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marble falls

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Name: had to remove
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Hometown: marble falls, tx
Member since: Thu Feb 23, 2012, 03:49 AM
Number of posts: 25,831

About Me

Hand dyer mainly to the quilters market, doll maker, oil painter and teacher, anti-fas, cat owner, anti nuke, ex navy, reasonably good cook, father of three happy successful kids and three happy grand kids. Life is good.

Journal Archives

Dark Web Drug Sellers Dodge Police Crackdowns

Dark Web Drug Sellers Dodge Police Crackdowns

The notorious Silk Road site was shut down in 2013. Others have followed. But the online trafficking of illegal narcotics hasn’t abated.

By Nathaniel Popper

June 11, 2019


Despite enforcement actions over the last six years that led to the shutdown of about half a dozen sites — including the most recent two — there are still close to 30 illegal online markets, according to DarknetLive, a news and information site for the dark web.

This week, customers could still score five grams of heroin — “first hand quality no mix” — for 0.021 Bitcoin (roughly $170), or a tenth of a gram of crack cocaine for 0.0017 Bitcoin (roughly $14) on the market known as Berlusconi.

That means the fight against online drug sales is starting to resemble the war on drugs in the physical world: There are raids. Sites are taken down; a few people are arrested. And after a while the trade and markets pop up somewhere else.

“The instability has become sort of baked into the dark-web market experience,” said Emily Wilson, an expert on the dark web at the security firm Terbium Labs. “People don’t get quite as scared by it as they did the first few times.”

Dark web markets are viewed as one of the crucial sources of fentanyl and other synthetic opioids. These drugs are often produced in China and sent to users found on the dark net. The packages flowing from China are blamed for compounding the opioid crisis in the United States.


Data from Chainalysis suggests that before the latest crackdown, overall transactions on the dark net had recovered to nearly 70 percent of the previous peak, right before AlphaBay went down, and were growing each month.

Mr. Downing, the Justice Department lawyer, said that for now there was a recognition, even among the authorities, that dark net markets have become an enduring part of the criminal economy.

“After some years now of this cycle, it would be hard to say that it’s likely we’re going to stamp this out completely,” Mr. Downing said. “I am hopeful that our efforts to spread deterrence and mistrust are having an impact on how quickly they come back and how strongly they come back.”


Shortly before that, American authorities took down a news website, known as DeepDotWeb, that lived on the traditional web, providing reviews and links to dark net sites. The absence of the site is likely to make it harder for newcomers to find their way to dark web markets.

The surviving markets, and new ones that have already popped up, have adopted measures to make them more difficult targets for the authorities.


Follow Nathaniel Popper on Twitter: @nathanielpopper.

Demand will always find a market.

The Day the Music Burned

The Day the Music Burned

It was the biggest disaster in the history of the music business — and almost nobody knew. This is the story of the 2008 Universal fire.


By Jody Rosen

June 11, 2019

1. ‘The Vault Is on Fire’


The fire moved quickly. It engulfed the backlot’s famous New York City streetscape. It burned two sides of Courthouse Square, a set featured in “Back to the Future.” It spread south to a cavernous shed housing the King Kong Encounter, an animatronic attraction for theme-park visitors. Hundreds of firefighters responded, including Universal Studios’ on-site brigade. But the fire crews were hindered by low water pressure and damaged sprinkler systems and by intense radiant heat gusting between combustible structures.

Eventually the flames reached a 22,320-square-foot warehouse that sat near the King Kong Encounter. The warehouse was nondescript, a hulking edifice of corrugated metal, but it was one of the most important buildings on the 400-acre lot. Its official name was Building 6197. To backlot workers, it was known as the video vault.

Shortly after the fire broke out, a 50-year-old man named Randy Aronson was awakened by a ringing phone at his home in Canyon Country, Calif., about 30 miles north of Universal City, the unincorporated area of the San Fernando Valley where the studio sits. Aronson had worked on the Universal lot for 25 years. His title was senior director of vault operations at Universal Music Group (UMG). In practice, this meant he spent his days overseeing an archive housed in the video vault. The term “video vault” was in fact a misnomer, or a partial misnomer. About two-thirds of the building was used to store videotapes and film reels, a library controlled by Universal Studios’s parent company, NBCUniversal. But Aronson’s domain was a separate space, a fenced-off area of 2,400 square feet in the southwest corner of the building, lined with 18-foot-high storage shelves. It was a sound-recordings library, the repository of some of the most historically significant material owned by UMG, the world’s largest record company.

Aronson let the phone call go to voice mail, but when he listened to the message, he heard sirens screaming in the background and the frantic voice of a colleague: “The vault is on fire.”

[Read a summary of what was lost in the fire.]


(its huge.)


Before long, firefighters switched tactics, using bulldozers to knock down the burning warehouse and clear away barriers to extinguishing the fire, including the remains of the UMG archive: rows of metal shelving and reels of tape, reduced to heaps of ash and twisted steel. Heavy machinery was still at work dismantling the building as night fell. The job was finished in the early morning of June 2, nearly 24 hours after the first flames appeared.


The Times’s report was typical in another way: It contained no mention of a music archive in the devastated warehouse. The confusion was understandable. Universal Studios Hollywood was a movie backlot, not a record-company headquarters. What’s more, a series of mergers and acquisitions had largely severed the ties between Universal’s film and music businesses. In 2004, Universal Studios was purchased by General Electric and merged with G.E.’s television property, NBC, to become NBCUniversal; UMG was cast under separate management, and in 2006 fell wholly under the ownership of Vivendi, the French media conglomerate. When the fire struck in June 2008, UMG was a rent-paying tenant on NBC Universal’s lot.

One of the few journalists to note the existence of the UMG archive was Nikki Finke, the entertainment-industry blogger and gadfly. In a Deadline.com post on the day of the fire, Finke wrote that “1,000’s of original ... recording masters” might have been destroyed in the warehouse, citing an anonymous source. The next day Finke published a “clarification,” quoting an unnamed representative from the record company: “Thankfully, there was little lost from UMG’s vault. A majority of what was formerly stored there was moved earlier this year to our other facilities. Of the small amount that was still there and waiting to be moved, it had already been digitized so the music will still be around for many years to come.” The same day, in the music trade publication Billboard, a UMG spokesperson again pushed back against the idea that thousands of masters were destroyed with a more definitive denial: “We had no loss.”

These reassuring pronouncements concealed a catastrophe. When Randy Aronson stood outside the burning warehouse on June 1, he knew he was witnessing a historic event. “It was like those end-of-the-world-type movies,” Aronson says. “I felt like my planet had been destroyed.”
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(This is a very long but informative article, well worth 10 minutes.)

Jody Rosen is a contributing writer for the magazine. His book about the history of the bicycle will be published in 2020.

Trump Falsely Claims He Has Wiped Out 150% Of China's Economy

Trump Falsely Claims He Has Wiped Out 150% Of China’s Economy

He gloated China’s economy has lost up to $20 trillion in value since his election. If true, that would have wiped China off the economic map.


By Mary Papenfuss


The Chinese economy is worth an estimated $13 trillion (it was $12.2 trillion in 2017, according to the World Bank). To wipe out 150% of China’s GDP would erase the country from the world economy and would be pretty ― incredible.

Contrary to Trump’s whopper, the Chinese economy has continued to expand over 6% a year since he was elected.

The Trump trade war is hurting the Chinese economy, because tariffs make Chinese products more costly and less competitive in the American market. But because U.S. companies and consumers pay the cost of tariffs on imported goods, the trade war also hurts America’s GDP (which, incidentally, is $20 trillion). Numbers vary, but estimates for GDP costs in both nations are generally less than 1%.

Before citing a specific figure for China’s losses, Trump said earlier in the CNBC interview that China has “lost many, many trillions of dollars.”

He added: “They’re way behind. They were going to catch us. Had a Democrat gotten in, namely, the one we’re talking about, China would have caught us by the end of her term. They’re nowhere close. They’ll never catch us. Not with what I’m doing.”

You can check out the entire interview in the video above. (Trump refers to the amount of money he has cost China at 26:05.)

Justin Amash Steps Down From House Freedom Caucus After Calling For Trump's Impeachment

Justin Amash Steps Down From House Freedom Caucus After Calling For Trump’s Impeachment


The Republican congressman has faced stiff criticism from his own party for his support of impeachment proceedings against the president.

By Dominique Mosbergen


Amash, one of the Freedom Caucus’ founding members, told CNN that he’d announced his resignation at the group’s weekly board meeting on Monday. He said the meeting had been a “positive” one.


Here are my principal conclusions:
1. Attorney General Barr has deliberately misrepresented Mueller’s report.
2. President Trump has engaged in impeachable conduct.
3. Partisanship has eroded our system of checks and balances.
4. Few members of Congress have read the report.
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) May 18, 2019

Top GOP leaders, including the president himself, condemned Amash for his views. The House Freedom Caucus also distanced itself from the congressman, with former chairman Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio telling Politico in May that “every single” member who’d attended that week’s meeting “disagrees with what he says.”


“I’d do it whether it was a Republican president or a Democratic president. It doesn’t matter. You elected me to represent all of you,” Amash told supporters in Grand Rapids, Michigan, last month. “Congress has a duty to keep the president in check .… And I think we owe it to the American people to represent them, to ensure that the people we have in office are doing the right thing, are of good character, aren’t violating the public trust.”

He'll never be one of us, but at least he has a conscience and he is the first and there will be more.

Canada Bans Keeping Whales, Dolphins In Captivity

Canada Bans Keeping Whales, Dolphins In Captivity
The “Free Willy” bill will become law by the end of June.


By Zi-Ann Lum 330


The bill, which originated in the Senate, amends the Criminal Code to make it illegal to keep a cetacean (whales, dolphins, and porpoises) in captivity, and to breed them in captivity. The bill also bans the import and export of marine mammals, as well as their embryos and sperm.

Retired senator Wilfred Moore first introduced the bill in December 2015. He told reporters he was feeling a mix of “relief and joy” shortly after the bill’s passage.

“Canada is better for this,” he said.

Moore left the Senate in 2017. He blamed Conservative senators for using procedural tactics to keep his bill languishing in the red chamber. May joked that Marineland, an Ontario theme park that currently has belugas in captivity, “managed to hold Conservative senators in captivity for a remarkably long time.”


The new legislation comes with a handful of loopholes. While it will prevent new cetaceans from being held in captivity, it won’t release the whales and dolphins currently held in Ontario or British Columbia.

There are also two exceptions for capturing cetaceans: for licensed scientific research (rescues and rehabilitation), or if it’s deemed to be in the creature’s “best interests.” It will be up to the minister of fisheries and oceans to make those determinations.

Marineland had tried to amend the bill earlier this year, suggesting that its current wording will force the Niagara Falls amusement park to terminate late stage pregnancies of beluga whales.

The claim was debunked by Camille Labchuk, executive director of Animal Justice, who said the wording of the bill grandfathers cetaceans already in captivity.


This stuff is not over. I support speaker Pelosi, right now she is exactly what we need in a ...

speaker: someone who can keep Congress from over playing their hands and jumping the gun. Impeachment is not an action, it is a process. And it is working.

Thinking about how many casualties happened at Normandy ...

Posted by marble falls | Fri Jun 7, 2019, 02:29 PM (4 replies)

The Muslims Preserving Kolkata's Last Jewish Synagogues


The Muslims Preserving Kolkata’s Last Jewish Synagogues
“It’s not ours or theirs, it’s for both of us.”
by Lizzie Philip November 26, 2018

For generations, Muslim caretakers have worked at the Magen David Synagogue, one of the last Jewish houses of worship in Kolkata. Children of the employees grew up among members of the synagogue, and some eventually began working there too. Caretakers and members of the congregation share a respect for the historic building, as well as the community it serves. But as the Jewish community in Kolkata continues to dwindle and age, the synagogue faces an uncertain future.

In the video above, Atlas Obscura visits the Magen David Synagogue and learns more about its history.
Posted by marble falls | Fri Jun 7, 2019, 11:50 AM (0 replies)

Straight Pride Day Declares Adam and Eve Were Victims of Heterophobic Housing Discrimination

Posted by marble falls | Thu Jun 6, 2019, 04:40 PM (3 replies)

Those clever Chinese ...

Posted by marble falls | Wed Jun 5, 2019, 07:09 AM (2 replies)
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