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Irany, Clinton Protestor, The Unwokening
The People's News for the People's Coin 10/25-10/31
This week’s digest covers Israel/Palestine, Hillary Clinton’s protestor problem, and Elon’s claim that the world has awoken from wokeness.
Don’t miss memes and news bites at the end!
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Are you hearing about Elon Musk a lot these days?
My 𝕏 subscribers and I are reading Walter Isaacson's new biography about Elon Musk to demystify the man behind the Mars mission.
The Israel/Palestine conflict intensified this week, with Israel beginning its ground invasion of the Gaza Strip Friday night.
On 𝕏, five topics drove discussion forward: free speech, war with Iran, Christian Zionism, Starlink, and a leaked document out of Israel.
I. Free Speech and Zionism
One of the strangest things about the conflict continues to be the way that 180 degree flip on the question of free speech and censorship.
Governments, backed by pro-Zionist conservatives, have been ratcheting up censorship efforts.
The latest First Amendment debate boils down to the question of Zionism: is it permissible to argue against the expansion or existence of the Israeli state?
Increasingly, mainstream conservative politicians say “no,” and are willing to use censorship to enforce their view.
The episode is spooky and Orwellian. It has also been a useful litmus test, revealing which conservatives were truly committed to free speech, and which were merely along for the ride when it was a politically expedient to score points with voters by voguing as a free-speech warrior.
The absurdity of the anti-Zionism = anti-Semitism position was made clear when Jewish New Yorkers took over Grand Central Station to protest Zionism on Friday.
Are those Jews anti-Semites? According to some war-mongering politicians, they are.
For regular Americans, censorship was always wrong on principle, and still is.
It was criminal when federal agencies weaponized social media companies against conservatives for having the contrarian opinions about Covid vaccine, Ukraine, race, and pretty much everything labeled a “conspiracy theory” by media fact-checkers.
And it is wrong now that the shoe is on the other foot and they are trying to outlaw dissent against another war in the Middle East.
The government works for the people: it’s not their job to decide what we are allowed to say. The fact that political leaders keep searching for reasons to undermine this pillar of American life suggests bad faith.
II. War with Iran
Now that the Israel/Palestine conflict entering its fourth week, the motivations behind its big players are starting to come into focus.
In particular, the US war machine wants a fight with Iran.
Immediate following 10/7, the neoconservative-leaning Wall Street Journal published articles claiming Iran was secretly behind Hamas’s attack.
The report was later refuted, but WSJ’s haste to stoke tensions with Iran tipped the true intentions of the foreign policy establishment.
Elon accentuated the point with a meme.
The meme received a slightly petty community note, but the overall message remains true: Bush-era neoconservatives have been agitating for conflict with Iran for twenty-five years,, and are hoping to use Israel/Palestine as justification to finally get their war.
Clark accused the second Bush administration of falsely using 9/11 to justify long military occupation in the Middle East, a claim that would’ve been called an unpatriotic conspiracy at the time but seems self-evident in retrospect.
The seven-war plan’s intellectual origins trace to the neoconservative think tank, The Project For a New American Century.
PNAC was created in 1997. Several founding members were placed in the George W. Bush administration, including Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and Paul Wolfowitz.
The organization’s founding statement called for United States to promote “political and economic freedom abroad” through constant military intervention. Some PNAC members like Cheney were the policy architects the early 2000s invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, while others like Bill Kristol provided the intellectual scaffolding for public acceptance through the media.
Who benefitted from the seven-war strategy? The obvious answer is the American military-industrial complex, which received trillions in taxpayer money over two decades.
Israel also had a reason to support the wars. Arguably, PNAC’s true aim was to promote the balkanization of Arab states so that US-backed Israel could become the region’s dominant power. In effect, the US military became Israel’s proxy enforcer.
It’s debatable whether America’s Middle East adventures were a sincere effort to promote democracy, or simply a product of the Israeli/military lobbies’ outsized influence on American politics.
But either way, the philosophy behind America’s Middle East wars was largely discredited as a result of US’s disastrous occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
By 2008, Americans weren’t going to vote for another hawk. It seemed the public’s appetite was limited to two wars.
On its face, Obama’s election was a repudiation of Bush-era interventionism. The media coined the term “Obama Doctrine” to describe his administration’s preference for diplomacy over military aggression.
The reality turned out to be messier. The Obama administration still managed to overthrow the government in Libya and intervene in Syria, continuing the PNAC project.
It wasn’t until the Trump administration in 2017 that American hawkishness was truly curbed. Ironically, Trump managed to keep the US out of new wars by combining extremely bellicose rhetoric with aversion to actual conflict, a strategy he called “Peace through strength.”
But now, the pressure to support Israel against Palestine is so immense that even politicians whose core core brand involves avoiding foreign wars—including Trump, RFK Jr, Matt Gaetz, and Vivek Ramaswamy—are making statements in support of Israeli belligerence.
In one of the greatest American political ironies ever, the far-left-leaning Squad has done a better job upholding America First principles than all but one Republican.
On Monday, Israeli lobbying group AIPAC published a post criticizing a single GOP House member, Thomas Massie, for aligning with the Squad.
There are dozens of reasons why the American government should devote its limited resources toward something—anything—other than a new Middle East war. But perhaps the most important is that America would lose.
Hardcore American war hawks like Haley, Lindsey Graham, and top members of the Biden State Department are operating from the paradigm of a unipolar world, in which America is the lone superpower and can exert its political will on other countries.
That world doesn’t exist anymore, and has been gone for at least a decade or two
The reality is a World War Three could quickly turn disastrous for the US: our power and Internet could be shut off, the financial system could collapse, the pacific fleet could be bombed. Everything would get radically more expensive, taxes would go up, and millions of young Americans would be killed.
If the American public needed any more confirmation that the American war machine is firing back up for another expensive conflict, it got it when George W. Bush threw out the first pitch in the 119th World Series Friday night.
The moment eerily reminiscent of Bush’s World Series first pitch after the 9/11 attacks, the more so that Hamas’s attack has been dubbed “Israel’s 9/11.”
History doesn’t repeat but it often rhymes. W’s failure to get the ball over the plate (despite taking several steps in from the mound) is a symbolic reminder of how Iraq/Afghanistan went, and how this war would likely go too.
American leaders should learn from the example of the Bush years and make it clear not a dime of taxpayer money will go toward another war, just as they should’ve done in Ukraine, Syria, Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Vietnam.
America has enough problems at home, and its pattern of selling out voters to enrich military contractors is obvious by now. Israel has universal healthcare and can afford its own war if it really wants one.
Shame on these politicians for trying to pull a fast one on the American public again.
And shame on the media for running cover for the oligarchs and their political puppets.
III. Christian Zionism
One of the stranger aspects of the effort to manufacturing public consent for another war has been the use of the Bible to justify the conflict.
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly cited Bible verses to explain why Israel will not consider a ceasefire.
Last Wednesday, Netanyahu referenced the book of Isaiah to explain the war, saying, "We are the people of the light, they are the people of darkness and light shall triumph over darkness.”
Netanyahu’s rhetoric is aimed at a particular group of Americans: evangelical Christian Zionists who believe a holy war is foreordained as a condition for brining about the second coming of Christ.
In an interview with Glenn Greenwald, journalist Lee Fang explained the phenomenon of Christian Zionism among American politicians: “they want Jewish control of Jerusalem as part of an End Times prophecy for the second coming of Christ. They see a prophetic war of Armageddon between Israel and its enemies as a necessary moment for bringing about…a rapture event, where believers are raptured to heaven, where non-believers are slain or converted…many of them take these prophecies in the Bible very literally.”
On Sunday, freshly minted House Speaker Mike Johnson told the Republican Jewish Coalition donors, “as a Christian, we believe the Bible teaches very clearly that we're to stand with Israel” and promised to advance more legislation for Israeli aid. Johnson’s first motion as Speaker was to advance a resolution in support of Israel.
As far as I can tell, there are three possible explanations for what’s really going on.
1- We are actually living in end times, as prophecied in the Bible
2- We are living in chaotic secular times, and some part of the world population is projecting Biblical narratives onto the present as a way to make unpredictable events seem intelligible, as people have done with mythological stories forever
3- Global elites and their puppet politicians are using the Bible as a playbook to attempt to stage a prophecy and convince the public to go along with a (lucrative) holy war by making it seem like Biblical prophecy is coming to pass
My money is on the third explanation—the staged prophecy—but there are elements of #1 and #2 that seem valid as well. The possibilities are not entirely mutually exclusive.
In any event, cheeky End-Times memes have been enjoying a moment on social media, and will likely stay hot as long as the conflict continues.
What do you think is really going on?
After it was reported that Israel shut off Internet in Gaza, Elon announced that he would enable Starlink service for aid organizations.
In response to the accusation by Israel that he was supporting terrorism, he emphasized that SpaceX would only allow Starlink for humanitarian purposes.
The news enraged the Israeli government, who vowed to fight Elon’s humanitarian efforts. Israel’s Communications Minister Schlomo Kari said Israel would cut ties with Starlink.
What do you think: should Elon provide Internet to the Gaza Strip?
V. Leaked Document
On Saturday, the Israeli culture magazine Mekovit published a leaked document from Isreal’s Ministry of Intelligence detailing plans to occupy Gaza and displace millions of residents to Egypt.
In the following days, the document circulated widely on 𝕏.
Wikileaks, which has never retracted a story, posted the document, emphasizing that it is not a binding plan and simply shows that Israel has considered occupying Palestinian land.
The document drew attention because it provided circumstantial evidence to the theory that Israel allowed the October 7th attack to happen as a pretext for occupying and eventually annexing the Gaza Strip.
Do you think Israel is involved in a land grab?
Clinton’s Protest Problem
On Friday, journalist Alex Rosen interrupted a campaign event involving Hillary Clinton to ask about Bill Clinton’s 26 trips to Epstein island.
Rosen was dragged from the event by security, but got it all on film. The incident went viral on 𝕏.
It was the Second time in two weeks Clinton has been confronted in public by a protestor.
Rosen was accused of anti-Semitism for suggesting that something was amiss about Clinton’s relationship with the two sex traffickers.
A community note established that Rosen is Jewish and Clinton repeatedly visited Epstein’s private island.
The connections between the Epstein and the former President has never been fully examined by the press.
On the contrary, in 2019, Amy Robach claimed ABC/Disney buried her reporting on the links between Epstein and the Clintons.
Online, speculation has persisted for years that Epstein possessed compromising material on Clinton.
Clinton avoided talking about his relationship with Epstein. When confronted by a reporter, he said “I think the evidence is clear” and walked away.
Like the character from Woody Allen’s movie Zelig, Epstein has a way of popping up everywhere, with connections in Hollywood, Wall Street, the music industry, fashion, politics, media, and even among the British royal family.
In the two-volume investigation One Nation Under Blackmail, investigative journalist Whitney Webb presents evidence to argue for Epstein’s involvement in a joint CIA/Mossad intelligence operation to collect compromising material on public figures.
Webb details Epstein’s connections to Israeli and American intelligence agencies, as well as Saudi arms traffickers and the Mafia.
If Epstein was indeed part of a kompromat scheme, it is reasonable to ask if whoever he worked for is still capable of blackmailing American celebrities and politicians (especially those politicians driving America to support Israel in the latest war).
Last week, former DIA Director General Michael Flynn told an interviewer he believed many American politicians were still living under the threat of blackmail.
No matter what, the press should present to the public all of the already-existing information about Epstein, Maxwell, Clinton, and the forenamed intelligence agencies. And it should thoroughly investigates the links between these parties on its own, instead of leaving the task to citizen and independent journalists.
Given the topic’s potential relationship to America’s support for the war in Israel, speculation is likely to persist until a full journalistic inquiry is completed.
What do you think: do American politicians act and vote like they are being blackmailed? Or do they accurately represent the interests of the American people?
The Great UnWokening
Monday afternoon, Elon declared, “the great awakening from woke has happened.”
He followed up with a post about friendship, and later cited a recent episode of South Park that looks skeptically on wokeness as a bellwether for its impending demise.
Combating far-left woke politics through free speech has become one of Elon’s central preoccupations on 𝕏.
According to his biographer Walter Isaacson, Elon’s objection is that wokeness is that it is “fundamentally anti-science, anti-merit, and anti-human in general.” In 2021, Elon told the Babylon Bee, “Wokeness basically wants to make comedy illegal…at its heart, wokeness is divisive, exclusionary, and hateful.”
Proponents of woke politics often question their rhetorical opponents ability to define wokeness.
A simple definition of “woke” is as follows: the interlocking political beliefs that (1) all society is structured to oppress (2) all gaps between large groups illustrate this, and (3) the solution is ‘equity’—proportional representation without regard to performance.
A related tactic of woke ideologues is cancel culture—denying opponents the right to speak by smearing them as hateful, phobic, Nazi, far right, extremist, etc.
This was effective before Elon took over Twitter, when many of the company’s employees shared woke beliefs, and used their power to silence critics.
The central contradiction of wokeness in recent years is that proponents of woke cast themselves as victims by claiming member in marginalized identity groups, such as gender (non-male), race (non-white), and sexuality (non-straight).
However, their behavior and intolerance for dissent increasingly make them aggressors, especially as they gained control of levers of power.
Part of what makes 𝕏 different from every other platform is its panoply of non-white, non-male, non-straight voices who regularly speak out against wokeness as demeaning, in contrast to both legacy media and other social media platforms, which generally uphold its tenets through censorship.
As a mainstream political movement, wokeness reached its apex during the summer of 2020, in the months following the death of George Floyd.
Recent revelations that Floyd likely died from fentanyl overdose rather than homicide may have something to do with Elon’s pronouncement. The spell cast in the summer of 2020 may finally be lifting.
Another factor in the great unwokening has been the war.
Left-leaning Palestine sympathizers are, for the first time in recent memory, on the receiving end of cancel culture. As conservatives have been warning for years, it was only a matter of time before the instruments of censorship were turned on the left.
Meanwhile, there are signs that Jews are moving rightward over perceived anti-Semitism on the left.
Wokeness tends to peak in election years, as politically engaged young people are used by parties as shock troops against opponents through, intimidation, threat of cancellation, and other activist measures. The “with-us-or-against-us” black square campaign in 2020 is a consummate example of this behavior.
It will be interesting, as we head in 2024, to see if there is another attempt to infuse wokeness into American political and cultural life, and what it might look like.
While Elon appears optimistic, wokeness still permeates corporate, educational, and cultural institutions. It’s hard to see how that gets undone in a short period of time.
Personally, is that it encourages people to tie their identity to a sense of victimhood and grievance.
People are at their best when they view themselves as empowered and heroic, not oppressed. Everyone carries trauma, some based on bigotry, but there is danger in making that victimhood a core fact of one’s identity and politics. Healing is possible, but unlikely to be accomplished through Marxist style identity politics that encourage groups of citizens to find fault with other groups, instead of the powers that be, who are happy to see common people squabbling amongst each other if it takes the heat off themselves.
What do you think: is wokeness losing its grip on American culture? Where does it even come from? And are we likely to see a resurgence before next year’s election?
Dogey Treats: News Bites
Elon told Joe Rogan that Twitter 1.0 was a “an arm of the government…a state publication.”
X is reportedly considering launching an XWire news service
X will demonetize any post corrected by community notes.
A Time Magazine story reported widespread corruption among the Ukrainian political class. David Sacks wrote, “Another $60 billion is about to go to Ukraine despite the fact that (1) the U.S. is broke and has to borrow the money, (2) Ukraine is so corrupt that its own officials admit "people are stealing like there's no tomorrow", and (3) there's no prospect for winning the war.” Elon asked who is pushing politicians to continue support for Ukraine.
New House Speaker Michael Johnson was roasted for repeating old Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s platitudes about US involvement in wars. David Sacks accused Johnson of being controlled opposition and wrote, ““The new Speaker is a neocon. MAGA got played.”
The US Treasury announced it planned to borrow $1.6 trillion in net new debt during the next six months.
A federal court issued an injunction prohibiting the Biden Administration from tampering with the state of Texas’s border barriers.
Joe Biden signed an executive order requiring AI to uphold the woke principle of equity. Biden’s concern about AI increased after watching the newest Mission Impossible movie, according to the Associated Press. The order was criticized.
General Mike Flynn posted at Elon Musk to “#ReleaseTheList.”
A bipartisan letter circulating in the US House calls on the Joe Biden to end the persecution of Julian Assange.
Journalist Lee Fang argued that support for Israel is the new Current Thing.
Russia tested its ability to deliver a retaliatory nuclear strike.
US refused to say say if Israel’s airstrikes on Gaza constitute war crimes.
Moderate Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth criticized Elon Musk as being a “false messiah” for allowing anti-Semitic speech on 𝕏.
Global Financial System
The Digital Yuan was used for the first time ever in an oil transaction within China.
Wall Street journal published an article claiming Hamas raised $93M in crypto donations, citing the analysis single blockchain analysts firm. The article was the sole source for a letter signed by 100 Congresspeople urging the Biden administration to further its crackdown on crypto. Crypto community, lead by Nic Carter, crowdsourced alternative analyses showed that Hamas raised approximately $450k through crypto, and the blockchain firm issued a statement clarifying that the article misrepresented the data. WSJ issued a correction, while Elizabeth Warren, who initiated the letter, said "It’s not about one report. It’s about the whole structure of crypto that attracts some of the worst people around the world to move value around in aw ay that they cannot do through the ordinary banking system.”
What are the causes and effects of food toxicity in America?
Pfizer reported a net loss of $2.42B in Q3 2023.
Elon warned that “Europe is trending toward civil war”
Tucker Carlson covered the persecution of Christian priests by the Ukrainian government. Elon took note.
The NBA is under investigation by the DOJ for anticompetitive practices directed against Cube’s Big3 league.
Elon wrote “They absolutely want your extinction” to a descendent of Robert E. Lee in response to a video about how Charlottesville melted down an old Lee statue in secrecy.
Memes of the Week
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