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Thursday, April 22, 2021

UPDATED: Bonfire Of Democracy?

Stay with me here. It take a bit to get this point across.

Larry Elder has a thoughtful article out, which you can read without the extraneous ads, here: Derek Chauvin: The Great White Defendant. As you can probably tell from the title, what Elder does is try to place the Floyd/Chauvin/Police event in the context of Tom Wolfe's novel, The Bonfire of the Vanities.

Here's how Elder does that:


A review of "Bonfire" explains: 

"The overarching theme of the book is the search for the great white defendant. The vast majority of defendants in New York City are minorities, arrested for killing another minority. The vast majority of the cops and prosecutors are all about the press and their careers. One drug dealer killing another drug dealer is not going to get you any attention; it's a dog-bites-man story -- no story. What you want is a man-bites-dog story. Therefore, subliminally, the police, prosecutors and press are always looking for a great white defendant who will make their careers."

Nobody, Wolfe writes, gets upset about massive media coverage of The Great White Defendant. Blacks enjoy watching media coverage of well-off white men, in this case a Wall Street trader, accused of serious wrongdoing, in this case murder. Guilty whites are used to perpetuate the systemic racism media narrative. And the media feel noble when pushing it. Win, win, win.

This brings us to the trial of Derek Chauvin, the white ex-Minneapolis cop convicted of murdering George Floyd, a Black man who initially resisted arrest.


What's a bit different now is that the Dems have latched onto this phenomenon in, yes, a systematic way. Whereas the earlier narrative leveraged publicity for the career purposes of prosecutors--which still goes on in the usual ad hoc way--this technique is currently being deployed for ideological movement oriented purposes. That's not entirely different, of course, from past efforts to incite public outrage and unrest, although the single minded determination of the MSM (broadly speaking) to drum the desired ideological narrative into the public mind over a period decades, utilizing mass rioting and show trials, is quite impressive. 

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Lockdowns--The Brainchild Of A 14 Year Old's School Project?

Along with forever wars it seems forever lockdowns are another part of the Dubya legacy. And instead of interdisciplinary teams of scientists, economists, and legal scholars coming to the momentous decision--after years of peer reviewed studies--to throw our society and political order up for grabs in response to a relatively non-threatening respiratory virus, it seems that it was all instigated by a school project written by a 14 year old.

I'm not kidding. I know it sounds incredible, but remember--we're talking about government policy planning here. The question, as framed nearly a year ago by Jeffrey A. Tucker, in 


The 2006 Origins of the Lockdown Idea


runs like this:


How did a temporary plan to preserve hospital capacity turn into two-to-three months of near-universal house arrest that ended up causing worker furloughs at 256 hospitals, a stoppage of international travel, a 40% job loss among people earning less than $40K per year, devastation of every economic sector, mass confusion and demoralization, a complete ignoring of all fundamental rights and liberties, not to mention the mass confiscation of private property with forced closures of millions of businesses?  

Whatever the answer, it’s got to be a bizarre tale. What’s truly surprising is just how recent the theory behind lockdown and forced distancing actually is. So far as anyone can tell, the intellectual machinery that made this mess was invented 14 years ago, and not by epidemiologists but by computer-simulation modelers. It was adopted not by experienced doctors – they warned ferociously against it – but by politicians. 


Tucker found the story behind the lockdown strategy laid out in a NYT article from February, 2006--Greetings Kill: Primer for a Pandemic.

Quick--Can You Name A Federal Agency That Doesn't Spy On You?

I don't think I'd want to bet anything important--like, the price of a cup of coffee--on getting the answer to that question right. Not after reading this:


US Postal Service Running 'Covert Operations Program' To Spy On Americans' Social Media Posts, Share With Agencies


Here's what caught someone's attention:




Among other things the USPS--and their cadre of those omnipresent 'analysts'--wants to know is, are you planning to protest Covid lockdowns? How many 'analysts' do you think the government has by now?

Even liberals found it all a trifle bizarre:

Tucker And Turley Weigh In On Chauvin Trial

Tucker Carlson, in his own inimitable way, expressed what took place at the Chauvin trial (via RedState):


The jury in the Derek Chauvin trial came to a unanimous and unequivocal verdict Tuesday afternoon: “Please don’t hurt us.” The jurors spoke for many in this country; everyone understood perfectly well the consequences of an acquittal in this case.

After nearly a year of burning, looting, and murder by BLM, that was never in doubt. Last night, 2,000 miles from Minneapolis, police in Los Angeles preemptively blocked roads. Why? They knew what would happen if Derek Chauvin got off.

But here’s what we can’t debate: no mob has the right to destroy our cities. Not under any circumstances, not for any reason. No politician or media figure has the right to intimidate a jury, and no political party has the right to impose a different standard of justice on its own supporters.

Those things are unacceptable in America, but all of them are happening now. If they continue to happen, decent, productive people will leave. The country as we knew it will be over. So we must stop this current insanity. It’s an attack on civilization.


Here's the full segment:

Where Are New Covid Cases Coming From?

Steve Bannon interviewed a very prominent epidemiologist on just this topic--Harvey Risch, from Yale, who has also been an exponent of the early use of HCQ to treat Covid. An excerpt of that interview is available at LifeSite: 


Yale public health professor suggests 60% of new COVID-19 patients have received vaccine

'Clinicians have been telling me that more than half of the new COVID cases that they’re treating are people who have been vaccinated,' said Dr. Harvey Risch.


I've come up with a complete transcript of that excerpt. What Risch has to say shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who's moderately well informed. While most people almost certainly believe they're getting jabbed in order to save themselves from a deadly viral infection--and, secondarily, to save others--the reality is quite different. For starters, the shots don't prevent infection nor, as has leaked out slowly, do they necessarily prevent reinfection. Here's Risch and Steve Bannon:

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Very Brief: Meet The New DAG

 Lisa Monaco, Deep State apparatchik extraordinaire:



Read her full Wiki bio. Super tied in with Robert Mueller and Andrew Weissmann.

ADDENDUM: And speaking of DoJ, Emerald Robinson is on a roll:


Quick And Brief: SWC's Predictions

I wondered about not enough time to review the evidence, too:




OT, but after all, it's about our court system. Notice I didn't say legal system:



Jason Whitlock says it:



BRIEFLY NOTED: One Jab And Three Brain Surgeries Later ...

The good news is that 18 year old Emma Burkey--one jab and three brain surgeries later--is no longer suffering seizures, is out of the induced coma, and is off the respirator. She still has a tracheostomy tube in place though--which impairs her ability to give a big shout out to J&J--but is "recovering slowly." Which presumably beats the alternative. It's the risk you run when you participate in a medical experiment:


Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine recipient in Nevada undergoes 3 brain surgeries following jab


People my age will remember the great polio scare. This article is deeply interesting:


Gates Vaccine Spreads Polio Across Africa


And this one makes some pretty good points:


The big lie: How COVID-19 became a disinformation operation wrapped in a virus

The CCP pulled off the greatest deception in modern history

 

As I write this I hear that there's a verdict--c'mon, you know what I'm talkin' about. I presume that means 'guilty' of something.


Polling Hoaxes

When a regime needs to rely on hoax polls to gaslight the public into--hopefully--believing that everyone supports what's going on, you can bet they're in trouble. The goal is to suggest to people that they're all alone in being unhappy, isolated from family, friends, neighbors, community, nation. There's no point in beefing to them about how bad things are and--above all--there's no point in voting against the way things are. This tactic works less and less, as public distrust of the MSM and politicians reaches higher and higher levels. The wide availability of fact based information on the internet to counter the fake news is another huge countervailing factor. 

And so, if like me you read the Pew Poll with wonderment, you were probably thankful to be enlightened about what was really going on. All in one tweet:



Right. If you believed that 59% number you probably also believe that the mRNA are 95% effective with no side effects.

Liz Peek at Fox has an overview of recent polling:


Biden's weak poll numbers – here's why many Americans unhappy with president, radical policies

Deeper dive into the numbers suggests support for the president is lukewarm


Basically, what Peek's deeper dive tells us is that, even in polls that show Zhou Baiden with his head above water, the real story is in the discrepancy between "strongly approve" and "strongly disapprove." The really key point in the article is: "Lukewarm doesn't get people to the voting booth." Not everybody in America votes in every election, and that's especially true in midterms, and that's why that discrepancy matters--a lot.

Monday, April 19, 2021

Complications

Fallout from the "pause" that was placed on the J&J Covid medication is continuing. As we know, the concerns about the J&J shot center on blood clotting. Today at LifeSite there's an extensive article on that subject:


Scientists warn Pfizer, Moderna vaccines may cause blood clots, too

The Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca COVID vaccines are under the microscope for their potential to cause blood clots, but scientists warn Pfizer and Moderna vaccines pose similar risks.


A lot of the content of the article derives from scientists associated with the anti-vaxxing movement. I say that not to disparage them, but simply in the interests of full disclosure for anyone who follows the link. These same scientists also cite medical establishment studies. I'm not qualified to pass judgment in any strictly scientific way--but you knew that already, right? My primary interest is in the bigger agenda of the people who have been dispensing disinformation about both the virus itself as well as the proper response to it--masking, lockdowns, school closures, etc. 

At the same time, when qualified individuals cite reasonable grounds for questioning the establishment narrative that is being used to deprive us of our freedoms, a certain amount of attention to medical and scientific issues is unavoidable. Yesterday I presented the views of a number of individuals, including two scientists who are actually active in the field of vaccine development. They both argued strongly that hesitancy to be vaxxed is, in fact, reasonable in the circumstances. 

America's Problem In A Graph

It's true--you can really can fool an awful lot of people most of the time. For example ...



How many of these low info folks do you suppose have even heard about Fauci funding the Wuhan research that gave us Covid-19--after that same research was banned in the US? But, of course, the people Fauci fronts for know all about that. Fools and cynics in the same mix lead to a perfect anti-constitutional storm.

Here's another joke on us. Fauci, as you know, is now going around touting multiple mask wearing. And yet ...


Stanford study quietly published at NIH.gov proves face masks are absolutely worthless against Covid


Yep, a peer reviewed study conducted at a prestigious university and published by the government's public health establishment came to that conclusion:


Did you hear about the peer-reviewed study done by Stanford University that demonstrates beyond a reasonable doubt that face masks have absolutely zero chance of preventing the spread of Covid-19? No? It was posted on the the National Center for Biotechnological Information government website. The NCBI is a branch of the National Institute for Health, so one would think such a study would be widely reported by mainstream media and embraced by the “science-loving” folks in Big Tech.


And, No, this study wasn't widely reported. Moreover, not only did the study conclude that masking confers no benefit, but it also concluded that it poses serious risks:


The existing scientific evidences challenge the safety and efficacy of wearing facemask as preventive intervention for COVID-19. The data suggest that both medical and non-medical facemasks are ineffective to block human-to-human transmission of viral and infectious disease such SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19, supporting against the usage of facemasks. Wearing facemasks has been demonstrated to have substantial adverse physiological and psychological effects. These include hypoxia, hypercapnia, shortness of breath, increased acidity and toxicity, activation of fear and stress response, rise in stress hormones, immunosuppression, fatigue, headaches, decline in cognitive performance, predisposition for viral and infectious illnesses, chronic stress, anxiety and depression. Long-term consequences of wearing facemask can cause health deterioration, developing and progression of chronic diseases and premature death. Governments, policy makers and health organizations should utilize prosper and scientific evidence-based approach with respect to wearing facemasks, when the latter is considered as preventive intervention for public health.


Here's one reason that so few people have heard about this study:



And yet I've heard Fauci referred to as "the hero of the pandemic." In fairness, Fauci appears to have been the second choice, as a replacement for the first hero--Andrew Cuomo. Liberals--what to say?


Sunday, April 18, 2021

Vax Hesitancy--Reasonable Or Not?

Is it reasonable to hesitate to allow people to inject gene therapy medications into your body? I want to present some material that addresses that question. There should be four links, but I'll try to keep most of this fairly brief. The final link will directly address the issue of Vaccine Hesitancy in exactly those terms. The first three links address the unusual nature of the Covid 'vaccines'. Some of these articles were sponsored by anti-vaxxing organizations, but the authors are by no means anti-vaxxers themselves--in fact, the final two articles feature scientists who have spent years in the field of vaccine development. For that reason, I hope that the views presented will be balanced.

So, first:


Dr. J. Patrick Whelan, a pediatric rheumatologist, warned the FDA in December that mRNA vaccines could cause microvascular injury to the brain, heart, liver and kidneys in ways not assessed in safety trials.

If you've been following the Covid vaccine news you may have heard about blood clotting issues. However, for me the most interesting part of this article has to do with neurological problems associated with Covid-19 the disease. What researchers have been finding is neurological problems in the brains of Covid-19 sufferers, but a lack of any evidence of actual viral presence in the brain. Scientists are speculating that these problems--damage to organs remote from the actual site of Covid infection--are caused not by the virus per se but by the famous "spike protein" (S-protein) alone. 

That's me summarizing. Here's an excerpt from the article that should provide a succinct idea of the reason concerns are rising regarding the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaxxes. As you'll see, these discussions are taking place in what could be called "medical establishment" journals, such as the New England Journal of Medicine--not just at anti-vaxxing sites:

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Russia Stuff And Our Corrupt Rulers

This is all very depressing to see--the utter mendaciousness of our ruling class: elected representatives of the American people, appointees, the military establishment, the intelligence community, and last but far from least, the media. The corruption is so sweeping that you're left almost breathless. And they're utterly feckless, to boot.

Let's start with Gilbert Doctorow--Bombast From Washington: Joe Biden’s Russia Sanctions. Doctorow first explains that nobody who understands the current shape of the world is taking those sanctions seriously. Putin himself is obviously unfazed. The DC armchair imperialists have crossed a red line, and Putin has responded--as Doctorow explains in a Postscript to his original article:

The Deep State Strikes Back

Last night I read at Hans Mahncke's twitter feed about a WaPo article about Kash Patel, Devin Nunes' lead investigator who rose to become a key figure in the intelligence structure during the last months of President Trump's administration--at the NSC, ODNI, and DoD. Patel is being targeted by the Deep State for supposed leaks in an article by Aaron Maté at RealClear Investigations (February 25, 2021): In Final Days, Trump Gave Up on Forcing Release of Russiagate Files, Nunes Prober Says

For whatever reason I'm unable to access Twitter this morning (but see below). As I recall, Mahncke focused on the key role that Bluto Barr played in pressuring Trump not to declassify and release the most damaging documents that would disclose the full extent of Deep State criminality--both against Trump but more generally with regard to domestic spying. 

Sundance has a fairly comprehensive account of this story--the targeting of Patel and the significance of it--this morning. Like Mahncke, sundance highlights the key role of Barr in this disgraceful episode, which is still playing out. Barr, of course, is one of the ultimate insiders and knew full well that the Deep State would seek revenge against patriots like Patel--as an object lesson to others to back off from any attempts to expose Deep State criminality. This makes his own role all the more reprehensible.


Buried Lead – Washington Post Outlines AG Barr As Key Figure Who Blocked Declassification of Spygate Documents


We all know the Deep State national security state--the Intelligence Community (especially CIA, FBI, and NSA) in cooperation with DoJ, DoS, DoD,and other agencies--has been growing in power and influence since World War Two. However, this growth has metastasized in the wake of 9/11 to the point that we see today, defying the authority of the elected president of the United States and cowing the Congress and SCOTUS into submission. 

Friday, April 16, 2021

The Answer Seems To Be 'No'

Here's one that I was puzzling over yesterday, but I got the answer and learned my lesson.

Many of you will know that the big story for some time in Chicago has been the police shooting of a 13 year old Mexican boy. His mother says she loved him and all that, but he was out at 3AM and she hadn't seem him for several days. Who says school lockdowns save lives? Well, talk to the Chicago (government) Teachers Union about that. We know he wasn't doing his homework. He was out running around with a gun and was apparently nicknamed 'Li'l Homicide', whatever that means.

But then at a certain point the mother just shut up. Which suggests that she'd been threatened by a gang--at least that's the suggestion I came away with.

Anyway, the video of the shooting was finally released and some people thought that there'd be massive riots. I was skeptical--and so was Steve Sailer.


So, Will BLM Riot Over a Mexican Tonight in Chicago?

...

It will be interesting to see if there will be a riot over this, and if so, who will do the rioting? Does BLM think this is an example of evil White Supremacy that they care about. Or is it racist to say that “Mexican lives matter,” just like it is racist to say “all lives matter” (and unthinkable to say that “white lives matter”)?

Or do “Person of Color Lives Matter?”

And will Antifa in Portand and Seattle riot over Mexican lives mattering?

I’m clueless.

...


So the answer was, No. There was a small, actually (as opposed to 'mostly') peaceful protest in Millennium Park. That was it. Lesson learned.


Thursday, April 15, 2021

GOP Enthusiastic Over Nadler's SCOTUS Packing Bill

You can read some good coverage on this issue at Red State. Earlier on the first post today I linked to Thomas Lifson explaining why Nadler's surprise move is a sign of Dem desperation--they see continuing and even increasing disasters for the Zhou Baiden regime. That's the only rational explanation for not waiting for Zhou's "Commission" to even meet. At Red State Brandon Morse addresses this:


Dems Unveil Plan to Pack the Supreme Court but Republicans Can't Wait for Them to Try


The reason for GOP enthusiasm is totally obvious: This is an incredible surefire win for the GOP going into Election 2022. Pelosi has only two votes to spare in her House--will that fail? It just may, and that signals the type of existential desperation that Daniel McCarthy talks about:


The Democratic party is dying. That may be hard to believe since Democrats control both houses of Congress and won the last presidential election with a record 81 million votes. But the exiguous margins of their hold on the House and Senate, with fewer than 51 percent of the seats in either chamber, tell another story, as does the desperation of their struggle to abolish the filibuster and federalize election law.

Those policy aims are of a piece with dreams of packing the Supreme Court — and packing the Senate too, by admitting tiny Democratic bastions as new states. The left wing of the party even assails the constitutional principle behind the Senate itself, the idea of equal representation of the states.

Simply put, Democrats know they can no longer win by the old agreed-upon rules, constitutional or otherwise. ...


So, the Dem schemes, says McCarthy are a sign of weakness--not strength. Before you argue against him, consider that the polling is strongly against the Dems on this SCOTUS issue. The GOP would not be so openly elated if they didn't know this too:

Important: Amazon Reverses Some Book Bans

From the Christian Post via FR--Amazon reverses ban on book helping parents rescue kids from transgenderism after pushback:


The online retail giant blocked the book Desist, Detrans, & Detox: Getting Your Child Out of the Gender Cult by Maria Keffler, the co-founder of the recently-formed Partners for Ethical Care, from being sold on its platform six days after its publication.

The book's removal comes on the heels of a similar move earlier this year when Amazon scrubbed scholar Ryan Anderson's book, When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment, which had until recently been allowed on the platform since its initial publication in 2018. Last summer, Amazon also prohibited the publisher of Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters by journalist Abigail Shrier from purchasing ads to promote the book.

Keffler told The Christian Post in a phone interview on Wednesday that she wasn't surprised Amazon blocked her book, though she had hoped it would last longer than six days.

"We fully expected it to happen. We knew it was going to. We decided to launch it on multiple platforms because we expected it to be canceled. And so that's why we also put it on Smashwords as well as Lulu, a print platform," Keffler said.

Shortly after CP's interview with Keffler Wednesday, the author said that the online retailer sent her an email, which she shared with CP, explaining that the scrubbing of the book was an "error." The Kindle version went live and the paperback version should be reactivated soon. Amazon had previously told her that the book had violated their terms of service, which she challenged.

In a subsequent email to CP, Keffler said it was possible that "a calling and emailing onslaught may have affected the outcome" as "lots and lots of people were contacting Amazon to complain."


I checked at Amazon. When Harry Became Sally isn't available, but the other two are. There's more at the link.

The importance of this is a reminder to avoid defeatism. 


UPDATED: The Zhou Regime Blinks

It was pretty clear from the beginning that the Zhou Baiden regime's decision to use the hapless Ukraine to push Putin around and bend him to the Zhou regime's will was going to end badly. That seems official now. After all the belligerent rhetoric emanating from the Deep State someone--probably Putin--seems to have convinced the regime that they were painting themselves into a corner. Given that all the escalation was a result of mouthing off on the part of the Zhou regime directed at Russia, this is clearly a humiliating climb down. Ray McGovern covers this:


Baiden and Blinken Blink on Ukraine

President Zhou Baiden has now taken a waiver on the "unwavering", full-throated support that he, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg had been giving to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The recurring "unwavering" meme was played right up until late Tuesday after Baiden’s telephone talk with Putin Tuesday.

Zelensky’ earlier profession was comedy. But what serious people saw in his decree three weeks ago (March 24) was a de facto declaration of war on Russia. With that decree, it became the official policy of Ukraine to take Crimea back from Russia. Kiev began to dispatch by rail tons of military equipment headed south and east. And Russia did the same – south and west to Crimea, and to the Donbass where armed clashes have increased between the Ukrainian regime and anti-coup-regime forces (dubbed "pro-Russian separatists" by western media) determined to preserve a degree of autonomy.

With strong rhetorical support from the U.S. and NATO, the Ukrainian regime seemed eager to let slip the dogs of war. Then someone – whether in Washington or Moscow, or both – apparently told Zelensky that "unwavering" rhetoric was not going to protect him from disaster, should he tweak too tightly the nose of the Russian bear. On April 9, Zelensky used his Facebook page to call off the dogs of war and stress the need to establish a new truce in the Donbass. Earlier that day the commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian armed forces had said that the use of force to "liberate" the Donbass is unacceptable, since Ukraine "puts the lives of its citizens in first place", and civilian as well as military casualties would be massive.


That's rather remarkable, isn't it? The CinC of Ukraine's military made a public statement to the effect of: For God's sake, Zelensky, stop acting like a Neocon puppet because you do not have our support. Talk about being chopped off at the knees! Zelensky is revealed to the world as pretty much a president in name only. Not to put too fine a point on the matter, Ukraine itself is revealed--for anyone with any lingering doubts--to be a US puppet that's being manipulated by an incompetent or mad puppet master. The stuff about NATO? Please. They're simply the DC Deep State's poodle, but you can bet that they, too, were sending some borderline hysterical messaging to DC to back off.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Email Notifications

I just got this message from Google. As I understand it, beginning in July the email subscription/notification feature will no longer work. As a result, readers who use that feature will need to adjust:


FollowByEmail widget (Feedburner) is going away 
You are receiving this information because your blog uses the FollowByEmail widget (Feedburner).  

Recently, the Feedburner team released a system update announcement , that the email subscription service will be discontinued in July 2021.  

After July 2021, your feed will still continue to work, but the automated emails to your subscribers will no longer be supported. If you’d like to continue sending emails, you can download your subscriber contacts. Learn how


I haven't read further or "Learned How," so I'm not sure how or whether I'll address this

UPDATED: Is This One Way?

Fire, meet gasoline:



It's not totally clear to me how "historical inequities" enter into a police officer confusing their taser gun with their service handgun. Nevertheless, we now learn that the mayor of Brooklyn Center has found one way to immediately address "historical inequities"--or something like that:


Black City Manager Fired For Saying Officer Who Shot Daunte Wright Deserves ‘Due Process’


Now, here's a thought. Is there a difference between an "historical" and an "historic" inequity--or can one incident be both? If the two are different, should they be treated differently--and if so why? Here's what I'm getting at.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

In Bull Durham News

You've probably seen some of the stories that are floating around about Bull Durham. He's issuing subpoena's to Brookings--OMG! He's suspicious about the FBI's turning a blind eye to Chris Steele's use of Igor Danchenko as a primary source--Holy Cow!

If this excites you, I recommend Shipwreckedcrew's article:


Russian Hoax Prosecutor John Durham Issues Subpoena to Democrat Party Think Tank "Brookings Institute"


For my money, I'm still not impressed. SWC notes--way at the end of his article:


The continued use of information from Danchenko has always been a huge “red-flag” problem in my review of the FBI’s conduct.  There was simply too much information known to the FBI by December 2016 and January 2017 to press forward with the investigation while continuing to rely on earlier judgments that there was some substance to the Russia Hoax allegations.


Guess what? That information was also known to IG Michael Horowitz very early on in his investigation. Did Horowitz really just sit on that information until his report came out in December, 2019--no heads up to Bull Durham or Bluto Barr? I find that hard to believe. Anyway, what stood in the way of the incredibly competent and legendarily aggressive Dynamic Duo finding out that really basic information on their own? Nothing that I can think of. For example, couldn't they have asked Kevin Clinesmith about sources for the Dossier? Or any of several other FBI employees? And yet ...

Durham didn't issue a subpoena to Danchenko's employer, the Brookings Institute, until ... December 2020? A year after Horowitz's report came out? Puh-leeze! Look--if that had been my case I would have served Brookings with a subpoena for all documentation regarding Danchenko the day after I found out he was Steele's source--maybe even the same day. From where I'm sitting, none of this passes the sniff test. Were they investigating or were they not? What's so hard about issuing subpoenas for documents? Delays due to Covid? What BS. And now SWC thinks that Durham will try to flip Danchenko? Sounds to me that, now, in 2021, Durham is just getting started. So what was all the BS Barr was putting out about the supposed investigation?

ADDENDUM: Yeah, I can see this:



Also this:



It's just so hard for me to believe at this point that Durham is really trying to get the big story out. We all know what it was about, and it's taken Durham over a year to get just very, very basic records? C'mon, man!


Conrad Black's Tour de Force

Today Conrad Black has an outstanding take-down of the WSJ's foolish anti-Trump editorial (on Friday). The WSJ editorial is titled "The GOP's Trump Problem"--see, Trump is the problem. Black responds with some heavy artillery of his own:


The GOP’s Trump Solution

At some point, the former Republican establishment will have to familiarize itself with the consequences of being defeated by Donald Trump within its own party.


Black covers a lot of ground. I'll try to summarize the main points, while urging readers to follow the link--you won't regret it. Black talks turkey, explains the facts of political life in lucid terms.

Black's basic thesis is that the WSJ has things exactly backwards. Trump is not the problem for the GOP. Rather, the Never Trumps are the problem. Trump had a remarkably successful term, especially in light of the constant betrayals and the concerted Dem and Deep State assault on our constitutional order. The reality, contrary to the WSJ's view, is that Republicans want more of the Trump agenda--whether led by Trump himself or by a Trump approved proxy. In fact, the disastrous start and likely deepening national crisis we are experiencing under the Zhou Baiden regime (whoever or what cabal actually is pulling the strings) favor this solution for the GOP, in Black's view:

Who's Afraid Of Covid?

Spoiler: It's young people.

It's a Covid day, and this story from the Epoch Times (which I picked up through Zerohedge) is rather fascinating. The article is based off a YouGov poll that you can read about here. What the Epoch Times author did was to inquire into what lies behind the seemingly contra indicated results of the YouGov poll:


Why Young Adults Are The Most Scared Of COVID, Even Though They Are The Least At Risk


Back when I was in the waning years of my working life, we old timers (I was in my 50s then) were constantly being told that the Bureau would be hiring large numbers of "computer savvy young people" to lead the FBI into the brave new digital world of law enforcement. I was pretty unimpressed with these supposedly "computer savvy" youngsters--their savviness usually extended to using electronic gadgets like cell phones, but did not extend to critical analysis of the vast amounts of data made available on the internet. Nor was I able to see much interest in learning. It was old timers who seemed more interested in the implications of understanding how data is collected and used.

Sorry if I bored you with that, but it seems to play into the YouGov results. Here's what YouGov found:

UPDATED: Briefly Noted: Covid, Covid, Covid!

COVID: So while making coffee just now I listened to CBS radio announcing that states have been asked to "pause", i.e., stop, giving the Johnson & Johnson vax. A limited number of people have dropped dead as a result of blood clots associated with the injection. I presume that this will lead non-brain dead people to reconsider participating in a vast experiment that involves injecting untested substances into their bodies.

COVID: That's especially true given that study after study has demonstrated that 1) for most people Covid presents just about "zero" risk (that's a quote from Stanford's Dr. John Ioannidis) and 2) there actually are effective medical treatments. Speaking of which, a Canadian firm has come up with an anti-viral nasal spray--they liken it to a hand sanitizer for your nose. This is it:


'REVOLUTIONARY' Nasal spray kills off 99.99 per cent of Covid virus, new research shows'


The active agent is nitric oxide, which is well known as an antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial, vasodilator, immuno-modulator, wound healing promotor. It was discovered by Dr. Ferid Murad, who won a Nobel (1998) for his part in the research. I confidently expect Murad's reputation to be totally trashed, now that he's gotten himself involved in developing a cheap, safe, easy to use, highly effective medical treatment for Covid. That's the way things work now, right? Anyone who suggests using known antiviral agents that are cheap and safe are smeared as quacks. We cherish our pandemic.

Monday, April 12, 2021

Briefly Noted: Margot Cleveland Shares My Hope

Today Margot Cleveland reviews the SCOTUS decision on Free Exercise of religion in Tandon v. Newsom. Yesterday we discussed Shipwreckedcrew's views on the case. SWC noted the emergence of what seems to be a solid five vote majority on the SCOTUS that 


1) favors a robust application of the Free Exercise clause and 

2) has run out of patience with CJ Roberts' go-slow approach.


I concluded by expressing the hope that the Tandon decision signals a shift in basic attitudes on the part of the SCOTUS with regard to conflicts between guaranteed constitutional rights and state regulation:


To speculate a bit on equally broad issues, I wonder whether this get tough approach when it comes to the First Amendment v. State regulation may presage an openness to reexamining the entire notion of judicial deference to the supposed "expertise" of the administrative state. We know that Gorsuch's views on that subject--and I believe the same applies to Justice Amy--were key to his nomination. In point of fact, all three of the other justices in the majority--Thomas, Alito, and Kavanaugh--seem open to that reexamination to one degree or another. That would be major good news.


You can find Cleveland's fine discussion of the case here:

Briefly Noted: 'Brown Bagging It' Takes On A New Meaning

Not long ago I did a post on the phenomenon of government checks stimulating gun sales. Today we get further confirmation in an article from the Chicago Sun Times:


One factor in rising gun sales in Chicago? Cash from coronavirus relief checks


Interestingly--but entirely predictably--whereas the weapon of choice in the past used to be "Saturday Night Specials", often .22 revolvers, the criminal element appears to have gone in for upgrading their armory, using their stimulus checks for that purpose. I've seen stories on shootings now that feature fairly upscale 9mm guns in unexpected situations.

I was bemused, however, to read about the new meaning to be attached to the familiar phrase "brown bagging it":

UPDATED: Briefly Noted: Vaccine Or Death By Volcano

I've been puzzling a bit over this story of the explosive eruption of the volcano La Soufriere on the Caribbean island of St. Vincent. It's turned out to be a rather serious eruption, calling for the evacuation of a major portion of the island--preferably to neighboring islands.

The snag is that we've been hearing that those who have not been Covid vaxxed will not be evacuated. "They" is the overwhelming population of the island, since only about 10% of the 100K population has been vaxxed.

In trying to make sense of this situation I initially assumed that what was going on was simply that the evacuation ships are actually Carnival cruise ships, the ships and potential evacuees ran afoul of regulations that require all cruise passengers be vaxxed.

However, Monica Showalter has a nice update on the situation--St. Vincent volcano evacuation: No COVID vaccine, no rescue for you!--and it seems that Carnival is denying that it is refusing to evacuated non-vaxxed persons. It's the St. Vincent Prime Minister, Ralph Gonsalves, who made that decision. Showalter links to various sources:


according to a report from the Daily Wire, citing other news sources:

The island’s Prime Minister, Ralph Gonsalves, then sparked criticism by saying that those boarding cruise ships or seeking temporary refuge on nearby islands must be vaccinated against COVID-19. Those who have not yet been vaccinated — numbering in the thousands — will not be permitted to leave the island, and will be housed in local hotels in “safe zones,” according to the Prime Minister.

“Gonsalves said only vaccinated residents who have been checked and identified by Dr. Simone Keizer-Beache, the St. Vincent and the Grenadines chief medical officer, will be allowed to board the ships out of an abundance of caution,” reported ABC News.

So, it's like the entire island is run by a cultish madman: No one gets out alive! And that's about the size of it. Wikipedia informs us that Gonsalves--now serving his fifth term--is "known affectionately as 'Comrade Ralph'".

Just a reminder, for those--such as middle class liberals--who don't seem to get the concept of elections, that you actually do get what you vote for in the long run.

UPDATE: Zerohedge, as usual, has some excellent coverage of this volcanic eruption with remarkable photos. The first explosive eruption occurred on Friday and Zerohedge had this post on Saturday:


"Looks Like Nuclear Winter" -  St. Vincent Awaits Next Volcanic Explosion


Nuclear Winter sounds like an unpleasant experience. At that time, even as Zerohedge quoted experts stating that the worst may be yet to come--and it's very bad so far--the leftist PM seemed to have adopted a philosophical approach to the eruption, being quoted as saying: "What goes up must come down." Well, at least even this leftist can "follow the science" that far.

However, as of this morning the PM was still refusing to allow the unvaxxed portion of the population--90%--to be evacuated on cruise ships. He was also calling on government employees to report for work. This, as the experts are being proved correct:


Another Massive Explosion Rocks St. Vincent As Hot Ash Rains Down


La Soufriere volcano "continues to erupt explosively and has now begun to generate pyroclastic density currents. Explosions and accompanying ashfall, of similar or larger magnitude, are likely to continue to occur over the next few days," warned St. Vincent's emergency management organization (NEMO). 

...

The large explosion at La Soufriere Volcano occurred early Monday morning and could be the biggest one yet. Thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes and placed in shelters. The volcano first erupted on Friday. Cruise ships arrived at the eastern Caribbean island this past weekend, only allowing vaccinated people to leave the island. 

"It's destroying everything in its path," Erouscilla Joseph, director of the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Center, told The Associated Press. "Anybody who would have not heeded the evacuation, they need to get out immediately."

Joseph compares the latest explosion to the one in 1902 when 1,600 people died. In total, the volcano has had six eruptions -- in 1718, 1812, 1814, 1902/03, 1979, and 2021.

NEMO said explosions and accompanying ashfall of similar or larger magnitude are likely to continue over the next few days.


More remarkable photos and video.


Sunday, April 11, 2021

Shipwreckedcrew On The SCOTUS' Free Exercise Decision

As most of you will already be aware, on Friday the First Amendment right to the Free Exercise of religion got a boost from the SCOTUS in a 5-4 decision. Shipwreckedcrew has what I consider to be an enlightening article on this decision, which I'll try to summarize for general readership. Here's a link to the article:


What the Supreme Court Did Friday in Reversing the Ninth Circuit in a Religious Freedom Case -- Again


The case in question had to do with California restrictions on in-house religious worship--supposedly put in place to combat Covid. A key to understanding the significance of this decision is the fact that it was NOT formally a decision on the merits of the case. Rather, it was a decision on whether a preliminary injunction should be issued while the case was appealed. The plaintiffs had challenged the CA restrictions in federal district court, where the restrictions were upheld. They then appealed to the 9th Circuit and requested an injunction on the enforcement of the restrictions while the appeal was pending. A three judge panel of the 9th Circuit refused to issue that injunction and the plaintiffs appealed to the SCOTUS--which told the 9th Circuit that they'd got it all wrong and instructed the 9th Circuit to issue the injunction.

SWC makes the following interesting point. There are a number of similar free exercise cases that the SCOTUS has dealt with, but always on the level of preliminary injunctions. The result is that, in SWC's words, there are:


a host of religious freedom matters that are currently the subject of litigation around the country, many of which involve clashes between the constitutionally grounded religious free exercise right, and statutorily based “civil rights.”


In other words, the First Amendment's Free Exercise clause has become a hot button issue in constitutional litigation, with State legislatures increasingly seeking to restrict free exercise in preference to other "civil rights". For example, the "right" to sexual or gender based expression. While those cases may be different in some respects from Covid related "public health" cases, the similarity is that they all impact a fundamental constitutional right--an explicit right, not a "right" legislated by courts from the penumbras of the constitution.

Tip Of The Iceberg?

I don't want to spend much time on this. Concerns about BLM money raising have been floating around for a long time--including among BLM true believers. Now ...


'How much of her money is actually going to charitable causes?' Head of NYC BLM chapter calls for probe into organization's co-founder as it's revealed 'she has spent $3MILLION on FOUR luxury homes'

BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors, 37, recently bought a plush property in Topanga Canyon in a tony area of Los Angeles for $1.4 million

She also bought three other homes in the past five years, the NY Post reports

The head of New York City's BLM chapter is now calling for an investigation into the organization's finances, asking how much Cullors has contributed to charity

BLM brought in $90 million in donations last year, it emerged in March.


 Or maybe I could have titled this: Knock me over with a feather?

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Very Briefly Noted: How The Intel Community Sees Things Circa 2040

Stu Cvrk has an interesting takedown of ODNI's new "Global Trends" document:


Every four years since 1997, the US Office of the Director of National Intelligence produces a document entitled, “Global Trends.” The document provides a best-guess projection of the US intelligence community’s assessment of major items that will shape the future strategic environment – in this case, in the year 2040. It also provides a window into the strategic priorities of the US government. While the document was largely developed during the Trump Administration, it would not have been published in March 2021 without approval by the Hologram et al. if the document had contained anything deemed “controversial” from a socialist Democrat ideological point of view. See if you can pick some of that out in the below excerpts from the executive summary. My comments are provided in brackets [ ].


In other words, the strategic priorities of the US government are firmly governed by a "socialist Democrat ideological point of view." And Cvrk proceeds to document that.

The post is a heavy slog and I'll be honest--I mostly skimmed it. So I'm not gonna even provide excerpts. However, I recommend a look at it. It gives you some idea of how deeply the Deep State has bought into generalized Leftism. This doc is very heavy on Global Warming (aka Climate Change), Globalism (aka The Great Reset), and Environmentalism (aka Green politics on a wide range of issues--economic, demographic, etc.). This is what the Zhou Baiden regime is all about, and it's what they're trying to push on the rest of America--whether or not Americans are paying attention.

If you ever had any doubt that the people who produced a document like this would stop at nothing to get Trump out of the White House, this should put all doubts to rest. Realize, too, that these same people--in the grips of fanatical Leftist ideology and possessed of only a tenuous contact with the real world--are the members of the "Interagency" that develops policy with regard to Russia, China, and the rest of the world. I want to guarantee one and all: Vladimir Putin, among other world leaders, does not suffer from those delusions.


Briefly Noted: Preemptive Cancellation Of DeSantis, GOP Fundraising

Sundance has a nice post this morning regarding Google canceling a Youtube of Gov. DeSantis' roundtable discussion on face masks--and with special reference to children. Sundance quotes an NBC article which is predictably slanted and attempts to impugn the credentials of the scientists who participated in the roundtable. In fact, the participants were all eminent scientists like Scott Atlas, Sunetra Gupta, and Jay Bhattacharya. NBC cited mostly anonymous "scientists" and government bureaucrats to "discredit" these highly regarded scientists. You can read all about this and find the link to the full NBC article for more details here:


COVID Compliance is Infrastructure – Google Deletes Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Roundtable Discussion on COVID From Youtube


My added points are simple ones, and they revolve around the notion that these cancelations reflect, among other things, fear. Fear of a counter-revolution.

Don't Mention The Learning Loss

The issue of government school closures and the effect of an entire generation of kids is something that I've referred to regularly. Today Steve Sailer comments on a NYT article, in which we learn that, among Liberals, there's a debate whether this issue should even be mentioned. 

What does this tell us about the state of America? Nothing good. I mean, what kind of weird country closes its government schools and then tries to cancel discussion of the obviously harmful effects? 

Sailer begins with these general comments which mirror another of my favorite themes--the denial of reality in neo-gnostic ideology:

Sci-fi writer Philip K. Dick famously said, “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.”

But during the Not So Great Reset, an increasingly powerful belief is that reality will go away if we just stop talking about it.

That's the Lib/Prog worldview in a nutshell.

Sailer then goes on to quote from the NYT article. It seems "educators" are leery of discussing the documented fact that kids ... aren't getting educated. This is typical of the Compassion of Liberals. They're not so much worried about the lack of education and socialization. No, they're worried that talking about this lack of learning could harm the kids. I kid you not. According to the author the "roiling debate" is not the fact that kids aren't learning and are falling behind--quite possibly permanently. No, the "roiling debate" is whether to document (what we already know) and even whether to mention it:

Friday, April 9, 2021

UPDATED: Briefly Noted: In BLM News

Since I went way long earlier today, this will be very brief. You've probably seen this story, but Steve Sailer lends this LA expertise to interpret it:


BLM's Ladies of the Canyon


Sailer first quotes for the "Dirt" article:


Black Lives Matter Co-Founder Patrisse Khan-Cullors Lands Topanga Canyon Compound


then explains:

The amusing thing is that Topanga Canyon is culturally the whitest spot in the Los Angeles area: it’s been a semi-rural hippie enclave for bohemian artists since the 1960s. The last time I went hiking there, I saw Emmy Lou Harris out for a hike.

Residents over the years have included Woody Guthrie, Joni Mitchell, Linda Ronstadt, Jim Morrison, Van Morrison, Neil Diamond, Neil Young, and Stephen Stills. During the mellow singer-songwriter boom of the 1970s, Topanga Canyon was associated with Laurel Canyon as constituting a scene.

Topanga is not terribly welcoming to outsiders. Back before GPS, the locals would frequently tear down the road sign pointing to the trailhead of the Topanga Canyon State Park.

But it’s perhaps the safest non-gated community in Los Angeles County for staying far, far away from black crime. Topanga was only 1.4% black in the 2010 Census and 84.5% non-Hispanic white, which is very white for L.A. County.


UPDATE: It's not real estate related, but this still seems a logical enough place to put this:



Reverse Transcription And Vaxxing--Is This A Threat?

I got a range of responses regarding the Michael Yeadon interview that I republished yesterday. Overall it was well received, but there were some commenters who reflected the response that Yeadon himself describes having received--people who say, I can't believe my rulers would lie to me. That, despite the fact that throughout history our rulers--including rulers of the American people--have repeatedly lied to us about fundamentally important matters.

Right up front I'll state the conclusion to this post: Yes, reverse transcription (RT) looks to be one among several factors that should give everyone pause to question the current rush to vax the whole world.

What in the world am I talking about? This.

LifeSiteNews has an article today that references a very recent study (12/12/20) by a team of Harvard and MIT scientists. I'll present the title of the LifeSite article first, because it will give you a heads up for what this will be about. It will sound "alarmist", but it's based on reputable research:


Could mRNA vaccines permanently alter DNA? Recent science suggests they might

Research on SARS-CoV-2 RNA by scientists at Harvard and MIT has implications for how mRNA vaccines could permanently alter genomic DNA, according to Doug Corrigan, Ph.D., a biochemist-molecular biologist who says more research is needed.


I will also place up front a link to a blog by "Skeptical Raptor" that claims that Doug Corrigan pushing bad science and anti-vax tropes about mRNA vaccines. Three points, because I think it's important--if you're to read the rest of this long post--that we address reliability issues first.

Briefly Noted: Expressway Shootings Are A Thing In Chicago

By the way, in a few minutes I'll be leaving to give blood. I'll enable comments upon return.

Now, this expressway shootings thing--this is a way that inner city violence impacts the entire metro area population to some not insignificant degree. That's because so much traffic from all over the area is funneled through Chicago's expressway system. Not to mention the fear factor--woops, I did mention it. So, when you read this:


Local Expressway Shootings At Crisis Level With 59 So Far This Year


then you know things are getting out of control. You'll also see why my tongue was definitely not-in-cheek when I speculated a few days ago that shooting deaths in Chicago probably exceed--for the time being--military deaths in Ukraine. I believe they do, based, for example, on this story: The Donbass War of 2021? 

Back to Chicago:

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Briefly Noted: Race, Money ... Politics In America!

Race, Money, Politics--it's as American as apple pie.

I have four stories to link that all play into our increasingly dysfunctional society. But overall it could be argued that these stories mostly add up to good news.

First, Steve Sailer links to an account of a student at UVA Med School, whom the administration tried to kick out unless he went through re-education for having a bad attitude. He asked questions. Worse, since his question concerned the concept of "microaggression" it seems he must have committed a macroaggression--otherwise, why would the school have been so determined to force hin out? The good news is a federal district court has denied UVA's attempt to dismiss the student's First Amendment lawsuit. From Reason's account:

UPDATED: Michael Yeadon: 'Convergent Opportunism' Or Conspiracy?

Readers should be familiar with the name Michael Yeadon by now. Wikipedia has no page for Yeadon, but one Wiki page refers to Yeadon as "a former Pfizer employee and conspiracy theorist." The fact that there is no actual Wikipedia page for Yeadon but that Wikipedia publishes unsourced claims that Yeadon is a "conspiracy theorist" is highly suggestive. Yeadon, in the eyes of the political establishment, is a 'dangerous person.' Someone who must be marginalized--not debated.

In actual fact, Dr. Michael Yeadon was formerly Pfizer's Vice President and Chief Scientist for Allergy & Respiratory. He spent 32 years in the pharmaceutical industry leading new medicines research. Yeadon retired from Pfizer with “the most senior research position”. He has sterling scientific credentials. You can read a fuller bio here, and you can find additional references to Yeadon at this blog here.

Yeadon, along with leading scientists in the fields of virology, immunology, and epidemiology, has been an outspoken critic of the Covid response--especially of lockdowns and the idea of vaccines as the only salvation and route to 'herd immunity.' 'Outspoken' means he states categorically that these response are based on "demonstrably false" propaganda put out by governments. Yesterday LifeSite published most of an interview with Yeadon. I found the interview so remarkable that I'm republishing most of it here. 

You'll recall that yesterday in The Variant Scare And The Global Reset I stated that the Covid story put out by our globalist 'elites' (a term employed by Gov. Ron DeSantis) is one in a series of disinformational campaigns in which we can see


... the global elites marching in narratival lockstep--regarding Covid, regarding Trump, regarding Russia. All aided and abetted by a Tech - Social Media Complex.


In other words, there appears to be a guiding authority behind the narratival lockstep, and the various governments are players in a larger story in which they are not the main actors.

Conspiracy theory? That's what Yeadon addresses at length in the current interview, and he does so from the same perspective that I presented yesterday--the "variant scare" mongering. Since Yeadon is a world class expert in the relevant scientific field it's worth listening to what he has to say.

Here's a link to the LifeSite page--and you'll see that the inflammatory title is LifeSite quoting Yeadon directly:


Former Pfizer VP: ‘Your government is lying to you in a way that could lead to your death.’

‘Look out the window, and think, “why is my government lying to me about something so fundamental?” Because, I think the answer is, they are going to kill you using this method. They’re going to kill you and your family.’


With that background, here are the seven points that Yeadon makes in the interview--as formulated by LifeSite. This should serve as a sort of table of contents:

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

The Variant Scare And The Global Reset

Yesterday LifeSiteNews carried an article by Dr. Joseph Mercola regarding the ongoing attempt--using the supposed threat of Covid 'variants' or mutations--to scare the populace into continued compliance with unreasonable and unscientific restrictions of their freedoms. The overarching theme of Mercola's article is that the more freedoms we surrender in hope of an elusive 'safety' to be gained--a 'safety' the date for which continually recedes into an ever more distant future--the more freedoms we will end up surrendering. We will, in effect, wind up neither free nor safe--from a predatory soft totalitarian State.


Over-hyped COVID variants are being used as part of a campaign of fear to destroy freedom

At some stage, you must realize that the more you give in and obey, the more you have to give in and obey. There really is no end to what they can take from you, and holding on to the belief that your government would never [fill in the blank] is becoming more dangerous by the day.


First, Mercola provides a quote from two Yale epidemiologists dating to a year ago--near the beginning of the Covid scare. These two epidemiologists decry the "harmful" use of the supposed threat of mutations to gin up fear in the midst of an epidemic--or, for that matter, in the midst of a disfavored presidency:

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Briefly Noted: Why Do We Bother With Trials?

I ask that in light of the recent statements by BLM "activist" Maya Echols:


“If George Floyd’s murderer is not sentenced just know that all hell is going to break loose. Don’t be surprised when buildings are on fire.”

NEW – Maya Echols, a prominent Black Lives Matter activist, threatened that cities will be “on fire” if Derek Chauvin is not convicted for the death of George Floyd.pic.twitter.com/r4xk3kuVW2


And what Liberals are defending this business of holding jury trials, rule of law, and all that jazz? 

Briefly Noted: War In Ukraine--And Chicago?

I haven't tried to do the numbers, but it would be interesting to compare the casualty count in Ukraine's war in the Donbass with casualties in Chicago. As you'll see below, that speculation is NOT tongue in cheek. But here are links to closer looks at the two situations.

Ted Galen Carpenter has an analysis of the situation in Ukraine--and a warning. Years ago I made myself unpopular as a commenter at another blog by arguing strongly that 1) our encouragement of Georgia vis a vis Russia was stupid and irresponsible--including provocative naval deployments to the Black Sea--and 2) that policy was especially stupid because the US was not going to actually intervene on Georgia's behalf. Carpenter warns that the US may be cruising for a similar bruising. There is simply a limit to how many wars the US can juggle at any given time, and war in Ukraine would be at a totally different level than anything we've experienced for decades.


Joe Biden’s Ukraine Policy: A Repeat of George W. Bush in Georgia?

It is a bad idea for Washington to give its partners the impression that they have a blank to go to war and expect American forces to come to the rescue if the fighting goes poorly.


Carpenter, a senior fellow in security studies at the Cato Institute, begins by noting the extraordinary level of US rhetoric attacking Russia--and Putin personally--and encouraging Ukraine to adopt an aggressive posture toward Russia. He notes:


Ukraine’s government announced that joint military exercises with Ukrainian and NATO troops likely would take place sometime this summer. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov warned that any deployment of NATO troops to Ukraine would force Russia to take “additional measures to ensure its own security.”


Russia appears to be positioning itself militarily to respond to all this sooner rather than later, meaning, sooner rather than waiting for the summer. This is all just incredibly reckless. Here's Carpenter's conclusion:

Briefly Noted: The Dems Went Down To Georgia

Here's my bottom line on the MLB and Corporate cave--cutting away from the who struck John of it all to the larger implications. Kama Sutra told us at the height of last years riots and insurrections that this stuff wasn't going away--it would continue under the Zhou Baiden regime. Well, here we are. Cancel culture is the new normal, and it's a great look--most likely, for the Republicans in 2022. It largely boils down to Metro Libs and BLM expressing their hatred for America. And themselves--there were 8 dead and 34 shot over Easter in Chicago. As we've seen over the past few years, in Liberalism self congratulatory virtue signaling easily morphs into self loathing and self destruction. Keep it coming--there's nothing that helps electoral turnout like a clear choice.

Steyn: What's Left To Worship?

Mark Steyn's brilliant monologue on what's left to worship when the clergy lose their beliefs. The pewsitters have largely seen through this act. You don't need to go to church to imbibe the secular faith the clergy are now offering for the most part--the culture is awash in it. 


STEYN: Even in a decaying Christendom, there is something heartening about Sunday service on Easter morn with the church pews packed as they rarely are, and ...oh, wait, no, sorry, my mistake. That was the old Easter – before the state rolled the stone in front of the church door. So the hosannas were decidedly muted yesterday: Singing remains forbidden in California churches. In Spain, they’ve taken the additional precaution of banning hymnals. In Greece, they’ve banned loudspeakers, just in case you’re tempted to hold an outdoor service.

 

For the record:  Steyn's reference to California was to a recent SCOTUS case - "Justices Roberts, Kavanaugh and Amy [V2 catholics all] kept a prohibition on singing and chanting until the churches could show evidence that it could be done safely or the state permitted secular businesses to allow similar singing and chanting."


But really, why not just cut to the chase? In Ireland, ALL in-person services are illegal, and, like Father Hughes in Mullahoran who said mass to forty congregants, you’ll get a 500-euro fine if you’re minded to try it. And Pastor Cronin at the Abundant Grace Church in Dublin was arrested mid-service. In one of posterity’s little jests, an Irish Catholic is currently only free to practice his religion if he heads north across the border, where under the tyrannous British Protestant yoke the churches are open, unlike down south.

However, don't get carried away--what the State giveth the State can take away. Here's British coppers in South London seizing the pulpit and closing down worship in mid-service: ...

What's the proper response to that? Here's Pastor Artur Pawlowski in Alberta, Canada: ...

He called them Nazis and the Gestapo--preach it, preacherman! And through the sheer power of his words he drove the coppers down the stairs like Jesus throwing the money-changers out of the Temple. "For it is written, My House shall be called a House of Prayer and ye are not gonna make it a Den of Totalitarian Goons!" The only people committing a crime there were Her Majesty's miserable and unworthy Calgary Constabulary, who were in breach of Section 176 of the Canadian Criminal Code:


Everyone who wilfully disturbs or interrupts an assemblage of persons met for religious worship ... is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.


That's a slam dunk! And that Canadian pastor should file a complaint with ... the ... oh, the police.

There is a tragic element to the diminished state of the Christian churches, a year into this thing. If ever there were a huge opportunity for religious ministry, a world in which everything else is dead--movie shows, sports, concerts, restaurants, all the noisy distractions of the secular consumerist life--is surely it. And yet, for the most part, starting with the social justice pontiff in the Vatican blaming Covid on climate change, the churches blew it.

And saddest of all an unchurched year has seen church membership in the US fall for the first time below fifty per cent of Americans. Which is a pity. Because, when the churches fall silent, the only religion left is The State.

You can watch Steyn here.


Monday, April 5, 2021

Briefly Noted: Clarence Thomas Gets Out Front, And More

This morning the SCOTUS issued orders in pending cases. One of those cases 


JOSEPH R. BIDEN, JR., PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, ET AL. v. KNIGHT FIRST AMENDMENT INSTITUTE AT COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY, ET AL.

ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SECOND CIRCUIT


involved President Trump and Twitter. The case was dismissed as moot in a 2-3 sentence order, but Justice Thomas filed a 12 page concurrence (which begins on p. 9 of the pdf). Here's what the case was about, as summarized by Thomas:


Donald Trump, then President of the United States, blocked several users from interacting with his Twitter account. They sued. The Second Circuit held that the comment threads were a “public forum” and that then-President Trump violated the First Amendment by using his control of the Twitter account to block the plaintiffs from accessing the comment threads. ... But Mr. Trump, it turned out, had only limited control of the account; Twitter has permanently removed the account from the platform.


That brief summary set the stage for Thomas to get out ahead of the rest of the SCOTUS in setting forth the complicated 1st Amendment issues that the SCOTUS will, sooner or later, need to address. Thomas doesn't suggest any particular solution, but he does set forth and discuss some of the different possibilities for addressing the whole complex of constitutional questions that are posed by the role "digital platforms" now play in controlling and shaping the flow of information. I like that Thomas did this--as the senior justice on the SCOTUS he's assuming a leadership role, and I assume that his concurrence most likely reflects at least some input from other justices. Read it if you want to get some idea of the complexity of these issues--we all know there's a major problem here, but a bull in the china shop approach is not advisable. Here's Thomas' concluding paragraph, which returns to the irony he presented in his summary of the case: