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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 362)

Trump Vs. Toilets (And Showers, Dishwashers And Lightbulbs)

Westlake Legal Group gettyimages-1194791270-3db3691953cf3a4ac9fc1ff0091a22f9d3e812f8-s1100-c15 Trump Vs. Toilets (And Showers, Dishwashers And Lightbulbs)

President Trump’s complaints about toilets, dishwashers and lightbulbs make for an unusual political rallying cry, but it’s one that fits with his deregulatory agenda. Scott Olson/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption

Scott Olson/Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group  Trump Vs. Toilets (And Showers, Dishwashers And Lightbulbs)

President Trump’s complaints about toilets, dishwashers and lightbulbs make for an unusual political rallying cry, but it’s one that fits with his deregulatory agenda.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

On the night that the House of Representatives voted to impeach President Trump, he delivered a two-hour campaign rally speech that took a detour — into the bathroom. His long riff about plumbing, household appliances and lightbulbs had the crowd in Battle Creek, Mich., cheering and laughing along.

“I say, ‘Why do I always look so orange?’ You know why: because of the new light,” Trump said in a complaint about energy-efficient lightbulbs. “They’re terrible. You look terrible. They cost you many, many times more. Like four or five times more.”

Trump has long railed against clean-energy-producing wind turbines, but recently he has added lightbulbs and other household items to his repertoire. It’s an unusual political rallying cry, but one that fits with Trump’s deregulatory agenda.

The Trump administration is actively exploring rolling back efficiency standards related to appliances and plumbing. It has already moved on incandescent lightbulbs, prompting the White House to recently tweet, “If you like your lightbulbs, you can keep your lightbulbs!”

The tweet inaccurately blamed the standards on the Obama administration. In reality, they date back to Republican President George W. Bush’s time in office. All of Trump’s complaints relate to efficiency standards phased in over many years and multiple administrations.

“Remember the dishwasher, you’d press it. Boom — there’d be like an explosion. Five minutes later, you open it up, the steam pours out,” Trump said reminiscing about dishwashers that used more energy and water to wash and dry dishes. “Now you press it 12 times. The women tell me, again. They give you like four drops of water.”

Setting aside his assumption that women are the ones who do dishes, Trump also shared his thoughts on faucets and shower heads. He even turned “toilets” into a call-and-response line, asking the crowd, “What goes with a sink and a shower?”

Pantomiming a flushing motion, Trump brought his frustrations with low-flow toilets to life. “Ten times right, 10 times. Bah bah,” Trump said, before pointing at some poor soul in the crowd and accusing him of requiring a lot of flushes. “Not me, of course. Not me. But you. Him.”

Peter Gleick with the Pacific Institute in Oakland considers this all to be Trumpian nostalgia for a time when showers were strong, toilets used four gallons a flush and lightbulbs burned your hands when you touched them.

Gleick said these newer household items are part of an “efficiency revolution,” doing the same tasks with less, halting the upward trajectory of water and energy consumption in America. And, yes, a dishwasher cycle takes longer, and incandescent bulbs are cheaper to buy upfront.

But in the long run, “They’re much more expensive, because they use a huge amount of energy, which we pay for over time and they burn out 20 times faster,” Gleick said.

Based on the way Trump talks about efficient lightbulbs, it seems his complaint is with compact fluorescent bulbs, which were the only low-energy bulbs widely available 10 years ago. But today, store shelves are full of LED bulbs with warmer-looking light and even longer life spans. Gleick suspects Trump’s toilet complaints are outdated as well, because low-flow toilet technology has come a long way in recent years.

“Some people got bad toilets, but that was 15 and 20 years ago,” Gleick said. “And now the new toilets not only use a tiny fraction of the water the old toilets used to use, but the truth is they flush better — and if you have a bad toilet that doesn’t flush well, that’s because you have a bad toilet.”

The idea that Trump’s crusade against efficient toilets and lightbulbs could influence policy is something Gleick finds galling. But others welcome the president’s attention.

Free-market groups like the conservative Heritage Foundation have been advocating to loosen efficiency standards. These guidelines started in the 1970s and have ramped up over the years, with relatively little notice and not much pushback, even from industry, said Nick Loris, who focuses on energy and environment policy at Heritage.

“I think people kind of thought it was low-hanging fruit,” Loris said of the idea that household items could use less energy and water and save consumers money at the same time. “It was a win-win. But I think from a free market perspective, we also want to make sure that consumers and businesses have those choices.”

Another free market organization called the Competitive Enterprise Institute petitioned the Department of Energy to allow a new class of dishwasher that would run a shorter cycle while using more energy and water.

But Loris said it’s not clear whether that’s where Trump’s latest rally riff is coming from. “It feels a little bit almost like an ‘OK boomer’ moment that we’ve had with these comments, but at the same time, I think there are some policy implications behind it,” Loris said.

When Jeffrey Tucker first heard Trump complain about faucets, he was overjoyed. “I thought, Hmm, that’s interesting,” said Tucker, with the American Institute for Economic Research. “I’ve never heard a politician talk about this.”

A decade ago, Tucker wrote an an entire book, called Bourbon for Breakfast, bemoaning how the slow creep of efficiency and government regulation had made American homes not function like they used to. He is no fan of Trump, but he’s all-in on the ‘make toilets and dishwashers great again’ ethos.

“I’ve never been in a social situation where everybody didn’t agree,” Tucker said. “My shower’s terrible. My toilet doesn’t work. I’m tired of plunging. And so on and so forth. Everybody is really annoyed by it. Trump sees it and talks about it and gets everybody riled up. Because it is an infuriating problem.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Bollywood star Kushal Punjabi dead by suicide: report

Westlake Legal Group kushar-getty Bollywood star Kushal Punjabi dead by suicide: report Melissa Roberto fox-news/entertainment/tv fox-news/entertainment/events/departed fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox news fnc/entertainment fnc fe468190-f49b-59b0-ab26-b10d6fc69111 article

Bollywood star Kushal Punjabi has died by suicide, according to reports.

Punjabi was discovered by friends at his residence in Bandra, Mumbai early Friday morning after his parents communicated that they had trouble getting in contact with him one day prior, The Times of India reported. Some reports indicate Punjabi was 42, while others said he was 37, at the time of his death.

According to the outlet, Deputy Commissioner of Police Paramjit Singh Dahiya described his death as a “hanging.”

The actor, known for his roles in Bollywood films “Kaal” and “Lakshya,” left behind a suicide note that specified no one should be held responsible for his death, Indian news channel ABP Live reported.

CHILD ACTOR AND BALLET DANCER JACK BURNS DEAD AT 14

The note also stated that his estate should be split between his sister, parents, and son, Kian, the news channel stated.

The outlet confirmed an accidental death report has been registered at the Bandra police station.

After his passing, several of Punjabi’s friends and fans reacted to the tragedy on social media.

KOREAN ACTOR CHA IN HA FOUND DEAD IN HIS HOME AT 27

“Ur demise has shocked the hell out of me. I’m still in denial @itsme_kushalpunjabi,” actor Karanvir Bohra wrote.”I know you are in a happier place, but this is unfathomable. The way you lead your life really inspired me in more ways than one…but what was I to know.

“Your zest for dancing, fitness, off-road biking, fatherhood and above all that, that smiling face of yours, your happy-go-lucky nature your warmth all that was so genuine. I’m gonna miss you so much #kushlani. You will always be rememberd [sic] as a guy who lived a full life. #dancingdaddy #fit #lifeenthusiast #biker #smilingface #onelifeliveitright #restinpeace #omnamoshivaya.”

Actor Karan Patel referred to Punjabi has his “brother” in a somber post on Friday.

“🙏RIP🙏 my brother. Guess Its true when they say, “The happiest Faces hide the Most saddened Hearts”. Seeing Your spirit and zest for life, never in my wildest dreams would i have thought that you will bid your final goodbye to life in a way that will send a chill down our spines every time we think of you. @itsme_kushalpunjabi you will be missed forever. Hope and pray you are in a better place. 🙏. Still can’t believe you’re gone. Gone too soon. 😢🙏”

RON LEIBMAN, ‘ANGELS IN AMERICA’ AND ‘FRIENDS’ ACTOR, DEAD AT 82

Punjabi described himself in his Instagram bio as a “Dancing daddy, actor, Bikerboy, Travel/Adventure/Fitness junkie, Movie buff, addicted to black coffee & grey matter.”

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According to his social media accounts, Punjabi was committed to staying active. Earlier this month, he wrote a lengthy Instagram caption about completing an obstacle course. He credited the activity with helping him overcome his demons.

“Once I crossed the finish line I was liberated. I didn’t care about my timing or what opposition I stood against the competitors because genuinely this was the new me against my old self. I was renewed refreshed and transformed & thats the path I have chosen to follow from now. The devil that was in me has certainly been slain,” he wrote.

Westlake Legal Group kushar-getty Bollywood star Kushal Punjabi dead by suicide: report Melissa Roberto fox-news/entertainment/tv fox-news/entertainment/events/departed fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox news fnc/entertainment fnc fe468190-f49b-59b0-ab26-b10d6fc69111 article   Westlake Legal Group kushar-getty Bollywood star Kushal Punjabi dead by suicide: report Melissa Roberto fox-news/entertainment/tv fox-news/entertainment/events/departed fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox news fnc/entertainment fnc fe468190-f49b-59b0-ab26-b10d6fc69111 article

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Virginia police seeks 2 crooks after Denny’s robbery that left DoorDash driver dead

The FBI and police are seeking two crooks who held up a crowded Virginia Denny’s and shot two people, killing one of them — a DoorDash delivery driver picking up an order.

Prince William County police released surveillance video showing the two robbers entering the Denny’s in Manassas overnight Thursday. They were armed with a gun and a baton.

“This is a heinous crime,” Police Chief Barry Barnard said, according to WJLA-TV. “People eating at a Denny’s at two o’clock in the morning, enjoying their time there, enjoying their friends, and people arrived to commit a robbery. And without any provocation, everyone cooperated, there were about 20 people in the restaurant, everyone cooperated, no resistance — they shoot two people. And one is murdered.”

The crooks ordered the victims to surrender their wallets and cell phones, police said. They left without taking any Denny’s cash receipts.

Westlake Legal Group Robbery-PRINCE-WILLIAM-COUNTY-POLICE-DEPARTMENT Virginia police seeks 2 crooks after Denny's robbery that left DoorDash driver dead Robert Gearty fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/virginia fox-news/us/crime/robbery-theft fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc ccedd1c2-14e7-514f-9e45-56b04e0a0906 article

Image from surveillance video showing two crooks who entered a Virginia Denny’s early Thursday and announced a robbery. One brandished a gun. (Prince William County Police Department)

NEW YORK CITY MAN, 60, BEATEN BY MUGGERS OVER $1 IN BRUTAL ATTACK CAUGHT ON VIDEO

The person who was killed was Yusuf Ozgur, a 56-year-old DoorDash delivery driver from Manassas, Fox 5 DC reported Friday.

He was shot and clubbed over the head with the baton after walking into the Denny’s to pick up an order for a customer and unknowingly holding the door for them as they were exiting, police said.

The other victim was a 34-year-old man who lived in Rixeyville, Va., who was critically wounded after being shot as he sat on the ground as demanded, police said.

HOUSTON DEPUTIES SAY 3 WOULD-BE ROBBERS KILLED AFTER RESIDENCE BREAK-IN

The man had been eating with friends when the robbers showed up.

The two holdup men are also wanted for three other early-morning robberies in Manassas and Woodbridge that took place in the past week at a bowling alley, a motel and a drug store in the past week, WJLA reported. They took place on Christmas Eve, Dec. 23. and Dec. 21.

Ozgur, who was from Turkey and the married father of two children, is being buried in Virginia Saturday.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

“I still can’t believe that he died,” friend Murat Ozen told Fox 5. “Now we try and find out what we can do for his family that he left behind.”

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6118459558001_6118463952001-vs Virginia police seeks 2 crooks after Denny's robbery that left DoorDash driver dead Robert Gearty fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/virginia fox-news/us/crime/robbery-theft fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc ccedd1c2-14e7-514f-9e45-56b04e0a0906 article   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6118459558001_6118463952001-vs Virginia police seeks 2 crooks after Denny's robbery that left DoorDash driver dead Robert Gearty fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/virginia fox-news/us/crime/robbery-theft fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc ccedd1c2-14e7-514f-9e45-56b04e0a0906 article

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Trump Vs. Toilets (And Showers, Dishwashers, And Light Bulbs)

Westlake Legal Group gettyimages-1194791270-a874c972a344aa3985e3abb1acc3f74ac770db89-s1100-c15 Trump Vs. Toilets (And Showers, Dishwashers, And Light Bulbs)

President Trump’s complaints about toilets, dishwashers and light bulbs make for an unusual political rallying cry, but it’s one that fits with his deregulatory agenda. Scott Olson/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption

Scott Olson/Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group  Trump Vs. Toilets (And Showers, Dishwashers, And Light Bulbs)

President Trump’s complaints about toilets, dishwashers and light bulbs make for an unusual political rallying cry, but it’s one that fits with his deregulatory agenda.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

On the night the House of Representatives voted to impeach President Trump, he delivered a two-hour campaign rally speech that took a detour — into the bathroom. His long riff about plumbing, household appliances and light bulbs had the crowd in Battle Creek, Michigan, cheering and laughing along.

“I say, ‘Why do I always look so orange?’ You know why: because of the new light,” Trump said in a complaint about energy efficient light bulbs. “They’re terrible. You look terrible. They cost you many, many times more. Like four or five times more.”

Trump has long railed against clean-energy-producing wind turbines, but recently he’s added light bulbs and other household items to his repertoire. It’s an unusual political rallying cry, but one that fits with Trump’s deregulatory agenda.

The Trump administration is actively exploring rolling back efficiency standards related to appliances and plumbing. They have already moved on incandescent light bulbs, prompting the White House to recently tweet, “If you like your lightbulbs, you can keep your lightbulbs!”

The tweet inaccurately blamed the standards on the Obama administration. In reality, they date back to former Republican President George W. Bush’s time in office. All of Trump’s complaints relate to efficiency standards phased in over many years and multiple administrations.

“Remember the dishwasher, you’d press it. Boom — there’d be like an explosion. Five minutes later, you open it up, the steam pours out,” Trump said reminiscing about dishwashers that used more energy and water to wash and dry dishes. “Now you press it 12 times. The women tell me, again. They give you like four drops of water.”

Setting aside his assumption that women are the ones who do dishes, Trump also shared his thoughts on faucets and shower heads. He even turned “toilets” into a call-and-response line, asking the crowd, “What goes with a sink and a shower?”

Pantomiming a flushing motion, Trump brought his frustrations with low-flow toilets to life. “Ten times right, ten times. Bah Bah,” Trump said, before pointing at some poor soul in the crowd and accusing him of requiring a lot of flushes. “Not me, of course. Not me. But you. Him.”

Peter Gleick with the Pacific Institute in Oakland, Calif. considers this all to be Trumpian nostalgia for a time when showers were strong, toilets used four gallons a flush and light bulbs burned your hands when you touched them.

Gleick said these newer household items are part of an “efficiency revolution,” doing the same tasks with less, halting the upward trajectory of water and energy consumption in America. And, yes, a dishwasher cycle takes longer, and incandescent bulbs are cheaper to buy up front.

But in the long run, “They’re much more expensive, because they use a huge amount of energy, which we pay for over time and they burn out 20 times faster,” Gleick said.

Based on the way Trump talks about efficient light bulbs, it seems his complaint is with compact fluorescent bulbs, which were the only low-energy bulbs widely available ten years ago. But today, store shelves are full of LED bulbs with warmer looking light and even longer lifespans. Gleick suspects Trump’s toilet complaints are outdated as well, because low-flow toilet technology has come a long way in recent years, too.

“Some people got bad toilets, but that was 15 and 20 years ago,” Gleick said. “And now the new toilets not only use a tiny fraction of the water the old toilets used to use, but the truth is they flush better — and if you have a bad toilet that doesn’t flush well, that’s because you have a bad toilet.”

The idea that Trump’s crusade against efficient toilets and light bulbs could influence policy is something Gleick finds galling. But others welcome the president’s attention.

Free-market groups like the conservative Heritage Foundation have been advocating to loosen efficiency standards. These guidelines started in the 1970s and have ramped up over the years, with relatively little notice and not much push-back, even from industry, said Nick Lorris, who focuses on energy and environment policy at Heritage

“I think people kind of thought it was low-hanging fruit,” Lorris said of the idea that household items could use less energy and water and save consumers money at the same time. “It was a win-win. But I think from a free market perspective, we also want to make sure that consumers and businesses have those choices.”

Another free market organization called the Competitive Enterprise Institute petitioned the Department of Energy to allow a new class of dishwasher that would run a shorter cycle while using more energy and water.

But Lorris said it’s not clear whether that’s where Trump’s latest rally riff is coming from. “It feels a little bit almost like an ‘OK boomer’ moment that we’ve had with these comments, but at the same time, I think there are some policy implications behind it,” Lorris said.

When Jeffrey Tucker first heard Trump complain about faucets, he was overjoyed. “I thought. Hmm. That’s interesting,” said Tucker, with the American Institute for Economic Research. “I’ve never heard a politician talk about this.”

A decade ago, Tucker wrote an an entire book, called Bourbon for Breakfast, bemoaning how the slow creep of efficiency and government regulation had made American homes not function like they used to. He is no fan of Trump, but he’s all-in on the ‘make toilets and dishwashers great again’ ethos.

“I’ve never been in a social situation where everybody didn’t agree,” Tucker said. “My shower’s terrible. My toilet doesn’t work. I’m tired of plunging. And so on and so forth. Everybody is really annoyed by it. Trump sees it and talks about it and gets everybody riled up. Because it is an infuriating problem.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

New York To Increase Police Presence After Anti-Semitic Attacks

Westlake Legal Group ap_19346153330169-51b4c5e13de736c0912062c1e2902a0fe2f955bd-s800-c15 New York To Increase Police Presence After Anti-Semitic Attacks

Orthodox Jewish men carry Moshe Deutsch’s casket outside a Brooklyn synagogue following his funeral earlier this month. Deutsch was killed in a shooting inside a Jersey City, N.J., kosher food market. Mark Lennihan/AP hide caption

toggle caption

Mark Lennihan/AP

Westlake Legal Group  New York To Increase Police Presence After Anti-Semitic Attacks

Orthodox Jewish men carry Moshe Deutsch’s casket outside a Brooklyn synagogue following his funeral earlier this month. Deutsch was killed in a shooting inside a Jersey City, N.J., kosher food market.

Mark Lennihan/AP

Facing a rash of anti-Semitic attacks, the New York Police Department will increase its presence in Brooklyn neighborhoods that have large Jewish communities, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Friday.

At least six incidents of hate-fueled attacks have been reported over the past week. The violence is taking place against the backdrop of Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of lights, which began Sunday evening.

“Hate doesn’t have a home in our city,” de Blasio wrote on Twitter. “Anyone who terrorizes our Jewish community WILL face justice,” he said, adding: “Anti-Semitism is an attack on the values of our city — and we will confront it head-on.”

The mayor said officers will step up patrols in the Borough Park, Crown Heights and Williamsburg neighborhoods of Brooklyn. Officers also plan to make more visits to synagogues in the area.

Multiple assaults against Jews have been reported in the city this week. A 65-year-old Orthodox Jewish man reported that someone punched him on Monday morning in Manhattan, yelling “F–k you, Jew bastard.” The suspect, 28-year-old Steve Jorge, was arrested and charged with assault as a hate crime.

On Monday evening, some teens allegedly attacked two children in Brooklyn. On Tuesday, a group allegedly shouted anti-Semitic slurs and threw a drink at a 25-year-old man. Later that day, someone allegedly punched a 56-year-old man. On Thursday, a woman allegedly hit a 34-year-old Jewish woman in the face with a bag. The suspect, Ayana Logan, was charged with assault as a hate crime.

Early Friday morning, a woman was arrested after she slapped three women wearing traditional Jewish clothing and shouted anti-Semitic slurs, according to CBS News. Tiffany Harris, of Brooklyn, will face hate crime charges.

Earlier this month, a pair of gunmen opened fire at a kosher market in Jersey City, New Jersey. The attack left six people dead, and law enforcement is treating it as hate crime and potential act of terrorism.

“It seems like it’s open season on Jews in New York City,” said New York City Councilmember Chaim Deutsch.

The Anti-Defamation League offered a $10,000 reward earlier this week for information about the spate of attacks.

“These incidents of harassment and assault are terrifying for the Jewish community, especially in light of the recent horrific attack in Jersey City,” ADL regional director Evan Bernstein said in a statement. “It is not enough to simply condemn these incidents; we must come together as a city to address the root causes of hatred and bigotry within our communities.”

Anti-Semitic hate crimes — especially against Orthodox Jews — have been up significantly compared to 2018. Anti-Semitic incidents make up more than half of the reported hate crimes in the city, according to NYPD crime statistics.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Spotify will ‘pause’ political ads in early 2020 – The platform says it does not have the capability to ‘responsibly validate’ ad content

Westlake Legal Group nYb43lUOk3-f5scV0yWX2CKq3zLmY3oAX3wTMcv9HfQ Spotify will ‘pause’ political ads in early 2020 - The platform says it does not have the capability to ‘responsibly validate’ ad content r/politics

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Liberty Vittert: End climate change zealotry – rancor prevents progress on the real issues

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6075739403001_6075693897001-vs Liberty Vittert: End climate change zealotry – rancor prevents progress on the real issues Liberty Vittert fox-news/us/environment/climate-change fox-news/science/planet-earth/climate fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 6e49d099-4849-51ee-bd76-7e994231c458

The Royal Statistical Society announced the Statistic of the Decade as “8.4 million.” The estimated accumulated deforestation of the Amazon rainforest over the past decade is equivalent to around 8.4 million soccer fields (about 10.3 million football fields). That is the size of Connecticut, Hawaii, New Jersey and Massachusetts.

We – I’m a member of the judging panel – also decided to have a highly commended statistic of the decade of “19 percent.” The global death rate from air pollution fell by 19 percent over the past decade (and by over 42 percent since 1990).

While whether we are doing enough to curb pollution remains a fiercely contested topic, we decided that it was important to shine a light on the fact that there are certainly positive developments. While many may think that air quality is getting worse, the number of deaths caused by air pollution has actually fallen.

LEE EDWARDS: 4 MOST IMPORTANT LESSONS OF COLD WAR – AND WHY THEY ARE IMPORTANT TODAY

And I think these two statistics chosen by the Royal Statistical Society actually highlight the crux of the issue with environmental concerns, pollution and climate change as a whole.

The deforestation of the Amazon is a very serious issue. Any short-term financial gain is absolutely blown out of the water by the long-term financial and environmental loss. But the environment and climate change are complicated issues and by only focusing on the impending doom (of which there is certainly truth), we tend to ignore, and in fact, brush off the positive developments.

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The level of religious fervor surrounding the environment, and specifically climate change, has made scientific discourse almost impossible. I wrote an article last summer simply asking for the calls of “death in 12 years” and “hottest month ever” to be halted in exchange for a less sensationalized view of the climate crisis (of which I firmly believe there is one). I was ridiculed by many of my scientific peers, my credentials were called into question, and I was actually called “disgusting” by a statistician I used to work with.  And I’m small fries!

More from Opinion

Freeman Dyson, one of the most famous and well-respected physicists of his generation (with 21 honorary degrees from universities like Georgetown, Princeton and Oxford), was ostracized by his former community for simply questioning some of the climate change forecasts.  Are Dyson’s assertions correct? No idea, but I think he deserves to be listened to. And Dyson isn’t the only one.

By dogmatically ignoring any positive changes, and sensationalizing the negative ones, I don’t see how we can realistically move forward in addressing the actual issues that are and will be occurring due to climate change. I mean, come on, I recently read an article in the Atlantic saying that climate change deniers are the equivalent of racists.

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If we have any hope of stopping the very real and significant climate issues we face, we have to remove the political element, reduce the religious fervor, and come together over the issues instead of participating in the dismissal culture (on both sides).

The deforestation of the Amazon’s effect on the environment is the international statistic of the decade for a reason: it has terrible consequences. But, I believe the Royal Statistical Society was also correct to highlight the 19 percent drop in the death rate from air pollution. The rancor needs to end, and collaboration needs to happen if we have any chance of preventing and mitigating future destruction.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE BY LIBERTY VITTERT

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6075739403001_6075693897001-vs Liberty Vittert: End climate change zealotry – rancor prevents progress on the real issues Liberty Vittert fox-news/us/environment/climate-change fox-news/science/planet-earth/climate fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 6e49d099-4849-51ee-bd76-7e994231c458   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6075739403001_6075693897001-vs Liberty Vittert: End climate change zealotry – rancor prevents progress on the real issues Liberty Vittert fox-news/us/environment/climate-change fox-news/science/planet-earth/climate fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 6e49d099-4849-51ee-bd76-7e994231c458

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Welcome to the Era of the Post-Shopping Mall

Surfacing

As the mall declines, American Dream — a “destination” at the height of capitalism — rises.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_166091166_b7d1625d-1f87-416b-9c35-751b8fcb0242-articleLarge Welcome to the Era of the Post-Shopping Mall Surfacing 2019 Skiing Shopping Centers and Malls Shopping and Retail New Jersey Amusement and Theme Parks American Dream Meadowlands

Nickelodeon Universe is the largest indoor theme park in the Western Hemisphere.Credit…Ross Mantle for The New York Times

One morning in early December, I left my office in midtown Manhattan, took a 20-minute bus ride to the New Jersey wetlands and got a few ski runs in before noon. I hadn’t been skiing for 15 years. It turns out that all I needed was for the mountain to come to me.

Enter Big Snow, an indoor ski hill filled with 5,500 tons of “real snow,” which falls not from the clouds but from the ceiling of a warehouse where the temperature is always 28 degrees. As I set out across its terrain, I was flooded with the sense-memories of childhood: frozen eyelashes, scratchy snowsuit, the abandon of tucking the poles under my arms and flying down a mountain, my father just ahead of me. That lasted for 30 seconds, which is how long it took for me to hit the end of the run. With every sluggish chairlift ride back to the top, I was reminded that I was pacing back and forth in a cold steel box. When I was done, I was released not into a warm ski lodge but into an empty mall.

Big Snow is enclosed within the 3-million-square-foot American Dream, a mall so ambitious that it has transcended the word “mall.” It prefers to identify as a “revolutionary, first of its kind community,” an “unrivaled destination for style and play” and “an incredible collection of unique experiences.” Just off the New Jersey Turnpike, a post-shopping mall is born: More than half of American Dream’s space is allotted not to retail but to entertainment. The psychic center of American social life has shifted from buying things to feeling them.

After 15 years in development, the project’s attractions are finally lighting up one by one, connected by networks of vast, unfilled corridors. In addition to Big Snow, there is a National Hockey League-sized ice rink, a Nickelodeon Universe theme park, and a dusting of retail: a Big Snow ski shop, an IT’SUGAR candy department store and a Whoopi Goldberg-themed pop-up shop selling her collections of ugly holiday sweaters and chic tunics. Teased future reveals include a DreamWorks water park, a Legoland, a Vice-branded “Munchies” food hall, a KidZania play land featuring a full commercial airliner and a field hopping with live rabbits.

Credit…Ross Mantle for The New York Times Credit…Ross Mantle for The New York Times

These spectacles have arrived not a moment too soon. This $5 billion not-mall is opening amid reports that the mall is dying. An army of trend forecasters have decided that millennials would rather spend money on experiences than on stuff. The retail imagination has been transposed to Instagram, and shuttered storefronts have been infiltrated by “pop-up experiences” primed to monetize the selfie. As department stores retreat, they have left “ghost malls” in their wake, complexes that lack the center of gravity to pull townspeople in but that live on in the form of eerie YouTube memorials. Meanwhile, the developers of American Dream — Triple Five, the Canadian conglomerate behind Mall of America in Minnesota — believe its gravitational pull is so strong that it will draw millions from the region, the nation, the world.

American Dream may be selling experiences, but the mall always was an experience. The shopping was mere pretense; the being-there part was free. Just as Baudelaire’s flâneur roamed the arcades of Paris with his leashed turtle, converting the halls of commerce into a kind of poetry, the American’s eye for sociological observation was forged in the glow of the Orange Julius. The commercial backdrop of the mall provided the uncanny feeling of becoming commodities ourselves, a prospect we could embrace or resist.

In pop culture, the mall was alienation ground zero. It’s where the zombies of “Dawn of the Dead” descended in search of flesh and the burnouts of “Mallrats” convened in defiance of their “lack of a shopping agenda.” It’s where Tai had her “near-death experience” in “Clueless,” when some guys she met at the Foot Locker dipped her over a balcony wall and shook her upside-down. It’s where the social hierarchies of “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” and “Mean Girls” were laid bare, and where, in middle school, I ducked into the Abercrombie & Fitch as if trespassing into a popular girl’s closet. It’s where America turned its public square over to private control, letting rent-a-cops reign and “Paul Blart” rise. It was a one-stop destination for American psychodrama.

What American Dream offers is alienation-plus. Everything that used to be outside — water slides, amusement parks, ski runs — is inside now. Every surface is synergized. The press release announcing American Dream’s partnership with Coca-Cola is an opus of corporate jargon: it speaks of “branded in-venue activations” and the “total beverage portfolio.”

And every American Dream attraction is the most extreme possible version of that thing. As I exited the ski hill and charted a course for the amusement park, a PR handler rattled off the development’s accomplishments. Big Snow is the largest indoor ski hill in the Western Hemisphere; Nickelodeon Universe has the roller coaster with the steepest drop in the world; the DreamWorks water park, when it opens, will host the world’s biggest wave pool. Also on site are “the first Angry Birds mini-golf attraction in North America” and IT’SUGAR, “the world’s largest non-manufacturer candy store.”

Credit…Ross Mantle for The New York Times Credit…Ross Mantle for The New York Times

A new mall can feel a lot like a dead one. American Dream’s current attractions are limited enough that on a Thursday in December, even with Santa in the house, the place was practically deserted. Dusty tarps hung over the water slides; the rabbits were inert stand-ins for rabbits.

There was something clarifying about touring this monument to experience when there was no one there to experience it, no cheeks to flush or pulses to quicken. There was no food court, as if the few figures that stalked its halls were not in need of human sustenance. Around every corner was a security guard, guarding nothing. Instead of storefronts, the walls were covered with a seemingly endless mural of animals and mundane objects that seemed to operate under the blunted logic of machine learning. Every few feet, a new and foreboding image appeared: a tentacle snaking through a commercial airplane window; a goldfish floating up to another goldfish in a plastic bag, as if ready to be thrust into a carnival-goer’s grubby palm.

The whole place is vulgar, which I happen to appreciate. At the entrance to IT’SUGAR — a brand name styled like a desperate scream — stands a 60-foot replica of the Statue of Liberty constructed from green jelly beans. She holds a lollipop for a torch and wears a sash that says: “You know you want it.” At her feet is written: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning for the sweet life, and I will give you IT’SUGAR.”

Just next door to this chilling spectacle is Nickelodeon Universe, a nostalgia factory themed around “SpongeBob SquarePants” and “Legends of the Hidden Temple.” As soon as I arrived, I unsuspectingly boarded the roller coaster with the steepest drop of all drops anywhere in the world. The ride rocketed us up to the ceiling, then held us against the window, taunting us with a view of the Manhattan skyline before executing its 121.5-degree drop. I clutched my harness and wept in horror. I was Tai in “Clueless,” hung over the balcony and shaken by a mall I had just met.

What does it mean to buy an experience? It’s not the monetization of life, exactly, but the simulation of its extremes. Nickelodeon Universe raised for me the specter of death. A Big Snow DJ announced the beginning of “endless winter.” The Statue of Liberty to Buy Candy represents a kind of apocalypse of meaning. I felt so much in this place. At the entrance to Big Snow is a “gondola ride” I took to the slope, really an unmoving vestibule in which an instructional video plays. In a startling cartoon sequence, an upbeat narrator reveals that Big, the slope’s impish Yeti mascot, moved to New York City in pursuit of the American Dream. But soon he grew terribly homesick, presumably for the Himalayas. So he built this indoor ski hill with his bare hands. Now Big only sees his Yeti family through the screen of his phone.

It was a moving tale of profound alienation, one of the most affecting films I saw this year. Like Las Vegas, or Arizona towns styled like the Old West, the artifice of American Dream is so artificial, its capitalist excesses so excessive, that it feels somehow revealing. As the critic Dave Hickey once wrote of Vegas: “What is hidden elsewhere exists here in quotidian visibility.”

No, it is not a mall. It’s a performance piece ruminating on the corporate takeover of nature and society. The name — American Dream — is both unnerving and absolutely correct.


Surfacing is a weekly column that explores the intersection of art and life, produced by Alicia DeSantis, Jolie Ruben and Josephine Sedgwick.

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Warren Says Private Prison Company’s Spending at Trump Hotel Is ‘Possible Corruption’

Westlake Legal Group Tws8WoDvN4Lq03X66nPcJAQYbYsnb34-FaKuksxch2E Warren Says Private Prison Company’s Spending at Trump Hotel Is ‘Possible Corruption’ r/politics

It was investigated when a Democrat ran this program.

In 2016 Senator Claire McCaskill asked the OIG to investigate how the Executive was contracting and paying for a massive for-profit concentration camp on the border. So they did. They found that the Obama administration was using secret municipal contracts paid to a city hundreds of miles away from the prison, then that the city routed some of the money to the private prison corporation, keeping a huge chunk for themselves in order to help keep the contract quiet.

In September 2014, ICE improperly modified an existing IGSA with the City of Eloy (Eloy) in Arizona to establish the 2,400-bed South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, Texas, more than 900 miles away. Although ICE could have contracted directly with the private company that operates the South Texas Family Residential Center, CCA, it instead created an unnecessary “middleman” by modifying its existing IGSA with Eloy. Eloy’s sole function under the modification is to act as the middleman between ICE and CCA; Eloy collects about $438,000 in annual fees for this service. OIG

Even worse, however, is that even after the OIG figured out what was happening and told the Obama administration to stop buying concentration camps with secret contracts, and even after the Obama administration agreed to stop doing so, the administration then changed its mind and paid the concentration camp up through 2021 right around the 2016 election.

In August 2016, Office of Acquisition staff said that ICE would not fund the South Texas modification beyond September 2016. However, in October 2016, ICE modified the Eloy IGSA to extend its use of the South Texas Family Residential Center until 2021, 3 years longer than the original agreement. OIG

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California police department deliver special Christmas gift to son of fallen officer

A California toddler who was spending his first Christmas without his police officer father got a special surprise from his late father’s colleagues.

Newman Police Corporal Ronil Singh, 33, was killed in the early hours of Dec. 26, 2018 after he pulled over a suspected drunk driver.

The gunman – later identified as Gustavo Arriaga Perez — fled, and a two-day manhunt led to his arrest before he prepared to leave to Mexico.

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-e94e560dc5294b889859339fc2a1bae7 California police department deliver special Christmas gift to son of fallen officer Lucia Suarez Sang fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/good-news fox news fnc/us fnc article 37181152-bfc5-5eab-921b-053b4b331b1b

This undated photo provided by the Newman Police Department shows officer Ronil Singh of Newman Police Department. (Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department via AP)

FLASHBACK: CALIFORNIA CHIEF PRAISES COP ALLEGEDLY SLAIN BY ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT, HITS LAWMAKERS WHO MAKE IT ‘MORE DIFFICULT’

This Christmas, the Newman Police Officers Association decided to make Singh’s son holidays a little bit special.

In a Facebook post shared on Christmas, Newman police said Singh had always said that his son would grow up to be a police officer like him and that he hoped to teach him the ropes one day.

HOUSTON POLICE OFFICER FATALLY SHOT WHILE RESPONDING TO DOMESTIC DISPUTE; SUSPECT IN CUSTODY

To get an early start, the association delivered the toddler his very own patrol car, which a local anonymous resident modeled to look just like his dad’s old one.

“Merry Christmas Baby Singh!” the police department posted on Facebook.

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Singh’s death last year caught the attention of President Trump, who at the time called for tougher border security after praising Singh’s “service to his fellow citizens.”

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6118450540001_6118449956001-vs California police department deliver special Christmas gift to son of fallen officer Lucia Suarez Sang fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/good-news fox news fnc/us fnc article 37181152-bfc5-5eab-921b-053b4b331b1b   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6118450540001_6118449956001-vs California police department deliver special Christmas gift to son of fallen officer Lucia Suarez Sang fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/good-news fox news fnc/us fnc article 37181152-bfc5-5eab-921b-053b4b331b1b

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