URLs du Jour


  • Watch What They Say, Watch What They Do. Our Eye Candy du Jour is this FBI Tweet":

    Dad is showing extremist tendencies! I saw him reading National Review and smiling! Call it in!

    Perhaps the FBI could get a few tips on how to deal with a dissatisfied citizenry from other countries. Like, for example, …

  • Speaking of NR the editors note how the Cuban version of the FBI, the "Black Berets", is dealing with "suspicious behaviors".

    The latest dictator, who took over from Fidel’s brother Raul, President Miguel Díaz-Canel, has encouraged his supporters to confront the protesters in the streets and promised that he is “willing to resort to anything” to keep the “revolution” in power.

    It’s not idle talk. He has unleashed the so-called Black Berets of the interior ministry to beat people up and issued dog-whistle calls for security forces to take off their uniforms and pose as counter-protesters taking the fight to the anti-government demonstrators. The regime has an awful lot of informers and policemen, and no one should take its oppressive capacity lightly — suppressing dissent is its core competency.

    The article contains suggestions on how the US could help the Cuban people. Fingers crossed.

  • But We Have Our Own Problems With Wannabe Totalitarians. The Daily Wire notes the latest advocate for repression: CNN Medical Expert Urges We Must Make Life ‘Hard’ For Unvaccinated, Test Them Twice-Weekly.

    Dr. Leana Wen, CNN medical contributor and former head of Planned Parenthood, argued that life needs to be made difficult for those who are not vaccinated against COVID-19, suggesting they should be barred from public events and forced into twice-weekly testing for the virus.

    “It needs to be hard for people to remain unvaccinated,” Wen urged. “Right now, it’s kind of the opposite.”

    Yes, you read that correctly: "former head of Planned Parenthood". The Federalist was one site among many pointing out: Ex-Planned Parenthood CEO Is Not 'Pro-Choice' About Vaccine Mandates. And pointed to an eloquent tweet:

    That's different!

  • The FBI Could Pick Up Some Pointers… from your friendly mailcritter. Elizabeth Nolan Brown takes a look at The USPS’ Semi-Secret Internet Surveillance Apparatus.

    Pop quiz: Which federal agency runs a social media surveillance unit known as the Internet Covert Operations Program (iCOP)?

    If you guessed the FBI, the CIA, or the Department of Homeland Security—sorry. This one belongs to the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). And through it, postal inspectors have been monitoring social media platforms about U.S. protests, using tools that include a facial recognition database.

    That the agency best known for delivering mail has a side hustle in online snooping took a lot of people by surprise when it was reported in April by Yahoo! News, which obtained a March 16 "Situational Awareness Bulletin" about iCOP operations. The bulletin mentioned that U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) agents monitoring Facebook, Parler, Twitter, and Telegram had noticed "significant activity regarding planned protests occurring internationally and domestically" as part of a rally for freedom and democracy.

    I'm sure they've noticed my subscriptions to subversive publications like Reason.

  • Another Confirmation of Betteridge's Law of Headlines. Jennifer Huddleston asks Is the FTC’s Antitrust Enforcement Still Focused on Consumers?.

    The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) voted on July 1 to withdraw its pubic affirmation of consumer welfare as the guiding principle for antitrust enforcement. While this change is symbolic at this point, it weakens the agency’s public commitment to an objective consumer-based approach to antitrust. The result opens the door to politicized and unprincipled antitrust enforcement that will ultimately hurt rather than benefit consumers.

    The FTC is the nation’s primary consumer protection agency, focused on ensuring a healthy market that avoids the dangers of monopolistic practices. The statement on the agency’s antitrust enforcement had been uncontroversial up to this point. A bipartisan group of commissioners passed the statement in 2015—during the Obama Administration—and the statement primarily clarified that the FTC’s antitrust enforcement under Section 5 of the FTC Act concerning the agency’s authority over unfair and deceptive trade practices was guided by consumer welfare. In other words, the FTC would focus on those acts that cause or are likely to cause harm to consumers, based on objective economic analysis rather than the effects of business moves on competition itself or other policy standards. The statement sought to provide clarity to consumers and businesses, and in fact, the sole vote against it was on the basis that the statement was too abbreviated to provide meaningful guidance.

    Yeah, that's not good. Add the FTC to the list of "politicized" agencies.