Connect with us

Substacks

TGIF: Every Sperm Is Sacred Nellie Bowles

Published

on

Donald Trump introduces a new line of signature shoes at Sneaker Con at the Philadelphia Convention Center on February 17, 2024. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla via Getty Images)

Welcome back. Let’s artificially generate some news this week. What’s the worst that can happen? And remember, there is new TGIF swag. That could be you, with my head on your heart, just where I belong. So far the only known buyer I’ve heard from is my cousin, which seems right. 

→ Biden is doing a weird job reassuring voters: President Biden issued a military security statement via in-house produced video, meant to be a stabilizing sort of address about his commitment to our military allies, but also, it’s one of the president’s somewhat rare forays into the public eye. The video is two minutes long and has some 29 camera cuts in it. That’s a lot. When it appears our president can say only one or two words before the camera needs to cut, I don’t feel militarily calmed. 

In other vaguely alarming presidential news, Biden attacked Special Counsel Robert K. Hur for asking him what year his son Beau died, which Biden alleges was part of the damning report on his memory: “How in the hell dare he raise that? Frankly, when I was asked the question, I thought to myself, it wasn’t any of their damn business.” I agree! What a jerk. Except. . . Special Counsel Hur never asked that at all. It was Biden who brought up his son’s death during that interview. And Biden got the year wrong. 

Dems were shaken last week when the bard of the party, Ezra Klein, who I actually like a lot, came out saying Biden should retire and let a younger candidate run. Shock waves! “Are Democrats Over That Ezra Klein Piece Yet?” socialist publication The Nation asks. Here’s the thing: Biden is a pretty moderate, normal Dem, but for the young White House staff, his senility is a plus! We can Give Iran Nukes while he naps! This group will never let Biden retire. A fully awake Gavin Newsom might have his own ideas about things, like he might not let the White House go Full Houthi. A 115-year-old stuffed Biden? That’s perfect. And why not? A new Quinnipiac national poll has Biden beating Trump by four points. 

So Biden, be he alive or stuffed, will simply be kept cloistered away in the White House, maybe for decades. As one prominent leftist writer put it this week, politicians shouldn’t talk to reporters anyway. The best way to learn the truth about our government is through government press releases, which is what I always say, too. Hell yeah, David:

→ Trump selling sneakers: And how is the opposition party doing this week? Well, Republican front-runner Donald Trump went to an event called Sneaker Con to sell new Trump-branded “Never Surrender” golden sneakers, only $399. Fox News is convinced it’s election genius. Team Biden easily won the round, releasing this statement: “Donald Trump showing up to hawk bootleg Off-Whites is the closest he’ll get to any Air Force Ones ever again for the rest of his life.” I know we make fun of our politicians here in this column, but even I’m not jaded enough to handle a hypebeast presidential campaign. Are they going to have dueling streetwear collabs?

→ And the Trump legal troubles: There are many pending legal cases against our former president, and some seem legit and interesting. Others are obviously political, inspired by prosecutors who are thrilled to use whatever tools they have on hand to kneecap Biden’s opponent ahead of the election. When it comes to the New York cases especially, I agree with writer Jonah Goldberg, who says: “I mean I think he’s basically guilty and I have little personal sympathy for him given his contempt for the law, but the prosecutions are obviously political.” Because this week New York City Attorney General Leticia James won a $450 million civil verdict against Trump that also bars him and his family from doing business in the state for years for the crime of. . . inflating his net worth? Valuing properties in his favor? If it’s illegal to tell people you got a slightly better interest rate on your house than you did, and it’s worth slightly more than it is, then it’s been nice knowing you and please put some money in my jail account. 

From the NYT’s coverage of it: “Even though the lenders made money from Mr. Trump, they were the purported victims in the case, with Ms. James arguing that without his fraud, they could have made even more.” Right. Crime of the century. He would definitely be charged with this even if he weren’t running for president. For sure. 


Read more

 

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Substacks

June 18, 2024 Heather Cox Richardson

Published

on

By

 

Continue Reading

Substacks

My First Job, at the Stanford Internet Observatory Julia Steinberg

Published

on

By

Like a zillion other bright-eyed Stanford undergrads, I was drawn to work at a place that promised I’d “learn about the abuse of the internet in real time,” writes Julia Steinberg. (Photo by David Madison/Getty Images)

The Stanford Internet Observatory—a research center tasked with rooting out “misinformation” on social media—is shutting its doors. Chances are if you’ve heard of the SIO it was in a scathing piece from Michael Shellenberger or Matt Taibbi, who have accused the center of being a key node in the censorship-industrial complex.

It was also my first employer. Like a zillion other bright-eyed Stanford undergrads, I was drawn to work at a place that promised to “learn about the abuse of the internet in real time, to develop a novel curriculum on trust and safety that is a first in computer science, and to translate our research discoveries into training and policy innovations for the public good.” To me, that meant ending internet abuse like the glamorization of anorexia on social media or financial scams that steal billions every year. But mostly I worked on the Election Integrity Partnership (EIP), which SIO ran during the 2020 and 2022 elections. The purpose of that project was to identify so-called “fake news” spreading on social media. 

In actuality, SIO hired a load of interns to scan social media for posts deemed to be mis- and disinformation. It turns out that the posts we students flagged were often sent along to moderators at Twitter (now X), Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok, which took them down in order to quash dissenting viewpoints—viewpoints that sometimes ended up being right, as in the case of Covid likely being the result of a lab leak, or Hunter Biden’s hard drive being his actual hard drive—not Russian disinformation. 

Thanks to the work of independent journalists, the SIO’s work has come under a lot of scrutiny, including in Washington. A recent House Judiciary Committee report alleges that, by cooperating with the Department of Homeland Security, the SIO’s Election Integrity Partnership “provided a way for the federal government to launder its censorship activities in hopes of bypassing both the First Amendment and public scrutiny.” 

The SIO has stated that “Stanford has not shut down or dismantled SIO as a result of outside pressure. SIO does, however, face funding challenges as its founding grants will soon be exhausted.” But on June 13, Platformer reported that much of SIO’s staff was on the way out: “Its founding director, Alex Stamos, left his position in November. Renee DiResta, its research director, left last week after her contract was not renewed. One other staff member’s contract expired this month, while others have been told to look for jobs elsewhere, sources say.”

The Supreme Court will soon rule on a case, Murthy v. Missouri, that addresses whether the U.S. government should be able to collaborate with social media companies to censor commentary. The plaintiffs, in their brief, lambast SIO for its role in abetting government censorship. We’ll be watching that case closely.

Julia Steinberg is an intern at The Free Press. Read her piece on the college dropout who unlocked the secrets of ancient Rome using AI. And follow her on X @Juliaonatroika.

To support The Free Press, become a subscriber today: 

Subscribe now

 

Continue Reading

Substacks

My Promise to Palestine Chris Hedges

Published

on

By

When I accepted the Tafik Diab Prize for my writing on the genocide in Gaza in Cairo on June 10 I explained why the cartoonist Joe Sacco and I are planning to do our next book together on Gaza.

Written speech:

I would like to start with a story that happened to me in Gaza on October 5, 2000. One day I was working on a report at Natzarim (Jewish settlement). There were Palestinian boys near me. The boys threw rocks towards the Israeli army. A soldier shot one of the boys — and the boy died. Four boys each lifted up a limb and we ran. The incident aftected me to such an extent that I did not shave for three weeks. After three weeks, I went to visit the boy’s house to meet his family. I told his mother I was with her son when he was killed. The mother told me that when her younger son heard that his brother had been killed he went into the kitchen, and then he left the house. After ten minutes she asked her husband where her son had gone. They went out to look for him and saw him in the street with a knife in his hand.

She asked him, “Where are you going?”

He answered, “I am going to kill Jews.” I have never been able to forget that child. I often wonder where he is. He would be a man in his thirties now. Is he still alive? Married? Does he have children? Are he and his family frightened of the bombing? Where have they taken refuge? God willing, I will write a book on Gaza with the cartoonist Joe Sacco, the author of “Palestine” and “Footnotes in Gaza.” During that time I will look for him, I will complete his story and the stories of many others. Israel is determined to erase them from existence and from history. This is my promise.

Share if you enjoyed!

Share

The Chris Hedges Report is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.

 

Continue Reading

Shadow Banned

Copyright © 2023 mesh news project // awake, not woke // news, not narrative // deep inside the filter bubble