Monday update

Hawking’s final fear:
The rich will use genetic engineering
to turn their children into “superhumans”

√ Return of the Master Race?
hawking-blackboard.jpg— In his final book In Brief Answers to the Big Questions, out on Tuesday, Professor Hawking states that he fears wealthy people will begin to edit their own and their children’s DNA to create ‘superhumans’ who will be more intelligent and live longer.
— “Laws will probably be passed against genetic engineering with humans. But some people won’t be able to resist the temptation to improve human characteristics, such as memory, resistance to disease and length of life.”

√ Imagine a world with millions and millions of Jared Kushners …

Speaking of His Excellency ….

Jared Kushner, Genius, Middle East Peacemaker, and Super-Patriot, ah, slithered out of paying for the last eight years or so. Nothing to see here, folks, move on and be sure to file your taxes on time. Thank you!
> Axios
… And the new tax law passed last year “provides even more opportunities for property investors to take larger deductions.”


Trump campaign will sell data on its idiot followers to anybody “not hostile to the president.”
Raw Story

Dude gets 22 years in pen for spiking girlfriend’s drink with abortion pill
Appleton (WIS.) Post-Crescent
— A man who was accused of putting an abortion-inducing drug in his girlfriend’s drink was sentenced Tuesday to 22 years in prison.
— Manishkumar Patel, 45, was convicted in August of attempted first-degree intentional homicide of an unborn child. His girlfriend didn’t ingest the drink, but miscarried weeks later.
…….. On Sept. 17, 2007, the family went to a downtown Appleton restaurant, then to an ice cream shop for dessert. Patel brought her a smoothie while she waited outside in the car, but she saw him split the drink into two cups and “frantically” stir the cup, the complaint said. She took the drink when Patel returned to the car, but didn’t drink it.

Want to protest in DC? Maybe it’ll cost ya
CBS News
— The National Park Service is exploring whether to require protest organizers to pay for the cost of providing law enforcement and other support services for demonstrations held in the nation’s capital. The proposed rule also could shrink a significant portion of the sidewalk outside the White House that is accessible to pedestrians, leaving a five-foot wide sliver.
— The public has until the close of Monday to comment on the proposal.

Inside the tent city (aka jail) for migrant kids in Texas
The Independent
— The tent city that the federal government operates at the Tornillo border station about 35 miles south east of El Paso on the Mexico border was built in June as a temporary home for a few hundred migrant children. Four months later, it has rapidly expanded and has nearly quadrupled in size.
√ And wouldn’t you know it, somebody’s making a fortune on this.
… The contractor, a global network of nonprofit groups known as BCFS, has received at least $179m in federal contracts in recent years as part of the so-called unaccompanied alien children program. The network ran similar emergency shelters during the Obama administration, including those at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio in 2012 and 2014.

In Germany, at least, some folks are starting to wake up 
— When German organizers pulled together a demonstration in Berlin to support “an open and free society,” they had some ambitious goals. They expected roughly 40,000 people to pack the span from Berlin’s city center, from Alexanderplatz to the Victory Column, where they were holding their final rally of the day.
— As it turns out, those expectations didn’t measure up to the real thing.
— More than 240,000 people showed up for the march and rallies Saturday, according to the organizers behind the #unteilbar event (#indivisible in English). Local police told the BBC that the demonstrators numbered “in the low hundreds of thousands.”

Saudis threaten pissing match if US goes sanction route
√ Oh, please. The US has been keeping this corrupt monarchy intact for decades now. Jeesh.

Bodies of 11 infants were hidden at Detroit funeral home
— Six months after a Detroit funeral home was shut down for its “deplorable conditions,” investigators made a gruesome discovery of 11 infant bodies hidden in the ceiling.
— Inspectors from the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs found the remains at Cantrell Funeral Home after receiving an anonymous note on Friday afternoon that detailed their whereabouts.

Guy who shot at lost teen found guilty
Detroit News
— In a case that attracted national attention and local outrage, a white Rochester Hills homeowner was convicted Friday for shooting at a lost black teenager who showed up at his door seeking directions to his school.
— Jeffrey Zeigler, 53, was found guilty by a jury in Oakland County Circuit Court of assault with intent to commit great bodily harm less than murder and possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony in the April 12 incident at his home involving 14-year-old Brennan Walker.
√ Shooter lives in the, ahem, Christian Hills subdivision. Figures.

These two sites can help you spot fake Amazon reviews
Popular Science

Study: 40% of US middle class face impoverished retirement

China to take over world leadership?
No, it’s already going backward
By Gordon Chang, The National Interest
— China … is moving from authoritarianism back to totalitarianism, readopting a model that brought the People’s Republic to the brink of economic failure twice, once during the Great Leap Forward of the late 1950s and early 1960s and again during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution of the mid-1960s to mid-1970s. China’s economy cannot be expected to do well in an increasingly intolerant political atmosphere, as the country’s own history suggests.
— And there is one more reason to doubt Chinese economic dominance: demography. China will soon join the ranks of shrinking nations. The population will peak somewhere around 1.44 billion people at the end of next decade according to the U.N.’s World Population Prospects: The 2017 Revision. By the end of the century, China will have a population of 1.02 billion.
>>> Google CEO: Censored China search engine offers “broad benefits.”
The Intercept
√ Not to mention $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ for Google.

The real value of a $15 minimum wage depends on where you live
Pew Research

— The movement for a $15-an-hour minimum wage got a boost earlier this month when Amazon – which has drawn criticism for its pay practices and working conditions – announced it would raise its base pay for all U.S. workers to $15 an hour. The new minimum wage takes effect Nov. 1 and will affect some 250,000 full- and part-time employees, as well as the 100,000 or so seasonal workers Amazon expects to hire in the next few months, according to the company. (The raises will be offset, at least in part, by the phasing out of bonuses and stock awards for hourly workers.)
— How much of a real improvement those workers will see in their daily lives, however, depends very much on where they live. Local living costs vary widely in the United States, and Amazon has more than 150 warehouses, sorting centers, distribution centers and other facilities scattered across the country. A $15 hourly wage yields $17.10 worth of purchasing power for a worker at Amazon’s Spartanburg, South Carolina, warehouse, for example, but only $13.57 for a worker at the warehouse in Kent, Washington, a Seattle suburb about 20 miles south of the company’s headquarters.

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