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

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Linkee-poo got to be your friend now, baby, and I would like to move in just a little bit closer

Something of interest, not that I have time to read it, but maybe you do. Hoodoo, Conjuration, Witchcraft, Rootwork - Beliefs Accepted by Many Negroes and White Persons These Being Orally Recorded Among Blacks and Whites by Harry Middleton Hyatt. The early volumes (there are five) originally were published in 1935, with the later books published in the 70s. Lot of cornpaw vernacular and mysticism and (I haven't gotten deep into it) I'm assuming racism and misogyny. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

The Hidden Brain podcast on the Sorting Hat, or using personality tests in business. Any company that does this, even with the Myers-Briggs, is fooling themselves and attempting to replace actual management with meaningless metrics. They aren't doing much more than using a more "scientific" looking version of the on-line tests which tell you which My Little Pony you are. I've taken several of these, including a "pre-employment" test at the hospital. I've received several conflicting results back and I failed that pre-employment test (this was for a "tech assist" position, for a full "radiological technologist" position there was no test). The later came back stating that I would be terrible with patients. Really, that's where I excel given both the patient survey results, including an individual mention in a survey while I was still a student.

"The International Olympic Committee has suspended the Russian Olympic Committee 'with immediate effect,' effectively banning the country from the upcoming Winter Olympics over Russia's system of state-supported cheating by its athletes who used performance-enhancing drugs." Ouch.

"The Trump administration has been eliminating some protections that allow more than 300,000 people to live and work in the U.S. under what is known as Temporary Protected Status. Many could face deportation when their status expires… An estimated 50,000 of them work in the construction industry, concentrated in areas like Texas, Florida and California that are recovering from hurricanes and wildfires and where labor shortages in construction are especially acute." That'll work out well.

"Unlike the cake artists' brief, one signed by chefs, bakers and restauranteurs takes a side. It supports the Colorado Civil Rights Commission and the gay couple, contending that it does not matter whether baking a cake is an art form because even artists who open their doors to the public are required to abide by laws that apply to businesses in general."

"The vaccine — called Dengvaxia — raises the risk of a deadly form of dengue for people who have never been exposed to the virus, Sanofi Pasteur wrote Wednesday in a statement. The company says it discovered the complication after analyzing data from a six-year study." Oopsie.

The difference between curries and Indian cooking in the UK. Not so different than with American versions of Chinese and Mexican dishes.

"The U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem has ordered its personnel and their families not to conduct personal travel to Jerusalem’s Old City or the West Bank due to fears of unrest over an expected U.S. announcement."

"President Trump's plan to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and begin the process to relocate the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem — has prompted warnings of violence and concern that the move will scuttle any chance at advancing peace efforts." Gee, ya think?

"Keeping the corporate AMT while also cutting the corporate tax rate, experts say, could create a situation where the revised corporate tax code undermines some of the new benefits the bill creates for businesses." Note that in the Senate bill the Corporate AMT is the same as the nominal corporate tax rate (20%). I guess all those last minute changes weren't fully vetted. Oopsie. What the fight is about is if corporations can bring their tax down to 0% (like many of them already have). So when you hear that line "the highest corporate taxes in the world" understand that nobody really pays that amount. Also this short-circuits the strategy of just having the House approve the Senate plan (in case the Senate's balance of power is adjusted by Alabama or other circumstances). Also note the US Chamber of Commerce reaction. Again, 20% is much lower than 35%, but corporations know they wouldn't pay either. The 20% ATM would be a tax increase for most businesses.

If true, the following is quite disturbing. "The Trump Administration is considering a set of proposals developed by Blackwater founder Erik Prince and a retired CIA officer — with assistance from Oliver North, a key figure in the Iran-Contra scandal — to provide CIA Director Mike Pompeo and the White House with a global, private spy network that would circumvent official U.S. intelligence agencies, according to several current and former U.S. intelligence officials and others familiar with the proposals. The sources say the plans have been pitched to the White House as a means of countering 'deep state' enemies in the intelligence community seeking to undermine Donald Trump’s presidency." This is how democracy dies. This is real "take up arms against the government" territory. Unfortunately this would probably be stuffed into the "black budget" of which Congress has little control or oversight or by private donations. This is the formation of a private army, a Praetorian Guard. This is why you never deal with mercenaries and why they were outlawed in the US for a very long time. (Grokked from Jim Wright)

"Vice President Mike Pence and former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus considered a coup to replace then candidate Donald Trump following the release of the 'Access Hollywood' tape just weeks before the 2016 presidential election, The Atlantic reported in a lengthy profile of Pence on Tuesday." That's going to make the Christmas Party a little awkward.

And that lengthy profile… "Pence has so far showed absolute deference to the president—and as a result he has become one of the most influential figures in the White House, with a broad portfolio of responsibilities and an unprecedented level of autonomy. But for all his aw-shucks modesty, Pence is a man who believes heaven and Earth have conspired to place him a heartbeat—or an impeachment vote—away from the presidency. At some crucial juncture in the not-too-distant future, that could make him a threat to Trump."

"Donald Trump Jr. asked a Russian lawyer at the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting whether she had evidence of illegal donations to the Clinton Foundation, the lawyer told the Senate Judiciary Committee in answers to written questions obtained exclusively by NBC News." Now the Russians are throwing people under the bus while attempting to cast shade on Bill Browder (who pushed the Magnitsky Act). You know, as "not a Russian government lawyer" and without any government connections she sure is pushing the Russian government line. "Previously, she told NBC News she had raised the issue of potential questionable contributions to Clinton's campaign by Americans accused in Russia of tax evasion." The story is changing, but if you look at it from the perspective of Veselnitskaya as a Russian agent with the Russians attempting to sow chaos in the US to destabilize the US government (and diminish it's role on the world stage), this narrative fits exactly into that story.

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