Tuesday, November 30, 2021

End of November Links

  • I’ve been to several auctions at stately antebellum homes this year. In almost every case an old widow has passed on and her adult children sell off her belongings for pennies on the dollar. Old heirlooms, family portraits, war medals, flags, and uniforms- all spanning back to the Civil War or even the Revolution- the story of a family- a birthright, even… all sold off to complete strangers for a quick buck. It’s like helplessly watching the felling of an ancient oak, knowing the once-magnificent tree will be used to make a cheap veneer. No matter how much these strangers care for their loot, it will never tell their story the way it told this family’s. The memory is lost. As the Southern poet Donald Davidson said, memory tells us "who we are, where we are, where we belong, what we live by, what we live for.” Memory is a mighty chain that binds a people together. [Lafayette Lee]
  • So let’s talk about prohibitionist Members of Congress who are also tobacco investors. First up, Rep. Ro Khanna. He’s a multi-millionaire, one of the richest in Congress, and he wants to strip away our right to switch from cigarettes to vaping. But all that time, he has been systematically investing in major tobacco companies including Altria Group and Philip Morris. How do you think he got so rich! Here’s eight (8!) major investments he made just this year. Khanna publicly promised not to invest in oil & gas or defense contractors because it offends his conscience. But with tobacco companies? Make it rain! Next up is ultra-vocal vape hater Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ). He too loves to parade his opposition to vaping as a smoking cessation method and his friends at CTFK arrange media events for him at schools so he can pose as a public health champion. But back at the office on Capitol Hill, he and his stock broker are making big investments in tobacco companies like Altria Group. Here’s his most recent purchase. Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN) is well aware and he eagerly supported the gargantuan vaping tax measure, which stripped out any tax increase on cigarettes. Phillips is an investor in Philip Morris International and his family foundation invests millions in leading tobacco companies. [American Vapor Manufacturers]
  • The R1T asks you to do precisely none of that. You never wonder whether to downshift for power or stay in a higher gear for gentler throttle response. You never need a running start to conquer a steep climb. You can thread a hairpin turn without fighting locked-diff axle hop. The instant torque and split-second reactiveness mean you’ll never get caught uselessly spinning a wheel that’s dangling in the air. The calibration is spot-on; off-road mode gives you gentle response from a long accelerator pedal, perfect for minute adjustments as you power over obstacles. Through frame-twisting transitions, over loose rocks, and up steep, white-knuckle climbs, nudging the R1T along was blissfully easy. And silent: The only sounds during our climbs and descents were the crunch of rock under tire and ambient tones of undisturbed nature. It’s hard to overstate how revolutionary this feels. This is what off-roading should have always been—it’s just that, until now, we’ve had to compensate for internal combustion’s shortfalls on every trail ride. [Road and Track]
  • If you're asking, "What's there to do in Northwest Arkansas?" you should know the region is being transformed by the wealth of the Waltons, Walmart’s founding family. The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art opened a decade ago, funded by over $1 billion from Walmart heiress Alice Walton, and has become one of the country’s top museums. It's where the copy of the U.S. Constitution won at auction by Citadel founder Kenneth Griffin will be lent for public viewing. [Conor Sen]
  • One population study and seven clinical studies were identified, which reported D3 blood levels preinfection or on the day of hospital admission. The two independent datasets showed a negative Pearson correlation of D3 levels and mortality risk. For the combined data, median D3 levels were 23.2 ng/mL, and a significant Pearson correlation was observed. Regression suggested a theoretical point of zero mortality at approximately 50 ng/mL D3. The datasets provide strong evidence that low D3 is a predictor rather than just a side effect of the infection. Despite ongoing vaccinations, we recommend raising serum 25(OH)D levels to above 50 ng/mL to prevent or mitigate new outbreaks due to escape mutations or decreasing antibody activity. [NLM]
  • Omarova was on the elite track to Soviet leadership, with the rough Soviet equivalent to a Rhodes Scholarship and a degree from Harvard, and was granted a prestigious study-abroad fellowship to the United States in the expectation that she would use that education in the service of not just the Soviet Union as a national concern, but the broader institutional Communist economic project. She is not a high-powered tractor mechanic, she spent her formative years internalizing and developing Soviet political-economic theory. The idea that this was a ruse, and she was merely playing a sociopathic long game where she told everyone what they wanted to hear with her own goals in mind, is not a point in her favor! In no sense did she “flee communism”, she had every intention of pursuing her track to the Soviet elite until the USSR disintegrated and left her a stranded citizen of a sudden backwater, at which point she grafted onto the remaining superpower to climb the identical ladder. [Hank Oslo]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Many French solutions to the problems of immigration and Islam appear doomed to fail. A case in point is the belief that laïcité—the system of secularism imposed at the turn of the last century to topple the Catholic Church from its position of cultural and educational dominance—might work to tame Islam as well. To show that education is free, champions of laïcité defend civics classes for small children that subject the prophet Mohammed to robust democratic debate. To show that women are free, they build public swimming facilities, like the refurbished Butte aux Cailles pool in the 13th arrondissement, with mixed-sex showers.

They are barking up the wrong tree. The problem with Islam is not that it dominates the country’s official institutions but that the population of its adherents is growing by leaps and bounds. Last summer, Causeur magazine released a set of maps that the government consulting group France Stratégie had been using. They showed a growth of immigrant populations in all French cities that was almost incredible. In vast stretches of Seine-St-Denis, burial place of France’s kings and queens, 70-80% of the children under 18 are born of immigrants from outside of Europe. (“There are 135 different nationalities in Seine-St-Denis,” the Socialist interior minister Jean-Pierre Chevènement once remarked with black humor, “but one of them has pretty much died out.”)