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Zorro

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Gender: Male
Hometown: City of Angels
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 6,617

Journal Archives

Venezuela to reassign private, public workers to agriculture

Venezuela said private and public companies will be obliged to let their workers be reassigned to grow crops, in a dramatic move in the middle of the country's crippling economic crisis.

The Labor Ministry announced the measure as part of the economic emergency already in effect; it will require all employers in Venezuela to let the state have their workers "to strengthen production" of food.

President Nicolas Maduro's government is fighting for its life amid staggering inflation and shortages of everything from food to toilet paper, diapers and shampoo.

Maduro, like his predecessor Hugo Chavez, has increasingly moved the country towards taking over parts of the economy.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/venezuela-reassign-private-public-workers-agriculture-014558981.html

Sounds like Maduro's version of Mao's Cultural Revolution is in motion.

Venezuela government aims to sink Maduro recall, opposition protests

Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro's socialist government sought on Tuesday to scupper a push by the opposition to oust him this year via a referendum, while his opponents called for protests.

As the OPEC nation faces an unprecedented economic crisis, both sides are deadlocked over a provision in the constitution allowing a recall referendum halfway through the president's six-year term.

Government supporters lodged a complaint at the election board saying the Democratic Unity (MUD) coalition falsified signatures in an initial collection to trigger the process.

"They are committing grave fraud and corruption," senior Socialist Party leader Jorge Rodriguez told reporters outside the election council, saying signatures of nearly 11,000 dead people and 3,000 minors were included.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/venezuela-government-aims-sink-maduro-recall-opposition-protests-000303892--business.html

SEEMINGLY DECENT HUMAN BEING’S INVOLVEMENT IN 2016 ELECTION CONFUSES VOTERS

MIAMI (The Borowitz Report)—The involvement of a seemingly decent human being in the 2016 election campaign left American voters stunned and deeply bewildered on Saturday.

In interviews across the country, voters expressed reactions ranging from shock to total incomprehension at the campaign début of a man who, at first blush, exhibits none of the outward characteristics of a sociopath or clinical narcissist.

Furthermore, the man’s evident failure to be the target of fraud lawsuits, sexual-harassment claims, or federal criminal investigations was, in the parlance of many voters, “weird.”

“He seems like a nice guy, the kind of person you might enjoy spending time with and getting to know better,” said Harland Dorrinson, age thirty-two, who watched the man’s unveiling on TV. “I don’t know. The whole thing feels like some kind of prank.”

http://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report/seemingly-decent-human-beings-involvement-in-2016-election-confuses-voters

Brain training may forestall dementia onset for years, new study says

If you’re intent on keeping dementia at bay, new research suggests you’ll need more than crossword puzzles, aerobic exercise and an active social life. In a study released Sunday, researchers found that older adults who did exercises to shore up the speed at which they processed visual information could cut by nearly half their likelihood of cognitive decline or dementia over a 10-year period.

The new clinical trial results, presented Sunday at the Alzheimer’s Assn.’s International Conference in Toronto, establish specialized brain training as a potentially powerful strategy to prevent Alzheimer’s Disease and other afflictions, including normal aging, that sap memory and reduce function.

With 76 million baby boomers reaching the age of maximum vulnerability to Alzheimer’s and with no effective treatments available to alter the disease’s progression, researchers are keen to find ways to prevent or delay the onset of the memory-robbing disease. The new research suggests that even years after it is administered, an inexpensive intervention without unwanted side effects might forestall dementia symptoms.

The latest results emerged from a 10-year study that compared the effects of three forms of brain training in a group of 2,802 cognitively healthy seniors. The ACTIVE study — short for Advanced Cognitive Training for Independent and Vital Elderly — was funded by the National Institute on Aging.

http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-brain-training-dementia-20160724-snap-story.html

If California's a 'bad state for business,' why is it leading the nation in job and GDP growth?

State and federal statistics released as recently as Friday make it clear: California is smoking hot, economy-wise.

The state gained 40,300 jobs in June and 461,000 over the year. With a gain of 2.9%, that was the best 12-month record of any large state except Florida, which won by a nostril with a gain of 3%, and much better than the nation as a whole (1.7%). According to the congressional Joint Economic Committee, California leads the nation in growth in its gross domestic product, which grew by 4.2% in 2015 — more than twice the national rate.

This record raises numerous questions, the most interesting of which is: So what’s all that guff about California being a “business-unfriendly” state?

We ask because grousing from business lobbies about California’s economic climate continues unabated. CNBC, which ranks all states according to “60 measures of competitiveness,” placed California way down at No. 32 in its 2016 rankings this week. In his “Rich States, Poor States” ranking for the conservative, pro-business American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, conservative economist Arthur Laffer places California at a dismal 46th in economic outlook for 2016.

http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-hiltzik-california-econ-growth-20160722-snap-story.html

Venezuelan civil servants signed a petition to oust the president. Now they’re losing their jobs.

Source: Washington Post

“You must know what you did,” Eva Belloso’s boss said to her when she was fired without notice this month after 24 years with Venezuela’s tax and customs service.

Belloso, who was coordinator of legal services at Seniat (as the agency is known) in Zulia state, said she told her boss she had no idea, “unless it has something to do with my signature for the recall referendum.”

“That must be it,” her boss said, according to her account.

The same thing happened that week to Juvenal Rosales, a nine-year Seniat employee in Caracas — with one difference: Rosales got an oblique heads-up.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2016/07/23/venezuelan-civil-servants-signed-a-petition-to-oust-the-president-now-theyre-losing-their-jobs

Ann Coulter warns California Republicans the nation could turn into California

Conservative author and TV personality Ann Coulter warned California Republicans on Wednesday that the nation could become like California if Donald Trump is not elected president in the fall.

“Trump’s slogan is make America great again. Hillary’s slogan is make America California without the nice beaches, without the good stuff,” Ann Coulter told the state’s delegates at a breakfast meeting.

“You’re always ahead of the curve," Coulter said. "You sent us two of our greatest presidents, Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan. And now a Republican can’t get elected statewide in California. That is because of immigration. This is why Trump’s campaign is absolutely crucial.”

Coulter, who was applauded by the Californians, contended the influx of immigrants over the past four decades had given Democrats an edge, and that the Republican establishment betrayed its base of supporters on immigration and trade issues.

http://www.latimes.com/nation/politics/trailguide/la-na-republican-convention-2016-live-trump-s-slogan-is-make-america-great-1469032456-htmlstory.html

Turn the rest of the nation into California? And that's a bad thing?

A U.S. consumer panned a Chinese product on Amazon. Then things got crazy

E-commerce is bringing buyers and sellers together across borders like never before — but it’s not all smooth sailing. Just ask Mathew Garrett of Oakland.

Garrett, who works in IT security, bought an Internet-connected power socket last month from a Chinese vendor called AuYou on Amazon. After trying out the $30 gadget, which can turn on and off other electronic devices using one’s cellphone as a remote, he had some security concerns. So he wrote an 800-word review on Amazon and gave the product one star.

He thought that would be the end of the story. But a few hours later, he started to receive emails from an employee of AuYou asking him to take down the negative review.

In the first email, the employee, who called herself Amy Lee, wrote in imperfect English, “Just now my boss has blamed me, and he said if I do not remove this bad review, he will quit me. Please help me, my dear friend. Could you change your bad review into good? Thank you very very much.”

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-amazon-china-review-20160720-snap-story.html

Musk reveals Tesla 'Master Plan': Trucks, buses and ride sharing

Source: LA Times

Elon Musk revealed Part 2 of his “master product plan” for Tesla on Wednesday evening.

In a blog post published on Tesla's website, Musk introduced a multi-year, four-pronged strategy that includes new kinds of Tesla vehicles, expanded solar initiatives, updates on Tesla’s Autopilot technology and a ride-sharing program.

Some surmised that the timing of the announcement was a way for Musk to distract from recent headlines that have raised concerns about Tesla’s Autopilot function and its troubles hitting vehicle-delivery targets.

Commercial trucks, buses, a “future compact SUV” and a “new kind of pickup truck” will be added to Tesla’s fleet of electric cars. A heavy-duty truck called the Tesla Semi and a shrunken bus that Musk called a “high passenger density urban transport” vehicle are in early development stages “and should be ready for unveiling next year,” he said.

Read more: http://www.latimes.com/business/autos/la-fi-hy-musk-master-plan-20160714-snap-story.html

RNC breaks precedent with explicitly partisan prayer

After telling attendees of the Republican National Convention that “Our enemy is not other Republicans but is Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party,” a South Carolina pastor offered the most explicitly partisan prayer heard at a major party convention in modern times.

Pastor Mark Burns, a prosperity preacher and televangelist from Easley, S.C., was invited by the Trump campaign to deliver the Monday benediction that concluded the contentious daytime proceedings on the first day of the RNC in Cleveland. “We are electing a man in Donald Trump who believes in the name of Jesus Christ,” Burns told delegates, before closing his eyes in prayer.

The benediction itself, which included Burns’ praise to God for “giving the words to unite this party, this country, that we together can defeat the liberal Democratic Party,” was immediately denounced on Twitter by liberal and conservative Christians who called it “blasphemous” and “idolatrous.”

Shortly after Burns left the stage in Cleveland, the Interfaith Alliance issued a statement calling his benediction “inappropriate” and declaring that “invoking religion to launch such attacks devalues faith.”

https://www.yahoo.com/news/pastor-mark-burns-rnc-trump-000000245.html

I really despise these assholes.
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