Elon Musk’s Flamethrowers Have Arrived

By Joe Kukura : sfweekly – excerpt

If case anyone doubts the human race (or at least the leadership) has gone maad, here is the proof you need along with a personal request. Please send us some of fictional (so far) scenarios for what could happen if you mix drones, auto-pilot cars, and flamethrowers with the criminal element on our streets. (In San Francisco we have regular mail and package thefts. Due to the lack of parking, delivery services just throw packages on the sidewalk and people comes along and grab them up. That could be the opening scene.)  Cartoons welcomed and encouraged. We promise to post if you want to share.

The first batch of Musk’s $500 flamethrowers are here, just in time for California wildfire season.

Maybe it provides some comfort to the 3,500 people just laid off at Tesla that their CEO has been engaged in a goofy flamethrower side project for the last four months. The first 1,000 of Elon Musk’s Boring Company handheld fire-shooting contraptions were distributed Saturday at Tesla Design Center in Hawthorne, CA. A total of 20,000 of these flamethrowers have been sold altogether, according to the product’s website

Musk claims on Twitter that regulations would not allow him to ship a product called a flamethrower, so he labeled it Not A Flamethrower. Others have labeled it a “cool toy for man-children with way too much disposable income.”… (more)

Thanks to all my talented readers and followers for inspiring me to go off on this site. It is a good respite from the political nightmares I am dealing with. To make it easy, if you have anything to share, just post it in the comments.

 

 

 

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Say hello to the FBI mole inside the Trump campaign

By Jon Rappoport : opednews – excerpt

thevote

Well, you see, the mole wasn’t a spy, he was an informant. Aha. Let’s use a microscope to tell the difference.

The mole: Stefan Halper, a Cambridge professor.

Supposedly, Halper was gathering information for the FBI about a suspected Trump-Russia connection…

Glenn Greenwald: “…the CIA operative and FBI informant [Stefan Halper] used to gather information on the Trump campaign in the 2016 campaign has, for weeks, been falsely depicted as a sensitive intelligence asset rather than what he actually is: a long-time CIA operative with extensive links to the Bush family who was responsible for a dirty and likely illegal spying operation in the 1980 presidential election.”

But don’t worry. Nothing untoward is going on here. The FBI merely needed a man on the inside of the Trump campaign, to make sure Russia wasn’t exercising undue influence on the 2016 presidential election. Nothing more. No problem. Just ask the FBI. They’ll confirm this. The FBI high echelon is squeaky clean. They never lie… (more)

Everyone can draw your own conclusion on this one. The name and details are out in the media. If you are a scriptwriter, you might want to consider writing the script on this one. Don’t forget to change the names to protect the guilty.

If you are a writer and aren’t familiar with opednews, you may want to check it out as a possible publishing site for your work. Also consider medium. We are covering some of their stories that relevant to our elections and considering the options they offer writers.

How do you move mountains of unwanted weed?

By Matt Stangel and Katie Shepherd : theguardian – excerpt

Reefer-Madness

We’ve come a long way baby. Reefer Madness poster photo by zrants.

Oregon farmers have grown three times what their customers can smoke in a year, causing bud prices to plummet and panic to set in

A recent Sunday afternoon at the Bridge City Collective cannabis shop in north Portland saw a steady flow of customers.

Little wonder: a gram of weed was selling for less than the price of a glass of wine.

The $4 and $5 grams enticed Scotty Saunders, a 24-year-old sporting a gray hoodie, to spend $88 picking out new products to try with a friend. “We’ve definitely seen a huge drop in prices,” he says… (more)

They need to get creative and turn it into paper or fabric or rope. There are many uses for fibers. There is also a growing medical industry that can use a lot of product.

New Analysis Suggests GOP Has Finally Realized How Unpopular It Is to Lavish Corporations and the Rich With Huge Tax Giveaways

By Jake Johnson : commondreams – excerpt

Some Republicans may finally be succumbing to the fact that “massive tax cuts to the wealthy, rich CEOs, and big corporations don’t resonate with voters.”

In what appears to be a tacit admission that “massive tax cuts to the wealthy, rich CEOs, and big corporations don’t resonate with voters,” vulnerable congressional Republicans up for reelection in 2018 have drastically curtailed promotions of their tax law in digital ad campaigns and on social media ahead of the November midterms, according to a Reuters analysis published on Monday.

The GOP’s growing reluctance to celebrate their signature legislative achievement of the Trump era may have something to do with Reuters survey data from March showing that a mere three percent of Americans say they have benefited from the tax law, while Wall Street banks and major corporations continue to tout record profits.

“All told, the number of tax messages has fallen by 44 percent since January,” Reuters reported on..

A familiar pattern: lie about the intent and consequences of a policy, pass it on behalf of the donor class, and then pivot to totally irrelevant culture war issues and hope the victims are too dumb to notice.” —Sean Illing, Vox… (more)

This pattern is not limited to Republicans. It is becoming normal operating procedure in far too many cities, counties, and states.

 

 

Landless Americans Are the New Serf Class

By Joel Kotkin and Wendell Cox : thedailybeast – excerpt

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These single-family homes in San Francisco’s Potrero Hill neighborhood face possible demolition if YIMBY state-imposed density laws are passed in Sacramento. Opponents of SB 827 convinced San Francisco City Supervisors to oppose the law that would hand local development controls to the state. photo by zrants

While home ownership remains the dream of most Americans, fewer and fewer people here can afford to own one.

The suburban house is the idealization of the immigrant’s dream—the vassal’s dream of his own castle. Europeans who come here are delighted by our suburbs. Not to live in an apartment! It is a universal aspiration to own your own home. —Los Angeles urbanist Edgardo Contini

For the better part of the past century, the American dream was defined, in large part, by that “universal aspiration” to own a home. As housing prices continue to outstrip household income, that’s changing as more and more younger Americans are ending up landless, and not by choice…

Given the surging demand among millennials and immigrants, why are builders not meeting the demand? The reasons vary, but, according to the National Association of Homebuilders, they include higher material costs, long permitting waits, labor shortages, and too few inexpensive lots…

“An overwhelming majority of millennials, including renters, want a home of their own.”…“Adjusted for housing costs, California has the largest share of its citizens living in poverty.”…

Dense housing is about three to seven times more expensive to build

As to improving the environment, even the pro-density UC Berkeley Termer Center acknowledges that virtually banning urban fringe development would account for barely 1 percent of the state’s plan to reduce greenhouse gases (PDF)—pittance for policies certain to drive house prices and rents even higher…

As MIT’s Alan Berger has noted, modern suburban development also creates environmental benefits, including water retention, species habitats, tree cover, and improved health outcomes. In addition, suggests Britain’s Hugh Byrd, low-density communities are ideally suited for an eventual transition to solar energy generation in ways that high-density ones can’t emulate

The shift to an ever more unequal, congested, and feudal society is not inevitable. We have the capacity to expand housing opportunities for future generations. There is no reason that we need to surrender the universal aspiration that for so long has defined our society… (more)

Who benefits from this rush to densify? That should be the question we ask, as we move away from the crowd into our own space and time to design our own future.

Post-Columbine generation demands action on guns: ‘We don’t deserve this’

By Amanda Holpuch : theguardian – excerpt (includes video)

Survivors of the Florida attack have grown up in a world where school shootings are the norm, and they want a different future

Unsure whether he would be a victim or survivor of the mass shooting taking place outside his Florida classroom, 14-year-old Aidan Minoff sent an eight-word tweet.

“I am in a school shooting right now … ” Aidan said, before the world knew the day would end with 17 students and teachers dead.

Tens of thousands of people locked onto Aidan’s feed for the next 86 minutes, where he posted messages from the linoleum floor of his classroom, amid a forest of metal desk legs.

When the carnage ended, Aidan, and other teenagers who survived the attack, faced the cold lens of news cameras, not knowing the fate of all their friends and teachers, but they were sure about one thing.

Solutions must be found to tackle US gun violence crisis. “How are we allowed to buy guns at the age of 18 or 19? That’s something we shouldn’t be able to do,” Lyliah Skinner, who survived the shooting, told CNN…

“It was about guns. Guns give these disgusting people the ability to kill other human beings” – Carly Novell, shooting survivor

“We’re children,” David Hogg, a 17-year-old survivor, said. “You guys are the adults. You need to take some action and play a role. Work together. Come over your politics and get something done.”…

(more)

The Resisitance Now: ‘Throw them out’: plans to eject politicians ‘beholden to the gun lobby’

By Adam Gabbatt : the guardian – excerpt

Moms Demand Action and Everytown launch campaign to empower voters following the horrors of Parkland...

Activists pressure politicians to act on gun control

Activist organizations have renewed calls for gun control in the US in the wake of the school shooting in Florida.

Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, together with Everytown for Gun Safety, launched a campaign on Friday which it says will “empower voters to find out where candidates stand on gun safety”.

“Throw them out” will target members of Congress who are “beholden to the gun lobby”, Moms Demand Action said. They’ve set up five steps people can follow to pressure lawmakers, including how to get politicians on the record as committing to stricter gun control and a tool to encourage friends to vote.

The campaign uses a Washington Post interactive to help people track donations by the National Rifle Association. It means voters can understand which of their representatives have received money from the lobbying organization…

Indivisible, the progressive organization made up of thousands of groups across the country, is pursuing another line – encouraging people to pressure their members of congress to oppose the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act. That bill would allow anyone with a concealed carry permit to carry a hidden weapon across state lines…

Meanwhile a petition on MoveOn, which calls for military-style assault weapons to be banned, had attracted 122,000 signatures by midday on Friday…(more)

National school walkout planned after calls for gun control grow louder

Los Angeles Times owner sells paper to local billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong, ending a long-troubled relationship

: washingtonpost – excerpt

The Chicago-based owner of the Los Angeles Times completed its sale of the newspaper on Wednesday in a surprise move that probably spells the end of its long-troubled relationship with Southern California’s leading news outlet.

The buyer is Patrick Soon-Shiong, a Los Angeles-area physician and a major shareholder of the paper’s former parent company, Tronc. Soon-Shiong is the billionaire founder and chief executive of NantHealth, based in Culver City. As part of the $500 million deal, he will also buy its sister newspaper, the San Diego Union-Tribune

Soon-Shiong, 64, made his fortune — estimated at around $9 billion by Bloomberg — by starting and selling biotech companies and by operating an empire of interlocking enterprises. A surgeon by training, he has no background in newspapers, except as an investor in Tronc. Among his investments is a small stake in the Los Angeles Lakers…

He has vowed to “solve health care” and to “win the war on cancer,” two grandiloquent claims that have made him controversial within health-care circles..

Soon-Shiong advised Donald Trump on health-care issues during the presidential transition last year, and also consulted with former vice president Joe Biden on Biden’s cancer initiative. Soon-Shiong has directed his political contributions primarily to Democrats, including Hillary Clinton in 2016… (more)

The media moguls never quit. This article details the history of the recent turmoil at a major US Newspaper that had a reputation for excellence in journalism.