Following an entertainment career stretching back to the 1940s, perennially popular actress Betty White has passed away less than a month before her 100th birthday, according to entertainment news service TMZ.Read More
Day: December 31, 2021
Twitter Admits ‘Error’ in Suspending Just the News Founder John Solomon’s Account over COVID Facts
Twitter late Thursday acknowledged that Just the News founder and Editor-in-Chief John Solomon’s account was “suspended in error” this week over a post about a COVID-19 vaccine.
The respond follows an appeal earlier in the day by Solomon after his account was suspended Tuesday for his tweet linking to the article “Pfizer to continue distributing version of COVID-19 vaccine not fully approved by FDA.”Read More
U.S. Crude Oil Production Fell by Eight Percent in 2020, Largest Decrease on Record
U.S. crude oil production fell by 8% in 2020, the largest annual decrease on record, the U.S. Energy Information Agency reports.
This plunge occurred one year after the U.S. reached a record annual average high of 12.2 million barrels a day in production in 2019.Read More
Commentary: The Ungracious—and Their Demonization of the Past
The last two years have seen an unprecedented escalation in a decades-long war on the American past.
But there are lots of logical flaws in attacking prior generations in U.S. history.Read More
Commentary: The Top 10 Websites for Science in 2021
Science communicators once again had their hands full in 2021. Between two and three million research articles were published this year, announcing discoveries from the microscopic to the cosmic and from the (relatively) mundane to the controversial. The gigantic elephant in the room – COVID-19 – also continued to hang around, killing millions while dishonest actors manufactured misinformation galore.
Separating science from pseudoscience, hype from reality, and truth from fiction, all while reporting honestly and coherently, can be a struggle. But each year, writers at a range of websites prove they are up to the task. At RealClearScience, we honor them in our annual listing of the top websites for science.
ScienceNews has provided dependable science journalism since 1921.Read More
As Gas Costs Soared in 2021, Prices Remained Among Lowest in Oklahoma, Texas
While gas prices have soared nationwide this year, average prices at the pump have remained among the lowest in Oklahoma and Texas, in part because they are significant oil and gas hubs for the nation.
The lowest current average regular gas prices per gallon are $2.822 in Oklahoma and $2.825 in Texas. Oklahomans have had the lowest prices nationwide throughout the surge of gas prices this fall, AAA reports. In the spring, Oklahoma’s average gas prices were the sixth-lowest in the nation.Read More
Commentary: Great Americans Gone in 2021
The February 17 departure of Rush Limbaugh got the most attention, and deservedly so. To instruct and entertain simultaneously is a tough task, and Limbaugh performed in fine style. There may never be another.
That description also applies to Angelo Codevilla, who died at 78 on September 21. His “remarkable intellect and insights,” were on full display over a long and productive career. For his many readers, and those who didn’t know him at all, the brilliant scholar might have saved the best for last.
Born on May 25, 1943, in Voghera, Italy, Angelo Codevilla came to the United States in 1955 and became a U.S. citizen in 1962. The eager immigrant earned degrees at Rutgers, Notre Dame, and Claremont Graduate School and taught at Georgetown, Stanford, and Boston University. Along the way, Codevilla served in the U.S. Navy, as a foreign service officer, and a staffer on the Senate Intelligence Committee.Read More
Senators Demand Answers on Afghan Evacuee Vetting, Amnesty for Illegal Immigrants
Republican U.S. senators are keeping the pressure on the Biden administration over its immigration policies, demanding answers from Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on the number of Afghan evacuees in the U.S. and their vetting process, as well as information about foreign nationals in the country who have overstayed their visas.
They raise concerns about Mayorkas not providing information to Congress, suggesting his reason for not doing so is political and related to the Democrats’ plan to give amnesty to roughly 6.5 million illegal immigrants as the ongoing border crisis continues.Read More
Commentary: The Pandemic Has Increased the Need for Student Tutoring
The first time I caught a plagiarized essay was at the beginning of my career as an English professor over 20 years ago. Two of my students had turned in papers with more than a few suspiciously similar phrases, and a quick Google search revealed that they had lifted whole paragraphs directly from an academic website about American poetry that was, as far as I could tell, honestly trying to help students understand the subject.
The culture of student cheating on the Internet has come a long way since then, and the COVID-19 pandemic has brought it into even sharper focus. One thing that has changed dramatically in the past two decades is that students aren’t turning to crude HTML sites put together by well-intentioned poetry scholars to cheat on their assignments, but to sophisticated “homework help” sites like Chegg.com that grew by almost 70 percent during the pandemic, reaching a current market cap of $8.5 billion.
Chegg is trying to encourage university faculty to partner with it, claiming (accurately) that “90% of college students say they need more help with their studies.” But the solution to helping students with their homework isn’t to move them onto online platforms that could easily be exploited for student cheating. Rather, students need to work with peer tutors on their own campuses.Read More
Many U.S. Shoppers Racked Up Debt This Holiday Season
Many U.S. consumers racked up debt this holiday season, and most of them won’t be able to pay it off immediately, according to a report published Wednesday.
Around 36% of consumers went into debt, spending on presents, plane tickets and decorations, owing an average of $1,249, up from 31% in 2020, according to a report by LendingTree. Despite the percentage of holiday borrowers increasing in 2021, the average amount of spending dropped by 10% from 2020.Read More
Commentary: American Citizenship Is Caught Between Creed and Clan
Our politics is currently overwhelmed with identity. Rights, votes, participation, all understanding of one’s place in the country is said to be based on one’s “identity.” The one identity that people shy away from is that of the American citizen. Who precisely is this person?
The American Constitution speaks in the voice of “We the People,” but never defines who that people might be, even if they already existed in 1787, even before the establishment of a “more perfect Union.” Who are these Americans? Who, as an individual, is an American? On the one hand, this is a simple question to answer. There is a legal definition of citizenship based on birth or naturalization, and some people simply are Americans and others are not. It is a matter of paperwork.Read More
Researchers Find Silver Lining in Rise of Omicron Variant
The rapid spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 worldwide “may have positive implications in terms of decreasing the Covid-19 burden of severe disease,” according to a new study funded by the Gates Foundation and South African, U.S. and U.K. government agencies.
Led by researchers in South Africa, where the variant was first identified, it’s the latest study to suggest the pandemic is approaching endemic status, calling into question the benefits of strict mitigation policies beyond high-risk groups.Read More
Commentary: Pramila Jayapal, the Loser of the Year
For three months, as the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Rep. Pramila Jayapal was firm in her threat: “We will agree to the bipartisan [infrastructure] bill if, and only if, we also pass the reconciliation bill first.” She was the driving force and the public face behind progressives’ mission to use the infrastructure bill as a cudgel to force Sen. Joe Manchin, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, and other centrist Democrats into passing Build Back Better. She repeatedly appeared on “The Rachel Maddow Show” to give attention to her strongarm tactics.
Time and time again in August, September, and October, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was forced to back down from votes on infrastructure because of Jayapal. When a reporter told Jayapal that some people believed she was “bluffing,” Jayapal, who has nearly 100 members in her caucus, said, “Try us.”Read More
Commentary: Adam Mill’s Predictions for 2022 Midterms
I have a pretty good track record on predictions. In March of 2020, I wrote, “Don’t write off Joe [Biden] . . . it’s clear he will run a close contest against President Trump.” Approximately two weeks into the pandemic, I wrote “If we wait until [there is] no death before we demand a return of our liberty, we will have lost everything to this pandemic.” Also in March of 2020, I wrote that, “The supply interruption of even a couple of months will cause shortages or price increases in items that have a significant effect on the formula for calculating inflation.” In June of 2019, a month before Trump’s Ukraine phone call, I suggested that the Justice Department would use criminal prosecutions to protect Joe Biden from fallout for his son’s shady dealings in Ukraine. I wrote, “If that candidate has the best chance to defeat Trump, should the DOJ deploy its awesome criminal prosecution powers to prevent that information from reaching the eyes and ears of the American electorate?” I was close on that one, the cover came from Congress.
So as we head into 2022, hubris compels me to offer a few—not exactly predictions, but scenarios—that could easily come to pass based upon historical precedent.Read More
Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association Decry ‘Troubling Trend’ as ‘Prosecutorial Policies are Failing to Hold Criminals Accountable’
The Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association wrote a letter to the Hennepin and Ramsey County attorneys addressing their failure to prosecute some felony crimes. They wrote that they are “especially concerned” that “prosecutorial policies are failing to hold criminals accountable for their actions.”Read More