“Conspiracy” is back up and free on Amazon Prime. That’s the excellent and disturbing dramatic recreation of the Third Reich’s powerhouse meeting, under the direction of Heydrich (with Eichmann taking notes), to determine what to do to eliminate the millions of Jews Germany now had imprisoned. (That link takes you to the EA post about it from 2021. A quote from Heydrich (Kenneth Branaugh), reading an actual document from Hitler’s high command, struck me differently than it did the first time I saw the film, thanks to the creepy testimony of former Twitter censors before Congress yesterday:
“In order to control events, it is necessary to control opinion.”
Never mind me (or Heydrich): please discuss what you want to discuss.
37 thoughts on “Open Forum! Get Ready to Rumble…”
The Smithsonian (remember them?) Institution has another scandal on its hands, this time at the Air and Space Museum.
It seems some kids from Catholic students were wearing beanies with the words “Rosary PRO-LIFE” on them. To perhaps the surprise of somebody from another planet, the museum staffers first ridiculed the kids, then kicked them out of the museum.
Here is the link to the Fox News report.
This is the consequence of American education today. I have a strong feeling that these staffers were young people who either hadn’t been taught about the First Amendment or just didn’t think it applied to them.
1. If young people (under 30), retrain with an admonition that another such incident will be their last;
2. If older than that, dismiss. Old enough to know better.
3. Immediate supervisor gets the boot regardless.
Republicans in Congress have sent a letter to the Smithsonian asking mostly good questions about this incident, and a lawsuit requesting an injunction against the Smithsonian has been filed by lawyers representing the children.
George Santos accused of stealing puppies
Has there ever been anyone this ridiculous serving in Congress? Just how much embarrassment will it take for him to resign? Can he even be embarrassed?
I emailed my Representative about Santos a couple weeks back, and got an actual answer. He said he appreciated my email, but ultimately…
“…the American people deserve to be able to choose their own representatives in Congress, not have the will of others forced upon them. In Iowa, we would not want New Yorkers telling us who should serve our state. Likewise, I believe the fate Representative Santos should rest with the people of New York.”
I understand this sentiment, and I largely agree with it, but Rep. Santos in office still has an awful stench to it. I’ve been trying to come up with a good response.
Maybe an acknowledgement that he’s right and that you wish the people of New York had been wiser with their votes?
Not much we can do but it sure stinks to high heaven.
The problem with your congressman’s point is there’s no recall mechanism for members of Congress.
I apologize for sticking my nose in here, but I have to speak up: what’s wrong with Joel’s Congressman’s point is that the voters who elected Santos were defrauded. That answer is a dodge. Santos wasn’t chosen by his district—he stole the office. It wasn’t an unpopular decision by voters, it was one made invalid by misrepresentation. Consent that isn’t informed consent because of deliberate deception isn’t legally binding.
That’s a really good litigator’s way of thinking. I like it. Santos could be impeached for the crime of fraudulently obtaining his paid position. Of course, if the case were tried in front of a D.C. jury, or maybe even a Suffolk County jury, the defense would prevail by trotting out all sorts of statements and promises made by people who won seats and were never challenged. But it would be worth trying.
That was my thinking, too. If you get rid of Santos, you have to get rid of Blumenthal, too. I wonder how many we would lose in such House-cleaning?
Not that I would object but it doesn’t seem realistic.
I don’t think they are comparable. Blumenthal lied about his Vietnam service, and it came out before the election. Santos lied about everything. Blumenthal has legitimate credentials. Voters were sufficiently informed regarding who he was.
What about Joe Biden and all his serial lying? At what point would those lies rise to the level of defrauding the voters of Delaware?
Nah. Joe had a record, and was recognized as a serial fabulist long, long ago. His stock in trade was that he was a “nice guy.” True, he isn’t…
I’d put it this way…whatever the acculturated level of mendacity, phoniness and puffery American politicians are traditionally allowed to get away with, Biden was near but below the line but Santos was miles above it. They can’t be compared.
Jack, et al…
Thanks for your thoughts. I was starting a response along the lines of “but New York voters were lied to about their candidate by the candidate himself.”
I appreciate your insights. Don’t be surprised if much of what you wrote ends up in my response… including the part where his response feels like a dodge. I hope each of you is alright with that. I don’t need every one of my thoughts to be original to me, but I want them to be authentic to me.
You get a citizenship merit badge, Joel.
Re: Jack’s last comment, I think it’s a good closing argument but I’m just not sure it would carry the day.
I keep asking myself why would anyone run for Congress using a completely fabricated resume knowing full well that eventually the truth is going to come out, it just doesn’t make any sense to me and then I return to this comment I made back at the end of December…
What’s the probability that something like that is relatively true and this Santos liar is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, the political ploy is revealed and he switches his party to the Democratic Party making some snowflake excuse that Republicans are being mean to him?
A plausible conspiracy theory has been hatched?
Explanation: They believe that the ends justify the means.
Jack Marshall wrote, “Explanation: They believe that the ends justify the means.”
Clearly that is at the core of my conspiracy theory scenario, it wouldn’t work without that foundation supporting it. The left has shown us over and over again since at least 2016 that “the ends justify the means” has become a foundation supporting almost everything they say and do and that’s why something like my conspiracy theory could actually seem “plausible”.
Do I think my conspiracy theory it’s true, no not really but there is something about Santos that’s off and I’m not just talking about his transparent “ends justify the means” lies. He built a completely false narrative, like the Democrats have been doing since 2016, not caring one bit that the narrative was going to be undermined by the actual truth, his tactic is pure 21st century progressive. There’s more to this man than meets the eye and I can’t seem to put my finger on it.
narcissists are incapable of embarrassment. that is part of their pathology.
I’ve been thinking about Walt Disney’s Disney Company and the current Disney Company. The situation is symptomatic of an unavoidable aspect of art. Good art is essentially subversive to the extent good art makes its consumer think, about something. It’s the old Dionysian vs. Apollonian conflict: riotousness vs. order. If you think critically about something, that’s dangerous to the continued existence of the order of things. Kept in balance, good art is a good thing, an essential thing to the health of a society. But art attracts malcontents. Creative types are most often malcontents. A guy like Walt Disney wanted to use art to entertain people and contribute to the betterment and strengthening of society. Art was not a malcontent, to put it mildly. Current day Disney creative types are malcontents who want to disrupt society to the point of destroying it as it currently exists. This is a problem. So much of art has been hijacked by malcontent minorities. Of course, it’s nothing new: Oscar Wilde. But as with the academy, the art world has been thrown completely out of balance. There are no more Walt Disneys. And that’s a problem.
Oops. WALT was not a malcontent. Sheesh.
What do we think of AI programs like Chat GPT. I see a lot of criticism on its bias, but besides that it’s pretty good at what it does. I’ve been writing a book for some time now and some of my friends have been telling me to use it to help with grammar, writers block, structure, dialogue and I have to say, its pretty amazing. But then, if I really use it is it really mine? It can’t create anything out of nothing, so its only improving upon my work.
Some people are even saying it kids are using it to do their homework. I saw a video of a kid using it and a 3rd printer to actually write papers this way (something to do with a pencil attached). I can definatively say that’s cheating, but how is anyone going to prove it? Furthermore, what kind of long term ethical ramifications could this have on our society?
College students have actually been caught using ChatGPT to write their assignments.
Unfortunately, this is the future. Life comes at us fast.
There is no constitutional way to regulate this service. Hopefully, the authors of it will help provide tools to detect its unethical and unlawful use, but frankly, there’s not much we can do if they don’t.
Once again I have flashbacks to Assistant US Attorney James J. Wells (Wilford Brimley) in Absence of Malice.
“AI” programs like ChatGPT are interesting toys that have some real world utility, but are not really artificial intelligence. They are pattern recognition applications. I would not suggest using them to do one’s homework because they lie. They are trained on large datasets pulled from the internet, and if the data pulled off the internet is wrong, then they spit out wrong answers. If they don’t know the answer, they make things up. https://www.theverge.com/2023/2/8/23590864/google-ai-chatbot-bard-mistake-error-exoplanet-demo
Like any tool, the ethics lies in the user utilizing them. Having someone or something else do your homework for you is cheating. Using an AI to proofread your grammar is not really any different than the built in grammar checks in Microsoft Word. Pattern recognition tools probably have a lot of real world utility, but they are not going to be replacing humans anytime soon.
Overblown claims in the media that the ChatGPT will eliminate all the jobs are, quite frankly, hilarious. I read somewhere the other day that all the junior programmer jobs are going to be replaced by ChatGPT because people are training it to write code by feeding it GitHub data. Oh good, they are training the AI to write buggy, illegible code that is already written! Any programmer can copy and paste things off the internet, and already do so on a regular basis. They don’t need an AI to do that for them. At best it will speed up their searches for code to copy and paste. Programmers are necessary to implement new functionality, not already existing functionality, so this entirely irrelevant. The AI cannot actually think, it can only copy. It might learn to write boilerplate code, but there are already wizards built into IDEs that do that anyways. Anything unique will still have to be written by a person.
Similarly, these sorts of AI cannot replace people like authors or journalists because they cannot observe the real world. They can only observe already existing data. How would ChatGPT write a story on an event that no humans have already covered? It cannot go out into the field and see what happened with that house that burned down or that war that broke out. A journalist will have to do that before ChatGPT will know it happened. Smaller newspapers or local outlets might be able to then autogenerate stories off of the bigger news outlets coverage of events, but smaller outlets usually just copy and paste the stuff from the bigger outlets anyways.
Copying and pasting is not discernment. It is not thought. ChatGPT is just a tool. It may boost productivity in some sectors if utilized properly. It may also make the current Google censorship look like small potatoes. At the end of the day, the humans using these sort of tools are where the ethics actually exist.
Comment of the Day (so far)….
It’s just possible that ChatGPT would give an accurate answer if asked “did ChatGPT generate this item?”.
Regarding gruppenfuhrer Yoel Roth weaseling his was through the hearing, our friend Jonathan Turkey tweeted:
“Roth says that it would not surprise him if “visibility filters” were placed on the accounts of elected officials without their knowledge”
Elon Musk himself replied to Turley:
“Since he placed many of them there himself, he would indeed not be “surprised” lmao”
I! Am terminally online. So I’m going to talk about the Newest AAA game to hit the market, absolutely smash the record for concurrent viewers on Twitch and has progressive heads exploding, despite some very blatant pandering.
Dun dun DUUUUUUUUUUN (insert dramatic groundhog meme here) *gasp*
In order to understand what has progressive head popping faster than acne on Dr. Pimplepopper’s YouTube channel, you first have to understand that progressives hate JK Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series, feminist icon, and TERF extraordinaire.
It’s not like Rowling is particularly offensive. I’m sure that given ten minutes, a bottle of Mountain Dew Code Red and some motivation I could easily make a Top 10 list of more egregious and famous transphobes that would almost certainly get published on Gawker’s newest iteration. The problem isn’t that she’s offensive, the problem is that she’s a traitor. Worse, she’s a traitor that they helped prop up, she has “Fuck You” levels of money, and nothing they do can actually cancel her, because again… She’s independently wealthy, isn’t particularly offensive, and doesn’t care what they think.
Her offense, such that it is, is a less than enthusiastic endorsement of the trans agenda. She has no problems using pronouns, she tries, generally, to be polite, but sometimes uses a variation of the TERF maxim of “there are very few places where gender actually matters anymore, but where it does, it matters a lot” and doesn’t put much stock in the idea of trans women in women’s sport, and feels that trans women shouldn’t be in women’s prisons or abuse shelters, off the top of my head.
Trans people, not very well adjusted to reality to begin with, are so used to getting their way when they whine on Twitter that they’re not dealing very well with the idea that Warner Brothers would continue to risk their ire by further developing the Harry Potter Franchise, which in some very unclear way involving assumed royalties benefits Rowling, the newest iteration of which is Hogwarts Legacy.
Now, me being an unapologetic enjoyer of videogames wasn’t sold on the idea of buying HL, TV/Movie adaptations to games has almost as bad a track record as the reverse. But there was an 11 minute gameplay trailer that was released that actually looked kind of cool, so I bought the game.
Here’s my review:
It’s a game.
It’s open world, it has a lot of the busywork you probably associate with an open world. The combat is a strictly better version of Forspoken, which came out earlier this year to much accolade from DEI crowds because it casts a black female protagonist. The graphics are stunning, I haven’t noticed a bug yet outside some quirky clothing physics, and the voice acting is good and synched. The length and frequency of cutscenes in any other game would be obnoxious, but in HL, I think that they amount to fan service for people that grew up with the Potter franchise. If you didn’t read the books or watch the movies, you probably won’t enjoy them as much as I did. From a more political standpoint, it’s fairly obvious that the devs were acutely aware that they were going to be under a DEI microscope, so there is a LOT of representation in the game. This isn’t a huge departure from the source material, there was a lot of representation there too… Rowling is, after all, progressive. But if you aren’t looking for it, I don’t know that you see it.
With one exception: Very early on in the game, you meet the Potterverse’s first trans character: Sirona Ryan. Trans people apparently don’t think that pandering was enough, because Sirona starts with Sir, and that’s an obvious slight.
Because of course it is. The devs going out of their way to try to cleanse the franchise of the filth of it’s creator by shoehorning in as much DEI as possible is just cover so that they could name their first trans character Manlina McBeefcake to squick the trans people they’re not actually pandering to. Because that makes sense.
Which is the theme here… Nothing is enough.
They’re bound and determined to hate it. Which is why the success of the game seems to feel like pure rock salt in the open wound of their entire existence. It’s a good game with a very popular franchise released at a time when there aren’t any other new releases worth note on the market. Twitch recently registered 1.3 million concurrent viewers to people watching other people play the game. Think what you want about the Twitch model, but this is MINDBLOWING because not only was the game was in pre-release and cost an extra $10 to play at the time, and there were streamers waiting for the actual release, but the previous record was 800,000 viewers set by Cyberpunk 2077 in Q4 2020.
So…. What do you do when something you hate is succeeding and you’re really unused to the market not giving a damn about your displeasure? You melt down. The fireworks over this have been some of the most entertaining terminally online bullshit I’ve seen in my life. Brigades of trans people and their allies are joining Twitch streams of people playing HL and cramming their chats with bile, article after article after article written by progressives whining belligerently over the market’s apathy to their discomfort, but most interestingly, because it’s new: Someone coded a website that would log whenever someone streamed HL and compiled it in a searchable database, so trans people could know who to boycott…. Which was basically everyone, so it’s not exactly effective.
Any and all of this would have been derided by the same people doing it as targeted harassment and bullying if they were the target of what they’re doing to others, and they’re doing it without a spark of self awareness. Which lends more credit, I think, to my prevailing theory of: These people don’t actually care about targeted harassment, bullying, or any other professed principle. They’re consistently unhappy people and their single last joy in life is bitching with the intent of depriving other people of the joy they are incapable of feeling.
What I find interesting about this is how ineffective it all is. The market apparently determined a line.
I’mma go log some time in.
Fascinating review, HT.
I am not a gamer. My online gaming profile is beyond pedestrian to the point of being impressed by Candy Crush and its siblings. Our son, though, does pay GTA and Fortnight. I am impressed by the graphics, sound, and playability of the games but I have no patience for them. I prefer annoying my family with my guitar playing.
Your other comments about the trans reaction are equally interesting. Thanks.
Guitar, my good man!
I’m going to go dust mine off. Too much internet today….
“They’re consistently unhappy people and their single last joy in life is bitching with the intent of depriving other people of the joy they are incapable of feeling.”
Whew. You can say that again, HT. My take on transgenderism is probably similar to but somewhere to the right of Ms. Rowling’s, but I’m constantly amazed that anything less than unbridled enthusiasm for a sexual minority or other lefty cause is always deemed totally unacceptable by zealots. They only accept loving approval. And the approval must be huge and monolithic.
A slightly redacted version of this great comment is included in the latest post. It was too on-point to resist.
If you haven’t already- start the series “All Creatures Great and Small”. We’re three episodes in and the series is ethics lesson after ethics lesson. Some good some bad. I certainly can’t vouch for the rest of the series but it’s certainly promising.
This third episode has some of the more “forceful” lessons yet. Just finished it.
I see I didn’t format the link correctly. It was originally an IMDB link, but here’s one for its actual website:
All Creatures Great and Small
I guess I’ve forgotten who to type a link. Here:
Don’t know why the test worked and none of the others.