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Showing posts from July 16, 2017

Today's Trumpery

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You'll thank Indian democracy after knowing why China has blacklisted Winnie the Pooh

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[Okay, I guess this is a thing. *RON*]
News Stalker, InUth, 16 July 2017
As Xi Jinping continues consolidating power, China’s media is facing increasing censorship. Surprisingly, Winnie the Pooh has become too politically sensitive to be mentioned on Chinese social media.

Posts including the Chinese name of the fictional bear were censored on Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter-like platform, over the weekend, while a collection of animated gifs featuring the bear were removed from social messaging app WeChat.

According to a report in Financial Times, no explanation was given by the government officials over the crackdown. It is speculated that the Pooh has been the recent victim of censorship due to its previous comparisons with President Xi Jinping by English author AA Milne. Notably, the comparisons had gone viral on Chinese social media. The report suggested that some online commentators were detained after posting remarks about the president.

The ban …

Haiti Official, Who Exposed The Clinton Foundation, Found Dead In Miami

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[Another one bites the dust. *RON*]

Baxter Dmitry Your News Wire, 14 July 2017

Klaus Eberwein, a former Haitian government official who was expected to expose the extent of Clinton Foundation corruption and malpractice next week, has been found dead in Miami. He was 50.

Eberwein was due to appear next Tuesday before the Haitian Senate Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission where he was widely expected to testify that the Clinton Foundation misappropriated Haiti earthquake donations from international donors.

According to Miami-Dade’s medical examiner records supervisor, the official cause of death is “gunshot to the head“. Eberwein’s death has been registered as “suicide.”

Eberwein, who had acknowledged his life was in danger, was a fierce critic of the Clinton Foundation’s activities in the Caribbean island, where he served as director general of the government’s economic development agency, Fonds d’assistance économique et social, for three years.

A…

The Meaning of Lula’s Conviction

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Lula's conviction could shore up Brazil's bickering ruling class while further fragmenting the Left.
Benjamin Fogel & Alex Hochuli, Jacobin Magazine, 15 July 2017
After almost thirty years of trying, the Brazilian forces of reaction have convicted the Workers’ Party (PT) leader and former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

Lula is the leading candidate for the 2018 general elections, and if his conviction stands, it blows open the race, forcing the PT — and the wider left — to seriously reconsider its strategy. The PT without Lula is like the 2014 Brazilian football team without their star player Neymar, and that culminated in the darkest day in Brazilian sporting history: the historic 7-1 rout by Germany.

The parliamentary coup of 2016 was carried on the back of anti-corruption protests that targeted the PT. These were stoked by the regular leaking of corruption revelations to the media by the Lava Jato (“Car Wash”) investigations. …

United Wants to Sell Your Seat to Someone Else for More Money

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[They make more money and you make less. But it's all about customer choice, and has nothing to do with overbooking. And if you believe that, I have a watch I'd like to sell you. *RON*]
Nikki Ekstein, Bloomberg, 12 July 2017
This week, United Airlines Inc. is quietly unveiling a new technology platform that it will use to manage the problem of oversold flights—and, in the same breath, turn them into a profit opportunity.

With the help of its new Flex-Schedule Program, the airline is piloting a way to buck the trend of involuntary bumping—the term for kicking passengers off oversold flights—without necessarily offering four-figure payouts to passengers at the gate, or curbing their practice of overselling inventory. (The airline suffered a publicity black eye earlier this year when police dragged a man off an overbooked plane, and has since promised to offer high-price rewards to fliers who agree to change flights at the last minute.)

Instea…

Outrageous Massachusetts Drug Bill Would Send You to Prison and Steal Your Car—No Drugs Needed

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[It doesn't seem possible under the constitution. The proposed measure redefines reality to make a drug crime out of literally nothing. *RON*]
Phillip SmithAlterNet, 12 July 2017
With the support of state law enforcement, a Massachusetts Democratic state representative has filed a drug war bill that would send violators to prison for a mandatory minimum two years (five years for a second offense) and allow police to seize their vehicles—all without the presence of any actual drugs.

Sponsored by Rep. Stephan Hay (D-Fitchfield), the measure, House Bill 1266, makes it a crime to have a hidden compartment in one's vehicle or to try to add one—and it presumes that any hidden compartment in a vehicle is for "for the purpose of transporting or distributing controlled substances" and related contraband, such as cash or weapons. As the bill specifies in its asset forfeiture section:
Proof that a conveyance contains a hidden compartment …