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, February 29, 2016

Linkee-poo looked out this morning and the sun was gone, turned on some music to start my day

The Forest Folk installation. Art that responds to the viewer. Finally, artist using the digital revolution to something of it's potential. I mean, there's been some limited experimentation before, but this is pretty good. I'm not sure the audience (often referred to as Patrons) are ready for this. Myself, I have reservations on taking what is ephemera and reducing its actual life span to the matter of the revision cycle of technology. There is a difference between what I do, which isn't meant to last more than a few years at most, and "Art" which should last decades if not centuries. We don't have the technology to solve that issue, yet. (Grokked from Terri Windling)

Alternatives to the resting bitch face. (Grokked from Janiece)

Fred Clark on empathy, guilt, fear of retribution, and resentment that drives a lot of politics. "Empathy is simply asking the question: What if that were me?"

"Continuing drops in lithium-ion battery prices mean that electric vehicles (EVs) will be less expensive to own than gas or diesel-powered vehicles as soon as the 2020s, according to a new report." (Grokked from Dan)

In general people are happy with their doctors, but don't like the healthcare system. And if you're poor, you tend to dislike the system even more. And the major problems outlined in the story, communication. Granted there are times when we explain things to people and the completely misunderstand what we're saying which leads to frustration on the healthcare givers side (and sometimes to "I don't bother anymore" syndrome). But the language of medics is specifically constructed to be exclusionary. We have to take classes to understand it (no, seriously, "Medical Terminology", there are several classes of various complexity). And many doctors either can't or won't take the time to translate. A huge problem is assuming the patient knows more than they do or can understand the myriad of connections that a simple problem may have. You have a cold, great. There are thousands of viruses that can cause a cold. And we really can't treat any of them. And then there are the doctors who don't listen either because they don't have time or don't think the patient knows what they're talking about (I can't tell you the number of times I have to remind certain doctors that I can't take vicodin, even to the point of handing the prescription back to them).

"The exclusion of Planned Parenthood affiliates from a state-funded replacement for a Medicaid fee-for-service program in Texas was associated with adverse changes in the provision of contraception." So, the plan is working to specification. (Grokked from Janice)

Mikee Huckleberries doesn't think Donal Trump is a racist. Yea, sure, it was his earpiece. It's always something else, isn't it. "The former Arkansas governor's daughter and former campaign manager, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, has joined the Trump campaign." I'm sure that has nothing to do with Mikee defending the Trumpster. (Grokked from Saladin Ahmed)

Josh Marshall on why is Trump succeeding. "On each of these fronts, the slow accumulation of nonsense and paranoia… built into a massive trap door under the notional GOP leadership with a lever that a canny huckster like Trump could come in and pull pretty much whenever. This is the downside of building party identity around a package of calculated nonsense and comically unrealizable goals." Trump isn't something new, he is the exact embodiment of the past four decades of the GOP's rhetorical foolishness and cultivation of the low-information voter. (Grokked from Christopher Moore)

Tweet of my heart: @ChloeAngyal Machine gun bacon. "Small hands." Talk of "spanking" HRC. This whole race is just masculinity having a big insecure panicked temper tantrum.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Linkee-poo's got the feeling that something ain't right, I'm so scared in case I fall off my chair

"'For fantasy is true, of course. It isn't factual, but it's true… its truth challenges, even threatens, all that is false, all that is phony, unnecessary, and trivial in the life (adults) have let themselves be forced into living.'"

"No, this is about the far more insidious title of 'Amazon Bestseller'—and how it’s complete and utter nonsense." When something is worthless, it takes real marketing skill to turn that into something. More often it's just the rotten fruit that spoils the whole bushel. (Grokked from Neil Gaiman)

There are no "bad" children books. A discussion of the stories when need when we need them, cultural entrance, and snobbery.

About those Boston Dynamics engineers tormenting that humanoid robot… yea, we knew this was going to happen. (Grokked from Chuck Wendig)

Howard Scott Warshaw, the worst video game ever created (I think it has some stiff competition these days), and the death of Atari. A cautionary tale of hubris, the ever shrinking work window, and rebirth. You can fail, fail big, but it won't kill you. (Grokked from John)

How do you solve a problem like a Biology Ph.D? And this doesn't even cover the problem that tenure-track faculty positions are rare and disappearing. (Grokked from Sarah Goslee)

Lands End first features an article on Gloria Steinem, and then pulls it when certain corners of the business object. "This comes after discontent among anti-abortion customers burbled into the conservative blogosphere and filled the company’s Facebook page with angry comments and pictures of catalogs thrown in the trash." Dear Lands End, this quickly escalated to a no win position. You missed a middle ground and a chance to correct the record, instead you collapsed like a flan in the cupboard. It was the easy business option, so I don't fully blame you. I will, however, use those gift card redeeming kiosks for the cards I hold. (Grokked from Neil Gaiman)

You know that encryption debate going on, Blu-Ray discs are going for better encryption a well. Wonder if we'll ever see the fed ask them to knock down their security a little bit? Yea, probably not (notes several decades of copyright expansion). (Grokked from Dan)

And then there is this. "Cooke's order binding the domain registrars, who were not parties to the case, claims authority to do so based on the All Writs Act—the same short law that's now part of the national debate over a court order issued to Apple in a high-profile terrorism case." Exercise, exercise, we must get our exercise outa that law. (Grokked from John)

Also, the San Bernardino's police chief says, "I'll be honest with you, I think that there is a reasonably good chance that there is nothing of any value on the phone. What we are hoping might be on the phone would be potential contacts that we would obviously want to talk to." Remember, the FBI has the full backup of the phone from 2 weeks prior to the attack. All this speculation of what they think they'll find is malarkey. Terrorist operate in cells to limit any contagion of intelligence. We already know what connections they have. The last two weeks will contain absolutely nothing.

An adult conversation about Pres. Obama naming the next SCOTUS justice.

I'm not sure German Ministers should be so happy that refugees would rather return to their war-torn states-of-origin instead of staying in Germany. That's not really an endorsement of your humanity if someone says, "Fuck it, I'd rather face imminent, painful death instead of dealing with these assholes."

Fact checking the latest GOP debate. Yes, it's a long article.

Countering my argument of about how the SOCTUS vacancy will bring a flood of progressive voters this Fall, "Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada all shattered previous (GOP primary turnout) records. Meanwhile, Democratic turnout has dropped since 2008, when the fight between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton set new benchmarks." I disagree with some of their handwaving about why it's up. It's up because Trump is speaking directly to the base, and he is giving them the impression he will do what they want (which isn't exactly what he says). He's so vague to say he's making wide promises would be a stretch. He hasn't gone into much more depth that "it'll be wonderful" and "we'll win so much you'll get bored." All these angry people, afraid at the loss of their perceived power, see the Trumpster as someone who will bring it back to them. So they're excited. The numbers I'd like to see is how many of those are new voters who don't vote in the Fall. I have a feeling what we're seeing is people who traditionally don't get involved in this stage of the election, but conservatives are reliable voters who go to the polls on every election day. I'm not sure this will translate to a larger GOP turnout in November.

The fake, black GOP organization supporting Ted Cruz. It has one member, the president of the organization. That's hilarious on all sorts of levels. (Grokked from Liz Winstead)

The Spielberg (spoof) trailer for "Obama." Snerk. (Grokked from Neil Gaiman)

Friday, February 26, 2016

Linkee-poo slides into Friday, face first, without style

The cartoon laws of physics. (Grokked from Dan)

Ah, Saint Caffeine.

Eyeball tattooing. Nope. (Grokked from Kameron Hurley)

How crazy are the gun activists? "The Iowa House of Representatives passed a bill Tuesday that eliminates the age requirement for children to use 'a pistol, revolver or the ammunition' with parental supervision." Yep, that crazy.

On that note, "And please don’t get murdered at school today." (Grokked from someone, sorry)

Hey look, a good guy with a gun finally stopped a bad guy with a gun. And he only had to do it because of the weak protection laws we have. "First, Ford went to Newton, Kan., where he shot and injured one victim…" any guesses on who that was?

Fallout. "Dow Chemical is settling a class-action lawsuit over price fixing for $835 million, saying that the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia hurt its chances of success." Talk about your activist judges… I also love how they're still confident in their legal reasoning (for justifying price-fixing), but with Scalia gone they think his previous decisions are no longer valid. Um, that's not how the law works. (Grokked form Chia Evers)

On just how difficult it is to comply with the voter ID laws, especially when your poor, a minority, or have anything happen in your life which is outside what is considered "normal." And yes, they were designed this way, this isn't an unintended consequence. (Grokked from Hannah Bowman)

Why do I find the Trumpster's candidacy and campaign disturbing? "'Nationalism is the new thing, man,' said Jordan Voor… a Trump supporter… 'I just kind of want to watch the establishment burn… What’s the point of being conservative anymore? It’s a failing ideology.'" No, Mr. Voor, nationalism is a very old thing. Also, he said this at a Ted Cruz rally. My other comment on the article (which is mostly about Cruz's appeal in Texas and how he might have a fight on his hand to win his own home state) is the often referred to Alamo as not so much a rallying cry, but used a political allegory. You all do remember what happened at the Alamo and those that fought there, don't you? (Grokked from Robert J Bennett)

"Mr. Trump’s popularity with white, working-class voters who are more likely… to believe that whites are a supreme race and who long for the Confederacy… But it’s worth noting that he isn’t persuading voters to hold these beliefs. The beliefs were there — and have been for some time." (Grokked from somebody, sorry)

Poor Dr. Carson, he doesn't understand it when people ignore him. Seriously, dude, have you even been paying attention to the party you're supporting?

Just when you think Ted Cruz can't become even more of a dick, he proves there is no depth limit on his dickiness.

Well Mitch McConnell and Chuck Grassley will meet with Pres. Obama to discuss a SCOTUS nominee, but will tell him no to his face. Ah, having missed the best course of action (get a nominee through quickly, hold up the Constitution as your reason, and then get back to getting the base riled up about other things) they're now weakening on the second best option (to completely refuse to do anything on SCOTUS until next year). Good luck with that, boys.

Tweet of my heart: @merriehaskell "Part of our job is to provide a space for our students to stretch... if all we do is meet their expectations they're not going to do that." (ed: Mer further says it's from this speech)

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Linkee-poo doesn't want to leave her now, you know I believe and how

Jupiter must be stopped, could we do it? Yea, I knew that already. (Grokked from Dan)

So much for it being just about one phone. And that's just the feds, NYC has a drawer full of them.

Passive wifi. Hmmm, 1,000 times less energy required than bluetooth. Well, okay then. (Grokked from Dan)

Just a reminder, a failed experiment and disproved hypothesis can sometimes lead to better science than if the experiment succeeded in proving the hypothesis. Twelve examples of accidental findings during other research (also why you keep extensive notes).

Yet another whackaloon who thinks we should count Scalia's vote after he's dead. Okay, first of all, it's only Democrats who can vote from beyond the grave. At least that's what these same Republican's have been telling us. Two, just like elections have consequences, death has consequences. Usually much more so. Preliminary votes are just that, and it's a way to divide the work. Votes can change, and these are not final votes (after reading opinions). If your side is going to argue that the sitting President, who won two elections, who still is alive, shouldn't get to nominate a new justice, then Antonin Scalia is dead. He doesn't get to vote. Preliminary votes are not absentee ballots.

"Dangling access to these resources, Priebus thinks he can help steer Trump toward partywide policy goals and away from the inflammatory rhetoric that Republican officials see as divisive and dangerous, especially outside of the primary…" Uh, yea, Bob. Let us know how that works out for you. The Trumpster is the culmination of the RNC's flirtation with demagoguery to support their ideology. So, Mr. Priebus, what happens to your party's chances in the general election (and for the future) when Mr. Trump tells you to get onboard his wagon? Because he doesn't need you to win (in his mind and his negotiating strategy), but you most certainly need him to stem the losses. Unless you want schism. "After Mitt Romney’s stunning technology collapse on Election Day 2012…" yea, that's a nice fiction you all are telling yourselves there. Sure, Pres. Obama's ground game was way stronger, but it wasn't Mitt's technology failures that led to defeat. (Grokked from Robert J Bennett)

What Justice Scalia was doing at that Texas ranch. The International Order of St. Hubertus, a group of "elite hunters" who like to dress up as Templars, but in green, was meeting there. The names of the people in this story are just hilarious. "In 1695, Count Franz Anton von Sporck founded the society in Bohemia, which is in modern-day Czech Republic." Count Sporck! I mean, if I didn't know this group actually existed I would think the Onion was putting us on. But, seriously, this is the elite of our country, dressing up in robes and play-acting in a RenFaire fashion. And the International Order of St. Hubertus isn't the only such group. (Grokked from Saladin Ahmed)

More from the "They sow the wind and reap the whirlwind" (Hosea 8:7) GOP flail, from 2012, "After Obama Victory, Shrieking White-Hot Sphere Of Pure Rage Early GOP Front-Runner For 2016." When a satire site is more on target with their predictions, it's a world gone mad. (Grokked from Robert J Bennett)

"'All we have to do is not screw this up,' the (Democratic leadership) aide said." The bonanza to the progressive cause that is Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's refusal to even meet with any potential SCOTUS nomination. The bad news, the Democrats have a long history of screwing up such opportunities. The good news, all that they need to do is fold in "this vote is also about nominating a new justice" into their get out the vote efforts. All you have to do is keep the process visible. Pres. Obama invites the senators to conference and the GOP refuses, publicize that. He sends up a nominee who calls on senators for private meetings and they refuse, publicize that. Constant reminders may leave potential voters weary. Don't fuck this up, DNC.

Dear Sen. Grassley, what you need to explain is that the job you think you're doing is being partisan. If you were doing a Senator's job, you'd get off your ass and help nominate a new justice. "'I’ve been a leader on the Judiciary Committee for the last five years, first as ranking member and now as chairman,' Grassley was quoted as saying. 'I think Congress has passed more than 320 judges and only disapproved two. So, if I wanted to obstruct, I could obstruct. But I think this proves we haven’t been doing that.'" So, just how many appointees have you not processed? Also, there are some who quibble with your verdict of just how many justices you have put through the process. "With the Senate controlled by a newly-elected Republican majority, 2015 turned out to be the single worst year for judicial confirmations in over half a century… Only 11 judges were confirmed, the fewest in a single year since 1960." roll on up for the price is down, come on in for the best in town…

Tweet of my heart: @UnreliableFeed "And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will only respond if interested in seeing more pages." - Nietzsche on publishing

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Linkee-poo is a poor, mourning Pilgrim, bound for Canaan's land

The Ark of Bukhara, Uzbekistan. Holy crap. (Grokked from Robert J Bennett)

So how's Texas' plan on open carry on college and university campuses going? Yep, exactly according to plan. (Grokked from Hannah Bowman)

In future, rope jumps you. The smart jump rope that keeps count and interfaces with your mobile device. (Grokked from Dan)

The latest version of the Atlas human-like robot from Boston Dynamics. So, basically, Google (aka Alphabet) has completely abandoned their original motto of "Don't be evil." Seriously, hasn't anyone there seen any of the Terminator movies? (Grokked from Robert J Bennett)

A black hole finishes a meal.

Apparently Bill Gates thinks Apple should cave to the FBI and just write the damn software already. And for context I'll just remind everyone that Mr. Gates was responsible for Windows 2 to 97, some of the most notoriously insecure commercial OSes the world has ever seen.

When I was a manager (oh, to be young and foolish again), it was at the time when corporations went really big on the anti-sexual harassment training. So I had to have "the talk" with several employees to help clarify what was inbounds and what was totally out of bounds. Somebody needs to have that talk with Joe Arpaio.

"Following another second-place finish in the Nevada GOP caucus, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) argued Wednesday that candidates don't win presidential primaries simply by winning individual states." De-Nile, it ain't just a river in Egypt. Of course he did later state that he will have to win some of the winner-take-all states to have any hope. Welcome to a brokered convention.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Linkee-poo finds me somebody to love

"They have no problem believing a man can fly. They recoil, however, when that man is black." If you follow Saladin Ahmed on twitter, he has posted many, many examples of a diverse comics sphere (male and female, all races) before the 50s white washing of the world. The article is about more than Star Wars and superhero pictures and makes a lot of good points about inclusion, the stories we tell ourselves, the needs of narrative, and how having a more inclusive media leads to a more inclusive society. And we see some of the backlash against that in our current politics (which started in the late 60s when unions started recruiting minorities and the passage of the Civil Rights Act which all lead to the GOP Southern Strategy of Nixon). (Grokked from Mary Robinette Kowal)

The ultra minimalist Gittler guitar. Um, okay. I know lots of people say that for an electric guitar all that's making the sound is the pickups and the strings, but that hasn't really been my experience. Not sure I entirely like the sound of this (it might be better if he was getting line feed from the guitar instead of micing the amplifier). (Grokked from Dan)

"Once again, science ruins a really good story." The Great Wall of Kabul and the ghosts that lay within. (Grokked from Chia Evers)

"The capacity of wind power generation worldwide reached 432.42 gigawatts (GW) at the end of 2015, up 17 percent from a year earlier and surpassing nuclear energy for the first time, according to data released by global industry bodies." Milestone achieved. (Grokked from Dan)

I sense a great disturbance in the Force, as if a billion fish farted all at the same time.

"The only possible explanations for this are incompetence or dishonesty on the part of the FBI. Incompetence, if they didn’t realize that resetting the Apple ID password could prevent the iPhone from backing up to iCloud. Dishonesty, if they directed the county to do this knowing the repercussions, with the goal of setting up this fight to force Apple to create a back door for them in iOS. I’m not sure which to believe at this point." A little on some of the technical considerations around the FBI vs Apple fight. (Grokked from Dan)

Yep, no need for gun control. Again, it's hardly ever a good guy with a gun who stops a bad guy with a gun. It's that the bad guy gets tired or sloppy.

In case you ever wondered why the US military trains and keeps bases all over the world, here's a reason why. Because driving an M1A1 in the desert is a whole lot different than driving them in snow and ice (and different in mud). These are good lessons to learn before you need them. Note the demonstration of Newtons Laws of Motion. While ice isn't a vacuum, it does have a lower friction-coefficient than other surfaces. Also, this isn't for getting experience driving a tank over snow and ice, this is also to work out how to maintain and repair those items in cold weather climes. (Grokked from Dan)

"Republican presidential candidate John Kasich acknowledged humans’ contribution to climate change Saturday, though he stopped short of accepting that humans are the main driver of the global problem." He must have missed us in Ohio, because he's now toast. Of course he later corrected to saying he didn't know exactly how much human activity has contributed to climate change. Which, as the article points out, is a losing proposition. "Despite expressing support for renewable energy in Vermont this weekend, Kasich signed a bill in 2014 that froze Ohio’s Renewable Energy Standards for two years… however, Kasich did say that the idea of freezing the standards indefinitely was 'unacceptable,' and that he wanted to 'work with the Ohio General Assembly to craft a bill that supports a diverse mix of reliable, low-cost energy sources while preserving the gains we have made in the state’s economy.'" Dear John, good news, we already have one. It's the one you signed the freeze order on. Come back home, there's plenty of work for you to do here. You haven't completely wrecked out economy in Ohio. Yet. (Grokked from Robert J Bennett)

Your government at work. "Britain's surveillance agency GCHQ, with aid from the US National Security Agency, intercepted and stored the webcam images of millions of internet users not suspected of wrongdoing, secret documents reveal." And now you know why I usually tape over the integrated webcam, you know, besides the various hacks into Flash which allows people to remotely activate your computer's camera. (Grokked from Xeni)

Kasich apologizes for his comment about women coming out of the kitchens to support him. Which was taken out of context (he really meant for his campaigns in the 70s, which is still kinda out of touch with those times). 'Cause he loves the women. Except he likes to screw them over to advance his hard right conservative politics. Don't let the media fool you, Kasich is only a moderate in comparison to the other looney tunes running for President in the GOP. He's hard right in his politics.

You keep using that word, I don't think it means what you think it means. Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach calls the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the League of Women Voters communists. Rep Darrell Issa believes closing GITMO is just like the Trail of Tears. And then Dr. Ben Carson doesn't think Pres. Obama is black enough. He then goes on to state he's never experienced racism from the GOP, only the Democrats talking about racism is the real racism, and he's offering a pony in every pot and a unicorn for all his voters.

Hey Kettle, Pot is on the phone and wants to tell you something. Although Gingrich is really saying that Fox and Friends are providing Trump a lot of free press and promotional space, not that it's the politics of the Fox Network and their development of the Angry White Base that Trump is exploiting that is leading him to win.

God is back to his old tricks again. "Sen. Ted Cruz's (R-TX) father said last year on a syndicated radio program that his son decided to launch a bid for the White House after his wife, Heidi, was sent a sign from God… Cruz said he then felt as if a 'cloud of the Holy Spirit' had filled the room." The jokes just write themselves, folks.

"Look, I get it. Honest men differ. A lot of good people describe these things as torture. The definitive legal judgment under which the agency was operating and you know sooner or later, Robert, someone has gotta call balls and strikes and that's the way it is." Dear Gen. Hayden, with all due respect, let me call bullshit on this. If you want to excuse the CIA operatives who actually did the torture because they had a legal ruling allowing them to, then we have to prosecute those who called the balls and strikes. This is NOT a question, if you have operatives that have no historical context, who can't see beyond the limited viewpoint offered by a legal memo, then you are running an organization that needs to be shut down because it's being staffed by imbiciles. Also, I'll note, you didn't say we got operational, actionable, intelligence from our torture programs. If you want to say that we saved lives or stopped attacks, or eliminated opposition leaders, I want you to show your work. It can easily be washed to sanitize any instances. After all, it's been nearly a decade and it's not like the opposition doesn't know what happened.

Majority leader in Senate which does not work promises to not do any work.

Linkee-poo, when you reach 100 feel free to offer your advice

Mark Oshiro's Facebook post on erasure, harassment, and people acting stupidity while he was a guest of honor at a convention. Mary Robinette Kowal has some thoughts on how to avoid such situations (from a concom standpoint). Unfortunately I think part of the issue isn't ignorance or lack of self-awareness, it's the thought process that says, "There's nothing wrong with what we are doing because we have always done it this way." That's the mind space where the comment about being mid-westerners comes from. It's wrong. It's terribly fucking wrong.

Let me give you an example (note here the example I am giving has nothing to do with what happened to Mark Oshiro, but is provided as an example of how supposedly "enlightened" people in the midwest react when they're presented with something outside what they consider the "normal"). For the x-ray job I've seen things (no, I won't do my Roy Batty impression here). I've seen people at their worst. Yes, we do talk about the patients when we're back in the workroom, mostly as a way to process what we've been through. And lately one of things that gets the other techs worked up is men wearing women's underwear while being obviously (or at least outwardly) hetero (please don't make me explain bi to these people, although I don't think these these guys were). There's been a few cases recently, and some of the techs find it difficult to understand. Not that one of them was a cutter (I noticed, the others didn't see the scars), and that the other had a severe, untreated infection. Nope, it's the Vicky Secrets being worn by men that throws them. To me, I couldn't care. Because if it makes them happy, who the fuck am I to criticize? They don't need my permission to be who they are. But it challenges the other techs world view. Being in fandom, I've seen (what the other techs would think of as) far "worse" infractions of the socially mandated binary chasm. To me it's like telling a patient who told me that she didn't want to cuss that it was okay, I know a lot of Senior Chiefs and she couldn't shock me. Then you have a grandmother in her 70s try her best to blister the paintwork with her invectives (no storyline or plot, only used 3 words, repeated them often, however she had the conviction of what she was saying, I give that a C). Other techs were somewhat shocked, but it helped her deal with her pain and she was relaxed afterward. Being "midwestern" isn't an excuse for being a prudish prick or not accepting people as they are. Or if you want to accept the "midwestern" as an excuse, sorry, midwesterners are polite. Mark Oshiro was their invited guest. They were very far away from being polite.

Ayn Rand and Modern Economics walk into a bar. Look, I know a lot of people (and some of my friends) don't want to hear this, but I have two theories about Ayn Rand. The first is she's just a common-place sociopath who dressed up her emotions in scientifically sounding rhetoric to make them more palatable. She was more than happy to take the benefit of social collectivism when it worked in her favor, but when she felt she didn't get any benefit then it was fuck all. My second theory is she was a deep mole sent to the US to destroy capitalism. The USSR didn't believe their version of the world would win because it was inherently superior (as we did in the West), just that capitalism at its heart was corrupt and would destroy us. They felt by our own success and our own theories we would tear ourselves apart. Maybe Ayn was sent here to hasten that along. In the last decade there's been at list six attempts to create a libertarian community. Have any of them succeeded? (Grokked from Robert J Bennett)

So, you may wonder at my use of the term whackaloon. It's a combination of lunatic and the whack-a-mole game. That's basically what's happening here. And you think I may be harsh in that judgement. "Why does United States President Barack Obama have a soft spot for homosexuals? Because he was a gay hooker in the '80s, reports Mary Lou Bruner, a Republican candidate for the Texas State Board of Education." Oh, she was a mayor for a while. Yes, this is an elected official. Still think I'm being harsh. Also it's a presidential election year, whackaloon futures are up. Actually I'm forming a theory that State of Texas is a piece of elaborate performance art.

"These dog-whistles are the RULE, and they are the rule for a reason; they have, for decades, allowed a white population to vent their xenophobia, their nationalism, and yes, their racism in small bursts at the ballot box each election cycle while still feeling good about themselves and how progressive they are compared to their slave-owning ancestors. These euphemisms have been essential to the steady grind toward the extreme right that the GOP has been taking since the days of Reagan." And Jeb! is out.

Why is the GOP being so obstructionist about appointing a new Supreme Court Justice? "Anti-government attorney Kory Langhofer argued over the weekend that the Supreme Court could continue to decide cases 5-4 in favor of conservatives after the death of Antonin Scalia because the deceased justice could effectively cast votes from the grave." Because they know they're going to start losing is Pres. Obama chooses either a left-leaning or moderate judge. I know, we should develop that "head-in-a-jar" technology they had on Futurama. (Grokked from Vince O'Conner)

"President Barack Obama said it best this week… When it comes to who gets to appoint Supreme Court justices, the Constitution is pretty freaking clear."

Give me that old-time religion. "A New Hampshire state representative who once said Donald Trump is the only politician she believes in came to the Republican candidate’s defense during his tiff with Pope Francis on Thursday, calling the Pope 'the anti-Christ.'" Because the 14th Century was so much fun to live through the first time.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Linkee-poo, when love walks in the room everybody stand up

You never know when a family of frogs is watching you. Okay, that's a story bone of some type. (Grokked from Kelly Link)

"A plant known as hairy panic has left parts of a small town in southeastern Australia overwhelmed with tumbleweeds, and global news media attention, with residents and journalists recording bizarre scenes of dry, yellow grass piling up around cars and doorways." And that's a story bone of another type.

Clueless rich people remain clueless. Dude, seriously, you don't want to live in a city, you want a gated community. If they'll let you in. Also points for not getting the full ramifications of living with "a free market society." Really, jerks, what happened to Marie Antoinette when she made similar points? This is where the real revolution will come from, not from the privileged idiots who are pissed they can't drive their ATVs down the street. And when it happens, the phrase "eat the rich" comes to mind. (Grokked from Hannah Bowman)

"While she invoked the number of the beast in her request for damages, Cox listed a wide array of people she plans to subpoena, including: ranchers in the western U.S.; judges and prosecutors; Oregon's current and former governor; local and state police officers; FBI agents; and 'various law professors.'" I'ma just gonna go make some popcorn now.

There's this conservative talking point about how, under Pres. Obama, the world doesn't trust America. Yea, unfortunately the world disagrees. (Grokked from Robert J Bennett)

On the same day. In the same city. One white guy with a fake gun, one black guy with a fake gun. One points it directly at police, the other appears to reach for it. One is dead, the other has a $2,000 bail bond. Guess which is which. Having lived in Oxford and worked in Cincinnati, I'm not surprised. (Grokked from Tobias Buckell)

Because "servicing the market" is a priority, Rent-a-Minority. For those times you need to appear diverse or non-racist/non-sexist. (Grokked from John)

"Lech Walesa… was a paid informant for secret police during the Communist era." That sound you heard was my jaw hitting the desk. I mean, I shouldn't really be that surprised because these things are happening all over (Apple is cooperating with government warrants and writs all the time). But that's a serious stunner.

"Tyson is America’s biggest meat producer, and each week it processes 35 million chickens, 400,000 hog, and 128,000 cattle. The full tally of amputations at its facilities is likely higher than the number obtained by Monforton, which does not include information from Tyson factories in 10 states that run their own OSHA programs." Yea, that's can't be good. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

"Our politicians don’t stand up there on that stage debating which one of them is more willing to feed the hungry, clothe the poor, heal the sick, educate our children, or colonize Mars. No, they intend to make America great with their fists, by bombing entire populations out of existence, by waterboarding our enemies, through military force, by fear." When all you have is a hammer, everything begins looking like nails.

We're boned. "Impacts of Arctic warming are usually considered in isolation, and that’s a mistake, (Rafe Pomerance) says. 'It’s unraveling, every piece of it is unraveling, they’re all in lockstep together,' Pomerance says. 'What tends to happen is, everybody nationally reports on the latest piece of news, which is about one system. You hear about the sea ice absent the temperature trend. So you really have to think of it as a whole.'" I'm sure Rush Limbaugh can explain this all away. (Grokked from Robert J Bennett)

Conservative appointee backs more liberal ideas when faced with the realities of conservative idealism. Always happens. In this case, one of Bush's appointees who finagled a permeant position is sounding the bell that banks are still too big to fail, and we should regulate the crap outa them (unless they voluntarily break up, like that'll happen).

Clueless Trumpster supporters (is that an oxymoron, or just being redundant) remain clueless. Yes, the Pope is so duplicitous for calling out the Trumpster as not being Christian for wanting to build a wall between the US and Mexico because someone noticed that the Vatican is a walled city-state (okay, they just pointed out the Vatican had walls, no indication they realize it's a city-state). Next up, we'll make fun of the Swiss Guard for wearing those fru-fru uniforms. (Note, never make fun of the Swiss Guard, the Swiss may be technically a neutral state, but that's because of their history of supplying some of the deadliest mercenaries to the rest of Europe)

Crazy Uncle LePage goes off his meds, again. I know Mainers like their little jokes, but seriously, this isn't funny anymore, Maine. Only hipsters are still laughing at this clown.

Okay, how about now.

Marco (Polo) Rubio says he "wouldn't go that far" in calling Hillary Clinton a traitor over the emails, and then he goes that far talking about Benghazi. Next!

"However, according to reporting from Politico, people close to Scalia's family said the president was making the right move and that Friday was a more appropriate time for his presence." Sometimes it's more important to not show up to something.

Tweet of my heart: @JonathanCohn Marco Rubio is the embodiment of the GOP elite's view that the problem is not their policies, only the packaging.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Linkee-poo gets the worm

Dear GOP, there was only one path that led to success, getting a nominee through quickly and hoping everyone would forget. All other paths lead to failure. Also, thank you for reminding a lot of the progressive vote that this election matters very much. You just did more to turn out the progressive vote in 2016 than anything Hillary or Bernie could have done or said. Your knee-jerk reactions not only solidified liberal control of the White House and increased their chances of taking the Senate back, but you've put the House in play as well. Well done. See, there is no conservative silent majority. Conservatives are reliable voters, the ones that vote. They vote in every election, which is why the GOP makes big gains in the off-year polls. The big dependent factor is how many progressives get off their asses in the presidential year. You've just lit the fuse on those people who think it just doesn't matter.

Apple's letter to customers regarding the FBI request to break into an iPhone.

"In some ways, Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center got very lucky, as it seems the hackers haven't taken over the firmware for things like CT scanners, etc, and bricked them." Ransomware attack on a hospital. Okay, maybe people will pay attention to this now. I know, I'm kidding myself. But yea, the modern hospital runs on software to do everything. For the PRN job I have to know (and have logins to) 5 different pieces of software just to do my job. And that doesn't include the software that runs the x-ray machines, or the IV pumps, or monitors, or… And an update, the hospital paid the ransom.

More on that story about US Marshals arresting a man for non-payment of student loans. (Grokked from Chuck Wendig)

The double standard. "Over the last three years, Sarah Eddy and Daniel Grunspan have asked over 1,700 biology undergraduates at the University of Washington to name classmates whom they thought were 'strong in their understanding of classroom material.' The results were worrying but predictable. The male students underestimated their female peers, over-nominating other men over better-performing women." (Grokked from Hannah Bowman)

One of the problems with modern medicine is how interconnected body systems are and how disconnected our research tends to look at them. So when we "fix" one thing, we can screw something else up. In this case, using proton-pump inhibitors used to treat heartburn and acid reflux is linked to increased risk of dementia. Bet you won't see that on the label. (Grokked from CC Findlay)

Who benefits from cheap knockoffs? Chinese banks. Also why Visa and MasterCard aren't doing much about it.

You know how natural gas is supposed to best much better for our environment because of reduced CO2 emissions? Hell, there's a whole ad campaign and website dedicated to it (I frequently lampoon the bastards on twitter for their promoted tweets). Turns out it's not so much of a deal because of the leaks of methane into the atmosphere. The paper doesn't point to anything in particular (I haven't read the whole thing), but it does say the increase is coming from the middle of the country (so unlikely permafrost thaw or oceanic methane releases). Also, say, what's going on in the middle of the country this past decade? Think about it. (Grokked from Robert J Bennett)

Why is coal losing? It's not because of rhetoric. Note that Pres. Obama's environmental program is stalled in the courts, but coal continues to lose to cheaper and more flexible alternatives.

"In addition to processing logged cellular phone call data (so-called 'DNR' or Dialled Number Recognition data, such as time, duration, who called whom, etc.), SKYNET also collects user location, allowing for the creation of detailed travel profiles. Turning off a mobile phone gets flagged as an attempt to evade mass surveillance. Users who swap SIM cards, naively believing this will prevent tracking, also get flagged (the ESN/MEID/IMEI burned into the handset makes the phone trackable across multiple SIM cards)." One, yes, we have a program named SKYNET. And it's used to target and kill people. But then they're using a learning machine to make these decisions (this isn't new for the NSA, just google ECHELON if you want to know how far back this goes). But they're using "big data" to process out whom is a terrorist and whom is not. So, how well does Amazon's recommendations work for you? They're probably more accurate than the NSA. What could possibly go wrong? Maybe flagging a reporter as a terrorist. (Grokked from Steven Brust)

Yes, the wingnuttery surrounding Antonin Scalia's death is in full flail mode. Fortunately, so are the humor sites.

No, Dr. Carson, you're not supposed to say these things. Like if the GOP controlled the White House they wouldn't be talking about stalling a SCOTUS nominee. Seriously, you gotta learn how to dog-whistle and say your own team is as pure as Ivory Soap.

I just love how conservatives view the past as some sort of Eden. No, Dr. Carson, the communities you're thinking of are the Amish and the other separatists, which were built on principles we would now label as socialism. In the past, a lot of people died. They starved to death. If a worker got injured on the job, they and their families were thrown out of the company owned towns. If the major worker on the farm was injured, the farm typically was run by the spouse or a child, who also then had to take care of their injured family and most likely would lose the farm. Also, our economy isn't agricultural any more. If I break my leg, nobody is going to go into work for me, I know this because it happened. The mind just boggles at the idiocy of these people. (Grokked from Jim Wright)

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Linkee-poo, my five and dime queen, tell me what have you seen

Fasnacht, the other way to ring in Lent. (Grokked from Robert j Bennett)

A lensless camera? Okay, geniuses, the pinhole in a pinhole-camera is a lens. That's how it functions. I believe you meant to say "without a glass/plastic lens", which, yes, makes up the bulk of most cameras.

New optical storage technology using crystalline discs. Femtosecond lasers and nanostructure glass. We're those in the Time Machine? (Grokked from Stewart Sternberg)

Debt collecting companies are being used by the government to collect on student loans. They work to get judgements against delinquent payers. And then "(b)elieve it or not, the US Marshals Service in Houston is arresting people for not paying their outstanding federal student loans." So now can we do something about the stupidity of the student loan program? (Grokked from Chuck Wendig)

And off-duty cop spots a teenager with what he thinks was pot, ends up firing 7 rounds killing the teen. Dear good cops, keep protecting these cops and you'll continue to lose the public trust. (Grokked from Steven Brust)

Why is the GOP pushing so hard on delaying nominating a replacement for Scalia? Because they're facing watching almost five decades of hard work skewing the judicial system to the far right collapse. The article doesn't mention how much the GOP has stacked the lower-courts for the past three decades, or the work of the Federalist Society.

Gee, cutting off funds to Planned Parenthood explodes the rest of the budget. Why, who could have known that? And while the article ponders that the Texas GOP lead legislature should be surprised and shamed into trying to halt the "unintended" consequences of this, the authors misunderstand that these are very intended consequences. Or at the very least they simply don't care, because they defunded Planned Parenthood. (Grokked from Jim Wright)

"Residents of Flint, Michigan, began getting gravely ill and in some cases dying in summer 2014 in one of the worst outbreaks of Legionnaires' disease in U.S. history, and a county health director says attempts to find the source were hampered when the state wouldn't request federal assistance." Compassionate conservatism in action. Seriously, if Gov. Snyder is able to finish his term I'll be very disappointed. (Grokked from Chia Evers)

"Sen. Marco Rubio's (R-FL) latest ad opens with the line, 'It's morning again in America,' but the ad features the Vancouver skyline and harbor, The Vancouver Sun reported Monday." It would have been better to just reused the Reagan ad footage and change the ending. Plus, I'm not so sure the Rubio campaign understands what "Morning in America" means.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Linkee-poo just pissed away a half-hour lunch

Bad error reporting, bad application, bad situation. No fruits of labor.

Joshua Blimes decides to keep himself open for unsolicited manuscripts. But read the rules. Always follow the damn rules. You aren't a special snowflake. Not yet. (Grokked from Jim Hines)

"An Italian man’s dream to open a modest restaurant became an archaeological obsession when he broke ground in order to repair a faulty toilet. The underground world filled with centuries of history he found beneath his building would dominate his life for more than a decade." Every DIYer has a story like that. (Grokked form Robert J Bennett)

"The Lone Ranger wasn’t just a legend perpetuated by books, radio shows, television series and movies; he was a real man, a crimefighter who lived with Native Americans in what would become Oklahoma—and he was black." (Grokked from Elizabeth Bear)

It's the new sitcom, Everybody Hates Ted. Your anger only makes him stronger. (Grokked from John)

"An Iranian official said 'Republican rivals of the current US administration' attempted to stall last month's Iranian-U.S. prisoner swap until the eve of the U.S. presidential election, Tasnim News Agency reported." I'm not so sure how much I believe this and how much is a disinformation campaign (this is a classic Cold War tactic), but there is historical precedent. If true, that's not only sedition, but full-on treason.

About all that chest thumping and dick waving going on at the last GOP debate regarding waterboarding and "enhanced interrogation" methods… "The director of the federal government team that interrogates key terrorism suspects has a message for people who want to see a return to waterboarding and other abusive strategies: They don't work." It doesn't work. You don't get reliable intelligence. People just tell you something, anything they think you want to hear, to stop the torture.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Linkee-poo, it starts when you're always afraid, the Man comes and takes you away

And it appears to be (almost) all over but the shouting, handwritten motions, outdated legal philosophy, and "you can't jail me, I'm a sovereign citizen!"

There's eddies in the space-time continuum. "Oh he is, is he? Well, good for Eddie."

Yes, Virginia, there will be an eighth Harry Potter book.

Why you can't start a fire with the Moon. With explanations. (Grokked from Dan)

The Year of the Monkey poster. Or, when designers go rouge. Actually, it's when designers fall in love with the process and forget to step back and critically evaluate their solutions.

The gender bias in medical research extends to the animal trials.

Do you miss Microsoft Windows 3.1.1? Then "Good news, everyone!"

The Global Fund uses a big stick to make sure their funds aren't embezzled or misused. Met the stick.

"It’s not a chicken-and-egg problem so much as an exclusionary system pretending to reward merit. As long as Oscar-bait films privilege white-savior narratives, actors of color will find it difficult if not impossible to get nominated for awards… inside a system designed to prevent this." How racism works. (Grokked from Justine Larbalestier)

You know that story about NASA spending millions of dollars to develop a pen that will write in zero-g and the Russians just used a pencil? Yea. Here's a little more about that story.

We'll just file this here and hope nobody notices. "In a document quietly posted alongside its formal response to the Senate Torture Report, the CIA admits some of the accusations its formal report denies." Somewhat of relevance to the GOP boners on display in the last debate over torture and waterboarding. (Grokked from Annalee Flower Horne)

What happens when you base your government's budget on fleecing your minority and poor population through a rigged judicial system and cops on the lookout to increase fines? When the Feds come in and say, "stop that shit", yea, any deal will practically break the bank until you fix the finances. Funny how that works that way.

Oh, and so much for that thought that "it'll be alright." Instead the DoJ says, "Nope" and sues Ferguson which will cost the city more to fight than if they had just accepted the deal. Oh, and then they'll have to accept the deal.

The Feds arrest Cliven Bundy as he flew in to support his son's occupation. Who could have seen that happening? I'm sorry, I'm still giggling over that. Especially the various reporters who ask, "Well, why was he arrested?" and then spout something about him coming to his son's support. No, he's a criminal who (and this is the part I keep laughing over) got on an airplane, and place where he and his supporters would be disarmed, and flew to an airport which means arriving in a secure area at a specific time, after being able to confirm his presence on the plane. Thank God for stupid criminals.

And then there were eight. And then there were seven.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Linkee-poo, we are all of us in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars

The panic begins to settle in now that New Hampshire has voted.

We might hear about the detection of gravitational waves soon. First the Higgs, and now gravity waves, living in the future. (Grokked from Dan)

How I did it, by William Gibson. (Grokked from BoingBoing)

http://dlvr.it/KSbfm5 In being called out in public. Annalee Flower Horne makes some very good observations here, especially the one about more than likely people have tried to handle this privately and either they were ignored, or the situation didn't change. And mostly being called out in public is being done as a warning to others. Note, this is different than a boss, say, derating you in front of other employees (although sometimes that also follows the reasoning in this article). What's worse, IMHO, if when the punishment is public, but the reasons are kept private.

Preserving the Enterprise. On the Smithsonian's efforts to preserve the original 11 foot long filming model of the USS Enterprise. Also a video about the conservation project. (Grokked from Dan)

"But don't call me Shirley." Writing and comedy. (Grokked from Dan)

Making aerogels from recycled paper. Okay. (Grokked form John)

A second bacterium is discovered to cause Lyme disease.

When people talk about "not trusting the government" they're usually talking about being told things the disagree with. Like climate change. It's never really about the things government has lied to us about, like the grand experiment we all entered after Trinity. (Note, notable exception is the Flint water crisis) They did, however, confide in the film industry which was dealing with a widespread film-fogging problem. (Grokked from Astrid Julian)

That "polite society" all those gun activists talk about. (Grokked from Jim Wright)

What is racism and how does it function? Like this. "(NASA Administrator Charles Bolden) went on to serve in the Marine Corps as an aviator… later became a NASA astronaut… he returned to the Marine Corps and achieved the rank of major general… he was appointed the administrator of NASA, the first African American to hold the office… But that first critical step of attending the Naval Academy almost didn't happen, Bolden says, when his state representatives (Strom Thurmond) would not nominate him for consideration because he was black."

I'm sure this totally has nothing to do with the rumors of Karl Rove being able to adjust the reporting tallies of votes in elections. Nothing at all.

"By more than a 2-1 ratio, lawmakers in West Virginia's House of Delegates have approved a bill that would allow gun owners to carry concealed handguns without a permit." What could possibly go wrong?

The Sushi Authorities are disappointed in what you call sushi.

"Cliven Bundy may travel to Portland, Oregon, to protest the arrest of his sons…" What could go wrong? Also pointed to providing insight into these people's thought processes. "'This is a call to action for any elected representative in Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Wyoming, Utah, Arizona, the State of Washington, and Ohio. You have constituents in federal custody. Please visit and contact them to voice your support for free speech, the right to assemble, and civil disobedience,' Bundy said in the statement. 'It is your duty to hold federal agencies at bay, protecting the people in your state.'" Um, no, that's not actually their duty.

Gov. LePage comes to grips with his racist statement. You know, after protesting that no, no he wasn't talk about black drug dealers. Not at all.

The convoluted path of justice in Texas. More on the Planned Parenthood smear campaign and the grand jury that indicted the makers of the video and not Planned Parenthood.

The Nuge is an anti-semite? Who could have guessed? (Maybe I shall call him, the Nougat)

"Trump… has the reality television star's ability to operate entirely without shame, and that permits him to operate entirely without restraint. It is the single scariest facet of his personality. It is the one that allows him to go where others won't, to say what others can't, to do what others wouldn't." And this is his exact appeal to his supporters. Because they all have their own ideas on how to make America Great again. They also have their own ideas on how we would "all" be winners. And Trump is so vague, he allows them (because it's a conscious choice) to project their solutions on to him. (Grokked from Chuck Wendig)

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Linkee-poo wishes you could swim like the dolphins, like dolphins can swim

Is it too late to start writing? "The clock ticks even louder for those of us 'of a certain age.' In addition to worrying that our window of publishing opportunity is closing, there’s also that pesky mortality thing looming in the back of our minds. This only adds to the steaming pot of Insecurity Stew many of us keep simmering on our mental stovetops." Om my yes. Or, "I'm sorry I can't hear you saying 'no' over the chiming of this clock in my head."

Hipster Fairy Tales? Okay, it's a review of "The Tale of Tales, Giambattisa Basile's 17th-century book of fairy stories."

What cultural appropriation looks like. It came seem like homage or respect from the perspective of the people doing it, but like art, it's in the eye of the beholder. This is what happens when you don't do your homework and just reach for the easy.

"A 1,500-year-old underground Byzantine church has been discovered in Turkey with unseen before frescoes depicting Jesus." (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

A bacterium that can focus light to determine the direction of its source. And so falls another creationist myth (not that they'd see it that way). (Grokked from David Klecha)

NPR Planet Money's podcast on CEO pay and the 90s spike. Or why changing the tax code needs to be approached very carefully. Or at the very least, how one rule can take, and the loophole in the very next clause can give it all back plus compound the problem. Also, not only is this why CEO pay exploded, it also explains why corporations are so highly focused on stock price and quarterly results. Yes, this country does transfer wealth. Still. A lot of it. But it's all going to the top.

So how's Michigan representatives doing with solving the crisis in Flint? Ah, passed a bill outlawing oral and anal sex. I'm sure that'll help fix the problem. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

The Labor Department is proposing new rules to allow companies to charge employees with high BMIs more for their insurance. So if you were wondering when the next shoe would drop after charging smokers more for their insurance, here it is. And this has nothing to do with actual health or costs. It all has to do with companies wanting to offload the cost of insurance, but still having to offer insurance to remain competitive.

Dear Eric Trump, you're a fucking ignorant, privileged snot. Okay, that was unfair to mucus membranes everywhere. "Eric Trump responded… 'And then somebody complains when a terrorist gets waterboarded, which quite frankly is no different than what happens on college campuses and frat houses every day.'" Jesus, the incompetence of these people. As Gene Hackman said in the 70s Superman, it's amazing that brain generates enough electricity for him to walk. But then again, your father is a shining example of human excrement. And your other brother is just as ignorant of life. ""You know, we weren’t trust fund babies. We were very fortunate. We experienced great things, but we were spoiled the right way. We were spoiled with great education, great experiences, we weren’t spoiled with cash." That's called "privilege". You'd know this if you had half a brain and could examine your own life without the mental blinders.

And speaking of having the same damn argument over and over again. "Indeed, there are other fundamental reasons to oppose not just the presence of women in the infantry but their forcible conscription into its ranks. Such a policy inverts natural law and the rules that have grounded our civilization for thousands of years." The National Review editorial board weighs in on the whole "should women be required to register for Selective Service." Funny, I remember having this argument in the 80s (and the 90s, and the 2000s…). Also, they like to say that war is just too terrible for us to send the women folk. However, they're just find sending all our young boys into the meat grinder. (Grokked from Robert J Bennett)

Monday, February 8, 2016

Linkee-poo is running

What copyedits look like. (Grokked from Justine Larbalestier)

"New York will investigate high levels of radioactive contamination found in groundwater at Indian Point Energy Center, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Saturday." Well, that's going to leave a mark.

Ohio is only the fourth most depressing state to live in. Or, Ohio, Where Seasonal Affective Disorder is an Official Winter Sport. (Grokked from CC Findlay)

So, what is it like to live in a world of unexamined privilege and discrimination based on "cultural norms"? If you're a man with breast cancer, it's quite obvious. And I can appreciate this, the whole breast cancer story has been built around "women at risk for breast cancer." Want to see how it "normally" works in society, try finding the same thing for women with heart disease. Because "normally" it's "men have heart attacks." And both are just as dangerous. One, because most men don't know they are also at risk for breast cancer, and two, heart disease and especially heart attacks present differently in women. Both of those end up being deadly. All the more so because people in the health care industry also hold those beliefs. Also, just for the record, as a rad tech student I asked our mammography techs that if they had a male patient, if I could be present as a student to learn how mammography is done. And yes, we did have male patients, unfortunately just not on the days I was there.

Why is it important to pay attention to local politics? Crystal City, Texas is a prime example. The Fed have arrested nearly everyone involved in local government on corruption, bribery, fiduciary malpractice, and human trafficking charges. Way to go Texas!

You may have heard me (and others) talk about how far to the right the conservative party has swung over the last 3 decades. You may wonder exactly what I mean by that. Okay, here's an example. "Eight years ago at this time, there was a senator running for president en route to winning his party’s nomination. He supported closing Guantanamo, banning torture, passing comprehensive immigration reform, and creating a cap-and-trade system to address the climate crisis…That candidate’s name was John McCain. His running mate endorsed the same platform. Her name was Sarah Palin." They still continue to the right, always to the right. (Grokked from the Slactivist)

Not only is Jeb!'s Mother campaigning for him, his Super PAC aired an ad featuring G. W. Bush. I'm sure that won't be seen as a negative. I'm also sure we won't see any remixes of it. Nope, positives all the way down.

Oh, most of your family has been killed or inducted at gun point to fight a civil war, and you barely escaped being killed yourself while making a desperate run across the border? Well Donald Trump will fly over to your camp and tell you to you face, "go fuck yourself." Now that's compassionate conservatism in action. I'm really getting close to the point of just looking at the GOP line up and shouting, "Burn it! Burn it all with cleansing fire!"

You know, being a progressive I'm used to our own candidates getting into the Firing Squad Circle Formation. It actually is kinda funny when it happens to other people.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Linkee-poo wanders through the sports ball weekend

Just a heads up that the hospital work is going to explode for the next month as a departure in a choice position settles out throughout the workforce. This may disrupt regular postings.

Matt (f'ing) Wallace on publishing/submitting. YMMV.(Grokked from Chia Evers)

So, how's that "the next generation will embrace ebooks" thing going? Ninety-two percent of college students prefer paper books over ebooks (for anything longer than an article). That good, huh. Who'd a thunk it. (Grokked from Kameron Hurley)

Marginalia. In case you didn't know (and didn't read your Umberto Eco). (Grokked from Steven Brust)

Fred Clark on recent events in his life (well, okay, in January), human worth, the supposed "Wisdom of the Market", and optimism. Mr. Clark, aka the Slactivist, is also running his own fund raiser. "What’s the best way to allocate the resource of this scrawny, brainy guy who has years of experience honing a useful craft? Let’s employ him as muscle. Brilliant." Well, I'm not exactly scrawny, but damn, that's exactly what I was thinking during my last job search. And it well and truly sucks to be in that position and has been the main impetus behind my own reboot. Hang in there, Fred.

XKCD on kerning. Bwahahahaha. (Grokked from Kelly Link)

"More than 40 years after her burial in an unmarked Philadelphia grave, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, gospel’s first superstar and its most celebrated crossover figure, is enjoying a burst of Internet celebrity." This year I think people have finally caught the hang of Black History Month. (Grokked from Patrick Nielsen Hayden)

"Scientist have spotted hills made of ice floating in a sea of frozen nitrogen in Pluto’s 'heart,' one of the dwarf planet’s must (sic) distinct regions because of its shape." The universe is stranger than you think. (Grokked from Christopher Moore)

RIP Moore's Law. We knew it was coming (and really hadn't been in good health for the last decade). (Grokked from John)

Five things to understand about people who have lost a child. (Grokked from Janiece)

"Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory will swell when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature." Steven Brust rants about the nattering nabobs of negativism.

"The incinerated partial remains of at least 274 American troops were dumped in a Virginia landfill, according to government records…" :: staring slack-jawed :: "Changes in disposal policies came about after an in-depth review at Dover was ordered in 2008 by then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates." I should hope fucking so. I often metaphorically ask for heads to roll, this time it's not so metaphorically. (Grokked from Janiece)

When conservative candidates talk about changing the direction the country is going, understand that they want to reverse this. Note that GDP "slowed" to 0.7%, which isn't good.

"You had a surge of federal money for sterilizations, mainstream feminists calling for easier access to them, a fear that overpopulation would soon destroy the planet and the fear that poor women were burdening the country with children whom taxpayers would need to feed, clothe and educate." And they complain about funding Planned Parenthood. (Grokked from Janiece)

Tweet of my heart: @StevenBrust Ever notice how those who say the problem is people wanting too much stuff are people who can afford lots of stuff? #nocontext

Friday, February 5, 2016

Linkee-poo hopes the world sees the same person that you’ve always been to me

Some days I wonder just what the hell I'm doing in the day job.

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle is online for all your Latiny and Old English gratification. (Grokked from Sarah Goslee)

Need a good checklist to make sure your convention is accessible all your guests? Well, SFWA has a pretty good checklist. (Grokked from Merrie Haskell)

Terry Gilliam reveals how he did it. His cut-out animation, that is. (Grokked from Neil Gaiman)

The slow turn of cultural perceptions. In this case, about how Dads are perceived in our Western Civ. (Grokked from Marie Vibbert)

We are special. As a species. And here you see the blind spot in most science. We can not see the world except through our eyes. By the same reasoning, lactobacillus is also a special snowflake. And all life on earth is special, unlikely to have an exact analog in other biosystems. Although animals will fill similar niches, and we believe the basic functions of life would be the same, you can look at life on Earth and see how many different ways nature solves the same problems in different ways. So, we are probably unique in the universe. But so is the ant.

Tweet of my heart: @KameronHurley Agency life is weird. Many clients come and go. You have to both care VERY much (to do great work) & not at all (if work is lost).

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Linkee-poo keep me safe, lie with me, stay beside me, don't go, don't you go

John le Carré on the art of fiction. (Grokked form Terri Windling)

Good news for mice! Scientist have bred a mouse that allows them to (with a drug) kill off cells that have stopped dividing, leading to 25% longer and healthier life. Unfortunately, it's not so easy in humans, and those cells may be protecting us from some cancers.

Buzz-kills! The CDC recommends that sexually active women who are not using birth control should avoid alcohol consumption. While scientifically a valid statement (as alcohol consumption while pregnant, especially in the early stages, can cause birth defects, not all of which are noticeable), slightly tone-deaf in delivery. So people are rightfully outraged. Also, it's a recommendation not a mandate. This is what the CDC does, "Hey, there's this health problem, how do we reduce morbidity and mortality?" And if you don't think this is a problem when I work in X-ray, you haven't had one lately. I've gotten pretty used to asking, "any chance of pregnancy, when was your last menstrual cycle?" I also know when and where to ask (especially if the patient is a minor with parents in the room). Why, because if you are pregnant and we X-ray you (I try to shield even for the most minor exams) it is exactly the wrong time for the fetus (x-ray exposure in the early weeks typically leads spontaneous abortion, although not always). If it's an abdominal exam, oh yea, I am much more strict about that (note there are times when we must, a doctor needs to sign off on those as they are taking responsibility).

While it seems a simple argument to add women to the registration for Selective Service (aka, the Draft), the arguments here are pretty subtle and long standing. There is a subtext of "if women are also drafted, there is less political support for continuing Selective Service" which is why this argument also occurred in the 80s. It was an attempt to abolish Selective Service. There is the subtext of equal rights, why shouldn't women also be considered for the draft? And there is the final contention over opening all combat roles to women. While it's an order, I bet you can't swing a cat in the Officers Club without hitting someone who vehemently disagrees with it. But seriously, it's time to either kill Selective Service, or make it mandatory for all citizens/residents aged 18 to 25.

And more news in the "it's everybody else's fault, except us" brand of conservative politics, a Congressional hearing on the Flint Water crisis/poisonings. Everybody but the people involved in forcing the change of water to the Flint River, or the process of imposing an Emergency Manager on local governments, will be there to take the heat.

With friends like these. Speaker Ryan agrees with the Black Caucus that Congress should update the Voting Rights Act to mend the gaping hole put in it by the Supreme Court. However, not enough that he'll pressure the committee chairman to release the legislation.

Yes, all the Sturm and Drang about Obamacare from the insurance industry is about getting leverage to blunt rules that are coming down the pike. Because they can't make as much money as they used to.

First stage, denial. Jeb! has to ask an audience to clap after he gave a "fiery" speech. That's gonna leave a mark.

And then there were nine. Oh Ricky, you went and lost that number. So much for my bet. And then he struggles to justify his endorsement of Rubio. And that shows just what is wrong with this election. There are no reasons on the Right for what they're doing, at least none they can admit in the open.

And this is exactly why the FBI released that video of the chase and death of LaVoy Finicum. Also, so much for the 4 still inside to get their wish of just being "let go".

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Briar Rabbit

Okay, crazy wild-ass conspiracy theory to follow.

Donald Trump is a Republican plant. Not the leafy kind, the kind that waves it's hands and keeps you from noticing someone is making bunny-ears behind you for the class picture.

I know what you're thinking, but give it a moment (and I'll probably discount this tomorrow).

First off, the Right has a long history of shouting "Wolf" and the Left only to kept the Left from claiming the Right is the Wolf. If you've been watching Fox news you've seen this play out a thousand times. And this strategy was outlined in a number of memos that came out from Newt Gingrich in the 90s on how to influence people and win elections. And it was early on that the Right claimed that Donald Trump was a plant from the Democratic Party.

See, one of the lessons the Right learned in 2012 was that people actually listen and pay attention now. I know there's been a lot of "Mitt Romney lost because he couldn't sway minorities… he was too moderate… he was establishment…" blah blah. Remember all their polling told them they would win easily. But you know what, the electorate had almost 6 months of Romney, and that was all they could take. Actually we had enough of Mitt as he was dragged to the Right to win the Primaries, he couldn't swing hard enough to the Center to win in the general election (the Right wouldn't let him, and there were all those statements he made during the Primaries that came back to haunt him, "Corporations are people, too, my friend" and "I'm a conservative's conservative").

So, what better way to remove that threat as all the candidates swing hard to the Right to win the primaries than give the public Bread and Circuses. What did the English Parliament call Trump, "a buffoon, a clown…". But an entertaining one. As all the other candidates make their dog whistles to the Right, Trump is out there in front blatantly calling out the political game and sucking up all the air in the room, not to mention all the air time from the news. So the Right gets to hear the candidates, but the general populace only gets to hear Trump.

Trump is winning what the Right considers their "staunch supporters", they kind they believe will come out and vote for anyone with an "(R)" after their name. All to keep those godless liberals from office. So, the RNC thinks Trump can do his dance, keep all the yokels satisfied and keep the Left distracted.

Why would he have not only missed the last debate before Iowa, but also counter schedule his own event? Maybe to keep the general public's eyes from the debate, but allow the hard core caucusers get a clear view of the candidates.

The RNC and Fox News keep going from loving him to having fits about him. But lately those fits have held a tinge of "Don't throw me in the briar patch" about them. Plausible denial.

And what does Trump get? Publicity. Lots of it. And he gets to call himself a winner. Fawning fans that love him, feeding his narcissism. And in the end, maybe a President that will see to his interests as a very rich guy. Also, if he plays his cards right, it might be him (do you think Trump would never try to double-cross someone?).

Just some idle thoughts.

I'm sure it's not true.

Linkee-poo cradle me, close my eyes, lullaby me to sleep

Phosphorus starts with pee. Those wacky alchemists, they'd try anything to turn base materials into gold. The start of an NPR series on serendipitous scientific discoveries, or happy accidents. Say, have I ever mentioned how our founding fathers used to make saltpeter?

"I'm your server, not your sex toy." A woman's perspective on the male gaze in the work place. Yea, I've had that conversation with some of my (male) employees when I was a manager. (Grokked from Ferrett Steinmetz)

So, got yourself one of those fancy pedometer/health trackers, eh? Well they might be helping other people track your health as well. Seriously, in this day and age for developers to not use some standard protection techniques is really just deplorable. And yea, I have one of these trackers now, for the wellness program at the PRN job. (Grokked from Tobias Buckell)

Turns out, some of those employers who decided to cut workers' hours to avoid giving them healthcare coverage under Obamacare aren't having such a good time with it. They have motivational problems, retainment problems, and quality of worker issues. Who'd a thunk it? Although there is the opposite, workers who are right on the cusp who now qualify for free medicaid, but would have to pay more for regular insurance if they got more hours.

"'Instead of saying, We screwed up, they said, Obamacare is the problem and we may not play anymore,' Lee said in an interview with California Healthline. "It was giving an excuse to Wall Street and throwing the Affordable Care Act under the bus.'" Companies blaming Obamacare for their own screw-ups and economic problems? Why, that's unpossible!

For all those people who think we're not doing anything about ISIS/ISIL/DRASH, we're not doing so much that we have to buy a heckalotta more smart bombs 'cause we're running out. Good thing President Obama is a coward and not leading the world, 'cause that would be even damn more expensive if he were. Time to buy Boeing stock. (Grokked from John)

Because it's the day after Iowa, six actual historical super villains. Yes, there's a Nazi or two in there. (Grokked from Vince O'Conner)

Why is this culture of hate speech and outrage a bad idea? "I don’t know if he was there to kill me." That's why. Because people don't understand it's a game or a strategy, because it's their life. And they believe the lies they've been told, even though they'll spout that all politicians are liars, but not there politicians. Never the ones they agree with. And stoking the fires of hate and divisiveness drives the type of people like the guy in this story. And it drives them to react to crimes they believe are being committed against them, when absolutely nothing of the sort is happening. This is why we rage at the language of the Right. (Grokked form Annalen Flower Horne)

"Fine says one sure way of identifying an outsider is a prominently displayed sidearm. She shoots a scornful glance at a trio of men standing in front of her, their arms crossed, their holsters hanging out." More on Harney County and the confrontation between locals and outside agitators (one of whom wondered how many of those "locals" were "paid actors"). Some analysts that have looked at the political landscape say that there are two Americas people exist in. There's a heck of a lot more than two.

Did Clinton rig the coin tosses to win in Iowa? Shakes Magic 8-Ball, "Signs point to no." It doesn't quite work that way, but it feeds some preconceived notions that Hillary Clinton is both incompetent and wily canny that she couldn't win outright, and so somehow "fixed" six coin tosses to go her way.

"'For strong liberals the estimated drop in turnout in strict photo identification states is an alarming 7.9 percentage points,' researchers found. 'By contrast, strong conservatives actually vote at a slightly higher rate – 4.8 points – in strict ID states, all else equal.'" Working as planned. Just in case anyone still doubted the purpose behind voter ID laws. (Grokked from Robert J Bennett)

"Last year, she made 10 trips – to her local driver’s license office, to the bank to obtain personal documents, to Social Security offices in Raleigh and home again – to get an ID that she was certain would allow her to vote." So much for the vaunted ease of getting an voter ID. (Grokked from Mur Lafferty)

Not only does the Trumpster feel he wasn't treated fairly by the media (insert standard conservative whining point #2), he also thinks he should've gotten credit for trying. I mean, "funding his own campaign." Not like he wanted a trophy for participation, but yea, wanting credit for showing up.

Then Dr. Carson and Bill O'Reily play a game of Rabbit Season/Duck Season over who was to blame for the Cruz campaign's letter to inform Carson caucusers that the good doctor had suspended his campaign (even though that appears to be rumors based on his "returning to Florida" which he now says, "was to get fresh clothes"). Apparently Dr. Carson wasn't given the memo to blame CNN, instead of the Cruz campaign. But I'm sure they could all agree it was Pres. Obama's fault.

So much for any actual work getting done in the Senate this year. Although, truth be told, it's an election year. Nobody should have expected anything anyway. (Grokked from Robert J Bennett)

And then there were ten. I knew we'd get to an Agatha Christie novel sooner or later.

So, more guns makes us safer, huh? Man shoots dog when he meant to shoot his wife after a drunken argument. I think the dog would disagree with more guns making us safer. On the plus side, the man was actually charged with attempted murder and arrested. 'Cause that doesn't always happen.