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AMC Theatres Plans to Reopen in July But Won’t Require Masks, Cowardly Fearing Rightwing Nuts More Than the Spread of COVID-19

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Brent Lang, Variety:

AMC will not mandate that all guests wear masks, although employees will be required to do so. Nor will AMC perform temperature checks on customers, though it will monitor its employees’ temperatures and have them undergo screenings to check for signs of coronavirus. The situation will be different in states and cities that require residents to wear a mask when they’re in public, but Aron said that AMC was wary of wading into a public health issue that has become politicized.

“We did not want to be drawn into a political controversy,” said Aron. “We thought it might be counterproductive if we forced mask wearing on those people who believe strongly that it is not necessary. We think that the vast majority of AMC guests will be wearing masks. When I go to an AMC feature, I will certainly be wearing a mask and leading by example.”

The cowardice and stupidity here are just jaw-dropping.

Any business reopening post-quarantine must base their mask policy either on science or politics. A policy based on science would mandate masks for all customers. There’s simply no dispute about that.

A policy based on politics could go either way. You can piss off the “fuck your science, I’m not wearing a mask” nuts, or you can piss off those on the side of epidemiological science. There is no middle ground — one way or the other you’re going to piss off one group. It’s cowardly and stupid, to me, to go with the know-nothings. It’s preposterous for Adam Aron to attempt to couch this decision as trying to avoid politics — politics is the only possible reason for not mandating masks. Whereas a mandatory mask policy can be truthfully explained apolitically: just tell everyone that your policy is based on the recommendations of the CDC. Then it’s out of your hands as the theater chain and in the hands of scientific experts.

But maybe this is good business? Maybe the only people willing to go to movie theaters here in the U.S. — where COVID-19 transmission remains far from under control — are the sort of people who think face masks are unnecessary or useless? I’ll admit that regardless of whether masks are mandatory, there’s no way I’d go to a movie theater next month. But I don’t see how Adam Aron looks his own employees in the eye with this policy.

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mxm23
15 days ago
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One wonders if there is a new disclaimer on the tickets / on signs in the theaters denying responsibility for anyone catching COVID-19, like the recent Trump rally.
West Coast
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‘It Really Does Feel like the U.S. Has Given Up’

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Rick Noack, reporting for The Washington Post:

As coronavirus cases surge in states across the South and West of the United States, health experts in countries with falling case numbers are watching with a growing sense of alarm and disbelief, with many wondering why virus-stricken U.S. states continue to reopen and why the advice of scientists is often ignored.

“It really does feel like the U.S. has given up,” said Siouxsie Wiles, an infectious-diseases specialist at the University of Auckland in New Zealand — a country that has confirmed only three new cases over the last three weeks and where citizens have now largely returned to their pre-coronavirus routines.

“I can’t imagine what it must be like having to go to work knowing it’s unsafe,” Wiles said of the U.S.-wide economic reopening. “It’s hard to see how this ends. There are just going to be more and more people infected, and more and more deaths. It’s heartbreaking.” […]

Some European health experts fear that the rising U.S. caseloads are rooted in a White House response that has at times deviated from the conclusions of leading scientists. […] Whereas the U.S. response to the crisis has at times appeared disconnected from American scientists’ publicly available findings, U.S. researchers’ conclusions informed the actions of foreign governments.

This cagey “at times” nonsense is just a nonsensical attempt to appear above the U.S. political fray. There’s no maybe or “at times” about it — the explanation is entirely and obviously the result of President Trump. The U.S. political response is disconnected from American scientists’ publicly available findings.

Jeet Heer:

I don’t think people realize what a tragedy this is, how many lives it will cost, how many people will unnecessarily have chronic health problems for the rest of their lives because of this, and how it will damage America for decades to come.

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mxm23
15 days ago
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Is this an example of "negative externalities" (economic term)? The government is pushing the cost of treating people to citizens and companies?
West Coast
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Apple Closing 11 Reopened U.S. Stores as COVID-19 Spikes

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Bloomberg:

Apple Inc. is temporarily shutting some of its U.S. retail stores again after cases of Covid-19 spiked in some areas across the country, Bloomberg News reports. The closures will impact 11 stores across Florida, Arizona, North Carolina and South Carolina.

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mxm23
15 days ago
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Interesting to note that Apple's data is probably better -- in the sense of not skewed -- than data presented by the government. They only have the best interests of their brand (perception, etc.) and business (lawsuits, employee sickness) to base their decisions on. They don't have another narrative. (And they have the strong business to _afford_ to close stores.)
West Coast
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Bogus Security Technology: An Anti-5G USB Stick

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The 5GBioShield sells for £339.60, and the description sounds like snake oil:

...its website, which describes it as a USB key that "provides protection for your home and family, thanks to the wearable holographic nano-layer catalyser, which can be worn or placed near to a smartphone or any other electrical, radiation or EMF [electromagnetic field] emitting device".

"Through a process of quantum oscillation, the 5GBioShield USB key balances and re-harmonises the disturbing frequencies arising from the electric fog induced by devices, such as laptops, cordless phones, wi-fi, tablets, et cetera," it adds.

Turns out that it's just a regular USB stick.

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mxm23
18 days ago
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While I generally abhor scams — I’m willing to admit my bias here that I hope they sold a tonne of these to the 5G-causes-coronavirus conspiracy theorists.
West Coast
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[Sponsor] Danilo Campos

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I’m Danilo Campos, an iOS developer and product designer since 2008. I sponsored DF this week to share two things:

  • My new iPhone app, Tallymander
  • I’m available on a freelance basis for product planning, interaction design, and iOS/macOS engineering

Tallymander is a tool for gathering and analyzing numerical data. Spreadsheets never quite hit the spot for me in a mobile context, so this is an attempt to reimagine them for your pocket.

I built Tallymander with SwiftUI, and I know my way around Objective-C, Swift, AppKit and UIKit.

Let’s talk about your project.

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mxm23
21 days ago
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Such a cool idea. Advertise _yourself_ on DF. :-) How much $$?
West Coast
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Supreme Court Rules Civil Rights Act Applies to L.G.B.T.Q. Rights

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Justice Neil Gorsuch, writing for the 6-3 majority:

Sometimes small gestures can have unexpected consequences. Major initiatives practically guarantee them. In our time, few pieces of federal legislation rank in significance with the Civil Rights Act of 1964. There, in Title VII, Congress outlawed discrimination in the workplace on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Today, we must decide whether an employer can fire someone simply for being homosexual or transgender. The answer is clear. An employer who fires an individual for being homosexual or transgender fires that person for traits or actions it would not have questioned in members of a different sex. Sex plays a necessary and undisguisable role in the decision, exactly what Title VII forbids.

Those who adopted the Civil Rights Act might not have anticipated their work would lead to this particular result. Likely, they weren’t thinking about many of the Act’s consequences that have become apparent over the years, including its prohibition against discrimination on the basis of motherhood or its ban on the sexual harassment of male employees. But the limits of the drafters’ imagination supply no reason to ignore the law’s demands. When the express terms of a statute give us one answer and extratextual considerations suggest another, it’s no contest. Only the written word is the law, and all persons are entitled to its benefit.

My headline here links to Slate’s coverage of the opinion, which includes analysis and links to Samuel Alito’s dissent. But I highly recommend reading Gorsuch’s opinion: it’s cogent, clear, and compelling.

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mxm23
21 days ago
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"Finally."
West Coast
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