By Jeff Childers
Happy Saturday, C&C’ers, we’re back! I hope you all had a joyful and fulfilling Thanksgiving holiday. It’s officially Christmas season now! To celebrate, I offer you an all-good-news edition.
In today’s roundup: Tesla self-driving feature finally goes mainstream; Antifa vows revenge on Tesla for twitter bans; Musk cracks down on child trafficking and kiddie porn on Twitter; Twitter restores all banned accounts; big U.S. corporations boycott Twitter in protest; major reorganizations at woke media corporation Disney after 40% stock drop; the Died Suddenly documentary is spreading; San Fran hotels bill the city millions for putting up homeless; Ukraine is powerless and dry, but are about to win the proxy war any minute now; Epstein victims sue big banks for helping the pedophile; and Alberta finally dumps school masking.
🗞*WORLD NEWS AND COMMENTARY* 🗞
🔥 On Thanksgiving, Elon Musk announced that full autonomous self driving is now available (in “beta”) for all Tesla owners in North America.
Although anticipated for several years, fully-autonomous self-driving (FSD) is a disruptive technology and it’s hard to exaggerate the potential effects of the feature on transportation, politics, and society writ large.
Musk is right, this may be the most important software release since Microsoft Windows. The mass availability of FSD is a historic development, fairly comparable to other major disruptive technologies, especially in transportation, that clustered around the early parts of the previous two centuries. For example, in the first quarter of the 19th century, the following groundbreaking technologies appeared: the electric battery (1800), the first railway (1803), the steamboat (1807), the telegraph (1816), and the first American railroads (1828). In the early part of the 20th century, we again saw the release of revolutionary tech, tech that shaped the entire century, like air conditioning (1902), modern automobiles (1901), the airplane (1903), and television (1927).
Disruptive technologies often alter society’s entire trajectory, usually for the better, but always coming with destructive downsides like military applications. For example, automobiles led to tanks, which were a major feature of last century’s world wars.
We don’t yet know how much the release of FSD will affect Tesla’s stock price, but it’s fair to assume it will be positive, maybe substantially. On Wednesday — the day before Musk’s announcement — Tesla’s stock price “jumped” +6%, and Forbes presciently predicted the end of a long post-Twitter-acquisition slide in Tesla stock.
Twitter’s stock recovery is in spite of two huge recalls recently ordered by the U.S. (300,000 cars, over “potential” tail light problems) and China (80,000 cars, over seat belt issues).
Now, don’t get me wrong; I don’t mean to complain. I’m excited about autonomous driving, if it works. Just imagine how productive we could be with all that drive time. But to be honest, it’s not what we were promised. The new millennium was supposed to deliver Jetson-style flying cars, not regular cars that drive themselves.
I want my flying car.
🔥 Yesterday, Rebel news reported that Portland Antifa extremists, angry that Twitter banned their violent rhetoric, publicly vowed to sabotage Tesla manufacturing plants to teach Elon Musk a lesson.
It started early yesterday when Musk criticized Twitter’s former management for allowing violent leftwing rhetoric to continue on the platform, in spite of banning countless conservative voices for much less serious offenses:
After a bunch of users responded to the thread with more examples of Antifa’s posts calling for violence, including coordinating riots, posting instructions on how to build weapons, specifically targeting named individuals, and calling for violence against — of all people — Libs of TikTok, Twitter started banning the most egregious leftwing accounts.
Antifa didn’t like it.
Courageous independent journalist Andy Ngo reported late yesterday that Antifa was calling for attacks on Tesla.
I’ll bet you a steak dinner that the FBI will not be raiding any Antifa apartments, or even investigating this REAL domestic terrorism, in any way, despite claiming to be “focusing” on the threat of “domestic terrorism” for almost two years now.
🔥 Also yesterday, in a related story, Musk announced a Twitter crackdown on child pornography and trafficking on the platform. Apparently a lot of so-called Antifa members were affected by these bans, as well.
It was well-known that Twitter’s old management refused without explanation to ban accounts involved in coordinating access to child porn, or even clear trafficking. FBI whistleblowers recently claimed that FBI offices all over the U.S. were directed to stand down their child trafficking investigations, so that more resources could be directed to investigating people who peacefully walks in and out of the Capitol on January 6th.
You could argue that Elon Musk is doing more to stop child trafficking than the FBI.
🔥 The Associated Press ran a story yesterday headlined, “Musk Says Granting ‘Amnesty’ to Suspended Twitter Accounts.” According to the AP, the announcement came after Musk ran a poll earlier this week letting people vote on whether to reinstate accounts that had not “broken the law or engaged in egregious spam.”
The vote was 72% in favor of restoring banned accounts.
After the poll finished, Musk tweeted, “The people have spoken. Amnesty begins next week. Vox Populi, Vox Dei.” (The Latin phrase means, “the voice of the people, the voice of God.”)
Lefty “social media experts” quoted by the AP called the decision “a disaster,” and “crazy.” They also complained Musk broke his original “promise” that he wouldn’t make any major content moderation decisions until he formed a “content moderation council.”
My guess is that Elon is getting a good look at the gross stuff that has been going on inside Twitter before he got there, and has recognized how perverted it all is. He doesn’t NEED to wait for a content moderation council. Along those lines, on Wednesday Musk suggested that we’ll soon be finding out more about what Twitter was up to before Elon bought the company.
🔥 Big corporations are punishing Twitter for allowing free speech on the platform and shutting down child pornography.
Jonathan Turley @JonathanTurley
For those in support of the restoration of free speech protections on Twitter, here are some of the companies pulling their ads in protest. Chevrolet, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc., Ford, Jeep, Kyndryl, Merck & Co. and Novartis AG. npr.org/2022/11/25/113… …
npr.orgTwitter has lost 50 of its top 100 advertisers since Elon Musk took over, report saysHalf of Twitter’s top 100 advertisers appear to no longer be advertising on the website. A new report states that these 50 advertisers have spent almost $2 billion on Twitter ads since 2020.10:41 PM ∙ Nov 25, 202211,097Likes4,847Retweets
Mr. Turley wrote another important story last week headlined, “Clinton-Linked Dark Money Group Targets Advertisers to Stop Musk From Restoring Free Speech Protections.” He explained that Clinton (and friends) are calling for foreign countries to pass new censorship laws to stop Musk from shutting down Twitter’s so-called “free speech protections.”
Of course, as we saw on Wednesday, that kind of state-sponsored censorship would violate Article 19 of the U.N.’s glorious Declaration of Human Rights, wouldn’t it?
🔥 Last Sunday, Disney Corporation fired its woke CEO Bob Chapek and replaced him with the previous woke CEO, Bob Iger. Chapek unfortunately oversaw the disastrous battle between the entertainment giant and the State of Florida over Disney’s opposition to a law banning sexual instruction for kids in grades K-3. The tussle surprisingly ended in Disney losing its special Florida tax district. Worse, the media giant’s revenues have been underwhelming, and its stock price has tanked by almost 40% this year.
Since taking charge over the weekend, Iger immediately started making changes, such as laying off the company’s media and entertainment head, Kareem Daniel. Iger’s first memo on Monday announced that ‘restructuring’ will start soon, “in the coming weeks.” In response, Yahoo Finance ran a story Tuesday headlined, “Bob Iger Plans Restructuring at Disney Immediately After Takeover.”
Late Wednesday, the replacement CEO announced a company-wide town hall meeting scheduled for this upcoming Monday, which most financial analysts think will be to announce significant layoffs and other major changes at the company.
Iger recently publicly criticized his predecessor, saying Chapek shouldn’t have hiked prices at the company’s theme parks (two increases just this year), and complaining that Chapek focused too much on the company’s streaming service at the cost of its core business. “He’s killing the soul of the company,” Iger complained.
It’s hard to fault Chapek for focusing on streaming at the same time the company was struggling at its brick-and-mortar facilities with park closures, lockdowns, restrictions, and mandates. So Iger’s criticism is probably off-base, as far as that goes. Also, many folks have pointed out that Disney’s disgusting wokening began under Bob Iger’s previous tenure, so it looks like Disney hasn’t yet learned its lesson.
After Disney came out in support of sexual instruction for elementary school kids, the Childers family canceled its Disney+ subscription, which we kept mainly because the boys liked the Mandalorian, which is basically a space western in the Star Wars universe.
I can’t imagine what it would take to get us back at this point.
Here’s the thing: the ongoing Disney story shows that conservative boycotts work! Keep it up.
🔥 Social media influencer Kim Dotcom has a MILLION twitter followers
I’ve reported about Kim before, since he’s recently been pushing back against the Ukraine war narrative from a European point of view. Apparently, Dotcom has seen Stew Peters’s new mRNA jab documentary, “Died Suddenly,” and now Kim is promoting the anti-vaccine movie:
Under new Twitter management, Kim’s posts won’t be throttled, and a LOT of people are going to get the message. Still not enough, but it’s great progress.
It’s fascinating how we now have tools like Twitter that let us watch an idea spreading in real time, isn’t it?
🔥 The San Francisco Chronicle ran a story Monday headlined, “These Hotels Are Seeking Millions From S.F. For Damage Caused During Shelter-in-Place. How Much Could City Owe?” During the pandemic, San Francisco created a program called “Shelter-in-Place” (SIP), where local hotels were required to give rooms to homeless people, all intended to somehow stop covid from spreading in tent cities.
The Chronicle reported that the Hotel Union Square incurred a fabulously expensive but entirely predictable bill to clean up its rooms after homeless people had lived in them for several months. The finally tally for repairs came to $5.6 million, to fix rampant smoke damage, broken light fixtures, mold and other unsavory problems. The hotel filed a claim with the City in September 2021.
After the city offered the hotel only $400,000, and negotiations failed, the hotel sued the city in January. According to the Chronicle, this month the city’s Government Audit and Oversight Committee met (in closed session) to consider a recommendation to settle the claim for about $5.3 million.
About 25 hotels “participated” in the Shelter-in-Place program, which housed between 1,500 and 3,700 crack addicts, criminals living under the radar, and mentally-ill people living outside. State and federal pandemic funds for paying hotel room rates have largely ended, so the hotels are starting to look at what it will take to get their facilities back to something normal people are willing to inhabit.
Of course, the taxpayers of San Francisco will ultimately pay for all the fixes. Thanks taxpayers! That’s putting your money where your virtue signaling mouths are.
Most recently, Tilden Hotel filed a claim for $6.5 million. Only twenty-three hotels to go.
🚀 There’s another disappearing story lately: the proxy war with Russia in Ukraine. You haven’t heard too much about it, and you know what that means. It can’t be great news for Ukraine.
Sure enough, corporate media quietly reported a “human interest” story from Ukraine late this week: there’s no power for the holidays. Keep in mind, it’s averaging below 30 degrees in Ukraine at this point.
The Wall Street Journal ran a misleading story this morning headlined, “Russian Strikes Leave Six Million in Ukraine Without Power.” It sounds bad, but without context, it’s impossible for readers to assess just how bad it is. The rest of the Journal’s article is no help and it’s not news; it’s only a bunch of defiant rhetoric from Ukrainians like that jokester Zelenskyy, who hasn’t gone five minutes without power, if he’s really even in Ukraine at all.
To get a sense of what the Russians have accomplished in a few short weeks since replacing their commanding general, here’s an alleged recent map of nighttime Ukraine from space.
As you can see, Ukraine is shown as almost as dark as the Black Sea. It looks like North Korea. That represents the power being out in 90% of the country. I can’t vouch for the map, there’s unlimited propaganda online these days, but Newmax ran a story Thursday headlined, “Ukraine Battles to Reconnect Millions in Cold, Dark.”
The energy system in Ukraine is on the brink of collapse and millions have been subjected to emergency blackouts over recent weeks after systematic Russian bombardments of the grid… Wednesday’s attacks disconnected three [of four] Ukrainian nuclear plants automatically from the national grid and triggered blackouts in neighbouring Moldova, where the energy network is linked to Ukraine.
The entire energy system is on the brink of collapse. And when the power goes out, the water is out, too. And that’s not too good.
Proxy war allies are mobilizing to prop up Ukraine again. Finland’s prime minister made a direct appeal for private help with Ukraine’s power situation.
Ukraine lacks electricity and water as Russia is brutally and illegally targeting civilians and infrastructure. Private sector contribution for energy equipment would also be urgently needed and crucial. Finland supports also with defence and other material and humanitarian aid.12:37 PM ∙ Nov 24, 202221,080Likes2,766Retweets
NATO has begun shipping tons of portable power stations to the war-torn country.
As Putin continues to target Ukraine’s electricity system, the U.S. is working to help keep the lights on. With this week’s delivery, we have provided 1k power generators to help power hospitals, schools, emergency services, and government agencies.
1:27 PM ∙ Nov 25, 202212,608Likes2,405Retweets
Three hours ago, Fox News posted an article headlined, “Ukraine Capital in Survival Mode Following Latest Russian Missile Barrage: Residents Without Water, Power.” It reported that president Zelenskyy is assuring everyone that power will soon be restored in a “nationwide” effort:
“Every hour we restore power to new consumers,” he said. “Energy workers, utility workers, business – everyone is doing their part to give light again. This is truly a nationwide task – Ukraine is working as unitedly as possible in this.”
You’ll pardon the broken English. Next week, Zelenskyy will be back in the States, cozy and warm, gnoshing on pancetta-wrapped baby asparagus and leading an all-star panel at the New York Times, along with his good comrade, Sam Bankman-Fried.
I know I said this was an all-good-news roundup, but I’m not calling Ukraine being out of power “good news.” The Ukrainians are actually employing a cunning diversion, just pretending, letting the Russians THINK their energy system is on the brink of collapse. The Russians will find themselves defeated any minute now. You’ll see!
🔥 The Wall Street Journal ran a story Thursday headlined, “Jeffrey Epstein Accusers Sue Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan.” The sub-headline explains, “Lawsuits claim banks facilitated sex trafficking and ignored red flags.”
The story is, women who alleged they were trafficked by Jeffrey Epstein and his accomplices filed two lawsuits in New York federal court on Thursday against the two financial powerhouses.
“The time has come for the real enablers to be held responsible, especially his wealthy friends and the financial institutions that played an integral role,” said one of the lawyers, Bradley Edwards, in a written statement. “These victims were wronged, by many, not just Epstein. He did not act alone.”
The suit against Deutsche Bank was supported by findings from New York’s financial regulator, after an investigation into Deutsche’s close relationship with Epstein. The JPMorgan suit cited an investigation by U.K. regulators finding a collusive relationship between Epstein and a former top JPMorgan executive.
Among other things, the lawsuits allege both banks:
— assisted and participated in Epstein’s alleged sex trafficking by enabling him pay women for sex acts;
— profited from Epstein’s activities;
— worked with Epstein for years, even after he pleaded guilty to soliciting prostitution from a minor in 2008; and
— violated various human-trafficking laws, by aiding Epstein with access to accounts and cash.
There are a lot more details in the article. From a legal perspective, it sounds like the banks have some legitimate exposure, from having had notice of Epstein’s criminal activity (from his 2008 plea deal), from a good deal of suspicious activity in his accounts, and from having provided Epstein with what looks in hindsight at least to be protection, or even assistance.
Accountability is slow, but it’s unstoppable.
🔥 The Canadian CBC ran a story Thursday headlined, “Alberta Government Bans School Mask Mandates, Online-Only Learning.”
It’s about time.
Alberta’s new Premier Danielle Smith ordered updated regulations forbidding schools from requiring masks to attend classes in person. Now, all schools in Alberta must offer an in-person option — without masks. They can also offer online school if they wish.
Late Thursday afternoon, Premier Smith announced, “Parents and students have told me time and time again that they want a normal school environment for their kids.”
Smith was and is opposed by teachers’ unions, which now want online-only schools for ALL kinds of outbreaks, like for flu and RSV, and by parents of immunocompromised kids, who believe without evidence that masks somehow prevent their children from encountering harmful germs at school.
As one reprehensible Canadian covid expert put it:
Canada has long been a holdout of covid restrictions and mandates. Alberta is leading the way back to sanity.
We can hope the other provinces will follow Alberta’s lead soon.
I hope all that good news encouraged you. Have a wonderful weekend, and enjoy the Christmas music! I’ll see you all back here Monday morning to start the last week of November off right.
C&C is moving the needle and changing minds. If you can, I could use your help getting the truth out and spreading optimism and hope: https://www.coffeeandcovid.com/p/-learn-how-to-get-involved-
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The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Citizens Journal Florida.