E63: Insurrection indictments, human rights in the US and abroad, groundbreaking MS study & more
look at Freeburg. He's like this is so
awkward. I can't
wait literally brought popcorn. Didn't just watching this show. You brought popcorn.
He's like I want to see round three. I have nothing to say today. I'm just gonna sit here and watch. I brought popcorn. Got my chili roasted pistachio nuts. I'm gonna sit back and enjoy
jake al sax. Well let your winners ride. Are
we really gonna do this as the top story? And this is the third time we've tried to do this story. Do we give the background sacks or no.
We wouldn't have had to do it over and over again if you didn't act so hysterical.
one you killed?
No you killed it.
No the first
one you first yeah because it wasn't even on the docket and it wasn't it wasn't even newsworthy.
Okay. And the second one I killed
because you came across like a stark raving lunatic.
I spiked it the second time because I was so infuriated by your cavalier attitude towards it. What are
you worried about my attitude for? Why don't you just focus on making your own good points?
Here's the thing. I was
I was so correct. The two of you let
him let him go, let him go.
You guys got
to blame his own hysteria on
Me. You said that January six was overblown. And of
course no I said it was a disgrace. I said it was an embarrassment. It was an embarrassment to the country. I said it was wrong but you want to inflate it. You're you're engaging in in classic Washington threat, inflation and and there's two problems with that one is you're gonna take your eye off the ball of the real issues facing the country like inflation, the economy and economic anxiety like Covid like crime like schools. I mean, these are the issues that americans care about not, you know, a riot that happened over a year ago. And if you and the democrats keep talking about this and focus on it, on MSNBC to the exclusion of the issues that really matter, I'll see you in november because you're gonna get slaughtered in this midterm election is going to be a landslide. But the other problem with it is with this threat inflation is that it justifies the expansion of surveillance powers and prosecutorial powers by the Justice Department, by the, you know, by by the by the Justice Department, other branches of our government who want to basically go after, you know, this the so called domestic terrorism that will lead to an infringement on civil liberties, just like the expansion Of those agencies did after 9 11. And so I think we should all be concerned about it. Now look, Are these oath keepers, a bunch of idiots? Yeah, there were 11 oath keepers at that rally. They broke into
a minute, wait a minute you're
Wait a minute, wait a minute you're saying an old fat guy with an eye patch that says both keeper lifetime member is not credible to you.
Exactly. I mean, look, this is these guys are they're not unlike the antifa right. You know, people in Portland who are trying to burn down buildings or, or chasing boudin's parents who are domestic terrorists. I mean, yeah, this is a small number of knuckleheads who broke into the capitol. They should be prosecuted. They're they're guilty of, of saying this leader is saying in temperate things, but was this gonna be a coup to take over the capitol? I don't I don't think so. And if you want to focus on that to the exclusion of the real issues facing the country, like I said, this landslide in november, this red wave is gonna be even bigger.
Just to your point about my focus every week here on the number one tech podcasts in the world and on the number six tech podcasts in the world. This week in startups, I focus on all of those issues. But let's read because we can chew gum and walk at the same time. Let's read what happened on thursday the FBI arrested 11 members of the oath keepers on sedition charges and the House committee subpoenaed facebook google reddit and twitter After insufficient responses to the January six riots or insurrection, whichever term you prefer. The leader Of the oath keepers, which is an organization that claims over 30,000 members primarily in the military and police.
Okay, well, hold on a second. If this was their big moment to stage a coup and take over the government. Why were only 11 of the 30,000 there?
The 11 were indicted. David. There were. How many were there? Well, we don't know yet. But last week you said uh last week you said there was no coordinated attack and now we have proof that
you can't veto the segment from last week and then try to claim that. I said certainly let
me just finish, Can I get through the story or you gonna keep interrupting? My
God, you're you're complaining about interruption? Okay,
that's another interruption, finish it without before interruption. Or would you like to just keep monologue? What are you
reading? Why don't you just give us remember every
that's what I'm trying to but you keep interrupting. So here we go. While certain north keeper members and affiliates inside Washington see breached the capitol grounds and buildings. Others remain stationed just outside the city. In Q. R. F. Teams. These are quick response teams that had weapons and they transported firearms into Washington, D. C. And and these in support operations were aimed at using force to stop the law, full transfer of presidential power according to our Department of Justice, which is majority Republican. Obviously law enforcement skews Republican.
Yes, it is a portion of the oath keepers communication occurred on signal signal. Are you going to keep interrupting me? Oh my God, can I just read two sentences. Dave.
fine signal is an encrypted chat app that's not supposed to have any backdoors. But obviously there are some plant here are some of roads comments. We aren't getting through this without a civil war. Too late for that, prepare your mind, body and spirit. It will be a bloody and desperate fight. We're going to have to fight. This cannot be avoided. If you want
to make the january 6th of relevant. First of all, let me just say, I see that primarily as a media story, what happened happened? Obviously it was a disgrace and embarrassment of black eye for the country. I'm not supporting or defending anyone. I think tend to think these oath keepers, um, it was not like a super organized concerted effort to take over the government, it's somewhere, it's basically a bunch of loudmouths who, you know, engaged in a riot, Maybe there was more planning and preparation fine. The court case will bear it out. And if they can prove that it was what you said, it was great. Let him go to jail. I have no desire to defend them. But I also think that in the grand scheme of things, this whole thing has been blown completely out proportionally. If you watch MSNBC, it's all January six all the time. And you know, if democrats are going to focus on this issue for the next 10 months and you know who roger stone was photographed on a sidewalk with which was the big story the other day, this red wave in november is going to be an even bigger wave.
I'm just telling you right now because it's not what the average voter in the country cares about.
I think you're right about that, I think you're right about I'll agree with that. I think, you know, MSNBC is focused on this, and Fox is focused on fake voter fraud and we've been pretty clear here that none of us agree with either of the extremes of media coverage. I do think this is an issue worth
of voter fraud. Are you talking about the guy who's obsessed right now with voter fraud is biden. He just gave a speech a very intemperate speech, saying that if you don't support his new voting rights acts that you're on the side of bull Connor. And jefferson Davis,
there was some political calculus there, he had to do that because he was also trying to basically bolster the ability to get this, you know, filibuster thing passed in the Senate. So he he basically had to play a relatively weak hand. And and you know, again, on what happened again legislatively, is that his own party said no enough in this case. It was Kristin cinema who basically said no, none of the
cinema mansion won't support amending the filibuster. So this thing was D. O. A. We we said it was D. O. A. When when the build back better bill collapsed, we said they were going to try and pivot devoting rights to change the subject, even though it was D. O. A. But there is something that biden could do or could have done that I think would be a bipartisan reform which is to reform the Electoral count act. I mean What happened in November if you're concerned about Trump and you know, the subversion of the potential to subvert the election and the way he tried to influence pence to stop the counting the electors.
If you're concerned about all of that, there is a fix for that, which is the Electoral Count Act of 1887. It's completely antiquated, obviously it's been around for over 100 years. There is bipartisan support for fixing that. The Wall Street Journal editorial page has come out
Well, it's just a it's just a it's a law that governs how these electors in the Electoral College get counted up and certified so that, you know, the election gets certified. So and David brooks had that piece that that thomas shared in the new york times, which is the problem we have right now is not in the actual voting, it's in the if you're worried about what happened in this past november, it's in the certification, not the voting and you know what brooks was writing about is there's a lot of social science saying that, you know, a lot of these rules that democrats and republicans are really focused on around the convenience of the election. Don't really influence the number of people who vote, people who vote want people who want to vote vote, people who don't don't, you know, we're getting hung up on the wrong thing, which is, you know, these voter I. D. Laws, what really matters is the certification of the Electoral college. And you could find biden could find, I think there's a number of republicans who would support a clarification of that law and updating of it. So that what potentially could have happened in, you know, in january if Pence had gone along with this plan to basically reject the accounting of the electors. I mean, everyone understood that that was just ceremonial rite.
That was. What do you think of that plan? What did you think of trump's plan? I
think that trump had a right to air his grievances in court. But once the court throughout his claims and rejected them and once the Supreme Court denied socio authority, it was over. It was over the stream court has the final word in our democracy about legal matters. And so no Pense never had the authority or the ability under the electoral count act to reject the county the electors. That whole process is ceremonial. But but the mere fact this isn't even even an issue suggests that we should fix it. We should go back and fix the electoral Count Act of 1887. So and look you could biden could have gotten 60 votes for that. You know I think that was very good.
He can get he can get votes for that. He can also get votes to um stop the insider trading of members of Congress. He could get that done too. So why
why isn't he focused why isn't he focused on things where he can actually get a bipartisan majority has one big legislative success as president has been the infrastructure bill where he got a bunch of Republican support
Which is a pretty big one. Yeah
those are the types of issues he should be focused on and instead he's giving these you know speeches saying that anyone who disagrees with the progressive agenda on voting rights is basically George Wallace and Bull Connor.
Did you guys hear his speech the other day on CNBC about Covid? I mean he was so incoherent. It was kinda scary. It feels like he's in cognitive the cognitive decline is. Yeah. I voted for the guy anything to get trump out of office. I thought that was an existential risk. But man, he is cognitively declining quickly. I mean, I think the craziest thing about Covid was this Rachel Wolinsky interview. I mean like why does it take two years into a pandemic to tell us what we kind of anecdotally knew. But if we had known up front or sooner we would have completely Rachel Wolinsky does an interview. She's the head of the C.
D. C. And she said well it turns out that 75% of all the deaths because of covid were people that suffered from at least four comorbidities. At least four not three not two not one. It
wasn't all it was. I think it was a subset defined by it might have been like vaccinated deaths or something like that. It was it was one study. But yes that was basically the conclusion absolutely is significant comorbidities among people who died.
And so if we if we had known that don't you think I mean friedberg you tell me. But wouldn't we have just changed our response to just mask and just kind of like start living our normal lives and people with four comorbidities or people at a certain age or immuno compromised should have stayed home and we would be in a very different situation. So you know I mean I understand Jason that biden didn't the last few speeches have been a little tight you know I mean I think look the quinnipiac called pull them nick you can post. I mean look his ratings are just plummeting plummeting down to trump levels every week. And so he is definitely searching for a handful of wins. I don't think he's strategically found the right ones. He could have done something on certifying the electoral college he could certainly do something right now on insider trading laws for members of Congress. But instead we're focusing on all these random things. But anyway, so he
can get the entire training thing past Pelosi. But, but, but but yeah, I think it is something that would get a huge bipartisan majority.
Look, she's gonna lose anyway, so he might as well just throw under the bus.
this is about his political salvation over hers. By the way you guys saw this, I mentioned this in the group chat, someone floated the trial balloon of dumping Kamala Harris and replacing her with Liz Cheney. This is how bad things have gotten for the democrats. They were trying to, they floated a trial balloon of of biden Cheney 24 crossover ticket. I, we talked about this on the, for a couple of years in private and poker. I thought, I think a crossover ticket is what the country needs To kind of get back to center and I know it's a crazy concept and it's a 1% chance, but I kind of like the crossover, but things have gotten so bad for the Democrats now that and I sort of said, Sachs floated this or pre floated it. We had a little debate on the twitter, but I don't know if you remember two or three episodes ago sacks said, hey listen, there's going to be a new appreciation for Clinton And not 10 days later the Wall Street Journal and a bunch of people are floating Hillary coming back to run. So I think I know that, but I think you either you are in your star chamber and doing a pre float on all end. So then the backups and they can then you know, pump Hillary has that or it's just people are listening to you and your that influential
what, what I'm, what I'm proposing is a biden engage in clinton ian by which I mean Bill Clinton Tony in triangulation, which is, he does not have the votes in Congress to enact a progressive agenda. He should be looking for bipartisan wins. He did with the infrastructure bill. He could do with this entire trading thing. He could do it on the electoral count act. These are things that would be, you know, progress
China policy and importantly momentum, momentum going into 20 2024 and maybe good for Americans. Like I mean his China policy. The fact that he came out with a statement on the Tigers. I thought it was very strong. You know, it's one of the stronger things he did, but it's not coming up in the polls and I think that whole republicans interesting nobody cares about lesbian, nobody cares about what's happening to the workers. Okay. You you bring it up because you really care and I think it's nice that you care the rest of us don't care. I'm just telling you a very hard, I'm telling you. I'm telling you a very hard, ugly truth. Okay of all the things that I care about. Yes, it is below my line, okay. Of all the things that I care about it is below my line disappointing.
Well we I think
people if you if you explain to them what's happening to the workers in china, they care but it's not top of mind for them. That's not what's scaring me right now is to go to the grocery store and the shelves are empty.
Sure that I care about. Yeah, I I care about the fact that our economy could turn on a dime if china invades Taiwan, I care about that. I care about climate change. You know, I care about a bunch of I care about America's crippling and you know, decrepit health care infrastructure. But if you're asking me do I care about a segment of a class of people in another country, not until we can take care of ourselves, will I prioritize them over us. And I think a lot of people believe that and I'm sorry if that's a hard truth to here. But every time I I say that I care about the workers, I'm really just lying if I don't really care. And so I'd rather not lie to you and tell you the truth, it's not a priority for me. And my response to that is I think it's a sad state of affairs when human rights as a concept, globally. You know, falls beneath you know tactical and strategic issues that we have to have. We need to have another luxury. That's another luxury, beliefs.
I don't believe believing in the human declaration of human rights that Eleanor Roosevelt. I don't think it's a luxury belief to believe that all humans should have a basic set of human rights. I think it's a luxury. And the reason I think it's a luxury belief is we don't do enough domestically to actually express that view in real tangible ways. So until we actually clean up our own house, the idea that we step outside of our borders with, you know, with with us sort of like morally virtue signaling about somebody else's human rights track record is deplorable. Look at the number of black and brown men that are far from deplorable, look at the number of black and brown men that are incarcerated for for absolutely ridiculous crimes. I don't know if you saw this past week, but there was a person that was released from jail because he couldn't even be protected in jail because in some of these cells, they run these fight clubs inside of Rikers Island that are basically tacitly endorsed by the corrections officers that don't do anything. So hold on Jason. So if you want to talk about the human rights of people, I think we have a responsibility to take care of our own backyard first first and then we can go and basically morally tell other people how they should be running their own countries? The differences came off saying what you just said in china or Saudi Arabia would put you in jail and get you 100 lashes and you would be tortured for a decade. We here in the United States are far from perfect. We still have the death penalty which is against the United Declaration of Human Rights which we signed, which Eleanor Roosevelt created in the U.
N. And we propagated as americans around the world. We started that came off and we can have these discussions about being better in this country. And the what about ISm that you're proposing is so um disproportional to the equivalent of the holocaust going on. We're talking about a million workers in concentration camps right now to talk about what we have here that we need to fix and compare it to that or to Saudi Arabia whipping bloggers and throwing gay people off roofs for being gay. These two things are not morally comparable. They are very far and we need to have open discussions and talk about human rights all the time because if we do not talk about it all the time, then your position which is I don't have time for that. I want to solve my problems then gives the green light to dictators everywhere that nobody's watching. We need vigilance and that and that's what I find and I think we need to hold on a second position, that's not what I said and that's not true. You said you can't get up for it. Yeah. So tell me how are you are you saying that the the situation with the tigers is the same as the holocaust people who are jewish are making that comparison.
You never I'm asking you. I think it is there are upwards of a million people in a concentration camp right now. This is getting two numbers that are actually comparable. It is actually a valid comparison saying there are a million people in a concentration camp. That is the numbers that human rights organizations are saying between 300,000 and a million people are incarcerated right now being tortured, raped and in doing forced sterilization reeducation and when they're released are being tracked in ghettos and jewish people are bringing this up hold on. You're saying the entire world is basically decided that that doesn't matter. You just said you can't get up for it. I'm talking about you specifically who is getting up? Who is getting up for it? I am very up on and I talked about it all the time every week. What about the U. S.
Government? What are they doing about it biden just said we are going to do a ban and we are going to sanction companies that do business in that region. So Apple and Tesla I think there will be increased pressure on all companies that are engaging in china over
its goods that are sourced from those areas, right? It's not doing business there, it's it's it's if your supply chain comes from that area
and it's kind of like we won't, we won't by nazi goods, but we're we'll sell our iphones into nazi Germany. Well, if you want to have a discussion about this, you know, it's how do we disengage from china? We've had this discussion here. How what amount of time will it take to disengage from countries that have brutal Dictatorships that are committing human rights atrocities. My look, look, I I think I'm spending a lot of time and money actually trying to fortify America's supply chain. You guys know about some of the things that I'm doing. I'm not doing that from a moral perspective, I'm doing that from a practical capitalist perspective. I think the jobs are better served for americans, and I think that we should have the ability to build our own businesses, just like china has the right to do for themselves, Without the risk of these things being undercut by policies that we don't understand, which is effectively what you do when you outsource your supply chain to countries where you're not 100% aligned with them and their Dictatorships. So, again, I'm not I I'm not even sure that that china is a dictatorship, the way that you want to call it, that. Again, I think that one country that's in the name. Look, you have to understand Jason, there are a set of checks and balances here on china that you know, at the end of the day, I don't think that I have the moral absolutism to judge china. And I would say that when NATO is silent, the United Nations is silent, all of Western europe is silent and America's effectively silent.
That this issue may be small data points being extrapolated in a way to create a narrative that may be not be true. And if it is true, Jason there's a responsibility for those body politics to do something because that is the early warning signal that the rest of the world uses to say, okay, hold on, let me Reprioritize my list of things. So I guess what I'm saying is I am not going to be an armchair journalist on this topic, nor am I going to be the armchair human rights advocate for the world. Because I just don't know, I can focus on the things that I know about, build the things that I know about. And if something really does get red light status, then other parties will do something. And again, I just wanna be clear, NATO is silent. United Nations is silent. America is silent. A press release doesn't change the actual technical posture on these topics. Okay. If that if your position is that human rights matters to you. If government large government organizations or politicians give you the green light to care about it.
That's fine. I care about it intrinsically everyday, great, I'm fine with you doing that. I thought
there was a seg they're talking about the Ray Dalio thing that Freeburg cares about. I mean, this is I mean, this debate that you're having between kind of realism and idealism and foreign policy is sort of what Dalio tackles.
Right? Friedberg look. I mean, it sounds to me like there's um let's just say a red herring. There always needs to be, as thomas points out a narrative on framing our enemy when you know, you're running out of land. I mean, you guys saw this uh was it a journal article or new york Times article that came out today, that U. S. Intelligence revealed that Putin had actually put some actors into the Eastern Ukraine to set up for a reason to have a response and therefore an excuse to invade the Ukraine. So he was trying to create a bit of a fireworks show to give him an excuse. We always need a narrative that we can sell to our, you know, our our our citizens. And so, you know, there's not going to be a lot of, you know, patting on the back of china right now as we've talked about there, is this, you know, overarching multi 100 year economic cycle, you know, college geopolitical cycle that the United States and china are about to clash on and in order for them to clash effectively, we need to get the narrative right, which is to paint them as the bad guy and to make things evil. And look, I mean, you you may take your ethical framework and say that they are bad and you may be able to take other parts of your ethical framework. And looking objectively call some countries that you consider good bad as well, depending on what story you want to tell yourself and what story you want to be told.
And I think that's what's going on and will continue to go on for a long period of time. And this this weaker thing as climate pointed out. How do you measure on an absolute basis human rights? I don't think that there's a way to do so, whether it's one person getting tortured publicly in a street or 100,000 people being suppressed economically and not being able to get jobs, it's hard to say what is appropriate, what is not what is evil, what is not at the end of the day, we create narratives. And that narrative allows the bigger picture to kind of play itself out. And I think that's what's going on largely. And I don't think we're gonna hear a lot of good news about china for the next decade from any politician in the United States or anyone that wants to defend our political and economic interests globally, which are certainly being challenged by china right now, I don't know, that's my diatribe about the Dalai Oh look at dolly O obviously does a great job of kind of simplifying and eloquently stating what's going on. Um but I think this is one of many, many manifestations of it. You
need only read what the U. N. Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch The Guardian, the new york times. You know, this is not for questions.
Why do you think you're so wound up about this and you're not wound up about what's going on in Somalia, where you're not wound up about what's going on in Saudi Arabia or you're or you're not wound up about, hold on, hold on, what's going on in Eastern Ukraine.
Hold on a second. There are human rights violations all over the world. I comment on on them and I have commented on them for decades since I worked at Amnesty International Amnesty International, which is where I started my career. I've been passionate about this since the age of 18 or 19 when I worked at Amnesty International, you said that you cannot grade these things right? You just said like it's hard to compare these things and this is a problem like you can actually do that. There are human rights violations. Like freedom of speech, which you know, is a great aspiration, but we would say torture, murder, systematic, rape and sterilization are more intense and horrific than just freedom of speech. So if you look at Hong kong when they shut down Apple News, that's one level of human rights, right, people have lost their ability.
But again, you're telling story,
hundreds of these are not stories, these are facts. Apple News was shut down,
you were telling a fact about a particular, a particular set of experiences that are particularly harming a set of people. Let me give you another fact In the United States where we have a population of let's be generous and say 400 million people, 2.3 million or 40,340 million Americans. 2.3 million of whom are incarcerated. Absolutely. In china with a population of one point 4,000,000,001 1.0.7 million chinese are incarcerated. Absolutely something we have to do. Where is human rights being violated on an absolute basis. It's a very difficult conversation to use facts and figures because at the end of the day, there's a lot of data that can be pointed the other way. And so it all comes down to narrative and that narrative always has an objective, which is what are you trying to get people to believe and what are you trying to get them to get behind and get to do? And what are you trying to justify? Yes. And the fact that
they don't have a drug problem over there because they killed all the drug dealers put them up against the wall and shot him. So, you know,
they just send their fentaNYL here,
That's fair, that's
fair enough. But I'm just saying like look and and and it's it's a very good point which is you can actually take the data and you can slice it and tell different stories around it. But at the end of the day it's very hard to say there's good and there's evil that we have to go and attack. And that is what is
never said attack. I never said attack. I didn't say invade china over this and I didn't say invade Saudi Arabia. I think
we should talk across the temperature, raise the temperature and I did not say that either. If you want to know
what I think should happen
to political pressure on that, right? I think
when people are involved in torture, murder rape and sterilizing people that there should be economic and disengagement that occurs as a first step. And that that is why when people in our circles in venture capital take money from somebody who murdered a journalist, Mohammed bin Salim uh MBS from Saudi Arabia, we should disengage from a country like that. I believe that that is what we should do. And I believe people like us. I believe people like us who are capital allocators and creators and who are influencers should be talking about human rights all the time. And we should be familiar with the Universal declaration of human rights and we should read what's in it. And we should aspire to hit those notes in our country and everywhere else. And this me too ism. I'm sorry. This you know, equivalency problem that you guys keep bringing up. That is a trap. That is an intellectual trap because there is no equivalency from putting a detaining a million people, putting hundreds of thousands of them and torturing them to what's happening in the United States.
Where we wrote the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and where we can have conversations about it. If you tried to have the conversation, we are we would all be tortured in Saudi Arabia. We would all be tortured and detained inside of china. I just think that there is a very dangerous thing that you're doing which is you are ranking and which is essentially assigning some sort of, let's just call it economic value to those things that you just just described torture, rape, forced sterilization. But I think then you're ignoring how do you actually economically rank systemic racism in the United States? What happens in our in our school system, inner city school system? What happens to black and brown men? What happens to the families of those people? What happens to how the lobbies basically break down the healthcare system? And all I'm saying is Jason if you take your argument to the extreme you start to get into all these areas of gray where it's impossible to assign economic realities to those things so that you can actually rank and rate. That's why I do think that. Yeah.
Because what we're talking about your numerically rank. No, no, no, I didn't. I never used a numerical with just saying one is proportionally different. I'm not putting economic, I never used. Those really bad things happened 10 times and these kinds of bad things happened 1,010,000 times. Which one's worse? I think if you asked anybody who is in a weaker prison being sterilized towards them, I'm asking you which one's worse. Yes. I mean, you could, you could do this test. Jason. I'm asking you a question if 10 people, 10 workers were raped or forced sterilized. Yes versus 10 million black men falsely incarcerated.
Which one is worse? Yeah. This is not the way to do the calculus. You can do it on an individual basis. You can look at an individual inside of a prison being tortured and an individual living in United States, Every single person who is inside of that torture chamber being raped, being sterilized would say, I would absolutely love to come to America. That's why everybody wants to come to this country and live in a free democracy where they can speak freely. They can practice whatever religion they want and not be tortured and what you're doing by adding up all the tiny pain and suffering that we have here in America and then you know, trying to conflate that with these horrific acts. You have to look at exactly how horrific these are on an individual basis, just like we did with George Floyd, we see George Floyd happen. That is something that is absolutely worth being outraged about at a higher level, right? You have to stop for a second and say, oh my God, this has to be resolved. We can do these two things at the same time. We can refine our education system.
George Floyd, George Floyd actually is being sterilized. I think George Floyd proves my point because there's been innumerable number of black men that have been murdered with nary a thing that's ever happened in the United States, but it happened in an exact moment where the sum of all of these other things that happened before had just compounded to a point where the whole thing spilled over and enough people decided to basically say the sum total of this damage now is the equivalent of a very meaningful human rights violation. You can work on both these things at the same time is my point and and this and this. You're basically giving a pass by by kind of conflating these two things in my mind. You can work on both these issues. You could want to stop abhorrent torture and murder and rape while wanting to make our justice system better, while wanting to make our education system better. You don't have to pick one came off. I think you do actually, no, you do not. We could absolutely nothing I can do about the workers in china. There is you could not capital allocated to regions or to companies that are engaging. I don't I don't have any shing shing chinese and if you do see one you could do that and you can also can't because they can't get out of china. What are you talking about?
Do you take money from Saudi Arabia? No more. And did you make a moral decision about that? No. Okay. If you did get offered a billion dollars would you take it from them? And by the way to be honest there's a bunch of my companies that have been supported by folks who have taken money from them. And I know that's a problem when I look what well what's the bigger problem is that that the solution that these guys are that they're designing for mental health or diabetes or you know housing or whatever it is this startup does when they take money from Softbank or remember all of a sudden they should be canceled and not be able to do that. I didn't say cancel. Just take the money from somebody different. Nobody said canceled where I don't know co to pick another firm Goldman. I don't know who it doesn't take Saudi money.
Should the should the United States create a program or whenever you get a you ever get a term sheet from Softbank or anybody with money from. Didn't say that if you should just be able to go and redeem it for some, somebody else's money. I never said that either. I think each individual a capital allocator like yourself and a ceo should make what they believe is a morally right decision. Well, they voted and they don't care about this issue. They're voting with their dollars everyday thing that people should care about human rights and they should care about who they make money for. I know I'm a lone voice. I know I'm a lone voice, but I believe you should care about no, no, no. I'm not saying Jason, I'm just saying something very subtle. I'm not saying that what you believe is wrong. In fact, I think it's beautiful and wholeheartedly right. What I'm saying is when everybody else tries to nod their head and agree with you in the moment, they're just morally virtue signaling in a luxury belief that they themselves don't exhibit, they don't make any changes towards and it's largely because they don't believe that this is an issue and I'm just putting it on the table as it just is true based on everybody's behavior maybe other than you.
I agree with you, but everybody else is voting. I would like to change everybody's behavior and I think you can offer your opinion and maybe you will change some people's minds. I'm sure there are some people listening here and I know there are some founders who would not take money from Softbank and would not take money from Saudi Arabia. And I know there are some capital allocators will not take money from Dictatorships. I think that you're you're also forgetting that there's there has been as it seems again from very, very far away, looking in a lot of things that they have been able to do that is really constructive. You know, they've actually created some pretty decent ties to Israel. Um they've actually started to create a path to normalize normalize relations in the Middle East. You know, they've organized against what could be the real threat there, which is, you know, a nuclear empowered Iran. So just to put things in perspective, Jason, it's kind of like you have to look at the totality of the situation again in the United States today. If you just looked at that one simple thing, you can cherry pick all kinds of reasons why many other companies shouldn't expect shouldn't accept american capital because you know, we don't really exactly have our ship together. Either proportion of these issues is the I think
I think what what thomas is saying is the world, the world is complicated. I mean, we had so under the previous president, they said there could never be uh like a piece of Middle East or a deal between Israel and and error. Powers. And there was the Doha agreement where you had three arab states signing peace treaties with Israel and Saudi Arabia allowing flights between South Arabia and Israel for the first time? And that's all because of MBS. And there was an article in The Wall Street Journal talking about how King Salman actually was holding MBS back on this because you know, he's from part of the previous generation who is backing the Palestinians and MBS just wants to move forward and actually get a deal done with Israel and the Palestinians won't make it. Then he's willing to move forward without them. And this is not me saying this is the Wall Street Journal. We need to dig up that piece. So all I'm saying, look what happened with that journalist was absolutely wrong. But clearly like foreign relations is very complicated, especially in the Middle East. And it's not clear that like Net
Net Saudi Arabia probably just did the one wrong thing, which is that every country engages in extrajudicial killings, they just got caught right because I don't think it's fair to say that. So torture. They also killed a journalist. I think that americans have done that. Okay, we've done that as well. Absolutely. I don't think you actually have any idea of the extent of what we have done during the course of these wars in all of these countries. I don't think, you know? Well I don't think so by saying and I think that nobody knows if we chopped up a journalist who criticized, do you know who was in al Ghraib Abu Ghraib, do you really know, do you know of all the other, one of the worst, one of the worst things we ever did, and one of the things we need to aspire to do better than that, we've
Gone blundering around the Middle East for 20 years now in Afghanistan. We supported warlords in Afghanistan, who were allies with who were raping young boys. I mean, this was like a giant a series of articles in the new york times.
I mean, we've been doing this since the 80s and even
more recently in Libya, we we basically got rid of Gaddafi and plunge the whole country into civil war and it's never recovered from it. So, look, I I actually Jason, I'm somewhere in between. I actually agree with your idealism. My mind's still blowing that you actually worked for amnesty international, but I just think that the world is more complicated than that and sometimes we have to make choices and and the the thing that concerns me is that that idealism that you're citing has become a prelude in a pretext for war in the over the last 20 years. And
we can and to be clear, I'm not advocating, we go
around the globe getting into these conflicts, Libya Syria, Iraq, you know, you know, what good has that done us?
Yeah. You know, I'm anti war, you know, I'm anti war, you know, I'm not advocating for invading places, I'm advocating that we speak up when we see Saudi Arabia take a blogger rafi Badawi.
Everybody did. I mean that was universally condemned, But but the question is
who caned for writing blog posts?
What's the alternative in Saudi Arabia? Who's our alternative there? We don't get to pick and choose who the leaders of these countries
are. Doesn't mean that doesn't. I'm talking specifically about entrepreneurs capital allocators. That doesn't mean we need to engage in business and building their chip stack. If you want. The sternly worded press release, you just got it from biden. Hopefully it it's it peaked. It it satisfies it quenches your thirst. Because the only other solution us talking about, actually, if you want to know what I want, I want to see the three of you speak up for human rights. That's what I would like to say. I think that human rights in the United States is way more important to me than human rights anywhere else in the globe. And I think that we have an abysmal track record of taking care of colored men and women in this country and I don't disagree.
And so I have zero patience and tolerance for white men blathering on about ship that happens outside your own backyard, fix your own inside backyard because you guys because you guys are the ones that get to diminish me for being white. No, I understand, but I'm saying that you are uniquely in a position of power in a way that the rest of us are not. And so when you guys clean up the inside, then we can go and fix the outside. Yeah, I believe we can do both. I I believe we can do the same thing at the same time. We can speak about human rights here. We can speak about it in Saudi Arabia, we can speak about in china and we could talk about the same thing. We can talk about all the human rights issues from freedom of speech to murder. I do I do constantly
look if you care so much about journalists, why haven't you spoken up in favor of stone and assange to the way that Glenn Greenwald has of Julian assange assange and Snowden read Glenn Greenwald's reporting on
these topics that we need to get to the bottom of both of those. In either case we don't know that
you've acted with complete certainty on twitter saying that these guys are traders and should be locked up in us prisons. No,
no, no, I think we don't know. I don't think we know who they're working for. I haven't
spent the time to learn.
No. Well, I mean it is a black box in that case we don't know in both of those cases what the backstory is. I do think I do have
a nuanced position, what's going on. You know about what's going on with the tigers because you read the new york Times article, it's it's it's it's why don't you read the new york Times article about Snowden? And we have had people who have
we have we have people who have defected And been on 60 minutes who were in those prisons.
You believe what you want to believe?
No. You literally can't believe somebody who escaped from the prison. You can believe them. Yes. With it. When it comes to Julian assange. I don't know what to believe exactly because he released all those data dumps and he didn't do it properly. Like a journalist where he vetted the information with Snowden. I'm more inclined to think that he was a good actor and I think it's a very nuanced position. So if you want to try to paint me as like not knowing everything about every human rights violation in the world, every nuanced position of a leaker. That's correct. I don't know everything about everybody, but I'm going to take that position.
I don't know anything about any of these things, which is why I choose to focus on the things that I can control. And I want to believe that I want to improve my own backyard, which I think is absolutely great. And I think you can add an end there, which is you should be talking about human rights and Hong kong should be talking about in Saudi Arabia and should be talking about, Okay, not my problem is the problem, not my problem. I believe that's part of the problem right now. You said it, you said it perfectly to meth people don't care about human rights anymore. There's a lot of people, I agree with you who do not care about human rights the way they did. I think they care about the local version of human rights. Fine. Yeah. And I think you need to care about all of them and talk about all of them at the same time, the international adventurism around human rights, I don't support in the least. And I do feel that a lot of this stuff is like the tip of the spear of people who then get morally absolute and say we have to fix this and the only solution is to invade these countries and instead I would just rather them if they really care about it, let them stand up and do what they need to do. I think we need to fix our own backyard.
I mean look not to kind of bolster tomatoes point, but there is a blind eye turned to that which we don't want to believe or that narrative which we don't want to sell. And then we point towards the narrative that we do and we see this all the time where the focal point of where should we be addressing human rights issues, it's where we have economic and geopolitical interests. No one seems to be solving the problem in Somalia. No one's getting on stage talking about the issues that people are facing in countries outside of where we have deep rooted trade partnerships and serious economic interests and so, you know, like we can tell ourselves all day long that we need to be kind of the absolutists and absolutely take care of the world because we're the the beacon for human rights. But the challenges, we end up being forced to choose where we want to spend our time and our resources and our resources go to where those resources flow back to us. And that's often where we have a geopolitical and economic interest. I'll say one more thing like this because it's important because you called us all out, I am an absolute human rightist in the sense that I believe every human on earth should have a right to do whatever they want within their own sphere of influence, provided their sphere of influence does not intersect with the sphere of influence of others. End of story. And I don't see that happening anywhere on earth. And this ends up being a tradeoff. You always end up trading off your sphere of influence for that of the greater good or someone else because power allocates and power aggregate to specific places often to government, sometimes to organize societal decisions that we say we're going to trade off our individual rights and freedoms for that of the greater collective and it is that judgment and it is that gray area where all of these issues that we individually choose to address and spend our time on arise. And so I have um, you know, just to point out like a very absolute point of view on this.
But to me, the challenge is how do you make a discernment, how do you make a determination that imprisonment of brown and black people in the United States versus the treatment of people by um militia in Somalia versus the treatment of the wingers in china versus you know, and you go on and on and on. It's a very difficult moral judgment or
you could just say they're all wrong,
They are all wrong. They are
all wrong. But I don't care about the other two and we're going to talk that well, but you work on all of them, you work on none of them.
And I would rather see innovation enable more people to have access to more free speech, to have more resources to have more of an ability to climb and have the freedom to do the things they want to do with their life. I think that innovation and technology can bring all of these old school ways of thinking and behaving out of the media, Medieval ages and the dark ages. And so that's where I choose to spend my time. You know, how can we unleash people's freedom. We got to make things more available. We got to make things more accessible.
I would just want to make two points and then maybe we can move on on this topic. Point number one is when you're an immigrant, part of what you're doing is you're actually voting against the place that you leave to embrace the place that you come to and Jason, you know of all the four of us on this pod, you're the only natural born american right? You, you started here, you've lived your entire life here and that's an incredible blessing that you were given and the three of us weren't. And you know, in my case, I had to go through an even more circuitous path. I didn't even come to the United States first, I had to go through Canada. But implicitly, you know, when I look at the places that I left and specifically, you know, when I look about, when I look at Sri Lanka who you know has a very checkered human rights record, in fact terrible in some ways and the way that they ended the war against the Tamils atrocious. I have to make a decision right? I have to make a decision about. Is this something that I'm going to wait into or not? And what I realized through my own life's journey is these are not my battles and in many ways I abdicated my responsibility to vote on that issue when I left and instead I stay here and I focus on the things that I can control here and I think that I do have a responsibility to fix the issues of the country that adopted me. And so that's where some of my framework comes from separately. I do want to give all three of us a shut up because I do think that there is an enormous human rights issue that I do think we did bring up and in the last few weeks has become a real groundswell and it started on the you know, you're in recap pod where we talked about what's happened to our kids and I just want to call out that in the last few weeks the amount of press attention that this issue has gotten, which I do think is a human rights level issue which is a cognitive impairment of our Children has really come front and center.
And uh I think that it's really, really incredible all the way to like even nature now publishing these, you know, and and maybe the timing is just coincidental. But these big longitudinal studies that really showed that you know, we have uh driven a level of retardation in our Children. We have held them back from a level of learning and development that we now have thrown our arms up in the air. We don't know what the real long term impact is that I think is a human rights level issue and domestically in the United States. I think we're in a position to fix it if we decide to take care of it. So, you know, again, I don't mean to offend you when I say that in my prioritization list, it's below the line. But there are different human rights issues that I care about. And I think to just to be clear, you know, when you said I called everybody out here, I'm trying to have a productive discussion. Freeburg. I'm not trying to put it on the spot. I don't get offended.
trying to have a productive discourse.
But I want to make it clear that I'm not trying to call out besties here. I'm trying to have a productive dialogue.
He's like one of the largest investors in the world.
You know, I wouldn't society investor. Yeah, he's a he's a Saudi investor and
of Saudi Arabia. You wouldn't
if the money comes from a dictatorship from an authoritarian country, I went 100 Jason. He was locked up, he was locked up at the ritz and he was forced to give a bunch of his money.
So it wasn't clear we live out of the country anyway. I mean, again,
if his money, if you're asking me, uh, let's put inside of a specific person, I'll just tell you my my
citizen or a citizen,
he was born there.
Yeah, I agree. Let me just tell you, I clearly I would never take money from an authoritarian regime.
Would you take money from a chinese billionaire?
No, I would not take it from a chinese. No, I would not take it from a chinese if I if I
learned an authoritarian regime, they the chinese are not an authoritarian regimes and we're talking about a chinese billionaire.
If the chinese billionaire was outspoken about human, I would tell you it's a great thought question and I'm just riffing here. It's a great thought experiment. If a chinese billionaire had left china and would you
take your money because he has violated your human rights at the poker table many
times. That's true, that's true. He has he has turned over to seven going all in when I have to parent, I'm like I guess he's got a set, he just absolutely tortures me. So but no I would not. I would if the person was a reformer yes, I would consider it. I would consider it Jason but Jason, I guess what you're saying is like you and this is your decision to make my decision. Yes. It's it's important for you that you understand what people's personal belief systems are when you take money from them. No. Human rights is important to me. Something like their personal belief system like you know you you wouldn't care less if they were an illicit drug user, right for somebody else. So for example I'll give you an example.
So I did take money from a chinese billionaire. When I when I first started social capital, I'm not going to say who it is, but there was a a morality clause and there were certain things that were incredibly important to this person and they were very easy for me to reflect because they were nothing that I cared about. But you know, they explicitly didn't want certain kinds of investments in gambling, cannabis, sex porn for me. Yeah, the list was gambling alcohol. Can anyone, My point is, you're fine signing up to those moral judgments from an investor, but not necessarily, you know, silence on. I'm asking you the question, you would be fine signing up for those moral obligation for moral delineation of what you can and can't do even if it's not against what you believe, but you have a different issue when it comes to silence on these other topics. Yeah, I would, here's here's how I'll answer the question. I if I'm taking other people's money to invest it and they don't want to invest in the adult, I don't have a problem with cannabis as an example. I have a problem with wagering and gambling, but if I'm building a fund to invest in businesses, those are, that's not an important issue for me. And I don't know that's a great venture investment and I can also invest outside of my own money. So it's a more nuanced issue there. Like I have invested in wagering apps and I'm thinking about creating a syndicate specifically for gambling and wagering.
And yes, there are LPS who I currently have in my previous fund, the active fund that do not, I do not invest in wagering because of that. So yes, and it's because they just want clarity in some cases on not getting sued for investing in a, in a, in a wagering companies where we don't have a federal mandate yet. So, you know, I think comparing it, these are great thought experiment was was fine training of everything for me. I was fine signing up for no alcohol because my father was an alcoholic. And so it was, it was more and there was a certain investor who at one point tried to be an LP, very well known person who was convicted of domestic abuse and I didn't take that money because I was, I had been the victim of domestic abuse as my, as my mom. And so that was a moral issue for me. The point I'm trying to make to you, Jason is that it's very nuanced. Everybody can be on a bunch of different sides of this thing. And I tend to think the most consistent, reliable thing is that these are very local beliefs that when they touch you, you have a point of view on them. And I, and I think that, you know, it's much more practical and maybe this is just being too practical to see a world where people want to fix their own backyard first. And the, and I think a lot of why you may be disappointed that a lot of people don't have a stronger view on things like china as people are a little exhausted with having moral views about things that are so far away when things in their own backyard are still broken. Yeah.
And I can understand that exhaustion and to be clear, I just feel like human rights is such an obvious and easy one to get behind for all humans and that really was. And that's what the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was about was we were hoping that all countries, the United Nations or Eleanor Roosevelt was that we could all just agree that torture was immoral. And when the United States waterboarded, United States came up with some whether the death penalty is immoral. So and you know what, that's something that you know is our great failings were riddled with hypocrisy. The declaration of human rights here is is an ideal. It's a goal. It's something to strive towards. And each country has places where they succeed in foul and you can actually measure it and we do measure it actually, we do measure which countries have the worst record on human rights violations and which ones have the best quantifiable scores are crazy. No, no, they're not. You can literally talk, look at how many women are raped in prison in one country versus I understand, but my point is when you put a score two that are counted, you're not counting a bunch of other things that are really bad as well as the scoring system could be refined, sure, I will give you that. And I think this is the debate we had today which was an unexpected debate and I didn't think we would go this deep here, I think is such an important debate for us to have as humans and as a civilization because we are getting in the weeds on so many other issues whether it's inflation or you know, innovation or politics, that human rights I feel is something we should all be able to agree on that. All people should be in the definition that
Jackal. Everyone says yes. The definition and the prioritization is where all the noises. Yeah, that's everything.
And how do we deal with
Violence. No one on Earth that's going to say, I don't believe in human rights.
We all agree with the ideals that everyone agrees with the ideals. The question is how you implement them
implementation prioritization. Exactly. Like for
I think it's I think it's a legitimate position for you to say that you're not going to take money from dictators but to then say that any family office from any individual who was born in that country, you're not gonna take their money either.
I would have to think about. I didn't say that. Unless unless unless
they were willing to risk their lives by denouncing. I don't
know that they have to do it. I don't know they have to do it publicly. I mean if I talked to this hypothetical chinese or Saudi person and they said I don't agree with this, I'm working against I'm a reformer. I guess I would have to consider it because I wanted to make money for the reformer. But Jason, what if they said I don't have a point of view that I would go with people who would you morally disqualify them? You would disqualify them on moral grounds.
That's not the way to make. Which is what you're
not letting me look look hold on, I need to answer if you're both going to ask me this question and accuse me of you know this, I would have to make a nuanced decision on an individual basis. I would not make a blanket decision. That's my position on this hypothetical situation where somebody is a Saudi citizen has a family office, I would have to make a very nuanced decision. Like you did come off where you didn't take the domestic abusers and you did take the person. Okay. Yeah. But it's the same thing. It's a human rights violation. It's it's a horrible thing that occurred and you had to make a nuanced decision and you know, that's what I'm hoping to promote here Is that we have a dialogue about human rights again because when I was growing up in the 80s, this was something that the world was getting consensus on and the West had consensus on and I think the West is very weak now and the fact that the NBA that you know, Apple whatever cos I don't want to call out individuals because it's not productive, especially if it gets re aggregated and you know, I happen to know some of them. It's it's something that the West has to contend with of what is our strategy here with human rights violators? Do we engage them? Do we admonish them or somewhere in between?
Do we disengage engage or you know, make our feelings hurt and try to shape their behavior to bend towards human rights. And it's a very complicated nuanced discussion. I'm glad we had it here today. The
Time period you're talking about where we supposedly had consensus on this during the 1980s, during the Cold War
I was talking about in America. Well we talked about it a lot in America is my point.
Yeah. Well I think actually I think Ronald Reagan did earlier job with this. He denounced the evil empire but said that we should be a shining city on a hill. And we did. We actually avoided a bunch of unnecessary foreign wars. 100%. So look, I think the best way for us to lead on this issue is just to be an example and we're not doing a very good job of that. I mean your ideals are great but the world doesn't neatly lined up with those ideals and presents us with choices that don't fit those ideals. I mean, during the Cold War we had a choice but to support either communist regimes or in a lot of cases authoritarian regimes. And we chose the lesser of two evils. I think today we have choices between do we want to support Islamic fundamentalists, regimes or we want to support authoritarian regimes who are resisting it? I mean, those are the types of tough choices the world actually presents to us.
And I think that's what makes it hard to to sort of my
enemy's enemy is my friend. It's a complicated chess board and you're better at chess than MS sax. So I will give you that. And I think it's great that we had discussion. I really do appreciate that you guys were willing to talk about this for so long. It's an important discussion because if we don't stand for human rights and basic human rights, what do we stand for? You know, and and I agree that domestic is important stand for. I stand for me. Yeah, we know that we know that. Tell us about the sweater. Tell us about the sweater no candles. No.
This is you know,
if you're concerned about the rise of authoritarianism, which actually this was my one of my big trends in the prediction episodes.
Uh I am concerned that democracy which was
the most negative trend. But then I think you should be concerned about this like rising tide. We have here of censorship and the surveillance.
Yes and our
Federal law enforcement agencies demanding more and more power and lockdowns, liberties blowing this whole like January six thing out of proportion, you should be concerned about their attempts to exploit and use that to demand more powers
to surveil americans do not believe in surveillance, but I, and I think you should understand
that the hysteria created around that event is going to be used is gonna be exploited
by politicians are explaining this on all sides of the aisle, I agree with you. The right and the left, the right is diminishing it. The left is exacerbating it. The truth in the middle is I think we are in agreement sacks. The overwhelming majority of people who went to the capitol that day were dipshits who just wanted to protest and they cared about trump and they went there for the party of it all. And then there was a small cohort who intended harm and who are deranged and who could potentially be dangerous in the way mammoth framed it, lone wolves or small packs of wolves like the Oklahoma city bombers who murdered a large number of people. Um and so we have to be very careful in prosecuting one group one way and one the other way and that's exactly what the Department of Justice has done in that case. 700 people got played deals or very minor sentences and then these folks are going to have the book thrown at them and rightfully so because they could have murdered pen so they could have murdered Pelosi just like that woman got murdered. I'm sorry the woman tragically got stopped and shot and died. Like that could have been a much different day if dozens of people had died and those cops had not shown restraint, we could be sitting here having a much different discussion about the oath keepers. If the oath keepers had done with the Oklahoma city bombers succeeded in doing this would be a much different discussion,
right? They didn't, which is why it is a different discussion.
Well, thank God for our police and and for how brave they were in not unloading their pistols when any reasonable person who was being beaten by that crowd and crushed would have taken their gun out and started firing. They didn't, thank God those police did not
look, I think the one thing we can agree on is we don't want something like that to happen again. And there's two things, two simple things that would prevent it. One is reform of the electoral count act like we talked about, that's what biden should be going for, not making these speeches about bull Connor and George Wallace, he could actually get that done. And the other thing is if the capitol police had just been a little bit more prepared and had barricades and screens and better security. That also couldn't, it couldn't happen again. That's all we have to do to solve that
problem. And the third thing we have to do is arrest these oath keepers and put them in jail for that. Well, they've been indicted. You tell me if they're going to go to jail or
Yeah, well and rightfully so it seems, well hopefully they get their day in court. Maybe we can transition. I want to talk about the other side of the coin on inflation because I think that we have hammered the point for a long time now that you know, the government was really sort of like off pieced by printing incompetent trillions and trillions of dollars and and injecting it into the economy. And what it's really created has been this massive bout of inflation which then could cause an ultimate recession because the Fed has to react. All of those things I think are well documented. I just wanted to put on the record the a little element of the counterfactual, which I think is really important. And this is an article in the Wall Street Journal and nick you can post this if you can please. But I'm just going to read this. So I'm just gonna look down the first two rounds of stimulus payments lifted 11.7 million people in America out of poverty according to the Census Bureau Americans build up $2.7 trillion dollars in extra savings and some expect that combined with rising wages to prop up to provide them with lasting stability despite the return to more normal spending patterns and rising inflation. So I just want to make sure that all of us have heard that because that's an incredible thing to be able to say that 11.7 million Americans in poverty are no longer in poverty because of the stimulus, which I think when you look at the right way of framing what some of these progressives want to do, I think a lot of the good intentions comes from things like this and I just think it's important to acknowledge that that did happen and that's something that we should really be proud of and especially if those folks can actually stay in the lower middle and then move up to the middle class, that's an incredible outcome and you know, we we all supported that. I think genuinely and I think that that's good, we knew it was scary and we needed to put something into the economy to keep it from crashing and it's very hard to know what the right amount was, right, Like how do you know what the right amount of stimulus is in a pandemic that happens every 100 years And thank God it feels like a macron is, you know, leading us out of this. Okay.
Yeah, there's some great examples by the way in this article, If you guys, if people want to take the time to read it of some examples of people that have really done an incredible job in um, in like completely changing their financial picture, which I think, I mean, a lot of a lot of people went into freelance, A lot of these young people realize, I don't know if you saw this headline, a million less people started college this year and enrolled and I think what's happening is so many people who were going into college realized, I don't know if I should go into debt. I figured out a way to make money at home and more financially literate. I'm going to make a better decision about college and not go 100 K into debt to be very specific, very resilient and they're being better making better judgments about their own lives because they've been forced to, to be specific, I think you mean boys, because the other thing that's happening is in college is now it's becoming very tilted female versus male colleges in some colleges. It's, you know, two thirds female, one third male. So we're actually creating this weird longitudinal pattern here where uh, an an entire gender is going to be very miseducated Relative to another one. And in fact it'll be the exact opposite of what it was like in probably the fifties or sixties, where you had these large swaths of men that are educated women who typically stayed home or were undereducated relative to their ability here. Now, it's the exact opposite where, you know, women are getting undergrads and graduate degrees and boys are learning how to play video games and smoke pot in cells. A very strange time. I mean, that's what happens when you do David's. What is that like being an in cell? Tell us you were a pioneer in being an in cell.
We made it through the show. So it was so civil.
Let's get the friedberg ratio up.
Let's talk about an exciting scientific paper and the implications of it to
tell us about this new study from Harvard that revealed Epstein Barr virus could be associated with M. S.
I'll do a zoom out and zoom in. So bear with me for a moment. So uh you know, there are over 80 what are called autoimmune diseases. These are diseases where your body, your immune system attacks your own tissue and causes real problems. One in 20 people worldwide suffer from some sort of autoimmune condition. So those disease lupus, which affects, you know, your whole system rheumatoid arthritis, where your joints get inflamed shogren syndrome, where your eyes and your mouth get get messed up and and multiple sclerosis, which we'll talk about here in a second, but these are all diseases that have a similar ideology, which is that your immune system attacks some tissue in your body. It dysfunctions and it attacks it. And there's always been this big question about kind of what causes autoimmune conditions and what causes immune system dis regulation like this. And there's all sorts of different theories and studies and papers, many of which have been, you know, well well documented genetic risk factors, environmental factors, age. And in particular as you get older, the thymus which is supposed to create these helper cells that go out and keep cells in your immune system from attacking your own body, your thymus kind of starts to fade away and I'm sorry Thelma starts to fade away and start start, stop working. And so um you know, one theory that's been talked about a lot is molecular mimicry, which means that there's some protein from a virus or that enters your body or cancer. And that protein looks a lot like some other protein in your body.
And so your immune system starts attacking that protein and as a result your immune system gets turned on to that protein and it actually attacks a similar looking protein somewhere else in your body. Um and that's a you know, a very kind of broad statement about, you know, some potential cause of autoimmune conditions. And you can find protein mimicry theories coming from the gut where, you know, microbes in the gut are triggering this and then also viruses. So in particular, you know, cytomegalovirus and Epstein Barr virus, which is we're going to talk about here today. So multiple sclerosis is this disease one of the autoimmune diseases where your immune system attacks and destroys myelin which is you know found on Your nerve cells and in your brain. And it can actually cause you know when when this happens and your immune system starts to attack your brain. You end up with these lesions and and really debilitating effects over time. One in 300 people in the US have been diagnosed with MS. It is a brutal disease. It it lasts your whole life. And the treatment today the primary treatment is this drug that destroys B cells in your body and your B cells make antibodies. And so by destroying the B cells that gets rid of the cells that are making the antibodies that are attacking your own brain.
And uh and this is a really effective treatment. It's been able to reduce the effects of AMS significantly but we still don't know what causes it and what triggers M. S. And there's always been this theory going back to the mimicry question that one of these viruses that everyone seems to get as they you know age is causing it. Um and so Epstein barr virus has always been thought to be one of those viruses. It's one of the herpes viruses. Everyone knows it is mono so you know you get mono and you get swollen neck. A lot of people do. Most people that get this virus don't end up having any symptoms. They don't even know they have it. And here's a crazy statistic 95% of people have Epstein Barr virus. Um and it's known that Epstein Barr virus does actually cause some kinds of cancers and lymphoma lymphoma and so on.
So here's the paper that was published yesterday. And again if you know that Epstein Barr virus you know is is doing some other stuff in your body that's negative. Shouldn't this be a reason to look at it for M. S. But how do you get the data to do it given that 95% of people already have Epstein Barr virus? So here's what happened. These guys at Harvard went to the military, the US military and the U. S. Military Basically had 10 million members of the military takes 62 million blood samples over a period of time from 1993 to 2013. And when they take these blood samples they you know they run their typical check up on these people on the military members but they save some of the blood sample in a freezer. And so they've got 62 million blood samples sitting in freezers. The U.
S. Military does. And so these researchers were able to access those blood samples And they then found 5% of the people that don't have that theme bar virus because remember 95% of people have it. So they found the 5% that don't and they went through and they found that during this period of time That they have all this blood data for. They were able to identify 800 people that started out Epstein Barr virus negative and then got M. S. 100% of the people that got MS were infected with Epstein barr virus during this period of time. And for the group of people that that didn't get M. S. Only about half of them got Epstein Barr virus infection during this period of time. And then they looked at this for about 20 other viruses and basically showed absolutely no correlation or difference in risk between all the other viruses if you got em. S.
Or didn't get M. S. And so it basically creates a 95% probability that you're 32 times more likely to get um M. S. From Epstein Barr virus than from anything else. It is from a racially diverse pool, an age diverse pool. Ethnically diverse pool. So a lot of other you know confounding factors like race or ethnicity or genetics. A lot of other factors like all the other viruses that might be causing a mess have been excluded. And it shows that maybe Epstein 7th virus is the primary cause of M. S. That triggers certain people's immune systems to go nuts and attack the brain.
And it's interesting because you know Epstein Barr virus has a bunch of proteins in it that look like other human proteins. So it makes sense why this might happen. Um M. S. Costs 40 grand a year there's $30 billion a year spent in the U. S. On M. S. Care. So if we can go in and get I've seen Barr virus eliminated from the human body, it would be an incredibly incredible cost saving and therapeutic benefit to people with M. S.
You should talk about The reason why we don't have a herpes vaccine though. So HSV 123 now for none of these things have reasonable vaccines and it's for a very specific reason which is that the herpes virus itself is incredibly incredibly difficult to isolate and find until it activates and it hides itself and it nests itself inside these nerve cells. So you may want to just talk about how complicated is to produce it.
I mean the D. N. A. Disappears into these nerve cells and so it's hard to get you know immune system to go and clear them out permanently. The Epstein Barr virus hides out of B cells in your body. And so it's floating around in your body forever. And as your B cells replicate the virus replicates with them. And then when your immune system starts to get weak the virus pops out and starts attacking and inflaming your body again. So number one Epstein Barr virus has never been a great target therapeutic target because there's not much money to be made because it's like who the hell cares about mono once you get mono you get over your five. But if Epstein Barr virus is in fact causing this problem with with M. S. There's a reason to go after a lot of money to go after it.
And there are several new technologies and therapeutic strategies that are possible. One of which is you know, she got sent out over a group text, a company that's doing T cell therapies. We can actually program a T cell and the T cell goes into the body and finds these uh these B cells with Epstein Barr virus and wipes them out. Um There's a steroid, a diuretic steroid that's been shown that that's used to treat high blood pressure. That's been shown to stop Epstein Barr virus from leading cells. There's an antiviral drug made by Takita called Maribel's here which has been shown to have high efficacy and eliminating Epstein Barr virus. So there are now therapeutic strategies that are being actively explored that could unlock the potential of minimizing or eliminating Epstein Barr virus for broader population than we ever thought should be taking these therapies. Because the implications maybe that if you can stop Epstein Barr virus from replicating or eliminated from your body, you can stop all these follow on diseases that occur over time in your life that are super debilitating and costly.
Yeah Lupus is another one tied to herpes simplex for it. I think the real problem is going to be that two thirds of the adult population under the age of 55 have herpes simplex for. So you know you're literally talking about inoculating the entire world and when we start to think about that grand of a scale, there's a cost issue, there's a manufacturer bility issue and then there's an R. O. I. Issue that that unfortunately will be adjudicated and that to me is what really, you know stands out and that and that and that is that just the healthcare economics of it. Obviously the science of it is still really complicated aren't we, doing an M. R. N. A. Vaccine for Epstein Barr and how would that play into
this? Absolutely. So there's a lot of techniques, this is you know, t cell therapeutics, M. R. N. A. A chemotherapy type drug, a steroid drug, an antiviral drug. So um every modality for therapeutics has some candidate or candidates for Epstein barr virus. Um and so you know there may be a bunch of ways that you start to identify risk factors and that you give someone one particular therapy that might be really affordable like this antiviral maybe super affordable. You know if we can make it for five cents a pill, you could you know get it out to a lot of people prophylactically that are at high risk, you know if there's a group that actually is active with M. S. A good treatment maybe to try and give them the T cell therapy and see if that helps.
And so that's the clinical trials that will start now because if you can give people a T. Cell therapy and eliminate HBV and stop all future need for M. S. Treatment that will save 40 grand a year. It'll start to make sense to run clinical studies to see if that stuff is possible and it's worth doing. So it opens up a whole new kind of area of interest by the way. This isn't novel. People have been talking about this for a long time but this paper has such incredible data and such strong signal that it's really gonna it's really going to catalyze investment. We
didn't have the big data based on this study. We would not have gotten
here for once on the show. I will say thank god for the U. S. Government and all of the the data that they've you know, all of these blood samples that they have freezers.
I want to get your read on the the human transplant thing that we saw this week where genetically modified pig heart wasn't implanted into 57 Jason. You wanted a 57 year old man. You want to read that out? David Bannon, a 57 year old man, requested special emergency authorization for the experimental surgery from the FDA FDA. He was dying and unable to receive a human heart transplant. The surgery was performed on january 7th in Baltimore and um you know this happened as the U. S. Is facing a major organ shortage. I mean we have we have hundreds of thousands. I mean people on organ donor registries or needing a transplant. You know, my father was on a kidney transplant registry for eight years until he passed away. These things are just brutalizing for the individuals and the family around it.
And so like you know, all of a sudden if you can see a path where you can genetically modify other sources of organs and implant them without organ rejection into the human body, that's like that is that's mine, it's mine
blood. Here's what's really important. It's not just about the availability of these things but it's about turning off one of the biggest the the big risk factor of organ transplant is rejection, meaning you're putting all this foreign matter into your body, It's foreign proteins. And so when your immune system sees all those foreign proteins, your body goes haywire and tries to kill it. It's like this, there's always like imagine getting a billion viruses at once. And so there's all these new proteins. And so one of the interesting things you can do, you know, if you can grow these these organs uh and and alter the genetics of the cells that are being used to grow the organs is you can get those cells to match your own or to basically down regulate all of the proteins that might be triggering immune rejection in your body. So theoretically you could grow jackals heart with tissue and cells that match your DNA potentially match your protein structure perfectly and such as
had a heart. You could do it with him to
right there you go. Good transition. But no, I mean but and by the way there there may also be a path here where we grow these uh these organs with your D. N. A. Without even using the animal body, the entire the entirety of the rest of the animal to do so. So there's a lot of really interesting breakthroughs that are possible but but it's really great to see a highlighted um you know, non, you know, kind of transplanted organ from another body into the human body because it just again it opens up what people have been talking about for decades, which is the possibility of this now that we have gene editing and potentially have the ability to grow biological matter in bioreactors. It's it's gonna be it's gonna be dramatic.
Jaeckel, What do you think about the democratic person in the sec saying that they wanted to basically make the accredited investor laws even stricter. That's incredibly infuriating. Uh that was your big prediction. Yeah, I mean, we really have to get these laws. I mean, I think this is like a Theranos um or we work overreaction. Which is like, oh my God, there are some bad private companies if you take the number of bad private companies, uh, and then look at what is happening in the country with people wagering on sports and wagering on crypto slash investing depending on we, you know, how you look at it. We need to have one rule for the road, which is, people take a test, they get accredited And then they can do what they want with their money. The equivalent of what I'm suggesting. People can only invest a fraction of the money they have on their last two years tax returns, let's pick a number 5% of their two year average on their tax returns, 10% whatever you want to pick. And they have to take a test, would the would be the equivalent. of people having to take a three hour course and a, you know, I don't know, 50 question test to go to Vegas and play Blackjack and they could only put on the blackjack table 10% of their total average yearly income for their household in the past year. Do you think about how crazy that would be To tell an American, you gotta take a blackjack course and pass a blackjack test and understand the odds of poker or whatever to play that game.
And you can only put, if you make $50,000 an hour plus years, you can only bet 5000 in Vegas at any one time. That's the max chips you can buy in a year. Those are the two things that I'm advocating for in private company investing and that's really if we want to have people move from, you know, poor to middle class, from middle class to affluent in this country, there has to be equity participation and equity participation has to start early. Look at what happened with all these young people betting on crypto betting on stocks or stocks and uh, you know, doing puts and calls and all kinds of crazy things, you know, in public markets, we would really rather see those people or at least in addition be able to invest on linkedin if they were a recruiter in year two or they were an Uber driver, be able to buy Uber shares or if they were an Airbnb host, be able to buy Airbnb shares as a private company, It will change the entire, the complexion of upward mobility in the United States and, and we really have to keep educating people not limiting their upside. That's my personal belief.
Person who asked you the question stopped paying attention like five minutes ago
because we were talking about science and Hearts
to ask you a simple question like 15 minutes ago and like
You just did, that was a 92nd monologue for Henry Bell Caster by the way I got inside information on Sax,
know how Saxe started like doing a little bit of artistic direction. You know, he's got that Scorsese and him having done the award winning film. Thank you for smoking. And he, he got Henry bell caster on his team. You know the Tiktok guys, Tiktok guys making some suggestions
sacks has been directing talk super fans saying, hey, you might want to make a Tiktok out of this monologue.
Here's, here's what happened is something there, there's a quote of a segment that somebody liked and retweeted. I got a whole bunch of likes and so I sent the Tiktok, I said this might make a good
talk. Nobody else doing that. But okay,
okay, we'll go for it. I'm not editing, but I'm again, people
do think that you have tucker Carlson's writers writing for you because you say it and people don't want to be clear. I that is a joke. You do not have tucker Carlson's current writers writing for you. Maybe some,
I do admit I have a special, you
just for roasts.
But do you, do you, do you keep them on retainer? Like if you have a roast, like you can just ask them to punch up some stuff for you or
yeah, I've only done it twice. I did it for you for your roast Jaeckel and I did it for Phil helmets really
destroyed Phil, Oh my God, do you remember this
is hysterical, Oh my
God, this is the cheapest roast ever. They rented like a junior suite that they got
for free at something for free
for free. They had like 30 people in a room and they're like, oh you gotta come out for Phil's roast. It was like 30 people in a junior suite at like a B level hotel and it was so bad and Saks and I came in and we had absolutely no allegiance to the audience destroyed everybody.
You guys were out of control.
It was brutal. Here's the helmet roast. I got, I got the material
right here. No. Oh no. Oh my God, could you be sure these aren't our jokes. This is what our Comedy Central writer wrote. So we have, we do not endorse these,
know what well, okay, so if you want to understand how I work, so they basically put together some material and then I shape it and there's like some back and forth. We workshop it. Yeah, it begins, we're here tonight to roast a poker player known as the greatest. Unfortunately Phil Ivey wasn't available. So we sold for Phil, hellmuth in the poker world. Phil is known as the poker brat. The rest of the world just calls him asshole. Phil has matched the GTO strategy of playing poker for most players. GTO stands for game theory optimal. But in Phil's case it stands for grading toxic and obnoxious despite all this filth fancies himself a quote unquote poker ambassador, not to throw a damper on things, but calling fill an ambassador for poker is like calling Bill Cosby. An ambassador for Quaaludes. Oh
Cut that one. Oh that's not. That's too good.
Let's face it, Phil is nuts. He's the only poker player sponsored by lithium
demand silence at the poker table so you can hear the voices in his head. So when Phil was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame, they retired his straitjacket. Now Phil is doing what
he's deranged. Now Phil is doing what all people in crisis do write self help books. It's called positivity, which is ironic because the only thing Phil has ever tested positive for is narcissistic personality disorder. This inspirational tome is a whopping 84 pages. Oprah has taken inspirational ships bigger than this. Oh, how bad is this book on amazon? It says people enjoyed this book, also enjoy pounding their dick with a meat tenderizer. Oh,
you're a bunch of guys are good. Alright, everybody hope you enjoyed Sachs's excerpt from the Phil, Hellmuth Narcissist roast and we'll catch you next week on the podcast.
Well, let your winners ride. Brain man. David sacks. We open sourced to the fans and they've just gone crazy with what, what your wonders why that is my dog taking notice in your driveway. Mm hmm. Oh man, we should all just get a room and just have one big huge orgy because they're all just like this, like sexual attention, but they just need to release somehow