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

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Linkee-poo worries over situations I know will be all right, perhaps it's just imagination

EDIT Sorry folks, I don't know why there's a double post. But since they've both been up for a while, I don't want to delete one just in case someone is linking to it. So, no, we're not having a stroke, but Blogger might be.

Every time I think Brexit can't get any stranger and melodramatic, I'm proven wrong. I wonder how US Anglophiles are doing these days?

F&SF is looking for slush readers. If I didn't already have 2 jobs, I would be so all over this.

Marie Vibbert on visualizing writing like music.

The Bloggess has some suggestions for labeling Facebook posts. It's funny because it's true.

"Climate scientists this week expressed alarm after 'unprecedented' data showed the Northern Hemisphere Jet Stream crossing the Equator." Remember a couple of years ago when a typhoon crossed the Arctic Circle and was strong enough to push the Polar Vortex down into the United States. I'm sure everything will be okay. What's this "'massive hits to the food supply' and 'massive geopolitical unrest'" you're talking about? We're boned. (Grokked from Robert J Bennett)

"In Workarounds to Computer Access in Healthcare Organizations: You Want My Password or a Dead Patient?, security researchers from Penn, Dartmouth and USC conducted an excellent piece of ethnographic research on health workers, shadowing them as they moved through their work environments, blithely ignoring, circumventing and sabotaging the information security measures imposed by their IT departments, because in so doing, they were saving lives." I can attest to this. Hospital IT is about the most bizarre and Rube-Goldbergian as it gets.

"Sick of getting your view blocked at live shows by people holding up their phones? Apple was granted a patent yesterday for technology that can disable those cameras — at least in specific places." I see no way this could be abused by overzealous officials and businessmen.

For a law and order standpoint this is exactly what you don't want to happen. "After that first warning (for Norristown, Pa's "nuisance laws"), Briggs — who also had a 3-year-old daughter — was reluctant to call the police when her boyfriend beat her up. But one night, when they got into a fight, he slit her neck open with a broken ashtray. When she woke up in a pool of blood, her first thought was not to dial 911." There is so much wrong here, and the real problem pops out in one of the interviews, but nobody acknowledges it. "'In addition to making sure that citizens in our city have the ability to live in neighborhoods free of nuisance activity, we also felt the need to recoup some of the costs of taxpayer funder services,' (Amanda Grieder who oversees compliance with a nuisance ordinance in Cedar Rapids, Iowa) says." No. Fucking no. Your law enforcement forces are never to be seen as a profit center. These services are already paid for by the taxpayers. There's no need to "recoup" your costs. This comes from your elected officials being too craven to properly fund and staff essential services and to tell those tax payers (of which Lakisha Briggs is one) that you need a little more or that you need to cut services. For proper policing you never want your citizens to think, "no matter what happens, don't call the police." "Since the Briggs case was settled… Norristown has taken a new approach… police and other local agencies now work more closely with residents to try to address the underlying problems that lead to excessive police calls — such as drug trafficking, domestic abuse or mental illness… crime has dropped as a result." Funny that.

"'Typically, in a major election year, we see a decrease in the number of abortion restrictions enacted,' said Elizabeth Nash, who tracks state policies at the nonprofit Guttmacher Institute, which supports abortion rights. 'But this year, we've seen a bit of an uptick.'" That and new gun laws (giving people more "freedom", like in Idaho where anyone over 21 can carry a concealed weapon without license or training), the social conservative train keeps rolling. This is the fallout of the 2010 redrawing of the electoral maps.

"A suburban Chicago gun shop is raffling a semi-automatic weapon to benefit victims of the nightclub shooting in Orlando." I'll take "Amazingly Poor Taste", Alex, for $500.

"Police in the U.K. have registered a noticeable rise in hate speech and complaints of racial abuse since last week's historic vote to pull Britain out of the European Union." Who could have seen that coming? Boy, I sure hope this isn't a sign of what's to come here in the US? (Yeah, don't look at the news, it's already here.

"In a series of interviews with The Associated Press, Klan leaders said they feel that U.S. politics are going their way, as a nationalist, us-against-them mentality deepens across the nation… Klan leaders say Donald Trump's ascendancy in the GOP is a sign things are going their way." Just in case anyone wonders where we get the "Trumpster is a Neo-Nazi/racist/bigot" idea from. We get it from the Neo-Nazis, racists, and bigots. Oh, and the terrorists just love him as well.

So, in the wake of two Obama administrations, how are race relations? "The report, titled On Views of Race and Inequality, Blacks and Whites are Worlds Apart, found that just 8 percent of black Americans say the changes needed to achieve racial equality for blacks in the U.S. have already been made, while nearly 40 percent of white Americans say the same thing." One of the major things that worries me about a Trump presidency is I have memories of crusty conservative white people congratulating random blacks on "their victory" when Obama won in 2008. I personally saw this twice and have heard about many more.

"But in the current political climate, some conservative Christians are struggling with how to apply religious freedom to other faiths — like Islam." Funny thing, if you take what a lot of social conservatives are saying about religious liberty, and it's pretty much an argument in favor of Sharia Law. Some of them are now realizing that. What you're witnessing is when the person who is making an argument is suddenly struck with the knowledge of the reductio ad absurdum. And this is why there should be a wall between Church and State (but then the conservative Christians wouldn't be able to force their agenda on the rest of us).

"The 270 Project, a handy tool where you can adjust voter turnout and margin of victory for five demographic groups — white women, white men, African-Americans, Latinos and others (Asian, Native American, mixed race) — to see what it would take for Trump or Clinton to win." Fairly crude, but interesting. At least they got it right to count electoral college votes and not just the popularity poles that are run on the news. The NPR story is long with lots of electoral math neppary, but worth the read (IMHO).

Bill Clinton and Attorney General Loretta Lynch had an unscheduled private conversation on the government jet she was flying on. It was only a few minutes, wasn't scheduled, and probably just about social niceties, but both of them are smart enough to know that if they saw each other, you wave… and then move on. The optics are very bad. And don't think the GOP won't make hay with this.

So, what will happen as the Trumpster is increasingly portrayed as the "Loser" (given current polling)? Well, one option is to walk away. This is his historical precedent, declare where you're at "victory" and walk away before total failure (you might recognize this tactic from other people's political campaigns). Or you could go with Ben Carson's Mom (according to Ben Carson) who probably would have shot many of the "dishonest reporters."

I think I've said this about the Trumpster's language before, that the people who support him are reading their own desires and fears into what he says, which isn't much of anything. But this article puts it better. "The objective correlative is like a Rorschach ink blot. People will see different things in it." The Trumpster is stupid about many things, but not about his language (the reverse of a previous President, which as I've also said was a cultivated appearance). (Grokked from Patrick Nielsen Hayden)

"Donald Trump said Wednesday that he thought his Republican primary opponents who vowed to support the Party's nominee should follow through or be banned from running for public office." You may remember the GOP gathered all of them together and strong armed them to sign the pledge mostly to make sure the Trumpster didn't run as a third party candidate. How's those loyalty pledges working out? Also, how will the Trumpster every be able to counter the Democrats without buying ad time? :: Points ::

Watchdog groups finally have enough and complain to the FEC about the Trumpster's fundraising which sent emails to foreign elected leaders. Who could have seen that coming?

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