Monday, April 26, 2021

Censored Tweets by India

India required Twitter to remove at least 52 tweets critical of its response to COVID, and Twitter complied. (The tweets are still viewable outside India.) Here are two of them:

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Astonishing India COVID Trend

From yesterday's the NY Times, who write that India is now seeing about half of all new global cases, and deaths there are being undercounted and may be 2 to 5 times what is being reported.

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Anecdote About Kevin

From the very good book Lightspeed: The Ghostly Aether and the Race to Measure the Speed of Light by John C H Spence. Funny if you know a little physics.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Wow - Initial Arrest Report on George Floyd

Here is the initial report from the Minneapolis Police Department on the arrest of George Floyd. Except for smartphone it's likely this horrific racist murder would have gone largely unnoticed and unpunished.

Via The NY Times, who has more about it

(Will you ever believe the police again?) 

They also interview others who Derek Chauvin abused when he arrested them, and note that "Minneapolis Police Use Force Against Black People at 7 Times the Rate of Whites."

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Three Cheers for the Guilty Verdicts

But instead of focusing on Maxine Waters, as Republicans try to divert attention from the real issue, how about three cheers for the guilty verdicts against Derek Chavin. 

For a day at least something went right in America. 

Finally a racist cop has been prominently convicted and will likely be put behind bars for a long time, sending a much needed message to police everywhere in America that wanton, racist violence will not be tolerated, and members of your own force can no longer be counted on to turn their head and pretend nothing happened. 

It's just one verdict, but it's a start, and it will only add strength to the BLM movement, the fight for voter rights and what everyone now sees as a racist system -- a racist country -- still in place 75 years after Jim Crow -- a renewed realization in part thanks to the clumsy, arrogant racism of the clumsy, arrogant troll Donald Trump. This verdict accompanies the good start Biden had gotten off to -- with solid leadership, popular programs and real hope, much to Republican's annoyance, as they're left lying to try to create controversies like Maxine Waters, with absolutely nothing to offer Americans but negativity, anti-science, nativism, xenophobia, homophobia, transphobia, and racism. Trump has so poisoned them they've lost the cognitive faculties to recognize it anymore. Bring on New Deal 2.0, a program about democracy as much as economics.


Wait a minute. This from Maxine Waters is what is being called terrorism?

(Via Breitbart). Republicans are truly out of their freaking minds. She's calling for people to march in the streets, a First Amendment right. There is nothing in her statement that calls for violence. Nothing. 

This unadulterated lying, this attempt to twist language for political purposes, this disregard for the truth, is disgusting and dark and leading to dangerous place -- more dangerous even than January 6th. And Republicans are now all in. This is shameful, as if they care anymore.

PS: The jury was (rightly) sequestered, so there was no possibility she could have influenced them.

About Maxine Waters

Note: McCarthy voted against Trump's impeachment.

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Crosby Scores, Equipment Manager Gets the Assist

Watch the players mob the equipment manager afterward:

Friday, April 16, 2021

Will Smith

"Racism isn't getting worse. It's getting filmed."

- Will Smith

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Defense Expert Owned in Derek Chauvin Trial

 This happened today at the trial of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd:

Oops! I wonder how much he was being paid by the defense. I hope they stopped payment or asked for their money back.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Right- vs Left-Wing US Domestic Terrorism

The Washington Post has an interesting/disturbing article on domestic terrorism trends in the US, and who's responsible. The number of incidents are up sharply in the last five years, and it's almost entirely from the extreme right-wing: 

I'm not going to try to characterize where these terrorists come from, by ideology -- they're dangerous, perhaps mentally ill men, very likely white, who for some god-forsaken reason have access to weapons soldiers carry into war zones. Republicans are morally responsible for them, for their refusal to pass sensible gun regulations, and those who vote against those regulations all have serious blood on their hands and their souls. (I wish I believed in souls, it would be useful here, but I don't.) 

I'm not convinced the easy access to guns in America -- serious guns -- and the kind of trend above, and the Republican's push into fascism in the face of their terror of losing power due to demographic trends -- isn't going to lead to a dissolution (viz. crackup) of the U.S. in a few decades time, maybe even sooner. Add climate change and income inequality and (despite Biden) the lack of an adequate social net and affordable and universal healthcare system, and I'll even throw in the potential failures of the Ogallala and California Valley Aquifers and snowpack failures and early melt leading to water shortages in the Colorado River and Pacific Northwest...well, the world usually finds a way to squeak by. But not always, not without some significant and lurching change. 

Saturday, April 10, 2021

What a Save!

Casey DeSmith of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Perhaps unique.

Friday, April 09, 2021

Republicans and Corporations

Background: "Why Republicans want corporations to end all criticism of their war on voting rights," Robert Schlesinger, NBC News, 4/7/21.

More: Here's what's really going on, I think. Republicans see their voting base shrinking as whites become an ever smaller percentage of the US population, and they're terrified of extinction. They see voter suppression as a key strategy in maintaining power, so they have to tell corporations to shut up about it (while still expecting corps to donate to them). But corps don't want to alienate their customers -- as the NBC News article above quotes, counties that voted for Biden account for 70% of US GDP. Republicans have to become more and more extreme, even fascist, to retain any kind of power, because they can't appeal to the wealthy (their traditional base) and the working class at the same time. They have to maintain the illusion of the Big Lie, that massive voter fraud took place in the November 2020 election, to justify all their voter suppression laws and efforts they're now putting in place in states around the country, and to keep their white, rural, gun-toting angry conservative base riled up. It's so convoluted and messed up and they're tightening a knot around their own neck all the time. Hopefully not around the country's neck at the same time, but I'm not sure about that.     

Monday, April 05, 2021

America Needs Some Better Americans

A comment from a Canadian on Saturday's column in the NY Times by Nicholas Kristoff, "How Do We Stop the Parade of Gun Deaths?"

A sad but true indictment. Of course, we all know who these Americans are.

All these Americans must die so the gun fetishists can have their 20 guns each and their assault weapons and pretend to be navy seals. So the gun industry can keep their profits rolling selling guns and ammunition. (Almost 40 M guns were sold in America last year.) Because a minority of citizens in the US can control what the country does -- the Democrats in the US Senate represent 41,549,808 more people than do the Republicans, even though the seats are split 50-50. "Republican Senators Haven’t Represented a Majority of Voters Since 1996." Journalist and columnist Eric Black writes

Few, if any, other “democracies” have anything this undemocratic built into their systems.... the arguably least democratic feature of the Constitution, is the only thing in the whole document that can never be amended.

Friday, April 02, 2021

The Stupid Lies of Lars Larson and Chuck Wiese and Ed Berry

Ed Berry, a PhD in physics from before the Standard Model, who has now abandoned everything he every learned to become an idiotic climate denier, continues to publish the worst in global warming bullshit, like this piece of moronic juvenility from someone named Tom V. Segalstad:

There is then indeed a paradox that CO2, "The Gas of Life", is now being condemned as the evil "polluting" gas, a gas which will be a threat to people's living on Earth, through a postulated "Global Warming".

This is too stupid to spend any time on, and not because of its many grammatical mistakes. 

Instead I want to recount a recent private email correspondence I had with Dr Berry about a month and a half ago, when the illustrious climate-denying Mr Chuck Wiese BS hyperventilated on the radio show of Lars Larson, who is terrified to have any other opinion on his show except the anti-science one, about how James Hansen has, essentially, always been full of shit. This coming from a man, Wiese, who has a mere bachelor's degree in meteorology, has never done or published any research in his life, claims that CO2 doesn't cause global warming, but admits that the world is warming but he doesn't know why, but it's definitely not CO2. Yet he has the nerve to denigrate James Hansen.

Instead he brought up the illustrious work of Dr Ed Berry, who, Wiese says, has proven that only 18 ppm of atmospheric CO2 is due to humans. 

Not that Berry has ever published such a thing. He hasn't. He's afraid to submit his work to any real journal, or, if he has, is afraid to say when it's been rejected. No doubt it will soon be published by the Zambian Proceedings of the Colonial Council of the University Chemical Pact, and Berry will claim a clear and overwhelming victory.

I asked Berry how, if only 18 ppm of man's emissions since the start of the industrial revolution has gone into the atmosphere, where has the rest of these emissions gone? He replied something about the number of layers in the IPCC models, as if the IPCC even made climate or carbon models, which they don't. Which was a nonanswer anyway. I asked him again, and there was silence. Indeed, I think it has never even occurred to him to ask this question, let alone try to answer it. Nor has the illustrious Mr Chuck Wiese B.S.

And how fucking stupid is that? These people don't even know how to do the simplest science. Yet Lars Larson is putting them on the radio before something like 1-4 M people (Lars once told me; I think it's 1 M for his Oregon-Washington show and 4 M for his national show), misleading every single one of them. And he doesn't seem the least bit concerned about it. Larson claims he's an ex-journalist who uses journalistic methods on his show, but that's a complete joke. He's just a Trump toady willing to lie if he thinks it advances his ideology one small step. And bald-faced liars like him and Wiese and Berry are ruining America. Does anyone there even care???

First Vax Dose

Yesterday I received my first shot of Pfizer's COVID vaccine.

I have to say, the system here in my county, Marion in Oregon, was the most smooth, efficient and impressive I could conceive of. I was scheduled in a large, cavernous building at the county fairgrounds here, 10 minutes from my home, plenty of parking, lots of people but no waiting at all. I walked up, they took my temperature and asked the regular questions. I was quickly moved to someone who checked me in (I had done all the e-check in online, so it went very smooth), I went to one of about 10 socially distanced lines, and maybe 8-10 minutes later I moved up to a very pleasant women from the National Guard, whose regular job was in surgery at a local hospital here and who had been on duty since January, I got the jab from her, then waited in the designated waiting area for 15 minutes, then left. 

It was all so organized and smooth I was completely impressed. I literally could not have asked for better, and thank god the free market wasn't in any way involved to sell my data or profit off me or insist I sign up for this or that. I want to thank my state government, the Oregon Health Authority, the Oregon National Guard, and any employees of Salem Health and any volunteers involved in this collective effort that led to a utterly flawless experience. I am so happy I was able to receive this vaccine now. My second shot is on the 22nd. 

I don't want to ever hear a thing another goddamn thing about government not being able to do anything competently. This has not been my experience at all, especially in Oregon, where I always get a ballot in the mail on time, where I have always gone to the DMV (Dept Motor Vehicles) and had a pleasant experience, where I have had state-assisted health care assistance when I have needed it, and where I don't know what the hell people are complaining about.

My only reactions to my first dose were a small headache for about an hour, a brief sweating episode, and a weird skin marking last night that's now mostly gone:

I'm happy Donald Trump paid for this vaccine (like what president wouldn't, duh), and thrilled that Joe Biden got the ball rolling with, now, about 3 M doses per day. Thank god Biden won -- he is saving thousands of lives daily, while Trump's incompetence and utter lack of empathy was killing thousands of lives daily. Thanks too to Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, whose banning of Trump from Twitter's platform did as much to preserve American democracy as, perhaps, American voters themselves. Dorsey deserves many awards. Trump has been emasculated, castrated, and fed his own genitals. He is nothing now but a terrible memory, forever destined to be the most atrocious president in American history, so bad he almost doesn't fit into consideration with the rest of them, but stands out as a rigid anomaly, a rotten cancer in a long family of people who meant and tried their best. I think Trump has already been quarantined in American history, caged off as a sick anomaly, exactly the opposite of everything he ever hoped to be. Of course he will not be coming back in 2024 -- Trump fades more into a forgotten pit of hell every day, despite his desperate attempts to stay relevant -- a flag the other day he will form a social network, a Web site statement a couple of days ago. All ignored by everyone but newshounds, and ignored quickly even by them. Everyone is glad he is swimming in piss and will not be upset if he drowns there, along with his repulsive kids.

NOW the Jobs are Growing

Hmm, notice anything about the massive rebound in job growth last month in the U.S., and just who might be responsible? (The recession started in Feb 2020.) What a turnaround....

via Catherine Rampell at WaPo.