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The Independent Moment, Vaccine Reckoning, Flight Log Subpoena, AI on Woke
The People's News for the People's Coin 11/8-11/14
This week’s digest covers the brewing populist movement of politically independent candidates, a reckoning for Covid vaccines, a subpoena of the Epstein flight logs, and how AI conceives of the “woke mind virus.”
Don’t miss memes and news bites at the end!
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The Independent Moment
Last week, presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy set 𝕏 on fire with his opening statement during third GOP debate.
Vivek opened with the claim that the GOP has “become a party of losers” and called on GOP Chair Ronna McDaniel to resign. He proposed future GOP debates should be moderated by Joe Rogan, Elon Musk and Tucker Carlson.
Old media outlets like the Times and Post attacked his performance. But Vivek clearly won the Internet.
Vivek’s opening went viral for a reason: he articulated an undeniable change happening in American politics. Energy is shifting away from traditional parties and toward a more loosely defined populist-oriented independent movement.
On the right, the center of gravity is moving from neoconservative warmongers to America First non-interventionists. The GOP establishment—Bush/Romney/McCain-style politicians—is fighting this change, but the people clearly prefer it.
The shift is bigger than just the GOP. For the left, it’s exemplified by RFK and Cornel West’s decisions to run as Independents after being shut out by the DNC and its media machine.
Trump clearly recognizes the trend away from traditional parties. In many ways, the populist uprising traces back to his 2016 candidacy.
His penchant for mischief means you can’t discount the possibility that he’ll pull the rug out from the GOP and run as an Independent himself. Surely, his campaign has considered the idea: his decision to skip the three GOP primary debates is the strongest piece of circumstantial evidence that it’s still on the table.
In recent days, his rhetoric has modulated to accommodate a pivot toward the center. Over the weekend, he told a rally crowd, “They say I'm conservative. It’s not that I’m conservative. I have common sense. I want to have a border, we want free elections, we want low interest rates, we want school choice, we don't want men to play in women's sports.”
He also took a step away from the GOP-approved stance on Israel when he told Univision that atrocities are “horrible on both sides.”
On Monday, Trump posted a clip of Joe Rogan talking about him. Perhaps more than anyone else, Rogan embodies the politically moderate tilt of Internet media.
Trump has never been a seamless fit for the GOP. He used the party as a vehicle to disseminate his personal brand of populism while simultaneously trashing the dynasty built by the Bushes, McCains, and Cheneys of the world.
The bad sentiment is mutually shared. The GOP establishment is increasingly hostile toward America First policies, whether they’re articulated by Trump, Vivek, or someone else.
Trump’s base is far more loyal to him than the GOP. Most of his voters would follow him rather than stick around in a dying party and support the establishment’s inevitably hawkish candidate (currently Nikki Haley).
The dawning realization for the segment of the electorate that’s plugged into social media is that, at this point, both parties operate as little more than cartels whose role is police the range of permissible political opinion.
This is especially true of America’s economic and foreign policies, which seem calculated to transfer wealth away from American people and toward corporations and corrupt states.
Four years ago, the infrastructure wasn’t in place for an independent movement to flourish because the parties still effectively controlled the airwaves.
Newspapers and networks got to decide who counted as a legitimate candidate. Social media companies censored away any dissent, using a network of establishment-backed fact-checkers to delegitimize views that were considered too radical. In the end, the public pretty much had to accept whatever was on offer from the uniparty.
Today, though, 𝕏 has emerged as the ideal platform for a free and open debate by unconnected political actors.
Public opinion is increasingly formed upstream of the legacy press on social media.
For a candidate, having a well-followed account and the ability to generate viral video clips is far more valuable than any positive coverage from the legacy press.
The old political machines will fight like hell to protect their turf, resorting to dirtiest of tricks to keep independents out of the spotlight and off the ballot.
But for the first time ever, their victory isn’t assured.
What would you rather watch: a debate between Biden and Nikki Haley on MSNBC, or one among RFK, West, and Trump on 𝕏?
Is a reckoning coming for Covid vaccines?
In October, lawyer Aaron Siri filed a lawsuit on behalf of six vaccine-injured plaintiffs in federal court. It aims to overturn legal immunity given to vaccine manufacturers by the government, which prevents pharmaceutical companies from being liable for injuries caused by their products.
The lawsuit claims that current system for adjudicating vaccine injury is ineffective. It cites data that out of nearly 13,000 Americans who’ve filed injury claims for Covid mRNA vaccines with the government, just six people have been compensated so far.
The government appears to be gearing up for a legal fight: the DOJ has posted job listings for eight attorneys to defend the government in vaccine injury cases.
In recent weeks, focus has intensified on the process by which vaccine injuries are either legitimized or ignored.
Earlier this month, the BMJ published article questioning if the US’s vaccine injury database (VAERS) is functioning at all.
On Monday, the House of Representatives held a special hearing to begin investigating why Covid vaccine injuries are being ignored.
Another study looked at the list of chronic symptoms being reported as a result Covid vaccines.
Another vector is the effect of vaccines on children.
Earlier this month, the CDC reported that US infant mortality rose 3%, the first major increase in two decades.
Vaccine safety advocates pointed to Covid vaccines as a possible explanation.
A Reuters fact-check disputed the claim that vaccines were responsible for the rise.
On Saturday, several outlets reported that a record number of kindergarteners received vaccine exemptions this school year.
More broadly, a movement of skepticism toward corporate and government medicine, and in favor of alternative health, appears to be catching on.
Its popularity traces partly to the removal of censorship from 𝕏, where videos, articles, and research papers questioning conventional health advice routinely go viral.
UFC founder Dana White captured the current mood in a viral clip when he told an interviewer, “I will never talk to a doctor about my general health ever again. If I break my arm, I’m gonna go see a doctor. If I need surgery, I’m gonna go see a doctor. My general health? Never again.”
What do you think: has Covid changed your perception of the medical system?
Epstein Flight Logs
Two weeks ago, this newsletter looked at persistent accusations against the Clinton family based on its relationship with disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein.
Last week, Tennessee Senator Marsh Blackburn made headlines when she announced she was attempting to subpoena Jeffrey Epstein’s flight logs for his private plane, known as the “Lolita Express.”
Despite portions leaking online, the full flight logs have yet to be seen by the public.Both Epstein and his partner Ghislaine Maxwell being convinced for sex trafficking, but none of their clients have been publicly named.
On 𝕏, it is widely believed that the logs contain the names of high profile celebrities, politicians, and other public figures.
Epstein’s Black Book, recovered from this Palm Beach estate, contains thousands of such names, including many VIPs from the business and entertainment worlds.
Given what’s at stake, it’s tough to believe the world’s power brokers will allow the full logs to be made public. I won’t believe it until it happens…
What do you think: will the public ever see the flight logs?
The political debate continues to simmer over the Israeli occupation of Gaza. Here are some notable developments:
Joe Biden said there was no possibility of ceasefire
Retired Army Colonel Douglas Macgregor wrote, “The Israelis effectively own Washington. They've got whatever they want. Frankly Mr. Netanyahu exerts more influence and authority in Washington than Biden does.”
Dave Smith argued that, if anti-Semitism is as bad as many claim, Israel should stop killing children because continuing to do so will likely increase anti-Semitism. Smith is scheduled to debate pro-Israel/pro-Trump influencer Laura Loomer on Zerohedge tonight live on 𝕏
Ben Shapiro criticized Candace Owens for her views on Israel, calling them “disgraceful.” Owens has argued that governments should not commit genocide and the US should not fund Israel’s war. She posted a quote from the Bible after the Shapiro news broke.
Gaza was noted for having significant oil resources
Military contractor stocks have spiked since Israel-Palestine. AP photojournalists embedded with Hamas.
WATCH: Dave Smith analyzes the intelligence failure of 10/7:
Two AIs on Wokeness
A few days ago, Elon highlighted contrast between how ChatGPT and Grok conceive of the term “woke mind virus.”
Broadly, Grok regards wokeness with skepticism, while ChatGPT takes a more cautious tone. The two responses give users a sense of the chatbots’ respective attitudes toward identity politics. Here they are:
Dogey Treats: News Bites
The NY Post reported that 𝕏 is making 1/4th of its revenue from X Premium subscribers.
𝕏 is emerging as a site for smaller companies seeking high-value advertising opportunities because of its influential userbase.
Elon said he received information that Starship would be cleared for its second orbital test flight in time for a Friday, November 17th launch.
Cathy Wood argued that Tesla is the biggest AI investing play in the world
SpaceX got a court order preventing the progression of a complaint filed by the DOJ against the company for violating government hiring practices.
JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon has been having private talks with GOP Presidential candidate Nikki Haley.
On Veterans Day, Elon thanked service members “for saving the world.”
In response to a video from NY AG Letitia James’s campaign in which she promised to prosecute Trump, Elon wrote, “Yes, it is obvious to all, including herself, that she is pursuing Trump for political reasons.”
In advance of hosting Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi, San Fransisco cleared out major homeless encampments. The dramatic change residents to question if the city was able to solve its homeless problem all along, and led to the tagline, “Clean for Xi, not for thee.”
The Washington Post acknowledged that Russia did not bomb the Nord Stream pipeline as previously reported, instead reporting that Ukraine did it. The US was likely involved, too, in the largest environmental terrorist attack ever.
“QAnon Shaman” Jacob Chansley launched a congressional bid in Arizona.
Three arrests were made involving a DC-area prostitution ring that allegedly served politicians, military officers and business executives.
Global Financial System
The near-failure of a US Treasury Auction caught the attention of 𝕏.
BRICS is considering a proposal for a unified satellite Internet service outside of the US’s control.
The Bank of Russia will create a joint payment system with the UAE using the Digital Ruble.
Moody’s cut the US’s credit outlook from stable to negative.
Trump Organization defaulted on its lease of 40 Wall Street
On the Lex Fridman podcast, Elon urged Zelensky to negotiate peace with Russia.
Memes of the Week
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