Sunday, October 17, 2021
Trump offers his own answer, of course, declaring incessantly that the election was stolen. His efforts to get then-Vice President Mike Pence to block certification of results and the Jan. 6 Capitol riot have made his arguments out of bounds for most Americans.
Numerous courts rejected claims made by Trump lawyers involving manipulation of voting machines, bags of secret ballots emerging and other kinds of alleged fraud.
But rejecting Trump’s claims is one thing, solving the riddle of Biden’s triumph is another. Lacking any other explanation, two-thirds of Republicans still believe “the election was rigged and stolen from Trump,” while only 18 percent believe “Joe Biden won fair and square,” according to a recent Yahoo News/YouGov survey. It found that 28 percent of independent voters agree Biden’s victory is illegitimate.
Such wide suspicions are corrosive, which makes the findings of a new book all the more important.
In “Rigged,” author Mollie Hemingway lays out what amounts to a fascinating alternative to the “stolen” charge. She presents a strong case that the $419 million that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg ostensibly spent to get out the vote was actually used by Democrat activists to infiltrate local election operations and take over jobs government workers were supposed to do.
Hemingway, a senior editor at The Federalist and a Fox commentator, shows how two Zuckerberg nonprofits used their unprecedented deep pockets to line up left-wing groups in key cities that in turn hired poll workers, collected absentee ballots and cured those with errors.
Sounds plausible and legal too. Just not terribly democratic. But hey, who's counting?
A report from Financial Times' Demetri Sevastopulo and Kathrin Hille states that China has tested a nuclear-capable hypersonic glide vehicle that goes into space and traverses the globe in an orbital-like fashion before making its run through the atmosphere toward its target. There would be huge implications if such a system were to be operationalized, and according to this story, which says it talked to five officials confirming the test, the U.S. government was caught totally off-guard by it.
The trial flight is said to have occurred around August, with the boost-glide vehicle being lifted into space by a Long March 2C rocket. The launch of the rocket, the 77th of its kind, was undisclosed by Beijing, while the 76th and 78th were—the latter of which occurred in late August. The Financial Times says that the tested hypersonic glide vehicle missed its target by a couple of dozen miles, but that is hardly reassuring considering the capabilities that are apparently in development here.
That's not good.
It goes without saying that a United States federal court is no place to appeal to ethical grounds for militant anti-fascist resistance. Yet Baker, while prone to hyperbolic and sometimes paranoid rhetoric, was certainly not alone in fearing that there could be January 6-style events in statehouses nationwide ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration and that local police could hardly be trusted as a bulwark. The Federal Bureau of Investigations warned of the potential for armed protests at state capitols. Florida is home to over 60 far-right, white supremacist, and neo-Nazi groups recognized by the Southern Poverty Law Center, and there are well-reported links between Florida police departments and far-right militiae.
If there are moral arguments for physically confronting fascists — and I believe there are — they would have been of scant relevance in Baker’s case: zero such confrontations took place or appeared on the horizon, and no far-right mobs amassed at the Florida Capitol around Biden’s inauguration. This should have been a straightforward First Amendment case, with Baker’s online speech, albeit bellicose, judged as constitutionally protected. Instead, the formerly unhoused veteran has been made a victim of government efforts to draw false equivalences between fascistic far-right forces and the anti-fascists who would see them opposed.
So there's an anti-fascist left. There's an anti-fascist right. Who does that leave?
Left-wing billionaire George Soros is throwing at least a million dollars behind an effort to stop the hiring of hundreds of new police officers in Austin, Texas, according to campaign finance documents reviewed by the Washington Free Beacon.
The Hungarian-born political activist gave $500,000 through the Soros-backed Open Society Policy Center to a political action committee in opposition to a ballot initiative that forces the city to employ two police officers per 1,000 residents.
Soros’s donation, made on Oct. 12, is his second of the month and comes as Austin experiences a decades-high spike in violent crime. The city has seen at least 67 homicides this year, the highest since at least 1981. Aggravated assaults are also up at least 10 percent, following a 26 percent spike in 2020.
I don't understand what Soros is thinking here, unless he's just trying to destabilize the regime. But why would he want to do that? I can think of a few reasons, but they're all pretty dark.
Plenty of banana republics, kleptocracies and dictatorships work by the brown envelope and the mutual back-scratch. The Biden administration, like the Trump administration before it, aspires to a new low in public ethics when it imports this kind of practice into domestic politics. We don’t need a lecture from Michael Sandel to know that ‘meritocracy’ has badly misfired. A new ruling class is hardening its defenses and pulling up the ladders in plains sight.
Twenty years ago, American politicians sold globalization to their voters by promising that Brazil would become like us. Today, we are becoming like Brazil: a low-trust society with apparently insurmountable differences of class and race, in which the rich live in private spaces defended by a militarized police force, and politics has deteriorated into a theatrical.
I'm still hoping for more like Argentina than Brazil, but I take the point. Neither in truth seems very attractive.
Civil Liberties Are Being Trampled by Exploiting "Insurrection" Fears. Congress's 1/6 Committee May Be the Worst Abuse Yet. - by Glenn Greenwald
When a population is placed in a state of sufficiently grave fear and anger regarding a perceived threat, concerns about the constitutionality, legality and morality of measures adopted in the name of punishing the enemy typically disappear. The first priority, indeed the sole priority, is to crush the threat. Questions about the legality of actions ostensibly undertaken against the guilty parties are brushed aside as trivial annoyances at best, or, worse, castigated as efforts to sympathize with and protect those responsible for the danger. When a population is subsumed with pulsating fear and rage, there is little patience for seemingly abstract quibbles about legality or ethics. The craving for punishment, for vengeance, for protection, is visceral and thus easily drowns out cerebral or rational impediments to satiating those primal impulses.
The aftermath of the 9/11 attack provided a vivid illustration of that dynamic. The consensus view, which formed immediately, was that anything and everything possible should be done to crush the terrorists who — directly or indirectly — were responsible for that traumatic attack. The few dissenters who attempted to raise doubts about the legality or morality of proposed responses were easily dismissed and marginalized, when not ignored entirely. Typically, they were vilified with the accusation that their constitutional and legal objections were frauds: mere pretexts to conceal their sympathy and even support for the terrorists. It took at least a year or two after that attack for there to be any space for questions about the legality, constitutionality, and morality of the U.S. response to 9/11 to be entertained at all.
For many liberals and Democrats in the U.S., 1/6 is the equivalent of 9/11. One need not speculate about that. Many have said this explicitly. Some prominent Democrats in politics and media have even insisted that 1/6 was worse than 9/11.
Merrick Garland should really resign, but the least he can do is recuse himself | Washington Examiner
We don't believe in conspiracy theories. Perhaps (we will even say probably) Tanner’s involvement in these surveys played no significant role in Garland’s decision to sic the FBI on outspoken parents. The former federal judge and Supreme Court nominee probably has enough other reasons, such as personal animus toward parents who reject critical race theory or far-left staffers in the Biden administration breathing down his neck.
And frankly, Garland’s memo is much more outrageous because of its disregard for basic constitutional rights and its weaponization of the Justice Department than it could ever be for his son-in-law’s tangential involvement in a shady, grifty career helping justify bad school decisions.
Even so, Tanner’s school board contracts are big money for little work. If angry parents ever succeed in throwing out the school board members who waste taxpayer money on such surveys, it will affect his bottom line.
So, on top of the much more serious issue of defiling justice and making himself a shameless political hack who uses the government to persecute President Joe Biden’s enemies, Garland inevitably finds himself conflicted. He should really resign his position just for writing that memo. But the least he can do is step aside and let other lackeys oversee the organized FBI persecution that he just called for.
Social media are the opium of the 21st century, and the young tech wizards who infest Silicon Valley are the moral successors of the young Etonians who forced India to grow the drug and forced China to buy it.
The tech elite displays an arrogance that puts to shame Rudyard Kipling’s idea of a “white man’s burden.” It believes that it can change human nature by melding man and machine through artificial intelligence, and that its success in spellbinding young Americans through entertainment portends a new sort of humanity brought about by social engineering.
Many of its doyens believe that human consciousness can be downloaded onto computer chips, achieving a sort of silicon-based immortality. Its arrogance and pretensions exceed those of Alexander and Caesar. It has contempt for the homely values of family and nation that knit the lives of ordinary Americans.
That is why China is likely to emerge as the dominant force in the world during the 21st century. It isn’t that the Chinese are smarter or more innovative. America’s virtual empire has become a sinkhole for the country’s enterprise and talent, and its spectacular profitability derives from activity that enervates and corrupts the American character.
Lots of jolly thought food from Spengler.
Saturday, October 16, 2021
Nearly 10,000 winners of the FY 2020 Diversity Visa Program, better known as the visa lottery, who were frustrated by their failure to obtain consular interviews to process their U.S. immigrant visas on time, won a court battle this week.
The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled on Wednesday that the U.S. Department of State, which administers the immigration program, must process 9,905 visas that were allocated in the DV-2020 lottery.
U.S. District Judge Amit P. Mehta ordered the Department to “commence processing the 9,905 DV-2020 visas as soon as is feasible and to conclude such processing no later than the end of the 2022 Fiscal Year, or September 30, 2022,” according to court documents.
Racism has been redefined. It is no longer about discrimination based on the color of someone’s skin. Racism is any system that allows for disparate outcomes between racial groups. If disparity is present, as the high priest of this ideology, Ibram X. Kendi, has explained, racism is present. According to this totalizing new view, we are all either racist or anti-racist. To be a Good Person and not a Bad Person, you must be an “anti-racist.” There is no neutrality. There is no such thing as “not racist.”
Most important: In this revolution, skeptics of any part of this radical ideology are recast as heretics. Those who do not abide by every single aspect of its creed are tarnished as bigots, subjected to boycotts and their work to political litmus tests. The Enlightenment, as the critic Edward Rothstein has put it, has been replaced by the exorcism.
What we call “cancel culture” is really the justice system of this revolution. And the goal of the cancellations is not merely to punish the person being cancelled. The goal is to send a message to everyone else: Step out of line and you are next.
It has worked. A recent CATO study found that 62 percent of Americans are afraid to voice their true views. Nearly a quarter of American academics endorse ousting a colleague for having a wrong opinion about hot-button issues such as immigration or gender differences. And nearly 70 percent of students favor reporting professors if the professor says something that students find offensive, according to a Challey Institute for Global Innovation survey.
Why are so many, especially so many young people, drawn to this ideology? It’s not because they are dumb. Or because they are snowflakes, or whatever Fox talking points would have you believe. All of this has taken place against the backdrop of major changes in American life—the tearing apart of our social fabric; the loss of religion and the decline of civic organizations; the opioid crisis; the collapse of American industries; the rise of big tech; successive financial crises; a toxic public discourse; crushing student debt. An epidemic of loneliness. A crisis of meaning. A pandemic of distrust. It has taken place against the backdrop of the American dream’s decline into what feels like a punchline, the inequalities of our supposedly fair, liberal meritocracy clearly rigged in favor of some people and against others. And so on.
“I became converted because I was ripe for it and lived in a disintegrating society thrusting for faith.” That was Arthur Koestler writing in 1949 about his love affair with Communism. The same might be said of this new revolutionary faith. And like other religions at their inception, this one has lit on fire the souls of true believers, eager to burn down anything or anyone that stands in its way.
Please read this piece by Bari Weiss. It's better than anything I could say. It's inspiring.
We have what looks like another bout of this awful woke business coming up in the law school under the flag of "Diversity, Equity and Inclusion", but it's basically CRT and it don't look too good. All I can say is, that's fine, or at least our sagacious President and his appointees seem determined to carry forward with their plan. It appears to involve, or may involve various proposed attempts to induct us professors into the cult of woke. They're welcome to try, though I wish they would not, but I'm not going to say that I believe anything I don't believe, or call anything by other than its proper name, or defame the history of my country, which is bad enough without making up lies about it. I'm not going to say I'm for anything that I'm not for. If I am required to sit in a room and listen to bullshit for some period of time in order to earn my salary, I guess I shall. We do unpleasant things for money sometimes. But there's a difference between unpleasant and wrong. So I won't say I believe any rubbish I don't, or say I'll try to practice it, because I won't. I'm not going to sign anything that says more than -- yeah, I listened; can I go now? Who knows, maybe it won't be all rubbish, but frankly, it looks like it probably will be.
I’ve been following Ed Morrissey’s coverage of the ongoing horror show in the Loudoun County, Virginia school district where multiple rapes of children inside school buildings were covered up by the school board. That lasted until the father of one of the victims who had been raped in a school bathroom by a boy wearing a skirt went public. There’s been a different sort of coverup taking place since then in the form of a near-total mainstream media blackout of the story, with a few incomplete exceptions. Despite the fact that the school board clearly appears to have violated state laws regarding sexual assaults, it still seemed as if nobody in the school system was going to be held accountable.
That situation may have started to change on Friday. There have been multiple calls from the parents of students in the district for school superintendent Scott Ziegler and the entire school board to resign. And as of yesterday, someone has indeed resigned. But it was only one member of the school board and not even the president. Her name is Beth Barts and as National Review reported yesterday, her resignation won’t even take effect until next month.
A member of the Loudoun County School Board announced her resignation on Friday, amid a recall effort and ongoing controversies over a reported case of sexual assault in school.
“Please accept this letter as my formal resignation from the Loudoun County School Board effective November 2, 2021,” Beth Barts wrote in a Facebook post. “This was not an easy decision or a decision made in haste. After much thought and careful consideration, it is the right decision for me and my family.”
Barts was already facing a recall attempt by a parent group called Fight for Schools, which accused Barts of initiating a “targeting campaign” against parents who opposed critical race theory.
I had initially held off on commenting on this story, partly because Ed was already covering it. But I think there was also an element of shock involved. This is a situation that is just so awful that it’s difficult to believe it’s really happening and it almost defies words.
"This is a situation that is just so awful that it’s difficult to believe it’s really happening and it almost defies words." It is pretty awful, isn't it? But this is what you get when you have school boards that believe their job is not just to educate children, as their parents would, but to remake society. Nobody evil starts out thinking -- I'm going to be evil. Well, perhaps a few do. Most just think they know what's good, more than almost everybody else. They're experts after all. It proceeds, step by small step. And the next thing you know, you have a boy in a dress in the girls' restroom, sodomizing a crying girl. You say to yourself, ok, it might have happened, but there's a bigger picture here, a more important end. And the girl's parents' child has to be made to seem a liar. And pretty soon, you're the baddie. That's how I imagine it, anyway. That's giving them the benefit of the doubt. But we mustn't forget, this story is really happening and it's too horrible for words.
Schools are emerging as the latest battleground for both parties ahead of next year’s midterm elections.
Debates over coronavirus restrictions and curriculum in the classrooms have dominated campaign messaging, forcing candidates to address the issues head-on in key areas like the suburbs.
It’s also left parents and experts concerned that kids are on the front lines of a political battle that has turned highly contentious over the past year.ADVERTISEMENT
The battle has also turned highly personal for families and educators debating how much of a role parents should play in their students’ education.
Republican candidates have seized on conservative complaints about issues like critical race theory and LGBTQ issues in school curriculum, while Democrats have zeroed in on the importance of coronavirus restrictions in classrooms.
Both parties are looking to use the education-related issues to appeal to parents on issues that impact their children’s day-to-day lives.
Here’s how it worked. Zuckerberg gifted nearly half a billion dollars to two left-wing groups that then gave the money to government election offices. One of these two groups was the Center for Technology and Civic Life. By the September before the election, Zuckerberg and his wife had given it $350 million, meaning the small organization’s prior revenues of $1.8 million exploded by roughly 20,000 percent.
The cash, or “Zuckerbucks,” wasn’t an unconditional donation, however. There were strings attached, which amounted to Democrat get-out-the-vote efforts, mass mail-in voting, and ballot “curing,” whereby election workers “fix” mail-in ballot problems after the ballot has been submitted.
These dollars also didn’t flow indiscriminately to needy areas of the country but largely to government election offices in the biggest cities of swing states, where the majority of Democrat voters are concentrated. Those funds were used for Democrat voter outreach, designing and translating ballots, and staffing ballot harvesting, curing, and counting operations.
If regular democracy isn’t doing so well, maybe it’s time to fall back on “Irish Democracy.”
That’s what Yale political scientist James Scott calls the passive resistance of a society that doesn’t like what its rulers are doing to it. In his book “Two Cheers for Anarchy,” he writes, “One need not have an actual conspiracy to achieve the practical effects of a conspiracy. More regimes have been brought, piecemeal, to their knees by what was once called ‘Irish Democracy,’ the silent, dogged resistance, withdrawal and truculence of millions of ordinary people, than by revolutionary vanguards or rioting mobs.”
Irish Democracy is when the populace simply doesn’t cooperate with the agenda. Sometimes there is active sabotage, sometimes surreptitious monkey-wrenching, sometimes foot-dragging and sometimes outright noncompliance. Sometimes it’s all of those at once.
Right now, we are seeing some of that in response to vaccine mandates, mask rules and various other forms of population control that have been adopted since the pandemic struck. Go almost anywhere with a mask mandate, and you will see some people not wearing masks at all, daring anyone to do anything about it (often, they don’t).
You will also see a lot more with the mask pulled down below their noses, providing the vague suggestion of compliance without actually going along. These people will usually pull the mask up if asked, but then pull it right back down again as soon as the asker leaves the vicinity. (Hey, why take it seriously when our elites have made clear that the mask rules don’t apply to them and their gatherings?)
Worst of all, we learned Barack Obama and his staff held regular “Terror Tuesdays” meetings to decide who they would and would not kill by secret drone assassination, a program which many Americans were surprised to learn was run not by the military but by the CIA. Obama — who would eventually be quoted joking that it “turns out I’m really good at killing people” and “I didn’t know that was gonna be a strong suit of mine” — widened the secret “kill list” to include Americans.
When Trump arrived, it almost immediately became obvious his historical destiny was to be the best thing that ever happened to the secret services. In the same way hydroxychloroquine became snake oil the instant Trump said he was taking it, the “Deep State” became a myth the moment Trump and his minions started saying they believed in it.
Friday, October 15, 2021
More than worthy of discussion, as well, is the idea — argued eloquently by, for example, the eminent late philosopher Sir Roger Scruton in his “England and the Need for Nations” (2006) — that a democratic nation cannot survive without a citizenry that shares bonds of trust based on a common cultural and historical identity and a core of common values. That sense of heritage, Scruton contends, is undermined — and, what is more, gives way to zero-sum racial, ethnic, and other tribal affiliations — when a flood of individuals who neither know nor care about the nation they are entering is admitted and left unintegrated.
Racism, Inc., works to stigmatize nearly all legitimate criticism of Democratic immigration policies by equating the idea that Republican voters and people with a long-standing stake in America are being replaced with the very different idea that the white race is being replaced. This new run on the outrage treadmill projects the contemporary left’s obsession with race and racism onto the right.
This too will pass. Like “racism,” “white supremacy” and “white nationalism” before it, the “Great Replacement Theory” meme will prove hollow in the end. But before that happens, we can all expect to hear those words drummed into us — ironically, not by the theory’s ostensible proponents but by its avowed enemies. We must also send a clear message that the days of Racism, Inc. and all its manufactured outrages are numbered.
Good points. But, apparently there is some evidence for the view that recent immigrants to the US, especially Mexican-Americans, are increasingly voting Republican, in which case this Democratic strategy -- and any who doubts that it is a strategy is just swallowing . . . well, you know -- might backfire. It makes sense when you think about it. If you get into the hall, your view changes on whether those after you in line should also be let into the hall.
The Biden administration will officially rejoin the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), reversing a 2018 Trump administration decision to leave the controversial body infamous for its relentless hostility toward Israel.
Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley slammed the move Thursday to re-enter a cabal with odious abusers among its members.
“If President Biden truly cared about human rights, he would keep us far away from the cesspool that is the UN Human Rights Council,” Haley told Fox News.
Current members include China, Cuba, Russia, Venezuela, and some of the worst regimes in the world.
Dave Chappelle’s latest stand-up special pushed a lot of buttons. Over The Closer’s 72 minutes, Chappelle makes off-color jokes about Jewish people, black people, white people, and gay people. The group he dedicates the core of the show to jabbing, however, is transgender people. It’s understandable that some took offense, and it’s not surprising that activists quickly demanded that Netflix take it down.
Reasonable people can disagree about the content of Chappelle’s special—whether it was funny and whether he took his jokes too far. But the instinct to censor and remove any piece of art, especially one as widely popular as The Closer, is wrongheaded. Free expression is a fundamental aspect of liberal democracy. Especially in the inherently boundary-pushing arenas of art and comedy, we should embrace a culture that allows performers to take big risks—whether or not we happen to like the result.
I think Dave Chappelle is hilarious, but that's just me.
Click through to take in the full list (after taking something to combat nausea), but here are some of the lowlights.
Illegal aliens will be having a field day. Not only will they continue to be allowed to flood into the country largely unimpeded thanks to the Biden border crisis, but they will be immediately eligible for free college enrollment, student loans, and the child tax credit, effectively giving them a permanent guaranteed basic income.
$8 billion will go to create an army of federally funded “climate police” called the Civilian Climate Corps (CCC). They will be able to drop a dime on anyone who has an unacceptably large “carbon footprint” and direct federal attention toward them. Make sure you already have an electric car or there may be someone knocking on your door.
There’s $643 million for the procurement of “culturally appropriate foods” for school lunches. As I’ve written about here repeatedly, no race or cultural group holds the license for any style of food, but apparently, the concept will be twisted to suit whatever the social justice agenda item of the week is. So does this mean that schools with a heavy Hispanic population will be assured of “taco Tuesday?” Oh my. That’s not offensive at all, is it?
$200 million is earmarked for the Presidio Trust in California’s 12th congressional district. Just by coincidence (I’m sure) that happens to be the district that Speaker Nancy Pelosi represents. How convenient!
Keep one hand on your wallet because the bill imposes $2 trillion in tax hikes that will impact those making under $400,000 per year. Wait… didn’t Biden specifically promise that this wasn’t going to happen? Then again, he probably hasn’t read the bill himself. Or if he has, perhaps he just forgot.
There’s an “$80 billion slush fund to hire an 87,000-IRS-agent army to carry out the Biden administration’s plan to review every account above a $600 balance or with more than $600 of transactions in a year.” Because no honest person could ever have a need for more than $600 to take care of some emergency, right? I’m sure the nearly 90,000 new IRS agents will have plenty of time to swing by and see what you’re up to.
There’s plenty more at the link, assuming you’re not already nauseous. You can read the full list of items in the bill here. Happy Thursday!
Pretty pretty bad.
“Come on H this is linked to Celtic’s account.” Those nine words from a retired Secret Service agent to Hunter Biden in recently released emails may prove a nasty complication for some in Washington who have struggled to contain the blowback from the still-unfolding scandal linked to Hunter Biden’s infamous laptop.
“Celtic” was the Secret Service code name for Joe Biden, and recent disclosures may puncture the media’s cone-of-silence around the scandal. The emails link President Biden to his son’s accounts and indicate a commingling of funds with money coming from controversial foreign sources. Even more embarrassing, the shared account may have been used to pay a Russian prostitute named “Yanna.”
The commingling of funds is the latest contraction of President Biden’s repeated claims that he was unaware and uninvolved in past dealings by his son. Given these links, there are legitimate questions of why the Justice Department has not sought a special counsel in the ongoing investigation of alleged money-laundering and tax violations linked to the president’s son. More importantly, even if there are no criminal charges, there is now a compelling need for an independent report on the alleged influence peddling operation by Hunter, his uncle James Biden, and potentially his father, President Biden.
10 Ways the Chinese Government Lied, Misled, and Messed Up Early on in the Pandemic | RealClearScience
A plethora of politicians and government officials across the globe screwed up in their handling of the COVID-19 Pandemic. The Chinese government, however, was acutely damaging with its ineptitude, because it, more than any other entity, had a chance to limit the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus when it first emerged in late 2019. Instead of trying to contain the virus with the help of the international community, however, the Chinese government lied, misled, and stalled. All of humanity has experienced the disastrous result of this negligence.
In his new book, Uncontrolled Spread, physician, senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb focused his considerable expertise on pointing out the ways in which the world's response to COVID-19 fell short, and how we can better prepare for the next inevitable pandemic. Early on in the book, he chronicled numerous examples of the Chinese government's inept, corrupt handling of what was then an emerging outbreak. Here are ten of them:
Donald Trump’s 2016 victory was a shock to much of the country, but Silicon Valley took it especially hard. The progressive bastion of San Francisco had turned tech companies from libertarian idealists into liberal crusaders. The industry as a whole felt complicit in Donald Trump’s rise and was intent on doing everything in its power to suppress his voice and those of his supporters.
From the beginning, the tech overlords were plotting how to strike back.
In one meeting, Google founder Sergey Brin suggested that “Jigsaw,” a project Google had developed to combat Islamic terror propaganda, could be used to shape the opinions of Trump voters. By the time Trump was inaugurated, a former Google engineer had told Breitbart reporter Allum Bokhari that activists within the company had formed a working group to brainstorm ways to use Google’s resources to undermine the Trump administration.
These claims, if true, seem to suggest highly inappropriate activities. I am most disturbed.
'Woke' Fed risks losing control of inflation, says former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers | Fox Business
"We’re in more danger than we’ve been during my career of losing control of inflation in the U.S.," Summers, a Harvard University professor, said. "We’ve gone even further towards losing it in Britain and I think we’re at some risk in Europe."
The Fed adopted a new strategy last summer in which it will keep the benchmark federal funds rate near zero, even if inflation rises above the preferred rate, in order to reach maximum employment. But over the past couple of months, inflation has been rising at the fastest pace in more than a decade and is well above the Fed's preferred target of 2%. There are still about 7.7 million unemployed Americans.
Central bankers have also increasingly been discussing the economic impact of climate change and how to incorporate that into their work.
Of all the stuff it has been my privilege to amplify, this is perhaps the most disturbing. As anyone who remembers the great hyperinflation of Weimar can tell you, it's no joking matter. Unless you're German of course. Those guys will laugh at anything.
EXCLUSIVE: Loudoun Schools Did Not Record Multiple Alleged Sexual Assaults Over A Period Of Years Despite State Law, Records Show | The Daily Wire
Loudoun County Public Schools did not record multiple known incidents of alleged sexual assault in schools dating back several years, despite a law that requires statistics about school safety incidents to be reported to the public and which includes provisions holding school superintendents personally liable for violations, a Daily Wire review of public records found.
After The Daily Wire raised the discrepancy with the Virginia Department of Education, VDOE spokesman Charles Pyle said that “VDOE is reviewing the discipline, crime and violence data submissions of Loudoun County Public Schools and is in communication with LCPS to determine whether the division’s reporting is accurate and whether the division is in compliance with state and federal law.”
The same law could have implications for a Loudoun superintendent or principal in the wake of a May 28 alleged sexual assault in a bathroom — an incident first reported by The Daily Wire Monday. On June 22, Superintendent Scott Ziegler told the public, “To my knowledge, we don’t have any record of assaults occurring in our restrooms.”
Virginia law requires that “Reports shall be made to the division superintendent and to the principal or his designee on all incidents involving … sexual assault.”
Maybe late deciders are choosing to roll the dice on a Republican after 12 years of Democratic rule with an establishment retread as Team Blue’s nominee this year.
You know all about Trafalgar if you’ve followed election polling over the last five years. Their surveys consistently predict redder turnout on Election Day than most pollsters do and that’s produced some spectacularly accurate results because of it. They captured Trump’s upsets in the midwest in 2016 when most of the competition had Hillary waltzing away with those states. Last year they called only 50 percent of races correctly, per FiveThirtyEight, but had the second-smallest average error of any pollster. When Trafalgar’s polling on a race breaks from the pack, it’s worth paying attention.
Thursday, October 14, 2021
Walmart Inc. has launched a critical race theory training program that denounces the United States as a “white supremacy system” and teaches white, hourly wage employees that they are guilty of “white supremacy thinking” and “internalized racial superiority.”
According to a cache of internal documents I have obtained from a whistleblower, Walmart launched the program in 2018 in partnership with the Racial Equity Institute, a Greensboro, North Carolina, consulting firm that has worked extensively with universities, government agencies, and private corporations. The program is based on the core principles of critical race theory, including “intersectionality,” “internalized racial oppression,” “internalized racial inferiority,” and “white anti-racist development.” Since the program’s launch, Walmart has trained more than 1,000 employees and made the program mandatory for executives and recommended for hourly wage workers in Walmart stores. When reached for comment, Walmart confirmed that the company has “engaged REI for a number of training sessions since 2018” and has “found these sessions to be thought provoking and constructive.”
The program begins with the claim that the United States is a “white supremacy system,” designed by white Europeans “for the purpose of assigning and maintaining white skin access to power and privilege.” American history is presented as a long sequence of oppressions, from the “construction of a ‘white race’” by colonists in 1680 to President Obama’s stimulus legislation in 2009, “another race neutral act that has disproportionately benefited white people.” Consequently, the Walmart program argues, white Americans have been subjected to “racist conditioning” that indoctrinates them into “white supremacy,” or the view “that white people and the ideas, thoughts, beliefs, and actions of white people are superior to People of Color and their ideas, thoughts, beliefs, and actions.”
Well, at least you can get paid minimum wage by Walmart to get your head stuffed with nonsense, while if you go to college, it will cost you closer to $200 grand. All things considered, Walmart is the better deal.
On January 31, 2020, an infectious-disease expert at the Scripps Research Translational Institute named Kristian Anderson called Anthony Fauci at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to relay some alarming news. Anderson and his colleagues had been investigating the genome of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and thought it showed signs of having been manipulated in a laboratory. In a later email to Fauci, he wrote, “Some of the features (potentially) look engineered.”
Fauci immediately arranged a conference call for the next day. It included not just Fauci and Anderson, but Fauci’s boss, National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins, as well as experts in Britain and elsewhere. “It was a very productive back-and-forth conversation where some on the call felt it could possibly be an engineered virus,” Fauci later told USA Today writer Alison Young. It was scary enough if a naturally occurring virus had jumped from animals to humans (as most viral pathogens do). The notion that it might instead be a lab experiment gone awry was deeply ominous.
Three days later, everything had changed. In a February 4 email to a group of scientists advising the White House, Andersen wrote that “the data conclusively show” that the virus had not been manipulated. In fact, he called that idea one of the “main crackpot theories going around at the moment.” Almost overnight, top figures in virology research and in the public-health establishment went from being worried the virus might be man-made to dismissing that possibility as a “conspiracy theory.”
What were the data that so persuasively convinced Andersen, Fauci, and other experts in that February 1 meeting? We don’t know. In fact, we know about Andersen’s emails at all only because they were released under the Freedom of Information Act. News organizations, including Buzzfeed and the Intercept, along with good-government groups, have requested thousands of pages of documents related to the pandemic. Much of what little we know about our government’s handling of the lab-leak question comes from these documents.Listen and Subscribe to the Commentary Podcast
The callousness is what is so hard to stomach from the progressive elites of Loudoun County, Virginia, the wealthy dormitory community of Washington, DC.
They laughed and cheered when plumber Scott Smith was crash-tackled by police and humiliated at a school board meeting on June 22 as he tried to raise the plight of his 15-year-old daughter, who he says was raped and sodomized in the school bathroom by a boy in a skirt. No one expressed any concern for his daughter.
There was no compassion, either, from superintendent Scott Ziegler, who claimed bafflingly at the meeting that there had been no assault in a school restroom anywhere in Loudoun County and airily dismissed parents’ concerns about the risks of transgender bathrooms. Then he gave a little woke homily to show those powerless parents in the room who really was in charge.
“Time magazine in 2016 called that a red herring … we’ve heard it several times tonight from our public speakers but the predator transgender student or person simply does not exist,” he said.
Tell that to the Smith family.
The rainbow activist who allegedly threatened Smith’s livelihood at that meeting told him point-blank his daughter’s rape three weeks earlier did not happen, as if she would know.
He raised his voice and called her a “bitch.”
As far I know, no word yet from the Washington Post, NPR, the NY Times, etc., etc. on this story, or non-story as some may wish it to be. Shades of Hunter's laptop.
Robby Soave: Dad Arrested For Protesting, Loudoun Co. School Board Did NOTHING About Daughter's Rape
“Diversity is our strength.” If that’s the case, then the diverse group of people targeted in the strategic plan of the Critical Race Theory advocacy group African American Policy Forum (AAFP) are very strong.
AAPF is the group founded by the inventor of “intersectionality” theory and my former law school classmate, Kimberlé Crenshaw, now a law professor at UCLA and Columbia. Crenshaw also is widely attributed with coining the phrase “Critical Race Theory” and is accorded hero status among CRT proponents in academia and the media. According to AAPF’s 2019 Form 990, the group raised just under $1.3 million in 2019, and it’s almost certain that annual haul has increased substantially post George Floyd death.
Christopher Rufo obtained a strategic plan in the form of a PowerPoint created by AAPF and tweeted out some of the slides:
Researchers in the US have used the physics of singularities to study the recess, or cusp, that forms around the stalk of an apple. Based on field and laboratory experiments as well as simulations, they determined that the cusp is self-similar, meaning that it looks the same at different stages of the apple’s growth. They also investigated the emergence of multiple cusps, as are sometimes seen in real fruit.
Singularities are points at which a certain quantity becomes infinite or ill-defined. The infinite space-time curvature thought to exist at the centre of black holes is one well-known example, but singularities also crop up in other areas of physics. In biology, meanwhile, examples include the sharp folds on the surface of the brain and the way bacteria clump together in the presence of certain chemicals.
I thought this was going to be about Newton, the apple and gravity, but no.
Skoglund’s discovery — which is published online on 21 July in Nature2 — was that members of two Amazonian groups, the Suruí and the Karitiana, are more closely related to Papua New Guineans and Aboriginal Australians than other Native Americans are to these Australasian groups. The team confirmed the finding with several statistical methods used to untangle genetic ancestry, as well as additional genomes from Amazonians and Papuans. “We spent a lot of time being sceptical and incredulous about the finding and trying to make it go away, but it just got stronger,” says Reich.
Those darn humans. Always migrating somewhere.
Archaeologists have uncovered evidence that hunter-gatherers in North America were using tobacco around 12,300 years ago — 9,000 years earlier than was previously documented.
Tobacco use spread worldwide after contact between European explorers and Indigenous people in North America in the fifteenth century. But researchers debate precisely how and when tobacco plants (Nicotiana spp.) were first domesticated.
Now, Daron Duke and his colleagues at the Far Western Anthropological Research Group in Davis, California, have discovered the oldest direct evidence of tobacco use at a hunter-gatherer camp in Utah’s West Desert. They published the findings on 11 October in Nature Human Behaviour1.
This presumably was before the LDS church moved in.
China’s exports rose 28% in September from the year-earlier level, more than the analyst consensus had forecast. More important is that China’s exports to the United States have risen by 31% since January 2018, when President Trump imposed tariffs on a wide range of US imports from China. At a seasonally adjusted annual rate, the US is buying $635 billion of Chinese goods, equal to a staggering 27% of US manufacturing Gross Domestic Product.
That’s the sort of import dependency economists associate with Third World countries dependent on former colonial powers. US exports to China during the past 12 months were only 30% of China’s exports to the US.
Video Analysis of Popular "Critical Race Theory" Texts - by Paul Taylor - Big Picture by Paul Taylor
Hello there everyone! There are some remarkably popular texts promoting “critical race theory” concepts that contains some remarkably false narratives. I have a video up on Youtube analyzing these texts in some detail. If you think it’s a worthwhile discussion, please send it to others through your various blogs and social media, especially if you’re connected to anyone concerned with the popularization of these false narratives. Following the link to the video, I’m posting below the transcript of the video as well (the numbers simply refer to the slides I use in the video in the order in which they appear). At at the bottom are buttons to subscribe to my Substack, to share this particular post, and to share my Big Picture Substack. Thanks for watching!
This also via Gail Heriot on instapundit.
Do you want to stop Lowe’s from discriminating against small business owners on the basis of race? Please help the American Civil Rights Project. Our organization is having success in reminding “woke” corporations that anti-discrimination laws protect all of us, not just some. But we need actual shareholders to make this work. If you own Lowe’s stock (or even if you’re just curious), please click.
This from my treasured colleague Gail Heriot at instapundit. I don't own any stock at Lowe's as it happens, but I did get our dryer there.
Joe Rogan has found himself at the center of a debate over the COVID-19 vaccines, despite never presenting himself as anti-vaccine. His great sin was daring to get treated for the virus after contracting it earlier this year. The fact that Rogan’s doctor included ivermectin in the medicinal regime sent heads exploding, as he was accused of taking “horse dewormer” amid other unfair, out-of-context claims.
Today, though, Rogan got a bit of redemption by running circles around CNN’s chief COVID hysteric, Sanjay Gupta. You may recall Gupta as the same guy who touted Chris Cuomo’s COVID X-ray, only to be embarrassingly fact-checked by actual radiologists.
During the long-form discussion with Rogan, there were several key moments that showed just how out of his element Gupta was. Here’s one of them.
You probably know this already if you're a Joe Rogan fan.
Butterflies released in Finland contained parasitic wasps – with more wasps inside | Butterflies | The Guardian
When caterpillars of a beautiful butterfly were introduced on to the tiny island of Sottunga in the Åland archipelago, scientists hoped to study how the emerging butterflies would disperse across the landscape.
But researchers did not realise that their introduction of the Glanville fritillary (Melitaea cinxia) led to the emergence of three other species on to the Baltic Sea island, which sprang out of the butterfly like Russian dolls.
Some of the caterpillars contained a parasitic wasp, Hyposoter horticola, which bursts from the caterpillar before it can pupate and become a butterfly.
Living inside some of these small wasps was another even tinier, rarer parasite, a “hyperparasitoid” wasp known as Mesochorus cf. stigmaticus. It kills the parasitic wasp around the same time as the wasp kills the caterpillar, and emerges 10 days later from the caterpillar’s carcass.
Also along for the ride was a bacterium that is carried by the female H. horticola wasps and transmitted to her offspring. By some unknown mechanism, Wolbachia pipientis increases the susceptibility of the parasitic wasp to being taken over by the tiny parasitic wasp M. stigmaticus, which can only live on the H. horticola wasp.
The circle, the circle of life.
Appearing this weekend on CNN’s State of the Union, Virginia Democratic gubernatorial nominee Terry McAuliffe charged that Republicans have “made up” K-12 disputes over Critical Race Theory (CRT) in order to “divide” voters. McAuliffe said, “This is a made-up — this is a Trump, Betsy DeVos, Glenn Youngkin plan to divide people, and really bothers me.”
In a television interview last week, McAuliffe had previously said of Critical Race Theory, “It’s not taught in Virginia, it’s never been taught in Virginia. And as I’ve said this a lot: It’s a dogwhistle. It’s racial. It’s division.” But the controversy over Critical Race Theory is hardly “made up,” as McAuliffe alleges. Take developments in Virginia’s Loudoun County, an affluent Washington suburb that’s made plenty of national headlines with its CRT disputes.
In July, a freedom of information request revealed that Loudoun County Public Schools paid consultants at "The Equity Collaborative" for a raft of anti-racist trainings. Teachers were taught, in lessons that incorporated the Dismantling Racism Workbook, that good teachers don’t “profess color blindness," "accept responsibility for their own racism," and believe that "addressing one’s Whiteness (e.g., white privilege) is crucial for effective teaching."
Rather remarkably, school teachers were taught that "fostering independence and individual achievement" is a racist hallmark of "white individualism,” as is the promotion of “self-expression, individual thinking, personal choice." The school system’s "Action Plans to Combat Systemic Racism" recommends the book How to be an Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi, which teaches that "there is no such thing as a nonracist or race-neutral policy" and that "only racists say they’re not racist."
Now, McAuliffe would presumably claim that such teachings have nothing to do with CRT. But this is where he’s being dishonest and disingenuous. After all, while it’s true that CRT is technically just a school of legal analysis, its own adherents would argue that it’s much more — and that the toxic dogmas on display in Loudoun are precisely what they have in mind.
Wednesday, October 13, 2021
China’s most loyal and lucrative partner is not a foreign government or national leader. It’s a group of multi-national businesses, Hollywood elites, ivory-tower intellectuals, weak-kneed diplomats, and entrenched bureaucrats located here in the United States. This group has championed economic integration and appeasement for decades, relentlessly demanding that America forgive every act of aggression committed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), no matter the cost to the American people. Some in this group are drunk on Chinese money, and some are blinded by a naïve hope that China will moderate. But all live in fear of CCP reprisal.
Loudoun County father arrested at school board event says school tried to cover up daughter's bathroom assault | Fox News
A parent who was arrested during a June school board meeting in Loudoun County, Virginia, is accusing the district of trying to cover up an alleged bathroom sexual assault by a gender-fluid individual against his daughter in order to further its transgender rights agenda.
This highly salient story is now covered by Fox. So far as I know, however, not a peep has appeared in the Washington Post, NPR, the NY Times, MSNBC, etc., etc. Yet it may well make the difference in the Virginia gubernatorial campaign. Oh, and it has appeared in the UK press of course. So a Londoner might well be better informed about what's going on in Virginia than a careful reader of the Post. That seems odd.
To be honest, the most troublesome things to come out of this email dump — which happened thanks to the investigation of the Washington Redskins for the treatment of employees — is that ESPN’s Adam Schefter apparently shares his stories with team officials for approval sometimes, and that after being fired, former Washington Head Coach Jay Gruden hasn’t even been interviewed for the investigation. Which certainly suggests that this whole internal investigation thing – backed heavily by the Washington Post – was less about changing the culture in the organization, and more about pressuring owner Dan Snyder to sell the team to Jeff Bezos (that’s the local conspiracy theory to which I subscribe).
A pandemic-driven shortage of parts and labor has combined with a congested transport system to create an inflationary spike, with shipping rates doubling on some routes. Prices for everything from soybeans to natural gas have soared as supplies take longer to produce and arrive, and this high inflation is wiping out wage gains in the US, the UK, and Germany. The chaos on the ground may not disturb the lifestyles of the tech and financial elites, but it is hurting the middle and working classes, the groups most threatened by surging inflation.
The supply chain disaster has also revealed the existence of crippling economic dependence, particularly on China, in high-income countries. Today, whole industries in the West—from medical equipment to chip and car makers to food—rely on China for finished products and key components. When China cannot (or decides not to) supply these parts, whole industries suffer debilitating supply chain shortages. The notion of a rational, self-regulating market system is unraveling and may yet presage the demise of the prevailing neoliberal era.
A Yale Law Student Sent a Lighthearted Email Inviting Classmates to His ‘Trap House.’ The School Is Now Calling Him To Account.
The best way to "make this go away," he continued, would be to formally apologize to Yale’s Black Law Students Association. "You’re a law student, and there’s a bar you have to take," Eldik said in a follow-up meeting on Sept. 17. "So we think it’s really important to give you a 360 view."
When the student resisted, saying he’d prefer to have a face-to-face discussion with anybody offended by his email, Eldik nonetheless drafted an apology for the student to send in the service of "character-driven rehabilitation."
Addressed to black student leaders, the note included an apology for "any harm, trauma, or upset" the initial email may have caused. "I know I must learn more and grow," the draft apology concluded, "[a]nd I will actively educate myself so I can do better."
The student ultimately declined to send the note, instead telling his classmates in an online forum that he welcomed conversations with anybody offended by his choice of words.
When the student hadn’t apologized by the evening of Sept. 16, Eldik and Cosgrove emailed the entire second-year class about the incident. "[A]n invitation was recently circulated containing pejorative and racist language," the email read. "We condemn this in the strongest possible terms" and "are working on addressing this."
Eldik, Cosgrove, and Yale Law School dean Heather Gerken did not respond to requests for comment.
Dubious discrimination complaints are nothing new at the Ivy League law school. In February, for example, a raft of affinity groups accused the Yale Law Journal of systematically excluding black students from the masthead. When the prestigious publication released its admissions data, it turned out that black students had been admitted at a rate of 61 percent—far higher than the rate for any other race or ethnicity.
But as "discrimination" and "harassment" have taken on ever wider meanings, anti-discrimination offices have taken on a larger mandate, enforcing not just equal opportunity but progressive ideology. At least one complaint alleged that the email "was a form of discrimination," Eldik told the student, while the "harassment" claims centered on how "psychically harmful" it had been.
That concept creep has been enforced by bureaucratic self-interest. Anti-discrimination officers have an incentive to address grievances in heavy-handed, public ways, a fact the audio drives home. When the student suggested letting his peers reach out to him individually to discuss their feelings about the email, Eldik responded: "I don’t want to make our office look like an ineffective source of resolution."
That resolution may not involve any formal punishment. In a third meeting on Oct. 12, nearly a month after the initial incident, Eldik and Cosgrove assured the student they would not put anything in his file that might pose a problem for the bar.
"We would never get on our letterhead and write anything to the bar about you," Eldik said. "You may have been confused."
At their first meeting, Eldik had hinted that the student's race might result in some leniency.
"As a man of color, there probably isn’t as much scrutiny of you as there might be of a white person in the same position," Eldik informed the Native American student. "I just want to acknowledge that there’s a complexity to th
One of many reasons I do not give money to the Yale Law School, besides not having much to give.