Trump Threatens Rival World Cup Bidders


 

❝ Critics have slammed U.S. President Donald Trump’s comment as a complete violation of FIFA rules regarding political interference in the bidding process.

❝ “The US has put together a STRONG bid w/ Canada & Mexico for the 2026 World Cup,” Trump posted on Twitter on Thursday.

“It would be a shame if countries that we always support were to lobby against the U.S. bid. Why should we be supporting these countries when they don’t support us (including at the United Nations)?”

The senseless inadequate guttersnipe currently occupying a seat in the Oval Office treats sport with the ignorance, greed, and sophistry you would expect from a bully.

Facts don’t matter to Trump’s supporters – faith beats reality every time!


Trump is your daddy

How did Donald Trump win the Republican nomination, despite clear evidence that he had misrepresented or falsified key issues throughout the campaign? Social scientists have some intriguing explanations for why people persist in misjudgments despite strong contrary evidence.

Trump is a vivid and, to his critics, a frightening present-day illustration of this perception problem. But it has been studied carefully by researchers for more than 30 years. Basically, the studies show that attempts to refute false information often backfire and lead people to hold on to their misperceptions even more strongly.

…The reason is that people tend to accept arguments that confirm their views and discount facts that challenge what they believe…

Trying to correct misperceptions can actually reinforce them, according to a 2006 paper by Brendan Nyhan and Jason Reifler, also cited by Graves. They documented what they called a “backfire effect” by showing the persistence of the belief that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction in 2005 and 2006, after the United States had publicly admitted that they didn’t exist. “The results show that direct factual contradictions can actually strengthen ideologically grounded factual belief,” they wrote.

Next Graves examined how attempts to debunk myths can reinforce them, simply by repeating the untruth…“The more often older adults were told that a given claim was false, the more likely they were to accept it as true after several days have passed.”

When critics challenge false assertions…their refutations can threaten people, rather than convince them. Graves noted that if people feel attacked, they resist the facts all the more. He cited a study by Nyhan and Reifler that examined why people misperceived three demonstrable facts: that violence in Iraq declined after President George W. Bush’s troop surge; that jobs have increased during President Obama’s tenure; and that global temperatures are rising…

Trump’s campaign pushes buttons that social scientists understand. When the GOP nominee paints a dark picture of a violent, frightening America, he triggers the “fight or flight” response that’s hardwired in our brains. For the body politic, it can produce a kind of panic attack.

Stupid still outweighs ignorant. An essential reason why I disagree with activists wasting time on folks who are Trump supporters. Reasons means nothing. He’s pushed all their buttons. They respond like trained rats. Or True Believers.

Folks are liable to accomplish more useful results focusing their efforts on the undecided. That premise already establishes you’re dealing with folks seeking information, facts – rather than a pat on the bum and a reassuring word from the Big Daddy who lives inside the TV screen.

“I don’t know if he was there to kill me”

I don’t know if he was there to kill me.

Monday night I was sitting in a hotel lobby in downtown Des Moines with my back to a wall of windows, my eyes fixed on the TV, my attention wholly focused on early caucus results. I didn’t notice until he was standing right next to me, much closer than is ordinary or comfortable. When he started he speaking it was like he was picking up in the middle of sentence, finishing a conversation we had begun earlier, but I couldn’t remember ever meeting him.

“…So what is it that you teach?”

“I am a professor of political science.”

“My wife is a professor of communications.”

“Does she teach here in Iowa?”

“What I want to know is how you got credentialed to be on MSNBC.”

I am not sure if it is how he spat the word credentialed, or if it is how he took another half step toward me, or if it is how he didn’t respond to my question, but the hairs on my arm stood on end. I ignored it. Told myself everything was ok.

“Well. It is not exactly a credential…” I began.

“But why you? Why would they pick you?”

Now I know something is wrong. Now his voice is angry. Now a few other people have stopped talking and started staring. Now he is so close I can feel his breath. Before I can answer his unanswerable question of why they picked me, he begins to tell me why he has picked me.

“I just want you to know why I am doing this.”

Oh – there is a this. He is going to do a this. To me. And he is going to tell me why

RTFA. Please. This creep is one of thousands, millions of self-deluded Americans who says they aren’t bigots, sexist. And he thinks he isn’t at all intimidating. Except when he want to be intimidating.

I’ve volunteered as bodyguard a number of times BITD. The big burly dude in a leather jacket who looks willing and able to break the arms off any creep who believes threatening activists with death is OK. Actually, my prime task was being willing to put my own body in the way if the threat seemed real and imminent. And that was OK with me.

But, the scumbags who sincerely believe their religious and/or political ideology justifies mortal harm to other civilians are nothing less than terrorists. No difference between them and ISIS. Especially if their God or the political idol they worship says they deserve heavenly reward for their violence.

RTFA. I’m an old and cranky geek, now – but, I wish I was there beside Melissa. That sucker wouldn’t have gotten away.

And you’re afraid of what?

Attachment-1

TV talking heads keep talking about how Americans are all crapping their drawers over the terrorist threat. Have they considered analyzing how much of that is caused by their constant yammering – instead of reality.

I’m more likely to be killed by a stray bullet from a domestic violence shootout in the supermarket or a drug deal gone bad in the parking lot – than by gunfire from a terrorist sympathizer.

UK terrorism case ends in acquittal – no one allowed to say why

image
Ian Cobain

Ian Cobain, a reporter with The Guardian, is one of very few people who know why a student arrested by armed British police officers in 2013 was finally acquitted this year of terrorism charges.

Problem is, he cannot report what he knows. He was allowed to observe much of the trial, but only under strict conditions intended to keep classified material secret. His notebooks are being held by Britain’s domestic intelligence agency. And if he writes — or even talks — about the reason that the student, Erol Incedal, 27, was acquitted, Mr. Cobain faces prosecution and possibly jail.

“I know the essence of what was happening,” Mr. Cobain said, “but I can’t tell, I can’t even talk to my editor about this.”

Having initially gone along reluctantly with the reporting restrictions, a number of British news organizations are now challenging them in court. And yes, the challenge itself is being heard under secrecy rules that leave the public mostly excluded. Were Mr. Cobain to break the law and disclose what he knows publicly, his prosecution would also take place in secret…

The case is among the latest to highlight the growing debate about the proper balance between civil liberties and national security in the age of terrorism. That debate has intensified this year in the United States and across much of Europe, with nations reflecting on decisions they have made since the Sept. 11 attacks and reacting to more recent developments, from the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris to disclosures in Germany about eavesdropping by the United States National Security Agency…

But the Incedal case has focused attention on whether governments are cloaking too many of their activities in national security classifications, insulating themselves from public debate and accountability for mistakes or collusion with suspects.

It’s hard to know quite who is being protected in all this,” said David Davis, a lawmaker from the governing Conservative Party and a former minister…“The implication is that this is more about the embarrassment of the agencies than it is about real questions of national security…”

Please RTFA. This case, the repressive manipulation by government, courts and the thought police is not happening in isolation. The parallels with the American FISA court and actions of the NSA, FBI, other alphabetized fascists is striking.

The good fortune is that journalism in the UK is willing to challenge restrictions – even in roundabout ways – while most US media is self-restricted to entertainment. And it ain’t folks who believe in Free Speech who get to determine what is entertainment.

There is beaucoup detail, anecdotal adventures in the dreamland nightmares of our spooks and politicians.

What good are foreign military bases?

iranwar
Click to enlarge

If you’re like most people in the United States, you have a vague awareness that the U.S. military keeps lots of troops permanently stationed on foreign bases around the world. But have you ever wondered and really investigated to find out how many, and where exactly, and at what cost, and to what purpose, and in terms of what relationship with the host nations?

A wonderfully researched new book, six years in the works, answers these questions in a manner you’ll find engaging whether you’ve ever asked them or not. It’s called Base Nation: How U.S. Military Bases Harm America and the World, by David Vine.

Some 800 bases with hundreds of thousands of troops in some 70 nations, plus all kinds of other “trainers” and “non-permanent” exercises that last indefinitely, maintain an ongoing U.S. military presence around the world for a price tag of at least $100 billion a year.

Even if you think there is some reason to be able to quickly deploy thousands of U.S. troops to any spot on earth, airplanes now make that as easily done from the United States as from Korea or Japan or Germany or Italy.

It costs dramatically more to keep troops in those other countries, and while some base defenders make a case for economic philanthropy, the evidence is that local economies actually benefit little — and suffer little when a base leaves. Neither does the U.S. economy benefit, of course. Rather, certain privileged contractors benefit, along with those politicians whose campaigns they fund. And if you think military spending is unaccountable at home, you should check out bases abroad where it’s none too rare to have security guards employed purely to guard cooks whose sole job is to feed the security guards. The military has a term for any common SNAFU, and the term for this one is “self-licking ice cream.”…

Bases around the borders of Russia and China are generating new hostility and arms races, and even proposals by Russia and China to open foreign bases of their own. Currently all non-U.S. foreign bases in the world total no more than 30, with most of those belonging to close U.S. allies, and not a single one of them being in or anywhere near the United States, which would of course be considered an outrage.

Remember – we have about 800.

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Florida scientists discover super termites


A hybrid colony of Coptotermes termites. A king C. gestroi (nutty-brown abdomen) is shown on the left, and a queen C. formosanus (orange abdomen) on the right. They are surrounded by their hybrid offspring, including eggs, larvae, workers, and soldiers.

Formosan subterranean termites (Coptotermes formosanus) and Asian subterranean termites (Coptotermes gestroi) are the most damaging pest species in the world. Both are highly invasive and have spread throughout many areas of the world due to human activity, and their distributions overlap in some areas.

Now scientists in Florida have observed Formosan males mating with Asian females — in fact, they seem to prefer the Asian females more than females from their own species — and their hybrid offspring seem to grow colonies twice as fast as their parents…

Many hybrids are unable to reproduce…And many hybrids that actually can reproduce tend to lose vigor after one or more generations, which is why farmers often buy new hybrid seeds each growing season…But so far that doesn’t seem to be the case for these termite hybrids. In the laboratory, the Florida researchers are raising a hybrid colony that is growing twice as fast as same-species colonies, suggesting a potential case of hybrid vigor…

While these laboratory observations remain to be confirmed in the field, the results still raise a tangible concern about the hybridization of these incredibly destructive pests, which could have significant economic impacts…

However, even if they do not produce viable reproductives, the hybrids could still be problematic in the wild. A C. formosanus colony can grow to contain millions of individuals within five to eight years, and since the hybrid colony in the UFL lab is growing at least as fast as its parental species, it’s reasonable to assume that hybrid colonies will also contain millions of termites after five years or so…

What we are dealing with here is a termite colony that acts like a super organism,” said Dr. Nan-Yao Su, another UFL professor and co-author of the study. “Whether or not it produces reproductives, the colony itself poses a serious threat to homeowners.”

Florida’s Republican governor is a reasonably consistent thug. He’ll probably handle this threat to homeowners the way he handles climate change. First, he’ll deny it exists. Them, he’ll order all scientists on the state payroll to censor their work so there will be nothing on the record admitting to the danger.

Philosophical idealism is laughable outside the world of academia. Attempting to justify a causal relationship between concepts held in thought – and material reality – is always refuted simply by the absurdity of trying to prove something comes from nothing. In today’s Republican politics, molding the bigotry of neo-cons around a core of religion and superstition, politicians behave as if denying a problem will make it go away. Refusing to answer a question will somehow eliminate the physical processes that provoked the question in the first place.

Today’s stupid cop trick

banana gun
Quick draw banana!

A man is facing a felony menacing charge after two western Colorado sheriff’s deputies say he pointed a banana at them and they thought it was a gun.

The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reports 27-year-old Nathan Rolf Channing, of Fruitvale, was arrested Sunday.

According to an arrest affidavit, Mesa County deputies Joshua Bunch and Donald Love said they feared for their lives even though they saw that the object was yellow. Bunch wrote in the affidavit that he has seen handguns in many shapes and colors.

He wrote that Love was drawing his service weapon when Channing yelled, “It’s a banana!

The deputies say Channing told them he was doing a trial run for a planned YouTube video and he thought it would “lighten the holiday spirit.”

Think these stalwart coppers would have been charged if they killed the guy threatening them with a banana?

How to Serve and Protect against double amputee in a wheelchair

A schizophrenic double amputee waving a writing pen from his wheelchair was fatally shot early Saturday by a Houston police officer…

Police were called to the East End personal care home around 2 a.m. because resident Brian Claunch had become agitated after his caretaker refused to give him a soda and a cigarette, said John Garcia, the owner of the home at 4309 Polk.

“He was approaching them aggressively,” said Houston Police Department spokes­woman Jodi Silva. “He was attempting to stab them with what is now found to be a pen.”

Claunch, who had been living at the home for the past 18 months with two other men, ignored officers’ commands and made threats against them and other occupants of the home, Garcia said the caretaker told him. Claunch trapped one of the officers in a corner, authorities said.

Matthew Marin, a five-year HPD veteran, fired his weapon at least one time, fearing for his partner’s safety and his own…

You really needn’t say much more than that.

Garcia said he was stunned at the news when he arrived at the home Saturday morning, shortly after the incident.

“He sometimes would go off a bit, but you just ignore it,” Garcia said of Claunch…

Garcia said Claunch liked to “doodle” and two days ago he had given him a black felt pen to draw with. Garcia said he was not sure if it was that pen or another one that Claunch was waving at the time of the incident…

Three men who rent a house across the street from the group home said its presence posed no trouble for the neighborhood…”It’s a quiet little area,” said Randy Kingery, a land surveyor. “We’ve never had any problems.”

Kingery said he and his roommates, who were on the front porch when police arrived, heard a gunshot about two minutes after the first officers pulled up…

As is standard practice with officer-involved shootings, Marin, who is assigned to the South Central Patrol Division, will work three days of desk duty. The incident will be investigated by HPD’s homicide and internal affairs divisions, as well as the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, Silva said.

Houston coppers investigating Houston coppers. Yup.