Tear Gas Is Banned in War yet Philadelphia Police Used it on Unarmed People

Links

Mayor Jim Kenney approved tear gas use at Philly protests, officials say as City Council questions police response, at the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Is Tear Gas Banned for Use in Warfare?, at Scopes.

Tear Gas Is Way More Dangerous Than Police Let On — Especially During the Coronavirus Pandemic, at ProPublica.

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‘Cops’ cancelled, what about ‘Live PD’?

Pixabay License: Free for commercial use, No attribution required.

After over 30 years on TV Cops has been cancelled in the wake of the BLM protests over police brutality. What about Live PD? I never watched it much but it seems to me it’s in the same vein as Cops.

Links:

TV show Cops, criticized for glorifying police aggression, cancelled after 32 seasons, at The Guardian.

Live PD, at A & E’s web site.

UPDATE ‘Live PD’ Canceled By A&E Amid Ongoing Protests Against Police Brutality – Deadline.com

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Finally! John Oliver spends his entire show explaining HBO Max – I thoroughly understand it now.

Just kidding, he spends his entire show on the police:

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Tom Morello carries on in the spirit of The Clash and Joe Strummer

Links

Tom Morello at Wikipedia

TomMorello.com

Tom Morello at Twitter: @TMorello

Tom Morello on Facebook

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Baseball Is Slowly Dying

Pixabay License: Free for commercial use, No attribution required.

While the NBA and NHL have plans to restart games is a few weeks and the NFL plans to start their regular season on time (with plans for a delayed start or with no or fewer fans at games), Major League Baseball still has no real plan in place. The owners and players can’t even agree on how many games to play. Many people, including me, are beginning to wonder if MLB will play games at all this year.

I don’t know why, but baseball has aired its dirty laundry while negotiating much more so than the other three sports. It makes both sides look bad, like all they care about is themselves. And as usual the people that really get hurt are those not making a lot of money. Most teams have tried to keep paying their office employees but it seems most have taken pay cuts. Minor league players in a lot of cases just get cast aside – f*ck’em, I guess?

Do you know who’s looking good in all of this? Player agents, or at least one of them. In much of sports, agents are usually the scapegoat. They’re mostly nameless and faceless people that everyone – owners, players, journalists, fans – can just dump on. But as teams are releasing minor league players guess who has stepped up to pay some of them? An agent, Scott Boras, said he will pay the minor league players that he represents.

It’s a smart move on his part – if baseball survives.

Links:

MLB rumors: Yankees release 45 minor leaguers amid coronavirus shutdown (UPDATE)

Agent Scott Boras will reportedly pay salaries of released minor league clients

Scott Boras at Wikipedia.

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Plymouth Meeting Mall May Not Survive the Next Year

The Plymouth Meeting Mall was just hanging on with restaurants scattered outside in the parking lots and activity-based businesses inside (Legoland, Dave & Busters, etc.) but the latest economic downturn may do it in. The owner owes hundreds of millions of dollars due in the next few years.

The PMM recently opened several stores in the space formerly occupied by Macy’s (and before that Strawbridge’s). So things were looking up – and then this. The mall sits on valuable land. It’s just a few miles from Philadelphia in Montgomery County, one of the wealthiest counties in Pennsylvania.

Who knows how this will play out? There is a Whole Foods store already there so maybe Amazon could use the mall as a warehouse distribution center? An on ramp to the Blue Route / Northeast Extension is less than a mile away.

Link at MontCo.Today: Owner of Plymouth Meeting and Willow Grove Malls Unsure of Its Ability to Survive Over Next Year .

Photo Credit: Pixabay License, Free for commercial use, No attribution required. Note: Photo is NOT of Plymouth Meeting Mall.

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DRM as Digital Feudalism

Cory Doctorow photo by Jonathan Worth http://jonathanworth.com, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link

Cory Doctorow has an article in Locus magazine titled DRM Broke Its Promise. If you’re already familiar with the evils of Digital Rights Management then there isn’t really anything new here but this is the first time I’ve heard it compared to feudalism.

From Wikipedia: “Cory Efram Doctorow is a Canadian-British blogger, journalist, and science fiction author who serves as co-editor of the blog Boing Boing. He is an activist in favour of liberalising copyright laws and a proponent of the Creative Commons organization, using some of their licences for his books. Some common themes of his work include digital rights management, file sharing, and post-scarcity economics.”

You can learn more about DRM at DefectiveByDesign.org : “We are a participatory and grassroots campaign exposing DRM-encumbered devices and media for what they really are: Defective by Design. We are working together to eliminate DRM as a threat to innovation in media, the privacy of readers, and freedom for computer users.”

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Wife, Rights Organizations Remember Missing Lao Activist on International Day of the Disappeared

Sombath Somphone, a Lao activist who has been missing for seven years amid stonewalling by his country’s communist government, was commemorated in Bangkok on Friday, the International Day for the Victims of Enforced Disappearances.

Sombath Somphone disappeared on Dec. 15, 2012, when police stopped him in his vehicle at a checkpoint on the outskirts of Vientiane. He was then transferred to another vehicle, according to a police surveillance video, and has not been heard from since.

Full article.

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Can David Spade claim the time slot following ‘The Daily Show’?

Lights Out with David Spade, M-Th, 11:30pm, on Comedy Central.

Last night David Spade began Lights Out, his new show on Comedy Central. It immediately follows The Daily Show with Trevor Noah at 11:30pm ET. This is the spot The Colbert Report occupied before Stephen Colbert jumped over to CBS. Two previous attempts to take over this time period have failed. Can David Spade succeed where Larry Wilmore and Jordan Klepper failed?

I have my doubts and it’s not just because I really don’t care for the guy. His problem is that millennials make up a good portion of Trevor Noah’s audience and Spade is a baby boomer, sworn enemies of the millennials. So what was Comedy Central thinking in giving him a chance? Well I can only guess that it’s his 1.7 million followers on Instagram, a well-known millennial social media app.

Wait, there’s more. On the ‘gram he does short comedic videos. Plus Spade has been in show business so long that he must still have some famous friends that can have pity on him and guest on Lights Out, right? Hopefully his followers are mostly millennials and not Gen Xers.

What is the format of Lights Out? Going by the premier episode, David Spade starts the show by walking on stage past his guests to do a short stand-up routine / opening monologue. Last night his guests heckled him a bit though I don’t think that this will be a feature of the show. Then he sits with his panel of guests and they talk about pop culture events that are in the news – but NO politics. There was a brief prerecorded skit before the ending, which just sort of ended. Spade said the prepared ending had to be scrapped for some reason.

The “No politics” rule will appeal to millennials in general but those that watch The Daily show with Trevor Noah probably are interested in politics a little bit. Another thing about millenials, they don’t like mean people and David Spades’ jokes sometimes come across as mean. Mean people suck!

David Spade has three months to claim this time slot, he’s got a tough road ahead of himself.


Further Reading

Amy Schumer, Dana Carvey Among First-Week Guests for David Spade’s ‘Lights Out’ on Comedy Central (The Wrap)

David Spade Is Back on TV, Even Though He Never Left (NY Times)

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‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ well-done but familiar story

Bohemian Rhapsody has been out for a while now so you’ve probably heard how good it is. And it’s just about as good as everyone is saying. Rami Malek is simply great as Freddie Mercury, the lead singer for Queen. It’s hard to believe he’s the same actor who starred in Mr. Robot (a TV show also worth watching). The rest of the cast is good too (Aiden Gillen, Littlefinger from Game of Thrones, has a small role but does a good job with it).

The movie is over 2 hours long but it never feels like it’s dragging. The director and editor skillfully mix together several aspects of Freddie’s life to keep the story from getting boring. So we see him interacting with family, bandmates, record executives, friends, and lovers. Also this film is well shot, there are lots of interesting perspectives scattered throughout. The camera wasn’t just set-up in front of the actors.

My only (slight) problem with Bohemian Rhapsody is that it all seems so familiar. Band formed by a bunch of social outcasts who want to bring their unique sound to the masses; some powerful and influential people say that it’ll never happen; band persists and achieves stardom anyway; now there are fights amongst band members over all sorts of things – money, drugs, artistic direction of the music, girlfriends, touring, etc.; then the band breaks up or calls a hiatus for a while; band regroups for a triumphant return; end on a high note … yes, I just described Bohemian Rhapsody but this same storyline has been repeated over and over again by just about every rockumentary since MTV began in the early 1980s.

All of this is to say, if you haven’t seen Bohemian Rhapsody yet then you should definitely put it on your To Be Seen list.

Bonus Material on Disc

  • The complete Live Aid movie performance, not seen in theaters (DVD & Blu-ray)
  • Rami Malek: Becoming Freddie (Blu-ray only)
  • The Look and Sound of Queen (Blu-ray only)
  • Recreating Live Aid (Blu-ray only)

The Blu-ray special features are well worth watching. All together the extra material runs about an hour.

Links

Rotten Tomatoes: the audience liked it much more than the critics.

IMDb: rated 8.1 / 10.

Amazon (my affiliate link): over 2,400 reviews, 83% are 5 stars.

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