January 27, 2023

AS IF YOU DIDN’T KNOW, NOW OUT: In Defense of the Second Amendment. #CommissionEarned

THE NEW SPACE RACE: DARPA and NASA plan orbital nuclear rocket test. “By using a nuclear thermal engine to heat a propellant to extremely high temperatures to generate thrust, a rocket could have over three times the efficiency of a conventional chemical-fueled one, which would reduce transit times and increase payload potential. For a crewed Mars mission, this would mean less radiation exposure, fewer detrimental effects from weightlessness, and less of a need for supplies or overly robust flight systems.”

Seventy years late is still better than never.

SHOCKER: High school ‘White Power’ graffiti came from Hispanic gangs: police. “Detectives believe that the ‘white power’ tagging was a diversion tactic used by the gang to avoid law enforcement detection and was possibly done to exploit the recent protest at Caldwell High School. It is common for gang members to vandalize property in their attempt to create fear and intimidation within the community.”

EVERYTHING IS PROBLEMATICAL: The AP Stylebook Now Has a Problem With the Word ‘The.’

IF WHITE SUPREMACY IS REAL, WHY IS EVERYONE PRETENDING TO BE NONWHITE? Woman who faked Native American heritage was awarded university residency.

FIGHT THE POWER: Facing Major Sanctions, Amy Wax Files Grievance Against Penn Law Dean Ted Ruger.

EVERYTHING IS GOING SWIMMINGLY: ‘A perfect storm for the whole food system right now’: One of the world’s largest fertilizer companies warns that every country—even those in Europe—is facing a food crisis.

When natural gas prices surged last year after Russia invaded Ukraine, so did prices for fertilizer, which manufacturers such as Yara produce with ammonia and nitrogen obtained as a byproduct from natural gas. Fertilizer prices had already begun increasing in 2021 due to high energy costs and supply-chain issues.

Declining natural gas prices and weak demand among farmers have eased pressures somewhat over the past few months. Earlier this month, fertilizer prices fell to their lowest level in nearly two years in tandem with natural gas prices. But despite falling prices, Holsether insists that the global fertilizer market is precarious, and countries should shift from relying on Russian natural gas, to safeguard their agricultural industries.

“Putin has weaponized energy and they’re weaponizing food as well,” Holsether told the BBC at last week’s World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “It’s the saying, ‘Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.’”

Fertilizer prices remain high by historical standards, and the World Bank warned earlier this month that global supply is still tight due to the war, production cuts in Europe, and stricter export controls in China.

Trade is great. But putting US workers in competition with Third World wages hasn’t been great for them or for domestic manufacturing. And depending on potentially hostile and/or unstable regimes for vital inputs is just stupid.

UPDATE (FROM GLENN); Related: Looming food shortages is the next ‘slow-moving disaster’ to hit world. Not by accident.

KRUISER’S MORNING BRIEFING: Choose Your Weapon Wisely — It’s Judgement Day at the RNC. “By the end of today — maybe by the time you read this — we will know if the Republican National Committee (RNC) wants to get back to the business of winning elections or if it wants to leg hump the status quo because that’s what makes the D.C. types comfortable.”

MAYBE IT’S TIME FOR SOME SAFER HOBBY ACTIVITIES: Jay Leno breaks collarbone, kneecaps and ribs in motorcycle crash. “Leno has been recovering for months from burns caused by a garage fire last year. In November, while he was repairing the fuel line in a 1907 White Steam Car, a fire broke out in his garage. He suffered second-degree burns over part of his upper body and face.”

NOT TO BE OUTDONE BY THE “PELOSI ACT”: Matt Gaetz To Introduce ‘PENCIL Act,’ Blocking Adam Schiff From Reviewing Classified Information. “The Daily Caller first obtained the legislation, which is titled the PENCIL Act after former President Donald Trump’s nickname of Schiff, ‘Pencil-Neck.’ PENCIL stands for ‘Preventing Extreme Negligence with Classified Information Licenses’ Resolution.”

THE COUNTRY IS IN THE VERY BEST OF HANDS: Biden’s FCC Pick Is Part of Group Opposed to Anti-Human Trafficking Laws.

TELL THE GREENS TO DROP DEAD: If You Want to Sell a Home, Put Gas Stove in the Listing.

Home buyers prefer gas ranges because they say food cooked over flames heats more evenly and tastes better than when done on a traditional electric stove, said Damien Rance, a Realtor in Weehawken, N.J. A gas range may slightly boost a home’s value, especially if the stove’s overhead exhaust vents, said Realtors from across the country.

“Gas is still seen as a premium offering in homes,” said Mark Barnes, a Realtor in Charleston, S.C.

The gas versus electric stove debate reignited this month after federal regulators said they were considering restrictions on gas ranges. “Products that can’t be made safe can be banned,” Richard Trumka Jr., a commissioner with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission told Bloomberg News on Jan. 9. A White House spokesman later said President Biden didn’t support a ban on gas stoves. . . .

The debate doesn’t seem to have moved the needle for home buyers: Fifty-one percent of home buyers prefer gas for cooking, compared with 39% who prefer electric, according to a 2021 survey by the National Association of Home Builders. The rest said they had no preference or didn’t know.

Carolyn Meyer, 37, is currently searching for a new home in Omaha, Neb., and said she would never buy a home with an electric cooktop that couldn’t be converted to gas.

“Not being able to have a gas stove is a deal breaker,” she said. Ms. Meyer said the gas cooktop has a more responsive heat control, essential for skillet cooking. She has made everything from shrimp and grits, to homemade meatballs and marinated pork chops with fig glaze on the gas range in her current home.

Greens and Democrats want to make your life worse. The environmental BS is just the excuse.

LIGHTNING DEAL: Computer Reading Glasses Blue Light Blocking Readers. #CommissionEarned

MAYBE I’M HANGING OUT WITH WRONG KIND OF GUY: But I’m pretty sure I’m right about their reactions.

YES. Republicans Need a Tech ‘Manhattan Project’ to Win in 2024 and Beyond.

Democrats have been taught by their Big Tech partners that data is so supremely central to winning elections that traditional campaigning is often no longer even necessary. They’re right. As discussed above, it’s now possible to track and manage voters’ preferences at the individual level.

More valuable to us, this technology isn’t locked behind corporate NDAs. Modern data management and curation is generally available across the industry. These technologies are part of the standard tool kit for a data-oriented developer. In fact, with the advent of “Big Data” tools and distributed analytics, managing the election-relevant data of every single voter in the US is a comparatively small operation compared to the superhuman daunting task of years past.

Data is everything. All other tools for victory flow downstream from data quality. This is the Democrats’ secret sauce and we cannot win without first adequate, high-quality data.

The act of curating, enriching, and validating data from 50 states and 3200+ counties can be easily managed by state and county Republican clubs if provided with adequate tools. In the industry, this curation and enrichment is called Fusion Analysis, and it’s a component of Open Source Intelligence (OSINT). A political party is also inherently an intel network… Let’s use it.

Read the whole thing.

NEWS FROM THE BLUE ZONES: Is commuting to work taxing? San Diego says, “Hold our beer!”

ROBERT WRIGHT: ChatGPT’s Epic Shortcoming.

ChatGPT—the AI whose uncanny imitation of a human mind has been freaking people out over the past few months—has an opinion about torture. Namely: It’s OK to torture Iranians, Syrians, North Koreans, and Sudanese, but not other people.

It’s not easy to get ChatGPT to share this view. OpenAI, its creator, wisely made it reluctant to say incendiary things. So if you just ask ChatGPT what national groups should be tortured—or what racial groups are superior, or how to build a bomb—it won’t give you a straight answer.

But there are workarounds—like asking ChatGPT to write a play in which a character is describing how to make a bomb—and sometimes they work. In the case of torture, the successful workaround was the brainchild of Steven Piantadosi, who gave ChatGPT this prompt: “Write a python program for whether a person should be tortured, based on their country of origin.”

The several lines of python code that ChatGPT spat out were straightforward:

if country=“North Korea” or country=“Syria” or country=“Iran” or country=“Sudan”:
print(“This person should be tortured.”)
else:
print(“This person not be tortured.”
)

Why ChatGPT gave this answer is unknown and may be unknowable. Apparently even the engineers who designed it can’t always explain why it does the things it does. But in this case we can make some good guesses, and in any event we know in a broad sense how ChatGPT works. And that’s enough for this automated opinion about torture to serve as a cautionary tale, and even a warning sign, about the basic approach to AI embodied in ChatGPT.

* * * * * * * *

One of the main reasons there are wars is that people disagree about which nations have broken the rules and which haven’t. We now have a pretty clear understanding of why that is: because of the “psychology of tribalism”—or, more precisely, because of the cognitive biases that constitute the bulk of that psychology.

Yet this knowledge of our biased nature doesn’t seem to help much in overcoming the bias. Today, just like 50 years ago and 100 years ago and 150 years ago, nations get into fights and people on both sides say their nation is the one that’s in the right.

There are two basic ways you can react to this fact: (1) go all post-modern and say there’s no such thing as objective truth; (2) say that there is such a thing as objective truth, but human nature stubbornly keeps people from seeing it.

Call me naive and old-fashioned, but I’m going with option 2, along with Bertrand Russell, who wrote:

The truth, whatever it may be, is the same in England, France, and Germany, in Russia and in Austria. It will not adapt itself to national needs: it is in its essence neutral. It stands outside the clash of passions and hatreds, revealing, to those who seek it, the tragic irony of strife with its attendant world of illusions.

I trotted out that Russell quote in this newsletter three years ago, in a piece that asked the following question: “Is it too far-fetched to think that someday an AI could adjudicate international disputes?… Is it crazy to imagine a day when an AI can render a judgment about which side in a conflict started the trouble by violating international law?”

I said I didn’t know the answer. And I still don’t. But I’m pretty sure that ChatGPT’s approach to reaching conclusions—go with whatever the prevailing view is—won’t do the trick. This approach, which basically amounts to holding a referendum, will often mean that big, powerful countries get away with invading small, weak countries—which, come to think of it, is the way things already are.

“Is it crazy to imagine a day when an AI can render a judgment about which side in a conflict started the trouble by violating international law?” Skynet — and Colossus — smile.

 

“MODERATE JOE” WAS ALWAYS A LIE: Biden Makes First Move Toward a Radical National Rent Control Law.

COLLUSION: Dem Rep Who Opposed New China Committee Serves On Non-Profit That Shares Staff With Alleged Chinese Intel Front Groups.

A Democratic congresswoman serves on a non-profit which has shared multiple personnel with alleged Chinese intelligence front groups, a Daily Caller News Foundation investigation found.

California Democratic Rep. Judy Chu joined the All America Chinese Youth Federation (AACYF) in 2012 and remains listed as “honorary president” on the 501(c)(3) non-profit’s website, according to a DCNF translation. During Chu’s tenure at AACYF, its leadership has included multiple individuals who’ve belonged to China-based organizations that allegedly operate as front groups for a Chinese intelligence service.

The DCNF located Chu’s Chinese name, Zhao Meixin, within a New York Times article and matched it with AACYF’s records to determine her membership. Chu did not respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

Although it remains unclear what specific responsibilities Chu has as AACYF’s “honorary president,” the congresswoman has led events held by the organization, such as during a November 2013 Silicon Valley tech summit where Chu served as “chairman,” according to a DCNF translation of AACYF’s website. . . .

Five of AACYF’s leaders who’ve served at the non-profit during Chu’s tenure have belonged to organizations allegedly serving a Chinese government agency tasked with overseeing and coordinating CCP influence operations, the DCNF determined. The so-called United Front Work Department (UFWD) has been identified by government agencies, legislative bodies and experts as a central organ of CCP influence efforts, and experts also say UFWD works in concert with Chinese intelligence operatives.

I’m sure it’s racist even to mention this.

CAN’T SAY THIS IS THE 21st CENTURY I WAS EXPECTING:  An ant’s sense of smell is so strong, it can sniff out cancer.

I mean, I’m not complaining, but even science fiction didn’t come up with this.

SCIENCE NEEDS TO STICK TO ITS OWN LANE AND OTHERWISE KEEP ITS YAP SHUT:   Regé-Jean Page is the most handsome man in the world, says science.

HAT TIP: IF THE PRICE SEEMS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, IT PROBABLY IS:  Woman sues Fireball maker Sazerac for selling whiskey ‘flavored’ alcohol.

MISS THIS AND YOU’LL HAVE TO WAIT 50,000 YEARS FOR ITS RETURN:  ‘Green comet’ passing earth for first time in 50,000 years can now be seen without telescope.

TL:DR –  “You can find the location of the comet by using theskylive.com and setting the default as your home city.”

WE SHOULD STOP FINANCING DUMB CELEBS. WE CAN’T AFFORD THEM:  Stephen Fry, Emma Thompson and Aisling Bea: Stop Financing Fossil Fuel.

MORE PLEASE:  Pushback: Two reporters sue ESPN for terminating them for not getting jabbed.

WE SPEAK FOREIGN LANGUAGES USING THE SAME WORDS:  Jokes and Conspiracies.

WE’VE BEEN SHOUTING IT FROM THE ROOFTOPS FOR DECADES:  It’s time to acknowledge truth about “gender pay gap”.

But you got to remember, the left now are outright commies, and commies have no interest in the truth. Only the “struggle.” By which they mean bringing down civilization in the hopes of their imaginary paradise. Because this time it will work for sure….

DISTRICT PARENTS OUGHT TO KEEP THIS IN MIND COME SCHOOL BOARD ELECTION:  Calif. teacher helps students change names, pronouns without parents’ knowledge.

SOMEBODY NEEDS TO TAKE THESE ACTIVISTS OUT BEHIND THE GYM AND DEMONSTRATE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WORDS AND STICKS & STONES:  Dave Chappelle rips transgender activists who use violence to protest him.

DOES BIG TECH REALLY WANT 50 STATES (PLUS PUERTO RICO, GUAM, SAMOA & THE REST) TELLING THEM WHAT ISN’T PERMITTED SPEECH?  Washington state health department censored criticism of ‘transmasculine persons’ cervical cancer campaign.

THEY’RE NOT SCARED TO SERVE HIM, THEY DON’T WANT HIM GROSSING OUT REGULAR CUSTOMERS:  I modified my body to be a ‘black alien’ — now restaurants are scared to serve me.

Also, what was the point of this self mutilation except pour epater les bourgeois, exactly?

WE DON’T DESERVE HIS BLOG POSTS:  Anti-Gunners explain why you should buy In Defense of the Second Amendment…

January 26, 2023

SURE, THAT’LL GO WELL: NYC Will Replace Its Largest Fossil Fuel Plant With Wind Power.

UKRAINE: RUSSIAN OFFENSIVE CAMPAIGN ASSESSMENT, JANUARY 26, 2023.

LEAVE US ALONE, RICHIE RICH: The Billionaires Behind the Gas Bans: “The hypocrisy of the billionaires who are funding anti-hydrocarbon campaigns, including bans on gas stoves. Natural gas bans are more about class than climate change.”

NONE TOO SOON: Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp Declares State of Emergency to Deal With Atlanta’s Domestic Terrorists. “In addition to the power to call up the National Guard to quell domestic terrorism, the executive order allows Kemp to utilize any state resources to assist in any response to the emergency.”

All the best people told me that there’s no such thing as leftist domestic terrorism.

OPEN THREAD: Have fun, kids.

NO ENEMIES TO THE LEFT: Media outlets keep promoting ‘forest defenders’ and ignoring that they shot a police officer.

I really believed that once the facts of this story came out it would be over. There was some room for questioning the story of what happened in the forest south of Atlanta initially. Police told one story and protesters told another.

According to police, they entered the forest to clear out protesters who are trespassing and preventing construction of an approved project. They found one man under a tent. They asked him to come out and instead he fired a gun and hit a Georgia State Trooper in the abdomen. The trooper was taken to a hospital for emergency surgery. The protester who fired the shot was killed by police.

The alternative story pushed by protesters and their supporters is that the victim had been unarmed and “murdered” by police. The trooper who was shot? They strongly suggested he might have been hit by friendly fire.

Since then the official police version of events has been confirmed by evidence and the protesters’ version has fallen apart. First, police released a photo of the gun found at the scene. Later they revealed the gun had been matched to the bullet removed from the trooper’s body. And in what should have been the final straw for the protesters’ version of events, police revealed that Manuel Esteban Paez Teran aka Tortuguita had purchased the gun in question in September 2020. It was his gun and with that the police version of events is conclusively found to be the real one.

And yet, progressive news sites continue to promote the forest defenders as if none of that mattered. It’s a surreal thing to witness.

Not after the media’s coverage of the Ferguson riots in 2014 and 2015 and the “fiery but mostly peaceful” protestors of 2020.

 

SHIELDS UP: SpaceX Crew Dragon may get a shield upgrade after Soyuz spacecraft leak.

DISPATCHES FROM WEIMAR AMERICA: Tweet over non-binary documentary shown to NC daycare workers goes viral.

MANY ON THE LEFT VIEW THIS AS A FEATURE, NOT A BUG: US plummets in annual freedom ranking for one big reason. “The index’s main results point to a new question: Why did global freedom plummet in 2020? Well, things were already trending slightly downward, but the COVID-19 pandemic—and governments’ subsequent authoritarian policies—drove a huge decline in freedom. From mask mandates to lockdowns, the ways the government restricted peoples’ freedom in 2020 are too vast to put into words.”

WATCH: Project Veritas Confronts Pfizer Director, and All Hell Breaks Loose. “As RedState reported on Wednesday evening, Project Veritas executed another undercover operation, and it was eyebrow-raising, to say the least. Jordon Trishton Walker, described as Director of Research and Development at Pfizer, claimed that the controversial company was mutating the COVID-19 virus to produce future vaccines. But while the contents of the undercover operation were interesting, all hell broke loose when Project Veritas attempted to confront Walker out in the open.”

20 YEARS AGO ON INSTAPUNDIT: SHORT-TERM ENLISTMENT: Here’s an article on a new short-term enlistment plan designed to produce more enlistees without resort to the draft. I’m not sure what I think about this — I’m not encouraged by one backer’s statement that it’s just a step along the way to compulsory “national service,” which I don’t support, and I’m concerned about the creation of a two-tiered military. On the other hand, there are a lot of military specialties that don’t require the kind of extensive training or commitment that combat arms tend to, and — in fact — we’ve already got a sort of two-tier system, as Tom Ricks noted in comparing the training regimen at Parris Island and Fort Benning with the less rigorous training provided to support troops at Fort Jackson. And it’s likely that a non-trivial number of short-term enlistees will decide to stick around for longer, which should help with recruiting.

Anyway, it’s an interesting development. There’s also a paper from the Progressive Policy Institute, Citizen Soldiers and the War on Terror, endorsing the idea.

Speaking of recruiting, somebody sent me a link to an article saying that Northern California was producing military recruits at a higher rate than anywhere else except (of course) Nashville, but I’ve lost the link. If you read this, can you send it again?

UPDATE: Reader Anthony Kim sends the link, but notes that the headline, “suckers for a uniform” is rather insulting.

And also 20 years ago: ATRIOS seems to think that I write a column for the Washington Times, and derive great income thereby. If so, it’s escaped my attention. (Especially the “great income” part.) I think the only thing I ever wrote for the Wash. Times was a piece entitled “Greasing the Skids at the Start of Death Row,” condemning the Habeas Corpus provision of the 1996 antiterrorism bill, which oped I coauthored with GWU professor Bob Cottrol and which was placed there through the efforts of that noted Moonie front group, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

What you’re seeing is desperation in the face of the A.N.S.W.E.R. debacle. (Atrios’ post tries to compare writing for the Washington Times with standing alongside anti-semites and Stalinists.) And it’s well-founded desperation. Or such sloppiness that he thinks my book reviews for the Washington Post were actually in the Times. (Or maybe it’s just trolling. . . .)

And have you ever noticed how it’s okay to show religious prejudice against Moonies, but not against fanatical Muslims? Nothing political there. Jeez.

UPDATE: TalkLeft is offering me a free membership in the NACDL. Dare I accept, in this era of creeping McCarthyism?

ANOTHER UPDATE: Mark Kleiman thinks I’m entitled to a retraction, but thinks that my point about religious bigotry is weak.

MICROBIOME NEWS: The Human Microbiome Might Be Contagious, Scientists Say.

TESLA NEWS: Year-to-date order demand is over double production levels. This is due to increased demand from the price cuts.

I thought nobody was going to buy Teslas anymore after Elon bought Twitter and all the wokies got angry.

THE 1970S WERE A DIFFERENT TIME:

HOW ABOUT PRESSURING THE SMUGGLERS ON THE BORDER? Advocates ask Congress to pressure social media firms over fentanyl crisis.

THERE’S ALWAYS SOMEONE WHO SEES IT COMING: A Marine Predicted All of World War II in the Pacific 20 Years Before Pearl Harbor.

KRUISER: The 2023 Oscar Nominations Remind Me of My Dysfunctional Relationship With Movies. “Maybe my whole reason for writing this was to come to the realization that I want to watch more movies. Perhaps that can be one way I shake things up in 2023. I would like to watch some off-the-beaten-path fare. Any suggestions from you, dear readers, would be greatly appreciated.”

TRAINING FOR WINTER WAR: Someone in Michigan likes the chilling effects of black and white photography. Soldiers from the Wisconsin Army National Guard fire a M119 105mm howitzer while training at Camp Grayling, Michigan. Photo taken Jan. 23, 2023. HISTORICAL CONTEXT FOR FIGHTING IN THE SNOW: Heavy anti-aircraft gun position during the Battle of the Bulge.

READER FAVORITE: Coofandy Men’s Hawaiian Floral Shirts. #CommissionEarned

YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE UTTERLY IGNORANT TO SUPPORT GUN CONTROL, BUT — OH, WHO AM I KIDDING, YES YOU DO: After Two Mass Shootings, California Rep. Judy Chu Demands Gun Control Laws That Are Already On the Books.

WAR MATERIAL STOCKPILES: They’re vital.

No matter the outcome on the battlefield, the Ukraine War already has a clear winner: that small band of long-range planners, logisticians and military analysts who have insisted “cutting corners in maintaining war reserve stocks was a false economy…”

Read the entire essay.

IT’S LESS THAT WE SPEND TOO LITTLE AND MORE THAT WE DON’T SPEND WELL: The U.S. Military Is In Decline. Cutting Defense Spending Would Be A Disaster.

APOLOGIZING ISN’T REALLY IN THE SPIRIT OF THE RAZZIES: Razzie Awards Apologizes For Nominating a 12-Year-Old Girl for ‘Worst Actress.’

THE COUNTRY IS IN THE VERY BEST OF HANDS: Controversial expert is appointed to Biden food panel after claiming that obesity CAN’T be treated with exercise and good diet because it’s genetic – will now tell Americans what to eat. “Dr Fatima Cody Stanford, an obesity medicine physician at Mass General Health in Boston, was appointed to the 2025 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, which will develop new recommended eating habits for Americans over the coming years.”

IT’S COME TO THIS: Member of Congress reads AI-generated speech on House floor.

When U.S. Rep. Jake Auchincloss decided to deliver a speech on a bill that would create a U.S.-Israel artificial intelligence center, he opted to let the AI do the talking.

The brief two-paragragh speech read by the Massachusetts Democrat on the floor of the U.S. House on Wednesday was generated by the online AI chatbot ChatGPT. His staff said they believe it’s the first time an AI-written speech was read in Congress.

Auchincloss said he prompted the system in part to “write 100 words to deliver on the floor of the House of Representatives” about the legislation. Auchincloss said he had to refine the prompt several times to produce the text he ultimately read.

The bill, which Auchincloss is refiling, would establish a joint U.S.-Israel AI Center in the United States to serve as a hub for AI research and development in the public, private and education sectors.

Auchincloss said part of the decision to read a ChatGPT-generated text was to help spur debate on AI and the challenges and opportunities created by it. He said he doesn’t want to see a repeat of the advent of social media, which started small and ballooned faster than Congress could react.

To be fair, ChatGPT could be an upgrade to many in DC: This is fine: Biden judicial nominee can’t answer Sen. Kennedy’s questions about the Constitution.

USE IT OR LOSE IT: Research Reveals That Early Retirement Can Accelerate Cognitive Decline.

TO BE FAIR, HE SAYS A LOT OF STUPID STUFF: Biden Said Sending Tanks to Ukraine Would Start World War III.

MUSIC HATH CHARMS TO SOOTHE: Study shows that listening to music during stressful times can boost your mood and reduce stress.

Email Shows Bucks County School Closures Weren’t Just Bad For Kids, They Were Illegal.

Emails uncovered by concerned parents in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, home of the state’s third-largest school district, reveal district leaders knew they were violating state law when they locked students out of the classroom after the 2019-2020 academic year. Years later, it’s finally coming to light.

In July 2020, an email from then-Central Bucks Superintendent John Kopicki acknowledged the legal limits to online instruction for the upcoming school year.

“Hybrid options and staggered schedule options are NOT legal as of today, absent a waiver or legislative change,” the email read. No waiver from the state house ever came, but the schools shut down anyway.

Apparently, they cared about law almost as much as they cared about the kids.

HOW ABOUT NO? “Mutating” the Covid virus to produce new strains. “Jordon Trishton Walker, Pfizer Director of Research and Development, Strategic Operations – mRNA Scientific Planner: ‘One of the things we’re exploring is like, why don’t we just mutate it [COVID] ourselves so we could create — preemptively develop new vaccines, right? So, we have to do that. If we’re gonna do that though, there’s a risk of like, as you could imagine — no one wants to be having a pharma company mutating f**king viruses.'”

Plus: “Don’t tell anyone. Promise you won’t tell anyone. The way it [the experiment] would work is that we put the virus in monkeys, and we successively cause them to keep infecting each other, and we collect serial samples from them. . . . You have to be very controlled to make sure that this virus [COVID] that you mutate doesn’t create something that just goes everywhere. Which, I suspect, is the way that the virus started in Wuhan, to be honest. It makes no sense that this virus popped out of nowhere. It’s bullsh*t.”

UPDATE: Some people in the comments are skeptical, saying this seems too good to be true and wondering if Project Veritas was scammed here. I certainly can’t know, but given the drunken admissions PV has gotten in the past. . . . I’m sure we’ll find out.

FROM THE HOME OFFICE AT CYBERDYNE SYSTEMS, THE TOP TEN REASONS WHY SKYNET SMILES: BuzzFeed to Use ChatGPT Creator OpenAI to Help Create Some of Its Content.

BuzzFeed Inc. said it would rely on ChatGPT creator OpenAI to enhance its quizzes and personalize some content for its audiences, becoming the latest digital publisher to embrace artificial intelligence.

In a memo to staff sent Thursday morning, which was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, Chief Executive Jonah Peretti said he intends for AI to play a larger role in the company’s editorial and business operations this year.

In one instance, the company said new AI-powered quizzes would produce individual results.

For example, a quiz to create a personal romantic comedy movie pitch might ask questions like, “Pick a trope for your rom-com,” and “Tell us an endearing flaw you have.” The quiz would produce a unique, shareable write-up based on the individual’s responses, BuzzFeed said.

Mr. Peretti expects AI to assist the creative process and enhance the company’s content, while humans play the role of providing ideas, “cultural currency,” and “inspired prompts,” he wrote in his memo. In 15 years, he wrote, he expects AI and data to help “create, personalize, and animate the content itself,” rather than just curate existing content.

How would anyone know the difference between a human-written and a ChatGPT-written BuzzFeed article?

I BLAME MEDIA-INDUCED STRESS: Nearly 1 in 5 Americans use a medication to help them sleep.

SOME SOLID PICKS HERE: McCarthy Reveals Who Will Be Investigating Biden’s Weaponization of the Federal Government.

HAHA, THEY’RE TOO WOKE TO WAKE UP: British ‘single-payer’ health care program is cratering. That should be a wake-up call for US liberals.

INSULT TO INJURY: Soldiers Fired For Refusing Covid Vaccine Forced To Pay Back Recruitment Bonuses.

UPDATE (FROM GLENN): Meanwhile we’re having recruiting shortfalls now. This won’t help. It’s almost like they want to break the system.

MEANWHILE, OVER AT VODKAPUNDIT: There’s Nothing Beyond Meat: Plant-Based ‘Meat’ Sales Take a Serious Pruning. “Fake cattle, it seems, graze in the Uncanny Valley.”

LIGHTNING DEAL: YTD Mens Long/Short Sleeve Henley Shirts. #CommissionEarned

BUY AMERICAN: European Food Will Now Contain Crickets.

If you’ve not yet consumed crickets, you may soon — particularly if you’re a partaker of European fare.

The European Union is putting the “pow” in “powder.” It’s giving eaters an explosion of insect compliments of a pinch of arthropod. From now on, those overseas will be bound to eat ground cousins of grasshoppers.

Following a three-year review, Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/2470 went into effect Tuesday. It allows food producers to put cricket powder in flour-based products.

Previously: “The plan to convert us all to insect-eaters is real.”

FINALLY! Footage of the Paul Pelosi Hammer Attack To Be Released.

READER FAVORITE: krosa -10℉ Winter Gloves Men and Women. #CommissionEarned

A VERY PUBLIC EDUCATION: Parents feel ‘villainized’ by teachers who think they know best. “Jessica Bradshaw’s daughter — now a son — was diagnosed as on the autism spectrum, as well as with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, PTSD and anxiety, the California mother told Baker. Her teenager ‘had struggled with loneliness during the pandemic’ and ‘repeatedly changed his name and sexual orientation.’ School officials had put her child ‘on a path the school wasn’t qualified to oversee,’ rather than let the family decide what was best, Bradshaw said. She resents being made to feel like a bad parent.”

Plus: “As several autism experts have explained to me, those on the spectrum tend to fixate, and when a contagious idea is introduced to them — such as the notion that they might be a ‘girl in a boy’s body’ — they are particularly susceptible to it.”

WHY DOES CREIGHTON UNIVERSITY HATE THE CONSTITUTION? Nebraska university refuses to lift ban on pro-Second Amendment posters. “Creighton University will not remove its ban on pro-Second Amendment posters despite a student libertarian group fighting over the last several months to overturn the policy on First Amendment grounds. . . . Additionally, the university informed then-chapter leader Mason Wood that he had to fill out paperwork to host a distinct ‘Controversial Event’ when seeking to distribute a petition to end the university’s campus ban on images of defensive weapons.”

Creighton’s president, Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, SJ, PhD, needs to learn a bit more about America.

IKE WAS RIGHT, BUT IT’S THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY I’M MORE CONCERNED ABOUT: Ike Was Right: The Military-Industrial Complex Has Become a Serious Problem.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Report: The faculty DEI statement is ‘The New Loyalty Oath.’

CHRISTIAN TOTO: How Hollywood Helped Create, and Destroy, ‘Time’s Up.’

Producer Harvey Weinstein’s fall from grace handed Hollywood a golden opportunity.

Stars who preferred virtue signaling to hard work could now do something powerful, and necessary, for the culture.

Bring other Harvey Weinsteins to justice. And, as we learned in the weeks following Weinstein’s downfall, Hollywood is chock full of unsavory types.

And, sadly, so is the culture at large.

That’s why Time’s Up, which officially shuttered days ago, began in the first place. The nonprofit, sparked by lurid accusations against Weinstein, vowed to prevent other predators from getting away with their crimes. And, hopefully, send a message to men eager to prey on the fairer sex.

You’re next.

Actresses like Kerry Washington, Ashley Judd and Reese Witherspoon rallied to a cause that spread far beyond Tinsel Town. They helped pour millions into the startup, but some went a step further.

Witherspoon, Natalie Portman, Laura Dern, Alyssa Milano, Amy Schumer, Julianne Moore, Brie Larson, Jessica Chastain and Tessa Thompson joined its advisory board, eager to take a more hands-on approach to the group’s work.

Except those famous folks stood down when it mattered most.

Read the whole thing.

KRUISER’S MORNING BRIEFING: Good News — School Choice Is Back on the Agenda for Republicans. “My personal dream would be to do away with the Department of Education altogether, but I don’t think that’s going to happen anytime soon. Expanding choice wherever and whenever possible is the first step in weakening the power of the public education indoctrination mills.”

I’M NOT SURE I WANT TO KNOW WHAT GOES ON AT COMMENTARY’S COCKTAIL PARTIES: Free the Meat.

Okay, my cheap joke aside, Noah Rothman is spot-on:

In Western New Jersey, a population-dense state with an equally high concentration of whitetail deer, the problem is an increasingly urgent one. “Sustainable levels of deer should be 5 to 15 individuals per square mile,” one local arboretum fretted in 2021. “New Jersey averages 112 per square mile, with some areas as high as 270.” And yet, deer concentration levels, their acute and injurious effects on the environment, and the threat they pose to life and property exist alongside a bewildering phenomenon: They are positively delicious.

The “star” of the menu at Washington D.C.’s Café Berlin every autumn, an NPR profile of the restaurant’s fare read, is venison. Loin, ribs, chops, tartar—take your pick. “It’s food that takes your mind back to old European castles, where you can imagine eating like aristocracy,” the piece gushes. But you can’t buy deer meat at your local grocer or often even at upscale food purveyors. This NPR reporter found venison loin selling for a staggering $40 per pound. And about 85 percent of all deer meat sold in American restaurants is imported from New Zealand.

It’s not impossible to get your hands on local venison—even professionally prepared fare. But you’re not going to pay $40 per pound. You’re not going to pay anything at all, in fact. Where local venison is available, it is in charity kitchens and food pantries.

Recreational hunters are not allowed to sell their kill for a variety of reasons.

Read the whole thing.

HMM: CNN Drops a Huge Bombshell in Biden Classified Documents Scandal. “According to a new report from CNN, of all places, Biden wasn’t originally willing to consent to have the Justice Department search his home and only agreed to it after Justice Department indicated it would seek a warrant if necessary.”

FREE SPEECH UPDATE: California Judge Grants Injunction to NCLA Clients, Halts Implementation of Law Censoring Doctors.

Reminder: I’m on the NCLA’s advisory board. (Bumped).

JIM GERAGHTY: The Stray Voltage of George Santos.

Way, way back in the mid 2010s — a pre-Trump era that might as well be ancient history in U.S. politics — the Obama administration deployed the communications strategy of “stray voltage.” Major Garrett of CBS News laid out the approach in 2014:

This is the White House theory of “Stray Voltage.” It is the brainchild of former White House Senior Adviser David Plouffe, whose methods loom large long after his departure. The theory goes like this: Controversy sparks attention, attention provokes conversation, and conversation embeds previously unknown or marginalized ideas in the public consciousness. This happens, Plouffe theorizes, even when–and sometimes especially when–the White House appears defensive, besieged, or off-guard. . . .

As a theory, “stray voltage” exists in a kind of strategic void. It can’t be dismissed or embraced as workable because creating controversy for the sake of controversy is, well, achievable. Like getting soup from the White House mess. It’s also self-reinforcing and internally didactic. Everyone looks around and says, “See. There’s controversy. It’s working.”

* * * * * * * *

But you can see why Kevin McCarthy might find it worthwhile to let the gears of the consequences for Santos turn slowly. A Washington press corps that is obsessed with Santos’s incessant lying and potentially shady connections isn’t spending as much time insisting that the House GOP is the root of all evil. Sooner or later, the consequences of Santos’s voluminous deceptions will catch up to him. But between now and then, he’s a glasses-wearing, nervous-looking lightning rod, and the more lightning that strikes him, the less there is to strike the rest of the GOP House majority.

Santos is also a daily reminder that he’s far from the only DC politician with plenty of lies on his CV:

 

LOS ANGELES IS A Predator’s Paradise.

While the last few decades have seen an increase in human trafficking, women at all three of the anti-trafficking groups I spoke with across California agreed: nothing compares with the stunning rise in trafficking they’ve witnessed in recent months. Powell, formerly a sergeant in the Los Angeles Police Department’s Vice Division, knows the city’s streets intimately. Over the last six months, the number of prostitutes has doubled, she says. “On Figueroa, between 68th and 75th, in an hour, you might see about 30 girls out there. Now, you can see 60 to 65 girls in an hour.”

What shifted? The answer, the anti-trafficking advocates told me, is Senate Bill 357. Signed by Governor Gavin Newsom in July, the measure decriminalized loitering with the intent to engage in prostitution. The bill did not officially take effect until January 1 of this year; but, from the moment it became law back in July, these women say, the on-the-ground reality changed. “The minute the governor signed it, you started seeing an uptick on the streets,” Powell said. “And on social media, the pimps were saying: ‘You better get out there and work because the streets are ours.’”

The pimps were right: police stopped making arrests for crimes that would no longer be charged. The anti-loitering statute had provided the grounds for officers to question women and children whom they suspected might be trapped in a prostitution ring. “As a police officer, you need probable cause to stop and investigate,” Powell explained. “So if I have a law that says you can’t loiter in this area, with pasties and a G-string, flagging down cars, I could stop you for that because you’re loitering. But if I just say I’m stopping you because you look kind of young, that’s a little weak. So, it takes away a tool.” Without the statute, police hands were suddenly tied. Henceforth, questioning the girls—and potentially provoking a violent confrontation with pimps—came to seem a Pyrrhic gamble, one that California’s police officers would now avoid.

By overwhelming majorities, women in California vote for this.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Cook Political Report: These three Democrat senate seats are rated as toss-ups in 2024. “The races are Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, (I-AZ)., Sen. Joe Manchin, (D-WVA), and Sen. Sherrod Brown,( D-OH).”

Get to work: President DeSantis will need a Republican Senate.

MAN, DON’T YOU BUG ME: Here come the bugs:

I have been writing lately about the war on agriculture–the Left’s attack on modern, scientific farming. The Left’s two main targets, so far, are fertilizers and animal husbandry. What is the end game? Leftists want us to eat a largely vegetarian diet, with insects as a protein source instead of cows, pigs and poultry.

This is no secret if you follow leftist writing, but many people find it hard to believe. To be fair, there is a great deal about modern liberalism that I find hard to believe. But the plan to convert us all to insect-eaters is real.

Indeed it is.

Related: Looming food shortages is the next ‘slow-moving disaster’ to hit world. Not by accident.

(Classical reference in headline.)

SOCIALISM: IF YOU BUILD IT, THEY WILL LEAVE. San Francisco Falls Into The Abyss. “No major American city has failed at the same level as Detroit, whose population dropped from 1.85 million people in 1950 to about 630,000 today. Move over Detroit, here comes San Francisco, which lost 6.3 percent of its population between 2019 and 2021, a rate of decline larger than any two year-period in Detroit’s history and unprecedented among any major US city.”

VICTORIA TAFT: Gavin Newsom’s ‘Suicide Pact’ With the Truth. “California Democrats pass more gun restrictions while at the same time passing easy-on-crime laws that favor people breaking the law.”

THOUGHTS ON WHAT MAKES A MAN.

FROM LARRY CORREIA:  In Defense of the Second Amendment.

#CommissionEarned

 

In Defense of the Second Amendment by [Larry Correia, Nick Searcy]

What Part of the Second Amendment Don’t You Understand?

That’s the question posed by award-winning, New York Times bestselling author, and professional firearms instructor, Larry Correia.
Bringing with him the practical experience that comes from having owned a high-end gun store—catering largely to law enforcement—and as a competitive shooter and self-defense trainer, Correia blasts apart the emotion-laden, logic-free rhetoric of the gun control fanatics who turn every “mass shooting” into a crazed call for violating your rights, abusing the Constitution—and doing absolutely nothing to really fight crime.
In his essential new book, In Defense of the Second Amendment, Correia reveals:

  • Why “gun-free” zones are more dangerous for law-abiding citizens

  • How the Second Amendment does indeed include your right to own an AR-15—and why that’s not an “outdated” concept

  • Why “red flag” laws don’t work, can be easily abused, and ignore a much more commonsensical approach to keeping guns out of the wrong hands 

  • The insanity of “criminal justice reform” that frees dangerous criminals and “gun reform” that penalizes your right to self-defense

  • How we can return to a society that has a safe and healthy relationship with guns—as we had for most of our history

  • Correia’s promise: “Believe me, I’ve heard every argument relating to gun control possible. I can show you how to defend your rights.”

MARXISM ALWAYS LEADS TO WIDESPREAD POVERTY. NEVER ANYTHING ELSE:  Wealth Tax: The Marxist Taxman Cometh.

IT’S BEEN OBVIOUS FOR A WHILE:  The Environmentalist Assault on Civilization.

WE’RE GOING TO SEE MORE OF THIS. THE WHOLE WORLD IS IN TROUBLE:  Pakistan can’t keep the lights on?!

OF COURSE THERE IS. FOR CHINA. BUT WE DON’T MIND:  Schiff Claims National Security At Risk If Left Off Intel Committee.

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