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Fri, 24 Mar 2023
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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:


Tech tycoon offers fellow plane passenger $100K to remove her mask, she declines

Steve Kirsch
© Steve Kirsch/Twitter
Silicon Valley businessman Steve Kirsch took to Twitter to say he made the anonymous passenger the offer last Friday.
A tech tycoon has been branded a "creep" after allegedly offering a woman $100,000 to take off her face mask on board a Delta flight.

Steve Kirsch took to Twitter to say he made the anonymous passenger the offer last Friday.

"I am on board a Delta flight right now. The person sitting next to me in first-class refused $100,000 to remove her mask for the entire flight," the millionaire wrote. "No joke. This was after I explained they don't work. She works for a pharma company."

Snakes in Suits

Trump-appointed judge allows DOJ to hide exculpatory evidence from jury in Proud Boys J6 sedition trial

judge timothy kelly
© Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call
Trump-appointed US District Judge Timothy Kelly sided with Attorney General Merrick Garland's DOJ to allow the feds to hide a host of exculpatory evidence from the jury in the Proud Boys January 6th sedition trial after it was mistakenly leaked to the defense by an FBI agent involved in the case.

As I reported last week, unintentionally leaked chat logs from FBI Special Agent Nicole Miller revealed she said she was ordered by her boss to "destroy" "338 items of evidence."
fbi destroys evidence proud boys case

Comment: See also:


Pope Francis weighs in on religious crackdown in Ukraine

pope francis
© Buda Mendes / Getty Images
Pope Francis
The pontiff called for holy sites to be respected after canonical Orthodox Church monks were ordered to leave their Kiev monastery.

Pope Francis has voiced concern over the situation in the Kiev Pechersk Lavra following attempts by the Ukrainian authorities to expel monks from the iconic Orthodox Christian site.

Speaking at the end of a general audience on Wednesday, the pontiff said he was "thinking about the Orthodox monks in the Kiev Lavra."

Comment: See also: