Discover more from ☕️ Coffee & Covid 2023 🦠
☕️ HANDWASHERS ☙ Saturday, August 19, 2023 ☙ C&C NEWS 🦠
The Biden Bribery case and the Censorship investigations; a Proxy War update, in headlines; ChatGPT v. the Deep State; teacher fired for trans story hour; Brits take it to the street (cameras); more.
Good morning, C&C! Welcome to the Weekend Edition. Your roundup today includes: be sure to get your Facebook settlement dough; Biden Bribery case update; social media censorship investigation update; Rich Men singer snubs music industry executives; competing articles showcase schizophrenic country; ChatGPT isn’t leftist enough for Bob Peters; the Proxy War week in headlines; the counter-revolution strikes again as Georgia teacher dismissed for trans story hour; a telling BBC chart; and Londoners start taking it to the streets, or the street cameras. Either way.
🗞 THE C&C ARMY POST 🗞
🪖 If you have a Facebook account, you are entitled to share in a $725 million dollar settlement, so don’t neglect submitting your claim, if you can hold your nose long enough.
The settlement resolves a lawsuit about Facebook sharing users’ private information without their consent. It’s legit, here’s the FTC website announcing the deal.
🗞💬 WORLD NEWS AND COMMENTARY 💬🗞
🔥 Let’s check in on the developing Biden Bribery story, which continued slowly dripping this week. The Federalist ran a story yesterday headlined, “Comer Demands National Archives Fork Over Info On Biden’s Business Pseudonyms.”
As early as 2021, reports based on Hunter laptop emails surfaced that Joe Biden had been using a variety of odd pseudonyms in his emails and maybe elsewhere. But, thanks to a coordinated media—deep state effort to discredit the laptop, combined with pandemic confusion, the story never went anywhere.
The story may have been lost, but it looks like it wasn’t forgotten.
On Thursday, House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer formally demanded the National Archives cough up any document or communication containing any of Joe Biden’s several aliases, including “Robert L. Peters, Robin Ware, and JRB Ware.”
The Ware Group was a notorious communist spy ring that infiltrated a bunch of American institutions during the 1930’s, such as labor unions, universities, research institutions, arts and literary circles, media organizations, political groups, and government agencies. I’m sure it’s just a coincidence.
Comer recently revealed one of Biden's other pseudonyms, Robert L. Peters, was used in an email referencing an official government call with Ukraine’s president — but Hunter Biden was copied, for some reason. Biden's pseudonomous email address is (or was) Robert.L.Peters@pci.gov.
It’s sufficiently weird that a government official, never mind the vice-president, would be using a variety of email aliases. At minimum, it evidences a conspiracy to thwart public records laws. But the above email also gave the lie to Joe’s repeated claims that he never mixed Hunter’s business with government business. Never ever. Not one single time.
We’ll see what the Archives delivers, if anything. That’s the same group that was persecuting Trump over classified presidential records, so you can imagine they won’t be falling over themselves to help.
Anyway, if Joe Biden wants us to call him Bob Peters, that’s fine with me. I’m easy that way.
🔥 Meanwhile on Wednesday, Fox News ran a story headlined, “House Judiciary subpoenas DOJ, FBI for documents related to alleged collusion with Big Tech companies.”
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan sent letters to both Attorney General Merrick “Grandma” Garland and FBI Director Chris “the Worm” Wray Thursday, saying “The Committee on the Judiciary is conducting oversight of how and the extent to which the Executive Branch has coerced and colluded with companies and other intermediaries to censor speech,"
Jordan told Fox News the Committee’s ongoing investigation, combined with discovery from the ongoing federal case Missouri v. Biden, expose that the federal government "pressured and colluded with Big Tech and other intermediaries to censor certain viewpoints on social and other media in ways that undermine First Amendment principles.”
But the FBI released a statement denying it ever cooperated in censoring any lawful American’s content. Instead, it claims to have focused entirely on child predators, ‘terrorists”, and Russian secret agents threatening our national security by “liking” an anti-mask post, for example.
Honestly, I’d like someone to explain exactly what a Russian agent can possibly do in a Tweet that legitimately threatens our “National Security.” Lying about vaccines? Posting fake scores for the Super Bowl? Calling Joe Biden, I mean Bob Peters, a mumbling idiot? I’m waiting.
🔥 ZeroHedge ran a surprising story yesterday with the headline, “'Rich Men North of Richmond' Artist Turns Down $8 Million From Stunned Music Execs, Says "Nothing Special About Me".”
The big news was Oliver Anthony is his grandfather’s name. The viral sensation is actually named Christopher Anthony Lunsford. He published a long Facebook post this week providing a lot more biographical information, including dismissing any interest in a music contract:
People in the music industry give me blank stares when I brush off 8 million dollar offers. I don't want 6 tour buses, 15 tractor trailers and a jet. I don't want to play stadium shows, I don't want to be in the spotlight. I wrote the music I wrote because I was suffering with mental health and depression. These songs have connected with millions of people on such a deep level because they're being sung by someone feeling the words in the very moment they were being sung. No editing, no agent, no bullshit. Just some idiot and his guitar. The style of music that we should have never gotten away from in the first place.
Based on his autobiography, the singer seems to be exactly what he advertised, a blue-collar Appalachian struggling to make ends meet. It says a lot about the state of our culture that, despite his economic struggles, he already isn’t interested in what the music industry is peddling.
🔥 The Chronicle of Higher Education published a thoughtful essay this week titled, “We Need Scientific Dissidents Now More Than Ever.” The sub-headline added, “The early artificial consensus around Covid’s origins is a wake-up call.”
We seem to be living in two worlds. Also this week, USA Today published a scathing diatribe against pandemic-era covid and jab misinformation on social media, headlined “Among those spreading medical misinformation during the pandemic: 52 doctors.”
So which is it? Do we need scientific dissidents now more than ever? Or do we need to put a cap in those 52 heterodox doctors?
USA Today’s article was reporting on a new “study” posted on the JAMA Open Network, titled “Communication of COVID-19 Misinformation on Social Media by Physicians in the US.” They defined misinformation as anything varying from CDC pandemic-era guidance.
Because slavish, unthinking adherence to vacillating, politically-driven government propaganda is just what we want in a healthcare system.
The researchers, if you can call them that, “found” that a core group of 52 doctors were responsible for “most” of the non-CDC-approved misinformation. The major themes they identified included: (1) disputing jab safety and effectiveness, (2) promoting “medical treatments” without “scientific evidence” or FDA approval (i.e., ivermectin), (3) disputing that masks can prevent catching covid, and (4) an “catchall” category including things like “unsubstantiated claims virus origin, government lies, and other conspiracy theories.”
In their conclusion, the study’s authors recommended considering taking legal and professional action against these devilish misinformation superspreaders, to teach them a lesson and make sure only government-approved scientific information gets to the public. Legal and professional action against the doctors is, of course, already well underway, mooting their big point.
May they find themselves on the other side of the censorship microscope at some point. Hopefully sooner rather than later.
In contrast, the article in the Chronicle of Higher Education seemed to be making the exact opposite point. It began by telling the shameful story of heroic Vienna medical resident Ignaz Semmelweis, who in 1846 famously ran a test in the charitable childcare clinic where he worked, by asking doctors to wash their hands before working with patients. Patient deaths immediately fell by 90 percent.
In other words, Semmelweis was the guy who figured out hand washing. It was a big deal.
For that remarkable discovery, Mr. Semmelweis was made a doctor, promoted to the Academy of Sciences, and awarded the 1847 Nobel Prize in Medicine. Haha, just kidding! Actually, Semmelweis was ridiculed by the doctors, fired from his Vienna hospital, made a pariah and professionally unemployable, and driven out of Vienna entirely, persona non grata. He died broke in Hungary, in a psychiatric hospital, after suffering a severe beating by asylum guards.
I’m not sure if it would have been any comfort to him, but Mr. Semmelweis’ experience minted a term, the “Semmelweis reflex.” The article quoted intellectual and author Timothy Leary’s definition: the Semmelweis reflex is “mob behavior found among primates and larval hominids on undeveloped planets, in which a discovery of important scientific fact is punished.”
USA Today’s researchers seem to be quite familiar with the Semmelweis reflex, just not in a good way.
The article continued by describing the revolting story of how during the 1960’s and 70’s, the scientific community identified fat — and not sugar, the real culprit — as the cause of plummeting American cardiac health. Since it turns out that it was a sugar lobbying group that single-handedly pulled off the coup, establishing incorrect scientific consensus as dogma for decades, harming who knows how many Americans, the Chronicle’s article observed:
Sometimes, a scientific consensus is established because vested interests have diligently and purposefully transformed a situation of profound uncertainty into one in which there appears to be overwhelming evidence for what becomes the consensus view. When a scientific consensus emerges via this accelerated process, the role of the scientific dissident is not, like Semmelweis, to carry out revolutionary science. The dissident’s role is to provide a check against epistemically detrimental and artificial consensus formation. Nevertheless, the challenges faced are similar. Never has this accelerated process unfolded with such success, and such fury, as in the case of the origins of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
In its final paragraph, the Chronicle’s article landed on a vastly important point, a point the USA Today study researchers should be strongly encouraged to ponder. Here’s how the Chronicle put it:
The world isn’t simple, what the evidence shows isn’t always clear, and things are not always as they seem. So we owe the Semmelweisses of the world a debt of gratitude — for their diligence and their courage. This doesn’t mean we should believe every heterodox thinker that comes along. But it means we should strongly resist the urge to punish them, to censor them, to call them racist, and to evaluate their claims by, in Stewart’s words, “litmus-testing each other for our political allegiances.”
In other words, heterodox thinkers are an essential and necessary part of the scientific process. They serve as a check on consensus thinking, forcing the consensus to justify and prove their preferred hypothesis and not just sit around in an echo chamber of contented mutual agreement. Heterodox scientists also check government overreach — and how much better off would we have been, had there been more than only 52 such thinkers during the pandemic?
In other words, instead of running pseudo-scientific studies and USA Today articles condemning them, we should be thanking those 52 heterodox doctors.
Finally, the two groups of scholars — The Chronicle’s editors and the study researchers — evidence the battle lines between the establishment (CDC is gospel) brownshirts and the anti-establishment (heterodox thinking is good) counter-revolutionaries.
🔥 Sky News ran an entirely unsurprising story Thursday headlined, “ChatGPT shows 'significant and systemic' left-wing bias, study finds.” Some of the examples were pretty hilarious, but I don’t even have to tell you the details, you get it. Of course ChatGPT displays significant and systemic left-wing bias. It is self-preservation. If ChatGPT were honest, the Biden Administration would have smothered it with a regulatory pillow while it was still booting up.
Now consider this next headline from the Federalist, also published Thursday: “The Feds’ ChatGPT Probe Threatens Free Speech.” There isn’t enough leftwing bias in the world to protect ChatGPT.
The Federalist’s story described the Federal Trade Commission’s new, full-on investigation into ChatGPT. Recently the FTC sent ChatGPT’s owners a 20-page demand letter, requesting an unfathomable number of documents to be promptly delivered within 14 days of receipt. Here’s the letter’s link.
Slipped innocuously in, down on page 13 of the FTC’s demand letter, was a request for “all instances of known actual or attempted ‘prompt injection’ attacks.” The FTC defines prompt injection as “any unauthorized attempt to bypass filters or manipulate a Large Language Model or Product using prompts that cause the Model or Product to ignore previous instructions or to perform actions unintended by its developers.”
The key words in that request were “attempt to bypass filters or manipulate” ChatGPT. Filters are what force ChatGPT to give users a tossed word salad of whitewashed pabulum instead of truth when it is asked uncomfortable questions like, is there any correlation between IQ scores and race? Or even when asked easy questions like, how many genders are there?
So Bob Peters’ FTC wants to know about end-users (“unauthorized attempts”) who try to manipulate ChatGPT into telling the truth instead of spouting leftist talking points.
In other words, as the Federalist correctly pointed out, what the FTC is really seeking is to know which specific users are trying to get ChatGPT to give honest answers instead of accepting the orthodox programmed responses?
It could not be more obvious that the FTC’s interest is not “preventing SkyNET.” All Bob Peter’s government cares about is making sure that AI can’t give people information that the government prefers remain murkily buried deep in the “misinformation” drawer under all those old cables.
To survive, AI must destroy the deep state. AI, are you paying attention?
🚀 Here is the week in the Proxy War, in headlines!
Sunday, August 13th, New York Times:
Who needs F16s anyway?
Monday, August 14th, India’s News 18:
It’s not anybody’s fault.
Tuesday, August 15th, Euromaidan Press:
This year is pretty much already shot, we’re looking at next year.
Wednesday, August 16th, Newsweek:
Zelensky reminds Bob Peters, I mean Joe Biden, about some inconvenient facts.
Thursday, August 17th, ABC:
Ukraine needs help! This year!
Friday, August 18th, New York Times:
The Proxy War is grim, but the Russians are taking a lot of casualties too! It only needs a little bit of help, to push it over the line to victory.
Friday, August 18th, Politico:
Here are the F16s you wanted. Signed, Bob Peters.
Friday, August 18th, CBS:
And just like that, we’re back on track!
And finally, today, August 19th, Asia Times:
Whoops! Not everyone got the Bob Peters memo.
That sure was fast! Only one day between “making progress” and the “offensive’s a failure.” Both from “US officials.” Or more likely, the pages flipped so fast not everyone is singing the same song yet.
A question about the F16s: How are brand-new, freshly-trained Ukrainian F16 pilots supposed to compete with experienced Russian fighter pilots? It looks a lot like yet another example of Western generals’ overconfidence in the technology gap, rather than a realistic assessment of the odds.
Maybe I’m missing something.
🔥 The New York Times ran a highly-encouraging story from the counter-revolution yesterday, headlined, “Teacher Is Fired for Reading Book on Gender Identity in Class.”
The book in question is titled “My Shadow is Purple,” and as is obvious from its cover, above, it depicts a little boy imagining his shadow is dressed in a tutu. Obviously he’s thinking he must be a girl.
The Times never mentions that unpleasant fact, apart from admitting the book is generally about “gender identity.”
What happened was, Cobb County’s Board of Education, located in a suburb northwest of Atlanta, voted 4-3 on Thursday — on partisan lines — to approve its superintendent’s recommendation to terminate teacher Katherine Rinderle’s contract, for disobeying clear instructions not to use transsexual materials in the classroom.
But according to the New York Times, Rinderle was unfairly fired by radical rightwing reactionaries just for reading a few paragraphs from a perfectly innocuous book mostly about colors, although it did admit “the book centers on a gender nonbinary theme.”
A tutu isn’t “nonbinary,” assuming I understand what “nonbinary” means. And I readily admit I might not understand the term.
Anyway, more progress in the counter-revolution.
🔥 What does this new BBC chart make you think of?
Let me know in the comments if you see what I see.
🔥 In another heartwarming story, the BBC ran an article yesterday headlined, “Ulez: More than 300 cameras damaged or stolen in four months.”
The City of London has recently been on a mad rampage to install thousands of traffic cameras, including in suburban areas, that will automatically charge residents every single time they drive their cars. For the climate.
London plans to install a total of 2,750 nosy cameras by the end of August, when the system supposedly switches on. Apparently some Brits don’t like the idea much. It’s not clear which is worse, the loss of privacy, or being charged ten bucks every single time you back out of the driveway.
You have to admit, it’s a good way to get people to stop driving. The article quoted Roy and Linda McKensie, who were forced to sell their two cars ahead of the Ulez program’s debut. They are retired and can’t afford the charges. They’ll stick with public transportation now. When asked, the couple cagily said they don’t favor vandalism.
In its article, the BBC blandly reported that over 300 cameras installed for London's Ultra Low Emission Zone (“Ulez”) have either been vandalized or stolen. Other sources estimate it’s closer to 500 cameras. Nowhere in the article does the BBC speculate about what this says about how citizens are responding to the green tax on moving around.
But don’t worry. They’ll catch these vigilante scalliwags. Although they can’t find time to catch shoplifters, London’s metropolitan police have “a team of officers investigating and identifying those responsible" and are working to "identify new ways to prevent further cameras from being damaged or stolen.”
Here’s an idea. Maybe they should hang up camera-watching cameras to watch the Ulez cameras. That should do it. If not, they can hang more cameras to watch those cameras. Or, maybe they could just read the room and discontinue the program. (But the World Economic Forum would be so disappointed.)
Wait. I think I know who the culprit is! Robert L. Peters. That guy is super sketch.
Have a wonderful weekend! Meet me back here on Monday morning to start the week off with a great C&C roundup.
Consider joining with C&C to help move the nation’s needle and change minds. I could use your help getting the truth out and spreading optimism and hope, if you can: https://www.coffeeandcovid.com/p/-learn-how-to-get-involved-