Was the Nick Fuentes meeting a setup? Does 45 have a mole in his personal staff, or are they just that incompetent? [UPDATE: you wouldn’t believe it]

A quick thought as I’m running from one meeting to the next.

To be clear, I do not believe for even one second that Trump is a judeophobe — this doesn’t even pass the laugh test.

I also can completely believe that he had no idea who Nick Fuentes was — I am sure he has bigger fish to fry than keeping track of every rancid crank with ten followers and a dog.

But that’s exactly the sort of reason why people that senior have a staff of personal aides.

That they didn’t do their homework and screen Fuentes out suggests either they are incompetent — or that he has a mole on his personal staff who deliberately facilitated a meeting with a toxic character (but who’s obscure enough that DJT wouldn’t realize on his own he’d better run, not walk away) in order to make DJT radioactive even with hitherto committed supporters…

PS: by a strange coincidence, today is the 75th anniversary of the November 29, 1947 UN Resolution 181, in favor of partitioning the “British Mandate of Palestine” into a Jewish and an Arab state. To this day there is a kaf-tet be-november (November 29) street in Jerusalem.

UPDATED Nov. 30: this gets truly bizarre: according to “Bonchie”, Tim Pool had Kanye West et al. on his popular YouTube cast so they could give their own version, then West stormed out when Tim started pushing back against West’s judeophobic statements.

I’m obviously not a famous person with unimaginable wealth, but I’m pretty sure if you are going to spew anti-Semitic garbage, you should probably be prepared to defend it. Instead, Kanye freaks out over a Pool asking him a basic question as if his honor was been violated. It’s a legitimately sad scene because you know he’s simply not mentally well, and it’s always disturbing to watch someone slam the gas down as they careen towards an even worse mental break.

And for my money, that circumstance really reveals who the worst villains here are. Kanye is a sick man. He’s been diagnosed with mental illness (he’s bipolar, among other things), and he’s now being led around […] That’s not to say Kanye isn’t ultimately responsible for his own statements. He is, and he’s paying a price for them both financially and to his reputation, which will never recover at this point.

Still, what Yiannopoulos and Fuentes are doing in taking advantage of that is grotesque. These are grifters latching onto a disturbed man, pushing him further into insanity in order to garner some private jet flights and cheap notoriety. Yiannopoulos is actually Kanye’s “campaign manager” for his 2024 presidential run, whatever that even means. Does Kanye strike you as someone healthy enough to be running for president? A decent person would tell him the truth in this situation, not embolden him, but here we are.

This entire thing is getting more and more out of control. What’s Kanye going to say next? What’s he going to do next? The man clearly needs help and a lot of it. […] I pray that he realizes that sooner rather than later because this is headed to some dark places.

And even more bizarre:


According to [Milo] Yiannopoulos, he engineered the event to embarrass Trump.

Ye criticized Trump for not doing enough to help pay the legal bills of those arrested in the Jan. 6 Capitol riots; and he also told Trump he might run for president against him and said Trump should instead be his running mate — all of which angered the former president, who attacked Ye’s ex-wife, Kim Kardashian, according to two dinner participants and Ye, who blasted out a “Mar-a-Lago debrief” video to his 32.2 million Twitter followers the next day.

“Trump is really impressed with Nick Fuentes,” Ye said in the video.

Fuentes said that he praised Trump as “my hero” and criticized Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for his potential GOP primary challenge to Trump, but he also told him to his face at the dinner that the one-time 2016 insurgent was in danger of becoming a scripted establishment bore who could lose in 2024.

Yiannopoulos, a former Breitbart editor who was banned from Twitter in 2016 for inciting a racist campaign against the comedian Leslie Jones, told NBC News that he was “the architect” of the plan to have Fuentes travel with Ye in the hopes of slipping him into the dinner with Trump. The intent, according to Yiannopoulos, was for Fuentes to give Trump an unvarnished view of how a portion of his base views his candidacy.

And, Yiannopoulos said, he arranged the dinner “just to make Trump’s life miserable” because news of the dinner would leak and Trump would mishandle it.

In the words of an unnamed Trump aide who took the opportunity of talking to NBC to bash his meal ticket:

“The master troll got trolled,” the adviser said. “Kanye punked Trump.”

“Trump was totally blindsided,” the source said of Fuentes’ presence. “It was a setup.”

This guy may have been in tears as he was talking to NBC, but it sounds a lot like he was laughing out loud. Imagine that, working to push the candidacy of a man and giggling at him getting publicly humiliated. Trump partially understood what had happened, “He tried to f— me. He’s crazy. He can’t beat me.” Trump got one thing wrong here. West didn’t try to f*** him, West bent him over, and then he and his whole posse had their way with him.

The sourcing on that last tidbit is “one confidant, who then relayed the conversation to NBC News on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations.”

Now that the horse was really out of the barn, the staff started covering their asses by blaming Trump.

Some in Trump’s orbit had cautioned him not to have dinner with Ye, under fire for antisemitism, in the first place, according to two sources who had been briefed on an internal damage assessment the campaign performed after the controversy erupted.

But Trump is known for refusing to heed cautious counsel, guardrails and gatekeepers. So he went ahead with the dinner alone, telling confidants that he thought Ye needed his counsel and, one confidant told NBC that Trump acknowledged he wanted the rapper to be seen because “it would be fun for the members” of Mar-a-Lago.


Anti-lockdown protests sweeping China, morphed into protests against the CCP regime and Xi

Even the MSM are taking notice now, Insty snarks: “Xi’s gonna get it”.

The Telegraph:


(paywalled: cached copy https://archive.ph/Dwbg0 )

Chinese protesters on Sunday called for Xi Jinping to resign as anti-lockdown marches swept the nation

Hundreds of people took to the streets of major cities as anger with the government’s “zero-Covid” policies boiled over into demands for regime change. 

“Down with the Chinese Communist Party! Down with Xi Jinping,” protesters chanted on the streets of Shanghai in the most direct challenge to Beijing’s leadership since the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989

In Wuhan, where the coronavirus first emerged, large crowds pulled down metal barriers meant to quarantine neighbourhoods.

Around 300 people were surrounded by police in Beijing as they chanted “we are with Xinjiang!”, a reference to a deadly fire in the region where Covid-lockdowns allegedly hampered rescue efforts. 

When the protesters were warned by police not to chant against lockdown they began singing “we want lockdowns” and “I want to do more Covid tests”.

In Chengdu, protesters chanted “give me liberty or give me death!” and “I want human rights!”

Demonstrators returned to the streets of Shanghai, China’s biggest city, early on Sunday morning for a silent vigil. Many held up blank sheets of paper, a jibe at the intense suppression of dissent. 


State broadcasters have been editing footage of the Qatar World Cup to remove scenes of maskless crowds they fear will add to growing fury at Covid restrictions. 

The countrywide protests on Sunday are the culmination of a week of unrest that included massive demonstrations in the suppressed region of Xinjiang, riots at an iPhone factory in central China, and student marches on the campuses of some of China’s most prestigious universities.


China has seen small-scale protests in recent years often tied to issues like pollution or land grabs. 

However, the anti-lockdown marches have united a much larger cross-section of society. 

Students at Beijing’s elite Tsinghua university, the alma mater of Mr Xi, on Sunday sang the national anthem in a peaceful protest. 

“If we don’t speak out due to fear,” one student said, “our people will be disappointed. As a Tsingua student, I’d regret this for the rest of my life.”

Student protests are considered especially sensitive in China. The Tiananmen Square massacre of 1989, in which at least 1,000 people are believed to have been killed, started out as a student-led march for democracy and freedom of speech.

Matthew Henderson believes it may be the beginning of the end for Xi’ s rule.

(paywalled; cached copy)


Now, Covid infection levels across China have broken previous records, and once again Shanghai is at the eye of the storm. In the past couple of days, protests have grown, mourning a fire in a partly locked-down Xinjiang tower block in which 10 residents are thought to have died. Shanghai protesters took up their plight as a symbol of wider Communist oppression, demanding freedom and the lifting of lockdown not just for Xinjiang but all of China, and the overthrow of the Party and Xi himself.

These events come only a month after the Party Congress at which Xi consolidated his autocratic grip on power. They could well indicate that he may not be able to maintain it as long as he hopes. Lately, he has talked about “people-friendly policies” and the need to promote “common prosperity”. But a tipping point seems to have been reached at which the citizens of China have had enough.


Xi began his decade in supreme power by paying lip service to China’s benign role, where cooperation between nations would bring “win-win” benefits to all. In this rose-tinted mist, his intelligence and influence apparat exploited Western venality and ignorance to achieve widespread penetration of liberal political elites and their key national infrastructure.

Xi’s aggressive handling of Covid-19, however, contrary to the false projection of personal victory over the virus, has alienated not only the Chinese people but democracies and their partners across the world. “Win-win” saccharine has given way to “wolf warrior” aggression backed up by military expansionism. International concerns about Chinese ambitions have multiplied, save among collaborators such as Russia, Syria and North Korea.

Xi wishes only to win an existential Marxian struggle with everything that could threaten the CCP. Hong Kong has been broken on his wheel. His totalitarian “China dream” looks increasingly nightmarish. The citizens of all mainland China – not just Xinjiang and Tibet – are his victims as well. More than ever, as they face an inevitable crackdown, their interests are ours; a fact on which responsible political and corporate China strategies should be founded.

And if you want a video cast with footage from many protest scences, here are pioneering China vloggers “serpentza” and his sidekick. The video is “age-restricted” on YouTube, so I can’t embed it. Is this YT being running dogs [running turtleboys?] for Xi, or (I lean toward this explanation) is it because the frequent obscenities being yelled by protestors, of the “F*** the CCP!”, “F*** Xi!”, and “F*** your mother!” variety.

“Serpentza”, a South African expat, lived in China for over a decade as an English teacher (seeing no opportunities in his IT field in his native South Africa) and is very familiar with the culture, as is his sidekick. They say it’s not that unusual in China to see protests against very specific grievances, like this crooked official or that contractor who left his buyers in the lurch, but protests against the CCP, let alone its leadership, are normally taboo. This taboo has been breached now, with the apartment building fire where 10 people died who were locked in because of forced COVID isolation acting as the match on the kindling.

Meanwhile, Insty comments on Apple restricting “AirDrop from everyone” to 10 minutes (apparently under Chinese pressure, as protestors were using the feature for communication)

Apple used to advertise itself as the remedy for Big Brother. Now Apple is Big Brother’s accomplice.”

I’m writing this blog post on an Apple machine (have been a Mac user since graduate school) but this is making me sick to my stomach. Alas, none of the major tech companies have clean hands in this regard — though their level of sanctimony seems to be directly proportional to their willingness to prostitute themselves for better or continued access to certain markets, and Apple under Tim Cook has been pegging the meter. See also, Sam the Fried Bankman poking fun at the suckers who fell for his woke BS.


Gad Saad on the Twitter purchase from an evolutionary theory perspective. The “costly signaling” principle he elaborates on is also known as the “handicap principle” or “Zahavian principle“, after the husband and wife team of Israeli ornithologists and evolutionary biologists. Amotz and Avishag Zahavi. The opening paragraph of the Wikipedia entry on the handicap principle is actually a pretty decent one-paragraph summary.

The handicap principle is a hypothesis proposed by the biologist Amotz Zahavi to explain how evolution may lead to “honest” or reliable signalling between animals which have an obvious motivation to bluff or deceive each other.[1][2][3] It suggests that costly signals must be reliable signals, costing the signaller something that could not be afforded by an individual with less of a particular trait. For example, in sexual selection, the theory suggests that animals of greater biological fitness signal this status through handicapping behaviour, or morphology that effectively lowers this quality. The central idea is that sexually selected traits function like conspicuous consumption, signalling the ability to afford to squander a resource. Receivers then know that the signal indicates quality, because inferior-quality signallers are unable to produce such wastefully extravagant signals.

How anti-gerrymandering lawsuit in NY state saved the GOP House majority; WEF head honcho appears on CCP propaganda channel, says China a “role model” for many nations

(a) [Hat tip: Mrs. Arbel]

Tunku V. in the WSJ has the story [paywalled: cached copy].

The Republican Party has eked out a slender House majority, likely 222-213, four members more than are needed for control. The GOP should direct its gratitude to Misha Tseytlin, a soft-spoken Chicago lawyer who helped engineer the margin of victory in an unlikely place—New York state. 

On Feb. 3, Gov. Kathy Hochul approved a gerrymandered electoral map drawn by Albany Democrats that could have handed them victory in as many as 22 of the Empire State’s 26 districts. Mr. Tseytlin, 41, filed suit the same day, arguing that the map violated a 2014 constitutional amendment against gerrymandering that had been championed by, among others, the late former New York City Mayor Ed Koch, a Democrat. It was a bipartisan reform. The state Senate at the time was under Republican control, the Assembly was Democratic, and Democrat Andrew Cuomo was governor.

[…] Before this month’s elections, eight of New York’s 27 representatives were Republicans. The state lost one district to reapportionment. The independent commission was unable to agree on a map for 2022, sending a Democratic and a Republican version to the Legislature for evaluation. Lawmakers rejected both. The commission deadlocked and was unable to submit a second map as required by law, leading the Legislature to assign itself the task of drawing district lines.

The result? A map designed explicitly to ensure that Republicans could win no more than four seats. Michael Li, senior counsel of the progressive Brennan Center for Justice, described the Legislature’s map as “a master class in how to draw an effective gerrymander.” In Mr. Tseytlin’s words, “22-4 is as gerrymandered pro-Democrat as you could make New York.”

A legal challenge had to be filed quickly, as the primaries were set for June and couldn’t be delayed beyond late August. Federal law requires 45 days for military and other absentee voters to receive federal ballots, and the 45-day window applies to primaries as well as the general election. John Faso, a former Republican congressman, spearheaded efforts with Ed Cox, a former state Republican chairman, to raise a war chest to fight the map in court. Mr. Faso says in an interview that costs were “well into seven figures. *Suffice it to say that litigation figures were much less than would be needed to finance a single congressional campaign.*” […]

In truth, the Democrats paid a price for being too greedy. Mike Gianaris, the state senator who oversaw the map that was struck down, did the Republicans a political favor. Some of the gerrymandered districts in his map were laughable. One, Mr. Faso says, “encompassed five counties. It went Suffolk, Nassau, Queens, Bronx, into Westchester.” There was no way a court wouldn’t scrutinize a map like that.

Had the Democrats’ New York gerrymander been allowed to stand, Republicans probably wouldn’t have retaken the House. They won 11 districts in New York, tipping them past 218. The partisan map would have kept them to four, and Nancy Pelosi would still have her job.

The regressive“progressive” application of lawfare [sic] to tilt the electoral table in their favor — all in the name of iniquity“equity”, of course — has one downside for the oligarchic“Democratic” party, of course: two can play this game.

Kudos to Mrs. Tseytlin. (And yes, same surname as jazz pianist Denny Zeitlin, different romanization.)

(b) Our prize committee hasn’t given out the Turtleboy Of The Week award for some time owing to the fierce competition for this title, which “honors” the most nauseating CCP and Xi Jinping apologist. But WEF head honcho Klaus Schwab absolutely takes the cake (and drops the mask in the process).

ADDENDUM: After it became to light that some Tw*tter staff (now fired by Musk) would extort money from users to get “Blue Check” verification marks, now the WSJ reports on a similar, smaller-scale, scandal at Meta (Facebook’s parent)

ADDENDUM 2:the WSJ explains how crude Russian oil delivered to a refinery in Sicily leaves the said facility outside Syracuse as… non-Russian oil. This reminds me of a 1990s-era Euro scam in which Belgian hams were shipped to Parma, Italy, were labeled Giambone di Parma (Parma ham, a protected mark of origin) and returned to sender, having thus magically becoming Parmesan 😉


Mordechai Kedar on continuing Iran protests; and what’s the matter with Alaska?

The video is in Hebrew, so let me summarize a few bullet points:

  • These has been going on for more than two months now
  • Iranian regime officials have been spotted traveling to Turkey with their wives and suitcases full of money: typically they go to Bodrum [a resort city on the Aegean sea]
  • Documents in Farsi have been leaked giving instructions to border guards to stop these departures
  • he did not mention protestors setting fire to the Ayatollah Khomeini museum — presumably the video was recorded prior to that
  • in the city of Shiraz in the west of the country, an army unit stationed in the area was ordered to help the Basij put down the demonstrations. The army refused — clashes between army and Basij erupted, with wounded on both sides
  • many soldiers in the regular army are [non-Persian] “minorities” (Kurds, Baluchis,…), who are already disaffected living in a country controlled by the Persians [who constitute about half the total population]
  • some of these majorities (Azeris, Turkmen, Arabs) mostly live in regions bordering on states of their own ethnicity (Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, …) where there is irredentist sentiment
  • there is a not impossible scenario in which the Iranian empire would implode and undergo partitioning between these countries, plus an independent Baluchistan, … and a much-reduced (but ethnically more homogenous) Persia. [I cannot help seeing parallels with Hungary post-WW I.]
  • social media [he did not mention Tor or encrypted messaging services] plays a major role in helping organize the protests
  • the regime is reluctant to apply too much force, for fear that burials of killed protestors would fuel the protests even more
  • instead they are applying other measures, like cutting off food transports to towns, monkeying with the electricity supply,…
  • In general, when a regime tries to push either religion or secularism too forcefully down people’s throats, the people push back in the other direction. He attributes the rise of Erdogan in Turkey at least in part to pushback against “aggressive Kemalist secularism” (the “Kemal” being Mustafa Kemal “Ataturk”), and now the aggressive Islamism in Iran causes antireligious [or just anticlerical?] pushback
  • A new sport of youth: pull off the turbans of Muslim clerics and run off with them, often with a buddy filming the whole thing on their phone and uploading it to social media
  • He sees the implosion of Iran (as an empire) as a consummation to be devoutly wished [me quoting the Bard] as, quite aside from the good it would do for Iran’s minorities and for the Persians themselves, it would put an end to the regime’s escapades abroad (in Lebanon, Syria, and its egging on ‘the Gaza State’ [his term] to attack Israel)
  • There are plenty of arms smugglers in Iraq who for a nice payment in untraceable Bitcoin and the promise of more in successful would be willing to ship containers with guns, ammunition, medical supplies,… [I leave his next suggestions to your imagination]


Concerning the US election, I’ve been scratching my head about what the heck is going on in Alaska. Via Powerline, Kim Strassel in the WSJ explains how the introduction of [a bastardized verson of] ranked-choice voting (a.k.a. Australian voting, a.k.a. Instant Runoff Voting) led to these bizarre results.


Two years ago, left-leaning outside groups quietly funded Alaska liberals (posing under the vanilla title Alaskans for Better Elections) backing a ballot initiative to do away with the state’s perfectly good election system. It was replaced with a “top four” primary and a ranked-choice general election.

Most Alaskans didn’t know what they were voting for, since the initiative was a mind-numbing 25 pages of single type, and its boosters tucked the voting part into the garble. The initiative instead led with a provision claiming it would eliminate “dark money” (doubly offensive given its own cloaked funding). Even with all this subterfuge, it barelypassed. […]

The state got its unexpected first interaction with this regime when Rep. Don Young died in March. The ensuing special “open” primary featured 48 candidates, running as Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, independents, “nonpartisans,” “undeclared” and (no joke) Santa Claus. All this “choice” served only to deny Alaskans useful information about any one candidate. Choice becomes malevolent when it eliminates meaningful debate, denies voters information, and lards ballots with no-hope candidates that distract from serious ones.

Four candidates advanced, then one withdrew. (Santa Claus finished sixth.) After ensuing chaos as to what to do in such a scenario, a state judge barred the fifth-place winner from advancing. So Alaskans had only three options in the special general election.


Alaska is a Republican state, and two of the three candidates who advanced—Sarah Palin and Nick Begich Jr.—are Republicans. They split the vote in the first round of counting, giving Democrat Mary Peltola more votes than Ms. Palin. Mr. Begich was then eliminated. Half his voters went to Ms. Palin. Only about a quarter went to Ms. Peltola, but it was enough to push her over 50% of those who ranked either her or Ms. Palin.

Yet notice the numbers don’t add up. About 20% of Mr. Begich’s supporters didn’t put a second choice—either in confusion or protest. (A full 35% of Palin voters didn’t.) Those voters didn’t want Ms. Peltola—they wouldn’t mark her name—but for refusing to play the game, their punishment was to be stuck with her anyway. Thus does a state that Donald Trump won by 10 points, and in which 60% of the voters chose first a Republican, end up with a Democratic representative. Consensus? Hardly. The word is “rigged.”

Thanksgiving musical delight: George Winston, “Autumn”

Happy Thanksgiving to my American readers! Here is a little background music for the season. I’m particularly fond of the opening track, “Colors/Dance”, and unwind with it on the piano sometimes.

Steve “Vodkapundit” Green buried one of his closest friends last week. It has been a harrowing experience, but despite it, he lays out all the things he is grateful for on Thanksgiving.

There is a lot to be sad and angry about in the world, abroad (a seemingly hopelessly-rigged system in the US, a new terror bombing campaign here at home), yet so much to be grateful for.

הודו לה׳ כי טוב, כי לעולם חסדו

Giveth thanks unto the L-rd for He is good, for His lovingkindness is for ever

Hmm… the Hebrew imperative ‘give thanks’ and noun ‘turkey’ are spelled the same (hodu[*]) — Happy Thanksgiving!

[*] the Hebrew name for the New World fowl actually derives from the Hebrew name for India, “Hodu” (first mentioned in the opening of the Book of Esther, where Persian King Achashverosh/Ahasverus is said to rule over lands mi-Hodu ve`ad Kush, i.e., from India to Ethiopia).

The French word dindon for the bird derives similarly from d’Inde (from India), and the Dutch word kalkoen from the Indian port city of Calicut (“Calicoet”). Likewise, as I just discovered, the Polish word Indyk. (So was Martin Indyk a turkey?)

The Ukraine War was started by the House of Fugger [sarc]

Disclaimer for the irony-impaired: this post is partly satirical in nature.

Anybody who spends any time on the ‘net will at some point run into conspiracy theories involving Jewish bankers. Typically, they will involve the well-known House of Rothschild (now a boutique firm, a far cry from its high-water mark in the 19th century), or the name Goldman Sachs will come up. The fascinating House of Warburg is rarely mentioned for some reason, nor is Jacob Schiff of Kuhn, Loeb (which was a powerhouse at the turn of the 19th and 20th century).

For some reason, some of these judeophobic conspiracy buffs have ‘judaized’ Rockefeller and Morgan, both quite Protestant. Then again, they featured prominently in a rambling, ranting pamphlet I got many years ago from a sedevacantist[**] Catholic.

But there’s one banking house that they all overlooked, and that may have been the most powerful of all time: the House of Fugger.

The Fuggers, from the Bavarian town of Augsburg, in their 16th century heyday had Holy Roman Emperors and Popes quaking in their boots. Adjusted for inflation, Jakob Fugger is a serious candidate for “richest person of all time”, definitely if you exclude absolute monarchs.

They were even pioneers in election buying. You see, when Charles I of Spain wanted to become Holy Roman Emperor, he had to buy off “voters”/Electors. They were a very small and selective lot — [at the time] seven Kurfürsten/Prince-Electors, coincidentally about the same number as the “Rotten Borough” of Old Sarum had before British electoral reform. But boy, did those Prince-Electors want money. Charles I’s successful bid to become Charles V of the Holy Roman Empire cost him about three tons of gold — at current market prices, roughly US$150 million. (Hmm, this is about what the “Democratic” party spent to install John Festerneck in the Senate ;))

Even Charles could not readily cough up that amount of money and he ended up borrowing it from the House of Fugger — then during his reign, spent a nontrivial amount of his energy struggling with repayment.

The large amounts of money borrowed from the Fuggers by Pope Leo X, much of it spent on the Sistine Chapel that attracts millions of tourists every year to this day, were one of the factors that indirectly triggered the Reformation, as Leo tried to raise the repayment money through the sale of indulgences —- which outraged an Augustine monk, priest, and theology professor by the name of Martin Luther to the point that he nailed his Ninety-Five Theses to the door of his parish church in Wittenberg.

The Fugger family’s descendants still operate a small private bank in Bavaria:[***] here you can access their online banking if you have an account 🙂


But what if behind their modest facade they still want to control the world? Bankrolling a war to increase their power?

I invite you to look, courtesy of Wikipedia, at the coat of arms of the Fuggers:

From https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Fugger_Coat_of_Arms.svg

Yes, the colors of the Ukrainian flag turned sideways [*]

So here you have it. The Fugger banking house is trying to install the first-ever Jewish Holy Roman Emperor, Volodymyr I, and trying to stop Vladimir I from becoming the first Russian Orthodox Holy Roman Emperor. That the Fuggers are (at least were) devoutly Catholic is just for cover 😉

If the above conspiracy theory sounds idiotic, well, it makes as much sense as some of the Rothschilds/Illuminati/… crepe it’s been my extremely dubious pleasure to encounter. Francis Bacon’s “first idol of the mind” is the human tendency to see more order in the universe than there really is, and to seek logical connection where only coincidence exists.

[*] That branch of the Fuggers was known as “the Fuggers of the Lily” hence the fleur-de-lys.

[**] A sedevacantist is one who argues that the current Pope is illegitimate and hence the Holy See is vacant.

[***] There are lots of touristic sights in Augsburg, including the “Fuggerei” which is likely the world’s oldest social housing development in continuous operation.

ADDENDUM: In case you wonder what happened between the death of one Holy Roman Emperor and the election of the next? The empire was administered by a special type of caretaker regent called a Reichsverweser in German (which also has the word Regent for somebody ruling on behalf of a minor or incapacitated monarch). The most recent person to use the German title was the Hungarian strongman Miklos Horthy, as at least at first he maintained the fiction that he was a caretaker head of state pending the return or succession of the last Austro-Hungarian emperor, Karl. Horthy is generally referred to as Regent in English, but in both German and Hungarian he used the German title Reichsverweser.

If Operation Valkyrie had succeeded, the head of state-designate, former Chief of the General Staff Ludwig Beck, would have used that title rather than Reichspräsident, in order to indicate the transitional nature of his position.

AZ state asst. AG refuses to certify election until questions answered

The 2022 election fustercluck continues. We have heard the numerous reports about malfunctions and irregularities in Arizona, especially Maricopa County (which by the way is the size and population of some countries): we also had the bizarre conflict of interest there that the supposedly elected candidate, Katie Hobbs (D, eila ma?) was also the Secretary of State overseeing her own election. (At the very least, she should have recused herself from the latter and deputized somebody uninvolved, in order to avoid the appearance of impropriety.)

The thing is: her Republican challenger, former TV anchor Kari Lake, is down a small enough margin (ca. 12,000 votes) that cleaning up the mess could at least theoretically reverse the result. So if only for propriety’s sake, an election audit is in order.

Needless to say, the “democracy means electing Democrats” party’s hired land sharks, er, lawyers are challenging the refusal. Tim Pool has a lot more.

I’ve been an election monitor in two countries outside the USA, and can tell you that the US makes actual banana republics look good in that regard. I was horrified to learn from the above video that “ballot harvesting” is actually legal in the state of AZ!

But anyone who questions the outcome of any election with such shoddy and begging-to-be-punked protections is an “election denier”, you see?

Yesterday, Mrs. Arbel showed me an article about a local election in Georgia where the result was reversed after a bunch of missing votes were found on a thumb drive. In this case it’s a small-time, inconsequential race, but sheesh.

In related news, Los Angeles appears to have elected far-left whack job Karen Bass as Mayor over ex-GOP businessman Rick Caruso. Assuming that this result was not “fortified” (nice euphemism for rigged), it brings to mind H. L. Mencken’s cynical quip that democracy is the theory that voters know what they want and deserve it good and hard.

ADDENDUM: mais bien sûrˆ/but of course: Colorado nightclub shooter was a “known wolf” who committed several violent felonies in 2021, involving bombs, not guns.

Crime: narrative vs. reality

Former New Yorker Louis Rossmann (whose Mac repair howto videos I’m subscribed to) explains just how cities like NYC have “low” crime stats that are then trumpeted by ּBloomberg or other lamestream media to say Republicans are just “fearmongering”. You know, if the police even refuses to let you file a complaint for a crime, statistics will be low.

Is this “soft on crime” wokeness or just big crooks showing professional courtesy to little crooks? Here is a little rogue’s gallery of major D donors, from Sam the Fried Bankman via Ed Buck to Jeffrey Epstein.


Speaking of fried bank-men (and of Elizabeth “Theranos jailbird” Holmes), Victor Davis Hanson takes no prisoners.

Mysteriously, only after the conclusion of the midterm elections, did we suddenly learn that this left-wing “philanthropist” and benefactor of Democratic politics, this megadonor to the quid pro quo puff-piece media, this con artist protected from federal securities regulators, had drained off, lost, hidden, or spent billions of dollars of other people’s money. 

As a result, the Bahamas-basking, tax-avoiding, polyamorous sybarite, and heartthrob of progressive moralists, now claims he has no wherewithal to honor his financial commitments to his own investors. Preliminary postmortem auditors sigh that they have never encountered a greater financial mess than what Bankman-Fried has left in his wake. 

How does the most sophisticated financial system in the history of civilization allow a virtue-signaling nerd to nearly wreck it? Where were the Federal Trade Commission, the Department of Justice, the IRS, and all the other alphabet soup agencies that supposedly exist so that someone like Bankman-Fried does not? Where is Merrick Garland and his special prosecutors, the FBI with its televised SWAT swoops and leg irons?

For all the performance-art boasts of simply doing good for others by doing far better for himself, Bankman-Fried may soon be revealed to be one of the great, dissolute con artists in American history. Like the infamous Charles Ponzi, “Bankman” may become our eponymous word in the 21st century for electronically driven, pyramid-scheme theft. 

His Stanford-Silicon Valley moral veneer was shiny but otherwise razor thin. Yet Bankman-Fried told at least one truth when he explained to obsequious media what his ilk easily does to fool purported suckers who send him cash, while he avoided federal and media oversight: “This dumb game we woke westerners play where we say all the right shibboleths and so everyone likes us.” 


The 21st-century globalized economy saturated the corridor between San Francisco and San Jose with wealth never before seen or imagined. Its beneficiaries discovered a number of things about the arts of becoming and staying ultra-rich. 

One, they never needed to worry about the essentials of life that troubled the other 99 percent of the country—affordable fuel, food, and housing, safe streets, and a fair and legal immigration system. 

Or to put it another way, they could pose as progressive utopians—preening their moral superiority to the media, pouring money into the Democratic Party, funding foundations and PACs devoted to woke causes, climate change, and diversity, equity, and inclusion—and all the time never subject to the ramifications of their own exalted agendas. 

They could not have cared less about crippling $6 a gallon gas, the exorbitant kilowatt cost of air conditioning, out-of-reach $1,000-a-square foot bungalow housing, the mayhem on San Francisco streets, or the reparatory elite university admissions policies that drastically curtailed working-class male admissions. Their wealth guaranteed them leverage, and leverage ensured exemptions. 

But Bay Area morality was not just a pragmatic matter of the exempt elite force-feeding utopia down the throats of others who had no such immunity. Boutique, rich leftism also provided penance for the anointed, a mechanism that alleviated any residual guilt of talking like Eugene Debs while living like Marie Antoinette. 


“Sam Bankman-Fried is the ultimate dangerous and ridiculous expression of the most toxic and creepy culture in America.
If he did not exist, he would have to be invented.”

Read the whole thing.

ADDENDUM (h/t: Mrs. Arbel)


FOr a punishment to be prohibited by the 8th Amendment, I maintain, it must be both cruel and unusual. Whether or not you consider bastinado in Arabic) to be cruel, it would not be unusual if every clown and crook mucking about/tampering with elections were bastinadoed.

Ted Cruz grills AG Merrick Garland; House midterms update; Twitter reinstates Babylon Bee, Trump; Stanford Declaration on Academic Freedom. ADDENDUM: what Elon Musk may be up to at Twitter

(A) H/t Mrs. Arbel. This is an older segment, but it makes Garland look like the risible partisan hack he is.
Cruz: “Ethics are not a high priority of the Biden administration”. Yeah, you could say that. They listened to the lyrics of Tool’s “Track #1” and thought this was a grand blueprint for governance.
I know Mitch McConnell is not popular on my side of the aisle at this point, but he definitely was correct in blocking Garland’s appointment to SCOTUS. It’s quite bad enough he’s AG: on SCOTUS, he could do much greater damage for the remainder of his natural life.

(B) 2022 House elections update: in CO-3, Lauren Boebert’s opponent Adam Frisch has conceded, which brings the seats to 220-211 and 4 undecided. Of these, Alaska-at-large has a D leading because Sarah Palin and another GOP candidate split the vote; ME-2 has the D leading by 4 points; CA-22 has the Republican leading by over 5 points, and John Duarte (R) retains a small lead in CA-13. So this will likely end up 221-214 or 222-213.

(C) Following the earlier reinstatement of the Babylon Bee, Donald Trump is now back on Twitter. https://instapundit.com/554954/

(D) Gad Saad’s talk at the Stanford Conference on Academic Freedom.


Meanwhile, a number of the organizers have published the Stanford Academic Freedom Declaration. To my pleasant surprise, it quickly gained over 1,000 signatures from faculty across the US, some from abroad. This includes big names in my own field.

It’s sad that one would need to sign a declaration in favor of something that should be self-evident. But I regard it as a heart-warming step in the right direction.

…and may grace and common sense be found in the eyes of G-d and man.

ADDENDUM: This Twitter thread (via Insty) explains what Elon Musk is likely doing with Twitter (the company, not the product): “whaling and culling”.


[…] First, the “Whaling”:

It’s a common refrain that you’ve probably heard at some point or another “10% of people do 90% of the work.” That’s what that tight 2 week deadline for Twitter Blue was for; he was perfectly aware that it was an unrealistic time frame. It was a test. 

By pushing for such an extremely tight deadline, Elon got to see who is actually doing work and who is resting on their laurels. Furthermore, it proved who could actually perform under extreme pressure. 

You know, the whole “get this done or you’re fired” level of pressure. 

Hence, Elon was looking for the whales at the company. The heavy hitting, actually producing and hard people who have been there for a while. When the whales don’t have to carry dead weight, they perform like the equivalent of 10 people. 

Second is the “Culling.” When you’ve got 90% of the people not performing, they’re actually negatively impacting the 10% who ARE performing above and beyond. And that’s why the layoffs happened. Paraphrased, ‘shit is gonna change around here, get on board or get out’ 

So by culling unproductive staff, he actually untied the hands of the PRODUCTIVE staff. Fewer obstacles to getting in the way of getting things done. It also revealed to him who was there to make Twitter a better product, versus who was there to be ‘activists’. 

So now you’ve chopped your workforce down to people who actually perform, but they’re not enough to run everything. 

This is why after all those people are let go, there’s going to be a surprise hiring of a new bunch of people. Why? 

Because the productive people actually know WHAT THEY NEED to get things done. Don’t be surprised if the people that are left get to be part of the interviewing process for the new people. They’ll be looking for efficiency and people who don’t make THEIR jobs more difficult. 

So, when you continually slice away the bad portions of something, all that you’re left with is 1 of 2 potential outcomes:

1) Nothing usable. It was rotten at the core.
2) Some substantially good bits you can salvage and build on.

Elon is gambling on 2. 

Shabbat musical delight: excerpts from Hélène Grimaud’s classical album “Water”

The album is a compilation of classical pieces inspired by “the most life-giving element” (well, not an element in the chemical sense of the word :)), with an electronic musician providing short bridges between the pieces. Here are a few excerpts:

(a) Debussy’s La cathédrale engloutie (the engulfed cathedral), inspired by the tidal island Mont St,-Michel.

(b) A surprisingly melodic side of 20th century composer Luciano Berio:

(c) Liszt’s evocation of the fountains and “water follies” at the Villa d’Este:

Here is a playlist of the entire album. Enjoy, have a great weekend, and shabbat shalom

Incredible: Facebook censors the Book of Psalms

I. Can’t. Even.


The “reveal” was:

Which subversive conspiratorial text was that? Of course, none other than Psalms 46:10

Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

Ps. 46:10 KJV

or in the Hebrew original, Tehillim 46:11 (our verse numbers sometimes deviate from those in Christian translations):

Harpu ve-de`u ki anochi El-him, arum ba-goyim, arum ba’aretz.

My very literal rendering: “Desist/Let go, y’all,[*] and know y’all that I am G-d, I’ll rise above the nations, I’ll rise above the Earth.”

And yes, I know, this content moderation was with 99.99% probability the work of an AI (artificial idiot-savant) rather than a human censor.

But seriously, Facebook,

desist y’all, and know y’all that there is one G-d and His name is not Mark Zuckerberg.

[*] It’s a real pity that in English one has to use the dialect form “y’all” to indicate 2nd person plural, which here indicates a multitude is addressed rather than the individual believer. Another nuance, which is imperfectly rendered in standard English, is that El-him [the majestic plural of “El”, conventionally translated G-d] refers to His quality of justice, as distinct from His quality of mercy associated with the name Ad-nai [the majestic plural of “Adon”, lord, hence usually translated “L-rd” or “O L-rd”].

Note that, while there are restrictions on erasing (not writing) Hebrew names of G-d in uncensored fashion, the law does not apply to scripts other than Hebrew. Hence, writing “G-d” or “L-rd” in English is merely a custom, not Jewish law. I do practice it to remind myself that at the end of the day, we mortals cannot know anything about the Divine.
“We have but faith but cannot know
For knowledge is of things we see
And yet we trust it comes from Thee
A beam in darkness, let it grow” (Alfred Tennyson, “In Memoriam”, stanza 6 ).

Gad Saad on coddled college students; TLDR on tech layoffs; deep-diving into FTX “Bernie Madoff on speed”; Eric Idle on what inspired “Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life”

Hands more than full at work and in real lfie. Just sharing a few great “podcast-style” videos with you (that one can listen to while doing something else):

(a) Gad Saad on the crazy coddling of college students nowadays.

(b) TL;DR on some reasons behind the wave of tech layoffs that people tend to overlook. And no, Twitter only represents 6% of the layoffs.

(c) “ColdFusion” on FTX disaster and Sam the Fried Bankman (a.k.a. “Bernie Madoff on speed”)

(d) and as a blood pressure remedy (h/t: Mrs. Arbel), Eric Idle discusses what inspired the classic Monty Python hit “Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life”

GOP clinches the 218th House seat, flipping the House; Trump announces 2024 run; Kevin’s McCarthy re-elected as House (and with that, presumptive Speaker); laughable claim that GOP wants to change voter age launched as chum for Gen-Z low information voters

In US political news today (just go to ace.mu.nu and keep scrolling):

• Decision Desk reports that it has called the 218th House race for the GOP, meaning the GOP will have a majority in the House.

• in a 188-31 vote, the GOP House caucus re-elected Kevin McCarthy as their leader, after an effort to challenge him for the leadership ran out of steam http://ace.mu.nu/archives/401898.php He is then almost certain to replace Nancy Peelousy as the Speaker of the House. Even Marjorie “space lasers” Taylor Greene voted for him.

• elsewhere in the same article, it looks like Mitch McConnell may be re-elected to the position of Senate Minority Leader, but he is facing more powerful challenges from Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Rick Scott (R-FL and former Governor)

• and some tosspot on The View (BIRM) falsely claims that the GOP intends to raise the voting age to 28. While I can understand why anybody would be so exasperated with the combination of stridency, sanctimoniousness, and ignorance cum intellectual laziness of the average “Generation Z”/dor mezuyan voter, the GOP could do no such thing even if it wanted to, since the voting age is set by Amendment 26 to the Constitution. Changing that would require two-thirds supermajorities in both Houses of Congress and ratification by three-quarters of states.

Like Ace, I am absolutely certain that the tool claiming this knew it was total BS — but said it anyway to fire up the ALIV (activist low information voter) “kiesvee” (literally: “electoral cattle”), relying on the “holpooiermedia” [*] not to fact-check him.

• and of course, Trump announced his 2024 run. I suspect Biden’s puppeteers are positively salivating at the prospect of either Trump being the nominee, or him splitting the GOP vote with a third-party run if he doesn’t clinch the nomination.

Yes, it’s early in the game, so the polls cited by Ringside at the Reckoning maybe don’t mean much. https://ringsideatthereckoning.substack.com/p/more-bad-polling-news-for-trump And I’ve seen other examples of highly effective governors who couldn’t “make the sale” on the national stage. But if Trump wants to have an actual prayer of winning, he will need to stop re-fighting old battles and offer a vision for the future.

• on a different subject, disgraced crypto guru follows in great “Democratic” donor tradition. The Free Beacon lays out the (partial) rogues’ gallery https://freebeacon.com/democrats/bankman-fried-democratic-donor-scandal/

“One US political party is paralyzed by infighting and shooting itself in the foot. The other is a crime syndicate married to a totalitarian movement.” Does that still sound like hyperbole to you?

AFTERTHOUGHT: I see a strangely compelling similarity between Putin[‘s coterie] and Biden’s “Democrat” puppeteers. Both are so obsessed with retaining power in their respective countries that they are willing to run their own countries into the ground in the process of clinging to power.

[*] translation not suitable for a somewhat family-friendly blog, even though the term is dead accurate.

BREAKING: Russian missiles hit Polish border town, killing two

Der Spiegel reports (in German, DeepL translation verified and edited by yours truly)

Two dead in explosion in Poland near Ukrainian border – crisis meeting of the government.

Errant Russian missiles may have hit Polish territory. Two people were killed in explosions in a village near the Ukrainian border. Prime Minister Morawiecki convened the National Security Council.

Two people were killed in an explosion in Poland near the Ukrainian border on Tuesday, according to firefighters. “Firefighters are on the scene, it is unclear what happened,” the official on duty said.

Polish radio station ZET had earlier reported that two stray rockets had hit Przewodów, killing two people. No details were given. The AP news agency, citing a senior U.S. intelligence official, also reported that errant Russian missiles had hit Poland. It would be the first such incident in Russia’s nearly nine-month-long war of aggression against Ukraine. Poland is a member of the EU and the Western defense alliance NATO.

Russia had attacked dozens of targets in Ukraine with missiles on Tuesday. The Ukrainian air force reported 100 projectiles.

Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki called the National Security Council together for an emergency meeting. This was announced by a government spokesman on Twitter. No details were initially given on the reasons. According to the PAP news agency, the NATO member state’s cabinet was scheduled to meet at 9 p.m. CET.

Government spokesman Piotr Müller warned against disseminating unverified information. All information from the Polish government’s Security and Defense Committee should also be made available to the public later, he announced, according to PAP.

A U.S. Defense Department spokesman in Washington said there is currently no information to confirm Polish media reports of an alleged Russian missile strike. A statement from the government in Moscow was not initially available.

Developing… I suspect a targeting error or malfunction, since not even Putin is crazy enough to deliberately bait NATO into invoking Article 5 …

UPDATE: Der Spiegel reports that Poland will invoke Article 4 (the “consultation article”) but not (yet?) Article 5 https://www.spiegel.de/ausland/ukraine-krieg-polen-koennte-nach-raketenbeschuss-artikel-4-des-nato-vertrags-aktivieren-was-das-bedeutet-a-18b9b98b-fd27-485a-8e7b-c1f106f99f9a

The Telegraph shares this map

From https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2022/11/15/two-russian-rockets-hit-poland-killing-two/

and adds that [quote]

Moscow on Tuesday unleashed its largest ever missile barrage on Ukrainian energy infrastructure. At least 85 rockets were launched in the early evening, leaving more than a dozen cities, including Kyiv, Odesa and Lviv, completely or partially without power. A block of flats in the capital was also left in flames.

The strikes came after Russia found itself diplomatically isolated at the G20 summit in Bali.

In a rare rebuke of his Russian ally, Xi Jinping, the Chinese president, said he supported Ukraine’s territorial integrity and issued a veiled criticism of Putin’s strategy of destroying energy supplies and making threats to pull out of the Black Sea grain deal.

“We must firmly oppose politicisation, instrumentalisation and weaponisation of food and energy problems,” Mr Xi told the summit.


The article adds that, while the missile fragments indicate it was an S-300 of Russian manufacture, both sides possess such (manufacture goes back to the Soviet era), and it could have been fired by either side — by Ukraine, as an air defense missile against the incoming Russian barrage on the nearby major city of Lviv; or by Russia, as a crude offensive missile. In either case, it indicates malfunction rather than deliberate targeting at Poland.


UPDATE 2: from Der Spiegel’s liveblog (in German, lightly edited DeepL translation below):

Nato: Missile strike in Poland did not originate from Russia
12:49 p.m.: NATO also has no knowledge that the missile strike in Poland came from Russia. Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg emphasized this after a special meeting of the Nato Council in Brussels. He said it was likely that a Ukrainian anti-aircraft missile had accidentally hit Poland. However, Stoltenberg stressed that this was not Ukraine’s fault[, and that] Russia must put an end to this “senseless war”.

12:15 p.m.: The missile that hit Polish territory Tuesday “most likely” came from Ukrainian air defenses, according to President Andrzej Duda. “Absolutely nothing indicates that this was a deliberate attack on Poland,” the Polish president told reporters Wednesday. “Most likely, this was a missile used in missile defense, which means that it was used by the Ukrainian defense forces,” Duda said.

Decision Desk: House 217-203 for GOP, 15 seats undecided; Insty on collapse of major crypto exchange as metaphor for US gov’t spending

(a) Decision Desk HQ just tweeted this map with all the races they have called:

At this rate, the only scenario where the GOP would not control the house would be if the D ran a clean sweep of all 15 remaining races. That includes CA-3, CA-22, and CA-27, in each of which the R candidate leads with 5 points or more. In CO-3, Lauren Boebert (R) has eked out a small lead over Adam Frisch (D), with over 95% of votes counted.

I hate to count chickens before they’re hatched (in Dutch, “sell the bear’s hide before you’ve shot it”), but it looks like GOP control of the House is basically assured.

Related: NY-17 Congressman-Elect Mike Lawler in the NYPost on unprecedented R gains in blue bastion NY state.

(b) Insty in the NYPost discusses the collapse of the FTX crypto exchange, and says “Uncle Sam is playing the same game as broke, disgraced crypto king“.

Until its collapse this week, FTX was one of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges — and trading platforms — in existence. Not long ago it was worth $32 billion, and Bankman-Fried himself was worth $26 billion. Now it’s more or less worthless, and Bankman-Fried is no longer a billionaire. He might even wind up worth zero or less than that by the time things are settled. Binance, which was the world’s No. 1 platform, mounted an abortive rescue bid but withdrew once it got a look at the books.

Some are saying this is a reason crypto investors shouldn’t store their wealth in exchanges but rather keep custody themselves — the digital equivalent of storing your money under a mattress. Of course that, like mattresses, has its own risk.

Others are saying crypto exchanges must be forced to keep sufficient reserves to honor all withdrawals, which is asking a lot. Ordinary banks can’t do that — that’s why they’re called “fractional reserve” banks. They depend on the Federal Reserve and federal deposit insurance to back them up, but there are no such protections for crypto.

No doubt we’ll see a lot of congressmen and regulators jumping to condemn cryptocurrencies, but they have a problem: They’re basically in the same game.

Some, of course, are more or less literally in the game with Bankman-Fried. He was the second-largest Democratic donor in 2022, after George Soros, and routinely palled around with top Democrats, sharing a stage with Bill Clinton in the Bahamas.

“He spent a lot of time on Capitol Hill,” says Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn). He had pledged to give $1 billion to Democrats. He doesn’t have a billion to give anymore.

But in a larger sense, the federal government — call it FGX if you like — is in a similar game. Few of Bankman-Fried’s investors fully understood what they were investing in and how it worked. They just saw what looked like a booming business and went with it. It was a matter of reputation (and maybe of a scarcity of appealing alternatives in this year’s financial markets). They hadn’t seen the books and might not have understood them if they had.

Likewise, the United States government operates largely on reputation. Would you lend money to someone whose debt kept climbing with no apparent limit? As I write this, the US Debt Clock places the national debt at more than $31 trillion and climbing steadily. There’s no plan to bring that amount under control, no realistic plan to pay for it over the long term and no way to fund the federal budget without borrowing. If interest rates on federal debt were to rise to levels we’ve seen in past years, we wouldn’t even be able to make the payments.

[…] There’s one big difference between FTX and the United States government, though. FTX’s customers were there voluntarily. US taxpayers, on the other hand, have no choice. Ponder that, and hang on.

ADDENDUM: The WSJ reports that now Amazon (!) is set to lay off 10,000 corporate workers

The tech company’s layoffs, which could begin as soon as this week, are targeted for corporate employees and could primarily affect Amazon’s devices business, which includes its hit Alexa products, as well as human resources and retail, the person said. The retail unit has been the primary organization that has had to respond to a slowdown of sales this year.

Amazon has separately already started laying off contractors working in recruiting, who in the past few weeks were told that their assignments were abruptly ending, according to other people. The additional planned layoffs at Amazon are among its full-time employees.

The layoffs come as Amazon is undertaking a broad review of costs, The Wall Street Journal reported last week. That review has focused on the devices unit, which the Journal reported has lost $5 billion annually in some recent years.

I own an older Kindle Paperwhite; my daughter has the latest iteration. Great devices, but never clear to me how Amazon didn’t make a loss on each unit. I assumed it’d be outweighed by increased revenue from book sales…

ADDENDUM 2: Layoffs now spreading to the biotech sector: GenomeWeb reports that Illumina is laying off about 500 in response to economic climate

So who’s to blame for the red wave spending itself? And is Europe sucking up to China?

A few quick lines as I have a very busy day at work today.

Brad Polumbo in the NYPost argues that Gen Z (or as some call it in Hebrew, dor sug zayin[*] ;)) was bought off by the Biden regime’s student loan forgiveness (which he may never be able to implement), thus staving off the red wave.

Derek Hunter at Townhall (with Insty nodding in agreement) places the blame on one man — surprise, neither Mitch McConnell nor Donald Trump, but Lindsey Graham, whose proposal of a 15-week federal limit on abortion revived that D banner issue. Personally, I regarded that proposal as a sensible compromise and have said so (unlike Insty, who holds the position that this should always have been a matter for the states and not the federal government, as affirmed by the SCOTUS Dobbs ruling). But just as people were getting more preoccupied about inflation and urban lawlessness than about the “liberal” sacrament of St. Abortion, Graham allowed the antiDemocratic Party to sound the tocsin about it again.

(b) Meanwhile, in the Second Cold War, Europe seems to be sucking up to China. Make no mistake: China is an equal opportunity turtle-boy cultivator, all over the planet (including here in Israel).

[*] the idiomatic translation is “grade Z generation”, though it’s also a pun on the Hebrew word for penis, zayin, or the verb le-zayen, to f***. I’ve also heard dor mezuyan for “f***ed-up generation”.

Gad Saad on Free Speech Comference at Stanford U.; Democrats clinch Senate control

(A) The great part about the Stanford U. Free Speech Conference is that it took place and apparently (see Gad Saad’s recap below) had great speakers and panelists; the sad part is that it’s needed at all and that it needed extensive security measures.

(B) So Fox News calls one of the two outstanding Senate races for Adam Laxalt’s “Democratic” opponent, thus ensuring D control — either 50-50 with Klueless Kackling Kamala as the veep tie-breaker, or 51-49.

The House is still in the balance, though, with Decision Desk having called 210 seats for the GOP and 200 seats for the antiDemocrats, leaving 25 seats too close still to call. The GOP needs just eight of them to control the House.

The red wave did happen in the sense that about six million more people voted GOP than Dem nationwide. However, shenanigans aside (early vote by mail about as ‘secure’ as a colander; people supervising their own election; packets of “missing” voters “found”, always magically favoring the “Democrats”;…) a lot of these gains were in states and electoral districts that were already in the red column, and just turned narrow-ish victories into crushing ones.

I’m not going to play the game of the D who claimed Shrillary should have won 2016 because “she won the popular vote nationwide”. This is the way a constituency system works (just exacerbated by mutual gerrymandering and increasing “voting with their feet” of especially GOP voters and independents).

Proportional representation like we have here comes with its own, different, set of problems.

The mind does wonder: what is the way forward in the US now? If such a total fustercluck of an administration can still game its way out of an electoral shellacking — then what is to be done?

ADDENDUM: via Powerline:

Mollie Ziegler Hemingway’s The Federalist thinks it’s long overdue for Mitch McConnell to go.

Must-read perspective on the massive big tech layoffs [ADDENDUM: did the ‘Red Wave’ happen but in the wrong places?]

(a) The midterms continue to be a cliffhanger.

Meanwhile, here is another story unfolding: Elon Musk’s massive layoffs at Twitter were just a harbinger of what’s hitting the sector, as tech companies’s “burn rate” (i.e., operating costs per day/week/month) far exceeds their income, venture capital has dried up, and the era of abundant cheap credit (thanks to ZIRP) is most definitely over. Yesterday, “Meta” (the Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp parent company) laid off 11,000 people.

Via Ace, here is a great comment piece about it by one Malcom Kyeyune.

[…T]here is another aspect of the Musk takeover that has little to do with free speech or even ideology—although it has a great deal to do with the class interests of Big Tech censors. As a recession looms, Silicon Valley is shedding the non-essential workers it acquired when unlimited venture funding made turning a profit an afterthought. Musk happens to have taken the helm at Twitter just as this reality is asserting itself. […] Once [Musk] got access to the company’s finances, the Tesla boss realized it was losing millions of dollars every day, and that many of its employees weren’t doing much work at all. So he proceeded to do what most executives would do in this situation: He laid off some of his workers.

The abrupt firing of thousands of employees solicited a new wave of outrage from Musk’s haters. But even if you remove him from the equation, Twitter couldn’t have gone much longer without massive layoffs. The same thing is happening across Silicon Valley. Last week, the online-payments company Stripe announced it would cut 14 percent of its workforce, as did the rideshare giant Lyft; Facebook parent company Meta looks poised to do the same. Like Wile E. Coyote, tech companies ran off the cliff long ago; only now is economic gravity starting to assert itself.

Many “unicorn” tech startups began with a few engineers and a product they wanted to sell, but over the past decade-plus, they have accrued a bloated bureaucracy of “equity”-minded h.r. activists, ESG-savvy consultants, affinity-group mavens, climate-change specialists, and many other email-caste hangers-on. Now that times are turning bad, tech companies can no longer afford to sustain a massive “court” of professional-class nobility, paying sinecures to sons and daughters of the good and the great who don’t know how to code or crunch numbers, but know how to write emails, hold useless meetings, and talk about diversity and inclusion.

Here, one is reminded of a social dynamic that took hold in the leadup to the French Revolution. In the latter half of the 18th century, France was trying to reform its increasingly dysfunctional army, and some of the reformers made an issue of the fact that commoners couldn’t get promoted to higher positions. Surely, a properly meritocratic army would be more efficient than one that saw itself as a place to park the listless, and often talentless, sons of the nobility. But all attempts to make the army accept non-nobles in commanding positions were defeated. The problem was that France now had a large class of impoverished nobles, for which some sort of exclusive jobs program was absolutely necessary. […]

A similar dynamic is operative in America today. The people who worked “on climate” at Twitter, now being given the ax by the perfidious Elon Musk, are openly complaining that they won’t be able to find jobs anywhere else in this economy. They are, of course, right to worry. One of the biggest and least-talked-about social questions in the West is how to economically provide for our own modern version of France’s impecunious nobles: that is, how to prop up high-status people who can’t really do much economically productive work.

In my own country, Sweden, the state picks up a lot of the slack. Here, small municipalities hire dozens or hundreds of communicators, consultants, and other plainly nonproductive personnel, and attempts to do something about it run into a very simple question: Where else are these people supposed to work? Who else would hire them? Though few will say it openly, the city of Uppsala’s nearly 100 communicators have nothing to do with communication, and everything to do with preserving social stability. It is, in essence, just part of a massive jobs program.

In America, that jobs program is only partially covered by the state. Private companies like Twitter have therefore been expected to shoulder the burden and make sure the scions of the professional-managerial class can find lucrative work, even when there is no real economic reason to pay them. That system is now buckling under the sheer amount of waste and parasitism that can no longer be covered up by cheap money and easy debt. Musk makes a useful scapegoat here, but none of this is his fault, nor could he change this dynamic if he wanted to.

[…W]ho right now is prepared for progressive, multiracial, demisexual rage, as the core social groups driving progressivism in America are hit the hardest by layoffs and the end of Silicon Valley subsidies?” That rage is no longer coming—it’s here.

(b) It’s heartbreaking to see people who’ve done good things jump the shark. One of my frequent reads, Powerline, threw overboard Paul Mirengoff (meanwhile blogging again at Ringside at the Reckoning) over his criticism of Trump. Now, with a bizarre, petulant attack on Ron DeSantis and those who support him, Trump appears to have lost Powerline stalwart John Hinderaker.

And it’s not just Powerline. Staunch supporters of what Trump stands for are turning on Trump himself.

For balance, I’m offering Tim Pool’s dissenting view.

And as much as I like DeSantis, creaming Charlie Crist — the only candidate with a trifecta of losing runs as a Republican, an Independent, and a Democrat — is something of a hollow victory.

Apropos some of Tim Pool’s comments on the consequences of mail-in voting: having been an election observer in more than one country outside the US, I can say that comparing the US electoral system to a colander would be unfair to the colander.

(c) [UPDATE] On second thought, this requires its own item rather than a spliced-in addendum. Did the “Red Wave” actually happen, just in the wrong places? Commenter “Rascal Nick Of” (heh) at Ringside at the Reckoning points to this item, which suggests despite GOP winning 6 million more votes nationwide, this translates into comparatively few seats due to gerrymandering and increasing blue-red self-segregation.

According to the Cook Political Report, as of Thursday morning, November 10, Republicans have won 50,113,534 votes, or 52.3% of the vote, compared to 44,251,768, or 46.2% of the vote. Republicans lead by 6.1%, which is better than their average in “generic congressional ballot” polls, in which the party led by 2.5% in the final RealClearPolitics average before the election. But Republicans have only managed to flip nine seats thus far — likely enough to control the House, but far short of a “wave” result many anticipated.

The mismatch between overall votes cast for Republicans and the actual result reflects the polarized nature of congressional maps. It also reflects the fact that Republican losses against many Democratic incumbents were very narrow. However, it could also suggest that Democrats ran a more effective campaign, concentrating resources where they were needed to defend their vulnerable positions.

This echoes what Victor Davis Hanson said yesterday about voter self-segregation into “blue country” and “red country”.

Keep in mind that whether you carry a congressional district by 51% or by 70%, the end result is the same —- one Representative elected… so increasing your lead in the popular vote, but mostly in districts that are already in your pocket, does not translate into gains in the House…

2022 Midterms update: red ripple quick takes

Speak of a nailbiter:

Also, Mike Huckabee pointed out that not one, but two D got elected posthumously.

Yes, I know, it was likely too close to the election to change all the ballots. Here, it would have been a non-issue since we don’t get to vote for individuals, only for party slates — there are pros and cons (pork-barreling for one’s district vs. lack of individual accountability, for one) of both.

According to Fox News at the time of writing, the GOP leads the Dems 207-184 in the House, and need just another 11 out of the remaining 44 to control the House.

In the Senate, 3 seats are undecided. Challenger Adam Laxalt (R) is leading in NV, incumbent Mark Kelly (D) in AZ, while Georgia will have a mandatory runoff. I still can’t believe Festerman flipped a PA senate seat. There are actually media talking heads saying he ought to run for POTUS in 2024 — speak of a coulroverse (clown universe) intersecting with “Harrison Bergeron”.

In Alaska, the GOP would have won the House seat, were it not for Sarah Palin and her rival splitting the vote. “When two dogs are fighting for a bone, the third runs off with it” (Dutch rhyming proverb: “Als twee honden vechten om een been, gaat de derde er mee heen”.). Meanwhile the Senate seat is still undecided — between RINO Barbara Murkowski and a more stridently Republican challenger, currently leading.


ADDENDUM 1: Tim Pool’s video below. About the re-election (for the PA State House, not the federal one) of deceased Tony DeLuca, he points out:

  • there will now be a special election
  • he was (posthumously) re-elected with a 85% majority, most of the remainder going to his Green opponent
  • but, most importantly, compared to the GOP, D voters are much more likely to “vote for a party” rather than “vote for a candidate”

Hence GOP candidates cannot simply run on “we suck less” or “stop the crazy” — they have to be personally charismatic to overcome that built-in disadvantage.

Meanwhile in Los Angeles, in the race for mayor — remember, of a city with a population larger than many US states! — businessman and former Republican Rick Caruso is neck-and-neck with looney-lib whackjob Karen Bass.

ADDENDUM 2: Dear G-d…


Democrats’ strategy of spending millions to boost pro-Trump candidates in Republican primaries appeared to pay off Tuesday as the party ended the night with a clean sweep of the races in which it chose to meddle.

All six of the Republican candidates who seemingly benefited from the meddling in their primary victories fell to their Democratic opponents. Those races include a number of key House and gubernatorial races, as well as the New Hampshire Senate race.

Democrats spent more than $40 million boosting those six GOP candidates, all of whom expressed support for former President Donald Trump as a leader of the Republican Party or were backed by him.

In New Hampshire, incumbent Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan easily defeated Republican and former Army General Don Bolduc, who was the Democrat-aligned Senate Majority PAC’s candidate of choice to face what many viewed as one of the more vulnerable Senate members.

The group, aligned with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, spent at least $3.5 million bashing moderate Republican state lawmaker Chuck Morse in an effort to boost Bolduc, who Democrats saw as the easier candidate to face Hassan.

Read the whole thing. I feel like recording a new version of this song with the modified chorus: [warning: lyrics NSFW in a French-speaking environment]

Putain, putain

C‘est vachement bien

Nous sommes quand-même tous des Américains

UPDATE 3: MSDNC talking heads “joking” about Lauren Boebert having to join OnlyFans. That’s like Al Capone decrying shoplifting.


The technical term in Hebrew for such “people” as the PMSLSD talking heads is mitz ha-zevel, literally: the “juice” of the garbage [dumpster].

UPDATE 4: Jules Crittenden (via Instapundit and Don Surber)

See what Insty has to say — don’t take my word for it. As I was brutally reminded in my personal sphere this morning:

Our little systems have their day

They have their day and cease to be

They are but broken lights of Thee

And Thou, O L-rd, art more than they.

Nothing is forever, except the Eternal G-d.

ADDENDUM 4: Riveting interview of Victor Davis Hanson on the midterms, hosted by Australian former deputy PM John Anderson on his channel.

Lots of points that overlap with what I’ve compiled over the past two days here, but one that bears stressing:

The “voting with their feet” of people who can’t take the wokebaggery in their blue states anymore (or, for that matter, who can’t take the “unwokeness” of their red states anymore) is gradually leading to self-segregation of the US population in ever bluer and ever redder states. Hence, outright mental cases like Gretchen Halfwhitmer, who would stand no chance in a ‘purple’ electorate, can get re-elected, while Florida goes from purple state to electing a Republican straight flush.

And Ace quotes stats:

Brad Wilcox @BradWilcoxIFS Married men broke Republican by 20 pts

Married women broke R by 14 pts

Unmarried men broke R by 7 pts

But *unmarried women* broke D “by whopping 37 pts”


ADDENDUM 5: in CO, Lauren Boebert vs. Adam Frisch headed for recount

And MSNBC hits bottom, digs