Sunday, October 25, 2020

Anarchy in New York? | City Journal

It’s true that New York City wouldn’t be confused for Tegucigalpa or Mogadishu. And its violent crime rate, while soaring, is still much lower than that of Baltimore or St. Louis, for instance. But comparing New York today with the New York of even a few years ago makes clear that the city is undergoing a serious fracturing of civic order—one trending toward further disintegration.

via www.city-journal.org

October 25, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Will anyone from the left realize why Trump won — again? | TheHill

It is not an exaggeration to state that much of the mainstream media, academia, entertainment, medicine and science, Big Tech, the “deep state,” the Never Trumpers, the Democratic Party, and other entrenched establishment elites have joined forces to defeat Trump. Of course, they have a right to oppose the president on any grounds. But they should stop to consider what they themselves might represent to many Americans who struggle to pay bills, feed their children and, in some cases, simply survive. 

To those Americans, those who adamantly oppose the president — Democrats or Republicans — look like the power center that has ruled over them for decades and made their lives miserable. These elites typically preach, “Do as I say, not as I do.” They’re rarely subject to the rules and dictates that they hand down. They have an “inside track” because they hold the keys to a club that’s off limits to the average American.

For anyone who can do the math, the main answer to why Trump won in 2016 — and why I believe he will win again on Nov. 3 — should be blindingly obvious: Trump went out of his way to expose those elites to the American people as the very problem making their lives exponentially worse. He convinced enough voters that he is not one of those “ivory tower elites” and can’t be bought by their special interests.

As was proved to varying degrees with the last presidential election, many Americans bought into Trump’s narrative regarding liberal elites. That’s not surprising; human nature dictates that most people tend not to take the advice of those they view as the ones putting them down and keeping them down. 

via thehill.com

Fair points, I would say. Of course, Trump might not win.

October 25, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

The media promised to do better after Trump's win — instead, they got worse

This week, even the most cynical observer of the media — that would be me — has to be dumbfounded at the next-level failure by most elite journalists to report on the volcanic explosion of Biden family scandals revealed by The Post’s blockbuster scoop last week. To date, Team Biden hasn’t refuted any aspect of the story, except a mealy-mouthed denial that there was a formal meeting between Joe Biden and Ukrainian energy exec Vadym Pozharskyi, though they admit there might have been an informal one. The media and their bros in Silicon Valley set to work burying the facts like mobsters in the woods, but true stories cannot be given the Jimmy Hoffa treatment. The Post’s traffic is through the roof, and Biden’s lead in top battlegrounds has softened. As other outlets expand upon and confirm The Post’s reporting, Democrats are sounding a lot less cocksure than they were two weeks ago.

via nypost.com

Well.

October 25, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Shark With Over 50 Fish in Its Mouth Wins Underwater Photo Contest

Scuba Diving magazine photo contest has announced the winner of 2020. The winning image, taken by is Evans Baudin from Baja California, Mexico. Check out incredible underwater photography from the 16th annual Scuba Diving magazine photo contest.

via themindcircle.com

cool pics

October 25, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Report: Trump Administration Scraps Santa Claus Coronavirus Vaccine Plan

According to an exclusive report in the Wall Street Journal, the Department of Health and Human Services cancelled a coronavirus vaccine advertising plan that would have offered Santa Claus performers—along with Mrs. Claus and elf performers—early access to a Covid-19 vaccine in exchange for promoting its benefits to the public. 

via www.forbes.com

Obviously a tactical retreat in the war against Christmas.

October 25, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (1)

The Elephant in the Room: Florida School Revokes The Parking Privileges Of Student With Trump Display On Truck – JONATHAN TURLEY

We recently discussed the case of a Louisiana high school senior who had his parking space mural to President Donald Trump painted over by his school. Now a Florida senior has an equally troubling free speech case involving the Volusia County School District. Tyler Maxwell is suing the District after it barred him from parking his pickup truck with a large elephant in the back featuring Trump’s name.  The District declared that such “political statements” are now banned.The school district’s position is at odds with cases protecting non-disruptive political statements or symbols. Many of us in the free speech community have long complained that the 1969 case of Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District is often dismissed in cases addressing the free speech rights of students. The famous decision declared that students “do not shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.” Yet, school officials routinely try to regulate speech. Indeed, we just saw a Vermont district fire a principal for questioning the BLM movement on Facebook.

via jonathanturley.org

Jonathan Turley. Seems like a good man.

October 25, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (2)

Opinion | The Last Temptation of NeverTrump - The New York Times

There are some ways that Trump has been better than I feared, and things he’s done that I wholeheartedly support. But he’s also the most corrupt American president of modern times: The liberals are wrong to see him as a dictator, but that doesn’t make his web of self-enrichment and pardons for cronies and Ukrainian abuses a good thing. He’s a bigot and an aggressive liar, he winks at violence, and he’s exacerbated one of his party’s worst tendencies, its obsession with the minor threat of voter fraud and its eagerness to throw up impediments to voting. What he’s given to cultural conservatives with the courts, he’s taken by making us seem like hypocrites and making embarrassments like Jerry Falwell Jr. the face of conservative Christendom. He’s radicalized young people and empowered some truly terrible tendencies on the left that will reshape American institutions deep into Amy Coney Barrett’s old age. And I haven’t even gotten to the coronavirus.

via www.nytimes.com

Yes, we gone from the stupid party versus the evil party to the stupid and often wicked party versus the (scary voice) Evil Party. Fortunately, my vote doesn't count. But I might vote for Trump just because I hate Google so much.

October 25, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (2)

San Francisco: A string of drug stores close after shoplifters strip the shelves bare

The Walgreens clerks can’t do anything about the theft because the company has a policy preventing them from interfering in shoplifting. Allegedly this is for their safety but I suspect it’s really because if they didn’t have this policy and anyone got hurt, they would be sued.

via hotair.com

October 25, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (1)

If Trump is reelected, Oregon could be headed for a crack-up – HotAir

Several right-wing groups are gathering signatures from residents of 15 Eastern Oregon counties that have had enough of this coastal insanity. They want either to become part of Idaho or form a new state with rural counties of Northern California. Well before Portland became the fashionable place for woke young retirees, Oregon was a reliably red state. Richard Nixon carried it in 1960, 1968 and 1972. Gerald Ford held it in 1976, and Ronald Reagan won by large margins in 1980 and 1984. In 1992 third-party candidate Ross Perot won 24% of the vote, almost certainly stealing Oregon for Democrat Bill Clinton.

Now the heavily pierced and tattooed masses in Portland, Eugene and Bend have teamed up with recently arrived hippies from California and metro Seattle to turn the state deep blue west of the Cascades. Oregon hasn’t elected a Republican governor since 1982 or sent a GOP senator to Washington since 2002. Urban progressives dominate state government.

I lived in Oregon between 2014 and 2019 and love it dearly despite its dysfunction. It broke my heart to see this summer’s devastating wildfires tear through the state. I hope and expect that Oregon will remain in the Union, but I worry that Mr. Trump’s re-election could lead to a mass mental-health emergency. If Oregon’s blue cities try to secede, the gun-loving inland counties aren’t likely to go with them. Things could get ugly.

via hotair.com

It would be a very strange country, Oregonia.

October 25, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Saturday, October 24, 2020

People Fear a Market Crash More Than They Have in Years - The New York Times

The coronavirus crisis and the November election have driven fears of a major market crash to the highest levels in many years.

At the same time, stocks are trading at very high levels. That volatile combination doesn’t mean that a crash will occur, but it suggests that the risk of one is relatively high. This is a time to be careful.

I base these conclusions largely on research I’ve been doing for years, including findings from the stock market confidence indexes that I began to develop more than three decades ago. These indexes are drawn from surveys of a random sample of high-income individual investors and institutional investors in the United States that are now conducted monthly by the International Center for Finance at the Yale School of Management.

via www.nytimes.com

October 24, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

With the Hunter Biden Expose, Suppression is a Bigger Scandal Than The Actual Story - Reporting by Matt Taibbi

Other true information has been scrubbed or de-ranked, either by platforms or by a confederation of press outlets whose loyalty to the Democratic Party far now overshadows its obligations to inform.

Obviously, Fox is not much better, in terms of its willingness to report negative information about Trump and Republicans, but Fox doesn’t have the reach that this emerging partnership between mass media, law enforcement, and tech platforms does. That group’s reaction to the New York Post story is formalizing a decision to abandon the media’s old true/untrue standard for a different test that involves other, more politicized questions, like provenance and editorial intent.

via taibbi.substack.com

This is bad, very bad.

October 24, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

How California’s ‘State of Jefferson’ found new targets | The Sacramento Bee

Carlos Zapata has a message for any government official who shows up at his Tehama County restaurant and tries to enforce California’s pandemic shutdown orders.

“I’ve made it very clear that if they come to shut us down, I’m going to call 100,000 people that’ll be there with guns, and what happens happens, you know?” Zapata said Tuesday. “I’m hoping that they’re not stupid enough to want that kind of a fight over a restaurant being open, but if they want it, we’ll definitely give it to them.”

It’s not the first time the Red Bluff restaurant owner and U.S. Marine combat veteran has made those kinds of threats. A few weeks ago, he told the Shasta County Board of Supervisors to expect trouble if they enforce Gov. Gavin Newsom’s COVID-19 restrictions on local businesses.

via www.sacbee.com

October 24, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Jonathan Turley: Here are the worst proposals to reform Supreme Court | TheHill

The vote on Monday to make Judge Amy Coney Barrett the 115th Supreme Court justice will be more than a confirmation. It will be a dispensation, according to former Vice President Joe Biden and various Democratic senators. They have cited the vote as relieving them of any guilt in fundamentally changing the court to manufacture a liberal majority. Like school kids daring others to step over a line as an excuse to fight, Democrats insist that filling this vacancy will invite changes ranging from “packing” the court to stripping it of authority to rule in certain cases.

The problem is that the line the Senate will step over is set by the Constitution, while the proposals by Democrats would retaliate against the use of a power granted by the Constitution. Democrats are floating a parade of horribles to “reform” the Supreme Court and negate its growing conservative majority. Biden said this week that the court is “out of whack” and, as president, he would assemble a commission of “experts” to explore “a number of alternatives that go well beyond packing.” The commission would report to him 180 days after his inauguration.

via thehill.com

October 24, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm review: Sacha Baron Cohen stupefies, horrifies and surprises

You can’t ever accuse Sacha Baron Cohen of not being ambitious enough.

The prankster-in-chief returns as Borat Sagdiyev and rather than feeling like he was dragging out a cultural sensation from yesteryear, the Borat sequel feels oddly fresh and urgent – and sets his sights on some high-profile targets including a lecherous Rudy Giuliani.

With 10 days to go until the US election, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan is often hilarious, frequently stupefying and surprisingly tender.

via www.news.com.au

Maybe I was in a funny mood or something, but this latest Borat movie on Amazon was the funniest thing I've seen on TV in a long, long time. It was wine-sprayingly funny. Choke on your food funny. Very, very funny. Sure it's partly lefty humor, but it's real target is the Kahzakstanis, who take in anoos, as Borat would say. Lots of extremely inappropriate gags.

October 24, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (2)

China and the Vatican renew controversial bishops deal after ‘good start’ | South China Morning Post

China and the Vatican
renewed an agreement on the appointment of bishops on Thursday that critics say has done little to improve relations between the two sides.

Foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian confirmed the deal would be extended for two more years, saying the Vatican and China would maintain close dialogue and work to improve ties.

The Holy See also announced the move, saying that the “initial application [of the agreement] has been positive, thanks to the good communication and cooperation between the parties”.

Church sources said the deal was renewed via an exchange of diplomatic notes and there was no in-person signing ceremony organised because of
the coronavirus pandemic
.

via www.scmp.com

October 24, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, October 23, 2020

First Ever Murder Hornet Nest Found in the US 

As if 2020 hasn’t been scary enough, the first-ever Asian giant hornet nest in the United States was found by entomologists in Whatcom County on Friday.

The Asian giant hornet, which has been dubbed the murder hornet due to its ability to induce excruciating pain, can grow up to two inches long with a stinger of nearly one-quarter inch. The venom of these hornets also allegedly causes a sting so painful that it has been described as “having red-hot thumbtacks being driven into my flesh.”

The Asian giant hornets, which are the world’s largest hornet, were first spotted in Washington State last spring and are now making themselves right at home — beginning to build nests in the United States for the first time.

According to the Washington State Department of Agriculture, the agency is planning to eradicate the nest on Saturday, after plans to do so earlier were postponed due to the weather.

via www.mediaite.com

October 23, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Ep. 1761 Trump vs. Biden: The Final Debate - YouTube

Lew Rockwell joins me for our final debate analysis episode of the 2020 election cycle!

via www.youtube.com

October 23, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Second Amendment is as necessary today as it has ever been

In the summer of 2020, riots and looting broke out across the United States. In cities from Seattle to New York, police were ordered to stand down and let the riots and looting take their course. The lesson from these events is that you cannot rely on the police to protect your life and property from criminal aggression. And that makes the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms more important than ever.

The right to defend oneself with firearms against criminal aggression dates back to the days before the U.S. became independent of Great Britain. While that right was often successfully defended in the political process, it took until 2008, in the landmark case of District of Columbia v. Heller, for the Supreme Court to hold that the Second Amendment guarantees against the federal government an individual right to possess firearms and to use them for self-defense within the home. Still, that right has been hanging by a thread because four justices dissented.

via www.washingtonexaminer.com

October 23, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (1)

You’re probably seeing too much 2016 in the 2020 race

This same anxiety is driving liberals to the polls in record numbers. Turnout is on track to dwarf 2016 levels, which makes a repeat of Trump’s narrow Electoral College victory difficult.

Indeed, nearly 30 million people have already voted. And where partisan affiliation is reported, Democrats are outvoting Republicans more than two to one. In other words, fear of a 2016 replay may be the reason we won’t have one.

via nypost.com

Jonah Goldberg.

October 23, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (2)

Housing Market Goes Nuts, Everyone Sees it, But it Can’t Last | Wolf Street

Or as WOLF STREET commenter IdahoPotato called it vastly more accurately and unforgettably, the “FU-shaped recovery.” Meaning, people who got bailed out and enriched by the Fed’s $3 trillion that it threw at the markets to inflate the prices of stocks, bonds, housing, etc. are now happy as a lark, and to heck with the rest of the people that are getting crushed.

But this craziness in the housing market is not sustainable. The National Association of Realtors reported yesterday that sales of existing homes – single-family houses, condos, and co-ops – surged in September by 9.4% from August and by 20.9% from a year ago to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 6.54 million homes, the highest since 2006 (data via YCharts):

via wolfstreet.com

Heh.

October 23, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Report on Biden Activities with China - Balding's WorldBalding's World

A number of months ago, I was approached by an individual I had known for the better half of a decade. I had known this individually professionally and enjoyed their company and deep insight into our overlapping professional interests. Consequently, I would not infrequently seek out their professional opinion. They had written a research report for a client worried about political risk that involved background on the Biden’s in China. This individual believed that the information that had been discovered, and with the approval of the client, needed to make its way into the public domain.

They asked my help in putting the research report in the hands of press asking them just to use the information for their own professional purposes leaving the report anonymous.  Knowing this individual and the quality of work they do, I agreed after reviewing in detail the report that was produced. There are a couple of key points about the report.

First, it is almost exclusively taken from public sources and documentation. Everything from Chinese news reports to corporate records. The report is immaculately cited so that anyone who wishes to replicate where a specific piece of information was found or see the underlying documentation can do so.

Second, the complexity of the overall story, attempts have been made to break down the key points about what happened, who was involved, with timelines and indexes.

Third, only three human sources are used in the report. Two human sources only confirmed top line information in the acknowledgement of an individual and no other information. The third human source was not consulted for the story but agreed to let the information be used for the story after the importance of the information became apparent.

via www.baldingsworld.com

How sound this report is I have no idea. I am passing it along just because, well, it *might* be true. You can follow up the FNs if you are so inclined.

October 23, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

The false promise of herd immunity for COVID-19

Many researchers say pursuing herd immunity is a bad idea. “Attempting to reach herd immunity via targeted infections is simply ludicrous,” Andersen says. “In the US, probably one to two million people would die.”

via www.nature.com

October 23, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (2)

Final Trump-Biden presidential debate: Top 5 moments | Fox News

The final debate of the 2020 presidential election between President Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden involved heated but substantive exchanges between the bitter rivals on issues from the coronavirus to the economy.

It also addressed the latest bombshell to rock the 2020 campaign: allegations that Biden was involved in the foreign business dealings of his son, Hunter. (The Democrat and his campaign have denied this).

The debate came against the backdrop of one of the busiest times ever in modern American politics, with the Senate working on a Supreme Court confirmation; the pandemic still raging and Congress working on an economic relief bill to deal with its fallout; revelations about the nature of Russian and Iranian meddling in the election; and much more. 

All of this of course comes 12 days before Election Day and as Americans are casting ballots daily due to the increased emphasis on mail-in voting during the pandemic -- which has spawned a bevy of election lawsuits, themselves their own major political issue. 

via www.foxnews.com

I watched for 15 minutes -- a record!

October 23, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Witness: Joe Biden Was “The Big Guy” [Updated] – JONATHAN TURLEY

A former business partner to Hunter Biden, Tony Bobulinski, has made a bombshell statement that not only are the emails on the Biden laptop authentic but the reference to giving a cut to “the big guy” was indeed a reference to former Vice President Joe Biden. More emails are emerging that show Hunter Biden referring to his family as his asset in these dealings.

The emails that have attracted the most attention refer to an actual meeting of Joe  Biden with these foreign figures and one referring to a proposed equity split of “20” for “H” and “10 held by H for the big guy?” Bobulinski confirms that “H” was used for Hunter Biden and that his father was routinely called “the big guy” in these discussions.

Another email Bobulinski being instructed by James Gilliar not to make any mention of the former veep’s involvement: “Don’t mention Joe being involved, it’s only when u [sic] are face to face, I know u [sic] know that but they are paranoid.”

 Bobulinski said he was brought on as CEO by Hunter Biden and James Gilliar and stated that he believes Joe Biden was lying in denying any knowledge of these dealings, stating Hunter “frequently referenced asking him for his sign-off or advice on various potential deals.”  He added that “The Biden family aggressively leveraged the Biden family name to make millions of dollars from foreign entities even though some were from communist controlled China.”

via jonathanturley.org

October 22, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Meet your (Chinese) Facebook censors

Facebook engineers test hundreds of different iterations of the rankings to shape an optimal outcome — and root out what bosses call “borderline content.”

It all makes for perhaps the most chillingly sophisticated censorship mechanism in human history. “What they don’t do is ban a specific pro-Trump hashtag,” says the ex-insider. Instead, “content that is a little too conservative, they will down-rank. You can’t tell it’s censored.”

I won’t share the names of the Facebook employees in question. The point isn’t to spotlight individuals, but to show how foreign nationals from a state that still bans Facebook have their hands on the levers of social media censorship here in America.

The Hate-Speech Engineering team’s staff includes a research scientist based at the Seattle office who earned his master’s degree in computer engineering from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, according to his LinkedIn profile.

via nypost.com

October 22, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Now Corruption Story Is About Joe, Not Hunter - WSJ

If it’s true that Joe Biden was accepting influence payments, including from Chinese entities, then he should immediately quit the presidential race. But the press has been largely uninterested in pursuing this story. Today Newsweek’s Jason Lemon made an effort and writes:

Newsweek reached out to the Joe Biden presidential campaign and Hunter Biden’s lawyer for comment, but they did not respond by the time of publication.

The recent media blackout on the Biden family business remains largely intact.

via www.wsj.com

What if you discovered a giant scandal but nobody reported on it? Or the mainstream ignored it? Very strange.

October 22, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Byron York's Daily Memo: Joe Biden (sort of) addresses Hunter Biden accusation

So evidence is accumulating that the accusations outlined in the emails are accurate. Joe Biden is ignoring it, and when he can't ignore it, he is stonewalling it. Many media outlets are all but ignoring it. Social media is trying to suppress it. But the story will come out in the end. Maybe before the election, and maybe not. But it will come out in the end.

via www.washingtonexaminer.com

Or will it?

October 22, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Economists on the Run

Paul Krugman has never suffered fools gladly. The Nobel Prize-winning economist rose to international fame—and a coveted space on the New York Times op-ed page—by lacerating his intellectual opponents in the most withering way. In a series of books and articles beginning in the 1990s, Krugman branded just about everybody who questioned the rapid pace of globalization a fool who didn’t understand economics very well. “Silly” was a word Krugman used a lot to describe pundits who raised fears of economic competition from other nations, especially China. Don’t worry about it, he said: Free trade will have only minor impact on your prosperity.

Now Krugman has come out and admitted, offhandedly, that his own understanding of economics has been seriously deficient as well. In a recent essay titled “What Economists (Including Me) Got Wrong About Globalization,” adapted from a forthcoming book on inequality, Krugman writes that he and other mainstream economists “missed a crucial part of the story” in failing to realize that globalization would lead to “hyperglobalization” and huge economic and social upheaval, particularly of the industrial middle class in America. And many of these working-class communities have been hit hard by Chinese competition, which economists made a “major mistake” in underestimating, Krugman says.

It was quite a “whoops” moment, considering all the ruined American communities and displaced millions of workers we’ve seen in the interim. And a newly humbled Krugman must consider an even more disturbing idea: Did he and other mainstream economists help put a protectionist populist, Donald Trump, in the White House with a lot of bad advice about free markets?

via getpocket.com

October 22, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Is Trump going to fire Chris Wray?

Given Trump’s growing desperation for a gamechanging October surprise against Biden, I think there’s a small but nonzero chance that he’ll fire Wray *before* the election. It’s perfectly within his character to look at the polls next Monday, see that he’s eight points behind, and to dial up Wray in a panic with an ultimatum. Are you going to announce that you’re opening an investigation into Joe Biden or not? If Wray says no, he’s done right then and there. And then Trump will set about trying to maneuver some crony into the vacancy who *will* announce an investigation into the Bidens for him.

via hotair.com

I been told the WH is already vetting candidates.

October 22, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Woman rescued from burning car by police officer in California - BBC News

Police footage shows an officer pulling out a driver from her burning vehicle, which had caught fire following a crash.

via www.bbc.com

I lived in Davis for a year. I'm sure they support defunding the police.

October 22, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (3)

End Sars protests: People 'shot dead' in Lagos, Nigeria - BBC News

Witnesses and the rights group Amnesty International said several people were killed and wounded when soldiers opened fire.

The state governor said about 25 people had been wounded but only one person had died.

An indefinite 24-hour curfew has been imposed on Lagos and other regions.

Protests over a now-disbanded police unit - the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (Sars) - have been taking place for two weeks, with demonstrators using the social media hashtag #EndSars to rally crowds.

As tensions continued to rise on Wednesday, police in different districts of Lagos fired shots in the air to disperse people defying the curfew, the BBC's Nduka Orjinmo reports from the capital, Abuja.

Protesters who briefly gathered again at the Lekki toll gate - where Tuesday's shootings took place - were forced out by police, he adds.

via www.bbc.com

October 22, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Pope Francis Calls for Civil Unions for Same-Sex Couples | National Review

Pope Francis called for the creation of civil union laws for same-sex couples in a new documentary that aired in Rome on Wednesday, breaking from the Vatican’s stance on the issue.

“Homosexuals have a right to be part of the family,” he said in Francesco, a documentary about his life, according to the Catholic News Agency. “They’re children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out, or be made miserable because of it.”

via www.nationalreview.com

October 22, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (2)

Four Newborn Australian Babies Die amid Coronavirus Travel Restrictions

The state of South Australia does not have a cardiac unit for children meaning seriously ill newborns in Adelaide with heart issues are normally taken to Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital in the nearby state of Victoria – but this option has been ruled out due to the pandemic and a ban on inter-state travel, an inquiry heard on Tuesday.

Anyone entering South Australia from Victoria must travel for an essential purpose, which includes “urgent medical, dental or health treatment,” attending a funeral, or “providing health services.”

Bernadette Mulholland, an executive at the Salaried Medical Officers Association, said doctors told her, “In these four cases, the issue was Victoria not being able to retrieve the babies.”

Other health professionals backed her claim that internal cross-border travel restrictions were to blame.

“The baby and her parents and sometimes some other relatives and carers would have to go to Melbourne, and then they’d have to come back. So there are COVID problems on each end in the sense that when they come back, they’d have to be quarantined. Now, none of that is more serious than saving the life of a baby, and I’m not sure just why this happened,” Flinders University emeritus professor Warren Jones told Sky News Australia. 

via www.breitbart.com

Oz.

October 22, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Is the Pope Catholic? | City Journal

Fratelli Tutti, unsurprisingly, confirms the pope’s solid positioning on the left as an ecologist and anti-capitalist, a stance rooted in the revolutionary doctrines of his Argentine youth among the Jesuits of Buenos Aires—fellow travelers of Liberation Theology and hostile to the economic “liberalism” favored by military dictators. Times have changed, and the poverty that rightly haunts Pope Francis has massively diminished around the world thanks to globalization, free trade, the market economy, and the scientific revolution in agriculture (GMO soybeans in Argentina, for example). The encyclical takes no account of this progress but presses on in the fight with a largely imaginary enemy that the pope, like all leftist intellectuals, calls “neoliberalism.”

This is the enemy to be slain, according to Fratelli Tutti; but it is not defined, no doubt because it does not exist. In a cursory way, Francis condemns those who believe that “the market solves all problems”—these are apparently the “neoliberals.” But I know of no economist, in fact no intellectual, who claims that the market is a universal solution. In Europe, half of national wealth is redistributed by states in order to guarantee, as far as possible, a minimum of dignity. Even in the United States, a third of national wealth is redistributed for public health and schools. Is it Catholic to inflate the myth of neoliberalism in order then to demonize it? One may, like Pope Francis or John Paul II in his day, dislike the market economy, but it would be honest to recognize its social efficacy—as did John Paul II, who preferred, rather than calling it capitalism, to refer to it as a free economy.

via www.city-journal.org

Ai yi yi chihuahua!

October 22, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

St. Louis area hospitals at 85-90% capacity due to pandemic | FOX 2

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – St. Louis County leaders said the latest COVID data is concerning.

St. Louis Metro Pandemic Task Force leader Dr. Alex Garza said they are seeing a high number of occupied hospital beds with about 90 percent of healthcare beds full in the SSM Health system. The numbers were slightly lower in metro hospitals at 85 percent.

“Speaking with our task force hospitals yesterday that same sort of level was echoed across all the hospitals from St. Luke’s to Mercy to BJC,” Dr. Garza said. “We normally don’t operate at that high of a level.”

via fox2now.com

Old, sick and/or poor. Classic pandemic.

October 22, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Anti-Semitism in Today's Europe | Frontpagemag

The legacy of anti-Semitism in Europe is a long and painful one.  It had its culmination in the Holocaust.  Today, while Europe’s democratic governments profess their intentions to combat anti-Semitism, the influx of millions of Muslim migrants from throughout the Middle East has intensified the residual anti-Semitism embedded in the subconscious of many Europeans.  The European-born Muslims, along with the migrant newcomers, were honed on hatred of Jews thanks to the media and mosque indoctrination in their native lands. The Middle East Muslim migrants have additionally brought along with them a deep hatred for Israel.  In Europe today, anti-Semitism has been normalized on the streets if not in governmental bureaus. European governments are now worried that their native Jews might be fleeing the continent as a result of increased levels of anti-Semitism, especially when Covid-19 is plaguing Europe, and Jews have become ready scapegoats. The European Union (EU) governments in particular, are concerned that should Jewish life in Europe end, it will show that Europe has not learned the lessons of the Holocaust.  

via www.frontpagemag.com

The canary in the gas chamber. Don't worry. They'll get around to the Catholics.

October 22, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Supreme Court Reinstates Alabama’s Ban on Curbside Voting - WSJ

WASHINGTON—The Supreme Court reinstated Alabama’s ban on curbside voting Wednesday, blocking a lower-court order that allowed county officials to use the accommodation so that disabled citizens could cast ballots more safely during the coronavirus pandemic.

The eight-member court’s conservative majority issued the order without an opinion explaining its rationale; the court’s three liberals dissented.

The 5-3 decision was the latest in a wave of coronavirus-related election cases reaching the court, as voters, officials and political parties fight over voting procedures roiled by a pandemic that spreads through close contact.

via www.wsj.com

Let the old buggers hobble in by themselves dad gummit! Actually, I bet there's more to it than that. Anybody know?

October 22, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Zion hiker rescue: Utah sheriff’s sergeant questions circumstances that ‘do not add up,’ report says | Fox News

A Utah sheriff's search-and-rescue sergeant whose team assisted in the investigation into Zion National Park hiker Holly Courtier is sounding off on details about the California woman’s disappearance and subsequent rescue that he believes “do not add up,” according to a recent report.

Sgt. Darrell Cashin from the Washington County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue said his team was enlisted to help rangers search for 38-year-old Courtier, a mom from Los Angeles who went missing around Oct. 6. But since she was found safe on Sunday, Cashin told local news station ABC4 he has noticed “discrepancies and questions that do not add up.”

via www.foxnews.com

Everyone has the right to lose it every so often and light off to the hills. Give the lady a break.

October 22, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Hunter Biden's ex-business partner says Joe Biden talked to his son about deal with Chinese firm | Daily Mail Online

A man who describes himself as a former business partner of Hunter Biden says he heard him and his father, Joe Biden, discuss his dealings with a mysterious Chinese energy firm in 2017 and that the former vice president was due to receive a share of the profits.

Tony Bobulinski issued a statement on Wednesday saying that he personally witnessed Biden discuss business deals with his son, Hunter, contradicting claims by the former vice president.

via www.dailymail.co.uk

Once again, a Brit tabloid for American news. We're not quite at the China level yet, but we're getting there faster than I ever would have imagined. I blame Google and tech generally. I say break them up as a measure of pragmatic, last ditch effort libertarianism.

October 22, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Can Trump Win The Election? Yes. But the Path to 270 Is Difficult. - The New York Times

Mr. Trump’s obstacles are considerably higher this time. He is an unpopular incumbent in the midst of a pandemic and an economic decline. He is facing a much different opponent, Joseph R. Biden Jr., who has carefully studied mistakes Mrs. Clinton made in 2016.

Yet with two weeks until Election Day, Mr. Trump retains a narrow path to victory, in the view of many analysts, one that would require him to draw on his most effective tactics from 2016 and make fundamental changes in his campaign style to expand his appeal beyond his political base. He also needs Mr. Biden to make a mistake.

via www.nytimes.com

Covering its toosh.

October 22, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

The ‘Good Censors’

When talking among themselves, Silicon Valley big shots sometimes say weird things. In an internal presentation in March 2018, Google executives were asked to imagine their company acting as a “Good Censor,” in order to limit the impact of users “behaving badly.”

In a 2016 internal video, Nick Foster, Google’s head of design, envisioned a “goal-driven ledger” of all users’ data, endowed with its own “volition or purpose,” which would nudge us to take decisions (say, about shopping or travel) that would “reflect Google’s values as an organization.”

If that doesn’t strike you as weird — like dialogue from some dystopian science-fiction novel — then you need to read more dystopian science fiction. (Start with Yevgeny Zamyatin’s astonishingly prescient “We.”)

The lowliest employees of big tech companies — the content moderators whose job it is to spot bad stuff online — offer a rather different perspective. “Remember ‘We’re the free speech wing of the free speech party’?” one of them asked Alex Feerst of OneZero last year, alluding to an early Twitter slogan. “How vain and oblivious does that sound now? Well, it’s the morning after the free speech party, and the place is trashed.”

And how.

via finance.yahoo.com

Niall Ferguson

October 22, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Postconstitutional America by Nathan Pinkoski | Articles | First Things

Anton does not indulge in such speculations, nor is he out to invoke the right to revolution. But he admires the fortitude of those who formed revolutionary committees in America in the 1770s. Moreover, he admires the fortitude of those who, responding to the “affront” delivered by the British monarchy, declared on the basis of natural law their right to revolution in 1776. He is aware that in taking the Declaration seriously, we take the right to revolution seriously, a right that the 1787 Constitution cannot revoke. For Americans, the easiest path to justifying revolution was set out by Abraham Lincoln, in his First Inaugural: “Think, if you can, of a single instance in which a plainly written provision of the Constitution has ever been denied.” If a minority is deprived of “any clearly written constitutional right,” and “if such right were a vital one,” then the deprivation “certainly would” justify revolution. But Anton restrains himself from such a Livy-esque exhortation to imitate former times. West Coast Straussianism may have changed, but not to the point of turning Lincoln’s obedience to natural law against Lincoln’s reverence for constitutional law.

via www.firstthings.com

How about the right to keep and bear arms?

October 22, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Postconstitutional America by Nathan Pinkoski | Articles | First Things

In his pessimism about American constitutionalism, Anton follows those who first transformed West Coast Straussianism, notably Charles Kesler, John Marini, Ronald J. ­Pestritto, and Bradley C. S. Watson. Aiming to describe more precisely than Jaffa did how the Constitution was lost, these men focused on American progressivism. For them, progressivism is a concrete project to replace the 1787 Constitution, as well as the principle of equality, with a new form of government: the administrative state. The administrative state denies the centrality of the principle of equality, and denies that the right to rule proceeds from the consent of the governed. In the administrative state, the governing class legitimates its power by appeals to expertise. A technocracy of the educated supersedes the democracy of the living and the dead.

During the twentieth century, the expansion of this kind of government affected every nation of the West. But unlike in other modern countries, in America it did not completely remove the old regime. The 1787 Constitution was neither explicitly overruled nor abolished. Instead, as the ­twentieth century wore on, the 1787 Constitution was overlaid by a “second Constitution,” which accorded with the ambitions of the progressive ­administrative state.

On this analysis, the American crisis is a constitutional crisis. Both ­constitutions—the written one and the implicit progressive one—operate. This means that power is exercised on the basis of two different understandings of the right to rule, two different legitimating principles. One is the principle of equality; the other is the claim of expertise. The crisis deepens because neither is strong enough fully to displace the other.

via www.firstthings.com

My problem is finding some reason to be hopeful about the whole thing.

October 22, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Joe Biden, Pre-Conciliar Catholic? | George Weigel | First Things

Some biographers suggest that JFK became more religiously serious after his infant son Patrick’s death in 1963. I certainly hope that was the case. For most of his life, however, Catholicism for John Fitzgerald Kennedy seems to have been less a matter of deep personal conversion than an ethnic marker—sometimes useful, sometimes troublesome, but always irradicable. Kennedy regularly performed what were then known as his “religious duties.” But their impact on his manner of life appears to have been minimal, and he had no grasp of Catholic political theory.

Speaking on Church-and-state to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association during the 1960 presidential campaign, Kennedy did American Catholicism a service by masterfully arraigning those who continued to indulge in that venerable American pastime, anti-Catholic bigotry: prejudices rooted in an ignorance that was amply displayed by the Protestant ministers who challenged JFK during the Houston meeting’s Q&A session. But Kennedy put the bigots in the dock by getting as much distance as possible between himself and serious Catholic thinking on school choice and religious conviction’s role in the public square, while seeming to acknowledge the possibility of a pope trying to boss around a Catholic president—which was about as likely in 1960 as the Vatican launching a manned mission to the moon. 

via www.firstthings.com

October 22, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Duke law students demand disinvitation of speaker for having same view as Obama in 2012 | The College Fix

Helen Alvaré is a George Mason University law professor who specializes in family, religion and property. She’s scheduled to speak to the Federalist Society chapter at the Duke University School of Law on a virtual panel discussion Monday about putting children first in family law, the subject of her 2017 book.

Her ideas are so dangerous than a quarter of all Duke law students signed an open letter in The Chronicle demanding Dean Kerry Abrams “remove” Alvaré from the event, which includes Duke Law Profs. Kathryn Bradley and Doriane Coleman, or “cancel the event entirely.”

via www.thecollegefix.com

October 22, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (1)

How China Threatens American Democracy | Foreign Affairs

For decades, conventional wisdom in the United States held that it was only a matter of time before China would become more liberal, first economically and then politically. We could not have been more wrong—a miscalculation that stands as the greatest failure of U.S. foreign policy since the 1930s. How did we make such a mistake? Primarily by ignoring the ideology of the Chinese Communist Party. Instead of listening to the CCP’s leaders and reading its key documents, we believed what we wanted to believe: that the Chinese ruling party is communist in name only.

Today, it would be a similarly grave mistake to assume that this ideology matters only within China. In fact, the CCP’s ideological agenda extends far beyond the country’s borders and represents a threat to the idea of democracy itself, including in the United States. Chinese President Xi Jinping’s ambitions for control are not limited to the people of China. Across the globe, the CCP aims to spread propaganda, restrict speech, and exploit personal data to malign ends. The United States, accordingly, cannot simply ignore the CCP’s ideological objectives. Washington must understand that the fight against Chinese aggression first requires recognizing it and defending ourselves against it here at home, before it is too late.

via www.foreignaffairs.com

October 22, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Hunter biz partner details Joe Biden's China dealings: Goodwin

Now we learn that Biden has secretly been playing footsie with China.

The statement Wednesday night asserting that the former vice president was a willing and eager participant in a family scheme to make millions of dollars by partnering with a shady Chinese Communist firm is a singular event in a presidential race already overflowing with drama and intrigue.

The dynamite assertion, believable because it aligns with earlier information we know to be true, came in a statement by Tony Bobulinski, who describes himself as a former partner of Hunter Biden, Joe Biden and Joe’s brother Jim in the China scheme. Bobulinski unloads his bill of accusations in blunt but precise language and detail.

He confirms that he was one of the recipients of the May 13, 2017, email published by The Post eight days ago. That email, from another partner in the group, laid out cash and equity positions and mysteriously included a 10 percent set-aside for “the big guy.”

via nypost.com

Some wise heads are saying the stock market has already priced in a Biden victory. We'll see. If so, I suspect Biden will have to pull back on his dealings with China. The War Party will be back in power.

October 22, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Breaking: Judiciary endorses Barrett, 12-0; Lee: "Abuse of power is their agenda"

Why didn’t Democrats send someone to object to a lack of quorum? Because that one person would have provided the quorum. In a Senate where people cared more about process and collegiality, this situation wouldn’t have arisen. But Democrats sacrificed process and collegiality in 2002-5 and outright slaughtered it in 2013. This is nothing more than just desserts, although Republicans have to know that they eventually will get the same treatment.

via hotair.com

October 22, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Why it's impossible to actually be a vegetarian

Plants make up the base of every food chain of the food web (also called the food cycle). Plants use available sunlight to convert water from the soil and carbon dioxide from the air into glucose, which gives them the energy they need to live. Unlike plants, animals can’t synthesize their own food. They survive by eating plants or other animals.

Clearly, animals eat plants. What’s not so clear from this picture is that plants also eat animals. They thrive on them, in fact (just Google “fish emulsion”). In my new book, “A Critique of the Moral Defense of Vegetarianism,” I call it the transitivity of eating. And I argue that this means one can’t be a vegetarian.

via theconversation.com

An in-law of an in-law of mine has a startup (recently did a B round for $95M or some such) that is interested in artificial meat (though that's not what it's doing now). Now that would be not exactly vegetarian, but it would not involve eating meat. However, there are all the dead plants in the coal that powers the big vats that boil up the meat gruel or whatever it is. But! Those could be powered by solar or nuclear I suppose.

October 22, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Is It Ethical to Keep Pets and Other Animals? It Depends on Where You Keep Them

New York City’s comprehensive code for animal welfare restricts when horse-drawn carriages can operate and bans the sale of the fatty liver of a force-fed duck, foie gras.

Washington state just adopted a new law that will enhance the life of egg-laying chickens, requiring that they live in an environment with “enrichments” like scratch areas, perches, nest boxes and areas to take the dust baths chickens so enjoy.

These bills, both passed in 2019, are part of an ongoing effort to codify the rights of animals, an area of the law I have studied and written about for 30 years. My next book, which will be published in 2020, develops a group of seven legal rights that I believe an ethical society should adopt to protect animals.

Freedom from cruelty of course makes the list. U.S. law has required this since New York first passed an anti-animal cruelty law in 1867. Today, all U.S. states have laws that prohibit the infliction of unnecessary pain and suffering. Modern law also protects the physical well-being of animals in human care by requiring they receive food, water and often veterinary care.

But a full life requires more than basic survival, so I propose some new rights for animals in my book. Perhaps most importantly, I argue that animals need a “right of place” – that is, access to sufficient physical space to live a natural life.

To be comfortable, content and to find their place in a social hierarchy, animals require space. Conversely, if an animal has too little space, then its home becomes a jail, a stressor, a frustrating moment that continues indefinitely.

via getpocket.com

Maybe I should teach a seminar on animal rights, if the powers that be will allow it. Or perhaps it's animal "rights."

October 22, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (1)