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Gun culture ... Last 36 hours - between family and neighbors

52 year old paid student leader's 32 years in college may end

Paid Student Leader's 32 Years in College May End
Bolivia judge orders investigation of 52-year-old student with government salary

Bolivia Jails Paid Student Leader—He's 52
Max Mendoza has been a remarkably persistent student—and a profitable one: He's been enrolled at a public university in Bolivia for 32 years but never graduated, much of it while being paid a government salary to serve as a student leader.

On Monday, though, he was detained and sent to jail after a judge ordered a six-month investigation into allegations his tenure as a state-paid student leader constituted a crime.

Mendoza, now 52, has unsuccessfully tackled a series of majors—industrial engineering, agronomy, and law among them—since enrolling in 1990, the AP reports. But he has held a series of student leadership posts, and since 2018, he has been president of the University Confederation of Bolivia, the country's top student representative.

Mendoza has been earning $3,000 a month—10 times the national minimum wage. Prosecutors say he used the closure of schools for the pandemic as an excuse to extend his position. "He didn't meet the requirements. He didn't have a bachelor's degree (needed) to hold the post," Judge Javier Vargas said Monday.

Prosecutor William Alave said other long-serving student leaders were being investigated. Some complain that those leaders have taken advantage of the autonomy granted public universities to hold onto government pay granted to student leaders. Public anger rose after somebody threw a gas grenade into a student assembly in the city of Potosi this month and caused a stampede in which four students died. Many suspect the attack was meant to head off new student elections.


Rabbit finds dinner in Walmart plant section


Supreme court guts lifeline for prisoners who claim wrongful convictions

he US supreme court on Monday gutted constitutional protections that for years have provided a federal lifeline to innocent prisoners facing prolonged incarceration or even execution following wrongful convictions stemming from poor legal counsel given to them by the states.

In a 6 to 3 ruling, the newly-dominant rightwing majority of the nation’s highest court barred federal courts from hearing new evidence that was not previously presented in a state court as a result of the defendant’s ineffective legal representation.

The decision means that prisoners will no longer have recourse to federal judges even when they claim they were wrongfully convicted because their lawyers failed to conduct their cases properly.

The decision eviscerated the supreme court’s own precedent in a move that the three liberal justices called “illogical” and “perverse”. In a dissenting opinion, Justice Sonia Sotomayor slammed the decision, warning it would leave “many people … to face incarceration or even execution without any meaningful chance to vindicate their right to counsel”.


No established democracy in recent history has been as deeply polarized as the U.S.

The Doom Spiral of Pernicious Polarization
The U.S. is more dangerously divided than any other wealthy democracy. Is there a way back from the brink?

By Yascha Mounk

Until a few decades ago, most Democrats did not hate Republicans, and most Republicans did not hate Democrats. Very few Americans thought the policies of the other side were a threat to the country or worried about their child marrying a spouse who belonged to a different political party.

All of that has changed. A 2016 survey found that 60 percent of Democrats and 63 percent of Republicans would now balk at their child’s marrying a supporter of a different political party. In the run-up to the 2020 presidential election, the Pew Research Center reported that roughly nine out of 10 supporters of Joe Biden and of Donald Trump alike were convinced that a victory by their opponent would cause “lasting harm” to the United States.

As someone who lived in many countries—including Germany, Italy, France, and the United Kingdom—before coming to the United States, I have long had the sense that American levels of partisan animosity were exceptionally high. Although I’d seen animosity between left and right in other nations, their hatred never felt so personal or intense as in the U.S.

A study just published by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace confirms that impression. Drawing on the Variety of Democracies (V-Dem) data set, published by an independent research institute in Sweden that covers 202 countries and goes back more than two centuries, its authors assess to what degree each country suffers from “pernicious” levels of partisan polarization. Do their citizens have such hostile views of opponents that they’re willing to act in ways that put democracy itself at risk?

The authors’ conclusion is startling: No established democracy in recent history has been as deeply polarized as the U.S. “For the United States,” Jennifer McCoy, the lead author of the study and a political-science professor at Georgia State University, told me in an interview, “I am very pessimistic.”

On virtually every continent, supporters of rival political camps are more likely to interact in hostile ways than they did a few decades ago. According to the Carnegie study, “us versus them polarization” has been increasing since 2005. McCoy and her colleagues don’t try to explain the causes, though the rise of social media is obviously a contributing factor.


pictures of baby formula arriving in US


Celebrity-endorsed NFTs leave some investors 'financially crippled'

When Floyd Mayweather started touting an obscure NFT project on Twitter this year, Tyler jumped at the investment opportunity.

Mayweather, a boxing legend, had already served as Tyler’s “biggest inspiration” in his martial arts training. But Tyler was also looking for investment opportunities and figured Mayweather, who often calls himself “Money May,” was worth listening to.

“What I need everybody to do right now: Go get a Bored Bunny NFT,” said Mayweather, dressed in a Louis Vuitton vest with a diamond bracelet, a necklace and a gold watch. “You’re hearing it from the one and only Floyd ‘Make-That-Money’ Mayweather.”

Tyler, 35, a property manager whose family runs a small Miami-based trucking company, said he put together about $12,000 with the help of his mother and bought the nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, digital tokens that convey ownership of digital images. In this case, the project was a series of images of rabbits similar in nature to the popular Bored Ape Yacht Club images that helped fuel a boom in NFT art projects.

Those NFTs are now worth far less than Tyler paid.

“This basically financially crippled me,” said Tyler, who asked to be identified by only his first name because he fears online trolls who ridicule unsuccessful NFT investors. Now, especially with inflation, Tyler said, he is struggling to afford gas for his car and groceries to eat. He said he feels Mayweather and the other promoters “took their payouts and moved on while everybody who scraped by to invest in their futures got robbed.”


Tyler Lengyel, 29, a Bored Bunny investor from Texas, spent about $6,000 on Bored Bunny NFTs when the tokens were minted in January. It was around that time that he was leaving his job in sales management for personal reasons. Within weeks, he suddenly had no income, a depleted savings account and NFTs that were nearly worthless. He found temporary work at an Amazon warehouse and then started driving for Uber. This month, while Mayweather flaunted his $42,500 winnings from a different $10,000 boxing bet on Instagram, Lengyel had to sell his car to help cover his bills through July.


Gay Asian American's photo doctored to make him look "angry and menacing" (Dem vs Dem, Texas)"

lips, eyes (widened vertically, skin color

Carl Samson
Fri, May 20, 2022, 4:39 PM·3 min read
An Asian American candidate for the Harris County Commissioners Court in Texas has accused his Democratic nomination opponent of racism.

Benjamin Chou, who is running to represent Precinct 4, called out Lesley Briones over an edited image of himself released for an ad posted on Facebook and Instagram on Wednesday.

In a statement, Chou’s campaign said the ad doctored his eyes, nose and lips and “whitewashed his skin.” The stunt also allegedly follows “a long history of doctoring images of people of color to make them look angry or menacing.”

Precinct 4 is 13% Asian American, reportedly the largest population of the racial group in any U.S. precinct. It sits within Houston and houses Chinatown, Koreatown, Little Saigon and the Gandhi District.


roofing scams put Florida property insurance on verge of collapse (right before hurricane season)

Florida lawmakers scramble to fix a property insurance crisis before hurricane season
Roofing scams targeting insurance companies are leading to higher bills and fewer options for homeowners, officials say.

An avalanche of lawsuits fueled by roofing scams has plunged Florida into a property insurance crisis that has forced dozens of companies to shut their doors, drop customers, raise rates or flee the state. It’s a slow-motion collapse that lawmakers have known about for years but have failed to fix.

The mess has made it harder for people to protect their homes in a state that is frequently battered by high winds, hard rains and hail and is increasingly vulnerable to climate change. Things could get worse if the state is hit by a major hurricane, which hasn’t happened since 2018, experts say.


The scam works like this: Contractors knock on doors offering to inspect homeowners’ roofs for storm damage. They say they can help get a roof replacement covered by insurance, and they persuade the homeowners to sign away their rights to file the claims themselves. The contractors then file fraudulent damage claims, and when the insurance companies balk, the contractors sue.

The insurance companies usually settle the disputed claims for many times more than the original claim. Most of that money goes to the contractors’ lawyers in the form of a “contingency fee multiplier.” Some lawyers file hundreds of such lawsuits a year.

The homeowner may get a free roof, but everyone pays for it through increased rates.


Eight insurance companies operating in Florida have gone out of business since 2021, including three in the past three months. Those that remain have sought rate increases ranging from 15 percent to 96 percent and have become more selective about who they will cover; some are asking homeowners to replace their roof in order to get a new policy. Others are dropping customers; one company recently announced that it was canceling 56,000 policies.

Trump sows doubt over PA election process just because mail in ballots don't favor Oz

Meanwhile, Trump fumed at the ballot-counting process, questioning why it was taking so long while comparing it to a "third world nation" in a post on his social media platform Truth Social on Saturday evening.

"So, what's going on with Pennsylvania?" he wrote. "Five days now, and watched over by incompetent Democrat Gubernatorial Candidate Josh Shapiro. The entire Nation of France was done during the evening of the ONE DAY Presidential Election. USED PAPER BALLOTS, no discrepancies. ARE WE A THIRD WORLD NATION??? Are we becoming Venezuela (YES!)."

On Sunday, he attacked The Wall Street Journal's editorial board, which criticized him for encouraging Oz to declare victory earlier in the week. The former president accused the newspaper of believing that "what is going on in Pennsylvania with voting is a wonderful and transparent event."

"We are laughed at and taken advantage of all over the World, and now, especially after 2020, that includes our Elections! Still waiting Pennsylvania??? Keep protecting China WSJ!!!" Trump wrote.

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