Duplicitous Catholic Bishop buys $2.3 million home with church funds after pleading for parishioners to help the homeless

A couple of years back, the Most Reverend Patrick J. McGrath, Bishop of the Diocese of San Jose, California, wrote an impassioned missive. In his letter, Bishop McGrath acknowledged the Catholic charities working to better the lives of the less fortunate. He emphasized how important it was that Catholics "vote their consciences" on Measure A: a proposal that would see affordable housing in an effort to end homelessness in the area and give struggling families a much-needed helping hand.

From The Valley Catholic:

Too many veterans have vouchers for affordable housing but no place willing to accept them. Too many children and families are living in cars or tripled up with other families in small homes because they can’t afford the rent on their own. Too many of our own teachers and workers commute long distances to serve our community of faith because they cannot afford ever increasing rents and housing prices.

He was right: everyone deserves the dignity of decent housing. That a community leader, like Bishop McGrath, would lend his voice to end this kind of bullshit, is both just and welcomed. It's how things should be.

So of course, the Bishop and the diocese fucked all of the good will built by this statement by buying a five bedroom house worth $2.3 million for McGrath to live in once he retires.

You should know that not all priests, which sometimes become bishops after decades of service and political finagling, take vows of poverty. Only certain religious orders within the Catholic Church are down with that. Read the rest

New Mexico Greyhound Bus Crash: Multiple deaths, serious injuries. 49 were on board.

Multiple deaths and many people with serious injuries are reported in a Greyhound bus crash on a freeway in New Mexico, police say. Read the rest

Mastercard sold Google data on cardholders' in-store credit card use

Bloomberg:

For the past year, select Google advertisers have had access to a potent new tool to track whether the ads they ran online led to a sale at a physical store in the U.S. That insight came thanks in part to a stockpile of Mastercard transactions that Google paid for. But most of the two billion Mastercard holders aren’t aware of this behind-the-scenes tracking.

...

Google paid Mastercard millions of dollars for the data, according to two people who worked on the deal, and the companies discussed sharing a portion of the ad revenue, according to one of the people.

The battles we thought we were fighting were lost years ago. They just never bothered to tell us. Read the rest

Amazon not releasing new Woody Allen movie as planned

“Oh no! For the first time since 1981 there will be no Woody Allen this year,” lulzed Joe Berkowitz, speaking for me also, and everyone who's grossed out by Woody Allen.

“NOW how will we get our required annual dosage of shrewish women complicating a nervous man's life?” Read the rest

Trump on Mueller probe: 'I view it as an illegal investigation'

“I view it as an illegal investigation,” President Donald Trump said today, referring to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe. Read the rest

I finally added weights to my DIY Peloton set-up

I have posted a couple times about my DIY Peloton indoor exercise bike. I recently added weights for the arm and chest exercises. I like them. Read the rest

What's this ex-ICE official doing at an anti-Muslim hatefest in Virginia?

“America is at stage two Islamic Cancer,” says the founder of ACT for America. Why exactly is Thomas Homan, former acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), speaking at their upcoming event in Washington, D.C.? And he only retired in June. Read the rest

Florida sheriff makes reasonable stand-your-ground shooting sound like casual murder

Jason Boek swerved his truck in front of an Uber driver at 2 a.m., forced him to pull over, then approached his vehicle while claiming to have a pistol and threatening to shoot. Boek was stalking a woman and under the mistaken impression she was a passenger in the vehicle. The Uber driver, Robert Westlake, pulled his own gun and shot Boek once, killing him.

Given the violent threat and the dangerous circumstances, no-one's in trouble: Westlake even performed CPR and called 911, to no avail. But here's the local sheriff to put the unique stamp of Florida on it all:

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said Mr Boek was a "goofball".

"Here's a message for the hotheads of the community: don't do that stuff," the sheriff said.

"Good people carry guns and they will shoot you. A lot. Graveyard dead."

Read the rest

Trump says Sessions to remain Attorney General until after midterms

Hey, a lot can happen in 8 weeks.

Donald Trump, President of the United States, said today he's keeping Attorney General Jeff Sessions around until after the midterm elections in November. Read the rest

That time Daryl Hannah and Neil Young got married

Did you know that Canadian music icon Neil Young and American mermaid-patch-eyed-movie-psychopath icon Daryl Hannah have been dating since 2014? If not, you'll raise an eyebrow over the fact that all points lead to the fact that the pair recently tied the knot.

From The Guardian:

The couple reportedly wed on Saturday in Atascadero, after a ceremony on Young’s yacht near the San Juan islands.

The guitarist Mark Miller appeared to confirm the news on Facebook when he congratulated the couple. He later clarified that he had not attended the ceremony. “I only knew about it because one of my friends attended the ceremony in Atascadero and announced it on his page,” Miller said.

The administrator of Young’s blog also congratulated the pair, and referred to comments from attendees, who described the event as “a shindig”.

Hannah posted a cryptic image to her Instagram account the following day. She captioned the picture of an owl: “Someone’s watching over us … love and only love.”

No one, according to The Guardian, was watching over Young's wife of over three decades, Pegi Young, when he divorced her shortly before his relationship with Hannah became a thing. That said, no one knows the truth behind Pegi and Neil breaking up, save them, their lawyers and very likely, Daryl Hannah.

It's been four years since the divorce--four years that Hannah and Young have been together as a couple. Hopefully, in a world as shitty as this one has been of late, the newlyweds and Pegi, as she pursues a better world through her music, philanthropy and environmentalist efforts, have all found some small measure of happiness. Read the rest

Canada's Prime Minister mandates examination of a full ban on handguns and assault weapons

Justin Trudeau, Canada's Prime Minister, has released a wide-ranging mandate letter asking Canada's Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction, Bill Blair, to "[L]ead an examination of a full ban on handguns and assault weapons in Canada, while not impeding the lawful use of firearms by Canadians."

This work would be in support of Canada's upcoming Firearms bill, Bill C-71, and is supported by the city councils of two of Canada's largest cities: Toronto and Montreal, who have recently both passed resolutions asking for an outright ban on handguns.

As Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction, your goals are to ensure that our borders remain secure and to lead cross-government efforts to reduce organized crime. You will work to ensure Canada’s borders are managed to promote legitimate travel and trade while keeping Canadians safe and treating everyone fairly, in accordance with our laws. You will also play a leading role in our efforts to reduce gun violence. You will lead the legalization and strict regulation of cannabis, and are the Minister responsible for our strategy to manage the challenge of irregular migration.

Image: Kencf0618 [CC BY-SA 3.0], from Wikimedia Commons Read the rest

Someone pulled their dick out: Louis C.K. and the #MeToo movement

People make mistakes. They commit crimes. Sometimes they pull their erect dick out and start masturbating in front of female colleagues. Louis C.K. recently performed for the first time since confirming he did exactly that to a number of women over a period of years. Was his return to the stage, as they say in comedy, “too soon?” Outside of legal recourse, how do we deal with perpetrators of sexual misdeeds, abuse, harassment, and assault in the long haul?

As the news of his return broke, I could almost hear women across the country face-palming themselves over the fact that he appeared unannounced and unexpectedly in front of an unsuspecting audience who had not given their consent. Social media became a biopsy of the strange cultural crossroads the #MeToo stories have brought us to. But this time there was more of a split across gender lines. The backlash about Louis’ comeback were mostly female voices. The support for him, feeling he’d already paid a fair price, were mostly male voices.

Comedian Michael Ian Black tweeted a message addressing the friction to his almost two million followers:

"The #MeToo movement is incredibly powerful and important and vital. One next step, among many steps, has to be figuring out a way for the men who are caught up in it to find redemption.”

Read the rest

Médecins Sans Frontières is on the front lines of the Mexican drug war

The northwestern Mexican state of Guerrero’s ocean side vistas, Mayan and Zapotec heritage and mountainous terrain would make it a postcard-pretty place to be—if it weren’t for all the murder and financial destitution.

Because of the extreme poverty in the region, the state has one of the lowest life expectancy rates in the nation. According to the Guardian, close to 70% of the people who call Guerrero home, live in poverty. This misery experienced on a daily basis by those living in Guerrero is compounded by an ongoing turf war between cartels and the Mexican military resulting in one of the highest murder rates per capita, in the world. The violence is so extreme that most professionals who can afford to pick up and relocate, have done so. The loss of lawyers? Meh. However, having no Doctors or other medical staff to care for a population trapped in an already untenable situation is nightmare.

Thankfully, with little fanfare, Médecins Sans Frontières is on the scene, trying to make a difference.

From The Guardian:

Before patients are seen, the clinical team – three doctors, two psychologists and a nurse – explain that MSF is neutral, independent, free of charge and available to anyone as long as weapons are left outside.

This is the standard pep talk in the state of Guerrero, where MSF has taken over 11 primary health clinics that have closed or are limited by the security crisis in communities long neglected by the state.

In addition to regular clinics, MSF provides rapid response interventions in the aftermath of grave incidents like mass kidnappings, gun battles and massacres, which leave displaced or trapped communities in psychological turmoil.

Read the rest

FBI dumps all over Trump's Clinton-China hacking distraction

Trump repeating conspiracy theories does not make them true, Fox NEWS has to repeat them 30 more times.

Via Ars Technica:

The Federal Bureau of Investigations issued a terse statement today regarding President Donald J. Trump's allegation via Twitter that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's private mail server had been compromised by the Chinese government. The official statement, issued by an FBI spokesperson in response to an inquiry by NBC News, simply read, "The FBI has not found any evidence the servers were compromised"—referring to the three email servers used by Clinton during and after her tenure at the US State Department.

Read the rest

New York City renamed as "Jewtropolis" in Snapchat maps

New York City was vandalized in OpenStreetMap, and as a result renamed as "Jewtropolis" in Snapchat and other applications that ultimately depend on the service for mapping.

The company called it an act of "vandalism" and said it was working with its partner Mapbox to "get this fixed immediately".

In a statement, Snap said the defacement was "deeply offensive".

Screenshots on social media appeared to show other apps had also been affected.

The problem with outsourcing content to third parties is that it pins your reputation to their reliability and trustworthiness. And here there appears to be a chain: Snapchat (etc) pulling data from Mapbox pulling data from OpenStreetMap pulling data from antisemitic users.

I'd been waiting for a major wikipedia page to "fall" to an organized clique on the far right without being successfully reverted to the prior editorial consensus. This incident tastes like an apéritif. Read the rest

This suitcase is taking no prisoners

Yeah... maybe hold on to your suitcase when you're riding an escalator. Or, better yet, take an elevator if you can. Read the rest

$2m "fentanyl" bust turns out to be big bag of sugar

Last week, New Hanover County Sheriff Ed McMahon boasted of making “one of the largest seizures in the state” after hauling 12 pounds of "fentanyl" from a drug bust. Sadly for McMahon, the state crime lab says it is sugar.

“The job of the District Attorney is not to convict at all costs, but to be ministers of justice. That commitment requires us to move swiftly to dismiss or modify charges when we become aware of new evidence that calls into question a defendant’s guilt,” Ben David, the district attorney for New Hanover County, said in a statement.

The people busted aren't off the hook, as other "drugs" were found. Fortunately for them, "contributing to the epic self-own of a law enforcement officer" is not on the books in North Carolina. Read the rest

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