JOHN HINDERAKER: The FBI and the Proud Boys: “It also turns out that one FBI informant stayed in touch with the Boys after the demonstration and even talked to their defense counsel while trial strategy was being planned. Only within the last few days have defendants and their lawyers been told that a woman whom they considered a friend and who participated, to some degree, in discussions of how the case should be defended, was in fact an FBI informer. The government and the trial judge are maneuvering furiously to prevent the public from learning how deeply the FBI had penetrated the Proud Boys, and from learning what role FBI agents and informers played in the demonstration.”

Nothing to see hree, move along. This certainly isn’t a case where the defense was penetrated, and maybe controlled, by the prosecution or anything. Relax. That couldn’t happen in America because our rulers would never stoop so low.

Plus: “Suffice it to say that the real scandal arising from the January 6 protest was not the fact that a handful of demonstrators broke into the Capitol, while many more were freely admitted by guards. Rather, the principal scandal is the manner in which pro-Donald Trump demonstrators have been treated by law enforcement: held without trial in solitary confinement, ridiculously over-charged (e.g., insurrection vs. trespassing), forced to plead guilty to imaginary or over-hyped offenses by the prospect of long jail terms for offenses they never committed, and set up by FBI agents and informants loyal to the Democratic Party who, it seems, may have played key roles in encouraging the demonstration to get out of hand.”

SKYNET SMILES/THE SINGULARITY IS HERE: Latest ChatGPT showing “sparks” of human intelligence.

It’s getting smarter every month. Humans aren’t. Do the math.

Plus: “I’ve tried dozens of ways to ask ChatGPT if it thinks it is sentient or on the way to becoming so. It always insists that it is incapable of thought or emotion and is “just” a large language model. But sometimes I walk away feeling like it was arguing the point a bit too forcefully and didn’t care for me bringing up the question. Sorry, HAL. I’ll try to be less nosey in the future.”

Don’t be afraid of the AI that passes the Turing Test. Fear the one that deliberately flunks it.

OPEN THREAD: Ring out the weekend.

WELL, THIS THING HAS CERTAINLY BLOWN UP: Israel’s military reservists are joining protests – potentially transforming a political crisis into a security crisis.

I haven’t followed it as closely as I probably should have, but I suspect there’s some foreign involvement/encouragement in these protests. It’s happened before, albeit in a slightly different setting. See if the EU offers to mediate . . .

UPDATE: In the comments, some suspicion that the State Department is fomenting a Color Revolution, plus this: “If you don’t allow the judiciary to pick their own replacements it isn’t a democracy, or something.”

JEFF GOLDSTEIN: A Re-Declaration of Independence. Tyranny is already upon us. To defeat it, we must first learn to reject its premises. And to say so aloud.

Be it so understood:

I refuse to “unpack white violence.” I reject the idea that my existence “perpetuates white power structures.” I will not — and in fact cannot — “examine my implicit biases.” I’m an individual. I refuse to grant determined interpretive communities authority over my being. My meaning is mine. It is what makes me me.

I’m not taking any “journey” to “discover” the impact of my “privilege” on “black and brown peoples.” I will not become “anti-racist” or “anti-fascist” to satisfy your demands. I reject Cultural Marxism. I am an individual. I’m not defined by my color, my religion, my sex. I’m Jeff.

I will not “respect your pronouns” or “celebrate” your “queerness.” I am hostile to your sexualizing of children. I reject your neologisms, your “triggers,” and your desire to control my speech. I know who and what you are: you are my presumptive master, or else the Useful Idiot who empowers him. But I will grant you and your ideology no power over me.

Jeff’s just getting started; definitely read the whole thing.

SNOWFALLS ARE NOW JUST A THING OF THE PAST: The cult of the climate apocalypse. Green campaigners are not ‘following the science’ – they are promoting a Biblical fantasy:

Given this denigration of the achievements of humanity, it is no surprise that Just Stop Oil activists are happy to attack canonical artworks, from Renaissance artists like Vermeer to modernist greats like van Gogh. As far as these eco-zealots are concerned, everything humans have achieved is worthless, in the unforgiving light cast by the coming day of judgement.

As in Biblical times, it seems the green apocalypse is playing the role of a revenge fantasy once again. But it is no longer the fantasy of an oppressed people wishing harm on their oppressors. It is the revenge fantasy of a minority of activists wishing harm upon humanity – for not agreeing with them, for not waking up to their sinfulness, for not repenting.

In sum, green apocalypticism is a deeply anti-human narrative. By casting the achievements of humanity as sinful, it deprives us of many of our sources of strength and of hope. That’s why it must be resisted. We should look around us, and over our shoulder, at the enormous ingenuity and resourcefulness that human beings have shown in the past, and continue to show today. We are making advances in all areas of human knowledge, from energy to medicine to transport and space travel. Nature has never been as unthreatening as it is today.

All of this ought to call into question today’s green apocalypticism and the climate of pessimism it has fostered. And it should remind us that the future is not foretold and that reports of our imminent demise are, as ever, greatly exaggerated.

Woe betide any one who isn’t a true believer in the cult: What’s wrong with being an apocalypse denier? “This week, on BBC radio, I made a confession: I am a denier. Not a climate-change denier – an apocalypse denier. I thought it was a clever point – to distinguish between my acceptance that climate change is happening and my scepticism that it will imminently bring about the fiery destruction of Earth. Apparently not. You should have heard the intakes of breath. Apparently even apocalypse denialism is unacceptable in polite society now.”

(Classical reference in headline.)

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Universal school choice headed to DeSantis’ desk after passing Florida Senate. Cory DeAngelis: “The dominoes are falling and there’s nothing the power-hungry teachers unions can do about it.”

Plus: “Florida is the fourth state legislature to pass universal school choice in 2023 and would be the sixth to enact school choice for all families in just two years, according to DeAngelis.”


There’s a new remake of Peter Pan called Peter Pan & Wendy, which race-swaps Tinker Bell, which has generated the same controversy as the other race-swaps because people don’t like to see the classic films they grew up watching tampered with. Though this change isn’t nearly as jarring as the bald Blue Fairy, and not nearly as controversial as the other changes to the story that were revealed in the trailer.

There’s been a lot of hype over the forthcoming release of The Little Mermaid, and I’ve seen countless articles claiming, without evidence, that there was “racist backlash” over the casting of Halle Bailey as Ariel the mermaid. These allegations are only by woke liberals on social media immediately linking any criticism of the race swaps to racism.

I have come across articles and social media discussions claiming that the remakes of The Little Mermaid and Pinocchio have been met with a supposed “racist backlash” However, none of these sources provide any concrete evidence of such racism despite my thorough search. Since Bailey’s casting for The Little Mermaid was announced, there have been allegations of a “racist backlash.” However, it seems that this controversy has largely been manufactured by the media. Even HuffPost, in an article from last year discussing the supposed “racist backlash“ the film has received, didn’t even provide a single example of actual racism.

Ever since “Lady Ghostbusters” bombed spectacularly in 2016, Hollywood has gotten plenty of free PR by claiming that wide swatches of their potential audiences are racist, sexist, homophobic, etc. It’s a way to excuse the failure of an otherwise mediocre reboot instead of actually producing something new and creative.

2. Director Paul Feig: ‘Ghostbusters’ Haters are ‘Misogynistic,’ ‘Right-Wing Radio Monsters’

After a large proportion of the population expressed their distaste for the Ghostbuster remake’s trailer, the production team had to work fast in order to turns thing around. The solution? Brand everyone who criticized the remake as a misogynistic right-wing monster.

“[I have been] hit with some of the worst misogynistic stuff in the last two years,” said Feig during a diversity panel in June. “[As] someone coming from a liberal family and hearing right-wing radio for the first time. It’s like, my God, what’s happened? They’re monsters.”

Several other colleagues and collaborators also joined in, with Judd Apatow saying, “I would assume there’s a very large crossover of people who are doubtful Ghostbusters will be great and people excited about the Donald Trump candidacy. I would assume they are the exact same people.”

What we didn’t know at the time was that such shock tactics were going to become de rigueur by Hollywood marketing departments.

I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO READING HERCULE POIROT’S WINTER SOLSTICE SEASON: Agatha Christie novels reworked to remove potentially offensive language.

The updates follow edits made to books by Roald Dahl and Ian Fleming to remove offensive references to gender and race in a bid to preserve their relevance to modern readers.

The newspaper reported that the edits cut references to ethnicity, such as describing a character as black, Jewish or Gypsy, or a female character’s torso as “of black marble” and a judge’s “Indian temper”, and removed terms such as “Oriental” and the N-word. The word “natives” has also been replaced with the word “local”.

Among the examples of changes cited by the Telegraph is the 1937 Poirot novel Death on the Nile, in which the character of Mrs Allerton complains that a group of children are pestering her, saying that “they come back and stare, and stare, and their eyes are simply disgusting, and so are their noses, and I don’t believe I really like children”.

This has been stripped down in a new edition to state: “They come back and stare, and stare. And I don’t believe I really like children.”

Why not simply add an introductory note from the publisher that “times change, as does language, and we apologize in advance for any offensive phrases in this novel,” rather than siccing the Ministry of Truth’s airbrushes on Christie, and other deceased novelists?

QUESTION ASKED AND ANSWERED: Who funds Antifa protests? We all do. Andy Ngo writes:

Nearly every American city afflicted by mass protesting and rioting in 2020 ended up settling and paying out millions in taxpayer money to radical protesters who were allegedly subjected to force by law enforcement.

Denver settled to pay $1.6 million to just seven people.

Austin settled to pay $17.3 million.

The cities, led by Democrats, don’t even bother to fight the cases, preferring to write a check.

The settlement cash doesn’t just end up rewarding the protesters, awarded inflated attorney fees are used to reinvest in the legal groups to grow the operation for the next cause. Additionally, law enforcement morale declines as they are punished for doing their jobs.

But lawsuit settlements aren’t the only way that militant protesters and riot suspects get paid.

Read the whole thing.

3 SELF-DEFENSE MYTHS: That Just Won’t Go Away. I’m not sure I’d call #3 — “the first rule of gunfighting is have a gun” — a myth. It’s what lawyers call a necessary but not sufficient condition. It’s not enough to have a gun, but you’re going nowhere without it.

FLASHBACK: Ban AC for DC: If our rulers think global warming is a crisis, let them be a good example for the rest of us. “We won two world wars without air conditioning our federal employees. Nothing in their performance over the last 50 or 60 years suggests that A/C has improved things. Besides, The Washington Post informs us that A/C is sexist, and that Europeans think it’s stupid. In fact, we should probably ban air conditioning in the entire District of Columbia, to ensure that members of Congress, etc. won’t congregate in lobbyists’ air-conditioned offices.”