What a field day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly saying, "hooray for our side"

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Linkee-poo saw its reflection in the snow-covered hills till the landslide brought it down

So, I'm wondering when someone in the news media and economics reporting will suddenly realize that with the shortened shopping season this year and the cold snap in the NE draining people's bank accounts to pay for heat, that this Xmas shopping season is going to be dreadful (compared to earlier estimates of it being better because gas prices are lower). Yea, probably won't hear about that except for a little quibble on Black Friday and then nearer to Xmas.

Tobias Buckell is running a kickstarter for a anthology of Xenowealth stories.

One of us, one of us, one of us. What Ursula K. Le Guin did at the National Book Awards.

"Scientists have confirmed the presence of organic compounds—the building blocks of life—in the atmosphere of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, the Wall Street Jouranl (sic) reports. The exact composition of the molecules is still being determined." Pan-spermia just got a big boost.

Lewis Black on the extension of Black Friday through all of November. "So let me get this straight. You can't make a store open on Thanksgiving, it's just a poor helpless corporation. But people? Punch in and shut the fuck up. You can see your family in January." Yup, pretty much. I wonder which channel from the many video clips they show of different media outlets actually has those positions? That's rhetorical.

"US Attorney General Eric Holder recently said it was 'worrisome' that tech companies were adding default encryption to consumer electronics. Apple CEO Tim Cook recently pushed back at a WSJ conference, saying 'Look, if law enforcement wants something, they should go to the user and get it. It’s not for me to do that.'" Or, as stated earlier in the article, they should get a warrant. This is an article on some of the negotiating tactics being used by the government to remove what protections you have from their over reach. In this case, "children are going to die because iOS 8 has strong encryption." It's a stupid argument, even when it was, "Then the terrorists win."

Again, for all the chest beating and shouting "were going to change government" you'll notice that no one is talking about restoring your rights that were taken away by the Patriot Act. Including the attempt to roll back the NSA from scooping up all our phone records which stalled in the Senate because (wait for it) the GOP filibustered it. Yea, which party is the party of freedom again? I keep forgetting.

And speaking of secrecy, a government that executes criminals in secret is tyranny. While this Ohio bill would just remove all mention of what drugs are used (or whatever is used to end the inmate's life), where they're purchased, what quantities, but also shield the public from knowing if and who any medical personnel are used in the execution, this is still a dangerous precedent. Why not just have everyone involved wear black hoods.

And then there's this. "In what might be the most ridiculous aspect of the whole thing, the bill forbids scientific experts from participating in 'advisory activities' that either directly or indirectly involve their own work. In case that wasn’t clear: experts would be forbidden from sharing their expertise in their own research — the bizarre assumption, apparently, being that having conducted peer-reviewed studies on a topic would constitute a conflict of interest." While making sure that someone sitting on a jury has no prior experience with a case might be a good idea, excluding experts from government testimony when it's on the subject of their research… that's just plain stupidity, gross incompetence, or knowing the world doesn't play by your ideology. (Grokked from Chuck Wendig)

Remember all that talk of "second amendment solutions"? It's back. Sen. Coburn says that if Pres. Obama goes forward with executive action (similar to Presidents Reagan and GHW Bush), there could be violence in the streets.

Elizabeth Warren comes out swinging. "'The Republicans… they say if those at the top have… more power for Wall Street players to do whatever they want and more money for tax cuts than somehow they can be counted on to build the economy for everyone else… Well, we tried it for 30 years and it didn’t work. In fact the consequences were nearly catastrophic.'" To which I'm sure the conservatives will respond with Gov. Brownback saying, "but it's just about to start working." Let's see. Heard that in 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2012.

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