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

Monday, November 30, 2015

Linkee-poo, madmen fed on fear and lies to beat and burn and kill

An exercise to get students to use more active words kinda runs off the rails. I appreciate what the instructors are trying to do here, really. By "banning" certain words they're encouraging their student to expand their vocabularies, and conjoined with the concept of "students teaching themselves" they've tried their best. But how they're going about it is very stupid. If you want kids' vocabularies to expand, expose them to good words, teach them their meanings, encourage them to explore books. (Grokked from Steven Gould)

And because it needs to be said, sex workers can be sexually assaulted and raped. Again, non-consent is non-consent. Saying no means no. So, yes, a porn star can be raped on set as well as off the set. Because she works in porn (or in a strip club, or even as a prostitute) is not an excuse. (Grokked from John Scalzi)

So, why is it a problem that injection wells linked to fracking may cause earthquakes? "The ground is shaking near Cushing, Okla., home to the largest commercial crude oil storage center in North America… (and) one of the most important places in the U.S. energy market." Yea, because the ground subsidence, sink holes, damage from earthquakes in places that don't have building codes that enforce compliance with buildings that may be shaken, it could really fuck up our energy supply of fossil fuels.

"Republican presidential hopefuls… noticeably silent about a fatal shooting… at a Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs…All three of their Democratic counterparts tweeted in support of the organization… Texas Sen. Ted Cruz was the only one of the major GOP candidates to comment…" saying he was praying for the families of those killed and injured, and the first responders. Note, not the people actually injured. Color me unsurprised. This was posted on Saturday, I'm sure they'll bow to public pressure and comment by Monday. (Grokked from Dan)

Taxi driver is asked about his nationality, rider goes into house, comes out with a rifle and begins shooting. (Grokked from Saladin Ahmed)

Couple finds those online healthcare pricing tools are mostly suggestions. Again, we won't have good pricing controls until health facilities and doctors' offices are required to publish their pricing like a fast-food restaurant. Tell me again how we don't need a single-payor system in this country.

Because for the Trumpster, everything is awesome. "'I have a great relationship with the black pastors,' Trump said." Yea, but after several pastors he was supposed to meet with said that they wouldn't be endorsing him, the closed the meeting to the press. And then they cancelled it. Because it would have been bad optics. And then they blamed it on the Black Lives Matter movement. Stay classy, Trump.

"It’s all an elaborate stage production, manufactured by Fox News, talk radio and rightwing politicians, that fills the lives of the working class with terrorists, feminist, atheists and gay people, convenient groups used to distract from who is really screwing them over this week. The votes of the working class have been neutralized or co-opted with tidy scapegoats, the Second Amendment, Jesus and white victimhood." On the disappearing middle-class, the rise in death rates in the white middle-class, and committing political suicide. (Grokked from Saladin Ahmed)

Well, the GOP candidates are finally responding to the Colorado Planned Parenthood shooting. Carly Fiorina demonstrates that she can blame the left for anything. Yes, it's all in the leftist politics manual right here, on page 3 it says, "always blame the right for everything, especially those things they espouse," Ted Cruz, not to be outdone by teh crazy, goes full birther.

"Where all da white women?" Ah, Michelle Bachmann, you're daily dose of spittle-flecked insanity.

Even CJ Pearson, the 13-year-old conservative wunderkind gets it. Dear GOP, even he can see through you. Ah, but don't worry, I'm sure next week the RNC will bring him back into the fold and he can blame watching the "liberal mass media" for making him doubt his conservative love. "'I don't want to be the conservative wonder kid that people follow because I make them feel good and like young people are part of their movement…' he told CNN." Too late. Although I'm sure the heaping helping of scorn he's now facing will convince him to come back as well.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Linkee-poo never gets to say much, never get to talk, tell us a little bit, but not to much

Hey, you know all those people who say that their middle-ages novels set in an English type country where everyone is white, when they get called on that say, "they're just being true to history"? Well, bullshit. Here is DNA evidence of skeletons found in London that show it was a very diverse city. Always has been. (Grokked from Chia Evers) Slavic fairy tales illustrated. Interesting. (Grokked from David Klecha) You'd think with all the hype and attention the NFL's Pinktober campaign gets there would be log of money flowing to help prevent breast cancer and for breast cancer research. You would be wrong. (Grokked from Charles Terhune) A subterranean pagan basilica is restored in Rome. Going on my vacation list right now. (Grokked from Michelle Swiniarski) "Many or most of the 150 or so people at the meeting seemed more tolerant and open-minded. But the loudmouths who vented their poisonous views dominated the proceeding, and no one had the appetite to take them on." And that's part of the problem, the majority is tired, and because of that, the loudmouth bullies think they're in charge. And the problem is that those people aren't actually the targets of the hatred which makes it easy for them to ignore it and not take action. (Grokked from Saladin Ahmed) And in other gun news, a Mississippi man shoots a Waffle House waitress in the head because she asked him to not smoke in the restaurant. Because we're a rational society. (Grokked from Steven Gould) Something that's been on my mind lately, Have we, as a country, become a kleptocracy. I mean, it's been evident that many places in the US have been running on the banana republic model. But has it gone too far already? (When I say I know a revolution is coming, this is a major part of that) (Grokked from Debbie Morrow) Dear Rep. Grayson, don't be a dick. I understand the urge, the sense of righteousness and revenge, but nobody is served by it. "'I am being attacked and smeared by the liberal media for legally exercising my 1st and 2nd Amendment rights and for using public data to defend my credibility when they make accusations against me,' (David) Wright wrote on Thursday." On his replacement Facebook page, after he took down the original page where he published the names and addresses of people who spoke against an anti-Sharia law in Irving, Tx. Nah, dude, we're just calling it what it was and calling you what you are. And if you don't understand what you did and how you portrayed yourself, well, I guess you shouldn't have reposted the list until you figured out how to be a real human. What the real problem here is, you didn't think anyone would notice. Tweet of my heart: @Are0h White people have physically attacked everything conservative candidates of have criticized. Are you paying attention?

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Linkee-poo, shut up Uncle Ted

"And they’re telling us that the only way a female character can be strong is if she acts, in every way possible, like a man." On the absurdity of Scott Bergstrom's interview with Publishers Weekly. (Grokked from Julie)

"No matter what the adults say, nine times out of ten, the kids are ready to talk." One writing books that ask questions that are topical, and difficult. (Grokked form Leah Bobet)

Read this a while ago, but io9 made it into a more readable version. That's how a homophobic post on tumblr was turned into a dystopian science fiction lovefest. (Grokked this time from Cat Rambo)

Apparently, even looking at cops is disrespectful, at least according to Fox News. I would like to say that this isn't racism rearing it's ugly head and that Megan Kelly really isn't trying to say that this black man should lower his gaze while standing in front of a police officer, but unfortunately I believe that is exactly what is going on here. Just pointed to in case you need a reference.

This is how terrorism works. IT's a little short sighted and doesn't look at the long con, but a good thing to keep in mind. Especially when you read the next article. (Grokked from Janiece)

The armed protestors outside an Irving, Texas mosque publish the names and addresses of people who spoke out against an Anti-Sharia resolution. I'm of two minds about this. One, it's an obvious case of intimidation given that the group that published them is advocating for an eventual conflict (and also believe it's a good idea to bring guns to a "peaceful" protest). But two, it's a part of the public record. Now why the council required residents to register with all that information just to speak before council, that's another question (and frankly a little archaic and stupid). But I'm also surprised to find this happened in Texas, given their general proclivity to deny FoA/Sunshine/Records requests. Also, that it's published by the side of the conflict by those who are wearing the masks is a negative. Not to mention the context of how it was published as a list of "of Muslims and Muslim sympathizers". I wonder what would happen if a list of the names and addresses of the idiots with guns were also published? (Grokked from Saladin Ahmed)

Some inside perspective on ISIS. I'm not familiar enough with the various sub philosophies of Islam to gauge the veracity, but it sounds plausible. A nation state built on apocalyptic vision, it's happened before. And that the vision is disputed by the majority of the rest of the adherents to that religion also isn't unique (what's in your eschatology?). Also, that those people who support the ideals, who live outside the actual real life application of those rules, find it exciting and desirable also isn't new. And that internally, within that state, the actual application of those values is brutal and oppressive, justifying the unjust, and lying to themselves that it's all for the greater good also is not new. (Grokked from Janiece)

And Janiece herself has some good things to say about all of this; Paris, ISIS, terrorism, and American compassions and courage. Yes, that.

The Trumpster (well, his spokesman) says, "don't fuck us, GOP, or we'll go nuclear on your ass." Okay, he was a little nicer about it. Have we mentioned the cracks are beginning to show? But if the Trumpster goes "rogue" as a third party play, will the lunatic fringe Reagan invited in actually split from the party (in this case, I'm thinking permanently, not just at the Nov 2016 election)?

"No, if you want to take down Trump, there is only one line of attack that will work—but it is an attack that requires the party leadership and its donors to attain some critical distance from their own beliefs and points of view." And that's where the schism happens. (Grokked from Ferrett Steinmetz)

"Write your story the way you want to write it. You don’t have to talk to anybody. It doesn’t make any difference. But many people were shot. It makes sense." The Trumpster on being challenged about his Civil War memorial on his golf course.

Yes, Rep. Steven King is just that racist. I wonder just how he would feel about Cleveland's Little Italy, which not only being very Italian in feel (it's slightly mixed now with lots of student off-campus housing), but also very Catholic, both of which at one time were considered un-American.

"On a scale from zero to 100, the scientists gave Cruz a six." Drops mic, walks away.

Slow clap. Well played, Vice, well played. (Grokked from Patrick Nielsen Hayden)

Tweet of my heart: @robertjbennett In the first 10% of your story, you make the case for reading the following 90%.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

When I look, and I find, I still love you

Because Saladin Ahmed reminded me, today is the day the heavens cried for the loss of a star that burned ever so bright and ever so fast, this has been in my head all day. And now it may be in yours.

I still tear up a little listening to this.

Linkee-poo is always drunk on Sunday, trying to feel like I'm at home

Robert J. Bennett puts on his Cranky-Pants™ and talks about story.

Advertising gone wrong. An ad campaign for The Man in the High Castle, Amazon's series based on the same novel by Philip K Dick, misses the very basic test of "do not piss off the customer." The story is set in an alternate history where the Allies lost WWII, and the Axis powers have divided the US. So the ad agency divided a subway car and put Nazi iconography on ones side, and Empirical Japan iconography on the other side. Seriously brain-fucked idea. While it may "pass the rules" (which it really doesn't), it was just dumb, dumb, dumb. No, really, the ad exec who pitched this should be flogged, and not in a 50 Shades of Grey way either. (Grokked from Chuck Wendig)

Living in panderville. Or, even in 2015 our culture still sees women and minorities this way, and it's a fucking problem that is long passed time to fix. But that means men must get over being privileged, and I think if you look at the presidential campaign, or almost any marketing campaign, we're still a long way from home on that score. (Grokked from Mur Lafferty)

One explosion in Spectre sets a Guiness World Record. (Grokked from Dan)

Electric cars really are greener. "The media loves these stories. They're counterintuitive, surprising, and best of all, show that those silly greens, with their idealistic yadda yadda, don't know how to do math." I remember a reader commenting that electric cars were "dirtier" than gas because all that electricity was produced by coal. As I replied, we can get electricity from things other than coal (and now, 5 years down the road, coal is already going away here in the US). (Grokked from Robert J Bennett)

Thanksgiving without the turkey.

As a reminder, it's the white supremacists who believe the race war is coming, not the Black Lives Matter movement. In this case, 3 white men open fire on a Black Lives Matter protest in Minneapolis. (Grokked from Jason Sanford)

And then, after 5 Black Lives Matter protestors were shot by white suspects, police used mace on the Black Lives Matter protestors. (Grokked from Tobias Buckell)

Time interviews Randall Munroe, he relies in cartoons. Like a boss. (Grokked from Dan)

Pro ISIS messages painted on "the rock" at Youngstown State. Not mentioned in this report, the Arabic was misspelled. This, I'm fairly confident, is a false-flag operation. Because 1) Youngstown? Seriously, Youngstown doesn't even make the Cleveland news, and 2) A message rock? Look, if you're going to fake these kinds of things trying to incite violence and drama you have to think big. Because that's what ISIS does. Why were the attacks in Paris and not in Brussels (were the attackers were supposedly based)? Because people the world over care about Paris, they don't care about Brussels where there are plenty of EU official buildings.

Dr. Ben Carson would like you to know he's a very smart person. And he can learn foreign policy issues, once he puts his mind to it. :: shakes head :: You'd think he'd do that once he said he wanted to be President.

Dr. Carson chalks it up to a rookie mistake. When he was asked if he supported what the Trumpeter had said about NJ Muslims celebrating on 9/11, "I didn't know that they had an agenda behind the question." Seriously, he keeps telling us he's smart.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Link-poo goes over the river and through the wood

The reboot we didn't need, Netflix is going to relaunch Lost In Space. (Grokked from Dan)

There are reasons I stopped reading Dilbert regularly. Here's one more. (Grokked from Annalee Flower Horne)

How to handle those awkward holiday conversations with Relative Fact-Free-News-Letter. 'Cause you know you're gonna need it (also, I hope to have provided enough ammunition to fortify your own opinions). (Grokked from Mary Robinette Kowal)

"product acceptance challenges." Okay, see, here's a major problem of marketing (and Hollywood sequel making). It's what happens when there is a success in the marketplace; like a successful product, store, service, media. Then come the business consultants to determine how these things made money, how they appealed to the market (ie. consumers). Instead of saying "because it was well made and exceeded consumer's expectations", instead they look for the granular metric that can be repeated to make another success. Even though what was really the cause of the success is a holistic quality statement. But you can't measure or "replicate" that (actually you can, but it requires people who have brains). So they then focus in on things that progressively matter less in an attempt to make another best seller. So eventually they end up with products that nobody wants (or sizes that nobody buys). (Grokked from the Slactivist)

Fred Clark says, "Dear Google, you still want to make Google+ a thing? Well, first you need to apologize for killing Google Reader and for getting rid of the blog search option." And there you have an example of the above thesis.

"Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) on Friday suggested that Syrian refugees are just trying to come to the United States for a 'paid vacation,' noting how much the federal government spends to resettle refugees." Dear Representative Mo Brooks, you're an asshole. You might want to work on that. You're correct, I'm being mean. Dear Rep. Brooks, you're an ignorant, racist, know-nothing, "oh pity me" asshole. I apologize to all the other assholes who were offended by my earlier statement.

Sometimes you wonder if the Trumpeter is just a blowhard the brownshirt like, and then you find he is a brownshirt himself. It's one thing to remove protestors, it's another to cheer them being "roughed up" by your followers (or security). You know, especially after he says that it shouldn't happen.

Fred Clark has some words for the people who like to roll out the "why should we do (this) when we still have homeless veterans we should be taking care of!" argument (this, by my recollection, is the 4th time in the last 6 years). "Decent people don’t play that game. Happy people don’t play that game. People who genuinely care about one good thing do not treat every other good thing as competition that must be crushed and stopped. They do not argue that justice for X should come at the expense of injustice for Y." Fred Clark speaks the truth. And then he also tells the truth that the current administration has actually been working to solve that problem everyone is so upset about now. Note how they weren't upset when President Obama actually was solving the problem.

"'Jake, what should've happened is we should've been informed about it and we were not,' (Presidential candidate Chris) Christie said. 'We should have these folks vetted and vetted well.'" On his comments about Syrian refugees. Basically, Christie is admitting to being willfully ignorant of how refugees are vetted. This isn't the government's fault, this is his fucking fault for not being curious about issues that affect his state. This is the state of the GOP today, "We don't know, and we don't wanna know, we just want to be afraid and ignorant." No, really, this is what he is admitting to here.

Ted Cruz pulls a Mitt Romney. Proving once again, the party of "fiscal discipline" can't even read a spreadsheet. (Grokked from the Slactivist)

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Linkee-poo for the weekend

Okay, get your geek card out, what's wrong with this Star Trek Picture. (Grokked from John)

Sex (as in male or female) isn't as binary as we think. "In the area of 1 in 2,000 people are born intersex. These individuals may have mixed genitalia, meaning some combination of ovaries and testes. This comes about either because ovarian and testicular tissue grow together in the same organ or because a "male side" and a "female side" develop in the body." And this doesn't count the thousands of ways people don't fall into the black and white categories of male or female (while mostly presenting as female, because it's nature's default, there are at least 4 genetic variations of the 23rd chromosome which may include extra chromosomal material - ie. XXY, XXX, XYY). And all of this is just the physics of sex, this is all before we get to who we identify with and what turns us on (which tends to expand the spectrum by 100x or more).

Seven things to know about antibiotics. Let me add an 8th, antibiotics don't actually kill bacteria. For the most part they defeat the bacterial defense mechanisms (mostly weakening the capsule they build around themselves). You body then is able to effectively battle the bacteria. This is why people who have compromised immune systems need extra protection. (Grokked from Debbie Morrow)

Here we go again. "This week, the House of Representatives voted to help banks and car dealerships discriminate against customers of color. And it wasn't just Republicans -- 88 Democrats, including Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) -- voted in favor of the legislation." Fuckstockings. Yes, the CFPB is doing great work, but because that threatens corporations, they lobby to have laws passed to nullify their rulings. Note, all conservatives voted for this. (Grokked from Julie)

The dangerous secret of biology. Most infectious bacteria still share genetic code (extra-cellular communication of DNA/RNA), specifically the genes to anti-biotic resistance (also to infectious vectors, the handles they use to latch on to cells). Also of note, not many companies are working on new antibiotics these days.

Oh, Canada. For those who say they'll move there. Also note, Canada actually has some pretty strict immigration policies if you want to move there.

Well, so much for any federal funding off the Holocaust Museum. And while some people say having a museum make a statement on current affairs is quite strange, these people don't understand what museums are for.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Linkee-poo, not sure who to thank or why because it's Friday

Alan Moore's advice to unpublished authors. (Grokked from Emma Audley)

XKCD on DNA as code. Hahahahaha (Grokked from Dan)

Peter Jackson admits he winged it with the Hobbit. Yea, we all kind of figured that out. (Grokked from Jason Sanford)

I'm sorry, Dear, I'm so fucking sorry. A letter from a nurse to the parents of a child who was brought into the ER DOA. There are some times those stolid faces we put hide the humor we're seeing, but more often it's this. We're dying on the inside, but you don't need to see that. Not in your condition. You don't need to see us panic as you're crashing. You don't need to see us knowing exactly what your doctor just told you, but it hasn't sunk in (or you don't quite understand the words they used, "it isn't broken, he said it was fractured"). (Grokked from George Takei)

"The political network helmed by Charles and David Koch has quietly built a secretive operation that conducts surveillance and intelligence gathering on its liberal opponents, viewing it as a key strategic tool in its efforts to reshape American public life." Well, most campaigns set up opposition committees, partly they are to keep track of the political opponents and do background research (looking for skeletons and other weaknesses). But this is a whole different animal. (Grokked from Robert J Bennett)

And for the Carson campaign, the wheels are coming off the bus. Apparently one of the people hired to help bring Dr. Carson up to speed on international affairs claims that the good doctor hasn't been able to absorb any of it. Make you wonder just where he found those Chinese people in Syria. (Grokked from Dan)

I'm sure if we get the world's muslims to condemn terrorism just one more time conservative fartbags would finally accept that Islam isn't the problem. But probably not.

"Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX) said Tuesday that 'Mary and Jesus didn't have suicide bomb vests strapped on' during a discussion about the refugees expected to come to the United States and how the course of the conversation might change as the holiday season approaches." Well shit, if that's the criteria that's going to make vetting these refugees a snap. "People with suicide vests in this line, people without vests in this line."

In case you're still wondering if Ted Cruz is the bully in the schoolyard… "Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) addressed President Obama directly while speaking to reporters Wednesday, telling him to 'come back and insult me to my face.'" Oh boy. It plays well to the base and he'll score points for it, but seriously, dude, did you just challenge the President? While I'm sure Mr. Obama won't rise to the bait, I'd really like to see him summon Cruz to the Oval Office, have him come in, call him an idiot to his face and then tell him to get out of the White House. Note, there would be many Secret Service Agents to enforce that command. But that's just my liberal fantasy (although the President has shown a tendency to not have any fucks left to give, so who knows).

I've seen this movie before. I wonder if all those "free speech activists" on the right will decry the Trump campaign's treatment of reporters? Yea, I know the answer to that. Also, Trump is just an ass. But that plays well to the base. He's often quite wrong. But in a way that plays well to the base, also.

"Republican presidential candidate and Ohio Gov. John Kasich nixed his idea Wednesday to form a new agency to spread Judeo-Christian values across the globe, according to The Columbus Dispatch, instead saying that he would expand the existing government broadcast agency, Voice of America to serve the purpose." And, we could change the name of VOA to "The Ministry of Truth".

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Linkee-poo was seventeen and terminally fey, I wrote it down and threw it all away

The best preserved cave lions have been found. Basically, two cubs made into ice mummies. Neat. So lets clone them. What could possibly go wrong? (Note, reproductive science on felines is notoriously finicky, so we may luck out there). (Grokked from Elizabeth Bear)

Last year, police civil forfeitures exceeded all burglaries. So, what's the definition of a police state? So what do our elected officials do? Why lets try and repeal Obamacare, stuff in a clause to remove the EPA's authority to regulate pollution, and (here in Ohio) make sure you can take your concealed weapon anywhere (except government buildings, natch). (Grokked from Saladin Ahmed)

"As many as half of all natural history specimens sitting in our museums are mislabeled, according to a team at the University of Oxford and the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh." Well, for botanic specimens at least.

Ah, the glories of the free market. Fucking poor people over since 1840. In this case a story about how rents are rising, mostly on the low-end of the spectrum.

Hey brave fucktards, don't do the work of the terrorists. This shit is exactly what ISIS wants you to do. And that this happened in Canada is doubly disheartening. Seriously, you all are supposed to be the polite neighbors. (Grokked from Saladin Ahmed)

"They hate the pictures of Germans welcoming refugees. They're convinced that Muslims cannot peacefully co-exist with their neighbors in western societies. More than anything else, they want to convince other Muslims of this. They chose France as a soft target where racist politicians are already doing well, where it will be easy to provoke reprisals." Declaring war on a terrorist organization is the big time, for them. That's when they know they've made it. And, as long as one of them survives, they will declare victory. (Grokked from Dan)

Hell, even Shepard Smith knows this. (Grokked from John)

So, the voice on the tape is a frenchman. Strange how that happens. It's not the people fleeing ISIS who are the problem. Really wish the people "in charge" in this country would fucking grow a pair (balls or boobs, whichever gives them the fortitude to not piss their pants). (Grokked from Xeni)

"'I'm not worried about what a bureaucrat in D.C. or an unelected judge thinks… We need to gather [Syrian refugees] up and politely take them back to the ICE [federal immigration] center and say, They're not coming to Tennessee, they're yours,' Tennessee state House GOP Caucus Chairman Glen Casada told The Tennessean Tuesday." Well, as long as we're polite about a racism and pants-pissing fear, I guess that's alright. Ignorant, xenophobic, racist fucktardism at it's best right there. Good job, Tennessee state House GOP Caucus Chairman Glen Casada, I think you will win some kind of award for that. You can put it on the shelf next to all the participation trophies you've gathered. (Grokked from Robert J Bennett who retweeted Steve Silberman ‏@stevesilberman "We can stop wondering how Japanese internment happened in America. Guys like this did it.")

A more comprehensive strategy for Syrian refugees? Fuck, it already takes years for refugees to get approval to come to the US. Years. Literally years. Look, in all seriousness, all these political leaders are pissing themselves with fear and trying to make you afraid of absolutely fucking nothing. They hope to take this into next year's election cycle, "Booga Booga, be afraid and vote for me 'cause I'm the only one who will save you." (BTW, Giuliani, the GOP denied the President's request for more war powers to go after ISIS, fuck you) This isn't bravery or leadership, this is cowardice in the face of the enemy. This is exactly what ISIS wants us to do. It's is also especially sad that these very same people will also tell you how "Christian" they are (and most of them will give you their eschatology if you scratch hard enough). The Bible they so revere has many stories that should be informing to them, yet they choose (because it is a choice) to go the way of sin. They're all cowardly fucktards, the lot of them.

Oh, and about those passports. They may have been fake. Like, you know, a disinformation campaign. Boy, those tewowists awe sneaky. If only… if only we had an intelligence service that could help us with this, or intelligent people in charge (in politics and the media) who might have thought that the passport found at a distance from the people who killed themselves with explosive belts might have been planted. You know, away from the bodies so they wouldn't be destroyed by the explosion. :: beats head against desk :: (Grokked from Chuck Wendig)

My governor. It's not in the "highlights", but during the interview when confronted with having said we should welcome refugees because we're Americans, and his "deeply held Christian values" he actually said, "I've said what I'm going to say on the subject and no more." That is what you say when you realize you've just been caught lying, "That's my story and I'm sticking to it." Jebus, doesn't any of these candidates have intelligent political advisors to help keep them out of these messes? (well, no, they're in deep pandering mode, unfortunately the GOP voter rolls a shock full of ignorant bigots)

Tweet of my heart: @thesadheight Where are the "belt-tightening" fiscal conservatives on police abuse? It's expensive and an excess we can't afford. (about this article on Baltimore police settlements this year alone

Double dip: @raganwald If you have an open office space, and everyone has headphones on, and people escape to breakout rooms, what should that tell you?

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Linkee-poo sees the torch we all must hold

Hey Amanda Palmer's husband gave another interview about the silly things that have kept him occupied.

I normally don't go for questionnaires, but what sword would you use in the Medieval or Renaissance eras? I got the arming sword (aka war rapier). This is the type of sword most people think if when they think "sword." Strange, since it most possible my ancestors carried the schiavona (a type of basket-hilted broadsword), which was favored by the Slavic mercenaries. (Grokked from Tania)

The Tower of London had magical sigils burned into it's timbers to help keep the Devil out. (Grokked from Tor.com)

So, just what did they eat at the first Thanksgiving?

Okay, so I posted a little on what the real goals of terrorism is, to divide us and spark revolution. Want a little proof? How would you explain their reasoning to take a selfie of a sikh and photoshop to make it look like he was a terrorists? See, Amuricans already don't know the difference, this is a misinformation campaign to incite violence against sikhs, the people who have been helping refugees fleeing Syria by setting up kitchens. Sure, he blames the gamergate people for smearing him, but how did it get passed around so much on the network ISIS uses? And then there is the question of who is the terrorists; ISIS, gamergaters, or both. (Grokked from Annalee Flower Horne)

The ultrasonic chirp is coming from inside your house. "Silverpush, a startup that's just received $1.25M in venture capital, uses ultrasonic chirps that are emitted by apps, websites, and TV commercials to combine the identities associated with different devices (tablets, phones, computers, etc), so that your activity on all of them can be aggregated and sold to marketers."

Oh look, it's the party of "Government shouldn't pick winners and losers." "Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush says that any U.S. assistance to Middle Eastern refugees should focus primarily on Christians fleeing persecution." Ah, he must come from a Good Christian Family™. But at least he's better than some of the others in the GOP race. "Bush's views on refugees differ from other GOP presidential contenders who have called for an outright ban on accepting any Middle Eastern refugees. Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee has been saying for weeks that the United States should not accept any more refugees from the region. On Friday, former neurosurgeon Ben Carson urged Congress to stop the Obama administration from allowing in more refugees from the regions." What a bunch of lovely people they've nominated. We had a word for them in school, fucktards. (Grokked from Chia Evers)

So, after 7 years Sarah Palin admit the truth. Katie Couric asking here about what publications she reads was a fair question, and she just had a crappy answer. You know, after the whole "it was a gotcha question" thing.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Linkee-poo, je suis Parisien

"In the wake of controversy of any kind, even terrorist attacks, U.S. politics is never far behind. The American political response — from President Obama to the candidates vying to replace him — in the hours following the Paris attacks has been unsurprisingly split along party lines."

Jeb! Bush proves himself a real Bush by declaring war in the face of terrorism and threatening to invade Iraq. Third time is a charm.

Jim Wright on what comes next being more important than what we do now.

Just a reminder that ISIS kills Muslims daily, repeatedly, and in large numbers. For all those who think this is a matter of a clash of religions and Islam vs the West. ISIS in an equal opportunity slayer, they are actually not very religious. (Grokked from Janiece)

"A woman who identifies herself as a Pastafarian, a follower of a religion that teaches that an airborne 'spaghetti monster' could have created the universe, has succeeded in her bid to wear a colander on her head in her driver’s license photo." (Grokked from Tania)

You know, I'm of a certain age and of such a geek nature that Princess Leia in the "gold bikini" (now known as "Slave Leia") holds a special place in my sexual development. And yes, I understand the misogynistic aspects of the imagery. So when I see this, my first response is, "Fuck You Wal-Mart." As something between consenting adults, have fun. If you want to wear the costume, have at and enjoy (and if you run into someone wearing said costume, there is a difference between the gaze of an admirer and the piercing stare of a stalker). As a toy for kids, um, no. Not appropriate.

"Supporters of universal health care have gathered enough signatures to put on next year's ballot a plan to make Colorado the first state to opt out of the federal health law and replace it with taxpayer-funded coverage for all." Oh noes, creeping socialism. "The ColoradoCaresYes campaign says those taxes would raise enough money to cover children and adults who do not work. They say the plan will cost $3 billion a year but will save $9 billion in health care administration costs compared with the current system." So, naturally, the health insurance industry is having a freak out. (Grokked from Janiece)

Why is universal healthcare important? Well, here's one reason. "Almost 20 percent of the people in low-income communities who die of colon cancer could have been saved with early screening… Lower-income communities in the United States face $6.4 billion in lost wages and productivity because of premature deaths due to colon cancer, according to researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."

David Brooks on the $120,000 per person, round the world vacation through the Four Seasons. I just don't have the words for this. Okay, I really do, but I'll let you draw your own conclusions. For the record I have stayed and worked at various Four Seasons properties (when I worked at Ernst & Young doing partner level events). I really enjoyed my stays there, but had little time to take advantage of the situation (typically working 16-20 hour days while on site). So note that I say from experience that the rich are not like you and me.

Fred Clark with some rules on how to discern if you're being fed bullshit. I've had private conversations about rule #1 and how it relates to Fox News. I used to be told by people that they like Fox because "it made sense and they connected the dots." As I told them then (and will say today), it's easy to do in the new business when you lie.

And speaking of Fred Clark, the second volume of his take on the Lef-Behind series is out.

Terrorism 101

Terrorism is used to provoke an unlawful, disproportionate response that violates citizens expectation of rights and protections. By doing so a government breaks the social contract with citizens, which leads to questioning the right of that government to exist. Long term fear leads to anger, anger leads to blame. People blame their government for not protecting them. This leads to revolution, which is the terrorists' goal. The overthrow of governments by the citizens.

Terrorists are political animals. They don't eat, shit, or piss unless their politics tells them to do so. The are revolutionaries who realize their own cause can't draw enough people or funds to actually cause the revolution. So they turn to terrorism and wait for the targeted governments/societies to tear themselves apart. In that chaos they hope to emerge in a position of power, however they have accepted they may all die to get there.

So every idiot out there who tells you that you should be afraid, afraid of refugees fleeing these same terrorists, strangers, your government, your fellow citizens, they are doing the work of the terrorists for them. Donald Trump saying he would bomb ISIS is falling into that trap (if it were that easy, drop a few bombs, we would be way past the time when they were all dead). Every idiot saying "we should kill all the muslims" is doing the work of the terrorists. That's exactly what ISIS/al Qaeda wants us to do. Every Congressperson and Senator who says we shouldn't close Gitmo and handle these people as either criminals or repatriate them is doing the work of the terrorists.

This is how they work. They divide us up, make us come to the conclusion that only revolution will cure us of the disease. Drive us to remove rights and oppress others, violate our own laws and societal customs. All of this is exactly what the terrorist wants. Even to the point of their own extinction, this is what they want.

Because the ultimate goal is to kill off the targeted government. If the terrorists survive to take advantage of the situation, that's just the icing on top.

Don't fall into their trap.

And, yes, so far they're winning because G. W. Bush forgot that lesson once he walked back into the White House on 9/11 and fell prey to the chickenhawks in his administration. You only have to look at the racist, isolationist, chest beating responses to the Paris attacks to see that they are winning. Look at how Europe is responding. That's because they have had decades longer experience dealing with terrorism (especially when it was home brewed). They know this playbook better than we do.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Linkee-poo slugs it out into the weekend

Apex open call for anthology on the subject of Upside Down: Inverted Tropes in Storytelling. (Grokked from Ferrett Steinmetz)

Independent bookstore pays reward for showrooming Amazon's Seattle bookstore. (Grokked from Dan)

One hundred movie scripts for download. (Grokked from Chuck Wendig)

Why is American Business failing? Here it is in a nutshell. All the managers/owners want everybody else to do their work for them, and then are unwilling to pay for the experience they want. (Grokked from Robert J Bennett)

Why is diversity important? Because someone would have recognized that this Bloomingdales ad was inappropriate. Or, seriously, hire people with a smidgen of intelligence.

The difference in the judicial system between blacks and whites. (Grokked from Julie)

The rise of the robot farmer. So close. (Grokked from John)

A free press doesn't mean I have to be friendly to the press, or engage them in any way. To bad reporters (who are too often sought out to stuff press releases in their hands or microphones) don't understand this. They were pushed, hell people have been arrested for protesting in public spaces and reports remain mostly silent or file "he said, she said" reports on it. Just because I tell a reporter to get the fuck out of my face doesn't mean I don't understand or support their first amendment rights. It means I'm exercising my own, and I don't believe that either the reporter, or their news organization can either help me, or give an unbiased view.

"Today, the rhetoric of free speech is being abused in order to shut down dissent and facilitate bigotry. On behalf of everyone with liberal tendencies, I’d like to know why and how we’ve allowed this to happen." I tend to see more of this from the conservative spectrum, but there are some fossilized liberals who evoke the "free speech" protectionism of their own privilege. (Grokked from Tobias Buckell)

So, let's say you've got a million bucks to transport. I don't know, maybe you're in a movie, or someplace where payrolls are handled in cash. Yea, there's a bag for that. (Grokked from Dan)

"Plenty of companies are now capitalizing on the allure of 'metabolism-boosting' foods and drinks. Among the most-hyped substance is green tea — for its supposed powers as an aid for weight loss and weight maintenance." For the record, I drink green tea. Not for any "fabulous" stuff, but because I feel better (physically and psychologically) drinking green tea over black tea. I haven't noticed any weight or metabolism changes by drinking it (except that caffeine is an appetite stimulant).

"Initial ratings for Fox Business Network's Republican presidential debate on Tuesday night show that the network drew about 10 million viewers, close to the 14 million viewers who tuned in to the CNBC debate in October, according to CNN." Um, no, 10 is just a slight more than two-thirds of 14. Although to the total overall viewership, yes, then it's not much difference. "'Debates need to focus on the issues, and that goal was accomplished tonight,' RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement. 'Our candidates, not the moderators, were at the center of tonight’s debate, and they were all treated with fairness and respect.'" Or, Reince gets on his knees and blows Roger Ailes for making sure the GOP didn't implode from it's own stupidity.

When you hear politicians talk about "states rights" or "this should be handled by the states" these are the types of things they are protecting. And in many cases, they are intentional about it. That's a NYT article on gun running within the US, how criminals (well, "law abiding citizens") buy guns in states (and municipalities) that have lax gun laws and transport them to states and municipalities that have more restrictive gun laws. Also pointed to on why we need to increase background checks and maybe have a registry.

Dear Carly, see, there's a difference between someone who has immediate experience with you, having been fired by you, and still being bitter about it and expressing their opinion and someone making factually, demonstrably wrong whackaloon conspiracy statements in front of you.

You know, for a "doctor" Rand Paul is pretty dumb. Look, if you believe college are these bastions of liberal thought and beliefs you really haven't been following just what the hell people are protesting against on campuses. Also, you've probably not been on a campus in several decades. Also, he's is correct that the Earth is that old (kisses off the evangelical vote) and that our planet has gone through climate extremes with higher CO2 in the air. But here's the thing, we weren't alive then. And when the climate changed in a major way, we had large extinction events. The question of climate change isn't will the Earth survive, it's will we as a species survive.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Linkee-poo clears the baffles for what looks like a productive day

The "something you never realized about Boromir." Pointed to as a good lesson to show how all your characters need to be fully developed and have their own wants, desires, motivations and autonomy. But it's complete bullshit. Boromir doesn't try to take the Ring because of his motivation, the Ring is trying to get away form Frodo and knows Boromir would use it an so draw Sauron. The Ring wants to be found, as Gandalf tells us. When Boromir first holds the Ring, you can see (in the movie) that it is calling to him. It takes Aragorn to remind Boromir that the Ring is not his to break the spell. When Boromir tries to take the Ring from Frodo, it is the Ring realizing that Frodo is about to go on alone and it is about to lose its opportunity. So it takes over Boromir (A madness, as Boromir explains, in the books Tolkien talks about his mind being fogged). This is the Ring subjugating Boromir. While everything this article says is true about Boromir's life and motivations, it is not Boromir who attempts to grab the Ring. That is the Ring itself. I wrote a whole paper on this in college. The short answer to your questions is the split between Gollum and Smeagol. Gollum is the Ring's personality writ openly. Or to explain it other wise, the Ring (and then Gollum, which is returned to Smeagol's mind during his torture in the Black Tower) are Sauron's horcruxes. (Grokked from George Takei)

"An atheist group has demanded that a Pennsylvania school apologize to a student who reportedly was refused medical treatment because she exercised her right not to participate in the Pledge of Allegiance." And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Do we really have to go through all of this again? Seriously, I've already lived this life, there is so much more to explore and correct there's really no time to go back and refight these battles. The child has a right to not participate in the Pledge of Allegiance. There are some religious groups who forbid taking pledges of allegiance and we are not the goddamn Soviets or Nazis who demand conformation to the collective whole. "The student reports that she left the nurse’s office in tears and went to the administrative offices to call her mother… but at that time the same nurse appeared again, saying, 'She isn’t calling a parent until I have a long conversation with her!'" Oh fuck no. I usually refrain from calling for people's scalps, but if I were that child's parent a Holy Fire would descend on that school and wouldn't stop until there was a smoking crater. (Grokked from Julie)

The so called liberal media. That's an article that points out 13 things we would be talking more about if the media were as liberal as the GOP and Fox News wants you to think it is.

A woman has her face smashed with a beer mug for speaking Swahili with her friends in an Applebees. 'Murica, Fuck Yea. Yes, the revolution is coming where we take idiots like the woman who used the beer mug to smash the other woman's face, and perform a re-enactment of the French Terror. I know the people like the woman who smashed the other woman's face believe the revolution will be in their favor, but it won't really.

Yea, that whole Starbucks "Red Solo Cup" controversy is just Trumped up. But it's just the bait to get the Trumnpster to say, "'I have one of the most successful Starbucks, in Trump Tower. Maybe we should boycott Starbucks? I don't know. Seriously, I don't care. By the way, that's the end of that lease, but who cares?' Trump said during a campaign event in Illinois on Monday. 'If I become president, we're all going to be saying Merry Christmas again, that I can tell you.'" There's a dystopian future for you. "The beating will continue until everyone is converted and says 'Merry Christmas.'"

Wow, this whole Carson story is turning into a good old fashion mudslinging with the accusations flying thick and fast. Not to mention how Dr. Carson's story about how he's so honest tuning into having been punked by the Yale newspaper. There's also a secondary narrative emerging here with Dr. Carson's memoir and his ghost writing "punching it up" with details and his campaign staff coming up with the "rap" commercial, of which Dr. Carson said he would have done differently… isn't he in charge of his own fucking campaign? Doesn't he have to sign off on these things? Didn't he put his own name on the book? Do you really want someone like that to be in charge of the country? "Oh, those nuclear missiles, well, that was an aid that approved that. I would have done it differently."

This ArsTechnica story called it "trolling", I call it "exposing their deepest fear."The wi-fi password for the last debate was "StopHillary." "The joke has inspired predictably mixed reactions on Twitter, from 'That is IRL trolling of the first magnitude. Most impressive' to '@GOP is run by scared 8th grade boys?'" (Grokked from John)

Monday, November 9, 2015

Linkee-poo worked on a Merry-Go-Round, the job was swell, I did quite well till the Merry-go-round broke down

Merry-go-round broke down. That's my theme song for the month.

Mary Robinette Kowal on how sometimes "writers block" is actually depression. "In hindsight, I’ve probably dealt with this off and on for my entire life, but last year, I tried to push past it and pretend I was fine. And it became crippling." Yes, that. She also offers some tips for moving past it. Note that in her list she doesn't restate what she initially did, admit something was wrong and seek help. That is the huge hurdle.

Noted here for the record. Yes, I'm in big-D again. Its depths aren't a great as I've experienced before, but I know the signs. I've been dwelling here since about August. I've regained weight and my snacking is almost out of control. I go from even-keel to white hot anger at the drop of a hat. There is little joy, but there is also little of the little-d side either. As I've said before, for me big-D is mostly an absence of the wave form of emotions, there's little variance off the median blah. It's my plan to make small victories over it, and then see how it shakes out come January when I should have this CT registry behind me and I might have some semblance of a life again. This is mostly from a feeling of being overtaxed. Not all of it will go away (working full-time at the office and PRN at the hospital). Some like to spout about "God not giving us anything we can't handle." I'll call BS on that right now. This is hell. But I've been here before. The only way out is forward.

Nine risk factors and one question for suicide prevention. Lots of people think it's strange we ask this question when you come in to the ER. Well, sometimes people answer yes, and then we deal with that. (Grokked from Janiece)

Because America has always loved our children, we used to send them by parcel post.

Let go and let God. Or, if you're in India, travel to Firoz Shah Kotla and leave a message for the djinn who live in the castle. I wonder if that counts as "accepting a higher power in your life" in the 12 step programs?

Having the talk about driving with your elderly parents.

The Navy tests a Polaris missile and people freak the fuck out.

In Illinois Christmas is saved! Get it on Fox News, the (budgetary) War on Christmas is won! Oh, wait, it's a union that's going to cover the electricity bill for this year's display. Never mind. Those godless union peoples, mucking around in the good God-fearing business of politics. (Grokked from Annalee Flower Horne)

Dr. Carson, The best way to get out of a hole is to stop digging one. But I don't think that's going to happen. Also pointed to because of the conservative narrative of victimization, where the blame others for stepping into "the victim" role to get ahead or gain some political advantage (when it's normally just people telling stories that run against the conservative world view), but then throw a "soccer fall" as soon as anyone checks their own stories. Instead Dr. Carson tries to offer evidence in his defense.

The new government in Canada is now allowing their publicly funded scientists to speak to the public without political minders. Strange, which party put those zampolit in place? Oh yea, the "freedom loving" party. (Grokked from Dan)

I love how at one time in this country we were afraid that a President would be directed by a "higher power", in the specific case I'm thinking of, it was the Pope. However, in conservative circles these days, it's almost de rigueur to state that you will not hold yourself to the Constitution, but to Jesus. Ted "Cruz, predictably, asserted that fear of God is absolutely vital, declaring that 'any president who doesn't begin every day on his knees isn't fit to be commander-in-chief of this nation.'" No, Ted, that is exactly not what we need. For someone who wants to lead a party that howls and whines about how the US needs to lead, and the CnC needs to be strong willed, you're willing to be lead and subservient. This is the classic definition of double-think. (Grokked from Christopher Moore)

Say, how's Michele Bachmann doing in her retirement? Same whackaloon, same bat-shit channel. Dear Israel and American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), this is why conservatives love you and support Israel. Feel safer now?

So, anyone going into Starbucks humming "Red Solo Cup"?

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Linkee-poo late night posting

The foam lightsaber kickstarter. Because for around $250 you'd have a bitchin' toy. (Grokked from BoingBoing)

"Ending a process that has lingered for much of his time in the Oval Office, President Obama announced Friday that the U.S. has rejected TransCanada's application for a permit to complete the Keystone XL pipeline." Or, my version of the headline, "Pres Obama Rejects Pipeline Supplier Can't Fill and Doesn't Want Anymore" cue Sunday Talking Head wingnuttery in 3…2…1…

"'Freshman GOP Sen. Ben Sasse made quite a debut on the floor of the World's Greatest Deliberative Body, telling his colleagues the 'people despise us all.'" But Joss Ackland as Arjen Rudd said it better in Lethal Weapon 2. (Grokked from Jim Wright)

The poor and how they can survive in a system that demands they work. "Policy makers are quite comfortable spending literally trillions of dollars to reflate credit markets when they fail, based on the notion… that the economy cannot function without adequate credit flows. Well, neither can it function without enough jobs, so if the Federal Reserve is the 'lender of last resort,' then the government must be 'the employer of last resort.'" And if you're worried about all those people "on the dole" living up the good life, the average food stamp benefit per month by state. (Grokked from the Slactivist)

Wow, Dr. Carson is just having the most no-good, bad, awful, week. This is what happens when you become the front runner. You now rate the resources to followup on all the stupid shit you've said over the years.

This isn't hard. Carly Fiorina isn't the first candidate, even in this election cycle, to be confronted by an ignorant person who believes that President Obama is a secret Muslim. One, it's not a curse, and two it's not true. I hate to say that at least John McCain had this over the current group of candidates, you can disagree all you want, but both sides are doing what they think is best for this country.

"Too many people want to put assholes in charge. They think they'll deliver a righteous asskicking to those who deserve a righteous asskicking (not them of course). It doesn't usually work out that way." (Grokked from the Slactivist)

Friday, November 6, 2015

Linkee-poo quick cuts before the weekend

It's been a long five years and I'm running out of steam. So much to do, so little time in which to accomplish anything. Plus I need to start studying hard for the CT registry (yea, when is that gonna happen?).

The Japanese trailer for Star Wars. (Grokked from everybody)

Rejected Princesses posters for sale. (Grokked from Saladin Ahmed)

Not one of us. "When doctors tried to find out why (a patient's) breathing was labored, they came across what looked like tumors on his lungs, but the samples looked really weird… 'It looked like cancer, but the tumors were composed of cells that were not human,' says Dr. Atis Muehlenbachs, a pathologist at the Centers for Disease Control…" Turns out the tapeworms the man had developed cancers, which then metastasized to him (through a combination of compromised immune systems and the prevalence of the dwarf tapeworm).

More proof that sex is fluid (which it is in most cultures, but not in the US), "Britain's oldest tree appears to be undergoing a sex change." Mmm, berries. (Grokked from John Scalzi)

NASA just observed an object leave a black hole. I'm sure it'll all be fine (packs bags, heads to survival bunker). (Grokked from Teresa Nielsen Hayden)

Ah, the Oath Keepers, that highly ethical organization. Whom a founder of is being disbarred.

"Dr. Ben Carson on Wednesday night confirmed his belief that the pyramids in Egypt were built for grain storage by Joseph, the Biblical figure who helped the Egyptians survive famine…" Uh, yea, Ben. Sure. But, hey, he's okay if I make fun of it. I prefer to make fun of his personal story of being an angry young man before finding God, and having been held up once. Thanks, Dr. Carson, we're done here.

And next up to protest that, no, really, he has the balls, Ricky Santorum. Sure, in his mind he won against Rachel Maddow, and that "taking on" the ladies of The View makes him ready to take on ISIS. Also that ISIS knows who he is and is fearful… you know, I can't even type that with a straight face.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Linkee-poo breathes deep the gathering gloom, watches light fade from every room

I'm wondering when any news organization is going to realize that our Special Ops troops going into Syria, and the news release about doing it, is an attempt to safeguard moderate rebels from Russian airstrikes? Seriously, that is the chance for a major fuckup in that theater, if we kill a Russian, or if the Russians kill an American.

The women warriors of the Pazyryk. Another gravesite (accidentally) found. Pointed to because of cool cultures (and world building material) as well as how the patriarchal worldview still pollutes our science. (Grokked from Mrs. Tad)

Earth moves, people freak the fuck out.

Rupert Murdoch, in full Emperor Palpitine mode, lays off the staff of National Geographic. Dear Rupie, there goes my subscription. Eat dirt, grandpappy.

"Company executives blamed the disappointing results in part on the changing income landscape in the US." Something you will be hearing more about as we enter earning season. See, as the middle-class income levels stagnated (read: in actually decreased) they're not able to buy anything and the rich can only buy so much. So, what's really interesting is the fact that none of the companies belly-aching about flat sales is doing anything to increase their own worker pay. So, thanks, fuckers, for contributing to the problem. (Grokked from BoingBoing)

Ben Carson, "I was robbed." Yes, Ben, all this press about your ties to a dubious "nutritional" company, it's all a submarine attack by your campaigns competitors using the National Review as their tool. You all just ignore the fact that Dr. Ben Carson lied, bold facedly lied to the American Public by denying any connection. Dude, seriously, if you shoot yourself in the foot, it doesn't matter who gave you the gun.

Ted Cruz doesn't know shit about gun safety. Well, at least he had the breech open. But he has no muzzle control, the shotgun is sweeping over where people are standing.

A network administrator position with the Summit County Board of elections. "The applicant should be a registered Democrat in the state of Ohio." Oh fuck no. I looked, but I can't find anything that allows this position to be partisan? Anybody know better than I, or should this be an EEOC action? (Full disclosure, I am a registered Democrat, was an elected official, and I think this is heinous fuckery). (Grokked from Dan)

The battle in the Amazon. This one fought between illegal loggers decimating the "lungs of the world" (to the point some scientists are saying we're hitting a tipping point for the Amazon's health) and the rubber tappers who have been deputized. The tappers are losing.

Oopsie. "Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach spoke last week at a conference for a publishing house described as white nationalist by the Center for New Community and the Southern Poverty Law Center." Well, you know, you can't research everyone that offers you an invite to speak. "The secretary of state has a history with another Tanton-founded (the name of the publisher mentioned before) outfit, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). Kobach has served as counsel for the Immigration Reform Law Institute, FAIR's legal arm." Double oopsie. "About an hour after reaching out to Kobach's office, TPM received a call from a man who identified himself as KC McAlpin, the executive director of the Social Contract Press' (the publisher) parent organization, US Inc. McAlpin immediately said calling TPM was a mistake and hung up after declining to say how he obtained a TPM reporter’s phone number." And we have a winner! Later they tried to explain it away.

You know, when Fox News hosts are mocking you for the prima-donna attitude towards your debate requirements maybe you want to rethink your positioning. Just saying.

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah takes on the GOP whining on the subject of the debates. Yea, all those substantive policy questions at the GOP Debate were hateful and spiteful and all the questions at the Dems Debate were softball, fluffy lighthearted questions. Seriously, when will conservative realize there is video people can actually watch to verify their claims. And there are people who will look for it.

The case for asking "softball" questions in a "debate." Mostly it runs along the lines of the candidates preparing for "tough" questions, and hard questions promote sympathy for the candidate which allows them skate by with pat answers. Softball questions, on the other hand, they don't prepare for and candidates notoriously self-destruct while trying to answer them. (Grokked from Robert J Bennett)

Explicit Content Warning, the Economist analyzes the worldwide market for sex workers. You know, from a business standpoint. Lots on how the internet has made the trade safer and more lucrative for the workers. Also interesting for the various breakdowns and the fact that the RNC convention will be in Cleveland next year, and sex workers and trade spike in those cities during those times. (Grokked from John)

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Linkee-poo runs as fast as he can

After gutting the brick and mortar bookstore scene, Amazon opens it's own brick and mortar bookstore in Seattle. So now you'll need to drive to Seattle to get a bookstore experience (I kid, I kid, there's still other bookstores). "In-store prices will all match online prices, too (which means they'll probably change while you're holding them)." Hilarity ensues. This is what's known in the business world as "expand or die." The problem is that Amazon killed the market for people who casually went to bookstores, and the majority of people left who do go to bookstores do so specifically to get away from the Amazon experience. So I'm not sure how this will all work out for them. They might consider it a loss-leader (the same way they considered physical books). (Grokked from John)

NASA retests the EM Drive. "(B)y utilizing an improved experimental procedure, the team managed to mitigate some of the errors from prior tests — yet still found signals of unexplained thrust." (Grokked from Dan)

"Imagine you are a parent, and that out of the blue, you get a letter from your child's school telling you not to worry — that they're ready to evacuate or shelter in place if an underground fire at a nearby landfill reaches radioactive waste on the same property." That's one way to pack them into public meetings. "Hundreds of people packed a recent community meeting about the landfills, located in Bridgeton, Mo." And strangely enough, there are now people in Missouri who are upset that the EPA isn't doing more (regulation and remediation). Yes, it's strange how now, with the fire is 5 years old and the waste having been dumped decades ago, people are all upset and demanding immediate action.

Anonymous goes after the KKK by publishing membership data. Wonder how this will be verified? (Grokked from Jim Wright)

That thing that doesn't appear in recruitment ads, NPR investigates secret WWII era mustard gas experiments on (our own) troops.

Now that Patricia is over, we're safe from weird weather this year, right? "Chapala’s southward track will make it only the second tropical cyclone recorded near the mouth of the Gulf of Aden, which is crossed by roughly 400 ships a week….Yemen has been in the grip of a civil war since March, so any landfall near this populated area could intersect with the conflict in hard-to-predict ways." Oh fuck. (Grokked from Paolo Bacigalupi)

So, a bull escapes a ranch, is hit by a car (or hits the car), sheriffs and EMTs respond, bull charges rescue workers, sheriffs decide to shoot bull just as owner show up with a gun, in the end on sheriff is wounded and the bull and the owner are dead. More guns, that's what this situation needed. More guns. Obviously the people in the Subaru needed guns and then this wouldn't have happened.

Usually large donors to colleges and hospitals just ask for buildings, academic chairs, and programs to be named after them. Now they want the colleges to change their names for them. How is this not like selling sport arena naming rights? On the positive side, turns out the college in question has to honor the original will which set up the college and can't rename. Which then the rich donor took their gift back. But they love her in the emails (as they say).

What are the signs a campaign is in trouble? "'They don't know me. They don't know me,' (Jeb!) Bush told Bloomberg. 'I eat nails when I wake up, then I have breakfast.'" Yea, that's a tell-tale right there. If you have to insist how tough you are, then you really aren't. Also, "Bush also discussed his performance at the CNBC debate Wednesday and noted that he 'felt it wasn't that good' because he didn't get to ask the right questions and didn't interrupt his opponents." So, he wasn't enough of a dick. Got it.

The candidates' demands. I wonder what would happen if the networks simply refused to air the debates? Heck, if they were smart, they'd reduce coverage of the campaign all together. But who am I kidding, in this age of "he said, she said" reporting (ie. no context, no fact checking, no analysis, just press releases) they need content, and a bunch of whining babies generates a lot of content.

A Mississippi man, a True Patriot™, upset with Wal-Mart's decision to not sell the Confederate Flag takes it upon himself to bomb the Wal-Mart. Fortunately, like most of his kind, he's utterly incompetent and while the bomb explodes, it doesn't do much damage. He's then arrested a few hours later after running a red light. Well, the GOP must be sad he won't be voting next Fall.

Oh noes, creeping Sharia. Oh, wait, no that's about how by signing a contract to be helped to detox, a patient gave away his rights to sue in a court of law and "(i)nstead, his claim had to be resolved through a mediation or arbitration process that would be bound… by the Bible. 'The Holy Scripture shall be the supreme authority,' the rules of the proceedings state." This is a part of the NYT's articles surrounding the rise of arbitration clauses in contracts which are taking what should be solved by law out of the judicial system. This will continue until someone successfully brings a suit that breaks "binding contract" law by winning the case on the grounds that no one can sign away their Constitutional privileges of seeking redress of grievances (or on the grounds that by needing to seek redress, the other party has already broken the contract in a way that allows the first party to go to the courts and negating any severability clauses that may preclude them, and maybe that those clauses are also not kosher). My guess is that this will come in the form of breaking a contract which becomes "binding" by another action other than actually signing a contract (such as "by making this purchase/walking into this store you agree to be bound by…" clauses). Also pointed to as yet another example of why the government should not outsource basic services (in this case, "Teen Challenge" was one of those programs highlighted by GW Bush as a part of his defunding government programs in favor of sending public money to private, sectarian services).

After a spike in religiosity after 9/11, Americans are returning to more normal levels of religious devotion. Cue the "One Nation Under God" whackaloons in 3… 2… 1…

"'Even if all the media tries to shut you down—which they have tried very much to do with me,' (presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson) said. 'But they can't because the good Lord has provided me with mechanisms like my syndicated column and like Fox News.'" This after saying most people in America are stupid. Granted, this was before he officially launched his candidacy. Yes, "the media" has tried to deny Dr. Carson his free speech rights by giving him a syndicated column and paid appearances on Fox News. Obviously "the media" is very bad at denying people their rights. BTW, in his full speech he says one of the things that helped him climb out of poverty is his Mother refused to be a victim and made sure he didn't think he was either. The severe doublethink going on here is mind bending.

The GOP just kissed the Hispanic Vote goodbye. Also, part of the fall out with DebateGate™ (yes, that's mine, pay me) is that the one debate to be held on Spanish speaking TV was also cancelled. That first article, on Paul Ryan doubling down on no immigration reform while Obama is president, included this gem. "'But I (Paul Ryan) think given the fact that President Obama tried to do an end-run around Congress to go it alone, to try to write laws himself unilaterally -- which is not what presidents do, that's what Congress does…" Um, Paul, I think you want to restate that another way, because that's so very close to the truth that Congress is the one hell-bent on breaking the law.

Tweet of my heart: @lizzwinstead #JebCanFixIt with Gaffe tape

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Gods, can we get a decent designer in government. These stickers suck (besides being very derivative). What's next, "Got Vote?" Yet another reason to hate Jon Husted. Besides being a horrible politician, he can find or appreciate good art. Let that be your tombstone.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Linkee-poo reminds you to Go Vote!

Despite the national news obsession with the 2016 presidential election, tomorrow is also an election day. Go out and vote (if you're registered, if you're not registered and qualify to vote, go register). John Oliver on why these elections matter. Dear Democratic party, please fucking take note.

The Leauge of Women Voters of Ohio. who put out a very good guide for voting (if you're in Ohio). (Grokked from Dan)

There's a new Star Trek "TV" show in the works. Only, here in the US after the first episode hits the air, the other episodes will only be available for streaming. What could possibly go wrong with this business model? (Grokked from Scalzi)

Surgeon furious that X-ray tech had not arrived 2.3 seconds after calling for X-ray. Unrelatable because their was no mention of how soon an order for X-ray was actually processed by the OR nurse (typically after we've arrived and taken the X-ray). So it's so totally untrue. (Grokked from Lora Baldwin)

Trying to get the suicide rate to zero. A healthcare plans does its best.

Lithium-oxygen batteries make it to lab demo state. They offer a potential of 10x the energy density of Li-Ion batteries and at a much reduced cost. (Grokked from Dan)

They're growing produce in Alaska and alfalfa in the Arizona desert. In Alaska, the warming climate is opening up new opportunities to growing crops (by not needing industrial greenhouse operations) reducing costs and increasing freshness for the Alaskans. In Arizona, the Saudi (and UAE) have purchased large ranches and are pumping the aquifer dry and shipping the hay back to their home countries (essentially exporting water). Why are they doing this? Well the desert can produce more crop cycles, increasing yields. And they fucked over their own aquifers and they have the money to screw ours over as well. Also, there's no legal restrictions on this (and I'm sure the land was cheap). What could possibly go wrong?

Locals on Orcas Island get fed up with not having decent internet service, builds their own. Note, not legal in all states (seriously). I so have the feels for this. Also noted for the shitty business practices of American ISPs. (Grokked from Dan)

This is one of the strengths of science, it's always reexamining itself. In this case the the nearest discovered rocky planet may have been a data glitch. (Grokked from Eric)

So, one of the mothers of a child killed in the Sandy Hook shooting wrote a book about her experience. And then the truth ears swarmed her Amazon book page with 1 star reviews while spewing the expected vitriol. this is what happens when we dismantle the psychological hospital system and try to put the mentalally deranged back into society without help or services. Sometimes I really long for those FEMA reeducation camps. (Grokked from Jim Wright)

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus on the CNBC debate, "we was robbed." And now, the RNC has assigned someone to keep up with the debates even through the candidates want to dump RNC involvement. And then Reince pulls an Alexander Hage and states that, no, really, the RNC is still in charge. Which it should be, as the RNC is the organization that negotiated (read, sold the rights) the debates. Also note how much control the RNC wanted, and that this wasn't enough for the candidates.