexander Sierra, and stabbed two others in Florida in 2018, and this week it was reported that the victim’s family is suing the Publix grocery store chain for selling Johnson the knife, as the sale violated a Florida law that prohibits the sale of knives to anyone under age 18. That’s all well and good, but there is a good deal more to this story: this was a jihad massacre committed in the name of Islam and in accord with its teachings, but it has been swept under the rug. Apparently it doesn’t fit the establishment media narrative.

Read the whole thing. Evergreen:

“SHOCK WAVE:” LA Times troubled by Trump’s “flipping” of the 9th Circuit.

This “shock wave” is just a nonsense comment, an attempt to paint these appointments as some sort of unprecedented makeover just seven years after Reid and Obama did the same damned thing on the other coast. It’s as overblown as the hyperbole over the Ninth Circuit’s rate of reversals.

It does serve one purpose, however — to remind conservatives and moderates about the consequences of the next election. Who do they want to see appointing the next two Supreme Court justices and dozens of appellate judges — Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump? It’s still going to be the judiciary, smartypants.

Read the whole thing.

UPDATE (FROM GLENN): When Democrats dominate the judiciary we’re told — even by Chief Justice Roberts, who certainly knows better — that judges have no party. When Republicans dominate, we’re told the judiciary has become “politicized.”

ILHAN OMAR’S REIGN OF ERROR: Powerline’s Scott Johnson titled his post “Reign of Terror,” and she certainly tried to terrorize Somalis in Minnesota. According to the post she succeeded — up to a point. Three people –Preya Samsundar, David Steinberg, and Scott– stayed on the case. Now the Daily Mail is scorching Omar internationally and one of Scott’s Minnesota Somali sources has emerged in public. Abdi Nur is a brave man.

Scott provides this quote:

“…She (Omar)lied through her teeth to elderly people who stood in line for hours to vote for their dreams which they saw in her…[T]his country is ours and we Love America. It is our job to defend it and I will do everything to protect it from someone who despises our country. We are united in all faiths and colors to continue to live together…”

Mr. Nur is a genuine resistance fighter. Read the whole thing.


The American dream, 2020. She calls her new life as a porn star “empowering,” and says that when she broke the news to her parents last weekend, they were “intrigued” but “not upset.”

Those poor people, the Spielbergs. She shames her family. My guess is that they are really upset, and doing their best not to alienate their crazy, self-destructive kid.

Still, what a parable about Weimar America: Steven Spielberg’s daughter, with every privilege in the world, turns herself into a porn star.

Read the whole thing.

Flashback: Bill Whittle on Weimar America in 2013: “First Comes the Grotesque.”

DON SURBER: Impeachment was good for the USA.

The 3-year obsession with removing President Donald John Trump from office consumed and defeated Democrats. They should have worked with him. Obama should have been man enough to admit defeat, and given him a peaceful transition of power. This would have allowed the party to heal itself and prepare properly for 2020.

Instead, they resisted. All this did was get them all worked up and show how incompetent they are. They should have accepted defeat after the Mueller report, but no, they continued to try to bring down this president, which resulted in an impotent impeachment that wound up knocking out their best chance for winning in 2020, Joe Biden.

Without someone who appears to be moderate, Democrats are overrun by communist kooks.

Read the whole thing.

MISTER, WE COULD USE A MAN LIKE PAUL HARVEY AGAIN: “And on the 8th day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said, ‘I need a tiny, soulless technocrat to tell everyone else how to live their lives.’ So God made a Bloomberg.”

Needless to say, read the whole thing.

UPDATE: Hick Farmers Retaliate Against Coastal Elites By Withholding Ingredients Needed To Make Avocado Toast.

From America’s Newspaper of Record, the Babylon Bee.

(Updated and bumped.)

GRUMPY OLD MEN 3: Sanders and Bloomberg take the American Jewish feud public.

Lovers of the silver screen will recall that Walther Matthau and Jack Lemmon vehicle from 1993, in which the lifelong rivalry between two tetchy geezers is galvanized by their competition for the ultimate prize — ultimate, that is, in the sense of their last chance — the affections of the attractive retiree (Ann-Margret). Helpless addicts of the silver screen will recall the follow-up from 1995, Grumpy Old Men 2 which, like Bernie Sanders’s current attempt to rerun the 2016 campaign, repeated the same jokes, only at higher volume.

True lovers of the silver screen, and masochistic devotees of mass democracy, will now see Grumpy Old Men 3. This time our pair of petty pensioners will be cursing and kvetching in Las Vegas as they compete for the affections of a beauty long past its prime: the Democratic party. Will Mike confirm the rumors that he’s even nastier than Bernie is rumored to be? Will Bernie’s heart and bladder go the distance? Will Mike run down their neighbor Joe, who’s taken up residence in the middle of the street?

The real drama in the Mike and Bernie show is that the communal feuding of American Jews is going public. You could call this a nightmare scenario, were it not already the reality of the politics of the American Jewish institutions among which both Bernie and Mike should be numbered. American Jews are almost unanimously pro-Israel, but their would-be leaders are, like most politicians, far more polarized, in this case over Israel.

Read the whole thing.

NOBODY KNOWS ANYTHING: Analysis: Political Pundits Have No Idea What They’re Talking About.

Maybe all this terrible analysis proves is that elections are strange and complicated, hard to predict and analyze with any certainty. Maybe it’s just difficult for upper-class residents of New York City and Washington, D.C., to assess the hearts and minds of average Americans. No one in the political punditry business would ever admit this, however. If it were true, what would be the point of their careers?

Read the whole thing.

(Classical reference in headline.)

EVERY LEFTIST’S GOAL: Criminalizing Dissent.

Louis Shenker, a 21-year-old junior at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, just wanted his MAGA hat back from the graduate student who ripped it off his head on campus. He wore the hat to a December 6, 2018 protest organized by the university’s graduate student union against Trump and local police. Video shows that when Louis, who is 5’6’’ and 140 pounds, arrived wearing the MAGA hat and holding a large sign, he was immediately surrounded by a hostile mob of older grad students cursing at him and calling him a white supremacist. A woman lunged from the mob and snatched Louis’s MAGA hat. Careful not to get caught on camera hitting Louis with their hands, they instead mobbed him like a colony of enraged penguins, using their bodies to push him from all sides, occasionally pecking at his head with their cardboard signs, and chanting in unison: “THE PEOPLE, UNITED, WILL NEVER BE DEFEATED.”

“Get the f**k out of here, you shouldn’t be in an anti-racist march!” screamed the hat thief. A soft-spoken professor in the crowd warned Louis: “It’s actually dangerous for you to come by yourself like that.” As the protesters began to march and Louis tried to keep up while pleading for his hat, many of them, including several graduate student union members dressed in United Auto Workers gear, elbowed Louis into walls, lampposts, and other obstacles. “You act like a Nazi, you’re going to get treated like a Nazi,” a female protester yelled at the Jewish grandson of Holocaust victims. Louis left without his hat.

A month later, Louis was horrified to recognize the woman who stole his MAGA hat as Beth Peller, a 36-year-old grad student who would be teaching his mandatory freshman writing class.

Read the whole thing.

J. CHRISTIAN ADAMS: President Trump Starts to Drain the Swamp, Yanks Liu.

Trump has now learned the details of what is going on inside one Justice Department office, the D.C. United States Attorney’s office.  He also learned details about people who accepted appointments in his administration and took their jobs while holding their noses.

This was the week that Trump got his sea-legs. He campaigned on draining the swamp, and he has learned how subtle and how sophisticated the swamp is.

Read the whole thing.

CAN’T HELP LOVIN’ THAT IMAM OF MINE: Germany Can’t Stop Loving Iran.

For example: the historical dimension. Germany and Iran have been allied since the beginning of the last century; a relationship that began because Iran (then called Persia) required foreign technical support for the development of infrastructure and industry. Persian leaders could have turned to other European countries for assistance but distrusted the imperial powers of Great Britain and France, and so looked to Germany. Germany needed Persia because it was the only country rich in raw materials but as of yet “unclaimed” in the 19th-century struggle for colonies among Europe’s “great powers.” Thus, in the mid-1920s, Germany provided Iran with both the backbone of its industrial infrastructure and the trained personnel needed to run it. Soon the “German work ethic” gained a literally legendary reputation, which was later exploited by Nazi propaganda. Between 1933 and 1941, the Nazi share of Iranian imports rose from 11% to 43%, while the German share of Iranian exports rose from 19% to 47%. Another aspect of the Nazi period, which continues to be important in Iran, was pointed out in 1996 by Iranian President Hashemi Rafsanjani: “Our relations have always been good. Both [peoples] are of the Aryan race.”

Read the whole thing.


“Tur also happens to be one one of the more biased journalists out there, using her platform to routinely spin Democratic talking points. Recently, she bemoaned gerrymandering in Senate races, which happens to not be a thing since state lines can not be gerrymandered.”

But wait.

There’s more.

Then in another segment, she said, “”When I ask people if they’re voting for [POTUS], I hear about their 401(k)s a lot … but there are those out that who don’t have a 401(k) and this economy is not really working for them. They can get a car, but it’s a loan that will take 30 years.”

Given my life expectancy and zero percent interest, I want one of those. Too bad they don’t make them.

But she outdid herself when reporting from outside a polling station in New Hampshire when he spotted a man she thought was a Bernie supporter.

Read the whole thing.


KEVIN WILLIAMSON: The Left and the Theocrats.

Kim Ghattas, a correspondent for the BBC, gave a remarkably frank interview to her home network about her new book, Black Wave, an account of the Saudi–Iranian rivalry that has warped life and politics in much of the Islamic world.

What struck me about the interview is that the Beirut-born Ghattas is much more plain and direct about the disastrous role played by leftist Western intellectuals — particularly French thinkers such as Michel Foucault, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Simone de Beauvoir—in encouraging and enabling the rise of Ayatollah Khomeini and his repressive model of Islamic government.

It is worth remembering that the Iranian theocracy was a great project of the secular Western Left.

Foucault welcomed Khomeini’s revolution as “the first of the grand insurrections against global systems.” Sartre traveled to Tehran to flack for Khomeini. The French Left celebrated Khomeini as “the Islamic Lenin.” (American conservatives might have said much the same thing, but the French Left meant that as praise.) Andrew Young, Jimmy Carter’s ambassador to the United Nations, hailed Khomeini as a “saint.” Many of those intellectuals stood by their judgment, though some of them, such as Simone de Beauvoir, recoiled from Tehran’s treatment of women and minorities.

Read the whole thing.

Related: Roger Kimball on The perversions of M. Foucault.

THE HOUNDING OF JORDAN PETERSON: The internet has an addiction to hate — and it’s killing us all.

Last week, it was reported that Jordan Peterson, who has been struggling with addiction issues and other health problems, was suicidal, had been near death, and sought treatment in Russia.

The response online was disturbing.

One social media user named Emily Gorcenski tweeted a link to an article with the headline, ‘He nearly died several times,’ alongside her own commentary: ‘Look at how much it sucks to be a bigot when not being a bigot is free,’ adding, ‘We narrowly missed the first case of they pronouns killing someone,’ and ‘Imagine name searching Jordan Peterson, who died when he was crushed by a falling pronoun.’

In other words, she was joking about Peterson’s near-death, conveying that she felt gleeful at the possibility he might suffer and die.

* * * * * * * *

Far too many of us are too comfortable vilifying and dehumanizing those with whom we have disagreements. It is not enough, on social media, to say, ‘Well, I agree with some things she says, but not others.’ Or ‘I think he is wrong.’ Or even, ‘I think this person is painfully stupid.’ If a person doesn’t share our views, only hatred and hyperbole will do, otherwise you aren’t truly serious about your politics.

A friend described it as ‘performative sociopathy’. It shows those you wish to demonstrate allegiance to that you are so committed to your politics, you literally don’t care if those you disagree with live or die.

Read the whole thing.

CHRISTIAN TOTO: Is Liberal Media Finally Fed Up with Woke Hollywood?

Two major outlets shred more than just the Oscars telecast. Are they finally on to the con?

Quick question: name the outlet that wrote the following about Sunday’s Oscars telecast:

What I did mind was a sinking feeling that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, for all its inclusiveness, had wound up excluding more viewers than ever. Couldn’t they have promoted that dual appearance by Steve Martin and Chris Rock? Bang that drum just a little, and another 3 million viewers might have watched. Shouldn’t they have done just a little bit more of what Renée Zellweger attempted when she said something nice about those in the Armed Forces, or Bong when he devotedly quoted Martin Scorsese?

National Review?
The Daily Wire?
American Greatness?

Wrong. Try the far-left

Read the whole thing.


Titania McGrath thinks you’re scum. That is because of how tolerant she is.

In April 2018, Oxford-educated comedian and journalist Andrew Doyle created a satirical Twitter persona, an “activist,” “healer,” and “radical intersectionalist poet” who self-identifies as “selfless and brave.” Titania, an imaginary amalgam of all the worst excesses in the modern social justice movement, fancies herself a voice for minorities of all kinds (whether they know they agree with her or not). What she lacks in self-awareness, she makes up for in conviction.

There are other parody accounts in a vein similar to Titania’s: Jarvis Dupont of the Spectator USA, for example, or Wrightly Willowleaf (who moved to Williamsburg before it was cool). But none of them has achieved Titania’s notoriety, or her reach (418.4K followers). Doyle attributes some of this success to a much-publicized Twitter ban. But that’s perhaps too modest: Titania is a note-perfect creation, as frighteningly accurate as she is screamingly funny. “[Y]ou need to understand that which you are critiquing,” Doyle told me: more than anything, his tweets as Titania demonstrate an incisive grasp of how radical progressivism functions and why woke politics commands such hypnotic power over the 21st-century Western psyche.

Note this comment by Doyle:

S.K. That’s something I’d like to ask you more about: this mode of gaining power. On the one hand you suggested that there might be a strategy behind it, but you’ve also compared it to a kind of religion, as we have done also here at The American Mind. Which would suggest a more unconscious impulse, less than an explicit strategy.

A.D. Yes, that’s the theme of Tom Holland’s last book, Dominion. Holland makes that point that in the absence of Christianity, there’s something instinctive about finding these belief systems. And it does have the same hallmarks: it has the aspect of original sin, the Augustinian concept of original sin which now comes in through whiteness, or being heterosexual—having these immutable characteristics that make you a sinner. And then you’ve got the heresy concept, the idea that anyone who doesn’t think the right things is a heretic who needs to be cancelled, and then you get the metaphor of cancel culture, which is a lot like witch hunting, and burning people at the stake as the Inquisition might have done.

And of course so much of the theorizing behind woke ideas is based on entirely unsubstantiated, faith-based positions. They believe in unconscious bias, and institutional power structures—things that you can’t quantify or put your finger on that just sort of exist in the ether like spirits. And to ask them to prove any of these positions is to simply get the response that well, they do exist because we know they do. Which is what a religious zealot would say.

So I think that certainly the best way to understand the social justice movement is to see it as a cult. Because then it all makes sense, and it also makes sense why they’re able to behave so barbarically toward those who don’t subscribe to their belief system. Because the hallmark of many religions is tolerance to a degree. And then where things start going wrong, where witches start getting burned at the stake and heretics start getting executed is where that tolerance runs out. And I think that’s what happened here: the social justice movement is a fundamentally intolerant movement. And fundamentally illiberal. There’s nothing liberal about it.

Read the whole thing.

ANALYSIS: How Xi Jinping’s “Controlocracy” Lost Control.

When the true scale of the epidemic finally became, Chinese public opinion reflected a predictable mix of anger, anxiety, and despair. People took to the Internet to vent their rage and frustration. But it did not take long for the state to crack down, severely limiting the ability of journalists and concerned citizens to share information about the crisis.

Then, on February 3, after Xi had chaired the Standing Committee’s second meeting on the epidemic, the CPC’s propaganda apparatus was ordered to “guide public opinion and strengthen information control.” In practice, this means that cutting-edge AI and big-data technologies are being used to monitor the entirety of Chinese public opinion online. The controlocracy is now running at full throttle, with facial-, image-, and voice-recognition algorithms being used to anticipate and suppress any potential criticism of the government, and to squelch all “unofficial” information about the epidemic.

On February 7, Li Wenliang, one of the physician-whistleblowers who tried to sound the alarm about the outbreak, died of coronavirus, which unleashed a firestorm on social media. The Chinese public is already commemorating him as a hero and victim who tried to tell the truth. Millions have taken to social media to express their grief, and to demand an apology from the Chinese government and freedom of expression.

For the first time since coming to power, Xi’s high-tech censorship machine is meeting with intense resistance from millions of Chinese Internet users.

Read the whole thing.

JUST IN TIME FOR NEW HAMPSHIRE: Biden 2020: A Pre-Post Mortem. “Perhaps nothing during this primary season will give me greater pleasure than to write Joe Biden’s political obituary, and I might not have to wait long to do it, if recent caucus results, poll numbers, debate performances, and fundraising troubles are anything to go by. My, that’s an awful lot to go by, isn’t it?”

And for our PJMedia/Townhall VIP members: Coronavirus, Xi Jinping, and the Mandate of Heaven.

Xi has kept a low profile during the outbreak, perhaps wanting not to be seen as the symbol of Beijing’s troubles in dealing with it. But in a country where nearly one-third of the people are under some kind of quarantine, a leader has to… well, get out and lead if he’s going to be considered worthy of the title. Perhaps that why Xi just made what’s been a “rare appearance” in recent weeks, today at a Beijing medical center. His face covered in a mask (we’ll get to that momentarily), Xi had his temperature taken and urged “more decisive measures” to combat the virus.

According to Western suckups like Thomas Friedman, Xi’s ability to decisively move his authoritarian government is a big bonus for Getting Stuff Done. When the CCP says “Jump,” the country shouts “How high?” That is, that’s how it looks if you’re a comfy Westerner suffering from a common mental condition known as Authoritarian Envy. The truth of the matter is that the CCP is so thoroughly corrupt that Xi’s decisive measures aren’t measuring up — and some of the most “decisive” are mostly just for show. Business Insider reported today that “China is sending trucks to spray bleach on entire cities as the country struggles to contain the Wuhan coronavirus,” but it’s actually a PR stunt to make people feel like decisive action is being taken. The story notes that “health experts say these public displays of germ-busting are probably not doing much to help stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, and that the disinfection should instead target specific spots, like emergency rooms, and communal surfaces in hospitals.”

Probably, but the people can’t see that happening on a mass scale. Some of Xi’s most decisive actions look less like the effective handling of a deadly outbreak, and more like hurried construction of Potemkin villages.

The whole thing is just for members, and if you’ve been thinking of joining please use that VODKAPUNDIT promo code for a nice little discount.

ROGER SIMON: Socialized Medicine in the Shadow of Wuhan.

My last argument against socialized medicine is that it is, ironically, much more hierarchical than ours. Despite what Michael Moore might tell you in his thoroughly-dishonest film about Cuban healthcare, socialist countries are the last place you would want to be if sick—that is if you’re not a member of the politburo or at least the nomenklatura.

I was in the Soviet Union twice on cultural exchanges in the late eighties, about the same time as Bernie Sanders’ honeymoon in the same country. (I don’t think we really visited the same place.) Because I was with a group of screenwriters, I was taken to Scriptwriter 1 and 2, two relatively nondescript high-rises inhabited entirely by writers whose work was approved by the state.

Several of them told me they didn’t really wish to live there—too many writers and little contact with the people they were writing about and for. Also, they felt watched. So I asked why they stayed. It was, they told me unanimously, the only building in Moscow with a decent clinic.

Read the whole thing.


Sunny Singh models how to achieve and maintain power in the current academic hothouse — proclaim one’s own victimhood, accuse anyone you don’t like of racism, sexism, and so forth, and compel everyone else (in her case, a white man!) to fall all over themselves to calm you down. But she does not model virtue, strength, or resilience. With this pathetic display, she showed that she is a weakling and a bully. If you want to learn something about literature, avoid Dr. Singh’s class, is the lesson here. She’s a laughingstock.

Any academic institution constructed on a foundation that privileges people like Sunny Singh is going to fall, and deserve to fall, because it is decadent. If the university were healthy, it would tell its Sunny Singhs to get hold of themselves, and to get back in there and teach the damn class. If the kid doesn’t want to do the reading, and he won’t be persuaded that it is to his benefit, then flunk him, and move on. He doesn’t deserve to be at the university anyway, if that’s his attitude. But like I said, Sunny Singh and that anonymous doofus have a lot in common, in that they see the education process as self-centered and therapeutic.

In academia, the will to power derives from victimhood; for both students, and increasingly, their teachers, apparently. Read the whole thing.


Limbaugh is not fringe. His views fit in the conservative mainstream. He idolizes Buckley. “He was a fundamental individual in helping me to be able to explain what I believed instinctively, helping me to explain it to others,” Limbaugh said last year. The ideas are the same but the salesman is different. Limbaugh is Buckley without the accent, without the Yale credentials, without the sailboat and harpsichord. Limbaugh is a college dropout from Cape Girardeau, Missouri, who spends Sundays watching the NFL and speaks in plain language. His background connects him to the audience—and to the increasingly working-class Republican voter.

Limbaugh entered stage right just as Ronald Reagan made his exit. He took from Reagan the sense that America’s future is bright, that America isn’t broken, just its liberal political, media, and cultural elites. “He rejected Washington elitism and connected directly with the American people who adored him,” Limbaugh said after Reagan’s death. “He didn’t need the press. He didn’t need the press to spin what he was or what he said. He had the ability to connect individually with each American who saw him.” The two men never met.

Limbaugh assumed Reagan’s position as leader of the conservative movement. In a letter sent to Limbaugh after the 1992 election, Reagan wrote, “Now that I’ve retired from active politics, I don’t mind that you have become the Number One voice for conservatism in our Country. I know the liberals call you the most dangerous man in America, but don’t worry about it, they used to say the same thing about me. Keep up the good work. America needs to hear ‘the way things ought to be.'”

Read the whole thing. As Jim Geraghty tweeted earlier this week, Rush was the gateway drug to conservatism for millions of America. During the 1990s, prior to the arrival of the World Wide Web, Fox News, and then the Blogosphere, Rush was also essentially foreshadowing blogging; riffing seemingly effortlessly on both alternative takes on the stories of the day, and stories the DNC-MSM either got wrong or failed to cover. And doing it in a way that flattered those in what coastal elites long ago dubbed “flyover country.” And increasingly far worse — as the late Timesman David Carr said to HBO’s Bill Maher in 2011, “If it’s Kansas, Missouri, no big deal. You know, that’s the dance of the low-sloping foreheads. The middle places, right?”

More from Matthew Continetti at the Washington Free Beacon:

[Limbaugh] mentioned a recent encounter on a golf course. Someone told him it is hard to defend President Trump. “I said, ‘What? Hard to defend the president? It’s one of the easiest things in the world to do.’ President Trump does not need to be defended.” The crowd cheered. A few seconds later Limbaugh said, “How do you defend Donald Trump? You attack the people who are attempting to destroy him. They’re trying to destroy you. They’re trying to transform this country into something that it was not founded to be.”

Indeed. And from Rush himself: What a Week! I’m One of the Luckiest People Alive.


Candidate Donald Trump’s decision to provide a list of jurists from which he would appoint his first Supreme Court justice was both a brilliant political stroke and an act in the public interest—two qualities that are rarely combined. For Trump, it created favorable publicity and allowed him to rebut critics who accused him of lacking knowledge or interest in matters of governance, specifically the Supreme Court.

The list also advanced public understanding. The appointment of a Supreme Court justice is one of the President’s most consequential acts, with effects lasting decades into the future. Of course, presidential candidates can and do make vague statements about the kind of justices they will appoint: They promise “strict constructionists” or “judges with empathy.” They may vow to take some current justice on the Court as a model, pledging to appoint justices in the mold of Clarence Thomas or Ruth Bader Ginsburg. But nothing is as informative as an actual list of specific candidates that can be vetted by everyone.

Moreover, a list disciplines the President once in office. After pledging himself to a specific list of judges, he cannot compromise his commitment to a particular constitutional jurisprudence in favor of other calculations, like pleasing a key Senator, gaining an easy confirmation, ensuring the smooth passage of legislation, or just appointing a crony. Some critics said that Trump could not be trusted to choose from his list, but they were proven completely wrong.

Given the demonstrated political advantage and public interest involved in offering a list, it is striking that no candidate for the Democratic nomination has provided one of his or her own—despite the pressure to stand out in a crowded primary. The best explanations show the problems that face Democrats in raising the salience of the Supreme Court in a political campaign—problems which would also create complications for a Democratic president in appointing justices and federal judges.

Read the whole thing.

HOWIE CARR: It’s all bull#*[email protected].

And that sums it up, in four words, the last of which they used to call a “barnyard epithet.” Donald Trump understands exactly how the Democrats have been trying to frame him, first with the Russian hoax, and then with the bogus Ukrainian “impeachment.”

“We were treated unbelievably unfairly, and you have to understand, we first went through Russia, Russia, Russia. It was all bullshit.”

Yeah, I know, it used to be a proscribed word, and now that the president is using it on live TV they’re having vapors over at MS-13, I mean MSNBC. They’re clutching their pearls at CNN, where not so long ago the Democrat stenographers with press passes couldn’t stop quoting the president as privately employing an eight-letter word beginning with “s” to describe certain Third World countries.

Heh. Read the whole thing.

GOOD AND HARD: Seattle’s Liberal Reckoning.

In his searing documentary of last year, “Seattle is Dying,” KOMO-TV’s Eric Johnson painted a dire picture by citing police officers who say the city’s lax enforcement regimen has tied their hands, quoting citizens saying they’re fed up with growing theft, and showing the frustrations of local business owners whose livelihoods are threatened by what they consider official inertia in the face of these problems.

Writing on KOMO’s website, Johnson said his documentary was “about citizens who don’t feel safe taking their families into downtown Seattle….about parents who won’t take their children into public parks they pay for. It’s about filth and degradation all around us. And theft and crime. It’s about people who don’t feel protected anymore, who don’t feel like their voices are being heard.”

Johnson’s documentary was aired in March of last year, some seven months before the Seattle City Council elections. It touched a nerve among many Seattleites and kicked up gale-force winds of controversy throughout the city and beyond. In the end, though, it didn’t have much impact. It will take a lot more civic chaos, dysfunction, and violence for this city to make the connection between that decay and the kind of leadership it so avidly favors. Seattle may or may not be dying, but it is in a far more ominous state of civic health than most of its citizens realize.

Read the whole thing.

JEFF DUNETZ: Grasping Trump’s Deal Of The Century: Why Is This Peace Plan Different From All Others?

Perhaps the most significant and most crucial part of the deal is the economic section, which is also different than previous peace plans. During the announcement, Trump spoke of the $50 billion given to the Palestinians. But it’s more than just dumping money. Previous efforts to provide aid has filled the P.A. leadership’s pockets and done little to help the Palestinian people. This particular plan is more than a money dump. Based on Palestinian acceptance, the U.S. and other nations will help the nascent Palestinian State create an economic infrastructure that will guarantee the jobs and businesses that the territories now lack. For example, there are proposals for creating a technology industry in the expanded Gaza area and a joint tourism effort between Israel and the Palestinians. This effort understands that peace can only come if the Palestinian citizens have jobs and can feed their families. or, as Bubba Clinton’s former campaign manager James Carville was famous for saying, “It’s the economy stupid!”

The Trump “Deal of the Century” has its supporters and detractors, each of whom has taken their positions for the same reason. It’s different from the Middle-East peace plans they have seen before. Will it result in peace? That depends on the Palestinians. Do they have the courage to try and make peace?

Read the whole thing.

JIM GERAGHTY: Iowa’s Democrat Disaster.

This morning, Democrats look exactly like what their critics accuse them of being — a bunch of grandiose dreamers whose ambitions greatly exceed their competence. They can’t handle the basics of running elections in a constitutional Republic, but they fantasize of having far-reaching powers over the daily lives of every American.

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If you aren’t all that invested in who won and resent the fact that this state always gets to go first . . . Monday night was hilarious. The party that constantly reminds us how they are the party of science, the party of education and educators, the party that is forward-looking and embraces the power of technology . . . cannot do math when it counts. The party that wants the federal government to take over the health-care system cannot add up numbers from 1,600 precincts. This was all over again. Staffers for presidential campaigns raged over the fact that when they called up the state party for answers, party officials hung up on them. One precinct secretary was on hold, trying to report results; called in to CNN, finally got through, and then the party hung up on him live on the air.

Come on, guys. Even the Chinese government is giving some answers about the coronavirus outbreak. Saddam Hussein’s old spokesman “Baghdad Bob” may have lied all the time, but at least he was willing to appear in front of the cameras.

Heh. Read the whole thing.


I can recall several Super Bowl commercials, because they didn’t work, or strained for effect, or seemed to be aimed at someone other than the viewers of the Super Bowl. I mean, I don’t think they sold a hell of a lot of Pop Tarts.

Read the whole thing. Did you have a favorite? An ad that you loathed? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

OLD AND BUSTED? Radical Chic.

The New Hotness? The rise of cancel chic. Liberal journalists are so desperate to be canceled they’ve begun to form secret societies around the theme:

I’d stumbled upon something I hadn’t realized existed: canceled chic. Being canceled — or at least having flirted with a transgression against militantly progressive opinion — gives a media person a certain edge, which leads to another phenomenon: cancel envy. Liberal journalists are so desperate to be canceled they’ve begun to form secret societies around the theme. At these meetings, they compete over who came closest to the ostracization abyss. Nobody wants to fall in, though.

I soon figured out that the other diners also retained cushy bylines in glossy publications despite having sinned. The dinner wasn’t a meeting of minds, more a support group for journalists who’d had a thrilling brush with the thought police.

Each seemed to have arrived at a new identity. They now called themselves ‘centrists’. They’d become Open Minded, Buddha-like, no longer ashamed to plop down a Sam Harris book on the coffee table before guests arrive or admit to having watched a Jordan Peterson video once.

Read the whole thing.

RICHARD FERNANDEZ: A Thousand Ways to Get Sold Out.

Whatever the legal relevance of excluding Hunter Biden’s connection to Burisma Holdings from Donald Trump’s impeachment may be, the saga of a political scion getting a cushy foreign job on the strength of his name plays to the populist narrative of elite betrayal almost as if it had been written by a Hollywood scriptwriter. The 2019-nCoV outbreak poses a potential political threat not just to the Chinese Communist Party but the entire One World project. If virus spreads unchecked, the public will be looking for someone to blame and it won’t just be the Chinese apparatchiks.

Read the whole thing.


VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: “Western elites are perpetually aggrieved. But the next time they direct their lectures at a particular target, consider the source and motivation of their outrage.”

Read the whole thing.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Arizona’s education chief may not like vouchers, but she must follow the law.

School Choice Week started off with a bang this year. In Arizona, it was more like an explosion.

This week, reporters revealed that the state Department of Education released the personal information of nearly 7,000 families who use Empowerment Scholarship Accounts. Worse still, they sent it to Save Our Schools, staunch opponents of the program and educational choice in general.

ESAs enable parents, mostly those who have children with special needs, to direct their taxpayer dollars for specialized educational therapies or curriculum. The accounts help bridge the huge financial gap for families requiring customized assistance in the classroom.

The department released a spreadsheet that included the account balances of every ESA account in the state, along with names, email addresses and the grade in which the student is enrolled. Special needs students even had their disability listed.

As Jon Gabriel writes, “This isn’t just a blunder. It’s likely illegal.” Read the whole thing.

RARE SIGN OF SANITY AMIDST THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: Students demanded divestment from fossil fuels, a professor offered to turn off the gas heating.

Two students at St John’s College wrote to Andrew Parker, the principal bursar, this week requesting a meeting to discuss the protesters’ demands, which are that the college “declares a climate emergency and immediately divests from fossil fuels”. They say that the college, the richest in Oxford, has £8 million of its £551 million endowment fund invested in BP and Shell.

Professor Parker responded with a provocative offer. “I am not able to arrange any divestment at short notice,” he wrote. “But I can arrange for the gas central heating in college to be switched off with immediate effect. Please let me know if you support this proposal.”

Heh, indeed. Read the whole thing.


Trump’s emergency declaration was contained to a single issue and a single project. Declaring “climate change” — an amorphous threat that’s perpetually a decade away from destroying us all — a national emergency, however, puts virtually all economic activity under the executive branch’s purview. If we’re to believe media reports, there isn’t a single hardship faced by mankind that isn’t in some dubious way connected to the slight rise of the earth’s temperature. Sanders would empower the same bunch of Malthusian hysterics who have been indefatigably wrong about everything for the past 50 years, to run some of the world’s most powerful bureaucracies.

Obviously, there is only so much a president can do. Some governors would end up ignoring him. Some would challenge him in the courts. But if, as he maintains, climate change is an existential threat to our very existence, why would a President Sanders listen? It is more likely that we end up with the biggest abuse of executive power since FDR treated the country like his personal fiefdom.

Read the whole thing.

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: Don’t Oppress My People With Your Norms Of Punctuality. “From Tulane University, the very heart of White Devil Babylon, student Shahamat Uddin — pronouns ‘he, him, his’ — howls in protest: ‘Punctuality centers whiteness. It is far easier for white men to get to work on time than Black people who are having to change their hair to fit the workplace’s professionalism standards’…Tulane University. Where tuition is a mere $60,000 a year.”

Read the whole thing, which is yet another reminder that the mainstream institutional left is a mirror image of the alt-right.

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: Flipping off rightly-angry parents should be the last straw for New York City Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza.

A shocking video taken at a once-highly regarded middle school in Bayside, Queens, MS 158, showed a 14-year-old girl beating on a younger girl while teachers made limited attempts to stop the brutality. As The Post has ­reported, this wasn’t the first major incident at the middle school in the last year; it came in addition to two instances of alleged sexual assault.

During the town-hall meeting with upset parents, Carranza ­refused to answer their questions, instead taking prescreened ones, until the anger in the room reached a boiling point, and the parents began to openly jeer. Then the chancellor walked out of the room and turned his back on their concerns. He later blasted the mother of the ­assaulted child for “grandstanding.”

I’m not the first to call for his firing, but I hope I’m the last. In June, nine City Council members wrote a letter to de Blasio calling for his ouster.

The tone-deaf mayor’s office shot back, insinuating that the signatories were — what else? — racist for calling for Carranza’s removal.

Read the whole thing.

JAMES LILEKS:  “After a weekend with occasional perusal of the Twitter comments on the Chinese coronavirus situation, it seems two things define commentary on the platform:”

Panic-mongering encouraged with weak stats, dodgy data, apocalyptic speculation, and conspiracy theories

A certain strange, miserable pleasure because something is happening and it makes life interesting.

It’s the last that seems the most depressing.

Read the whole thing.

Related: Environmentalists make good movie villains because they want to make your real life worse.


This time I’m the one disinclined to follow along. The left, being not terribly imaginative, always accuse you of what they’re doing themselves. So, in this case, President Trump is charged with interfering with the 2020 election by men who have been interfering with the 2016 and 2020 elections for over three-and-a-half years now. Which is why we have the preposterous spectacle of four Democrat presidential candidates preparing to vote to remove from office the guy they’re running against.

This is a joke. I gave up on it when, on the eve of the trial, the laughably named “Government Accountability Office” released its supposedly entirely separate conclusion that Trump had acted “illegally”. Aside from the fact that that “finding” is flat out wrong, I wonder whether the permanent bureaucracy ever thinks, “Gee, maybe we should be a little more subtle about putting our Deep State thumbs on the scale.”

Read the whole thing.

MEANWHILE, OVER AT VODKAPUNDIT: Debunking Trump’s Impeachment with One Simple Thought Experiment.

Let’s pretend that Joe Biden had a different name. No, better: Let’s pretend that Joe Biden had a different letter after his name. Let’s pretend he’s Joe Biden (R), former Vice President under George W. Bush.

In that case, what would the Democrats be doing differently? Literally everything.

Instead of impeaching Trump, they’d be praising him (although perhaps reluctantly) for his non-partisan willingness to look into Republican malfeasance. Adam Schiff would hold months worth of hearings, looking back into the Bush Administration in ways he’d never dare look back into Obama’s. The Democrat-controlled press would be 24/7 Biden! Biden! Biden! Jerry Nadler would have to go back to, I dunno, eating mayonnaise with an ice cream scoop.

Read the whole thing, if you don’t mind me saying so myself.

I have a second column today for PJMedia/Townhall VIP members. Want to know what Hillary Clinton would really say, if she dropped the mask long enough to dish the dirt over a box or two of chardonnay? Here’s your chance: Hillary Clinton: Off the Hook.

And here’s your thrice-weekly reminder that if you’ve been thinking of becoming a VIP member, the VODKAPUNDIT promo code is still good for a nice little discount.

ROGER KIMBALL: Roger Scruton, 1944–2020.

For many years—nay for several decades—Scruton had been treated as a pariah by the confraternity of intellectuals and pseudo-intellectuals whose follies and misadventures he anatomized with unforgivable clarity and penetration. Senior professors wrote to Roger’s publishers demanding that they cease publishing his books. “I may tell you with dismay,” wrote one guardian of the academic cartel, “that many colleagues here [i.e., in Oxford] feel that the Longman imprint—a respected one—has been tarnished by association with Scruton’s work.” Scruton was denied academic preferment, rendered all but unemployable by the university establishment. He was roundly excoriated by the press on both sides of the Atlantic. And for what?

Part of the reason is suggested by the title of one of his books, recently reissued as Fools, Frauds and Firebrands, a brisk and deliciously mordant act of intellectual fumigation that left the work and reputations of a dozen prominent philosophical mountebanks in smoldering ruins. As Scruton put it in Modern Philosophy (1994), his magnum opus, “A writer who says that there are no truths, or that all truth is ‘merely relative,’ is asking you not to believe him. So don’t.” Such impertinence was not to be borne, and the academic establishment did everything it could to ostracize him.

Read the whole thing.

FORMER BILL CLINTON ADVISOR MARK PENN: Democrats Need to End This Partisan Impeachment.

History, it seems, does repeat itself. George Washington’s farewell address about the excesses of partisanship was never truer than today. As America’s only truly independent president, Washington predicted that the growth of factionalism would undermine the execution of our laws and that the “alternate domination” of one party over another would lead to efforts to “exact revenge” and “raise false alarms.”

Let us not forget that the Trump administration suffered through a two-year special counsel investigation based almost entirely on opposition research from the other party, and that this imbroglio stems from the other party believing it had now in turn found information that would turn the political tables. It is all exactly as George Washington foretold.

Read the whole thing.

TROLL LEVEL: WASHINGTON FREE BEACON. CNN Brings on Hard-Hitting White House Correspondent to Join Jim Acosta.

Indeed, Jen [Rubin]. For so many reasons, this is a home-run hire for CNN. It’s almost unfair that the outlet that already boasts Jim Acosta has added this giant of straight-down-the-middle reporting to its roster.

[John] Harwood is a well-sourced veteran of Washington who can appeal to the leading experts for their insights. For instance, on Sept. 21, 2015, Harwood emailed Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta for advice on what to ask Jeb Bush during his interview the following day. Incredible access!

Heh. Read the whole thing.


CNBC Hack John Harwood Is Really, Really Upset That Al-Baghdadi Was Killed.

NYT/CNBC’S John Harwood Advises Hillary Campaign, Gloats About Provoking Trump At Debate.

CNBC’s John Harwood Has No Business Moderating A GOP Presidential Debate.

CNBC Alters Transcript of John Harwood Question About Hillary’s Email.

● “Everyone in the [CNBC] newsroom knows [John Harwood is] extremely far left.”