Though I saw it all around
Never thought I could be affected
Thought that we'd be the last to go
It is so strange the way things turn

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Linkee-poo, and it's 1, 2, 3, what are we fightin' for, don't ask me I don't give a damn

Lest we forget there were plenty of warnings to the Bush Whitehouse. "But some in the administration considered the (continuous) warning(s) to be just bluster. An intelligence official… told me in interviews that the neoconservative leaders who had recently assumed power at the Pentagon were warning the White House that the C.I.A. had been fooled… Bin Laden was merely pretending to be planning an attack to distract the administration from Saddam Hussein, whom the neoconservatives saw as a greater threat. Intelligence officials, these sources said, protested that the idea… but the neoconservatives’ suspicions were nevertheless carrying the day." The stories we tell ourselves sometimes have dire consequences when we can't see beyond them. Also note that the seeds of the Iraq invasion had already been planted, just like the seeds for an Iran overthrow are now being planted (which all goes back to The New American Century). Welcome, my son, welcome to the machine. (Grokked from Morgan J Locke)

Harper starts selling discountable eBooks under new agreements (won by their lawsuit against Apple)… at higher list prices." Well, I guess someone has gotta pay. To bad it was us. (Grokked from Tobias Buckell)

"'It’s like I was in a loud room for so long, I didn’t know how loud it was,' I said, 'and all I have now is the ringing in my ears.'" Wil Wheaton joins the club of people with depression who have come out. "Depression lies." Yes it does.

Cool librarian tatts. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

"That does not mean we have to espouse the same beliefs as Lovecraft and Howard. This certainly does not mean we must keep writing exactly the same way they did, about the same things they did." Silveo Moreno-Garcia on the racist legacy of some of the genres founding fathers. (Grokked from Morgan J Locke)

The Tome of Ideas for Writers and Role Players. Somewhat of interest, because, you know, check out the name of this blog. (And yes, I know I haven't been doing many story bones lately, I need to fix that). Only 3 days left and they're only slightly over 50% of the way there.

Okay, NASA is just filled with cool geeks. (Grokked from Dan)

Have you ever wondered why so much sexual harassment (and for that matter, rape) goes unreported? Well, check out Genevieve Valentine's follow up to the Readercon event ("event" is the wrong word, but everything else carries a lot of cognitive baggage that either diminishes it or makes it sound like a tactical nuke strike – which thinking about it may just be what it is eventually thought of in a good sense). It's the constant revictimization that happens. And while that totally sucks (and shouldn't happen), I am glad there are people like Genevieve who do the right thing and then have to slog through that particular hell. And now to look outside, what Ms. Valentine says at the end of her post is completely the point here. While cons are fun, exciting, social gatherings (especially for those of us attending), they are a business. If your con committee doesn't handle this part well, you may also be liable (IANAL, you should ask yours). You may have heard me complain about constantly going through harassment training at every single job I've been in because it's now mandatory training everywhere. If your actions could get you called into HR that's going too far. And if you don't understand that, just ask your HR department for another round of training. They have videos nowadays. Or, if Howard Wolowitz is your roll model for behavior, that's being a creep and is likely to get you into trouble.

Teresa Nielsen Hayden lands a huge dump of links regarding theft by the TSA and baggage handlers.

My voice is my password. An article on the rollout of the FBI's new facial recognition (well, full biometrics) software. What could possibly go wrong? Like tying in "intent" studies (people who believe they can tell your intent by your face and posture). But they wouldn't ever think to include that in, would they? And it's not like it's a quantifiable science. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

"Let me recap. Democrats boycott your business because you used the proceeds from your business to take away their civil rights… Republicans boycott your business because you got excited to meet the President of the United States." Conservatives go onto Yelp to destroy Republican small business owner because he had the audacity to hug the President when he visited. "There's a reason the Republican party is perceived as bigoted, homophobic and intolerant. As mean and uncaring. As greedy, and for the rich. Because it is." Yes, that. (Grokked from Tobias Buckell)

Oh look, real voter fraud in Florida. Yes, after identifying 180,000 names on the voter rolls as suspicious, they got one with 6 others pending. On the plus side, that's a higher percentage than what this votes would have counted in the races. As an extra bonus, the guy is a Canadian who impersonated being a US citizen to vote and buy guns. My guess is he did more of the later than the former. "'Instead of seeing him as a criminal, the [Republican Party] should move to have Sever pardoned and hold him up on a pedestal," (Stefan Kamph, a commentator for New Times Broward-Palm Beach) wrote. 'After all, he abandoned the universal health care and tasty maple syrup of the Commie-nadian provinces to move to Florida, buy guns, and participate in the glory of our God-given democracy.'" Ah that ol' snark. (Grokked from ChiaLynn, I think)

"(Virginia) State Delegate Bob Marshall of Manassas says disabled children are God’s punishment to women who have aborted their first pregnancy." Oh, holy fuck. "(Dean Nelson, executive director of the Network of Politically Active Christians) suggested that the organization be called 'Klan Parenthood,' saying that the group’s founder, Margaret Sanger, made racist comments in the 1930s and that the organization has shown a 'willingness to take donations from people who are racist.'" Do I need to explain these representatives are conservatives? How can these people's brains generate enough electricity to walk? Okay, I am starting to support the idea that you need to pass some kind of basic knowledge and logic skills test before you can run for office. (Grokked from Cherie Priest)

Maybe we should just let Texas leave the union. That's six of the main reasons why Texas has emerged as the conservative freeze-dried whackaloon capital. I just wish they'd quit exporting their flavor of kool-aid to the rest of the country. (Grokked from Vince)

"As it happens, we already have a competitive market for individual insurance. In addition, we already have demand for coverage of preexisting conditions. And yet, the marketplace doesn't make policies available to people with preexisting conditions." (Grokked from Jay Lake) Ah, Romney promises, his aids walk it back, and then they discover that what they thought they might have said about making changes was already law. And this is after he's been preparing for the debates. Also note that the market doesn't work this wonderful way that conservatives think it does. More on this story. (Pointed to by Dan)

The platinum coin seignoirage plan to eliminate the debt. It's pretty deep on the wonkery of macro-economics, and I would be lying if I understood it all from the quick reading I could give it at work, but it looks interesting. Although I doubt anybody has the brass cojones to do it, or that Congress would have the necessary discipline to follow through with their end of the deal. The expansionist effect on the money reserve would be detrimental in first blush, but he makes a cogent case why it wouldn't be inflationary (again, if Congress acted as a rational partner, and who here thinks that'll happen anytime soon?). (Grokked in a round about way from Jay Lake from this 50,000' overview article)

Tweet of my heart: @thetweetofgod: The first working Monday after Labor Day is always when the full horror of your situation really sinks in. (thanks for pointing that one out Dan)

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