In case you ever doubted that Uber was evil

I never doubted it, but now the CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, confirms it for us all. He was asked about the fact that Saudi Arabia was the 5th largest shareholder and that a Saudi representative has a seat on their board, and then asked whether that was appropriate, since they’d murdered an American reporter, Jamal Khashoggi. Khosrowshahi made an amazing excuse.

I think that that government said that they made a mistake. It’s a serious mistake. We’ve made mistakes, too, with self-driving and we stopped driving and we’re recovering from that mistake. People make mistakes. It doesn’t mean that they can never be forgiven. I think they’ve taken it seriously.

If you’ve forgotten, Jamal Khashoggi was a dissident who was murdered by agents of crown prince, Mohammad bin Salman. He was tortured and dismembered and murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul about a year ago.

Whoopsie. Just a little mistake.

I don’t know whether Uber is trying to confess that their “mistake” with self-driving cars that killed a pedestrian was equivalent to willfully sending thugs with bone-saws to hack someone to death, or whether he thinks that team of 15 Saudi hit-men who dragged Khashoggi into a room accidentally tortured him, accidentally slipped with a saw and accidentally chopped off his arms and legs, accidentally cleaned up the resultant mess, and accidentally lied for weeks about what had happened. I wonder if he thinks their atrocities in Yemen are also accidents?

That Uber has such a flexible definition of “accident” would worry me if I relied on their service.

Don’t worry, though. Khosrowshahi afterwards called up the reporters to say he misspoke, he didn’t mean to reveal what he really thought of Saudi assassins. It was an accident.

Not even a wire monkey

This is tough to listen to. I’m a 60 year old geezer, for gosh sakes, and I was tearing up.

But apparently the kind of thug you hire to guard six year olds in cages is made of sterner stuff.

The baritone voice of a Border Patrol agent booms above the crying. “Well, we have an orchestra here,” he jokes. “What’s missing is a conductor.”

Motherfucker.

I have no illusions that the joker feels any guilt at all. We can only hope the whole lot of them is brought on trial for crimes against humanity — everyone, from dumbass guards to the scumbag at the top.

Dr. Colleen Kraft, the head of the American Academy of Pediatrics, said that she visited a small shelter in Texas recently, which she declined to identity. A toddler inside the 60-bed facility caught her eye — she was crying uncontrollably and pounding her little fists on mat.

Staff members tried to console the child, who looked to be about 2 years old, Kraft said. She had been taken from her mother the night before and brought to the shelter.

The staff gave her books and toys — but they weren’t allowed to pick her up, to hold her or hug her to try to calm her. As a rule, staff aren’t allowed to touch the children there, she said.

Look up Harlow’s monkeys. The inhumanity of what we’re doing to these children is unforgivable.

I know that every American administration, including the previous one, has exhibited this insensitivity — but this takes evil behavior to a level where it is an end in itself.

Guess the crime!

Bruno Fernandes de Souza is a soccer player, and he is confident that he is not a bad guy. What crime do you think he committed to warrant a few years in prison?

In his first major interview since being released from prison, 32-year-old Bruno Fernandes de Souza said: “What happened, happened. I made a mistake, a serious one, but mistakes happens in life – I’m not a bad guy.”

Brazilian goalkeeper who ordered woman’s murder returns to football
“People tried to bury my dream because of one mistake, but I asked God for forgiveness, so I’m carrying on with my career, dude,” he said, according to the Guardian.

God forgave him, and he’s already landed a contract with a team. How bad can it be?

Answer below the fold.

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A University of Minnesota student did that

The first words that caught my eye were the words “University of Minnesota student”. The second words were “pleads guilty to rape charges”. I read the story anyway and was horrified. It includes the full victim’s statement, and it was gut-rending. I can’t quite imagine the mind of Daniel Drill-Mellum — how can he do what he did to that woman? How can anyone cause that much pain to anyone?

Don’t read it. I regret having done so.

But there is one somewhat milder piece of the story that jumped out at me. The rapist was an acquaintance, as they often are, and a friend, the kind of friend you call after a traumatic experience, had praised the guy and acknowledged, after the fact, that Drill-Mellum had hurt other women before.

I remember stumbling out of the apartment and running in fear, thinking that he would surely come after me. That feeling still sticks with me to this day. I first texted a friend to come and get me, and then called another. The friend who, earlier in the day, told me, “I love Dan”. This friend answered the phone to me sobbing uncontrollably and said “don’t even say a word, I know what happened. He raped my friend too”. In the months to come, I would become angry about this statement, and the fact that this wasn’t the first time he had done this to someone, but at the time I was just happy that he had said “rape” so that I didn’t have to. I had no words for what I had just experienced, and I still don’t.

How do you do that, too? I hope this “friend” is also feeling some fraction of the guilt that ought to be wracking him right now.

Why would anyone shoot up a social services building?

I know the gun-fondlers are all cowards hiding behind their weapons, but charging in to kill 12 people at a building that provides assistance to developmentally disabled people? WHY? It’s as if they decided to target the weakest people in society needing the greatest help.

<insert vague and futile expression of hope that this tragic crime will finally motivate government to crack down on the folly, a hope that will never be fulfilled and will only produce more cynicism and despair>

Don’t go under Duntsch’s knife!

duntsch

If this man is your doctor, run away. Christopher Duntsch is terrifyingly incompetent.

Duntsch arrived in Dallas in 2010 to start a neurosurgery practice. In the course of the next three years he would work at several different hospitals, earning infamy for his haphazard surgical technique wherever he went, according to the Texas Observer. His colleagues described him in the harshest superlatives: “worst surgeon I’ve ever seen,” “sociopath.”

“I couldn’t believe a trained surgeon could do this,” Robert Henderson, another surgeon at Dallas Medical Center, where Duntsch performed several operations, told the Observer. “He just had no recognition of the proper anatomy. He had no idea what he was doing. At every step of the way, you would have to know the right thing to do so you could do the wrong thing, because he did all the wrong things.”

In one case, authorities allege, Duntsch operated on his roommate and friend after a night of using cocaine. The man emerged from the operation a quadriplegic. In another, he purposefully left a surgical sponge inside a man’s body. During that surgery, a fellow doctor forced Duntsch to stop operating because of his “unacceptable” technique, the Dallas Morning News reported, citing a search warrant affidavit.

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The Ferguson law enforcement system was worse than I ever imagined

I’ve been reading the Ferguson report. It’s a horror. Every page documents an appalling violation of the whole purpose of having a police force: these people weren’t there to serve and protect, they were there to skim off as much cream from the community as they could. This wasn’t a police department, it was a racist extortion racket, oozing corruption.

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Torture is bad science

Martin Robbins writes about how the US got suckered into playing torturer to the world. One reason is that we live in a culture that seems to celebrate torture: there sure are a lot of people wearing representations of an ancient torture device, where audiences will happily sit for hours watching torture porn in the guise of a religious movie, and where TV pretends that torture works every time as a way of getting results.

But here’s the thing: torture doesn’t work. Reason and evidence together ought to tell you that.

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