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Friday :: April 01, 2022

Will Smith Resigns from Motion Picture Academy

Will Smith has responded to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Board of Governors notice that it had launched an investigation into his slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars, by resigning from the Organization. His statement begins with:

I have directly responded to the Academy’s disciplinary hearing notice, and I will fully accept any and all consequences for my conduct. My actions at the 94th Academy Awards presentation were shocking, painful, and inexcusable.

[More...]

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Wednesday :: March 30, 2022

Denver Man Screams for Help For More Than 20 Minutes

I live in a busy neighborhood on the edge of downtown Denver. There's a fire station, a hospital, the Denver jail, Denver courthouse, detox centers and sometimes homeless camps and mentally challenged individuals wandering around all within a few blocks. At night, you can hear ambulances, fire trucks and police sirens every half hour or so. It's like living in the Don Henley song, "New York Minute":

Lying here in the darkness
Hear the sirens wail
Somebody going to emergency
Somebody's going to jail

I wouldn't have it any other way, it's life in the city. Where else could I see the mountains and Denver's skyline, the Convention Center, Elitch's "space needle", the Pepsi Center (now called the Ball Arena) and the Bronco's football stadium (now called Empower Field at Mile High) all from my rooftop? Or be across the street from a Starbucks on one side, a major grocery store on another and the city jail and courthouse on a third side?

But Monday night was different. Around 10:15 I started hearing a man yelling. Since that's pretty common in this neighborhood, I didn't get up from my computer to go take a look. But then he started yelling louder and then I heard him yell for help. I went out on my balcony and saw a few policeman holding someone down as he screamed "Help Me" (and later, "Please don't kill me" and "I didn't do nothing"). [More...]

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Tuesday :: March 29, 2022

FDA Authorizes Second Booster for Adults 50 and Older

If it's been four months since your first booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccine, and you are 50 or older, the FDA announced today you can get a second booster shot (WSJ, free link).

Under the authorization, the older adults can get the shots at least four months after a first booster dose. People will be able to choose between the two vaccines regardless of whether they earlier received a shot from Moderna or Pfizer.

[More...]

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Sunday :: March 27, 2022

2021 Oscars

The Academy Awards are live on ABC TV.

I just tuned in to hear the moving acceptance speech of Troy Kostur in CODA.

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Friday :: March 25, 2022

Friday Open Thread

"I'm Old Not an Idiot" from the New York Times. Does anyone besides me sympathize with this Spanish gentlemen who has launched a successful protest against ageist bank policies like closing branches and forcing people to use smart phones to conduct serious business?

When will we get approval for a 4th dose of the vaccine? I'm ready. Australia and El Salvador approved it today. And the new variant has been detected in Colorado's wastewater.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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The Brazen and Depraved Politicians Putting Ecnomy Ahead of Health

The Colorado Department of Human Health says that the new COVID-19 variant is in our wastewater and is 50% more transmissible than Omnicron.

A few days ago, New York City Mayor Eric Adams became the latest in a line of value-challenged politicians brazenly putting the ability to make a buck over the health of city residents.

Mayor Eric Adams of New York City said Thursday, linking the decision to the city’s high rate of unemployment and the need to keep employees working. In ending the requirement that athletes and entertainers be vaccinated, he said:

“We’re going to make sure we’re healthy,” he said at a news conference at Citi Field, home of the Mets, where he was joined by executives of the Mets and the Yankees. “And being healthy is not only physically healthy, it’s economically healthy.

[More....]

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Democrats to Unite Behind Jackson Confirmation

What did the Republicans accomplish in their disgraceful public display of aggression during the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson? They ensured that Democrats, to include Sen. Joe Manchin, will unite in support of her.

I only watched a smidgen of the testimony -- when Ted Cruz was leading the charge with his chart of sentencing statistics on her child p*rn cases, but wow, did he make an as* of himself.

The other thing I noticed was the superb coaching Jackson got for the hearings (as do all nominees these days). It must be really hard to sit there poker-faced when some horse's as* is trying to bait you with one absurdly worded question after another.

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Saturday :: March 12, 2022

Saudi Arabia Executes 81 People in a Single Day

Saudi Arabia has executed 81 people in a single day (free link), the most in its history.

Most of those executed on Saturday were Saudis, according to the interior ministry. More than half were from the minority Shiite Muslim population, which has a history of militancy and protest against discrimination. Seven were Yemeni nationals and one was Syrian.

The Saudi Government did not specify the method of execution. Gulf News reports 37 of the men were Saudis who had been found guilty of attempting to assassinate security officers.

According to the Saudi Press Agency: [More...]

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Thursday :: March 10, 2022

Jussie Smollet Gets 18 Months in Jail, Starting Now

A Chicago judge has sentenced actor Jussie Smollett to 150 days in jail, beginning immediately.

Jussie's reaction: He yelled out he's not suicidal and he's innocent. Shorter version: If he ends up dead like Jeffrey Epstein, it was not a suicide.

Smollett faced up to three years in prison for each of the five felony counts of disorderly conduct — the charge filed for lying to police — of which he was convicted. He was acquitted on a sixth count.

The Judge wasn't buying into any sympathy pleas from his supporters. In addition to the 5 months in jail, he will have to be on probation for 2 1/2 years, he has to pay $120k in restitution and a $25k fine. His grandmother told the judge that if he sends Jussie to prison, he should send her along with him. [More]

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Thursday Open Thread: Moving Day

I am getting ready to move this weekend. It's kind of sudden, but construction began last week on a new apartment project directly across the street from me -- a very narrow street. It's going to ruin my view of downtown and already is incredibly noisy, from 6 am to 6 pm. And they haven't even started demolishing the six structures on the lot yet, or running wiring or water lines to it. (It will take up a full city block and construction will take more than a year and a half).

So I'm moving down the hall to a unit with the exact same floor plan as my current place but it faces directly west. I'll be out of sight (and earshot) of the construction, have more mountains to look at and a lot more bright sunlight. But the move has taken up all my non-working time this week. Hiring movers, remembering to call the electric company and phone and internet company to stop service at one place and start at the other...move-out and move-in inspections, and on and on. It's really no less complicated and almost as expensive as moving across town. But the sound of those dump trucks and tractors which beep incessantly starting at 6 a.m. was just too much.

So you are all way ahead of me on the news. Which means another open thread. Wish me luck, I need it the next few days!

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Tuesday :: March 01, 2022

State of the Union: Biden-Style

Joe Biden delivered his first State of the Union address tonight.

In a speech that focused on the war in Ukraine before pivoting to domestic challenges, Biden said the American people are ready for the task ahead of them in keeping the world united in the face of autocracy.

“Now is the hour, our moment of responsibility. Our test of resolve and conscience, of history itself. It is in this moment that our character is formed. Our purpose is found. Our future is forged,” Biden said in closing.

“Well, I know this nation. We will meet the test. To protect freedom and liberty, to expand fairness and opportunity. We will save democracy. As hard as these times have been, I am more optimistic about America today than I have been my whole life.”

More....

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Thursday :: February 24, 2022

More Than 1,000 Protesters Detained in Russia

There have been protests in Russia against Putin's war in the Ukraine. As of today, more than 1,000 have been detained by police.

Their names and places of detention are listed in case you know someone who is looking for a disappeared family member.

There's a pretty big protest going on in Pushkin Square, about 100 meters from the Red Square and Kremlim.

I've also seen some photos of Russian soldiers captured by the Ukraine Army.

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Russia Invades Ukraine: It is a War

Yesterday, Russia began its military offensive against the Ukraine. Vladimir Putin said in a public address that “his goal was to “demilitarize” but not occupy the country.” The Ukraine began conscripting soldiers a few days ago.

As for where the first blasts were heard, reporters and others have mentioned this places: (Maps are also provided).

Russia launched cruise and ballistic missiles at airfields and military headquarters near Kyiv, the country’s capital city, according to Ukrainian officials. In the south, Russian troops landed in Odessa, according to Ukrainian officials.

In eastern Ukraine, Russian missiles hit targets in Kharkiv and Dnipro, according to Ukrainian officials, and loud booms were reported in Kramatorsk. Ukraine’s state emergency services said that attacks had been launched against 10 Ukrainian regions, primarily in the east and south of the country. Several planes were hit at airports, the statement said.

Russia’s military as compared to the Ukraine’s is like a David v. Goliath scenari.. The Ukraine has around 209,000 troops on active service compared to Russia's 900,000; and Ukraine's reserve forces number 900,000, while Russia has 2 million.

The Ukraine has closed the Sea of Azov.

Here is a free link to the Wall. St. Journal news coverage. I really like their news coverage on just about everthing (as opposed to their opinion pieces which I just gloss over).

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Sunday :: February 13, 2022

Sunday Open Thread: Olympics, Superbowl, and Everything Else

It's a beautiful Sunday afternoon here. The Olympics are ongoing, and most of the country will be watching the Superbowl.

And then there's Donald Trump. Nixon had his plumbers, he had a plunger.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Friday :: January 28, 2022

Sarah Palin Continues to Eat NYC Restaurants With COVID

Sarah Palin may love Sarah Palin, but she sure doesn't seem to care about anyone else. Saturday night she ate indoors at Elios. Monday she tested positive. Tuesday night she ate outdoors at Campagnola( my go-to Manhattan restaurant during the mid-90's through the mid-2000's, when I traveled to New York a lot.) Wednesday she went back to Elios and ate outdoors.

New York City Hall spokesman Jonah Allon said in a statement that, “By repeatedly flouting CDC guidelines, Ms. Palin has shown a complete disregard for the health and safety of small business workers and her fellow patrons. The city offers multiple resources to support isolation for those who test positive for COVID-19, and we encourage Ms. Palin to join the 98 percent of New Yorkers who report they have followed guidance on isolation and have helped New York City stop the spread.”

New York and CDC guidance suggest 5 days of isolation after being diagnosed with Covid. [More...]

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