December 3, 2022

HE’S A QUICK LEARNER: “I was initially skeptical of Elon Musk. After all, he has never been, or claimed to be, a conservative, and he voted not only for Barack Obama but for Slow Joe Biden. But give the man credit: he is catching on fast.”

VIDEO: The Devil’s Triangle: Mark Judge vs the New American Stasi.

THE SOUTHERN OCEAN CAN BE DEADLY, AND SAILORS FEARED IT FOR CENTURIES: Viking Polaris: Passenger killed after ‘rogue wave’ hits cruise ship.

Now they send cruise ships there, totalling tens of thousands of tourists per season, but the danger hasn’t entirely been overcome.

OPEN THREAD: Party like it’s Saturday night.

THE NEW SPACE RACE: Rocket Lab launches subsidiary focused on national security market.

A GIFT FROM THE DEEP SEVENS: Earth’s Oxygen Came From an Unexpectedly Deep And Hot Source, Study Suggests.

THEY ALREADY KNEW ABOUT HARVEY WEINSTEIN, TOO:

YEP. THE SNEERING IS THE MOST POLITICALLY DESTRUCTIVE AND DIVISIVE THING: Taibbi’s Twitter files exposes key point: sneering elite-media bias.

ICYMI: Abolish the TSA.

NOTHING A GOOD THRASHING WOULDN’T FIX: Activists Empty Tires on Dozens of SUVs in NYC.

FUN GIFT: Celestron – NexStar 8SE Telescope. #CommissionEarned

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Don’t Overlook Using A Shoulder Holster.

BE PREPARED: Victorinox-Swiss-Army Cutlery Fibrox Pro Slicing Knife. #CommissionEarned

NOW OUT FROM ANDREW WAREHAM: Dead End (The War To End All Wars Book 7).

He’s certainly producing a lot of stuff lately, and it’s still all good. I’m beginning to wonder if he’s dropped the academic job. Certainly An Emergent State, which I’m reading now, is affirmatively non-PC.

JACK SHAFER: The Confession of Sam Bankman-Fried.

“Please, shut up.” This is what lawyers tell clients who have been charged with crimes — or are in danger of being charged — because anything they say will only be dredged up by the prosecution to prove their guilt. Sam Bankman-Fried, the wunderkind behind the FTX and Alameda crypto trading scandal in which upwards of $8 billion has gone AWOL, rejected this foundational advice on Wednesday afternoon to give New York Times reporter Andrew Ross Sorkin a lengthy, live tele-interview.

Bankman-Fried didn’t just give prosecutors a few leads as he rambled. He essentially confessed in serial fashion to his many potential offenses.

“I didn’t ever try to commit fraud on anyone,” Bankman-Fried said near the top of the interview, as he began to shovel himself into the trench he has been digging since the scandal broke in early November. “Clearly, I made a lot of mistakes or things I would give anything to be able to do over again,” he said, adding vinyl wood paneling to his new underground home. “I was responsible ultimately for doing the right things and I mean, we didn’t. Like, we messed up big,” he said, installing a wet bar in his space. And then came the rug that pulled it all together. “There absolutely were management failures, huge management failures. I bear responsibility for that. There were oversight failures, transparency failures, reporting, like, so many things we should have had in place. I think that a lot of it was on the risk management side,” Bankman-Fried said. “Look, I screwed up.”

While SBF keeps digging, why hasn’t he been arrested yet?

I certainly understand why people would bristle at all of these sources of potential delay, but this sort of investigative slog is much more common in a white-collar case than a quick arrest. For instance, it took almost a year for the U.S. Attorney’s office in Manhattan (which is reportedly handling the FTX investigation) to charge the founder of the electric-truck start-up Nikola with fraud even though the short-selling firm Hindenburg Research seemingly did all of the work when it published a lengthy report that precipitated the investigation in the first place. And it took nearly two years for the department to charge Holmes even after the Journal’s John Carreyrou publicly exposed the central problems at Theranos.

Prosecutors at the Justice Department cannot — and do not — simply indict people based on what they read in the press, no matter how damning it may seem. Even if they desperately want to charge someone, prosecutors have to conduct their own investigation to develop robust, admissible evidence of criminal misconduct, which requires gathering and reviewing documents and data, speaking with witnesses, and — perhaps above all — time.

Rudy Giuliani made his bones in 1987 by ordering financial executives with insider trading charges escorted out of their offices in handcuffs; lots of investors presumably believe SBF deserves a similar fate.

SPACE: SpaceX gets federal approval to launch 7,500 communication satellites.

EVERYTHING IS GOING SWIMMINGLY: Heart failure linked to illicit meth use is rising.

DECLINE IS A CHOICE: Please, America, don’t get into soccer.

THE POWER LINE WEEK IN PICTURES: Crazy Sweepstakes Edition.

EPIC HOLIDAY DEAL: Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine. #CommissionEarned

MARK JUDGE: The 1980s on Trial.

Compared to previous generations, kids today are less likely to have sex, drive, work, drink alcohol, date, or go out without their parents. A lot of this has to do with the advent of smartphones and social media. Kids these days are terrified that if they do something bold—or stupid—it will wind up on Facebook, YouTube, or Snapchat. In 2015, pop singer Ariana Grande, then 22, licked a doughnut—and it wound up on “The Today Show.”

But it wasn’t just Brett and me who were on trial. It was the entire era in which we grew up. An era of robust cultural confidence when men and women were equally celebrated, the 1980s have now, in the rearview mirror, become fodder for our modern media scolds.

For instance, several journalists noted during the hearings that I had written in praise of Hugh Hefner, who is now considered a symbol of toxic masculinity. This was taken as evidence of my retrograde sexual attitudes and projected onto Brett as proof of his being unfit for a seat on the nation’s highest court. What a crock of bullshit. The farther away I get from it, the angrier I feel.

For the record, my view of Hefner is equivocal. Hefner helped usher in the age of pornography, which is now a serious global problem that warps healthy and romantic sexual interaction. His grandiose claims about being a revolutionary are often hyperbolic, even silly. He’s also a terrible dancer.

And yet an honest man cannot completely dismiss him. Hefner, in fact, made the case for a type of man who is increasingly rare these days, who may indeed be disappearing in the era of #MeToo and weaponized sexual politics. Playboy, whose first issue was published in December 1953, defended the man who is urbane, intelligent, interested in art, literature, music, and architecture—and who loves women. Indeed, I would argue that Hefner didn’t always strictly treat women as sex objects. The Playboy man was educated, employed, and well-dressed, and he could entertain a young lady at his modern bachelor pad for an evening of conversation about Nietzsche, Picasso, and jazz, culminating in mutually satisfying sex.

Hefner’s magazine rejected the rugged outdoorsman type celebrated in most men’s magazines of the 1950s. He also criticized some of the counterculture of the time, rejecting the “noise” of rock ’n’ roll in favor of sophisticated jazz. The “Playboy Man” loved capitalism and disposable income, and Playmates from the early issues were photographed in tasteful ways, with their personalities and accomplishments frequently celebrated.

Yes, it was an exploitative nudie magazine. But it was also a long way from the charmless, ruthless porn of today. Old issues of Playboy, which published some of the best writers of the time, from Gore Vidal to Norman Mailer, read like Shakespeare compared to the Maxim mouth breathers that now represent a huge swath of the male population.

Hefner was also countercultural. As the entire country was getting married and moving to the suburbs, he defended spending a couple extra years in the city, driving a cool car, going to museums, reading great books, and buying the latest Dizzy Gillespie records. He created the kind of cool, urban bachelor who has all but disappeared in today’s world of niche personalities and interests. Men today are either frat bros, comic nerds, yuppie suits, IT geeks, or sulky, epicene hipsters. Nobody covers as much ground as Hefner anymore.

Hefner could have settled down with one woman and still stayed the man he created. Yet he was tripped up by sex, the very thing that made him rich and famous. Instead of making male sexuality something to be indulged with aplomb but not recklessness, Hefner made it a lifestyle, walking around all day in his trademark silk pajamas and red robe with a blonde on either arm. And that’s why he eventually became a joke. The journalistic quality of Playboy started dropping in the 1980s, and today it reads like a slightly more appealing issue of Details. The Playboy Mansion, Shangri-La in the 1970s, seemed gauche and tacky by the time Hefner died in 2017.

Read the whole thing.

Last weekend, I watched American Playboy: The Hugh Hefner Story, which was released on April 7th 2017, on Amazon Prime Video. It’s a fascinating very pro-Hefner drama/documentary series. Hef and other original staffers at Playboy appear in interviews, but many of the scenes are dramatically fleshed out by actors and actresses (pun not intended — well, maybe a little). As you may have surmised by the above release date, it was produced at the very end of the the period that such a series could be made. In October of 2017, #metoo became a household phrase, and Harvey Weinstein become a household name. A couple of weeks later, then-Amazon Studios chief Roy Price, who commissioned the Playboy series, and series by Weinstein, Woody Allen and former Mad Men producer Matthew Weiner, resigned.

The following year, in “The New Prudes,” author/illustrator Christopher R. Taylor wrote:

The people who told us “love the one you’re with” and “if her daddy’s rich take her out for a meal, if her daddy’s poor, just do what you feel” are now telling us that you have to get signed proof for every stage of sexual contact and even if you do, if she regrets it later, it was rape.  The people who created Animal House are now wondering if its even okay to laugh at it.  People routinely say “that could never get made today” about films like Blazing Saddles, but could you even make Pretty in Pink?  Not according to its star Molly Ringwald.

Oceania has always been at war with the sexual revolution.

FIGHT THE POWER: Alabama students victorious in free speech case at state supreme court.

A free speech lawsuit against the University of Alabama in Huntsville by its Young Americans for Liberty chapter over a policy that required permission to speak on campus will proceed after the state’s highest court reversed a lower-court ruling.

The lawsuit challenged a UAH policy that “limits most student speech to small ‘speech zones’ and requires students to obtain a permit three business days in advance to speak on campus,” according to Alliance Defending Freedom, the legal nonprofit that represents the YAL club.

The group challenged the permit requirement and argued it violated the 2019 “Alabama Campus Free Speech Act.” University spokeswoman Elizabeth Gibisch has not responded to an email sent in the past week that asked for comment on the ruling.

Like I said, fight the power.

YES. NEXT QUESTION? Is Apple working with China to suppress freedom protestors?

Related: Tim Cook’s Silence Just Said Everything.

Flashback: A Slow Kowtow to China.

Demanding obeisance has a rich history in Chinese culture. In 1793, British envoy Lord George Macartney was charged with opening permanent trade relations with China. The Chinese still clung to the old feudal demand of the kowtow. In the old days, the Chinese believed that the emperor literally ruled the world, which meant foreign rulers were more like vassals. And all vassals must acknowledge the supremacy of the emperor, the Son of Heaven. The problem was that Macartney was essentially a stand-in for the British crown, and he couldn’t in good conscience recognize the emperor as his sovereign.

Kowtowing requires three kneelings and nine prostrations—meaning the supplicant actually lies face down on the floor—in order to demonstrate total inferiority. Macartney agreed to kneel out of respect, but he wouldn’t put his head to the ground nine times.

The Chinese were offended and Britain and China didn’t get the trade deal. I bring up this anecdote for three reasons. First, it’s worth recognizing that the trade deal was in the interests of both countries. Lots of “realists” think that countries do things solely out of raw self-interest. That’s arguably true. But the definition realists use for self-interest is way too narrow. Notions of national pride and honor are also forms of self-interest.

Which brings me to the second reason. America should have some notion of honor. We don’t have a crown, but we do have certain ideas and ideals that we like to claim similar loyalty to. We also like to claim that these ideas and ideals are universal. When we figuratively kowtow to China, we are openly admitting to China that both claims are untrue—or at least negotiable. You can’t claim to believe human rights are universal and inviolable while simultaneously excusing or ignoring the mass violation of human rights that defines China under CCP rule.

Last, none of this is in our interest. It’s not like the Chinese respect us for our groveling. They enjoy watching us bend to their demands and mock our obsequious desire to gain favor as proof of their superior system. They use our self-flagellation over race as a cudgel in their propaganda and diplomacy. Such appeasement only buys greater demands and worse moral and strategic compromises.

* * * * * * * *

I whiggishly believe that one day China will be a free country. And when it is, the Chinese will not look back on America today as a spiritual ally the way those who were slaughtered at Tiananmen Square did. They will see us as a country that sought approval from the regime that persecuted their ancestors for the cheap at any price of Fast and Furious 9 ticket sales.

As Jim Geraghty wrote in October of 2019, when the CCP-NBA connection was exposed for millions of Americans to see: We’re Not Exporting Our Values to China — We’re Importing Theirs.

INSTITUTIONAL RACISM: UChicago announces ‘The Problem with Whiteness’ course.

THE BOTTOM LINE:

THE STIG CRASHES BADLY: NBC’s Ben Collins’ pissiness over Matt Taibbi and Elon Musk’s ‘Twitter Files’ speaks volumes about modern MSM.

(Classical reference in headline.)

VOX POPULI, VOX DEI: Two-thirds want border wall and E-Verify to slow illegal immigration.

OUT ON A LIMB: Kanye’s Downfall Shows Why Free Speech Works.

Well, that didn’t take long. In just a few weeks, Ye, the artist formerly known as Kanye West, has gone from potential Republican superstar to a completely disgraced antisemitic lunatic.

Kanye’s fall from grace hit its nadir on Thursday during a stranger-than-fiction interview he did on InfoWars with far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. Ye said, and this is a direct quote, “I like Hitler.”

“I like Hitler,” Ye expounded. “The Holocaust is not what happened. Let’s look at the facts of that. Hitler has a lot of redeeming qualities.”

It somehow got even stranger.

“[Nazis] did good things, too,” Ye went on to say later in the interview. “We’ve got to stop dissing the Nazis all the time. The Jewish media has made us feel like the Nazis and Hitler have never offered anything of value to the world.”

In case there was any shred of doubt left as to Ye’s intent, he followed up the interview by tweeting out a literal swastika. (Yes, seriously. You can’t make this stuff up.)

As Dan McLaughlin wrote before the pro-Hitler rant: Kanye West Canceled Himself.

NINE YEARS AGO THIS WAS THE MOST-READ ITEM ON THE ENTIRE USA TODAY SITE: Abolish the TSA.

THEY’RE CERTAINLY LOOKING BETTER THAN THE 2020S: Mark Judge: The 1980s On Trial.

EPIC HOLIDAY DEAL: Folding Utility Knife. #CommissionEarned

21st CENTURY HEADLINES: Pentagon debuts its new stealth bomber, the B-21 Raider.

But how can we be assured that the non-binary fliers who crew it have the right pronouns?

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Systemic Racism: Students Downplay Stereotypically Asian Hobbies To Boost College Admissions Odds.

HUGO KRUGER & JOEL KOTKIN: Welcome to the New Era of Environmental Colonialism. “Today’s colonialists are Left-wing environmentalists exporting their vision of “climate justice” as a way to deal with global inequality. But despite the high-minded morality implied by the latest green agenda, just like older forms of colonialism, it creates a relationship of dependency that undermines the true interests of the colonized.”

CHINA IS THEIR MODEL AND TYRANNY IS THEIR AMBITION: The Ministry of Truth was far more sinister than we were told.

It would appear that Alejandro Mayorkas has “some ‘splainin to do,” as the kids like to say these days. As you may recall, the Biden administration briefly attempted to set up a Ministry of Truth under the Department of Homeland Security earlier this year. The quickly abandoned office was fancifully named the “Disinformation Governance Board” and it was planned to be headed by Nina Jankowicz, who quickly left the government after the effort was curtailed and went on to register as a foreign agent for Great Britain. When Congress looked into the attempt to establish the board, Mayorkas offered lengthy testimony as to what had been going on and sang lofty praises of Jankowicz. But newly revealed documents presented by Senator Josh Hawley and others strongly suggest that the board had progressed far further than Mayorkas testified and he seemingly lied under oath about some of the details. . . .

During his testimony in May, Mayorkas claimed that the Ministry of Truth had only been in its planning stages and that the board “had not yet met” to plan any actions. But the leaked documents show that the board had initially met on Feb. 4, 2022, and had continued to schedule weekly meetings thereafter, despite not having been formally approved or established.

Further, the documents indicate that the board’s plans to partner with the Big Tech companies were “far more extensive” than Mayorkas or the Biden administration ever revealed. The Disinformation Board planned to meet with Nathaniel Gleicher of Meta, who was in charge of the company’s security policy group when they acted to suppress the Hunter Biden laptop story.

These revelations only serve to add another layer to the cake of badness surrounding the Biden administration’s coordination with social media platforms in an effort to suppress free speech in the name of “battling disinformation.” These efforts to enlist the aid of Big Tech to silence voices critical of various government policies are a clear violation of the First Amendment’s assurances of the right to free speech. They should be seen as obvious justifications for the impeachment of not only Mayorkas but Joe Biden himself. Of course, with the Democrats still controlling the Senate, that will almost certainly not happen, but this is a worrisome sign of how vastly the federal government has grown out of control and how the fundamental rights of citizens are being trodden upon or simply disregarded.

Yes.

December 2, 2022

WHY ARE BLUE STATE GOVERNMENTS SUCH CESSPITS OF ABUSE? Chief of staff to NY AG Letitia James resigns after allegations of sexual harassment. “There must be something in the water. Back in 2018, New York’s Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman resigned after being accused of violence by at least four women. And then last year, Gov. Andrew Cuomo resigned after being accused of sexual harassment by a series of women. Today, Ibrahim Khan, the chief of staff to current Attorney General of New York, Letitia James, has resigned after allegations of sexual harassment.”

Plus: “Leititia James was just reelected last month. No doubt this would have proved embarrassing if it had come out sooner.”

OPEN THREAD: Experience the magic.

IT’S NOW OBVIOUS WHY THEY DIDN’T WANT ELON MUSK TO HAVE CONTROL OF TWITTER, AND OF THE EVIDENCE OF WHAT THEY DID:

UPDATE:

THE NEW SPACE RACE: Shenzhou 15 astronauts arrive at China’s space station for first crew handover.

JULIETTE OCHIENG: The Dahomean: First Part of Chapter 1.

HOW TWITTER HELPED ELECT JOE BIDEN:

As Elon Musk promised, Twitter is releasing internal documents about how and why they suppressed information about Joe Biden’s corruption, as documented on his son’s laptop, in the last weeks of the 2020 campaign. Twitter apparently outsourced the task to liberal (but not crazy) commentator Matt Taibbi. You can follow Taibbi’s thread here.

I will have more to say when it is over, but here are some highlights as we go along.

The Biden campaign communicated directly with Twitter to get objectionable tweets censored.

Here’s the Taibbi link. “Celebrities and unknowns alike could be removed or reviewed at the behest of a political party.” Well, one political party, mostly.

HUH: Wild New Hypothesis Suggests IBS Could Be a Form of ‘Gravity Intolerance.’ “The nice part about Spiegel’s hypothesis is that it’s easily testable and doesn’t exclude other theories of IBS.”

SPACE: NASA’s Orion capsule performs burn to leave distant retrograde orbit.

RATS ON THE WESTSIDE, BEDBUGS UPTOWN: Two veterinary drugs may help eliminate bedbugs.

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

COLD CASE HEATS UP: “On the one hand, proving that the .40 round had been cycled through that particular gun beyond a shadow of a doubt is going to be tricky. A lot of that sort of ballistic evidence has turned out to be science-y guesswork. On the other hand, that’s an awful lot of circumstantial evidence.”

READER FAVORITE: MyPillow Premium Bed Pillow 2 Pack. CommissionEarned

NOT CADILLAC’S BEST YEAR: Throwback: 1983 Eldorado Biarritz.

TIM COOK: Apple CEO Gives Fox News Reporter Silent Treatment When Questioned About China. “Do you support the Chinese people’s right to protest? Do you regret restricting Airdrop access that protesters used to evade surveillance from the Chinese government? You think it’s problematic to do business with the Chinese party when they suppress human rights?”

FLORIDA MAN FRIDAY: He Was Nearly Transitioned by Gunfire. “This week we have the world’s most painful non-surgical procedure, how not to make a getaway, and the assault weapon no police wanted to collect for evidence.”

ONE SMALL STRIKE AGAINST ESG INVESTING: ‘I Don’t Trust BlackRock’s Ability to Deliver’: Florida’s CFO to Divest $2B in Investments.

ACCOUNTABILITY IS FOR THE LITTLE PEOPLE:

THE CRITICAL DRINKER: Indiana Jones 5 Trailer — The Rumors Were True (Video).

THEY’RE ALWAYS IN THE LAST PLACE YOU LOOK: Scientists discover two new minerals in meteorite.

FORMER PRESIDENT ME ME ME: Did Obama Just Throw Shade at Joe Biden?

WHY PARENTS SHOULD DO LESS FOR THEIR KIDS: Children want to be self-sufficient. Parents should let them.

HE’S BEEN SUCCESSFULLY WORKING ON THAT PROCESS HIMSELF SINCE SHORTLY AFTER ‘ALIENS’: “Avatar: The Way Of Water” Director James Cameron Claims “[Testosterone] Is A Toxin That You Have To Slowly Work Out Of Your System.”

Flashback:

FLASHBACK: CNBC Thinks Sam Bankman-Fried Is the Second Coming of JP Morgan (Supercut Video).

Related: Media treats fraudster Sam Bankman-Fried with kid gloves because he was a Dem darling.

Just look at how his friends at The New York Times have treated him. In recent weeks they have tried to portray the collapse of FTX as — at the worst — a case of unfortunate mismanagement. The poor diddums billionaire boy just became too successful too fast. Problems are bound to happen. You know how it is.

This week the paper went one further. They actually hosted the fraudster at a New York Times event. Their description of him in the event program was “29-year old American investor, entrepreneur and philanthropist.” Well that’s one way to describe him. At the end of the event the moderator asked everyone to join him in applauding their guest and the audience dutifully did so.

Can anyone think of another example of this happening. Did Bernie Madoff get soft-soap articles about him after his fraud was discovered? Did he have invitations to major public events to put his side of the story after his ponzi scheme collapsed? Not that I remember. But Bankman-Fried has been given all the soft treatment possible. Now why should that be?

The answer would seem to be that he has been a huge donor to the Democrats as well as causes close to the Democrats’ hearts.

Well, that and the buckets of cash he showered upon a variety of leftist media outlets: Sam Bankman-Fried’s media outlets must come clean. “Putting it bluntly — every media organization that accepted funding from Bankman-Fried should come clean and offer full transparency as to the nature of their agreement with him and their financial arrangements. As Semafor’s Max Tani reported, these grants and their funding mechanisms have been put on hold. ProPublica announced that they had received ‘the first tranche of the $5 million grant in February of 2022. The remaining two-thirds of the grant are due, respectively by April 1, 2023 and by April 1, 2024.’ Happy April Fools’ Day indeed.”

AT AMAZON, Epic Holiday Deals. #CommissionEarned

EVERYTHING IS GOING SWIMMINGLY: Widespread outage shuts down 988 mental health hotline.

MORE LIKE THIS, PLEASE: Florida Withdraws $2 Billion from BlackRock Over ESG Investing.

FUN! Swiss Prepare to Spend the Winter Bored, Cold, and Trapped at Home. “If you’ve ever traveled through any of Europe’s alpine areas, there’s no doubt in your mind that the Europeans know how to build superior infrastructure — when they choose to.”

GEORGIA MAN RECEIVES 25-YEAR SENTENCE FOR VOTER FRAUD. This is obviously a miscarriage of justice since voter fraud is either impossible or never happens.

MOSTLY STRESS FROM LOCKDOWNS AND MEDIA HYSTERIA. Study: Teens’ brains physically altered, prematurely aged by pandemic stress.

PROTESTS: ‘It’s The First Time I’ve Seen This in China.’

Sliding through the tight crowd at the vigil on Urumqi Road, I discovered a small memorial: candles lit on the ground and wreaths of flowers laid in tribute to the victims of the fire. Some messages were also written on signs: “We don’t forget: Guiyang, Urumqi, Henan, Xi’an.” These were the places where people had died during confinement. They hadn’t been able to get medical care; in one case, there had been a bus accident on the way to a quarantine center. Their deaths, their suffering, was now melding into everyone’s anger. It was becoming a cause.

The people at the vigil were mostly in their twenties or thirties. They felt walled off from the rest of the world, literally and otherwise. They chanted: “Health code, fuck you!” They sang the Chinese national anthem, and a revolutionary song that begins “Arise! Ye who refuse to be slaves!” In April, during the Shanghai lockdown, those words were censored on Weibo, China’s Twitter. The revolutionary was now, apparently, counterrevolutionary, or too revolutionary.

A Uyghur man in his thirties told me: “No freedom here.” He was from Urumqi and has relatives who lived in the building where the tragedy took place. “The building was locked down. They survived,” he said, referring to his extended family, “but they were terrified. I’m a man, I’m not used to crying, but for the last three days I’ve been crying all day.” He added: “You know, for us Uyghurs, it didn’t just start with the lockdown. We’ve been suffering for years in Xinjiang.”

Gradually, the crowd became more daring. They demanded freedom of expression, and freedom of the press. They yelled: “We don’t forget 6/4,” which was a reference to the last time students challenged the government and demanded democracy, on Tiananmen Square, on June 4, 1989. The party crushed Tiananmen with tanks and machine guns.

And wouldn’t hesitate to do so again — these are very brave people.

THAT’S DIFFERENT BECAUSE SHUT UP: McConnell: By the Way, House Democrats Have Chosen a Conspiratorial Election Denier As Their New Leader.

AMERICA’S NEWSPAPER OF RECORD: Baal Distances Self From Balenciaga. “Baal is the latest of many entities that have sought to disassociate from the beleaguered fashion brand. Lucifer, Beelzebub, Sathanas, Abadon, Mammon, Belphegor, and Asmodeus, the demons of pride, gluttony, wrath, sloth, greed, envy, and lust have each distanced themselves from Balenciaga…At publishing time, Baal had also attempted to distance himself from the Biden administration.”

YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK:

What deep corruption mixed with authoritarianism looks like.

FROM JON SUTZ: My Open Letter to Elon Musk. “The crusade being waged against your management of Twitter by certain ‘civil rights’ and ‘social justice’ organizations, celebrities and political figures, is almost entirely based on falsehoods, innuendo and jaw-dropping hypocrisy. (2) The evidence exists to comprehensively refute these critics, and expose them and most of their allegations for what they are. But unless the best of this evidence is transformed, soon, into concise, attention-grabbing means by which to begin informing everyday Americans — and advertisers — of the reality, Twitter will be irreparably harmed.”

KANYE WEST NEWS: Elon Musk tells rapper ‘FAFO’ as he is suspended from Twitter for posting swastika.

“Who made you the judge,” West fired at the tech billionaire.

Musk wrote back “FAFO” – short for “F*** Around and Find Out.”

The Twitter suspension and Nazi diatribe on Jones’ show comes after West was recently dumped by Adidas, GAP and Balenciaga over a string of antisemitic comments.

Meanwhile: Parler halts intent of sale to Kanye West, parent company announces.

Finally, at America’s Newspaper of Record: Kanye Releases Brand New Album, ‘My Struggle.’

UPDATE: Speaking of satirists, Bill Burr gets it:

 

SAVING JOHN WITHERSPOON: Re: Sarah’s earlier post about Princeton evaluating whether to remove the statue of John Witherspoon from campus, I hereby publicly offer to take it off its hands. I am not even kidding. I am Presbyterian and am a grown man who understands that great historical figures like Witherspoon can have major flaws but still leave the world a far better place than they found it. If Princeton takes it off the pedestal and signs it over to me, I will have it transported down here to North Carolina, at my expense, and donate it to my church. If we can get more people to do this kind of thing, maybe we can save some of our cultural heritage from the vandals. President Eisgruber can contact me at witherspoon (at sign) maildepot (period) net.

SAN FRANCISCO: 300 Health Department Employees With Secret Side Gigs Come Forward After Scandal.

The health department said on Wednesday that it has received 300 additional requests for secondary employment since Oct. 21, the day that Jail Health Services director Lisa Pratt resigned from her second job at a city-contracted nonprofit.

The surge of dual employment applications came after the health department reminded employees of their responsibilities to seek permission for secondary jobs. The city launched an audit of the practice after The Standard revealed that Pratt, a top public health executive, was moonlighting 20 hours a week for the nonprofit Baker Places in violation of city rules.

The department said that of 304 currently pending applications, 44 are in need of additional paperwork and 260 are under review.

“In other words, those 300 were violating the law, never asked for permission and are now asking for forgiveness?” said Supervisor Aaron Peskin.“Well shit, somebody call the police.”

Plus: “In Pratt’s case, her city job running health care in the city’s jails requires her to be on call for the city 24/7, and public record emails obtained by The Standard show her routinely responding to emails for the nonprofit during normal business hours. Pratt earned $123,000 annually at Baker Places on top of her $428,750 city compensation.”

FASCISM, STRAIGHT UP: Twitter’s Elon Musk Is Now Gavin Newsom’s Main ‘Target.’

UPDATE: Had the wrong link in there — sorry! Fixed now.

HOLIDAY DEAL: JiaSifu 40×60 High Definition Monocular Telescope. #CommissionEarned

EVERY MAJOR INSTITUTION HAS BEEN WEAPONIZED IN SUPPORT OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY: What Did The FBI Know and When Did It Know It? Juvenile bomb-threat caller never posed credible danger to HBCUs, but FBI refused to say so until after midterms.

The recently announced results of the FBI’s investigation into bomb threats made in February targeting Historically Black Colleges and Universities effectively debunk the narrative that these threats were made by a malicious group of white supremacists.

On November 14 — six days after the midterm elections — USA Today reported a senior FBI official said the “bulk of the threats leveled against historically Black colleges earlier this year are believed to be linked to a single juvenile who has been prosecuted as a minor by state authorities.”

The agency’s admission raised more questions than it answered. What the feds have not said is:

The race of the suspect
The motive of the suspect
When the suspect was charged
What state was the suspect charged in
Why the agency did not charge the suspect as an adult after terrorizing HBCUs

And perhaps most importantly: Why didn’t the agency share the results of the investigation far sooner than a few days after the midterm elections — and after multiple requests from Congressional Republicans and Democrats?

I think we know why.

KEVIN DOWNEY JR WITH NEWS YOU CAN USE: Pinko Alert! 3 Simple Ways to Recognize Who the Commies Are.

NOTHING TO SEE HERE, MOVE ALONG: China may get top ownership of US lithium mine. “A Canadian company is hoping to get approval and federal funding for a new lithium mine in northern Nevada, but former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Republican lawmakers are raising concerns about the mining company’s largest shareholder, a Chinese firm. The mining company is going through with an effort to dilute this Chinese ownership, but concerns remain about China’s potential influence over the critical mineral mine at a time when China is seeking to overtake the U.S. as a dominant global power.”

KRUISER’S MORNING BRIEFING: CNN Continues Overhaul but How Far Will It Go? “Licht is obviously serious about changing the direction at CNN. The question is, how far will he move it? CNN moved so far to the left that any new center it settles on could still be quite liberal.”

CRUSHING OF DISSENT: Hong Kong court delays trial of pro-democracy publisher Jimmy Lai.

Lai has done nothing wrong, except support free speech against a dictatorship.

SAY ANYTHING: Janet Yellen blames Americans’ ‘splurging’ for record-high inflation.

In other words, “Don’t blame us for conjuring trillions of dollars out of thin air and then giving it away. It’s your fault for spending it.”

Previously: “Inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon, in the sense that it is and can be produced only by a more rapid increase in the quantity of money than in output.”

EVERYTHING IS GOING SWIMMINGLY: Fish sticks, butter poached lobster, and controversy at Biden state dinner.. “First lady Jill Biden probably thought she was being cute when she talked about fish sticks in setting out the lavish preparations for tonight’s state dinner in honor of French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife, Brigitte Macron.”

MARK PULLIAM: An American Law School, Then and Now: Five decades of change at an elite institution. “Is the law school better than it was 50 years ago? If more resources per student and more student choices are indicators of quality, then it is vastly better. But I see no indications that the quality of intellectual training has improved. Nationwide, there is no evidence that first-year associates in law firms require less on-the-job training, and the legal professoriate is more detached from the concerns of practicing lawyers and judges than it was 50 years ago. Are today’s young lawyers more ethical and larger-minded than their predecessors? Are the additional resources per student worth the enormous increase in cost? It seems doubtful that that proposition would stand up to a rigorous cost-benefit analysis. And neither Texas nor any other highly-ranked law school is interested in conducting such an analysis.”

DISPATCHES FROM THE BLUE ZONES: San Francisco’s Toilet of the Future Lasted Three Days Before a Systems Failure. “Did you read the part about the micro-retail kiosks? Art! Entertainment! Snacks! Video screens! A trip to the Bionic Bathroom can turn into a full day of fun!”

HOLIDAY DEAL: Rechargeable Flashlights. #CommissionEarned

BILLY ‘WHITE SHOES’ JOHNSON WOULD NOT BE PROUD: Johnson scored a lot touchdowns for the old Houston Oilers, but scoring of a different sort happened at hundreds of white shoe law firms, according to Open the Books. Scoring of more than $800 million in PPP loans meant for struggling small businesses during the Pandemic, that is.

INTERNATIONAL MEDICAL JOURNAL UNMASKS THE MASKS: It’s taken several years but the evidence is steadily building that demonstrates requiring masks — cloth or N95, no matter — is an exercise in futility, if the purpose is the prevention of Covid spreading.

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