Monday, August 8, 2022
For the first time in more than 15 years, Montana bison will roam new grazing grounds on public land. After 4 years of review, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) on 28 July granted a request by the nonprofit American Prairie to release its bison herd onto more than 24,000 hectares in central Montana. This is the largest land approval BLM has given American Prairie. Many ecologists are celebrating the expansion, part of American Prairie’s effort to restore Montana’s prairie ecosystems and return the U.S. national mammal to its former glory.
“We get a lot of bad news about declines of biodiversity,” says ecologist Liesbeth Bakker of the Netherlands Institute of Ecology, who has worked with bison in Nebraska. “But then to see these things really gives you hope; it makes you think it is possible to restore these ecosystems and give these majestic animals the room they deserve.” She notes that the benefits go beyond bison to a host of prairie plants and other native animals. Ranching groups and state officials are less enthusiastic, fearing the bison will compete with cattle.
This is half good news. The next piece is to allow some hunters, only armed with bows and arrows of course.
Portland Public Schools has launched a war against the “gender binary” and adopted a radical new curriculum teaching students to subvert the sexuality of “white colonizers” and begin exploring “the infinite gender spectrum.”
I have obtained a cache of documents from a source inside Portland Public Schools that exposes the nature of this curriculum. The lessons seek to turn the principles of academic queer theory into an identity-formation program for elementary school students; it has been adopted in many of the district's K-5 classrooms.
The premise is simple: privileged white heterosexuals have created an oppressive gender system in order to dominate racial and sexual minorities. As the curriculum explains, “gender is colonized,” and Western societies have used language to erase alternative sexualities. “When white European people colonized different places, they brought their own ideas about gender and sexuality,” the curriculum reads. “When the United States was colonized by white settlers, their views around gender were forced upon the people already living here. Hundreds of years later, how we think and talk about gender are still impacted by this shift.” (When reached for comment, Portland Public Schools wrote: “We make certain that our curriculum is LGBTQ+ inclusive for students who identify as transgender, gender non-conforming, gender-queer, and queer to create a safe and inclusive environment for all of our students.”)
In a little more than a decade, you are going to have a lot of screwed up, unhappy kids on your hands.
Starbucks has announced that it is closing many stores over crime concerns, often in cities led by progressive prosecutors. This development could be fodder for a joke about progressive hipsters whose voting inclinations wind up costing them their venti frappucinos. But these closures risk leaving citizens in the most troubled areas with ever-dwindling opportunities to buy basic necessities for their families.
Starbucks was an early and loud adopter of every progressive whim. The coffee chain demanded implicit-bias training for all employees. After police in Philadelphia removed two black men—who refused to buy anything—from a store at an employee’s request, Starbucks apologized and opened its stores to anyone and everyone.
But the rising tide of crime in progressive cities has proved too much even for the coffee behemoth. Citing safety issues, Starbucks is closing stores in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Portland, and its hometown of Seattle. Each of these cities has a radical prosecutor dedicated to non-prosecution of even serious crimes, such as George Gascon in L.A. and Larry Krasner in Philly. The next time you can’t get a good cup of coffee in one of these cities, consider whom you voted for in the district attorney’s race.
Now, all of that has changed. Republicans are openly expressing concerns they may squander what could have been a wave election with a series of green Senate candidates drained by fractious primaries. These contenders, they worry, lack the fundraising skills to make up the ground they’ve lost and can’t unify enough independent voters with their MAGA base in time to form a winning coalition in November. While the vaunted red wave is still there, with turnout up across the board, smart GOP consultants believe that it may now be matched by a blue wave of dramatically increased excitement among Democrat voters. This could turn 2022 into something more along the lines of 2020 than 2010.
What changed? Dobbs.
The defeat of Roe v. Wade may not end up altering a single Senate race. The Kansas ballot initiative doesn’t have a direct analog on the ballot this fall. But the Supreme Court ruling has upped the energy of the Democratic coalition in tangible ways. ActBlue, the Democratic online fundraising machine, is seeing an incredible spike in donations. And the fact that many small dollars on the Republican side continue to flow to the Donald Trump machine has proven to be a problem for GOP candidates.
The reality is that the level of tribal affiliation requisite to birth a nation-state violates the universalism of contemporary liberalism, which refuses to countenance any form of identity that isn’t purely self-constructed and elective. To severely paraphrase Carl Schmitt, the fundamental task of politics is making the friend-enemy distinction that defines your group in opposition to the Other. That’s a distinction no longer considered legitimate, even where it’s feasible—as in the case of the State of Israel, which is why it catches so much shit from sanctimonious Western countries, many of them ethnostates themselves. It’s also why, as with salons, this new nation-state business feels like a secular version of a Jewish concept—Zionism but without the Judaism.
In his collection of letters On the French Stage, German poet Heinrich Heine recounted a visit he paid to the Cathedral of Amiens in 1837. His accompanying friend asked Heine why nobody built such marvels anymore, and Heine replied:
Dear Alphonse, in those days men had convictions, whereas we moderns only have opinions, and something more is needed than an opinion to build a Gothic cathedral.
Something more is also needed to build a state, whether of the network or regular variety. Our opinions alone, no matter how lit the resulting Twitter threads, simply aren’t equal to the task. Something must stir inside us that says: Here I will die so that my children may one day live. That’s what has motivated every generation of Israeli as it has marched off to a perpetual war of survival; it’s what motivates the fierce resistance of the Ukrainians against the Russian invasion now. Without that, any aspiring state is just a gated community for the working wealthy, much like the ones for old retirees in South Florida. San Francisco and Manhattan are already functionally that: Can modernity produce any new politics, or will our Enlightenment-era nation-state simply die a slow, sclerotic death?
Antonio Garcia Martinez.
The lockdowns that Xi pioneered and Birx so zealously advocated for reportedly led to over 170,000 non-COVID excess deaths among young Americans while failing to meaningfully slow the spread of COVID anywhere they were tried. It would have been impossible for an enemy agent armed with anything less than nuclear weapons to have inflicted so much damage on America’s economy, social fabric, and historical freedoms in such a short period of time.
Notably, though Birx’s memoir has earned relatively few reviews from human readers on Amazon, it’s earned rave reviews from Chinese state media, a feat not shared even by the far more popular pro-lockdown books of professional genuflectors to power like Lawrence Wright.
The glowing response from Chinese state media should come as no surprise. Nearly every sentence of Birx’s book faithfully parrots the Chinese Communist Party’s foreign and domestic propaganda, which helped facilitate Xi’s weaponization of the COVID response to eliminate the independence of the CCP’s private sector rivals.
Sunday, August 7, 2022
Since April, Texas has delivered more than 6,200 migrants to the nation’s capital, with Arizona dispatching an additional 1,000 since May. The influx has prompted Muriel E. Bowser, Washington’s Democratic mayor, to ask the Defense Department to send the National Guard in. The request has infuriated organizations that have been assisting the migrants without any city support.
A vast majority of recent bus riders are Venezuelans fleeing their crisis-ridden country, and many have also been arriving in New York, often via Washington. A bus carrying about 50 migrants arrived in New York from Texas on Friday morning, the first sent directly to the city by the Texas governor.
If enough Venezuelans get sent to DC, maybe they'll vote out their socialist mayor. I assume they'll be allowed to vote.
Now there is a real crisis at work in even finding teachers, many of whom have been massively demoralized not only from the closures but also the vaccine mandates. The Washington Post reports that “rural school districts in Texas are switching to four-day weeks this fall due to lack of staff. Florida is asking veterans with no teaching background to enter classrooms. Arizona is allowing college students to step in and instruct children. The teacher shortage in America has hit crisis levels — and school officials everywhere are scrambling to ensure that, as students return to classrooms, someone will be there to educate them.”
This problem is coupled with the huge demographic upheaval of parents with young families fleeing the blue states for red ones, in search of a better place to raise the ones they love the most.
This might also be a tremendous opportunity for reform, dramatic reform. The education question should not actually be too difficult for any society that considers itself free. Parents want their kids to be educated and many institutions and people are thrilled to be part of the project. It might be heresy to say it, but consider that the entire industry would be better off without any government involvement at any level.
The story of what happened at Tavistock is the story of how small group of whistleblowers—doctors, nurses, parents and patients, together with the help of journalists and reporters—were able to relentlessly expose activist-driven medicine that they knew was irresponsible. It’s also an object lesson for others who are deeply concerned about a one-size-fit-all approach to transgender healthcare and wonder what they should do about it.
Activist driven medicine sounds like a bad idea, especially for the guinea pigs.
Hey there's a joke for you: Who invented transgender medicine -- the politicians or the doctors?
Orban had done two big things: He had consolidated his own power by marginalizing the judiciary, installing loyalists in key positions, amending the Constitution, and taming the free press. And he had done battle with “the elites,” as he and every other populist put it, from Budapest to Brussels. Hungarians loved it.
Every summer for the past dozen years of his premiership, Orban has given an address to the Hungarian diaspora in neighboring Romania where he typically floats outré ideas that outrage Western elites. It was there, in Transylvania, eight years ago, where Orban articulated his concept of “illiberal democracy.”
The speech was remarkable because it framed Hungary’s ongoing tribulations in big, historical terms. Orban explained that there had been the great paradigm shift following World War I, and then World War II, and then the end of Communism in Hungary in 1990—and then the “great Western financial collapse” of 2008, which revealed the bankruptcy of the elites and their betrayal of the middle and working classes in America and Western Europe. It was time, he said, to leave behind the old, Western model and embrace a new, post-liberal future closer to that of Russia, China and Singapore.
This was the message that lit the fuse. It caught like wildfire in the transnational, right-wing ecosystem. It eclipsed Reagan-era conservatism and, two years later, came to life in the form of Donald Trump.
"The great Western financial collapse of 2008" was indeed a betrayal, or the reveal of a betrayal long in progress, of the Western middle classes. But the source of the collapse was basically the central planning by the Fed and other central banks. Along with lots of greed of course, but that's a given. Some or all of it was well intentioned on the part of the Fed and its boffins. How much you think it was depends on whether you view incompetence or malice as your explanatory narrative. I tend toward the former but suspect the latter. Personally, I don't see why Hungary can't be illiberal if a majority of its people want to, given the alternatives. But putting anything like Orban-esque conservatism, or trying to in the USA, would be a major mistake.
It will probably take some time for this to be clear however. I predict this neo-con at home business will turn out about as well as our nation-building efforts did in Iraq. A bonanza for various grifters and scammers ending in tears for most, but lovely second or third homes for the few.
The alternatives sadly also suck. Just think the California model imposed on the whole country, except for hard core holdouts like, one can hope, Utah and Idaho for example.
I see DeSantis as the possible way out. He seems highly intelligent, moderate about some things but cunning and courageous when he needs to be. But the GOP may well split its vote and throw the election to the unspeakable oligarch Pretty Boy Newsome or some other point person. But hope springs eternal.
Some liberals seemed genuinely surprised by the results of the Kansas referendum on abortion. A reliably Republican state, a sweeping pro-choice victory. Who could have foreseen it?
Others suggested that only the pro-life side should be shocked. “The anti-abortion movement has long claimed that voters would reward Republicans for overturning Roe,” wrote Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern. “They are now discovering how delusional that conviction has always been.”
It’s true that activists often tend toward unrealistic optimism. But nobody who favored overturning Roe ought to be particularly surprised by the Kansas result. By the margin, maybe — but a Republican state voting to preserve a right to abortion emphasizes what’s always been apparent: With the end of Roe, the pro-life movement now has to adapt to the democratic contest that it sought.
Fun-loving Canadian dad Daniel Hashimoto successfully converted a household leaf blower into a flamethrower that his children use to “scorch” around their backyard.
James, 11, and Sophia, 7, have declared it “the best toy ever” in a disarming video that’s now incinerating the internet.
“To the children, it was not a deadly weapon, but more a dynamic and giggle-inducing obstacle,” their father Hashimoto, a 39-year-old animation worker from Prince Edward Island, told South West News Service. “They had a friend over to play on the patio, and we decided to let them have some supervised play with this electric leaf blower.”
I hope Trudeau doesn't find out about this.
Voters (rightly) don’t want to see the restoration of law and order become an attack on minority communities. That’s a difficult task politically for two reasons. One is that some left-wing and minority politicians are bound to charge “racism.” It’s their reflexive answer to policies and politicians they don’t like. The second reason is that minority communities are disproportionate sites of violence and property crime — and stopping it often means arresting perpetrators from those same communities.
The difficult political task, then, is to ensure fair, unbiased, and transparent law enforcement, to give those communities the protection they deserve, and to assiduously avoid language and policies tinged with racial undertones.
DeSantis avoided those pitfalls in laying out the case against Andrew Warren. He did it by laying out that case in meticulous detail, without any personal attacks or demagoguery.
A major part of DeSantis’s criticism of Warren was “constitutional.” The vital point here is that legislative bodies, not prosecutors, are responsible for making our laws. The executive branch is tasked with enforcing them, not rewriting them to suit their fancy. Unfortunately, in city after city, that is exactly what “social justice” prosecutors have done. They have simply declined to prosecute whole classes of crimes, laid out in laws passed by state assemblies or city councils.
If a legislature passes laws sanctioning actions A, B, C, and D as crimes, then it’s not up to the district attorney to say “I will only enforce A and B.” He doesn’t have that right or responsibility. It is his right to say “Given my office’s limited resources and the weak evidence against Mr. Jones in this case, I will not prosecute him for C and D.” Ron DeSantis acknowledged as much.
All across the country, however, Justice Democrats have said they will not prosecute whole classes of crimes as a matter of principle. In doing so, they are acting as one-man legislatures. That’s true whether they are elected or appointed. They are still executive officials and are not authorized to ignore whole classes of duly passed laws.
“If Twitter simply provides their method of sampling 100 accounts and how they’re confirmed to be real, the deal should proceed on original terms,” Musk tweeted in the early hours of Saturday morning. “However, if it turns out that their SEC filings are materially false, then it should not.”
The post–George Floyd racial reckoning has hit the field of medicine like an earthquake. Medical education, medical research, and standards of competence have been upended by two related hypotheses: that systemic racism is responsible both for racial disparities in the demographics of the medical profession and for racial disparities in health outcomes. Questioning those hypotheses is professionally suicidal. Vast sums of public and private research funding are being redirected from basic science to political projects aimed at dismantling white supremacy. The result will be declining quality of medical care and a curtailment of scientific progress.
Saturday, August 6, 2022
Recession fears and price pressures haven't tamed Americans' urge to splurge.
Driving the news: Credit-card balances are defying the gravitational pull of stubborn inflation and slower growth. They account for about $890 billion of Americans' staggering $16 trillion in household debt.
Friday, August 5, 2022
Possibly Drunk Man Punches Girlfriend in the Chest, Then Knocks Infant Out of Stroller to the Floor at Disney's Hollywood Studios - WDW News Today
A man fought his girlfriend and grabbed a stroller, knocking their infant daughter to the ground at Hollywood Studios last month, authorities said.
Fortunately, the baby, who was evaluated by Reedy Creek first responders, was not injured by the fall, according to an Orange County Sheriff’s arrest report.
I was going to say this was California man, but it's Orange County, Florida. I'll keep looking.
A photo tweeted by a famous French physicist supposedly of Proxima Centauri by the James Webb Space Telescope was actually a slice of chorizo.
Étienne Klein, research director at France’s Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission posted the photo last week, claiming it showed the closest star to the sun.
That's not funny.
It wasn’t the hottest growth in jobs ever, but it was big and exceeded the pre-pandemic average job growth. Employers added 528,000 workers to their payrolls in July, and 2.79 million over the past three months. Wages jumped, but less than raging inflation, and the number of unemployed people actively looking for work fell to the lowest since the year 2000, at the verge of the dotcom bust.
It was a shock-and-awe disappointment for the recession mongers out there that want a recession more than anything because, according to their thinking, it would “force” the Fed to pivot and start cutting rates – despite what the Fed actually says – and end this horrifying QT in a market that is addicted to QE and will suffocate under QT. They want the Fed to reverse the tightening though it has barely started (way too late), so that stocks can continue to get inflated to the moon.
Someday we’re going to get a recession – eventually there always is one. Knuckling under this raging inflation will likely require a recession, yet a shallow recession might not be enough to get the job done as this inflation is getting more and more entrenched.
But it’s just very tough to have an official recession with this type of labor market, with employment growing and wages growing sharply, and with unemployment falling.
Some people want there to be a recession because it will make the Dems look bad just in time for November elections. Perhaps they want it to linger until 2024 so they can elect a Republican.
The job market may look strong now, but it would be a miracle if it stays strong. But no one would be happier than I if it does; I just don't see how it can.
The Department of Defense denied D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s request for the National Guard to assist with the influx of migrants created by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s busing of migrants to the city, according to a letter reviewed by NBC News.
The letter, from the executive secretary of the Department of Defense, said the city has sufficient funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency that has been given to D.C. nonprofits that can provide the immigrants with shelter and other services.
“After careful consideration the Department has concluded it cannot fulfill your request,” Kelly Bulliner Holly told Christopher Rodriguez, director of D.C.’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency.
Computer scientist Stephen Thaler was dealt another blow in his battle for artificial intelligence machines to be recognized as inventors on patents, after the nation’s top patent court found that inventors must be humans.
The term “individual” in the Patent Act refers only to humans, meaning an AI doesn’t count as an inventor on a patentable invention, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled Friday.
The decision lines up with courts in the European Union, the United Kingdom, and Australia that have refused to accept Thaler’s argument. His only currently existing win is from a South African court that said an AI can be a patent inventor.
Unless the US Supreme Court steps in, the Federal Circuit is typically the final authority on US patent matters—hearing all such appeals from federal district courts and the US Patent and Trademark Office.
"We’re updating our structure and evolving select roles to provide clarity and better position the company for a strong future," a company spokesperson told FOX Business in a statement. "At the same time, we’re further investing in key areas like eCommerce, technology, health & wellness, supply chain and advertising sales and creating new roles to support our growing number of services for our customers, suppliers and the business community."
As inflation continues to surge and linger above a 40-year high, middle-income Americans are now feeling the squeeze along with their lower-income counterparts, economists say. And that could spell deeper pain for the economy starting in the second half of this year.
After the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, handing control over abortion laws back to states, 83 prosecutors across the country signed a letter pledging not to prosecute anyone who performs, abets, or seeks an abortion after 15 weeks. Warren, a Democrat who styles himself a “criminal justice reformer,” was the only Florida prosecutor who joined in this pledge to nullify state law. On Thursday, Warren learned that in red Florida state laws are not a judicial cafeteria from which prosecutors may choose what they like and ignore what they don’t like.
“This 15-week ban is an unconstitutional law,” Warren said in his defense. “The Legislature is hoping courts ignore the Florida Constitution. But I’m upholding the law and protecting the fundamental rights of all Floridians.”
DeSantis is having none of it. “We are not going to allow this pathogen of ignoring the law to get a foothold here in the state of Florida,” DeSantis said in a press conference in Tampa, flanked by several Florida sheriffs and other police officials. “We are going to make sure our laws are enforced and that no individual prosecutor puts himself above the law. To take the position that you have veto power over the laws of this state is untenable.” He added, “’If the law conflicts with your idiosyncratic vision of social justice,’ that doesn’t mean you have veto power over the law.”
Not sure what the Florida law is on this. Whether the Governor has the power to remove the Tampa DA should be a fairly straightforward question, but these are famous last words.
The first convoy of ships carrying Ukrainian grain sailed from the port of Odessa, in a sign that last month’s agreement with Russia on facilitating Ukrainian food exports is holding even as fighting raged across the country.
A convoy consisting of the bulk carriers Navi Star, Rojen and Polarnet left Odessa, Ukraine, on Friday morning carrying nearly 60,000 tons of corn, passing the city whose horizon has been largely clear of vessels since the war began on Feb. 24. In Russian-occupied southern Ukraine, north of the port city, meanwhile, shelling hit a nuclear power plant.
It has been nearly six months since Putin launched his invasion of Ukraine, but for Europe, the worst is yet to come. Already companies are contemplating shutting down production, including aluminium smelters in Slovakia and fertilizer producers in the UK. Corporations need to plan long term, and forward contracts for electricity (which are supposed to lock in energy costs) are at all-time highs for 2023 and 2024.
For the foreseeable future, high energy costs will be the new normal, making the production of everything from food to paper to chemicals more expensive. Furthermore, it is not at all clear to what extent hot water, electricity, and heating will be available in countries like Germany, Austria, Italy, or Hungary – or how the population will react if there should be real shortages in these areas.
Los Angeles Unified School District has adopted a radical gender-theory curriculum encouraging teachers to work toward the “breakdown of the gender binary,” to experiment with gender pronouns such as “they,” “ze,” and “tree,” and to adopt “trans-affirming” programming to make their classrooms “queer all school year.”
I have obtained a trove of publicly accessible documents from Los Angeles Unified that illustrates the extent to which gender ideology has entered the mainstream of the nation’s second-largest school district. Since 2020, the district’s Human Relations, Diversity, and Equity department has created an infrastructure to translate the basic tenets of academic queer theory into K-12 pedagogy. The materials include a wide range of conferences, presentations, curricula, teacher-training programs, adult-driven “gender and sexuality” clubs, and school-sponsored protests.
In a week-long conference last fall, titled “Standing with LGBTQ+ Students, Staff, and Families,” administrators hosted workshops with presentations on “breaking the [gender] binary,” providing children with “free gender affirming clothing,” understanding “what your queer middle schooler wants you to know,” and producing “counter narratives against the master narrative of mainstream white cis-heteropatriarchy society.” The narrative follows the standard academic slop: white, cisgender, heterosexual men have built a repressive social structure, divided the world into the false binary of man and woman, and used this myth to oppress racial and sexual minorities. Religion, too, is a mechanism of repression. During the conference, the district highlighted how teachers can “respond to religious objections” to gender ideology and promoted materials on how students can be “Muslim and Trans.”
Thursday, August 4, 2022
Rand Paul makes his pitch for the plausible suggestion that we not spend tax payer money monkeying about with deadly pathogens to see if we can make them even more transmissible and therefore even more deadly deadly. True, it means fewer peer-reviewed papers will be published. There will be less federal money to be Administered. Our Chinese friends may get less dual-purpose goodies out of it. But on the up side, we might then be able to avoid global pandemics that end up killing 6 million innocents and wrecking, quite possibly beyond repair, the economy of the world. A close call, I know. But I believe our governators have the patience, the diligence and above all, the wisdom to make it. Ah, just kiddin'. But I'm glad Senator Paul is asking.
SEBASTIAN, Fla. (CBS12) — After throwing an urn containing a family member's ashes at someone, a naked man from Sebastian was arrested early Saturday morning.
According to the Sebastian Police Department, 46-year-old Scott Cornwell got into a heated argument with the victim—which escalated when Cornwell threw a glass-style urn at their head.
As officers arrived on scene, they found the victim at a neighbor's house—their face had multiple swollen bloody masses bursting open. The victim was transported to the Sebastian Hospital, where it was later discovered they had a fractured nasal cavity.
Florida man, I guess.
A man who allegedly shot a woman in the neck was killed this weekend when the bullet also hit him, Dallas police said.
Dallas Police officers responded late Saturday morning to reports of a shooting at a residence in the city. Officers found a "large amount of blood and a blood trail," but the apartment was empty, according to a news release.
During that time, police also received a call from a nearby hospital complex that a man and woman with apparent gunshot wounds had been found in a vehicle outside. The man died in the hospital but the woman survived and has since been released, police said.
Not sure how you'd do this. But OK.
The U.S. is running out of time to prevent a cataclysmic war in the Western Pacific. While the world has been focused on Vladimir Putin’s aggression in Ukraine, Xi Jinping appears to be preparing for an even more consequential onslaught against Taiwan. Mr. Xi’s China is fueled by a dangerous mix of strength and weakness: Faced with profound economic, demographic and strategic problems, it will be tempted to use its burgeoning military power to transform the existing order while it still has the opportunity.
This peaking-power syndrome—the tendency for rising states to become more aggressive as they become more fearful of impending decline—has caused some of the bloodiest wars in history. Unless the U.S. and its allies act quickly, it could trigger a conflict that would make the war in Ukraine look minor by comparison.
Hal Brands and Michael Beckley
… they now look as though they will come in mighty handy. As Germany is about to put the cold in “cold turkey” in its winter withdrawal from their addiction to cheap Russian energy, they’re starting to question many of their previous decisions. Earlier this week, the Washington Post reported that Berlin wants to spin up its coal-fueled generation plants to make up for the shortfall in Russian natural gas, along with several other European nations.
To appreciate Hannah Arendt more fully, I offer here a few additional samples of her writings:
The moment we no longer have a free press, anything can happen. What makes it possible for a totalitarian or any other dictatorship to rule is that people are not informed; how can you have an opinion if you are not informed? If everybody always lies to you, the consequence is not that you believe the lies, but rather that nobody believes anything any longer. This is because lies, by their very nature, have to be changed, and a lying government has constantly to rewrite its own history. On the receiving end you get not only one lie—a lie which you could go on for the rest of your days—but you get a great number of lies, depending on how the political wind blows. And a people that no longer can believe anything cannot make up its mind. It is deprived not only of its capacity to act but also of its capacity to think and to judge. And with such a people you can then do what you please.
In a positive first ad in what is expected to be a reelection campaign leading to a 2024 presidential bid, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis features letters from constituents thanking him for keeping the state free and open during the federal crackdown on COVID-19.
The video ad posted by the Florida Republican Party marks the opening of his reelection effort and touches on his coronavirus fight, his battles with liberal media, and his matter-of-fact style of governing.
New York (CNN)Americans are piling up credit card debt as they struggle to keep up with the high cost of living.US household debt surpassed $16 trillion for the first time ever during the second quarter, the New York Federal Reserve said Tuesday.Even as borrowing costs surge, the NY Fed said credit card balances increased by $46 billion last quarter.Over the past year, credit card debt has jumped by $100 billion, or 13%, the biggest percentage increase in more than 20 years. Credit cards typically charge high interest rates when balances aren't fully paid off, making this an expensive form of debt.The NY Fed said the credit card binge at least partly reflects inflation as prices rise at the fastest pace in more than four decades.
I've blogged this before and I'll blog it again. Cut back, sheeple! Let the rich people spend their money! Or if you must spend, buy stuff that you can sell for more later, like maybe silver? I find stories like this scary.
The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits edged higher last week, hovering near the highest level of the year — the latest sign that the historically tight labor market is starting to cool off.
Our recessionary boom gets more recessionary and less boomish.
Sri Lanka may be the first modern nation to adopt deliberate policies that have led to mass hunger and bankruptcy. The government, for a variety of reasons, listened to foreign advocates of back-to-nature organic farming, specifically outright abandonment of highly effective synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.
The result was endemic crop failure. Cash crops for export failed. Widespread hunger followed. Without foreign exchange, it became impossible to import key staples like food and fuel.
Sri Lanka once had a per capita income twice that of nearby India. Now it cannot feed or fuel itself.
Unfortunately, its incompetent government trusted radical environmental advisors, many of them foreign experts. Sri Lanka believed it could become the woke darling of the "Environmental, Social, Governance" movement, and in that way draw in unlimited Western woke investment.
Instead, it has embraced a policy of national suicide.
Recently, a group of 55 distinguished pro-administration economists assured us that President Joe Biden's massive borrowing and new entitlements agenda were not inflationary. In September 2021, these economists with 14 Nobel prize winners among them declared that Biden's inflationary policies would actually "ease" inflation.
Last month, inflation spiked to an annualized rate of 9.1%.
None of these "blue-chip" economists have offered any apologies for lending their prestige to convince Americans of the absurd: that inflating the money supply, spiking new government spending, incentivizing labor non-participation, and keeping interest rates artificially low would not cause inflation.
A Nobel Memorial Prize means never having to say you're sorry. Not that it would do much good anyway.
Justice Alito followed the standard that Chief Justice William Rehnquist laid down in Washington v. Glucksberg (1997), which rejected a claim that the Constitution protects a right to physician-assisted suicide. Glucksberg held that the 14th Amendment’s Due Process Clause protects individual rights if and only if they are “deeply rooted in this nation’s history and tradition” and “implicit in the concept of ordered liberty.”
Unlike assisted suicide and abortion, parental rights fit squarely within the “deeply rooted” standard. The Supreme Court recognized that parents’ rights were constitutionally sacrosanct nearly a century ago, in Meyer v. Nebraska (1923) and Pierce v. Society of Sisters (1925). Both decisions were written by Justice James McReynolds, and both dealt with a vast intrusion of government power into traditionally private matters driven by the World War I-era push for a domestic monoculture to serve the nation’s wartime exigencies.
The critics often misunderstand how the Bureau of Economic Analysis calculates GDP. The BEA is a Commerce Department agency staffed by hundreds of professional economists and statisticians and one I know well since I oversaw it as undersecretary of commerce in the 1990s. This week, the BEA reported that the nation’s GDP, adjusted for inflation, declined at an annual rate of 0.9 percent in the second quarter, following a 1.6 percent decline in the first quarter. That sounds dispiriting, but behind the headline numbers, the basic growth elements provide a more encouraging gauge of the economy’s path and prospects.
It may not be a recession, but it'll do until the real one comes along.
Wednesday, August 3, 2022
San Diego Unified is the latest school district to adopt the principles of academic queer theory and translate them into K-12 pedagogy, with the ultimate goal of dismantling “heteronormativity” and promoting a constellation of new sexual identities, such as “genderqueer,” “non-binary,” “pansexual,” and “two-spirit.”
I have obtained a range of publicly accessible documents from San Diego Unified that reveal the district’s new ideology. The materials follow the basic premise of queer theory: white Europeans created a false “gender binary” and used the categories of “male” and “female” to dominate racial and sexual minorities. A San Diego Unified training for facilitators of LGBTQ student groups argues that this system of “heteronormativity” forces students to conform to these norms: they are “assigned” a sex at birth, pressed into the identities of “man” and “woman,” and expected to have heterosexual relationships culminating in “marriage (and kids).” This “gender binary,” however, is arbitrary, socially constructed, and harmful. It is, in the words of the presentation, a “limited system [that] excludes and oppresses trans, nonbinary, intersex, and gender-nonconforming people.”
Oh dear. I'm glad I don't have any kids in San Diego public schools. This is the most urbanized part of San Diego County, so it doesn't include us out chere in the county. But still, many, many parents in the city will not be happy about this.
Crypto prices plunged this year, but Drew Larsen says that is no concern.
Over the past two years, Mr. Larsen, 54, has poured about 10% of his savings into cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, Ethereum and solana. He believes it is a smart hedge for his investment portfolio, the rest of which is in real estate, stocks and bonds. But more than that, he feels a deep connection to the idea of digital assets, which makes the pain of bitcoin’s plunge this year a lot more bearable.
“I actually do think it has the potential to save the world,” said Mr. Larsen, a founder of two software companies who now lives in Colorado with his family. So far, his crypto holdings have lost about 40% in value this year.
If you ask Michael Saylor why he bet the future of his company on bitcoin, he’ll tell you he didn’t have a choice.
In 2020, MicroStrategy Inc.’s MSTR 12.73%▲ stock was stagnant, and the tech company struggled to compete with software giants. “We were either going to die a fast death, or a slow death, or embark on a risky strategy,” he said.
He opted to buy bitcoin—lots of it. That decision backfired, badly. On Tuesday, MicroStrategy announced Mr. Saylor would step down as CEO, a position he has held since 1989, amid mounting losses tied to bitcoin.
Bitcoin is down now, but it may not stay down.
In February, Ukraine passed a law allowing private cloud providers to host government data outside its borders, then struck contracts with Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Corp., Oracle Corp. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google.
Days later Russia invaded, and a missile destroyed a data center in Kyiv where information had been stored, said Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine’s minister of digital transformation. “All of the backups were already transported to other European countries and no damage was done,” he said.
Big tech companies face intensifying criticism at home over their influence in the marketplace and public square. But at the same time their role in Ukraine shows how they are becoming a key asset in the West’s rivalry with Russia and China.