The Darker Side of the News

Seen something interesting in the news or on the intertubes? Discuss it here.

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orthogon
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby orthogon » Tue Jul 04, 2017 10:22 pm UTC

Sableagle wrote:In updates on Grenfell Tower, the bad news is that the "rush around the country frantically replacing all that flammable cladding with the non-flammable kind we should have used in the first place" doesn't include replacing the flammable insulation behind the cladding ... and the good news is that the rent the residents have been charged since the night of the fire is going to be refunded.

It's all very confusing and/or badly reported. Newsnight said they'd used the "slightly less fireproof version" of the cladding, which to me implies it was maybe a few percent more flammable, whereas the media make it sound like they used cotton wool soaked in kerosene or something. I heard somebody on the radio saying that it didn't make sense that every single sample from tower blocks all over the country had failed the tests: that surely they must be testing it wrongly. He also mentioned the insulation behind the cladding, and suggested that the whole assembly was a system that needed to be tested as a whole. Possibly those other buildings were safe, and the problem at Grenfell was somehow the unsafe combination of elements that were​ each acceptable individually. I'm hoping that's the conclusion, anyway. The alternative, a widespread and grossly negligent disregard for human life, is something I truly hope wouldn't happen in my city.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Soupspoon » Wed Jul 05, 2017 8:54 am UTC

Even if the insulation is intrinsically totally unlike guncotton, if there's an air-gap (or the backing material is frangible to sufficient heat effects) then the problem can be the structural one of having created a near-perfect chimney effect between floors - if there's no firestop layer keyed into the frame construction, ideally forming a solid barrier at the same time as acting as a mounting bracket attached flush to the floor-level concrete slabs, the fuel being the gasses evapourating from the latest UPC window-fitting to be subjected to heat piped from a similar exothermic exercise from the floor below...

But I've no idea if this complexity is being studied, or they're just shoving insulation samples into bomb-caliorimeters as the absolute minimum and finding out it's every bit as bad as fuse-chord.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby orthogon » Wed Jul 05, 2017 2:23 pm UTC

Soupspoon wrote:Even if the insulation is intrinsically totally unlike guncotton, if there's an air-gap (or the backing material is frangible to sufficient heat effects) then the problem can be the structural one of having created a near-perfect chimney effect between floors - if there's no firestop layer keyed into the frame construction, ideally forming a solid barrier at the same time as acting as a mounting bracket attached flush to the floor-level concrete slabs, the fuel being the gasses evapourating from the latest UPC window-fitting to be subjected to heat piped from a similar exothermic exercise from the floor below...

But I've no idea if this complexity is being studied, or they're just shoving insulation samples into bomb-caliorimeters as the absolute minimum and finding out it's every bit as bad as fuse-chord.


Yeah, that's the kind of thing I assume the guy meant when he said they should be testing it as a system. You could have completely non-flammable materials assembled in a way that produces a chimney effect, but then conversely you could have flammable materials arranged in a way that prevents them catching light for long enough or allows them to burn out safely without the fire spreading. I mean, the cladding had polyethylene inside it - everybody knows that would burn extremely well, and yet it wasn't apparently banned in the UK.

I'm sensing the kind of attitude where non-specialists state blithely that safety is "just common sense". Polyethylene (and aluminium) is flammable, therefore it's obvious that it shouldn't be used in cladding. OK, some safety is common sense, but a lot of it is non-obvious (except in hindsight) and some of it is actually counter-intuitive. That reaction seems to assume that the fire safety experts didn't realise that polyethylene would burn or that using a flammable material might be a problem. That simply can't be what happened. If everybody knows that, then the fire people will have known that. What they apparently did was to say it was ok if enclosed in the aluminium. And the aluminium can burn too, but presumably it would take long enough to heat up and catch fire to allow the fire to be extinguished first. Or it was allowed but only with certain spacing, so we're back to the whole system thing again. Basically, there are people whose job is to give fire safety a lot of thought. Those people did not overlook the flammability of polyethylene.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby elasto » Wed Jul 05, 2017 3:07 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:I'm sensing the kind of attitude where non-specialists state blithely that safety is "just common sense". Polyethylene (and aluminium) is flammable, therefore it's obvious that it shouldn't be used in cladding. OK, some safety is common sense, but a lot of it is non-obvious (except in hindsight) and some of it is actually counter-intuitive. That reaction seems to assume that the fire safety experts didn't realise that polyethylene would burn or that using a flammable material might be a problem. That simply can't be what happened. If everybody knows that, then the fire people will have known that. What they apparently did was to say it was ok if enclosed in the aluminium. And the aluminium can burn too, but presumably it would take long enough to heat up and catch fire to allow the fire to be extinguished first. Or it was allowed but only with certain spacing, so we're back to the whole system thing again. Basically, there are people whose job is to give fire safety a lot of thought. Those people did not overlook the flammability of polyethylene.

It used to be that the fire service had to sign off on the design and implementation of public apartment blocks of this kind, and presumably they'd be as expert as anyone, but (iirc) Labour removed that responsibility from them and handed it to the councils (who have no intrinsic expertise and an inherent conflict of interest when certifying buildings they themselves finance or otherwise manage...)

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Soupspoon » Wed Jul 05, 2017 3:48 pm UTC

Labour, then Conservatives moreso, might have overcut the protections in other ways...
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/gove ... 10-billion

(And this is also Trump's stated aim... Oh joy.)


((Note also the claim that the UK has the "lowest burden of regulation in the G7". Then compare and contrast with the Brexit argument about too many regulations.))

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Sableagle » Wed Jul 05, 2017 4:53 pm UTC

Speaking of burying risk assessments,
A report on the foreign funding of extremism in the UK was given to Downing Street last year, it has been revealed, but Theresa May is still to decide whether to make its findings public.

The Home Office minister Sarah Newton said: “The review into the funding of Islamist extremism in the UK was commissioned by the former prime minister and reported to the home secretary and the prime minister in 2016.

“The review has improved the government’s understanding of the nature, scale and sources of funding for Islamist extremism in the UK. Publication of the review is a decision for the prime minister.”

This week, Lucas resubmitted her parliamentary question on the review’s whereabouts to May, who wrote back to confirm ministers were still “considering advice on what is able to be published and will report to parliament with an update in due course”.


Maybe they're worried about hate crimes resulting from publication of the report, and can't say that in public because we'd all jump to the conclusion that ... well, the report, with some inaccuracies and a few glaring errors.

I wonder how much of Britain the house of Sa'ood really owns.
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Jumble » Wed Jul 05, 2017 8:38 pm UTC

U.K. Government sticks to views on public sector pay.

I was listening to Radio 4 Morale Maze, which was suggesting that public sector employment was a justifiably pay constrait as:
A) public service was a vocation so we glean our rewards in job satisfaction
B) statistics show that it is better paid for a given level of qualifications
C) it is less wealth generating.

So, perhaps I'm not in the best frame of mind but:
A) I have never felt more scared than when on the Syrian border trying to promote security. Yet at the same time I have never felt less understood or valued by my friends and neighbors who get the train into the city everyday and really don't understand or believe what I do for the FCO.
B) I've had a 1% pay increase for 7 years. I've been employed for 27 years and never been as badly paid as in the 12 years I've been a public servant. I'm 49, have a PhD, am a CRAMM certified security consultant, am qualified in Programme, project, business change and service management and am working for a smidge over £60k. I couldn't get more in the private sector if I decided to? Bollocks.
C) yet I stay in this line of work because, when I go home (once every 6 weeks) I can look my daughters in the eye and say in all honesty that we are trying to keep you safe. Wealth generating? Exactly like the firefighters who will save your house, or the surgeon who will save your heart, or the nursing auxiliaries who will try to give you some dignity in your old age, I think this contributes at least as much to the wealth of the nation as those who move figures from one spreadsheet column to another.

Here's a thought- unlike some in public service who believe the private world is a difficult and treacherous place, I don't. Been there, done that and frankly it wasn't that tough. I just don't think it contributes as much as I can at the moment. However. I'll be happy to swap places with someone from the city for 5-10 years. How about everyone in the UK, has, at some point, to give at least 10 years public service so they can spend as much of the rest of their working life as they chose with their snout in the private trough?

If not, how about they stop making fucking stupid judgements about public sector motivations and pay?
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby CorruptUser » Thu Jul 06, 2017 1:21 am UTC

Jumble wrote:how about they stop making fucking stupid judgements about public sector motivations and pay?



But how else will we be able to feel morally superior without actually having to put any serious effort into self improvement?

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Quercus » Thu Jul 06, 2017 8:11 am UTC

Jumble wrote: public service was a vocation so we glean our rewards in job satisfaction

I get that bullshit as well in the biomedical research field. The day i can pay my rent in "job satisfaction" is the day I'll accept that argument.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Dauric » Thu Jul 06, 2017 9:11 am UTC

Quercus wrote:
Jumble wrote: public service was a vocation so we glean our rewards in job satisfaction

I get that bullshit as well in the biomedical research field. The day i can pay my rent in "job satisfaction" is the day I'll accept that argument.

I swear it's an excuse they teach in some upper-middle management class or something: "Paying Your Employees in Job Satisfaction 101" or some-such. Doesn't matter if it's doing 3D animation work ("..but you're having fun at work making games!") or IT support ("..you have the satisfaction of helping people who need it."), anything in between and/or beyond it's practically a trope that management uses this excuse to avoid pay raises or a decent wage in the first place.

And yeah, as soon as that mythical "job satisfaction" (which I do -not- have by the way) can be used to pay the bills, I -might- consider that lousy excuse for a lack of pay raises as being somewhere in the same country code as "barely reasonable".
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Sableagle » Thu Jul 06, 2017 5:04 pm UTC

My percentage raises for the last 7 years have been mostly zeroes with a 1 and a 2, and they don't tell us we get job satisfaction. They just remind us we're easily replaced. That reminds me ... *google* ... https://www.peacecorps.gov/stories/who- ... volunteer/
You must be a U.S. citizen.
Well, shit.

Our own DfID only wants people with first-class or 2:1 honours degrees or 2:2s and years of experience, getting a degree at the supposedly-prestigious University of Warwick (miles from Warwick and within easy walking distance of the shitty southwest of Coventry) required being able to write two essays by hand in 3 hours, including diagrams and illustrations, and my hands don't move that fast for that long. Shoot under 2 minutes of arc, yes. Write a 2:1 essay in four hours, yes. Give good enough massages to be called up and asked to drive round and give another, yes. Write 5000 words in 175 minutes, no. Should have gone to Stirling.

Yes, I saw this week that Cameron has said it would be selfish to give public sector workers a pay rise above 1%. I did try to read the article, but he really didn't clarify that bizarre claim. Is it selfish to pay someone to clean a hospital, thereby saving ten times that person's wages and expenses by not having to treat so many nosocomial infections? What, we're supposed to show some sympathy for MRSA now?

[Warning: bad language]Here's some job satisfaction for the boys on £2 an hour[/Warning]. Heh. Yeah, wouldn't do to pay them more or give them a better pension scheme.
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby sardia » Thu Jul 06, 2017 11:31 pm UTC

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/ ... in-2-years
Lawmakers in Illinois have enacted a budget for the first time in more than two years, overriding a veto by Gov. Bruce Rauner and overcoming a last-minute delay at the Capitol.

The crucial override vote was delayed after authorities received a report of possible hazardous materials, prompting an investigation, The Associated Press reports. "A woman allegedly threw a powdery substance in Rauner's office," the wire service writes, citing the Springfield fire chief.

Rauner was not present and no injuries were reported, but the early afternoon vote was put off as emergency workers investigated the material. The building was reopened by 3:30 p.m.

The good news is that Illinois finally has a budget. The bad news is several of my friends have outed themselves as super conservatives.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Jul 07, 2017 4:37 pm UTC

Arch-Conservatives have had to "keep it to themselves" for decades now. What you may view as a "holy shit don't be such a bigot" issue, they view as suppression of free speech.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Liri » Fri Jul 07, 2017 11:20 pm UTC

Being judged for ones opinions isn't suppression.
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Jul 07, 2017 11:45 pm UTC

Didn't say it was, just that they view it that way.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby sardia » Sun Jul 09, 2017 7:57 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Didn't say it was, just that they view it that way.

I wasn't judging them publicly, it's that people normally don't advertise their political preferences in public, to Facebook. It makes dinner dates with them a bit awkward later, especially when they make a public scene about it. I hope I was subtle enough in my liberalism that I don't prejudice them towards me.
I probably already knew they were super Republicans, I just didn't want to talk about it. They had multiple predictors, rapidly increasing incomes, muscle cars, guns, and support for police.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby CorruptUser » Sun Jul 09, 2017 11:00 pm UTC

sardia wrote:They had multiple predictors, rapidly increasing incomes, muscle cars, guns, and support for police.


Actually, high income is now (barely) more correlated with Democrats than Republicans, though moreso with Independents.

Guns are... weird. Depending on where you are. Vermont is super-Democrat, but even more gun-crazy than anywhere else in the country. Though in fairness, you won't see people walking around with AR-15s on their back, because what the fuck is wrong with you people; why do you need to do that?! Survivalists, oddly, are actually hippies and thus more on the Dem side of things, but also tend to be in crazy third parties. But yeah, usually a sign of Republican.

Muscle cars? I wasn't aware of that being a Repub thing. Ford F150's, yeah, mustangs not so much.

Police? Do you mean general support, or always taking the side of an officer even when a video shows them beating the shit out of a black man?

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby sardia » Mon Jul 10, 2017 3:07 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Actually, high income is now (barely) more correlated with Democrats than Republicans, though moreso with Independents.
Guns are... weird. Depending on where you are. Vermont is super-Democrat, but even more gun-crazy than anywhere else in the country. Though in fairness, you won't see people walking around with AR-15s on their back, because what the fuck is wrong with you people; why do you need to do that?! Survivalists, oddly, are actually hippies and thus more on the Dem side of things, but also tend to be in crazy third parties. But yeah, usually a sign of Republican.
Muscle cars? I wasn't aware of that being a Repub thing. Ford F150's, yeah, mustangs not so much.
Police? Do you mean general support, or always taking the side of an officer even when a video shows them beating the shit out of a black man?

Support for guns is the number one predictor for Republicanism right now. On average, he's gonna be a republican if he owns a gun. Which my friends do. I'm not sure if there's a correlation as the number of guns increases beyond 1 though. It starts sliding into either fear or collecting at that point. https://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.c ... -is-sharp/
The money thing is weird, but the anecdote that I see is that as your income rises, you start caring about the income rates and itemizing your income. And that starts you down the slippery slope of being a Republican. I'm in the same boat that he is, and I spend more than my fair share of time thinking up ways to minimize my taxes via creative itemization and deductions. Then you rage at tax increases and demanding cuts anywhere and everywhere. Maybe I'm conflating his high income with his high income without a college degree.
The closest I got on cars and politics is http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/01/autom ... heels.html
As Volvo's advertising has stressed performance in addition to safety, more and more Republicans are buying Volvos. The CNW survey last year showed that Democratic buyers of Volvo cars outnumbered Republicans by only 32 percent to 27 percent.

"Volvos have become more plush and bourgeois, which is a Republican thing to be," said Mickey Kaus, a dual expert in politics and cars as the author of the Kausfiles and Gearbox columns for Slate. "Subaru is the new Volvo -- that is, it is what Volvos used to be: trusty, rugged, inexpensive, unpretentious, performs well, maybe a bit ugly. You don't buy it because you want to show you have money; you buy it because you have college-professor values."

Sorta makes sense, but the correlation is much weaker.
Their posts regarding cops are pretty simple, premade ads that consists of either:
X cops got killed, watch out! or Check out this hate crime against the cops.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Jul 10, 2017 4:23 am UTC

sardia wrote:The money thing is weird, but the anecdote that I see is that as your income rises, you start caring about the income rates and itemizing your income. And that starts you down the slippery slope of being a Republican. I'm in the same boat that he is, and I spend more than my fair share of time thinking up ways to minimize my taxes via creative itemization and deductions. Then you rage at tax increases and demanding cuts anywhere and everywhere.


I really don't blame people for being upset at how much the government takes in tax, and the real problem are the payroll "stealth taxes" that the employer pays, e.g., the 3% matching for social security, 1.5% for Medicare, which are actually taken from the employee in the form of reduced wages. But the payroll taxes stop at $118k, because fuck you who says we should have a progressive tax rate you filthy commie? Yes people should pay their taxes, but I won't grumble that they are grumbling that they have to.

Personally I'm in the "high income" group, at least where I live. While I am Republican, if only in name, I don't object to high taxes per se, only 1) what they are spent on and 2) people making more than me paying less. Education? Homeless shelters? Solid investments. Post office? Great service, should expand to internet (see Chattanooga's Electric Power Board), also bring back the post office bank system thing for counties without a bank. Corn subsidies? Fuck you corn, we already subsidize you through food stamps and ethanol, I hope your entire field gets infested with corn worms.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Jumble » Mon Jul 10, 2017 4:36 pm UTC

Cornish terrorism.

Dear sad, supposedly Cornish, fuckwits of the CRA/IRA/AQ/ISIL/whatever you pathetic shits are calling yourself this week. I'm Cornish, and I'd like to stress that you've made me a little ashamed to say that. Not that ashamed as I'm pretty sure you don't represent the vast majority of Cornwall and I'm bloody sure you don't talk for me.

As a matter of interest I am working 1000's of miles from my family to support the U.K. counter-terrorism strategy:To keep my family and families in the UK safe. What are you doing? Borrowing ISIL tactics for your sad sodding cause. What's the difference between your indiscriminate attacks and some arsehole driving a car at innocent civilians. Fuck you. Grow up you pathetic little shits. You bring shame on Cornwall.
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby sardia » Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:57 pm UTC

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/10/busi ... banks.html
Under the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau rule, banks and credit card companies could no longer force customers into arbitration and block them from banding together to file a class-action suit. The change would deal a serious blow to Wall Street and could wind up costing financial firms billions of dollars.
More immediately, its adoption is almost certain to set off a political firestorm in Washington, where both the Trump administration and House Republicans have pushed to rein in the consumer finance agency as part of a broader effort to lighten regulation on the financial industry.
If you hate the CFPB, then this rule should terrify you. Wall street titans could find themselves open to billions in losses that previously died or were warded off with binding arbitration. If you're a consumer, then the Republicans are in charge and want to neuter the CFPB, so you should be terrified that it will probably die.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Coyne » Tue Jul 11, 2017 2:05 am UTC

sardia wrote:https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/10/business/dealbook/class-action-lawsuits-finance-banks.html If you hate the CFPB, then this rule should terrify you. Wall street titans could find themselves open to billions in losses that previously died or were warded off with binding arbitration. If you're a consumer, then the Republicans are in charge and want to neuter the CFPB, so you should be terrified that it will probably die.

Generally speaking it's quite easy for companies to avoid class action financial
lawsuits: stop robbing everyone in sight. After a company has ripped off, say, five million people for $1000 each, I have exactly zero sympathy for their class action sued asses.
In all fairness...

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Sableagle » Tue Jul 11, 2017 1:09 pm UTC

Coyne wrote:Generally speaking it's quite easy for companies to avoid class action financial lawsuits: stop robbing everyone in sight.
That and "Don't explode chemical plants upwind of large towns," with a side-order of "Don't expose thousands of servicebods to 2,4-dioxin," right?

Spoiler:
Double whammy today, one found, in which Arkansas becomes part of Saudi Arabia or something:
A new law passed in Arkansas means women must obtain permission from the man who impregnated them before they can have an abortion.

Even in the case of rape, women wishing to terminate a pregnancy would have to seek the opinion of their attacker or abusive partner – who would be able to refuse and potentially block the procedure.

Parents of girls under 18 will also be able to decide whether their daughter can have an abortion.
Image

... while looking for the other, in which a small part of England very briefly becomes part of Alabama, 1850s Alabama:
Theresa May has suspended the Conservative MP Anne Marie Morris ...

The Newton Abbott MP had been appearing on a panel, downplaying economic fears about Brexit alongside Tory colleagues Bill Cash and John Redwood.

“Now I’m sure there will be many people who’ll challenge that, but my response and my request is look at the detail, it isn’t all doom and gloom,” she said, in the recording made by the Huffington Post website.

“Now we get to the real n***** in the woodpile, which is, in two years, what happens if there is no deal?”
Image

Earlier this year, the MP was forced to distance herself from comments made by her electoral agent and partner, Roger Kendrick, who told a hustings event that “the crisis in education was due entirely to non-British-born immigrants and their high birth rates”.

In response, Ms Morris told DevonLive: “I don’t share the views expressed by Roger Kendrick.”
Image
Oh, Willie McBride, it was all done in vain.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Sableagle » Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:14 pm UTC

Michigan official refuses to apologise for calling to 'kill all Muslims'

Jeff Sieting, the president of a small village in northern Michigan, was recently discovered to have posted anti-Muslim messages on his Facebook page.

One post, which appears to be copy and pasted from a North Carolina-based blog called "NC Renegade," is titled "Kill them all, every last one”. The post calls Muslims "dangerously destructive to society" and compares Islam to a "flesh-eating bacteria" and a “death cult."

Mr Sieting’s previous posts have called being transgender a mental illness and suggested “thin[ning] the herd” of the Black Lives Matter Movement, according to Michigan Live.


For some reason this old picture came to mind just now:
Image
Oh, Willie McBride, it was all done in vain.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Soupspoon » Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:41 pm UTC

I have a friend who subscribes (to some degree) with all three views. Not so much the second (there's a relative who is "going through a phase" regarding the TG issue, so it's close enough to home to a least get some parallax on it), but there's a definite broad (and tarry) brush-stroke in the first case, and an un-nuanced police-do-no-wrong/BLM-are-terrorists vibe on the last.

Puts a strain on conversation, if we ever accidentally allude to our POVs (mine being of a wishy-washy liberal hippy pinko nature, in essence) on these subject matters. SFAIK, he won't do anything about it all, so making no action on my part isn't definably abdicating responsibility where I shouldn't.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby CorruptUser » Sat Jul 22, 2017 4:49 am UTC

Eugenics returning to the US.

Tennessee sterilizing prisoners, "voluntarily" in exchange for slightly reduced sentences.


Well, unless you believe that prisons were always part of a eugenics program, which it sort of is in the sense that prisoners are at a bit of a disadvantage when it comes to having children.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby ObsessoMom » Thu Jul 27, 2017 1:00 am UTC

Posting here to avoid double-posting in the "Dictator of the Day Award" thread:

Zambia's president, Edgar Lungu, has invoked emergency powers to crack down on his opposition, following some suspicious fires he's blaming on them. This after imprisoning the opposition leader since last April for "treason" (i.e., Hakainde Hichilema's motorcade refused to pull over to let the presidential motorcade pass). But foreign investors don't care about such things because Zambia has a lot of copper, the price of which is going up.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Sableagle » Thu Jul 27, 2017 3:53 pm UTC

The only one who really knows about the Reichstag is I, because I set it on fire!
- Hermann Göring

Copper? How convenient that we've ALREADY made the film!
Oh, Willie McBride, it was all done in vain.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Soupspoon » Sat Jul 29, 2017 11:23 am UTC

Only just heard of this traffic accident, but actually quite a good summary from the people who persist in mentioning "the national governing body for cycling" (wrongly) in other articles. Bittersweet. And probably interesting few people on here but me.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby pogrmman » Sun Jul 30, 2017 1:05 am UTC

I'm surprised I haven't seen this yet in this thread -- it happened a few days ago. 9 people were found dead in a trailer in San Antonio. They were undocumented immigrants being trafficked, and they died of heat exhaustion. This whole week, it's been right around 100 in Central Texas, and not dropping below 90 until late at night. The trailer had no A/C and the immigrants weren't given any water.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Grop » Sun Jul 30, 2017 8:08 am UTC

Alas, these days people seem to die by the dozen every day in the Mediteranean Sea. Estimation of 2000 dead between january and june 2017.
Last edited by Grop on Sun Jul 30, 2017 9:03 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby CorruptUser » Sun Jul 30, 2017 4:06 pm UTC

Any stats on how many die just crossing the Sahara to get to Libya in the first place?

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Sableagle » Mon Jul 31, 2017 7:38 pm UTC

Trigger warning for child rape.
Spoiler:
The council, comprising at least 40 men, was convened in Muzaffarabad's Rajpur area after a 12-year-old girl, F*, was raped by a man while cutting grass in a field on July 16, reads the First Information Report (FIR) filed at the police station.

On July 18, the panchayat ordered F's brother to rape 17-year-old N*, the sister of the accused. According to the police, N was dragged to the area where the panchayat was convened and was raped before the men and her parents.

After the incident, the parents of N filed an FIR on July 20, while a second FIR was filed on July 24 by F's family, who had initially wished to keep the matter quiet.


I'm out of words, so here's a baby rabbit:
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Oh, Willie McBride, it was all done in vain.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby ObsessoMom » Fri Aug 04, 2017 7:45 pm UTC

Oy, that's grim.

Dictator of the day = Paul Kagame of Rwanda! And a few other dictators (actual or wannabe) are in the hopper for the next few days, too.

The Economist wrote:TODAY, August 4th, Rwanda’s president of 17 years, Paul Kagame, will be re-elected for a third term (the result is not in question). This concludes a process that began in 2015 when his party, the ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front, proposed a constitutional amendment to allow Mr Kagame to outstay the two-term limit. In neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo the president, Joseph Kabila, has long been mulling a similar ruse. He should have left office last December. In nearby Burundi, Pierre Nkurunziza announced in 2015 that he would stand for a controversial third term as president. A plan to amend or ditch term limits entirely is expected to be announced this autumn. And tomorrow, August 5th, Mauritanians will vote in a constitutional referendum that critics see as paving the way for a third term, too. If they succeed, these presidents will join the ranks of the 13 African heads of state who have successfully rolled back term limits. Why are they doing this?

[...]

Nearly 4m Rwandans signed a “spontaneous” petition to let Mr Kagame stay on, and only ten people openly opposed it. But Mr Kagame rules his country through fear. In other countries, such as Burkina Faso in 2014, street protests forced the then president, Blaise Compaoré, to backtrack and flee the country. In 2015 Mr Kabila’s neighbour across the river in Congo-Brazzaville, Denis Sassou-Nguesso, successfully won a referendum allowing a third term—but provoked violent unrest in the process. Burundi has been in bloody turmoil ever since Mr Nkurunziza’s declared his third-term intentions.

Presidents go ahead because they know the costs of doing so are low. Mr Kagame, still feted by foreign donors and prominent world leaders despite his growing authoritarianism, knew he could change the constitution without provoking a backlash from the international community. Mr Sassou-Nguesso made the same calculation. The Congolese president is seen by many, including France, the former colonial power, as a reliable partner, and the country is regarded as an island of stability in an otherwise troubled region. Moreover the rising influence of China means that African presidents know the West’s leverage is weaker than it once was. They also know that its priorities have shifted: combating jihadism is today more important than promoting democracy.


Full article here.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Sableagle » Sat Aug 05, 2017 11:06 pm UTC

Convicted rapist working as security guard at rape crisis center ... ? :shock:
"He was followed down the street and ultimately pulled over by ourselves and units from the Southwest Policing District. Mr. Rodgers was cooperative. He was removed from his vehicle and was in possession of a loaded firearm," said Israel Reyes of the Fresno Police Department.

Rodgers who was convicted of rape and attempted rape in 1998, is now in jail and charged with being a felon in possession of a gun.

Rape Counseling Services hasn't responded to our request for an interview, but investigators say the business works with an outside security company and had no prior knowledge of Rodgers.

"As far as we know there were no victims who were ever disturbed by Mr. Rodgers, but again it's something where an individual like that should not be working at that center," said Reyes.
Oh, Willie McBride, it was all done in vain.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby sardia » Sun Aug 06, 2017 12:32 am UTC

Sableagle wrote:Convicted rapist working as security guard at rape crisis center ... ? :shock:
"He was followed down the street and ultimately pulled over by ourselves and units from the Southwest Policing District. Mr. Rodgers was cooperative. He was removed from his vehicle and was in possession of a loaded firearm," said Israel Reyes of the Fresno Police Department.
Rodgers who was convicted of rape and attempted rape in 1998, is now in jail and charged with being a felon in possession of a gun.
Rape Counseling Services hasn't responded to our request for an interview, but investigators say the business works with an outside security company and had no prior knowledge of Rodgers.
"As far as we know there were no victims who were ever disturbed by Mr. Rodgers, but again it's something where an individual like that should not be working at that center," said Reyes.

Not to go too far with this, but what job should a felon have? Acid mine worker? Seems like the only ex-criminals who can get jobs are white collar criminals.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/04/tech ... f=business
American companies are sowing the seeds of their own destruction as they chase short term profits.
As the Chinese government develops drones, the American technology giant Qualcomm is helping. The same goes for artificial intelligence, mobile technology and supercomputers. Qualcomm is also working to help Chinese companies like Huawei break into overseas markets in support of China’s “go global” campaign to develop big multinational brands.
Qualcomm is providing money, expertise and engineering for Beijing’s master plan to create its own technology superpowers.
Big American companies fiercely protect their intellectual property and trade secrets, fearful of giving an edge to rivals. But they have little choice in China — and Washington is looking on with alarm.

To gain access to the Chinese market, American companies are being forced to transfer technology, create joint ventures, lower prices and aid homegrown players. Those efforts form the backbone of President Xi Jinping’s ambitious plan to ensure that China’s companies, military and government dominate core areas of technology like artificial intelligence and semiconductors.
As concerns mount about Beijing’s industrial policy, the Trump administration is preparing a broad investigation into potential violations of American intellectual property, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Congress is also considering ways to restrict China’s ability to acquire advanced technology by toughening rules to prevent the purchase of American assets and limit technology transfers.
In this arena, America’s economic interests are aligned with its national security needs. The worry is that by teaming up with China, American companies could be sowing the seeds of their own destruction, as well as handing over critical technology that the United States relies on for its military, space and defense programs.
Advanced Micro Devices and Hewlett Packard Enterprise are working with Chinese companies to develop server chips, creating rivals to their own product. Intel is working with the Chinese to build high-end mobile chips, in competition with Qualcomm. IBM has agreed to transfer valuable technology that could enable China to break into the lucrative mainframe banking business.
“There’s a great deal of unease in Washington,” said James Lewis, an analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington-based think tank. “The defense, intelligence agencies and others are concerned that advanced chip-making capabilities are going to China.”

It's been happening for a while, but China's market is so big that they are browbeating companies into giving up their crown jewels in exchange for a small percent of a really large number in profits. Which works...until the Chinese joint companies reform as competitors. Don't think the WTO can do anything either. Back in the last century, US negotiators signed off on letting China have extremely permissive and unfair rules so long as they fixed them at an undesignated point in the future.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Sableagle » Sun Aug 06, 2017 8:36 am UTC

sardia wrote:
Sableagle wrote:Convicted rapist working as security guard at rape crisis center ... ? :shock:
"He was followed down the street and ultimately pulled over by ourselves and units from the Southwest Policing District. Mr. Rodgers was cooperative. He was removed from his vehicle and was in possession of a loaded firearm," said Israel Reyes of the Fresno Police Department.
Rodgers who was convicted of rape and attempted rape in 1998, is now in jail and charged with being a felon in possession of a gun.
Rape Counseling Services hasn't responded to our request for an interview, but investigators say the business works with an outside security company and had no prior knowledge of Rodgers.
"As far as we know there were no victims who were ever disturbed by Mr. Rodgers, but again it's something where an individual like that should not be working at that center," said Reyes.

Not to go too far with this, but what job should a felon have? Acid mine worker? Seems like the only ex-criminals who can get jobs are white collar criminals.
I reckon someone with a felony conviction for throwing fertiliser-based pipe-bombs into planned parenthood clinics shouldn't be working in the fertiliser production, delivery or application businesses, someone with a felony conviction for snowstorming bank clients and creaming off their unnecessary payments as a personal bonus shouldn't be working in a bank's customer services department, someone with a felony conviction for using a stolen car to ram the queue at a bus stop shouldn't be working as a limousine driver, someone with a felony conviction for shooting black teenagers on sight shouldn't be working as a policeman, someone with a felony conviction for abducting dogs and kicking them to death on canalside footpaths shouldn't be working as a dogwalker and someone with a felony conviction for rape and attempted rape shouldn't be working at, on, in, under, near, beside, in front of or on behalf of a rape crisis centre. Felony "conspiracy to supply 0.2g of cannabis bud" shouldn't stop someone doing any of those jobs because Oh, come on! but not even a misdemeanour "conspiracy to disenfranchise 13% of the population and rob the poor to buy the rich another brand new yacht each" ought to be a demotion to litter-picker with no health insurance.

Clearly someone, somewhere, was given a task of protecting the people going to that centre, the people it was there to serve, and failed in a rather important step of that task, the "make sure the new babysitter isn't Jimmy Savile" step.
Oh, Willie McBride, it was all done in vain.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby morriswalters » Sun Aug 06, 2017 1:34 pm UTC

If the Rape Center wishes this, or anything like this, to never happen, they should never cede control to third party firms, without writing in a contract, the type of persons the contractor can or cannot use. Massive Management fail. Fire the boss.

You can question why a felon(rapist) was working at a rape center. But you should understand that this is a shell game about who knows what, and when. This is distributive decision making. And it failed. It sucks. It's insensitive at a rape center certainly, and it's dangerous. But the risks would exist anywhere.

Felons are by definition anti social to one degree or another. Being a rapist it's easy to make the connection at a rape center, But any other felon would be a risk factor as well. This, in a nutshell, is why felons have a hard time getting jobs. Understand why he is in jail, rather than just unemployed.
Rodgers who was convicted of rape and attempted rape in 1998, is now in jail and charged with being a felon in possession of a gun.


But in the case of a convicted rapist, what makes women anywhere else, any safer, than the women at that rape center, in any job a felon might get? I wouldn't be supportive of him working in my wife's work location.

Sardia said this in shorthand.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Soupspoon » Sun Aug 06, 2017 2:03 pm UTC

I once did some work at a... not sure what it was. Women's Crisis Centre-cum-Occasional Refuge, I think, in exactly that line of work. One visit to install equipment, the exact nature of which I forget now. Anonymous-looking house (as you'd expect) in a row of houses. I could still show you the road but not the exact property (though I wouldn't want to, in either case), which I visited on a specific day when there were specifically no 'clients'. If there had been any other men through that door recently I imagine they were full-time main staff of the department who ran it. Or police officers, likely even then paired with a female colleague.

Full discretion asked (of me!), naturally. This is the first time I've mentioned the job to anyone outside the situation; time and obscurity and geographic uncertainties rendering the revelation effectively non-sensitive. Still, it was a bit close to the knuckle as to whether it was a contract fulfilled without risk. My 'boss' who sent me there may have vouched for me (I've had a Criminal Records Check for other workplaces, not sure he ever saw any version of that paperwork), but I'm not sure who vouched for him, in the first instance, to be a trusted authority. I'm not saying that a (less creepy) Jimmy Savile type character could have been asked to attend in other circumstances, but neither is everybody a Cliff Richard (putting to one side, for now, the stories about whether Cliff Richard is, even).


Not much, as either anecdote or argument, but the conversation above sparked this recollection, so here you are.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby sardia » Sun Aug 06, 2017 5:11 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:If the Rape Center wishes this, or anything like this, to never happen, they should never cede control to third party firms, without writing in a contract, the type of persons the contractor can or cannot use. Massive Management fail. Fire the boss.

You can question why a felon(rapist) was working at a rape center. But you should understand that this is a shell game about who knows what, and when. This is distributive decision making. And it failed. It sucks. It's insensitive at a rape center certainly, and it's dangerous. But the risks would exist anywhere.

Felons are by definition anti social to one degree or another. Being a rapist it's easy to make the connection at a rape center, But any other felon would be a risk factor as well. This, in a nutshell, is why felons have a hard time getting jobs. Understand why he is in jail, rather than just unemployed.
Rodgers who was convicted of rape and attempted rape in 1998, is now in jail and charged with being a felon in possession of a gun.

But in the case of a convicted rapist, what makes women anywhere else, any safer, than the women at that rape center, in any job a felon might get? I wouldn't be supportive of him working in my wife's work location.
Sardia said this in shorthand.

I think the solution is to not know he was a felon in the first place. Then your wife, sableeagle, and you wouldn't be stressed out. This has other problems though.* He served his time (assuming you're ok with the excessive time for similar crimes compared to European jail times) and he should resume being a citizen.

*When employers aren't allowed to discriminate against felons, they reflexively discriminate against minorities instead. Something about employers where they have to discriminate somewhere in order to choose a nonwhite candidate.


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