Patterico's Pontifications


Weekend Open Thread

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:46 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Friday, and I’m breathing a sigh of relief. Here are a few news items to talk about. Please feel free to share anything that you think might interest readers, and make sure to give a link.

First news item

What?? On the anniversary of the Tianamen Square massacre:

On the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, Microsoft blocked users of its search engine from seeing the photograph of “tank man,” the infamous protester pictured standing alone before a line of government tanks during the 1989 military crackdown. Searching for images of “tank man” on Bing temporarily returned only the message: “There are no results for tank man.” By contrast, Google brings up dozens of sites with the well-known image. After researchers and journalists in the U.S. and United Kingdom noted the difference, Microsoft said in a statement, “This is due to an accidental human error and we are actively working to resolve this.”

Here is “tank man” in 1989:

More on the 30th anniversay of Tiananmen:

Hong Kong freedom fighter pays a steep price:

Pro-democracy activist Chow Hang Tung has been arrested by Hong Kong police on the 32nd anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown.

Ms Chow is vice chairwoman of the Hong Kong Alliance which organises annual vigils for victims of Beijing’s deadly crackdown on democracy protesters.

She has been arrested for promoting unauthorised assembly.

It comes as Hong Kong has banned the vigil for the second year running, citing coronavirus restrictions.

Police have closed off Victoria Park, where citizens usually gather each year to mark the anniversary. Thousands of officers have been placed on standby to stop any attempt to hold the event.

Hong Kong and Macau are the only places in Chinese territory where people can commemorate the deadly 1989 crackdown on pro-democracy protesters.

Ms Chow was arrested early in the morning outside her office by officers in plain clothes, according to reports.

She was placed in a black saloon car and driven away, the AFP news agency said.

Speaking to the BBC ahead of her arrest, Ms Chow, who is also a lawyer and a human rights activist, said she was prepared for the inevitable.

“I am prepared to be arrested. This is how Hong Kong is now. If you fight for democracy under an authoritarian regime, being arrested is unavoidable. Let it come. I am willing to pay the price for fighting for democracy,” she said.

Second news item

Facebook says “not so fast” to Trump:

Facebook on Friday announced that it may allow former President Donald Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts to be reinstated in January 2023.

At that time, the social media company will reevaluate whether the risk to public safety of allowing Trump back onto its services has receded.

“We will evaluate external factors, including instances of violence, restrictions on peaceful assembly and other markers of civil unrest,” the company said in a blog post. “If we determine that there is still a serious risk to public safety, we will extend the restriction for a set period of time and continue to re-evaluate until that risk has receded.”

Trump, of course, didn’t take the news well:

“Facebook’s ruling is an insult to the record-setting 75M people, plus many others, who voted for us in the 2020 Rigged Presidential Election. They shouldn’t be allowed to get away with this censoring and silencing, and ultimately, we will win.”

Good thing he’s not the president. He might try to use the power of government to shut down Facebook…

Third news item

Warnings given:

The sheriff’s department in Orange county, California, advised its officers earlier this year not to affiliate with far-right extremist groups and warned them against engaging with white supremacist websites, according to internal documents reviewed by the Guardian.

The Orange county sheriff’s department’s “extremism awareness” training document from February instructed officers not to share disinformation and to avoid associating with militias, QAnon, rightwing platforms like Gab and 4chan, as well as second-amendment groups or law enforcement “clubs” that could be “avenues for exploitation”.

The 66-page PowerPoint presentation for staff also included a lengthy section on “the extreme left”, warning officers about “Karl Marx’s influence”; the history of the Black Panther party; anti-fascist groups’ vandalism and “improvised weapons”; and animal rights and anti-war protesters.

The training is notable, experts said, because it suggests that sheriff’s officials were acknowledging that their own officers could be drawn to far-right groups and were concerned about the risks of them posting racist or extremist content.

Experts said it was unusual to see this kind of training from local police. But they also criticized the training for falsely presenting the far right and the “extreme left” as equivalent threats, when data shows that white supremacists perpetuated the large majority of recent domestic terror attacks.

Fourth news item

Putin’s special brand of um, reasoning:

Putin on the storming of US Capitol & Belarus: ‘When the protesters went into the Capitol… whether it’s good or bad… probably nothing good but these are not looters or thieves, these people came with political requests. Isn’t that true? It is. But they detained 450 people’

“Look at Belarus – they have a lot of internal problems and we actually want to have a neutral position here… But what’s going on there is being viewed in one light, and what’s happening in the US – in a different light. We need to get rid of double standards.”

Fifth news item

Texas GOP chair retires:

Texas GOP Chair Allen West announced his resignation Friday morning and said he is considering running for another office, potentially one that is statewide.

During a news conference here, West said a statewide run is “one of the things that I have to go to the Lord in prayer.” He said it would be “very disingenuous with so many people that have asked me to consider something” to not explore a run.

“Many men from Georgia, many men from Tennessee, came here to serve the great state of Texas, and so we’re gonna consider it,” said West, who grew up in Georgia. He added that he was announcing his resignation, effective next month, so that there is no conflict of interest as he weighs his next political move.

West, who has been most frequently discussed as a potential challenger to Gov. Greg Abbott, declined to say whether he was eyeing any particular statewide office, though he told a radio host earlier Friday morning that the host was “safe” to assume West was mulling a gubernatorial run. At the news conference, West also did not say when he would announce a decision on his next step, telling a reporter with characteristic combativeness that his “timeline is in my head and not in yours yet.”

Sixth news item

Don’t tell me you won’t grab a flashlight and check out your pupils in the bathroom mirror:

Our pupils respond to more than just the light. They indicate arousal, interest or mental exhaustion. Pupil dilation is even used by the FBI to detect deception. Now work conducted in our laboratory at the Georgia Institute of Technology suggests that baseline pupil size is closely related to individual differences in intelligence. The larger the pupils, the higher the intelligence, as measured by tests of reasoning, attention and memory. In fact, across three studies, we found that the difference in baseline pupil size between people who scored the highest on the cognitive tests and those who scored the lowest was large enough to be detected by the unaided eye.

We found that a larger baseline pupil size was correlated with greater fluid intelligence, attention control and, to a lesser degree, working memory capacity—indicating a fascinating relationship between the brain and eye. Interestingly, pupil size was negatively correlated with age: older participants tended to have smaller, more constricted, pupils. Once standardized for age, however, the relationship between pupil size and cognitive ability remained.

Seventh news item

What a shame that something with a seemingly good original intention was misused in this way:

The NFL on Wednesday pledged to halt the use of “race-norming” — which assumed Black players started out with lower cognitive function — in the $1 billion settlement of brain injury claims and review past scores for any potential race bias.

The practice made it harder for Black retirees to show a deficit and qualify for an award. The standards were created in the 1990s in hopes of offering more appropriate treatment to dementia patients, but critics faulted the way they were used to determine payouts in the NFL concussion case.

Eighth news item

Oh, California, you crazy state:

Workers in California will have to keep their masks on unless every employee in the room is fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.

That’s the mandate under revised rules approved Thursday night by a sharply divided California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board. The guidelines are expected to go into effect by June 15 — the same day that the state more broadly loosens masking and other requirements in social settings in keeping with recent federal health recommendations.

In the run-up to the board’s vote, business groups had harshly criticized the new rules. Board members made it clear the regulations are temporary while they consider further easing pandemic rules in coming weeks or months.

Opponents of the mask requirement for workplaces had already suggested that Gov. Gavin Newsom could use his executive powers to override its decision amid criticism that the revised regulations contrast with his promise to lift most pandemic restrictions on June 15.

Newsom spokeswoman Erin Mellon didn’t mention that option in a brief statement after the vote. She said the panel is independent but that the governor is “hopeful the board will further revise its guidance to reflect the latest science while continuing to protect workers and balancing realistic and enforceable requirements for employers.”

Meanwhile, the smoothest showman of all got busy:

Gov. Gavin Newsom stood on a set designed to look like a game show on Friday and drew winners of the first cash prizes in California’s COVID-19 vaccine lottery, part of an effort to boost immunizations that also gives the governor a chance to give away $116.5 million to potential voters before the recall election.

“Over the course of the last few weeks, as we saw that decline in those first doses, we realized we need to do a little bit more than just our traditional outreach efforts,” Newsom said, acknowledging that some may question the use of cash giveaways to incentivize what he described as doing the right thing. “But we are where we are, and incentives have long worked, and incentives are indeed what we are advancing here today.”

Positioned before crimson and gold curtains on a carefully crafted stage, Newsom plucked numbers from a lottery ball machine in the latest in a series of feel-good announcements from a governor in the middle of a battle to save his political career as he faces a recall election.

His political opponents called Friday’s production another example of the governor using taxpayer dollars in attempt to win over voters. Others viewed the display as smart political strategy from an incumbent looking to distance himself from the recall and deliver an upbeat message to Californians.

Ninth news item

But we were told it was just a group of tourists at the Capitol that day:

A US Capitol Police officer knocked unconscious on January 6 has condemned Capitol rioters for injuring police and robbing her of the ability to do her job.

“When will I be free … of my brain injury? When will I be free and full again?” the officer said in a written statement read by prosecutors at a federal court hearing Friday.

The unnamed police officer’s statement adds to a growing chorus of law enforcement victims and their families calling for recognition of the severity of the attack by Trump supporters.

“On January 6, you and a group of others purposefully set out to break our police line,” the officer said in the statement. “When you do that, when you set out with purpose in mind to hurt someone, it’s not only an assault but a theft.”

She added: “You stole months of me working alongside this country’s most dedicated police officers. … You’ve stolen my ability to be present.”


Jake Tapper’s The Devil May Dance is a fun, Rat Pack-meets-the-mob-meets-the-Kennedys caper involving the underbelly of Hollywood, politicians, and everyone in between. The delightful Charlie and Margaret Marder find themselves once again in the middle of unexpected intrigue and danger as they fervently work to solve, well, the mystery. Good fun. Hope to see another in the series. This is summer reading.

News of the World is a fine film with a fine performance by the ever-reliable Tom Hanks. In the post-Civil War, a world-weary itinerant “reader of the news” finds himself putting in the miles to return a young white girl raised by the Indians back to her family. Things don’t go as planned, they face harsh conditions, violent threats, and attacks, but love still wins the day if not in an unexpected way.

Have a good weekend.


161 Responses to “Weekend Open Thread”

  1. Hello.

    Dana (fd537d)

  2. getting banned by fb puts trump in good company

    “lab leak deniers”

    oh, so delicious

    JF (e1156d)

  3. Trump called Arizona Senate president to thank her ‘for pushing to prove any fraud’ in election, emails show
    Newly released emails sent to and from Arizona state senators reveal that President Donald Trump and his lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani reached out personally to urge GOP officials there to move forward with a partisan recount of the 2020 election, despite a lack of evidence of widespread fraud or other issues.

    Hundreds of pages of emails related to the GOP-ordered audit underway in Maricopa County were obtained by the nonprofit legal watchdog group American Oversight through a records request under the Freedom of Information Act. The group published them Friday, along with a scathing statement that decried the audit as a “sham partisan crusade.”
    In another exchange dated Dec. 28, a constituent threatened that Fann would be recalled by “the new patriot movement of the United States” for not standing up for Trump.

    (Arizona state Senate President Karen Fann (R-Insurrectionist)) assured him that the state Senate was “doing everything legally possible to get the forensic audit done” and that they planned to sue the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors. (The Republican-led board in November had voted unanimously to certify the county’s election results, with the board chairman declaring there was no evidence of fraud or misconduct “and that is with a big zero.”)

    “I have been in numerous conversations with Rudy Guiliani [sic] over the past weeks trying to get this done,” Fann wrote in the Dec. 28 message. “I have the full support of him and a personal call from President Trump thanking us for pushing to prove any fraud.”

    In an email dated Nov. 30, Fann noted that she had asked Trump’s legal team for evidence of “rampant fraud” and to file a lawsuit so the certification of the results can be put on hold, to no avail.

    “No suit has been filed nor was a suit filed to contest the certification process,” Fann wrote. “I also want to get to the bottom of all this.”
    “The more we learn, the more it becomes clear that this is not an audit, it’s a sham partisan crusade carried out by some of the most cynical actors our democracy has ever known,” (American Oversight Executive Director Austin Evers) has said in a statement. “With each new email, the paper trail confirms that the true goal of this process is to perpetuate Donald Trump’s big lie of a stolen election and to undermine faith in our democracy.”
    Fann herself outright acknowledged Biden’s win in at least one of the emails. To a constituent who said she was “appalled, offended, and upset” that taxpayer dollars were being wasted on a “fraudulent audit,” Fann replied: “This is where you are mistaken. Biden won. 45% of all Arizona voters think there is a problem with the election system. The audit is to disprove those theories or find ways to improve the system.”

    Rip Murdock (0b700d)

  4. USA Today fights subpoena aimed at readers of Florida FBI shooting story
    Newspaper publisher Gannett is fighting an effort by the FBI to try to determine who read a specific USA Today story about a deadly shooting in February near Fort Lauderdale, Fla., that left two FBI agents dead and three wounded.

    The subpoena, served on Gannett in April, seeks information about who accessed the news article online during a 35-minute window starting just after 8 p.m. on the day of the shootings. The demand — signed by a senior FBI agent in Maryland — does not appear to ask for the names of those who read the story, if the news outlet has such information. Instead, the subpoena seeks internet addresses and mobile phone information that could lead to the identities of the readers.
    The nature of the ongoing criminal investigation is unclear. Authorities said David Lee Huber, 55, watched the FBI agents arrive via a doorbell camera, then opened fire on them. The agents were serving a search warrant in a child pornography investigation, the FBI said.

    Huber died during the exchange of gunfire, officials said. That would be hours before the article was written and half a day before the window of time the FBI appears to be zeroing in on. It’s unclear whether the FBI might suspect someone else of involvement with Huber’s activities or whether someone drew suspicion by the way they reacted to the shooting.

    Rip Murdock (0b700d)

  5. @3 another scoop from the “find the fraud” fraudsters

    JF (e1156d)

  6. Do we believe that Microsoft really just happened to make such an error today of all days, but it was just a coincidence? (no, no we don’t)

    I am torn about continuing to mask because of the one person (or whatever) in your office that isn’t vaccinated. Obviously the masking isn’t convenient (though the consensus in my teaching staff seems to be that if it cuts down on getting sick in the germ factory, it might be worth it to continue indefinitely. Listen, kids are gross. We love them, but they are gross). And I certainly wouldn’t want to accidentally carry the disease to an unvaccinated coworker, but if a person has chosen to remain unvaccinated, I kind of feel it’s a “you pays your money, you takes your chances” kind of situation. OTOH, if you have a coworker who can’t get vaccinated for some reason (transplant, cancer, etc), it may be worth discussing.

    Nic (896fdf)

  7. “This is due to an accidental human error and we are actively working to resolve this.”

    This keeps on happening, too. It’s a mystery.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  8. On the worker/mask thing. At this point, no one should do a single thing to make allowances for an unvaccinated person. I could see being concerned for someone with a crippled immune system, which makes the vaccine useless to them, but for someone who willfully goes unprotected? Not one tear.

    It’s like the cop that won’t wear a vest. There is only so much you can care about.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  9. Federal Judge Overturns California’s 3-Decade-Old Assault Weapons Ban
    The judge, Roger T. Benitez of the United States District Court for the Southern District of California, wrote that sections of the state’s penal code that defined assault weapons and restricted their use were “hereby declared unconstitutional and shall be enjoined.”

    But the judge said he had granted a 30-day stay of the ruling at the request of Attorney General Rob Bonta, a move that would allow Mr. Bonta to appeal it.

    Judge Benitez wrote that the case was about “what should be a muscular constitutional right and whether a state can force a gun policy choice that impinges on that right with a 30-year-old failed experiment.”

    “It should be an easy question and answer,” Judge Benitez, who was nominated by former President George W. Bush, continued. “Government is not free to impose its own new policy choices on American citizens where constitutional rights are concerned.”

    Rip Murdock (dc43de)

  10. In other news:

    California’s three-decade-old ban on assault weapons is unconstitutional, federal judge rules

    A federal judge Friday overturned California’s three-decade-old ban on assault weapons, ruling that it violates the constitutional right to bear arms.

    U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez of San Diego ruled that the state’s definition of illegal military-style rifles unlawfully deprives law-abiding Californians of weapons commonly allowed in most other states and by the U.S. Supreme Court.

    “Under no level of heightened scrutiny can the law survive,” Benitez said. He issued a permanent injunction against enforcement of the law but stayed it for 30 days to give state Atty. Gen. Rob Bonta time to appeal.

    In his 94-page ruling, the judge spoke favorably of modern weapons and said they were overwhelmingly used for legal reasons.

    “This case is not about extraordinary weapons lying at the outer limits of 2nd Amendment protection. The banned ‘assault weapons’ are not bazookas, howitzers, or machine guns. Those arms are dangerous and solely useful for military purposes,” his ruling said.

    Despite California’s ban, there are an estimated 185,569 assault weapons registered with the state, the judge said.

    “This is an average case about average guns used in average ways for average purposes,” the ruling said. “One is to be forgiven if one is persuaded by news media and others that the nation is awash with murderous AR-15 assault rifles. The facts, however, do not support this hyperbole, and facts matter.”

    “In California, murder by knife occurs seven times more often than murder by rifle,” he added.

    Governor Newsom was upset.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  11. Well, Rip, we seem to have agreed on this one. 10:36

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  12. I’m happy, I can bring home some weapons I have stored out of state.

    Rip Murdock (dc43de)

  13. Remembering the Tank Man on this day in 1989. #TiananmenSquareMassacre

    — Kristoffer Pasion (@indiohistorian) June 4, 2021


    Remembering sitting in meeting at NBC in 30 Rock during wicked heavy afternoon thunderstorm when TS story broke, meeting ended and all hell broke loose ‘on this day in 1989.’

    -DCSCA June 4, 2021

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  14. ‘“This is due to an accidental human error and we are actively working to resolve this.” This keeps on happening, too. It’s a mystery.’

    Stellar summation of pending multi-million dollar military/government UFO report.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  15. The capitalists will sell us the ropes we will use to hang them with. Lenin. Greed is good your republican never trumper.

    asset (6bce10)

  16. Fourth news item:
    Where Vladimir Vladimirovich* is wrong is that in Russia (and Belorussia is Russia) change of government through violence, overt and covert, is the rule, but in America it is an aberration. Where he is right is that Trump supporters are too ignorant to know that.

    *It’s interesting that he is named after his father because in those places that is almost invariably done posthumously. I wonder if Vladimir Senior might not have been a non-person, officially dead, at the time of Junior’s birth during the Beria interregnum.

    nk (1d9030)

  17. First news item:
    the infamous protester pictured standing alone before a line of government tanks

    “Infamous” does not mean what The Daily Beast thinks it means:

    Definition of infamous
    1: having a reputation of the worst kind : notoriously evil
    an infamous traitor
    2: causing or bringing infamy : DISGRACEFUL
    // an infamous crime
    3: convicted of an offense bringing infamy

    nk (1d9030)

  18. But ignorance seems to be a widely-distributed commodity. Lenin never made the rope quote. It was some Bircher (the American kind, not the English boarding school kind) more than 30 years after Lenin’s death.

    nk (1d9030)

  19. Let me ask you, comrades: Do any of you really believe that it was a coincidence that The Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus went out of business during Trump’s first year in office in 2017?

    nk (1d9030)

  20. Tianamen Square massacre:

    This is when an unarmed insurrection would be a great thing.

    BillPasadena (5b0401)

  21. “Infamous” does not mean what The Daily Beast thinks it means

    Oh, yes it does. To the Daily Beast.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  22. Now this is what call a stand-in. Or a quickly rearranged marriage.

    Paul Montagu (a05eda)

  23. I note that the gun-grabbers are using the unfortunate “Swiss Army knife” line in the decision (which the press is leading with) as their point of attack. No legal arguments yet that I’ve seen, and many of the arguments (e.g. “Oh, so nuclear weapons are OIK, too?”) betray ignorance of the issues and the decision. All we have is froth and snark.

    Decision (Miller v Bonta):–%20Miller%2020210604.pdf

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  24. Arizona plans to execute prisoners with a lethal gas the Nazis used at Auschwitz
    Arizona is taking steps to use hydrogen cyanide, the deadly gas used during the genocide perpetrated by the Nazis at Auschwitz and other extermination camps, to kill inmates on death row.

    Corrections officials have refurbished a gas chamber that hasn’t been used in more than 20 years and have procured ingredients for the lethal gas, also known as Zyklon B, according to partially redacted documents obtained by the Guardian.

    Invoices show that the state purchased a brick of potassium cyanide, sodium hydroxide pellets and sulfuric acid, and a report details the considerable efforts taken to deem the gas chamber at a prison in Florence, Ariz., “operationally ready.”

    Critics of the gas method say that in addition to hydrogen cyanide’s infamous use in the mass killings of Jewish people by the Nazis, it has produced some of the most botched, disturbing executions in the United States.

    “ You have to wonder what Arizona was thinking in believing that in 2021 it is acceptable to execute people in a gas chamber with cyanide gas,” Robert Dunham, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, told the British outlet. “Did they have anybody study the history of the Holocaust?”

    Rip Murdock (dc43de)

  25. Wonderful line from the decision, regarding an earlier version of the Grey Davis-era law that was struck down:

    Governor Wilson issued a statement with his veto criticizing AWCA’s prohibited-features approach and offered this analogy: “If this bill’s focus were high speed sports cars, it would first declare them ‘chariots of death’ and then criminalize possession of Ramblers equipped with racing stripes and wire wheels.”

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  26. @24: The Nazis used Zyklon B which contained hydrogen cyanide and other substances, not cyanide alone. It is used here to interject “Nazi” into the discussion and a rank Godwin violation.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  27. My solution to the execution problem: Use the “humane” methods used to slaughter livestock, such as a bolt gun. They’re animals anyway.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  28. What Kevin said. “Nevada gas” as a method of execution has been used in the United States since 1921, was previously in use in Arizona, and is still a “secondary method” in California, Oklahoma, Mississippi, and Utah.

    nk (1d9030)

  29. What Kevin said in his Comment 26. To be clear.

    nk (1d9030)

  30. @26 rip must be distressed we’re still launching rockets based on technology developed by same nazis

    JF (e1156d)

  31. The problem wouldn’t be that the Nazis had also used the gas, it would be that it produces botched executions. The writer is just being sensationalist by mentioning the Nazis.

    Nic (896fdf)

  32. I dislike the Soviets, but their execution method (a small caliber bullet to the back of the head) was painless, quick and certain. Of course, some would call it the “KGB murder method.”

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  33. sodium hydroxide pellets and sulfuric acid

    Don’t, just DON’T!, mix two different brands of toilet bowl cleaner! Like for instance when you have just a little bit of the first one left and need to add more of the new one. To be on the safe side, don’t even keep both in the house. When you bring the new one home, throw the old one away, no matter how much of it you have remaining.

    nk (1d9030)

  34. A “botched execution” is another thing which does not mean what the people who say it want it to mean. It means the condemned surviving the execution. And I doubt that there many, if any, such.

    nk (1d9030)

  35. Except maybe in California, where the “primary method” of execution is old age, and with modern medicine, well, you know ….

    nk (1d9030)

  36. @nk@34 Ineptitude bothers me. If you are going to have the death penalty, at least kill a person properly.

    Nic (896fdf)

  37. @26 rip must be distressed we’re still launching rockets based on technology developed by same nazis

    JF (e1156d) — 6/5/2021 @ 9:07 am

    Not at all. Operation Paperclip delivered the cream of crop of Nazi scientists. I post links that I find interesting , not just ones I agree with. Besides Robert Goddard was developing “rocket science” in the 1910s and 1920s.

    Rip Murdock (dc43de)

  38. Individuals should have the right to possess any weapon that an single infantryman can carry and use.

    Rip Murdock (dc43de)

  39. One issue I have with using gas is that it is probably not the proportionate means of execution in a vast majority of murders, outside of deliberate carbon monoxide poisoning or a disgruntled lab employee tricking a supervisory employee I to a test chamber.

    That said, I’d keep a large array of options as follows:

    By firearm, firing squad.
    By strangulation, hanging.
    By poisoning or “hot shot”, lethal injection.
    By stabbing, guillotine.
    By bludgeoning, human pinata…. but I’m open to suggestions on that category.

    urbanleftbehind (966d06)

  40. In the next couple of Weekend Open Threads, I bet there will be a bad take by a politician comparing restoration of full capacity activities to a new/21st century Juneteenth.

    urbanleftbehind (966d06)

  41. I’ll take a locked room with half a dozen nymphomaniacs, for as long as it takes, urbanleftbehind.

    nk (1d9030)

  42. Unfortunately, my friends, we can’t think of a form of execution that was not only practiced, but widely practiced for long periods of time, by our ancestors. Even being thrown out of an aircraft would only be a variant of the Roman Tarpeian Rock or the Spartan Kaiadas.

    nk (1d9030)

  43. Besides Robert Goddard was developing “rocket science” in the 1910s and 1920s.

    I didn’t know he was a Nazi!

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  44. By bludgeoning, human pinata…. but I’m open to suggestions on that category.


    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  45. in Russia (and Belorussia is Russia) change of government through violence, overt and covert, is the rule, but in America it is an aberration. ../ Trump supporters are too ignorant to know that

    I think it’s worse than that. There are Trumpers who surely know that, and who may have criticized Putin’s brutality some years ago, but their position now is that Putin “gets it” — he understands that the U.S. “establishment” is persecuting patriots whose only sin is supporting Donald Trump and wanting honest elections!

    Remember when Trump said we couldn’t be hard on Putin for assassinating journalists because “we kill a lot of people too.” You’d think that the people who call themselves patriots might have been outraged. But no, many of them decided that the United States today is no better than Russia, except to the extent it’s following the lead of Donald the Great. Some even suggest that Russia is better because of Putin’s (cynical) patronizing of the Russian Orthodox Church and tradition and family values — by contrast with the decadent West with its hollow “liberalism.”

    In today’s New Right there’s a chilling admiration for authoritarianism in the name of cultural continuity and “social cohesion.” If you’ve gotta assassinate your critics and rivals to maintain “cohesion,” well, that’s just something that we in the decadent West “misunderstand.”

    But the people taking such a position still rage against efforts to take away their liberties and make them “conform” to an agenda they dislike. They assert that calling 1/6 an insurrection and prosecuting people involved is merely an effort to “shut us up.”

    I’ve seen a weird combination of “Don’t Tread on Me” with a warm regard for autocratic rule, and of ostentatious piety with openness to political violence in the name of “defending our culture.”

    Radegunda (5296a6)

  46. Army officer running for Congress under investigation after questioning whether ‘sleepy guy’ Biden is president

    The Army is investigating a reserve officer who used photos of himself in uniform in an ad for his congressional campaign, conducted a campaign interview in uniform, and said he doesn’t think President Joe Biden is actually the president of the United States.

    1st Lt. Alex Stovall, 26, says he is running to represent Arizona in Congress to “stop [Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez] and her cronies from taking over our congress and our country.” The Republican’s campaign video features photos of himself in uniform, and, while in uniform, he conducted an interview with One America News Network, a right-wing news organization that has pushed election conspiracies. (Stovall links to those videos on his campaign website.)
    In a separate interview with Gun Freedom Radio, during which he is not in uniform, Stovall, a former non-commissioned officer, refers to Biden — the military’s commander-in-chief — as “this sleepy guy in office,” saying he doesn’t “think he’s president.”

    Soldiers in the Army Reserve who are not on active duty are prohibited from participating “in any partisan political activity in uniform,” according to Army regulations.
    Stovall has made several claims and remarks on his website, in interviews, and in his campaign video, that don’t appear to line up with his service record provided by the Army. While he identifies himself in his campaign ad and on Twitter as an Army chaplain, for example, his service record lists his military occupational specialty as a Chaplain Candidate. Army regulations say that chaplain candidates “will be addressed orally by their rank and will be identified, in writing, as chaplain candidate.”

    …….[I] his interview with Gun Freedom Radio, the host introduces him as running for congress “because our freedoms that he and his fellow veterans have fought and died for are in jeopardy.” According to his service record, he has never deployed to a combat zone.
    Stovall is the second soldier-turned-congressional candidate under investigation this month; the Defense Department is investigating former Army officer Harold Earls after he used footage of Arlington National Cemetery and Gold Star families burying loved ones in his campaign video, which has since been taken down on YouTube.

    Rip Murdock (dc43de)

  47. @39 call it post-birth abortion and the libs will be on board

    JF (e1156d)

  48. BTW, the Vanity Fair piece on the CV19 origin story is long, but deserves a full read. This part seems relevant.

    The Lancet statement effectively ended the debate over COVID-19’s origins before it began. To Gilles Demaneuf, following along from the sidelines, it was as if it had been “nailed to the church doors,” establishing the natural origin theory as orthodoxy. “Everyone had to follow it. Everyone was intimidated. That set the tone.”

    The statement struck Demaneuf as “totally nonscientific.” To him, it seemed to contain no evidence or information. And so he decided to begin his own inquiry in a “proper” way, with no idea of what he would find.

    The folks at Lancet (and the scientists behind that statement) did a major disservice to the world, so kudos to DRASTIC for sticking to it, which is how journalists should actually practice journalism.
    BTW, after reading AllahPundit and Nicholas Wade, I realigned my thoughts about the lab theory from “can’t rule it in, can’t rule it out” to “more likely than not”, considering the sum total of circumstantial evidence (theforvm dot org/word-cv19-origin-story). China has been effective (so far) at stonewalling direct evidence, but this stuff will out eventually, especially now that there’s critical mass on the lab theory.
    Trump’s role in this is that he was a broken clock. Not long after talking about the possible origins from a lab, he also alleged that China released the virus to hurt his reelection chances, without an iota of evidence of course, so the cultists and loyalists who declare, “Ah hah! Trump nailed it!” have to ignore the context of Trump’s rampant wrongness and dishonesty about everything else Covid, which is why it’s still advisable to presume everything he says is false until proven true.

    Paul Montagu (a05eda)

  49. @37. German rocket engineers-Von Braun and crew, etc., had a ‘standing order’ for Goddard’s patents. And Von Braun freely acknowledged Goddard has the basics down for developing rocket designs using liquid fuel propellants. Goddard’s key research benefactor was Guggenheim w/advocacy from the likes of Lindbergh. But Goddard’s problem was lack of interest and resources– both visionary and financial- from U.S. government sources- military or civilian. Not so in Germany, where the Army, via Dornberger, channeled financing to Von Braun’s team for R&D.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  50. 38.Individuals should have the right to possess any weapon that an single infantryman can carry and use.




    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  51. Lancet was also the root source of anti-vaxx, having published Andrew Wakefield’s fraudulent (and subsequently retracted) paper on the autism-vaccine link. I wonder if they will retract this one, too.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  52. The GOP’s ‘Off the Rails’ March Toward Authoritarianism Has Historians Worried
    ……..While republics are often fragile, they see the United States in a unique position as a mature democracy at the point of fracturing. As Harvard political scientist Steven Levitsky, co-author of “How Democracies Die,” a study of the collapse of democracies across the world, put it bluntly, “I think we are headed for a crisis.” And, many scholars say, that fracturing is without historical precedent.

    “A mainstream democratic party, one of the major parties in a country, going fully off the rails . . . it’s hard to find analogues,” said Levitsky’s co-author, Daniel Ziblatt, also at Harvard. But Ziblatt and others were united in where to place the blame: “The radicalization and increasing authoritarianism of the Republican Party.”
    “The underlying assumption when we wrote [the book] was that an important, even a dominant faction of the Republican Party was committed to the democratic rules of the game, and that is no longer the case,” said Levitsky.
    In particular, the real warning sign for Levitsky was that so much of the energy pushing the Republican Party in an authoritarian direction came from the bottom up and was not driven by elites. “This is a grassroots movement, really pronounced at the level of the activist base and the state level,” he said.

    Ziblatt noted that once a party radicalizes, it’s very hard for the process to reverse itself. The violent events of January 6 actually presented the GOP with an exit ramp, a chance to condemn the violence and take steps toward becoming a more traditional center-right party. Instead, Levitsky argues, “they missed it.

    “Lots of GOP leaders said the right thing for 24-48 hours, took a step back, sniffed the wind, looked at the polls and continued the march towards authoritarianism,” he said.
    The best example of a political party shifting toward authoritarianism in recent decades is in Hungary, where strongman Viktor Orban’s Fidesz Party has become dominant as the Central European country has become the leading example of what’s become known as “illiberal democracy.” As Valerie Bunce, a political scientist at Cornell, noted, it’s “probably the best comparison” to Donald Trump’s Republican Party. However, she added that under Orban, the party is not “a cult of personality.” Instead, Orban “delivers the goods” that the party’s rural voters want.
    [Joshua Tucker, an NYU professor and co-director of NYU’s Center for Social Media and Politics] argues the rise of “the big lie” creates a situation in which the process of ceding power becomes that much more difficult for the right. “We know from decades of studies of comparative politics that key to democracy is belief that if the other guys lose, they will step down,” he said.

    In his view, the growing Republican mythos around the 2020 election could lead to a downward spiral. “If you get to the point where the left doesn’t think the right will cede power, you would expect that would make the left do things more likely to avoid ceding power,” Tucker said.

    Sean Wilentz, an award-winning historian at Princeton University and author of “Rise of American Democracy,” told VICE News that the assault on the Capitol, like the attack on Fort Sumter, was “a calculated assault on democratic process. A democratic election was held, with a very clear winner, and some people were not willing to accept that decision. And in that case they formed a nation of their own.”

    The difference in Wilentz’s eyes was that, in this case, “rather than secede, [Trump loyalists] promote a big lie much more than like what happens in European authoritarian politics and deny the legitimacy of the current administration.” He added, “It’s seceding without seceding.”
    ……. H.W. Brands, an acclaimed historian at the University of Texas, noted Trump’s continued dominance over the Republican Party itself has no precedent in American history.

    “There has never been an instance of a president who ran for re-election, lost and still had such command over his party as Trump,” he told VICE News.
    ………[The scholars] worry what the 2024 election could look like as the Republican Party has further radicalized and the embrace of “big lie” has become a foundational belief of many on the right.

    “The 2020 election was kind of a dress rehearsal in a way,” said Ziblatt as Republicans discovered that they can violate democratic norms without seeming to suffer any political consequences. “It’s hard to unlearn things.”

    Rip Murdock (98c6ca)

  53. Individuals should have the right to possess any weapon that an single infantryman can carry and use.

    I’m more concerned about civil authorities having access to weapons banned to the People.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  54. @53. How police departments got billions of dollars of tactical military equipment

    The junk just trickles down…

    Reaganomics! 😉

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  55. so the cultists and loyalists who declare, “Ah hah! Trump nailed it!” have to ignore the context of Trump’s rampant wrongness and dishonesty about everything else Covid

    Oh come on now. Who would disbelieve the guy who said we would very quickly go from 15 cases down to zero? And how could you deny that anything unpleasant that happened on Trump’s watch was done deliberately to hurt him? (Whether it hurt anyone else is obviously a secondary concern at best.)

    Everyone knows in their hearts that Trump is always right. You just need a special decoder ring sometimes (often) to tell you what he really meant.

    Radegunda (5296a6)

  56. @26 rip must be distressed we’re still launching rockets based on technology developed by same Nazis JF (e1156d) — 6/5/2021 @ 9:07 am

    Brief History of Rockets – NASA

    Perhaps the first true rockets were accidents. In the first century A.D., the Chinese reportedly had a simple form of gunpowder made from saltpeter, sulfur, and charcoal dust.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  57. @48 @55 how about more like we didn’t ignore the vast wrongness and dishonesty of the CCP and the media that buys their crap for more than a year, and you did

    you were already aware there was a social media ban and the few honest reporters and scientists were intimidated, and all this time it didn’t seem to bother any of the anti-trump ilk

    JF (e1156d)

  58. 38.Individuals should have the right to possess any weapon that an single infantryman can carry and use.



    Clarification: Individuals should have the right to possess any firearm that a single infantryman can carry.

    Rip Murdock (98c6ca)

  59. Belgium’s Van Ranst: Covid scientist targeted by a far-right sniper
    While scientists across the world have come under attack throughout the pandemic, the threat to Prof Marc Van Ranst is more serious than most.

    He has been targeted by a far-right rogue soldier, Jürgen Conings, who has a vendetta for virologists and Covid lockdowns. The military shooting instructor is on the run with a rocket launcher and a machine gun, and Belgian police cannot find him.
    “The ex-soldier, heavily armed, was on my street for three hours, right in front of my house, waiting for me to arrive home from work” [said Van Ranst].

    That night police say Jürgen Conings left his barracks with a selection of heavy weapons, and headed straight for the virologist’s home.

    “Unfortunately, he’s a trained sniper with heavy armour, military-grade material and weapons. So, these are the kind of people that you would prefer not to have hunting you,” he told me wryly.

    …….. He cannot go outside or even get close to the windows: this is how serious the security services are in keeping his location secret.
    Belgian authorities have described Jürgen Conings as a very dangerous man who wants to use violence.

    He was already on a terrorist watch list in Belgium because of his extreme right-wing political beliefs. When he disappeared from his barracks, a note left no doubt that virologists were his target.

    “The so-called political elite and now also the virologists decide how you and I should live,” it read. “They sow hatred and frustration. I cannot live with the lies.”
    Belgian police are now embroiled in a full-scale manhunt.

    Hundreds of officers, helicopters and military trucks have combed acres of land, but they appear no closer to finding him. At one point a big national park near the Dutch border was sealed off as part of the search.
    [Authorities] admit that mistakes have been made in the investigation so far, and that questions need to be answered about how a military man on a terrorist watch list was given access to a weapons store.

    Rip Murdock (98c6ca)

  60. Individuals should have the right to possess any weapon that an single infantryman can carry and use.

    I’m more concerned about civil authorities having access to weapons banned to the People.

    Kevin M (ab1c11) — 6/5/2021 @ 11:12 am

    This court decision (which no doubt will be appealed and suspended for the next couple of years) goes a long way to evening the playing field.

    Rip Murdock (98c6ca)

  61. “I’m more concerned about civil authorities having access to weapons banned to the People.”

    We should disband the standing army.

    Davethulhu (69e65f)

  62. how about more like we didn’t ignore the vast wrongness and dishonesty of the CCP and the media that buys their crap for more than a year, and you did

    No I did not. I never discounted the lab-origin theory. You are simply assuming that I must have — because anyone who doesn’t like Trump must be a bad and dishonest person, I guess.

    I’m well aware of CCP dishonesty and malignance. I’m aware of how politics has infected medical discourse — as in the absurd notion that social-distancing guidelines should be set aside for certain kinds of political protest. I had also read about political skewing in the Lancet long before Covid-19.

    My first point is that there are very good reasons to be dubious about any assertions that come from the mouth of Donald J. Trump — one of the reasons being his frequent self-contradiction, another being his overtly self-serving concept of truth.

    My second point is that reflexive Trump defenders are not well positioned to complain about a lack of honesty and transparency, after years of attacking other people for pointing out Trump’s congenital dishonesty. Trumpers took the position that self-serving mendacity is not a problem if it’s in the service of their own goals.

    Third point is the absurdity of the “Trump was right again!” posture, which depends on simply ignoring all the times he has been wildly wrong, and the times he has said the opposite of what he’s supposedly 100% right about.

    Radegunda (5296a6)

  63. @48 @55 how about more like we didn’t ignore the vast wrongness and dishonesty of the CCP and the media that buys their crap for more than a year, and you did

    I’ll take your “you did” comment as generic and not specific to any particular commenter here.
    China has been a bad actor in this pandemic drama from Day One, what with their stonewalling and lying and blame-shifting, and let’s not forget that the person who was praising the Xi ChiCom regime for their transparency and whatnot, fifteen times over, was our lying sack of sh-t of a president.

    Paul Montagu (f14d2d)

  64. The Army is not a “civil authority”

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  65. the few honest reporters and scientists were intimidated, and all this time it didn’t seem to bother any of the anti-trump ilk

    The “anti-trump ilk” were bothered by the Trumper attacks on all the medical and public-health professionals who said that Covid was in fact a lot worse than the common flu; and by the Trumper claims that it was all a hoax concocted by leftists to “hurt Trump”; and by the petulant selfishness of those who didn’t care whether they might be carrying a virus that would seriously harm other people. (Herman Cain died shortly after attending a Trump rally, and it didn’t seem to bother Trump or the pro-trump ilk at all.)

    The anti-trump ilk have also noticed how the pro-trump ilk have swung wildly between “It’s a hoax designed to hurt Trump!” and “We need an honest investigation into the real origins of this terrible plague that was deliberately created by the communists in league with Dr. Fauci Who Should Be in Prison!!”

    Radegunda (5296a6)

  66. let’s not forget that the person who was praising the Xi ChiCom regime for their transparency and whatnot, fifteen times over, was our lying sack of sh-t of a president.

    Oh come on now. You still haven’t learned to recognize when Dear Leader means what he says, and when you need a Patriot to explain what he akshually meant.

    Radegunda (5296a6)

  67. From the very beginning I thought that a lab leak was one possible source of the COVID virus. That some scientists ruled it out didn’t matter much to me, since I believe in science as a method — not in scientists as people, with all the flaws people have.

    (And I would not be surprised if some of the scientists who rejected the leak theory were motivated by their dislike of Trump. And, let’s face it: Anyone who doesn’t dislike Trump is a saint, deluded, or has bad moral values, like the man himself.

    One of the results of electing a man who lies so compulsively is that when he occasionally says something that might be true, many will play the odds and reject it, automatically.)

    I now think the leak theory more likely than not, in part because “Emperor” Xi and company have chosen to hide much of the data.

    And, sadly, I think they are likely to succeed.

    Jim Miller (edcec1)

  68. “The Army is not a “civil authority””

    The police should absolutely not have anything more “military” than semi-automatic rifles.

    Regardless, the founders opposed a standing army, that’s why the 2nd exists.

    Davethulhu (69e65f)

  69. One thing that is wish our elected leaders had done, early in the pandemic, is appeal to the Golden Rule. (Even though many of them — Trump and Newsom come to mind — don’t understand it.)

    If other people try to avoid giving the disease to me, I am better off, so I should act so as to make it less likely I will give the disease to them. As I have done, the best I could, changing my behavior a bit during the pandemic as I learned more about how the disease was transmitted.

    If Newsom, for instance, had made that argument to religious leaders early in the pandemic, I think he would have gotten more support, and been more successful in controlling the disease in California.

    Jim Miller (edcec1)

  70. Two excellent comments, Jim. I don’t know if you’re a newcomer, or an old timer who comes and goes, but you have my attention!

    norcal (4eeda2)

  71. I just ate inside a restaurant for the first time in 15 months…

    Dave (1542be)

  72. norcal – Thanks. I have been reading Patterico for many years, but only recently started commenting here.

    And I should add that I have often learned from him, from other posters, and from many commenters.

    And I must add that I meant “I wish”, rather than “is wish” in my second comment.

    Jim Miller (edcec1)

  73. The founders opposed a standing army and that worked out marvelously in the War of 1812 and hasn’t really been much of a good idea since.

    Victor (9ebafe)

  74. @73. “The Founders” denied women the vote; believed darkies were property, not people; wore pantaloons and wigs, pooped and peed in outhouse holes; used leeches for medical cre; drank rum and warm mead from lead pewter tankards and ate squirrel stew.

    In short, they were ‘Gods.’ 😉

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  75. One thing that is wish our elected leaders had done, early in the pandemic, is appeal to the Golden Rule …

    This concept is obviously foreign to some elected leaders. At the same time, parts of the population could see the idea clearly enough — we didn’t know who might be carrying the virus at any time, or who might be hit hard by it, or even how contagious it really was, but the early weeks of the outbreak in NYC should have made people take notice. Many people did, and adjusted their behavior accordingly.

    Many did not — partly because of an excessive “You’re not the boss of me” attitude (among the same people who in other contexts rail against the old “libertarian GOP”), and partly because the voices they trust saw Covid denialism as expedient. Those voices chose to see the Golden Rule during a pandemic as a form of left-wing oppression.

    It’s also true that some people were more seriously harmed by shut-downs than others, but that difference didn’t run so much along partisan lines as the difference in attitude about helping stop the spread. Different messaging from certain politicians and the right-wing media could have made a difference. Instead, a careless defiance was made into a mark of patriotic virtue.

    Radegunda (2a2f56)

  76. Democrats condemn world in pursuit of Great Orange Whale

    In an era of fake political scandals, real scandals hide.

    Despite zero evidence of then-President Trump’s “collusion” with Russia, a thousand investigations were launched.

    Pulitzer Prizes were handed out to the most corrupt and dishonest persecutors. The sleaziest politicians were rewarded with greater power. Kabuki impeachment proceedings were conducted — even as a fearsome, real enemy stalked our country.

    In the winter of 2019-20, Democrats in Congress ground the federal government to a halt so they could devote all their efforts to their crazed pursuit of the Great Orange Whale.

    They failed to harpoon that fish, but their obsession with a political vendetta allowed a real and fearsome enemy to gain a foothold in America.

    This real enemy — the one Democrats in Congress were determined to ignore — cost the world many trillions of dollars. It killed millions of people around the world. It sickened many tens of millions more. It punished all with some kind of misery.

    Very soon, real evidence surfaced that pointed to a genuine culprit. A Chinese lab with ties to the military was conducting dangerous experiments on viruses very similar to the deadly one unleashed on the world.

    Were the viruses related? Did lab workers accidentally sicken themselves? Did the virus leak from the lab — to the utter devastation of the world? Did something even more sinister occur?

    These are all basic questions any honest person would ask.

    Yet anyone who did was branded an anti-Asian racist, dismissed as a conspiracy theorist. They were silenced and smeared.

    Facebook and other Big Tech companies disappeared a story from the Internet that this newspaper published in January 2020 that raised all these questions, backed by solid reporting.

    It was a full-blown cover-up.

    Health officials around the world — including America’s own Dr. Anthony Fauci — scrambled to extinguish any questions about the Wuhan lab.

    Other newspapers such as USA Today and The Washington Post piled on to assist in the cover-up. That would be the same Washington Post that won a Pulitzer Prize for their fake reporting of the Trump-Russia “collusion” scandal.

    JF (e1156d)

  77. JF — your guy told us it would magically disappear very quickly after a small number of cases. We found out eventually that he knew early on that it was a lot worse than he was saying publicly.
    Most of the media supporting your guy were saying it was no worse than the common flu. Many said that all the fuss about Covid was a plot against Donald Trump.
    Anyone who supported or defended the Trumpian side of the narrative has no ground to complain about other people’s lack of credibility. Anyone who chooses a congenital liar as a hero does not really care about intellectual honesty.

    Radegunda (2a2f56)

  78. Another “fake scandal”!

    Trump in a fundraising video for the NRSC: “We’re gonna take back the Senate, take back the House, we’re gonna take back the White House – and sooner than you think. It’s going to be really something special…”

    All the voices of reason in the Trumpy right will tell us it’s TDS hyseria to think he really means anything by it — just as it was TDS hysteria to suggest that the Great Leader wouldn’t gracefully accept defeat, and it was TDS hysteria to think there was anything to be concerned about in his calls for a “wild” protest, and his avowal that he would never concede.

    And just as all the video we’ve seen from 1/6, all the surrounding social media posts, all the court testimony are somehow just a fraud upon poor innocent Donald Trump and his patriotic supporters. And just as the Capitol police are supposedly lying about their injuries (including traumatic brain injury) and their fear of being killed by MAGA-heads, and just as Brian Sicknick’s mother is being tarred as a political tool or opportunist by MAGA-world.

    Radegunda (2a2f56)

  79. @77 glad you’ve got a good grasp of trump’s dishonesty

    he’s out of office and, like the lab leak theory was, banned

    your work is done there

    maybe get started on the CCP and its many friends in the anti-trump media

    you’re easily a year behind and have some work to do

    baby steps

    JF (e1156d)

  80. Pat — I think I’ve veered too close to a personal attack. I’ll try to do better.

    Radegunda (2a2f56)

  81. Xi ate Trump’s lunch. And then pantsed him. It’s not fair for Biden not to let Xi do the same thing to him. It’s just not fair!

    nk (1d9030)

  82. Lab-leak is the shiny object that the Trumpkins have seized on for the moment to hide that it was Trump’s criminal indifference and incompetence that killed 600,000 Americans and not whether the virus came from a lab or a pangolin or Andromeda.

    nk (1d9030)

  83. This real enemy — the one Democrats in Congress were determined to ignore — cost the world many trillions of dollars.

    Do we really want to address the number of times the former guy talked down and lied about “this real enemy”? Or all the times he times he wrongly said “it’ll soon go away” or “we’re turning the corner”? Or how he said it would go away when the weather warms? Or how badly he botched testing and contact-tracing? Or how he kept peddling “game changer” remedies that had no basis in science? Or how he pooh-poohed masks and social distancing despite their effectiveness? Or how he listened to crackpots like Scott Atlas on herd immunity instead of actual experts? Or how, through his ineptitude and lies and bad decisions, we were in the bottom ten on earth in cases per million and deaths per million? I only wish he would’ve fought the real enemy.
    Yes, blame China for how they altered and unleashed this virus, but blame Trump for his bad decisions once it got here, and those bad decisions started practically from the get-go.

    Paul Montagu (a05eda)

  84. Trump on CSPAN & Newsmax in NC.

    Great television.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  85. Politicians do believe in the Golden Rule-do unto others before they do unto you.

    Rip Murdock (98c6ca)

  86. “These are all basic questions any honest person would ask.”

    Well that explains why Trump never asked them.

    Davethulhu (69e65f)

  87. Trump spoke and riffed for over 90 minutes this evening- about 30 minutes longer than President Plagiarist was awake on Saturday.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  88. Days before (Oregon State) Rep. Mike Nearman helped protesters breach Capitol, he coached constituents just how he’d help them do it
    A video shows Nearman, a Republican (Insurrectionist) from outside Independence, walking constituents through the step by step process of where to stand, how to text him and what help he would provide that would allow them to break the rules and get into the Capitol during the Dec. 21 special legislative session.

    He does so with a wink and a nod, interspersing the instructions with disclaimers that he’s not giving out a real cell phone number (he is and it’s his number), that he knows nothing about the planned “Operation Hall Pass” and that nothing like that will actually happen.

    In fact, exactly what he described did occur, prosecutors and investigators say. Protesters gathered outside the Capitol’s west entrance in obvious protest of the closure, Nearman left the House chambers where lawmakers were gathered doing state business and he walked out a Capitol entrance, leaving the open door hanging long enough for angry citizens to grab it and enter.

    “We’re talking about setting up Operation Hall Pass, which I don’t know anything about and if you accuse me of knowing something about, I’ll deny it. But there would be some person’s cell phone which might be” and he recites a phone number beginning with 971.

    “But,” he continues, “that was just random numbers that I screened up. That’s not anybody’s actual cell phone. And if you say ‘I am at the west entrance’ during a session in text to that number there, that somebody might exit that door while you’re standing there.

    “But I don’t know anything about that, I don’t have anything to do with that, and if I did, I wouldn’t say that I did. But anyway, the number that I didn’t say was (he repeats it). So don’t text that number. But a number like that. Make sure you say what exit you’re at too.”
    The door Nearman opened to demonstrators was on the west side of the Capitol, easily accessible from the House floor where Nearman’s colleagues were debating rules for the one-day Dec. 21 special session.

    Nearman could not immediately be reached for comment Friday afternoon.

    The lawmaker already faces criminal misconduct charges in Marion County for letting violent protesters, some armed with rifles, into the Capitol. An independent investigator hired by the Legislature also just wrapped up a personnel investigation which was released publicly this week. It found that Nearman “more likely than not” intentionally let protesters into the Capitol that morning and that Nearman’s actions likely endangered law enforcement and legislative staff.

    Rip Murdock (98c6ca)

  89. Good thing he’s not the president. He might try to use the power of government to shut down Facebook

    Well, he said (in an email – he can’t tweet) that next time he’s president, he won’t invite Mark Zuckerberg for dinner.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  90. Trump spoke and riffed for over 90 minutes this evening……

    Did he say anything factual?

    Rip Murdock (98c6ca)

  91. 77. Radegunda to JF 6/5/2021 @ 4:21 pm

    your guy told us it would magically disappear very quickly after a small number of cases.

    It wasn’t SARS.

    We found out eventually that he knew early on that it was a lot worse than he was saying publicly.

    Mot sure. He meant it was deadly when someone got it, not that he couldn’t prevent most people from getting it.

    Most of the media supporting your guy were saying it was no worse than the common flu.

    Separate issue.

    O think Trump thought he was exaggerating to Bob Woodward when he spoke of how deadly it was. He wanted to justify the partial) travel ban from China.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  92. I think Trump has consistently changed his tunr on COVID depending on his audience and how he needed to be seen. Roomful of red hats, he wanted laughs and wanted to be seen as a tough guy and knew he could get results by mocking mask use and calling COVID the sniffles. On the phone with Woodward, he wanted respect and called it deadly.

    JRH (52aed3)

  93. Idaho GOP Rejects ‘Chaotic’ Ammon Bundy, Claims He Has Ties to ‘Radical Factions’ of BLM
    The Idaho Republican Party said that the anti-government activist Ammon Bundy is “chaotic,” and not welcome inside the party after he announced his intention to run in the state’s gubernatorial election……..
    “Recently, it has come to our attention that Ammon Bundy intends to declare his candidacy in the Republican primary for the Governor of Idaho, and this warrants a response,” the remarks from Idaho Republican Party Chairman Tom Luna read.

    “First, Mr. Bundy is currently not registered to vote in Idaho, and he is not even registered as a Republican. Furthermore, we do not support his antics or his chaotic political theater. That is not the Idaho Republican Party, and we will not turn a blind eye to his behaviors,” he added.
    “Ammon Bundy wishes to divide our party, openly supports defunding the police, and has known alliances with the radical factions of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement,” wrote Luna.

    In a Facebook video posted July 2020, Bundy outwardly expressed his support for the BLM movement and stated his stance on defunding the police.
    [In the Facebook post Bundy] said “If you think that somehow the Black Lives Matter is more dangerous than the police, you must have a problem.”
    Bundy was banned from the Idaho State Capitol in Boise following two arrests in two days for trespassing and resisting and obstructing officers as part of a protest in August 2020 against measures relating to COVID-19.
    “Republicans are the party of law and order,” Luna concluded in the statement issued Friday, “and Ammon Bundy is not suited to call himself an Idaho Republican let alone run for Governor of our great state.”
    Bundy should be a natural for Idaho. He could turn the state into a safe place for militias, anti-vaxxers, other anti-government groups. Would be tough to go to the office when your banned from the Capitol, though.

    Rip Murdock (98c6ca)

  94. The officer in number 9 is right. The people directly responsible for her injuries should be held accountable. Then she starts to overgeneralize, which is fine because she was injured and sees the world through that lens now through no fault of her own… doesn’t mean she is 100% right on everything and everyone.
    As swc noted at Redstate, the wheels of justice look like they are going to have to give most of the people the FBI rounded up a pass based on a lack of evidence they did anything of consequence. They’ve got the wrong woman here, the wrong guy there, they use a photo that has a doctored image of a nude black man with a huge photoshopped dong in their press release
    Clown car gonna clown

    steveg (ebe7c1)

  95. Here is a well-written article about Ammon Bundy. It sheds light on the interplay between Mormonism and politics. I don’t know if the author is Mormon or not, but he exhibits a deep understanding of the religion I was raised in.,libertarian%20language%20of%20disgust%20for%20the%20federal%20government.

    Two passages:

    The name “Ammon” comes from the Book of Mormon, a scriptural text Latter-day Saints believe contains the story of an Israelite family who left Israel, settled in the Americas centuries before Christ, and established an extensive proto-Christian civilization.

    The tradition that accepts the Book of Mormon as scripture is equally full of mixed messages and paradoxical legacies. Perhaps the most extreme moment came in the late-1850s, in the years leading up to the Civil War, when U.S. President James Buchanan declared that the Mormons in the Utah territory were in rebellion, and he dispatched the federal army to bring them under control. The conflict became known as the “Utah War,” and while it was based in the territorial jurisdiction issues that plagued western settlement at the time, it was also tinged with a uniquely Mormon apocalyptic flair.

    norcal (ac1a98)

  96. “James Buchanan used troops to thwart rebellion.”

    Mormons bad. Slavery good. You are just trying to get Trump rated higher.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  97. Covid (or SARS2) would not be the first example of a pandemic caused by lab leak. Before this there was the 1957 H!N! flu epidemic which, it is estimated killed some 700,000 people, and most likely escaped from a Soviet |Russian lab in Siberia (although it is also possible to have escaped in China because it is not completely certain where it first appeared, and you also can speculate it was a vaccine experiment gone wrong and some other unlikely possibilities.5)

    It was suspected almost immediately because the virus was too close to that of a strain of flu that circulated in 1949 and 1950, and didn’t later, but scientists held back from accusing Russia or China. They possibly held back because they wanted Russian and Chinese co-operation in disease outbreak surveillance.

    But it has generally been accepted it was a lab escape since about 2008.

    Only since 2009-2010 did major papers begin to state directly the 1977
    emergence of H1N1 influenza was a laboratory related release: “The most famous case of
    a released laboratory strain is the re-emergent H1N1 influenza A virus which was first
    observed in China in May of 1977 and in Russia shortly thereafter21.” The paper made
    this statement in part because the continued “agnostic” approach to the 1977 reemergence
    introduced unacceptable errors in calculating the genomic divergence dates for influenza virus strains.

    The professionals who talk about the possibility of Covid startig from a lab leak are not really interested in whether | SARS2-CoV escaped from a lab – they are interested in how Was China exceptionally careless, or not? It’s not for the purposes of seeking something like $100 billion in compensation from China.

    Sammy Finkelman (b434ee)

  98. Everything gets you some more detail. |||I read about the \vanity \Fair article by Nicholas |Wade in some other places and second hand reports of what it says, but did not hunt up the link yet.

    One thing the piece reveals: The Chinese explanation for taking their database offline possibly involved a false date. (r reveals the true sdate the virus was first detected)

    At an event convened by a London organization on March 10, Daszak was asked whether the group had made such a request.[to see their virus database, which was offline] He said there was no need: Shi Zhengli had stated that the WIV took down the database due to hacking attempts during the pandemic. “Absolutely reasonable,” Daszak said. “And we did not ask to see the data…. As you know, a lot of this work has been conducted with EcoHealth Alliance…. We do basically know what’s in those databases. There is no evidence of viruses closer to SARS-CoV-2 than RaTG13 in those databases, simple as that.”

    In fact, the database had been taken offline on September 12, 2019, three months before the official start of the pandemic, a detail uncovered by Gilles Demaneuf and two of his DRASTIC colleagues.

    Sammy Finkelman (b434ee)

  99. Fox News declines to air ad about Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol
    The commercial features law-enforcement officers testifying in Congress and speaking to the media about their experiences during the insurrection, including getting sprayed with bear mace, engaging in hand-to-hand combat and being called “traitors.”

    “It’s been very difficult seeing elected officials and other individuals whitewash the events of that day or downplay what happened,” DC Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone says in a clip from a CNN interview as images of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and other GOP elected officials are shown on screen.

    The ad ends with block letters that say” “The GOP Betrayed America. We Will Never Forget.”
    Fanone, who suffered a heart attack after rioters beat him with a flagpole and repeatedly stunned with him with his Taser gun on Jan. 6, is among the law-enforcement members who have been vocal critics of Republican lawmakers who blocked the creation of a commission to study what happened that day.
    MeidasTouch booked nearly $185,000 of air time to play the ad on Fox News between June 6 and 15, starting with Chris Wallace’s Sunday show and continuing for seven days on “Fox and Friends” as well as two spots on daytime programs and one more on Wallace’s show next weekend.

    Rip Murdock (98c6ca)

  100. June 6, 1944-Operation Neptune begins.

    Rip Murdock (98c6ca)

  101. The allies spent more than a year in a disinformation campaign to get the Nazis to believe the invasion would be at Calais and/or Norway. Operations Fortitude South and Fortitude North involved falsifying military buildups, using people like Patton as decoys, all in order to get the Nazis to move forces to Calais and Norway and keep them there well after the actual invasions (“the diversion”) happened.

    D-day, and the foothold it gained, might well have failed if the Panzer divisions in Calais had been properly positioned. As it was, Hitler kept them in Calais for a good month after the invasion waiting for the “real” strike.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  102. June 4th-7th is also the anniversary of the Battle of Midway, the turning point in the Pacific War.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  103. Did he say anything factual?

    Yeah: here’s the deal: the border is wide open and nobody’s home at Joe’s– for starts.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  104. The commercial features law-enforcement officers testifying in Congress and speaking to the media about their experiences during the insurrection, including getting sprayed with bear mace, engaging in hand-to-hand combat and being called “traitors.”


    Truth in advertising: which one of the trigger-happy bastards shot and killed Ashli Babbitt?

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  105. Woke Institutions is Just Civil Rights Law
    People have generally misunderstood wokeness as a purely cultural phenomenon. It does have a cultural component, of course, but it is important to also understand wokeness as something that has been law in the United States for the last half century.

    The triumph of this ideology over the last 10 years in public discourse is simply culture catching up to law. ……

    It is not an exaggeration to say that the animating focus of the political right today is cancel culture. It was practically the main theme of the RNC in 2020 (here’s a video of speaker after speaker using the phrase), and the 2021 CPAC conference’s motto was America UnCanceled.

    …….[T]he political movement devoted to fighting this ideological matrix is quite short on policy ideas……. [W]hile the Democrats were passing the biggest stimulus bill in history, Fox News gave more airtime to the emasculation of Mr. Potato Head. The “cancelling” of Dr. Seuss led to a similarly hysterical reaction.

    If the left is going on about healthcare, for example, it’s usually because they want some new bill or policy. But it was difficult to see what those talking about Dr. Seuss or Mr. Potato Head actually wanted.
    ……. [I]t is important to clarify what wokeness actually is. I’d argue it has 3 components:

    1) A belief that any disparities in outcomes favoring whites over non-whites or men over women are caused by discrimination…..
    2) The speech of those who would argue against 1 needs to be restricted in the interest of overcoming such disparities, and the safety and emotional well-being of the victimized group in question.
    3) Bureaucracies are needed that reflect the beliefs in 1 and 2, working to overcome disparities and managing speech and social relations.

    Each of these things can be traced to law. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 banned discrimination based on race and gender. While most at the time thought this would simply remove explicit discrimination, and many of the proponents of the bill made that promise, courts and regulators expanded the concept of “non-discrimination” to mean almost anything that advantages one group over another. …….
    As the government invented new standards for what counts as “discrimination,” it was forcing more aggressive action on the part of the private sector. Executive Order 11246, signed by President Johnson, required all government contractors and subcontractors who did over $10,000 in government business to “take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed, and that employees are treated during employment, without regard to their race, color, religion, sex or national origin.” The category of “sex” was added in 1967. In 1969, Richard Nixon signed EO 11478, which forced affirmative action onto the federal government itself.
    Government interpretation of the Civil Rights Act also invented the concept of the “hostile work environment.” UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh has written about how this has been used to restrict free speech.…….
    Putting all this together, harassment law potentially burdens any workplace speech that’s offensive to at least one person in the workplace based on [protected characteristics] … even when the speech is political and even when it’s not severe or pervasive enough to itself be actionable.
    As Harvard sociologist Frank Dobbin wrote in Inventing Equal Opportunity, it was civil rights law that revolutionized the American workplace. Corporations started to hire full time staff in order to keep track of government mandates, which were vague and could change at any moment. …….
    Thus, we see that every one of the main pillars of wokeness can be traced to new standards created by regulators and courts, mostly in the 1960s and 1970s but updated over time.

    1) The idea that disparities mean discrimination is simply disparate impact.

    2) Speech restriction is a hostile work environment.

    3) The HR bureaucracy was created to enforce (1) and (2), in a world of vague and consistently shifting government standards to root out discrimination.

    Recent controversy over Critical Race Theory training, like the debate about whether standardized tests are racist, misses the larger point that the entire concept of a full-time bureaucracy having to micromanage people’s work lives is a creation of government.
    The “Great Awokening” has been traced to the early 2010s. Since there was no major law passed at the time that coincided with the shift, people have tended to see wokeness as purely cultural. Yet by the time of the Great Awokening, the federal government had been enforcing an extreme form of anti-discrimination law for two generations. Young people have never lived in a world in which every major institution that they interacted with was not assigning them oppressor or victim status and making decisions on that basis.

    If you doubt government can have that much of an effect on culture, consider how we classify people by race. ……

    Rip Murdock (98c6ca)

  106. This just in: Senator Manchin will vote NO on HR1 (the “For the People” Act) and will not support weakening of eliminating the filibuster.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  107. *weakening OR eliminating

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  108. 98. Error!!

    I wrote:

    ||I read about the \vanity \Fair article by Nicholas |Wade in some other places and second hand reports of what it says, but did not hunt up the link yet.

    I thought the article that Paul Montagu linked at #48 was that article, but that was another one by
    Katherine Eban that appeared in Vanity Fair only three days ago

    The Nicholas Wade piece is not the one that appeared in Vanity Fair (But I think there was another piece in Vanity Fair mentioned somewhere in something I read.)

    The Nicholas Wade piece I had seen references to, and a summary or repeat of some of its argument was in May and appeared online in Medium and was originally published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. (one section, about U.S. funding possibly slightly revised, but I think the two look identical.)

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  109. 101. Kevin M (ab1c11) — 6/6/2021 @ 9:37 am

    The allies spent more than a year in a disinformation campaign to get the Nazis to believe the invasion would be at Calais and/or Norway. Operations Fortitude South and Fortitude North involved falsifying military buildups, using people like Patton as decoys, all in order to get the Nazis to move forces to Calais and Norway and keep them there well after the actual invasions (“the diversion”) happened.

    This was part of the Double Cross system, which involved double agents and controlling the entire German spy network in Great Britain. Except for “The Man Who Never Was” (which involved planting a corpse which would “reveaL” that the traget of the nvasion in 1943 would not be Sicily, but Sardinia) it was not revealed until 1972.

    General George C. Patton was the notional commander of the Calais invasion. (he had been relieved of command, so it was decided to use him for this. He eventually was put in command of a real army, but in a subordinate position to General Eisenhower. The British kept up with the disinformation after D-Day. In fact it lasted almost through the German surrender. (change of plans, they were told)

    The Nazis never realised they had been fooled, and thus Pujol earned the distinction of being one of the few – if not the only one – to receive decorations from both sides during World War II.[37]

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  110. DCSCA: “Truth in advertising: which one of the trigger-happy bastards shot and killed Ashli Babbitt?”

    Given that it was investigated by the Justice Department/U.S. Attorney…..and he was cleared of all wrong doing…..maybe it’s better to not identify him for extra-legal nuttery and harassment by the far right. It’s amazing that as much self restraint by the police was practiced as it was on January 6th.

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  111. @110. Royalist blather. What do you mean “He???” How do you know the gender of the killer?

    WHO????? What’s to hide.

    Oh. Right. Royalists.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  112. 10.

    U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez of San Diego ruled that the state’s definition of illegal military-style rifles unlawfully deprives law-abiding Californians of weapons commonly allowed in most other states and by the U.S. Supreme Court.

    What kind of a standard is “commonly allowed?”

    It ultimately rests on nothing.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  113. @10/@112: California judge compares an AR-15 to a Swiss Army knife in a ruling that overturns a ban on assault weapons.

    He’s a local, an immigrant; a conservative– and a wackjob:

    A federal judge in California overturned the state’s ban on assault weapons on Friday in a ruling that compared the AR-15 to a Swiss Army knife. U.S. District Court Judge Roger Benitez, a George W. Bush appointee ruled that the ban was unlawfully denying law-abiding Californians their right to bear arms.

    “Like the Swiss Army Knife, the popular AR-15 rifle is a perfect combination of home defense weapon and homeland defense equipment,” Benitez said in the ruling. “Firearms deemed as ‘assault weapons’ are fairly ordinary, popular, modern rifles.”

    In the ruling Judge Benitez also accused the media of persuading their audience to believe that “the nation is awash with murderous AR-15 assault rifles. The facts, however, do not support this hyperbole, and facts matter.”

    Assault-style rifles are disproportionately used in crime and have been used in most mass shooting, including the Sandy Hook massacre, Parkland High School shooting, Las Vegas concert shooting and a movie theatre shooting in Aurora, Colorado, among others.

    An AR-15 was also used in a 2015 mass shooting in San Bernardino, California where 14 people were killed. –

    Born in Havana, Cuba, Benitez received an Associate of Arts degree from Imperial Valley College in 1971, a Bachelor of Arts degree from San Diego State University in 1974, and a Juris Doctor from Western State University College of Law in 1978.


    Benitez worked in private practice in Imperial County, California, from 1978 to 1997. He was a judge on the California Superior Court from 1997 to 2001, and an instructor for Imperial Valley College from 1998 to 1999.

    Federal judicial service

    In 2001, Benitez was appointed by the United States District Court for the Southern District of California to serve as a United States Magistrate Judge. Then, on May 1, 2003, he was nominated by President George W. Bush to a new seat on the Southern District of California created by 116 Stat. 1758. Benitez was confirmed by the United States Senate on June 17, 2004, and received his commission on June 21. He assumed senior status on December 31, 2017.

    Judicial opinions

    In 2019, Benitez granted summary judgment in a lawsuit against California’s ban on large capacity magazines. The opinion addressed the lengthy history of firearms and self-defense rights in America, and the roots in English history. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra appealed the ruling to the 9th Circuit. In 2020, a three-judge panel affirmed Benitez’s grant of summary judgment in a 2–1 decision authored by Judge Kenneth Lee. The attorney general requested an en banc rehearing of the case, and on February 25, 2021, the court stated that it would rehear the case and scheduled a hearing for June 22, 2021.

    In 2021, Benitez presided in a the lawsuit Miller v. Bonta, against California’s assault weapons ban. The trial began on February 3. In June 2021, Benitez overturned the three-decade old ban. He ruled that “the state’s definition of illegal military-style rifles unlawfully deprives law-abiding Californians of weapons commonly allowed in most other states”. He issued a permanent injunction against enforcement of the law but stayed it for 30 days to give state Attorney General Rob Bonta time to appeal. Benitez opens his opinion by comparing the AR-15 to a Swiss Army Knife, describing it as “a perfect combination of home defense weapon and homeland defense equipment. Good for both home and battle, the AR-15 is the kind of versatile gun that lies at the intersection of the kinds of firearms protected under District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008) and United States v Miller, 307 U.S. 174 (1939).” In Heller, the Supreme Court decision that ruled handguns could be kept in the home, associate justice Antonin Scalia cited “the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of ‘dangerous and unusual weapons’,” such as “weapons that are most useful in military service – M-16 rifles and the like.”


    In a related story: judge cuts own throat w/Swiss Arm knife; bleeds credibility; kills career; film at 11. 😉

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  114. This was part of the Double Cross system

    The overall program was codenamed Bodyguard.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  115. The judge’s opening line about a “Swiss Army knife” is unfortunate. His decision, which I have read the bulk of, is spot on. He shows that the AR-15 is legal in 44 states and federally, which passes the Heller test of “a common weapon” and goes on to show that the law does not pass even the 9th Circuit’s cramped reading of Heller et al, which requires only intermediate level scrutiny.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  116. You will note that nearly all critiques of the judge use the “Swiss Army knife” quote and other non-legal arguments, but do not even attempt to refute his actual opinion.

    BTW, the AR15 IS the “Swiss Army knife” of rifles, which is what he meant, in context.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  117. The judge will be upheld, 6-3 the end of next year.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  118. BTW, the AR15 IS the “Swiss Army knife” of rifles, which is what he meant, in context.

    Except it’s not. A Swiss Army Knife is a knife. Not a rifle.

    And if you’re explainin’– you’re losing.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  119. 115.The judge’s opening line about a “Swiss Army knife” is unfortunate.

    No. It’s stupid. Which precedes his reputation.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  120. Judge Brings Knife To Gunfight.

    Film at 11.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  121. I like the Swiss knife analogy. But that’s because I know what a “California legal” rifle is, and so does the judge I betcha. It’s like it’s okay to have a Swiss Army knife of any kind and size as long as it does not have a toothpick, twizzers, nail-file, scissors, and corkscrew.

    Whether that’s what the judge meant or not.

    nk (1d9030)

  122. The judge will be upheld, 6-3 the end of next year.

    The Supreme Court, if it hears an appeal, won’t hear it until 2022.

    Rip Murdock (98c6ca)

  123. Email mocking Stanford’s Federalist Society nearly cost law student his diploma

    A graduating Stanford law student was nearly denied his diploma after complaints about a satirical email invitation he sent imitating the school’s Federalist Society.

    “The Stanford Federalist Society presents: The Originalist Case for Inciting Insurrection,” read the flyer sent to law students by Nicholas Wallace on Jan. 25. The date of the mock event was set as Jan. 6 from 12:45 to 2 p.m.
    “ Senator [Josh] Hawley [MO R-Insurrectionist] will argue that the ends justify the means. Attorney General Paxton [R-Insurrectionist] will explain that when the Supreme Court refuses to exercise its Article III authority to overturn the results of a free and fair election, calling on a violent mob to storm the Capitol represents an appropriate alternative remedy,” the mock flyer continued.

    “Violent insurrection, also known as doing a coup, is a classical system of installing a government,” it said. “Although widely believed to conflict in every way with the rule of law, violent insurrection can be an effective approach to upholding the principle of limited government.”

    The Stanford Federalist Society followed up with a complaint filed in the university’s Office of Community Standards, saying that the flyer “attributed false and defamatory beliefs to persons he listed on the event flier.”
    While the Federalist Society’s complaint was filed on March 27, Wallace told NBC News he didn’t learn about it and the corresponding hold on his diploma until May 27th — his last day of law classes at Stanford.

    …….. [T]he Foundation for Individual Rights in Education urged in a letter that Stanford release the hold on Wallace’s diploma, pointing out that satire is protected free speech.

    Wallace said he was notified late Wednesday afternoon by the school’s Office of Community Standards that the investigation had been dropped.

    Stanford’s Federalist Society did not reply to a request for comment on Thursday.
    California’s Leonard Law requires equal First Amendment protections for public and private institutions. Here is letter sent to Stanford by FIRE, which includes the flyer. It seems that Stanford’s Federalist Society has no sense of humor .

    Rip Murdock (98c6ca)

  124. Kevin M @114. Is that the reason for the title of the book Bodyguard of Lies: The Extraordinary True Story Behind D-Day by Anthony Cave Brown. (Harper & Row, 1975;

    it’s supposed to be based on a quotation by Winston Churchill. Did he say it, and if so, which came first, the code name or the quotation?

    Anthony Cave Brown did most of his research before it was declassified, and relied on oral interviews and American Freedom of Information Act requests, and it’s not considered 100% accurate, sp compare with other sources.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  125. China is good at keeping things secret, but it is not good at pulling off hoaxes. Or doesn’t try. (therefore no claim to have found an intermediate host for Covid)

    They prefer to sluff people off with whatever lie works at the moment, with particular people, and it is individually targeted, which makes it easier. And it is not that the lies work even; many people are polite.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)


    … Chinese physicians who had sounded the alarm during the original outbreak were threatened with prison for sharing information with medical colleagues and the world. They were not interviewed. Dr. Ai Fen, head of the Emergency Department at Wuhan Central Hospital, saw many of the first cases and would have known where her patients might have been prior to getting sick. She dared to publish an article on the topic in China’s People. But the article disappeared, within hours, and then she disappeared.

    Censoring speech, and erasing brave people often go hand in hand. On news of the outbreak, public health officials in other countries wanted access to the original virus samples to develop therapeutics. But key samples from the Wuhan Institute of Virology were also “disappeared” over a year ago. Chinese officials even admitted to destroying some of them—as a precaution to protect the public, of course—lest the coronavirus escape from the lab. (Was there ever a more superfluous precaution taken, considering the virus was already out and about in China and had infected tens of thousands?)

    WEll, actually, you could argue that. The samples might be a little different, and you wanted to get rid of it. But clearly samples would not normally be destroyed during an active epidemic.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  127. The Supreme Court, if it hears an appeal, won’t hear it until 2022.

    End of next year is the 2021-2022 term. All that is necessary is the 9th Circuit rules on the appeal by the end of next summer.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  128. @124: I assume it was due to Churchill’s comment that “In wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies.” I have no idea if the codeword was related or what came first.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  129. Sammy,

    I linked Nicholas Wade’s piece from the bulletin last week. Only 1 or 2 people were trying to dismiss it. I thought it was well done and detailed much of what we know and was able to infer the rest. The manipulation of Arginine in the genetic sequence in a way not seen in any previous coronavirus was especially telling.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  130. This puzzles me. Greatly. Can somebody help a brother out?

    According to an arrest warrant from the sheriff’s office, deputies interviewed the boy, with his mother present, at their residence on May 9 after Tristyn had been reported missing. Video surveillance from the home shows that after the teen left with deputies, Smith went to her son’s bedroom, retrieved what appeared to be a pair of jeans, took them to the bathroom and appeared to scrub them in the sink, according to the warrant.

    Video surveillance in a bedroom and bathroom? How is that possible? Yes, I know it’s Florida. Still ….

    nk (1d9030)

  131. I read mg’s posted americanthinker article at #130 by J. B. Shurk….and it made me first wonder who the frack is J. B. Shurk….then, why am I supposed to care about his navel-gazing missive…and finally, what specific part of his post was supposed to make me feel good about the trajectory and direction of the GOP?

    Shurk is clearly angry about past GOP “elites” and believes promoting a regular Joe fella like billionaire NYC real estate mogul an reality-TV star Donald J. Trump is the perfect middle finger salute to normal conservatism. And we wonder where mg gets it. I scoured the article for any conservative ideas or bold policy initiatives….but only found continued conspiracy allusions to the Big Steal of 2020….how only Trump could stop the dirty Chinesers by apparently scuttling free trade deals and launching trade wars that result in our government having to subsidize farmers…(yeah, go capitalism!). I guess forget about the fabled patience of the Chinese and their ability to simply wait out Trump….and continue their long-play of gobbling up key natural resources. The article mentioned nothing about the dirty Mexicaner invaders, but it couldn’t just keep droning on, could it?!

    The Shurk (or should it be Shirk) article seems to conclude that the way forward is to continue maximally hating liberals…you know….your sister, uncle, next door neighbor, kids baseball coach, etc….and to support the biggest mouth available to justify and amplify that hate, anger, and fear. You see, George Bush, Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, and Liz Cheney just don’t get it….speaking in paragraphs and all…and trying to inspire the better angels of our nature….Lincoln schwincoln, they need to be Hannitized….they need to be made to understand that impeachment and storming the Capitol perfectly expresses gutter-dwelling Shurkian politics. J. B. Shurk is the new George Will, William Safire, and Bill Buckley….minus the erudition, thoughtfulness, and inspiration. Well read? Studied? Careful? Precise? Ennobling? Or do we just want someone to pick up that turd and wing it….direction to be determined…..later? That appears to be the americanthinker. Do you want to spend 10 minutes with Paul Ryan….who walked away from political power in its current broken state…. or J. B. Shurk, who continues to think that objection to Trump is only based on tedious superficial issues….you know…like what he says….instead of his core principles of making America Great…(or is it Grate)? The answer speaks volumes…..

    AJ_Liberty (a4ff25)

  132. Web page from a blog (there are several other related posts) first published on April 16, 2020 and updated regularly, most recently on June 3, 2021. Every time it is updated, it gets a new date and becomes the top post. The blog does not have too many posts per year, some copied from other places. Its general topic is problems with genetic engineering.

    Sammy Finkelman (b434ee)

  133. History of SARS lab escapes, including some cover-up efforts in China (both attempts, in the beginning, to say SARS was not caused by a coronavirus, and hiding the first lab escape in Beijing in Feb. 2004)

    Sammy Finkelman (b434ee)

  134. Apparently the kids at Fox noted President Plagiarist remembered the Tulsa event- even few there to spotlight the anniversary and gave a speech- yet “forgot” to acknowledge the anniversary of D-Day.

    It would be easy to blame it on age…. OTOH, just review his WH communications staff.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  135. ^few=flew

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  136. @135. Postscript; ROFLMAOPIP WH tells Fox “G.I. Joe” covered ‘D-Day’ on Memorial Day. But in’t that a slight to Veterans Day and Flag Day, eh Joe?!

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  137. Well, so much for Star Wars: Bad Batch. Even the Empire is not safe from man-haters with asymmetric haircuts. At least they held off till the seventh episode.

    nk (1d9030)

  138. AJ, seems like another piece based on the idea that winning is all about owning the libs

    Time123 (ca85c9)

  139. @132. Buy. A. Compass.

    “Oh, the pain. The pain!” – Dr. Zachary Smith [Jonathan Harris] ‘Lost In Space’ CBS TV, 1965-68

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  140. Jeff Bezos Will Fly To Space On Blue Origin’s First Crewed Flight

    Jeff Bezos announced on Monday he will be flying into space onboard his aerospace company Blue Origin’s first crewed space flight that is scheduled to launch on July 20th [the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing,] just two weeks after the billionaire is set to resign as Amazon’s chief executive.

    In an Instagram video, Bezos announced his plans to be one of the passengers onboard Blue Origin’s New Shepard [named after America’s first ‘man in space,’ Mercury astronaut Alan B. Shepard Jr.,] along with his younger brother Mark Bezos.

    Blue Origin’s first crewed flight will use the company’s six-seater capsule and is expected to take an 11-minute flight that will reach the edge of space—100 kilometers (more than 60 miles) above the earth [a’sub-orbital flight’ similar to Alan Shepard’s.]

    If things go as planned, Bezos who is the richest man on Earth—with a net worth of $186.2 billion according to Forbes—will be the first of the major space entrepreneurs to actually fly to space. Bezos’ flight will beat out British billionaire Richard Branson, who previously said he plans to be one of the first passengers aboard his company Virgin Galactic’s rocket-powered plane. Virgin Galactic, which promises to offer suborbital spaceflights to the ultra-rich, is expected to embark on its first passenger flight later this year. Elon Musk’s SpaceX, which recently sent a crewed mission to the international space station aboard a reusable spacecraft, is also expected to launch its first all-civilian space flight later this year. SpaceX’s four-man mission will be commanded by tech entrepreneur Jared Isaacman with the remaining three seats being auctioned off for charity.


    Kudos to Bezos.

    He has always been a manned spaceflight advocate. It was Bezos who led the effort to recover Apollo 11’s F-1 Saturn V rocket engines from the Atlantic ocean floor several years ago to preserve for posterity.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  141. How many people lost money in this mug shot pool? Somewhat of curiosity because a significant portion of my extended relatives are surnamed “Leos”.

    urbanleftbehind (23a4bd)

  142. nk @131.

    From CNN News story:

    Video surveillance from the home shows that after the teen left with deputies, Smith went to her son’s bedroom, retrieved what appeared to be a pair of jeans, took them to the bathroom and appeared to scrub them in the sink, according to the warrant.

    Video surveillance in a bedroom and bathroom? How is that possible? Yes, I know it’s Florida. Still ….

    can answer that in part. First it is video surveillance from the home not of the home.

    They were obtained by subpoena. The family must have had cameras everywhere, and kept the recordings too, maybe for days.

    In case a nanny or a babysitter beat up a child or stole something. Installed maybe years before.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  143. That seemed the likeliest explanation to me too, Sammy. But I’m still weirded out that they did not turn off the cameras when they were at home.

    nk (1d9030)

  144. 131. 144. The detectives were probably told about the nannycams by an informant, probably household help, and she agreed to make a secretly recorded conversation with the mother in which she told her she had washed the jeans and out them back in the bedroom hamper. And it was a search warrant, not a subpoena, which I should have realized.

    Police identified and contacted the witness on May 12 and detectives “conducted a surreptitious audio recorded interview in which the witness advised the defendant [that’s the 35-year old mother of the 14 year old boy] located a pair of damp jeans in [Fucci’s] bedroom hamper. The defendant asked the witness if she saw anything on the jeans, and stated she washed the jeans.”

    Police located the jeans in Fucci’s bedroom during a search warrant. The jeans and the drain of the bathroom sink tested positive for the presence of blood, the affidavit stated.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)


    Israeli security chief warns of Jan. 6-type violence

    ‘Nadav Argaman’s rare public statement raised concerns about the threat of a Jan. 6-style attack in Israel to prevent a peaceful transition of power if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is ousted after 12 years in office.’

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  146. … and Putin smiled. Xi merely grinned.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  147. Thank you, Sammy! It does sound like the kind of family that would produce a slasher. At least the little Michael Myers was caught early.

    nk (1d9030)

  148. Video surveillance in a bedroom and bathroom? How is that possible? Yes, I know it’s Florida. Still ….

    Maybe Mom had issues with the boy already.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  149. Kagan, mind you…

    Unanimous court.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  150. Assist to Gorsuch…Kagan-Gorsuch was becoming the next Scalia-RBG and may it extend beyond shared entertainment and sports team interest.

    urbanleftbehind (23a4bd)

  151. RIP Clarence Williams III (81).

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  152. @153 I remember watching him as “Linc” on The Mod Squad TV show. When playing around as a little boy, I would say that I was going to move like Linc!

    norcal (21e823)

  153. I think there is a possibility SARS2-CoV escaped twice from a laboratory in Wuhan, the first time in September, 2019, but the first time they thought (possibly correctly) that they had contained it like all the SARS1 outbreaks were.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  154. 1997 New York Times editorial about New York City primary elections serious problem with democracy. Of course, the New York Times only focused on the candidate whose petitions were callenged because he was a former Black Panther (that’s all they said about him) with the politics that goes with that – the wrong kind of an alternative.

    ,,,Politicians here are indoctrinated in a culture that prefers wiping opponents off the ballot in court to beating them in an election….One of the more outrageous examples took place in East New York. The low-income working families of this Brooklyn neighborhood need all the good representation they can get. But the incumbent City Council member, Priscilla Wooten, seems to direct her best skills at political self-preservation.

    A local activist named Charles Barron decided to challenge Ms. Wooten in this year’s Democratic primary. Unlike most grass-roots candidates, Mr. Barron built a real campaign. He raised $15,000 — almost all in very small donations — through neighborhood house parties he called ”chat-and-chews.” Although a candidate for City Council needs only 900 signatures of registered voters in the district to get on the ballot, Mr. Barron’s supporters collected more than 5,000.

    Ms. Wooten’s response was typical of everything that is wrong with the city’s political culture. She did not turn her attention to beating Mr. Barron in the election. She tried to get him tossed off the ballot. When it became apparent that Mr. Barron had far more than enough signatures to qualify as a candidate, Ms. Wooten’s campaign filed charges of voter fraud.

    New York election experts say fraud charges seem to be an increasingly popular campaign tactic in the city’s warped democratic process. Ms. Wooten claimed that Mr. Barron’s wife had lied about witnessing petition signatures. She charged that another election worker collected signatures while on parole. The most interesting charge was that Mr. Barron, who was born in Queens, was not an American citizen.

    The charges were dismissed, but Ms. Wooten appealed. Once again Mr. Barron won, but at a price. He says he has spent more than $10,000 defending his right to be on the ballot.

    ”It’s hard to really regard this as a victory,” he said. ”People gave me money thinking it would go into campaign posters and flyers, not lawyer’s fees.”

    Mr. Barron’s story is not unusual. Nine of the 12 Brooklyn districts in which there was competition for a nomination wound up in court. Mr. Barron, who used to be a member of the Black Panthers, says he was warned to expect legal harassment when he decided to run. ”I’ve been more scrutinized, investigated and attacked now that I want to engage in the political process than when I was trying to tear it down,” he said.

    I don’t think that any of the DemocrTic election proposals do anything about this type of thing.

    They’re more into limiting choices and trying to rush people to the polls.

    Sammy Finkelman (b434ee)

  155. The law allows him to do the exact same things to her.

    What I am shocked about (“Shocked!, Shocked!”) is a former Black Panther complaining that the system in unfair. I would never have expected that.

    nk (1d9030)

  156. And since we’ve resurrected the open thread …

    If a 40-year old pederast who still legally goes by the name of Jerry Smith but calls himself “Angie” on Tinder disguises himself as a woman to entice an 18-year old boy into having sex with him — twice — is it rape?

    nk (1d9030)

  157. Three uncommon things they find useful from each of the 15 candidates for mayor of New York City:

    Sammy Finkelman (b434ee)

  158. Gerrymander politics in Illinois:

    ..Late last week [week ending May 28] Democrats jammed through new state legislative maps that combine 14 Republicans in the Illinois House into seven districts. That means seven GOP incumbents are guaranteed to lose in party primaries. Republicans will also lose their incumbent advantage in seven districts. No Democrats were combined in the same House districts.

    Illinois’s maps were already heavily gerrymandered to favor Democrats, who control 73 of the 118 seats in the House and 41 of 59 in the Senate….. In any case, the gerrymander is certain to be challenged in court because Illinois Democrats redrew the legislative maps based on Census Bureau population estimates, rather than granular data from the 2020 count. Data from the 2020 count won’t be available until late this summer due to pandemic delays.

    The Legislature, however, has a state Constitutional deadline to redraw the statehouse maps by June 30. Missing the deadline would tee up a bipartisan commission to draw the maps and then a “tiebreaker” if the commission deadlocks. As the Illinois Policy Institute explains, the “Illinois Supreme Court would submit the name of one Republican and one Democrat, and the Secretary of State randomly draws one of those names, giving the winning side free rein to draw maps in their favor.” Democrats prefer their odds in court.

    Democrats have long controlled the state Supreme Court because three of seven Justices are elected exclusively from Cook County that includes Chicago. The other four hail from Chicago’s suburban counties and downstate areas. The Democratic court majority has blocked tort, pension and redistricting reforms, among other challenges to public-union and trial-lawyer domination.

    But the Democratic chokehold is easing. A Democratic Justice last November was ousted in a retention election for the first time in state history after he was tied to ex-House Speaker Michael Madigan, who resigned earlier this year amid a corruption probe that has already ensnared his allies. To retain their 4-3 majority, Democrats need to win one of two partisan elections in November 2022. Both districts are trending Republican.

    The Democratic response has been to redraw state Supreme Court districts for the first time in 60 years. According to research outfit Wirepoints, Democrats added left-leaning DuPage County and sliced off 15 Republican-leaning counties from the court’s Third District, which they lost in last year’s retention election.

    All of this shows how absolute one-party rule continues to corrupt absolutely. Mr. Madigan is gone, but his political machine lives on.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

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