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'The Bern' snags coveted Joe Rogan endorsement as Democrat establishment howls 'problematic!'

© YouTube/PowerfulJRE
Podcast host Joe Rogan • Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders
Popular podcast host Joe Rogan has voiced support for Vermont senator Bernie Sanders in the 2020 presidential race, triggering an outpouring of envy and fault-finding among centrists and MSM fearing they've become irrelevant.

Sanders posted a clip of Rogan's "endorsement" — hardly an official statement — to Twitter on Thursday, sending the democratic socialist's rivals into paroxysms of jealousy. Unlike many so-called "influencers" in mainstream media, the UFC commentator has a truly massive audience, with almost 7.3 million subscribers on his main YouTube channel alone and millions more downloading through platforms like iTunes.


Why Glenn Greenwald's prosecution in Brazil is an absolute outrage

Glenn Greenwald
© Ricardo Borges / AP Photo
Journalist Glenn Greenwald listens to a question during a press conference before the start of a protest in his support in front of the headquarters of the Brazilian Press Association, known as ABI, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on July 30, 2019.
Advocacy groups say attacks on the press are on the rise — particularly in Bolsonaro's Brazil.

Yesterday, Brazilian prosecutors announced charges against Glenn Greenwald, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist most famous for publishing documents leaked by Edward Snowden that exposed the National Security Agency's mass surveillance program in 2013.

Greenwald has recently been reporting on prosecutorial misconduct in Brazil, exposing the political motives at the heart of the prosecution of Brazil's popular former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. His stories ultimately led to the ex-politician's release from prison.

The current Brazilian government is accusing Greenwald of "helping guiding and encouraging" hackers who obtained the Brazilian officials' text messages that informed his reporting. But the charges are suspect — for starters, because Greenwald's stories embarrassed the very same prosecutors who came after him by revealing the political motives for Lula's prosecution.


New York state requires 'stargazing permit' to view night sky in public areas

Stargazing Permit
© The Free Thought Porject
New York — In the Land of the Free, if you do not pay the State in the form of a permit before you attempt to sell a product or service to a willing customer, you can and will be extorted, kidnapped and caged, with extreme prejudice. While many folks stand behind permits for selling, one permit in New York that has nothing to do with commerce, has garnered the scrutiny of the Free thought Project. If citizens of the state wish to look up at the sky and view the stars at one of New York's public parks, they will first have to obtain a "Stargazing permit." Seriously.

Light pollution across the state of New York makes it hard for folks in highly populated areas to view the night sky. So, people who wish to gaze upon the stars at night have to drive many miles away to remote areas. Many of these remote areas are located in taxpayer-funded state parks.

In their efforts to squeeze every dime they can from the tax farm, bureaucrats in New York have devised a scheme to extort citizens who wish to use public parks to gaze upon the night sky. This extortion comes in the form of a $35.00 "Stargazing Permit." If you are from out of state and wish to gaze upon the night sky from one of these locations that fee jumps to $60.

If you think that you will do anything else besides look at the night sky with this permit, think again. Within the regulations, bureaucrats explicitly point out that the "Permit allows after sunset parking for stargazing only, valid January 1 - December 31."


US orders charter flight to evacuate citizens and diplomats from virus-stricken Wuhan — report

Passenger wearing a mask
© Reuters / Brian Snyder
A passenger wearing a mask boards a flight in Boston.
The United States is preparing to evacuate its diplomats and citizens from the Chinese city of Wuhan, according to a new report. Wuhan is the epicenter of a deadly coronavirus outbreak that has so far killed more than 40 people.

According to the Wall Street Journal's sources, Washington is sending a charter flight to Wuhan on Sunday to bring home its consular staff situated in the city of 11 million people, as well as some or all of the roughly 1,000 Americans residing locally.

The operation was reportedly green-lit by the Chinese foreign ministry, following negotiations in recent days.

Chinese authorities have imposed travel restrictions on Wuhan and nearly 20 cities in Hubei Province, with nearly 50 million people quarantined. The virus — which causes severe flu-like symptoms — has killed at least 41 people since it first passed from animals to humans in December, reportedly at a food and animal market in Wuhan.

Comment: See also: China reporting 17 new cases of Sars-like mystery virus - UPDATE: Death toll hits 41


Stanford physicists try using science to explain why US elections are broken (are they just centrists still bitter over Trump beating Clinton?)

trump clinton presidential debate
© Getty Images / Pool
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton during a 2016 presidential debate.
A pair of Stanford scientists have used physics to explain why American presidential elections since 1970 reflect a society barely holding itself together. Innovative science or study into the biases of the researchers themselves?

The paper, which appeared last week in the journal Nature Physics, is by Yaneer Bar-Yam, president of the New England Complex Systems Institute, and Alexander Siegenfeld, a PhD student at MIT. At a glance, it is not obvious what insights into electoral politics physics may offer, although their paper is full of complicated equations and impressive-looking graphs.

But admittedly, the power of physics is that it can reach useful conclusions without necessarily needing all details of the underlying mechanisms. This is how physicists can make accurate predictions of the movement of planets and the mass of atoms, without understanding the fundamental nature of matter in the universe.

Eye 1

Orwellian: Facial recognition to be rolled out across London by police despite a 96% error rate

facial recognition
© PA Media
Only a handful of arrests were made in almost three years of trials but police insist technology is 'fantastic crime-fighting tool'
Police are to start using controversial facial recognition across London, despite concerns over the technology's accuracy and privacy issues.

Eight trials carried out by the Metropolitan Police between 2016 and 2018 resulted in a 96 per cent rate of "false positives", and only eight arrests resulted from a facial recognition match.

Privacy campaigners have vowed to launch new legal challenges against its use and called the move a "serious threat to civil liberties in the UK".

But a senior officer insisted live facial recognition (LFR) was a "fantastic crime-fighting tool".

Assistant commissioner Nick Ephgrave said every deployment would be "bespoke" and target lists of wanted offenders or vulnerable missing people.

Comment: Clearly the technology isn't up to the job and there appears to be little public support, so why the rush?

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Bernie Sanders faces ire over Joe Rogan 'endorsement'

Bernie Sanders
© Getty Images
Sanders is the US Senator for Vermont
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is facing a backlash after he touted a thumbs-up from a podcast host loathed by many liberals.

Joe Rogan, a comedian turned provocateur, has told his seven million YouTube subscribers that he would "probably vote for Bernie".

Amid the ensuing outcry, Mr Sanders said his campaign was "a big tent".

Mr Rogan has previously drawn criticism for making what some consider sexist and transphobic comments.

Microscope 2

First case of coronavirus confirmed in Chicago; second case confirmed in US

american airlines ohare chicago
The first case of a new and potentially deadly virus circulating in China has been confirmed in Chicago, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The patient, a Chicago woman in her 60s, returned to the United States on Jan. 13 from Wuhan, China, where an outbreak of respiratory illness called the novel coronavirus has been ongoing since December 2019, according to the CDC.

Authorities said the patient remains hospitalized but is in stable condition and doing well. She didn't have symptoms at the time of travel, according to health officials, who declined to say what airline she flew on.


No Entry

Health experts issued an ominous warning about a coronavirus pandemic 3 months ago; simulation showed it could kill 65 million people

wuhan coronavirus outbreak
Eric Toner, a scientist at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, wasn't shocked when news of a mysterious coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China, surfaced in early January.

Less than three months earlier, Toner had staged a simulation of a global pandemic involving a coronavirus.

Coronaviruses typically affect the respiratory tract and can lead to illnesses like pneumonia or the common cold. A coronavirus was also responsible for the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome in China, which affected about 8,000 people and killed 774 in the early 2000s.

Comment: It's funny how there always seems to be a simulation or training exercise surreptitiously on or around the time of an actual crisis. It's almost like someone knows what's coming.

See also:


Alabama parents arrested after child fires gun at school

Child with gun
© Getty Images/iStock
The “small firearm” was in the boy’s jacket pocket when it “accidentally discharged” at J. E. Hobbs Elementary School in Camden on Friday morning, a district official said in a statement posted on Facebook.
The parents of an Alabama first-grader were taken into custody after the child accidentally fired a gun at school Friday, officials said.

The incident happened at J.E. Hobbs Elementary School in rural Wilcox County, where District Attorney Michael Jackson said a 6-year-old boy brought a gun to school and the weapon went off.