22 September 2019

Linkage



I loves me some vintage airshow newsreels:

21 September 2019

Furrsonae Non Gratae

Midwest FurFest has refused to allow Milo Yiannopoulos to attend the convention:
Right-wing persona non grata Milo Yiannopoulos announced that he has adopted a “fursona” as a snow leopard and that he purchased tickets to a furry convention; in response, organizers rescinded his event registration.

Yiannopoulos posted an email screenshot to one of the few platforms he has left—his Telegram messaging channel—on Saturday and claimed he registered for Midwest FurFest, a convention “to celebrate the furry fandom” hosted in the suburbs on Chicago this December. “Furries,” as they’re often called, are groups of people who have interest in animal personas with human characteristics; people who participate in the subculture often present themselves as non-human characters via art and costumes.
Needless to say, members of the Fured Reich are feeling a lot of butt-hurt about this.

Not Just Republican States

New York state has the most byzantine and opaque requirements for party registration in the nation.

This has clearly been done to ensure that the party bosses have no accountability.

BTW, it's not just the Sanders campaign that has made this observation, so has the Brennan Center:\
Clumsily designed ballots. An antiquated registration process. Confusing deadlines and outdated laws. Long lines and no early voting. New York state — caricatured as a bastion of progressive politics — has some of the most retrograde voting laws and practices in the nation. Reports of dysfunction from Thursday’s primary only add to the evidence: New York is disenfranchising its citizens.
We won't see any sanctions, but we should.

Headline of the Day

How to Use Parental Lock to Stop Your Parents from Watching Fox News
Slate
Not a bad idea.

20 September 2019

Nice to See Reality Acknowledged in a Court of Law

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit has just ruled thatwas written specifically to prevent blacks from voting.

If this stands, it might put North Carolina back under the pre-clearance regime of the Voting Rights Act:
Today, a federal court struck down North Carolina's voter-ID law, one of the strictest in the nation. In addition to requiring residents to show identification before they can cast a ballot, the law also eliminated same-day voter registration, eliminated seven days of early voting and put an end to out-of-precinct voting. The federal court ruling reinstates these provisions, for now.

………

The federal court in Richmond found that the primary purpose of North Carolina's wasn't to stop voter fraud, but rather to disenfranchise minority voters. The judges found that the provisions "target African Americans with almost surgical precision."

In particular, the court found that North Carolina lawmakers requested data on racial differences in voting behaviors in the state. "This data showed that African Americans disproportionately lacked the most common kind of photo ID, those issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)," the judges wrote.

So the legislators made it so that the only acceptable forms of voter identification were the ones disproportionately used by white people. "With race data in hand, the legislature amended the bill to exclude many of the alternative photo IDs used by African Americans," the judges wrote. "The bill retained only the kinds of IDs that white North Carolinians were more likely to possess."

The data also showed that black voters were more likely to make use of early voting — particularly the first seven days out of North Carolina's 17-day voting period. So lawmakers eliminated these seven days of voting. "After receipt of this racial data, the General Assembly amended the bill to eliminate the first week of early voting, shortening the total early voting period from seventeen to ten days," the court found.

Most strikingly, the judges point to a "smoking gun" in North Carolina's justification for the law, proving discriminatory intent. The state argued in court that "counties with Sunday voting in 2014 were disproportionately black" and "disproportionately Democratic," and said it did away with Sunday voting as a result.

"Thus, in what comes as close to a smoking gun as we are likely to see in modern times, the State’s very justification for a challenged statute hinges explicitly on race — specifically its concern that African Americans, who had overwhelmingly voted for Democrats, had too much access to the franchise," the judges write in their decision.

This is about as clear-cut an indictment of the discriminatory underpinnings of voter-ID laws as you'll find anywhere. Studies have already shown a significant link between support for voter ID and racial discrimination, among both lawmakers and white voters in general.

"Faced with this record," the federal court concludes, "we can only conclude that the North Carolina General Assembly enacted the challenged provisions of the law with discriminatory intent."
I really hope that this is enough to get North Carolina back under the Voting Rights Act.

Bye Bye Bill

And Bill de Blasio has dropped out of the Presidential race.

Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

That Gonna Change the World Thing………

We know that MIT Media Lab, and the entire senior management of MIT, conspired to keep donations from Jeffrey Epstein.

In the ensuing furor, one has to wonder what they could possibly do to make themselves even more toxic.

I mean, it would have to be something really bad, like illegally dumping toxic waste down the public sewers, which they also did:
Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab have dumped wastewater underground in apparent violation of a state environmental regulation, according to documents and interviews, potentially endangering local waterways in and near the town of Middleton.

Nitrogen levels from the lab’s wastewater registered more than 20 times above the legal limit, according to documents provided by a former Media Lab employee. When water contains large amounts of nitrogen, it can kill fish and deprive infants of oxygen.

Nine months ago, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection began asking questions, but MIT’s health and safety office failed to provide the required water quality reports, according to documents obtained by ProPublica and WBUR. This triggered an ongoing state investigation.

After ProPublica and WBUR contacted MIT for comment, an institute official said the lab in question was pausing its operations while the university and regulators worked on a solution. Tony Sharon, an MIT deputy vice president who oversees the health and safety office, didn’t comment on the specific events described in the documents.

………

The lab responsible for the dumping is the Open Agriculture Initiative, one of many research projects at the Media Lab. Led by principal research scientist Caleb Harper, who was trained as an architect, the initiative has been under fire for overhyping its “food computers”: boxes that could supposedly be programmed to grow crops, but allegedly didn’t work as promised.

Throughout early 2018, the lab’s research site in Middleton, about 20 miles north of the main MIT campus in Cambridge, routinely drained hundreds of gallons of water with nitrogen into an underground disposal well, at concentrations much higher than the lab’s permit allowed, according to documents and interviews. The nitrogen came from a fertilizer mix used to grow plants hydroponically.
This is what happens when you create an institution, like Media Lab, where the principals believe that they are a priori virtuous people who are saving the world.

Also:  What the f%$# does hydroponics have to do with media?

19 September 2019

And then Her Cat Killed Him

hope you survive bro.
I have made a number of bad decisions in my life, but giving my girl friend's cat a Godzilla haircut is not one of them.

Not Enough Bullets

Purdue Pharma has declared bankruptcy, but they still want to pay $34 million in bonuses to senior managers, because it's not drug pushing if you are white and went to Harvard.

I want the guillotine concession at this bankruptcy trial.

I'll make out like a raped ape:
Officials at troubled drugmaker Purdue Pharma say “certain employees” should be paid more than $34 million in bonuses for meeting and exceeding goals over the last three years, even though the company is facing thousands of lawsuits over its role in the nation’s opioid crisis and earlier this week filed for bankruptcy.

In a legal filing, attorneys for Purdue Pharma asked a judge to authorize millions in payments to employees who have met “target performance goals.”

It is not clear from the company filings why employees would be eligible for bonuses because, while the bonuses are supposed to be partly contingent on the company’s financial performance, the company has filed for bankruptcy.

At a bankruptcy court hearing in White Plains, N.Y., on Tuesday, Paul K. Schwartzberg, an attorney for the U.S. Trustee, raised objections to some of the bonuses. While it is typical for companies in bankruptcy to try to pay employees as a firm seeks to regain its financial footing, the Purdue Pharma bonuses go “way beyond” what is typical, he said.
Enough is enough.

Govrnor Ratf%$# is at it Again

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has set up a a dark money group to oppose educating our children, particularly the black and brown ones:
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is reprising his role as a grass roots agitator, asking top supporters to raise at least $2 million for a lobbying and public relations campaign that would herald his Republican agenda and try to rouse opposition to Democratic priorities.

A fundraising memo obtained by The Washington Post emphasized that Hogan’s new super PAC and a related nonprofit “can accept unlimited donations.” The campaign will target, among other things, a costly plan embraced by the Democratic-majority legislature to address inequity in public schools and deep disparities in student achievement.

Campaign finance watchdogs said the governor’s solicitation illustrates a troubling trend that has escalated over the past decade, as public officeholders find methods to raise unlimited money — some from undisclosed donors — in ways often prohibited for traditional candidate committees.

The second of six fundraisers listed in the memo took place in Annapolis last week, with donors asked to give as much as $10,000 apiece.

………

The governor is trying to accomplish indirectly what hehas largely been unable to do from inside the State House: pressure the General Assembly to side with him on contentious policy questions. Democrats have veto-proof majorities in both chambers, and have easily overturned Hogan’s vetoes of bills to, among other things, raise the minimum wage, restore voting rights to felons and permanently protect oyster sanctuaries.
There are no good Republicans, some of them just hide their true nature better.

Do not be confused by statements by Hogan and Evil Minions, when they oppose getting funding to under-resourced districts, what they really mean that they think that educating people of color is a bad thing.

I guss that Larry thinks that education makes black folks uppity.