Team USA’s new airplane at Oshkosh

Delta Airlines brought its “Team USA” airplane to Oshkosh this year. Our elite athletes will travel in style to the next few Olympics. Where do the proud Americans who built this machine live? Toulouse, France. It’s an Airbus A330.

Delta even flew it during an afternoon airshow (there is an airshow every afternoon at Oshkosh, plus two evening airshows).

Separately, on the way to Oshkosh we visited the Indianapolis Motor Speedway museum and learned that no American-made car has won the Indy 500 for 40 years:

On the way back from Oshkosh, I stopped in Amana, Iowa, a center of All-American quilting. Where is the fabric made and printed for this All-American craft? Korea and Japan.

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Mass Shootings and the American Experiment

In between bouts of outrage regarding the death of Roe v. Wade (the suffering of the world’s poor and the Ukrainians under artillery attack are insignificant compared to what is experienced by a pregnant American who must travel in order to get abortion care at 28 weeks of pregnancy), my friends on Facebook remain outraged about the fact that Americans remain able to buy and own guns that are then used in mass shootings (day-to-day shootings in major cities are not upsetting, by contrast).

My big take-away from the recent tragedies in the news is that Americans under 25 should neither be allowed to vote (unless they’ve worked for at least 8 years) nor purchase guns (see In the wake of Uvalde, can we abandon the fiction that today’s 18-year-olds are adults?). But since people keep asking Why Here? I thought it might make sense to look at what makes the U.S. unique among human societies worldwide and historically.

Let’s start with how we live: car-dependent suburbs. Many of us are probably the loneliest humans who have ever existed because, even before coronapanic, it required so much effort for a suburbanite to get together with another person. Note that one of my pet non-profit ideas for evil billionaires is “Latin American-style Towns for the U.S.”:

When computer nerds get rich, their charitable thoughts turn to helping Africans (see Bill Gates). They make a spreadsheet of the quantifiable aspects of the human condition, sort by misery, and the Africans come out on top. Peace Corps workers who return from a couple of years in small African villages tell a different story. They come home to their parents’ materially magnificent suburban homes and immediately suffer from loneliness and depression. Maybe we should feel sorry for Americans who live in suburbs and need to get in the car to shop or work and need to make an appointment before there is any possibility of seeing a friend.
What are the problems with suburban living, the dominant mode of American life? A shallow problem is that the car is required to accomplish any task outside of the home. Suburbanites waste their lives, and a lot of energy, driving to the strip mall to shop, driving to their place of work, driving to see friends or to an entertainment venue. Suburbanites cause horrific traffic jams that turn their nightmarish 45-minute commute into a hellish 2-hour commute. Giving how spread out houses are in the suburbs, it is impossible for a business that depends on pedestrians or bicyclists to succeed. A strip might might support a coffee shop, but it won’t be a place where people drop in as a casual part of their day. The more serious problems with the suburbs start with social isolation. You won’t have a chance encounter with a friend when you drive point to point. A suburbanite in theory could make an appointment to see a friend, but this is tough to arrange when everyone works 8-9 hours per day plus commutes for another 1-2 hours. Zoning laws ensure that nobody can run a business, even one that is clean and quiet, from his or her home. Thus the typical suburban youth will never see an adult at work. As far as suburban teenagers are concerned, cash is something obtained mysteriously by adults and brought home after an exhausting commute.

Latin Americans often come up near the very top of the world’s happiest people, despite a material prosperity that is very pale compared to that we enjoy in the United States. Nearly every small town in Latin America is built around a central plaza where the citizens gather at various hours to meet friends, play chess, eat meals in restaurants, etc. Small streets radiate from the plaza and hold all of the shops that are essential to daily life, including supermarkets and hardware stores. Housing is built up to a three story height, dense enough to support businesses, but not so dense that people are isolated in concrete towers with elevators. Smaller workshops are mixed in with housing, introducing young people to the texture of business.

The U.S. offers some enjoyable walkable neighborhoods, mostly developed before the rise of the automobile. Examples include many neighborhoods within New York City, San Francisco, Chicago, and Boston. These neighborhoods, however, are small and can hold only a tiny minority of Americans. Consequently, houses within walkable neighborhoods typically cost over $1 million. As the U.S. population heads toward 500 million, these livable neighborhoods will become even more out of reach of the average citizen.

The market economy will not deliver Latin American-style living. We have to assume that building tract houses along the Interstate, served by strip malls a few exits down the highway, is the most profitable way to develop real estate. The handful of “New Urbanism” communities are not substitutes for the Latin American town. At Disney’s Celebration (near Orlando, Florida), for example, residents must drive more than 20 minutes to get to a supermarket, a hardware store, or a bookstore. It would be illegal to start a small business in most areas of Celebration.

In the exurbs of a rapidly growing metropolitan area, such as San Francisco or Los Angeles, we build a Latin American town, complete with central plaza ringed by three-story high buildings, the ground floor of which holds shops. We offer free rent to supermarkets, hardware stores, and other essential services. We encourage residents to start small non-industrial businesses in their homes, partly to provide jobs within the community and partly so that young people can see what adult work looks like. Once completed, the buildings are sold off for market prices and the money is recycled into building the next one.

How many of today’s mass shooters are products of the American suburbs?

Let’s also look at family structure. No society anywhere in the world or at any time in human history has ever provided the financial incentives to breaking up children’s homes that the U.S. provides. Consequently, we have double the percentage of kids living without two parents compared to the typical European nation. If you told people in 1800 that it would one day be possible for a married parent to get paid to wander off and have sex with a new friend every week they would never have believed that would be possible.

How many of today’s mass shooters are products of the U.S. family court system? (i.e., children of “single parents” or “divorced parents”?)

Speaking of family structure, let’s look at the U.S. resurrection of polygamy in light of the fact that some of the mass shooters have been identified as frustrated “incels“. Pre-1970, the parents (two back then!) could tell an unlovable son “there’s a lid for every pot.” Because of enforced monogamy, women who wanted to reproduce needed to pick the best man that they could find for a long-term partnership. For about half of the women, therefore, this meant partnering with a below-average-quality man. With current social mores and family law, however, a woman will be far better off becoming a “single mom” by having sex with a married dentist (profits vary by state) than by marrying anyone remotely like the young guys who have recently perpetrated mass shootings. A polygamous society that produces excess men also produces violence, according to the academics (example: “Polygynous Neighbors, Excess Men, and Intergroup Conflict in Rural Africa”). H.L. Mencken predicted this in 1922:

… the objections to polygamy do not come from women, for the average woman is sensible enough to prefer half or a quarter or even a tenth of a first-rate man to the whole devotion of a third-rate man.

How about shared cultural values? Has there ever been another society that doubled its population via low-skill immigration without regard to cultural compatibility? (see “Modern Immigration Wave Brings 59 Million to U.S., Driving Population Growth and Change Through 2065” (Pew 2015)) If so, what happened to that society? The latest and greatest immigration law favors those without any affinity for American culture and American society: a migrant stays in the U.S. if he/she/ze/they says “I was unsafe in my home country.” We sort by how dangerous and disordered the society from which the migrant came, not by the likelihood that the migrant will find or expects to find fellowship among his/her/zir/their brothers, sisters, and binary-resisters here in the U.S. A person who says “I hate everything about the U.S., but my spouse 4,000 miles away is abusing me” has more entitlement to live in the U.S. than a person who says “I love the U.S. and thought this would be a nice place to settle after I got my M.D. in Zurich.” Thus, the U.S. will gradually become a random assortment of people from the world’s most dangerous and disordered societies.

We don’t care when people in foreign countries die, right? (sometimes we say that we care, but we act as though we don’t care) If the U.S. becomes a random assemblage of people from around the world, why is it obvious that we must care about our fellow Americans? Omar Mateen, a child of immigrants from Afghanistan, explicitly said that his primary allegiance was not to fellow Americans:

In a 9-1-1 call made shortly after the shooting [in the Orlando nightclub] began, Mateen swore allegiance to the leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and said the U.S. killing of Abu Waheeb in Iraq the previous month “triggered” the shooting. He later told a negotiator he was “out here right now” because of the American-led interventions in Iraq and in Syria and that the negotiator should tell the United States to stop the bombing.

Seung-Hui Cho was a permanent resident from South Korea who killed 32 Americans at Virginia Tech. Nidal Hasan, the child of Muslim Palestinian immigrants to the U.S., killed 13 people in Fort Hood in 2009 (sentenced to death in 2013, but many years of appeal remain). Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik waged jihad against non-Muslims in San Bernardino, California. After years of living at taxpayer expense in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the immigrant Tsarnaev brothers waged jihad on infidels running the Boston Marathon (not a shooting, but a mass murder). Ahmad Al Aliwi Al-Issa came from Syria and became a jihadi in Colorado (killing 10). Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov immigrated from Uzbekistan before killing 8 infidels in New York City (using a truck as a weapon; he has been living at taxpayer expense for five years while awaiting trial). The same phenomenon seems to occur in other countries. A recent shooting in Norway was perpetrated by an immigrant from Iran (ABC).

Stephen Paddock, the Las Vegas mass shooter, was a white native-born person. But he lived in a city that is roughly 40 percent immigrants and children of immigrants and where even the native-born Americans have come from somewhere else. What is the shared cultural value that ties people who live in Las Vegas together? A belief in slot machines? A native-born shooter, Robert Gregory Bowers, explicitly stated that his motivation for killing Jews in a Pittsburgh synagogue was taxpayer-funded Jewish organizations, such as HIAS, that bring migrants to the U.S. Returning to Norway, the native-born Anders Behring Breivik said that he was motivated to launch the 2011 shootings by Muslim immigration.

This is not to say that open borders are bad. Certainly they are not bad for the rich (Harvard analysis) and certainly our open borders give us a wide array of bodegas and breakfast tacos from which to choose (Dr. Jill Biden, M.D.). But our open border policy is unique so maybe our open borders policy contributes to our unique position with respect to mass killings.

We’re not unique in the world in terms of having Internet. But having Internet is unique when considered against the history of the human

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The gun violence diaries

“How Do We Get Rid of Our Teenage Daughter’s Gun Safe?” (New York Times):

Our 15-year-old daughter is very headstrong. She’s never been in real trouble, but she bristles against rules and authority: curfews, homework, appropriate clothing — you name it! Recently, she exploded when her younger brothers discovered her journal in the family room. Now, she keeps it locked in a heavy black box she found at a secondhand store. The problem: The black box turns out to be a gun safe! (A friend of my husband told us.) We’re not worried that she has a gun; she helped organize a school rally to tighten our state’s gun laws. But she refuses to give up the safe, and we don’t want it in our house. Help!

A gun safe among the righteous!

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Why you want to be on SNAP/EBT

Shopping for tickets to take one old person, one very old person, and one young person to Longwood Gardens, a non-profit org near Wilmington, Delaware…

My ticket will be $25. If I had an EBT card (“food stamps”), it would be $2. Paying $60 rather than $6 for our little group won’t change my lifestyle, but I wonder how seeing stuff like this every day makes middle class taxpayers (“the chumps”) feel.

Note that, to prevent COVID-19 in the garden, an elaborate system of timed tickets is in place.

On the way back, we wanted to visit the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia. Adults are $25. The price for EBT cardholders…. Free.

We ended up not being to get in at all because it was sold out on a Sunday, but an EBT cardholder would, presumably, have been able to go on an uncrowded weekday while all of the taxpayers funding SNAP/EBT were at work.


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Are you working over the High Holidays?

A friend here in San Diego characterized today as the “High Holidays” because it is both Pride Month and Juneteenth (observed by government workers).

Readers: Are you forced to work today or are you relaxing at home reflecting on the injustices experienced by slaves who were also members of the 2SLGBTQQIA+ community?

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The communal apartment comes to the U.S.

Comparisons of the current U.S. system of transferism to “Communism” don’t make sense to me. In the Soviet Union under “Communism” everyone had to work, the very opposite of the American system in which tens of millions of able-bodied people are relieved of the need to work either by having sex with an already married person (“child support”), a quickie marriage to a high-income person (“alimony” and/or “Amber Heard”), or via taxpayer-funded housing, taxpayer-funded health care (Medicaid), taxpayer-funded food (SNAP/EBT), taxpayer-funded smartphone (Obamaphone), and, recently added, taxpayer-funded broadband for the Xbox. Any non-disabled adult in the Soviet Union who tried to sit at home collecting child support, alimony, or government-provided services would have been labeled a “parasite” and subject to a range of punishments.

But a signature feature of the Soviet system seems to be becoming more widespread in the U.S.: the communal apartment. “Their Solution to the Housing Crisis? Living With Strangers.” (NYT, June 1):

Two facts are painfully clear to New Yorkers: The rent is too high, and it keeps getting higher. With the median one-bedroom apartment hovering around $3,500 a month, New York’s rents are officially among the most expensive in the country. Between 2009 and 2018, the city added 500,000 jobs but only 100,000 new housing units. The profound shortage in rental units has forced the city’s residents to figure out their own ways to live affordably.

Ingrid Sletten, 68, was paired with Stacey Stormo, 37, through a nonprofit that helps older adults find roommates. They share a one-bedroom apartment in the Bronx and each pay $750.

Halima Muhammad, Sukanya Prasad, Ashleigh Genus and Prisca Hoffstaetter share a spacious four-bedroom apartment together on Myrtle Avenue in Brooklyn. Two of the roommates pay about $950 a month (and have their own bathrooms), while the other two pay about $890.

Rina Sah and her husband, Ajit Kumar Sah, share their two-bedroom apartment in Elmhurst, Queens, with Babita Khanal, whom they found through a Facebook group for the Nepali community in New York. Babita pays them $900 a month, lowering the couple’s share to only $1,200.

Kazi, Amzad, Eliyas and a fourth roommate are all recent Bangladeshi immigrants who share a basement apartment in East New York, Brooklyn. They pay a combined $1,600 and live two to a bedroom.

Alexandra Marzella has lived with more than 90 people over the last decade in a six-bedroom loft in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Her five current roommates also share the space with her 2-year-old daughter, Earth, who was born in the apartment’s bathtub in 2020. Each roommate pays between $1,000 and $1,300 in rent each month, including utilities.

Things must be easier up in the frozen north, right? Maybe not… “Asylum Seekers Overwhelm Shelters In Portland, Maine” (ZeroHedge):

Guthrie, a hands-on, frontline worker in the effort to feed, clothe, and house a continuous flow of foreign nationals arriving in Portland by airplane or bus from the U.S. southern border, told The Epoch Times, “Our family shelter facilities, our warming room, and even area hotel space is at capacity. We have maxed out our community resources.

The Portland Family Shelter is a complex of four rented buildings in various states of renovation located in the heart of downtown.

Some of the structures are gradually being converted into small apartments where up to four families will share a single kitchen and bathroom.

To accommodate the stream of new arrivals, the family shelter program has in recent months placed 309 families (1,091 people) in eight hotels located in five neighboring municipalities spread over three counties of southeastern Maine’s prime tourist and vacation region.

The vast majority of the new arrivals at the family shelter in Portland have come from Angola and the Congo in Africa, with some coming from Haiti in the Caribbean.

“A new arrival tells Border Patrol ‘I am here to seek asylum. If I go back home, I will be killed. I fear for my life.’ That’s the difference between an asylum seeker and an immigrant,” he said.

Those three short sentences guarantee a person’s admission for a lengthy stay in the United States as his or her claim [why only two gender IDs for migrants?] is adjudicated.

Most are given cell phones.

The shelter provides families with three meals a day, prepared off-site by “community partners.”

According to Guthrie, the cost per motel room is between $250 and $350 dollars per night and rising as the tourist season begins.

“Pregnancy is the families’ most urgent medical concern, and their most pressing medical need is OBGYN (obstetrics and gynecology) care,” he said.

Speaking through an interpreter provided by the shelter, and in the presence of shelter director Guthrie, Samantha, a young Angolan woman with a 10-month-old baby on her hip and a toddler in tow, was not shy about sharing her dissatisfaction.

“We endured a seven-month journey to come to this! We are not happy. Conditions are not good! We really need help.”

When asked if she felt welcome, Samantha said with a look of disbelief, “No! I do not feel welcome. Look at us. We are outside.”

Landry, a housepainter and electrician’s helper, brought his wife Sylvie, two-year-old daughter, and 12-month-old son to Portland from the Congo. … Sylvie said, “We came from Texas unprepared for this Maine weather. I am not happy for how I am living here. I don’t feel welcome!”

Climate change can’t happen soon enough for these folks! (Free housing, health care, smartphone, and three meals per day cooked by paid do-gooders isn’t enough to make people “feel welcome” given typical Maine weather.)

Housing is fundamental. So maybe it is fair to say that the U.S. is becoming “Communist” at least with respect to communal apartments.


  • “How Refugees Transformed a Dying Rust Belt Town” (NYT, June 3, 2022); after all of the employable native-born residents flee the city’s high taxes, incompetent government, and spectacular public employee pension obligations, Utica, NY imports replacements who come with Federal tax dollars attached. (This is not, however, evidence that the disproved Great Replacement Theory is in any way correct.)
  • “She sought an affordable housing voucher in 1993. This Chicago alderman just reached the top of the waitlist.” (Chicago Tribune, June 7, 2022) “In one of the richest cities in the world, we ain’t got a money issue. There’s no political will to make sure people are housed,” Taylor said. … At the end of 2021, there were 170,000 families on waitlists for public housing and project-based housing, … Aguilar said that wait times can range from six months to 25 years. Most properties on a CHA website show expected wait times of 10 years or more. … “CHA currently has 47,000 Housing Choice Vouchers that it receives from the federal government. The number allotted has not increased in many years,” he said. New families will receive vouchers when families currently in the program stop using them.
  • Regarding Chicago… “This Land Was Promised for Housing. Instead It’s Going to a Pro Soccer Team Owned by a Billionaire.” (ProPublica): More than 30,000 people wait for homes from the Chicago Housing Authority. Meanwhile, a site that’s gone undeveloped for two decades is set to become a Chicago Fire practice facility.
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Americans were too busy in lockdown to breastfeed

One reason for the baby formula shortage is that the FDA protects American infants from being poisoned by Swiss-made baby formula from Nestlé, the company that invented baby formula. What flies off a French hypermarché shelf is strictly illegal here. (Let’s hope that it continues to be illegal to import Nestlé’s noxious formula and that, instead, we will import their Swiss-made chocolate and consume it to maintain our robust Covid-fighting BMIs.)

Another reason for the shortage turns out to be that American fathers, mothers, and formerly pregnant people of other gender IDs were too busy at home in lockdown to breastfeed. “Baby-Formula Shortage Worsened by Drop in Breast-Feeding Rates” (WSJ, May 29):

One of the contributing factors in the U.S. baby-formula shortage is a significant shift in the way parents feed their babies: Breast-feeding declined during the pandemic, reversing a decadeslong trend, health practitioners say.

Since 2020, the share of breast-fed one-year-olds has plummeted from an estimated 34% to an estimated 14% this year, according to surveys conducted by Demographic Intelligence, a forecasting firm that specializes in births and works with formula manufacturers including Abbott Laboratories and Nestlé. Because of the small sample size, the firm’s 2022 estimate has a range of error of plus or minus 6 percentage points.

After Covid-19 restrictions were introduced in March 2020, many new mothers had shorter hospital stays and were discharged before their milk had come in or their baby had latched successfully to their breast, breast-feeding experts say. Some infants weren’t given skin-to-skin contact with their mothers after birth because of concerns about Covid-19 transmission.

Some lactation consultants were furloughed, redeployed or designated nonessential personnel; others offered only virtual appointments. Parents had less access to in-person assistance from doulas and peer-support groups. They also had less help from family and friends, who stayed away to avoid exposing newborns to the coronavirus.

(I’m not sure why the article refers to “mothers” given that “fathers” can also breastfeed.)

Hillary Clinton’s wisdom remains important even as the torch of wise Science-informed leadership has been passed to Joe Biden:

“It takes a village,” Dr. Spatz said. During the pandemic, she said, “all the in-person, peer-to-peer support went away.”

Science is fickle:

Breast-feeding rates in the U.S. reached a low point in the 1970s, when many doctors told parents that formula was the best food for babies. Then a movement to promote breast-feeding, and growing research showing the benefits of breast-feeding over formula, led to a decadeslong increase in breast-feeding.

The share of one-year-olds who are fed with at least some breast milk climbed from 16% in 2001 to 36% in 2017, then plateaued in 2018 and 2019, according to latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Skin color matters:

The recent drop in breast-feeding has been particularly steep among lower-income families and people of color, Dr. Spatz said.

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What have we learned about Salvador Ramos, the Uvalde, Texas murderer?

The shooting in Uvalde, Texas is dominating my Facebook and Twitter feeds. Here’s an example:

(Joe Biden has been in the Senate or the White House since 1973. He didn’t do anything about gun laws, common sense or otherwise, during those 49 years, but “we have to do more” today.)

From an older guy in Maskachusetts on Facebook:

Does anyone really need these kinds of guns. I think if you want to shoot these kind of weapons you can only shoot them and keep them at gun ranges. Other than that, no one, other than law enforcement should have these weapons. I am sorry. There is ZERO need for them out in society.

What has been learned about Salvador Ramos and his motivation for killing elementary school kids?

From skimming the news, it sounds as though Mr. Ramos confirms the findings in The Son Also Rises. His grandfather was unsuccessful (“[grandfather] Rolando Reyes also said he has a criminal background and cannot have a weapon in the home.” (ABC)) and Mr. Ramos was on track to be unsuccessful (“The Robb Elementary School shooter went on the deadly rampage after apparently fighting with his grandmother about his failure to graduate from his Texas high school, according to a report.” (New York Post)).

“Salvador Ramos Was Bullied for Stutter, Wearing Black Eyeliner: Friend” (Newsweek):

“He would get bullied hard, like bullied by a lot of people,” Garcia told the Washington Post. “Over social media, over gaming, over everything.”

Could this be the motivation? Plenty of teenagers in the 1970s had access to guns. Bullying in the 1970s was far worse than today and physical violence was common, as it was outside of school as well during the high-crime 1970s. In the junior high school that I attended, kids could get bullied for wearing Sears Toughskins rather than Levi’s blue jeans. I don’t think coming out as transgender or gay would have gone over well. On the other hand, 1970s bullies couldn’t follow the weak members of the herd into their own homes via social media.

What about pills? Kids weren’t medicated back in the 1970s. Psychiatrists today poke at random into a complex system that they don’t understand (the brain). Some of the most commonly prescribed medications may push pill-takers toward violence. See “Precursors to suicidality and violence on antidepressants: systematic review of trials in adult healthy volunteers” (2016): “Antidepressants double the occurrence of events in adult healthy volunteers that can lead to suicide and violence.” But there is no evidence that Salvador Ramos was taking any pills.

What has been learned that could explain this terrible crime? (other than, in a country of 330+ million, there are going to be terrible crimes periodically)

Separately… gun nut readers: How are you going to sweep this episode of gun violence under the rug? If Americans were willing to shut down schools for more than a year and be locked down at home in hopes of slightly reducing the COVID-19-tagged death rate, why aren’t these same folks willing to repeal the 2nd Amendment? (China is the dream society, I think, for about half of Americans. China has zero COVID and no private gun ownership.)


  • the worst trauma is suffered by those who cower on the edge of a battle: “Amid criticism of the police response to the gunman’s hourlong rampage, including outrage among frantic parents who said that heavily armed officers stood outside the school restraining them rather than storming the building themselves, Texas officials on Thursday sought to express the difficulty facing community members and law enforcement responders alike. “It is so hard,” said Victor Escalon, regional director for the Texas Department of Public Safety. “We’re hurting inside. We’re hurting inside for the community members. We’re hurting inside for our local partners.” (NYT)
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People banned from Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube can buy back their Freedom of Speech for $1,595

Folks who’ve been unpersoned by Twitter, Facebook, and/or YouTube/Google might feel that their practical freedom of speech is gone. The good is is that it can be bought back from the U.S. Mint for $1,595 via the First Amendment to the United States Constitution 2022 Platinum Proof Coin – Freedom of Speech:

If you want the FBI’s January 6 task force to come to your house, add a Donald Trump medal to your shopping cart:

If you want to celebrate a Nobel laureate who has been complicit in what the U.S. now says is “genocide”, the Daw Aung San Suu Kyi Bronze Medal:

Continuing the theme of celebrating the achievements of strong women, here’s one for the Apollo 11 astronauts:

To celebrate weekend warriors who like to put on uniforms, give themselves officer rank and uniforms, and buzz around in mighty Cessna 172s, one for the Civil Air Patrol:

To remember that Big Government is not always competent, one regarding the USS Indianapolis (Navy failed to notice that the ship hadn’t arrived and failed to take any action, not even a search plane launch, in response to a distress call received from the vessel before she sank):

The Mint celebrates John Muir, who advocated eliminating low-skill immigration to the U.S. in order to preserve the environment:

(See “The Extremist Campaign to Blame Immigrants for U.S. Environmental Problems” (Center for American Progress): “John Muir, known as the father of national parks, expressed racism toward Black and Native Americans and promoted ideas of restricting immigration by nonwhites.”)

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Brandeis students’ concerns while Ukrainians are shelled

A photo taken last week, while Ukrainian cities and homes were being destroyed, on the Brandeis University campus:

While bravely behind a Zoom screen, students identifying as BIPOC could participate in the “Surviving White Spaces” support group, for example. There was “drop-in” support for the pandemic (where “drop-in” is defined as clicking on a Zoom URL). For those who weren’t sure whether they belonged in the 2SLGBTQQIA+ community, there was “Gender & Sexuality Exploration”, from which one could presumably segue into “LGBTQ+ Support Group”.

What about Americans who aren’t in college and who aren’t in Ukraine? They too are experiencing a “tragedy” according to Atlantic magazine’s “How did this many deaths become normal?”:

The U.S. is nearing 1 million recorded COVID-19 deaths without the social reckoning that such a tragedy should provoke. Why?

Why did the CDC issue new guidelines that allowed most Americans to dispense with indoor masking when at least 1,000 people had been dying of COVID every day for almost six straight months?

America is accepting not only a threshold of death but also a gradient of death. Elderly people over the age of 75 are 140 times more likely to die than people in their 20s.

How much of this extra mortality will the U.S. accept? The CDC’s new guidelines provide a clue. They recommend that protective measures such as indoor masking kick in once communities pass certain thresholds of cases and hospitalizations. But the health-policy experts Joshua Salomon and Alyssa Bilinski calculated that by the time communities hit the CDC’s thresholds, they’d be on the path to at least three daily deaths per million, which equates to 1,000 deaths per day nationally. And crucially, the warning lights would go off too late to prevent those deaths. “As a level of mortality the White House and CDC are willing to accept before calling for more public health protection, this is heartbreaking,”

There is some good news in the article. Most of us do follow Science:

a poll that found that mask mandates are favored by 50 percent of Americans and opposed by just 28 percent

Apparently, there is nothing that can happen in Ukraine that will stop us from focusing on the concerns that we had prior to February 2022.

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