TikTok getting tough!

TikTok is toughening its stance against the QAnon conspiracy theory, expanding its ban to all content or accounts that promote videos advancing baseless ideas from the far-right online movement.

The action hardens the video-sharing app’s previous enforcement against QAnon that targeted specific hashtags on the app that QAnon supporters have used to spread unfounded theories. Now, users that share QAnon-related content on TikTok will have their accounts deleted from the app.

TikTok’s sweeping action against QAnon comes just as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other technology giants have announced bans on content from the Trump-supporting conspiracy theory. QAnon started in October 2017 and has amassed an enormous following online thanks largely to social media companies.

Obliterating easy publicity for bigotry, fascist ideology, absurdist superstition feeding the worst of an uneducated or poorly educated society shouldn’t disturb the censorship genes of any history-conscious American. There are more than enough examples of death and dictatorship coming to power through disinformation and lies.

Early voting in my neck of the prairie

Early voting in New Mexico is the highest since we went for Obama in 2008. A positive sign, I hope.

New Mexico voters continued to head to the polls and return absentee ballots early, as 322,880 voters had already cast their ballots as of Tuesday morning: 154,578 through early in-person voting and 71,939 through returning absentee ballots.

The number of returned absentee ballots is now the second-most in state history, only behind the 172,136 absentee ballots returned in 2008, and is poised to break that year’s record total by tomorrow morning (21st).

As of Tuesday morning (20th), 44.77 percent of all voters who requested absentee ballots have returned them.

Tuesday was the final day for voters to request absentee ballots.

Throw the stink out of the White House. It will take a while not only to fumigate the place; but, sort out the damage that garbage-brain did to previous legislation with aid from the failed and failing Republican Party.

They couldn’t offer any new upstanding honest candidates. Relied instead on populist fervor for bigotry and greed. No surprise in American political history.

Something we might rectify by shit-canning the absurdity of an electoral college…allowing democracy to better serve this nation.

Faction inside White House happy over removal of nutball Scott Atlas anti-mask post on Twitter


Atlas’ boss ain’t be happy, don’t worry!

Members of the White House coronavirus task force are praising a move by Twitter removing a misleading tweet from top Trump adviser Dr. Scott Atlas that told Americans masks don’t work.

The tweet’s removal was a “relief” among some task force members, Dr. Deborah Birx told friends over the weekend, according to a source, blah, blah, blah…

“Masks work? NO,” Atlas wrote, followed by a series of misrepresentations about the science behind the effectiveness of masks in combating the pandemic.

The tweet and its subsequent removal comes as coronavirus cases spike across the US and other members of the task force have taken to the airwaves to urge Americans to heed basic mitigation strategies, including mask usage and social distancing.

Sad, but true. You can pretty much always find some tame flunky to reaffirm fear of peer-reviewed science, sound medical analysis that puts the lie to the recommendations of corrupt turds like Trump.

Although the chants of death and “liberty” are warmed up and walking the halls of government and an increasingly piss-poor judiciary — a few voices still live within the corridors of government, willing to give a shout about the Emperor and his new clothes. The haberdashery retains its usual space inside the Republican Party.

Best Cars for Senior Drivers


No longer a collegiate clown car

So when we decided to poll our editors on their favorite vehicles for senior drivers, we started with safety…Here’s why: Longer life spans often mean people are driving well into old age, and statistics from IIHS back that up. According to IIHS, older drivers now keep their licenses longer and make up a bigger proportion of the population than in the past. That trend is expected to continue as baby boomers age, culminating in some 53 million U.S. citizens reaching age 70 or older by 2030, according to estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.

This, of course, leads to concerns about traffic safety. While older drivers have lower fatal crash rates than in the past, they still face a greater risk of injury or death due the inevitable increase in fragility that comes with aging…

To have a reasonable number of vehicles from which to choose for this endeavor, we started with model-year 2020 recipients of IIHS Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick Plus awards. These cars must meet stringent safety criteria to qualify. Knowing that many seniors live on a fixed income, we set a price cap of $35,000; that resulted in 30 qualifying vehicles out of more than 70. We then polled our editors, asking them to pick their top five from the list of 30…

The article is smartly analytical, brief in each category. I know I’ll refer to it whenever that vague time comes when we need to think about replacing one or both of our vehicles. We’d like to get rid of the pickup since we only use it 8 or 10 times a year…now we’re both retired. Coming up with a range that includes a trip to the transfer station with bagged household trash every now and then can be a puzzler.

The only distraction – sad at that – only 1 car from a US company made the group of 30…and no further.

FCC Chairman rolls over for Trump – will attack Facebook and Twitter

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai is backing President Donald Trump’s proposal to limit legal protections for social media websites that block or modify content posted by users. Pai’s views on the matter were unknown until…he issued a statement saying that he will open a rule-making process to clarify that, despite the First Amendment, social media companies do not have “special immunity” for their content-moderation decisions

…(A) Trump administration’s petition asked the FCC to limit social media companies’ legal protections under Section 230 by changing the definition of “information content provider.” The requested change would define the term more broadly to include platforms that make “editorial decisions that modify or alter content.” That could convert Facebook and Twitter from “interactive computer services” to “information content providers,” limiting their legal protections when they block or screen content…

Both FCC Democrats today criticized Pai’s announcement. “The timing of this effort is absurd. The FCC has no business being the president’s speech police,” Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel said.

Commissioner Geoffrey Starks said, “We’re in the midst of an election. The president’s executive order on Section 230 was politically motivated and legally unsound. The FCC shouldn’t do the president’s bidding here.”…

In addition to being opposed by the FCC’s Democratic minority, Trump’s petition did not even have full support from the FCC’s Republican majority. Republican FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly stated that the FCC must uphold First Amendment speech protections “that apply to corporate entities, especially when they engage in editorial decision making.”

After O’Rielly’s comments, Trump took the unusual step of pulling O’Rielly’s nomination to another FCC term…

Unusual for someone intended to represent the people of this nation broadly instead of just the nutballs ranging from QAnon to your friendly neighborhood fascists.

Twinkies aren’t immortal, after all


Left to Right: Deceased – Dying – Want a bite?

Last week, craving sweets, Colin Purrington remembered the Twinkies.

He’d purchased them back in 2012 for sentimental reasons when he heard that Hostess Brands was going bankrupt and Twinkies might disappear forever…

Like many people, Purrington believed Twinkies are basically immortal, although the official shelf life is 45 days. He removed a Twinkie from the box, unwrapped it — it looked fine — and took a bite. Then he retched…

…Researchers immediately thought some kind of fungus was involved in attacking the 8-year-old Twinkies, because they’ve studied fungi that kill insects and dry them out in a similar way. Plus, the reddish blotch on one Twinkie seemed to have a growth pattern that’s typical of fungi.

They reached out to Purrington, who was only too happy to mail them the Twinkies immediately. “Science is a collaborative sport,” he says. “If someone can take this and figure out what was actually growing, I’m all in. I really want to know what species exactly was eating my Twinkies.”

A fun read, unless you’re a big shareholder in whoever owns Twinkies, nowadays. Another addition to the long list of reasons why I don’t eat anything in this category of food I didn’t prepare myself.