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Hometown: London
Home country: UK/Sweden
Current location: Stockholm, Sweden
Member since: Sun Jul 1, 2018, 06:25 PM
Number of posts: 24,112

Journal Archives

Gov. Reynolds lifting all COVID-19 restrictions on Iowa businesses


DES MOINES, Iowa (KCRG) - Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed a new public health proclamation on Friday rolling back all COVID restrictions on Iowa businesses.

Effective at 12:01 A.M. on Sunday, the proclamation removes mask requirements, gathering limits, and restrictions on businesses.

“The proclamation strongly encourages Iowans, businesses and organizations to take reasonable public health measures consistent with guidance from the Iowa Department of Public Health,” said Pat Garrett, a spokesperson for the Governor’s Office.

The proclamation states that “I strongly encourage that all businesses or other employers remaining open with in-person operations take reasonable measures under the circumstances of each establishment to ensure the health of employees, patrons, and members of the public, including social distancing practices, increased hygiene practices, and other public health measures to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 consistent with guidance issued by the Iowa Department of Public Health” and that “This section shall not be a basis for closing or taking enforcement action against a business or other employer absent an additional specific order or directive of the Iowa Department of Public Health.”


Joint Base Andrews breach triggers broad security review

Source: AP

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Air Force ordered a broad review of security at all its installations on Friday, after an unarmed man got access to the flightline at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland and entered an aircraft used by top U.S. and military officials.

Air Force leaders have asked the Air Force inspector general to look into the breach, which happened on Thursday, as well as review security protocols at bases worldwide.

“Everybody is taking this very seriously,” said chief Pentagon spokesman John Kirby, adding that the Air Force already adjusted some of its security protocols at Andrews this morning. He did not provide details on the adjustments, but President Joe Biden is expected to arrive at Andrews later on Friday to fly home to Wilmington, Delaware.

According to Joint Base Andrews, the man entered a C-40 aircraft assigned to the 89th Airlift Wing. The C-40 is a smaller transport jet, primarily used by members of the Cabinet, Congress and military combatant commanders. Those aircraft are not generally used for presidential travel.

Read more: https://apnews.com/article/joe-biden-technology-john-kirby-air-force-delaware-e70d5c5e022dfec89438d2f05cab6c50

SAINt JHN - Roses (Imanbek Remix)

Sony Music – none
CDr, Single, Promo

Fox News And The American Republic Can't Coexist

Fox News prime time is the centerpiece of everything that’s toxic about our politics.


WASHINGTON, DC -- In the midst of yet another dark chapter in our nation’s history, Officer Brian Sicknick died defending the Article I powers enshrined in the Constitution. He died defending what the framers of our republic considered to be the most important one-third of the federal government. He died in defense of Congress, but he was killed because too many Americans have been badly deceived by the most successful scam in American history. The scam and the chief scammer are one and the same: Donald Trump. But he wasn’t the sole villain in all of this. We’ll circle back to that point momentarily. Even after five years of Trump, it continues to confound reason how 74 million Americans were suckered into believing that not only is Trump capable of being a national leader but that he’s a deity worthy of Olympus. To the brainwashed Red Hats, he’s a god. A savior. An all screeching, all farting Pied Piper leading them to the promised land where Black people, trans people, anyone who’s not white people simply don’t exist. At some point, we as a nation need to come to terms with the fact that so many of our fellow citizens have completely snapped the tether to reality -- that so many of us, including some friends and family, could be so profoundly tricked by such an obvious con.

It’s like we’re all at a carnival enjoying ourselves, yet half of us can’t stop shoveling our cash into the hands of the sideshow geek who insists he’s got a half-yak woman inside the tent. We simply can’t continue to successfully function as a republic when half of us are soon easily duped. Brian Sicknick was murdered by the disciples of a sideshow geek. It was this sideshow geek, Trump, who ordered those deluded suckers to storm the Capitol but only after they gifted him with $175 million in donations -- despite the fact that almost none of it was spent to dispute the election results. And now, hundreds of the insurrectionists could be going to prison because of terrorism they committed in the name of Donald Trump -- Donald Trump, the weirdo who sold steaks in Sharper Image stores. His dutiful fanboys killed Brian Sicknick to illegally install him -- their messianic sideshow geek -- back in the White House. And they had considerable help from the Fox News prime time line-up. Tuesday night, Sicknick was memorialized inside the Capitol Rotunda before being buried at Arlington National Cemetery. It was yet another devastating bit of closure to a devastating event. As I watched the ceremony, I wondered what the various cable news networks were covering so I flipped around to find out.

MSNBC and CNN covered the memorial live, oftentimes airing just the ambient sound of the Rotunda without any commentary. But on Fox News channel, it didn’t surprise me to discover Laura Ingraham, at the time, bitching about Dr. Fauci. Apparently, Fox News didn’t broadcast any of the event, and it should come as no surprise. Why? Fox News is one of the reasons why Sicknick died in the first place. It was the Fox News prime time line-up — the garbage-mouthed trifecta of preening hyenas that’s partly responsible for Sicknick’s murder and the desecration of the Capitol. Sean Hannity did it. Tucker Carlson did it. Laura Ingraham did it. Their rogue’s gallery of paid guests did it, too. They helped instigate it and they shouldn’t be on TV anymore. I’m not just talking about the election either. For four years, Fox News prime time was Trump’s home away from home, when he appeared via telephone for seemingly endless psychotic rants or when the hosts, Hannity, Ingraham, and Carlson, lovingly fluffed the ex-president’s fragile ego, echoing all of his vendettas by rote. When it was time for America to unite against the threat of a rampant pandemic, Fox News made sure we didn’t. When Trump called for the so-called liberating of Michigan and Virginia, Fox News prime time rode that wave of bullshit all the way, helping to incite the proto-insurrectionists to occupy the lobbies of state capitols, culminating in the attempted assassination of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Fox News prime time is the centerpiece of everything that’s toxic about our politics. In fact, it wasn’t Trump who made Fox News, it was Fox News that made Trump. He co-opted the network’s dogma and stole it for himself, completing a human-animal hybrid of disinformation -- an ouroboros of insanity, with Trump taking Fox News themes for his own and Fox News repeating Trump’s deformed knockoff of what Roger Ailes originally manufactured. And now, the Murdochs have to fire all three hosts. They all have to go. I’m not exactly sure how the prime time line-up managed to avoid the chopping block in the days after the Capitol insurrection, but they can’t be allowed to walk away without accountability for what they’ve done, whether it’s their COVID denialism or whether it’s their role in helping to incite the chaos. The craziest thing about Fox News is they know they’re full of shit. They know they’re making it all up. They know the insurrection had a lot to do with the crapola they’re routinely pooping out of their Play-Doh Agitprop Factory. What the Murdochs fail to understand, though, is that Fox News and the American republic can not coexist. It’s either Fox News or it’s our democratic republic. Either the disinformation ends or the republic ends. We’ve witnessed what happens when too many Americans take them way too seriously, and the only way to reverse some of the damage is to excise the tumour. If we don’t, Brian Sicknick won’t be the first defender of democracy to be buried in this increasingly hot civil war.


Time: The Secret History of the Shadow Campaign That Saved the 2020 Election


A weird thing happened right after the Nov. 3 election: nothing. The nation was braced for chaos. Liberal groups had vowed to take to the streets, planning hundreds of protests across the country. Right-wing militias were girding for battle. In a poll before Election Day, 75% of Americans voiced concern about violence. Instead, an eerie quiet descended. As President Trump refused to concede, the response was not mass action but crickets. When media organizations called the race for Joe Biden on Nov. 7, jubilation broke out instead, as people thronged cities across the U.S. to celebrate the democratic process that resulted in Trump’s ouster. A second odd thing happened amid Trump’s attempts to reverse the result: corporate America turned on him. Hundreds of major business leaders, many of whom had backed Trump’s candidacy and supported his policies, called on him to concede. To the President, something felt amiss. “It was all very, very strange,” Trump said on Dec. 2. “Within days after the election, we witnessed an orchestrated effort to anoint the winner, even while many key states were still being counted.”

In a way, Trump was right. There was a conspiracy unfolding behind the scenes, one that both curtailed the protests and coordinated the resistance from CEOs. Both surprises were the result of an informal alliance between left-wing activists and business titans. The pact was formalized in a terse, little-noticed joint statement of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and AFL-CIO published on Election Day. Both sides would come to see it as a sort of implicit bargain–inspired by the summer’s massive, sometimes destructive racial-justice protests–in which the forces of labor came together with the forces of capital to keep the peace and oppose Trump’s assault on democracy. The handshake between business and labor was just one component of a vast, cross-partisan campaign to protect the election–an extraordinary shadow effort dedicated not to winning the vote but to ensuring it would be free and fair, credible and uncorrupted. For more than a year, a loosely organized coalition of operatives scrambled to shore up America’s institutions as they came under simultaneous attack from a remorseless pandemic and an autocratically inclined President. Though much of this activity took place on the left, it was separate from the Biden campaign and crossed ideological lines, with crucial contributions by nonpartisan and conservative actors.

The scenario the shadow campaigners were desperate to stop was not a Trump victory. It was an election so calamitous that no result could be discerned at all, a failure of the central act of democratic self-governance that has been a hallmark of America since its founding. Their work touched every aspect of the election. They got states to change voting systems and laws and helped secure hundreds of millions in public and private funding. They fended off voter-suppression lawsuits, recruited armies of poll workers and got millions of people to vote by mail for the first time. They successfully pressured social media companies to take a harder line against disinformation and used data-driven strategies to fight viral smears. They executed national public-awareness campaigns that helped Americans understand how the vote count would unfold over days or weeks, preventing Trump’s conspiracy theories and false claims of victory from getting more traction. After Election Day, they monitored every pressure point to ensure that Trump could not overturn the result. “The untold story of the election is the thousands of people of both parties who accomplished the triumph of American democracy at its very foundation,” says Norm Eisen, a prominent lawyer and former Obama Administration official who recruited Republicans and Democrats to the board of the Voter Protection Program.

For Trump and his allies were running their own campaign to spoil the election. The President spent months insisting that mail ballots were a Democratic plot and the election would be “rigged.” His henchmen at the state level sought to block their use, while his lawyers brought dozens of spurious suits to make it more difficult to vote–an intensification of the GOP’s legacy of suppressive tactics. Before the election, Trump plotted to block a legitimate vote count. And he spent the months following Nov. 3 trying to steal the election he’d lost–with lawsuits and conspiracy theories, pressure on state and local officials, and finally summoning his army of supporters to the Jan. 6 rally that ended in deadly violence at the Capitol. The democracy campaigners watched with alarm. “Every week, we felt like we were in a struggle to try to pull off this election without the country going through a real dangerous moment of unravelling,” says former GOP Representative Zach Wamp, a Trump supporter who helped coordinate a bipartisan election-protection council. “We can look back and say this thing went pretty well, but it was not at all clear in September and October that that was going to be the case.”


long, very detailed article, well worth a read IMHO

Sod Larry Summers, Steve Rattner, Richard Haass, 2 neolibs & a neocon whingeing about the COVID bill

on Morning Joe and in the Washington Post. They all say the bill is far too big, and the cheques are too big or not targeted enough (or both).

It is a Larry Summers (one of the most disastrous 'left' neoliberals (3rd way/Blairite style as opposed to 'right wing' Chicago School neoliberalism) over the past 25 plus years) lovefest on MoJo.

Watching billionaire or near billionaire (and a financial scammer, ie the NY pension fund scandal) Rattner crying on about how even lower income peoples' cheques will often just be saved and not actually be spent (and thus should not be sent) is just sickening.

Summer's claptrap:


Red Lorry Yellow Lorry - Spinning Round ( Extended Version )

Red Rhino Records – RED T60, Red Rhino Records – RED T 60
Vinyl, 12", 45 RPM
UK & Europe
Nov 1985
Goth Rock

N.Y. Repeals Law That Critics Say Criminalized 'Walking While Trans'

The anti-loitering law was designed to discourage street prostitution, but was viewed by L.G.B.T.Q. advocates as a cudgel to harass transgender people.


ALBANY, N.Y. — For decades, a state loitering law, originally designed to discourage street prostitution, was interpreted far more broadly, resulting in what civil rights advocates said was a pattern of police harassment of anyone who they viewed as looking different or suspicious.

In more recent years, as the law became the target of lawsuits and legislative efforts to have it repealed, it became known by a shorthand description: the “walking while trans” law. On Tuesday, the law was repealed by legislators in Albany and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, marking another victory for both the state’s progressive movement and its L.G.B.T.Q. community, which argued the law had been used to justify arrests of trans people.

“This represents one of the last frontiers of the L.G.B.T.Q. civil rights movement that went unaddressed: transgender human rights,” said Brad Hoylman, the Democratic state senator who sponsored the bill in that chamber. “This legislation goes deep into a community that has lived in the shadows of the movement.”

The repeal comes in the wake of the 2019 passage of legislation that prohibited discrimination based on “gender identity or expression” and banned so-called conversion therapy.


Newsmax Host Grovels to MyPillow Guy After Storming Out of Trainwreck Interview

“Mike is a friend of this network,” Sellers assured the network’s viewers, adding that “he will continue to be an important guest on Newsmax.”


Well, that was fast.

A day after storming out of his interview with MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell after the Trump-boosting pillow salesman wouldn’t stop pushing baseless voting machine conspiracies, Newsmax anchor Bob Sellers issued a groveling apology to Lindell and Newsmax viewers on Wednesday afternoon. During an off-the-rails segment on Tuesday afternoon, Lindell—who is facing a potential lawsuit from Dominion Voting Systems over his false fraud allegations—kept ranting about Dominion, insisting that he has “100 percent proof” that there was “election fraud with these Dominion machines.”

Considering that Newsmax is also looking down the barrel of pending litigation from Dominion and has already forced its hosts to read an on-air fact-check debunking the network’s bogus voting machine claims, Sellers was put in a perilous situation. Repeatedly cutting off Lindell and even having the MyPillow guy’s microphone turned down, Sellers read a prepared statement that Newsmax accepted the presidential election results before begging producers to stop Lindell. “Can I ask our producers—can we get out of here, please?” Sellers begged as Lindell kept shouting, eventually getting up out of his seat and literally ditching the interview. The moment, which instantly went viral on social media, drew loud condemnation from the virulently pro-Trump Newsmax audience. Many of the network’s viewers took to Twitter to say they wouldn’t watch Newsmax anymore while calling for Sellers to be fired. Fringe-right websites and commentators, meanwhile, claimed that Newsmax was engaging in “cancel culture” by censoring Lindell.


It would appear that Sellers and Newsmax agreed.

“If you watched American Agenda yesterday, you may have seen something out of the ordinary happen during an interview with Mike Lindell, the CEO of MyPillow,” the Newsmax host said on Wednesday afternoon. “Mike is a friend of this network, and we were supposed to discuss Twitter’s decision to ban him and the impacts of cancel culture on his business.” After establishing the network’s admiration for one of its biggest sponsors, Sellers went on to place the blame fully on himself for any “confusion” that occurred during the interview. “Mike thought that we were to talk about vote fraud in the recent election. It’s a topic we have covered extensively on Newsmax,” Sellers declared. “I was frustrated that we couldn’t focus on the current, very pressing issue of free speech and cancel culture and, in hindsight, there is no question that I could have handled the end of the interview differently.”

“At Newsmax, we seek out all points of view. Mike was back on Newsmax last night with Rob Schmitt on his show to continue the conversation about cancel culture and the censorship by social media,” the Newsmax anchor continued. “Mike also made clear he thinks Newsmax is ‘great’—his words—and I can tell you he will continue to be an important guest on Newsmax.” Sellers ended his apology by telling his viewers that they’ll “enjoy what Mike had to say last night” before airing Schmitt’s entire interview with the MyPillow CEO, which focused on Lindell’s recent Twitter ban.


Demolition of Paul Rudolph's Burroughs Wellcome building underway in North Carolina


Demolition of the Paul Rudolph-designed Burroughs Wellcome building in North Carolina has gone ahead, despite attempts to protest the destruction of the Brutalist landmark. Heavy machinery has been photographed dismantling the former medical facility where AZT, the first antiretroviral drug approved to treat patients with HIV, was developed. AIDS activists famously broke into and occupied the building in 1989 to protest the company's price gouging of the lifesaving medicine.

United Therapeutics Corporation obtained a permit to demolish the building in September 2020. A spokesperson for the biotechnology company told local paper The News and Observer that the site will be cleared by April. "The destruction of Burroughs Wellcome is a deep wound to this country's cultural heritage," the Paul Rudolph Heritage Foundation wrote in response to the news. "That makes us even more committed to keeping urging, advising, and campaigning for the preservation and proper care of Paul Rudolph's architectural legacy."

The foundation launched a campaign to try and save the Burroughs Wellcome building last year, after receiving a tip-off that a demolition permit was being sought. United Therapeutics Corporation, which obtained the building in a land deal with GlaxoSmithKline, had originally planned to restore the concrete building but decided it was too costly. "We looked for ways to incorporate the building into our plans," the United Therapeutics Corporation spokesperson said in September. "After conducting exhaustive studies, we have concluded that the building is unsafe, not environmentally sound, and functionally obsolete." The Paul Rudolph Heritage Foundation argued that this failed to take into account the environmental impact of demolition over adaptive reuse, and the cultural significance of Rudolph's design.

Rudolph designed the building to be adaptable, with hexagonal volumes that could be added to over time. Also called the Elion-Hitchings Building, the facility was commissioned in 1969 as the headquarters for the Burroughs Wellcome Company. The building was named for Gertrude Elion and George Hitchings, a pair of chemists who won the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1988 for their work on discovering new ways to develop drugs.

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