Gleanings & Observations

Informed sources deny that President Biden has asked Jimmy Carter to organize the helicopter rescue of the Americans and Afghan allies abandoned to their fate when Biden decided to obey the Taliban-imposed deadline for the completion of our retreat.

Microsoft’s Beijing-based Research Asia Lab is an important component of China’s AI ecosystem. It has four data centers in mainland China and is, reports the Financial Times, regarded by Chinese officials as a “model” of how international companies should behave. FactSet estimates that 10% of Microsoft’s annual revenue of over $125 billion comes from China, where it complies with local censorship rules.

Apple trains its apps reviewers and uses special software to eliminate mention of topics deemed off limits by the regime; its iCloud service in China is managed by a state-owned company. Apple harvested $21 billion in revenue from the PRC in the first quarter of this year.

For three years Google maintained a lab in Beijing for basic research on Artificial Intelligence, one of the key technologies on which the communist regime relies for its mass repression and cyber-hacking. The researchers were supported by “China’s strong engineering teams.” The company says “AI and its benefits have no borders.” XI Jinping believes in borders, and insists that all data generated in China stay in China, where it is available to law enforcement agencies.

The two things that fit the Google model of no borders seem to be the Wuhan virus and China’s territorial ambitions in the South China Sea.

Samantha Power was appointed by the President to run the U.S. Agency for International Development and is both a member of the White House National Security Council and, according to vice president Kamala Harris, “a true moral compass”. Ms. Power was photographed with her face mask tucked under her chin while working her cell phone on an Amtrak train, the preferred means of transportation by Joe Biden before he was elevated to higher office and means of transport.

According to the NY Post, it is a federal offense to ride Amtrak’s loss-making, endlessly subsidized line unmasked, even for “a true moral compass”. It is not known whether the Department of Justice plans to prosecute.

Because of her brilliant law review articles contending that several Big Tech companies are illegal monopolies, President Biden appointed Lina Khan to chair the Federal Trade Commission, the regulatory agency in charge of any investigation.

Chair Lisa Kahn will decide whether Professor Lisa Kahn was right that these companies are monopolies.

Those investigations will consume enormous amounts of the FTC’s resources, as the accused companies can easily afford squadrons of lawyers and economic experts.

The FTC staff is investigating the cause of delays in the repair of machines that turn out McDonald’s milkshakes and much-loved McFlurries, soft ice cream in a cup whipped in a blender with cookies and candy, slurped through a specially designed hollow spoon.

In an attempt to avoid responsibility for the delay in clearing 4-6 planes loaded with Americans and our Afghan allies for takeoff from an Afghanistan airport, the State Department issued the following statement.

“We understand the concern that many people are feeling as they try to facilitate further charter and other passage out of Afghanistan,” the department said in its statement. “However, we do not have personnel on the ground, we do not have air assets in the country, we do not control the airspace — whether over Afghanistan or elsewhere in the region.” September 5, 2021. That will remain true no matter how the current problem at the Mazar-i-Sharif airport is resolved.

“We have what’s called over-the-horizon-capabilities, which means we can strike terrorists and targets without American boots on the ground.” Joe Biden, August 31, 2021. But not to extricate Americans and allies without American shiny Oxfords, loafers and desert, or chukka boots on the ground, the latter made famous by diplomat Paul Bremer III in Iraq.