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Tue, 15 Oct 2019
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Robot

Researchers jump though hoops to explain why sex robots that can give consent are a good thing

Sexbots
© Agence France-Presse
Are "virtuous sex robots" the way of the future? University researchers suggest that robots created for human pleasure should be designed so that they can grant or withhold consent, as well as teach sex education.

Anco Peeters, a doctoral student at Australia's University of Wollongong, and Pim Haselager, associate professor at The Netherlands' Radboud University, published "Designing Virtuous Sex Robots" in the International Journal of Social Robotics last month.

The paper examined four areas: "virtue ethics and social robotics," "Contra instrumentalist accounts," "Consent practice through sex robots" and "Implications of virtuous sex robots."

The authors do not focus on child sex robots or sex robots that play into rape fantasies, but "the potential positive aspects of intimate human-robot interactions through the cultivation of virtues."

Yellow Vest

Police blast French firefighters with water cannons during protest over working conditions

firefighters protest paris yellow vests
© Reuters / Charles Platiau
Firefighters protesting in Paris, France on October 15, 2019
French riot police have turned water cannons on some of the thousands of firefighters who are marching through Paris to demand better resources in order to tackle the increasing number of forest fires each year.

Police have also reportedly fired tear gas at the demonstrators.

Firefighters are demonstrating against a number of key concerns, chiefly government policies on resources for their sector, funding problems, and difficult working conditions.

Comment: Again? Another massive industrial blaze breaks out in France, 100 firefighters deployed near Lyons, France


Airplane

Air Canada to stop announcing 'ladies and gentlemen' in recognition of gender fluidity

air canada jet plane
Employees aboard Air Canada flights will no longer greet guests by referring to them as "ladies and gentlemen" or "mesdames et messieurs," which has been typical protocol for years, in an effort to be conscious of gender fluidity.

Flight attendants and other staff will not use the language in boarding announcements, and the company instead plans to replace the standard greetings with neutral words, such as "everybody" or "tout le monde."

Comment: This is catching on. See:


Display

Fortnite gamers suffer meltdowns, "trauma" and "withdrawal symptoms" after blackout event discontinues game play

epic games
© Epic Games
Gamers were sent into a state of extreme shock and mourning on Sunday when Fortnite simply disappeared.

Millions of gamers were sent into a state of confusion — and even extreme shock, anguish and withdrawal symptoms — on Sunday when the 10th season of Fortnite ended by simply disappearing.

More than 5 million gamers were hoping to put in a full-day session of Fortnite during the live event titled "The End" before a meteor descended on the island where the online battle royale takes place, enveloping the game in a cosmic meltdown that left only a black hole for perplexed gamers to stare at.

In a tweet showing video of the event, top Fortnite player James Jarvis said:

"Fortnite's season X event, The End, just wiped out the whole island."



Comment: What the heck are these game-addicted individuals going to do with themselves when a real blackout or environmental disruption occurs and disrupts their gaming on a more or less on-going basis?!


Fire

China chemical plant blast kills 4, injures 6

chemical factory explosion Yulin China
© The People's Daily/Weibo
The chemical factory in the city of Yulin is seen completely destroyed by the huge explosion
Four people were confirmed dead and six others injured after a blast occurred in a chemical plant in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region Tuesday, local authorities said.

The blast occurred at around 11:20 a.m. in a chemical plant in Luchuan County in the city of Yulin, according to the regional emergency management department and fire department.

Snakes in Suits

On psychopathy and power

world psychopaths
Due to a very painful and disturbing revelation in my personal life I have had the unfortunate occasion to spend the last several days thinking a lot about psychopaths and what makes them tick. I don't want to get into the hairy details at this time, but I would like to share some of the more general thoughts that have been coming up here on the matter.

It is interesting that psychopathy should have reached a dark tentacle into my life in the way that it did, given that the three years I've been at this gig have been spent writing more and more about the way our world is run by calculating manipulators who are devoid of empathy. I often say that we have found ourselves ruled by psychopaths because we have a system wherein (A) those who are willing to do anything to anyone are rewarded with immense wealth, and (B) immense wealth translates directly to immense political power. Add in the fact that studies have shown that wealth itself kills off empathy and compassion, and you've got yourself a perfect recipe for a plutocratic dystopia dominated by antisocial personality disorder.

Comment: See also:


Pirates

'Death to our enemies!' Ukrainian Nazis protest new President's roadmap to peace with Russia

ukraine nazi
© Reuters / Gleb Garanich
Ukrainian ultranationalists take part in a rally against the approval of the so-called Steinmeier Formula, in Kiev, Ukraine, on October 14, 2019.
Ukrainian nationalists marched in Kiev to mark the anniversary of a Nazi-collaborating WWII militia. Many used the occasion to protest the so-called Steinmeier Formula - arguably Ukraine's best chance for peace.

Ukraine's capital saw multiple marches attended by all kinds of nationalists on Monday, when the nation commemorated the foundation of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) - a guerilla group that fought against the Red Army during World War II in collaboration with the Nazis. This time, though, it was not just about glorification of Ukraine's dubious past, as far-right groups projected their war fantasies onto the nation's troubled present.

The largest rally, under the slogan "Defend the Ukrainian land!" was organized by the All-Ukrainian Union 'Svoboda' (Freedom) - an ultranationalist party formerly known as the Social-National Party of Ukraine. Members of far-right groups such as the Right Sector and the Organization of the Ukrainian Nationalists also joined the rally. According to the organizers, there were some 10,000 people in attendance.

Comment: 73% (SEVENTY-THREE PERCENT!) of Ukrainian voters voted for Zelenskiy precisely so that the civil war (in both its aspects, within Ukraine and against Russia) would be brought to an end.

This parade of Nazis has been cooked up by the CIA and Soros' NGOs, just as they said they would do, immediately after Zelenskiy was elected, should he do 'do as we say'...

Welcome to Western democracy: Soros 'NGO' threatens new Ukrainian president with disturbing list of 'red lines'
"Should [Zelensky] cross these red lines, such actions will inevitably lead to political instability in our country..."



TV

Media uproar as video depicting Trump massacring news outlets shown at conservative event

Trump
© REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
File photo
US media is up in arms after reports that a video depicting Donald Trump massacring 'fake news' agencies and his political rivals was shown at an event held at one of his resorts.

The video in question is a remake of a scene from the 2014 dark comedy 'Kingsman: The Secret Service' where Trump's head is superimposed on the main character, played by Colin Firth. It was aired at an event held by the conservative group American Priority at the Trump National Doral Miami last week. The video was first posted online in 2018.

The fake Trump is shown shooting, stabbing, and killing Democrats like Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Maxine Waters, and Nancy Pelosi, in addition to blasting multiple avatars representing various Trump-critical news organizations such as CNN and MSNBC and even one fake George Soros.

Comment: If only the mainstream media were as concerned about the very real damage they do on a daily basis as they are about this story: War propaganda was banned in 1966 but the Western media just call it news


Pirates

Two female Islamist terrorists sentenced to 25+ years for Notre Dame 'bombing' attempt in 2016

notre dame fire

If the cathedral was attacked by Muslim extremists in 2016, was it also attacked by Muslim extremists in 2019?
Two French members of an all-female Islamic terror group linked to ISIS have been sentenced to over 25 years in prison each for their failed attempt to blow up Notre Dame cathedral with a car packed full of gas cylinders.

Inès Madani and Ornella Gilligmann received 30 and 25 years in prison, respectively, on Monday after a French court found them guilty of the September 4, 2016 plot to blow up Notre Dame which prosecutors claimed would have killed at least 60 people if it had been successful.


Comment: Madani is a Muslim name, but Gilligmann is almost certainly Jewish.


Comment: The two hapless 'terroristas' were clearly put up to it, presumably for the purpose of catching them and generating 'terror scare' stories for the media.

Given that Notre Dame was targeted in 2016 - however crudely - and was then subsequently destroyed in a fire at a time when other cathedrals in France were deliberately targeted by mystery arsonists, the obvious questions are:
  • Was Notre Dame deliberately burned down by Muslim extremists in April this year?
  • Who put them up to it?
  • Assuming it was deliberately targeted this year, why are the govt and media covering this up?
See also:

Chief architect of Notre Dame: 'We installed new detection system in 2010, and completely rewired the cathedral, so the fire wasn't caused by electrical short-circuit'

Notre Dame Cathedral worker claims Paris' largest church was DELIBERATELY set on fire


Yellow Vest

Catalan uproar over jail sentences for independence leaders could seal Spain's fate - Alex Salmond

barcelona airport protest
The sentences were "antidemocratic, oppressive and totally counterproductive" for the Spanish government, because "now [the pro-independence politicians] will achieve martyrdom," Salmond explained.
This is the day that these Spanish judges actually sealed the fate of the Spanish state. I don't see the Catalan crisis ending now anywhere except in Catalan independence.
The Catalans were found guilty of sedition, but not rebellion, the most serious of the charges they faced over the 2017 declaration of independence. The secession attempt followed a referendum, banned by the Madrid government, that saw 90 percent of Catalans vote for independence despite a heavy-handed crackdown on those 42 percent who turned out to polls.


Comment: As we can see from that result, it was not a clear mandate from Catalonians in favor of secession from Spain. But that doesn't excuse the Spanish state's heavy-handed approach to brutalizing first the referendum proceedings two years ago, and now protesters voicing support for their jailed leaders.



Comment: Yup, Spain is in trouble. Protests have also erupted in cities outside the breakaway Catalonia region.

For the sake of Spanish unity, Madrid has to climb down from this and commute the leaders' sentences, pronto.

While those who are pro-independence tend to be left/liberal, repeatedly beating them over the head risks drawing conservative Catalans to their cause.

More footage coming out of Catalonia:



Whether one supports the secessionists or Spain in this matter, the take-home point of all this is the rank hypocrisy of Western leadership when it comes to so-called freedom and democracy: