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France investigates secret restaurants for Paris elite

© AP Photo/Michel Spingler, FILE
Champagne, lobster and no masks: That's what a French TV documentary says is on the menu at one of multiple high-end "clandestine restaurants" catering to the Paris elite, in violation of nationwide pandemic restrictions.

What's even more shocking to the newly confined French public — and exhausted medical staff — is that one organizer claimed government ministers are among those who attend.

French authorities are investigating the accusations, and government members scrambled to insist they're behaving properly.

Anti-capitalist activists and critics of President Emmanuel Macron aren't convinced, and plan a protest Tuesday — advertised on social networks under the banner "Let's Eat the Rich" — at one of the alleged secret venues,


Why postmodernism is incompatible with a politics of liberty

Intersectionality postmodern liberal leftist
Several months ago, I debated Thaddeus Russell on The Tom Woods Show. The proposition debated was "Postmodern philosophy is compatible with a politics of individual liberty." Thaddeus defended the proposition and I opposed it. Here, I want to flesh out some of the points I made in the debate, adding more context than I could marshal under the constraints of the format. For better or worse, this requires a somewhat deep dive into postmodern ideas.

Postmodernism, I argue, is incompatible with liberty, first because it sees the individual as a mere product, as constructed by language, social factors, and so on. As such, postmodernism effectively denies self-determination and individual agency. Second, the cultural obsession with social identity that is current today derives from the social constructivism of postmodern philosophy. Such social constructivism further denies individual agency. The very concept of truth, meanwhile, is denied in favor of subjective belief. For reasons discussed below, the denial of the concept of truth is anathema to liberty.

Thaddeus Russell takes postmodernism's "anything goes" epistemological subjectivism, skepticism, and idealism for epistemic "humility." That is, because postmodernism eschews or denies "truth" and suggests that there are merely different "narratives" that pass for truth, it allows for people to escape from the truth claims that others, like the state, would impose on them. Its rejection of metanarratives is liberational and Russell takes this as an invocation of freedom.


Texas Rangers baseball team fills stadium with fans, who accept 'calculated risk'

texas rangers game
© AP Photo/Jeffrey McWhorter
Fans stand for the national anthem before a baseball game between the Texas Rangers and the Toronto Blue Jays Monday, April 5, 2021, in Arlington, Texas.
Susanna Frare said her family decided to take a "calculated risk" attending the home opener of the Texas Rangers, the first major U.S. pro sports event to approach capacity in a stadium since the coronavirus shutdown more than a year ago.

All tickets at 40,518-seat Globe Life Field were for sale, and the retractable-roof stadium was about three-fourths full at first pitch against Toronto on Monday. The roof was open on a 75 degree day with 15 mph winds.

"Since it's at full capacity, that was something that we gave a lot of thought about," said Frare, holding one young child with another sitting next to her at a table behind seats in the upper deck in left field about two hours before the game.

"But since masks are required and we're doing our part and we know that the ballpark is doing their part to keep everything clean and sanitized as much as possible, we just thought it was worth it to come on out here," she said.

The Rangers gained national attention with their announcement last month to make all tickets available for the home opener, drawing criticism from President Joe Biden that it was a "mistake" and "not responsible."

The club's decision came not long after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott lifted the state's mask mandate and cleared businesses to operate normally. The Rangers said masks were required. Compliance was strong on the concourses, but not nearly as good in the seats.



States rebuke vaccine passports

Vaccine passport
© Civil Liberties Union for Europe/KJN
How did we get from '15 days to flatten the curve' to a coerced-at-best-forced-at-worst vaccine passport? The premise of a vaccine ID to reopen misses the point that nearly 20 states are already in various stages of reopening.

Visions of a hunger games scenario are leaping from fiction to a possible future as society continues to be 'reimagined' through the vertical consolidation of power offered by Covid's steamrolling of society.

Vaccine passports, or whatever we're calling them this week, have only been rolled out in New York...so far. Already, however, a growing number of state lawmakers across America are moving to ban their use through various legislative efforts.

Finding political backbone and drawing lines in the sand, it appears that the vaccine passport is just a step too far for some political leaders.

Comment: This refusal to comply is becoming more than a trend. With 20 states onboard, it has become a full-scale movement.


Toddlers in UK nurseries need to be taught about 'white privilege' because equality is not anti-racist enough, woke report claims

white privilege, racism BLM
© Getty Images / Jeff J Mitchell
Children look on as a member of the public cleans the Robert the Bruce Statue which has been defaced with graffiti saying "Racist King" on June 12, 2020 in Bannockburn, Scotland
A radically woke report titled 'Birth to 5 Matters' says British toddlers need to be taught anti-racism, not just equality, pushing a divisive critical race agenda and the recently rejected notion of institutional racism.

The release of the report by the Early Years Coalition tells us all we need to know about the radical leftist agenda that is currently attempting to seize the debate on race in the UK. The woefully woke work from the coalition, which represents 16 early years organisations across the UK covering tens of thousands of children, offered its own take on how to teach at nurseries in its 'Birth to 5 Matters' document, flagged as "guidance by the sector for the sector" - an important note, as none of this is the idea of the government; it's just their unsolicited view.

As you would expect, any document emanating from the education sector these days has to prove its credentials by declaring adherence to current woke orthodoxy. And that means training nursery staff in controversial critical race theory so they can identify mini-racists among their nought-to-five-year-old charges and put them on the path to (self-)righteousness before it's too late.

Comment: To quote James Lindsay:
Critical Race Theory is pessimistic, cynical, and paranoid to the core, and it teaches these as though they're virtues, filling young black people especially with a belief that society is against them. This is utter poison. Learning to see problems is good; dwelling on them isn't.


Critical Race Theory is a conspiracy theory about racism in society, but instead of a group of conspirators, it's white people and everybody who likes civil society conspiring against the lunatic fringe who don't (or do, really, but who wish to control it themselves). It's impossible to heal our society if even a tithe of us believe this poison. Impossible. We can do better, and we have to do better.

Mr. Potato

Crickets: 81M vote recipient Kamala Harris returns to hometown but barely anyone shows up

kamal harris home town oakland

Kamala Harris traveled to Oakland, California on Monday in her first visit to her hometown since Inauguration Day.
Harris traveled to the Bay Area to tour a water treatment facility to promote Joe Biden's infrastructure proposal.

Virtually no supporters showed up to greet Kamala Harris...in her own hometown - but she got 81 million votes.

One random lady took a photo of Kamala Harris's motorcade and another woman was surprised to hear Harris was in Oakland today.

Comment: Voting with their feet.

Contrasted of course with an appearance by President Trump at an event in Florida:


South Dakota vindicated: Least restrictive state in the Western world, yet Covid deaths have dropped to one per day:

mount rushmore
© Reuters / National Parks Service handout
Mt. Rushmore, South Dakota
As I noted back in March, South Dakota may have taken the least restrictive approach to COVID-19 of anywhere in the Western world. Its conservative governor, Kristi Noem, has been a stalwart opponent of lockdowns: when the state's epidemic burgeoned at the end of August, there were practically no restrictions in place. Despite this, case numbers fell rapidly after reaching a peak in mid November. And by late February, they were in the low triple digits.


Bad Guys

5 year-old-boy 'ripped apart' by Ukraine drone attack outside his home in Donetsk region

ukraine drone attack donetsk
© IA FrontNews
Relatives said the boy was just "torn apart"
A HEARTBROKEN family has claimed a five-year-old boy was "ripped apart" in a drone attack by Ukraine amid fears of renewed civil war as Vladimir Putin's troops mass on the border.

Vladik Shikhov was blown up outside his home in the Aleksandrovskoye village in the breakaway Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine, which has been held by Russia-backed rebels since 2014.

Last week Russia sent 4,000 troops and convoys of tanks to the border, prompting experts to warn the conflict could trigger a new world war in just four weeks.

Comment: Backed by the West, Ukraine has been terrorizing the people of Donbass and Donetsk for years now, although the recent uptick in violence is particularly concerning:

Black Cat

Journalists attack the powerless, then self-victimize to bar criticisms of themselves

Gannett-USA Today headquarters
© AFP/PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP via Getty Images
An unidentified man walks through the lobby of the Gannett-USA Today headquarters building August 20, 2013 on a 30-acre site in McLean, Virginia.
Powerful media figures now invoke sexist and racist tropes to cast themselves as so fragile and marginalized that critiques of their work constitute bullying and assault.

The daily newspaper USA Today is the second-most circulated print newspaper in the United States — more than The New York Times and more than double The Washington Post. Only The Wall Street Journal has higher circulation numbers.

On Sunday, the paper published and heavily promoted a repellent article complaining that "defendants accused in the Capitol riot Jan. 6 crowdfund their legal fees online, using popular payment processors and an expanding network of fundraising platforms, despite a crackdown by tech companies." It provided a road map for snitching on how these private citizens — who are charged with serious felonies by the U.S. Justice Department but as of yet convicted of nothing — are engaged in "a game of cat-and-mouse as they spring from one fundraising tool to another" in order to avoid bans on their ability to raise desperately needed funds to pay their criminal lawyers to mount a vigorous defense.

Comment: See also:

Pumpkin 2

Senator who sponsored cash bail ban is furious: Driver who threatened him with gun only had to post $1,500 to get out of jail

Illinois state Sen. Elgie Sims
© senatorelgiesims.com
Illinois State Sen. Elgie Sims
An Illinois state senator who sponsored recently-signed legislation that will eliminate cash bail in the state by 2023 is outraged that a man who allegedly flashed a gun at him while driving only had to post $1,500 to get out of jail.

"By him being released on bail, he's free to do this again," Sen. Elgie Sims of Chicago told the State-Journal Register.

Yet just last month Sims tweeted, "money bond doesn't guarantee public safety or someone's appearance in court, it supports a system where freedom is based on the size of someone's bank account. We've tried the failed tough on crime polices [sic] of the past."