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To the powers that be:

if you do decide to switch everyone to a four-day work week, I would easily adapt to the phrased, "Thank God it's Thursday!"


A Muslim wife complains to her husband that all the romance had gone out of their marriage.

Remember when you used to carry me up to bed?", she asked.

"Yes," he replied, but to be fair, you were only nine at the time!



McDonald's is adding a donut to its fall menu. My theory is that you were starting to order too many salads.

Astronomers now say they believe that Saturn has a slushy core and rings that wiggle. Of course, they say the same thing about me.

Don't listen to people who are telling you what to do. Of course, if you don't because you're listening to this advice, you're doing exactly that. Never mind.

I don't mean to sound like I'm bragging, but I can actually lift up to 1 TB.

The buttons on my jeans are starting to social distance from each other.

Golf is a really relaxing way to get frustrated and super disappointed in yourself.

It's called Almond Milk because nobody can say Nut Juice with a straight face.

The average person frowns five times a day. Stick around for today's show and we'll easily make you above average!

A new study says drinking too much coffee can actually shrink your brain, whatever that means.


The US standard railroad gauge (distance between the rails) is 4 feet, 8.5 inches. That's an exceedingly odd number.

Why was that gauge used?

Well, because that's the way they built them in England, and English engineers designed the first US railroads.

Why did the English build them like that?

Because the first rail lines were built by the same people who built the wagon tramways, and that's the gauge they used.

So, why did 'they' use that gauge then?

Because the people who built the tramways used the same jigs and tools that they had used for building wagons, which used that same wheel spacing.
Why did the wagons have that particular odd wheel spacing?

Well, if they tried to use any other spacing, the wagon wheels would break more often on some of the old, long distance roads in England . You see, that's the spacing of the wheel ruts.

So who built those old rutted roads?

Imperial Rome built the first long distance roads in Europe (including England ) for their legions. Those roads have been used ever since.
And what about the ruts in the roads?

Roman war chariots formed the initial ruts, which everyone else had to match or run the risk of destroying their wagon wheels. Since the chariots were made for Imperial Rome , they were all alike in the matter of wheel spacing. Therefore the United States standard railroad gauge of 4 feet, 8.5 inches is derived from the original specifications for an Imperial Roman war chariot. Bureaucracies live forever.

So the next time you are handed a specification/procedure/process and wonder 'What horse's ass came up with this?', you may be exactly right. Imperial Roman army chariots were made just wide enough to accommodate the rear ends of two war horses. (Two horses' asses.)

Now, the twist to the story:

When you see a Space Shuttle sitting on its launch pad, there are two big booster rockets attached to the sides of the main fuel tank. These are solid rocket boosters, or SRBs. The SRBs are made by Thiokol at their factory in Utah . The engineers who designed the SRBs would have preferred to make them a bit fatter, but the SRBs had to be shipped by train from the factory to the launch site. The railroad line from the factory happens to run through a tunnel in the mountains, and the SRBs had to fit through that tunnel. The tunnel is slightly wider than the railroad track, and the railroad track, as you now know, is about as wide as two horses' behinds.

So, a major Space Shuttle design feature, of what is arguably the world's most advanced transportation system, was determined over two thousand years ago by the width of a horse's ass. And you thought being a horse's ass wasn't important? Ancient horse's asses control almost everything.


Two mothers are having a conversation about their children.

"How do you get your Pauly up so early on school mornings?" asks one of them.

"Oh, that's easy," replies the other. "I just throw the cat on his bed."

"Why does that wake him up?"

"He sleeps with the dog."

Quote of the Times;
“I've noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born.” – Reagan

Link of the Times;

Issue of the Times;
Air Force software is so bad the guy in charge of it all is about to quit by David Roza

If you’ve ever struggled with a government computer still running on Windows 2000, know that you’re not alone. In fact, the military’s cybersecurity infrastructure and software development enterprise is in such a bad state that the Air Force’s first-ever Chief Software Officer will soon resign because it isn’t worth fighting the entire bureaucracy of the Department of Defense just to get some basic information technology issues fixed.

“We are running in circles trying to fix transport/connectivity, cloud, endpoints, and various basic IT capabilities that are seen as trivial for any organization outside of the U.S. Government,” wrote Nicolas Chaillan in a LinkedIn post announcing his resignation on Thursday. “At this point, I am just tired of continuously chasing support and money to do my job. My office still has no billet and no funding, this year and the next.”

For those who might be thinking “what do I care about software? Let the nerds figure that one out,” hear this: many experts believe that future conflicts will be won and lost based on our ability to develop new software.

“Success in tomorrow’s conflicts will largely depend on how warfighters are able to harness and adapt everything from mission systems on aircraft to sensor packages, networks, and decision aides,” retired Air Force Lt. Gen. David Deptula and Heather Penney who are respectively the dean and senior resident fellow for The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies, in a July policy paper on network and software development.

“To prevail in a dynamic and contested battlespace, warfighters must be able to reprogram and reconfigure their weapon systems, sensors and networks,” they wrote. “Yet the Air Force continues to develop, update, and manage software and architectures in a highly centralized and stove-piped fashion.”

Apparently the old Air Force recruiting slogan, “It’s not science fiction, it’s what we do every day,” does not apply to the branch’s bureaucracy, which Deptula and Penney argued is stuck in a bygone era.

“The bureaucracy of Department of Defense funding categories also prevents software tools from being fielded and employed,” they wrote, which means warfighters are always a step behind their changing battlespace. “This is a recipe for failure given tomorrow’s challenges. To put it bluntly, software and networks shouldn’t be governed by industrial age processes.”

It was that kind of bureaucracy that also made Chaillan’s three years on the job a Sysphean task just to get simple projects done, at least according to his LinkedIn post.

“I’m tired of hearing the right words without action, and I called on leadership to ‘walk the walk,’” Chaillan wrote. “That includes funding, staffing and prioritizing IT basic issues for the Department. A lack of response and alignment is certainly a contributor to my accelerated exit.”

There are several specific experiences that impressed on Chaillan how little military leadership actually cares about cybersecurity and software development. One of those is DevSecOps, which is short for development, security and operations. DevSecOps is a process by which software developers keep security central to every step of software development, rather than tacking it on at the end of the development cycle, according to IBM.

Chaillan wrote that he was very proud of his team creating the DoD Enterprise DevSecOps Initiative, which began spreading the holy word of DevSecOps to the backwards cyber-heathens dwelling in the Pentagon. But even that process is often like pulling teeth, Chaillan wrote.

“[Our leaders] have repeatedly refused to mandate DevSecOps, not even for new starts in custom software development!” he said. “There is absolutely no valid reason not to use and mandate DevSecOps in 2021 for custom software. It is borderline criminal not to do so. It is effectively guaranteeing a tremendous waste of taxpayer money and creates massive cybersecurity threats but also prevents us from delivering capabilities at the pace of relevance, putting lives at risk[.]”

The same problem applies to implementing Zero Trust systems. Those are software security steps like when Gmail or Facebook texts you a verification code just to make sure you’re not a hacker. You’d think national security secrets would have a better layer of security than my company’s Mailchimp account, but apparently not, according to Chaillan.

“[W]e hear the leadership talk about Zero Trust implementations without our teams receiving a dime of funding to make it happen,” he wrote. Nowadays, DoD is willing to put more money where its mouth is in terms of Zero Trust, but it’s not using any of the early work Chaillan and his team did on the subject last year, he said.

“Why waste more taxpayer money playing catch up?” the software officer wrote. “The ‘not invented here’ syndrome is powerful in DoD and our leadership is not willing to stop it.”

The ‘not invented here’ problem refers to a widespread habit of different military agencies, or even different tribes within an agency, doing their own version of the same project without sharing information or best practices. This is even a problem between different fighter jet programs in the Air Force, wrote Deptula and Penney in their analysis.

“Although the F-22 and F-35 are the only two 5th generation fighters in the Air Force inventory, they cannot share information with each other machine-to-machine,” because they use incompatible datalinks that were developed 10 years apart, they wrote. “Today, the F-22 and F-35 fleet still cannot exchange information without the aid of an externally hosted gateway, one which is still in the experimentation and demonstration phase.”

Chaillan had to deal with that sort of thing all the time at his soon-to-be old job.
“We are the largest software organization on the planet, and we have almost no shared repositories and little to no collaboration across DoD services,” he said, pointing out that there are 100,000 software developers in the department. “We need diversity of options if there are tangible benefits to duplicating work. Not because of silos created purposefully to allow senior officials to satisfy their thirst for power.”

The stove-piping is especially frustrating when DoD leaders talk a big game about sweeping programs like Joint All-Domain Command and Control and the Air Force’s Advanced Battle Management System. Both of those projects are meant to give commanders more options and intelligence faster than ever by connecting ‘sensors and shooters’ closer than ever. That could be a great development, especially after the last Chief of Staff of the Air Force, retired Gen. David Goldfein, said that access to data is the “future of warfare.”

The thing is, the military can’t implement these sweeping programs when everyone is off in their own corners. Chaillan addressed the problem head-on at a recent Air Force Association luncheon.

“Right now JADC2 has probably zero chance of success, period, full stop,” Chaillan said, according to Air Force Magazine. “Because it’s effectively not a thing. It’s a bunch of services doing their own things … with different names and different concepts, often reinventing the same wheel.”

It also doesn’t help that DoD doesn’t seem to want to put up the money for bringing JADC2 up to speed, according to Chaillan.

“After a massive undertaking and development of a scope of work, based on demands from our warfighters and [combatant commanders], I had just started the work and built-up excitement with teams and our mission partners, when I was told by the Joint Staff that there was no FY22 funding to support the [minimum viable product] after all,” he wrote.

“After all the talk and continued assertions that this was critical work, DOD could not even find $20M to build tremendously beneficial warfighter capabilities,” he added. “A rounding error for the Department.”

Chaillan’s last day is planned for Oct. 2, according to FCW. Still, it wasn’t all grim during his tenure as chief software officer. Throughout his LinkedIn post, he pointed out that he and his team accomplished some amazing things. Despite the tough resistance, they created “the largest DevSecOps engagement in the world, within the most complex organization in the world,” he said. They also engaged private industry and startups into doing business with the DoD, and they created the first large-scale implementation of Zero Trust in the U.S. government.

With the Air Force in particular, Chaillan’s team also brought in new systems for rapidly updating the software on jets and space systems, a capability which he described as “game-changing.”

So as “challenging and infuriating” as this job could be, it was also “the most rewarding” and the “most impactful for our children’s future,” Chaillan said.

“We demonstrated that a small group of people can turn the largest ship in the world through grit, wit and hard work,” he wrote. “If the Department of Defense can do this, so can any U.S. organization!”

News of the Times;
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.”

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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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

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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.

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