Just a reminder that with the holidays, posting may become infrequent (now watch me post 3 time a day).
It's the annual viewing of Nicholas Was.
The history of Wassailing and Mumming. (Grokked from Ellen Kushner)
"Gartland says the conversations that Cayla records are sent to servers at a company called Genesis, which makes the doll, and to another company called Nuance, which makes voice-recognition software for this any many other products. Nuance also has a database used by law enforcement and military and intelligence agencies that matches voiceprints." I'm sure it's fine. We're all fine here. Remember when the NSA, CIA, and FBI forbade furbys from the offices?
What if instead of Big Brother installing the surveillance society, we did it ourselves for "commercial purposes." In this case, to monitor how students are engaging with the course material in college. Note, most colleges now hire a majority of "adjunct" faculty, who are paid pretty piss-poorly. So now you're going to make them monitor the students more closely in their own time (and most likely with the adjunct's own computer system)? Not to mention that more than likely by these metrics I would have been considered disengaged with the material for my recent degree (I didn't spend much time connected to Blackboard, I didn't belong to a study group, and I didn't come in off-hours to practice).
"After the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, people in a majority of states were less likely to skip doctors' visits because of concerns about the cost of care, according to a new report that attempts to paint a snapshot of the effects of the law as its days are numbered." Can't have that now, can we? I mean, if people think they can just get help whenever they need it, what kind of system is that? (Grokked from Laura J. Mixon)
"The federal government will pay more than $100,000 to give someone a kidney transplant, but after three years, the government will often stop paying for the drugs needed to keep that transplanted kidney alive." Which then leads to them losing the kidney, and be put back on dialysis and on the transplant list. All of which costs several times more than the drugs to keep the kidney in the first place. "And instead of spending $15,000 a year on these anti-rejection drugs, people go back onto dialysis, which costs $90,000 a year or more. And that's taxpayer's money, provided with no time limit." Once more for the people in the back, universal healthcare coverage would costs us less, helps citizens live better lives, and improves the economy.
"John Kasich blocks Ohio cities from raising their own minimum wages." You know, given that conservatives are all about experimentation in governance and not having a top-down ruling philosophy, they sure are dead-set to stop local experimentation and like to strip local governments of home rule. If the higher minimum wage is a "bad thing", allow the cities to experiment and you can show just what happens? The answer is, as demonstrated by Seattle and LA, higher minimum wage is actually a good thing for local economies. Conservatives are just trying to forestall any dissent from the well known liberal bias of reality. (Grokked from Justine Larbalestier)
"After more than a year of delays, Texas health officials are moving to block the women's health provider Planned Parenthood from receiving Medicaid funds beginning next month." Can the rest of us vote to force Texas to succeed? What I'm really wondering is when conservatives will get tired of paying for these lawsuits that they lose on a regular basis. Of course, one of the reasons Trump was elected was because of his anti-abortion stance, so I'm sure Texas is counting on that.
"A Jewish family has fled Lancaster County after the cancellation of a 5th grade production of 'A Christmas Carol' was partially blamed on them by conservative news outlets… When news stories, which portray the school’s move as part of a 'war on Christmas,' broke on Fox and Breitbart News Network the school received more than 200 complaints." Too much to say about this that it won't all fit, so let me sum up… "FUCKSTOCKINGS!" (Grokked indirectly from Annalee Flower Horne)
"The leader of the Austrian far-right Freedom Party has signed what he called a cooperation agreement with Russia’s ruling party and recently met with Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, the designated national security adviser to President-elect Donald J. Trump of the United States." Someone just got sold out… and the rest of us may be on the list. Considering the Austrian Freedom Party was founded by actual Nazis, this isn't good. History may not repeat, but man it's rhyming pretty hard right now. (Grokked from Tobias Buckell)
"A military airplane and two huge helicopters doing loops over Midtown last week were conducting an “emergency relocation” planning mission in case they needed to extract President-elect Donald Trump during an emergency or attack, DNAinfo New York has learned." Well, good thing we were freaking out NYers for no good reason. And yes, in my twitter TL I saw several mentions from people wondering just WTF was going on as the C-130 was flying over the city. The sad thing is that we're still so frightened that this is a problem. This isn't a thing against people, this is that our government has not made a conscious effort to make us feel that we're safe (because for the first 7 years keeping people in a state of fear was profitable). (Grokked from Dan)
"The chat is hardly the first step Trump has taken to re-establish ties to many of the billionaires he blamed for selling out working-class voters during the presidential campaign." Meet the new boss, same as the old boss, won't get fooled again (until 2020).
"President-elect Donald Trump struck a high-profile deal with air conditioning and heating giant Carrier that will end up saving under 800 Indiana jobs that would have been moved to Mexico, and he touted the deal as following through on a campaign promise to keep manufacturing jobs from moving overseas.… In the very same state as Carrier, ball bearings and valve manufacturer Rexnord has officially notified the Indiana government that it will lay off 350 employees and permanently close a factory in Indianapolis starting in February. The factory jobs will be relocated to Mexico; just 25 office jobs will remain. The company says about half of its total workforce is in the United States… Even the deal with Carrier proved the limits of what Trump can accomplish in keeping individual factory jobs in the United States with tailored deals. Carrier will still send 1,300 to Mexico while reaping the state incentives it was promised as part of the negotiations with Trump’s team." (Grokked from Michele)
Tweet of my heart: @JohnFugelsang The First Amendment is already the First Amendment Defense Act. (Grokked from Michele)
Double dip: @invisibleinkie Gettin' real tired of being told to empathize with people who think empathy is a laughable defect of character for them to exploit. (Grokked from Joshua Parker)