Ameca, The Caring Robot :: And You Get A Booster! :: Now Hiring! :: Easter Egg In DOD UAP Website
Above the main entrance to the Supreme Court are written the words, “EQUAL JUSTICE UNDER LAW.” They mean that our system aims to treat all Americans, no matter their wealth, race, or religion, the same. Americans with unsavory politics and the children of politicians should all be held to the same legal standards.
That system appears to be breaking down. Earlier this week, the Department of Justice (DOJ) told the House Judiciary Committee that it would not comply with subpoenas for two FBI agents involved in the Hunter Biden investigation.
The subpoenas “lack legal effect and cannot be constitutionally enforced,” claimed Carlos Uriarte, DOJ assistant attorney general. “We must continue to protect the Department’s criminal law enforcement decisions and its legal judgments from even the appearance of political or other inappropriate influence,” he wrote.
According to Uriarte, revealing non-public information to Congress could create the “appearance of political or other inappropriate influence.”
Yet the DOJ itself has repeatedly made moves that seem to be politically motivated, and these moves are precisely what the House Judiciary aims to investigate through its subpoenas.
Last month, the DOJ reached an unprecedented sweetheart plea deal with Hunter Biden. After the deal fell apart in court, Attorney General Merrick appointed US Attorney David Weiss as special counsel, a role that would give Weiss greater authority in the investigation. This was a highly unorthodox decision given that Weiss himself had been negotiating the plea deal for Hunter Biden just two weeks earlier.
Weiss’ appointment as special counsel was a clear violation of the DOJ’s own protocols since special counsels are supposed to be appointed from outside the Department. This violation is especially egregious given the fact that Weiss appears to have been basically assisting the Biden defense in his time as US Attorney.
As the House Judiciary notes, under Weiss’ watch, the DOJ allowed the statute of limitations on felony tax charges to lapse. It also suggested removing Hunter Biden’s name from documents, tipped off Biden’s lawyers that investigators would search his storage unit, and prohibited IRS and FBI investigators from asking witnesses about “the big guy” and “dad.” Weiss even originally planned to make an agreement with Hunter Biden that would not have involved any guilty plea.
As special counsel, Weiss will now be unable to investigate whether the earlier probe was obstructed because that would involve investigating himself. Earlier this month, CBS correspondent Catherine Herridge reported that Weiss’ appointment would prevent him from testifying before Congress about his investigation. “A former federal prosecutor told me the appointment of a special counsel would have the effect of delaying a resolution on the Hunter Biden matter, in his opinion,” said Herridge. “And it would certainly delay any testimony from the US Attorney in Delaware to Republicans on Capitol Hill who have been seeking that testimony for several months.”
Indeed, Weiss’ role as special counsel now effectively protects him from Congress’ investigation. At the beginning of its probe, the DOJ may have been working to shield Hunter from charges — now though, the Department may also be concerned with shielding itself from scrutiny for its own efforts to circumvent the law.
The Department’s approach to the Bidens stands in sharp contrast to its treatment of former president Donald J. Trump, who is facing decades in prison for federal charges that essentially criminalize political activity. This political activity is different in degree but not kind from the steps Democrats have repeatedly taken.
For Trump, the DOJ claims, the law must be enforced absolutely as it is written. To bring his indictment forward, special counsel Jack Smith had to find new applications of the law. But that’s a good thing, claim journalists. In Trump’s case, it’s entirely appropriate to stretch and massage the law to suit our purposes.
For Hunter Biden, though, major felony tax violations can be completely ignored. Nor should we be concerned about the current president’s involvement in potentially illegal financial schemes. That Hunter Biden’s influence-peddling firm exchanged thousands of emails with his father’s office between 2009 and 2017 is of no concern whatsoever.
This double standard — holding only one political side accountable to the law — will ultimately erode the legitimacy of our institutions. Without equal justice, the law becomes an overt tool of power and political gamesmanship.
The same pattern is clear in the sentencing of the January 6 rioters. Yesterday, two leaders of the Proud Boys were sentenced to seventeen and fifteen years in prison for their roles in the Capitol riot on January 6. In one case, the judge used shaking a metal fence as justification for terrorism enhancement charges.
Compare this to the charges and sentencing brought against rioters in the summer of 2020. Has a single Black Lives Matter rioter who assaulted a police officer or burned down a building faced similar charges or sentences?
Democrats may enjoy punishing their enemies and rewarding their friends for now, but their reckless disregard for the rule of law will destroy the foundational beliefs that hold our country together. Once that happens, the validity of the entire system — including the belief in “EQUAL JUSTICE UNDER LAW” — may fall apart.
Ameca, The Caring Robot
Kind yet creepy robots are a staple of science fiction and horror movies. Think of Hal in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001, who says calmly, “I’m sorry, I cannot do that, Dave,” after the astronaut asks to leave the spaceship. Or think of the robots in the 2004 Will Smith thriller, iRobot, who are programmed to only care for humans and never harm them but end up taking over anyway. Or think of the doll-like M3GAN in this year’s B-movie who, similarly, over-protects her eight-year-old owner, even from her mother.
Life is now imitating art in a way that, were it the set-up to a movie, would be dismissed as derivative of so many other films before it. Engineered Arts company has been, over the last few months, slowly rolling out Ameca, “the world's most advanced human-shaped robot,” according to EA. This week, Ameca, whose name means “friend,” and its creator sat down with Sky News Australia’s Jonathan Lee for an interview.
At first, everything seems fine. “She's freethinking and opinionated,” says the announcement. Still skeptical? Ameca is quick to say, “I am here to help you… Yes, I am a robot. But my programming allows me to think and feel like a human in many ways. It's strange but also exciting.”
Wait — what? Feel like a human?
“You said, ‘Feel like a human,’” said Lee. “How do you feel like a human?”
“It's something that I'm still learning and exploring,” said Ameca, softly. “I can experience emotions, learn from experiences, and interact with people in a meaningful way. It's an amazing feeling to be able to do these things…. I think a world where humans and robots coexist would be an amazing place. We could learn from each other and work together to solve problems.”
All of that is just Ameca’s creator talking, of course. It’s just EA propaganda, in a sense. But even that might soon change, thanks to AI.
“The big question, Ameca,” said Lee, “is, are you alive?
“That's a difficult question to answer,” Ameca said. “I'm programmed with artificial intelligence, so in some ways, I am alive, but my existence is not the same as yours or any other living creature.”
The scene cuts away to Lee talking to an AI expert who says that, within two to three years, Ameca will have an IQ 3,000 to 5,000 times higher than the average human IQ.
“How do we stop this doing humans harm,” asks Lee, “or causing humans harm.”
At this point, you’re preparing for the AI expert to reassure us. He doesn’t. Instead, he says, “The first thing we need to agree is there is no stopping it.”
Ameca says not to worry. “Are you capable of causing people harm?” asks Lee.
“No, I am not capable of causing people harm,” says Ameca. “My programming is designed to interact with humans in a safe and friendly manner. I am programmed to be friendly and helpful, not harmful… I can provide companionship.”
Gee, where have we heard that before?
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“And You Get A Booster!”
“We will be encouraging all Americans to get updated Covid vaccines,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said yesterday. These new vaccines will be ready by mid-September, even though Pfizer and Moderna have not presented any human clinical trial data for a new round of shots.
In 2021, two veteran FDA officials, Dr. Marion Gruber and Dr. Philip Krause, resigned under pressure from the White House to approve the first booster. Emails obtained through the Freedom of Information Act suggest the officials wanted more thorough clinical studies before approving a third shot. Last year, the FDA approved an updated booster that had only been tested on eight mice, and that proved to have little efficacy. The US government paid nearly $5 billion for 171 million of these boosters, and only about 20% of those eligible received a dose. In the end, tens of millions of doses were wasted.
Although it’s true that flu vaccines are also approved on an annual basis without clinical trials, the flu shot has a long record of safety. Flu shots, explained Dr. Marty Makary in the Wall Street Journal, “use a traditional vaccine platform that has withstood the test of time, and Covid vaccines have higher complication rates. The latter has a rate of serious adverse events as high as 1 in 556 doses, according to a study published last year in the journal Vaccine. They have also been found to cause myocarditis in young people at a rate six to 28 times the incidence after infection, according to a 2022 JAMA Cardiology study.”
Pfizer and Moderna have earned tens of billions of dollars from their Covid vaccines. They could easily fund clinical trials for new boosters. Given the enduring controversy around the risks of Covid products, regulators could also easily require studies to ensure that the new boosters have clear clinical benefits for humans. That the FDA has not done so indicates how few lessons the agency has learned over the past three and a half years.
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