Interesting Items 12/04

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

In this issue –

1.  Musk
2.  Santos
3.  Smith
4.  Censorship
5.  Coral
6.  Theft
7.  Bank

1.   Musk.  Elon Musk lashed out at advertisers who dropped X/Twitter after manufactured anti-Semitic allegations by Media Matters.  He made his comments at NYT’s DealBook Summit.  In a well-timed, well-presented rant laced with f-bombs, Musk told the audience that advertisers who pulled their ads from X/Twitter were blackmailing him and that they could go and f-bomb themselves.  He aimed part of the rant at Disney CEO Bob Iger who gave a presentation at the summit.  Iger may or may not have been in the crowd at the time.  Musk was incredulous at the attempt to blackmail him with mere money.  The X/Twitter purchase has been a real money losing proposition for Musk with the current valuation being now in the $19 billion range, down 57% from the $44 billion purchase price.  OTOH, he has downsized the workforce by perhaps 85%, stabilized the customer base, and is slowly building both a profitable business and the only remaining major free speech platform in the Western world, which is why the Censorship Industrial Complex is trying to destroy him and X/Twitter.  X/Twitter is working on a banking activity will provide an alternative to dealing with woke banksters who cancel users over their political affiliations.  From here, it looks like he is going the right direction and like he is doing in space, may end up being the only (and the best) game in town.  An alternate view to this was provided by Sundance at Conservative Treehouse, who accused Musk of playing the martyr, orchestrating a guided and controlled destruction of X/Twitter, all while being publicly portraying himself as a hero.  Take this as a datapoint.  Over the years, Sundance carved himself out a pretty decent anti-establishment operation.  His problem is similar to that of a man with a hammer, where everything in the world looks like a nail.  If your worldview is that everything is inside baseball, that informs your worldview and conclusions.  Over the last couple decades, nobody has gotten rich betting against Musk, even the very most intelligent billionaires.  Most recent example of this is Jeff Bezos contracting with SpaceX to launch their satellite internet constellation that will be in direct competition with Starling rather than Bezos’ own Blue Origin rockets.  Will Musk be successful in this?  Unknown, though the Swamp and all its inhabitants are acting like he is an existential threat to their very existence and future.  And if they can take out Musk, they can take out anyone / everyone else.

2.  Santos.  The House of Representatives expelled George Santos (R, NY) last week in a 311-114 vote.  As usual, all democrats voted with 100 or so Republicans to expel, mostly because they believe they can flip a competitive seat on Long Island, carving yet another chunk out of Speaker Johnson’s slim majority.  Republicans hold 221 seats, dems 213, with two currently open.  Santos survived two previous attempts to expel but was unable to do so this time around.  NY Governor Hochul promised an immediate replacement, which she can’t do, quickly correcting herself within hours promising a quick election.  The former democrat congress critter is the current front runner.  The House doesn’t expel members on a regular basis, with the most recent being James Traficant, an Ohio democrat famous for rants ending with the phrase “Beam me up!”  He was expelled in 2002 following conviction on multiple felonies for bribery and racketeering.  The feds had been after him since 1983.  As a democrat, Traficant sided with Republicans more than democrats, which explains his expulsion, not unlike democrat support for the Santos expulsion.  An interesting reaction to the Santos expulsion came from John Fetterman (D, PA), who appears to be recovering from his stroke.  Fetterman noted that the Senate had a senator sorely in need of expulsion in Bob Menendez (D, NJ).  This leads to the question that do democrats need strokes to become sane?  I kind of view expulsion like I do impeachment, something we need to use early and often.  And if we are going to start expelling House members, I would propose Rashida Tlaib (D, MI) for her anti-Semitic rants, Jamaal Bowman (D, NY) for pulling a fire alarm in an attempt to disrupt an official proceeding, and Ilhan Omar (D, MN) who committed immigration fraud marrying her own brother.  Sadly, we can’t even get censure motions on any of them. 

3.  Smith.  The King of Overreach, Special Prosecutor Jack Smith executed a search warrant against X/Twitter demanding it provide a list of all users who liked or retweeted posts from Trump between Oct 2020 and Jan 2021.  The search warrant also demanded all associated logs and metadata (location data).  The warrant was approved by a judge who later levied a $350,000 fine against X/Twitter for delaying compliance.  The warrant also demanded IP addys associated with the Trump account and a list of all devices used to log into it.  It also demanded all information of Trump’s connect and notifications tabs, search history, blocks, mutes and drafted tweets.  The warrant instructed X/Twitter not to notify Trump of the search order.  X/Twitter appealed this part in court and was denied.  Jack Smith and his leash holders at Do(In)J have the named of every single American who followed Trump on X/Twitter at that time.  I can’t imagine what they will do with members of that list (/sarc).  Sounds like it is time to sign up for X/Twitter and follow Trump on it. 

4.  Censorship.  There have been multiple exposes on the Censorship Industrial Complex over the last couple months.  The information flow has been huge and tapping it similar with drinking from the proverbial fire hose.  This week’s example comes courtesy of Wired, via their Nov 28 piece Secretive White House Surveillance Program Gives Cops Access to Trillions of US Phone Records.  Wired got their hands on leaked police documents that verify a secretive government program that allows law enforcement to access phone records of Americans not suspected of any criminal activity.  The program was renamed, now called Data Analytical Services (DAS).  It has been operating for over a decade allowing law enforcement at all levels to mine details of calls, analyzing phone records.  The data analysis technique is called chain analysis, allowing those in direct phone contact with criminal suspects to be surveilled.  The program goes a level down and grabs the data on everyone those people contacted as well.  It was originally named Hemisphere, run in coordination with AT&T (yet another reason not to do business with AT&T).  The Wired piece claims that AT&T did the analysis for law enforcement, sending the results along for their use (Fascism, anyone?).  When questioned for the article, AT&T claimed to be complying with lawful subpoenas, though no law requires AT&T to store decades worth of call records for law enforcement.  AT&T has been doing this for a while, attending law enforcement conferences as recently as 2018 to train law enforcement in using their product.  Apparently, AT&T looked at this as a money-making operation.  Hemisphere was first disclosed a decade ago but has largely been under the radar.  The O’Bama WH provided $6.1 million in discretionary funding for the program in 2013.  Call records up to at least a decade old can be queried under the program.  AT&T’s competitors claim to typically retain call records for no more than two years.  The DAS program echoes multiple dragnet surveillance programs dating back to a DEA program launched in 1992 to force phone companies to surrender records of virtually all international calls.  Imagine what this (In)Justice Department is able to do with this sort of call data on their political opponents.  Once again, the road to a very hot place was paved by the War on Drugs.  Isn’t it time to shut down that war, as the cost to our liberty of winning is far more damaging than the drugs are?

Modified photo of Great Barrier Reef with color removed.

5.  Coral.  Environmental disaster mongering is Big Business, and those suckling on the government teat, will literally do anything to establish and grow access to the free money.  One such topic is coral bleaching, the notion that human activities are killing coral reefs.  Coral typically turns white as it dies.  Its normal color is beige.  WUWT last week cross posted a piece found on Jennifer Marohasy’s Blog entitled Removing Colour, for a Sick Story.  Oz is one of the battlegrounds for the battle between greens masquerading as scientists claiming the reefs are all dying and others claiming otherwise.  Used to be that photos of coral reefs was big business, though most color came from the fish.  In order to keep the public sufficiently spun up to support them and their bogus solutions, though most importantly to keep the money flowing, doomsters have started removing color from published photos of reefs.  Ms Marohasy republished an AP/Getty underwater photo followed by an unmodified photo complete with color chart demonstrating the fraud being perpetrated by the media and doomsters.  The question for greens continue:  If all this is really going on, why do you have to keep lying about it?

Unbleached photo with color grid of the same part of the reef. Note the beige coral and color grid.

6.  Theft.  Another law enforcement story, this one about something called the Kansas Two Step, a long time practice of the Kansas Highway Patrol (KHP) used on out of state drivers.  The game is to stop a vehicle with out of state tags, detain the driver long enough to find an excuse to search the vehicle for illegal drugs.  A federal judge in KS issued a permanent injunction stopping the practice.  The initial injunction in July found the tactic violated drivers’ constitutional rights.  The injunction went on to require cameras and audio recording equipment for all Highway Patrol cars.  The Two Step has the Highway Patrol issuing a ticket or a warning, start to walk away, and then turn back to the vehicle to talk more to the driver.  This allows them to keep looking for an excuse to search the vehicle or buy time for drug-sniffing dogs to arrive.  Note that these dogs will alert on simple cash due to the amount of drugs in circulation out there.  Initial cases in 2017 – 2019 had KHP targeting drivers with Colorado plates and looking for pot.  Pot became legal in CO in 2014.  It only took them three years to turn traffic stops for drugs into a money-making operation, theft at the point of a gun.

7.  Bank.  It is not often when a banker makes a complete fool out of a sitting judge, but that is what happened last week in a NYC courtroom when one of President Trump’s bankers at Deutsche Bank AG told the court it is not unusual for loan clients to overstate their net worth.  The executive went farther to note that the bank does its own due diligence in determining eligibility for loans.  Banks routinely cut the claimed net worth of a client in half and approve the loan anyway, which is what they did to Trump in 2011.  A second executive that the bank benefited from its business relationship with Trump and wanted to continue that relationship.  All of this runs counter to claims by NY Attorney General Letisha James and the blithering idiot democrat judge preening for the media from the bench during the trial.  Remember that this part of the trial is the penalty phase, that Judge Engoron already issued a summary judgment finding Trump guilty of all charges, not allowing Trump to even present a defense.  The bank executive testimony completely guts both James’ argument and Engoron’s summary judgement.  The banks made money on the loans, which were either paid off on time or early, and never complained about the Trump organization in any way.  James and the idiot judge are conspiring to kill a corporation by revoking certificates / licenses to operate in NY and imposing $250 million in penalties for money that nobody lost.  The idiot judge was not pleased with the testimony.  How will this work?  I expect the judge to find Trump guilty and do his level best to impose a n economic death penalty on the Trump organization because the law that James is prosecuting Trump under is written in such a way as to allow this sort of prosecution.  The law only requires multiple instances of whatever they define as misrepresentation (lies).  It does not require anyone to be harmed by said misrepresentations, which would appear to me to be the very definition of an unconstitutional law.  I expect the ruling to be reversed upon appeal, though both James and Engoron will do their level best to destroy the Trump organization during the time of appeal. 

More later –

  • AG

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