[Plura-list] Cuomo legalizes nursing-home murders; "News" broadcasts air scripted Amazon commercial; Why ammosexuals are REALLY pointing guns at their own dicks
doctorow at craphound.com
Thu May 28 14:24:08 EDT 2020
* Cuomo legalizes nursing-home murders: Immunity for execs who cut
corners, even when it kills someone.
* "News" broadcasts air scripted Amazon commercial: Media concentration
is a hell of a drug.
* Why ammosexuals are REALLY pointing guns at their own dicks: Bottom
line: they're pointing guns at their own dicks.
* California is setting itself up for a brutal second wave: Months of
lockdown, squandered at the barber-shop.
* Teardown of an "anti-5g" USB stick: When the conspiracy has a
* Wisconsin cases surge after voting day: Murder at the ballot box.
* World video premiere of the Little Brother stage play: A benefit for
the Custom Made Theater Co.
* Cumgate on blast: Marina Hyde's got Dom's number.
* Corporate Dems include military contractors in bailout: Billions for
* This day in history: 2010, 2015, 2019
* Colophon: Recent publications, upcoming appearances, current writing
projects, current reading
👴🏿 Cuomo legalizes nursing-home murders
It takes someone as ghastly as Trump to make Cuomo look principled by
After all: Cuomo signed legislation immunizing long-term care homes from
liability for killing their residents - one of the most expansive
immunity rules in the country.
The legislation declares that nursing home execs "shall have immunity
from any liability, civil or criminal, for any harm or damages alleged
to have been sustained as a result of an act or omission in the course
of arranging for or providing health care services."
Get that? It's a license to commit negligent homicide, and it was buried
deep in Cuomo's budget (I'm sure that he knew we'd all be delighted by
the provision but he didn't want to spoil the surprise).
NY Democratic lawmakers say the whole thing was created by Cuomo and his
staffers, who shepherded it into law. The Greater New York Hospital
Association (who donated $1.25m to elect Cuomo) claimed credit for it.
Lobbyists claim that the rule was needed to shield frontline workers
from liability for circumstances beyond their control - but there are
plenty of states that have that rule, *without* protecting the execs who
*do* have control over those circumstances.
All told, the health industry spent $98 *million* lobbying state
politicians across America, and Cuomo's get-out-of-jail-free card is the
quid pro quo they're seeking from other recipients of their largesse.
👴🏿 "News" broadcasts air scripted Amazon commercial
Do you feel guilty about ordering stuff from Amazon during the lockdown,
even as the company fires and smears workers demanding safe working
conditions, and withdraws the paltry $2/hour hazard premium it paid
Do you wonder if it's OK to support a giant company whose billionaire
owner is on track to become a trillionaire, thanks to the windfall
revenues the pandemic have delivered to his company?
Was your conscience assuaged by a chirpy local news report in which your
trusted newscaster described all the ways in which Amazon has been a
great corporate citizen and employer during the crisis?
That "news report" was an unpaid scripted ad that Amazon distributed to
local stations across America via Businesswire, which the newscasters
then picked up and ran, verbatim, as if it was an independent investigation.
The stations even ran footage of Todd Walker, a journalist turned Amazon
PR flack, pretending to be a reporter in one of the company's warehouses.
Here are some stations that ran the piece without disclosiures:
WLEX-NBC Lexington (2x)
WVVA-NBC Bluefield, WV
WTVM-ABC Columbus, GA (2x)
KMIR-NBC Palm Springs (3x)
WBTW-CBS, Myrtle Beach, SC
WOAY-ABC Bluefield, WV (2x)
One station, WTVG Toledo, acknowledged that the "reporter" was an Amazon
employee. Some stations' news directors said they weren't told the story
came from Amazon.
Bezos owns the Washington Post, a respected newspaper.
The company's shareholder meeting was this week.
👴🏿 Why ammosexuals are REALLY pointing guns at their own dicks
A followup to yesterday's mystifying story about gun enthusiasts posting
photos of themselves with unsaftied guns jammed into their own crotches,
fingers on the triggers.
It turns out that the origin of this is not "owning the libs" - it's
"owning responsible gun owners."
Writing in Motherboard, Matthew Gault traces the origin to a battle
between "Normies" (regular gun owners) and "Fudds" (compulsive
The issue apparently stems from resentment at the reification of
"trigger discipline" (not putting your finger on the trigger until
you're ready to shoot) and "muzzle discipline" (not pointing your gun at
things you don't intend to shoot).
Normies elevate these practices to a virtue, and routinely praise or
condemn other gun owners' pistol-selfies for their adherence (or lack
thereof) to this standard.
To express their resentment, Fudds began photographing themselves with
their pistols jammed into their crotches, fingers on the triggers,
safety off. So yes, nothing to do with "triggering libs" and everything
to do with "triggering normies."
"Pointing a gun at your own dick" is normie shorthand for the kind of
idiotic thing a Fudd might do, so the Fudds concretized the metaphor, by
pointing their guns at their own dicks.
But, as Gault points out: "When you ironically point a gun at your dick,
you’re still pointing a gun at your dick."
👴🏿 California is setting itself up for a brutal second wave
The second wave of the 1918 flu was far worse than the first. People,
buoyed up by the apparent success of their quarantines, flooded into
public spaces, triggering a wave that hit a world whose medical staff
and resources were in tatters.
Dr Sara Cody is Sta Clara County's health officer, a prescient health
official who triggered the first lockdown in California, saving untold
She's publicly condemned the state's plan to allow gatherings of up to
More broadly, she has condemned statewide relaxation of quarantine
requirements as dangerously premature: "Reopening so fast means there
isn’t enough time to implement new procedures to make reopened
The evidence of premature reopening is manifest here in LA County -
large groups of unmasked people bunched up on the trails in Griffith
Park, kids playing in city parks in Burbank. We abandoned a hike in
Angeles Forest last week when we saw hundreds of people on the trails.
A friend who went to check on their Tahoe cabin last weekend reported
people crowded together in restaurants and bars - teens methodically
handling every pair of sunglasses in a tourist store's rack, trying them
on for selfies.
A second wave will obliterate the shared sacrifice of weeks in lockdown,
making the lives and fortunes lost all in vain.
But of course, that sacrifice was not equally shared: "the people that
are going to be hurt the most are people who are living in places where
they’re working low-wage jobs, they live in crowded households, they may
have less access to care."
👴🏿 Teardown of an "anti-5g" USB stick
The rise of conspiracism is a complex and contentious subject - I think
the primary driver is a well-earned mistrust in institutions that have
repeatedly failed to keep people safe in order to please concentrated
industries that have captured their regulators.
But all the most vibrant conspiracies have a shared fitness factor: they
offer a business-model to their most prolific boosters, in the form of
crowdfunding, ads, merch, etc.
It's not (necessarily) that these huxters are cynically manipulating
believers for their own gain - rather, it may be that the power of a
conspiracy to make you rich, famous and beloved is, on its own, a
powerful convincer for the top grifters in the cult.
But I think it's a safe bet that the people behind the 5GBioShield - a
£300 USB stick that purports to protect you from the (nonexistent) harms
of 5G wireless signals - are just in it for the fucking money.
The manufacturer claims it "provides protection for your home and
family, thanks to the wearable holographic nano-layer catalyser, which
can be worn or placed near to a smartphone or any other electrical,
radiation or EMF emitting device".
"Through a process of quantum oscillation, the 5GBioShield USB key
balances and re-harmonises the disturbing frequencies arising from the
electric fog induced by devices, such as laptops, cordless phones,
wi-fi, tablets, et cetera."
A teardown from Pen Test Partners reveals that the key is seemingly
identical to a £5, 128MB "crystal" USB stick you can buy from multiple
suppliers in Shenzhen, China, with a sticker that "looks remarkably like
one available in sheets from stationers for less than 1p."
The directors of Bioshield Distribution are Anna Grochowalska and
Valerio Laghezza, who are linked to a previous venture called
Immortalis, which sold a dietary supplement called "Klotho Formula."
According to Immortalis's website, Klotho Formula's competitive edge is
a "proprietary procedure that leads to relativistic time dilation and
biological quantum entanglement at the DNA level."
Grochowalska declined to discuss how her £300 USB stick differed from
the £5 units from China, claiming it was "sensitive information to third
parties, for obvious reasons." She added that some of the markup is due
to "the cost of IP rights."
The product was recommended by Toby Hall, a member of Glastonbury Town
Council's 5G Advisory Committee, who told the BBC that he had no regrets
about his purchase and has benefited from his use of the 5GBioShield.
Among the benefits Hall claimed: better sleep, more dreams, and "a
'calmer' feel to the home."
👴🏿 Wisconsin cases surge after voting day
Wisconsin has experienced a surge of covid cases since April 7, when the
state's GOP officials and judges forced people to vote in person while
simultaneously reducing the number of polling sites in poor, at risk
Black and brown people have always risked their lives to vote in
America, so in some ways, this is just more of the same.
But the stakes are at an all-time high, with American whites
increasingly mistrustful of democracy itself as changing demographics
make it clear that no amount of turkeys-voting-for-Christmas will carry
white supremacy as an electoral platform.
Prior to Trump, there was a strong movement within the GOP to court
racialized voters, for example, by appealing to anti-abortion Catholic
Latinx voters. But that wing of the party is dead now.
The GOP stands foresquare for white supremacy, and the only way to carry
out that program is to suppress the votes of brown people, poor people,
and their allies - if necessary, by murdering them.
👴🏿 World video premiere of the Little Brother stage play
Back in 2012, San Francisco's Custom Made Theater Co mounted a
production of a stage adaptation of my novel Little Brother, written by
Josh Costello. It played to sold-out houses. To my everlasting regret, I
couldn't afford to fly from my home in London to see it before it closed.
But Josh and the company recorded their opening night! And - after
clearing this with my literary and screen agents - I've given them
permission to put it online. It is the world online premiere of the show!
The show will be a limited run on Youtube from Jun 8-28. The Custom Made
Theater Co is soliciting voluntary payments from viewers, with 75% of
the proceeds to the company (which is hurting badly for funding) and 25%
to the Theatre Bay Area Performing Arts Worker Relief Fund.
I couldn't be happier about this. If you want a taste of what the show
was like, here's the trailer from back in 2012:
Meanwhile, there's plenty more coming in Little Brother-land! On Jul 7,
Tor is releasing an omnibus edition of Little Brother and its sequel,
Homeland, with a new (and amazing) intro by Edward Snowden.
And on Oct 12, Tor will publish ATTACK SURFACE, the long-awaited third
Little Brother book - it's a standalone about Masha, the young woman who
appears at the beginning and end of the first two books, as she grapple
with her complicity with mass surveillance and oppression.
If you preorder Attack Surface, you'll also get a new Marcus Yallow
story, Force Multiplier, which will be delivered as both an audiobook
and an ebook on publication day!
👴🏿 Cumgate on blast
I take a weird, uneasy comfort in jokes about us living in "the
stupidest timeline," a terrible final season of a flailing TV series
whose hacky writers' room is throwing a torrent of rubbish into
storyline in the vain hope that it will recapture the public's interest.
It's one of the ways I manage to contemplate #cumgate - one of the
stupidest scandals of the UK's Boris Johnson administration (which is
really saying something) without wanting to crawl under the duvet and
rock back and forth.
The thing about hacky writers' rooms is that they can inspire superb
rants from outraged viewers who are agog at the stupidity of it all. It
turns out that these rants are even MORE cathartic when directed at
high-stakes, real world idiocy.
Which is why I want to seriously recommend that you read Marina Hyde's
incredible, furious, virtuoso sermon on Cumgate, Boris Johnson, and the
"Perhaps on Sunday you watched the entire nation being lectured on what
constitutes fatherly responsibility by Boris Johnson, a man who won’t
even say how many children he has, and leaves women to bring up an
unspecified number of them."
"Perhaps on Monday you watched the Guardian’s Rowena Mason being
lectured in journalism by Johnson, a man sacked from a newspaper for
fabricating quotes from his own godfather, and who blithely discussed
helping a friend to have another journalist beaten up."
"All populists secretly hate their people, and Johnson is no different.
But that 'secretly' is key. His decision to keep Cummings brings his
contempt for those he is meant to serve into the open. He would rather
endanger their lives by compromising a vital health strategy."
"This is actually a simple story: man with no ideas is too terrified to
sack his ideas man."
👴🏿 Corporate Dems include military contractors in bailout
The HEROES Act, drafted by Congressional Democrats will never make it
through the GOP-controlled Senate, but it's not useless. It is a
symbolic gesture, meant to explain to us what Pelosi's Democratic Party
That's why it bails out corporate lobbyists, sending millions FROM
Congress to people whose job is to funnel money from corporations TO
And it's why the bill has a clause that bails out US military
contractors for lost federal contracting revenue, executive salaries,
and marketing and sales expenses.
The Beltway Bandit Bailout was championed by Rep Gerry Connolly [D-VA],
whose district and donors include many large, well-heeled military
contractors. The bill will allow Raytheon, Amazon, and other
multibillion-dollar multinationals to claim relief from the USG.
This is in addition to the existing payroll protection and other grants
for these companies - granting a wishlist first proposed by the
lobbyists at The Intelligence and National Security Alliance.
But of course, this bill is going to be killed on sight by Mitch McConnell.
It is purely symbolic.
It exists solely to telegraph to the nation what the Democrats stand for.
👴🏿 This day in history
#10yrsago Synthetic biotech: a monopolist's playground?
#5yrsago It's pretty darned easy to pull off a nutritional "science"
#5yrsago Pornoscanner lobbyist's new job: overseeing TSA spending
#1yrago Congressional shaming prompts notorious Pentagon price-gouger to
#1yrago Connecticut's racist NIMBYs have used zoning laws and dirty
tricks to make it one of the most unequal, racially segregated states in
#1yrago Analysis of a far-right disinformation campaign aimed at
influencing the EU elections
#1yrago What the FTC should do AFTER it fines Facebook $3-5B
#1yrago Business schools are shuttering full-time MBA programs, citing
low enrollment, millennials
#1yrago Supreme Court of Canada to rule on the enforceability of
Today's top sources: John Naughton (https://memex.naughtons.org/), Josh
Costello, Naked Capitalism (https://nakedcapitalism.com/), Metafilter
(https://metafilter.com/), Techdirt (https://techdirt.com/).
Currently writing: My next novel, "The Lost Cause," a post-GND novel
about truth and reconciliation. Yesterday's progress: 516 words (20515
Currently reading: Adventures of a Dwergish Girl, Daniel Pinkwater
Latest podcast: Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town (part 03)
Upcoming appearances: Discussion with Nnedi Okorafor, Torcon, June 14
Upcoming appearances: Discussion with Nnedi Okorafor, Torcon, June 14
Upcoming books: "Poesy the Monster Slayer" (Jul 2020), a picture book
about monsters, bedtime, gender, and kicking ass. Pre-order here:
"Attack Surface": The third Little Brother book, Oct 20, 2020.
"Little Brother/Homeland": A reissue omnibus edition with a new
introduction by Edward Snowden: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250774583
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