Welcome back to TGIF and happy Thanksgiving. It’ll be a short one this week so we can all get back to family life—cozy, mask-free, family life (and watching the Dow drop precipitously). Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because it’s not so much about presents or decorations. It’s about family, food, and, yes, this absolute miracle of a country. Being together to celebrate is a blessing and a relief I won’t take for granted again.
Now to the news and what you might have missed this week on Common Sense:
→ $1,000 bail: When Darrell Brooks allegedly drove through that Christmas parade, he was out on $1,000 bond two days prior for allegedly running over the mother of his child. Milwaukee County District Attorney, John Chisholm, a progressive prosecutor, finally admitted that the bail was “inappropriately low.” Chisholm is part of a progressive prosecutor movement—in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Philadelphia and elsewhere—whose members came to power promising radical reforms and a gentler approach on crime. Rep. Rashida Tlaib actually wants to abolish federal prisons as she explained this week in a must-watch interview with Jonathan Swan of Axios.
→ “Caused by a SUV”: The Waukesha killings are quickly being memory-holed since the primary suspect, Darrell Brooks, doesn’t fit the proper narrative. Six people have died so far; one of them is an eight-year-old boy named Jackson Sparks. Many others are still in critical condition. The Washington Post is describing it as “the Waukesha tragedy caused by a SUV.” I wish I were kidding. In the meantime, it appears that Brooks was a fan of Hitler.
→ Deepest apologies to the CCP: JP Morgan head Jamie Dimon made a joke about how he bets his company will outlast the Chinese Communist Party. He’s now apologized for it. Twice. But the apology could have been worse.
→ Don’t look at this flash mob: Huge mobs of burglars are cruising around California breaking into stores en masse. After some 80 burglars smashed up shops one night in a spate of violence this week, San Francisco leadership announced a fix: it’ll now be harder for drivers to park near the stores. “We’re going to [be] making some changes to Union Square and how cars are able to access. There will be limited access in terms of when you come to this area,” London Breed said.
→ The Justice System working, pt. 1: Kyle Rittenhouse was found not guilty on all counts. Watching him talk during an interview afterward, I was struck by his calm demeanor, which was so at odds with the man the mainstream press tried to convince us he was. We were told he was a Trumper, but apparently he supported Andrew Yang. We were told he was a white supremacist, but he said he supports the BLM movement, just not violent rioting. Here’s Rittenhouse: “It's just amazing to see how much a prosecutor can take advantage of somebody. If they did this to me, imagine what they could have done to a person of color who doesn't maybe have the resources I do or isn't widely publicized, like my case.”
In the days since the verdict, he has appeared at length on Tucker Carlson and met with Donald Trump. Marjorie Taylor Greene (she of the “Jewish space lasers”) has said she wants to give him a Congressional Gold Medal. Will he become a GOP mascot or cut his own cloth?
→ The Justice System working, pt 2: Ahmaud Arbery’s three white killers were convicted of murder this week by a nearly all-white jury in Georgia. The justice system is not perfect, but it is a lie when people say Americans are generally foolish and bigoted or that our justice system is broken beyond repair. The verdict rendered in this tragic trial is a reminder of that.
→The wisdom of Arbery’s father: Marcus Arbery, the victim’s father, has every reason to be full of rage. Instead, this is what he said:
→ ISIS slavery survivor is canceled for having wrong enslaver: For anyone who sees the new radicalism as an American problem, look North. The Toronto District School Board pulled out of an event with a Yazidi survivor of ISIS sex slavery—the Nobel Prize Winner Nadia Murad—because it might “offend” Muslim students. Isn’t it more offensive to imply that Muslims would be offended?
→ The UC System abolishes standardized testing permanently: The top public university system in America will no longer base admission on any standardized test. Admission will now rely on grades, student essays, and teacher recommendations—all things seem much more vulnerable to bad actors and manipulation. The end of testing is brought to you by progressives who are convinced that standardized tests help maintain white supremacy.
In 2019, more than 40% of new freshmen at UC Berkeley were of Asian descent. One wonders how the SAT can be white supremacist if Asian students are so good at it? My take: People are supportive of getting rid of the SAT not despite but in part because of this.
→ Pandemic babies are not alright: A Brown University study found that “children born during the pandemic have significantly reduced verbal, motor, and overall cognitive performance compared to children born pre-pandemic.” In trying to promote mask-compliance, a lot of smart people started to argue that babies don’t need to see human faces. The New York Times went hard on this with an article entitled: “Actually, Wearing a Mask Can Help Your Child Learn.” Masks are useful, but so are faces. Americans are wise enough to hold two truths in mind at once—and smart enough to realize when we are being lied to.
→ 1492 needs a trigger warning: The Women’s March issued an apology so perfect that I cannot summarize it. It has to be printed in full. This is a real apology sent out by the Women’s March.
We apologize deeply for the email that was sent today. $14.92 was our average donation amount this week. It was an oversight on our part to not make the connection to a year of colonization, conquest, and genocide for Indigenous people, especially before Thanksgiving.
→ World peace if you want it: More positive fallout from the Abraham Accords. A new Israel-United Arabs-Jordan water and energy deal was signed this week in Dubai.
→ I hate to say it but . . . You were right. Last week a few outspoken Common Sensers pushed back on our take on Biden’s nominee for Currency Comptroller, Saule Omarova. I objected to the fact that Republican Sen. John Kennedy was using her childhood—she was born in Kazakhstan and was a member of a group called the Young Communists—to indict her as an adult. But commenters made a good point when they argued that Omarova genuinely seems icy on the idea of capitalism. As an adult, Omarova has called for an “‘end to banking’ as we know it” and for greatly expanding the Federal Reserve’s power, including by offering checking and savings accounts that would fully replace private bank deposits (read Matt Levine and the WSJ for breakdowns of these proposals).
I promised subscribers would have the pleasure to yell at me and that I’d take note, and I mean it. Thanks. Like our readers, I do not want the DMV to run my checking account. Dem moderates appear to be blocking the confirmation.
Another opportunity to recommend my two favorite writers at the moment.
Freddie deBoer with a two paragraph essay that captures the coming chaos.
Matt Taibbi continues to assume the mantle of Christopher Hitchens. His latest: “Thanksgiving is Awesome.”
And while you’re surrounded by family, I’d encourage you to read two pieces that do a good job of capturing the modern mentality behind the drop in birth rates.
First, “To Breed or Not to Breed?,” A New York Times piece on how pandemic chaos, political strife and climate catastrophe, make many would-be liberal parents decide against making a family. And then this New Yorker humor piece: “Welcome to Your Decided-Not-to-Have-a-Baby Shower!”
We note with pride that our own Suzy Weiss here at Common Sense was ahead of the curve on this story.
This week on Common Sense
The lawyer Lara Bazelon wrote about how progressives have been obsessing over the wrong trial. If they wanted to prove the existence of systemic racism, she argues, they should have focused on Ahmaud Arbery, not Kyle Rittenhouse.
Roya Hakakian, an Iranian-Jewish immigrant, wrote a beautiful essay on how those who become American can value the country a little more deeply than those with the luck of being born here. “Non-immigrant Americans do not realize the beautiful design of the society that leads them toward living and planning for the future.” We also highly recommend Roya’s latest book on this theme.
Late on Thanksgiving eve, John H. Cochrane, an economist at the Hoover Institute, wrote about how the 1970’s are back — without the shag carpet. Yes, we mean that classic 1970’s fashion look: inflation. It’s the Common Sense holiday shopping guide.
Bari talked to Dr. Marty Makary about how to celebrate Thanksgiving without killing our grandparents. His tips, more or less: enjoy. “We’re feeling good about our immunity and we're going to live our lives and we're going to have a great time.”
Listen to their whole conversation here:
Thank you to our readers and this community. I’m grateful for the work we get to do, which is only possible with your support: