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

Friday, November 17, 2017

Linkee-poo, we were never meant to worry the way that people do

Lore. Now an Amazon series as well as a podcast, books, newsletter and of course, a store. I've only watched one of their videos (on Amazon), but I've started listening to the podcast. Aaron Mahnke does a very good mix of William Shatner and Christopher Walken in his presentation. It takes a little getting used to. I'm beginning to think there is something about the Northern East Coast (I grew up in New Jersey) and a love of the ghost story. Other parts of the US may have their traditions of ghosts, but theres something about the home of Lovecraft, King, the witch trials, and a religious puritanism mixed with spirituality.

Terri Windling has a patreon. Lots of authors and artists I like have patreon sites, Kameron Hurley, Tobias Buckell, Mur Lafferty, and Jim Wright just to name a few, and some I've debated hard about contributing to.

"Astronomers in California are building the largest digital camera in the world. It will go on a giant telescope taking shape in Chile called the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope."

"A portrait of Christ by Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci has shattered all previous records for artworks sold at auction or privately, fetching a whopping $450.3 million on Wednesday at Christie's in New York." There inflates another bubble in the art world. Sell 'em while you can, people. The cash won't keep flowing forever.

"The future of the coyotes that roam forests, cities and suburbs from Newfoundland to Virginia could hinge on the animals becoming the 'wolves' of the East Coast. And humans better get used to them." Evolution in progress.

"The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today that it has lifted an Obama-era ban on importing sport-hunted trophies of elephants from Zimbabwe and Zambia." Fuckers. "It's not clear exactly what convinced the Service to make the change." I don't know, maybe it's because the president's sons like to go trophy hunting? Could that be it?

"The driver of a pickup displaying an expletive-filled message to President Donald Trump and his supporters in the Houston area was arrested Thursday on an outstanding warrant (for fraud)."

"Like Ellis, some 4.2 million young people experience unaccompanied homelessness in the course of a year, according to a new study from Chapin Hall a research center at the University of Chicago."

"A thick, green scum coated western Lake Erie. And Steele, a semipro angler, was sickened by it." No, literally sickened by the poison the algae give off. And here's the fun part, the minimal funds the Great Lakes receive to fight toxic blooms have been nearly eliminated in the GOP budget.

"TransCanada Corp (TRP.TO) shut part of its Keystone oil pipeline system after a 5,000-barrel leak in South Dakota, the company said on Thursday, four days before neighboring Nebraska was set to decide on the company’s long-delayed Keystone XL pipeline." Well I'm sure Nebraska won't worry about its safety record.

"Thousands of Dreamers thought they had met the final deadline to renew their DACA status last month. But some of those applications got stuck in the mail." And then there's this, "In cases where the rejected application arrived at the post office box on time, USCIS says it will 'proactively reach out' to the applicants to let them resubmit." Resubmit? How about you just say, "Hey, we made a mistake, your application was here in time, we're processing it."

"Leading researchers castigated a federal plan that would use artificial intelligence methods to scrutinize immigrants and visa applicants, saying it is unworkable as written and likely to be 'inaccurate and biased' if deployed." Yeah, but what if "inaccurate and biased" was the plan?

"LA radio host Leeann Tweeden said now-Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., forced himself on her and groped her while the two were on a USO tour in 2006." It's not a party thing, it's a power thing.

Because there seems to be a counter narrative developing about how liberals are all sanctimonious when it comes to sexual misconduct on the right, but doesn't deal with its own issues I offer this. "As NPR's Board of Directors meet in Washington, D.C., this week, the network finds itself confronted by a series of dispiriting developments: a CEO on medical leave; a chief news executive forced out over sexual harassment allegations; the sudden resignation of a board chairman; fresh complaints over inappropriate behavior by colleagues; and a network roiled by tensions over the treatment of its female workers." Yes, we do take it seriously. Sexual harassment is not a political ideology, it's a product of power inequity. So yes, Virginia, we do deal with our own. But here's the difference, our party doesn't claim to be the more virtuous, religious, or morally superior.

"The federal conspiracy trial against Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy is hitting right at the heart of the country's divide over information and truth."

"… (M)any Canadians find it baffling that there's anybody in the United States who can't afford a visit to the doctor… So even as Canadians throw shade at the American hodgepodge of public plans, private insurance, deductibles and copays, they hold in high esteem a little-known Affordable Care Act initiative: the federal Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation." Of course the current administration is trying to cut its effectiveness and eventually write it out of the budget. Did you really need to ask that.

What's the problem with Trump's appointees? "The Department of Homeland Security’s head of outreach to religious and community organizations resigned on Thursday after audio recordings revealed that he had previously made incendiary remarks about African-Americans and Muslims while speaking on radio shows." The head of outreach. Attacked African-Americans and Muslims. The head of outreach. I would say I'm shocked, but I'm really not. I'm just sad. Three more years of this. Gods, will we all survive?

"The Joint Committee on Taxation estimated that starting in 2021, many families earning less than $30,000 would have tax increases under the bill. By 2027, families earning up to $75,000 would face higher levies, while those earning more would get tax cuts." Also the president has gone to Capitol Hill to push passage of the tax cuts (I'm not sure we can call it tax reform anymore). Something he couldn't be bothered to do with the Obamacare repeals. So guess where his real priorities lay.

"Addressing a black-tie crowd at the National Building Museum on Thursday night, Vice President Pence hailed congressional progress toward what he said would be the 'biggest tax cut in American history.'… As he spoke, less than a mile away the Senate Finance Committee was racing to wrap up work on a tax bill that will hand large cuts to the wealthiest while raising taxes on those earning between $10,000 and $75,000 over the next decade." Well I'm glad the top-hat and monocle crowd is all on board for the tax cuts.

"Senior White House adviser and son-in-law to the president, Jared Kushner, failed to hand over to Senate investigators emails concerning contacts with WikiLeaks and a 'Russian backdoor overture,' according to a letter sent by two senior lawmakers." Oopsie. What's a few critical emails to someone who forgot a few billion dollars worth of investments off his financial disclosure form?

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