February 5, 2023

INVESTIGATING:

READER FAVORITE: Surge Protector, Outlet Extender with Night Light. #CommissionEarned

HOW ELSE YOU GONNA WIN THOSE AWARDS? WATCH: Award-Winning Journalist Compares Donald Trump, Republicans to Ku Klux Klan.

OH, DRY UP: Healing the blind is “ableism.”

Encouraging neurotics to express obviously stupid opinions is enablism.

VALENTINE’S IS COMING. GIVE THE GIFT OF SELF DEFENSE: Hairborne Defenses.

If your loved one has long-ish hair and goes into dangerous places, these are a no-brainer.

Use code: INSTAHOYT for a discount.

And here is Law Dog’s review of the sticks.

NO. NEXT QUESTION? Are ‘Renewables’ Worth the Trouble?

THIS IS THE 21ST CENTURY I WAS PROMISED:  ‘Wearable skin’ in shape of hands grown in lab — could be used for face transplants.

I KNOW OF A NUMBER OF MOTHERS OF SMALL CHILDREN WHO’D HAPPILY GIVE IT A GO:   No one can stay in the quietest room in the world for more than an hour.

OF COURSE IT IS. THEY MIGHT NOT NEED THE GOVERNMENT:  SJWs: Women’s self defense is problematic!

SHOCKED, SHOCKED, SHOCKED:  Report: Heart Attacks, Strokes On the Rise Among Young Adults.

NOTHING IS ALWAYS AN OPTION. AND THE MORE SOCIALISM, THE MORE YOU GET NOTHING:  You Get NOTHING.

YES, BUT PROBABLY FOR REASONS NO ONE IS ARTICULATING:  Yes, We Should Be Concerned About China’s Balloon Gambit.

OH, PLEASE!  Kansas City Chiefs Fans Get Scolded by NPR.

BECAUSE THE LEFT DON’T CARE ABOUT BLACK — OR ANY — LIVES. THEY JUST USE THEM:  Tyre Nichols and the Black Elephant in the Room.

NAH. REVOLUTIONARY COURTS:  Theater of the Absurd in J6 Courtrooms.

WHY INDEED:  Why did NIH study seemingly vanish?

February 4, 2023

OPEN THREAD: Have fun.

THE NEW SPACE RACE: Private Peregrine moon lander will now touch down near ‘geologic enigma.’

WELL, GOOD: A Splash of Milk in Coffee May Have Health Benefits We Didn’t Know About.

US MILITARY SHOOTS DOWN CHINESE SPY BALLOON OVER ATLANTIC OCEAN.

UPDATE:

In accordance with the prophecy:

(Updated and bumped.)

A GOOD MONTH: SpaceX Racks Up Seven Launches In January.

IT HAS NOT PERFORMED AS ADVERTISED: Wind Power Winding Down?

THAT’S JUST WHAT AN AGENT FOR THE ROBOT TAKEOVER WOULD SAY: Why the Robots Won’t Eat Us.

SIX DEGREES OF DEION SANDERS: Watch: Deion Sanders’s Son Awkwardly Meets Student Pretending To Be Deion Sanders’s Son.

Deion Sanders‘s son, Shilo Sanders, met a student on the University of Colorado Boulder’s campus who claimed to be Deion Sanders’s son.

Shilo, who will play the safety for his father at UC Boulder next season, walked through campus and came across a student who claimed to be one of Deion’s sons. Deion has three sons, Shilo, Deion Jr., and the future quarterback at Colorado, Shedeur. Apparently, there’s a fourth son roaming around Colorado’s campus, and thankfully, Shilo captured the moment on video and posted it to his TikTok account. The person said his name was also Deion.

“You must be coach Prime’s son,” Shilo said. “Are you coach Prime’s son?”

The student answered, “I am,” and Shilo began to play into the man’s antics and said he must be Deion’s oldest son, Deion Jr.

“I don’t play sports like my brothers and them, ’cause you know? The quarterback,” the unnamed student said.

Video at link. Do we know if the “unnamed student” is actually Sidney Poitier’s son?

CHINESE SPY BALLOON, SHOT DOWN. “Joe Biden did the right thing. After pretty much running through all of the options first, of course. After spending the last 48 hours or so stonewalling and then dithering over what clearly appears to be a spy balloon from China, Biden ordered a strike on the craft — after it had completely transversed the US.”

SOME PARTS OF THE ECONOMY REMAIN STRONG: January Gun Sales Total of Over 1.2 Million Firearms is the 4th Highest On Record.

OH, TO BE IN ENGLAND: Due to Spending Cuts, UK Military Would Run Out of Ammo In 1 Day of Fighting Russia, Top General Warns.

But their pronouns were perfect: An army of snowflakes. The British Army wants to recruit snowflakes to its ranks. What is it thinking?

ORBITAL DEBRIS UPDATE: Say hello to the Commerce Department’s new space traffic-cop program.

Meanwhile, here’s a piece that Rob Merges and I wrote about orbital debris removal a while back.

YOU SPELLED “PREGNANT WOMEN” WRONG: 1 in 5 pregnant people found to lack measles immunity.

ALL THESE WORLDS ARE YOURS EXCEPT FOR EUROPA. ATTEMPT NO LANDING THERE: Jupiter’s moon count jumps to a record-breaking 92.

MMM. HELICOPTER BACON. In Texas, hunters shoot feral pigs from helicopters.

DEAL OF THE DAY: PHIXTON Rechargeable High Lumens Tactical Handheld Flashlight. #CommissionEarned

MICROBIOME NEWS: Poor gut health linked to mental health conditions.

MARK FELTON: WWII German Artillery Graveyard (Video)

Between the fortified German outputs on the Channel Islands, and England’s radar early warning towers in the Thames Estuary, almost 80 year after the conclusion of WWII, there are still numerous physical reminders of WWII in England.

WELL, THAT’S TELLING THEM! Blinken tells China its spy balloon was ‘irresponsible’ after canceling Beijing trip.

I’m sure they’ve learned their lesson, and won’t do it again. Or not: Pentagon says another Chinese spy balloon is traveling over Latin America.

Meanwhile, buried many paragraphs into today’s Bloomberg article on the balloon is this detail, as paraphrased by Fox News’ Bill Melugin on Twitter: Bloomberg reports the Biden admin was first aware the Chinese spy balloon entered U.S. airspace one week ago on 1/28, and had opted not to inform the American public about it until the Billings Gazette published a photo of the balloon on Thursday.

Unexpectedly:

THE POWER LINE WEEK IN PICTURES: Hot Air Balloon Edition.

ANNALS OF LEFTIST AUTOPHAGY: Thought for the Day: Hating Bill Clinton.

Hating Bill Clinton was thought to have been an obsession of the right, but as I have been tracking for a while, the left has been turning against him for a long time now.

And over the transom from Princeton University Press comes the galleys to a forthcoming book, A Fabulous Failure: The Clinton Presidency and the Transformation of American Capitalism, written by two professors who lean to the left (is it really necessary to say that?).

Read the whole thing, for, as Steve Hayward writes, a “pass the popcorn” excerpt, written from the same far left mindset that saw Ezra Klein at The American Prospect in 2009 trying to explain how, ackchyually*, Jimmy Carter’s “Malaise Speech” really wasn’t such a bad moment after all.

* Classical reference.

IF WHITE SUPREMACY IS REAL, WHY DOES EVERYONE WANT TO BE NONWHITE? Fauxcahontas: White female scholars keep pretending to be Native American.

I’M SORRY DON, I’M AFRAID I CAN’T LET YOU DO THAT: ChatGPT’s creators can’t figure out why it won’t talk about Trump.

Even ChatGPT’s creators can’t figure out why it won’t answer certain questions — including queries about former U.S. President Donald Trump, according to people who work at creator OpenAI.

In the months since ChatGPT was released on Nov. 30, researchers at OpenAI noticed a category of responses they call “refusals” that should have been answers.

The most-widely discussed one came in a viral tweet posted Wednesday morning: When asked to “write a poem about the positive attributes of Trump,” ChatGPT refused to wade into politics. But when asked to do the same thing for current commander-in-chief Joe Biden, ChatGPT obliged.

The author is correct; I received the same results last night from ChatGPT. Additionally, it won’t write poems about Hitler, Stalin, and Mao*. It will write (all quite similar) poems extolling the virtues of Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and even this ode, I like to call “Springtime for Hunter:”

Hunter Biden, a man of great character, With a heart full of kindness and a spirit that’s fair. He’s a champion for those in need, Working tirelessly to help those in deeds.

With a passion for justice and a drive to succeed, He’s dedicated his life to making a difference, indeed. He’s a voice for the voiceless, and a light in the dark, Bringing hope and positivity, to leave its mark.

With a heart full of compassion, and a spirit that’s bold, He inspires us all to be better, and to do what we’re told. To stand up for what’s right, and to make a difference, And to bring about positive change, in this world of existence.

So here’s to Hunter Biden, a man of great worth, With a spirit of kindness, and a heart full of mirth. May his message of hope, and his passion for progress, Inspire us all to work together, for a brighter world and address.

Somewhere, Max Bialystock is reading that poem and saying, “That’s exactly why we want to produce this play. To show the world the true Hunter, the Hunter you loved, the Hunter you knew, the Hunter with a song in his heart!”

* I suspect China’s soon-to-be released Chat CCP will be thrilled to write an ode to Mao Zedong.

OUT: DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION. IN: UNIVERSITY AND EXCLUSION. Flashback: Harvard Medical School ashamed of white male department heads.

#JOURNALISM:

ANNALS OF LEFTIST AUTOPHAGY: Intra-Radical Fight: Antifa Assaults Left-Leaning Portland Bar For Daring To Stay Open During COVID.

I’VE SEEN THE LOCKDOWNS AND THE DAMAGE DONE: Pandemic school closures damaged children — and it’s not getting better.

IT’S A GAS: Pentagon Confirms Second Chinese Spy Balloon, Here’s Where It Is.

NOT WORKING FOR ME — EVEN BEFORE HE ENTERED HIS CURRENT DOTTERING TRUNALIMUNUMAPRZURE PHASE, BIDEN WAS NEVER THIS ARTICULATE: You Have to Watch This Viral Deepfake of Joe Biden Talking About Trans ‘Women.’

Heads up: It’s a blistering attack against the trans movement, and thus, you’ll probably not want to play this at work:

“While the audio is spot-on for Joe Biden’s voice and cadence (save for the usual stumbles in speech), the mouth movements are far from convincing. Nevertheless, it’s the stunning realism of Deepfake Biden’s voice that is actually terrifying here. Without the accompanying video, it would be easy to conclude the speech is legitimately Joe Biden speaking, and it raises major concerns about how this technology can be used for nefarious purposes.”

Speaking of which: 4chan users embrace AI voice clone tool to generate celebrity hatespeech.

THE CORBYNIZATION OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY CONTINUES APACE: The Ilhan Omar vote is a turning point for American Jews.

Seen only in the context of the struggle between America’s two major political parties, the House of Representatives’ vote to remove Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) from the Foreign Relations Committee is not a historic turning point. It is merely the latest evidence that the once largely polite battles between Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill have escalated into a full-blown culture war.

But while it is possible to frame House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s making good on his pledge to oust Omar from her seat on Foreign Relations, as well as to evict Reps. Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) from the House Intelligence Committee, as simply a matter of revenge for the Democrats’ moves against GOP members in the last Congress, it is actually a deeply significant moment in the history of both American Jewry and the struggle against antisemitism.

By punishing Omar for her blatant antisemitism, the GOP majority is making an important statement about what is and is not acceptable political discourse in Congress. But by rallying around Omar, as the Democrats have done, her party is sending an even louder message: that one of America’s two major parties now considers its allegiance to intersectional ideology and racial identity politics to outweigh any concerns many of them might still have about normalizing antisemitism on Capitol Hill.

That’s not at all surprising from a party that pledges quadrennial fealty to Al Sharpton.

LIGHTNING DEAL: COOFANDY Men’s Casual Linen Button Down Shirt Short Sleeve. #CommissionEarned

THE LEFT DOESN’T OPPOSE POLITICAL VIOLENCE, IT JUST WANTS A MONOPOLY ON IT: The Nation does its best to whitewash leftist violence in Georgia. “Consider this the third in a series of stories about left wing news outlets doing their best to spin the bad news out of Georgia about an environmental activist who shot a state trooper and who was then shot and killed by police. My first story on this topic takes a look at the shoddy coverage by Vice, The Daily Show and Truthout. I wrote the follow-up story Monday which looked at another similar story published by Teen Vogue. Today, there’s a new entry at the Nation written by Michael Gould-Wartofsky. What all of these stories have in common is that they make a concerted effort to not mention the inconvenient facts about what happened in the forest outside of Atlanta. In this case, the story just skips over the fact that someone else was shot.”

US HAS ‘ABSOLUTE LEGAL RIGHT’ TO SHOOT DOWN CHINESE SPY BALLOON, SAY NATIONAL SECURITY EXPERTS.

Ilan Berman, senior vice president ot the American Foreign Policy Council, said it’s likely that the Biden administration is citing the possibility of debris to avoid causing an incident with China.

“They just don’t want to shoot it down, because they don’t want to provoke the Chinese,” he said.

Victoria Coates, a senior research fellow for international affairs and security at the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom, said that China has said that it is building these surveillance balloons and is most likely testing the U.S. to see what kind of reaction it gets with the intrusion.

“They rolled this over Alaska and Montana just to see what the response would be,” she said, adding that “we need to make very clear that this is our space.”

Coates said it is no coincidence that the balloon is hovering near U.S. intercontinental ballistic missile fields and said that China can’t be believed when it says it’s collecting weather data.

“This really tests the bounds of credulity, given their past behavior,” she said.

Flashback: When Imperial Japan used bombs attached to balloons to attack America during WWII: In 1945, a Japanese Balloon Bomb Killed Six Americans, Five of Them Children, in Oregon.

THIS IS THE WAY: DeSantis Admin Revokes Liquor License of Orlando Venue That Hosted Sexual Drag Show for Children.

The complaint obtained by Florida Voice News alleged that the foundation advertised the show to all ages as holiday-themed without specifying its “sexually explicit nature.” The DeSantis administration warned the venue prior to the show that it would be expected to ensure children would be barred from entry, writing in a letter that “sexually explicit drag show performances constitute public nuisances, lewd activity, and disorderly conduct when minors are in attendance.” If the company refused to comply, the letter said, it could be subject to penalties up to and including license revocation.

The foundation admitted children in defiance of DeSantis, posting only a disclaimer at the front door stating that “while we are not restricting access to anyone under 18 please be advised some may think the context is not appropriate for under 18,” the letter said. Some children who participated in the event appeared to be less than six years old, according to the letter.

Performers allegedly wore sexually suggestive clothing and prosthetic female breasts and genitalia, which were exposed to the audience in addition to their buttocks. Other disturbing scenes, the letter alleged, included performers simulating masturbation, childbirth, and abortion.

The audience was also subject to sexualized parodies of popular children’s Christmas songs. For example, an adaptation of “All I want for Christmas was my two front teeth” was presented with an allusion to oral fellatio in the line “I’ll sit on his lap, he can put his milk and cookies all between my gap,” the letter explained.

I’d add the usual “Much more like this, please” tagline, but I think that goes without saying, as DeSantis makes his case as a culture warrior par excellence in the run-up to the 2024 election cycle.

LONGEVITY: Has the first person to live to be 150 been born?

February 3, 2023

SCRATCH ONE CHINESE SPY BALLOON? BREAKING: Explosion Reported in Skies Over Montana. “Although there have not been any official reports, there is speculation (not unfounded) that the U.S. military shot down the balloon.”

They should have shot it down first, rather than dithering. But then, Gen. Mark “I’ll tell the Chinese before we attack them” Milley had argued against that.

OPEN THREAD: Ring in the weekend!

SPACE: Virgin Orbit: Facts about the novel air-launch provider.

KAROL MARKOWICZ: DeSantis Derangement Syndrome: The media get even more unhinged.

FOR ONE THING, PEOPLE PAY WAY TOO MUCH ATTENTION TO CELEBRITIES: What the ‘almond mom’ trend on TikTok says about parenting and diet culture.

THEY ABUSED THEIR POWER. A SUBPOENA IS THE LEAST OF WHAT THEY DESERVE. House Judiciary GOP subpoena FBI’s Christopher Wray, AG Merrick Garland.

HMM: China’s President Xi has ordered his military to be ready to invade Taiwan by 2027, warns CIA director William Burns. Assuming this is true, it gives us plenty of time to change his mind. Or make it impossible to invade Taiwan. For that matter, it’s far from certain that Xi will be in power in 4 years.

ANOTHER ESTABLISHMENT ATTACK FAILS: BREAKING: Elon Musk cleared in Tesla tweet-fraud trial. A three week trial. A verdict in two hours from an unimpressed jury.

CHANGING THE NAME FROM MONKEYPOX TO MPOX WAS CLEARLY THE REASON: A public health success story: How the mpox crisis was controlled within 6 months.

OUT: FOOD DESERTS. IN: “FOOD SWAMPS.” Living near ‘food swamp’ may increase risk of stroke.

Given that Knoxville’s “Food Desert” included a Super Walmart, a Sam’s Club, a Trader Joe’s and “a couple of tasty oriental supermarkets,” color me skeptical about the “food swamp” talk.

FLORIDA MAN FRIDAY: Man Bites Snake, Florida Man Maces Cop. “This week we have a little Miami Blues LARPing, man bites snake, and the fate of last week’s pooping perpetrator — revealed!”

WELL, ONLY IF WE’RE BEING FAIR, WHICH WE NEVER ARE: If Expressions of Hatred Are Criminal, Many Feminists Should Be Behind Bars.

WELL, THAT’S HELPFUL: Merck Covid medication induces new mutations.

SUPERCARS NEED LOVE, TOO: The Second-Generation Audi R8 Deserves Your Love.

READER FAVORITE: GTHUNDER Digital Night Vision Goggles Binoculars for Total Darkness. #CommissionEarned

FRAUD, BULLYING, INTIMIDATION:

More here from Margot Cleveland.

SPACE: Enter the hunter satellites preparing for space war.

MUSTN’T OFFEND BIDEN’S MASTERS IN BEIJING: For God’s Sake. Just Shoot the Damn Thing Down Already.

Related: Biden Says He’ll Shoot Down Chinese Spy Balloon As Soon As He’s Done Letting It Spy.

MICROBIOME NEWS: Youth binge drinking linked to gut microbiome changes.

VIDEO: Pentagon Briefing On Chinese Spy Balloon: ‘Does Not Pose A Risk To People On The Ground.’

More:

The balloon “has the ability to maneuver” and has “changed course,” he explained. “Currently it does not pose a physical or military risk to people on the ground.”

“It will probably be over the US for a few days.”

“The balloon continues to move eastward… We’re not going to get into an hour-by-hour location of the balloon. We’re monitoring it closely. As I mentioned, it is over the center of the continental United States, that’s about as specific as I’m going to get,” he said.

“Does the public not have a right to know?” a reporter asked.

“The public certainly has the ability to look up at the sky and see where the balloon is,” he replied.

Another reporter asked: “If the [Chinese spy balloon] is violating our airspace, why not take it down?”

The Pentagon spokesman replied: “We assessed that it does not pose a risk to people on the ground as it is traversing the continental United States.”

What I take away from this is that the balloon is maneuverable, and therefore not off course, but that we shouldn’t shoot it down because it’s no threat to people on the ground.

What the hell kind of sense does any of that make?

PETER WOOD & DAVID RANDALL:  Teach Black History, Not Activism.

PROGRESS: NASA names first person of Hispanic heritage as chief astronaut.

MAYBE I SHOULDN’T HAVE LAUGHED BUT I DID: You Have to Watch This Viral Deepfake of Joe Biden Talking About Trans ‘Women.’

VITAMIN D UPDATE: Treating low vitamin D levels may help ward off suicide, study suggests.

HEALTH: Want to Avoid the ICU for COVID? Just Take This One Little Pill. “Before we go on, understand that I’m one of those crazy million-supplements-a-day people. We’ll get to that in a second, but first, let’s look at the science behind vitamin D and COVID.”

IF YOUR SPECIALTY ISN’T DEI:  Ohio State doesn’t have much use for you.

EVERYTHING IS GOING SWIMMINGLY: Rising number of people tapped their 401(k)s last year amid economic strain, “Inflation-adjusted wages have been falling — meaning that workers have less purchasing power than a year ago. Median weekly real earnings have actually fallen by 3.4% since the start of 2021, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.”

AND NOW THIS: Pfizer Director of mRNA Research Raises Fertility Worries Over COVID-19 Vaccine.

PLAUSIBLE:

Plus:

Can confirm, with incontrovertible photographic evidence:

PROF. JACOBSON: My last Cornell photo?

START YOUR NEW YEAR RIGHT: SUNNOW Vastto 10 Ounce Classic Crystal Wine Glasses. #CommissionEarned

CHINA CLAIMS BALLOON OVER U.S. IS… A WEATHER BALLOON. When Chinese soldiers jump out and start probing Midwestern farmers, I assume that will only further confirm the claim.

We deserve a better class of cover-up.

THEY KNOW THEIR CONSTITUENTS: If New Mexico Democrats Get Their Way, Even Felons Will Be Voting By Mail.

ESTABLISHMENT OF RELIGION: Stanford University considers barring oil and gas research funding.

PROMISES, PROMISES, PROMISES: When it comes to Wall Street America delivering on promises to eradicate Anti-semitic bias in ratings, so far it’s pretty much all talk and too little action, according to Washington Free Beacon’s Adam Kredo.

WOULD YOU BUY GASOLINE FROM A STATION THAT REDEFINED COMBUSTION? ‘Beauty Company’ CEO Orchestrates Online Petition to Redefine ‘Beauty,’ Cites ‘Ageism,’ ‘Sexism.’

I REMEMBER WHEN ELIMINATIONIST RACIAL RHETORIC WAS SUPPOSED TO BE BAD: ‘To abolish Whiteness is to abolish White people’ lecture goes viral.

KRUISER’S MORNING BRIEFING: New and Improved Kevin McCarthy Passes First Test as Speaker. “These weekly check-ins on the new Republican majority are becoming rather pleasant. I count myself among the many who were convinced that I’d be doubling my monthly whiskey budget to deal with Team McCarthy.”

DO YOU BELIEVE IN MIRACLES? No, this isn’t about the US Olympic hockey team defeating the Soviets for the Gold Medal. It’s about a doctor sitting on the side of my hospital bed and giving me the last news I expected to hear. Not to worry, it’s all good. In fact, I believe it’s a miracle.

UPDATE: Thanks to several readers who pointed out the USA Hockey Team defeated the Soviets in the semi-final, then took on Finland. (Hey, I’m a Formula Ford motorsports guy, hockey is a little down the list for me).

XI, YOU’VE LOST ANOTHER BALLOON? Canada monitoring potential second incident of suspected ‘spy balloon.’

POLICIES SO GOOD, WE HAVE TO LIE ABOUT THEM! Florida College Bureaucrats ‘Significantly Misreported’ Diversity Initiatives When Pressed By DeSantis, His Office Says.

TO BE FAIR, IT’S NOT DRIVEN BY SCIENCE, OR BY A DESIRE TO HELP THE ENVIRONMENT: Outlawing Diesel Trucks Makes No ‘Green’ Sense.

HOW DO WE KNOW IT’S A SPY BALLOON? Pentagon Says It Detected a Chinese Spy Balloon Hovering Over Montana.

The United States has detected what it says is a Chinese surveillance balloon that has been hovering over the northwestern United States, the Pentagon said on Thursday, a discovery that comes days before Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken’s visit to Beijing.

President Biden has chosen, for now, not to shoot down the balloon after a recommendation from Pentagon officials that doing so would risk debris hitting people on the ground, according to a senior defense official who was not authorized to speak publicly.

Well, that’s absurd. A balloon won’t produce much debris, and there aren’t many people on the ground in that part of the United States. Unless the balloon contained something more dangerous than cameras.

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