December 2, 2022

IS KNOWING SOMETHING ABOUT THE PELOSIS AS LETHAL AS KNOWING SOMETHING ABOUT THE CLINTONS?   ‘Where’s Miguel?’: NBC News Reporter Behind Retracted Paul Pelosi Report Remains Off-Air.

ALWAYS DO WHEN DEMOCRATS GET CONTROL, RIGHT?  Gun Related Homicides of Black Men Climb to Rates Not Seen Since the 1990s.

TO BE FAIR, THEY’RE TRYING TO BLACKLIST ALL AMERICANS:  Today’s blacklisted American: Princeton considering blacklisting John Witherspoon, Founding Father and signer of the Declaration of Independence.

THERE’S NOTHING LIKE TIMELY ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF ERROR:  Twitter’s ex-safety chief Yoel Roth finally admits mistake of censoring Post’s Hunter Biden scoop.

Which this ain’t. Also, they’ll do the same again, given half a chance. Remember that.

I HAVE A COFFEE IV DRIP ON A TIMER:  Sleepyheads need these three habits to get rid of grogginess: study.

And there’s always puppy smoothi-–  Wait, I’m getting a sign. There are absolutely no puppy smoothies at Instapundit headquarters.

SOMEHOW I DON’T THINK THESE RESULTS WILL MANIFEST AT THE GROCERY OR FAST-FOOD JOINT:  Why a four-day work week could be in your future.

December 1, 2022

FIGHT THE POWER: Volokh v. N.Y. A.G.: “New York Can’t Target Protected Online Speech by Calling It ‘Hateful Conduct.'”

SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER: Thing o’ beauty: Harvard professor reams corporate wokesters on CNBC.

WHY IS THE IVY LEAGUE SUCH A CESSPIT? Lawsuit: Yale dumped students in mental health crisis rather than help them.

OPEN THREAD: Speak, friends, and enter.

AT THAT PRICE, IT SHOULD: Artemis 1 moon rocket, NASA’s most powerful ever, aced its debut launch, agency says.

NEO: Radical leftism then and now: defiance versus compliance.

QUESTION ASKED: Did the pandemic create an ‘urban doom loop?’

You probably remember how there were so many people fleeing New York City in the early days of the pandemic that they helped seed outbreaks of the virus around the country. Here’s a bit of what the Washington Post reported in March of 2020:

From the Catskills to Wisconsin’s Door County, communities whose economies usually revolve around seasonal visitors are asking them to stay away. Over the weekend, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) urged people with cottages on the Jersey Shore to “stay at your primary residences,” while Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) warned that those with property on Nantucket or Martha’s Vineyard should “stay on the mainland.”

Their concerns aren’t exactly unfounded. In Vermont, where ski towns have been “bustling at levels normally seen at peak times during winter holidays,” according to alt-weekly Seven Days, one of the first confirmed coronavirus cases was a man from Westchester County, N.Y., who fled to his vacation home in hopes of avoiding the virus. Within 24 hours of arriving, he had started to show symptoms.

One Long Island resident was quoted by the NY Post saying, “We’re at the end of Long Island, the tip, and waves of people are bringing this s–t. We should blow up the bridges. Don’t let them in.”

This was happening all over the place but it was especially conspicuous around New York City where lots of wealthy people with second homes immediately began acting like doomsday preppers planning to ride out the zombie apocalypse at their cottage in the Hamptons or Vermont or wherever. So many people fled New York, often taking the virus with them, that the Times later reported the state had been the “primary gateway” for outbreaks around the country.

But as Edsall pointed out, what was at first a temporary situation for a lot of people gradually became permanent. As the lockdowns lingered and more and more white collar workers were doing business from home over zoom, many of them realized there was no reason to maintain an expensive apartment in the city. Many of them decided to relocate permanently. And that in turn has a major impact on cities.

Don’t overlook the out of control crime, looting, road blockages by protestors, and rioting that followed in the spring of 2020 as yet another reason why telecommuting looks especially desirable these days.

HMM: “Tipping point”: Has China begun a retreat from zero-COVID — and is it too late? “The population may well be exhausted with Xi’s zero-COVID policies, but they have gotten more energized than ever against the regime. That may have started with their brutal lockdown policies, but the populist revolt may have a broader mandate by now. Beijing writer and political-science expert Wu Qiang warned yesterday in the NYT than the communists have lost the people, and they won’t get them back with just a momentary rollback of lockdowns.”

Washed away by a preference cascade? We can hope.

AND THE HITS JUST KEEP ON COMING: CNN Initiates Mass Layoffs.

 On Thursday, CNN initiated the layoffs that CEO Chris Licht foreshadowed the day prior in an email sent to staff.

Chris Cillizza, a political reporter and editor-at-large, Martin Savidge, Alex Field, Mary Anne Fox, and Alison Kosik were among the most recognizable names let go by the network. HLN, the subsidiary network formerly known as CNN Headline News, is expected to be scaled back significantly and will no longer feature live programming as a result of the cuts, according to Variety.

* * * * * * * *

Cilizza’s exit is perhaps the most surprising of the reported cuts to this point, given his prominent role at the outlet, where he was given his own vertical, The Point, and hosted its Downside Up podcast.

Related: CNN boss Chris Licht guts HLN amid cost-cutting bloodbath. “CNN boss Chris Licht has gutted sister network HLN, terminating all live programming as part of ongoing layoffs and budget cuts. Licht slashed HLN’s ‘Morning Express with Robin Meade,’ as well as ‘Weekend Express,’ he announced in a memo to CNN’s remaining staff on Thursday.”

Exit quote:

JEFFREY CARTER: Sam Bankman Fried, Television Star: There Is Only One Reason He Is On TV.

Contrast SBF’s actions with Jon Corzine. Corzine did the exact same thing SBF did at MF Global, take customer money to cover bad trades.

Do not let SBF’s sweet talk and deflection sway your opinion. He is a fraudster. Charles Ponzi would be jealous. He should go to jail.

Maybe FTX didn’t start out that way, but as soon as the business went south, the company and its employees turned to fraud to cover the holes. Not only that, but they took the advice of their parents and immediately started donating to Democratic candidates, along with a tidy $1MM to Mitch McConnell, and at the same time began virtue signaling about how they were going to donate to causes to save the world.

That alone is practically proof of guilt . . . . Plus:

SBF is ensconced in the Democratic Party elite bubble. His parents and his girlfriend’s parents are high up in the Democratic Party. They know people that know people. His girlfriend ran Alameda Research so it’s pretty unlikely that he didn’t know what was going on there contrary to his public television statements.

Did SBF launder money for the Democrats? It’s possible. But, it has to be proven and only the Department of Justice can bring that sort of investigation. Watch Merrick Garland. If he sits on his hands, SBF will stay out of jail. If Garland sits on his hands, you know that the Democratic central authorities told him to sit on his hands.

You know he’ll do what he’s told. That’s what this “man of integrity,” this “moderate straight-shooter” we were told was prime Supreme Court material, does.

LEARN TO CODE: Robin Meade, entire Atlanta HLN news operations nixed amid CNN layoffs.

UPLOAD YOUR MIND: “Eventually, it seems plausible that most minds will become software.”

THERE ARE SIDE EFFECTS: Supply can’t meet demand as diabetes drugs’ use surges for weight loss.

YE DID THE IMPOSSIBLE: make Alex Jones sound sane.

No, Ye, there really aren’t good things about Hitler. Not a one. He was even a crappy artist. Not one good thing. I guess he liked dogs. So there is that. One good thing.

Right up to the point where he tested a cyanide capsule’s efficacy on his German Shepherd while in the bunker in April of 1945.

More here: Masked Ye goes on antisemitic tirade on Infowars: ‘I like Hitler.’

“You’re not Hitler, you’re not a Nazi, you don’t deserve to be called that and demonized,” Jones told Ye, who was appearing on his program along with white nationalist Nick Fuentes, who made headlines when he accompanied Ye to a dinner at Mar-a-Lago with former President Trump last week.

“Well, I see good things about Hitler also. I love everyone,” Ye said in response while wearing a fully hooded mask on the set of Jones’s show. “And Jewish people are not going to tell me you can love us, and you can love what we’re doing to you with the contracts, and and you can love what we’re pushing with the pornography” while also condemning Hitler, he added, saying “you can’t say out loud that this person ever did anything good, and I’m done with that.”

“Every human being has something of value that they brought to the table, especially Hitler,” Ye continued. “Also Hitler was born Christian.”

As the show headed to a commercial break, Jones told Ye he had a “Hitler fetish,” to which Ye responded, “I like Hitler.”

Ye has seen public backlash for weeks with his repeated comments criticizing Jewish people and falsely claiming a cabal of elite Jewish power brokers control the media, Hollywood and politics.

His comments have caused major brands long associated with his music, fashion line and businesses to cut ties with him, moves he has said cost him hundreds of millions of dollars.

Related: O Ye of Little Faith: The Anti-Semitism of Kanye West. “In other words, Kanye West has lost his mind. But that doesn’t explain enough. If West had blamed the Iroquois for his woes, that would be unhinged. But he didn’t. He blamed the Jews, and that’s no accident of mental illness. West found a powerful political explanation for his experience, one that already has a pedigree in the black community—anti-Semitism.”

UPDATE:

OUT ON A LIMB: FTX’s Collapse Was a Crime, Not an Accident. Sam Bankman-Fried is a con man and fraudster of historic proportions. But you might not learn that from the New York Times, CoinDesk’s Chief Insights Columnist David Z. Morris writes.

These are complex and in many cases nuanced forms of fraud – largely echoing, it must be said, well-established models in the traditional finance world. That obscurity is one reason Bankman-Fried was able to masquerade as an honest player, and has likely helped keep coverage softer even after the collapse.

Bankman-Fried had also crafted a scruffy, nerdy image hard to square with malevolent thievery – not unlike other 21st century luminaries like Mark Zuckerberg and Adam Neumann. In interviews, he talked a stream of nonsense tailored to snowjob outsiders about an industry that’s already full of jargon and complicated tech. He cultivated political and social influence through a web of strategic donations and insincere ideological statements.

Since his con collapsed, Bankman-Fried has continued to muddy the waters with carefully disingenuous letters, statements, interviews and tweets. He has attempted to portray himself as a well-intentioned but naïve kid who got in over his head and made a few miscalculations. This is a softer but more pernicious version of the crisis management approach Donald Trump learned from the black-hat mob lawyer Roy Cohn: Instead of “deny, deny, deny,” Bankman-Fried has decided to “confuse, evade, distort.”

And it has, to a significant degree, worked. Mainstream voices still parroting Bankman-Fried’s counterfactual talking points include Kevin O’Leary, who portrays an investor on the reality show “Shark Tank.” In a Nov. 27 interview with Business Insider, O’Leary described Bankman-Fried as a “savant” and “probably one of the most accomplished traders of crypto in the world” – despite recent data implying immense trading losses even when times were good.

O’Leary’s status as an investor in, and formerly paid spokesperson for, FTX (we sure hope those checks clear, Kevin!) explain his continued affection for Bankman-Fried in the face of mounting contradictory evidence. But he is far from alone in burnishing Bankman-Fried’s image. The disgraced failed son of two Stanford University law professors will be handed the opportunity to defend himself onstage at the New York Times’ DealBook Summit Wednesday.

The scale and complexity of Bankman-Fried’s fraud and theft appear to rival those of Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff and Malaysian embezzler Jho Low. Whether consciously or through malign ineptitude, the fraud also echoes much larger corporate scandals such as Worldcom and, particularly, Enron.

The principals in all of those scandals wound up either sentenced to prison or on the run from the law. Sam Bankman-Fried clearly deserves to share their fate.

Earlier: Sam Bankman-Fried’s media outlets must come clean. “SBF-funded publications have an obligation to their readers to clear up the exact nature of their financial relationship with him, if they ever want their stories on this beat to be trusted again. Questions remain around what kind of influence came with accepting Bankman-Fried’s money — which, as it turns out, wasn’t actually his and is now gone. Otherwise, I foresee a future where reporters at these outlets are left jobless, wishing they’d learned to code.”

SENICIDE: Many nursing homes are poorly staffed. How do they get away with it?

Related: “In modern day western-culture, senicide often takes the form of placing senior citizens in overcrowded conditions where preventable diseases can easily spread. More often than not, these spaces are separate from other generations of people so problems such as quality of life, hygiene and isolation are less detectable to the wider population.”

IT’S LIKE THEY’RE ON STRIKE OR SOMETHING: Men need to be working — and fewer and fewer of them are.

READER FAVORITE: Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation) Wireless Earbuds. #CommissionEarned

WELL, GOOD: Honda Thinks Sensing Updates Will Halve Fatal Car Accidents By 2030.

ASKING THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS: Is that light the end of the tunnel or a railroad union freight train?

CHRISTIAN TOTO: Disney Blinks, DeSantis Snags First Huge Win of 2024 Campaign. “Days after rejoining the company, Iger declared a ceasefire in the Culture Wars he helped inflame.”

VICTORIA TAFT: Why Is the Left So Obsessed With Harming Children?

LUMMIS’ FOOLISH CAVE-IN WON’T WIN HER TOLERANCE FROM LEFT: The Washington Stand’s Suzanne Bowdey looks at the sad defense delivered during a Senate floor speech Tuesday evening just before the final vote on the Respect for Marriage Act.

 

A GOP WITH A BACKBONE WOULD DO A LOT OF THINGS: A GOP With Backbone Would Support Elon Musk, Punish Apple, And Fight For Free Speech On Twitter.

BETTER DEAD THAN RUDE: Diversity Up, Public Safety Down.

With the number of voluntary resignations from England and Wales police forces up 72 percent since last year, these efforts to attract new officers are sorely needed. Yet Rowley appeared more concerned with virtue signaling than with promoting the police force.

“I am really pleased that we have achieved our highest ever female representation as part of the Met reaching its greatest ever total number of officers,” he said.

The number of female police officers in London has indeed reached a record high, according to Met figures. As of September, the force was 30.4 percent female, and it aims to increase its share of women officers to 33 percent by the next fiscal year, intending for 50 percent of all new recruits to be women. Of the 1,678 officers recruited since April, 44.5 percent (746 officers) have been female.

Rowley is devoted to diversity and inclusion. “The evidence across the world is that the best companies and organisations benefit from diverse teams,” he has said. “It is not only about fairness, it is about being the most effective in a complex world.”

The world is indeed complex, but London’s violent crime has risen steadily in recent years. Police in London recorded a quarter of a million violent crime offenses in 2021-22, a 10 percent increase from the previous year. A major driver of violence in the capital has been gang warfare. According to a Sky News investigation, roughly 200 gangs operate in London.

As David Frum wrote in his 2000 book How We Got Here: The 70’s: The Decade that Brought You Modern Life (For Better or Worse), about police on the other side of the big pond:

Americans over a certain age are often surprised to see diminutive women patrolling their city’s meanest streets. The policemen of their childhood were tall, commanding figures. Have the cops shrunk? Well, yes. In March 1973, the federal Law Enforcement Assistance Administration issued an order forbidding any local police department that received federal funds (that is, all of them) to maintain minimum height requirements—the rules disqualified too many women. In 1977, the Supreme Court seconded LEAA by striking down Alabama’s minimum height requirement as a violation of the 1964 act. The federal government lived up to its own principles. In 1971 it waived size and strength requirements for its own police forces. In 1977, New York City acceded to a judicial order and permitted women to apply for fire-fighting jobs. None of the applicants passed the department’s strength test so the judge ordered the strength test made easier until sufficient numbers of women could pass.

Well, better dead than rude, right?

CHANGE: A safer opioid? Scientists are onto something.

FTX’S BANKMAN-FRIED: I’ll be broke at the end of this, you know.

Let me correct the quote reference just a skosh: “I expect I’m gonna have nothing at the end of this,” said the man hunkering down in the Bahamas with $100,000 in the bank and $121 million in recently purchased real estate there as well.

Not in any sense does Bankman-Fried suggest that he feels any sympathy for the victims of the FTX collapse, nor any real responsibility for it. He repeatedly dodges the latter, especially in his breathtaking claim that he didn’t bother to manage risk for FTX, and only admits to being “vaguely aware” of customers’ deposited assets getting transferred to Alameda, which crosses “a bright red line,” as Stephanopoulos points out. SBF’s response was that he was asleep at the switch:

“There is something maybe even deeply wrong there, which was I wasn’t even trying. Like, I wasn’t spending any time or effort trying to manage risk on FTX and that that was obviously a mistake,” he said. “If I had been spending an hour a day thinking about risk management on FTX, I don’t think that would have happened. And I don’t feel good about that.”

“That’s a pretty stunning admission,” Stephanopoulos interjected partway through that quote. It’s a stunning rationalization, not an admission, however. Later, Stephanopoulos told the panel that managing risk is Job One for someone at the top of a funds exchange of any sort, which begs the question of what SBF was really doing with FTX, Alameda, and customer assets. Bankman-Fried’s attempt to claim that he never bothered with risk management beggars belief.

Related: Sam Bankman-Fried’s Phone Call to His Parents: ‘There Might Be a Liquidity Issue.’

Both of Mr. Bankman-Fried’s parents are Stanford Law School professors, who Mr. Bankman-Fried has said were influential in shaping his ethical framework. Their vocations also helped lend Mr. Bankman-Fried, 30, a further veneer of credibility with investors and others as he built his cryptocurrency empire.

Mr. Bankman-Fried was asked by Andrew Ross Sorkin at the DealBook Summit what he told his parents when his firm began to collapse this month. FTX was forced to file for bankruptcy after an avalanche of customer withdrawals created an $8 billion hole on the firm’s balance sheet. Mr. Bankman-Fried likened the customer exodus to a run on the bank.

“I think I called them up and said, ‘Hey guys, I think there might be a problem, like, it looks like Alameda’s position might be imploding here — there might be a liquidity issue,’” he said.

When asked about the $300 million worth of real estate that FTX and Mr. Bankman-Fried’s parents reportedly bought in the Bahamas, he said he did not “know the details but that it was not intended to be their long-term property.”

“They may have stayed there while working with the company sometime over the last year,” he said of his parents.

His parents were compliance lawyers who worked for FTX? Could disbarment be in their future?

LIVE AT 3PM EASTERN: ‘Five O’Clock Somewhere’ with Kruiser, VodkaPundit, Special Guest Kevin Downey Jr.

REMEMBER WHEN THEY TOLD US BIDEN’S SMOOTH DIPLOMACY WOULD BRING BACK THE ALLIES TRUMP’S HAMHANDEDNESS HAD ALIENATED? Macron, in Washington, says Biden’s agenda could ‘fragment the West.’

THE NEW SPACE RACE: NASA awards contract for 3D-printed construction on moon, Mars.

VIDEO: Arthur Brooks on corporations going woke. “We need to tell CEOs…3% of your employees are activists…blowing up your Slack demanding that you get involved in a culture war and make political statements. Don’t do it. The rest of your employees are feeling bullied as well…”

THE WAPO WISHES ITS STAFFERS MERRY CHRISTMAS: The Washington Post will end its Sunday magazine, eliminate positions.

The Washington Post will stop publishing its stand-alone print magazine, one of the last of its kind in the country and which has been published under different names for more than six decades, the newspaper’s executive editor, Sally Buzbee, announced Wednesday.

The Sunday magazine has 10 staff members, who were told in a meeting that their positions have been eliminated, according to Shani George, The Post’s vice president for communications.

“We will end the print Sunday Magazine in its current form as we continue to undergo our global and digital transformation,” Buzbee said in a subsequent email to staff early Wednesday afternoon. She noted that “we will be shifting some of the most popular content, and adding more, in a revitalized Style section that will launch in the coming months.”

“We deeply appreciate the contributions this staff has made to our print readers over the years,” she wrote in conclusion.

Related: Biden tells coal miners to “learn to code.”According to Dave Weigel of the Washington Post, Biden said, ‘Anybody who can go down 3,000 feet in a mine can sure as hell learn to program as well… Anybody who can throw coal into a furnace can learn how to program, for God’s sake!’ According to Weigel, the comment was met with silence from the audience.”

NOBODY CARES: EU throws gala party for ‘global gateway’ metaverse — and only a handful of people show up. “By ‘handful,’ they mean 6. The EU spent £332,500. So that’s £55,417 per person.”

HMM: Many older U.S. women get unnecessary cervical cancer screenings.

TIM BLAIR: Today’s noticeboard is brought to you by the emerging sport of Plonkerdump, currently sweeping Europe and the UK.

So new is Plonkerdump that the rules are yet to be codified. By examining a few demonstration events, however, we may begin to develop a simple scoring system.

I propose that points be awarded on a scale of how many vehicles are able to pass relative to how many stupid climate protesters have been removed.

One point may be awarded, for example, if vehicular progress is achieved after four or more protesters are dragged away by understandably hostile motorists or onlookers:

More like this, please.

MAYBE, BUT WHAT DOES DOCTOR JILL HAVE TO SAY ABOUT IT? Did Joe Biden Just Hint That He Won’t Run For Reelection?

GOOD: U.S. FDA gives first-ever approval to fecal transplant therapy.

WELL, THIS IS THE 21ST CENTURY, YOU KNOW: Elon Musk expects Neuralink’s brain chip to begin human trials in 6 months. “The company is developing brain chip interfaces that it says could enable disabled patients to move and communicate again, with Musk adding on Wednesday that it will also target restoring vision.”

DON’T WORRY, IT’S PROBABLY NOTHING: ‘Wild ride:’ Morgan Stanley’s Mike Wilson predicts double-digit percentage drop will hit stocks in early 2023.

SHE FIGHTS: Kari Lake Talks Arizona Lawsuit Timeline and Plans. “Let me repeat that: They ran an election with my name on the ballot, and their number one political goal was to see to it that I was not elected. Can you say, ‘conflict of interest’?”

DISPATCHES FROM THE REHAB TOUR: FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried denies ‘improper use’ of customer funds amid scrutiny of crypto giant.

Sam Bankman-Fried, the embattled former CEO of cryptocurrency giant FTX and trading firm Alameda Research, told ABC News he was ultimately responsible for the downfall of both companies, but denied that he knew “that there was any improper use of customer funds.”

“I really, deeply wish that I had taken a lot more responsibility for understanding what the details were of what was going on,” Bankman-Fried said. “I should have been on top of this, and I feel really, really bad and regretful that I wasn’t. A lot of people got hurt. And that’s on me.”

Bankman-Fried spoke to George Stephanopoulos and ABC News for his first network interview since both companies in his cryptocurrency empire filed for bankruptcy this month. He addressed rumors that have swirled since the collapse and discussed his uncertain path forward. The interview took place in the Bahamas island of Nassau where FTX was headquartered.

George Stephanopoulos, eh?

LIFE IN THE BLUE ZONES:

A crazed attorney from Austin, Texas was caught on camera allegedly trying to shoot his ex-girlfriend at the bar she worked at on Saturday, police said.

Gavin Rush, 41, is out on bond after he allegedly stormed into the Anderson Mill Pub with a gun around 11:30 a.m. on Saturday morning and approached his ex, who was behind the bar, according to arrest records obtained by KVUE.

He put a small leather satchel on the table and asked if he could speak with her. When she said “no,” he drew the gun and pointed it at her, with the laser sight aimed at her chest, according to the affidavit and dramatic surveillance footage of the incident shared by Austin City Councilwoman Mackenzie Kelly.

Video of the incident shows two customers at the bar leap into action and tackle Rush, who reportedly fired off multiple shots in the struggle, and held him until police arrived. . . .

Rush was charged with a second-degree felony, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon family violence. An emergency protection order was issued against him, and was soon back on the streets after making a $40,000 bond, KVUE reported.

“For $4,000, you can get out, go home, watch Netflix after trying to murder your ex-girlfriend – are you kidding me?” one of the customers said.

Local leaders have also spoke out against how quickly and easily Rush was released from custody

“This particular case seems to be one where the courts have failed this victim,” Thomas Villarreal, head of the Austin Police Association, told Fox 7.

I don’t know why they’re surprised, this is the new trend in blue zones, even blue zones within red states.

UNSURPRISINGLY, HE TALKS LIKE A VALLEY GIRL: AOC discusses tips on ‘combating racism as a white person’ with boyfriend.

MEGAN FOX: Police Release Confusing Information About University of Idaho Murders. “The latest information to come out of the Moscow Police Department leaves more questions than answers about the brutal stabbing deaths of four college students at the University of Idaho that happened before Thanksgiving. Press and investigators have been asking for confirmation of a report of a male on campus in September who was reported to have been brandishing a knife.”

GET READY FOR THE HOLIDAYS: Riedel O Wine Tumbler Happy, Set of 4. #CommissionEarned

TWITTER IS FUN AGAIN: Twitter has grown under Elon Musk — mainly in the U.S., data shows. “Data from two independent research firms, Apptopia and Sensor Tower, indicate that downloads and activity on Twitter are on the upswing in the weeks since Musk bought it and in comparison to last year, appearing to confirm recent boasting from the tech billionaire that he has reinvigorated the social media app. “

I REMEMBER WHEN HIGHER ED WAS JUSTIFIED AS PROMOTING GOOD CITIZENSHIP: Yale student paper blames free speech for gay club shooting.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: How to Spot Democrat Scott Wiener’s Fake Hate Crime with This 1 Weird Trick. “When violence against Wiener failed to materialize, he seems to have jumped into action himself.”

DECOUPLING: Apple’s Chinese dream is over.

Apple’s relationship with China was one of the biggest bets in the history of the technology business, and it turned Apple into one of the largest and most-admired companies in the world. Its end will threaten Apple’s decade-plus dominance.

Under the leadership of Tim Cook, Apple has added nearly $2 trillion to its revenues by taking advantage of China’s invitation. Credit for Apple’s growth also goes to Terry Gou, founder of its most important contract manufacturer, the Taiwan-based Hon Hai Precision Industry, better known as Foxconn. And there are countless other Taiwanese firms that have helped build out the supply chain for Apple and other companies in China.

The consumer products that Apple made in China it changed the way we all live. But both Chinese and American tech figures have been thinking for years about what to do when the party’s over.

Apple’s biggest problems might lie right here at home. The company has managed to alienate developers, free speech enthusiasts, and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

Getting out of that mess might make getting out of China look comparatively simple.

NEW YORK BANS NEW BITCOIN MINING, CITING “CLIMATE CHANGE.” Not explored: the “climate change” implications of building billions of dollars in microwave relays to New York so that traders there can pull a never-ending Office Space-style heist on you and me by front-running the market by 2.5 milliseconds. (This is a literal selling point.)

KRUISER’S MORNING BRIEFING: Why Gavin Newsom Said ‘No’ to 2024…for Now. “It is not normal for the party that has a first-term incumbent in the White House to have a lot of speculation about who might run for the nomination in the next presidential election. The Democrats find themselves in this position because they elected a doddering husk who requires an extra Secret Service agent just to keep him from choking on one of his Legos.”

HOW THE NEXT CIVIL WAR BEGINS: “According to recent polling, more than 50% of Americans expect a new civil war in the “next couple of years.” It’s a pathetic scenario more fitting for a semi-authoritarian backwater than the world’s beacon of democracy. National breakup efforts will be coming and, if we’re being honest, they’re behind schedule.”

EVERYTHING IS GOING SWIMMINGLY: Shortages of Antibiotics, Antivirals Are Making a Tough Illness Season Worse.

I WAS TOLD VOTING FRAUD WAS UNKNOWN: LaFayette Man Must Serve 15 Years In Prison For Trying To Vote Twice In Same Election. “The evidence presented at trial showed that a Walker County resident’s absentee ballot for the January 2021 runoff election was sent by mistake to an old address, a PO box in LaFayette, Ga. When the resident’s ballot never arrived but her husband’s did, the resident called the Elections Office in Walker County to inquire about her ballot. The Elections Office discovered that they had already accepted, but had not yet counted, an absentee ballot for the resident, and the ballot appeared to have the resident’s signature on the Oath of Elector section. The resident went to the Election Office to view the ballot with the signature on it and immediately noticed it was not her signature. The Elections Office immediately cancelled the forged ballot and had a new ballot sent to the resident’s current address.”

The big story, as a friend writes, is that this would never have been detected if the actual voter hadn’t complained. He comments:

The real story here is that this ballot wouldn’t have been rejected without the intended ballot recipient complaining about it. Otherwise, the absentee ballot would have been counted like any other, despite not having her signature.

Which is weird, because all the best people have assured me that “signature verification” prevents this sort of thing from happening.

Now imagine 10,000 voters willing to give/sell their blank ballot to a third party/activist/harvester and never complain about it. No one would notice. That’s how elections are bought with absentee voting.

Bought, stolen, whatever.

WHEN YOU’VE LOST THE UNITED NATIONS…: UN says Scotland’s proposal for gender self-ID poses risk to women and girls.

The UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women and girls has called on Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to reconsider proposed changes to Scotland’s Gender Recognition Act that would make it easier for males to self-ID as women and gain access to women’s spaces, a change the UN expert says could be taken advantage of by violent males.

In an interview with BBC Scotland, Reem Alsalem said the concern is “that it makes it easier for violent males to take advantage of the process and therefore also have access to spaces that are really designed…for women in all their diversity, but also single sex spaces, and including shelters, prisons.”

You don’t say.

NEVER, FOR NOW: Gavin Newsom Finally Answers the Question About 2024.

ED MORRISSEY: Today’s big question: Should Congress unilaterally fix Biden’s dumb rail deal?

LAW FIRM HOGAN LOVELLS: “We want our female lawyers to be able to talk about the Dobbs decision and abortion.”

Female Lawyer: “I like the Dobbs decision.”

Law Firm Hogan Lovells: You’re fired. “Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal published an opinion piece by attorney Robin Keller describing how she lost her job at a large law firm after daring to speak up in favor of the Dobbs decision. This didn’t happen at a general staff meeting but on a conference call explicitly held to allow staffers to discuss the decision.”

Also, the female lawyers who “lost their ability to breathe” upon hearing a contrary view aren’t fit to practice law, which requires that one breathe while engaging in argument with people who disagree.

CHINA’S BITE OF THE APPLE: Ever wonder why the Apple logo is missing a bite? Multiple possibilities have been tossed into the public forums over the years, but a recent discovery, according to Issues & Insights, just might explain it.

YOU F***** UP, YOU TRUSTED HIM: Biden’s Controversial Move Infuriates Rail Unions As Catastrophic Strike Looms: ‘Joe Biden Blew It.’

A SMALL VICTORY FOR FREE SPEECH: UK ditches plan to censor legal speech.

FAKE NEWS, MISINFORMATION, CANCEL THEIR ACCOUNTS: FACT CHECK: IRS Watchdog Destroys Media Claim That Trump Ordered Audits of James Comey and Andrew McCabe.

EPIC HOLIDAY DEAL: EcoNour 27″ Aluminum Car Snow Scraper. #CommissionEarned

STRANGER THINGS HAVE HAPPENED: Wait… Is China Actually Doing the Smart Thing I Just Told Them to Do?

FOR THE WORSE, BASICALLY: How Magazines’ Advice to Parents Has Changed Over a Century.

A 1966 article in Good Housekeeping proposed a set of guidelines for children’s public autonomy as follows: “A six- to eight-year-old can be expected to follow simple routes to school, be able to find a telephone or report to a policeman if he is lost, and to know he must call home if he is going to be late. A nine- to eleven-year-old should be able to travel on public buses and streetcars, apply some simple first aid, and exercise reasonable judgment in many unfamiliar situations.”

In contrast, Rutherford notes that after about 1980, articles stopped focusing on the value of children’s independence and started focusing on the need to guard and monitor them. A prototypical example is a 2006 article in Good Housekeeping with the scary title, “Are You a Good Mother?” The article made it clear that the answer is “yes” if you closely watch and supervise your child pretty much all of the time.

Producing a generation of incompetent, insecure adults.

November 30, 2022

OPEN THREAD: Anything worth talking about today?

DISPATCHES FROM THE “IT’S DIFFERENT WHEN WE DO IT” PARTY: Hypocrisy alert: Democrats just chose an election denier as Pelosi’s successor.

AND OUR ELITES DO, TOO: Tyrants in Iran, China and Russia tremble at the power of the people.

And in Canada, we get this hypocrisy:

THE NEW SPACE RACE (CONT’D): China tests reusable rocket engine for the 1st time.

JIANG ZEMIN HAS DIED.

Related: Hu Jintao: The mysterious exit of China’s former leader from party congress.

BECAUSE COOK REGARDS THE CHINESE AS FRIENDS AND ELON MUSK AS AN ENEMY:

Related: Tim Cook Says He’s Ready To Pull Twitter From App Store Once President Xi Gives The Order. It’s satire. Or is it?

UPDATE: Apple’s cowardice on China reveals app store Twitter ban as pure hypocrisy. “Apple is willing to defend its market value by co-operating with, quite literally, the world’s most brutal regime in its efforts to crush a grassroots movement of protestors pushed to the breaking point. But allowing people to tweet things offensive to liberal pieties is worthy of its action?”

ANOTHER UPDATE: Tim Cook denies Twitter threat.

FTX’S COLLAPSE WAS A CRIME, NOT AN ACCIDENT:

Executives at FTX reportedly received a total of $4.1 billion in loans from Alameda Research, including massive personal loans that were likely unsecured. As revealed by bankruptcy proceedings, Bankman-Fried received an incredible $1 billion in personal loans, as well as a $2.3 billion loan to an entity called Paper Bird in which he had 75% control. Director of Engineering Nishad Singh was given a loan of $543 million, while FTX Digital Markets co-CEO Ryan Salame received a $55 million personal loan.

The FTX situation has more smoking guns than a shooting range in Texas, but you might call this one the smoking bazooka – a glaringly obvious sign of criminal intent. It’s still unclear how the bulk of those personal loans were used, but clawing the expenditures back will likely be a major task for liquidators.

The loans to Paper Bird were arguably even more worrying because they appear to have fueled more structural fraud by creating yet another related third party to shuffle assets between. Forbes has posited that some of the Paper Bird funds may have gone to buy part of Binance’s stake in FTX, and Paper Bird also committed hundreds of millions of dollars to various outside investments.

That included many of the same venture capital funds that backed FTX. It will take time to sort out whether this financial incest constituted criminal fraud. But it certainly matches the broader pattern by which Bankman-Fried used secretive flows, leverage and funny money to deceptively prop up the value of various assets.

Meanwhile, Bankman-Fried Zooms into the New York Times‘ DealBook Summit, twitching away and telling the audience, “I’ve had a bad month,” much to their amusement:

On to Good Morning America and fellow Democrat George Stephanopoulos tomorrow!

ROGER SIMON: Trapped by Apple—a Tale of the ‘Great Reset.’

Apparently, they are more upset with Elon Musk for trying to bring a modicum of transparency to Twitter, pulling their ads from his newly purchased platform and, according to Musk, threatening to remove the Twitter app from their app store.

Yet worse, in China, Apple has restricted AirDrop file sharing, the very method the demonstrators have been using to communicate privately out of earshot of their totalitarian masters. Was this on advice from the communist regime or did Apple just figure out for themselves what was in their best interest to do? It wouldn’t have been hard.

Meanwhile, Apple stock has lost some ground because these protests may be interfering with their iPhone production. Poor things. Further, according to Bloomberg, violent protests have erupted at Apple’s main iPhone plant in China. (Wasn’t Apple supposed to be leaving China for production? I guess not.)

Sadly, what’s going on isn’t surprising. Apple is acting in tandem with our administration, which also, not surprisingly, has stayed mostly mum about what’s going on in China and Iran. Freedom is of no interest to them.

Behind the Iran silence is, obviously, the three-letter word oil, for which President Joe Biden has only himself to blame for having seriously restricted our domestic supply for the most dubious of reasons.

As for China, Biden, we recall, is the man who insisted the Chinese—meaning the regime—were our friends, before he recanted that for electoral purposes. The true story of the Biden family and the Chinese communists, some of which must reside on Hunter’s laptop, is yet to be fully exposed.

What all this adds up to is Apple and the rest of Big Tech cooperating with the administration in the big lie that domestic terrorists (Trump, et al.) are the threat to democracy when they themselves are.

True democracy, whether manifest as a democratic republic or otherwise, has become an inconvenience for them in the march to globalism and the “Great Reset.”

When its guru Klaus Schwab said, “You will have nothing and you will be happy,” it’s not hard to imagine that he would exclude the iPhone or its equivalent implanted under our skin—“the better to track you with, my dear,” they might say in a modern version of a Disney classic.

Whatever their disagreements with Musk, “Elon Musk meets Tim Cook, says Apple never considered removing Twitter app,” according to CNBC.

THE ABOLITION OF BRITAIN: ‘War on Christian Culture:’ UK Prosecutors Won’t Say If They Stand by Attack on Bible.

A Christian street preacher faced charges of violating the Public Order Act by engaging in “threatening,” “abusive,” and “insulting” speech in telling a lesbian couple that homosexuals will not “inherit the kingdom of heaven,” citing the Bible. In defending the case against him, a prosecutor wrote that “there are references in the bible [sic] which are simply no longer appropriate in modern society and which would be offensive if stated in public” (emphasis original).

The court dismissed the case against the preacher, John Dunn, because the lesbian couple declined to testify, but a prosecutor with the Crown Prosecution Service, the office of England’s government prosecutors, claimed before the trial that some Bible passages are “no longer appropriate in modern society.”

The next edition of Peter Hitchens’ book continues to write itself.

OUT ON A LIMB: Musk Confirms: Yes, Twitter Has Interfered in Elections.

Most infamously, Twitter banned any mention of Hunter Biden’s “laptop from hell” in the lead up to the 2020 presidential election. By default, they also censored Joe Biden’s deep involvement and shady business dealings with foreign adversaries.

At the time platform executives, including then CEO Jack Dorsey, justified the multi-month banning of the account belonging to the New York Post — the nation’s oldest paper — whose reporters broke the laptop story in October 2020. They also banned White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany after she shared the story, along with countless others who did the same.

During testimony on Capitol Hill in 2021, Dorsey admitted the social media platform had no factual basis for censoring the story.

Flashback: The ‘cabal’ that bragged of foisting Joe Biden on us must answer for his failed presidency.

I DON’T KNOW ABOUT ELON, BUT I’M GETTING $44 BILLION WORTH OF ENTERTAINMENT OUT OF THIS: Everyone seems to be all a-Twitter.

Most certainly, none of these organizations or individuals of a Leftist persuasion had ever expressed any of those same objections in all the previous years of Twitter’s outrageously heavy-handed, one-sided censorship/out-right election interference. This sudden concern is so confounding. As David wrote about this morning, the EU is SO incensed, they are threatening to ban the app. I can’t imagine why. John and Jazz have both recently told us about Musk’s efforts to clean the site of AntiFa accounts – I know he’s wiped a ton of child traffickers, as well – and begin the era of transparency he promised.

What’s not to love?

Oh, the Left. It’s had the opposite effect on their little pointy heads, and they seem to be in a frenzied panic.

Anything that threatens their power is treated as an affront to decency.

THE NEW SPACE RACE: SpaceX Is Preparing to Launch The World’s First Private Lunar Lander.

LOOKING FOR AN ARMISTICE: Yale law dean wants amends with conservative judges: report.

“POTENTIALLY 2022’s MOST CONSEQUENTIAL AMERICAN BOOK”: Okay, this counts as shameless self-promotion, but how often do relatively obscure academics like myself get praise like that from someone as prominent as George Will, in a column devoted to said obscure academic’s book, no less? Money quote:

This story-beyond-satire of government is recounted in Bernstein’s slender (185 pages) Classified: The Untold Story of Racial Classifications in America, potentially 2022’s most consequential American book. It reveals the rickety foundations of today’s identity politics. And because it is distilled in an amicus brief he filed for the Supreme Court as it considers racial preferences in college admissions. The brief demonstrates that such preferences depend on irrational classifications that mock their users’ intellectual and moral pretenses.

LAYOFFS UNDERWAY AT CNN: ‘a gut punch.’

All of that is true but the NY Times is bit more blunt about the reasons these layoffs are necessary.

“It is incredibly hard to say goodbye to any one member of the CNN team, much less many,” Mr. Licht wrote in the memo, which was seen by The New York Times. “I recently described this process as a gut punch, because I know that is how it feels for all of us.”

The cuts come as CNN lags behind its chief competitors, Fox News and MSNBC, in total viewership this year, according to Nielsen data. It has notched some wins over MSNBC with viewers in the coveted advertiser demographic of 25- to 54-year-olds, but the sagging ratings overall have affected CNN’s profitability this year.

What I haven’t seen anywhere is any indication which contributors are part of this round of layoffs. Maybe that’s the news that will come tomorrow?

I’m not generally a fan of CNN’s approach and think they’ve been involved in some egregious myth-making over the past several years. That said, a month before Christmas is a tough time for anyone to lose a job. That doesn’t mean I won’t dance a little jig if Jim Acosta finally gets kicked to the curb but so far that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Related: Coal miners become computer coders.

—CNN.com, April 22, 2016.

F*CK DAVID MAMET:

In response to a positive review in The New York Times of the recent revival of David Mamet’s American Buffalo, one young theater maker, @harharharbour wrote, “F*ck Mamet, there’s nothing he has to say worth hearing. Stop giving racist transphobic playwrights platforms. This show is shit.”

This tweet epitomizes what is now an entirely mainstream, and in some circles mandatory, view of David Alan Mamet, 74, of Chicago, the great American writer of Glengarry Glen Ross, The Verdict, The Untouchables, Hoffa, Wag the Dog, Oleanna, and a mountain of other novels, books, essays, plays, and even cartoons. Mamet must be canceled. The “trash”—as Tony-winning actor and writer Colman Domingo writes—must be taken out. But as we Jews have learned all too often the hard way, silencing our prophets is usually a mistake.

* * * * * * * * *

On the cost of speaking out against the hegemonic view:

“Well, what’s the alternative? … The big question of my generation and of show business, was how could these guys, during the McCarthy era, have sold their friends out, how could they do that? So when all of us here were shown the rack and asked how would you like to behave? That question reappeared and ‘Oh, I get it they had a choice, I guess I have a choice too.’ Now certainly I’m in a privileged position right? Because I’m in the final boarding process and I got a couple bucks in a sock under my mattress and there are people who aren’t in that privileged position and they may have to make a different choice.”

On whether the Jews should decamp to the Republican party:

* * * * * * * * *

“Dennis Prager said the only thing that the Left has been successful at is in demonizing the Right and they demonized the hell out of the Jews so bad they can’t think clearly. My great aunt lives in Chicago and she’s 91 years old and she said you know ‘things have gotten so bad over here, the taxes are so bad, the homelessness is so bad, these kids are killing each other every week on the south side of Chicago and my friends had to move from a wonderful apartment because when they took over Michigan Avenue they got into the lobby of her building and things just couldn’t be worse’ and I said you know ‘Well keep voting [D]emocratic!’ and there was this long long long long pause and any of us who are Conservative know that pause and that look on the face of the Liberal and it’s a look of aphasia.”

Read the whole f*cking thing.

HISTORY: When the New Generation of Olds Killed Your Father’s Oldsmobile. “Instead of bridging generations, the ‘Not Your Father’s Oldsmobile’ effort alienated people of all ages, and has been be blamed for hastening Oldsmobile’s irrelevance and eventual death a decade down the road from the marketing campaign’s kickoff. Before that happened, however, things got weird. How weird? Like, ‘Leonard Nimoy’s daughter’ weird.”

UM: Corvette to Launch as a Brand in 2025 with a Four-Door and an SUV. Well, there’s this: “At a point in time when Ferrari and Maserati and Porsche are all offering one or more SUVs—the antithesis to the hard-core sports cars that put them on the map in the first place—why shouldn’t Corvette also consider building sedans, crossovers or, heaven forbid, even pickups?”

STUDENTS FIRST‘: New book on higher ed reform (and from a liberal college president, no less) has some suggestions that might help, like replacing credit-hour inputs with competency outputs.

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