URLs du China Virus

2021-01-28

[Amazon Link]

  • The CBS News headline is innocuous enough: Biden to address racism toward Asian Americans during pandemic with executive action. Except Biden will not be doing anything about the the anti-Asian racism in the "diversity" admission policies of selective American universities.

    But the real news:

    The Biden executive order is also expected to direct federal agencies like the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to examine whether there are xenophobic references like "China virus" in any existing policies, directives or government websites published by the Trump administration.   

    Ah, but unfortunately…

    A CBS News review of COVID-19-related executive orders issued by the Trump administration did not find any specific reference to "China virus," the term the former president often used to blame the Chinese government for the pandemic. But if the term is found in existing policies, the forthcoming executive action is expected to order its removal.

    So, to a first approximation, Biden's executive order does nothing. Appropriate for a problem that (as near as I can tell) doesn't exist.

    But I'm on board with Vodkapundit, who says: China Virus, China Virus, China Virus.

    And not to mention the brave folks at Granite Grok who point out: China Virus China Virus China Virus China Virus China Virus China Virus.


  • Speaking of heresy, Kyle Smith brings attention to something you might not have noticed, if you were relying on (say) CBS News: Biden’s Inauguration Speech Was a Lot Like Trump’s.

    Credit where it’s due: The president’s repeated calls for unity were a tonic. After an extraordinarily contentious election that his opponent to this day insists on baselessly calling illegitimate, our new chief executive poured soothing oil on roiling waters and patriotically reminded us of how much we all have in common. As many worry about the nation’s place in the world, the new president said he would “reinforce old alliances and build new ones.” As unease poisons the land, it was invigorating to hear him vow to “rebuild our country and restore its promise for all of our people,” and gutsy, in a time of secularism, for him to mention that “the Bible tells us how good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity.” He spoke passionately about suffering Americans beset by poverty, hopelessness, and lack of opportunity, proclaiming, “We are one nation and their pain is our pain.” He contended, movingly, that “we must speak our minds openly, debate our disagreements honestly, but always pursue solidarity. When America is united, America is totally unstoppable. There should be no fear.”

    Yes, all of that is actually from President Trump’s inaugural address. And yes, the “totally unstoppable” gives it away. (And yes, four years later, his vanquished opponent Hillary Clinton still claims the election “was basically stolen” from her.) So it’s unfortunate that his successor Joe Biden had to give an inaugural address that was so dark and divisive, so full of bleak apocalyptic imagery and dire warnings about “white supremacy,” the first-ever mention of this scourge in an inaugural address. Though Barack Obama didn’t even mention racism in his two inaugural speeches, Biden repeatedly brought it up as part of our “ugly reality.” He also said the very earth we live on is so endangered that it is making a “cry for survival . . . that can’t be any more desperate,” that we are stalked by “anger, resentment, hatred, extremism, lawlessness, violence, disease, joblessness, hopelessness . . . bitterness, and fury” and that politics has become “a raging fire destroying everything in its path.”

    Thumbs up to Kyle for actually paying attention to inaugural addresses, something I did not manage myself.


  • Jonah Goldberg notices how the Wheezy Administation is playing the Expectations Game.

    Biden says he wants the federal government to respond to this crisis as if it were a war. Well, what kind of war? The modern kind, where a handful of people do almost everything while the rest of society and government are spectators? We haven’t fully mobilized the country for war since WWII, and if that’s the model, the Biden administration is falling far short of the mark.

    FDR put Lt. Gen. Leslie Groves, the man who built the Pentagon in 16 months, in charge of the Manhattan Project. Historian Paul Johnson tells the story of Groves calling the Treasury Department and demanding thousands of tons of silver for electrical wiring. The response from a vexed official: “In the Treasury we do not speak of tons of silver. Our unit is the troy ounce.” Groves got his silver because fastidious bureaucratic pettifogging was no match for a nation mobilized.

    That’s the spirit people want from government right now, at all levels. But last week, Biden said the federal government’s implementation of a vaccination program was “too rigid.” Ron Klain, Biden’s chief of staff, was asked Sunday on Meet the Press about the possibility—floated by Democratic Govs. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan and Andrew Cuomo of New York—of allowing states to cut out the middleman and purchase vaccines directly. “I don’t think that’s possible,” Klain replied, because the emergency-use authorization of the existing vaccines requires federal oversight. That sounds awfully rigid to me. 

    One other thing: in a shooting war, you don't get Sundays off. But apparently that's SOP in most states for China Virus vaccinations.


  • Jim Geraghty notes a crackup at a busy intersection as Joe Biden’s Coronavirus Pandemic Promises Careen into Reality.

    We’re going to hear variations of “Biden’s only been on the job for a week!” Never mind Biden’s repeated promises that his administration, and his pandemic response team in particular, would be “ready from day one” and “already ready to jump in.” The counter-question is, when is it fair to judge Biden on the decisions he’s made regarding the pandemic while in office? After two weeks? A month? Two months? 100 days?

    As you can see from the elaborate promise on the campaign trail and the much more modest projection once elected, Biden hasn’t shaken his old malarkey habits. When he’s got an audience in front of him, he wants to please them and generate roaring applause. Biden has told environmentalist protesters or supporters that he wants to “end fossil fuels,” “get rid of fossil fuels,“phase out fossil fuel production,” and “ban fossil fuel exports.” There is a pattern that whenever Biden is challenged on being insufficiently committed to the green agenda, he insists he agrees with his critic. And then when called out for those comments, Biden insists he never said what he said.

    In one of his debates against President Trump, Biden said he would transition away from the oil industry, and then his staff has to rush in and explain he only meant subsidies for the oil industry. He declared, “I will not ban fracking. Period.” And then he banned fracking on federal lands.

    The unofficial slogan of the Biden presidency is, “Well, he didn’t mean it that way.”

    Anyone want to check Politifact to see how they spin this?


  • Bonnie Kristian rang the Google LFOD News Alert with her description of How the Founding Fathers encourage political violence. This shouldn't surprise anyone, should it? Bonnie notes that the January 6 Capitol rioters were simply taking America's founders at their word. (E.g., Jefferson: "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is it's [sic] natural manure.")

    And they had plenty of opportunity to do so. Violent references from our national past that were not figurative when first spoken are everywhere in American public life. We treat them as mundane, old-timey, the stuff of Colonial Williamsburg and elementary school history lessons. On Independence Day, we set off fireworks to celebrate killing people so we could have our preferred system of governance. New Hampshire's state motto is "Live free or die." District of Columbia license plates use a revolutionary slogan to issue a perpetual (and perpetually empty) threat.

    Research suggests metaphors about "fighting" are enough to make some people more supportive of political violence. So what happens when they hear sincere praise of insurrection from the most revered saints of American civil religion? Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised if some subset of the public takes it as literally as it was originally intended.

    As for me, I hope my memory of a private moratorium on the "tree of liberty" is correct. I'll certainly never interpret it figuratively again, nor will I share it assuming others will read into it a peaceful intent. Jefferson's defense of liberty included spilling blood. Mine cannot.

    Well, mine can. So says my license plate.


  • And in the really important LFOD news: Students push state spider status for daring arachnid. That's our state, of course.

    Third graders urging lawmakers to adopt yet another state symbol presented a compelling case Wednesday for a creature that embodies everything from New Hampshire’s “Live Free or Die” motto to its famed fall foliage: The daring jumping spider.

    The House Environment and Agriculture Committee held a public hearing on a bill to designate the fuzzy, quarter-sized arachnid as the official state spider of New Hampshire. Tara Happy, a science teacher at Hollis Primary School, said the legislation grew out of a weeklong unit designed to reduce fear of spiders.

    “I started out with a class yelling ‘Ewwww’ and by the end of the week ... they were literally waiting in line to hold a little black spider with their bare hands,” she said. “But what I didn’t expect to happen was a school-wide movement to elect a New Hampshire state spider. After learning how important spiders are to our world, the students were a little shocked to learn that such an important species wasn’t recognized with a state symbol.”

    The kids were shocked! And I, quite frankly, am stunned!