Wednesday Link Roundup

Pirate’s Cove started the week with Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup.

  1. Not A Lot Of People Know That covers wind farms paid to turn themselves off
  2. No Tricks Zone discusses Mexico moving away from “renewables”
  3. Weasel Zippers notes that Alyssa Milano’s mask says everything about the Left

Bacon Time!!!! marked Sunday with Sunday Linkage.

Hogewash You Went Full Karen. Never Go Full Karen.
WUWT Climate change and a pandemic of lies
EBL Kayleigh McEnany is on fire

Wombat-socho at The Other McCain – In The Mailbox: 05.26.20 (Morning Edition).

Victory Girls: NYT Celebrates 100,000 Coronavirus Deaths
Volokh Conspiracy: 9th Circus Rejects Religious Freedom Challenge To California Closure, With One Dissent

MaddMedic at Freedom Is Just Another Word – Ridiculous …

Well this makes sense…..Benghazi Bitch…
Wuhan Virus Watch: Hillary Thanks Cuomo for Making ‘Decisions to Keep People Safe’ – Despite Staggering Nursing Home Deaths

Political Hat – News of the Week (May 24th, 2020).

Early March Did Not Predict the Future
Certain adamant coronavirus declarations look foolish now.

Battleswarm Blog – BidenWatch for May 25, 2020.

How is the media spinning Biden’s huge gaffe? Either the tried to gaslight us that it was a “joke” or says the real story is, as always, Republicans pounce.
Is this Biden’s “Northam in Blackface” scandal? Let’s hope not, since Northam is still in office.

Again from Wombat-socho – In The Mailbox: 05.26.20 (Afternoon Edition).

American Thinker: Cooking The Books On COVID-19 Deaths
Animal Magnetism: Animal’s Daily Municipal Meltdown News
Babalu Blog: Surprise! Landmark Cuban Building Collapses In Havana

Doug Ross – Larwyn’s Linx: When The FBI Does It, That Means That It’s Not Illegal.

TX Lt. Gov. Patrick: Democrats trying to ‘steal’ election with mail-in voting ‘scam’: Examiner
GOP sues to stop Newsom from sending mail-in ballots to all Cali voters: Carlin Becker
Judges Aren’t Kings. This One Didn’t Get the Memo.: Zack Smith

Maggie’s Farm – Monday morning links.

500 Doctors Tell Trump To End COVID-19 Shutdown, Warn It Will Cause More Deaths
The CDC Provides Draconian Guidelines for Reopening Schools Without Reading Its Own Research

Ace of Spades HQ – The Morning Report – 5/26/20.

Nunes: Republicans Expanding Investigation into Mueller Team
Kelly: The Curious Flynn-Kislyak Call Gets Curiouser

I leave you with Sunday Funnies, 05-24-20 from Stately McDaniel Manor (who is on the move), and Sunday Funnies from Flopping Aces, and Monday Memes … from MaddMedic at Freedom Is Just Another Word…

White Cop Pins a Black Man to the Ground by Putting His Knee on the Man’s Neck

In what world is that correct police procedure? ‘I can’t breathe’: Man dies after pleading with officer during Minneapolis arrest.

Is anyone shocked that kneeling on a man’s throat leads to suffocation and death?

A man appearing to yell “I can’t breathe” as a Minneapolis police officer pinned him to the ground and put his knee on the man’s neck for about eight minutes died Monday night, prompting the FBI and Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension to step in and investigate.

This all took place in Bright Blue Minneapolis, in Deep Blue Minnesota. Media will declare this to be Trump’s fault as soon as they figure out how to spin it.

Onlookers outside the Minneapolis deli urge the officer to get off the man.

“You’re stopping his breathing right now, you think that’s cool?” one man says. “His nose is bleeding, look at his nose!” says a woman.

The officer doesn’t budge.

And since this is 2020 it is all caught on video, including him saying he cannot breath. There is no penalty too severe for that idiot cop and his partner. Though I doubt Minnesota has Capital Punishment. Cold Blooded Murder.

I realize that a lot of cops are thugs, even if they didn’t start out that way, but they should really not be murderers.

People You Know Can Be a Threat to Your Safety

A very real threat in some cases. Man shot, killed near Birch Tree, Mo.; sheriff considers death ‘justifiable’

The Left loves to prattle on about how if you own a firearm, you might shoot someone you know, but that might be exactly what you need to do. In this case, it was a relative who posed a very real threat.

Sheriff Darrin Brawley says the shooting involved two men of the same family.

He says at this time, the shooting appears to be justifiable homicide.

Brawley says that’s because the deceased man showed up at the home and began firing shots at the home.

He opened fire with a shotgun. Return fire killed him.

Anyone Have a Decent Alternative to WP?

WordPress is about to force their “New and Improved” block editor on everyone. Whether we want it or not. Because blocks are better, if you are selling soap.

I gave up on Blogger all those years ago, because Google is annoying. On so many levels. And at the time WordPress was much less annoying.

But as someone said, change is the only constant in the universe, and WP is changing into a completely annoying organization.

I think they would be less annoying if I paid the $48/year they want for their entry-level premium service. (What’s the net-present-value of a string of payments that lasts the rest of your life?) But I think they would still be annoying even then. Developers who build things that violate CSS. Developers who know what people want, so why should they bother to ask? And don’t get me started on what passes for support. They can’t be bothered to read the question/statement of a problem you have because they are sooo much smarter than you, they know what you meant to ask.

Another Bletchley Park Cryptanalyst Has Passed Away

Ann Mitchell: 19 November 1922 – 11 May 2020.

I don’t think much was made of the passing of Ann Mitchel. Bletchley Park codebreaker who helped change course of World War II dies aged 97.

Even after that movie about Alan Turing, people still don’t seem to understand what an impact Bletchley Park had on WWII.

She played an integral role in bringing about that peace, thanks to her work in Hut 6, a ramshackle wooden structure home to some of Bletchley Park’s brightest minds.

There, for nine hours a day, six days a week, from September 1943 until the final exultant hours of VE Day, the young Oxford graduate would create complex diagrams used to break strings of incomprehensible Enigma code used by the Nazis.

It is interesting that the journalist/editors at The Scotsman choose the term “incomprehensible” for the Enigma codes. I suppose any sufficiently complex Mathematics is indistinguishable from magic, at least to people in journalism. (With apologies to Arthur Clarke.) In reality, they were not incomprehensible; decoding them was exactly what they did at Bletchley Park. (Haven’t they seen that movie?)

Not many women were studying Math at Oxford University in 1940, but that is exactly what Ann Mitchell did, though after the war she would switch to psychology and become a marriage guidance counselor.

Ann was just a kid, but she was discreet, intelligent, and modest, and although she would never describe herself as a codebreaker, she was recruited for her mathematical ability.

The average age of people who worked at Blechley Park and are still alive is now 97; they won’t be with us much longer. One of the reasons the British are still speaking English and not German, is in a very large part to the work done by the folks at Bletchley Park. They helped the French, the Belgians, and the rest as well, defeat the Nazis. (Hat tip to Schneier on Security.)

The Staff at The NY Times Had One Job

Accuracy is apparently not an issue in NYC. ‘A Team of Editors’.

This is of course about the infamous “list of (some of) the dead” from COVID-19 published by the New York Times. Their “staff devoted hours to the project.”

Scarcely five minutes after their list was published, people on Twitter began pointing out an obvious error: Jordan Haynes, 27, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was the sixth name on the Times list, but he did not die of COVID-19. He was a homicide victim, whose body was found in a car in a wooded area near Interstate 380. Exactly how the “team of editors” made such a colossal blunder, we don’t know, but they’ve deleted Haynes’ name from the list and promised to publish a correction tomorrow.

So either they just selected a random set of dead people from “flyover country” and trusted that no one would check their work, or they really are that stupid. Or both.

Self-defense Is Legal in South Carolina

I always thought it was. Two fatal Columbia shootings deemed self-defense.

Columbia police say two recent fatal shootings have been determined to be self-defense, meaning no charges will be filed in the case.

One happened May 21, at an apartment complex. The dead guy forced his way into a home, and started a confrontation with a woman.

The second occurred on May 18, where the dead guy in that incident was trying to force his way in, and was shot before he succeeded. He was making threats against someone in the house the entire time.

Keeping Violent Criminals in Jail is Unfair

So says the Left. Released Early Due To Coronavirus: Former Weld County Inmate Now Accused Of Strangulation.

A former Weld County Jail inmate, who was released early from a two year sentence due to COVID-19 concerns, is now accused of attacking and strangling someone one month after his release. The Windsor Police Department is now searching for Christopher A. Vecchiarelli, 36, after they say he attacked a woman, leaving bruises in several places and fracturing her arm.

Someone will say his infraction didn’t mean he should be exposed to COVID-19. Should the woman he attacked have had her arm broken?

Memorial Day Weekend In Chicago

Good thing Mayor Lightfoot (or Groot as Second City Cop calls her) has police breaking up parties, because otherwise they might have to deal with crime. Chicago’s deadliest Memorial Day weekend since 2015: 10 shot dead, 32 wounded. And that isn’t the full total.

The Sun Times counts the 3-day weekend from 5 PM Friday until 5 AM Tuesday. At least they recognize that the weekend starts before midnight Friday night/Saturday morning.

Despite the state’s stay-at-home order, the weekend’s death toll has already surpassed last year’s holiday weekend, when seven people were killed and 34 were injured during the period from 5 p.m. Friday through 5 a.m. Tuesday.

Hat tip to Second City Cop.

HeyJackass! counts things differently. The 3-day weekend runs from noon on Friday until 6 AM Tuesday. Memorial Day Weekend.

Final Not-A-Lockdown Tally: 10 killed, 42 wounded
2019 weekend tally: 8 killed, 35 wounded

Click thru for enlightening commentary, and more history.

Better Living Through Chemistry

Trust the science? Only if it is trustworthy. Canadian study finds that enzymes in cannabis could treat COVID-19.

It is actually a fairly thin conclusion, but I love the fact that it has been screamed from the rooftops by the likes of Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the BBC.

It is funded by a company that is in the Cannabis industry. It’s like a study on smoking funded by a tobacco giant.

The researchers in Alberta, Canada, conducted a study using artificial 3D models of oral, airway and intestinal tissues coupled with a limited sample of high CBD Cannabis sativa extracts modulate ACE2 gene expression and ACE2 protein levels.

The study hasn’t been peer-reviewed, though that may be coming, it won’t be here any time soon.

I am so very tempted to include a video here. Either “She Blinded Me With Science” or “Weird Science.” I’ll let you decide.

A Memorial Day Musical Interlude

I thought something different was in order for today. A video that is a tribute to America’s fallen.

You’ve heard music by John Williams. He wrote the soundtracks for Star Wars, Indiana Jones, the first 3 Harry Potter movies, Saving Private Ryan, and a host of other movies.

This is “Hymn to the Fallen” by John Williams, but really watching the video, and not just listening is worth the six minutes of your time.

People Are Beginning to Push Back

Push back on Governors and other politicians who want to trample their civil rights, that is. As several people have noted, the ACLU has been strangely quiet on a lot of these cases.

First up, Kentucky. Lawsuit alleges Gov. Beshear infringed on protesters’ First Amendment rights.

A federal lawsuit filed on behalf of four protesters alleges that Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear violated First Amendment rights over restrictions to keep protesters at a distance during daily COVID-19 briefings.

North Carolina: ‘We’re concerned that our First Amendment rights are being trampled underfoot’ | Winston-Salem pastor files lawsuit against Governor Cooper.

The lawsuit alleges the Governor’s executive orders preventing gatherings of more than ten people violate the Constitution.

In media news… ‘Protected by the First Amendment’: Media consortiums back Fox News amid coronavirus coverage lawsuit.

It seems a bunch of Karens have decided that Fox News opinion personalities are not entitled to First Amendment protection of their opinions. Not when broadcast on cable television. And while the ACLU can’t be reached for comment, two groups that support journalists, The Internet & Television Association and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, have stepped up to defend Fox.

As usual, the Babylon Bee has perhaps the best take on the issue. ‘I Can’t Believe Christians Think It’s Safe To Go Back To Church,’ Says Woman In Line At Walmart.

I found these stories, and many more, when I went looking for more info on the Mississippi Church burning.

Cop Kept “Explicit” Photos of Blackmailed Coed

Nothing says professionalism like voyeurism. The title to this post could include “soon-to-be-dead Coed.” University of Utah police officer showed off explicit photos of Lauren McCluskey to his co-worker. I could also include a pejorative adjective to describe the cop, but I leave that you to fill in.

In case you’re confused, University of Utah student Lauren McCluskey was murdered in October of 2018. Prior to the murder, the guy would later kill her, hacked her files and got some “explicit” photos that she had of herself. The hacker blackmailed her for $1000.

There is a lesson in bad judgement there, and another in computer security.

Scared by the demand, she paid the money and then sent copies of the messages and the pictures to the campus police department as evidence.

When Miguel Deras, one of the officers assigned to her case, received them, he saved the photos on his personal phone. And days before McCluskey was killed by the man who was blackmailing her, Deras showed off at least one of the images to a male co-worker and bragged about getting to look at them whenever he wanted, according to two fellow officers.

Only now has the University admitted this happened and opened an internal-affairs investigation. Cops investigating cops? What could go wrong? I mean it only took 2 years for the incident to come to anyone’s attention. (Hat tip to The Other McCain.)

NYPD Cop Charged with Murder

Could it be that he thought he was somehow above the law? NYPD rookie cop, 26, charged with murder ‘after he shot his best friend dead’

Nassau Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said Allen pulled out a gun and shot Curro, a friend since childhood, twice in the head and twice in the neck as they engaged in a struggle.

There is some disagreement about why the shooting. Over a woman? To protect someone? So whether or not this turns out to be justified in the long-run, at least they are trying to present an appearance of even-handedness. (Do you think they would have waited 10 days to make an arrest if the shooter had not been a cop?)

Keystone Added to I-74 Arch Bridge

I am usually writing about failed or rotting infrastructure. But not all stories are doom and gloom. Crowds come out to watch crews complete first I-74 bridge arch. The piece was installed May 5th.

The I-74 bridge across the Mississippi River between Illinois and Iowa is old, and in bad shape. To fix that 2 new spans are under construction. True-arch, basket-handle bridges are being built just upstream of the existing bridges. They will carry 4 lanes in each direction.

The bridge joins Bettendorf, Iowa and Moline, Illinois, and is pretty much right in the middle of The Quad Cities region. The other 2 cities are Rock Island, Illinois and Davenport, Iowa. The first span of the existing bridge was built in 1935. A second bridge built to the same design was added in 1961. It is handling almost twice the number of vehicles the design called for, and it is NOT up to interstate highway standards.

While on a tour at the base of the bridge in Bettendorf in May 2012, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said that, in comparison with other bridges that he has seen in other states, the current I-74 Bridge is one of the worst he’s seen.

The keystone, or center piece of the arch, of the first span was put in place during the first week in May. A 100,000 pound chunk of steel. raised about 200 feet in the air. The video at the news story linked at the top of this post is about 2 minutes long, and is not too annoying. Other videos will play after the first video if you take no action.

This is a short video, about 1 minute, from April showing the stage of construction just prior to the keystone being placed. You can see the temporary towers and cables supporting the arch as it is built, and get a feeling for the size and the design. It isn’t my favorite video, but at a minute, it seems to capture what is important. There are more videos, and they are easy enough to find, that are in the 5-6 minute range, taken anytime from January through Easter, if you’re interested in more detailed views of the construction.

You can find an artist’s rendering of the new design at this link.

There is a longer video of the process of getting the keystone in place, but it is 45 minutes, or more, and not particularly interesting. I can’t really recommend it, but I include if for completeness.

Millions of Americans Lose Jobs, Journalists Hardest Hit

Or that’s how the journalists feel. The Atlantic Lays Off 68 Employees, Cuts Executive Pay.

It seems that they don’t teach the fact the journalism is a business in school anymore. Did they ever?

The Atlantic is announcing a layoff of 68 of our colleagues,” wrote David Bradley, chairman of Atlantic Media, in an email to staff reviewed by TheWrap.

He wrote that the Atlantic is “accelerating its turn to a consumer revenue strategy” and focusing on the premium and subscription services behind its recently-added paywall, but “the overnight and near-complete undoing of in-person events and, for now, a bracing decline in advertising” led to the cuts.

That 68 people amounts to 17 percent of the workforce at The Atlantic. They are also cutting executive pay and freezing salaries for everyone else.

I would insert the “find a job in computer science” meme here, but it apparently is insulting when you say it to journalists. Though they’ve said it to enough others, that it makes me wonder when the rules changed.

CNN has praised its pandemic coverage. I won’t comment on that.

The New York Times seems even more distraught.

The announcement followed a burst of layoffs in the news media business last week: 155 jobs lost at Vice, 100 at Condé Nast, 90 at The Economist, 80 at Quartz. The cuts at those companies and publications came in the wake of a free fall set off by the coronavirus pandemic, which has cut deeply into advertising revenue.

And they are even more confused about the whole business part of the journalism business. You see The Atlantic has added a whole bunch of subscribers to their new paywall portion of their website. But that still isn’t getting it done.

But the emphasis on subscriptions over advertising revenue was not enough to prevent the job cuts.

The Times even pines for the days, 140 years ago, when EVERYONE important subscribed to the Atlantic. Times change.

Ads have always paid for everything in journalism. The local fish-wrapper was done in by the death of classified advertising, which was eliminated by eBay and Craigslist. Glossy magazine ads can’t compete with a decent website. Technology is killing print. (When was the last time you read a newspaper? How many actual magazines do you get in the mail every month?) And right now everyone is being killed by the down economy.

Don’t get me wrong, we need decent journalism. What we don’t need is what we have, which are cheerleaders for one side of the political aisle, opinion and bias masquerading as news, and all the other stuff that is not journalism. Or not good journalism.

Hat tip to Captain Capitalism, who notes…

Oh darn. More journalism majors laid off. *Too bad*

Homeless Attack in Seattle

But they’re helping. Man assaults Uwajimaya worker over face covering requirement, returns with hatchet.

And it was a machete, not a hatchet, so why is the headline wrong?

He got pissed off and attacked worker at an Uwajimaya market in Seattle because they told him he needed a mask. He came back the next day with a machete and was threatening people in the parking lot.

Renton police said the man had been staying at the nearby Red Lion Hotel that King County had recently converted into a temporary homeless shelter to meet social distancing requirements in shelters elsewhere. The temporary shelter houses for more than 200 people who are not infected with COVID-19.

The City of Renton said the temporary shelter has tripled its homeless population and led to a spike in fire and police calls at and around the hotel. Shoplifting reports in the area have more than tripled this year, compared to last year.

It’s a bit surprising that there wasn’t a concealed-carry license holder around. But Seattle…

So they’re helping. They’re just not helping the taxpayers of Renton.

Blue State Blues

I hope Meep is planning to do all of the states eventually, or at least of of the states in fiscal distress. But that is a tall order. To date she’s done California and Illinois.

First up: States Under Fiscal Pressure: California.

The second one is that, unlike the federal government, they don’t have a money printer, and they really need tax revenue.

Governor Newsom of California announced yesterday that he is relaxing the statewide lockdown sooner than he had said he would.

What gives? I think Newsom is finally recognizing tradeoffs. He started the fiscal year with an expected budget surplus. He now expects a state government deficit of $54.3 billion.

At least they had a surplus going in to this mess. It shows some level of discipline. Unlike Illinois.

Illinois has some serious problems. States Under Fiscal Pressure: Illinois.

They’ve been issuing bonds with some of the highest yields in the muni market because of course they are.

So let’s hit the issues, in no particular order.
Illinois looking to raise public employees’ salaries

Wirepoints: Big raises for Chicago Teachers Union, state’s AFSCME shows where federal aid to Illinois will end up – Wirepoints

As hundreds of thousands of Chicagoans are getting laid off or seeing their pay slashed as a result of the economic shutdown, Chicago’s Mayor Lori Lightfoot has been quietly finalizing the $1.5 billion, five-year contract she negotiated with the Chicago Teachers Union six months ago.

So they’re broke. Beyond broke. And they are handing out raises, and holding their hand out for a handout from the rest of us. Yeah, count me out.