1. #34936
    Invincible Jersey Girl Tami's Avatar
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    Here is something to take your mind off of politics for a while

    A Seattle store owner ran a Lego trafficking operation, authorities say. Police took it down ‘brick by brick.’

    Baby Yoda was going undercover.

    The mission: be an unassuming toy that had just been stolen. But Baby Yoda would, in fact, be secretly helping Seattle police bust a store owner they suspected of orchestrating a band of “prolific shoplifters” and trafficking in thousands of dollars’ worth of stolen Legos.

    The trick worked, police said. An undercover detective sold a 1,073-piece Lego set of The Child — a character commonly known as Baby Yoda in the Star Wars series “The Mandalorian” — to the owner of Rummage Around, a secondhand store in Seattle’s Pike Place Market, after telling him it was stolen, according to the Seattle Police Department.
    Police arrested the store owner — 67-year-old Mark Steven Brady — and prosecutors have charged him with first-degree trafficking in stolen property, a felony. Police accuse Brady of running a network of shoplifters by telling them the kinds of items he would buy and sending them off, knowing they would steal them. They say he purchased thousands of dollars’ worth of stolen goods from July to September, including Star Wars Lego sets, Amazon electronics and a Philips Norelco hair trimmer.
    Brady “was most likely directing … prolific shoplifters to steal property from retail stores for his own benefit of buying them at extremely low prices and reselling them to others,” Seattle police said in their investigative report.

    Brady was released from jail earlier this week and, while running his store Thursday night, he told The Washington Post that he has never knowingly bought stolen goods. He said he plans to retain a lawyer and that some fellow Pike Place Market business owners have pledged to raise money on GoFundMe so he can do so.
    The case against Brady started in July when security employees of an Amazon 4-star, a brick-and-mortar department store owned by the online retail giant, contacted police about a slew of thefts that had been plaguing them, the investigative report said. Repeat shoplifters had been raiding their shelves of expensive goods, they told police, claiming the thieves would come in, go straight to their targets and leave “comfortably enough to not even conceal them.” One, whom they identified as a 32-year-old man, stole more than $10,000 worth of merchandise, much of it Star Wars Lego sets, tending to gravitate toward ones from “The Mandalorian,” the report states.
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  2. #34937
    Invincible Jersey Girl Tami's Avatar
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    Tuskless Elephants Escape Poachers, but May Evolve New Problems

    A deep enough wound will leave a scar, but a traumatic event in the history of an animal population may leave a mark on the genome itself. During the Mozambican Civil War from 1977 to 1992, humans killed so many elephants for their lucrative ivory that the animals seem to have evolved in the space of a generation. The result was that a large number are now naturally tuskless.

    A paper published Thursday in Science has revealed the tooth-building genes that are likely involved, and that in elephants, the mutation is lethal to males.

    Although evolving to be tuskless might spare some surviving elephants from poachers, there will likely be long-term consequences for the population.

    Normally, both male and female African elephants have tusks, which are really a pair of massive teeth. But a few are born without them. Under heavy poaching, those few elephants without ivory are more likely to pass on their genes. Researchers have seen this phenomenon in Mozambique’s Gorongosa National Park, where tuskless elephants are now a common sight.

    Female elephants, that is. What no one has seen in the park is a tuskless male.

    “We had an inkling,” said Shane Campbell-Staton, an evolutionary biologist at Princeton University, that whatever genetic mutation took away these elephants’ tusks was also killing males.

    To learn more, Dr. Campbell-Staton and his co-authors started with long-term data, including prewar video footage of Gorongosa’s elephants.

    They calculated that even before the war, nearly one in five females were tuskless. This might reflect earlier conflict and poaching pressure, Dr. Campbell-Staton said. In well-protected elephant populations, tusklessness can be as low as 2 percent.

    Today, half of Gorongosa’s females are tuskless. The females who survived the war are passing the trait to their daughters. Mathematical modeling showed this change was almost certainly because of natural selection, and not a random fluke. In the decades spanning the war, tuskless females had more than five times greater odds of survival.

    And the pattern of tusklessness in families confirmed the scientists’ hunch: it seems to be a dominant trait, carried by females, that’s lethal to males. That means a female with one copy of the tuskless mutation has no tusks. Half of her daughters will have tusks, and half will be tuskless. Among her sons, though, half will have tusks and the other half will die, perhaps before birth.

    The team sequenced the genomes of 11 tuskless females and seven with tusks, looking for differences between the groups. They also searched for places in the genome showing the signature of recent natural selection without the random DNA reshuffling that happens over time. They found two genes that seemed to be at play.
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  3. #34938
    Extraordinary Member babyblob's Avatar
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    Sheriff Richard Jones the Sheriff of Butler county Ohio is at last trying to get body cameras for his sheriff deputies. But it is not because he believes in body cameras. he has long been a critic and hates the idea of them and once said his department would never have them. But there is a grant he can apply for that let's the department get them for free if approved. he did say if he didnt get the grant he would not in any way shape or form try and find funding for it. It is a "I get them for free or I dont get them." he is already not happy that even if he gets the body cams with the grant he will have to spend time and money setting them up and hiring additional personal to monitor and log the video.

    This day in age I do not understand how any law enforcement officer would not want body cameras. I dont understand the fight against it.
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  4. #34939
    Ultimate Member Tendrin's Avatar
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    Hey, WBE. A useful thread for you:

    https://twitter.com/iarnsdorf/status...12099800211461

  5. #34940
    Incredible Member Xheight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CSTowle View Post
    That's because a lot of folks on the right see themselves as islands of do-it-yourself-ism, "sovereign citizens" who are fine enough on their own and would be even better if government and everyone else would just stay out of their way and leave them alone. The aspects of society they like (protection from foreign invaders, infrastructure of roads/electrical grid/internet/etc., protection from crime or fire or ability to be helped if injured/sick) they see as either their due for the taxes they pay or as things that would be even better if left to the free market and the benevolence of private industry. Protections for anyone else are clearly indulgences that only cripple those that need them, not giving them the freedom to pull themselves up by their boot straps (not to mention wasting their hard-earned money).

    It's a luxury they can afford because we live in an interconnected society with laws and protections. Looking at private industry and their willful attempts to dump toxic materials, allow injury or death if the settlements (assuming they're caught and held to account, eventually) are cheaper than doing things safely, gouging their customers (never mind their avoidance of taxes) or using unsafe or lower quality materials, acquiring materials in manners that would be highly illegal if done in this country, etc. even with the laws and regulations on them right now shows that they would be making things even worse for others if they could. Like the old Chris Rock bit about minimum wage, "We'd like to pay you less, but it's against the law!"

    The irony is private industry lobbying/influence is often the cause of many of the toothless regulations and loopholes that undermine public safety and interests. Why anyone chooses to identify or lionize them still baffles me, even if (or maybe especially if) they want to be in the position to be f##king people over someday.
    Something in my driving commute today reminded me that position as a series of cars zigged and zagged with nary a signal to a lane change. It is very much is part of human nature, even if only a part humanity, to assume that living selfishly and shaving the rules is what makes them more competent and competitive in our society. Qualities which drive our capitalist economy and its surpluses that give us modernity. Industry has often been mistakenly equated with bee hive like behavior but I put it to you that bees are far more interconnected and orderly and well mindless to boot than humans. John Rawls's A Theory of Justice stumbles on this very problem too because
    For example, formal guarantees of political voice and freedom of assembly are of little real worth to the desperately poor and marginalized in society. Demanding that everyone have exactly the same effective opportunities in life would almost certainly offend the very liberties that are supposedly being equalized. Nonetheless, we would want to ensure at least the "fair worth" of our liberties: wherever one ends up in society, one wants life to be worth living, with enough effective freedom to pursue personal goals. Thus participants would be moved to affirm a two-part second principle comprising Fair Equality of Opportunity and the famous (and controversial[39]) difference principle. This second principle ensures that those with comparable talents and motivation face roughly similar life chances and that inequalities in society work to the benefit of the least advantaged.
    Indeed "worth living" some is gaining advantage over others.
    And if the whole wide world stops singing
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    I'll turn a light on in my soul
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  6. #34941
    Ultimate Member Tendrin's Avatar
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    That's some Randian bullshit.

  7. #34942
    Incredible Member Xheight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by numberthirty View Post
    One time, someone asked Chris Rock about folks who were involved in Chris Farley's career and their responsibility as far as Farley's eventual passing.

    He said something along the lines of "If Chris has been out of rehab or not using for a week and you put him to work, you are an accessory the same as if you had been involved in a crime..."

    Same goes here.

    You cannot contribute to the overall climate, and then try to say that you have played no role in creating the climate that those murders are taking place in.
    Baloney on rye. That is to conflate opportunity and speech with action which allows for no individual agency along with circumscribing ideas. This extends to even putting a bottle in front of an alcoholic and daring them to drink it. Suicide is ultimately up to the person.
    And if the whole wide world stops singing
    And all the stars go dark
    I'll turn a light on in my soul
    And keep the bluebird in my heart

  8. #34943
    Incredible Member Xheight's Avatar
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    It would be an amazing precedent which might not be available to other states like NY but certainly states like MN and CO might look to on their borders. Thanks for the heads up.
    And if the whole wide world stops singing
    And all the stars go dark
    I'll turn a light on in my soul
    And keep the bluebird in my heart

  9. #34944
    Incredible Member Xheight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tendrin View Post
    That's some Randian bullshit.
    John Rawls is hardly in the Randian realm of philosophy. In fact much of Equity discourse comes from his work.
    And if the whole wide world stops singing
    And all the stars go dark
    I'll turn a light on in my soul
    And keep the bluebird in my heart

  10. #34945
    Ultimate Member Tendrin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xheight View Post
    John Rawls is hardly in the Randian realm of philosophy. In fact much of Equity discourse comes from his work.
    t is very much is part of human nature, even if only a part humanity, to assume that living selfishly and shaving the rules is what makes them more competent and competitive in our society.
    This is a core piece of Randian philosophy, which predates Theory of Justice considerably, and no doubt had an influence on the latter.

  11. #34946
    Incredible Member Xheight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tendrin View Post
    This is a core piece of Randian philosophy, which predates Theory of Justice considerably, and no doubt had an influence on the latter.
    Perhaps, I bet he was well read even if he probably disagreed or sought to cap it as he does to utility. Mine comes from simple observation as noted from car drivers which you gotta say has limited utility and not being a fan of such drivers.
    And if the whole wide world stops singing
    And all the stars go dark
    I'll turn a light on in my soul
    And keep the bluebird in my heart

  12. #34947
    Loony Scott Taylor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by babyblob View Post
    Sheriff Richard Jones the Sheriff of Butler county Ohio is at last trying to get body cameras for his sheriff deputies. But it is not because he believes in body cameras. he has long been a critic and hates the idea of them and once said his department would never have them. But there is a grant he can apply for that let's the department get them for free if approved. he did say if he didnt get the grant he would not in any way shape or form try and find funding for it. It is a "I get them for free or I dont get them." he is already not happy that even if he gets the body cams with the grant he will have to spend time and money setting them up and hiring additional personal to monitor and log the video.

    This day in age I do not understand how any law enforcement officer would not want body cameras. I dont understand the fight against it.
    Too Big Brother, perhaps? He just wants things to operate like they always have before, because if it ain't broke don't fix it?

    I'm not really a fan of body cams on police, personally. Or cams in general. They give a skewed perspective and are often given too much weight just because its video.
    Every day is a gift, not a given right.

  13. #34948
    Incredible Member Xheight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by babyblob View Post
    What is also funny is how little fuss at the start has been made about state or local races. Even in Areas where the GOP lost the state or local it is only the votes for Biden that are fraud. Like the state and local guys losing is not fraud it is only Trump. Maybe they saw how dumb that was because I have only heard concern on the state level candidates only recently.

    And if I remember right Mail in voting has been around for awhile. yet there was no issue at all until 2020. Like no one even questioned it. Or that is was not safe or open for fraud. At least not on this level.
    That is because the state races are harder to manipulate in Big Data schemes and close races. Think of how averages are manipulated or not.
    And if the whole wide world stops singing
    And all the stars go dark
    I'll turn a light on in my soul
    And keep the bluebird in my heart

  14. #34949
    Incredible Member Xheight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kirby101 View Post
    It 'exploded" last winter, just when people started getting vaccinated, since then it has some of the fewest cases per capita in the country. As opposed to Florida and Texas, where their anti vax and anti mask mandates cause the most cases since the pandemic began.

    You right wingers should really check facts before you spout off. But the Right and facts don't get along.

    so "cough" yourself.
    As if I am arguing that Vaccines don't save lives. It is policy that I am questioning and its effectiveness. https://www.worldometers.info/corona...sa/california/

    Masking not so much. https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us/ Yes CA was strict on masks yet what happened or is happening. PS I don't identify as right winger.
    Last edited by Xheight; 10-22-2021 at 10:03 AM.
    And if the whole wide world stops singing
    And all the stars go dark
    I'll turn a light on in my soul
    And keep the bluebird in my heart

  15. #34950

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