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Sun, 19 Aug 2018
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Los Angeles first US city to install body scanners on rail system

LA rail station
Los Angeles' urban railway is the first in the nation to roll out body scanners to protect passengers.

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, known as the Metro, serving 9.6 million people -- nearly a third of California's residents -- rolled out the body scanners at a media event at Union Station on Tuesday, Metro said in its blog.

More of the devices will be rolled out across the transit system, though officials did not provide specific dates.

The body scanners are high-security devices designed to screen passengers for improvised explosive devices or other weapons that could be intended to cause mass-casualty attacks.


Malaysian PM: Anti-Semitism 'invented to prevent criticism of Jews'

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad
In 2013, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad appeared to urge the wiping out of all Jews and cited as an example the Holocaust.

Anti-Semitism is an artificial construct created to stop people from criticizing Jews for any wrongdoing, making them the only race that is beyond reproach, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said in an interview with the Associated Press on Monday.

Comment: Manufactured anti-Semitism and the dark side of Jewish consciousness

Bizarro Earth

What would Jesus do? The banality of the Bishops' evil

The banality of episcopal evil: retired Bishop James C. Timlin of Scranton
© Marywood University screen grab
The banality of episcopal evil: retired Bishop James C. Timlin of Scranton
I know y'all are worn out by all my takes on the Catholic abuse scandal, but if you can stand it, Megan McArdle's column on it is worth reading. This graf jumped out at me:
There are plenty of tales to tell about how church reality came to resemble a dime novel, yet most are essentially stories of individual malfeasance, of depraved molesters seeking the camouflage of priestly celibacy. That doesn't explain the bureaucratization of evil. For what is striking about the grand jury's findings is that this was not simply a matter of a few bad individuals, or even many of them; what impresses and appalls is how routine it all was - that the church had, as the report says, "a playbook for concealing the truth."


Mr. Potato

"We defeated communist Japan": Fox News host proves America is already great

fox friends retards
The US victory over "communist Japan" serves as ironclad proof of America's greatness, Fox News host Ainsley Earhardt has argued, laying waste to highly un-American utterances made by New York governor Andrew Cuomo.

The Fox & Friends co-host made her astute observation after Cuomo suggested earlier this week that the US "was never that great," apparently in an attempt to de-bunk President Donald Trump's "Make America Great Again" mantra.

Overcome by patriotic fervour, Earhardt took to the airwaves on Thursday to set the record straight, dropping a devastating atomic word-bomb on the misinformed Democratic governor.

Comment: A great example of America's education system and the quality of its news media in one 25 second clip:


Iran to unveil domestic version of S-300 surface-to-air missile system in Spring 2019

Iranian missile system
© AP/Ebrahim Noroozi

Iran will unveil a domestic version of the Russian S-300 surface-to-air missile system, dubbed Bavar 373, by the end of the current Iranian year, meaning by March 20, 2019,
local media reported on Friday, citing Iran's deputy defense minister for international affairs.

According to the Islamic Republic News Agency, Brigadier Mohammad Ahadi said, while making remarks on Bavar 373, that military and economic powers are essential for providing national security.

He added that while the country's investment in the defense sphere was smaller than when compared with neighboring states, it was still providing security in the region.

In June, Brigadier Gen. Ali Balali, an official at the Khatam-al Anbia air defense base, said that Bavar 373, will become operational in the near future, as the project is progressing as scheduled.

Comment: See also: 'Non-negotiable': Iran's next generation homegrown ballistic missile

Black Magic

Satanic temple unveils a goat-headed Baphomet statue in Little Rock


'It will be a very cold day in hell before an offensive statue will be forced upon us to be permanently erected on the grounds of the Arkansas State Capitol,' state senator says
Satan worshippers turned out to cheer the unveiling of a bronze statue dedicated to a goat-headed winged creature called Baphomet in Little Rock, Arkansas.

The Satanic Temple organisation arranged the rally outside the Arkansas State Capitol building to protest a Ten Commandments monument already on the grounds.

Although the striking, eight-and-a-half foot tall icon was only allowed to be on display temporarily, Satanists argued they should be allowed to erect the winged goat effigy on a permanent basis under freedom of religion rights outlined in the US constitution.

Comment: If you allow the expression of every idea, whim and fancy with an 'everything goes' attitude, be very careful you don't open Pandora's box, because it will get out of hand very quickly. You only need to look towards the proliferation of dozens of gender pronouns as an example, or pedophiles attempts to piggyback off the LGBT movement in order to gain widespread acceptance. Every fringe element in the most obscure and twisted of corners of society are coming out of the woodwork lately and that should give people a reason to pause and think about whether this is what they want and what it means for the future.

See also:

Bad Guys

Gaza Health Ministry reports 2 Palestinians killed, 241 injured in protests on Gaza border

Protests in Gaza
The Gaza Health Ministry reported Friday that two protesters were killed amid demonstrations along the Gaza border fence.

The protesters were throwing rocks and firebombs at Israeli troops, hiding behind clouds of black smoke of burning tires. The Israeli Defense Forces responded with tear gas and live fire.

As the IDF stated, they "fired live rounds selectively according to standard operating procedures," adding that some Palestinians also threw improvised explosives at the fence and several others were spotted trying to infiltrate the Israeli territory.

Weekly Hamas Protest

The weekly protest led by Hamas was aimed to attract attention to the Israeli-Egyptian blockade, which was set after the militant group took control of Gaza in 2007. Apart of protests, Hamas has currently been holding meetings with Egyptian officials in Cairo, seeking a possible truce.

Light Saber

In defense of free speech: Censorship never ends well

alex jones zuckerberg
© Brooks Kraft/Getty Images, Alex Brandon/AP/REX Shutterstock
Infowars' Alex Jones and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
How America learned to stop worrying and put Mark Zuckerberg in charge of everything

Silicon Valley is changing its mind about censorship.

Two weeks ago, we learned about a new campaign against "inauthentic" content, conducted by Facebook in consultation with Congress and the secretive think tank Atlantic Council - whose board includes an array of ex-CIA and Homeland Security officials - in the name of cracking down on alleged Russian disinformation efforts.­ As part of the bizarre alliance of Internet news distributors and quasi-government censors, the social network zapped 32 accounts and pages, including an ad for a real "No Unite the Right 2" anti-racist counter-rally in D.C. this past weekend.

"This is a real protest in Washington, D.C. It is not George Soros. It is not Russia. It is just us," said the event's organizers, a coalition of easily located Americans, in a statement.


A given: More bridges will collapse

Broken bridge
© Andrea Leoni/Getty
Bridge collapse in Genoa, Italy
There's an old chestnut about infrastructure that goes: Infrastructure is everything you don't notice-until it fails. It's a definition that works for any kind of infrastructure, too: big or small, visible or invisible, bridges and garage doors, electric grids and Wi-Fi routers. Infrastructure is everything you take for granted. And you only notice that you take it for granted when it breaks.

Lately, a lot of things have broken. In two incidents over the past two days, hundreds of people were injured or killed: An elevated-highway bridge collapsed in Genoa, Italy, and a pier gave out in Vigo, Spain, during a music festival. The consequences are harrowing. In Genoa, cars dropped 150 feet to the earth as a span of the bridge fell underneath them. In Vigo, concertgoers were plunged into the sea, piled atop one another, when the boardwalk gave out.

It's too early to know for certain what the causes were of the two collapses, but "structural problems" were suspected at the Spanish boardwalk, and "signs of problems" had been observed on the Italian bridge. Those factors invoke concerns about general infrastructural decline caused by deferred maintenance (usually from lack of funding). That's a familiar story everywhere. In the early-20th century, many structures were over-engineered to hold massive loads. But as civil engineering matured, and as demand for structures increased, the profession designed structures to be safe, but also quick to erect economically. Eventually, those compromises would come home to roost. In 2007, a highway bridge in Minneapolis collapsed, killing or injuring hundreds. But even a decade later, the nation's "aging infrastructure" remained, mostly having become a political talking point rather than a program for renewal.

Comment: Physical bridges are in great disrepair but they aren't the only kind of connector in jeopardy. In parallel, there is a social-operational construct that builds bridges between ideologies, political positions, social issues, country relations, and so on. It seems that these connectors are also falling away, from neglect or increasing polarization, where the skill of compromise - a meeting in the middle or the meeting of minds - is no longer the goal and the gaps are increasing.


Students in Copenhagen, Denmark banned from smoking during school hours

Copenhagen bans smoking during school hours
© Pixabay
A majority of local politicians at Copenhagen Municipality are keen to ban students from smoking during school hours.

A total ban proposal will be discussed by the municipality's children and youth committee today, and the idea has the support of the leadership of several city schools, though they admit that enforcing the ban could prove challenging.

"It is impossible to enforce such a ban, but I still believe that it's a good idea," Henrik Wilhelmsen, the head of Nørrebro Park School, told DR Nyheder.

Students to lead way

A smoking ban would mean that students won't be permitted to smoke on or outside school property during school hours.