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“I can confirm that the level of Covid hysteria is infinitely higher in blue states/cities.”
“I think we have to stop coddling people when it comes to . . . the vaccines, saying ‘Oh you can’t shame them. You can’t call them stupid.’ Yes, they are. The people who aided and abetted Trump are stupid because they believed his big lie. The people who are not getting vaccines who are believing the lies on the internet instead of science, it's time to start shaming them or leave them behind.” — CNN’s Don Lemon.1
“Lucid is the Tesla of electric-vehicle startups, and the stock is set to soar nearly 60%, Bank of America says.” — Headline of a Business Insider article. (Is Tesla not the Tesla of electric-vehicle startups. . . ?)
“I’m making more money. I should be able to see it. But I don’t see it because I’m paying more money for stuff now.” — Troy Sutton, who lost a $12-an-hour job as a custodian at the start of the pandemic and recently landed a custodian job that pays $18 or more an hour.
“We found no evidence that trigger warnings improve students’ mental health. What’s more, we are now convinced that they push students and faculty members alike to turn away from the study of vitally important topics that are seen as too ‘distressing.’” — The Chronical of Higher Education. The consensus is based on 17 studies. According to the authors, trigger warnings do not alleviate emotional distress, nor do they significantly reduce negative affect or minimize intrusive thoughts for individuals with or without a history of trauma. In fact, research shows that trigger warnings actually increased the anxiety of individuals with the most severe PTSD, prompting them to view trauma as more central to their life narrative.
“I don’t do a lot of hand-wringing in my opinions and tell people, ‘Oh, I’m really sad.’ That’s not the role of a judge. You do your job and you go cry alone.” — Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, when asked whether the legal questions he confronts on the bench ever conflict with his Catholic faith.
“Cut him off, please. Cut him off now! Cut him off now! You’re not going to blame this on President Trump on my show!” — Newsmax Host Grant Stinchfield. During a recent episode of Stinchfield’s eponymous show, the host invited on a former Army officer named Joe Saboe to discuss his rescue organization’s efforts in assisting those looking to escape Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover. But when Saboe offered very mild criticism of former President Donald Trump (after also criticizing the Biden administration), Stinchfield blew a gasket and accused him of using the “talking points of the left” to “blame President Trump,” kicking him off the air.
“The current assessment probably conservatively is one to two years for Al Qaeda to build some capability to at least threaten the homeland.” — Defense Intelligence Agency Director Scott Berrier, in a Capitol Hill hearing with the Foreign Relations Committee, where top intelligence officials as well as Secretary of State Antony Blinken testified on the Biden administration’s handling of the Afghanistan withdrawal. U.S. spies have seen early signs that al Qaeda militants have started returning to Afghanistan, after dispersing from the country in response to the U.S. counterterrorism effort there.
“The Biden administration is in complete disarray and is handling the border crisis as badly as the evacuation from Afghanistan.” — Gov. Greg Abbott, as thousands of migrants gather in temporary camps along the Texas-Mexico border, including a new surge of people (upwards of 15,000) from Haiti.
“Perhaps the most significant capability collaboration in the world anywhere in the past six decades.” — UK national security adviser Sir Stephen Lovegrove, on the new Aukus Alliance between Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The three-way strategic defense pact is to build a class of nuclear-propelled submarines and develop wider technologies while working together in the Indo-Pacific region, where the rise of China is seen as an increasing threat. It means Australia will end the contract given to France in 2016 to build 12 diesel electric-powered submarines to replace its existing Collins submarine fleet. The deal marks the first time the U.S. has shared nuclear propulsion technology with an ally apart from the UK.
“For any who still doubted it, the Biden administration is no different from the Trump administration on this point: The United States comes first, whether it’s in the strategic, economic, financial or health fields. ‘America First’ is the guiding line of the foreign policy of the White House.” — An editorial in Le Monde (via The New York Times) the leading French daily, about the Aukus Alliance. This is a big deal, and not just because Australia canceled a $66 billion agreement to purchase French-built, conventionally powered submarines, just hours before the deal with Washington and London was announced. France is, to put it mildly, very pissed, calling American and Australian behavior “unacceptable between allies and partners.” They’ve recalled their ambassadors to both countries in protest over President Biden’s actions — the first time in the history of the long alliance between France and the United States, dating back to 1778, that a French ambassador has been recalled to Paris in this way for consultations. The decision by President Emmanuel Macron reflects the extent of French outrage at what it has called a “brutal” American decision and a “stab in the back” from Australia. In a statement, Jean-Yves Le Drian, the French foreign minister, said the decision was made by Mr. Macron, who is understood to be furious about the way the United States, Britain and Australia negotiated the deal without informing France.
“I’ve been in [the] USA for 6 weeks and spent time in Texas, Florida, Maine, New York, DC, Maryland, and Hawaii. I can confirm that the level of Covid hysteria is infinitely higher in blue states/cities. They’re living in an alternate ‘reality’.” — Zuby, rap artist and podcast host.
$1 Million: Lawsuit filed by the father of a 7-year-old Michigan girl whose hair was cut by a teacher without her parents’ permission. Filed in federal court in Grand Rapids, it alleges that the biracial girl’s constitutional rights were violated, racial discrimination, ethnic intimidation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and assault and battery.
61%: Percentage of Americans who think the United States should break apart, according to a poll (71,734 votes) conducted by podcast host Matt Walsh.
208,887: Total southern border encounters (defined as apprehensions of Accompanied Minors, Individuals in a Family Unit, Single Adults, and Unaccompanied Children) by U.S. Border Patrol during the month of August, bringing the total this year to 1.32 million, which is approximately the population of Maine (1.34 million) and greater than the populations of Wyoming, Vermont, Arkansas, North Dakota, Delaware, Rhode Island, and Montana, not to mention Dallas, San Jose, San Francisco, Seattle, Denver, Boston, and Atlanta.
4: Private passengers that SpaceX sent into space this week on a reusable Falcon 9 rocket, the first expedition with an all-civilian crew. They spent three days in orbit around Earth (circling 15 times each day) from an altitude of nearly 360 miles—higher than the current orbits of the space station and the Hubble Space Telescope—before re-entering the atmosphere and splashing down in the Atlantic Ocean. The historic flight represents the next stage in the evolution of human spaceflight, as access to the cosmos expands beyond just governments and their space agencies.
66 - 24: Margin by which parents support removing lessons based on critical race theory about concepts such as white privilege and systemic racism from the public school curriculum, according to a Manhattan Institute Poll.
4,284: Reports that the Federal Aviation Administration has received this year about unruly passengers. It’s the highest number, by far, on record since they started keeping records back in 1995. Of the over 4,000 reports, investigations have been initiated for 752 of the incidents. Previously, the record topped out at 310 investigations, all the way back in 2004, and every year since then has never gone over 183.
31%: Estimated percentage of social media use that’s due to self-control problems, according to a paper (“Digital Addiction”) by researchers from NYU, Stanford, and Microsoft. In other words, about one in three minutes spent on social media is time we neither hoped to use on social media, nor feel good about using on social media in retrospect.
32%: Percentage of teen girls who said that when they felt bad about their bodies, Instagram made them feel worse. Documents obtained by The Wall Street Journal reveal that Facebook’s own in-depth research shows a significant teen mental-health issue that the company plays down in public. Teen girls “often feel ‘addicted’ and know that what they’re seeing is bad for their mental health but feel unable to stop themselves.”
12: Prison sentence, in years, for a Virginia Beach woman who ran one of the biggest coupon counterfeiting rings in U.S. history that led to more than $31.8 million in retail losses.
8,550: Number of New York City parking spots that have been converted into outdoor dining areas during the pandemic.
2: Minimum age of children in all New York state-regulated child care and day care centers who must now wears masks. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association, as of Sept. 9th, 0.00%-0.03% of all child COVID-19 cases have resulted in death. Studies show that the negative psychological consequences of forcing kids to wear masks are very real. By hiding teachers’ lips and muffling their speech, mask-wearing makes it harder for young children to develop linguistic skills and prevents children with hearing impairments from lip reading. Unable to rely on facial cues, teachers and students of all ages are more likely to misinterpret one other, a particularly acute problem for children on the autism spectrum. It’s also impossible for kids to develop normal, adequate social skills when they can’t see one another’s faces, sit together, or play together.
It is difficult to describe just how ignorant this is. The illogical comparison between Trump supporters and ongoing vaccine hesitancy is the very definition of scapegoating, and it’s all the more unconscionable because Don Lemon is clearly so consumed with political fundamentalism that he’s incapable of understanding that only a moron would homogenize the vaccine-hesitant into the out-group he already disdains when anyone with a modicum of intelligence can empirically verify data straight from the CDC that vaccine uptake varies drastically by region—and is lower on average among non-white people. It’s even possible I’m giving him too much respect, and that this is not merely a matter of him being an ignorant simpleton declaiming to the masses from his CNN pulpit, but of him hating the fact that reality — as in the truth — doesn’t mesh with his preconceived perception and dogmatic narrative.
Secondly, basic psychology reveals that shaming people never changes behavior; rather, it makes people defensive and leads to them doubling down in obstinacy. This is something that’s been covered extensively by countless outlets since the pandemic started, and it’s supported by plenty of research. A UCLA study from 2019, for example, found that messaging filled with negative stereotypes aimed at smokers actually seemed to increase their urge to smoke.
Shame, or the feeling of inadequacy, pushes people to become even more inflexible, often leading to withdrawal or depression rather than a positive change in attitude. In Jon Ronson’s book, So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, an entire chapter is devoted to his experience meeting the inmates of a high-security prison, many of whom say they were motivated to commit their crimes out of a sense of self-hatred and shame.
So please, Don Lemon, either shut up, or stop making things worse.