November 26, 2022

OPEN THREAD: Have fun, kids.

SPACE: Mars helicopter Ingenuity aces 1st flight after major software update.

CASABLANCA AT 80: a golden age classic that remains impossible to resist.

Many of the greatest films of all time have some triumph-over-adversity story to buffer their mythology: a chaotic production, weak box office, critics that didn’t get it at the time, a loss to some forgettable film during awards season. Their greatness has to be elusive and mysterious, in other words, something that couldn’t be comprehended until later, when they finally got the full appreciation they always deserved. The path to canonization tends to have its own, often formulaic narrative.

Casablanca reviewed: ‘a lively film, bulging with acting talent’ – archive, 1943

That’s not what happened with Casablanca, which now celebrates 80 years of being widely beloved. Perhaps it wasn’t loved at the level that it is now – it was merely warmly received and successful, but not a sensation – but it won best picture, along with awards for its peerless screenplay and elegant direction, and is the rare film whose “classic” status is practically axiomatic. Who doesn’t love Casablanca? Or, put another way, where can you find any weaknesses in this production?

It was enough of a sensation, that Hollywood kept trying repeat the casting formula, with Ingrid Bergman and Claude Rains in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1946 film, Notorious, and Paul Henreid and Rains alongside Bette Davis in 1946’s Deception.

 But accept no substitutes. There is only one Rick Blaine, and that man’s name is David Soul:   

GOOD FOR HIM: Man Keeps Rock For Years, Hoping It’s Gold. It Turns Out to Be Far More Valuable.

WHAT, EXACTLY, HAS “EMBOLDENED” THEM? Emboldened Biden, Dems push ban on so-called assault weapons.

ALYSSA MILANO THROWS A VIRTUE SIGNALING FIT AT ELON MUSK, AND HE HAS THOUGHTS:

“Giving her Tesla back” (whatever that means) wouldn’t do a darn thing to affect Elon Musk. If she means that she traded it in for a Volkswagen, then she still paid the money to Tesla.

But does she even know the origin of Volkswagen? She attacks a guy who wants free speech, so that she can embrace a company that was originally founded by the Nazis? The Volkswagen plant under the Nazis contained four concentration camps and eight forced-labor camps. The company was later taken over by others after the war, but it still has that history. Milano is not the sharpest tool in the drawer. She flees someone who wants free speech at their company, while she buys a vehicle from a company started by real white supremacists.

Many people also pointed out the VW emissions scandal, where they programmed their cars to pass inspection tests, but the same cars puts out more emissions in real-world driving. That didn’t seem to affect her decision either, or perhaps she was as ignorant of that as of the connection to the Nazis.

Not the finest choice of car to virtue signal with:

QUESTION ASKED: SBF, FTX: What in the Actual F— Is Wrong With These People?

You can’t make this up. Earlier this month, some dough-faced dork named Sam Bankman-Fried—an MIT grad and son of Stanford law professors—vaporized the GDP of a small country after successfully conning the entire world of so-called educated elites.

All of them. The freaks in Silicon Valley, the freaks on Wall Street, the freaks in Hollywood, and the freaks in Washington. Even (or especially) the journalists who are supposed to be holding everyone accountable. The smartest, most enlightened professional experts and self-appointed moral referees.

Bill Clinton. Tony Blair. The Democratic Party. Larry David. Tom Brady. Fortune magazine. Andrew Ross Sorkin. CNBC. The bald guy from Shark Tank. BlackRock, the $10 trillion investment firm where former Obama aides go to get rich and serve as “Global Head of Sustainable Investing.”

They all vouched for Bankrupt-Fraud and his blockchain stonk machine. Like they vouched for Elizabeth Holmes and her magic blood box. Like they vouched for Michael Avenatti and his bullshit litigation racket. The Lincoln Project. OZY Media. Stacey Abrams.

Exit quote: “And they wonder why no one takes them seriously anymore. To hell with these people.”

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OF COURSE THEY ARE: Emboldened Biden, Dems push ban on so-called assault weapons.

AS INSTITUTIONS RUN BY LEFTIES, THEY PUT POLITICS OVER EVERYTHING: In a sudden move, a herd of top law schools puts progressive politics over prestige.

THE MOST SOCCER THING EVER! U.S., England tie World Cup match in Qatar, 0-0.

The highlight reel from the game is really something:

UPDATE: From America’s Newspaper of Record: Soccer Team Apologizes For Running Up The Score In 2-0 Blowout.

(Updated and bumped.)

JOHN NOLTE: Disney’s Big Gay, Green ‘Strange World’ Crashes at Box Office.

The predators at Disney are coming for your kids, and everyone knows it.

The Disney brand is now the equivalent of a non-descript van and a guy behind the wheel offering your kids candy.

And now, to once again point out what lying hacks the entertainment media are and just how far these hacks are willing to bend over and sell out their integrity, I give you Deadline’s anti-science excuse for Strange World’s box office disaster:

One former Disney exec once told me, “They’re very good at making the best worst case decision” and in the scenario of Strange World, that’s sending it to Disney+ by the holidays.

Ohhhhhh…. So that’s why Strange World tanked. It’s not the enviro-propaganda or the teenage homosexuality… No, no, no… Strange World tanked because it will be on Disney+ in 30 days. After all, why go to the movies when you can watch it at home in 30 days, right?

Except.

Disney did the exact same thing with Encanto last year. And I do mean the exact same thing. In 2021, Encanto was released in theaters for the Thanksgiving weekend and dropped on Disney+ in time for the Christmas holidays. Nevertheless, it opened to $41 million.

So, under the exact same conditions, why would Encanto open to $41 million and Strange World do about half that?

What we got here is a real head-scratcher.

Earlier: Disney Fired Their Woke CEO But Will Anything Change? “It was returning Bob Iger who sent Disney down its current path to Total Wokeness. Chapek was merely the guy in charge when the stuff inevitably hit the fan.”

WE’RE STILL NOT NEARLY AS CHEAP AS WE USED TO BE, THOUGH: UT College of Law praised as one of the nation’s most affordable law schools.

EVERYTHING IS GOING SWIMMINGLY: Oregon school board takes meetings online to hide from angry parents.

QUESTION ASKED AND ANSWERED: Is ‘Moonage Daydream,’ the New David Bowie Documentary, Worth the Roller Coaster Ride?

My latest, over at Eddriscoll.com.

EVERYTHING IS GOING SWIMMINGLY: US Shoppers Kick Off Holiday Season With a Muted Black Friday. “US retailers discounted heavily on Black Friday to clear out bloated inventories but customers responded with only modest traffic, leaving profitability in doubt for many chains.”

ONCE YOU SAID “700 HORSEPOWER” I WAS PRETTY DISPOSED TO BELIEVE IN ITS QUICKNESS: Another 700-hp truck arrives, and you won’t believe how quick it is.

READER FAVORITE: Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation). #CommissionEarned

BIG OPPORTUNITIES FOR MISCHIEF, THOUGH: An AI that lets cars communicate might reduce traffic jams.

I’VE SEEN THE LOCKDOWNS AND THE DAMAGE DONE: How COVID-19 school closures could affect inequalities in the decades to come.

STANFORD ACADEMIC FREEDOM CONFERENCE WAS NOT OPEN TO THE PUBLIC–DOES THAT MAKE IT WRONG? It’s obviously not ideal, but colleges have repeatedly done nothing to ensure that speakers cannot be shouted down or, worse, literally run off of campus. (I guess they’re not up on their Frederick Douglass.) This is why we need a culture of free speech, not just laws and rules about it. There’s little advantage in being free to talk if people aren’t willing to, or even free to, listen.

THIS WOULD BE HUGE: A possible vaccine against the bacteria that cause UTIs.

DEMOCRACY DIES IN THINLY-SOURCED SMEAR ARTICLES: WaPo Drops Hit Piece on Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones Over 65-Year Old Photo, Says He’s Part of a ‘Confederacy.’

The Washington Post thought it would be a good idea to celebrate the holiday weekend with a hit piece on Cowboys owner Jerry Jones featuring a photo of him aged 14 years old standing in the crowd at a 1957 racial confrontation in North Little Rock, AR. There is no indication that Jones did anything wrong or actively participated in the event, where white people were trying to stop black students from attending the local high school.

A few weeks after the above photo was taken, the higher profile “Little Rock Nine” integration effort took place at Little Rock Central High, resulting in President Dwight D. Eisenhower dispatching federal troops to escort the black students past the protesters in what is regarded as a pivotal moment in the civil rights movement. The Post seems to imply that the fact that Jones lived in the area and appeared at a less-famous event means that he’s guilty by association with the racist agitators who harassed black students and used the N-word:

In a photograph taken at the scene, Jones could be seen standing a few yards from where the six Black students were being jostled and repelled with snarling racial slurs by ringleaders of the mob. At one point, a Black student named Richard Lindsey recalled, someone in the crowd put a hand on the back of his neck. A voice behind him said, “I want to see how a… [N-word] feels.” The ruffian hostility succeeded in turning away the would-be new enrollees.

Was it Jones who grabbed the black student? No. Did he jostle the black students or yell racial slurs? No. But in the Post’s world, a 14-year-old boy should have shut down the mob and put those racists in their places.

It’s from the same playbook the Post used to attack Eric Clapton last year, for disagreeing with the lockdown and get quintuple vaxxed mindset of the leftist elites; both sound a bit too close to the rhetoric of Monty Python’s resident Mafioso characters Dino and Luigi Vercotti: “Nice career you have. Shame if something were to happen to it.”

 

TRUNALIMUNUMAPRZURE! A public speaking coach should be on Biden’s wish list.

The reason Biden is not tracking higher in the polls is in large measure due to his ineffective public speaking skills which strengthens the image that he is an old man who is not as sharp as he once was. Perception is reality.

I say this as a communications professional who has helped organizational leaders deliver effective and important speeches and presentations before friendly and unfriendly audiences. The ability to communicate with polished verbal and non-verbal public speaking skills is paramount to how an audience perceives you and if you are ineffective at delivering a message, the perception is more negative than positive.

While delivering remarks before a live audience or press conference, Biden is an ineffective communicator, often exhibiting garbled and mumbled words and malaprops, nonsensical utterances and grandpa-like colloquialisms. He has delivered confusing statements on the COVID pandemic, Taiwan and even seeking re-election, forcing his staff to issue statements of clarification. Reminiscences about his days as a child and his father saying, “Joey…” only reinforces his age. He recently asked an audience whether a member of Congress, who was killed in a tragic car accident, was actually in the audience: “Jackie are you here? Where’s Jackie, ” Biden asked the stunned crowd.

Related: The ‘cabal’ that bragged of foisting Joe Biden on us must answer for his failed presidency.

THE NEW SPACE RACE: China plans to build a nuclear-powered base on the moon by 2028. “China has ramped up its ambitions in space in recent years, sending probes to the moon, building its own space station and setting its sights on Mars. The plans have put it in direct competition with the US. NASA has a rover on the Red Planet and is seeking to return astronauts to the moon this decade for the first time since the Apollo program ended in the 1970s. Both China and the US are spending billions of dollars to not just put humans on the moon, but also to access resources that could foster life on the lunar surface or send spacecraft to Mars.”

THE POWER LINE WEEK IN PICTURES: Cryptophan Edition.

MASS FORMATION PSYCHOSIS: Social influence driving teens to gender transition.

CYBER MONDAY DEAL: Legendary Whitetails Men’s Buck Camp Flannel Shirt. #CommissionEarned

NO: Do America’s Racial Categories Make Sense?

ARE YOU EVEN ALLOWED TO SAY THAT? Be open to marriage while in college, Catholic mother and commentator advises.

SOME BOOKISH THOUGHTS FOR THANKSGIVING WEEKEND: If you are of a reflective cast of thought today, you might well appreciate my latest PJ Media column, which looks at common sense, philosophy, books and The Book. With a useful bonus reference for Instapunditeers who happen also to be aspiring race-car drivers.

I REMEMBER WHEN PEOPLE SAID WE SHOULD FUND HIGHER EDUCATION BECAUSE IT WOULD PROMOTE INFORMED DEBATE: University system survey reveals students and faculty hesitant to express political views on campus.

THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION PROMISED US WE’D BE LOVED ONCE TRUMP WAS GONE: China and Russia creeping further into West as major Latin American nations reject the US.

THIS SHOULD BE FUN: Judges at the Center of Yale Law Clerkship Boycott Will Speak at Yale Next Week.

NO PASARAN: Thanksgiving a “Myth” or a “Problematic Holiday”? What Nobody Tells You About Indians and Other Native Americans.

Every time I hear about the tragedy (the tragedies) suffered by the Indians of North America (whether at Thanksgiving or at any other time), I bring up some variant of the following questions:
Do the calamities also include the theft of the lands of the Apaches? Does the genocide, real or alleged, of the Native Americans also concern the extermination of the Huron tribe (Huronia)?

This type of question usually boondoggles the leftist, whose eyes grow like saucers and who waffles trying to reply, since in his eagerness to sum up American and world history by meting out simplified explanations in one-sentence platitudes (that conveniently, and invariably, happen to be damning towards Americans, i.e., white Americans), he has neither had nor taken the time to think any details through as he attempts to display his alleged expertise as a modern-day genius.

The problem, of course, is that the lands of the Apaches were stolen by the Comanches.

While the Hurons were wiped out by the Iroquois.

Or, as Allan W Eckert put it regarding another neighboring tribe of the Iroquois (aka the League of the Six Nations of the Iroquois), this one from northwesternmost Pennsylvania, “the Six Nations annihilated [the Erighs or the Eries] — every man, woman, and child being slain, the tribe was wiped out of existence.”

But apart from that — apart from those tiny and utterly inconsequential details that we can posthaste proceed to forget and ignore — it is surely indisputable to posit that all “Native Americans” are, and were, spiritual peacemakers in harmony with nature and with the Earth, as well as something akin to Tibet’s Buddhist monks. (And with that said, let’s turn off the sarcasm faucet…)

The romance of the “noble savage” is just another lie upscale white people tell themselves so they can enjoy a delicious frisson of guilt. And then use that “guilt” to justify oppressing less-upscale white people.

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“WITH FRIENDS LIKE THESE…:” Kanye’s Thanksgiving feast with Trump, Milo and Nick Fuentes.

While you were carving the turkey with your family last night, Kanye West was on Twitter, unveiling his 2024 masterplan.

On Thanksgiving night, the rapper posted a video titled “Mar-a-Lago debrief,” in which he said Donald Trump was “really impressed with Nick Fuentes.” That would be the same Nick Fuentes who heads up the far-right incel-adjacent “groyper” movement, attended both the Charlottesville and January 6 protests (he was on the steps of the Capitol) and has spoken critically about the notion that America is a “Judeo-Christian” nation.

Also, like Milo Yiannopoulos, he’s now working on the Kanye 2024 campaign. With friends like these…

As Ed Morrissey writes, linking to Breitbart.com’s take on Trump’s Thanksgiving dinner with the toxic trio, “Here’s the big question: Will Republicans want to spend the next couple of years attempting to explain this away, or will they just prefer to opt for a candidate with better judgment? Breitbart is asking that question now, at least implicitly.”

ANALYSIS: TRUE. Jeffrey Carter: ESG Investing is a Fraud.

My last blog was about webs and how fraudsters and government use them. They wind up trapping themselves. In the case of government, they can keep the web going even though nothing works because they can issue debt.

In private industry, the fraud breaks down. See FTX.

I remember being in an MBA class at Chicago Booth talking about Enron. One student said, “They sure made a lot of money”. The professor said, “But they went to jail.” The student said, “But they made money.” The professor forcefully said, “They went to jail.”

Or, if you are Jon Corzine you managed to stay out of prison. Others weren’t so lucky.

Sometimes, the government will change policy to enable fraudsters. Democratic Congressman Barnie Frank rewriting loan policy for homes allowed the whole house of cards to be built that tanked housing values and the economy in 2008. It also caused the government to go deeper into debt and changed banking regulations so that they were more slanted against smaller individuals and a positive for big corporates. Changing the definition of the word vaccine has enabled the fraudsters to distribute a Covid vaccine that doesn’t actually work. But they made millions so what?

Wake me up when the elite credentialed suits go to jail.

Let me put it in plain English. ESG investing is a fraud. It doesn’t take into account regular financial metrics. Paraphrasing hedge fund manager and PhD economist Cliff Asness; he put it gently in his paper on ESG when he said, “investors will accept less return in return for doing good.”

Like most lefty scams, it’s about avoiding accountability when you fail to produce promised results. Profits are measurable. “Doing good” is not. Thus the latter is a preferable metric for people in charge of institutions.

November 25, 2022

SHOCKER: There’s Something Fishy About the Special Counsel Investigating Trump.

OPEN THREAD: Still eating turkey around here.

WELL: ‘Wild West’: New Emails Reveal Fauci, NIH Officials Considered Warning FBI About Potential Lab Leak. “Fauci, the outgoing director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), has downplayed the possibility that COVID-19 originated in a lab setting in Wuhan, China, and has generally denied any wrongdoing or miscalculation in funding dangerous gain-of-function (GoF) research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). New emails from early 2020 obtained via the Freedom of Information Act by reporter Jimmy Tobias show Fauci was deeply concerned about the possibility of a lab leak at the time.”

I imagine he remained just as concerned later, but was more concerned about keeping things covered up.

ANALYSIS: TRUE. The next and most profound industrial revolution in human history is underway in Low Earth Orbit. “The most profound chapter in human history is the industrial revolution happening in LEO, just 250 miles above our heads. We are at a turning point for our civilization, pivoting from 60 years of space exploration to a new era of unprecedented economic activity, manufacturing and growth in space. This burgeoning epoch is called the Orbital Age, and it will drive a new trillion-dollar industry.”

KABOOM: Scientists Glimpse Incoming Asteroid Just Hours Before It Makes Impact.

BLACK FRIDAY DEALS are here. #CommissionEarned

IT COULD BE WORSE, HE COULD BE CARRYING A COPY OF THE TIMES: The New York Times Has Ideas on How to Handle a Guest Who Wants to Carry a Gun to Thanksgiving Dinner.

WHY, INDEED: Why Choose A Double Action Only Pistol?

READER FAVORITE: Legendary Whitetails Men’s Maplewood Hooded Shirt Jacket. #CommissionEarned

SBF DROPS THE MASK: FTX CEO Mocked Gullible Media for Hyping His ‘Effective Altruism’ Shtick.

WELL, THIS IS THE 21st CENTURY, YOU KNOW: NASA scientist: humans will live and work on the moon by 2030.

ELON MUSK: Exposing Twitter’s Internal Discussion Of Hunter Biden Laptop Story “Necessary To Restore Public Trust.”

Related: Elon Blows Apart Liberal Myth on Ferguson, Makes It Even Better With Big Vow for Twitter.

More: Let the credits roll:

I wrote about Matt Ofalea’s brilliant four-and-a-half minute video below in “The playbook on the laptop.” The video compiles clips — mostly of news anchors and reporters — opining on air with mind-numbing certainty and Hive-like unanimity that the New York Post’s reportage on Hunter Biden’s laptop was “a lie,” “altered or fake,” “pure distractions,” and of course, “RUSSIAN DISINFORMATION.” I have posted the video once again below.

 

NOT ENTIRELY SURPRISING: Adults with severe asthma may face higher risk of heart attack, stroke.

MICROBIOME NEWS: Study sheds new light on the link between oral bacteria and diseases. “Previous studies have demonstrated clear links between oral health and common diseases, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. However, there have been few longitudinal studies identifying which bacteria occur in infected oral- and maxillofacial regions. Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have now analyzed samples collected between 2010 and 2020 at the Karolinska University Hospital in Sweden from patients with severe oral infections and produced a list of the most common bacteria.”

HAHA:

Hubris: Robert Reich has never started or run a business of any significance. As a pundit, he hasn’t even generated workable policy proposals. He can’t even use an apostrophe correctly in a tweet. Elon Musk, on the other hand, is the greatest entrepreneur of our time. And he notices things:

Only some employees create value. Others actively destroy value. The ones that listen to Robert Reich are probably in the latter category.

DISGRACED IDW FIGURE SAM HARRIS DELETES HIS TWITTER ACCOUNT: “On Thursday, prominent atheist and disgraced member of the Intellectual Dark Web Sam Harris deleted his Twitter account. The move comes after the Waking Up podcast host was slammed for stating that he hated Trump to such an extent that he wouldn’t have cared if Hunter Biden ‘had the corpses of children in his basement’ in the lead up to the 2020 election.”

ALL QUIET ON THE NETFLIX FRONT: My review of the new German remake of the 1930 Lewis Milestone movie adaptation of Erich Maria Remarque’s classic anti-war novel.

CHANGE: Elon Drops Some Big Consequences on Leftist Twitter Accounts That Break the Rules.

We saw Musk discover the hard evidence of the leftist “woke” nature of Twitter when he found the pile of “stay woke” t-shirts in the closet and blew up the liberal myth about the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson. He said how that leftist bent had distorted world conversations “has been really bad. Far left San Francisco/Berkeley views have been propagated to the world via Twitter.” He committed that there would no longer be a “thumb on the scale” to promote such a leftist narrative any more.

Musk also noted that it was conservatives who suffered the brunt of the permanent suspensions, that that wasn’t happening to people on the left before he took over.

One piece of evidence of that was that if people on the left made threats they now were suffering consequences when they might not have before.

Can’t imagine why Antifa was given a pass during the Jack Dorsey days: Antifa protester among those who lost job in Musk’s massive Twitter layoffs.

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BUT OF COURSE: Leftist student accuses female-led chapter of being anti-woman.

WIDOWED JAPANESE MEN learning to perform basic household tasks. “Those who lose a spouse often find themselves unable to do the most rudimentary chores. An old Japanese saying — ‘Danshi-chubo-ni-hairazu,’ or ‘men should be ashamed to be found in the kitchen’ — has spooked husbands from most any housework. Even those who wanted to help typically lacked the know-how.”

In the words of Robert Heinlein: “A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”

THE GOAL OF THE LEFT IS ALWAYS TO ENSURE THAT YOU HAVE NO ALTERNATIVES TO OBEDIENCE:

Plus:

EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE:

MORE TROUBLES AT THE UALR LAW SCHOOL: Professor revises complaint against Little Rock law school’s dean.

TRYING TO KEEP CLASSROOMS SAFE AND ORDERLY IS RACIST:  There really are Biden Administration officials who think that.  It’s modern progressive gospel.  We really are in a mess.  I just wish I had better news.

TECHNOCRACY AND TOTALITARIANISM GO TOGETHER: Biden’s not-so-subtle lurch toward dictatorship.

November 24, 2022

OPEN THREAD: I’m thankful for y’all.

AT AMAZON, Black Friday Deals are live. #CommissionEarned.

THE NEW SPACE RACE: Remarkable pivot happening in the national security space business. “Over the last year, policymakers in Washington have awakened from a deep slumber. The abrupt ending of the Cold War in the 1980’s and the subsequent misguided industry consolidation in the 90’s lulled the nation into believing that the status quo was all we could really hope for. Very little innovation or improvements were envisioned or deemed necessary. Parts obsolescence was seen as the most existential threat. But that’s all changed.”

HMM: Roman Coins Once Thought to Be Fake Reveal a Long Lost Historical Figure. “Long dismissed as forgeries, a handful of ancient Roman coins uncovered in Transylvania more than three centuries ago have been authenticated by a new analysis. It’s not hard to see why the coins – dated to the 260s CE – might have been considered fakes. Where most ancient coinage displays the head of an emperor, one of the artifacts displays a mysterious figure not portrayed in any other known record. . . . While he may not have ruled over the entirety of Rome, Sponsian appears to have fashioned his own little empire in a remote gold mining outpost, complete with a crudely minted currency using metals from local mines, probably after the Roman Empire had started to become fractured, the researchers suspect.”

HMM: Study says the heaviest flying bird seems to self-medicate with plants. “The great bustard actively seeks out medicinal plants that can kill pathogens, according to a study published Wednesday in Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution. The study published in the journal Frontiers suggests the large bird could be a rare example of birds that use plants to self-medicate.”

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I’VE SEEN THE LOCKDOWNS AND THE DAMAGE DONE: WHO says measles poses imminent threat as vaccine rates dip. “Nearly 40 million children missed a measles vaccine dose last year, the WHO said in a report issued Wednesday, calling the situation a ‘significant setback in global progress towards achieving and maintaining measles elimination.’ . . . Coverage has steadily declined since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic while surveillance of the disease has weakened in many areas, according to the WHO. Vaccination programs have also been interrupted repeatedly as health officials prioritize COVID-19.”

ELON MUSK PICKS APART SEMAFOR’S ‘EXPOSÉ,’ UNCOVERING THE OUTLET FOR BEING FUNDED BY SAM BANKMAN-FRIED:

Semafor, which was launched by former NYT columnist and Buzzfeed’s chief Ben Smith, accused Musk of taking funds from Bankman-Fried to finance his purchase of Twitter.

The publication insinuated that Musk took $100 million in funding from Bankman-Fried, who is accused of misappropriating funds from his crypto venture FTX to a sister company called Alameda in a Ponzi scheme to rival that of disgraced financier Bernie Madoff’s.

Musk fired back at Semafor after it published the piece titled “Sam Bankman-Fried, Elon Musk, and a secret text,” which was penned by Liz Hoffman. The story accuses Musk, who now owns Twitter, of “gleefully” mocking the “downfall” of FTX.

The article was published after Musk claimed Bankman-Fried set off his “bullsh*t meter” when he offered to invest in Musk’s takeover over the social media platform. The article strongly implies that Musk had taken Bankman-Fried’s money.

Semafor’s lead investor appears to be none other than SBF — a fact that Musk was quick to point out in his public rebuke of the publication, with receipts to prove it.

“Semafor is owned by SBF,” wrote Musk. “This is a massive conflict of interest in your reporting. Journalistic integrity is [garbage bin emoji].”

Related: Sam Bankman-Fried’s media outlets must come clean.

I’M SO OLD, I CAN REMEMBER WHEN THE IDEA OF FIGHTING COVID WITH VITAMIN D WAS CONSPIRACY THEORY/MISINFORMATION/FAKE SCIENCE. NOW IT’S IN NATURE: Association between vitamin D supplementation and COVID-19 infection and mortality.

Vitamin D deficiency has long been associated with reduced immune function that can lead to viral infection. Several studies have shown that Vitamin D deficiency is associated with increases the risk of infection with COVID-19. However, it is unknown if treatment with Vitamin D can reduce the associated risk of COVID-19 infection, which is the focus of this study. In the population of US veterans, we show that Vitamin D2 and D3 fills were associated with reductions in COVID-19 infection of 28% and 20%, respectively [(D3 Hazard Ratio (HR) = 0.80, [95% CI 0.77, 0.83]), D2 HR = 0.72, [95% CI 0.65, 0.79]]. Mortality within 30-days of COVID-19 infection was similarly 33% lower with Vitamin D3 and 25% lower with D2 (D3 HR = 0.67, [95% CI 0.59, 0.75]; D2 HR = 0.75, [95% CI 0.55, 1.04]). We also find that after controlling for vitamin D blood levels, veterans receiving higher dosages of Vitamin D obtained greater benefits from supplementation than veterans receiving lower dosages. Veterans with Vitamin D blood levels between 0 and 19 ng/ml exhibited the largest decrease in COVID-19 infection following supplementation. Black veterans received greater associated COVID-19 risk reductions with supplementation than White veterans. As a safe, widely available, and affordable treatment, Vitamin D may help to reduce the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Do tell.

UNEXPECTEDLY: Turkeys Away! Dems Drop Cheney Like WKRP.

It can’t be Thanksgiving without the classic 1978 clip from the TV show WKRP in Cincinnati, in which the radio station hired a helicopter that dropped live turkeys. Chaos ensued when the birds hit the ground below “like sacks of wet cement.” It’s one of the most hilarious clips from 70’s TV — or from any decade, for that matter.

And now, because of some disgruntled Dems, Liz Cheney may meet the same fate as those turkeys: dropped from their favor because of her obsession with Donald Trump. They also suspect her of using the January 6 committee — of which she was one of two Republicans — as a stepping stone to her political future.

Which, of course, is toast anyway, but Liz doesn’t yet believe that.

According to the Washington Post, fifteen anonymous staffers are miffed that the committee may be deep-sixing the information they had brought to the table. Their work, part of the “Blue Team,” focused on law enforcement and how it failed to assess the predicted attack on the Capitol. Other groups, like the Green Team and the Purple Team, examined financing for the January 6 event, along with militia groups and extremism.

But that’s all taking a back seat because of Liz Cheney’s fixation on Trump. Even the name of her group provides a clue: it’s the “Gold Team.”

One former staff member said:

“We all came from prestigious jobs, dropping what we were doing because we were told this would be an important fact-finding investigation that would inform the public. But when [the committee] became a Cheney 2024 campaign, many of us became discouraged.”

Live look at the leftist autophagy, already in progress:

ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS NO ONE IS ASKING: How To Talk To Family Members About Bitcoin This Thanksgiving.

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ANNALS OF LEFTIST AUTOPHAGY: Bill Maher Mourns Losing ‘Germophobe’ Howard Stern as a Friend.

Maher and Harris spoke extensively about COVID-19, from various treatments to how Americans settled into distinct camps over the virus.

“I hate the way it’s dividing people,” Maher began. “Climate change never divided people for real in my life.” He segued to the so-called King of All Media, a figure whose pandemic fears proved paralyzing.

“Howard Stern and I … for years there was animosity. We got back together like two lost lovers,” Maher said with a smile. “And we had just repaired this relationship and were having this beautiful friendship. Now, I think I’ll never see him again.”

“I still love him and I hope he still loves me, but he is, in my view, a germophobe. I think he would admit [it], it’s pretty obvious,” Maher continues. “People have the right to be whatever level of scared they are of germs. I can’t live in that world. I don’t want to … I can’t live in your paranoid world.”

Flashback: What Happened to Howard Stern?

Listening to this balderdash, you’d have thought that Clinton had led a saintly life, that she had been constantly set upon by jealous, corrupt inferiors, and that her career had been a spotless series of legislative and diplomatic triumphs. Buying into the notion of Hillary as a lifelong victim of the patriarchy, Stern seemed to be out to make up, in one interview, for every time he’d ever gotten a stripper to remove her top. One illuminating moment came when Stern praised Howard Zinn, the Communist author of A People’s History of the United States, a shoddy work of propaganda that has, alas, become a perennial best-seller and college text. Every Stern fan knows that Howard’s not big on books, so if he’s actually read Zinn’s opus, it’s likely his chief source of information on American history—a scary thought.

It was a stunning listening experience. When Hillary blamed James Comey (along with “the Russians and Wikileaks”) for her election loss, Stern went along with her, even though Comey had done Hillary a service by choosing not to prosecute her for clear violations of the Espionage Act. When she mentioned her emails, Stern didn’t bring up her private server or her destruction of the emails with BleachBit but instead agreed readily with her baffling claim that the emails had been “misinterpret[ed]”; when she criticized Trump’s “trade battles” and tax breaks, said that Trump was in Putin’s “camp,” and accused Trump fans (and not Antifa) of committing acts of violence around the country—and when she even knocked the booming Trump economy—Stern nodded along. He made no mention of Fusion GPS, the Clinton Foundation, her contorted version of the Benghazi episode, her dubious story about coming under fire in Bosnia, or anything else remotely scandalous in her (or her husband’s) past. Both Hillary and Stern took Joe Biden’s side in the Ukraine controversy and agreed that Trump’s famous phone call with the Ukrainian president had amounted to an “abuse of power.”

The entire interview was a case of kowtowing on an epic scale. Howard Stern, who rose to fame, in considerable part, by zapping fraudulent politicians, had now given one of the most sycophantic interviews of all time to a woman regarded by many as the most duplicitous pol of our era. It was a terrible comedown for a guy who’d earned a reputation for fearless honesty.

As Stephen Kruiser wrote at the start of year: Howard Stern Is Now Your Grandmother. “I wasn’t a radio guy but there was a time in the early ’90s when I set my alarm to listen to Howard Stern. He was that good. He was crass. He was insightful. Most importantly — for me — he was funny. He was also beyond edgy. Now he’s a bitchy, housecoat-wearing granny.”

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