There is trouble in the forest
And the creatures all have fled
As the maples scream 'oppression!'
And the oaks, just shake their heads

Friday, June 14, 2019

Linkee-poo on a Friday

"A former US slave who became the first African-American to become a Catholic priest, is now one step closer toward sainthood."

"In 2017, the GAO found that the median price charged nationally by air ambulance providers was around $36,400 for helicopter rides and even higher for other aircraft. The total generally includes the costs for both the transportation and the medical care aboard the aircraft." Any medical transport is expensive, but air-transport is much higher because of both the lack of regulatory oversight and the requirements of the people on the aircraft. First is training of the pilots which is higher than an ambulance, also instead of EMTs you have a "flight nurse" (which is a highly sought after position, and it has huge hurdles to get in) and often there is a "flight doctor" as well. And it's another argument for single payer.

"E-cigarette leader Juul said new research in a small study shows emissions from vaping devices are significantly less toxic than secondhand smoke from cigarettes." Well, it depends on what you're studying and how you set up the study. "The authors of the study noted that various background chemicals in the surrounding environment could have factored into the results."

"The FDA noted that the donor stool had not been tested for the drug-resistant bacteria, called extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL)-producing E. coli, prior to the transplantation. After the illnesses and death occurred, however, a stored preparation of the donor stool was tested, and found to be positive for the identical strain of bacteria found in the two patients." You know, you'd think you'd what to know what was in the material you were transplanting.

"Three years after lead was detected in the drinking water of Flint, Mich., state prosecutors say they are dropping all criminal charges filed against a group of eight government officials implicated in the scandal, in favor of launching a new expanded investigation."

In our names. "Rosendorf described it as 'a human dog pound'—one hundred to 150 men behind a chain-link fence, huddled beneath makeshift shelters made from mylar blankets and whatever other scraps they could find to shield themselves from the heat of the sun. 'I was able to speak with detainees and take photos of them with their permission,' Rosendorf said in an email. 'They told me they’ve been incarcerated outside for a month, that they haven’t washed or been able to change the clothes they were detained in the entire time, and that they’re being poorly fed and treated in general.'" (Grokked from Laura J Mixon)

For when conservatives clutch their pearls and claim they never heard about foreign intelligence assets trying to affect our elections. "Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell likes to boast that he's the 'grim reaper,' bedeviling a chamber where progressive legislation from House Democrats comes to die. Funny guy. But the joke sours fast when the languishing proposals include sensible, bipartisan measures to protect America's elections from another 'concerted attack,' like the one special counsel Robert Mueller found was launched by Russia in 2016." Mitch was also the asshole who would not approve the Obama Administration going public with what they knew in 2016. Mitch has aligned himself with the enemies of the republic because he thinks they'll help the conservative cause. (Grokked from Kathryn Cramer)

"A federal agency is recommending that White House adviser Kellyanne Conway be removed from federal service, saying she violated the Hatch Act on numerous occasions." To be fair so has the president, his daughter, his son-in-law, Sarah Sanders…

"Turkey will 'take reciprocal steps' if the United States imposes sanctions over its purchase of Russian S-400 defenses, the Turkish foreign minister said on Friday, marking the latest step toward a standoff between the NATO allies."

"How the Oman tanker attack played out."

"Who benefits from these attacks?… And that's the question you don't see asked." Goddmanit, Jim. Stop being so logical. Actually I have 3 ideas of who benefits, and none of them are Iran. My guess is that the attack on ships carrying cargo for Japan, whose PM is currently visiting Iran, was an oversight. The ships were just available, in the right place at the wrong time. Iran, however, wouldn't have made such a mistake. One thing Jim doesn't point out in his article is that Japan is a large consumer of Iranian oil. Why bite the hand that feeds you?

"The Japanese owner of the Kokuka Courageous, one of two oil tankers targeted near the Strait of Hormuz, said Friday that sailors on board saw 'flying objects' just before it was hit, suggesting the vessel wasn't damaged by mines… That account contradicts what the U.S. military said as it released a video Friday it said shows Iranian forces removing an unexploded limpet mine from one of the two ships that were hit." Eye witness reports are often inaccurate, but that does ad another wrinkle to the proposed story line. And then there is this part, "The tanker survived the first attack, which hit near the engine room and was followed by another, damaging the starboard side toward the back." Now a "flying object" doesn't negate that Iran could have done it, but it does go against the narrative our government is pushing. (Grokked from Xopher Halftongue)

"U.S. actions pose a serious threat to stability in the Middle East, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told the leaders of a China-led security bloc including Russia and India on Friday."

It happens all the time, this crazy love of mine. "President Donald Trump and his senior advisers moved quickly on Thursday to downplay and muddle his explosive assertion that he might not report to the FBI offers of election help from a foreign entity… As Trump's Democratic opponents eviscerated him and one of his leading Republican supporters called his comments a "mistake," the president tried to recast his remarks, drawing a misleading comparison between accepting dirt from a foreign agent and his recent conversations with Queen Elizabeth and other world leaders."

"Republicans were left shaking their heads Thursday over what many of them saw as a sloppy gaffe by the president, who didn’t appear to understand that what he was suggesting was against the law." That's not really what happened. President Trump is very rich, he just doesn't think the law applies to him. Most very rich people hold the same position. Also, the president continues to profit from foreign governments and citizens who are filling his DC hotel and renting out its rooms all while he's saying it's impossible to figure out how much they make from them in order to make the donations of the profits as he promised.

"White House press secretary Sarah Sanders will leave her position at the end of the month, capping a tumultuous tenure as the President's chief spokeswoman in which she largely redefined the position."

"Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday fired two police generals involved in a discredited criminal case against a journalist, an episode that sparked a mass protest in Moscow the previous day, the Kremlin said." The framing didn't go so well. Turns out framing is hard work.

For the coming circus, you might need some tools. Besides Snopes, there are other fact checkers including Media Bias/Fact Check. I'm not sure I agree with some of their categorization of news outlets, but the majority look good (but then, that's how they get you, isn't it). (Grokked from Dan)

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