I rather like that "throttle," a good old-fashioned strong verb that meant "strangle or kill" before it was an engineering term, has become the word we use to refer to the practice of internet service providers hindering the transmission of pornographic videos, online shoot-em-up games, and HBO reruns. These are all things that deserve to be throttled. Throttle away.
Sunday, December 17, 2017
On Fox News last night, Jesse Watters suggested that there may be an anti-Trump “coup” going on.
Watters brought up the anti-Trump texts from Peter Strzok and another FBI agent, including the “insurance policy” wording, and concluded this is “smoking gun evidence” that agents investigating Trump believed it was their duty to protect the country from him:
Well that's just crazy talk. Ain't it? Ain't it?
So far, AI-powered document discovery tools have had the biggest impact on the field. By training on millions of existing documents, case files, and legal briefs, a machine-learning algorithm can learn to flag the appropriate sources a lawyer needs to craft a case, often more successfully than humans. For example, JPMorgan announced earlier this year that it is using software called Contract Intelligence, or COIN, which can in seconds perform document review tasks that took legal aides 360,000 hours.
This work was extremely boring and soul-crushing. But it was the work of the Snortboggins firm, said the pompous, preening partner. As far as I'm concerned this particular AI advance, and a lot more like it, cannot happen too soon.
Beyond the devastation and personal tragedy of the fires that have ravaged California in recent months, another disaster looms: an alarming uptick in unhealthy air and the sudden release of the carbon dioxide that drives climate change.
Ban private jets.
Victim Found Stuffed in Barrel Stabbed 66 Times, El Cajon Man Denies Connection to Grisly Killing - Times of San Diego
Prosecutors confirmed Thursday that Medina had been stabbed 66 times. Medina’s body was found by a diver on Oct. 12, stuffed inside a 55-gallon drum that was anchored to cinder blocks. Medina, a music producer from Chula Vista, had been reported missing by friends and family who had not seen him since Sept. 30.
Another day in paradise.
The Pentagon, at the direction of Congress, a decade ago quietly set up a multimillion-dollar program to investigate what are popularly known as unidentified flying objects—UFOs.
The “unidentified aerial phenomena” claimed to have been seen by pilots and other military personnel appeared vastly more advanced than those in American or foreign arsenals. In some cases they maneuvered so unusually and so fast that they seemed to defy the laws of physics, according to multiple sources directly involved in or briefed on the effort and a review of unclassified Defense Department and congressional documents.
The truth is out there.
Saturday, December 16, 2017
Asian business owners call it a “kill bill,” referring to a provision that could remove plexiglass barriers.
Kenny’s Seafood and Steak on Wayne Avenue in North Philadelphia has tall plexiglass barriers lined on the inside with beer cans and cigarette boxes and with little if any food for sale.
Friday, December 15, 2017
Senate parliamentarian strikes language allowing churches to endorse candidates from tax bill | TheHill
College ignores judge's rejection of its Title IX procedures, re-tries student with same approach - The College Fix
California’s Pomona College got slapped down in court in October for denying a “fair hearing” to a student accused of sexual misconduct.
Its response? Replace the Title IX investigator, but use the same “evidence” and procedures faulted by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mary Strobel to re-try “John Doe.”
Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) honed in on Matthew Spencer Peterson during a Judiciary Committee hearing for five nominees to the federal district court after the former FEC commissioner raised his hand to admit he’d never tried a case in court. In a five-minute span, Kennedy forced Peterson to stumble through admissions that he’d rarely even taken depositions and never on his own, had no knowledge of basic procedural doctrine or of evidentiary standards used in federal court.
Thursday, December 14, 2017
Talk of the “higher education bubble” has been around for a while, but two news items today make me think it is starting to pop—and remember, bubbles usually don’t pop instantaneously. The housing crash of 2008 was signaled by visibly deteriorating conditions in the summer of 2007. Likewise, the higher ed bubble is going to resemble the old line about how some rich person went bankrupt—first slowly, then all at once.
“I saw a member yesterday with her cleavage so deep it was down to the floor,” Kaptur said, according to the sources present. “And what I’ve seen … it's really an invitation.” The comments left many others in the room stunned, the sources said.
When I was out hiking the hills behind my house years ago I came across a young woman hiking in a bikini, bright red it was. While she was not an unwelcome sight, I thought gosh, she's taking a chance out here, where bad persons are known occasionally to roam, only 15 miles into the USA. But I decided not to say anything. I didn't want to be arrested or worse. She gave me what I subjectively judged to be a sweet but very stupid smile and walked on. It's a free country. I did the same.
Bitcoin. Cryptocurrencies. Smart contracts. Many people have now heard of the rapidly changing ecosystem of financial technology, but few have wrapped their heads around it. Hundreds of central banks and corporations are incubating a game-changing technology called blockchain—and investors are betting billions on it. Yet only 24 percent of global financial services professionals surveyed in 2017 by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) described themselves as “extremely” or “very” familiar with it. Much of the public is unsure if any of this is legal, if they understand it at all. Evangelists say it has the power to upend entire economic systems; others, such as Emin Gün Sirer, a blockchain researcher at Cornell University, warn that while the technical core is “fascinating and disruptive, there's also a lot of hokum out there.” How to parse the nuance—or get a handle on what a blockchain is?
Here's another article on the blockchain. I like the blockchain. I think it's a great idea. I don't see why it won't revolutionize the way money works. I hope it does. It seems like it has the potential to unravel one of the main things holding the state over our heads. It's complicated but not that complicated. Whether it will succeed in the end, I don't know. Some people hold themselves out as knowing better and that could be, but I doubt it. I think the super skinny kid who invented Ethereum is way cool. I say you should go to coindesk and read up on Bitcoin if you're interested.
Johnson drove onto a bridge in a rural area southeast of Louisville, parked and shot himself in front of his car, Sheriff Donnie Tinnell told CNN affiliate WDRB.Billings ruled Johnson's death a suicide on Thursday after an autopsy, Deputy Coroner Clayton Brunson said.
A poor decision it seems to me.
I am being stunning and brave, but I am afraid. With Time Warner cutting off my access to YouTube to show me how to do things, and AT&T won’t let me on Pinterest to learn how to make a cute dish of chicken marsala that is both healthy and delicious. I’m not sure I will make it!
But will any of us? Can any of us make it without YouTube?
God help us all.
A broad coalition of public officials, activists and content producers vowed to hit Control-Alt-Delete on the Federal Communications Commission's vote Thursday to end "net neutrality" rules intended to make sure that all internet traffic is treated equally.
I'm sure there's a political angle on this, but I'm not sure what it is. How does net neutrality support the rise of Google, the Democrat party and the demise of All That We Hold Dear? It must because those are all the people with their hair on fire.
Law360, New York (December 14, 2017, 8:17 PM EST) -- The Chief Judge of the Ninth Circuit on Thursday ordered a judicial misconduct inquiry into U.S. Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski over media reports the judge showed female clerks pornography and committed other acts of sexual misconduct.
At colleges and universities all over the country, students are protesting in increasingly virulent and sometimes violent ways. They demand safe spaces and trigger warnings, shouting down those with whom they disagree. It has become rote for outsiders to claim that the inmates are running the asylum; that this is analogous to Mao’s Red Guard, Germany’s brown shirts, the French Revolution’s Jacobins; and, when those being attacked are politically “left” themselves, that the Left is eating its own. These stories seem to validate every fantasy the Right ever had about the Left.
Evergreen is a special case. But the rest of us are catching up.
Ryan was tiring of D.C. even before reluctantly accepting the speakership. He told his predecessor, John Boehner, that it would be his last job in politics—and that it wasn’t a long-term proposition. In the months following Trump’s victory, he began contemplating the scenarios of his departure. More recently, over closely held conversations with his kitchen cabinet, Ryan’s preference has become clear: He would like to serve through Election Day 2018 and retire ahead of the next Congress. This would give Ryan a final legislative year to chase his second white whale, entitlement reform, while using his unrivaled fundraising prowess to help protect the House majority—all with the benefit of averting an ugly internecine power struggle during election season. Ryan has never loved the job; he oozes aggravation when discussing intraparty debates over “micro-tactics," and friends say he feels like he’s running a daycare center. On a personal level, going home at the end of next year would allow Ryan, who turns 48 next month, to keep promises to family; his three children are in or entering their teenage years, and Ryan, whose father died at 55, wants desperately to live at home with them full time before they begin flying the nest. The best part of this scenario, people close to the speaker emphasize: He wouldn’t have to share the ballot with Trump again in 2020.
Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Common, unenlightened people might think that the arts and sciences are beneficent because they elevate the spirit and lighten the burdens of everyday life. Rousseau, a beneficiary of centuries of human ingenuity, came to tell them that the arts and sciences are dangerous distractions from virtue, which he urged his readers to pursue with single-minded devotion. “Virtue! Sublime science of simple minds . . . . Are not your principles graven on every heart? Need we do more, to learn your laws, than examine ourselves and listen to the voice of conscience?”
Nice essay on current trends in the academy.
The higher likelihood is that the Mueller investigation, despite all the reasonable suspicions about its partisanship, will end up exonerating the president. At this point, it’s anything but clear that investigators who have political points of view have let them infect Mueller’s investigation. The Strzok controversy and other indicia of bias should be aggressively investigated by Congress. But Trump — and the rest of us — would be well advised to wait for the facts before drawing conclusions.
Could be, but I don't think so.
Who ever thought the progressive position on gun violence would be to encourage more of it?
Yet that’s the paradox in Philadelphia, where on Thursday the city council will consider a bill to force owners of hundreds of small corner stores to take down glass partitions that protect their managers and clerks from being robbed and assaulted.
It's just a very direct form of taxation.
The Devil is more intelligent than mere mortals and should never be argued with, Pope Francis has warned.
Satan is not a metaphor or a nebulous concept but a real person armed with dark powers, the Pope said in forthright remarks made during a television interview.
“He is evil, he’s not like mist. He’s not a diffuse thing, he is a person. I’m convinced that one must never converse with Satan - if you do that, you’ll be lost,” he told TV2000, a Catholic channel, gesticulating with his hands to emphasise his point.
I believe in God but (and I know this makes me heretical) I'm not so sure about the Devil. For me there is both the philosophical case for God, whatever today's fashionable atheists and their philosophical backups say, and the subjective, intuitive case. For the Devil, there is definitely the subjective, intuitive case, but I don't know what the philosophical case would be. Of course, there's always revelation. I've not gotten to that yet. But the Devil in the right hands make a way scary character in drama or fiction.
Here’s an example to illustrate what I mean. During Orientation Week in August of 2016, I was out late drinking in Harvard Square with two classmates. The topic switched to the women in our class. Over the drunken hum of the bar’s collective conversation, one guy proposed the “hottest” girls in our class. The other did the same. They both then asked me to rank the girls in our cohort in the order I wanted to get with. My alarmed heart bolted blood to my cheeks. I crossed my arms, unable to speak. “Are we making you uncomfortable?” one asked me. I cannot remember my exact response. But it was not: “Yes. Objectifying women, even though it seems harmless to you, demeans them and creates an environment that makes sexual assault more likely.” Instead, I uncrossed my arms, I shook my head, and yes, I discussed which girls were hot.
At the time, it was easy for me to discard my act of cowardice as inconsequential. The desire to be included made the risk of speaking up too great. During many similar “inconsequential” comments at the pub and locker rooms throughout my life, I know I’ve taken the easy way out.
A president who would all but call Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand a whore is not fit to clean the toilets in the Barack Obama Presidential Library or to shine the shoes of George W. Bush.
This is actually more offensive than many of the comments that get called sexist or homophobic or racist. It assumes there is something inherently demeaning about cleaning toilets or shining shoes. I'm not really kidding about this. Don't you like clean toilets? I have cleaned the occasional toilet. I've also shined shoes. I don't enjoy cleaning toilets but shining shoes is OK, except that I get my hands dirty. These sorts of comments are laborphobic, to coin a term. They are a lot more offensive than your average sexist remark. USA Today should apologize for saying this. I mean it. I'm not kidding. What are we, Brahmans with an elaborate caste system? Will we not touch somebody who has shined a shoe or cleaned a toilet? Science tells us we just have to wash up thoroughly afterwards.
As to Trump, who knows what he meant.
“Congratulations, it’s a boy!” Or, “Congratulations, it’s a girl!”
As a pediatrician for nearly 20 years, that’s how many of my patient relationships began. Our bodies declare our sex.
Biological sex is not assigned. Sex is determined at conception by our DNA and is stamped into every cell of our bodies. Human sexuality is binary. You either have a normal Y chromosome, and develop into a male, or you don’t, and you will develop into a female. There are at least 6,500 genetic differences between men and women. Hormones and surgery cannot change this.
An identity is not biological, it is psychological. It has to do with thinking and feeling. Thoughts and feelings are not biologically hardwired. Our thinking and feeling may be factually right or factually wrong.
I never imagined this would be controversial. I'm going to just stick to it. Maybe I'll be remembered as somebody who stuck to the truth. Wishful thinking, of course.
When men are being their sexual selves, drawn to a woman’s beauty, they’re not exploiting women. They’re responding to them. The women are the fire, drawing a man toward their feminine heat.
This is true even for all those beautiful women who hook up with rich, powerful men—the “arm candy.” I was watching a Premier League soccer match the other day, and the camera focused on one of the rich owners and his wife. He was short, old, and terribly unattractive. She was a foot taller than him, with long blond hair and legs for miles. She was dressed in a fur, and diamonds graced her fingers. She didn’t look miserable at all. In fact, she looked like the cat who ate the canary. One has to ask, who here is actually exploiting whom?
We're probably in for some of this articulation of the obvious.
News stories are portraying the Republican tax bills as favoring the rich, even though the opposite is true. The GOP cuts would make the tax code more progressive, and the largest percentage cuts would go to middle-income households.
The Washington Post pushed another faulty narrative yesterday. The three layers of headlines on the hardcopy front page were, “Trump’s tax vow taking a U-turn—focus shifted away from middle class—GOP plan evolved into a windfall for the wealthy.” The story’s theme was that Trump originally promised middle-class tax cuts, but House and Senate tax bills have morphed into an orgy of tax cuts for corporations and rich people.
Ridiculous. Business tax cuts have been central to Trump’s message since 2015. He proposed slashing business tax rates to 15 percent and the top individual rate to 25 percent. House Republicans proposed in 2016 to cut the corporate rate to 20 percent and the top individual rate to 33 percent. Trump and House Republicans were elected in 2016 promising large business tax cuts and across-the-board individual rate cuts.
As the research moves forward, however, it is raising a series of new questions that both medicine and regulators will need to confront. And the most complex questions arise around exactly the issue that makes the field so exciting: The notion of treating the aging process itself. There’s never been a drug for aging in part because “aging” isn’t considered a disease by the FDA. Should it be? What signs and symptoms of aging is it OK to medicalize? And if a drug were approved for aging – something that every human experiences — who would bear the costs for a pill that potentially could be prescribed for every person alive?
And those aren’t the only questions. It turns out that evaluating the science is also complex, partly because it's hard to measure whether a drug is fundamentally changing the course of human aging. It's also ethically fraught: Aging is a normal human process, so testing a drug for "aging" means that otherwise healthy people would be subjected to its inevitable side effects, for unproven benefit. How long a trial would even be needed? Regulators aren't close to answering this kind of question.
It sounds like it's going to take the regulators a few decades to figure out. In the meantime, we'll have to fly to Costa Rica or somewhere.
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency announced Tuesday the arrest of 101 illegal immigrants, targeting criminal aliens, illegal re-entrants, and immigration violators, and including immigrants convicted of drug- and child-pornography-related offenses.
“I’m not sure that Mitch is presented with anything different than having a 52-vote margin, a 51-vote margin might actually be easier to manage than a 52 vote,” Burr said in an interview when asked if McConnell would be appealing to incoming Democratic Alabama Sen. Doug Jones for a vote on tax reform.
“The reason I originally endorsed Luther Strange (and his numbers went up mightily), is that I said Roy Moore will not be able to win the General Election,” the president said.
“I was right!” he added. “Roy worked hard but the deck was stacked against him!”
The maverick Christian conservative who enjoyed the full-throated supported of Steve Bannon, the slightly-more-tempered endorsement of Donald Trump and the outright antipathy of certain sections of the GOP, has failed in the reddest of red states. So how much should be read into this defeat?
Needless to say - and understandably - most of the attention will fall on the humiliation this represents to Donald Trump, but the bigger loser is his erstwhile White House head of strategy Steve Bannon. Alabama was to be the Petri dish for next November's mid-term elections.
If this is a Bannon comeuppance that's fine with me. But honestly, if the GOP had come with a Roy Moore who didn't hanker after his now infamous semi-parapedipedophical objects (viz., jailbait), does anyone doubt we would now be reading commentary about how Moore's election represented an ultimate crisis of populism? And whatever you say about the groperdammerung, you can hardly say only conservatives are wearing the horny hats and belting out incomprehensible show tunes.
The results of Tuesday’s shocking Alabama Senate special election will likely reverberate far beyond its borders.
Democrats won a Senate seat in Alabama for the first time since 1992, with Democrat Doug Jones narrowly defeating embattled Republican Roy Moore.
The unexpected victory dealt a huge blow to the GOP. President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Democrat slams Donald Trump Jr. for ‘serious case of amnesia’ after testimony Skier Lindsey Vonn: I don’t want to represent Trump at Olympics Poll: 4 in 10 Republicans think senior Trump advisers had improper dealings with Russia MORE, who fully got behind Moore after many Republicans abandoned him following a series of sexual misconduct allegations, will take a hit with Moore’s loss. And Senate Republicans are down another vote amid their efforts to pass tax reform.
I hope this doesn't upset tax reform too much.
Tuesday, December 12, 2017
A hipster holy family? Out-of-the-ordinary Nativities on display at Belleville cathedral | Metro | stltoday.com
BELLEVILLE • “Why does Mary have a coffee in her hands?”
The question comes from an incredulous kindergartner from Notre Dame Academy standing eye-level with one unusual Nativity scene.
“That is our hipster Nativity,” says Monsignor John Myler, rector of the Cathedral of St. Peter in Belleville.
On supervised release, Hastert faces new restrictions on porn, contact with minors - Chicago Tribune
A federal judge on Tuesday ordered tightened restrictions on former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert, including barring him from possessing pornography, using sex chat lines or having any contact with minors except in the presence of an adult who is aware of his sexual abuse of boys decades ago.
Senate Republicans are set to confirm three more of President Donald Trump’s appeals court picks this week, a push that will help set a record for the most such appointments in a president’s first year in office.
The Senate is expected to confirm Steve Grasz for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit, and James Ho and Don Willett for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, over the objections of Democrats who question whether they can be unbiased.
(CNN)Don't doubt it: "Man flu" is real, or so says one Canadian researcher who was "tired of being accused of overreacting."With many respiratory diseases, a man is more susceptible to complications than a woman, plus his immune system may be naturally weaker, according to research published Monday in the BMJ medical journal.