31 October 2018

Economists Discover the Obvious

Economists are now (begrudgingly) announcing that Seattle's $15/hour minimum wage did not cause an apocalypse, and that, in fact, it benefited the poorest workers in the city:
Earlier this year, a group of business school researchers from the University of Washington and NYU, as well as Amazon, published an influential paper claiming that the rising Seattle minimum wage had decreased take-home pay for workers by 6% due to cuts to work hours -- the paper was trumpeted by right-wing ideologues as examples of how "liberal policies" hurt the workers they are meant to help.

But a new paper by the same authors (Sci-Hub mirror) shows that the rising minimum wage generated major increases for the workers who had the most hours, whose hours were only cut a little, but still came out ahead thanks to the wage increase; workers with fewer hours saw no financial harm from the rising minimum wage, working fewer hours and bringing home the same sum; and they found some harm to people who had the smallest number of hours) (which may actually reflect stronger demand for workers and fewer workers in this category of very-low-hour work).

Yeah, This Does Not Make Me Want to Buy GM Car

It turns out that GM has been secretly spying on its customers' radio listening habits:
On September 12th, GM's director of global digital transformation Saejin Park gave a presentation to the Association of National Advertisers in which he described how the company had secretly gathered data on the radio-listening habits of 90,000 GM owners in LA and Chicago for three months in 2017, tracking what stations they listened to and for how long, and where they were at the time; this data was covertly exfiltrated from the cars by means of their built-in wifi.

The company says it never sold this data, but the presentation to the advertising execs was clearly designed to elicit bids for it. Toyota has promised not to gather and sell telematics data, but GM seems poised to create a market in data gathered by your car, which can listen to you, follow you, take pictures of you and your surroundings, and even gather data on which passengers are in the car at different times by tracking Bluetooth beacons from mobile devices.
This is unbelievably creepy, and the fact that no one is going to jail over this is even worse.

Tweet of the Day

Silly rabbit, don't you know, it's the Russians, or maybe, it was the fault of those damn Eskimos!

This is Bullsh%$

Trump's people on the NLRB has effectively banned union picketers when they are employed by contractors:
An all-Republican panel of President Trump’s National Labor Relation Board (NLRB) recently ruled that janitors in San Francisco violated the law when they picketed in front of their workplace to win higher wages, better working conditions and freedom from sexual harassment in their workplace. The ruling could result in far-reaching restrictions on picketing that limit the ability of labor unions to put public pressure on management.

The NLRB reached its conclusion by using the complex and convoluted employment structure created by the janitors’ employers. The janitors were technically employed by one company, Ortiz Janitorial Services, which was subcontracted by another company, Preferred Building Services, to work in the building of a third company.


The NLRB based its decision on a particularly onerous provision in federal labor law that prohibits employees from engaging in boycotts, pickets or other activities that are aimed at a secondary employer. The provision was added as part of the 1947 Taft-Hartley Act, taking away one of labor’s most powerful weapons.

In this case, the NLRB overturned an administrative law judge’s ruling that because the second company had significant control over the employment relationship, it constituted a joint employer. The judge based her conclusion on evidence that Preferred Building Services was involved in the hiring, firing, disciplining, supervision, direction of work, and other terms and conditions of the janitors’ employment with Ortiz Janitorial Services. Therefore, both Ortiz and Preferred acted as joint employers to the janitors.
When Obama entered office, he dropped support for card check so fast it made your head spin.

Among other things, the Democratic Party needs to be more than a f%$#ing ratchet, where, whenever the Democrats take power, every reactionary action of the Republicans is never, ever reversed.

I Early Voted at Lunch

Yadda, yadda, yadda.

Vote early and often.
Posted via mobile.

30 October 2018

A Public Apology 27½ Years Overdue

I just wanted to make a note:  I founded Arisia over 25 years ago, filed the original paperwork, and the 501(c)3 application, and chaired the first two conventions in 1990 and 1991.

While it has been a while since I have done anything involved with Arisia (2005, because I decided that it was bad for me on a purely personal (as in in obsessive/addictive behavior) issues.)

However, I am aware that I made numerous errors during my tenure running the con, particularly in the last 6 months as chairman:  I was a legendary asshole during that time, and I believe that some of the organizational issues that Arisia appears to have to this day likely flow from this.

To the degree that Arisia has cultural and organizational issues, and I have been away for 13 years, so I honestly do not know anything about the current organizational culture, I was in at the beginning, and contributed to that.

I am profoundly sorry, and I wish that I had the common sense to realize in mid-1990 that my behavior was destructive and harmful, and do better by the convention and my then staff.

I sincerely apologize to people that I directly or indirectly hurt in the process.

Reader(s) of my blog will know that I have made only one substantive post regarding Arisia, two if you count my obit for Mary Robison,  in the 10+ years that I have been blogging, though I have made a few references indicating my experience in non-profits to rail against the evils that are televangelists, political front groups, and pineapple on pizza.

Want some Cheese with that Whine?

Donald Trump is such a delicate snowflake.

He is upset that, after literally decades of racist public statements, (remember the Central Park 5?) he has a sad because people people are blaming his rhetoric for contributing to the Squirrel Hill massacre, when no one said anything about Barack Obama when a white supremacist shot up the Emanuel AME Church in Charlston, SC.

Set me speak slowly here: No one blamed Barack Obama because he never called for violence against people on the basis of politics or ethnicity, and you have, and you continue to do so:
President Trump complained Monday about the news coverage he has received related to the alleged pipe bomber, saying a different standard was applied to then-President Barack Obama when nine black worshipers were killed at a church in Charleston, S.C., during his tenure.

Trump highlighted the contrast during a wide-ranging interview with Laura Ingraham of Fox News, who pointed out that Cesar Sayoc, who allegedly sent more than a dozen mail bombs to leading Democrats and CNN, was a big Trump fan. None of the devices exploded.

“I was in the headline of The Washington Post, my name associated with this crazy bomber,” Trump said. “They didn’t do that with President Obama with the church, the horrible situation with the church — they didn’t do that.”
They did not do it because:
  • Dylan Roof (יִמַּח שְׁמוֹ) was not a Barack Obama supporter, and was not spouting Obama speeches.
  • Cesar Sayoc (יִמַּח שְׁמוֹ) IS a Donald Trump supporter, and he was constantly spouting your vile racist sewage.
  • Robert Bowers (יִמַּח שְׁמוֹ) IS a Donald Trump supporter, and he was constantly spouting your vile racist sewage.
  • Gregory Bush (יִמַּח שְׁמוֹ) IS a Donald Trump supporter, and he was constantly spouting your vile racist sewage.
  • etc. (Too many shootings and acts of bigotry just this year to count)
Mr. Trump, get over yourself, you miserable vomitous mass.

24 Years, and Not Murdered Yet, Even Though I Deserve It.

It's my 24th wedding anniversary, and my Sharon* has not killed me yet.

I have some posts cued up,  but I have a date with a beautiful woman with bewitching eyes and infinite patience.

*Love of my life, light of the cosmos, she who must be obeyed, my wife.

29 October 2018

Did not Need to Know This

Someone thought that it would be a good idea to sample people of different political persuasions as to their political fantasies.

I find it disturbing and illuminating
In this political environment, it’s easy to look at Republicans and Democrats as having next to nothing in common. Regardless of the issue at hand, we see them as wanting completely different things—especially when it comes to issues of sex and sexuality.

From differences in the way they have approached the sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh to their views on abortion and same-sex marriage, Democrats and Republicans appear worlds apart.

It’s not just their public policy positions that seem to differ wildly, though.

According to the largest and most comprehensive survey of sexual fantasies ever conducted in the United States, it would appear that there are also political differences in our private sexual fantasies.

I surveyed 4,175 adult Americans from all 50 states about what turns them on and published the findings in a book entitled Tell Me What You Want. As part of this survey, participants were given a list of hundreds of different people, places and things that might be a turn-on. For each one, they reported on how frequently they fantasized about it.

I learned a lot about the nature of sexual desire in modern America, but one of the more intriguing things I uncovered was the political divide in our fantasy worlds.

While self-identified Republicans and self-identified Democrats reported fantasizing with the same average frequency—several times per week—I found that Republicans were more likely than Democrats to fantasize about a range of activities that involve sex outside of marriage. Think things like infidelity, orgies and partner swapping, from 1970s-style “key parties” to modern-day forms of swinging. Republicans also reported more fantasies with voyeuristic themes, including visiting strip clubs and practicing something known as “cuckolding,” which involves watching one’s partner have sex with someone else.
It appears that Republicans favorite sexual fantasies are also their favorite insults.

That juxtaposition of shame and sex does appear to explain quite a lot, though that is a thoroughly unprofessional opinion, as I am an engineer, not a doctor, dammit!*

*I love it when I get to go all Dr. McCoy!

Buh Bye, Angela

Following a disastrous electoral showing in Hesse, Angela Merkel has announced her resignation of the CDU and that she will not stand for reelection as chancellor:
After dominating European politics for well over a decade, Angela Merkel has said her fourth term as Germany’s chancellor will be her last.

Speaking after disastrous regional elections in Hesse and Bavaria for her Christian Democrats and its Bavaria-only sister party, Merkel on Monday said she saw the results as a “clear signal that things can’t go on as they are”.

She said she would not be standing as party leader at the CDU conference in December nor seek another term as chancellor at Germany’s next federal elections, due in 2021, adding that she would withdraw completely from politics after that date.

She also stated she would also not run for chancellor if snap elections were called before 2021.
Here's hoping that whoever succeeds her is less likely to favor banks and bankers over real people.

Here's also hoping that her successor won't be, you know, actual Nazis, from the AfD.

Seriously, this is worse than Pittsburgh

For most of us, the actions by, "Betsy Riot, a neo-suffragette, punk-patriot resistance movement," would be a source of amusement, (it involved googly eyes) but for Nebraska Congressman, and humorless wanker, Jeff Fortenberry (NE-1), it's a sign of just how dangerous and violent our political discourse has become.

Has anyone else noticed just what delicate snowflakes Republicans are?

Yes, he actually tweeted his outrage, and the responses to it are epic.

H/t DC at the Stellar Parthenon BBS.

Quote of the Day

What the reactionary centrist refuses to recognize is that centrism as a political position can only flourish by marginalizing the political fringes. In America today, the ideological fringe is represented by, on the one hand, leftist critics of the Democratic party, and on the other, supporters of authoritarian ethno-nationalism.

The former group has no political power. The latter group now controls the Republican party, which controls the national government. The GOP has been slouching toward authoritarian ethno-nationalism for more than a half century, and now it is finally all the way there.

People who long for the return of some sort of consensus centrist politics should be working toward the destruction of the Republican party. The idea of political compromise with authoritarian ethno-nationalism is not only immoral: from a pragmatic perspective it is deeply absurd.
Paul Campos
This is where the both-siders preaching high Broderism lose their grasp on reality: They conflate powerless crazies with people who are currently running all 3 branches of government.

They things are not the same, and implying that they are is delusional.

28 October 2018

This Exceeds My Collection of Face Palm Icons

Nope, not enough
The keynote speaker at the The 15th International Conference on Advances in Computer Entertainment Technology is Steve Bannon.

Yes, that guy, the poster child for drinking yourself to death.

That racist former member of the Trump administration will keynote ACE 2018.

What the f%$# were they thinking?

It's like inviting Vox Day to keynote a Worldcon.

This will not end well.

Brazil is Completely F%$#ed

Right wing lunatic Jair Bolsonaro has been elected President of Brazil, and we should expect things to get much, much, worse for the people of Brazil.

Unfortunately, the move to a mild form of social democracy so unnerved the Brazilian elites that they have conducted a years-long coup against a fairly mild left-wing party, and it looks like Brazil is in for some truly unsettled times as a result:
A far-right, pro-gun, pro-torture populist has been elected as Brazil’s next president after a drama-filled and deeply divisive election that looks set to radically reforge the future of the world’s fourth biggest democracy.

Jair Bolsonaro, a 63-year-old former paratrooper who built his campaign around pledges to crush corruption, crime and a supposed communist threat, secured 55.5% of the votes after more than 94% were counted and was therefore elected Brazil’s next president, electoral authorities said on Sunday.


Over nearly three decades in politics, he has become notorious for his hostility to black, gay and indigenous Brazilians and to women, as well as for his admiration of dictatorial regimes, including the one that ruled Brazil from 1964 until 1985.

“The extreme right has conquered Brazil,” Celso Rocha de Barros, a Brazilian political columnist, told the election night webcast of Piauí magazine. “Brazil now has a more extremist president than any democratic country in the world ... we don’t know what is going to happen.”
Expect massive logging, and an explosion of violence against the LGBT and indigenous people for a start.

Not a Surprise

Congress thinks there are too many generals and flag officers holding positions in the Defense Department.

It’s something the 2017 defense authorization act directly addressed by telling DoD to reduce the number of general and flag officer billets by 110 by 2022.

Now, a new RAND study commissioned by the Pentagon finds there are just about that many general and flag officers that are unneeded.

The study revealed that after looking at the requirements for general and flag officer positions, about 132 of the 615 positions didn’t meet the need for such a high ranking official.

“We tried to look and see to make sure each of the positions that were on the books were adequately justified,” Lisa Harrington, associate director of the Forces and Resources Policy Center at the RAND Corporation told Federal News Network. “Our method tries to look at these positions from a different perspective, either organizationally, the characteristics of the individual position, what opportunities are there for reductions and then what are inconsistencies across the services?”

RAND concluded that about 10 percent of those positions can be downgraded to leadership below a flag officer or be eliminated altogether.

Congress and other critics of flag officer inflation feel the issue has gotten out of hand.
Gee, you think?

It's not just general officers.  The ratio of officers to men in the military has been 10:1 for hundreds of years, since before the founding of the Republic, and these days, its 5:1.

Bloated administration seems to be a good first step to determine where we should cut the military.

Support Your Local Police

Cop Gang Tats
As a part of a wrongful death lawsuit against the LAPD LA County Sheriff's Department, a judge has ordered the LA County sheriff's department to inspect its officers for police gang tattoos:
A judge said Thursday that Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department officials must reveal whether they know the names of deputies who have matching skull tattoos at the Compton station.

Allegations about a secret society of inked deputies at the station have been at the center of a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of Donta Taylor, who was shot and killed by deputies in 2016.

Superior Court Judge Michael P. Vicencia stopped short of ordering the department to force deputies to bare their skin to show whether they have tattoos, but he left open the possibility that officers could be compelled to answer questions about their ink if they’re given the chance to object first.

“I’m not saying you shouldn’t get the information,” Vicencia said to the family’s attorney at the hearing in Long Beach. “But this is unusual. I don’t know I’ve ever seen this before.”

John Sweeney, who represents the family of Taylor, who was black, has argued the shooting was carried out by members of a racist deputy clique that targets black residents. He said the identities of the group’s members among the 163 deputies at the Compton station should be known.

One of the deputies involved in the shooting, Samuel Aldama, admitted in a deposition in May to having a tattoo on his calf of a skull with a rifle and a military-style helmet with flames surrounding it. He said as many as 20 other deputies at the Compton station have the same tattoo.
It's come to the point where the cops are indistinguishable from MS-13.

Hope for Humanity

A crowdfunding campaign formed by two Muslim groups has raised more than $60,000 for the victims of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, which killed 11, the Independent reported.

Muslim-American non-profits Celebrate Mercy and MPower Change were behind the campaign, “Muslims Unite For Pittsburgh Synagogue.” It is also in partnership with the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh.

The campaign reached its initial goal of $25,000 goal in six hours. As of press time, it raised $62,500 of its new $75,000 goal. The proceeds will help with funeral expenses and medical bills.
A group of Jewish leaders told President Trump that he is no longer welcome in Pittsburgh until he denounces white nationalism following the shooting at a synagogue there over the weekend.

Eleven members of the Pittsburgh affiliate of Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice penned a letter to Trump following the Saturday shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue.

“Our Jewish community is not the only group you have targeted,” the group wrote. “You have also deliberately undermined the safety of people of color, Muslims, LGBTQ people, and people with disabilities. Yesterday’s massacre is not the first act of terror you incited against a minority group in our country.”
Hopefully the rest of the community in Pittsburgh take a similar position.

27 October 2018

Some Sanity from the Library of Congress

The Library of Congress regulates how people interact with copyrighted digital equipment, and they just ruled that you have a right to break the manufacturers' digital rights management (DRM) in order to repair your device:
The Librarian of Congress and US Copyright Office just proposed new rules that will give consumers and independent repair experts wide latitude to legally hack embedded software on their devices in order to repair or maintain them. This exemption to copyright law will apply to smartphones, tractors, cars, smart home appliances, and many other devices.

The move is a landmark win for the “right to repair” movement; essentially, the federal government has ruled that consumers and repair professionals have the right to legally hack the firmware of “lawfully acquired” devices for the “maintenance” and “repair” of that device. Previously, it was legal to hack tractor firmware for the purposes of repair; it is now legal to hack many consumer electronics.

Specifically, it allows breaking digital rights management (DRM) and embedded software locks for “the maintenance of a device or system … in order to make it work in accordance with its original specifications” or for “the repair of a device or system … to a state of working in accordance with its original specifications.”
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) has always been a horrible law, but no where is it worse in cases where it allows manufacturers to lock people out from repairing items that they bought and paid for.

Blaming Trump for This One

Trump has made bigotry fashionable in large segments of society, and he has demonized immigrants and refugees, and now we have a mass shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh:
Eleven people are dead and six more are wounded — including four police officers — after a mass shooting at the Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood Saturday morning.

The shooter, who officials said had an assault-style rifle and three handguns, is in custody, Pittsburgh police report. Officials have confirmed he is Robert Bowers, 46, of Baldwin Borough. He is in Allegheny General Hospital in fair condition with multiple gunshot wounds, officials said.


Gunfire erupted shortly before 10 a.m. as a baby-naming ceremony was getting underway, officials confirmed.


The Anti-Defamation League said it believed it was the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in the U.S. history.

There was an initial confrontation in which two officers were injured, Mr. Hissrich said. Two more who are members of SWAT were injured in a later confrontation, Pittsburgh Police Chief Scott Schubert said at the news conference. Officials said they believe the suspect was acting alone.
It appears that his actions were a juxtaposition of antisemitism and anti-immigrant bias, making hime the very modern model of the modern Trump Republican:
Someone posting under the name Robert Bowers on the social media site Gab.com, wrote on or around Oct. 10: "Why hello there HIAS! You like to bring in hostile invaders to dwell among us? We appreciate the list of friends you have provided," and included a link to the website for HIAS National Refugee Shabbat, formerly the Hebrew Immigration Aid Society.

HIAS was founded in 1881 to help Jews fleeing Eastern Europe. In the 2000s, it expanded its work to include non-Jewish refugees, including those fleeing Afghanistan, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Ethiopia, Haiti, Hungary, Iran, Morocco, Poland, Romania, Tunisia and Vietnam.

HIAS led events held last weekend and billed online as "a moment for congregations, organizations, and individuals around the country to create a Shabbat experience dedicated to refugees." Jewish Family and Community Services is listed on the HIAS website as a partner of the organization. The website indicates that JFCS and three Pittsburgh congregations were participating in the group's awareness campaign last weekend: Beth Shalom, Dor Hadash and Makom HaLev.

Robert Bowers on Gab.com indicated a week ago that he "noticed a change in people saying 'illegals' that now say 'invaders' I like this." He also called one other poster on Gab.com a "deceptive little oven dodger" in response to a post debunking a rumor that trucks marked with the Star of David were bringing Central American migrants to the U.S.
This is a direct result of Donald Trump and his rhetoric.

The right wing has been weaponizing bigots and the mentally ill to intimidate the rest of us since at least the Reagan administration.

We've seen it with mass shootings, the assassination of Alan Berg, violence against abortion clinics, etc.

There is an entire domestic terrorist infrastructure that the right wing has built, and it needs to be taken down.

26 October 2018

The Ukraine is Being the Ukraine Again

It turns out a prominent Ukrainian politician is celebrating Cossack pogroms against Jews, because ……… the Ukraine:
A regional leader of the Svoboda far-right party in Ukraine posted on Facebook a picture of a Cossack beating a Jew with a bloody flail, along with a poem celebrating the “threshing.”

Yuri Gorbinko, head of the party in Fastiv, a municipality near Kiev, posted the picture earlier this month, Eduard Dolinsky, the head of Ukrainian Jewish Committee, wrote on the same social network.

It shows a man dressed in traditional garb of the Cossacks, a Slavic group that lived in Eastern Ukraine and some parts of Russia that was responsible for countless pogroms against Jews and other minority groups well into the 20th century.

The picture came with a short poem extolling agricultural work, including “threshing.”

The Jewish figure, dressed in Hasidic style, is on his knees looking up in horror at the Cossack. A second figure, a disfigured blond-haired man, possibly representing Polish people, is seen lying in a pool of blood. A third individual, possibly Russian, is holding up his arms defensibly.
For some reason, these are our allies.

As My Brother is Wont to Say, a Stopped Clock is Ready Twice a Day

It looks like Donald Trump is proposing price controls on prescription drugs under Medicare Part B:
Up to now, most of President Donald Trump’s drug-pricing proposals have been more flash than substance. But that’s about to change.

Trump is set to detail a major pricing initiative in a speech Thursday afternoon in Washington, and early details suggest that this one has real teeth. Politico reports that the administration plans to benchmark Medicare prices for certain drugs against (much lower) prices in 16 other nations, and drop prices to their level over five years. The administration is specifically targeting expensive biologic drugs — medicines made by living cells — that are paid for by Medicare Part B, which covers drugs administered in doctors offices and hospitals.

It would be an unprecedented use of government muscle to bring drug costs down in Part B, where pharmaceutical companies currently have nearly unfettered pricing power. It remains to be seen if it can distract from the GOP’s other health-care woes as U.S. midterm elections approach. But in contrast with other recent drug-pricing efforts, this one has pharma investors scared, and for good reason.
My guess is that this about moving the needle in the upcoming elections, and it will be dropped in November,

Florida Man………

Hell of a way to reinforce a meme:
Before he was arrested for mailing more than a dozen pipe bombs to prominent critics of President Donald Trump — some of which included pictures of the intended targets with a red “X” over their faces — Cesar Sayoc lived a scattered and bizarre life in South Florida.

He was an avid bodybuilder who trained in mixed martial arts and a former exotic dancer and strip club manager who held a string of odd jobs, among them a Papa John’s pizza deliveryman and a DJ. He bought a house in Fort Lauderdale, which was foreclosed on in 2009, lived with his parents in an Aventura condo, and most recently slept in a white van papered with pro-Trump and right-wing stickers.

Along the way, Sayoc racked up a long rap sheet for everything from grand theft and battery to making a bomb threat against Florida Power & Light. He was also accused of domestic violence by a woman who appears to have been his grandmother.

But of all of his diverse interests, 56-year-old Sayoc’s fervent support for Trump appears to have been his greatest passion in recent years. Sayoc’s social media accounts were filled with photos of him wearing a red Make American Great Again baseball cap, videos of a Trump rally he attended in 2016 and pro-Trump news stories. He also shared racist memes and spouted conspiracy theories.
Steroid addled and reactionary is no way to go through life, son.

25 October 2018

Racist Dog Whistles

On Monday, I was listening to Democrat Johnny "Johnny O" Olszewski and Republican Al Redmer, candidates for Baltimore County Executive, on the local public radio station.

Olszewski spent his time talking about issues, and Redmer spent his time talking about how to shut out section 8 housing (black) families and how schools are being destroyed because teachers cannot suspend or expel (black) kids.

It was like this over, and over, and over again.

I think that some canine eardrums may have been ruptured by all of this.

Quote of the Day

Maybe Brexit is good, but the process has underscored how just about every Tory is a blithering idiot who couldn't put together the simplest Ikea bookcase even if he had to in order to keep mummy's inheritance.
I believe that some variant of the inability to find one's ass with both hands applies.

Amid the Disasters, One Accidental Success

The two Koreas and the US-led United Nations Command have agreed to remove weapons in a border village where troops from both sides face off daily, the latest sign of increasingly warm relations between the once-hostile neighbours.

Seoul’s defence ministry said in a statement that, following trilateral talks on Monday, agreement had been reached to withdraw firearms and guard posts from the Joint Security Area (JSA), also known as the truce village of Panmunjom.

The parties will then conduct a “three-way joint verification” for another two days, it added.

The highly symbolic move comes amid the failure of nuclear talks to yield concrete results the complaints from the US that it had not been properly briefed on military agreements between the two Koreas. The approval of the US-led United Nations Command (UNC) is significant given wariness in Washington about the pace of inter-Korean rapprochement and its earlier order to block shipments across the border.
I am not sure how or why this happened, you could ascribe this to Trump, but my guess is that it's more about the fact that Kim Jong-un, and most of his government, are young enough to not have lived through the Korean war.

It really is about the only thing that hasn't gotten worse on the world stage in the past few years.

It Turns Out that there ARE Things that I am Less Interested in Seeing Than Donald Trump Scat Pr0n.

Case in point, the current, "How Justin Bieber eats a burrito," Twitter storm.

Just kill me.

Buh Bye Megyn

It looks like Megyn Kelly's long history of racism has finally caught up with her:
Megyn Kelly is expected to wind down her 9 a.m. 'Today' show hour by the end of the season, THR reported late Wednesday.

Megyn Kelly Today will be airing reruns in wake of the NBC News host's controversial comments about wearing blackface and amid an uncertain future surrounding her place at the network.

The host is expected to end her show on the 9 a.m. hour of Today by the end of the season, a source told THR. Kelly was set to meet with executives to work out the future of her role at the network. During meetings held before the eruption from her blackface remarks, Kelly had expressed a desire to cover more news and politics and move away from the lighter fare she often covers on her morning show. Now, backlash from the remarks seem to have only exacerbated the conversation about the future of both Megyn Kelly Today and Kelly at NBC. It's unclear what NBC News would put in place of Kelly's show.
I don't understand how NBC can be surprised by this.

Kelly spent a decade giving racist dog whistles, when she wasn't blowing a racist tuba, at Fox News.

Tweet of the Day



Was it aliens?

24 October 2018

Even in my Coffee

I'm having coffee at work, and I glance at the lit of the can of coffee, and I see that:

I don't expect a whole bunch out of my work coffee.  I'm not one of those folks who demand fresh ground coffee with foam, etc.

I just want that orange rat-f%$# to stay the f%$# away from my f%$#ing coffee.

I don't f%$#ing think that this is too f%$#ing much to f%$#ing ask.

I also know that it's kind of petty to complain about this, after all, my employer is paying for my the maintenance of my caffeine dependence problem, but I would prefer that my coffee not remind me that Donald John Trump exists, and used to be a crappy reality show host.

Google Being Evil

Google is spending a lot of time on its "Smart City" project in Toronot, but it appears rather likely that their promises of respecting resident privacy is a sham, since privacy expert Ann Cavoukian has abruptly resigned from the project, and issued a scathing letter stating that her concerns are being ignored:
Ontario’s former privacy commissioner has resigned from her consulting role at a company that is preparing to build a high-tech community at Toronto’s waterfront, citing concerns that a privacy framework she developed is being overlooked.

Ann Cavoukian resigned from her role from Google sister company Sidewalk Labs on Friday to “make a strong statement” she told Global News.

“I felt I had no choice because I had been told by Sidewalk Labs that all of the data collected will be de-identified at source,” she said.

But last Thursday, at a meeting, she said she found out that wasn’t the case with the company, which invested $40 million to develop technology for a downtown Toronto smart city project.
“Sidewalk said while they would commit to doing it, the other parties involved in these new entities they’ve created…they couldn’t make them do it,” she said.


Former Blackberry co-CEO Jim Balsillie called the project “a colonizing experiment in surveillance capitalism.”


“Your personal information, your privacy is critical. It is not just a fundamental human right. It forms the foundation of our freedom,” Cavoukian said.
Google is evil, and it, and Facebook, and the rest of the Silicon snake oil sales men who try to make their money off of your personal data, need to be regulated aggressively.

A Good First Step

A federal judge intends to issue an injunction barring Georgia election officials from tossing certain absentee ballots without giving would-be voters advance notice and a chance to rectify any issues.

The implementation of the injunction — which U.S. District Court Judge Leigh Martin May plans to file Thursday — could complicate the work of election officials statewide, requiring the review of hundreds or thousands of ballot signatures with less than two weeks until Election Day. But civil rights groups whose lawsuits led to May’s decision have already declared victory in the battle, just one of many voting rights skirmishes to surface in what’s become a contentious Georgia election season.

“We are pleased that the court has enforced the due process guarantees of the U.S. Constitution,” said Sean Young, legal director of Georgia’s branch of the American Civil Liberties Union. “Today’s ruling is a victory for democracy and for every absentee voter in the state of Georgia.”
This is not the sort of sh%$ that should be allowed to stand.

It is literally an assault on democracy.

Round Up the Usual Suspects

Somewhere around half a dozen bombs sent to various Democratic Party, progressive, and news media.
This is in addition to the bomb placed in George Soros' mailbox yesterday:
Pipe bombs were sent to several prominent Democrats, including former President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, setting off an intense investigation on Wednesday into whether figures vilified by the right were being targeted.

From Washington to New York to Florida, where a congresswoman who is the former chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee has her office, the authorities intercepted a wave of crudely built devices that were contained in manila envelopes.

In the center of Manhattan, the Time Warner Center, an elegant office and shopping complex, was evacuated because of a pipe bomb sent to CNN, which has its New York offices there. It was addressed to John O. Brennan, a critic of President Trump who served as Mr. Obama’s C.I.A. director.


The F.B.I. said the devices were similar to one found Monday at the home of George Soros, the billionaire philanthropist and liberal donor, in a New York City suburb.
Gee, now there is a surprise.

It appears that whoever did this was targeting, "East Coast Liberal Elites," which does indicate who the likely suspects might be:

I will note, as Matt Tiabbi has, that this is early in the story, and the speculation by the talking heads on the cable news is more likely wrong than right.

My money is still on it being some right-wing nut job.

23 October 2018

There's Pathetic, and There's ………

So clueless that Donald Trump mocks you for being an incompetent despot:
President Trump on Tuesday ramped up his rhetoric against Saudi Arabia over the death of Jamal Khashoggi, calling the kingdom’s efforts to hide the journalist’s killing the “worst cover-up ever.”

“They had a very bad original concept, it was carried out poorly and the cover-up was the worst in the history of cover-ups,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “They had the worst cover-up ever.”
We truly live in Bizarro world.

I Approve of this Flag Burning

Burning this flag is a good thing
Democratic candidate for Georgia governor Stacy Abrams, participated in a burning of the Georgia flag in 1992 because of its extremely prominent placement of the racist confederate flag:
Just 30 or so people attended the 1992 protest on the steps of Georgia’s State Capitol — a smattering of student activists but mostly reporters and a few Georgia Bureau of Investigation agents, snapping photos of demonstrators lighting a state flag on fire.

In the center of an Atlanta Journal-Constitution photo chronicling the event was a Spelman College freshman named Stacey Abrams, who, 26 years later, finds herself locked in a race that could make her the nation’s first black female governor — and who is unapologetic about her role in the demonstration.

In a statement Tuesday, Abrams’s campaign said she was part of a movement to remove the Confederate emblem from the Georgia flag.

“During Stacey Abrams’ college years, Georgia was at a crossroads, struggling with how to overcome racially divisive issues, including symbols of the confederacy, the sharpest of which was the inclusion of the confederate emblem in the Georgia state flag,” her campaign said in a statement about the photo, which resurfaced Monday. “Stacey was involved with a permitted, peaceful protest against the confederate emblem in the flag. This conversation was sweeping across Georgia as numerous organizations, prominent leaders, and students engaged in the ultimately successful effort to change the flag."
Good.  Embrace this.  You were right then, and you are right now.

It got caught on tape
She still has a tough row to hoe to win, she's black, she's a woman, she's unabashedly progressive, it's Georgia, and her opponent is the Georgia Secretary of State and has been recorded saying that he wants to suppress the vote:
Brian Kemp, Georgia Secretary of State and the Republican nominee for Georgia governor, expressed at a ticketed campaign event that his Democratic opponent Stacey Abrams’ voter turnout operation “continues to concern us, especially if everybody uses and exercises their right to vote,” according to audio obtained by Rolling Stone.

An attendee of the “Georgia Professionals for Kemp” event says they recorded 21 minutes and 12 seconds of the evening, held last Friday at the Blind Pig Parlour Bar near Atlanta’s Buckhead neighborhood. As proof of their attendance, the source shared with Rolling Stone a receipt of their donation, which granted access to the gathering.

Not long after Kemp began his remarks, the candidate expressed worry about early voting and “the literally tens of millions of dollars that they [the Abrams camp] are putting behind the get-out-the-vote effort to their base.”

Kemp then asserted that much of that Abrams effort is focused on absentee ballot requests. “They have just an unprecedented number of that,” he said, “which is something that continues to concern us, especially if everybody uses and exercises their right to vote — which they absolutely can — and mail those ballots in, we gotta have heavy turnout to offset that.”


It is fairly typical for a political candidate expressing confidence in his campaign to lament his opponent’s efforts to increase turnout. But Kemp’s position as Georgia’s Secretary of State clouds his statements. While it is not uncommon for someone in such a position to be on a ballot during an election that he or she oversees — they do have to run for re-election, after all — the state’s top elections official speaking of “concern” about increased early and absentee voting raises further questions about a conflict of interest.

Kemp’s recent decision to suspend more than 53,000 voter applications, 70 percent of which were filed by black residents, for violating the state’s “exact match” verification standard has drawn attention to his penchant for restrictive voter laws and purging of voter rolls. American Public Media reported last week that Kemp purged an estimated 107,000 voters last year simply because they didn’t vote in the prior election. He is also being sued for leaving more than 6 million Georgia voting records open to hacking.


Reached for comment, Abigail Collazo, Director of Strategic Communications for the Abrams campaign, said, “Brian Kemp is barely trying to hide the shameful fact that his strategy is to win through voter suppression. The idea that he, as Secretary of State, would be ‘concerned’ that hardworking Georgians are exercising their right to vote is disgraceful and outrageous.”
If there is any justice in the world, Brian Kemp will spend the rest of his life in prison for this, but Republicans approve of him, and Democrats lack the guts to go after rat f%$#s like him, so he'll die surrounded by his loved one, as opposed to being shanked in a prison laundry, which is what he deserves.

Are You a Good Witch or a Bad Witch?

A coven of witches in New York have cast a hex on Brett Kavanaugh, which is weird, but it appears that some of the flying monkey right wing crowd took it seriously enough that they sent the witches death threats.

No, this is not the Onion:
Melissa Madara was not surprised to receive death threats on Friday as her Brooklyn witchcraft store prepared to host a public hexing of newly confirmed U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh this weekend.

The planned casting of an anti-Kavanaugh spell, one of the more striking instances of politically disgruntled Americans turning to the supernatural when frustrated by democracy, has drawn backlash from some Christian groups but support from like-minded witch covens.

“It gives the people who are seeking agency a little bit of chance to have that back,” Madara said. The ritual was scheduled to be livestreamed on Facebook and Instagram at 8 p.m. EDT on Saturday (1200 GMT Sunday).


More than 15,000 people who have seen Catland Books promotions on Facebook have expressed interest in attending the event, vastly exceeding the shop’s 60-person capacity.
I honestly have no idea how people who do satire complete with this sh%$.

Doomed to Repeat It

In 2013, General Ray Odierno ordered that the military would conduct an extensive and far ranging analysis of its occupation of Iraq, so that future leaders could learn the lessons from their mistakes.

The military promptly buried the report:
Army chief of staff Gen. Ray Odierno issued the marching orders in the fall of 2013. Some of the Army’s brightest officers would draft an unvarnished history of its performance in the Iraq War.

A towering officer who served 55 months in Iraq, Gen. Odierno told the team the Army hadn’t produced a proper study of its role in the Vietnam War and had to spend the first years in Iraq relearning lessons. This time, he said, the team would research before memories faded and publish a history while the lessons were most relevant.

It would be unclassified, he said, to stimulate discussion about the intervention—one that deepened the U.S.’s Mideast role and cost more than 4,400 American lives. He arranged for 30,000 pages of documents to be declassified. For nearly three years, the team studied those papers and conducted more than 100 interviews.

By June 2016, it had drafted a two-volume history of more than 1,300 pages. H.R. McMaster, the former national security adviser to President Trump, reviewed the tomes while a three-star general. He said in an interview last month it was “by far the best and most comprehensive operational study of the U.S. experience in Iraq between 2003 and 2011.”

The study’s title: “The United States Army in the Iraq War.”

It has yet to be published.

Gen. Odierno retired before the team could finish the history, which then became stuck in internal reviews and procedural byways. Under new Pentagon leadership, Army priorities changed from counterinsurgency to countering powers such as Russia and China. Senior brass fretted over the impact the study’s criticisms might have on prominent officers’ reputations and on congressional support for the service.
Concern over, "Prominent officers' reputations?"

Oh you poor delicate snowflakes.

The lesson to be learned is that of George C. Marshall who purged the ranks of incompetents.

We don't do that any more, because we need to protect, "Prominent officers' reputations."

Who Blinks First?

The European Commission has told the Italian Government that its budget is not acceptable, and the Italian government has told the European Commission to pound sand:
The Italian government will not budge from its position on the country’s budget plan even though it is in breach of EU rules.

In a three-and-a-half page letter sent on Monday to commissioners Pierre Moscovici and Valdis Dombrovskis, Finance Minister Giovanni Tria wrote: “Italy is aware it has chosen a path that isn’t in line with EU rules. It was a hard decision but necessary in order to bring the country’s GDP back to pre-crisis levels and considering the ongoing economic difficulties for Italians.”

Tria went on to address the three objections raised by Moscovici and Dombrovskis in their letter to him last week, saying the government is confident it can achieve the ambitious growth targets it has outlined. Tria’s letter explained that the government will increase public investments and implement a number of significant structural reforms that should help trigger such growth. However, should Italy’s “growth trajectory evolve differently to what we expect, we would intervene,” he wrote.

Tria concluded the letter by saying that although the positions of Rome and Brussels are different, he hopes a “constructive dialogue” within the framework of EU rules can continue. He said Italy’s place is “in the eurozone.”
This situation is likely going to be rather different than that of Greece, or even Spain:  Italy is a far larger economy, and its current ruling coalition is not irrevocably linked to the Euro or the EU as, for example, Syriza was in Greece, which made meaningful negotiations impossible.

Also, it should be noted that even with the spending increase, the budget remains in primary surplus (its revenues exceed all spending but interest on the debt).

As I've noted before, the problem with the EU in general, and the Eurozone in particular, is the hegemony that Germany, and its economic philosophy, hold over the entire European Project.

Even without the obvious history, current events have shown this to be a bad thing.

You Know, Rightwing Bombers Targeting Jews Sounds Awfully Familiar

Looks like some right-winger put a bomb in George Soros' mailbox:
Federal authorities believe that an explosive device found Monday in a mailbox at the home of George Soros, the billionaire philanthropist who has been a focus of right-wing critics and conspiracy theorists, was left there by someone and was not delivered by the Postal Service, several law enforcement officials said Tuesday.

Mr. Soros’s home is in a suburb of New York City. The device was constructed from a length of pipe about six inches long filled with explosive powder, and it was “proactively detonated” by bomb squad technicians, according to one of the officials, all of whom were briefed on the investigation.

The motive of the would-be bomber or bombers remained unclear, one of the officials said, adding that there had not yet been any claim of responsibility.

Mr. Soros, who made his fortune in finance and is now a full-time philanthropist and political activist, is often a subject of the ire of right-wing groups. In recent days, some have falsely speculated that he funded a caravan of migrants moving north in Mexico.

Mr. Soros was not home when the device was discovered by a caretaker, another one of the officials said. It was rigged with a detonator, and it could have maimed or possibly killed someone had it exploded near them.

A senior law enforcement official described the pipe bomb as “smaller than what we typically see.”

The investigation is being conducted by the New York offices of the F.B.I. and the federal Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, according to several of the officials, all of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation was ongoing.
I'm thinking that these members of the "Party of God" (in Arabic, "Hezbollah") need to be addressed sooner, rather than later.

If a Charity Does Not Do Well By Its Employees, Take Your Contributions Elsewhere

Case in point, the Boys & Girls Club of Spokane County, where the executive director laments limitations on slave labor:
In 2016, NPQ published an article by Andy Schmidt, a labor lawyer, entitled “Is Exploiting Workers Key to Your Enterprise Model? Nonprofits and the New Overtime Requirements.” Maybe this deserves a reread in Washington state, where some nonprofits oppose a proposal its Department of Labor and Industries put out for public comment that would increase the number of workers eligible for overtime pay. The measure comes on top of a graduated minimum wage hike to $12.00 next year and to $13.50 in 2020.

“More and more of us are working more and more hours,” the nonprofit Working Washington says on its website, “but we’re not getting paid for it. Pretty much all an employer has to do is call someone a manager and pay them a salary of at least $24,000 a year, and they can make them work as many hours as they feel like.”

And, indeed, that appears to be the assumption being made by some nonprofit managers, who somehow manage to craft an appeal for a continuation of unfair labor practices based on the needs of low-income children—some of whom, one could presume, live in those very families.
You do good by doing good.

Exploitative charities, the Nader orgs come to mind, need to be eschewed by people of good conscience,

Headline of the Day

Trump Could Lie About Land Sharks With Lasers In Caravan
—Joe Scarborough as related by Crooks & Liars
Say what you will about "Morning" Joe, and I frequently do, but this is one of the few things that he gets.

22 October 2018

Yeah, Harvard is Hiding Something

It now appears that Harvard University has been lying about its admissions policies for decades, and colluding with the US Department of Education to do so.

I would note that the author of this article, Josh Gerstein, is a bit of a hack IMHO, (he does work for Tiger Beat on the Potomac, after all) but the underlying facts of the lies and the coverup appear to be meticulously documented.

What he documents is a pretty good case for wypepo affirmative action at the expense of east and south Asian students:
The long war over affirmative action turned hot again last week, as Harvard and lawyers for Asian-American applicants duked it out in a federal courtroom in Boston in a closely watched case that could end consideration of race in college admissions.

I’m a veteran of that war. Nearly three decades ago, as a student, I was at the vanguard of a movement that took no side in the then-intense debate over affirmative action but advocated for something more radical than it might first appear: breaking down the secrecy over how elite colleges choose whom to admit to their ranks.

My role in that crusade also led to a federal courtroom, albeit in the kind-of-grimy, dual-purpose post office building that housed Boston’s federal court through the 1990s, not the far glitzier complex that now sits on the waterfront.

The first, brief court showdown over Harvard’s admissions policies came on October 5, 1990. The hearing, before U.S. District Court Judge Douglas Woodlock, a Reagan appointee, came on a Friday afternoon as the federal government was about to head into a shutdown over a budget standoff.

The day before, the Education Department had officially completed a two-year-long investigation into Harvard’s admissions practices—essentially the same issue now the focus of the federal trial: whether the elite school’s process discriminates against Asian-Americans.

As a reporter for the student newspaper, the Harvard Crimson, I had twice filed Freedom of Information Act requests seeking details on the Education Department probe as it became more and more drawn out. Both times they were turned down by agency officials, citing the need to protect the ongoing investigation, although the second time a lawyer working on the case promised to “tack [the request] up on the wall” and process it when the probe concluded.

Unbeknownst to us or the public, as the investigation unfolded, the feds cut a deal with Harvard to keep its records secret. The university was reluctant to hand over a data tape that would allow investigators to easily derive and correlate almost any variables involving Harvard applicants—say, the SAT scores of admitted recruited athletes or the class rank of rejected Latinos. Harvard officials cited both privacy concerns and a worry that Education Department investigators might misunderstand the information.

The secret deal gave the Education Department access to the tape and other sensitive internal Harvard information on two conditions: that the feds fight any FOIA request for the records and that they return them to Harvard at the conclusion of the investigation. (How federal employees have any right to pledge to “resist” a law duly passed by Congress is still something I find puzzling.)


The records—now tattered and yellowing from several moves and basement floods and published online here for the first time—belie some of Harvard’s key claims about its admissions process.

The university had long claimed that preferences for recruited athletes and legacies served only as a tiebreaker between applicants with “substantially equal” qualifications. Officials had also claimed that applicants who are children of alumni tend, unsurprisingly, to have better test scores and other numerical ratings than others in the pool.
It should be noted that the Ivys have, with the explicit permission of the Departments of Education and Justice, have also been colluding on financial aid awards for decades as well.

It is a corrupt edifice, and it should be shut down.

Of Course, It's Georgia

Phew. The 11th Circuit appeals court has just overturned a lower court ruling and said that Georgia's laws, including annotations, are not covered by copyright, and it is not infringing to post them online. This is big, and a huge win for online information activist Carl Malamud whose Public.Resource.org was the unfortunate defendant in a fight to make sure people actually understood the laws that ruled them. The details here matter, so let's dig in:

For the past few years, we've been covering the fairly insane situation down in Georgia, where they insist that the state's annotated laws are covered by copyright. This is not quite the same thing as saying the laws themselves are covered by copyright. Everyone here seems to recognize that Georgia's laws are not covered by copyright. But here's where the problem comes in. The state of Georgia contracts out with a private company, LexisNexis, to "annotate" the law basically giving more context, and discussing the case law interpretations of the official code. The deal with the state is that LexisNexis then transfers whatever copyright it gets from the creation of the annotations back to the state. Finally, the only "official" version of Georgia's state laws is in the "annotated" version. If you want to look up the official law of Georgia you are sent to the "Official Code of Georgia Annotated" (OCGA), and it's hosted by LexisNexis, and it has all sorts of restrictive terms of service on top of it. Indeed, every new law in Georgia literally says that it will amend "the Official Code of Georgia Annotated," which certainly suggests that the OCGA -- all of it -- is the law in Georgia. And the state insisted that part of the law was covered by copyright.

Malamud found this obviously troubling, believing that the law must be freely accessible to anyone in order to be valid. The state of Georgia threatened him and then sued him claiming that reposting the OCGA in a more accessible fashion was copyright infringement. The district court not only found that the annotations (even if part of the official law) could be covered by copyright but further that it was not fair use for Malamud to post them online. This was a horrifying decision.

And, it's also no longer a valid one.

The appeals court has put together a thorough ruling rebuking the lower court's analysis, and noting that the OCGA is not subject to copyright at all. The court admits the annotations by a private company make this more complicated than the general question of whether or not laws are covered by copyright, but notes that since this is so closely tied to the law, and directed by state officials, it seems clear that the annotations cannot be covered by copyright:
We really need to reign in the IP zealots.

They have devolved into parasites.


This is not, as the spies say the pinnacle of trade-craft here.

15 minutes after they murder him and dismember him, they have already stripped off his clothes and and have a half-assed look alike wandering around Istanbul in an attempt to show that he's really alive.

I really do not know how the House of Saud can manage to eat a pretzel without choking to death.

Lies. Damned Lies, and McKinsey & Co.

It seems not that the Crown Prince has ordered a rich journalist murdered and dismembered, McKinsey & Co is "Horrified" that their work for the House of Saud might have been used in abusive ways.

We know what the House of Saud is, and we know what they do: They are incompetent and corrupt royals who make the Hapsburgs look like Little Orphan Annie.

Your hand wringing after the fact will disabuse no one of your complicity in their regime:
McKinsey & Co. said it’s “horrified” that a report it prepared to measure public perception of Saudi Arabia’s policies may have been used by the kingdom to silence dissidents.

The consulting firm responded on Twitter to a New York Times article that detailed a report in which it identified several people driving conversations on Twitter. Those people were later arrested or had their social-media accounts shut down.

In a nine-page report, the consulting firm said responses to the country’s economic policies received twice as much coverage on Twitter than in the country’s traditional news media, and that negative sentiment was more common than positive statements on social media. The document was a brief overview of social-media usage and meant for internal use, McKinsey said.

The New York-based firm said it wasn’t working in tandem with the Saudi government, and that when it does work with governments, the company “has not and never would engage in any work that seeks to target individuals based on their views,” according to a statement released on Saturday night. “We are horrified by the possibility, however remote, that it could have been misused in any way,” the statement said. “At this point, we have seen no evidence to suggest that it was misused, but we are urgently investigating how and with whom the document was shared.”
Yeah, and Dick Cheney is looking for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

Please, don't treat us as idiots.

What Digby Said

To Hell with Civility: Enough with the Pity Party for Mitch Mcconnell, Please
Seriously, we will never, ever see good government in our nation again unless the malefactors of politics are confronted with some consequences for their despicable actions.

Disturbing a night out with the wife is pretty weak tea, but it is a start.


I know that it's Monday, but I think that I can say with no small amount of certainly that I am the only person I know who sliced their finger tying their shoe.

It wasn't a bad cut, after a band aid, it is fine, but still………

21 October 2018

Not Enough Bullets

Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter and Square, is whining about the, "unfairness" of San Francisco's homeless tax:
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on Friday sounded off against a San Francisco measure to increase corporate taxes that would give the city more funding to tackle its homeless crisis.

Dorsey said he was opposed to San Francisco’s Proposition C because he believes one of companies he leads as CEO, Square, will be taxed at unfair rates compared to other major companies such as Salesforce.

The Twitter head wrote in a series of tweets that with the proposition’s passage, Square could potentially face more than $20 million in taxes in 2019 compared to Salesforce.
Seriously, just how much money do you need, Jack?

How many yachts do you need to water-ski behind.

What a repulsive excuse for a human being.

While We Are on the Subject of Trump Outrages………

It appears that John "The Walrus God of War" Bolton has convinced Trump to back out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty

The Trump administration is preparing to tell Russian leaders next week that it is planning to exit the landmark Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, in part to enable the United States to counter a Chinese arms buildup in the Pacific, according to American officials and foreign diplomats.

President Trump has been moving toward scrapping the three-decade-old treaty, which grew out of President Ronald Reagan’s historic meeting with Mikhail Gorbachev in 1986. While the treaty was seen as effective for years, Russia has been violating it at least since 2014 in an effort to menace other nations.
That the Russians are violating the INF is stated as an absolute fact, but this is a matter of some dispute. (I'm inclined to believe that the Russians are in violation, but it's not enough to abrogate the treaty ……… yet)
But the pact has also constrained the United States from deploying new weapons to respond to China’s efforts to cement a dominant position in the Western Pacific and to keep American naval forces at bay. Because China was not a signatory to the treaty, it has faced no limits on developing intermediate-range nuclear missiles, which can travel thousands of miles.

The White House said that no official decision had been made to leave the treaty, known as I.N.F., which at the time of its signing was considered a critical step in defusing Cold War tensions. But in the coming weeks, Mr. Trump is expected to sign off on the decision, which would mark the first time he has scrapped an arms control treaty, the American officials said.
This is a huge tactical miscalculation.

In the mid 80s, when GLCMs and Pershing IIs were deployed to Europe, it was a very heavy lift, with massive protests and unrest.

These days, it would be impossible to deploy these systems to Europe, even to the UK.

It would be electoral poison.

This is a very stupid move.

Welcome to the Republic of Gilead

In the latest outrage from the Trump administration, they are looking to side with the Talibaptists by declaring transgendered people as unpeople:
The Trump administration is considering narrowly defining gender as a biological, immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth, the most drastic move yet in a governmentwide effort to roll back recognition and protections of transgender people under federal civil rights law.

A series of decisions by the Obama administration loosened the legal concept of gender in federal programs, including in education and health care, recognizing gender largely as an individual’s choice and not determined by the sex assigned at birth. The policy prompted fights over bathrooms, dormitories, single-sex programs and other arenas where gender was once seen as a simple concept. Conservatives, especially evangelical Christians, were incensed.

Now the Department of Health and Human Services is spearheading an effort to establish a legal definition of sex under Title IX, the federal civil rights law that bans gender discrimination in education programs that receive government financial assistance, according to a memo obtained by The New York Times.

The department argued in its memo that key government agencies needed to adopt an explicit and uniform definition of gender as determined “on a biological basis that is clear, grounded in science, objective and administrable.” The agency’s proposed definition would define sex as either male or female, unchangeable, and determined by the genitals that a person is born with, according to a draft reviewed by The Times. Any dispute about one’s sex would have to be clarified using genetic testing.

“Sex means a person’s status as male or female based on immutable biological traits identifiable by or before birth,” the department proposed in the memo, which was drafted and has been circulating since last spring. “The sex listed on a person’s birth certificate, as originally issued, shall constitute definitive proof of a person’s sex unless rebutted by reliable genetic evidence.”
The radical right just needs to hate, and Trump will do whatever he he can to pander to them.

These folks are really a clear and present danger to any modern society.