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🚨 Captcha Smatcha – April 23 2024


Happy Tuesday.

Do you feel like Captchas are getting harder? You’re not alone. Bots are getting smarter so they are harder to distinguish from humans, which is why these authenticators will just get weirder and weirder like this one. What the…??

credit: redacted

In Case You Missed It. 

πŸ‘œ The FTC blocked a merger between Michael Kors and Coach. 

β™ŸοΈ Dommaraju Gukesh, 17, is now the youngest player to win the FIDE tournament this weekend and will now play Ding Liren from China later this year. If he wins, he will become the youngest world champion in history.

🚀 At least five migrants reportedly died on a dinghy that was heading for England. 

πŸ‡·πŸ‡Ό A law to send migrants to Rwanda cleared Parliament in England on Monday. The Prime Minister says that migrant flights from England to Rwanda could begin in the coming weeks. 

πŸ‡·πŸ‡Ί Close to 40,000 people have been evacuated due to spring flooding in Russia. 

πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡³ The United Nations found in a new report that Israel did not prove that UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) staffers had a role in the October 7 attacks. 

πŸ“Ί Join us live for Redacted starting today at 4 PM EST. 














*Stock data as of market close, cryptocurrency data as of 5:00pm AM. 


Lead: Free Speech or Violence?

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Student demonstrations at New York City universities are being used to divide and oversimplify the issue of free speech and antisemitism. 

Students at Columbia University in Manhattan organized a protest against the war in Gaza. The protest movement has spread to many other schools now including Yale, M.I.T., New York University (NYU) and the University of Michigan.

Many have dismissed it as anti-Israel and antisemitic and surely some students do feel that way, as is their First Amendment right, but most reporting shows that the protests were peaceful. Those who attended the solidarity camps report that the majority of protestors are not antisemitic in their desire to stand with the Palestinians. In fact, Colombia Law professor Bassam Khawaja said this: “What I’ve seen is a peaceful group of students united for justice, putting their bodies on the line. Here they are hosting a Passover seder. It was beautiful.” 

Colombia called in the NYPD to arrest protestors and now New York University has done the sameMany faculty walked out on Monday to oppose the decision to call the police on protestors. 

Some Jewish students and faculty say that this makes them feel unsafe and threatened but many Jews were participants in the protests too. See the group who stands behind this pro-Israel protestor with a sign that says “Jews for a Free Palestine.” 

This is not a time to simplify movements with slogans like “pro-Hamas” and “antisemite.” Neither is it a time to call all Jews “Zionists” or “pro-genocide.” These are humans we are talking about. These students have a right to peacefully protest U.S. involvement in any conflict that they want. Jewish students have a right to a safe learning environment. 

While we wait to learn more about what is happening, it is worth asking: Who benefits from this division? Reporter Max Blumenthal discovered an Israeli lobbyist group offering cash for provocateurs to enter these protests. Why would they want that? 

Also, why can’t universities prevent violence and allow for peaceful protests at the same time? As FIRE, the free speech advocacy group, points out: "Violence thus far appears to have been isolated, but things can change at any moment, and it must be made clear that any violence is unacceptable…. Peaceful protest must not be met with violence simply because of the viewpoints expressed."  

TikTok Ban is Back On

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TikTok says that it will sue the federal government if the law to ban the app goes into effect. 

Last weekend, the US House of Representatives passed a bill to send money to Ukraine with a sneaky addition that could ban TikTok. It has yet to be approved in the Senate. 

TikTok executive Michael Beckerman said this in a company memo: “This is an unprecedented deal worked out between the Republican speaker and President Biden. At the stage that the bill is signed, we will move to the courts for a legal challenge.” 

Lawmakers have made the idiotic claim that TikTok is used by China to spy on Americans. The app is owned by a U.S.-based LLC that is controlled by TikTok Ltd, which is registered in the Cayman Islands and based in Shanghai. The CEO is Singaporean. This is not about who owns TikTok. It is about censorship and control. Don’t think for a minute that they won’t take away other apps and websites if they are allowed to do this to TikTok. Of course they will. 

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Biden Moves to Protect Men Who Pretend to Be Women… in Sports

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The Biden Administration has proposed changes to to Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX) that will undoubtedly “threaten student free speech and due process right." 

Title IX is a set of laws enacted in 1972 to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex in any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. It is most often implemented to protect women’s sports, housing, healthcare and education. 

The Biden administration will now expand this protection to men if they identify as women because the revision has extensive provisions for “gender identity.” It will allow boys not only to compete in girls’ sports but also compete for girls’ scholarships, grants and housing opportunities. It will also enable schools to punish students who do not use classmates’ preferred pronouns. 

The revision also removes the right to due process for anyone accused of violating Title IX. Violations would be investigated by a single investigator without students having the right to defend themselves or even know what exactly they are being accused of. 

What's Trending?

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This tweet by Vice President Kamala Harris is trending because the community note on her stance on marijuana is clearly inconsistent with her record. 

Deadpool and Wolverine is trending because of this new trailer for the film, due out July 26. Warning: lots of f-words and violence in this trailer. 

The Denver Broncos are trending because the team unveiled the first new uniform since 1997. It's very wild west and manly. 

News By The Numbers

6.3. That is the magnitude of the strongest earthquake to hit Taiwan this week in a series of over 80 quakes that began on Monday.

93%. That is the accuracy scorecard for Ángel Hernández, one of Major League Baseball’s most hated umpire. He returns to the game this year after taking most of last year off for an injury and he is already pissing people off for calls like this one

38%. That is how much shares of the bubble tea chain ChaPanda dropped since its IPO. The bobba market is huge in China, worth about $14 billion, but the Financial Times says that customers don't really have a brand loyalty to bubble tea the way that they do for their coffee. 

Supreme Court Takes on Homeless Camps

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Is it lawful to crack down on homeless camps in your city? The Supreme Court is hearing a case to decide just that. 

A city in Oregon does not have homeless shelters, which has caused the homeless to sleep on the streets. When the city tried to clear these homeless encampments, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that they could not because “such measures effectively criminalized homelessness, violating Eighth Amendment precedent that forbids punishing people for their status rather than actions.” This was appealed to the Supreme Court and the justices on Monday seemed to be sympathetic to the city in their line of questioning. 

Chief Justice John Roberts acknowledged that “municipalities have competing priorities.” For instance, he said, “Do you build a homeless shelter or take care of the lead pipes” contaminating the water supply? “What if there’s not enough fire protection? Which one do you prioritize?”

Homelessness in the U.S. has reached the highest number since the federal government began tracking it, which has led to what journalist Michael Shellenberger calls “the homeless industrial complex.” Competing groups vie for government money with different agendas and that has only made this worse, not only for the homeless but for the homed and working people whose tax dollars chase but don’t solve the problem. 

This newsletter is written and researched by Natali Morris.
Please feel free to reach Natali at [email protected]
for any editorial feedback.