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Zorro's Journal
Zorro's Journal
September 30, 2017

Tom Price Seated Between Two Screaming Babies on First-Ever Commercial Flight

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—In an experience that he called “traumatic” and “horrifying,” the departing Health and Human Services Secretary, Tom Price, was seated between two screaming babies Friday night on his first-ever commercial flight

Price, who was flying from Washington, D.C., to his home in Georgia just hours after resigning from his Cabinet position, reacted with alarm after discovering that the airline had assigned him a middle seat between two passengers holding inconsolably shrieking babies on their laps.

Moments after making his terrible discovery, Price urgently called for a flight attendant and reportedly told her, “There are babies on this aircraft. That can’t possibly be allowed.” After informing Price that babies were, in fact, permitted on commercial flights, the attendant instructed the former Cabinet secretary to fasten his seatbelt and ignored his request to be served a free glass of Dom Perignon champagne and beluga caviar with toast points.

According to witnesses on board, the two babies flanking Price screamed non-stop for the entire duration of the flight, except for a brief period during which one of the babies vomited on Price’s Armani suit.


September 29, 2017

What are the Chances of a 2nd Korean War? Everything you need to know but were afraid to ask.

I found the following in a KOS diary. It's a bit lengthy but insightful and well worth the read.


Trump’s promise of “fire and fury like the world has never seen,” did not produce an end of threats, nor of actions, from North Korea. Quite the contrary. It directly provoked North Korea to announce plans (now on hold) to shoot four Hwason-12 intermediate-range ballistic missiles around Guam, just outside the 12 mile territorial limit (McKirdy, Cohen and Field 2017). Whether they will go through with this, and if they do what Trump’s response will be, is impossible to predict. Much depends on what people other than Trump and Jung-un do, even you. But we can be sure that the threats from both Kim Jung-un and Donald Trump will continue. As will sanctions, testing and confrontations until… until? Which raises the real question:

What are the chances that a Second Korean War will soon break out? What might happen if it does?

The chance for war between North Korea and the U.S. and its closest allies in the region (South Korea, Japan, Australia, New Zealand) is small, but it is real and it is growing. Slightly smaller is the chance that it will turn into a nuclear war. Smaller still, but not zero, is the possibility that China will be drawn into the conflict, leading to general thermonuclear war—an extinction level event.

The chances for war have been increasing geometrically because of President Trump’s actions in the context of the personality (and cult) of Kim Jung-un in North Korea. Since Trump’s election there has been a cycle of escalation. The U.S. has acted with bellicose rhetoric, provocative military maneuvers and trainings, increasingly severe sanctions, and testing and deploying anti-ballistic missile systems. North Korea has acted with bellicose rhetoric, provocative military maneuvers and trainings, and a series of successful ICBM and nuclear weapons tests. On September 3, 2017, North Korea successfully tested a hydrogen weapon with a yield of at least 100 kilotons, ten times more powerful than their last nuclear test (Beuge, Alex, Pablo Gutiérrez, et al., 2017). The Japanese Defense ministry estimates the size of the successful test was 160 kilotons (Westcott 2017).


More at: https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/9/27/1702303/-What-are-the-Chances-of-a-2nd-Korean-War-Everything-you-need-to-know-but-were-afraid-to-ask

September 28, 2017

Available soon: Sex robots with artificial intelligence

Come January, lifelike sex robots will be one step closer. That’s when a Southern California company will unveil Harmony, an anatomically correct sex doll with a patented animatronic talking head with programmable personality and memory.

News of creator Matt McMullen’s latest invention — he’s been making lifelike silicone sex dolls for 20 years — has created international media interest and a firestorm of criticism from ethicists and futurists who see a dark side to a sex doll that becomes more “human” with each technological innovation.

One critic worries that the doll’s artificial intelligence app could be hacked to make it kill its owner (like the vengeance meted out by sex robots in the film “Ex Machina” and TV show “Westworld”). And women’s advocates say owners could realistically rehearse plans for violent sexual acts with the interactive dolls.

But McMullen, the chief executive and creative director of Realbotix, a subsidiary of his San Diego County doll-making factory Abyss Creations, said critics of Harmony have it all wrong.


We're heading to a Blade Runner future.

September 28, 2017

Rep. Hunter asks Trump to pardon border patrol agents who covered up their shooting of drug smuggler

Rep. Duncan Hunter has asked President Donald Trump to pardon two former border patrol agents who were convicted in the shooting an unarmed marijuana smuggler as he tried to run from Texas and into Mexico, a case that fanned an international debate about security at the border.

“In the course of a struggle, and in what appeared to be the suspect brandishing a weapon, these agents fired their guns and hit him in the backside as he escaped back into Mexico,” Hunter, R-Alpine said in a statement.

“Rather than reward these agents for their $1 million seizure, a U.S. Attorney offered the drug smuggler immunity in exchange for testimony to prosecute and convict them.”

The agents, Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean, were convicted in 2006 of assault with a dangerous weapon, tampering with an official proceeding, and other crimes related to the shooting. A federal judge sentenced Ramos to 11 years in prison, and Compean to 12 years.


No surprise here. Hunter's just another Republican asshole who's OK with criminal behavior by government employees, himself included.

September 28, 2017

Trump, Republican tax plan could be a big hit to many Californians

Source: LA Times

Many Californians face a big financial hit under the Republican tax plan, which would eliminate a major tax break that benefits state residents more than those anywhere else in the U.S.

The federal deduction for state and local taxes allowed Californians to reduce their taxable income by $101 billion in 2014, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Tax Foundation.

The tax outline released Wednesday by President Trump and top congressional Republicans would ax the break, which largely benefits residents in states that are Democratic strongholds.

“Republicans in Washington have once again zeroed in on California to punish us and make our state the single biggest loser in their reckless tax scheme,” said Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles).

Read more: http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-trump-tax-california-20170927-story.html

Screwing California sets Trumpster hearts aflutter.
September 25, 2017

Virginia Woman Recovering from Copperhead Bite at Restaurant

Source: NBC4 Washington

A Virginia woman is recovering after being bitten by a copperhead snake during a restaurant visit.

Rachel Myrick told The Free Lance-Star she was at a LongHorn Steakhouse in Spotsylvania County earlier this month when she felt a sharp pain in her left foot.

She reached down and realized she'd been bitten several times by a roughly 8-inch-long copperhead that had gotten inside the restaurant's foyer.

Myrick said the pain was excruciating. She was taken to a hospital for treatment, where she was given antivenin.

Read more: http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/Virginia-Woman-Recovering-from-Copperhead-Bite-at-Restaurant-447398213.html

I'm glad to read the restaurant is taking actions to prevent this from happening again.
September 24, 2017

California could be hit by an 8.2 mega-earthquake, and it would be catastrophic

The magnitude 8.2 earthquake that ravaged southern Mexico on Sept. 7 was the largest to shake the country in nearly a century.

Like California, Mexico is a seismically active region that has seen smaller quakes that have caused death and destruction. But the Sept. 7 temblor is a reminder that even larger quakes — while rare — do occur.

Scientists say it’s possible for Southern California to be hit by a magnitude 8.2 earthquake. Such a quake would be far more destructive to the Los Angeles area because the San Andreas fault runs very close to and underneath densely populated areas.

The devastating quakes that hit California over the last century were far smaller than the Sept. 7 temblor, which Mexican authorities set at magnitude 8.2 and the U.S. Geological Survey placed at 8.1. Mexico’s earthquake produced four times more energy than the great 1906 San Francisco earthquake, a magnitude 7.8, which killed 3,000 people and sparked a fire that left much of the city in ruins.


September 23, 2017

As waters slowly rise along Florida shores, coastal communities' approaches vary

As rising sea levels cause flooding more often in Florida, the state’s first city has a concern as old as civilization itself.

“If there’s one thing that’s absolutely certain, people expect their toilets to flush,” St. Augustine Mayor Nancy Shaver said. To guarantee that, the city will need to find a way to keep its sewage treatment plant above water.

As the ocean rises, the outfall for the plant — on a marsh along the San Sebastian River — is “no longer going to fall out,” said Shaver. “You-know-what doesn’t run uphill, and we have a gravity sewer system. If it can’t run downhill, it’s not going to function.”

Protecting St. Augustine’s most vulnerable asset, she said, could cost as much as $100 million, twice the city’s annual budget.


September 23, 2017

Trump Names Sarah Palin Ambassador to Nambia

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Donald J. Trump on Friday capped a busy week of diplomatic activity by naming the former Alaska governor Sarah Palin the United States Ambassador to Nambia.

By naming Palin to this diplomatic post, the United States has become the first nation in the world to formally recognize Nambia’s existence.

In a joint appearance with Trump at the White House, Palin acknowledged that she “didn’t know a lot about Nambia” but said that she was looking forward to receiving a comprehensive briefing on the nation’s history, culture, and customs from the Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos. “Then it’s Nambia, here I come!” Palin exclaimed.

In a sign that Palin’s appointment was a popular move, a new poll shows that an overwhelming majority of Americans support her permanent relocation to Nambia.


September 23, 2017

World's Greatest Drag Race

Interesting Motor Trend article and video for the gear heads.


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