Joe Bob Briggs: God Apparently Flies First Class (Taki's Magazine)
I mean, at some deep, deep level, even a guy who wears a yellow plaid shirt under a navy blue blazer is woke enough to realize that having a conversation with God-and, by the way, God needs to improve His syntax-having a conversation with God about how Jesse needs a $54 million jet to spread the Gospel is, among other things, insane.
Joe Bob Briggs: Then Again, Maybe I'm a Black Man (Taki's Magazine)
I'm loving all these Ancestry.com commercials where dim-witted actors say, "I thought I was a Tahitian Eskimo Mexican until I sent in my DNA test kit, and boy was I flummoxed when the results came back! I'm really Croatian with a mix of sub-Saharan! I guess I'll be turning in my furry hat!" This is a scam I'm thoroughly in favor of, because it reveals, once and for all, the dirty secret of American politics: Race doesn't exist!
Joe Bob Briggs: Bikers in the White House (Taki's Magazine)
Motorcycle gangs are superpatriotic in a tribal way. Go to any federal prison where cycle gangs are locked up, usually on narcotics, racketeering, and extortion charges. They have American-flag tattoos, they believe America is the best at everything, they'll whale the crap out of anybody who disrespects the country, and they're especially hostile toward foreigners who are mucking up the amber waves of grain. Cycle gangs were started in the late '40s by World War II Air Force veterans, so they're willing to die to "Make America Great Again."
Jordan Weissman: Kitchen Confidential Showed It Was Never Too Late for a Second Act (Slate)
Anthony Bourdain made a career being honest about his past mistakes.
Daniel Politi: Honduran Man Takes Own Life After He Was Separated From Family at Border (Slate)
The Washington Post reports that a Honduran man took his own life last month after he was separated from his wife and child. Border Patrol agents saw how the man, Marco Antonio Muñoz, had an intense reaction to being separated from his family at the border after they said they wanted to apply for asylum. When agents told the family they would be separated, Muñoz "lost it," according to an agent. "They had to use physical force to take the child out of his hands."
Matthew Yglesias: Scott Pruitt's Ritz-Carlton moisturizing lotion scandal, explained (Vox)
The never-ending series of scandals swirling around Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has developed an amusing new dimension with the revelation from the Washington Post's team of Juliet Eilperin, Josh Dawsey, and Brady Dennis that Pruitt has been using his security detail to, among other things, go shopping for a special moisturizer available at Ritz-Carlton hotels.
Moira Donegan: In Conversation With Mary Beard (thecut.com)
The Cambridge classicist on misogyny, power, and the future of women in the public sphere.
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Michelle in AZ
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Jeannie the Teed-Off Temp
Hey, Marty! Did anyone else besides me notice that on last Monday's Jeopardy (6/4/18) "Kate Spade" was the answer to the last clue in "Designer Initials" and was found dead the next day? Apparently something similar happened when Stephen Hawking died...he had been the answer to a clue either the same day or the day before. I wonder if Kate was a Jeopardy watcher?
Also, can someone PLEASE direct me to a site that clearly explains WTF is going on with this 'Net Neutrality' BS? I thought a couple of years ago that congress had voted to oust Obama's Net Neutrality rules! Then, back in Dec. weren't they voting on whether or not to repeal congress' last decision?
I remember being told in no uncertain terms not too long ago to pressure our legislators to reverse the repeal (?) and bring back Obama's Net Neutrality as it was and I thought we did! We were told they were successful and that the internet would continue fairly, not giving any undue preference to the larger sites like Verizon and Comcast. Now, I'm hearing that it's been voted on again (??) and that Net Neutrality is history and to expect the internet to begin acting differently as of today!? WTF!!! We need Barack himself to address Americans and explain what the hell is going on, because I don't understand it. It's worse than figuring out taxes or filling out federal applications for ANYTHING!
Your internet use could change
Our entire congress is now mimicking Trump's tactics of lying/evading/confusing the hell out of us. Do they think that no one will notice this 'little' thing because all our focus is on Trump meeting w/ Kim Jung Un? I personally have been hoping that Jung Un would kidnap Trump and hold him hostage for appox. 5 years so that he would know what McCain what subjected to as a POW! Unfortunately, that would probably just start WW3, so now I'm just hoping Trump somehow gets lost somewhere over there...
Your faithful reader,
Tiera in SD
Here are some useful links regarding net neutrality:
Network neutrality, explained - Vox
Net neutrality rules are now repealed: What it means
How Net Neutrality Actually Ended Long Before This Week - The New York Times
The Vox link is pretty thorough, the one from CNN is from a current perspective, and the NY Times spells it out:
There's a misunderstanding that the repeal of net neutrality will result in immediate and drastic change online. That won't happen. With lawsuits and legislation pending, with the media still paying attention and with activists poised to pounce on obvious infractions, broadband companies are going to be extremely careful, in the short run, to be on their best behavior. The internet won't be slower tomorrow. You won't be blocked from certain sites. You aren't going to be charged more.
But as I argued last fall, a vibrant network doesn't die all at once. Instead it grows weaker over time, with innovative start-ups finding it ever more difficult to fight entrenched incumbents.
As I've noted often in the last few years, big companies have been crushing small ones over and over again for much of the last decade. One lesson from everything that has happened online recently - Facebook, the Russians and Cambridge Analytica; bots and misinformation everywhere - is that, in the absence stringent rules and enforcement, everything on the internet turns sour. Removing the last barriers to unfair competition will only hasten that process.
It's not going to be pretty. How Net Neutrality Actually Ended Long Before This Week - The New York Times
from Marc Perkel
Marc's Guide to Curing Cancer
So far so good on beating cancer for now. I'm doing fine. At the end of the month I'll be 16 months into an 8 month mean lifespan. And yesterday I went on a 7 mile hike and managed to keep up with the hiking group I was with. So, doing something right.
Still waiting for future test results and should see things headed in the right direction. I can say that it's not likely that anything dire happens in the short term so that means that I should have time to make several more attempts at this. So even if it doesn't work the first time there are a lot of variations to try. So if there's bad news it will help me pick the next radiation target.
I have written a "how to" guide for oncologists to perform the treatment that I got. I'm convinced that I'm definitely onto something and whether it works for me or not isn't the definitive test. I know if other people tried this that it would work for some of them, and if they improve it that it will work for a lot of them.
The guide is quite detailed and any doctor reading this can understand the procedure at every level. I also go into detail as to how it works, how I figured it out, and variations and improvements that could be tried to enhance it. I also introduce new ways to look at the problem. There is a lot of room for improvement and I think that doctors reading it will see what I'm talking about and want to build on it. And it's written so that if you're not a doctor you can still follow it. It also has a personal story revealing that I'm the class clown of cancer support group. I give great interviews and I look pretty hot in a lab coat.
So, feel free to read this and see what I'm talking about. But if any of you want to help then pass this around to both doctors and cancer patients. I need some media coverage. I'm looking for as many eyeballs as possible to read these ideas. Even if this isn't the solution, it's definitely on the right track. After all, I did hike 7 miles yesterday. And this hiking group wasn't moving slow. So if this isn't working then, why am I still here?
I also see curing cancer as more of an engineering problem that a medical problem. So if you are good at solving problems and most of what you know about medicine was watching the Dr. House MD TV show, then you're at the level I was at when I started. So anyone can jump in and be part of the solution.
Here is a link to my guide: Oncologists Guide to Curing Cancer using Abscopal Effect
from that Mad Cat, JD
BULL 'SHIT' CONNOR.
'PREPARE FOR THE WORST'.
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In The Chaos Household
Still no caterpillars.
'S**ttiest Conspiracy Theory Ever'
John Oliver on Sunday night tore into Fox News hosts for defending President Donald Trump at all costs and working to discredit special counsel Robert Mueller by dismissing his investigation as a "witch hunt."
The "Last Week Tonight" host saved some of his sharpest barbs for Sean Hannity, at one point congratulating him for creating "the shittiest conspiracy theory ever."
Oliver also played a clip of Hannity boasting about his unwillingness to be swayed by new evidence.
"And by the way, if the media, if you have more proof that this is not a witch hunt, OK, I don't believe you," Hannity said.
That left Oliver stunned. "Wow, think about that: Give me facts, and even if you do, I won't believe them," Oliver said. "He's basically bragging that he's proof-proof, which is a superpower that no one should want to have."
Robert De Niro
Los Angeles Times contributor Virginia Heffernan believes Robert De Niro deserve a Pulitzer prize for dropping an F-bomb at the Tony Awards Sunday night, adding that the outburst from the aging Hollywood heavyweight was just what the ceremony needed.
"I can't stop thinking about that swift, incisive editorial last night. Two monosyllables. Underscoring the presidency's baseline indececency [sic] with a violation of 'decency,'" she tweeted Monday morning. "The satire of 'norms.' I'd say Robert De Niro deserved a Pulitzer for if he didn't deserve a…Tony."
Heffernan, who has also been a regular presence in the New York Times, Slate and Wired over the years, has long been critical of Trump in her writing. (She may not be aware that Pulitzers go to mostly print journalists, while a TV performance would be eligible for Emmy Award consideration.)
Her take was only the latest media response to the truly unexpected moment provided by De Niro from the 72d Tony Awards from Sunday evening.
"I'm gonna say one thing, 'F- Trump!'" said the actor, pumping his fists on stage at Radio City Music Hall, just before introducing Bruce Springsteen. "It's no longer 'Down With Trump,' it's 'F- Trump,'"
Robert De Niro
In Defense of Samantha Bee
Comedian Michelle Wolf, who provoked criticism for a series of jokes at the expense of White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders at April's White House Correspondents' Dinner, has now taken aim at another woman in the Trump administration.
Wolf was speaking in defense of fellow comedian Samantha Bee who was widely condemned, and later issued an apology, last month, for referring to President Donald Trump's eldest daughter and senior adviser, Ivanka Trump, as a "feckless c***." Bee's comment came in response to Trump posting a photo on social media of her and her son amid an uproar about a new Trump administration policy of separating children from their parents if they crossed the border without authorization.
"I mean, Ivanka is part of the Trump administration," Wolf told The Daily Beast last week after suggesting that most critics may not have understood the origins of Bee's jibe. "She's fair game. And she is useless. So I think it's very fair to point out that she's doing a terrible job."
Wolf added: "Yeah. Aw, she's one of those worst kind of girls. We're all fooled by her because Eric and Don Jr. aren't attractive, and then we pull that, 'Well, she's just a little girl! She's just a pretty little girl.' And that's why you shouldn't underestimate women: they'll look like a pretty little girl and they'll steal the children right out from under you."
Newspapers Around the World
As President Donald Trump departed early from the G-7 summit in Quebec on Saturday, America's closest allies were left reeling. Trump abruptly refused to sign the joint statement the seven leaders had agreed on a range of topics including trade and the environment, announcing his decision in a pair of tweets from Air Force One. Even before this, the other countries-Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the U.K.-had struggled to find common ground with the American president, who had called for Russia to rejoin the bloc, from which it was suspended in 2014 following the annexation of Crimea, and labeled Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau "weak and dishonest." Here's how media in the G-7 countries reacted to the president's performance.
Canada - The editorial board of the Toronto Star, Canada's highest-circulation newspaper, said,"He sulked his way through the first part of the meeting, gave his delegation the OK to sign the summit's pallid final communique, then threw a hissy fit and tore it up as soon as he was back on Air Force One. […] It was both dishonest and amateurish."
The Globe and Mail's editorial board wrote, "Relations between two of the world's closest allies are now at a perilous low. The fault rests entirely with Mr. Trump and his advisers. Our government has been patient with the President and his protectionist agenda. So too have Canadians, but this is getting tiresome. We are a polite people, but the President will learn that, when roused, we don't roll over at the request of an insulting bully, no matter how big."
Germany - A columnist for Der Spiegel, a German weekly news magazine, said the events of the summit amounted to "an unprecedented scandal: Never has there been such a step in 40 years of the G-7's history, and never has a participant so duped his partners before."
Another Der Spiegel commentator wrote: "The G-7 debacle shows the real problem with Donald Trump's politics is Donald Trump. His behavior follows no order, no logic, instead just the desire to be the best, most important and biggest. The collapse of the West, the destruction of decades of friendship is simply a product of his unprecedented ego trips."
Attorney General Curbs
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions (R-White Privilege) on Monday overturned a key immigration case that had granted asylum to a Salvadoran woman raped and beaten by her former husband.
The decision could have wide-ranging impacts on immigrants seeking refuge in the United States from violence in their home countries.
Sessions' decision followed his unusual move to personally intervene in the case, known as the "Matter of A-B-." The woman, who is only identified by her initials, had won an appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals to overturn a lower immigration court judge's denial of her asylum petition.
"In reaching these conclusions, I do not minimize the vile abuse that the respondent reported she suffered at the hands of her ex-husband," Sessions wrote in his order.
"I understand that many victims of domestic violence may seek to flee from their home countries to extricate themselves from a dire situation or to give themselves the opportunity for a better life," he continued. "But the 'asylum statute is not a general hardship statute.'"
Tech nerds, pyromaniacs and the curious turned up in Los Angeles Saturday to collect hundreds of recreational flamethrowers purchased from the latest company created by SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. A tweet from Musk urged people to avoid "unintentionally burning things down."
Musk sold 20,000 of his latest bizarre consumer products at $500 a pop, apparently to raise both funds and awareness of his futuristic new transportation tube project in Los Angeles.
People initially thought he was kidding when he sold the flamethrowers - and then promised to deliver them at "pick up parties." The devices shoot flames four feet from the nozzle of what looks like an Airsoft rifle with a small propane tank attached at the top.
Musk calls his product "Not a Flamethrower" because it doesn't shoot flame 10 feet away, as industrial or military flamethrowers do. He announced after he put them up for sale that they're a "super terrible idea."
Tweets from Musk made light of safety concerns. He posted a copy of the "terms and conditions" which were set to the cadence of Dr. Seuss' "Green Eggs and Ham," such as: "I will not use this in a house. I will not point this at my spouse."
Some of Africa's oldest and biggest baobab trees -- a few dating all the way back to the ancient Greeks -- have abruptly died, wholly or in part, in the past decade, researchers said Monday.
The trees, aged between 1,100 and 2,500 years and some as wide as a bus is long, may have fallen victim to climate change, the team speculated.
"We report that nine of the 13 oldest... individuals have died, or at least their oldest parts/stems have collapsed and died, over the past 12 years," they wrote in the scientific journal Nature Plants, describing "an event of an unprecedented magnitude."
"It is definitely shocking and dramatic to experience during our lifetime the demise of so many trees with millennial ages," said the study's co-author Adrian Patrut of the Babes-Bolyai University in Romania.
Among the nine were four of the largest African baobabs.
You would have been safer undergoing skull surgery in ancient Peru than you would have during the American Civil War. This is the startling conclusion from a new study that has looked at how likely a person was to survive trepanation - in which a hole was cut into the skull - across various cultures in antiquity.
For thousands of years people around in the world, from cultures as diverse as the Mayans in the Americas to the Renaissance in Europe, practiced trepanation. The method of making the holes varied, with some societies opting for drilling into the cranium while others instead used an abrasive technique to scrape away at the bone, but the results were remarkable.
Despite this deeply invasive work - sometimes removing not inconsiderable chunks of skull - evidence shows that many people survived the surgery, living long after the operations took place. Astonishingly, the survival rates have been found to have been far better for people who'd undergone skull surgery in Incan Peru than during the American Civil War hundreds of years later.
"There are still many unknowns about the procedure and the individuals on whom trepanation was performed, but the outcomes during the Civil War were dismal compared to Incan times," explained David S Kushner, co-author of the study published in World Neurosurgery. "In Incan times, the mortality rate was between 17 and 25 percent, and during the Civil War, it was between 46 and 56 percent. That's a big difference."
"The question is how did the ancient Peruvian surgeons have outcomes that far surpassed those of surgeons during the American Civil War?"
Green Bank Telescope
The Green Bank Telescope was used to help identify vast clouds of the universe's tiniest diamond particles as the source of microwave energy observed glowing from three newly formed star systems in the Milky Way.
A paper announcing the discovery appeared Monday in the journal Nature Astronomy.
The glowing diamond dust - bits of crystalline carbon hundreds of thousands of times smaller than grains of sand - is associated with planet-producing disks of cosmic dust and gas being formed in the vicinity of the infant stars stars.
While astronomers have known that some type of particle was responsible for the microwave light, "its precise source has been a puzzle since it was first detected nearly 20 years ago," said Jane Greaves, lead author of the paper and an astronomer at Cardiff University in Wales.
The light, known as anomalous microwave emission, or AME, is produced from energy released by rapidly spinning nanoparticles.
Green Bank Telescope