Is requiring phone charger uniformity a good idea?

The European Union is planning to require uniformity in phone cord chargers.

The European Union announced plans Thursday to require the smartphone industry to adopt a uniform charging cord for mobile devices, a push that could eliminate the all-too-familiar experience of rummaging through a drawer full of tangled cables to find the right one.

The European Commission, the bloc’s executive arm, proposed legislation that would mandate USB-C cables for charging, technology that many device makers have already adopted. The main holdout is Apple, which said it was concerned the new rules would limit innovation, and that would end up hurting consumers. iPhones come with the company’s own Lightning charging port, though the newest models come with cables that can be plugged into a USB-C socket.

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This was so sad and so unnecessary

Watch as 67-year old Joe McCarron, hospitalized with Covid-19 in Ireland, is urged by a fanatical anti-vaxxer and covid-denier to check himself out of the hospital while a doctor calmly, kindly, and patiently explains why that would not be a good idea for someone in his condition and urges him to stay, saying that he was very ill and could die if he went home. But the person with McCarron badgered him to leave and he finally acquiesced. Two days later, he was back in the hospital with breathing problems and subsequently died.

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I do not think that word means what you think it means

Jordan Klepper continues his journey among the vaccine deniers and MAGAheads. He went to meetings of local school boards which have become the new focal point of the anti-maskers who have been using the public comments portion of the meetings to vent their feverish conspiracy theories. I linked to a compilation of those comments recently.

One of the things I noticed in the Klepper video below is that a couple of the people rationalized their weird beliefs by saying that they had done ‘research’ on it. They seem to think that the scientific-sounding word ‘research’ means finding some sources on the internet that support their beliefs, rather than an evaluation of actual research results supported by empirical data that has been done and carefully analyzed by credible experts.

The new slogan of those opposed to any anti-Covid 19 measures for children that are mandated by the government seems to be “I don’t co-parent with the government”.

I did learn something new, and that is that Satanist rituals involve people wearing masks and standing six feet apart from each other. What more evidence do you need that masks and physical distancing are evil? Wake up, sheeple!

Patriotic symbolism as theater

I was chatting at my local bridge club with a visiting couple from out of town and they mentioned that they do not watch sports because of the protests during the playing of the national anthem. As long time readers of this blog know, I think patriotism is a bad thing and so am not a fan of the symbols used to promote it such as national anthems or flags. But in the US, those two symbols are fetishized as being somehow sacred and any sign of disrespect is enough to bring down strong disapproval. Look at how football players kneeling during the national anthem created such a brouhaha.
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The Arizona audit fiasco

The much-ballyhooed ‘audit’ of the presidential election results in Maricopa county in Arizona that Joe Biden won by a huge margin is over. It appears that even though this ‘audit’ was done by a highly partisan Trump-supporting group under the most dubious of conditions, the results were unchanged and that buried in the report is the information that Biden’s lead actually increased by a small amount.

This must have been a huge disappointment to Trump and his cult members who had been banking on their delusion that Trump won would be validated. The report managed to obfuscate its findings with other falsehoods that the cult has seized on to pursue similar audits in the other states that Biden won in 2020 that Trump won in 2016.
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Why can’t Israel pay for the Iron Dome?

The US Congress as usual falls over itself in its eagerness to provide aid to Israel, with both parties competing to see which can be more generous to that apartheid state. But recently, progressives in the Democratic party have started balking at this largesse.

The top House Democrat on Appropriations introduced a bill on Wednesday that would provide $1 billion for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system, after the funding was abruptly pulled from a government funding package Tuesday.

Democrats were forced to toss the money from a stopgap spending bill aimed at avoiding a government shutdown at the end of the month amid objections from progressives. The incident, which temporarily derailed a vote on the continuing resolution, illustrated the long-simmering internal tensions within the party over supporting Israel, a longtime U.S. ally in the Middle East.

Iron Dome, which is built by a joint venture of U.S. defense contractor Raytheon Technologies and Israeli firm Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, enjoys wide support on Capitol Hill. The U.S. has consistently funded the missile defense system on a bipartisan basis to help Israel defend itself against rocket attacks from terrorist groups in Gaza, including Hamas.

But those funding efforts have faced progressive resistance in recent years, with more liberal members of the party demanding that U.S. military aid to Israel be conditions-based. Their push has frustrated moderate Democrats, who worry about being portrayed as anti-Israel.

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‘Blessed’ water does not prevent Covid-19

Thanks to blog readers Donnie B. and Brian, I learned that a Sri Lankan who claimed that he had a way to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus by using water that he had ‘blessed’, has died from the disease. He had received support from several high profile figures, including the prime minister who is also a former president.

A high-profile shaman who tried to end Sri Lanka’s COVID-19 outbreak with “blessed” water has died of the virus, according to his family.

Eliyantha White, 48, who treated sports stars and top politicians, including the country’s prime minister, claimed in November he could end the pandemic in Sri Lanka and neighbouring India by pouring pots of his “blessed” water into rivers.

Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi endorsed the water treatment, but was infected two months later and ended up in a hospital intensive care unit.

She was later demoted and lost her portfolio, but remains in the cabinet.

White attracted international attention in 2010 when legendary Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar publicly thanked him for treating a knee injury, saying it helped him hit the first-ever one-day international double century against South Africa.
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Pandemic paradox: Less driving, more traffic deaths

Accidents involving cars are one of the biggest sources of deaths in the US. The last year has seen a seeming paradox. While the pandemic resulted in fewer cars on the road and fewer miles driven the number of traffic-related accident fatalities actually increased.

It’s a public health crisis in any year, and somehow, the pandemic has only made it more acute. Even as Americans have been driving less in the past year or so, car crash deaths (including both occupants of vehicles and pedestrians) have surged.

Cars killed 42,060 people in 2020, up from 39,107 in 2019, according to a preliminary estimate from the National Safety Council (NSC), a nonprofit that focuses on eliminating preventable deaths.
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How the Israeli Defense Forces terrorize Palestinians

When there is open conflict between Israel and the people of the Occupied Territories, we can see the terror unleashed by the US-supported Israeli military machine on a largely defenseless Palestinian population. What is not seen is the terror inflicted on a routine basis. A new report by human rights groups describes what that is like.

“A Life Exposed,” a new report produced jointly by human rights organizations Yesh Din, Breaking the Silence, and Physicians for Human Rights Israel, shines a spotlight on just one such indignity: the Israeli military’s practice of arbitrary home invasions, or raids, in the West Bank.

When carried out within Israel’s pre-1967 borders, such actions require having a warrant or probable cause, and are subject to a host of other rules and regulations of the sort democratic societies usually mandate. But the Israel Defense Force (IDF) is free to barge into a Palestinian home in the occupied Palestinian territories without any of those, effectively for any reason and at any time, regardless of whether the action produces any results. These reasons include arresting someone; looking for money, weapons, and other objects; seizing a property for military operations; and “mapping” — gathering information about a home’s physical layout and the people who live there, a practice that was recently barred after years of outrage.
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