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

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Linkee-poo later in the day

"In 2016, Americans were infected with more than 2 million new cases of gonorrhea, syphilis and chlamydia, the highest number of these sexually transmitted diseases ever reported, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday… 'Several factors are fueling the STD epidemic,' Harvey said. 'Funding cutbacks for prevention, education and healthcare programs, an on-going debate about sex education for young people, with cutbacks in that arena, particularly from this administration, and a rise in social media dating apps have all contributed to the rise.'"

It's 2017, where's my jetpack? "A group of aviation companies and advocacy groups, backed by aerospace behemoth Boeing, have announced a $2 million competition to develop a safe and easy-to-use personal flying vehicle in the next two years." Lewis Black has a joke about he knows the exact day that flying cars will be available to the general public. It's the day after he dies. "My obituary will read… Memorial service will be held at 2. Parking for flying cars available."

Noted without comment. "A leading purveyor of fake news in the 2016 presidential election has died outside Phoenix at the age of 38… Horner had a history of prescription drug abuse and that 'evidence at the scene suggested this could be an accidental overdose.'"

An ironic tweet storm about NASCAR and the American flag. Stands and salutes. (Grokked from John)

Well hell, Atari just may be making a box that makes me experiment with Linux. But then, the Atari of old (not exactly the same company) used to promise big and delivery small. I have lots of friends who are into retro computing and have boxes of almost all the machines we used to us. For me, I tend to cycle all of them out for the new ones. Except I still have my Atari 800xl in a box in the closet. I just can't bear to part with it. (Grokked from Dan)

We shouldn't let the government get between you and your doctor. "Tightening the screws on pricey imaging exams, health insurer Anthem will no longer allow many patients to get MRI or CT scans at hospital-owned outpatient facilities, requiring them to use independent imaging centers instead. The insurer began phasing in these changes in July and expects to finish by March." Health insurance companies already occupy that space. It's called "pre-cert(ification)" and it's a pain in the ass. Especially when the tech needs to deliver the bad news that your insurance isn't going to cover the scan you came in for and have been starving yourself for 18 hours (yea, I've done it). And then there's this, "A study published last year in The Spine Journal, for example, found that when a 'secret shopper' patient with low back pain received MRI at 10 imaging centers over a period of three weeks, each center reported different findings. Some missed a problem they should have found, while others detected nonexistent problems." And then there's the pain in the ass that while we're all on electronic reporting system now, and all imaging equipment produces DICOM formatted data, it's unusual for one system to talk to another. That requires the patient to ask for a disk (first should be free, but not always) to take to their doctor. And then it may need to be re-read by another radiologist, who might 1) disagree with the results and 2) request re-imaging on better, or more familiar, equipment. This doesn't mean that all hospital equipment (and techs, and radiologists) are the best, but it's a good bet.

"Before Jeff Mateer became President Trump’s nominee for federal judgeship in Texas, he fought a local ordinance extending equal protections to members of the LGBT community and said the separation of church and state does not exist in the Constitution… But likely his most controversial statements were made in two 2015 speeches, in which he said transgender children are proof that 'Satan’s plan is working' and same-sex marriage is a harbinger for 'disgusting' practices such as polygamy and bestiality. He also appeared to advocate for gay conversion therapy…." These are the people conservatives are stacking the courts with. Because after slow-walking President Obama's nominees, they're now crying about how many federal judgeship seats are open and that they need to appoint people as soon as possible. These are the people they were holding the seats open for. (Grokked from John)

"Farmers from Georgia to California say they have a problem: not enough workers to harvest their crops… It's estimated anywhere from half to three-quarters of farm workers are in this country illegally, and some growers say that President Trump's anti-immigrant rhetoric has made a chronic worker shortage even worse." If I had the free time and money, the next politician that would say something like, "they're taking our jobs", or "there's plenty of work if you want to do it" I would take out into the field and see which one of us lasts the day.

"'If we do this, we will create millions of new jobs for our people, and bring many, many businesses back to our shores,' Trump said Tuesday, on the eve of the rollout. He described the proposed overhaul as 'massive tax cuts that our country desperately needs to thrive, to grow, to prosper.'" Well, one, nobody is holding off hiring people because of taxes. And nobody is going to hire more people because they have lower taxes. You hire people because you have a business need, and you don't hire any more than that need. Two, with lower corporate taxes, these companies aren't going to pay their working people more. The executives might make more (because profits are up), but I really don't see the average Jane on the floor making any more an hour (although wages are increasing because of the lack of skilled labor). Thirdly, most of the tax breaks go to the wealthy and the corporations (or the 1%). And then "While closing tax loopholes would offset some of the lost revenue from lowering rates, the proposed tax plan could still balloon the federal deficit." Remember kiddies, the deficit only matters when there a Democrat in the White House or in control of the legislature. While doubling the standard deduction might be nice, the major tax "break" for the middle comes from the increase dependent deduction. That's what they did with the GW Bush taxes. I don't have kids. Since 2002 until the last two years I had to pay more to the IRS than they took from my paycheck (I claim 1 deduction - the minimum - selected "married but withhold at higher single rate", and I kick in about $20 extra per pay and have done that since 2004). I bought my house in 2000 so those years were also with taking the mortgage interest deduction. And the last two years has really been a wash between getting a little back from the Feds and my higher rates for State and Local. Before 2002 I consistently had a good refund.

"'Chad is totally puzzled and baffled by President Trump's decision to slap this ban on Chadian nationals,' NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton tells Morning Edition. 'Chad is not happy, because it feels that it has done its utmost in the fight against terrorism.'" To paraphrase an old quote, it's a fool who looks for logic the in the Trump Administration's xenophobic heart.


Random Michelle K said...

The highlight of my day is often listening to Ofeibea Quist-Arcton. Especially is she is reporting from Dakaar (or however you spell it).

Steve Buchheit said...

She has a great voice, and I love how she ends her reports. And it's Dakar (1 "a" on each side of the "k"), Senegal, IIRC.

Random Michelle K said...

That was a surprisingly close guess for me.

Amusingly, one of my good friends and I, who disagree about most things political, both agree she is the best. ;)

Steve Buchheit said...

As for spelling, having my own problems with Mr. Webster and a troubled relationship with grammar, I understand completely.