Daily Pics, My Comic, and The Times
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"I'm sorry, Your Highness, but we can't put Humpty Dumpty back together again!" said the King's man.

The King, who was drunk, replied, "Let the horses try."


What do you call a print technician who decides to start painting portraits?

The artist formerly known as prints.


The unprecedented rain and flooding in California has forced celebrities to emerge from their mansions and force more selfie videos upon the unwary peasantry. One particular celebrity who travels on private jets and collects luxury sports cars posted a distressing video from near her $14 million mansion to say you are the reason for climate change.

"Let's all do our part," said the multi-millionaire comedian who has openly bragged on numerous occasions about living an indulgent life of overabundance, with extravagant purchases of multiple luxury sports cars and their massive, gas-guzzling engines.

"We need to be nicer to Mother Nature," added the woman who whimsically jet sets across the world on private jets when her multiple estates and massive luxury watch collections bore her.

Defenders of the celebrity have pointed out that she does not always use private jets to fly to exotic destinations of Italy, Maldives, and Tanzania, that sometimes she slums it by flying first class.

At publishing time, the celebrity was seen fleeing her flooded mansion in her $460,000 Lamborghini with the license plate that read, "G0 GR33N."


I got kicked out of a choir. They said I was a jailhouse singer.

I think it's because I was always behind a few bars.

And I didn't have the key.


Why didn't 4 ask out 5?

Because 4 was 2²

Quote of the Times;
“Every high civilization decays by forgetting obvious things… The fact that a chaotic and ill-educated time cannot clearly grasp that truth does not alter the fact that it always will be the truth. Our generation, in a dirty, pessimistic period, has blasphemously underrated the beauty of life and cravenly overrated its dangers. As for our own society, if it proceeds at its present rate of progress and improvement, no trace or memory of it will be left at all.” - G.K. Chesterton

Link of the Times;
1,616 Athlete Cardiac Arrests, 1,114 of Them Dead, Since COVID Injection:

Issue of the Times;
Too big to live, too loved to die: Big Tech's billion dollar curse of the free by Rupert Goodwins

Users may be the product, but we come with a hell of a price tag.

Consequences can come at you fast or slow. If you’re a trillion-dollar company, you get to choose which, a bit, but you can never escape completely.

Amazon is burning billions on Alexa because voice assistants need massive infrastructure but can't be monetized. Google Cloud is $700 million in the red as of last earnings and heading south to a state of madness like a New Jersey retiree. These are mature products in saturated markets. You don't need an MBA to know what will happen. But even the dean of Harvard Business School can't say when.

The big confounding factor is reputation. Take Alexa, which, as has been noted, is overwhelmingly used for a few simple tasks: playing music, setting timers, doing quick queries, switching lights. Shopping and advertising? Not so much. The issue for Amazon over those few popular use cases is that they are very popular. For some demographics among the elderly and disabled they're now part of their daily life. Millions more are habituated, with Alexa just being quietly useful when hands are full or pulling up a calculator app is just too much hassle.

Amazon's model was to sell the hardware at or below cost and make the revenue from content and services. It's a perfectly good model, if those services and content are as engaging as video games, or user data can be folded into ad targeting. None of this is true for Alexa, and it never will be. But if Amazon cuts and runs, hundreds of millions of users have had an intimate part of their life ripped out. One, furthermore, they considered paid for when they bought the gadget in the first place. How badly does Amazon want not to do that? It costs billions. It can't keep paying. But it can't just let it go.

Google is in an even worse position, not from the amount of red ink currently bleeding from its Cloud division, but because of its room to manoeuver is far less. There are around 4 billion email accounts in the world, and around 1.8 billion of those are Gmail. When you run a service for that many users, they run you.

Forget smart speakers, the ultimate digital assistant is email. You can’t get more intimately entwined with a user’s digital life than that. As well as business and personal correspondence, email is the primary management interface for identity on other services, the major personal archive, the butler of daily life.

Losing access to your primary email account is beyond traumatic. Google is notably brutal in pulling the plug on popular services it considers no longer interesting, but surely Gmail would be impossible to shrug off. And it must be profitable, with all those users. Right?

It is very far from clear that it is. Google isn’t saying. Gmail, like G Suite-cum-Workspace and the whole bouquet of user and business-facing appified services, is reported as part of Google Cloud, which is losing a lot of money now and perhaps a lot more next year. There are subscription models and a little advertising which will be making some money. Clearly not enough.

An easier way to judge Gmail’s hue in the revenue spreadsheet is to ask yourself as a personal Gmail user, how much you’re being monetized. The old adage that if you don’t pay, you’re the product, cut both ways. Products cost, especially if you’re buying billions.

Advertising within Gmail is very low key and easy to avoid altogether, and Google is very clear that it doesn’t monetize your email content: “We do not scan or read your Gmail messages to show you ads.“ Google has played fast and loose about how it uses data, but if it cheated here it would be beyond catastrophic.

If Google isn’t making any money from you on Gmail, and there are billions like you, the numbers can explode in no time. Even if the company’s only losing a cent a day per free user, that's $3.5bn a year for a billion users. It could be a lot more - Workspace business subscriptions start at 20 cents/day, and doesn’t offer much more than free. Disentangling what each component costs is impossible from outside, probably even within Google, but there’s a tightrope here and a fall could be very hard indeed.

Google couldn’t kill Gmail, but Gmail could kill Google. You haven’t failed until you fail at scale.

Are there no off-ramps? Big losses can be attractive sink-holes for fiscal engineering – you think Musk’s Twitter investors expect an operating profit? – and one traditional way out of a corner while saving face is to hive off the haemorrhage. Amazon could flog Alexa off to a third party for lots of someone else’s money, in the way many untenable tech acquisitions are used as debt management vehicles. When the system does die or degrade, Amazon will be far from the wreckage. That’s nearly impossible for Google, the regulatory ramifications and user pushback from selling 1.8 billion active email accounts would be measured in megatons.

Will Gmail fail? Google is still immensely wealthy, and can put off hard decisions for a while. Next year is going to be very hard, quarter by quarter, and the conversation may look very different in 2024. But while Amazon can and almost certainly will find a way out of Alexa, Gmail matters incomparably more to incomparably more people.

There may be no good exit strategy for Google, and so the question becomes – is there one for you?

News of the Times;
The War on Merit Takes a Bizarre Turn:

Charlie Brown’s Inside Job:

Missouri Defies Democrat Politicians, Executes Evil Transgender Child Murderer:

Alanis Morissette Admits Music Industry Is Run by Elite Pedophiles: ‘They’re ALL Child Rapists’:

A federal judge essentially says parents have no rights over their children:

Guess What: Electricity isn't Free:

New Crime Report Confirms 96% of Hate Crimes in NYC are Perpetrated by Black Americans:

US helped Ukraine target Russian generals, sink Moskva, book reveals:

This mob caused a New Year’s Eve riot in Germany:

The naked truth on the Hunter Biden laptop coverup:

Biden completes worst US-Russian prisoner swap in recorded history:

Gall out in the ‘open’ at the US border:

The ‘Green Energy Creates Jobs’ Scam:

CDC Changes BMI Charts as Childhood Obesity Skyrockets:

The Perpetually Endangered Polar Bears are Doing Great:
When my music teacher heard me sing, she said I should be tenor.

Ten or twelve feet away from her at all times.


My wife packed my bags and told me to leave...

As I was headed out the door, she said "I hope you die a long, slow, painful death!"

I said, "So now you want me to stay?"



Here's a question for all you mind-readers listening right now.

I quit my job pulling bones out of hams, it was a shankless job.

I don't know the secret to happiness, but I do know I've never been sad at a Mexican restaurant.

I'm at a place in my life where errands count as going out.

I don't regret things I did wrong, I regret the good things I did for the wrong people.

Just before I die, I'm going to swallow a whole bag of popcorn kernels, just to make the cremation a little more exciting.

Look, I promise to always be fair, honest, straight-forward and considerate... all the way up until they draw my Powerball numbers, then, it's a maybe...

When someone yells "Stop", I never know if it's in the name of love, it's Hammer-time, or if I should figure out what's that sound.

In case no one has told you today, I'm beautiful.

You know, I try to make protein shakes, but they keep coming out as Margaritas.


My generation's zombies didn't run.

They walked.

In the snow.


They ate the brains they could find and they liked them.


Every weekend, I say to myself, "Susan, you've got to stop drinking."

Thankfully, I'm not Susan.

Quote of the Times;
"HAPPY NEW YEAR to all of the Radical Left Democrats, Marxist Lunatics, China loving Coco Chow and her Obedient Husband, Mitch, and Clueless RINOS, who are working so hard to DESTROY our once great Country. More importantly, HAPPY NEW YEAR to the Incredible, Brave, and Strong American Patriots who Built, Love, and Cherish America. The REAL leaders of our Country will always remain FAITHFUL and LOYAL to you. The USA will be back, Bigger & Better & Stronger than ever before. GOD BLESS YOU ALL!" – Donald Trump

Link of the Times;
Politics and the English Language:

Issue of the Times;
The Year Reheated by

In which we marvel at the mental contortions of our self-imagined betters.

The year began with a lesson in pronouns and pretending, or dishonesty-on-demand, courtesy of the suddenly ungendered Laurie Penny – now, it seems, a they, depending on who’s nearby and how fashionable they are. And so, we pondered animal pronouns, clown pronouns and pronouns that can change randomly, depending on whim, several times a day. Such is the hamster-wheel world of competitive self-definition.

We also flicked through the pages of The Atlantic, where senior editor Honor Jones, a woman oppressed by comfort and fidelity, shared a somewhat bewildering account of her divorce from a loving and faithful husband. Chief among her reasons were a desire to “be thinking about art and sex and politics and the patriarchy,” a feat no married woman can apparently hope to achieve, and a dislike of crumbs – a recurring topic, mentioned seven times.

And we witnessed the denouncing of racist traffic cameras. Which is to say, devices that record which demographics speed and run red lights, and endanger lives, much more often than others. Writing in ProPublica, Emily Hopkins and Melissa Sanchez conjured a remarkable series of excuses for repeat offenders, who were presented as oppressed, as “activists for racial equity,” and all but heroic, despite some committing 11 offences in a single year. Humdrum notions of personal responsibility were of course avoided, leaving readers to suppose that the only conceivable explanation for the lawbreakers’ behaviour, and consequent fines, was “structural racism.”

In February, we were treated to cultural sustenance, courtesy of Finland’s creative powerhouse Iiu Susiraja, whose artistic immensity has enthralled us before, and regarding whom, the Los Angeles Times gushed, “Kierkegaard comes to mind, as do Sartre and Dostoevsky.”

We also witnessed the mental unspooling of San Francisco school board members, among whom mismanagement and conspiracy theories are elevated to an art form, and for whom two hours spent debating whether a gay white dad is sufficiently “diverse” to join a volunteer parent committee is a perfectly normal use of one’s time.

And via The Independent, we heard of the latest moral crisis and cause of deep mental “trauma” – namely, aircraft seatbelts and insufficiently commodious plus-size bath towels.

March brought us the exquisite agonies of listening to rap while woke and white, along with an implication that one of the most hazardous of words to use, and from which All Decent Non-Racist People are expected to recoil, is simultaneously one to which All Decent Non-Racist People are obliged to be drawn. Say, when listening to rap. Failure to enjoy endless repetition of the word in question is, we were assured, “the silencing of intellectuals in music,” and, inevitably, evidence of racism.

Pale devilry cropped up again, as educator and activist Maia Niguel Hoskin, writing in Forbes, told us that when a black millionaire celebrity publicly slaps another black millionaire celebrity, this is all the fault of white people and “white supremacist culture.” You see, for an educator and activist, the way to be “anti-racist” is to erase any agency, and any expectation of self-possession, from people with brown skin.

We also witnessed a display of intersectional ruggedness, thanks to Ailish Breen, a being with pronouns, and her troupe of ostentatiously “queer hikers,” who regard a simple walk in the countryside as both “quite political” and a basis for complaint, and for whom the very air is yet another a form of oppression. Among the troupe’s many grievances was the phrase “conquering the outdoors,” a term whose weight bears down on their delicate souls. That the expression refers to overcoming one’s own limitations or imagined limitations – which among the less pretentious is generally regarded as a good thing – somehow escaped their notice.

In April, we pondered more diverse identities, and the media’s euphemistic convolutions when covering said beings and their activities. Say, when publicly using a wheelie bin as a sex toy.

We also noted several educators whose paycheque and woke status depend on propagating failure and resentment among the young and impressionable. As when Dr Asao Inoue, of the University of Washington, Tacoma, dismissed students’ proficiency in English as “selfish” and “immature,” a surrender to “white supremacy.” For Dr Inoue and his peers, a student’s ability to convey their thoughts in writing – and to formulate thoughts by writing – is merely a manifestation of “white language supremacy,” an allegedly lethal phenomenon.

And we were captivated by the parenting skills of Mr Jay Deitcher, a social worker and therapist. Writing in Today, Mr Deitcher informed us that his “mind spiralled into darkness” whenever his two-year-old son exhibited even rudimentary signs of being male. A toddler’s coverall with pictures of footballs on it, given as a present, resulted in much weeping and was promptly hidden away so as “never to be found.” Other causes of mental spiralling included a fondness for songs about tractors. At which point we were left to consider the prospects of a father-son relationship premised on a dogmatic, near-hysterical disdain for maleness, for “anything deemed masculine.” A category that includes “playing football,” “cleaning a car,” or any kind of “manual labour.”

Pronouns cropped up again, not for the last time, in May, when Kelsey Smoot, “a cultural and gender theorist, a writer, an advocate, and a poet,” boasted that her friendships – sorry, them’s friendships – are based on an ultimatum. Namely, that anyone in her orbit must perceive what they are told to perceive, rather than the physical reality staring back at them. Ms Smoot, who is not-at-all unhinged, also boasted of keeping count of even accidental “misgenderings,” which enables her to excommunicate any friends or acquaintances who fail to hallucinate. Ms Smoot, we learned, expects “concerted effort” from those who wish to partake of her personal magnificence. Her fascinating self.

We also explored the minefield of modern progressive manners, thanks to the practiced neuroses of New York Times contributor Ms Raksha Vasudevan, for whom the word “white” is a go-to pejorative, and who tells us she lives on “Arapaho and Cheyenne land,” i.e., in Denver.

We heard one parent’s account of the psychological abuse of her 12-year-old daughter, who had been told, in class, that the routine insecurities of puberty were in fact evidence that she must be transgender. We thereby entered a world of activist educators for whom a “safe space” is one in which middle-school children are ideologically groomed by unqualified misfits, conspiratorially, in secret, and while actively avoiding parents’ knowledge or consent. A subterfuge we’ve encountered more than once.

And we cast a widened eye over the middle-school libraries in Loudoun County, Virginia, where woke librarians don’t find anything inapt about 11-year-olds learning about the general awesomeness of prostitution. Because “high-end escorts” can “pull in half a million dollars a year.” Librarian Stefany Guido suggested that “some students” – again, 11-year-olds – could be considered “sex workers,” which, in her mind, is just like being an architect. Though it seems to me that an 11-year-old “sex worker” would be an abused child, a child being trafficked. Not, I think, an ideal aspiration for the pre-pubescent.

The mixed messages of campus life cropped up in June, when students at Adelphi University were told they must “not discriminate” against registered sex offenders, as if this were information of no utility whatsoever, while simultaneously being urged to report and denounce “dating violence,” “lack of consent,” and “incapacitated sexual contact.”

Elsewhere in academia, at Norway’s Oslo Metropolitan University, we met Dr Martin Moen, an activist for trans rights, and whose rather convoluted apologia for child molestation gave new meaning to the words contrived and transparently dishonest.

The radical ruminations of dysmorphic men continued in Washington, where a panel of activists and self-styled educators engaged in a taxpayer-funded mission to enlighten lesser beings. Mr Ganesha Gold Buffalo, a trans activist and prostitute, told us that his expertise, a term I use loosely, is rooted in the “sounds of my ancestors screaming from outside my window, coming from the ground, coming from the earth.” His mind, we learned, “was decolonised” in nearby woods by howling “nature spirits.” Needless to say, a great many pronouns were stipulated – among them, she, her, and goddess. Other terms of address included cyborg, unicorn, and Wakanda.

Oh, and via charts and number-crunching, we learned of the quite significant correlation of blue hair dye and serious mental health problems.

Woke theatre criticism and its complications were topics in July, as two Toronto Star reviewers, Aisling Murphy and Karen Fricker, applauded each other, and thereby themselves, for seeing an indigenous play and submitting to strict conditions on what they may subsequently write about it. Indigenous theatre, we discovered, requires approval that is both pre-emptive and unanimous, and its writers, actors and directors must be exempt from unflattering feedback, i.e., reviews of a kind that paying customers might have found useful, had they been available. Untroubled by irony, the critics, or rather non-critics, then bemoaned the ongoing, quite rapid decline of their profession and of the wider newsprint media.
Cultivated incompetence was also championed by the Oregon Health Authority, on grounds that “urgency is a white supremacist value.” Whereas, in matters of health, tardiness and lack of forethought are apparently aspirational, a woke ideal.

We also noted the scrupulously intersectional priorities of Canadian women’s shelters, where a deranged dysmorphic man roaming the halls wearing only a bra and brandishing his genitals, along with several stolen kitchen knives, was deemed of much less importance than the fact that a female resident had dared to “misgender” him. Setting aside the man’s threats to use his collection of knives on female residents, one can’t help thinking that a man who demands access to a women-only space, and to be perceived as a woman like any other, and who then goes out of his way to show, repeatedly and unequivocally, that he is not in fact what he claims… well, this probably tells us something. The words that come to mind being submissively pretend and psychological bullying.

In August, we were treated to some scholarship from the world of “queer studies” – in particular, the research of Mr Karl Andersson, a PhD student at the University of Manchester. Mr Andersson wanted us to know, at length and in some detail, just how often and how vigorously he masturbated to shota, a Japanese genre of erotic comics featuring young boys. That this paedophilic self-pleasuring – sorry, “ethnographic fieldwork” – had been approved by Mr Andersson’s supervisors doubtless speaks to the lofty standards that prevail among practitioners of “queer studies,” and in academia’s Clown Quarter more generally.

We also turned for mental betterment to Scientific American, where Camilo Garzón and science historian Rebecca Charbonneau fretted about space exploration and signalled their sensitivities with an enormous list of things that they consider problematic. A list that includes the remote locations of telescopes, the concepts of civilisation and intelligence, and the “colonial” violation of hypothetical microbes, whose autonomy and wellbeing would apparently be desecrated by human curiosity. We were also told, repeatedly, albeit unpersuasively, that those who can construct orbital telescopes and land robots on distant planets should defer in matters of science to those who can’t.

September brought us more boutique identities, thanks to activist, author and illustrator Maia Kobabe – pronouns eir and ey – whose pornographic cartoons for middle-school children had not been universally well-received by parents. These parental concerns were, however, dismissed as merely “a very organised effort to erase trans and queer and non-binary voices.” There being no other possible reason to object to eleven-year-old children being exposed to “vagina slime,” fellatio, and “strap-on hotness,” or the joys of masturbating while driving. All of which met with enthusiastic approval from TIME magazine’s Madeleine Carlisle.

Theatrical complications also came via Canada’s interim Green Party leader, a dysmorphic woman who expects everyone else to refer to her as “he” and “they,” but also sometimes “she,” and who was rendered distraught by an on-screen caption with pronouns that didn’t correspond with her preferences at that particular moment.

We also marvelled at the intricacies of progressive club-going and intersectional dancing, all of which has to be carefully organised and ruthlessly policed. Lest the wrong colour people gyrate near each other.

And identitarian struggles thrilled us once again, with news from the National Autonomous University of Mexico, where two rival student tribes – lesbians and the transgendered – were fighting for territorial possession of a ladies’ washroom. Thus unfolded a tale of nerve-shredding trauma and fearless self-involvement, as the toilets in question were given an extensive makeover via the uplifting medium of graffiti. Indeed, with so much graffiti to be scrawled on walls, and then responded to indignantly with additional scrawling, students were soon reporting queues and “lengthy wait times.”

The assumptions and psychology of the Activist-Wanker Caste were poked at in October, as vandalism and traffic obstruction hit British headlines on an all-but-daily basis, and with emergency vehicles being paralysed by the woke and well-heeled. The general public was not, it has to be said, overly sympathetic to this antisocial roleplay. However, and rather conveniently, the combination of practised self-involvement and feeling powerful at others’ expense turns out to be its own reward. For a certain kind of person.

In the pages of Scary Mommy, where wokeness and woo routinely coincide, Ms Annie Midori Atherton enthused about the merits of paranormal parenting – specifically, witchcraft. Several “real witches” were consulted for their wisdom, with their “magical knowledge” including the need to “harness the power of crystals,” and checking one’s jewellery for ancestral “emanations.”

And we also parsed some contrived racial grievance in the pages of the Globe and Mail, whose readers were led to believe that expectations of workplace professionalism are terribly racist, and that brown-skinned employees must be allowed to “bring their whole selves to work.” A wholeness of self that includes behaving in ways likely to be “interpreted as violent or aggressive.” A dislike of being bullied by the emotionally incontinent is, we were told, merely evidence of “deep, inherent bias and deeply inherent systemic racism.”

Those still getting up to speed with the notion of preferred pronouns were doubtless thrilled, in November, by the arrival of preferred adjectives, whereby the self-esteem of the psychologically marginal can be maintained, albeit shakily.

The sociopathic mouthings of Sophie Lewis also widened eyes, with Ms Lewis, a feminist “theorist” at the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research, keen to “abolish the family.” By which she means, all families, including yours. This mission of familial disintegration would, we were assured, and despite all evidence to the contrary, only have positive, indeed utopian, outcomes. When not wishing for the destruction of other people’s family bonds, Ms Lewis passes the time by championing abortion, via drugs or dismemberment, as a form of “anti-violence,” a corrective killing of the “violent” foetus.

And we also met Duke University’s Kathy Rudy, a lecturer in Women’s Studies and self-styled “queer theorist,” who told us, “I know I love my dogs with all my heart, but I can’t figure out if that love is sexually motivated.” Readers who have been licked by a dog and somehow not found the experience particularly erotic were told that, “The line between ‘animal lover’ and zoophile is not only thin, it is non-existent.”

The year drew to a close with the annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association, among whose members “decolonisation” and railing against “white supremacy” are very much in fashion, and “anthropology of the self” is The New Hotness. Expectations of evidence, however, are both old-hat and oppressive, on grounds that “scepticism is violence.”

Similar noises echoed at Montreal’s Concordia University, where even light is being “decolonised” – by people with salaries and lots of taxpayer subsidy. Apparently, “all physicists and other scientists” should divert time and effort from their actual work in order to become familiar with indigenous “bodies of knowledge.” Presumably, on grounds that one simply can’t do physics or astronomy without a detailed knowledge of magical talking beavers and rival chiefs stealing the Moon. “Feminist theory” and “critical race theory” will of course be brought to bear, as these things are “part of physics in a holistic sense.”

And at Carleton University’s School of Journalism and Communication, assorted luminaries of the Canadian media expressed their bewilderment at why their line of work doesn’t inspire the expected deference among the general public. The word hate was deployed frequently, with little regard for meaning, and panellists insisted that being a journalist on Twitter, where readers can tweet mockery and corrections in close to real time, is indistinguishable from surviving in an active warzone. Other mortal hazards included pejorative use of the word woke – one of many things that can induce “anxiety, depression and post-traumatic distress.” Possible explanations for the public’s failure to hold their betters in high regard remained oddly untouched, however. Even when Hill Times columnist and “anti-racism expert” Erica Ifill boasted that she doesn’t bother to interview white men. And who did so confident that she would not be challenged by any of her peers, or by any of the would-be journalists gathered in the audience.

Yes, our betters at large. These, then, are the heights to which we must aspire.

News of the Times;
House Democrats Pick Top Leadership That Includes Zero White Men:

In 2019, 40 Democrats Called Ukraine’s Nazi Azov Battalion a Terrorist Org. Now They Send It Billions:

Report Says CIA Is Behind Attacks Inside Russia, Using NATO Ally:

Woke and broke U.S. Army now accepting recruits with ADHD, other "behavioral challenges":

NYC robbery crews drug unsuspecting men, some fatally:

White Brooklyn Parole Officer Sues for Racial Discrimination in Federal Court, Called “Snowcone” By Colleagues:

Tesla Owner Stranded At Supercharger Station On Christmas Eve After Cold Weather Paralyzes Battery:

A startup says it’s begun releasing particles into the atmosphere, in an effort to tweak the climate:

Biden Approved Infrastructure Bill - Mandated Kill Switches coming to Cars by 2026:

Non-Profit Focused on Ending Cash Bail Shuts Down After Being Sued for Release of Offender Who Shot Man Days After Being Bailed Out:

Hollywood lost a half trillion dollars in market value in 2022:

Studios Ignore Henry Cavill at Their Own Peril:

Japan Is Getting Serious About Its Security:

Japan Embraces Nuclear Power, Cancels Phase Out Plans:

2022 was the year we realised we're now fighting Cold War II against China:
Why is Covid better than Southwest?

Because it’s airborne.


What do you call a paper airplane that can’t fly?



Tragedy struck Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky Friday as he shot himself in the eye with a rocket launcher he had received only days before as a gift from the United States.

Zelensky was eager to try out his new gift in the backyard of his home. Unfortunately, the target of Russian President Vladimir Putin he set up was too close to his garage, causing the rocket to ricochet back and hit him in the eye. A source on the scene reported that Zelensky yelled out "Oh, fudge!" before falling to the ground in pain.

Zelensky had appeared before Congress earlier in the week asking for additional funds to support his country's war with Russia. He also made an impassioned plea for his own gift: an official, carbine action, 200 shot, range model rocket launcher with a compass in the stock and this thing which tells time.

Congress initially denied the request, with Nancy Pelosi saying that rocket launchers are dangerous and "you'll shoot your eye out." But Mitch McConnell ultimately came through, telling Zelensky that he had a similar rocket launcher when he was just eight years old.

Fortunately for the Ukrainian president, he was wearing his glasses at the time which protected his eye from any permanent damage. In the aftermath of the accident, Zelensky was able to work up some fake tears and persuade Congress to give him another $47 billion for a new pair of glasses.


A woman goes to the Doctor, worried about her husband's temper.

The Doctor asks: "What's the problem?"

The woman says: "Doctor, I don't know what to do. Every day my husband seems to lose his temper for no reason. It scares me."

The Doctor says: "I have a cure for that. When it seems that your husband is getting angry, just take a glass of water and start swishing it in your mouth. Just swish and swish but don't swallow it until he either leaves the room or calms down."

Two weeks later the woman comes back to the doctor looking fresh and reborn.

The woman says: "Doctor that was a brilliant idea! Every time my husband started losing it, I swished with water. I swished and swished, and he calmed right down! How does a glass of water do that?"

The Doctor says: "The water itself does nothing. It's keeping your mouth shut that does the trick".


The secret to a pizza joke... in the delivery.

Quote of the Times;
American speech is brash, brutally honest, blunt, direct, and yes - “offensive.” Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. This is who we are. It’s who we have always been and who we always will be. We will tell the world uncomfortable truths even when they don’t want to hear it. So take your “hate speech” and “disinformation” and go pound sand. - Torba

Link of the Times;
Buttigieg Knew: State AGs Warned Transportation Agency Of Airline Debacle Months Ago:

Issue of the Times;
In 2023 The Lazy Analyst Won't Keep Up With Geopolitics by Tom Luongo

Before I took on my current persona as either a “Putin Stooge,” a “shill for the Fed,” or a naïve apologist for neoliberalism, I used to be a chemist specializing in process efficiency and root cause analysis.

While I learned many things during those twenty-plus years, the most startling conclusion I came to was that laziness has a real place in process improvement.

If you really want some industrial or bureaucratic process streamlined, give that job to the guy who most hates having his time wasted. He will invariably find a way to make that ‘work’ into something he only has to do sparingly.

It led to one of my first rules of organization, if you want something done right give it to the “lazy” guy.

That “lazy” guy isn’t really lazy.

What he is, is unmotivated, because all he sees is waste and waste offends his narcissism. Nothing is worse than wasting his time doing unnecessary tasks. So, give him some tedious thing to improve and he will find not only the fastest way to do it, but also very likely the best way because while he doesn’t want his time wasted, he also doesn’t want to be yelled at by someone he sees as inferior.

Only then will you get an honest day of work out of someone like him.

It’s not like I wouldn’t know this from personal experience or anything.

When I was a chemist, I was obsessed with doing everything I could to optimize internal processes, be it shaving a few seconds here or there off a temperature program to analyze heavy metals by atomic spectroscopy or optimizing the deposition rate of a plating bath.

For me, the goal was always the same, work hard now to generate free time later to devote myself to something more valuable.

I benefited from having a less stressful work environment, the company benefits from lower COGS and the goodwill you generate leaves you far less vulnerable to middle-management scrutiny.

It was this ‘laziness’ that afforded me hundreds of hours over the years to pursue my hobbies while at work. Those were, in short, board gaming, monetary theory and politics.

One could say y’all are now the ‘beneficiaries’ of all that ‘laziness.’ (sic)

While podcasts are all the rage now, and with good reason, during my last ‘corporate’ job (which is really stretching that definition) I consumed every internet radio show I could on gold, the 2008 financial crisis, and the Buffalo Sabres.

But simultaneously I also produced reams of data in service of putting strict process controls on a novel nickel-boron coating whose lack of such had the company hemorrhaging capital.

Respect the Order

What you learn in all of this is that “order of operations” matters.

Coders understand this explicitly. So do engineers. It’s especially true in chemistry, where for one reaction to take place another reaction has to happen before it. Do it in the wrong order and you get a mess at best, or blow up the building or poison yourself at worst.

Switching metaphors, in your typical “euro-style” board game, the order in which you take the actions necessary to fulfill your strategy matters greatly. In these games, where luck is minimized or removed completely, players fight for access to a limited number of places to ‘do a thing,’ be it play a card, place a worker, build a city or whatever.

The goal is to collect more of what you need to win while subtly denying your opponent what he needs.

Sometimes you have to make a sub-optimal move for yourself in order to block someone else getting to that thing that would benefit them more. It’s incredibly passive-aggressive, but it’s also instructive, because it is so unabashedly human.

Math has it’s order of operations as well, PEMDAS for short — Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication/Division, Addition/Subtraction. We’ve all seen the quizzes on social media testing our knowledge of this.

It is this attention to the order of operations that is important in trying to make sense of what’s going on in the world today.

One of my most common complaints with my ‘libertarian brethren’ is that they are always jumping to ‘end-game’ while not thinking through the moves that get us there.

In monetary theory we can do the math and realize the system is doomed.

By taking that variable and adding it into the political mix we can solve the geopolitical equation and then make grand pronouncements about the where everything winds up.

While this is an important first step in waking people up, it’s also absolutely why, as a political force, ‘libertarians’ are spent. Ron Paul broke through into the popular zeitgeist in 2008 and 2012 with “End the Fed” and his critiques of foreign policy.

The problem was, however, the movement never grew up. It never engaged with the world that was versus still selling the world we’ll never get.

And rightly, people wandered away looking for those with real answers to today’s problems.

I’ve been there and made many a decision based on the equation I solved only to be frustrated like many others by the future not working out like the model I’d constructed.

The typical cope then is to scream, “Corruption!” and bitch about them rigging the gold price or trashing Bitcoin or whatever. And don’t get me wrong, I’m with y’all on that. They are rigging the markets, intervening at every turn, if not turning them into completely fake markets.

But that should have been expected. Because in the proper ‘order of operations’ those with power and money will always react to defend themselves against the growing realization that they are fucking us over.

Remember, they’re trying to ‘win’ this game as well.

And so, if they can get to that richer spot on the board before you do, they will. Don’t bitch about the game board being tilted against you, accept that it is part of that mini-game and widen your perspective on the larger game afoot.

And that’s the real problem. We have too many ‘lazy’ analysts who got red-pilled, saw the game for what it was and stopped at “anger” rather than doing the hard work of reaching ‘acceptance.’

This is where we are today and why, for many, the world is so hard to make sense of.

The Larger Bowl

When you realize that everyone’s incentives map to their own particular definitions of winning that’s when real headway can be made in understanding.

Because here’s the thing. Our insights into the world aren’t novel or unique. In fact, more often than not they are just our finally understanding the reality that’s always been in front of us. We’re latecomers to a geopolitical party that’s been going on for decades.

I know I feel like that on more days than I care to admit.

They’ve finally told us what their end game looks like. It speaks to a confidence of their making that’s real. If we ignore the order of operations of how we get to our preferred outcome — a decentralized world with private property and sound money that should maximize human dignity — the irony is we’ll have a lower probability of it occurring on any time line that matters to us or even our children.

This is why I’m willing to see The Fed and the NY Boys as our temporary allies in that fight for human dignity. They have their definitions of winning the game they’re playing and should act accordingly.

So, while we should all long for the day that these assholes are dead and buried by the natural forces of decentralization and entropy, there are a thousand interstitial steps that have to happen first.

And it won’t matter if bitcoin eventually wins if the world goes through a sixty year Dark Age in the meantime. That’s not leadership, that’s cowardice.

So, yes. Davos has their definitions of winning. The Russians have theirs. China theirs.

And we need to have ours.

It is this curious admixture of incentives, this coincidence of wants, that is the interesting part. It’s where the game actually lives.

And while we don’t have a crystal ball as to how well everyone in the game will respond to these pressures and counter-pressures, with an accurate map of their incentives we can, at least make some observations.

The problem for many is they checked out long before they’d even identified the players at the table, so the game seems incomprehensible and the players wiser and more powerful than they actually are.

That’s why I think this year is going to be one of the most interesting to analyze in real time and why we all have to up our game.

Laziness only gets you so far, it may get you to the root cause of the situation, but that’s when the real work begins.

News of the Times;
Every social media firm censors for US government – Musk:

How Twitter Rigged the Covid Debate:

Zelenskyy Hires Globalist BlackRock CEO Larry Fink To Oversee Ukraine’s Money Laundering Scam:

NYC crime spiked 44% in first months of 2022:

Migrant Surge at Border Strains El Paso:

Liberalism is a philosophy of consolation for the West as it commits suicide:

Funny what even a flimsy border fence can do...

GOP Sellouts Gave Biden Regime $11 MILLION to Target Gun Owners in Repulsive Omnibus Bill:

The $1.7 Trillion Omnibus Spending Bill Is Being Flown to Biden's Caribbean Retreat for Signing:

2022 Man of the Year: The Ghost:

Vandals attack 4 power substations on Christmas – 17,000 without electricity:

3 dead in Kurdish center shooting in Paris; suspect arrested:

Social Worker Secretly Begins Transitioning Young Girl Without Parental Consent, School Faces No Repercussions:

San Francisco unveils taxpayer-funded open-air Christmas market that's become dystopian hellhole:

Chip Roy Completely Explodes At Democrats On House Floor Over Omnibus:
My wife told me to get out of the house because I can’t stop singing Christmas songs.

I said, “But Baby, it’s cold outside.”


Be careful driving on the holidays.

The roads will be crazy.

A lot of guys get drunk so their wives will be driving.



They say money can't buy happiness, but I just brought home a bunch of discount Halloween candy.

If I went to hell, it would take me a week to realize I wasn't at work.

The inventor of the wind chill factor died recently. He was 82, but felt like he was 64.

I'm glad we're the kind of people who aren't above pairing wine with nachos.

Being funny at work is a delicate balance between being funny enough to entertain your co-workers but not so funny and get sent to HR.

I may look fine, but deep down inside, I don't remember any of my passwords.

I remember when a "new hip joint" meant someplace I wanted to go on a Friday night.

Shin: a device used to find furniture in the dark.

My goal is no longer to get more done, but to have less to do.

I'd admire the rich if they weren't so miserable.


Upon being caught in a lie, my boss ask me, "Who's stupid, me or you?".

I told him he doesn't hire stupid people.


I’m not saying it’s cold outside, but…

I had to take a chisel along when I walked the dog to free him from a fire hydrant.

Quote of the Times;
"We simply have no other choice but to protect our citizens. But we are ready to negotiate with all the participants in this process about acceptable solutions, but that's their business - it's not us who refuse to negotiate, but they." – Russian President Vladimir Putin

Link of the Times;

Issue of the Times;
Your Government Hates You by MN Gorden

Capital Consuming Gluttony

Did you know that in fiscal year 2022, federal tax receipts as a share of gross domestic product (GDP) hit a near record high of 19.6 percent?

According to the U.S. Treasury, in FY 2022, total federal tax receipts and additional federal government revenue topped $4.90 trillion. Yet, over this time, Congress spent $6.27 trillion. The difference, the 2022 deficit, was $1.37 trillion.

The difference, of course, was made up with debt. And year after year, decade after decade, these deficits have stacked up into a mega pile of debt. Presently, the U.S. national debt is over $31.4 trillion. As a reference point, in December 2000, the national debt was $5.6 trillion.

In other words, over the last 22 years the U.S. national debt has increased 460 percent. U.S. GDP over this same time, however, has increased just 157 percent, from about $10 trillion to 25.7 trillion.

You’d think with all that cash coming in from near record tax receipts as a percent of GDP Washington could balance the budget. Maybe it could even run a surplus and pay down some of the national debt.

President Andrew Jackson, for example, paid off the entire national debt in 1835 after just six years in office. He then took the federal government surplus and divided it among indebted states.

Alas, that’s not how the U.S. government works in the 21st century, where near record tax receipts will never be enough. Washington’s capital consuming gluttony is well beyond the reach of a human solution. Nature will have to take its course.

Skyrocketing Fiscal Year 2023 Deficit

It doesn’t take big brains or a sharp intellect to understand that spending more than you make for decades on end is a terrible way to build wealth. Many great nations have tried it. None have been able to sustain it, indefinitely. They’ve all failed. The U.S. is no different.

We believe 2023 will further the divergence between the national debt and GDP. Specifically, the national debt will continue to grow much faster than GDP. In fact, it’s already happening.

The first two months of FY 2023, which commenced in October, are off to a slow start. Federal revenue rose just 1 percent. At that rate, federal revenues would increase by 6 percent in FY 2023, as compared to a 21 percent increase in all of FY 2022.

As noted by the Wall Street Journal, individual taxes rose 4 percent while corporate tax revenue fell 6 percent. Other revenue, which includes Federal Reserve payments from interest on its bond holdings, dropped 21 percent. These Fed payments will turn to deficits in 2023 as the central bank shrinks its bond portfolio.

So, unless the federal government dramatically cuts it’s spending to be inline with slowing revenue the FY 2023 deficit will skyrocket. Perhaps the debt market will apply some constraints…

The federal government, after decades of mass money printing, now has rampant consumer price inflation to contend with. For this reason, the Treasury can no longer count on the Fed to create credit out of thin air to buy Treasury notes. To do so would be counter productive to the Fed’s inflation containment program.

Now, for the first time since quantitative easing was hatched in late 2008, if Washington wants to borrow money to finance its ridiculous spending programs it will have to do so with loans from honest Treasury investors. Some may find today’s yields worthy. Others may not.

Mayors for Guaranteed Income

The point is the federal government will have to exclusively rely on a class of discerning lenders to finance its deficits for the first time since Lehman Brothers vanished from the face of the earth. And while the federal government may have some unfamiliar constraints to deal with, the real pain will be felt by state and local governments.

During the coronavirus fiasco many state and local governments took a ride on the federal government’s gravy train, which was powered by mega amounts of printing press money. State and local politicians, who are generally much dumber than they look, took this one time, event driven largesse from Washington and used it to establish new, and everlasting structural spending programs.

This week, for example, we discovered there are at least 82 municipalities across 29 states that are promoting guaranteed income programs. And more than 70 of these municipalities have pilot programs created in the past year. There’s even a coalition of over 100 mayors, aptly titled Mayors for Guaranteed Income, that are advocating for them.

How do these forward-thinking mayors intend to pay for these guaranteed income programs?

They intend to raid federal pandemic assistance money from a $350 billion fund for state and local governments within the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act, adopted in March 2021. Remember where this money comes from; that is, it comes from you…the American taxpayer.

Adding to the army of dependents reliant on government for their daily bread is beyond foolish. People who receive ongoing handouts slip into apathy. They become unwilling and unable to provide for themselves. They become dependents for life. And what happens when the guaranteed income can no longer be guaranteed?

Without question, these guaranteed income programs are epic disasters in the making.

Your Government Hates You

Lastly, we’d be remiss if we did not mention the federal government’s bipartisan $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill that’s making its way through Congress at the time of this writing. This 4,155-page whopper is a Christmas tree bill in the truest sense. Special gifts to various interest groups are hung on every branch.

But what’s actually in it?

The headline accounts are vague. There’s the amorphous $858 billion for defense. There’s also the nebulous $772.5 billion for domestic priorities. What could these be?

If you’re unclear about just how absolutely screwed we all are, here we turn to the Heritage Foundation: for lucidity:

“[The Omnibus bill] contains billions in wasteful spending on ridiculous political pet projects, including the following:

• $1.2 million for “LGBTQIA+ Pride Centers” and another $1.2 million for “support services for DACA recipients” (aka helping illegal aliens with taxpayer funds) at San Diego Community College.

• $477,000 for the Equity Institute in Rhode Island to indoctrinate teachers with “antiracism virtual labs.”

• $1 million for Zora’s House in Ohio, a “coworking and community space” for “women and gender-expansive people of color.”

• $3 million for the American LGBTQ+ Museum in New York City.

• $3.6 million for a Michelle Obama Trail in Georgia.

• $750,000 for “LGBT and Gender Non-Conforming housing” in Albany, N.Y.

• $2 million for the “Great Blacks in Wax” museum in Baltimore.

• $856,000 for an “LGBT Center” in New York.

• $750,000 for the “TransLatin@ Coalition” to provide “workforce development programs and supportive services for Transgender and Gender nonconforming and Intersex (TGI) immigrant women in Los Angeles.”

This, my friends, is your tax dollars at work. This is also an ear-piercing siren signaling the end is nigh.

The fact of the matter is that if you work hard, pay your own way, believe in free speech and traditional values, and fear God, your government – the dirty cadre of elites and insiders – hates you.

There’s no other way to explain it.

News of the Times;
7,000 more Americans than usual have died every WEEK from the knock-on effect of pandemic restrictions:

Former Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal arrested for child porn:

Holiday Classic Takes On New Meaning As Jimmy Stewart’s Post-War Struggles Bleed Into Film:

Biden Says He Threatened Congress With “Holy War” If They Didn’t Do What He Wanted:

Report: Attacks on Christian Churches Nearly Triple in Four Years:

Elon Musk Received Perfect Response from Most Unique Twitter Account:

Doctor Euthanizes Woman With Dementia, Her Family Held Her Down When She Resisted:

Editorial calls out Twitter for 'unreported' political contributions to Biden:

Man accused of starving dog twice gets 6 to 12 months in jail:

Florida subpoenas medical groups defending child mutilation in transgender Medicaid lawsuit:

Elementary School Teacher ARRESTED After Filming Sex Act In Front OF Class:

Half-Naked Drag Queen Teaches Kid to Twerk in NYC as Parents Watch Calmly:

Emails reveal Nancy Pelosi’s office was directly involved in security failures on Jan 6:

Church changes Christmas carol lyrics to recognize 'queer and questioning':

Major leftist news site doesn't want people to have kids:
I always say, "Morning" instead of "Good morning".

If it was really a good morning, I'd be fishing.


I thought my new girlfriend might be the one.

But when I went through her drawers and found a nurse's uniform, a French maid's outfit and a police woman's uniform, I figure if she can't hold on to a job, she's not the on for me.



Never make snow angels in a dog park.

There aren't very many vitamins in beer, which is why you need a lot of it.

Only a dog could show up at a Christmas party, empty-handed, not speak to anyone and still be the most popular guest there.

They need to change the phrase, "vacation request" to "vacation awareness" because I'm not requesting anything, I'm making you aware you won't see me.

The only time I passionately knocked everything off a table, I was making room for a pizza.

I noticed yesterday that the hardest thing about a Monday morning is when people asked what you did over the weekend, and you have to remember.

All bad things must come to an end, too.

Askhole: a person who often asks for your advice but does the opposite of what you recommended.

Whisky may not be the answer, but it's always worth a shot.

People want the front of the bus, the back of the church and the center of attention.


Top 5 Jokes the Elves are sick of hearing:

Who sang "Blue Christmas?" Elfis

What's an elf's favorite sport? Miniature golf.

What pictures do elves take with their phones? Elfies

What kind of cars do elves drive? Toy-otas

If athletes get athlete's foot, what do elves get? Mistle-toe.


Jessie is a friend.

He has a pet squirrel that brings him tacos.

I wish that I had Jessie's squirrel.

Quote of the Times;
To understand the true quality of people, you must look into their minds, and examine their pursuits and aversions. – Aurelius

Link of the Times;

Issue of the Times;
What the Hell Happened to PayPal? by Rupa Subramanya

In 1998, the payments app was created to empower individuals. Today, it’s a cornerstone of our emerging social-credit system.

One by one, they go to start their business day only to find a baffling message from their payments app informing them: “You can no longer do business with PayPal.”

There is little or no explanation. They have somehow offended the sensibilities of someone somewhere deep inside the bureaucracy.

They are simply told via an email from PayPal’s Risk and Compliance Department that, after an internal review, “we decided to permanently limit your account as there was a change in your business model or your business model was considered risky.”

In case there is any doubt, the email adds: “You’ll not be able to conduct any further business using PayPal.”

Then, toward the bottom: “If you have funds in your PayPal balance, we’ll hold it for up to 180 days. After that period, we’ll email you with information on how to access your funds.”

If you’re one of the lucky ones and your account has just been suspended, you can go to customer service, explain your situation and hope that someone gets back to you. If you’ve been banned, you’ll need an attorney to file a subpoena for the internal PayPal documents—simply to learn why you’ve been banned. (Good luck getting unbanned.)

These are entrepreneurs, writers, academics, activists—the very same people PayPal, whose mission is “democratizing financial services,” was meant to empower.

PayPal won’t say how many of them it has suspended or banned. In June 2021, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and other civil-liberties groups wrote a letter to PayPal and Venmo, calling on them to open up. So far, they have not, said Aaron Terr, director of public advocacy at the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression.

The people who founded PayPal—the so-called PayPal Mafia—include Peter Thiel, Elon Musk, David Sacks and Max Levchin. All are champions of free speech. All have expressed shock and dismay at what is happening to the company they created. Several founders agreed to talk with The Free Press for this article.

“If the online forms of your money are frozen, that’s like destroying people economically, limiting their ability to exercise their political voice,” Thiel told me. “There’s something about destroying people economically that seems like a far more totalitarian thing.”

When they launched PayPal, in December 1998, the founders imagined themselves connecting people to the global economy by sidestepping the hefty fees charged by credit-card companies and the inflationary policies of poorly run governments. Early PayPal users had Palm Pilots, and they would beam money from their devices to anyone with an email address. It was especially popular among eBay users.

“PayPal will give citizens worldwide more direct control over their currencies than they ever had before,” Thiel said at a company meeting, in late 1999. “It will be nearly impossible for corrupt governments to steal wealth from their people through their old means, because if they try the people will switch to dollars or pounds or yen, in effect, dumping the worthless local currency for something more secure.”

Since those early heady days, PayPal has amassed 429 million active accounts. Fifty-eight percent of Americans use PayPal, and in 2021, there were 19.3 billion PayPal transactions. It now has a market valuation of $84 billion.

But the company that was meant to liberate countless individuals is becoming something else.

Increasingly, it is becoming a police officer. It is deciding what is right and wrong, who gets to be heard, who is silenced. It is locking out of the financial system those people or brands that have slipped outside the parameters of acceptable discourse, those who threaten the consensus of the gatekeepers. The consensus is hard to articulate; it is an ideology lacking clearly defined ideological contours. But the tenets of that consensus are unmistakable: the new progressive politics around race and gender are a force for good, the Covid lockdown was just, the war in Ukraine is noble, and an unfettered exchange of ideas and opinions is an unacceptable threat to all of the above.

One of the people who apparently posed an unacceptable threat was Eric Finman.

On July 18, 2021, Finman, 24, a Bitcoin investor and entrepreneur, woke up to learn that PayPal had declared war on the startup he’d launched four days before.

The idea of Finman’s startup, Freedom Phone—basically a rejiggered Android with an American flag on it—was to give individuals access to whatever app they wanted.

Apple’s App Store frequently bans apps—like Metadata+, which notifies users every time the United States conducts a drone strike in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. By contrast, Freedom Phone’s app store lets anyone download anything. That includes Parler, the far-right social-media platform the App Store temporarily suspended, and Twitter, which the App Store recently threatened to kick out.

Apparently, that didn’t sit right with PayPal, which banned Freedom Phone permanently from the app. (This came days after Shopify and Amazon Pay did the same.) “I just felt my stomach completely and utterly *drop*,” Finman messaged me.

To add insult to injury, PayPal held up $1.2 million in payments to Finman’s company. Eventually, Finman got his money, but the delay, he said, “killed all the momentum.”

Or consider Colin Wright.

The evolutionary biologist received his Ph.D. from U.C. Santa Barbara in 2018 and writes critically about gender ideology.

In June, he was kicked off PayPal—and, soon after, Etsy, where he sold t-shirts and mugs promoting his newsletter. PayPal told Wright that, if he wanted to know why he’d been ejected, “an attorney or law enforcement officer must submit a legal subpoena.”

“A lot of activists have tried to cancel me, and that’s just because I talk a lot about the sex and gender debate,” Wright told me. Since these activists, Wright said, ”don’t really have a good response, they just try to make it so that everyone who has good arguments isn’t able to make a living by talking about it.”
Then there’s British journalist Toby Young.

Young is the founder of the Free Speech Union, an advocacy group, and the editor-in-chief of the Daily Skeptic, which has questioned the efficacy of Covid vaccines.

On September 15, 2022, PayPal informed Young that his personal account had been suspended. A few minutes later, he learned the Daily Skeptic’s account had also been shut down. A few minutes after that, he learned the Free Speech Union’s account was defunct.

In under a half-hour, he’d been cut off from the financial-services world.

“I was appalled when I discovered PayPal had suspended my accounts,” Young told me. “The authoritarian, social-credit system developed in China was now being implemented in the West, except instead of ideological compliance being enforced by the Chinese Communist Party, it was being policed by a woke capitalist corporation.”

Other recently suspended PayPal accounts include Gays Against Groomers, which opposes “the sexualization, indoctrination and medicalization” of children; and UsForThem, and Law or Fiction—both U.K.-based groups that opposed the British government’s response to Covid, including school closures and mandatory masking. PayPal has also suspended the accounts of the anti-establishment site ConsortiumNews, which has criticized U.S. involvement in the Ukraine war; and several alt-right and Stop the Steal activists.

Nor do you just bounce back from being shut out. Wright said it takes years to build a core audience—the people who click on the recurring-payment box on your PayPal account. “When PayPal cancels that, it’s not like I can just bring those 200 people to another payment processor,” he messaged me. “Those are cut off permanently. Maybe I can send them all an email and ask people to sign up elsewhere, but there’s gonna be a major, major major drop off because people have to whip out their credit cards again on a whole new system.”

Nobody outside PayPal really knows how this process works. There is no clear cause and effect. The likeliest scenario involves a user posting something deemed problematic on a social-media platform, and an activist or PayPal employee flagging this, and then, without warning, PayPal shutting down the account.

When I asked a PayPal spokesperson about the company’s suspension policy, she emailed me: “PayPal has and will continue to enable free speech and expression, while appropriately protecting our customers and platform from fraud, counterfeiting and other illicit activities.”

To make sure none of the haters fall through the cracks, PayPal has teamed up with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and Southern Poverty Law Center—which has labeled as “extreme” the Family Research Council, a conservative activist group; Charles Murray, a political scientist best known for co-authoring the controversial 1994 book The Bell Curve; and Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somali-born critic of Islam and supporter of women’s rights, among many others.

The collaboration features a research initiative that examines how extremists in the United States use financial platforms to fund their activities; the results are to be disseminated throughout the financial-services industry and shared with policymakers and law enforcement.

Civil-liberties groups decry the lack of transparency. “This lack of due process has a disproportionate impact on marginalized communities, including people of color and religious minorities,” the Electronic Frontier Foundation letter, addressed to PayPal CEO Dan Schulman and other PayPal executives, stated.

Making matters worse is PayPal’s recently updated Acceptable Use Policy—which clears the way for even more suspensions, bans and fines. The policy, released in October, prohibits all “objectionable” activity, warning that violators face a $2,500 penalty. As with PayPal and the ADL’s war on “hate,” there’s very little clarity. Anyone whose politics, language or tone offends the powers that be could be labeled “objectionable.”

David Marcus, a former PayPal president, tweeted that the new policy “goes against everything I believe in. A private company now gets to decide to take your money if you say something they disagree with. Insanity.” Elon Musk replied, “Agreed.”

Finally, there’s Dan Schulman—poster child for stakeholder capitalism, who has been CEO since 2014. In January of this year, Schulman, while speaking at the World Economic Forum, was fuzzy when it came to defining the boundaries of free expression. “The difficult part there is identifying what is hatred and what is freedom of speech,” Schulman said. “Nobody teaches you that.”

Schulman, as one Silicon Valley insider put it, was a member of the “professional management class”—impeccable credentials (Middlebury, Harvard MBA), years of experience in publicly traded companies (American Express, Sprint, AT&T), and tons of accolades (the New York Urban League’s Frederick Douglass Award, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights’ Ripple of Hope Award, the Fortune list of World’s Greatest Leaders and Fast Company’s Top 100 Creative People, among others).

“The CEO has got like every woke award you can win,” David Sacks, the company’s first chief operating officer, told me, referring to Schulman. “It’s a symbiotic relationship—he implements their agenda, and, in exchange, they give him awards, and that furthers advancement up the corporate totem pole of woke capitalism.”

The question was: How had this happened?

How had PayPal—birthed in the fertile crescent of innovation, the old Silicon Valley of web 1.0—become . . . this? How had this company, which had been all about liberating the individual, become a pillar of our emerging social-credit system?

Eric Jackson, who was interim vice president of U.S. marketing in the early days, said: "PayPal's founding vision was to empower people and give them more control and freedom. The company today is so far afield from that founding vision. It's clear that it views its role as moderating what people can think, say and do. It is completely at odds with the vision that Peter Thiel and Max Levchin created for the company. As a part of the old PayPal team, it makes me really sad. Because we were trying to build something that enhanced freedom and protected people. Now, we're seeing people act in a diametrically opposed manner to that."

Jimmy Soni, the author of The Founders: The Story of PayPal and the Entrepreneurs Who Shaped Silicon Valley, emailed me that yes, PayPal’s vision was “informed by libertarianism,” but in the early 2000’s, amidst the collapse of the dot-com bubble, “the goal was simply to keep it alive, especially as so many other start-ups were going under in ‘00 and ‘01.”

The first inflection point, the old guard agreed, was September 11, 2001 and the federal government’s response to the terrorist attacks—including adoption of the Patriot Act.

Among other things, the Patriot Act imposed tight controls on money flowing in and out of the United States. “It would obviously make sense to ensure that Osama bin Laden shouldn't be allowed to open a PayPal account,” Jackson said.

Then came Ebay’s acquisition of PayPal, in 2002, for $1.5 billion.

On the day of the acquisition, July 8, PayPal announced it would stop processing payments for sports-betting sites. The company also chose not to retain any of the founders. The message was clear: We’re breaking from the past. We’re going to be a different company moving forward.

The next flashpoint came in December 2010: WikiLeaks.

After being pressured by U.S. officials, PayPal suspended the account of the activist group that released millions of classified documents—with information about, among other things, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, CIA surveillance, and the Democratic National Committee. Thom Bradford, a former engineer at PayPal’s Berlin office, said: “I was naive enough when I worked there to believe that the Wikileaks thing was just a bizarre, isolated incident that they did because they were being pressured by the government, and they didn't want to be subjected to heavy-handed regulation. But now it seems as though they take pleasure in it.”

But it wasn’t until the summer of 2020—the summer of Covid lockdowns, Black Lives Matter demonstrations, the burning cities, the presidential election—that the contours of the new controlling authority came into focus.

It was not a conspiracy. Democratic officials were not colluding with the CEOs of Fortune 500 companies and owners of legacy newspapers and cable networks and studio chiefs and university presidents. It’s that, in a matter of a few months, maybe a year, they had all embraced the same leftwing identitarianism, the same slogans, the same hashtags and pronouns, the same statistics, the same talking points, and they reinforced each other, and they made it exceedingly difficult for anyone to challenge the new orthodoxy.

The social-credit system, which was not a formal system or network but a loosely fitted together constellation of influential brands and organizations and institutions, punished those who did not hew to the unofficial party line and rewarded those who clapped the loudest. It bore a familial resemblance to the much more established social-credit system in China, which was an extension of the country’s financial credit system and was meant to assess businesses’ and individuals’ “trustworthiness,” which sounded reasonable when you were talking about facts versus misinformation, but less so when it came to opinions—politics.

Referring to the Chinese Communist Party, Kara Frederick, who previously led Facebook’s Global Counterterrorism Analysis Program, said: “I started noticing discomfiting similarities in what the consolidated centralized power of the CCP was visiting on its internal population, and what this combination and symbiosis of corporate power in the form of big tech and the federal government is, frankly, seeking to turn on specific American citizens.”

Frederick recalled, for example, Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, Jr., applauding the new PayPal-ADL partnership. Or Jen Psaki, President Joe Biden’s then-press secretary, announcing, on July 15, 2021, that the White House had identified “problematic” Facebook posts that spread “misinformation” and that it expected the social-media site to take down.

If you protested the status quo—if you were a trucker in Ottawa in early 2022 angry about the country’s vaccine mandates, if you were against defunding the police, if you were against critical race theory seeping into your six-year-old’s classroom, if you questioned the wisdom of exposing children to drag shows, if you believed in everyone’s right to argue openly about all of the above—you were, oddly enough, in a suspect class. You were, increasingly, at risk of being deplatformed, debanked.

"What happens is these companies create the machinery of account deplatforming, suspensions, moderation, and it starts being used for legitimate reasons, but then what happens is it gets hijacked for political reasons," David Sacks told me.

This was certainly Eric Finman’s experience.

He got that Freedom Phone’s brand didn’t jibe with the new corporate consensus. Its laissez-faire approach, its embrace of “freedom”—that was out of step with the canceling ethic, the pro-equity-pro-lockdown-pro-Ukraine politics. But still. He called himself a “moderate Democrat.” He was against telling people what they could say or read or download. “If you ban the Chapo Trap House people on the left, they end up moving into their own group chats,” he said. “If you ban the Q people on the right, they end up moving into their group chats. Both go unchallenged. We need to be able to talk to each other and go up against each other.”

Matt Kibbe, the president of Free the People, which produces documentaries and podcasts that promote libertarianism, added: “The way these social-credit systems work, they don’t happen overnight—they happen drip by drip.”

The revolt against the machine has started, but it’s mostly a bottom-up, grass-roots affair.

After he was shut down, Toby Young, in London, called PayPal’s Customer Support to appeal his suspension. When his appeal was denied, he wrote a letter to British officials calling on them to adopt legislation preventing banks and payment platforms from discriminating against users with opinions they disapprove of. The letter attracted the support of 42 members of the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

“Why is it that these large corporations based overseas think they can effectively intervene in public debates in the United Kingdom?” Young said.

Shortly after the letter was released, all three of Young’s PayPal accounts were restored.

But the real revolt, if there is to be one, is likelier to come from within the technocracy—the people with the money and power to force a major overhaul of a system that seems designed to keep the great undulating mass of users distracted and divided.

A few days ago, I emailed Elon Musk.

“Are you worried that a company you helped found—PayPal—is now part of an emerging private social credit system?” I wrote. “And is buying Twitter, in part, an effort to fulfill the mission that PayPal seems to have abandoned?”

It seemed unlikely that he’d reply. He was busy reimagining his new social-media company, shooting rockets into space, upending the electric-vehicle industry, trolling AOC.

But one hour later, at 6:55 p.m., eastern time, an email popped up in my inbox. From the new owner of Twitter.

It was just one word:


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