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Topics - TheDrake

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General Comments / Hunter Biden, artist
« on: July 10, 2021, 03:07:30 PM »
This is foul. And with a nod to those complaining about media coverage, I had to find this story on BBC where it featured prominently. Not a word from CNN, who would have covered it nonstop if it had been Melania. Of course, I'll remind that I've written off CNN long ago, but fair is fair and I'll point it out.

General Comments / Terrible electricity problems
« on: June 15, 2021, 04:10:18 PM »
So now, after collapsing under a freeze, Texas electric grid is fixing to collapse again this time because its hot.

ERCOT asked Texas residents to set their thermostat to 78 degrees or higher; turn off lights and pool pumps and avoid using large appliances; and turn off and unplug unused electric items.
The advice is altogether similar to California's recommendations last summer during its own heat wave. At the time, US Sen. Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, attacked California's conservation pleas as representative of a "train wreck of an energy policy."

"It's hot everywhere—try Texas every summertime—but the rest of the country doesn't have such a dysfunctional state govt that you can't turn the lights on or run A/C. That's a policy failure of the Dems," he said then.

That soundbite didn't age too well.

General Comments / You can't do THIS without ID!
« on: April 05, 2021, 04:06:51 PM »
Is it just me or are there just some really weird examples being given out there?

"What was especially notable about this is that you cannot gain entry to a Coca-Cola shareholders meeting without a photo ID."

"You can't get on an airplane without photo ID"

Is somebody imagining that people voting without ID are flying to shareholder meetings? It really indicates the ignorance of some when they imagine that either people don't live in a world without ID, or that it is really easy to get one.

Start from the assumption that a person has no ID. How would you get it? Well, here's an illustration about how that works.

Hargie Randall, 72, was born in his family’s home in Huntsville, Tex., and has lived in the state his entire life. Randall, now living in Houston’s low-income Fifth Ward neighborhood, has several health problems and such poor eyesight that he is legally blind. He can’t drive and has to ask others for rides.

After Texas implemented its new law, Randall went to the Department of Public Safety (the Texas agency that handles driver’s licenses and identification cards) three times to try to get a photo ID to vote. Each time Randall was told he needed different items. First, he was told he needed three forms of identification. He came back and brought his Medicaid card, bills and a current voter registration card from voting in past elections.

“I thought that because I was on record for voting, I could vote again,” Randall said.

But he was told he still needed more documentation, such as a certified copy of his birth certificate.

Records of births before 1950, such as Randall’s, are not on a central computer and are located only in the county clerk’s office where the person was born.

For Randall, that meant an hour-long drive to Huntsville, where his lawyers found a copy of his birth certificate.

But that wasn’t enough. With his birth certificate in hand, Randall went to the DPS office in Houston with all the necessary documents. But, DPS officials still would not issue him a photo ID because of a clerical mistake on his birth certificate. One letter was off in his last name — “Randell” instead of “Randall” — so his last name was spelled slightly different than on all his other documents.

Kamin, the lawyer, asked the DPS official if they could pull up Randall’s prior driver’s-license information, as he once had a state-issued ID. The official told her that the state doesn’t keep records of prior identification after five years, and there was nothing they could do to pull up that information.

Kamin was finally able to prove to a DPS supervisor that there was a clerical error and was able to verify Randall’s identity by showing other documents.

It was that hard WITH the assistance of a lawyer and lots of other people helping. You want to say it is necessary? Fine. Don't pretend it is trivial, and compare it to activities reserved for the rich.

General Comments / Border crisis
« on: March 27, 2021, 01:45:30 PM »
Help me out on this one. There already was a border crisis. It was just on the other side of the border. If someone truly cares about human life, I don't know how that person thinks crowded camps 10 miles on the other side was so much better than having them on this side.

General Comments / How's that free market working out in Texas?
« on: February 23, 2021, 02:26:56 PM »
She knew spiking prices were a “risk” of using a variable rate service like Griddy, but normally she and her husband benefit from the model because they closely track their electricity usage, she said. The couple tried to transfer to TXU Energy as soon as possible, but the earliest date they could was this week, after the storm had blown over. While she was grateful to have power, she said “at this point, it almost feels like it would be better to not have any power at all because at least we wouldn’t be paying that much.”

“I feel torn because I realize that we have to accept responsibility for doing a service like this that is wholesale,” she said. “It still is really hard to cope with the fact that we have an infrastructure and a system overall that allows for something like that to happen. It feels like it’s evil.”

The couple is “fortunate” they could pay the cost if they need to. But it would decimate all the savings they’d hoped to put toward a down payment on a home or to replacing a car. Jakob described sobbing in bed thinking, ‘How is this our life? How did this happen?’ They thought they were doing everything right. They don’t have debt, she said.

Some Texans said they signed up for a fixed rate plan but were unknowingly bumped over to a variable plan when their contract was up.

That’s why Lisa Chumley, a teacher in Dallas, said she and her husband ultimately signed up for Griddy. They were stuck with a $1,500 bill for electricity one summer, and said TXU Energy had moved them from a fixed rate plan to a variable plan without their knowledge.

The low rates appealed to her. With Griddy, she’s paid about $80 a month for electricity for her three-bedroom home.

As the storm set in last week, the family didn’t lose power. But Chumley was shocked to see hundreds of dollars had been withdrawn from her bank account by Griddy. Her husband checked with the electric provider and saw they owed $1,000. The balance kept ballooning. It now tops $10,000.

Texans blindsided by massive electric bills await details of Gov. Greg Abbott's promised relief

Personally, I live outside of Austin and am served by an energy collective, so I don't fully understand how other consumers in Texas might make their choices. The Public Utility Commission in Texas approved the 7400% price increase in order to "entice power generators" to add more power to the Texas system. Some customers are getting directly hit now, while other customers will probably see their utilities spread the price spike out over more time.

Partly this might be a time for a caveat emptor, like the people gobbling up all those mortgages with adjustable rates or balloon payments. As stated in the article, she was loving her low rates in the good times. TNSTAAFL.

Partly, I'd wonder if the utility commission even understood that some of the providers were going to pass the approved hikes directly to consumers. I'm also curious about how they came up with the 7400% price hike. Did somebody do an analysis and determine that you'd get X capacity with a price ceiling of Y? Or maybe they just got commitments from suppliers based on a negotiated figure.

In more good news:

Beyond customers, the spike in wholesale electricity prices could spell trouble for smaller providers who bought the electricity at a sky-high cost but gave it to customers at their usual lower rate. Analysts and experts expect many will fold — bouncing their stranded customers to so-called “providers of last resort” in a process that’s “confusing for customers and costly,” Morstad, with the AARP, said.

“They don’t choose their provider of last resort, they’re just sent there. It’s never a great competitive rate,” though they can change companies after, he said.

I agree with most of the value of a free market. I'm not sure how great it is for a commodity that customers will literally die without. All this competition seems to have encouraged providers to cut corners on things like winterization, limited the amount of excess capacity, and created a windfall for the providers that were able to stay up. I will say there have been additional benefits, Texas has the most wind power of any state and that is largely attributed to the deregulated system.

General Comments / Cancelled
« on: February 11, 2021, 12:42:12 PM »
There's a lot about cancel culture these days. I'm interested in exploring some of the specific cases, and discussing whether the blowback for transgressions is wrong, overkill, or otherwise problematic. I got the idea from a recent article, so I will start there.

This isn't the first time the 38-year-old actress, who's played Cara Dune in the hit show on Disney Plus for two seasons, has been controversial on social media.

Back in November Star Wars fans called for her to to be fired after she put up several posts supporting Donald Trump.

She openly questioned whether vote counting during the US presidential election was fair, something President Donald Trump had said repeatedly.

The actor tweeted: "We need to clean up the election process so we are not left feeling the way we do today. Put laws in place that protect us against voter fraud."

She has also previously made fun of people who wear masks during the pandemic.

Back in August Carano was asked to show her support for BLM. When she didn't post anything online, some on social media accused her of being racist.

She responded saying: "In my experience, screaming at someone that they are a racist when they are indeed NOT a racist & any post and/or research you do will show you those exact facts, then I'm sorry, these people are not 'educators.' They are cowards and bullies."

"Jews were beaten in the streets, not by Nazi soldiers but by their neighbors … even by children. Because history is edited, most people today don’t realize that to get to the point where Nazi soldiers could easily round up thousands of Jews, the government first made their own neighbors hate them simply for being Jews. How is that any different from hating someone for their political views?" the post, which was shared from another account, read. It was made available by another social media user who captured a screenshot of the story.

Carano has come under fire before for controversial social media content. In November fans slammed her for being transphobic when she appeared to mock preferred pronouns by adding "beep/bop/boop" to her Twitter bio. She later removed the words and explained that "Mandalorian" co-star Pedro Pascal helped her understand why her words were deemed offensive.

General Comments / impeachment defense clown car
« on: February 10, 2021, 11:19:24 AM »
Mr Castor also talked about loving one's elected representatives, offered his own personal memories of working in the US Capitol building - "I got lost then and I still do" - and other nuggets including a description of the state of Nebraska as a "judicial thinking place".

Some of the randomness appeared to find explanation when Mr Castor confirmed the impact of the prosecution video, saying it had forced the defence team to switch strategy at the eleventh hour.

"We changed what we were going to do on account that we thought the House impeachment managers' presentation was well done," he said.

He finished by arguing that the US justice department would have grounds to arrest Mr Trump if the impeachment allegations against him were true.

"A high crime is a felony, and a misdemeanour is a misdemeanour. After he's out of office, you go and arrest him," Mr Castor said. "The Department of Justice does know what to do with such people. And so far, I haven't seen any activity in that direction."

bbc. Damn mainstream media.

General Comments / Where will they flee to next?
« on: February 06, 2021, 06:32:52 PM »
Fox -> OANN -> Newsmax -> ?

Masses of Trump supporters can't stand a single bad thing said about the Orange God without viciously turning on the perpetrator, whether it is news or otherwise. Newsmax themselves are proclaiming they are now the number 4 news network.

"Newsmax is now the 4th highest-rated cable news channel in the U.S."

I can find no basis for that claim, but it is undoubtedly true. Meanwhile I'm reading negative comments about newsmax, on newsmax, claiming once again that they are insufficiently devoted to Trump. Where does that train end? Mike Lindell starts a news network? Trump himself?

General Comments / Oh Noooooo! The thought police!
« on: February 03, 2021, 06:44:57 PM »
Canada has designated the far-right group Proud Boys as a terrorist entity.

Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said the decision was influenced by the group's "pivotal role" in the 6 January riots at the Capitol in Washington, DC.

The designation allows the Proud Boys' assets to be frozen, and members of the groups could be charged with terrorist offences if they commit violent acts.

The group is all-male and anti-immigrant, and has a history of violent political confrontations.

It was founded in 2016 by Gavin McInnes, the Canadian co-founder of Vice Media. Vice has since worked to distance itself from Mr McInnes and the Proud Boys

Meanwhile, jackasses near you on Newsmax:

Tell us CANADA, Is ANTIFA a TERRORIST ENTITY, is BLACK LIVES MATTER a TERRORIST ENTITY? Butt out of America, and worry about Canada.

It was founded in Canada, and they are freezing assets in Canada.

in canada they will now make it illegal to be a traditional masculine male.

whereby, you get the soy boy they have as a "leader".

Nothing stops you from being "rugged", unless being a masculine male means assaulting people.

Proud boys are great! Canada need to stick to there own problems. But out! Don't see any proud boys in your country. Canada has a lack of testosterone.

Illiteracy is strong with supporters of the Proud Boys, as well as ignorance.

Well the Canadians are still having to deal with Trump's Meng extradition warrant which is increasingly looking more like a bargaining chip. That is international extortion Trump! Soon the Canadians will request extradition of American Proud Boys on anti-terrorism charges and the US will have to try them. This is what happens when Americans subscribe to Russian propaganda.


Trump supporters are now officially terrorists . .

I don't think he meant to admit that Trump supporters support the Proud Boys, but that's what he did.

Hey Canada, stick to what you do best...playing Hockey. Otherwise, can it. By the way, did you designate Antifa a terrorist group?

Fundamental misunderstanding. "Antifa" is not an organization with assets to freeze. They don't hold group meetings. They don't have leadership or spokespeople.

Its been taken over by Muslims and sla nt "I's"

Most likely a closet Proud Boy, doing what they do best.

General Comments / FBI agents shot
« on: February 02, 2021, 11:02:00 AM »
Not much information yet. Any predictions on how it will be manipulated?

1. Showing the danger of right wing gun owners.
2. Showing the danger of illegal immigrants.
3. Showing the need for gun control.
4. Showing the need to support cops.
5. Showing the danger of BLM.
6. Showing the need to crack down more on drugs crossing the border.
7. Showing the need for more mental health resources.
8. Other

Inevitably, some will research the person's background and use it to advance an agenda,

General Comments / filibuster reform
« on: January 30, 2021, 01:11:03 PM »
Let me start immediately by saying that I absolutely do not support the end of the filibuster. But there's a problem when every piece of legislation can be blocked with a wave of the hand. I propose that we return to the speaking filibuster. You want to block stuff, you gotta get up there and read from the dictionary, or a cookbook, or just babble incoherently. Make it painful to do.

General Comments / Now you've done it
« on: January 11, 2021, 01:45:07 PM »
Republicans have gone so far that corporations are going to stop donating to their PACs.

JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Citigroup announced temporary suspensions of political donations following last week’s invasion of the U.S. Capitol by a mob of Trump supporters.

JPMorgan, the biggest U.S. bank by assets, is pausing political action committee contributions for Republicans and Democrats for “at least” the next six months, spokesman Steve O’Halloran said. The New York-based bank will use that time to consider changes to its political-donation strategies.

“The country is facing unprecedented health, economic and political crises,” said JPMorgan’s head of corporate responsibility Peter Scher. “The focus of business leaders, political leaders, civic leaders right now should be on governing and getting help to those who desperately need it most right now. There will be plenty of time for campaigning later.”

Spurred on by Wednesday’s riot, which resulted in at least five deaths, corporations including Marriott International and Blue Cross Blue Shield have said they would stop giving money to Republican lawmakers who backed efforts to disrupt the confirmation of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory over President Donald Trump. But most banks, rather than targeting and potentially alienating members of the Republican Party, have instead decided to halt donations to all lawmakers for now.

That's not trader joe's and chik-fil-a. Those are some serious players who, at least for now, are over it.

Credit card issuer American Express said Monday its PAC will no longer support candidates who tried to “subvert the presidential election results and disrupt the peaceful transition of power.” In the past, the PAC had contributed to 22 of the 139 House members who objected to the election results, and none of the senators, the firm said.

General Comments / My promise
« on: January 07, 2021, 04:38:17 AM »
When Biden takes office, I make this promise. I will not defend Biden by saying Trump did worse. I will not defend anything by comparing his policy to that of Trump. I promise to do my level best to evaluate Biden standalone.

General Comments / Good time for the UK or no?
« on: December 08, 2020, 10:52:09 PM »
They have started distributing the vaccine there, that is good news. On the other hand Brexit is about to cross a milestone, and there is no solution in sight.

Boris Johnson will fly to Brussels later for talks on a post-Brexit deal with the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

Time is running out to reach a deal with the UK set to stop following EU trading rules on 31 December.


They do appear to have settled the Ireland question, though they have not provided the details.

General Comments / Risk Aversion and the road to conflict
« on: November 30, 2020, 09:35:43 PM »
I've been thinking about this a lot in the context of coronavirus measures and people's reactions to it, and I'm starting to think that there's a much broader source of conflict and misunderstanding that relates to the fact that different people have different levels of risk tolerance.

Risk tolerant people look at risk averse people, and think "Man, these people sure are dumb. They don't understand that their fear is limiting their opportunity, and reducing their enjoyment of their lives."

Risk averse people look at risk tolerant people, and think "Man, these people are stupid. They don't understand the odds of success versus failure, and they are setting themselves up to ruin their lives."

I'm reminded of reading "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" where the author basically disparages anyone who just wants to earn a decent living with low risk. He has a lot more to say, some of it is good advice, but it is the entrepreneurial mindset that leads people to do things a risk averse person would consider utterly stupid. Things like maxing out personal credit cards, taking out maximum equity from their house, quitting good paying jobs.

Then risk averse people, who invest in government bonds, buy various forms of insurance, and hold on to a job they don't like rather than step out on a limb.

We hear things from the risk tolerant people about covid. "99.9% of people recover from covid. You can't live in fear."

From risk averse people, we hear about the threat of 2 million Americans dead. They say (almost said "we say" because I am risk averse) we have to focus on the worst case scenarios.

Both groups think that the other side is composed of idiots, and that they are just not informed.

What if the majority of both groups are actually operating from the same understanding, but there is just that one multiplier based on their view of risk that flips the ultimate analysis?

Nobody gets upset when some person decides to climb out on a crane to get a cool picture, because if they fall off the thing and die, it has no impact on the risk averse person shaking their head. Likewise, nobody really gets upset at somebody who decides to keep all their money in an FDIC savings account. Caveat - unless you have a close personal relationship with the person involved.

But in this situation, with covid restrictions, the conflict is immediate and dramatic because the risks and measures are collective. If the risk tolerant person doesn't wear a mask or throws a birthday party with 100 people present, it effectively forces that risk on the risk averse person. Meanwhile, if the risk averse person seeks to force their measures on the risk tolerant person, it is having a dramatic effect on their outcomes as well.

Does this make sense, or should everyone just consider everyone in the other group stupid?

General Comments / anti mask nutbags
« on: November 26, 2020, 11:04:00 PM »
A private business reserves the right to serve or not serve any member of the public, with limited restrictions. Am I within my rights if i knock a body out with a hot uppercut?

General Comments / Whingeing about money in politics
« on: November 12, 2020, 09:54:41 PM »
"There's an idea that a really good ad, or one delivered in just the right context to a targeted audience, can influence voters, but we found that political ads have consistently small persuasive effects across a range of characteristics," said Coppock, an assistant professor of political science in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. "Positive ads work no better than attack ads. Republicans, Democrats, and independents respond to ads similarly. Ads aired in battleground states aren't substantially more effective than those broadcast in non-swing states."

So, does this mean everybody can just chill out about all the "dark money" and "Citizens United"?


General Comments / Why so cagey?
« on: October 13, 2020, 11:51:40 AM »
So not just about this nominee, but many similar. If your nomination is a foregone conclusion, and your views are obvious to everyone - and in fact the very reason why you got nominated, why be cagey about it?

Why not say, abortion is disgusting and immoral and I can't wait to make it illegal? Why not say, I intend to destroy the unconstitutional ACA? You're already on the record about these things, why make the pretense of being impartial?

General Comments / But yeah, Antifa is the real threat
« on: October 08, 2020, 02:19:22 PM »
Six men charged in alleged plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

Six men are under arrest for "conspiring to kidnap" Michigan's Democratic governor, Gretchen Whitmer, from her vacation home before the November election, federal authorities said Thursday.

The arrests grew out of an FBI investigation begun in March into militia groups' discussing the "violent overthrow" of certain government and law enforcement officials, and each of the men faces up to life in prison if convicted of the federal charges, authorities said.

"The individuals in custody are suspected to have attempted to identify the home addresses of law enforcement officers in order to target them, made threats of violence intended to instigate a civil war, and engaged in planning and training for an operation to attack the capitol building of Michigan and to kidnap government officials, including the governor of Michigan," Nessel said in a news release.

For months, Whitmer has drawn the ire of militia groups and others opposed to her restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus.

Armed protesters took to the streets of Lansing, the state capital, during the early days of Whitmer’s coronavirus lockdown orders. And President Donald Trump famously tweeted "LIBERATE MICHIGAN!" in April.

General Comments / TikTok
« on: September 17, 2020, 04:26:19 PM »
Can somebody explain to me this grave threat that TikTok poses to the American people? Will the Communists get access to our advanced choreography? Will they find out that I'm following Cart Narcs, Bob Menery, and the New Orleans Saints? Will they discover that this decadent American watches videos during work hours?

Wired doesn't seem to know either

If you need me, I'll be watching Gilbert Gottfried lip syncing to Katy Perry.

General Comments / War with China?
« on: September 11, 2020, 02:03:02 PM »
I do not see a hypothetical scenario where the United States attacks first, at least for the next decade or so, we'd need a LOT of ballistic missile defense systems. Which are incredibly useful in both their ability to shoot down ICBMs, which are Ballistic Missiles and because of North Korea why we have THAAD in the first place, which can more likely than not also engage against those more conventional hypersonic ballistic missiles China is billing as "Carrier Killers" where oddly enough a system which can kill the "carrier killers" before they reach their target are also able to kill ICBMs. It just becomes a question of how large and deep out reserves are kept in regards to addressing a potential nuclear strike.

It unironically puts China in the position that the more they chest thump about their Carrier Killers and how good their hypersonic missiles are, they provide the United States with all the political cover it needs to develop defenses for said carriers against the conventional threat which just so happens to incidentally also work against the nuclear one.

Meaning China's only option is to then expand their nuclear strike capabilities in order to compensate for said defenses, but as they likely build more "carrier killers" as well, the US can justify expanding their defensive ability to over-match the carrier killers.... Which puts their nuclear deterrent back in the toilet.

It's an interesting circular game China has caught itself up in on that front, but that's a digression. Back on topic, at present, there is no conceivable scenario where the US starts a war with China on its own. The only way war with China occurs is in the scenario that China either attacks a neighbor, or it attacks the United States directly(probably in the form of their "forward deployed" forces in the Asian theater of operations.

If China attacks first, they're the ones that have presumably opted to keep the nukes off the battlefield, and the United States just needs to keep its missiles defenses on hot standby. They also know that even if they launch all 50 nukes, only a few may get through, but they're not going to be able counter the hundreds the United States is likely to send back in response. So it basically come down to how China responds to America's counter-response potentially being far more effective than their generals/politicians expected.

Wanted to split this off from the long running "Trump said" thread. I think the most likely scenario is not China invading Taiwan. I think that only happens if Taiwan tries to declare independence. Nor do I think the US initiates military action to stop China from building bases in the South China Sea. It is far more likely that an accident due to posturing leads to escalation. There have been close encounters by both Navy and Air Forces in the region. Like when that Chinese fighter bumped into our reconnaissance aircraft and then dismantled it. I imagine Trump might go a little more hotheaded about it, which could lead to a tit-for-tat that gets out of control.

General Comments / Misleading data
« on: September 10, 2020, 11:08:56 AM »
Amazon currently has 33,000 job openings for corporate and tech roles and says it will share "thousands of additional hourly roles in Amazon's Operations network" soon. All of the new employees for these roles will be paid at least minimum wage at $15 per hour with up to 20 weeks of parental leave.
The employees who fill the corporate and tech roles will receive an average pay of $150,000, including salary, stock-based compensation and benefits, an Amazon spokesperson told CNN Business.

Okay, so I think it is trashy to talk about the "Average Pay" of $150k, while also talking about the minimum wage as the floor. It makes people think of thousands of people making a ton of money.

In reality, they throw in one exec making $10,000,000 - and how many people does that offset at $30,000?

150 = (10,000 + 30*x)/(x+1)

150x+150 = 10,000 + 30x
120x = 9,850

The answer is 82.

Compensation should only be examined based on median or quintile, not mean. At least if you're going to brag about all the high paying jobs you are creating.

General Comments / How bout them apples?
« on: September 03, 2020, 07:14:58 PM »
A bit of a blow to the bad apple theory in Rochester, NY. They get called out to deal with a mentally ill man and kill him. Now mind you, there were seven police officers present, none of whom intervened when their colleague elected to pin him to the ground.

He follows orders and gets cuffed. Then he's trying to get up, so they smash him into the ground and suffocate him. He's naked, so I think we can rule out the "what if he had a weapon" argument this time round. I'm not sure exactly what kind of threat a handcuffed naked man poses, but perhaps all those cops feared he would kick them really hard if he got up.

The autopsy was ruled a homicide. In March. Six months ago. No suspension, no removal from duty, so now you've got to add police supervisors and investigators to the apple barrel. Eventually, the family had to put public pressure on the police to get them to do anything, and it was the Mayor who suspended them. Not the other police who knew about this for six months. If the family hadn't had footage, they would have been out of luck. The AG knew about it too, so you can toss another apple in the barrel.

Now the Breitbart cop apologists point out he was on PCP and spitting, and he deserves what he gets. "Good riddance" they say. Nothing wrong with a spit hood, they say, and that's maybe right. Except that Amnesty International calls it a human rights violation and the UK has abandoned their use. But he was threatening that he had coronavirus! But Amnesty in Ireland indicates that these are designed to be more porous than a cloth mask, do not in fact prevent coronavirus and may in fact increase the chance of that spreading.

Seems like a poster case for defunding the police. If they moved some money to healthcare, maybe this guy gets medication for his mental illness, or treatment for his drug addiction, or even institutionalize him. Then he's never on that street. If they moved that money to hiring a couple of orderlies, those guys might know how to cope with somebody out of his mind, just like they would in the ER. EMTs could have handled the situation, as they regularly deal with combative patients. In fact, 3.7% of all ED patients need to be restrained. I'm generally confident that this doesn't include sitting on their backs for a couple of minutes.

Of course those professionals don't get a chip on their shoulder when someone is being disobedient and decide to teach them a lesson.

General Comments / RNC
« on: August 26, 2020, 09:28:38 PM »
Wow. The official RNC feed (can't stand watching any media outlet, they stomp on content. It was the same for DNC, BTW). They've got an unreadable fast scroll. Couldn't make out what it was, had to pause it, realized its a scroll of names and donations. I don't know whether it is cheezy or brilliant.

Land of Heroes so far is starting out heavy on abortion.

General Comments / Jacob Blake
« on: August 24, 2020, 01:02:53 PM »
And we have another one. Of course this won't show up in the statistics about cops killing someone, since he survived being shot in the back.

General Comments / Cops should beware lying about millionaires
« on: August 19, 2020, 06:46:42 PM »
The original story:

Authorities said in June of 2019 that Ujiri tried to walk past the deputy but the deputy stopped him because he didn't see Ujiri's on-court credentials.

Ujiri pushed the deputy, who pushed him back before Ujiri "made a second, more significant shove and during that shove his arm struck our deputy in the side of the head," sheriff's Sgt. Ray Kelly said last June. He also said Ujiri also shouted obscenities.

Turns out:

New video evidence shows a deputy shoved Raptors president Masai Ujiri first in the moments after Toronto wrapped up the 2019 NBA championship in Oakland, Calif.

The clash between the deputy and Ujiri happened as the deputy checked court-access credentials after Toronto's Game 6 win against Golden State. In body cam footage from a security guard released Tuesday, Alameda, Calif., deputy Alan Strickland shoves Ujiri twice as he attempts to join the team's championship celebration.

In a roughly 2-minute long video posted by KTVU-TV in Oakland, Strickland is seen shoving Ujiri and is heard telling him to "back the [expletive] up." Ujiri, who had shown his credential, was putting them back in his jacket pocket, says after the shove, "why did you push me? I'm the president of the Raptors."

This isn't some poverty stricken drug addict criminal being shoved around and then framed as the instigator. I doubt it goes well for these cops.

General Comments / I dig our community
« on: August 17, 2020, 01:55:59 AM »
I know our discussions can get heated, contentious, upsetting, and difficult. I just wanted to take a moment to appreciate everyone who contributes to our community. I continue to learn a lot, examine my own positions, and refine my thinking. I know some of you may or may not respect me, and may or may not think I respect them. I just wanted to extend appreciation for our collective civility and generally thoughtful exchange of ideas. I see our community as an oasis away from the noise, closed-minded hatred, and dismissive dialogue in the greater world we live in.

General Comments / Woody Johnson
« on: July 22, 2020, 04:44:59 PM »
Sexist remarks and action attributed to Woody Johnson.  ???

Four sources familiar with Johnson's meetings told CNN the ambassador hosted official gatherings at a posh men's-only club in London, the centuries-old, exclusive White's. Eventually Johnson was told by another diplomat at the embassy in late 2018 that he had to stop holding those meetings, three of the sources said. None of the embassy's female diplomats would have been able to attend.

Nice venue.

Those sources said that it was a struggle to get Johnson on board with an event for International Women's Day, which is also widely commemorated at embassies worldwide. One source said he asked why he had to do "a feminist event." However, that event did end up taking place.
A team at the embassy tried to get Johnson to do an event around gender-based violence in November 2017, this source said, to which the ambassador replied that he was not interested because he's "not a woman."

Classy. I'm sure it is all lies though, huh?

General Comments / Choose your own adventure
« on: July 21, 2020, 12:19:50 PM »
I used to love the choose your own adventure books, where you'd get a page of story and then it would give you two choices, which would direct you to one page or another. If you'd like to play, make your choice, add to the story, and give two more choices. I'll try to be fair if you will, obviously it doesn't work if your choices aren't interesting or designed to trap someone, which would be easy to do.

In response to repeated incidents of police brutality, masses of people take to the streets vandalizing property and throwing rocks. Locally owned businesses are being damaged or unable to open amidst the chaos, resulting in serious hardship for those families. Pandemic health concerns are also raised due to the gatherings. Do you...

A) Deploy force to restore order.
B) Address the underlying problems that led to the protests.

General Comments / Voting mechanisms
« on: July 15, 2020, 12:57:04 PM »
If we trust that online banking is relatively safe, why are we so concerned about online voting? If we trust mailing checks to each other, why are we so concerned about mail in ballots? Shouldn't there be an audit mechanism possible, just as there is counting paper ballots? And don't give me that crap about needing to ID someone. Most people don't even look much like the person in the picture from three and a half years ago. What average poll worker is going to look at the ID and say "that doesn't look like you". And if you think that there is a huge cabal working to stuff ballot boxes in an election that is spending a half billion dollars, but they can't come up with a fake ID for people, you are delusional.

General Comments / Home schooled, school at home
« on: July 14, 2020, 04:52:58 PM »
Now that brick and mortar schools have been closed for some time, will it have any permanent effect?

Will students of this era be less prepared for later learning? Will they experience a dip in standardized tests compared to other cohorts?

Band, Phys Ed, Orchestra, Chemistry are clear losses. What if we reopened schools selectively for the biggest losses in education? Chemistry lab once a week wearing masks wouldn't be too horrible, would it? Whereas learning history benefits very little from being taught in person.

Might we see a cost-saving transformation to distance learning?

I'm seeing more and more "America, love it or leave it" messages in social media. You can love your country and criticize it all at the same time. I never see liberals suggest that conservatives leave if they don't like a policy or criticize a problem. OH, you're mad at Obama? Nobody suggested those people should just leave. Why do you think there's a tendency for people with a conservative viewpoint to tell people they don't agree with to just leave? Oh, you don't like the mainstream media, well just leave then! Doesn't happen.

General Comments / Is it weird?
« on: June 27, 2020, 03:16:29 PM »
Is it weird that self proclaimed conservatives are up in arms about a building named after Woodrow Wilson is being renamed? He's a democrat, a socialist, and a globalist. I think they'd say a huzzah. Is this similar or not similar to people pulling down statues mistakenly?

General Comments / Trump and the OGW miss the point, again
« on: June 21, 2020, 08:55:08 PM »
New restrictions on H1B when my personal experience is that zero American applicants are qualified to work at my company. Time to offshore. Probably another salvo to hurt the tech companies in the evolving showdown.

bye bye

General Comments / Enough about the stockpile already
« on: June 19, 2020, 11:35:38 AM »
Now there is a constant drumbeat about how stockpiling Hydroxycholorquine was some terrible waste. First, had the once-promising preliminary reports actually panned out, this would have been a huge win. Second, had it panned out and we didn't have any on hand, the constant drum beat would have been that the response was too slow. Third, it's not like there isn't any use for this drug. It can be resold for its original viable uses. Fourth, the 63 million doses at 0.37 per dose is a whopping total of about $20 million, which is a dot on a pimple of a toe when it comes to expenditures in the response.

Dr. Bright, writing on Twitter on Monday night, offered his own idea: “The drugs should never have been brought into our country and should be destroyed. It took far too long for HHS to revoke this EUA.”

Why the hell would you destroy a drug that has viable uses? Or that other countries might want to buy for covid?

This is a clear example of what people are saying about attacks on Trump. This just isn't a significant issue. Unlike valid concerns about publicly touting its greatness prematurely.

General Comments / No nobel for Trump
« on: June 18, 2020, 05:48:20 PM »
Remember this?

South Korean President Moon Jae-in said U.S. President Donald Trump deserves a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to end the standoff with North Korea over its nuclear weapons program, a South Korean official said on Monday.

A lot of the OGW agreed with him at the time, and so did Trump himself.

Fast forward:

North Korea blew up its joint liaison office with South Korea on Tuesday, in a dramatic and carefully planned display of rancor toward its southern neighbor. The act follows threats from Pyongyang and signals what experts believe will be more provocations to come.

South Korea's Unification Ministry, which handles inter-Korean ties, confirmed that the liaison office was destroyed by a blast shortly before 3:00 p.m. local time. The office was established in 2018 in the Kaesong Industrial Zone, just north of the Demilitarized Zone.

Following the collapse of nuclear negotiations at an aborted summit with President Trump in Vietnam last year, Kim repeatedly signaled that his patience with diplomacy was at an end. He declared in a New Year's speech that Pyongyang was no longer bound by a moratorium on testing nuclear weapons or strategic weapons.

This year has seen a string of North Korean snubs, slights and provocations aimed at Seoul and Washington, including more than a dozen rocket and missile launches. North Korea Foreign Minister Ri Son Gwon last week dismissed the personal relationship between Trump and Kim as useless. And Kwon Jong Gun, director-general for U.S. affairs at North Korea's Foreign Ministry, suggested that unless the U.S. steered clear of inter-Korean issues, the North could make trouble for U.S. presidential elections in November.


Now, I don't blame Trump for failure - everybody fails with North Korea. But it seems like the big celebrations for a step forward were a little premature.

General Comments / Is this really how we determine the UNSC seats?
« on: June 17, 2020, 10:36:58 PM »
Canada has lost its latest bid for a seat on the United Nations Security Council despite an expensive and star-studded campaign.

It lost out to Ireland and Norway for the two "Western bloc" seats

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invested heavily in the campaign, employed 13 full-time staff and invited diplomats to a Celine Dion concert in New York.

Meanwhile, Ireland wheeled out U2 for a similar show but spent around half as much on its campaign.

Canada said it shelled out roughly $1.74m (£1.37m). As of late last year, Ireland spent a reported $800,000 and Norway $2.8m.

Are you fracking me? People are deciding who weighs in on military intervention based in part on getting to go to a concert?

Rioting, looting, and intimidation have to stop.

I posted this to facebook. I suspect several people will unfriend me, several people will call me out. Others will blindly like and share.

I had proposed an experiment like this a while back, but didn't have the guts to follow through. Couldn't find the original thread where we discussed it.

General Comments / Fix it
« on: June 08, 2020, 08:47:28 PM »
We could certainly modify police union rules, or even get rid of them. But they have some legitimacy in protecting police from frivolous false reports by disgruntled criminals.

Citizens could all start wearing cheap body cameras everywhere so we'll see the start of every police interaction instead of just the ones that draw a crowd when it might be retaliation. But privacy advocates will be apoplectic, considering that people freaked out over google glass.

Democrats have introduced sweeping reform knowing that it probably never gets past the Senate committees, let alone the floor. And we all know 100% that Trump, who thinks cops go too easy on people and wants them to dominate the battlespace, is not about to sign it into law.

There's the dubious value of more training, which is likely to erode in the day-to-day "real world" situations.

General Comments / Walking the dog
« on: May 20, 2020, 09:49:47 AM »
Is it ever okay to have somebody who works for you walk your dog or pick up your dry cleaning? Yeah, you know why I'm asking but I really want to explore this generically.

General Comments / Prediction on headline
« on: May 08, 2020, 03:45:56 PM »
I wonder what will happen if I post this article to social media with this headline.

Sixteen sleeping migrant workers run over by train

General Comments / Food in the After Times
« on: May 04, 2020, 11:43:01 AM »
I've drastically changed my diet lately, cooking for myself and seeking variety. I've made a strawberry cobbler, had raw prayers flown in, made frittata, shrimp fried rice, lots of other fun.

Anybody else doing any new eating?

General Comments / abuse of the system, but by whom?
« on: April 29, 2020, 03:44:23 PM »
On Monday, Governor Andy Beshear said dubious claims were slowing the benefits process.

"Can't be doing that," he told media.

"We had somebody apply for unemployment for Tupac Shakur here in Kentucky," Mr Beshear said.

"And that person may have thought they were being funny, they probably did. Except for the fact that because of them, we had to go through so many other claims."

The criticism came as a shock to Tupac Malik Shakur, 46, who reportedly lives in Lexington, Kentucky, and had worked as a cook before the coronavirus pandemic closed down restaurants.

Mr Shakur, who goes by Malik, filed for unemployment on 13 March and has since waited in vain for his cheque.

And this is what happens when you are more worried about someone cheating the system than if you are cheating deserving people.

Send them the money, investigate for fraud, then chase down the offenders. Rather than making people go without food or shelter while they wait for you to make sure they are real.

General Comments / Restaurants - why?
« on: April 21, 2020, 12:25:51 PM »
Restaurants have grown from 25 percent of food spending in the 1950s to more than half, today. The shift has been accelerating: In the last decade, spending at restaurants and bars has grown twice as fast as all other retail spending, like clothes and cars.

But today there are simply too many places to eat, according to Victor Fernandez, executive director at Black Box Intelligence, a restaurant data firm. “Half of our food dollar is now going to restaurants, but we have more supply than we have demand,” he said.

Couldn't we view the closure of a number of restaurants as the inevitable correction of a saturated market?

Meanwhile, restaurants with no seating were already taking off just before the virus hit.

Delivery Only Restaurants

DoorDash's tenants include national chains, including Chick-fil-A, as well as Bay Area brands, such as the diner Nation's Giant Hamburgers.

None of them have actual restaurants or stores nearby, but the DoorDash facility allows them to deliver to Redwood City and neighboring towns.

This lets Rooster & Rice test new neighborhoods without committing a lot of money to a new restaurant and hiring waiters and other staff, Park said.

"In San Francisco, it could easily cost about $750,000 to $1 million for a medium-sized space," he said. "The commissary kitchen model" can generate similar revenue "at a fraction of the cost," Park said.

Is it possible our current situation is just going to accelerate a trend that was already happening? Bad news for servers that used to get a 20% tip for a $200 four top, but that's how things go sometimes.

General Comments / Federal guidelines
« on: April 17, 2020, 12:20:09 PM »

Much of the guidelines make sense to me except this one:

LARGE VENUES (e.g., sit-down dining, movie theaters, sporting venues, places of
worship) can operate under strict physical distancing protocols.

How is that supposed to work? Sporting events with 6ft separation would mean 8 empty seats for every one occupied. Likewise with churches, movie theaters. You could potentially say members of households could group together with no additional risk, but how could you tell? The few concession stands open for the reduced population would still result in lines, are they going to be six feet apart? Are people going to stand six feet apart to climb on to escalators? What happens when the game is over and people are exiting?

I don't see any way that can happen. I've only looked at Phase I so far.

Everybody who is already convinced need not feel compelled to announce it.

For me, I would say that if new hospitalizations per day do not go up when we relax conditions then I would admit we were more restrictive than we needed to be. If it stays level, it suggests that we could have avoided implementing the things we relaxed. This would needfully be a regional look, and it is possible that some communities could stay level while others increased. That would validate the regional approach and suggest that those communities staying level can be fine.

I say hospitalizations because testing is a confounding variable - more tests could make those numbers rise. It also is a good measure of relaxing the at-large population while keeping at-risk people with higher restrictions. Since were are comparing the same communities only to themselves, we eliminate cultural factors and other confounding factors.

General Comments / census
« on: April 02, 2020, 02:30:35 PM »
No big politics here, just sharing my experience. Went to fill out my census online (all I got was a postcard, so no way to do it by mail if I wanted to). Nice and smooth, except I have a roommate who is currently staying with family. So I listed 2 residents, which was correct, but then it wanted to know his birthdate and other info. So I deleted him and submitted, but still as 2 residents. I don't know if my household will be counted as 1 or 2. And if it is that easy to add one, could lots of people be doing that? Independently, I have no idea if my roommate is also responding.

General Comments / covid-19 outside the US
« on: March 27, 2020, 03:26:03 PM »
Maybe we can have one thread that stays hygenically clean of Trump, Republicans, Democrats and US politics and US response?

Indian authorities in the northern state of Punjab have quarantined around 40,000 residents from 20 villages following a Covid-19 outbreak linked to just one man.

The 70-year-old died of coronavirus - a fact found out only after his death.

The man, a preacher, had ignored advice to self quarantine after returning from a trip to Italy and Germany, officials told BBC Punjabi's Arvind Chhabra.

India has 640 confirmed cases of the virus, of which 30 are in Punjab.

However, experts worry that the real number of positive cases could be far higher. India has one of the lowest testing rates in the world, although efforts are under way to ramp up capacity.

There are fears that an outbreak in the country of 1.3 billion people could result in a catastrophe.

The man, identified as Baldev Singh, had visited a large gathering to celebrate the Sikh festival of Hola Mohalla shortly before he died.

The six-day festival attracts around 10,000 people every day.

Coronavirus: India 'super spreader' quarantines 40,000 people

General Comments / Bernie v Biden I
« on: March 16, 2020, 01:38:12 PM »
Bernie didn't score the knockout blow that he really needed. He made his case that Biden was a poor champion of progressive views, calling out his record. Biden made the case that he was a pragmatist that could get things done, while Sanders was an idealist who couldn't accomplish any of what he promised.

Both attacked each other for having too much money and big SuperPACs. I think Sanders should have avoided saying he didn't have any SuperPACs - there is at least one. I think a stronger line would have stated that his SuperPACs weren't funded by billionaires - and then talked about some of the groups that did support him.

General Comments / Trump's fake census
« on: March 05, 2020, 05:06:07 PM »
Facebook removes 'deceptive' Trump census ads

Facebook has removed a series of misleading adverts from the Donald Trump campaign promoting "the Official 2020 Congressional District Census".

Those who clicked the link in the advert were sent to a page on the Donald Trump website where they were asked to complete a survey.

The survey begins by asking about age and political leaning, before asking questions about Trump talking points such as "Obamacare", "the Democrats' failed Impeachment Witch Hunt" and "Nancy Pelosi and the Radical Left".

Those who fill out the Trump campaign's "census" are ultimately sent to a web page calling for donations.

The BBC saw more than three hundred versions of the advert, each targeting different states and demographics.

For example, one advert specifically targeted men aged over 45 in Texas, whereas another targeted women aged over 45 across the US.

Most adverts were aimed at older people, with one exclusively targeting men and women aged over 65 in Maine, Florida, Arkansas and Arizona.

It is not clear exactly how many adverts were run, or how many people would have seen them, only that most of the adverts had been seen by fewer than one thousand people.

I'll save Crunch some time: "There's nothing at all wrong or improper about this, it's perfectly legal! You've got TDS!"

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