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

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Linkee-poo without a good title

For the 4th of July, the NPR twitter account mirrored the on radio tradition of reading out the Declaration of Independence. So, how did that go? About as well as you might expect. Look, if there's a general conversation about tyranny and oppression and you feel like your side is getting a bad rap, without your side being mentioned outright… well, you might want to rethink which side you're supporting.

Looking for new music? Here's 15 songs of summer from NPR. A wide variety of music styles with some slow-burners.

On the reproducibility of medical research (specifically on cancer drugs). Basically, we're not so good are predicting which studies would be able to reproduce the original results. But that's the thing about science, you test your assumptions to see if they're true or not. And, to be truthful, there's a lot wrong with medical studies (including how we measure and report results and the use of sadistic statistics in this).

"Police in late June found widespread drug-use and men engaged in homosexual activity during the bust at the home owned by the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, according to Il Fatto Quotidiano, an Italian newspaper that first reported the incident. Among its duties, the congregation guides the Church's response to clerical sexual abuse cases." Okay, I'll admit that I'm not actually on top of Vatican politics, but damn that sounds like a clearing of house. While the report states that "neighbors" called in the police, it wouldn't surprise me to hear some clerical robes swishing in the background of that call.

"Federal prosecutors on Monday asked a U.S. judge for a gag order muzzling former drug company executive Martin Shkreli, on trial for securities fraud charges, arguing that his statements to media could taint the jury and disrupt the case, court papers show." But his lawyers say, "Brafman said Shkreli was in a delicate emotional state, and believed that the press focuses unfairly on some of his negative characteristics… Brafman has argued that Shkreli is a misunderstood genius who earned his wealthy investors millions of dollars." Uh, yeah, Bob. I'm sure it's not that Shkreli is a rich brat gambling on his white privilege and his monied status to behave in ways that we'd actually put children into time-out for. Also, he's using his position to harass witnesses and bully the jury.

"The legislation, which was signed by Gov. Rick Scott (R) last week and went into effect Saturday, requires school boards to hire an 'unbiased hearing officer' who will handle complaints about instructional materials, such as movies, textbooks and novels, that are used in local schools. Any parent or county resident can file a complaint, regardless of whether they have a student in the school system. If the hearing officer deems the challenge justified, he or she can require schools to remove the material in question." No appeal, no actual research necessary. Complaints can be made my anyone in the community. So, basically, we're handing education over to the ignorants. No, I'm sure this won't be abused by conservatives and the religious right. Not at all. There's a twitter meme of "This is the America liberals want," well, this is the America social conservatives want. They want children to be as ignorant as they are. (Grokked from Chuck Wendig)

We don't need no stinkin' regulations. The market will take care of it all. "NPR's ongoing investigation of the advanced stage of the fatal lung disease that afflicts coal miners has identified an additional 1,000 cases in Appalachia." Or, you know, people just drop dead and shit.

Yes, Virginia, the rightwingnuts are waging a war against CNN. On Fox News, "CNN was facing almost universal backlash on Wednesday after running an article on the Reddit user who made an anti-CNN, wrestling-themed GIF tweeted by President Trump over the weekend – and seeming to imply the network would reveal the person’s identity if he reneged on an apology." Sure, yeah, the horribleness in this story is about CNN, a reporting organization, finding the true identity of the guy who created a threatening video that promoted violence against CNN and deciding to not publish it… as long as the guy keeps to his word. You know, not on the guy who made the video and thought he could get away with it.

So, since all outside non-partisan studies show Obamacare is working quite well, why do conservatives want to get rid of it? "One patient at the Mountain Valleys clinic in Bieber, Kay Roope, 64, knew she had Medi-Cal, and she liked it… 'It did me good,' she says… But when asked what she thinks of Obamacare overall, she says she doesn't like it… 'Because of Obama himself,' she says with a laugh. 'I rest my case.'" I'm sure racism has nothing to do with it. Also, one of the main problems with supporting Obamacare (and the same arguments that came out when it passed) is this fact. "One way clinic workers get around the stigma is to avoid calling it Medi-Cal. Instead, they promote the name of the insurer that manages the Medi-Cal contract in that region. People get a card for 'Partnership Health Plan' and may not realize they're actually covered by a government program."

On DoJ Federal Oversight actions… "'You all can hold us accountable,' (Shelby County Mayor) Luttrell said. 'You all can step in and do precisely what DOJ is doing right now. And that's what I hope to do, that's one of the reasons I made the appeal to D.C., which is: Let local people solve local problems.'" Um, no. That's exactly how we got into these problems (including the problem with education in the US) is we "let local people solve local problems." And you all fucked it up. And more than likely you fucked up the initial response to the problem. That's why the Fed is involved. But I'm sure our Attorney General Jeff Sessions will agree to let the locals do what they want which will send us right down the crapper again.

Congressman Clay Higgins proves that even in this day where "You're a Nazi" is thrown with regularity (and in some cases is the literal truth) it is still possible to Godwin yourself. Also, note to Congressman Higgins, the call for a "strong military" protecting the homeland is exactly what brought us the horror of Auschwitz-Birkenau (and the entire Holocaust). Seriously, pull your head out of your ass for once.

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