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Gender: Female
Hometown: NY
Home country: US
Current location: Florida
Member since: Mon Sep 6, 2004, 09:54 PM
Number of posts: 167,230

Journal Archives

What's spreading faster than coronavirus in the US?Racist assaults and ignorant attacks against Asia

What's spreading faster than coronavirus in the US? Racist assaults and ignorant attacks against Asians
By Holly Yan, Natasha Chen and Dushyant Naresh, CNN
Updated 11:43 AM ET, Fri February 21, 2020

(CNN)In New York City, a man assaults a woman wearing a face mask, calling her a "diseased b****."

On a Los Angeles subway, a man proclaims Chinese people are filthy and says "every disease has ever came from China."

Rampant ignorance and misinformation about the novel coronavirus, experts say, has led to racist and xenophobic attacks against fellow Americans or anyone in the US who looks East Asian.

"With news of the coronavirus, we've seen an uptick in fear of people who look like this," said Rosalind Chou, a sociology professor at Georgia State University. "Real people are affected."

And the pain ranges from physical to verbal to financial.

"We, the Asian community, are under attack," said Tanny Jiraprapasuke, who was born and raised in Los Angeles.

Here's what's happening across the country, the facts about coronavirus, and what people can do if they witness attacks.


Posted by babylonsister | Fri Feb 21, 2020, 03:22 PM (0 replies)

California Cops Are Collecting Info on Millions of Drivers Who Have Done Nothing Wrong


California Cops Are Collecting Info on Millions of Drivers Who Have Done Nothing Wrong
With few rules and no oversight, California’s biggest law enforcement agencies are sharing millions of driver records.
Daniel Moattar
Research EditorBio

Law enforcement in four of California’s most populous counties is storing, searching, and sharing detailed records on millions of random drivers, according to a new report from the California State Auditor, a nonpartisan government agency. The audit, released last week, found major deficiencies—and possible lawbreaking—in police use of automated license plate readers (ALPRs) in the California counties of Los Angeles, Fresno, Marin, and Sacramento.

The technology is frighteningly simple: cameras on police cars or roadsides can scan up to 2,000 license plates per minute, storing the plate number, the location, and the time the car was spotted. From there, an officer can easily pull other identifying information, like the driver’s name, address, and criminal history, all without a warrant—or even a supervisor’s sign-off. The result is that drivers are being tracked and recorded by the police, whether or not they’ve done anything wrong. In San Diego, the state audit found that 0.04 percent of scanned plates were actually under suspicion when scanned. A 2016 CityLab report pegged that at 0.02 percent in Marin County. In Los Angeles, the figure was 0.01 percent of 320 million images, all including timestamps and the driver’s exact location. In 2013, Mother Jones reported that, per the American Civil Liberties Union, just 47 of the million license plates scanned in Maryland “were even tentatively associated with actual serious crimes.”

Once a marginal technology, license plate scanners are now widespread, minimally regulated, and employed by everyone from mall cops to landlords, with reams of plate data floating around the web—thanks in part to cop-tech hawkers convincing police that license-plate monitoring has gone “from a nice-to-have luxury to a can’t-operate-without system.” And big corporations have gotten into the game: Vigilant Solutions, a private, for-profit law enforcement contractor that sells both license plate readers and the data they collect, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Motorola Solutions.


State Senator Scott Weiner, who commissioned the audit, called the lack of regulation “totally unacceptable,” saying in a public statement that his office was drafting legislation “to put an end to these privacy violations.”

Per the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which has long opposed ALPRs, legislation like Weiner’s could ban license plate data collection by private companies, which would keep firms like Vigilant from gathering and selling massive driver data files. Lawmakers could limit data retention, like they’ve already done for the California Highway Patrol, demand more training, oversight, or audits for departments that use plate scanners, or even place a state-wide moratorium on their use.

California has long been a bellwether for rules on everything from auto emissions to police face recognition. With the nationwide spread of cheap, unregulated license plate scanners, any California restrictions on what cops do with your information could become a model for the rest of the country.
Posted by babylonsister | Fri Feb 21, 2020, 02:48 PM (9 replies)

Naughty White House Chief of Staff Admits Immigrants Are a Good Thing, U.S. Needs More of Them


Levin Report
Naughty White House Chief of Staff Admits Immigrants Are a Good Thing, U.S. Needs More of Them
Mick Mulvaney has gone rogue. Stephen Miller will not be pleased.
By Bess Levin
February 20, 2020

For the majority of his time in the Trump administration, Mick Mulvaney has been a good little solider who‘s sacrificed what few shreds of dignity he had left in him in service to the boss. When Donald Trump wanted the former South Carolina representative to bury the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in a shallow grave, Mulvaney was more than happy to answer the call, cutting the agency off at the knees on the three days each week he wasn’t busy at the White House’s Office of Management and Budget. When no one wanted the job of Trump’s third chief of staff, Mulvaney generously stepped up to the plate. When the president wanted to withhold aid from Ukraine in order to pressure the country into investigating his domestic rivals, there was Mulvaney, wasting no time trying to make the whole thing look legit. When reporters asked if, in fact, it was legitimate to freeze congressionally-approved aid as part of some kind of quid pro quo deal, Mulvaney nonchalantly told them that, yes, stuff like this happens all the time.

When the same reporters wondered aloud, on another occasion, if it was not, in fact, a little bit psychotic to attempt to hide the USS John S. McCain so as not to upset Trump, it was Mulvaney who told them no, that’s totally normal, and how dare you for asking. In short, he’s among the loyalist Trump administration footstools who never fail to do the president’s bidding both in private and public. So it was more than a little surprising to learn that Mulvaney went rogue this week, saying out loud a series of words that have effectively been banned from passing administration officials’ lips: Immigration is good and the U.S. needs a lot more of it.

The Washington Post reports that at a private gathering in England on Wednesday, Mulvaney told a group of people that the United States is “desperate—desperate—for more people...we are running out of people to fuel the economic growth that we‘ve had in our nation over the last four years. We need more immigrants.” That a member of Team Trump would not only admit that the country needs more immigrants but that it is immigrants who contribute to economic growth is, of course, about as shocking as hearing a recording of Trump telling aides that Hillary Clinton ran a great campaign in 2016 and probably would’ve won if not for Emailgate, which he believed was totally overblown and not fair to her.

Mulvaney’s remarks appear in contrast to the public position of several top figures in Trump’s White House—especially that of senior policy adviser Stephen Miller—who have been working to slash both legal and illegal immigration through a slew of policies that aim to close off the U.S. border to foreigners. They have insisted that the steady arrival of newcomers depresses wages for the blue-collar U.S. workers whose votes helped lift Trump to the presidency in 2016…. Hard-line immigration restrictionists want fewer new arrivals—legal and illegal—arguing that immigrants increase wage competition against U.S. workers. Miller and former Trump adviser Stephen K. Bannon embraced those arguments during the president’s 2016 campaign, which they argued was key to his electoral strategy in Rust Belt states that have suffered from job losses and wage stagnation.

Trump has bucked several decades of bipartisan enthusiasm for immigration, buttressing the system with an array of physical and legal barriers. The president is building hundreds of miles of steel barriers along the boundary with Mexico while slashing refugee admissions to their lowest level on record.

It’s not clear if Trump, who reportedly canceled government subscriptions to the Washington Post and New York Times last year because the papers were mean to him, has been made aware of Mulvaney’s comments. Miller, who is presumably on his honeymoon after a real, live woman agreed to marry him over the weekend, has likely spent the hours since the news broke absolutely stewing, if not screaming at a travel agent over the phone about getting him on the next flight back to Washington to confront his colleague.
Posted by babylonsister | Fri Feb 21, 2020, 01:05 PM (4 replies)

Maxine Waters: There are L.A. gangsters with 'more integrity' than Trump

Heard on the Hill
Maxine Waters: There are L.A. gangsters with ‘more integrity’ than Trump
‘This guy is a street player,’ Waters says of the president on ‘Desus & Mero’
By Clyde McGrady
Posted February 21, 2020 at 8:07am

Rep. Maxine Waters made her debut Thursday night on Showtime’s “Desus & Mero” late night show and (characteristically) didn’t hold back as she criticized President Donald Trump.

“This guy is a street player,” Waters said. “He’s a guy that has conned folks. He’s flirted with gangsters.”

Waters, who leads the House Financial Services Committee, was one of the first Democrats to call for Trump’s impeachment and has been a vocal Trump critic throughout his presidency.

“I have worked in some of the toughest communities,” said Waters, who represents Los Angeles. “I’ve worked with gangs, I’ve worked with Crips, I’ve worked with Bloods. And there's more integrity in many of these young people in the hood than this man has. This is a flawed character, and I’ve never seen anything like this.”

Waters said she’s “uncomfortable” with how the 2020 Democratic presidential primary is playing out and concerned about the party picking someone who can take on Trump. “This country cannot tolerate another four years of him,” she said. Waters plans to wait until after the South Carolina debate to make an endorsement.


Posted by babylonsister | Fri Feb 21, 2020, 12:23 PM (4 replies)

'Parasite' studio fires back after Trump criticism: 'He can't read'

'Parasite' studio fires back after Trump criticism: 'He can't read'
By Morgan Gstalter - 02/21/20 07:05 AM EST

The movie studio behind the South Korean film “Parasite” hit back on Thursday after President Trump criticized the foreign-language film for winning best picture at the 2020 Academy Awards.

"Understandable, he can't read," Neon tweeted from its official account with a link to Trump's comments.


Posted by babylonsister | Fri Feb 21, 2020, 12:17 PM (11 replies)

Trump's intel pick will blow up in his face as agencies revolt and leak the truth: Ex-CIA official

Trump’s intel pick will blow up in his face as agencies revolt and leak the truth: Ex-CIA official
Written by Tom Boggioni / Raw Story February 21, 2020

Appearing on CNN on Friday morning, former CIA case officer Phil Mudd said the selection of Ambassador Richard Grennell to be the acting Director of National Intelligence will likely blow up in the president’s face because he is not respected within the intelligence community who will seek to undercut him.

Speaking with hosts John Berman and Alisyn Camerota, Mudd first mocked Grennell, saying, “I tell you, this is taking me back to when I was a child. it’s like if I played the game of Battleship, I could be the secretary of defense — the guy knows nothing about intelligence.”

He then proceeded to explain what Grenell will likely face during what expected to be his brief tenure since it is unlikely he will be sent to the Senate for confirmation to remain in the job.

“There is an upside to this if you are an intel person, I’m going to be real cynical here. If you watch what Grenell said, he said I’m not going to be around for long — meaning he doesn’t want the job,” Mudd began. “Legally he can’t stay around that long. So if you’re an intel person you’re sitting there saying ‘I’m going to slow roll it, I’m not going to pay attention to what he says.”

“There’s a challenge there when staff comes in from the White House that stays beyond Grenell, there’s a problem and there are reports of that happening,” he explained. “First they’re going to slow roll him. Second is, what’s his ability to control the message? The information he gets on Russian hacking is going to come from people who have been around for 20 or 30 years. Is he going to change it before he goes to the Hill to testify? That’s going to get out in a leak.”

“And the last thing is, how do you control the directors of the intelligence agencies, the NSA particularly and the director of the CIA who will get out there in testimony and say stuff different than what Grenell says,” he added. “The system here is going to be interesting. I think it’ll undercut the choice for DNI.”

Watch @ link~

Posted by babylonsister | Fri Feb 21, 2020, 10:52 AM (34 replies)

Mike Bloomberg's Campaign Doctored a Video to Make It Seem Like He Did Well in the Debate


Mike Bloomberg’s Campaign Doctored a Video to Make It Seem Like He Did Well in the Debate
Disinformation is a slippery slope
By Ryan Bort

Mike Bloomberg’s soon-to-be-released FEC filing will reportedly show that he’s spent more than $400 million on his presidential campaign since he entered the race in November. Unless the campaign somehow overlooked expensing some debate coaching for the 78-year-old billionaire, a touch more of that $400 million probably should have been spent on preparation, or charisma boosters, or anything else that might have helped him weather he onslaught of attacks from his fellow candidates.

Bloomberg was hit from every direction, from just about every candidate. Elizabeth Warren attacked him over his treatment of women and racial discrimination. Bernie Sanders attacked him over his obscene wealth and Republican past. Joe Biden attacked him over the stop-and- frisk policy he instituted while serving as mayor of New York City. These were predictable attacks, but Bloomberg still stumbled through a series of unconvincing responses while literally rolling his eyes at the gall of his competitors.

The former mayor claimed victory on Twitter after the debate wrapped. Of course he did. That’s what candidates do. But his campaign’s efforts to spin his performance entered troubling territory on Thursday, when his account posted a video doctored to misrepresent how the other candidates responded when Bloomberg asked if anyone other than himself had started a business.


What’s the harm, you might ask? The campaign overlaid the sound of crickets chirping. It’s just a joke, right? Sure, but there are people who see this who will think it’s real, just as there were undoubtedly plenty of President Trump’s Twitter followers who were duped last month by a video doctored to make it seem like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ripped up her copy of Trump’s State of the Union address in response to Trump honoring military families. This kind of disinformation — posted in jest, as the campaigns will say — is a slippery slope. Both Facebook and Twitter rejected a request from Pelosi to have the misleading video taken down, setting a precedent for Bloomberg’s campaign to doctor a video in a similar fashion, which will further embolden Trump, Bloomberg, and whichever other campaigns are comfortable stooping to this level to normalize this type of reality distortion to do just that.

As with Trump, Bloomberg’s appeal hinges on obfuscating the truth about his actions and his values, and his campaign will spare no expense in flooding the airwaves and social media networks in an effort to recast his abysmal performance Wednesday night as a victory. As Warren told CNN following the debate: “I have no doubt that coming off that debate stage that Michael Bloomberg is reaching in his pocket and dropping another $100 million in advertising across this country just to try to erase the memory of what happened on that debate stage.”

The doctored video he tweeted out Thursday morning may be only the beginning.

Posted by babylonsister | Fri Feb 21, 2020, 10:33 AM (23 replies)

Rep. Doug Collins rebuffs Trump's consideration for DNI


19 mins ago - Politics & Policy
Rep. Doug Collins rebuffs Trump's consideration for DNI
Rashaan Ayesh

President Trump told reporters on Air Force One Thursday night that he is considering Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) to be his next national intelligence director, per a press pool report.

Yes, but: Collins told Fox Business the position "is not a job of interest to me at this time. It's not one that I would accept, because I'm running a Senate race down here in Georgia.”

State of play: Trump previously hinted he would intervene in the Senate race between Collins and Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.). The heated primary race between Collins and Loeffler has raised concerns among Republicans that Democrats could potentially win the special election for the Senate seat, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes.

The primary challenge from Collins, a top defender of Trump, has "sparked an intraparty Republican brawl."

Wealthy business executive Loeffler was appointed to the Senate by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp over Trump's objections when former Sen. Johnny Isakson retired.
Posted by babylonsister | Fri Feb 21, 2020, 09:55 AM (9 replies)

Pigeons with 'Make America Great Again' hats glued to their head released in Las Vegas

Pigeons with 'Make America Great Again' hats glued to their head released in Las Vegas
A group calling itself P.U.T.I.N, "Pigeons United To Interfere Now," claimed responsibility for the stunt with the MAGA-hat-wearing birds.
Feb. 20, 2020, 4:50 PM EST
By Anita Hassan and David K. Li

LAS VEGAS — Pigeons with tiny Make American Great Again hats glued to their heads were released in downtown Las Vegas this week, in what appears to be a sarcastic statement of loyalty to Trump and mock protest of Nevada's upcoming Democratic presidential caucus.

A group calling itself P.U.T.I.N., Pigeons United To Interfere Now, claimed responsibility for the stunt. The pigeons were set loose on Tuesday, according to the group.
NBC affiliate KSNV spotted at least one of the pigeons still in a hat on a downtown street on Wednesday afternoon.

"P.U.T.I.N. have used their pigeons to launch a one of a kind aerial protest piece in response to the arrival of the 2020 Democratic Presidential hopefuls," according to a group statement. "The release date was also coordinated to serve as a gesture of support and loyalty to President Trump."

Twenty-five pigeons were released, with 24 of them wearing hats and one donning a Trump-style wig, the group said in an email to NBC News on Thursday.


Posted by babylonsister | Thu Feb 20, 2020, 11:30 PM (11 replies)

...Grenell lacks intelligence experience but he is a gold Trump Card member

Begs the question: What's the hurry?


Loyal to the Chief
Trump's new acting intelligence chief Richard Grenell lacks intelligence experience but he is a gold Trump Card member
12:39 a.m.

President Trump confirmed Wednesday night that he is appointing Richard Grenell, the U.S. ambassador to Germany, as acting director of national intelligence. Current acting DNI Joseph Maguire, who would have had to step down by March 12 because he lacked Senate confirmation, "was blindsided by the news," The Washington Post reports, as were many people in the intelligence community and on Capitol Hill. Grenell will take responsibility for America's 17 intelligence agencies on Thursday, The New York Times reports.

Trump isn't expected to nominate Grenell for the job, so he can hold the office for only 210 days under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act.

Grenell has no real intelligence experience and has never run a large bureaucracy. His most relevant experience to head the U.S. intelligence community are his two-year ambassadorship and long stint as spokesman for the U.S. mission to the United Nations under President George W. Bush. Before Trump sent him to Berlin, "Grenell was known mainly as an online media critic and conservative Fox News foreign policy analyst," The Associated Press reports. One administration official told AP that "Grenell was named in an acting capacity because Trump wanted him in quickly and there were doubts about whether he could be confirmed in the job."

Director of national intelligence is "a job considered to be among the most nonpartisan in Washington," the Times notes. By picking Grenell, Trump is signaling "he wants a trusted, aggressive leader atop an intelligence community that he has long viewed with suspicion and at times gone to war against," and "the list of people with the requisite experience who have not been critical of the president is slim." Also, Grenell will be the first openly gay member of Trump's Cabinet, its third Fox News contributor, and, along with U.N. Ambassador Kelly Craft, the second Cabinet member who is a "Gold" level member of the Trump Organization's Trump Card loyalty program. Peter Weber
Posted by babylonsister | Thu Feb 20, 2020, 11:02 PM (1 replies)
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