I watch the ripples change their size
But never leave the stream
Of warm impermanence
And so the days float through my eyes
But still the days seem the same
And these children that you spit on
As they try to change their worlds
Are immune to your consultations
They're quite aware of what they're goin' through

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Linkee-poo Wednesday

Alligators to orbit, expect patchy updates going forward.

"A gunman opened fire at a Christmas market in Strasbourg, France, killing at least four people and wounding nearly a dozen others, according to preliminary reports… French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said a suspect, who is still at large, has a criminal record and is known to authorities."

"French authorities detained five people as they hunted Wednesday for a suspected Islamic extremist who sprayed gunfire at one of Europe's most famous Christmas markets in the eastern city of Strasbourg. The attack left at least two people dead and 12 wounded, including seven who were in serious condition."

"NASA's InSight lander isn't camera-shy. The spacecraft used a camera on its robotic arm to take its first selfie—a mosaic made up of 11 images. This is the same imaging process used by NASA's Curiosity rover mission, in which many overlapping pictures are taken and later stitched together. Visible in the selfie are the lander's solar panel and its entire deck, including its science instruments."

"After launching in 1977, NASA’s trailblazing spacecraft Voyager 2 has finally escaped the heliosphere, the Sun’s protective bubble of charged particles. It follows in the path of its sibling, Voyager 1, which crossed into interstellar space in 2012."

"The (Shingrix) shortage is a nationwide problem, though anecdotal accounts suggest more of an ever-shifting patchwork of supply. And the cause, according to the drug's manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline, is simple: 'Unprecedented demand.'" Or, you know, artificial scarcity to increase prices.

"Dr. Jonathan Sevransky was intrigued when he heard that a well-known physician in Virginia had reported remarkable results from a simple treatment for sepsis. Could the leading cause of death in hospitals really be treated with intravenous vitamin C, the vitamin thiamine and doses of steroids?" A cheap, effective treatment for sepsis. Oh hells yes.

"Antibiotic resistance poses a threat to global health and food security. And McDonald's — one of the globe's largest purchasers of beef — gets it: The more that antibiotics are given to livestock, the more quickly bacteria could adapt and become resistant to them. Ultimately, experts say this could render the drugs ineffective for people." If only they hadn't been a major contributor to the start of their use.

"The United Nations climate change conference underway here in Poland could play a critical role in the fight to stem greenhouse gas emissions and keep temperatures from rising to unsafe levels… The Trump Administration showed up to pitch fossil fuels. In a closely watched event Monday on the sidelines of official negotiations, U.S. officials touted natural gas and argued in support of coal’s place in the electricity mix." The word you're reaching for is "clueless." "… Trump’s approach to climate change is met largely with ridicule on the world stage." We're boned.

Oh hey, look who's back. "The many efforts of government officials and scientists has made acid rain less of a threat in the Adirondacks than it had been, but some worry that the federal administration's proposed rollbacks on pollution regulations could ruin that progress." Acid rain, the dipshittery of this administration knows no bounds. (Grokked from Kathryn Cramer)

"A 'hi-tech robot' shown on Russian state television has turned out to be a man in a suit." (Waves to our Russian friends). (Grokked from Xeni Jardin)

"The New Haven Police Department simply doesn't have enough cops. It's a nationwide problem, as agencies that slowed or froze hiring during the recession are now struggling to build their ranks up again in the middle of a hot job market. Officers are retiring faster than they can be replaced." This has actually been a long developing problem. While there are problems with some officers, being a police officer, for the most part, is a shit job that pays shittly, and the one huge benefit (excellent retirement) is being eroded as state's destroy their public employee retirement systems. For our little village we barely paid above minimum wage and had some pretty shady officers. I helped increase pay (still not where it should be), but then I could reward the good cops and get rid of the bad while hiring in a better class of officers. It completely changed the makeup of our little force (for the good). But then we couldn't have a lot of police (and when I left office, there were 4 hours a week we had no one patrolling or in the office). And now a lot of the veterans are approaching full retirement (nationwide) and believe me they're going to take it before state legislatures roll back retirement benefits again.

"A judge has accepted a plea agreement under which the former president of a Baylor University fraternity, accused of raping a female student, will serve no jail time and won't have to register as a sex offender." Tell me again how our justice system doesn't need an overhaul.

"A jury in Charlottesville said Tuesday that James Alex Fields Jr. should be sentenced to life plus 419 years in prison and $480,000 in fines, for killing Heather Heyer and seriously injuring 35 others." I expect the judge will say that's excessive, but hopefully even reduced it'll mean he spends his life in jail.

Remember how one of the major critiques of the GHW Bush presidency was his slow walk on HIV/AIDS research and prevention? "A scientist who was supposed to supply mice that have been modified with human fetal tissue for an HIV study emailed researchers that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) 'has directed me to discontinue procuring fetal tissue… This effectively stops all of our research to discover a cure for HIV,' he wrote." Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. (Grokked from Lizz Winstead)

"An Indiana high school football player told investigators that he killed a 17-year-old schoolmate because he was angry that she waited so long to tell him she was pregnant with his child that it was too late to get an abortion, authorities said Monday."

"Bells of Balangiga are returned to Philippines after more than a century… In 1901, U.S. troops took them from a church following an attack by machete-wielding villagers. The Americans also reportedly killed thousands of locals."

"The FBI is helping investigate an attack by several suspected white supremacists on a black disc jockey at a tavern in Washington state over the weekend, authorities said Monday."

How go the Trade Wars? "A Canadian judge ruled Tuesday a Chinese tech executive, detained at the request of the U.S., can be free on bail while awaiting an extradition hearing… Ten days after Canadian authorities detained Meng, China reportedly detained a former Canadian diplomat — ratcheting up tensions in this diplomatic row."

On the power grabs going on in Wisconsin and Michigan… "But some legal experts say the most alarming legislation the Republicans have passed is unconstitutional and unlikely to survive outraged Democrats’ legal challenges… Among other issues, they contend many of the Republican laws blur the constitutionally mandated separation of powers among the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government." But that will delay and keep the new administrations entangled in legal arguments instead of advancing progressive agendas, which is also part of the plan.

"Google CEO Sundar Pichai made his public debut before Congress on Tuesday, spending much of his testimony countering Republicans' allegations of anti-conservative bias in the company's search results." Don't worry congresspeoples even SEO experts really don't get it either.

"The Trump administration on Tuesday made an emergency appeal to the Supreme Court to allow the enforcement of its asylum policy… The appeal comes after the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday decided not to lift an injunction preventing the asylum ban from being enforced."

"Lawmakers unveiled the much-anticipated farm bill compromise Monday night… The agreement was reached after a proposal — backed by House Republicans and President Trump — to add stricter work requirements for those who receive food stamps was taken off the table."

"In a testy Oval Office exchange with the two top congressional Democrats, Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Chuck Schumer, President Trump made clear he would be 'proud' to shut down the government in less than two weeks if he doesn't get funding for his border wall." Yeah, stable genius my ass. Also, I'm so tired of the Democrats having to be the adults at giving into the Republicans. Fuck that shit. And here's the thing, the Republicans still control the House and Senate. It's their goddamn job to keep the government open. But even in the minority the Democrats will get the blame for not going along for a ride.

"FACT CHECK: Trump Says 'A Lot Of Wall Has Been Built' As He Demands We Build More." Unfortunately no fact check on the president claiming we captured 10 terrorists who were hiding with the caravan. And I haven't seen any reports to backup that claim.

"The audit found that as of Oct. 1, CBP had paid Accenture Federal Services approximately $13.6 million of a $297 million contract to recruit and hire 7,500 applicants, including Customs and Border Protection officers, Border Patrol agents, and Air and Marine Interdiction agents. But 10 months into the first year of a five-year contract, Accenture had processed only 'two accepted job offers,' according to the report." And part of the problem is a reiteration of what I said when Trump announced his beefed-up hiring numbers, "Border Patrol jobs with the CBP have been notoriously difficult to fill, in large part because of the polygraph exam applicants are required to undergo. The AP reported that 2 out of 3 applicants fail the exam."

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