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Zorro

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Gender: Male
Hometown: America's Finest City
Current location: District 50
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 9,698

Journal Archives

Murder in Mexico: Mormon Families Have a Long History There

The brutal killing of nine members of a family in northern Mexico on Monday highlights the long history of American religious settlers in the region.

The LeBarón family, some of whose members were targeted in Monday’s attack, has lived in the turbulent border region for decades, part of a wave of settlers who moved to Mexico in the early 20th century seeking at the time to practice polygamy, which was forbidden by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Today polygamy has largely faded from the community.

Long unaffiliated with the mainstream church, fundamentalist Mormon communities in northern Mexico originated in the late 1880s, when a number of families moved to the states of Chihuahua and Sonora. The Mormons who put down stakes included Miles Park Romney, the great-grandfather of Senator Mitt Romney, Republican of Utah and the party’s presidential nominee in 2012.

Religious communities that date themselves to Joseph Smith, the founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often call themselves Mormon. The mainstream church has abandoned the moniker, in part because of negative connotations around polygamy.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/05/us/mexico-mormon-community.html

California conservatives leaving the state for 'redder pastures'

The Volkswagen SUV whizzed past the Texas state line, a U-Haul trailer in tow, as it made its way toward Amarillo.

“Yay!” Judy Stark cried out to her husband, Richard, as they officially left California. The pair bobbed their heads to ’50s music playing on the radio.

Like many other Republican and conservative voters in California, the retired couple have decided to leave the state. A major reason, Stark and her spouse say, is their disenchantment with deep-blue California’s liberal political culture.

Despite spending most of their lives in the Golden State, they were fed up with high taxes, lukewarm support for local law enforcement, and policies they believe have thrown open the doors to illegal immigration.

https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/california/story/2019-11-04/california-conservatives-republicans-leaving

Good riddance, I say.

And won't they be surprised if Texas turns blue this next election cycle.

Tesla's competitors find that going electric has its own set of problems

Not all is good in EV Land.

Nio, a Chinese electric-car manufacturer vying to become the next Tesla, has fallen on hard times. A perfect storm of reduced government subsidies, uncertainty brought on by the trade war with the U.S., as well as generally lower demand in China has forced the manufacturer to cut more than 2,000 jobs and heavily “optimize” its business by spinning off non-core businesses by year’s end. The company’s shares have plummeted.

Unfortunately, Nio’s not alone. Harley-Davidson in mid-October briefly halted the production of its LiveWire electric motorcycle because of problems with charging the vehicle using low-voltage outlets (the ones found in your home or garage).

Similar problems plague Volkswagen unit Audi. In June, it was forced to recall the e-tron, its electric SUV, because of battery-fire risk. The company has recalled half of e-tron cars sold since the model was launched in April.

June was a month of recalls for Jaguar. Its I-Pace model has had problems with regenerative braking, which could lead to an increased delay between braking and the vehicle decelerating, increasing the risk of a crash.

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/teslas-competitors-find-that-going-electric-has-its-own-set-of-problems-2019-11-04

Think you're anonymous online? A third of popular websites are 'fingerprinting' you.

Just when you thought we had hit rock bottom on all the ways the Internet could snoop on us — no. We’ve sunk even lower.

There’s a tactic spreading across the Web named after treatment usually reserved for criminals: fingerprinting. At least a third of the 500 sites Americans visit most often use hidden code to run an identity check on your computer or phone.

Websites from CNN and Best Buy to porn site Xvideos and WebMD are dusting your digital fingerprints by collecting details about your device you can’t easily hide. It doesn’t matter whether you turn on “private browsing” mode, clear tracker cookies or use a virtual private network. Some even use the fact you’ve flagged “do not track” in your browser as a way to fingerprint you.

They’re doing it, I suspect, because more of us are taking steps to protect our data. Privacy is an arms race — and we are falling behind.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2019/10/31/think-youre-anonymous-online-third-popular-websites-are-fingerprinting-you/

Google will acquire Fitbit in $2.1 billion deal and direct challenge to Apple

Source: Washington Post

FitBit on Friday announced it would be acquired by Google in a deal that values the smartwatch maker at roughly $2.1 billion.

The deal puts Alphabet in a race against Apple when it comes to tracking fitness and health data. FitBit’s stock had surged as much as 30 percent earlier this week on reports that Alphabet had put in an offer. The deal is expected to close in 2020.

Google will pay $7.35 a share for the fitness tracker, helping it advance its ambitions for wearable technology. The company does not make its own smartwatch.

FitBit’s stock surged 16 percent after the announcement.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2019/11/01/google-will-acquire-fitbit-billion-deal-direct-challenge-apple/



Fitbit's devices are capable of monitoring your biometrics (heart rate, sleep durations/type, etc.). It is already a bit disturbing to know that this detailed personal information is available to commercial companies; it's not a stretch to see the government also getting access to this data for political purposes.

Republicans convene the cult of Trump

That Rep. Devin Nunes serves as the ranking member on something called the Intelligence Committee has always been a contradiction in terms. The California Republican displayed his intellectual heft earlier this year by suing a fictitious dairy cow that was mean to him on Twitter.

Even so, what he said on the House floor during Thursday’s debate to authorize a formal impeachment inquiry was jaw-dropping. He railed about the sort of person who believes in “conspiracy theories” and relies on “defamation and slander,” who spins a “preposterous narrative” with “no evidence” and only “bizarre obsession.”

Surely he was describing one Donald J. Trump to a T?

On the contrary, Nunes applied these Trumpian signatures to Democrats. “What we’re seeing among Democrats on the Intelligence Committee,” he said, “is like a cult. These are a group of people loyally following their leader as he bounces from one outlandish conspiracy to another.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/10/31/republicans-convene-cult-trump/

Trump Mortified After World Series Crowd Starts Booing, Chanting 'Lock Him Up' At Melania

WASHINGTON—As a chorus of jeers began to fill Nationals Park during Game Five of the World Series, President Donald Trump was reportedly mortified Sunday after the crowd started chanting “Lock him up!” at first lady Melania Trump.

“Why would they do that? It’s so mean,” said Trump, adding that when they stood up in their box seats to wave, the crowd began viciously booing Melania, an act he claimed was extremely disrespectful to the office of the first lady, especially since he was pretty sure she hadn’t done anything illegal.

“Listen, there are plenty of things about Melania that I don’t like. I’ve definitely thought about replacing her. Heck, I got caught up in the chant for a little bit there too. But she should be able to attend a baseball game in peace. Someone even pulled out a sign that said ‘Impeach Trump,’ which is silly, because I don’t think she can be impeached. Overall, we were incredibly embarrassed for Melania, but she was able to put on a brave face. I went over to console her and she didn’t seem bothered by it at all.”

At press time, Trump kicked himself for being foolish after realizing that the crowd was probably booing Senator David Perdue (R-GA) for his unpopular agricultural policies.

https://politics.theonion.com/trump-mortified-after-world-series-crowd-starts-booing-1839417630

'Oh Jesus, Now What?' Says Exhausted Trump Turning On News To See What Bullshit Thing President Did

WASHINGTON—Bemoaning the never-ending stream of news about the current occupant of the Oval Office, an exhausted President Donald Trump reportedly asked himself, “Oh Jesus, now what?” after turning the TV Wednesday and seeing what bullshit thing the president had done this time.

“Just a single day without this garbage would be nice, but with this administration, there’s always something, isn’t there?” said Trump, who groaned that everywhere he looked—the television, the newspaper, even his Twitter feed—he was confronted with yet another fucking insane story about the president.

“No matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to escape that asshole. Every day I ask myself, ‘When will it all end?’ Because it’s seriously becoming more than I can handle.”

At press time, Trump was overheard mumbling to himself that with his luck, he’ll probably wind up having to put up with this horseshit for another four years.

https://politics.theonion.com/oh-jesus-now-what-says-exhausted-trump-turning-on-n-1839478742

Happy Birthday Grace Slick -- 80 years old today!

It seems like only yesterday...

GOP wipeout feared as impeachment fever spills over into House and Senate races

As the impeachment battle rages in Washington, Democrats’ position appears to be improving up and down the ballot.

Projecting current trend lines — admittedly a risky undertaking — shows it’s entirely possible the party could win the presidency, the Senate and the House next November.

Let’s start with impeachment itself. Before news of the Ukraine scandal began to snowball, only about 40 percent of Americans supported impeachment, according to FiveThirtyEight’s polling average; a majority opposed it. Today, those numbers have pretty much flipped, with nearly 49 percent in favor and about 43 percent opposed. Ask only how people feel about starting the impeachment process, meanwhile, and the gap widens; about 52 percent say yea versus about 42 percent who say nay. Particularly problematic for Trump is the increase in support for impeachment among independents, to 47.5 percent from 33.9 percent in late September. And the latest impeachment developments — the top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council plans to testify Tuesday about how troubling he found Trump’s Ukraine call, and Democrats are set to begin public hearings — are unlikely to help the president’s cause.

In parallel with the shift in sentiment on impeachment, Trump’s approval rating has fallen from about 43 percent in late September to 40.6 percent today, while his disapproval rating has risen from 52.8 percent to 54.2 percent. These aren’t huge swings, but the president’s approval numbers rarely move much — Americans already know how they feel about the guy — so any movement tends to be significant. And a net approval rating of negative 13.6 percentage points heading into a reelection year is not good. For comparison, the only modern president in worse shape at this point in his presidency was Jimmy Carter; even Barack Obama, who faced similar polarization and a much worse economy, was performing about 8 points better in October 2011 than Trump is now. Carter lost reelection; Obama won.

https://news.yahoo.com/gop-wipeout-feared-as-impeachment-fever-spills-over-into-house-and-senate-races-155259352.html

I like reading this headline. The GOP needs to be wiped out, and will be if justice prevails.
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