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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Member since: Thu Oct 28, 2004, 11:18 PM
Number of posts: 74,834

Journal Archives

Rep. Donna Lasinski: Despite November wins, threats to democracy loom

Opinion: Despite November wins, threats to democracy loom
Donna Lasinski

(Detroit Free Press) On Nov. 8, voters across the country and here in Michigan exercised one of our most fundamental rights: the right to vote.

For months, pundits and the political class told us there would be a red wave. MAGA Republicans campaigned across Michigan to take away our reproductive rights and our sacred right to vote, confident they would triumph. And most egregiously, many of them campaigned on taking away our constitutional right to choose who leads us, supporting former President Donald Trump in his criminal conspiracy to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

Michigan proved them wrong.

Voters in Michigan delivered a “stiff rebuke” to election deniers and affirmed voting protections. Michiganders voted for democracy on Nov. 8, rejecting high-profile, anti-voter election deniers such as Tudor Dixon, Matthew DePerno and Kristina Karamo, who wanted to be Michigan's governor, attorney general and secretary of state, respectively.


All of this should be heartening to anyone who cares about democracy. However, the fight to make Michigan’s elections safe, secure and accessible isn't over. Staggeringly, half of the incoming Michigan GOP lawmakers to the state Legislature are election deniers. ........(more)


Uh, Politico? Biden didn't make Marjorie Taylor Greene "the face of the GOP" -- Republicans did

Uh, Politico? Biden didn't make Marjorie Taylor Greene "the face of the GOP" — Republicans did
Between blaming Democrats for MAGA Republicans and celebrating Trump's babysitter, media keeps coddling GOP

Senior Writer

(Salon) "The widespread assumption that only Democrats have any agency or causal influence over American politics." This is famously known as "Murc's Law," named after a commenter at the blog Lawyers, Guns, and Money who noticed years ago the habitual assumption among the punditry that Republican misbehavior can only be caused by Democrats. Do Republicans reject climate science? Must be because Democrats failed to persuade them! Did Republicans pass unpopular tax cuts for the rich? Must be that Democrats didn't do enough to guide them to better choices! Do Republicans keep voting for lunatics and fascists? It must be the fault of Democrats for being mean to them! Even Donald Trump's election was widely blamed on Democrats — who voted against him, to be clear — on the bizarre grounds that Barack Obama should have rolled over and just let Mitt Romney win in 2012.

Republicans are about to take power in the House of Representatives once again, and so, with exhausting predictability, we return to a Beltway narrative where none of the choices they will make with that power are their fault: It is somehow all because Democrats have failed to manage Republicans properly. Unsurprisingly, the latest example comes from Politico, which pins the blame for the rise of right-wing superstar Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene not on the voters who sent her to Congress or the GOP leaders who indulge her or the conservative media that celebrates her. Instead, Greene's popularity with Republicans is laid at the feet of Joe Biden and the Democrats.

"Biden world once ignored Marjorie Taylor Greene. Now it's making her the face of the GOP," announces a Thursday headline in Politico. Underneath it, Eugene Daniels and Jonathan Lemire write that the Biden White House has tried to turn Greene "into the poster child of the incoming House GOP majority."

But of course Biden had nothing to do with that, because Republicans had already done it. Republicans in her district enthusiastically voted her into office. Republicans gave Greene a standing ovation in response to her remarks claiming that school shootings like Parkland and Sandy Hook were "false flags." Republicans made her one of the top fundraisers in the House. Republican leadership is currently indulging Greene's demands to treat the Jan. 6 insurrectionists as "political prisoners."

As Heather Digby Parton wrote previously at Salon, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who is nominally the top Republican in the House, has basically allowed Greene to become a "shadow speaker" who keeps him "on a short leash." To Politico reporters, evidently, this makes McCarthy a victim. They write that he has "no choice but to offer the hardcore members prominent posts in exchange for their support." .............(more)


Sheriff: Florida man kills mom saying, 'She never pushed me to be a man'

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. (CBS12) — A man admitted to killing his mother and severely injuring his sister at a home in Kissimmee, according to deputies.

The Osceola County Sheriff's Office said on Tuesday afternoon deputies responded to a reported stabbing at a home. Inside deputies found a gruesome scene, a woman stabbed to death and another with severe cuts to her hands.

Investigators said the person responsible was identified as Matthew Stewart Sisley, 21, he was only a short distance away from the crime scene. Sisley was taken into custody and later confessed to intentionally stabbing his mother and accidentally stabbing his sister.

While detectives were conducting the interview, they asked if he believed his mother deserved to die. Shockingly, Sisley said yes.

The detective pushed for more information, asking Sisley why he killed her. His response, "Because she never pushed me to be a man.” ...........(more)


Fears of Chinese Aggression Grow in Taiwan

Fears of Chinese Aggression Grow in Taiwan
Beijing's tone toward Taiwan is becoming increasingly aggressive, and most of those living on the island are unprepared for a war against its oversized neighbor. Some, though, are trying to change that.

By Katharina Graça Peters in Taipei
01.12.2022, 14.41 Uhr

(Der Spiegel) The waves from the typhoon crash into the port of Keelung as gusts of wind tug on Chen Wen-chin’s jacket. His gray hair wet from the rain, he points to the ships bobbing in the waves at the quay. A number of fishermen will soon be heading out to sea without knowing if they will be able sell their merchandise. The storm is the least of Chen’s worries.

Keelung is located in the northeast of Taiwan. In the flower-decorated temples, seafarers pray for a bountiful catch. Chen is extremely familiar with the waters here, having bought his first boat when he was in his early 20s. Now, at age 59, he is head of the city’s association of fishermen, and he has a problem.

The season for hairtail fish will soon start, the coveted predatory fish. Last year, around 80 percent of the catch went to China, says Chen – who has now sought shelter from the elements in a port warehouse – and there were 13 containers at the port each day ready to haul the fish away.

But recently, China’s government banned the import of hairtail fish, along with hundreds of other Taiwanese products. Many here believe it is an act of political revenge. "Who is supposed to buy the fish?" Chen asks. "The fishermen don’t understand why they have become the plaything of politics."


Following the visit of outgoing U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to the capital of Taipei in August, Beijing responded with economic sanctions and military exercises at sea, with the Chinese navy coming closer to the coast of Taiwan than ever before. Almost daily, drones from the mainland fly across the Taiwan Strait, Chinese warplanes buzz past or warships approach the coast. China is not only Taiwan’s largest trading partner, it is also the country’s greatest threat.

With its aggressive posturing, China is also laying down the gauntlet to the United States, which has long been the most dominant power in the Pacific and which supports Taiwan politically and militarily. On the sidelines of the recent G-20 summit, Chinese President Xi Jinping warned U.S. President Joe Biden to avoid meddling in the domestic affairs of his country. "Reunification" with Taiwan, Xi said, was the Chinese people’s wish. ..........(more)


A nation of attention junkies: Trump and Elon are the perfect symbols of America's predicament

A nation of attention junkies: Trump and Elon are the perfect symbols of America's predicament
We can't give Musk and Trump the attention they crave (because it's literally impossible). We also can't look away


(Salon) It seems we are a nation filled with people who desperately crave attention.

Consider me a casual observer and commentator on what I find alarmingly and amusingly stupid from those willing to walk into the public arena and drop their diaper in a bid for that attention.

Whether you're a 24-year-old ignorant racist, fomenting hatred and gaining attention by showing up at the former president's Golden Disco Palace in Florida where you can smell the spray-on '80s vibe as surely as you can identify the spray-on tan or you are the man who makes history by being the first twice-impeached former president to announce another run for the White House historically early because you crave the attention.

Either way? You're an attention junkie, whore or addict. Pick your title, it's the same thing — though "whore" may be more accurate as most of these people manipulate others for money and are not merely innocent junkies. An adult "political junkie whore" might actually be the most accurate term, though perhaps not the most favored. Julia Roberts played a hooker with a heart of gold in "Pretty Woman," but political whores in real life bear little resemblance to that. They're more like the toothless hookers (of all possible genders and orientations) in Nuevo Laredo's Boys Town, turning tricks for cheap makeup and dollar bills.


Musk is another entitled rich guy from the Trump club who gets the benefit of the doubt — and like Trump, he is given it far more often than he deserves it.

Under the banner of restoring "free speech" to his recently purchased Twitter empire, Musk has embraced an increasingly significant number of changes that make his claims untenable. Granting amnesty to Trump and other hatemongers has also drawn the ire of Apple, another media powerhouse, and the onetime golden boy of Tesla and SpaceX looks tarnished today. Reading his tweets is only slightly more amusing than Trump's old tweets. But they get him attention, and that is what Musk wants as he declares himself a patriot. ..........(more)


Vancouver: Second Broadway Subway TBM prepares for launch

Second Broadway Subway TBM prepares for launch
Nov. 29, 2022

The behemoth machine, named Phyllis, will bore tunnels to extend the Millennium Line from VCC-Clark Station to the future Broadway and Arbutus station.
Mischa Wanek-Libman

The second custom-designed tunnel boring machine (TBM) that will help bore the tunnels needed for the Broadway Subway project in Vancouver, B.C., is ready for “imminent launch,” according to the province.

The 150-meter (492.1-foot) long, six-meter (19.7-foot) in diameter TBM known as Phyllis will join its sister TBM, known as Elsie, in tunneling the five kilometers (3.1 miles) of the 5.7-kilometer (3.5-mile) project.

Elsie, the first TBM, launched Oct. 7, 2022, and the province reports the machine has made significant progress toward its first breakthrough at Mount Pleasant Station while the second machine is now fully assembled and set to launch.

Progress continues to be made on tunneling work with more than half of the columns for the guideway between VCC-Clark and Great Northern Way-Emily Carr Station are complete. Construction and fit out of the stations and tracks will begin once tunnel boring has finished.

The project completion is estimated to be early 2026 after a five-week strike impacted the concrete supply in the Lower Mainland, which affected the start of tunnel boring. The province says a precise update on the project timeline will be provided in the spring of 2023 when station excavation and tunnel boring are further advanced. ............(more)


Detroit Free Press, Bridge seek court hearing to open Lee Chatfield records to public

(Detroit Free Press) The Detroit Free Press and Bridge Michigan want a judge to limit how long Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel can shield records from the public in the criminal investigation of former House Speaker Lee Chatfield, according to a motion filed Wednesday by lawyers representing the two news outlets.

Such a decision could pave the way for the eventual release of records that a separate court has already ordered be made public.

The motion asks Ingham County Circuit Judge Wanda Stokes to amend an earlier order that indefinitely blocked the news outlets from accessing search warrants and affidavits pertaining to the Chatfield investigation. The news organizations asked Stokes to give Nessel’s office a deadline to formally appeal a lower court judge’s decision to release the records, and make the records public if state lawyers miss that deadline. .............(more)


Is the brain a quantum computer? A remarkable pair of studies suggests so

Is the brain a quantum computer? A remarkable pair of studies suggests so
Using modified MRI machines, physicists may have found quantum entanglement between the heart and brain


(Salon) If someone were to (theoretically) throw a wrench at your head, you might be able to catch it just in time to avoid a concussion. But how? Typically, for split-second reactions, we do not consciously decide to catch. Your brain reacts, does the catching thing, and you don't have to think about it at all.

In fact, our brains regularly make decisions before we even know it. In one 2008 experiment, that has since been repeated a few times, participants were given decision-making tasks while their brains were monitored using brain imaging techniques. It was found that one's brain can make a decision up to 10 seconds before its owner is consciously aware of it.

There's a lot going on in the mind that scientists are still trying to understand. Indeed, despite numerous attempts by neuroscientists over the last century and beyond, it has been difficult to pinpoint exactly why consciousness exists or what it is — a quandary known as the "hard problem of consciousness." Even though we have a good understanding of where consciousness originates — essentially via neurons sending signals to each other — scientists still aren't sure how it arises in matter. After all, humans are just made of basic chemicals like the rest of the universe. A rock isn't conscious—is it? So what makes our soup of chemicals called a brain different? That's the hard problem to solve.

For decades, some outsider researchers have postulated that the brain has some connection to quantum entanglement that results in consciousness. And a recent experiment published in the Journal of Physics Communications is an indicator that this could be possible. ..........(more)


FIFA Florida

Michigan GOP continues to crash and burn

(Detroit Free Press) The battle to serve as the next leader of the Michigan Republican Party now includes unsuccessful GOP secretary of state candidate Kristina Karamo, who announced late Tuesday her bid to become party chair following brutal losses for Republicans in the midterm election.

Her campaign pits her against former GOP attorney general candidate Matt DePerno, another losing candidate backed by former President Donald Trump who rose to national prominence in 2020 for fighting the results of that year's presidential election. At the same time, a former longtime Republican elected official with his own Trump ties is also considering jumping into the race.

Republican delegates in Michigan will decide the new chair of their party at a convention early next year. Michigan GOP Chairman Ron Weiser is not seeking reelection while Michigan GOP Co-chair Meshawn Maddock's future plans remain unclear.

The contest over who will lead the party follows major defeats in Michigan during the most recent midterm: Democratic incumbents handily defeated Republican candidates vying for top statewide offices, and Democrats won control of the state Legislature for the first time since the 1980s. ...............(more)


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