Patterico's Pontifications


2020 Democratic Debates!

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:04 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Oh boy!

This is so representative of our 2020 politics where everything is theater, and everyone is determined to out-pander the competition, no matter how outlandish and absurd:

It took over 100 people eight days to build the set for CNN’s Democratic debates. Nine 53-foot semi-trucks were needed to haul in all the equipment. There are more than 500 lights, and 25 cameras at the debate location.

Watch it here.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


Trump: “No Strategy” Behind My Attacks On Elijah Cummings

Filed under: General — Dana @ 2:00 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Here’s what President Trump said when asked by a reporter about his attacks on Elijah Cummings:

“There’s no strategy. I have no strategy. There’s zero strategy,” Trump said upon returning to the White House from a trip to Jamestown, Va.

“All it is is I’m pointing out facts,” he added. “The most unsafe city in our country is Baltimore.”

He repeated his assertion that Cummings, who represents parts of Baltimore, should use his power as House Oversight and Reform chairman to investigate the city’s use of federal funds.

Asked why he has focused his rage on Cummings instead of local leaders over the plight of Baltimore, Trump initially denied he was angry but later chastised the lawmaker for his fierce criticism of conditions at the southern border.

“I’m just telling you the facts,” Trump said. “I’m not angry at anybody. I’m just saying Elijah Cummings has been there for 26 years … he’s seen these mayors get thrown out, thrown out, thrown out. They’re all friends of his.”

And while an official in the administration echoed the president in saying that his attacks on Cummings aren’t part of a larger strategy, one wonders. Maybe it isn’t yet, but it’s easy to see it becoming just that:

Trump has said in the past day that he thinks his messaging about inner-cities is resonating and doesn’t appear swayed by the concerns of his advisers.

Trump claimed Tuesday morning while speaking to reporters that he was “helping himself” with voters when whether he feels he is alienating moderates with his tweets.

“No, I think I’m helping myself because I’m pointing out the tremendous corruption,” he said before departing the White House.

In spite of his attacks on Elijah Cummings, Trump insisted that he has received phone calls from a lot of African-Americans praising him for his comments on Baltimore:

“I’ve received more phone calls than I think on any other subject of people from Baltimore and other cities corruptly run by Democrats, thanking me for getting involved,” Trump told reporters outside the White House.

“Those people are living in hell in Baltimore. They’re largely African American,” he said. “You have a large African American population, and they really appreciate what I’m doing. And they’ve let me know it. They really appreciate it.”The president asserted again on Tuesday afternoon that he’d heard from “many” African Americans who called to thank him for bringing attention to Baltimore, but did not elaborate further.

Additionally, the president blamed “fake news” for a new Quinnipiac University poll that found 80 percent of black voters believe he is racist:

If the news reported it properly of all of the things I’ve done for African Americans… I think I’d do very well with the African Americans,” Trump said. “And I think I’m doing very well right now.”

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


Abortion Doctor: “It’s Even More Satisfying When It’s A Real Abortion”

Filed under: General — Dana @ 11:53 am

[guest post by Dana]

Said no baby in the womb, ever.

I’ve always maintained that it is absolutely essential to the pro-abortion team to keep any mention or acknowledgement of personhood out of the abortion discussion. Never, ever acknowledge that a unique individual with a soul, and created in the image of God is growing inside of their mother’s body. Because once you admit that there is indeed personhood, then you confirm that you are killing a living being. Same goes with why there is a strong objection for women to have an ultrasound done before deciding whether to have an abortion. Taking in the fullness and life of that tiny, pumping heart could be a deal breaker, and that’s not good for the abortion industry’s bottom line.

But because abortion still um, has a stigma attached to it, doctors are working to demystify and destigmatize the process. And they’re conducting “papaya workshops” to help accomplish that:

“This is a 10-week gravid uterus,” Zoey Thill said, holding up a “pregnant” papaya the size of a large fist. “And this,” she added, gesturing to her own pregnant belly, “is a 38-week gravid uterus.”

Thill, a New York City-based abortion provider, was explaining the anatomy of the uterus to a group of about a dozen of us, in Verso Books’ Brooklyn office on a Monday night. The narrow part of the papaya, where the stem would be, is like the cervix, she said. The broader portion of the papaya is like the upper area of the uterus known as the fundus—and it’s that part we would want to avoid puncturing with our tools when, in just a few minutes, we would practice performing an aspiration abortion on our own papayas.

But if we did by accident, that was OK, Thill said. “We’re not going to shame perforators,” she reassured.

Thill brought us to a long table across the room, where several Hawaiian papayas were lined up on surgical pads. After telling us about the tools that were laid out—plus the ones she didn’t have with her, the speculum and tenaculum—Thill demonstrated a first-trimester abortion on the papaya she’d displayed earlier. She talked to the “patient” throughout, checking in on how they were doing as she inserted a finger into the “cervix,” then pantomimed inserting the speculum; she pretended to apply the local anesthetic and then began inserting the metal tapered rods on the table one by one to dilate the opening.

When the papaya was fully “dilated,” she placed a plastic tube called a cannula inside and attached it to a manual vacuum aspirator, a plastic, syringe-like device, sucking out the inner contents of the papaya: what, for our purposes, was the pregnancy. From start to finish, the procedure had taken no more than three minutes.

Thill admired the seeds in the plastic tube. “This is a really fucking good one.”

After participants successfully performed their own “abortions,” Thill cheered them on, and said:

“It’s even more satisfying when it’s a real abortion,”

My question is, why resort to using an inanimate object? Why not just show a real abortion taking place? If your goal really is to demystify the procedure, then be totally transparent. This would be much more honest, and would more accurately inform women about what really takes place during the procedure. Of course, the downside for the abortionist is that it wouldn’t help them keep personhood or life out of the equation. Best stick to inanimate objects for that.

Too bad that after the papaya performance was done, no one asked Thill to demonstrate a second and third trimester abortion. I would have.

The desperate efforts to dehumanize murder continue apace.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


Ilhan Omar Shares Tweet Mocking Vicious Attack on Rand Paul

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:38 am

So Rand Paul recently shared this sentiment regarding Ilhan Omar, supporting Trump’s “go back where you came from” rhetoric:

In the Trumpy landscape, you respond to nastiness with way more nastiness. So Omar retweeted this ugly tweet from Tom Arnold:

Omar Retweets Tom Arnold

Let’s remind ourselves about the injuries Rand Paul suffered in the attack in question:

The force of the landing with his neighbor on top of him broke six of Paul’s ribs and punctured one of his lungs.

The injuries left Paul breathless. Another blow to his back, and he might die, Paul thought.

Excellent fodder for some yuks, no?

And you wonder why I find nothing to support (or really even discuss) in national political discussion these days.

Regardless of what Paul said about Omar, this is unacceptable. She should be censured. But of course nothing will happen. The story is 19 hours old and as far as I can tell it has already been forgotten.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]


Filed under: Crime — DRJ @ 7:00 am

[Headlines from DRJ]

Let’s talk about hacking and hackers … like the news that Capital One target of massive data breach:

A security breach at Capital One Financial, one of the nation’s largest issuers of credit cards, compromised the personal information of about 106 million people, and in some cases the hacker obtained Social Security and bank account numbers.

It is among the largest security breaches of a major U.S. financial institution on record.

Authorities have already made an arrest of a transgender ex-Amazon employee, 33, in Seattle who had boasted about the hack online:

Thompson allegedly pulled it off between March and July of this year by breaking into the bank’s servers through a misconfiguration in its firewall.

The data was being stored on Amazon’s Web Services cloud but Amazon insists it is not to blame for the hack and that she exploited Capital One’s systems to access it. Capital One admits that it was a fault in its infrastructure, and not Amazon’s, which led to the breach.

After allegedly stealing the data, Thompson left authorities a trail of breadcrumbs, posting online about the hack so much that other hackers warned her she was facing jail.

Her online postings about the hack were reported to Capital One on July 17 in an email from a white hat hacker who had seen the information on a website called GitHub alerted the bank to it in an email.

There are also warnings about a different kind of hacking:

The Department of Homeland Security plans to issue a security alert Tuesday for small planes, warning that modern flight systems are vulnerable to hacking if someone manages to gain physical access to the aircraft.

An alert from the DHS critical infrastructure computer emergency response team recommends that plane owners ensure they restrict unauthorized physical access to their aircraft until the industry develops safeguards to address the issue, which was discovered by a Boston-based cybersecurity company and reported to the federal government.

Most airports have security in place to restrict unauthorized access and there is no evidence that anyone has exploited the vulnerability. But a DHS official told The Associated Press that the agency independently confirmed the security flaw with outside partners and a national research laboratory, and decided it was necessary to issue the warning.

A hacker would need to have access to the plane, which seems harder (but not impossible) given post-9/11 security measures.

Let’s end with a Georgia Tech study about hacking our cars:

In the year 2026, at rush hour, your self-driving car abruptly shuts down right where it blocks traffic. You climb out to see gridlock down every street in view, then a news alert on your watch tells you that hackers have paralyzed all Manhattan traffic by randomly stranding internet-connected cars.

Flashback to July 2019, the dawn of autonomous vehicles and other connected cars, and physicists at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Multiscale Systems, Inc. have applied physics in a new study to simulate what it would take for future hackers to wreak exactly this widespread havoc by randomly stranding these cars. The researchers want to expand the current discussion on automotive cybersecurity, which mainly focuses on hacks that could crash one car or run over one pedestrian, to include potential mass mayhem.

They warn that even with increasingly tighter cyber defenses, the amount of data breached has soared in the past four years, but objects becoming hackable can convert the rising cyber threat into a potential physical menace.

“Unlike most of the data breaches we hear about, hacked cars have physical consequences,” said Peter Yunker, who co-led the study and is an assistant professor in Georgia Tech’s School of Physics.

It may not be that hard for state, terroristic, or mischievous actors to commandeer parts of the internet of things, including cars.

“With cars, one of the worrying things is that currently there is effectively one central computing system, and a lot runs through it. You don’t necessarily have separate systems to run your car and run your satellite radio. If you can get into one, you may be able to get into the other,” said Jesse Silverberg of Multiscale Systems, Inc., who co-led the study with Yunker.

Why do hackers hack? Money/criminal gain, to leak information or disrupt services, attention/fun, ideology or to make a political or personal point. In other words, hackers are going to hack. We live in wonderful times but we need to stay smart.


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