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

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Linkee-poo for the weekend

"About 1,500 years ago, in a ring-shaped fort, at least 26 men and women were massacred. Many of them were taken by surprise, with not even enough time to face their attackers — and their bodies were left to rot, unburied, on the Swedish island of Ă–land in the Baltic Sea." While there are lots of fantasy stories that have plot points of not burying the dead after a particularly harsh battle, IRL it was hardly ever done. Burying the dead was a way to head off the potential revenge of restless spirits and gods. It was also a sanitary thing (learned long before the advent of indoor plumbing). (Grokked from Deborah Beale)

Remember when they said supplements don't do anything? "Dietary supplements aren’t regulated like pharmaceutical drugs, so that means they shouldn’t contain pharmaceutical drugs. Yet over the last decade, more than 750 supplement brands have been found to be tainted with drugs—sometimes containing two or more hidden drug ingredients, a new study finds… What’s more, although the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) identified these tainted supplements, less than half of these products were recalled." You know, for various descriptions of "drugs" (here I think they mean "prescription controlled substances"). Here's a little dirty secret, Psyllium is a very effective stool loosener. Lots of "bran" cereals contain psyllium husks (the discarded byproduct of refining psyllium for prescription drugs) as well as some over-the-counter constipation relief products as added "fiber" (ie. bulk fiber). (Whispers) The husks still contain pharmacologically active compounds that also help and may create a physical dependence.

A short tweet thread. "Hey civility police, when you’re done falsifying Eric Holder quotes maybe you can address the GOP candidate for PA Governor, who just threatened his opponent by saying he’s going to 'stomp all over your face with golf spikes.'" Yes, there is video. It's video the candidate posted himself. (Grokked from Chuck Wendig)

"Republicans and the media are desperately trying to make, as Greg Sargent explained so well today in the Washington Post, the Left’s reaction to their rights being trampled the same as this threat from Republican Scott Wagner. This was not metaphorical and it was directed at a specific person. It was clearly a threat from a desperately losing candidate." More about that political ad. (Grokked from Zopher Halftongue)

"Rep. Devin Nunes is head of the House Intelligence Committee and one of President Trump’s biggest defenders. For years, he’s spun himself as a straight talker whose no-BS values are rooted in his family’s California dairy farm. So why did his parents and brother cover their tracks after quietly moving the farm to Iowa? Are they hiding something politically explosive? On the ground in Iowa, Esquire searched for the truth—and discovered a lot of paranoia and hypocrisy." A long, but informative and entertaining article about personal myth making, the dirty secrets of agriculture, and the hypocrisy of middle-America's support for Trump. (Grokked from Eric VanNewkirk)

"Earlier this summer, when the Brennan Center released a report examining voter purge data through 2016, we found that four million more people were purged from the rolls between the federal elections of 2014 and 2016 than between 2006 and 2008. Much of that increase came from states that were previously required under the Voting Rights Act (VRA) to get election changes cleared in advance, before that part of the law was eviscerated by the Supreme Court in 2013." Funny how places covered by preclearance from the DoJ before changing election laws, as soon as the Voting Rights Act section on getting those preclearances was struck down because we were "obviously" passed racial discrimination, immediately started putting rules and laws into place to restrict voting and started wholesale purges of their voter roles (both things mostly affecting minority and poor voters). It's so odd. (Grokked from S.A. Chakraborty)

"The 20-person Particulate Matter Review Panel, made up of experts in microscopic airborne pollutants known to cause respiratory disease, is responsible for helping the agency decide what levels of pollutants are safe to breathe. Agency officials declined to say why the E.P.A. intends to stop convening the panel next year, particularly as the agency considers whether to revise air quality standards." I think that last sentence answered the question. (Grokked from Elizabeth Bear)

"Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross now recalls speaking with a White House official about the possibility of adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census. That's according to a new court document from the administration's attorneys that confirms conversations between senior officials during the early months of the Trump administration." Amazing what you can remember when you're faced with perjury (of the non-Congressional oversight type).

A handy-dandy chart showing the effects of the GOP tax cut. It's so odd that corporate profits skyrocketed, but wages have hardly moved. It's almost as if the GOP lied about the effects of the tax cut. (Grokked form Chang Terhune)

Mitch McConnell lets the truth slip out. "'Lose the Senate, and the project of confirming judges is over for the last two years of President Trump,' McConnell said in an interview with NPR in his Capitol Hill office. 'That, I think, is a scary prospect to the people who like what we've been doing on the judge project and I hope will help us hold on to our majority.'" Stacking the courts with ultra-conservatives is a project (note, should be in caps since it's a proper noun). And they are worried that they haven't stacked them enough.

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