THEY’LL PROBABLY TARGET U.S. CITIES SOON, AND WE HAVE BASICALLY NO DEFENSES AGAINST THIS SORT OF THING:

SMART DIPLOMACY:

He’s right, you know.

UPDATE (From Ed):

THE SHAHED DRONE: Iran’s low-cost but deadly weapon of choice.

The drones launched from Iran were seen flying low as they passed over Iraq, with social media awash with clips of the weapons making a loud buzzing noise.

The unmanned aerial vehicles are believed to be Shaheds – “Witness” in Farsi.

The deadly long-range drone has become known as the “AK-47” of Tehran: cheap, mass produced and ready to be exported worldwide to conflict zones where the regime has a vested interest.

Their lawnmower-like whirr is already very familiar for Ukrainians who are constantly under attack from Iranian-made drones launched by Russia.

There, the sound of a Shahed grumbling through the skies signals an imminent explosion and, frequently, civilian casualties. Fitted with warheads of up to 50kg and with a range of up to 2,000 kilometres, the Russians have mainly been relying on Shaheds to attack energy grids and grain storehouses.

The Shahed has already been used many times by Iranian proxies in the Middle East, notably by Houthi militia groups who relied on it against the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, and more recently in a string of attacks on Western commercial ships in the Red Sea. The Syrian regime’s drone fleet is also reported to include Shaheds.

A Shahed-136 drone was, according to US officials, used in the notorious July 2021 drone attack by Iran on the Mercer Street vessel in the Red Sea, which killed a Romanian sailor and a British security guard.

Related: Roster of Iran’s Drones.

HOW IT STARTED: Biden’s message to Iran about retaliatory strike on Israel: ‘Don’t.’

President Joe Biden told reporters Friday afternoon he expects an Iranian strike on Israel to occur “sooner than later” amid urgent concerns that Iran was about to retaliate for the bombing of its consulate in Damascus, Syria, earlier this month.

Asked for his message to Iran in the tense moment, Biden was blunt, saying simply, “Don’t.”

“Would the U.S. respond?” ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Mary Bruce asked repeatedly as the president walked away after the end of an unrelated event. He paused, thought for a moment and then returned to the lectern.

“We are devoted to the defense of Israel. We will support Israel. We will help defend Israel and Iran will not succeed,” he said.

How it’s going: Breaking Video: Iran seizes Israeli-linked container ship in Persian Gulf.

Biden has obviously taken the motto of Teddy Roosevelt to heart: Walk softly, and carry a big trunalimunumaprzure. (And some big pallets of cash as well.)

Or as Robin Williams once joked about British bobbies, “Stop! Or I’ll say stop again!”

UPDATE: Breaking: Iran Launches Drone Attacks Against Israel as Biden Cuts Vacation Short.

QUESTION ASKED AND ANSWERED: Why Did Nazi Germany Abandon Their Plan To Invade Britain? (Video.)

FAREWELL, VOYAGER 1:

Voyager’s 1970s vintage computers are still working, though almost all of its instruments have been turned off. It’s remarkable that scientists can still contact it, let alone reprogram it to compensate for memory damage caused by the impact of harmful cosmic rays. Its power source will work for several years but engineers worry most about its computers’ health. It recently struggled but recovered. One day it will not answer back.

In 50,000 years, less than the blink of a cosmic eye, our sun will no longer be the brightest star in its sky, having been replaced by Sirius, the brightest star in our night sky.

In Voyager’s life the first footprints on the moon are as fleeting as are the Rings of Saturn. Long after the pyramids have crumbled into sand and the Earth has become uninhabitable, it will be just starting its odyssey.

An odyssey implies a return home. What could possibly go wrong for Voyager on the way back?

THE REAL MINIMUM WAGE IS ALWAYS ZERO: California Burger King franchisee to expedite self-serve kiosks rollout over $20 wage law.

A businessman who owns 140 Burger King franchises in California will slash workers’ hours and expedite the rollout of self-service kiosks to cut down on labor costs in response to the state’s new $20 minimum wage.

Harshraj Ghai, who owns 180 fast-food restaurants throughout the Golden State, including Burger King, Taco Bell and Popeyes, told Business Insider last week: “We can’t move fast enough on this [rollout].”

“We have kiosks in probably about 25% of our restaurants today,” he said. “However, the other 75% are going to have kiosks in the next probably 30 to 60 days.”

“We are installing kiosks in every single restaurant,” Ghai said.

Several fast food chains have hiked menu prices since the new law increasing pay for fast-food workers went into effect April 1.

Ghai, who raised menu prices between 8% and 10% in the last year, said he plans to cut down on worker hours, eliminate overtime, pause plans to expand his restaurant empire and add more digital kiosks.

Skynet and the board of the Tyrell Corporation smile at the “unexpectedly” incredible opportunities in automation that Gavin Newsom is intent on providing.

QUESTION ASKED AND (PARTIALLY) ANSWERED: Why was gender ideology allowed to run amok for so long?

Just like that, a trickle becomes a flood. After years of gender-critical voices being dismissed or ignored by mainstream media, they can be dismissed and ignored no longer.

The landmark Cass Review into gender-identity services in England, published today, has laid bare the scandal of the NHS’s treatment of ‘gender confused’ kids. There was never any evidence for subjecting troubled, often gay, often autistic, youngsters to life-altering hormones, drugs and treatments. But clinicians did it anyway, in thrall as they were to gender ideology.

The review is on the front page of the newspapers today. The BBC is platforming trans-sceptical experts – and not just so they can be hissed at live on air. Keir Starmer’s ever-opportunistic Labour Party is saying it agrees with everything in the report.

Of course it’s far too early to be declaring victory, and far too late for many of the victims caught up in this to celebrate, but something monumental happened today. The unsayable has become sayable, on gender at least.

The review, produced by top paediatrician Dr Hilary Cass over four years, is a stunning piece of work: a 400-page triumph of reason over unreason. It doesn’t tell us much we didn’t already know, but it tells us in painstaking detail and with undeniable, data-driven authority.

Unexpectedly, not everybody was happy to comply with assembling the report, however: Top NHS adviser on trans health failed to cooperate with Cass Review.

“SWING…AND A MISS.” In the freakout reaction about an NPR insider calling out their totally biased reporting, (I know, “duh”) NPR President CEO Katherine Maher sent out this mealy mouthed note to supplicate her troops and the snowflake believers who still take NPR seriously.

I mean, I never had a lot of faith in outfits who use Norwegian Whaling Zither Folk Music as lead-ins, but maybe that’s just me.

Much more importantly, I dare any Insta-readers to look at her message and find the words “truth,” “accuracy,” or “fairness.” What does that tell you?

They. Just. Don’t. Get. It.

FOUR YEARS AGO TODAY: Bill Maher BLASTS China Over WuFlu… The Left Goes NUTS.

And similarly, in a Twitter thread that Steve spotted:

Shameless hypocrisy, you’re doing it right.

Glenn added: You know that this is right.

In the replies, Fleischer is getting dragged by such hacks as Molly Jong-Fast and Norm Ornstein — but they don’t dare say he’s wrong, because everyone knows he’s not.

Related: Tony Katz: Dr. Fauci’s “Push Back” Comments Mean He Should Stay Off CNN. Though to be fair, everyone should stay off CNN.

Anyway Fauci’s Monday-morning quarterbacking . . . himself.

WATCH: Unhinged Pro-Hamas Woman Finds Out Threatening City Council Members Isn’t a Good Idea.

We’ve seen a lot of wild actions from the pro-Hamas crew.

But even by their standards, the actions employed by a woman at a Bakersfield, California, city council meeting were particularly unhinged. Riddhi Patel (who some media said identified as “non-binary”) started off slow, saying she was there to push for a ceasefire resolution.

* * * * * * * *

Patel went on to talk about people being evicted and said they were “votes.” She then talked about some people in the “global south” believing in “violent revolution against their oppressors, and I hope one day someone brings the guillotine and kills all of you motherf**kers.”

She continued, chastising the council for the increased security at meetings, including metal detectors and an increased police presence because of concerns about safety. Patel seemed to think that was targeting the pro-Hamas folks. And if what she said already wasn’t bad enough, that’s when she got even more direct. She said the council wanted to criminalize “resisting.” She closed with, “You guys want to criminalize us with metal detectors? We’ll see you at your house. We’ll murder you.”

* * * * * * * *

Patel found out that, at least in this case, she wasn’t just going to get off like so many leftist activists before her.

Officers booked Patel on eight counts of intent to terrorize and eight counts of threatening state officials for a total of 16 felony charges. They remain in police custody on $2 million bond.

Let’s face it – in 2024, you better have some serious NFL privilege before you start threatening violence:

 

 

THE NEW FACE OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY:

21ST CENTURY RELATIONSHIPS: The Teen Choking Fad.

I was initially startled in early 2020 when, during a post-talk Q. and A. at an independent high school, a 16-year-old girl asked, “How come boys all want to choke you?” In a different class, a 15-year-old boy wanted to know, “Why do girls all want to be choked?” They do? Not long after, a college sophomore (and longtime interview subject) contacted me after her roommate came home in tears because a hookup partner, without warning, had put both hands on her throat and squeezed.

I started to ask more and the stories piled up. Another sophomore confided that she enjoyed being choked by her boyfriend, though it was important for a partner to be “properly educated” — pressing on the sides of the neck, for example, rather than the trachea. (Note: There is no safe way to strangle someone.) A male freshman said “girls expected” to be choked and, even though he didn’t want to do it, refusing would make him seem like a “simp.” And a senior in high school was angry that her friends called her “vanilla” when she complained that her boyfriend had choked her.

I feel sorry for Gen Z. Choking has been around forever, of course, though when I was in college running across a woman who liked to be choked was unusual and vaguely concerning. But now it’s a fad, and people are doing it to fit in and seem daring. Sort of like the Trans stuff.