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They don’t ratfuck ’em like they used to

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Imagine thinking that there’s any chance that a story that can’t meet the standards of any reporter at the New York Post (!) would pan out:

The New York Post’s front-page article about Hunter Biden on Wednesday was written mostly by a staff reporter who refused to put his name on it, two Post employees said.

Bruce Golding, a reporter at the Rupert Murdoch-owned tabloid since 2007, did not allow his byline to be used because he had concerns over the article’s credibility, the two Post employees said, speaking on the condition of anonymity out of fear of retaliation.

Coming late in a heated presidential campaign, the article suggested that Joseph R. Biden Jr. had used his position to enrich his son Hunter when he was vice president. The Post based the story on photos and documents the paper said it had taken from the hard drive of a laptop purportedly belonging to Hunter Biden.

Many Post staff members questioned whether the paper had done enough to verify the authenticity of the hard drive’s contents, said five people with knowledge of the tabloid’s inner workings. Staff members also had concerns about the reliability of its sources and its timing, the people said.

Again: this is the Post we’re talking about here:

Mr. Giuliani said he chose The Post because “either nobody else would take it, or if they took it, they would spend all the time they could to try to contradict it before they put it out.”

“We gave this to the Post because we couldn’t afford to let journalists look at it.”

Wow, who would have thought that a ridiculously implausible story (why the fuck would Hunter Biden fly from LA to Wilmington to get his laptops fixed by a fanatical hater of the Bidens?) in a Rupert Murdoch tabloid shopped by a half-senile Rudy Guiliani whose lead “author” was a Sean Hannity producer with zero previous bylines would not turn out to be on the level?

Sadly, some people don’t understand that this is a rhetorical question:

The anti-anti Trump “left” convinced themselves this would be the October surprise that would bail Trump out just like 2016 and the reaction as the Times writes stories about how this is pathetic failed ratfucking rather than amplifying it is going to be hilarious.

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diannemharris
1 day ago
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ultimatebottom69: awfullynice-hq: 2020 1968 Ron Cobb...

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ultimatebottom69:

awfullynice-hq:

2020

1968

Ron Cobb R.I.P. 

Excuse me

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DMack
2 days ago
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lol
Victoria, BC
diannemharris
2 days ago
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The Textualists!

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There has been some discussion about Amy Coney Barrett joining a 7CA panel opinion overturning a jury verdict holding (David Clarke’s) Milwaukee County liable for a county prison guard who repeatedly raped a pregnant prisoner. Some of the initial reports were sensationalistic and didn’t make it clear whether this was a case of bad judging or bad law.

In this case, it was the former; the judges essentially had to both ignore the facts and re-write the relevant statute to overturn the jury verdict:

So, she’ll be doing exactly what she’s being put on the Court to do; side with the powerful over the powerless, and if that’s not what the law says so much worse for the law.

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diannemharris
3 days ago
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When a Town Council and a Sci-fi Museum Went to War Over a Dalek

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It was a cold January morning in 2019 when an unfamiliar car rolled into Allendale, a small village nestled within the North Pennines in Northumberland County, England. This wasn’t unusual; in the prior three months the village had seen a fresh influx of visitors, ever since the grand opening of “Neil Cole’s Adventures in Science Fiction: Museum of Sci-fi.” The family-run business, with a menagerie of pop-culture intergalactic friends and foes in an impressive array of classic movie and television props, costumes, and original artwork, wasn’t so much a museum as it was a loving ode to the genre. As odd a choice as the quiet, historically rich Allendale seemed for such a contemporary collection, locals had whole-heartedly embraced the attraction and welcomed the tourism it brought.

The passengers in the vehicle, however, had not come as tourists. “Three huge guys were banging on our door every 15 minutes,” recalls Neil Cole, the eponymous owner, whose personal collection of memorabilia populates the museum. “There was a car watching from across the street. This was the [Northumberland County] Council; it was the first we’d heard from them.” The men, officers from Highways Enforcement, had been sent by the Council to follow up on a complaint that had been lodged against the museum by a single Allendale resident.

Cole and his wife, Lisa, had been accused of defiling their historically listed property by installing a modern timber shed outside it, along the street, without planning permission. They were given 14 days to remove it. This was no ordinary shed: It was home to a life-size Dalek.

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In 1963, viewers of the classic BBC science fiction program Doctor Who were first introduced to the Daleks, a fearsome race of fascist cyborgs bent on achieving world domination. In the 50 years since their creation, Daleks have proven to be the most iconic and timeless of the Doctor Who villains. Cole’s homemade cyborg—dubbed the “AllenDalek” by its fans in Allendale—had become a beloved village landmark. As the museum’s sentinel, it was more inclined to pose for selfies with humans than initiate their extermination.

“One of the arguments that a councilor made [against the shed] was that we didn’t need a Dalek outside because we had one inside,” says Cole. “They were missing the point: The one inside is an original; the one outside attracts people inside. A little sandwich board is not going to do it.”

Cole refused to be bullied, but the Planning Committee would not yield. The battle between the AllenDalek and the Northumberland County Council made headlines across the country—and the globe. Even Hollywood took notice; a Tom Hardy–helmed film about the saga is currently in development. The Council repeatedly declined requests for comment at the time, instead releasing the statement, “We wish to work with the property owner to resolve this[.]”

The Council didn’t appear to be quite so open to dialogue in practice. On two separate occasions, Cole claims, a member of the Planning Department was caught hiding behind his garbage bins, covertly snapping photos of the AllenDalek. Cole says, “It was all about ego, saving face, and people throwing their power around irresponsibly.”

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It was never clear who had made the initial complaint, but the AllenDalek and Cole appeared to have the community’s support. After Allendale locals—in a show of solidarity—orchestrated a town-wide invasion of homemade Daleks to coincide with a February 18, 2019, inspection of the museum and shed, the Council agreed to a meeting with the Coles on March 4. The Interim Director of Planning for all of England was in attendance. She refused to shake Cole’s hand. “I thought she was there to have a discussion,” says Cole. “She was there to put the fear of God into us. It wasn’t a meeting, it was a telling-off.” The Council defamed the Coles as criminals, and cited them for neglecting to request planning permission not only for the shed but for the installation of informational plaques onto the beams of their house. “We were told we could be prosecuted ... That meant we would have to take everything down and close the museum for the sake of 20 screws.”

Allendale Parish Councilor, Glynn Galley, who was in attendance, described the meeting in an interview with the Hexham Courant as “An extremely grim meeting with little positive said for an hour,” and claimed that the planning officer “Told [Cole] three or four times we can close you down.”

Regarding the claims of animosity during the meeting toward the Coles, a representative for the Northumberland County Council responded to the Hexham Courant, “A number of actions were identified that are required to be carried out by the property owners in order to meet the conditions attached to the planning permission and listed building consent.” The representative further elaborated that the Council would aid the Coles in meeting their legal requirements.

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It seemed Cole’s fledgling museum, and lifelong dream, were about to be exterminated.

Overnight, fans raised more than double the money needed to pay the citation fees, with enough left over to hire a planning expert. A petition to save the AllenDalek collected more than 3,000 online and physical signatures.

The Coles appealed. Nearly 200 people wrote letters of support for the AllenDalek and its shed. “I cannot understand why permission would not be given for such an unobtrusive, temporary structure,” wrote Northumberland County resident, Catherine Smith. Another local resident, Naomi Ainley, asked, “In a time when rural industry is struggling and we need to make every effort to attract income into these beautiful areas, why remove an obvious draw?” Steve Everitt, curator at the Phil Silvers Museum in Coventry warned that “Councils should never underestimate the ... educational and history values small museums can offer.”

A hearing was scheduled for August 13, 2019. Armed with several pages of supporting documents, as well as a BBC film crew, Cole was given exactly five minutes to present his case. “I thought, ‘I’m nearly 50, I’ve worked my backside off, I’ve created something special. You are not going to win.’” Although he wasn’t allowed to distribute handouts, Cole did anyway. “It was a collage of about a hundred selfies of people with the AllenDalek. One of the councilors was the head of tourism and I said, ‘This is why I’ve got a Dalek outside.’” After his speech, Cole says he received a standing ovation.

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The Council ultimately concluded that there was insufficient evidence to prove the shed was essential to the success of the museum and that the structure itself would “result in harm [to] the character setting of the [Allendale] Conservation Area[.]” However, amid public pressure, a compromise was reached: The shed could remain for one year, after which time it would have to be replaced with a more historically aesthetic structure.

“The Council was meant to work with me to come up with a solution and build something else,” Cole says. “But when we contacted them, they just wouldn’t.” In early August 2020, the Coles finally dismantled the shed. The loss comes with a silver lining, as the shed will be donated to the village preschool, where it will live on as a play area for children. A weather-resistant steel Dalek is currently being built to take the place of its predecessor as the new museum sentinel, Council be damned.

As for the original AllenDalek, Cole was ready to put it in storage. “Lisa said, ‘No, you cannot do that.’ I said, ‘Why? We’re getting a new one.’ She said, ‘That’s not the AllenDalek; that’s the AllenDalek Mk Two. People have supported the AllenDalek Mk One.’” To honor the hard work and dedication of their supporters, the Coles are building a road-legal trailer for the AllenDalek, complete with a glass case. “We won’t just have one Dalek in front of the house—we’ll have two! It’ll look ridiculous, but [the Council] left us this crazy option, so we’ll take the crazy option.”

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The saga isn’t over yet. Cole admits the Council could retaliate against the new Dalek, but he and Lisa are better prepared now to fight back. “The community spirit made it very doable,” he says. “We love the house, we love the village, we love the community. Lisa and I are very grateful to the help emotionally that we got.”

After half a century, a Dalek finally achieved world domination (sort of). So what exactly was it about a Dalek in peril that mobilized the public? Cole knows the answer. “The Dalek has managed to sustain itself throughout all the CGI and effects in movies. There’s something there—something undefinable. It’s there in its characterization, the voice, that shape. The Dalek is just so British.”

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diannemharris
3 days ago
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I am who I am and that's all that I am

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Mexico was one of the first countries in the world to set up a national population registry in the late 1850s, as part of the church-state separation that was for long years one of the national sources of pride.

Forty four years ago, when I was born, keeping track of the population was still mostly a manual task. When my parents registered me, my data was stored in page 161 of book 22, year 1976, of the 20th Civil Registration office in Mexico City. Faithful to the legal tradition, everything is handwritten and specified in full. Because, why would they write 1976.04.27 (or even 27 de abril de 1976) when they could spell out día veintisiete de abril de mil novecientos setenta y seis? Numbers seem to appear only for addresses.

So, the State had record of a child being born, and we knew where to look if we came to need this information. But, many years later, a very sensible tecnification happened: all records (after a certain date, I guess) were digitized. Great news! I can now get my birth certificate without moving from my desk, paying a quite reasonable fee (~US$4). What’s there not to like?

Digitally certified and all! So great! But… But… Oh, there’s a problem.

Of course… Making sense of the handwriting as you can see is somewhat prone to failure. And I cannot blame anybody for failing to understand the details of my record.

So, my mother’s first family name is Iszaevich. It was digitized as Iszaerich. Fortunately, they do acknowledge some errors could have made it into the process, and there is a process to report and correct errors.

What’s there not to like?

Oh — That they do their best to emulate a public office using online tools. I followed some links in that link to get the address to contact and yesterday night sent them the needed documents. Quite immediately, I got an answer that… I must share with the world:

Yes, the mailing contact is in the @gmail.com domain. I could care about them not using a @….gob.mx address, but I’ll let it slip. The mail I got says (uppercase and all):

GOOD EVENING,

WE INFORM YOU THAT THE RECEPTION OF E-MAILS FOR REQUESTING
CORRECTIONS IN CERTIFICATES IS ONLY ACTIVE MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY,
8:00 TO 15:00.

*IN CASE YOU SENT A MAIL OUTSIDE THE WORKING HOURS, IT WILL BE
AUTOMATICALLY DELETED BY THE SERVER*

CORDIAL GREETINGS,

I would only be half-surprised if they were paying the salary of somebody to spend the wee hours of the night receiving and deleting mails from their GMail account.

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jepler
3 days ago
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*IN CASE YOU SENT A MAIL OUTSIDE THE WORKING HOURS, IT WILL BE
AUTOMATICALLY DELETED BY THE SERVER*
Earth, Sol system, Western spiral arm
diannemharris
3 days ago
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A mark and a con

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Tommy Tuberville is truly the ultimate Republican candidate, in that he’s both a con artist and a sucker:

Tommy Tuberville, the Republican candidate for Senate in Alabama, is running in large measure on his experience in college football’s Southeastern Conference, known as the S.E.C., where he coached Auburn University.

But he has had experience with another S.E.C., the Securities and Exchange Commission, and other financial regulators.

A review by The New York Times found that Mr. Tuberville, who is leading Senator Doug Jones in the polls, has a history of involvement with at least three people who were later convicted of financial fraud in what were described as Ponzi schemes. Mr. Tuberville was largely seen as a victim and was never charged with a crime.

In two episodes, Mr. Tuberville lost millions of dollars. A third was more minor, when Mr. Tuberville and his wife, Suzanne, bought a home through a company created by a lawyer who was later convicted of running a real estate-related Ponzi scheme.

The Times review included a small charitable foundation created by Mr. Tuberville, finding that its tax records indicated that less than a third of its proceeds went to the veterans’ causes it was set up to advance. The foundation also had bookkeeping issues.

The review raised questions about Mr. Tuberville’s judgment and financial acumen.

Roll Tide!

I will not allow myself even a glimmer of optimism about this — my assumption is that in a presidential year even Roy Moore would win — but Jones winning a second term would make me even happier than Graham losing.

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diannemharris
3 days ago
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