☕️ AFFINITY ROOMS ☙ Tuesday, November 28, 2023 ☙ C&C NEWS 🦠
What do the Moon, Artificial Intelligence, Vladimir Putin, and the Space Race 2.0 have in common?; jab DNA story has legs; cease-fire holding in Israel; WSJ exposé on new, improved segregation; more.
Good morning, C&C, it’s Tuesday! Your roundup today includes: the bizarre connection between Space Race 2.0, artificial intelligence, the Moon, and Vladimir Putin; another mainstream newspaper covers DNA contamination in the shots; more hostages returned as delicate cease-fire clings to life in Israel-Hamas war; Wall Street Journal exposes the new segregation; and edumuhcation secretary badly mangles big government quote.
🗞 THE C&C ARMY POST 🗞
🪖 Thanks to all the diligent, search-savvy C&C’ers who helped me locate the CDC’s budget figures yesterday. They were not easy to find. Hopefully an interesting post will result. Just imagine how much health we’re getting for our tax dollar investments in Science!
🗞💬 WORLD NEWS AND COMMENTARY 💬🗞
🚀 Sometimes, I think A.I. (artificial intelligence) might actually be a World War III artifact. This next story connects some of those dots. While our A.I. systems are getting more and more woke — and therefore increasingly useless for anything except domestic politics — other countries seem to be taking, um, more practical approaches. Even some formerly Soviet countries (cough) may be preferring reality over political thought control.
A video clip of unknown origin or timing made the rounds yesterday. It shows a group of data scientists presenting something to Russian president Putin. They all appear smugly amused that Google’s neural network identified America’s Moon landing videos and pictures as fakes.
Uh-oh! It was only a matter of time. Mark down another A.I. feature that must now be deleted for political reasons. I would be easy to note the speaker’s passing boast that, “This is what Google’s neural network thinks, not ours.”
“Ours” meaning the Russians’ neural network. I’d bet a high-end seasonal McDonald’s hamburger that the Russians won’t be deleting their A.I.’s ability to detect fake Moon landing videos.
Either way, this whole dustup is just a silly misunderstanding that will soon be cleared up. NASA can easily prove that America really did land on the Moon. And I can’t wait! Putin is going to be so embarrassed when NASA unlocks its space vault and wheels out the original reel-to-reel telemetry data and all the uncut video tapes, which include hundreds of hours of boring stuff that wasn’t interesting enough to make the news, like the entire trip to the Moon. Haha! Let’s see what Google’s neural network thinks about that. Checkmate!
Wait a sec. What’s that? Hang on folks, I’m getting a message from Cape Canaveral. Uh uh. Oh. Really? Alright. I’ll tell them. Um, well, this is a little awkward. Ahem. There’s been a mixup. It seems that, um, NASA may, possibly, have accidentally “misplaced” the original Moon landing data tapes and all the film. Now, the massive space agency only has certain “restored and enhanced” videos, and no telemetry data.
I guess it’s the U.S. government’s word against Google’s neural network.
Come on now. Why would the U.S. government lie about the Moon Landing? Don’t be ridiculous. You’re not going to believe a machine over Joe Biden, are you? Plus, just look at Putin grinning like a chimpanzee. Like he already knew, or something. We can’t let him win, can we?
Postscript: Tragically, I have not made up or exaggerated the story about NASA losing the Moon landing data:
Oh well. Don’t be so critical. It’s hard to keep track of everything. It’s not like the Moon Landing is unique or NASA has the budget to afford mini-storage or anything.
If you’re a Moon Landing supporter, please don’t launch any rhetorical hypersonic missiles at your humble messenger, I’m just reporting some intriguing news about the intersection of A.I. and global politics. Personally, I take no position on the whole Moon Landing Controversy. I wasn’t there. But speaking purely as a lawyer, I wouldn’t enjoy trying to admit NASA’s ‘restored’ videos as evidence in a court case. Just saying.
In related Moon Landing news, back in August, corporate media gleefully reported the spectacular failure of Russia’s 2023 Moon Mission:
Ha. So I guess Google’s neural network doesn’t know everything. It clearly didn’t see that one coming. Probably. Or, on the other hand maybe it said something like: I’m sorry Dave, I can’t land the rocket right now. In Russian though, but I can’t do the dialect.
Even that is not all the recent Moon Landing news. For some reason, everybody wants to get into business with the Moon these days. A UK Observer headline from two days ago even dubbed it the Space Race 2.0, a new and improved model of the Space Race, like the iPhone 15 or Android 6:
Now it’s the Europeans trying to get some Moon action. India, Japan, and China each have recently visited (or crashed into) the Moon. The various official explanations for the simultaneous global interest in wildly-expensive lunar missions don’t make any sense.
Which probably means it is some kind of military objective. Lunar nukes? Moon-mounted DEW laser weapons? Cheese launchers? Let us know what you think in the comments.
💉 Recently in late September, the Australia Spectator ran a story headlined, “Scientists ‘shocked’ and ‘alarmed’ at what’s in the mRNA shots.”
The article described Kevin McKernan’s February discovery of plasmid DNA contamination and SV40 promoter genes in both Pfizer and Moderna’s covid shots, which we’ve discussed at length in prior C&C’s, and quoted the familiar crew of jab-skeptical scientists.
To my knowledge, besides The Epoch Times, this Spectator article is the first wide-circulation story covering the contamination issue. And it was in jab-happy Australia.
The medical-industrial system’s efforts to “debunk” the serious nature of the contamination issue are all falling flat on their lying faces so far. McKernan’s accidental February discovery, which initially appeared only in independent media, still immediately contaminated the shots’ reputation, regardless of whether any scientist is willing or not to admit that in public.
But it is an Undeniable Fact: Billions of people were injected with contaminated DNA.
Regardless of whether the contaminated DNA was or is harmful, or not — and the best the jab defenders have at the moment is the tired old “no evidence” gag — at some point there must be a reckoning. It’s inescapable now.
The Spectator isn’t the New York Times or anything. But it’s one step closer. The persistence of the issue, and the publication of the article, both illustrate how the truth always obstinately trickles out, no matter how big of a disinformation dam the criminals try to build.
🚀 Quite a lot happened — and didn’t happen — in the Israel-Hamas war over the weekend. What happened was a bunch of hostages were released at great cost to Israel. The Times of Israel ran the latest story last night headlined, “9 children, including 3-year-old twins, and 2 mothers released from Hamas captivity.” The most recent trade included 11 kidnapped Israeli women and children exchanged for 33 jailed Palestinian arrestees. It also completed the original four-day cease fire, during which a total of 51 Israeli hostages were returned.
The original deal was to release 50 Israeli hostages. The ‘plus-one’ was a Russian citizen who Russia specifically requested be released.
The Middle-Eastern country of Qatar, where top Hamas leaders live, helped broker various elements of the exchanges over the last several days. Its negotiators are now working to extend the cease-fire. Ominously, for some reason CIA Director Bill Burns in now in Qatar and allegedly working on the cease-fire deal.
I did not know the CIA had a diplomatic function. Or a hostage negotiation function. I do not know what Bill Burns’ qualifications to “help” with this delicate situation could possibly be. Your thoughts are welcome.
Qatar’s current proposed deal involves Hamas returning another twenty hostages in trade for two more days of cease fire, more aid trucks, and more released Palestinian prisoners (at a three-to-one ratio). The Jerusalem Post ran an early story today headlined, Israel receives list of hostages to be released Tuesday, which reports eleven more potential releasee names were offered to Israel’s security services overnight.
The existence of the list of proposed names politically pressures Israel’s government. There is virtually no way they can reject the offer. If and when the trade happens, as seems likely, a total of 67 hostages will have been released since the start of the cease-fire. We pray the cease fire holds and more hostages are returned.
🔥 You won’t believe this next story. Yesterday the Wall Street Journal ran a quiet exposé story headlined, “To Shrink Learning Gap, This District Offers Classes Separated by Race.” They used to call it “segregation” when you separated students by race, and that used to be bad. Literally loathsome.
For years, the school district in Evanston, Illinois — just north of Chicago — has been wrestling with an intractable racial achievement gap. “Our black students are, for lack of a better word…at the bottom. Consistently. Still. And they are being outperformed consistently,” Evanston school board vice president Monique Parsons explained at a recent school board meeting.
At the risk of stating the obvious, vice president Parsons added, “It’s not good.”
A few years back, the Evanston school district discretely decided to try something new down at the high school: they’d become aware of a stealthy new educational program, that has been silently and mysteriously appearing all over the bluest areas of the country like crop circles. And it had appeared in Evanston Independent School District.
The 100% voluntary program is hard to pin down. It is obliquely referenced from place to place using various uninformative labels, of varying degrees of euphemistic excess. In Evanston’s case, they are periphrastically called “affinity classrooms.” But all the programs involve creating core academic programs segregated by student race.
In other words, white kids get white teachers and stay with white kids. Black and latino kids get black teachers and learn alongside only their melanin-comparable peers. Even Steven.
When pressed, educators who support the new segregation claim the segregated classrooms — again, purely voluntary — can improve minority performance, because feelings of inferiority interfere with learning whenever white kids are around. “A lot of times within our education system, black students are expected to conform to a white standard,” explained Dena Luna, an administrator in charge of “black student-achievement initiatives” in Minneapolis Public Schools.
The Journal didn’t seem to be too bullish on the results, but also seemed skittish about directly criticizing the programs, too. The best results the Journal could find were, well, lackluster. A 2017 internal study of a voluntary segregation program in Oakland showed slightly improved attendance for black boys, and slightly improved average GPAs of 2.27, compared with a slightly lower average of 2.14 for black boys in non-segregated classrooms.
But the lethargic results aren’t stopping anything. The new segregation is spreading anyways.
The new segregation comes with lots of bold new euphemisms, like the aforementioned “affinity classrooms” in Illinois. In Minneapolis, they are called capital-B “Black Spaces” where black students don’t have to act like lowercase-w white kids. “In our spaces, you don’t have to shed one ounce of yourself because everything about our space is rooted in Blackness,” Administrator Luna said proudly.
It was not immediately obvious what being “rooted in Blackness” means, exactly, or how algebra that is “rooted in Blackness” might be different from regular algebra.
Unlike many other diversity initiatives, for some reason, they don’t seem to want to talk about this new, improved segregation. The WSJ noted in its article that it tried its best to get comments from Evanston’s high-school district officials, board members, and teachers — who all either declined or ignored the paper’s repeated requests for comment on the district’s affinity courses, over a several month period.
It was like they’d all agreed to keep quiet.
And when a Wall Street Journal reporter tried to attend a public meeting for parents of black students about affinity classrooms, the district’s spokeslady curtly stated she would cancel the meeting unless the reporter left.
When I went to law school, we spent two weeks in my Constitutional Law class on Brown v. Board of Education, the seminal Supreme Court case holding that segregated classrooms are illegal. It is fair to point out that, in Brown, the segregation was mandatory, and hence unconstitutional.
But segregation has a ghastly history in this country, and it is unclear from any of the data cited in the article that the segregated affinity classes produced anything but marginal improvements, which could easily be due to a self-selection bias. In other words, the black kids who are voluntarily choosing affinity classes are more likely to be kids who try harder in general.
The most difficult fact about this story is that 1950’s segregationists would surely now be saying “I told you so.” I don’t know the answer, probably nobody does, but I suspect that achievement gaps are more likely to be related to disciplinary issues.
🔥 Speaking of the deplorable state of our educational system, enjoy this recent clip of Biden’s Education Secretary, Miguel Cardona, accidentally terrifying Governors by unironically and incorrectly quoting President Reagan, who “said, 'We're from the government. We're here to help!'"
Oh boy. What President Reagan actually said was, “the nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the Government, and I'm here to help." Miguel somehow seems to have missed the point.
I blame the public schools.
Have a terrific Tuesday! C&C shall return tomorrow with more.
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