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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Member since: Thu Oct 28, 2004, 11:18 PM
Number of posts: 72,532

Journal Archives

Ex-Detroit Red Wing Todd Bertuzzi reportedly arrested on suspicion of drunk driving

Former Detroit Red Wings forward Todd Bertuzzi has reportedly been arrested on the suspicion of drunk driving.

According to TMZ, the 46-year-old was pulled over after midnight Saturday morning in Auburn Hills after motorists called 911 to report a swerving car.

Police reportedly saw the vehicle run a red light. When Bertuzzi was pulled over, officers suspected he was intoxicated. Bertuzzi refused a breathalyzer test, but according to TMZ, Bertuzzi showed signs of impairment during field sobriety tests.

Joe Taylor, who identified himself as a working front-desk operations for the Auburn Hills police department, said the department did not have a comment because the incident is “still under investigation.” Records show Bertuzzi was booked 3:35 a.m. Feb. 27 and released from Oakland County Jail 12:52 p.m. Feb. 27. ...........(more)


Portugal Sees EU Consensus on 'Digital Green Pass' for Travel

(Bloomberg) Portugal said on Monday it sees a growing consensus among European Union member states for a plan to introduce certificates to allow people with immunity to the coronavirus to travel freely.

Rita Marques, secretary of state for tourism, said a video call with EU colleagues offered the prospect of an “immediate and aligned response” from member states on a “digital green pass” for immune travelers.

“With the vaccine roll-out and a compromise by the EU Commission for a digital green pass, we have all the conditions for this summer to be a little more peaceful than 2020,” Marques said in a telephone interview. The pass will be “very important” for rebuilding confidence among travelers, she said. ..............(more)


Dead shark among items seized at US airports

(CNN) — Next time you travel, make sure to leave your dead shark at home -- that is, if you don't want to make the Transportation Security Administration (TSA)'s list of top 10 catches of the year.

On the list of bizarre items TSA workers found during luggage inspections, a dead baby shark came in at number six, right after a live smoke grenade.

The shark was discovered by TSA agents at Syracuse Hancock International Airport in the fall, floating in a jar of liquid chemical preservative.

And it was this liquid chemical -- not the shark -- that TSA had a problem with.

"The chemical was deemed to be considered a hazardous material and as such, was not permitted to be carried through the checkpoint," TSA said in a release. ..........(more)


Crowd in Mexico stops gay couple from being arrested as they chant 'I'm gay too' at cops

A gay couple were handcuffed by armed police “for kissing” on a beach in Mexico.

A series of videos of the incident, posted to Facebook, appear to show police ushering the couple into the back of a vehicle as a crowd of fellow beachgoers chant “I’m gay too” in solidarity.

The two men are then released to cheers from the crowd gathered on the beach in Tulum, Quintana Roo, on Mexico’s east coast. ..............(more)


US supreme court could deal blow to provision protecting minority voters

(Guardian UK) The US supreme court will hear a case on Tuesday that could allow the court’s conservative majority to deal a major blow to the most powerful remaining provision of the Voting Rights Act, the 1965 law designed to prevent racial discrimination in voting.

The case, Brnovich v Democratic National Committee, involves a dispute over two Arizona measures. One is a 2016 law that bans anyone other than a close family member or caregiver from collecting absentee ballots, sometimes called ballot harvesting. The second is a measure that requires officials to reject ballots cast in the wrong precinct, even if the voter has cast a vote in statewide races.

Arizona rejected more than 38,335 ballots cast in the wrong precinct between 2008 and 2016 and minority voters were twice as likely than white voters to have their ballots rejected, the DNC noted in its brief. Minority voters, including the state’s Native American population, are disproportionately harmed by the ballot collection ban because they are more likely to lack reliable mail service.

The DNC argues that the policies violated section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, which prohibits voting laws that discriminate based on race. A trial court ruled in 2018 that the policies did not violate the law, and a three-judge panel on the US court of appeals for the ninth circuit later upheld that ruling. But the full circuit voted to rehear the case and last year found that the policies did violate the Voting Rights Act. Now, Arizona attorney general Mark Brnovich, a Republican, and the Arizona Republican party are appealing that ruling to the US supreme court. .............(more)


Mich. man drowns after he, 3 others planning to fish fall through ice


MEDINA TOWNSHIP, Mich. — A man likely drowned after he and three others fell through ice while checking a lake for fishing, authorities said.

Damion Moog's body was recovered Saturday at Durfee Lake in Lenawee County's Medina Township, the sheriff's department said.

Four people were checking the thickness of the lake ice Friday night with a plan to return and fish Saturday. They all fell in; three survived.

Moog, 22, lived in Hudson.

Arab Americans, deemed 'white' in government records, are suffering an unseen COVID-19 crisis

Funeral director Goulade Farrah is haunted by his clients, whose bereavement over loved ones lost to COVID-19 play over and over in his head.

The hospital told us he was fine, and the next thing we know he’s on a ventilator.

They said go home and let us know when her oxygen level is this number, but when we went back it was too late.

We are devastated, we could not even be with him when he died.

Roughly 90% of the deaths Farrah handles at Olive Tree, the mortuary he oversees in Stanton, California, about 26 miles south of Los Angeles, are now COVID-related. Many are Arab Americans.

Across the nation, Arab Americans and their advocates fear alarming rates of COVID-19 infection and deaths in their communities -- but there is little data to back up these concerns because most are categorized as "white" by the federal government.


“We are told we are white when in reality we are deprived of proper and accurate statistical data,” Hasibe Rashid, of New York City’s planning department, said during a web panel this week on the virus’ social and economic effects on the city’s Arab immigrant and refugee populations. “We are expected to conform to something we do not agree with, and worse yet, something society does not see us as. We do not live the life of white privilege.” ..........(more)


Our moral fate: Allen Buchanan on escaping tribalism

Our moral fate: Allen Buchanan on escaping tribalism
As human politics becomes increasingly polarized, a philosopher explains how to escape the gyre of tribalism

FEBRUARY 28, 2021 3:00PM

(Salon) Looked at in one way, human history can be viewed as a depressing litany of inhumane events: war, slavery, genocide, and political persecution. Looked at in another way, one can clearly see the outlines of moral progress that has been made. In fact, two great expansions of the "moral circle" have occurred in just the past couple of centuries. The first was the shift from "tribal rights" to universal human rights. The second is the ongoing expansion of moral rights to non-human entities: animals, plants, the environment, perhaps even robots and AI entities (though this last issue is still very much up for debate).

Was the expansion of moral rights to ever more people and beings inevitable? Or was it merely a historical contingency? One that could just as easily have developed differently? Or perhaps even reverse? These questions get at the heart of what it means to be human. Are we hardwired to evolve into increasingly moral beings? Or is our apparent improvement only subject to social and historical factors? Take those factors away, and perhaps regression is inevitable. (As it often felt like during Trump'​s tenure in the White House.)

Allen Buchanan, a professor of philosophy at the University of Arizona and the author of more than a dozen books, has spent his career trying to understand how the appearance of human morality appeared within the context of biological evolution. His latest book, "Our Moral Fate: Evolution and the Escape from Tribalism," is a meditation on this question. His unsettling conclusion, explored in the conversation that follows: Progress in human morality can still happen, but is far from guaranteed.

* * *

Philip Laughlin: Can you define Tribalism? How does it differ from mere disagreement, even deep disagreement?

Allen Buchanan: Tribalism is much worse than disagreement, even deep disagreement. If I disagree with you, I may still treat you with respect, listen to what you have to say, and try to bargain and compromise — to meet in the middle. With tribalism, you regard those you disagree with as not just wrong but as either incorrigibly stupid and misinformed or irredeemably corrupt, insincere, and even evil. You disregard the content of the person's views because you dismiss the person as not worthy of being listened to or engaged with. At the extreme, this amounts to dehumanizing the Other; because we think that humans are reasonable and can be reasoned with. When you exclude someone from the community of reasonable beings, you dehumanize them.


Admonishing each other to "be civil" won't solve the problem. We have to think hard about the features of social environments that either trigger tribalism or encourage more inclusive attitudes toward those we disagree with. To a large extent this means tweaking institutions so that they give us incentives to listen, to bargain, to compromise — to meet in the middle. A few changes that might help: having more than two parties; changing to a proportional representation electoral system; and requiring a supermajority vote (two-thirds or more) for important legislation. All three of these mechanisms encourage cooperation across party lines and give people incentives to bargain and compromise. ..........(more)


Detroit expands 'Good Neighbor' program to encourage vaccinations

(Detroit Metro Times) The folks over at State Farm insurance, as well as the late great Mr. Rogers, would likely be very into Detroit's latest push to get more people vaccinated through its "Good Neighbor" program.

As of Wednesday, the city expanded the program to allow metro Detroiters over the age of 55 to schedule a vaccination at Detroit's drive-thru TCF Center vaccination site as long as they bring along a Detroiter over the age of 60 with underlying health conditions or any Detroiter over 65 to also get vaccinated. Appointments for both parties must be made at the same time.

“Thanks to Gov. Whitmer’s announcement earlier today expanding the Good Neighbor Program, we are again able to expand access to vaccinations at TCF Center to anyone who knows a Detroiter age 60 or older and is willing to drive them to their appointment,” Mayor Mike Duggan said in a statement. “We want to make sure we are using every opportunity we have to get our most vulnerable residents vaccinated, especially our senior citizens.”

According to Detroitmi.gov, the list of conditions includes cancer (current and in remission), asthma, heart conditions, hypertension, sickle cell disease, HIV, COPD, diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, cystic fibrosis, and liver disease, among others. .............(more)


Just Don't Expect "Pent-up Demand" from Consumers. Here's Why

Just Don’t Expect “Pent-up Demand” from Consumers. Here’s Why
by Wolf Richter • Feb 26, 2021 •

Free money whipped consumers into a rollicking eight-month splurge on goods. There’s nothing “pent up.” And services are not a shoo-in for “pent-up demand.”
By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET.

Give Americans some free money, and tell them it’s their duty to buy some stuff with it, preferable stuff imported from other countries, and they’ll buy some stuff with it, big and expensive stuff too, and they did buy a lot of stuff with it, more than they’d ever bought before, and their homes are full of stuff they bought in this eight-month long record rollicking free-money spending spree.

And it happened again in January: Free money from the stimulus payments kicked in and consumers further boosted their spending on goods from already high levels.


Demand for consumer goods wasn’t “pent up.” It was all let out.

This time around, households didn’t go through two years of cutting back on goods purchases, as they’d done during the Financial Crisis.

This time around, there is a shortage of supply, including the now infamous semiconductor shortage, due to the surge in spending on goods, and inventories are tight, amid production snags and supply-chain problems. And given this demand, and the supply issues, prices of goods are rising.

Consumers have been awash with this money they didn’t need to work for. And they paid down credit card debts with it. And they spent part of it on goods. ..........(more)


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