☕️ GODS OF CHAOS ☙ Thursday, January 4, 2024 ☙ C&C NEWS 🦠
A giant roundup: Claudine Gay story bears more fruits; SADS airline cluster; court dumps new Epstein docs; Florida smashes jab narrative; Trump appeals Colorado; scary news from Space; and lots more.
Good morning, C&C, it’s Thursday! Sorry for the late delivery. Lots and lots to cover in today’s packed roundup: deposed Harvard president continues to dominate the news cycle; more progress appears as the AP gets beat up over its dumb “Republicans Pounce!” article; and more evidence that the culture around DEI is changing (for the better); a SADS airline cluster; court releases massive Epstein document dump; Florida breaks the mRNA mold into a billion pieces; Trump appeals Colorado primary ballot ban; and space news suggests scary mythological creatures approach Earth.
🗞💬 WORLD NEWS AND COMMENTARY 💬🗞
🔥 The Claudine Gay story continued hogging the media spotlight yesterday, now with race-industry heavyweights ponderously weighing in, heavyweights like Ibrahim X. Kendi (if that’s his real name) who added nuance and intellectual heft to the conversation by explaining Gay actually lost her position because racism! Gay herself doubled-down in a dull, repetitive New York Times op-ed, piling on even more racial grievances than were expressed in her resignation letter.
Meanwhile, anti-DEI warrior Christopher Rufo published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal yesterday headlined, “How We Squeezed Harvard to Push Claudine Gay Out.” At one point in his op-ed, Rufo delightfully described Claudine Gay as the apotheosis of DEI bureaucracy. Like me, Rufo sees much progress on the culture war’s front lines (lightly-edited for brevity):
First, public support for DEI has cratered. Following the outpouring of sympathy on elite campuses for Hamas, many Americans—including many center-left liberals—began to question the sweet-sounding euphemisms of DEI and examine what they mean in practice.
Second, the political right has learned how to fight more effectively. Any activist campaign has three points of leverage: reputational, financial and political. Journalists applied reputational pressure, exposing Gay’s alleged plagiarism and Harvard’s scandalous effort to cover it up. Donors, led by hedge-fund manager Bill Ackman, applied financial pressure, withholding contributions. And Congress applied political pressure, exposing Gay’s equivocations on antisemitism.
The nation’s leading university had subordinated veritas to politics, compromising its mission. The only choice was to force Ms. Gay to step down.
Rufo recognizes progress not just in Gay’s long-overdue removal, but across the conservative movement:
Conservatives have demonstrated an increasing sophistication in their successful campaigns against national brands such as Disney, Target, Bud Light and now Harvard. Legislators in Florida, Texas and other states have recently passed laws abolishing DEI in their state universities. Professors across the political spectrum are working on efforts to depoliticize academic administration, rebalance faculty politics, and restore truth as the guiding principle of American universities, including at Harvard.
Like me, Rufo apparently rejects the Superman theory of politics and understands that, having slept at our posts for so long and having allowed the enemy to comfortably nestle inside the camp, we face an extended battle, less of a singular battle and more of a series of intimate surgeries and recoveries. As Rufo put it:
If America is to reform its academic institutions, the symbolic fight over Harvard’s presidency must evolve into a deeper institutional fight. The Italian theorist Antonio Gramsci called this approach the “war of position,” a grueling form of trench warfare in which each concept, structure and institution must be challenged to change the culture.
But that wasn’t all.
🔥 Sometimes evidence of the culture-war’s progress appears in unlikely places. Say what you like about Elon Musk, but Bless Twitter! The AP’s ridiculous Claudine Gay headline, which I reported on yesterday, immediately drew fact-checking “Community Notes” on Twitter, which publicly beclowned the so-called news agency:
Fact-checked! Turnabout might be fair play, but it is also delicious, in a very Schadenfreudey kind of way. Musk and his software engineers — and their Community Notes tool — have lifted us regular folks up to the same level on the social media platform as Establishment Media. It’s an equalizer deleting the AP’s ability to dominate the discussion by default.
In a smaller but no less amusing self-inflicted injury, the AP was also forced to stealth-edit its Claudine Gay story yesterday (violating its own policy requiring all edits to be disclosed) following merciless mocking of the story’s completely unnecessary and ahistorical claim that the Cowboys — and not the Indians — invented scalping. I’m not making that up.
Here’s what the story said before the jeering and public derision started:
Still solidly amongst the ‘hot takes’ phase, two broad take-aways emerge. First, Rufo and his various allies turned the Left’s tools against them. The “plagiarism weapon” is not a recent right-wing innovation; It’s a popular weapon long wielded by leftists against the right. I have personally seen it in action.
During the pandemic, I helped local moms battle unhinged wokeness in our local school district. It began in earnest when our highly-esteemed Superintendent was forced out, to be replaced by a woke academic with zero Superintendent experience.
That woke academic, Carlee Simon, wasted no time “re-imagining” the entire Alachua County School District centered around diversity, equity, and inclusion. You can easily imagine what the ‘re-imagining’ plan looked like. Its initial price tag was $80 million dollars — which is a lot for a small county like Alachua. We managed to stop the vote approving that plan at the last second, but Carlee would go on to achieve brief international celebrity after publicly defying Governor DeSantis’s ban on school mask mandates. (I ultimately squashed her brief rebellion in court).
During Carlee’s several months of mask celebrity, she became a media darling, a poster girl for mask pushback against hated Governor DeSantis. An October 2021 headline from the Tampa Bay Times:
To describe the media’s Carlee coverage as fawning would be an insult to baby deer. Here’s an example paragraph from the Tampa Bay mask article:
The reason I bring up Carlee is because of how she and the her scheming school board co-conspirators were able to flush the previous, not woke, well-liked Superintendent notwithstanding his ironclad contract: they accused her of plagiarism.
Accusations of plagiarism have long been part of the left’s academic bloodsport right down to the K-12 level. Which is another reason the AP’s headline was so misleading, since the media giant falsely called ‘plagiarism’ a new rightwing weapon, but I digress. You get the point: Rufo is teaching conservatives how to play the liberals’ grisly game.
The Carlee Simon story had a happy ending. With some help from a local, mandate-fighting lawyer, and a Herculean effort in this uniparty county, the local moms were able to delete Carlee Simon and send her packing. And, please don’t laugh — it’s not nice — but here is the most recent media update on the DeSantis-defying, Re-Imagining, Celebrity School Superintendent:
Alaska! That is literally as far as you can get from Florida. And it’s cold. That headline sounds like the punchline to a TV comedy series, but there’s more. For better or worse, the local moms felt obliged to share with Juneau’s school board members a portfolio of materials related to Carlee’s performance in Alachua County.
Juneau ultimately selected Frank Hauser. Even Alaska rejected her. Since then, Carlee has been out of the media.
🔥 I’ll make one more quick comment about the evolving Claudine Gay story. Some folks are concerned the story is more about anti-semitism and not really about DEI and wokeism. Although I can appreciate that view, but even if the seeds were anti-semitic, that is not where the story is now.
Chris Rufo is an anti-DEI warrior, plain and simple. All the current discussion about Gay’s removal is about DEI; not about anti-semitism. Take a look at one of Elon’s tweets yesterday:
This is the way. Shame people for even talking about DEI.
💉 It’s another SADS cluster! Australia’s News.Com ran a story yesterday headlined, “‘In shock’: Two British Airways flight attendants die suddenly.” Think about it: Same airline. Same age. Same week. Same job → Two sudden and unexpected deaths of healthy flight attendants. Does that really “happen all the time?”
In the first incident, as travelers and vacationers were settling into their seats, a crew member suddenly collapsed in the rear galley of British Airways Flight 32 — just as the doors were locked and the pilot was preparing to head to the runway. Hearing about the collapse, the captain immediately called for medical assistance, and a quick-acting passenger with first aid training rushed to help.
Tragically, despite the immediate CPR, instantaneous first-aid, and the prompt arrival of police and ambulance services, the previously-healthy steward died anyway. The passengers, understandably shaken by the event, were informed that their New Year’s Eve flight was canceled due to the grave medical emergency that had unfolded before their eyes.
In other words, nobody wanted to go anywhere after watching a healthy flight attendant pushing the beverage cart drop dead right in front of them.
In the second incident, another unidentified flight attendant — also 52 — died a few days earlier on Christmas Eve in Newark, at his hotel. They found him stone dead after he failed to report for duty. The flight to London Heathrow was canceled, passengers were re-booked onto other flights, and the devastated flight crew were flown home as passengers.
Also understandably, the news has the entire British Airways team deeply unsettled. According to News.Com:
A source said: “Crew are frantic. These were two healthy people who suddenly dropped dead. There were no reported underlying health issues. The crew were family men, and leave devastated families in shock and disbelief. It has been a traumatic festive period for BA’s flying team. Everyone is deeply upset.”
It’s not just that two flight attendants died in the same week. That would be unusual but not impossible. It’s that two healthy flight attendants of the same age died suddenly with no prior medical issues in the same week on the same airline. The odds of this clustering of cases beggar the imagination and call for an immediate investigation of a cause.
But don’t hold your breath!
🔥 The Epstein documents dropped yesterday.
"The mills of the gods grind slowly, but they grind exceeding small." — Greek saying.
"Justice is like a train: it is slow, it is noisy, it is full of jerks, but it gets you to your destination eventually." — David Sedaris.
The UK Independent ran a slow-justice story yesterday headlined, “Epstein told victim Bill Clinton ‘likes them young’, new court filings reveal.” The sub-headline added, “Among the hundreds of pages of filings unsealed Wednesday, victim Johanna Sjoberg spoke about what she knew about Bill Clinton’s ties to Epstein.”
Withholding only certain documents related to two parties still trying to block release, and some documents related to a small number of other parties who previously convinced the court to keep theirs secret, the new Epstein documents are out. As we expected, they don’t include “the list” of Epstein clients. The new disclosures are best viewed as an incremental advance in the story, with Epstein watchers getting a new trove of depositions and facts to sift through and piece together.
It’s too soon to conclude anything. I advise waiting and seeing. It will take time to mine the new documents and connect dots. But there are a couple immediate highlights — or maybe I should call them “low lights.”
Among names linked to Epstein in the newly-disclosed court records — some already known, some new — were low-lights like Prince Andrew; celebrity magician David Copperfield; New Mexico Governor, UN Ambassador and former Clinton Energy Secretary Bill Richardson (D); top modeling talent scout Jean Luc Brunel; Clinton-era Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell (D); leftwing celebrity lawyer Alan Derschowitz (who represented Epstein in court); Clinton’s former FBI director and Penn State child sex veteran Louis Freeh; and Hyatt Hotel billionaire Thomas Pritzger (also a democrat).
Bill Clinton’s name was popular, appearing in up to 50 of the new documents (estimates vary). The former President denies ever setting foot on Epstein’s airplane or even knowing him very well. So.
Many folks are understandably frustrated at the slow pace of justice in the Epstein case and are often tempted to assume the worst. I see it differently. In 2016, the intelligence agencies successfully squashed an initial effort to shut Epstein down. But that effort ultimately failed and the Lolita Express went down in flames. Whether its frontman is dead or not, suicided or not, Operation Epstein is now closed for business.
Chasing down each of the Operation’s threads are different issues, each probably having its own complexities.
I am wildly speculating here, but a remarkable, record-setting number of congresspeople unexpectedly resigned this year. At least two dozen Democrats and over a dozen Republicans left or announced plans to leave Congress in 2023, which Axios described as “a historic deluge of retirements.”
Is this historic, otherwise-unexplained Exodus related to the slow-motion prosecution of the Epstein case?
💉 In more terrific — albeit slow-moving — news, Fox ran a blockbusting story yesterday headlined, “Florida Surgeon General calls for halt to COVID-19 vaccine usage after FDA said he spread misinformation.”
The short version was that Corporate Media got badly triggered yesterday when Florida’s Surgeon General called for a halt to the mRNA jabs after the FDA failed to meaningfully respond to his letters seeking clarification of DNA contamination and what the FDA has done to ensure that the jabs’ stray DNA cannot possibly integrate into human cells.
Although it won’t say so directly, the FDA’s answer seems to be: they did nothing. So Dr. Ladapo poked the Establishment right in the eye by issuing a formal guidance calling for ‘a halt in the use of covid-19 mRNA vaccines.’ This created a firestorm of unhinged criticism, but succeeded in breaking corporate media’s omertà on Dr. Ladapo’s questions. Every headline tried to debunk the Surgeon General. An example from the Hill:
Poppycock. The theory is not ‘discredited.’ It isn’t even a theory. It’s a scientific question: can the boatloads of contaminated DNA in the mRNA shots get into cell nuclei or not? It’s not Ladapo’s job to prove whether that can happen. That’s the FDA’s job.
You had one job, FDA.
In an interview with Steve Bannon yesterday, Dr. Ladapo explained the contamination problem in lay terms and made this remarkable statement:
“The evidence has been completely provided by the FDA … These vaccines are the antichrist of all products … it’s a complete disrespect to the human genome and the importance of protecting it … and that is our connection to God.”
Ladapo knows exactly what he’s doing. Both his guidance and his letter began by citing the FDA’s own documents from 2007, which clearly advised that DNA contamination can cause cells to be genetically modified. Full stop. The FDA said it, not Ladapo. Dr. Ladapo just asked the FDA to clarify whether it was lying in 2007 or whether it is lying now?
Some folks see this as “too little, too late,” because most of the jabs have already entered arms, and jab uptake is now dwindling to embarrassingly-low levels. But that’s not the point. In order to get to the next stage, to prove harms and to start talking specifically about accountability, we must first cross a conceptual Rubicon: the vaccines are — or may be — defective.
At this moment, even though nearly everyone else but Pfizer executives and its bowtied shills have long left the station, the formal Establishment position remains that the vaccines are the safest and most effective vaccines in history. To reach Accountability Station, the Establishment’s position must change, even a little. Just one little crack in the wall would do it.
So the news is: Florida has become the first state to official designate the mRNA shots as potentially defective and therefore unsafe. In other words, the burden of proof has finally shifted — at least, in Florida. Dr. Ladapo is saying that it’s not our job to prove the shots were dangerous. It’s the Establishment’s job to prove its approved medications were safe.
In other words, given the contamination, there is no evidence the shots are safe.
The troops are massed all along the river. All that remains is an order from some modern Julius Caesar to start the crossing.
🔥 ABC News ran an expected update yesterday headlined, “Trump appeals Colorado 14th Amendment election disqualification to US Supreme Court.”
You’ll recall that Colorado’s Supreme Court found Trump unqualified for the state’s primary ballot. We expected Trump to appeal, and yesterday his lawyers timely filed the paperwork. Now the issue about the 14th Amendment’s “insurrection” language heads to the Supreme Court, assuming it decides to accept the case.
The next step is: how will the Supreme Court respond? Given the short timelines before the primaries, my guess is things will happen quickly.
🚀 Finally, in space news, Science website Earth.com ran a disquieting story yesterday headlined, “"God of Darkness" asteroid Apophis set for historic Earth flyby and NASA visit.”
In five years, a giant asteroid — dubbed “Apophis” by scientists — will set the record for the largest near-Earth asteroid fly-by in history. Oh, how Science loves its scary mythological creatures (and its latin slang words for the male sexual organ). This time, in ancient Egyptian mythology, ‘Apophis’ was a serpent demon representing darkness, evil, and chaos.
Here you see an ancient Egyptian representation of evil god Apophis getting its head crushed.
But don’t you worry! They only named it after an evil demon of darkness and chaos for no reason. Officially, there is zero chance of a collision; and that’s the story and they are sticking to it. Decades ago when first identified, Apophis scored a 4 out of 10 on the potential collision index — the highest ever rated — but in 2004 they revised it down to zero. As the article calmly explained, “updated modelling demonstrated the possibility of impact with Earth was nearly zero.”
Models! In other words, a fancy guess.
Apophis has previously flown by our Blue Planet, creeping closer every time. Last time it looped past was in 2017, when it was 17 million kilometers away. This next time, on April 13th, 2029, it makes its biggest jump toward us and Apophis is now projected to come within 20,000 miles of Earth’s surface (the ground, not the outer edges of the atmosphere).
In space distances, twenty-thousand miles isn’t nearly as far as it sounds. At this close range, the giant rock will even pass inside the orbit of many of our satellites. For another comparison, 20,000 miles is less distance than one trip around the Earth. The story understatedly referenced Apophis’s “intriguingly close approach to Earth.”
Intriguing is one way of putting it.
Anyway, the news this week is that NASA has repurposed its also mythologically named rocket, OSIRIS-REX, which happened to have some fuel left in the tank after completing its previous mission. Osiris was the god of the afterlife; the ruler of Hades. NASA ordered OSIRIS to go take a look at the rapidly-approaching devil asteroid. Just for curiosity, just to see; they aren’t worried about anything.
Specifically, NASA is curious about how Earth’s gravity might affect the rock:
Of particular interest to scientists is "how the surface changes when interacting with Earth's gravity,” said Amy Simon, the mission's principal investigator at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, in the NASA press release announcing the mission. "Apophis’s close encounter with Earth will change the asteroid’s orbit and the length of its 30.6-hour day,” said NASA.
I’m curious how Earth’s gravity will affect the giant rock, too. But remember, there is no chance of a collision. It’s totally safe:
Last year, they even ran a planetary defense drill focused on Apophis. But they only used the devilish asteroid as a “stand in” for some hypothetically more dangerous space rock. They used Apophis for no reason; they just like the name:
So, in summary: last year they ran a planetary defense exercise for Apophis, and this year they sent a rocket to meet, you might say intercept, Apophis on its way. I know this all sounds like a movie trailer, and we know what happens next, but once again: there is nothing to be worried about. Everything is fine. Plus we still have five years to go!
Have a terrific Thursday! Fly back around tomorrow morning for another asteroid-free C&C roundup, which is not even named after a scary mythological creature or even part of the male anatomy. This is a family blog.
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