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Thread: Not The News

  1. #151
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2009
    Location: thiefgold.com
    Quote Originally Posted by heywood View Post
    trying to find things to get offended about
    That's pretty much a universal thing in the internet age. Find things /people to get outraged about, post angry, inflammatory stuff about them online (even as far as doxing and trying to ruin peoples' reputation for offending), and boom! All of a sudden, you're on a higher moral pedestal.

    "The world WILL conform to my personal views, or else "

  2. #152
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2020
    Quote Originally Posted by David View Post
    The Xbox is now "woke" because Microsoft updated it to have better power management capabilities. Fox News (lol) is accusing them of indoctrinating kids in "climate politics"
    “First gas stoves, then your coffee, now they're gunning for your Xbox,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)
    This one is also related to an entirely unfounded rumor that Biden wants to take people's gas stoves away. They're meming that one hard, too. In fact, the White House has said exactly nothing about gas stoves, yet it's all over the right wing blogosphere about it.

    I'm not sure about the coffee one, and couldn't find anything on Google about (recent) right-wing outrage over coffee, so any clue there would be welcome.

  3. #153
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2009
    Location: thiefgold.com
    Well they are cracking down on fireplaces and woodburning in many places. The city next to mine all but banned it - new homes can't have fireplaces, and existing ones have to have some kind of crazy contraption to filter out particles.

    Let's allow cars and factories to pollute freely, but god forbid people should enjoy a nice fire

  4. #154
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by heywood View Post
    But Tucker Carlson just won his war on M&Ms.
    And I imagine Carlson will continue to completely unironically criticize cancel culture as if he wasn't trying to cancel culture cancel culture itself.

    Quote Originally Posted by Azaran View Post
    The city next to mine all but banned it - new homes can't have fireplaces, and existing ones have to have some kind of crazy contraption to filter out particles.

    Let's allow cars and factories to pollute freely, but god forbid people should enjoy a nice fire
    The cars and factories are already required to have "crazy contraptions" like catalytic converters and so on.

  5. #155
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2005
    Location: Netherlands
    Fireplaces are terrible for other people in the neighborhood suffering from COPD or asthmatic conditions. In the Netherlands, some of those people have to stay indoors as much as they can on days where everyone lights their fires or pellet burners. Fireplaces emit a lot of micro particles that are bad for your health.

  6. #156
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Speaking of the conservatives' obsession with the fuckability of candy...


  7. #157
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: The other Derry
    Quote Originally Posted by Harvester View Post
    Fireplaces are terrible for other people in the neighborhood suffering from COPD or asthmatic conditions. In the Netherlands, some of those people have to stay indoors as much as they can on days where everyone lights their fires or pellet burners. Fireplaces emit a lot of micro particles that are bad for your health.
    Have most people there upgraded to high efficiency stoves or fireplace inserts? The difference between a traditional fireplace and a catalytic combustion stove is very big.

    In my neighborhood, a lot of us still burn wood in open fireplaces on special occasions, like once or twice a month from late autumn to early spring. It's a guilty pleasure because it's dirty and wasteful, but because the homes are more spread out here and nobody is doing it on a regular basis, air quality is good. Unless we've all lost power in a winter storm, then everybody is either burning wood or running a generator and you don't want to be outside.

    My friends with camps or seasonal homes use catalytic combustion wood stoves. If you feed them with completely dry wood that's free of bark, once they get going it's hard to see or smell any smoke coming out, just heated air, as if it was a gas or oil furnace that was burning. I know there are still micro particles in the flue gas, and you wouldn't want to be in a high density neighborhood or in a valley that traps air if all your neighbors are burning at the same time. But in an average suburban neighborhood, I doubt if anyone would notice if 25% the homes switched to high efficiency would burners for their primary heat source.

  8. #158
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2020
    Talking about bad air quality, back when they used coal in homes, it was bad. The "Great Smog of London" was a weather pattern from Dec 5th to Dec 9th in Winter of 1952 that prevented coal fumes dissipating. They originally estimated 4000 casualties, but more recent research suggests the actual deaths were closer to 12000.

    The smog was reportedly so dense that they cancelled theater performances and cinema screenings, because the smog made it hard to see the screens and stages from the seats.
    Last edited by Cipheron; 31st Jan 2023 at 08:17.

  9. #159
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: The other Derry
    At least they weren't all burning dung I guess

    In central Asia, a lot of people still heat with old, inefficient coal stoves. They don't have the money for a modern coal boiler and radiator system. Fortunately, the population density is very low in places like Mongolia.

    The worst smog I've experienced was in Shanghai circa 2004, mostly from old trucks and 2-strokes it seemed. It wasn't terrible 20 floors up, but at street level it was bad enough to give my wife a headache after 10 minutes of walking around.

  10. #160
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    So there was an incident in which some elite apples stopped a car, pulled the driver out, and beat him to death... or how it's better known in the US, policing. Luckily, Fox News is there to help us make sense of such things, courtesy of The Daily Show...


  11. #161
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2020
    Quote Originally Posted by Starker View Post
    So there was an incident in which some elite apples stopped a car, pulled the driver out, and beat him to death... or how it's better known in the US, policing. Luckily, Fox News is there to help us make sense of such things, courtesy of The Daily Show...
    Holy crap, i was expecting an angle, but that angle takes the cake.

  12. #162
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: The other Derry
    It's the same thing every time. Blame the victim.

    Most of the guys who make a point of saying they'd never want to be a cop because they are under too much scrutiny are guys you wouldn't want in that job anyway. If knowing you will be publicly shamed and prosecuted if you beat and abuse people is what keeps people from joining the force, then good!

  13. #163
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2020
    I was talking about the guy on Fox who blamed single mothers for police violence because the cops were black.

  14. #164
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Police in the US are also apparently working as tax collectors, bringing in as much as nearly 40% of a town's budget though various fines, fees, and civil forfeiture:



    Between this tax collecting business, unions preventing them from getting fired, qualified immunity protecting them from lawsuits, and all the murders, they really seem to be making the most of this monopoly of violence thing.

  15. #165
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Maupertuis
    Quote Originally Posted by Starker View Post
    Between this tax collecting business, unions preventing them from getting fired, qualified immunity protecting them from lawsuits, and all the murders, they really seem to be making the most of this monopoly of violence thing.
    No kidding. And anytime you see an international comparison, the US is the outlier. Even China seems to be less of a police state.

  16. #166
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    What's irritating to me is that the US seems to be, culturally, anti-union... unless you're talking about police unions. So don't touch the police unions, but try to talk about protecting workers in any other context and you're some kind of goddamned commie.

  17. #167
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Maupertuis
    Yeah, not even teacher's unions get that privilege.

  18. #168
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Teaching jobs would be much more popular if they got similar pensions and an automatic benefit of doubt when accused of gratuitous violence.

  19. #169
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2020
    I had some fun looking into these bogus "experts" on the "spy balloon" thing. Here's the take from the Murdoch press:

    https://www.news.com.au/technology/i...a1c9444e870fc0

    Expert weighs in on seriousness of Chinese ‘spy balloon’

    The suspected Chinese spy balloon may be guided by advanced artificial intelligence technology, a US expert said Friday.

    William Kim, a specialist in surveillance balloons at the Marathon Initiative think tank in Washington, told AFP that balloons are a valuable means of observation that are difficult to shoot down.

    Guided by AI?

    Mr Kim said the first Chinese balloon looked like a normal weather balloon but with distinct characteristics.

    It has a quite large, visible “payload” — the electronics for guidance and collecting information, powered by large solar panels.

    And it appears to have advanced steering technologies that the US military hasn’t yet put in the air.

    Artificial intelligence has made it possible for a balloon, just by reading the changes in the air around it, to adjust its altitude to guide it where it wants to go, Mr Kim said.

    “Before you either had to have a tether … or you just send it up and it just goes wherever the wind takes it,” he said.

    “What’s happened very recently with advances in AI is that you can have a balloon that … doesn’t need its own motion system. Merely by adjusting the altitude it can control its direction.”
    Ok, reading that really piqued my bullshit detector. So first I wondered, who the hell even are the "Marathon Initiative"?

    It turns out that they're a lobby group founded by two ex-Trump administration guys and funded by a "who's who" of major defense contractors. Drumming up the China threat is kinda their whole thing.

    https://quincyinst.org/2020/05/14/pu...counter-china/

    Pundits with undisclosed funding from arms manufacturers urge ‘stronger force posture’ to counter China

    The Trump administration’s efforts to blame China for COVID-19’s rising death toll in the U.S. have not been backed up by intelligence assessments, but it has not stopped Secretary of State Mike Pompeo from making the baseless assertion of the virus originating from a Chinese lab or the Trump campaign from attacking the presumptive Democratic nominee, former vice president Joe Biden, as going too weak on China. But there may be more than political opportunism at play. Weapons manufacturers stand to reap huge profits if they can stoke a new cold war between the U.S. and China.

    Those overlapping interests were on display last week when The Wall Street Journal published an op-ed by two former Trump administration officials claiming, “The Covid-19 pandemic has convinced many that the U.S. must fundamentally change its policy toward China. Shifting course is necessary, but it won’t be achieved with a few policy tweaks.”

    “That’s because,” they added, “the pandemic’s political and economic effects are bringing about a more assertive Chinese grand strategy.”

    There are at least two big problems with this op-ed.

    First, there’s no actual evidence or explanation provided about COVID-19 “bringing about a more assertive Chinese grand strategy” but the authors plow forward with their theory that “Beijing was cruising to global domination” unchallenged.

    Second, both of the op-ed’s authors have undisclosed conflicts of interest that might motivate their prescription for a new U.S. grand strategy centered on, among other things, “maritime and aerospace power.”

    The authors, Elbridge Colby (who served as assistant secretary of defense for strategy and force development from 2017-2018) and A. Wess Mitchell (who served as assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs from 2017-2019), are both employed by institutions that receive considerable funding from weapons manufacturers.

    The Wall Street Journal describes Colby and Mitchell as “principals of the Marathon Initiative,” an entity that has no website* and about which there is little public information other than that it was formed on May 7, 2020 according to the Washington, DC Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs.

    The Marathon Initiative shares an address with the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA) where Mitchell serves as vice chairman and received $227,500 in compensation in 2017. Donors to CEPA include a defense industry who’s who: Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Bell Helicopter, and BAE Systems.

    Mitchell’s co-author, Colby, also appears to have benefited financially from funding originating from arms manufacturers.”
    (* they had no website at the time the article was written, but fortunately they made one now)

    Ok, then I googled this "William Kim" guy and at first didn't find anything. How convenient that they happened to have a specialist on the exact type of balloon that was flying over America!

    Anyway, neither the very reputable Marathon Initiative nor Mr William Kim happen to have a Wikipedia page, but luckily I was able to find his LinkedIn instead:

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/williamhyunkim/

    Ok, this guy finished high school in 2013. Then it took him 2013-2019 to complete a bachelor's degree in politics/history.

    Then he did 2019-2021 as assistant editor at "The Texas Signal" which is a publication so obscure that nothing relevant came up when I googled it, so i had to find links for it inside random Wikipedia articles:

    http://www.texassignal.com/

    To my surprise, this isn't some extreme partisan outlet and in fact looks pretty balanced.

    He joined the Marathon Initiative in April 2022. Now, at exactly which point did this kid become an expert on high tech surveillance balloons, it's not immediately clear.

    Given the nature of that think-tank, it feels like they just got the intern and made him pretend to be an expert on these balloons and completely made up the "It's flown by Chinese AI that explains why there's no propulsion" thing.

    There is a grain of truth in the fact that Google built a balloon that does use machine learning to fly, but it seems like a massive stretch to say that the Chinese military secretly deployed this technology, but then were so stupid to test it by flying it over America, guaranteeing it gets shot down and any secret tech that's in there gets exposed.

    So it's possible that China is testing super-balloons that have AI smarts, but I would still be pretty skeptical that they're going to find any unknown tech inside the thing.
    Last edited by Cipheron; 5th Feb 2023 at 02:48.

  20. #170
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: The other Derry
    I'm also pretty skeptical about finding any unknown tech, because the Chinese had to assume it would be shot down. And if the USG thought there might be any concern with what it's sending home, they wouldn't have let it cross the whole country. It wouldn't surprise me if it actually does have a meteorological payload. In my opinion, the balloon was a troll to gauge our reaction, government and public. It's the kind of move we more commonly see from North Korea. And there's no reason to think it's AI controlled or even autonomous. The ground site could be checking the weather models and commanding altitude changes, as is traditionally done.

  21. #171
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Location: The Plateaux Of Mirror
    Quote Originally Posted by heywood View Post
    It used to be that when I'd hang out with more conservative friends, they'd be complaining about liberals going around trying to find things to get offended about. I like to remind them of that now.
    I usually just remind them of the time they lost their collective shit over Dungeons & Dragons. Conservatives being outraged by nothing has been on-brand for at least my lifetime.

  22. #172
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    I think it's more likely that they are testing us. They want to know our reaction in case they one day want to send over a disease. That is also likely the reason we waited till it was off shore to shoot it down. That or they really want to assess the state of our missile silos which won't matter unless they take out our subs anyway.

  23. #173
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: The other Derry
    Quote Originally Posted by Twist View Post
    What's irritating to me is that the US seems to be, culturally, anti-union... unless you're talking about police unions. So don't touch the police unions, but try to talk about protecting workers in any other context and you're some kind of goddamned commie.
    Police unions aren't popular either, but you have to negotiate with them. And no politician wants to make an enemy out of the police.

  24. #174
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2020
    https://www.newsweek.com/tucker-carl...ortage-1777743

    Tucker Carlson Sees Conspiracy in America's Eggs Shortage

    Fox News host Tucker Carlson claimed that the nationwide egg shortage that has hit the U.S. in recent months is the product of a conspiracy between the media and the Biden administration.

    Talking about the way the price of eggs has recently shot up and how the product has disappeared from many grocery store shelves across the country, the television host alleged the real reason behind the egg shortage might not be the bird flu outbreak raging in dozens of countries worldwide, as experts say—but instead the feed the birds are given.

    While the surge in egg prices and the shortage has been linked to a combination of the bird flu, pandemic-related supply chain disruptions and the increased costs of fuel, transportation, feed and packaging, Carlson said that "some farmers who deal with chickens every day are not convinced" by this explanation.

    "Some of them, some chicken farmers, have noticed something odd. Their chickens aren't laying eggs or as many eggs. And these chickens don't appear sick with avian flu. They're not dying. They're still alive. They're just not producing eggs," he said.

    "Now healthy hens lay eggs on a regular basis, every 24 to 26 hours. But suddenly, chicken owners all over the country—not all of them, but a lot of them—are reporting they're not getting any eggs or as many. So what's causing that? Clearly, something is causing that. Some have concluded their chicken feed may be responsible."

    Carlson didn't provide any evidence supporting this allegation, limiting himself to cast doubt over chicken feed and saying he has to examine these claims because "no one else seems to be keeping track of this."

    The television host claimed that the American media and the Biden administration are ignoring issues that he claims are suspicious and related to the egg shortage.

    Talking about a fire that killed an unknown number of chickens in Bozrah, Connecticut, on Saturday, Carlson—who quoted unconfirmed reports claiming more than 100,000 birds died in the blaze—said it was "weird" that "most media companies did not consider it a story at all."

    "If you ask the Agriculture Department, for example, or anyone in the Biden administration, to the extent they're paying attention, which is not much, they'll tell you that egg prices are high because avian flu," he said.

    "And that's a completely natural virus, just like COVID. The prices have nothing to do with chicken farms burning down. Again, not that anyone in the government tracks that kind of thing. Why would they? Because nothing like that could ever happen. Settle down, QAnon. And a lot of people, particularly the national news media, people who could not identify a chicken if it didn't come with dipping sauce, are satisfied with that explanation."

  25. #175
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Quote Originally Posted by Starker View Post
    Police in the US are also apparently working as tax collectors, bringing in as much as nearly 40% of a town's budget though various fines, fees, and civil forfeiture:



    Between this tax collecting business, unions preventing them from getting fired, qualified immunity protecting them from lawsuits, and all the murders, they really seem to be making the most of this monopoly of violence thing.
    And yet progressives want only the police to have guns...

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