RENO (CBS/AP) — A ski resort south of Lake Tahoe has suspended its winter operations due to a lack of snow and could end up closing the rest of the season for the earliest time in about 40 years.
We’ve been covering the Ebola panic a lot here on LGF, but here’s something that really puts things in context, in a way that many people here might not have thought of. Stassa Edwards discusses the history of racists using fear of disease to attack and demonize minorities, and how that fear was used to justify everything from imperialism to nativist legislation. Warning, this gets pretty disturbing, in more ways than one.
On October 1st, the New York Times published a photograph of a four-year-old girl in Sierra Leone. In the photograph, the anonymous little girl lies on a floor covered with urine and vomit, one arm tucked underneath her head, the other wrapped around her small stomach. Her eyes are glassy, returning the photographer’s gaze. The photograph is tightly focused on her figure, but in the background the viewer can make out crude vials to catch bodily fluids and an out-of-focus corpse awaiting disposal.
The photograph, by Samuel Aranda, accompanied a story headlined “A Hospital From Hell, in a City Swamped by Ebola.” Within it, the Times reporter verbally re-paints this hellish landscape where four-year-olds lie “on the floor in urine, motionless, bleeding from her mouth, her eyes open.” Where she will probably die amidst “pools of patients’ bodily fluids,” “foul-smelling hospital wards,” “pools of infectious waste,” all overseen by an undertrained medical staff “wearing merely bluejeans” and “not wearing gloves.”
Aranda’s photograph is in stark contrast to the images of white Ebola patients that have emerged from the United States and Spain. In these images the patient, and their doctors, are almost completely hidden; wrapped in hazmat suits and shrouded from public view, their identities are protected. The suffering is invisible, as is the sense of stench produced by bodily fluids: these photographs are meant to reassure Westerners that sanitation will protect us, that contagion is contained.
Pernicious undertones lurk in these parallel representations of Ebola, metaphors that encode histories of nationalism and narratives of disease.
A report by New York State, along with San Francisco and London, found that iPhone theft was dramatically decreased once kill-switch tech, which allows users to remotely lock phones and wipe devices of information, was implemented. Now Google and Microsoft are joining the kill switch movement.
Ever have your phone stolen? If so, it’s likely you wished for a “kill switch,” a button that would immediately disable your phone, rendering it useless to a thief and protecting your valuable data.
Good thing Google and Microsoft will now join Apple and others in including a kill switch function to their operating systems and phones, following a New York State report that indicated a kill switch cuts smart phone robberies by up to 40 percent in some cases. This follows legislation in Minnesota that mandates all smart phones must have a kill switch.
Smart phone robberies were at an all time high in 2013, according to data by the report, which was done by the New York State Attorney General’s office, with consultations by the Offices of the San Francisco District Attorney and the Mayor of London. More than 3.1 million smart phones were stolen in 2013, nearly double the number stolen in 2012. The Federal Communications Commission estimates that one out of every three robberies includes a mobile devices. In addition, robberies have grown increasingly violent, in some cases even resulting in murders and assaults.
The firm that designed the new Bay Bridge eastern span warned Caltrans as the bridge neared completion that some of its welds could crack prematurely under the constant pounding of cars and trucks, The Chronicle has learned.
The potential for cracking was created after the span was designed, said engineers with the firm T.Y. Lin International. It happened when Caltrans suspended its rules and allowed the bridge builder to weld together Chinese-manufactured sections of steel road deck that didn’t fit together correctly.
Any cracks in the welded connections would be minor, the engineers concluded, and would not pose the threat of a catastrophic failure. However, such cracking could shorten the time before toll-payer dollars would be needed to make repairs to the $6.4 billion bridge.
The engineers also told Caltrans and other bridge project officials that in a major earthquake there would likely be some damage to the ill-fitting joints.
In their November 2010 evaluation, the T.Y. Lin engineers identified a section of the eastbound deck near Yerba Buena Island as being of particular concern, because lopsided welded connections are under high stress and thus are especially vulnerable to premature cracking. The Chronicle obtained the firm’s report under the state Public Records Act.
Nothing like waiting years for a safe alternative to the old bridge only to find out that the expensive and beautiful new span may have even more problems than the previous span.
A lot has been written and spoken about new media. In San Francisco, it’s a new flash point, as the inheritors of the golden kingdom of the Internet live and move in a city still bedeviled by poverty and homelessness. But it’s a revolution, no question. Those who get behind are left behind. Tweet your hearts out, folks.
I have some trouble with new media. I’m old, so of course I do. I get some parts but not others. People my age have a lot to unlearn.
I think that’s the problem. We grew up knowing how the world worked. Everybody did. Then the world changed, and we had to change too. But we still have the original template in our heads, so everything is referred back to that formative experience. Everything else is perceived in metaphors.
California must allow law-abiding citizens to carry concealed firearms in public, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday, striking down the core of the state’s permit system for handguns.
In a 2-1 decision, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco said San Diego County violates the Constitution’s Second Amendment by requiring residents to show “good cause” - and not merely the desire to protect themselves - to obtain a concealed-weapons permit.
For all practical purposes, in the wake of the Heller and McDonald precedents, states and cities will have to provide some way of allowing carry outside of the home as first Chicago & now California have learned. It will be interesting to see if they allow open or concealed carry as their solution to this legal requirement.
California being California may attempt an appeal but I find it unlikely that it would be taken up by the current SCOTUS much less prevail there.
First, the good:
The CNN video gives a good rundown of the saga of the “Journeyman Hacker”: a 23-year-old startup guy, Patrick McConlogue, noticed a homeless man, Leo Grand, benching chains—not a typical activity for the homeless in NYC. Intrigued and empathetic, McConlogue wrote this post on Medium (“Finding the unjustly homeless, and teaching them to code.”) wherein he outlined his plan to offer this man (he didn’t yet know Leo’s name) a leg up:
The idea is simple. Without disrespecting him, I will offer two options:
- I will come back tomorrow and give you $100 in cash.
This generated more than a little backlash from all corners of the Web…
… but it worked. Leo Grand chose the computer, and has now coded up a carpooling app aimed at reducing CO2 emissions in New York City. Some time later (as reported in the video) police arrested him for sleeping on a bench, and took his laptop as evidence. Fortunately another tech-angel (a Google employee who had been following the story) decided to take up the cause and donated a computer to him.
For what started out as a well-intentioned but vaguely condescending and tone-deaf Medium post, the story is, I think, a happy one. Hopefully Grand will continue to find success.
Now for the bad:
Greg Gopman, and his company, AngelHack, offer no apparent utility or value to our planet. It’s a startup that begets other startups, a hackathon for hackathons, an engorged, vomiting ouroboros in reverse. His pride orbits around organizing the “largest hackathons” in history—and given that a hackathon doesn’t mean much of anything, that’s about as weighty as telling the world’s longest knock knock joke, or blowing a trillion soap bubbles.
But Gopman thinks he’s earned some sort of high social spot, from which he can type out horrid Facebook updates like this one:
Just got back to SF. I’ve traveled around the world and I gotta say there is nothing more grotesque than walking down market st in San Francisco. Why the heart of our city has to be overrun by crazy, homeless, drug dealers, dropouts, and trash I have no clue. Each time I pass it my love affair with SF dies a little.
And I thought the “neo-reactionary” king-for-a-day dudebros were the bottom of the barrel. I’ll take a hundred privileged-but-willing-to-make-a-difference guys like McConlogue over even half a Gopman any day.
I only learned of this yesterday, and was sad to hear that “Progressive talk” will end on KTLK 1150 AM on January 1st, to be replaced by wingnut radio. I can’t say I’m surprised by this. KTLK is a weak station that also carries Los Angeles Kings hockey games, UCLA football games, and other sports which often pre-empt scheduled programming, and as a result ratings suffered. KTLK has great shows like Stephanie Miller and Randi Rhodes, and also hosted Thom Hartmann before he moved show to conflict with Rhodes’, and it will be a shame when they all go off the air.
The largest media market in the world is about to lose its only non-Rightwing commercial talk radio station. Los Angeles’ KTLK 1150am will be flipped to a far Rightwing station featuring hosts like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and other rightwing talkers. “The changes are set to take effect for the first broadcast of 2014,” according to the Los Angeles Times this afternoon.
KTLK is owned by Clear Channel Communications, Inc., the nation’s largest owner of radio stations. Clear Channel is now owned by Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital LLC. The talkers mentioned above who will be taking over the previously-progressive station are also syndicated by Clear Channel-owned Premiere Networks, the largest radio syndicator in the nation. The BRAD BLOG has long argued that the outsized control of our public airwaves enjoyed by Clear Channel/Premiere and a handful of other conglomerates —- including their ability to leverage our public airwaves (licensed from we, the people, in exchange only for their promise to serve the public interest) to distribute their own syndicator’s shows —- is a likely violation of U.S. v. Paramount, the 1948 anti-trust Supreme Court decision which found that the major movie studios could not also control the means of distribution by owning the nation’s largest theater chains at the same time.
As if ending progressive talk radio in L.A. isn’t bad enough, Clear Channel will now also reportedly be flipping its formerly progressive San Francisco talk station KNEW 960am (a move which they had threatened and then partially changed their mind about flipping in late 2011), over to a completely Right-leaning station as well, says the Times. That will leave San Francisco, arguably the most progressive city in the nation, without any commercial progressive talk radio outlet at all. But, as in L.A., listeners will still have many different Right-leaning talks outlets on our public airwaves to choose from, several of them owned by the same major corporation.
However, a commenter on this article pointed out something very important - this change amounts to a pretty big demotion for Rush Limbaugh:
Please know that I’m a progressive and a former listener to KTLK which I lived in L.A. until a year ago. And I’m a radio veteran of over four decades, so hear me out on this.
The sad truth is, due to a bad signal, zero publicity and waning quality of the available product, KTLK fell out being a contender a long time ago. They pulled a 0.3 this past month after a 0.2 and a 0.4 the previous 2 months.
However, what’s fascinating about this move is that Libaugh is being taken off the (literally, not corporately) clear channel KFI, whose 50,000 non-directional signal gets into Las Vegas in the daytime and into most of the western U.S. via skip waves at night. Here’s the coverage map.
Compare that to the anemic signal of KTLK: Here’s that map. It doesn’t go south of Long Beach…OC is where the conservative audience is, but the signal is iffy down there.
Between the two other 24/7 right wing stations, KABC (0.7) and KRLA (0.3), the total audience is right at a 1 share, meaning 99% of the available audience does NOT listen to conservative talk radio, despite the bluster and bravado. Rush being taken off KFI’s signal on 640AM and shoved up into the upper end of the AM dial at 1150AM is the radio equivalent of being put in the naughty corner.
And yes, Rush’s ratings have taken a hit on KFI since the “slut” incident.
So while this is bad news for progressive talk, the fact that Beck, Rush and Hannity will be confined to a bad signal on a bad dial location is cause for concern in right wing circles. Believe it.
So to go from a blowtorch like KFI to a station with a paltry reach like KTLK in the second largest media market in the country is a demotion indeed for El Rushbo. Like I said, I am saddened to not be able to hear Stephanie Miller or Randi Rhodes, but Limbaugh getting a karmic kick in the ass like this takes away a lot of the sting.
Many are saying that terrestrial talk radio in its last throes anyway, as many hosts have moved to Sirius and the like (beginning with Howard Stern), and it’s ironic that Limbaugh, who is credited with saving the genre on AM, may now be one of the main people who killed it.
The mimosas were flowing again at the Cliff House, which reopened Saturday after closing, reopening, then closing again due to the federal government shutdown.
“We have the blessing of the National Park Service and we are open for business,” said manager Bob Kovacs on Sunday. “Come on down.”
This kind of thing should not be happening simply because some people don’t want other people to have better, less expensive health care options available to them.
The restaurant, which employs 170 workers, was losing about $10,000 a day during the closure, the owners estimated. Most of the perishable food was donated to food banks.