Tens of thousands of good Brazilians take to the streets to protest President Bolsonaro's continuing inability/unwillingness to handle the COVID pandemic and to demand his removal from office. I sure wish we'd done that in America -- and given that protesting in America can get you ridiculed but protesting in Brazil can get you shot, I applaud the courage of good Brazilians, and wish them the best in getting that irredeemable asshole out of office. (People say I'm not kind to call him that. Believe me, I am kind to call him that.)
From the "Dystopia Is Here" file: Joseph Cox and Jason Roebler at Vice describe how the creator of an app called Citizen -- which purports to alert its users to crimes in progress, thus "enabling" them to stop them -- stalked an innocent man all night, purportedly for arson, even putting a five-digit bounty on him. Citizen sounds like Nextdoor on meth -- one former employee calls it an "anxiety sweatshop" -- and hopefully you can see how Citizen employees working undercover in major cities can turn into a corporation's private dictatorship. Which, I maintain, would be even worse than a government dictatorship, particularly since it would have the volunteer "assistance" of large numbers of folks who think every suspect is a perp and every perp must be Black.
Tom Sullivan at Hullabaloo tells the story of a man detained at a private prison, in solitary confinement, for almost a year, without having his day in court, until the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals finally set him free. He must have been some kind of super-villain, right? You already know the answer to that, I trust: police originally arrested him on "marijuana-related charges." And we all know that in our sick, immoral, and decadent society, the real super-villains always get off scot-free. Sometimes they even get elected President.
Not too many years ago, my great-uncle asked why colleges charged so much; I responded, "because they can." But Paul Campos at Lawyers, Guns, and Money gives us a much more exhaustive explanation. Preceded, of course, with a refutation of all the wrong reasons: that public investment in colleges has gone down (it hasn't), that faculty salaries have gone up dramatically (that is to laugh), that the monetary "value" of a college degree has gone up dramatically (that is also to laugh). Which mainly leaves, you guessed it, administrative expenses, which not only include more (and more highly-paid) administrators, but an administrator "class" that moves around from college to college and mainly concerns itself with, you guessed it, making more money. I'm old enough to remember when an education had intrinsic value.
Right-wing garbage merchants claim that Moderna's COVID vaccine has a "secret ingredient," and then try to "prove" their assertion with a safety data sheet that describes the ill effects of chloroform, not the "secret ingredient" in question. It's a little like trying to prove eating beef is dangerous by describing all the ill effects of eating cow dung. And if you decided that this wasn't a mistake but malicious evil -- that there is no way someone promotes this garbage by accident -- well, how could I blame you?
Tierney Sneed at Talking Points Memo catalogues, at great expense to her well-being I would think, the right-wing's mania for election "audits" they all think will return Donald Trump to office. What part of "accept the results" and "get over it" did they not hear? And note well that when even the most sympathetic auditors don't deliver the results right-wingers want, right-wingers just turn on them. Remember when Rush Limbaugh used to say liberalism was easy? He was wrong about that, too: being a right-winger is easy, because you never need to accept something you don't want to.