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

Monday, July 17, 2017

Linkee-poo slogs into the week

"Actress Jodie Whittaker will portray Doctor Who in the next season of the beloved BBC series, becoming the first woman to play the role." And the fake fanboys lose their minds. Look, when the Doctor regenerates, most often the character has talked about it being a good thing of being bipedal, having two arms and hands, and a face (although the character mentioned it didn't like its nose the one time). So if you happen to think that regenerating as a female humanoid is totally against the grain of the show, natural history, whatever, let me just point to you and say you're a fake fan who hasn't been paying attention. As stated by somebody on twitter, for every wounded male who vows to not watch the show five women are willing to give it another chance.

An interview with Keegan-Michael Key including a section on growing up in the Mid-West and never believing you deserve success.

Quantum unmeasurement. Um, sure. (Grokked from Dan)

"In Sonoma Valley about an hour north of San Francisco, there are many reminders of the immigrants who built California's wine industry: tasting rooms that look like Italian villas or signs bearing French names. But you won't see any vestiges of the group that made up an estimated 80 percent of the workforce that first put Sonoma vineyards on the map: the Chinese." The lingering effects of institutionalized racism.

(Breaking in and) Visiting the Buran (the Russian space shuttle) factory. (Grokked from Dan)

"Certain hormones at times tell our bodies whether or not to create fat cells, and hormone disrupting chemicals can confuse those messages. Such chemicals are found in chemicals such as pesticides, flame retardants, and plastics. They also turn up in house dust, and new research from Duke University found that typical amounts of household dust spurred the growth of mouse fat cells in a lab dish." Son of a…

"After looking at two types of scientific research, the authors conclude that there is no solid evidence that sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose help people manage their weight. And observational data suggest that the people who regularly consume these sweeteners are also more likely to develop future health problems – though those studies can't say those problems are caused by the sweeteners." While they talk about many reasons why artificial sweeteners really don't help with weight loss, they miss one important (probable) fact - those "non-calorie" sweeteners may not actually be "non-calorie" after all (and what we count as a calorie may not be the whole picture).

The hidden costs of industry. "People who live in and around Clairton, about 15 miles south of Pittsburgh, are suing US Steel, claiming air pollution from its Clairton Coke Works has lowered property values. The Allegheny Front’s Julie Grant visited Clairton to understand how this source of good jobs could also be the cause of health and environmental problems." This would be the only way to make industry pay for the environmental and health damage it causes. Or, you know, we could tax them and regulate them, to either recover the costs of that healthcare (although then we get into discussions of just what a human life is worth - which has already been calculated) or push them to change. See, polluting (and paying the fines) is cheaper than being responsible. Unless you make that business pay for all the costs of that decision.

"The United Arab Emirates orchestrated the hacking of Qatari government news and social media sites in order to post incendiary false quotes attributed to Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani, in late May that sparked the ongoing upheaval between Qatar and its neighbors, according to U.S. intelligence officials." The other fake news. So why would Qatar's neighbors hack to leave evidence that gave cover for those countries to isolate Qatar? Qatar is the little brother of the Arab monarchies, with a long history of coming in last because there is little oil in Qatar. But Qatar developed the technology to liquify natural gas, which they do have a lot of (their main gas field is also shared by Iran). Qatar also supports (and launched) al Jazeera, which tends to annoy the other monarchies by telling the truth.

And speaking of natural gas, have you heard of FERC? That's our federal supposed regulatory commission that oversees natural gas pipeline (among other things) production.

Facebook fights for the right to tell users when there's a warrant for their social media information. (Grokked from Charles Oberndorf)

Scrambling to find the votes to even just open debate. Keep calling. Also, you have a little more time to make that call.

"There was a break-in over the weekend at the Las Vegas office of Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.), a Republican senator who could be a critical swing vote on the GOP health-care bill." Not cool, people. It's repugnant when the right does this shit, it's doubly so when the left does it.

"Ohio Gov. John Kasich's (R) office has flatly rejected Vice President Pence's claim that nearly 60,000 disabled Ohioans are on waiting lists for Medicaid’s home and community-based services." Is there a waiting time as you apply? Yes. But that's because of the paperwork needed to complete the application and not enough workers to process, and it's not 60,000. The cure for that isn't taking people's Medicaid/Medicare away. It takes about 2 to 3 months after the initial application to get an determination if you're going to be covered or not. And yes, if you ever want to see red tape and bureaucracy in action, just apply for Medicaid/Medicare. And all of it is driven by laws, mostly sponsored by conservatives, to "cut out waste and fraud", which don't do that at all but help deny people benefits and and attempt to make the programs worthless.

So how's that "best healthcare system in the world going? We're number 1 (in mothers mortality rates during or just after child birth). You'd think right to life would be all over this and (checks again) nothing. (Grokked from Justine Larbalestier)

Lining up the dots in preparation to connect them. A timeline of last Summer, the Trump campaign, Russian interference, meetings and tweets. Well, when you put it that way, it all starts to make sense.

The plot thickens. "A former Soviet counter-intelligence officer, now working as a Russian-American lobbyist, was also in the room last June during a controversial meeting between Donald Trump, Jr. and a Russian lawyer that was purportedly aimed at getting dirt on the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, NBC News reported Friday."

So who is the "Russian Lawyer" Jr met with? "In fact, (Natalia) Veselnitskaya was already a key figure for the defense in one of the most notorious money-laundering scandals in recent memory, encompassing $230 million in public funds allegedly stolen from the Russians by a network of corrupt bureaucrats and routed into real estate sales, including some in Manhattan, through ironclad Swiss bank accounts. And she was accused of lobbying U.S. officials for a Russian NGO that sought to overturn the Russian ban on U.S. adoptions, according to a complaint filed with the U.S. Justice Department and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA)." Oh, and did we mention, "The United States settled its case against Prevezon and its associated companies in May for $6 million, a fraction of the judgment a guilty verdict would likely have brought." That case was settled after Jeff Sessions became the Attorney General. I'm sure it's just a coincidence. Have I mentioned the other ties Trump's administration has to Russian money-laundering and a certain Cyprian bank?

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