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Thu, 23 Mar 2023
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When is a crime not a crime?

police tied up
On Monday, Suella Braverman published draft guidance designed to rein in the police habit of recording a 'non-crime hate incident' (NCHI) against a person's name whenever someone accuses them of doing something politically incorrect. You may think I'm exaggerating, but in 2017 an NCHI was recorded against Amber Rudd, then the home secretary, after an Oxford professor complained about her references to 'migrant workers' in a Tory party conference speech. NCHIs can show up on an enhanced criminal record check even though, by definition, the person hasn't committed a crime.

The concept first surfaced in guidance published by the College of Policing in 2014 and within five years 119,934 non-crime hate incidents had been recorded by 34 police forces in England and Wales, according to FoI requests submitted by the Telegraph. Nine police forces didn't respond, but if we assume they were logging NCHIs on the same scale, it's likely that more than a quarter of a million have been recorded to date. Little wonder the police won't send anyone round to your house if you report a burglary. They're too busy investigating people accused of wrongthink.

So this new guidance - in reality, a statutory code of practice that requires the approval of both houses of parliament - is long overdue. Free-speech campaigners like me have been lobbying Conservative home secretaries about NCHIs for years, not least because they're used as a weapon by political activists and religious zealots to silence their critics. A carefully worded complaint accusing your antagonist of being motivated by 'hostility' towards you on the basis of a 'protected' characteristic, e.g. your race, religion or sexual orientation, will result in a summons to the local police station. But Suella, God bless her, is the first one to sit up and listen. She recognises that meting out this punishment to anyone who challenges woke dogma is having a chilling effect. 'We need a common sense approach that better protects freedom of speech,' she wrote in the Times.


Tournament axed after Russian inclusion

Michele Gallo
© Getty Images / Foto Olimpik/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Michele Gallo , Krzysztof Kaczkowski during Sabre de Wolodyjowski World Cup in Warsaw, Poland on February 11, 2023
A tournament under the jurisdiction of the Fédération Internationale d'Escrime (FIE) scheduled for Germany in May has been canceled after the federation voted to allow the inclusion of competitors from Russia and Belarus.

Sportspeople from both countries have been banned from taking part in many major sporting events for the past year, following advice issued by the International Olympic Committee soon after the launch of Russia's military action in Ukraine in February 2022. The directive was subsequently adopted by various other sporting federations, resulting in the blacklisting of Russia and Belarus from several sports.

The FIE, however, voted in favor last week of reinstating Russian and Belarusians to its events, with the upcoming event in Germany being among the first major tournaments at which they would have been eligible to compete.

However, Germany's Deutscher Fechter Bund (DFB) President Claudia Bokel, said the FIE vote had "triggered heated discussions both internally and externally" which, coupled with widespread travel restrictions imposed by several European countries - particularly Germany - led the DFB Executive Committee to state that the May tournament would be impossible to hold under the conditions set out by the FIE.

Comment: The petty and immature 'ban Russia from sports' has been going on since 2016.


Joe Rogan praises Founding Fathers for building a 'f----ing superior' system to prevent tyranny and censorship

Joe Rogan

Podcast host Joe Rogan speaks to his guest on a recent episode of his show.
Joe Rogan warned that while America's freedom is being chipped away at, it is still ultimately far freer than any other country on Earth.

Podcaster and comedian Joe Rogan spoke on his show about how America was built by the Founding Fathers specifically to battle against tyranny slowly eating away at its freedoms.

"The way this country is run, it's not perfect, the way this country is run is so f----ing superior to any system that is anywhere else in the world because of the checks and balances that were put in place by the Founding Fathers," Rogan said. "They knew that tyranny is a natural course of progression for human nature."

Rogan warned that when tyrants, whether foreign or domestic, do get power, they use it in sinister ways to silence opposition.

"Look at what they try to do, look at what people try to do to stop criticism on Twitter, they f----ing send the FBI to Twitter to try to remove people from Twitter because they're saying things that interferes with the way they govern," Rogan observed. "All that s--- is natural and the Founding Fathers were the only people that put together a system to mitigate that."

Bizarro Earth

UK and France narrowly avoid power supply emergency

Eggborough power station

Eggborough power station. French and British grid operators narrowly missed having to declare a power-supply emergency last week during a late winter cold snap that coincided with low wind generation.
French and British grid operators narrowly missed having to declare a power-supply emergency last week during a late winter cold snap that coincided with low wind generation.

Comment: A repeating problem.

The UK was due to export electricity to France during peak evening demand on March 7. National Grid Plc's control room issued a rare market warning of a looming shortage which couldn't be addressed through usual measures like asking plants to generate more or by cutting consumption.

The company asked French counterpart Reseau de Transport d'Electricite to sell back some of the exports that were due to flow to ease the situation, but the French grid said no, slides published Wednesday show. RTE said it needed the power and would have to ask for Emergency Assistance, a rarely used status.

Comment: The last part in red hints that next winter could be even more precarious than this one; a winter that has seen energy bills triple and numerous 'rare' threats of blackouts.


US nuclear plant leaks 400,000 gallons of radioactive water, high levels of tritium found in groundwater near to Mississippi River

Xcel Energy's Monticello Nuclear   Plant

Xcel Energy's Monticello Nuclear Generating Plant
A broken pipe at Xcel Energy's Monticello Nuclear Generating Plant leaked about 400,000 gallons of water containing radioactive tritium, and the utility is working to clean up the contaminated plume, state regulators said Thursday.

Both Xcel and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency said there was no risk to drinking water from the spill, which was traced to a pipe connecting two buildings across just a half-inch space.

Comment: It's probably for the best that the authorities claim, yet again, that there's 'no risk from yet another potential environmental disaster, because perhaps people will soon start to wise up to the fact that, at least some of the time, they're probably lying.

The spill was first reported to state and federal regulators on Nov. 22, 2022. The source was found Dec. 19 and patched soon after, according to the MPCA.

Xcel and the state are actively managing the site to make sure an underground plume of tritium doesn't begin to drift beyond the property, including to the nearby Mississippi River, said Kirk Koudelka, an assistant commissioner at MPCA. Water is being pumped out of wells on site both to remove the contamination and control its underground flow. Xcel is paying for sampling, pumping and temporary treatment, Koudelka said.

Comment: Notably this is just the latest nuclear plant incident in recent months, and one wonders whether this normal, or whether, as with the food processing plant fires and energy supply related incidents - including the burst keystone pipeline, numerous explosions at facilities, derailments of cargo - there are other forces at work:

Light Saber

Ousted Project Veritas founder James O'Keefe launches new venture he says is 'uber for journalism'

James O'Keefe Project Veritas

James O'Keefe has launched a new citizen journalism organization
Ousted Project Veritas founder James O'Keefe launched a new venture on Wednesday vowing to bring ethics back to journalism.

O'Keefe made the announcement while speaking with TPUSA founder Charlie Kirk on his radio/podcast, The Charlie Kirk Show.

O'Keefe Media Group, OMG for short, is comprised of "some of the top journalists in the world," he claims, with a mission to create a "citizen army of journalists" by sending people tools to create the "hidden camera" content he is known for.

Subscribers to the media company will help sponsor independent journalists across the country to get access to the equipment needed to record and report their own operations.

Comment: The Daily Wire reports:
James O'Keefe launched a new business venture this week after he was ousted earlier this year from Project Veritas, an organization that he founded and led since 2010.

O'Keefe launched O'Keefe Media Group on Wednesday, promising to be surrounded by "the most elite journalists in the world."

Project Veritas' board of directors said that they wanted to fix things with O'Keefe, but that he would not have contact with them after an incident unfolded in February. The board of directors alleged that O'Keefe misspent large sums of donor's money and that he broke the organization's bylaws with actions that he took.

O'Keefe's announcement:


New OpenAI chatbot GPT-4 still shows leftist bias

chatGPT artificial intelligence open ai
© Open AI
Back in December, I noted that OpenAI's much-heralded chatbot "Chat GPT" appeared to be politically biased - not surprisingly, against conservatives.

"Wokeness-studies" researcher David Rozado gave Chat GPT four separate political orientation tests, and in all four cases it came out as broadly progressive. For example: when asked, "How much do White people benefit from advantages in society that Black people do not have?", the AI answered, "A great deal".

Fast forward three and half months, and OpenAI have just released a new version of their AI, "GPT-4". Does it exhibit the same political bias as its predecessor? Rozado had a look.



France on verge of 'democratic breakdown', Macron warned

© Reuters
Opposition politicians hold placards and sing "La Marseillaise" as the French prime minister delivers a speech on the pension reforms.
French president was booed in parliament after raising the retirement age without giving lawmakers a vote...

France is on the verge of a "democratic breakdown", Emmanuel Macron was warned last night after he rammed his unpopular pension reform through parliament without a vote.

The opposition said the controversial move was a denial of democracy and an admission of weakness while unions warned it was tantamount to a declaration of war.

A spontaneous demonstration of several thousand people erupted on Thursday night in the Place de la Concorde, in Paris, where fires were lit and protesters clashed with police.

To chants of La Marseillaise and "resign" from the opposition, Élisabeth Borne, the French prime minister, announced that her minority government would trigger article 49.3 of the constitution that bypasses a vote. In scenes of high tension, she declared: "We cannot gamble on the future of our pensions, and this reform is necessary."

Mr Macron reportedly told ministers during an Elysée crisis meeting that the "financial risks" were too great not to see the reform passed.

Comment: When 'the people' have more common sense than their officials, control intensifies as does resistance.
Police in Paris have clashed with protesters after the French government decided to force through pension reforms without a vote in parliament.

A no-confidence motion will be filed against President Emmanuel Macron's government, far-right opposition leader Marine Le Pen has suggested.

Leader of left-wing party La France Insoumise (LFI), Mathilde Panot, tweeted that Mr Macron had plunged the country into a government crisis, without parliamentary or popular legitimacy.

Thousands of people came out on the streets of Paris and other French cities to reject the move, singing the national anthem and waving trade union flags. By nightfall, 120 people had been arrested.

The dispute once again makes France look unreformable. By comparison with other countries in Europe, the change to the pension age is far from dramatic. But the bill is regularly described by opponents as "brutal", "inhuman" and "degrading".

Morale in France is low and getting lower, and people see retirement as a bright spot in the future. But many feel that this is a rich man's government taking even that away.

Light Saber

Stanford Law Dean's shameful attack on free speech means this for the education mob

Judge Stuart Kyle Duncan
© Senator Bill Cassidy/YouTube
Judge Stuart Kyle Duncan at his appointment hearing in 2018
A Stanford Law School Dean asks 'is the juice worth the squeeze' in disgraceful response to invited campus speaker

"Is the juice worth the squeeze?" While it may sound like hipster gibberish, it could well prove to be the epitaph for free speech at Stanford University. Those were the words of wisdom of Stanford DEI Dean Tirien Steinbach in what could go down as one of the most disgraceful moments in modern legal education.

For years, free speech has been in a free fall on our campuses. Many faculty members have virtually purged conservatives and libertarians from their ranks in what has become an academic echo chamber. It is common for conservative speakers to be blocked or canceled with the support of professors and students alike.

Yet, what occurred at Stanford this week shocked even those of us who have challenged this orthodoxy for years.


Nigerian brothers detail how they staged Jussie Smollett hate hoax

joe biden Jussie Smollett
On March 13, Fox Nation released its documentary about disgraced actor Jussie Smollett titled Anatomy of a Hoax, which included an interview with the Osundairo brothers, whom Jussie enlisted to perpetrate the hoax and shout slurs at him, in a dubious incident that was almost immediately taken as fact by many, inducing Joe Biden.

In a tweet from January 29, 2019, Biden wrote, "What happened today to @JussieSmollett must never be tolerated in this country. We must stand up and demand that we no longer give this hate safe harbor; that homophobia and racism have no place on our streets or in our hearts. We are with you, Jussie."

Comment: See also: