Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Search and rescue continues as Beirut wakes up to effects of devastating explosion - ABC News

"It's beyond imagination, the repair of the country is beyond the means of Lebanese people," he said. "All the people that contribute to the economy will leave ... People nowadays they don't have the money to repair, they don't have the hope, they lost hope in their country. It's a collective failure. It's the failure of the whole country, not only in economic terms."

via abcnews.go.com

Eesh.

August 5, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 3, 2020

Michigan morgue workers fired over cake decorated with black penis

A death investigator at the Macomb County Medical Examiner’s Office filed a July 18 complaint with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission regarding the explicit cake an off-duty staffer served in late May — one day after George Floyd died while in police custody in Minneapolis, the Detroit Free Press reports.

“I was livid — furious actually,” the unidentified employee told the newspaper. “All these cities are on fire for the Black Lives Matter movement, and here’s my staff eating a black penis cake as a joke? That really pushed me over the edge.”

The woman alleges the cake was part of an “ongoing hostile work environment” at the morgue, including employees mocking black relatives who inquired about their deceased loved ones and porn openly strewn about the office, the newspaper reports.

“The office culture is tainted with racism toward people of color,” the complaint states. “This was not only ignored by managing personnel, but participated in by the supervising staff.”

via nypost.com

Poor taste.

August 3, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Return of the zombie cicadas: WVU team unearths manipulative qualities of fungal-infected flyers | WVU Today | West Virginia University

“Essentially, the cicadas are luring others into becoming infected because their healthy counterparts are interested in mating,” said Brian Lovett, study co-author and post-doctoral researcher with the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design. “The bioactive compounds may manipulate the insect to stay awake and continue to transmit the pathogen for longer.”

These actions persist amid a disturbing display of B-horror movie proportions: Massospora spores gnaw away at a cicada’s genitals, butt and abdomen, replacing them with fungal spores. Then they “wear away like an eraser on a pencil,” Lovett said.

via wvutoday.wvu.edu

August 3, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Woman Punches Teen Boy in Walmart For Not Wearing Face Mask

A middle-aged couple is under fire after they berated a group of teenagers and punched one of the boys because they were not wearing face masks inside a Walmart in Post Falls, Idaho.

"You guys are abusing your freedom. Stop it," the woman said just before hitting one of the boys in the shoulder.

The North Idaho News reports that police were contacted and the victim intends to press charges.

"You think this is cute not wearing a mask," the man said. "Get a damn mask and put it on your face."

The woman was literally screaming to anyone who would listen, "Their parents are teaching them this garbage."

via townhall.com

Idaho! In the news!

August 3, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

‘You got 2 seconds before I shoot you:’ Man kills Burger King employee after order takes too long, deputies say

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – A woman who was upset that her Burger King order took too long got a man to come to the restaurant and shoot one of the employees, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies said the shooting happened Saturday around 7:30 p.m. at the Burger King on the 7000 block of E. Colonial Drive.

When they arrived, deputies said they found Desmond Armond Joshua, 22, suffering from a gunshot wound in the parking lot. He was taken to an area hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

via www.clickorlando.com

August 3, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Prince Andrew’s alleged fetishes revealed by Epstein victim Virginia Giuffre

Jeffrey Epstein “sex slave” Virginia Giuffre allegedly spent two days alone with Prince Andrew at the financier’s ranch, “endlessly’’ catering to every need of the royal — who especially enjoyed licking between her toes.

via nypost.com

Pretty tame stuff.

August 3, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Relief, NeuroRx: RLF-100 helps critical COVID-19 patients

TEL AVIV — Critically ill COVID-19 patients recovered rapidly from respiratory failure after three days of treatment with RLF-100, a therapy granted fast-track designation in the United States, two drug companies said Sunday.

Geneva-based Relief Therapeutics Holdings AG RFLB.S has a patent for RLF-100, or aviptadil, a synthetic form of a natural peptide that protects the lung. US-Israeli NeuroRx Inc. partnered with Relief to develop the drug in the United States.

via nypost.com

August 3, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

83 percent of NYC restaurants, bars unable to pay full rent: survey

The coronavirus pandemic continues to impose a severe economic toll on New York City’s eateries and pubs — with 83 percent of establishments saying they’re unable to make their full July rent and 37 percent unable to pay at all, a survey released Monday reveals.

via nypost.com

83 percent!

August 3, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Gun sales exploding, July FBI checks jump 79%

For the third month this year, the FBI reported record-shattering gun sales background checks, the latest indication that the 2020 election, concerns about the coronavirus crisis, and race protests are pushing gun purchases to a historic high.

via www.washingtonexaminer.com

August 3, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Pompeo says Chinese software companies 'feeding data directly to the Chinese Communist Party' | Just The News

"These Chinese software companies doing business in the United States whether it's TikTok or WeChat, there are countless more, as Peter Navarro said are feeding data directly to the Chinese Communist Party, their national security apparatus: Could be their facial recognition pattern, it could be information about their residence, their phone numbers, their friends, who they're connected to," Pompeo said.

via justthenews.com

August 3, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Roberts Holds Line on Judicial Second-Guessing of Covid Orders

The U.S. Supreme Court hasn’t shown much willingness during the Covid pandemic to second-guess emergency orders issued by public officials.

In approximately two dozen emergency requests received by the justices challenging federal, state, or local orders, Bloomberg Law found that the conservative-majority court has favored Democratic and Republican-led governments in all of them, save a procedural defeat that the Trump administration eventually won.

The justices have across the board upheld rules aimed at protecting public health during the pandemic, even if the rules limit freedoms. They’ve sustained restrictions on in-person religious services, turned away groups complaining about business closures, and undone attempts to relax requirements for ballot initiatives to account for social distancing difficulties.

Decisions in cases arising during extraordinary times reflects the cautious ideology of Chief Justice John Roberts. Some broke 5-4 along traditional ideological lines, with conservatives and liberals in dissent. But only Roberts was in the majority in all of them.

Given that emergency orders are the purview of the political branches, Roberts’ concern for separation of powers means he’ll “be generally deferential to them,” said Charles Thompson, the executive director and general counsel of the International Municipal Lawyers Association.

via www.bloomberglaw.com

August 3, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Report Finds 250 US Collaborations With Chinese Military-Tied Researchers

The U.S. academic community has extensively collaborated with Chinese researchers affiliated with the Chinese military, jeopardizing national security, according to a new report.

Analysts at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University found 254 papers in which U.S. researchers collaborated with counterparts from seven top universities in China affiliated with the regime’s military, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). The think tank identified 115 U.S. universities and government-backed research labs that worked with these PLA-linked organizations, collaborating on research topics from new energy technologies to aeronautical engineering.

The report released July 30 found instances where the Chinese researchers allegedly tried to conceal their ties to the defense institutes. Some Chinese coauthors also appeared to have worked in classified weapons programs, it said.

It concluded that such collaborations compromised national security because it allowed the PLA-linked institutions to “harvest U.S. S&T [science and technology] research at its source, and divert it to PRC [People’s Republic of China] defense research and weapons program development.”

via www.theepochtimes.com

August 3, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Kansas Should Go F--- Itself - Reporting by Matt Taibbi

This began before Trump. As Bernie Sanders told Rolling Stone after the 2016 election, when the small-town American saw himself or herself on TV, it was always “a caricature. Some idiot. Or maybe some criminal, some white working-class guy who has just stabbed three people.” These caricatures drove a lot of voters toward Trump, especially when he began telling enormous crowds that the lying media was full of liars who lied about everything.

After 2016 it became axiomatic that the Trump voter, or the Leave voter, was – without exception now – a crazed, racist monster. As detailed here multiple times, ruminations on Republican voter behaviors became not merely uninteresting to pundits after November 2016, but actively taboo. By 2020, the official answer to What’s the Matter with Kansas? was Kansas is a White Supremacist Project and Can Go Fuck Itself.

Frank in 2004 wrote about how confused Midwestern voters were, watching TV images of the beautiful people of the time. Movie stars and hedge-funders donned ribbons in support of animals or the “underprivileged,” while spending huge sums on pictures of Jesus covered in ants or on crucifix-shaped popsicles that supposedly were comments on “fanaticism and violence.” This, while factory towns were basically being moved en masse to China.

Imagine the reaction in these places now, to editorials in the New York Times instructing white liberals to cut off their relatives (by text, incidentally) until they donate to Black Lives Matter, or a CNN tweet instructing “individuals with a cervix” to start getting cancer screens at age 25, or to widespread denunciations of Mount Rushmore as a “monument of two slaveholders” when visited by Trump, after those same outlets praised its “majesty” just four years earlier.

These stories are as incomprehensible to Middle America as the pictures of MAGA fanatics going maskless and dying of Covid-19 to own the libs are to blue-state audiences. Yet both groups are bombarded with images of their opposite extremes, with predictable results: we all hate each other.  

via taibbi.substack.com

August 3, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, August 2, 2020

How long we can expect the U.S. economic catastrophe to endure - YouTube

The coronavirus pandemic leveled the U.S. economy in the second quarter of the year, leading to the worst collapse since the Great Depression. Gross domestic product fell by more than 9 percent between April and June. While some parts of the economy have improved since, weekly jobless claims are rising again. Harvard University economist Ken Rogoff joins Judy Woodruff to discuss the outlook.

via www.youtube.com

August 2, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (2)

Pac-12 player group threatens to opt out, makes list of demands on injustice, safety

A person familiar with the Pac-12 campaign said players from Cal, Oregon, Stanford and UCLA and other schools are involved. The person said at least a few of the league's head coaches were aware of the potential boycott and have independently gauged their teams' involvement, which has varied from campus to campus.

via www.espn.com

August 2, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Market that Knows ALL is Warning Us - YouTube

The market that knows all is warning us. There is one key market that we observe to find out what the smart money is really thinking - it is not stock markets, gold or bitcoin. So in this video we shall take another look at the market that knows everything for clues. It's giving us a warning right now. We look at the charts and explain why bonds are key.

via www.youtube.com

August 2, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

George Soros pours $116,000 into PAC supporting controversial St. Louis prosecutor | Just The News

iberal billionaire George Soros has contributed $116,000 to a political action committee supporting St. Louis prosecutor Kimberly Gardner, whose pursuit of Missouri's former GOP governor and a couple who displayed their guns during Black Lives Matters protest have stirred national controversy and legal repercussions.

A Missouri Ethics Commission filing on Saturday showed the Soros donation to the Missouri Justice and Public Safety PAC formed to support Gardner, and indicated the liberal philanthropist was the sole donor to the group so far.

via justthenews.com

August 2, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Quebec's experiment to open schools amid COVID-19 was successful, education experts say | National Post

Quebec’s closely watched experiment reopening schools amid the COVID-19 pandemic winds down next week as the summer break begins, and the reviews are largely positive.

The province was the first in the country to reopen schools after COVID-19 brought regular life to a standstill, with children outside the Montreal region heading back to class in mid-May.

via nationalpost.com

August 2, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Timothy Jackson & Philip Ewell -- Political Correctness Comes for Music Theory | National Review

It is particularly ominous that Jackson’s critique of a fellow scholar falls wholly within the scope of academic freedom that UNT promises to its faculty. Jackson is not a professor going viral after mouthing off on Twitter, although those professors need protection too. He offered a serious critique of that scholar’s work, based on archival research within his highly specialized field, and after lifelong study of Schenker specifically and music theory more generally. He now has a legitimate fear that he may lose his job and be rendered persona non grata at any other institution. Questioning the current campus orthodoxy even in the context of serious academic inquiry is now considered a capital offense by the growing number of people who, as Daniel Schwammenthal put it earlier this week in the Wall Street Journal, “seem to understand George Orwell’s ‘1984’ not as a warning but as a manual.”

via www.nationalreview.com

I thought music theory was about notes and stuff.

August 2, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Dunkin' Donuts employee arrested after cop finds 'large, thick piece of mucus' in his coffee - ABC News

A Dunkin’ Donuts employee has been arrested after a police officer found a “large, thick piece of mucus which was later confirmed to be saliva” in his coffee.

The incident occurred at approximately 10:20 p.m. on July 30 when an Illinois State Police (ISP) District Chicago Trooper bought a large black coffee from a Dunkin’ Donuts establishment located on Archer Avenue in Chicago, Illinois.

via abcnews.go.com

That's just gross.

August 2, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (1)

As They Turn To Burning Bibles, Portland Rioters Show Their True Colors

While rioters previously attacked federal buildings, businesses, and even officers, this weekend, they found a new target: Bibles.

A video posted to Twitter on Saturday shows rioters holding Black Lives Matter signs tossing Bibles into a fire. Bystanders stood and watched as the flames licked away at the pages of the books.

via thefederalist.com

This seems like they're just trying to be provocative.

August 2, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Octopuses Rolling on MDMA Reveal Unexpected Link to Humans

When the California two-spot octopus isn’t attempting to bring more eight-legged cephalopods into this world, it prefers to be alone. Known to scientists as Octopus bimaculoides, the alien-like invertebrate spends most of its time hiding or searching for food, asocial males avoiding asocial females until their biological clocks say it’s time to partner up. That is, until they are on MDMA. In a groundbreaking study, researchers described how octopuses on the drug act similarly to a socially anxious human on MDMA: They open up.

Gül Dölen, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University and the co-author of the 2018 Current Biology paper. She tells Inverse that when octopuses are on MDMA, it’s like watching “an eight-armed hug.”

“They were very loose,” Dölen says. “They just embraced with multiple arms.”

via getpocket.com

This sounds like communism to me.

August 2, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Hawaii's Father Damien -- AOC Calls Priest Statue Example of 'White Supremacist Culture' | National Review

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) singled out a statue of Father Damien, a Catholic priest who ministered to a Hawaiian leper colony, as an example of “white supremacist culture.”

Father Damien, born Jozef de Veuster in Belgium, arrived in Hawaii in 1864 when the islands were an independent kingdom. The priest conducted missionary work on the islands and for the last 16 years of his life ministered to a leper colony, until he died after contracting leprosy himself. A statue of Father Damien stands in the U.S. Capitol.

via www.nationalreview.com

August 1, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Countering G.O.P. on Courts, Democrats Will Call for ‘Structural’ Change - The New York Times

WASHINGTON — Alarmed at Republicans’ success at reshaping the federal courts, Democrats plan to use their forthcoming party platform to push for “structural court reforms” to counter what they describe as a concerted Republican campaign to pack the judiciary with “unqualified, partisan judges.”

The platform language stops well short of saying what those changes should be. But backers of the plank, which was added during deliberations earlier this week, said the broad statement represents a significant advance toward beginning a conversation among Democrats about how to respond to the substantial imprint that President Trump and his conservative allies have made on the federal bench.

via www.nytimes.com

August 1, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

As Summer Takes Hold, So Do the Jumping Worms - The New York Times

If your soil looks different lately — if it resembles coffee grounds or hamburger meat — and some plants have stopped thriving, you may have an invasion on your hands.

via www.nytimes.com

Chi-na!!!

August 1, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Charles Barkley Channels John Lewis, Defies NBA’s Good$ Trouble

BLM does not scare or defy the establishment. BLM is the establishment. It’s corporate-mandated civil obedience. It’s commercial goods trouble. As in the global sellers of commercial goods — Nike, for instance — promote BLM trouble as a way to resist President Trump’s isolationist, America First agenda.

Good$ trouble is the bastard child of Civil Rights icon John Lewis’ good trouble, the 1960s-style civil disobedience that fought America’s discriminatory laws.

In an effort to protect global expansion and global revenue streams, corporate America and Big Tech have mandated allegiance to Black Lives Matter. LeBron James, Adam Silver, Roger Goodell, the NFL and Major League Baseball have embraced BLM because their corporate sponsors have demanded it. 

There’s no risk or courage involved in taking a knee in 2020. The disobedience and rebellion will be shown by the athlete, coach, executive or media member willing to defy his/her corporate overlord. 

via www.outkick.com

Truth.

August 1, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Intensifying Into Violence | RealClearPolitics

It's interesting as well that journalists sympathetic to the Black Lives Matter movement seem either puzzled by or blithely ignorant of the sharp rise in post-May 25 homicides in cities ranging from New York to Chicago to Minneapolis to Milwaukee to Denver to Los Angeles.

It's the fastest rise in murder rates since the late 1960s, another era of urban riots and complaints (more justified then than now) about police conduct.

Democrats and journalists have struggled to explain the spike. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, fresh from "Les Miz," suspects fathers are stealing to feed their children. The New York Times indicts summer heat waves.

They resist the obvious explanation: Less policing plus lighter punishment and delegitimizing law enforcement yields more violent crime. Almost all the extra victims, including children, are minorities in underprivileged neighborhoods. Some black lives evidently don't matter so much.

via www.realclearpolitics.com

It is a bit surprising that murder rates went up so quickly, as if the police rang a bell or something. Query whether they will go back down as quickly as soon as the cops are put back on the beat, presumably after the Dems get back in power.

August 1, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (1)

The Far Side

via i.kym-cdn.com

August 1, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Keep Those Federal Troops out of American Cities | Mises Institute

The violence and the utter disregard for basic human rights displayed by the Left in recent years—combined with its support for war crimes when a Democrat is president—have made me inclined to play nice with conservatives these days. At least conservatives aren't planning to torch my neighborhood any time soon, and at the moment they're no worse than the Left on foreign policy.

On the other hand, sometimes even the relatively less bad guys (for now) come to some very dangerous conclusions.

via mises.org

Just because something is fun doesn't mean it's right.

August 1, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Soviet Union Is Gone, But It’s Still Collapsing

The 20th century witnessed the end of the world built and ruled by empires: from Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire, which fell in the final days of World War I, to the British and French empires, which disintegrated in the aftermath of World War II. This decades-long process concluded with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the mighty successor to the Russian Empire, which was stitched back together by the Bolsheviks in the early 1920s, only to fall apart 70 years later during the final stage of the Cold War.

Although many factors contributed to the fall of the Soviet Union, from the bankruptcy of communist ideology to the failure of the Soviet economy, the wider context for its dissolution is often overlooked. The collapse of the Soviet Union, like the disintegration of past empires, is a process rather than an event. And the collapse of the last empire is still unfolding today. This process did not end with Mikhail Gorbachev’s resignation on Christmas Day 1991, and its victims are not limited to the three people who died defending the Moscow White House in August 1991 or the thousands of casualties from the Chechen wars.

The rise of nation-states on the ruins of the Soviet Union, like the rise of successor states on the remains of every other empire, mobilized ethnicity, nationalism, and conflicting territorial claims. This process at least partly explains the Russian annexation of Crimea, the war in Ukraine, and the burst of popular support for those acts of aggression in the Russian Federation. As the victim of a much more powerful neighbor’s attack, Ukraine found itself in a situation similar to that of the new states of Eastern Europe formed after World War I on the ruins of the Austro-Hungarian, Ottoman, and Russian empires. Those states struggled with the enormous tasks of nation building while trying to accommodate national minorities and defend themselves against revanchist powers claiming the loyalty of those same minorities.

Although the historical context of the collapse of empires helps us understand the developments of the last 25 years in the former Soviet space, it also serves as a warning for the future. The redrawing of post-imperial borders to reflect the importance of nationality, language, and culture has generally come about as a result of conflicts and wars, some of which went on for decades, if not centuries. The Ottoman Empire began its slow-motion collapse in 1783, a process that reached its conclusion at the end of World War I. The ongoing war in eastern Ukraine is not the only reminder that the process of Soviet disintegration is still incomplete. Other such reminders are the frozen or semi-frozen conflicts in Transnistria, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Nagorno-Karabakh, and the semi-independent state of Chechnya.

A lesson that today’s policymakers can learn from the history of imperial collapse is that the role of the international community is paramount in sorting out relations between former rulers and subjects. Few stable states have emerged from the ruins of bygone empires without strong international support, whether it is the French role in securing American independence, Russian and British involvement in the struggle for Greek statehood, or the U.S. role in supporting the aspirations of former Warsaw Pact countries in Eastern Europe. The role of outsiders has been and will remain the key to any post-imperial settlement. Looking at the current situation, it’s difficult to overstate the role the United States and its NATO allies can play in solving the conflict in

via getpocket.com

August 1, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (1)

The world's longest-living people share this hobby—why it can add years to your life

Some are things you might expect, like a mostly plant-based diet, a strong social support group and moderate exercise. But there is one surprising commonality: In each community, residents garden well into old age.

That’s no coincidence, as there’s plenty of research to prove that gardening increases well-being and longevity.

via www.cnbc.com

I haven't whined about my garden in weeks. This is because (crossing fingers, sprinkling salt over my shoulder, turning around three times and spitting, and knocking on wood) my tomatoes are flourishing. I'd post a picture but that's too much work at the moment. The tomatoes are super delicious, but so far, rare. This is because the great tomato apotheosis is upcoming. The cling there, plump but green. I'd say in a couple weeks, we shall feast upon their flesh. It's only the early ripeners that have so far been devoured. This proves anybody can garden, so long as they are willing to spend about $50 per tomato. If I live long enough, the cost may come down to a nickle or so.

August 1, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

How to Make Baked Potatoes Fluffy and Crispy

3 Keys to Achieving British-Style Baked Potatoes

Making baked potatoes isn’t difficult, but here are the tips that made the most difference.

  1. Slice them first. Like most Americans, I typically poke holes all over the potatoes before baking them to ensure they don’t explode in the oven. But Jo suggests slicing a cross shape about 1/4-inch thick into each potato. This helps them release some steam, makes the interior more fluffy, and also makes them easier to slice into when they’re piping hot.
  2. Bake them for longer than you think. Many recipes (ours included) recommend baking potatoes for an hour at 425°F. Instead, Jo suggests baking potatoes at 400°F for closer to two hours. The potatoes won’t burn at this temperature and the long bake means the skin will be so crisp that it’s practically cracker-like.
  3. Return them to the oven. After the two hours are up, remove the potatoes and carefully cut deeper into the slices you made initially. Then put the potatoes back in the oven for 10 more minutes. This helps to dry out the flesh further and makes it extra fluffy.

When you take those piping hot spuds out of the oven, push open that crispy, crackly, perfectly-salted skin, and drop a little butter into the lightest, fluffiest baked potato you’ve ever made, you’ll silently thank Jo and her Cornwall aunt. And you’ll know — as I now do — there’s really no other way to bake them.

via getpocket.com

You can thank me later.

August 1, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (2)

Opinion | America Looks Hopelessly Broke. It Isn’t. - The New York Times

Kelton argues that our government’s inability to provide for citizens isn’t due to a lack for money; instead, our leaders lack political will.

Kelton — who has worked as an economist for Democrats in the Senate and as an adviser to Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaigns — is one of the leading proponents of Modern Monetary Theory, or M.M.T. The theory argues that because the government is in charge of its own currency, it cannot “run out” of money the way a household or a business can, and it therefore does not need to raise taxes to fund government spending.

via www.nytimes.com

MMT actually stands for Marvelous Money Train. And it's AWESOME!

August 1, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Opinion | How Do You Know a Human Wrote This? - The New York Times

OpenAI’s new software, called GPT-3, is by far the most powerful “language model” ever created. A language model is an artificial intelligence system that has been trained on an enormous corpus of text; with enough text and enough processing, the machine begins to learn probabilistic connections between words. More plainly: GPT-3 can read and write. And not badly, either.

via www.nytimes.com

August 1, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Supreme Court declines to halt Trump border wall

In a 5-4 ruling that broke along ideological lines, the court's conservative majority denied a bid by interest groups to halt construction after a federal appeals court last month said the use of defense funding for the project is illegal. The court's four more liberal justices dissented from the ruling.

via www.msn.com

This whole wall thing has been a huge disappointment.

August 1, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Connie Culp, who got first US face transplant, dead at 57

Culp was left severely disfigured in 2004 when her husband, Thomas, blasted her with a shotgun inside their Hopedale, Ohio, apartment.

The blast shattered her nose, cheeks, the roof of her mouth and an eye. Hundreds of fragments of shotgun pellet and bone splinters were embedded in her face.

Only her upper eyelids, forehead, lower lip and chin were left.

Her husband then turned the weapon on himself, and also survived, though with significantly less serious injuries. He was later convicted of aggravated attempted murder and sentenced to seven years in prison.

via nypost.com

Lousy shot.

August 1, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Staples customer who told woman to wear mask is thrown to ground, has broken leg

A 54-year-old New Jersey woman suffered a broken leg after she was thrown to the ground in a Staples by another customer whom she had told to wear a mask, authorities said.

Police have released surveillance video from the incident that occurred at about 3:19 p.m. Wednesday at a Staples in Hackensack.

Margot Kagan, of Teaneck, told police she was using a fax machine at the store when a woman with a mask pulled down below her mouth approached a machine next to her. Kagan, who, according to police, had a liver transplant four months ago and was walking with a cane, told the woman to put her mask on.

"The suspect became angry and yelled at the victim, who picked up her walking cane and pointed it directly at the suspect, coming within inches of the suspect's chest," said Capt. Darrin DeWitt, a detective with the Hackensack Police Department.

The woman then yelled at Kagan, violently threw her to the ground and left the store, DeWitt said.

Kagan was taken to a hospital where she was diagnosed with a fractured left tibia, according to DeWitt.

Gov. Phil Murphy has said all residents must wear face coverings in stores.

Police are seeking to identify the suspect.

via www.yahoo.com

August 1, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Seattle Moves To Replace 'Racist' Police With 'Trauma-Informed, Gender-Affirming, Anti-Racist' Organizations | Zero Hedge

The Seattle City Council advanced legislation on Friday which would replace the 'racist institution of policing' with a civilian-led activities and organizations under a new 'Department of Community Safety & Violence Prevention.'

via www.zerohedge.com

I'm not sure this is going to work.

August 1, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (1)

East County Magazine

July 31, 2020 (La Mesa) – The La Mesa Police Department has issued a press release warning of a protest planned Saturday, August 1 starting at 3:30 p.m. by organizers who have not responded to inquiries from LMPD. In addition,  City Manager Greg Humora has issued an emergency order banning many weapons and objects that may be used as riot tools in a restricted area around civic buildings from noon tomorrow through 5:30  a.m. Sunday. Banned items including sticks on protest signs, bats, guns, knives, explosives, glass bottles, spray paint, and many more objects.

via www.eastcountymagazine.org

August 1, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Inside the Battle for Downtown Portland - The New York Times

Scenes of billowing tear gas, burning fires and federal agents in riot gear have made Portland a national flash point and spurred debate over the authority of the federal government to respond to protests. Often missing from that debate was a full picture of what was happening on the ground.

As negotiations continue over when the agents will leave the city, here’s a look at how many recent nights of protest and confrontation have unfolded.

via www.nytimes.com

August 1, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, July 31, 2020

Introverts are excluded unfairly in an extraverts’ world | Psyche Ideas

Today, as a psychologist, I know that introversion is a common trait. Unlike shyness, which is more about a fear of being judged negatively, introversion is defined as a preference for quiet, less stimulating environments. The Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Jung was the first to propose differentiating individuals along an introvert-extravert axis. Writing in the 1920s, he described introverts as preferring to direct their attention inward, to their own feelings and thoughts, and how they lose energy during social interactions. Extraverts, by contrast, direct their attention outward, gain energy from social interactions, and lose energy during periods of solitude.

via psyche.co

I'm a total introvert and seem to be getting more introverted as I get older. And this CCP virus pandemic in not making things any easier.

July 31, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (1)

In an unstable economy, I found freedom and security in sex work | Psyche Ideas

Emerging from university, with an education for which I put myself into debt that I’ll likely never repay, I found myself among the ashes of an economy that no longer existed. I have written on the relationship between mass unemployment and sex work. Now that we’re all in a world where millions of jobs have suddenly disappeared and people are wondering what they did it all for, I’m experiencing a solemn gladness that I quit the game years ago. The pandemic has certainly hurt my income and altered the way that I need to work, but the bubonic plague didn’t wipe out whores, and neither will this. You see, a life lived at the margins brings a certain resilience. When everyone else begins to lose their mind, you were already there. Now, watching swathes of middle-class women experiencing real economic uncertainty for the first time, I’m waiting for their revelatory moment: what do you do when there is no work, you have bills to pay and no time to wait, and there’s one job that will give you cash today?

Given the choices I had that day, continuing to work for a low wage and no job security would have driven me crazy. I chose the shortest route to freedom. There is a relationship between mental health and sex work, but it’s more of a cluster than a straight line, bound together by the realities of capitalism. I found myself in mad circumstances, and I crafted an escape route.

via psyche.co

There's probably a way to go long on prostitution. Probably the porn industry. Condom manufacturers? Dismal science indeed.

July 31, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Abolish police, and the Second Amendment becomes a first resort

Even in a world with fully-funded police, citizens require the means to protect themselves. But in a world where police become less effective or less competent (or possibly even more brutal), or vanish because of a misguided effort to defund them, there is no substitute for the right to keep and bear arms. People who are fearful of crime will be more likely to exercise that right, and it may not always be a good thing.

When public officials talk about abolishing the police, they need to consider all the consequences.

via www.washingtonexaminer.com

July 31, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Politics, Not Science, Keeping Schools Closed | RealClearPolitics

Science magazine, a preeminent journal that dates to 1880, recently published a comprehensive analysis studying school reopenings around the world and concluded that “younger children rarely spread the virus to one another or bring it home.

via www.realclearpolitics.com

July 31, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Clinton, Dershowitz, Prince Andrew … OH MY! Techno Fog breaks down the Ghislaine Maxwell (Epstein) docs in DAMNING thread – twitchy.com

Techno Fog wrote a thread about the Ghislaine Maxwell (Epstein) documents that have been unsealed …

Grab some popcorn folks, because HO-LEE CHIT.

via twitchy.com

July 31, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Twitter defends not blocking Iran leader's tweets after blocking Trump's | Fox Business

A Twitter representative defended during a hearing Wednesday on anti-Semitism the social media site's decision to not flag tweets from Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei after flagging tweets from President Trump.

Khamenei has several tweets on his profile that call for the "elimination" of Israel, or "Zionist regime." In a May 21 tweet, he wrote, "The only remedy until the removal of the Zionist regime is firm, armed resistance."

via www.foxbusiness.com

July 31, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (1)

A Put-Up Job | Mercatus Center

With so many big stories breaking, it’s hard to get attention even for important news about the FBI’s and CIA’s misdeeds. Still, the wrongdoing at James Comey’s FBI and John Brennan’s CIA was serious, as the news this week amply demonstrates.

On July 17,  we learned that the FBI knew, just as Donald Trump’s presidency was beginning, that there was no evidence his campaign had colluded with Russia. That’s the significance of a memo written by FBI agent Peter Strzok in mid-February 2017 and just released.

The news matters for three reasons. First, almost all the public investigation and damaging narrative about “Trump-Russia collusion” came after investigators knew how little supporting evidence there was.

Second, the more we learn about the ensuing investigations, the more they look like concerted abuses of government authority. We give law-enforcement and intelligence agencies tremendous power so they can protect us; when they abuse that power, they need to be held accountable and reined in. That seldom happens to anyone in Washington’s sprawling bureaucracies, which protect their own within the gurgling ecosystem of power, profit, regulation, and rent-seeking. Just ask Lois Lerner.

Third, when the FBI, Department of Justice, and intelligence agencies act in biased, partisan, and illicit ways, they cut to the very heart of our constitutional democracy, damage our institutions, and undermine trust in them. That is exactly what happened in 2016 and afterward. Public trust was undermined by these prolonged investigations and the narrative about them. It will be undermined further as we learn how the investigators themselves likely pursued partisan goals, ignored crucial evidence, and broke laws to do it. (The counter-charge, already being made, is that exposing these violations is itself partisan.)

via www.mercatus.org

July 31, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Federalist Society co-founder: Trump's "delay the election" tweet is grounds for impeachment and removal

A notable line from the Times: “Opposition leaders expressed outrage, but most agreed, in public and private, that Mr. Trump’s outburst should be treated as a distress call rather than a real statement of his governing intentions.” That’s the best thing he has going for him in terms of defusing this situation before it starts to cost him in the polls. Voters understand he’s a blowhard and that he’s prone to pop off idly. They might not dwell on his latest tweet-fart, as there are so many others to smell. But if he keeps coming back to delaying the election, evincing a real interest in chicanery to protect his own power, we might see a dam-break in popular opinion. If he were to lose the other Calabresis and Olsens out there, he could go from 50/40 against Biden to something like 52/35. And then all bets would be off as to what the composition of the next Congress might look like.

via hotair.com

July 31, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (2)

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg hospitalized after bile duct procedure - ABC News

Doctors at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center "revised a bile duct stent" that was originally placed in Ginsburg last summer, court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg said in a statement.

"According to her doctors, stent revisions are common occurrences and the procedure, performed using endoscopy and medical imaging guidance, was done to minimize the risk of future infection," Arberg said.

via abcnews.go.com

July 30, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Trump defends tweet on possible Election Day delay at contentious press conference | Fox News

"You're sending out hundreds of millions of universal mail-in ballots. Hundreds of millions. Where are they going? Who are they being sent to? It's common sense," Trump said. "I want an election, and a result, much more than you. I think we're doing very well. ... I don't want to see a rigged election."

The president held up a Wall Street Journal article entitled "New York's Mail-Vote Disaster," as well as a CBS News article entitled "Vote-by-mail experiment reveals potential problems within postal voting system ahead of November election." He cited a similar piece in The Washington Post.

The press conference followed a backlash against Trump's comments from both sides of the aisle on Thursday, with Democrats railing against the suggestion and some Republicans saying they opposed it. The Senate's top Republican, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, flatly told a Kentucky news station the election would not be moving.

via www.foxnews.com

July 30, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)