Friday, April 12, 2024

Pope Francis Shuts Down the Cafeteria - WSJ

To act against nature is to degrade it, and to act against reason. Pope Francis quotes Benedict’s famous address to the British Parliament on the slave trade—that “misuse of reason” gave rise to that evil and to the totalitarian ideologies of the 20th century. Benedict established the link between nature and human nature more explicitly at the Bundestag in Berlin in 2011. Reason demands that we respect both.

“Something is wrong in our relationship with nature, that matter is not just raw material for us to shape at will, but that the earth has a dignity of its own and that we must follow its directives,” he said to his countrymen. “We must listen to the language of nature and we must answer accordingly. . . . Man too has a nature that he must respect and that he cannot manipulate at will.”

Failure to do so leads to obvious tension, such as opposing genetic modification of crops but allowing puberty blockers for minors. Or hailing Pope Francis for his concern about the climate while ignoring his insistence that marriage is a part of a healthy human ecology. In each case, the world has lost its sense of nature.

This hints at the metaphysics behind the disputes over sex and “gender identity.” Is my body, my identity, something over which I exercise autonomous power, so that my will can determine what and who I am? Or do I have a nature that I and others must respect? While that needn’t be a theological argument, it often is. For if I can remake myself into something contrary to my given nature, I desire to be a creature no longer but a creator, a god.

The debate over dignity is a debate about who God is. The Catholic answer: Only God is God—we aren’t.


Fr. Raymond J. de Souza

April 12, 2024 | Permalink | Comments (0)

The IRS Is Here to Help With Direct File. Oh No - WSJ

So far it’s a bust. The IRS predicted “several hundred thousand” would use direct file. But as Monday’s tax deadline approaches, sources tell us the IRS has accepted fewer than 60,000 returns via Direct File—about 0.003% of the eligible pool. Until this week the agency had failed to enable users to import crucial details to validate their returns before filing.

The U.S. tax code has long been an honor system in which Americans prepare their own returns subject to IRS review and audit. But progressives want to give the IRS power to present taxpayers with nonnegotiable tax bills. The Direct File pilot is aimed at simple returns, but the eventual goal is to include complex returns too. The IRS would be able to veto deductions or credits up front. And good luck appealing, since the IRS will judge that too.

Sen. Warren is selling Direct File as an alternative to “greedy, reckless” tax preparation firms. It’s a scandal the tax code is so complicated it requires such help, but that’s the fault of Congress.


Does any know what Senator Warren's net worth is? I've seen conflicting reports. Asking for a friend. In any event, I suggest she go first.

April 12, 2024 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Netanyahu meets top officials as fears of Iran attack on Israel grow

Tensions are high over the possibility that Tehran will retaliate for an air strike that killed senior Iranian commanders nearly two weeks ago.

US officials have told CBS News, the BBC's US partner, that a "challenging" major attack on Israel could happen imminently.

Israel has said it is ready "defensively and offensively".

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to meet members of his war cabinet, including Defence Minister Yoav Gallant and opposition figure Benny Gantz.

One US official CBS spoke to warned Iran could use more than 100 drones, dozens of cruise missiles and possibly ballistic missiles.

These would reportedly be aimed at military targets in Israel.

The official added that there was still a possibility Iran could decide to hold back.


I suggest we pay Iran a really spectacular bribe. Maybe an entire transport plane, filled with cash (gold is too heavy). If we start printing now, we could have enough in a week.

April 12, 2024 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Say, Did You Hear About Hamas' Plan to Enslave the Jews? – HotAir

But these elites have apparently had enough of Hamas. They told Eldar that their leadership had succumbed to "messianic insanity" to such an extent that they had drawn up new political maps of Israel to distribute political power after the conquest. That was bad enough, but Hamas' plans for the Israelis that survived might just as well have come from the pages of Mein Kampf:

So detailed were the plans that participants in the conference began to draw up list of all the properties in Israel and appointed representatives to deal with the assets that would be seized by Hamas. "We have a registry of the numbers of Israeli apartments and institutions, educational institutions and schools, gas stations, power stations and sewage systems, and we have no choice but to get ready to manage them," Obeid told the conference.

That was merely delusional. The next steps recall some of the worst recorded evils in history:


Well that's not good. So neither malice nor stupidity, but a rich combination of both.

April 12, 2024 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Leonard Leo won't comply with Senate Democrats' subpoena in Supreme Court ethics probe - CBS News

Washington — Conservative judicial activist Leonard Leo said he will not comply with a subpoena issued by Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee as part of their ongoing investigation into ethics practices at the Supreme Court.

The subpoena was issued to Leo by Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin on Thursday, months after Democrats on the panel voted to authorize it. Durbin has been looking into ethics issues at the high court for roughly a year following a series of reports that revealed Justice Clarence Thomas took luxury trips with a Republican megadonor, Harlan Crow, and did not disclose them. Crow, a Texas real estate developer, did not receive a subpoena from Durbin, a spokesman for Crow said.

"Mr. Leo has played a central role in the ethics crisis plaguing the Supreme Court and, unlike the other recipients of information requests in this matter, he has done nothing but stonewall the committee," Durbin said in a statement. "This subpoena is a direct result of Mr. Leo's own actions and choices."

Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, said that Leo's "outright defiance left the Committee with no other choice but to move forward with compulsory process."

Leo's lawyer, David Rivkin, told Durbin in a letter Thursday that his client is not complying with the "unlawful and politically motivated subpoena" he received. 

"I am not capitulating to his lawless support of Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and the left's dark money effort to silence and cancel political opposition," Leo, who has played a crucial role in the confirmations of several of the conservative Supreme Court justices, said in a statement. Leo is the co-chairman of the conservative Federalist Society.


April 12, 2024 | Permalink | Comments (0)

NPR in Turmoil After It Is Accused of Liberal Bias - The New York Times

NPR is facing both internal tumult and a fusillade of attacks by prominent conservatives this week after a senior editor publicly claimed the broadcaster had allowed liberal bias to affect its coverage, risking its trust with audiences.

Uri Berliner, a senior business editor who has worked at NPR for 25 years, wrote in an essay published Tuesday by The Free Press, a popular Substack publication, that “people at every level of NPR have comfortably coalesced around the progressive worldview.”


NPR biased?! You might as well say that the BBC is biased. Ludicrous. As a semi-loyal NPR listener for many, many years I can say it has always been biased, even very biased, until 2016 when it became *extremely* biased. Sort of like law schools, one could say. The arc of history is long, but it bends towards chaos. No, I don't mean that. It's not so bad.

April 12, 2024 | Permalink | Comments (0)

New York Times Bosses Seek to Quash Rebellion in the Newsroom - WSJ

The New York Times is investigating itself.

Over the past several weeks, Charlotte Behrendt, a top Times editor in charge of probing workplace issues in the newsroom, has summoned close to 20 employees for interviews to determine whether staffers leaked confidential information related to Gaza war coverage to another media outlet.

It is the latest internal crisis at the Times, where management has been at odds with factions of the newsroom over union negotiations and coverage of sensitive topics like the transgender community and social justice. 

Reporting about the Gaza war has been a particular flashpoint, especially over an in-depth article that found Hamas weaponized sexual violence in the Oct. 7 attacks on Israel. Some staffers questioned the reporting behind it and alleged that the suffering of Gazans isn’t getting the same attention. Times leaders in March said they stand by the reporting.

The internal probe was meant to find out who leaked information related to a planned podcast episode about that article. But its intensity and scope suggests the Times’s leadership, after years of fights with its workforce over a variety of issues involving journalistic integrity, is sending a signal: Enough.


April 12, 2024 | Permalink | Comments (0)

How a cult captured the NHS - UnHerd

Pity poor Dr Hilary Cass, the eminent paediatrician charged with managing an independent review of NHS gender services for young people, whose final report was published this week. Given the hair-trigger sensibilities of interested parties, she seems to have been unable to state unambiguously that now-popular treatments for young people confused or distressed by their sexed bodies are blatant quackery: keeping pre-pubescent kids in suspended chemical animation on the basis of a single, discredited study; dosing teenagers liberally with opposite-sex hormones; or — when a child reaches the tender age of 18, though even earlier in other countries — empowering her to have major body parts cut off.

Instead, time and again in Cass’s report she is forced back into the conceit that the most pressing problem for contemporary gender medicine is the lack of good evidence for such interventions either way. It is as if a modern-day medic had been tasked with reviewing the efficacy of trepanning, and then ordered to defend her findings in front of fanatical fifth-century devotees. “It’s not that drilling a hole in a child’s skull to release demons is necessarily harmful, you understand — indeed, it may be the best outcome in some cases. The main issue is the lack of long-term follow up.”

Alongside Cass’s cumulatively devastating account of reckless decision-making, poor evidential standards, and patchy record-keeping at Gids and elsewhere, a whole section of the report gently attempts to educate its readership about “the components of evidence-based medicine” — complete with basic explainers about randomised controlled trials, blinding processes, and the possibility of bias. She might as well be addressing an archaic people who have just emerged blinking from a time capsule, still convinced that disease is God’s punishment for insufficient acts of propitiation.


April 12, 2024 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Scandal Rocks Biden's Labor Dept For Lying About Sharing Non-Public Inflation Data With Secret Group Of Wall Street "Super Users" | ZeroHedge

A little over a month ago, a scandal erupted among the (relatively small( group of economists who keep a close eye on the monthly inflation data reported by the Biden Department of Labor, when they learned that there is an even smaller, and much more exclusive group of economists called "super users" who get preferential treatment from the BLS, including wink-wink-nudge-nudge explanations of where the data may diverge from expectations. That was the case for the January CPI when as Bloomberg first reported, the BLS sent an email to a group of data “super users”, which "explained suggested a surge in a measure of rental inflation — which left analysts puzzled — was caused by an adjustment to how subcomponents of the index are weighted":

Once it became public knowledge that there was a super secret group of preferential "accounts" receiving economic data, immediately following the Bloomberg report, a recipient of the email said that BLS Statistics "tried to retract it and that they were told to disregard its contents." Almost as if they were trying to hide it after the fact.

In retrospect, it appears the BLS really did have something to hide, because in a follow up from both the NYT and Bloomberg, we now learn that an economist from the Bureau of Labor Statistics was corresponding on data related the monthly CPI print with major firms like JPMorgan and BlackRock, in what Bloomberg said "raised questions about equitable access to economic information."


Almost sounds like insider trading.

April 11, 2024 | Permalink | Comments (1)

April 11, 2024: Most of the Hostages Are Dead, U.S. and Israel Say

Mainstream reporting is catching up to The Scroll’s speculations. In our March 25 edition, Tablet’s geopolitical analyst wrote:

My guess is that most or all of the hostages are dead and their bodies are buried deep in tunnels—which is why these “negotiations” don’t and can’t go anywhere. The reason the hostages are dead is that moving them around became a clear strategic liability, while their gruesome accounts of torture and rape at the hands of their captors would only further inflame Israeli and perhaps world opinion against Hamas. The eventual report of their deaths will be merely a “drop in the bucket” next to the “tens of thousands of dead Gazans.” 

The Israelis are obviously constrained from saying this because it is speculative—and giving Hamas an excuse to kill any surviving hostages would be morally questionable and politically explosive, which obligates them to go through the motions. On the other hand, assuming an 80% or higher probability that some version of this scenario is right, which only grows over time, “the fate of the hostages” is no longer sufficient to constrain Israeli action.

Following reports from earlier this week that Hamas could not produce 40 living hostages as part of a deal, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday:

Around 130 remaining hostages taken in the attack are still in Gaza. Of those, Israeli officials have publicly confirmed that 34 are dead, but Israeli and American officials estimate privately that the number of deaths could be much higher. ...

Some U.S. estimates indicate that most of the hostages are already dead, U.S. officials familiar with the intelligence said. They stressed, however, that U.S. visibility on the hostages is limited and depends, in part, on Israeli intelligence. Some were likely killed during Israeli strikes on Gaza, the officials said, while others have died from health issues, including injuries suffered during their initial capture.


Puts Hamas's "negotiations" in a different light.

April 11, 2024 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Berkeley Law students flunk First Amendment 101

But the First Amendment doesn’t protect disrupting events at people’s homes — and a UC Berkeley law student should know that.

Disrupting someone else's event is antithetical to free speech, and it’s been happening way too often on college campuses — including at Stanford Law School with Judge Kyle Duncan, a "Free Speech on Campus" event at SUNY Albany, and even during a lecture about black holes.

Protesters have every right to engage in peaceful, non-disruptive protest. Here at FIRE, we proudly defend that right all the time. But they do not have the right to go onto someone else's property and take over their event.

This incident can serve as a valuable lesson. As the home of the Free Speech Movement, where students once came together to demand their First Amendment rights, UC Berkeley is the perfect place to teach it.


Something akin to chickens coming home to roost.

April 11, 2024 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Rand Paul: Fauci, 15 Agencies KNEW About Wuhan’s CORONAVIRUS Research—Interview


April 11, 2024 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Opinion: Sean Penn, Barbra Streisand, Imagine Dragons tell Congress to fund Ukraine | CNN

Ukrainians are fighting for their existence. On territory that Russia occupies, it tortures Ukrainian citizens, kidnaps Ukrainian children and murders Ukrainian leaders. On territory Russia can reach with its weapons, it strikes civilians and rescue workers. Russian missiles, drones and bombs destroy churches and monuments to the Holocaust. Russian occupation threatens Ukraine’s Muslims, the Crimean Tatars.

Russian leaders say openly that their goal is the destruction of the Ukrainian state and the elimination of Ukrainians as a people. Russian propagandists threaten genocide almost every day. Right now, Russia is using missiles and glide bombs to destroy the ancient and beautiful city of Kharkiv, once home to 1.5 million people, just as Russia destroyed Mariupol, Aleppo and Grozny.

Ukrainians are also fighting for our safety and for everyone’s freedom. By resisting Russian dictatorship, they show that democracy can defend itself. By defending their borders, they are protecting the international order and holding off chaos. By fighting Russia alone, they protect Europe. By showing how hard offensive operations are, Ukrainians make a Chinese war in the Pacific less likely. By fighting a conventional war against a nuclear power, they are making nuclear proliferation and nuclear war less likely.


So I'm on the same side as Barbara Streisand and Sean Penn. Who woulda thunk it? I would know little about Ukraine if my son hadn't gone there after college and ended up marrying a (great) Ukrainian woman and staying there. All of the points made in this letter strike me as sound, however nutty are some of the people espousing them. I will simply add in my trip to Kyiv and in following the news, I've learned what is only too obvious to the Ukrainians. For whatever reason, they are fighting a force of profound evil, led by Putin. The analogy to Tolkien's orcs is apt. Yes, I know, monsters are easy to find in history, but the Ukrainians have definitely found them. They are fighting for their freedom. It's really that simple. We are part of the reason they are fighting, how we encouraged them. But fighting they are, and this is a fight to the death, as much as the Warsaw Ghetto or Bastogne were, with little ambiguity about who the good guys and bad guys are. The cost to us is relatively cheap and the Ukrainians are like Israelis in their craftiness and grit in fighting. If we don't help them win this war, they may end up losing it. Then it will be an open sore of shame on America for a generation to come, and will do nothing to advance the cause of liberty at home either. And the Ukrainians will be either dead or have fled to Europe, which won't do Europe any good either. I guess this makes me not a post-liberal, nor a nationalist, nor even an America-firster. So it goes. I'm confident Jefferson, Madison and other guys I like would be like me.

April 11, 2024 | Permalink | Comments (0)

State Farm indicates where in San Diego homeowner’s policies won’t be renewed: Report – NBC 7 San Diego

State Farm, California's largest homeowner's insurance provider, has indicated where it will not be renewing policies, and hundreds and hundreds of San Diego residents will be affected, according to a document provided by the California Department of Insurance.

State Farm will discontinue coverage for 72,000 houses and apartments in California starting this summer, the insurance giant said this week, nine months after announcing it would not issue new home policies in the state. Approximately 30,000 of those are homeowner policies.

The hardest hit community in the state is in Orinda, just east of Berkeley in the Bay Area, where State Farm will not be renewing 1,703 policies in the 94563 ZIP code, which represents 55% of the city's homeowner policies. That is the highest number of nonrenewals for one ZIP code in the state. The next highest is in Los Angeles.

In San Diego, the community with the greatest amount of policies not being renewed is Rancho Santa Fe, where 600 policies, more than half written for the tony community, will not be renewed. A wide swathe of communities in San Diego, not necessarily contiguous, are affected by State Farm's decision. The table below breaks out the ZIP codes that are most affected but does not come close to covering all the affected properties.


April 11, 2024 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Inflation never went away - Washington Examiner

In addition, continued inflation has illustrated the painful fact that the effect of increased prices is cumulative. When inflation slows, as it did after peaking at 9.1% in mid-2022, prices still go up. A politician — say, Joe Biden — can make “inflation is going down” a campaign mantra when prices are still, in fact, going up. “Inflation is not subsiding. It is rising again,” conservative economist Stephen Moore said on Fox Business on Monday, before the new numbers came out. “Look at all of the indicators.”

This is obviously terrible news for consumers. A recent Fox News poll asked the basic question: “Are you better off or worse off financially today than you were four years ago, or about the same?” Fifty-two percent said they were worse off, 22% said they were better off, and 26% said about the same. Given today’s inflation numbers, the worse-off majority is even more worse off now.

Politically, it is more bad news for Biden, whose massive, never-before-seen spending policies contributed to the growth of prices. The Fox News poll found that the economy, broadly defined, is the most important issue for voters in 2024 — 61% of respondents said it was “extremely” important to their vote. And much of Biden’s campaign pitch is that “Bidenomics” is working for the public. Wednesday’s news strongly suggested that is not the case.


Byron York.

We're going to have our Argentina moment, but not yet evidently.

April 11, 2024 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Harvard Will Require Test Scores for Admission - The New York Times

Harvard will reinstate standardized testing as a requirement of admission, the university announced Thursday, becoming the latest in a series of highly competitive universities to reverse their test-optional policies.

Students applying to enter Harvard in fall 2025 and beyond will be required to submit SAT or ACT scores, though the university said a few other test scores will be accepted in “exceptional cases,” including Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate tests. The university had previously said it was going to keep its test-optional policy through the entering class of fall 2026.

Harvard was one of nearly 2,000 colleges across the country that dropped test score requirements over the last few years, a trend that escalated during the pandemic when it was harder for students to get to test sites.

Dropping test score requirements was widely viewed as a tool to help diversify admissions, by encouraging poor and underrepresented students who had potential but did not score well on the tests to apply. But supporters of the tests have said without scores, it became harder to identify promising students who outperformed in their environments.


So Harvard drops an idiotic policy that anyone could have seen would result largely in many promising students not having a chance to get into Harvard. Probably a good thing, but not for Harvard. Congratulations to it for deciding to stop smashing its head against the wall.

April 11, 2024 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Biden's Support Slips With Black Men as Trump Makes Inroads, WSJ Poll Finds - WSJ

President Biden faces a dual-natured challenge to shore up his support with Black Americans, one of the Democratic Party’s most loyal constituencies.

Perhaps the most urgent: More Black men said they plan to back Donald Trump this fall, according to a recent Wall Street Journal poll of seven swing states.

While most Black men said they intend to support Biden, some 30% of them in the poll said they were either definitely or probably going to vote for the former Republican president. There isn’t comparable WSJ swing-state polling from 2020, but Trump received votes from 12% of Black men nationwide that year, as recorded by AP VoteCast, a large poll of the electorate.

In the WSJ poll, 11% of Black women said they were either definitely or probably going to vote for Trump. In 2020, the AP poll found, 6% of Black women nationwide backed Trump.


So do Blacks who vote for Trump automatically become White? Asking for a friend.

April 11, 2024 | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Pretenders -- Back on the Chain Gang

Great tune. In an '80s kinda mood this morning.

April 11, 2024 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Idaho Governor: No, We Aren't Playing the Pronoun Game Here – HotAir

Idaho Governor Brad Little signed House Bill 538 on Monday. This means that Idaho school districts will soon have to remove any requirements that teachers use the preferred pronouns of transgender students.


The legislation enacts protections for public employees, including teachers, who are unwilling to use someone's preferred name and pronouns. Idaho Statehouse Republicans overwhelmingly supported it. 

Teachers will no longer be allowed to refer to a student by a name or pronoun that doesn't match their birth sex unless the teacher has parental consent. Teachers have the right to sue their school district if they are disciplined for refusing to use a transgender student's preferred name or pronoun. 

The governor's spokeswoman said that he “supports policies that advance free speech and parental rights.” She said the bill does both


Idaho! In the news! Again!

The key term above IMO is "unless the teacher has parental consent."

April 11, 2024 | Permalink | Comments (0)

O.J. Simpson, Athlete Acquitted of Murder, Dies of Cancer at 76 - The New York Times

O.J. Simpson, who ran to fame on the football field, made fortunes as a Black all-American in movies, advertising and television, and was acquitted of killing his former wife and her friend in a 1995 trial in Los Angeles that mesmerized the nation, died on Wednesday. He was 76.

The cause was cancer, his family announced on social media. The announcement did not say where he died.

A jury in the murder trial, which held up a cracked mirror to Black and white America, cleared Mr. Simpson, but the case ruined his world. In 1997, a civil suit by the victims’ families found him liable for the deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald L. Goldman, and ordered him to pay $33.5 million in damages. He paid little of the debt, moved to Florida and struggled to remake his life, raise his children and stay out of trouble.


I remember I was teaching Contracts when the NG murder verdict came in. Cheering broke out in the class. That's when I realized, one time anyway, that I wasn't in Kansas anymore, as the saying goes. I miss Kansas.

April 11, 2024 | Permalink | Comments (1)

85-year-old Idaho woman fatally shot home intruder in 'heroic' act of self-defense

An 85-year-old Idaho woman shot and killed an intruder in her home in what a county prosecutor called "one of the most heroic acts of self-preservation I have ever heard of."

Bingham County Prosecutor Ryan Jolley said in a case review that the woman, identified Wednesday as Christine Jenneiahn, acted in self-defense and ruled it was a case of justifiable homicide.

"That Christine survived this encounter is truly incredible," Jolley wrote. "Her grit, determination, and will to live appear to be what saved her that night."


Don't mess with Idaho women. Even the old ones.

H/t JS.

April 11, 2024 | Permalink | Comments (0)

‘He had no chance’ Ilya Bakharev thought joining the Russian army would be a ticket to exoneration. His unit mates tortured him to death. — Meduza

Like countless other Russian men, Ilya Bakharev thought joining the war against Ukraine was a path to redemption. Though he wasn’t recruited directly from prison, Ilya had a criminal record, and he spoke openly to his wife about his hope that going to war would keep their son from seeing him as just an ex-con. His desire to restore his reputation through military service only grew after a botched attempt to join the Kremlin-controlled mercenary group Redut — so he signed a contract with the Russian Defense Ministry. But Ilya’s efforts to curb his fellow soldiers’ drinking quickly made him enemies within his own unit, and according to multiple eyewitness accounts, he was brutally tortured to death within a few months of deploying to Ukraine. Journalist Lilia Yapparova looked into Ilya’s story for the independent journalists’ cooperative Bereg. Meduza shares an abridged English-language translation of her reporting. 

Warning: The following story contains graphic descriptions of violence.


Those darn Russians. Always torturing people to death.

April 11, 2024 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Resurgent inflation looms over Joe Biden’s White House bid

A new rise in US inflation is undermining Joe Biden’s re-election message, threatening the president’s effort to defend his economic record in a crucial phase of the campaign against Donald Trump.

The 3.5 per cent annual increase in the March consumer price index followed a 3.2 per cent gain a month earlier, and has made it suddenly much harder for Biden to argue that inflation is continuing to move steadily downwards since hitting a multi-decade peak in the summer of 2022.

If followed by other higher than expected inflation figures in the coming weeks, it could also lead the Federal Reserve to push back interest rate cuts that would bring relief from high borrowing costs for many American households this year.

Even though the US economy has created more than 15mn jobs under Biden’s watch, the jump in inflation during his tenure has cast a cloud over his handling of the economy and remains one of his biggest political weaknesses heading into the November vote.


I don't see Trump as an inflation fighter either. All politicians love to spend money and tax us when they have to to keep the game going, it seems.

April 11, 2024 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Sonia Sotomayor's retirement is a political IQ test

Sonia Sotomayor, one of the three remaining liberal Supreme Court justices, will turn 70 years old in June, is diabetic and had one parent who died at a young age. There are some offsetting factors at work — women live longer than men, and Sotomayor undoubtedly has access to world-class health care. So I’m not going to pull out an actuarial table or pretend to precisely estimate her lifespan. However, there is clearly a chance that Sotomayor will die or become unable to carry out her duties before Democrats again control both the presidency and the Senate.

I am not the only person to bring up this touchy subject. Josh Barro has been advocating for Sotomayor to retire. And the issue has reached the mainstream: Democratic Senators Richard Blumenthal and Sheldon Whitehouse have also not-so-subtly encouraged her to find the exit door.

However, I’m going to be more blunt than any of them. If you’re someone who even vaguely cares about progressive political outcomes — someone who would rather not see a 7-2 conservative majority on the Supreme Court even if you don’t agree with liberals on every issue— you should want Sotomayor to retire and be replaced by a younger liberal justice. And — here’s the mean part — if you don’t want that, you deserve what you get.


Isn't there a case for her not retiring, from the Democrat point of view? They would be under tremendous pressure to nominate a man or woman who is both of the left and of color, thus teeing up affirmative action as a major issue, right before the election as well. Not sure they'd be eager to do that.

April 10, 2024 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Can the Cass Report really be enforced? - UnHerd

Given the increasing polarity among professionals on the matter, Dr Hilary Cass, a former President of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, was employed by the NHS to conduct a review of the published evidence on the use of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones in children and young people with gender dysphoria. In March 2021, she concluded that they had not been able to find evidence “strong enough to form the basis of a policy position”. It was clear then, at least to those paying attention, that the evidence needed to justify the existing clinical practice in Gids did not exist. And yet, it wasn’t until last month that the NHS announced it would no longer be offering puberty blockers to young people in England and Wales.

Today, as Cass finally publishes the results of her wide-ranging review, the reason seems obvious: her 388-page report concludes that, for most young people, up to the age of 25, “a medical pathway will not be the best way to manage their gender-related distress”. Commenting further on the lack of evidence, she states that not only is there no way for a clinician to accurately determine who will continue to identify as trans for life and who won’t, but that the fundamental rationale for using puberty blockers in the first place “remains unclear”. She speaks of the need to balance medical innovation with the potential “creep of unproven approaches into clinical practice” and calls for the use of “standard evidence-based” interventions instead.


Something in the UK still sort of works, though in a better system none of this would ever have happened.

April 10, 2024 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

The latest medicalised self-harm: amputation - UnHerd

Sensational news from late last week, that doctors amputated two fingers for a 20-year-old patient to alleviate the young man’s mental distress over being able-bodied, contained a buried clue: “He related his condition to gender dysphoria.”

It’s long been asserted by patients and doctors that the bodily dysphoria experienced by transgender people is very similar to another condition that is treated by cutting off body parts. Until recently, both conditions elicited horror, but today the gender variety is treated as heroic, while the other still evokes revulsion.

The amputee-wannabe condition was formerly known as apotemnophilia but is now called body integrity disorder (BID) or body integrity identity disorder (BIID). This condition is hugely important in our era of trans flags and nonbinary pronouns, not because a 20-year-old will live out the rest of his life with eight fingers but because it suggests another way of looking at “gender affirming care” without ideological sugarcoating.


Say it ain't so, O Canada!

Today, Canada, tomorrow Minnesota.

April 9, 2024 | Permalink | Comments (0)

I’ve Been at NPR for 25 Years. Here’s How We Lost America’s Trust. | The Free Press

It’s true NPR has always had a liberal bent, but during most of my tenure here, an open-minded, curious culture prevailed. We were nerdy, but not knee-jerk, activist, or scolding. 

In recent years, however, that has changed. Today, those who listen to NPR or read its coverage online find something different: the distilled worldview of a very small segment of the U.S. population. 

If you are conservative, you will read this and say, duh, it’s always been this way.

But it hasn’t.


NPR has gone from being really bad to really, really bad. I miss the old NPR.

April 9, 2024 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Mike Johnson’s Ukraine Moment - WSJ

The press is preoccupied with the political maneuvering, but the larger strategic picture is that Ukraine is struggling to hold its lines of defense against Russia. The Institute for the Study of War estimates that the Russians have seized about 300 square kilometers of territory since January, albeit at high cost. The Ukrainians are short of ammunition and air defense. Absent an infusion of U.S. weapons, Ukraine will have to make harrowing choices about which ground to relinquish.

In other words, two years of U.S. support and valiant Ukrainian resistance could still result in a victory for Vladimir Putin. The U.S. would look like a feckless friend, and Europe would be the most unstable since Stalin was on the march. America’s friends and foes in Asia and the Middle East will recalculate their strategic risks and opportunities.

Donald Trump is capitalizing on the GOP discontent with President Biden’s Ukraine policy and says he wants to negotiate an end to the war. But Vladimir Putin doesn’t—except on his terms. Mr. Trump will have a stronger hand if Ukraine improves its position between now and next year, which means that more weapons now are in Mr. Trump’s political interest.


The US's support of Ukraine is the right thing, though probably for the wrong reasons. We should prefer this, though many apparently disagree, to doing the wrong thing for the right reasons. We should also support Israel. Between Biden and Trump, I hope we muddle through to the right results.

April 9, 2024 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, April 8, 2024

The American Left’s Milošević Moment - Tablet Magazine

Not satisfied with Balkanizing the United States, the American political and media establishment is injecting the Milošević model into the rest of the world as well. The U.S. State Department is pushing aggressive “equity”-based policies on the world at large and, as the Croatian Canadian who goes by the pseudonym Niccolo Soldo has pointed out, is also training activists in Europe in the arts of wokeness and anti-racism. As politicians in New York and Chicago are discovering, the present-day, large-scale migration into the United States and Europe is quite stressful for polities to manage. Matters become far more grave when you realize that elements of the United States government are using their country’s cultural and political hegemony to convince masses of incoming migrants to think of local Americans and Europeans the same way rampaging Serbian Chetnik death squads thought of the Muslims they spent large chunks of the 1990s brutalizing and killing.

Bosnia became a cauldron of tribal hatred in the 1990s because of its combination of real-world ethnic diversity and age-old animosities and historical wounds that were deliberately inflamed by politicians and media figures. The entire Western world may soon discover what it means to live in such a society.


April 8, 2024 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, April 7, 2024

Most promiscuous countries in the world revealed: Here's how America scores

The World Population Review’s data jibes with research released last year by NapLab, which also found that Americans had slept with 10.7 people over the course of their lifetime.

The least promiscuous countries in the World Population Review’s list were China and India, with citizens sleeping with 3.1 and 3.0 people respectively.

The Top 10 Most Promiscuous Countries

Turkey (14.5 people)

Australia (13.3)

New Zealand (13.2)

Iceland (13.0)

South Africa (12.5)

Finland (12.4)

Norway (12.1)

Italy (11.8)

Sweden (11.8)

Switzerland (11.1)


I bet these numbers are not normally distributed, making the "average" figure pretty meaningless.

April 7, 2024 | Permalink | Comments (0)

John Eastman and the Left's War on the Legal Profession | RealClearPolitics

There has been an astronomical amount of misinformation about John's activities in the weeks leading up to the Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol jamboree, as well as the legal advice that he offered his high-profile client during that time. The corporate media and the Democrat-lawfare complex typically speak of John's legal advice as encouraging the "overturning of an election" or "fomenting an insurrection," but such hyperbolic talk is irresponsible and wildly off base.

John acquitted himself well in a compelling essay he penned for Claremont's American Mind online journal on Jan. 18, 2021, titled "Setting the Record Straight on the POTUS 'Ask.'" His 12th Amendment argument about the vice president's more active role in certifying the states' slates of electors and his accompanying argument regarding the constitutional dubiousness of the Electoral Count of 1887 might not be correct (although it could be), but it is well within the bound of plausible, nonfrivolous legal argumentation an attorney can (indeed, should) press upon an embattled client. That is doubly so here, because the U.S. Supreme Court has never authoritatively interpreted the relevant 12th Amendment provision. Countless legal arguments more frivolous than this are advanced every day in courtrooms across America.

Nor is John Eastman the only man being prosecuted, and possibly disbarred, for his legal activity after the 2020 election. Former U.S. Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Clark is also being prosecuted in Georgia, and he was just found by the District of Columbia Bar to have violated an ethics rule, which might lead to his own disbarment there -- all stemming from an internal Department of Justice memo that Clark never even sent.

Once upon a time, the American Left understood the moral imperative of ensuring that all Americans have adequate access to legal representation, no matter one's popularity in the eyes of the government or societal elites. Indeed, the definitive American example of such unpopular legal representation actually dates back to before the United States was even independent: In 1770, a young lawyer named John Adams, the man who would become the young republic's second president, took it upon himself to defend the British soldiers accused of killing five colonists at the Boston Massacre. Years later, in his dotage, Adams reflected that this was "one of the most gallant, generous, manly and disinterested actions of my whole life, and one of the best pieces of service I ever rendered my country."


Josh Hammer.

April 7, 2024 | Permalink | Comments (0)

“Plainly Erred”: Judge Reggie Walton Rebuked by D.C. Circuit in J6 Case – JONATHAN TURLEY

The order reflects the utter impunity shown by the Justice Department in its pursuit of January 6th defendants.  Justice Department official Michael Sherwin  proudly declared in a television interview that “our office wanted to ensure that there was shock and awe … it worked because we saw through media posts that people were afraid to come back to D.C. because they’re, like, ‘If we go there, we’re gonna get charged.’ … We wanted to take out those individuals that essentially were thumbing their noses at the public for what they did.”

Sherwin was celebrated for his pledge to use such draconian means to send a message to others in the country. (Sherwin has left the Justice Department and is now a partner at Kobre & Kim).

The surveillance of the computer shows that the Justice Department continues to act with a sense of utter impunity, particularly when judges are willing to blithely sign off on such orders.

The case involved Daniel Goodwyn, 35, of Corinth, Texas, who pleaded guilty on Jan. 31, 2023, to one misdemeanor count of entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds without lawful authority. That is a relatively minor offense but Walton imposed a 60-day jail sentence in June 2023.

Walton reportedly noted that Goodwyn spread “disinformation” during a broadcast of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on March 14, 2023 and ordered that Mr. Goodwyn’s computer be subject to “monitoring and inspection” by a probation agent to check if he spread Jan. 6 disinformation during the term of his supervised release.

As a condition for supervised release, the Justice Department was reportedly seeking evidence on the defendant’s political opinions and Walton felt that that was fine. The appellate judges (Gregory Katsas, Neomi Rao, and Bradley Garcia) did not: “The district court plainly erred in imposing the computer-monitoring condition without considering whether it was ‘reasonably related’ to the relevant sentencing factors and involved ‘no greater deprivation of liberty than is reasonably necessary’ to achieve the purposes behind the sentencing.”


Jonathan Turley.

April 7, 2024 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Vibe Shift - Santiago Pliego

It is hard to overstate how much Elon’s purchase of Twitter has accelerated (and perhaps directly caused) the Vibe Shift. The old ways of cutting and slicing the world have broken down, and now the most unexpected groups have found themselves as co-belligerents in an existential war to preserve our ability to speak, compute, build, worship, transact, and live in peace.

And thus—cutting across communities and denominations and occupations and hobbies—we get to the Vibe Shift:

The Vibe Shift looks like ditching childless civilizational nihilism and saying, yeah, having kids is good, actually.

The Vibe Shift is the repudiation of homogenizing hyperglobalism and instead intentionally pursuing the communal, the local, and the national.

The Vibe Shift is the rejection of reality denial and instead embracing that men and women are unique and different.

The Vibe Shift is the refusal to subordinate yourself and your family to the whims and anxieties of activists and bureaucrats and relearning to trust your eyes and ears.

The Vibe Shift is the rejection of secular liberal materialism and a return to the Christian foundations of the West.

The Vibe Shift is taking off the ironic veil that aims to cover the festering wounds of despair and putting on the vestments of seriousness instead.

The Vibe Shift is laughing at those trying to demonize men and cheerfully proclaiming “Dudes rock.”

The Vibe Shift is spurning the fake and therapeutic and reclaiming the authentic and concrete.

The Vibe Shift is a healthy suspicion of credentialism and a return to human judgment.

The Vibe Shift is living not by lies, and instead speaking the truth—whatever the cost.

The Vibe Shift is directly facing our tumultuous times, refusing to blackpill, and choosing to build instead.

There is no denying that whatever else, the Vibe Shift is an electric time—after all, things hidden before the foundation of the world are being rediscovered, and things thought to last until the end of time are crumbling at hypersonic speeds.


Let's hope.

April 7, 2024 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Joe Biden's ex-chief of staff finally admits it: Inflation is clobbering us

The more recent Bureau of Labor Statistical data show that through the end of 2023 weekly real earnings were down about $2,000 since Donald Trump left office.  

Wages are finally starting to rise faster than inflation — as the most recent jobs report confirms — but the gap still remains negative for Joe Biden more than three years into his presidency.

This is a sharp contrast from the Trump years, when annual incomes for middle-class families were up by more than $5,800.

Amazingly, this improvement is even true when accounting for the severe drop in economic activity due to COVID lockdowns.  

Meanwhile, the progress on inflation has stalled out again.

Gas prices are surging again, indicating the middle-class squeeze is still on.  

As a reminder: The gas price at the pump was $2.49 a gallon and it now stands at $3.58 a gallon.  

This is roughly a $15 per fill-up “tax” on motorists.  

Commodity prices — from copper to corn to gold — are up 12% this year.  

Add to that mortgage payments. Under Trump the average mortgage interest rate was a little over 3%; today mortgage rates are closer to 6.5%.

That means the average mortgage payment has risen from roughly $2,000 to almost $3,000 a month — a near 50% rise in just four years.

The American dream of homeownership is increasingly out of reach.  

Also notable: The official Consumer Price Index numbers, which say that prices are up 18% since Trump left office, doesn’t include “shrinkflation.”

Smaller servings at restaurants, fewer chips in a bag of Doritos. You pay more and get less.

Biden blames the inflation on greedy corporations.

His solution is to raise business taxes to reduce profits of corporate fat cats.  

But if you raise taxes on businesses, the companies will have to raise their prices worse.

The White House seems mystified that Americans on Main Street USA aren’t feeling the love for Bidenomics.  


Stephen Moore.

April 7, 2024 | Permalink | Comments (0)

A Guide to the Total Solar Eclipse | The New Yorker

On April 8th, the moon will partly and then entirely block out the sun. The total eclipse will be visible to those in a hundred-and-fifteen-mile-wide sash, called the path of totality, slung from the hip of Sinaloa to the shoulder of Newfoundland. At the path’s midline, the untimely starry sky will last nearly four and a half minutes, and at the edges it will last for a blink. On the ground, the lunacy around total eclipses often has a Lollapalooza feel. Little-known places in the path of totality—Radar Base, Texas; Perryville, Missouri—have been preparing, many of them for years, to accommodate the lawn chairs, soul bands, food trucks, sellers of commemorative pins, and porta-potties. Eclipse viewers seeking solitude may also cause problems: the local government of Mars Hill, Maine, is reminding people that trails on Mt. Katahdin are closed, because it is mud season and therefore dangerous. I have a friend whose feelings and opinions often mirror my own; when I told her a year ago that I had booked an Airbnb in Austin in order to see this eclipse, she looked at me as if I’d announced I was bringing my daughter to a pox party.


Happy solar eclipse, everyone. It's not the end of the world, IMHO. If it is, good bye, and thanks for all the good times.

April 7, 2024 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Donald Trump’s Insatiable Bloodlust – DNyuz

But Trump embraces Hitleresque phrases to stir racial hatred. He has talked about immigrants “poisoning the blood of our country.” Last month, he called migrants “animals,” saying, “I don’t know if you call them ‘people,’ in some cases. They’re not people, in my opinion.”

Trump’s obsession with bloodlines was instilled by his father, the son of a German immigrant. He thinks there is good blood and bad blood, superior blood and inferior blood. Fred Trump taught his son that their family’s success was genetic, reminiscent of Hitler’s creepy faith in eugenics.

“The family subscribes to a racehorse theory of human development,” the Trump biographer Michael D’Antonio told PBS. “They believe that there are superior people and that if you put together the genes of a superior woman and a superior man, you get a superior offspring.”

Trump has been talking about this as far back as an “Oprah” show in 1988. The “gene believer” brought it up in a 2020 speech in Minnesota denouncing refugees.

“A lot of it is about the genes, isn’t it, don’t you believe?” he told the crowd about their pioneer lineage, adding: “The racehorse theory, you think we’re so different? You have good genes in Minnesota.”


Maureen Dowd has outdone herself with this screed. Trump, like Hitler, is a eugenicist, don't you know, and would not have liked Maureen's father much, his being Irish, who were discriminated against too.

April 7, 2024 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, April 6, 2024

Mandatory DEI Statements Are Ideological Pledges of Allegiance. Time to Abandon Them. | Opinion | The Harvard Crimson

On a posting for a position as an assistant professor in international and comparative education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, applicants are required to submit a CV, a cover letter, a research statement, three letters of reference, three or more writing samples, and a statement of teaching philosophy that includes a description of their “orientation toward diversity, equity, and inclusion practices.”

At Harvard and elsewhere, hiring for academic jobs increasingly requires these so-called diversity statements, which Harvard’s Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning describes as being “about your commitment to furthering EDIB within the context of institutions of higher education.”

By requiring academics to profess — and flaunt — faith in DEI, the proliferation of diversity statements poses a profound challenge to academic freedom.


Well congratulations to Professor Kennedy. So glad to see him come around. Could have done so 30 years ago, of course. Maybe it's too late now. But hey. Whatever. Like a kid sitting amidst the ruins of the house he just burned down, thinking, ah, now I see why they were always telling us not to play with matches.

April 6, 2024 | Permalink | Comments (0)

A Disinformation October Surprise Is Coming - WSJ

Mr. Trump’s many demerits don’t need to be enumerated here, but, after nine years, the tone of cable coverage has become more like primate gibbering than reasoned commentary. If it stops, even for a moment, other truths might come up for air. Plainly false campaign memes—he called neo-Nazis fine people, he advised drinking bleach—usually have their season and disappear. The anti-Trump tropes never get a day off, constantly dunning viewers with Mr. Trump’s unique iniquity as if to rationalize his enemies’ behavior.

If the simple truth were admitted, Hillary Clinton would be a pariah. Adam Schiff would never appear on another ballot again. I’m not forgetting the complicity of the press, whose normal role is to take an interest in matters that are, you know, interesting. If it’s true that cowards die a thousand deaths, our media will bankrupt the fisc with all the end-of-life care it’s going to consume.

Mr. Trump turns out to be less of a danger to our institutions than they are to themselves. Worry about a future leader with President Obama’s gifts not Donald Trump’s—while remembering that the collusion hoaxes were promoted by official U.S. agencies in exactly the manner of Mr. Putin’s Russia.

All this is possibly going to matter a great deal this fall. Mr. Trump will tell his lies and tall tales and make his fabulous claims and the media will have to deal with it.

There’s also a significant likelihood that 2024 will see lies manufactured by agents and veterans of the national-security state, as in 2016 and 2020. Then the press will get a third opportunity. Those reporters and editors who are still capable of participating in the media business in good faith need to start thinking now about how they will deal with this if it happens again


Holman Jenkins.

April 6, 2024 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, April 5, 2024

April 5, 2024: Iron-Clad BS - by Park MacDougald

→A Washington, D.C., Bar panel has issued a “nonbinding” preliminary ruling that former Trump Department of Justice official Jeffrey Clark—who drafted a letter, which was never sent, to Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp claiming that the DOJ was “investigating various irregularities” surrounding the 2020 election—violated professional ethics rules and could face disbarment. The ruling comes a little over one week after a California judge ruled that John Eastman, the legal architect behind Trump’s efforts to challenge the 2020 election results, should also face disbarment. 

Eastman and Clark were active in helping Trump to formulate legal strategies to challenge the election results and certification in 2020. But whatever you think of the wisdom of those efforts, the disbarment efforts stink of gratuitous lawfare targeting partisan opponents. Both rulings rest on the argument that because experts and mainstream media sources agree there was no fraud or irregularity in the most chaotic election of our lifetimes, Eastman and Clark’s claims of potential fraud or irregularity in the immediate aftermath of the election were intentional lies. That’s despite, for instance, a Fulton County, Georgia, Elections Board member testifying at Clark’s disciplinary hearing this week that there had been no signature verification on 147,000 mail-in ballots and no chain-of-custody documentation for mail-in ballots or drop boxes, both of which were required by Georgia law. No matter—the government said there was no fraud, and so no lawyer is allowed to have believed, between November 2020 and January 2021, that there could have been. 


Eastman and Clark can appeal the rulings of the bar commissions but that is hardly the point. Most if not nearly all lawyers will get the message and be chilled by it, as is intended. That is no bueno.

April 5, 2024 | Permalink | Comments (0)

US House Republican infighting threatens to further delay Ukraine aid package | Reuters

WASHINGTON, April 5 (Reuters) - Infighting among Republicans who control the U.S. House of Representatives, and a threat to oust Speaker Mike Johnson from his leadership role, have put him under pressure to further delay action on a long-sought aid bill for Ukraine, Israel and other key allies.
With Kyiv running short of munitions as it fights off a Russian invasion, its Republican allies in Washington hope to see Johnson unveil an aid package that can move swiftly through the House and the Democratic-led Senate, and onto Democratic President Joe Biden's desk soon after lawmakers reconvene on Tuesday following a two-week break.
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But hardline Republicans are demanding border security provisions and spending cuts to offset aid to U.S. allies. And they want Johnson to hold off until he has legislation that can win support from most of his narrow 218-213 majority.
Republican firebrand Marjorie Taylor Greene - a staunch ally of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump who passionately opposes Ukraine aid - has also turned up the rhetorical heat over her threat to force a vote to vacate Johnson's position as speaker in a series of media interviews and social media posts this week.


April 5, 2024 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Milei Softens on China as Clean Break Threatens Argentina Economy - Bloomberg

Now, President Milei is taking a far more pragmatic tone, saying trade relations between China and Argentina haven’t changed “one bit,” and that he had no intentions of touching an $18 billion currency swap.

“We have always said that we are libertarians,” he said in an exclusive interview with Bloomberg Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait. “If people want to do business with China, they can.”

Chinese trade and investment now drive large swaths of Argentina’s economy, ranging from commodities and energy to banking. That remains true even after China's recent market rout led the country to rein in some of its foreign investment.


April 5, 2024 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Climate Alarmists’ Bad Science - WSJ

I debunked research by the Federal Reserve and top academic economists on the economics of climate change. An author of a paper I debunked then said that three professors from Stanford and Berkeley had done a much better analysis of temperature and growth in an article they published in Nature. I took up the challenge and scrutinized their article. My critique appears in the latest issue of Econ Journal Watch.

The Nature article is in the top 0.1% of academic economics publications by citations, and it has received glowing press coverage. I downloaded their data and found that, as with the other articles I debunked, the results don’t hold up under scrutiny.



April 5, 2024 | Permalink | Comments (0)

The village held hostage by feral teenage girls: Hundreds of terrified neighbours too afraid to leave their homes hold emergency meeting as their sleepy area turns lawless - with packs of cannabis-smoking youths fighting, looting shops and attacking staff

Hundreds of neighbours left terrified by lawless teenagers running riot in their sleepy Sussex village held an emergency meeting to address the growing crimewave.

Villagers in Barnham, West Sussex, say they are scared to leave their homes after shocking footage emerged on social media of a group of teenage girls assaulting an emergency worker after sparking a huge brawl at the station.

Within 48 hours, a second clip went viral of another group of young girls appearing to loot the village's local Co-op.

The chaos sent shockwaves through the leafy coastal village - so much so, an emergency public meeting was held to address locals' fears.

It comes amid local backlash against plans for a traveller site at Little Meadow in Yapton, just over two miles from the village.

More than 200 people attended Thursday night's meeting and told councillors how they are now too afraid to leave their homes as a result of the behaviour of the cannabis-smoking gang of girls.

A shopkeeper also claimed the village is plagued with feral youth who exploit the south coast train network.

Barnham is a railway hub near Bognor Regis where train lines converge. Residents who spoke at the public meeting on Thursday night said they believe train connections make their village a soft target.


Feral teenage girls. Who knew.

April 5, 2024 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Trans public defender Stephanie Mueller, 70, opens up about changing gender late in life and reveals small-town Washington has been accepting of her new image with her large surgically-enhanced breasts | Daily Mail Online

One of the first openly transgender attorneys in Washington state has proven that her unique appearance has no impact on her success as a lawyer in her small town.

Lawyer Stephanie Mueller, 70, has been open about her background and says it has no impact on her ability as a public defender.

'I get good results because I'm a good lawyer. My gender is beside the point. This is very, very fabulous,' Mueller once said. 

Despite her unique appearance, Mueller insists she has been 'treated with complete respect and great acceptance' since transitioning in 2012 - at the age of 58.

'It's really important to know that since I transitioned, full-time, more than 4 years ago, I have been treated with complete respect and great acceptance both personally and professionally,' she wrote on a 2016 GoFundMe page raising money for a new car.


Nevertheless, I would prefer to be represented by another lawyer -- all other things being equal.

April 5, 2024 | Permalink | Comments (0)

A Tantalizing ‘Hint’ That Astronomers Got Dark Energy All Wrong - The New York Times

On Thursday, astronomers who are conducting what they describe as the biggest and most precise survey yet of the history of the universe announced that they might have discovered a major flaw in their understanding of dark energy, the mysterious force that is speeding up the expansion of the cosmos.

Dark energy was assumed to be a constant force in the universe, both currently and throughout cosmic history. But the new data suggest that it may be more changeable, growing stronger or weaker over time, reversing or even fading away.

“As Biden would say, it’s a B.F.D.,” said Adam Riess, an astronomer at Johns Hopkins University and the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore. He shared the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics with two other astronomers for the discovery of dark energy, but was not involved in this new study. “It may be the first real clue we have gotten about the nature of dark energy in 25 years,” he said.

That conclusion, if confirmed, could liberate astronomers — and the rest of us — from a longstanding, grim prediction about the ultimate fate of the universe. If the work of dark energy were constant over time, it would eventually push all the stars and galaxies so far apart that even atoms could be torn asunder, sapping the universe of all life, light, energy and thought, and condemning it to an everlasting case of the cosmic blahs. Instead, it seems, dark energy is capable of changing course and pointing the cosmos toward a richer future.


Well, good news I guess. If it's true.

April 5, 2024 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Believe data, not activists: Transgenderism among kids is mostly a fad

Is transgenderism among kids largely a fad?

It certainly looks that way.

Researchers at the Netherlands’ University of Groningen recently released the results of a landmark 15-year study of 2,700 children starting at age 11.

They tracked the gender non-contentedness of these children over the years and found: “In early adolescence, 11% of participants reported gender non-contentedness. The prevalence decreased with age and was 4% at the last follow-up (around age 26).”

The researchers concluded, “Gender non-contentedness, while being relatively common during early adolescence, in general decreases with age and appears to be associated with a poorer self-concept and mental health throughout development.”

In other words, most of the children in the study who were feeling gender dysphoric in their awkward teenage years had shaken that off and adjusted by early adulthood, and their dysphoria was associated with bad self-esteem and mental-health problems.

This is fully at odds with the policy pushing its way through American schools and medical institutions: Kids who declare themselves transgender, no matter the age, need to be “affirmed,” an idea that sometimes leads to children taking hormone blockers or getting surgery to attempt gender transition.

These interventions can have lifelong consequences, but some doctors aren’t even sure if the child should be informed before they take action.

Leaked documents last month from the World Professional Association for Transgender Health found some doctors don’t think disclosing potential risks is necessary.

As The Post reported, practitioners believe telling a 14-year-old about possible fertility consequences is like talking to a “blank wall.”

A child psychologist said it’s “out of their developmental range to understand the extent to which some of these medical interventions are impacting them.”

If children can’t understand the medical consequences of an entirely elective procedure that isn’t necessary to benefit their health or save their life, perhaps it’s best not to do it?

This shouldn’t be controversial.


Karol Markowicz.

It's a good thing we have studies like this. Otherwise, we would never know.

April 5, 2024 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Campus Reform | UC Berkeley condemns professor's dating advice to student: 'hurtful and threatening'

The University of California, Berkeley, condemned dating advice that a professor gave to a student, calling it “hurtful and threatening” to women.

According to the Daily Cal, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences Professor Jonathan Shewchuk was responding to a student’s online discussion post, which asked for advice on being unable to find a date in the Bay area and expressed worries about finding a job in computer science.

Shewchuk responded, writing that the student should “get out of the Bay Area” to find a girlfriend. 

“You’ll be shocked by the stark differences in behavior of women in places where women are plentiful versus their behavior within artillery distance of San Jose and San Francisco,” wrote Shewchuk.

[RELATED: Parents raise $40k for private campus security, unsatisfied with UC Berkeley approach to crime]

Shewchuk’s post was met with immediate criticism, with the university issuing a statement saying it was offensive.

“We want to be absolutely clear that the offensive content of the original post goes against the values and Principles of Community we adhere to at UC Berkeley,” Berkeley spokesperson Roqua Montez told the Daily Cal. “The comment was hurtful and threatening to students - particularly women - in his class and beyond.”

Until recently, Shewchuk’s personal department web page indicated that he identified as a “Smith & Wesson 460XVR .45 caliber revolver” and used “death/deathem/deathself” as pronouns.

[RELATED: Three Vanderbilt students charged with assault after shoving officer, forcing way into building for sit-in: WATCH]

Noemi Chulo, a junior and union representative, said she found the comments disrespectful and plans to file a grievance against him.

“Shewchuk is teaching around 700 students and he is allowed to have this impact on so many students even though he has been a known thorn in the side of EECS for years at the very least,” Chulo said. “It is disappointing, but not surprising.”



April 5, 2024 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Scientists still baffled from giant human skeletons up to 10 feet tall decades after initial discovery

Legend has it that the Si-Teh-Cah came to Nevada from a distant land some 3,000 years ago after crossing the ocean in boats made from the bulrush plant.

The fierce newcomers were said to have attacked the local inhabitants, unleashing a bloody, years-long conflict.

Finally, the various tribes in the area joined forces to hunt down and exterminate the barbarians, according to the Paiute stories.

The last of the red-haired giants were said to have sought refuge in the Lovelock cave, but the shelter ended up being their tomb after the natives fired arrows at them and started a fire at the mouth of the cavern.

The story goes that all the giants were slaughtered in that attack.


Almost Idaho! In the news! These ancient palefaces had to be close to what would become the Nevada-Idaho border. First I've heard of them.

April 5, 2024 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Hoyagate: Georgetown Law Is Vatican of Trump Hatred - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics

As a proud alumnus of Georgetown University, I am troubled by an emerging pattern: The relentless lawsuits and other efforts to “get Trump” too often lead back to my alma mater and, more specifically, Georgetown Law School. The same characters populate these assorted Trump-hating schemes. To “defend democracy,” those people keep crushing democracy.

This pro-Democrat/anti-Republican activity raises troubling questions about the tax-exempt status of Georgetown Law and the broader university.

Even worse, in what I call Hoyagate, this cabal’s intensely partisan actions at a non-profit university raise questions about Georgetown’s qualifications to receive federal grants and remain tax-exempt. (READ MORE from Deroy Murdock: For Democrats, ‘Illegal’ Wasn’t Always Hate Speech)

Several of these individuals joined the Transition Integrity Project. TIP engaged prominent legal, governmental, and media players in “war games” that prepared for the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election.

How unusual: After most elections, the vanquished go home, and the victors govern. Instead, TIP weighed other scenarios: Which populations would accept or reject wins and losses? Would tight results trigger domestic unrest? How would Washington, the press, and even the armed forces respond?

The behavior of TIP members and their colleagues during and after these simulations should terrify patriots.



April 5, 2024 | Permalink | Comments (0)

‘The Most Terrifying Poll Result I’ve Ever Seen’ – Issues & Insights

Earlier this year, pollster Scott Rasmussen asked voters a simple question: “Would you rather have your candidate win by cheating or lose by playing fair?”

The answers he got back were, as he put it in a Daily Signal podcast last week, “the most terrifying poll result I’ve ever seen.”

Among all Americans, just 7% said they would want their candidate to win by cheating. As Rasmussen put it, he’d rather see that number lower, but that’s not bad.

But more than a third of the elite 1% he surveyed would condone cheating. And among those who are “politically obsessed” – meaning that they talk about politics every day – that number shot up to 69%.

Keep in mind that this elite 1% group is overwhelmingly liberal. According to Rasmussen, these are mainly well-educated urbanites who make more than $150,000 a year and think Joe Biden is doing a great job. Nearly three-quarters identify as Democrats.

They are also highly influential when it comes to policy, and they are completely out of touch with everyday Americans. A few examples from the survey:

  • Nearly 60% say there is too much individual freedom in America – double the rate of all Americans.
  • More than two-thirds (67%) favor rationing of energy and food to combat the threat of “climate change.”
  • Nearly three-quarters (70%) of the elites trust the government to “do the right thing most of the time.”
  • More than two-thirds (67%) say teachers and other educational professionals should decide what children are taught rather than letting parents decide.
  • Nearly three-quarters (74%) say they are financially better off than before COVID, compared with 20% of the general public.


Pretty, pretty bad.

April 5, 2024 | Permalink | Comments (0)