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Who Is America?


Sacha Baron Cohen has a new TV show in which he one again goes in disguise and punks people. This new one is going to be very political, from early reports. Sarah Palin and Roy Moore and others are not happy about having been duped into appearances.

This first full clip is incredible. Come for white wingnuts talking approvingly about arming 3-year-olds, stay to see them joking about marital rape, laughing about killing Muslims in prayer, and suggesting that homosexuality is why people oppose unfettered gun laws.


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46 minutes ago
"and a rudimentary knowledge of mortars"
Bend, Oregon
4 hours ago
You know, you think you won’t be shocked by this. And then you see it.
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Elon Musk, insisting he helped in Thai cave rescue, calls actual rescuer a ‘pedo’ - The Washington Post

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It has been five days since a dozen boys were rescued from a flooded cave in Thailand, and five days since Elon Musk has been wandering in a Twitter labyrinth of his own making.

The Silicon Valley engineer and billionaire was briefly seen in Thailand last week, hauling a miniature submarine to the mouth of the cave just before an international dive team rescued the boys without it.

Since then, he has been arguing with people who accuse him of shoehorning himself into the drama and imagining hypotheticals in which rescuers had not deemed his hastily built submarine unnecessary and impractical.

This has, inevitably, led Musk into a rhetorical war with people who actually participated in the rescue operation — a war that he drastically escalated on Sunday morning, when he called one of the cave explorers a “pedo.”

All 12 soccer players and coach rescued from Thai cave
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The three-day mission to free 12 young soccer players and their coach from a flooded cave in northern Thailand has come to an end, officials said July 10.

If you're already acquainted with Musk and his bizarre entanglement with the Thai cave story, you may skip to the end of this report for a fuller accounting of his baseless pedophilia accusations.

If not, a summary of man and cave follows.

Musk — briefly — is a person who co-founded the e-commerce site PayPal, who later built rocket ships through SpaceX and electric cars through Tesla, and who is alternately hailed as a visionary or derided as a showboater for pitching ideas to begin colonizing Mars next decade, or build highways under Los Angeles, or create a website to rate the credibility of journalists who report on problems at his electric-car company.

The cave saga, on the other hand, was a massive, weeks-long operation to rescue a boys soccer team from a flooded tunnel system, an effort led by the Thai government, carried out with the help of British divers, and watched obsessively by much of the world.

It really had nothing to do with Musk — until one of his Twitter fans suggested, a week and a half into the operation, that he build an invention to help get the boys out.

As Abby Ohlheiser has already chronicled for The Washington Post, Musk accepted the challenge with “a lengthy, live brainstorming process on Twitter,” which ended when he traveled to Thailand with a miniature submarine made from rocket parts, tweeted some photos of the cave, left the device there and went home.

Hours later, a dive team sans submarine began extracting the children — ultimately successfully. And while Musk's fans lauded his intentions, his submarine drive-by also became the butt of many jokes.

The mockery was fueled, in part, by reports that top rescue officials had considered Musk's submarine impractical for the cave's tight-winding passages.

As Ohlheiser wrote, Musk soon “started a Twitter argument over how much credit he deserved for offering to help save the youths,” during which argument he showed off an email of himself corresponding with one of the British divers and incidentally claimed that the Thai official in charge of the rescue had not been in charge.

Cave rescuer slams Elon Musk's submarine idea

"It wouldn't have made the first 50 meters into the cave... Just a PR stunt"Billionaire tech entrepreneur Elon Musk sent a "kid-size submarine" to help the 12 boys trapped in the Thai cave. Vern Unsworth, who was involved in the rescue operation, rejected the idea completely. <a href="https://cnn.it/2uhkv1k" rel="nofollow">https://cnn.it/2uhkv1k</a>

Posted by CNN on Friday, July 13, 2018

Then, three days after the rescue operation was completed, CNN posted an interview with a British spelunker who had helped locate the boys. That spelunker, Vernon Unsworth, called Musk's submarine “a PR stunt.”

“He can stick his submarine where it hurts,” Unsworth told CNN. “It just had absolutely no chance of working. He had no conception of what the cave passage was like.”

Like other critics, Unsworth noted that the flooded tunnel was extremely narrow and twisted. “The submarine, I believe was about five, six feet long. Rigid,” he said. “So it wouldn't have gone around corners or around any obstacles. It wouldn't have made it the first 50 meters.”

Unsworth concluded this portion of the interview by claiming that Musk had been quickly asked to leave the cave during his much-tweeted-about visit.

The interview spread through the weekend — until a Twitter user baited Musk into responding to it, just as he had been lured by another fan into devising his submarine.

In a series of tweets that Musk appears to have deleted while this article was being written, he claimed that he had been repeatedly asked by rescuers to build the sub. He wrote that he was escorted into the cave by Thai Navy SEALS — “total opposite of wanting us to leave.”

He said he had not seen Unsworth — whom he dismissed as “this British expat guy who lives in Thailand” — during his brief guided tour of the cave system and suggested that, therefore, Unsworth had not actually participated in the rescue operation. (Unsworth absolutely and crucially had, per CNN.)

Furthermore, Musk insisted that his submarine (designed in consultation with “cave experts on the Internet,” he wrote) would have worked. He bragged that he would one day pilot it through the now child-free cave system as proof.

And midway through his rant, for some inexplicable reason, he accused Unsworth of sex crimes.

“Sorry pedo guy, you really did ask for it,” Musk wrote, clarifying in a follow-up tweet that he meant “the Brit expat diver” was a pedophile.

Generally confused, some Twitter followers guessed that Musk was dubiously linking Unsworth (who has been mapping the Tham Luang caves for a decade) with Thailand's epidemic of child-sex tourism.

“Bet ya a signed dollar it's true,” Musk wrote late Sunday morning, a few hours before he deleted his tweets — too late to avoid yet another deluge of public criticism.

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2 hours ago
Washington, DC
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Review: Ecovacs Ozmo 601 is an iPhone-controlled robo vac that can also mop

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Robotic vacuums have grown increasingly capable over the years. We recently put one of Ecovacs' newest to the test that is capable of not only sweeping up debris on solid floors and carpets, but mopping as well.
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3 hours ago
Atlanta, GA
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America's largest fast-food chains forced to end conspiracy not to hire people looking for better-paid McJobs

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Wage stagnation in the USA has many causes: both the destruction of trade unions and the erosion of labor protections in the law (these two things are connected) are obvious culprits, and do much to explain how real wages could be falling even as unemployment has gone down. (more…)

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4 hours ago
Chicago, IL
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The Art of the Steal

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Well, taking advantage of desperate, angry people and using their money for completely different personal purposes is certainly the perfect culmination to a “career” of counterproductive narcissism and Republican collaboration:

Money that Jill Stein raised to recount votes in 2016 swing states is being used by her campaign to pay for legal bills stemming from the investigation of Russian interference in the last presidential election.

In June, The Daily Beast reported that the the U.S. Green Party candidate’s campaign, which raised $7.3 million for recounts in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, had in 2017 stopped disclosing its monthly spending with the Federal Election Commission. Later that month, the Jill Stein for President committee filed a slew of reports that reveal spending on lawyers who are not trying to get inside any voting machines.

At the end of May 2018, according to the most recent FEC filing, the Stein campaign paid the “Partnership for Civil Justice” $66,441.60; that is on top of a $31,536 payment made in January, and more than the Stein campaign had in cash on hand by November 2016.

The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund is a nonprofit law firm whose mission is to “defend and advance fundamental civil, constitutional and human rights,” per a 2016 IRS filing. On its website, the group notes that it is representing Stein in her dealings before the the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

In May 2018, the Stein campaign also paid $9,325 in attorney fees to Miller & Chevalier. In August 2017, Politico described it as “a boutique firm in Washington” that had taken on the case of Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman. Manafort, accused of by special counsel Robert Mueller of money laundering, is currently in jail.

It’s tempting to argue that anyone who gives anything to Stein deserves whatever they get, but lying to bilk your supporters in the context of exploiting outrage about an election outcome you did your best to bring about (although, yes, yes, you were such a buffoon you couldn’t attract enough support to do it…congratulations, I guess?) is pretty gross even by her standards.


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7 hours ago
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Taxes will rise if Canadians want national pharmacare, says former budget watchdog

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Former federal budget watchdog Kevin Page will deliver a blunt message to premiers this week about the costs of a future national pharmacare program: If Canadians want one, taxes will have to go up.

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8 hours ago
Vancouver Island, Canada
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"Now you have ████████ problems"


The logical next step of my c++ shenanigans: I've taken the source of my hexdumping tool 'hxdmp' and made it invisible (aside from a bunch of defines) by abusing U+200B Zero Width Space. This is perfectly legal C++11 code. I'm sorry and you're welcome.

#include <stdbool.h>
#include <stdio.h>
#include <stdint.h>
#include <string.h>
#include <stdlib.h>
#include <getopt.h>
#define ​ "\x1b[38;5;%dm"
#define ​​ !=
#define ​​​ (
#define ​​​​ {
#define ​​​​​ "\x1b[0m"
#define ​​​​​​ )
#define ​​​​​​​ }
#define ​​​​​​​​ ]
#define ​​​​​​​​​ &&
#define ​​​​​​​​​​ ++

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

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9 hours ago
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5 days ago
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