December 4, 2022

READER FAVORITE: MyPillow Premium Bed Pillow 2 Pack. #CommissionEarned

FIGHT THE POWER: How Chinese netizens swamped China’s Internet controls: Citizens protesting zero-COVID policies proved smartphones can help fuel mass action. “The country’s government has tried to strike a balance between embracing technology and limiting citizens’ power to use it to protest or organize, building up wide-ranging powers of censorship and surveillance. But last weekend, the momentum of China’s digital savvy population and their frustration, bravery, and anger seemed to break free of the government’s control. It took days for Chinese censors and police to tamp down dissent on the Internet and in city streets. By then images and videos of the protests had spread around the world, and China’s citizens had proven that they could maneuver around the Great Firewall and other controls.”

SALENA ZITO: Wines and mines in the Mon Valley. “When you think of river towns like Monongahela or Donora or Monessen, you think about hard-working men who toiled in factories or coal mines to provide for their families, or the women who scrubbed down the walls and baseboards daily to keep their humble family homes clean from the dirty air. The Ripepi family has been there, as grocers and as owners of a mining company — and now as owners of a winery perched above those Mon Valley cities that kept so many generations fed, clothed and moving up and out to test out the durability of the American dream.”

AT AMAZON, Epic Deals. #CommissionEarned.

OH, I DO: A hard winter looms for Americans’ energy bills and wallets. Blame Biden.

A BIT LATE, BUT GOOD: U.S. health officials to test wastewater around the country for polio.

RACISM TO BLAME FOR FIRING OF LIBERAL MSNBC HOST TIFFANY CROSS, CLAIMS WASHINGTON POST COLUMNIST:

Washington Post columnist Karen Attiah blamed racism for MSNBC’s abrupt firing of Black weekend anchor Tiffany Cross earlier last month.

In a Friday column, Attiah argued that Cross’s ouster was a “a reminder that the rug could be pulled out from under [Black journalists] at any time.”

She added that it was a “bad look” in a time when “attacks against Black educators, authors and journalists are increasing across the country.”

Fair enough. Why is NBC such a cesspit of racism?!

‘WEAPONIZATION OF LONELINESS’ IS A MUST-READ: Periodically, a book comes along that is essential reading in order to understand a particular period or movement in history. James Burnham’s “Suicide of the West” in 1964 for the inevitable decay of modern liberalism and Paul Johnson’s “Modern Times” for the spread of totalitarianism in the 20th century come immediately to mind.

Neither of those classics were the first products of their authors, both of whom were well-established as heavyweights in their respective fields. “The Weaponization of Loneliness” is, however, Stella Morabito’s first effort and it is a sterling one that is essential reading for anybody who hopes to grasp at the deepest levels why the decline of individual liberty and freedom of thought and belief has so accelerated in recent decades.

Morabito’s subtitle captures the heart of her analysis: “How Tyrants Stoke Our Fear of Isolation to Silence, Divide and Conquer.” As Morabito explains in her introduction:

“Americans have long sensed tyranny creeping into their lives. The disquiet hovered in the background for a long time, though most couldn’t put their finger on it. When signals surfaced — such as anti-speech codes written into federal law in the 1990s allegedly to curb hate — we tended to shrug them off.

“After all, wouldn’t acceptance of the code simply mean we were promoting civility over hate? It was too frightening to believe those speech codes could really lead to direct attacks on freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment.

“Other indicators of a new kind of authoritarianism multiplied over the course of decades, usually with the claim they were needed to ensure justice against racism or sexism. In the 1980s, multiculturalism took root, then morphed into identity politics and intersectionality.”

We all felt queasy about these trends, but, outside of those on the Right who pay particular attention to such issues and developments, for the most part we kept quiet. The signals kept coming but from so many different quarters — the campuses, Big Media, politicians in both parties, the corporate world — it was difficult to put a comprehensive label on it that succinctly conveyed the threat to the general populace.

Morabito observes that when a 2020 Cato Institute poll found 62 percent of the respondents admitting they held political views they feared to express in public, loneliness, isolation and alienation were advancing steadily and at an accelerating pace.

Then came Covid, the Pandemic and the seeming triumph of Wokeism.

“The whole Woke Revolution took controlled speech a giant leap forward by compelling speech, as with pronoun protocols that applied heavy penalties for ‘misgendering’ someone. All such agendas also carry a heavy dose of hostility against anyone who might disagree and enlisted social media mobs to enforce that demonization,” Morabito writes.

Totalitarianism at its root is the same regardless of when or where it manifests, but there is a unique quality to the Woke version that Morabito profoundly elucidates in a way that is imminently accessible to anybody with the slightest wisp of concern about where this country is headed. It is indeed essential reading for the present generation for the sake of those coming.

POLITICO DROPPED OBSESSION WITH PAUL PELOSI ATTACK AFTER ELECTION WAS OVER:

After a total of ELEVEN Paul Pelosi assault  stories appearing in the October 29 edition of Politico in which the alleged assailant, David DePape, was portrayed (with scant evidence) as a MAGA Republican for whom GOP officials were expected to apologize for, the sum total of these stories once the midterm elections were safely past dwindled to the extent that for the past couple of weeks, there has been no follow-up on the investigation of how this attack unfolded.

What makes it more curious is that after their October 31 attack upon conservatives for questioning the official account of the assault, there has been complete silence from Politico on the retraction of an NBC story and suspension of the reporter, Miguel Almaguer, for revealing that Paul Pelosi answered the door on the night the police arrived.

* * * * * * * *

Exit question: Will anyone in the press pull back Paul Pelosi from his current nonperson status and investigate why the post-election suppression of the assault story after having hyped it so heavily before the election?

No. It was a modified limited hangout for the DNC-MSM prior to the midterms, and served its purpose. Old news — let’s move on to what is important now.

MARY KATHARINE HAM: Why the Media Makes Musk a Villain but Lets SBF Off Easy.

It’s why instead of vague threats from the White House, Sam Bankman-Fried gets a gushy tweet from Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters, current chairwoman of the House Committee on Financial Services, which will be investigating his misdeeds:

And Musk?

Well, “His political donations over the past several years have trended from majority-blue, to mixed, to almost entirely Republicans. He’s promised that if his bid to purchase Twitter is successful, he’ll bring former President Donald Trump back to the platform.”

He is not in the club anymore. Neither his donations nor his talking points earn him protection from those who now vilify him in the public eye and government.

The truth is the guy stealing billions in other people’s money is more of a supervillain than the guy spending his own, and the coverage and government response should reflect that.

So why doesn’t it? Sam Bankman-Fried’s media outlets must come clean.

“YEEZY COME, YEEZY GO:” Regret your Kanye West tattoo? This studio will remove it for free.

Do you have a Kanye West tattoo you now regret? A tattoo-removal studio in Britain is removing body art inspired by the rapper – and it won’t even charge you for it.

“We’ll remove your Kanye tattoos for free,” London-based Naama Studios announced on Instagram last month as Ye, the rapper and music mogul formerly known as Kanye West, was condemned over a string of antisemitic statements made publicly in recent months.

In a play on the rapper’s name, the tattoo parlor even came up with a slogan for its service: “Yeezy come, Yeezy go.”

In one tweet, which has since been deleted, Ye said he would go “death con 3” on “JEWISH PEOPLE,” an apparent reference to Defcon, the U.S. military defense readiness system. He also propounded false claims about George Floyd’s killing at the hands of Minneapolis police.

“We understand that tattoos can be triggering for some people and not everyone can afford to remove their tattoos,” the company told The Washington Post in an email Thursday. It noted that one of the people who took them up on the offer said she was being trolled for her Ye-inspired tattoo.

The store said several people have contacted it in recent weeks to have their Ye tattoos lasered off – a procedure that can cost up to 2,000 pounds (about $2,400).

“When you have a tattoo inspired by someone you admire and they start making headlines for all the wrong reasons, it’s not exactly something you want to wear on your sleeve,” Naama said.

But why would you do that in the first place? As Theodore Dalrymple once warned, the tattoo parlor is “the refutation of the doctrine that the customer is always the right. In the tattoo parlour, the customer is always wrong.”

Similarly, Ayn Rand didn’t write The Return of the Primitive as a how-to guide.

HOLIDAY DEAL: BEDSURE Sherpa Fleece Throw Blanket. #CommissionEarned

AMERICA’S NEWSPAPER OF RECORD: Nation Relieved To No Longer Have To Pretend To Like Soccer.

NOW DO ISLAM: Stanford band mocks Christians during BYU halftime show.

THE BANALITY OF GOOD: In his recent book, Mattias Desmet takes on a new totalitarianism not enforced by jackbooted thugs, but dull bureaucrats imposing consensus.

One might quibble with Desmet’s arguments about the extent to which “the Science™” got things wrong, or riposte that the unknown severity of the virus excused overreach, but it is difficult to argue that the pandemic fundamentally accelerated extant trends in how our society is monitored, who has overweening authority over it, and what the consequences of noncompliance can be. The book might have enjoyed even greater success if Desmet had considered the complementary woke phenomena ushered in by the #MeToo movement, critical race theory, radical gender ideology, and their consequences for free speech and behavior. Like COVID and its performative safetyism, all of those orthodoxies advanced broad social controls based on emotion, anxiety, and shaky data, much of which have also been exposed as exaggerated or fraudulent. Strikingly, they emerged in the Anglosphere at times that overlapped with the pandemic. The technocratic authorities who enforced them were similarly bland, bureaucratized, and in most cases protected from any significant liability. We might forgive Desmet for leaving them out, however, for the collective hysteria around race, gender, and sex did not travel well outside of the English-speaking world.

The question we should all be rushing to answer, of course, is how to fight back. Desmet parrots the standard middle-class professional’s argument that dissidents should speak out, but only in polite, sincere ways that avoid antagonizing the dominant ideology. His hope is that this will penetrate the mass formation sufficiently to expose its dynamics to broad majorities who go along with it without necessarily believing in it. He would know better if that could work in Belgium, but Americans have already amassed decades of evidence showing that this spells failure, if not disaster. However strongly worded their letters may have been, polite dissenters have proved remarkably easy to ignore for at least the last 50 years. Meanwhile, increasingly powerful woke mandarins have implemented their agenda of social control, long secure in the knowledge that their opponents were little more than gracious losers. Like him or not, it took the abrasive Donald Trump and his army of “deplorables” to challenge this dismal outcome with considerable success, through aggressive media activism, the majesty of the law, and perhaps most significantly, ridicule that no tyranny can withstand.

Read the whole thing.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Colleges have a serious diversity problem. Just not the one they think.

We need higher education that looks like America.

SOMEBODY SET UP US THE BOMB: Hillary Clinton Says Saving Unborn Babies from Abortion Is Like…Terrorists Killing, Raping Women.

ANOTHER VOTE OF “NO CONFIDENCE” IN THE (NEWLY WOKE) UNIVERSITY OF SAN DIEGO:  Some of you read James Allan’s essay on the mass retirement of USD’s more conservative law faculty members.  At the time of the essay, the count was four–Larry Alexander, Kevin Cole, Steven Smith, and me.  Well, you can add one more–Tom Smith.  This is a three-year process for all of us.  We won’t be out the door till 2025.  But if you know somebody who was considering attending USD School of Law because of its reputation for having an ideologically diverse faculty (we do get a fair number of those), you may want to give them the bad news.  There are still a few conservative faculty members left, but their numbers are dwindling fast.

HOWIE CARR: Newly liberated Twitter blows lid off Democrat tainting of 2020 election.

“More to come from the Biden team,” was one message on Oct. 24. Another one was: “An additional report from the DNC.”

The response back from Twitter: “Handled these.”

The Democrat fluffers instantly shut down the Post’s Twitter account. They cancelled the White House press secretary’s. They’d already banned President Trump. Anyone who tried to get around the bans was likewise cut off.

This was an insurrection — the real insurrection.

The First Amendment? Democrats don’t need no stinkin’ First Amendment!

All of Twitter’s multi-millionaire conspirators came from the same fabulously pampered backgrounds — including membership in multiple protected classes and graduate degrees from elite American-hating universities, as well as few, if any, connections to any traditional national institutions such as the military, religion, the working classes or public schools.

The leader of the Twitter coup d’etat against MAGA appears to have been one Vijaya Gadde. Born in India, Vijaya went straight to the Ivy League — Cornell, and then to the even more expensive NYU School of Law.

NYU Law, by the way, is also the alma mater of Colinford Mattis, the equally woke New York lawyer who firebombed an NYPD cruiser during the BLM murder-arson-looting riots of 2020.

Gadde wept when she found out that Musk was going to blow the lid off her sinister conspiracy, but don’t cry for her. She made $7 million in 2020 and then $17.3 million last year for her service above and beyond the call of duty to the New World Order.

Gadde was fired from Twitter by Musk, along with the new CEO, Parag Agrawal, who arrived in this nation in 2006 from India. He was immediately admitted to Stanford University, which is where the parents of Sam Bankman-Fried, the mega-fraudster and donor of $5 million to the Biden campaign, are employed as tenured professors.

I wonder which political party Gadde was affiliated with?

MOST VOTES OF ANY PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE EVER, AND YET: Joe Biden, Bookstore Poison.

HOLIDAY DEAL: Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation). #CommissionEarned

LIFE IN THE BLUE ZONES: Philadelphia approves “permanent” 10 pm curfew. “Every time you asked a Democrat or one of their MSM stenographers about the rising crime rates in America’s cities during the run-up to the midterm elections, you were told that it was a mirage. It’s not really that bad. These are just Republican talking points. New York’s Governor even expressed disbelief as to why anyone would even bring it up. Perhaps someone should point these people to the current situation in the City of Brotherly Love. (A tragically hilarious name given the current circumstances.) If things are going so well, why would the City Council vote to make the 10 pm curfew that was in place for almost everyone under the age of 18 all summer permanent? And yet that’s what happened on Thursday and one of the Democrats who voted in favor of the measure specifically called out the city’s rampant crime rates and the threat crime poses to her own child as the reason.”

THE JOURNOLIST WAS HOPPING ON FRIDAY NIGHT: The Twenty-Seven Most Embarrassing Reactions to Taibbi Thread About Twitter Censoring Hunter Biden Tweets.

TREAT THEM ACCORDINGLY: “[T]here is increasingly no place for social conservatives in many large law firms.”

BIDEN THROWS DOWN AGAINST NETANYAHU: Secretary of State Anthony Blinken is headlining a conference later this week of a group that makes no bones about its hatred for recently elected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Adam Kredo reports for The Washington Free Beacon.

“Multiple sources, both within and outside the State Department, who spoke to the Washington Free Beacon said Blinken’s decision to attend J Street’s conference is part of an effort by the Biden administration to undermine the new Netanyahu government and distance itself from the incoming prime minister’s conservative coalition,” Kredo writes.

No word on whether Blinken will be accompanied by close State Department aides Winken and Nod.

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.

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