Daily Pics, My Comic, and The Times
the Daily
the Comic
the Blog
Life hack...

You can turn your ordinary sofa into a sofa bed simply by forgetting your wife’s birthday.


Granddad didn't mind if people came 'round while he was working.

Lovely man, shit anesthesiologist.


I was sitting in a Chinese restaurant last night and it suddenly went dark. The waiter came over and said: "You all need to start clapping!"

"What a weirdo," I thought.

Anyway we all started to clap and the lights came on!

I said: "How did that happen?"

He replied: "Old Chinese proverb, many hands make light work."



Another new survey says that retirement may actually be bad for the brain. With every passing day, I'm getting more and more ready to take that risk.

Lil Nas X, who once worked at a Taco Bell in the Atlanta area, is now the fast-food chain's, "Chief Impact Officer." You know, when I think of the impact of eating at Taco Bell - he can have the job!

Another new study out on coffee-this one saying that our morning brew could actually help reduce your risk of death from a stroke or heart disease. OK, can we just stop the research there? I'm good.

Deep down inside, where I heard that Abba was planning a comeback, my first thought was, "Oh please, oh please, oh please... tour with Elvis Costello.

Britney Spears' dad says he's getting ready to step down as her legal guardian. Which, to me, must mean that she's just about out of money.

The first "Murder Hornet" of 2021 has been spotted in Washington State. OK, OK, "Alleged Murder Hornet."

It was found attacking a wasp nest which, to me, means they're not all bad.

The state Agriculture Department is offering to show you how to make your own Murder Hornet Trap. I would suggest, if you're considering a new hobby, to stick with something like knitting or coin collecting.

Singer Tony Bennett says he's going to stop touring now that he's 95 years old. Quitter.

A Honus Wagner baseball card from the early 1900s sold at auction this week for $6.6 million. Time once again to bring up that "throwing out the card collection" to mom again.


Apparently to start a zoo you need at least two pandas, a grizzly, and three polars.

It's the bear minimum.

Quote of the Times;
He whose life has a why can bear almost any how. - Nietzsche

Link of the Times;

Issue of the Times;
The Insect Apocalypse That Never Was by Jon Entine

For the past four years, journalists and environmental bloggers have been churning out alarming stories that insects are vanishing, in the United States and globally. Limited available evidence lends credence to reasonable concerns, not least because insects are crucial components of many ecosystems. But the issue has often been framed in catastrophic terms, with predictions of a near-inevitable and imminent ecological collapse that would break ecosystems, destroy harvests, and trigger widespread starvation. Most of the proposed solutions would require a dramatic retooling of many aspects of modern life, from urbanization to agriculture.

Considering the disruptive economic and social trade-offs being demanded by some of those promoting the crisis hypothesis, it’s prudent to separate genuine threats from agenda-driven hyperbole. Are insect declines really threatening to precipitate a catastrophic ecological crisis? And, given the available data, what should a responsible society be doing?

Roots of the crisis narrative

The recent hyper-focus on insects can be traced back to a 2017 study conducted by an obscure German entomological society, which claimed that flying insects in German nature reserves had decreased by 76 percent over just 26 years. The study, co-authored by 12 scientists, lit a fire in advocacy circles and became the sixth-most-discussed scientific paper of that year. It remains popular today.

Headlines swept the world predicting imminent “ecological Armageddon,” a chilling turn of phrase provided by Dave Goulson, a professor at the University of Sussex and one of the paper’s co-authors. Goulson was a relatively unknown English biology professor at the time, but rapidly became the public face of the crisis narrative. Although these claims were received with immediate and widespread skepticism in the entomology community, journalists seized on the “end of world” narrative and energetically amplified it. “The Insect Apocalypse Is Here,” announced the New York Times Magazine in November 2018.

The lengthy feature, written by Brooke Jarvis, was filled with speculation about the imminent “complete” disappearance of insects, and freely employed language such as “chaos,” “collapse,” “ecological dark age,” and “Armageddon.” Compounding this looming catastrophe, our most despised pests—from cockroaches to house flies—would largely be spared, booming out of control as beneficial insects vanished.

Jarvis’s conclusion? The world is facing a loss of biodiversity, what she called the “sixth extinction.” And it will get worse; the insect declines are the canary in the ecological mine. Goulson was the essay’s featured scientist and Jarvis poignantly described him choking up as he shared his devastating prognosis: “‘If we lose insects, life on earth will…’ He trailed off, pausing for what felt like a long time.”

The tsunami of crisis articles certainly served as a wake-up call. But to what? A number of studies suggest that insect populations are declining in some areas of the world (but not in others) or that certain kinds of insects (taxa) may be in decline in those regions (even as others are increasing). But Armageddon? Such catastrophic framing and the policy implications that follow are significant.

Perhaps the inflammatory rhetoric, which continues today, is justified. But what if it isn’t? Entomologists and insect ecologists all over the world do need more support and funding to fully evaluate concerns. But many scientists believe that what should be an evidence-driven evaluation has become an ideological litmus test for the environmental media and advocacy-focused scientists.

What are the facts?

The Times essay might read like a clear and convincing polemic, but it fell flat with the science community, which spent much of the next four years trying to calm the consequent hysteria. Manu Saunders is a prominent entomologist, and recipient of the Office of Environment & Heritage/Ecological Society of Australia Award for Outstanding Science Outreach. In 2019, she and her colleagues Jasmine Janes and James O’Hanlon outlined the science-based perspective in a paper for BioScience, where they examined the headline-grabbing apocalypse studies that had appeared to date. They summarized their conclusions in a post for Ecology Is Not a Dirty Word, a highly respected blog that Saunders oversees:

[F]ocusing on a hyped global apocalypse narrative distracts us from the more important insect conservation issues that we can tackle right now. Promoting this narrative as fact also sends the wrong message about how science works, and could have huge impacts on public understanding of science. … And, frankly, it’s just depressing.

Of one of the major studies used to promote the apocalypse narrative (Sánchez-Bayo), Saunders noted an appallingly selective and apparently willful misrepresentation and manipulation of the data:

From a scientific perspective, there is so much wrong with the paper, it really shouldn’t have been published in its current form: the biased search method, the cherry-picked studies, the absence of any real quantitative data to back up the bizarre 40 percent extinction rate that appears in the abstract (we don’t even have population data for 40 percent of the world’s insect species), and the errors in the reference list. And it was presented as a “comprehensive review” and a “meta-analysis,” even though it is neither.

Reflecting broad concerns among ecologists, Saunders also worried about the failure of prominent news organizations like the New York Times to treat alarmist claims with proper skepticism, and argued that ideological group-think had captured the media on this issue:

Most journalists I spoke to have been great, and really understand the importance of getting the facts straight. But a few seemed confused when they realized I wasn’t agreeing with the apocalyptic narrative—”other scientists are confirming this, so why aren’t you?”

Roots of the crisis narrative

The global insect crisis narrative was originally focused on alarming reports of a surge in honeybee mortality that began to appear in 2006. The die-offs, concentrated mostly along the west coast of the US, were dubbed Colony Collapse Disorder. CCD is an enigmatic condition that causes bees to vanish without a clear explanation. At the time, many environmental activists declared that this was an early sign of a bee-apocalypse, for which they blamed insecticides—a conclusion widely circulated by the media.

Then as now, the mainstream entomology community (and even a special task force established by President Obama’s Department of Agriculture) tried to push back against the crisis narrative. Incidents similar to CCD (previously known as “disappearing disease”) had occurred in the 1800s and 1900s, long before synthetic pesticides were invented, and this iteration of CCD had largely ended by the early 2010s. Nevertheless, the media crisis persisted for years, cresting in a 2013 Time cover story, which proclaimed: “A World Without Bees: The Price We’ll Pay If We Don’t Figure Out What’s Killing the Honeybee.” By then, the crisis had already passed; honeybee populations had begun to stabilize, and by 2015, they hit a 20-year high in the US. This trend held globally: honeybee populations have increased 30 percent worldwide since 2000.

By 2018, almost every major news organization—from the Washington Post (“Believe It or Not, the Bees Are Doing Just Fine”) to Slate (“The Bees Are Alright”) and including many environmental publications such as Grist (“Why the Bee Crisis Isn’t as Bad as You Think”)—was sheepishly acknowledging that there never was an imminent worldwide honeybee catastrophe. The New York Times was one of the few news outlets that conspicuously failed to reconsider its crisis narrative.

How healthy are honeybees? As the Genetic Literacy Project has previously reported, dire predictions of an impending extinction rest on studies that suffer from flawed methodologies and are based on fragmentary and mostly regional data. While honeybees face health challenges, that’s in part because they are “pack animals” trucked around from one region to another to pollinate crops. Their ongoing health problems are primarily linked to the spread of disease-carrying Varroa mites.

The health of wild bees, meanwhile, is notoriously hard to evaluate. But the most comprehensive recent study, released in May, found few of 250 bumblebee species from around the world were in peril, challenging the apocalypse narrative. “If you look at all the species, on average, there is no decline,” concludes ecologist Laura Melissa Guzman at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia.

Even the hardline Sierra Club was forced (briefly) to perform an about-face on its bee extinction hyperbole. In 2016 (well after other news organizations had revised their crisis narrative), the group’s “save the bees” fundraising campaign mailer was still dominated by media-hyped hysteria:

Bees had a devastating year. 44 percent of colonies killed … and Bayer and Syngenta are still flooding your land with bee-killing toxic “neonic” pesticides—now among the most widely used crop sprays in the country.

Challenged by the GLP as mainstream environmentalists turned against the bee apocalypse narrative, Sierra Club, with no mea culpa or even an explanation, suddenly reversed itself in 2018, posting a very different message on its blog:

Honeybees are at no risk of dying off. While diseases, parasites and other threats are certainly real problems for beekeepers, the total number of managed honeybees worldwide has risen 45 percent over the last half century.

Even as “beepocalypse” fear-mongering faded in the science community, many environmental groups, often citing Goulson (an ardent early promoter of the false honeybee-catastrophe narrative), gish-galloped claims that wild bees, then birds, and now all of the insect world face extinction. Within months of the Sierra Club’s reversal on honeybees, the once-venerable environmental group was touting Goulson’s broader insect Armageddon claims in its fundraising literature, again accusing “pesticides” of being the culprit.

Those exaggerations have been challenged repeatedly by high-quality papers and real-world evidence. But while claims of pending “-pocalypses” have occasionally been walked back by the media, rarely is it with the same gusto that they headlined each successive “Armageddon.”

Are pesticides the problem?

In August, Dave Goulson will be featured in a documentary that he wrote and narrated entitled Insect-O-Cide. As described by the London Post: “The central theme of the film is that human beings are on the verge of extinction due to the rapid decline in the insect populations.” The film will be released the month before the publication of Goulson’s latest book, Silent Earth: Averting the Insect Apocalypse. “The main cause of this decrease in insect populations,” he claims, “is the indiscriminate use of chemical pesticides.”

Dave Goulson has a controversial reputation in the science community. As the GLP has previously reported, he is an admitted scientist-for-hire, who has produced research with a promised, predetermined conclusion for activist organizations. His views—which date back a decade now and are apparently impervious to new evidence—have not changed; he vehemently attacks the use of advanced technology in farming, including genetic engineering and targeted synthetic chemicals, and has specifically targeted the class of pesticides known as neonicotinoids while ignoring the ecological impact of organic pesticides. As he told the Guardian when his controversial 2017 study was published, “[The insect deaths could be caused by] exposure to chemical pesticides,” even though the study sampled populations from nature reserves and its purpose wasn’t to detect causes of declines.

The Goulson et al. conclusion was prominently amplified in 2019 by a meta-analysis of insect population trends around the world co-authored by Francisco Sánchez-Bayo (I’ve previously discussed the study in depth here). In an interview with the Guardian, Sánchez-Bayo went so far as to claim that insects will have disappeared from Earth within a century:

The 2.5 percent rate of annual loss over the last 25–30 years is “shocking,” Sánchez-Bayo told the Guardian: “It is very rapid. In 10 years you will have a quarter less, in 50 years only half left and in 100 years you will have none.” One of the biggest impacts of insect loss is on the many birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish that eat insects. “If this food source is taken away, all these animals starve to death.”

That’s a frightening scenario, which Sánchez-Bayo argued was caused by “industrial-scale, intensive agriculture.” But that conclusion was not supported by the evidence in his paper and was criticized by the entomology community. While some of the studies included in the meta-analysis were related to agriculture, and some speculated that pesticides were responsible for declines, that was his personal opinion, offered without data, yet cited by many reporters as the study’s main take-away.

As Manu Saunders noted in American Scientist, the Sánchez-Bayo study was beset by numerous major methodological errors. The authors only included studies that specifically mentioned the phrase “insect declines,” thus biasing the results, as some reports of stable or rising populations were excluded from the analysis. While Sánchez-Bayo was claiming that “almost half of the [world’s insect] species are rapidly declining,” the data documented declines for about 2,900 species, a tiny fraction (less than one-10th of one percent) of the insect species on Earth. About 900,000 species of insects have been identified globally, but studies of Latin American forest canopies have suggested there may be upwards of 30 million insect species.

Sánchez-Bayo et al. also claimed that their research was based on a “worldwide” assessment, but nearly all of the data were drawn from the US and Europe. There could be as many as 200,000 insect species in Australia alone, but data from that country focused solely on managed honeybees. Data from Asia (excluding Japan) only included managed beehives and there were no studies from Central Africa and almost none from South America, a global insect population epicenter.

Excluding data from some of the most ecologically diverse regions on the planet, along with studies on increasing or stable insect populations, biases the study so severely that its results cannot be used to draw any conclusions on changes in insect populations worldwide.

What do mainstream insect experts conclude?

The silver lining around the cloud of gloomy advocacy-focused studies and reporting is that entomologists are doing a deeper dive into the reasons behind the global declines. Goulson’s upcoming media blitz notwithstanding, the most thorough studies to date on insects in North America challenge the catastrophe narrative (although you may not have heard about them as they have been almost ignored by the media), and even offers some reassuring news.

A 2020 study from German researchers led by Dr. Roel van Klink represented the largest and most definitive study on global insect populations at the time of its publication. Their meta-analysis of 166 studies found that insects are declining much (three- to six-fold) less rapidly than previously reported, and freshwater insects are actually increasing. Other major findings included:

• The only correlation with insect declines was habitat, specifically urbanization.
• Cropland was correlated with insect abundance.
• Insect declines in North America ended by the year 2000.

While comprehensive, the report wasn’t flawless. The primary issue, shared with Sánchez-Bayo, was that nearly all data came from Europe and North America. There were only a few studies from South America and Africa, and none from South Asia, making it impossible to declare whether insects are declining or increasing in those regions.

While threats to certain species do exist in particular locations, that doesn’t support claims that we face a global insect population collapse.

North American insect populations are stable

The deficiencies of these studies encouraged a team of 12 researchers led by Matthew Moran at Hendrix College in Arkansas to examine the situation in North America. As the authors noted, “much evidence for what has been dubbed the ‘insect apocalypse’ comes from Europe, where humans have intensively managed landscapes for centuries and human population densities are particularly high.” They wondered if examining the extensive data collected on the geographically and ecologically diverse North American continent would yield the same or a different conclusion.

The Moran study, published last August, specifically examined four to 36 years of data on arthropods (insects and other invertebrates) collected from US Long-Term Ecological Research sites located in ecoregions throughout the country. The authors found that: “There is no evidence of precipitous and widespread insect abundance declines in North America akin to those reported from some sites in Europe.”

The data show that while some taxa declined, others increased, and the vast majority had stable numbers. The overall trend, they concluded, is “generally indistinguishable from zero.” Nor could the authors attribute population changes to any specific cause, including insecticides. The study compared the data on insect populations to “human footprint index data” which includes factors such as pesticides, light pollution, and urbanization. In a press release announcing the study headlined “Insect Apocalypse May Not be Happening in the US,” University of Georgia postdoctoral researcher Matthew Crossley stated, “No matter what factor we looked at, nothing could explain the trends in a satisfactory way.”
With headlines relentlessly heralding impending doom for insects, the results left the authors “perplexed.” As Mann later wrote:

At first, we thought we were missing something. We tried comparing different taxonomic groups, such as beetles and butterflies, and different types of feeding, such as herbivores and carnivores. We tried comparing urban, agricultural and relatively undisturbed areas. We tried comparing different habitats and different periods of time.

But the answer remained the same: no change. We had to conclude that at the sites we examined, there were no signs of an insect apocalypse and, in reality, no broad declines at all.

The discrepancies between van Klink et al. and Moran et al. on North American trends can be attributed to a few variables, researchers say.

• Four of five sites included by Moran but not by van Klink showed increased abundances, counterbalancing decreases found at sites included in both studies.
• Van Klink’s method of measuring abundance gives inordinate weight to “a relatively small number of numerically dominant species.”
• Coverage of the data is greatest only in the last few decades, a period where van Klink found a reduction of the trends seen in earlier decades.

The robustness of the Moran study data suggests the insect population story is much more complicated—and less dire—than many headlines suggest. If a thorough examination of the data on one continent can lead to such a dramatically different and more hopeful conclusion, broad trends in the vast, highly diverse, and relatively unstudied continents of Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Australia cannot be characterized through extrapolation with any assurance.

Challenging Moran’s data

The Moran paper received some pushback from scientists who said that it suffered from inconsistent sampling methods and modeling errors (and in some cases, differences of opinion). The authors welcomed the dialogue and responded to the critiques in April.

Ellen Welti noted that Moran et al. had failed to correct for sampling issues. In response, the authors re-curated the metadata to maintain per-sample arthropod numbers and used several different approaches to repeat the analyses of abundance and biodiversity trends per site. They found that, while there was broad variation between taxa and sites, there wasn’t an overall pattern of increasing or decreasing populations.

Welti also pointed out that there was a coding error in the original study that removed several time trends from one of the sites, and three of the datasets inappropriately included experimental plots. But even after correcting for the coding error and excluding the experimental plots, the overall results did not change. Marion Desquilbet raised technical concerns over which data should have been included. They were relatively minor issues, but Moran et al. repeated their analysis, and the patterns remained the same.

Even after the re-evaluation, accounting for potential differences in sampling over time, and excluding potentially problematic time series, the Moran study results remained largely unchallenged. There simply isn’t any evidence of broad insect declines across North America. Based on the only extensive evidence available, insect populations on the whole and in the US (which Goulson and other crisis promoters have portrayed as the epicenter of the impending global ecological meltdown) are stable.

A cycle of bias?

The overall paucity of data provides an opening for alarmists to speculate, and Goulson and others have taken advantage of that. But why are the data so fragmentary? Moran attributed the lack of corroborating studies supporting the consensus view that insect populations are mostly stable to what he calls “publication bias … more dramatic results are more publishable. Reviewers and journals are more likely to be interested in species that are disappearing than in species that show no change over time,” he wrote in the Washington Post.

It’s a reinforcing feedback loop, with journalists playing a key role in this misinformation cycle. Scientific publications are more likely to publish reports of declining species. Then, when researchers search for data, “declines are what they find.” The media often seize on incomplete or even biased conclusions to build a compelling narrative—an insect apocalypse or insectageddon or zombie-like resurrections of debunked reports of birdpocalypses and beepocalypses.

The result is that enormously complex issues are often portrayed in cartoonish terms. Conventional farmers are invariably cast as the “black hats” who dare to use advanced tools of biotechnology and targeted synthetic chemicals. They are harshly contrasted with crusading “white hat” scientists and advocacy journalists cast as partners with the Earth and Nature. Independent scientists are increasingly frustrated. As professors Saunders, James, and O’Hanlon have written, there are consequences to simplistic frames:

We disagree with the catastrophic decline narrative, not the concept of population declines or that individual studies have shown declines in some places. Declines are probably happening elsewhere too, but we have no data to prove it. Yet other insects are not declining, and some are increasing in population size or range distribution. New species are being named every year, most of which we still know nothing about.

Presenting the global decline narrative as consensus or fact is simply misrepresentation of science. By continuing to promote the narrative, we may suffer from confirmation bias, potentially encouraging scientists to look for evidence of declines in their data where there may be none.

It is perhaps too much to hope that journalists would have learned their lesson after chasing so many “verge of extinction” tales over the past 15 years that proved to be false. That’s why more independent studies like Moran et al. are needed to break the cycle of bias.

And maybe a little restraint from pack journalists. Keep that in mind over the next few months when Goulson launches his “insect Armageddon” documentary and book tour media blitz. “Let’s move on from the decline narrative,” Manu Saunders and her colleagues plead. “We need less hype and more evidence-based action on the priorities we can address right now.”

News of the Times;
My wife told me that I did not like any of her relatives.

I told her that is not true. I said, "I love your mother-in-law and father-in-law much more than I love mine."


I told my Doctor, "I can't stop watching films about the lives of famous people, typically public or historical figures."

He put me on a course of Antibiopics.


While working as a radiology technician in a hospital emergency room, I took x-rays of a trauma patient. I brought the films to our radiologist, who studied the multiple fractures of the femurs and pelvis.

"What happened to this patient?" he asked in astonishment.

"He fell out of a tree," I reported.

The radiologist wanted to know what the patient was doing up a tree.

"I'm not sure, but his paperwork states he works for Bob's Expert Tree Service."

Gazing intently at the x-rays, the radiologist blinked and said, "Cross out 'Expert.'"


As you know, there's a high-level fire danger right now.

Firefighters are said to be keeping a very close eye on the President's pants.


An group of archaeologists gathered to find the leg bone of an ancient man.

It was a real shindig.

Quote of the Times;
“Arrogance mixed with confirmation bias is a dangerous thing in any type of conflict; physical or otherwise.” - Marion

Link of the Times;

Issue of the Times;
Afghanistan: $2.26 Trillion of Your Money Spent, Much Squandered on Lavish Palaces for Corrupt Officials by Robert Spencer

Over the last twenty years in Afghanistan, 2,443 Americans were killed and 20,666 were wounded, as $2.26 trillion were spent in the quixotic and foredoomed hope of transforming the graveyard of empires into a stable, Western-style republic. But if you were to go to Afghanistan today to try to see the effect of all this profligate spending (which I wouldn’t actually advise, under the circumstances), you’d have an easier time spotting how American money was put to use in the luxury homes of former Afghan government officials rather than, obviously, in actual successes in pushing back the Taliban.

Americans got a telling glimpse of their taxpayer dollars at work in Afghanistan when the Taliban on August 15 entered the residence of General Abdul Rashid Dostum in Mazar-i-Sharif. Dostum was a marshal in the disgraced and dissipated Afghan National Army, and served as first vice president of Afghanistan (which had two, because you can never have too much of a good thing) from 2016 until February 2020. He was a vociferous foe of the Taliban and a key U.S. ally when the first Taliban regime was toppled, although his relationship with Washington later soured (he was accused of war crimes) to the degree that, even while serving as first vice president in the American-backed Afghan government, he was barred in 2016 from entering the U.S.

Nevertheless, he remained an integral part of the government that the U.S. was propping up, and so when Taliban jihadis filmed themselves walking around his unbelievably opulent residence, it was hard not to think about all the rusting bridges, trestles scrawled with graffiti, and pothole-laden roads in America, and wonder if our taxpayer money might have been put to better use. Dostum’s place was what Caesar’s Palace would look like if it were remodeled by a multi-billionaire who thought the original was too modest and austere. Dostum’s place was what the Palace of Versailles would look like if it were remodeled by the Real Housewives of New Jersey.

How could this dedicated military officer and public servant possibly have amassed the funds to pay for his Disneyland dream palace? Why, you and I paid for it, along with all the other American taxpayers. And that’s by no means all that we bought. Dostum wasn’t the only Afghan official who got a luxury home. A report in the UK’s Daily Mail on Saturday noted that “one powerbroker at a Kabul bank used a web of fake firms to make fraudulent loans to ministers, officials and warlords, leading to losses equivalent to one-twelfth of the size of the country’s economy. The bank also spent £117 million [$164 million] on 35 luxury villas on Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah island complex, which it used for entertaining.” One unnamed Afghan vice president (they had so many) grabbed $52 million in cash and took off for Dubai, where the parties were no doubt hearty.

In sum, “the waste of taxpayers’ money was astonishing, with ‘ghost’ schools and military forces, counter-narcotic efforts that backfired, dodgy construction and fuel deals siphoning off billions, and cash and gold smuggled out through Kabul airport.” The Pentagon even spent $5.4 million on Tuscan goats imported from Italy into Afghanistan in order to give a boost to the nation’s cashmere industry: the Italian goats were supposed to mate with Afghan goats and create a hardier stock. But the project was botched from the beginning, and the goats simply disappeared. Asked if they had been eaten, John Sopko, the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction, responded: “We don’t know. This was so poorly managed.” There went $5.4 million in taxpayer money.

Some money was spent on projects that made some superficial sense, until one pondered them for a minute or two: “Take the spending of £32 million [$44 million] on a single natural gas fuel station – 140 times more than a similar one in Pakistan – only to discover it cost more than the average annual income for Afghans to convert their cars to drive on natural gas, so there was little use.”

The Daily Mail report adds: “At one point, the US Congress estimated £3.3 billion [$4.4 billion] – equal to 22 per cent of Afghanistan’s GDP – was being smuggled out of the country, with two-thirds of this illegally earned.”

Imagine if even some of this money had been restored to its rightful owners via lower tax rates, or put to use in the United States. Nothing was too good for our Afghan allies, while Americans struggled economically and the American infrastructure crumbled. But the “America-First” president was an egregious upstart who had to be removed at all costs.

News of the Times;
I climbed a tree yesterday to try to get some goose feathers.

"Get down from there!", shouted the park keeper.

I screamed back, "That's what I'm trying to do!"


You've got to hand it to Joe Biden, recently the American Catholic bishops were threatening to excommunicate him for supporting abortion.

Now he's shown his steadfast commitment to pulling out.


The Biden administration defended leaving roughly 26,000 Afghan interpreters behind as the Afghan government falls to the Taliban as a strategic decision on Monday, with officials claiming the failure to evacuate translators was not an oversight but rather a deliberate move due to an ongoing need for translation of cries for help in Pashto to English.

“You don’t think we knew how quickly the Afghan government would crumble as soon as we left?” said White House spokesman Jen Psaki. “But if we don’t have bodies on the ground that can translate things like ‘beheading’, ‘sex slave’, ‘death to America’, and ‘oh God please help us’, how else would we keep our eye on these Taliban guys?”

Many critics questioned whether the decision was actually strategic, or simply an attempt to whitewash the administration's failure to secure visas and safe passage for the thousands of interpreters that risked their lives to assist American forces before leaving the country in the dead of night.

“I know they keep telling me my visa is on the way and just to continue to send increasingly desperate messages with egregious examples of Taliban horrors to fill the American news cycle,” said Abdul Ghafoori, an interpreter who served with U.S. Special forces in Afghanistan for the last 14 years and has nine letters of recommendation from American military officers who dated the paperwork wrong.

“But I am really starting to get suspicious. Their last response was an automatic out-of-office reply.”

When questioned further on the plan to evacuate the remaining interpreters once the cries for help subsided, the administration was quick to allay concerns.
“America will not fail these brave men and women,” said President Joe Biden. “I promise to bring every last interpreter who is no longer hopeful for their country to the United States.”

White House officials denied a recent shipment of body bags to the Kabul airport was in any way related.


Two hitmen are walking together deep into a scary woodland.

The first hitman says, “I don’t mind admitting I feel a little afraid!”

The second hitman replies,” How do you think I feel, I have to walk back alone!”


Scientists have found that the morning-after pill is less effective for overweight women.

This remained undiscovered for years, upon a lack of test subjects.

Quote of the Times;
Biden has a coherent strategy for the border. It is called open borders. - @TheZBlog

Link of the Times;

Issue of the Times;
Biden voters - are you tired of losing yet? by Howie Carr

Hey, Joe Biden voters, are you happy now?

Your boy Dementia Joe owns it all now - the catastrophe in Kabul, open borders, rampant inflation, skyrocketing urban crime, the destruction of American energy independence, endless nonsensical lockdowns over a mild virus that is killing almost no one, not to mention so many public misstatements by the doddering old clown that his own cabinet secretaries have to correct his insane lies even before he shuffles off to Marine One for the flight back to his weekend assisted-living facility in Delaware.

But no more mean tweets, right? And that’s all that matters, isn’t it?

Orange Man Bad used to ask, “Are you tired of winning yet?”

Dementia Joe, if he could still speak in coherent sentences, might sputter, “Are you tired of losing yet?”

After he was installed as president, Dementia Joe’s caregivers said of their Deep State foreign policy: America is Back. Surely they meant to say, “America is on its Back.”

Or maybe, America is Back on its Back, because this is a greater calamity than Barack Obama leading from behind — way behind. This is Jimmy Carter’s presidency on steroids, only worse, because at least Carter was trying, however ineptly, to do the right thing.

Dementia Joe, not so much.

Thanks, Joe Biden voters, for not being able to realize what Osama bin Laden did back in 2010, in a letter that was found in his personal effects after he was killed by the U.S. military (a raid Dementia Joe naturally opposed, because it was so obviously the right thing to do.)

Speculating about the prospect of a President Biden, bin Laden wrote:

“Biden is totally unprepared for that post, which will lead the US into a crisis.”

A terrorist knew it, 74 million Trump supporters knew it, but all those Biden voters (however many there actually were) apparently had no clue.

Or perhaps all of you Biden bumkissers were just bedazzled by his flowery oratory, his proposals for an American Rescue “Pan,” the centerpiece of his dream to “Build Back Pletter.” Biden voters, you believed every preposterous canard the alt-left media spoon-fed you — the Russian collusion hoax, the Ukrainian phone call, the Russian bounties on U.S. troops, Trump allegedly saying the military dead were “losers,” that Hunter Biden’s laptop was “Russian disinformation,” that Jan. 6 was an “insurrection” and that a Capitol Police officer was murdered etc., etc.

But you didn’t care, did you, Biden voters? All you cared about was free stuff, handouts without end, because, you know, the virus.

Biden supporters are by definition low-information voters, because if they were paying attention, they’d be as concerned about the rapid unraveling of this society as those of us who work for a living and are not on the dole — i.e., aren’t Democrats.

Of course Biden’s cheerleaders in the media are handling the non-working classes the same way farmers do mushrooms — keeping them in the dark and feeding them excrement.

Last week, Dementia Joe sat down for a kid-gloves interview with Democrat operative George Stephanopoulos. The video was damning enough — Biden came across like a cross between Grandpa Simpson and Norm Crosby. But the transcript was even more damning.

This is what ABC “News” left on the cutting-room floor, and refuses to release the video of.

Steffie quotes an Army vet saying, “I just wish we could’ve left with honor.”

To which Joe responded, according to the official ABC transcript:

“Look, that’s like askin’ my deceased son Beau, who spent six months in Kosovo and a year in Iraq as a Navy captain and then major — I mean, as an Army major. And you know, I’m sure h-he had regrets comin’ out of Afghanista — I mean, out of Iraq.”

So he forgot the branch of the military service his beloved son Beau served in, his rank and the foreign country in which he was stationed. And this in a slobbering interview with an obsequious Democrat partisan.

Friday it was more of the same. Only “reporters” from the fakest of Fake News outlets — PBS, NPR, ABC “News” — were afforded an opportunity to fawn and pose him questions on bended knee.

And yet Dementia Joe still didn’t know his rear end from a hole in the ground.

On one issue after another — foreign opprobrium over our abject surrender, American citizens’ access to the Kabul airport, the presence of al-Qaeda — Biden either didn’t know what he was talking about, or he was lying, or both.

When Tucker Carlson nightly plays this video of a hopelessly addled old fool on Fox News, he always mentions at the end how sorry he feels for this feeble, ruined, corrupt shell of a human being.

I don’t feel sorry for Biden at all. I feel sorry for me — and for you, and for all of us who understood before his selection just how demented he was, and is.

Are you happy now, Biden voters?

News of the Times;
In Cornwall, England, an 83-year-old woman accidentally fell down a ravine and probably would have died there if it weren't for her cat, who stayed up at the top and meowed until help arrived.

Of course, there is a part of me that wonders if the cat pushed her down there.


Quiz: Which collapses fastest?

A. Italian bridges during rainstorms.

B. The Twin Towers on 9/11.

C. The French in 1941.

D. The Afghan government in 2021.


Recent advancements in ponytails for women have progressed the Army and other military services. But before ponytails were approved for women there was a memorandum from 1985 to approve mullets for men, and today it was finally signed.

"If women can wear ponytails, it's time to let men wear mullets," American Legion spokesman John Raughter said in response. "Fair is fair when it comes to hair."

The memo stemmed from a study that began in 1984 that suggested that men with mullets could run faster, jump higher, and instill traumatic levels of fear in the hearts of enemies. The initial study was so promising that it continued into the 1990s and was finally published in 2003, but it was overshadowed by the Global War on Terror. It's unclear why the mullet memo was never approved, especially since the data showed that improving mullethality led to great recruitment numbers.

"If the hair is off my ears, I should be allowed to rock a sick pony, too. Man, it’d blow gloriously behind me when closing with and destroying our nation's enemies," said Bubba Boy, spokesman for Service Mulletmen, a niche veterans group.

Indeed, the study’s executive summary cited numerous examples of increased lethality by men sporting mullets in recent memory, including:

• Patrick Swayze in “Road House”
• Roddy "The Rod" Piper in “They Live”
• Jean-Claude Van Damme in “Hard Target”
• Richard Dean Anderson in “MacGyver”
• Kurt Russell in “Big Trouble in Little China”
• Mel Gibson in “Lethal Weapon”
• Dolph Lundgren in “He-Man: Masters of the Universe”
• Nicolas Cage in “Con Air”
• Chuck Norris in “The Hitman”

Researchers also pointed to Sylvester Stallone in every single “Rambo” movie. The peer-reviewed study checked out, defense officials said.

The memo was found last year in a desk drawer inside the Army’s G-1 personnel section at the Pentagon. The same drawer is rumored to house a number of sensitive and little-known copies of paperwork from as far back as the 1870s, including a copy of a request to take leave for at least a few months from Gen. George Custer in May 1876.

"We'll do anything to avoid letting the men wear beards," said one general on condition of anonymity. "We're cool with them pretending that their religion is Jedi, though."

Perhaps the most illuminating of the rumors is that Gen. Mark A. Milley secretly wants a new haircut.


A man and his wife attended a dinner party at the home of their friends. Near the end of the meal, the wife reprimanded her husband. "That's the third time you've gone for dessert," she scolded. "The hostess must think you're selfish and an absolute pig."

"I don't think so," he said. "I've been telling her it's for you."


If 'Jurassic Park' were real, it would cost an estimated $11,907,000,000 a year to maintain.

Just like the dinosaurs in Congress.

Quote of the Times;
Cowardice is called courage, Failure is called success, Men are called women, Abortion is called healthcare, Racism is called anti-racism, Fascism is called anti-fascism, Opinions are called facts, Facts are called hate, Regressive is called progressive. - @LeonydusJohnson

Link of the Times;

Issue of the Times;
Diversity Is Not Our Strength — And The Lie Is Deliberate by Christopher Bedford

Far from a strength, diversity in and of itself is at best a feature, and more often a weakness.

“Diversity is our strength.” You’ve heard it over and over again, and it seems simple enough. It doesn’t matter if it’s not true; it’s a basic feel-goodism — the kind of phrase that adorns the kitschy signs Bed Bath and Beyond sells for people to hang in their kitchen. A “live, laugh, love” sort of thing. If only.

Rather, in America today, “Diversity is our strength” is a commanding ethos: It governs the minds of the Joint Chiefs, it informs the decisions of our top policymakers, it drives the campaigns of the political left, it animates the activities of the activist left, and it’s scribbled on the chalkboards of our children’s schools.

The idea is not entirely without merit, and there’s a case to be made for the whole thing, even if the case is fatally flawed — which it is.

Men and women, for example, need each other (despite what some women might have heard). Our differences complement each other literally perfectly.

The young grow stronger from the wisdom and leadership of the old, while the old benefit from the strength, vitality, and energy of the young.

The warrior needs the philosopher if the warrior is to be at his best, and the philosopher needs the warrior to guard the philosopher’s peace.

The soldiers fighting right now to bring their Afghan interpreters to America before they’re murdered by the Taliban can tell you a lot about the diversity of language, culture, and understanding those brave men brought to their units, and how it saved American lives over and over again.

Police officers patrolling an inward-facing neighborhood suspicious of outsiders benefit from colleagues who are from that community and, therefore, better understand and interact with its members.

Anyone who has raised, or helped to raise, a severely handicapped person knows that person needs them, but also, maybe, that they have been made better for it — more kind, more industrious, more caring, more understanding, more loving.

But is that all it takes, being different? Would a kid in a wheelchair, a skateboard punk, a nerd, an explorer, a tomboy, an older black kid, an older Hispanic kid, and a dog with a helmet make the perfect team? Maybe, but probably not — at least based solely on that description.

Would they make the perfect Burger King Kids Club? Well, they might.

But how? What would bring them together? Do the things that make them different also unite them?

Yes, if you believe the simpleton slogans of the modern left, but in reality, the answer is no. Not one of those fictitious kids is brought together and made stronger simply because of his differences.

Rather, it is their shared values and purpose — or, the things that are the same, rather than those that are different or diverse — that unite them, bind them, and make them a club. In this case, it’s being kids who love adventure and cheeseburgers — these are what make them the Burger King Kids Club.

In real life, the differences between men and women can make us much weaker — just see the STD rate at The Villages or Texas Tech, or, joking aside, look at the global ravages of pornography and human trafficking, or the packed orphanages and abandoned women left behind a long military occupation. But brought together in a loving family with shared values and commitments, together we create the essential building blocks of society — we all get stronger.

The same goes for the young and the old, the able and disabled: They must be brought together first in shared purpose, and not simply left to manipulate or abuse the other, as is often the case when a stronger, governing principle is not present to overcome the differences in age, ability, and cunning.

The warrior and philosopher must be united in their love of their country and its people through a commitment to duty and shared sacrifice. We’ve felt for 20 long years what happens when the philosophers aren’t governed by the right ideas.

Similarly, many brave military men and women have died, led astray by locals who did not share their mission. And many neighborhoods have been let down — and police forces weakened — when fitness, intelligence, and a commitment to law and order are treated as secondary to identity politics.

Because, far from a strength, diversity in and of itself is at best a feature, and more often a weakness. For centuries past, successful military leaders understood this so implicitly they’d make their men wear the same uniforms, sleep in the same bunks or holes, share the same food, often follow the same grooming, and always answer to the same drills and the same orders at the same time. They made them one — a unit — and that made them stronger.

Today, those who preach the gospel of diversity, be it multiculturalism, critical race theory, or any other novel heresy, don’t care about what unifies us. Often, they resent it and instead actively promote what makes us different. Many times, they work to actively divide us.

And it’s working: In 2004, 74 percent of white Americans and 68 percent of black Americans told Gallup that race relations in America were good. This year, those numbers are 43 percent and 33 percent, respectively. It turns out that a decade and a half of relentlessly racializing every issue in American politics just made everyone feel less happy, less trusting, less like they are part of a unified American whole.

Our differences without unifying mores — an anthem, a language, a border, a history, a Constitution, a faith in God — make us weak, and this is deadly. Roger Scruton, one of the finest philosophers of the past half-century, explained the danger succinctly in the stirring and controversial BBC documentary “Rivers of Blood.”

All of us need an identity which unites us with our neighbors, our countrymen: those people who are subject to the same rules and the same laws as us, those people with whom we might one day have to fight side by side to protect our inheritance, those people with whom we will suffer when attacked, those people whose destinies are in some way tied up with our own.

So why would they preach otherwise? The correct answer, sadly, is the simplest: To make us weaker. The left is obsessed with making us weaker. A strong, united America is, in their minds, a great evil.

They love that a strong, united America once smashed fascism — that’s OK in their minds. But the patriotism, the religious values, the martial order, the industry, the mining — the things that propelled us to victory? They don’t want those.

They think it was just Rosie the Riveter girl-power liberation, or Mexican immigrants manning the jobs our boys left behind. Both of those contributed to the war effort, no doubt, but they contributed far more in the myth of World War II the left prefers over the reality.

In the 1940s, we were a strong country, and remember, the professional left hates our past. We know that because they tell us.

Their hatred of a strong America continues today. You might have noticed a strange statement last week from Jake Sullivan, the national security advisor to the White House. It started out simple enough: “Higher gasoline costs, if left unchecked, risk harming the ongoing global recovery.” Makes sense.
But that’s where it got weird, and in the following two paragraphs, Jake got on his knees and begged OPEC to sell us more oil. Remember OPEC? The ring of Arab oil-producing countries currently led by the Saudis? They’re in the news every now and then, when they make demands in return for sating America and the world’s endless oil addiction.

A couple of things stand out here. For one, why do we need oil from OPEC right now? It’s not 1973 anymore. When President Joe Biden came into office, we were energy self-reliant. The Trump administration had seen to that, but since coming into office our new president canceled all future contracts on federal lands and scuttled the Keystone Pipeline, which would have brought oil from Canada and supplied 11,000 American jobs in the process.

Why did they scuttle the pipeline? They claimed it was for global warming purposes — to fight climate change and such. That’s all good and great, but nothing about this actually reduced our need for oil, so here we are, seven months later, begging a cabal of Islamic fundamentalists to sell us more of it. Does it really make a difference to the atmosphere if the oil is pumped in foreign deserts versus the American heartland?

Or how about pumping it in Russia? That’s where the Nord Stream 2 pipeline begins, snaking all the way into Germany. The Biden administration removed Trump-era sanctions on it, allowing energy to flow into Europe in exchange for money flowing to the Kremlin.

So we’re fine with Saudi oil and we’re fine with Russian oil. Apparently, it’s just Canadian oil, finished in American factories, that we cannot abide. It’s almost like this isn’t about global warming at all. So what is it? Are we against American workers? Are we trying to punish the working class? Seems a stretch.

Are we just lying to naïve environmentalist voters? Well, yes, but there’s something else here, and it’s our elites’ distrust of America and their fervent wish for us to be at the mercy of the world. That way we can be nice players in the global community. That way things can become “equitable.”

“This,” former Sen. Jim DeMint wrote last week, “is a design feature, not a flaw of the socialists’ plans. They want us dependent on others. [The] Socialist left doesn’t believe in borders, sovereignty, independence or the American way of life.”

It’s why they hated America First then, and it’s why they’re America Last now. They won’t stop — they’re committed. So long as we are strong, they cannot win. But there’s a snag in their plan, and it’s that we are a strong people, often united, who can once again be healed.

You can see it in the Americans who donated more than $30 million to Barstool Sports’ fund for businesses damaged by coronavirus lockdowns.

You can see it in the joy of Olympian Tamyra Mensah-Stock, who after winning a gold medal used her moment to say how much she loved living in America. “I went into a trance and God just spoke through me,” she later said. “I know there’s a lot of negativity going on, and I just want to enlighten people of my feelings to spread positivity, and it happened.”

And you can see it in the crowds of people all over the country who are turning out to demand that their public schools be kept free of mind-destroying racist poison.

In Loudoun Country, Virginia, hundreds of parents turned out, and the terrified school board declared a riot rather than face them.

In Philadelphia, a Chinese immigrant mother compared the new race politics to the Cultural Revolution she remembered in China, the one where students were taught to hate and kill their teachers, their bosses, their religious leaders, and even their parents.

In Florida, there was black mother Keisha King, who pointed out how racist it is to teach any ideology that declares some races to be perpetual oppressors and others to be perpetual victims.

A lot of these folks aren’t very political — they definitely aren’t the same Tea Party activists from a decade ago. These are Americans who don’t want their country to be torn apart by hate. And if we stand with them, and understand what the left is doing and why, we may save this nation yet.

Most Democrats and liberals don’t think about a lot of these things. In reality, only a relatively small cadre of Americans are ideologically compelled to hate this country, hate white people, hate Christians, and hate straight men; but they are a vocal minority, and their voices dominate our society at every single level.

But remember: The Russian Revolution didn’t succeed because the majority of the country took arms against the tsars for Bolshevism; the American Revolution didn’t succeed because a majority of the country fought to overthrow the British and declare independence. In both cases, as in most, loud and fanatically committed minorities changed the world — and it could happen here.

But there are weaknesses: For one, their ideas don’t work, and for another, they habitually overreach. Combined, these two weaknesses might have awakened the American public — and no revolution can succeed without at least the tolerance of the communities from which it is launched.

Evil ideas doomed to fail will fail, but they can destroy whole countries before they do. Let’s not let that happen to us, because our world, our inheritance, and our children’s inheritance is right here, right now — and it needs us if it is to survive.

News of the Times;
The late actor Adam West once recalled having sex with eight women at one time in the Sixties.

Done her, done her, done her, done her, done her, done her, done her, done her, Batmaaaaan!


I love watching the Olympics and comparing my performance to the athletes.

Recently, I watched the Triathlon and in 2 hours they swam a mile, cycled 28 miles and ran 6 miles.

Armatures; in that time I managed to drink a bottle of wine and eat a whole family bag of Doritos.


A CNN reporter walks into a neighborhood tavern and is about to order a drink when he sees a guy at the end of the bar wearing a "make america great again" hat. It didn't take an Einstein to know the guy was a Donald Trump supporter.

The CNN guy shouts over to the bartender, loudly enough that everyone in the bar could hear, "drinks for everyone in here, bartender, except for that Trump supporter."

After the drinks were handed out the Trump guy gives the CNN guy a big smile, waves at him and says, in an equally loud voice, "Thank you!"

This infuriates the CNN reporter. So he once again loudly orders drinks for everyone except the guy wearing the Trump hat. As before, this doesn't seem to bother the Trump guy. He just continues to smile and again yells, "Thank you!"

So the CNN guy again loudly orders drinks for everyone except the Trump guy. And again the Trump guy just smiles and yells back, "Thank you!"

At that point the aggravated CNN reporter asks the bartender, "What the hell is the matter with that Trump supporter? I've ordered three rounds of drinks for everyone in the bar but him and all the silly ass does is smile and thank me. Is he nuts?"

"Nope," replies the bartender. "He owns the place."


My mother-in-law is coming over.

I had to clear out half our wardrobe so she has a place to hang upside down and sleep.


What do you call a nervous javelin thrower?


Quote of the Times;
Only the sick governing elites can look you in the eye with a straight face and force experimental injections on you because masks didn’t work while simultaneously forcing masks on you because the injections didn’t work. – Horowitz

Link of the Times;

Issue of the Times;
Why Don’t They Believe Us? by Konstantin Kisin

You’re struggling to understand where all this vaccine hesitancy comes from. Let me help you.

Imagine you’re a normal person. The year is 2016. Rightly or wrongly, you believe most of what you see in the media. You believe polls are broadly reflective of public opinion. You believe doctors and scientists are trustworthy and independent. You’re a decent, reasonable person who follows the rules and trusts the authorities.

Imagine your shock, then, when Brexit, which you were assured couldn’t happen because it was a fringe movement led by racists for racists, happens. The polls, which widely predicted it wouldn’t happen, were wrong. The experts and pundits who told you day after day that it wouldn’t happen were also wrong. “Oh well,” you say, “these things happen.”

Imagine that soon after Brexit, Donald Trump is running for president. You are told by the most trustworthy media outlets that he is going to lose. Some experts say his opponent has a 99% chance of winning. Imagine waking up the morning after the election to discover that the pollsters, experts, and politicians you still trusted were wrong again. Now the racist monster who you were told would never get near the White House is the leader of the free world.

“How did this happen?” you ask yourself. How could everyone I rely on for good information be so wrong? “It was the Russians,” they tell you. “The Russians did Brexit, and they got Trump elected too.” Imagine that for the next three years, day after day, the media and politicians you still trust keep you up to date on this story of Trump’s collusion with Russia. They tell you the how, when, where, and why: the dossiers, the whistleblowers, the peeing prostitutes. Imagine your desperation for things to somehow make sense again.

Here comes the Mueller report. Hard evidence of foreign meddling in Brexit and the 2016 U.S. election is coming to set the world right again.

Imagine your shock, then, when you discover that Brexit had little to do with foreign meddling, and Robert Mueller has very little to report about Trump and the Russians. The collusion story, which dominated your news intake for the better part of three years, slowly dies down. Then it’s gone. No one talks about it anymore. Imagine that bit by bit, you’re starting to feel that the events you were told would not and could not happen not only happened, but happened without some sort of malign interference. Instead, millions of your fellow citizens simply voted for them. In the American case, it turns out many of your fellow citizens who simply voted for Trump come from states that have been devastated by an opioid epidemic enabled by a corrupt system of incentives involving the Food and Drug Administration, doctors, and Big Pharma. (You might want to take note of this. It will come up again later.)

Again, you ask, “How could this happen?” And again, the media outlets and political representatives you’ve always trusted have the answer: racism.

“Your country is racist,” they tell you. If you’re white, this may seem strange to you. Other than a handful of idiots, you’ve never met a racist. If you’re an ethnic minority immigrant like me, this seems even stranger. Why would people in one of the most welcoming, tolerant countries in the world want to convince themselves their country is racist when it’s so obviously not?

But the evidence is right there on your TV screen. Imagine your horror as a famous and beloved gay African American actor is assaulted by MAGA hat-wearing thugs who racially abuse him and put a noose around his neck. In a prime-time interview, he cries while talking about it.

Imagine your outrage as you see news reports of a bunch of MAGA hat-wearing kids from a religious school contemptuously confront a Native American elder. Professional, adult commentators on TV tell you the kid has a “punchable face,” and while you abhor violence, it’s hard to disagree. Imagine that for days you watch coverage of these events, with expert after expert, pundit after pundit, sharing and fueling your outrage. Maybe your country really is racist. Maybe you’re racist. Were you always just blind?

Imagine that soon after, however, the Jussie Smollett story turns out to be an attention-seeking hoax: He made it all up. Imagine you also quickly discover that the Native American elder was the one who confronted the kids, and not the other way around. “If this is such a racist country,” you ask yourself, “why would they need to make up stories of racism?” As you ponder this, you remember that for years now, you’ve been expected to go along with other, more elaborate make-believe stories.

You’re expected to understand that gender is not as binary as school, your eyes, and your own experience have led you to believe. Whatever you learned about biology growing up is not only wrong, it’s pathological and harmful, according to the American Psychological Association. You no longer know how many genders you’re expected to be able to recognize. You do know that asking questions is dangerous.

Imagine that you still want to believe the experts and the commentators, but now that requires you to believe your country is racist, that men are bad, and that gender is a social construct, which is an idea you still don’t really understand.

It’s at this point that a pandemic breaks out in China.

You are initially unconcerned, but as terrifying scenes increasingly emerge from Italy and other countries closer to home, it is clear that something big is happening. You watch nervously as politicians give press conference after press conference, flanked by experts, to explain the situation.

President Trump shuts down travel to the United States from China. He has been widely condemned as a racist repeatedly in the past, and the same explanation is given this time. It’s not just Americans who tell you Trump is racist for calling a virus that emerged in China a “Chinese virus.” In response, the mayor of Florence advises Italian citizens to fight Trump’s anti-Chinese bigotry by “hugging a Chinese person.” Shortly after, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, one of the most respected and powerful Democrats in the country, visits Chinatown in San Francisco to explain that “there’s no reason tourists or locals should be staying away from the area because of coronavirus concerns.”

“Thank God there are some sensible, nonracist people who aren’t overreacting,” you say to yourself. Imagine watching as Trump doubles down on his racism by claiming the virus may have come from a lab in Wuhan. “Nonsense,” you think. You’re more concerned with how best to protect yourself and your family from this deadly disease than with its origins at this point anyway. You consider buying surgical masks, or using homemade ones—you’ve seen visitors and tourists from Asian countries wear them, and they’ve been through things like this before, so maybe it’s best to follow their lead.

But the country’s chief medical experts tell you not to wear masks, and to focus on washing your hands instead. As lockdowns are introduced around the world, you diligently follow all the rules. You stay at home. You only go out once, and live off savings or government grants. You do your best to keep your hands clean, to not touch other surfaces that other people touch. Some political representatives make the solemn decision to shut down beaches, parks, and playgrounds, encouraging everyone to stay indoors.

You are proud to be doing your part. Thanks to you and millions of your fellow citizens, the first wave of the pandemic overwhelms certain hot spots, but it does not devastate the health care system at a national level. While thousands sadly die, you’ve helped to protect those around you.

Imagine your confusion as the same people who spent three months telling you not only that masks don’t work, but that there are several reasons you shouldn’t wear or purchase them, suddenly introduce mask mandates. We’re “following the science,” they tell you. This seems to make little sense, but a pandemic is no time for questions. And who knows, maybe our understanding of the science evolved?

As you cautiously go to the supermarket, you notice that masks have made people less likely to socially distance. You remember reading somewhere that bicycle helmets work similarly: They give the wearer more confidence, and the result is often more accidents and injuries, not fewer. “Silly people,” you say to yourself. “If only they would follow the experts.”

You turn on your TV and learn that shoppers at your local supermarket aren’t the only ones who have been ignoring the rules. Nancy Pelosi arranged for a salon, shutdown by government decree, to open privately for her—then publicly blamed the business owner for violating the lockdown. California Gov. Gavin Newsom is seen eating dinner at one of the most expensive restaurants in America with a large group of unmasked people indoors. In the U.K., Neil Ferguson, the epidemiologist whose projections were used as the basis for lockdowns, appears to have broken his own rules to get some action with his married lover. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s chief adviser, Dominic Cummings, drove halfway across the country to ensure he had a better place to isolate. The journalists who berate him for this are later found to have attended an unmasked, indoor birthday party in breach of the rules. The lockdowns continue.

Then a man is killed in Minneapolis by a police officer arresting him for a petty crime. The man is African American. The officer is white. The arrest and murder are captured on video, which quickly goes viral around the world. Imagine your horror as you watch an officer of the law kneel on another man’s neck until he passes out and later dies. “This is disgusting,” you say to yourself. “I hope they throw the book at him.” Overnight, a huge campaign for racial justice springs up around the world.

No one explains what racism had to do with the incident, but they don’t need to. As you know by now, the West is racist, America is racist, and police are racist. Therefore any time a crime has a white perpetrator and an African American victim, there is only one possible motive. The fact that an identical incident led to the death of a white man named Tony Timpa in Dallas in August 2016 is never mentioned for context.

While the lockdown rules remain in place, the protests against injustice spill out into public spaces. Tens of thousands of people crowd into the streets of major cities. Few of them wear masks, and social distancing is nonexistent. Clashes with police ensue, and in the United States, protesters loot stores, destroy businesses, attack residents, and start fires. A retired African American police officer from St. Louis named David Dorn is among dozens of people who are murdered in the chaos.

The media describes these events as “mostly peaceful protests,” as broadcast reporters stand in front of burning buildings. After months of harsh restrictions, the media and political class offer no criticism of protests that violate every element of lockdown policy. After months of telling you to stay at home to avoid spreading COVID, doctors explain that rather than being a potential form of super spreading, “protest is a profound public health intervention.”

Big tech companies go into overdrive to stop the spread of what they call disinformation. Alternative points of view regarding the efficacy of masks and lockdowns, as well as the origins of the virus itself, are increasingly blocked, flagged, and censored. Attempts to discuss the negative impacts of lockdowns on health and mental well-being, especially that of children barred from going to school, are suppressed. As the year runs on, with a pivotal U.S. election looming, Trump promises a huge push to develop a vaccine. Then-Sen. Kamala Harris, running for vice president, says that if Trump advised people to take a vaccine, she wouldn’t take it.

On the eve of the election, a major media outlet releases a damaging report about Hunter Biden, son of presidential candidate Joe Biden. The story alleges corruption that may implicate his father, as well as drug use, paying for prostitutes, and more. Twitter and other social media platforms immediately prevent the story from being shared. The media lines up commentators to claim the story was, yet again, “Russian disinformation.” Once Hunter’s father wins the election, it becomes clear that several key elements of the story are likely accurate, and the laptop from which the information was recovered is not in fact a Russian decoy, but Hunter Biden’s laptop.

Meanwhile, in the U.K., the publicly available number of COVID patients and deaths nationwide turns out to have been inaccurate. For some time, any British citizen who died at any point for any reason after having tested positive for COVID was counted as dying from COVID, even if it was from a car crash. The official figure is later revised again. The number of people who are in hospital because of COVID also turns out to be incorrect.

Now that a bigot is no longer president of the United States, closing national borders to visitors from other countries is no longer considered xenophobic. In fact, it is widely advocated in the media. Likewise, it is no longer considered racist to detain people at the border, to put them in holding cells, to deport them, or to simply turn them away.

The supposedly racist conspiracy theory that the virus came from a lab in Wuhan is now also open for discussion. It even looks like the most credible explanation of the origins of the virus. Imagine your horror as you learn that the reason thousands of people died in the first wave of the pandemic was that elderly patients with COVID were allowed, and sometimes compelled, to be released back into nursing homes. In fact, it was a personal decision by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, brother of CNN anchor Chris Cuomo. Gov. Cuomo’s publisher later suspends promotion of a book he wrote in the meantime. It’s about his leadership during the pandemic.

Meanwhile, Texas and Florida, which largely remained open and avoided draconian lockdowns, seem to have made out OK. Kids have been going to school, businesses have stayed open. You look at COVID death rates by state, and neither Florida nor Texas cracks the top half.

It is at this point that vaccines become the main focus of government policy and media commentary.

The same people who told you Brexit would never happen, that Trump would never win, that when he did win it was because of Russian collusion but also because of racism, that you must follow lockdowns while they don’t, that masks don’t work, that masks do work, that social justice protests during pandemic lockdowns are a form of “health intervention,” that ransacking African American communities in the name of fighting racism is a “mostly peaceful” form of protest, that poor and underserved children locked out of shuttered schools are “still learning,” that Jussie Smollett was a victim of a hate crime, that men are toxic, that there is an infinite number of genders, that COVID couldn’t have come from a lab until maybe it did, that closing borders is racist until maybe it isn’t, that you shouldn’t take Trump’s vaccine, that you must take the vaccine developed during the Trump administration, that Andrew Cuomo is a great leader, that Andrew Cuomo is a granny killer, that the number of COVID deaths is one thing and then another … are the same people telling you now that the vaccine is safe, that you must take it, and that if you don’t, you will be a second-class citizen.

Understand vaccine hesitancy now?

News of the Times;
Older Newer
Several animals were savagely beaten in the making of this page, including but not limited to; kittens, rabbits, zebu, skunks, puppies, and platypus. Also several monkeys where force fed crack to improve their typing skills.

And someone shot a duck.

An Images & Ideas, Inc. Service.

No Vegans were harmed in the making of this site. We're looking for a new provider.