Saturday, July 11, 2020


Calico Liberty 100 Carbine on the PCC Evaluation Course

Benny Hill - How To Pick Up Girls w/Closing Chase (1978)

Calico Light Weapons System: Roller Delay and Helical Drums

Aerosmith - You See Me Crying

Honey! What have you done to your hair?

Judas Priest - The Green Manalishi (With the Two Pronged Crown) [Live Vengeance '82]

SpaceX set for 3rd attempt to launch Starlink satellites Saturday

Update: SpaceX scrubs its tenth Starlink mission from Kennedy Space Center due to ongoing hardware issues.
Launch fans are hoping the third time's a charm for SpaceX's tenth Starlink satellite mission. The recycled Falcon 9 rocket is now slated to lift off from pad 39 A at Kennedy Space Center today at 10:54 AM. 
The Falcon 9 will fly 57 Starlink satellites and two micro-satellites from Seattle based BlackSky, as part of the SpaceX rideshare program. 
In an effort to fund his ambitious goal of reaching Mars, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk is jumping into the broadband internet business with his Starlink satellite constellation. The satellites will provide internet connectivity from space to rural areas. Musk has said he hopes to begin service to customers in parts of North America near the end of the year. 
If today's Starlink launch is successful, the constellation will number around 600 satellites in orbit.

Our next Mars Rover gets closer to launch on This Week @NASA – July 10, 2020

NEOWISE comet visible without telescope

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Glee" actress Naya Rivera presumed dead, divers search for body

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos And Ex-Wife MacKenzie Add Combined $22 Billion To Fortunes In One Week

n a week when stock market indices were mostly flat, shares of online retailers soared. Amazon’s already astronomical stock shot up 10% between July 2 and July 9, giving its founder and CEO Jeff Bezos a net worth of $188.2 billion, a $16.2 billion bump for the week through Thursday. He remains the richest person on earth, widening his lead over Bill Gates at number two, who’s worth an estimated  $110.7 billion. His ex-wife, MacKenzie Bezos, is now the richest woman in America, with a $62.3 billion fortune.
An author and early employee at Amazon, MacKenzie Bezos walked away from her divorce with Jeff Bezos last July with 25% of his Amazon shares, then worth $36 billion. Since then, her fortune has nearly doubled as the pandemic has disrupted traditional retail. Amazon’s soaring stock price has pushed her fortune past that of Walmart heir Alice Walton, who was previously the richest woman in the U.S. 
While she widened the lead between her and Alice this week to $6.1 billion, the Walton heiress and her brothers Jim and Rob, also got richer during an otherwise unimpressive week for the Dow and S&P. Each sibling’s fortune rose $3.1 billion over the week through Thursday, following a report by Recode  on Tuesday that Walmart plans to debut Walmart+, a cheaper alternative to Amazon Prime that will offer same-day delivery on groceries and other goods, later this month. The stock jumped nearly 7% on the news. A representative for Walmart did not respond to a request for comment about the new platform.
The only woman on the planet richer than MacKenzie Bezos is L'Oreal heir Francoise Bettencourt Meyers, who has a net worth of $64 billion. Bezos could soon beat her, too, as some analysts anticipate Amazon’s stock will continue to climb in the leadup to its quarterly earnings announcement on July 23.
The more MacKenzie Bezos gains, the more she is expected to ultimately donate. Shortly before her divorce was finalized, Bezos signed the Giving Pledge, joining Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates in committing to give away at least half of her net worth to philanthropic causes; her ex-husband has not yet signed the pledge. In mid-June, MacKenzie Bezos teamed up with Melinda Gates to host a competition for companies that promote gender equality, promising to make $30 million in grants to the organizations with the best ideas to help expand women’s power and influence in the U.S.
The week’s biggest gainer in percentage terms has nothing to do with ecommerce. Robin Zeng, the founder and chairman of Contemporary Amperex Technology, a Chinese company that manufactures batteries for electric vehicles, saw his net worth skyrocket 23.8% to $16.9 billion. The company is reportedly developing a “million mile” battery with Tesla that could revolutionize the electric car industry and make the vehicles much cheaper. Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s net worth has also continued to rise as shares of Tesla continued their meteoric climb. He’s $5.8 billion richer than a week ago.
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Trump Says He ‘Aced’ Cognitive Test, but White House Won’t Release Details

From The Nrw York

President Trump has repeatedly ridiculed Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s fitness to be president. Mr. Biden’s campaign has called it a smear that has backfired.

Credit...Erin Scott for The New York Times

President Trump on Thursday volunteered to Sean Hannity, the Fox News host, that he “very recently” took a test at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center measuring his mental acuity and “aced” it, but the White House would not say when he took it or why.
Mr. Trump boasted that his success on the test surprised his doctors as he continued his attempt to make a campaign issue of whether his presumptive Democratic opponent, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., was mentally fit.
“I actually took one when I — very recently, when I — when I was — the radical left were saying, is he all there? Is he all there? And I proved I was all there, because I got — I aced it. I aced the test,” Mr. Trump, 74, said in his interview with Mr. Hannity.
He went on to say that Mr. Biden should also take the test.
“And he should take the same exact test, a very standard test. I took it at Walter Reed Medical Center in front of doctors,” Mr. Trump said. “And they were very surprised. They said, that’s an unbelievable thing. Rarely does anybody do what you just did. But he should take that same test.”

Mr. Trump described taking the test after Mr. Hannity mentioned that Mr. Biden had said he had taken several cognitive tests. The president insisted that Mr. Biden must have meant tests he took for the coronavirus and that his rival “couldn’t pass” a cognitive test.
Aides to Mr. Trump did not respond to questions about what test he took, when he took it or whether they would make the results public. Over more than three years, the president has repeatedly faced questions about his own health, including why he made a mysterious visit to Walter Reed in November 2019 that White House officials later claimed was to get a jump on his annual physical.

For Muscogee (Creek) Tribe in Oklahoma, at Long Last Vindication

From The Nrw York

After decades of betrayals and broken treaties, the Supreme Court ruled that much of Oklahoma is their land, after all

Credit...Kevin Wolf/National Museum of the American Indian, via Associated Press

The sorrow and death of the Trail of Tears were still fresh when a band of Muscogee (Creek) people gathered by an oak tree in 1836 to deposit the ashes of the ceremonial fires they had carried across America and begin a new home in the West. It was called Tulasi, or “Old Town.” Tulsa.

What followed were decades of betrayals, broken treaties and attempts to legislate and assimilate tribes out of existence. Then this week, the Supreme Court confirmed what the Muscogee (Creek) Nation has long asserted: That this land was their land.

“It’s so momentous and it’s immense,” said Joy Harjo, the United States poet laureate and a Muskogee (Creek) Nation member who lives in Tulsa. “It marks a possible shift. Not just for Muscogee Creek people, for all Native people.”

The court’s 5-to-4 declaration that much of Tulsa and eastern Oklahoma had long been a reservation of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation was seen as a watershed victory for Native Americans’ long campaign to uphold sovereignty, tribal boundaries and treaty obligations.

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Coronavirus deaths tick up in Florida, Texas, California, Arizona as states grapple with growing outbreaks

Medical staff wearing full PPE push a stretcher with a deceased patient to a car outside of the Covid-19 intensive care unit at the United Memorial Medical Center on June 30, 2020 in Houston, Texas.
Go Nakamura | Getty Images

Reported coronavirus-related deaths appear to be on the rise in Florida, Texas, California, Arizona and some other states that are struggling to contain rapidly expanding outbreaks, a CNBC analysis of data collected by Johns Hopkins University shows. 

After peaking at an average of more than 2,000 deaths per day just three months ago, primarily driven by New York and New Jersey, fatalities in the U.S. have been slowly declining — falling to an average of less than 600 fatalities a day from June 23 through July 8. Covid-19 deaths in the U.S. have declined or remained relatively stable for weeks, even though cases have more than doubled since mid-May. But the daily death toll appears to be on the rise again in the U.S., epidemiologists say.

Covid-19 fatalities have steadily ticked up across the nation with the average number of fatalities a day rising over the last three straight days to over 600 on July 9, based on a seven-day average of daily reported deaths, driven by surges in several hot spots. Epidemiologists say it is cause for concern that deaths are beginning to accelerate again, even if it’s just a few days of data.

U.S. officials and the general public should have seen the rise in deaths coming, Larry Levitt, executive vice president for health policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation, told CNBC. Deaths tend to lag new cases because it can take weeks for a patient to get sick enough to be hospitalized and eventually die.

“This was predictable. We seem to have had difficulty in this country looking a few weeks in advance,” Levitt said. “But we know the pattern that as more people get infected, more people get hospitalized and ultimately more people die.”

Trump commutes Roger Stone's sentence. Here's why he did it

Bars and coronavirus don't mix. Will Wisconsin's drinking culture ever be the same?

From JSOnline:

Gina BartonEddie Morales
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Bartender Ray McGee wears a mask while working at This Is It! at 418 E. Wells St. on Wednesday, July 8, 2020. Also added at the bar are plexiglass windows as restaurant owners start their reopening during the coronavirus pandemic. This Is It! requires all those entering their bar to wear a mask. Patrons must also have their temperature taken upon entering as well.

The three-month shutdown of restaurants and bars, along with the cancellation of Opening Day tailgates at Miller Park and beer-infused Summerfest, have left Wisconsinites eager to reconnect over drinks.
But the bar scene we’re used to is filled with coronavirus risk factors: crowds, loud talking and singing, long stretches of time spent indoors. Not to mention the fact that even the most well-intentioned people, if they get drunk, may forget or disregard safety precautions designed to stop the spread.
Cailin Dilday, left, and Jon Radtke, both 22, wait for their dinner at Hooligan’s Super Bar at 2017 E. North Ave. on July 8, 2020, in Milwaukee. Since bars and restaurants have started to reopen during the pandemic, it has been necessary to change seating to accommodate social distancing for patrons.

Bars were among the first Wisconsin businesses forced to close in March in an attempt to curb the pandemic. On May 13, the day the state Supreme Court struck down Gov. Tony Evers’ stay-at-home order and allowed businesses re-open, people headed out to reclaim their favorite barstools. In Madison, limited indoor capacity led to long lines outside with little social distance. Cases in Dane County spiked, and health officials banned indoor bar service there again July 1.
Other states are facing similar challenges. But few — if any — are places where bars and the drinking culture is so intertwined with the state's identity.
In 2017, the most recent year available, the state had one liquor license for every 339 people, or 17,100 licenses in all. According to the 2018 federal Behavioral Risk Factor Survey, 62.8% of Wisconsin adults said yes when asked if they had consumed at least one alcoholic drink in the past 30 days.
That was higher than every state except Massachusetts.

A Waukesha School Board member swore at a resident during a recent public meeting

From JSOnline:

Alec Johnson
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The Waukesha School Board and Waukesha School District are investigating which school board member swore at a resident following a public comment session of the board's July 8 meeting.
Ben Strong, a Waukesha resident, was speaking to the board about why he thought the district should end its school resource officer agreement with the Waukesha Police Department, as had several residents who spoke during the public comment period.
Such contracts and other public spending on police have come under intense scrutiny following the death of George Floyd and subsequent protests against racism and police brutality.
After Strong finished speaking and was walking away from the podium, the video's audio captured one of the board members referring to him as an "asshole." Soon after, a video clip of the incident circulated on social media. It's unclear which board member made the comment, but it was not Joseph Como, the school board's president, because Como was speaking to Strong as the comment was whispered.
It wasn't until after the meeting that Strong said he became aware of the incident. 
"It's kind of funny because even before I saw the clip, I watched my speaking portion on the livestream and I still didn't hear it then because it was quiet. It wasn't until someone actually pointed it out to me that I was like 'oh wow, he called me an a-hole,' " said Strong.
Strong, who initially had not planned to attend the meeting, said the comment was representative of where the values and principles of the Waukesha School Board lie right now.
"They never really (approved the SRO contracts) with the consent of the parents or the students or the teachers or the people who actually have to deal with the SROs," Strong said. "They just went ahead and did it above their heads, and whenever someone like me, one of the community members, actually came in and wanted to talk about it, I got called an a-hole."
The district has a roughly $2.16 million contract with the police department to provide SROs. That's enough money to hire six full-time social workers, Strong said.
Waukesha School District Superintendent James Sebert said he and Como are aware of the comment and have been trying to determine who said it. Sebert said as a general practice, school board members do not publicly comment during that portion of the meeting.
"We are working with our Technology Department to see if we can ascertain where the comment originated," Sebert wrote in an email to Waukesha County Now. "As a District and as a Board, we value listening to our constituents."
"I'm a big proponent of free speech all around," Strong said. "So if he wants to call me an a-hole on the mic, recorded, in front of the entire community, it's really up to the community to decide — 'hey, should we keep this guy or should we not?' "
Contact Alec Johnson at (262) 875-9469 or Follow him on Twitter at @AlecJohnson12.

Absentee ballots didn't get counted because of late delivery, misdelivery and bad postmarks, post office says

From JSOnline:

Patrick Marley
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

MADISON - The U.S. Postal Service has identified hundreds of absentee ballots for the April election that never made it to voters or couldn't be counted because of postmark problems, a new report says. 
The post office's internal watchdog chalked the problems up to receiving outgoing absentee ballots at the last moment from election officials, inconsistent postmarking of ballots and one mail carrier's inattention to getting absentee ballots to voters in Fox Point. 
The 17-page report by the postal service's inspector general accounts for some but not all of the problems that marred voting for the April election for state Supreme Court. Nearly 1 million people turned to mail voting because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The report offers a cautionary tale for Wisconsin and other states as election officials brace for record-shattering absentee ballot requests this fall. 
Clerks and voters across Wisconsin reported a host of problems, and the inspector general's report touches on four of them. 
Read more:

"...and one mail carrier's inattention to getting absentee ballots to voters in Fox Point."

How much you want to bet that the mail carrier is still working, at full pay?  The Post Office doesn't care about us.

Some restrictions lifted as city announces it is moving into next phase of 'Safer Racine'

From The Journal

RACINE — The City of Racine is moving into the next phase of its contested “Safer Racine” ordinance, the city Public Health Department announced just after noon Friday.

“Restrictions have been loosened to the benefit of all, but can quickly result in more harm than good. Individual residents and businesses choosing not to engage in a unified response will only put our community in danger,” City of Racine Public Health Administrator Dottie-Kay Bowersox said in a statement. “There is no doubt that the necessary policies taken to limit the spread of the disease have caused adverse fiscal and day-to-day living challenges for Racine businesses and residents.”

What this means

Restrictions were able to be lifted, Bowersox said, because:

  • The Health Department has been able to quickly notify people with positive tests.
  • Personal protective equipment has been accessible.
  • The daily percentage of positive tests has not been spiking as it has remained near 10 percent over the past two weeks.
  • “Health care resources continue to remain stable.”

Changes being implemented in Phase 2 include:

  • Interaction between different groups/classrooms at child care centers, day camps and other summer programs is now allowed.
  • Gyms and other indoor recreational facilities can now allow in 50% of their normal indoor capacity so long as six feet of social distancing could be maintained; previously the maximum was 25% or 10 individuals, whichever is greater.
  • Churches and other places of worship can now allow in up to 50% of their indoor capacity.
  • Outdoor playgrounds and skateboard parks can be open.
  • Swimming pools, previously limited to 10 people at a time, can now allow up to 25% of their total capacity.
  • “Indoor places of arts and culture,” such as movie theaters and museums, are allowed to have up to 50% of their total capacity.
  • “Outdoor places of amusement and activity,” such as zoos and farmers markets, are no longer limited to 1,000 visitors per day. Up to 100 people can attend special events, so long as social distancing can remain.
  • Public parking lots and bathrooms at beaches and parks can be fully open.

Things that haven’t changed include:

  • Rules regarding restaurants, such as a limit to 50% capacity, have not changed.
  • Splash pads must remain closed.
  • “High-risk recreational activities” like football, basketball, soccer, volleyball and basketball are still not allowed.
  • Hotels, tattoo parlors, hair salons, cleaning services and

Read more:

Judge Piontek upholds RUSD referendum recount

From The Journal


RACINE — Racine County Circuit Court Judge Michael Piontek has decided to uphold the findings of the Racine Unified School District referendum recount, though opponents who appealed the recount have already stated they plan to file another appeal to a higher court.
On Friday, Piontek issued a decision in support of the RUSD Board of Canvassers’ final tally of 16,715 votes in favor of the April referendum and 16,710 votes in opposition.
“The Court finds that a full, fair transparent and accurate recount occurred,” Piontek’s decision stated.
“We are pleased that Judge Piontek upheld the recount and we now look forward to moving ahead,” said RUSD spokesperson Stacy Tapp by email. “This referendum will transform our district and support excellent learning opportunities for Racine students for years and years to come. Now more than ever, we recognize the need for modern learning spaces and technology for all students.
One of the plaintiffs in the case, Dennis Montey, said he plans to appeal Piontek’s decision.
“Not only should Piontek have recused himself in this matter, due to his previously serving on the School Board as well as an official position at Horlick High School, but he also refused to consider solid evidence, as corroborated by videos supplied by RUSD,” Montey stated in an email. “He has failed to serve justice in the case and showed obvious bias from the beginning. You can expect an appeal to be made in hopes this appeal will fall into the hands of a more thorough and fair judge.”
Piontek in the past volunteered with Horlick High School parent organizations.
Piontek also dismissed the petitions by James McClain to either intervene in the case or for Piontek to recuse himself, stating they were found to be “without merit.”

Judge Piontek is upholding the great Racine tradition of tainted jurisprudence.  Party on, lying pigs! 

Open Blog - Weekend

And tomorrow.

Friday, July 10, 2020

'We'll paint it again with better paint': City removes 'Defund the Police' mural on Water Street

From JSOnline:

Ricardo Torres
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

DPW workers use pressure washers to remove the mural.
Michael Sears / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

City Department of Public Works employees were up early on a rainy Friday morning removing the words “defund the police” from Water Street directly across from City Hall.  
The Department of Public Works' decision to remove the mural, officials said in a news release Thursday, was "solely about safety." City officials said the mural's paint obscures traffic lines and has been slick when wet.
“The message painted on Water Street has been heard loud and clear by policy makers in city government, and the Department of Public Works has no intention to diminish the voices calling for change,” said Commissioner of Public Works Jeff Polenske.
The city worked with activists and others to paint "Black Lives Matter" at the intersection of West Locust Street and North King Drive. Meanwhile, the Common Council has asked the city budget office to examine what a 10% reduction to the Milwaukee Police Department budget would look like.
The "defund the police" message was painted on the street by protesters on July 1 without the city’s permission. Several police officers were on hand to help block the street as workers used chemicals, push brooms and high-powered hoses to scrub away the words.
Activists protesting racial inequality and police brutality have clashed with law enforcement multiple times over the last two months. However, the majority of the marches and events have been peaceful.  
Only one protester was present for the mural removal, Frank Sensabaugh, who goes by the nickname Frank Nitty. 
Sensabaugh said the city released more precise guidelines if activists want to paint the message again.
“We’ll paint it again with better paint,” Sensabaugh said, noting he plans to make sure the new mural will abide by the guidelines. “I’m a fair guy. We’ll do a non-slip mural.” 

Four for Fridays

Here are your questions:

1)  Have you been laid-off because of COVID-19?

2)  Have you changed your vacation plans because of the coronavirus?

3)  Are you wearing a mask and practicing social distancing?

4)  Do you know anyone who has or has had COVID-19?

Sumner is here!  Enjoy what you can.

Racine Police Chief Art Howell to retire at year's end

From The Journal

RACINE — After 36 years with the Racine Police Department and eight years as Chief, Art Howell announced he plans to retire at the end of the year.
“It is hard to overstate the importance of Art Howell’s contributions to Racine and the Police Department. His leadership within the community has been transformative,” Racine Mayor Cory Mason stated in an email. “He has been a trusted advisor to me as Mayor and I consider him a dear friend. There will eventually be a new Chief of Police, but there will never be another Chief Howell.”
During Howell’s time with the force, the City of Racine has seen a significant drop in violent crime: During a recent presentation with the Mayor’s Task Force on Police Reform, Howell showed that the city in 2019 had the lowest violent crime rate in 55 years. He’s also credited with the continued growth of community policing and cooperation between law enforcement agencies in Racine County.
But Howell’s tenure has had its share of challenges, including: the killing by officers of Donte Shannon, a young Black man; a study showing low morale on the department; and the slaying of Officer John Hetland last year.
In a letter to the Police and Fire Commission, Howell stated that his retirement would be effective Dec. 31 unless a successor is found sooner. Howell said his goals in the meantime include working to restore of the Thelma Orr COP House, upgrade the West Sixth Street COP House and completion of the COP Playbook. Howell also plans to continue working with the Mayor’s Task Force on Police Reform.

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Racine County Farmer’s Markets

From Racine County Eye:

Lizz Fabel, the Bread Lady, serves up some of her homemade breads at Milaeger's winter farmers market on Sunday.

Farmer’s markets preserve rural livelihoods and farmland, stimulate local economies, increase access to fresh and nutritious food, support healthy communities, and promote sustainability. Racine County has many farmer’s markets that bring fresh, locally-grown food to the community. Check out our list below.
Borzynski’s Farm & Floral Market
Tuesday – Friday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
11600 Washington Ave. Racine, WI
Burlington Farmer’s Market
Thursdays from 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Corner of Washington and Pine Streets, Burlington, WI
Caledonia Outdoor Market
Thursdays 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.
3920 N Green Bay Rd. Racine, WI
Milaeger’s Great Lakes Farmer’s Market
Sundays 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
4838 Douglas Ave. Racine, WI
Matt’s Produce Stand
Every day 8:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.
7120 Braun Rd. Racine, WI
Racine Farmer’s Market
Closed for 2020 season
1012 Main St. Racine, WI
Southshore Outdoor Market
Mondays 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
8505 Durand Ave. Sturtevant, WI
Union Grove Public Market
Tuesdays 2 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
4400 67th Dr. Union Grove, WI