• SPECIAL PURPOSE ACQUISITION COMPANIES (SPACs), formerly called ‘Blank Check’ companies, raise funding for “any unspecified future deal. They are purposely incarnate, not identifying or initiating any substantive discussions with any potential business combination target.” Intentionally obscuring lack of fund Uses is increasingly also now occurring in Vision/Mission statements of non-SPACs; examples in SEC filings include: “(1) ‘We aim to help customers have a good life by inspiring moments that create lasting memories’ (from a fire pit manufacturer); (2) ‘As an affordable indulgence enjoyed across cultures, races & income levels, we have the potential to deliver joyful experiences across the world’ (Krispy Kreme donuts); (3) ‘We want to keep the world adventurous forever’ (electric-vehicle manufacturer)… Investors can learn a lot from the way that companies describe their goals.”  [ECONOMIST – 10/23/21]
  • “DEFENSES AGAINST SMARTPHONE HACKING ARE LIMITED, as long as we store our lives on devices that have vulnerabilities, and surveillance companies can earn millions selling ways to exploit them… One technology is Pegasus, an Israeli-developed software available to the growing global spyware industry which allows access to a cellular phone without requiring a click to any links, enabling theft of anything (photos, contacts, passwords, text messages), along with ability to remotely eavesdrop through microphone & camera… Many surveillance companies supposedly prevent targeting of U.S. phone numbers, presumably to avoid picking a fight with Washington that could lead to increased regulation, but be aware and consider using an encrypted messaging app (e.g. Signal), storing sensitive contacts offline and, when possible, resorting to one of the few non-hackable options we still have: leaving the phone behind and meeting people face to face.” [NEW YORK TIMES – 10/24/21]
  • “LIBERALISM OFFERS AN IDEAL CONCEPT OF DEMOCRACY, sharply distinguished from majoritarianism… But the freedom of educated elites to explore new cultural terrain & projects requires jettisoning religious interdictions, parochial affectations, and commitments by which the masses took their bearings… Google, which controls around 90% of internet search, was founded on the principal of guiding intentions by shaping informational context – of ‘getting users exactly what they want, even when unsure what they need’ (per its initial Offering) … But good governance means giving people informed choices, not the same as what they think they want according to untutored preferences… Today’s Covid masking absurdities are accommodation and submission to ossified bureaucracy which has become a collection of self-protective interest groups, demanding that we pretend unscientific reality is such to justify their existence. In complying, we enact new terms of citizenship.”  A fascinating discussion: https://unherd.com/2021/10/the-new-covid-despotism/    
  • HALLOWEEN THIS WEEKEND IS ON FULL ‘WOKE’ ACROSS THE COUNTRY. Socially-conscious administers in many elementary schools have cancelled classroom celebration entirely, “in the name of Wealth Inequity and/or Racial Sensitivity, since some kids may cry because they don’t have the same kind of costumes, and poor students who are mostly black are unable to afford costumes… The national Anti-Defamation League (ADL) used to focus on anti-Semitism and discrimination against other marginalized groups, but this year’s Halloween Costumes Resource Guide is about Inclusiveness… especially for those who are transgender, non-binary or gender non-conforming, and about Mindfulness of the way overly-gendered costumes are marketed – like a little girl dressed up as Elsa or boys as StarWars or Pokémon characters.’ [RED STATE – 10/25/21]
  • THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK:  Wow! Nissan’s new ‘Intelligence Factory’: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ooFrWpxztOk&t=49s 

          Last week, New York State Senate passed a Bill decriminalizing “possession of syringes & needles commonly used to inject drugs such as heroin… ordering NY City cops that no enforcement against any individual who possesses a hypodermic needle, even when it contains residue of a controlled substance.”  [LBN EXAMINER – 10/24/21]