Happy Birthday to My Valve

August 22, 2019 is the day I had a stenosed aortic valve replaced. The procedure used was a TAVI, or transcatheter aortic valve implant. Think of the implant as a stent with a pig valve in the middle of it. It’s introduced through the femoral artery and threaded up to the location of the bad valve. Once there, it’s expanded in place, crushing the calcified valve out of the way. The pig valve takes over immediately, and the hardware used to place it is withdrawn.

Larry Elder, the white supremacist

About Larry Elder :

A Friday column in the Los Angeles Times ran the headline, “Larry Elder is the Black face of white supremacy. You’ve been warned,” calling the conservative Los Angeles radio host’s candidacy “an insult to Blackness.”

That’s actually rather interesting, in addition to its obviously risible quality. The piece posits an entity, Blackness, that stands apart from actually being black and which an actual living breathing black person can fail to sufficiently demonstrate or to which he or she can even be in opposition.


This was Larry Elder’s response to the LA Times piece:

You’ve got to be real scared and desperate to play the race card against the brother from South Central.

Source: Larry Elder, the white supremacist

Why Black Americans Choose to Live in TX, FL & GA

If you consult the likes of Paul Krugman or MSNBC, you’ll hear that Texas, Florida, and Georgia are failed states, run into the ground by right-wing ideologues.


It might be jarring, then, for these New York-based commentators to open an ideologically friendly news outlet in Austin and see this headline: “People of color make up 95% of Texas’ population growth.”

Texas gained the most black people, nearly 700,000, of any state in the country. Georgia and Florida were second and third place, increasing their black populations by 450,000 and 390,000, respectively. All three states were governed by Republican governors with Republican-run legislatures throughout the decade. Texas saw its black population grow by 23% while Georgia and Florida saw 15% and 13% growth respectively.

The largest Democrat-run states, New York, Illinois, and California, saw nothing of the sort. Illinois’s black population shrunk. California and New York saw such small black population growth that black people became even smaller minorities in those states.


Progressives and centrist Democrats are entitled to run California, New York, and Illinois in the way they see fit. They are entitled to curse low taxes, lower costs of living, and the absence of state-enforced woke ideology. But if they actually care about helping people of color, maybe they should take a cue from Texas and Florida and Georgia, which are evidently providing black and Hispanic people with what they want.

Source: Why Black Americans Choose to Live in TX, FL & GA

D.C. Circuit Rebukes Lower Court On Indefinite Detention Without Bail Of Jan. 6 Protester George Tanios

““The record reflects that [George Pierre] Tanios has no past felony convictions, no ties to any extremist organization, and no post-January 6 criminal behavior that would otherwise show him to pose a danger to the community.” The post first appeared on Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion .

The Relevant Facts (from Tanios’ appellate brief)

In early January 2021, George Tanios – who planned on attending the Stop the Steal rally in Washington D.C. on Jan. 6 – purchased two canisters of “bear spray” (a chemical irritant) and two small keychain bottles of mace for self-defense because he had heard about Trump supporters being violently attacked in connection with similar political events by members anti-Trump groups.

On January 6, 2021, Tanios – along with a friend named Julian Khater – attended the rally. Afterwards, the two men proceeded to the Capitol where they witnessed “chaos unfolding.”

At some point, the two friends separated.  But at approximately 2:14 p.m., Khater reunited with Tanios and claimed that someone – Khater did not say who – had sprayed him with a chemical.  Khater “appeared upset and wanted to retrieve [the] ‘bear spray’ from Tanios’ backpack.”

During this interaction, Khater grabbed one of the containers of “bear spray” from Tanios’ backpack.  Tanios, however, argued with him and refused to relinquish the spray to Khater.

The can was returned to the backpack, but Khater managed to get his hands on a smaller bottle of mace from the backpack.  He then proceeded to the line of officers protecting the Capitol, and sprayed three of them – one of whom was U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick.

There is no evidence that Tanios knew that Khater accessed the smaller bottle of spray or that Tanios knew that Khater sprayed people.

Officer Sicknick  

Officer Sicknick died the following day. Immediately, officials declared that he had succumbed to injuries he sustained during the Capitol melee.

The Justice Department opened a federal murder investigation into his death, and Democrats and their media allies promoted this propaganda for over three months.

The New York Times falsely reported that Sicknick had died as a result of being bludgeoned in the head by a fire extinguisher by a  pro-Trump rioter – a claim that was echoed multiple times by the leftwing media.

On April 19, however, D.C.’s chief medical examiner issued a report stating that Sicknick did not die from injuries sustained on Jan. 6, but from natural causes – he suffered two strokes.   In an interview with The Washington Post, the medical examiner explained that the strokes were not brought about by any allergic reaction to the chemical irritants dispensed by rioters. He further stated that Sicknick had no internal or external injuries from the riot.

This fact was given minimal attention by the same media outfits that had pushed the canard that Sicknick had been murdered by Jan. 6 rioters.


D.C. Circuit Decision

Last week, the D.C. Circuit overturned the detention order and directed Tanios’ release.

In a pithy, unsigned decision, the D.C. Circuit found that “presumptions of detention” such as the one recognized by Judge Hogan are unlawful and “contraven[e] … the Bail Reform Act and precedent.”

This makes sense, of course, since the Supreme Court long ago made clear that “[i]n our society, liberty is the norm, and detention prior to trial … is the carefully limited exception.”  To allow a presumption of detention would allow the exception to swallow the rule.

The D.C. Circuit further stated that without such a presumption, there was no basis for the lower court to have ordered Tanios’ detention without bail.  The  D.C. Circuit stated, “The record reflects that Tanios has no past felony convictions, no ties to any extremist organization, and no post-January 6 criminal behavior that would otherwise show him to pose a danger to the community.”

Five months after his arrest, Tanios was finally released.

Source: D.C. Circuit Rebukes Lower Court On Indefinite Detention Without Bail Of Jan. 6 Protester George Tanios

From the Washington Post piece:

Capitol Police officer Brian D. Sicknick suffered two strokes and died of natural causes a day after he confronted rioters at the Jan. 6 insurrection, the District’s chief medical examiner has ruled.

The ruling, released Monday, will make it difficult for prosecutors to pursue homicide charges in the officer’s death. Two men are accused of assaulting Sicknick by spraying a powerful chemical irritant at him during the siege, but prosecutors have not tied that exposure to Sicknick’s death.

In an interview with The Washington Post, Francisco J. Diaz, the medical examiner, said the autopsy found no evidence the 42-year-old officer suffered an allergic reaction to chemical irritants, which Diaz said would have caused Sicknick’s throat to quickly seize. Diaz also said there was no evidence of internal or external injuries.

Washington Post


I’M NOT SAYING MY NEW YORK POST COLUMN IS HARSH, BUT I DO INVOKE ADMIRAL BYNG: Fire the military and intelligence bigs who bungled Afghanistan — now. UPDATE: From the comments, the suggestion that someone track down the 780 retired generals and national security officials who signed a letter against Trump, and ask them how they feel about Biden now.


The Hedgehogs of Critical Race Theory

They start with important truths—slavery was wicked—and get carried away into monomania.


The world’s hedgehog population tends to expand in times of stress and change. Lately it has exploded in the U.S. Hedgehogs are thick on the ground, all of them advancing One Big Thing or another—each peering through the lens of a particular obsession. At the moment, the biggest One Big Thing is race—the key, it seems, to all of America, to the innermost meanings of the country and its history.

It isn’t really true. Race is one of many big things in America. It is hardly the most important. Americans need to desanctify the subject of race—to mute its claims, which have grown absolutist and, as it were, theological in their thoroughness, their dogmatism.

Critical race theory has spread across the U.S. like—forgive the expression—a virus, coming to infect primary schools and high schools and universities, foundations, art museums, big corporations, the military, local, state and federal government bureaucracies. It’s everywhere in the West Wing. President Biden, who spent almost 40 years following the ways of an amiable political fox in the Senate—exchanging pleasantries and now and then doing legislative business with Confederate mossbacks like Strom Thurmond and James Eastland —has, in his old age, signed on with the monomaniacs of the left.

The hedgehog’s trajectory may begin on the side of undeniable and important truth—for example, the truth that slavery was a great wickedness in America (as it was elsewhere in the world), and that race prejudice has been a chronic American dilemma and a moral blight that has damaged and scarred the lives of millions of black American citizens over generations.

All true—a truth to be acknowledged and addressed. But hedgehogs, who deal in absolutes, are liable to get carried away. Their truth changes shape as it coalesces into a political movement and gets a taste of power and begins to impose itself programmatically. Its ambitions swell, it grows messianic, it embraces civic idiocies (defund the police!) and beholds the astounding impunity with which it may run amok in the streets and burn police cars and shopping malls, as it did last summer, and the ease with which it may take over city councils and mayors’ offices and turn so many of the country’s normal arrangements upside down.

It was said in the era of Joe McCarthy that he and his followers saw a communist under every bed. The single-minded ideology of critical race theory sees racism in every white face—a racism systemic, pervasive, inescapable, damning. All white people are racists. The doctrine devolves to the crudest form of what might be called racial Calvinism: Americans are predestined—saved or damned, depending on the color of their skin. This doctrine merely reverses the theory of white supremacy, which damned black people—and consigned them to oppressive segregation—because of the color of their skin.

Source: The Hedgehogs of Critical Race Theory

85 Things You Can Do

The original article comes from the Federalist and is by Joy Pullmann. Find it here

Stop talking, and start doing. Create the culture you want to see. Vote not only at election time, but with every day of your life, and every action you take. Self-government starts at home, with you, and now. Here are some places to start, or to start brainstorming more.

1. Run for office.

2. Recruit someone excellent to run for office, and a group of friends to help that person win.

3. Primary a woke or sleeping incumbent.

4. “Start a neighborhood group — present yourself under an umbrella that welcomes all other responsible members of your community who are sick and tired of being sick and tired, and who are willing to stand up.” (quote from Ben’s monologue)

5. Cook some or some more of your own meals.

6. Grow some of your own food.

7. Shop at your local farmer’s market, or participate in community-supported agriculture.

8. Shop local for other stuff, too.

9. Cut cable and send the cable payment to something useful, like your local church or a fund to help kids escape public schools.

10. Work out. If you already work out, up your game. If working out is intimidating, just start going for walks. See where it leads, and feel good about doing more than you used to.

11. Play board games with your kids instead of letting them watch some screen.

12. Organize a mass protest against school masking.

13. Start a local online news blog that uses open-records requests to obtain curriculum from the local schools and post screenshots and basic summaries of what you find.

14. Don’t send your kids to schools that medically and socially abuse them. Have education standards that are far above “free babysitting.”

15. Volunteer to coach local kids’ sports.

16. Go to church. Every week.

17. Go to church midweek, too.

18. Go to your church’s Sunday School or education hour before or after the service.

19. Pick up and drive an elderly, handicapped, or otherwise needy person to church on your way.

20. Stop shopping on Amazon.

21. Volunteer through your church.

22. Volunteer at your child’s school.

23. Notice that a neighbor struggles with something, like childcare or lawn care, or loneliness. Do something to help.

24. Invite people over to your house for dinner. If dinner is too intimidating, do drinks or dessert or popcorn.

25. Get to know your neighbors and your neighborhood.

26. Cultivate the art of hospitality, and use it as a tool to build community. Without thriving families and strong, close-knit communities, conservatives will never rescue or rebuild the republic.

27. Start or any kind of group that brings people together in other people’s living rooms regularly: a book club, a woodworking club, a volunteer group, a craft club, a playgroup for preschoolers and their parents — the possibilities are endless.

28. At Christmas, go caroling in your neighborhood (even if it shocks the neighbors).

29. Visit senior centers, and new neighbors, and anyone you think might be lonely; invite them to celebrate holidays with your family or church.

30. Try to buy less stuff made in China.

31. Watch local sports instead of pro sports. Better yet, participate.

32. Stop using social media. At the very least, use it as little as possible.

33. Move your savings and investments to pro-America institutions. If you can’t find any that are specifically pro-American, choose a small local bank or credit union. Or a pro-life one.

34. Pay down your debt. Try to go debt-free.

35. Move from a blue state or city to a red state or city.

36. Don’t pay for your kids’ school bundled into the mortgage; get a less-expensive house and use the savings to give your kids a private education.

37. Bring someone a loaf of bread you made. Or a loaf of bread you bought from a local bakery.

38. Rediscover an old hobby. Or try a new one. Acrylic paint is cheap.

39. Read your kids books.

40. Take a bike ride. Bring your kids.

41. If you don’t have a spouse, make specific plans for how you plan to try to find one.

42. If you don’t have kids, have some. If you’re not married, do that first.

43. Call a relative you haven’t talked to in a while.

44. Call a friend with a different political worldview, and make it a pleasant conversation.

45. Read a book.

46. Make a budget, and follow it.

47. Think seriously about apprenticeships and starting in an entry-level job for your teens instead of or before heading off to college. Colleges are COVID traps right now, and even pre-COVID the value they provided in exchange for the time and money invested in them was significantly diminishing. Businesses are starving for workers right now and entry-level positions for many eventually highly paying jobs are wide open, such as in the trades and in entrepreneurial positions in small businesses, such as mechanics, construction, bakeries, florist shops, lawn care, and more. Employers are very often paying people to acquire skills while they work in well-paid, good-benefit fields like health care and construction, and they will take any halfway competent warm body right now.

48. Write a book. Publishing and libraries are a wasteland right now. People need better options.

49. Create a documentary.

50. Make jokes. Share them.

51. Make beautiful art, and bring it to art shows. Spread beauty.

52. Paint a public mural on a building visible to others that doesn’t look like those hideous graffiti “art” cities are putting up everywhere. Make it utterly gorgeous. Put those anti-beauty nihilists to shame.

53. Get your friends who can play or sing beautiful, classic, and fun music together and serenade passers-by in a local park.

54. Become a foster family. Private foster agencies are an especially good option.

55. Adopt a child.

56. Bring your local police station some home-baked goods or offer to buy officers on duty a nice big round of hot coffee from a local shop.

57. Call your local police station and tell them you support them and thank them for protecting you.

58. When your neighbors are being rude, walk over and nicely talk to them about it instead of calling the cops on them.

59. Go to a city council meeting.

60. Smile at people while you’re not wearing a mask.

61. Whistle or sing while not wearing a mask.

62. Learn some cheerful songs. Sing them.

63. Support a Christian school. Or start one.

64. Homeschool or privately tutor the kids of someone who can’t.

65. Start a public charter school.

66. Ask your school board and school administration to use the Hillsdale 1776 Curriculum for civics and American government.

67. Read the Constitution.

68. Read The Federalist Papers.

69. Subscribe to the Claremont Review, and read it. Leave your finished copies on the table in your local library.

70. Move your investments out of institutions and companies that hate America.

71. Ask your library to purchase conservative books they don’t have in stock.

72. Complain to your library about them buying child mutilation books.

73. When one of your favorite video people uses Rumble, watch your videos there instead of on YouTube.

74. Contribute to Alliance Defending Freedom and First Liberty like your religious liberty depends on it.

75. Take a free online Hillsdale College course. Recruit friends to take the course with you and host discussions of it at your house, church, library, or another community center.

76. Donate your legal, financial, fundraising, maintenance, or other professional skills to a local church, Christian school, family, or another nonprofit charitable organization.

77. Start a men’s club of any manly variety — cigar smoking, shooting, running, drinking, self-improvement, business coaching, etc.

78. Mentor someone personally or professionally.

79. If you’re a woman, start dressing more femininely. Try a few dresses on, and buy one.

80. Prudently allocate any stimulus checks you’ve received.

81. Stop using Google.

82. Intentionally improve your homemaking and home management skills.

83. Keep at least a few weeks of basic home supplies, including food, in stock at your home.

84. Stock at least some basic emergency preparedness supplies (more ideas here).

85. Support a Wide Awake writer on Substack, Patreon, or some other subscription or membership option.

Our country was built on small communities formed in the church, the square, the schoolhouse, and the tavern. From those meeting houses, we resisted first the petty tyrants on our docks and in the royal governors’ mansions, then took on the greatest army in the world.

Source: 85 Things You Can Do

Courts unraveling cases against Jan. 6 defendants

The DOJ and FBI have been overcharging defendants and also been holding them in pretrial detention for what amounts to relatively minor offenses.  I suspect they are doing it for political reasons and not for the ends of justice.  Both the FBI and DOJ appear to have had an animosity toward President Trump and his supporters starting with his election and continuing it after the 2020 election.

 Andreas Widburg:

Prosecutors in the cases against the January 6 demonstrators are starting to run into some judicial pushback: Questions about exculpatory evidence in their possession not turned over as the law demands, lower courts assessing the defendant as more dangerous than the evidence warranted, and most significantly, whether the prosecution is overcharging defendants with the federal crime of obstruction.


Source: Courts unraveling cases against Jan. 6 defendants

It Doesn’t Take Censorship to Fight a Pandemic

After Biden’s spokeswoman boasted that the administration was ordering Facebook to censor some people’s speech, Fauci joined the campaign by appearing on CNN to warn about the dangers of letting anyone say whatever they think. “We probably would still have polio in this country if we had the kind of false information that’s being spread now,” he falsely claimed.


Democrat revisionists act as if public health, elections, or any important enterprise can only succeed if dissenting voices are suppressed. But public trust comes from debate, not from a lack of it. Americans trusted the polio vaccine more than they trust the coronavirus vaccines because they were part of a public debate, instead of being told to shut up and just go along.

Source: It Doesn’t Take Censorship to Fight a Pandemic