July 22, 2021

LIVE AT 3:30PM EASTERN: ‘Five O’Clock Somewhere’ with Kruiser, Preston, VodkaPundit.

CNN’S GROUPTHINK CAN’T PROCESS A CONTRARY OPINION: Mary Katharine Ham Stuns CNN Panel With Fauci Criticism, Mocks Media ‘Fangirling.’

REVEALED: Critical race theory group promoted by Dept of Ed has links to top Biden officials.

MARK JUDGE IS ANSWERING THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS: What Journalists Can Learn from The Night Stalker.

Carl Kolchak might seem crazy, but as Lucas observes in the audio commentary, “pause to consider what historians now tell us about what was really going on between the White House and journalists at this particular time.” It was a paranoid time in the United States, but people were afraid for good reason. Lucas cites Poisoning the Press, Mark Feldstein’s book about Richard Nixon and the media. Nixon planted stories and letters in the press to try and undermine the reporting of Jack Anderson. The President even considered plans to poison Anderson. “Ratf**king,” the precursor to today’s opposition research, was destroying lives.

America in the early-1970s was the time of Vietnam, Watergate and Robert Altman’s Nashville. Like Nashville, The Night Stalker is both “anti-establishment and pro American Dream.” It fits into the “shadow cinema” of the 1970s, movies that were countercultural while also celebrating the values of more traditional and patriotic Middle America. Authority everywhere was eroding, but people still loved the country.

Kolchak is a perfect character to represent both sides. As Tim Lucas notes, the reporter “appeals to both sides of what was then called the generation gap.” In Kolchak, “there is something of the countercultural reporter. He’s not just filing his stories, he’s finding the stories of coverups approved by the local police and government.”

Yet Kolchak also has a conservative cynicism: “He’s not just doing this to tell the truth, he’s doing this for reasons of self-interest.” Like Glenn Greenwald or Tucker Carlson, Kolchak has been fired from several places, “all presumably for trying to get the truth past his editors.” Kolchak, who is “hell bent on getting the last laugh and coming back in style,” is “a charismatic grab bag full of contradictions, panache, [and] bad taste.” He doesn’t like authority but has “an all-American love for the goddam capital-T Truth.”

Read the whole thing.

AUTHORITARIAN GOVERNMENTS ALWAYS WANT TO ELIMINATE ALTERNATE CHANNELS OF COMMUNICATION: Cuba Jamming Ham Radio? Listen For Yourself.

HOES UP: Facebook Flags the Name of a Gardening Tool When Used in a Gardening Group. “This is funny and would be a lot funnier if the Biden White House hadn’t deputized Facebook to chase you and me around on its platform if we post something the regime doesn’t like. But it has.”

WHAT THE LEFT PLANS FOR AMERICA: “Five speech therapists were arrested this morning by Hong Kong’s national security police, accused of conspiring to share ‘seditious’ children’s books.”

From the comments:

We should be doing everything possible to help the people of Hong Kong. And Cuba. They are both crying out for freedom. And had Trump been President, they would have received help in some form. China would have felt the sting, we would have allowed for Hong Kongers to emigrate. Instead, the cabal running the Joe & Kamala show are working hard to make nice with the terrorist leaders of Iran.

Everything is completely upside down right now. And there is no better example of this than the US handling of Hong Kong and Cuba. We used to stand for freedom. We used to be a beacon to the world for freedom and people would risk their lives to come here- not for handouts, but to have the chance to live their life for their own sake. Now our FBI works to concoct events to portray their own citizens as enemies.

Sounds eerily like the CCP. Not sure there’s a difference anymore.

Well, there is, but some people are working hard to erase it.

FASTER, PLEASE: New approach eradicates breast cancer in mice.

HOW NOT TO CONVINCE PEOPLE THAT YOU HAVE NOTHING TO HIDE:

SAD, BUT TRUE: Despite Tuesday’s flight, Jeff Bezos is running out of time to save Blue Origin.

In late 2014, Blue Origin stunned the space industry by announcing that it had reached a deal to build rocket engines for United Launch Alliance, then the premiere launch company in the United States. United Launch Alliance selected Blue’s BE-4 engine for its new Vulcan rocket over an offering from Aerojet Rocketdyne, the blueblood propulsion company behind the majority of large rocket engines in US history.

About a year later, Blue Origin pulled off another feat by safely launching and landing the New Shepard rocket and capsule on its up-and-down suborbital mission. This marked the first time in history that anyone—country or company—had vertically launched a first-stage rocket into space and then landed it back on the ground.

The next month, in December 2015, SpaceX repeated this launch-and-landing feat with its orbital Falcon 9 rocket for the first time. From a technical standpoint, the Falcon 9 landing was much more significant, as it requires about 30 times more energy to boost a payload into orbit and complicated engineering to slow such a booster down and return it to the landing site. No matter: After the Falcon 9 flight, Jeff Bezos cheekily tweeted, “Welcome to the club” to Musk and SpaceX.

Musk was decidedly not amused, but this banter underscored the emerging rivalry—Bezos and Musk, billionaire versus billionaire, on a quest to build reusable rockets and remake the space industry. Back then, it all seemed so clear: The 21st-century space race would be run by Blue Origin and SpaceX, and it was going to be a hell of a thing to watch.

Only it hasn’t been. There has been no race. Since the end of 2015, Blue Origin has launched its suborbital New Shepard system just 15 more times, an average of fewer than three missions per year. Only this week did humans finally get on board for a launch. As for the BE-4 engine, after promising it would be ready for spaceflight in 2017, Blue Origin has yet to deliver a flight-ready version to United Launch Alliance more than four years later.

ULA is in a real bind here.

A MODEST PROPOSAL FROM MICHAEL WALSH: What Is to Be Done? Restore Federalism and Elect Trump as Vice President.

SPACE: Russia launches Nauka module to space station after years of delay.

VDH: These Aren’t the Democrats of Old.

The left got drunk on the idea that it now had its hands on the money and influence in America. So it systematically began targeting institutions and leveraged them not from the noisy street with empty protests but from within.

Suddenly, the once-revered Supreme Court, now with a majority of conservative justices, became an obstacle to democracy and had to be packed or restructured.

The First Amendment was redefined as a bothersome speed bump that slowed progress. It needlessly protected noisy conservatives and their backward values.

The CIA, FBI and Pentagon were suddenly OK — if staffed with the right people. Their clandestine power, their chain-of-command exemption from messy legislative give-and-take and their reliance on surveillance were now pluses in the correct hands. These institutions became allies, not enemies, and so their powers were augmented and unchecked.

Sports were cool, given that they offered a huge platform for the social-justice warriors among the athletes to damn the very system that had enriched them.

The higher the gas and electricity prices, the better to shock the clueless bourgeoisie that their SUVs and home air conditioners were anti-green and on the way out.

The union shop was written off as a has-been enclave of old, white dinosaurs — an ossified, shrinking base of the Democratic Party.

The media glitterati were no longer to be mocked as empty suits and pompadour fools, but rather treated as useful foot soldiers in the revolution.

So what happened to turn the party of Harry Truman, JFK and even Bill Clinton into a woke neo-Maoist movement?

Read the whole thing.

Related: Roger Kimball on The Success of the Counterculture in Becoming the Dominant Culture.

I EXPECT THIS TREND WILL CONTINUE AS WE LEARN MORE: Fewer Americans disapprove of those who occupied the Capitol on January 6, 2020. It’s still a vary large number, but it’s down significantly since the beginning of the year.

SARAH HOYT’S SHOCKED FACE MIGHT HAVE TO BE PERMANENTLY RETIRED: Defendant in Whitmer ‘Kidnap’ Plot Says Zealous FBI Agents Stagecrafted It and Entrapped Defendants.

WELL, GOOD: Menopausal hormone therapy may reduce odds for dementia in women.

ANALYSIS: TRUE. Democrats’ spending plans don’t show any signs of sanity. “Lest we forget, Democrats were not, in fact, sent to Washington with a mandate to change everything, but given an evenly divided Senate, the slimmest House majority since World War I, and a president who won in a squeaker. Had just 90,000 votes gone the other way, it would be the Republicans, not the Democrats, who would control all of Washington, D.C. Were this a time of plenty, the case for a splurge would remain weak.”

They’re looting the treasury because they got the keys, end of story.

JUST DON’T MENTION THE CULTURE WAR: Democrats Running in Rural America Trying to Hide Their Party Identification.

VODKAPUNDIT PRESENTS YOUR DAILY INSANITY WRAP: Everything Is Up in Biden’s America: Food Prices, Jobless Claims, Division…

Plus:

  • When Rennaissance Fair rejects with too much makeup attack!
  • Iran has even more domestic troubles Biden won’t exploit
  • How a dark money group determins who can say what online

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

HOW IT STARTED: The Panic Pandemic.

One in three people worldwide lost a job or a business during the lockdowns, and half saw their earnings drop, according to a Gallup poll. Children, never at risk from the virus, in many places essentially lost a year of school. The economic and health consequences were felt most acutely among the less affluent in America and in the rest of the world, where the World Bank estimates that more than 100 million have been pushed into extreme poverty.

The leaders responsible for these disasters continue to pretend that their policies worked and assume that they can keep fooling the public. They’ve promised to deploy these strategies again in the future, and they might even succeed in doing so—unless we begin to understand what went wrong.

The panic was started, as usual, by journalists. As the virus spread early last year, they highlighted the most alarming statistics and the scariest images: the estimates of a fatality rate ten to 50 times higher than the flu, the chaotic scenes at hospitals in Italy and New York City, the predictions that national health-care systems were about to collapse. The full-scale panic was set off by the release in March 2020 of a computer model at the Imperial College in London, which projected that—unless drastic measures were taken—intensive-care units would have 30 Covid patients for every available bed and that America would see 2.2 million deaths by the end of the summer. The British researchers announced that the “only viable strategy” was to impose draconian restrictions on businesses, schools, and social gatherings until a vaccine arrived.

This extraordinary project was swiftly declared the “consensus” among public-health officials, politicians, journalists, and academics. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, endorsed it and became the unassailable authority for those purporting to “follow the science.” What had originally been a limited lockdown—“15 days to slow the spread”—became long-term policy across much of the United States and the world. A few scientists and public-health experts objected, noting that an extended lockdown was a novel strategy of unknown effectiveness that had been rejected in previous plans for a pandemic. It was a dangerous experiment being conducted without knowing the answer to the most basic question: Just how lethal is this virus?

How it’s going: The Pressure Campaign to Restore Pandemic Restrictions Is Succeeding.

It’s hard to avoid the impression that we’re witnessing a pressure campaign designed to compel the CDC to reimpose COVID mitigation restrictions on the public. There’s more where this came from. The World Health Organization advises all adults to continue masking even if they’re fully vaccinated. Donald Trump’s surgeon general, Dr. Jerome Adams, insists that the CDC was “premature” to abandon its masking guidance. Ubiquitous public health advocate Dr. Leana Wen advises all parents of children under 12 to continue to avoid public indoor settings like restaurants even with a mask. But if you must go inside, masking should be mandatory. “With coronavirus infections climbing throughout the country and the pandemic worsening once more,” she wrote, “the Biden administration needs to strongly urge a return of covid-19 restrictions.” After all, the United States is on a much “different trajectory” than it was in May (when she also opposed the lifting of mask mandates).

To judge from the media landscape, the activists who favor a return of pandemic-related restrictions even despite the nation’s enviable immunization rate are winning the argument. Polling—an industry whose own professionals confess is hopelessly broken—suggests that the public overwhelmingly favors the reimposition of onerous mid-pandemic restrictions on social and economic life. It seems like a safe bet that the Biden administration will eventually agree with the loudest voices in the room—sacrificing its claim to have broken the pandemic and scuttling much of the progress toward a full economic recovery in the process.

It’s not at all clear what effect restoring mask mandates will have on localized rates of COVID infection. If, however, the Biden administration accepts the premise that the pandemic is back in full force despite all the sacrifices the public has already made over the last 18 months, the political consequences are far easier to predict.

QED: Michigan Legislature Eliminates Whitmer Emergency Power Law and She Can’t Veto.

That’s going to make a lot of FBI members quite cross.

UNEXPECTEDLY! Weekly jobless claims jump by more than 50K. “Reuters broke out the U-word today to explain this significant reversal in this admittedly volatile metric. The Department of Labor reported that weekly initial jobless claims rose 51,000 over last week’s report, which also got revised upward by 8,000 as well. It was enough, however, to push the more reliable four-week rolling average upward slightly, potentially signaling less momentum in hiring than anticipated for July.”

Which makes the timing of this New York Times op-ed quite curious: Why Rural America Needs Immigrants.

CTRL-F “legal” brings up zero returns, of course.

Earlier:

● Jared Bernstein, member of Biden’s Council of Economic Advisors: “One thing we learned in the 1990s was that a surefire way to reconnect the fortunes of working people at all skill levels, immigrant and native-born alike, to the growing economy is to let the job market tighten up. A tight job market pressures employers to boost wage offers to get and keep the workers they need. One equally surefire way to sort-circuit this useful dynamic is to turn on the immigrant spigot every time some group’s wages go up.”

● Former Trump administration senior adviser Stephen Miller: Biden’s Immigration Plan Would “Erase America’s Nationhood.”

“Labour wanted mass immigration to make UK more multicultural, says former adviser. Labour threw open Britain’s borders to mass immigration to help socially engineer a ‘truly multicultural’ country, a former Government adviser has revealed.”

Tom Cotton’s Response to Kamala Harris’ Border Failures Should Be the Default for All Republicans: “‘You know, Laura, Kamala Harris didn’t have to go all the way to Guatemala and Mexico to find the root causes of this border crisis because they’re not there,’ Cotton told Fox News host Laura Ingraham earlier this week. ‘The root causes are in the White House.’ He further explained that it ‘happened on January 20th when Joe Biden took office, and he essentially opened our borders, reversing very effective policies that had our borders under control.’”

YOU’LL KNOW WHAT YOU’RE ALLOWED TO KNOW: Was Biden Involved? YouTube Removes Video on Vaccine Parental Rights.

PROFILES IN COURAGE: Kodak censors photographer at urging of Chinese Communist Party. “On their WeChat page, the storied American film company said that they would ‘respect the Chinese government and Chinese laws.’ Kodak also said it would ‘keep itself in check.'”

MARK LEVIN’S AMERICAN MARXISM is now Number One on the NYT Bestsellers List. He sold 400,000 copies in the first week.

YET ANOTHER REASON TO OPPOSE DIGITAL CURRENCY: “If cash were replaced with a digital dollar… the Fed could impose a negative interest rate by gradually shrinking the electronic balances in everyone’s digital currency accounts.”

From the comments: “Cash is essential for privacy. Without privacy, there is no freedom. Thankfully Sweden recently backtracked on its march to go cashless, citing the needs of the poor, the elderly and the non-tech savvy. I don’t want to live in or bequeath to future generations an Orwellian world where the government and corporations and every hacker knows every time I buy a pack of gum.”

AT HELEN’S PAGE: You can get signed copies of Kurt Schlichter’s new book The Split.

DILLINGER REJECTS CALL FOR BANK-ROBBERY INQUIRY: China rejects WHO’s plan for second COVID-19 origins study.

BACK BY INVITATION: The Return of Urban Blight. “Democrats were allowed to run America’s big cities for decades because machine politics mostly worked well enough most of the time to meet the needs of most citizens. There was enough graft, cronyism and featherbedding to keep close party coalition partners happy while still providing an minimum baseline of services. But Social Justice appears to be the straw that’s breaking the camel’s back. No longer content with traditional levels of welfare state clientism, Social Justice demands that all city funding must flow through its sticky fingers, especially police funding that previously keep big American cities mostly safe and livable.”

DIVERSITY PROBLEM: Up to 98 percent of faculty donations from Oregon’s largest public universities went to Democrats: report.

America needs universities that “look like America.” Right now they look like anything but.

WELL, SHE’S A MARXIST: D.C. Mayor Painted ‘Black Lives Matter’ on the Streets, But She Erased ‘Cuba Libre.’

EDUCATION: Video: Cubans Warn Students About Marxist Indoctrination.

HMM: Without EU action, Belarus will become a failed state on Europe’s doorstep.

The Belarus situation today can be described as Donbasization. Like Russia’s effective seizure of that Ukrainian territory, it involves transformation into a full-on rogue state with no rule of law, complete international isolation, the demolition of civil society, the middle class, and the private sector. The hijacking of a passenger plane was merely the pinnacle of this process.

But Aliaksandr Lukashenka is not planning to stop. A few days after the Ryanair incident, he openly declared that Belarus will no longer stop drugs and illegal immigrants at the EU border. And so, to punish the EU, the regime decided to weaponize illegal migration. It launched a scheme of bringing people from Africa and the Middle East into Belarus and then transferred them to Lithuania’s EU border for a fee.

Domestically, the regime has launched a new attack against private businesses. There are talks among pro-regime analysts about the nationalization of Austria’s Raiffeisenbank and A1 Telecom. Belarus has withdrawn from the EU Eastern Partnership scheme, de facto recognized the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (part of Ukraine), and made September 17, the date the Soviet Union invaded Poland, a national holiday. In other words, Belarus is really breaking bad.

What a mess, but one that might work out to Moscow’s advantage, since Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has so far resisted complete Anschluss with Russia.

ST. LOUIS: Gardner meltdown deepens: Who falsely put prosecutor’s electronic signature on 28 cases? “If that turns out to be accurate, hoo boy. It’s one thing to be incompetent and fail to appear at hearings. It’s quite another to put false representations on court documents, let alone forge signatures — electronic or otherwise — while doing so. Those are actual crimes, which might explain why Arshi abruptly quit after discovering what happened.”

Discovering.

Plus: “Even without the forgery issue, Gardner and her office has a few big legal problems ahead of them. Defense attorneys will waste no time in demanding dismissals as well as sanctions against the circuit attorney’s office in these cases for falsely representing itself in those documents. Judges might well be tempted to agree, especially on sanctions against Gardner and others in her office. How big of a problem might depend on what Arshi has to say about what happened, and Arshi might not have much choice in how much she shares. It seems very likely that she will get called in some of those cases to verify that she didn’t sign the documents and didn’t direct anyone to apply her signature as judges attempt to unravel what Gardner’s office did. Defense attorneys won’t pass up an opportunity to interrogate a prosecutor under oath on potential corruption issues, to be sure. And on top of this sits the issue of Gardner’s utter incompetence.”

Incompetence? She’s not there to be a lawyer. She’s an errand-girl sent by grocery clerks, and she’s performed her assigned errands.

RURAL DEMOCRATS ARE AN ENDANGERED SPECIES, HUNTED ALMOST TO EXTINCTION BY THEIR OWN PARTY: Rural Democrats Are Running Scared From Their Woke Party’s Extremist National Brand.

STAFFING UP FOR LEGAL COMBAT: NCLA HIRES NEW ATTORNEYS. “Jeffrey Clark, Jenin Younes and Sheng Li have joined the New Civil Liberties Alliance. Clark will be chief of litigation and director of strategy and is the former assistant A.G. Younes will be litigation counsel and previously was an appellate public defender in New York City. Li will be litigation counsel and previously was counselor to the administrator of wage and hour at the Labor Department.”

I’m on the board of NCLA, a new public-interest law firm that exists to attack the administrative state.

BIG TECH, RACISM, AND “DIVERSITY:” Silicon Valley’s Cynical Treatment of Asian Engineers.

Silicon Valley runs on Asians. This is a well-known aspect of the tech world in general, but it’s especially apparent in elite sub-sectors. Even by 2010, Asian Americans already had become a majority (50.1 percent) of all tech workers in the Bay Area: software engineers, data engineers, programmers, systems analysts, admins, and developers. Census Bureau statistics from the same year put white tech workers at 40.1 percent. Other races made up, in total, slightly less than 10 percent. . . .

At surface level, you could spin this as a triumph of diversity: Attracting the best of the world’s talent, the American system welcomes people of different races to contribute to American business and society. The narrative of Asians making a difference at a huge American company such as Google or Facebook could be portrayed as a great feat, a demonstration of the American Dream at work.

But that is not what happens. In press briefs and company images, we tend not to be treated to profiles of tech-team members—the core of these companies’ sky-high profits and market dominance. Facebook’s online diversity portal features nine stories. There are three people who appear to be black, and two who look distinctly Latino. Only one looks to be an East Asian person. His name is presented as Henry B.

Little did Henry B. know that he would be the only East Asian person featured, standing in racially for half of all Facebook technical employees. The other employees’ stories and photos tend to feature bright lighting, full smiles, and gushing reports of how much they care about Facebook’s diversity platform. Henry B. has a dimly lit photo and a story that begins, “There are different ways of coding an application to make it more reusable.”

Related: Asians Get The Ivy League’s Jewish Treatment.

NOW THIS IS MORE LIKE THE 21ST CENTURY I WAS HOPING FOR: Air Force Directed Energy Report Argues Defensive Force Fields May Be ‘Just On The Horizon.’

EUGENE VOLOKH REPORTS REASON TO BE UNIMPRESSED WITH CDC CLAIMS ABOUT REDUCED LIFE EXPECTANCY DUE TO COVID:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention made headlines last week when it announced that Covid-19 had reduced the average life expectancy of Americans in 2020 by a full year…. [But t]he pandemic’s appalling toll could not have reduced life span by nearly that much. My own estimate is that when Covid-19’s ravages in 2020 are averaged across the country’s entire population, we each lost about five days of life.

The CDC’s mistake? It calculated life expectancy using an assumption that is assuredly wrong, which yielded a statistic that was certain to be misunderstood….

People understood [the CDC’s report] to mean that Covid-19 had shaved off a year from how long each of us will live on average. That is, after all, how people tend to think of life expectancy. The New York Times characterized the report as “the first full picture of the pandemic’s effect on American expected life spans.”

But wait. Analysts estimate that, on average, a death from Covid-19 robs its victim of around 12 years of life. Approximately 400,000 Americans died Covid-19 in 2020, meaning about 4.8 million years of life collectively vanished. Spread that ghastly number across the U.S. population of 330 million and it comes out to 0.014 years of life lost per person. That’s 5.3 days. There were other excess deaths in 2020, so maybe the answer is seven days lost per person.

No matter how you look at it, the result is a far cry from what the CDC announced.

It’s not that the agency made a math mistake. I checked the calculations myself, and even went over them with one of the CDC analysts. The error was more problematic in my view: The CDC relied on an assumption it had to know was wrong.

Well, that’s just sad, but not particularly surprising.

UPDATE: Just to be clear, the block quote isn’t from Volokh, but from Peter Bach at StatNews, whom Eugene is quoting.

VOTERS AREN’T AS STUPID AS OUR RULING CLASS HOPED: Two-thirds want BLM riots probed, more than Jan. 6.

AT HELEN’S PAGE: Hacker Golf Mystery Series.

KRUISER’S MORNING BRIEF: Drunk Uncle Biden Struggles With English, Truth at Town Hall. “The case could be made that this wasn’t that big of a train wreck because it happened on CNN and therefore had an audience only slightly larger than I do when my cat wanders in and watches me while I shave. Still, why can’t they just leave this guy in the White House with his coloring books and spare the country the embarrassment? Television appearances by Biden are probably the only American shows the ChiComs allow to air uncensored so their beleaguered citizens can finally have something to laugh at.”

PIPELINES ARE ONLY BAD WHEN THEY BENEFIT AMERICA: Biden Administration Green Lights Putin’s Pipeline: Nord Stream 2 will boost the Russian president’s influence in Europe.

Flashback:

Ted Cruz notes, “[B]asically what Joe Biden has decided is pipelines in America, bad. Jobs in America, bad. Pipelines in Russia, good. Jobs in Russia, good. And this is exactly backward. It is asinine. And four months into it, Joe Biden is crawling in bed with Putin and Russia and the enemies of America. It doesn’t make any sense.”

Flashback: So is it fair to ask if Biden is on the payroll of Putin? As Walter Russell Mead wrote in 2017:

If Trump were the Manchurian candidate that people keep wanting to believe that he is, here are some of the things he’d be doing:

Limiting fracking as much as he possibly could
Blocking oil and gas pipelines
Opening negotiations for major nuclear arms reductions
Cutting U.S. military spending
Trying to tamp down tensions with Russia’s ally Iran.

You know who didn’t do those things? Trump. You know who is doing those things? Biden.

THE WOKE HAVE NO SYMPATHY OR CONCERN FOR THE WORKINGMAN: Colorado AFL-CIO will withhold donations to Democratic campaign committees through May 2022, saying unions have been ‘excluded.’

ACCOUNTABILITY: Rand Paul: I’m sending a letter to the DOJ asking that Fauci be referred for criminal charges. “It’ll keep the pressure on Fauci to explain precisely why the study referenced by Paul during their confrontation yesterday didn’t involve gain of function research. The technique described in the study, splicing parts of different viruses together to test whether the new virus was capable of binding to human ACE2 receptors, sounded like GOF to me. It sounded that way to molecular biologist Richard Ebright too. And it sounded that way to reporter Josh Rogin, who famously broke the news last year that containment measures at the Wuhan Institute of Virology weren’t as rigorous as you’d expect from a lab doing work as dangerous as it was doing.”

I’M SO OLD I CAN REMEMBER WHEN A FEW DEMOCRATS WANTED THIS, TOO: AOC Discovers That Republicans Want Cuba’s Communist Dictatorship to Fall.

Actually, that does make me feel old.

FROM LAURA MONTGOMERY:  The Gear Engages (Martha’s Sons Book 4).

It takes more than a single terraformer to start a new world.

The human colony on the lost world of Not What We Were Looking For faces fracture and schism. On one side of the river, the settlers from Earth remember what it means to live in a free society. In the Marss-controlled city, the governor cancelled elections long ago and strives daily to cement his grip on the inhabitants.

Thaddeus Dawe and the Hudson cousins, including the one who agreed to marry him, save the colony’s last terraseeder from the governor’s political grandstanding, and head for the secret northern enclave started by Thaddeus’ brother. But all Thaddeus’ careful planning takes a wrenching turn when not one but two parties race in pursuit.

Thwarted in his original goal, faced with repairing the consequences of what he does to escape arrest, and besotted by the discovery of newspapers, Thaddeus wrestles with new ventures and roles in which he dare not fail. He must save not only Earth’s microbial legacy but its knowledge base as well. Not to mention, he’s getting married.

But when the governor’s chief of staff decides to weaponize Thaddeus against both the city’s farmers and the newspaper’s publisher, Thaddeus must fight the governor’s attempts to steal the farmers’ land even as someone destroys everything Thaddeus himself tries to build. In the end, he must do what he can to save those his own betrayal put at risk.

Picking up where Under the Earthline left off, The Gear Engages is the fourth book in the gripping science fiction colonization series Martha’s Sons. If you like action, political machinations, and a driven hero, you’ll want to dive in heart-and-head first.

Pick it up now to join the fight for a lost world!

THE LATEST DUMB DEMOCRATIC INITIATIVE: The SPACE Tax Act.

Legislation from Senior Ways and Means Democrat would tax space travel for non-scientific research purposes

As the space tourism race continues today, U.S. Rep Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), a senior member of the Ways and Means Committee, previewed a new space tax.

The Securing Protections Against Carbon Emissions (SPACE) Tax Act would create new excise taxes on commercial space flights carrying human passengers for purposes other than scientific research.

Related, from Don Surber: “A man in a purple paisley bowtie who has accomplished nothing in life wants to tax successful billionaires who venture into space, the final frontier.”

Call his office and tell Rep. Earl Blumenauer he’s an idiot.

SOMETIMES THAT’S JUST HOW YOU FEEL:  Crabby.

DON’T DESPAIR, DR. HANSON, THEY MIGHT HAVE ALL THAT, BUT THEY DON’T HAVE AMERICA:  Democrats No More.

THIS ISN’T ABOUT COVID. THIS IS ABOUT CURTAILING YOUR FREEDOMS:  Homeland Security Announces Border and Travel Restrictions for American Citizens Due to COVID, But Border Will Remain Wide Open for Illegal Aliens.

THE FARCICAL “MOUTH” OF THE CRIMINAL JUNTA:  Jen Psaki refuses to call COVID cases from Texas legislators a ‘superspreader’ event.

ALL FOR A DISEASE THAT 99.9% OF PEOPLE SURVIVE:  The great vaccination farce: Twice vaccinated Boris Johnson ordered to self-isolate.

AND THERE IS MY SHOCKED FACE, AGAIN:  Eric Swalwell Had Hand in Campaign Cookie Jar.

CANST THOU SEE HOW SHOCKED I AM:  Suspects in Whitmer Kidnapping Plot Claim FBI Set Them Up.

YEAH. THEY LOST ME WHEN THE WAY TO SAVE US FROM THE ICE AGE AND FROM BURNING WAS ALWAYS SOCIALISM:  Why I Can’t Take Climate Change Seriously.

And by the way, socialism is the worst political system for the environment ever.

BEHOLD MY SHOCKED FACE!   Report: Hunter Biden Arranged Profitable Consulting Job for Then-VP Biden.

AT THIS POINT, IS THERE A POINT TO THIS?  McCarthy: We Will ‘Run Our Own Investigation’ Into Capitol Riot After Pelosi Dropped GOP Reps.

 

IT’S NOT THAT THEY’RE FRAUDS SO MUCH AS THEY DON’T GET AMERICANS:  Strange Ideas.

In their minds, we’re all Chinese.

July 21, 2021

DID THE FBI PROMOTE THE PLOT TO KIDNAP GOV. WHITMER? “The answer to this question appears to be that, yes, the FBI did.” “Your tax dollars at work.” But at work for whom?

NOW OUT FROM KURT SCHLICHTER: The Split. More Kelly Turnbull. What more do you need to know?

WELL, OKAY THEN:

WELL, YES:

WHY IS HIGHER EDUCATION SUCH A CESSPIT OF SEXISM? University Of Oregon Settles Equal Pay Case With Professor Jennifer Freyd For $450,000.

THE TRAGEDY OF THE TEXAS COVID-CRATS:

The question has to be asked: how many more people have to die at the hands of Texas Democrats while the media ignores the danger they are putting top-level members of our government in? Much like 9/11, Texas Democrats boarded a plane and aimed it right at the United States Capitol. You could even argue this is worse than 9/11, as Texas Democrats reached their destination.

If our media is going to suddenly dial down the COVID hysterics because the political party they agree with are the rubes in this instance, it’s worth wondering what anyone needs them for.

Read the whole thing.

Related:


IN KNOXVILLE, a petition to cap taxes. “All signers must be registered voters within the city limits of Knoxville.” The City of Knoxville has gotten bluer as people have sorted themselves, with more Republicans moving outside city limits to the County. But there are still a lot of Republicans/conservatives in the city proper and they appear to be getting organized.

OPEN THREAD: We still make them feel and we still make them flee.

I’LL TAKE BREAKING NEWS FROM 2008, ALEX. Gallup: Confidence in Big Business, Big Tech Wanes Among Republicans.

Flashbacks:

Losing Gordon Gekko: Wall Street has gone over to the Democrats. Should conservatives miss it? From Kevin Williamson in March of 2009, after Wall Street went all-in for Obama.

Obama’s Corporatist Kabuki.

Ed Driscoll.com, December 12, 2009.

How Corporatists Took Over Democratic Party.

—Ben Domenech, Real Clear Politics, January 24, 2014.

I Have Raised a Sweet, Thoughtful, Environmentally Conscious Monster—and Soon I Will Be Free.

Instapundit, September 13, 2015.

HOW THE MOVIE STARTS: Ancient 15,000-Year-Old Viruses Identified in Melting Tibetan Glaciers.

AT HELEN’S PAGE: Daddy Issues: A Hard Man Novel (The Hard Man Series). I’ve read it, it’s excellent summer reading.

HOW MUCH WAS FROM COVID AND HOW MUCH FROM LOCKDOWN-PRODUCED DEPRESSION, OVERDOSES, ETC? U.S. life expectancy drops 1.5 years in 2020 due to pandemic.

FIGHT THE POWER: Breaking: Judge Orders California to Include Larry Elder on Recall Election Ballot.

VITAMIN C UPDATE: Harnessing the combined power of Vitamin C and TET proteins may give scientists a leg up in treating autoimmune diseases. “You can’t make a banana split without bananas. And you can’t generate stable regulatory T cells without Vitamin C or enzymes called TET proteins, it appears.”

KIRA DAVIS: California Parents Start Petition to End Absurd School Mask Mandates.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Testing to Find the Best Tactical Flashlight.

CUI BONO: Vandalism May Be Latest Reason the Golden Ray Ship’s Salvage Is Endless. “The ship capsized in September 2019 with thousands of new vehicles onboard. As the salvage operation continues, police are investigating why four mooring cables seem to have been cut deliberately.”

#RESIST: Backlash in states starts over Biden court-packing scheme. “While some other states have passed simple resolutions on the issue, their plan, dubbed “Wisconsin Keep 9 Resolution,” calls for a constitutional convention to debate an amendment that would require nine [justices].”

THEY’RE COPYING EVERYTHING BUT THE KANGAROOS: The Democrats’ Capitol Riot Committee Will Be a Soviet-Style Show-Trial of Trump.

SHOW ME A MAN’S INCENTIVES AND I’LL TELL YOU HOW HE BEHAVES: Employers urge Governor Polis to end supplemental unemployment benefits early. “There are more jobs than workers, so removing this would incentivize people to get back into the workforce. As the state has opened, we believe it is safe to return to work.”

BIDENFLATION! Grocery Prices Could Rise 10 to 14 Percent By October, Grocery Chain CEO Warns.

HOW TO PREVENT A POWER SHORTAGE FROM BECOMING A CRISIS. People with generators, like me, should be subsidized for switching to them when power is in high demand. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

JIM TREACHER: Anthony Fauci Is Immune to Answering Questions. “I don’t trust Anthony Fauci anymore, and I don’t trust anybody who expects me to trust him. I want nothing to do with the weird little cult these freaks have built around him. They have the right to their religious beliefs, but it’s not science.”

Earlier: The Suicide of Expertise.

LET’S: ‘Let’s Stop the Panic’ Over Delta Variant Says Medical Doctor. “You’re more likely to get murdered in Chicago (18 murders per 100,000 people) than a senior citizen is to be hospitalized for the Wuhan Flu (2.9 per 100,000), Delta variant or no Delta variant.”

OUT: POLLUTION FROM STRAWS. In: Pollution from discarded masks. “The COVID-19 pandemic is estimated to generate up to 7,200 tons of medical waste every day, much of which is disposable masks. And even as the pandemic slows down in some parts of the world, health care workers are expected to continue wearing masks most of the time.”

CRISIS BY DESIGN: Biden’s border ‘as bad as it’s been in memory.’ “The Border Patrol reported the most action in 21 years in June. Agents recorded 178,416 arrests, defying Homeland Security officials’ public predictions that activity at the border would cool off in the summer.”

IT’S SATIRE — OR IS IT? Ben & Jerry’s Targets Anti-Semite Demographic With Audacious New Ice Cream Flavors.

SPACE: Lockheed Martin opens new spacecraft facility in Florida. I’m not super optimistic about the Orion lunar capsule, but hey.

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