Reason Roundup

D.C. Weddings Only Permitted If No One Stands or Dances

Plus: Woke CIA ads, Zillow's antitrust woes, and more...

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Continued coronavirus restrictions aren't commensurate to risk. With the COVID-19 vaccine now widely available in the U.S., nearly any adult who wants to protect himself can, while anyone who doesn't get vaccinated is making a choice to face heightened risk. And despite slowing vaccination rates, we're still seeing encouraging signs. For instance, "Los Angeles County public health authorities on Sunday reported no new deaths related to COVID-19," the Los Angeles Times notes, and the single-day infection rate in New York state dropped below 1.5 percent on Saturday. Overall, "42 states and D.C. report[ed] lower caseloads for the past two weeks," The Washington Post reported last Friday.

Yet some authorities continue to impose strict rules on not just public spaces but private events, too.

Take Washington, D.C., which announced last week that "with the increased vaccination of DC residents and essential workers, and continued cooperation with the District's public health measures and guidance, several restrictions may be further loosened this spring." Yet the District's rules remain weird and seemingly arbitrary.

In D.C., up to 250 people may attend weddings "and special non-recurring events" if venues are not at more than 25 percent capacity.

However, wedding guests must remain seated at all times. It doesn't matter if events are indoors or outdoors, if people are vaccinated, if they're wearing masks, or what other individual circumstances pertain—"standing and dancing receptions are not allowed" and "attendees and guests must remain seated and socially distanced from each other or other household groups."

This is just one of many D.C. restrictions that seems to be based on superstition more than science and makes little sense from a public health perspective.

In general, the city forbids private indoor gatherings of more than 10 people and private outdoor gatherings of more than 50 people. Yet it will also allow up to 25 people at a time on guided indoor tours of museums. So, gathering inside a home with a dozen close friends or family members whose vaccination status you know is not OK, but being in close proximity to more than two dozen strangers on a museum tour is?

Meanwhile, up to 250 people (not including staff) are permitted at "regional business meetings and conventions" and up to 500 people at concert and entertainment venues, so long as these spaces are not over 25 percent capacity.

D.C. and other U.S. cities pale in comparison to Canadian craziness right now, however. In Canada, scientists and doctors are preaching that vaccinations are not enough, nor are provinces' partial lockdowns and business restrictions.

"A maximum infection suppression strategy implemented early in the epidemic to reduce COVID cases to as low a level as possible, and then stamp out outbreaks as they arise, would have saved tens of thousands of Canadian lives. This approach, with some modifications, remains the best strategy right now," they write in an open letter published in Maclean's.


FREE MINDS

The CIA is banking on trendy progressive rhetoric to recruit a new generation of spies and snoops: 


FREE MARKETS

Real estate listing site Zillow could face extermination at the hands of an antitrust lawsuit. Politico explains:

Real estate startup REX has asked a federal court to force Zillow and its subsidiary Trulia to stop separating homes for sale into two groups — those listed by brokers who belong to the National Association of Realtors and those listed by others. But contractual restrictions require Zillow to segregate the listings, the company said.

"REX's proposed injunction creates a substantial risk that Zillow's online platforms would lose access to listings data in markets across the country," Zillow said in court documents, adding that that "runs the risk that Zillow could lose access to the data entirely, irreparably damaging its business."


QUICK HITS

• America's forgotten history of supervised opioid injection sites.

• NBC News looks at how new census numbers will affect political representation:

Texas added two seats to bring its number of members to 38 and its electoral vote tally to 40. And five states—Colorado, Florida, Montana, North Carolina and Oregon—saw smaller gains, all adding one seat each.

And what the census giveth, it also taketh away. On the other side of the ledger seven states each lost one seat and one electoral vote.

• Politicians in the Texas city of Lubbock "voted Saturday to ban abortions within city limits and allow residents to sue abortion providers and anyone else who assists a person obtain abortion services."

• "Despite their professed goals, Democrats' pandemic policies have widened disparities between races, classes, and genders," writes Reason's Matt Welch.

• CVS and Walgreens have let a lot of vaccine doses go to waste:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recorded 182,874 wasted doses as of late March, three months into the country's effort to vaccinate the masses against the coronavirus. CVS was responsible for nearly half, and Walgreens was responsible for 21 percent, or nearly 128,500 wasted shots combined.

  • Columbus, Ohio, police get a rebuke from a federal judge, whose new order commands them "to stop using force including tear gas, pepper spray and rubber bullets against nonviolent protesters," NPR reports. "Judge Algenon Marbley of the Southern District of Ohio described the actions of the Columbus police as 'the sad tale of officers, clothed with the awesome power of the state, run amok.'"

NEXT: When Politics Makes It Impossible To Plan

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  1. D.C. Weddings Only Permitted if No One Stands or Dances

    Footloose II: Capitol Riot

    1. COVID nannies are the new Baptists.

      1. Baptists, especially in the South, are honestly pretty expressive.

        These people are more reminiscent of a mid-19th century American religious sect like the Oneida colony.

        1. Maybe, but Baylor U outlawed “dances” until 1996. And many alumni are still unhappy with that.

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    2. Considering the number of Blacks refusing vaccination, it almost seems sensible.

    3. Call it a protest wedding and break a few chairs and all will be legal

      1. You’re all invited to my BLM themed wedding. No black-face please.

        1. Very funny. I don’t know why you CACL’s insist on attributing rioting to BLM. I’ve proven time and time again that there is no relationship between the two.

          1. Well, what I actually have said is that Black Lives Matter, the organization, has not organized riots. They organize peaceful protests.

            That is the limit to what I have claimed. So, what are some of the words that people here have put in my mouth, that I have never said:
            – I have never said that rioters don’t sometimes wear Black Lives Matter t-shirts or carry “Black Lives Matter” signs.
            – I have never said that antifa doesn’t organize riots. They do. As I have said before, I despise antifa; long before George Floyd, antifa in Berkeley beat up my friend’s son.

            1. “Blah blah blah, I’m always right you ignorant hicks, Communism is the best, blah blah blah.” Shilling for BLM will not get you laid you douchnozzle.

    4. Give me that old time religion.

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  2. Los Angeles County public health authorities on Sunday reported no new deaths related to COVID-19…

    The lockdowns finally worked!

    1. Well, it was no new deaths reported and since it was a Sunday and all the government agencies are closed on weekends, it really shouldn’t be a surprise that there have been no new deaths reported.

      1. To me it reads that they did make a report on Sunday and that that report stated there were no new deaths. Seems like if it were the other thing, there would be a story like this every Sunday.

        1. I bet you are fun at parties.

    2. Hospitals reliant on COVID bonus reimbursements hardest hit.

    3. If you look at the infection trend versus death trend between California and Texas, you can see something is amiss. California is reporting a smooth asymptotic curve downward, and currently has an infection rate less than half that of Texas (1700 vs 4381 for their 7-day average). However, the current 7-day average death rate is 89 for California and only 53 for Texas.

      My only conclusion is that California is significantly underreporting their infection rate. Is this the STD reporting issue of fear of being found out as having violated quarantine? Or is it deliberate underreporting?

      Personally, the asymptote from California’s infection rate is just too smooth since the first week of January. It’s almost textbook, despite the large anti-vaccine movement, which has historically been very strong in California.

      1. Why are you assuming California is underreporting their infection rate rather than Texas underreporting their death rate?

  3. However, wedding guests must remain seated at all times. It doesn’t matter if events are indoors or outdoors, if people are vaccinated, if they’re wearing masks, or what other individual circumstances pertain…

    It never mattered.

    1. We exchanged basic personal freedoms for freedom from mean tweets. Worth it.

      1. I regret 2 things: that I didn’t sleep around more & that I wasn’t on TweetyBird to get my share of the mean tweets. It’s too late to remedy the first one but if Orange gets another term I’m goin’ to get me one of them there Twatter accounts or whatever they’re called and get me my share.

        1. Seconded.

  4. In Canada, scientists and doctors are preaching that vaccinations are not enough, nor are provinces’ partial lockdowns and business restrictions.

    Nuke it from orbit, eh?

    1. If they get their way, we’ll all be living in COVID-19 fallout shelters, eh.

      1. Piss off, White Knight.

  5. The CIA is banking on trendy progressive rhetoric to recruit a new generation of spies and snoops…

    This should spell the end of intersectionality nonsense… but it won’t.

    1. Good to know the CIA is continuing it’s history of hiring sociopaths.

      1. “You don’t have to be crazy to work here, but it helps!”

      2. As long as those sociopaths aren’t white men anymore it’s all good! /sarc

    2. “I am intersectional”

      I know what intersex is. That is a congenital medical condition. And I know what intersectional refers to generally:

      “Intersectionality is an analytical framework for understanding how aspects of a person’s social and political identities combine to create different modes of discrimination and privilege”

      But how can a person be intersectional? I mean, kinda definitionally everyone is, but I do not gather that this was the intention.

      1. It’s just bullshit. There are enough dimensions to people that if you do enough intersections, you find that everyone is a singular individual. Of course that’s not what people talking about intersectionality want to say, but it seems like the only logical conclusion.

        1. So intersectionality is a direct result of the combinatorial explosion of all our different gene phenotypes?

    3. Anybody that says they work for the CIA is lying.

  6. On the other side of the ledger seven states each lost one seat and one electoral vote.

    The Census, like the Electoral College itself, is white supremacy.

    1. ANY representative government is oppressive. Only commune-style direct democracy is fair (and only if the outcomes are equitable).

    2. Cruella DeBrown gave that short shrift. The biggest story of them all, and she basically glosses over it. That EC shift has implications.

  7. More bad #TrumpVirus news.

    After a Year of Loss, South America Suffers Worst Death Tolls Yet

    Fortunately Koch / Reason libertarianism provides the solution — we simply invite the entire population of South America to immigrate to the US. Besides being the humanitarian thing to do, this will also import plenty of cost-effective labor for billionaire employers like our benefactor Charles Koch.

    #OpenBorders
    #(EspeciallyDuringAPandemic)

    1. But what happens when those illegal immigrants get woke and start demanding a minimum wage of 15 pesos an hour?

      1. But they’ll take the $15/hr under the table so they don’t have to have payroll withholdings. The $15/hr for the rest of the folks is so that the public schools can get adequate funding through the increased taxes; the undocumented kids need the best education someone else can pay for.

      2. That’s when OpenBordersLiberal-tarian’s First Law kicks in. The Democrats who are in power will say “Aw shucks, we sure would like to raise the minimum wage, but…”

    2. I was tasked last week with visiting a customer – Koch Industries paper product manufacturing. I had practiced my high school spanish knowing that the facility would be overrun by low paid immigrants from south of the border.
      “Donde esta el bano?”
      “El machino is Kaput!”
      “Mas Cafe por favor”

      I also brought some old, banged up monacals for polishing. When I got to the facility, they didn’t even ask my ID as I walked past the big HELP WANTED signs. All the workers looked like northern Europeans with American accents?

      I was so confused that I did not even ask about the monacles.

      The factory was quite modern with all the latest safety features. Automation everywhere (that had issues but I worked through many on my companies equipment) and clean, well lit working area. I even saw air conditioning units on the top of the building. How could this be the sweat shop supporting Koch industries setting a bad example for libertarians everywhere.

  8. …and allow residents to sue abortion providers and anyone else who assists a person obtain abortion services.

    Without standing?

    1. Penumbras

    2. Not if they are at a wedding.

    3. The 1st Amendment is so passe’.

  9. Despite their professed goals, Democrats’ pandemic policies have widened disparities between races, classes, and genders…

    Professed? Why, Mr. Welch, whatever are you insinuating?

    1. He is insinuating “unintended consequences”.

      And he is wrong. The entire point is to create these divisions and disparities.

  10. CVS and Walgreens have let a lot of vaccine doses go to waste…

    Better the trash can then someone in the wrong caste.

    1. Right. Did they “let” a lot of vaccine go to waste or was a lot of vaccine wasted due to stupid government restrictions, and the enormous logistical nightmare they created?

      1. its not unusual for a government to force rules that cause waste then sue the company for the waste. Remember when California required MTBs in gasoline then sued the gas companies for having MTBs in the gas

      2. In my area, when we opened vaccines up for people besides first responders and medical professionals (tier 1a) and people over 65 and teachers (tier 1b), the Walgreens website still wouldn’t let you schedule an appointment unless you indicated that you were in Tier 1A. That was still the case about a month after they opened Tier 1B and a week after they opened Tier 2.

        1. Twice I was at the local grocery score and they had people looking for someone willing to use up a dose that would otherwise go to waste. I don’t think they found someone either time.

  11. Columbus, Ohio, police get a rebuke from a federal judge, whose new order commands them “to stop using force including tear gas, pepper spray and rubber bullets against nonviolent protesters…”

    Or else what?

    1. Only the government knows how to distribute products, not some nationwide retailer.

      1. WTF. Wrong spot.

        1. Kind of worked. The government is very good at “distributing” rubber bullets and tear gas.

    2. Next case. Columbus police purposely fail to use crowd control measures to protect private and public property from arson and looting. Court demands reforms.

      1. Nah, headline would be generous DA drops all charges. As long as the right kind of people were protesting.

  12. Over the weekend, you may have heard that Biden is banning travel from India, obviously, because he’s a racist.

    But you may not have heard that Caitlyn Jenner is opposed to transgender girls playing in girls’ sports, obviously, because she’s transphobic.

    “That’s why I oppose biological boys who are trans competing in girls’ sports in school. It just isn’t fair. And we have to protect girls’ sports in our schools,” Jenner said.

    https://www.espn.com/olympics/story/_/id/31378822/caitlyn-jenner-says-transgender-girls-competing-girls-sports-school-unfair

    That’s no way to become the governor of California!

    1. A transphobic tranny?

      1. From these two unrelated and idiotic factoids, am I to infer that you guys are opposed to nuance?

        Or you think that your cult daddy was being equally nuanced when he said that Mexicans were rapists and murderers, although he must concede that some, he can only assume, are good people?

        So unfair! It’s everyone else’s fault that my cult is incredibly unpopular and thus out of power!

        1. I’m just here for the humor. You are the apparent cultist.

        2. What nuance are you speaking of? I’ve heard from “MSM” that all these laws stating women’s sports are for women are all transphobic and that Trump was racist for banning travel from China. Its the coverage from “MSM” that lacks nuance. You can be for trans people’s right to exist in peaceful prosperity while also thinking that men shouldn’t be allowed to compete against women in physical competition. You can be for free flow of immigrants while also thinking that perhaps limiting that flow during a pandemic is a reasonable response.

        3. Ahhh. The dol use of the word nuance to explain away contradictions and hypocrisy of his leftist thought. Lol.

          1. I mean, he didnt even get through a full post without pushing a media lie. Just wow.

        4. “…Or you think that your cult daddy…”

          It seems TDS-addled assholes seem to have a certain obsession.
          Stuff it up your ass; your head’s asking for company.

        5. Seek help.

        6. Cover up your stupid. It’s unbecoming to let it show in public.

        7. Seems fairly obvious that he was commenting on the lack of nuance, and frequent hypocrisy when these issues are being discussed.

      2. No Tranny Scots-person?

    2. Caitlyn’s starting to look pretty good to me. But it’s been a long winter up here in Moosefuck.

      1. Are you in Moose Jaw?

        1. I wish. Moose Jaw is the big city.

          I’m up near Athabasca. It’s like the moon up here. If I didn’t have you guys to talk to every day I really would be fucking meeses.

          1. You laugh in the face of so called “rugged individualists”, don’t you?

            1. They are girly men. When it ain’t freezin-your-balls-off season here, it’s skeeter season.

              1. Fuck off, White Knight.

                skeeter season
                That’s right. Northern Alberta uses the same lingo as the Deep South.

        2. It’s White Knight trying to imagine what Canadians sound like.

    3. I just want Jenner to win because a white man becoming the first female governor of California would be the most epic troll of all time.

      1. And a Republican to boot.

    4. In 1976 Caitlyn, then Bruce, won the men’s olympic decathlon. Being a great all-around athlete wins that event. But he would not have qualified in the men’s Olympics in any of the individual events.

      He recorded a time of 10.94 in the 100 meters, very fast, but a second off the pace for the men’s 100 meters. As Caitlyn he would have been the women’s gold medalist, besting the winner’s time of 11.08.

      The women’s 400 meter champion set a world record with her time of 49.28. Caitlyn would have smashed that with her decathlon time of 47.51.

      The high jump was an olympic record at 1.93 meters.
      Caitlyn beat that with 2.03 meters.

      In the Javelin his 68.52 would have won again, over 65.94.

      The long jump winner’s 6.72 would not be too impressive alongside Caitlyn’s 7.22.

      Remember, these are the single event winners, not decathletes. Bruce didn’t qualify in any of these events for the men.

      Does anyone think Caitlyn would not have also cleaned up in women’s weightlifting? Rowing? Basketball? Bruce was pretty bad at endurance events… But how would Caitlyn have done in cycling?

      There are not that many trans women who were excellent male athletes… So it sounds like it wouldn’t be a big deal from that perspective.

      But the impact is way outsized. Sure, most of us average people can play coed sports and the some compete just fine. My ex was a D1 tennis player, and we used to play all the time. I always won, but it was competitive. But I suck. Even a good club player is way better than I ever was.

      In college I played pickup basketball with some of the women who would later play in the WNBA. They competed head up with the boys. We had a blast.
      But none of us were able to make our high school team. My college dorm team could probably compete in the WNBA.

      The problem isn’t that there would only be a few dozen male athletes who transition. The problem is that they would disproportionately fill out the elite. One Bruce becoming Caitlyn in her 20s and all of the women’s track world records are in jeopardy. Any college men’s basketball player would dominate the WNBA after transitioning.

      I say, get the state out of the way. Right now, antidiscrimination laws might prevent the WNBA from banning a 6’8″ reserve forward from the Wisconsin Badgers who transitions. That could wreck the league.

      But some Atlanta tennis league may not care about such edge cases and allow trans women to compete.

      Either way, the state is ill-equipped to make those choices.

      So I argue for figuring out a way to get the state out of it on both sides of the issue.

      1. In other words, real sports are open to anyone. Other “sports” for specified groups are just pretend.

      2. Does anyone else remember jawannaman?

      3. Insert Jim Rome joke regarding Bill Jean Ling or Martin Navratilova.

    5. If there are 1000+ imaginary genders, it seems like every school needs 1000+ teams for each sport. Only fair.

    6. I have to say that’s a very good perspective.
      After all, out of all people, as an Olympian who later transitioned, Jenner would know the details about how it affects athletic performance.

  13. The CIA is banking on trendy progressive rhetoric to recruit a new generation of spies and snoops

    Since Obama signed the NDAA that contains the Smith-Mundt Modernization Act that allows propaganda to be spread inside the US, this is what you get.

    1. Since Obama signed the NDAA that contains the Smith-Mundt Modernization Act that allows propaganda to be spread inside the US, this is what you get.

      They’ve been doing that for a long time (see Operation Mockingbird), that just made it official.

  14. NBC News looks at how new census numbers will affect political representation

    But how do they know what the new census numbers will look like if they haven’t even heard the Democratic lawsuits?

    1. Stop the steal!

  15. But contractual restrictions require Zillow to segregate the listings, the company said.

    Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever!

    1. SEND IN THE 101ST!!!

  16. I knew the Biden Era would be awesome. I just didn’t know it would be THIS awesome.

    In 2021 Democrats have raised the minimum wage by: $0.00 / hour

    In 2021 Reason.com benefactor Charles Koch’s net worth has increased by: $6.17 billion

    It’s impossible to overstate the significance of this number. Recall that even with Drumpf’s draconian anti-billionaire policies, it took a full year (January to December 2020) for Mr. Koch to lose $5 billion. Yet the #BidenBoom has erased that loss, plus added an extra billion on top, in barely 100 days.

    #LibertariansForBiden

    1. But over 170,000 people were murdered by the China virus in the same 100 days of the SleepyJoe regime.

      1. (1) Please use the proper scientific name: coronavirus, or covid-19, or TrumpVirus.

        (2) Deaths during the Biden Presidency are the fault of Republican politicians. Like America’s worst governor Ron DeSantis, who really needs to read Andrew Cuomo’s book.

        1. Speaking of books, when will yours be available for preorder?

  17. Shotgun weddings are also banned in DC. But that is due to shotguns being banned outside of the home.

    1. IRS weddings?

    2. *Archer voice* Wait, I totally had something for this… something about “buy a shotgun” and “fire two blasts…”

    3. And the popularity of handguns, since they’re much more illegal, and give the bearer a certain cachet. Also, when the police confiscate them without charging you, they don’t have to carry such a heavy piece of ironmongery.

      1. Don’t forget knives, since we know that in some cultures, stabbing is a form of dance. And everyone likes to dance at weddings.

      1. I know, it’s not blatant cheerleading for a narcissistic conman, so why read it?

        Really overcompensating for blowing your credibility so completely, aren’t you? You know that I know that you are full of shit, which makes the performative nature of your comments so funny. They’re not for me.

        1. We’re well aware of the value of what TDS-addled assholes like you post; good enough reason to ignore it.

        2. You seem angrier than normal today DOL. Everything ok at home?

        3. Remember when DOL called for prison camp? But suddenly he’s worried about police brutality.
          https://reason.com/2021/01/19/goodbye-trump-hello-war-on-domestic-terror/#comment-8712029

          1. I remember when he admitted that he fantasizes about mowing down citizens with Apache helicopters.

  18. SOS Antony Blinken admits that China intends to dominate the world and Biden has no plan to stand in their way.

    It’s increasingly common to hear them just admit right out front that “America Last” isn’t good enough, “Death To America” is their real goal.

  19. “D.C. and other U.S. cities pale in comparison to Canadian craziness right now, however. In Canada, scientists and doctors are preaching that vaccinations are not enough, nor are provinces’ partial lockdowns and business restrictions.

    “A maximum infection suppression strategy implemented early in the epidemic to reduce COVID cases to as low a level as possible, and then stamp out outbreaks as they arise, would have saved tens of thousands of Canadian lives. This approach, with some modifications, remains the best strategy right now,” they write in an open letter published in Maclean’s.”

    This is a golden opportunity for US immigration!!! (where is OBL)

    We should encourage any Canadians unhappy about their country’s lockdown policies to move to the US. Even better, we could trade our nannies and sheeple for their free thinkers and Bravehearts (I know, wrong country).

    1. Your lips to God’s ears, eh. I’d even gladly drink American beer.

      1. Fuck off, White Knight.

        1. It wasn’t me, I’m socking as Encog right now.

    2. Canadians who volunteer to man the Mexican-American border for two years get automatic citizenship.

  20. Yet some authorities continue to impose strict rules on not just public spaces but private events, too.

    Well, they’ve seen how easily people can be cowed into submission, they’re not gonna stop now. Besides, imposing random and arbitrary rules is the only way these shit swizzlers can get hard. Surely you’re not suggesting they forgo their AUTHORITAH boners?

    1. We need harsher punishments!

  21. CVS and Walgreens have let a lot of vaccine doses go to waste:

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recorded 182,874 wasted doses as of late March, three months into the country’s effort to vaccinate the masses against the coronavirus. CVS was responsible for nearly half, and Walgreens was responsible for 21 percent, or nearly 128,500 wasted shots combined.”

    No the did not “waste a lot”.

    We know that ENB is math-challenged, so let’s help her out.

    According to the CDC, providers have injected 250,000,000 doses. If 183,000 did not make it into someone’s arm, that represents 0.07 percent. In other words, if one out of 1400 times somebody mishandles a vial or needle, and has to discard that dose, then the “waste” adds up to 183,000.

    I wonder is Lizzie is 99.93% accurate in what she writes.

    1. Not a fucking chance = Is Cruella DeBrown 99.93% accurate in what she writes

    2. According to the CDC, providers have injected 250,000,000 doses. If 183,000 did not make it into someone’s arm, that represents 0.07 percent. In other words, if one out of 1400 times somebody mishandles a vial or needle, and has to discard that dose, then the “waste” adds up to 183,000.

      Yeah, we really shouldn’t be treating this stuff as if it’s some limited, zero-sum resource. They can always make more and that’s a miniscule amount that’s actually wasted. Trumpeting these numbers without any comparative context against other types of traditional vaccines is just noise.

      1. It’s not just noise. It propaganda to make anyone but the government look bad.

    3. This… And we probably are primarily talking about people who missed their appointment and the perishable vaccine had to be destroyed.

  22. Problem But what happens when those illegal immigrants get woke and start demanding a minimum wage of 15 pesos an hour https://wapexclusive.com , I don’t still understand ,

  23. Well senile Joe never once cut the military and intelligence branches budgets so he’s probably all over sniffing the hair of new recruits and giving them neck massages. Assuming he can get up that day and out of the house.

    1. They herd the new recruits in and force them to kneel in front of Sleepy Joe’s Lil Rascal scooter.

  24. There is a new and ongoing carriage dispute between Google and Roku over YouTubeTV, which I think is interesting because it may demonstrate that Google has become so big that it can’t function, at least in certain ways, without its behavior effectively being collusive.

    YouTubeTV is a streaming replacement app for live cable that was available in the Roku app store until late last week. You can still run it if you already have it downloaded, but you can’t download it directly onto a Roku player anymore. The regular YouTube app is unaffected–but its contract expires with Roku in December.

    The dispute isn’t over carriage fees. The bone of contention is over Google insisting that Roku incorporate support for Google’s once proprietary AV1 standard into Roku players going forward as a condition of extending its contract to have YouTubeTV available on Roku, which adds expense to the cost of a Roku player.

    https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2021/04/roku-vs-google-part-2-the-youtube-tv-app-gets-pulled-from-the-roku-store/

    That article does a good job of explaining the central issue. It doesn’t mention that because Google makes competing streaming players of its own, Roku is concerned that Google is requiring 1) something that Google’s own streaming players aren’t even doing, and 2) that Google’s demands will force Roku to charge more for its players than Google’s competing products.

    It seems to me that if there’s a buried lede in this story, it’s this part about how:

    “Development has moved from being an in-house Google project to an industry-backed “Alliance for Open Media.” AV1’s bandwidth-saving potential and royalty-free license have earned it backing from nearly every big video and hardware company, including Google, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Microsoft, Samsung, Intel, Facebook, Arm, Hulu, and a ton of other companies.”

    —-Ars Technica

    IF IF IF Google can’t create a proprietary standard without all those other companies adopting it for their own use, too, and that ultimately forces a smaller Google competitor, like Roku, into a situation where they can’t compete on price, then we may be looking at legitimate antitrust issue.

    The question isn’t whether AV1 will save bandwidth. The question is whether Google can improve software without setting a new standard and hurting everyone who doesn’t go along with their decisions. The question is whether Google is effectively setting these standards industry wide to the detriment of smaller competitors.

    Meanwhile, all the other streaming player manufacturers seem like they’re colluding with Google on this. Apple is on board with the standard and so is Amazon. Apple + Amazon + Google + Roku is almost 100% of the streaming player market. Why does it always seem like the same handful of companies (Apple, Amazon, and Google among them) are always competing with each other–even while they’re colluding against everyone else?

    1. Of course, YouTube TV is a month by month subscription, so at least one person is going to switch from that (at $70/mo) to Sling (at $35/mo) and add on the three channels that Sling doesn’t carry. The net savings ($23/mo) can pay for individual purchases of movies from other Google competitors.

      1. I think this is more about control of the streaming player market itself. They want to be the new cable company. They sell you advertising while you’re streaming. Even if you’re watching AT&T TV, Fubo, Hulu, Philo, Sling, or Vidgo, the streaming player company is getting a portion of the advertising revenue (or a portion of the commercial break time to run their own commercials). Whomever has the most streaming players, controls the space.

        YouTubeTV is a very popular cable replacement app–and so is YouTube proper on television. Some 14% of YouTube viewers are watching on TV with the streaming app and that percentage is likely to grow.

        I think Google’s ultimate strategy here is to make it so that people who want to watch YouTubeTV or YouTube proper on a television will need to buy a Chromecast player or buy a Chromecast enabled TV. If you can’t watch YouTube on a Roku player anymore, a lot of people will go to Chromecast in the future–and that means Google will be selling millions more Chromecast players at Roku’s expense. Ultimately, they’re trying to dominate the streaming player market so they can dominate advertising on television the way they dominate advertising on the web.

        Google’s business is selling advertising. They’re an advertising delivery platform, and they want to dominate the streaming player market for that reason.

        This appears to be an example of Google using its dominance of Android to set a new codec standard–to help its advertising delivery business. And then they’re forcing a competitor to raise its prices–or suffer the consequences by using their streaming player and streaming app businesses to make Roku sorry for not participating in the destruction of Roku’s own market share.

        We’re talking about Google potentially abusing their monopoly power. I’m not saying I’m completely sold on the argument yet, but the argument that Google’s Android, advertising and search, and YouTube businesses should be broken up into three different businesses should be seriously considered from a libertarian capitalist perspective.

        What Google is doing to Roku probably wouldn’t be possible if they were three different businesses (not without collusion anyway).

        1. Ken’s post brought to you by Google.

    2. This puts the price difference between Roku’s and Google’s players in perspective:

      “Google’s own $50 Chromecast with Google TV does not currently include hardware-based AV1 decoding. So Roku is upset Google wants it to “accept hardware requirements that would increase consumer costs.” Roku’s cheapest streaming players still undercut the Chromecast by as much as $30. If the price of those goes up, Roku loses a key advantage over the competition.”

      —-The Verge

      https://www.theverge.com/22412430/roku-youtube-tv-google-feud-explainer-timeline

      We were just improving the codec because we care about customers using Android. That this new protocol requires you to increase the price of your competing players is just a coincidence!

      Who believes that?

      1. Roku appears to have a very strong case. Google’s requirement they change protocols have nothing to do with the section of the business making the requirement.

    3. Why does it always seem like the same handful of companies (Apple, Amazon, and Google among them) are always competing with each other–even while they’re colluding against everyone else?

      Because they aren’t really competing with each other–like the Gilded Age trusts, they have a gentlemen’s agreement to promote things that will be mutually beneficial to the trust, while gobbling up anything that might provide them with legitimate competition in the marketplace.

  25. How can infection rates be dropping and 42 states? This must be a mistake. Whatever happened to impending doom? The fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh waves? The variant strains That were more contagious and deadlier? The need to wear double masks despite the availability of vaccine? The fact that we were all going to die because Texas adopted a reckless reopening policy? Surely all of these experts could not have been wrong!

    1. Keep the faith, Number 2! That Indian variant is in the States!

    2. What about the spring break super spreading event? How many died?

  26. Yet another shining example of the fact based decision making that shows clearly that DC should be a state.

  27. Indoor live entertainment can’t be so loud that patrons would need to raise their voices above a conversational level, per the mayor’s order.

    “I SAID, SHOW ME THE SCIENCE!!”

    1. No jokes can be said that would cause someone to laugh out loud.

      1. So sarc’s jokes are still ok.

  28. The shoot-up sites:

    “…The clients would provide their own opioids, but the nonprofit would supply needles, provide kits to test drugs for dangerous levels of fentanyl, and connect clients to treatment services…”

    Duuno how it works where you live, but in SF, non-profits of this sort are nearly all taxpayer-funded.
    Don’t care if you wanna take the drug of your choice, but I’m not gonna pay to support your habit.

    1. NARCAN is always “on the house”. I’m not sure what the cost is per dose, but I would bet that the EMT call and the trip to the hospital afterwards costs the taxpayers $10,000.

      1. Good reason to close that operation, right?

        1. So you’re the type of loser 12 stepper who hates junkies?

          You really are a senile old drunk.

          I mean, flag. Refresh… Rummy!

    1. “Washington(CNN)The Biden administration is considering using outside firms to track extremist chatter by Americans online, an effort that would expand the government’s ability to gather intelligence but could draw criticism over surveillance of US citizens.”

      CNN is tying itself in knots in that article trying not to say that the Democrats want to hire private firms to spy on Americans for them.

      Watch our fifty-centers (and ENB) claim that it’s okay for them to spy on us for the government because these firms are priVAtE comPaniEs. It doesn’t matter how badly The Party rapes the constitution as long as there’s a private company condom between them.

  29. https://twitter.com/ggreenwald/status/1389214862174261252?s=19

    Watch the cultural left try to cope with the fact that not only is their Woke Ideology no threat to any power centers anywhere, but the opposite is true: those power centers love it and embrace it because of how helpful it is to them.

    Detached irony, as usual, is all they have:

    1. Greenwald’s (slightly) wrong here. The cultural left has known for the last twenty years that they are The Man. That’s what accounts for their audacity.

      The only people who haven’t realized this are old hippies who haven’t paid attention since the seventies ended.

  30. https://twitter.com/mtracey/status/1389228756502462472?s=19

    Left/liberals look around at every major power center obediently aping their ideological and cultural paradigm, from Wall Street to Big Tech to the CIA, and think to themselves: “This proves we’re the ones really challenging power”

  31. “D.C. Weddings Only Permitted If No One… Dances”

    Thank goodness.
    I’m usually pretty libertarian about most things, but if there was ever a pure hate crime, it’s having to watch your relatives dance.

    1. One government overreach I completely support. Hope it’s permanent.

    2. The song “Celebration” should be banned.

    3. It ain’t a wedding without the chicken dance.

  32. >>while anyone who doesn’t get vaccinated is making a choice to face heightened risk.

    lol oooooh scary! I’m avoiding risk by not putting untested government juice in my arm thankyouverymuch.

    1. Or facing the same risk (hopefully lower, actually, with so many vaccinated) I’ve been facing for a year without worrying about it.

      1. exactly. very much so without worrying about it.

        1. It’s amazing. I just can’t imagine the mindset of people who have been hiding from the world for the past year. It’s like they are in a completely different world.

  33. also the cartoon ads where the covid army marches on everyone are spectacular.

  34. If we don’t allow people with anxiety and other emotional concerns to join the CIA, we won’t have any agents in 15 to 20 years. I know far more kids who have dealt with some sort of mental health concerns than not. My son’s pediatrician has been sending 70 to 80 patients every year to therapists for anxiety, depression, and other concerns.

    I know some pretty conservative kids who are seeing a therapist. So, anxiety is not a woke condition.

  35. All the economic ruin blamed on the virus is misdirection based on the assumption that the rulers forced only what the M.D.s advised. But, who allows the initiation of violence, threats thereof, i.e., edicts? The populace. And those who resist, who think for themselves, who ask for clarification that authority cannot give? They are ignored, or worse, cancelled. The consensus is manufactured by authority (MSM), enforced by authority, for authority. Authority loves to use its sovereignty over the populace to see how far the populace can be pushed, how much crap they will submit to before they reach their breaking point, and how that will be expressed. Some do it by riots. Some by suicide. Some by open defiance. Are they finally finding their dignity, their self respect, their confidence, their bravery? Do they realize the pandemic was a Pan-hoax? Do they realize that coercive govt. is not moral or practical? Do they want to reclaim their sovereignty and self-govern? How long will it take to make the American Dream manifest?

  36. Protein Aggregation Analysis
    https://www.profacgen.com/protein-aggregation-analysis.htm
    Proteins and protein derivatives are prone to aggregation under certain circumstances, e.g., sudden pH or temperature changes.

  37. Try to remain seated at a wedding when this is playing:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LaTGrV58wec

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