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

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Linkee-poo wait, it's Tuesday, when did that happen

"As he neared completion this week on his latest novel, By The Water's Edge, author Edward Milligan marveled aloud to reporters how he was able to flesh out, in meticulous detail, every single corner of his book's vast and stunningly shitty world." Ouch, Onion, that stings a little (okay, it stings while I was giggling, which is the best form of satire). (Grokked from John Scalzi)

"Now, (the Bibliotheca Palatina) 'core inventory' of approximately 3,000 manuscripts has become available free online at the Bibliotheca Palatina Digital." (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

"If Fox News is national media with a conservative bent, Sinclair may be looking to become the same for local news… And if this sale goes through, Sinclair will reach nearly three-fourths of TV-watching audiences — and those people watch a lot more local news than cable news…" And they're using an FCC loophole created by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. (Grokked from Cat Rambo)

"LEGOLAND Discovery Center at Easton Town Center near Columbus is looking to fill a position for a 'master builder,' according to several job postings for the role." I knew I should have bought that 3d printer years ago! There will be a "competition" for the job, no word on if it requires being able to sing all verses of "Everything Is Awesome." (Grokked from John Scalzi)

"Archaeologists on Monday announced the discovery of a fossilized human finger bone in the desert of Saudi Arabia that they said was 85,000 years old… If confirmed, the finding would be the first and earliest Homo sapiens fossil found on the Arabian Peninsula, as well as the oldest specimen of our species to be directly dated outside of Africa and its doorstep, the Levant." Ah yes, the big middle-finger of history is being flashed at us.

"The condition, called cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome, is characterized by recurring bouts of severe nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain in heavy marijuana users, who often take hot showers to relieve their symptoms. The condition was first recognized in 2004, but U.S. doctors have reported seeing it more frequently in recent years, according to the New York Times." I don't know, sounds a little fishy to me.

"Reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome (RCVS) is a rare condition that occurs as the result of a sudden constriction (tightening) of the vessels that supply blood to the brain. The main symptom of RCVS is sudden, severe, and disabling headaches that are sometimes called “thunderclap” headaches. Strokes or a bleeding into the brain may or may not be present." Unfortunately the "reversal" part doesn't seem to be able to be medically induced, but is a part of the "natural" body function.

"Instead of defining the disease through symptoms like memory problems or fuzzy thinking, the scientists want to focus on biological changes in the brain associated with Alzheimer's. These include the plaques and tangles that build up in the brains of people with the disease… But they say the new approach is intended only for research studies, and isn't yet ready for use by most doctors who treat Alzheimer's patients." Yes, it's always good to have physical metrics to make a diagnosis and yes, some people diagnosed with Alzheimers have other diseases that cause similar symptoms. But (leans in and whispers) so far there's been no conclusive evidence to determine if the plaques and tangles are symptoms or cause of the disease and only mild evidence of a connection.

"Americans owe approximately $1.5 trillion in student debt. Is there anything that can be done to help alleviate the load? Former chair of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Sheila Bair joined David Brancaccio to talk about why she's advocating for student loan repayments to be tied to a person's income. The following is an edited transcript of their conversation." Only if they add in a time limit as well. I have a better idea, let's make student debt unsecured and dischargeable in bankruptcy. Want to see an industry change, put that in the pipeline and watch how much banks really want to be regulated (or, you know, fully federalize the loan program and take the banks out of the picture all together).

"Massachusetts-based American Superconductor seemed to be riding high in early 2011, reaping strong sales and even praise from the White House for successfully cracking the Asian import markets." Until their Chinese partner stole their technology (with possible insider help).

"If the Trump administration wins some concessions from China in the latest trade dispute, it could be a boost to U.S.-based multinationals."

One of the things that I think is interesting is watching a lot of the economics and business reporters talking about China's response and how it'll affect those farmers who send product to China (hog and soybean mostly). Um, no. It will affect all farmers who grow hogs and soybeans no matter where they sell because the sudden overstock of those commodities will tank the price for everybody (and, perversely, may negate the effect of the Chinese retaliatory tariffs in the Chinese markets). So the Chinese may get the same products, but at a reduced price, as American farmers go into the red (again).

"Here’s the executive summary: U.S. companies are valued less now than before Trump was elected, despite the run-up in stocks, big corporate tax cuts, reductions in regulations, and booming earnings. The cost to borrow for the U.S. has soared relative to other governments, a sign investors are worried about America’s creditworthiness. The dollar’s share of global currency reserves has dropped by the most since 2002." So much winning I can't stand it. Note it's an opinion article, so facts may be handled lose and fast. But this is also one of the reasons I say we'll have the start of a recession by the end of the year. (Grokked from Laura J Mixon)

"Punching Nazis doesn't work," they said. Oh really? "The bottom line is that coordinated anti-fascist action like this has made it incredibly difficult for the 'alt-right' to organize. Major figures like Spencer have had their events turned into platforms for mass opposition, and his speeches shouted down. In 2016, he was able to host a sold out National Policy Institute conference at the famed Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, DC, but last year, the organization got booted from the unheated barn they were forced to rent… 'The antifa has pretty much succeeded in achieving what the progressive left cannot, which is fully and finally de-platforming the hard right,' (cofounder of the Traditionalist Workers Matt) Parrott said. 'They demoralized and disabled the majority of the "alt-right," driving most of them off the streets and public square.'" This article from Truth-out says the "alt-right" is on the ropes. Don't believe it folks, they've just gone back underground (where they've thrived for decades). Their plan to come out into the sunlight has only been put on hold. To kill the vampire you must drive a stake through its heart and cut off it's head, fill the mouth with garlic (or a brick), burn the body at a crossroads and scatter the ashes to the wind. You have to do all of it. And even when you do that, there's always the chance of a new vampire in town. (Grokked from Xopher Halftongue)

"In her first appearance on Fox News since taking a previously unannounced vacation, Laura Ingraham didn’t directly mention the advertiser boycott campaign that, so far, has cut ad time on 'The Ingraham Angle' roughly in half."

"The combined effects of President Trump’s tax cuts and last month’s budget-busting spending bill is sending the government’s budget deficit toward the $1 trillion mark next year, according to a new analysis by the Congressional Budget Office." Remember when conservatives lost their shit about the deficit spending during Obama's presidency? (Grokked from Xeni Jardin)

"But ethics officials in government are starting to speak out and raise red flags. The Office of Government Ethics on Monday issued a strongly worded letter… that lays out its case for why ethics matter." This only works if those in positions of power understand they're servants and stewards of the public interest. When they don't have that basic understanding of government, ethics don't mean a damn thing. And ethics are not "nitpicks" they are the foundation of behavior, character, and good governance. The president is corrupt, the beast rots from the head. The GOP doesn't care about their "standards" when they're dismantling government at the behest of their corporate masters just like evangelicals give us their own ethics when they get anti-abortion judges and have someone in power that will defend their right to bigotry.

"Gov. Matt Bevin (KY) on Monday vetoed both the state budget bill and the tax bill that his fellow Republicans in control of the Kentucky House and Senate passed a week ago." So we're going to see a miniature "alternate timeline" if Trump had spiked the budget like he threatened. This will not end well.

"Trump’s figures match up with international trade data (in automobiles between China and the US). But economists raised some important details that Trump omitted from his tweet, which put his claim in a slightly different light." Trump doesn't know all the details? This is my shocked face.

"'It's a disgraceful situation. It's a total witch hunt,' Trump said on Monday. 'When I saw this, when I heard about it, that is a whole new level of unfairness.'" Hey Mr. President, if you're totally innocent, as you claim, you've got nothing to worry about. You know, like conservatives told the rest of us as you stripped our civil rights and protections. And I know all the news reports say that getting a warrant for an attorney's office is very unusual and requires a huge amount of justification, most people are missing that if we take Mr. Cohen at his word, for what he's said in public, he's in legal trouble for his payment to Stormy Daniels, and the NY Bar may also want to look at his license (as he didn't get approval or even notify his client about the agreement). If some circumstantial evidence proves true (the reimbursement from the campaign to the Trump organization of the same amount Cohen paid Daniels minus 28 cents a week after the payment to Daniels was made) it could be bad for everybody.

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