I watch the ripples change their size
But never leave the stream
Of warm impermanence
And so the days float through my eyes
But still the days seem the same
And these children that you spit on
As they try to change their worlds
Are immune to your consultations
They're quite aware of what they're goin' through

Friday, October 31, 2014

Linkee-poo, Bela Lugosi's Dead, undead, undead, undead…

Creepy poems for Halloween.

The 13 things crucial for success. Yes to all of those. (Grokked from Terri Windling)

From when shutter speed times were measured in minutes, the art of the post-mortem photograph. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

"These tough bikers have a soft spot: aiding child-abuse victims. Anytime, anywhere, for as long as it takes the child to feel safe, these leather-clad guardians will stand tall and strong against the dark, and the fear, and those who seek to harm." I've heard about these bikers, sorry if I haven't posted about them before. Stands and salutes. (Grokked from Janiece)

The birth of the internet troll. As a veteran of the flame wars, yea. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

Some of the problems with the Right-to-Life insanity. Or, as Jay Lake called it, the enforced pregnancy movement. Pregnancy isn't like you see on TV. It seems incredible that I have to say that, especially to people who have gone through the process.

Sen. Pat Roberts of Kentucky does a great imitation of David Huddleston in Blazing Saddles, "But no Irish!" "The senator denies he's fear-mongering in an attempt to gain an advantage in a tight election… But he also alleges that (his challenger) can't be trusted to stand up to Obama."

A little more on my comment the other day about the GOP keeping their members in line. No votes for you, if you support Dems in an election. They barely accept you may support a RINO, but Dems are right out. And if you happen to be gay, as the Monty Python skit of the Holy Hand-grenade, "That's right out." "In a fundraising email (the president of NOM) said that it's better to support (the Democrat) than to have a gay Republican in Congress who opposes 'the values of marriage, family, and life' that is the core of the Republican Party's platform." Huhn, that's funny, I though the core GOP platform was fiscal responsibility (thank you, thank you, we'll be here all week, don't forget to try the wait staff and tip the veal). Also, this isn't a one off. Dear Log Cabin Republicans, are you getting it yet?

Bat-shit crazy. That's the Colbert Report skit on "anchor zygotes." Sometimes there just aren't words for the frothing hate and fear that flows from Fox News.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Linkee-poo goes to ask Alice, I think she'll know

Just as a PSA, because we're one week out from the election you're about to see a flood of political advertising that is demonstrably false. But you're going to see it because one side knows that by the time anyone gets around to stopping them or challenging them, the election will be over. An example, in case you need one. And here's (prospective Majority Leader) Mitch McConnell who says at one moment that they won't repeal Obamacare and at the same time states "'Well, it's the top of my list…'". And, why it's important to actually, you know, vote. I'll also ask it here, "Which party keeps their members in lock-step with their ideology?" 'Cause the GOP keeps saying it's the Democrats, but that's not what the empirical evidence shows.

Oh, and it'll probably mean almost all of my links will be of a political or sociological nature.

They have always fought.

Six things you might not think are harassment, but definitely are. (Grokked from Mary Robinette Kowal)

Wow, that's meta. "'Many American citizens are simply dumb,' (Bill O'Reilly) said. 'They don’t know anything. And when you don’t know anything, you’ll buy anything and propaganda rules.'" I just… there aren't words. Of course he meant that "because the GOP isn't in charge of everything all the rest of you are pinheads." But, yea, this is like the total business plan of Fox News. Buy any gold lately?

"When a business tells you that they are more concerned with your safety than anything else, beware. They are not being honest. They are hedging their own bets, and following the advice of lawyers hired to protect them from lawsuits arising from accidents." Mike Rowe on workplace safety.

When will the Conservative Christians (and Christians and Conservatives), not to mention all those who mouth, "We need to secure our border" disavow and condemn all these violent people in their ranks? When?! See what I did there, flipping the narrative.

So, you know that argument against the new AP History guidelines that Manifest Destiny might have been more about white privilege than anything else? Well, no need to go to history for examples because people are still fighting for the cause of Manifest Destiny. First, to carve out a better life from the American Indian, and now the World. And, you'd think this kind of stupidity might be easy to dismiss, but this jackhole is a regular commentator and interviewee on what we're told is the most popular news network in this country, not some dinky backwater low-power FM station.

I think Jon Stewart just had an orgasm. Sarah Palin may run for office, again, despite the "haters." The Liberals are "'out there playing the politics of personal destruction,' Palin said. 'They do want to destroy personally those whom they disagree with.'" We don't have to do anything, Sarah, you're pretty good at self destructing. All we need to do is just like last time, give you a national stage and eat popcorn while we watch the fireworks.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Linkee-poo is high as a kite and might just stop to check you out

I'm going to make a prediction. Tonight, after the World Series is decided, in at least one of this nation's cities there will be rioting. Of course the media will cover this as "boys will be boys" or "riotous celebration" and not "drunken hooligans and scofflaws destroy private property and disturb the peace" or "angry protestors loot city". Because it'll mostly be white people doing the rioting. Universe, I want you to prove me wrong.

Some of the scariest short stories of "all time." (Grokked from Tor.com)

America's abandoned insane asylums. I'm assuming they're all just adjacent to all of America's summer sleep-over camps. (Grokked from Tor.com)

"The first volume of the series, entitled The Eternal Vigil, is dedicated to the world-famous Capuchin Catacombs in Palermo. Not a hidden and unknown place, for sure, but a necessary starting point to deal with Italy’s 'alternative' wonders." The "Capuchin Catacombs in Palermo, home to the largest collection of spontaneous and artificial mummies in the world." (Grokked form Matt Staggs)

Huhn, I didn't know the Vatican Library had it's own digitization project. And they've just released the first 500 volumes scanned. I bet Professor Langdon is wishing he upgraded from DSL right about now. (Grokked from Cat Rambo)

"Vote like your future depends on it. Because it does." A Daily KOS opinion rant that is remarkably on target. "Every month it seems like the GOP finds a new horrible strawman to shit themselves over, and inevitably it's Obama's fault. The media follows along dutifully with updates about how that scary thing that killed one or two people just might kill us all and the GOP base claps their seal flippers together as the RW punditocracy tosses it another mackerel of red meat." (Grokked from Beth Falk)

About GamerGate. You find pockets of retrograde misogyny in the strangest places. If it weren't for the very real possibility of physical and emotional injury this would be very funny. Seriously, that first photo of the club house with the "No Girls Allowed" sign is literally the first image that jumps into my head whenever I read about it. (Grokked from Jim Hines, I think)

And since it's only about "ethics", I'm sure it's not a symptom of the same culture that bred the environment where a high-tech startup CEO feels it's okay to send a female journalist a swag box that included sex toys. Yea, I'm sure it's not connected at all. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

Also, a cartoon about the Singularity. I think I've made my thoughts about the Singularity known (it's a wet dream of some nerds). This gives it a little more cultural relevance. (Grokked from Ferrett Steinmetz)

Thirty feminist lessons in 30 years. Points. Also, in case you haven't guessed, yes, I am a feminist. I'm not perfect, but I work at it. Why? Because I love and respect women. (Grokked from Janiece)

The things we're asked to believe when it comes to sexual violence. Mostly from the "I didn't do it, but if I did it was totally consensual" realms. (Grokked from Kelly Link)

In case you're wondering why us progressive talk about how Fox News lies, this before and after graphic of the Antares rocket launch failure. Before the launch it's the private industry showing government how it's done. After the explosion, NASA is so incompetent. (Grokked from Patrick Nielsen Hayden)

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Personal Epiphanies

So, this will probably reveal a little to much about me, but so it goes.

As you might know, Bob, I'm a stress eater. When things go to shit, I feel the need to snack. I'm not proud of this fact, I'm just stating it to lay the ground work.

For the past half decade I've been consciously trying to lose weight. It's also been a pretty stressful time, what with losing the job I loved, having to start a new career, and all the other thousands of things that add up into a bundle of "OMG, this queso cheesy dip is the bestest."

I've tried all kinds of strategies. When I have the time to use the Wii to keep my metabolism rate up, I am able to lose weight. But the day job is a fairly sedentary thing (as are most of them these days). And then, as I lose weight and get to feeling comfortable, something always happens to increase the stress level. As an example, I'll give you just the latest from today, sales rep was standing at a local print shop counter wondering if I could send him banner art that he could print out to place on our product for a show that starts tomorrow. 'Cause, you know, I remember perfectly every little job I've done here over the past 4.5 years (in that time I've generated over 600 gigabytes of data for over 100,000 files - quick math thanks to automated counting tools) and/or just have something laying about ready to go. He's actually standing at the counter waiting for me to send him something (don't worry, already taken care of). And that wasn't the worst/strangest request today. Just so you know what I'm dealing with here (have I mentioned the executive who needed business cards printed in a few hours because he was out of them and about to leave for an overseas trip?).

So, yea, diet blown.

But what I really wanted to tell you was this. Working as a Rad Tech this weekend at the hospital we dealt with a few trauma calls, getting a patient orientated, trying to figure out the numerous software packages we have to use to maintain all the information and trying to do things I hadn't been trained for, a few rush orders for ICU, not to mention the normal rush work for the ED we do (including two stroke protocols).

No desire to snack. While stressed, there wasn't that stress response.

Now, I don't have to deal with office politics (or not much of them) at the hospital, which is a lot of the stress I deal with at the day job. But still, as a professor once intoned (and I often repeat) "It's just paper" at the day thing. At the Rad Tech thing, I am dealing with people's lives (mostly indirectly, but sometimes like this weekend, I'm directly involved with saving them). And the "just paper" stuff stresses me to keep this weight on (or gain it back, I am up about 30 lbs over my lightest, which was just before I started here) while holding people's lives in my hands leads to nary a twinge of "Feed Me Seymour."

It just kind of hit me this weekend that was going on.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Linkee-poo, open up your mind and let me step inside

The Apple IIe iPhone mod. Because you can, that's why. (Grokked from John)

A photo gallery of abandoned homes in rural Ohio. I live around some of those. Mostly what happens is an elderly person dies and either there's no easily identifiable heir, there is no one to take custody, or distant relatives can't or won't divest of the property (could be sentimental reasons, could be the house was already run down and wouldn't produce enough "profit"). (Grokked from Astrid Julian)

And what happens to you when you die. Although they kinda of leave you thinking rigor (mortise) is because of your body temperature dropping. When actually it's because your muscle cells stop producing ATP, which your muscles need to both clench (here, have an image of you rolling up a sheet using just your fingers, pulling the sheet into a lump under your palm, that's sort of how your muscles work) and to release that clenching. Which they talk about ATP later one. Also includes a good definition of why people thought their hair and nails (and nose) continued to grow after you die. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

And while we're at it (and they mentioned it in the video above), the Order of the Good Death. Heard about this on Fresh Air the other week and just never got around to linking to it. Rectified!

"Many believe that Rite Aid's and CVS's moves to disable Apple Pay support is related to their participation in the Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX), which is a group… developing its own mobile payment system known as CurrentC, which will be available next year according to a claimed internal Rite Aid message." Say, remember the browser wars? This, kids, is what you'll look back on as the beginning of the "payment wars." (Grokked from Dan)

A little bit more on that. "And the reason they don’t want to allow Apple Pay is because Apple Pay doesn’t give them any personal information about the customer. It’s not about security — Apple Pay is far more secure than any credit/debit card system in the U.S. It’s not about money — Apple’s tiny slice of the transaction comes from the banks, not the merchants. It’s about data." (Grokked from Dan as well)

Some texts that show the importance of Arabic scholarship to keeping the knowledge of the world safe at a time when the Catholic Church was the one destroying everything that wasn't Catholic. (Grokked from Sarah Goslee)

"A successful Silicon Valley firm has admitted paying staff $1.21 an hour and working them for more than 120 hours a week." Tell me again about how great and moral the American Corporate system is, I never get tired of that joke. Once it was brought to light, EFI paid each of the workers they flew in from India to solve their problems $20,000 for their time (and an extra $20,000 for their troubles) and then was fined $3,500, the maximum the Department of Labor can fine a company. (Grokked from John)

Frankly, if I were still in the war business, I'd be mightily happy that Sweden still likes us. That's some serious kit in those subs. Sure, all "conventional" weaponry, but just the drive system makes me start thinking what I could do with that strategically and tactically. The only draw back I can see, range. Diesel subs have short ranges (comparatively) to nuclear subs (that's why she needed to be ferried to San Diego, instead of cruising there herself). But as the article points out, they're damn cheap to build and very hard to detect. Reminds me of what a friend said once, "How do you find a submarine? You look for the hole in the water." (Grokked from Tobias Buckell)

"Five years into a national economic recovery that has further strained the poor working class, an entire industry has grown around handing them a lifeline to the material rewards of middle-class life. Retailers in the post-Great Recession years have become even more likely to work with customers who don’t have the money upfront, instead offering a widening spectrum of payment plans that ultimately cost far more and add to the burdens of life on the economy’s fringes." You know, when I was a kid, loan sharks were considered the worst type of people to try and get money from. Pay day loan stores and these "rent to own" schemes make loan sharks blush. Never in their wildest dreams did they ever think of charging these effective rates. Pointed to just in case you think it's the poor's fault they're poor. You know what would be a killer business model, to offer rent to own at a rate of only 200%. You'd undercut the market and still make a killing. (Grokked from the Slactivist)

Insurers are trying to mitigate their liability risks in a warming world. Well, it's something they always try to do. That's their side of the business. If it's highly likely they'll have to pay out, they either raise rates to meet the need, or they don't insure you. So, lets be clear here because of twitter response to this article are so full of stupid, insurance companies don't blindly insure anyone or anything. If you're high-risk, you'll pay high premiums. If you're too high a risk, no one is going to insure you. Argue climate change isn't happening till you're blue in the face, but the insurance industry, which keeps careful accounting of these things because it's their money on the line, is pulling back. Think they may know something? (Grokked from Paolo Bacigalupi)

Well, this is the very definition of a train wreck. The various chairman of the national parties talk over each other during a "debate" on CNN. I'll note which of the chairman actually did the talking over of both his counterpart and Candy Crowley, the "moderator." Also, Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus, you're a jerk. A complete knee-biter. Not for anything you said, but because you don't know how to play with others.

Gee, Christian politicians ginning up the base by making up stories of Christian persecution? Shocked, shocked I am… (Grokked from the Slactivist)

It's so easy when you know the rules

I'm not sure if this happens to other people, but I tend to have some song playing in my head throughout most of what I do. Usually it's a phrase or two, but often the entire song plays. Some days I wake up with a song in my head and it just stays there the whole day. Here's the song that greeted me this morning (and for those who want to say, "We'll you're impressionable as you wake so it's probably what's on the radio as you become conscious", well, I use the buzzer setting on the alarm to wake up).

Growing up, kids used to say, "I want to sing/play guitar/play bass/play drums like," and insert whomever happens to be popular at the time. I've always wanted to have Freddie's range and control. Man that guy could sing.

The good thing about this is that I've always listened to a wide range of music so on any given day rock, country, classical, folk, or almost anything could be playing in my skull. So at least there's variety.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Linkee-poo at night rides through the mansions of glory in suicide machines

Say, did you know there's an election coming up soon? I say this as to why there are so many political links here.

How successful people handle toxic people. What they don't say here is many high level executive exhibit signs of sociopathy, so that helps. Also, we won't talk about the corporate culture of forced co-dependency and how that feeds into toxic people's ability to bring everyone else down (because many corporations rely on that co-dependency to keep their workers and low to mid-level management in line). (Grokked from Steven Gould)

So everybody is jumping on the Ebola bandwagon. That's a page from the makers of Clorox talking about how great their product is to help combat Ebola. But, as a healthcare employee, I'm more worried about things like the recent enterovirus D68 outbreak. But enterovirus doesn't have the sexiness of Ebola hemorrhagic fever or any of the racist overtones. And for anyone that wants to say something about "bush meat" eating, I'll just remind you that people in Wisconsin still eat their venison.

The PBS Newshour has a report on these other diseases.

If you've lived in a small town you know how frustrating it is to try and get decent broadband services. Well, communities are doing it for themselves. Wish mine was on that map. Yes, when I was a councilman, I tried. I also tried to get some of the other companies to come into our town. I then tried to get WiMax coverage. But the best I could do was get a Verizon tower with 4G erected (and they were going to do it anyway). (Grokked from Dan)

"(W)e are not campaigning for Mark Udall and we would have had the same coverage had Cory Gardner or any politician affected by this election come to campus." Burn! The GOP competitor to Mark Udall tries to censor a campus newspaper because its front cover with the story of Mark Udall coming to campus, may have been displayed within 100 feet of a polling station. To which the campus paper sent the lawyer of the candidate a cease and desist order. And then, they publicly reminded everyone that the GOP candidate never did bother to come to campus. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

Remember Blackwater (aka "Xe Services", and now "Academi")? Remember how they shot up an Iraqi intersection and then claimed it was all self-defense (even though they left the scene and then returned)? Well, apparently the jury didn't believe them.

So, how's that GOP reach-out to women and minorities going? "(T)he prominent conservative think tank American Enterprise Institute reached out to young women and advised them to be less worried about drug-facilitated date rape." About as well as expected, I think.

And then there's the unforced errors made my GOP congress members. Now, very possible the Alaska congressman didn't know about the recent Wasilla High School suicide. But if you can't skate past some high-schoolers in a campaign stop, you really don't have the chops to be in Congress, IMHO. (Grokked from Jim Wright)

As a followup, he's just insane. No, really. Suicide on the frontier was actually very common. Not to mention his horrible outlook on the people who live in his state. Say, did you know that Alaska used to give citizens royalty checks from the oil companies? So under Rep. Young's world view, a lot of Alaskans should have been committing suicide all over the place (yes, I know, Alaska does have a high rate).

And now that we're getting close to the election, conservatives are running from their own statements. Dear conservatives, you do know that there's a record of all these things, right?

Sure it was all "academic." Saying that the Southern states succeeding from the Union was "legal." I thought conservatives were against revisionist history. And isn't the leadership of Lincoln one of the conservative touchstones?

"'I have a beautiful little Smith & Wesson… and it goes with me virtually everywhere,' (Senate Candidate Joni) Ernst said during a speech at the NRA's Iowa Firearms Coalition Second Amendment Rally… 'But I do believe in the right to carry, and I believe in the right to defend myself and my family — whether it’s from an intruder, or whether it’s from the government, should they decide that my rights are no longer important.'" You know, like that guy in Canada just did. Remember the whole "2nd Amendment Solution" meme the conservatives vociferously claimed they weren't talking about… It's bullshit like most of the rest of their arguments.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Linkee-poo is just a troubled soul who's weighted… weighted to the ground, give me the strength to carry on till I can lay my burden down

I've said it before, but sometimes I think my journey in listening to music can be summed up by constantly re-learning just how much I love Annie Lennox's voice. There are few moments surfing TV where I've just had to stop on a channel. One of those few times was to watch a broadcast of her concert on PBS. In my estimation, she's fabulous. So I guess it's a good thing I already like the Book of American Standards. Oh well, there goes some more money.

Just in time for the Dia de los Muertos, what it's like to speak with the dead. This is an article on the Spiritualists (there's quite a number in NE Ohio, BTW). Also noted because I wrote a story where the main character speaks with the dead all the time, although I can see in hind site that he probably came off as too close to the Magical Negro for the story to get accepted anywhere. I have a particular fondness for that character and always have a notion to write more stories of him (and now that I know better, I'll be able to avoid the problem of cliche). (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

The tombstone as art. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

Some perspective on the Confederate Battle Flag. I agree with the author, it's willful ignorance to not know that the Stars and Bars represents slavery and oppression, even in its original form. If you say "state's rights!" I'm going to remind you the state's rights that caused the rift, the one enshrined in the Confederate States Constitution, and the one people fought to protect was slavery, specifically African slavery, so don't even go there. This is why the KKK and other white supremacy groups use the flag, they didn't change what the flag stood for. Even if we can divorce this flag from it's racial history, it is the flag of traitors to the country. There are people who live around me who fly this flag and they believe they do so for the reasons outlined at the end of the article. And they will tell you it's all about pride, rights, and dignity. And when you scratch them hard enough you will also find racists underneath. The stories they tell themselves don't include that part. Unfortunately history is against them. I used to harbor an indifference to people who use this flag. Lately, the more I've met and interacted with them, the more I've learned of our own country's history, the more I get angry whenever I see it. And that is also a reason why they fly it. "This is the 21st century, and the Confederate flag has no place in our time."

Ta-Nehisi Coates with some of that history. The idea that the Civil War was not about slavery is revisionist, part of the attempts at reconciliation. It's the societal way of, "We don't say bad things about the dead, dear." "This is about a lancing shame, about that gaping wound in the soul that comes when confronted with the appalling deeds of our forebears. Lost Causers worship their ancestors, in the manner of the abandoned child who brags that his dead-beat father is actually an astronaut, away on a mission of cosmic importance." (Grokked from Kameron Hurley)

"'Where's the next Ebola virus going to come from?' (CDC director Tom Frieden) wondered aloud last December. 'There are 46,000 fewer people working at state and local health departments today than there were five years ago.'" Just in case you were wondering why we weren't ready (or questioning the line of how cuts have left us ill prepared).

How conservatives really think about the rest of us. Now I'm sure she meant it as a joke. You know, the way people say, "Why are you so upset, I was just joking." "Republican National Committee co-chair Sharon Day suggested… 'I don't want to say anything about your Wisconsin voters but, some of them might not be as sharp as a knife.'" The phrase she was looking for was "Not the sharpest knives in the drawer." You're welcome, Sharon Day.

No, really, they believe in this shit. Another one of the reasons the party left me. "Gays" and "Pro-Choicers" are "Gremlins"? Sometimes they make me want to support FEMA Re-education Camps.

"Because the Republicans haven't put forth a candidate to effectively refute accusations that the party 'favors the rich and is anti-woman,' (Bill) O'Reilly said, virtually every poll has shown that 'American women continue to favor Democrats, no matter what happens to the nation.'" Because da wimen put "feelings" ahead of "country." Again, they're making the Romney 47% argument.

What's actually very strange about this (Ohio Gov. Kasich on the Medicaid Expansion) is that he's running on taking credit for having expanded Medicaid in Ohio. All while trying to say we should repeal Obamacare. This is like Mitch McConnell saying Kentucky should keep the healthcare exchange, but repeal Obamacare (which provides for all the insurance sold on the exchange). Seriously, this is a mental problem.

And just to put it all into perspective, the GOP isn't the only party world-wide who thinks poor people (or the people who might have something to gain from a compassionate government) shouldn't vote. In Hong Kong, the Chinese sponsored government also feels the same way. It's the company you keep.

The Pew Poll on "How Liberals and Conservatives Keep Up with Politics" (PDF) by looking at their news sources. It shouldn't come as a surprise that "Liberals rely on several different outlets for information, but never Fox News. Conservatives, on the other hand, overwhelmingly trust Fox more than any other source."

"The economy has gotten bigger, but much of that growth hasn't reached the middle class. Indeed, the top 1 percent grabbed 95 percent of all the gains during the recovery's first three years. And that's not even the most depressing part. Even adjusted for household size, real median incomes haven't increased at all since 1999." Say, what happened in 2000? Oh yea, compassionate conservatism. (Grokked from Astrid Julian)


That moment where you realize you just can't stop it. You see the wall, feel it more likely, approaching and you just can't stop. It's those days that drop away like a sheaf of leaves falling, falling to the end. Not stopping.

That dream where you're falling. A fall you know must end. And end badly. But it keeps going. There's no stopping. You just can't stop it. You have to keep falling. No other option. The wind rushing by is a traitor to your cause because it won't stop you. So you keep falling until it becomes normal. Then you live your whole life falling through that dream, knowing the end, but you can't stop.

Things in my life that I can't stop. I can see where they're leading. You try to fix it, to make it better, but you just can't stop it. That spot on the car where the paint has flaked away. You know you should do something. Try to fix it. Solve the problem. But it just won't stop. Everything takes too much, too many spoons spent to just keep falling.

That sense of powerlessness. The projects that haven't been finished. The ones you need to take to the end, but you can't get them started. That sounds like a stop, but it's not because you keep at it. You keep trying to roll that stone up the hill. Because you can't stop it. It's what you do.

That moment you wake up and know that you're older now than you ever thought you could be. And you can't stop falling through that dream. It's right there, right in front of you. You can reach out to take hold of it, but even that won't stop it.

You try to call. But the phone says "emergency calls only." You're trying to stop it, but even the damn phone is against you.

And no matter how you fast you're falling, people are getting in front of you. They're cutting in line like those cars that drive all the way to the flashing merge signal before even attempting to slow or pull over into the only lane open. And they're getting the things you wanted before you can get them. But you can't stop going after those things. You just can't stop. They're winning awards while your working hard not stopping. And you just can't stop. Not because you're thinking you'll get there. No. The opposite. As they steal the lead you think you're never going to get ahead. But that doesn't mean you don't stop falling. Because there is no way to stop.

Hell, there isn't even a way to slow down.

And you see where all the arguments lead. It's not your first rodeo, but you can't stop it. They say all the same lines, like some script. And you want to go off-script. You know the script, know it needs subverting. You want to avoid the same ends, the same wall, but there it is again.

So the rust starts and you know you should stop it. Now. Before it infiltrates under all the paint. Before it bubbles up the surface like something alive to let you know it's eating away at all the time you've spent before, but hiding under a blanket the way kids do so you won't see them. And you should crack it open, expose it all to the light. But you don't have the paint to cover it back up. So that wound would fester in the light. Corrupt the light until it, too, couldn't be stopped.

And the snacks are just there and you know you shouldn't eat them. You're not hungry. Not really. And you say to yourself, "You should stop." But you have just another spoonful, another chip, because that might quite the anger. It might fill the emotional potholes. And you should stop. You know you shouldn't eat it. But you can't stop your arm on the way to your mouth any more than you could stop their stupidity from filling your ears. Because it's a way of falling just like all the rest.

And there is no stopping. You just can't stop falling. It goes on. And you thought you were used to it, but you can't ever get used to that feeling. The one where you know what the outcome is. The slow-motion existence of trying to stop the door from closing and knowing it's too late to do anything. Because you couldn't stop it earlier, so it's too late to stop it now.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Linkee-poo will love you with all the madness in my soul

It seems my blog's momentary mad popularity has waned. In years to come, I'll look back on those months as tears water down my wine. I'll whisper to the bright young things, "I, too, had significant hit numbers. So goes the world." In case you don't know, I'm firmly in the sarcastic realms here. But I will miss seeing those large hit numbers. Ah, it was too good to last to long.

So, what do you do when NaNoWriMo is over? Why, you fix it, of course. Note, this is a paid class. If you want something not paid, NaNoWriMo has their own "Edit that Puppy" program for January and February. Note, "Edit that Puppy" is my own phraseology, they call it "The 'Now What?' Months". (Link to Delilah Dawson's class grokked from Mary Robinette Kowal)

Janiece runs down a lot of the hysteria surrounding Ebola with her usual straight forwardness. I wish people were as upset about HPV, HIV, MRSA, TB, and all those other diseases we actually have vaccines (or solutions) to fight.

Some logo design (competition) tips. I would love to say yes to this, but I've seen so many award winners that fail at more than one of these. (And some of the winners)

Dr. Phil has the same thought about gas prices as I've been having.. Yep, it's an election year. Gas prices go down in election years. Dr Phil also mirrors my thoughts on Adobe Flash and it's constant updates.

You know how the left has painted much of the anti-Obama sentiment as racist and the right has said, "nuh uh, you are"? Here's why those on the left feel that way.

Remember when airline companies were trying to get the legislation that requires them to accurately state their prices (which they don't do anyway) repealed? Here's what we have to look forward to. In this case, your cable bill doesn't have those protections and you can read about the obvious extra fees and explosive rate hikes after the "promotional" period is over. (Grokked from Dan)

A new peer-support program to stop schizophrenia before it has a chance to take root. While I applaud it working, and with only this limited knowledge of the program, there's a few things in there that worry me. But, as they say in the article, the tools they give these kids are good ones whether they develop schizophrenia or not.

"Armageddon’s on the way." And Ernest Angley is hoping for sooner rather than later, so he won't get audited by the Labor Department for unfair wage and labor practices. Again. Which he's in direct violation, again.

The meritocracy. It doesn't exist. Not anymore (and probably not ever). Is there some movement? Sure. I was born into the solid middle class. After my parents divorced we became working-class poor. It's taken most of my life to claw back to the lower-end of the middle class. Movement is mostly downward, upward progression takes a hellalotta work, has an enormous toll, and requires significant help. I was lucky to have that help. (Grokked from Saladin Ahmed)

Sen. Rubio attempts to close the barn doors after all the horses have fled. The GOP is making it very hard to not be cynical. "The move comes two weeks before the midterm election… The White House opposes such a ban, and public health specialists have warned that it would be ineffective or counterproductive by making it harder to track infected individuals and by reducing the flow of aid to the most affected countries." Also, many countries that were afflicted are now reporting they're Ebola free.

Yes, yes they are coming for your birth control. Just as a reminder, the "Right-to-Life" movement isn't about abortion, it's about the sexual revolution. They hate it. They want to roll it back. There's a story about a genie and a bottle here, but they don't care. (Grokked from the Slactivist)

Cause it's not like the Right-To-Life movement sees the need to be honest about anything.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Scenes from an evening commute

Linkee-poo here we are now, entertain us

Lots of Slactivists links here (guess where I was catching up with reading).

Undulatus asperatus, a new category of cloud. I've seen those in NE Ohio. They're very cool. (Grokked from the Slactivist)

So, an iPad filled with apps weighs more than one without anything installed. Next you'll tell me electrons actually spill out of the wall socket when nothing is plugged in. (Grokked from Dan)

"So let’s get creative, people. Let’s start comparing outside the Hitler-shaped box." Fred Clark on trying to expand the franchise from just Hitler, all the time.

"Machine Gun Social" political fundraiser. Hey, ho, way to go Ohio.

Where dog whistling began. The interview with Lee Atwater outlining the conservative Southern Strategy and how not to say the n-word but still politic and profit by racism. (Grokked from the Slactivist)

Another reason why your US cell phone is such a piece of crap. They've have encrypted phones (something Apple and Google are just starting) in Europe for almost a decade now.

"A 2012 study published in the journal Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health found that the vast majority of women seeking an abortion — 87 percent — had high confidence in their decisions. This level of conviction contrasts with the notion that millions of women vacillate over whether to have an abortion." An opinion article questioning the use of "it was a difficult decision" when discussing abortion. The decision is often not difficult, arranging to have an abortion is the difficult part. Which is by the designs of the Pro-Life movement. I think there's a little nuance that's missing in the article, just because a decision can quickly be reached or seems self-evident, that doesn't mean it's easy. But I take the main point, it also doesn't mean outsiders get to help or "guide" the decision maker. (Grokked from the Slactivist)

The Daily Show's Jessica Williams and the Kansas conservative experiment. So, how's that going? Sure, Gov. Brownback, clap harder. That'll solve the problems.

"They don't want you to have the right to be Christian." Yes, these people actually believe in their persecution. (Grokked from the Slactivist)

Shades of Willie Horton. Well, fear has long been the tool of the GOP to win elections. And it worked for Reagan, why not roll it out again. Ah, the nostalgia.

"Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) said during a Wednesday interview with NewsmaxTV that he's concerned the Islamic State may use Ebola as a weapon against the U.S." Thank you all, we have a winner in the fear mongering quest. The rest of you can go home. I believe this is the moment where the GOP fear machine jumps the shark. Unfortunately only people who aren't in the GOP will be able to see it.

As a corollary to my post on which party is actually better for the economy based on who was in the White House and how the DJI did during their presidency (hint was a landslide for Dems, not even close, not even if we removed the biggest gain on the Dem side and the biggest loser on the Rep side), the Motley Fool rates the best and worst presidents for the economy using a host of different numbers. Guess which way the predominance of performance indicators points to? (Saw this promoted in my twitter feed, most of the links want you to sign up by giving them your email, most of the content linked from this article is behind a paywall, so this is the best I could find for you all)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Scenes from a morning commute

A little foggy and wet this morning (click to embiggify).

The Amish Cemetery in Middlefield. Some days, the sheep are grazing. That's how they keep the grass shorn.

Downtown Mespo. Nice Autumn display outside the general store.

And the traffic jam to watch guys pouring cement. Glad we could all be 10 minutes late for that.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Linkee-poo is sprung from cages out on highway 9

Scott Westerfield on why stories have power. He also has a piece on novels.

Janiece talks about task saturation. We're at that point in the so-called recovery that this is becoming an ever larger problem (hell, it's been my own personal problem for the past 3 jobs, but we won't go there). It has taken me 25+ years of professional jobs to get to a point where I realized I could work all the crazy hours I was working and still never get ahead. So it was just as good to call it quits at (around) 5. Because once you get so far behind, being farther behind isn't a big deal.

A cartoon about white privilege. Unfortunately the people that need to read this probably never will, but maybe it'll help you explain it to them. (Grokked from Janiece)

Love how the London Harry Potter Studio Tour exhibit on the Dark Arts includes pieces from Dolores Umbridge. (Grokked from Tor.com)

Building a better battery. While a 20-year effective live and 70% charge in 2 minutes sounds fabulous, I'm now at an age were I ask, "Where can I buy this cheaply? No where? Call me when it's available." I've seen so many Great Things™ that were just around the corner that never actually made it around that corner that I'm a little jaded. (Grokked from John)

A National Geographic picture story on parasites that control their victim's actions. Some pretty terrifying things there, but beautifully photographed. Also, this is provided just in case you think the researchers talking about how our gut biome may control our emotions and actions have been drinking a little too much while watching "The Thing." (Grokked from Chuck Wendig)

So, you may not get to go to outer space, but your name could. NASA is going to load a "microchip" with a lot of names to go on the Orion launch. Deadline for submission is Oct 31. Sure it's a way to build a mailing list and demonstrate just how much public support NASA has. But I got my boarding pass. Insert joke here about how the boarding pass is free, but the baggage fee is a killer. (Grokked from Tor.com)

"'If there are some people who think that what we did was primitive, not very interesting, not worthwhile - let them fly into space, go for a spacewalk and experience the air leaking from your suit, or a safety hatch refusing to shut,' says cosmonaut Georgy Grechko." A BBC story interviewing the first man to walk in space, Alexei Leonov, and what he faced. There's this old engineering story (sometimes taken up by those who decry government spending) that NASA spent millions developing a pen that would write in zero-g, the Soviets used a pencil. But they often miss just how narrowly the Soviets survived in their technology. (Grokked from Dan)

Sure, you may think of librarians as demure and graceful people, just don't piss them off by threatening their patrons. Librarians, defending our freedom since forever. My local libraries? When I asked about it they all said, "Once you return the materials, no record is kept, so there's nothing to subpoena. All they could ever know is what materials you currently have and when they're due." (Grokked from Janiece)

A little local news. Allegations of Ernest Angley covering up for sexual predators in the Grace Cathedral. Grace Cathedral is in Akron, and once was a power house of televised evangelism. He's still on TV (owning the local iteration of the CW). (Grokked from Dan)

You know how conservatives are all, "The Media loves Liberals"? "The findings from Pew showed that Christie and Clinton have each been the subject of 82 newspaper stories this year that connected them to a presidential run in 2016. And while no other potential Democratic candidate generated more than 22 stories, several GOP contenders were within shouting distance of Christie's total." You know, not really.

Jon Stewart on all the gorram solicitation emails that are being sent out from the Democrats. I've unsubscribed from all but one list, but I still get about 2 or 3 a day. Seriously, Dems, you're getting annoying.

"The new University of Delaware study found that 67 percent of white Americans supported voter ID laws after the question was posed to them with text only or accompanied by a photo of white people voting. But that number increased to 73 percent when the same question is asked with an accompanying photo of African-Americans voting." No racism to see here, citizen. Move along.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Linkee-poo just had some kind of mushroom and its mind is moving slow

The Oatmeal with the true legacy of Christopher Columbus in an easy to read (although it may be difficult to learn this knowledge) comic. I think I posted this before, but was reminded of it today, so… (Grokked from Neil Gaiman)

And, just in case you think the Oatmeal is embellishing the truth. Also, I have read of few of those original documents, they're not cherry picking. I remember a Jesuit Priest's journal where he recounted how an pig escaped from an early fort settlement (IIRC, this was in what became South Carolina) and began rooting up a native village's corn field. The natives tried to chase it off and when that didn't work, they killed the pig. In retribution, the settlement massacred a third of the native village, including all the men and most of the children. (Grokked from Justine Larbalestier)

Just in case you missed it, the jack-o-lantern sun. It's called pareidolia, and is a survival function of our minds (actually we know it happens in all primates and other species). (Grokked from Mer Haskell)

Hey, remember all those crazy diet drugs and supplements that turned out to be not much more than caffeine (and other stimulant) pills? Good thing that doesn't happen anymore. Just another argument about how government shouldn't regulate business because business only wants to help people and put out good, honest products… Not. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

Jim Hines with a post on rape statistics. It's a difficult place to look, but if you've never peered into that darkness of the human soul, some of these may surprise you (like how most rapes are committed by and to people who know each other, typically a family member). Much of the popular mind set about rape focuses on the very rare event, the stranger-danger rape. I did almost use a lot more qualifiers like "forced" or "violent", but stopped myself knowing how these terms are used to qualify "rape" from "rape-rape" - which is a ridiculous concept. But we also have the vision in our minds of rape at knife or gun-point, and most rape is actually accomplished by overwhelming physical force with a generous dollop of guilt or shame. The typical "knee them in the groin" philosophy of self-defense doesn't work in these circumstances.

And now comes the time on Sprockets where we check in and see how the GOP is doing with not sticking its collective foot in its collective mouths when it comes to women and minority issues. How's that working out? Yep, pretty much as I thought. "'Single mothers particularly are automatically Democratic because of the benefits. They need benefits to survive, and so that kind of weds them to the Democratic Party… Bell doesn't seem to be preoccupied about how to win over single women and mothers. The candidate (said) that he's not worried about the gender gap in the polls as long as he can maintain an edge among male voters.'"

Why conservatives want to limit voting for minorities and women. You know as the real purpose of voter ID laws becomes apparent.

The problem with the GOP trying to change their image when it comes to minorities and women is there's this thing called "history" and these days, there's always a record of it. Especially of political speech. There's enough idiocy on both sides to go around, but one side has amassed more of it than the other.

The "Republican cuts kill" ad and the knee-jerk response. Let's not tell him the CDC is not the National Institutes of Health, it'll only confuse them. Dear RedState editor Erick Erickson, I think God doesn't need your glorification. Stay home.


Just hit me that NASCAR goes widdershins, as do most track sports in the US. I wonder what kind and how much energy could be summoned if you could harness that. Maybe someone already has.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Linkee-poo, Superman and Green Lantern ain't got nothing on me

Lots of Slactivists, cause I was catching up on reading (after having just caught up on reading).

Because you, too, may need a corgi barking at a pumpkin. That helps my day to avoid being a complete disaster. (Grokked from John)

Gareth Powell's 8 steps to becoming a published writer. First rule of Write Club? Writers write. (Grokked from Jason Sanford)

"And now, since you stuck around through the first wave of threats, you are now a much BIGGER problem. Because the Worst Possible Thing has happened: as a result of those attacks, you are NOW serving Victim-Flavored Koolaid." On trolls and how women are persecuted on the internet for no other reason that being women who's voices are being heard. (Grokked from Kathryn Cramer)

How can someone have depressions if…" So this. (Grokked from Mur Lafferty)

Good news, everyone. "Despite the fact that consumers pay more than $32 billion annually in overdraft fees alone, a new report found that the amount of money banks make off customer-account fees declined for the first time in seven decades." So what's really the cause? That terrible thing called regulation and an informed consumer. But we don't need no government in our daily lives, do we? Don't worry, even though profits are down and the banks want to tell you all this regulation is hurting you more than them, all those bank people will still be getting generous bonuses this year. (Grokked from the Slactivist)

Proving that there is no limit to how far right the whackaloon right can be, "In a scathing piece for Politico, Bozell accused Rove of historically opposing every truly conservative leader in the GOP, siding instead with 'liberal' and 'moderate' factions of the party." So just how far to the right does the party need to move to right for that to look like the truth?

Some insight into the brouhaha over the AP College Board's history standards. Sure, it isn't partisan at all. It's just without the concept of "American Exceptionalism" (aka AMURIKAFUCKYEA!) a lot of what conservatives believe in falls apart. Also, the person who started this whole thing will have to actually rewrite his study materials that he sells to AP students who want to do well on the tests.

Dark money continues to gobble up the political debate. Nothing to see here, citizen, move along.

"'You put me in charge of Medicaid,' (Arizona Politician, Pearce told one caller, 'the first thing I'd do is get [female recipients] Norplant, birth-control implants, or tubal ligations. Then, we'll test recipients for drugs and alcohol, and if you want to [reproduce] or use drugs or alcohol, then get a job.'" That would be the non-compassionate conservatism that GW Bush said he wasn't one (and all of the GOP said, "No, we're the nice guys"). And now you know why the rest of us nod our heads and say, "Uh, yea, Bob. Sure." (Grokked from the Slactivist)

"Well economic theory… said that if insurance premium costs became less burdensome, that would free up money for higher cash wages. And, indeed, the Kaiser Family Foundation is out today with new reporting on employer benefit costs that reveals the slowdown is visible in this slice of the market. Premium costs rose by just 3 percent, a number much lower than they routinely rose by in the recent past… So how about those wage rises?" I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you (well, maybe, okay, because more people have health insurance now a trip to the urgent care isn't so devastating). So, there's another conservative myth that didn't prove out (note, specifically mentioned by "lower costs = higher wages so don't do Obamacare because it'll cost more" which didn't prove out either, also "trickle-down economics"). "(S)o in the absence of other strong institutions, like powerful labor unions, employers have had all the leverage, and there's been no pressure to pass savings on to workers. Corporate profits are at an all-time high instead." Another reason I became a progressive. (Grokked from the Slactivist)

Best healthcare system in the world my Aunt Fanny. Unless you count "we bill like no one else." (Grokked from the Slactivist)

Tweet of my heart: @sidlipsey My favorite press release ever: "Malala will make her first statement on winning the Nobel Peace Prize after school."

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Linkee-poo can't get these memories out of my mind, and some kind of madness has started to evolve

Todd Wheeler's new novel is out.

Why do people love their iPhones? Let me count the ways. Here's 15 to start with. Shake to undo, brilliant. (Grokked from John)

An article on why we should start taking the Millennials seriously. Hi, Millennials, I'm from Gen-X (referred to as the "Silents" in the articles). Don't be demeaning to us. Gen-X has been there before. We can help, but not if you're pissy and all puffed up about it (like you Boomer parents). If you want to play that way, we're all willing to watch you drown (don't worry, you'll eventually pull through, but it'll be a lot tougher). Also, you know that Social Media thing you like to tout, yea, we were there first. Also, we built out the infrastructure it plays on. That's our little red ball you've got there. Don't taunt happy fun ball, savvy?

"Results and Discussion: In total, Calvin caused an estimated $15,955.50 worth of damage over the duration of the comic strip (Figure 1)." Using Calvin and Hobbes to determine the added cost of items destroyed by children to the costs of raising a child (around $245,000 per the U.S. Department of Agriculture). Your research dollars at work. "… it should be reiterated that Calvin is presented as a worst-case scenario. If you believe your child does more than $1,850.55 in damage annually, then you may want to consider professional help, alternative forms of punishment, or, at the very least, take away their stuffed tiger." BTW, I approve of this use of research grants. (Grokked from John)

This is the crux of the matter. This is the Gospel According to Tim & Jerry. But it is not the gospel of Christianity.

Passing for white in America. No history of racial segregation here (just in case someone says that to you in the near future).

What happens when the founder of the birth control movement, a controversial scientist, a Catholic obstetrician and a wealthy feminist walk into a bar? You get The Pill. A history of the development of The Pill. Note everything these people saw in society and know that if the social conservatives get their way, that's where we're headed to.

He's good enough, he's smart enough, and doggone it, people like him. Al Franken is polling a sizable advance over his GOP opponent. In Michigan, the NRSC is pulling it's ads after seeing the GOP candidate slip in the polls. "Republicans stressed… that the move was not really a sign of Republicans calling it quits, rather it was just a reallocation of resources because of Land's strong ground game as well as her fundraising" I'm sure it has nothing to do with that dip in the polls at the end of that chart. These guys should be told, "past performance is not indicative of future action." Well, at least the academics still think the GOP will gain the Senate and increase their lead in the House. And the currently conservative led and overwhelming conservative majority Supreme Court is too activist for Ted Cruz. You keep banging on that drum, Ted (I don't want to work, I want to bang on the drum all day). I'm sure if Karl Rove would be apoplectic, if he still mattered in elections ("The Math" anyone?), to see his favorite tool of ginning up the base go bye-bye.

And just for the hell of it, "Carrot… It's not just a vegetable, it's what a vegetable should be." (Grokked from John)

Hey, remember all those people who fought against new energy standards for light bulbs (you know, after they fought to pass them)? The people who helped pioneer the blue LED just won the Nobel Prize in Physics. Why? Because at least the Swedes see how it'll change all of our lives for the better. "'It's just huge — worldwide we could close or not build over 500 large power stations,' if everyone used LED light bulbs, (Colin Humphreys, an LED researcher at Cambridge University in the U.K.) says. Now do you see the connection with both retrovision politics and the Koch Brothers? One group of people want to keep us irrevocably tied to the past.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Little Song

Because, sometimes you need a little song.

My soul writes me
My soul plays me
My soul sings me
So I'll sing this little song for you
Oh sing a little song for me
And I'll this little song for you

Monday, October 6, 2014

Scenes from a Morning Commute

It's Fall. At least it is here.

Linkee-poo got no dirty little fingers, bloodshot eyes are gone

Finished my training time for the hospital. Worked and had class for about 92 hours in the past week, with a single span of 29 hours of non-stop work or driving (I had a few hours in there where I was scheduled to be anywhere, but not like I could take a nap without missing the next thing). Twenty-nine hours isn't my record (neither is 92 hours), IIRC it's falls to the number 3 place. But then, I'm also not in my late twenties anymore. And today brings the first day job/tech job conflict because they can't schedule a meeting this Thursday afternoon. I'm not entirely broken up about it (considering that it's not my project anyway, but they're trying to make it mine). This isn't to say we'll be back on a "normal" schedule (I don't think most of you were here when I did have a "normal" publishing schedule anyway). But hopefully it won't be weeks between posts. (starts laughing madly as he drives into that brave new world with one pedal to the floor and my arm out the window)

Need some resources for fairy tales? (Looks in Matt Staggs direction) Here's some. (Grokked from John Joseph Adams)

You know all those stories about submitting resumes with exactly the same qualifications on them, but with different names (ethnicity and sex) to see which ones would get a response? What if you did that with story submissions? (Grokked from M J Locke)

You know, you'd think that libertarians would be all for The Market™ solving problems of supply and demand, wouldn't you. You know, especially those politicians who have said that government shouldn't regulate businesses at all, including enforcing the Civil Rights Act. And they do, except when it comes to their own book sales. Then they're all, "maybe we should do something about it." And, amazingly, something happens for them. Apparently not all Hachette books are the same when it comes to Amazon. (Grokked from Tobias Buckell)

"When I first started writing, I wasn’t in it for the long haul. I don’t know if you can be, really… There’s an experimental phase, when you try something out… See if you’re at all good at it. See if it has any meaning to you. See if this is a thing to which you can devote yourself. Because not everything will be. And if it’s not for you, then it’s not only okay to quit but a good idea. This level of commitment is not for everyone." On not quoting writing. (Grokked from Ferrett Steinmetz)

Have a story or poem about trickers or thieves? Cicada Magazine is looking for them and paying nicely (as these things go). Deadline at the end of the month. Wish I had my AI story ready, but doubt I could rewrite it in time. (Grokked from Kameron Hurley)

"Back in 1971, a group of soviet scientists had the bright idea to light a massive natural gas fire in the middle of the Turkmeni desert. Forty-three years later, the blaze still burns." What could possibly go wrong? (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

We have always fought. In this case, women have always been programmers and good at math.

"A member of Colorado's state Board of Education argued that the fact that the United States voluntarily ended slavery proved 'American execptionalism' and this perspective should be taught to students in a recent Facebook post about the AP U.S. History curriculum." This is the same board that was challenging the new AP US History tests. This is someone elected to State Level politics. This is what is at stake here.

Jim Wright talks about the man with the gun over there, telling me I've got to beware. What Jim doesn't say, and what hasn't been in the discussion of ISIL/ISIS and Syria is proportion. Remember proportion? ISIL/ISI has killed some of our citizens. Is the appropriate response "Kill 'em all" or "we know where some of their leadership is, we know their training, support, and communication lines and facilities, we will deprive them of some of them." What the terrorists haven't learned is our people are insane. We will violate our laws, our principles, and breaks the foundations of our social contract only to satisfy out blood lust. And we won't rebel in a way they expect. In fact, we'll only rebel in that manner if we do nothing, or maybe attempt to provide everyone healthcare. All options in Syria with ISIL/ISIS are bad. Not a single way to victory.

Having lost the argument over how the CBO scores conservative ideals, the conservative run House and possibly conservatively run Senate want to change the rules on how the CBO scores bills by passing a law mandating the CBO do it their way. BTW, their way has never proven out.

Louisiana, Louisiana, they're trying to wash us away, they're trying to wash us away. "Two years ago, NOAA removed 31 bays and other features from the Buras charts. Some had been named by French explorers in the 1700s." There's this thing in conservation circles where the West criticizes the East by saying that the East shouldn't interfere with the planning of the West. Well, here's where we do get off telling the West what to do, we've already fucked up our environment. We know where we went wrong. We're trying to keep you all from making the same mistakes. Louisiana is about to join that club of having destroyed their own environment, once the realize what they've done, maybe they'll also start trying to educate others to keep from making their mistake. (Grokked from the Slactivist)

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Linkee-poo, there is unrest in the forest, there is trouble with the trees

Stewart Sternberg on if you can say you've "read" a book when you've listened to the audiobook. I admit that I do, but I do know that I get a deeper relationship with a book that I've read the text of instead of a book I've just listened to. I also tend to listen to an audiobook more than once. If I really like it, I'll typically listen to it at least three times before I feel I've gotten everything in the book. Still, because of how the brain functions (there are separate cortices than handle the written word, and the spoken word).

Ever wonder what goes on at an author reading? Well, John Scalzi shares some videos of his last tour. IF you ever get the chance to see John do his thing in person, I highly recommend it.

Neil Gaiman on Terry Pratchett. (Grokked from Tor.com)

"So my point here is pretty simple. I think the Captain America characterization is a lot more interesting and complex. It just gets boring to have a character like Batman who is always going to have the same shit because he’s never gonna deal with his shit because he’s not allowed to deal with his shit. By contrast, Steve Rogers is warm and human and adult and fucken’ heroic. He’s got shit too but he mans up and carries it the best he can." A tumblr post on man pain. This. (Grokked from Morgan J Locke)

"We still enjoy a kind of wealth, prestige, institutional heft, political clout, and legal protection that would stupefy Jesus of Nazareth." American Christian Conservatives are hitting the end game of their "persecution complex", in this case, wondering if they should withdraw (again) from political society having "lost" America to the secularists. Yea, I'm not buying it either (as exampled by my pull quote), but that doesn't mean these people don't truly believe in their "downtroddenness", sometimes more than they believe in their God. Whenever people talk about "the culture of victimization" they're the first group I think of. (Grokked from the Slactivist)

The Wall Street Journal on how "peak oil" is wrong. "To the peak-oil adherents, this is just a respite, and decline is inevitable. But a growing tide of oil-industry experts argue that peak oil looks at the situation in the wrong way. The real constraints we face are technological and economic, they say. We're limited not by the amount of oil in the ground, but by how inventive we are about reaching new sources of fuel and how much we're willing to pay to get at it." Lets see if you can spot all the contradictions and handwavium as they try to say "it's not a thing" while concurring that "peak-oil adherents" are correct. It's like the people who like to say that Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs is a bunch of bunk because it didn't lead to the wars he predicted over the very basic levels of need while ignoring how opening the western hemisphere (and killing off most of its native inhabitants) have only prolonged the predictions, not wiped them out. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

Stands and salutes. Veterans write an open letter to The Five co-hosts Eric Bolling and Greg Gutfeld about their remarks and apologize regarding their comments about Maj. Mariam Al Mansouri. (Grokked from CC Findlay)

Some more graphics to help explain the income equality that is pervasive. Tell me again about how the executives deserve to make 354 times as much as the labor that produces the value. 'Cause that joke never gets old. (Grokked from Kathryn Cramer)

Oh, and here's a reason why the 99% of the 1% should also be pissed. Or, as I've said, too much money is never enough because some other bastard will always have more than you. See, there has always been a 1%. Is it fair, no, but there you are. Some people claw their way into that category, good for them (most of it is inherited these days). But while the 1% isn't doing badly, only the 1% of the 1% are actually gaining in income. So that makes everybody else like Dove soap, the 99.99%, who aren't seeing their lot improve. We're all taking a bath (you were wondering where I was going with that Dove soap thing, weren't you). (Grokked from Morgan J Locke)

So, how about letting the USPS offer banking services? Heck, they could just offer low-interest low-principle loans at rates and fees that amount to 150% APR, undercut the predatory loan stores, and make a tidy sum of money. They could even offer pre-paid cards and check cashing with significantly lower fees (not that hard to do) and accomplish the same thing. When I started reading that article I was, "I don't know about this" and now I'm "what's taking us so long to get this done." Of course WalMart and all those PayDayLoan centers would have thing or two to say about it. (Grokked from the Slactivist)

So, let me get this straight, the black man the cops shot to death wasn't considered a homicide, but the white woman who died from a heart attack hearing the gun fire, she's the one considered a homicide? Well, that makes perfect sense, I guess. (Grokked from CC Findley)

"Senators regularly miss committee hearings often because of conflicting committee hearings or scheduling conflicts. But Brown's focus on border security on the campaign trail might cause someone to think that border security topics were his primary issue in the Senate." I'm sure it has nothing to do with rallying the base around the fear of the brown person. Nothing at all. "Brown spokeswoman Elizabeth Guyton, in response to questions from the Post about him missing the committee meetings, instead pointed to an interview Brown did with the Boston Herald where he discussed the threat of the Islamic State." Look, SQUIRREL! Okay, well, he did answer a question about it in the same interview.

"Rick Scott is a trusted brand…" A Florida GOP ad meant to reach "the kids" (well, young women) by doing a take on "Say Yes to the Dress." Um, College Republican National Committee, fire your "social media" consultants. They aren't helping you.

Because it needs to be said

There seems to be a minor freakout in the press over a person making it into the Residence of the White House with a knife and armed ex-felon in an elevator with the President and "just what is the Secret Service doing."

Well, first off, the Secret Service isn't charged with keeping people away from the President. That's not their job. Their job is to secure the President bodily. Has the Present been attacked? No. Secret Service is doing their job.

Look at the video of the man entering the White House. As he gets to the portico, see that uniformed officer to the left? That's called a "shooter's stance." That he didn't fire is a testament to the level headedness of the Secret Service. Imagine the headline, "Man Shot Dead Trying to Enter the White House." Also note the man was tackled "at the reception desk". Does your house have a reception desk? Do you have people who will tackle someone just for stepping on your lawn? Do you even have "people"? Didn't think so.

As for the "armed" ex-convict in the elevator? He was private security. As an ex-con, how was he able to carry a weapon or get a job as security? Those are the lapses (of course, after he was "questioned" by the Secret Service and his history found out he was immediately discharged). As for the breathless, "ZOMG, what if he drew his weapon?" (faints on fainting couch here). I'm willing to bet real money if he had reached for a weapon (or looked like he was reaching) all kinds of badassery would have fallen on his head in that elevator. As it was the agents were "politely" asking him to turn off his cell phone because he was taking pictures of the President. The way these stories are sounding it's like what they want would have been for a few agents to manhandle and beat this guy silly because he wanted a picture of the President. It's not like the agents were whistling and looking at the floor counter and not paying attention to guy in the elevator with the President.

The job of the Secret Service is to protect the President bodily. They screen most people who may come in contact with the President on any of his trips. They don't take aim at people crowded around the fence just in case they may want to climb over. They don't keep people away from the President when they feel they don't have to. I don't want them to do these things. As competent security, they don't have to do these things.

The White House is our house. I'm already pissed about what it takes to go on a tour, and they're going to stop doing even that (with the new "visitors center" if I'm reading the cards right). The President is our President, he (or she) isn't royalty and shouldn't be quarantined from the public.

But then, I'm old. I remember when you could tour the White House by standing in line. I remember when Presidents shook the hands on almost anyone who could reach out to them. I don't want my President separated. Does that mean some risk? Yes. But he has some of the best people to protect him. They may not get everything "correct" in our eyes, but that doesn't mean they're not doing their job because what these people are asking isn't really their job. No security is airtight. Even if they managed to isolate the President that doesn't mean he would be totally safe.

Life isn't like the movies, people. Let's get a little perspective and maybe a little professional about these things, okay?

Oh, and about the added temporary fence "not helping anything", oh please. Some of it may be for show, but a secondary barrier is effective. It may not take much to over mount, but then you'll be identified before you could attempt to scale the primary fence. And just because you don't see the heightened awareness of the situation doesn't mean those eyes aren't there.

Security can never stop the determined professional. The best you can do is hinder the mildly curious.