Interesting Items 08/08

Howdy All, a few Interesting Items for your information.  Enjoy –

In this issue –

1.  Terrorism
2.  Algorithm
3.  Big Tech
4.  Wall
5.  Dobbs
6.  SMS Text
7.  Taiwan

1.  Terrorism.  When you control the language, you get to redefine what actual words and concepts mean.  Last week, I discussed several redefinitions of terms, some known for thousands of years (woman, for instance), some not quite that long (recession), that no longer have their original or even recent meanings.  All of this is being done to further democrat political aims and reach their objectives.  Last week’s exercise in redefinition took place in a Senate committee hearing where Ted Cruz (R, TX) asked FBI Director Wray why the FBI was now using historic American flags and battle flags as indicators of domestic terrorists.  Included in their list are the Gadsen Flag, the Liberty Tree, the Betsy Ross Flag, and any reference to the revolutionary war or imagery from that war.  The politized FBI under the Biden administration has managed to make an interest in American history the very definition of domestic terrorism.  The FBI has officially self-identified as an arm of the (not so) Deep State and as such, should now be marked for destruction not unlike what Rome did to Carthage. 

2.  Algorithm.  The public negotiation between Elon Musk and the Twitter Board continued last week with Musk filing a counter suit against Twitter in a Delaware court.  His attempt to stop an expedited hearing schedule was denied.  The counter suit is not yet publicly available.  So, what is going on?  The crux of the issue is the inability of Twitter to determine which accounts are fake and which ones are real.  Instead of giving Musk and his group a complete dataset with real and fake accounts, Twitter instead gave him a sample of 100 randomly selected accounts and told him which ones of those they thought were real.  The algorithm to determine which one was which was not made available to Musk or his team.  The tsunami of data promised Musk and his team was apparently garbage.  At this point, either Twitter is lying, and has been lying on its FEC filings for the last decade, or their business model is based on little more than wishful thinking.  This is a very, very big deal.  Discovery should be most interesting, especially if Musk thinks he understands what the discrepancy between what Twitter claims its user base is and what it actually is.  No wonder that Twitter wants expedited discovery, not giving Musk and his team sufficient time to understand what they are being told.  At best, Twitter wins the case outright and Musk walks away from the purchase, paying a billion or so dollar penalty.  At worst, Twitter leadership including multiple Board members are at risk for securities fraud. 

3.  Big Tech.  Allum Bokhari ran an interesting Breitbart piece last week entitled Big Tech’s Blueprint to Stop a Red Wave in 2022.  Big Tech censorship and suppression of right-wing discourse was a large caliber piece of the democrat victory in 2020.  Since that election, they’ve only gotten better at it.  Given that Biden’s wins in three swing states was less than a percentage point, Big Tech meddling was an important part of the win.  Here’s how they plan to steal a win in November.

  • Independent watchdogs downgrading conservative media – NewsGuard discredits the right.  NewsGuard is a government connected watchdog aimed at limiting what the regime calls misinformation.  It has received significant funding from DoD.  It is being rolled out to the public schools, for use by teachers.  It recently downgraded Fox News on their list of trustworthy news courses.  NewsGuard users will now see a red warning next to FNC links, signaling its content is untrustworthy.  Breitbart is also on that list.  The government sources that pushed the Russiagate hoax and claimed Hunter’s laptop was Russian disinformation do not have a warning label.
  • Facebook is suppressing news.  If the wrong side is winning, they call off the game.  Algorithm changes that suppressed traffic to conservative sites were not working, even though traffic to some sites were successfully suppressed.  Breitbart was down by as much as 20%.  Still, the conservative stories continued to be the most popular.  Facebook changed the rules of the game on a global basis, shifting resources away from its news tab, claiming they were shifting to a creator economy.  This global change is another vehicle to prevent unwanted narratives from reaching the public.  This is a repeat of what Fakebook did in 2016 by suppressing visibility of political posts.  This change dropped engagement in Trump’s FakeBook page by almost half.
  • Taxpayer funded censorship.  NPR is creating a misinformation bureau.  NPR is one of multiple taxpayer funded federal agencies and federally supported NGOs carpet-bombing the media with stories about disinformation, misinformation and fake news.  All of it exclusively focused on things coming out of the political right.  Known hoaxes from the political left simply doesn’t exist in their world.
  • Regulatory gridlock with no recourse for citizens.  The goal of the misinformation panic is to delegitimize conservative viewpoints, and as such give Big Tech an excuse to censor them.  The SCOTUS has yet to weigh in on the question of communications platforms from unduly influencing elections.  States are starting to get themselves involved, passing legislation calling Big Tech communications platforms.  None of these have yet made their way through the federal courts. 
  • Institutionalization of censorship.  Facebook’s $150 million oversight board.  With the federal courts not involved, Big Tech is setting up its own internal (infernal) (in)justice system.  Facebook’s Oversight Board claims to be a private body that users can go to request their censored accounts be uncensored.  I expect it to work precisely like the various federal agency administrative courts currently work.  They are set up to defend the interests of the agency.  The Oversight Board will do the same thing. 

Add to this list of internal goodies, a fully weaponized IRS (more on this next week), taking Lois Lerner’s obstructionist activity against conservative non-profits and turning it into an agency-wide business model, and anti-speech lawfare like the recently decided Alex Jones case in Travis County, TX, and you have a powerful, powerful headwind against what should be a large victory by the political right in November.  No wonder the polls are closing. 

4.  Wall.  Now that he finally has a Republican challenger, incumbent US Senator Mark Kelly (D, AZ) got some assistance from the Biden WH last week with an announcement that they would resume border wall construction in Arizona.  The construction is officially aimed at “filling gaps.”  The unofficial aim is to demonstrate some small amount of concern, at least for the next 90 days, about the tsunami of illegals across the Arizona border.  Both Kelly (in 2020) and the WH still officially oppose all things connected to the border wall.  Kelly referred to the wall as a 17th Century solution to a 21st Century problem.  His problem is that the 17th Century solution was doing a lot better than his party’s 21st Century solution.  The WH continued to call the wall ineffective, even after resuming construction in Arizona.  Cognitive dissonance, indeed.  This the political operation in the WH attempting to retain or grow their 50 – 50 split in the US Senate.

5.  Dobbs.  A month ago in Items 07/04, I noted that the SCOTUS Dobbs opinion has language in it that specifically sends the entire discussion back to the many states.  Specifically:

(e) Abortion presents a profound moral question. The Constitution does not prohibit the citizens of each State from regulating or prohibiting abortion. Roe and Casey arrogated that authority. The Court overrules those decisions and returns that authority to the people and their elected representatives. Pp. 78–79.

At the time, I made the point that this was intentional language, aimed precisely at removing all the wannabee Brennan’s and Blackmun’s sitting on the state courts from the discussion, shoving the entire mess back into the state legislatures where it belongs for consideration.  With that in mind, pro-life activists in Kansas brought a ballot initiative to overturn a constitutional right to privacy created out of thin air by the Kansas judiciary.  That right to privacy, like the one referenced in Roe itself, it the foundational piece of very liberal abortion policy in Kansas.  We here in Alaska have the same problem.  The Kansas pro-lifers lost 62 – 38%.  The campaign was run much the way you would expect it to run, with a lot of hair-raising claims about women’s rights, women’s bodies, right to choose, incest, rape, and coat hangers.  Not a single word about partial birth or post birth abortions (infanticide).  In hindsight, I think bringing this ballot initiative was a mistake, as the group should have simply gone to federal court armed with the opinion in Dobbs and overturn that judicially manufactured constitutional right.to an abortion in Kansas.  We will see what they do next. 

6.  SMS Text.  The Jan 6 hoax witch hunt continues to grind away.  Topic this week are missing SMS Text messages from Trump people as they left office.  There is a FOIA request for the text messages from Secret Service, DHS and DoD political appointees.  That request has turned up the news that messages were scrubbed off government cell phones before they were turned in.  As there was no active investigation at the time, this is relatively normal closeout activity when people leave employment.  Nice to see Trump appointees finally playing by the same rules the democrats have been playing under. 

7.  Taiwan.  House Speaker Pelosi completed her Taiwan visit last week, much to the displeasure of the CCP.  As usual, Pelosi and her entourage looked beyond foolish, stepping off the jet in masks, masking outside, and for the duration of her visit.  While remindful of her venal stupidity, the visit also reminded everyone that the CCP bark may be a lot worse than its bite, though it still isn’t an intelligent move to needlessly provoke them into doing something stupid.  And if you exist in an echo chamber like the CCP does, being stupid becomes a way of life, a calling.  Being unable to stop Pelosi, the Red Army was ordered to hold widespread military exercises all around the island, setting up a defacto blockade that is being scrupulously ignored.  As the days ticked off, the CCP announced they would withdraw from a variety of talks with the US including military cooperation, climate and drugs (fentanyl).  Now that they are using the drug weapon fentanyl against us, does that mean we can eliminate that threat?  The CCP knows who is manufacturing the stuff, who is exporting it, and who is profiting it.  They can stop the flow anytime they want and choose not to, not unlike what they did with COVID and gain of function research.  Bloomberg was less than impressed with the visit.  I am more sanguine, as any pushback against the CCP makes me sleep well at night.  That they were completely unable to stop what was essentially a pre-retirement junket by an outgoing democrat House Speaker, makes me sleep even better. 

More later –

– AG

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