It’s a start. Dell to Phase Out All Computer Chips Produced in China. No they’re not coming to the USA, but they’re pulling out of China by 2024. So it’s a start. As you know, China is the Progressives favorite, replacing Russia. We see that HP has also announced that they will be leaving China.
Nikkei Asia reports that Dell has told its suppliers to significantly reduce the number of components in its products that are “made in China” in an effort to diversify its supply chain as concerns over tensions between the US and China grow in the tech community. According to sources, the company has also informed its suppliers that it aims to stop using chips made in China by 2024. Dell reportedly plans to manufacture all chips used in its products in plants outside of China by 2024.
Apple reportedly plans to start making its MacBook notebooks in Vietnam by mid-2023, which means the company will have some alternative non-China production bases for all of its major product lines.
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Virginia Tech Soccer Player Benched For Refusing to Follow Coach’s Woke Orders Reaches $ Six Figure Settlement.
A former Virginia Tech soccer player who accused her coach of benching her for expressing political views at a game will receive $100,000 from a settlement of her lawsuit.
The money will go to Kiersten Hening as part of an agreement to dismiss a federal lawsuit in which she claimed she was punished for exercising her First Amendment rights, according to her attorney, Cameron Norris of Arlington.
Norris said the terms of the settlement included no admission of wrongdoing by either his client or Charles “Chugger” Adair, head coach of the women’s soccer team.
Adam Mortara, an attorney representing Hening, demolished Chugger’s alternate reality tweeting, “If by clarity you mean you are paying my client six figures in a settlement then you’re right that’s pretty clear. Honestly, Coach, read the Court’s opinion. You are paying. Defendants don’t pay in cases that have no standing.”
It’s January 4th, 2023, which means Twitter Files stories have been coming out for over a month. Because these are weedsy tales, and may be hard to follow if you haven’t from the beginning, I’ve written up capsule summaries of each of the threads by all of the Twitter Files reporters, and added links to the threads and accounts of each. At the end, in response to some readers (especially foreign ones) who’ve found some of the alphabet-soup government agency names confusing, I’ve included a brief glossary of terms to help as well.
Recounting the internal drama at Twitter surrounding the decision to block access to a New York Post exposé on Hunter Biden in October, 2020.
Key revelations: Twitter blocked the story on the basis of its “hacked materials” policy, but executives internally knew the decision was problematic. “Can we truthfully claim that this is part of the policy?” is how comms official Brandon Borrman put it. Also: when a Twitter contractor polls members of Congress about the decision, they hear Democratic members want more moderation, not less, and “the First Amendment isn’t absolute.”
THE “EXITING” OF TWITTER DEPUTY GENERAL COUNSEL JIM BAKER
A second round of Twitter Files releases was delayed, as new addition Bari Weiss discovers former FBI General Counsel and Twitter Deputy General Counsel Jim Baker was reviewing the first batches of Twitter Files documents, whose delivery to reporters had slowed.
Bari Weiss gives a long-awaited answer to the question, “Was Twitter shadow-banning people?” It did, only the company calls it “visibility filtering.” Twitter also had a separate, higher council called SIP-PES that decided cases for high-visibility, controversial accounts.
Key revelations: Twitter had a huge toolbox for controlling the visibility of any user, including a “Search Blacklist” (for Dan Bongino), a “Trends Blacklist” for Stanford’s Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, and a “Do Not Amplify” setting for conservative activist Charlie Kirk. Weiss quotes a Twitter employee: “Think about visibility filtering as being a way for us to suppress what people see to different levels. It’s a very powerful tool.” With help from @abigailshrier, @shellenbergermd, @nelliebowles, and @isaacgrafstein.
THE REMOVAL OF DONALD TRUMP, October 2020 – January 6th, 2021
First in a three-part series looking at how Twitter came to the decision to suspend Donald Trump. The idea behind the series is to show how all of Twitter’s “visibility filtering” tools were on display and deployed after January 6th, 2021. Key Revelations: Trust and Safety chief Yoel Roth not only met regularly with the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, but with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). Also, Twitter was aggressively applying “visibility filtering” tools to Trump well before the election.
This thread by Michael Shellenberger looks at the key day after the J6 riots and before Trump would ultimately be banned from Twitter on January 8th, showing how Twitter internally reconfigured its rules to make a Trump ban fit their policies.
Key revelations: at least one Twitter employee worried about a “slippery slope” in which “an online platform CEO with a global presence… can gatekeep speech for the entire world,” only to be shot down. Also, chief censor Roth argues for a ban on congressman Matt Gaetz even though it “doesn’t quite fit anywhere (duh),” and Twitter changed its “public interest policy” to clear a path for Trump’s removal.
As angry as many inside Twitter were with Donald Trump after the January 6th Capitol riots, staffers struggled to suspend his account, saying things like, “I think we’d have a hard time saying this is incitement.” As documented by Weiss, they found a way to pull the trigger anyway.
Key revelations: there were dissenters in the company (“Maybe because I am from China,” said one employee, “I deeply understand how censorship can destroy the public conversation”), but are overruled by senior executives like Vijaya Gadde and Roth, who noted many on Twitter’s staff were citing the “Banality of Evil,” and comparing those who favored sticking to a strict legalistic interpretation of Twitter’s rules — i.e. keep Trump, who had “no violation” — to “Nazis following orders.”
Twitter’s contact with the FBI was “constant and pervasive,” as FBI personnel, mainly in the San Francisco field office, regularly sent lists of “reports” to Twitter, often about Americans with low follower counts making joke tweets. Tweeters on both the left and the right were affected.
Key revelations: A senior Twitter executive reports, “FBI was adamant no impediments to sharing” classified information exist. Twitter also agreed to “bounce” content on the recommendations of a wide array of governmental and quasi-governmental actors, from the FBI to the Homeland Security agency CISA to Stanford’s Election Integrity Project to state governments. The company one day received so many moderation requests from the FBI, an executive congratulated staffers at the end for completing the “monumental undertaking.”
The Twitter Files story increases its focus on the company’s relationship to federal law enforcement and intelligence, and shows intense communication between the FBI and Twitter just before the release of the Post’s Hunter Biden story.
Key Revelations: San Francisco agent Elvis Chan “sends 10 documents to Twitter’s then-Head of Site Integrity, Yoel Roth, through Teleporter, a one-way communications channel from the FBI to Twitter,” the evening before the release of the Post story. Also, Baker in an email explains Twitter was compensated for “processing requests” by the FBI, saying “I am happy to report we have collected $3,415,323 since October 2019!”
HOW TWITTER QUIETLY AIDED THE PENTAGON’S COVERT ONLINE PSYOP CAMPAIGN
Lee Fang takes a fascinating detour, looking at how Twitter for years approved and supported Pentagon-backed covert operations. Noting the company explicitly testified to Congress that it didn’t allow such behavior, the platform nonetheless was a clear partner in state-backed programs involving fake accounts.
Key revelations: after the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) sent over a list of 52 Arab-language accounts “we use to amplify certain messages,” Twitter agreed to “whitelist” them. Ultimately the program would be outed in the Washington Post in 2022 — two years after Twitter and other platforms stopped assisting — but contrary to what came out in those reports, Twitter knew about and/or assisted in these programs for at least three years, from 2017-2020.
Lee wrote a companion piece for the Intercept here:
The Christmas Eve thread (I should have waited a few days to publish!) further details how the channels of communication between the federal government and Twitter operated, and reveals that Twitter directly or indirectly received lists of flagged content from “Other Government Agencies,” i.e. the CIA.
Key revelations: CIA officials attended at least one conference with Twitter in the summer of 2020, and companies like Twitter and Facebook received “OGA briefings,” at their regular “industry” meetings held in conjunction with the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security. The FBI and the “Foreign Influence Task Force” met regularly “not just with Twitter, but with Yahoo!, Twitch, Cloudfare, LinkedIn, even Wikimedia.”
David Zweig drills down into how Twitter throttled down information about COVID that was true but perhaps inconvenient for public officials, “discrediting doctors and other experts who disagreed.”
Key Revelations: Zweig found memos from Twitter personnel who’d liaised with Biden administration officials who were “very angry” that Twitter had not deplatformed more accounts. White House officials for instance wanted attention on reporter Alex Berenson. Zweig also found “countless” instances of Twitter banning or labeling “misleading” accounts that were true or merely controversial. A Rhode Island physician named Andrew Bostom, for instance, was suspended for, among other things, referring to the results of a peer-reviewed study on mRNA vaccines.
These two threads focus respectively on the second half of 2017, and a period stretching roughly from summer of 2020 through the present. The first describes how Twitter fell under pressure from Congress and the media to produce “material” showing a conspiracy of Russian accounts on their platform, and the second shows how Twitter tried to resist fulfilling moderation requests for the State Department, but ultimately agreed to let State and other agencies send requests through the FBI, which agent Chan calls “the belly button of the USG.” Revelations: at the close of 2017, Twitter makes a key internal decision. Outwardly, the company would claim independence and promise that content would only be removed at “our sole discretion.” The internal guidance says, in writing, that Twitter will remove accounts “identified by the U.S. intelligence community” as “identified by the U.S.. intelligence community as a state-sponsored entity conducting cyber-operations.”
The second thread shows how Twitter took in requests from everyone — Treasury, HHS, NSA, FBI, DHS, etc. — and also received personal requests from politicians like Democratic congressman Adam Schiff, who asked to have journalist Paul Sperry suspended.
GLOSSARY OF “TWITTER FILES” TERMS
Government Agencies and NGOs
CISA: The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, an agency within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
CENTCOM: Central Command of the Armed Forces
ODNI: Office of the Director of National Intelligence
FITF: Foreign Influence Task Force, a cyber-regulatory agency comprised of members of the FBI, DHS, and ODNI
“OGA”: Other Government Agency, colloquially — CIA
GEC: Global Engagement Center, an analytical division of the U.S. State Department
USIC: United States intelligence community
HSIN: Homeland Security Information Network, a portal through which states and other official bodies can send “flagged” accounts
EIP: Election Integrity Project, a cyber-laboratory based at Stanford University that sends many reports to Twitter
DFR: Digital Forensic Research lab, an outlet that performs a similar function to the EIP, only is funded by the Atlantic Council
IRA: Internet Research Agency, the infamous Russian “troll farm” headed by “Putin’s chef,” Yevgheny Prigozhin
Twitter or Industry-specific terms
PII: Can have two meanings. “Personally identifiable information” is self-explanatory, while a “Public Interest Interstitial” is a warning placed over a tweet, so that it cannot be seen. Twitter personnel even use “interstitial” as a verb, as in, “Can we interstitial that?”
JIRA: Twitter’s internal ticketing system, through which complaints rise and are decided
PV2: The system used at Twitter to view the profile of any user, to check easily if it has flags like “Trends Blacklist”
SIP-PES Site Integrity Policy — Policy Escalation Support. SIP-PES is like Twitter’s version of a moderation Supreme Court, dealing with the most high-profile, controversial rulings
SI: Site integrity. Key term that you’ll see repeately in Twitter email traffic, especially with “escalations,” i.e. tweets or content that have been reported for moderation review
CHA: Coordinated Harmful Activity
SRT: Strategic Response Team
GET: Global Escalation Team
VF: Visibility Filtering
GUANO: Tool in Twitter’s internal system that keeps a chronological record of all actions taken on an account
VIT: Very Important Tweeter. Really.
GoV: Glorificaiton of Violence
BOT: In the moderation content, an individualized heuristic attached to an account that moderates certain behavior automatically
BME: Bulk Media Exploitation
EP Abuse: Episodic abuse
PCF: Parity, commentary and fan accounts. “PCF” sometimes appears as a reason an account has escaped an automated moderation process, under a limited exception
FLC: Forced Login Challenge. Also called a “phone challenge,” it’s a way Twitter attempts to verify if an account is real or automated. “Phone challenges” are seen repeatedly in discussions about verification of suspected “Russia-linked” accounts
IO: Information Operations, as in The GEC’s mandate for offensive IO to promote American interests.
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My sources tell me that Twitter may have started something by bringing back President Trump.
Facebook owner Meta Inc is preparing to announce whether it will allow former U.S. President Donald Trump back on to Facebook and Instagram, the Financial Times reported on Sunday.
The social media giant had previously said it will decide by Jan 7 whether to allow the former president to return. However, that decision is now expected to be announced later in the month, the newspaper said, citing a person familiar with the matter.
Reuters first ran with this story. I believe January 7th is the big day.
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This does my heart good to see that there are states who are willing to protect the border. Governor Abbott has so far lived up to his promise to keep us safe and secure.
Migrant crossings have plummeted in a mile-long stretch of Downtown El Paso where the Texas Army National Guard has set up concertina wire and portable fencing along the Rio Grande.
The guard began setting up the barrier last week at a gap in the border wall west of the Paso del Norte port of entry. In the space of eight days, the barbed wire has nearly reached a second port of entry and chain-link fence anchored by sandbags extends even farther. The result is that asylum seekers can no longer walk across ankle-deep water in the Rio Grande and turn themselves in to waiting Border Patrol agents in that area.
“The difference is vast,” said 1st Sgt. Suzanne Ringle. “The 19th, the 20th and the 21st we had large groups of families and individuals who were wanting to come across. Now, it’s almost a ghost town out there.”
She attributed that to the “visual deterrent” of the barbwire, parked Humvees and soldiers patrolling the area with their semi-automatic rifles. As of Tuesday, 600 guard members were in El Paso on border security duty associated with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s Operation Lone Star.
We have this from the Governor.
Migrant crossings “plummet” in El Paso as Texas National Guard expands barbwire fence.
We will continue to deploy the National Guard, razor wire, large container boxes and building the wall to do all we can to deter illegal immigration caused by Biden.
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Fauci on Trial: retiring bureaucrat suddenly ‘can’t recall’ anything. Surprised?
We’ve reported this before, but someone did the legwork and read his deposition related to the govt/big tech collusion to censor those who opposed the vaccine mandates. They found a (not so) astonishing 174 times Tony the Fauch said “I don’t recall” — including when asked about emails that he sent, interviews that he gave, and other important information. Considering the 80-year-old con man could be looking forward to spending the rest of his life in jail if the censorship case and any sequelae ever go to trial, is anyone surprised?
Sixth Circuit Appeals Court Upholds Air Force Personnel’s Relief From COVID Vaccine Mandate
The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court ruled unanimously to uphold a class action injunction protecting Air Force personnel who declined the COVID vaccine from punitive measures.
In the ruling, Judge Murphy wrote, “Under RFRA, the Air Force wrongly relied on its ‘broadly formulated’ reasons for the vaccine mandate to deny specific exemptions to the Plaintiffs, especially since it has granted secular exemptions to their colleagues. We thus may uphold the Plaintiffs’ injunction based on RFRA alone. The Air Force’s treatment of their exemption requests also reveals common questions for the class: Does the Air Force have a uniform policy of relying on its generalized interests in the vaccine mandate to deny religious exemptions regardless of a service member’s individual circumstances? And does it have a discriminatory policy of broadly denying religious exemptions but broadly granting secular ones? A district court can answer these questions in a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ fashion for the entire class. It can answer whether these alleged policies violate RFRA and the First Amendment in the same way. A ruling for the class also would permit uniform injunctive relief against the allegedly illegal policies. We affirm.”
Defense for Jabs Gone: Pandemic of the Vaccinated, Increased Likelihood of C19 Death
For the first time, a majority of Americans dying from the coronavirus received at least the primary series of the vaccine.
Fifty-eight percent of coronavirus deaths in August were people who were vaccinated or boosted, according to an analysis conducted for The Health 202 by Cynthia Cox, vice president at the Kaiser Family.
We looked at the top ten most vaccinated states; they had an average uptake of 82%. And we looked at the bottom ten least vaccinated states, and [it] turns out there’s a 34% increase in deaths per 100,000 of COVID deaths in the top ten most vaccinated states.
Jeffrey Jaxen [of The Highwire]comments, “So there’s a data point that is actually really shocking, really should be alarming to a lot of people, really should be investigated.”
Agreed, Jeffrey. If the shots really were “safe and effective,” how is it possible that the top ten most vaccinated states are now seeing 34% MORE Covid-19 deaths than the top ten least vaccinated states? And why is it that programs like The Highwire and internet warriors that have to do CDC’s job for them? These things clearly aren’t working. There’s a negative efficacy signal, and nothing comes to chance when you compare ten states of data to another ten states. That’s essentially a mega meta-analysis.
PA Supreme Court rules that if Ballot is not dated or dated wrong, must be put aside. The court ruled Tuesday afternoon that they were in agreement with the US Supreme Court. All ballots must have the correct date.
The acting Secretary of State was going to ignore the court ruling. Now that will not happen. At least not legally. I can see this comming up in blue states where white progressives claim they need to direct their house brothers and sisters.
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The much to do about nothing January 6th Democrat committee went fishing again. For now the Supreme court smacked their hand.
Kagan’stwo-page orderstayed the subpoena “pending further order of the undersigned or of the Court.” Similar requests in high-profile cases are almost always referred to the full court.
Of all people, Justice Kagan said not happening. Kagan gave the Loon panel until Friday at 5 p.m. to respond.
Ward asserted her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination in an appearance before the Jan. 6 select committee, a fact that the appeals court panel majority noted could be held against her in the civil lawsuit.
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An upstate New York judge ruled that citing fear of catching COVID-19 is no longer a valid excuse to continue thwarting the state’s election law regarding absentee ballots.
Saratoga County Supreme Court Justice Dianne Freestone, ordered local election boards to stop counting absentee ballots they’ve already received. Freestone directed the election officials to preserve the absentee ballots until after Election Day, November 8, or after a Republican lawsuit is resolved.
Her ruling did not invalidate ballots already mailed, according to a Fox News report.
New York’s Republican and Conservative parties, along with many like-minded officials, filed a legal challenge in Saratoga County’s Supreme Court one year after a proposed state constitutional amendment allowing no-excuse absentee voting was rejected by voters.
The plaintiffs asked the court to rule Chapter 763 of 2021 state laws and Chapter 2 of the state’s 2022 laws unconstitutional, further arguing Chapter 763 conflicts with other existing state statutes.
Republicans claim Chapter 2, which authorizes absentee voting on the basis of fearing COVID-19, violates the state Constitution.
Freestone ruled in favor of the Republican and Conservative plaintiffs, declaring the Election Law changes challenged in the lawsuit violate New York’s Constitution.
The state legislature “appears poised to continue the expanded absentee voting provisions of New York State Election Law … in an Orwellian perpetual state of health emergency and cloaked in the veneer of ‘voter enfranchisement,’” Freestone wrote Friday in her ruling.
Democrats, who control both houses of New York’s legislature, have said their Election Law changes regarding absentee ballots were both for safety and to enable early counting of them.
Republicans gleefully greeted news of the favorable ruling, which comes just two weeks before Election Day.
“What we object to is mass mailing of paper ballots when they are not necessary,” NYS Assemblyman Robert Smullen told Schenectady, NY-based WRGB. “Look, the president of the United States has said the COVID-19 pandemic is over.” Smullen is one of the plaintiffs who brought the legal action.
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