Mon. June 18

Family separation begins to divide GOP
AP
— The emotional policy of separating children from their parents is also starting to divide Republicans and their allies as Democrats turn up the pressure.
— Former first lady Laura Bush called the policy “cruel” and “immoral” while GOP Sen. Susan Collins expressed concern about it and a former adviser to President Donald Trump said he thought the issue was going to hurt the president at some point. Religious groups, including some conservative ones, are protesting.
border-kids
>>> Separations doing “irreparable harm” to children
BuzzFeed
>>> So-called President doubles down on separation policy
The Hill
>>> Homeland Security chief lies through her teeth, says no policy of separation at border

USA Today
“We do not have a policy of separating families at the border. Period.”
— Sec. Kirsthen Nielsen, DHS Sec’y & Great Humanitarian
>>> At this pace, 30,000 kids will be jailed by end of summer

Washington Examiner

FROM CBS THIS MORNING:
— This just in from : Border Patrol has reached out to and said they are “very uncomfortable” with the use of the word cages. They say it’s not inaccurate and added that they may be cages but people are not being treated like animals.

IPSOS/DAILY BEAST POLL:
— 27% of Americans say it’s appropriate to separate undocumented parents from kids at the border. 55% disagree.
— But a plurality of Republicans—46% to 32%—support the policy.

MEANWHILE …
>>> Sheriff: Deputy sexually assaulted child, threatened undocumented mom if she reported it
San Antonio Express Newsjose nunez
— A Bexar County sheriff’s deputy is accused of threatening an undocumented immigrant with deportation and of sexually assaulting her 4-year-old daughter.
— Sheriff Javier Salazar said 47-year-old Jose Nunez, a 10-year veteran who serves as a detention officer, was charged Sunday with super aggravated sexual assault of a child.
— According to Salazar, the girl’s mother took her daughter to a local fire station overnight after the girl cried out to her for help

Supreme Partisans shrug off gerrymandering cases
Politico
— The Supreme Court on Monday passed up its two opportunities this term to rule on when and whether states violate the Constitution by drawing electoral maps that sharply favor one political party. 
— Ruling in cases from Wisconsin and Maryland, the justices gave little clarity to when so-called partisan gerrymandering goes further than the law allows.

DEA crackdown on opioids pushed users to Dark Web
AlterNet
— In a study, published this week in the British Medical Journal, researchers examining the impact of the DEA crackdown found that while it lowered prescribing rates for opioid, it was also linked to an increase in illicit online sales of those drugs in Dark Web drug markets.

Dangerous hogweed plant spreads to Virginia
Newsweek
— Officials have warned the public against touching giant hogweed, which can burn the skin and in extreme cases cause blindness, after it was spotted for the first time in Virginia.
— Also known as Heracleum mantegazzianum, giant hogweed has a clear, watery sap which can burn the skin and cause painful blistering when combined with moisture and sunlight. The resulting blisters can leave behind permanent scarring. This process, known as phytophotodermatitis, happens when the sap makes the skin more sensitive to sunlight.
— After the blisters have healed, the skin can remain sensitive to light for many years, officials in Virginia warned.
GiantHogweedCVCProtectiveSuit

300,000 US homes could be wiped out by rising seas
The Guardian
— Sea level rise driven by climate change is set to pose an existential crisis to many US coastal communities, with new research finding that as many as 311,000 homes face being flooded every two weeks within the next 30 years.
— The swelling oceans are forecast repeatedly to soak coastal residences worth $120bn by 2045 if greenhouse gas emissions are not severely curtailed. This will inflict a huge financial and emotional toll on the half-million Americans who live in the properties.
— “The impact could well be staggering,” said Kristina Dahl, a senior climate scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). “This level of flooding would be a tipping point where people in these communities would think it’s unsustainable.”
>>> Climate change is real in the housing market
Bloomberg

China calls US gov’t “selfish” and “rude”
The Guardian
— Chinese state media has attacked the White House for escalating the prospect of a trade war, calling the administration of president Donald Trump “selfish” and “rude” and “mundane” in its capriciousness.
— “The unpredictability of [the] Trump administration has become mundane, or even boring for China,” an editorial in the state-run tabloid Global Times said on Sunday.
>>> China threatens tariff on $12 billion US oil trade
Reuters
— China’s threat to impose duties on U.S. oil imports will hit a business that has soared in the last two years, and which is now worth almost $1 billion per month.

American Airlines to pay $45 million
for sneaky collusion

meant to drive up fares
Courthouse News Service
— American has faced several since-consolidated federal class actions against it, Southwest Airlines, Delta and United, beginning in 2015. One suit filed in Milwaukee claimed the airlines “illegally signaled to each other how quickly they would add new flights, routes and extra seats.”
— The plaintiffs claimed that mergers since 2008 resulted in the defendants controlling more than 80 percent of seats in the domestic travel market.
— “During that period, they have eliminated unprofitable flights, filled a higher percentage of seats on planes and made a very public effort to slow growth in order to command higher airfares,” the Milwaukee complaint states.

nonono-line

— WEEKEND STORIES YOU MAY HAVE MISSED —

A WELL-ARMED MILITIA
17 wounded, 1 dead in shooting at NJ arts festival
NJ.com
The usual American mayhem.
√ I started this web site out of dissatisfaction with GoogleNews, Yahoo, Drudge, etc. Google’s links to this story illustrate one of its weaknesses: lousy sources chosen by algorithm. They linked to CNN (which torments you with videos) Yahoo Finance (why?) AOL and the Florida Sun Sentinel. But anyone with the faintest knowledge of the news landscape knows that the strongest journalism in NJ comes out of the old Star Ledger newsroom. (aka NJ.com).

Who’s against the California privacy initiative?
The Verge
Amazon, Microsoft, Uber, Facebook, Google, AT&T, Verizon …
— The initiative recently submitted 600,000 unverified signatures to qualify for a place on the November ballot. The state is currently sorting through those signatures to determine whether there are 366,000 legitimate ones, the required threshold for a ballot spot.
>>> Initiative to give Disneyland workers a “living wage” advances
L.A. Times
— Unions that represent workers at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim are one step closer to requiring the theme park to pay its employees a “living wage.”
— The Orange County Registrar of Voters has certified that a petition to force major Anaheim employers who get city subsidies to boost their workers’ hourly salaries had produced a minimum of 13,185 valid signatures — or at least 10% of the city’s voters.
— When the Anaheim City Council meets Tuesday, it can respond by either putting the measure on the Nov. 6 ballot for a public vote or adopt a city ordinance to impose the wages called for by the petition initiative.

Right-wingers move to sabotage Okla. teacher’s pay raise
The Guardian
— Striking Oklahoma teachers, the worst paid in the US, won a historic pay raise in the spring. Now, conservative groups have targeted the tax hikes earmarked to pay them, and by November the cash could be gone, leaving schools and educators in limbo.

Woman nearly killed by shopping cart, wins $45 million in court
New York Post
marion-hedges— Marion Hedges and her son were buying Halloween candy for poor kids on Oct. 30, 2011, at the East River Plaza mall in East Harlem when the teens tossed the cart from a 79-foot-high landing outside a Target store.
— Hedges, her son, Dayton, and her husband, Michael, sued Target, the mall and its security company for negligence in 2011, saying the businesses ignored past incidents involving kids fooling around with carts.

Once a star of Silicon Valley, Elizabeth Holmes indicted for fraud
Bloomberg
— Theranos Inc. founder Elizabeth Holmes, who reigned briefly as the world’s youngest female self-made billionaire over her promise to revolutionize blood testing, was criminally charged with defrauding investors along with the company’s former president.

Manafort jailed, Giuliani sees presidential pardons
NY Daily News
— In one of his most forceful attacks on the special counsel yet, Rudy Giuliani on Friday claimed the Russia investigation could get “cleaned up” with pardons from President Trump in light of Paul Manafort being sent to jail.

“When the (Mueller investigation) is over, things might get cleaned up with some presidential pardons.”
— Rudy Giuliani

Fri June 15 … with weekend updates

typewriter-realnews-line

A WELL-ARMED MILITIA
17 wounded, 1 dead in shooting at NJ arts festival
NJ.com
The usual American mayhem.
√ I started this web site out of dissatisfaction with GoogleNews, Yahoo, Drudge, etc. Google’s links to this story illustrate one of its weaknesses: lousy sources chosen by algorithm. They linked to CNN (which tortures you with videos) Yahoo Finance (why?) AOL and the Florida Sun Sentinel. But anyone with the faintest knowledge of the news landscape knows that the strongest journalism in NJ comes out of the old Star Ledger newsroom. (aka NJ.com).

Who’s against the California privacy initiative?
The Verge
Amazon, Microsoft, Uber, Facebook, Google, AT&T, Verizon …
— The initiative recently submitted 600,000 unverified signatures to qualify for a place on the November ballot. The state is currently sorting through those signatures to determine whether there are 366,000 legitimate ones, the required threshold for a ballot spot.
>>> Initiative to give Disneyland workers a “living wage” advances
L.A. Times
— Unions that represent workers at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim are one step closer to requiring the theme park to pay its employees a “living wage.”
— The Orange County Registrar of Voters has certified that a petition to force major Anaheim employers who get city subsidies to boost their workers’ hourly salaries had produced a minimum of 13,185 valid signatures — or at least 10% of the city’s voters.
— When the Anaheim City Council meets Tuesday, it can respond by either putting the measure on the Nov. 6 ballot for a public vote or adopt a city ordinance to impose the wages called for by the petition initiative.

Right-wingers move to sabotage Okla. teacher’s pay raise
The Guardian
— Striking Oklahoma teachers, the worst paid in the US, won a historic pay raise in the spring. Now, conservative groups have targeted the tax hikes earmarked to pay them, and by November the cash could be gone, leaving schools and educators in limbo.

Woman nearly killed by shopping cart, wins $45 million in court
New York Post
marion-hedges— Marion Hedges and her son were buying Halloween candy for poor kids on Oct. 30, 2011, at the East River Plaza mall in East Harlem when the teens tossed the cart from a 79-foot-high landing outside a Target store.
— Hedges, her son, Dayton, and her husband, Michael, sued Target, the mall and its security company for negligence in 2011, saying the businesses ignored past incidents involving kids fooling around with carts.

Once a star of Silicon Valley, Elizabeth Holmes indicted for fraud
Bloomberg
— Theranos Inc. founder Elizabeth Holmes, who reigned briefly as the world’s youngest female self-made billionaire over her promise to revolutionize blood testing, was criminally charged with defrauding investors along with the company’s former president.

Manafort jailed, Giuliani sees presidential pardons
NY Daily News
— In one of his most forceful attacks on the special counsel yet, Rudy Giuliani on Friday claimed the Russia investigation could get “cleaned up” with pardons from President Trump in light of Paul Manafort being sent to jail.

“When the (Mueller investigation) is over, things might get cleaned up with some presidential pardons.”
— Rudy Giuliani

7 batshit-crazy moments from Trump’s ramble on the White House lawn
Raw Story
— Wants same kowtowing Kim gets from N. Koreans … Says Kim might nuke US, although last week said he was no threat … Says Dems forcing him to separate kids at border … blames Obama for Putin’s invasion of Crimea … AND THAT’S NOT ALL.
 The craziest thing is that 60 million Americans are okay with his leadership.
>>> 
Sessions: Bible says it’s okay to take kids from parents
Newser
“I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13, to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained them for the purpose of order,” Sessions said. “Orderly and lawful processes are good in themselves and protect the weak and lawful.”

Fat & carbs together, hard to resist, brain study finds
New Scientist
… separate systems in the brain to evaluate fatty or carb-heavy foods. If both get activated at the same time, this tricks the brain to produce a larger amount of dopamine – and a bigger feeling of reward – than there should be based on the food’s energy content.
… This could be because when the human brain evolved, our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate a diet consisting mainly of plants and meat, and never encountered food that is high in both carbs and fat. “The brain is used to seeing one signal at a time. Modern food is tricking the system.”

China vows to go tit-for-tat on US tariffs
Bloomberg
— The response from China signaled a rapid escalation of the dispute. China will impose tariffs with “equal scale, equal intensity” on imports from the U.S. and all of the country’s earlier trade commitments are now off the table, the Commerce Ministry said.

Millionaires now control half of all personal wealth
Bloomberg
— The rich are getting a lot richer and doing so a lot faster.
— Personal wealth around the globe reached $201.9 trillion last year, a 12 percent gain from 2016 and the strongest annual pace in the past five years, Boston Consulting Group said. Booming equity markets swelled fortunes, and investors outside the U.S. got an exchange-rate bonus as most major currencies strengthened against the greenback.
— The growing ranks of millionaires and billionaires now hold almost half of global personal wealth, up from slightly less than 45 percent in 2012.

Folks are taking Equifax to small claims court, and winning
Clark.com (Consumer site)
— One of the plaintiffs, Christian Haigh, decided to document his case against the company because, like around 148 million other Americans, he was affected by the breach. Haigh, who is co-founder of litigation finance startup Legalist, wrote a couple of blog posts about the experience.
— “I also filed my own lawsuit against Equifax, half expecting to have my case dismissed, and half expecting Equifax to not even show up. In fact, Equifax did appear,” he writes. Going toe to toe with Equifax’s representative in front of a judge, Haigh won $8,000.

At urging of Minneapolis cops,
EMTs subdued suspects with powerful drugs
Star Tribune
— Minneapolis police officers have repeatedly requested over the past three years that Hennepin County medical responders sedate people using the powerful tranquilizer ketamine, at times over the protests of those being drugged, and in some cases when no apparent crime was committed, a city report shows.
— On multiple occasions, in the presence of police, Hennepin Healthcare EMS workers injected suspects of crimes and others who already appeared to be restrained, according to the report, and the ketamine caused heart or breathing failure, requiring them to be medically revived. Several people given ketamine had to be intubated.

Is Musk scamming the city of Chicago?
Vanity Fair
— Elon Musk has a way of pulling people into his reality distortion field, where intercontinental travel is effortless; autonomous fleets of emission-free Tesla vehicles have replaced personal cars; each home generates its own solar power; and reusable rocket ships ferry paying passengers to and from Mars. As much as he is an engineering genius, Musk is also one of the world’s best salespeople.
marge-vs-the-monorail-embed.jpg

Nuclear power won’t survive without gov’t help
538
— It provides 20% of America’s electrical power, but the plants are aging. Fracking has made fossil fuel plants cheaper to run.
— It’s the cost of upkeep that’s prohibitive. Things do fall apart — especially things exposed to radiation on a daily basis. Maintenance and repair, upgrades and rejuvenation all take a lot of capital investment. And that means spending lots of money on power plants that aren’t especially profitable.

Did an Iowa Congressman endorse a white supremacist? TRUE
Snopes
— Rep. Steve King engaged in yet another round of white nationalist speech on his Twitter account.
>>> √ Friends of Steve King defend “sage of the cornfields”
Realnews.Ink

Taming the bluefin tuna
Motherboard
— Since 2003, the Spanish Institute of Oceanography has been trying to domesticate Atlantic bluefin tuna, one of the ocean’s most powerful and coveted fish. By raising bluefin through its full lifecycle, the IEO aims to pave the way for commercial production, from tiny egg to giant apex predator to succulent slivers of sashimi.
— Adult bluefins can grow as big as a cow, dive a mile below the surface to feed, and travel thousands of miles every year. They live up to 40 years and are phenomenal swimmers.
— So far, the IEO’s endeavor to tame bluefin has yielded slow progress and many setbacks.

MLB sees yet another drop in attendance
(But owners still fat & happy)

Hardball Talk blog (NBC Sports)
… total MLB attendance has fallen in five of the past six years, while ticket prices have held steady or have gone up.
.. I suspect Major League Baseball has chosen to ignore the realities … because, despite fewer customers, revenues have continued to rise. … MLB has worked hard to develop revenue streams that are independent of attendance.

BIG BROTHER
China’s gov’t to begin tracking every car

Futurism
… the state will have an unprecedented level of detail about who you are, your car, and where you’re going if you happen to pass a checkpoint.

To avoid humans, more wildlife now work the night shift
By Kaitlyn Gaynor, Ph.D. Candidate in Environmental Science, University of California, Berkeley
The Conversation
— For their first 100 million years on planet Earth, our mammal ancestors relied on the cover of darkness to escape their dinosaur predators and competitors. Only after the meteor-induced mass extinction of dinosaurs 66 million years ago could these nocturnal mammals explore the many wondrous opportunities available in the light of day.
— Fast forward to the present, and the honeymoon in the sun may be over for mammals. They’re increasingly returning to the protection of night to avoid the Earth’s current terrifying super-predator: Homo sapiens.
coyote.jpg

 In US workplace, pregnancy often ends a promising career
NY Times
— American companies have spent years trying to become more welcoming to women. They have rolled out generous parental leave policies, designed cushy lactation rooms and plowed millions of dollars into programs aimed at retaining mothers.
— But these advances haven’t changed a simple fact: Whether women work at Walmart or on Wall Street, getting pregnant is often the moment they are knocked off the professional ladder.
— Throughout the American workplace, pregnancy discrimination remains widespread. It can start as soon as a woman is showing, and it often lasts through her early years as a mother.

Do-Nothing EPA sued over air pollution
Courthouse News Service
— “The law requires that Pruitt and the Trump administration act to cut dangerous sulfur dioxide pollution from the air we breathe, but they have ignored those deadlines for protecting the public and are instead turning a blind eye to corporate polluters.”
>>> Pruitt faces revolt in Midwest
Politico
— Ethanol and corn prices, not ethics, are prompting Republicans across the Midwest to protest the EPA chief and call for his firing.
… “farmers are demanding accountability and I think that Mr. Pruitt probably is a dead man walking,” said Dane Hicks, GOP chairman in Anderson County, Kan. “I can’t imagine he rebounds from this in any way to salvage his position. I would expect his resignation soon.”

 

Thur June 14

A lot of this “Sea to Table” stuff is apparently bullshit
… Fish distributor faces accusations
AP/Newser
fish— In a global industry plagued by fraud and deceit, conscientious consumers are increasingly paying top dollar for what they believe is local, sustainably caught seafood.
— But even in this fast-growing niche market, companies can hide behind murky supply chains that make it difficult to determine where any given fish comes from. That’s where national distributor Sea To Table stepped in, guaranteeing its products were wild and directly traceable to a US dock—and sometimes the very boat that brought it in.
— However, an AP investigation found the company was linked to some of the same practices it vowed to fight. Preliminary DNA tests suggested some of its yellowfin tuna likely came from the other side of the world, and reporters traced the company’s supply chain to migrant fishermen in foreign waters who described labor abuses, poaching, and the slaughter of sharks, whales, and dolphins.

‘Prison-like’ migrant youth shelter is understaffed,
unequipped for ‘zero tolerance’ policy, insider says
L.A. Times
— Colleagues at a government-contracted shelter in Arizona had a specific request for Antar Davidson when three Brazilian migrant children arrived: “Tell them they can’t hug.”
— Davidson, 32, is of Brazilian descent and speaks Portuguese. He said the siblings — ages 16, 10 and 6 — were distraught after being separated from their parents at the border.
— The children were “huddled together, tears streaming down their faces,” he said.
— Officials had told them their parents were “lost,” which they interpreted to mean dead. Davidson said he told the children he didn’t know where their parents were, but that they had to be strong.
>>> Child abuse is now official US policy
Opinion via The Guardian
— The trauma caused by separations is not the byproduct of necessary legal process – it’s a punishment designed to be grotesque to scare other migrants.

NY attorney general sues Trump,
his “charity” and his spawn

NY Daily News
√ Trump charity a scam? Nah. Really?
… “As our investigation reveals, the Trump Foundation was little more than a checkbook for payments from Mr. Trump or his businesses to nonprofits, regardless of their purpose or legality,” Underwood said. “This is not how private foundations should function and my office intends to hold the Foundation and its directors accountable for its misuse of charitable assets.”
… … The lawsuit, which stems from a probe that began in June 2016, just months before the election, alleges the Donald J. Trump Foundation raised $2.8 million that was used at the direction of top Trump campaign officials to help influence the 2016 presidential election.

US “war on drugs” failing horribly in Afghanistan
Stars & Stripes
— The drug trade in Afghanistan, which helps fund the insurgency and impedes reconstruction efforts, has grown stronger despite billions of dollars spent by the U.S. to fight it, a government watchdog said Thursday.
— The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, or SIGAR, said in a report that the U.S. needed a new strategy to fight drugs in the country.
— It also questioned the military’s latest counternarcotics endeavor, which includes a U.S. and Afghan air campaign targeting Taliban drug labs.

afghan-drugs
Capt. Sayed Baba Mansory destroys opium poppy plants discovered during a routine patrol, outside the village of Samogay, Afghanistan, May 7, 2012.
CHRISTOPHER MCCULLOUGH/U.S. ARMY

Gov’t dude: let banks make “payday loans”
… 
will face questions
NPR
√ Banks clearly aren’t making enough money as is, and need to rip off the working stiff.

otting-trix.jpg— A powerful banking regulator appointed by President Trump could face tough questions in a Senate hearing Thursday about his efforts to allow big banks to make small, high-interest, short-term loans to consumers.
— Joseph Otting is a former banking executive who is now in charge of an agency that oversees the nation’s largest banks – including some that Otting used to help run. And he’s slated to appear before the Senate Banking Committee, a panel which includes Massachusetts Democrat Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who has been sharply critical of the Trump administration financial regulators.

Nevadans may elect first majority female state legislature
Vice News
— No state in American history has ever had a female-majority legislature, but that could change in November in Nevada where a record number of women — both Democrat and Republican — have been nominated to compete for open seats in the state house and senate.
— There is at least one woman nominee in 30 of the 42 state assembly seats up for grabs this November and there is a mix of strong incumbents and open seats to make it so at least 21 seats could be won by women.

Most Americans wages have declined over past year
NY Mag
… the fact that workers aren’t seeing any real wage gains — at (somewhere near) the peak of an economic expansion — is a crisis. The share of growth that goes to labor has declined substantially in recent decades. If workers can’t secure a bigger slice of the economic pie at a time of 3.8 percent unemployment, when can they?

Microsoft’s checkout-free tech
would eliminate lines, and cashiers, at stores
Reuters
— Microsoft Corp is working on technology that would eliminate cashiers and checkout lines from stores, in a nascent challenge to Amazon.com Inc’s automated grocery shop, six people familiar with the matter told Reuters.
— The Redmond, Wash.-based software giant is developing systems that track what shoppers add to their carts, the people say. Microsoft has shown sample technology to retailers from around the world and has had talks with Walmart Inc about a potential collaboration, three of the people said.
— Microsoft’s technology aims to help retailers keep pace with Amazon Go, a highly automated store that opened to the public in Seattle in January.

√ Beginning of the end of college entrance exams?
University of Chicago says screw the SAT, ACT
USA Today
— The University of Chicago announced Thursday it will no longer require its American undergraduate applicants to submit ACT or SAT scores, making it the most prominent institution to make the exams optional.
— The new policy, which is being implemented starting with the Class of 2023, is meant to help even the playing field for students coming from low-income and underrepresented communities, university officials said.

Most attractive cities to millenials?
Seattle, Columbia S.C., Sacramento …
USA Today
See the top 15 and the numbers.

Antarctic ice melt has tripled in 5 years
EcoWatch
“The last time we looked at the polar ice sheets, Greenland was the dominant contributor (to melting). That’s no longer the case.”

NASA flies first drone in commercial airspace
Newsweek
— NASA has said the U.S. is “one step closer to normalizing unmanned aircraft operations” in commercial airspace after its remotely-piloted drone aircraft—known as Ikhana—successfully flew its first mission in the skies above California without a chase aircraft for the first time this week.
— According to the American space agency, the success of the flight could now open the doors to a slew of future uses, from monitoring and fighting forest fires to emergency search and rescue operations. It also claimed that the tech could soon be scaled down for use in general aviation.

Miserable in America:
The need to numb the pain,
the rise of suicides
The Conversation
— Why are the suicide rates increasing so fast? And, are the increasing suicide rates linked to the seeming increase in demand for drugs such as marijuana, opioids and psychiatric medicine?
— As a public health researcher and epidemiologist who has studied these issues for a long time, I think there may be deeper issues to explore.
… … … Americans stand out from people in other countries with respect to their focus on individualism. Americans believe that success is determined by our own control and that it is very important to work hard to get ahead in life. Perhaps it is this focus on our own achievements, successes and work culture that have created an environment that is no longer sustainable – it has become too stressful.

Musks’s Boring Co. to build high-speed Chicago-Airport rail
Motherboard
— Up until this point, the Boring Company was just a handful of employees working from two trailers in the SpaceX parking lot, where it is digging a test tunnel. Boring has developed a tunnel excavation system that can currently excavate at 1/15 the speed of a snail, but so far the only products it has sold are $1 million worth of hats and $10 million worth of flamethrowers.
— Chicago’s airport loop will consist of consist of an 18-mile rail network for autonomous, 16-passenger cars that can reach peak speeds of 150 miles per hour. This is the company’s largest city contract so far. Last year, the Boring Company received permission to dig a 12 mile tunnel between Baltimore and Washington, DC, and last month the city of Los Angeles granted the company permission to build a 2.7-mile test tunnel.

Subjects in famed Stanford Prison Experiment say it was faked
Medium
— A new exposé based on previously unpublished recordings of Philip Zimbardo, the Stanford psychologist who ran the study, and interviews with his participants, offers convincing evidence that the guards in the experiment were coached to be cruel. It also shows that the experiment’s most memorable moment — of a prisoner descending into a screaming fit, proclaiming, “I’m burning up inside!” — was the result of the prisoner acting. “I took it as a kind of an improv exercise,” one of the guards told reporter Ben Blum. “I believed that I was doing what the researchers wanted me to do.”

TODAY’S DOG & PONY SHOW

Trump ordered troops to the border …
but they’re just screwing around down there
Politico
troops-gloom— They have been carrying out a variety of tasks assisting the U.S. Border Patrol in the months since their initial deployment, but all with one thing in common: They’re as far away from the border as possible.
— In reality, the hundreds of troops deployed in southern Arizona are keeping up the rear, so to speak; in one assignment, soldiers are actually feeding and shoveling out manure from the stalls of the Border Patrol’s horses.

 

Wed June 13

typewriter-realnews-line

Tesla slashes thousands of jobs
Newser
— Elon Musk told employees that the company’s rapid growth had led to “duplication of roles and some job functions,” requiring it to lay off around 9% of its workers.  Around 3,600 white-collar workers will lose their jobs, but factory workers will not be affected.

Split California into 3 states? Voters will wiegh in
Mercury News
split-california.jpg— The effort faces strong headwinds. A poll conducted in April found that only 17 percent of registered California voters favored the proposal, while 72 percent opposed it.
— Even if approved by state voters, splitting up the state still would require approval from Congress — no easy thing in a sharply divided country. Voters approved breaking California into two states in 1859, but Congress never acted on that request.

simpleline
Lawsuit targets rich family that owns opioid maker

The Guardian
— The state of Massachusetts on Tuesday sued the maker of the prescription painkiller OxyContin, which has been blamed for spawning America’s opioids crisis, naming leading executives and members of the multibillionaire Sackler family that owns the pharmaceutical company.
— The lawsuit accuses the company, Purdue Pharma, of spinning a “web of illegal deceit” to fuel the deadly drug abuse crisis while boosting profits.

“Their strategy was simple: the more drugs they sold, the more money they made, and the more people died.”
— Maura Healey, state attorney general
simpleline

Truck smuggling 55 people stopped in San Antonio
CBS News
— The San Antonio Fire Department rescued the people. Several were young teens.
— Some of the 55 were treated by Emergency Medical Services personnel for minor injuries. Five were transported to a nearby hospital. Officials say the injuries happened as the people were getting out of the truck.
— The remaining 50 people were taken to a detention center.
san-antonio-18-wgheeler-stopped-55-people-inback-061218

Use of common drugs linked to depression
NPR
ibuprofen-tricks.jpg— If you take Prilosec or Zantac for acid reflux, a beta blocker for high blood pressure, or Xanax for anxiety, you may be increasing your risk of depression.
— More than 200 common medications sold in the U.S. include depression as a potential side effect. Sometimes, the risk stems from taking several drugs at the same time. Now, a new study finds people who take these medicines are, in fact, more likely to be depressed.
— The list includes a wide range of commonly taken medications. Among them are certain types of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) (used to treat acid reflux), beta blockers, anxiety drugs, painkillers including ibuprofen, ACE inhibitors (used to treat high blood pressure), and anti-convulsant drugs.
— “The more of these medications you’re taking, the more likely you are to report depression,” says study author Mark Olfson, a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University.
√ And of course, if there are drugs that cause depression, there are others that might treat it …

Psychedelic drugs could treat PTSD, depression
The Conversation
— It seems that psychedelics do more than simply alter perception. According to the latest research from my colleagues and me, they change the structures of neurons themselves.
— My research group has been studying the effects of psychedelics on neuronal structure and function, and we found that these compounds cause neurons to grow. A lot. Many of these compounds are well-known and include lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), psilocin (from magic mushrooms), N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT, from ayahuasca) and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, aka ecstasy).
— These are among the most powerful drugs known to affect brain function, and our research shows that they can alter the structure of the brain as well. Changes in neuronal structure are important because they can impact how the brain is wired, and consequently, how we feel, think and behave.

Four mega-popular quacks duping Americans with bad science
Raw Story
— Snake oil peddlers are an American tradition and these four, topped by TV guru Dr. Oz, are making a fortune by duping the gullible.

The woman’s libido pill is back and so is the controversy
Bloomberg
— Advocates for Addyi are quick to point out that it’s far from a female Viagra, and not just because it’s generating a fraction of the sales. Viagra is used as needed to improve a man’s erection; it’s a question of blood flow, not necessarily desire. Addyi, on the other hand, is taken daily to restore a woman’s appetite for sex and treats a specific medical condition: hypoactive sexual desire disorder.

New Jersey passes “red flag” bill that would allow
guns to be seized from dangerous people
Axios
… Will these successes for gun violence groups at the local level encourage the NRA to double down on their gun platform in the midterm elections?
— Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Illinois and Delaware are on deck to potentially pass similar legislation.

AT&T-Time Warner merger a green light for mega-deals
New York Times
√  Corporations plot to become monopolies in replay of the Gilded Age. US Department of Justice watches and shrugs.
— The battle for the future of media has begun.
— A judge’s approval on Tuesday of the $85.4 billion AT&T-Time Warner deal is sure to touch off a series of mergers as once-powerful news and entertainment companies, built for an era when cable was king, position themselves to compete against the likes of Netflix, Amazon and YouTube.
— How quickly are things changing? Netflix recently surpassed Disney to become the most valuable media company at $158 billion.
— That helps set the stakes for the pending clash between Comcast and The Walt Disney Company as each seeks to own the bulk of 21st Century Fox.
>>> A nightmare for consumers?
Motherboard
— AT&T’s win in court means a telecom conglomerate may soon own CNN, HBO, TBS, and a host of movie franchises.

9th Circuit threatens to revive Costco slave labor lawsuit
Courthouse News Service
 — A Ninth Circuit judge indicated Tuesday she might favor reviving a lawsuit accusing Costco of misleading consumers about slave labor in its supply chain for prawns.
– Reversing dismissal of the Costco suit would be a stark departure from another recent Ninth Circuit ruling, Hodson v. Mars, which found companies have no duty to disclose the use of slave labor in their supply chains.
– Ninth Circuit Judge Mary Schroeder admonished a Costco lawyer during oral arguments Tuesday: “You may be losing one member of the panel here in trying to say you can publicly announce you have a code of conduct that means you don’t tolerate this kind of thing, that that nevertheless means you’re not representing that you try to police it.”

Einstein called racism a “disease of white people.”
His diaries show that he had the disease
Quartz
albert_einstein_53.jpg— Quotes from the volume make for unsettling reading. He describes “industrious, filthy, obtuse people” he met on his travels, and is particularly racist towards the Chinese, writing that “it would be a pity if these Chinese supplant all other races. For the likes of us the mere thought is unspeakably dreary.”

 

 

Tue June 12

Seattle loses its nerve; Amazon, Starbucks win tax battle
The Hill
— Weeks after passing a tax on big businesses, Seattle political leaders signaled they would reverse course and repeal it.
— Mayor Jenny Durkan and city council President Bruce Harrell said they would end the tax, initially meant to combat rising homelessness.
— Business groups, led by the city’s largest employers like Amazon and Starbucks, had raised $200,000 to gather signatures for a referendum challenging the new tax. They had planned to submit those signatures on Tuesday in an effort to place the referendum on the November ballot.
Amazon_Seattle_Tax_00870-780x520

Haunted by a mugshot
Predatory web sites profit from shame of arrest
The Guardian
— Sites are collecting people’s mugshots, then charging huge sums to remove them. Should Google be doing more to stop it?

Couple go to prison in $1.2 million Amazon return fraud
Newser
— US Attorney Josh Minkler says married couple Erin and Leah Finan stole more than 2,700 electronics items from Amazon, including Apple MacBooks, Samsung smartwatches, and GoPro cameras, by demanding free replacements for products they wrongly claimed as faulty.
— The 38-year-olds used “hundreds” of false identities to order and pick up items at locations across the state.

Landlords hoping to dump shopping malls, but nobody’s buying
Bloomberg
— Prices for malls fell 14 percent in the past 12 months, even as values for other types of commercial properties, such as warehouses and office buildings, rose or held steady, according to Green Street Advisors LLC. At least four properties have been pulled from the market in recent months because the bids were too low.

Elizabeth Warren: Not enough Democrats willing to take on billionaire class
The Intercept
elizabeth-warren-gun-control-hearing-aid-otc-1495825358-article-header.jpg… “until we have all of the Democrats who are willing to fight for the American people and not for a handful of billionaires and giant corporations, then it’s going to stay an uphill fight.”

Feds arrest 74 in global email scam
BBC
… targeted scammers who trick people into transferring them money, for example by impersonating a business partner or colleague.
— In one case, the US alleged that two Nigerians living in Dallas posed as a property seller when requesting a $246,000 wire transfer from a real estate attorney.
— Authorities also went after “money mules” – “witting or unwitting accomplices” who receive the money from the victims and transfer it as directed by the fraudsters.

Corporate execs using stock buybacks to pad their own bank accounts
CNBC
… “the Trump tax bill has unleashed an unprecedented wave of buybacks, and I worry that lax SEC rules and corporate oversight are giving executives yet another chance to cash out at investor expense.”
— Robert Jackson Jr., SEC official

Detroit’s ruined train station to house
Ford’s futuristic car unit
NPR
— The station and an adjoining book depository in the city’s Corktown neighborhood will be the centerpiece of Ford’s new campus for its self-driving and electric-car divisions. detroit-ford-train

 A serious hurdle for CRISPR:
Edited cells might cause cancer
Stat
— Editing cells’ genomes with CRISPR-Cas9 might increase the risk that the altered cells, intended to treat disease, will trigger cancer, two studies published on Monday warn — a potential game-changer for the companies developing CRISPR-based therapies.
— In the studies, published in Nature Medicine, scientists found that cells whose genomes are successfully edited by CRISPR-Cas9 have the potential to seed tumors inside a patient. That could make some CRISPR’d cells ticking time bombs, according to researchers from Sweden’s Karolinska Institute and, separately, Novartis.

US to turn away victims of gangs, domestic violence
The Guardian
— US immigration courts will be ordered to stop granting asylum to victims of domestic abuse and gang violence who come to the country seeking safety.
— The attorney general, Jeff Sessions, signaled that he would issue a directive to immigration judges. The policy is expected to affect tens of thousands of migrants fleeing violence in Central America and seeking to claim asylum in the US.

Private prison company seeks to make $$$
by locking up immigrant kids

Newsweek
√ Yup, it’s the American Way.
Texas Representatives John Raney, John Cyrier and Mark Keough—all Republicans—have authored legislation that, if passed, would allow immigration detention centers to obtain child care licenses. Equipped with the permits, the centers would then be able to circumvent a 2015 federal ruling that said detained immigrant children must be transferred to a child care facility after 20 days in detention.
detained immigrant.jpg

nonono-line

Reality show diplomacy:
Trump showed Kim fake movie
starring the two of them
Buzz Feed
√ Visualize whirrled peas!

China the big winner in Trump-Kim summit
Bloomberg
— The biggest winner from President Donald Trump’s summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un — aside from Kim himself — was unquestionably the government of President Xi Jinping, which had been advocating the very process that Trump has now embarked upon.
— Trump committed to an open-ended negotiating process and said the U.S. would also suspend military exercises with South Korea. Given that North Korea has halted missile and nuclear tests, that amounted to the dialogue and “suspension-for-suspension” model that China has advocated for years.

no bellREALNEWS.INK PRESENTS
ITS PRESTIGIOUS

“NO BELL PRIZE”
FOR ACCOMPLISHING NOTHING TO …

Donald J. Trump
so-called President of the United States
For overcoming a disability
(bone spurs)
and getting his picture taken
with a Little Rocket Man.
Congratulations, Donnie
You are hereby awarded
one bag of hot air
which you so richly
deserve.
trump-kim-etc.jpg

Mon June 11

Supreme Court upholds voter purge law

NPR
√ Democracy going down in flames. 

— By a 5-4 margin, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a controversial Ohio voter-purge law.
— It’s known as the “use-it-or-lose-it” law, and it’s the most aggressive voter-purge system in the country. The state currently strikes voters from the registration rolls if they fail to vote in two consecutive elections — and if they fail to return a mailed address confirmation form.
— Those challenging the law said it violated the National Voting Rights Act, which says that a state cannot strike someone from the rolls for failure to vote.
>>> “The Supreme Court just cleared the way for the mass disenfranchisement of voters.”
— Judd Legum on Twitter
>>> “Voting is not a use it or lose it right. It is a permanent right guaranteed by our Constitution.”
— Rep. Terri A. Sewell on Twitter

Dead broke and fiercely patriotic
(One man’s quest to understand the loyalty of the poor)
Alternet
√ This is the most insightful article I’ve read in quite a while. It may well change your view of the “other America.”
… poor and working-class Americans are extremely patriotic and nationalistic — much more so than any other group in the country, but….
… What is a puzzle for you and me is actually not a puzzle for them at all. It is in fact the opposite. It is precisely because so many things have gone wrong for them that they get so much mileage out of being an American, which still happens to be a very prestigious national identity. One could argue that in a way it gives them a sense of identity like nothing else. They’re hanging on to it precisely because they have nothing else to hang on to.

London newspapers expose Russia’s support for Brexit campaign
Vice News
— Efforts to expose Moscow’s long-suspected meddling in the U.K.’s 2016 Brexit referendum gained substantial ground Sunday after a bombshell report in Britain revealed deep ties between the Kremlin and the Leave campaign — which also had significant links to the Trump election campaign.

Crypto-currencies lose $42 billion after S. Korea hack
Bloomberg
— The 2018 selloff in cryptocurrencies deepened, wiping out $42 billion of market value over the weekend and extending this year’s slump in Bitcoin to more than 50 percent.
— Some observers pinned the latest retreat on an exchange hack in South Korea, while others pointed to lingering concern over a clampdown on trading platforms in China.

Mob beats men to death over WhatsApp rumors
BBC
— Police in India say the pair were attacked when they stopped at a village to ask for directions. Residents reportedly believed they were the “kidnappers” they had been warned about on WhatsApp.
√ It can happen here.  See this story about the Qanon hysteria in the US. Or  click the headline below:
>>> Fake news web site engineers pedophile scare
Snopes

Net neutrality is dead, but not buried
Gizmodo
A lawsuit filed by 23 state attorneys general to block the net neutrality repeal is still pending. We’ve also seen 100 US mayors pledge to refuse to do business with any internet service providers who violate net neutrality protections and states are working to create their own laws that could have national ripple effects. California inched closer to passing its own net neutrality laws last week, and New York is working on similar legislation.

China is buying up ports, and influence, across Europe
The National Interest
— China comes brandishing almost unlimited investment funds, and Beijing has set up shop from Valencia to the Bosporus and from the North Adriatic to the Suez Canal.

ICE came for Tennessee town’s immigrants …
… but the town fought back
New York Times
“My first thought was one of sorrow. Oh my goodness, this is going to hurt so many people in the community. It’s going to hurt their kids, our kids. It’s going to have a ripple effect throughout the entire community because these people are part of Morristown. Immediately, I drive over to the parish center to see what I can do to help. I had to park way at the end because it was so packed. I go in, I said, I’m an attorney, how can I help?”
— Angela Smith, Morristown Tennessee
ice-tennessee

Salvation? Or just another con job
Entrepreneurs offer to “rescue” failing rural hospitals
Kaiser Health News
— The community of Surprise Valley, Calif., wrestled with the idea of selling its tiny, long-cherished hospital to a Denver entrepreneur who sees a big future in lab tests for faraway patients. Last summer, another exec had a similar idea but left town.

TODAY’S DOG & PONY SHOWS
The big one:
Trump-Kim so-called Summit
trump-kim summit-mod
— I urge the President to remain clear-eyed about north Korea’s long history of violating previous denuclearization promises. He must not sell out our South Korean and Japanese allies or undermine our own national security interests in search of a dramatic television moment consisting of more style than substance. Details matter here and, when it comes to Kim Jong Un, could very well be the difference between life and death for millions of human souls in the region.
— US Sen. Tammy Duckworth

The little one:
IHOP flip flops on pancakes, becomes ‘burger joint
No Link
— Newsweek, NPR and many others fall for PR stunt. 

June 8 & weekend updates

Bob Englehart / Cagle Cartoons

typewriter-realnews-line

“If you’re a middle-class person and feel like the country has left you behind, that is an objective truth. That didn’t happen by accident.”
— Billionaire Nick Hanaeur

“Raising wages doesn’t kill jobs,
it’s just a thing rich people say to poor people”
Yahoo News
nick-hanauer— In the late 1970s, the richest 1 percent of Americans shared only about 8 percent of the national income. By 2007, however, that number had grown to almost 23 percent.
— Hanauer believes every state should institute a $15 minimum wage, which he successfully lobbied for in the state of Washington. “The idea that raising wages kills jobs lies in the face of all common sense. If people don’t have any money, who will buy the stuff?”
— And even though Hanauer was one of the first investors in Amazon, he holds Jeff Bezos to the same standard he would to any CEO who runs a successful business empire. “Until we collectively raise standards so that we require Jeff Bezos to pay his workers enough to get by without food stamps, it’s not his obligation to do that unilaterally,” he says. “Certainly, that’s not what Walmart is doing, or Walgreens, or any of his competitors …

Pope seeks “courageous” ideas to help priest shortage
AP/Yahoo
— The Vatican called Friday for courageous proposals to cope with a shortage of priests in the Amazon, and said it wouldn’t rule out debate on whether married men could step in to fill the “precariously-thin presence” of the Catholic Church in the vast region.
√  Dear Pope: Here’s a courageous idea … Why not try utilizing the female half of the human race … ?

More lies from trustworthy folks at Facebook

Wall Street Journal
— Facebook Inc. struck customized data-sharing deals that gave select companies special access to user records well after the point in 2015 that the social network has said it walled off that information, according to court documents, company officials and people familiar with the matter.
… also allowed certain companies to access information like phone numbers and a metric called “friend link” that measured the degree of closeness between users and others in their network.
… The deals were struck with companies including Royal Bank of Canada and Nissan Motor Co. , who advertised on Facebook or were valuable for other reasons.

Classy Scott Pruitt and the Chick-fil-A franchise
Vice News
√ Protecting the environment is top priority for Uncle Scotty

— About three months after Pruitt took office, he had one of his staff email Dan Cathy, the Chick-fil-A CEO, to set up a call about a “business opportunity,” according to emails obtained by the Washington Post.
>>> Big-time Trump donor helped EPA pick so-called science advisors
Politico

Doc says Vanderbilt axed him because he sued Trump
The Tennessean
gu— Dr. Eugene Gu, a liberal doctor with a large Twitter following, has become one of the most controversial figures at Vanderbilt over the past two years because of his public criticism of Trump, Republicans, gun culture and sometimes the hospital itself.

1,768 families have been separated at US border
Reuters
—  In most of the cases of families separated by border agents between October 2016 and February, children were removed from parents for medical reasons or because of security concerns, the government claims, citing examples such as parents needing hospitalization or officials discovering the parent had a criminal record.
— In 237 cases, officials said, children were removed because border agents suspected adults were falsely posing as the parents of minors in their charge.

Whacko #Qanon conspiracy theory
has dudes searching 
Arizona desert
for pedophile Democrats
Motherboard
qanon— Qanon is a new spin on an old American cultural myth—cabals of elite predators who prey on children. There’s no evidence to back any of this up, but the fantasy has persisted online for more than a year and now it’s made the jump to real life.
— Its believers are patrolling the Arizona desert, chasing shadows and bothering local law enforcement, egged on by anonymous conspiracy theorists following their every move from behind a computer screen.
— So far, no one has been harmed, but what’s happening in Tucson right now is a good reminder that the tentacles of crazy internet conspiracies reach into the real world.
>>> Programmed to believe: Why people buy into falsehoods
Christian Science Monitor

NASA rover finds building blocks of life on Mars
Digital Trends
“Curiosity has shown that Gale crater [on Mars] was habitable around 3.5 billion years ago, with conditions comparable to those on the early Earth, where life evolved around that time,” Inge Loes ten Kate, a professor of Earth sciences at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, wrote in Science.`
nasa-mars-rover.jpg

US sending 1,600 immigrants to federal prisions
CNBC
— U.S. authorities are transferring into federal prisons about 1,600 Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainees …  first large-scale use of federal prisons to hold detainees …

Despite the propaganda
Social Security is NOT running out of $$$
The Conversation
Hard to believe an economist knows more than Drudge but…

— The federal government will have to tap Social Security reserves to pay a small portion of promised benefits in the current fiscal year for the first time since 1982. They also projected Social Security can continue to pay 100 percent of benefits through 2034 by relying in part on the money in the trust funds.
— At that point, the trust funds will be depleted, and Congress will need to decide whether to increase revenue, cut benefits or both.

Chemical industry scores big over so-called EPA
New York Times
–The US, after heavy lobbying by the chemical industry, is scaling back the way the federal government determines health and safety risks associated with the most dangerous chemicals on the market.
— Under a law passed by Congress during the final year of the Obama administration, the E.P.A. was required to evaluate hundreds of potentially toxic chemicals and determine if they should face new restrictions, or even be removed from the market. The chemicals include many in everyday use, such as dry-cleaning solvents, paint strippers and substances used in health and beauty products like shampoos and cosmetics.
— But the E.P.A. has in most cases decided to exclude from its calculations any potential exposure caused by the substances’ presence in the air, the ground or water.

PLASTICS!
Researchers find tiny bits of plastic in all mussels sampled
BBC
— Researchers have found tiny pieces of plastic in all the samples of mussels they tested in British seawaters and bought from local supermarkets.
— The scientists, from the University of Hull and Brunel University, said the contamination from microplastics and other human debris, such as cotton and rayon, was significant and widespread.

US links brain injuries in China, Cuba
Business Insider
— “​At this time, 24 U.S. government personnel and family members who served in Cuba have been medically-confirmed as having symptoms and clinical findings similar to those noted following concussion or minor traumatic brain injury. On May 16, 2018, a U.S. government employee serving in China was medically-confirmed with similar findings.”
— Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

Minneapolis cops halt pot stings
after racial disparity revealed

Star Tribune

What’s the consensus point for social change?
About 25% of a population, study says
Eureka Alert
— When organizations turn a blind eye to sexual harassment in the workplace, how many people need to take a stand before the behavior is no longer seen as normal?
— According to a new paper published in Science, there is a quantifiable answer: Roughly 25% of people need to take a stand before large-scale social change occurs. This idea of a social tipping point applies to standards in the workplace and any type of movement or initiative.

Could carbon dioxide be sucked from the air to make fuel?
Yes, these researchers say
Eureka Alert
— Direct air capture technology works almost exactly like it sounds. Giant fans draw ambient air into contact with an aqueous solution that picks out and traps carbon dioxide.
— Through heating and a handful of familiar chemical reactions, that same carbon dioxide is re-extracted and ready for further use — as a carbon source for making valuable chemicals like fuels, or for storage via a sequestration strategy of choice.
— It’s not just theory–Carbon Engineering’s facility in British Columbia is already achieving both CO2 capture and fuel generation.

“Racial resentment” causing more whites to oppose welfare
NPR
— A new study shows that since 2008, more white people in the United States oppose welfare programs, in part because of increasing “racial resentment.”
— One of the reasons for this opposition, according to the report, is white Americans’ perceptions that they might be losing financial and social status while people of color make gains in those areas.

Hard, hard times at rural retail malls
Des Moines Register
— National retail distress is emptying rural regional malls, experts say. But long-term economic deterioration is driving their inability to bounce back: Fewer jobs and fewer people mean less money spent on TVs, couches and clothes.

NO GAYS ALLOWED
Tennessee hardware store owner reacts to SCOTUS ruling
The Hill
jeff_amyx-face“Christianity is under attack,” Jeff Amyx said. “Right now, we’re seeing a ray of sunshine. This is ‘happy days’ for Christians all over America, but dark days will come.”

Deported “dreamer” murdered 3 weeks later
Des Moines Register
>>> Mexico’s border gangs prey on recently deported
Dallas Morning News

Google keeps flip-flopping on whether it will do Pentagon work
Wired
— Of course it will. The US military is famously generous with taxpayer dollars, and Google is not going to miss out.

 THE WELL-ARMED MILITIA
Father of toddler who shot himself faces charges
Deseret News
— The Utah father of a child who fatally shot himself in the head on May 26 has been charged with child abuse homicide.
— Tasman Maile told police that he was asleep with a handgun next to him when he woke up to the sound of the gunshot, according to police. He said he always slept with his gun under his pillow with the gun “fully loaded and off safety within arm’s reach,” charges state.

simpleline

Trump considering 3,000 pardons, including Muhammad Ali
Reuters
— U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday he is considering pardoning some 3,000 people “who may have been treated unfairly,” including late heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali.
>>> Ali’s attorney:  Trump is full of shit
Raw Story
>>> Trump won’t rule out pardons for Manafort, Cohen
CNN
>>> It was Manafort’s friends who ratted him out
NY Times
simpleline

NEWS BY THE NUMBERS
statistic_id264810_facebook_-number-of-monthly-active-users-worldwide-2008-2018

 

THE ULTIMATE DOG & PONY SHOW

G7 ! ! !

No link at Don’t-bother.com
dog-pony-juggle— Oh, the New York Times will get quite excited. All the world’s media will send thousands of reporters, who will write millions of dull words. We’ll see photo-ops galore of white guys shaking hands, we’ll hear pronouncements by false prophets, and in the end, as Will the Scribe said, it will prove to be full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
— Whatever real deals are cut, they’re unlikely to appear on any front pages, anytime soon.