News of the Week (October 24th, 2021)

 

News of the Week for Oct. 24th, 2021


 

Riots & Revolution

 

‘Lawless city?’ Worry after Portland police don’t stop chaos
A crowd of 100 people wreaked havoc in downtown Portland, Oregon, this week, smashing storefront windows, lighting dumpsters on fire and causing at least $500,000 in damage

Racism Declared A Public Health Crisis In New York City
Racism is now officially a public health crisis in New York City.

Molotov Cocktail Lawyers Plead Guilty to Torching NYPD Vehicle During George Floyd Riots
“U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan set their sentencing for Feb. 8. They face up to 10 years in prison under a terrorism-related sentencing provision.”

Under New Critical Race Curriculum “White People, Historic Figures, All Look Like Buffoons or Aggressors” – Providence (RI) Teacher Ramona Bessinger
On Megyn Kelly Podcast: “Not to speak out is to deny students and children that very crucial comprehensive education that they’re entitled to as American children.”

Identity
Source: Sensoy, Ozlem, and Robin DiAngelo. Is Everyone Really Equal?: An Introduction to Key Concepts in Social Justice Education, second edition. Teacher’s College Press: New York, 2012, p. 120. [Myth] “If we are oppressed in one social group membership, we can’t be privileged in another.” Remember that we occupy multiple social groups. One may be oppressed as a female but elevated as White; oppressed as a person with a disability but elevated as male; and so on. Consider the oppression of sexism. While all women experience sexism, they experience it differently based on its interaction with their other social group identities.

 

Corona Virus

 

In-N-Out Burger tells San Francisco ‘we refuse to become the vaccination police’ after city closes restaurant
In-N-Out Burger blasted the city of San Francisco’s proof of COVID-19 vaccination requirements after the San Francisco Department of Health closed one of the popular California burger joint’s locations for serving customers who were not carrying the proper papers.

Male and female fetuses respond differently to COVID-19
In pregnant women who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, male placentas showed increased immune activation compared with female placentas, according to a new study published in Science Translational Medicine.

An OSHA Cover-Up Feeds Vaccine-Conspiracy Theories
Anti-vaccine propaganda and conspiracy theories are not something the government can successfully control, but the government can absolutely make them worse by acting as if it has a bias toward covering up the side effects or adverse reactions to vaccines. OSHA is doing precisely that by announcing on its website that it has suspended reporting requirements that normally would cause employers to report adverse reactions to the vaccine. From the FAQ section of OSHA’s website (emphasis mine)

 

Gun Rights

 

When Arrows Are Outlawed…
Steve mentioned a bizarre news story out of a small town in Norway, where an apparently deranged individual armed with a bow and arrows killed five people and wounded three others. The case is now generating controversy because police were quickly alerted to the threat, but were unable to stop the murderer because they were unarmed

Illinois Supreme Court shoots down Cook County’s tax on firearms and ammo
The uniformity clause provides that, “[i]n any law classifying the subjects or objects of non-property taxes or fees, the classes shall be reasonable and the subjects and objects within each class shall be taxed uniformly. Exemptions, deductions, credits, refunds and other allowances shall be reasonable.” Ill. Const. 1970, art. IX, § 2.

Legal Analysis: Does Alec Baldwin Have Criminal Exposure After Shooting Woman Dead In Apparent Mistake?
Innocent Accident, or Involuntary Manslaughter?

The Firearms Policy Coalition Targets Texas S.B. 8
The gun rights group has filed a brief supporting the petition for certiorari in one of the cases challenging the controversial Texas abortion law.

 

Hide the Decline

Environment &
“Green Energy”

 

“Containergeddon”: California Emissions Law Caused the Supply Chain Crisis
What’s causing the supply-chain crisis? One word: California.

Energy: Russia Uses Weapon Handed to It (Unexpectedly!)
It cannot be said that this is a surprise […]: “Russia’s Gazprom has damped hopes for additional gas exports to Europe next month as the continent struggles with record prices, despite recent hints from President Vladimir Putin that more could be forthcoming.”

Lights out. Report details how spiking energy prices show that renewable energy is not up to the task
As anyone who follows me on social media may have recently seen, one of the hottest topics this week on a neighborhood discussion forum I participate in has been a family who typically has a monthly utility bill in the range of $150 but last month got hit with a charge of $441. And they couldn’t identify any significant change in their recent use of electricity or natural gas. Others quickly chimed in that they had seen increases also, though not quite that extreme. (Ours didn’t go up nearly as much because we’re on one of those plans that average out your utility bills over the course of the year.) Many places across the United States are seeing similar spikes, but it’s not limited to America. Countries from China to the UK are also experiencing significant price hikes and, in some places, rolling blackouts.

Biden’s EPA Faces Lawsuit for Illegally Stacking Science Advisory panels
If unchecked, EPA Administrator Michael Regan’s “climate action plan” will lead to a climate crisis….one involving economics rather than weather.

The Hypocrisy of Environmental Elites
The Wall Street Journal reports today that the insurgent members that outside groups managed to get elected to the board of ExxonMobil want the company to begin planning to go out of business

Proposed Electric Vehicle Tax Credits Benefit Unions, Wealthy Individuals—Not Environment
True to the image of a stereotypical car salesmen, President Joe Biden and congressional leadership are pitching a multitrillion dollar spending package that they say won’t cost middle class Americans a dime.

Biden abandons Alaska oil drilling project after previously vowing to defend it
The Willow Master Development Plan has been abandoned by the Biden administration though the administration previously defended the oil and gas project in Alaska. This is a legal victory for climate change activists trying to destroy the fossil fuel industry in America.

Climate change or return to climate norm?
Vice President Kamala Harris used the white ring around Lake Mead as a visual for her claim that the federal government must spend trillions of dollars to combat climate change.

 

Obamacare

Government in Healthcare

 

Rachel Levine, openly transgender health official, to be sworn in as four-star admiral
A senior Biden health appointee who made history when she became the nation’s highest-ranking openly transgender official has also become its first openly transgender four-star officer.

 

War & Terror

 

Netflix Hit “Squid Game” Shines Spotlight on China’s Organ Harvesting Racket
The new series is also derided by The New York Times.

China Tests Nuclear-Capable Hypersonic Missile
UK’s Financial Times: “The test showed that China had made astounding progress on hypersonic weapons and was far more advanced than US officials realised.”

China’s Claim That Its Fractional Orbital Bombardment System Was A Spaceplane Test Doesn’t Add Up
The system could give China the ability to strike any target on Earth unpredictably, but so far Beijing is acting like the test didn’t happen.

Why China’s Hypersonic Missile Tests Are So Concerning
And what it means for the balance of power between the United States and China.

Space Force commander warns of China’s growing threat to U.S. in space
China is threatening to overtake the U.S. military as the most dominant force in space, says the second in command of the now 3-year-old U.S. Space Force, who warns that Washington must dramatically accelerate its rollout of critical new technologies if it wants to retain superiority over the futuristic war-fighting domain.

US Military Is “Right There on the Edge.” Here’s What’s Driving Its “Marginal” Status.
With aging equipment, a lack of adequate funding, and limited production capabilities, the U.S. military is ranked “marginal” at best. That’s the conclusion of the 2022 Index of U.S. Military Strength, an annual report from The Heritage Foundation that assesses the status of the military and the global threat level to the United States, which was released Wednesday.

State Dept. Celebrates “International Pronouns Day” as China and Russia Increase Their Strength
“Oh yea, btw, what were the pronouns of all the Americans you abandoned to the Taliban?”

Horror: Taliban behead national girls’ team soccer player — and post photos online
We interrupt our coverage of the State Department’s quest to defend pronoun choice to inform people that the Taliban are murdering women … again … and gruesomely. The murder of a player on the Afghanistan national girl’s volleyball team got confirmed this week by the Taliban itself. They posted pictures of Mahjabin Hakimi’s decapitated body, clearly intended as a warning to other women who participated in public life during the brief period of relative freedom women enjoyed

Report: Israel Approves $1.5 Billion Budget for Possible Strike on Iran’s Nuclear Weapons Sites
Israel’s Foreign Minister Lapid: “The Iranians … trying to cheat the world to continue to enrich uranium, to develop their ballistic missile program.”

Senators: U.S. aims to stay on top in international space race
China’s increased efforts in space grabbed the attention of the U.S. Senate space and science subcommittee Thursday, with several members saying Congress will act to ensure that NASA retains its leadership role in space exploration.

UC Berkeley Students Happily Pledge Money to Help the Taliban Kill Americans Inside the U.S.
Anyone who may still be skeptical about the assertion that today’s college students are taught to hate America should take three minutes to watch this video from filmmaker Ami Horowitz, in which he asks students at the University of California, Berkeley to pledge money to the Taliban so that the jihad terror group can strike inside the United States and kill Americans.

Russian, Chinese warships hold first joint patrols in the Pacific
Russian and Chinese warships held their first joint patrols in the Western part of the Pacific ocean on October 17-23, Russia’s defence ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

State Department: Whoops, We Just Found a Lot More Americans Who Want to Leave Afghanistan
President Biden, August 31: “We believe that about 100 to 200 Americans remain in Afghanistan with some intention to leave… For those remaining Americans there is no deadline. We remain committed to get them out if they want to come out.”

China’s hypersonic vehicle test a “significant demonstration” of space technology
Whether the Chinese tested a weapon or just a reusable space vehicle is impossible to know without seeing the test data, said an industry expert

 

National

 

Colin Powell, first Black US secretary of state, dies of Covid-19 complications amid cancer battle
Colin Powell, the first Black US secretary of state whose leadership in several Republican administrations helped shape American foreign policy in the last years of the 20th century and the early years of the 21st, has died from complications from Covid-19, his family said on Facebook. He was 84.

Ahmaud Arbery Case: Seven Facts the Jury Will (Probably) Never Hear
Live trial coverage starts Monday, October 18, here at Legal Insurrection.

George Soros Drops $1M To Stop City of Austin Hiring Police to Combat Rising Crime
On Nov. 2, Austin voters will decide on a ballot initiative requiring the hiring of two officers per 1K residents

Art Institute of Chicago “Fires” All 100 Volunteer Museum Guides For Being Mostly White Women
“The fired docents were offered a two-year free pass to the museum as gratitude for their previous service.”

Ben & Jerry’s Interview Gives Woke Capitalism Its Just Desserts
Woke capitalism has gained popularity in the past several years. Unlike traditional free-market capitalism that says companies exist to create shareholder value, woke capitalism posits that companies must consider social justice ideas like “climate change” and “diversity, equity, and inclusion” when making business decisions.

Rubio: John Kerry Is Making Money Off Chinese Slave Labor
John Kerry, who counts the disastrous Iran nuclear deal among his accomplishments, is Old Joe Biden’s man on climate change hysteria, but Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) has revealed that even among a staff that includes the likes of Pete “Mr. Mom” Buttigieg and Jen “Yes, I Think You’re Stupid” Psaki, Kerry is a lowlight, or worse. “For weeks,” Rubio wrote at FoxNews.com on Friday, “rumors have swirled in Washington about President Joe Biden’s climate czar John Kerry and his opposition to taking concrete action against the Chinese Communist Party’s use of slave labor. Now, we may have an answer about his reluctance to take action: according to a new report, Kerry and his wife have at least $1 million invested in a Chinese investment group called Hillhouse China Value Fund L.P.”

Report: 5% of GOPers in Georgia House district say they won’t vote in 2022 if state doesn’t conduct audit of 2020
This is a state that counted its ballots three separate times last winter, once by hand. Not good enough for true believers.

How real are the Democrats’ midterm alarm bells?
While it’s still ridiculously early to be dancing on anyone’s political grave with more than a year to go before the midterm elections, there are already some early indicators that the Democrats are getting nervous. Visions of a grateful nation thanking them for massive tax hikes and new spending programs while being uplifted on the wings of Joe Biden as some sort of 21st-century FDR and LBJ rolled into one are fading quickly. They’re being replaced by justifiable fears that they vastly overpromised and underdelivered after the 2020 elections and Uncle Joe is now less of a soaring eagle and more of an albatross around their collective necks. Over at The Hill, a group of leading Democratic strategists was gathered to discuss the current mood and climate among party insiders. Nobody was willing to run up the white flag at this point, but several of them admitted (off the record) that there could be some dark times on the horizon. Anyone capable of reading the poll numbers coming from the usual sources seems to be thinking that standing too close to Joe Biden at this point might not end up being in their best political interests.

Biden’s Department of Intimidation
Joe Biden’s Justice Department has crossed a line in threatening to investigate and prosecute parents for protesting against school boards and teachers who insist on indoctrinating children with critical race theory.

One Brave Professor Calls CRT Marxism
University of Pittsburgh professor of pharmaceutical sciences, Michael Vanyukov, has spoken out against the infiltration of critical race theory into colleges. He says that it is just a rehashing of Marxism, designed to divide people and empower the government.

Fox: Rumors are swirling that Pelosi will step down after the infrastructure package passes
This caught my attention, not because I think it’s true but because after I watched it I started talking myself into believing it’d be a smart move strategically for Dems.

Teaching History in Texas
Michael Gerson has a scathing column about the recently enacted Texas law on how public schools should teach history. If he is reading the law correctly, then his indictment holds up. But I don’t think he is reading it correctly.

How Yale Law School pressured a law student to apologize for a Constitution Day “trap house” invitation
Free speech is in jeopardy yet again at Yale University, where law school administrators met with a student multiple times to pressure him to apologize for language he used in an email that offended some of his classmates. The incident illustrates how university officials can seek to intimidate students into silence and conformity through obscure procedures and veiled threats of punishment.

Everything Wrong with American Infrastructure in One Tunnel
Today’s Wall Street Journal includes a story about the Baltimore and Potomac Tunnel on the Northeast Corridor in Maryland between Baltimore Penn Station and Washington Union Station. The 1.4-mile-long tunnel was built from 1871 to 1873 and is in terrible shape, the Journal says

More residents realize California has become simply unlivable
In case you somehow missed it in the news, significant portions of California have been on fire recently. And I mean literally on fire. Parts of the state are burning up. At the same time, the state’s ongoing crisis of homelessness has been getting worse rather than better despite multiple government programs and massive amounts of spending having been put in place to combat it. Some of the usual suspects continue to flatly declare that the heatwaves and fires are caused by global warming and somehow that phenomenon is tied into the unaffordable cost of housing in California as well as the endemic issues with homelessness.

Women and Trans collective disturbed to find ‘cisgenger men’ installing new radiators
Oberlin College is the pricey liberal arts school which lost a massive defamation lawsuit filed by Gibson’s Bakery back in 2019. Oberlin has a fancy house called Baldwin Cottage which was built in 1886 and which is currently home to the Women and Trans Collective. The school’s website describes the collective as “a close-knit community that provides women and transgendered persons with a safe space for discussion, communal living, and personal development.” Basically it’s a special dorm that has living space for about 30 people.

Derek Chauvin finds a lawyer
I wrote here (October 6) and here (October 7) about former Minneapolis Police Department Officer Derek Chauvin’s lack of legal representation on appeal of his conviction of George Floyd’s murder. Chauvin continues to be represented by Eric Nelson in the federal civil rights prosecution brought by the Department of Justice, but Nelson’s representation has terminated in the state court case that convulsed the Twin Cities.

New political ad strategy in Virginia: Promoting news articles in Google search results
Democratic Virginia governor candidate Terry McAuliffe’s campaign is using Google ads to promote articles from news organizations, but swapping the original headlines on the search results page with ones written by the campaign itself — a novel political advertising method.

Providence Anti-CRT Whistleblower Teacher Ramona Bessinger Hit With Suspension And Transfer
Bessinger wants an apology from the district, and that the district address the hostility against her stoked by staff without suspending her without pay and transferring her as punishment for speaking out against the racialized curriculum.

Arbery Case Day 1 Wrap-Up: Jury Selection Begins, Extra Peremptory Strikes & Legal Defense
Today the court trying the defendants in the Ahmaud Arbery case finalized the questions that would be asked of prospective jurors during general voir dire, Judge Walmsley substantially increased the number of peremptory strikes permitted, and the general voir dire of the first group of prospective jurors began.

Top Berkeley Scientist Resigns, Says School Excludes Scientists Based on Political Views
David Romps, director of the Berkeley Atmospheric Sciences Center, publicly resigned Monday over his concern that the school excludes scientists based on their political beliefs.

The author of The Handmaid’s Tale tweeted a column defending the word ‘woman’ and the woke are outraged
Margaret Atwood is the Canadian author whose most famous creation is the dystopian novel “The Handmaid’s Tale” about a future American theocracy in which women have no rights. The book was published in 1985 and more recently became a popular television show starring Elizabeth Moss. The show, which premiered in 2016, inspired a lot of political activity, especially during he confirmation of Justice Kavanaugh when women in red handmaid cloaks were a frequent site at protests. Atwood’s creation has really become part of the American political zeitgeist.

San Francisco School Board recall election will take place in February
In August, the group that has been gathering signatures for a recall of three members of the San Francisco School Board announced they had secured enough signatures to get the recall on the ballot. Specifically, they needed 51,325 signatures for each member they wished to recall and they had gathered roughly 80,000 for each, meaning they had a fairly large buffer in case some of the signatures were challenged.

Police: Bystanders to Philly train rape could face charges
The people who stood by and watched a woman get raped on a Philadelphia-area train should certainly face moral judgement for their apathy. Police now warn that they could face criminal prosecution as well. After reviewing surveillance video, investigators not only are sure that the bystanders saw the attack, some of them appeared to have been actively recording it on their cell phones

SCOTUS again upholds qualified immunity for police
The ongoing efforts by liberal activists to either defund or abolish the police have pumped fresh energy into a related topic. That would be the repeated calls to either weaken or curtail qualified immunity for police officers. Two separate court challenges seemed to advance the prospects for this terrible idea when lower courts ruled against police officers who were being challenged on this basis after being accused of using excessive force on suspects. Those challenges finally made their way to the Supreme Court this month. Last night the court dealt a blow to the people fighting to curtail qualified immunity. In two unsigned orders with no dissent being published, the court found in favor of both officers and overturned the lower court rulings. At least for now, it appears that this court will hold with previous precedents that supported qualified immunity.

Washington Post Columnist to American Consumers: You’re Spoiled!
Micheline Maynard, a contributing columnist for the Washington Post, contends that the supply-chain problem isn’t really an issue of missed and delayed shipments, higher prices, and a lack of goods on the shelves. No, it’s primarily a problem of the excessively high expectations of American consumers

GOP firebrand Michele Fiore enters crowded Nevada governor’s race to unseat Sisolak
A Las Vegas City Councilwoman who rose to national prominence for her support of self-styled anti-government militiamen who clashed with federal law enforcement in multiple armed standoffs last decade is running for governor of Nevada.

ACLU files lawsuit against CRT law in Oklahoma
It’s not just the ACLU that is behind this lawsuit, it’s a coalition of groups. They have filed a lawsuit claiming that an Oklahoma law intended to limit some CRT-based teaching violates the constitutional rights of students and teachers:

Rahm Emanuel’s Japan confirmation hearing spotlights Democratic tensions
Ex-Chicago mayor faces objections from progressives

Arbery Case Day 2 Wrap-Up: Jury Selection Continues, Most Believe Blacks Treated Fairly by Justice System and Police
Today the court proceeded with jury selection, or voir dire, in the case, with the goal of empaneling 12 jurors and 4 alternates for the duration of the trial, which is anticipated to run into the third week of November (although I caution that such things are hard to predict).

Democrats Are Trying to Sneak Gender Dogma Into Bill on Family Violence
The Democratic majority in the House of Representatives passed the Equality Act this summer, but it stalled in the Senate. Undeterred, progressives have been trying to insert their gender dogma wherever else they can, including the $3.5 trillion tax-and-spend bill and HR 2119, which is the barely noticed Family Violence and Prevention Services Improvement Act.

Staff surprised by the unfamiliar pronouns approved for campus use
Western Carolina University has added 12 different pronoun combinations to the student learning management system portal, Canvas.

Cratering: New poll puts Biden approval below 40%
We don’t often hear from Grinnell/Selzer, but when we do, we should pay attention. According to their latest polling, Joe Biden’s approval rating has plunged to 37/50, an even lower level and bigger gap than yesterday’s Quinnipiac poll. It’s the first poll aggregated by RealClearPolitics that puts Biden below 40%.

The Dems’ Mess of a Child-Care Plan
Yesterday at City Journal, I had a big-picture piece about the family policies the Democrats are wrangling over. As I explained, their debate isn’t just about how much to spend but also about how the government should shape the incentives parents face as they make important decisions about work and child care.

Surgeons have successfully tested a pig’s kidney in a human patient
The test, in a brain-dead patient, was very short but represents a milestone in the long quest to use animal organs in human transplants.

Walmart vs. Whiteness
The company’s new training program tells hourly employees that they are guilty of “internalized racial superiority.”

Condoleezza Rice Schools the Ladies of “The View” on Critical Race Theory
“I would like Black kids to be completely empowered, to know that they are beautiful in their blackness, but in order to do that I don’t have to make White kids feel bad for being White”

Racially Discriminatory Asheville (NC) Scholarship Program Challenged By Judicial Watch And Legal Insurrection Foundation
Complaint: “Plaintiff’s members include students within Asheville City Schools who are ineligible for a City of Asheville-funded scholarship only because they are not Black.”

Arbery Case Day 3 Wrap-Up: Juror Concerned Media Leaking Identifying Information
Substantial majorities of today’s prospective jurors believed that people of color are treated fairly by the police particularly (68%) and the criminal justice system generally (79%).

OSU elementary education program is obsessed with race, oppression, queer sexuality
Courses in Ohio State University’s Early Childhood Education program center around social justice and woke identity topics.

Harvard Goes Full Marx: Panel Calls for “Bold Action” to Ensure “Equality of Outcomes”
The Harvard Kennedy School Ash Center’s Institutional Antiracism and Accountability Project held its annual Truth and Transformation Conference Friday, and it was about as cheerful an affair as you would expect. According to the Harvard Crimson, the thunderingly surprising conclusion of the panel was that “nonprofit leaders and activists argued that non-government agencies and individuals ought to take bold action to promote equity.”

Virginia delegate races could reflect national anti-Democratic mood
Some of the many overlooked but critically important offices in the American political landscape are the ones held by state legislators or members of general assemblies. These are the people who are most like us, the ones who live in neighborhoods close to ours, sit in the pews on Sundays, and attend the local high school football games with everyone else.

Yale Law School Students to Media: “What the Actual F—!”
Asian-American student group says comparisons to Maoist China are ‘offensively racist’

Legendary Handmaid’s Tale Author Asks A Forbidden Question, And The Liberal Mob Turns On Her
Legendary “The Handmaid’s Tale” author Margaret E. Atwood asked the forbidden question about the use of the word “woman” and the liberal mob turned on her.

Suspicious Timing in Richmond
As Charlie notes, the Richmond, Va., schools’ abruptly deciding that they need to close the days before and after Election Day (they already had Election Day off) for employee “mental health” perfectly captures the attitude of the schools that Glenn Youngkin is running against in the Virginia governor’s race. It does not take too much cynicism, however, to also notice that, as the race tightens in polls, Terry McAuliffe’s most faithful backers — the public-school bureaucracy and teachers — are suddenly freeing up their people, still paid on the taxpayer’s dime, to go electioneer and get the vote out the day before the election.

Trump’s TRUTH Social may be sued over apparent breach of open-source software terms
Former President Donald Trump’s new social network appears to have lifted code without attribution to Mastodon, and the open-source social network software company may be gearing up to sue.

Enes Kanter speaks truth to Chinese power
Enes Kanter of the Boston Celtics is a hero. He stood up to the thuggish, repressive regime of Recep Tayyip Erdogan in his native Turkey. His criticism of Erdogan probably put him in physical danger. Kanter fled Indonesia where he was holding a basketball camp for children, after his manager told him Turkish intelligence agents had been sent to capture him.

Barely Legal Strippers Now Illegal in Texas
Under S.B. 315, it is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail, to employ 18- to 20-year-olds at any sexually oriented business.

Lawsuit Claims Wellesley Schools Excluded White Students From Events, Banned “Blue Lives Matter” Phrase
A non-profit group representing three Massachusetts families has filed a federal lawsuit against Wellesley Public Schools claiming the district violated the constitutional rights of their students.

Our Ancestors Had Tails. Why Don’t We?
We can thank a random gene mutation millions of years ago for our tailless anatomy.

Coastal Carolina U. Prof Faces Termination After Brushing Off False Racist Accusations From Student Activists
“The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education calls on Coastal Carolina to reinstate Dr. Steven ??Earnest, who was suspended from teaching after criticizing student protestors who staged a walkout because they saw the names of students of color written on a whiteboard and mistook the list as malicious. In fact, it turned out to have been a list of students who might want to hang out together.”

Arbery Case Day 4 Wrap-Up: Media Asks Judge to Lift Gag Order from Attorneys
The media representative argued that the gag order was so broad and ambiguous that it would inevitably have a chilling effect on the attorneys involved, who would surely err on the side of caution and generally decline to speak substantively to the media.

Lawsuit Targets Massachusetts Public School System for Racial Segregation, Censoring Students
A Massachusetts public school system is actively promoting racially segregated student groups and a “bias reporting program” that encourages students to report instances of their peers’ biases to school officials for disciplinary action, a lawsuit filed Tuesday alleges.

GOP Looks to Reclaim Suburbs in Virginia
Throughout the presidency of Donald Trump, voters living in the suburbs backed away from Republican candidates, costing the GOP their traditional base of power.

San Francisco State University Prof Says Jewish Pot is Making Black Men Gay
“It is Jewish genius that has helped… to weaponize the weed.”

Celtics player doubles down in video criticizing China: ‘I’m calling you out right now in front of the whole world’
Here we go again. As Ed pointed out yesterday, Celtics player Enes Kanter posted a video on social media Wednesday demanding that China free Tibet. In that same video, Kanter called China’s President Xi Jinping a “brutal dictator.” CNN reported that the reaction in China was about what you’d expect. Kanter was denounced and Chinese media company Tencent refused to stream the Celtics Wednesday game.

Report: Alec Baldwin was handed a gun with a live round in fatal shooting
1. It’s extremely weird that there’d be two victims in an accidental shooting. 2. Alec Baldwin is a notorious hothead

Email shows Loudoun County School Board knew about sexual assault the day it happened
If you’ve been following this story then you already know the background but for those who haven’t here’s a very brief version. On May 28 a male student wearing a skirt entered a girl’s bathroom at a school in Loudoun County, Virginia and sexually assaulted a freshman girl. The girl’s father, Scott Smith, came to the school and caused a scene which led to police being called. Jump forward a few weeks to June 22 and Scott Smith went to a Loudoun County school board meeting where parents were objecting to a new bathroom policy which would allow transgender students to use the bathroom of their choice.

Emerson: Maybe Dems need to worry about New Jersey, too
With all of the attention focused on Virginia’s gubernatorial election, hardly anyone outside of the Garden State has paid attention to the contest in New Jersey. Terry McAuliffe and Glenn Youngkin have become star players in the commentariat, while incumbent Phil Murphy and his Republican challenger Jack Ciattarelli have practically had their faces plastered onto milk cartons. New Jersey has become so blue that nearly no one expects an outcome in single digits, let alone a truly competitive race.

Supreme Court Sets November 1 Oral Argument on Texas Abortion Case
The Supreme Court has already agreed to hear a major challenge to Roe v. Wade, in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the Mississippi case that will be argued December 1. It has already once turned away a request to rule immediately on S.B. 8, the Texas abortion law that allows private individuals to file “private attorney general” civil damages lawsuits rather than enforce its abortion restrictions through government action. The latter decision was based largely on the Court’s skepticism of the procedural hurdles to the lawsuit looking to enjoin the Texas law.

Historians Misquote and Misrepresent Texas Civics Law
Critics of Texas Senate Bill 3, which prevents critical race theory–based indoctrination, continue to mischaracterize the law. In a new low, two historians, president of the American Historical Association, Jacqueline Jones, and executive director of the American Historical Association, James Grossman, go the usual misrepresentations one better by misquoting the text of the law. These historians and others make three key mistakes: 1) the law does not require the teaching of Holocaust denial; 2) the law does not prevent teaching that slavery was a crucially important aspect of American history; 3) the law does not prevent any teaching that makes students feel uncomfortable.

Ahead of Jan. 6, Willard hotel in downtown D.C. was a Trump team “command center” for effort to deny Biden the presidency
They called it the “command center,” a set of rooms and suites in the posh Willard hotel a block from the White House where some of President Donald Trump’s most loyal lieutenants were working day and night with one goal in mind: overturning the results of the 2020 election.

Here we go: SCOTUS fast-tracks oral arguments for Texas fetal heartbeat law
The Supreme Court on Friday refused to stop SB 8, the Texas fetal heartbeat law that went into effect September 1 despite the Department of Justice’s plea that it be halted while legal challenges go through the lower courts. It did, however, make an unusual move to fast-track oral arguments by setting them for November 1. Attorney General Merrick Garland called SB 8 a violation of five decades of SCOTUS rulings on abortion rights, which recognize the right to abortion up to 22 to 24 weeks when the baby is viable outside the womb.

ACLU Lawsuit Challenges Oklahoma Anti-Critical Race Legislation
Complaint: “This is an action brought by Oklahoma students and educators challenging the state legislature’s unprecedented and unconstitutional censorship of discussions about race and gender in schools ….”

Secretary of State Blinken More Worried About ‘Gender Neutral Pronouns’ Than China
Joe Biden is admittedly on a serious losing streak in foreign policy. The fall of Afghanistan was a blow to U.S. prestige, and the president’s powerlessness to affect the rescue of American citizens still trapped in Afghanistan two months after the fall of Kabul has defined the weakness of his presidency.

Short Circuit: A Roundup of Recent Federal Court Decisions
Lying under oath, civic nationalism, and naughty movies at home.

Nevada Republican who claimed someone stole dead wife’s ballot is charged with voter fraud
Donald Kirk Hartle looked troubled last November. It was a few days after Election Day and the Las Vegas man was telling a local news station that someone had stolen his late wife’s mail-in ballot and returned it to Clark County election officials, according to Nevada’s online ballot tracker.

Segregation Forever!
“Segregation today, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever!” That was George Wallace’s battle cry when he was the Democratic Governor of Alabama, and today Wallace’s Democratic successors are doing their best to make good on his pledge.

Right-hand privilege presentation at university goes viral
Check your privilege, especially if you used your right hand to open this article. That’s according to a presentation at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill that has gone viral.

California Families Hire Private Security as Crime Tsunami Overwhelms Local Police
“We don’t feel safe in our neighborhood, and we have an alarm and cameras on our property”

 

Economy & Taxes

 

Bread Lines Are Awesome!
I am so old, I remember when socialists claimed that people would be better off under socialism. What’s weird is not that historical experience has forced socialists to abandon the pretense that socialism is beneficial to anyone outside their ruling elite, but rather, that socialism still exists.

“Black Monday” Revisited
With the stock market at or near all-time highs, and with traditional measures suggesting it is overvalued, I’ve been seeing a number of articles about today’s anniversary of the crash of October 19, 1987, when the Dow crashed 22 percent in a single day—still the largest one-day decline in history. A lot of the articles I’m seeing now say “we still don’t know exactly why it happened,” but I think this is not correct. Here’s my narrative of the events leading up to and immediately following the crash.

“People Are Hoarding”: Food Shortages Are The Next Supply-Chain Crunch
In Denver, public-school children are facing shortages of milk. In Chicago, a local market is running short of canned goods and boxed items.

China Economy Slows Amid Power Cuts and Real Estate Crisis
The world’s second largest economy could contract even further as the year draws to a close.

Inflation Is Approaching a Tipping Point at the Grocery Store
Once supermarket prices rise more than 5%, consumer buying habits may start to change

Los Angeles Port a ‘Ghost Town’ Despite Biden Order to Remain Open on Weekends
Joe Biden has a problem. Well, yes, he has more than one problem. But this problem will almost certainly cost him and the Democrats dearly at the polls.

The Car Shortage Is About To Get A Whole Lot Worse
A critical element in everything from engines to bodies is in short supply

Gas hits $7.59 a gallon in CA town
Gas keeps getting more and more expensive, especially in California. But perhaps nowhere is it pricier than the remote central coast community of Gorda.

What Happens if the World’s Key Metal Exchange Has No Metal?
What happens when the London Metal Exchange runs out of metal? That’s the question the exchange is urgently trying to address for its flagship copper contract, which sets the global price for one of the world’s most important commodities.

California’s unionized ports are part of the country’s supply chain problem
As supply chain issues continue to make news, there has been a lot of focus on the lack of sufficient truck drivers as one reason for the so-called “everything shortage.” The American Trucking Associations says they were short about 60,000 truckers before the pandemic and that shortage has grown to 80,000 over the past 18 months. And that means a lot of cargo that can’t get where it’s going.

GOP to Dems: Let’s fix the supply chain issues before launching the progressive Utopia, mm-kay?
A smart move, and not just in terms of rational priorities. The White House may laugh off the supply chain crisis as a “high class problem,” but no one else is chuckling along with them. It ain’t all treadmills and Dior coats, after all

Friedman: China can’t win by bullying and stealing tech from Taiwan
Last month Thomas Friedman had wrote a column for the NY Times in which he sounded a note of real concern and pessimism about China’s future under Xi Jinping. “Xi is turning the whole Western world against China,” he wrote. As I pointed out here, that was a long way from the fanboy columns about China Friedman was writing circa 2008.

In Defense of Treadmills
At a White House press conference yesterday, New York Times reporter Michael Shear was describing supply-chain problems that have affected international trade of late. He said that “people couldn’t get dishwashers, and furniture, and treadmills delivered on time, not to mention all sorts of other things.” White House press secretary Jen Psaki responded to this by smiling and then snarking about “the tragedy of the treadmill that’s delayed.”

Your New Woke 401(k)
Biden proposes to rewrite Erisa to steer investment choices.

Santa Claus Is Coming—But He’ll Skip Some Stores
Americans have big shopping lists but face emptier shelves and less help this shopping season amid supply-chain and hiring woes

Restaurants prep for long-term labor crunch by turning to robots to man the fryer, shuttle food to tables
Restaurants and ghost kitchen companies are testing out different robotic and automated technology solutions to speed up service and solve for ongoing labor challenges.

Manchin to Sanders on size of BBB bill: ‘I’m comfortable with zero’
Axios has a scoop up about the most recent negotiations between Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Joe Manchin. According to multiple people who were in the room Wednesday, Sen. Sanders tried to argue for the $3.5 trillion version of the Build Back Better bill by claiming he wanted a much larger bill

Slate: BBB is turning into a ‘pricey piece of policy trash’
It’s starting to look like Democrats will reach some kind of agreement on the Build Back Better bill next week. Despite the best efforts of Sen. Sanders, Sen. Manchin is going to get the last word on the size of the bill with Sen. Sinema also having a say in the taxes that will be part of it.

Democrats move to finalize new “billionaire” tax proposal, targeting 700 wealthiest Americans as key source of revenue for spending plan
Senior Democrats are preparing a sweeping new tax plan that would aim to raise hundreds of billions of dollars from the fortunes of America’s roughly 700 billionaires, an abrupt shift in the party’s approach to funding a large expansion of the safety net

Containers ablaze on cargo ship off British Columbia
A fire broke out on Saturday on containers on a cargo ship carrying mining chemicals off British Columbia, and the Canadian Coast Guard said it is working with the U.S. Coast Guard to assess the situation, including environmental hazards.

 

International

 

New Brunswick government tells staff to stop making Indigenous land acknowledgments
Justice Minister Hugh Flemming noted that N.B. First Nations are claiming title to ‘over 60% of the province’

Mexico’s new culture war: Did a pyramid light show ‘decolonize’ or rewrite history?
A replica of the Great Temple of the Aztecs, about a third of the size of the original, rose from the floor of the central square of Mexico’s capital this summer like a gargantuan child’s toy, more than 50 feet high, a gleaming form smack in front of the baroque National Palace. At night, the pyramid’s slanting white walls became a video-mapping screen that told a dramatic animated story of the rise and fall of the Mexica, or Aztec Empire — an event that took place 500 years ago, right on this spot in a city on a lake that was once called Tenochtitlan.

Another Cuban general is dead, the 16th high-ranking military officer to die since July 11th protests
Whether it’s planned or not, there’s no doubt the old guard is being purged from the Cuban Communist Party.

Early results suggest Alberta votes in favour of removing equalization from Canada’s constitution
While a final tabulation for the whole province won’t be available from for another week, unofficial results were reported in several of the province’s largest municipalities

Yahoo news app, one of the last sources of Western news in China, is removed from Apple store amid censorship drive
Chinese internet users have lost one of their last avenues to foreign news after the Yahoo Finance app disappeared from Apple’s store, as the Communist Party intensifies its censorship of information from abroad.

China’s Shenzhou 13 sends second crewed mission to Tiangong
China on Friday launched three astronauts into space aboard Shenzhou 13, its second crewed mission to the Tiangong space station.

Queen Elizabeth hospitalized overnight, returned home after “preliminary investigations”
Queen Elizabeth II spent the night in London’s King Edward VII’s Hospital after canceling a trip to Northern Ireland. She was admitted to the hospital on Wednesday afternoon and was discharged and returned to Windsor Castle on Thursday according to Buckingham Palace. The Queen, 95 years old, was advised by her doctor just the day before to rest for the next few days and give up drinking except for special occasions.

Barbados elects first president, replacing UK Queen as head of state
Barbados has elected its first-ever president to replace Britain’s Queen Elizabeth as head of state, in a decisive step toward shedding the Caribbean island’s colonial past.

Physicists Created a Supernova Reaction on Earth Using a Radioactive Beam
For the first time, physicists have been able to directly measure one of the ways exploding stars forge the heaviest elements in the Universe.

“Flesh-Eating” STD that causes “Beefy Red” sores is spreading in UK
A once-rare flesh-eating sexually transmitted disease that causes “beefy red” ulcers is spreading across the UK, according to a report Friday.

Turkish Opposition Begins Joining Ranks Against Erdogan
Turkish opposition parties are presenting an increasingly united and organized front aimed at replacing President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and even forcing early elections in the coming year to challenge his 19-year rule.

Erdogan says Turkey is set to banish 10 Western ambassadors
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday he had ordered the foreign ministry to declare 10 ambassadors from Western countries ‘persona non grata’ for calling for the release of philanthropist Osman Kavala.

 

Opinion

 

Are We Going to Act in Time for Those Persecuted by China?
This afternoon, you are invited to join the Anglosphere Society, Knights of Columbus, the Hudson Institute, and National Review Institute in discussing religious liberty and free speech in China and those within its grip. I’m honored to be interviewing Gulchehra Hoja, who is a journalist with Radio Free Asia, and is an incredible witness to what is happening to the Uyghur Muslims (of which she is one) and other religious minorities in China. I’ll also be talking with Gordon Chang, author of The Coming Collapse of China, and Jillian Kay Melchoir from the Wall Street Journal (and National Review alumna). The afternoon’s conference is really the work of Amanda Bowman, whose heart for religious liberty and the persecuted, has made this an annual event.

Is America in irreversible decline?
New Criterion editor and publisher Roger Kimball posed the question to “Visiting Critic” Conrad Black. Roger introduces Black and Black provides the answer to the question Roger posed in the New Criterion’s third annual Circle Lecture, posted online here and embedded below. Black discusses his lecture and other topics with New Criterion executive editor James Panero in an interview that is also posted at the link.

“Social Justice” as Fashion Accessory
Going off on seemingly irrelevant tangents is one of my bad habits, and perhaps I should begin by telling you that this is not a post about the case of Gabby Petito, who was apparently strangled to death by her fiancé, Brian Laundrie. In saying “apparently,” I don’t mean to raise doubt about the cause of her death — the autopsy confirmed that she was strangled — but rather it’s because so far Laundrie has not been formally accused of Gabby’s death, but is what police call a “person of interest.” The manhunt for Laundrie continues, but this isn’t a post about that; rather, it’s about how social media is affecting the beliefs and behavior of young people. Gabby Petito evidently got the idea that she could find a career as a social-media “influencer,” by monetizing her Instagram posts and YouTube videos on the #vanlife hashtag. That was what she and Laundrie were doing on that trip out West where she got strangled to death.

Muslim Stabs Politician, Online Trolls Blamed
Last week, a member of British Parliament named David Amess was stabbed to death during an event at a Methodist Church in Essex. The murderer is a “British national believed to be of Somali descent” named Ali Harbi Ali.

History Killers: New Historians Ignore Anti-capitalist Arguments by Southern Slavers
In his “Letter from a Pennsylvania Farmer, Letter VII” (1768), John Dickinson argued—in protest to the taxes imposed by England’s Parliament against those living in the American Colonies, that those “who are taxed without their own consent, expressed by themselves or their representatives, are slaves. We are taxed without our own consent, expressed by ourselves or our representatives. We are therefore—SLAVES.” The language of slavery by resistors and revolutionaries during the years that preceded the American Revolution challenges modern sensibilities due to the overt hypocrisies involved in a slave-practicing society arguing for natural rights while simultaneously denying those very liberties to others in their midst. It is an enormous task in the field of American Revolutionary History to recognize this challenge and not attempt to evade it. The discipline required for reasoned and rigorous scholarship regarding the matter means approaching the subject with sober analyses and dispassionate observations.

Democrats and the Politics of Scarcity
One chilly night, the president lowered the White House thermostat, put on a cardigan, and gave the American people a stern talking-to. We enjoyed too much abundance for too long and it was time to pay for our profligacy.

How Alan Sokal Won the Battle but Lost the “Science Wars”
A brilliant parody was the harbinger of a dreadful future

GOP Hispanic Community Centers Are a Step in the Right Direction
This Monday, the GOP officially opened its fifth Hispanic community center in the nation on the southeast side of San Antonio. Its fourth in the nation — and its second in Texas — opened in the heavily Hispanic border community of McAllen earlier this month, on the heels of the August opening of the first Texas Hispanic outreach office in Laredo. Two more centers popped up in Doral, Florida, and Milwaukee in October and September, respectively.

‘Rachel Levine Is a 4-Star Admiral’ Is Our ‘Caligula’s Horse Is a Senator’ Moment
Legend holds that the deranged Roman dictator-emperor Caligula elevated his favorite horse, Incitatus, to the rank of senator. This historical tale has survived the ages to become a metaphor for abuse of authority. People generally assume that Caligula’s motive for this stunt was simple madness, but looking deeper, one finds a more sinister rationale: Caligula’s threat to elevate Incitatus to the rank of consul (an honorific usually granted to loyal senators) was at once a debasement of the office, a potent demoralizer of Roman patriots, and a flex of raw power.

What if Trump’s Grip on the GOP Isn’t as Strong as It Seems?
By almost every metric, he’s the leading GOP candidate for 2024. But there are indications of an undertow and factors that might increase it in the years ahead.

The Humble, First-Rate Mind of Clarence Thomas, 30 Years On
As of Saturday, Clarence Thomas will have served as an associate justice of the United States Supreme Court for 30 years. To commemorate the milestone, the Heritage Foundation held an event on Thursday at which Thomas spoke.

The Democrats’ Choice on Children
The Democrats want monthly checks for parents, subsidies for child care, and paid family leave all to be in their giant spending bill. Senator Joe Manchin says they can only have one of the three.

Americans Should Be More Upset about Infrastructure Inefficiency
The national debt is out of control. Some people used to be pretty upset about that, and politicians have tried to make an issue out of it. But most people don’t get that worked up about it. Both parties have now realized that, and they’ve both promised to not reform entitlements, which are the drivers of the debt. So the debt keeps going up and the few budget hawks that are still around are left wondering, “Why is nobody else upset about this?”

Medical Journals Have a Bad Case of Ideologyitis
I guess sticking to medical science is boring for the editors of the world’s foremost medical journals. Once-august publications such as the New England Journal of Medicine and The Lancet are infected with a bad case of woke politics — let’s diagnose it as “ideologyitis” — and increasingly devoting their pages to political screeds and ideological advocacy pieces. They promote politically progressive policies such as critical race theory, transgender movement agendas, gun control, and harsh approaches to stifling global warming.

Don’t Let Democrats Turn US Into Europe
More destructive than any specific policy item modern Democrats are pushing this year are the ideas they use to justify their agenda.

Under SCA 1, yes is no and no is yes
Regrettably, Californians are accustomed to strange bills being introduced in the California Legislature. The designation of an official state dinosaur comes immediately to mind.

Why You Can Be Transgender But Not Transracial
One of the more peculiar features of the Theory of Critical Social Justice for many people is why it is acceptable under Theory to be trangender but absolutely forbidden to be transracial. The short answer to this question, which is sometimes given (usually after someone steps on the landmine of thinking they can pull off a transracial argument or identity), is that Critical Race Theory and Queer Theory approach the issue of identity differently. This is correct on a superficial level but facile to the way that the overarching Critical Social Justice ideology thinks about power and its interaction with identity. Understood more deeply, both Theories are doing the same thing in different ways. In this episode of the New Discourses Podcast, James Lindsay goes through all of this heavy Theoretical detail to explain why it is, from within Theory, that you can be transgender but not transracial. He then shifts to explain how and why these Theories likely developed the way that they did by investigating the proximate incentive structures that motivated their developments.

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