Aretha Franklin honored at Buckingham Palace by British Army during Changing of the Guard

The life of Aretha Franklin is being celebrated today in Detroit, at what is already described as a legendary memorial service. Earlier today, the British Army paid tribute to the late singer during the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace in London. Read the rest

Ian M. Smith, Homeland Security staffer tied to white supremacists, was in White House policy meetings with Stephen Miller

This guy worked for DHS. This is really bad stuff:

“Smith responded to a group dinner invitation whose host said his home would be 'judenfrei,' a German word used by the Nazis (...) to describe territory that had been 'cleansed' of Jews. Smith replied, 'They don’t call it Freitag for nothing.” Read the rest

In-N-Out donates $25,000 to California Republican Party, under Trump. There's a boycott.

In-N-Out, the popular California burger chain, just dropped $25,000 on the California GOP under Donald Trump. Read the rest

DO NOT travel to North Korea, what's left of the U.S. State Dept. warns Americans

“Do not travel” to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the U.S. State Department warned American citizens in a renewed advisory on Friday. Read the rest

TSA + CBP test new facial recognition tech & computed tomography scanners at LAX

A new facial recognition technology screening system will soon be used on some travelers who pass through Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Read the rest

Fortnite Battle Royale and "The Mystery of the Weird Cube"

Speculating about what the hell is actually happening to the in-game universe, and odd backstory, is a Fortnite fan favorite activity. Read the rest

RIP The Village Voice

"Today is kind of a sucky day," Village Voice owner Peter Barbey told newspaper staff in a phone call Friday. "Due to, basically, business realities, we're going to stop publishing Village Voice new material.” Read the rest

My 12 y-o niece really loves Maxine the corgi

Maxine seems to represent the breed standard well.

Thanks, Lana. Read the rest

Racist robocalls from an Idaho Neo-nazi group plague Floridians

Idaho Nazis. I hate Idaho Nazis.

These assholes used a mocking dialect and jungle noises while impersonating the Florida democratic candidate for governor, Andrew Gillum, in robocalls made to voters in Tallahassee.

Entire thing claims to be funded by some Nazis in Idaho.

Via the Tallahassee Democrat:

Robocalls against Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum that say they were paid for by a neo-Nazi group in Idaho are going out to voters in Tallahassee.

The automated calls are narrated by someone pretending to be Gillum and using an exaggerated minstrel dialect with jungle noises in the background. The calls end with a disclaimer that they were funded by The Road to Power, an anti-Semitic, white supremacist website and podcast linked to Scott Rhodes of Sandpoint, Idaho.

According to the Des Moines Register, a sister paper of the Tallahassee Democrat, the group has been linked to other robocall campaigns in Charlottesville, Virginia, Oregon and California.

Terry Kant-Rauch, a Tallahassee realtor, received one of the robocalls this morning in the voice mail of her cell phone. Kant-Rauch, a Democrat who happens to have a biracial daughter, became emotional after hearing it, she said.

“Campaign on the merits,” she said, “not on the color of his skin.”

Geoff Burgan, communications director for Gillum's campaign, responded by saying, "This is reprehensible — and could only have come from someone with intentions to fuel hatred and seek publicity. Please don’t give it undeserved attention."

The Democrat chose not to publish the audio because of its blatantly racist and offensive content.

Read the rest

Japanese Whisky: beautiful book about the best booze east of Glen Garioch

Beautifully produced and incredibly satisfying, Brian Ashcraft's Japanese Whisky is more than a handsome primer about some of the world's best booze. It's also an assured and familiar exploration of the drink's history and culture in the world's fourth-largest whisky market, complemented by outstanding photography and dozens of tasting notes.

Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte says "beautiful women" are to blame for rape crisis

Philippine dictator Rodrigo Duterte, whom Trump envies and greatly admires for his ruthlessness and cruelty, told people at a public event that his country's rape crisis is the victims' fault. "They say there are many rape cases in Davao," Duterte said. "Well, for as long as there are many beautiful women, there will be many rape cases, too."

From The New York Times:

The president appeared in his comments to be referring to a recent report by the Philippine National Police, which found that Davao recorded the highest number of rapes among major cities in the Philippines in the second quarter of the year.

The police said 42 people had reported being raped in Davao between April and June period. Critics contend that the latest data alone shatter the myth being sold by the president that Davao was free of crime and the safest city in the country.

Harry Roque, Mr. Duterte’s spokesman, tried to limit the fallout from the president’s comments, suggesting he was not a misogynist because he had appointed several women to key positions in his government.

“I don’t think we should give too much weight on what the president says by way of a joke,” Mr. Roque said, adding that residents of the southern Philippines tended to be less easily offended than their compatriots in the capital.

Image: Kremlin Read the rest

American Conservative magazine says stop calling Trump a racist because there are bigger racists in the world

The replies to The American Conservative's exceedingly stupid tweet make for good reading.

Image: Shutterstock/xiaorui Read the rest

Thousands of fish dropped from the sky

Since the 1950s, wildlife departments have airdropped fish from planes to repopulate remote lakes. Above is video shot by Kamas State Fish Hatchery.

"They kind of flutter down, so they don't impact very hard," said Kamas State Fish Hatchery supervisor Ted Hallows. "They flutter with the water and they do really well."

From an article Hallows wrote in Wildlife Review (PDF):

Many of the lakes in Utah are excellent places to fish, but you can’t get to them with a truck or a car. The Uinta Mountains alone have more than 650 fishable lakes. The best way to stock many of these valuable fisheries—and sometimes the only way to stock them—is from the air… What used to take the old-time biologists and their pack trains months to stock can now be stocked in a few hours with an airplane. And using an airplane stresses the fish less. That means more of them will survive their fall to the water.

More at The Kid Should See This: "Aerial stocking: Utah wildlife departments drop fish into lakes from airplanes"

pic.twitter.com/n9By2HusQe

— Pattern (@Pattern) August 29, 2018

Read the rest

Bank of America is freezing accounts of US citizens for not proving residency status

It's legal to have a bank account in the US without being a citizen. But Bank of America has been freezing accounts of people who don't jump through hoops to prove their residency status. It froze the funds of an Iranian Ph.D physics candidate at the University of Miami, because it decided the documentation he'd been providing every six month suddenly wasn't good enough. He couldn't pay rent or credit card bills, even though he had plenty of money in his account. Bank of America is also freezing the funds of US citizens who didn't fill out forms sent to them in the mail.

The Sacramento Bee recounts an incident that shows BofA has xenophobic policies dating back at least a couple of years:

Dan Hernandez, a Broward County native of Cuban heritage now working as a TV writer in Los Angeles, said he had his business account suspended by Bank of America in December 2016. When he asked why, he was told he was under suspicion of doing business with Cuba. His corporation was called Cuban Missile Inc.—”Cuban Missile” has been his nickname since childhood.

“I started screaming that this was racist,” he said. “Like, did you go through every company that had ’Jewish bagels’ in its name, or how about calling someone with ‘Korean BBQ’ to see if they’re doing business with Kim Jong Un?”

He eventually Tweeted at the bank’s social media account—and had his situation resolved within 45 minutes. He says he feels lucky that he was able to leverage that platform and his status to get a relatively quick fix, because he is certain others do not have the ability to do so.

Read the rest

San Francisco rejects permit application for Bird and Lime scooters

E-scooter sharing companies Scoot and Skip scooted and skipped their way to the head of the permit approval processing line in San Francisco, but the city flipped the bird at Bird and left Lime feeling sour. Word on the street is that San Francisco is peeved that Bird and Lime deployed their scooters without securing permits, and retaliated by denying their applications and while accepting Scoot and Skip's, which have headquarters based there.

Meanwhile, Santa Monica gave the green light to Bird, Lime, Lyft, and Uber's electric bike pilot programs.

Axios has more.

Image: Grendelkhan/Wikimedia.This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license. Read the rest

Trump's approval rating hits rock bottom in latest ABC-Washington Post poll

A new ABC News/Washington Post poll that was conducted between August 26-29 shows Trump's approval and disapproval ratings to be at their worst for Trump since he took office.

His disapproval rating is at its highest, with 60% who disapprove of his job performance, and a mere 35% who approve of it.

According to ABC:

Sixty percent in the national survey disapprove of Trump’s performance in office, numerically the highest of his presidency, albeit by a single point; that includes 53 percent who disapprove strongly, more than half for the first time. Thirty-six percent approve, matching his low...

Trump’s average approval rating since taking office is the lowest for any president in modern polling since the 1940s. One factor: Contrary to his “drain the swamp” rhetoric, 45 percent say corruption in Washington has increased under Trump, while just 13 percent say it’s declined.

Of course poll numbers change from poll to poll and from day to day, but hey, let us enjoy this snapshot moment while it lasts. Read the rest

Mad Musk: Tesla CEO angrily headbutted car after safety sensor paused assembly line

The first paragraphs in this Wall Street Journal story about the Tesla CEO's ego problems are absolutely b🔥o🔥n🔥k🔥e🔥r🔥s.

During a tour this spring at Tesla Inc.’s electric-car factory in Fremont, Calif., Elon Musk asked why the assembly line had stopped. Managers said automatic safety sensors halted the line whenever people got in the way.

Mr. Musk became angry, according to people familiar with what happened. His high-profile gamble on mass-producing electric cars had lagged behind since production began, and here was one more frustration. The billionaire entrepreneur began head-butting the front end of a car on the assembly line.

“I don’t see how this could hurt me,” he said of vehicles on the slow-speed line. “I want the cars to just keep moving.”

When a senior engineering manager involved with the system explained that it was a safety measure, Mr. Musk told him, “Get out!” Tesla said the manager was fired for other reasons.

Read the rest

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