The Arrow #106
Greetings from Boca Raton, Florida
Well, as I’ve written time and time again in these pages, this version of The Arrow is going to be abbreviated due to time constraints. Then I’m somehow able to forge ahead and find the time to crank out a complete version. Not this time, however. And for that, you have my sincere apology.
I’ve been immersed in slide-making hell for the past week. As I’ve mentioned in several earlier editions, I’m giving a brand new talk in Boca Raton, Florida in a couple of days, so I’ve been working feverishly on my slides. My plan was to have the slides completed yesterday in an effort to be able to devote today—Thursday—to churning out The Arrow. But instead of a quick 2 hour and 15 minute flight from Dallas to Ft. Lauderdale, MD and I got caught up in the flight delay situation occasioned by the FAA’s computer glitch (or so they said) issues. Our flight was delayed for hours. Then, when we finally got to Florida, everything was chaos, because no one had staffed up enough to deal with the huge glut of travelers coming in late in the day.
We had to wait forever for the shuttle to the rental car center. Once there, the wait was interminable to get a car. There was an enormous line and only two people working. When I finally got to the counter, the guy told me they were usually slammed early and slow down later. He showed up for work, and the place was empty. Then suddenly at about 5:30 a zillion flights had started arriving, and they had been swamped since. By the time we got our car and drove to the hotel it was 8:30 or so (we had planned on arriving at ~3PM), we had to once again deal with delays caused by the flight screw ups. Everyone trying to check in later than anticipated.
As it turned out, I didn’t get to finish my slides, so I have to do it today. And The Arrow has to suffer. Thanks FAA.
Not only will I not get the time to write a newsletter this week, I’ve also been lax on the comments and on emails received. I promise I’ll catch up this coming week.
Since I’ve been writing this email, every week I’ve had folks write telling me they didn’t get their email version. My standard response was to advise them to check their spam folder, which some did and did find The Arrow languishing there, but many just didn’t get it.
Well, it happened to me this week. I’ve got a junk hotmail email address I use for signing up for stuff so that my personal email address doesn’t get overrun with promotional crap. I send a copy of The Arrow to that address, and last week’s edition did not arrive. Wasn’t in the spam folder, wasn’t anywhere that I could find. So, I guess these big bulk emailers do lose a few every week.
Unlike with my previous provider, Substack is set up so that you can find the current issue and all back issues online. If you don’t get your email, go to the link below:
There you’ll find the current issue—once it’s out—and all back issues.
Due to slide-making total immersion, I haven’t kept up with my normal reading schedule this past week, but I did read one great piece—on my phone just after takeoff yesterday—I thought I would pass along.
It’s by one of my favorite commenters on the current scene, Martin Gurri. Gurri is an ex-CIA analyst who wrote one of my favorite books, Revolt of the Public. He wrote the book and published it himself and sent it around to some friends. Who passed it around to others. His predictions were so accurate that the book ended up getting picked up by a regular publisher and went on to bestsellerdom. I highly recommend it.
The new, updated, version has a chapter about Donald Trump, whose election the original version predicted. If you decide to grab a copy, which I highly recommend, read the chapter on Trump before you start the book. Then read it again after you’ve finished. Pretty amazing.
In essence, what Gurri predicted was that the internet would be a major game-changing event comparable to the invention of the printing press. Until the advent of the internet, the public at large were held hostage in terms of what they were allowed to read or watch by the so-called “elites” who ran the mainstream media. Once the internet came along, much of that control of information vanished. Just any old people could get on the internet and learn about anything. There were no controls. No information spigots turned on or off by others. It was liberating. And the elites have been pissed ever since.
Every time I hear the word “elites'“ mentioned in this context, I always wonder who these “elites'‘ really are. Well, Gurri has come out with an article explaining who they are. The photo at the top of the article will give you a clue.
My favorite laugh-out-loud excerpt comes from a section titled:
Come To Think of It, How Do You Reconcile Elitism With Democracy?
Easy! First you disenfranchise the “MAGA Republicans” that President Biden told us are destroying democracy. That’s about 74 million voters. Next you do the same to the “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic” who are part of the “basket of deplorables” Hillary Clinton warned us about. That’s a few million more. Then you go after QAnon “insurgents,” “climate deniers,” Christian bigots, flat earthers, snake handlers, Fox News watchers—you name it!
If you keep going long enough, you’ll get to a voting public that thinks Kamala Harris sounds like Pericles.
The entire article is well worth the read.
The Smoking Gun(s)
And then there’s this piece that I just took a quick minute to read this morning from Jeff Childers detailing the clear and nefarious collusion between the government and Facebook (and one presumes the other social media giants as well) to suppress unwanted dissenting opinions relative to the vaccines. I warn you, when you read it your blood is likely going to boil. Mine did. This is an email between our government and a Facebook staffer uncovered in discovery by the Missouri AG in their case.
And Childers’ commentary on it…
Bless that Missouri attorney general. The disclosures from the Missouri v. Biden case are confirming what we all knew was going on, but couldn’t prove. The latest tidbit to be flipped out of the chum bucket is a pivotal March 21st, 2021 email from a Facebook staffer to Andy Slavitt, the White House Covid Coordinator.
Here’s the crucial bit that I highlighted above:
[W]e have been focused on reducing the virality of content discouraging vaccines that does not contain actionable misinformation.This is often-true content, which we allow at the post level because experts have advised us that it is important for people to be able to discuss both their personal experiences and concerns about the vaccine, but it can be framed as sensation, alarmist, or shocking. We’ll remove these Groups, Pages, and Accounts when they are disproportionately promoting this sensationalized content. More on this front as we proceed to implement.
Often true! This email is a key bit of evidence proving several key facts, if not the entire case against the federal government. You could even call it a “smoking gun.” Why?
First, the email proves that Facebook’s motive was not really to stop “misinformation” from hurting people, but rather it was always intended to help promote the government’s hyper-aggressive vaccine program.
In his email, the staffer expressly admitted that Facebook was not just censoring “misinformation” to keep people safe, but was also censoring TRUE factual information that Facebook couldn’t find any way to label as mis-information. Like when somebody posted, “Seven hours after taking the second jab, my aunt died of a massive stroke.” That’s a fact.
That fact about the poster’s aunt falls into the “often true” category. It’s not misinformation. But it’s “shocking” and more importantly, it might cause some “vaccine hesitancy,” which is what the title of that paragraph called the whole project. They were “tackling vaccine hesitancy.”
Tackling vaccine hesitancy is not part of Facebook’s social media mission. That was the government’s depopulation mission. Sorry, sorry, I meant, “public health mission.”
Next, the staffer specifically proved at least one of the technical mechanisms of censorship, and helpfully admitted that people’s free speech rights were harmed — even putting a number on it. That admission proves DAMAGES. He said:
Additional limitations we placed in April 2020 on forwarding of messages that have been forwarded many times reduced these kinds of messages by over 70%.
It’s worded a little obtusely, but what he’s saying is that they put the digital brakes on any message that got forwarded a lot and was critical of the vaccines. And it worked! In coordination with the White House, Facebook frustrated most (“over 70%”) of the forwarders. I remember all this very well. During this timeframe, when Facebook was C&C’s primary platform, commenters often complained that (a) they didn’t get the daily posts in their feed, and (b) they were blocked from forwarding or re-posting the daily roundups.
Next, the email proves COORDINATION between the government and the private actor, Facebook. In the email’s second-to-last sentence, the Facebook staffer called the previous list “these commitments.” If, as corporate media apologists suggest, Facebook was just detailing some of its totally private preferences, why call them “commitments?” Commitment to whom? Why commitments?
A commitment is something you make to someone that you are working with as part of an agreement, contract, or collusion.
Next, the very last sentence, promising “More on this front as we proceed to implement,” proves the White House was coordinating censorship with Facebook. In other words, if Facebook were just letting the White House know what its own preferences were, as a completely private actor, there would be no need to keep the government posted on the how the implementation was proceeding.
Finally, look at this delicious sentence that also proves coordination, the sentence with which the whole email begins:
Thanks for taking the time to connect on Friday. Per our discussion, I wanted to follow up with next steps:
“Next STEPS!” Steps are what you take when you are walking [sic] out a PLAN. A plan to move toward a goal. A plan is an agreement between two or more parties to take some particular action. This email alone proves the White House was involved in massive civil rights violations.
So, once again, it wasn’t wild right-wing-nut speculation or conspiracy theorizing. It was collusion between government and a private entity to silence dissenting voices. Jesus isn’t the only one weeping.
Okay, I do have a book recommendation for you. Michael Huemer is a professor of philosophy at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He also writes tbe brilliant Substack Fake Noûs, which I read every word of. He has written and self published a terrific book titled Understanding Knowledge. I had it on my wish list for Christmas, and one of our kids got if for me. I started reading it a couple of weeks ago, but haven’t picked it up since my descent into slide-making hell.
It’s a book about epistemology, which is the study of “the nature of knowledge, whether and how we know what we think we know, whether and how our beliefs are justified.”
I’ve always wanted a good grounding in epistemology, but I’ve never gotten past the first few pages of the several books I’ve tried. They have all been way too academic.
I was snared by what the author wrote in the preface when he listed all the reasons one should buy his book:
The writing. It’s written in a clear, simple style. I should be easier to read and won’t put you to sleep as fast as other epistemology books. (Admittedly, I am less skilled than most epistemologists at curing insomnia.)
If you go to the Amazon link above and look at the first few pages, you can get a real sense of the guy and the book. Since I religiously read his Substack, I know he’s a good writer. I’ve quoted him a number of times in various editions of The Arrow.
Since I stand to earn a quarter or so if you purchase this book through the Amazon link above, I feel bound to tell you that despite the clear writing, it is still a difficult read. I’m working my way through it slowly.
The one thing that makes me think the book is worthwhile is the author’s take on Karl Popper. I love the philosopher David Stove’s take on Popper and his ideas about falsification. But Stove takes an entire book to make his case. Heumer does it in about two pages. Brilliant!
But don’t buy it looking for an easy read. It is easy for an epistemology book, but epistemology is not easy to understand. Buyer beware. On the plus side, it is very inexpensive for a book on epistemology. Most are in the $50-$75 range.
The results of the poll from last week were very interesting. I don’t have time right now to go into it all, but I’ll do that next week, or maybe even in a quick special post.
Okay, that’s about it for today. Sorry for the foreshortened treatise, and I promise I’ll try to make up for it next week, but right now I’ve got to get back to my slide making.
I’ll be back next Thursday from 35,000 feet, as we’ll be traveling back to Dallas. Keep in good cheer, and I’ll see you then.
Oh, one last reminder: if you’re in the Boca Raton area, I encourage you to treat yourself to a great conference with lots to learn at LowcarbUSA in Boca, and if you do, track us down. We’d love to say hi. If you can’t make it, remember you can also get a ‘virtual ticket’ to attend the conference online and see not only my new talk (scheduled for 4:30 pm on Saturday) but all the other great speakers as well.