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Gender: Female
Hometown: London
Home country: UK/Sweden
Current location: Stockholm, Sweden
Member since: Sun Jul 1, 2018, 06:25 PM
Number of posts: 25,698

Journal Archives

For $25,000 You Can Ball a Day in Barack Obama's PE Nikes


Barack Obama is many things: former President of the United States of America, father, husband, avid reader, and Spotify playlist maker. But 44 is also a huge basketball fan, in a watch-from-home sense, as well as in a pick-up-game-in-between-foreign-policy-meetings sense.

When Obama was serving his first term as POTUS in 2009, Nike made him a pair of player exclusive Hyperdunk basketball shoes. Only two pairs of the kicks are believed to exist. One pair is still in Obama’s possession, while the other pair — a confirmation sample — has now been listed on Sotheby’s as part of the auction house’s Buy Now platform.

This particular Hyperdunk, which was originally released in 2008 for the Beijing Olympics and worn by the US men’s basketball team, features a white leather upper with deep blue Swooshes and visible Flywire technology along both the lateral and the medial sides. The official presidential seal is embroidered on the tongue, as is “44” on the medial toe box.

Sotheby’s has this pair listed for $25,000 and will launch the sneaker on February 12 at 4:44pm. This pair, while one of two in existence, was never owned or worn by Obama. Head to Sotheby’s below for more information.

The 17 Rethugs most likely to convict, and then 5 wild cards

I am NOT saying at all that these 17 will vote to convict, simple that all have at least given some hope, no matter how slight, they might.

I have spent hours over the last week or so looking at statements, articles, prognostications

IF the SCOTUS said this WAS Constitutional (the post POTUS trial) then I think we would have the 17 and more, as SO many of the 50 Rethugs are hiding behind the bullshit argument (false) that it's unconstitutional.

edited to add

these 17 are my picks REGARDLESS of the constitutional issue excuse, as some posters seem to be focusing in on that alone, and I was not clear enough, apparently

Alabama - Richard Shelby
Alaska - Lisa Murkowski
Alaska - Dan Sullivan
Idaho - Mike Crapo
Idaho - Jim Risch
Indiana - Todd Young
Kentucky - Mitch McConnell
Louisiana - Bill Cassidy
Maine - Susan Collins
Nebraska - Deb Fischer
Nebraska - Ben Sasse
North Carolina - Richard Burr
North Carolina - Thom Tillis
Ohio - Rob Portman
Pennsylvania - Pat Toomey
South Dakota - John Thune
Utah - Mitt Romney

Wild Cards

Arkansas - Tom Cotton (IF he is running for POTUS in 2024, he might see this as a way to put the knife in Trump, he is that ruthless)
Kansas - Jerry Moran (has been in the group, many of those in the 17 above, who have been hanging around McConnell for days now. Many pundits think Mitch has something up his sleeve)
Louisiana - John Kennedy (crazy unpredictable, and he KNOWS better, he is one of the most intelligent Senators despite his fake hick, slack-jaw yokel act)
Texas - John Cornyn (just a hunch, and he HATES Cruz personally)
West Virginia - Shelley Moore Capito (what bigger wild card than the Rethug from Trump-insane West Virginia, she has 6 years to go before re-election too)

Dick Cage Maker Says IoT Chastity Belt Is Safe After New Penetration Test

After several customers got hacked, the distributor of an internet connected chastity cage wants to reassure everyone that the device is now safe to use.


Last year, a hacker locked the internet-connected chastity cages of several men and asked for a ransom after taking advantage of vulnerabilities in the device's mobile app infrastructure. One victim, who had his device on when the hacker took control, had no choice but to use bolt cutters to free himself, which left him "bleeding and it fucking hurt," as he told Motherboard recently.

Now, the European distributor of the chastity cage, which is called CELLMATE, wants everyone to know that it's safe to use the device after the release of a new app, which it says fixed the vulnerabilities in the API used to control it. The vulnerabilities were found last year by the security firm Pen Test Partners, which specializes in finding bugs in Internet of Things devices. The distributor says it contracted with a third party to do an additional penetration test of the cock cage's app.

"Our product and brand (CELLMATE) has received quite a bit of negative attention because of this publication. Now, you can think 'negative publicity is also publicity,' but unfortunately it turned out completely different for the CELLMATE," Dennis Jansen, who works for Desudo, a distributor of the CELLMATE device, told Motherboard in an email, referring to our first story on the hack. "This wrongly created the image that our product could be hacked, after which the genitals of the wearer would be permanently locked up. Although such a situation was not even realistic at the time of publication (as you can read and see here), this story has made current and potential users unfairly frightened of our product. You will understand that this has had absolutely no positive effect on the attention and interest in using the CELLMATE."

Jansen pointed out that on the CELLMATE support page, the company tells users that it can unlock the device remotely in case of any issues, and that under dire circumstances, there's an "emergency escape" mechanism that only requires a screwdriver. CELLMATE and its app are made by a China-based company called Qiui. "The security issue reported by Pen Test Partners was in the QIUI app, not the CELLMATE chastity device. But because one is inextricably linked to the other, we have, in collaboration with QIUI, made every effort to solve the security issue as quickly as possible," Jansen continued. "And with success! When the all-new QIUI 3.0 app is installed, users do not have to worry that their personal data or security is at risk."



People Like You Records – 468248-1
Vinyl, LP, Album, Limited Edition, Green

How 'Conspirituality' Wrecked The Wellness World And Destroyed Our Response To COVID-19

Conspiracy theories are ripping apart the fabric of our society, and if we don't act soon the consequences could be fatal.


Over the past year, I’ve spent a considerable amount of time analysing the various conspiracy theories that have taken off during the Coronavirus pandemic. I have also studied the personalities involved in creating and spreading these conspiracy theories, and have come to some alarming conclusions. I believe that society is experiencing an unprecedented mental health crisis that is manifesting itself through these increasingly rabid conspiracy theory movements. There has also been a convergence of far right conspiracy theory and New Age spiritualism — or “Conspirituality” — that is widening the reach of these once fringe communities. The consequences for society are grave, and it is vital we understand how this happened, and what we can do about it.

The conspiracy coup

The attempted coup in Washington earlier this month was driven almost entirely by ‘QAnon’ inspired conspiracy theories promoted by far right media and New Age charlatans. From Trump’s false claim that Biden had stolen the election to the Deep State paedophile rings in government and rabid Covid-19 denialism, the mob of protestors genuinely believed they were engaging in an epic war between Good and Evil. This so called war would rid the government of the Satanic Democrats, free millions of children in slavery, end the “plandemic”, and bring back the saviour of Western civilization, Donald Trump, to his rightful position as leader of the free world. Q, who is supposedly a government insider posting cryptic messages in far right internet chat rooms, is central to all of this. Q’s followers had been waiting for “the storm” — an event where all of the prophecies would come true. Atlantic journalist Adrienne LaFrance spent considerable amount of time investigating the QAnon phenomenon, told NPR back in August of 2020 that:

“The basic idea is that we are in the calm before the storm. The storm is the moment where Trump will, as a sort of saviour figure, come in and initiate mass arrests or otherwise sort of comeuppance for this evil cabal and that on the other side of the storm is a great awakening for society and to sort of put the country back on track in Q's terms.”

Thousands of Q followers believed this and stormed the Capitol building on January 6th in an attempt to help Trump fulfil his mission. The coup failed, but theory still held that Trump would still turn things around. Lin Wood, a Trump lawyer and prominent conspiracy theorist continued posting on Parler promising all was actually going to plan. His posts were indicative of the paranoid, fantastical thinking prevalent in Q communities:

What “evidence” Wood was referring to is anyone’s guess, but unsurprisingly no information was revealed, Trump did not have anyone arrested, he did not eliminate income tax, and has now flown off to Florida where he is currently preparing for his impeachment trial in the Senate.

Where did this all come from?..........


The Temptations - Slave (1969)

Gordy – GS949, Gordy – 949, Gordy – S-949
Vinyl, LP, Album, Hollywood Pressing
23 Sept 1969
Funk / Soul

Lil Uzi Vert embedded a $24 million diamond into his forehead so he wouldn't lose it


When you talk about the world’s most expensive faces, that could mean a variety of things. Maybe it’s whoever has the most surgical touch-ups, whose image generates the most sheer value for the entertainment industry, or which cartoon company mascot brings in the most dough. After surgically implanting a big old pink diamond into his forehead, Lil Uzi Vert is now in the running by default.

Uzi had been teasing the embed for a little while, but Page Six points out that he appears to have gone through with the thing. Last week, the rapper offered some details on his latest exorbitant rock — a nearly 11 carat Elliot Eliantte pink diamond, clocking at $2 million per carat. An artist with streams in the billions is obviously doing well for himself, but even Uzi needed to space out the payments since 2017.

Photos and videos of Uzi’s new forehead made their way to Instagram on Tuesday night, with CEO Slow and Eliantte sharing videos of the new stone. Uzi confirmed it for himself on Wednesday, and well, you can check it out for yourself down below:


As Page Six points out, he explained his rationale for going the forehead route rather than, say, a diamond ring, to a fan on Instagram. “If I lose the ring yeah U will make fun of me more than putting it in my forehead ha ha jokes on you ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha… And yes I do have insurance,” Uzi said. Ominous!


She reported sexual harassment by a former supervisor -- and was fired soon after


Kylee Lee thought she had left behind the toxic culture that had defined her workplace for years. The former military intelligence officer had spent her late 20s working for a male-dominated U.S. federal contractor in Seoul, where she says she was harassed by colleagues and sexually assaulted by two supervisors. She says she didn’t report their behavior at the time because she was worried about losing her job as a young woman at the start of her career. She stayed with the company, Black Box Network Services, and in 2017 was relocated to the firm’s office in Herndon, Va.

But in January of 2018, she said she received a message from the program director of the office in Seoul, the same supervisor who she said had sexually assaulted her years earlier. He was in town visiting the Herndon office, he said, and wanted to meet with her, alone. It was months after the dawn of the #MeToo movement, when Lee had heard stories of scores of women harassed by predatory men in their workplaces. After receiving the message, she said she decided to report the allegations from her time in Seoul to the company’s human resources director, hoping to see an investigation. “They didn't do anything,” Lee said. “I told her I was raped by this guy in the company who is a director and she didn’t do anything about it.”

Instead, a few months later, she was given her first poor performance review, she said. Weeks after that, she was fired. Lee is now suing her former employer, accusing the company of retaliation in violation of Title VII and whistleblower protection laws. In late November, she filed a lawsuit against the firm, which has since been acquired by Arlington Capital Partners and renamed Tyto Athene. The lawsuit was served on the company last month. Courtney Abbott, an Alexandria-based attorney representing Tyto Athene, said the company denies any wrongdoing or liability in the case, but could not comment further on the pending litigation. Attempts to reach the two former supervisors listed in Lee’s lawsuit were unsuccessful.

Lee, now 34 and a consultant at Deloitte, is one of more than 250 people whose legal cases have been funded by the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, an initiative created by Hollywood stars and activists in the aftermath of the charges against Harvey Weinstein to help victims of sexual harassment at work. Thousands of women have sought legal assistance from the fund since its inception more than three years ago, and their requests serve as a sort of laboratory for studying patterns in workplace sexual harassment cases, according to the National Women’s Law Center, which runs the initiative.


How One Supreme Court Decision Increased Discrimination Against LGBTQ Couples

People may like to believe that the Court can accommodate conservative religious groups without causing much harm, but that does not seem to be the case.


Over the past few years, the Supreme Court has been sketching the outline of a broad compromise on LGBTQ rights. Civil-rights protections will shield people from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. At the same time, religious objectors will have their own set of robust rights. For example, the Court recently clarified that Title IX, the federal antidiscrimination employment law, covers LGBTQ employees. The Court also, in another case, found in favour of a baker who would not provide a wedding cake to a same-sex couple. This term, the Court is considering granting another religious exemption from civil-rights law, this time for an adoption-licensing agency in Philadelphia that refuses to consider same-sex couples as prospective parents. Is this compromise stable? Supporters say yes: Religious objectors, they argue, are a negligible minority in a society growing ever more affirming of LGBTQ equality. Exempting them, the thinking goes, will not expand discrimination against same-sex couples. But critics worry that the Court’s religious exemptions normalize discrimination and thereby encourage it. The trouble is that all of this is conjecture. There have been almost no data to clarify whether religious exemptions really do increase discrimination. Particularly missing are data on the effects of religious exemptions granted in Supreme Court decisions.

In a forthcoming journal article, I set out to fill that hole. I looked at this question through Masterpiece Cakeshop, the case involving a devout baker who declined to create a custom wedding cake for a same-sex couple. In that decision, the Court handed down a 7–2 decision favouring the baker. This was a narrow ruling that did not settle the big constitutional questions at hand. Yet it received extensive media coverage, and conservative groups hailed Masterpiece as a significant victory that confirmed the rights of people of faith to pursue their beliefs whether at home or at work. In May 2018, anticipating that the Court would rule in favour of the baker, I began a field experiment that measured the willingness of wedding vendors to provide services to same-sex and opposite-sex couples. The wedding vendors in the study—1,155 photographers, bakers, and florists—were sampled in areas of the United States that differ in their approach to religion-equality conflicts. (Across the nation, some states or cities prohibit businesses from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation, whereas others do not, and some states facilitate religious exemptions via Religious Freedom Restoration Acts, while others do not.) I then sent vendors queries purporting to be from potential clients, such that each vendor received queries from both same-sex and opposite-sex couples, first in the run-up to the Court’s decision and then in the two weeks following Masterpiece. (In total, I contacted each vendor four times. Twice before—once as a same-sex couple, once as an opposite-sex couple—and twice after, with the same breakdown.) I measured whether vendors’ willingness to do business with the couples changed after the decision was rendered. To attempt to isolate the causal effect of Masterpiece from other events that could have influenced the vendors, all communications were conducted in this short time span.

What were the real-world consequences of Masterpiece? In short, the decision seems to have exposed same-sex couples to heightened risk of discrimination in the organization of their weddings. First, my field experiment revealed that Masterpiece appears to have generally reduced vendors’ willingness to provide wedding services to same-sex couples. Whereas before Masterpiece, same-sex couples had received positive responses from 64 percent of vendors, after Masterpiece only 49 percent of all vendors responded positively. It’s important to note that opposite-sex couples do not receive uniformly positive responses to their queries, because not all vendors provide tip-top service and some may be genuinely busy. But same-sex couples seemed to fare worse after Masterpiece. Focusing on those businesses that prior to the decision were willing to serve same-sex couples, I found that 75.5 percent responded positively to opposite-sex couples after Masterpiece, whereas only 66 percent of these previously gay-friendly businesses responded positively to same-sex couples after the decision. The effect did not grow or shrink with the conservativeness of the county, and it was just as strong in big cities (despite the common belief that discrimination against LGBTQ people doesn’t occur very much in metropolitan areas). An identical effect was found in a “control group” of businesses that were contacted for the first time after Masterpiece. However, the discriminatory effect of the decision was significantly more pronounced in counties with relatively more religious congregations per capita.

The negative Masterpiece effect is likely to add up to a meaningful increase in discrimination experienced by LGBTQ people. Couples of all identities typically contract with about 10 types of vendors in the process of organizing their wedding (e.g., reception venues, wedding planners, bakers, florists, photographers, videographers, bridal/groom salons, jewellers, DJs, and calligraphers). Many inquire with several vendors from each category, often amounting to 15 to 20 encounters. Taking these factors into account, I estimate that about three out of every four wedding-planning LGBTQ couples will experience discrimination they would not otherwise have encountered, had it not been for the Masterpiece decision. Of course, this risk can vary depending on the number of vendors a couple encounters. These conclusions have several implications for the debate on religious exemptions. First, they discredit the argument that the effect of religious exemptions is negligible and that exemptions will not increase discrimination. Second, the results complicate the conventional portrait of religious objection as fixed and unyielding to change. Instead, the experiment finds that people’s behaviour is influenced by signals from the government; if the government creates exemptions, people who had not discriminated before might start doing so.


How the GOP Surrendered to Extremism

Sixty years ago, many GOP leaders resisted radicals in their ranks. Now they’re not even trying.


It’s an image that still shocks in its feral intensity: On July 14, 1964, supporters of Barry Goldwater, the arch-conservative senator from Arizona whom the Republican Party was preparing to crown as its presidential nominee, unleashed a torrent of boos against New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller as he spoke at the party’s national convention in San Francisco. More than half a century later, Goldwater’s army of conservatives from cookie-cutter Sun Belt subdivisions howling their discontent at Rockefeller—the embodiment of the GOP’s centrist, East Coast establishment—remains a milestone in the right’s conquest of the party. The atmosphere was so heated that Jackie Robinson, who was a Rockefeller supporter, nearly got into a fight on the floor with a Goldwater acolyte from Alabama. What’s less remembered is why Rockefeller, who had lost the nomination to Goldwater, was standing behind the lectern in the first place: to speak in support of an amendment to the party platform that would condemn political extremism.

The resolution repudiated “the efforts of irresponsible extremist organizations,” including the Communist Party, the Ku Klux Klan, and the John Birch Society, a rapidly growing far-right grassroots group obsessed with the alleged communist infiltration of America. The resolution failed, which testifies to the GOP’s long-standing reluctance to draw a bright line against the extremists who congregate at its fringes. But the fact that such a resolution was debated at all—in such a visible venue, with such high-profile advocates—also says something about Republicans today: In the past, the GOP had a stronger core of resistance to extremism than it’s had in the era of Donald Trump, QAnon, the Proud Boys, and Marjorie Taylor Greene. “There were a lot more Republican leaders, and their constituents, who attempted to push back then than there are now,” says Matthew Dallek, a political historian at George Washington University and the author of an upcoming history of the John Birch Society. “To a large extent, the people who have inherited the Birch legacy today, I think, are more empowered [and] more visible within the Republican Party. There is much less criticism; there is much less of an effort to drum them out; there is a much greater fear of antagonizing them. They are the so-called Republican base.”

The question of how Republicans deal with the extremists in their ranks is now more urgent than perhaps at any other point since the Birch Society’s heyday in the 1960s. So far, as Dallek notes, the party has done little to uproot them. Representative Kevin McCarthy, the House GOP leader, this week reportedly pressured Greene to apologize for past statements that were racist, anti-Semitic, and encouraged violence, and to relinquish one committee assignment. But ultimately the GOP chose to take no action against her and instead criticized a floor vote Democrats scheduled for today to remove her from all her committees. (By several accounts, many of Greene’s GOP colleagues even gave her a standing ovation after she addressed a caucus meeting yesterday afternoon.) Nor have McCarthy and other GOP leaders shown any interest in acting against the House members who promoted or spoke at Trump’s rally ahead of the January 6 attack on the Capitol. And while GOP Senate Leader Mitch McConnell and some other Senate Republicans have criticized Greene—a relatively easy target—almost all have signalled that they will not vote in Trump’s upcoming impeachment trial to impose any consequences on him for his role in fomenting the attack.

In these accommodating responses, the GOP appears caught on a treadmill. The more the party allows itself to be branded as tolerating (or even welcoming) extremism, the more its support is likely to erode among previously Republican-leaning constituencies, especially white-collar suburbanites. That, in turn, will make the party only more dependent on massive turnout among the most culturally alienated voters who compose the Trump base. And that pressure could further erode any willingness on leaders’ part to isolate people like Greene who push cultural alienation to the point of conspiracy theories, open racism and anti-Semitism, and threats of violence. Greene is hardly alone out there: Polls have found that a significant minority of Republican voters believe the QAnon conspiracy theory (that a cabal of Satan-worshipping paedophiles was leading the opposition to Trump). Surveys have also consistently found that the large majority of rank-and-file Republican voters believe Trump’s equally baseless claims that the election was stolen.

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