Researchers find that aspirin alters colorectal cancer evolution.

In a new study published in the journal eLife, researchers at the University of California, Irvine reveal for the first time that  changes the way colorectal  cell populations evolve over time, making them less able to survive and proliferate.

“We asked what aspirin does to the Darwinian evolution of cells,” said co-author Dominik Wodarz, professor of population health and disease prevention at the UCI Program in Public Health. “Cancer arises because cells evolve from a healthy state toward a pathogenic state where the cells divide without stopping. This happens when cells acquire a number of mutations, and these mutations are selected for. We found that aspirin affects these  and slows them down.”

The team found that aspirin alters the birth and death rates of  cells. Specifically, aspirin reduces the rate of tumor cell division and increases the rate of cell death.

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Gun-control advocates predict increases in murders with constitutional carry, but the data says otherwise. Self-defense is a natural right. That right can be restricted when there is a strong reason to do so; for example, people confined in prisons are not allowed to possess firearms. But, the opponents of constitutional carry across society have not met their burden of proof.

The Statistical Truth About the Impact of Constitutional Carry

When it becomes clear that a popular change in state law does something fundamentally good for citizens’ freedom without doing harm, it becomes much easier to get legislators to do the right thing. This is part of the reason for the quick spread of constitutional-carry laws, which now cover half of the states, as of press time. (A state is “constitutional carry” if a law-abiding adult who can legally possess a handgun does not need a permit to carry that handgun concealed for lawful protection.)

Another part of the reason for the fast spread of constitutional-carry legislation is the NRA Institute for Legislative Action’s (ILA) team, which has worked across America to bring the facts to state legislators. They have been so effective that a majority of state legislators in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana and Ohio most-recently opted to get their state’s bureaucracies out of the way of their law-abiding citizens’ Second Amendment rights.

An underlying reason this has been an effective push is the basic fact that law-abiding American citizens are not problems that needs to be solved. Despite what the Biden administration argues, armed citizens help to keep individuals safer. Nevertheless, each time a constitutional-carry law comes up for debate, gun-control groups argue that getting the government out of the concealed-carry-license business will result in “Wild West-style shootouts” on the streets. But each time these laws pass, the data clearly shows that doesn’t happen.

This has been a big change from a few decades ago when Vermont was the sole state with constitutional carry. The term “constitutional carry” comes from legal history; when the Second Amendment was adopted in 1791, constitutional carry—either open or concealed—was lawful in every state.

Still, as more and more states return to the original understanding of the right to bear arms, opponents warn that constitutional carry (or “permitless carry”) will cause murder rates to increase; for example, Eugenio Weigend, director of the Gun Violence Prevention program at the Center for American Progress, says that constitutional carry will “raise some confrontations in some places, further escalating violence to reach lethal levels.” Michael Bloomberg’s anti-gun group Everytown for Gun Safety says states that have moved toward constitutional carry are “abandoning core public safety standards.”

While Vermont has long had constitutional carry, thanks to the 1903 state supreme court decision State v. Rosenthal, the move toward constitutional carry in the 21st century started with Alaska in 2003.

In this article, we present the data about what actually happened when states adopted constitutional carry. The data comes from a report co-written by Alexander Adams and Colorado State University Professor Youngsung Kim. (The data and code are available at:

Except for Vermont, all the states that currently have constitutional carry already had “shall-issue” licensing systems for concealed carry. That is, applications for concealed-carry permits could not be denied simply because the licensing official did not like citizens carrying firearms.

So, why did the NRA work for constitutional carry in those states? Because even a fairly administered shall-issue system can take weeks or months for a license to be issued. The delays can leave the innocent defenseless for too long; this is especially true for victims of stalkers and for people fleeing domestic violence. The same is true when civil order breaks down, such as during riots or natural disasters—times when law enforcement is often overwhelmed. Some licensing offices, for example, shut down or slowed down during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Even when a state statute sets up a fair process for licensing, local governments can find ways to manipulate the system to delay applications. This has been a long-standing problem in Denver, and is one reason why civil-rights activists are fighting for constitutional carry in Colorado.

A second reason for constitutional carry is cost. To some people, spending a few hundred dollars for fees, fingerprints and so on is no big deal. But for lower-income people, the financial barrier of a licensing system can be severe to prohibitive. Constitutional carry also eliminates the possibility of bias against any racial, gender or socio-economic groups in the permitting process.

Even in constitutional-carry states, many people still choose to obtain permits. Permits make it easier to carry in other states when traveling, because many states have laws that recognize the permits issued by some or all other states. Depending on state law, a permit may allow carrying in some places where constitutional carry is not allowed. 

carry states graphic

How Does Constitutional Carry Impact Crime?
How can we determine the effects of constitutional carry? One approach would be to just compare current crime rates in states with and without constitutional carry; for example, Vermont, with constitutional carry, has much less crime than neighboring New York, which does not. The same is true for Utah versus Colorado. But skeptics would accurately point out that other differences between the states could account for the differences in crime rates. Portions of New York, for example, are more urbanized than Vermont. 

Further, because crime rates change over time, looking at several years is more revealing than just a single year.

To get answers, Adams and Kim studied all 50 states and the District of Columbia from 1980 to 2018. Their study also accounted for 30 control variables—that is, factors other than constitutional carry that might raise or lower a state’s crime rate. The control variables included population density, alcohol consumption, poverty rates, unemployment rates, the Fryer crack-cocaine index, incarceration rates, age cohorts in five-year blocks from age 15 to over 65 years of age, police per capita, other gun control (such as “assault-weapons” bans), racial variables and more.

To show how important it is to consider control variables, we will first show you the results without them, and then the results with the control variables included. 

Here is a short explanation on how to read the tables. Suppose you flipped a coin 100 times, and 65 of those times, it came up heads. Does that prove the coin was biased (unevenly weighted), or could the results just be random chance? In social science, the probability that the result was not due to chance is called “statistical significance.” In the tables, if there is less than a 1% chance the result is due to chance, the result has three asterisks. If the probability that a result is random is less than 5%, there are two asterisks. If less than 10%, there is one asterisk. Traditionally, statisticians use the 5% cut-off to call something “statistically significant,” but they also report results for 1% and 10%. We do the same.

Homicide and suicide rates

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At Real Clear Politics: When Misinformation Drives Bad Policy

The CPRC commissioned a survey by Real Clear Politics. Dr. John Lott wrote a new piece at Real Clear Politics on the survey evidence.

To President Biden, public health researchers, and the media, violent crime is all about guns. But a new survey finds that people are badly misinformed about how much violent crime involves guns. The average likely American voter is way off, thinking that over 46% of violent crimes involve guns. In fact, the true figure is less than 8%.

Not surprisingly, those who believe that most violent crime involves guns are more likely to view gun control as the solution.

Biden has given four major speeches on violent crime (hereherehere, and here). Each one of them was focused on enforcement of gun control laws. In the four speeches, he mentioned “gun” or “firearm” 179 times. The term “weapon,” sometimes in connection with “assault weapon,” was used another 31 times.

The words “crime,” “violence,” or “violent” were mentioned about half as often — 94 times. He only mentions the words “murder” or “homicide” seven times in these four presentations, which involve guns at a higher rate, and entirely omits them from his two most recent talks.

But this “guns first” approach to reduce overall violent crime ignores a basic fact – over 92% of violent crimes in America do not involve firearms. Although Biden blames guns for the increase in violent crime, the latest data show that gun crimes fell dramatically.

The U.S. Department of Justice’s National Crime Victimization Survey, in the latest year available (2020), shows that there were 4,558,150 rapes, robberies, and aggravated assaults, and the FBI reports 21,570 murders. Of those, 350,460 rapes, robberies, and aggravated assaults (see Table 8) and 13,620 murders involved firearms. So, adding those numbers up, 7.9% of violent crimes were committed with guns.

The new McLaughlin & Associates survey of 1,000 likely voters from April 20th to 26th for the Crime Prevention Research Center shows how misinformed people are. People across the country, of all races and incomes, have wildly inaccurate beliefs about how frequently violent crime involves guns.

Even so, there are large differences across groups. The average Democrat estimates that 56.9% of violent crimes involve guns, whereas the typical Republican gave an answer of 37%. Those with the highest incomes (over $250,000 per year) and those who work for the government give the highest numbers — 56.1% and 51% respectively. Women (50%) believe that more violent crimes involve guns than men do (43%). Urban Americans say 48%, whereas rural Americans say 40%. But the biggest difference is between blacks (59%) and Asians (31%).

The McLaughlin survey also gave people three options on the best way to fight crime: pass more gun control laws, more strictly enforce current laws, or have police concentrate on arresting violent, repeat criminals.

Some respondents at least got it right that less than 20% of violent crime involves guns. Just 8% prioritized more gun laws, and 15% focused on stricter enforcement of existing laws. An overwhelming 71% thought the best way of fighting crime was to arrest violent criminals.

Some likely voters thought that more than 80% of the violent crime involved guns. Most supported either more gun control laws (33%) or more strict enforcement of current gun laws (28%). Only 36% of them wanted the focus on arresting violent criminals.

Those who think that most violent crime is committed with guns consistently support more gun control. Those who don’t believe that instead want to focus on arresting violent criminals and keeping them in jail.

Perhaps the gun control debate would be very different if the media had done a better job of informing people about crime. The most newsworthy cases, unfortunately, don’t tend to be typical of violent crime. Focusing on how to solve eight percent of violent crime does nothing to solve the other ninety-two percent.

John R. Lott, Jr., “When Misinformation Drives Bad Policy,” Real Clear Politics, May 16, 2022.

Global Warming Was Going to Destroy Skiing, Then the Snow Fell

Vail, Colorado concluded its skiing season on May 1 a year after the Denver Post warned that “climate change is shrinking the Colorado ski season”.

It’s almost as if some higher power has made a point of mocking doomsday predictions by climate pagans who think the weather can be changed by raising taxes and driving Teslas.

But like a Gore-Tex parka, the climate consensus is impermeable to mere snowfall.

A week after Vail Mountain announced that it was extending its skiing season for “the longest continuous season in Vail Mountain history” just after 9 inches of snow fell in early March, a local news station wondered, “With warmer winters, what will happen to the ski industry?”

It may have to extend to June.

In February 2022, Denver broke weather records to hit the coldest temperature in 109 years. At a balmy -7 degrees, the latest outbreak of global warming plunged the city down to a low that had not been seen since 1899.

Still not done mocking Al Gore, March temperatures at Denver International Airport broke a new low with -3. The last time that happened was 1932. Or back before Gore Sr. had even graduated from law school to begin his family’s long slimy political career.

Talk about an inconvenient truth.

Even as activists and resort owners were crying to the media that the entire skiing industry was about to disappear because there would be no more snow, it snowed for the first 9 out of 10 weeks of the year. That was the most starting snow that there had been in 63 years.

“It’s supposed to snow in Denver — but maybe not quite like it has this year,” a local media outlet reluctantly conceded.

This is what happens when the weather makes a mockery of the climate consensus.

The climate must “hate science”.

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Biological Sex Isn’t Up For Debate

Regardless of what the mainstream media and Democrats might want you to think, no one can change their biological sex, regardless of the hormones or surgical procedures that they might undertake to attempt to do so. We are at a moment in time where up is down and down is up, and it’s a dangerous precedent if we allow it to foment itself as a cultural norm and standard. If I were to die today and someone dug up my bones hundreds of years from now, they would know through well-defined science that my remains are those of a male. The same applies for women, and yet now we’re seeing a movement from a very small but vocal community attempting to convince the entire nation otherwise. Unfortunately, we’re slowly falling for it.

If a grown person who has gone through the hormonal ups and downs of puberty and is of sane mind wants to permanently alter themselves, that’s their business, and, frankly, I couldn’t care less, as long as their personal choices don’t infringe on my civil liberties. However, this fringe group of people is trying to force everyone to change their gender norms — norms that have been defined by years of science and civilization — to make some feel better about themselves. We must all object to such coercion.

Today, we’re literally being told that men can menstruate and have periods. We’re told that birthing people have babies, not women. We’re told that people are men, instead of men just being men. All of this is because of a pervasive movement in this country to undermine gender norms and to glorify the transgender community. Women have worked for over 100 years to get better pay and to accomplish groundbreaking achievements, only to have those things diminished by transgender women. Young girls and female athletes are now losing competitions against biological men who are competing against biological women because they have chosen to identify as a woman or girl. It no longer matters if a young girl or woman worked hard for her accomplishments in her given sport because it won’t be good enough to defeat a biological male who is naturally stronger and faster. Yet, we now live in a dystopian society where we’re supposed to believe that these new norms are OK. Well, they are not, and we must stand against them.

To be clear, opposing the idea of biological males who become trans women competing against biological women isn’t synonymous with being against people who are different or who are trans; again, that’s their choice or personal journey. However, what it does mean is standing against forcing the overwhelming majority of society to accept something that science tells us simply isn’t the case. We now live in a society where parents have to worry about their children learning about sexuality at young ages, something Florida just recently prohibited in recent legislation that “classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not age appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.” I am hopeful that people are waking up and pushing back against this nonsense.

Cultural norms and standards are a definitive guide to our role in society and for a society’s continued success. Men and women are different, and that is OK! Nature has designed us that way for very specific reasons, and we shouldn’t ignore nor tamper with it. Yes, there is a fraction of the population that struggles with or is going through a gender identity crisis. That’s their personal journey, and I feel for their struggle. However, they lose my support the moment they begin to tramp on women’s rights or infiltrate our schools with gender discussions at inappropriate ages or attempt to redefine what it means to be a woman or man. These personal struggles are now infringing on the lives of everyone else, and we have a right to say something about it.

Why do these things matter, some might ask? Well, norms and structure matter because they define and regulate our society and help keep it civilized. They help us process and define things. They assign value and identity to things. Can they change over time? Yes, of course they can. But some things in particular that science has clearly defined, such as gender, are not up for debate.

No matter how much some may say that men have periods, a man can never have a menstrual cycle because this requires ovaries and a uterus, which biological males do NOT have. It doesn’t matter if some say birthing people because only women can have babies. These may be hard truths for some, but they are the reality, nevertheless. And there’s nothing that a single person can do to change science and reality.

Do Right-to-Carry Concealed Weapons Laws Still Reduce Crime?

A review of the literature studying the effect of right-to-carry laws shows that the weight of evidence indicates that such laws reduced violent crime.

However, more recent studies, using more recent data, tend to find that these laws cause increases in various kinds of violent crime, raising the possibility that circumstances have changed since 2000, causing these laws to become detrimental.

We suggest that these recent studies, which do not use all the available data, are seriously compromised because they compare states that only recently have adopted right-to-carry laws with states that have had these laws for many years, instead of comparing against states with more restrictive laws.

Early adopting states experienced relatively large reductions in crime corresponding to large increases in the number of right-to-carry permits. Late adopting states passed rules making it difficult to obtain permits and exercise the right to carry concealed weapons. Ignoring the fact that these late adopting states with stricter rules on obtaining permits issue relatively few permits can produce perverse results where coefficients imply an increase in crime even though the opposite is true.

We demonstrate this effect with a simple statistical test.


FYI; All data pulled from which freely and openly admit their definition of ‘mass shooting’ isn’t what the FBI uses for its Uniform Crime Report (and which just happens to increases the number of incidents)

Here are a few tidbits according to the data provided for 2021:

California has the 3rd highest number of mass shootings (54 by their definition).

New York was 5th with 41.

Both have had magazines and AR bans for 28 and 9 years respectively.

Inversely Alaska, Idaho, New Hampshire, and South Dakota have had only 1 mass shooting with no such gun control laws.

Hrmmm. I think I see the possibility of a pattern emerging. It’s like gun control doesn’t just not work, it makes the problem worse!

The number I’ve seen is that it is estimated that the lockdowns prevented on average  0.2%  – that’s “Maybe Two (2) out of a Thousand” – deaths in comparison with just trusting people to do the right thing.
Sorry, that small of a number is statistical noise, which means that there is no evidence the lockdowns did anything but disrupt our entire economy and empower the tyrant authoritarians. Which, to be frank is the silver lining because they’re now exposed to the world for future action.

Johns Hopkins Analysis: ‘Lockdowns Should be Rejected Out of Hand.’

The aura of “expert” has lost its luster during Covid, as our supposedly bigger brains have been proved wrong repeatedly.

Two of these have been Ezekiel Emanuel and Anthony Fauci. Both were enthusiastic proponents of societal lockdowns as a means of preventing deaths and the spread of Covid. We now know from a Johns Hopkins blockbuster meta-analysis that “shutting it down,” in Donald Trump’s awkward phrase, did very little to prevent deaths.

It’s a long, arcane, and detailed analysis, and I can’t present every nuance or statistic here. But I think these are the primary takeaways. From the study:

Overall, we conclude that lockdowns are not an effective way of reducing mortality rates during a pandemic, at least not during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our results are in line with the World Health Organization Writing Group (2006), who state, “Reports from the 1918 influenza pandemic indicate that social-distancing measures did not stop or appear to dramatically reduce transmission […]

In Edmonton, Canada, isolation and quarantine were instituted; public meetings were banned; schools, churches, colleges, theaters, and other public gathering places were closed; and business hours were restricted without obvious impact on the epidemic.” Our findings are also in line with Allen’s (2021) conclusion: “The most recent research has shown that lockdowns have had, at best, a marginal effect on the number of Covid 19 deaths.”

Why might that be?

Mandates only regulate a fraction of our potential contagious contacts and can hardly regulate nor enforce handwashing, coughing etiquette, distancing in supermarkets, etc. Countries like Denmark, Finland, and Norway that realized success in keeping COVID-19 mortality rates relatively low allowed people to go to work, use public transport, and meet privately at home during the first lockdown. In these countries, there were ample opportunities to legally meet with others.

Worse, the lockdowns caused tremendous harm:

Unintended consequences may play a larger role than recognized. We already pointed to the possible unintended consequence of SIPOs, which may isolate an infected person at home with his/her family where he/she risks infecting family members with a higher viral load, causing more severe illness. But often, lockdowns have limited peoples’ access to safe (outdoor) places such as beaches, parks, and zoos, or included outdoor mask mandates or strict outdoor gathering restrictions, pushing people to meet at less safe (indoor) places. Indeed, we do find some evidence that limiting gatherings was counterproductive and increased COVID-19 mortality

What lessons should be learned (my emphasis)?

The use of lockdowns is a unique feature of the COVID-19 pandemic. Lockdowns have not been used to such a large extent during any of the pandemics of the past century. However, lockdowns during the initial phase of the COVID-19 pandemic have had devastating effects. They have contributed to reducing economic activity, raising unemployment, reducing schooling, causing political unrest, contributing to domestic violence, and undermining liberal democracy. These costs to society must be compared to the benefits of lockdowns, which our meta-analysis has shown are marginal at best. Such a standard benefit-cost calculation leads to a strong conclusion: lockdowns should be rejected out of hand as a pandemic policy instrument.

To which I would add another: We can never squelch free discourse and debate on public-health issues again.

People who argued against the “scientific consensus” about the lockdowns were stifled, censored by Big Tech, denigrated by the media, and mocked by establishment scientists. That was essentially “anti-science.” The scientific method needs heterodox voices to speak freely if it is to function properly.

This subsequent look-back shows why. To a large degree, those with the officially disfavored views–such as the signers of the Great Barrington Declarationwere correct on this matter.

Will we learn the lesson? Yes, if our goal is to ably discern and apply the best policy options, which can be a messy process. No, if the point is to allow those in charge of institutional science to exert societal control.

But, of course, demoncraps want to for more access to your children……….. to indoctrinate them into being good little serfs.

reQuote O’ The Day
If a foreign nation forced this kind of education system on us,
it would considered an act of war.

Shovel More Dirt on Pre-K

I would ordinarily shy away from doing an old-school blog post that simply links to something else, but this feels like a study that calls out for an exception. I’ve just been reading a paper in the journal Developmental Psychology1, thanks to a friend’s library access. It’s a pre-K study that has many virtues, including

  1. Large n (2990 kids)
  2. Genuine random assignment
  3. Longitudinal design
  4. Confirms my priors

… and it says kids who were assigned to the pre-K condition actually did worse than kids who were not.

VPK = Tennessee Voluntary Pre-K

Pre-K advocates tend to fixate on non-academic indicators as a way to justify pre-K programs. But attendance was mildly worse for the pre-K group:

Attendance rates in sixth grade (proportion of instructional days without a recorded absence) were high for both TN-VPK participants and nonparticipants. Nonetheless, the difference between groups was statistically significant with a slightly higher rate for nonparticipants (97.5% vs. 97.1%, p = .013 for the ITT analysis with observed values). Supplemental Table S11 provides model details for each year (see also Supplemental Figure S3). Sixth grade was the first academic year with a significant attendance difference between conditions, although there were marginally significant effects in kindergarten and first grade.

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Trending Data Among Women First-Time Gun Owners

According to the NSSF, approximately 11 million Americans purchased their first firearm in the past 2 years, and it is estimated that half of them were women. A Girl & A Gun Women’s Shooting League (AG & AG) polled new members who were new gun owners to learn more about them. This article provides trending data among this demographic.

AG & AG offered the same survey to new members over the past two years. If a woman indicated she was a new shooter (acquiring a firearm within the past year), she was asked additional follow-up questions. The responses for the new-shooter specific questions totaled 1,176 women responses in 2020 and 1,706 in 2021, providing a good glimpse into general trends of this specific demographic.

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Year-End Musings on COVID, Science, and Chainsaws

COVID-19 has provided a best-of-times, worst-of-times experience for expertise. The science has been spectacular, but discourse on that science has often been abysmal.

The same-year development, testing, and approval of vaccines was remarkable. The mRNA platform behind the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines could become the Swiss army knife of therapeutics. It’s already being mobilized against cancer and genetic illnesses.

I’m no virologist or geneticist, but experts I respect persuaded me of the vaccines’ safety and efficacy. I got jabbed as soon as possible and regret that others chose not to. I wear masks in some situations, and not others. I see people socially but avoid large crowds. I favored lockdowns and school closings in early 2020 but think they lingered too long. My guess is that jurisdictions focused on the most vulnerable populations (elderly, immunocompromised, etc.) will seem wiser in hindsight than those that applied draconian mitigation strategies over their entire populations.

I think I’m right on these things, though I recognize that future evidence might say otherwise. I’m grateful for the scientists who developed the vaccines but strive to maintain an open mind on all scientific matters, along with a sense of humility and a generous spirit toward those who disagree with me. A proper understanding of science demands no less.

The history of medicine offers ample reasons to avoid smug certitude which, unfortunately, is abundant on social and traditional media. Science is always about likelihood and never about certainty, though word apparently hasn’t reached Twitter and TV news.

Then there is the flagrantly political demeanor of so many COVID experts. I’m not at all prepared to say whether red states or blue states were wiser in their public policies. Too many confounding variables. I’ll make one exception, which is to say that the press and others besoiled themselves by relentlessly lionizing ex-New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Today, few Democrats or Republicans quote his tweet from May 5, 2020: “Look at the data. Follow the science. Listen to the experts. … Be smart.”

Here’s why they shouldn’t. Science, like a chainsaw, is an exceedingly powerful and useful tool. But “follow the science” makes no more sense than “follow the chainsaw.” The chainsaw doesn’t know the safest way to cut a tree, and science—let alone some anthropomorphic vision of it—can’t weigh the tradeoffs between slowing COVID and shutting down schools and cancer surgeries.

Science informs individual and collective choices, which depend not only on those scientific findings but also on subjective preferences and one’s degree of confidence in those scientific findings. As for “listen to the experts,” Cuomo wrote the book on COVID expertise, and that book’s fall has been as spectacular as its author’s plummet.

Medical history is littered with experts who were spectacularly wrong. When Ignaz Semmelweis suggested that doctors employ antiseptic medical procedures (e.g., washing hands in maternity wards), medical experts were offended and conspired to destroy Semmelweis. When Stanley Prusiner suggested that misfolded proteins could cause mad cow disease and its human equivalent, Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, he was pilloried as a heretic—a pejorative that didn’t entirely vanish when he received a Nobel Prize for his work. As physicist Max Planck said, “Science progresses one funeral at a time.”

In October, novelist and essayist Ann Bauer wrote a poignant column, “I Have Been Through This Before,” on her discomfort with the parade of cocksure COVID experts issuing ever-changing diktats and pronouncements. When vaccines didn’t end the pandemic, she wrote, “doctors and officials blamed their audience of 3 billion for the disease. The more the cures failed, the greater the fault of the public.”

The title of her column referred to her personal experience as the mother of an autistic son born in the late 1980s. Psychologist Bruno Bettelheim had hypothesized that autism was caused by “refrigerator mothers” who failed to show their children sufficient love—a theory we now know to be nonsense. But for a time, Bettelheim’s ideas were gospel-truth, showering mothers of autistic children with guilt and opprobrium. Today, he is regarded as something of a charlatan, but back then, he was a pop icon and celebrity expert on television. One questioned Bettelheim at one’s own peril.

During the pandemic, yard signs have sprouted with the message, “Science Doesn’t Care What You Believe.” For what it’s worth, chainsaws don’t care what you believe, either.

The math behind this is complex, but from my limited understanding, and the explanations of the geeks who actually do understand the math, this is possible.

Scientists Claim to – Accidentally – Create a Warp Bubble

Warp drive pioneer and former NASA warp drive specialist Dr. Harold G “Sonny” White has reported the successful manifestation of an actual, real-world “Warp Bubble.” And, according to White, this first of its kind breakthrough by his Limitless Space Institute (LSI) team sets a new starting point for those trying to manufacture a full-sized, warp-capable spacecraft.

“To be clear, our finding is not a warp bubble analog, it is a real, albeit humble and tiny, warp bubble,” White told The Debrief, quickly dispensing with the notion that this is anything other than the creation of an actual, real-world warp bubble. “Hence the significance.”

Warp Bubble Theoretical
Theoretical Warp Bubble Structure: Image Credit LSI


In 1994, Mexican Mathematician Miguel Alcubierre proposed the first mathematically valid solution to the warp drive. More specifically, he outlined a spacecraft propulsion system previously only envisioned in science fiction that can traverse the cosmos above the speed of light without violating currently accepted laws of physics.

That solution was lauded for its elegant mathematics, yet simultaneously derided for its use of theoretical materials and massive amounts of energy that appeared virtually impossible to engineer in any practical way.

Over a decade later, this theory underwent a major shift, when Dr. White, a then NASA-employed warp drive specialist and the founder of the highly respected Eagleworks laboratory, reworked Alcubierre’s original metric and put it into canonical form. This change in design dramatically reduced the exotic materials and energy requirements of the original concept, seemingly providing researchers and science fiction fans alike at least a glimmer of hope that a real-world warp drive may one day become a reality. It also resulted in the informal renaming of the original theoretical design, a concept now more commonly referred to as the “Alcubierre/White Warp Drive.”

Since then, The Debrief has covered a number of physicists and engineers taking their own stabs at designing a viable warp drive, including an entire group of international researchers working on a warp drive that requires no exotic matter. However, like Alcubierre and White before them, the warp concepts of these would-be visionaries all still remain theoretical in nature.

Now, it appears the situation has changed.

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Finally, a Fusion Reaction Has Generated More Energy Than Absorbed by The Fuel.

A major milestone has been breached in the quest for fusion energy.

For the first time, a fusion reaction has achieved a record 1.3 megajoule [78,000,000 watt hours – that the equivalent of producing 78 megawatts for one hour]  energy output – and for the first time, exceeding energy absorbed by the fuel used to trigger it.

Although there’s still some way to go, the result represents a significant improvement on previous yields: eight times greater than experiments conducted just a few months prior, and 25 times greater than experiments conducted in 2018. It’s a huge achievement.

Physicists at the National Ignition Facility at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory will be submitting a paper for peer review.

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I briefly commented on this awhile back.
This is a better look into the flaws of the underlying ‘research’.

Fatal Flaw In Ph.D. Thesis On Second Amendment Suppressing First Amendment

The Atlantic has been on an anti-Second Amendment tear lately. After a couple of pieces by David Frum, which I’ve addressed before, they have an article (Archived) that employs the newfangled theory that the Second Amendment somehow threatens the First Amendment. We saw this in the ACLU amicus brief in the NYSRPA v. Bruen case, which Cam addressed recently.

This article goes one step further. It cites “research” by two parties to make broad claims about how open carry protests chill free speech. The crux of the article is as follows:

Some protests involving open carry firearms have resulted in violence. The presence of firearms at a protest causes some people to be scared. Due to this fear, they are unable to express their opinions freely. Therefore – you can guess where this is headed – open carry at protests must be ‘regulated’.

Lest we forget, this argument has already been employed in the Campus Carry debate, that concealed carrying of guns inside a classroom would somehow stifle discussions. There is no evidence that those fears materialized. Yet, that argument is being laundered and reused against open carry at public protests, with calls to “further study” the chilling effect of concealed carry.

The article states:

What most people do not realize is that the Second Amendment has become, in recent years, a threat to the First Amendment. People cannot freely exercise their speech rights when they fear for their lives. […] Diana Palmer, one of the authors of this article, conducted a study […] found that participants were far less likely to attend a protest, carry a sign, vocalize their views, or bring children to protests if they knew firearms would be present.

There are two underlying studies this article is based on. The first one is from Everytown/ACLED, and the second one is a Ph.D. dissertation by Diana Palmer, one of the authors of the article. Everytown’s research is shoddy; it has been taken apart thoroughly before. Their new “research” needs to be tackled, but I will focus on the Ph.D. dissertation, which you can download and look at yourself here.

The abstract of the dissertation states the following:

In this mixed-methods study, 1,205 participants were surveyed about their likelihood of engaging in First Amendment behaviors at a protest with and without firearms and asked to explain what factors they considered when selecting their answers. […] In the quantitative element of the study, differences in expressive behavior were analyzed in the condition with no firearms and the condition with firearms. The analysis showed that participants were less likely to engage in expressive behaviors when firearms were present.

The abstract only talks about public protest scenarios in which guns are either present or not present. I looked through the dissertation, and found that it lacks any questions on weapons that aren’t firearms. Participants were never asked what they would do if knives, swords, clubs, pepper spray, brass knuckles, bike locks, etc. would be present. Any chilling effect of non-firearms weapons on assembly is not considered in the dissertation.

Weapons aren’t the only things that people can react to negatively. Participants weren’t asked what they would do if there were head-to-toe incognito, masked protestors at an event. Anyone following the news knows that antifa mobs have been showing up at “protests” in all-black, covering their faces while violating journalists’ First Amendment right to record them. Likewise, would people show up to a protest if there were people wearing Klan hoods?

Another topic that wasn’t addressed is crowd density. Personally, I avoid crowds and wouldn’t be surprised if survey participants would factor in high crowd density as a deterrent… if they had been asked about it.

Lastly, the timing of a protest was not included in the surveys; there are people who avoid “protests” at 1 AM. Too bad the dissertation didn’t ask about that.

These are questions that should have been part of the research, and the Ph.D. advisor or members of the committee should have caught these misses. This is a fatal flaw, in my opinion, especially given what the dissertation lays out in conclusion:

The first recommendation is that the carrying of firearms at protests should be regulated separately from other forms of open carry.

Given all the important questions that were missed, I take objection to the singling out of open carry at protests. If it’s a matter of regulating open carry at protests with, say, having your gun unloaded, mag out, chamber flag in, that’s one thing. But I doubt that’s the sort of benign regulation the writers of The Atlantic piece are asking for.

Going back to the article in The Atlantic, the writers also want to study concealed carry:

Research thus far has focused on open display of firearms, but further study is needed to evaluate the public safety concerns that may still be present when protesters or counterprotesters bring concealed firearms to demonstrations.

Unfortunately, this looks like agenda-driven, or at a minimum, bias-distorted research to me. Watching the press amplify it is unfunny to say the least.

I’ve posted two of Professor Yamane’s articles here, and here that indicate he’s an ‘honest broker’ when it comes to his research. Seems some others have noticed it as well.

Wake Forest Professor Views Recent Gun Buying In Interesting Way

It seems that every time we see any research about guns, it’s focused on negative things. There’s very little research that seems to look at guns from a positive standpoint, and that is why a lot of gun rights advocates look at researches in an adversarial manner. After all, when you set yourself up in opposition to a deeply held principle, what do you expect?

That’s something that is going to play on people’s minds as researchers look at the surge in gun buying over the last two years. After all, more and more people are buying guns and a lot of folks want to know why.

A researcher at Wake Forest University, though, says he starts from a different place than many of his colleagues.

Sociology professor David Yamane is unique among social scientists in understanding American gun culture on its own terms, from the inside out, especially the normality of gun ownership and use for individuals with diverse religious, racial, gender, and sexual identities.…

Why are people buying more guns?

Over the past half-century, the center of gravity of America’s historic gun culture has evolved from hunting and recreational shooting to armed self-defense. This can be seen in the liberalization of concealed carry laws, the changes in gun advertisements, and in the many new products and services offered to satisfy the self-defense market.

Yamane isn’t wrong here. Whereas guns were once predominantly about hunting and plinking, now guns are focused primarily on self-defense. Hunting is still a large segment of the market, sure, but most hunters also buy self-defense weapons why a number of those focused on self-defense have little interest in hunting.

Interestingly, Yamane’s answer is devoid of a lot of what we typically hear. There’s no talk of fear or paranoia or racism in Yamane’s claim, that’s likely because Yamane starts at a different place when it comes to guns.

What makes your research on guns unique?

I have spent more than 10 years studying guns in America. I’m able to speak to individuals and organizations across the spectrum of opinions on guns. My work begins with the foundational premise that guns are normal and normal people use guns. This is a dramatic departure from standard social scientific approaches that view gun owners as deviant and focus exclusively on negative outcomes associated with guns such as crime, injury and death.

So, basically, Yamane admits what we already suspect, that most supposed gun researchers think we’re deviants to some degree and simply don’t care to look at how guns are beneficial.

He does things differently, which is why he’s not tripping over himself to make the case that a surge in gun buying is because of people being afraid of everything.

Now, I do think people being scared has driven a lot to buy guns. That’s not a controversial position in and of itself. Some may make the claim that it’s driven by racism–“Oh, you’re afraid of all those black people might come and kill you, aren’t you?”–but people being concerned for their own safety makes sense.

Yet without research showing that, I suspect Yamane isn’t interested in speculating.

Meanwhile, he also points out that while gun buying has increased year after year, violent crime rates fluctuate, showing that the prevalence of firearms alone simply cannot account for the violent crime rate being what it is year over year. There has to be more going on.

Frankly, he’s right and it’s nice to see someone in academia that doesn’t treat gun owners like villains.

Comment O’ The Day
The Marxists have two main goals:
1. Destroying America
2. Replace her with a China style techno-fascist state.
Gotta see the big picture folks.
The Marxist Dems intend these results of their policies.

Businesses Leave and Crime Increases While Massachusetts Legislators Pass More Gun Control Laws.

A new study confirms Massachusetts gun control laws achieved “no effect” on reducing violent crime even though legislators promised they would.

Politicians earn support by promising constituents they’ll focus on a few key issues and delivering results. Antigun lawmakers in the Bay State achieved a rare trifecta-failure by curtailing voters’ Constitutional rights, eliminating hundreds of jobs and failing to make a dent on violent crime and enhancing public safety.

Predictable Results

Nearly 600 members of the public attended a July 2014 Massachusetts Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security on a massive gun control expansion considered by the legislature. Oddly, the proposal sought to ban modern sporting rifles (MSRs) that the state already banned in 1998. It also included a provision to implement rules allowing law enforcement to decide “may issue,” “suitability standards” regarding who can purchase not only handguns, but also shotguns and rifles, regardless of whether the buyer passes a NICS background check.

A month later, then-Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick signed the bill and Massachusetts House Speaker Democrat Robert DeLeo praised it, saying the package will “make Massachusetts one of the safest places in the world.”

At the time, Bay State Republican and Second Amendment advocate Rep. George Peterson said of the gun control package, he “didn’t find anything that will have an appreciable effect on gun violence. These are more restrictions on lawful gun owners.”

A new 2021 deep-dive study by researchers at American University proved Rep. Peterson clairvoyant, concluding that the gun control package has “not reduced gun violence and gun crime at all in Massachusetts.”

Continue reading “”

Although there has been no direct empirical evidence linking sexual dysfunction (SD) with gun ownership, speculation has been widespread and persistent for decades.” ?

That ‘speculation’ has actually been nothing more than Junior High School ‘Boy’s room’ level insults from those who have nothing better to use in their anti-gun/anti-civil rights screeds.
That these researchers went to the trouble to finally dump it out on the trash heap of ideas where it should have been the first time it was put forth is to be appreciated.

Sexual Dysfunction and Gun Ownership in America: When Hard Data Meet a Limp Theory



Do tell……………

New study finds little effect from Massachusetts gun control measures on violent crimes

A new study from American University found that the tightened gun-control measures that went into effect in Massachusetts six years ago had little effect on the violent crime rate in the state, raising questions about enforcement of these laws.
“Gun violence remains at the forefront of the public policy debate when it comes to enacting new or strengthening existing gun legislation in the United States,” said Janice Iwama, assistant professor of justice, law, and criminology at AU, who conducted the study. “Yet the political polarization and relatively limited scholarly research on guns and gun violence make it difficult for policymakers and practitioners to enact and implement legislation that addresses the public health and safety issues associated with gun violence.”
The study, published in Justice Quarterly, used modeling and FBI data from 2006 to 2016 to examine the impact of the 2015 gun law on crimes including murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault.
The law, enacted in the wake of the Sandy Hook, Conn., school shooting by former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, paved the way for the creation of a web portal for gun dealers to check the validity of a firearm license and track sales and transfers of firearms. It also tightened requirements for background checks on the sale of firearms and licensing procedures.
Iwama, who authored the study, noted that the entire country, including the Bay State, experienced a drop in crime since the 1990s. Still, Massachusetts had 287,000 violent crimes from 2006 to 2016, including “198,402 aggravated assaults, 70,361 robberies, 19,107 rapes, and 1,698 instances of murder or non-negligent man-slaughter.”
About 1% to 5% of adult residents in each Massachusetts county have a firearms license.
She found that a one percentage point rise in denied licenses and denied licenses due to unsuitability increased robberies by 7.3% and 8.9%, respectively, after the new law took effect. For every other type of violent crime, including rape, murder and aggravated assault, she found no statistically significant change.
Iwama suggested the issue could be caused by uneven enforcement of the laws across counties, an overall lag in enforcement and/or because residents are obtaining firearms in neighboring states with looser gun laws. She recommended that policymakers revisit the legislation to ensure it’s being property applied and enforced.