On My Mind: November 17, 2022

Some thoughts on why lawyers for Theranos fraudster Elizabeth Holmes convinced me she deserves significant jail time; a misguided advocate’s attempts to cancel Henry Ford in Detroit because of his antisemitism; the resurging demand for manual transmissions; and fall colors in West Los Angeles.

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Beware of the Smartest Guys in the Room

The collapse of crypto exchange FTX serves as yet another reminder as to why the public should be wary of executives the media peddles as geniuses, particularly when they profess to adhere to the highest standards of morals and ethics.

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Magician showing tricks with hat on dark background

Sam Bankman-Fried’s Hocus Pocus Crypto

How’s this for a modern-day version of the sitcom hit “Friends?”: A group of tech nerds are given $2 billion by some of the smartest people in Silicon Valley and Wall Street to create a crypto exchange. Instead of living in a Manhattan apartment they live in a $30 million, five-bedroom penthouse in a luxury residential complex in the Bahamas. To spice things up, some of these friends formerly dated each other.

A far-fetched plot? This is just a smattering of the real-life story about the collapse of the crypto exchange FTX and its founder, Sam Bankman-Fried. Here’s the FTX scandal explained for those who don’t understand cryptocurrency and some info on critical people the media has so far ignored or glossed over.

Rest assured, this will make one heck of a Hollywood movie.

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Karma Bites Back Elon Musk with a Vengeance

I’ve tired of Elon Musk, and I suspect I’m not alone in my weariness. While I’d never bet against the Chief Twit, he would be wise to watch himself. The universe is sending him a message.

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Cerberus’ Fleecing of Albertsons and America

This will come as a shock to the media, but most Americans, particularly those with families to feed, couldn’t care one iota about what Elon Musk charges for his blue Twitter checkmarks. A story of greater importance is Kroger’s acquisition of Albertsons, which will likely increase already soaring food prices.

The takeover has a private equity wrinkle that even by that industry’s immoral and unscrupulous practices is obscene. Fortunately, a half dozen attorneys general are fighting the good fight to prevent a $4 billion smash and grab.

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An Unsung ER Hero Named Cedric Wyckoff

The ER at Beaumont Troy, the second busiest ER in southeastern Michigan, possibly averted a major bloodbath last August when an eagle-eyed hospital security officer confronted a visitor he suspected was carrying a concealed firearm. The man was roaming the ER’s main treatment area.

Turned out, the visitor was carrying a loaded gun, two clips for the firearm, and two large pocketknives.

The security officer was born to become a hero, as he was previously involved in three other acts of life-saving heroism.

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Bloomberg Exposes Self-Driving Tech “Scam”

Bloomberg today published an expose on self-driving vehicles that confirmed my worst fears and doubts about executives who champion the technology and Wall Street money managers duped by the hype.

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GM On My Mind – October 6, 2022

My thoughts on GM’s illegal payment demands of U.S. military personnel, the $102.6 million a California jury has awarded the company to pay for allegedly selling faulty engines, and why newly hired “chief people officer” Arden Hoffman strikes me as someone who can inspire beleaguered employees to return to the office.

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Mary Barra Singing Kumbaya Won’t Save GM

When Elon Musk says jump, Tesla and SpaceX employees ask, “How high?”
When GM CEO Mary Barra says jump, she promptly apologizes to GM employees for making such an onerous request.
Here’s why it takes a giant leap of faith to believe Barra’s claim that by mid-century she will sell more electric vehicles than Tesla.

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Kitty Genovese & NYTimes’ BYU Racism Hoax

In 1964, the New York Times published what still ranks among the most damaging false stories in U.S. media history: 37 witnesses heard the screams of a bartender named Kitty Genovese being stabbed and not one of them intervened or call the police. The story sparked what became known as the “bystander effect,” a theory that held that when multiple people witness a crime or acts of wrongdoing, they are less likely to intervene than when a single witness observes a crime.

Here’s a modern-day twist on the bystander effect: When someone is accused of racism and dozens of persons know that the allegations are false, they are less likely to intervene than if only one person knows for certain.

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