And they come with no warning,
nature loves her little surprises.
Continual crisis!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Linkee-poo, they wanna get my gold on the ceiling

So, on my link yesterday about the paranoia of who is listening in and who is tracking us, a little update. Yesterday there was a story about how cargo short sales are down and what was once a staple of men's summer wardrobe is now considered out of fashion (it's okay, I've never considered myself fashionable anyway). I read a few stories looking for something entertaining that I could link to. So now I'm getting web ads from Amazon for cargo shorts. Note, I never have looked for cargo shorts (or shorts of any kind) on Amazon. (Insert Twilight Zone theme music here)

Just a little housekeeping that I wanted you to be aware of. I'm getting a significant increase in traffic from Russia and Germany (Russia is now the #1 source of my page views here, Germany is 3rd behind the US, that spot is typically claimed by the Chinese link farmers, who are now at #5). :: Waves to all my new comrades :: It's because of this guy that Jim Wright is talking about. See, I like Jim. I think he's one of the good ones (even when we disagree on minor issues, I still know he's fighting the good fight, and he's another SF/F writer). He sometimes writes posts that sound like he ripped the thoughts out of my own head (although he's funnier). Jim occasionally snags a live one on twitter and if I see an in or a need I provide some flanking maneuvering and try to deflect some of the incoming toward me. Or as I call it, "recreational troll slaying." Well, more like poking the bear from a different angle (see what I did there). Anyway, just so you all know, this guy is more than likely from one of the troll farms in Russia and is being pointed to the US to try and pretend he's American and a Trump supporter (but, really bad choice of handle). He's just really bad at his job, including not scrubbing some old retweets that are more personal that provide some clues to him (even the ones he's using to support his cover story, if it even is a cover story). So I tussled with him (actually, that's an overstatement, he's not up for actual tussling) and now I've drawn some attention. Not as much as Jim, but enough to see some performance issues on top of the traffic.

Best Writing Advice EVAR! (Grokked from Kameron Hurley)

"LACMA's exhibition of filmmaker Guillermo del Toro's monster memorabilia collection." Okay, then. And the museum's site for the show.

China unveils the prototype of an elevated "bus" (sounds more like a streetcar) that other cars can drive under. I don't see how this could come to tears.

What happens when Glacier National Park doesn't have any glaciers any more? (Grokked from Robert J Bennett)

"Canada has announced details about a long-awaited inquiry into the deaths and disappearances of more than 1,000 indigenous Canadian women."

Heinous fuckery. "Comcast this week informed the FCC that it should be able to charge broadband users looking to protect their privacy more money. The FCC has been crafting some new privacy rules for broadband that would force ISPs to disclose exactly what they're collecting and selling, while also providing working opt-out tools. But the FCC also wants to take aim at efforts by some ISPs to make privacy a premium option. AT&T, for example, charges its U-verse broadband customers significantly more if they want to opt out of snoopvertising." Tell me again why this industry doesn't need even more "onerous" regulation. (Grokked from Paolo Bacigalupi)

On the left-wing "Bernie-or-Bust" voter and white privilege. Look, I know that some "anti-PC" people think that the progressives are all marching to the same beat and (while they wouldn't put it this way) aware of themselves within their culture. But it ain't true. Most people, of all stripes, go about living unexamined lives. It's only when you are forced to look at it (either through circumstance, position, or awareness) that you begin to see reality. So even the Bernie people who accept that the system is broken don't really understand how that system is broken and everywhere that it is broken. (Grokked from SC Butler)

Ah, our fine men in blue, so trustworthy, so not normal humans that we can safely entrust them with immunity when they decided to go beyond the law. "A police officer with the Washington transit system has become the first American law enforcement officer to be charged with supporting the Islamic State, accused of trying to send financial help to the group after advising a friend on how to travel to Syria to join it." Yeah, those guys. (Note, the majority of officers are good people, but as a total the force is just like all the rest of us schlubs with all the attendant foibles and wrongheaded ideas).

The Missouri State Public Defender's Office of the Director, facing continued budget cuts in the face of being understaffed and an increasing case load, references law allowing them conscript members of the state bar to work on cases pro bono. The started by conscripting the Governor of Missouri because he is a member of the bar. Kudos. (Grokked from Chia Evers)

The family of a Cleveland Clinic anesthesia tech who was killed on the way to the hospital finally wins their case for death benefits from the Clinic.

So, how's "The Kansas Experiment" with ultra-right wing/libertarian political ideas going? "The GOP primary was a bloodbath for Brownback’s buddies in the state legislature. Five far-right conservatives in Kansas’ House and six state senators lost their seats to Republican challengers… The last six years have been coined 'the Kansas experiment' -- for Brownback and company’s Koch brothers-backed effort to reduce income taxes to nearly nothing -- and with Tuesday’s elections, it does not look like voters are too satisfied with the results." Yeah, funny how those policies don't work in real life. Who could have known?

Look, an actual Obama Administration scandal. But I doubt you'll see the GOP get much traction because of it's complexity (involved a former ambassador and Commerce Secretary who may have traded influence for financial gain) and that it exposes the difficulty of blocking government appointees/employees from lobbying once they leave government service (or the hiring of lobbyists for government positions). Not only is it hard to the average American to grasp (although this could be straight forward it would be easy to throw doubt on the story given the "new bite" nature of modern journalism), nobody is really interested in stopping that revolving door. And nobody is interested in stopping the flow of big money into SuperPACs. "The Intercept has determined that a corporation owned by a Chinese couple made a major donation to Jeb Bush’s Super PAC Right to Rise USA — and it did so after receiving detailed advice from Charlie Spies, arguably the most important Republican campaign finance lawyer in American politics." Citizens United, the grift that keeps giving. (Grokked from Lisa N. Morton)

About that intervention for the Trump campaign. This could be semantics, but it could also be that nothing happened. And, Mr. Giuliani, smoking and drinking aren't the only reasons for having an intervention. Not by a long shot.

More in-depth reporting on Melania Trump's visa and immigration issues. The stories just don't add up here. (Grokked from Dan)

Tweet of my heart: @EliotHiggins Donald Trump hasn't tweeted for 12 hours, I can only assume they've managed to hide his phone. (Grokked from Paolo Bacigalupi)

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