If you're on Twitter and aren't following my friend, Jim Wright, YTF not? Jim did a great service this past week exposing troll tactics, how to recognize a bot, and what to do about it. His final analysis? The US is currently under an information warfare attack. Guess who it's coming from (why, it might be the people who monitored this site last summer :: waves to all my Russian friends ::)
The entire Star Wars Episode IV in one graphic. It's a very long graphic. (Grokked from John)
Patagotitan mayorum, the new kid on the (old) block.
NPR story on an experiment in Zambia about just giving poor people some money instead of goats, or medical care, or food. Note, Africa has the same problems the West has with cash assistance. Namely, "ZOMG, they might spend it on something we don't approve of!" Memo to ignorants, mostly they don't. Say, know how much of our welfare budget is actual cash assistance? How much to we restrict what SNAP benefits can pay for? So what does the researcher tracking the economic impact of this cash assistance have to say about it? "I've never seen impacts so large in my life."
"The Power Tool Institute has already invested tens of thousands of dollars this year to lobby Congress against the CPSC rule…" that would make table saws much safer. One of the first lessons I learned with woodworking is that companies make tools cheaper by removing safety features. But, yes, table saws are dangerous (not as dangerous as jointers, but fewer people have those). Here you see industry fighting to keep their products as cheaply manufactured as possible and damn the public safety concerns. The free market does not work.
"Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson has suggested fellow Republican Sen. John McCain’s brain tumor and the after-midnight timing of the vote were factors in McCain’s decisive vote against the GOP health care bill." Hahahahahahahahahaha :: breath :: hahahahaha.
What's the worst that could happen if we close our borders and cut back on all immigration? "Vegetable prices may be going up soon, as a shortage of migrant workers is resulting in lost crops in California." Yeah, that might have an impact. Who could have foreseen it (someone shows you results of Alabama, Arkansas and Georgia crop losses after those states enacted tough immigration rules). (Grokked from Miranda Suri)
While we hear about the Epi-Pens and Daraprim, there's a lot of drugs that have experience extreme price hikes (and unexplainable shortages) in the past few years. Tell me again how the market will fix this, cause that never gets old.
"Seven days a week, 24 hours a day, migrants who came to the U.S. from across the globe — Syria, Congo, Haiti, elsewhere — arrive here where Roxham Road dead-ends so they can walk into Canada, hoping its policies will give them the security they believe the political climate in the United States does not." Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Except those people. Screw them, Trump's right-wing nationalism (and nativism) would like to add. "The Royal Canadian Mounted Police are adding electricity and portable toilets. A Canadian flag stands just inside the first tent, where the Mounties search the immigrants they’ve just arrested and check their travel documents. They are also offered food. Then shuttle buses take the processed migrants to their next destination. Trucks carry their luggage separately… The Canadian military said Wednesday that about 100 soldiers began arriving to prepare a site for tents to accommodate almost 500 people. The soldiers will also install lighting and heating equipment." Compare that to our southern border.
Lousiana, Lousiana, they're trying to wash us away. They're trying to wash us away.
And let's go to the weather. "The year 2016 was the warmest on record for the planet as a whole, surpassing temperature records that date back 137 years, according to an annual report compiled by scientists around the globe." But the good news is 2017 is shaping up to be cooler. It looks like it'll come it at number 2.
"Wisconsin’s top conservation official promised Wednesday that regulatory rollbacks in Gov. Scott Walker’s incentive plan for a giant Foxconn plant won’t harm the state’s environment." Oh, I'm sure they won't. That's why you waived all the requirements.
"State and local Republicans have expanded early voting in GOP-dominated areas and restricted it in Democratic areas, an IndyStar investigation has found, prompting a significant change in Central Indiana voting patterns." I'm sure it's all… okay, I've got nothing. Heinous fuckery abounds. (Grokked from Michele)
This is how you do it. "But most of Brar's mental energy was expended on figuring out the chicken's best camera angles… He said he spent hours studying CNN and other cable news channels that used the same shot with the White House in the foreground and the Washington Monument in the background… 'I understood that if I positioned it correctly and got the permit for the correct place, I would be in full view of the cameras. And, I did it in such a way that the White House wasn't blocking it, which I knew would be what would take it viral globally,' he said."
Remember when he said he'd make insurance cheaper? "Actions by the Trump administration are triggering double-digit premium increases on individual health insurance policies purchased by many people, according to a nonpartisan study." Trumps statements, tweets, and actions (and by extension Congress' and the Senates' actions) are creating instability in the markets, to which the insurers are responding to by increasing insurance rates… by a lot. Oh, and if you think this will only affect the private market, you haven't been paying attention (especially to the recent CBO scores on how Obamacare influences and controls the employer-based-insurance market). Oh, and your tax dollars will be paying for the majority of that increase, by the by.
"Hospice care is for the dying. It helps patients manage pain so they can focus on spending their remaining time with loved ones. But in recent years, nearly one in five patients have been discharged from hospice before they die, according to government reports."
What happens if the President gives the launch order to our nuclear weapons forces? Specifically, what if you don't trust the President to be in their right mind at the time? The article makes it seem a little simplistic, having faced this conundrum personally while in the Air Force I have some experience here (no, I was not in the silo, this was a part of being inducted). Could I turn the key (FailSafe is a little more involved with that, but it's an easy metaphor)? Yes. And I say that with full knowledge of what turning that key would set into motion. Would I turn the key? That's a little more complex. Given the right conditions, yes. Knowing it might mean my life (and the missile being launched anyway), given the wrong conditions, no. There were experiments done in the 80s. While I didn't see the hard data the rumors were that up to 30% of the officers refused to turn the key (fortunately the side arms had been loaded with blanks, still painful in the confined space of the silo launch room - those guns were for more than if your silo buddy went the big nutty). This was at a time of heightened tensions with the USSR, when a nuclear exchange seemed plausible. So this wasn't a "nice day with blue skies above, lets see who would initiate nuclear Armageddon" test. (Grokked from John)
Repeat after me. "There is no such thing as a 'limited' nuclear exchange."
The Memo. Or paranoia strikes deep…