Justifying police violence, Trump lies about Buffalo man bleeding from ear after police attack

The president is nuts.

Coronavirus: 'The notion that everyone needs to be tested is nonsensical' — Kayleigh McEnany, Trump Press Sec

“The notion that everyone needs to be tested for the coronavirus is nonsensical,” ⁦said Donald Trump's press secretary Kayleigh McEnany today. Her explanation: because COVID-19 tests would have to be given over and over again.

The stupid, it burns.

This is an obvious nonsensical lie, and contradicts what public health experts and the obvious basics of science and math tell us about COVID-19. Read the rest

UK tabloid Daily Mail fabricated photo of athlete breaking social distancing rules

The Daily Mail, a UK tabloid, ran a story accusing British athlete James Cracknell of breaking social distancing rules in a visit with his parents. It illustrated this with the above photograph, showing Cracknell sat inches from his father. The Daily Mail, however, fabricated this image by photoshopping what Cracknell actually posted, below. The real photo was, in fact, a humorous illustration of the social distancing measures the Daily Mail accused Cracknell of breaking.

The blatant, pervasive, smirking fakeness of UK newspaper reportage is one of those things that everyone accepts but never quite groks. It's not just the occasional photo, but the basic formula for content generation. Even editors who take it too far, such as Piers Morgan, tend to fail upward after a perfunctory moment of disgrace.

In this case, the defense upon which the Mail depends is that Cracknell's visit was still against the rules. The fact of this isn't clear, as Cracknell claims he bought them food, but this defense works with Britons delighted to be thusly policed. Read the rest

Trump said no injuries, but 100 US troops have brain injuries after Iran strike on Al Asad

One hundred U.S. soldiers have been diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries following the Iran missile strike on an American military base in Iraq about which Donald Trump lied, 'no injuries.' Read the rest

Cop "fired" after fabricating story of insulting McDonalds coffee cup

An anonymous police officer in Herington, Kansas, claimed he was given a coffee cup with "fucking pigs" written on it by staff at McDonalds. The story went viral, uncritically laundered by local media and spread by outraged conservatives on the internet. But it turned out he was lying. McDonalds had the receipts—video surveillance of the purchase—and forced the Herington P.D. to admit that it didn't happen. The cop "is no longer employed" by Herington Police Department, says Chief Brian Hornaday

"In (our) investigation we have found that McDonald's and its employees did not have anything whatsoever to do with this incident, this was completely and solely fabricated by a Herington police officer who is no longer employed with our agency," Herington Police Department Chief Brian Hornaday said in a news conference Monday.

The incident, the chief said, has been an "obvious violation of ... public trust."

"Our job is solely to do this job with the utmost integrity because if you can't trust the cops, who can you trust," he said.

It was Hornaday himself who first posted the photos to social media, which is why we don't know the name of the cop, because he is refusing to tell anyone. "If you can't trust the cops, who can you trust," he adds. Read the rest

McKinsey is lying about its role in building ICE's gulags, and paying to own the top search result for "McKinsey ICE"

Propublica's meticulously researched and reported story about McKinsey's roles in designing ICE's detention centers, advising ICE to skimp on supervision, food and medical care, is as unimpeachable as all of Propublica's work. Read the rest

FCC Chairman Pai's former employer, Verizon, lied about coverage, and then Pai tried to bury the news

America's telcoms sector is hugely concentrated and corrupt, and systematically underinvests in maintenance and infrastructure even as it gouges customers, which it can get away with thanks to its monopoly power, leaving Americans with some of the world's worst, most expensive communications services. Read the rest

Debullshitifying the Right to Repair excuses Apple sent to Congress

Apple's response to the Congressional committee investigating monopolistic behavior by tech giants contains a chapter on Right to Repair, whose greatest enemy is Apple -- the company led successful campaigns to kill 20 state level Right to Repair bills last year. Read the rest

Apparently Facebook did approve ads saying Republicans support the Green New Deal

The Really Online Lefty League has a wonderful ad running on Facebook. Using archival footage of Republican leaders speaking up for the environment, to prove AOC's point about Facebook being untrustworthy and duplicitous, the ad shows Lindsay Graham backing the Green New Deal.

Video Link Read the rest

Shocking: Trump campaign official insists President Trump has never lied

It is all the fake media, she says.

Read the rest

NYPD cop who choked Eric Garner lied about it to investigators, says judge

A judge says that NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo should be fired for his “reckless” use of a banned chokehold—and for lying about it after his victim Eric Garner, an unarmed black man selling cigarettes on the street, died.

The judge, Rosemarie Maldonado, who has recommended that Officer Pantaleo be fired, concluded that he had been “untruthful” during the interview, according to the opinion that grew out of a departmental trial that ended in June.

A final decision about Officer Pantaleo’s fate rests with the police commissioner, and will come five years after the death of Mr. Garner — who uttered “I can’t breathe” 11 times — first galvanized the Black Lives Matter movement

Pictured here is Eric with his family. Read the rest

How big Greenland really is

Trump wants to buy Greenland, because of course he does. Reading the coverage, it struck me that media generally prefer to use the Mercator projection when showing the island. This is because we think it's funny to depict Greenland as a vast place as large as North America itself.

Though all 2D projections of our very 3D planet are distorted, this particular projection was designed for navigating equatorial seas and is ludicrously obsolete and inappropriate for depicting arctic regions. Instead, here's a general perspective projection--the globe as if viewed from space--that shows Greenland's true size, relatively undistorted compared to neighboring regions.

Still a big place—just not as big as the BBC's misleading map would have it. (Which is crudely inaccurate, too, with that distance marker) Read the rest

Academic used GDPR request to reveal they'd been secretly blacklisted

In The Independent, Dora B writes about experiencing a growing and disturbing awareness that they were being shunned and excluded from their field of specialism. Dora eventually used the GDPR—Europe's recent law providing access to the data held on you by companies and institutions—to expose what was going on. Dora was not only professionally blacklisted, the emails revealed, but privately the subject of insults, scorn and abuse from peers that Dora trusted and depended upon for references and appointments.

Firstly, my eminent and influential PhD supervisor had let it be widely known that they thought I was an unpleasant person, impossible to work with, fundamentally stupid, and that I definitely shouldn’t be doing a doctorate.

They complained vigorously about having such an awful student, but never mentioned the two hour-long interviews they conducted with me before agreeing to take me on. After that, one of my PhD examiners had been asked about me off the record, and had advised against me. They repeatedly used insults and demeaning adjectives to block me from several employment positions and speaking engagements.

I approached the individuals and the institutions concerned about the content of my Subject Access Request. They all refused to discuss the matter with me, so I can only speculate as to what was going on. If my conduct had been that awful, I would have received a warning or been subject to some kind of disciplinary procedure, but I wasn’t, so where my supervisor thought I was difficult, it is equally possible that, as a mature student, I merely had clear boundaries.

Read the rest

Algorithm can identify 99.98% of users in supposedly "anonymized" data

In The New York Times, Gina Kolata writes that a team of scientists has proven a method of identifying specific individuals from "anonymous" data sets.

Scientists at Imperial College London and Université Catholique de Louvain, in Belgium, reported in the journal Nature Communications that they had devised a computer algorithm that can identify 99.98 percent of Americans from almost any available data set with as few as 15 attributes, such as gender, ZIP code or marital status.

Even more surprising, the scientists posted their software code online for anyone to use. That decision was difficult, said Yves-Alexandre de Montjoye, a computer scientist at Imperial College London and lead author of the new paper.

They had to publish because to do the research is to realize that criminals and governments already did the research. Read the rest

Big U.S. news media Twitter accounts amplify Trump's lies uncritically 19 times a day: Study

Journalists “end up amplifying falsehoods.”

Warning: It's April Fools' day

Remember that a lot of what you see today on the internet will be humorless lies. And everything else will be April Fools jokes. Read the rest

Minnesota Attorney General's suit catalogs the many lies of Comcast

Late last year, Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson sued Comcast for lying and lying and lying and lying and lying to the people of Minnesota, all the time, because Comcast is a garbage company, universally loathed by every person who has ever come into contact with them, with the sole exception of FCC Chairman, noted coward, and former telcoms exec Ajit "Fucking" Pai. Read the rest

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