Wednesday, September 22, 2021
Comedy fans around the world were shocked to hear about the passing of Norm MacDonald after it was announced that the famous comedian, actor, and writer lost his nine-year private battle with cancer at age 61 last Tuesday. MacDonald was best known for his role on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” in the ’90s, in addition to comedic movie classics such as “Billy Madison” and “Dirty Work.” While MacDonald’s impact on the comedy world will live on forever, his sudden and unexpected death has made for a difficult reality to accept.
MacDonald is survived by his son Dylan MacDonald, a USD alum and graduate from the English department. Dylan MacDonald enjoyed great success as a writer during his time here at USD. In 2015, he was awarded ‘Fiction runner-up’ for an original piece in the ‘2015-2016 Lindsay J. Cropper Creative Writing Contest.’ Dylan MacDonald also shared his father’s interest in comedy, forming a sketch comedy group with friends in 2011 and posting videos to their YouTube channel.
Norm MacDonald often appeared on his YouTube show wearing one of his many USD sweatshirts or t-shirts.
As Dunning, a psychology professor at the University of Michigan, says, "if you're incompetent, you can't know you're incompetent. The skills you need to produce the right answer are the very same skills you need to recognize the right answer."
As Bertrand Russell said, "one of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision."
Or as my grandfather said, "the dumber you are, the more you think you know."
This is click bait. Sorry. But it makes me think about how I used to think I was very smart and now I don't think that so much. But is this because I really am smart enough to realize now that I'm not that smart, or just that I have gotten older, decayed mentally, and so really am not so smart anymore? Could it be some of both? Ah well. Time for lunch.
Fake News: Leftists, Liberal Media Push Narrative That Border Patrol Agents Whipped Haitian Migrants
The left says the border patrol agents on horses are whipping Haitian migrants. Except…I don’t see whips. I see reins.
This is a good an example of fake news as you'll ever see.
Somewhat relevant. Being one of the mounted Border Patrol officers is one of the best jobs you can get on a horse or in the BP. These guys can really ride. That's what I hear anyway.
Chinese scientists wanted to genetically engineer coronaviruses that were more infectious to humans and then conduct experiments on live bats about 18 months before the first COVID-19 cases emerged — but a US Department of Defence agency rejected the funding proposal, leaked documents reveal.
Watch the Peak Prosperity video below to get the whole story.
US President Joe Biden will host a much-touted first-time in-person summit meeting of the leaders of the Quad – the United States, India, Australia and Japan – at the White House on September 24.
For the American president, this is the frontline of a foreign policy clearly aimed at confronting China. The announcement of a secretly negotiated deal to provide nuclear submarines to Australia only underscores the importance of this event.
No one seems to have noticed, however, that the man representing Japan, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, will be gone from office within days of the White House summit.
Somewhat orthogonally, I'll note again that Biden is not doing such a bad job on his Indo-Pacific relations portfolio. I'm sure Biden does not have much to do with it, beyond reading scripts. However, I'm not sure Trump would have done as well, though he might have. The US has stepped up to the plate with Australia and told the French, none too politely, it's true, that it's time for them to take a hike. Good on 'im.
This is a must watch, though it gets somewhat technical. It also makes me really angry, and not much does any more. In short, it really does look now like DRASTIC has come up with evidence that strongly supports the hypothesis that Covid came from a lab and that our friend the spiky virus was manipulated so that scientists could see what *that* would be like. And almost worst -- except that the virus escaped and *killed millions of people* -- the virologists then circled the wagons and systematically lied their heads off about the likely origins of the virus. And of course some of us were called conspiracy theorists for even holding that the lab leak had to be looked at.
This is serious stuff. A crime of great proportion -- millions of dead and millions more seriously ill, some possibly for life! There has be accountability for this. The CCP of course, but the American scientists as well. You could start with Fauci and Daszak. I'm not optimistic but I won't forget either, and many of us won't.
Campus Reform | UW-Madison department to faculty: participate in annual 'anti-racist' experience, or lose your pay raise
Some faculty and staff members at the University of Wisconsin-Madison will be required to participate in annual "anti-racist practices" or will forfeit "pay plan and merit increases.
The move, announced Aug. 23 on the school’s website, applies to the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. Staff in this department will be required to “participate annually in at least one experience that enhances their understanding of diversity, equity, inclusion and anti-racism.”
Staff will be required to document these experiences in their annual activity reports and self-evaluations and is required in order to be considered for departmental awards and salary increases.
Mandatory compliance with the policy will begin in the fiscal year 2023.
Depending of what this training actually consists of, this could be grounds for a lawsuit. Or perhaps several!
Biden's first border chief accuses administration of destroying security, misleading Congress | Just The News
In a stunningly blunt warning to senators, President Joe Biden's just-departed Border Patrol chief is accusing the administration of intentionally eroding security to bring illegal aliens into the country and misleading Congress about the severity of the crisis.
Rodney S. Scott, a 29-year career law enforcement officer who retired last month as the U.S. Border Patrol chief, wrote the Democratic and Republican leaders of the Senate and its Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee that career experts have offered numerous recommendations to slow the crisis but have been repeatedly rebuffed.
Shocking but not surprising.
‘Partisan hacks’: Law school dean criticizes SCOTUS justices appointed by Republicans | The College Fix
The incoming president of the Association of American Law Schools and the dean of Cal Berkeley’s law school said the Supreme Court is full of “partisan hacks.”
Professor Erwin Chemerinsky made his comments in a September 19 Los Angeles Times opinion piece titled, “Are Supreme Court justices ‘partisan hacks’? All the evidence says yes.”
Justice Amy Coney Barrett recently criticized the notion of the Court being full of “partisan hacks” during a speech at the [Mitch] McConnell Center at the University of Louisville Law School.
It's nice to work in such an ideologically balanced, impartial and politically neutral profession. What?
What we have watched in this little flare-up is a sequence of events that is repeated again and again to the deliberate detriment of our nation. Law enforcement officers are forced into unprecedentedly tough situations by politicians and try their darndest to do their jobs under the hostile scrutiny of left-leaning critics and media bent on attacking and undermining them. Inevitably, a fraught scene is videoed that can be maliciously distorted by people who know nothing of what law enforcement requires. And then the topmost donkeys in Washington make groveling appearances on cable TV and betray the lions they command and who are doing the hard and thankless work. The inevitability and disingenuousness of it all make one’s gorge rise.
Our immigration policy is often too harsh and too lax at once, treating lawbreakers better than people who play by the rules and passing unforgiving laws that are inconsistently enforced. Even by those standards, Joe Biden is making it up as he goes along. Our southern border is wildly insecure, but that is not much consolation to desperate Haitians being herded onto airplanes back home.
Tuesday, September 21, 2021
Arguments for restricting disinformation consistently focus on the harm that such speech can potentially cause, without analyzing other issues that should be considered before concluding that censorship is justified. First, it is important to underscore the important fact noted above: The harmful potential of disinformation—unlike constitutionally punishable forms of false speech—is indirect and speculative. While the old nursery rhyme is wrong in declaring that “words will never hurt me,” it is equally untrue that “words will always hurt me.” The impact of speech on a single human mind, let alone an entire community or society, results from the complex interplay of multiple factors, and hence cannot be confidently predicted, or even clearly assessed after the fact. For example, what has been the net impact of disinformation about the 2020 election? Surely disinformation spurred some negative outcomes, including motivating participants in the events of Jan. 6. Just as plausibly, though, disinformation about the election spurred some positive outcomes too, including increased efforts to promote healthy skepticism, media literacy, fact-checking, and other measures that would remain necessary even if disinformation were censored. Because we can never completely eliminate the supply of disinformation, the most effective response is to curb the demand for it.
A retired professor says these are “scary times.”
I’m retired but I worked for decades as a scientist in industry, and also taught for many years as an adjunct in both community colleges and at a private university, going clear back to 1972 and through 2016.
I like many have seen unbelievable changes over those decades.
Anyone who doesn’t think that the politically correct “thought police” control the agenda, and what is allowed to be discussed at most colleges today doesn’t have a clue.
If you don’t largely align with the “woke” and their agenda and view, you shut up, or your career is effectively over.
Few if any really speak their minds today. They may agree with some but not all of the views and goals of the PC, but you don’t express that. There is no real debate about any cultural, political or social issue among faculty today. And you guard what you express in class of course.
It’s insane. And those in academia today know well of what I’m saying. We’re not headed in a good direction as far as having a climate where honest differences in views can be expressed and discussed in colleges today.
Today, the “woke” define what is right and acceptable. If you disagree, one way or another you’ll be cancelled. They of course think they’re right and you’re totally wrong.
Most with any sense see the hypocrisy and fascism. Scary times.
That's about the size of it.
Facebook’s Oversight Board will review the company’s practice of holding its high-profile users to separate sets of rules due to inconsistencies in the social media honcho’s decision making.
The review comes after an investigation by the Wall Street Journal into the system, known as “cross-check” or “XCheck,” which was created to oversee accounts of celebrities, politicians and journalists. According to documents viewed by the Journal, it grew to include millions of accounts.
Facebook told its Oversight Board that its system for high-profile users was only used in “a small number of decisions.”
Michael McConnell will get his chance to weigh in on this.
Does a professor have the right to say ‘China virus’? At UDallas, the answer is no. | The College Fix
Countless academics have kept their eyes down and mouths shut as our colleagues have been attacked online or administratively over the things they’ve said or done.
Now, cancel culture has come to our campus, University of Dallas. But I will not be silent.
The University News, the student-run newspaper, published an article Thursday accusing history Professor William Atto of “misnaming COVID-19” on his syllabus.
The print edition of the article suggested he faced some sort of disciplinary action for it although an updated online version toned down such rhetoric.
The article was published more than three weeks after the professor was attacked on social media for his choice of words, and reports that “University practice is to refer to this virus as COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2 in accord with medical and scientific literature.”
The print version, published Thursday, called it a “policy,” however, and alluded to “disciplinary actions.”
As chair of the History Department, it was news to me — and likely all faculty — that the university has a policy on referring to COVID. If it does in fact have such a policy, it certainly was not circulated before faculty drafted their syllabi in August.
As the chair of the History Department, I can also testify that no actual student ever approached Professor Atto with their concern. If they had, they might have discovered that this was a downright decent human being — a pro-life, Christian family man who has dedicated his life to teaching young people about history.
I can additionally confirm that no student, parent or alumni has approached me with their concern about one of the faculty members in my department. I have not been informed of any civil rights complaint — anonymous or otherwise — against Professor Atto. I haven’t received a single line of communication from social media warriors in my inbox.
The controversy leading up to the newspaper article started as we began our fall 2021 semester.
Boy does this sound familiar. We should all follow this controversy closely.
The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office said evidence has revealed that the defendants targeted the victims because they assumed the women – who were almost all of Asian descent – carried cash. There are numerous incidents where victims were pulled or wrestled to the ground during the robberies. Some victims were injured.
Monday, September 20, 2021
It drives conservatives and libertarians crazy that woke ideas often have more purchase in the private sector than in the public sector. Private universities, for example, seem “more woke” than public universities.
Still, you read it here first (or maybe not): The halls of power in Washington just aren’t that woke! They are nothing like Twitter or Google or Yale University.
Yes, many woke opponents cite the role of government and the fear of lawsuits as forces driving woke behavior and corporate attachment to wokeism. And surely they have a point. Yet in much of the corporate and nonprofit world, wokeism is not merely a reflexive defense against lawsuits. It is embraced with enthusiasm.
Wokeism has passed a market test that has been going on for decades. That should give pause to anyone seeking to dismiss it.
Conclusion: What is America, really?
Why is the debate over wokeism so wide and deep? In part it is a function of the internet. But it is also because it is the intellectual equivalent of potboiler, implicating politics, race, ethnicity, gender, education and international relations. All it needs is a subplot about luxury real estate.
I don't know. Seems like a lot of codswallop to me. Wokeism could be like any other deeply unfriendly ideology -- take your pick; there's a lot of them out there -- that leads what's left of civilization to devastation or even just to stagnation and mediocrity. That's what it looks like to me, and I don't even need a counter-intuitive explanation for this view.
Maspeth High School created fake classes, awarded bogus credits, and fixed grades to push students to graduate — “even if the diploma was not worth the paper on which it was printed,” an explosive investigative report charges.
Principal Khurshid Abdul-Mutakabbir demanded that teachers pass students no matter how little they learned, says the 32-page report by the Special Commissioner of Investigation for city schools, Anastasia Coleman.
“I don’t care if a kid shows up at 7:44 and you dismiss at 7:45 — it’s your job to give that kid credit,” the principal is quoted as telling a teacher.
I'm sure this happens a lot.
Omar calls on Schumer, White House to 'ignore' Senate parliamentarian on path to citizenship | Fox News
"This ruling by the parliamentarian, is only a recommendation. @SenSchumer and the @WhiteHouse can and should ignore it," Omar said. "We can’t miss this once in a lifetime opportunity to do the right thing."
MacDonough said the provision was "a policy change that substantially outweighs the budgetary impact of that change," as it would change the immigration status of 8 million people. She also said it would raise the deficit by an estimated $140 billion over 10 years.
Those darn rules. Always getting in the way of once in a lifetime opportunities to do the right thing.
The far right says Jews aren’t white enough — that they appear to be white, but are, in fact, loyal to the people who are sullying the “real” America. This was certainly the motivation of the white supremacist who walked into Tree of Life and massacred 11 Jews. Meanwhile, the left says the opposite. It says we Jews are too white to be oppressed. It says, indeed, that we are the exemplars of white privilege, capable, as we are, of changing our Lifshitzes into Laurens and passing. And to make matters worse, Jews support Israel, which, they insist, is not Jews’ indigenous homeland but the last bastion of white colonialism in the Middle East.
In this way, Jews are being successfully transformed into neo-Nazis in the public imagination at the very moment that we are being targeted by actual neo-Nazis.
But unlike the alt-right, whose hatred is unabashed and familiar to a people who survived Hitler, those who promote this big lie — the lie of the Jew as the white man and the uber-imperialist — are our leading intellectuals, magazine editors, book authors and influencers.
I've often thought of converting to Judaism, but that would require me to learn Hebrew which, let's face it, is not going to happen. There's also the issue of bacon. I could become a Reform Jew, but that would not really count in my book. So it's gentile life for me it seems. Catholicism is quite a bit like Judaism in fact, at least in its original form. And especially with Pope Francis at the top, to take the opposite point of view, you do not need to learn Latin or much of anything, really.
MODS TO BIDEN: BIF NOW OR BUST — Sen. KYRSTEN SINEMA (D-Ariz.) delivered a tough message to President JOE BIDEN at a private meeting Wednesday, we’re told: If the House delays its scheduled Sept. 27 vote on the bipartisan infrastructure plan — or if the vote fails — she won’t be backing a reconciliation bill.
Those darn moderates. Always moderating.
T here is a long game and a short game going on in special counsel John Durham’s indictment of Democratic Party lawyer Michael Sussmann on a false-statements count.
The short of it is this: A false statement was allegedly made by Sussmann to the FBI’s then-general counsel, James Baker, on September 19, 2016. In federal law, the false-statement crime has a five-year statute of limitations, meaning it had to be charged by this Sunday (September 19, 2021). Consequently, even if Durham would probably have preferred to wait until his full investigation was concluded before filing indictments, by delaying beyond Sunday, he would have lost what appears to be an eminently provable felony charge. If he was going to indict Sussmann on this conduct, it was now or never.
This is a complicated story. Sigh.
This was a welcome ruling, all things considered. I don’t see any path forward for the Democrats’ amnesty plans at this point and the same should apply to the rest of the wish list items. If Democrats want to push through those agenda items, they need to make a better case for them and convince their colleagues or win more elections and secure a supermajority in the upper chamber. Of course, that option may be easier said than done, judging by their current approval ratings and the general mood of the nation.
We'll have to see how "crushing" it actually is.
If you see a video of a toddler being dragged off a plane for not masking correctly, you can be sure the video was taken in America.
In what has become a bizarre ritual of over-the-top rule-following zealotry coupled with misplaced and unscientific COVID fear, another child was pulled off an airplane last week for not wearing a mask correctly.
Leaks just exposed how toxic Facebook and Instagram are to teen girls and, well, everyone | Siva Vaidhyanathan | The Guardian
In one piece, the Journal revealed that Facebook maintains a private registry of very important people, including celebrities and politicians, who are exempt from the strict content-posting rules that govern the rest of us.
A second article was even more powerful in its indictment of Facebook and its leadership. The Journal showed that Facebook’s own researchers had documented the psychological dangers that Instagram, which Facebook owns, poses to teenagers, especially teen girls.
Here’s how Facebook’s internal documents and presentations put it: “We [Instagram] make body image issues worse for one in three teen girls,” and “Teens blame Instagram for increases in the rate of anxiety and depression. This reaction was unprompted and consistent across all groups.” Internal studies showed that, among teens who reported suicidal thoughts, 13% of British users and 6% of American users traced the desire to kill themselves to Instagram.
That's about the size of it. To be fair, Facebook was venturing into the substructure of our society and "breaking things" that maybe should not have been broken. Bit of a puzzle for us free market types.
More than half of the country’s governors would like a moment of the president’s time – and soon: Twenty-six Republican governors are urging Joe Biden to do more to address the deteriorating situation along the southern U.S. border.
“As chief executives of our states,” they write in a letter postmarked for Monday and first obtained by RealClearPolitics, “we request a meeting with you at The White House to bring an end to the national security crisis created by eight months of unenforced borders.”
As the article goes on to note, this is an "unwelcome distraction" when the WH is working on its infrastructure bill. A border wall would seem to be a sensible bit of infrastructure about now.
MONCTON, N.B. — Anyone age 12 or over attending a gathering at Catholic churches, rectories or community centers under the responsibility of the Archdiocese of Moncton must present proof that they are fully vaccinated, the archdiocese announced Friday.
The new policy applies to all religious celebrations, Sunday and weekday Masses, baptisms, wedding and funerals, parish and pastoral meetings, catechesis, and social meetings.
The archdiocese's announcement comes in the wake of new provincial government rules set to take effect Tuesday requiring proof of vaccination to access certain events, services, and businesses. Fewer than 50 people have died from COVID-19 in the province of New Brunswick since the pandemic began, according to government statistics. But provincial officials say they are concerned about a recent uptick in cases and hospitalizations.
Commandment 0: Thou shalt signal thy virtue, for else who art the world supposed to know of it?
Sunday, September 19, 2021
Seven thousand years ago, societies across Eurasia began to show signs of lasting divisions between haves and have-nots. In new research published in the journal Antiquity, scientists chart the precipitous surge of prehistoric inequality and trace its economic origins back to the adoption of ox-drawn plows.
Their findings challenge a long-held view that inequality arose when human societies first transitioned from hunting and gathering to agriculture. According to the researchers, it was not agriculture per se that ushered in substantial wealth inequalities, but instead a transformation of farming that made land more valuable and labor less so.
Senate parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough on Sunday dealt a significant blow to Democrats' plan to provide 8 million green cards as part of a sweeping spending package, warning it doesn't comply with tight rules that determine what can be in the bill.MacDonough's guidance, a copy of which was obtained by The Hill, likely closes the door to Democrats using the spending bill to provide a pathway to citizenship for millions of immigrants.
MacDonough, in her guidance, called the Democratic plan "by any standard a broad, new immigration policy."
"The policy changes of this proposal far outweigh the budgetary impact scored to it and it is not appropriate for inclusion in reconciliation," she wrote in the ruling obtained by The Hill.
8 *million* new green cards? Just like that?
This is the kind of opportunity which may come once in a lifetime.
Every Democratic senator and representative has already voted for the outline of a $3.5 trillion spending bill. No matter what lies they tell back home about being moderates, their names are right there in the Congressional Record. When it mattered, there were no moderate Democrats. The only Democrats serving in Congress were unanimously willing to vote for big-government socialism.
The bill essentially deputizes a number of activist groups by giving them authority to pick the membership of this committee. Teachers’ unions, the ACLU, and other groups would determine who would sit on the “Commission for Anti-Racism and Equity in Education.” According to the bill text, each of these groups would get to select one member for the commission: the Massachusetts Teachers Association; the American Federation of Teachers of Massachusetts; the Boston Teachers Union; the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents; the Massachusetts Association of School Committees; the Massachusetts Commission on Indian Affairs; the Collaborative of Asian American, Native American, Latino and African American Institutes of the University of Massachusetts Boston; the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts; the North American Indian Center of Boston; the NAACP, Boston Branch; the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston; the Massachusetts Community Action Network; the Massachusetts Education Justice Alliance; the Massachusetts Commission on LGBTQ Youth; the Cape Verdean Association of Boston; the Asian American Commission; and the Parents Union of Massachusetts.
This should be illegal! For one thing, it's insane. Handing over official authority to these activist groups? Unelected, I might add. Something like this is being attempted or was being attempted in Coronado. I'm tempted to say something like "Wake up, Sheeple!"
The offstage nature of these tradeoffs allows preference proponents to deny that diversity decisions entail a zero-sum calculus. In 2019, a U.S. district court judge upheld Harvard’s racial-admissions preferences after a lengthy trial. In her opinion, Judge Allison Burroughs insisted that race is only a positive factor, and never a negative factor, in Harvard’s admissions process. Such a claim is specious. The only reason that institutions implement racial preferences in the first place is that there are not enough qualified applicants among non-Asian minorities to achieve a racially proportionate student body or workforce under a meritocratic selection system. Hiring a diversity candidate under a preference regime almost always means not hiring a more qualified non-diverse candidate. The former’s gain is inevitably the latter’s loss.
Now a British classical music organization has inadvertently ripped the veil off the diversity arithmetic, and the consequences may be far-reaching. Earlier this month, the English Touring Opera told nearly half its orchestral musicians that it would not be renewing their contracts for the 2022 season because it has “prioritised increased diversity in the orchestra.” In other words, as a bunch of white guys you must be cleared out so that we can boost the collective melanin levels among our musicians. Your talent does not matter; your skin color does.
Did Judge Borroughs really say race is only a positive factor but never a negative factor? Didn't she have to study arithmetic in grade school? Doesn't she know that adding 1 to one side of the equation has the same effect as subtracting 1 from the other? Well, at least it helps explain the outcome of the case. You don't have to be Professor Tao (CalTech, Math)to see how that's going to work out.
If Supreme Court justices don’t want to be seen as “partisan hacks,” they should not act like them.
In a speech last week at the McConnell Center at the University of Louisville Law School, Justice Amy Coney Barrett said, “This court is not comprised of a bunch of partisan hacks.” She added, “Judicial philosophies are not the same as political parties.”
Setting aside the irony of uttering these statements at an event honoring Sen. Mitch McConnell, who blocked the confirmation of Merrick Garland to the court and rushed through the confirmation of Barrett precisely because of their ideologies, the reality is that time and again the court’s Republican majority has handed down decisions strongly favoring Republicans in the political process.
Does Barrett really expect people to believe that is a coincidence?
Oh good gracious. Erwin Chemerinsky calls the Supreme Court 'partisan hacks' or as good as. That's right. Erwin Chemerinsky. It recalls the Biblical injunction concerning logs in your own eye. In this case, Dean Chemerinsky would have to see around a whole lumberyard. As you might expect, my views on the politics of the Court are so nuanced as to be practically inexpressible, but in my view Erwin disqualified himself from making these sorts of criticisms loooooong ago.
Less than 12 hours after the game, the Coronado Unified School District’s board blasted the "racism, classism, and colorism which fueled the actions of the perpetrators." The California Interscholastic Federation soon stripped the championship from the high school, imposed sanctions on all of its sports programs (yes, even women’s lacrosse) and made racial sensitivity training one of the conditions for redemption.
It was not until nearly two months later that I learned what had been reported was wildly inaccurate. Programs like the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) No Place for Hate had been quick to brand the teenagers on the team as racist but it was a 40-year-old man named Luke Serna that had brought the tortillas. He has been described by the townspeople as a Coronado alum who had not been to a game all year, a latino, a president of a local union and a political activist with ties to the island’s left-wing groups that advocate for critical race theory (CRT). It was this man who told the players, cheerleaders and fans to throw the tortillas in the air in celebration if Coronado won.
O great. So it was a 40 year old CRT activist who provoked this whole sorry incident? One of the victims (if this account is true) was the Coronado basketball coach, JD Laaperi, who is the son of the long-time and much-loved former principal of the elementary school all of our four boys went to. I was embroiled in my own falderal about the same time or I would have reported on it already. RTWT.
Texas Tech University has reportedly shut down an anti-racism diversity training that separated students, faculty and other participants by skin color.
“Upon reviewing materials from the ‘Deeply Rooted Conversations’ discussion series, we learned that some of the content does not align with our university values, and we have discontinued this program,” Matt Dewey, a spokesman for Texas Tech University, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
The racially segregated session, part of the “Deeply Rooted Conversation Series,” was first brought to light by Young America’s Foundation through a public records act request.
Video footage obtained by the foundation of one of the Deeply Rooted sessions showed faculty and students being divided into two groups, a “BIPOC affinity space” and an “ally affinity space.”
Now, The Lancet has agreed to publish an alternative commentary which discusses the possibility that laboratory research might have played a role in the emergence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
It also directly confronts the efforts of science journals to stifle debate by labelling such theories as 'misinformation'.
In the article, the authors argue that 'there is no direct support for the natural origin of SARS-CoV-2, and a laboratory-related accident is plausible'.
They add that the February 2020 statement 'imparted a silencing effect on the wider scientific debate'.
And they say scientists, 'need to evaluate all hypotheses on a rational basis, and to weigh their likelihood based on facts and evidence, devoid of speculation concerning possible political impacts'.
PARIS (AP) — France’s foreign minister on Saturday denounced what he called the “duplicity, disdain and lies” surrounding the sudden rupture of France’s lucrative contract to make submarines for Australia in favor of a U.S. deal and declared that a crisis is at hand among the Western allies.
A day after France recalled its ambassadors to the United States and Australia, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian pummeled what he suggested was a backroom deal that betrayed France.
This is just speculation on my part, but I suspect there was "a backroom deal" between the PRC and some high level French officials at least regarding these buggy, outdated French submarines Australia was a some point supposed to get. The AUKUS deal throws a money wrench in all of that. The French aren't acting like a party that deeply cares about the security of the West. If the French weren't actually trying to betray NATO and the Aussies with this deal, then it's too bad they have to take one for the team. But either way, Australia needs a serious navy and they need it now, and France just has to accept that.
Gov. Kathy Hochul has gone ahead and ordered masking not just for all schoolchildren but for tots age 2 and up in day care. This is, without question, not just senseless but positively harmful.
There’s plenty to debate in many anti-COVID measures, but children under 6, without question, should not mask.
Yes, the Centers for Disease Control bureaucrats — with the White House pushing for advice that will please the teachers unions — recommend masking for all schoolkids (and faculty), even down to preschool. But the World Health Organization says under-6s shouldn’t mask.
Crucially, most of Europe doesn’t require it — and it hasn’t been a problem. Spain, France and Italy don’t require 5-and-unders to mask; Britain has done away with masks in schools entirely. And none has seen any spike in juvenile cases as a result.
Young children, as the world has known for months now, just aren’t prone to contract or transmit the coronavirus. Even the few who contract it are rarely symptomatic.
And masking is terrible for many of them: They’re still at a stage of growth where seeing faces and expressions is vital to developing cognitive and social skills. Children with certain disabilities, in particular, need to see teachers’ faces and lips to learn.
I agree with this, unless the Science is much different than what one media-obsessed law professor can be expected to figure out.
Wearing a mask makes no sense for me either, or so says my Covid-paranoid MD spousal unit. For my students, yes, she says, but for me, since I'm socially distant from them, I shouldn't have to. But I do anyway of course. Got to pick your battles. It makes a difference in my teaching and in my class. But there may be some good that comes of it. I imagine everyone having an entranced face on when I talk, like they're all just riveted to what I'm saying.
This is a piece about the professionalization of children’s sports — and how that professionalization has transformed and degraded the desire to play, the desire to be part of something, even just the desire to move into class-siloed, life-swallowing regimentation. Somewhat ironically, this regimentation is fueled by its hazy promise (or at least a hope) to bypass the American class system and secure a route — through college scholarship, or, less commonly, through actual professional play — to stability.
In this way, professionalized kids’ sports manage to distill the decades’ long hollowing of the middle class and the quietly frantic parenting reactions to that destabilization. Participation is cloaked in the casual language of “fun” and “teamwork” and “we’re just doing it because our kid loves it so much,” justifications that only bolster the broken economic systems that have rendered the route to professionalization so attractive.
This dynamic is playing out in my family in a particularly heartbreaking way. Maybe I'll tell you all about it sometime. For now I'll just say, it would be a good thing if a kid who was pretty good at basketball could get a place on the school team instead of kids from God knows where who are recruited in, sometimes from out of the US, just to play basketball or football, against other teams who are doing the same thing. It's good for those kids, sure, and good for the coaches who are recruited in as well, and good I presume for money raising efforts at this private high school (though some public schools do the same thing). But it's bad for my kid, and a lot of other kids who are also pretty good but not UCLA/Stanford/USC/Arizona State etc., etc. good at sports. It is all f*&^ked up and we're not even done with it.
One line, however, seems to reverberate for those of us who have followed this scandal for years now: “You do realize that we will have to expose every trick we have in our bag.”
That warning from an unnamed “university researcher” captures the most fascinating aspect of the indictment in describing a type of Nixonian dirty tricks operation run by — or at least billed to — the Clinton campaign. With Nixon, his personal attorney and the Committee to Re-Elect the President (CREEP) paid for operatives to engage in disruptive and ultimately criminal conduct targeting his opponents. With Clinton, the indictment and prior disclosures suggest that Clinton campaign lawyers at the law firm of Perkins Coie helped organize an effort to spread Russia collusion stories and trigger an investigation.
Well, I hope this at least affects Perkins, Coie's recruitment efforts. Would you want to work for the firm that ran Hillary's dirty tricks operation? Maybe you would, but a lot of people would not.
There’s just something disconcerting about the threat of being hauled in because you don’t have the ‘right’ answers to questions. It’s like Tolkien’s Lidless Eye – it’s always watching you, it’s always there. It puts pressure on you to conform to the moral orthodoxy.
spiked: What impact did this have on you?
Boghossian: I don’t want to make out that I’m some kind of a victim. If I had stopped asking questions, if I had just bowed my head and put my pronouns in my bio, everything would have been fine. But I made a conscious, deliberate choice not to do that. I’m not saying I brought it on myself, but I don’t want people to read this and think that even I have bought the victim mentality.
It's not like this at my small and formerly cute law school, but I'm informed it's just a matter of time -- but I don't buy it, I suppose because I can't imagine it. However, my imagination has proven wrong in the past. I am aware that this is what people always say: I didn't imagine things would get this bad.
Don a beautiful dress, let helpers carry the train, have fun and ignore the inevitable charges of hypocrisy. She should have adopted the philosophy of another frequent guest of that gala, Kate Moss: never complain, never explain.
Instead, A.O.C. tried to have it both ways. The socialist Jackie O. Vogued in a virtue-signaling garment with an anodyne slogan, expressing a view that a majority of Americans already hold.
Rather than Owning It, she put out a bloviating statement on Instagram, chalking up all criticism to sexism and racism.
“Honestly our culture is deeply disdainful and unsupportive of women, especially women of color and working class women (And LGBTQ/immigrant/etc),” she wrote. Really, the working-class card, at the Met gala? She added: “The more intersections one has, the deeper the disdain. I am so used to doing the same exact thing that men do — including popular male progressive elected officials — and getting a completely different response.”
I found this statement to be at the intersection of disingenuous and hilarious, coming from the woman who is a phenomenon and a trailblazer in wielding image and social media to her advantage.
Her response was cynical. And it wasn’t the first time that she had failed to consider that people can disagree with her without disagreeing with her identity.
Maureen Dowd goes all Irish on AOC.
Before the pandemic I once built a column around the psychiatrist-blogger Scott Alexander’s concept of “the scissor,” which describes a controversy or idea or event perfectly calibrated to divide people while making them think that the other side is bonkers. Arguably Covid’s death rate makes it a perfect scissor: It’s high enough to make the alarmed feel vindicated, but still low enough that many skeptics feel vindicated as well.
Indeed. And if gravity were even .00000001 percent stronger, we wouldn't have had Covid at all.
Saturday, September 18, 2021
With the AUKUS pact, Australia will join six other nations — the US, UK, Russia, India, France, and China — in deploying nuclear submarines, assuming the deal goes forward as planned. Prior to this new alliance, the US had shared its submarine technology only with Britain.
In addition to the advantages of nuclear submarines, Australia’s previous deal with France — a $66 billion submarine contract, finalized in 2016, that would have provided Australia with 12 conventional, diesel-powered Barracuda submarines — has been rife with difficulties.
The deal with France was only canceled on Wednesday, just hours before Morrison announced the AUKUS agreement in a teleconference with Biden and Johnson, but it had already begun to unravel — falling behind schedule as costs nearly doubled — when Australia approached the US about acquiring its submarine technology shortly after Biden took office earlier this year.
In June, Australian Defense Minister Scott Moriarty signaled in a Senate hearing that the original deal was proving untenable, Politico reports, and that Australia was pursuing other options should the pact fall apart.
On top of cost overruns and delays, there were other issues as well. Shortly after Australia and France reached the agreement in 2016, the French shipbuilder, then called DCNS, revealed it had been hacked and documents related to a separate Indian submarine project exposed. And while France’s submarine technology — conventional, diesel-powered attack vessels that could be switched to nuclear power — may have made sense when Australia’s relationship with China was less contentious, that relationship has soured recently due to China’s aggressive foreign policy in the Pacific and elsewhere.
Millions talk to Amazon’s voice assistant every day with mostly mundane commands, like “play music” or “set timer 11 minutes for pasta”. At Houston Methodist hospital the very same technology instead hears: “Start surgery.”
Over the past year, a tie-up between the network of eight hospitals and its cloud computing arm Amazon Web Services has led to voice activation being built into an experimental operating theatre, powered by much of the same technology found in the Alexa assistant. The commands start running through vital steps in the operation, allowing the surgeon to verbally confirm when he or she has taken certain actions, such as administering anaesthesia.
Time to start being nice to Alexa. She not only knows everything about you. Soon she'll be doing your bypass.
A new page in the history of nuclear energy could be written this September, in the middle of the Gobi Desert, in the north of China. At the end of August, Beijing announced that it had completed the construction of its first thorium-fuelled molten-salt nuclear reactor, with plans to begin the first tests of this alternative technology to current nuclear reactors within the next two weeks.
Built not far from the northern city of Wuwei, the low-powered prototype can as yet only produce energy for around 1,000 homes, according to the scientific journal Nature.
But if the upcoming tests succeed, Chinese authorities will start a programme to build another reactor capable of generating electricity for over 100,000 homes. Beijing could then become an exporter of a reactor technology that has been the subject of much discussion for over 40 years, according to French financial newspaper Les Echos.
I think the French are involved in this somehow.