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🚨 Flying taxis – August 11 2022



Happy Thursday. Are these the dog days of summer? Did you know that there are people who hate being pressured to do summer things? I feel seen. 

credit: giphy

In Case You Missed It. 

📈 U.S. stocks are up, perhaps because inflation is not that bad?

🚖 United Airlines is investing in flying taxis. 

🇨🇳 China is signaling sides in the Russia/Ukraine war by calling the U.S. the “main instigator” of the war.

🔥 A “monster” wildfire is burning in Bordeaux, France and firefighters have not yet contained it. Save the wine!

⛽️ Average gas prices fell below $4 per gallon for the first time since March.















*Stock data as of market close, cryptocurrency data as of 5:00am ET. .


The Lead: Trump Takes The Fifth

credit: afp

Former President Donald Trump was set to be deposed by the Attorney General of New York on Wednesday but instead used his right to invoke the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The Fifth Amendment says that no one “shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.” In practical terms, it means that Trump refused to be deposed. According to Trump's lawyers, the former president sat across from AG Letitia James for four straight hours and repeatedly plead the fifth amendment to each of the state's questions. 

The Attorney General case is not a criminal case. It is a civil fraud case but he is allowed to use the Fifth in this instance too. The deposition was not related to the FBI raid on Trump’s home on Monday but it is likely that the raid did throw a wrench in the wheel of that AG investigation.

This is because a deposition in any case could be used in another case, especially a potential criminal case. If there is such a case, which the raid indicates there is, President Trump could incriminate himself or say something that helps that criminal case in a deposition, which is done under oath. No lawyer in their right mind would want their client deposed if they are possibly facing a criminal case. 

Yet the Internet still made fun of the former president for taking the fifth, something he has poked fun of time after time. He addressed this in his statement on Wednesday: “I once asked, ‘If you’re innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?' Now I know the answer to that question. The United States Constitution exists for this very purpose, and I will utilize it to the fullest extent to defend myself against this malicious attack.”

Trump’s three children, Don Jr., Eric and Ivanka Trump all sat for their depositions and it would seem the former President was planning to answer questions for his too if not for this raid. I guess we’ll never know. 

The Fuzzy Math of Inflation 

credit: wsj

Inflation is less bad in the U.S. The rate in July was 8.5%. That is still a painful inflation rate but at least its down from the 9.1% it hit in June. 

This means that prices of items in July 2022 were 8.5% higher than they were in July of 2021. Since the number is down from 9.1%, the Federal Reserve and the White House are hoping that this means that inflation has peaked and it’s all downhill from here on out. Well, we’re all hoping that, right? 

But most of the inflation reduction happened for travel-related expenses. Hotel room costs were down 2.7%, airfare down 8%, rental car prices down 9.5%. Okay. But you can’t eat those things. I think the average American is hoping for a reduction in gas and food prices but travel is nice too. 

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A New Virus Emerges in China


What do we need to know about the Langya virus? There is an outbreak in China. 

Taiwan’s Centers for Disease Control reported 35 cases and no deaths. Patients developed fever, fatigue, a cough, loss of appetite, muscle pain, nausea, headache and vomiting, according to the Taipei Times

“Test results from 25 wild animal species suggest that the shrew might be a natural reservoir of the Langya henipavirus, as the virus was found in 27 percent of the shrew subjects.” 

There is no vaccine for this but according to the World Health Organization, a previous strain was called Nipah virus and had a 40-75% fatality rate. 

Okay but this is not Nipah virus so let’s not panic. Let’s mark this as a “proceed with caution.” 

What's Trending?

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Macho Man is trending because an old clip of him on The Arsenio Hall show is inspiring people because he said that “it’s okay for macho men to show every emotion available.” 

Beto is trending after Texas politician Beto O’Rourke called someone an MF’er for mocking him when speaking about gun violence. 

Samsung is trending because the company released new Galaxy foldable phones, new smartwatches and new earbuds. 

Full moon is trending because the August full moon in Aquarius is today/tonight. 

News By The Numbers

7 years. That is how long Domino’s Pizza lasted in Italy. They closed up all 29 branches there which begs the question: Why did they even try? 

147%. That is how much the Google search term “sell my house” was up in July 2022.

One third. That is how much more likely women who are vegetarian are to experience hip fractures later in life, according to a new UK study.  

3 out of 5. That is how many Americans say that they would like to eat dinner as a family every night. 

The China Paper

China released a white paper offering Taiwan the option to coexist as “one country” with “two systems.” 

The paper is called “The Taiwan Question and China’s Reunification in the New Era.” It asserts that Taiwan has always been a part of China and the Communist Party of China (CPC) is committed to national reunification. 

“Japan's 50-year occupation of Taiwan epitomized this humiliation and inflicted agony on both sides of the Taiwan Straits. Our two sides face each other just across a strip of water, yet we are still far apart. The fact that we have not yet been reunified is a scar left by history on the Chinese nation. We Chinese on both sides should work together to achieve reunification and heal this wound.”

It goes on: “National reunification is the only way to avoid the risk of Taiwan being invaded and occupied again by foreign countries, to foil the attempts of external forces to contain China, and to safeguard the sovereignty, security, and development interests of our country.”

China promises that “after peaceful reunification, Taiwan may continue its current social system and enjoy a high degree of autonomy in accordance with the law.”

The paper refers to “separatists forces” trying to lure Taiwan away. It doesn’t mention NATO but surely that is implied. This offer comes just days after China ceased military activity in the region and took this approach to offer solutions on paper. Reuters reports that Taiwan has already rejected this offer but gives very little detail. I don’t think this is the end of this discussion if there is to be any discussion.  

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