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

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Linkee-poo SHROVE!

Eat pączki until you faint.

"The Food and Drug Administration is expected to approve a new type of drug for depression. It is esketamine, a chemical cousin of the anesthetic and party drug ketamine." Esketamine will need to be taken in a controlled situation under doctor's (well, probably a nurse') observation. This is to make sure it's not abused. But then there is this, "The FDA's decision on esketamine comes as more and more doctors have begun administering a generic version of ketamine for depression… (Esketamine) may not be as effective as what is a generic, but any psychiatrist or physician can prescribe without the restrictions that are going to be applied to esketamine… Generic ketamine costs only a few dollars a dose. It's not clear yet how much esketamine will cost."

"Like Brown, the new patient had a form of cancer and received a treatment involving chemotherapy to wipe out his immune system and replace it, via a stem-cell transplant, with non-malignant donor cells. In both cases, the donor cells also carried an added benefit: a genetic mutation that leads to HIV immunity." Patient #2.

"What followed is a master class in how to talk with young children about death. My co-host for Life Kit's audio guide Parenting: Difficult Conversations, Anya Kamenetz, and I revisited that episode with Rosemarie Truglio, a developmental psychologist and senior vice president of education and research at Sesame Workshop, and together we distilled it to a handful of useful takeaways for parents."

"A massive study tracking almost every child born in Denmark over a decade has found no evidence that the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine (MMR) is in any way relevant to autism." Get the goddamn vaccinations.

"The death of Luke Perry, after the actor suffered what his publicist said was a massive stroke, is evidence that the disease can affect people of any age, the American Heart Association said." Heart attacks also hit people of all ages. As does cancer. As do most diseases.

It's that time of year again. "The Austin 100 distills the experience down to a little more than six hours of music, highlighting a hundred handpicked highlights from among the thousands of acts playing SXSW 2019. A multi-genre playlist spanning virtually the entire world, it's painstakingly engineered to help you find music you love that you might never have heard otherwise."

"Living in Switzerland ruined me for America and its lousy work culture." This job fulfilling in creative way such a load of crap. Good thing conservatives are making sure we don't live in a socialist hell like Switzerland. I mean, all that vacation, having a full hour for lunch (which I haven't had in decades, the 45 minutes at the hospital when I was a student was luxurious), and benefits. Who wants all that? (Grokked from Tobias Buckell)

"Paid family leave has become a top legislative priority, and nowhere is that clearer than in state government. This year, about two dozen states are expected to consider proposals that offer paid leave for workers who are ill, or taking care of new or elderly family members."

"In more than a century of parading, Mardi Gras crowds in New Orleans have seen a lot of different krewes, as the parading groups are called. Krewes have been formed by whites to satirize British royalty, by blacks to satirize those satirizing British royalty, as well as by an all-female group that throws decorated heels into the crowds instead of beads… Add something new this year: Krewe de Mayahuel, a parading krewe formed mostly by Mexican immigrants to this city."

Need another example of structural racism? "The federal government spends billions of dollars annually helping communities rebuild and prevent future damage. But an NPR investigation has found that across the country, white Americans and those with more wealth often receive more federal dollars after a disaster than do minorities and those with less wealth. Federal aid isn't necessarily allocated to those who need it most; it's allocated according to cost-benefit calculations meant to minimize taxpayer risk."

"When Google conducted its annual pay equity analysis for 2018, the tech company found something nobody expected: It was underpaying men for doing similar work as women… The underpayment — which flips the typical gender pay gap narrative on its head — mostly applied to one group of software engineers. The company emphasized in a blog post that despite this pay discrepancy, deeper structural issues can continue to lead to pay disparities between men and women." And that disparity may have been the result of retention actions meant to stem the flow of women engineers leaving Google (note the survey was for 1 year and didn't address hiring differences). "Since 2012, Google has conducted a yearly company-wide analysis to ensure pay is 'equitable across gender and racial lines,' Barbato said. She offered an explanation for the relatively large adjustment compared to the prior year: female engineers got more discretionary funds than men."

"A cycling race in Belgium was thrown into disarray when the leader of the women’s race, which set off 10 minutes after the men’s, almost caught up with her male counterparts and found herself in danger of being impeded by their support vehicles." Yeah, that's pretty much a fable of modern times. (Grokked from Kameron Hurley)

"In San Diego, the scooters have led to a federal lawsuit claiming the new devices cause discrimination against people with disabilities… The lawsuit, which was filed in a federal district court in January and seeks to be a class action, claims the city and scooter rental companies Lime, Bird and Razor have failed to prevent people from riding or parking scooters on sidewalks."

How go the Trade Wars? "China is slashing business taxes as it tries to stop its economy from slowing down too sharply… The Chinese government on Tuesday predicted economic growth of between 6% and 6.5% in 2019. That's a decline from last year's 6.6% rate of expansion, which was already China's weakest performance in three decades." Hint, China's numbers are fabricated, you have to look at things like power usage and how many people are moving back to the farms. And before we get all giddy with excitement, I will remind us all of a nasty economic term, "contagion."

"U.S. President Donald Trump looked set to open a new front in his trade wars on Monday with a plan to end preferential trade treatment for India that allows duty-free entry for up to $5.6 billion worth of its exports to the United States." Oh look, he's opening up a whole new door.

"More than four decades after the Vietnam War brought waves of expatriates to the United States, the Trump administration wants to deport thousands of Vietnamese immigrants, including many refugees, because of years-old criminal convictions."

"The U.S. Supreme Court let a ruling stand Monday from the New Jersey Supreme Court ruling that said Morris County, N.J., may not give taxpayer funds to help preserve religious buildings, such as synagogues, temples, churches and mosques."

Ah, those free-market conservatives. "A bill seeking to keep retiring coal plants alive has passed third reading out of Wyoming's House of Representatives today: 50-8-2. It would obligate utilities to look for another potential buyer in good-faith and accept any reasonable offer… Jason Shogren, economics professor and Stroock Chair of Natural Resource Conservation and Management at the University of Wyoming, said the bill would likely raise electricity rates basically taking the form of a tax in order to keep coal moving." Well, a tax on the poor people. The rich will be able to avoid it I'm sure. Seriously, how mind-fucked do you have to be to increase production costs, increase green-house gases, force businesses into an unprofitable model, screw over the environment (not that part about "reclamation"), and fuck-over retirees just so you can say, "Yep, kept them coal plants burning." (Grokked from Robert J Bennett)

"(Dmitry Polyanskiy, Russia's deputy ambassador to the U.N.) says that the Vienna Convention requires Britain to allow Russia access to (the Skripals), to determine if they are alive and need help from their home country. If the U.K. doesn't grant Russian officials access, he said, it could count as 'forced detention or even abduction of two Russian nationals.'"

"MI5, MI6 and GCHQ looked into unprecedented 'frantic comings and goings' at the building in Kensington in the days leading up to the poisoning of the former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, a source with knowledge of the investigation told the Press Association."

"Pelosi and other senior Democrats are drafting a resolution to address the controversy, which ballooned over the weekend following a public clash between Omar and senior Jewish lawmakers." Criticism of Israel is not criticism of Jews, the Jewish faith, or being anti-semitic. But this response sorta proves Rep. Ilham Omar's point of the power of AIPAC (and she's not the first to point it out, or to suffer for pointing it out). Is is possible to reiterate anti-semitic talking points while not being anti-semite? In the same vein as spouting racist talking points without being consciously racist, yes. And I am usually supportive of the ADL, but I'd have to see their work on this one. As friends, we can be critical of one another. But it is time for America's unwavering support of everything Israel does just because of our collective guilt surrounding WWII and our governments turning a blind eye to the Holocaust to come to an end. Physician heal thyself. And I say these things, Israel is currently headed by a crook (he's not a crook because he's Jewish, he's just a crook), is politically whiplashed by the ultraconservative sects, and is committing crimes against the Palestinians not from a hate of Israel or a desire to see it fall, but because if Israel continues down this path it will be destroyed from without and from within. It is unsustainable. For Israel to survive it must change course, the only path to a future involves integrating Palestinians into the political life of Israel either as a co-state with rights and privileges (which is untenable with settlements), or granting Palestinians citizenship (which would make Jewish Israelites a minority). All other paths lead to her demise. (Grokked from Xopher Halftongue)

"Trump campaign adviser Jeff Ballabon called Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) 'filth' Monday amid controversy over some comments from the lawmaker that have been called anti-Semitic." Good thing we don't perpetuate racism as we fight against anti-semitism. (Grokked from Xopher Halftongue)

In case you're wondering what anti-semitism actually looks like… "Participants in a street celebration in the Belgian city of Aalst paraded giant puppets of Orthodox Jews and a rat atop money bags." (Grokked from Laura J Mixon)

"Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) needs the support of President Trump and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) to win reelection next year, meaning he must rely on two men at opposite sides of the debate over the use of an emergency declaration to build a wall on the southern border." Stuck between the swamp and the crocodile. Actually this is much ado about nothing. The perceived crack is just perceived, not a real split.

"Roger Stone on Sunday suggested he has been 'framed' by special counsel Robert Mueller in an Instagram post that appeared to run afoul of a judge's barely week-old gag order barring President Donald Trump's longtime friend from criticizing the prosecutors in the criminal case against him." Jesus fuck these people are stupid. I know he's trying to bait the judge to get a mistrial. These guys have for so long insulated themselves form reality that they continue to think they're the smartest people in the room that they can no longer realize when they're not. (Grokked from Kathryn Cramer)

Okay, and here I'm just going to point out that conservatives have for decades tried to convince us of the righteousness of the capitalist system where the meritocracy rewards the smart and hard working as they float to the top, and the slackers don't get anywhere and have financial problems. But now suddenly, especially in the case of Roger Stone, all these really smart, hard workers are now broke. Stone supposedly has been subsisting on PBJ sandwiches. You know, in his mansion, with his "volunteers." Let me call bullshit on all of it. There is no meritocracy in capitalism, and PBJ sandwiches are what rich people think poor people live on. Also, if Roger Stone actually is broke… man, Karma is a bitch, ain't she.

"Nearly everyone in Donald Trump's world just became a potential witness… House Democrats are laying down a vast net as they ramp up their investigation into deep tracts of the President's personal, business and political life, with a breathtaking document request from a list of 81 people, agencies and entities." I seem to remember when the black guy was in the White House that this sort of documents request was kinda routine. That was only 2 years ago. And here I'll note that the *cough*potential*cough* coordination with a foreign power (waves to my Russian friends) to win the election is just one of a slew of Constitutional problems this administration faces.

"The committee told reporters Monday that the investigation will focus on three primary issues: whether the president obstructed justice by interfering with criminal investigations; potential corruption such as violation of campaign and financial reporting laws, as well as possible misuse of office for personal gain; and abuses of power to include misuse of the pardon power and attacks on the press, judiciary and law enforcement agencies."

No comments: