Al’s Afternoon Tea: AOC Redefines ‘Peaceful,’ Swift Targeted for 1830 Reference … and Did the FBI Signal the Trump Case Is a Hoax?

"Did you say that one day a female singer will make a billion dollars? What's in this tea?"

By Al Perrotta Published on April 23, 2024

Welcome back in for Al’s Afternoon Tea. Time again to put a pause on the day and sip and savor some of the latest.

Anti-Israel Protests at NYU Turn Violent as Cops Move In

The NYPD moved in to New York City’s Gould Plaza Monday night to clear out the “Gaza camp” set up by anti-Israel protesters at NYU. Rather than peacefully dispersing, “some chose violence and pelted the police with bottles.” According to PIX 11, more than 150 protesters were arrested. Sources told CNN that number included faculty members.

You have to be taught to hate. These days, you might even get college credit for learning it.

NYU asked for the NYPD’s help after the anti-Jewish protesters demonstrated “disorderly, disruptive and antagonizing” behavior — the kind of behavior Squad Member and part-time Visiting Angel Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez calls “peaceful.”

AOC Describes Virulent Anti-Jewish Protests “Peaceful”

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) threw her support behind the anti-Israel protestors who are terrorizing Jewish students on campuses like Columbia and NYU. She praised the anti-Jewish mobs and described their protests as “peaceful.”

In fact, they are so peaceful that both Columbia President Minouche Shafik and a campus rabbi told Jewish students it was too dangerous for them to come to campus Monday.

This word, “peaceful.” I do not think it means what AOC — and fellow Squad member Ilhan Omar — think it means.

Meanwhile, every single House GOP member from New York has called for Shafik to resign over her failure to deal with antisemitism on campus.

Strange Bedfellows: AOC and Biden Hand-in-Hand

Speaking of AOC, there was a strange sight yesterday at an Earth Day event. Ocasio-Cortez, who has been critical of Joe Biden in recent days and has urged him not to run for reelection, was spotted holding his hand and guiding him like a concerned granddaughter.

This came after some of the scariest words ever uttered by an American president: “I learned a long ago to listen to that lady” — meaning in this case AOC, not his wife.

What is the over/under on how long it will take for that to find its way into a Trump campaign ad?

Victory: DeSantis Signs Bill Allowing Chaplains to Serve in Public Schools

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday signed a bill that will allow chaplains to serve in public schools, along with guidance counselors and social workers. It will be voluntary, of course, for students to speak to the clergy, he stressed.

“No one’s being forced to do anything — but to exclude religious groups from campus, that is discrimination,” he said. “You’re basically saying that God has no place. That’s wrong.”

With that, Florida becomes the 13th state to allow clergy to help serve students who need someone to talk to.

Taylor Swift Ripped for Wanting to Return to 1830s

Taylor Swift released her new album, The Tortured Poets Department, last Friday evening, and ever since, people have been combing through the lyrics like they’re the Dead Sea Scrolls. “Ooh, she’s dissing Kim Kardashian!” “Oooh, she’s trash-talking Travis Kelce’s teammate!” “Oooh, she’s giving it to this ex, giving it that ex!”

Most interesting to us is the hate, hate, hate she’s getting for a lyric from “I Hate It Here”:

My friends used to play a game where we would pick a decade we wished we could live in instead of this

I’d say the 1830s but without all the racists and getting married off for the highest bid.

Outkick covers the online outrage, which basically declares Swift to be guilty of wanting to return to the days of slavery. These days you’re not allowed to express any fondness for anything before the end of slavery — no, correction: before the death of George Floyd.

Why did Swift pick the 1830s? What would she have done back then, before the invention of autotuning? (Just kidding, Swifties.) You did have theaters and concert halls to perform in back then, the advent of the minstrel shows. European opera companies would tour … but Swift is no opera singer. It was a bit early for circuses, but Swift has plenty of those by now with her various romances, the latest with Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelsey.

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In all seriousness, it seems the people jumping on Swift for being some kind of lover of slavery are ignoring the next lines of the song.

Everyone would look down ’cause it wasn’t fun now

Seems like it was never even fun back then

Nostalgia is a mind’s trick

If I’d been there, I’d hate it.

As one commentator cited by USA Today noted, “It’s an interesting commentary on how we sometimes idealize certain eras without fully considering the realities of living in them.”

So chill out, social media bomb-throwers. Swift may be a lot of things, but she’s not an advocate of slavery.

I bet 19th-century music star Frederick Chopin is glad he didn’t live in the age of social media cancel culture.

FBI Name for Trump Classified-Document Case Is “Plasmic Echo”

Those unredacted documents from the Trump classified-documents case we discussed this morning on The Brew have revealed another interesting tidbit: The FBI codename for the investigation was “Plasmic Echo.

What in the world is “Plasmic Echo”? It was suggested, tongue-in-cheek, by CNN that “Plasmic Echo” sounds like the name of 1970s punk band. Or the “supernatural goo left behind by the ghosts chased in the movie Ghostbusters.” I wonder if CNN accidentally stumbled onto the truth (or perhaps is in on the joke): If you reverse the words, you get something that sounds an awful lot like “ectoplasm.” It’s a term from Spiritualism, referring to a substance mediums would allegedly secrete while in trance state while conducting seances during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who was into the occult, described ectoplasm as “a viscous, gelatinous substance which appeared to differ from every known form of matter in that it could solidify and be used for material purposes.” (Think about the library scene from the first Ghostbusters movie, released in 1984.)

Here’s the rub (pun not fully intended): There’s no scientific proof that ectoplasm is real. None. A slew of supposed ectoplasm cases were proven to be hoaxes.

So what do you have? A group of con artists pretending to conjure a substance out of nothing knowing full well it is a fraud to fool a gullible and eager public.

Is “Plasmic Echo” the FBI’s inside joke that they know the classified-document case against Trump is a hoax conjured up by the White House like the mediums of old with no real substance?

By the way: In the Spiritualist lore, ectoplasm is destroyed by being exposed to light.

Just sayin’.


On Tomorrow’s Stream Menu

Keep an eye peeled tomorrow morning for Janet Boynes with “A Christ-Centered Response to Publishers Suing Iowa” and Jules Gomes’s “Christ’s Kingdom, Come!” (The menu, of course, is subject to change — because news is breaking all the time.)

Until we meet up again for the Brew …


Al Perrotta is The Stream’s Washington bureau chief, coauthor with John Zmirak of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Immigration, and coauthor of the counterterrorism memoir Hostile Intent: Protecting Yourself Against Terrorism.

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