Wednesday, September 18, 2019
English speakers know that their language is odd. So do people saddled with learning it non-natively. The oddity that we all perceive most readily is its spelling, which is indeed a nightmare. In countries where English isn’t spoken, there is no such thing as a ‘spelling bee’ competition. For a normal language, spelling at least pretends a basic correspondence to the way people pronounce the words. But English is not normal.
But English is a fascinating language.
Trump announced the move Wednesday, saying the decision was made “in order to produce far less expensive cars for the consumer,” while making cars safer at the same time.
Massive Semen Explosion after Blaze Hits Bull Artificial Insemination Facility, Firefighters Forced to Dodge 'Projectiles'
"The liquid inside the cylinders was rapidly expanding and essentially the lids of the cryogenic cylinders were just popping off the top and projectiles were being thrown from the building," he told ABC.
"So firefighters went into a defensive mode initially to protect themselves, because there were also LPG cylinders at the neighboring property, and they did a magnificent job."
Since President Trump took office, the Republican majority in the Senate has confirmed: 2 Supreme Court Justices (including Colorado’s Justice Neil Gorsuch); 43 circuit judges (including Colorado’s Allison Eid); 99 district judges (including Colorado’s Daniel Domenico). That’s more than 140 judges with life tenure whose conservative jurisprudence will shape the American judiciary for decades, well into the lives of my children and grandchildren.
For perspective, in 8 years, President Obama confirmed 2 Supreme Court Justices, 49 circuit judges, and 268 district court judges. President Bush confirmed 2 Supreme Court Justices, 61 circuit judges, and 261 district court judges. President Clinton confirmed 2 Supreme Court Justices, 62 circuit judges, and 305 district court judges.
Not even 2.5 years in, President Trump has confirmed the same number of Supreme Court Justices, nearly 90% of the circuit court judges, and more than 1/3 of the district court judges that President Obama confirmed in his full 8 years. A president’s ability to influence our nation’s jurisprudence through selecting the right judges is powerful.
A head device that zaps the brain with electromagnetic waves appears to have reversed the effects of Alzheimer's in a trial.
Eight patients with mild or moderate forms of the brain-destroying disorder took part in experimental transcranial electromagnetic treatment (TEMT).
It involved them wearing a skullcap of magnets which sent electric pulses to break down build-ups of proteins known to stop nerve cells working properly.
Seven of the patients showed a 'highly significant improvement' in tests of their memory, language, attention, behaviour and moods.
Where do I sign up?
SAN FRANCISCO — A California appeals court has ruled that a transgender man can sue a Catholic hospital for cancelling his hysterectomy.
The Sacramento Bee reports Wednesday that the decision by the 1st District Court of Appeal overturns a lower court ruling dismissing the discrimination lawsuit.
Inside Trump’s immigration tent courts: Controversial system meant to fast-track asylum backlog | Fox News
LAREDO, Texas -- The white tents that sit here on the very edge of the U.S border, with Mexico a literal stone’s throw away, represent one of the jewels in the crown of the Trump administration’s recent efforts to get a grip on the immigration crisis.
They are the temporary courtrooms set up as part of the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) -- known colloquially as the “Remain in Mexico” policy. That policy, established earlier this year, involves sending migrants who are trying to claim asylum back to Mexico during their proceedings -- instead of releasing them into the U.S. while their cases are heard.
Artificial intelligence technology is proliferating fast across the world and is being deployed in applications from speech recognition to deepfake videos and monitoring traffic congestion. It’s also increasingly being used to monitor and track citizens, according to a new report.
At least 75 out of 176 nations surveyed globally are actively using AI technologies for surveillance purposes, according to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. These include facial recognition systems, smart policing tools, and the establishment of safe city platforms. The leading vendors of these systems globally are Chinese firms, led by Huawei, which has supplied these technologies to at least 50 states worldwide.
Butler tried going back in for Zippy, but the fire had grown too large, too fast.
"The floor in the living room was all on fire so there was nowhere for him to run out. Even if the smoke was this high. He was a short little dog. There was nowhere for him to go," said Butler.
All Butler could do was wait for the flames to be extinguished. By the time firefighters found Zippy, it was too late. The smoke had gotten to him.
Alaska swimsuit scandal: Decision to disqualify Dimond High School swimmer over her "suit wedgie" is overturned - CBS News
"This young lady and her sisters are being targeted not for the way they wear their suits but for the way those suits fit their curvier, fuller figured bodies," the coach wrote in her blog post. "It is only these girls with their darker skin and unique bodies who have been targeted."
The Supreme Court may have to weigh in on this one.
NEW YORK (AP) — The number and rate of abortions across the United States have plunged to their lowest levels since the procedure became legal nationwide in 1973, according to new figures released Wednesday.
The report from the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that supports abortion rights, counted 862,000 abortions in the U.S. in 2017. That’s down from 926,000 tallied in the group’s previous report for 2014, and from just over 1 million counted for 2011.
Bad news for the baby parts industry.
It took three overdoses for police in West Hollywood to finally arrest Ed Buck — and perhaps only because the third survived. The prominent Democratic donor had been suspected of foul play in two earlier deaths in his home, but police had been reluctant to arrest him after he claimed the men injected themselves. Buck’s luck may have run out now, although so far he’s not been charged for the earlier deaths.
It was a freak show all the way through, with Lewandowski mocking failed 2020 candidate Eric Swalwell at one point by calling him “President Swalwell,” goofing on Sheila Jackson Lee for ranting instead of asking questions, and playing dumb when questioned by Jerry Nadler by asking for a copy of the Mueller Report to refresh his memory about what he told the Special Counsel.
I watched PBS News Hour on Corey's testimony. Hee-larious! He seems as dumb as bag of hammers, but gosh darnnit, he's a fighter!
Los Angeles will seek to overturn 'Boise ruling' which prevents public officials from sanctioning the homeless
On Tuesday, the supervisors voted to direct lawyers for Los Angeles County to draft an amicus brief, urging the U.S. Supreme Court to take up a challenge to Martin vs. City of Boise. The case, decided by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals last September, found that arresting or otherwise punishing homeless people for sleeping on the sidewalk when there are not enough shelter beds or housing was unconstitutional.
Supervisor Kathryn Barger, who authored the county’s motion, said the ruling had “tied our hands” and made serving homeless people more difficult.
“We are grappling with a problem of unprecedented scale,” she said of the nearly 60,000 homeless people in Los Angeles County, many of them living outdoors. “Now, more than ever, it is critical that we have access to every tool at our disposal to combat homelessness.”
Boise! In the news!
Tuesday, September 17, 2019
The San Diego Union-Tribune says the lawsuit filed Friday in Texas by Petty Officer 1st Class Edward Gallagher claims his case was not defended properly. The filing says attorneys Colby Vokey and Phillip Stackhouse, along with United American Patriots, attempted to delay the case in an effort to maximize fundraising for the nonprofit.
A growing number of countries are following China’s lead in deploying artificial intelligence to track citizens, according to a research group’s report published Tuesday.
The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace says at least 75 countries are actively using AI tools such as facial recognition for surveillance.
The index of countries where some form of AI surveillance is used includes liberal democracies such as the United States and France as well as more autocratic regimes.
Those darn countries.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg first wrote about his conception of a new body to govern the company in November of 2018 as Facebook faced mounting scrutiny over its privacy and content moderation practices. Conservative lawmakers have accused Facebook and other tech platforms of displaying ideological bias in its content removal practices. In December, The New York Times reported that Facebook’s content moderators relied on inaccurate and outdated guidelines to approve and reject flagged posts.
Sounds like BS to me.
The Trump administration is poised to revoke California's authority to set auto mileage standards, asserting that only the federal government has the power to regulate greenhouse gas emissions and fuel economy.
Conservative and free-market groups have been asked to attend a formal announcement of the rollback set for Wednesday afternoon at Environmental Protection Agency headquarters in Washington.
I may have to break the old Suburban out of mothballs.
The Russian president's comments were clearly aimed more at Washington than at Riyadh, and both Rouhani and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif took visible delight in the trolling of the blustery American president, laughing heartily as Putin spoke with a devious glint in his eye.
Twenty-four years after its end, The Far Side appears set for a surprising return.
A just-launched official site for Gary Larson’s often anthropomorphic, always surreal one-panel comic strip was recently updated with a new cartoon showing a man with a blowtorch thawing out various animals and human characters who populated the series. Underneath was the message “Uncommon, unreal, and (soon-to-be) unfrozen. A new online era of The Far Side is coming!”
New York Times reporters Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly told a liberal TV host that their editors at the newspaper were to blame for the failure to include the most important detail in their story announcing a supposedly new misconduct allegation against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. That key detail was that the alleged victim had never made a claim against Kavanaugh and had told several friends she could recall no such incident as described by the reporters. But audio evidence shows they went out of their way to leave the key detail out of a lengthy interview about the book that they recorded last Thursday.
This is the most radical attack on the judiciary in decades. These aren’t crank voices like those posting “Impeach Earl Warren ” billboards in the 1950s. This campaign is led by the power center of the Democratic Party, including Members of the Judiciary Committee such as Ms. Harris who vet judicial nominations. Their attack on a core democratic institution is exactly what they claim President Trump is doing, but Mr. Trump is mostly bluster.
It's indeed pretty shocking. Not surprising though.
Monday, September 16, 2019
NYTimes Does it Again: Omits The Fact that Kavanaugh's Accuser Was Clinton's Defense Attorney - Sara A. Carter
In a major twist, NYTimes editorial was pressured to make a correction to it’s bombshell story about Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, that the “alleged victim said she did not recall the purported sexual assault in question at all.”
Editors’ Note says: “An earlier version of this article, which was adapted from a forthcoming book, did not include one element of the book’s account regarding an assertion by a Yale classmate that friends of Brett Kavanaugh pushed his penis into the hand of a female student at a drunken dorm party. The book reports that the female student declined to be interviewed and friends say that she does not recall the incident. That information has been added to the article.”
But NYTimes editors also omitted another important detail, that Max Stier, the accuser who “saw Mr. Kavanaugh with his pants down at a different drunken dorm party, where friends pushed his penis into the hand of a female student,” worked as a Clinton defense attorney, or Stier’s legal battles with Kavanaugh during the Whitewater investigation.
Hong Kong University is another story; a hotbed of protest, some of it enlightened, where the golden hit in humanities is to analyze China as a “perfect dictatorship” where the CCP did nothing but ratchet up crude nationalism, militarism and “aggression,” in propaganda and in dealing with the rest of Asia.
As we reach Central, the Hong Kong matrix of hyper turbo-capitalism, “protests” dissolve as an unwashed-masses, bad-for-business, dirty word, dismissed at the restaurants of the old, staid Mandarin and the glitzier Mandarin Oriental, the Norman Foster/IM Pei headquarters of HSBC and Bank of China, the headquarters of JP Morgan – with a swanky Armani outlet downstairs – or at the ultra-exclusive China Club, a favorite of old Shanghai money.
It sounds like HK is really weird right now.
Sunday, September 15, 2019
Trump is an unusual president in that he comes from the world of celebrity and entertainment rather than from the world of politics or the military, but he is not Adolf Hitler, a white nationalist, or the second coming of Theodore Bilbo, and political rivalry with him is nothing like resistance to the Third Reich — it is only ordinary partisan opposition dressed up with excessive self-regard.
A good old-fashioned rant. But no one who is Democrat primary voter is listening.
At the Democratic-primary debate in Houston last night, Beto O’Rourke formally killed off one of the gun-control movement’s favorite taunts: The famous “Nobody is coming for your guns, wingnut.” Asked bluntly whether he was proposing confiscation, O’Rourke abandoned the disingenuous euphemisms that have hitherto marked his descent into extremism, and confirmed as plainly as can be that he was. “Hell yes,” he said, “we’re going to take your AR-15.”
This has already been said, but there are lots of areas where such a law would be simply unenforceable, as prohibition was, only worse.
Even without extraterrestrial dandruff to analyze, the field of astrobiology, the study of life outside Earth, has been invigorated recently by some provocative findings released over the past 20 months. Researchers have been poring over recently declassified videos shot by U.S. Navy pilots over the East Coast in 2015, showing mysterious flying objects that behave like no known aircraft. Thanks to newly updated radar systems in Navy jets, the videos have aided scientists by providing “testability” and previously unknown metrics about UFOs. “We now know they fly between Mach 5 and Mach 20 — five to 20 times the speed of sound,” Kaku said. “We know they zigzag so fast that any pilot would be crushed by centrifugal force. That they have no exhaust that we can see.” The explanations usually invoked for UFO sightings — meteors, weather balloons, even the planet Venus — can’t explain these live-action high-precision shots, said Kaku, leading to either of two possible conclusions: They are of human origin, representing a technology so cutting-edge that even leading scientists are puzzled by it. Or, he said, “maybe they are evidence of an advanced outer space civilization.”
It would explain a lot.
New sexual misconduct allegation is leveled against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh | Daily Mail Online
One of Brett Kavanaugh's male classmates at Yale has alleged he saw friends of the Supreme Court Justice push his penis into the hand of a female student at a drunken party in the 1980s.
A New York Times article details an account by classmate Max Stier who says he saw Kavanaugh, who was a freshman, at a party with his pants down.
Friends allegedly pushed his penis in to a female student's hand at the dorm party. Stier told senators and the FBI about this, but the bureau did not investigate, according to the NYT.
They must be worried about RBG's health.
Saturday, September 14, 2019
“You know, there are so many gender identities,” declares the head teacher in response to child’s question. “We know that we have got male and female, but there are over 100, if not more, gender identities now.”
The video for schoolchildren aged 9-12 is part of nine new BBC Teach films produced as support material for the personal, social, and health education (PSHE) curriculum in UK schools.
Telegraph columnist Celia Walden has written a scathing review of the program, which she calls “noxious nonsense” that poisons children’s minds, a product of the modern “Emperor’s New Clothes gender diversity narrative.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran for coordinated drone strikes on the heart of Saudi Arabia’s oil industry, saying they marked an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply.
The strikes shut down half of the kingdom’s crude production on Saturday, potentially roiling petroleum prices and demonstrating the power of Iran’s proxies.
Iran-allied Houthi rebels in neighboring Yemen claimed credit for the attack, saying they sent 10 drones to strike at important facilities in Saudi Arabia’s oil-rich Eastern Province. But Mr. Pompeo said there was no evidence the strikes had come from Yemen.
The catalyst for this negative view of American entrepreneurs was historian Matthew Josephson, who wrote a landmark book, The Robber Barons. Josephson, the son of a Jewish banker, grew up in New York and graduated from Columbia University, where he was inspired in the classroom by Charles Beard, America’s foremost progressive historian—and a man sympathetic to socialism. “Beard was nothing less than a spellbinder,” Josephson recalled, and Beard’s lectures helped guide him on a path to radical politics.
I studies history with a historian at Cornell who was a follower of Charles Beard, a spellbinding lecturer and a democratic socialist.
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court ruled to permit the administration to go on refusing to accept applications for asylum from migrants who have passed through another country without being denied asylum there, while a case challenging this common-sense policy works its way through the courts.
That comes on the heels of the court’s decision in July to allow Trump to use money from the defense budget to build the border wall. It was yet another significant victory for the administration’s initiatives and a sign that the left’s judicial guerrilla war that had been stymieing the president is starting to crumble.
Expect liberal efforts to prevent Trump from overturning President Barack Obama’s executive orders that effectively granted amnesty to millions of illegals to meet the same fate.
Fact is, despite the beating Trump has continued to take from the media about government tactics aimed at stemming the surge of illegal immigrants over the southern border, his policies have started to show signs of success.
While no one expects Mexico to pay for Trump’s wall, it is doing something more important: using its resources to stop its people from crossing over into the United States illegally. It has, for example, reinforced security on its southern border and set up checkpoints on highways leading north, dispatching 21,600 police and troops across the nation in the effort.
The truth is probably somewhere between this sanguine view and the propaganda in the MSM.
“[T]he Belfast Agreement… was [not] predicated on the basis that UK membership of the EU would continue forever,” the judge explained, nor could the agreement be “construed as requiring a customs Union or continued regulatory alignment.”
Indeed, there is already a so-called “hard” border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland with respect to VAT rates, currency, and excise duties, despite their shared membership of the European Union.
It used to be you could just read the NYT for this sort of thing. Now you have to read everything.
MEXICO CITY (AP) — Under growing pressure from the U.S. government, Mexico’s immigration policy has moved from one promising to help migrants to another characterized by militarized enforcement that has support of the country’s foreign secretary.
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has faced pointed criticism from the left about the change in direction, but Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard made clear this week after a meeting at the White House that Mexico plans to stick with the get-tough approach that has succeeded in reducing the flow of Central American migrants to the U.S. border.
What's surprising is that the left has put up as much of a fight as it has, presumably because it has the full support of the US media.
More than two-thirds of North American chief financial officers surveyed by CNBC say Trump will win the 2020 election, while a quarter say former Vice President Joe Biden, according to the results of the latest CNBC Global CFO Council survey for the third quarter 2019.
U.S. and Colombia invoking the TIAR makes armed conflict with Venezuela a terrifying possibility - The Washington Post
On Wednesday, Colombia, the United States and nine other countries invoked the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (TIAR), signed in Rio de Janeiro in 1947, which commits the countries of the Western Hemisphere to respond to military aggression against any one of them. The move came after Nicolás Maduro said he would deploy 150,000 troops to the border with Colombia. Invoking TIAR is an extreme measure in the region and an unmistakable sign that armed conflict is now a real possibility.
Geopolitics is back, in no small part because of the growing realization in Washington that the China strategy the United States has pursued since the end of the Cold War has failed. China’s challenge to the United States, and the West in general, is systemic, and intent on redefining the existing global trading regime, the structure of our alliances, and, last but not least, the existing framework of norms and values that has historically favored the democratic West. After four decades of misplaced expectations that the PRC’s export-driven modernization would bring about democratization, and that Beijing would opt for merging its trajectory with that of the larger global trade and security system, the United States is now confronted with a near-peer competitor intent on assembling a constellation of states to challenge America and its allies. For three post-Cold War decades, encomia for the internationalization of manufacturing and the inevitable triumph of our normative institutions served to push the cause of China’s ever-deeper integration with the West. So it is perhaps ironic that Sino-American competition is now gearing up to spread beyond the Indo-Pacific, deep into the European part of the Eurasian Rimland.
The ongoing “World War of Currencies”, as the German journalist Daniel D. Eckert called it, the battle for the future of the world monetary system is not a shallow action film but more like Game of Thrones – a complex series with hundreds of actors and locations, stretching over decades and demanding full concentration from the viewer.
Friday, September 13, 2019
American Renewal: The Real Conflict Is Not Racial Or Sexual, It’s Between The Ascendant Rich Elites And The Rest Of Us | The Daily Caller
Despite the media’s obsession on gender, race and sexual orientation, the real and determining divide in America and other advanced countries lies in the growing conflict between the ascendant upper class and the vast, and increasingly embattled, middle and working classes.
We’ve seen this fight before. The current conflict fundamentally reprises the end of the French feudal era, where the Third Estate, made up of the commoners, challenged the hegemony of the First Estate and Second, made up of the church and aristocracy.
These dynamics are unsettling our politics to the core. Both the gentry left, funded largely by Wall Street and Silicon Valley, and the libertarian right, have been slow to recognize that they are, in de Tocqueville’s term, “sitting on a volcano ready to explode.” The middle class everywhere in the world, notes a recent OECD report, is under assault, and shrinking in most places while prospects for upward mobility for the working class also declines.
Joel Kotkin gets it.
On Wednesday, the previously sealed Motion to Compel filed against federal prosecutors in the Michael Flynn case was made public with only minor redactions. Just the day before, during a hearing before federal judge Emmet Sullivan, Flynn’s attorney, Sidney Powell, had highlighted some of the evidence prosecutors withheld from her defense team. Yesterday’s filing expanded exponentially on the areas of evidence Powell seeks and lays bare Powell’s bigger plan moving forward: to expose the breadth and depth of SpyGate and how flaying Flynn lay at the heart of the soft coup attempt.
Erecting a new building ranks among the most inefficient, polluting activities humans undertake. The construction sector is responsible for nearly 40% of the world’s total energy consumption and CO2 emissions, according to a UN global survey (pdf).
A consortium of Swiss researchers has one answer to the problem: working with robots. The proof of concept comes in the form of the DFAB House, celebrated as the first habitable building designed and planned using a choreography of digital fabrication methods.
Evidently the construction industry is one of the most regulated, inefficient and corrupt businesses in the US. Just replacing human workers with robots and building offsite can save enormous amounts of money and time just by avoiding all the payoffs you have to make otherwise to get anything done. That's why a lot of these houses are being built in China at the moment. I know; it's weird.
Obesity map of the United States reveals the states where up to 40 per cent of Americans are dangerously overweight – The Sun
But in West Virginia and Mississippi that figure hits 39.5 per cent, according to data from the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Across the whole of the US, only three states have obesity levels under 25 per cent, and none have less than 20 per cent.
Colorado, Hawaii and the District of Columbia are the healthiest.
Obesity costs the United States health care system over $147 billion a year and research has shown it affects work productivity and military readiness, says the CDC.
Mr. Luckey’s surveillance start-up, Anduril, has gone where many Silicon Valley tech workers have refused to go. The start-up, which is also backed by the Palantir co-founders Joe Lonsdale and Peter Thiel, is testing digital cameras and artificial intelligence technology that tracks people crossing the Southern border.
Peter Thiel -- what exactly is this guy's story? Evidently he thinks defensive technology is important and potentially profitable.
The Democrats’ third presidential debate was a long-winded, platitude-filled disaster where no single candidate could claim a clear victory. Instead, the seven men and three women took turns displaying why they are all probably unelectable.
I don't know if this is true or not. I tend toward anxiety and pessimism, as readers of this blog will know. I say better the restless sleep we know rather than the nightmare that would come if any (except perhaps a couple with no chance and a GOP Senate) of the Democrats get elected. A good opportunity to practice your Stoicism.
On the government side, no one, moderator or candidate, said the word "deficit." No one discussed the mismatch between the federal government's revenues and its spending. No one talked about the national debt.
Everybody's in favor of the ginormous bubble.
Trump said Republicans needed four more years in power in Washington to prevent Democrats from destroying the renewed American economy.
“We can’t let that happen. You won’t have energy. You won’t have business. You won’t have jobs. You won’t have income. It will be a disaster,” he said. “So you have to fight like hell.”
Trump said Republicans have to remember their duty to fight for the citizens of the United States first, over the rest of the world.
A better political system would not put us constantly in this position. But we are put in this position.
Thursday, September 12, 2019
US attorney recommends proceeding with charges against McCabe, as DOJ rejects last-ditch appeal | Fox News
U.S. Attorney Jessie Liu has recommended moving forward with charges against CNN contributor Andrew McCabe, Fox News has learned, as the Justice Department rejects a last-ditch appeal from the former top FBI official.
Payback she is not a nice lady.
Unlike the others, Warren is just possibly savvy enough to win the general. Republicans may think the phony Pocahontas nonsense was enough to do her in, but that's so 2017 (the Paleolithic Age in terms of our politics) and about as likely to sink Warren at this point as Stormy Daniels is likely to sink Trump. These things have already long been baked into our political cake.
The real danger of Warren is that she's not as dumb as Bernie but almost equally socialistic. (Now anyway. In the past she was something else.) The programs she has on offer—and she has one for just about everything—move us closer and closer to socialism. Socialism in its "scientific" form (communism) is the greatest mass-murdering machine in the history of the human race, exponentially.
Eyup. It's true.
While not the specific target of any recent Trump administration actions, because of its ties to the Chinese, Lenovo currently has unmitigated access to millions of Americans’ personal information. This should raise red flags, given the company’s history of security and privacy abuses. Lenovo’s Watch X sent user locations to a server in China without their knowledge; its Superfish adware installed in hundreds of thousands of computers allowed third-parties to spy on browser traffic, resulting in a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission; security researchers found that Adups data mining software on Lenovo phones could collect personal data without consent. There are many other examples that should give potential buyers pause, not just for the chance that sensitive information falls into the hands of third parties, but that the Chinese government obtains it and freely exploits it.