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These are the seasons of emotion and like the wind they rise and fall
This is the wonder of devotion - I see the torch we all must hold.
This is the mystery of the quotient, quotient - Upon us all, upon us all a little rain must fall.
It's just a little rain, oh yeah

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Linkee-poo never gets to say much, never get to talk, tell us a little bit, but not to much

Hey, you know all those people who say that their middle-ages novels set in an English type country where everyone is white, when they get called on that say, "they're just being true to history"? Well, bullshit. Here is DNA evidence of skeletons found in London that show it was a very diverse city. Always has been. (Grokked from Chia Evers) Slavic fairy tales illustrated. Interesting. (Grokked from David Klecha) You'd think with all the hype and attention the NFL's Pinktober campaign gets there would be log of money flowing to help prevent breast cancer and for breast cancer research. You would be wrong. (Grokked from Charles Terhune) A subterranean pagan basilica is restored in Rome. Going on my vacation list right now. (Grokked from Michelle Swiniarski) "Many or most of the 150 or so people at the meeting seemed more tolerant and open-minded. But the loudmouths who vented their poisonous views dominated the proceeding, and no one had the appetite to take them on." And that's part of the problem, the majority is tired, and because of that, the loudmouth bullies think they're in charge. And the problem is that those people aren't actually the targets of the hatred which makes it easy for them to ignore it and not take action. (Grokked from Saladin Ahmed) And in other gun news, a Mississippi man shoots a Waffle House waitress in the head because she asked him to not smoke in the restaurant. Because we're a rational society. (Grokked from Steven Gould) Something that's been on my mind lately, Have we, as a country, become a kleptocracy. I mean, it's been evident that many places in the US have been running on the banana republic model. But has it gone too far already? (When I say I know a revolution is coming, this is a major part of that) (Grokked from Debbie Morrow) Dear Rep. Grayson, don't be a dick. I understand the urge, the sense of righteousness and revenge, but nobody is served by it. "'I am being attacked and smeared by the liberal media for legally exercising my 1st and 2nd Amendment rights and for using public data to defend my credibility when they make accusations against me,' (David) Wright wrote on Thursday." On his replacement Facebook page, after he took down the original page where he published the names and addresses of people who spoke against an anti-Sharia law in Irving, Tx. Nah, dude, we're just calling it what it was and calling you what you are. And if you don't understand what you did and how you portrayed yourself, well, I guess you shouldn't have reposted the list until you figured out how to be a real human. What the real problem here is, you didn't think anyone would notice. Tweet of my heart: @Are0h White people have physically attacked everything conservative candidates of have criticized. Are you paying attention?

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Linkee-poo, shut up Uncle Ted

"And they’re telling us that the only way a female character can be strong is if she acts, in every way possible, like a man." On the absurdity of Scott Bergstrom's interview with Publishers Weekly. (Grokked from Julie)

"No matter what the adults say, nine times out of ten, the kids are ready to talk." One writing books that ask questions that are topical, and difficult. (Grokked form Leah Bobet)

Read this a while ago, but io9 made it into a more readable version. That's how a homophobic post on tumblr was turned into a dystopian science fiction lovefest. (Grokked this time from Cat Rambo)

Apparently, even looking at cops is disrespectful, at least according to Fox News. I would like to say that this isn't racism rearing it's ugly head and that Megan Kelly really isn't trying to say that this black man should lower his gaze while standing in front of a police officer, but unfortunately I believe that is exactly what is going on here. Just pointed to in case you need a reference.

This is how terrorism works. IT's a little short sighted and doesn't look at the long con, but a good thing to keep in mind. Especially when you read the next article. (Grokked from Janiece)

The armed protestors outside an Irving, Texas mosque publish the names and addresses of people who spoke out against an Anti-Sharia resolution. I'm of two minds about this. One, it's an obvious case of intimidation given that the group that published them is advocating for an eventual conflict (and also believe it's a good idea to bring guns to a "peaceful" protest). But two, it's a part of the public record. Now why the council required residents to register with all that information just to speak before council, that's another question (and frankly a little archaic and stupid). But I'm also surprised to find this happened in Texas, given their general proclivity to deny FoA/Sunshine/Records requests. Also, that it's published by the side of the conflict by those who are wearing the masks is a negative. Not to mention the context of how it was published as a list of "of Muslims and Muslim sympathizers". I wonder what would happen if a list of the names and addresses of the idiots with guns were also published? (Grokked from Saladin Ahmed)

Some inside perspective on ISIS. I'm not familiar enough with the various sub philosophies of Islam to gauge the veracity, but it sounds plausible. A nation state built on apocalyptic vision, it's happened before. And that the vision is disputed by the majority of the rest of the adherents to that religion also isn't unique (what's in your eschatology?). Also, that those people who support the ideals, who live outside the actual real life application of those rules, find it exciting and desirable also isn't new. And that internally, within that state, the actual application of those values is brutal and oppressive, justifying the unjust, and lying to themselves that it's all for the greater good also is not new. (Grokked from Janiece)

And Janiece herself has some good things to say about all of this; Paris, ISIS, terrorism, and American compassions and courage. Yes, that.

The Trumpster (well, his spokesman) says, "don't fuck us, GOP, or we'll go nuclear on your ass." Okay, he was a little nicer about it. Have we mentioned the cracks are beginning to show? But if the Trumpster goes "rogue" as a third party play, will the lunatic fringe Reagan invited in actually split from the party (in this case, I'm thinking permanently, not just at the Nov 2016 election)?

"No, if you want to take down Trump, there is only one line of attack that will work—but it is an attack that requires the party leadership and its donors to attain some critical distance from their own beliefs and points of view." And that's where the schism happens. (Grokked from Ferrett Steinmetz)

"Write your story the way you want to write it. You don’t have to talk to anybody. It doesn’t make any difference. But many people were shot. It makes sense." The Trumpster on being challenged about his Civil War memorial on his golf course.

Yes, Rep. Steven King is just that racist. I wonder just how he would feel about Cleveland's Little Italy, which not only being very Italian in feel (it's slightly mixed now with lots of student off-campus housing), but also very Catholic, both of which at one time were considered un-American.

"On a scale from zero to 100, the scientists gave Cruz a six." Drops mic, walks away.

Slow clap. Well played, Vice, well played. (Grokked from Patrick Nielsen Hayden)

Tweet of my heart: @robertjbennett In the first 10% of your story, you make the case for reading the following 90%.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

When I look, and I find, I still love you

Because Saladin Ahmed reminded me, today is the day the heavens cried for the loss of a star that burned ever so bright and ever so fast, this has been in my head all day. And now it may be in yours.

I still tear up a little listening to this.

Linkee-poo is always drunk on Sunday, trying to feel like I'm at home

Robert J. Bennett puts on his Cranky-Pants™ and talks about story.

Advertising gone wrong. An ad campaign for The Man in the High Castle, Amazon's series based on the same novel by Philip K Dick, misses the very basic test of "do not piss off the customer." The story is set in an alternate history where the Allies lost WWII, and the Axis powers have divided the US. So the ad agency divided a subway car and put Nazi iconography on ones side, and Empirical Japan iconography on the other side. Seriously brain-fucked idea. While it may "pass the rules" (which it really doesn't), it was just dumb, dumb, dumb. No, really, the ad exec who pitched this should be flogged, and not in a 50 Shades of Grey way either. (Grokked from Chuck Wendig)

Living in panderville. Or, even in 2015 our culture still sees women and minorities this way, and it's a fucking problem that is long passed time to fix. But that means men must get over being privileged, and I think if you look at the presidential campaign, or almost any marketing campaign, we're still a long way from home on that score. (Grokked from Mur Lafferty)

One explosion in Spectre sets a Guiness World Record. (Grokked from Dan)

Electric cars really are greener. "The media loves these stories. They're counterintuitive, surprising, and best of all, show that those silly greens, with their idealistic yadda yadda, don't know how to do math." I remember a reader commenting that electric cars were "dirtier" than gas because all that electricity was produced by coal. As I replied, we can get electricity from things other than coal (and now, 5 years down the road, coal is already going away here in the US). (Grokked from Robert J Bennett)

Thanksgiving without the turkey.

As a reminder, it's the white supremacists who believe the race war is coming, not the Black Lives Matter movement. In this case, 3 white men open fire on a Black Lives Matter protest in Minneapolis. (Grokked from Jason Sanford)

And then, after 5 Black Lives Matter protestors were shot by white suspects, police used mace on the Black Lives Matter protestors. (Grokked from Tobias Buckell)

Time interviews Randall Munroe, he relies in cartoons. Like a boss. (Grokked from Dan)

Pro ISIS messages painted on "the rock" at Youngstown State. Not mentioned in this report, the Arabic was misspelled. This, I'm fairly confident, is a false-flag operation. Because 1) Youngstown? Seriously, Youngstown doesn't even make the Cleveland news, and 2) A message rock? Look, if you're going to fake these kinds of things trying to incite violence and drama you have to think big. Because that's what ISIS does. Why were the attacks in Paris and not in Brussels (were the attackers were supposedly based)? Because people the world over care about Paris, they don't care about Brussels where there are plenty of EU official buildings.

Dr. Ben Carson would like you to know he's a very smart person. And he can learn foreign policy issues, once he puts his mind to it. :: shakes head :: You'd think he'd do that once he said he wanted to be President.

Dr. Carson chalks it up to a rookie mistake. When he was asked if he supported what the Trumpeter had said about NJ Muslims celebrating on 9/11, "I didn't know that they had an agenda behind the question." Seriously, he keeps telling us he's smart.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Link-poo goes over the river and through the wood

The reboot we didn't need, Netflix is going to relaunch Lost In Space. (Grokked from Dan)

There are reasons I stopped reading Dilbert regularly. Here's one more. (Grokked from Annalee Flower Horne)

How to handle those awkward holiday conversations with Relative Fact-Free-News-Letter. 'Cause you know you're gonna need it (also, I hope to have provided enough ammunition to fortify your own opinions). (Grokked from Mary Robinette Kowal)

"product acceptance challenges." Okay, see, here's a major problem of marketing (and Hollywood sequel making). It's what happens when there is a success in the marketplace; like a successful product, store, service, media. Then come the business consultants to determine how these things made money, how they appealed to the market (ie. consumers). Instead of saying "because it was well made and exceeded consumer's expectations", instead they look for the granular metric that can be repeated to make another success. Even though what was really the cause of the success is a holistic quality statement. But you can't measure or "replicate" that (actually you can, but it requires people who have brains). So they then focus in on things that progressively matter less in an attempt to make another best seller. So eventually they end up with products that nobody wants (or sizes that nobody buys). (Grokked from the Slactivist)

Fred Clark says, "Dear Google, you still want to make Google+ a thing? Well, first you need to apologize for killing Google Reader and for getting rid of the blog search option." And there you have an example of the above thesis.

"Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) on Friday suggested that Syrian refugees are just trying to come to the United States for a 'paid vacation,' noting how much the federal government spends to resettle refugees." Dear Representative Mo Brooks, you're an asshole. You might want to work on that. You're correct, I'm being mean. Dear Rep. Brooks, you're an ignorant, racist, know-nothing, "oh pity me" asshole. I apologize to all the other assholes who were offended by my earlier statement.

Sometimes you wonder if the Trumpeter is just a blowhard the brownshirt like, and then you find he is a brownshirt himself. It's one thing to remove protestors, it's another to cheer them being "roughed up" by your followers (or security). You know, especially after he says that it shouldn't happen.

Fred Clark has some words for the people who like to roll out the "why should we do (this) when we still have homeless veterans we should be taking care of!" argument (this, by my recollection, is the 4th time in the last 6 years). "Decent people don’t play that game. Happy people don’t play that game. People who genuinely care about one good thing do not treat every other good thing as competition that must be crushed and stopped. They do not argue that justice for X should come at the expense of injustice for Y." Fred Clark speaks the truth. And then he also tells the truth that the current administration has actually been working to solve that problem everyone is so upset about now. Note how they weren't upset when President Obama actually was solving the problem.

"'Jake, what should've happened is we should've been informed about it and we were not,' (Presidential candidate Chris) Christie said. 'We should have these folks vetted and vetted well.'" On his comments about Syrian refugees. Basically, Christie is admitting to being willfully ignorant of how refugees are vetted. This isn't the government's fault, this is his fucking fault for not being curious about issues that affect his state. This is the state of the GOP today, "We don't know, and we don't wanna know, we just want to be afraid and ignorant." No, really, this is what he is admitting to here.

Ted Cruz pulls a Mitt Romney. Proving once again, the party of "fiscal discipline" can't even read a spreadsheet. (Grokked from the Slactivist)

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Linkee-poo for the weekend

Okay, get your geek card out, what's wrong with this Star Trek Picture. (Grokked from John)

Sex (as in male or female) isn't as binary as we think. "In the area of 1 in 2,000 people are born intersex. These individuals may have mixed genitalia, meaning some combination of ovaries and testes. This comes about either because ovarian and testicular tissue grow together in the same organ or because a "male side" and a "female side" develop in the body." And this doesn't count the thousands of ways people don't fall into the black and white categories of male or female (while mostly presenting as female, because it's nature's default, there are at least 4 genetic variations of the 23rd chromosome which may include extra chromosomal material - ie. XXY, XXX, XYY). And all of this is just the physics of sex, this is all before we get to who we identify with and what turns us on (which tends to expand the spectrum by 100x or more).

Seven things to know about antibiotics. Let me add an 8th, antibiotics don't actually kill bacteria. For the most part they defeat the bacterial defense mechanisms (mostly weakening the capsule they build around themselves). You body then is able to effectively battle the bacteria. This is why people who have compromised immune systems need extra protection. (Grokked from Debbie Morrow)

Here we go again. "This week, the House of Representatives voted to help banks and car dealerships discriminate against customers of color. And it wasn't just Republicans -- 88 Democrats, including Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) -- voted in favor of the legislation." Fuckstockings. Yes, the CFPB is doing great work, but because that threatens corporations, they lobby to have laws passed to nullify their rulings. Note, all conservatives voted for this. (Grokked from Julie)

The dangerous secret of biology. Most infectious bacteria still share genetic code (extra-cellular communication of DNA/RNA), specifically the genes to anti-biotic resistance (also to infectious vectors, the handles they use to latch on to cells). Also of note, not many companies are working on new antibiotics these days.

Oh, Canada. For those who say they'll move there. Also note, Canada actually has some pretty strict immigration policies if you want to move there.

Well, so much for any federal funding off the Holocaust Museum. And while some people say having a museum make a statement on current affairs is quite strange, these people don't understand what museums are for.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Linkee-poo, not sure who to thank or why because it's Friday

Alan Moore's advice to unpublished authors. (Grokked from Emma Audley)

XKCD on DNA as code. Hahahahaha (Grokked from Dan)

Peter Jackson admits he winged it with the Hobbit. Yea, we all kind of figured that out. (Grokked from Jason Sanford)

I'm sorry, Dear, I'm so fucking sorry. A letter from a nurse to the parents of a child who was brought into the ER DOA. There are some times those stolid faces we put hide the humor we're seeing, but more often it's this. We're dying on the inside, but you don't need to see that. Not in your condition. You don't need to see us panic as you're crashing. You don't need to see us knowing exactly what your doctor just told you, but it hasn't sunk in (or you don't quite understand the words they used, "it isn't broken, he said it was fractured"). (Grokked from George Takei)

"The political network helmed by Charles and David Koch has quietly built a secretive operation that conducts surveillance and intelligence gathering on its liberal opponents, viewing it as a key strategic tool in its efforts to reshape American public life." Well, most campaigns set up opposition committees, partly they are to keep track of the political opponents and do background research (looking for skeletons and other weaknesses). But this is a whole different animal. (Grokked from Robert J Bennett)

And for the Carson campaign, the wheels are coming off the bus. Apparently one of the people hired to help bring Dr. Carson up to speed on international affairs claims that the good doctor hasn't been able to absorb any of it. Make you wonder just where he found those Chinese people in Syria. (Grokked from Dan)

I'm sure if we get the world's muslims to condemn terrorism just one more time conservative fartbags would finally accept that Islam isn't the problem. But probably not.

"Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX) said Tuesday that 'Mary and Jesus didn't have suicide bomb vests strapped on' during a discussion about the refugees expected to come to the United States and how the course of the conversation might change as the holiday season approaches." Well shit, if that's the criteria that's going to make vetting these refugees a snap. "People with suicide vests in this line, people without vests in this line."

In case you're still wondering if Ted Cruz is the bully in the schoolyard… "Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) addressed President Obama directly while speaking to reporters Wednesday, telling him to 'come back and insult me to my face.'" Oh boy. It plays well to the base and he'll score points for it, but seriously, dude, did you just challenge the President? While I'm sure Mr. Obama won't rise to the bait, I'd really like to see him summon Cruz to the Oval Office, have him come in, call him an idiot to his face and then tell him to get out of the White House. Note, there would be many Secret Service Agents to enforce that command. But that's just my liberal fantasy (although the President has shown a tendency to not have any fucks left to give, so who knows).

I've seen this movie before. I wonder if all those "free speech activists" on the right will decry the Trump campaign's treatment of reporters? Yea, I know the answer to that. Also, Trump is just an ass. But that plays well to the base. He's often quite wrong. But in a way that plays well to the base, also.

"Republican presidential candidate and Ohio Gov. John Kasich nixed his idea Wednesday to form a new agency to spread Judeo-Christian values across the globe, according to The Columbus Dispatch, instead saying that he would expand the existing government broadcast agency, Voice of America to serve the purpose." And, we could change the name of VOA to "The Ministry of Truth".

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Linkee-poo was seventeen and terminally fey, I wrote it down and threw it all away

The best preserved cave lions have been found. Basically, two cubs made into ice mummies. Neat. So lets clone them. What could possibly go wrong? (Note, reproductive science on felines is notoriously finicky, so we may luck out there). (Grokked from Elizabeth Bear)

Last year, police civil forfeitures exceeded all burglaries. So, what's the definition of a police state? So what do our elected officials do? Why lets try and repeal Obamacare, stuff in a clause to remove the EPA's authority to regulate pollution, and (here in Ohio) make sure you can take your concealed weapon anywhere (except government buildings, natch). (Grokked from Saladin Ahmed)

"As many as half of all natural history specimens sitting in our museums are mislabeled, according to a team at the University of Oxford and the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh." Well, for botanic specimens at least.

Ah, the glories of the free market. Fucking poor people over since 1840. In this case a story about how rents are rising, mostly on the low-end of the spectrum.

Hey brave fucktards, don't do the work of the terrorists. This shit is exactly what ISIS wants you to do. And that this happened in Canada is doubly disheartening. Seriously, you all are supposed to be the polite neighbors. (Grokked from Saladin Ahmed)

"They hate the pictures of Germans welcoming refugees. They're convinced that Muslims cannot peacefully co-exist with their neighbors in western societies. More than anything else, they want to convince other Muslims of this. They chose France as a soft target where racist politicians are already doing well, where it will be easy to provoke reprisals." Declaring war on a terrorist organization is the big time, for them. That's when they know they've made it. And, as long as one of them survives, they will declare victory. (Grokked from Dan)

Hell, even Shepard Smith knows this. (Grokked from John)

So, the voice on the tape is a frenchman. Strange how that happens. It's not the people fleeing ISIS who are the problem. Really wish the people "in charge" in this country would fucking grow a pair (balls or boobs, whichever gives them the fortitude to not piss their pants). (Grokked from Xeni)

"'I'm not worried about what a bureaucrat in D.C. or an unelected judge thinks… We need to gather [Syrian refugees] up and politely take them back to the ICE [federal immigration] center and say, They're not coming to Tennessee, they're yours,' Tennessee state House GOP Caucus Chairman Glen Casada told The Tennessean Tuesday." Well, as long as we're polite about a racism and pants-pissing fear, I guess that's alright. Ignorant, xenophobic, racist fucktardism at it's best right there. Good job, Tennessee state House GOP Caucus Chairman Glen Casada, I think you will win some kind of award for that. You can put it on the shelf next to all the participation trophies you've gathered. (Grokked from Robert J Bennett who retweeted Steve Silberman ‏@stevesilberman "We can stop wondering how Japanese internment happened in America. Guys like this did it.")

A more comprehensive strategy for Syrian refugees? Fuck, it already takes years for refugees to get approval to come to the US. Years. Literally years. Look, in all seriousness, all these political leaders are pissing themselves with fear and trying to make you afraid of absolutely fucking nothing. They hope to take this into next year's election cycle, "Booga Booga, be afraid and vote for me 'cause I'm the only one who will save you." (BTW, Giuliani, the GOP denied the President's request for more war powers to go after ISIS, fuck you) This isn't bravery or leadership, this is cowardice in the face of the enemy. This is exactly what ISIS wants us to do. It's is also especially sad that these very same people will also tell you how "Christian" they are (and most of them will give you their eschatology if you scratch hard enough). The Bible they so revere has many stories that should be informing to them, yet they choose (because it is a choice) to go the way of sin. They're all cowardly fucktards, the lot of them.

Oh, and about those passports. They may have been fake. Like, you know, a disinformation campaign. Boy, those tewowists awe sneaky. If only… if only we had an intelligence service that could help us with this, or intelligent people in charge (in politics and the media) who might have thought that the passport found at a distance from the people who killed themselves with explosive belts might have been planted. You know, away from the bodies so they wouldn't be destroyed by the explosion. :: beats head against desk :: (Grokked from Chuck Wendig)

My governor. It's not in the "highlights", but during the interview when confronted with having said we should welcome refugees because we're Americans, and his "deeply held Christian values" he actually said, "I've said what I'm going to say on the subject and no more." That is what you say when you realize you've just been caught lying, "That's my story and I'm sticking to it." Jebus, doesn't any of these candidates have intelligent political advisors to help keep them out of these messes? (well, no, they're in deep pandering mode, unfortunately the GOP voter rolls a shock full of ignorant bigots)

Tweet of my heart: @thesadheight Where are the "belt-tightening" fiscal conservatives on police abuse? It's expensive and an excess we can't afford. (about this article on Baltimore police settlements this year alone

Double dip: @raganwald If you have an open office space, and everyone has headphones on, and people escape to breakout rooms, what should that tell you?

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Linkee-poo sees the torch we all must hold

Hey Amanda Palmer's husband gave another interview about the silly things that have kept him occupied.

I normally don't go for questionnaires, but what sword would you use in the Medieval or Renaissance eras? I got the arming sword (aka war rapier). This is the type of sword most people think if when they think "sword." Strange, since it most possible my ancestors carried the schiavona (a type of basket-hilted broadsword), which was favored by the Slavic mercenaries. (Grokked from Tania)

The Tower of London had magical sigils burned into it's timbers to help keep the Devil out. (Grokked from

So, just what did they eat at the first Thanksgiving?

Okay, so I posted a little on what the real goals of terrorism is, to divide us and spark revolution. Want a little proof? How would you explain their reasoning to take a selfie of a sikh and photoshop to make it look like he was a terrorists? See, Amuricans already don't know the difference, this is a misinformation campaign to incite violence against sikhs, the people who have been helping refugees fleeing Syria by setting up kitchens. Sure, he blames the gamergate people for smearing him, but how did it get passed around so much on the network ISIS uses? And then there is the question of who is the terrorists; ISIS, gamergaters, or both. (Grokked from Annalee Flower Horne)

The ultrasonic chirp is coming from inside your house. "Silverpush, a startup that's just received $1.25M in venture capital, uses ultrasonic chirps that are emitted by apps, websites, and TV commercials to combine the identities associated with different devices (tablets, phones, computers, etc), so that your activity on all of them can be aggregated and sold to marketers."

Oh look, it's the party of "Government shouldn't pick winners and losers." "Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush says that any U.S. assistance to Middle Eastern refugees should focus primarily on Christians fleeing persecution." Ah, he must come from a Good Christian Family™. But at least he's better than some of the others in the GOP race. "Bush's views on refugees differ from other GOP presidential contenders who have called for an outright ban on accepting any Middle Eastern refugees. Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee has been saying for weeks that the United States should not accept any more refugees from the region. On Friday, former neurosurgeon Ben Carson urged Congress to stop the Obama administration from allowing in more refugees from the regions." What a bunch of lovely people they've nominated. We had a word for them in school, fucktards. (Grokked from Chia Evers)

So, after 7 years Sarah Palin admit the truth. Katie Couric asking here about what publications she reads was a fair question, and she just had a crappy answer. You know, after the whole "it was a gotcha question" thing.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Linkee-poo, je suis Parisien

"In the wake of controversy of any kind, even terrorist attacks, U.S. politics is never far behind. The American political response — from President Obama to the candidates vying to replace him — in the hours following the Paris attacks has been unsurprisingly split along party lines."

Jeb! Bush proves himself a real Bush by declaring war in the face of terrorism and threatening to invade Iraq. Third time is a charm.

Jim Wright on what comes next being more important than what we do now.

Just a reminder that ISIS kills Muslims daily, repeatedly, and in large numbers. For all those who think this is a matter of a clash of religions and Islam vs the West. ISIS in an equal opportunity slayer, they are actually not very religious. (Grokked from Janiece)

"A woman who identifies herself as a Pastafarian, a follower of a religion that teaches that an airborne 'spaghetti monster' could have created the universe, has succeeded in her bid to wear a colander on her head in her driver’s license photo." (Grokked from Tania)

You know, I'm of a certain age and of such a geek nature that Princess Leia in the "gold bikini" (now known as "Slave Leia") holds a special place in my sexual development. And yes, I understand the misogynistic aspects of the imagery. So when I see this, my first response is, "Fuck You Wal-Mart." As something between consenting adults, have fun. If you want to wear the costume, have at and enjoy (and if you run into someone wearing said costume, there is a difference between the gaze of an admirer and the piercing stare of a stalker). As a toy for kids, um, no. Not appropriate.

"Supporters of universal health care have gathered enough signatures to put on next year's ballot a plan to make Colorado the first state to opt out of the federal health law and replace it with taxpayer-funded coverage for all." Oh noes, creeping socialism. "The ColoradoCaresYes campaign says those taxes would raise enough money to cover children and adults who do not work. They say the plan will cost $3 billion a year but will save $9 billion in health care administration costs compared with the current system." So, naturally, the health insurance industry is having a freak out. (Grokked from Janiece)

Why is universal healthcare important? Well, here's one reason. "Almost 20 percent of the people in low-income communities who die of colon cancer could have been saved with early screening… Lower-income communities in the United States face $6.4 billion in lost wages and productivity because of premature deaths due to colon cancer, according to researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."

David Brooks on the $120,000 per person, round the world vacation through the Four Seasons. I just don't have the words for this. Okay, I really do, but I'll let you draw your own conclusions. For the record I have stayed and worked at various Four Seasons properties (when I worked at Ernst & Young doing partner level events). I really enjoyed my stays there, but had little time to take advantage of the situation (typically working 16-20 hour days while on site). So note that I say from experience that the rich are not like you and me.

Fred Clark with some rules on how to discern if you're being fed bullshit. I've had private conversations about rule #1 and how it relates to Fox News. I used to be told by people that they like Fox because "it made sense and they connected the dots." As I told them then (and will say today), it's easy to do in the new business when you lie.

And speaking of Fred Clark, the second volume of his take on the Lef-Behind series is out.

Terrorism 101

Terrorism is used to provoke an unlawful, disproportionate response that violates citizens expectation of rights and protections. By doing so a government breaks the social contract with citizens, which leads to questioning the right of that government to exist. Long term fear leads to anger, anger leads to blame. People blame their government for not protecting them. This leads to revolution, which is the terrorists' goal. The overthrow of governments by the citizens.

Terrorists are political animals. They don't eat, shit, or piss unless their politics tells them to do so. The are revolutionaries who realize their own cause can't draw enough people or funds to actually cause the revolution. So they turn to terrorism and wait for the targeted governments/societies to tear themselves apart. In that chaos they hope to emerge in a position of power, however they have accepted they may all die to get there.

So every idiot out there who tells you that you should be afraid, afraid of refugees fleeing these same terrorists, strangers, your government, your fellow citizens, they are doing the work of the terrorists for them. Donald Trump saying he would bomb ISIS is falling into that trap (if it were that easy, drop a few bombs, we would be way past the time when they were all dead). Every idiot saying "we should kill all the muslims" is doing the work of the terrorists. That's exactly what ISIS/al Qaeda wants us to do. Every Congressperson and Senator who says we shouldn't close Gitmo and handle these people as either criminals or repatriate them is doing the work of the terrorists.

This is how they work. They divide us up, make us come to the conclusion that only revolution will cure us of the disease. Drive us to remove rights and oppress others, violate our own laws and societal customs. All of this is exactly what the terrorist wants. Even to the point of their own extinction, this is what they want.

Because the ultimate goal is to kill off the targeted government. If the terrorists survive to take advantage of the situation, that's just the icing on top.

Don't fall into their trap.

And, yes, so far they're winning because G. W. Bush forgot that lesson once he walked back into the White House on 9/11 and fell prey to the chickenhawks in his administration. You only have to look at the racist, isolationist, chest beating responses to the Paris attacks to see that they are winning. Look at how Europe is responding. That's because they have had decades longer experience dealing with terrorism (especially when it was home brewed). They know this playbook better than we do.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Linkee-poo slugs it out into the weekend

Apex open call for anthology on the subject of Upside Down: Inverted Tropes in Storytelling. (Grokked from Ferrett Steinmetz)

Independent bookstore pays reward for showrooming Amazon's Seattle bookstore. (Grokked from Dan)

One hundred movie scripts for download. (Grokked from Chuck Wendig)

Why is American Business failing? Here it is in a nutshell. All the managers/owners want everybody else to do their work for them, and then are unwilling to pay for the experience they want. (Grokked from Robert J Bennett)

Why is diversity important? Because someone would have recognized that this Bloomingdales ad was inappropriate. Or, seriously, hire people with a smidgen of intelligence.

The difference in the judicial system between blacks and whites. (Grokked from Julie)

The rise of the robot farmer. So close. (Grokked from John)

A free press doesn't mean I have to be friendly to the press, or engage them in any way. To bad reporters (who are too often sought out to stuff press releases in their hands or microphones) don't understand this. They were pushed, hell people have been arrested for protesting in public spaces and reports remain mostly silent or file "he said, she said" reports on it. Just because I tell a reporter to get the fuck out of my face doesn't mean I don't understand or support their first amendment rights. It means I'm exercising my own, and I don't believe that either the reporter, or their news organization can either help me, or give an unbiased view.

"Today, the rhetoric of free speech is being abused in order to shut down dissent and facilitate bigotry. On behalf of everyone with liberal tendencies, I’d like to know why and how we’ve allowed this to happen." I tend to see more of this from the conservative spectrum, but there are some fossilized liberals who evoke the "free speech" protectionism of their own privilege. (Grokked from Tobias Buckell)

So, let's say you've got a million bucks to transport. I don't know, maybe you're in a movie, or someplace where payrolls are handled in cash. Yea, there's a bag for that. (Grokked from Dan)

"Plenty of companies are now capitalizing on the allure of 'metabolism-boosting' foods and drinks. Among the most-hyped substance is green tea — for its supposed powers as an aid for weight loss and weight maintenance." For the record, I drink green tea. Not for any "fabulous" stuff, but because I feel better (physically and psychologically) drinking green tea over black tea. I haven't noticed any weight or metabolism changes by drinking it (except that caffeine is an appetite stimulant).

"Initial ratings for Fox Business Network's Republican presidential debate on Tuesday night show that the network drew about 10 million viewers, close to the 14 million viewers who tuned in to the CNBC debate in October, according to CNN." Um, no, 10 is just a slight more than two-thirds of 14. Although to the total overall viewership, yes, then it's not much difference. "'Debates need to focus on the issues, and that goal was accomplished tonight,' RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement. 'Our candidates, not the moderators, were at the center of tonight’s debate, and they were all treated with fairness and respect.'" Or, Reince gets on his knees and blows Roger Ailes for making sure the GOP didn't implode from it's own stupidity.

When you hear politicians talk about "states rights" or "this should be handled by the states" these are the types of things they are protecting. And in many cases, they are intentional about it. That's a NYT article on gun running within the US, how criminals (well, "law abiding citizens") buy guns in states (and municipalities) that have lax gun laws and transport them to states and municipalities that have more restrictive gun laws. Also pointed to on why we need to increase background checks and maybe have a registry.

Dear Carly, see, there's a difference between someone who has immediate experience with you, having been fired by you, and still being bitter about it and expressing their opinion and someone making factually, demonstrably wrong whackaloon conspiracy statements in front of you.

You know, for a "doctor" Rand Paul is pretty dumb. Look, if you believe college are these bastions of liberal thought and beliefs you really haven't been following just what the hell people are protesting against on campuses. Also, you've probably not been on a campus in several decades. Also, he's is correct that the Earth is that old (kisses off the evangelical vote) and that our planet has gone through climate extremes with higher CO2 in the air. But here's the thing, we weren't alive then. And when the climate changed in a major way, we had large extinction events. The question of climate change isn't will the Earth survive, it's will we as a species survive.