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Topics - meepmeep

2
Politics and Current Events / The Paradise Papers
The group that released the Panama Papers teased a big new project the other day, and it just dropped:

https://www.icij.org/investigations/paradise-papers/

I haven't looked at anything yet, but this should be interesting.  :hmm:
3
Arts and Entertainment / Harvey Weinstein
https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/from-aggressive-overtures-to-sexual-assault-harvey-weinsteins-accusers-tell-their-stories

holy shit

Quote
Asia Argento, an Italian film actress and director, told me that she did not speak out until now--Weinstein, she told me, forcibly performed oral sex on her--because she feared that Weinstein would "crush" her. "I know he has crushed a lot of people before," Argento said. "That's why this story--in my case, it's twenty years old, some of them are older--has never come out.

Quote
The story, however, is more complex, and there is more to know and to understand. In the course of a ten-month investigation, I was told by thirteen women that, between the nineteen-nineties and 2015, Weinstein sexually harassed or assaulted them, allegations that corroborate and overlap with the Times's revelations, and also include far more serious claims.

Three women--among them Argento and a former aspiring actress named Lucia Evans--told me that Weinstein raped them, allegations that include Weinstein forcibly performing or receiving oral sex and forcing vaginal sex. Four women said that they experienced unwanted touching that could be classified as an assault. In an audio recording captured during a New York Police Department sting operation in 2015 and made public here for the first time, Weinstein admits to groping a Filipina-Italian model named Ambra Battilana Gutierrez, describing it as behavior he is "used to." Four of the women I interviewed cited encounters in which Weinstein exposed himself or masturbated in front of them.

Quote
Sixteen former and current executives and assistants at Weinstein's companies told me that they witnessed or had knowledge of unwanted sexual advances and touching at events associated with Weinstein's films and in the workplace. They and others describe a pattern of professional meetings that were little more than thin pretexts for sexual advances on young actresses and models. All sixteen said that the behavior was widely known within both Miramax and the Weinstein Company. Messages sent by Irwin Reiter, a senior company executive, to Emily Nestor, one of the women who alleged that she was harassed at the company, described the "mistreatment of women" as a serial problem that the Weinstein Company was struggling with in recent years. Other employees described what was, in essence, a culture of complicity at Weinstein's places of business, with numerous people throughout the companies fully aware of his behavior but either abetting it or looking the other way. Some employees said that they were enlisted in subterfuge to make the victims feel safe. A female executive with the company described how Weinstein assistants and others served as a "honeypot"--they would initially join a meeting, but then Weinstein would dismiss them, leaving him alone with the woman.

Quote
Four actresses, including Mira Sorvino and Rosanna Arquette, told me they suspected that, after they rejected Weinstein's advances or complained about them to company representatives, Weinstein had them removed from projects or dissuaded people from hiring them. Multiple sources said that Weinstein frequently bragged about planting items in media outlets about those who spoke against him; these sources feared that they might be similarly targeted. Several pointed to Gutierrez's case, in 2015: after she went to the police, negative items discussing her sexual history and impugning her credibility began rapidly appearing in New York gossip pages. (In the taped conversation with Gutierrez, Weinstein asks her to join him for "five minutes," and warns, "Don't ruin your friendship with me for five minutes.")
4
https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/09/donald-trump-peter-thiel-top-intelligence-advisory-post

Peter Thiel is literally a fucking Bond villain:
Quote
Thiel's purview is as vast as his ambitions. He has homes or properties in San Francisco, the Hollywood Hills, New York, Hawaii, and New Zealand, where he acquired citizenship a few years back. (He is a keen fan of The Lord of the Rings, which was filmed there.) According to one of his friends, "Thiel has said to me directly and repeatedly that he wanted to have his own country"--even placing a dollar value on "owning" a sovereign state: $100 billion.

Through it all, Thiel, who guards his privacy, has become known for challenging conventions, including those as seemingly immutable as death, taxes--and tuition. To wit: he takes daily doses of human growth hormone to stave off the effects of aging. He has supported the Seasteading Institute, which seeks to build floating cities beyond the reach of traditional governance. And his Thiel Fellowship hands out $100,000 grants to budding entrepreneurs who agree not to go to college. Such maverick ideas make Thiel "something of a revered figure for his successes in the tech and venture-capital worlds," claimed author and biotech journalist David Ewing Duncan. "And despite what many see as his controversial backing of Trump, if you're a young entrepreneur you don't want to cross him because he has the power to invest in your next big dream. There is a case to be made that renegades should be defended."

It was Thiel, after all, who secretly funded the invasion-of-privacy lawsuit that pro wrestler Hulk Hogan brought against Gawker Media, resulting in a $140 million verdict for Hogan (since negotiated downward) and bankrupting the gossip-and-news franchise, whose blog (Valleywag) had earlier "outed" Thiel. Regarded warily for his stealth, single-mindedness, and tenacity, he is, in a way, a Silicon Valley Steve Bannon.

Quote
And yet a number of people who describe themselves as either Thiel's friends or longtime associates would speak with me only on the condition of anonymity, citing a variety of reasons: non-disclosure agreements they had signed with one or more of Thiel's entities, fear of retribution from Trump-administration officials, or reluctance to alienate Thiel or the PayPal Mafia. These individuals--including several in his inner circle--would only arrange a meeting or a conversation using tradecraft worthy of C.I.A. case officers. They communicated via encrypted apps (ones that do not register on a cell phone's call log). Two of them, to check my bona fides before agreeing to sit down with me, requested screenshots of Google searches about me--explaining that if they were to run the searches themselves, and someone combed through their search histories, they might be identified as a source for this article.

Some of these individuals insisted that there is a perplexing duality to the man. Said one friend and colleague who has known Thiel for nearly 20 years, "He exempts himself from the rules he applies to others. He's a hard-core libertarian who rails against state surveillance except when he's profiting off of it. He's a strong believer in personal privacy but is happy to kick-start and sit on the board of Facebook, which monetizes every ounce of Americans' data." He described three prime movers in Thiel's life: achieving immortality, resisting state control over his actions, and acquiring the money necessary to pull it off. Paradoxically, he added, Thiel distrusts authority: "That's [partly] what motivated him years ago to run headlong into the intelligence field. He understood that, in a technological world, power is wielded by the intelligence community. You can only trust that community if you trust--or better yet, if you are--the person at the switch."
5
Jesus christ, the French:

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/sep/10/gabrielle-deydier-fat-in-france-abuse-grossophobia-book-women

Quote
It wasn't long before she realised that "difficult" was a colossal understatement. "You're Gabrielle Deydier," was the first thing the teacher in question said when they met. "I don't work with fat people." Gabrielle tried to laugh it off, but the difficult teacher wasn't smiling. "It wasn't a joke," she said.

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There are many equally bizarre episodes in her life story. Returning to the teaching job, this is how it ended: discrimination on grounds of physical appearance is illegal in France, a law that seems not to have filtered through to employers. Following the awkward introduction, the "difficult" teacher introduced Gabrielle to the class of six autistic children as: "The seventh handicapped person in the room." She accused Gabrielle of sweating too much. The headmaster told Gabrielle: "If she has a problem with you, then so do I."

"He said it was unfair on the children because they were now being doubly stigmatised - for their disabilities and because they'd be bullied for having a fat teacher." Gabrielle was asked to "have a think" about her future. "We're going to give you 30 days to prove you are motivated."

Motivated? "Motivated to lose weight. To show you're committed to this job." "It was never the children," says Gabrielle. "They were wonderful. But I was finding it difficult and complicated to deal with." It was noted that: "You were seen out of breath after climbing the stairs to the third floor."

Why didn't she take the school to court? "I was afraid I wouldn't be believed," she says. It's not an unlikely scenario. She'd experienced many similar events. The gynaecologist who grumbled: "There's so much blubber here, I can't see"; the male colleague who denied he'd sexually harassed her on the grounds that his wife was much better looking: "Why would I try to rape a fat woman?"

"The police were very good, but said: 'You have a right to make a complaint, but we advise against it because a tribunal won't be on your side.'"

:(
6
Science / Peter Thiel is a fucking lunatic
Holy fuck, this is so terribly unethical and fucked up:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/peter-thiel-funds-unethical-offshore-herpes-vaccine-trial

Quote
WASHINGTON--Defying U.S. safety protections for human trials, an American university and a group of wealthy libertarians, including a prominent Donald Trump supporter, are backing the offshore testing of an experimental herpes vaccine.

The American businessmen, including Trump adviser Peter Thiel, invested $7 million in the ongoing vaccine research, according to the U.S. company behind it. Southern Illinois University also trumpeted the research and the study's lead researcher, even though he did not rely on traditional U.S. safety oversight in the first trial, held on the Caribbean island of St. Kitts. 

Neither the Food and Drug Administration nor a safety panel known as an institutional review board, or an "IRB," monitored the testing of a vaccine its creators say prevents herpes outbreaks. Most of the 20 participants were Americans with herpes who were flown to the island several times to be vaccinated, according to Rational Vaccines, the company that oversaw the trial.

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Even so, Fernández a former Hollywood filmmaker, said he and his investors plan to submit the trial data to the FDA in hopes of getting the vaccine approved for treatment.

Oh, okay, phew, I'm confident this guy knows what he's doing.

Quote
Before the trial, Halford tested the vaccine on himself and Fernández. After he failed to secure federal funding and without an IRB, Halford moved ahead with the trial offshore. 

This is fucking bananas.
7
Because there are so many idiots showing their dumb asses that this should probably have its own thread.

Example #1 of the type of person who would totally swear up and down that they're totally not racist:





My personal favorite example:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/08/21/kkk-leader-threatens-to-burn-latina-journalist-the-first-black-person-on-his-property/

Quote
As Calderón pressed Barker on his views, he called her the n-word and told her to go back to her country. He also appeared to threaten her.

"Why don't you go back?" Barker said in the interview, which Univision aired Sunday night. "We have nothing here in America, ya'll keep flooding it. ... We're going to chase you out of here."

"Are you going to chase me out of here?" Calderón responded.

"No, we're going to burn you out," he said.

"How are you gonna do it?" she retorted.

At one point, she asked him how he would burn out the 11 million unauthorized immigrants in the country.

"Don't matter," Barker said. "We killed six million Jews the last time. Eleven million is nothing."

"You're telling me you're going to burn me," Calderón also said, to which he responded: "Yeah, you're sitting on my property now."

Quote
"I've been here over 20 years and we've never had a black person or whatever you want to call yourself, you're a mongrel to me," Barker said. "We've never had one. We don't let them around."

Calderón frequently pushed back on his views, and told him she found his language offensive. "My skin color doesn't define me," she said.

"I'm way more superior than you'll ever be," Barker said.

As the Univision crew filmed, other members of the Loyal White Knights joined the Barkers to perform a cross-burning ceremony. They held torches and circled a cross, chanting "For race, for God, for nation, for the Ku Klux Klan."

At one point during the interview, Calderón asked him if, hypothetically, he would be willing to accept an organ donation from her to one of his children, if she was deemed a match. He told her it was not possible, Calderón recalled, claiming that his blood was not the same as hers because of their different races.

Barker denied that he led a hate group. Both he and his wife said they "don't hate anyone," were "not racist" and do not condone violence.

"I think genocide is a good idea and that black people have literally different blood than I do and that I'm superior to them in every single way but let's not all get carried away. It's not like I'm a racist!"
8
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/08/we-just-feel-like-we-dont-belong-here-anymore/

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I grew up in a town called Bells, one of the five small towns that make up Crockett County in West Tennessee. The county is 83 percent white--I am also white--14 percent black and 10 percent Hispanic. (For comparison, according to 2016 Census data, Tennessee's population is only 17 percent black and 5 percent Hispanic.) The median household income is $35,000, and 19 percent of the county's 14,411 residents live below the poverty line. Most of the people I went to school with are still there. The area is deeply rural--the main highway that winds through the county is framed by cotton fields and pastures where cows keep a lazy watch over passing cars. Friday night football reigns supreme; game attendance is only second in importance to church. Many families have been here for generations, passing down their farmland and businesses to their children and grandchildren.

It can be a lovely place to live, but in counties like Crockett, it's hard to be anything other than white. So I decided to go back home and talk to the people I should have been talking to all along--people of color who live and work and go to school with white Trump supporters. They told me how it feels to live among neighbors who voted against their best interests and--worst case--their basic existence.


Quote
Turner's mom, who cleans houses in town for a living, went to work a couple of days after that, and her employer, an older white woman, brought up the results of the recent election. The two had talked politics before--Turner's mom is a Democrat, and her employer is a Republican. "Well, you might as well come and live with me now," the employer said. "You gonna be mine eventually."

She called her daughter in tears. Turner immediately got in her car and picked her mother up to bring her home.

Last year before the election, a young woman Turner described as one of her best friends casually mentioned she hoped for a Trump victory so that he might "do away with some of these African American people." She quickly clarified that she wasn't referring to Turner's "type," but when Turner sharply asked her what she meant, she couldn't answer. Another friend assured her that it would be okay if Trump won the election because she would convince her parents to purchase Turner's family as their new slaves. In a place where a few large plantation-style houses remain scattered through the county, the "joke" feels a lot like a threat.

Jesus christ, these people.

 :(
9
Politics and Current Events / Poland
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/polands-long-march-toward-democracy-is-threatened-by-quick-steps-away-from-it/2017/07/22/45a6b976-6e46-11e7-abbc-a53480672286_story.html

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The erosion of the rule of law also raises difficult questions for the European Union, which once saw Polish democracy and prosperity as its biggest success after the 2004 expansion that encompassed much of Eastern Europe. Now, E.U. leaders are threatening to suspend Poland's voting rights in decisions of the bloc, though they may be thwarted by the veto of Hungary's leader, Viktor Orban, another post-communist prime minister who has centralized power in defiance of democratic norms.

Quote
The U.S. State Department sounded an alarm about the measure, which would cast out all current justices of the Supreme Court, except those handpicked by the governing party's justice minister. But Trump's visit was tacit support for Law and Justice leaders, said Michal Kobosko, director of the Atlantic Council's Warsaw Global Forum, and "encouraged them to move forward with their offensive against the courts." Another measure would dissolve the independent body that selects judges. And the Constitutional Tribunal, the authority capable of invalidating the legislation, has been filled with government loyalists.

Quote
Gersdorf said the judiciary is the last independent institution protecting citizens from an authoritarian state whose aim, she said, is removing legal obstacles to interference in elections. The government has already clamped down on public media and restricted democratic assembly

"The last barrier is the Supreme Court," she said in an interview. "This change would undo our democratic system based on the independence of the courts. Each citizen has to know that a judge won't fall in front of political power."

According to Law and Justice, however, the courts are riddled with corruption, a product of lingering communist influence. The charge, said Jan Gross, a Polish-born professor of Eastern European history at Princeton University, is "total nonsense." He called the proposed changes "an indigenous assault on democracy and decency."

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/polands-senators-approve-contentious-court-overhaul/2017/07/21/cc2bb548-6e76-11e7-abbc-a53480672286_story.html

Quote
Polish democracy icon and former president Lech Walesa on Saturday joined the protests that have broken out across Poland over plans by the populist ruling party to put the Supreme Court and the rest of the judicial system under the party's political control.

The European Union and many international legal experts say the changes would mark a dramatic reversal for a country hailed as a model of democratic transition over the past quarter century, and move Poland closer toward authoritarianism.

The ruling Law and Justice party defends the changes as reforms to a justice system that party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski says was never purged of former communists after that system collapsed in 1989. The claim is rejected by critics.

Walesa addressed protesters in Gdansk, his home city, where he led strikes in the 1980s against the then-communist regime that eventually toppled the government and ushered in democracy.

The 73-year-old Walesa recalled those democratic changes, saying that the separation of powers into the legislative, executive and judicial branches was the most important achievement of his Solidarity movement.

"You must use all means to take back what we achieved for you," he told a crowd that included young Poles. The 1983 Nobel Peace Prize winner also said he would always support their struggle, words that appeared to rule out any leadership role for him in the protests.

https://www.buzzfeed.com/olacichowlas/this-is-why-polish-people-are-protesting-to-defend-their

Of course, state TV is rabble-rousing:



Poznan tonight:

10
The hottest of gourmet takes offered for your enjoyment :

https://www.usnews.com/opinion/world-report/articles/2017-07-17/the-us-should-go-to-war-with-mexico-over-opioids

Lololol good idea using Vietnam as the model and lol poppy fields in Mexico? You mean the ones in Afghanistan? You know, the ones that expanded after the US invaded.

Love the subtle use of "death drugs" and the complete failure to mention potential body counts on either side. And of course it's Mexico's fault if some dumbass kid decides to try meth or heroin.
11
This piece is fucking bonkers: http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-usc-doctor-20170717-htmlstory.html

Quote
In USC's lecture halls, labs and executive offices, Dr. Carmen A. Puliafito was a towering figure. The dean of the Keck School of Medicine was a renowned eye surgeon whose skill in the operating room was matched by a gift for attracting money and talent to the university.

There was another side to the Harvard-educated physician.

During his tenure as dean, Puliafito kept company with a circle of criminals and drug users who said he used methamphetamine and other drugs with them, a Los Angeles Times investigation found.

Puliafito, 66, and these much younger acquaintances captured their exploits in photos and videos. The Times reviewed dozens of the images.

Shot in 2015 and 2016, they show Puliafito and the others partying in hotel rooms, cars, apartments and the dean's office at USC.

In one video, a tuxedo-clad Puliafito displays an orange pill on his tongue and says into the camera, "Thought I'd take an ecstasy before the ball." Then he swallows the pill.

In another, Puliafito uses a butane torch to heat a large glass pipe outfitted for methamphetamine use. He inhales and then unleashes a thick plume of white smoke. Seated next to him on a sofa, a young woman smokes heroin from a piece of heated foil.

As dean, Puliafito oversaw hundreds of medical students, thousands of professors and clinicians, and research grants totaling more than $200 million. He was a key fundraiser for USC, bringing in more than $1 billion in donations, by his estimation.

Puliafito resigned his $1.1-million-a-year post in March 2016, in the middle of the spring term, saying he wanted to explore outside opportunities.

Three weeks earlier, a 21-year-old woman had overdosed in his presence in a Pasadena hotel room. The woman was rushed to a hospital, where she recovered. Police found methamphetamine in the hotel room, according to a police report, but made no arrests. Puliafito has never spoken publicly about the incident, which is being reported here for the first time.

Quote
Puliafito, a native of Buffalo, N.Y., who graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Medical School, had helped invent a laser technology -- optical coherence tomography -- that revolutionized the way doctors around the world diagnose and treat eye disease.

omg this lunatic invented the OCT we use every day at the facility :psyduck:
12
Very interesting read:

https://thebreakthrough.org/index.php/journal/issue-7/on-mother-earth-and-earth-mothers

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And yet, today, a growing chorus of voices argues that to be proper environmentalists and nurturing parents, each night should involve a home-cooked meal of fresh, organic, unprocessed ingredients. "We're doing so little home cooking now," food guru Michael Pollan says, "the family meal is truly endangered."5 Chastising the typical household for spending a mere 27 minutes a day preparing food, Pollan champions increasingly time-consuming methods of food production in defense of the allegedly life-enriching experience of cooking he fears is rapidly being lost.6

The juxtaposition is jarring, if not much remarked upon. At a moment in our history when increasing numbers of women have liberated themselves from many of the demands of unpaid domestic labor, prominent environmental thinkers are advocating a return to the very domestic labor that stubbornly remains the domain of women.

For women of lower socioeconomic status, the demands of a time-intensive, low-technology approach to food preparation are even more onerous. In a critique of this return-to-the-kitchen narrative, authors Sarah Bowen, Sinikka Elliott, and Joslyn Brenton describe interviews they conducted with mothers from a variety of ethnic and socioeconomic groups, whose experiences could not have been more unlike the idealized vision offered up by Pollan--in which the cook finds herself "in that sweet spot where the frontier between work and play disappears in a cloud of bread flour or fragrant steam rising from a boiling kettle of wort."7 Rather, they were juggling tight schedules, picky children, and the cost of fresh ingredients.4

Quote
For the women interviewed by Bowen and her colleagues, shopping and cooking occasionally added joy but just as often added stress, burdens, and trade-offs. Ironically, the practices advocated by Pollan, Mark Bittman,23 and other popular food and lifestyle gurus in the name of sustainability and a rich and fulfilling home life turn out to be practical only for women who have benefited the most from industrial society.

But the demands that contemporary environmental ethics place upon women do not end with Pollanesque gatherings around the family table. Young mothers are told to forgo processed baby food, relying as it does on far-flung commodity chains and nonlocal ingredients. Instead, they should make their own,24 reject formula in favor of breastfeeding,25 and replace disposable diapers with cloth.26 All, women are told, are necessary to raise healthy babies on a healthy planet. Each prescription combines claims of environmental benefit, however minor (given the water- and chemical-intensive processes associated with producing and reusing cloth diapers, for instance, they are only marginally better for the environment), with increased domestic demands.

Upon leaving the home, women face another series of charges from lifestyle greens. The choice to ride a bike instead of drive,27 for instance, isn't so simple for women disproportionately tasked with shopping and transporting children from place to place.28 Little wonder that women ride bicycles as transportation at less than one-third the rate of men.29

In these and a variety of other ways, green ideology tells women that tasks that can be automated should be rejected in the name of processes that are closer to nature, without any recognition of the broader social and structural context in which these activities occur. Women perform the bulk of unpaid labor while being beseeched to perform that labor in ways that are more difficult and time-intensive and bring at best minor benefits to the environment or the well-being of their families. The "natural is better" formula and the romanticization of domesticity as untainted by capitalism allow the larger systems in which women and the environment are embedded to escape scrutiny.

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The glorification of nature and farming and the romanticizing of the home, domestic life, and the woman at the center of it are ultimately nostalgias that cover up the brutality of rural life and drudgery of domestic labor in a perfume of freshly cut hay and caramelizing onions. While the new domestics advocating home brewing, fermenting kombucha, and churning butter are likely aware of their irony in an era of unprecedented technological progress, this nostalgia does little to further the goals of middle- and lower-class women in the developed world.
13


http://gazette.com/watch-bear-spent-6-hours-in-colorado-springs-house-before-officers-killed-it/article/1606446

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"Our biologist believes it had learned the cues of the sound of a garage door opening. It had learned that the sound of a garage door opening meant dinner," said Bill Vogrin, public information officer for Parks and Wildlife. "This bear was so fat from eating human food it couldn't climb a tree ... so it made a bed under a tree."

Despite its taste for human food, the bear managed to avoid two traps baited with doughnuts, icing, syrup and dog food, after Backstrom's encounter, Vogrin said.

Take that, stupid humans.

Quote
"It takes an enormous amount of strength, something I could never do," O'Dubhraic said.

lol that is exactly what I would expect a guy who looks like that guy to say.

Quote
The bear accessed the home through a crank-style window on the first floor that was damaged in a recent windstorm and had been left ajar.

"The bear popped it open and broke off the crank mechanism and came in the window," Vogrin said. "This was a smart bear, a dangerous bear, so it was only a matter of time before someone got hurt. We're lucky it didn't happen last night."

Anti-intellectualism in this country has gone too far.

Poor Mr. Bear. RIP, little buddy.  :smith:
14
https://www.facebook.com/NRA/videos/1605896562755373

HAIL HYDRA

Also I love how they don't even mention actual guns or gun rights or the Second Amendment at all because 2017 is all about the death of subtlety and making what was previously subtext the very fucking obvious in your face text.

eta in b4 so much for the tolerant left, economic anxiety, and stop playing identity politics
15
https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2017/national/rural-america/

https://apps.washingtonpost.com/g/page/national/washington-post-kaiser-family-foundation-rural-and-small-town-america-poll/2217/

Quote
The Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation survey of nearly 1,700 Americans -- including more than 1,000 adults living in rural areas and small towns -- finds deep-seated kinship in rural America, coupled with a stark sense of estrangement from people who live in urban areas. Nearly 7 in 10 rural residents say their values differ from people who live in big cities, including about 4 in 10 who say their values are "very different."

That divide is felt more extensively in rural America than in cities: About half of urban residents say their values differ from rural people, with about 20 percent of urbanites saying rural values are "very different."

Quote
"Being from a rural area, everyone looks out for each other," said Ryan Lawson, who grew up in northern Wisconsin. "People, in my experience, in cities are not as compassionate toward their neighbor as people in rural parts."

Yes, but, what if your neighbor is a black or a queer or Jewish?

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Rural Americans express far more concern about jobs in their communities, but the poll finds that those concerns have little connection to support for Trump, a frequent theory to explain his rise in 2016. Economic troubles also show little relation to the feeling that urban residents have different values.

Rural voters who lament their community's job prospects report supporting Trump by 14 percentage points more than Clinton, but Trump's support was about twice that margin -- 30 points -- among voters who say their community's job opportunities are excellent or good. Trump also earned about the same level of support from those who say they don't worry about paying their bills as those who couldn't pay their bills at some point in the past year.

Quote
Rural residents are nearly three times as likely (42 percent) as people in cities (16 percent) to say that immigrants are a burden on the country.

"They're not paying taxes like Americans are. They're getting stuff handed to them," said Larry E. Redding, a retired canning factory employee in Arendtsville, Pa. "Free rent, and they're driving better vehicles than I'm driving and everything else."

Wait a goddamn minute, you mean I've been paying taxes all this time like some fucking sucker when I didn't have to? Also where can I sign up for my free rent and nice vehicle?

Quote
The poll reveals that perceptions about abuse of government benefits often go hand in hand with views about race.

When asked which is more common -- that government help tends to go to irresponsible people who do not deserve it or that it doesn't reach people in need -- rural Americans are more likely than others to say they think people are abusing the system. And across all areas, those who believe irresponsible people get undeserved government benefits are more likely than others to think that racial minorities receive unfair privileges.

In response to this poll question -- "Which of these do you think is the bigger problem in this country: blacks and Hispanics losing out because of preferences for whites, or whites losing out because of preferences for blacks and Hispanics?" -- rural whites are 14 points less likely than urban whites to say they are more concerned about blacks and Hispanics losing out.

Quote
"The culture and the type of people you see, they're different" in big cities, said Bethany Hanna, a homemaker in Saint Albans, W.Va., who said she visits urban areas on missions with her church. "It tends to be the type of people who are getting more assistance. .?.?. And the way you hear people talking, the viewpoints that they have on certain matters, it leans toward a pretty liberal opinion. Some of it's an entitlement thing. They say 'that's not fair,' or 'I deserve this,' that kind of thing."

I'm shocked that someone on a mission with their church would encounter people who need more assistance. Weird!
16
Science / Chronic Lyme Disease
Interesting piece in WaPo: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2017/06/15/dangerous-unproven-treatments-for-chronic-lyme-disease-cause-are-on-the-rise/

Quote
Chronic Lyme disease is a diagnosis that some health-care providers use to describe patients with a variety of symptoms such as fatigue, generalized pain, and neurological symptoms.

It's a confusing term because it's been used to mean many different things. Some practitioners have used the diagnosis to describe lingering symptoms after infection with the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi that causes Lyme disease. Others use the catchall term to describe patients with subjective symptoms but no evidence of ever having been infected with the tick-borne illness.

Many of these patients have experienced significant debilitation from their symptoms and failed to find relief after seeing conventional medical practitioners. As a result, some turn to alternative medicine clinics or practitioners who sometimes identify themselves as Lyme disease specialists, or "Lyme literate" doctors, who may subject patients to a host of unproven treatments, the report said.

Typical symptoms of true Lyme disease include fever, headache, fatigue and a skin rash that may have a characteristic bull's eye shape. If left untreated, infection can spread to joints, the heart and nervous system. The recommended treatment is generally a two-to-four-week course of antibiotics. The CDC estimates about 300,000 people are diagnosed with Lyme each year, and the numbers have been on the rise.

Federal health officials don't know the number of people who undergo treatments for chronic Lyme disease or the complications that result from such treatments. But based on information received in the past three years from state and local health departments, and from clinicians who have treated patients who have become very sick as a result of these treatments, "we really have a sense that both the treatment and scope are broadening," Nelson said.

"Health-care providers are seeing the fallout," she said. "These treatments are really dangerous. This is just the tip of a very large iceberg that no one is talking about."

The CDC report: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/66/wr/mm6623a3.htm

Based on what I've learned from working with dogs, treating with doxycycline after a positive ELISA is standard practice, but it's common to see subsequent positives even in symptomatic dogs that see symptoms reside with treatment. In some cases, a quantitative measure of antibody can help clear up what might be going on, but not necessarily. There was one canine model study done years ago that showed antibiotic therapy didn't completely eliminate the bacteria and that immunosuppressed dogs (in this case, infected dogs given corticosteroids) saw reactivation of symptoms. There's some suspicion that doxy might help through its anti-inflammatory properties more than anything.

If it's the same in humans, then chronic Lyme is a possibility if antibiotics don't completely clear a person of the organism and if it can be reactivated in certain circumstances. Or it could be that the bacteria are completely cleared but that enough damage/change makes people susceptible to inflammatory flare ups. But the topic has become politicized, and there are a bunch of nutty advocacy groups and bullshit documentaries out there among all of the quacks.

Then there's the vaccine. We've been vaccinating dogs for a long time, and within the past 2-ish years or so, they've released new chimeric recombinant vaccines on the market that are able to target the type of outer surface protein on the bacteria that tends to vary. Being unable to target that class of proteins is what made the old vaccine not so great. Once upon a time, there was LYMErix, but since it got pulled from the market, no one has dared introduce another vaccine. So here we are with hundreds of thousands of people getting infected every year.

It's extremely frustrating because tick-borne diseases are a huge problem. In recent years, people doctors have been catching up and paying attention, but there are still too many out there who don't know enough about these diseases and who don't take them seriously enough. And it's only going to get worse as these diseases spread and as milder winters contribute to the explosion in populations of different tick species all across the country. As more and more people become infected by these various diseases, we're heading towards a fairly significant shitstorm what with our gaps in knowledge mixed with the army of Drs. Google out there.

When I was in high school, my friend had some mystery illness that turned her into a near skeleton with fibromyalgia and all sorts of problems. She eventually found one of those "Lyme literate doctors," who had her blood tested multiple times before finally getting a positive for Lyme. Looking back on that now, it's pretty :unsure: . That doctor also ended up giving her a bunch of shit for treatment, including these amazing foot pad thingies that you stick on the soles of your feet at night and in the morning you can see all the toxins they pulled out! :ohmy: She first introduced me to this world of warring groups of advocacy groups who believe they know the REAL story that the other villains (other doctors, CDC, FDA, Big Pharma, the AMA, other disability advocates who are jealous, space aliens probably) are hiding. It's insanity.

So, guys, be careful and check yourselves for ticks all the time and keep your pets on preventatives. I had never found a single tick on my dog until this year. He's been staying at my parents' house, and on his first or second day here, I pulled 5 ticks off of him in a single fucking day and have found several more since. I found one live one next to him on the couch that had probably hitched a ride on his fur without actually biting him. Little fucker could've easily hung out and bitten a human instead. My mom has found lots of them on her clothes and found one attached on her back that she had me take out. And we've got all three of the major fucking species out here. The little motherfuckers are everywhere, and things are bad enough this year that you might find them on you even if you never go through wooded areas, so watch out.
17


The best thing about the "now is not the time to discuss gun policy" argument is that in America, there's always yet another shooting to restart the "when we can talk about this" clock.  :patriot:
18
Today's poor innocent victim:

Millennials are killing chains like Buffalo Wild Wings and Applebee's
http://www.businessinsider.com/millennials-endanger-casual-dining-restaurants-2017-5

 :stopper:  :stopper:  :stopper:  :stopper:  :stopper:  :stopper:  :stopper:  :stopper:  :stopper:  :stopper:

Is nothing sacred anymore?

Where will I go to buy a $20 plate of microwaved food if Applebee's goes away? :sadcheer:
19
Science / Charles Murray and Sam Harris
https://www.vox.com/the-big-idea/2017/5/18/15655638/charles-murray-race-iq-sam-harris-science-free-speech

Quote
Finally, let us consider Sam Harris and his willingness to endorse Murray's claims -- his decision to suspend the skepticism and tough-mindedness we have come to expect from him. There is a fairly widespread intellectual movement among center-right social theorists and pundits to argue that strong adherence to the scientific method commits us to following human science wherever it goes -- and they mean something very specific in this context. They say we must move from hard-nosed science of intelligence and genetics all the way -- only if that's the direction data and logical, unbiased interpretation lead, naturally -- to genetically based differences in behavior among races.

Moreover, a reflexive defense of free academic inquiry has prompted some to think it a mark of scientific objectivity to look at cognitive differences in the eye without blinking. To deny the possibility of a biological basis of group differences, they suggest, is to allow "moral panic," as Harris puts it, to block objective scientific judgment. But passively allowing oneself to be led into unfounded genetic conclusions about race and IQ is hardly a mark of rational tough-mindedness. The fact is, there is no evidence for any such genetic hypothesis -- about complex human behavior of any kind. Anyone who speaks as if there were is spouting junk science.
20
This article is fucking terrifying.

http://www.npr.org/2017/05/12/527806002/focus-on-infants-during-childbirth-leaves-u-s-moms-in-danger

Quote
The ability to protect the health of mothers and babies in childbirth is a basic measure of a society's development. Yet every year in the U.S., 700 to 900 women die from pregnancy or childbirth-related causes, and some 65,000 nearly die -- by many measures, the worst record in the developed world.

American women are more than three times as likely as Canadian women to die in the maternal period (defined by the Centers for Disease Control as the start of pregnancy to one year after delivery or termination), six times as likely to die as Scandinavians. In every other wealthy country, and many less affluent ones, maternal mortality rates have been falling; in Great Britain, the journal Lancet recently noted, the rate has declined so dramatically that "a man is more likely to die while his partner is pregnant than she is." But in the U.S., maternal deaths increased from 2000 to 2014. In a recent analysis by the CDC Foundation, nearly 60 percent of such deaths are preventable.

While maternal mortality is significantly more common among African-Americans, low-income women and in rural areas, pregnancy and childbirth complications kill women of every race and ethnicity, education and income level, in every part of the U.S. ProPublica and NPR spent the last several months scouring social media and other sources, ultimately identifying more than 450 expectant and new mothers who have died since 2011.

The list includes teachers, insurance brokers, homeless women, journalists, a spokeswoman for Yellowstone National Park, a cofounder of the YouTube channel WhatsUpMoms, and more than a dozen doctors and nurses like Lauren Bloomstein. They died from cardiomyopathy and other heart problems, massive hemorrhage, blood clots, infections and pregnancy-induced hypertension (preeclampsia) as well as rarer causes. Many died days or weeks after leaving the hospital. Maternal mortality is commonplace enough that three new mothers who died, including Lauren, were cared for by the same ob/gyn.

The reasons for higher maternal mortality in the U.S. are manifold. New mothers are older than they used to be, with more complex medical histories. Half of pregnancies in the U.S. are unplanned, so many women don't address chronic health issues beforehand. Greater prevalence of C-sections leads to more life-threatening complications. The fragmented health system makes it harder for new mothers, especially those without good insurance, to get the care they need. Confusion about how to recognize worrisome symptoms and treat obstetric emergencies makes caregivers more prone to error.

Quote
The DOH examined Lauren's records, interviewed her caregivers and scrutinized Monmouth's policies and practices. In December 2012 it issued a report that backed up everything Larry had seen first-hand. "There is no record in the medical record that the Registered Nurse notified [the ob/gyn] of the elevated blood pressures of patient prior to delivery," investigators found. And: "There is no evidence in the medical record of further evaluation and surveillance of patient from [the ob/gyn] prior to delivery." And: "There was no evidence in the medical record that the elevated blood pressures were addressed by [the ob/gyn] until after the Code Stroke was called."

The report faulted the hospital. "The facility is not in compliance" with New Jersey hospital licensing standards, it concluded. "The facility failed to ensure that recommended obstetrics guidelines are adhered to by staff."
21
...apparently coming at 8 am local time. There was an emergency meeting called.

French media are saying Prince Philip has kicked the bucket.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/queens-most-senior-aides-call-10351987
22
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-ukraine-crisis-osce-idUSKBN17P0CZ

Quote
One member of European security watchdog OSCE's monitoring mission in eastern Ukraine was killed and two others were injured after their vehicle drove over a mine near Luhansk.

An American man was killed and a German woman was injured on Sunday morning, a spokesman for Austria's foreign ministry said. Austria holds the rotating presidency of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

It's pretty crazy to me that there's been a low level war simmering in eastern Ukraine for a long time now with shooting, shelling, and casualties, but nobody ever seems to really talk about it. It's a good thing the State Dept. is currently fully staffed by competent people without questionable agendas! :meeps:
24
It's women's fault:
http://thefederalist.com/2017/04/04/men-women-can-never-just-friends/

 :clap:

lolololololol

The best thing about this piece of trying hard to be funny garbage is that marriage is just a code word for sex, but that word is bad because he is a Lutheran pastor. Because we all know young 20 something dudes who love video games and farts (LOL TACO BELL FARTS) and football are just dying ( :stareicide: ) to get married and have lots and lots of babies in order to secure the future of Social Security and Medicare.

This is why you never see young men on the internet complain about divorce laws or the evil indignities of being forced to pay child support after some bitch fucking tricked them for the welfare checks and WIC. They've just been dreaming of marriage and babies all their lives, and it's such a bitter disappointment to find out all these dumb broads don't want anything to do with that. God, why are women so commitment phobic and so negative about marriage and babies?  ::)

Quote
Conversely, if you find your guy friend attractive, and if you see him as a man of character and heart, then call him right now and tell him that he was placed in the Friend Zone due to a clerical error. Say to him, "You make me laugh and would be a great husband and father. Clearly, you need to be on the express track to the Marriage Zone."

lololololol

I highly recommend every woman call up a guy she casually knows to tell him that he would be a great husband and father. TRUST ME THIS CANNOT POSSIBLY GO WRONG.
25
Hundreds arrested in Belarus after "unauthorized" protest:
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-39393351

The people were protesting the "social parasite" tax, which sounds like Paul Ryan's wet dream. People who are unemployed for 6 months are required to pay the tax. It's meant to encourage "discipline" and prevent "social dependency."

Anti-corruption protests happening all over Russia now:
https://themoscowtimes.com/articles/hundreds-arrested-as-anti-corruption-protests-sweep-russia-57538

There's been zero mention of it on state TV, of course, and at least one reporter has been arrested for "participating in an unauthorized demonstration" in Moscow even though they had press credentials.

They're even arresting teenagers:


His horribly offensive anti-Russia evil sign says "sell the dachas / build roads."



What's most striking about this is that it doesn't look too different from some of the shit we've seen over here.