February 3, 2023

KAROL MARKOWICZ: DeSantis Derangement Syndrome: The media get even more unhinged.

FOR ONE THING, PEOPLE PAY WAY TOO MUCH ATTENTION TO CELEBRITIES: What the ‘almond mom’ trend on TikTok says about parenting and diet culture.

THEY ABUSED THEIR POWER. A SUBPOENA IS THE LEAST OF WHAT THEY DESERVE. House Judiciary GOP subpoena FBI’s Christopher Wray, AG Merrick Garland.

HMM: China’s President Xi has ordered his military to be ready to invade Taiwan by 2027, warns CIA director William Burns. Assuming this is true, it gives us plenty of time to change his mind. Or make it impossible to invade Taiwan. For that matter, it’s far from certain that Xi will be in power in 4 years.

ANOTHER ESTABLISHMENT ATTACK FAILS: BREAKING: Elon Musk cleared in Tesla tweet-fraud trial. A three week trial. A verdict in two hours from an unimpressed jury.

CHANGING THE NAME FROM MONKEYPOX TO MPOX WAS CLEARLY THE REASON: A public health success story: How the mpox crisis was controlled within 6 months.

OUT: FOOD DESERTS. IN: “FOOD SWAMPS.” Living near ‘food swamp’ may increase risk of stroke.

Given that Knoxville’s “Food Desert” included a Super Walmart, a Sam’s Club, a Trader Joe’s and “a couple of tasty oriental supermarkets,” color me skeptical about the “food swamp” talk.

FLORIDA MAN FRIDAY: Man Bites Snake, Florida Man Maces Cop. “This week we have a little Miami Blues LARPing, man bites snake, and the fate of last week’s pooping perpetrator — revealed!”

WELL, ONLY IF WE’RE BEING FAIR, WHICH WE NEVER ARE: If Expressions of Hatred Are Criminal, Many Feminists Should Be Behind Bars.

WELL, THAT’S HELPFUL: Merck Covid medication induces new mutations.

SUPERCARS NEED LOVE, TOO: The Second-Generation Audi R8 Deserves Your Love.

READER FAVORITE: GTHUNDER Digital Night Vision Goggles Binoculars for Total Darkness. #CommissionEarned


More here from Margot Cleveland.

SPACE: Enter the hunter satellites preparing for space war.

MUSTN’T OFFEND BIDEN’S MASTERS IN BEIJING: For God’s Sake. Just Shoot the Damn Thing Down Already.

Related: Biden Says He’ll Shoot Down Chinese Spy Balloon As Soon As He’s Done Letting It Spy.

MICROBIOME NEWS: Youth binge drinking linked to gut microbiome changes.

VIDEO: Pentagon Briefing On Chinese Spy Balloon: ‘Does Not Pose A Risk To People On The Ground.’


The balloon “has the ability to maneuver” and has “changed course,” he explained. “Currently it does not pose a physical or military risk to people on the ground.”

“It will probably be over the US for a few days.”

“The balloon continues to move eastward… We’re not going to get into an hour-by-hour location of the balloon. We’re monitoring it closely. As I mentioned, it is over the center of the continental United States, that’s about as specific as I’m going to get,” he said.

“Does the public not have a right to know?” a reporter asked.

“The public certainly has the ability to look up at the sky and see where the balloon is,” he replied.

Another reporter asked: “If the [Chinese spy balloon] is violating our airspace, why not take it down?”

The Pentagon spokesman replied: “We assessed that it does not pose a risk to people on the ground as it is traversing the continental United States.”

What I take away from this is that the balloon is maneuverable, and therefore not off course, but that we shouldn’t shoot it down because it’s no threat to people on the ground.

What the hell kind of sense does any of that make?

PETER WOOD & DAVID RANDALL:  Teach Black History, Not Activism.

PROGRESS: NASA names first person of Hispanic heritage as chief astronaut.

MAYBE I SHOULDN’T HAVE LAUGHED BUT I DID: You Have to Watch This Viral Deepfake of Joe Biden Talking About Trans ‘Women.’

VITAMIN D UPDATE: Treating low vitamin D levels may help ward off suicide, study suggests.

HEALTH: Want to Avoid the ICU for COVID? Just Take This One Little Pill. “Before we go on, understand that I’m one of those crazy million-supplements-a-day people. We’ll get to that in a second, but first, let’s look at the science behind vitamin D and COVID.”

IF YOUR SPECIALTY ISN’T DEI:  Ohio State doesn’t have much use for you.

EVERYTHING IS GOING SWIMMINGLY: Rising number of people tapped their 401(k)s last year amid economic strain, “Inflation-adjusted wages have been falling — meaning that workers have less purchasing power than a year ago. Median weekly real earnings have actually fallen by 3.4% since the start of 2021, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.”

AND NOW THIS: Pfizer Director of mRNA Research Raises Fertility Worries Over COVID-19 Vaccine.



Can confirm, with incontrovertible photographic evidence:

PROF. JACOBSON: My last Cornell photo?

START YOUR NEW YEAR RIGHT: SUNNOW Vastto 10 Ounce Classic Crystal Wine Glasses. #CommissionEarned

CHINA CLAIMS BALLOON OVER U.S. IS… A WEATHER BALLOON. When Chinese soldiers jump out and start probing Midwestern farmers, I assume that will only further confirm the claim.

We deserve a better class of cover-up.

THEY KNOW THEIR CONSTITUENTS: If New Mexico Democrats Get Their Way, Even Felons Will Be Voting By Mail.

ESTABLISHMENT OF RELIGION: Stanford University considers barring oil and gas research funding.

PROMISES, PROMISES, PROMISES: When it comes to Wall Street America delivering on promises to eradicate Anti-semitic bias in ratings, so far it’s pretty much all talk and too little action, according to Washington Free Beacon’s Adam Kredo.

WOULD YOU BUY GASOLINE FROM A STATION THAT REDEFINED COMBUSTION? ‘Beauty Company’ CEO Orchestrates Online Petition to Redefine ‘Beauty,’ Cites ‘Ageism,’ ‘Sexism.’

I REMEMBER WHEN ELIMINATIONIST RACIAL RHETORIC WAS SUPPOSED TO BE BAD: ‘To abolish Whiteness is to abolish White people’ lecture goes viral.

KRUISER’S MORNING BRIEFING: New and Improved Kevin McCarthy Passes First Test as Speaker. “These weekly check-ins on the new Republican majority are becoming rather pleasant. I count myself among the many who were convinced that I’d be doubling my monthly whiskey budget to deal with Team McCarthy.”

DO YOU BELIEVE IN MIRACLES? No, this isn’t about the US Olympic hockey team defeating the Soviets for the Gold Medal. It’s about a doctor sitting on the side of my hospital bed and giving me the last news I expected to hear. Not to worry, it’s all good. In fact, I believe it’s a miracle.

UPDATE: Thanks to several readers who pointed out the USA Hockey Team defeated the Soviets in the semi-final, then took on Finland. (Hey, I’m a Formula Ford motorsports guy, hockey is a little down the list for me).

XI, YOU’VE LOST ANOTHER BALLOON? Canada monitoring potential second incident of suspected ‘spy balloon.’

POLICIES SO GOOD, WE HAVE TO LIE ABOUT THEM! Florida College Bureaucrats ‘Significantly Misreported’ Diversity Initiatives When Pressed By DeSantis, His Office Says.


HOW DO WE KNOW IT’S A SPY BALLOON? Pentagon Says It Detected a Chinese Spy Balloon Hovering Over Montana.

The United States has detected what it says is a Chinese surveillance balloon that has been hovering over the northwestern United States, the Pentagon said on Thursday, a discovery that comes days before Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken’s visit to Beijing.

President Biden has chosen, for now, not to shoot down the balloon after a recommendation from Pentagon officials that doing so would risk debris hitting people on the ground, according to a senior defense official who was not authorized to speak publicly.

Well, that’s absurd. A balloon won’t produce much debris, and there aren’t many people on the ground in that part of the United States. Unless the balloon contained something more dangerous than cameras.

CAPITALIST PIG: Comrade Bernie Sanders to Charge $95 to Attend His Book Debut.

VOTING WITH THEIR FEET: Portland Is Losing Some of Its Biggest Fans.

Multnomah County has lost residents for the past three years, according to Portland State University’s Population Research Center. Before 2020, it hadn’t lost people since 1987, and that was just a one-year blip in an upward run that began in 1984.

In the most recent PSU estimate—for the year ended July 1, 2022—the population fell by 2,321. The cause was “out migration,” PSU says, which is a fancy way of saying people bailed.

That may not seem like a lot in a county that had 812,563 residents as of July 1, 2021, but it’s a reversal of fortune for a city that once attracted migrants from other states the way locally roasted Chemex coffee draws men with sleeve tattoos.

Josh Lehner, a state economist, says his department had expected a rebound in 2022, but it didn’t arrive. The longer the slump in population lasts, he says, the less likely pandemic-related moving patterns are to blame, and the more likely it is that Portland has a problem.

Portland has a problem.

LIGHTNING DEAL: Surge Protector, Outlet Extender with Night Light. #CommissionEarned

WOW, WHO COULD HAVE SEEN THAT COMING? NY Times Opinion: This woke language is alienating normal people (and helping Gov. DeSantis).

NOT ENOUGH FOR RUSSIA, TOO MUCH FOR UKRAINE: Here’s What Biden Reportedly Offered Putin for Peace With Ukraine.

CHRIS RUFO: Left-wing DEI bureaucracy has captured Florida State University and installed radical politics as the governing value.

Florida State University has adopted a series of “diversity, equity, and inclusion” programs that divides Americans along a “matrix of oppression,” castigates Christians for their “Christian privilege,” and offers a racially segregated scholarship that deliberately bars white students from applying.

Officially, Florida State officials have claimed in a recent report to Governor Ron DeSantis that they support 23 separate DEI programs and initiatives. But beneath the surface, the ideology has embedded itself everywhere in the university.

I have obtained documents through public searches and Sunshine Law requests that reveal a sprawling bureaucracy, dedicated to promoting left-wing racial narratives, including a seemingly endless array of programs, departments, trainings, certificates, committees, statements, grants, groups, clubs, reports, and initiatives.

One representative program is “Social Justice Ally Training,” hosted by Student Equity & Inclusion Director Sierra Turner and the Center for Leadership & Social Change. The program provides a basic recapitulation of the critical-race-theory narrative: white, patriarchal Western societies have created a “Cycle of Socialization” that has resulted in “racism, classism, religious oppression, sexism, heterosexism, gender oppression, ableism, ageism & adultism, and xenophobia.”

The trainers make the case that, in the United States, “whites” are the racial group responsible for the “systematic subordination of members of targeted racial groups who have relatively little power.” Whites are also guilty of “cultural racism,” or the creation and maintenance of social structures that “overtly and covertly attribute normality to white people and Whiteness.” By definition, no other group can be racist—“institutional racism” can only “create advantages and benefits for Whites.”

Christians, too, represent an oppressor class.

We shouldn’t even pretend to take this bullshit seriously, or that it’s tolerable.



Bite Sized (Liquid Diet Chronicles Book 1) by [Holly Chism]
Meg Turner has been a vampire for twenty years. Her favorite food is rapists. Which is how she met Andi Donahue, her new best friend/ girl Friday.
And then the nightmares start. And the bodies start showing up–bled out and raped. Just like Meg was. They don’t have a whole lot of time to stop the killer before he strikes again, and only one way to stop the killer.
But how can Andi help Meg stop a killer she can’t even see?

WE KNOW IT’S ABOUT PUNISHING THE KULAKS:  Those Attacks on Gas Stoves Aren’t Really about Health.


Over, under, around. Let’s go.

THEY REALLY DO LIKE CHINA:  Massachusetts Bill Offers to Cut Your Prison Time if You Donate Organs.

HERETICS! IT’S ALL GOREBAL WARMERING!  Los Angeles Times Admits California Has Cyclic Wet-Dry Cycles After Historic Snowpack.

Cue retraction and apology in 3- 2- 1

AND ABOUT TIME:  Ilhan Omar gets a taste of the Democrats’ own medicine.

COMPLETE CATHOLIC INSIDE BASEBALL, BUT IF YOU ARE, IT MIGHT BE WORTH TO READ:  Fr. Martin’s Bridge, Pt. 1: Crossing into Critical Queer Catholicism.

(In my opinion, once you put “critical” and “queer” in front of anything, you’re not talking about the thing any more. Unless, you know, you’re modifying “breakfast” or “group” and even then I’d like to know what a critical queer breakfast is. …. No. I take that back. I really, really don’t.)

BEHOLD, MY SHOCKED FACE:  ‘Little to no difference’: Massive mask meta-study undermines remaining COVID mandates.

TOOK HIM LONG ENOUGH:  Hunter Biden finally admits infamous laptop is his as he pleads for criminal probe.

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO LIE ABOUT THEIR AGE:  High school basketball coach fired after impersonating 13-year-old in JV game.

WELL, IT’S NOT LIKE THEY’RE OBJECTIVE ANYWAY:  Media objectivity to be pushed aside in name of diversity.

So, just excuse for same old, same old.

February 2, 2023

OPEN THREAD: Disport yourselves below.

SPACE: Rolls-Royce unveils early-stage design for space nuclear reactor.

WEIRD, HEART ATTACK RATES WERE FALLING FOR DECADES: Heart attacks on the rise among young adults, but many are unaware of risk.

JANICE FIAMENGO: The Henpecked Hero: Public Usefulness but Rarely Domestic Happiness for the Modern Good Man. “But why is she disappointed at all? The question of the woman or girl’s anger arises and is never answered in any of these programs. Are we to condemn the man because he didn’t grovel harder with an emotionally volatile woman? Because he didn’t compromise his professional obligations? Because he is so dedicated to his demanding and often dangerous job that he is emotionally spent when he comes home—or because what he deals with is so brutal that he can’t talk about it? So often in these scenes of castigation, one is struck by the ludicrous inappropriateness of it all. How dare this girl berate her father? How dare this woman debase her man? And why does he put up with it? . . . Women are almost never directly criticized in these portrayals, and are almost always presented as objects of love and longing for the hero. Yet it is hard not to notice that they are not clearly worth the male effort being expended. They are certainly never expected to meet the standards of self-control, arduous dedication, and mental toughness required of the men.”


The COVID-19 pandemic wasn’t all bad, a new Biden administration plan to fight climate change argues: It at least “highlighted major opportunities” to reduce travel demand and lower carbon emissions through “remote work and virtual interactions.”

The plan—which President Joe Biden’s Environmental Protection Agency and Energy, Transportation, and Housing departments released in January—aims to “eliminate nearly all greenhouse gas emissions” from the transportation sector by 2050, mostly through a transition to electric vehicles. Also included in the plan, however, is a controversial call to reduce “commuting miles” through “an increase in remote work and virtual engagements,” including in education.

Make sure you read the last part of the final sentence of that excerpt carefully. Yes, they’re talking about working remotely and using Zoom calls or similar technology to hold meetings. But they added the phrase “including in education.”

Has anyone on Joe Biden’s team been paying any attention to the news for the past year? The school closures during the lockdown were disastrous for students. (And they were pretty hard on many parents as well, of course.) Students’ educational achievements cratered. Their emotional development was stunted. High school grades and graduation rates dropped, along with college admissions.

And now Joe Biden is pushing to have more of that “remote learning” make a comeback in the name of climate change? Have we learned nothing from the past three years? One thing we definitely learned was that children were at the lowest risk of bad outcomes from COVID, so the schools were probably the last places we should have shut down.

I can’t shake the feeling that this brings us one step closer to a declared “climate emergency.” You people can all stay locked down in your homes voluntarily to save the polar bears or we can declare an emergency and lock you down like we did during COVID.

As Stephen Miller asked in February of 2021:  Are you ready for the climate lockdowns? It’s only a matter of time.

SPACE: The audacious rescue plan that might have saved space shuttle Columbia.

ALL THESE WORLDS ARE YOURS — EXCEPT EUROPA, OF COURSE: Astronomers Just Discovered 12 New Moons Orbiting Jupiter. “With the advent of these 12 previously undiscovered moons, the gas giant now has 92 known orbiting entities, surpassing Saturn’s amazing collection of 83.”

HMM: Was It Personal? Authorities Investigating Rumor That Tyre Nichols Was in a Relationship With Officer’s Ex. So we shift the narrative from white supremacy to toxic masculinity, I guess?

CIVIL RIGHTS UPDATE: Fifth Circuit strikes down firearms prohibition under domestic violence restraining order. “The question presented in this case is not whether prohibiting the possession of firearms by someone subject to a domestic violence restraining order is a laudable policy goal. The question is whether 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(8), a specific statute that does so, is constitutional under the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution. In the light of N.Y. State Rifle & Pistol Ass’n, Inc. v. Bruen, 142 S. Ct. 2111 (2022), it is not.”

The way to keep Rahimi from possessing a gun might be to keep him in jail longer on his many criminal offenses.

UPDATE: Eugene Volokh has thoughts.

MORE THAN JUST A GUN BUCKET: How to Choose a Good Holster. Tamara Keel has been going on about the importance of holsters for years, and when she talks guns, I listen.

ALL OF OUR INSTITUTIONS HAVE BEEN CORRUPTED: ‘Toe the line:’ Professor leaves academia as DEI corrupts STEM.

READER FAVORITE: RAK Magnetic Wristband for Holding Screws. #CommissionEarned

I’M FINE WITH THIS: Plodding Senate lowers expectations for new Congress. “As House Republicans spar with the Biden administration and pass a bevy of messaging bills, the Democratic-controlled Senate is off to a much slower start. Four weeks into the 118th session of Congress, the upper chamber has taken just a few votes and is only now organizing its committee rosters, foreshadowing what could be an unproductive two years.”


Eleven months of combat and suffering demonstrate that on the battlefield Ukraine can defeat a Russian invasion then launch limited but sustained (and thus effective) local counter-offensives.

As Month 12 begins, satellites photograph trenches and shell holes, wire services report artillery slugfests and cable TV experts speculate on new attacks when the Russians get more soldiers, when the Ukrainians deploy Leopard 2 tanks.

In other words, the war has become a bloody stalemate between two armies that refuse to lose.

Read the whole thing.

NAVAL MINES IN THE BLACK SEA: A Jim Dunnigan “How to Make War” WEAPONS update. The post also discusses Iranian mines in the Red Sea. Apparently they’ve sunk several Yemeni fishing boats.


FIGHT THE POWER: Penn law dean hit with grievance over drawn out Amy Wax investigation. She said some stuff they didn’t like about admissions, probably because it was true. It’s been so long that I’ve forgotten the details. What’s there to “investigate?”

THE FUTURE BELONGS TO THOSE WHO SHOW UP: China will lose half its population by the end of the century — and the ripple effects will be catastrophic.

This year India is set to surpass China’s population, and in a few years it will surpass China’s working-age population — people 20 to 69. The United Nations has estimated that if China’s birth rate remains at its super-low level and the country fails to position itself as an attractive destination for migrants, the country will lose nearly half of its population by the end of this century, a contraction of roughly 700 million people.

Strong growth in its working-age population over the past several decades allowed China to become the world’s factory — over 70% of solar panels, 60% of farm machines, and 25% of robots are constructed with components from Chinese suppliers. Because of its manufacturing prowess and importance to supply chains, China’s shrinking working-age population has enormous, direct effects on the global economy. It’s also an omen for the US and Europe: If they don’t turn around their shrinking birth rates, they face the same economic fate as China.

But: “The large population decline is projected even though it assumes that China’s total fertility rate will rise from 1.18 children per woman in 2022 to 1.48 in 2100.”

Without that rise in fertility — which seems unlikely — China’s population will shrink even faster.

NICE: Astronauts awarded Congressional Space Medals of Honor. “Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley received medals for bravery for soaring to the International Space Station as part of NASA’s SpaceX Demonstration Mission-2. It was the first time in 17 years that the medals have been awarded.”

WELL, GOOD: Trump vows to end ‘left-wing gender insanity’ if re-elected.

DISRUPTION: ChatGPT Plus is here — and it has Google in its sights.

Can it really destroy Google’s business model in just two years? While Buccheit’s comments can appear hyperbolic, there could be some substance to them. Buccheit believes that ChatGPT and AI can erode Google Search’s dominance in the market, and even the need for a search engine results page entirely.

He makes no claim regarding AI’s ability to destroy — for example — the Google Pixel phones like the Google Pixel 7 Pro or the company’s Waymo self-driving car project. However, the money for these projects is largely fueled by Google Search — specifically Google Search’s ad revenue from the search engine results page.

In this instance, Buccheit is onto something. The New York Times reported recently that Google declared “code red” regarding AI and is now planning to integrate AI into its search engine and chatbot features at a severely accelerated pace. If true, it shows just how scared Google is by AI like ChatGPT threatening its business model.

Stay tuned.

HAPPY DIVERSITY THURSDAY. “The amount of wasted time, wasted resources, and empty hours listening to tenured radicals tell service members – most born in the 21st Century, that they should first and foremost see each other by the most artificial characteristics and then use that difference to position for advantage, conflict, and disorder firmly stuck in aspic from the perspective of the early 1970s.”

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A NATION BECOMES SICK: And no, not with a physical ailment like the Coronavirus, but rather a sickness in the body politic. Georgetown University Professor of Political Theory Joshua Mitchell says “we are losing the mediating institutions about which DeTocqueville wrote in Democracy in America.” He has much more to say, much of which is based on the ancient classics, and it will leave you astounded that he retains his chair at Georgetown. Maybe I should’t be calling attention to this?

DEAL OF THE DAY: iHealth COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test. #CommissionEarned

KRUISER: A Tale of Two Parties: Ronna McDaniel’s RNC and Regular Republican Voters. “The Republican Party is now faced with heading into the most important presidential election since perhaps the American Civil War as a dysfunctional family. The Republican voters in real America are estranged from the string-pullers in Washington, specifically the RNC. McDaniel’s mere presence will guarantee that remains the case throughout the next two years.”

I WANT ONE FOR MY CAMPUS: Too cool for school: How’s ’bout a small nuclear reactor to power campus?


Imagine a left-wing DeSantis comes to power and is quite willing to meddle in universities to advance their own ideological vision using the kinds of tools DeSantis is now using and might use in the future. Should conservatives fear that possibility and so restrain themselves now? Not really and here’s why. The status quo in universities ALREADY looks like that is the case. They are already ideologically captured. What would a left-wing DeSantis do to get universities to behave more in accordance with his preferences? Probably nothing. Mission already accomplished.

From a conservative perspective, there is little to fear from breaking down the norm that keeps politics out of universities. From their perspective that norm is already gone. Politics is already in the universities, but it came from the inside. The calls are coming from inside the house!

Indeed. The left should have worried about tit for tat when it shattered norms, but it didn’t.

CHRISTIAN TOTO: Comedian Anthony Jeselnik: ‘I Don’t Have Sympathy’ for Canceled Chappelle. “Anthony Jeselnik, on paper, should live in mortal fear of Cancel Culture. The comic traffics in material so extreme, so morally warped, that it’s shocking someone hasn’t raised a ruckus over it yet. He likely stays ahead of the mob by embracing his over-the-top brand. No one actually believes he believes what he says on stage.”

AS I SUGGESTED EARLIER, AI WILL HIT THE “CREATIVE CLASS” HARDER THAN THE WORKING CLASS: “Our exaggerated reverence for the creative impulse derives from the romantics of the early 19th century… and filtered through from intellectual bohemia to the upper middle classes…. Now, quite banal instances of human creativity are preposterously overvalued. Witness the often conceited superiority of those in only tangentially creative professions. Why should a newspaper columnist or an advertising copywriter feel himself to be more interesting than a banker or a cleaner? I have lawyer friends who complain of the rictus countenances and slipping eye-contact they get from artistic types at parties. But I know those parties. And I know my lawyers are the most interesting people in the room…. AI should disillusion us of the spurious glamour of creativity. It will be good for those who have suffered the social condescension of ‘creatives.'”

Not least because the creative work of recent decades is mostly rather bad — and in the case of expensive public art, often spectacularly bad.

WHY IS HIGHER EDUCATION SUCH A CESSPIT OF SEXIST BIGOTRY? Office for Civil Rights probes complaints Stanford discriminates against men.

UKRAINE WAR [VIP]: Here Comes the Russian Wave. “It likely comes down to a numbers game as Russia continues cranking up its first major offensive since stalling out last summer. This is where Western weapons and training come in, or at least they should.”

Don’t forget that VODKAPUNDIT promo code if you’ve been thinking of joining us.

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