“Distributed denial of service” (DDOS) is a form of cyber attack in which a web server (for example) is flooded with requests from a host of computers spread all over the place to ensure it cannot be accessed by legitimate visitors.
By analogy, Tim Pool coins “distributed denial of business” (DDoB) and “distributed denial of law enforcement” where kajillions of simultaneous store robberies/shoplifts/… combined with insane catch-and-release policies for criminals, make it basically impossible for law enforcement to do its jobs.
(B) Opinion article about how the labor market value of college degree plummets as tuition soars and ever more money and teaching hours get spent on wokebaggery
So looks like the GA senate runoff was won by sanctimonious crook Warnock, and thus the antiDemocrats will have a 51-49 majority in the Senate. Ugh.
Meanwhile, a couple of other news items.
(A) Ukrainian long-distance drones have struck Russian military targets deep inside Russian territory — as deep as Engels in the Saratov oblast
(B) Dave Rubin briefly weighs in on the stunning leaks (via left-leaning but pro-free speech journalists Matt Taibbi and Bari Weiss) of documents about how the antiDemocrat regime suborned Twitter. The MSM is in full damage control mode.
(C) Interesting article in UnHerd contrasting two post-liberal models: “swarmism” — a loose collective of colluding actors taking collective action for which nobody is individually responsible — with “caesarism”, where one or a handful of maverick individuals are personally responsible.
BONUS: Robert Fripp, guitarist and band leader of King Crimson, and founder of the League of Crafty Guitarists, here leads a quartet in an arrangement of J. S. Bach’s Passacaglia in C minor for organ, BWV 582
Nurses, doctors and other healthcare workers are burned out after three years of the pandemic, and some are choosing to leave the profession, the experts said. […]
“They’re like, I don’t want to do this anymore,” Morgan continued. “I don’t want to do bedside nursing anymore. I’m leaving the bedside, and going to work in an ambulatory clinic, or I’m going to completely leave nursing as a profession at all, because this is just not what it was like to be a nurse before.”
Doctors and nurses leaving the profession has a direct effect on the ability of patients to receive care, particularly in rural areas,
[…] “What’s happened is that the facilities have scaled back their ability to admit patients and to provide care,” said Slabach, who has more than 21 years of experience as a rural hospital administrator. “Instead of having 25 beds open, they may only have 10 beds because they can adequately staff that. Then what happens is you have patients possibly being stacked in the emergency room.”
Unmentioned in the article is the increasing bureaucratization of healthcare, the undermining of physician autonomy (as Insty pointed out)…. the increasingly expensive schooling requiring more time to pay back student loans,… and the recent increasing emphasis in medical school on social engineering over academic rigor.
Who is John Galt?
Also, the recent stories in Canada about people in their fifties with non-terminal conditions, facing insufferable treatment lengths, being offered euthanasia as an alternative (the paralympian who just wanted a wheelchair lift installed being the most infuriating example) are a perfect illustration of one of the two endgames of socialized medicine. (The other, like increasingly seen in Germany and Israel, is a two-track healthcare system with a public bare bones service and private more comprehensive care).
The hijab headscarf became obligatory for all women in Iran in April 1983, four years after the 1979 revolution that overthrew the US-backed monarchy.
“Both parliament and the judiciary are working” on the issue of whether the law needs any changes, Mohammad Jafar Montazeri said in the holy city of Qom.
Quoted on Friday by the ISNA news agency, he did not specify what could be modified in the law.
The review team met on Wednesday with parliament’s cultural commission “and will see the results in a week or two,” the attorney general said. […]
After the hijab law became mandatory, with changing clothing norms it became commonplace to see women in tight jeans and loose, colorful headscarves.
But in July this year Raisi, an ultra-conservative, called for mobilization of “all state institutions to enforce the headscarf law.”
Many women continued to bend the rules, however.
(2) The Dutch Algemeen Dagblad had a screeching headline saying Trump called for the overthrow of the constitution. They of course could not be bothered with quoting him directly, let alone quoting him in context.
What Trump actually said is nothing of the sort — even as he continues to prove that he is his own worst enemy. Here are his actual words, via Byron York on Twitter. We quote, you decide.
If he insists on making 2024 about refighting 2020, he will end up with just a small hard core of supporters — who may follow him in a third-party bid, which is a prospect the [anti-]Democratic party are positively salivating about.
(3) Traveling around my native Lowlands and speaking with people outside the “academia bubble”: I was not surprised that an undercurrent of resentment existed against virtue-signaling “green” and “climate” policies — only by its red-hot intensity. Many of these were people getting squeezed between smallish fixed incomes or salaries and inflation that is easily three times the CPI adjustments based on the (artificially lowballed) official CPI — and especially drastically rising energy bills, which could have been avoided even during the Ukraine war without hare-brained “nuclear exits” and reliance on unreliable “renewables”.
Distaste for what is perceived as the “obsession with promoting” the ever-expanding categories of “alphabet people” (local code-speak for LGBTQWERTYUIOP) adds to things; the clear sense that many of the so-called “betters” dictating government policy are not only not experts, but not even very clever, piles on more. Increasing sense of unsafety in certain areas — it’s apparently come to the point that tickets on trains are only rarely checked anymore, as ticket-checkers are wary of physical confrontations with violent free-riders.
My interlocutors made a point of saying they had no quarrel with people of other ethnic origins or s3xual orientations — only with the political weaponization of them against the majority population.
If elections were held in Flanders today, for instance, the far-right Flemish Interest (formerly “Flemish Bloc”) and the conservative nationalist N-VA (New Flemish Alliance) would together constitute a majority. Judging from conversations I’ve had over the weekend, the people who are thinking of voting for them, or who say “a year of this is the only way things can get cleaned up here”, are not racist, nor extreme right-wingers, nor even particularly conservative (at least by the standards of ten years ago). I wouldn’t want to feed all those who described themselves as “recovering former socialists”.
As the AJC’s Daniel Schwammenthal put it many years ago, and was (to my surprise) cited by local politician Jean-Pierre Dedecker to this effect: if responsible parties keep ignoring a festering problem, don’t be surprised if you see irresponsible parties taking advantage by offering to address it.
UPDATE [hat tip: Yves not-Cohen]: multiple papers (e.g., India Today, quoting AFP) report that the Iranian Attorney-General Montaseri has declared today that Iran will disband the “morality police”.
Iran has scrapped its morality police after more than two months of protests triggered by the arrest of Mahsa Amini for allegedly violating the country’s strict female dress code, local media said Sunday.
Women-led protests, labelled “riots” by the authorities, have swept Iran since the 22-year-old Iranian of Kurdish origin died on September 16, three days after her arrest by the morality police in Tehran.
“Morality police have nothing to do with the judiciary” and have been abolished, Attorney General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri was quoted as saying by the ISNA news agency.
His comment came at a religious conference where he responded to a participant who asked “why the morality police were being shut down”, the report said.
The morality police — known formally as the Gasht-e Ershad or “Guidance Patrol” — were established under hardline president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to “spread the culture of modesty and hijab”, the mandatory female head covering.
The unit began patrols in 2006.
The announcement of their abolition came a day after Montazeri said that “both parliament and the judiciary are working (on the issue)” of whether the law requiring women to cover their heads needs to be changed.
President Ebrahim Raisi said in televised comments Saturday that Iran’s republican and Islamic foundations were constitutionally entrenched “but there are methods of implementing the constitution that can be flexible”.
On the one hand, they trumpeted (ahem) Händel’s music as an epitome of German musical genius, together with The Three B’s (naturally) and, of course, Wagner. Never mind that Händel spent the lion’s share of his professional career in England, and is seen by most Englishman as an English composer – in fact, teo of his pupils composed God Save The Queen and Rule Brittania.
Moreover, Händel’s oratorios were popular with audiences.
On the other hand, the Old Testament-themed ones were perceived as too “Jew-friendly”, not to speak of Judas Maccabaeus, inspired by the apocryphal (for Protestants) or deuterocanonical (for Catholics) First Book of Maccabees.
In the end, the regime did not ban the music at all, but sponsored “Aryanized” librettos where, for example, Yehuda ha-Maccabi became William of Orange and other Jewish heroes were replaced by Germanic war heroes and their exploits.
Cancel culture, rewriting history to fit the current narrative,… verily, there is nothing new under the sun, just powerful technologies to do so that the worst dictators couldn’t have dreamed of having.
Volokh versus New York Attorney General, “challenging a new state law that forces websites and apps to address online speech that someone, somewhere finds humiliating or vilifying.” “New York State cannot target constitutionally protected free speech by calling it ‘hateful conduct’.”
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.
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 twodinner participants andYe, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
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 😉
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.”
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?)
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:
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.
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.
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.”
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.
(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.
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”.
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.
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:
Which subversive conspiratorial text was that? Of course, none other than Psalms 46:10
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 ).
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.
“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.