Wednesday, July 19, 2017

ABC Nightline: "Gay Purges" in Chechnya


ABC Nightline, in the after midnight show early 7/20/2017, reported on “Gay Purges” in Chechnya.
     
The broadcast visited a safehouse in the outskirts of Moscow, where vigilante violence has increased since 2013 throughout much of Russia, but most of all in Chechnya. 

“Militias” that seemed connected to the government, according to one person in the safehouse. There were stories of torture and electrocution. 

The president of the region denied the existence of gays in this Muslim autonomous area.  He said families should take matters into their own hands.

27 of the over 100 people in the safe house have been able to leave Russia.

Vladimir Putin seems to deny the problem, and his attitude over the Magnitsky Act could be a contributing factor.


The Tsarnaev brothers came from Chechnya.  

Nightline did not have a link the story yet. 

Update: The link resolves if you forward it to Twitter, here

Monday, July 17, 2017

CNN: "The 90s" and Bubba Bill Clinton


CNN has started its series “The 90s” with the same theme music suggesting historical sweep. The main link is here.

The best part of the Pilot was the scenes showing excerpts from David Lynch’s “Twin Peaks”, as it showed how television changed in the 1990s.  In 1992, George H. W. Bush tried to put down “The Simpsons” as he was losing the White House to the post-Persian Gulf War recession.

Bill Clinton, Bubba himself, the comeback kid, became the subject of the second episode. The episode brushed off his attempt to lift the ban on gays in the military, which became a major story right after he took office in 1993, facing the outcry from Colin Powell, Sam Nunn, and Charles Moskos, who would come up with “don’t ask don’t tell”.



But the episode veered off into the Whitewater scandal, and makes Clinton look as feckless as Trump today. Clinton would lose the midterms in 1004, but then preside over a booming economy in the second half of the decade as it approached Y2K, with the dot-com boom and bust.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

NBC Today show presents problem of gifted teens developing schizophrenia



NBC Today Show Sunday morning had an important report on middle illness among gifted kids, with the story of Joey Hudy, who earned a visit with President Obama with a science fair invention at age 14.

The main link for the video (no embed) is here.


Other videos on YouTube show his earlier science fair awards.  Science fair awards have been important for other young adults often discussed in these blogs, so this is a very disturbing story. 

The report was probably shown in part because of GOP threats to cut mental health care coverage in many policies, especially bare bones, in the current health care debate.

But the report also highlights that the ages 17-25 or so are a period where some young adults, even very gifted ones, develop schizophrenia, for unknown reasons, possibly related to the final phase of the brain maturation and “pruning” which can lead to “ wiring” problems (as connections are “dropped” incorrectly) in the brain given certain genetics.  

Here are some more references on early adulthood schizophrenia: NIH, nbcdfw, Psychcentral, and Washington Post.

It sounds plausible that kids  who are involved in several diversified "real-world" activities (not just before screens) would have more resistance to this problem, given any genetic setup. 

Saturday, July 15, 2017

CNN: "The First Son: The Life of Donald Trump, Jr."; the role of the Magnitsky Act??


On Friday, July 14, CNN aired “The First Son: The Life of Donald Trump, Jr.”  At 39, he looks very youthful.

Curiously, CNN does not have a good link on its own show yet.  But here is CNN’s latest on the whole matter of meetings with the Russians during the campaign to dig up dirt on Hillary Clinton, as if they needed to find more.

Donald Trump Jr. was a bit of a troublemaker sometimes in college.  As an adult, he has drawn controversy, or sometimes praise, on liking to “hunt and fish”.  I guess my own admiration goes to the Canadian zoologist who “whispered” an alpha male lion who let the man join the pride to film it. Higher mammals really are much like us in too many ways.



Donald Jr. seems to be in charge of the international businesses, while Eric runs the domestic.  And, no, this is not fake news.



Update: July 16 

Bill Browder, of Capital Hermitage Management, told Fareed Zakaria 9/16 that Putin wanted Trump in office to have a better change of overturning US laws seizing assets of individual Russians guilty of human rights abuses,  This in turn can destabilize Putin's hold on power in Russia. This concerns the Magnitsky Act, explained on Fox here

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Fox airs MLB All Star Game from funky Marlins Park: essentially, its Astros 2, Nats 1


Last night, Fox carried the All Star Game for Major League Baseball, and it turned out to be a low scoring game, where power pitchers, each in for only an inning or two, could dominate power hitters.

The National league (the visiting team) won in 10 innings, 2-1, on a homer by Seattle’s Robinson Cano to right in the top of the frame (MLB report).


The Fox broadcast interviewed two outfielders, Brantley of the Astros and Bryce Harper of the Nationals, by mike as they stood in the outfield as innings began.  Aaron Judge of the Yankees, who won the “homerama” contest (and hit four balls over 500 feet) was interviewed.

Bryce Harper made a great catch of a blooper in right field.  Max Scherzer pitched a stellar first inning.  Strasburg, hit by a line drive Saturday but apparently OK, did not pitch.   Harper wore his uniform a bit open, to be "revealed" during the game. 

Nevertheless, the end result could be viewed as Astros 2, Nats 1. 

Wikipedia attribution link under CCSA 2.0  of Marlins Park “Bermuda Triangle” picture by Lundberg.

Friday, July 07, 2017

"Dying to Be Famous: The Versace Murders" of 1997, on ABC 20-20: about spree killer Andrew Cunanan


Tonight ABC 20-20 aired the retrospective report “Dying to Be Famous: the Versace Murders”, best link here.

The disturbing story concerns spree killer Andrew Cunanan, who killed two former lovers in Minneapolis in the spring of 1997, then another elderly sugar daddy in Chicago in May, and then drove to Miami Beach (through Philadelphia and New Jersey, where he killed a cemetery attendant to steal a car) and killed Gianni Versace, shooting him on the front door of his home in broad daylight.

 Cunanan would commit suicide in a houseboat when collared by police.
 


Cunanan had a high “IQ”, but also narcissistic personality disorder.  His is one of the most disturbing ever in the gay community, and this is very unusual.  Cunanan’s nihilism seemed to be like that of James Holmes in 2012.
 
John Walsh narrated the episode.

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Dateline: "Into the Wild": a teenage pilot survives getting lost, a crash in the Big Horn Mountains


NBC Dateline presented “Into the Wild” on Sunday, a story of how McKenzie Morgan, a teenage girl (17) and private pilot survived losing her way in the Big Horn Mountains in Wyoming, crashed, and survived.

A hiker with a lame horse happened to see her, by fortuitous coincidence.  They eventually got down back to civilization to a sheriff’s car.



She had misread a reading and gone the wrong way, finding the plane climbing higher (over 13000 feet) than it is designed to fly.

The flash link for the episode is here.

The episode showed spectacular canyon country as well as bare peaks with no human traffic.

I visited the area in 1994.

Big Horn alpine scene, Wikipedia, John David Stutts, CCSA 3.0