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2020-08-14 e
Empires Rise and Fall

China Now Has More Companies In The Fortune 500 Than The US

The cold war between the US, the world's largest economy, and China, the second largest but fastest growing and expected to surpass the US by 2032...

... is just starting, and while it currently focuses on tech and trade, it is only a matter of time before nationalist fervor takes over across every other aspect of society, economics and capital markets.

One place where tensions have been especially palpable is in the recovery following the global covid pandemic (which, of course, was started by China) which has been remarkable in China, at least for those who believe any Chinese "data."..(read more)

2020-08-14 d
A Smart Move

Did Buffett Just Bet Against The US? Berkshire Buys Barrick Gold, Dumps Goldman

This is going to get awkward.

Berkshire Hathaway's latest 13F just dropped and contained inside is a signal that none other than the Oracle Of Omaha appears to now be quietly betting against The United States.

Why? Because for years - in fact for as long we can remember - Warren Buffet has denigrated gold:

In a speech delivered at Harvard in 1998, Buffett said:

“(Gold) gets dug out of the ground in Africa, or someplace. Then we melt it down, dig another hole, bury it again and pay people to stand around guarding it. It has no utility. Anyone watching from Mars would be scratching their head.

He once famously said:

Gold is a way of going long on fear, and it has been a pretty good way of going long on fear from time to time. But you really have to hope people become more afraid in a year or two years than they are now. And if they become more afraid you make money, if they become less afraid you lose money, but the gold itself doesn’t produce anything.”

In his 2011 letter, Buffett noted that for $9.6 trillion you could buy "pile a" — all of the gold in the world, or "pile b" — the entire US cropland (400 million acres) plus 16 ExxonMobils and still have another $1 trillion left over.

"Admittedly, when people a century from now are fearful, it's likely many will still rush to gold," he wrote. "I'm confident, however, that the $9.6 trillion current valuation of pile A will compound over the century at a rate far inferior to that achieved by pile B." 

In 2013, Buffett even went so far as to mock investors betting on gold, saying that there were better places to put your money.

“What motivates most gold purchasers is their belief that the ranks of the fearful will grow,” Buffett wrote in 2012. “During the past decade that belief has proved correct. Beyond that, the rising price has on its own generated additional buying enthusiasm, attracting purchasers who see the rise as validating an investment thesis. As ‘bandwagon’ investors join any party, they create their own truth -- for a while.”

At Berkshire's 2018 annual meeting, Buffett compared $10,000 invested in stocks and gold in 1942 (the first year he invested in stocks):

"... for every dollar you could have made in American business, you'd have less than a penny of gain by buying into a store of value which people tell you to run to every time you get scared by the headlines."

And in  his 2019 letter he reiterated:

"The magical metal was no match for the American mettle."

All of which makes the following even more stunning...

According to the latest 13F, Howard Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway not only dumped all his airlines - as we learned previously 0 but has also liquidated huge amounts of its exposure to US banks (exiting Goldman Sachs entirely). (read more)

2020-08-14 c
Of course they did.

2020-08-14 b
"Kamala is not eligible to be VP. Her parents were legal immigrants but neither was an American citizen when she was born. Therefor she is not a natural born citizen, which you must be to hold the office of President and Vice President."

Kamala Harris's Birth Certificate?

This is said to be Kamala Harris’s birth certificate. I can’t say that it’s authentic, but it looks plausible. From Tariq Nasheed’s twitter account:

For “Color or Race of Mother,” Kamala’s South Asian mother put “Caucasian,” which was a standard term in the 1960s (see the LAPD cop show Adam-12 for where most people in L.A. were described by the radio dispatcher as Caucasian). In the 1970s, South Asians got jealous of “Oriental” businessmen getting low interest loans and government contracting privileges while they were stuck with worthless Caucasian Privilege, so they had themselves regrouped with Orientals as “Asians” for the 1980 Census.

Her father, the economist, put himself down for Color or Race of Father as “Jamaican.”

Back home he’s a middle-class mulatto, a status that isn’t really recognized in the U.S. outside of Louisiana. (read more)

2020-08-14 a

“When the government violates the people’s rights, insurrection is, for the people and for each portion of the people, the most sacred of the rights and the most indispensable of duties.”
Marquis de Lafayette

-08-13 d
Affirmative Action Is Inherently Racist

DoJ Finds Yale Admissions Illegally Discriminated Against Whites, Asians

After more than two years of investigations, the DoJ has finally determined that Yale university's discriminatory practices during the admissions process amounted to evidence of discrimination against white and Asian-American applicants, in violation of a federal civil rights statute.

The DoJ's two-year investigation concluded that Yale "rejects scores of Asian American and white applicants each year based on their race, whom it otherwise would admit."

Not only did Trump's DoJ pick up the previously rejected 2016 complaint, breathing new life into a movement to return US civil rights policy concerning collegiate admissions back to the standard from the Bush era, which was "race blind" admissions. After many years of squawking about that standard being unfair, the Obama Administration ushered in a new "affirmative action" policy that called for quotas.  Trump officially reversed the policy in July 2018.

"Yale’s race discrimination imposes undue and unlawful penalties on racially-disfavored applicants, including in particular Asian American and White applicants," Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband, the head of the department’s civil rights division, wrote in a letter to the college’s attorneys.

The complaint was based on years of complaints from white and asian applicants who claim they were only rejected because their race made them "similar" to other applicants. Phrases like "she doesn't have the right profile" - with "profile" being used as a kind of dog whistle for "she's not the right race" - were uncovered in the records obtained by the DoJ from schools including Yale, Harvard and Dartmouth. (read more)

2020-08-13 c
The Plantation Was Good for Her Ancestors

Kamala Harris' Ancestors Were Slave Owners - Will the Left Cancel Her?

Officially selected Tuesday as presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris has already entered the crucible as progressives and conservatives fight for control over the narrative surrounding the candidate.

Coming as an unexpected hurdle alongside controversy surrounding Harris’ radical left primary platform, cutthroat prosecutorial record and sexual relationship with political superior Willie Brown, however, were the details of her lineage.

Unbeknownst to many, Harris is the descendant of prominent Jamaican slave owners, according to her father.

The news had first broken on Jan. 13, 2019, when Jamaica Global published a lengthy ancestry article written in September 2018 by Harris’ father, the prominent economist and Stanford University professor Donald Harris.

Born in British Jamaica himself before coming to the United States in 1963, the professor had contributed his 3,000-word article to the site, which highlights the “Jamaican diaspora” and its descendants worldwide, in an effort to reflect “on the ‘Jamaicanness’ of his daughter Kamala.”

According to the professor’s own account, he, his paternal grandmother and, by extension, his daughter were all descended from Jamaican plantation owner and Brown’s Town founder Hamilton Brown.

“My roots go back, within my lifetime, to my paternal grandmother Miss Chrishy (née Christiana Brown, descendant of Hamilton Brown who is on record as plantation and slave owner and founder of Brown’s Town),” Harris wrote.

“The Harris name comes from my paternal grandfather Joseph Alexander Harris, land-owner and agricultural ‘produce’ exporter (mostly pimento or all-spice), who died in 1936 two years before I was born and is buried in the church yard of the magnificent Anglican Church which Hamilton Brown built in Brown’s Town (and where, as a child, I learned the catechism, was baptized and confirmed, and served as an acolyte).”

According to Snopes, no explicit evidence of the genealogical connection has ever been provided by the professor.

A Jamaican records archive unearthed in July 2019 by the Washington Free Beacon, however, did reveal that in 1817, Hamilton Brown owned a substantial number of slaves, some of whom were African while others were Creole.

This was all it took for some prominent conservative commentators and political operatives to revive the story, citing it as a major irony given the fact that it would make Harris a compulsory donor to, rather than a recipient of, the American left’s long-supported slavery reparations plan. (read more)

-08-13 b
Kamala - The Back Story

Willie Brown Admits He Boosted Kamala Harris's Career During Extramarital Affair

Former San Francisco Mayor and Speaker of the California State Assembly Willie Brown claimed to have "influenced" the career of US Sen. Kamala Harris with political appointments while the two were having an extramarital affair, Brown admits in a short article in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Harris was 30 years Brown's junior when the two were dating, approximately half his age at the time.

"Yes, we dated. It was more than 20 years ago. Yes, I may have influenced her career by appointing her to two state commissions when I was Assembly speaker," writes Brown, adding "And I certainly helped with her first race for district attorney in San Francisco."

Brown noted that he also helped the careers of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Gov. Gavin Newsom and Sen. Dianne Feinstein - though it is unclear whether any of them were also boffing Brown.

Concluding with what may be sour grapes, Brown writes: "The difference is that Harris is the only one who, after I helped her, sent word that I would be indicted if I "so much as jaywalked" while she was D.A."

As a powerful assembly speaker, Brown appointed Harris to a $97,000 per year position on the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board, then appointed her to the California Medical Assistance Commission for $72,000 per year, according to a 1994 report in the Los Angeles Times. (read more)

2020-08-13 a

“Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.”
H. L. Mencken

-08-12 d
Author Ignores Influence of Bill Gates / Big Pharma / Vaccinate Everyone cabal

The Medical Assessment of Covid: America Desperately Needs a “Second Opinion”

...Medical Malpractice

Somehow, the best medical advice from the nation’s most respected medical institutions recommending a second opinion was completely ignored when Covid-19 showed up. Instead, a handful of alleged government medical “experts” advised the political class to use illegal, unconstitutional powers to lockdown the nation, with the threat that millions would die if we didn’t obey their dictates.

So why did the political class, those elected by the people to represent the people’s interest, not insist on a second opinion? Why were they willing, some even eager, to ignore the peoples guaranteed Constitutional rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? Why were they willing to ignore the best medical advice to seek a second opinion BEFORE destroying the livelihoods of millions of hardworking American’s?

It’s not like there were no independent medical experts sounding the alarm about the Covid fraud and the ridiculous mass hysteria being whipped up by the politicians and the media. Literally hundreds of highly credentialed medical experts across the globe are on record as to the absurdity of the actions recommended by government medical “experts”. One of those experts, Dr. John Ioannidis of Stanford University assembled a group of like-minded medical experts this past March to offer a second opinion to President Trump. They wanted him to know their professional assessment of Covid-19 was that yes it was a flu bug but locking down the nation was a ridiculously unnecessary move that could cause more harm than good.

Dr. Ioannidis said it was like an elephant being attacked by a house cat. Apparently President Trump gave in to his political advisors and ignored the second opinion advice of Dr. Ioannidis and his associates.

Instead President Trump should immediately convene a blue ribbon panel of independent medical experts with no ties to direct government funding or pharmaceutical control for a genuine second opinion. Then, act on their recommendations regardless of the hue and cry from the political class and their media enablers.

America needs a second opinion on Covid-19, and we need it acted on now! (read more)

2020-08-12 c
A Blueprint For Tyranny

This Is America: Where Fascism, Totalitarianism and Militarism Go Hand in Hand

“In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem, government IS the problem.”—Ronald Reagan

There’s a pattern emerging if you pay close enough attention.

Civil discontent leads to civil unrest, which leads to protests and counterprotests.

Without fail, what should be an exercise in how to peacefully disagree turns ugly the moment looting, vandalism, violence, intimidation tactics and rioting are introduced into the equation. Instead of restoring order, local police stand down.

Tensions rise, violence escalates, and federal armies move in.

Coincidence? I think not.

This was the blueprint used three years ago in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017, when the city regularly cited as being one of the happiest places in America, became ground zero for a heated war of words—and actions—over racism, “sanitizing history,” extremism (both right and left), political correctness, hate speech, partisan politics, and a growing fear that violent words will end in violent actions.

It was a setup: local police deliberately engineered a situation in which protesters would confront each other, tensions would bubble over, and things would turn just violent enough to call in the bigger guns.

It is the blueprint being used right now. (read more)

2020-08-12 b
More to read about COVIDIOTS, Mask-Morons and Assorted Intolerants

Round-Up of News stories from today's post on Lockdown Sceptics.
2020-08-12 a

"Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. …In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons…who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.”
Edward Bernays, Propaganda

-08-11 d
"Kamala Harris is a pothead and hypocrite who lies about rap music. Is that bad?"

Biden Picks Kamala Harris As Running Mate (see all the comments and updates)

This is great news for Republicans. Mr. Dementia and his handler's VP pick, the Jamaican-Indian former girlfriend of Willie Brown, offer so many tempting targets.

2020-08-11 c
Is The You-Know-What About to Hit the Fan?

A. Trump let slip at a campaign stop in Ohio last week:
“I have a lot of rich enemies. You won’t see me for a while.” (Alluding to his hideaway in Bedminster, New Jersey.)

B. Are Deep State and Democrat Indictments Coming?
"Justice Department policy prohibits prosecutors from taking overt steps in politically charged cases typically within 60 days of an election. Accordingly, Durham would have to make a move by the Friday before Labor Day, or Sept. 4." (read more)

2020-08-11 b
Bill Gates: "
most Coronavirus tests in the United States are “completely garbage.”

Bill Gates Responds To Roger Stone’s Vaccine Criticism

The Vaccine Oligarch Gets Defensive

In the interview, Gates admitted that most Coronavirus tests in the United States are “completely garbage.” (read more)

2020-08-11 a

"Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under."
H. L. Mencken

-08-10 e
It's a Good Time to Stay Out Of The Loop

Chaos In Chicago: Bridges Raised To Prevent Gun-Toting Looters Getting Downtown

Hundreds of 'mostly peaceful protesters' swept through the Magnificent Mile and other parts of downtown Chicago early Monday, smashing windows, looting stores, confronting police and at one point exchanging gunfire with officers, authorities said.

As The Chicago Tribune reports, officers had stopped several people on Lake Street near Michigan Avenue when shots were fired from a passing car around 4:30 a.m., nearly five hours into the widespread vandalism, according to police spokesman Tom Ahern.

No officers were shot but a squad car was hit, he said. It was not known if anyone in the gunman’s car was shot. (read more)

2020-08-10 d
National Rifle Association Should Move to a Gun-Friendly State

An Affront to Civil Society

Letitia James’s proposal to dissolve the NRA, a nonprofit organization, is alarming.

Every charitable organization in the United States should be alarmed about New York State Attorney General Letitia James’s legal action to dissolve the National Rifle Association—including groups that oppose gun rights and would repeal the Second Amendment, as well as those whose missions have nothing to do with guns.

That concern has nothing to do with whether the charges James has levied against the NRA leadership are true. If NRA president Wayne LaPierre has misappropriated organization funds for personal use, a legal penalty may well be deserved, and he should be fired. But the penalty proposed by James—dissolution of the NRA—is alarming. A single state government would be acting not only against alleged misappropriation of funds but also an entire political constituency.

James claims that she is not hostile to gun-rights advocacy, though she once referred to the NRA as a terrorist group. She would make gun-rights advocates whole by distributing residual NRA funds to organizations with a similar purpose. But who is to decide what organizations meet that test? Would such distribution be subject to the oversight of James’s office? No gun-rights group has anywhere near the history and influence of the NRA. Its “brand” is irreplaceable for those who care about its mission. It would be like dissolving the American Civil Liberties Union and distributing its funds to the National Lawyers Guild—a group with not dissimilar concerns but nowhere near the name recognition with the public or the political influence.

More to the point, the NRA has a particular point of view that represents its donors, which is why contributions to such organizations are considered an expression of the First Amendment. Imagine if a Republican attorney general dissolved the NAACP and gave its resources to the Congress of Racial Equality, which has a storied past but a controversial present. It would rightly be understood as an attack on civil rights, not just a reorganization of funding streams.

The disproportionate and historically unprecedented character of the NRA penalty matters here, too. Fraud and misappropriation of funds are common scandals in the nonprofit world. The leader of the United Way of America, for instance, was found to have used organization funds for his personal enjoyment. No prosecutor would have dreamed of dissolving the United Way. The Teamsters Union was convinced of outright racketeering and forced to operate under federal financial supervision. It was not dissolved, nor were its funds distributed to the United Auto Workers. (read more)

2020-08-10 c
House of Cards - Sinking Ship - Circling the Drain

The Economy Is Mortally Wounded

A fully financialized, totally debt and speculation-dependent economy is terminal once leverage and debt stop expanding exponentially.

We all know the movie scene in which the character is wounded but dismisses it as no big deal, and then lurches into the closing sequence where we discover the wound was not inconsequential, it was mortal, and the character expires.

That's a fair depiction of the economy--both the U.S. and the global economy. The rapt audience is assured it's just a flesh wound and the character will soldier on, teeth nobly gritted, and that sets up our surprise when he/she tragically expires in the climatic scene.

Financial-political authorities and their paid cheerleaders are sparing no expense in assuring us the pandemic-triggered Greater Depression is a mere bump in the road and the recovery will be record-breaking, and they lavish excessive optimism on the triggers of this astounding recovery that's just waiting in the wings: a covid-19 vaccine, a covid-19 treatment, herd immunity, etc.

What the cheerleaders and authorities cannot dare acknowledge is the extreme fragility and vulnerability of the pre-pandemic economy: the unprecedentedly excessive leverage, debt, speculation, wealth and income inequality, asset bubbles, etc. that had all started to roll over as gravity finally took hold in Q4 of 2019.

Also missing from the astounding recovery that's just waiting in the wings narrative is the recognition of second-order effects as the dominoes of fragility and vulnerability continue toppling.

Even super-duper covid-curing space rays beamed at our planet by helpful Martians couldn't stop the financial conflagration that is now raging, a conflagration that was inevitable given the monetary deadwood that was piled ever higher for 12 long years, a mountain of dry tinder awaiting a random lightning strike or careless match. (read more)

2020-08-10 b
“it was a bomb of some kind.”

Who Profits from the Beirut Tragedy?

The narrative that the Beirut explosion was an exclusive consequence of negligence and corruption by the current Lebanese government is now set in stone, at least in the Atlanticist sphere.

And yet, digging deeper, we find that negligence and corruption may have been fully exploited, via sabotage, to engineer it.

Lebanon is prime John Le Carré territory. A multinational den of spies of all shades – House of Saud agents, Zionist operatives, “moderate rebel” weaponizers, Hezbollah intellectuals, debauched Arab “royalty,” self-glorified smugglers – in a context of full spectrum economic disaster afflicting a member of the Axis of Resistance, a perennial target of Israel alongside Syria and Iran.

As if this were not volcanic enough, into the tragedy stepped President Trump to muddy the – already contaminated – Eastern Mediterranean waters. Briefed by “our great generals,” Trump on Tuesday said: “According to them – they would know better than I would – but they seem to think it was an attack.”

Trump added, “it was a bomb of some kind.”

Was this incandescent remark letting the cat out of the bag by revealing classified information? Or was the President launching another non sequitur?

Trump eventually walked his comments back after the Pentagon declined to confirm his claim about what the “generals” had said and his defense secretary, Mark Esper, supported the accident explanation for the blast.

It’s yet another graphic illustration of the war engulfing the Beltway. Trump: attack. Pentagon: accident. “I don’t think anybody can say right now,” Trump said on Wednesday. “I’ve heard it both ways.” (read more)

2020-08-10 a

“Mankind will in time discover that unbridled majorities are as tyrannical and cruel as unlimited despots.”
John Adams

-08-09 e
"trans lobby’s instinct for exclusion and even punishment of heretics who refuse to speak its language "

Only women have a cervix

It’s time we stopped kowtowing to the genderfluidity ideologues.

Fifty years ago there was a struggle for women’s rights. Today the struggle is for the right to say ‘women’. To see how regressive woke politics is, look no further than its creeping erasure of the w-word. Once upon a time progressives fought for the right of women to enter public life. Today’s pretend progressives fight for the expulsion of even the word woman from public life lest its utterance offend biological women who identify as men, or biological men who think they’re women, etc etc.

An individual with a cervix. That’s what we’re meant to call them now. CNN caused a storm last week when it tweeted advice from the American Cancer Society with the words: ‘Individuals with a cervix are now recommended to start cervical cancers screening at 25 and continue through age 65…’. They mean women. Only women have a cervix. Only women need to go for a cervical-cancer screening. Sure, an infinitesimally small number of these women will self-identify as men in their daily lives, but if they have a cervix, and therefore should attend regular cervical-cancer screenings, then they are women. That’s a matter of fact, whereas their identity as men is merely their own, rather eccentric opinion.

But you can’t say women now, even when promoting the life-saving service of cervical-cancer screening, because you might offend people with cervixes who do not identify as women, and people without cervixes (blokes) who do identify as women. ‘What about us? We’re women but we don’t have cervixes’, these born men are liable to cry, which is bonkers. In more reasoned times, the need to use plain, universal language in the promotion of health services would trump the urge to avoid offending tiny numbers of people who identity as the opposite sex. But we don’t live in reasoned times. We live in an era in which the cult of genderfluidity is increasingly influential and anyone who blasphemes against it can expect to be expelled from polite society.

The most striking thing about the CNN tweet wasn’t the tweet itself but the response to it. When people understandably pushed back against the tweet – asking CNN if it was talking about women – the trans lobby and its supporters in high places went crazy. They loudly justified the erasure of the word woman. It is perfectly proper to say ‘individual with a cervix’ instead of ‘woman’, they said, because using ‘gender-neutral language’ is more ‘inclusive’.

This is patent nonsense. The whole point of this so-called gender-neutral language is to exclude. In this case to exclude the term woman from women’s health services, and, more broadly, to exclude from public life anyone who refuses to genuflect before the ideology of genderfluidity and its Orwellian linguistics. Witness the incessant hounding on campuses and social media of feminists who question the idea that someone with a penis can be a woman. Activists Posie Parker and Venice Allan have got into trouble simply for saying the word woman. Their billboards giving the dictionary definition of woman – ‘adult human female’ – have been taken down, and their t-shirts bearing the same words also cause a storm. It has become a risky business to say ‘woman’ in public.
It is incredibly important to stand up to all this. The trans ideology – which is backed by almost the entire establishment – is a menace to reason, freedom and even to the socialisation of children. It spreads confusion among younger generations, some of whom engage in sex-change surgeries that are later regretted, and it undermines women’s rights and women’s spaces and seeks to censor any woman who dares to question this process. It is a regressive, censorious and frequently misogynistic movement. (read more)

2020-08-09 d
Sage Advice

Re-Open Schools, says Harvard Professor of Medicine

The Spectator has published an excellent piece by Martin Kulldorff, a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School who studies infectious disease outbreaks and vaccine safety. He says the way to defeat the virus is to aim for herd immunity and points out that such a strategy poses very little risk to children.

With passionate discussions about opening schools, it is good to step back, take a deep breath, and examine what science tells us. To know the effect of smoking, we study smokers. To know the effects of vaccines, we study those vaccinated. Similarly, to know the effects of keeping schools open during the COVID-19 pandemic, we must study the one place that kept their schools open during the height of the pandemic. That place is Sweden.

Sweden never closed day-care centres or schools for its 1.8 million children ages one to 15. Of these children, zero died from COVID-19. The total number of cases is unknown, but the reported number is 468, which is 25 per 100,000. Of these 468 children, eight were hospitalised in an intensive care unit. This means that, whether schools are open or not, children are less at risk from COVID-19 than from influenza, which kills an average of 40-50 children in England and Wales each year. In contrast to influenza, schools are not driving the Covid-19 pandemic, and in Sweden, teachers had the same COVID-19 risk as the average risk among other professions.
(read more)

2020-08-09 c
The Ongoing Culture War

Kansas Should Go F--- Itself

Author Thomas Frank predicted the modern culture war, and he was right about Donald Trump, but don’t expect political leaders to pay attention to his new book about populism

The People, No: A Brief History of Anti-Populism

Thomas Frank is one of America’s more skillful writers, an expert practitioner of a genre one might call historical journalism – ironic, because no recent media figure has been more negatively affected by historical change. Frank became a star during a time of intense curiosity about the reasons behind our worsening culture war, and now publishes a terrific book, The People, No: A Brief History of Anti-Populism, at a time when people are mostly done thinking about what divides us, gearing up to fight instead.

Frank published What’s the Matter with Kansas? in 2004, at the height of the George W. Bush presidency. The Iraq War was already looking like a disaster, but the Democratic Party was helpless to take advantage, a fact the opinion-shaping class on the coasts found puzzling. Blue-staters felt sure they’d conquered the electoral failure problem in the nineties, when a combination of Bill Clinton’s Arkansas twang, policy pandering (a middle-class tax cut!) and a heavy dose of unsubtle race politics (e.g. ending welfare “as we know it”) appeared to cut the heart out of the Republican “Southern strategy.”

Yet Clinton’s chosen successor Al Gore flopped, the party’s latest Kennedy wannabe, John Kerry, did worse, and by the mid-2000s, Bushian conservatism was culturally ascendant, despite obvious failures. Every gathering of self-described liberals back then devolved into the same sad-faced anthropological speculation about Republicans: “Why do they vote against their own interests?”

Frank, a Midwesterner and one of the last exemplars of a media tradition that saw staying in touch with the thinking of the general population as a virtue, was not puzzled. What’s the Matter with Kansas? was framed as an effort to answer that liberal cocktail-party conundrum – “How could anyone who’s ever worked for someone vote Republican?” was the version Frank described hearing – and the answer, at least on the surface, was appealing to coastal intellectuals.

Frank explained the Republican voter had thrown support to the Republicans’ pro-corporate economic message in exchange for solidarity on cultural issues, as part of what he called the “Great Backlash”: (read more)

2020-08-09 b
Divide and Conquer

White privilege’: an elite ideology

Identity politics destroys class solidarity, and that suits the powerful just fine.

In the latest expression of its apparent death wish, the BBC put out a clip on social media this week of psychologist and former NBA player John Amaechi waxing lyrical on the subject of white privilege. In it, he gently explained why white privilege is real, and is even enjoyed by the underprivileged whites who generally resent the idea.

This is not the only time recently that the BBC – barracked by accusations of bias and campaigns to defund it – appeared to troll its critics. A podcast clip of two middle-class white women accusing other middle-class white women of being racist ‘Karens’ lit up the BBC complaints page a few weeks back.

But that Amaechi’s little video was put out on BBC Bitesize, the corporation’s homework and revision site, seemed particularly cheeky. That teenagers can now get woke on the same site as they revise for their French GCSE shows how orthodox ideas around identity politics and privilege have become at the BBC – and at elite institutions in general.

There was no debate set up here; the other side of this contentious issue was not given an airing. The theory of white privilege, it seems, is considered by the Beeb to be as uncontroversial as saying that we went to war in 1939 or that Henry VIII had six wives – just another plain fact to be relayed to the young folk.

Across the Atlantic, it fell to billionaire Oprah Winfrey to throw a hand grenade into this particularly tense arena of the culture war this week. On her Apple TV+ show, The Oprah Conversation, she said that even poor white people enjoy white privilege.
Simplistic notions like white privilege, then, obfuscate issues of economic privilege and dim the prospects of forging the coalitions necessary to make life better for all working people. What’s more, among the liberal middle classes, identity politics appears to have rehabilitated a form of class hatred,
Left-wing identity politics claims to sit in the anti-racist tradition. But today it plays much the same role that the racist right did in the past. It works to fracture class solidarity by insisting that different sections of the working class are fundamentally antagonistic to one another’s interests.

No wonder the elites love this ‘white privilege’ guff so much. A divided working class is no threat to them. (read more)

2020-08-09 a

"It has frequently been observed that terror can rule absolutely only over people who are isolated against each other and that therefore one of the primary concerns of tyrannical government is to bring this isolation about. Isolation may be the beginning of terror; it certainly is its most fertile ground; it always is its result. This isolation is, as it were, pretotalitarian; its hallmark is impotence insofar as power always comes from people acting together, acting in concert; isolated people are powerless by definition.”
Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism

-08-08 d
Their website is back up!

Press Conference of America's Frontline Doctors

American life has fallen casualty to a massive disinformation campaign. We can speculate on how this has happened, and why it has continued, but the purpose of the inaugural White Coat Summit is to empower Americans to stop living in fear.

If Americans continue to let so-called experts and media personalities make their decisions, the great American experiment of a Constitutional Republic with Representative Democracy, will cease. (read more and watch video)

2020-08-08 c
Beirut Blast Was No Accident

Israel destroys East Beirut with a new weapon

The first Israeli Prime Minister has ordered the destruction of a Hizbollah weapons warehouse in Beirut with a new weapon. The weapon, which is not well known, caused considerable damage in the city, killing more than 100 people, injuring 5,000 and destroying many buildings. This time it will be difficult for Benjamin Netanyahu to deny it.

The first Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, authorized a strike against a Hezbollah arms depot using a new weapon that has been tested for seven months in Syria. It is not known whether the second Prime Minister, Benny Gantz, gave his consent.

The strike was carried out on August 4, 2020, at the exact location designated by Benjamin Netanyahu in his speech to the United Nations on September 27, 2018  (read more)

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“Had the CDC used its industry standard, Medical Examiners’ and Coroners’ Handbook on Death Registration and Fetal Death Reporting Revision 2003, as it has for all other causes of death for the last 17 years, the COVID-19 fatality count would be approximately 90.2% lower than it currently is.”

If COVID Fatalities Were 90.2% Lower, How Would You Feel About Schools Reopening?”

by H. Ealy, M. McEvoy, M. Sava, S. Gupta, D. Chong, D. White, J. Nowicki, P. Anderson.

Key Findings For Data Through July 12th

•According to the CDC, 101 children age 0 to 14 have died from influenza, while 31 children have died from COVID-19.
•No evidence exists to support the theory that children pose a threat to educational professionals in a school or classroom setting, but there is a great deal of evidence to support the safety of in-person education.
•According to the CDC, 131,332 Americans have died from pneumonia and 121,374 from COVID-19 as of July 11th, 2020.
•Had the CDC used its industry standard, Medical Examiners’ and Coroners’ Handbook on Death Registration and Fetal Death Reporting Revision 2003, as it has for all other causes of death for the last 17 years, the COVID-19 fatality count would be approximately 90.2% lower than it currently is.


The CDC has instructed hospitals, medical examiners, coroners and physicians to collect and report COVID-19 data by significantly different standards than all other infectious diseases and causes of death.

These new and unnecessary guidelines were instituted by the CDC in private, and without open discussion among qualified professionals that are free from conflicts of interest.

These new and unnecessary guidelines were additionally instituted despite the existence of effective rules for data collection and reporting, successfully used by all hospitals, medical examiners, coroners, and physicians for more than 17 years.

As a result, elected officials have enacted many questionable policies that have injured our country’s economy, our country’s educational system, our country’s mental and emotional health, and the American citizen’s personal expression of Constitutionally-protected rights to participate in our own governance.

This paper will present significant evidence to support the position that if the CDC simply employed their 2003 industry standard for data collection and reporting, which has been successfully used nationwide for 17 years; the total fatalities attributed to COVID-19 would be reduced by an estimated 90.2%, and questions would be non-existent regarding schools reopening and whether or not Americans should be allowed to work.

It is very possible that state health departments have been instructed by the CDC to over-count COVID fatalities, cases, and hospitalizations

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"Fallacies gain credibility when ignorance prevails."

-08-07 d
The Punishment Fits the Crime?

Utah BLM protesters could get life in prison for splashing paint

- Demonstrators allegedly caused thousands of dollars’ damage
- Charges include gang enhancement: ‘It feels retaliatory’

Some Black Lives Matter protesters in Salt Lake City could face up to life in prison if they are convicted of splashing red paint and smashing windows during a protest.

The potential punishment stands out among demonstrators arrested around the country and critics say it does not fit the alleged crime.

The felony criminal mischief charges are more serious because they carry a gang enhancement. Prosecutors said on Wednesday that was justified because the protesters worked together to cause thousands of dollars in damage, but watchdogs called the use of the 1990s-era law troubling, especially in the context of criminal justice reform and minority communities.

“This is so far beyond just the enforcement of the law, it feels retaliatory,” said Madalena McNeil, who is facing a potential life sentence over felony criminal mischief and riot charges.

Charging documents say she bought red paint at a Home Depot before the 9 July demonstration sparked by a fatal police shooting ruling. She later yelled at and shifted her weight as if to slam into police during the demonstration, charges state. (read more)

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Life in a Socialist Paradise Where Some Are More Equal Than Others

Kim Jong Un rolls up to village devastated by floods in luxury SUV

Kim Jong Un pulled up in a luxury SUV to tour a North Korea village devastated by widespread flooding, according to a report.

State-sanctioned photos show the North Korean despot climbing out of what appears to be a Lexus LX 570 to greet residents in the North Hwanghae Province on Friday, UPI reported.

More than 700 homes and 1,400 acres of rice fields were flooded after a levee broke as a result of days of heavy rainfall in the area, Yonhap News said. Nearly 180 homes were destroyed.

Kim was in the region to order the delivery of essential supplies and food. (read more)

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Is this worse than letting raccoons into your attic?

Hundreds of new homeless turn Upper West Side into a spectacle of drugs and harassment: residents

Upper West Side residents say three hotels that are housing hundreds of homeless men during the coronavirus pandemic have turned the area into a spectacle of public urination, catcalling and open drug use.

Among those staying at the luxury Belleclaire on Broadway and the Lucerne on West 79th Street, and the more down-market Belnord on West 87th Street, are people who are mentally ill, recovering from drug addictions, and registered sex offenders.

Ten sex offenders are staying in a single hotel — the Belleclaire, which is just one block from the playground of PS 87.

“It doesn’t feel safe anymore,” nanny Michele McDowall, 39, told The Post.

She said she was recently offered crack by a pair of homeless men as she wheeled a toddler along Riverside Park at 79th Street.

“You want to buy crack?” she said they shouted repeatedly as she hurried past, and as the frightened 2-year-old girl in the stroller put her hands over her ears and cried, “Too loud!”

The homeless men have been moved from dorm-style shelters around the city so they can be sheltered one or two to a room to better protect them from COVID-19, officials explain.

“In order to defuse that ticking time bomb, we implemented a massive emergency relocation of human beings from those congregate shelters throughout the city, more than 10,000 in about eight weeks,” Department of Homeless Services Commissioner Steven Banks said Thursday. (read more)

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“The historical evidence appears to indicate that, rather than protecting life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness of their citizens, governments must be considered the greatest threat to human security.”
Hans-Hermann Hoppe

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A lockdown is house arrest.

The Covid Occupation

Reflections on the recent lockdown in Paris

During the many years that I worked as a prison doctor, never a day went by when I did not ask myself how I would react to imprisonment. “There but for the grace of God go I,” was a constant refrain in my mind, or, alternatively, Hamlet’s question to Polonius: “Use every man after his desert, and who should ’scape whipping?” Surely everyone has done something in his life that might justify imprisonment. I never dreamed, however, that 15 years after my retirement, I should experience a type of imprisonment, admittedly of a lenient kind, in Paris, not being allowed out of my small apartment for more than one hour a day—and then only with a permit, or laissez-passer. In just one respect was my imprisonment harder than the real kind: I was to have no visitors and no casual social contact. (read more)

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John Roberts Cannot Be Trusted

Mike Pence calls supreme court justice John Roberts a ‘disappointment'

Vice-president, who is fervently anti-abortion, criticizes Roberts who sided with his four liberal colleagues on several decisions

The US vice-president, Mike Pence, has criticized the supreme court chief justice, John Roberts, as a “disappointment to conservatives” after he sided with his four liberal colleagues in several recent high-profile rulings.

“We have great respect for the institution of the supreme court of the United States, but Chief Justice John Roberts has been a disappointment to conservatives whether it be the Obamacare decision or whether it be a spate of recent decisions,” the vice-president told Christian Broadcasting Network in an interview published on Thursday. (read more)

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Do you see a murder?

Shock Footage: George Floyd Bodycam Video Leaks, Watch it Here

2020-08-06 a

“Government requires make-believe. Make believe that the king is divine, make believe that he can do no wrong or make believe that the voice of the people is the voice of God. Make believe that the people have a voice or make believe that the representatives of the people are the people. Make believe that governors are the servants of the people. Make believe that all men are created equal or make believe that they are not.”
Edmund S. Morgan

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The Exceptional Nation Chronicles

Were the Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki a War Crime and a Crime Against Humanity?

75 Years Ago, the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945

Was President Harry Truman “a murderer,” as the renowned British analytic philosopher Gertrude Elizabeth Anscombe once charged? Were the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki indeed a war crime and a crime against humanity, as she and other academic luminaries have publicly claimed? A Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and Ethics at Oxford and Cambridge, who was one of the 20th century’s most gifted philosophers and recognizably the greatest woman philosopher in history, Dr. Anscombe openly called President Truman a “war criminal” for his decision to have the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki leveled by atomic bombs in August 1945 (Rachels & Rachels 127). According to another academic critic, the late American historian Howard Zinn, at least 140,000 Japanese civilians were “turned into powder and ash” in Hiroshima. Over 70,000 civilians were incinerated in Nagasaki, and another 130,000 residents of the two cities died of radiation sickness in the next five years (Zinn 23).

The two most often cited reasons for President Truman’s controversial decision were to shorten the war and to save the lives of “between 250,000 and 500,000” American soldiers who could have possibly died in battle had the U.S. military had to invade the home islands of Imperial Japan. (read more)

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The First Casualty In War Is Truth

Censorship. Does the U.S. Military Assassinate Journalists?

As the cries of United States’ ‘exceptionalism’ are heard from the hallowed halls of Congress, one of the alleged hallmarks is freedom of the press. No nation, the breathless masses are told, protects press freedom like the United States. This belief is similar to Santa Claus: pleasant, comforting, but having no basis in truth.

The government only allows news to be reported that is favorable to the U.S.

Censorship has accompanied all its major wars, with the government actually writing articles for news outlets. Historian William Clayton Mullendore, in commenting on censorship during World War I, said: “…the idea of a ‘free’ press publishing government-authored articles is bound to raise red flags and illustrates how coordinated war propaganda was.”

Three days after the U.S. joined World War II, the Office of Censorship was established, although it was six months before the so-called ‘Office of War Information’ came into being. President Franklin D. Roosevelt stated that

“All Americans abhor censorship, just as they abhor war. But the experience of this and of all other nations has demonstrated that some degree of censorship is essential in wartime….”

There was little, if any, opposition to this by the press. “As in World War I, nearly every media outlet in the country stood squarely behind, or in fact became a partner with, the government in promoting its wartime requirements.” (read more)

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The White Woman's Burden

The Newest Demon In The Left's Sights: Woke White Women

Torch-carrying neo-Nazis in Charlottesville were the face of white supremacy in 2017.

Today it’s “Nice White Parents.”

That’s the title of a new podcast distributed by the New York Times which argues that many black and brown children are not excelling in our public schools because of “what is arguably the most powerful force in our schools: White parents."

Specifically, liberal white parents who espouse enlightened views on race but then refuse to send their children to truly integrated schools - e.g. minority-majority without separate “gifted and talented” tracks - for fear they will be shortchanging their kids. Apart from the complex educational issues at play -- including the inflammatory suggestion that minorities need to be around whites to succeed – the podcast reflects the left’s broader effort to demonize an unlikely group as it seeks to reduce every issue in American life to questions of race: liberal white women.

Trump-supporting conservatives and “patriarchal white males” are still in their crosshairs, but these women, long considered key allies in the cause, have become chief targets.

One example is the prevalence of the “Karen meme,” a social media label applied to white women allegedly exercising their “white privilege.” In some cases – such as the New York City woman who called the police on an African American birdwatcher in Central Park – it describes people who actually engage in racist actions. More often it involves far more ambiguous conflicts and micro-aggressions. But the larger message is clear: Karen resides in the heart of all white women, who have a conscious or unconscious desire to dominate minorities.

New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow wrote in May that he was “enraged by white women weaponizing racial anxiety, using their white femininity to activate systems of white terror against black men.” Last month, Washington Post Global Opinions Editor Karen Attiah tweeted, “White women are lucky that we are just calling them ‘Karen’s.' And not calling for revenge.”

Ironically, it is their sensitivity to racial issues that makes white women easy targets. Many of them are powering the “Great Awokening” – the vast sea change in attitudes in which white liberals have moved farther to the left on a range of social and racial issues than even African Americans.

Some are paying $2,500 to host Race2Dinner meals at which their racial feelings are probed and their complicity in systemic injustice exposed by diversity experts. (read more)

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“No serious sociologist any longer believes that the voice of the people expresses any divine or specially wise and lofty idea. The voice of the people expresses the mind of the people, and that mind is made up for it by the group leaders in whom it believes and by those persons who understand the manipulation of public opinion. It is composed of inherited prejudices and symbols and clichés and verbal formulas supplied to them by the leaders.”
Edward Bernays, 1928

-08-03 e
How Convenient for Randy Andy

Records Of Prince Andrew's Location On Night Of Molestation Destroyed By Police
According to a former member of the Royal guard who worked on Prince Andrew’s security detail, The London Metropolitan Police have destroyed evidence that could have revealed where Prince Andrew was on the night that he is accused of having sex with a teenager that was being trafficked by Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell.

The night in question is March 10th, 2011, as well as the morning hours of March 11. Virginia Giuffre, who was known by the name Virginia Roberts at the time, says that she was taken to London by Epstein and Maxwell and was expected to have sex with Prince Andrew.

Giuffre says that she was just 17-years-old at the time and remembers being taken to the “Tramp” nightclub in London, as well as one of Maxwell’s homes in the city.

Andrew was questioned about Giuffre’s accusations during an interview with BBC, and he made numerous mistakes and fumbles that brought his credibility into question. (read more)

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Of Course It Is Happening By Design

The Spreading Feeling "This Is Happening All By Design"

As events unfold I have witnessed a growing opinion being batted around that something sinister is happening beneath the surface. This includes the feeling we are no longer in control of our fate. More and more the idea that form follows function and the winners were picked before all this started is being injected into the mix. This theory embraces the proposition the bottom half of society is destitute and totally dependent on the government which means they have been removed from the battlefield. Now that these people are no longer a threat, corporate and government collaborators are consolidating power and control.

Is This All happening By Design?

Like many of the people watching this slow-moving train wreck, I'm beginning to lose perspective. My insight has become blocked by the increasingly irrational actions taking place. The uneasy feeling that things will get far worse is being heightened by the suggestion this is all by design, and when you don't get that 'you have no defense', it is indeed frightening. It is bolstered by the supporting argument we should not listen to what those in charge say but rather that we watch what they do. Much of the growing apprehension is rooted in the domino effects about to be unleashed upon the economy. An example is, the tenant doesn't pay the landlord and risks eviction. The landlord doesn't pay his mortgage and risks foreclosure. The bank doesn't get paid, but that's OK because taxpayers will bail them out.

With so much unresolved and hanging in the wind conspiracy theories are taking wing. While I do not endorse the theory this is all developing as planned, it is difficult to deny the situation is dire and the general population remains clueless as to the dangers ahead. Collectively this includes a Fed which is out of control and a polarized government that is dysfunctional at best. Add to this the market manipulation which has reached epic levels. This whole scheme has resulted in a massive huge transfer of wealth and the creation of social chaos. For the "greater good" we have seen rules to further restrict our freedom being instituted and more expected to be imposed in one way or another. (read more)

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Spitting As A Form Of Protest

Chicago Man Arrested For Spitting In Cop's Coffee At Dunkin' Donuts

We recently discussed the arrest of a Starbucks employee for spitting in the coffee of a police officer. Now, Vincent J. Sessler, 25, has been arrested for the same act at a Chicago Dunkin' Donuts. (read more)

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A Great Thinker

The Nonconformist

Over a lifetime of scholarship and public engagement, economist Thomas Sowell has illuminated controversial topics such as race, poverty, and culture.

Measured by his contributions to economics, political theory, and intellectual history, Thomas Sowell ranks among the towering intellects of our time. Yet, rare among such thinkers, Sowell manages never to provoke, in the reader, the feeling of being towered over. As Kevin Williamson observed, Sowell is “that rarest of things among serious academics: plainspoken.” From 1991 until 2016, his nationally syndicated column set the bar for clear writing, though the topics he covered were often complex. “Too many academics write as if plain English is beneath their dignity,” Sowell once said, “and some seem to regard logic as an unconstitutional infringement of their freedom of speech.” If academics birth needlessly complex prose, editors too often midwife it. An editor, Sowell once quipped, would probably have changed Shakespeare’s “To be or not to be, that is the question” to something awful, like “The issue is one of existence versus non-existence.”

Consider Sowell’s clear, brief explanation of the economic idea of “scarcity.” “What does ‘scarce’ mean?” he asks in his layman’s textbook, Basic Economics. “It means that what everybody wants adds up to more than there is.” Not only is pointless complexity absent from Sowell’s prose; so is the first-person perspective. The words “I” or “me” scarcely show up in his 30-odd books, but for his memoir, A Personal Odyssey.

To his critics, Sowell’s writing style is severe. But to his fan base—which includes figures as different as Steven Pinker and Kanye West—it’s a refreshing break from the self-absorbed drivel that frequently passes for cultural commentary nowadays. Pinker, a Harvard psychologist and leading public intellectual, named Sowell the most underrated writer in history. West, for his part, tweeted out a handful of Sowell quotes to millions of followers in 2018. (read more)

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“The State represents violence in a concentrated and organized form. The individual has a soul, but as the State is a soulless machine, it can never be weaned from violence to which it owes its very existence.”
Mohandas K. Gandhi

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The Governess As Murderess

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Vetoes Bill to Prevent COVID-19 Patients From Being Housed in Nursing Homes

The blood is on Whitmer’s hands.

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer vetoed a bipartisan bill on Friday that would have protected the elderly and vulnerable by banning COVID-19 patients from being quarantined in nursing homes.

“Protecting the health and safety of nursing home residents and their staff continues to be a top priority for my administration,” Governor Whitmer said while announcing her veto.

“Senate Bill 956 is nothing more than a political game that would relocate vulnerable seniors without any requirement for consent, doctor’s approval, or notification to patients and their families. It’s time for the Republican legislature to get serious about protecting our most vulnerable and addressing the public health and economic crisis faced by our state. We look forward to continuing our work with stakeholders and legislators on the task force to develop real solutions that make sense for Michigan seniors and their families,” she added. (read more)

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How To Destroy An Economy

Stockman Slams "Lockdown Lunacy" - Your Government Ordered Depression Has Arrived

Well, the Virus Patrol sure has done it. In a fit of reckless overkill they have managed to vaporize six years of economic growth during the last 90 days. And that’s just by the mechanical reckoning of the GDP accounts, where total output in Q2 weighed in at essentially the same level as Q4 2014.

The real damage is far deeper, however, and is reflected in millions of small businesses permanently destroyed, tens of millions of households wiped-out financially and the vicious daisy chain of delinquencies, deferrals and defaults just beginning to rip through the $78 trillion edifice of debt which entombs the US economy.

Of course, most of the Wall Street talking heads were nonplussed by this week’s release because, well, Q2 results are claimed to be ancient history: Reality is purportedly the “V”-shaped recovery on their spreadsheets, which really can’t fail to happen because it’s always two quarters out regardless of conditions at the moment.

So let’s get something straight. What is happening is an economic catastrophe the likes of which we have never seen before, even during the Great Depression of the 1930s.

In fact, the worst annual decline back then was a 14.8 percent drop in 1932, while the entire peak-to-trough real GDP decline between 1929 and the 1933 bottom was 30.5 percent.

So it would be fair to say that measured at an annualized rate, the idiotic Dr. Fauci and his Virus Patrol have now delivered a 32.9 percent GDP plunge, which single-handedly tops the entire contraction of the Great Depression. (read more)

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The Inquisition Mada A Mistake

College Expels Student For "Racist" Social Media Post, Then Discovers What Actually Happened

A student at Georgia’s Wesleyan College was reinstated after initially being expelled for social media posts that the school says it now realizes she did not make.

After an investigation and appeal from the student at the all-female campus, the school found that “new information” revealed that the expelled student was not involved in the posts in question.

On June 4, the student, who is remaining nameless, was expelled from the school for allegedly putting out a social media post that contained the n-word. The post was put out by an account claiming to be a student at Wesleyan. The same account also made a Halloween-related post featuring a woman in a green “Border Patrol” shirt posing as if she were arresting a man in a sombrero and serape. The photo was captioned “border?...secured. found him, met him & and just had to get a pic."

According to Wesleyan College Alumnae Board of Managers member Jan Lawrence, the board was told that the student provided information proving that a high school photo of the student had been downloaded and reposted by a third party who included the caption.

 “On the morning we learned of the information, we launched an investigation and expelled the student that afternoon, giving her the right to appeal as provided in our policies,” college president Vivia Fowler said in an Instagram post.

The student did appeal, and was reinstated after the university found that “the student did not post the racist content.” (read more)

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“The fundamental political question is why do people obey a government. The answer is that they tend to enslave themselves, to let themselves be governed by tyrants. Freedom from servitude comes not from violent action, but from the refusal to serve. Tyrants fall when the people withdraw their support.”
Etienne de La Boétie

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Shooting Themselves in the S.T.E.M. Foot

How Identity Politics Is Harming the Sciences

Universities and other institutions are watering down requirements in order to attract more women and minorities.

Identity politics has engulfed the humanities and social sciences on American campuses; now it is taking over the hard sciences. The STEM fields—science, technology, engineering, and math—are under attack for being insufficiently “diverse.” The pressure to increase the representation of females, blacks, and Hispanics comes from the federal government, university administrators, and scientific societies themselves. That pressure is changing how science is taught and how scientific qualifications are evaluated. The results will be disastrous for scientific innovation and for American competitiveness.

A scientist at UCLA reports: “All across the country the big question now in STEM is: how can we promote more women and minorities by ‘changing’ (i.e., lowering) the requirements we had previously set for graduate level study?” Mathematical problem-solving is being deemphasized in favor of more qualitative group projects; the pace of undergraduate physics education is being slowed down so that no one gets left behind.

The National Science Foundation (NSF), a federal agency that funds university research, is consumed by diversity ideology. Progress in science, it argues, requires a “diverse STEM workforce.” Programs to boost diversity in STEM pour forth from its coffers in wild abundance. The NSF jump-started the implicit-bias industry in the 1990s by underwriting the development of the implicit association test (IAT). (The IAT purports to reveal a subject’s unconscious biases by measuring the speed with which he associates minority faces with positive or negative words; see “Are We All Unconscious Racists?,” Autumn 2017.) Since then, the NSF has continued to dump millions of dollars into implicit-bias activism. In July 2017, it awarded $1 million to the University of New Hampshire and two other institutions to develop a “bias-awareness intervention tool.” Another $2 million that same month went to the Department of Aerospace Engineering at Texas A&M University to “remediate microaggressions and implicit biases” in engineering classrooms.

The tortuously named “Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science” (INCLUDES) bankrolls “fundamental research in the science of broadening participation.” There is no such “science,” just an enormous expenditure of resources that ducks the fundamental problems of basic skills and attitudes toward academic achievement. A typical INCLUDES grant from October 2017 directs $300,000 toward increasing Native American math involvement by incorporating “indigenous knowledge systems” into Navajo Nation Math Circles.

The INCLUDES initiative has already generated its own parasitic endeavor, Early-concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER). The purpose of EAGER funding is to evaluate INCLUDES grants and to pressure actual science grantees to incorporate diversity considerations into their research. The ultimate goal of such programs is to change the culture of STEM so that “inclusion and equity” are at its very core.

Somehow, NSF-backed scientists managed to rack up more than 200 Nobel Prizes before the agency realized that scientific progress depends on “diversity.” Those “un-diverse” scientists discovered the fundamental particles of matter and unlocked the genetics of viruses. Now that academic victimology has established a beachhead at the agency, however, it remains to be seen whether the pace of such breakthroughs will continue. The NSF is conducting a half-million-dollar study of “intersectionality” in the STEM fields. “Intersectionality” refers to the increased oppression allegedly experienced by individuals who can check off several categories of victimhood—being female, black, and trans, say. The NSF study’s theory is that such intersectionality lies behind the lack of diversity in STEM. Two sociologists are polling more than 10,000 scientists and engineers in nine professional organizations about the “social and cultural variables” that produce “disadvantage and marginalization” in STEM workplaces.

One of the study’s directors is a University of Michigan sociologist specializing in gender and sexuality. Erin Cech has received multiple NSF grants; her latest publication is “Rugged Meritocrats: The Role of Overt Bias and the Meritocratic Ideology in Trump Supporters’ Opposition to Social Justice Efforts.” The other lead researcher, Tom Waidzunas, is a sociologist at Temple University; he studies the “dynamics of gender and sexuality” within STEM, as well as how “scientists come to know, and hence constitute, sexuality and sexual desire.” Such politically constituted social-justice research was not likely envisioned by Congress in 1950 when it created the NSF to “promote the progress of science.”

The National Institutes of Health are another diversity-obsessed federal science funder. Medical schools receive NIH training grants to support postdoctoral education for physicians pursuing a research career in such fields as oncology and cardiology. The NIH threatens to yank any training grant when it comes up for renewal if it has not supported a sufficient number of “underrepresented minorities” (URMs). One problem: there are often no black or Hispanic M.D.s to evaluate for inclusion in the training grant. If there is a potential URM candidate, the principal investigators will pore over his file in the hope of convincing themselves that he is adequately qualified. Meantime, the patently qualified Indian doctor goes to the bottom of the résumé pile. For now, medical schools can claim Argentinians and the sons of Ghanaian plantation owners as URMs, but if NIH bean-counters become more scrupulous in their “diversity metrics,” this aspect of biomedical research will reach an impasse.

The diversity mania also determines the way medical research is carried out. The NIH has onerous requirements that government-sponsored clinical trials include the same proportion of female and minority patients as is found in the medical school’s “catchment area” (its geographic zone of study). If some of these populations drop out of medical trials at disproportionate rates or are difficult to recruit, too bad. If these URM and female-enrollment quotas are not met, the medical school must “invest the appropriate effort to correct under-accrual,” in the words of the NIH guidelines.

That “appropriate effort” can cost a fortune. Schools such as the Mayo Clinic, located in overwhelmingly white areas, must still meet a diversity quota. Lung cancer and coronary-artery disease afflict adults. If a particular immigrant group in a research trial’s catchment area contains a disproportionate share of young people compared with the aging white population, that immigrant group will be less susceptible to those adult diseases. Nevertheless, cancer and heart-disease drug researchers must recruit from that community in numbers proportionate to its share of the overall population.

Accrediting bodies reinforce the diversity compulsion. The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education requires that medical schools maintain detailed diversity metrics on their efforts to interview and hire URM faculty. Medical school search committees go through lengthy implicit-bias training sessions and expend enormous amounts of effort looking for something that they often know a priori doesn’t exist: qualified URM faculty candidates. The very definition of diversity used by academic review panels is becoming ever more exacting. A 2015 panel assessing the academic strength of San Diego State University’s biology department complained that the faculty, though relatively representative of traditional “underserved groups,” nevertheless failed to mirror the “diversity of peoples in Southern California.” The use of a school’s immediate surroundings as a demographic benchmark for its faculty is a significant escalation of the war between the diversocrats and academic standards. Naturally, the accrediting panel made no effort to ascertain whether those Southern California peoples—including Hmong, Salvadorans, and Somalis—are netting Ph.D.s in biology in numbers proportional to their Southern California population.

Many private foundations fund only gender- and race-exclusive science training; others that do fund basic research, such as the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, nevertheless divert huge sums to diversity.

The major scientific societies push the idea that implicit bias is impeding the careers of otherwise competitive scientists. In February 2018, Erin Cech presented preliminary findings from the NSF intersectionality study at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting; naturally, those results showed “systemic anti-LGBTQ bias within STEM industry and academia.” Another AAAS session addressed how the “hierarchical nature” of science exacerbates gender bias and stereotypes, and called for the “equal representation of women” across STEM.

STEM departments are creating their own internal diversity enforcers. The engineering school at UCLA minted its first associate dean of diversity and inclusion in 2017, despite already being subject to enormous pressures from UCLA’s fantastically remunerated Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and other bureaucrats. “One of my jobs,” the new engineering diversocrat, Scott Brandenberg, told UCLA’s student newspaper, is “to avoid implicit bias in the hiring process.”

The science diversity charade wastes extraordinary amounts of time and money that could be going into basic research and its real-world application. If that were its only consequence, the cost would be high enough. But identity politics is now altering the standards for scientific competence and the way future scientists are trained.

“Diversity” is now an explicit job qualification in the STEM fields. A current job listing for a lecturer in biology at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst announces that because diversity is “critical to the university’s goals of achieving excellence in all areas,” the biology department “holistically” assesses applicants and “favorably considers experiences overcoming barriers”—experiences assumed to be universal among URMs. The University of California at San Diego physics department advertised an assistant-professor position several years ago with a “specific emphasis on contributions to diversity,” such as a candidate’s “awareness of inequities faced by underrepresented groups.” Social-justice concerns apparently trump the quest to solve the mystery of dark energy. All five candidates on UC San Diego’s short list were females, leading one male candidate with a specialty in extragalactic physics to wonder why the school had even solicited applications from Asian and white men.

Entry requirements for graduate education are being revised. The American Astronomical Society has recommended that Ph.D. programs in astronomy eliminate the requirement that applicants take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) in physics, since it has a disparate impact on females and URMs and allegedly does not predict future research output. Harvard and other departments have complied, even though an objective test like the GRE can spotlight talent from less prestigious schools. The NSF’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program has dropped all science GREs for applicants in all fields.

Expectations are changing at the undergraduate level, as well. Oxford University extended the time on its undergraduate math and computer science exams last year, hoping to increase the number of female high-scorers; results were modest. Expect test-time extensions nevertheless to spread to the U.S.

Medical school administrators urge admissions committees to overlook the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) scores of black and Hispanic student applicants and employ “holistic review” in order to engineer a diverse class. The result is a vast gap in entering qualifications. From 2013 to 2016, medical schools nationally admitted 57 percent of black applicants with a low MCAT of 24 to 26, but only 8 percent of whites and 6 percent of Asians with those same low scores, according to Claremont McKenna professor Frederick Lynch. Individual schools have larger score disparities. This achievement gap does not close over the course of medical school, but the URM students who do complete their medical training will be fanatically sought after anyway. Adding to medical schools’ diversity woes is the fact that the number of male URM student applicants has been declining in recent years, making it even harder to find qualified candidates.

Racial preferences in med school programs are sometimes justified on the basis that minorities want doctors who “look like them.” Arguably, however, minority patients with serious illnesses want the same thing as anyone else: subject mastery.

The push for gender proportionality in medical education and research is not quite as quixotic as the crusade for URM proportionality, but it, too, distorts decision making. Two-thirds of the applicants for oncology fellowships at a prestigious medical school are male. Half of the oncology department’s fellowship picks are female, however, even though females do not cluster at the top of the applicant pool.

A network of so-called teaching and learning centers at universities across the country is seeking to make science classrooms more “inclusive” by changing pedagogy and expectations for student learning. The STEM faculty is too white, male, and heteronormative, according to these centers, making it hard for females, blacks, Hispanics, and the LGBTQ population to learn. Lecturing and objective exams should be de- emphasized in favor of “culturally sensitive pedagogies that play close attention to students’ social identities,” in the words of the Association of American Colleges and Universities. STEM teaching should be more “open- than closed-ended,” more “reflective than prescriptive,” according to the association. At the University of Michigan, the Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) program collaborates with the Center for Learning and Teaching to develop “deliberately inclusive and equitable approaches to syllabus design, writing assignments, grading, and discussion.” Yale has created a special undergraduate laboratory course, with funding from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, that aims to enhance URM students’ “feelings of identifying as a scientist.” It does so by being “non-prescriptive” in what students research; they develop their own research questions. But “feelings” are only going to get you so far without mastery of the building blocks of scientific knowledge.

Mastering those building blocks involves the memorization of facts, among other skills. Assessing student knowledge of those facts can produce disparate results. The solution is to change the test or, ideally, eliminate it. A medical school supervisor recently advised a professor to write an exam that was less “fact-based” than the one he had proposed, even though knowledge of pathophysiology and the working of drugs, say, entails knowing facts.

Grading on a curve is another vilified practice for those interested in building “inclusive” STEM classrooms. The only surprising aspect of that vilification is that it acknowledges one of the most self-defeating aspects of black and Hispanic culture: the stigma against “acting white.” URMs may “reject competitiveness as an academic motivator,” explains a 2015 UCLA report on the undergraduate academic-achievement gap. Instead, URMs “draw strength in peer acceptance, nurturance, and cooperation.” Translation: instead of pulling all-nighters studying for a linear algebra exam, they may be inclined to hang out in the Afro-Am or LatinX center. This rejection of academic competitiveness is a “coping mechanism,” says the UCLA inclusiveness report, that allows individuals to “devalue” things that threaten their sense of well-being, such as high academic expectations. A grading curve contributes to academic competition by objectively ranking students. As a result, URMs will be further alienated and further withhold their academic efforts. The solution, according to diversity proponents, is to throw out the curve and grade students on whether they have achieved the expected learning outcomes. This sounds unobjectionable; but in practice, a curve is the only reliable defense against raging grade inflation.

An introductory chemistry course at UC Berkeley exemplifies “culturally sensitive pedagogy.” Its creators described the course in a January 2018 webinar for STEM teachers, sponsored by the University of California’s STEM Faculty Learning Community. A primary goal of the course, according to teachers Erin Palmer and Sabriya Rosemund, is to disrupt the “racialized and gendered construct of scientific brilliance,” which defines “good science” as getting all the right answers. The course maintains instead that “all students are scientifically brilliant.” Science is a practice of collective sense-making that calls forth “inclusive ways” of being brilliant. Students in this “inclusive” Chem 1A course work in groups arranging data cards in the proper sequence to represent chemical processes, among other tasks. Chemical terms of art are avoided wherever possible to accommodate students’ different academic backgrounds. The instructors hold the teams “accountable to group thinking”; a team can’t question an instructor unless it has arrived collectively at the question and poses it in “we” language.

Progressive pedagogy has long embraced the idea that students should work exclusively in groups as a way to model collectivist democracy. This political agenda is simply a pretext for masking individual differences in achievement that might reinforce group stereotypes. Here, the rationale for group organization is that students are modeling “collective chemical practice.” The group design “makes space for students to recognize themselves as competent thinkers and doers of chemistry.” Are they competent thinkers and doers of chemistry? It’s hard to say. The course’s grading is idiosyncratic, and thus not comparable with other intro-chemistry courses. The final grade is based on homework (notoriously easy to crib), a final exam (which the teachers wish they could ditch), and an informal presentation to friends or family about the chemistry of compounds. Use of slang or a language other than English in this presentation is encouraged. One such effort featured a photo of the character Joey from the TV sitcom Friends dressed in several layers of unmatched clothes to suggest the relationship between positive and negative charges. The teachers have done no follow-up evaluation to see how students performed in their subsequent courses, nor have they determined whether the attrition rate of URMs is lower than in traditional chemistry classes. What they do know is that students showed a positive shift in believing that they were good at science. Scientific self-esteem is now an academic goal.

STEM industry leaders are fully on board the diversity juggernaut, having absorbed academic identity politics. The giant Silicon Valley companies offer gender- and race-exclusive mentoring programs and give special consideration to females and URMs in hiring and promotions. Managers go through the same costly implicit-bias training as faculty committees. In August 2017, Google fired computer engineer James Damore for questioning the premises of Google’s diversity training and policies. The discrimination lawsuit he subsequently filed against the Silicon Valley giant reveals a workplace culture infused with academic victimology. Employees denounce the advocacy of gender- and race-blind policies as a “microaggression” and the product of “racism” and “misogyny.” Managers apologize for promoting males, even when females are being promoted at a higher rate. All-male research teams are mocked; employees self-righteously offer to protect Google’s oppressed females and URMs from “blinkered, pig-ignorant” conservative opinion. A manager reprimands someone for pointing out that white males are actually underrepresented at Google compared with the general population. The manager informs the errant employee that caring about facts may seem to be a trait of engineers, but “being absolutely correct is inappropriate” when it comes to “discussions of race and justice.” Facts are especially inappropriate “in the context of the threat” faced by minorities and females at Google. Needless to say, no female or underrepresented minority faces a threat at Google. (read more)

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The Pervasive and Pernicious Thought Police

The New Puritans

Today’s cultural scolds demand that artists pass ideological and behavioral purity tests.

In October 2019, the Swedish Academy announced that it was awarding a Nobel Prize in Literature to Austrian novelist and playwright Peter Handke, a controversial figure owing to his apparent sympathy, expressed more than a decade earlier, for the late Serbian dictator Slobodan Milošević. The response from right-thinking members of the literary establishment was immediate opprobrium. In a statement by its president, Jennifer Egan, PEN America declared that it was “dumbfounded” by the news and “deeply regret[ted]” the Nobel committee’s choice. “We reject the decision that a writer who has persistently called into question thoroughly documented war crimes deserves to be celebrated for his ‘linguistic ingenuity,’ ” Egan said. “At a moment of rising nationalism, autocratic leadership, and widespread disinformation around the world, the literary community deserves better than this.”

The statement was noteworthy for its open disavowal of the primacy of art. The scare quotes around “linguistic ingenuity,” part of the Nobel citation for Handke, whom John Updike once called the finest writer in the German language, seem to cast doubt on the very concept, while the underlying presumption is that the artist’s moral turpitude necessarily inheres in his work. By celebrating Handke’s novels and plays, then, the Swedish Academy was giving succor to autocrats. Allied to this belief is Egan’s assertion that the literary world “deserves better”—meaning, one assumes, a Nobel laureate firmly planted on the right side of history. And if this overlooked paragon also possessed a fashionably marginal identity, so much the better. (Predictably, some critics complained that both the 2019 Nobel laureates in literature—the other being Poland’s Olga Tokarczuk—were white Europeans.)

Here we see the outlines of the new moralism that now obscures cultural creation in America, like a great Borgesian map settling oppressively over the territory it purports to describe. Its twin notions—that art and entertainment, as well as those who produce it, should be subject to ideological and behavioral purity tests; and that those cultural products and creators found wanting, deemed “problematic,” should be cast aside in favor of more edifying material—are in the ascendant, if not already dominant. The new illiberal moralism holds that preference should be given on class syllabuses, in review pages, and on short lists for major prizes to artists with whose politics the cultural arbiters agree and whose identities they can safely celebrate. The highest use of the arts, in this view, is to enshrine a vision of the world not as it is but as it should be, particularly in matters of racial and gender diversity and other cherished progressive causes. Books and films by problematic artists—and to be straight, white, and male is to be problematic thrice over—are at best unhelpful, at worst corrupting. As one writer told me, if you cut out the middle of Egan’s statement, it lays bare the problem with literature today: “We reject the decision that a writer . . . be celebrated for his linguistic ingenuity.” (read more)

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Totalitarian Tool Complains That Purveyors of Facts Prevent Us From Believing Their Fake News Narrative

Beware of Facts Man

Facts Man is less about truth than raising questions. Why can’t Facts Man talk about certain issues in exactly the way he wants to?

Pull down your mask, liberate your consciousness: It’s time to meet Facts Man.

Or examine him, really. You have met Facts Man before if you have spent any time online in the past half decade or so. He’s inescapable. He podcasts. He makes YouTube videos. He traffics in Medium posts. He burns up Facebook. And he loves—loves!—Twitter.

What does he serve up there? Truth. Facts. The overlooked and the undercovered. The unvarnished and obvious conclusions that the media do not want you to believe. The conclusions that the social-justice warriors and sheeple professors will not let you reach. The conclusions that mere mortals, including lauded subject-matter experts and the people who have actual lived experience of the topic at hand, have not yet grasped.

He—and he is almost always a he—is a venture capitalist who has analyzed the hospitalizations data! He is a growth hacker with a piercing view of race and measures of intelligence! He is an industry analyst with insight into viral spread! He is a lawyer exploding nuances of gender and sex!

The Facts Man gives it to you straight. With his college degree, with his top-quality résumé, with his insider knowledge, with his background in euclidean something-or-other—sharpened by debating with the smartest people, who never went to school—here is what he has found. These are the data. These are more data. This. Is. It. Here’s the inevitable conclusion. It’s the only conclusion possible!

If Facts Man is Political Facts Man, he’d rather not discuss his actual politics. Do not believe that his politics are precisely what they look like; just believe that his conclusions are what he says they are. Perhaps Facts Man is part of the intellectual dark web or the alt-center. Perhaps Facts Man hates the intellectual dark web or the alt-center. Perhaps Facts Man is clearly on the alt-right but also a fierce critic of the alt-right. He is not to be placed on the policy spectrum!

Facts Man’s politics are, in fact, non-politics. Facts Man hates politics, though not exclamation points! Facts Man hates the party system. Facts Man hates politicians. Facts Man hates political thinkers. That’s not a political statement! Facts Man cares about truth and truth only.

If Facts Man is Science Facts Man, he is adjacent to science, so he understands science better than scientists. He has credentials that let him look at the data and see them, instead of looking at the data and just looking at them. Or looking at them and interpreting them however your field interprets them. Or looking at them and waiting for them to be interpreted in the press. Science Facts Man operates without the encumbrances of peer review or any sense of the complexities endemic to many scientific fields. That is what he brings to the debate!

Facts Man is about truth, and by “truth,” Facts Man means the discourse. He parachutes in to rectify the discourse. He invites conversations. He ends conversations. He is not about contrarianism, but correctness. He is obsessed with the media, which he is not part of, though perhaps he is a major media figure himself. There’s no contradiction there.

Facts Man is about truth, and by “truth,” Facts Man means conclusions. He is drawn inexorably to them, moth to flame, magnet to steel. Facts Man hates complexity and uncertainty. He hates the messy, hazy process of updating our understanding as data come in and things change. How is that science? How is that something the media are allowed to do? Facts Man is about clear-cutting his way to the truth. Facts Man is about disrupting his way to the truth. Facts Man is about arriving out of nowhere with the truth in hand.

Sometimes, Facts Man is less about truth than raising questions. Why can’t Facts Man talk about certain issues in exactly the way he wants to? Why can’t Facts Man bring up scientific facts relevant to other people’s humanity without getting called out for it? Why can’t Facts Man make obscenely offensive conjectures about life-or-death issues? Where’s the open debate? Why does Facts Man have to genuflect to other peoples’ identity politics? Facts Man himself has no identity politics! He is an individual, as unique as a snowflake, but certainly not as fragile as one.

Facts Man is about the medium, meaning social media. Facts Man reaches everyone. Facts Man goes viral. Facts Man blasts out to every clear thinker out there, meaning he creates a political tribe of clear thinkers who think just like him! Clear thinkers who don’t care about feelings. The only feeling he has is righteous indignation.

You get the sense that Facts Man was the captain of his debate team. You get the sense that Facts Man went to law school because it teaches you how to think. Facts Man recently lost 15 pounds on the keto diet. Facts Man hates Disney moms. Facts Man claps on the one and the three.

Facts Man is a Man, if not a man. (He thinks this story is sexist.) Facts Man is a mechanism of discourse. Facts Men, they are everywhere. Facts, man. They’re out there.

2020-08-01 a

“If you can influence the leaders, either with or without their conscious cooperation, you automatically influence the group which they sway. But men do not need to be actually gathered together in a public meeting or in a street riot, to be subject to the influences of mass psychology. Because man is by nature gregarious he feels himself to be member of a herd, even when he is alone in his room with the curtains drawn. His mind retains the patterns which have been stamped on it by the group influences.”
Edward Bernays, 1928


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