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

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Linkee-poo, don't you need, don't you need to feel at home?

Cat Rambo is offering a class on how to use old tales to tell new stories, taught with Rachel Swirsky.

A guest post on Chuck Wendig's blog, Gareth Powell on things he learning writing a trilogy. (Grokked from Ken McConnell)

"Not all galaxies sparkle with stars. Galaxies as wide as the Milky Way but bereft of starlight are scattered throughout our cosmic neighborhood. Unlike Andromeda and other well-known galaxies, these dark beasts have no grand spirals of stars and gas wrapped around a glowing core, nor are they radiant balls of densely packed stars. Instead, researchers find just a wisp of starlight from a tenuous blob."

The problem with "news as entertainment," an article about "mysterious jelly-like creature washing up on a beach." There's lots of speculation by people who have no fucking clue. About two-thirds down we get this, "Christopher G. Lowe, a marine biology professor at Cal State Long Beach who is the director of the university's shark lab, told KTLA that the the school's resident invertebrate expert says they are sea cucumbers…" and then a little by a semi-expert who says, "''There’s all kinds of weird things happening.' So, one expert who can say what they are, buried in the article after the "space alien" comment, and it's not even the guy who knows, but someone who knows someone else who knows what they are, and then another who basically says, "weird shit, man." Dear news, this is why you're fucked. (Grokked from Xeni Jardin)

"The Somali-born student who carried out a car-and-knife attack at Ohio State University complained on his Facebook account about U.S. interference in countries with Muslim communities, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press."

I'ma just gonna drop this hear for the record. "The Internet Archive, a digital library non-profit group that stores online copies of webpages, e-books, political advertisements and other media for public record, is fundraising to store a copy of all of its contents in Canada after Donald Trump's election to the presidency."

"New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says work will begin immediately on a complete renovation of the 'shameful' statehouse… He says the portion of the building used by the Legislature won't be affected." Because fuck those guys.

"Before Obamacare, women were also generally charged higher rates for health insurance than men on the individual market. According to the law center's analysis, 60 percent of best-selling individual plans in 2009 charged a 40-year-old nonsmoking woman more than a 40-year-old man who smoked, even in plans that didn't include any type of maternity coverage." Won't it be great when we go back to that! It hasn't been that long ago, but obviously a lot of people forget what a shit-show health insurance was before Obamacare. It needs some fixing, but let's not toss everything. Also Obamacare is, as some people have said, a Jenga puzzle. It only works in the whole, start removing parts and the whole thing falls down eventually.

"The Environmental Protection Agency has released a list of toxic chemicals that will be the first reviewed under a recently enacted law that gives regulators increased authority to ban substances shown to endanger human health." Any guesses on what the first policy initiative it is that Trump tries to stop?

"There is always a strong argument." On cooperation and co-opting autocratic and authoritarian rule. "What separates Americans in 2016 from Europeans in the 1940s and 1950s is a little bit of historical time but a whole lot of historical knowledge. We know what my great-grandfather did not know: that the people who wanted to keep the people fed ended up compiling lists of their neighbors to be killed. That they had a rationale for doing so. And also, that one of the greatest thinkers of their age judged their actions as harshly as they could be judged." (Grokked from Tobias Buckell)

"Liberal White people, however? You’d think someone told them their favorite gluten-free bakery has been using wheat. And some of their reactions to this have been quite telling, particularly in regards to how they feel about race and America’s relationship to it. Liberal White men, in particular." (Grokked from Joshua Parker)

"Civil rights groups say President-elect Donald Trump should forcefully and publicly denounce racism and bigotry. They are pointing to more than 860 bias-related incidents recorded in the 10 days following his Nov. 8 victory."

"When people start throwing Nazi salutes in public, it has a way of clarifying where everybody stands." Basically, a lot of people who joyously embraced the Alt-Right label and vociferously denounced "PC culture" and liked to "not censor themselves" (i.e. finally could say all the racist shit in their heads out loud) are now a little uncomfortable with their compatriots tossing the fascist salute. Dear fucking idiots, did you not pay attention before? Also, Nazis took over Germany not so much because they were the majority (although a significant population were if not party members, party supporters), but because the vast majority of people aligned with at least some of their philosophy and didn't feel the rest of it was worth bothering about as long as they got what they wanted (although some of the politicians who tried to play that game found themselves hanging from piano wire once they were no longer needed, this is a lesson many GOP members should learn as they all bend over to kiss Trump's - and his inner team's - ass). As for "alt-lite"… seriously, "Nazi-lite" is still a fucking Nazi. They don't understand there isn't a middle-ground here. Once you've accepted the social programing, the path is determined and it's a slope downward into mankind darkest histories (Nazis weren't the first, nor are they the last, the Khmer Rouge for example). America (and much of the world) toyed with philosophies of eugenics, of "racial superiority", and in some ways we are still dealing with the aftermath and echoes of that. Fortunately we stepped back (slightly) from that brink. What I (and it appears a lot of other people) worry about is that we haven't taken enough steps away from that brink that we can't topple over into the abyss with a few nudges in the wrong direction. (Grokked from Elizabeth Bear)

"In the first days after the 2016 presidential election, the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance project administered an online survey to K–12 educators from across the country… Ninety percent of educators report that school climate has been negatively affected, and most of them believe it will have a long-lasting impact. A full 80 percent describe heightened anxiety and concern on the part of students worried about the impact of the election on themselves and their families." (Grokked from Cherie Priest)

On the business conflict that Trump will have when he's sworn in as President, specifically the GSA lease to his Washington DC hotel. You know the one. It's were he held two "press conferences" during his campaign which were really "here's our soft-open tour" and "here's the ribbon cutting" events.

Penn & Teller burn a flag in the White House (on The West Wing). Just as an aside, of course they vanished the flag and used flash powder in the roll of the Bill of Rights, that's how that trick works. (Grokked from Dan)

Tweet of my heart: ‏@scalzi Creative people: Assume any Twitter account telling you not to opine about politics is a Russian tweetbot and proceed accordingly.

Double dip: @lizzwinstead So Trump will have someone else sign checks? Got it.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Linkee-poo has got wild staring eyes and I've got a strong urge to fly, but I got nowhere to fly to

"Remember all the news reports suggesting, without evidence, that the Clinton Foundation’s fund-raising created conflicts of interest? Well, now the man who benefited from all that innuendo is on his way to the White House. And he’s already giving us an object lesson in what real conflicts of interest look like, as authoritarian governments around the world shower favors on his business empire." Much of the Trump campaign bombast against Clinton was projection.

"Two weeks after Election Day, voting rights advocates are taking stock of the issues that plagued the 2016 election cycle—barriers to registering to vote, access to the ballot box, confusing new laws and court cases—and looking ahead to the battles to come. Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, Trump's pick for attorney general, has a troubling record when it comes to voting rights, only adding to the post-election worries among voting rights supporters." (Grokked from Cat Rambo)

"The plan, called the Miners Protection Act, was sent for floor action by a bipartisan 18-to-8 vote of the Senate Finance Committee in September. But it has run into trouble with the Republican majority leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. He questions why the bill would protect only members of the United Mine Workers of America… The senator’s concern for nonunion miners seems a classic example of a hackneyed legislative tactic — arguing for the perfect to block the good." (Grokked from Xeni Jardin)

"Whereas President Bush offered America the illusion of morality clarity, President-elect Trump offers an ever-shifting phantasmagoria of sense impressions and unreliable information, barely held together by a fog of anxiety and bewilderment. Think Kafka more than Lord of the Rings." Well that's kind of horrifying, because I've read both. But here is the real goal, "When fake news becomes omnipresent, all news becomes suspect. Everything starts to look like a lie…" and "Non-linear warfare is intrinsically authoritarian. The president-elect is speaking the language of dictators." (Grokked from Xeni Jardin)

I see four fingers.

Tweet of my heart: @SarahThyre All the people who still believe he's tweeting crazy shit to distract us from real scandal: congrats, you never had an alcoholic parent. (Grokked from Christopher Moore)

Monday, November 28, 2016

Linkee-poo is bleary-eyed and its back hurts from the long weekend

Scrivener is 25% off today. While I have moved back to writing in a plain text editor, I had originally bought my iPad in anticipation of Scrivener for iOS. So, yes, I did purchase it.

Who needs clean air legislation? "In the middle of the last century, London was no stranger to oppressive pea-soup fogs laced with smoke from coal fires. But the smog that blanketed the city in December 1952 was unusually vicious: It lasted for five days and killed thousands of people. Official estimates put the death toll at 4,000, but the BBC reports research suggests the fatal fog might have killed as many as 12,000 people." I mean, it's not like people are dying from bad air.

"The number of white nationalists and self-identified Nazi sympathisers on Twitter have multiplied more than 600 per cent in the last four years, outperforming the so-called Islamic State (Isis (sic)) in everything from follower counts to number of daily tweets, a new study found… Yet, the GWU study said that white nationalists are using the site with 'relative impunity'." (Grokked from Cat Rambo)

Fidel Castro is dead.

A democrat from a rural district talks about how gerrymandering has lead to the urbanization of the Democratic Party and to their losses. (Grokked form Ferrett Steinmetz)

"Arrest: We can confirm 1 arrested for attempting to vote a second time. Claimed he worked for Trump and was testing the system." So another person arrested for attempting to violate election laws, and again it was a conservative. (Grokked from Xeni Jardin)

Sen. Jeff Sessions as told by the lawyer who testified against him during his nomination for the federal judiciary. Can people change over 30 years? I hope so. I certainly have. But they can also get better at hiding what they really believe.

"The alt-right believes, at its core, that the American government has been poisoned. Poisoned, specifically, by the ideology of tolerance and multiculturalism. So long as the United States is officially committed to the idea that all people should be treated equally, regardless of race or creed, then it cannot take the steps necessary to make America a nation for whites." Aw, their poor widdle feewings that they're not special, poor little lost lambs. And they can't talk they way they want. If we give them all participation trophies, would they go back home? (Grokked from Ellen Kushner)

Tweet of my heart: ‏@freddiedeboer The great American pretense is that communism is to blame for bread lines in Havana but capitalism isn't to blame for poverty in Detroit. (Grokked from Annalee Flower Horne)

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Linkee-poo T-day edition with things you shouldn't discuss at the table

Earth's history as compared to a football field's length. Visualization can sometimes help people understand huge concepts (like deep time) better.

"The search for alien life is taking a shortcut. The Hubble Space Telescope is set to spend hundreds of hours over the next year running reconnaissance on a shortlist of worlds to identify those we should scour for life first."

So how much is that movie based on a true story actually truthful. A visualization approach. (Grokked from Dan)

So, what harm can this language against Muslims do? So, not only did this teach support abusive behavior against this 5 year old, but joined in and then choked the kid. Just WTF are these people thinking? (Grokked from Saladin Ahmed)

A screen grab of Mark Zuckerberg coming out against fake news… framed by two ads for fake news sites. (Grokked from Xeni)

How to detect fake news. (Grokked from Robert J Bennett)

"This (fake news about a pizza joint as a front for a Clinton child abuse ring) isn’t about saving children from the Satanic baby-killers. It never is. It wasn’t during the earlier years of the Satanic Panic in the 1980s. It wasn’t during the Salem Witch Trials. It wasn’t during the centuries of anti-Jewish violence rallying around the blood libel… That’s the precise and direct lineage of this. And it has nothing to do with 'fake news.'… The folks spreading 'PizzaGate' lies know that they’re spreading lies. They know they’re pretending, and playing a game, because they enjoy it." Fred Clark on one of the lies. And this is the part that bothers me, right now this is being done by people who don't have much of an agenda beyond making money or continuing some self-stroking mental game of who is good, who is smart, who can "shape" the world (it's a very deep form of pretending you have superpowers). Imagine what happens when actual intelligence warfare professionals get in on the act (actually I think some of them have already).

"We tracked down a fake-news creator in the suburbs. Here's what we learned." NPR does some actual journalism on "fake news" sites. I don't entirely believe this guy's stated motives (I think it is more about the money). Also, I think I've mentioned before that this election cycle I spent way too much time figuring out if many of these sites were real or not. I'm pretty happy that (I don't think) I let anyone of them through to make links. But some days it was really hard work.

So how is Facebook's new policies and attempts at controlling harmful information going? Let's check in with our friend Jim Wright (who has a very large Facebook presence and is very active there) to see what's happening. Ah, about as well as could be expected (in case you didn't want to click on that link, Jim has been booted off of Facebook for a day for pointing out that a person who calls themselves a Nazi is actually a Nazi). So we're going to add another phrase to the lexicon used here. Fuck Nazis.

Seriously, in this day and age, and we have to say "Fuck Nazis." I used to crack the joke during the campaign about people whispering to each other, "Hail Hydra." And I think what we've all seen as they've come out of the woodwork and into the light, yeah, fucking Nazis. Now, most of these people are really Nazi-fetishists (because, while they mostly line up with Nazis on the big outward things, my guess is most of the economic theory of nationalizing businesses, control of monetary markets, and all the rest is lacking), but that still makes them dangerous as fuck. Because the worst atrocities were performed in service of their social, racial, and nationalism ideals. Which these skinhead wannabes seem to have latched onto, mixed it with American Exceptionalism, and shat it out in a stinking mess of "My Country." So, remember when a lot of us were asking, "what does it mean when you say, 'I want my country back'?" we now have the answer. Yes, they were fucking racists, or at best they were being played by racists.

"A woman protesting the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline who was wounded earlier this week might lose her arm as a result of the injury, her family says. Sophia Wilansky's injury is the most gruesome to date of the months-long standoff at Standing Rock, N.D… 'The doctor just said she may need as many as 20 surgeries over very many months to have any hope of saving her arm and her hand,' Wilansky's father, Wayne Wilansky, told a group of reporters outside a Minneapolis hospital." Ah, those less-than-lethal methods of crowd control.

"If the children are the future, the future might be very ill-informed… That's one implication of a new study from Stanford researchers that evaluated students' ability to assess information sources and described the results as 'dismaying,' 'bleak' and '[a] threat to democracy.'" From an informal look at the students in my wife's courses, for one she had them do exercises on spotting "false information" sites. They didn't do well. Also, from an informal study of my coworkers, booth at the day job and (distressingly) at the hospital (these people have actual "science" and technical instruction), yeah, young people score very low in figuring out what is fake and what isn't (I'll leave it to the reader to look at their own Facebook feeds for "shares" from friends and how many of them are fake, propaganda, framing stories/graphics - that last one are items meant to change how people respond to seemingly unrelated materials by pre-loading the brain with thoughts and images).

We don't need no stinkin' regulations! "Levels of highly toxic mercury contamination in Atlantic bluefin tuna are rapidly declining, according to a new study… it does represent a major break in the long-standing, scary connection between tuna and mercury, a source of public concern since 1970… Tuna consumption continues to be the source of about 40 percent of the mercury contamination in the American diet… The new study… links the decline directly to reduced mercury emissions in North America. Most of that reduction has occurred because of the marketplace shift by power plants and industry away from coal, the major source of mercury emissions. Pollution control requirements imposed by the federal government have also cut mercury emissions." Yeah, what good are regulations? "Progress on both counts could, however, reverse, with President-elect Donald Trump promising a comeback for the U.S. coal industry, in part by clearing away such regulations." What could possibly go wrong (note, the coal industry is not charged for the health issues they cause, of which mercury is just one of a few thousand, but that's picked up by the American Taxpayer and factored into your health insurance premium).

John Marshal of TPM on the reports of election hacking. All very salient points. And overall, I agree with him. Except for number 5. Again, were I to do it, with the resources available to the "foreign power", and I wanted to make sure it wasn't traceable ("plausible deniability" for those of you old enough to remember that concept), it would look very close to what we saw. Everybody is thinking along, "well the results were so unpredicted that nobody could have hacked the election in that direction." Wrong. If you start with the premise that 1) actor doesn't want to be "seen" causing problems (such as his point 8), 2) actor is basing hack on internal/exclusive polling, and 3) one way to avoid suspicion is to make it appear random and not fit preconceived notions (ie. not make it look like one of the "accepted" scenarios). So, yes, I don't think it was hacked. We should certainly do the audit to remove any doubt (because there will be). But many a lot of people have forgotten how the Cold War was played, with multitude of small moves and slight deflections to bring about a desired end. That is, you don't actively push the desired end, you entice the players to come up with the desired solution for themselves by giving them information programmed to bring about the end. Or, if you want to fill a bathtub with water, you can turn the faucet open to full blast, or you can set it to drip faster than evaporation can take water away. Either way, the tub will fill, but you won't notice it so much with the dripping until it's almost full.

So, how's the election fallout playing in the general populace? "In the two weeks since the election, Planned Parenthood Federation of America has seen a huge increase in volunteers and donations – over 200,000 donations in a single week. But this surge in support hasn't reached many other reproductive health organizations. And many of these centers are already struggling to meet a spike in demand for long-acting contraception after the election of Donald Trump." Yep. Full disclosure, for what I still buy off of Amazon, I recently changed my "smile" account donation to Planned Parenthood (before was the Carter Foundation, and it was a close choice with ACLU). "It's not an unfounded concern… In the last several years, numerous bills have been introduced in Congress to block Title X funds from organizations that also provide abortions, like Planned Parenthood. In 2011, the House voted to defund Title X in its entirety, but the measure didn't pass the Senate. Still, for the last several years Title X funding has decreased, from $317.5 million in 2010 to $286.5 million in 2016. Under a Trump administration and with a Republican Congress, those numbers could shrink even more." Say, I wonder which party is trying to do this?

Tweet of my heart: ‏@nkjemisin I've listened to Trump voters who insist they aren't racist. What I've learned: They do not think discriminating against PoC is racism. (Grokked from Ann Leckie)

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Take that, poorly coded problem

Okay, last night not only did I triple check I had closed the blogger editor, I closed the window. Then today, I copied the link text (the file I edit for the linkee-poo has a lot of other stuff in it, things that accumulated during the crazy years, clips of text, etc that I really should finish closing out and putting where they need to go), opened a new blog post, and pasted the text there. Published that blog post. Opened the draft linkee-poo, copied out the rest of it, and pasted that into a new file as well. And then I deleted the old working linkee-poo post.

So what happened tonight when I got home and opened my browser and went to blogger, it took me directly to the old linkee-poo working post (even though it no longer appears on the list). But it did throw the accustomed error when I closed that window. So. it maybe a PIA, but I have the work around (as long as I remember it) for when I'm editing on multiple computers.

Linkee-poo, over the river and through the woods

Posting may be sporadic over the next 4 days. If you're in the US, happy Thanksgiving. You're alive. That's something to be thankful for.

Oh, and Blogger has a new interface this morning. Fancy that. Who could have seen that coming?

Saladin Ahmed is writing for Marvel Comics. Hearty thumbs up!

Airspace Systems counter-drone drone. I expect the counter-counter-drone technology by Summer (could be avoidance software, or some direct strike capability to disable the killer-drone). Sword, shield, better sword, better shield… same game. I've heard way too many "this is the end-game" technology that wasn't just a better shield that someone needed a better sword to get around.

"The caricaturization of history, of figures and groups–like Hitler, like the Nazi party–isn’t just lazy storytelling. It’s a failure of vigilance. It reveals a mental disconnect between the horrors of reality and the memory of the people who perpetrated those horrors." Examining how with the years Nazis have been reduced to our caricatures of them, and we've made them less real, and less of a threat, that we should consider them. Fucking Nazis. Also pointed to because of the writing implications. One of the novels I am developing includes two alien races who do terrible things to humans, and part of that debate is just how much is implied and how much is shown. (Grokked from Elizabeth Shack)

"How a country slides into despotism, the 1946 short film version." Also noted, besides the "these are people who just finished dealing with it, telling us the lessons they learned" (before time softened and adjusted their memory), that they include parts of the original Pledge of Allegiance, which you'll notice doesn't include the "under God" part, because this was made before the Knights of Columbus had it added. Of course the video is a Rorschach Test, some people will see echoes of the signs of despotism in our own culture these days, others will man the ramparts to keep anything from coming in. Also, I'll note how "call to authority" is rife in actions that "score high in despotism". I leave it to an exercise for the reader on which direction we've been going on the Economic Distribution and Information Scales.

"The U.S. Justice Department filed a lawsuit Tuesday charging a New Jersey town violated federal anti-discrimination laws when it blocked an Islamic group from building a mosque on property the group had bought."

Note to Self podcast "Your Facebook Friend Said Something Racist: Thanksgiving Edition" with handy-dandy flowchart.

"Rebel Well: A Starter Survival Guide To A Trumped America." Targeted at teens (and I haven't read the guide yet), but I'm sure we could all use some tips. (Grokked from Maureen Johnson)

Tweet and response from the @YoungCons "Party like it's 1928!" Because the last time Republicans controlled the House, Senate, Executive, most governorships, had immediate Supreme Court picks… it was 1928. And in case you can't or don't want to look, the first and main response is, "That worked out so well in 1929." (Grokked from Annalee Flower Horne)

"President-elect Donald Trump's transition team released a statement Monday in response to a white nationalist organization's meeting celebrating his election, which denounced racism without mentioning the group in question." But sure, he can say "Radical Islamic Terrorists", but he obviously can't say, "alt-Right" or "neo-Nazi", which is a shame. And about the claim of the "Heil (whatever)" and the fascist salutes were meant to be ironic, can we just call that the bullshit that it is. One is not ironic about Nazis.

"The lawyer for a man charged with disrupting a Chicago performance of the musical 'Hamilton' blamed the incident on a 'hostile' and 'partisan' audience." Uh, yeah, Bob. Say, the voices are coming from inside your head. I would make a joke about conservatives are really all about making sure no one has a good time, because obviously enjoying yourself is a liberal lie. There's been no reports of audience members talking, etc. Shit these next four years are going to be tedious.

Gov. McCrory continues to be a dick. One of the links lost yesterday explained how McCrory was probably gaming the system to run out the clock and allow the Republican supermajority legislature bypass the election and declare him the winner. Essentially stealing the race.

"Hillary Clinton is being urged by a group of prominent computer scientists and election lawyers to call for a recount in three swing states won by Donald Trump, New York (Magazine) has learned." I guess it would depend on which counties the electronic ballot machines versus the optical scanners were in. Seven percentage points could be related to demographics (remember how the GOP complained about Romney getting 0% in some Philadelphia voting districts, turned out demographics could explain it). Also note the concern over challenging the election results and what that does to the smooth transfer of power come January 20th. But in 2000, the audit of votes continued after Bush v. Gore was decided (IIRC, using the criteria outlined by the Gore Campaign, Bush would have won and using the the criteria outlined by the Bush Campaign, Gore would have won Florida). So, yes, even if Clinton doesn't challenge the election, an audit should be performed. (Grokked from Xeni Jardin)

And the Washington Post is having none of it. "Before the election, when Democrats were dismissing the idea of rigging an election when it was raised (repeatedly) by Trump and his allies, we outlined just how difficult such a proposal would be. For one thing, one would need to know in advance where to rig the vote in order to have the most effect. For example: In 2000, you would have needed to know that the margins in Florida were razor thin, and to have put just enough resources into the state to tip the scales without tipping your hand. That sort of prognostication is far, far easier in retrospect… That's the thing about Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. The polls in Wisconsin in particular were far from the mark, meaning that ne'er-do-wells looking to affect the results would be less likely to target the state. Why rig the vote in a place where Clinton's up by 6 points?" Good points, although this is rank retroactive framing. No, if you were to hack the results, you would hack everywhere because it was going to be a close election everywhere. And it's not like Russia doesn't have the resources (or had laid out the pre-work by testing the systems since April). So, if I were to hack the election and had an army of cyberwarriors and had the intelligence ready for election setup, voting, and counting, I would adjust everywhere I could by just a tiny bit hoping to throw enough of the very close states over to my intended candidate and make it look plausible by the results from everywhere else. Plus a pervasive attack is harder to suss out than a targeted hack. (Grokked from Joe Hill)

"Following several reports laying out the potential conflicts of interest Donald Trump could have as president given his real estate holdings around the world, the President-elect dismissed concerns and said that voters knew about his business before the election." Actually, Mr. PEOTUS, we didn't because you refused to release your taxes (which you promised to do if you were elected). Also, it wasn't a deal breaker because you are expected to hand over your businesses to a blind trust, with which you have no contact or direction over.

"When President-elect Donald Trump's senior adviser Kellyanne Conway said Monday that Trump "doesn't wish to pursue" charges against Hillary Clinton for using a private email server as Secretary of State, conservative news outlets and personalities broadcast their own sense of whiplash." For some reason I can't help but think the outrage in carefully planned and staged to say, "see, I piss off both sides, so I'm a moderate."

Report out of Trump's on-the-record meeting with the NYT, "The problem is, as pleasant as it was to hear those remarks, it was alarming to confront how thinly thought through many of the president-elect’s stances actually are. Consider climate change. Mr. Trump said that he valued clean air and water, but that he hadn’t decided if combating climate change was worth the expense. 'I have a totally open mind,' he said, making a virtue of not knowing the issue." And that is the real problem. He disavowed racists and neo-Nazis, not really because he's ideologically against what they're for, but because it was becoming uncomfortable and embarrassing by their overt actions (if "accepting" is the weakness of the left, "overplaying their hand" is the weakness of the right). So that, as I stated way back earlier this year, is the main thing I'm worried about. He doesn't hold these convictions that he ran on as convictions (although I do believe he is a racists and only has the interests of himself and those in his "class" at heart). He will blow both ways. As easily as he was swayed off some of these points, he could be swayed back on. (Grokked from Miranda Suri)

Tweet of my heart: ‏@BettyFckinWhite Half the time, Trump acts like being president is a Groupon he forgot he bought and probably won't ever use. (Grokked from Eric VanNewkirk)

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Linkee-poo Kaplowie II Electric Boogaloo

Edit Gorramit. Okay, yesterday I took the hit. I could have done something wrong. But not today. See, I edit this over several devices including my home computer, my iPad, and the work computer. When I'm done editing I save and close the edit window to keep from overwriting the blog post when I log in from a different machine (I keep a number of browser tabs open all the time). Normally, if I forget to close one, and make edits on a different machine, when I go back to the original machine it will throw an error if it tries to save over the edited post. Apparently that safeguard is gone. So yesterday when I came home and opened my home computer I saw that the blogger edit window for the post was open and it had overwritten all the edits I had made on the work computer. And I thought I had fucked up. But not tonight. Last night I saved and closed the editor. I double checked. I triple checked. But today when I got home and opened my home computer, the blogger editor was open. I closed it immediately, but it had saved over all the edits from work. So I lost a lot of what I had added today (which was a lot). After closing the editor, I saw that it had saved over the blog post in the "view all posts" view. So hoping beyond hope I refreshed that page to see if it was current and the browser opened this editing window on refresh. Fuckstockings. Obviously blogger has changed something. So, know I know. I'll have to completely close the tab with blogger in it every night and every day.

The Oblique Strategies website. Oblique Strategies were cards developed by Brian Eno to help break studio musicians out of their ruts by trying to initiate lateral thinking. These cards go for $70 or so, but the website is free. Note, many cards are specific to music, but most of them aren't. Might help you with your plotting. (Grokked in a roundabout way from Planet Money podcast)

Fred Clark with an alternative "Trolley Problem" which tests a lot of presumptions. It also exposes some of the problems with the right-to-life mentality.

After the turn of the century, "nice" women began moving out from the watchful gaze and control of male family members and were harassed by "mashers." Some took to using their hat pins in defense. So, what did responsible government do in response? "By 1909, the hatpin was considered an international threat, with the police chiefs in Hamburg and Paris (and many cities in the US) considering measures to regulate their length. Tell me again how we don't have a rape culture. (Grokked from Lara Kristin Herndon)

"That's especially true in the National Football League, where pain is a constant companion. Advocates say marijuana could offer a safer and better way to manage the pain."

Apple's Frankie's Holiday ad. Not to bad, good story, but the timing of the cuts feels a little off to me (yeah, I'm an asshole about these things). But about halfway through my brain started a mashup between this and Young Frankenstein. Somedays it's weird up in my head. (Grokked from Dan)

"The study looked at more than 2,000 patients with Stage 1 non-small cell lung cancer who had surgery to remove their tumor. About 70 percent of the patients were 65 years old or older and about 30 percent were at least 75… (it) found that a surprising number of these older patients did quite well. One year after surgery, more people had died from other causes than died from lung cancer. And, after five years, almost 9 out of 10 patients were alive and cancer free." Fuck cancer.

"Hiring freezes, an end to automatic raises, a green light to fire poor performers, a ban on union business on the government’s dime and less generous pensions — these are the contours of the blueprint emerging under Republican control of Washington in January." Hang on, I think we just found our rebel forces. "Others raise the specter that Republican proposals could allow political favoritism to creep into a system Congress created in 1883 to remove federal jobs from patronage ranks." That's the real goal, to reinstitute patronage and remove "troublesome" (read: doesn't hold our views) employees. Just wait until those Social Security checks start coming late (or someone has to wait 8 months to get a passport), again. (Grokked from Mary Robinette Kowal)

"How to call your reps when you have social anxiety." True story, I hate talking on the phone. (Grokked from Ferrett Steinmetz)

Trump is talking having a policy stating that for every new regulation, 2 old regulations must be rescinded. Because regulations are terrible, horrible, holding business back, blah blah blah. Yeah, no, regulations are was save you from corporate greed, level the playing field, and make it possible to live in a civilized world. In this case, the effect of care safety regulations between the US and Mexico. (Grokked from Elizabeth Bear)

"The absence of specifics on health care from the president-elect makes the 37-page plan that Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has released the fullest outline of what Republicans would like to replace Obamacare. Some health policy analysts say it looks a bit like Obamacare light." Note, it's still, after 6 years, only the barest outline of a plan. There are no specifics. Also note that tax credits and the other tax advantages don't apply when you're too poor to pay taxes in the first place. And high-deductible plans don't address the issue of preventative care. Also, and I love this part, "'Do you know that $20,000 of your wages are going every year to insurance?' (Paul Howard, director of health policy at the conservative Manhattan Institute) asks. 'Would you rather have $10,000 in your pocket, put $5,000 into a high-deductible plan or something like that, and then put some aside for a rainy day that will accumulate over time?'" Raise your hands if you really think that your employer, freed of the obligation to pay for your health insurance benefit, would actually increase your pay by the amount they pay for insurance. Is anybody's hand up? Didn't think so. Hell, I barely have time to shop around for the best doctor and set up appointments, now I'm also supposed to shop around the market for individual healthcare plans to find the best deal? Tell me, how much support is the government going to offer to help people then (like we provide for Obamacare and Medicare Part D)? Yeah, I don't think they'll be there either. Also, Speaker Ryan is intent on converting Medicare to a voucher system. Private insurance costs more, covers less, and is more of a hassle than Medicare.

"In an interview… Donald Trump's campaign manager Kellyanne Conway dismissed concerns about the President-elect's penchant for using Twitter to take potshots at critics… 'But why do you care?' Conway said. 'Who is to say that he can't do that?'" They really don't understand what it means to be a public official, let alone being POTUS. Why do we care, Kellyanne, because it shows the mentality of the person. It demonstrates his littleness, his pettiness, and his peevishness. We expect more from our city council members, we expect far more from POTUS.

The good thing for our side is their side is exceedingly dumb. "Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, one of Donald Trump's potential picks for Department of Homeland Security secretary, might have revealed his plans for the department to the public while meeting with the president-elect." The problems will start when they show signs of learning. Oh, as Kris Kobach is a dick. Just thought I'd mention that. (Grokked from Chuck Wendig)

"'Hail Trump, hail our people, hail victory!'… That’s how Richard B. Spencer saluted more than 200 attendees on Saturday, gathered at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C., for the annual conference of the National Policy Institute, which describes itself as 'an independent organization dedicated to the heritage, identity, and future of people of European descent in the United States, and around the world.'" Otherwise known as racist shits and Nazi fetishists, or neo-Nazi for short. They aren't even hiding anymore. (Grokked from Xeni Jardin)

"According to a report out of Argentina, when Argentine President Mauricio Macri called President-Elect Trump to congratulate him on his election, Trump asked Macri to deal with the permitting issues that are currently holding up the project." And because you're going to be hearing about it (if people are actually doing their job), the Title of Nobility/Emoluments Clause in the Constitution (one of two). And when people start saying, "Oh no, since he isn't getting money from foreign governments…" just remember that the 2nd Amendment also talks about a "well-regulated militia." Also see Kletpocracy" you know, the thing Trump said Clinton did when everyone who has looking into those claims has found them false. (Grokked from Tobias Buckell)

"Donald Trump scolded media big shots during an off-the-record Trump Tower sitdown on Monday, sources told The Post." Dear news media, your job isn't to make nice with Trump, but to tell us what we need to know about what he's doing. You can get most of what you need from the pools, so except for "we got to the phone first" types of scoops, no need to curry favor. (Grokked from Xeni Jardin)

Tweet of my heart: ‏@InternetEh DT called a bunch of the press to his tower just to yell at them. These are the people telling us to give him a chance to be presidential (Grokked from Jim Wright)

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Linkee-poo on a snowy Sunday

"After months of speculation and leaked documents, NASA's long-awaited EM Drive paper has finally been peer-reviewed and published. And it shows that the 'impossible' propulsion system really does appear to work." (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

"Donald Trump's election looms over a U.S. citizenship ceremony in San Antonio, as the judge presiding over the ceremony says if you don't like that Trump will be president, go to another country." He seems nice. (Grokked from Anne Beckie)

"The First Amendment Defense Act is the nuclear version of the so-called 'religious freedom' laws that have appeared across the country, most infamously in Mike Pence’s Indiana. The Republican House will surely pass it, the Senate will pass it unless it’s filibustered by Democrats, and President-elect Trump has promised to sign it… If it becomes law, FADA will be the worst thing to happen to women and LGBT people in a generation." In an attempt to "protect" their rights, they're going to take ours away. (Grokked from Justine Larbalestier)

"In depressed rural Kentucky, worries mount over Medicaid cutbacks." Not mentioned in the story, Clay County, KY went for Trump at 86.6%. "About 60 percent of Clay County's 21,000 residents are covered by Medicaid, up from about a third before the expansion." Yep, people will vote against their own interests, just not in the way conservatives like to paint it. (Grokked from Jim Wright)

"The group was generally peaceful until a man and a woman from NPI approached the group with a video camera and microphone, prompting protesters to yell 'Nazis go home.' The woman, who wouldn't give CNN her name but wore a badge saying "Emily," appeared to interview a protester, asking him if he is a 'self-hating white person.'… Another protester knocked the man's video camera, and a scuffle ensued between the two. A few other protesters entered the fray yelling 'Die, Nazi, die,' and the man from NPI reemerged with a bloody gash on his forehead." (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

Tweet of my heart: ‏@fivefifths Folks boycotting a show nobody can actually afford and boycotting Starbucks by buying it. That's how I know our schools failed us. (Grokked from Ferrett Steinmetz)

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Linkee-poo was around when Jesus Christ had his moment of doubt and pain

Ah, the "independent contractor" economy. "Drivers delivering parcels for online retail giant Amazon often work more hours than is legally allowed and earn below the national minimum wage, an undercover reporter has claimed… In order to meet the company’s expectations, some van drivers said they felt compelled to break speed limits and urinate and defecate in their vehicles." How's the Brexit working out for you all? (Grokked from Chuck Wendig)

The jobs aren't coming back, because they (except for some notable sectors like clothing) never really left. "But the decades-long decline of U.S. manufacturing employment and the highly automated nature of the sector’s recent revitalization should also be high on the list of explanations. The former is an unmistakable source of the working-class rage that helped get Trump elected. The latter is the main reason Trump won’t be able to 'make America great again' by bringing back production jobs." We make more now (in monetary terms, adjusted for inflation) than we ever did. We're just doing it with fewer people. (Grokked from Ferrett Steinmetz)

But there are a lot of people who don't believe that. And they think Trump will bring their jobs "back" or revitalize "coal". Sorry, folks, it really isn't happening. And you just voted to hand even more power the fuckers who created the economic incentives to move your jobs to automation, or start new industries that obsoleted the ones you're eating to get jobs in. They're also the assholes who are going to cut your safety net (reduce jobs training, SNAP, Medicaid/Medicare, etc).

"A Republican state lawmaker is proposing a bill that would allow authorities to charge protesters with committing 'economic terrorism.'" I'm sure they would only use this law in the most judicial and reserved way. Not. (Grokked from Jim Wright)

"Still trailing his Democratic challenger by about 5,000 votes, Gov. Pat McCrory (R) on Thursday announced 50 new elections complaints alleging that votes were cast by people who were either dead, convicted felons, or had already voted." So I guess strict voter ID laws don't actually work then.

It's the new administration's playbook, "No, I didn't say that, I'm shocked you brought it up, it's all the media's fault anyway." Get used to it, I expect it to be used often.

"Trump supporters have started asking for their Starbucks drinks under Trump's name as a movement against the coffee giant… After a viral video showing a Trump supporter yelling at a barista gained traction on Wednesday, other supporters have banded together to protest what they view as political and anti-white discrimination." Dear sweet baby Cthulhu, talk about your victimization mentality. (Grokked from Chuck Wendig)

"'An explanation of climate change from a Nobel Prize-winning physicist looks exactly the same on your Facebook page as the denial of climate change by somebody on the Koch brothers’ payroll,' (President) Obama said. 'And the capacity to disseminate misinformation, wild conspiracy theories, to paint the opposition in wildly negative light without any rebuttal—that has accelerated in ways that much more sharply polarize the electorate and make it very difficult to have a common conversation.'"

"Perhaps nowhere is that possibility more obvious than Trump’s newly renovated hotel a few blocks from the White House, on Pennsylvania Avenue. Rooms sold out quickly for the inauguration, many for five-night minimums priced at five times the normal rate, according to the hotel’s manager." The Presidency as product placement opportunity. And he hasn't even taken the oath of office yet. (Grokked from Ann Leckie)

A tweet storm on how the poor, rural poor actually see themselves. Living among them, and having come from working class poor, yes, this. The resonance of Calvinism that runs through our cultural zeitgeist is incredibly strong. (Grokked from Fred Clark)

"Park dedicated to Adam MCA Yauch vandalized with pro-Trump swastikas." Pro-Trump swastikas. Pro-Trump. Swastikas. (Grokked from Jim Wright)

"'Vice President Elect Pence, welcome,' he read. 'Thank you for joining us at Hamilton-An American Musical. We are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us, our planet, our children, our parents, or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights. We hope this show has inspired you to uphold our American values, and work on behalf of all of us.'… President-elect Donald Trump took to Twitter to say that Pence was "harassed" at the show by the cast… Dixon replied to Trump's tweet, telling the President-elect that 'conversation is not harassment.'… It's unclear is Pence heard the statement, as Dixon noted Pence was walking out before he spoke." I think what they're mostly upset about here is the audience responding to a lot of the song/story plots which seem relevant and antithetical to the political believes of the president and vic-president elect.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Linkee-poo, all your choices make you change your mind, now your calendar is complete

"Long before European settlers plowed the Plains, corn was an important part of the diet of Native American tribes like the Omaha, Ponca and Cherokee. Today, members of some tribes are hoping to revive their food and farming traditions by planting the kinds of indigenous crops their ancestors once grew."

"A new report suggests a high school graduation crisis could be coming in Ohio. More than a third of the state’s high schoolers have not yet scored what they need to in order to get their diploma. Education leaders and teachers believe the clock is ticking down to that potential disaster, and are begging for help." Our conservative lead government strikes again.

SpaceX announces it will launch 4000+ satellites to provide high-speed broadband to the world. (Grokked from Tobias Buckell)

"'It’s about 20C [36 degrees Fahrenheit] warmer than normal over most of the Arctic Ocean, along with cold anomalies of about the same magnitude over north-central Asia,' Jennifer Francis, an Arctic specialist at Rutgers University, said by email Wednesday." We're boned. (Grokked from Xeni Jardin)

So you may be asking yourself, why is science denialism and/or lack of general scientific knowledge a bad thing? "Via a Freedom of Information Act request, Yellowstone National Park recently reported the tragic details of an accident last summer, where a 23 year old man dissolved after an illegal attempt to bathe in Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park. He had gone 200 yards past the legal tourism area with his sister, who was recording on her cell phone when the incident happened. Luckily, that video has not been released." That's why. Having been to that exact area, there are signs warning you away. Read any of the interpretive signs in the park and you will see where the pools are listed as very hot and acidic (especially in the Norris Geyser basin).

"Water testing in the Cleveland Municipal School District has uncovered dangerously high levels of lead in samples taken from drinking fountains, sinks and other water sources in 60 older school buildings, the district reported today." While they've brought in water and are replacing fixtures, there's a few decades of kids getting water poisoning. While the story notes that most lead poisoning is from the home, I don't believe that's ever actually been verified and is merely just assumed.

"Workit is an Android app from OUR Walmart, a pro-labor/pro-union organization: it allows Walmart workers to ask questions about Walmart policy and employee rights… Walmart has warned its employees that Workit is sucking up their personally identifying information, handing out incorrect answers to their questions, and abusing their trust." Just in case you thought Walmart was softening on worker's rights in this higher employment economy.

"A Minnesota mother is suing her teenage child for transitioning from male to female without her permission." And you think your Thanksgiving was going to be awkward.

"Several current and former Facebook employees tell NPR there is a lot of internal turmoil about how the platform does and doesn't censor content that users find offensive. And outside Facebook, the public is regularly confounded by the company's decisions — around controversial posts and around fake news." So while it's supposed to be an algorithm, it's actually an army of subcontractors. "In 2010, the sources say, the team had a couple hundred workers in five countries. Facebook found it needed more hands on deck… Sources say the team is now several thousand people, with some of the largest offices in Manila, the Philippines, and Warsaw, Poland… a worker makes a decision about a piece of flagged content once every 10 seconds."

How cons and grifter work. Linked to because, oh, I don't know, something something President-elect something something. (Grokked from Fred Clark)

"Vandals targeted a California woman who wears a headscarf for health reasons in a Monday attack, smashing the rear window of her car and leaving a note that read 'Hijab Wearing Bitch.'" Okay, look, hate is not rational. We shouldn't expect hate mongers to have the ability to see levels of grey, and say, "Well, maybe this person really has a medical condition instead of being in a group we hate." Hell, they can't even recognize proper head gear. This is just another reason why hate groups, hateful speech, and general racists fucks can't be tolerated (you know, other than they're racists fucktards). Also noted that when I had to wear head gear, even when I was in the hospital (which has a number of people who wear similar), I was given looks and some patients would withdraw as I came into a room.

"The Electronic Frontier Foundation's Digital Security Tips for Protesters builds on its indispensable Surveillance Self Defense guide for protesters with legal and technical suggestions to protect your rights, your data, and your identity when protesting."

"Political commentator David Gergen attempted to normalize conservative radio host Laura Ingraham in light of recent rumors that she may become White House press secretary, saying that Americans have to give her a chance." No I don't, actually. BTW, just a reminder, this was the West Wing's take on Laura Ingraham IIRC.

Hey, remember when Trump said he wouldn't change Medicare of Social Security (note, repealing Obamacare affects Medicaid, which is a side branch of Medicare). "Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), the chairman of the budget committee, told reporters on Thursday that Republicans are eyeing major changes to Medicare in 2017." Why? Because Medicare puts the lie to conservative talking points about how "industry and competition always leads to lower prices and better service." I can't wait for them to say they'll give tax incentives to buy regular insurance and the news media doesn't counter with "Most people on Social Security, who also have Medicare, don't make enough income to file tax returns." (Grokked from John Scalzi)

"In the wake of his party's significant losses across the Rust Belt in last week's elections, Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan is stepping up to challenge Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's nearly 14-year grip on the House Democratic caucus." While there's a lot of consternation about the Democrats forming another firing-squad circle (hey, we're really good at it, back off), I also think that political leaderships should be regularly challenged. I also believe that a lot of how we form parties and decide and appoint leadership needs to be changed. As long as these people who run for these internal offices continue to advocate for their platforms no matter the determination of the final election (and realize that we're all fighting for the same thing, what this is boils down to a change of focus, not of goals).

No no no, this election wasn't about racism at all. "Surely, even in these fractured times, just about everyone could agree on an antislavery measure." Only not so much. Sure, sure, let's blame it on the referendum language.

"Michigan officials will fight federal court order to deliver bottled water in Flint." Oh, fuckstockings. (Grokked from Xeni Jardin)

For news media who seem confused about how to handle a Lying/Post-Truth president or any disinformation campaign, this is how you do it. "News Outlets Amplify False Claim Trump Saved Ford Plant From Moving To Mexico." The NYT and NPR got good mentions by actually saying it was a false claim in their headlines. So, Bill Ford, Chairman of Ford, did you actually call Trump?

Tweet of my heart: @KameronHurley There's so much bad going on so fast that it can be overwhelming; that's by design. Just pick 3 things every week. One, two, three, break.

Double Dip: ‏@MildlyAmused Still trying. This is like when you to call in to the radio station to win a prize, only the prize is saving democracy. (Grokked from Joshua Parker)

Scene from a Commute

From two days ago. Brilliant sun-rise.

Yesterday morning, who took the world away?

Last night, it's the burning time of year. This morning those large tree logs were still there, but the rest of the crap had burned away and was smoldering.

This morning, the weather is changing.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Linkee-poo, faceless, nameless, innocent, blameless and free, you tell me what's that like to be

I've debated this point, do I really need to point out just what a flagrant racists and asshole Steve Bannon is? Do you all want links, or is it so pervasive in the media that I can skip it and point to other things?

"Have you ever thought about what you'd wear on your death bed? Morbid as it may sound, if you have, it turns out you're not alone. According to Lyst's latest survey, 85% of people have considered what they'd like to wear to their own funeral—a statistic that prompted us to create our Over My Dead Body collection—an edit of products inspired by what you'd want to wear for your final farewell." Okay, well, funerary practices and their cultural implications are something that can be used to interpret a society. Also, it's pretty much the definition of when we achieved "consciousness" as humans, that is when we started during our dead somewhat more elaborately than throwing them in a pit, or just covering with dirt and rocks. And it wouldn't be the internet if someone didn't try and make money off of it, our fashion desires for the afterlife (also note the lingering beliefs of being buried with what we'd like in the afterlife, it's very Egyptian - okay, well every culture had that, but you get what I'm saying). For me? Well, it's my wishes for cremation, so I really don't care if you just put my naked body on the tray to send into the fire (or that new water/dissolving form of "cremation"). Also I think it's interesting that people don't know (or are arguing against) a long standing tradition of burying the dead without shoes. Although now I'm thinking of a ghost story where it's not the rattling of chains or heavy footsteps, but the thwap of flip-flops that presages the arrival of the ghost. (Grokked from Alex C. Renwick)

"Global emissions of carbon dioxide won’t increase much in 2016 despite overall economic growth, newly released bookkeeping suggests. The result marks a three-year-long plateau in the amount of CO2 released by human activities, scientists from the Global Carbon Project report November 14 in Earth System Science Data." That's the rise of alternative energy (and to a lesser extent the advent of cheap natural gas). However, as a reminder, even if we cut our CO2 emissions to zero, we'll still see Global Climate Change impacts from what's already been expelled. The world has a long lede time on these kinds of things. Heck, we stopped using chlorofluorocarbons in the early 80s and we're just starting to see the ozone hole repairing itself (note, still a pretty damn big hole, still thinner than it used to be elsewhere). I except to hear deniers use this for the "see, it was really a natural cycle" argument pretty soon.

"And once superheroes look different, and once the world on the comics page more closely resembles the world off of it, you will still be able to discern the low but steady drumbeat of fascism that the genre has never been able to escape."

"On Thursday, the Investigatory Powers Bill… completed its final stage and is set to become law (in England). The legislative process began in March of this year, and has been rather overshadowed by the Brexit referendum and its shambolic aftermath. As a result, the UK government has had a comparatively easy ride over what are some of the most extreme surveillance powers in the world." I can easily see our legislatures say, "That looks like a good idea, we should do it here, in the name of protecting us from terrorism!" (Grokked from John)

"Almost twice as many people have died in attacks by right-wing groups in America than have died in attacks by Muslim extremists. Of the 26 attacks since 9/11 that the group defined as terror, 19 were carried out by non-Muslims. Yet there are no white Americans languishing inside the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay. And there are no drones dropping bombs on gatherings of military-age males in the country's lawless border regions." I suggest a registry, just until we find out what's going on here. (Grokked from Ann Leckie)

What happens when people switch up their Facebook feeds and expose themselves to the other bubble? My personal favorite section of this article is where people talk about how hateful the other side is. For liberals it comes off as "these people hate me," but for the conservative side it comes off as "people hate Trump." There's a huge difference in that, but both sides claim that the hatred of the other side turned them off and bothered them. One of these things is not like the other. (Grokked from Mrs. Tad)

Person in Starbucks feels his coffee is "delayed" and goes on rant including, "'I voted for Trump! Trump!' the man said. 'You lost, now give me my money back.'" Yes, there's video. Also noted for the bystander who stood up, as information on what you can expect if you also stand up to this kind of assholyness (threats of physical injury). Forewarned is forearmed. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

"Before most Americans woke up last Wednesday and learned Donald Trump had won the presidential election, hackers linked to Russian intelligence had already launched a sweeping cyberespionage campaign to find out what his victory meant for Vladimir Putin's government." Cozy Bear is still out there. Actually, I figured it would decrease a little. However, one of the ways you can tell what the plot is about is what is resolved just before the movie ends. Apparently getting Trump in the White House wasn't the final plan. (Grokked from Kathryn Cramer)

"The President-elect's supporters are threatening to boycott Pepsi (PEP) over fabricated statements circulating on social media. Twitter users, many citing debunked news articles, claim PepsiCo (PEP) CEO Indra Nooyi told Trump fans to 'take their business elsewhere.'" So, I'm going to reiterate something about story telling, you'll know what the plot was really about by noting where the story ends. So if the movie keeps playing once the plot you think was the man plot is resolved, than the movie is about something else. While this might be some people feeling powerful after the election continuing to make waves, It's notable that Pepsi's CEO has a "foreign" sounding name and that she somewhat supported Clinton. This may be about "punishing" one side, or ginning up racial unrest (one of the major segment players in the election has a vested interest in racial unrest and disenfranchising non-whites). And there's nothing to say it isn't all of the above. But the propaganda (the less polite name for "Fake News") machine is still cranking, which means they haven't reached their actual goals yet. (Grokked from Teresa Nielsen Hayden)

"Confusion is an authoritarian tool; life under a strongman means not simply being lied to but being beset by contradiction and uncertainty until the line between truth and falsehood blurs and a kind of exhaustion settles over questions of fact… Authoritarianism wants to convince its supporters that nothing is true, that the whole machinery of truth is an intolerable imposition on their psyches, and thus that they might as well give free rein to their fantasies." And this is probably why the propaganda war is continuing. Not only have conservatives been waging a war against science (climate change denial and evolution just being the most overt examples), now they've shifted in waging a war against reality. And this is, make no mistake, a psy-ops operation (all that remains to be seen is if it's centrally run or has some organization in the background). There have been so many links lately to hyper-local news sources that I haven't posted simply because I couldn't verify the site as an actual news source. The main outlets of news have moved toward click-bait strategies in an attempt to increase revenues that it's sometimes hard to discern if a story is real news or speculation wrapped in a news-like envelope. So I don't post them (this is also why many of the links have been from TPM and to a lesser extent BoingBoing lately, they are doing a lot of this heavy lifting for me, as well as cutting off the fatty-crap layer around some stories). (Grokked from Teresa Nielsen Hayden)

"With a Republican-held Congress and Donald Trump headed to the White House — helped, in no small part, by the support of the NRA — big changes could be coming to the nation's gun laws." Not listed here, but I've already seen Facebook graphics for it, a removal of the ban on owning full auto machine guns. Because nothing says "deer hunter" like a full auto Tommy Gun.

"'It is legal. They say it’ll hold constitutional muster,' (Trump surrogate Carl) Higbie said of the registry. 'I know the ACLU is going to challenge us, but I think it’ll pass. And we’ve done it with Iran back a while ago. We did it in World War II with Japanese, which, call it what you will—'" First they also said torture was legal in the previous administration. Doesn't make it legal. Also, since you invited me, I'll start with "startling bad idea" and move quickly to "rank racism and Islamaphobia" and end with "fascism on the level of Nazi Germany's Final Solution."

Tweet of my heart: ‏@arthur_affect It bears repeating that this election we had Watergate happen again and everyone's reaction was "Well what did the burglars find?!" (Grokked from Ann Leckie)

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Linkee-poo guesses I just lost my husband, I don't know where he went, so I'm gonna drink my money I'm not gonna pay his rent (nope)

So, anybody want to start with, "First they came for the criminal illegal aliens…"?

What could be the problem with less ice in the Arctic? "Tens of thousands of reindeer in Arctic Russia starved to death in 2006 and 2013 because of unusual weather linked to global warming. The same conditions in the first half of November led to both famines, which killed 20,000 deer in 2006 and 61,000 in 2013."

"But the heaviest weight in our (mental load) backpack is the beliefs about ourselves. And when it comes to setting the stage for depression, a 2009 study in the journal Cognitive Therapy and Research found there are two biggies that are particularly devious."

College professor's tweet storm on being sent for psychiatric evaluation by police because of statements on burning the American Flag and questioning 2nd Amendment stances. I'm sure this isn't the entire story, but that's still fucking chilling. (Grokked from lots of people, this time from Jim Wright)

"Minibrains are highly organized structures that actually start out as human skin cells. They are then coaxed in the lab to become neural stem cells, then to differentiate into some of the different types of cells found in a real brain." And then researchers can use these minibrains to conduct experiments on development and disease. Vat grown brains (okay, yes, they're very, very mini and aren't considered organized or developed enough to have any consciousness).

"Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree Wednesday to withdraw Russia from the International Criminal Court, which rules on such grave charges as genocide and crimes against humanity." I'm sure everything will be fine.

"The ('Why White Women Shouldn’t Date Black Men') fliers located at SMU appear to be similar to ones that appeared on the campus of the University of Michigan earlier this year. They were recently spotted again at the University of Oklahoma, according to that school’s student newspaper." Oh look, it's the 1930s again. (Grokked from Jim Wright)

Why a Trump presidency is bad for the gun industry. Gee, it's almost like the NRA and conservatives manufactured anger and fear to sell more guns. I guess they're not concerned about the gun shop jobs.

"According to Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY), Donald Trump’s Twitter tirades are just his way of kicking back." Well, that makes sense then… if the president-elect were a sociopath that is.

"'The government should not be investigating its citizens simply because they've raised their voices in dissent, whether it's against government or corporate policy,' Hetznecker told The Associated Press on Tuesday." A judge orders FBI, CIA, and NSA to comply with orders to turn over documents relating to any spying on the Philly Occupy movement. This should be interesting.

"'I had never revealed to her any of the things that Donald Trump had done. But she’s five and she hears things in this world. And one of the lowest points was when she came home and asked me what a bimbo was,' (Megyn) Kelly said." Children will listen.

"Vice President-elect Mike Pence has ordered the removal of all lobbyists from President-elect Donald Trump's transition team, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday night." We'll see how true that is, and how long that will last. I expect to hear defenses this weekend that will parse just what the meaning of "lobbyist" is. (Grokked from Ferrett Steinmetz)

Tweet of my heart: @O_Waite Have you eaten today? Done something pleasant just for you? Remember this is a marathon, not a sprint. You aren't alone. (Grokked from Annalee Flower Horne)

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Scenes From a Commute

Supermoon morning.

Linkee-poo, there's something wrong with the world today, I don't know what it is

Invisible 3 call for submissions. "We’re looking for personal, first-hand stories between 400 and 1000 words talking about the impact of SF/F stories and what it’s like to see yourself misrepresented or erased, or relegated to the backgrounds. We’re also interested in the ways underrepresented and marginalized writers have worked to reclaim space in the genre."

"'Another year. Another record. The high temperatures we saw in 2015 are set to be beaten in 2016,' said Petteri Taalas, the head of the World Meteorological Organization." We're boned.

"Even the owner of 10 fake news websites in the US contacted BuzzFeed News to express his frustration with the onslaught of Macedonian spam in pro-Trump Facebook groups." It's a cyberwar, but it's not what you think it would be. It's a psy-ops campaign. And if you think these fake-news sites and Facebook profile are going away, you believe that electing Trump was the sole goal. Trump is a just one milestone. Also, yes, my Facebook account was hit by a couple of these accounts sending friend requests. I denied them. (Grokked from Teresa Nielsen Hayden)

"One source said high-ranking (Facebook) officials were briefed on a planned News Feed update that would have identified fake or hoax news stories, but disproportionately impacted right-wing news sites by downgrading or removing that content from people’s feeds. According to the source, the update was shelved and never released to the public. It’s unclear if the update had other deficiencies that caused it to be scrubbed." Odd behavior, that. It's almost like right wing news sites are feeding a steady stream of bullshit to their viewers/readers. But because the algorithm culled conservative news more than liberal news, in an attempt to be "balanced", the trashed it. Again, hearing 1 from one side and 1 from the other side isn't necessarily balanced. Instead Facebook, and other news sites, should balance their feed to the truth and verifiable facts. And if that means culling more conservative (or liberal) sites, you know, that's the way the shit hits the fan. (Grokked from Jim Wright)

The attempts to alter reality to fit the whinny ass philosophy of the alt-right has begun in earnest. There are four fingers. (Grokked from Teresa Nielsen Hayden)

Speaking of Kool-Aid™, Kurt Eichenwald on the myths that Democrats seal;lowed that cost them the election. Yep. Kinda sucks, doesn't it, but Russia also played the liberal side, and Bernie never really would have stood a chance in the general election. Yes, yes, tell your Obi-Won fantasies to the hand. (Grokked from Chuck Wendig)

"Vice President-elect Mike Pence is seeking to keep secret the contents of an email relating to Indiana’s participation, at his behest, in a lawsuit to block President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration." That would be hilarious if it wasn't so damn ironic. (Grokked from Jer)

"House Speaker Paul Ryan is telling GOP lawmakers that it's time to 'join forces with the new Trump administration.'" I guess Speaker Ryan forgets he is also on the enemies list and will be discarded at the appropriate time (or maybe he's just trying to save his own skin, but I really think he thinks this is the only way to enact his agenda, which it is, he just won't be here to see it to the end). Brown shirts always buy it before the final purge.

Patrick Nielsen Hayden with some links for where we go from here.

So what do we do now? Now we get to work. Some ideas on how to counter a Trump presidency from the Guardian. Time travelers won't come to save us, the Doctor didn't arrive in time. We're in this on our own and, just like the Companion, we have to make the decisions and the actions to pull our asses out of the fire. (Grokked from Chuck Wendig)

Masha Gessen, who grew up in Putin's Russia, has six rules to help us survive the Trump presidency. So when you see people on social media say, "This is not normal", now you know why. This is the cry of the frogs saying, "This water is getting a little warm." Also, let us progressives take a page from the conservative playbook, the fight is never over, nothing is ever settled, we can wear them down with persistence. (Grokked from BoingBoing)

Tweet of my heart: @solomongeorgio So disgusting how intolerant we've become towards intolerance. Can't we let these bigots get a chance to murder us before we judge them? (Grokked from Patrick Nielsen Hayden)

Monday, November 14, 2016

Story Bones

So, you may have head of the Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor. This is the one with the famous terra-cotta army (including horses and bronze chariots). The rumors of rivers of mercury as a part of a miniature model of China. And you may have heard about how the tomb remains sealed and what may lurk within. And how all of this was constructed to honor Qin Shi Huang and ensure he lived a full and rewarding afterlife.

And then people forgot were the tomb was.

So, the main thought here is how his concubines, ministers, tomb builders were all killed and buried with him. The terra-cotta army was buried to provide Qin an army in the afterlife. How all of this was meant to magnify his life and glorify his reign. He was, after all, the first person to unite what became China.

But all historical evidence tells us he was kind of an SOB.

So there's a whole AD&D adventure aspect of this place. Like the lair of the Lich King, living within his death, calling forth all the pleasures of the world, directing his terra-cotta army in new conquests and defending his final resting place.

So, let's populate something similar, but not exactly the same.

Okay, then let turns that script. This wasn't to keep people out, and protect the first emperor. This was all designed to keep the bastard in. To trap his eternal soul and deny it achieving any spiritual afterlife. Sure the term-cotta army is there and would strike any who would attempt to breach the tomb, but to keep them from releasing the emperor. What if their real mission is a last line of defense against the emperor from escaping his elaborate tomb with its myriad traps and rivers of mercury?

Or what if it isn't actually the emperor, but something else? Something the emperor sacrificed his own plans for immortality in death, something that threatened all he has accomplished. Something he barely was able to contain.