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    Senate Democrat's Gun Control Filibuster Rolls Into 14th Hour
    Photo: AP

    A filibuster led by Democratic senators demanding new gun control measures in the wake of this weekend’s deadly shooting in Orlando continued past the 13-hour mark Wednesday evening, making it one of the longest such actions in modern Senate history.

    http://theslot.jezebel.com/senate-democra...

    At 11:21 a.m., Connecticut Democrat Chris Murphy began speaking, vowing not to give up the Senate floor “until we get some signal, some sign that we can come together.” Dozens of senators, including one Republican and one Independent, joined Murphy’s effort throughout the day, which focused on two possible gun control amendments to a spending bill. From the Associated Press:

    Murphy is seeking a vote on legislation from Feinstein that would let the government bar sales of guns and explosives to people it suspects of being terrorists. Feinstein offered the amendment in December, a day after an extremist couple killed 14 people in San Bernardino, California, but the Republican-run Senate rejected the proposal on a near party-line vote. Murphy also wants a vote to expand background checks.

    The Orlando shooter, Omar Mateen, was added to a government watch list of individuals known or suspected of being involved in terrorist activities in 2013, when he was investigated for inflammatory statements to co-workers. But he was pulled from that database when that investigation was closed 10 months later.

    Republicans have argued that the so-called “no fly, no buy” law denies due process rights to Americans erroneously placed on the secret, often inaccurate terrorist watch list. Wednesday evening, Republican Senator Pat Toomey said that lawmakers were still working toward a potential compromise.

    “There are some discussions under way,” Toomey told The Wall Street Journal. “It’s a process that’s in the works.”


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  • 06/16/16--04:40: 144 Days and a Wake Up
  • 144 Days and a Wake Up
    This looks like a Donald Trump impersonator, but it is not. Photo: AP

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    Report: Donald Trump Agreed to Call 24 Donors, Made It Through Three Before Giving Up
    Photo: AP

    It is increasingly clear that Donald Trump is perfectly happy to be president, as long as he doesn’t have to work for it. But his campaign needs help—a lot of help—from the RNC, so he’s made them a series of promises, approximately zero of which he’s fulfilled so far.

    In perhaps my favorite Trump anecdote yet, The Politico reports that Trump agreed to make calls to big-name donors, and then simply didn’t do it.

    While Trump had promised Priebus that he would call two dozen top GOP donors, when RNC chief of staff Katie Walsh recently presented Trump with a list of more than 20 donors, he called only three before stopping, according to two sources familiar with the situation. It’s unclear whether he resumed the donor calls later.

    I’m not a betting woman but here’s my guess—he didn’t.


    0 0
    0 0

    Tupac Reveals Beverage Preference
    Pic via

    “Sprite,” the sweet nectar that is sucked from the veins of rappers by advertising industry vampires, has claimed another victim.

    Tupac (who is dead) has finally decided to endorse Sprite. “Having a heavyweight like him is important to the program,” a Sprite brand manager said of the popular—but deceased—artist.

    Last year, the late rapper also endorsed Powerade.


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    Goldman Sachs Doesn't Want Its Employees Using Swears
    Photo: AP

    CNBC has obtained a document (from 2008) listing all of the phrases a Goldman Sachs employee could use in an email that would trigger a review by the firm’s compliance department. The list includes phrases like “How could this happen again?” and “How could you|GS|Goldman possibly[?] lose so|this|that much.”

    Goldman’s attorneys described the document as “a lexicon of terms and phrases used by the Firm’s Compliance department for surveillance of the electronic mail of certain employees.” And while such surveillance is standard practice, CNBC reports, the Securities and Exchange Commission does not have standards specifying what anyone should be looking for.

    The bank seems particularly interested in whether its employees are feeling any emotions: One phrase on the list is, “I {was|am} extremely[?]{pissed|angry|concerned|upset|agitated|bothered|distressed|perturbed|worried|vexed|confused|flustered|discouraged|rattled|daunted|demoralized|disheartened|dismayed|distraught|unnerved}}.”

    Goldman has updated its search technology since the document was produced, CNBC reports, which no doubt has inspired its employees to come up with new and enterprising ways of avoiding oversight.

    Today, Goldman’s communications monitoring is more extensive than it was in 2008 and encompasses communications technologies beyond email. And rules about profanity in email have tightened. Goldman employees say the email system automatically pops up a window if a user attempts to send an email containing a bad word. The sender must click a box to demonstrate that he or she is aware of the expletive and approves sending it before the offending email will go through. Goldman’s employees are told their electronic communications will be watched.

    “We deploy cutting-edge technology and exercise the utmost care to protect confidential information, secure data and provide high-end client service,” a spokeswoman said. “The firm’s monitoring efforts reflect our commitment to upholding the highest standards of professionalism and integrity.”

    http://gawker.com/goldman-sachs-...

    The compliance department seemed particularly concerned with the word “fuck,” flagging phrases like, “don’t you fucking understand,” “mad/angry/frustrated as hell/fuck,” “Screw/fuck it up,” “way to fucking much,” “what I fucking said,” “where the fuck/hell are you,” “who the heck/fuck/hell do you think you are,” and “don’t you fucking understand.”

    Here is the full list, via CNBC:

    a sure {bet}|{thing}

    adjust your account|losses|profits

    against my expressed[?] wishes

    answer {your}|{the} %ANY%[0\,3] phone

    are {not responsive}|unresponsive

    bad to worse

    charge in excessive amount

    charged {too much}|{excessively}

    close|end|terminate my %ANY% [1\,5] relationship with GS|Goldman|{this firm}

    Clowns {managing|running} the fund|show|portfolio|account|{my money}

    concern* %ANY% [1\,5] safety of my money|fund|account

    cover {your}|{our} losses

    didn’t authorize the sale

    didn’t|didnt|{did not} explain to me|us

    disturbs|troubles me|us

    don’t worry i’ll take care of it

    don’t you f*cking understand

    done|{did this} without %ANY% [1\,5] calling|emailing|contacting me|us|anyone

    embezzled the account

    extremely|really|quite|very unhappy|disappointed

    failed to execute {our}|{my}instructions

    fix the {trade}|{trades}|{commissions}

    fix|adjust|change the trade*|commission*

    formally|formal complain|complaint

    found numerous|several errors|mistakes

    give you a piece of {the}|{my} commission

    how could this happen again[?]

    How could you|GS|Goldman possibly[?] lose so|this|that much

    I %ANY% [0\,4] {losing}|{lost} patience with {you}|{GS}|{Goldman}

    I am not a happy camper

    I didn’t {authorize}|{agree}

    I expect {a|an|your}[?] {answer*|response} {today|now|asap}

    I|we have lost|{run out of}|{ran out of} confidence|faith|trust|patience

    I have raised %ANY% [1\,5] at least %ANY%[1\,3] times

    I have raised %ANY% [1\,5] so many times

    I lost {exorbitant|enormous amounts of}|{so|too much} money

    I told you %ANY% {days|weeks|months} ago

    I told you %ANY%[0\,1] {days|weeks|months} ago

    i want the %ANY%[0\,2] trade reversed

    I wanted out of %ANY%[3] {stock | {hedge fund} | fund | account | position}

    I won’t|wont|{will not} pay for the|this trade

    I {don’t}|{dont}|{do not} understand

    I {trusted}|{believed in}|{had faith in} you

    “I {was|am} extremely[?]{pissed|angry|concerned|upset|agitated|bothered|distressed|

    perturbed|worried|vexed|confused|flustered|discouraged|

    rattled|daunted|demoralized|disheartened|

    dismayed|distraught|unnerved}}.”

    I {would appreciate}|want {a|an} {call|email}

    if this {doesn’t} | {does not} get resolved|fixed soon|immediately|{right now}

    incompetent|inept fund|account management

    increasingly|really getting[?] frustrated

    it is your | goldmans | {goldman’s} job to make sure

    I|we demand

    I|we will not pay

    lack of care|attention %ANY% [1\,5] my money|account*|fund*

    let me remind you

    losing confidence|faith|trust|patience

    mad|angry|frustrated as hell|f*ck

    make it up to you

    my repeated {requests}|{request}

    no longer be doing business

    No one {called|emailed|contacted}

    no one {{gave you}|{had} permission}|{said you could}

    not %ANY%[0\,1] reasonable

    not even one phone[?] {call} | {email} | {word} from {you | goldman}

    not made aware

    not {heard {back[?]} from you}|{what we agreed}

    Paying fees {through|thru} the {nose|a—|butt}

    phone {calls}|{call}e-mail{have}|{has} not been answered

    piece of sh*t

    pissed|pisses me off

    poor|terrible|crappy {fund|account|portfolio}[?] results|performance

    really %ANY%[0\,2] pissed|{PO’d}

    rebate|refund my|your loss*

    rebate|refund what I lost

    register that|this as a complaint

    remedy the situation

    report the matter to the {sec}|{nasd}|{nyse}

    reverse the commissions

    reverse {this}|{the} %ANY%[0\,5] {trade}|{transaction}

    screw*|f*ck* it up

    so frustrat*

    something {went}|{is really}|{will go} wrong

    split the difference

    statement complaint

    still have not received

    stock will {fly}|{soar}|{dive}|{tank}

    supposed to be the top|best financial company

    surprised|concerned|frustrated|angry that you didn’t|{did not} contact|call|email me

    take care of any fees|commissions

    taken advantage of {{the exemption in Financial Reporting Standard} | {the following exemptions on the first time adoption} | {any of the relaxed hedge accounting requirements} | {passport\\, this will still be subject to}úLSE%}[?]

    That’s not what I {said}|{told you}

    the {deal | account | fund | trade | trades} {was | were} not handled properly

    there is a %ANY%[0\,3] problem

    there is|are|{appears to be} a|several mistake*

    there was an|a error|mistake

    These managers give me a really[?] bad feeling

    this is %ANY%[0\,5] totally[?] unacceptable|{not acceptable}

    this is not fair

    this won’t|{will not} happen again

    this {is not}|isn’t|wasn’t|{was not} the %ANY% amount|{correct price}|price|stock|{correct stock}

    This {part of the}[?] portfolio is[?] completely[?] sucks|stinks|f*cked up|{messed up}

    time to dump

    trades could|should be cancelled|reversed

    transfer my {account}|{funds}immediately

    troubles|disturbs|{disturbing to} me how long follow-up has taken

    undo|break the trade

    way too f*cking much

    what happened to %ANY%[0\,5] money

    What happened to my {money}|{account}|{trade}|{funds}?

    what i f*cking said

    what the hell|f*ck|heck {are|is} {you|GS|Goldman} doing with my|this|the {money|account|trade|funds|savings|portfolio}

    what the {f*ck}|{hell}|{heck} {happened}|{is going on}|{is happening} with|to my|the|this {account|money|trade|fund*|savings|portfolio

    Where did my {money}|{funds}|{account} go

    where the {f*ck}|{hell} are you

    who can I escalate the|this matter|issue|problem

    who the {f*ck}|{hell}|{heck} said you could

    who the {heck}|{f*ck}|{hell} do you think you are

    who {supervises}|{manages} you

    why should I|we pay

    why {haven’t}|{didn’t} you {return}|{returned} my {call}|{calls}

    won’t be doing business with you|GS|Goldman

    worst investment

    wrong amount|price|{number of shares}|stock

    You didn’t follow my {instructions}|{wishes}|{plans}|{objectives}

    You didn’t {tell me}|{say} that

    You never {told me}|{said} that

    you said you would {redeem|sell}

    You stole from {me}|{my account}

    you told me there {was no}|{wasnt any}|{wasn’t any} {downside risk}|{risk involved}

    you were not up front

    you werent|weren’t|{were not} authorized

    you {didn’t}|{did not} | {didnt} {%ANY%[?] listen}|{supervise}

    you {didn’t}|{did not}|{didn’t} {answer the question} | {reply}

    you {f*cked}|{messed}|{screwed} up

    you {have to}|{must} buy this stock

    your|Goldman’s failure to comply|respond

    you|GS|Goldman failed to comply|respond

    {Call the SEC} {%precededby% {{Please. 20549}|{Please. D.C.}úLSE%}[?] } | {{{at 1-800-sec-0330} úlse%}[?]}

    {contact}|{call the} {appropriate[*]} {authorities}|{regulators}|{nasd}|{nyse}|{sec}

    {did not}|{didnt}|{didn’t} have permission to {buy}|{sell}|{trade}|{exchange}

    {do not}|don’t have the confidence|faith|trust|patience to continue

    {does not}|doesn’t|don’t respond|reply to my calls|emails

    {don’t}|{dont}worry about the losses

    {have|has} not received {the paperwork} | {any calls}

    {I am}|I’m {%ANY%[0\,2]} {pissed off}|furious|irate|livid|incensed|upset|angry

    {I am}|I’m|Im {not satisfied}|unsatisfied|dissatisfied

    {i promise this time}|{this time i promise}

    {i’ll}|{I will} fix {everything}|{it}

    {i’ll}|{I will} work it out

    {i’ve been trying}|{i’ve tried} to reach you

    {i’ve}|{I have} been {unable}|{unsuccessful}trying to reach you

    {i’ve}|{I have} contacted {my}|{an}|{your} attorney

    {It’s|it is} %ANY%[0\,2] impossible to understand what|{what is} {{going on}|happened|occurred}

    {I}|{Goldman Sachs}|{the firm}|{we} will make up the losses

    {I}|{Goldman Sachs}|{the firm}|{we} {guarantee*}|{promis*}|{swear*} that[?] this won’t|{will not}|{will never} happen again

    {I}|{we} will sue {you}|{your firm}|{Goldman}|{GS}

    {I}|{we} will take you to court

    {misrepresent}|{misrepresented}|{misrepresenting}|{misrepresents}

    {regarding}|{concerning} your problem

    {should have}|should’ve been bought|sold|done %ANY% [1\,5] ago

    {transactions}|{transaction}|{trade} {was}|{were} never executed

    {transfer|sale} still {hasn’t}|{has not} {happened|occurred}

    {where have you been}|{where the {f*ck}|{hell}|{heck} have you been}

    {who is}|{i want the name of} your {supervisor}|{manager}

    {you’re}|{you are} a piece of sh*t

    {your|these}{behavior|actions} are %ANY%[0\,1] {unacceptable|{not acceptable}}

    {You}|{Goldman Sachs}|{the firm} were|was not authorized

    {you}|{Goldman Sachs}|{your firm} personally guaranteed

    {you}|{Goldman Sachs}|{your firm} will be hearing from my {attorney}|{lawyer}

    {you}|{Goldman Sachs}|{your firm} {messed}|{screwed} up

    {you}|{Goldman Sachs}|{your firm} {won’t}|{will not} get away with this

    {mistake|error} on {your|GS|Goldman*} part

    receiv* a|any|no response to my {email}|{call}|{inquir*}|{question*}|{complaint*}

    {I}|{we} {did not}|{did’nt}|{didnt} receive|get a response

    negatively affected by this|these %ANY%[0\,5] change*|error*|mistake*

    {please let me}|{allow me to} address your {concerns}|{confusion}|{problem}

    missing money|funds

    {not happy}|unhappy|dissatisfied with the {way}|{manner} in which this is being handled|addressed|resolved

    not happy|satisfied|content with the way GS|Goldman|you is|are handling|resolving|addressing this

    GS|Goldman is really upsetting|frustrating me

    {I don’t think this is}|{this is not}|{this isn’t} the type of customer service I deserve|expect*

    avoid this kind|type of error|mistake|fumble|misstep|slipup|{foul up}|stumble

    {please let me}|{allow me to} provide %ANY%[0\\,5] a|an reason|explanation

    {I have}|{i’ve} been {unhappy}|{displeased}|{unsatisfied} with the {firm’s attitude}|{attitude of the firm}

    I am {unhappy}|{displeased}|{unsatisfied} with the {firm’s attitude}|{attitude of the firm}

    {I have}|{I’ve} found the {direction|attitude} of the firm {troubling|worrisome|disturbing|concerning|demoralizing|aggravating|perturbing|distressing|discomforting|disconcerting|demoralizing}

    {I|we} find the {direction|attitude} of the firm {troubling|worrisome|disturbing|concerning|demoralizing|aggravating|perturbing|distressing|discomforting|disconcerting|demoralizing}

    {my|our} {low|unsavory} view of {GS|goldman|{the firm}}

    Not For[?] Communicat*|Distribut*|send*|delive* Outside %any%[\,2] Firm|GS|{goldman sachs}|goldman

    for internal use in the offices of

    internal only

    internal u.s.e. only

    {internal use only} { {%precededby% { {private|your | { for and confidential deemed is message this in } }úlse%}} | {{%any%[\\,2] {to be completed by} | {checking account number} }úlse%} | {%any%[0\\,5] SMARTPlus}úlse% }[?]

    {social security}|{soc sec}|soc|ss{{no|number|#}[*]}%#\d\d\d\p\d\d\p\d\d\d\d%

    {account|acct|acc|act}{{no|number|#}[?]}{%#\d\d\d\p%[?]}{%#\d\d\d\d\d%}{%#\p\d%[?]}


    0 0
  • 06/16/16--07:20: Thou Shalt Kill
  • Thou Shalt Kill
    Illustration: Jim Cooke

    On Monday, a representative of the National Rifle Association officially blamed “political correctness” for the massacre in Orlando this past weekend. This line of argument—that that the killings were a result of our inability to speak frankly about the dangers this country faces—gathered momentum while the dead bodies still lay in the Pulse nightclub.

    It is true that political correctness—the stifling of debate, due to a fear of causing outrage—helped create the slaughter in Orlando. But the NRA’s complaint is that an excess of sensitivity in this country has kept us from being sufficiently hostile toward Islam.

    That’s both bigoted and false. There is no political taboo in the United States against denouncing Islam. It is, for example, possible for someone to openly call for restrictions on Muslims as a class, and for that person to win a major party’s nomination to run for president.

    What there is an active political taboo against, in the United States, is speaking honestly about guns. Guns are bad and dangerous, and almost no one in this country needs to have them. No active politician may say this and stay active in politics. Pressure campaigns have shut down research into even basic factual questions about how much harm guns do. Gun companies that try to implement safety regulations face crippling boycotts. In Florida, doctors are now forbidden by law to ask patients about gun ownership. It is safer for a public official to say Islam is an inherently dangerous religion than for one to say that guns are inherently dangerous.

    But they are. Guns are for killing. That is their purpose. The more guns there are, the more people will use those guns to kill other people.

    The counterargument to this, in the childish prevailing discussion, is that bad guys will always have guns, and it takes one good guy with a gun to stop them. This is the NRA’s circular worldview: If you’re scared of all the guns out there, you should get yourself a gun, too. It took somewhere between eight and 11 good guys with guns, in tactical armor and supported by heavy equipment to stop the Pulse rampage.

    Most people, good guys or not, do not need or deserve the power to kill other people. People are confused or bad-tempered or careless or impulsive, especially under stress. They get mad about a stupid, forgettable traffic dispute and shoot somebody. They get scared by a knock at the door and shoot somebody. They get angry at their spouse or partner and decide to shoot them. They get excited about seeing a shoplifter and try to execute the shoplifter by spraying gunfire with innocent bystanders all around on a parking lot. They lose track of where they’ve left their guns until a child finds one and shoots itself, or shoots another child. Or, most often of all, they shoot themselves, making a fleeting impulse into an irrevocable decision.

    Here, if not long before this, is where the Second Amendment gets brought up. A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. Very little of the gun violence in this country—from what we now think of as quotidian, to the undeniably catastrophic—has anything to do with a militia, or the security of a free state. But our constitutional rights generally are understood to extend beyond the literal text. (Often enough, our rights protect things that may outrage our fellow citizens.)

    Constitutionality is not the same as morality. By Christian or Jewish standards, God’s stance on American gun culture is clear and fundamental: Thou shalt not kill. Every year, the gun industry sells millions of implements made for killing people. The gun industry is deeply and fully immoral.

    Responses to Orlando have not, overall, been marked by deference to constitutional law, anyway. The political noise swarming around the massacre has been of the “thoughts and prayers” variety, and when politicians make constitutional arguments they ask nothing more specific than: Shall we cut back on some combination of the First, Fourth, and Fourteenth amendments—as both major presidential candidates have suggested, in their own ways—or should we take a look at the Second?

    Not that this matters beyond bloviating, since it’s not the Constitution which holds the most power in this debate. The NRA does not have some higher Constitutional purpose, but it wields its message and its power as though it does: Congress, in deference to the delicate sensibilities of the NRA, has protected the gun industry from the consequences of its actions. If you sold cyanide in soda bottles, millions of bottles, and you marketed your bottled cyanide by describing how lethal it was and how well-masked the flavor was, you would gain no sympathy from lawmakers if you argued that the majority of your customers merely daydreamed about poisoning people in an emergency. You would be held responsible for the thousands of people who did get poisoned. You would be sued for the deaths you’d caused.

    But this country pretends that guns are something other than what they are. It’s true, not every gun exists only to act as a murder weapon. There are guns that are not as well designed for executing people—some hunting rifles, shotguns, target pistols—but then those guns don’t call on the higher purpose of the Second Amendment any more than a nail gun does. They endure as tools for their jobs, which are jobs other than killing humans. The NRA grudgingly admits there are distinctions between some kinds of weapons: explosives versus non-explosives, or automatic guns versus semiautomatics. But it will not admit there’s any meaningful difference between weapons designed to kill humans efficiently and those designed to kill quail.

    Meanwhile, too, the weapons industry has shipped millions of small arms to the rest of the world. The ability to form lethal ad hoc militias has not produced stable democracies, it has produced child soldiers and endless civil war.

    The fantasy that the NRA sells, and which goes largely unchallenged, is that liberty depends on guns. Guns do not possess some sacred power to produce or sustain freedom. This country has accumulated more guns than anywhere else on the planet at the same time it has the most citizens locked up in prison. The ongoing boom in AR-15 sales has happened alongside the immense expansion of the surveillance state.

    The NRA deals in fantasy because it is ashamed of what’s true. Its successes in keeping lawmakers, gun manufacturers, and public health officials from talking about the fact that guns kill human beings have manufactured the greatest taboo in American public life. It’s not enough that guns be widely sold and owned, they must be sold and owned in secrecy. If people were to start speaking the truth about guns, they might hold the gun industry and its apologists accountable for what they’ve done.


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    After meeting with President Obama to discuss such far-reaching issues as human rights and climate change, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, stopped by Fox News for a debriefing. Fox News had other ideas.

    At the end of the interview, in an exchange that is equal parts incredible and excruciating, Fox News host Bret Baier asks His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama if he’s ever seen the movie Caddyshack.

    Descriptions cannot do it justice, so instead I present the exchange in full:

    Bret Baier: Last thing, have you ever seen the movie Caddyshack?

    Dalai Lama: What?

    Baier: Caddyshack, the movie.

    Dalai Lama: I don’t know.

    Baier: The part about the Dalai Lama. Have you ever played golf?

    Dalai Lama: No.

    Baier: You’re not a big hitter?

    Dalai Lama: In badminton.

    Baier: But not golf?

    Dalai Lama: No.

    Baier: There’s a classic movie called Caddyshack where they talk about the Dalai Lama.

    Dalai Lama: I see.

    Baier: I had to ask you about it.

    Dalai Lama: I don’t know.

    Baier: Well thank you very much for the time.

    Baier is, of course, referring to the below scene from a fictional film:

    But hey, at least Baier got the question out of his system. Which is nice.

    Fox News to His Holiness the Dalai Lama: You Ever Seen Caddyshack?

    Or not.

    [h/t @JoePerticone]


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    Does Donald Trump Just Want Another TV Show?
    Photo: AP

    For the second time in a week, evidence has emerged in support of the theory that Donald Trump may not actually want to be president—or, at least, may be hedging his bets if he loses.

    Inspired by the fervor of his supporters, Trump is considering starting his own media company, Vanity Fair reports, citing several unnamed people briefed on Trump’s conversations.

    The presumptive Republican nominee is examining the opportunity presented by the “audience” currently supporting him. He has also discussed the possibility of launching a “mini-media conglomerate” outside of his existing TV-production business, Trump Productions LLC. He has, according to one of these people, enlisted the consultation of his daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who owns the The New York Observer. Trump’s rationale, according to this person, is that, “win or lose, we are onto something here. We’ve triggered a base of the population that hasn’t had a voice in a long time.”

    Trump’s spokeswoman, Hope Hicks, issued not one but two categorical denials that the presumptive nominee was even considering this possibility. “There is absolutely no truth to this whatsoever,” she told VF. “This hasn’t been even uttered. Not even thought about.” Later, she added: “While it’s true Mr. Trump garners exceptionally high ratings, there are absolutely no plans or discussions taking place regarding a venture of this nature.”

    Of course, it wouldn’t be the first time a gibbering racist carried onto the national stage by incoherent resentment converted his or her populist appeal into a career in the media. The trouble with resentment, though, is that if you actually get what you say you want—the presidency, say—then you have to find a new thing to be resentful about. It’s far easier to self-sabotage, so you can just keep being resentful about the same old grievances.

    http://gawker.com/imagine-sarah-...

    “Even old Fox News didn’t have the right read on what the base is,” one person told VF. “And we do.”


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    Survey: People Want to Get Rich Quick With No Risk

    A new survey of investors around the world finds that people have a very simple expectation when they invest their money: they want to get rich, soon, no strings attached.

    The survey, by the investment firm Schroders, reveals that people are unrealistic about three key things when it comes to investing:

    • How much profit they will make
    • How fast they will make
    • How likely they are to lose money instead

    In other words, many people—even those with ample money to invest—have no fucking idea what investing is all about. This explains almost everything about the global financial industry.

    The survey found that “The overall average level of desired income, globally was 9.1%.” Meanwhile, the global stock market yields less than half that much, and many believe that global economic growth is slowing down, meaning those returns may be falling rather than rising. The report modestly notes that “achieving an annual return of 8% or 9% is a near impossibility withouttaking on significant levels of risk.”

    The survey also finds that low risk is the top concern of investors.

    While it is possible that growth rates could rise in the long term, lifting annual returns up to something resembling what people say they want now, that would also require being invested for the long term. But investors surveyed said they only wanted to hold things for 3.2 years on average.

    Before we can get anything fixed everyone has to stop being suckers.

    Yeah right!!!!!!

    [The full survey]


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    British Lawmaker Assassinated, Witness Claims Killer Yelled "Britain First"
    Photo: Twitter

    Labor MP Jo Cox was murdered in broad daylight Thursday by a man who reportedly yelled “Britain first,” as he fatally shot and stabbed her.

    Cox was attacked outside a library, where she had been holding a regular meeting with her constituents. Reports indicate the assailant, who has been identified as 52-year-old Tommy Mair, was waiting outside for her when the meeting ended around 1 p.m. Thursday.

    Witnesses tell British media he shot and stabbed her multiple times, leaving her bleeding on the pavement.

    “The gun went off twice and then she fell between two cars and I came and saw her bleeding on the floor,” shop owner Hichem Ben Abdallah told ITV News.

    Clarke Rothwell told the BBC that the suspect, who was wearing a baseball hat, lunged at Cox with a knife after he opened fire.

    “People were screaming and running from the area,” Rothwell added.

    At least one witness claims he yelled “Britain first” as he shot Cox, who has been campaigning for Britain to stay in the EU.

    Cox, who was married and had two children, was hospitalized in critical condition, where she later succumbed to her injuries. She was 41.

    Update 2:15 p.m.

    British politicians are mourning Cox, who became a member of Parliament in 2015. In a statement, Prime Minister David Cameron called her a “great star” with a “big heart.”

    “This is absolutely tragic and dreadful news. My thoughts are with Jo’s husband Brendan, their two children and their wider family,” Cameron said. “We’ve lost a great star, she was a great campaigning MP with huge compassion and a big heart.”

    Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn also put out a lengthy statement extolling Cox’s public service and dedication to her work:

    “The whole of the Labour Party and Labour family - and indeed the whole country - will be in shock at the horrific murder of Jo Cox today.

    “Jo had a lifelong record of public service and a deep commitment to humanity. She worked both for Oxfam and the anti-slavery charity, the Freedom Fund, before she was elected last year as MP for Batley and Spen - where she was born and grew up.

    “Jo was dedicated to getting us to live up to our promises to support the developing world and strengthen human rights - and she brought those values and principles with her when she became an MP.

    “Jo died doing her public duty at the heart of our democracy, listening to and representing the people she was elected to serve. It is a profoundly important cause for us all.”

    He said Ms Cox was “universally liked at Westminster, not just by her Labour colleagues, but across Parliament”.

    He added: “In the coming days, there will be questions to answer about how and why she died. But for now all our thoughts are with Jo’s husband Brendan and their two young children. They will grow up without their mum, but can be immensely proud of what she did, what she achieved and what she stood for.

    “We send them our deepest condolences. We have lost a much-loved colleague, a real talent and a dedicated campaigner for social justice and peace. But they have lost a wife and a mother, and our hearts go out to them.”

    In the meantime, both Vote Leave and Remain have suspended campaigning for the Brexit referendum in the wake of the attack.


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    Elon Musk’s Partners Propose Bad Idea For the L Train Shutdown
    Image: AECOM

    Who wants to climb into this bowel bobbing in the river? With the likely L train shutdown looming in 2019—affecting 250,000 people who commute between Manhattan and Brooklyn daily—it’s time to look at possible solutions. One solution is turning parts of 14th Street into a bus, bicycle, and pedestrian only zone. And then, there’s this:

    “Imagine a giant condom,” says Gonzalez Cruz from AECOM, LA’s infrastructure design mega-firm which does work for NASA and has partnered with Elon Musk for the Hyperloop project. Last weekend, among variedly reasonable ideas for the pending L train shutdown proposed at the Van Alen Institute in Manhattan, AECOM came up with the “L Transporter.” It’s basically a 2,400-foot fiberglass-fabric tunnel “immersed” in the East River that would let people walk and bike over, under, over and under the water. DNAinfo:

    Parts of the tunnel would bob above the surface while other segments could be anchored to the river floor, allowing for boat traffic to pass above it, they said. They also envisioned projecting images onto the tunnel’s interior walls in order, “to provide a cross between art and technology for New Yorkers,” Cruz said.

    Finally! Someone providing a cross between art and technology for New Yorkers. Surely, “projecting images” would make the experience of crowds shuffling through a constipated wobbly underwater intestine less of a nightmare.

    The project, being financially unrealistic, did not win the $1,000 contest prize or get an honorable mention.


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  • 06/16/16--10:43: My Very Queer Ramadan 
  • My Very Queer Ramadan 
    Illustration by Jim Cooke.

    I come back from the bathroom, and she’s leafing through my Quran.

    We’re doing iftar in my tiny New York apartment, just the two of us. The difficult parts are over—the last minute prep, my stressing over the taste of the food I cooked while fasting, the cleaning up—and we’re lounging on my couch, a bowl of berries between us.

    In the two minutes that I’ve been gone, she has picked up my Quran. It’s a Quran I’ve had since high school, the pages worn and dog-eared and highlighted and decorated with penciled-in comments. Looking through this Quran now is like looking at who I’ve been: there’s the time I was obsessed with the idea of talking to God, and went through and highlighted all the duaas in yellow; the pages with the surahs I have memorized are crinkled with use; the underlined words are the ones that I consistently mess up while reading aloud. This particular Quran is a story of its own, a complicated progression of my faith.

    I must be visibly nervous, because she pauses in the middle of turning over a page and looks at me.

    “Is it okay that I’m looking through this?”

    “Yes, of course,” I find myself saying because… well, because I have a crush on her. This beautiful, brilliant woman who is in my apartment and is, of all things, leafing through my Quran.

    She stops at one of the pages. “What are the blue highlights?”

    I hesitate. Islam is incredibly personal to me, and talking about the nuance of interpretation with people who don’t have similar ties to religion has always felt difficult.

    “Those are the verses that spoke to me this year.”

    She settles further into the couch, reads the dense, blue-highlighted verse on the page she has flipped to, while I chew on my nail in wait. She looks up when she is done, and a simple question escapes her: “Why?”


    The highlighted verse comes with a story—it’s the story of a group of queer Muslims who refused to let their identities be mutually exclusive during Ramadan. A group of queer Muslims who were tired of feeling out of place in the mosques in their city, but who were also tired of being tired—of waiting for something to change.

    It started off as an ambitious idea: we would create our own space, we would read the Quran and break our fast together every day. The technicalities, though, proved difficult: Where could we do this so that it felt intimate, but also accessible in a city of large distances and small apartments? How would we fit this into our already busy schedules? What would we do for food?

    But the hardest questions, of course, were about how to approach the text itself. What interpretations of the Quran would we read? How would we grapple with this text and the voluminous amounts of tafsir that none of us have training in, or the centuries of exegesis that don’t always speak to us? How would we hold space for the varied relationships we have with faith, with the trauma that some of us associate with classical interpretations? How would we be able to read this text that we had only been taught to read through the interpretations of others?

    We ended up drawing inspiration from a workshop called “Queering the Quran” at the LGBTQ Muslim Retreat that a few of us had attended, wherein the workshop facilitator, a dear friend, pointed out that Muslims have a tendency to fetishize the original context of the Quran. Instead, what if we decided to set the context of the Quran to be in the now? What would it be like to read the Quran assuming the immediacy of God speaking to us today? What would it be like to read the Quran through a personal lens? This would be a reading that doesn’t discount lived experiences or the interplay of culture and context, and acknowledges the way certain verses are used in oppressive ways without being defined by that oppression.

    And so, together, we read. Not more than a verse or two a day, usually. We read our various English translations aloud, sometimes listen to the Arabic recitation, and then pause, stop to collect our thoughts for a few minutes, write down our reflections before discussing. We marvel. We close-read and analyze, tell stories, and voice our discomforts, sometimes anger. We admire the aesthetics, eat food afterwards, ask about each others’ days, and Skype people in when they can’t physically make it. We play mafia, and accompany each other to the hospital. We become friends, we become family.

    Building this sort of intimacy and trust over time means a refusal to gloss over the difficult verses when they appear. At one iftar this Ramadan, the discussion of what to read resulted in a longer silence than usual. So I suggested an ayah that had always caused me problems.

    Your wives are a place of sowing of seed for you, so come to your place of cultivation however you wish and put forth [righteousness] for yourselves. And fear Allah and know that you will meet Him. And give good tidings to the believers. [2:223]

    Someone read another translation, even more misogynistic.

    Your wives are as fields for you. You may enter your fields from any place you want. Reserve something good for your souls [for the life hereafter]. Have fear of God and know that you are going to meet Him. [Muhammad] give the glad news to the believers. [2:223]

    We were stunned into somber silence. It sat heavy with us, this verse.

    The responses slowly trickled in. Historical context, a friend offered gingerly, describing how we tend to center interpretation around the way we ourselves experience the world. Perhaps the verse could have meant something different in the particular time and context that this verse was revealed in, and could have been revolutionary in terms of how women were treated otherwise.

    But others countered:

    “The Quran tells us that it is spatially and temporally universal. How does this fit into that?”

    “What about the material ways that this verse is used to justify violence against women?”

    “Not every verse has to speak to everyone at all times. We pick and choose what speaks to us with regard to everything we come across. Why not extend that filter to religion?”

    One quiet interjection brought the lively discussion to a halt.

    “What about the days when these justifications don’t feel enough?”

    The question silenced us, stilled us for a few minutes before another friend added, “Wait, why are we sexualizing this verse?” She went on to discuss further: Are we, perhaps, projecting the “sowing the seed” cliché onto the metaphor of the field? What if this field, this “place of cultivation,” is meant to be a place of emotional cultivation instead? What if God is telling us to think of our relationships as fields, as something that we must put effort into to derive emotional nourishment and growth?

    The sound of the adhaan seeped out of someone’s phone. It was a comforting explanation for us to sit with, a good place to end.


    I tell the woman this story, the woman who is in my apartment leafing through my Quran after I’ve broken fast. I tell her how, the day after that meeting with friends, I turned on my iPod while I worked—to shut out the world, and avoid the exhaustion comes with interacting with people while fasting—and put on the Quran to fill the emptiness. That’s when I came across the blue-highlighted verse she has just read and is questioning me about now.

    It is He who has sent down to you the Book; in it are verses precise – they are the foundation of the Book – and others unspecific. As for those in whose hearts is deviation [from truth], they will follow that of it which is unspecific, seeking discord and seeking an interpretation [suitable to them]. And no one knows its [true] interpretation except Allah. But those firm in knowledge say, “We believe in it. All [of it] is from our Lord.” And no one will be reminded except those of understanding. [3:7]

    Even now, the verse stuns me and leaves me breathless. It acknowledges the uncertainty inherent in interpretation, argues against literalism, and serves as a reminder to use our judgment. It is an answer.

    I tell her all of this, this beautiful woman who listens raptly and asks thoughtful questions while making my heart beat faster. It is an immense leap of faith on my part; it is the most intimate thing I’ve ever done.


    The original version of this essay was published at Tanqueed.

    Lamya H is a queer Muslim writer living in New York City. Her work has appeared at Vox, Salon, Black Girl Dangerous, Autostraddle and The Islamic Monthly. She is a Lambda Literary Fellow 2015.


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    Omar Mateen Wanted to Know if the Pulse Shooting Was Trending on Facebook Before He Died
    Photo: AP

    According to a letter released by the Senate Homeland Security Committee, Omar Mateen checked his phone to see whether “Pulse Orlando” and “shooting” had begun trending on Facebook after he took hostages during his deadly rampage at the gay nightclub on Sunday.

    Investigators have identified at least five Facebook accounts thought to be associated with Mateen, 29. On one of them, he posted, “America and Russia stop bombing the Islamic state..I pledge my alliance to [its leader] abu bakr al Baghdadi..may Allah accept me.” Later, he wrote: The real muslims will never accept the filthy ways of the west” and “You kill innocent women and children by doing us airstrikes..now taste the Islamic state vengeance.”

    CIA chief John Brennan testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday that the agency has not been “able to uncover any link” between ISIS and Mateen.

    The letter, from Homeland Security chairman Ron Johnson, was addressed to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. “My staff learned that in May 2016, Mateen used Facebook to search for information on the San Bernardino terrorists and on June 4, 2016, Mateen apparently searched ‘Baghdadi Speech,’” Johnson wrote. (Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is the leader of the Islamic State.) “My staff has also learned that Mateen apparently used Facebook to conduct frequent local law enforcement and FBI searches, including searching for specific law enforcement offices.”

    Johnson’s letter did not explain how his staff had acquired this information. It did, however, ask Zuckerberg for his help with the committee’s investigation.

    Here is the text of the letter:

    June 15, 2016

    Mr. Mark Zuckerberg

    Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer

    Facebook, Inc.

    1601 Willow Road

    Menlo Park, CA 94025

    Dear Mr. Zuckerberg:

    The Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs is examining the June 12, 2016 terrorist attack in Orlando, Florida. It is my understanding that Omar Mateen used Facebook before and during the attack to search for and post terrorism-related content. I appreciate Facebook’s support of the law-enforcement investigation into this attack and previous attacks. While Facebook is not a target of the Committee’s inquiry, I respectfully request your assistance with the Committee’s inquiry.

    According to information obtained by my staff, five Facebook accounts were apparently associated with Omar Mateen. On June 12, 2016, Mateen apparently searched for “Pulse Orlando” and “Shooting.” Mateen also apparently posted “America and Russia stop bombing the Islamic state..I pledge my alliance to abu bakr al Baghdadi..may Allah accept me.” He then posted “The real muslims will never accept the filthy ways of the west” and “You kill innocent women and children by doing us airstrikes..now taste the Islamic state vengeance.” In a final post, Mateen apparently wrote, “In the next few days you will see attacks from the Islamic state in the usa.”

    In addition, my staff learned that in May 2016, Mateen used Facebook to search for information on the San Bernardino terrorists and on June 4, 2016, Mateen apparently searched “Baghdadi Speech.” My staff has also learned that Mateen apparently used Facebook to conduct frequent local law enforcement and FBI searches, including searching for specific law enforcement offices.

    As the Committee examines the attack and considers legislative proposals to address homegrown extremism, I respectfully request your assistance with the Committee’s inquiry given Mr. Mateen’s use of Facebook. I ask that you please provide all Facebook data on Mr. Mateen’s activities on his account and any affiliated Facebook accounts, including but not limited to activity logs, Facebook timeline information, Facebook messages, photos, and posts. In addition, I request that appropriate company staff arrange a briefing with Committee staff on the information available to Facebook prior to and during this terrorist attack. Please provide this briefing and material as soon as possible but no later than 5:00 p.m. on June 29, 2016. When delivering production sets, please produce to Majority staff in room 340 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building and to Minority staff in room 613 of the Hart Senate Office Building.

    The Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs is authorized by Rule XXV of the Standing Rules of the Senate to investigate “the efficiency, economy, and effectiveness of all agencies and departments of Government.” Additionally, S. Res. 73 (114th Congress) authorizes the Committee to examine “the efficiency and economy of operations of all branches and functions of the Government with particular reference to (i) the effectiveness of present national security methods, staffing and processes….” For purposes of this request, please refer to the definitions and instructions in the enclosure.

    Sincerely,

    Ron Johnson

    Chairman


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    The 15 States Where Income Growth Went Only to the Rich
    Photo: Flickr

    Since the end of the Great Recession in 2009, incomes in America have, on average, gone up. But in 15 of the states in our country, all of those gains have gone to the top 1%.

    It’s not hard to understand that if all of the income growth since the depths of the recession is going to the very richest sliver of the population, then that income growth hardly matters at all in the real world where the other 99% of us live. This is the stark reality of economic inequality in action. A new analysis by the Economic Policy Institute examines state-by-state income growth from the end of the recession in 2009 through 2013, and finds that in a large chunk of U.S. states, the bottom 99% of earners saw none of the income gains in that period

    In these 15 states, the gains went completely to the rich:

    • Connecticut
    • Florida
    • Georgia
    • Louisiana
    • Maryland
    • Mississippi
    • Missouri
    • Nevada
    • New Jersey
    • New York
    • North Carolina
    • South Carolina
    • Virginia
    • Washington
    • Wyoming

    Even worse, in ten of those states—Wyoming, Nevada, Washington, New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Florida, Missouri, Georgia, and South Carolina—incomes for the top 1% grew by double digits, while incomes for the bottom 99% actually went down.

    This chart, also from EPI, puts the national situation in perspective:

    The 15 States Where Income Growth Went Only to the Rich

    The class war is real, friends. And 99% of you ain’t winning.


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    John McCain Says Obama Is "Directly Responsible" For Pulse Shooting
    Photo: AP

    John McCain today blamed President Obama for the Orlando shooting, calling him “directly responsible” for the attack.

    Though all available evidence suggests the attack on a gay nightclub was perpetrated by an angry, unstable man who many say was himself gay and not the sitting president of the United States, McCain told reporters Thursday Obama should take the brunt of the blame.

    (It’s also worth noting McCain is currently up for reelection.)

    This, without a hint of irony, from the man directly responsible for Sarah Palin.


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    Last weekend, a Donald Trump surrogate floated the idea that the presumptive nominee might nominate Gary Busey to the Supreme Court if Romney Republicans didn’t pony up for access and influence. Busey, apparently, did not take kindly to being deployed as a political tool in this manner. Who would?

    And even if Busey were to support a political party, it almost certainly wouldn’t be that of Trump, who fired him from The Celebrity Apprentice 4.

    A fever dream, maybe.


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  • 06/16/16--13:10: Smash Mouth Fans Speak Out
  • Smash Mouth Fans Speak Out
    Photo: Getty

    Just a few days ago, we gave you a glimpse into the grim, Sisyphean nightmare that is the Twitter account of noted Shrek band Smash Mouth. In the aftermath, though, we discovered that not only does Smash Mouth have fans—Smash Mouth has angry fans. And even Smash Mouth fans deserve a voice.

    http://gawker.com/smash-mouths-d...

    So in the spirit of fairness and good will, I present to you the many, many rebuttals I’ve received over the last 48 hours. For as a wise man once said, “So much to do/ So much to see/ So what’s wrong with Smash Mouth fans being mad online.”


    Bradley writes:

    Smash Mouth Fans Speak Out

    Mr. Beverly writes:

    Smash Mouth Fans Speak Out

    Ken Kurson of the Observer writes:

    Smash Mouth Fans Speak Out

    Rodney, who was actually kind and helpful, writes:

    Smash Mouth Fans Speak Out

    A confused man named Bobby writes:

    Smash Mouth Fans Speak Out

    Wow..... Matt.... writes.....:

    Smash Mouth Fans Speak Out

    Colton, who is perhaps not quite a fan, writes:

    Smash Mouth Fans Speak Out

    Rude Chris writes:

    Smash Mouth Fans Speak Out

    A polite woman named Amy writes:

    Smash Mouth Fans Speak Out

    Annie tweets:


    And last but not least, Guy Fieri writes:

    Smash Mouth Fans Speak Out

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    7 Bullshit Cures For Zika That Are Spreading Online
    Illustration by Angelica Alzona

    The Zika virus has officially spread to over 50 countries, including the United States. And like public health threats of the past, there are plenty of hucksters trying to sell “natural” remedies for Zika online. But they’re all bullshit.

    “There are no FDA-approved medical products for the Zika virus,” FDA Press Officer Tara Goodwin told me over email. “Unfortunately, during outbreak situations, fraudulent products that claim to prevent, treat, or cure a disease often appear on the market.”

    And boy, is she right. Many people are understandably terrified of contracting Zika from mosquitoes, given the kinds of birth defects that the virus can cause in newborns. Like microcephaly—a disease where babies are born with incredibly tiny heads, which doesn’t allow their brains to develop properly.

    But the internet is being flooded with “natural” cures and preventative treatments for Zika, all of which should be taken with a boulder-sized chunk of salt. We saw a similar outpouring of fake Ebola remedies back in 2014. And now the practitioners of pseudo-scientific medicine have turned their eye to a virus which is expected to be with us for some time.

    If you’re concerned about the Zika virus and see any of the treatments or “cures” listed below, hold on to your wallet for dear life.

    7 Bullshit Cures For Zika That Are Spreading Online
    “Mosquito shield bands” sold by Viatek at places like Walmart and Home Depot

    1) Mosquito Shield Bands

    Recently the Federal Trade Commission settled a lawsuit with the makers of Viatek’s Mosquito Shield Bands over claims that the company was making about protection from mosquitoes. Viatek said that the wristband created a “vapor barrier” which protected anyone who wore them from getting bitten. This, of course, wasn’t backed up by any scientific evidence.

    “With Zika virus and other mosquito-borne illnesses in the news, consumers might be looking for products that protect them from mosquitos,” Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection said in a statement. “The defendants took advantage of those concerns, and peddled a product without having scientific support that it effectively prevented mosquito bites.”

    The company was already ordered by the FTC back in 2003 not to make bullshit health claims, but this most recent action against them shows that Viatek clearly didn’t learn its lesson. Viatek Consumer Products Group, Inc. and President Lou Lentine had to pay $300,000 in fines.

    Amazingly, you can still buy these things at places like Home Depot. And Viatek isn’t the only one. There are dozens of companies selling “natural” plastic bands that they claim will ward off mosquitoes. They don’t.


    7 Bullshit Cures For Zika That Are Spreading Online
    Screenshot of Rima E. Laibow from the Natural Solutions Foundation (YouTube)

    2) Nano Silver

    Hey look, it’s our old friend Rima E. Laibow, a trained psychiatrist who likes to dress in lab coats for some reason. Laibow is a big fan of Nano Silver, and believes that the Zika virus is actually getting “a bad rap” for birth defects caused by vaccines.

    Laibow, much like The Health Ranger from Natural News, thinks that there’s some kind of global conspiracy to blame the birth defects we’re seeing on Zika rather than their true cause: scary, ominous-sounding chemicals. And also like The Health Ranger, Laibow would still love to take your money.

    Nano Silver, or colloidal silver, is an antiseptic. But its true believers claim that it’s an antibiotic and general purpose healer that can be used against everything from Ebola to Zika. That’s why so many “natural health” practitioners sell it on their websites.

    At the end of Laibow’s recent blog post about Zika she reminds readers to stock up on silver:

    Oh, yes, one more thing, make sure, absolutely sure, that you have enough Nano Silver 10 PPM on hand to counter whatever they throw at you. Get it here, www.NSFMarketplace.com.

    Do not buy Nano Silver to fight Zika. It may sound vaguely space-agey. But it won’t help fight the virus.


    3) Eupatorium Perfoliatum, Belladonna, Rhus Tox

    Dr. Vikas Sharma suggests that people treat Zika with eupatorium perfoliatum, belladonna, and rhus tox. These plants might have their uses (in the case of belladonna, as a recreational drug), but none of them will do shit to treat Zika.

    From Sharma’s blog post:

    Homeopathic medicines Eupatorium Perfoliatum, Belladonna, Rhus Tox can be safely used in Zika virus infection treatment. These medicines come the closest in treating the symptoms of Zika virus infection. In an epidemics when a huge number of person are attacked by acute and similar sufferings from similar cause, Homeopathy can be of great prophylactic help. Homeopathy has been highly successful in treating epidemic diseases.

    Homeopathic prophylactics? Do tell.

    So what are eupatorium perfoliatum, belladonna, and rhus tox? Eupatorium perfoliatum is a plant that some Native American tribes used to believe could heal broken bones. (It can’t.) Belladona is a highly toxic plant that can create vivid hallucinations, and rhus tox is derived from poison ivy.

    Again, none of these things will treat Zika virus.


    7 Bullshit Cures For Zika That Are Spreading Online
    File photo of orange juice (Associated Press)

    4) Just take Vitamin C

    The people at NaturalHealth365 are big believers in vitamin C. But there’s precisely zero evidence that vitamin C will help fight Zika.

    Unlike Ebola, Chikungunya, and Dengue, there are not yet any reported cases of Zika virus infection being treated with ozone, vitamin C, or hydrogen peroxide. However, it would completely defy scientific logic to think that Zika would not be readily responsive to any or all of these anti-viral therapies. All viruses to date that have been treated in the test tube or in the infected patient have responded in a similar positive fashion.

    It has long been conventional wisdom in the United States that high doses of vitamin C can boost the immune system. But unfortunately, that myth is the result of a man named Linus Pauling whose research on vitamin C’s treatment of the common cold (and other, more serious diseases) has since been debunked.

    High doses of vitamin C might make you feel good, but it won’t do anything to ward off Zika virus.


    5) Literally eat dirt and charcoal powder

    This guy is telling people that all they need to fight the Zika virus is to eat dirt.

    Do not eat dirt, edible or otherwise. It will not cure Zika. And it doesn’t taste very good. Well, I’m guessing. I’ve never eaten dirt.


    6) Homeopathy in general

    If you see anything with the word “homeopathy” being marketed to treat Zika virus, run in the other direction as fast as you can. It simply doesn’t work. Study after study after study has proven that homeopathy is garbage.

    I don’t doubt that there are homeopathic “doctors” who believe in the garbage they’re peddling, but you certainly have to be skeptical of people who say that you shouldn’t trust drug companies because they’re only out to make money and then ask for money to provide their own homeopathic “cure.”

    This website, Pay After Cure, explains that they don’t want to give out the homeopathic remedy for Zika because they need to treat each patient individually:

    If a pregnant mother suspects that she has been bitten by a mosquito, she should immediately seek homeopathic treatment based on the symptoms present at that time. We have no way of knowing with certainty but we think that the right homeopathic treatment at the right time may prevent microcephaly.

    [...]

    We have intentionally not given the names of the remedies here as homeopathy is based on individual symptoms and one remedy may not work on another even though both are infected with Zika virus.

    Actually, it’s about ethics in water memory.


    7) Bugs Away Spray sold by Natural News

    As we explored last week, websites like Natural News accuse the Centers for Disease Control of planning a global conspiracy around Zika. Writers like Mike “The Health Ranger” Adams claim that chemicals and vaccines are the real cause of Zika virus—but he’d like you to buy his “chemical-free” bug spray anyways.

    7 Bullshit Cures For Zika That Are Spreading Online
    Screenshot of The Health Ranger’s news story accusing the CDC of a global conspiracy

    Notice the ad up there just to the right of the Health Ranger’s story? Adams wants to warn you about ZIKA MOSQUITOES! The only problem is that there’s no such thing as ZIKA MOSQUITOES. There are just mosquitoes that happen to be carrying Zika. There’s also no such thing as a chemical-free bug spray. Even this “truly natural repellant spray,” which is sold by the author of the article, contains “chemicals” because that’s what our world is made of.

    But you don’t need to take my word for it. Take any of the ingredients in the Health Ranger’s bug spray at random and just add “chemical composition” at the end in Google. Like Lemongrass oil: C51H84O5. If natural bug sprays had C51H84O5 in their ingredients list instead of “lemongrass” would you be more terrified of their chemicals?

    I can’t personally speak to the efficacy of the Health Ranger’s very special mix of “chemical-free” chemicals at getting rid of ZIKA MOSQUITOES. But I do know that DEET, the active ingredient in traditional bug sprays, is both safe for use on human skin—even while pregnant—and incredibly effective at deterring mosquitoes from biting you.

    In fact, DEET is the most effective bug spray we know about, so it’s probably the best anti-mosquito weapon at our disposal, whether those mosquitoes are carrying Zika or not. Sorry, Health Ranger.


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