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

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Linkee-poo was living in style when the walls fell in

"As New York’s Rockland County grapples with a large and lengthy outbreak of measles, a group of anti-vaccine parents sued officials for temporarily barring their unvaccinated children from school—and the county is not having it." (Grokked from John)

The Planet Money podcast on the cat scam. Arbitrage, price inflation, drop shipping, and why the internet isn't lowering prices, and why late-stage capitalism sucks (although the podcast doesn't frame it that way). And yes, look around for better prices, check out the manufacturer's website to see prices. Even on Amazon.

"By the larger-than-life standards of Elon Musk, the story was far from a blockbuster. On June 4, 2018, Business Insider reported that Tesla Inc. was scrapping or reworking 40 percent of the raw materials at the Gigafactory, its huge battery plant in the Nevada desert. The article cited a source who figured the inefficiency had cost Musk’s electric car company $150 million, describing giant piles of scrap materials in the factory. Tesla denied the report, and a few hours later, the world moved on… The world, that is, except Elon Musk." Maybe someone should check and see if Musk is keeping his fingernail clippings and urine in jars at his home. (Grokked from Laura J Mixon)

"'There can be no separate college admissions system for the wealthy,' Andrew Lelling, U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts, said at Tuesday's press conference announcing charges against dozens of parents for paying bribes to get their children into some of the nation's elite universities…Some would argue there already is." Too late. College is not a meritocracy. And if you think parents sacrifice a lot to get their kids into top high schools (buying houses, or renting, way above their economic capabilities) you haven't seen anything when it comes to college. So first of all, college is not for everyone (not even all of the "smart kids"). College choice is more often made for cost than it is for educational outcomes. And people who go to "top schools" don't get a better education or are smarter than kids who go to community college. These things are all cultural brainwashing that has continued to enforce the "unspoken" class divides. Sure, occasionally a poor kids will "make it big" by doing all the things. Understand that those kids would shine anywhere they went (but now they have an Ivy League sheepskin that will open more doors for them). The education you get at these tops schools is not better, it only provides access to better networking opportunities. "Harvard is being sued by a group of Asian-American applicants who say they were shut out by this informal system of preferences, including affirmative action… In the 1980s, Asian-American groups also challenged Harvard's legacy preferences. The Education Department's Office for Civil Rights in 1990 found that these preferences were legal even if they favor white applicants over others." See, it's only possibly illegal if it helps people who don't have privileges by evening out the playing field (note, playing field still heavily tilted against them).

"Some of the most selective schools, like Harvard, can get upwards of 40,000. So how do officials know if the information in all of that paperwork is truthful?… Terry Cowdrey, a former acting dean of admissions at Vanderbilt University, says the key is in consistency." Full disclosure, I worked in my college admissions office (University of Akron, not Lakeland). Yes it was easy to spot the fakes. However I can tell you I graduated high school with a C+ average, but scored in the top 1% on the SAT and ACT. So that didn't look "consistent". And I can tell you we couldn't afford test prep, books, consultants, etc. Why? It's a long story, but a lot of it was high school didn't challenge me a lot. And while I took advanced coursework for my school, I didn't qualify for Advanced Placement classes or the Honor Society. There were opportunities to take college level coursework back then (it was a much smaller program than now), I was never given that opportunity.

"But to many students, the underlying reality that some rich kids are buying their way into school comes as no shock." The kids are alright.

Want another example? Okay, there was this viral video about kids in Orange County drinking and Nazi and white nationalist themes at the party. Notice how nobody, nobody, is bringing up the fact that these kids were underage drinking. That's still a fucking crime, including for the parents or other adults who provided the alcohol/premises. But rich kids, whatchagonnado? Betcha if those kids were in Oakland somebody would be in jail.

"A man said by federal prosecutors to have been a top leader of New York’s notorious Gambino crime family was shot and killed Wednesday on Staten Island." Shot several times and run over, on the same day members of the Bonanno family walked. And because we're talking about the mafia, the Gambinos threatened Michael Cohen, the president's former "fixer", to "keep his mouth shut" when he testified to Congress. Because, you know, the mob is so sensitive about sedition and would totally involve themselves in politics for absolutely no reason at all.

"U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is using mass location surveillance to target immigrants. And local governments like Merced and Union City, California, are helping — feeding their residents’ personal information to ICE, even when it violates local privacy laws or sanctuary policies. Today, the ACLU is urging an immediate end to this information sharing." Welcome to the mass surveillance state. (Grokked from Steven Brust)

"Did House passage of H.R. 1 allow noncitizens to vote?" No. Because if you can't make a reasonable argument against something, you can always make people afraid of it by telling lies. Also see "Green New Deal."

"New suspicions about dangled pardons, conflicting congressional testimony, implicit pleas for clemency and fresh suggestions of inappropriate presidential behavior delivered a new twist to the drama with Washington already on edge in anticipation of special counsel Robert Mueller's final report."

No comments: