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

Friday, December 1, 2017

Linkee-poo is gonna try for an uptown girl, she's been living in her white bread world as long as anyone with hot blood can

For the life of me, I really don't understand this consternation over Meghan Markle marrying a retired British Army Officer. One, he is what, 5th in line to the throne (3rd when his brother takes the crown, cause I don't think Charles will wear it, or at least not for long)? If they're happy everyone else can fuck right off, IMHO. And I know the US has its share of Anglophiles, but seriously, give it a rest. We fought a war. They don't matter to us.

Jim Neighbors has died. He had a wonderful singing voice and he was a brother in Delta Tau Delta (my fraternity) where he is listed as one of our most famous brothers.

Wither Barnes & Noble? "Barnes & Noble Inc., which posted a wider loss last quarter that sent its shares tumbling, is scaling back ambitions to become more than a bookseller."

"Combs and other researchers spent two years going around the city and trapping rats. After extracting and analyzing their DNA, he determined that the rats that live in uptown, north of 59th Street, are distinct from those living in downtown, south of 14th Street. The Midtown area is more sparsely populated — by rats, anyway — presenting a barrier to genetic mixing."

"A man is suing Pittsburgh's Kennywood amusement park after he says he contracted an eye-eating parasite at the popular Raging Rapids ride."

"All of the U.S. military’s special operations fighters sent off to warzones and raids now have an essential addition to their first-aid kits: freeze-dried blood plasma."

"The flu vaccine used this year in Australia — which has the same composition as the vaccine used in the U.S. — was only 10 percent effective, according to a preliminary estimate, at preventing the strain of the virus that predominantly circulated during the country's flu season, an international team of medical experts wrote in a perspective published today in The New England Journal of Medicine." Rhut rho.

"A new government report says the number of children in the U.S. foster care system has increased for the fourth year in a row, due largely to an uptick in substance abuse by parents." And that's not counting the number of children being raised by their grandparents, aunts and uncles. The social safety net needs expanding, but it won't happen under the GOP (at least how it's comprised and motivated today).

"… Emperor Akihito will abdicate on April 30, 2019, capping a three-decade reign on the Chrysanthemum Throne, the Imperial Household Council said Friday…"

"Drug prices are too high and we'd better do something about it. That's the nutshell conclusion of a 201-page report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine." Along with some recommendations of what can been done to cut costs.

"In a legal case with profound implications for LGBT rights and religion’s place in public life, the opposing sides agree on this: It’s not about the cake." It's about living, it's about being recognized as a person. See, if I were in this case and someone said they refused to offer services to someone because of their "deeply held religious beliefs" I would question if they adhered to their "religious beliefs" in other areas. IIRC, some of these cake people are Baptists, who also hold a religious belief against alcohol consumption. Do they ask if there will be alcohol at the reception and refuse to make cakes for those? Is there a prohibition against divorce and do they ask if any of the participants have been divorced? Do you only offer your service to those of your same faith (note, I would specify denomination here)? If not their defense is prima facia bullshit (although IANAL so it would be tricker than that). And then there's the question of if this is art. Even within the art community there is some confusion here. Because of my training, the best they could claim here is "commercial art." And then the "commercial" side drives the decisions. Is it artistic? Okay, sure. But if you take commissions to create your art, that's a different category of art (insert libraries discussing the controversy here on both sides). Then we get into the discussion of what about the art specifically violates your religious views? Do you bake differently? What is it about the decoration that is religious in nature? Where exactly are you being asked to change your art to accommodate a gay customer? Is the baking and decorating of the cake a "religious" event or devotion? Are you required to sanctify the union to bake a cake?

"To streamline the wording, we decided to fact-check (Sen. Tim Scott's, R-S.C.) overall point that a typical family not currently paying income taxes would receive more money under the (Senate tax) overhaul. (His office did not object to that paraphrase.)" Nope.

"Senate Republicans ran into a speed bump Thursday evening in their quest to pass a tax overhaul by the weekend, over concerns that the bill could fall far short of GOP promises of economic growth." And that's when using the GOP preferred methodology of "dynamic scoring." This is my shocked face. After this Republicans should never be allowed to claim "fiscal responsibility." If they try it (like they will next year) we should all point and laugh.

"Law enforcement’s response to a violent white nationalist rally in Virginia last summer failed on multiple fronts, leading to 'deep distrust of government' in the Charlottesville community, an independent review released Friday found." Ya think?

"Trump suggested earlier this week that the media should award an annual Fake News Award for the worst coverage of his presidency but left Fox News out of the running since it is the only network the president and his supporters believe gives him fair coverage. But 40% of all voters think Fox News should be the winner of the first annual Fake News Trophy." This is my surprised face. Well, actually I am surprised… that it's so low. But the various political constituencies (Grokked from Dan)

"Rep. Joe Barton (Tex.), one of the longest-serving Republicans in the House, announced Thursday that he will not seek another term representing his suburban Dallas-Fort Worth district… The announcement came after news reports revealing that Barton had carried on extramarital relationships with multiple women before his 2015 divorce. A lewd photo he sent to one of those women circulated online last week, prompting Barton to apologize." I feel like we're watching one of those murder mysteries where everyone is secluded in a country estate and you keep watching to see who is going to get the axe next. (Grokked from Dan)

"The White House has developed a plan to force out Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson, whose relationship with President Trump has been strained, and replace him with Mike Pompeo, the C.I.A. director, perhaps within the next several weeks, senior administration officials said on Thursday." It's one of those business jokes, how we can't expect to get things done because we're "re-engineering".

"The Trump administration is seriously considering recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in early December, even as President Donald Trump signs a waiver to keep the embassy in Tel Aviv for another six months, sources tell CNN." Whelp, so much for peace in the Middle East. I wonder if Tillerson has been trying to explain to the president why we keep our embassy in Tel Aviv and that's the major reason for the break.

"Former national security adviser Michael Flynn is to plead guilty Friday to making false statements to the FBI, becoming the fourth person charged in a wide-ranging investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller and his team of prosecutors." Step by step, inch by inch… Still lots of shoes to drop.

"In Alabama, Republican candidate Roy Moore is an unabashed Christian nationalist, arguing that the United States was established as a Christian nation, to be governed by Christian principles." All thanks to Ronald Reagan who recognized the decline of conservatives and so made it a priority to bring social conservatives (who don't hold the same values as the former fiscal/governmental conservatives) into the voting population giving him the presidency and ushering in the era of "social issue politics" (abortion being the most obvious, the "War on Christmas" being one of the lesser known). This is the Reagan Compromise, and this is what has driven the Republican party to the far right (and consolidated their hold on those who hold authoritarian leanings) and swelled the ranks of "independents" who feel there is no party that represents their views (although they trend toward the right). It is also what has driven people from Christian churches as ministers and preachers expose views and support tactics that bother people who understand the Gospel.

"So the reality is, as best we can tell, 'Merry Christmas' never left the White House." And don't let anyone tell you otherwise.


Random Michelle K said...

I think some of the love of William and Harry is that 1) a lot of us remember Diana's wedding in a way no group before us did. 2) Diana was a lovely woman who died too early and we felt terrible for William and Harry 3) unless the previous generation, William and Harry seem to have turned out to be generous, kind, responsible adults who are capable of marriages that might actually last. 4) Most importantly, I respect that Harry owned up to the mistakes he made as a teenager AND that he made a point to serve in the military, not just as a showpiece, but he served in Afghanistan. I still think the moron reporter who outed that needs kicked on the gonads.

The point of this is that they're like a fairy tale we grew up reading and we're getting to see them have a happily ever after (we hope!). Because who doesn't like the story of good people doing well?

Steve Buchheit said...

Hey Random Michelle K, I was commenting more on the "she's black", "she's an actress", "she's an activist", and I believe this morning I heard the "she's a catholic". I agree with all your points. It was just the whole public spectacle of the "whisper" campaigns that was starting to feel tawdry.

Random Michelle K said...

Ah. I see.

On twitter I saw something I thought was kinda perfect from, maybe, the Irish Daily Mail?

The two sitting together, and the headline "American Actress to Marry Retired Soldier."

I thought that was kinda lovely, since it focused on what he did rather than who he was.