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Though I saw it all around
Never thought I could be affected
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Monday, February 27, 2017

Linkee-poo, well you're windy and wild, you got the blues, I'm your shoes and your stockings

"Sen. Marco Rubio won’t participate in town hall meetings because he says political activists will crash them to create a media spectacle of people who 'heckle and scream at me in front of cameras.'" Dear Sen. Rubio, those aren't "activists", those are "constituents." (Grokked from Ann Leckie)

"Ask residents of this coal-mining crossroads about President Trump’s decision to crack down on undocumented immigrants and most offer no protest. Mr. Trump, who easily won this mostly white southern Illinois county, is doing what he promised, they say. As Terry Chambers, a barber on Main Street, put it, the president simply wants 'to get rid of the bad eggs.'… But then they took Carlos." I guess it all depends on who gets to grade the eggs. It's easy to hate the person you don't know, it's hard to see blanket policies hit the people you do know. But then most people think the movie is all about them, they don't realize their just the expendable extras in everybody else's (those who don't know them) movie.

"President Trump said Monday that 'nobody knew that healthcare could be so complicated,' as Republicans have been slow to unite around a replacement plan for ObamaCare." Actually most of us who have had to use the system and our insurance knew. There's a lot of us. Maybe you should listen to us. (Grokked from Jim Wright)

"The Washington Post, The New York Times, and ProPublica have launched Web pages outlining all the ways you can leak to them. ProPublica highlights three high-tech options on its page (in addition to the Postal Service): the encrypted messaging app Signal, an encrypted email program called PGP (or GPG), and an anonymous file sharing system for desktop computers called SecureDrop. The Washington Post goes even further, highlighting six digital options." I remember having conversations (or polite arguments) in the 90s about personal encryption. Lots of people then (and even now) think it's not worth it. After all, what do we have to hide?

Tweet of my heart: ‏@SarcasticRover (in response to the news of Trump wanting an extra $54B for the Pentagon) That’s 3 NASAs… or 4 National School Lunch Programs… or 6 Environmental Protection Agencies. (Grokked from Xeni Jardin)

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Linkee-poo late weekend edition

Merrie Haskell on what is best in life. Well, on dissing things that you just don't like.

"Stage 7 is known as Lucky Seven, according to tour guide John Kourounis. That's because three Warner Bros. best picture winners — The Life of Emile Zola, My Fair Lady and Casablanca — and 10 best picture nominees were shot here." Susan Stamberg on the 75th anniversary of Casablanca.

Mary Robinette Kowal with her grandmother's recollection of a friend who went from being a girl to a boy, in 1913.

Apparently the whole Russian Flag incident at CPAC was a prank. Good thing nobody fell for it. Well, I know what the collectable from that show is going to be. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

"The Catlettsburg Police department, which employs eight full-time and two part-time officers for a population of about 2,500, features the images on the hoods of its 2013 and 2017 Ford Interceptor sedans and sport-utility vehicles, assistant police chief Gerry Hatzel said." (Grokked from Robert J Bennett)

And in "Cleveland is number one!" news… "According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention voluntary survey of students in 19 urban school districts, more than 20 percent of Cleveland students attempted suicide in 2015. Another 20 percent said they seriously considered taking their own life. Bill Denihan is CEO of the Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board of Cuyahoga County. He says the numbers are not surprising considering Cleveland’s poverty rate."

"Shortly after 1 p.m. Friday, the temperature in Buffalo, N.Y., hit 71 degrees, according to the National Weather Service, in the latest sign of the mild, even warm, winter that much of the eastern U.S. is experiencing." I'm sure it's fine. It's all fine. We're all fine here. How are you?

When I say, "fix Obamacare" you might wonder what I'm talking about. "Your doctor diagnoses cancer. She says there’s a good chance you can beat it, or keep it under control for a long time. But you can’t afford the thousands of dollars you’d have to pay for treatment that your health insurer won't cover… Cancer specialists have a name for it: financial toxicity." Yeah, fix this (and allow Medicare/Medicaid to negotiate pharmaceutical prices). Other countries get it, YTF can't we? (Grokked from Emily Buckell)

"Two CBP officials boarded a Delta flight from New York to SFO after it landed on Wednesday and demanded that passengers show government-issued 'documents' before they would be allowed to debark." Your rights are vanishing. This was a fishing expedition, a practice that has never been upheld in court before.

"A CBP spokesperson wrote to Rolling Stone on Friday to insist that the ID check on the jetbridge was 'consensual assistance from passengers aboard the flight' and that 'CBP did not compel' anyone to show ID." Uh, yeah, Bob. I'm sure people were Mirandized on that aspect by the CBP officers requesting the documentation. (Grokked from Patrick Nielsen Hayden)

So I'm sure you've seen those info graphics on "know your rights." Well, apparently you should pay attention to them even if you don't plan on protesting or engaging in any confrontational activism.

"A third of the border already has a barrier, thanks to the Secure Fence Act of 2006, which was signed by then-president George W. Bush. That initiative ran into issues with landowners near the Rio Grande. If the wall goes forward as Trump promises, more lawsuits may be coming." Say, don't conservative hate eminent domain powers? Well, I guess they hate them when it's their land, but screw everybody else.

So, back when GW was president and the GOP controlled Congress I talked about how they were attempting to make government so handicapped and dysfunctional (by slashing budgets and hiring incompetents to key positions) that it would either fall apart on its own, or the people would destroy it. Some people may have thought that was hyperbole. "Inside the White House, Mr. Bannon said, everything is going according to plan. The 'deconstruction of the administrative state' has just begun." Still think that? This isn't about disruption, this is about tearing it all down. This is still the party of "No."

"The head of the National Rifle Association on Friday claimed that anti-Donald Trump protesters were paid '$1,500 a week' and that they 'spit in the face of Gold Star families." Shit, where do I get one of those jobs? I mean, spitting in the face of Gold Star families is not how I want to make bank, but $1,500 a week? That sure as help beats flipping burgers. Well, someone in this story is getting paid a lot of money to be violent, but I think it was the guy up on the stage with his fear mongering.

Trump says he's keeping his campaign promises, how's that working out. Yeah, not so much. Share if you know someone who voted for Trump.

Friday, February 24, 2017

One Month of the New Car

"So," you may be asking, "how's the new car, Steve?"


Some things I'm still getting used to, and she idles a little rough (may need to take her back to the dealership for that), but I'm not displeased. Although, to be fair, with the overall MPG it's only a little better than my 12-year old previous car. So I expected it (but I do a dance with that 50+mpg… but you can see it doesn't last too long). But, my old car did 3-8 mpg better when it was warm compared to when it was cold. Fingers crossed this new car does the same.

Linkee-poo walked out this morning, don't believe what I saw, a hundred billion bottles washed up on the shore

When learning storytelling, it sometimes helps to study how it fails. In this case, when story goes missing in a video game. "And while reading Tolkien spinning a yarn about Gondor's mightiest accountant might've been amazing, being him (even with an amnesiac elf as a sidekick) is just not nearly as engaging as it should've been."

"How to treat a lady on the Internet." Yes, this. (Grokked from Cherie Priest)

You might remember that when Amazon announced their whole "drone delivery" program I mentioned a major problem with it. Namely, energy density and how what would be more likely is to drive into a neighborhood and have drones go the "last mile" as it were. That's exactly what UPS is looking at but for rural delivery routes (waves hi).

"A Big Sur bridge on Highway 1 is the latest victim of this season's brutal rainy season… The Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge has multiple cracks in one of its support columns and and has been closed to traffic since Feb. 15. Caltrans announced after a bridge inspection on Tuesday that the structure is beyond repair, and it will take six months or more to build a new one… The problem began when heavy rains in the region caused landslides below the bridge; an entire hillside is slumping and sheared off where the support column on the north end of the bridge is anchored." I'm sure it has nothing to do with our nationwide problem of crumbling infrastructure and is only about damage caused by the rains. (Grokked from Michele)

They keep denying it, but I'll say it again, Syria is to Putin's Russia as Spain was to Hitler's Germany.

Kansas, how's that "guns everywhere" philosophy going? "A bartender at Austins Bar and Grill said Adam Purinton used 'racial slurs' before he opened fire as patrons watched the University of Kansas-TCU basketball game on television." But the FBI isn't sure it's a hate crime, yet.

"A Northern California raid ostensibly targeting violent gang members triggered a dispute Thursday, with Santa Cruz’s police chief angrily accusing the Homeland Security Department of turning it into a secret immigration sweep." Trump, bringing America together, again. (Grokked from Kathryn Cramer)

"With congressional Republicans discussing proposals to replace the Affordable Care Act, public support for the 2010 health care law has reached its highest level on record… The new survey finds that when those who disapprove of the law are asked about what should happen to it now, more want GOP congressional leaders to focus their efforts on modifying the law than on getting rid of it. One-in-four adults want Republican leaders to modify the law, while 17% want them to get rid of it entirely." A Pew Research Center report. (Grokked from Tobias Buckell)

One of the conservative plan for bringing healthcare insurance to more people is to make it not really healthcare insurance. "There are some big hurdles, however. The Affordable Care Act requires that insurers who sell policies for individuals and small businesses cover at a minimum 10 'essential health benefits,' including hospitalization, prescription drugs and emergency care, in addition to maternity services. The law also requires that the scope of the services offered be equal to those typically provided in the coverage that businesses offer their employees." And that's considered "generous." You might remember people being upset that they couldn't buy "catastrophic" insurance (which really only protected you, or paid, if you were admitted to a hospital or had some life changing medical problem, and then it didn't cover much). Well, that's what the GOP wants to offer you again.

"An embattled White House terrorism advisor whose academic credentials have come under widespread fire telephoned one of his main critics at home Tuesday night and threatened legal action against him, Newsweek has learned." Sebastian Gorka doesn't like bad press. So glad we have the most stable personalities in charge. And then, after demanding and cajoling Rep. Smith to come to the White House to discuss the issue… "Late Wednesday, Gorka withdrew his invitation." Apparently Sebastian Gorka has never been exposed to the internet or politics before. Listening to the call (or at least until the audio cut out for me), Sebastian Gorka acts the consulate bully by saying, "Come over here and say that to my face" (that's basically his total point in the call), but then can't back it up. My guess is he also vanity surfs (waves hi). (Grokked from Chuck Wendig)

But then Mr. Gorka works in this administration. "In recent decades we have as a society radically changed our collective attitude toward bullying and abuse of various kinds - the denigration, the demeaning and damaging of the weak by the strong. With respect to Trump, Mexico and his wall, our position as Americans is comparable to being bystanders to abuse. We're complicit if we don't at a minimum speak up because between nations, on a national level, this is assault. It is one party with greater power using that power over a weaker party with the specific aim of demeaning and denigrating, of theft." (Grokked from Teresa Nielsen Hayden)

Ah, it looks like dog-pile time. "When photographs recently emerged showing Sebastian Gorka, President Donald Trump’s high-profile deputy assistant, wearing a medal associated with the Nazi collaborationist regime that ruled Hungary during World War II, the controversial security strategist was unapologetic." Also pointed to for the echoes of American political rhetoric used in anti-Semitic circles in Hungry. It seems strange for Gorka, who by all accounts is a smart guy, very knowledgeable in politics and national security (coughs into hand), the he would associate unknowingly with these groups. (Grokked from Xeni Jardin)

"Rep. Martha Blackburn (R-TN) doubled down on her claim that only one-third of people in attendance at a town hall on Tuesday were from her district." Even though the Mayor of the town took a poll at the beginning of the meeting and the overwhelming majority were from her district.

Many representatives have opted for private events and phone town-halls, they aren't doing much better.

"A purported cyberhack of the daughter of political consultant Paul Manafort suggests that he was the victim of a blackmail attempt while he was serving as Donald Trump’s presidential campaign chairman last summer." Ahh, yep. (Grokked from Michele)

"Today, Politico reports the House’s response: It will divert the resolution to the House Judiciary Committee, which will (almost certainly) vote on Tuesday along party lines to kill the inquiry" into Trump's ties to Russia and violations of the emoluments clause. And that's how Democracy dies and is the real end to the Schoolhouse Rock, "I'm just a bill" song. (Grokked from Paolo Bacigalupi)

Video of twenty-one things the President Trump says make a "bing" sound. Just because. (Grokked from John)

"Crowd at CPAC waving these little pro-Trump flags that look exactly like the Russian flag. Staffers quickly come around to confiscate them." Sweet mother of God, people. I know competency is too much to ask at this point, but could they at least hire someone who has lived in the world and had experiences other that within the echo chamber? (Grokked from Jim Wright)

Tweet of my heart: ‏@DrSprankle If you think sex workers "sell their bodies," but coal miners do not, your view of labor is clouded by your moralistic view of sexuality. (Grokked from Ferrett Steinmetz)

(Ed. note: my eyes, posture, and wrists for graphic design; my back/feet and general health (infectious diseases/cancer from radiation exposure) for radiologic technology)

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Linkee-poo tells myself that you can be replaced, I try with someone else but its you that I taste

Again, another day of rushing like mad at the day thing.

How Pixar adjusts their movies for international markets. (Grokked from Dan)

For those of you writing Space Opra-ish works who may get criticism for systems with several inhabitable planets that help that society launch an interplanetary trade system… "NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has revealed the first known system of seven Earth-size planets around a single star. Three of these planets are firmly located in the habitable zone, the area around the parent star where a rocky planet is most likely to have liquid water." (Grokked from Kelly Swails)

Sure, you've seen the NASA press release for Trappist-1, but have you seen the website. (Grokked from Dan)

A video of the landscape our Wall would have to traverse using satellite images. The video's title is "Best of Luck with the Wall" (yeah, these get a little "artistic" with the perspective and zoom). Oh, that black line, that's the fence we've already built. (Grokked from John)

"'Physically abused kids fail to adjust flexibly to new behavioral rules in contexts outside their families,' says coauthor Seth Pollak, a psychologist at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Youth who have endured hitting, choking and other bodily assaults by their parents view the world as a place where hugs and other gratifying responses to good behavior occur inconsistently, if at all. So these youngsters stick to what they learned early in life from volatile parents — rewards are rare and unpredictable, but punishment is always imminent." Of course the research is about how to help these kids learn behaviors that help them navigate the world around them and that's a very good goal. Buuuut, no mention of training to help people recognize and call out abusive parents and to both end the cycle of abuse and to move the kids out into a more supportive environment.

When attempts at document preservation go horribly wrong. Many states laminated historical documents to help preserve them, unfortunately they didn't understand how paper ages.

A helpful publication, How to Survive a Nuclear War (PDF). (Grokked from John)

Before you talk about how wonderfully fair compensation is in this country, a chart from Bernie Sanders with some CEO pay levels. I can tell you from experience that some of those salaries are in excess of many large companies (>200 employees) total payroll costs. (Grokked from Ann Leckie)

"When Heather Lindsay and Lexene Charles discovered the n-word painted across their garage door on the weekend of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, they decided to leave it up in plain view." You won't believe what happens next! (Sorry, couldn't help myself there) So now the couple are being fined for keeping the graffiti up until the police decide to find out who has been spraying the word on their garage (this isn't the first time). (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

"Claiming people are being paid to riot, Republican state senators voted Wednesday to give police new power to arrest anyone who is involved in a peaceful demonstration that may turn bad — even before anything actually happened… But the real heart of the legislation is what Democrats say is the guilt by association — and giving the government the right to criminally prosecute and seize the assets of everyone who planned a protest and everyone who participated." Your First Amendment rights are under assault. (Grokked from Laura J. Mixon)

"The key to keeping Trump’s Twitter habit under control, according to six former campaign officials, is to ensure that his personal media consumption includes a steady stream of praise. And when no such praise was to be found, staff would turn to friendly outlets to drum some up — and make sure it made its way to Trump’s desk." You know that kid in the stores, the one who suddenly finds their unfortunate parent's attention has turned to something other than them (like figuring out which laundry detergent gets shame out better) and then they start making a ruckus? Yeah, that's the guy we elected president. There's that movie, Wag the Dog, well the call is coming from inside the house (to mix my metaphors). (Grokked from Chuck Wendig)

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Linkee-poo, in a churchyard by a river lazing in the haze of midday, laughing in the grasses and the graves

Video of SpaceX Falcon 9 first stage landing this past weekend. In case you have forgotten that we live in a SF future, this should remind you. My brain still has a hard time believing that's not CGI. (Grokked from Dan)

And, boy, it's getting to be a parking lot outside the International Space Station. Progress 66 is on it's way, and the Dragon capsule launched this weekend had a software error that automatically aborted the attempt to dock (they'll try again on Thursday). They might need a traffic cop up there soon. (Grokked from Dan)

"Britain's Society for Radiological Protection (SRP) also told Motherboard that the exclusive presence of Iodine-131 suggests the source is not a nuclear incident, but rather a medical facility such as a hospital or a supplier of radio-pharmaceuticals. 'The release was probably of recent origin. Further than this it is impossible to speculate,' the SRP's Brian Gornall told Motherboard in an email." Even a low-yield nuclear test would have been detected by seismographs before any radiation would have reached sensors. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

Rhut rho. "Another bird flu is on the rampage in China. Already this winter there have been 424 cases in humans, more than a third of all those identified since the virus emerged in 2013. And it is spreading. This week it was announced that it seems poised to acquire mutations that could make it a much worse problem." H7N9, you're going to be hearing about this soon.

A chart of how many people would loose their health insurance and how many would loose their jobs if Obamacare is repealed, listed by state. (Grokked from Xeni Jardin)

"Illinois… play(s) host to hunting contests whose goal is to kill as many coyotes as possible in a given period — say, 24 hours. At one 'predator challenge' in southern Illinois in 2015, participants bagged 36 of their quarry… This year's competition, however, also drew a dozen protesters led by the Humane Society of the United States." About time. See, killing coyotes leads to the behaviors we are trying to control for (population increase and predation on livestock). (Grokked from Laura J. Mixon)

Let's go a hiring freeze, what could it hurt? "Trump hiring freeze forces suspension of military child care programs." The problem is we have a know-nothing president who is being advised by know-nothing advisors. (Grokked from Eric VanNewkirk)

"'I’m just not in the position to answer (questions about what Flynn told the FBI about his calls with the Russian ambassador),' (Reince) Priebus said, but then he added, 'Certainly we’ve talked about that issue with leadership at the FBI, but I’m not in a position to talk about that with you.'" Um, wait a sec… (Grokked from Laura J Mixon)

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Linkee-poo rushing on a Monday

If anyone is wondering why I'm leaving the day thing, this morning is a case study on the majority of my frustrations with this job. So, sorry, late and no fresh links form this morning. (ED, so turned around from the Merry-Go-Round of the day thing I still think it's Monday).

"The researchers found that suicide attempts by high school students decreased by 7 percent in states after they passed laws to legalize same-sex marriage, before the Supreme Court legalized it nationwide in 2015. Among LGB high school students, the decrease was especially concentrated, with suicide attempts falling by 14 percent… But in states that did not legalize same-sex marriage, there was no change." Funny how something as simple as affirming people's right to exist can have such wide ranging effects. (Grokked from Xeni Jardin)

"The hunters told police they suspected the shooters were undocumented immigrants they had seen on the ranch earlier in their trip. Their story soon jumped into online right-wing circles, thanks in part to Texas Commissioner of Agriculture and Donald Trump ally Sid Miller… But it was a lie, according to police and, now, a grand jury. Investigators determined that guides Walker Daughetry and Michael Bryant in fact shot at one another by accident, striking Daughetry and hunter Edwin Roberts in the process. Daughetry and Bryant were indicted for third-degree felonies last Wednesday." Well they apparently believed each other were illegal immigrants, and so shot each other to protect themselves. (Grokked from Justine Larbalestier)

"But Cohen changed his story from what he'd told the Times. He told the Times that he received the 'peace plan' from Sater and the Ukrainian parliamentarian in a sealed envelope and delivered it to the White House. Now he claims that he received the envelope with the 'peace plan' but accepted it only as a courtesy and never did anything with it. The meeting, he now claims, lasted a mere 15 minutes." Because one often accepts unopened envelopes from foreign diplomats that supposedly contain offers and plans to help solve a world trouble spot's problems and then just sit on them. (Grokked from Lisa N. Morton)

Monday, February 20, 2017

Linkee-poo late on a Presidents Day

One of the benefits of the soon-to-be-old job is we have Presidents Day off. So I got to sleep in and feel almost rested. The first time since Thanksgiving. There are several panics just at the periphery, but so far I'm holding them off. So, sorry (not sorry) this is late getting out.

Ragnarok, it's the end of the world as we know it, and Neil Gaiman is telling us all about it.

For your world building writing efforts, and article on compartmentalization and how to run a rouge twitter account. "Basically, it’s impossible to be completely secure all the time, so we need to prioritize our limited resources into protecting what matters the most first. The most important piece of information you need to protect in this case is your real identity." There are many more tips that could be added here, but this is a good start. Personally I don't recommend using a personal computer that can be tied to you, but buying even a tablet with cash could seem suspicious. The main this is to realize that everything can be tracked. As they state in the article, even your language use patterns can be used to find you. One trick for that (but it's annoying as hell) us using online translation services and run what you want to say through a few languages (again using the tor browser). And the best piece of advice? It's buried in a bullet near the end, "Don’t brag." Don't get cocky, don't get mad, don't use it drunk or incapacitated. No matter how much you want to. Do not brag with your anonymous account, don't believe you can taunt others. Using your emotions against you is a well researched subject. More career criminals get caught when they brag and taunt the police because they feel invulnerable. (Grokked from Ferrett Steinmetz)

"But critics say even some of the most successful high-risk pools that operated before the advent of Obamacare were very expensive for patients enrolled in the plans, and for the people who subsidized them — which included state taxpayers and people with employer-based health insurance."

"CEO Bill Phelps (Wentzel’s Pretzels),… worried increasing wages for his employees would cut into profits and that if he raised prices to compensate, fewer people would come eat and sales would drop. But something else happened entirely. Sales at his California stores immediately shot up… The same exact pattern happened in 2016, Phelps said: A wage increase by the state led to a bump in business. Now Phelps is convinced that minimum wage increases aren’t bad for the fast food business. They’re great." Funny how reality doesn't conform to conservative principles.

"Yet despite all that — an email trail, a confession, and an admission from the (Gamergate) suspect that he knew he was breaking the law — the FBI let him go after the suspect said it was a 'joke'" Gee, why don't women report harassment when it happens? (Grokked from Kameron Hurley)

Trump says he inherited a mess. So let's look at the numbers, shall we?

"This much is clear: Protesters with a group called Indivisible Orange County turned up at Rohrabacher's Huntington Beach office to deliver Valentine’s Day cards urging him to hold a town hall. Finding the door locked, they shoved the cards underneath it. The 2-year-old daughter of one of the protesters was attempting to add one to the pile when a staffer abruptly opened the door, hitting the child in the head. The staffer, 71-year-old district director Kathleen Staunton, fell in the ensuing commotion as another demonstrator tried to keep the office door open… The accounts then diverge wildly." Rohrabacher claims a mob attacked, the police said it was all an accident. (Grokked from Kathryn Cramer)

So how did the visit to Jefferson Middle School go after Sec. DeVos finally got in? "'I find it very interesting that the chancellor saw teachers that were pushing rigorous learning, students asking each other high-level questions and cultivating high-level responses, and teachers who take initiative and give their lives to the education of these children,' said Jefferson teacher Caroline Hunt. 'DeVos saw something so different. … Maybe if DeVos knew more about education she would realize just how amazing the students, teachers and staff are.'" (Grokked from Xeni Jardin)

How's that businessman running the government idea turning out? "Newly leaked audio from a November party at President Trump's Bedminster, N.J., golf club reveals then president-elect Trump touting to guests his scheduled interviews on premises with potential cabinet members and White House staff." (Grokked from Kathryn Cramer)

"Mr. Trump’s son Eric, in an interview on Friday, rejected suggestions that his family was offering access to his father and profiting from it. First, he said, only 20 to 40 new members are admitted per year, and second, the wealthy business executives who frequent the club, among others, have many ways to communicate with the federal government if they want to." The Mar-a-Lago connection.

"'You look at what's happening in Germany, you look at what's happening last night in Sweden — Sweden, who would believe this?'"

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Linkee-poo, the rare weekend edition

The ice coverage on the Great Lakes is at an all time low. That's not good. The ice coverage helps spawning fish, it helps clear the waters, it tamps back on algal blooms, mitigates shore erosion, and a bunch of other things. Expect to hear about big algal blooms, diseased fish stocks, and crop losses to disease this coming Summer. (Grokked from Robert J Bennett)

The real diet you should be on is reducing highly processed foods. It's damn hard to do, though. Actually just starting with cutting processed sugar and high-fructose corn syrup is a good start.

Hey, Riff, what's for dinner? "Christie said that when he visited the White House on Tuesday, Trump made him order meatloaf, while everyone else was free to order what they wanted." Now, okay, apparently he and Trump had the meatloaf together, so, yeah, could have been a bonding thing. It depends on how you frame it.

"A Florida man was arrested Thursday for a plot to plant bombs in Target stores up and down the East Coast… This man isn’t a Muslim. He isn’t a refugee. He isn’t an immigrant. He isn’t tan or brown or black. He’s white. And by virtue of his white skin, he pretty much gets a pass from the Trump administration." He's also a sweetheart of a guy (he's a rapist among his other felonies). But gosh I hope we deport that mother of two who once knew a person who knew a "gang member." Because the rest of America wouldn't feel safe otherwise. (Grokked from Laura J Mixon)

"Fresh from introducing a bill to terminate the Environmental Protection Agency, Congressman Matt Gaetz is headed home to northern Florida during recess week. He plans to hold two town hall constituent events, as is tradition during recess week. The local Democratic Women’s Club is planning to attend… Gaetz says all are welcome, but he and his friends are clearly trying to intimidate the constituents who just want an open dialogue with their elected representative." His "friends" are Biker4Trump and the local militia leader who encouraged all his concealed carry members to show up and "not forget their ammo." Hint to any representative, never try to intimidate grandmothers. They will jack you up. (Grokked from Ann Leckie)

Friday, February 17, 2017

Linkee-poo, now's the time that we need to share, so find yourself, we're on our way back home

"Pixar is offering a free course through Khan Academy that can help you find the kind of stories you want to tell -- and help you tell them better. The 'Art of Storytelling' is the latest installment in a series of free courses from the studio called 'Pixar in a Box.'" I haven't checked this out, and man does Pixar have a lot of stuff on here (the Khan Academy app). Well, the story has a link to the Khan Academy page with the class, but bugger-all if I can find it on their app. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

"Merck & Co Inc said on Tuesday it will halt a late-stage trial of an Alzheimer's drug after it was determined that it had no chance of working, marking the latest in a long line of crushing disappointments in efforts to find an effective treatment for the disease."

"That (TX state senator) Schwertner broke a table while trying to silence a woman opposing (an abortion-restriction) bill that would solely impact women is all the more jarring considering the events that grabbed headlines last week… And if Schwertner was really table-breaking concerned about the time allotted for public testimony, he probably wouldn't have let the first speaker (and dozens after), a representative from the anti-abortion advocacy group Texas Right to Life, ramble on in support for twice as long as Hennessy was allowed to speak." Asshole. (Grokked from Laura J Mixon)

Oh, hey, the GOP finally has a healthcare plan! "Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Mich., called the 18-page outline 'guideposts and a road map.'" Sigh. So it's not so much a plan, "more like guidelines" (said in the voice of Geoffrey Rush as Capt. Barbossa). "Most of the plan is silent on how much money lawmakers want to put behind their proposals… The elements of the plan include replacing the subsidies that help people buy insurance through Obamacare exchanges with fixed tax credits to buy coverage on the open market… Obamacare subsidies increase as premiums rise so that consumers are responsible for the same premium amount, which is tied to their income. The tax credits proposed by Ryan are not tied to income but rise as a person ages and insurance rates increase."

"House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) said Thursday that congressional Republicans weren’t interested in working with Democrats on a replacement for Obamacare because the opposition party 'want to go down the socialized medicine path.'" Wait, there's a path? Also, "hey, this boogeyman no longer works, let's try this older model out and see if it still has some juice." Just as a reminder, of the people who claim they're against Obamacare, approximately half (from the expanded polling sites that I've seen this sorted out) are against it because it didn't include the Public Option.

So, conservatives hate that Obamacare taxed the rich, the medical appliance makers, and those who had "cadillac plans." But, if they tax everyone who has employer based insurance, sure they're good with that. The word you're looking for is "retrograde".

A Pennsylvanian family working through the issues that divide us. And see, the Dad gets it. He doesn't know how to put it into practice, yet. But I think when he sees that conservative politics is not going to "bring the jobs back", he might change this time. Not so much from just disappointment in Trump, but that he has seen this movie 3 times now (Reagan, GW Bush, and now Trump). He remembers what life was like (and he doesn't want to go back to the dirty skies of the 70s). When he's given the full picture, he understands it. I recommend the audio of the story.

You want to know a surefire way to increase crime and decrease citizens reporting crime? "Federal immigration agents last week detained a woman in the U.S. illegally just after she received a protective order against an abusive boyfriend, in an El Paso County courthouse… El Paso County Attorney Joanne Bernal said the ICE arrest inside a courthouse was 'unprecedented and stunning.'" That's one way.

How is Trump's EO and the general demeanor of the White House and its supporters affecting our country? "Royal Canadian Mounted Police are reporting a flurry of illegal crossings into Canada in recent months. Officials say Quebec province has seen the highest influx of people seeking asylum, with many crossing in snowy, remote areas in northern New York." Yep. Canada is processing asylum seekers (aka refugees) fleeing the US for Canada. You know all those jobs about "I'm going to Canada if…"? Yeah. People are actually doing that now. Unfortunately for me there's a big, damn lake in the way.

Janet Yellen brings the smack down. "When it comes to the economy, it’s becoming uncomfortably apparent that in many cases, self-described “incredible” businessman Donald Trump either has no idea what he’s talking about or he’s lying." Well, it's becoming obvious to more people. See, Trump fit into the American Myth, that if you're a "successful businessman" you must understand all the hard stuff about economics (micro and macro), law, organization, etc. You must also be "brave" and "sharp" and "work harder." This is all the myth of why they have money and the rest of us don't. The most common explanation, however, is that they simply had more money than the rest of us to start with.

So how are all these convolutions around immigration helping to keep us safe? "FBI agents arrested Benjamin Thomas Samuel McDowell, 29, in Myrtle Beach, S.C., accusing him of buying a gun and ammunition as part of a plan to carry out a white supremacist attack. " Who could have seen that coming? I wonder which one of the seven countries covered by the EO Benny is from? And what madrassa was this young man radicalized in? "'Local police said McDowell developed white supremacist connections while previously incarcerated.'"

Is the Resist/Indivisible movement the mirror image of the Tea Party? I'm not entirely certain (at this point, are there any national conference call organizing going on), but the response has been similar. Although for the Tea Party, there was a money trail back to Koch own/run organizations who helped foot the bill for lots of things (not actual "money to protestors", but back door organizing efforts) and so far there's not comparable link for this movement. I'm just worried about the longevity of this movement.

"'I don't think (the president) knew what the CBC was. And then I think the young lady, Ms. Ryan (a reporter), cleared it up and made sure he knew of what it was. But I think a lot of people assume that all black people know all black people,' (Rep. Elijah) Cummings said." Those cringe-worthy moments.

"Trump administration considers mobilizing as many as 100,000 National Guard troops to round up unauthorized immigrants." The words you're looking for are Posse Comitatus Act. Although the National Guard is excluded from Posse Comitatus when acting under the authority of the governor, if the President activates them they become federal troops, which are covered (mostly by association and precedent). "The troops would not be nationalized, remaining under state control." Yeah, I think almost any lawyer could drive through that tissue wall without breaking a sweat. Although Sean Spicer now says that's not true and the reporters should have asked him (for the record the reporters state they asked 5 times for clarification). (Grokked from Paolo Bacigalupi)

So, how's that "The Jobs President" thing going? "A Virginia winery owned by President Trump’s son Eric has requested permission to bring in nearly two dozen foreign workers, according to a new report." I'll bet that plays well in Coal Country. (Grokked from Vince O'Connor)

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Linkee-poo, what hijacked my world that night to a place in the past we've been cast out of?

Jim Hines' 2016 Novelist Income Survey first report. "There were a total of 386 responses. Five of these were duplicates and were removed, leaving data from 381 individual novelists." Jim breaks it down and does a wonderful job highlighting meaningful categories and stats (note, pay attention more to the median than the average because there are a few authors in his dataset who are blowing out the top numbers - this btw is why I don't like the current SEC rule for determining the executive pay ratio which is better than nothing but slightly weighted in the CEO's favor). And here I'll just confess my admiration for Jim (because I know he reads these, hi, Jim). Not only is he a super hoopy frood of a guy, a fantastic (and funny) author, but also has been doing yeoman service for years on this issue. Thanks, Jim.

Apple has an Easter Egg of the LEGO Batman movie. (Grokked from Dan)

Soon you can tie the hitch at the Las Vegas Taco Bell. Might as well start off with heart burn. (Grokked from Dan)

"Two Republican members of Congress sent a formal letter Tuesday to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of the Inspector General, expressing concern that 'approximately a dozen career EPA officials' are using the encrypted messaging app Signal to covertly plan strategy and may be running afoul of the Freedom of Information Act." Which, yes, might be a problem. Especially for future transparency. And it's hilarious because… (Grokked from Dan)

"Specifically, multiple reports indicate that Republican operatives and White House staffers are using the end-to-end encrypted messaging app Confide, which touts disappearing messages and anti-screenshot features, to chat privately without a trace."

""Federal anti-poverty programs primarily help the GOP's base… Republicans want to shrink government. But their core voters benefit from assistance, like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the most. See the problem is that those people don't believe they're on government assistance. The GOP has spent decades telling their base that it's those other people, you know the ones, who are sucking off the system. And the GOP knows they're not takers, they just need a little help (when they're even self-conscious enough to know they're on government supplied benefits), so they obviously aren't the ones who will be affected. (Grokked from Kathryn Cramer)

Tweet of my heart: @DesiJed Call me crazy but I think possible treason should be investigated as thoroughly as a blow job. (Grokked from Laura J Mixon)

Double dip: @electrolemon imagine if you got a job and you wouldn't stop tweeting about whoever didn't get the job and every day the news was "local man sucks at job" (Grokked from leon)

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Linkee-poo runs around with it's hair on fire

I know I say this often, but there are events happening that might affect the regular publication of the blog. I can't say what, yet. Sorry for the light post today, but most of my morning has been devoted to bringing about this change and making it a reality. More when I can talk.

Putin is such a nice guy. Why would Russia ever want to help install their choice of President? "Russia has secretly deployed a new cruise missile despite complaints from American officials that it violates a landmark arms control treaty that helped seal the end of the Cold War, administration officials say." Oh fuckstockings.

Repeat after me, "There is no such thing as a winnable nuclear war. There is no such thing as a 'limited' exchange." Any nuclear attack by state actors would trigger an "Archduke Franz Ferdinand Is Dead" moment and bring us all into direct conflict because of treaty obligations. For those of you who know their history, you know this is exactly what lead to The Great War (aka WWI). Even a terrorist strike using a stolen weapon could lead to an all out exchange. Nuclear material can be sourced post explosion (like other munitions).

"As Governor of Indiana, Mike Pence was significantly to the right of the mainstream, even for his own party -- so it's no surprise that in the days after his resignation… his successor and state Republican lawmakers: pardoned an innocent man who'd been locked up for 20 years… allowed a town to declare a state of emergency; greenlit a needle-exchange; and overrode his vetoes, which would have allowed university cops to keep their records secret and which prevented strict environmental rules." Not everything, but a start. Also, just a reminder, this is the idiot who would gain the presidency if Trump is impeached or resigns.