Thursday, January 21, 2021
Donald J. Trump departed the White House on Wednesday and left a Republican Party turned upside down.
Many Republicans tried not to let Mr. Trump change things, vowing never to vote for him or work in his administration — and to publicly shame those who did. Others bit their tongues and looked past his erratic behavior and racial grievances, justifying their indifference by pointing to the conservative policies he championed.
And there were others — comprising the most vocal segment of elected Republicans and a considerable portion of the voters who helped Mr. Trump win 10 million more votes than he did in 2016 — who are still with him, defying every last-straw prediction about the end of the iron grip Trump has on the G.O.P.
Here is a taxonomy of the types of Republicans Mr. Trump leaves in his wake.
Kenny Chow was born in Myanmar, and moved to New York City in 1987. He worked for years as a diamond setter for a jeweller, earning enough to buy a house for his family before he was laid off in 2011. At that point, Chow decided to become a taxi driver like his brother, scraping together financing to buy a taxi medallion for $750,000. This allowed him to operate as a sole proprietor, with the medallion as an asset.
For a while, everything went according to plan, with taxi medallions rising in value to more than $1 million. Then the bubble burst, and along came ridesharing apps such as Lyft and Uber. The value of Chow’s medallion plummeted, and it became harder to keep up the payments on his loan. In 2018, he took his own life.
We’d all recognise that Chow’s situation is unfortunate. But, arguably, he took a calculated gamble when he purchased a risky asset, and so some of us might be tempted to blame him for his own misfortune. According to one school of thought, when these sorts of bets don’t pan out, only the gambler is to blame. That might sound callous, but it’s indeed the attitude that many of us seem to hold, at least in the United States: a 2014 Pew Research report found that 39 per cent of Americans believed that poverty was due to a lack of effort on poor people’s part. When ‘effort’ includes an inability to properly weigh up the risks inherent in a decision, this suggests that, in the end, many of us think that people are responsible for their own bad luck.
I disagree with this view. But my reasons aren’t solely political or moral in nature. Rather, insights from complexity science – specifically, computational complexity theory – show mathematically that there are hard limits on our capacity to make accurate and precise calculations of risk. Since it’s often impossible to get a reasonable sense of what will happen in the future, it’s unfair to blame people with good intentions who end up worse off as a result of unforeseen circumstances. This leads to the conclusion that compassion, not blame, is the appropriate attitude towards those who act in good faith but whose bets in life don’t pay off.
Janet Yellen suggests 'curtailing' cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, saying they are mainly used for illegal financing | Currency News | Financial and Business News | Markets Insider
Janet Yellen, President-elect Joe Biden's nominee for treasury secretary, suggested on Tuesday that lawmakers "curtail" the use of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin over concerns that they are "mainly" used for illegal activities.
There has been a surge in interest in bitcoin; its price has soared by about 300% in the past year. Bitcoin was down 7.59%, to $34,183.57, on Wednesday, while Ethereum was down 9.74%, to $1,259.97, after hitting an all-time high of more than $1,430 on Tuesday.
Yellen's comments suggested the incoming Biden administration could be hostile to cryptocurrencies and ramp up regulation. Watchdogs around the world, from the European Central Bank to the UK's financial regulator, have recently expressed concerns about cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.
Sen. Maggie Hassan asked Yellen during her confirmation hearing on Tuesday about the dangers of terrorists using cryptocurrencies.
Well this is very bad and it has bugger all to do with illegal transactions. Unless you include in illegal transactions the mostly pathetic attempts of US citizens to shield their life savings from the depredations shortly to be visited upon them. All I can say is that when I think about this, which I try not to, it deeply pisses me off. We're all terrorists, don't cha know.
Former President Donald Trump can be convicted in an impeachment trial for his role in inciting the Capitol insurrection on Jan. 6 even though he is no longer in office, a bipartisan group of constitutional law scholars wrote in a letter Thursday.
“We differ from one another in our politics, and we also differ from one another on issues of constitutional interpretation,” wrote the signatories, which include the co-founder and other members of the conservative Federalist Society legal group. “But despite our differences, our carefully considered views of the law lead all of us to agree that the Constitution permits the impeachment, conviction, and disqualification of former officers, including presidents.”
This is a letdown.
The history of movie Westerns more or less begins with the end of the Old West itself. Westerns thrived in the silent era, and though the genre’s popularity has ebbed and flowed ever since — largely fading from view in the ’80s but enjoy several resurgences in succeeding decades — it’s never threatened to fade away. The Western is a vital genre with the habit of reinventing itself every few years that doubles as a way to talk about America’s history while reflecting on its present. A strand of violent, psychologically complex Westerns that appeared in the 1950s, for example, captures both changing attitudes toward the settlement of the West and the treatment of Native Americans while channeling the spirit of a country still recovering from a devastating World War. And while there are certain themes and elements that define the genre, it’s also proven to be flexible, capable of playing host to many different stories and an infinite variety of characters. In Paul Greengrass’s terrific new film News of the World, for instance, Tom Hanks plays a traveling newsreader whose attempt to return a girl to her family doubles as a tour of a country whose divisions look like clear roots to some of our current national troubles.
Why it took Twitter two weeks to get around to this is anyone’s guess, but one possibility is that they were reacting to the decision by the Trump administration to formally label what is happening in Xinjiang “genocide.” That determination was made one day before Twitter acted so it seems possible that’s what finally got their attention.
That darn Twitter. Those darn Chinese communists. They are a caution.
(Reuters) - Facebook Inc said on Thursday it was referring its decision to indefinitely suspend the accounts of former U.S. President Donald Trump to its independent oversight board.
Trump will remain suspended while the board, a recently created body that can overrule the company's decisions on content, reviews the decision. The board, which said it had accepted the case, will have a maximum of 90 days to make a ruling and for Facebook to act on it.
So just wondering, do these Overseers get to wear wigs and robes? Do they have titles? Do they have a special hall in which they meet? Are their deliberations public? In truth, Facebook looks a lot like an independent agency here.
Now that Donald Trump is a private citizen, the Senate should dismiss the article of impeachment against him for lack of jurisdiction. The Constitution is clear: “The president . . . shall be removed from office on impeachment . . . and conviction”—not by the expiration of his term before the impeachment process is complete. It also mandates that “judgment in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than to removal and disqualification“—not or disqualification.
Not just unconstitutional, but obviously, patently, ridiculously unconstitutional. Head slappingly unconstitutional. Just STFU unconstitutional. Get out of town unconstitutional. But who cares. It's not about the constitution. Even CJ Roberts reportedly wants nothing to do with it, which says something.
When Steve Jobs delivered his commencement speech to Stanford University’s class of 2005, he instructed them to find their passion. “You’ve got to find what you love,” Jobs said. “If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.” Jobs no doubt had their best interests in mind, but now Stanford psychologists say that his advice wasn’t actually the most helpful.
In a 2018 paper published in Psychological Science, they explain that if someone wants to successfully pursue their interests, they should “develop their passion” instead.
The difference between finding and developing your passion is nuanced but crucial, the team argues. Telling someone to “find passion” enforces the idea that each of us has a great passion within us and our life purpose is to realize what that is and be happy. That’s a dangerous mindset because it can limit the passions that a person ultimately pursues — and may prime them to give up if their passion is proving difficult to commodify into a job. “Urging people to find their passion may lead them to put all their eggs in one basket,” the researchers write, “but then drop that basket when it becomes difficult to carry.”
Oh. So "find your passion" is wrong, after all? Darn. I guess I can't justify being a barista at Starbucks while I try to make it in the movie biz. Maybe at 35 it's time to move on? Probably it's the case that you want to be at least mildly interested in what you get up to, or at least be able to make some money at it. Don't listen to psychologists -- always a bad idea.
Professor Calls For The Elimination of the Republican Party and Purging “Nazified” People From Congress, Universities, and “Regular Jobs” – JONATHAN TURLEY
The media has been airing discussion of hosts and leading figures like Katie Couric on “deprogramming ” Trump supporters or treating Trump supporters as a cult, including a CNN interview with an actual “cult expert.” Since that would include over 70 million Trump voters, the hyperbolic language can be dismissed as just more examples of our rage-filled political environment. After all, a few days after the election, a law professor declared that even questioning the Biden electoral victory was tantamount to being a holocaust denier. One professor however has taken this call even further in declaring such supporters are worse than the Nazis and heralding the need for the same type of treatment seen with the Nuremberg trials, including the apparent elimination of the Republican Party. Smith College Professor Loretta Ross, who teaches women’s and gender studies, rejected calls for unity and instead called for punitive action against supporters in Congress, universities, and “regular jobs.”
Well, that's not right. While she's at it, maybe *she* should get a regular job.
The steady drumbeat of reports about new variants of the coronavirus — first in Britain, then in South Africa, Brazil and the United States — have brought a new worry: Will vaccines protect against these altered versions of the virus?
The answer so far is yes, several experts said in interviews. But two small new studies, posted online Tuesday night, suggest that some variants may pose unexpected challenges to the immune system, even in those who have been vaccinated — a development that most scientists had not anticipated seeing for months, even years.
The findings result from laboratory experiments with blood samples from groups of patients, not observations of the virus spreading in the real world. The studies have not yet been peer-reviewed.
But experts who reviewed the papers agreed that the findings raised two disturbing possibilities. People who had survived mild infections with the coronavirus may still be vulnerable to infection with a new variant; and more worryingly, the vaccines may be less effective against the variants.
Sounds like Covid porn to me, but whatever.
Dr. Anthony Fauci on Thursday announced renewed US support for the World Health Organization — as he thanked the UN agency for its global efforts to combat the pandemic.
“I am honored to announce that the United States will remain a member of the World Health Organization,” Fauci, President Biden’s top medical adviser on COVID-19, said by videoconference to WHO’s executive board.
I feel safer already.
Wednesday, January 20, 2021
There’ll be much wailing and gnashing of NeverTrump teeth. But Trump’s pardons actually do us all a favor. Through his absurd and blatant venality, he has once again revealed the smelly little hypocrisies of the imperial presidency. Presidential pardons have long been a grubby business — just look at Bill Clinton’s monstrous clemencies as he left office (Remember Marc Rich?). It’s a useful reminder that executive power without legislative checks inevitably turns into a sordid betrayal the public’s trust. Or as Lil Wayne put it in his seminal work, ‘Pure Colombia’, ‘You think you’re calling shots, you got the wrong number. I love Benjamin Franklin more than his own mother.’
In its final days, the Trump administration is seeking to disrupt the way progressive activists increasingly impose their will on big business: through banks controlling the loan lifelines to the economy.
A regulation just finalized (update) aims to prevent lenders from blackballing businesses in industries opposed by the left by requiring banks to demonstrate that their loan decisions are “based on quantitative, impartial risk-based standards,” rather than political or reputational concerns.
The proposed Fair Access to Financial Services Rule (FAFSR) is a response to successful pressure campaigns waged by environmental groups and congressional Democrats, which culminated in every major American bank refusing to finance drilling projects in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), despite such drilling being authorized by President Trump in 2017.
Halfway through his first term, the Democratic governor of the nation’s most populous state is scrambling to control a pandemic that has crippled the southern half of California since Thanksgiving. The pandemic has given Republicans, long sidelined in this heavily Democratic state, a rare opportunity to wound him. And Newsom is laboring to keep the state — and his own political future — intact.
Top universities are already lobbying the incoming Biden administration to reverse a Trump-administration policy that required colleges to fully disclose foreign donations and halt investigations into alleged violations.
The American Council on Education (ACE), a lobbying group led by former Obama-administration official Ted Mitchell, is asking President-elect Joe Biden to "halt expanded reporting requirements" for contracts and foreign donations to universities. ACE represents nearly all of the major universities in the country, including top Democratic donors such as Harvard University, Stanford University, and the University of California system. The council called for federal regulators to abandon ongoing investigations into university coffers despite revelations that top universities hid billions of dollars in donations from foreign powers.
The diversity trainers then narrowed the focus to race, distributing another handout that outlines the concepts of “overt white supremacy” and “covert white supremacy.” The document claims that “lynching, hate crimes, KKK, neo-Nazis, [and] burning crosses” are “socially unacceptable” forms of white supremacy, while “education funding from property tax, colorblindness, calling the police on black people, BIPOC as Halloween costumes, not believing experiences of BIPOC, tone policing, [and] white silence” are “socially acceptable” forms of white supremacy.
This is a dangerous conflation. The trainers are attempting to extend the stigma of true social evils—slavery, lynching, Nazism—to any deviation from progressive political preferences, from property taxes to criminal justice to Halloween costumes. According to one teacher who attended the training, the handout originally listed “MAGA” as a form of “covert white supremacy,” but it was removed after public outcry. The principle, however, has remained: diversity trainers use the emotional overload of historical evils to justify the imposition of current dogma.
In late December, scientists in California began searching coronavirus samples for a fast-spreading new variant that had just been identified in Britain.
They found it, though in relatively few samples. But in the process, the scientists made another unwelcome discovery: California had produced a variant of its own.
That mutant, which belongs to a lineage known as CAL.20C, seemed to have popped up in July but lay low till November. Then it began to quickly spread.
CAL.20C accounted for more than half of the virus genome samples collected in Los Angeles laboratories on Jan. 13, according to a new study that has not yet been published.
Tuesday, January 19, 2021
With just one day left in President Trump's term, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has officially determined that China's campaign of mass internment, forced labor and forced sterilization of over 1 million Muslim minorities in Xinjiang constitutes "genocide" and "crimes against humanity."
WASHINGTON: President-elect Joe Biden plans to unveil a sweeping immigration bill on Day One of his administration, hoping to provide an eight-year path to citizenship for an estimated 11 million people living in the U.S. without legal status, a massive reversal from the Trump administration's harsh immigration policies.
The legislation puts Biden on track to deliver on a major campaign promise important to Latino voters and other immigrant communities after four years of President Donald Trump's restrictive policies and mass deportations. It provides one of the fastest pathways to citizenship for those living without legal status of any measure in recent years, but it fails to include the traditional trade-off of enhanced border security favored by many Republicans, making passage in a narrowly divided Congress in doubt.
The U.S. State Department announced last Friday it has evidence that researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), a laboratory in Wuhan, China, became sick in fall 2019 with flu-like symptoms. This has led U.S. officials to believe the researchers may have been infected with COVID-19 as a result of a lab experiment.
Creative writing workshops, which train a significant number of writers and editors today, have long faced similar problems. The workshop model that started at the University of Iowa in 1936 and grew in popularity during the Cold War encouraged a view of fiction as separate from politics, racial or otherwise. Students were taught to produce concrete renderings of individual experience, with greater focus on personal agency than on social or historical circumstances. These principles were referred to as craft, and distilled to what are now considered universal truths: A good story should be driven by character, not plot. It should show, not tell. But, as Matthew Salesses argues in his book “Craft in the Real World,” “what we call craft is in fact nothing more or less than a set of expectations. … These expectations are never neutral.”
Salesses is the author of three novels, as well as essays on adoption, grief and parenting. In this new book, he dismantles a number of assumptions that underpin the teaching of craft in workshops. For example, students are often advised to choose striking details — what John Gardner called “the lifeblood of fiction” — and leave out others that are too familiar. The trouble is that what stands out to, say, a disabled white character will be different from what stands out to a Black trans character, which will in turn be different from what stands out to an undocumented character. Minority students may be told to scrap what is striking to them in favor of what is striking to the dominant perspectives of their workshops, which Salesses points out are overwhelmingly white and cisgender. As a result, the students’ artistic choices may be stifled rather than nurtured.
Well, there goes fiction I guess. It was already on its last legs, tbf.
“Neither the President-elect, nor I, propose this relief package without an appreciation for the country’s debt burden. But right now, with interest rates at historic lows, the smartest thing we can do is act big,” Ms. Yellen will say, according to a copy of her opening remarks, which were reviewed by The New York Times.
It will not be an easy task. Democrats hold a slim majority in Congress and Republicans have already expressed concern about Mr. Biden’s plan and its impact on the budget deficit, which topped $3 trillion last year.
Brrrrrrrr!, as they say.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden plans to unveil a sweeping immigration bill on Day One of his administration, hoping to provide an eight-year path to citizenship for an estimated 11 million people living in the U.S. without legal status, a massive reversal from the Trump administration’s harsh immigration policies.
The legislation puts Biden on track to deliver on a major campaign promise important to Latino voters and other immigrant communities after four years of President Donald Trump’s restrictive policies and mass deportations. It provides one of the fastest pathways to citizenship for those living without legal status of any measure in recent years, but it fails to include the traditional trade-off of enhanced border security favored by many Republicans, putting passage in a narrowly divided Congress in doubt.
he Trump supporters who stormed the Capitol building on January 6 fervently believed that a massive election conspiracy was the only thing keeping the president from a legitimate second term. Trump’s claims were so extravagant—and the behavior of the rioters so appalling—that reasonable people might be tempted to conclude that all concerns over voting irregularities are unfounded, or, worse, a cover for extremism. Even before the election, many on the left were suggesting that any discussions about election vulnerabilities axiomatically constitute “disinformation.”
In fact, our electoral system is not as secure as it should be. Not surprisingly, citizens on both sides seem to trust it only when their party wins. Four years ago, of course, it was Democrats who claimed that the presidential election was “hacked,” and some, including the losing candidate herself, never stopped calling Trump’s presidency illegitimate. According to a 2020 Gallup poll, deep distrust in our electoral system goes back many years, though never before has it led to the kind of frightening violence we saw in Washington earlier this month.
Unfortunately, concerns about election security tend to be downplayed by whichever political party has won the most recent contest. That’s a mistake.
Monday, January 18, 2021
California Governor Gavin Newsom is trying to boost the state's sluggish COVID-19 vaccine rollout, arguing that states need more vaccines and clarity from the federal government as he faces a mounting recall effort from activists unhappy with his record in office.
Pritzker moves prisoners ahead of adults with high-risk medical conditions in vaccination line | WCIA.com
Now, after advocacy groups successfully lobbied the governor, his administration has moved prisoners up in line into ‘Phase 1b,’ ahead of the homeless, patients with pre-existing conditions, and into the same grouping with teachers, soldiers, police, and firefighters. Pritzker has not offered any specific explanation for his decision at recent press conferences, other than to say he is “effectuating equity.”
“I was shocked, frankly,” Senate Minority Leader Dan McConchie (R-Hawthorn Woods) said. “What the governor has been talking this entire time about his priority of saving lives; and yet in this case, he is prioritizing trying to decrease transmission over really decreasing mortality.”
McConchie graduated with a Master of Arts degree from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School where he specialized in bio-ethics, studying moral dilemmas in modern medicine.
“A 20-year-old convicted murderer who is going to be spending life in prison is going to get the vaccine faster than people who are on the outside — law abiding citizens,” McConchie said. “Not only do I think that’s wrong, I think it’s immoral.”
“This is something that really goes against the not only CDC guidelines, but really the plethora of medical science out there,” McConchie said.
Joe Biden's pick for a top Pentagon post works at a research center partnered with China's Peking University, a school that has long been eyed as a security risk by western intelligence.
Colin Kahl, whom Biden tapped for undersecretary of defense for policy, has served as a senior fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University since the beginning of 2018. The institute oversees the Stanford Center at Peking University in northern Beijing, which opened in 2012.
Recent Stories in National Security
Peking University, which is run by former Beijing spy chief Qiu Shuiping and has been linked to multiple espionage cases in the United States, recently updated its charter to require loyalty to the Chinese Communist Party, according to an NPR report. The school has also been ramping up its student and faculty surveillance system in what China watchers see as part of the government's broader crackdown on independent scholarship.
Kahl is not the first Biden nominee whose employer has business entanglements in China. Biden's pick for secretary of state, Antony Blinken, cofounded the consulting firm WestExec, which helped U.S. universities raise money from China without running afoul of Pentagon grant requirements, the Washington Free Beacon reported last month. WestExec scrubbed the details of this work from its website over the summer.
Ai Chinese chihuahua.
Somebody should read it and tell me if it's any good.
On regulation, Biden promises a return to the aggressive and sometimes imaginative enforcement of the Obama era. His administration is poised to reverse Donald Trump’s deregulatory moves across the board. Environmental, labor, educational, and many other rules will begin to resemble their pre-Trump form. Biden will also turn back the calendar four years in finance. Some working in newer areas, like financial tech and cyber currencies, may be shocked. During the last great push for financial regulation, under Obama, these areas were so marginal in the financial landscape that they captured little or no official interest. That won’t be the case this time around.
Biden’s choice of longtime confidant and former Delaware senator Ted Kaufman to run his transition suggests still more severe financial regulation. Kaufman in the past has pressed for stringent requirements on disclosure, reporting, and transparency in how brokers handle stock orders and automated trading, and for tough limits on how much Washington can tap Wall Street veterans for high-level government posts. He even suggested amending the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation to forbid banks from holding more than 10 percent of the nation’s deposits. Had his amendment passed, it would have forced the breakup or downsizing of some of the biggest banking names in the world. Biden also spoke during the campaign about establishing a Post Office bank, creating a government-run credit-reporting company, increasing access to capital in historically underserved communities, and extending mortgage lending to lower-income people.
Attorney General Bill Barr stood behind a chair in the private dining room next to the Oval Office, looming over Donald Trump. The president sat at the head of the table. It was Dec. 1, nearly a month after the election, and Barr had some sharp advice to get off his chest. The president's theories about a stolen election, Barr told Trump, were "bullshit."
White House counsel Pat Cipollone and a few other aides in the room were shocked Barr had come out and said it — although they knew it was true. For good measure, the attorney general threw in a warning that the new legal team Trump was betting his future on was "clownish."
Trump had angrily dragged Barr in to explain himself after seeing a breaking AP story all over Twitter, with the headline: "Disputing Trump, Barr says no widespread election fraud." But Barr was not backing down. Three weeks later, he would be gone.
The relationship between the president and his attorney general was arguably the most consequential in Trump's Cabinet. And in the six months leading up to this meeting, the relationship between the two men had quietly disintegrated. Nobody was more loyal than Bill Barr. But for Trump, it was never enough.
Sunday, January 17, 2021
The original Dodge Viper is a special car -- and today I'm reviewing the 1992 Viper. First I'll take you on a tour of this special Viper and show you all the quirks and features of one of the original Dodge Viper models built; then I'll get the Viper on the road and drive it -- and I'll let you know what it's like behind the wheel of Dodge's modern muscle car, the 1992 Viper RT/10.
Police retirements grow in Chicago, New York, Minneapolis amid anti-police backlash - Chicago Sun-Times
The number of police officers retiring in Chicago and other cities has soared amid a chorus of anti-police rhetoric that’s become increasingly loud over the past year.
In Chicago, 560 officers retired in 2020 in a police department that had about 13,100 sworn officers as of March, records show. That’s about 15% more cops retiring than during the previous year, when the number of retirements rose by nearly 30%.
In New York City, 2,500 cops retired last year, nearly double the number in 2019, according to the New York Police Department, which has about 34,500 uniformed officers.
Unfortunately for Gotham’s parents, the results have failed to meet the expectations of the woke crowd running the city government. Both Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza have repeatedly complained that the testing program is “unfair” because the students who wind up in the program “don’t reflect the diversity of the city’s population.” In other words, not enough Black and Hispanic students wind up in the advanced programs. So how does the brain trust at City Hall plan to “fix” this issue? Easy as pie. They’re going to do away with the entrance tests. (CBS New York)
China’s economic ascent is accelerating barely a year after its first coronavirus lockdowns, as its success in controlling Covid-19 allows it to boost its share of global trade and investment.
The world’s second-largest economy is set on Monday to report gross domestic product increased 2.1% in 2020, the only major economy to have avoided a contraction, according to a Bloomberg survey of economists.
That should ensure its share of the world economy rose at the fastest pace this century. Global output fell 4.2% last year, according to the World Bank, pushing China’s share of it to 14.5% at 2010 dollar prices -- two years earlier than expected.
These tech firms, which once claimed the mantle of free speech, have now become instruments of political censorship – arguably the most powerful the world has ever known. So powerful, in fact, that even the highest elected office in the free world is not enough to protect you from them. The question is: how did we get here?
As society at home became more organized around corporate climbing, our lives became an endless, round-the-clock effort to “excite admiration or envy,” where everything from “assertiveness therapy” to jogging to est helped the individual be better armed in the struggle for personal advancement.
This, apparently, is what Christopher Lasch saw when he looked at Americans grooving to Saturday Night Fever. These were not groups of people letting loose and having fun. They were lonely people grinding away the anxiety of life in a market-based society stripped of all ameliorative restraints, where “pleasure becomes life’s only business” in a dystopian “war of all against all.” In such a society, a narcissistic orientation isn’t deviance or illness, but a crucial adaptive strategy, with the unfortunate side-effect mentioned above: a growing inability to see the words fuck and fuck over as having different meanings.
The story in the media right now is about how extremist groups are looking for alternative social networks. That endeavor is unlikely to be successful, both because it is harder to build social networks than it might seem, and because internet service platforms like AWS and Stripe are blocking access.
What is likely to work in the short term, however, is email.
Deplatformed people and organizations are very likely going to double down on their mailing lists and concentrate on connecting directly to their constituents. Just as creators worried about feed-ranking problems have moved to email newsletters and platforms where they “own” their audience, so too will the deplatformed set.
In the case of President Trump, he has the benefit of starting with an enormous and engaged mailing list in which he will undoubtedly invest.
In the short term, this is going to create a problem for large tech companies that have overcentralized email.
Despite the fact that email is in theory a distributed protocol, in practice several large companies—such as Google via Gmail—have huge control over which emails get delivered and which are suppressed. This is a huge liability because it means that through internal employee pressure or external political pressure, Google may be forced to step back from the central promise of email, which is that you get the messages you want delivered to you.
If under pressure Google starts breaking the central promise of email, will people move to alternative providers? Maybe.
But the thing to recognize is that the internet is largely governed by a set of norms and implicit agreements about how digital traffic is handled, including the right of people to communicate with each other freely. Once those norms start unraveling, the internet can fall apart very quickly.
House Dems Launch Probe Into Capitol Attack, Pelosi Suggests Republican Lawmakers Could Face ‘Criminal Charges’ | The Daily Wire
Four prominent Democrats announced Saturday that they plan to launch a joint investigation into intelligence and planning failures that may have led to an attack on the United States Capitol that took place on January 6th.
The four committee chairs — House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA), House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), House Oversight Committee Chairman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY). and House Homeland Security Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) — will also be looking into whether members of the GOP assisted the Capitol rioters.
s supporters of President Donald Trump took part in a violent riot at the Capitol, users of the social media service Parler posted videos of themselves and others joining the fray. ProPublica reviewed thousands of videos uploaded publicly to the service that were archived by a programmer before Parler was taken offline by its web host. Below is a collection of more than 500 videos that ProPublica determined were taken during the events of Jan. 6 and were relevant and newsworthy. Taken together, they provide one of the most comprehensive records of a dark event in American history through the eyes of those who took part. Read more: Why We Published Hundreds of Videos Taken by Parler Users of the Capitol Riots | Inside the Capitol Riot: What the Parler Videos Reveal
Videos are ordered by the time they were taken. Scroll down to start watching or click on the timeline to jump to any point in the day.
Columbia law professor uses anti-male bias lawsuit to roll back the administrative state | The College Fix
A Columbia University constitutional law professor is using an anti-male and racial bias lawsuit to further his career goal: rolling back the administrative state.
Philip Hamburger’s New Civil Liberties Alliance is representing former Cornell University Prof. Mukund Vengalattore, who was denied tenure and lost professional prospects after a graduate student accused him of sexual misconduct.
But progressives want to do far more, crushing all opposition. It’s an unbalanced, cynical and fundamentally anti-democratic drive.
Notably, they want to expel the 140-plus Republicans in Congress who objected to certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s win.
“I believe the Republican members of Congress who have incited this domestic terror attack through their attempts to overturn the election must face consequences,” declared Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.). “We can’t have unity without accountability.” Well, purging your opponents is one path to “unity,” we guess.
Parler's chief executive John Matze and his family have gone into hiding after receiving multiple death and harassment threats, multiple US news agencies reported.Parler is a conservative social media app and is favored by supporters of President Donald Trump and claimed more than 12 million users. Following the Capitol riots, the app was removed from Apple, Amazon and Google servers.
The punitive banishment of Donald Trump from Facebook and Twitter has met with almost uniform approval from the president’s critics. So has the decision by Apple and Google to remove Parler, a Twitter alternative favored by Mr. Trump’s supporters, from their app stores. Many Democrats see these actions as a righteous and justified silencing, especially in light of Mr. Trump’s encouraging words for the mob that violently invaded the Capitol on Jan. 6. Even many of Mr. Trump’s supporters concede that Twitter and Facebook owe him no platform—that only the government has a legal obligation to respect the First Amendment.
Richard Epstein takes a different view. The gagging of the president by America’s digital behemoths provokes in him a mix of indignation and distress. A professor at the New York University Law School, he is the foremost libertarian legal scholar in the common-law world. (Mr. Epstein, 77, directs NYU’s Classical Liberal Institute, where I am a fellow.) We converse by Zoom, and he says that he’d tell Jack Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg of Twitter and Facebook, respectively, to “give Trump his account back.”
Mr. Epstein envisions the two CEOs as a captive audience: “I’d say to them, ‘Boys, you’ve got to lighten up. You have to be less confident that you know the truth about everything. You know you’re doing your job when you publish stuff on your site that you strongly disagree with, and not in winning the short-term battle of keeping this, that, or the other guy out.”
Mr. Epstein describes Mr. Dorsey’s Jan. 13 Twitter thread, in which the CEO purports to explain the ban on Mr. Trump, as displaying “a rare combination of hubris and ignorance, proof of how dangerous it is to have a committed partisan as an ostensible umpire.” Among many assertions that Mr. Epstein finds “questionable” in the thread is Mr. Dorsey’s argument that “if folks do not agree with our rules and enforcement, they can simply go to another Internet service.”
A hospital Covid-19 vaccination team shows up at the emergency room to inoculate employees who haven’t received their shots.
Finding just a few, the team is about to leave when an ER doctor suggests they give the remaining doses to vulnerable patients or nonhospital employees. The team refuses, saying that would violate hospital policy and state guidelines.
Incensed, the doctor works his way up the hospital chain of command until he finds an administrator who gives the OK for the team to use up the rest of the doses.
But by the time the doctor tracks down the medical team, its shift is over and, following protocol, whatever doses remained are now in the garbage.
SAN DIEGO (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden’s decision to immediately ask Congress to offer legal status to an estimated 11 million people in the country has surprised advocates given how the issue has long divided Democrats and Republicans, even within their own parties.
Biden will announce legislation his first day in office to provide a path to citizenship for millions of immigrants in the United States illegally, according to four people briefed on his plans.