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

Monday, October 9, 2017

Linkee-poo stumbles into Monday

The Rock Hall Inductees are up for a first vote. (Grokked from Dan)

John Scalzi on writing in the Age of Trump (with followup). I can't blame all of my lack of words is because of Trump and the shenanigans his cohort are up to, but it sure doesn't fucking help. With everything going on in life it would be sure damn hard to get words out. But on those rare occasions that I'm able to claw time away I end up squandering it all on… well let's just say that there has been more than one session of just looking at my twitter or Facebook feed page. Not scrolling, not searching out things, not reading a thread. Just eyes barely focused and words falling like scales from my eyes.

"As Wallace's cancer has progressed over the past seven years, she has become more critical of what she sees as excessive positivity in health care marketing. It's everywhere: TV ads, radio commercials, billboards. The advertisements feature happy, healed patients and tell stories of miraculous recoveries. The messages are optimistic, about people beating steep odds. Wallace says the ads spread false hope, and for a patient like her, they are a slap in the face." Fuck cancer.

What does rape culture look like? "A Michigan man accused of raping a 12-year-old girl has now been given joint custody of her child, according to the victim’s lawyer."

"An NSA contractor brought home highly classified documents that detailed how the U.S. penetrates foreign computer networks and defends against cyberattacks. The contractor used Kaspersky antivirus on his home computer, which hackers working for the Russian government exploited to steal the documents, the WSJ reported on Thursday (the link could be paywalled; alternative source), citing multiple people with knowledge of the matter." Ah, yep. When your weakest link is actually a foreign government sponsored back door.

"(Trump's) expected decision to decertify the (nuclear) agreement (with Iran) would allow him to save face and dent Barack Obama's legacy. And by handing its fate to lawmakers, he would also limit his political exposure to any decision to kill off a pact backed by US allies." Just like healthcare, just like DACA… beginning to see a trend here.

"The increasingly strained alliance between Turkey and the United States took a sharp downward turn Sunday when both governments abruptly announced they were canceling most visitor visas between the countries, sowing confusion among travelers and exposing a widening rift between the NATO partners." What happens when one authoritarian meets another.

"Harvey Weinstein has been fired from the Weinstein Company, according to the company's board." A little late, but welcome. "That's in addition to three of the nine, all-male members of the TWC board who have stepped down, according to The Hollywood Reporter, since The Times report…"

"Miwa Sado, a young journalist for Japan’s state-run broadcaster, spent the summer of 2013 frantically covering two local elections in Tokyo… Over the course of a month, she clocked 159 hours of overtime… Not quite a month later, just days after the second election, she died of congestive heart failure. She was 31." The Japanese even have a name for it.

"A drug company that makes a powerful fentanyl painkiller spray has engaged in conduct that is 'nothing short of evil,' New Jersey’s attorney general said Thursday after the state became the latest to sue." Off-label use, it's rampant, and it can be a danger.

What could a few $100,000s worth of ads buy Russia on Facebook? So say the detractors. "New data shows that Russian propaganda may have been shared billions of times on Facebook." Pseudo authenticity and troll farms, add gullibility and you've got a helluva propaganda machine. (Grokked form Dan)

"The Trump administration is rolling back the Obama-era requirement that employer-provided health insurance policies cover birth control methods at no cost to women." Because why wouldn't he. I wonder if all those companies who have a "religious/moral objection" also follow all of the Bible's instruction on how to treat employees and laborers. Yeah, my guess is somewhere between Nada and Bupkis.

"President Trump reportedly vented to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson about federal laws preventing American businesses from bribing foreign officials, The New Yorker reported Friday." Apparently he doesn't see the problem. (Grokked from Chang)

"Donald Trump’s escalating feud with Bob Corker, the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, captures in miniature why he’s been ineffective during his first nine months as president."

"But a Buzzfeed News investigation has found that Breitbart didn’t just tolerate those white supremacist views that Bannon denounced on 60 Minutes; it actively allowed them to flourish." If there's a slightly less-shitty lining in all these shit-storm clouds it's the sure knowledge (based on historical precedent) that if they got what they really wanted, most of them would be the first against the wall. Their beloved monster would turn on them and devour them once it had power. (Grokked from the Slactivist)

"President Donald Trump talked on Twitter, but Facebook was the crucial tool that helped elect him, says the man who directed the digital aspects of the Trump campaign. Brad Parscale tells Lesley Stahl how he fine-tuned political ads posted on Facebook to directly reach voters with the exact messages they cared most about – infrastructure key among them -- and had handpicked Republican Facebook employees to guide him." They came over to the Trump offices multiple times per week. (Grokked from Jim Wright)

"Vice President Mike Pence's decision to walk out of a National Football League game on Sunday when some players knelt during the National Anthem was planned ahead of time, a senior Pence official said Sunday night." So much for the "not planned" narrative. Apparently we're going to have to go through the "epidemic of flag burning" culture wars again.

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