☕️ GOING BLANK ☙ Saturday, February 10, 2024 ☙ C&C NEWS 🦠
Mile High City keeps cutting to pay for border jumpers; mystery fungus breaks out but maybe not dangerous; shady migrant operatives block Congressman; bad news for AI; good news for Florida; and more.
Good morning, C&C, it’s your Saturday Weekend Edition! In today’s roundup: Cloward and Piven strike Denver, which announces cuts to citizen services so it can pay for illegal border jumpers; a fungus among us mysteriously claims young Michigan chef; more fungus strikes Seattle hospital; deadly fungi attack the entire world making a new and improved global health threat; Congressman tries and fails to inspect shady migrant facility outed by James O’Keefe; AI getting dumber as it gets more liberal; Senator Hawley challenges DOJ over Biden incompetence; ironic jab pushing tragedy; great election news for Florida angers Obama judge; and an old Biden hit song has new relevance for this week’s news cycle.
🗞 THE C&C ARMY POST 🗞
🪖 Thanks to everyone for the well-wishes yesterday for Michelle’s birthday, and for putting up with a rushed C&C post with so much going on. She had a great day bookended by a husband-prepared special breakfast and a special dinner with her twin sister and my brother-in-law, who came in from out of town for a special gala birthday weekend visit.
🔥 I would also like to think any number of C&Cers who have notified me that the one-time donation link was broken, and put up with my long delay in fixing it. It turns out that the service, which we were forced to use after I was blacklisted from most processing platforms, has itself finally pulled the plug. The good news is we engaged a whole new, better service. Here is the brand-new link to the One-Time Donation Feature, for folks who want to help but can’t or don’t want to subscribe for whatever reason.
🗞💬 WORLD NEWS AND COMMENTARY 💬🗞
🔥 A number of outlets including CBS reported that — because of Republicans! — the city of Denver is beginning to cut real municipal services in order to support a burgeoning population of illegal migrants in the Mile-High City. (But that does NOT mean we have a border problem, don’t be ridiculous. We have a funding problem.) The new cuts come on the one month anniversary of Denver cutting all city budgets by 10%, across-the-board, back on January 9th.
Well. All budgets except for programs for illegals. Those budgets are increasing. In a somber press conference yesterday, Mayor Mike Johnston shared the bad news with Denver taxpayers. He began by emphasizing the most important thing: this is not his fault. Nor is it illegal border jumpers’ fault either. Mayor Johnston really couldn’t stress this enough — although he tried his hardest — it is the Republicans’ fault, for not federally funding the illegal border jumpers’ care by sending Denver a lot of other cities’ taxpayer dollars.
Mayor Johnston then smuggled his two main points across his presentation’s border, carefully concealed in a basket of bureaucratic buzzwords. First, cuts to long-standing city programs like parks and the DMV require a shared sacrifice. Second, the cuts will be equitable.
What Mayor Johnston was trying to say is the sacrifice will be shared equitably, meaning unevenly. The city plans to mainly cut services to passengers in coach class, meaning taxpayers, before the shared sacrifices equitably reach any citizens who ride Denver in First Class which, for now at least, includes illegal immigrants.
In a wonderful metaphor, among the programs cuts was the city’s annual spring flower planting. There will be no flowers in Denver this year; there is a human crop growing there now.
Don't you dare say the human crop is uglier than the flowers. That’s body shaming. And probably racist.
Democrats voted for Denver to become a sanctuary city in 2017, right after — did Mayor Johnston already mention this? — those wily Republicans somehow tricked them into doing it. But as far as I can tell, unlike New York, Denver has no ‘right to shelter’ law for illegals.
Over the past year, Denver has welcomed with open arms over 40,000 border jumpers, which in military terms is about twelve brigades or forty battalions. Just saying.
💉 What the fungus? The nation is facing an another new outbreak, this time of deadly fungal disease. Sorry, I mean diseases. A simple headline search reveals the disturbing trend. First up, two days ago, the New York Post reported healthy Michigan chef Ian Pritchard, 29, died from a blastomysis fungal infection that turned his lungs into Swiss cheese.
Normally Swiss cheese is a good thing; but you really don’t want your lung looking like that particular dairy delicacy.
The Post, quoting the CDC, reported that in people with weakened immune systems, a blastomysis infection starts in the lungs, after spores get breathed in, and then spreads to the central nervous system, skin, and joints. The fungus is basically found everywhere, living in plants, soil, leaves, and wood, to name a few places.
There is no cure. Four out of five patients can manage by taking chronic antifungals, the others kick the cheese bucket.
The New York Post did not report any particular reason to think Ian had a weakened immune system. But I can think of one. It seems sort of obvious.
💉 Yesterday, the Weather Channel (of all places) ran a story headlined, Dangerous Fungus Outbreak Reported At Seattle Hospital.” I’m not sure what kind of weather was involved. It wasn’t clear from the story.
According to the weather report, CDC officials are “working with” Seattle’s Kindred Hospital to “contain” a four-patient outbreak of drug-resistant Candida auris fungus. The four patients were all infected in the hospital. Unsurprisingly, C. auris primarily spreads in healthcare settings, which is another reason to avoid them, and affects patients with weakened immune systems. Ahem.
The fungal infection is fatal in up to sixty percent of cases.
Although media tried to portray the “outbreak” as a steady increase since 2017 — so don’t worry, nothing to see here! — even though a ‘steady increase’ is not an outbreak, but whatever — cases really jumped starting from the end of 2020:
I can think of something else that started jumping — or jabbing — at the end of 2020. The CDC gave a nod to the obvious link, ambiguously commenting that it believes the recent rise is related to pandemic stress in healthcare settings, like staffing shortages and long stays by covid patients. If that’s true, it should soon go back down, right?
💉 Finally, and my favorite one, MSN ran a story yesterday directly comparing the mushrooming fungal infections to covid, headlined “Health expert shares key differences between deadly fungal disease sweeping the US and Covid-19.”
It’s C. auris again. According to MSN’s story, the C. auris fungus is “sweeping the U.S.,” calling it a “serious global health threat” with — get this — “cases having increased dramatically from 2020-2021.”
Yep. Right on schedule!
A video attached to MSN’s article, reporting on a new Lancet study, claimed there are now six times as many fungal deaths than deaths from malaria, and three times as many as from tuberculosis. But here’s the key, again. An Irish doctor quoted for the story said this; can you spot the dead giveaway?
“It's not healthy people out in the community getting infected. It's people who are on ventilators, central lines, or in ICU. C. auris isn't affecting the general population, just a smaller population who are very sick.
The other difference is how C. auris is spread. The infection is spread much more through contact in healthcare settings rather than through respiratory transmissions. People aren't breathing C. auris in.
Most if not all of C. auris cases have acquired the infection in healthcare settings, too, or have a history in healthcare settings. We're not so worried about people catching C. auris in the gym or at the movie theater or at the grocery store. That could change overtime as it becomes more common, but it's not what we're seeing now.”
Did you catch the common element? Weakened immune systems. It’s a weird thread running between all these increasing rates of previously-rare infections.
But what could be weakening all these folks’ immune systems?
🔥 We can thank James O’Keefe for breaking the story on the shady NGO’s bussing migrants into sketchy, secret facilities that refuse to let reporters in and call the cops on them. Yesterday Wisconsin Representative Tom Tiffany (R-Wi.) — citing O’Keefe’s video — tried for himself to inspect a converted Ramada Inn in Arizona, pursuant to his Congressional oversight authority, but was shut down cold.
And, of course, they called the cops on him. In the video, you can see Congressman Tiffany suggested, several times, he intends to call for public hearings in the Judiciary Committee (at least) and potentially subpoenas. Let’s hope so. Somebody needs to shine a light on these cockroaches. I’m not being racist! I treat all pestilential insects as equals.
🔥 They could’ve just asked me and saved themselves a lot of work. According to an A.I. researcher who monitors the “evolution” of AI chatbots and language models, the services are getting safer but dumber.
Back in October, AI researcher James Zou published a paper on his group’s tests on AI performance over time. To give you the gist, here’s a summary of James’s comments from the video clip linked above:
“These models are changing over time, through feedback from humans and fine tuning. So this actually motivated us to monitor how does the behavior of this generative AI change over time, such as from interacting with users like us?
You might have expected that these models should be getting better and better over time, at least that’s our hope, they should be improving. But maybe the big surprise that we found is that these models are getting better in some of the components. GPT-4 is getting safer over time.
However, the model is also getting worse — substantially worse – in many of the other components. For example, I asked the model to do chain of thought reasoning, which is a common technique. The ability of ChatGPT-4 to do chain of thought reasoning, that seems to have really degraded over time.”
What James meant by “safety” is ensuring the chatbot always answers consistently with liberal values. Think safe spaces for snowflakes. But apparently, increased A.I. ‘safety’ — enforced liberality — is also correlating with a decreasing ability to correctly perform some kinds of logical reasoning.
In other words, the more liberal the AI gets, the dumber it gets.
Hey, don’t shoot the messenger. I’m just following the science.
🔥 Well, YES:
💉 Seen online and presented without comment:
🔥 The Orlando Sentinel ran an uplifting election-law story yesterday headlined, “Federal judge grudgingly rules for DeSantis in elections law challenge.” Grudgingly is one way of putting it.
In 2021, Florida passed a package of election-law reforms designed to prevent cheating. After a legal challenge in 2022, a federal Judge (an Obama appointee) ruled large parts of the new laws were unconstitutional because, to him, they were obviously targeting black folks, because the entire Florida Legislature and Governor DeSantis are obviously racists.
In 2023, a three-judge panel on the 11th Circuit overturned part of Judge Walker’s decision, but allowed other parts to stand, barring elections reforms that to you and me look like commonsense proposals completely unrelated to anybody’s race, but to race-experts are clearly, without a doubt, 100%, invidious racism masquerading as election security reforms.
So then Governor DeSantis appealed the panel’s ruling to the entire 12-judge 11th Circuit. And the whole 11th said, wait a minute, this isn’t right, and sent the case back to the start, to Judge Walker, to certify whether the suing plaintiffs had met a key evidentiary test required to invalidate any law for racism: whether plaintiffs provided real evidence in the record that the law in fact “unduly burdened” their First Amendment and equal-protection rights.
Whoops. Judge Walker was forced to admit that, no, there was no evidence the laws in fact burdened the plaintiffs. So he closed the case, leaving the original law in place. But he was not very happy about it, and grabbed the last word, criticizing his judicial bosses on the 11th Circuit on the way out, who apparently are also racists. I’m not saying Judge Walker sees racists everywhere he looks or anything (he’s a very smart judge), but in this case, well, decide for yourself:
“As this court previously found after a lengthy, two-week bench trial, the state of Florida has, with surgical precision, repeatedly changed Florida’s election code to target whichever modality of voting Florida’s Black voters were using at the time,” Walker wrote. “That was not this court’s opinion — it is a fact established by the record in these cases. Even so, following the state of Florida’s appeal, this persistent and pernicious practice of targeting the modalities of voting most used by Florida’s Black voters has apparently received the stamp of approval in this (11th) Circuit.”
In case you were wondering, by “modalities of voting most used by Florida’s Black voters” I think Judge Walker means voting without showing a driver’s license and using mail-in voting options.
There you go. According to Judge Walker, we are going backwards. Racism now has the official stamp of approval by the 11th Circuit Court of appeals. Cue a federal investigation by the Justice Department. But in the meantime, the package of election security laws is no longer enjoined and is fully in place, right in time for the 2024 election season.
🔥 Finally, in light of Joe Biden’s Hindenburg-like press conference performance two nights ago, with all the attendant discussion of his continuing prospects as a conscious human being, and not a poorly-performing A.I. replica of a president, I thought it was appropriate to haul back out and dust off this old chestnut from 2022. Enjoy the classic hit, “My Mind’s Going Blank Now” by Joseph R. Biden:
Enjoy it. I did.
Have a wonderful weekend! And since you are not an AI chatbot, think logically, and come back here on Monday morning to kick off next week’s terrific line up of Coffee & Covid.
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