I Wanna Be Like You

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Okay, the online version of this story has the tell-it-straight headline: At Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, Bear Temporarily Shuts Down Portions of Park. And here's the beginning of the story:

A bear sighting at Walt Disney World in Florida on Monday caused the closure of numerous rides and portions of the park until it was captured by authorities.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said the black bear was reported to be in a tree at the Magic Kingdom park in Walt Disney World.

Biologists and law-enforcement officials with the agency captured the adult female bear.

Temporarily closed portions of Magic Kingdom park included Frontierland, Liberty Square and Adventureland. Those areas were reopened later, a Disney spokesperson said.

Ah, but in my print edition yesterday, the headline was:

[Not named Baloo]

If you need a hint why I was amused, a clue is in our Amazon Product du Jour.

Also of note:

  • Just wetting his beak a little. Andy Kessler reveals that New York mob boss Senator "Chuck" Schumer Wants a Cut of AI.

    Sen. Chuck Schumer, who’s never seen a camera he didn’t want to jump in front of, held a closed-door meeting last week on artificial intelligence. What? Closed? To me, it suggests an agenda beyond paving the path to a fantastic future. At the meeting, Elon Musk warned that AI is a “civilization risk.” Mr. Schumer declared, “We can’t be like ostriches and put our heads in the sand.” They sound more like dodo birds.

    One clue to the hidden agenda: Besides Mr. Musk and Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, OpenAI’s CEO and other techies, the attendees included union leaders such as Randi Weingarten of the American Federation of Teachers, Liz Shuler of the AFL-CIO, Meredith Stiehm of the Writers Guild and two tech critics with “Humane” in their company names. Ugh. It looked like the ghosts of economics past had come to spook the spirit of economics future.

    So of course it was held behind closed doors. It was as if the nascent AI companies were called into a meeting with a tough guy named Spike who listens and then says, “You wouldn’t want anything to happen to your nice companies there, would you?” Or as if the union representatives of the horse-drawn-trolley conductors, rail-gauge manufacturers and manure sweepers were sitting in car-design meetings, demanding full employment for their guilds.

    I'm pretty sure Randi Weingarten would be flummoxed if asked to elaborate on Euclid's algorithm. Or even carry it out. She's one of the main reasons American AI development will probably be carried out (if we're lucky) by immigrants.

  • Can't we just lock Hunter Biden up for sheer obnoxiousness? What? That's not actually a crime? Oh well.

    Jacob Sullum notes a downside to a son's legal woes: Hunter Biden's Gun Charges Threaten Firearm Rights and the Right to Trial. And he says that like it's a bad thing.

    The new federal gun charges against Hunter Biden set up a constitutional challenge that will pit him against his father, who has steadfastly defended the firearm regulations that his son violated. Several federal courts have deemed the federal ban on gun possession by illegal drug users inconsistent with the Second Amendment, and the president's son is likely to challenge the case against him on the same grounds.

    The indictment that David Weiss, the U.S. attorney for Delaware, unveiled last Thursday also vividly illustrates the penalty that criminal defendants pay for insisting on their Sixth Amendment right to a trial by jury. And it provides a window into the wildly uneven enforcement of federal gun laws that prescribe draconian penalties for conduct that violates no one's rights.

    Hoist on Dad's petard. That's a switch.

    Sullum, of course, would make the same argument if the political sides were changed from Blue to Red. He's got principles.

  • Well, isn't that… special. Andrew C. McCarthy is scathing: How ‘Special’ Counsel David Weiss Handed Hunter Biden a Second Amendment Defense. (Not a gifted link. I'm running low on those. Subscribe, peon.)

    Many things can be said about the Hunter Biden case. One is that it has been a clinic in bad lawyering. Here, I’ll focus again on the prosecution side: Delaware U.S. attorney David Weiss, the faux special counsel who finally indicted the younger Biden on gun charges last week.

    As we’ve observed, Hunter’s best hope of beating the indictment’s felony gun charges is the originalist-leaning Court’s Second Amendment jurisprudence. This has to be uncomfortable for President Joe Biden, a longtime anti-gun-rights demagogue who stands to be embarrassed as his son attacks the constitutionality of laws he has championed for decades.

    Are there really five votes on the Supreme Court to gut the federal firearms laws? I don’t think so, for reasons I’ll outline in a separate post. For now, though, the point is that the president can thank Weiss for his predicament. If Hunter’s gun case had been competently prosecuted, there would be no Second Amendment issue.

    ACMcC notes the facts of Hunter's case have been well-known for years, before the 2022 SCOTUS decision in Bruen, which might hand Hunter a … I was going to say a "Get Out of Jail Free" card, but it's more like a "Stay Out of Jail, With the Help of an Expensive Legal Team" card. But, in other words, the DOJ had a "slam dunk" against Hunter before that.

  • And now for something completely… local. The town of Somersworth is adjacent to Rollinsford, home of Pun Salad HQ. It's a pretty depressing locale, the downtown full of empty storefronts and blight, held together by the Walmart and strip malls on High Street.

    But there's an upcoming election. Disgraced Dana Hilliard is on his way out of both the mayor's chair and his lucrative position at Somersworth High. And one of the candidates to take his place is kind of a hoot, as reported by the local paper's headline: Mayoral candidate Kitara Maxey says Somersworth 'can be like a bank'. (Which is paywalled, but duplicated at Yahoo! News.)

    My first thought: A bank?! Why not something fun, like a zoo?

    But from the story:

    "I plan on making (Somersworth) the first financially independent city in America," Maxey said. "Rising up to making New Hampshire the first New England state to become financially independent as well. I have big plans of progressive actions and want to share with the world what is happening in the quiet city of Somersworth."

    Maxey's stated goals go beyond the role of local governments. Cities and towns are funded largely with tax dollars and federal and state funding, and they aren't involved with personal financial planning. Maxey was asked to provide specifics on what she means by creating financial independence for the city and residents and how she would do it as mayor. Her response didn't include policy plans. Instead she supplied the following statement:

    "We in Somersworth are determined to ensure no family is left behind. Helping the citizens is number one," she wrote in a prepared statement. "For we the people make up the reason we must provide funding as a city for the projects of economic development and education. By taking progressive action forward in implementing the proper education in financial literacy, each citizen and business will begin to build a strong financial foundation. Once the people can understand the rules of the money game, the tool of money will begin to help re-inspire the citizens. The door of opportunity is wide open when we apply proven strategies that begin to help build a legacy and generational wealth. Properly funded and structured financial vehicles for all citizens from birth to dirt. This will be the beginning of alleviating our debt and stepping forward into becoming a self-insuring city one individual at a time."

    Heck, that's Kamala-level bullshit right there.

    Maxey's LinkedIn is also fun, revealing her self-description as "Leader/Wealth Management/Financial Professional/Entrepreneur/ Marketing/ at World Financial Group (WFG) -Pinnacle Elite".

    Not to cast aspersions on her asparagus, but that company is described here: " depending on who you talk to, World Financial Group -- or WFG -- is either an excellent business opportunity or an outright scam." It is, like Amway, a multi-level marketing scheme, and … well, you decide.

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[Readers of Pun Salad's "Default" feed might find this interesting.]

Last Modified 2024-01-28 3:05 PM EDT