There's battle lines being drawn.
Nobody's right if everybody's wrong.
Young people speaking their minds
getting so much resistance from behind

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Linkee-poo, girl, don't you lie to me, tell me where did you sleep last night

Mary Robinette Kowal on the WFC award contest rules and specifications. Ahhhh yep.

"According to a bunch of fancy linguists, people who are more sensitive to written typos and grammatical errors are indeed the kinds of Type A assholes everyone already suspects them to be." Hahahaha, wait a second… (Grokked from John Scalzi, to whom I once wrote an email pointing out some typesetting "errors" in a book of his)

"Researchers found that cost — and even high-tech promises of seeing around curves — had little to do with performance" of your car's headlight system. "(T)he Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tested 82 different headlight configurations available on 2016 model-year cars. More than half of these setups (44) earned no better than a rating of 'poor.'" Well, that can't be good. As someone who drives many times on rural, unlit roads, so very much this.

Sometimes an aircraft carrier is just a cigar. Or something. That's Jim Wright on how we pay it forward with our taxes and how some people only want the aircraft carrier and not educate or keep healthy the people who operate it, do the planning, fly the planes, lube the planes, lube the engines, cook for those who do…

Marie Vibbert on horny boys, sexual harassment, and chat-bots passing the Turing Test (with a solid dose of the objectification of women).

Because all the cool kids are talking about it, a ten-year old girl gets the opportunity to design her own prosthetic arm, develops it as a glitter cannon. Because why the fuck not? Okay, I'm starting to warm to this whole "makers community" (3D printing for the masses) idea. (Grokked from Saladin Ahmed)

The high costs of caring for someone with Alzheimers. And that's on top of the mental and physical strain it makes on the caregivers.

A hospice in Texas is under investigation that management ordered hospice nurses to increase dosages of drugs to hasten patient's deaths. Two thoughts here, this is the result of badly based insurance incentives and two, fucking business majors. We used to have a joke when I was first in college, if you can succeed at engineering go into the arts, if you can succeed there go into education or communications, and if all else fails, get a business degree.

"Security researchers have discovered 1,418 vulnerabilities in CareFusion’s Pyxis SupplyStation system (used to automagically dispense pharmaceuticals and other medical supplies) that are still being used in the healthcare and public health sectors in the US and around the world." Pyxis systems have the greatest market penetration and if you use a mail-order pharmacy, or a large hospital pharmacy, chances are a Pyxis machine counted out those pills and packaged them. (Grokked from Dan)

"Until 2008 not a single earthquake had ever been recorded… from the Dallas–Fort Worth area… Since then, close to 200 have shaken the cities and their immediate suburbs. Statewide, Texas is experiencing a sixfold increase in earthquakes over historic levels. Oklahoma has seen a 160-fold spike in quakes, some of which have sent people to hospitals and damaged buildings and highways." I'm sure it can't be man-made. LOOK A SQUIRREL! Another example of the result of conservative politics ("Drill, Baby, Drill!" and weakening regulatory agencies). "The (1969) experiment showed that human-triggered earthquakes could be controlled by adjusting wastewater-injection pressure. Unfortunately, the lessons of Rangely and the Rocky Mountain Arsenal were apparently forgotten by the early 2000s, when fossil-fuel companies embarked on the shale-gas boom." (Grokked from Kameron Hurley)

The oil business is corrupt? "After a six-month investigation across two continents, Fairfax Media and The Huffington Post can reveal that billions of dollars of government contracts were awarded as the direct result of bribes paid on behalf of firms including British icon Rolls-Royce, US giant Halliburton, Australia’s Leighton Holdings and Korean heavyweights Samsung and Hyundai." Shocked, shocked I am… Actually this could be quite interesting, especially for Halliburton who is subject to US anti-corruption laws (which includes clauses for contracts not awarded in the US to foreign subsidiaries). Although the did open a world HQ in Dubia (at the time wonks speculated it was so they could do work in Iran, which is still verboten for US companies). (Grokked from Dan)

"The question of who shot Brittney Mills is wide open. And the answer could be locked up in an iPhone — her iPhone." Or not. But the police don't have much else to go on. The update since I wrote this is the FBI is now helping more cases with their unlocking scheme, although they haven't promised to help in this case yet.

"'A 21-year-old kid just sort of dies out in the middle of nowhere and nothing happens?'" Life and death in the Bakken oil fields. But we don't need any regulation. Why? Because (at least on "public land") "requiring such an upgrade (automatic oil level checkers) would cause some companies to shut down." Only their required to have them in Canada and on our off-shore rigs and they seem to still be in business. I don't know, why don't we require the use of a respirator with a gas filter when checking oil tanks manually? Or design some mechanism to vent the gases before someone sticks their head over the thief hole? Again, that would be too much money. Just like properly venting coal mines.

"After The Washington Post published a lengthy investigation into the origins of Hillary Clinton's email scandal, including the bombshell revelation that 147 FBI agents were looking into her private server, the newspaper corrected its report late Tuesday to note the number of agents looking into Clinton’s emails was actually fewer than 50." What's a few hundred people here and there? Liberally biased media my ass.

"Abortion rights advocates, meanwhile, scoffed at the space anti-abortion groups tried to put between their approach and Trump’s." Yep. The Trumpster spilled the beans because he did "study" the issue and he understood exactly what the anti-abortion groups want, but not enough to use the language those groups want their chosen candidates to use. Again, he shows his ignorance on how to dog-whistle correctly. And then Dr. Carson goes on to say that the Trumpster didn't know the question was coming so hadn't prepared. Really? A GOP candidate didn't know the abortion questions would be coming? Do these people believe we all have brain damage?

Why do I rail so much against the anti-aboritonists? "The doctors and nurses at St. David’s Medical Center in Austin cried with them, but said because of Texas law HB2, they could not help speed Taylor’s labor. Technically, the baby was healthy and the mother was healthy, so to induce labor (at 20 weeks) would be an abortion, and to do it at this stage in the pregnancy would be illegal." That's one of a few hundred reasons. Not only is this a cruel and painful intrusion into personal lives by placing government between patient and doctor, this can be psychologically damaging (a claim some anti-abortionists make against those who have abortions, for which there is no evidence). These laws damage people's lives for no other reason than pregnancy isn't the wonderfully easy thing it is made out to be in the media. (Grokked from Chuck Wendig)

Damn autocorrect. "Untied" is a legitimate word.

"A 15-year-old girl was pepper-sprayed in the face Tuesday during a tense shouting match that erupted after she was groped outside a Donald Trump campaign rally in Wisconsin, local police said." So, just who is doing all the violence at the Trump Rallies?

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Linkee-poo special

So, today the Trumpster made a gaff and said that if abortion is made illegal, women who have abortions should be punished. He later walked back that statement (while at the same time saying his position hasn't changed, see earlier statements on how the Trumpster talks and tries to get things both ways). He did this because there was tremendous outcry against that position, including from the anti-abortion crowd who said they would never go that far.

Oh, reeeeeeally?

Rennie Gibbs in Mississippi, Purvi Patel in Indiana, Amanda Kimbrough in Alabama, Nina Buckhalter in Mississippi (again), Melissa Ann Rowland in Utah, Bei Bei Shuai in Indiana, and others. All of these mothers are being prosecuted because their children were either stillborn or died shortly after birth. All charged under laws protecting the health of the fetus (most charged with ingesting drugs or poison to intentionally cause the death of the fetus). It took me longer to type this paragraph than it did to google the articles.

So let me call bullshit on the anti-abortion movement. They really do want to make abortion illegal and inaccessible to women, and then prosecute those who may try to do it themselves. They also are coming for your birth control (as previously linked to).

Dear media outlets, this is part of what we mean when we say that you need to report on what is happening, not just say, "this person said this." But that requires smart people doing the reporting, and the courage of the news outlets to upset the people they report on. This isn't hidden knowledge, but it does require actual effort. As you can see it doesn't require much effort.

Linkee-poo, if that's moving up then I'm moving out

Although, you know, they could just pay the teachers more. The UK has a new rule about expats needing to earn £35K a year. I know, I know, they don't have the money. (Grokked from John Scalzi)

"Modern meat chickens are growing so fast, they say, that they are suffering." Note that the chart for birds growing to market weights is in days, not weeks or months. The problem (besides tasteless birds) "'They can't support the weight. We have problems with splayed legs, joint problems. This is a major well-being concern, if the bird can't walk.'" And for the birds they keep around long enough to breed, they have to put them on a severe diet so they're able to actually breed. But slower growth birds cost more. And nobody (not the breeders, the growers, or the processors) are going to want to give up their profit levels.

"Judge Carla Craig of Brooklyn's US Bankruptcy Court just ruled that a 'bar loan' that Citibank offered to law students isn't a student loan…" and therefore is not protected under bankruptcy rules. Whoa. That feeling, that was a few thousand bankers quaking. (Grokked from Neil Gaiman)

"The disconnect between internet fame and financial security is hard to comprehend for both creators and fans." I'm famous on the internet, that and a fiver may get me a discounted cuppa from Starbucks. (Actually I'm not that famous, although people do come up to me at cons, look at my name and say, "I know you from somewhere…") Although I'll disagree with on of their questions on funding through Patreon and other sites, "Is someone with 50,000 subscribers worth supporting financially? How about 200,000?" I haven't supported anyone through Patreon, yet. I'm not entirely comfortable with the business model of husking on the internet. But I would never let how many followers a person has constrain my choices, if I liked them, I'll give a little no matter if I'm the only follower or one in millions. Also, "Countless artists from Van Gogh to Modigliani never got to enjoy their legacy’s fame and fortune. But thankfully, Van Gogh didn’t have to shill for to pissed-off fans of his art." No, he didn't. He did, however, have to constantly hit up his brother for cash. Also, dude, really, I'm nearly 50 and you were that "12-year old with Facebook" to me. Welcome to hell. (Grokked from Tobias Buckell)

"CNBC's Big Crunch blog put up a well-intentioned, but disastrously designed tutorial on secure password creation, which invited users to paste their passwords into a field to have them graded on how difficult it would be to guess them… But CNBC's execution was terrible. Its password testing form was transmitted in the clear… (it) sent all the passwords it received to a Google Doc spreadsheet… (and) all 30 of the advertisers whose ads appeared on the page could also spy on your password." The fuck? (Grokked from Ferrett Steinmetz)

"In a surprise move Tuesday, the Supreme Court issued an order asking the challengers objecting to the accommodation for religious non-profits under Obamacare's contraceptive mandate to brief the court on other alternatives to ensure that employees of religious nonprofits do receive contraceptive coverage." Whelp, someone had an epiphany. Remember all the preening after the oral arguments about who was questioning what and what that might bode (also the discussion about how the male members of the SOTUS didn't know what they were talking about when it came to insurance and women's health)? That's why you wait for the decision.

"(I)f the right wins in the Supreme Court, they will be setting the iron-clad precedent that invasive, nonsensical, anti-competitive regulation is legal." It's so cute when people still think the Conservative Right is logical and consistent in their ideology. The GOP has mastered the fine art of double-think (and even triple-think). It doesn't have to make sense, the base just doesn't care and the media promoting their ideology will never point it out. Just look at the campaign of the Trumpster, when confronted by his own idiotic statements he will say, "That's not true, I don't believe it, but we need to watch it and be vigilant." Having it both ways. It's practically a script.

Ah, the vaunted "everybody will support the nominee" pledge on the GOP falls to ruins. With the Trumpster leading the way, as he so often has, down into the abyss.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Linkee-poo, you got blood on your face, you're big disgrace, waving your pecker all over the place

"The American College of Physicians, whose membership includes 143,000 internal medicine doctors, published a position paper Monday calling for the government and industry to take steps to rein in spiraling costs." Yeah, unfortunately we tried all that, but the GOP didn't like all the non-competition of allowing the government to negotiate drug costs and allowing importation of drugs from other countries (that have more sensible laws controlling the price of pharmaceuticals). And by that I don't mean, "the RNC position papers and platform documents are against it" I mean "we tried putting that into the law and Republican Representatives and Senators stripped it out and added their own amendments to make it illegal."

But Good News, People, "A Massachusetts Institute of Technology economist and Harvard oncologist have a proposal to get highly effective but prohibitively expensive drugs into consumers' hands: health care installment loans." What a marvelous, inventive, idiotic idea they had. Yes, lets take the people having problems paying for their prescriptions that they need to live and make them debtors as well. What could possibly go wrong? "While it may be 'distasteful' to talk about patients mortgaging their lives for treatment, (Andrew Lo, a professor of finance at MIT's Sloan School of Management) said, they hope the proposal will spur change." Oh, well, that's alright then. "Someone who wanted… treatment might take out a health care loan with a nine-year term at an annual interest rate of about 9 percent, the authors suggest. In a twist on conventional loans, if a therapy doesn't work or the patient relapses or dies, the patient isn't obligated to repay the loan." How did these people get doctorates?

So, not only do we have a plethora of cameras catching a lot of stuff on Earth, apparently we're looking out into space the same way. In this case, we caught something impacting on Jupiter (or at least the atmosphere of Jupiter). Seems someone didn't finish their hyperspace calculations before making the jump. (Grokked from Tobias Buckell)

And speaking making the wrong calculation, police arrest Trump spokesperson for battery after another video surfaced showing him grabbing and shoving Michelle Fields who was reporting and trying to ask a question. Oh, wait, I meant that there were cameras everywhere looking at most things. And in a fabulous twist, apparently Mr. Lewandowski's lawyer resigned from being a US Attorney after he bit a stripper in Florida. You just can't make this shit up. (lawyer story grokked from Lisa N. Morton)

The Capitol shooting yesterday. Interesting that they had a "shelter-in-place" drill that morning (not in a conspiracy theory way, but in a "what, didn't we do this earlier" way). Wonder if lawmakers may actually strengthen protective orders now (hahaha, yeah, I know). But you know, if people were allowed to carry guns in the Capitol, I'll bet this never would have happened (whistles innocently, rocking back and forth on heels, hands in pockets). So, I wonder if there will be a call for all good Christians to denounce this lunatic, or maybe (as some of my friends on twitter stated) Ted Cruz will come out with his proposal for police to patrol and secure Christian communities.

Fifteen years of Mac OS X. Has it been 15 years. My, they grow up so fast. (Grokked from Dan)

Say which party wants to get between you and your doctor? And considering those doctors are Ob/Gyns, that's a little more than creepy and controlling.

"For decades she’s been portrayed as a Lady Macbeth involved in nefarious plots, branded as 'a congenital liar' and accused of covering up her husband’s misconduct, from Arkansas to Monica Lewinsky. Some of this is sexist caricature. Some is stoked by the 'Hillary is a liar' videos that flood Facebook feeds. Some of it she brings on herself by insisting on a perimeter or 'zone of privacy' that she protects too fiercely. It’s a natural impulse, given the level of scrutiny she’s attracted, more than any male politician I can think of… Hillary Clinton is fundamentally honest and trustworthy." I know, you could've knocked me over with a feather. But hey, at least Fox News won't have to search far for a new drum to beat once she's President (and they have to retire the "Obama is coming for your (guns, healthcare, jobs, SCOTUS, whatever)." (Grokked from John Scalzi)

"There are voters whose vote is an act of playing offense, and there are voters for whom their vote is mostly an act of very necessary defense." On who is voting for Clinton or Sanders and why. Okay, that's an interesting take. Not sure I completely agree with it, but I think there is some truth to it. (Grokked from Joe Hill)

"Confronted with an ad attacking him on his past comments about women, Donald Trump dismissed his previous remarks by explaining he 'never thought I would run for office.'" Well, that explains it so well. Ah, we should all be more comfortable now. That's about as good as someone asking you why you made a comment you did and responding, "I didn't think anyone was recording" or to a Facebook post, "I didn't think it would be permanent." It's not an excuse.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Linkee-poo needs a house out in Hackensack, is that all you get for your money

Seven successful authors talk about dealing with self doubt. Sure, it might be comforting to think you could look at your Hugos, Nebulas, Sideways, National Book and all the other Awards and have that self doubt vanish in a puff of teenaged angst, but that's not how this thing works. Even cowgirls get the blues, you know.

Jeff VanderMeer on labeling fiction and the human compulsion to want to put names on things. Or as Lucy says, "If we can figure out what you're afraid of, we can put a name on it." I've seen some other discussion of the new label for fiction based in a climate changed world, I'm also not a fan on the name.

Photos of the cherry blossoms of Japan. (Grokked from Jim Hines)

"I’m still alive. So are you. Find the life you want and make it yours without apologies. Whether it’s loud or quiet or filled with dancing or books, or a combination of each." The Bloggess on introversion and looking though the window of the internet into other people's lives.

On those "lazy" workers in the office. A semblance of productivity does not always equal actual productivity as well as the opposite.

The myth of gender equality around the world. I remember a time here in the US when women couldn't get loans by themselves. `(Grokked from Janiece)

"Is spending money to retain brainpower a bad thing? Obviously not. However, as long as tenure remains so weak in Wisconsin, the regents will have to keep doling out cash to stave off poachers if they want to remain a top research university." The conservative policies of Gov. Walker attempts to cut spending, but then actually increases spending? Why, that's unpossible. And by the corporatization of higher-education leads us all to poorer lives. (Grokked from George Takei)

"President Obama has signed the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act, which guarantees all military service dogs a ride home and retirement on U.S. soil." Because they should be returned home. (Grokked from Janiece)

"During Q&A at a news conference in Washington on Monday, Donald Trump called on a tall, striking woman in the press corps. He liked her question… and her look…, so he invited her to join him at the podium for an impromptu job interview… Following a brief exchange, the billionaire declared that 'if we can make a good deal on the salary, she's gonna probably have a job.'" And that's when things started getting weird. Her backstory doesn't completely check out, and there are lots of inconsistencies. (Grokked from Annalee Flower Horne)

"A heavily contaminated area within a 10-kilometer radius of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine will be used to store nuclear waste materials, the chief of a state agency managing the wider exclusion zone said in an interview." Because why not. (Grokked from Dan)

"Memphis man was taken into custody after he attempted to enter Easter services at a local Baptist church packing a loaded handgun and an assault rifle in a backpack." But the kicker is "Authorities report that (the suspect) stated that 'People in society are a threat to him and that he must be vigilant.'" Isn't that exactly the NRA line on protecting yourself and the myth of a good guy with a gun? (Grokked from Jim Wright)

Politico reports that Politico Caucus says Donald Trump shouldn't be the nominee unless he gets the required 1,237 delegates needed to win on the first vote. Yeah, I'd like to see that. Dear GOP "establishment" (aka Party Leaders and wonks), the ground support for Trump already thinks you're a bunch of wankers who don't listen to them. If Trump gets a majority but not the golden number, and you decide to go the #NoTrump way, you might get some of them to vote in a #NoHillary way, but the majority of them will just stay home and sulk (or go third party). This is your Kobayashi Maru test. Only Kirk ever won it, and he cheated. The story then goes on to talk about how the same is true on the Democratic side, to which I only have to say, bwahahaha, you guys tell the best jokes. (Grokked from John Scalzi)

But if they have nothing stupid to say, then they have nothing to fear. On taking the stupid out of politics. Hahahahaha… wait, isn't that how noise cancelling headphones work? (Grokked from Janiece)

Oh look, a real voter fraud case, except this one is about the wishy-washy application and enforcement of Ohio voter laws. Guess who got the benefit of the confusion here? I mean it's no fun unless you guess. (Grokked from Levin Armwood)

The Trumpster rules out internment camps for muslims, but says nothing. I know what he's signaling here, but his words mean nothing except to people who really don't pay attention to the world. Which, unfortunately, is a lot of Americans. His rhetoric doesn't even come up to pablum. His pandering is weak. It's not even up to the level of GW Bush's word salad.

Janiece on the Chicago Trump Event counter protestors.

"As the Republican Party collapses on itself, conservative leaders struggling to explain Mr. Trump’s appeal have largely seized on his unique qualities as a candidate… Others ascribe Mr. Trump’s rise to the xenophobia and racism of Americans angry over their declining power… But the story is also one of a party elite that abandoned its most faithful voters, blue-collar white Americans, who faced economic pain and uncertainty over the past decade as the party’s donors, lawmakers and lobbyists prospered." And specifically were hurt by the policies advocated by the GOP. Unfortunately, so far at least, those supporters don't see how the ideology of the GOP has intentionally screwed them over. That's due to decades of indoctrination of "we may be bad, but those lefties are worse!" The GOP groomed those "Reagan Democrats" to be angry and to believe "government is the problem." They stoked the fires that brought them elections and power. But now a huckster has come along and said, "I can do it better than you." (Grokked from Paolo Bacigalupi)

Sunday, March 27, 2016

How I Spent My Easter Vacation

All of one day.

So I took these

And made this

Which left me with these

Okay, to be fair I did need to add another one of those 2x12x96 planks, but I didn't need one of the 2x4x8s. And, yes, one is of better quality than the other. And while they may not be fine furniture, they're good enough furniture (considering I don't have a planer or jointer).

So that's one of 312 chores that have been stacking up for the past 4 years.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Linkee-poo sayin' oh yeah, life goes on, long after the thrill of living is gone

Dear North Carolina State Government, go fuck yourselves. That's for the rampant bigotry you just enshrined in state law, as well as removing protections for all minorities and for rolling back all social progress since the Civil Rights Act. And to top the cake, for rolling over home rule. I don't often encourage violence, but you all do deserve to be dragged from your seats by torch bearing villagers.

Here's a trick, Google "metronome". I've been thinking of experimenting with a metronome instead of non-verbal music as I write. It keeps a lot of my brain occupied and lets the words come out. (Grokked from Dan)

House spirits. (Grokked from Terri Windling)

"Every year before Easter, small colorful witches appear on Finnish doorsteps in a blend of eastern and western religious traditions related to spring. They hand over catkin branches, reciting healthy wishes in exchange for payment that is traditionally chocolate or other candies." Could you imagine what would happen if we did that here in the US? People would die of apoplexy. So instead we just make the kiddos hunt for eggs left by a rabbit. Because that's all Christian like. I'll bet they aren't even real witches, they ain't got no warts. And the Daily Mail wants us to know "but instead of evil spells they wish people well." They say that 3 times in the article. Because we're all about the inclusion. Happy Ēostre everybody. (Grokked from Ellen Kushner)

Drones photographing ruins around the world. (Grokked from Emma Audley)

Mirrors on our culture. "A day after Microsoft introduced an innocent Artificial Intelligence chat robot to Twitter it has had to delete it after it transformed into an evil Hitler-loving, incestual sex-promoting, 'Bush did 9/11'-proclaiming robot." We don't have to worry about Skynet folks, it'll be huddled in a corner wearing a tinfoil hat. "This is because her responses are learned by the conversations she has with real humans online - and real humans like to say weird stuff online and enjoy hijacking corporate attempts at PR." (Grokked from Chuck Wendig)

So, how would you react to a robotic trash can and what does that say about us? (Grokked from John)

Georgian parents freak the fuck out over yoga. I guess you all are now glad for the separation of Church and State.

This article on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict exposes a lot of what makes this war intractable. It also is an excellent story on privilege and how blind it can make people, and what that does to those who aren't privileged.

The Hidden Brain podcast on tribes and traitors in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. How empathy is a commodity in short supply, and those that practice it are often punished.

This article about millennial and home buying says they're being pushed out of the market because of the rising prices. And this article says they're jumping in. Can you spot the difference in whom the articles are about and why they're having two completely different experiences and outcomes?

A Kentucky Hospital falls victim to ransomware. (Grokked from Dan)

"So far, there are only two data points. And they're imaginary. But the trendline is clear: In the NRA's reimagined fairy tales, putting rifles in the hands of children creates a safer world." Okay, NRA, it's time to come clean, just what kind of hooch do you have over there? 'Cause it must be some good stuff.

"However, he says he does believe Muslims aren't doing enough to speak out against terrorism." And that, your honor, was when I decided to beat him senseless. It was for his own good. Seriously this guy is in "Talent and PR"? Christ, what a shitty firm that must be. I now expect "Croydon Man" to replace "Florida Woman" in the twittersphere. (Grokked from Ferrett Steinmetz)

Bill Moyers asks for the heads of two prominent Democrats. "No, (Hillary Clinton) should come right out and ask for the resignations of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Democratic National Committee Chair — and Florida congresswoman — Debbie Wasserman Schultz. In one masterstroke, she could separate herself from two of the most prominent of all corporate Democratic elitists." He isn't entirely wrong here.

"At one point in the interview, Carson only was able to counter Whoopi Goldberg's assertion that Trump was a racist with 'What’s the alternative?'" Ah, the devil you know argument.

"The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service expects to spend $4 million to repair damage that was caused by armed militia members who occupied a federal wildlife refuge in remote Oregon earlier this year…" So much for the "we were respectful" line.

Tweet of my heart: @HooklandGuide 'I do not measure folklore against scales of truth, but against scales of meaning and power to move my soul.' - CL Nolan #FolkloreThursday

Double dip: @AdviceToWriters Writing is where you put all your reading. CATHERINE LACEY #amwriting #reading #writing #writingtips

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Linkee-poo, look around you all you see are sympathetic eyes, stroll around the grounds until you feel at home

Authors take heart that you could never be as idiotic as this author is responding to a review request. He sounds smart. :: writes worm to destroy all mention of this author on all of the world's interconnected servers :: Lighting a fire that will be seen far and wide. (Just kidding, worms are hellahard to get going these days, viruses are much easier if less precise). (Grokked from Teresa Nielsen Hayden)

BTW, people still illuminate manuscripts. People still print with moveable type. So if anyone tells you how in many years all these printed books will be so much fodder for kindling, they're fucking ignorant asses who have no real life experiences.

When Depression hits, teens look to each other for help.

There's nothing like a crossword fight over plagiarism. (Grokked from Joe Hill)

On academic freedom and Title IX. While the article is quoting a report from the American Association of University Professors on how looser rules on reporting harassment is leading to a stifling of "academic freedom", that's not what I really see going on in the examples outlined in the article. What I see is Title IX being used as an excuse by the administration to get rid of troublesome professors. And it's that abuse that I believe the AAUP is reacting against, not the level of evidence necessary to bring a harassment charge. Also, I see colleges behaving exactly as they did before and ignoring accusations of actual abuse, rape, and hostility toward women. (Grokked from Annalee Flower Horne)

And today is "Duh" News, a task force appointed by Gov. Snyder finds that Michigan government officials fundamentally accountable for the failures that lead to the Flint Water Crisis. My guess is Gov. Snyder will go the GW Bush route and demand 3 more investigations before ignoring the issue. However, and this part I expect to see played up, the report doesn't point the finger at the Governor's Office, and includes the US EPA in their list of organizations that failed to protect the citizens. Say, who decided to switch the water supply and not pre-treat the water? Oh yea, the emergency manager appointed by the governor. I keep forgetting.

We're boned. Yep, actual climate scientists are warning that it may already be too late. I'm sorry, you've reached the US when we're busy losing our minds over electing a new president, we'll get back to you sometime in late 2017, if at all. (Grokked from Sarah Goslee)

Time poverty. Okay, that's a good way to explain the cultural affects of the burden on women.

"(A)s it happens, the DNA in our own cells isn’t solely ours, either. More than eight percent of the human genome is not human at all—it’s from viruses." Well, yeah, they're called retroviruses because they encode in the DNA of the host. We know several of these. HIV is one, varicella (chicken-pox) is another (this is why you get shingles if you've had chicken-pox before, although it's not the only way). Although they think they've found a second entire virus encoded in our DNA. And they might resurrect it. What could possibly go wrong? (Grokked from John)

There's a problem with the modern industrial process. This time it's laminate flooring off-gassing formaldehyde. Guess where the flooring was made. And now my oft repeated line, "But we don't need no stinkin' government regulations."

The Butcher of Srebrenica gets 40 years in jail. Radovan Karadzic is found guilty of war crimes (although not guilty on all counts of genocide). He's 70, a 40 year term is life. Justice is slow, but sometimes does the right thing. (Grokked from Xeni)

"The extent and depth of support for Israel among evangelical Christian is evident in a recent survey carried out by the Brookings Institution and the University of Maryland. The poll suggested that the strong identification with Israel among Republicans stems mainly from the evangelical sector within the party." And while the article goes on to be wishy-washy about the reasoning, and how some believe that Christians and Jews are spiritual brothers (while some do not), it's mostly because millennialists need Israel to rebuild the Temple before Christ can return (for some eschatology). And then the jewish people will either convert, or be ground under at Armageddon. With friends like that…

Old men demonstrate they have no clue as to what women go through. Yet another reason for diversity in the work place. Seriously, this is all about institutions who don't want to offer women birth control through their health plans must write a letter claiming their religious exemption. That isn't a burden, that's a statement of faith (if their faith actually requires it, which it really doesn't but is an extrapolation made to support the patriarchal society those churches have tried to enforce). A letter. And then, the women get the coverage, it just isn't paid for by the institution. So what they're really objecting to is women having access to birth control. Oh, and look, now that Scalia is out of the picture, Alito is still the asshole he has always been (there's just not many worse than him on the court).

Speaker Paul Ryan is upset about the lack of civility in politics. They're so cute when they're young. Gee, Paul, you and your party have been such saints until now (roll clips…) Yes, I know the real problem here is the breaking of Reagan's 11th Commandment, but it was bound to happen sooner or later.

"Erik Prince, founder of the now-defunct mercenary firm Blackwater and current chairman of Frontier Services Group, is under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice and other federal agencies for attempting to broker military services to foreign governments and possible money laundering, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the case." Gee, the former CEO of the former Blackwater is a mercenary with no morals? Who would have thought that. (Grokked from Paolo Bacigalupi)

"More than supporters of any other Republican presidential candidate, those backing Donald Trump think white people in America are 'losing out' because of preferences for blacks and Hispanics, according to a Wednesday analysis from The Washington Post." Ah yep. Note that his numbers are just larger than the other candidates and of the GOP as a whole (which is near 42%).

When you said "Takers", we thought you meant those POC, not us. The GOP starts to eat it own. Dear angry white folk who are supporting Trump and Cruz because they have contempt for the establishment, that's okay, the establishment always held you in contempt as well. So, starting to find out that you all aren't Real American's anyway is a blow to your psyche? It's okay, you've been calling us dirty liberals the same thing. And I think here I will repoint you to We Are The True Americans by Christine Lavin.

"'As far as the notion of having surveillance of neighborhoods where Muslims are present, I just left a country that engages in that kind of neighborhood surveillance,' Obama said. 'Which, by the way, the father of Sen. Cruz escaped for America. The land of the free. The notion that we would start down that slippery slope makes absolutely no sense. It's contrary to who we are. And it's not going to help us defeat ISIL.'" Just in case you ever wondered why I love our President. And these comments (by both Cruzie and Trumpsters)aren't meant to help us defeat ISIL, they're meant as more over dog-whistling to the base. IMHO, the conservatives don't really want to defeat terrorism, because then who would they try to make us afraid of? It's the biggest stick they have, the "Fear Them" stick.

"'When they see trouble, they have to report it. They are not reporting it; they are absolutely not reporting it, and that’s a big problem,' Trump told host Piers Morgan." Dear Trumpster, they have been. They have been all along. You're just a fucking, ignorant, fuckface clown that's a dumpster fire of a presidential candidate that only has a chance because of the decades the GOP has spent making an uninformed, xenophobic, reactionary base.

Seriously, conservatives, stop embarrassing yourself with making up shit. There's enough differences between liberals and conservatives to not do stupid shit like this.

Story Bone

About 15 years ago there was a big rush of researchers using fMRI to reproduce images of what our eyes were seeing from the signals in our brains (this was then also mapped to dreaming imagery). While the actual images produced were very fuzzy (to make an understatement), and I can't find much after that first rush in the 2000-2013 time frame) what if that technology progressed to where you could recreate high-def images (maybe movies) of what someone was seeing. Okay, got that. There's this magic myth that the eye holds the last image ever seen. Now, what if we could scan a dead person's occipital lobe and recreate the last images that were seen. This could be used by criminal forensics teams to solve murders (if the person saw the murderer).

What weird supernatural things would we see through their eyes? There's also the myth that right before death people can see "beyond the veil" (people dying slowly seeing lost relatives in their rooms, that sort of thing). What do the dead see? Would it creep us out? Would it prove an after life (or disprove it in some manner)? What if the last image in the brain was of being reborn?

Okay, different route. As a murderer, how could you manipulate that last image to frame someone else? I have a side thought here that scanning the brain in this manner destroys the brain tissue itself (or re-polarizes the neurons effectively setting them back to zero). So you get one shot at it, and you get what you get. Could you use that to create an alibi, make a statement, or point the finger at someone?

Story Bone

Story about future where everyone's brain is uploaded into a computer which is running a world simulation. The outside real Earth is dead, and the computers have been set up with all intents of "running forever" (note, death of our Sun will happen before heat death of the universe, but whatever). Systems are redundant, and made as bullet proof as ever possible. Some power source is used that would be uninterruptible (worldwide solar grid, geothermal, etc). To make this "life" livable all the people in the networked world agreed to forget that they once lived "outside" and that they are running in a simulation of the world inside a computer. Maybe one or two had to keep that knowledge, it's your story, whatever. This is our colony ship to help humanity survive. But now, some 50 or hundred years later the systems begin to fail, which has noticeable effects into the virtual world (program resets, people just disappearing, glitches in the "resolution" of the world). So the people inside the simulation need to both figure out that they are in a simulation and then how to fix their world. Are there external robots meant to maintain the physical computers they all exist in? Is there a way they can manifest outside And what does that do to their society to realize that they are running in a simulation? Remember, they all choose to forget so they could live "happily" inside a computer simulation.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Linkee-poo, and all this science I don't understand, it's just my job five days a week

Dunning-Kruger and how people who believe in innate intelligence often over estimate their own. How did I get good grades (this last time at school)? Because I came at every test with the attitude, "I'm unprepared, I don't know this material well enough, and I probably can't learn it all in time." And that kept me studying. Although I'll admit near the end I did succumb to procrastination.

Programmable magnets. Okay, then. So it's really a polymer printing that customizes the magnetic fields where for a single magnet you can have the N and S poles on the same plane.

"The evidence that alcohol has any benefit on longevity or heart health is thin, says Dr. Timothy Naimi, a physician and epidemiologist at Boston Medical Center." What? Okay, yeah, most of us could see this coming. Repeat after me, "correlation does not imply causation". But in medicine, it's often mistaken for it (note the mention of LDL vs HDL levels as well). Especially when someone's economic interest is at stake. Another reason I'll tell you our "scientific" medicine isn't very scientific at all. It's just sold to you that way. But, better than dying in the gutter, eh?

"And now the doctors are telling us that meditation and cognitive behavioral therapy often work better than pain meds and other medical treatments for chronic back pain… It's the latest in a series of studies saying that low-tech interventions like exercise, posture training, physical therapy and just the passage of time work better than opioids, imaging or surgery for the vast majority of people with chronic back pain." Well, some times of back pain, and yes, this is some current research that pain meds and surgery don't often help (and sometimes surgery can make it worse, again, everyone is different, there's a lot of things that cause back pain, some of which surgery is the most viable solution, check with your doctor). Actually what the research shows is chronic back pain is often transitory pain, that is you have periods of intense pain that subside after a few minutes. What the research shows is if you train a patient to understand pain, accept that there will be pain but it will pass, you can avoid some of the consequences of pain. The worst thing is to be fearful of the pain, so you hold yourself in rigid positions trying to avoid it. But doing that can exacerbate the problem and cause other pains and muscle-skeletal problems (like bad hips and knees). If you can accept that pain will be there, but know nothing you can do will change it and you just need to wait a moment for it to pass, you will be better off (because keeping in motion is a vital skill). Again, not everyone's back pain is the same or caused by the same problems. This solution may not work for you.

From the horse's mouth, the war on drugs was designed to disrupt the communities and leadership of the left and people of color. It was an extension of Nixon's Southern Strategy and was (for the most part) promoted and pushed through as a way to disarm potential political opponents. (Grokked from Jim Wright)

Oh look, the VA "Fix" doesn't work either. For reasons of 1) Congress rushed it through to look like they were working hard and 2) they outsourced it. And while the article doesn't mention it, because it was outsourced I'm sure all the money is gone.

The GOP response to Brussels, we gotta be more internally divisive and spy on all those weird* people in our midst. *Weird for them means not WASPish enough. Oh, and President Obama needs to come back form Cuba right now. Because reasons. (Grokked from Jim Wright)

The Cruz campaign sure knows how to pick them. And this guy is supposedly the "rational" alternative to the Trumpster. Gods help us.

And the GOP candidate scandal in the US Virgin Islands just keeps getting weirder. (Grokked from Dan)

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Linkee-poo can kill with a smile, she can wound with her eyes, she can ruin your faith with her casual lies

The Brussels attacks, see, in the real world, this is what happens when a terrorist is captured who may have operational intelligence. The leaders isolate the cells they had contact with, and if any plan was close to execution, they pull the trigger on them. Any information the captured operative may have had is quickly rendered obsolete. Phones are trashed and new phones set up, email accounts switched, people move. My guess is they had the bombs and suicide bombers in place, but these weren't their original targets. They were just soft targets that could do a lot of damage. So now the intelligence that Salah Abdeslam had isn't as worth as much as it was yesterday. The mistake made was leaking that he was cooperating. They should have said that they were continuing to work to get information out of him (which is true, it's just not the full truth), which would have bought them some more time. Unless they intended to strike fear in the organization and force their hand, but then these attacks are the result of that calculation (they didn't "cause" the attacks, but they probably sped up the timetable). This is why after every major capture your alert levels go up. Cells are rolled up and dispersed, contact and communication routes are burned, and every plan he knew about will be changed.

Some causes of writers block. Ayep. My current block is just time and mental energy. I'm starting to get into the swing of this new schedule reality (which, of course, means the universe it about to throw a curve ball at me). And I'm really struggling with how to start (and which project). I'm feeling the need for more preparation than I normally do, and I just need to print what I have, tear it into tiny pieces and rebuild it paper-mache style. Although I'll note that one of the causes of a previous writers block involved not doing what the characters needed to do because I had my own reservations. Once I wrote that scene, however, killing a few hundred people "needlessly", the rest of the story flowed out quickly.

The real history of the development of the QWERTY keyboard. (Grokked from Dan)

Why do poor people "waste" money on "luxury" goods? Having been in those shoes (but being a white man), yes, this.

On the tactics of silencing. How to keep the marginalized in the margins, and the worst part is the self-enforcing paradigm of the actions. Note, you will see many of these in the coming election (hell, I think I could shout "Bingo!" already). (Grokked from Annalee Flower Horne)

BoingBoing as more on that supposed encryption software on the terrorist's computer. So, supposedly, in the middle of the carnage, one of the terrorists took a moment to check his email. Which looked like gibberish, and there weren't any pictures or any internet (yes, we all know she meant the world wide web, let's not be totally pedantic because she probably really meant Facebook). I understand that our elected officials and judiciary have no concept of technology, but you'd think someone somewhere in some newsroom would look at that and say, "Are they trying to punk us, or what?"

Just a reminder that Flint isn't the only place struggling with lead, and that water isn't the only way kids get lead poisoning. And all of it, entirely all of it, was avoidable except some companies wanted shortcuts and wanted higher profits. This wasn't a "we didn't know", it was a "we didn't care" and "we didn't think anything would happen until we were dead" kind of problem.

Illinois cuts funding for public universities. Well, because of their inability to pass a budget, no public money is flowing to its public universities. And that means several, mainly those that serve poorer communities, may need to shut their doors. (Grokked from Mary Robinette Kowal)

The Do Your Job Camapign comes to a state senator's office near you.

Sure Trump is bad, but you lefties are worse. And you shouldn't try anything funny, because we's got all de guns. Sigh. Whackaloon quotient goes sky high. (Grokked from Jim Wright)

Wally George, the proto-right-wing media mogul. (Grokked from Dan)

This pretty much is the embodiment of the Trump campaign. He goes to AIPAC and claims the Jews love him, and his daughter is about to have the most beautiful Jewish baby. Uh, doesn't work that way.

AIPAC then put out a statement distancing themselves from Trump's statements about the President. Well, at least there is that.

The problem of the Bundy Clan is they have a lot of supporters of their whackaloon ideas in high offices. So Congress, after berating the EPA for not moving fast enough on the Flint Water Crisis, is about to strip the BLM of their enforcement power (like they previously striped the EPA of some of their powers). Because these people don't learn lessons. At least not any that contradict their ideology.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Linkee-poo have boring meeting with boring manager Rob

Millionaires beg NY to raise their taxes. Why? Well, for one they might get a better deal by volunteering and two, they know who will be up against the wall when the revolution comes.

About the arrest of Salah Abdeslam. So, the Paris Police release a report that says many things. Including that witnesses at the Bataclan said they saw what they think was encryption software on the attackers laptops. WTF? Did the attackers stop, set up a wifi hub, and answer email in the middle of the attack. What exactly does encryption software look like and how can you tell what it is from a glance at a screen while you're in the middle of getting shot? Who the hell takes a laptop to a terrorist attack? "I'm going to kill all these people and then blow myself up, but I don't want to miss out on this Amazon Gold Box Special"? I'ma going to call bullshit on that one.

John Oliver on the absurdity of Donal Trump's wall. Again I will note, the most secure border in modern history was the Wall around West Berlin. And even that short frontier, ringed with machine-gun nests and a "Zone of Death" saw over 4000 people make it successfully to the West since it's construction until it was torn down. A wall can regulate trade (as the Great Wall of China and Hadrian's Wall in England), but it only controls the mildly curious.

"The real issue is not whether Trump is a modern-day Hitler or Mussolini. The problem lies deeper: with the social and political mores that have made possible his crude nativism and contempt for social progress." We have met the enemy, and he is us. Bill Moyers on Weimar Germany and the rise of Donald Trump. (Grokked from John)

Reince Preibus has obviously just woken up from a 20 year long coma to find the news media will grind on something 14/7. Sure, Reince, it's all the media's fault for covering the violence at Trump rallies. I mean, the liberal media doesn't cover all the violence going on at Clinton and Sanders' rallies, which as we all know is like a mosh pit at a death metal concert.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Linkee-poo, now you swear and kick and beg us that you're not a gamblin' man then you find you're back in Vegas with a handle in your hand

This is the product of when your farmers view themselves like factories. Note that while Gigi produces all that milk, her functional life span is less than a third of other cows. You don't want to even know what having a dirt area outside the barn for the cows to stand in is considered "an improvement."

Not only does the FCC want you to have control over the private information your ISP collects, they're also warning app developers about listening in on your TV's non-audible chirps. (Grokked from John)

On why millennials, especially millennial women, are burning out at a faster rate in their jobs. Gee, no work protections, bosses who are in love with the line "it's just business", work that expects you to be available 24/7 (even for my PRN job that I specifically stated I wouldn't be and they accepted that), low pay, no stability… gee, why are people burning out Fast Company? Maybe you're partly to blame. And the irony of the last paragraph is a killer. (Grokked from Hannah Bowman)

Why Medicare Part D is a scam, and we need to overhaul the Medicare/Medicaid system to make it more user friendly and affordable. "The percentage of drugs requiring coinsurance has climbed steadily, increasing from 35 percent in 2014 to 45 percent last year. That percentage is approaching two-thirds of all covered drugs." So, because conservatives were in charge for it, we have "the market will fix it" solutions, which typically screw the user over.

"Republican elected officials admitted they promised to help a convicted felon run for elected office if he agreed to stop paying his mandated grazing fees." Hmm, I believe that's called "conspiracy to commit" and "accessory", not to mention a fiduciary abuse of office. (Grokked from Jim Wright)

The Cook Political Report is already moving the needle on this Fall's House races in light of a probably Trump or Cruz nomination.

Since it was trumpeted at the time, we note this as not so much a correction, but a "too difficult to prove" problem. "Podliska’s attorneys filed an amendment in late February to remove the claim that he was axed from the House Select Committee on Benghazi because he objected to the committee’s increasing focus on Clinton’s tenure at the State Department." Gear up the "Clinton Conspiracies" machine, Sherman, it's going to be a long night.

"But Democrats shouldn’t worry. Republicans shouldn’t celebrate. As others have pointed out, voter turnout is an indication of the competitiveness of a primary contest, not of what will happen in the general election. The GOP presidential primary is more competitive than the Democratic race." Yeah, that. Look, Republicans are reliable voters. This is why they win the off year elections (and primary elections). Can things stir them up, sure. But the needles don't move that much. Democrats, on the other hand, are a fickle bunch. They usually only come out for Presidential year elections. And then if they're motivated. Most progressives I've talked with are of the mind, "I really like (one or the other), but I'd be okay with (the other one)." That doesn't lend itself to motivate them to come out to the polls for a primary. (Grokked from John Scalzi)

I've had a few conversations online about this, so let me state this here, the GOP has made a strategic blunder by not quickly confirming a SCOTUS nominee. They should have been begging President Obama to put a name forward as quickly as possible. But then they were caught up in the "We hate everything he wants to do" plan. See, if they would have confirmed quickly, their own base would have yelled and screamed and then gotten back to the business of marching toward the convention and getting their guy elected. Instead they decided to keep the SCOTUS seat open till we're past the election, and in doing so remind the normally disaffected progressives that electing a President means also electing who gets to nominate for SCOTUS. The next President will have probably three opportunities to nominate to SCOTUS (they're not a young bunch). This will make four. While there's a chance they may overplay their hand and turn off the base, all the Dems need to do is just periodically remind the country that there's a SCOTUS seat vacant and the base will come out this Fall. The Republican Convention is going to be a shitstorm, that much is clear. While people may be criticizing Trump for saying there would be rioting if he's not the nominee, I've been privately saying that for a month now. We very likely will see a third party attempt this Fall either by Trump or by the "establishment" GOP, who are visibly upset over what their party has come to stand for (well, they're upset they can no longer play the anger to their advantage). So there's a schism about to happen. This is not good news for Democrats. The GOP has skirted this cliff a few times before and have emerged stronger. I'm not sure they're going to be able to pull back this time, so either they go over the cliff with Trump, or push their own candidate and break the Reagan Compromise (all these angry white people, those are the Reagan Democrats and what the Tea Party has become). Before Reagan, social conservatives were disaffected and didn't vote much. Reagan brought them in with a revamping of the Southern Strategy. They're now openly rebelling against having their vote go to people they don't think will enact their agenda. If the GOP Establishment pisses on their Trump campaign, they may just give up after they fail at a third party option.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Linkee-poo, guess I thought you'd be here forever

Apparently the Sad Puppies are at it again this year.

Ask the Agent on ethics. Money flows toward the writer. As she says, there are legit editorial services out there, but there are also plenty of scammers who just want your money. (Grokked from Hannah Bowman)

CC Findlay on the paragraph. For the day job I experience a lot of people suffering from Dunning-Kruger effect. This takes several forms, but they all have in common the inability to write an effective paragraph. (Grokked from Rae Carson)

The Getty is having a Robert Mapplethorpe show. If you have a chance, I'd highly recommend it. I saw the show in Cincinnati. The X Folio really wasn't all that great, but the flower and the portraits, Oh My God.

A standing desk is better for you. Science says, not so much. Let me just say both sides outlined in this article are being disingenuous and dismissive of the other side.

"California's insurance exchange is threatening to cut hospitals from its networks for poor performance or high costs, a novel proposal that is drawing heavy fire from medical providers and insurers." This is what we talk about when we talk about "controlling costs." Note that nobody in this debate, not patients, hospitals, doctors, insurance providers, nobody is happy about this. If you really want to have competition, the medical industry needs to be more transparent. Unfortunately while they should have known this was coming for years now, their pricing models are still based on "bilk the self-insured to keep the numbers up, so we have room to negotiate with insurance and still remain highly-profitable." Kinda sucks where the rubber meets the road, doesn't it. My only issue, anyone want to bet exactly where those hospitals they're going to cut are and what communities they serve?

The Shawna Cox cell phone video from inside LaVoy Finicum's truck starts after they were pulled over the first time, runs until they are ordered out of the truck. I debated about posting this, but I think seeing just what happens when all the tough talk becomes real and hearing Mr. Finicum basically daring the Oregon State Troopers to shoot him could be important. Seeing the confusion up close that can surround real life operations is also important. Also hearing the people in their own words, how they see what is going on and how their own story is playing out in their heads can also be instructive.

I think someone had a birthday at NPR. Number four of the eight ways to survive the middle years, "'At every stage of life, you should be a rookie at something.'" Yes, that. It took me a long time to learn number two, and I'm still working on internalizing it. Also please note that the written article is very different than the broadcast story. I recommend both. Also linked to in the article the University of Pennsylvania authentic happiness testing center. I haven't taken any of these yet, but I'll bet they're better than the "What Game of Thrones character are you" type quizzes.

What Trump supporters think "Makes America Great, Again" means. (Grokked from Robert J Bennett)

"And other signs of social unraveling, from deteriorating health to growing isolation, are also on the rise among American whites. Something is going seriously wrong in the heartland." Paul Krugman on on facing the problems of ones ideology, but not recognizing that it's the ideology driving the problems. "But the Republican elite can’t handle the truth. It’s too committed to an Ayn Rand story line about heroic job creators versus moochers to admit either that trickle-down economics can fail to deliver good jobs, or that sometimes government aid is a crucial lifeline. So it ends up lashing out at its own voters when they refuse to buy into that story line." This also runs with this NPR story about rank and file Republicans having a difficult time with accepting Trump as the nominee, because they're still struggling with the ideology, clinging to it in hopes that it will eventually deliver on its promises.

Tweet of my heart: @FarrahRochon It's obvious every white book sure as hell isn't a bestseller, but failure doesn't result in selling no more books with white characters.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Linkee-poo, where the streets have no names

Just a reminder that this day was a big recruitment and fund raising day in the US for the Irish Republican Army, the terrorists we loved to coddle.

Since it's St. Paddy's Day, have some Irish folktales as selected by W. B. Yates. (Grokked from Ellen Kushner)

The goat made me do it. A short history of hysterias, animal trials, the the presence of the Devil in animals. (Grokked from Terri Windling)

A late 10th, early 11th century book of riddles. Mostly in Latin and Old English. (Grokked from Sarah Goslee)

Being different is good. Sure, it hurts in school. And there are a great many adults who think of the world and high school writ large and they never grow beyond what they were in high school. That life would kinda suck, and could only really be tolerable if you remain ignorant. Don't be that person. Be different.

Good news, people! "(B)rain researchers have great news for people 30 and up who feel their brains are slowing down. We can get smarter." Well thank the gods for that.

The wonderful experimentation lab that is evolution. The "Tully Monster" has been (somewhat) figured out. (Grokked from John)

"Doctors have long disputed the accusation that the payments they receive from pharmaceutical companies have any relationship to how they prescribe drugs… (except)… A new ProPublica analysis has found that doctors who receive payments from the medical industry do indeed prescribe drugs differently on average than their colleagues who don't. And the more money they receive, the more brand-name medications they tend to prescribe." This is my shocked face. You do know that pharma buy prescription information from pharmacies which include which doctors are prescribing what medications and at what rate. Although some doctors are now refusing any pharma money. For my own doctor's office, they have regulated just how much pharma reps can be in the office. Why? Because there were so many, they were annoying the patients by jumping the sign-in line, constantly interrupting the flow of patients, and generally being dicks. So now they're only allowed in my doctor's office on two days, and they'r not allowed to bring food.

You mean privatizing government is less efficient, more costly, and less transparent. This is my shocked face. (Grokked from Robert J Bennett)

The US Military will supposedly pay you money to make a bomb out of your household appliances. So they can then see what creativity is out there to try and develop tech to stop it. Anybody thinking this is some kinda of Last StarFighter interview process? Also, say, remember it's against the law to build a bomb. Apparently DARPA doesn't remember either. (Grokked from Warren Ellis)

Don't get sick. Medical debt is still a big problem. One that won't be solved until we have a single-payor program.

And a Marketplace report on living without a safety net. I'm fortunate that I now have one, although it feels very precarious. I'm not sure if it's a relic of instilled paranoia about having enough, or if I'm really that on edge. But it is one of the reasons I work my two jobs. Tell me again how we need more tax relief for the 1%, because that's not really helping the vast majority of people. A "rising tide" can only lift you up if you already have a boat.

"Early voting (in NC) offered a glimpse of the problems that will arise on Tuesday — during the past ten days of early voting, many college students were blocked from the polls." Ah, working as planned. (Grokked from Steven Gould)

"The visit was the latest step in an ongoing and organized campaign by these lawmakers, essentially the political arm of the militant movement, to make a once-radical political cause part of the mainstream." The lawmakers who supported the Bunds and just how whackaloon the right has become. When the GOP says they're a "Big Tent" party, this is what they're talking about. They have rightwing, social conservatives, and the whackaloons. That's their Big Tent. (Grokked from Xeni)

Why the Trumpster hasn't been charged with inciting a riot. And I have to disagree with the final statement. While the Secret Service do swear to uphold and defend the constitution, and while and while their original mandate (and most of what they do) is act as Treasury's enforcement arm, they are not police. And while protecting their charge, they will not prevent a crime from happening under their watch. They will, however, be willing to testify against their charges. IIRC (Grokked from BoingBoing)

Well, Trump is expanding the base. But truthfully, white supremacists have always supported conservative politics. They're just more prominent and vocal this time around. (Grokked from Jason Sanford)

"EIU (the Economist Intelligence Unit) rated a possible Trump presidency among its top-10 global risks in forecasts released Wednesday, citing a possible international trade war and the candidate's rhetoric serving as a "potent recruitment tool" for jihadist groups among its concerns." Well, that can't be good. In other dumpster-fire news, the Trumpster calls the Wall Street Journal editorial board a bunch of poopy-heads.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Linkee-poo has been told if you never slow down, you never grow old

Surprised I haven't seen this anywhere yet, but Donald=6, Drumpf=6, and Johann is German for John, so = 6. Make of this what you will.

"The Noordbrabants Museum in Den Bosch will organize… the block-buster exhibition ‘Hieronymus Bosch – Visions of a genius.’ With an expected 20 paintings (panels and triptychs) and 19 drawings it is envisioned to be the biggest exhibition of Hieronymus Bosch (ca. 1450 to 1516) ever." We're gonna need more drugs. Actually, I'm a big fan of Bosch, this would be fantastic to go see. I wonder if they're going to tour the exhibition, though. (Grokked from Emma Audsley)

The history and meaning of Beauty and the Beast. And here I though the meaning was, "Be nice to old beggar ladies, because they may be goddesses in crone form." (Grokked from Terri Windling)

My new Facebook posting strategy. (Grokked from Dan)

"That voice, inevitably, calls us to look at Nina Simone’s face, and for a brief moment, understand that the hate we felt, that the mockery we dispensed, was unnatural, was the fruit of conjurations and the shadow of plunder." The face, how ingrained our prejudices are, and the legacy of white-supremacy having poisoned the well. (Grokked from Saladin Ahmed)

Remember when you could get codeine cough syrup and Nytol with pseudo-ephedrine? Well the CDC is about to do the same thing with opioids. Thing is, opioids already have very strict controls on them. We've already had this battle. When the rules were based on more restrictions, that's when the "death with dignity" movement gained a lot of traction. Chronic pain treatments were "suck it up." You want to stem the epidemic of opioid and heroin use, tackle the actual problem of income and opportunity inequality and difficulty of obtaining adequate medication for chronic conditions. Opioids are Schedule II drugs, which means you have to have a special license to prescribe them, pharmacies must do regular counts of their stock and match up to what is delivered versus what is dispensed, these are already highly controlled drugs. Putting them out of reach of the people who need them will cause needless pain. If you want to control them more, than get real about enforcing the rules on doctors who over prescribe (and not just focus on "pain management clinics" like you do). Seriously, we know when people are coming in to do doctor shopping. If you adjusted HIPAA just a little we could do a much better job. And while we're at it, how about increasing the money spent on rehab programs and needle exchanges. When you talk with these addicts, most want to quit. They know they're killing themselves, but they can't find help or have to wait a few months before they can get into a program. That doesn't help.

How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? Or how many hamburgers would you have to eat to equal the sun's output? The answer? Billions and Billions. (Grokked from John)

Another one bites the dust. Another PA Supreme Court justice is forced to resign in the growing "indecent" email scandal. Yeah, there's enough shit to cover everybody involved in that case.

"Mainstream websites, including those published by The New York Times, the BBC, MSN, and AOL, are falling victim to a new rash of malicious ads that attempt to surreptitiously install crypto ransomware and other malware on the computers of unsuspecting visitors, security firms warned." The problem of making things "automatic" and distributed by third-parties, you're only as secure as the weakest link in the chain. Unfortunately I have linked to all of those sites (but only recently to the NYT, IIRC). Please check your antivirus. (Grokked from John)

The Freedom Caucus, when faced with a rock and a hard place, chooses the rock. Whelp, kiddies, looks like we're going to have another budgetary show down right before the elections. I'm sure this one will work out in the conservatives favor, unlike the past two. What's the definition of insanity again? Oh, and that hard place, entirely self-inflicted. See, they all ran on platforms that they knew they couldn't really keep, but now their constituents aren't going to let them off. Because those constituents were raised on the platforms and the are true believers. And if these idiots don't deliver they'll get thrown out of office. Just note why the Trumpster is winning. (Grokked from Robert J Bennett)

Come on, give us a smile. Well, a Hillary presidency could be interesting in a societal manner. Like Barak Obama's presidency was marked by bringing the racists out of the closet, her's would bring the misogynists out into the open.

So, apparently if you work for the Trumpster's campaign, even as a volunteer, you have to sign a pretty restrictive NDA. Yeah, I don't think that's going to pass muster in any court or with the FEC. Say, remember when conservatives said that it was liberals who wanted to take your freedom of speech? Good times. Good times. (Grokked from John)

Again, tell me which party is the one taking away free speech? I keep forgetting.

In light of my new policy, It Begins. "A member of the Republican National Committee's Rules Committee said Wednesday that the party will decide who the GOP nominee will be, not the voters." He later clarified that it's the delegates who will choose, sort of like how the Electoral College chooses the President. (Grokked from Justin)

And about those delegates, this happened. Because two delegates in Illinois because they had "funny sounding names." You just couldn't make this shit up in a story and expect people to believe you. (Grokked from Vince O'Conner)

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Linkee-poo is waiting for the angels of Avalon, waiting for the eastern glow

The enduring presence of the Green Man. An interesting take on the forced history of the figure, one that I disagree with in several ways (not least of which is the lingering East-coast liberal elitism and unexamined sexism - yes, I know the author is a woman - prevalent throughout), but provides some historical reference. A symbol is whatever the people viewing it make of it, while the original meaning may be lost (if there ever was one, sometimes a gargoyle is just a water downspout), what the article does get right is what is important is how the symbol is read in today's world. (Grokked from Terri Windling)

Ten tip to write like Shakespeare. (Grokked from Ellen Kushner)

The last temple of the Celts. The old gods die the hardest. (Grokked from Terri Windling)

So, hacking your hotel light controls. "(System hotel used to control their lights from Android tablets) is a pretty trivial protocol, and notably has no authentication whatsoever." What could go wrong? Seriously, no authentication protocols? And people are upset that the toilets automatically flush. (Grokked from Dan)

"The dispensary had two video surveillance systems… SAPD personnel 'legally disabled 16 surveillance cameras… The hidden 4-camera system continued to record during the execution of the search warrant,' Orange County prosecutors said in the statement." What the WHAT? Police are allowed to legally disable a private business' security cameras? I think that's pretty thin ice that any good lawyer could shatter. Especially in this case were bad officer behavior was caught on the more hidden security system. I'm now trying to figure out why you would need a warrant to discover if the dispensary had proper permits. Wouldn't a document search at the court house be sufficient? Yea I'm thinking a civil suit is in order here. (Grokked from John)

Can a computer program be racist or sexists. Well, no, unless we give computer programs autonomy and personhood. But the programmers who wrote the program can be and their biases often come out in the programming. It's also not just racism and sexism. My wife didn't take my last name. There are still corporate programs out there that can't handle that. For several we've had to do work arounds. There are hundreds of program blind spots into culture and reality. And here I will state that if you think the portrayal of physicists in the Big Bang Theory show them to be insular know-it-alls who never think there's anything outside their own "science" and that they could never be wrong, OMG, you've never been in a room with programmers. First of all, programming is not "science". It's engineering (another profession with an astounding amount of academic narcissism). Although you'd never know that talking with many programmers who love to hold forth and many of the other sciences. Hell, just look at how easily systems are hacked. True, bullet-proof security is an impossibility, but jeez, they could at least make it difficult.

And speaking of computer programs, the AlphaGo program has won the Go tournament. At least it wasn't a total blow-out for the humans. (Grokked from John)

Don't think the Koch brothers, their political movement, or libertarianism in general is evil? Did you know they're against public funding of libraries. This library in Illinois in particular. This is the result of a "no taxes" mentality. Well, the Kochs are rich, I'm sure they'll fund the library out of the goodness of their hearts. (Grokked from Chuck Wendig)

The police don't want to speculate why Chesapeake Energy founder Aubrey McClendon had his gas pedal floored as his SUV slammed into bridge support. Really? REALLY? While not as detrimental to other people, here is your white privilege writ large. That the man was rich only compounds the issue. I'm sure the family is fighting for the insurance money. There are suicide clauses for most life insurance plans.

"Because part of politics is a show… part of a grand messaging scheme intended to increase interest in the campaign, drive turnout, and deliver money into the pockets of everyone from the operatives to the cable networks… But something went wrong… The viewers stopped realizing they were watching a show." Even some of the pundits have forgotten it's a show. Also, about that picture on the top, you do know when the Bushes are in Washington, they most likely sleep at the White House, just as the Clintons did when GW was in. Being President is a very small, exclusive club, and they tend to be supportive of each other. (Grokked from Astrid Julian)

Why do we need gun control? Because in the US toddlers shoot more people than terrorists do. (Grokked form Chuck Wendig)

The Trumpster says that basically no one has been injured at his rallies. Really? The mindfuckery required to reach that statement after having to cancel rallies because of "security concerns" and offering to pay the legal fees of a support who punched a protestor in the face approaches mind boggling. Until you remember that he's a narcissist and megalomaniac CEO asshole. And then it all makes sense.

"Carson then said that Trump had promised him a role in his administration, 'certainly in an advisory capacity.'" Jesus, these people are really bad as basic politics. I think it's a function of them getting in front of what they consider a "friendly audience" and then they just forget what they're supposed to keep secret. Although this might be a way to scuttle the Trump Ship because "Federal law expressly prohibits candidates from directly or indirectly promising 'the appointment of any person to any public or private position or employment, for the purpose of procuring support in his candidacy.'" Although I would be giving them too much credit for being intelligent to go that route. Plus is would mean Dr. Carson would have volunteered to be the sacrifice. (Grokked from Maureen Johnson)