Julian Sanchez Profile picture
He sits motionless, like a spider in the center of its web, but that web has a thousand radiations, and he knows well every quiver of each of them.
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23 Jul
NSA review reportedly finds Tucker Carlson wasn’t even incidentally collected on—they picked up Russians discussing his interview request. therecord.media/nsa-review-fin…
Which, incidentally, I wrote a while back was the most likely explanation. cato.org/blog/tucker-ca…
If that report is accurate, then (a) NSA didn’t do anything obviously improper here, and (b) Tucker has (presumably inadvertently) provided Russia with valuable intelligence about which of their communications facilities NSA is actively monitoring.
Read 5 tweets
23 Jul
The thread is sort of fascinating because you can tell McNally knows Forrest is indefensible—he just falls back on “…but they’ll come for Washington next!” Also sort of a sad admission that everyone else the state venerates is repulsive. Maybe you need new heroes.
FWIW, the “redemptive arc” is that at the very, very end of his life Forrest made a speech that contradicted the racist ideals he’d fought for his entire life. But all the actual achievements he’s honored for were in service to slavery and white supremacy.
If the best defense someone can offer of you is: “Well, on his deathbed he seemed to recognize that his entire life’s work had been devoted to evil,” maybe… you don’t get a statue for that?
Read 8 tweets
21 Jul
NSO’s own denial is internally incoherent. If they don’t have access to client data, how could they know whether or not this is a list of Pegasus targets?
I mean, unless I’m missing something… you have to pick one. If you’re claiming you don’t have visibility on targeting & these numbers have “nothing to do” with NSO, then for all you know it might be a list of targets.
You can’t be all: “I know nothing of this murder or the victim. Also I was nowhere near 327 Spruce Street at 8:57 on the night of the 12th, and have never purchased Mapes brand 13.5 piano wire.”
Read 17 tweets
16 Jul
There is literally a Supreme Court on precisely the question of whether the First Amendment protects the right to use the word “fuck” in a publicly visible political slogan. They said it does. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cohen_v._…
Cohen v. California was actually a closer call, because it involved wearing a “Fuck the Draft” jacket into a public courthouse, where the government has some extra latitude to set rules of decorum. The sign in this case was on the woman’s own property.
* “literally a Supreme Court CASE…”
Read 7 tweets
16 Jul
(1) Quite apart from the merits, the White House should stop presuming to tell private companies how to moderate user speech. (2) On the merits, that’s an incredibly dumb idea on multiple levels.
Specifically: It assumes real identities are tied to accounts and/or massive sharing of personal user data between platforms. And it assumes it’s desirable for every online community to have the same standards of conduct, which apart from some very basic stuff, it is not.
Trump: “Twitter and Facebook are state actors! They violated my rights! Waaaah!”

Every competent lawyer: LOL.

White House: “No, hang on, we can make this plausible…”
Read 4 tweets
11 Jul
“Nobody serious thinks this, but a bunch of readers are hungry to believe it, so can we find someone shameless enough to make a case that will sound superficially respectable to people who don’t know any better?” Click goldmine.
Call me quaint, but on topics where a normal reader can’t easily evaluate the seriousness of an argument, I think running pieces like this is an abrogation of editorial duty. It’s like running flat-eartherism or “sovereign citizen” nonsense.
You’re signalling, “this is one among several credible positions, where there’s reasonable disagreement among specialists.” Which is a lie. You’re running it because it will get clicks, and MORE clicks because other respectable outlets are unwilling to lie to their readers.
Read 4 tweets
6 Jul
This got about a thousand times creepier when I hit the bio and realized the author was a college professor.
This is an inadvertently perfect reductio ad absurdum of demands for “political neutrality” (whether from social media platforms or other institutions). Because obviously there are tons of odious political views nearly everyone thinks OUGHT to be romantic dealbreaker.
I assume that if the students also said they weren’t interested in dating ISIS fighters, anti-Semites, or admirers of Joseph Stalin, the author wouldn’t think that was “discriminatory” (let alone “authoritarian”)—he’d be worried if those things WEREN’T dealbreakers.
Read 5 tweets
1 Jul
Cosign: Excellent piece. The key point is that the disturbing rise of bonkers conspiracy movements has to be understood more as a failure of trust than of rationality.
We might say “I’m a rational person; I form views based on science…” But usually you didn’t DO the science. You trust the social credentialing systems that validate the people who assure us they did the science.
Yeah, one reason this flourishes is that given the sheer quantity of news and scientific pronouncements, it’s trivial to come up with lots of examples of Approved Sources getting things wrong (or even just seemingly wrong).
Read 5 tweets
1 Jul
It’s been clear for a long while that a big part of why our conversations around race are so broken is that folks on left & right have very different ideas of what “racism” means. yahoo.com/news/poll-the-…
We still see versions of this exchange constantly:

“Racism is embedded in American culture and institutions.”

“Why are you calling me, personally, a racist?"
Mostly the problem here is that many on the right stridently refuse to think in any terms other than individual hatred. Though I also wish folks on the left would stop insisting on pushing claims that defy ordinary usage in ways that end up sounding ridiculous.
Read 4 tweets
25 Jun
I find myself increasingly frustrated with all sides of this conversation. The right wing media has made a crude caricature of a varied body of academic work their flavor-of-the-week boogieman, while the pushback is veering toward “CRT? Never heard of it. Does it even exist?"
Simultaneously true:
(A) The CRT backlash is badly confused about what CRT is, and often in bad faith.
(B) There really does exist a line of CRT, influential in some ed departments & teacher trainings, that views pedagogy as a locus of activism for racial equity.
That second part, however distorted the noise machine’s picture of it, is not a conspiracy theory or made up. There are books and conferences and everything. Pre-backlash nobody would have seriously denied this part.
Read 12 tweets
14 Jun
I think CRT is a mixed bag, some of which is insightful, some of which is off base; it doesn’t seem particularly illuminating to reduce the whole bundle to “the crudest elements of Ibram Kendi’s worldview.” And I think Cooke is pulling the same bait & switch he diagnoses.
To wit: Nobody’s banning teaching about racism! The sudden popular relevance of a recherché academic theory is purely about sparing little Jaden a daily Maoist struggle session! But then you look at the Florida statute, and gosh it seems broader than that.
Instruction, Florida stipulates, may not include "the theory that racism is not merely the product of prejudice, but that racism is embedded in American society and its legal systems in order to uphold the supremacy of white persons.”
Read 12 tweets
13 Jun
Ok, but the trouble is (as the campaigns against it acknowledge) no pre-collegiate schools are explicitly teaching “Critical Race Theory.” So you get a hunt for supposedly suspicious phrases like “systemic racism” or “white supremacy.”
One guide for parents, which warns that “they are trying to culturally replace you,” suggests watching out for any of these pernicious CRT buzzwords, many of which would be involved in any serious discussion of race in American history. americarenewing.com/issues/list-cr…
The pop definitions of CRT I see lately tend to involve a list of supposed “tenets” that invariably include obviously pernicious claims almost nobody would endorse and what ought at this point to be rather banal truisms.
Read 6 tweets
11 Jun
Trump could probably put a stop to this. If he wanted to.
We need to be blunt about where we are. The de facto head of one of our two major political parties is leveraging threats of terrorist violence as part of a campaign to corrupt the administration of the electoral process.
He’s able to do this in a way that makes him impossible to hold responsible for it under U.S. law, but it’s nevertheless what he’s doing. And it could absolutely work.
Read 7 tweets
10 Jun
Just skip to page 9 where they give away the game: “[T]hey are trying to socially replace you.”
This document makes fairly explicit the strategy I posited in a thread yesteday.

Step 1: Take the sprawling body of academic work that can be labeled “Critical Race Theory,” give it a cartoonishly evil definition, and set it up as the new bogeyman coming for your children.
Step 2: But the CRT overlords are tricksy, and won’t CALL their indoctrination schemes “CRT”. So you have to look out for “buzzwords.” Like “structural bias.” Or “white supremacy.” Or “institutional bias.” Or “normativity.” Or… “equity.”

Read 8 tweets
10 Jun
There used to be a whole bunch of low-rent con artists who’d demonstrate supernatural power by “magnetizing” objects to their bodies. (The “magnetism” always mysteriously failed in the presence of talcum powder.) These morons are reproducing the con by accident!
If only James Randi were still alive he’d be having a field day…

Note these aren’t just cranks off the street. At least some of the folks rambling about magnetic vaccines were *invited by legislators* to speak in support of an antivaxx bill.
Read 4 tweets
9 Jun
I very much doubt county schools are teaching “critical race theory,” for the same reason I doubt they’re teaching vector calculus. But the label does a good job obscuring what concrete elements of the curriculum parents are objecting to.
I have no trouble buying that there’s some actually cringy struggle-session stuff being pushed in some schools. I’d also bet many parents want their kids to learn mythologized history where systemic racism is a footnote. “CRT” as a vague umbrella term obscures the details.
I just skimmed half a dozen articles on Loudon County schools & “Critical Race Theory” and it’s striking how thin on specifics they all are. Parents are convinced it’s become part of the curriculum, which administrators deny, but there was virtually nothing concrete.
Read 11 tweets
8 Jun
This is incredibly depressing if true, but it’s also extremely hard to believe. A third of DEMOCRATS believe their own party cheated?
I will say, to the extent this even close to accurate, it may be because the press keeps saying “no evidence” when what they mean is “no serious or credible evidence”. There’s tons of bogus “evidence”—indeed, too much to address in any detail in a normal news article.
There are probably a lot of people to whom all the “baseless” and “no evidence” seems like a cover up, because they keep seeing tons of bogus “evidence” that mainstream outlets don’t bother addressing.
Read 10 tweets
7 Jun
I have no idea if this is plausible, and I’m fairly certain the editors of the Wall Street Journal don’t either. Whether it’s correct or not, op-ed pages seem like a pretty obviously horrible place to float technical empirical claims like this.
If it’s correct, or at least has a good chance of being correct, it should be reported in the news pages after peer review. If it’s wrong, you’ve leapfrogged that process and given it unwarranted currency. Either way, this is not a useful “opinion”.
Which is to say, it does not present an argument that the normal reader (or, really, 99.9% of the readership) has any meaningful capability to evaluate.
Read 19 tweets
5 Jun
Starting to feel almost bad for Mike Lindell. Mr. Lindell, I’d like to offer you my services. In exchange fo a fee to be negotiated, I will help you construct a body of slightly-less-obviously-bogus body of evidence for imaginary election fraud. My package includes...
* One (1) superficially plausible backstory for how I have visibility on traffic to hundreds of municipal government networks. At your discretion, I will pepper this backstory with references to actual monitoring tools like “nmap” and “Wireshark” for extra verisimilitude.
* One (1) properly-formatted fabricated pcap screenshot, suitable for use in online videos, guaranteed to provoke less mockery than just converting publicly available voter data to hex. At your request, I can create a version in green Matrix font that dribbles down the screen.
Read 8 tweets
4 Jun
Apropos my thread from earlier on the “Absolute 9-0” video. Lindell is the ideal mark: He’s rich, wants desperately to believe, doesn’t understand the subject matter at all, AND has an elaborate ideological defense mechanism in place against being alerted to the con.
All cons thrive to some extent on the resistance to the humiliating admission you’ve been duped, but with Lindell you’ve got it on steroids (with a side of cocaine).
He’s built a whole public persona around pushing the con. He’s relying on it in multiple lawsuits! And anyone trying to explain how he’s been gulled gets dismissed as Part of the Liberal Cover-Up looong before they manage to walk him through the basics.
Read 8 tweets
4 Jun
Out of sheer masochism just looked at the latest PillowGuy video “proving” election rigging, and it’s even cringier and more incoherent than I’d expected. Among other things, it seems almost certain Lindell himself is getting conned.
I don’t have much pity—never was there a more willing victim—but it’s comically apparent from the video that a bunch of dudes decided they could bill a rich moron for months of “cyber forensics” work & feed him nonsense, because he wouldn’t know enough to be able to tell.
Assuming Lindell isn’t in on it partly because if he were, he would have come up with something a LITTLE more superficially plausible looking. This is the kind of half-assed thing you throw together when you’re certain the mark doesn’t know anything.
Read 9 tweets