Saturday, August 7, 2021

Is The Auto Repair Industry Finally Doomed?

What we know about the Lambda variant of COVID-19 | Verify

Dr Anthony Fauci discusses how the US is dealing with the Delta variant differently | 7.30

How realistic is President Joe Biden's goal for electric vehicles?

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Federal student loan payments paused until 2022

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'Government can't just end' COVID-19, Florida governor says

Former Milwaukee Co. Children's Court Judge to plead guilty to child porn charges

From TMJ4:

Photo by: Wisconsin Court System
Brett Blomme
Posted at 4:18 PM, Aug 06, 2021
and last updated 6:42 PM, Aug 06, 2021

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A former Wisconsin juvenile court judge has agreed to plead guilty to federal child pornography charges.

Court records show former Milwaukee County Children's Court Judge Brett Blomme has reached an agreement with prosecutors that calls for him to plead guilty to two federal counts of distributing child pornography.

Each count carries a minimum sentence of five years in prison. The deal would resolve seven child pornography counts against him in state court.

The state Supreme Court suspended Blomme without pay after he was charged in state court in March. A federal grand jury indicted him in May.


The Great Retreat begins

I concur.

John Won.


At 58 I just await my fate.

The Great Retreat begins

The Saker, more or less accurately, in my opinion, reads the tea leaves behind recent strategic actions by the United States and its armed forces:

I think that there is very strong, even if only indirect, evidence which there is some very serious in-fighting taking place in the “Biden” administration and there is also strong, but also indirect, evidence that the military posture of the United States is undergoing what might end up being a major overhaul of the US armed forces.

If true, and that is a big “if”, this is neither good news nor bad news.

But this might be big news.


Because, objectively, the current US retreat on most fronts might be the “soft landing” (transition from Empire to “normal” country) many Trump voters were hoping for. Or it might not. If it is not, this might be a chaos-induced retreat, indicating that the US state is crumbling and has to urgently “simplify” things to try to survive, thereby generating a lot of factional infighting (at least one Russian observer specialized in “US studies”, Dmitrii Drobnitskii, believes to be the case: see the original article here, and its machine translation here). Finally, the state of decay of the US state might already be so advanced that we can consider it as profoundly dysfunctional and basically collapsing/collapsed. The first option (soft landing) is unlikely, yet highly desirable. The second option (chaos-induced retreat) is more likely, but much less desirable as it is only a single step back to then make several steps forward again. The last option (profoundly dysfunctional and basically collapsing/collapsed) is, alas, the most likely, and it is also, by far, the most perilous one.

For one thing, options #2 and #3 will make US actions very unpredictable and, therefore, potentially extremely dangerous. Unpredictable chaos can also quickly morph into a major war, or even several major ones, so the potential danger here is very real (even if totally unreported in Zone A). This, in turn, means that Russia, China, Iran, the DPRK, Venezuela or Cuba all have to keep their guard up and be ready for anything, even the unthinkable (which is often what total chaos generates).

Right now, the fact that the US has initiated a “great retreat” is undeniable. But the true reasons behind it, and its implications, remain quite obscure, at least to me.

I believe it is option 3 - profoundly dysfunctional and basically collapsing - that is the explanation and my reasoning is fairly straightforward. The US military is in far worse shape than even its biggest skeptics comprehend, and these retreats, from Afghanistan to Ukraine, are taking place in order to hide the US military's lack of capability. With the prospect of a vaccine mandate being forced on an unwilling military by an unelected commander-in-chief, the US military will be fortunate if it doesn't fall apart faster than Creepy Joe's eyes light up after catching sight of a child in the crowd. 

Any confrontation, with any enemy provided drones and missiles by either Russia or China, will reveal the US military to be not just a paper tiger, but a paper tiger who has been thoroughly immersed in water. At this point, I think it is more likely that we'll wake up to find the USA being ruled by a USMC colonel and China in possession of Taiwan than for Creepy Joe's anti-administration to engage in large-scale offensive operations outside the US borders.

It's clear that the AIPACkers and ELOWs in the anti-administration desperately want war with Iran before they lose their influence over the US military. But it's equally clear that the US military has no hope of winning any serious encounter with the China-Russia-Iran anti-imperial alliance. Hence the serious in-fighting presently taking place within Washington.

Has the US Begun Its "Great Retreat"?

I have to begin this column by admitting that “Biden” (note: when in quotation marks, I refer to the “collective Biden”, not the clearly senile man) surprised me: it appears that my personal rule-of-thumb about US Presidents (each one is even worse than his predecessor) might not necessarily apply in “Biden’s” case. That is not to say that “Biden” won’t end up proving my rule of thumb as still applicable, just that what I am seeing right now is not what I feared or expected.

 Washington is next.......

YES - the US has begun it's 'Great Retreat" - and I don't give a fuck.

Fuck the Nazi Police State.\\

Let it all fall - and I will sell it all and give it away - hey Assholes - come and get me - and Robin Vos dreams of wickedness. The poorer I am made in material riches - the more spiritually powerful I become. Long White hair and blue rings surrounding my Brown eyes. It is just a sign of my genetic gifts. I am a God.

And Fuck U to Biden, Cops, etc.  .

The more powerless I am made - the more powerful I become.

Take it all from me - Dis me in this material World - because it only makes me stronger in the Spiritual World. And Shiva will help me to destroy the Old and usher in the New. It is another turning - from the Age of Pisces - and of that I am  - 02-24-63 to the Age of Aquarius when the Water Bearer will wash away all the Sins.

Megadeth - Peace Sells:

Open Blog - Weekend


Friday, August 6, 2021

Fauci: 'High Priority' To Give Vulnerable People COVID-19 Booster Shots

In-Depth: Mixing vaccines could help boost immunity against COVID-19

Apple to scan US iPhones for images of child abuse

Auto industry faces major shift as President Biden makes push for more electric vehicles

Coast Guard: 6 dead in Alaska sightseeing plane crash

New Order Mandates COVID Vaccinations For Health Care Workers In California

Appeals Court Upholds Former Dallas Officer Amber Guyger's Murder Conviction

Lawmakers Turn Up The Heat On Gov. Cuomo To Resign

Historic California town incinerated by swift-moving wildfire | WNT

Newsom Fires Back A Day After Republicans Bashed Him In Debate

Shaheen optimistic infrastructure bill will pass Senate

ATM robbed in Racine, suspects arrested in Illinois after pursuit

From Fox6Now:

Two people were taken into custody on Thursday, Aug. 5 after robbing an ATM machine in Racine. The robbery happened on Wednesday, Aug. 4 – and led to a traffic stop and police pursuit in Illinois.

According to police, officers responded to the Chase Bank near 21st Street and Green Bay Road around 1 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 4 for reports of a robbery. 

Officials say while an ATM technician was working on the ATM machine, two men approached wearing full masks. The technician put his hands up and the two suspects removed an undisclosed amount of cash from the ATM. 

The suspects then fled the area in a vehicle. 

The Illinois State Police located the suspect vehicle and attempted a traffic stop – which led to a vehicle pursuit. The vehicle pursuit ended in Ford County, Illinois with the two male suspects fleeing on foot. 

A search ensued involving multiple agencies -- including air units, officers on foot, and K9 units. The search was conducted throughout the night with both suspects being taken into custody around 11 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 5

Racine Police investigators are interested in any additional information that anyone may have about this crime. Any witnesses, or citizens with information, are urged to call the Racine Police Department Investigations Unit at 262-635-7756. Those who wish to remain anonymous may contact Crime Stoppers by phone at 262-636-9330, or through the Crime Stoppers app by using the p3 app. 


Caledonia releases full body camera footage from viral baggie incident


The initial cellphone video shows an officer throwing an empty plastic bag in the car he pulled over.

The Caledonia Police Department has now released the full body camera footage of an incident from nearly two weeks ago when an officer was recorded tossing an empty plastic bag in the backseat of a car.

The passenger who recorded the video accused the officer of planting evidence.

This viral cellphone video, posted by Facebook user La Savoo on July 24, now has over one million views.

The Caledonia Police Department said the incident happened on July 21, just before 3:30 p.m., on State Highway 32 near 5 Mile road.

Initially, police released some of the body camera footage. WISN 12 News made a records request for the full body camera footage.

On Thursday, WISN 12 News obtained all of the footage, after making a records request. It shows four separate angles from the different officers on scene.

"The reason I stopped you is for speed, going 63 in a 45," said the officer who made the initial stop, Officer Gorney.

Gorney then asked for everyone's names, after he saw the rear seat passengers not buckled properly.

The passengers declined, which is legal. Officer Gorney then asked the driver to step out.

"This can either be nothing or this is going to turn into something it probably doesn't need to," Gorney said. "What's in the car that shouldn't be? Just a little bit of weed? Nothing? We're sure about that?"

The driver shakes her head no when Gorney asks if there are drugs in the car.

"Your answer didn't sound very confident. Did not sound confident at all. I don't think you felt very confident in your answer, as well," Gorney said to the driver.

When other officers arrived, they ordered each of the passengers out of the car, one by one.

Officers searched and handcuff the passengers, and placed them in the back of the squads.

During one of the searches, officers pulled an empty, ripped plastic bag from a passenger's pocket. They also pulled a baggie tied off at the top, filled with a white substance, from the passenger's other pocket.

The passenger did not say what was in the empty bag beforehand and said the other bag was a prescription medication for his grandmother.

"I mean, it's not normal to tie bags like this, that's why we're asking," said Officer Wolfe, one of the other responding officers.

Gorney took the empty bag from the passenger and threw it in the backseat of the car, where La Savoo was still recording.

"Hey bro, you just threw that in here," La Savoo said.

"Yeah, because it was in his pocket and I don't want to hold onto it," Gorney said. "I'm telling you where it came from. It's an empty baggie, at the moment."

The Caledonia Police Department has not clarified why officers pulled the passengers from the car, searched and handcuffed them.

The police chief spoke to WISN 12 News on July 26.

"With the context that we now have, we can see he was clearly not planting evidence. For a number of reasons. The baggie contains no illegal substance and is not itself illegal," said Chief Christopher Botsch. "The officer certainly wasn't carrying this item with the intent to plant it, because it originated from the pockets of one of the passengers."

The body camera footage shows officers eventually letting three of the passengers go. In the video, they said they were taking the fourth passenger, a minor who had the baggie of unknown drugs in his pocket, to Walgreens first. Officers said they wanted to check if he had any prescriptions under his name there. The officers said they were then going to take the passenger home.

WISN 12 News has reached out to La Savoo, who posted the cellphone video, multiple times for comment and has not received any responses.


Job fair in Racine

From Fox6Now:

Racine County cadaver K9 helps find what human investigators cannot

From TMJ4:

Posted at 10:54 PM, Aug 05, 2021
and last updated 10:54 PM, Aug 05, 2021

RACINE COUNTY — Raven is cadaver K9 with a very powerful nose.

"She's driven to work," said Raven's handler, Racine County Investigator Andrew Willis.

He closely watches her movements, as any change in behavior could indicate she has detected human remains.

"Her formal alert is a sit at the source or as close as she can get as possible," Willis said.

Poster image - 2021-08-05T224826.495.jpg

Willis has spent hundreds of hours training Raven almost entirely on his own dime. She is nationally accredited, and she finished her certification in February 2020, when she was still a puppy.

Raven will turn 3 years old in September. Willis said she has worked on 18 cases, and at least half have led to a big break.

"I know hands down in some of the cases, without Raven, they would have never found the person, or it would have taken a very long time to find the person," Willis said.

Last month, the team was called out to a house fire in western Racine County. That's where Raven discovered, deep underneath the rubble, a person had died. Police reports show Raven detected the person in less than eight minutes. Without Raven, Willis believes the search could have taken much longer.

Poster image - 2021-08-05T224839.514.jpg

"You can tell she was in odor because you see significant body change," Willis said. "She’s sniffing rapidly, her searching is more methodical, she’s trying to pinpoint where the source is."

He's proud of Raven, but he says the work comes with mixed emotions.

"It's an odd feeling because you have pride and joy in her work," Willis said. "But at the same time you realize the tragedy the family has gone through."


Open Blog - Friday

 Uh . . .

Thursday, August 5, 2021

He Delivered Some Food and then Kicked It

Trans Women vs Women in Sports

NY Gov. Cuomo FLOPS After Sexual Harassment Allegations

135 children hospitalized for COVID in Florida as state sets new overall hospitalization record

COVID-19 Myths Frustrate Health Officials, Hinder Vaccine Efforts

Belarusian sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya arrives in Poland on humanitarian visa

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What you need to know about the Covid Lambda variant

At Least 10 Dead, More Than A Dozen Injured After Overloaded Van Carrying Migrants Crashes In South

Eviction Moratorium Back in Place Across Most of the U.S.

Biden Administration Working On Plan Requiring Foreign Travelers To Show Proof Of COVID Vaccine

'I'm standing in your way:' Gov. DeSantis fires back at Pres. Biden over COVID-19 response

Psaki: Cuomo Should 'Do the Right Thing' and Resign as New York Governor

COVID-19 anxiety and pandemic depression making comeback amid surge in cases

From TMJ4:

Posted at 6:39 PM, Aug 04, 2021
and last updated 7:04 PM, Aug 04, 2021

COVID-19 anxiety and pandemic-related depression are making a comeback as cases increase.

Renewed mask mandates and the surging delta variant are casting a familiar shadow.

“I would say probably 95 percent of my clients are talking about this,” said psychotherapist Ami Bedi.

Bedi counsels adults and leads mental health discussions for local companies. She says the current rise in COVID-19 cases comes at an already anxious time.

“It’s back to school time, summer is coming to an end, and now we’re being faced with having to make some changes that we thought we were able to put behind us,” Bedi said.

Lakeisha Russell, a licensed professional counselor who works exclusively with children and teens, notices a similar trend.

“I’m hearing now many of the kids are anxious that they might have to do virtual school all over again,” Russell said.

Rates of anxiety, depression, suicide and drug use all increased in the past year and a half during the coronavirus pandemic. The fear, isolation and uncertainty is causing psychological trauma.

“When we know that we have a hopeful end in sight, we can tolerate adversity, but when we can’t figure out when that end is, that’s where we really have a hard time,” Bedi said. “We have to kind of surrender to the fact that we might not know exactly what to do or have all the answers.”

It’s important to focus on what we can control. Bedi says helping others in times of stress can actually help us.

“One of the best ways we can actually feel a sense of purpose is to step outside of the focus on how this is impacting me and think about the person who lives next door. Do they need some help? Is there a friend of mine who is struggling with this more than I am?”

Another key to coping? Set boundaries on how often you’re checking your phone and researching COVID-19 updates.

“If we’re showing that anxiety outwardly, our kids are going to reflect the same thing. So as parents, we need to be conscious of how we’re exhibiting our anxiety,” Russell said. “Talk about those emotions, because they’re normal and natural. And regardless of what you might hear, what family members might share, or what educators say, do what works best for your family.”

And take some time to focus every day on what you’re thankful for. Bedi encourages people she works with to reflect on pandemic silver linings.

“We all also have had moments of clarity, insight and joy,” Bedi said. “We’ve had some fun and connection. We’ve been able to reach into ourselves and find places where we didn’t realize we had beauty, strength or resources. Remember those things too.”

Spending time in nature and moving your body in some way also helps. But the biggest tool mental health experts go back to is breathing. If you feel panicked, take some slow, deep breaths.


Talking Racine Episode 237 One Billion Then 77 Million to RUSD

Talking Racine Episode 236 Reviewing City Emails

Open Blog - Thursday


Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Two children in Memphis died from COVID-19 weekend of July 30-Aug 1

Passenger taped to seat after allegedly groping and punching flight attendants

Psaki tells Governors DeSantis and Abbott to start saving lives or ‘get out of the way’

LAUNCH SCRUB: Boeing Starliner spacecraft launch to space station delayed

Canada's slowing COVID-19 vaccinations renew calls to give unused doses to other countries

Biden to announce new eviction ban due to COVID spread

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women, investigation finds

Republican-led committee votes to block UW campuses' COVID-19 requirements; UW-Madison immediately issues mask mandate

From JSOnline:
Hope KarnoppDevi Shastri
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

MADISON - University of Wisconsin officials who want to ward off a rising COVID-19 caseload now must get permission from the Legislature to implement masking, testing or vaccination requirements, according to a plan Republicans adopted Tuesday.

Within hours, UW-Madison's chancellor tested the issue by imposing a mask requirement without saying whether she would seek the approval of lawmakers.

The Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules voted remotely without holding debate on the motion to require legislative approval for COVID policies on campuses. All six Republicans voted for the proposal and all four Democrats voted against it. 

Republicans say the vote means the UW System must now get approval from lawmakers before putting in place any COVID rules. Democrats dispute that, saying the system still has the power to act on its own.

UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank signaled she believed she could act on her own by issuing a campuswide mask mandate soon after the committee vote.

Her order will require people — whether vaccinated or not — to wear masks when they are in campus buildings, in campus buses or riding with others in university vehicles. There are exceptions for when people are eating and drinking, in their dorm rooms or alone in offices. It takes effect Thursday. 

Teresa Scott, a sophomore from Milwaukee majoring in photography, sits in the student union on the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee campus on Monday. Colleges across the state are working to reevaluate on-campus masking policies in the weeks leading up to the start of the fall semester.

Between the committee's vote and Blank issuing her order, system officials did not respond to questions from the Journal Sentinel about whether they believed campuses could act on their own. 

"Today’s action feels like a political statement; our focus is to ensure we are doing what needs to be done now to safely open for in-person teaching this fall," UW System spokesman Mark Pitsch said of the committee's vote.

Republican Sen. Steve Nass of Whitewater introduced the motion last week, which directs the UW Board of Regents to issue any current or future systemwide or campus-by-campus COVID-19 requirements as emergency rules, which the committee could block in part or whole. 

Read more:

Almost 500 new COVID-19 cases potentially linked to Deer District gatherings

From JSOnline:
Vanessa SwalesAlison Dirr
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

With a crowd of about 100,000 fans packed in the Deer District, cheering on the Milwaukee Bucks last month, the game not only produced a long-awaited NBA championship, but also a much-dreaded surge in the number COVID-19 cases across the state.

Milwaukee Health Commissioner Kirsten Johnson said the contact tracing and testing for cases associated with Deer District gatherings are ongoing. She said the Milwaukee Health Department has been working closely with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and has identified almost 500 cases statewide, including Milwaukee, Dane, Ozaukee and Waukesha counties.

The state Department of Health Services reported that 491 people with confirmed or probable cases said they had attended the Deer District or Bucks game "during their exposure or infectious periods" but the department could not say definitively that they caught the virus while viewing the game downtown or elsewhere.

The department also said the figure was likely an undercount.

"We anticipated an increase in positive cases due to the delta variant but 155% increase in one week is distressing," Johnson said.

She urged people to get tested if they have attended any large gatherings.

"I think it is important to recognize that any time there is a large gathering of people, we are going to see the virus spread," Johnson said during a Tuesday COVID-19 briefing.

Health officials said the city has entered into the "extreme transmission" category, and the number of cases has reached 193.2 per 100,000 as of Tuesday.

Officials also raised concerns about statewide hospitalization rates.

"We have four times as many people hospitalized with COVID in Wisconsin as we did one month ago, from 74 individuals to 310 today," said Dr. Ben Weston, director of medical services at the Milwaukee County Office of Emergency Management, during the briefing.

Additional action could come from the city, according to Johnson, who said she was working with the city’s Department of Employee Relations on a measure mandating vaccines for city employees, a step taken by Los Angeles, the state of California and New York City.

“We are currently working through what that may look like,” Johnson said.

She did not have a timeframe for implementing such a policy.

Milwaukee Ald. Robert Bauman this week proposed legislation that would require city employees to prove they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or test negative for the virus weekly as a condition of coming to work.

Six other council members previously put forward legislation that would require masks inside if the transmission level in the city reaches 100 or more cases per 100,000 people

The Health Department has issued an advisory that everyone, regardless of vaccination status, wear masks inside when with people outside their households.

Johnson on Tuesday did not rule out a return at some point to capacity limits for bars, restaurants and other venues but said there are no plans at this time to bring the limits back.

The council is on its August recess but there are rumblings about a potential special session this month to take up COVID-related legislation.

Johnson also said that she had been in conversation with multiple entertainment venues about potentially requiring proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to attend events.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday that the city would require proof of COVID-19 vaccination for people to come into indoor restaurants, gyms and entertainment venues starting Aug. 16.


Wauwatosa panhandling: Citations, ordinance passed by Common Council

From Fox6Now:

Panhandlers in Wauwatosa could soon face citations between $25 and $500.

That was the penalty proposed in an ordinance put before the city's Common Council on Tuesday night, Aug. 3. It passed 11-3 after a failed attempt to send the measure back to committee.

The ordinance bans panhandling on Wauwatosa's 12 busiest streets, saying the streets and medians are not meant for panhandling. Several Common Council members said they've heard complaints from residents about it.

"I see this as yet another one of those issues where we don't like what we see out in the intersection, and we're asking the police to take care of it," said Alderman Matt Stippich.

"We vetted this. We've talked about this. We've gone on and on about this. This is a safety issue. We've had one person almost killed on this. It just needs to move forward," said Alderman James Moldenhauer.

Man standing at intersection of North Avenue and Mayfair Road in Wauwatosa.

The city said it's a safety issue – not a homelessness issue. And while the ordinance isn't technically a ban on panhandling, housing advocates say it will target people who are homeless with fines that they likely cannot pay.

"If it's in the community's face, it's an opportunity to come up with solutions to help, and I'm hopeful that there's ways we can all work together," said Eric Collins-Dyke, Milwaukee County's assistant administrator of Supportive Housing and Homeless Services.

Between a passing rain shower Tuesday afternoon, panhandlers stood on half of the medians at the intersection of North Avenue and Mayfair Road – acts that will soon constitute a punishable offense.

"From a general standpoint, we've always said that you can't ticket or cite or police your way out of homelessness," said Collins-Dyke.

Between June and July, Collins-Dyke's team canvassed Wauwatosa's busiest intersections to engage people asking for money.

"Everyone, to a person, expressed some sort of desire for a better housing situation, potential employment, and most if not all are very interested in community-based case management services," said Collins-Dyke, of the 14 people they met.

Woman crossing a street in Wauwatosa.

For the city's busiest streets, like Capitol Drive and Bluemound Roads and more, the ordinance states no one should be in the median unless they are crossing the highway in a safety zone or crosswalk. Also, drivers should not stop, slow down or get out of their car to interact with someone in the median.

The municipal violation would come with a ticket – something Collins-Dyke said does not really address homelessness.

"Our fear is always, when these ordinances go through, is you know you're sort of just kicking the can down the road," Collins-Dyke said. "And if you're gonna cite somebody, you're not looking at the deeper issue in terms of what they need to make progress."

The ordinance includes a 90-day review with Wauwatosa police and other city staff to assess its impact. Police Chief James MacGillis said fines won't be the first step.

The city said the ordinance takes effect Aug. 12

From: .