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, June 30, 2015

Linkee-poo celebrating your extra second with an extra second post

No, I haven't run out of lyrics to use as titles, I'm just mind-blastedly tired from all the workz. And coming up with some slightly more obscure lyric line that may (or may not) apply to the general run of stories I'm linking to might just be the straw that breaks my brain. Sorry. Normal programming should continue sometime before I die. (Just had an image of me in a nursing home, blogging… shudders from the willies)

Replacing silicon in solar cells. (Grokked from Robert J Bennett)

Help the HAMs. Because in emergencies, they help us. (Grokked from Ken McConnell)

"The test has been thoroughly revamped and is now three hours longer. It takes 7 1/2 hours to complete, including breaks, and covers four new subjects, including a combined section on psychology and sociology, that account for a quarter of the overall score." The new MCAT (the ACT/SAT for medical school). And reading the interviews with potential students I find myself thinking, "Oh man, are you all in for a surprise." The one student says he's worried because the new sections (Sociology and Psychology) will come at the end, and he'll be tired by then. I feel for you brother, I do. Here's something I learned in X-Ray clinicals, the best, most exciting cases always came in at 4:30pm, right at the end of our normal shift. I often stayed to do them (which I think helped me get the job later, hint to all you in school) because 1) Never abandon a patient (that's malpractice) 2) KEWL stuff Maynard. No, seriously, it was like clockwork (it even didn't matter when our shifts would end, it was always at the end the most complex, interesting cases would come in). We were tired. We were fuzzy from low carbs. And you ad to have all of your learning on the desktop (as my A&P prof put it, not in storage, not available, you had to be able to instantly access some deep knowledge). As a doctor, you're going to have to be able to do that at 18 hour days. Seven and a half hours is nothing. And for the other student coming from the humanities, if you don't have A&P down by now, you're behind the curve. If this is what you want, I hope you're taking a lot of those basic classes now. It'll be too late when you're in medical school. But, I do agree, we do need to have these skills in our doctors (I say this having had to express my concerns about potential abusive situations with patients to the ER docs, because it's their call and they need the info, most of them already had an inkling something was going on). And if you're not prepared for the first patient that goes apeshit because you're the 3rd person in the room, you're male, you're tall, you have a beard, you make an off-hand remark which reminds them of something that terrified them, you better get ready (yes, I've experienced all of those, several times, I now can spot some of the troubles up front, it's sort of like learning the smell of cancer and c-diff).

And here I'll just make the lament, I've been told more than once during this training I should go to medical school (or try to be a Radiologist Assistant). If I were 20, I might (and I often regret that at the time I didn't think I was smart enough to be one). But at almost 50, I wouldn't have the time to recoup the investment after I'd graduate (also, damn I'm tired of school and work - and work). But I've seen doctors I admire and doctors I wouldn't trust. Sitting with the one radiologist for a day had me very excited to try RA. So that Humanities Student who wants to try it. Go for it, dude. Good luck. (I also think about if I had discovered that I like being a Radiological Tech back in high school, just how different my life would have been, and I have conflicting emotions about it).

American radicalism on the left and right. Some historical photos of rallies in 1939.

"Employees with a salary of $23,660 a year or more can be considered management and barred from time-and-a-half pay, even if they work more than 40 hours. The proposed change from the Obama administration would raise the bar to $50,440. And it'll move in the future to keep pace with inflation and wage growth." YES! Although I no longer qualify (at least at the job where I don't get paid overtime). But I would have for many a position. And, given that whole "pace with wage growth" which isn't really happening, who knows, maybe I will qualify again. And before everyone gets all upset, hey, this won't really be finalized until late 2016, which means the next President could override it without much controversy (there's something about "rules enacted in the last 100 days need to be reconfirmed by the new President," but I'm too tired to google it).

A white comedian tries to get arrested. (Grokked from Vince O'Conner)

In a 7 to 2 vote "(t)he Oklahoma Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that the state must remove a controversial Ten Commandments monument from the capitol in Oklahoma City, the Tulsa World reported." And I would be happy for them that sanity finally broke out in Oklahoma, except now the Satanic Temple is dropping its plans to place a statue of Bhaphomet on the state grounds as well. Can't win them all, I guess. Although, as the Temple points out, there are plenty of other places for them to place the statue in capitals that still have 10 Commandment monuments. You go with your crazy selves. (Grokked from Dan)

"The Ku Klux Klan will hold a protest on the South Carolina capitol grounds over the state's decision to consider removing the Confederate flag, the Post and Courier reported." I'm sure they're just citizens concerned with keeping the South's culture and heritage intact. Pointed to just in case anyone is still confused over what the Stars and Bars stands for. Also, "grand titan"?! Seriously, KKK, how can we take you seriously when your society's ranks read like boss names in a bad video game? And glad you helped encourage Dylan Roof with your comment at the end, nice touch. Please fuck off and die. (Grokked from John Scalzi)

In Columbia S.C. a fight started about 7:15 p.m. Monday when about a dozen vehicles with Confederate flag supporters pulled up in front of the Statehouse and stopped in the middle of the street… About 10 of the flag supporters clashed with about 30 people who were on the Statehouse grounds protesting the flag." That doesn't sound thuggish at all.

Linkee-poo, too many notes, Mozart

The price of energy storage is plummeting. (Grokked from Robert J Bennett)

"LiveScience reports that researchers studying the remains of a seventh-century B.C. nomad unearthed from a Scythian burial mound in central Kazkahstan have discovered an arrowhead embedded in the man's spine." Ah, the good old days. When men were men, women hunted, and arrow points were bronze or nothing. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

After the elation of last week, now it's the progressives' turn to hate on the Supreme Court. This time because they told the EPA they didn't fully justify the costs of their air pollution mandate regarding mercury from coal-fired power plants. The good news in this is the top court didn't give guidance on how to calculate the costs, or what costs could be included. So hopefully the EPA will be allowed by the lower-court to fully calculate the benefits to scrubbing mercury from emissions (and if they're able to, the cost to benefit ratio is way, way, WAY in favor of scrubbing emissions). Just the savings in Medicare payments alone (if I know my numbers correctly) will out weigh industry's cost. (Grokked from Paolo Bacigalupi)

"There are no accidents with guns." Yes, I was screaming when he gave me the pause. But here's the thing about reasonable dialog, sometimes is can be persuasive. I do agree with the results of what Jim proposes, and have said so before. And Jim's recommendation is a very nice way to get there.

More in the "this ain't over yet" theme. "Republican Mississippi state Rep. Andy Gipson, the chairman of the state house judiciary committee, (said) that the state is looking into eliminating state marriage licenses." Which I support. Not that I support the state getting out of issuing marriage licenses, quite the contrary. But because attempting to do this and trying to unravel the term "marriage" in all the laws (and policies) it appears in, will force the realization that marriage, historically, was about rights and transfer of property. This is a lesson conservative, libertarian, (and some liberal) law makers need to learn. Apparently they need the hard way.

Some of the issues surrounding the Marriage Equality and Religious Freedom. While this plays out as a trouble with integrating gay marriage into the fabric of religious based businesses (while mostly thinking in the terms of businesses with direct connections to churches think of what happens if a gay couple registers at Hobby Lobby). But I think this is the problem of having churches provide so many community services because the state can't be bothered, or doesn't have the funding. But I've also been thinking of another problem. What if the gay couple are members in good standing with a church. While you can't force a priest or minister to preside over a marriage, many church rules give the couple the right to use the church building for such events. And frankly, that's a lawsuit waiting to happen (I believe the Catholic Churches have clauses that the event must coincide with the doctrines of the Church so they may be good, but I'm not sure all other churches have such stipulations). (Grokked from Dan)

John Oliver's Last Week Tonight five years of the end of Obamacare. (Grokked from TPM)

So, Ted Cruz says the 2016 election will be about gay marriage. And Obamacare. Apparently the GOP printed to many flyers and voter "info" guides, and produced too many attack commercial and couldn't unload them since the 2012 campaign. It'll be like going to Thanksgiving with the extended family and grandmother is going to rehash all the times she was dissed by her six siblings (all of whom are now dead). (Yea, I thought I'd use the uncomfortable Thanksgiving meme early, before the rush).

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Linkee-poo is lyric-ed out

The dirty secret of writing, porn is highly lucrative. Especially kink porn. And yes, that article may be triggery for incest and monster porn. You can make money, but you've got to write a lot of it. (Grokked from Ferrett Steinmetz)

Yes, I've tried. I don't believe the result was successful. Maybe I should try again, like when I get a life again.

"We are up against Netflix and porn, people! The bar is low." McSweeny's on clickbait sites. Well played, sirs, well played. (Grokked from the Slactivist)

Sad Puppies, Rabid Puppies, and now Nazi Puppies. The ties that Dylan Roof has to SF. Don't forget to stay for the lunatic revenge fantasy at the end (can't wait, I've seen your side shoot, and I know my skills). (Grokked from Morgan J Locke)

You know, much of science can be boiled down to figuring out which way is up. In this case, we now know, definitively, which end was the head of Hallucigenia. (Grokked from the Slactivist)

I'm sure no business would be crass enough to fire a woman simply because she was pregnant. (Grokked from the Slactivist)

A chart of time spent in service to university, profession and mentoring broken up by race and sex. Just in case you believe certain people aren't "pulling their weight." (Grokked from Justine Larbalestier)

The Stars and Bars may be coming down in public places, but they're still burning churches in the South. (Grokked from Morgan J Locke)

"Canada’s green energy sector has grown so quickly and has become such an important part of the economy that it now employs more people than the oil sands." Unlike what the "think about it" campaign what's you to think about. But "Not only does the oil industry still get more substantial subsidies, she said, it also eats up a good deal of the country’s diplomatic relations efforts – through the lobbying for the Keystone XL pipeline, for example."

When it comes to conservative reactions to blatant racism, it's the same as it ever was. Then National Review then and now. (Grokked from Morgan J Locke)

And the meaning is oh, so clear

And here's one for Tony Perkins.


Tony, you're missing that one, final screw.

And for everyone else who thought my warning about how the issue of Obamacare and Marriage Equality wasn't over, here's one of his tweets from this week, "Just like Roe v. Wade in 1973, courts will not have the final say on this profound issue. #SCOTUS #marriage". They're sore losers. Losers who are afraid to lose their income source.

And this time I know it's for real, I've fallen in love, yeah

Ooo ooo oo, I have the Huckabee 2016 Campaign song.

"If he 'could have felt like a woman,' the Republican former Arkansas governor joked earlier this year, then he could have seen his female classmates without their clothes on."


Come one, Mikey, we know you wanna.

And the Queen hits keep coming.

See, this stuff plays in my head all the time. If you ever see a smirk on my face, it's probably because I'm having a moment like this.

The day will dawn of sanity, it's a kind of magic

Yea, it's still a Queen kinda of week.


Wait, there's a Queen App? How did I not know this.

Friday, June 26, 2015

The slippery flag pole of myopic history

Rush Limbaugh, and the ditto heads, have made a point about how if we're going to ban the Stars and Bars because of its racist heritage, then Old Glory is just as steeped in the blood of slaves. They then go on to lament and rend their garments wondering when the leftists will be coming for the flag.

And it is true, Old Glory is just as guilty as the Confederate Battle Flag when it comes to slavery and the institution of white supremacy.

But

Here are somethings Old Glory did that the Stars and Bars never did.
  • She flew on US Navy ships sent to the coast of Africa to stop slaver ships from transporting more slaves out of Africa
  • She flew over Union Troops who fought against the institution of slavery and held the country together
  • She flew over Negro Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen, some of the most decorated servicemen in our history
  • She flew over the US Military as they integrated before most other institutions integrated
  • She flew above the White House as the Civil Rights Act was signed
  • She flies above the White House currently occupied by the first African-American President
  • She flies over immigrant, minority, the dispossessed, as well as the majority


Now, she's also flown over many a disgraceful act, even at the same time she presided over some of the above. So her history is a complex and difficult one. Even to this day. But she's stood for the freedom of all American citizens.

The Stars and Bars has only stood for one thing. She flew over rebels and traitors to the United States. She flew over troops fighting to keep slavery enshrined in their law (and to expand African slavery to the Western Hemisphere). And, after she had been torn down by the victory of her opponents, she next arose to fly over the Klan and over other white supremacy groups formed for one purpose, to keep anyone not white oppressed and afraid. And finally she only returned to national prominence when Civil Rights and desegregation were becoming law, to stand in opposition.

This is why the Stars and Bars should be relegated to the museums, as a symbol of a dark chapter of our history.

Old Glory may not be unsullied, but she has stood for the better angels of our nature as well. And for that, she will remain. And it's only because people like Rush and the ditto heads can't see what progress she has stood for (because they disagree that it has been progress) why they think this may happen. As with so many other things, they stand on the wrong side of history. And it's to their shame they can't see that.

I clothed myself in your glory and your love, how I loved you, how I cried

Right now I imagine Scalia ordering this up on his karaoke machine. But it could also be for any number of conservatives and their opinions of the Supreme Court today.

Before we get to the music, I just keep having to remind myself that this court is heavily weighted to the right, packed with conservative ideologues. And still this week (which wasn't all peaches and cream, but close).


It's seems to be a day for Queen. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Linkee-poo, Love Wins

At least for a little while.

I understand the elation most of us progressives are feeling at the end of this week and SCOTUS work session. I'll just remind us all that abortion on demand was also celebrated in its time (even by conservative religious types). How's that working out? So, yea! Celebrate, drink the champaign (if you're into that), and shout for joy. Next week it's back to the trenches to defend what we've gained. The fight isn't over yet. Sorry, wish it weren't so.

"Unconstitutional." You keep using that word, I don't think it means what you think it means.

About that Lexus Hoverboard. (Grokked from Stewart Sternberg)

The 30 Minute Aurora Forecast. That is, auroras that may appear in a 30 minute window. In case you need it.

You know that thought about previous eras just accepting racism and that's why it was so prevalent in the literature of the time. Say, like Lovecraft. "Well, people were just that way back then," some people say. No, no they weren't. Although Howard's stories are the epitome of acceptance of all peoples equally, as least he's schooling Lovecraft on "civilization" and "barbarism".

There's a company that sells facial recognition systems to churches. Yea, because that's totally not creepy at all. (Grokked from John)

MOAR Lottery Terminals! Because nothing says conservative values like fleecing the poor on a hope and a prayer which giving a lot of money to the rich and the business owners (often the same people, say, did you know that an S-Corp "dispersal" isn't taxed as income). (I say this as someone who spends some money on the lottery). Also, conservatives are all for "local control", except when you don't do what they want. Then it's "fuck you, we're taking over." Yep, the Ohio Legislature that is so bound up they should develop legislative fiber pills passed the law that basically targets Youngstown Schools with hostile take-over (after they already tried that) in less than 24 hours.

"Since Sept. 11, 2001, nearly twice as many people have been killed by white supremacists, antigovernment fanatics and other non-Muslim extremists than by radical Muslims." Oh, if only there had been a report that could have helped us stave off this threat… "A 2009 report by the Department of Homeland Security, which warned that an ailing economy and the election of the first black president might prompt a violent reaction from white supremacists, was withdrawn in the face of conservative criticism." Add in the number of deaths by police and non-ideologically driven mass murders and that chart would be even more skewed. (Grokked from BoingBoing)

This article asks the question why hasn't America kept up to date with employment laws. Because business owners don't want a "dependent contractor" type classification. They might as well hire the person instead, which they obviously are trying very hard not to do. And guess who gives more money to politicians than unions and teachers?

Tweet of my heart: @ChuckWendig To the dinosaurs, I warn: the cultural meteor is coming. It is colorful. Full of love and unicorns. Evolve or flail your tiny arms in death.

Double dip: @LOLGOP The first black president celebrating the victory of same-sex marriage = what you got instead of a jet pack. (ed note, I'll take it)

I just gotta get out of this prison cell

At least in America, I believe that prison cell is wide open now.



(hat tip to Dan)

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Linkee-poo if we shadows have offended

Yea, about those subsidies… Note, and now you know why conservatives are now thinking, "Hey, maybe this wasn't such a good thing to win, and we better fix this damn thing." Don't worry, they'll try and tie a tax cut to it and shoot themselves in the foot.

The Lexus Hoverboard. Note you don't see the guy actually step on the board and ride it (which given it's "frictionless" ride would be very difficult being that it could slide in any direction, Newton's Third Law isn't your friend here). (Grokked from John)

And Mikey Hucklebees is done. Hey, no worries, I bet Fox News has a talking-head position open just waiting for him. (Grokked from Dan)

When does workplace "wellness" programs become coercive? About 6 years ago, that's when. "'Medical questions that an employee may only decline to answer if he or she agrees to pay thousands of dollars more for health insurance can hardly be called voluntary.'"

Oo, history is so hard. If only we knew the true intent of the Southern Rebellion as outlined in their own words by their own leaders and manifestos. I mean, that would clear things up now, wouldn't it. IF you believe "The Cause" was anything other than keeping a state's right to continue having one person hold other people as property (slavery), then BZZZ! Wrong! Thank you for playing! Sorry, we don't have any consolation prizes for ignorants. "Thus in 1861, when the Civil War began, the Union did not face a peaceful Southern society wanting to be left alone. It faced an an aggressive power, a Genosha, an entire society based on the bondage of a third of its residents, with dreams of expanding its fields of the bondage further South. It faced the dream of a vast American empire of slavery." (Grokked from John)

Recycling, it's no longer a booming business. Mostly because we can't sell it to China anymore. They don't like the quality of our garbage. (Grokked from Dan)

Sen. Cruz tries to stifle free speech by objecting to photos of him at a gun rally, where pictures of firearms on the wall appear to be pointing at his head. "'The images were not intended to portray Sen. Cruz in a negative light.'" Sen. Cruz doesn't need any help in that regard, AP. Dear Sen. Cruz, how about maybe you start thinking about the optics. Noted in contrast to Sarah Palin interviewed on video in front of a turkey farm as a worker in the background slit the throats of the turkeys. You just can't make this shit up, people wouldn't believe it.

It's the lack of professionalism I find disturbing. But it's early and most people who will vote don't give a damn, yet (note various polls with 20-30% saying they never heard of the candidates).

Oh why oh why didn't these peaceful people of God rise up and defend themselves? Dear SC State Rep. William Chumley, you're an asshole that's why. Oh, sorry. How about this explanation, 1) they shouldn't have to in a lawful and respectful nation and 2) not everyone is as violent and abusive as you are. Seriously, conservatives, get a friggin' grip, okay? Oh, half apologies don't cut it anymore.

Fox News likes to say there's no racism anymore. That's because they can't see how racist they are. You see, for Ann Coulter, anyone not as white, skinny, uptight, or fucked in the head as she is obviously isn't an American. Bill O'Reilly and Fox, tend to your own wounds.

Tweet of my heart: @saladinahmed Speeding removal of Confederate flags is kind of a genius move for southern GOP. They'll be milking this for "not racist" cred for years.

Songs that make us cry

So, listening to the All Songs Considered podcasts and hit one where they were talking about songs that make up cry (starting off with the impeccable Adagio for Strings by Barber, probably indelibly etched into the psyche of those of us at a certain age from its use in Platoon). But this song always makes me melancholy. I love it (wish I could play like this). It reminds me of watching my grandmother pass. When we buried her ashes, it was playing in my head the whole time. Whenever I hear it now I think of her and that time. The two now are permanently connected in my mind.


Leo Kottke - Crow River Waltz

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Linkee-poo just can't seem to drink you off my mind

Does this show go to Parma? Okay, that's probably only funny to someone from Cleveland. The story is about the death of Donald Featherstone, father of the pink, plastic flamingo lawn-ornament.

"Swedish researchers studying the mummified remains of a 17th century bishop have made an unusual discovery – a fetus hidden at the feet of the prominent clergyman." Okay, well, besides the "who is the fetus" and we'll hand-wave by the magical/spiritual connotations of kobolds, this is the kind of x-ray work I think I'd really like to be doing.

So, uh, when will your hard drive fail? Great, after trying not to, I bought a Seagate 4T drive earlier this year. Just fargin' great. (Grokked from John)

Hey, remember my comment about the TEA Party and a tax on sanitary products yesterday? Whelp, looks like the Democrats are on it. Hey, TEA Party, time to get behind this (of course, you also might be fighting the tobacco tax increase). Oh, wait, neither. I guess that's because if there's any tax a conservative loves, it's on women's genitals or tobacco (alcohol is another matter).

So where is the FEA Party? Fee-ed enough already when it comes to air travel? Now there's an organization I'd join (I wonder if the TEA Party realizes these fees are actually taxes, probably not).

Hey, Josh Mandel, fucking get rid of the money even if you have to cut the check out of your personal funds. Seriously, dude, you're showing your political ignorance here. And it doesn't look good on you. But then, I guess you never really cared as long as you got what you wanted.

Yes, Virginia, they're coming for your contraceptives. "Title X is critical for low-income Americans. Enacted in 1970, it is the only federal grant program dedicated solely to providing individuals with comprehensive family planning and related preventive health services. The people who rely on Title X are some of our nation’s most vulnerable, including those with limited English proficiency, victims of domestic violence, and people experiencing homelessness… The House GOP just declared war on it." Why? "For every public dollar spent on contraceptive services, $3.74 is added in Medicaid savings. This is clearly a fiscally responsible choice, and yet Republicans are trying to end it." Because conservative are not about fiscal responsibility, lower taxes, smaller government. Social conservatives are about controlling your lives and making government spend more money (it doesn't have, increasing deficit and debt) and interfere directly in your life. "This move flies in the face of any Republican deceitful claim that they support birth control access or that they simply oppose abortion (notably, Title X does not provide any funding for abortion). In reality, Republicans are trying to eradicate any semblance of reproductive health care from American women." Because it's about rolling back the sexual revolution, not about abortion. Or, if you're wondering about where the War of Women is, here ya go.

The privatized prescription drug program of Medicare is still awash in fraud and cost overruns? Why, but private industry is so much better at these things than government workers. Say, who passed Part D anyway? Shocked, shocked I am…

On the Stars and Bars, "This argument is–to deploy theoretical language I learned in grad school–dumb. And one of the occupational hazards of being a historian of the Civil War Era is that I find myself having to engage with it a lot–either from friends and colleagues who wonder what my take on it is, or from people who sincerely believe it, and seem to have a great deal invested in trying to get me to join them. Just about any teacher-scholar of the period has encountered this–an almost visceral need on the part of white people (and it’s always white people) who venerate a profoundly racist symbol to have that veneration coated with a sheen of scholarly respectability… My response: Nope." Look, Southerners, us Northern Folk have been quite indulging of your "sensibilities" for the past 100 plus years. We understand you all were pretty shocked to find God wasn't on your side and let us win. We accept you didn't want to celebrate the 4th of July in many of your localities (like Vicksburg). But the time for politeness is done. You lost. The Confederacy was about institutionalized slavery and white supremacy, even if your particular ancestors weren't rich enough to own slaves. The Stars and Bars, the cry of "States' Rights/Sovereignty" are dog whistles for racism. It's time to put on the long pants and grow up about it. Note, us Northern Folk have our own issues, and in Ohio I often see the Stars and Bars flown. I refuse to enter those places (always have). If you have it on your person, I automatically label you racist or imbecile (dealer's choice). Get over it. I have my own love of troublesome things (Lovecraft, Firefly, John Carter of Mars) that I no longer have time for your disfunction as well. (Grokked from Mur Lafferty)

Also, dear Southerners, when you talk about your "culture and heritage", this is what plays in my head.


Monday, June 22, 2015

Linkee-poo it's got to be drummed in your dear little ear, you've got to be carefully taught

There's a whole lotta foodie talk going on. But in the age of the supermarket, it's really bogus. In Germany they still have food "seasons." Although, at least so far, I've never bought watermelon on the winter (although I like having tomatoes throughout the year, so yea for international commerce). And just in case you think dwarves have it bad, that article ends with "While Germans delight in as much asparagus as possible over a period of eight weeks, barley is one crop they are happy to consume — in its preserved, liquid form — all year round." Although, don't we all know Germans like their beer? (See links later on about being carefully taught)

The next breakthrough in batteries will be in production, not in technology innovation. (Grokked from Robert J Bennett)

The least unhealthy food choices at fast food restaurants. Just in case you need it. Note that most fast food is highly processed (which means low in vitamins and other good things for you, high in processed/simple carb and proteins, not to mention added fat and sodium). (Grokked from Dan)

"Don't let them tell you it's all in your head." Delilah Dawson and her experiences with the healthcare system. Points, yes, this. And you don't actually have to be taking anti-depressants for this to happen. Yep, seen that (on the receiving end and on the giving end, although I tried to fight). Doctors (and nurses and everyone else) are quick to grasp the easiest solution, and when your problem doesn't fit that solution, it's obviously in your head. Also the result of differential diagnosis. That is, if what you're describe is 95% this one disease, we will check you first for that disease using the least invasive test until we have something that makes sense to your healthcare givers. Unfortunately for a lot of doctors that means if you're female it's all in your head. (Grokked from Chuck Wendig)

The Onion weighs in on Gamer Gate/Fanboys and the insistence of sticking to the "staying true to the material" meme. Slow clap. (Grokked from Robert J Bennett)

I wonder if TEA Party activists would be upset at this tax (on "sanitary products") if we had this in the US? I'm not entirely sure which direction they'd go. But apparently SNAP (or food stamps) can't be used for these products, and many states charge sales tax on them. So, TEA Party, where's your position paper? (Grokked from the Slactivist)

Thought it would actually be good for practice shooting whomp rats in Beggar's Canyon, but no. Instead you "can experience the excitement of standing on the launch pad beneath NASA's massive new rocket, the Space Launch System or SLS…" Um, isn't that what happened to Jimmy Hoffa? Maybe I can stand over there, instead. Like a safe distance away. (Grokked from George Takei)

While it may be hard to say that conservative presidential aspirants support white supremacists views, it is clear whom those white supremacists support. Must have been all those dog whistles. Ben Carson stand alone in calling out the obvious racism of Dylan Roof's shooting. Considering he was actually polling quite well before this, it'll be interesting to see where his numbers go concerning "the base." But then, the polling is becoming increasingly less actuate (see: 2012 election and Nate Silver's rise to prominence). (Grokked from Dan)

Many people are wondering where people like Dylann Roof get their ideology and twisted sense of reality. If only we knew how people become racists and how racism spreads. You have got to be carefully taught. The same way sexism continues in the culture.

The C of CC says, Dylann Roof was a monster for shooting people, but he wasn't wrong. "However, the council stands unshakably behind the facts on its website, and points out the dangers of denying the extent of black-on-white crime." And yes, I did pull that Bill Maher quote.

You know eventually, Bill O'Reilly, you'll realize the problem is you. I don't expect it soon, because of the narcissism, but eventually.

Oh thank God there's another ISIS whackaloon and the conservative shout-o-sphere can go back to talking about "the real threat to Americans." Although "Justin Nojan Sullivan" doesn't have the right ring to it. So maybe we need another, someone with "al" and a whole bunch of "ck"s and "ch"s in their name.

Just going to drop this here. A "Fox & Friends co-anchor" goes rouge and tries to throw an axe into a target, misses, hits West Point drummer. You can't really blame them. At Fox, you don't need any real talent for anything, and the whole organization is a classic example of the Dunning-Kruger effect. (Grokked from Robert J Bennett)

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Three things make a post, plus one

There's lots going on in the private life, but about 99% of it the same old boring, "work-school-sleep" that it's not worth mentioning or writing about.

Last week, though, I was week and had some regular Coke for lunch. At work we have a big project so they're providing lunch most days (we'll see if that continues this week as well, I'd guess not), and while I've been over eating (stress eater, hi, that's me) I've been able to avoid most of the bad things (when I can). But on Wednesday I succumbed and poured a cup of Coke. Man I miss that rush. My brain felt more awake and hitting on all cylinders than it has for almost two years now. And I admit, I had another cup (they were small plastic cups). And then another on Friday (Thursdays I'm at the hospital doing clinical, where strangely enough, I don't overeat or feel the need to get caffeinated all the time). Hopefully with the weekend I can break out of that cycle. But I miss that feeling. I remember why I used to do a lot more writing and experimental writing when I was drinking pop regularly.

Clinicals have ground to a halt. That is logging in several comps a day has stopped. For the CT licensure we need 125 comps from certain categories (types of studies). I have about 70 or so. This is a little different than X-ray school. So I'm hitting up against several problems. One, I think the people I work with believe I'm much farther along than I am because they treat me like, "Oh, you know how to do this, just do it", we've also been very busy so there hasn't been time for me to ask questions and say "I want to do this" when the exams are complicated. Take my attempt at doing PEs (pulmonary embolism study). Now, I've done about 20 of these (and they're a little tricky). But the basic thing is you take a scanogram (planogram, scout, whatever they want to call it) and then set up the study including the locator/tracker on the pulmonary artery. It's easy to find, just set the tracker line at the carina (where your bronchus divides to fill the left and right lungs, it's mostly easy to see). That's where the pulmonary artery rises from your right ventricle, travels over the heart and divides into the left and right branch. It looks like a very thick, upside-down Y. Except the first two patients I said, "I want to comp this" had abnormal anatomy. One's pulmonary artery was about 2" down from the carina (needing 2 extra scans for me to find) and the other's pulmonary artery branched almost right above the pulmonary valve and took strange courses to the lungs. Sigh. The third patient? The ER didn't secure the connector to his IV catheter correctly and we blew contrast and saline all over the place ("fortunately" not enough made it into the veins of the patient that we could try again). So, yea, no PE comps for me, yet. We also don't see many extremities and one of our radiologists is very particular on how he wants the multiplanar reconstructions made. But I think I have that down now that I had a little practice over the weekend. I really don't want to have to continue clinicals into the Fall, but that might be necessary. Sigh.

And then there's the not having time for anything else problem. This is really starting to tick me off. The only benefit is I no longer panic when my RSS feed is over 600 articles. But that also means I'm not able to bring you all some good content I know is out there, but I just never get to it. And I know I'm in big-D again. There isn't much mental time to crawl out of it either. So I hobble along the best I can, showing a different face to the world (at least at the day thing and clinicals). I remember having a life at one point. I really wish I could get back to having one. And now "Follow the Yellow Brick Road" is playing in my head. Thanks, Brain. Gee, do you think the Wizard will give me Prozac?

And it was Fathers' Day. I made the mistake of looking at Facebook today. I remember with Mothers' Day several people mentioned that not all mothers were the most loving, but apparently most people don't know that not all dads were the best either. Thanks to all the people who made up for it, especially my grandfather. He taught me what it meant to be a man and I miss him terribly.

Linkee-poo has a case of the "don'twannas"

"She thanks all donors for their 'relentless gay support, relentlessly.'" Followup to that story about the rainbow-colored jars and neighbors threatening to call the cops unless the widowed mother of 4 stopped her "relentless gay support." (Grokked from Dan)

The problem of airplane stowaways. Many die on the journey because they hitch rides in un-pressurized and unheated compartments. Of course part of me thinks, "Wait, wasn't this a plot point in Sherlock?"

The most interesting man in the world. I don't often like the commercials he stars in, but him, he seems to be interesting.

"(I)t is beyond dispute that critical thinking has been abandoned as a cultural value. Our failure as a society to connect the dots, to see that such anti-intellectualism comes with a huge price, could eventually be our downfall." While I agree that there is a common societal thread to embrace anti-intellectualism and a pride that comes along with that action, I disagree (and the article contradicts) the assertion that anti-intellectualism is the root of racism. It allows racism to flourish and grow, but prejudice is the root of racism. "Indeed, these corporate interests encourage anti-intellectualism, conditioning Americans into conformity and passive acceptance of institutional dominance. They are the ones who stand to gain from the absurd levels of fear and nationalism that result in militaristic foreign policy and absurdly high levels of military spending (link is external). They are the ones who stand to gain from consumers who spend money they don’t have on goods and services they don’t need. They are the ones who want a public that is largely uninformed and distracted, thus allowing government policy to be crafted by corporate lawyers and lobbyists. They are the ones who stand to gain from a prison-industrial complex that generates the highest rates of incarceration in the developed world. They are the ones who stand to gain from unregulated securities markets." Yes, that. (Grokked from Cat Rambo)

Getting the synthetic estrogens out of our water. While the report talks mostly about spillover from birth control pills, most of the synthetic estrogen (and estrogen like compounds) are industrial wastes. While there's been a lot of concern about spillover (antidepressants, estrogens, viagra, etc), not much attention has been given to these "micro-pollutants" that are the result of industrial processes.

"Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says his chamber will vote on legislation banning most late-term abortions." Well of course they will. Once conservatives gain power, they always vote to ban abortions and hurt women.

"The report says repealing the Affordable Care Act's spending cuts and tax increases would add $137 billion to the deficit over the next ten years, and the number of people with health insurance would drop from 90 percent of the population to 82 percent." Yea, that would be a problem if you were fiscal conservative.

Waterloo. It's more than an Abba song.

Why are so many people trollish? Because some trolls make a lot of money. At this point, it would be hard to argue that Ann Coulter is anything but a troll.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Linkee-poo, to everything there is a season

The Emanuel AME Church website with a donate button. (Grokked from just about everybody)

The problem, the WSJ editorial board believes "institutionalized racism" doesn't exist anymore. "'What causes young men such as Dylann Roof to erupt in homicidal rage, whatever their motivation, is a problem that defies explanation beyond the reality that evil still stalks humanity,' the editorial stated. 'It is no small solace that in committing such an act today, he stands alone.'" Only, he doesn't stand alone. Leading (mostly conservative) politicians also don't get it, but then that's because they would have to acknowledge their complicity. And that's not going to happen as long as conservatives need to troops their dog whistling brings to the polls to win. They would also have to piss off the NRA. And that isn't going to happen for exactly the same reasons.

There's this thing in medicine where we address the symptoms of a disease, but not the disease or root cause directly. It's easier to do that, and we have solutions ready to go. Unfortunately, it means the symptoms keep returning, and there's the uncomfortable fact that because we can treat this symptom for this disease doesn't mean that treatment will actually work for the same symptom from a different disease. We just say, "well, that should be working" and don't go further and think we've solved the problem. Meanwhile, the patient is still in pain/distress and eventually dies. There are social construct parallels here.

Don't worry, next week it'll be off the front page. Again.

Ah, I guess the relentless gay agenda includes colorful water in mason jars. They're insidious. Also, to the idiot who wrote the letter of complaint, please, call the cops. Tell you what, since the Supreme Court may rule any day now, you'll wanna call 911.

Okay ad kiddies, don't do this. How many times does Samsung have to make the mistake of attempting social media campaigns for the Galaxy phones only to have it outed those campaigns were run/launched from iOS (Apple) products? Learn the lesson. This doesn't even reach adfail. This is shooting yourself in the food. Hell, even Microsoft could learn this after the 3rd incident. You have to eat your own dog food.

Insurance companies involved with Medicare Advantage overfilling the government? Shocked, shocked we are… Say, who's idea was it to privatize part of Medicare and give our tax dollars to a private company middleman? And didn't they promise us major savings because magical Private Enterprise? Gee, what else could the be wrong about?

How to do social media right. Airport security finds boy's custom made Hobbes, takes Hobbes on tour of airport, presents boy with book of photos and the tiger when he came back through the airport. Win. (Grokked from Kelly Swails)

How Rand Paul's tax scheme works. The VAT, I'm not sure that's what Neil Diamond was singing about in "Coming to America." "(F)ormer Treasury secretary Lawrence Summers once quipped that conservatives oppose a VAT because it is a money machine and liberals oppose it because it is regressive (that is, people with lower incomes pay a larger share of their income in tax, because they consume a higher fraction of their income). Mr. Summers said we would get a VAT when conservatives realize it’s regressive and liberals realize it’s a money machine. And indeed, while conservatives have historically been uneasy about VATs, Senator Paul would use his to replace revenue lost from two progressive taxes conservatives hate: corporate income tax and graduated taxes on high personal incomes." There's that word again.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Linkee-poo is rockin' in the free world, Canada

First we have "Santorum", whom you don't want to google, and now "FuckFace Von ClownStick". Who's next? Crazy-eyed McGee?

OMG!OMG!OMG!OMG!, Starz has greenlit "American Gods." Damn, now I got squee all over me. And so begins the inevitable handwringing hoping FreemantleMedia doesn't screw it up (please don't whitewash, please don't whitewash).

Yet another social media site, but this one will be "secure." You know, until they need money. (Grokked from John)

Philae is back, baby!

Using an electron microscope to visualize reading analog media. Okay, I'm a total geek, but keel! In case you ever wanted to see what the surface of a DVD or CD-ROM looked like. (Grokked from Dan)

As a nation, we waste up to 40% of our food. This should be a crime. Also note that this is mostly a middleman problem, they don't think you'll buy less than perfect produce (or that it needs to be packaged and so must conform to a certain size). And yet, when there are programs that take this "ugly" produce, it sells (probably because they sell it at a discount). Which is fine. What we really need is consumer education (that yellow cauliflower isn't rotten, because it doesn't show the signs of rotting). This is really a crime, especially when people go hungry every single day.

On why regulation happens. So, they might kill a few people with the marijuana before we get there, but what's a few people? And actually, that's how regulation happens. Like the new trans fats rule.

Remember that solar sales pitch yesterday? Perfect Power Now. That certainly looks like them (although the website doesn't have the conservative panic sidebars). And hey, if you can't trust a high-tech firm that looks like they designed their website on GeoCities, who can you trust? Their parent company is a little more modern, but with selling a DVD on "A Crash Course on the Constitution", there's that conservative panic mode. Seems the Amazon people don't quite think highly of them. "You can buy these items separately for much less", yes, that. Plus, it's only a 90W solar panel. Well, I guess they're going where the money is 9and they're target audience isn't all that savvy in alternative energy). Just a hint, you can get most of what they're selling for about $2000 for less than $200. All except the battery and wheels. (Grokked from John)

There's this thing about equal rights and women having control over their bodies. Want examples? Okay, how about the lack of "women's hygiene" products in the developing world leading to girls dropping out of schools and missing economic opportunities. 'Nough said?

Whoa there, Sparky, "Republican Gov. Sam Brownback said Tuesday that Kansas isn't really increasing taxes even though the state will raise its sales and cigarette taxes to balance the budget." Because those aren't real taxes. Well, actually because they won't impact real tax payers, just the poor. Not like they voted for Brownback anyway. "The analysis posted online said the poorest 20 percent of the state's residents will pay 1.5 percent more in taxes than they did in 2012, or an average of $197 a year. Meanwhile, the wealthiest 1 percent will pay 1.9 percent less, or an average of about $24,600, the group said." It's called "regressive". Just so you have that word ready to go (we're going to need it a lot).

Five lies conservative "Christians" tell about themselves. I really want to make a bumper sticker that says, "The way you talk about your God makes him out to be some kinda dick." (Grokked from Janiece)

Ah Texas. Home of the batshit crazy politician. Now they want to "repatriate" Texas' gold (they really don't have any) and set up their own gold bullion repository bank. We, Jasper, there's a few laws that you might transgress here (like not being able to mint your own money, that was a part of why we have the Constitution, BTW). But even though, in their law, they state no one (like those stinking Feds) can seize the assets. Hahahaha. Say, remember how laws work? Also, don't miss some of the wonderful conservative lunacy such as, "…some 4,200 gold bars bought in 2011 by the University of Texas’s endowment fund… are stored in the basement vault of HSBC’s headquarters… For the last four years, the endowment has paid an estimated $1 million per year to store their gold there. (If it had been at the New York Fed the cost would have totaled about $15,400 over that period)." Wot a deal! Also, "(Capriglione) dismissed a suggestion that a building known as a the 'Texas Bullion Depository' will attract criminal masterminds…Rushed for time, Capriglione cut short his interview before he could be asked if he had ever seen the films 'Heist,' 'Goldfinger,' 'Ocean’s Eleven,' or 'Die Hard 3.'" Hahahaha. (Grokked from Dan)

Remember when the conservatives in Congress shut down that Homeland Security Report that said white Christian extremists were more of a domestic threat than other groups? Good times. Good times.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Linkee-poo has been waiting for this moment for all my life

Donald Trump runs for president, again. But this time for reals. And the comedians of the world rejoice. This will work out well until he realizes that nobody is going to buy his book and he doesn't have a chance in hell to win. At that point, he's choose to drop out and claim victory. I suspect it'll be a few days before Iowa.

"Fifty hospitals in the United States are charging uninsured consumers more than 10 times the actual cost of patient care, according to research published Monday." I'm sure they have a good reason, like wanting to hire another friend down on their luck as a Vice President. "By comparison, the researchers said, a typical U.S. hospital charges 3.4 times the cost of patient care." (Grokked from Julie)

"This business will get out of control. It will get out of control and we'll be lucky to live through it." - Admiral Josh Painter, Hunt for Red October. I may be nostalgic for the Cold War, but I really didn't miss it that much.

It's just like Obamacare, but with electricity. Hurry, conservatives, buy your solar cells before the president's socialism causes a world collapse of electricity. But wait there's more, order now to get your survival seed bank! He doesn't say if you can for this system with your gold Krugerrands or silver dollars that you probably got last week. (Also, even at $1000, it's overpriced)

I'm beginning to think there's a revenge issue in the Bush family. First we get Junior, who decides to invade Iraq to get back at the man who shot at his Daddy, and now the "smart" brother (the one whom everyone thought would run in 2000) wants a do over of the Bush/Clinton matchup. Seriously, it's called therapy, fellas. Although, actually, if Jeb weren't already running to center (for the GOP), he might actually be a contender. But, by the time the GOP comes to grip with reality and will try their best to nominate the guy (wither Carly Fiorina?) that has the best chance to win, I have a feeling it'll be too late for the primary electoral math. But I've been wrong before. Remember in 2000 all the jokes about getting "the stupid brother"? Ding ding ding, round two.

"At the same time, Democrats seem finally to have taken on board something political scientists have been telling us for years: adopting 'centrist' positions in an attempt to attract swing voters is a mug’s game, because such voters don’t exist. Most supposed independents are in fact strongly aligned with one party or the other, and the handful who aren’t are mainly just confused. So you might as well take a stand for what you believe in." Paul Krugman on Democrats being Democrats. We can only hope it sticks this time. (Grokked from Morgan J Locke)

Monday, June 15, 2015

Linkee-poo is drowning in a whiskey river, bathing my memories mind in the wetness of its soul

Okay, so is it just me or has Supreme Court deviation (need better catch phrase) replaced Kremlinology in the social zeitgeist?

The She Guardian. Sleep well internets. (Grokked from Geoff Landis)

Ah, whales, those gentile gentle giants of the deep. Well, most fights in the animal kingdom are for show and intimidation, not to kill or harm the opponents. But, yea, stuck between two school buses that are being aggressive toward each other, not where I'd want to be. (Grokked from Vince O'Connor)

On the cover of the Rolling Stone! Rush finally makes the big time, just as they're about to say goodbye to touring. (Grokked from Ken McConnell)

The cultural differences on why the Chinese don't say thank you. Viva la difference. (Grokked from Eric)

Just what the hell this dashboard lights mean. Or, in other words, design fail (icons are meant to be instantaneously recognizable and understandable, granted most have a learning curve, but if you only see these every 6 years that won't work). (Grokked from Dan)

Just in case you still have hope that man can solve the climate crisis. (Grokked from Paolo Bacigalupi)

The rich and the wet. I love how people think that because they don't know where something comes from, they ascribe it to magic. You all live in a desert. Time to realize this. Also, just in case you think rich people are nice, understand they're saying, "we can afford it, screw everyone else." I wonder what they'll do when all the poor people need to move away? Who will mow their lawns, walk their dog, nanny their children? (Grokked from Julie)

"(A)gencies such as Planned Parenthood and the Hawaii Youth Services Network believe that changes in the state’s sex education policies have played a role in reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies and the abortions that sometimes follow. 'There was, starting in 2010, a lot of new teen pregnancy education going on in both school and non-school settings using evidence-based curricula,' said Judith Clark, executive director of Hawaii Youth Services Network." Reality based sex-ed actually works to reduce teen-pregnancy and abortion rates? Who knew? And since it worked, of course the conservative members of the Hawaii State Government want to change it all. Again, that's because the "pro-life" movement isn't actually about ending abortions. It's about rolling back the sexual revolution. (Grokked from George Takei)

"When it comes to family arrangements, the United States has a North-South divide. Children growing up across much of the northern part of the country are much more likely to grow up with two parents than children across the South." You mean in the Bible-belt, there are more children in "broken" households than in the liberal North. Why I do declare.

Jim Wright on what's keeping Reince Priebus awake at night. They just might win the battle, only to lose the war of relevancy.

Your money or your life. On the debate of defaulting on student loans. I've seen this argument from the side lines (all our student loans are paid off, thanks to the monetary finesse of my wife, however I didn't own my own home until late in my 30s and we're still struggling with savings) and kept thinking, "wait, but student loan debt can't be discharged by bankruptcy." "There is another danger: Employers who can legally check your credit before hiring you may have questions about your character if you’ve defaulted on a student loan." Yea, and the Federal Government can also garnish your Social Security payments. Can't we all agree this experiment in paying for higher education has failed and work on the solution… finally.

Yea, we kinda knew that part. A new report can't find any evidence of the police officer shouting at Tamir Rice to drop the gun and raise his hands.

"The Dominican government recently opened seven deportation centers near the Haitian border, and gave them the Orwellian name of 'welcome centers'" And it goes down from there. Maybe it's easier to see racism in others, so to everyone who wants to deport all those "illegals", do you see the parallels here? Yea, probably not. (Grokked from Mary Robinette Kowal)

Friday, June 12, 2015

Linkee-poo's soul writes me, my soul plays me, my soul sings me

Situation at day thing is tense. Trying to figure out why they insist that "using people" is the same as "respect." This week I have a stronger feeling that in corporate communications I live at the Ministry of Truth. Plus lots of clinical stuff. Too much to mention (also, some of it covered by HIPAA, so no cookies for you).

Reader retention rates. Numbers! Okay, I have to admit I haven't read this, yet. This is mostly so I don't forget to. (Grokked from Kameron Hurley)

Some more thoughts on the letter from Tom Doherty which does a better job of outlining some of the issues I saw with it. (Grokked from someone, sorry)

Eric Flint goes once more to the well in a response to the Sad Puppies "woe is me" attitude. Shorter version of the post, "suck it up, buttercup." (Grokked from John Scalzi)

"'He came into the call out of control, and as the video shows, was out of control during the incident. I had 12 officers on the scene, and 11 of them performed according to their training,' Police Chief Greg Conley said…" And that's why he resigned. With a resignation there's a chance of him being able to work in law enforcement or security again. Being fired, not so much.

The new math. Or how to fake the numbers to get a higher graduation rate without doing very much education at all.

Sex, God, and rock and roll. A little local (to me) history. Trigger warnings. Just in case someone is trying to tell you how safe and simple life in the country is. Also note, these people are the only local cultists. We had some bad ones in Kirkland and Jefferson. Also, as a part of the Census, yea, there's a number of other "compounds" in the area.

"'It’s just jibber-jabber. You just get out there, you say things, you talk, and no one’s listening.' He pauses and looks at Gethard. 'Except for you.'" On meeting the internet troll. "Travis repeatedly noted that he and other trolls are just having a good time and that his online comments don’t reflect any real emotion. He also said that he’s less likely to troll people online if he knows them personally, even if they’re only acquaintances — because he doesn’t want to hurt someone he knows." I believe that's the definition of psychopathy. (Grokked from Kameron Hurley)

You know how Science Fiction isn't so much about the future, but vehicle to deal with the issues we face today by pushing the issue out to where people have no personal stake and can think about these things rationally? Okay, same thing works we we talk about foreign countries and foreigners. So, can we can a discussion on the idiocy of this Aussie couple who vow to divorce if same-sex marriage is legalized in Australia? Can we look at this and say, "Wow, are they fucking brain dead?" Or will the world-wide social conservatives have finally found one heterosexual marriage that has been ruined because of gay marriage? (Grokked from BoingBoing)

Since this will be coming to a head in many states in the coming years, New Jersey shows exactly why public pensions are going to be a big battleground. See, NJ (like many municipalities and states) continually underfunded their pensions both not living up to legal agreements they signed, or keeping faith with their employees and the taxpayers of the state (yes, the government failed EVERYBODY here, because by underfunding they explicitly decided to screw both the employees who benefited from the fund AND the taxpayers who will have to make up the difference later on). So, NJ and the unions came to an agreement wherein the employees took cuts and older retirement ages while the state would make up some of the shortfall. Only then, NJ got into a budget crisis and again stiffed the pension funds (this is the first and easiest way to "balance" a budget). So when you hear your local and state politicians talk about "unsustainable pension liabilities" know that the unions upheld their part of the legal arrangement, and the states and municipalities played loose with your tax dollars by consistently cutting payments and underfunding their liabilities. This isn't the union or workers' fault. They're requests were not unreasonable. It's that the politicians didn't care and thought they could skate fast enough no one would notice. Well, the bill is coming due.

Well, it's really early, but this doesn't bode well for my prediction of Ricky being the GOP nominee. Then again, there's a whole baseball team of candidates roaming Iowa… and it's still early.

Because that's what Jon Ritzheimer needs, moar guns. When will the nice, young men in their clean, white coats come to take him away? Oh, wait. I'm sure he'll announce someone hacked his Craig's List account in a few days.

How do you admit you've lost the political argument? "Kanas Gov. Sam Brownback has signed legislation that would eliminate funding for the state’s courts if they overturn a contentious law passed last year…" That's one way. (Grokked from John Scalzi)

"If he's elected president, Republican 2016 presidential Ben Carson said he might set up a 'covert division' of government employees to monitor coworkers in order to make government more efficient." Well, at least he'd expand the work force. Doubt he understands he'll need more revenue to pay for them. Also, what a dick move.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Linkee-poo, they turned our power down, but we went right on with the show

Chuck Wendig, standing with Irene Gallo. It's not a good day when people need to take sides, but then instead of a general note of, "Ms Gallo was speaking for herself, and not for Tor Books" and letting it stay there, someone went farther. I understand where Mr. Doherty is coming from in a corporate sense. I haven't looked at Ms Gallo's Facebook page, so I don't know how far a distance she's placed between herself and Tor there (note my own disclaimer to the right)… okay, I've rectified that. As a part of her profile information she identifies Tor as her employer, and many of her posts are work related (covers, photos of meetings, etc). So there could be some confusion (I don't see her page as Tor Endorsed or as a Tor Endorsement, but then I'm pretty savvy and have a working brain, most days). BUT, Mr. Doherty went beyond what was needed from a corporate standard: "Tor’s views or mine", a small defense of the Rabid/Sad Puppies slate and activity, "Let me reiterate: the views expressed by Ms. Gallo are not those of Tor as an organization and are not my own views." With that, IMHO, Mr. Doherty stepped over the line needed (from a corporate stand point, the line needed drawing, but that need was much less than what he put in the letter - "Ms Gallo does not speak as a representative of Tor on her personal Facebook page. Her views expressed there are not those of Tor. We have clarified with our employees the policies of Tor regarding personal blogs and social media usage." QED). That he added statements basically saying Ms Gallo was a naughty, naughty girl for her post lead me to agree with Chuck. Also, there have been other matters that should have been addressed, but on which Mr. Doherty, as the lead of Tor, has been silent. And those, sir, are more damning and damaging of the Tor brand than Ms Gallo's comment. For the record, Ms Gallo's friend list is full, but (while I normally don't do this) I was happy to add her to my feed on Facebook as a sign of support. If you've read this blog long enough, you know I have the utmost respect for her Art Directorship.

Someone got played, someone got injured. And the Sad/Rapid Puppies continue to giggle.

Not sure if I linked this before, but think it's relevant again in any case. Jim Hines' the Puppies in their own words.

Wither the for-profit online college?

"Ilyse… Hogue became president of NARAL in 2013 and married husband John Neffinger just four months later. She told the Post that her pregnancy is proving confusing to people who argue with her for a living…" That's because pro-life groups aren't really about anti-abortion and they can't believe the other side, the pro-choice side, is actually about the women having the choice about if she should continue with the pregnancy. Considering the pro-life groups are bashing her for using fertility treatments to conceive her twins, why are they also confused that she would actually, you know, want to have the babies. Next, I'm sure, the pro-life groups will claim her pregnancy is a false flag operation. (Grokked from Ferret Steinmetz)

Meet the Duggars. "This is what purity culture does. More than anything else, it silences victims."

A man, a cello, and a mission. From a personal story of just having missed being killed, and having friends being killed by car bombs in Iraq, the conductor of the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra, Karim Wasfi, is on a mission to reclaim bombed sites in Iraq. This, friends, is what non-violence bravery and dedication looks like. You go, maestro.

Oh sweet Mother of God we're still in the same fucking place when it comes to police brutality as we were a year ago. The black teen thrown to the ground "was no saint." Just don't go there, Megyn Kelly, just don't. If that officer wasn't wearing a uniform this would be a clear case of battery and intimidation. At the very worst this incident was a "public disturbance" (and there is good reason to believe the kids weren't the ones to start it), there is no fucking reasonable excuse for this officer's actions. Except that he's a crappy officer who thinks his uniform means he can cowboy around (pulling his side arm on this kids? fuck him, he escalated the situation by his actions).

Monday, June 8, 2015

Linkee-poo stumbles into a Monday and stubs its toes

There's a theory that various laws are intended to enforce segregation and that the police continue to function that way. In case you doubt that theory. Yes, I'm sure those kids deserved to be chased away from the pool because the white people felt threatened, or something. Here's the thing, with real policing, it's important to determine the actual facts on the ground before you begin handcuffing people. I'm sure it'll take a few "unlawful imprisonment" lawsuits before someone gets it. (Updated, apparently the officer has been fired. For those of you who don't understand this, that means he will never work as a copy again. Ever. Mall security, however, he might be. UPDATED I guess the officer is currently just on administrative leave, despite earlier reports.) (Grokked from Julie)

They don't make them like they used to. The astrolabe, computer of the ancients. They're beautiful, but I wonder if you can play Candy Crush on them? (Grokked from Mer Haskell)

It's just flyover country, if that country were Ceres, the dwarf planet. That's a NASA 3d model reconstruction of Ceres, based on actual photos. (Grokked from Morgan J Locke)

The Duggars' lie about just what happened as their son molested their daughters? Shocked, shocked I am… Do we really need to have this conversation, again. Okay peoples, take notes this time because I really didn't like going through it the last time. Also, I may be turning off the news media for a while as people relearn what co-dependency and disfunction really mean. Also, as a society we relearn that Freud's first theorem regarding neurosis was based on the sexual molestation of the children. Yea, the psychological societies tossed him out on his ear until he recanted and developed the Oedipus and Electra complexes. Great Cthulhu, that's a hell I really didn't want to have to slog through again.

"'Everybody wants to be politically correct, everybody wants to be loved by the media and loved by the left and loved by the elitists,' (Mike Huckabee) said (about his "shower with the girls comment"). 'But, you know, I know I’m not going to be, so let’s just get it over with.'" Okay, Mikee. You're a jerk, Huckabee. A complete knee-biter.

"The hole in U.S. surveillance capabilities was not mentioned during the recent congressional battle over the National Security Agency's bulk collection of U.S. landline and cellphone data. Lawmakers ultimately agreed to scale back that program because of concerns it violated Americans' privacy… FBI officials now want Congress to expand their authority to tap into messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Kik, as well as data-destroying apps such as Wickr and Surespot, that hundreds of millions of people — and apparently some militants — have embraced precisely because they guarantee security and anonymity." I'm sure it'll be fine and they won't abuse the authority. Again. For the umpteenth time. The FBI is hoping nobody involved understands exactly how the internet works, or how they gather the data, to make sure they continue to have unfettered access to all data, everywhere, anytime. (Grokked from Saladin Ahmed)

I know some of you may think I'm being mean to the GOP when I label them as the "Screw you, got mine" party. Okay, how's this for an example. Some GOP congress members think because less than 2% of their constituents use subsidies, they don't have to try and fist Obamacare in case the Supreme Court get's dicky in the Burwell case. Based on that logic, Texas after the storms? Screw you. Wait until we all have to deal with major flooding before we approve emergency spending on you.

"'My life has been shattered and I am being dropped to my knees asking for guidance and support,' (Jon '(F)orever be a Patriot and an Oath Keeper') Ritzheimer wrote. 'My message was peaceful from the start and if I truly wanted more bloodshed I could have easily had it that night. But as A Marine who has been to war, I assure you that I only want peace. Islam claims to have the same intentions but only peace through submission. The spartan in me won’t let that happen!'" Let's see if you can spot all the contradictions in that. You remember Jon. He was the guy who set up the $10m GoFundMe campaign (since suspended) to keep his family safe and maybe run against John McCain. The guy who organized this peaceful protest at an Arizona mosque. You know, this one. Only now he says his Facebook account was hacked and that GoFundMe was totally bogus. Sure, Jon. Sure.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Linkee-poo, baby needs some protection, but I'm a kid like everyone else

Tie a yellow ribbon round the old, oak tree. I wonder if all those people and all their yellow (and now purple) ribbons realize they're continuing a long held pagan ritual? Probably not.

John Scalzi wants your happy puppy… photos. And for every one posted to his blog, he'll donate a $1 to Con-or-Bust up to $1000. Good cause, good fun.

"As part of a photo series by employment law firm Thomas Mansfield, university graduates were asked to reveal the weirdest and most offensive questions they’ve been asked while interviewing for jobs. Unsurprisingly, a lot of the women’s responses proved just how prevalent gender discrimination in the workplace continues to be." (Grokked from Janiece)

"In papers published last month in Physics of Plasmas and Nature Communications, the Tri Alpha team reveals how fast ions, edge biasing, and other improvements have enabled them to produce FRCs lasting 5 milliseconds, a more than 10-fold improvement in lifetime, and reduced heat loss." Fusion, baby! (Grokked from Dan)

In search of the Red Cross's $500 million in Haiti relief. Hmm, not here. Not over there. I wonder where it did go?

The "Malice of Alice" collection. Using cosplay and photography to help bond a new family, and work through issues. You go, girl! Oh and screw the detractors. They just don't want you to remind them that life for little girls isn't all peaches and cream (and it makes them uncomfortable because they never faced those problems in their own lives if they've lived through it themselves, or never even had exposure to them). (Grokked from Janiece)

Screw transplants of foreign tissue or robotic arms, we'll grow you a brand new limb that is made of you. Okay, anyone else digging the Frankenstein vibe of this? (Grokked from Chuck Wendig)

Days of future past, the 'risto'. (Grokked from John)

"To be fair, European companies have more restrictions on how much they can give than U.S.-based companies do. But not only are the biggest U.S. companies spending far more to influence U.S. politics, their money is going to politicians who are actively fighting efforts to price carbon in the United States." Some perspective on the oil companies' letter asking for a carbon-tax. Also note, a carbon tax allows the companies to drill and burn as much as they want, they just have to pay a little bit of the true costs (decreased health, air pollution, etc). This is different from a cap-and-trade deal which would limit the amount of carbon being put into the atmosphere. (Grokked from Paolo Bacigalupi)

"(A) new paper has been published showing that the global warming 'hiatus' or 'pause' or whatever you want to call it doesn’t exist." This is how science works (when it works well). "Oh, you think this is true, okay, I don't. Let's check the actual data." That's the difference between wild-ass speculation and actual fucking-science. This is what science gets right. Oh, and we're boned. (Grokked from Morgan J Locke)

It's like Cleveland Police Officer Michael Brelo has anger management issues. Who could have known?

"When feelings become more important than issues" in higher education. Just in case you thought I was being hyperbolic in my response to that "open letter to my freshman class" I linked to earlier. Note that the fear this professor is telling you about is exactly the problem that tenure was meant to address (also, why teacher unions have strict rules on how and whom can be fired and for what reasons, every time I hear a conservative, or liberal, talk about how we need to remove those rules I always come back to this argument, they just want to get rid of the teachers the students and their parents find troubling because they're being made to think). Also note that this is actually an article on political discourse of which Stephen Colbert so ability demonstrated in the character he played in his now defunct show (no, I don't expect that character will be the one that replaces Letterman, which will disappoint a large percentage of his followers), where "truthiness" and his feeling something is right was more important that actual facts. "Teachers and academics are the best candidates to foster this discussion, but most of us are too scared and economically disempowered to say anything." As the left adopts this strategy of the right, this doesn't do us any credit or any good. (Grokked from Ferrett Steinmetz)

A liberal professor responds to that other liberal professor and outlines what the problem really is. (Note it's not liberalism) (Grokked from N. K. Jemisin)

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Linkee-poo doesn't wanna be a part of your parade, everyone deserves a chance to walk with everyone else

"There are a lot of ways for a novelist to create suspense, but also really only two: one a trick, one an art." (Grokked from Joe Hill)

Why diets fail.

The Troll Farm. Or, the modern disinformation campaign in the internet social media age and who does it and how they do it. Apparently there's big money (for Russian salaries) in trolling.

So, you may know about the toxic algal bloom in Lake Erie last summer, which was the result of nitrogen run-off (the argument persist on if it was farm or residential use). But, did you know overuse of nitrogen also can affect our rain? It's raining Nitrogen (sung to the tune of "It's Raining Men").

A live graphic representation of our Deep Space Network activity. Okay, I think it's cool. (Grokked from Morgan J Locke)

The islands of misfit toys. Or, where did we send "the wretched refuse of your teeming shore" when we didn't exactly want them either. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

Ah, something new has been added. Scientist discover a link between the brain and the lymphatic/immune system. People seemed shocked we're still discovering things about the human body. They obviously haven't been paying attention to the Human Microbiome Project, the President's Initiative to Map the Brain, Cancer Research… all of which have been discovering new connections and interactions in the body. Also, you know how we think cells work? Much of that is still implied, not directly observed. Also they probably have never encountered the subject of Differential Diagnosis. (Grokked from John Scalzi)

On the pain pill abuse epidemic's last refuge, the emergency room. And, yes, we can somewhat spot just who is jonesing and who is in real pain. We're not always correct, but in most cases we are (note, yes, we do remember frequent fliers). But as it was stated in the story, even if you're an abuser, if you've broken your leg or arm, you still need medication for the pain. What is most frustrating in this is that the restrictions being put on opiates (which not all really are opiates) harms the people who really need them. If you've been prescribed pain meds in the past five years for any condition, you know what I mean. Also part of the problem, individual pain medications may not work for a patient, so after getting one prescription they may need another right away for a different medication. That sends up red flags and doctors are loath to do it (leaving the patient in pain which is uncontrolled, this is bad on all sorts of levels not the least of which is the patient is in pain when they don't need to be).

"In a stunning reversal of years of obstructionism to creating a global framework to deal with climate change, CEOs from global oil and gas behemoths Shell, BP, Total, Statoil, Eni and the BG Group have signaled that they’re ready for a price on carbon." BWA! Well, what they really want is a national (or international) standard that can't be overridden by local (state and municipality) laws. Plus, it'll be cheaper for them to game the national/international lawmakers than it would be to fight individual states. (Grokked from Tobias Buckell)

It's fire season in Alaska. Wait, what? (Grokked from Robert J Bennett)

"The idea that U.S. presidents look out for the wealthy and powerful over the mass of ordinary Americans is nothing new. But a new study claims to confirm that assumption with hard data while seeking to spur a conversation over the flagging health of American democracy." As someone commented in the 2000 election, "all they're fighting over is who's hand is in who's pocket." And no, it's not going to change with any of the candidates so far declared or proposed (with the possible exception of Elizabeth Warren, and the Draft Warren movement just folded tents). So, when I say "lesser of two evils" I'm really picking who's hand is in the pocket. (Grokked from Morgan J Locke)

So, Texas, that bastion of insanity fierce liberty, who will valiantly watch the US Military exercises to make sure that the US isn't trying to take over the State (hint, too late, fellas), now wants Federal moneys to help clean up after all the storms. That's Robert Reich on the cognitive dissonance going on down there. Don't do it, Texas. FEMA are the people who run the re-education camps, don'tchaknow. (Grokked from Robert J Bennett)

Say, GOP, how's that 2014 plan on "not talking about the women stuff" working out for you? Oh, right, never mind. Good thing the general public isn't paying attention yet. You all might want to get it out of your system now.