Today's Takes: Thursday, September 23
Vol. I, No. 95 • A Journal of Freedom • Censorship • From Hill to Frontier to Tech • Faux Pas • Something Different • Much More!
Good morning, everyone.
Today we're wondering what the difference is between how China and the US monitor and censor their respective citizens.
In China, there is a heavier emphasis on "wrongthink". The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) intervenes to correct "wrongthink" by addressing the cause of the "wrongthink" and either punishing or correcting the offender. In this way, the CCP is keenly aware of what ails its people. It constantly monitors and adjusts itself to respond to perceived threats to its power. Case in point being the recent declaration that celebrity culture will be censored and children will be restricted to 4 hours of videos games per week and only 45 minutes on the prolific Chinese social media app TikTok. These policy decisions aim to orient citizens away from the pursuit of individualism and towards the enrichment of the collective. They are so committed to this cause that CCP policy enters into and dictates to families how they should raise their children down to the number of children they are allowed to have. The Chinese are concerned with what families talk about.
In the US, we take a decidedly different approach. American authorities do not appear concerned with what kind of conversations take place in private company. Far from reaching into the minds of its population and attempting to re-educate and correct "wrongthink", authorities in the US simply cancel or deplatform those expressing dissenting opinions. Yes, America has its own propaganda (recently expressed most egregiously by the Family Guy segment wherein Stewie explains how vaccines work), but the propaganda does not seek to engender pride in its citizens, but distaste for those who don't agree. Social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter deal with "disinformation" by pruning accounts and people spreading the disinformation. There is no punitive measure enacted beyond an expulsion from public life and no attempts to address the fabled "root causes".
The US does not seek to re-educate its populace. It is content to muffle dissent and call those who express unrest demeaning names. So long as the voices of malcontent do not reach the ears of America's increasingly despotic elite, all is well. Never mind the importation of billions of dollars of opioids into white working-class communities, we're going to prioritize aid to black farmers because if there isn't a white working-class, then there isn't a problem.
Both are damning examples of government-run amock, but ask yourself seriously which you think is more dangerous: a country that persistently monitors its populace, oppressing them at every turn, or one that simply ignores the malcontent and continues to carry out injustices in the name of... justice?
Thanks for reading.
📰 Today's Front Pages
A quick look at this morning's front pages so you know what you're supposed to be mad about.
- Reuters: Evergrande debt crisis ensnares retail investors, builders and homebuyers (Read)
- New York Times: Who Exactly Will Get Booster Shots? (Read)
- Wall Street Journal: China Makes Preparations for Evergrande’s Demise (Read)
- Fox News: Gabby Petito's stepfather lays a stone cross at spot where her remains were found (Read)
- CNN: 'We are not out of the woods yet.' Expert expects US Covid-19 cases to climb in the coming weeks (Read)
- NPR: How Some Schools Are Using Weekly Testing To Keep Kids In Class — And COVID Out (Read)
- Breitbart: Two Afghans Brought to U.S. Charged with Child Sex Crimes, Strangling Wife While Living on WI Military Base (Read)
- HuffPost: Joe Biden Seeks To Unite Democrats In Do-Or-Die Moment For His Agenda (Read)
🏛 From the Hill
- Dems fear Biden’s domestic agenda could implode (Politico) Moderate Senate Democrats Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.) continue to be a major headache for party leadership. Both are accused of clinging tightly to corporate interests.
- Treasury sanctions cryptocurrency exchange over ransomware transactions (Axios) The sanctions against cryptocurrency exchange SUEX are the first against a cryptocurrency exchange platform. They are part of the Biden administration's crackdown on ransomware in response to several high-profile cyberattacks this year.
- Federal Reserve Signals a Shift Away From Pandemic Support (NYT) They talked about talking about talking about tapering, but now they've talked about it and they will eventually seriously talk about it.
🗺 From the Frontier
- Beijing Unleashes Sweeping Bid to Remold Society (Epoch Times) From erasing prominent actors from the internet to limiting video game time for youth, Beijing expresses that citizen's first duty is to the state and not to themselves. Much of China's policy is in response to a counter-cultural movement called "tangping" (or lie flat) which is catching on with young people, who are becoming increasingly dissatisfied with the exacting demands of professional and social life.
- Russia behind Litvinenko murder, rules European rights court (BBC) Litvinenko, a former Russian spy who became a British citizen, was fatally poisoned with radioactive polonium-210 in London in 2006. The court concluded that the poisoning was "probably approved" by Vladimir Putin.
- China won’t build more coal plants abroad, Xi Jinping says. (NYT) More than 70% of global coal-fired power plants rely on Chinese funding. Xi, won't you change your dirty ways.
- Boris Johnson: Yes, I have six children – and I change a lot of nappies (Telegraph) Boris is apparently a prolific father and has kept the exact number of children he has secret until now.
💻 From the Tech World
- No More Apologies: Inside Facebook’s Push to Defend Its Image (NYT) Zuckerberg approved a new initiative that will push positive stories about Facebook to its News Feed in an attempt to shore up its image and portray Zuckerberg as an innovator.
- Silicon Valley’s quest to live forever could benefit humanity as a whole — here’s why (CNBC) If you live longer, doesn't that mean your carbon footprint is larger? And as individuals like Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates likely have some of the largest carbon footprints in the world, shouldn't they take one for the team and dive six feet under at some point?
🌦 Climate Faux Pas
When talking about climate change, the solutions are the problem.
- Energy crisis raises spectre of UK three-day working week (National News) Maybe climate change isn't so bad after all...
- Democrats Aim To Choke Off Arctic Drilling With Provision Tucked Into Reconciliation Package (Federalist) The only tribe living within the proposed boundary for drilling, the Iñupiat, have lobbied Congress for decades to allow development projects to move forward.
- The Messy Truth About Carbon Footprints (Undark) In short: even if your personal dietary choices don't matter, avoid meat to "commune with the cause". Some goo-goo-ga-ga kind of thoughts.
- The Surprising Risks of Investing in ESG Funds (WSJ) ESG funds, on average, are more closely correlated to changes in interest rates and the rate of inflation than the S&P 500.
- New Proof Emerges of the Biden Family Emails: a Definitive Account of the CIA/Media/BigTech Fraud (Glenn Greenwald) Glenn Greenwald makes quick work of the coordination between the CIA, the media, and tech companies in suppressing the very real Hunter Biden laptop story that was lambasted as "Russian disinformation" and resulted in the New York Post's account being banned.
- Even the G-Spot is Named for a Man (NYT) Apparently, every part of the female reproductive system is named after a man. Beautiful.
- Googling for credible information can help correct belief in misinformation, according to a new study (Nieman Lab) Wow. Revelatory. Probably only true if you're using DuckDuckGo though.
- Architecture and Design That Makes the Case for Discomfort (NYT) Some architects simply don't like people.
- BNA® Climbs High Again as Air Travel Picks Up in Music City (Fly Nashville) Activity at BNA has returned to pre-pandemic norms.
- Nashville now tied with this city as fastest-selling housing markets (Biz Journal) Music City is now tied with Cincinnati for the title of region with the fastest-selling housing market
- Metro proposes $224M in contracts with diverse businesses, according to a new report (Biz Journal)
- New renderings released of Nashville’s Ritz Carlton (Main Street)
- Midtown tower’s retail spaces sell for $1.6M (Post)
- Food and beverage project eyed for Dickerson Pike (Post)
- East Nashville coin laundry property sells for $1.65M (Post)
- Multiple West Nashville homes sell for $48.05M (Post)
- Melbourne police fire pepper balls, pellets to break up COVID-19 protest (Reuters) The protests errupted after Melbourne authorities shutdown constructions sites for two weeks, saying workers' frequent movement was spreading the coronavirus.
- Border Patrol Council VP: ‘We’re Losing Agents’ Because of Vaccine Mandates Amid Border Crisis (Breitbart) You can, however, enter the nation via the Southern border without a vaccination. I know that's frustrating, but you have to understand, these are illegal immigrants.
- FDA authorizes Pfizer booster shots for seniors, high-risk groups (NY Post)
- Monoclonal antibody treatment clinics preparing for possible supply shortage (Channel 5)
- Los Angeles County Defends Emmys, Says Mask Exceptions Are Fine for ‘Television Productions’ (Epoch Times)
- Biden’s Approval Rating among Black Voters Falls after Private-Sector Vaccine Mandate (NRO)
- Remdesivir Reduced Risk of Hospitalization When Given to COVID-19 Patients Early (Epoch Times)
- Study Finds More Later-Stage CRC Diagnoses During Pandemic (MedPage Today)
- Children are highly unlikely to suffer from "long COVID" (@apsmunro)
- 10,000 Unnecessary Cancer Deaths Linked to COVID-19 Pandemic, Lockdown in UK: Report (Epoch Times)
Words of Wisdom
"My first reaction upon hearing that boosters were rejected was to ask the same thing: would these same “experts” say that, because the vaccines are still effective without boosters, vaccinated persons don’t need to wear masks and can resume normal life? Of course not. They use the criterion “prevents hospitalization” for evaluating boosters (2a) but switch back to “prevents infection” when the question is masks and other restrictions. What about those that are willing to accept the tiny risk of side effects to prevent infection so that they can get back to fully normal life? The Science (TM) tells us that one can’t transmit the virus if one is never infected to begin with."
From the comments of Marginal Revolution (Read)
From the Archives
🧨 New research has supported theories that the biblical city of Sodom, destroyed by God for the wickedness and immoral lifestyles of its people according to the Old Testament, was obliterated by a meteor. (Read)
🇸🇪 A Swedish man's thrilling eulogy for his father.