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, July 12, 2019

Linkee-poo didn't start the fire, no we didn't light it, but we tried to fight it

"Louisiana has withstood devastating hurricanes before, but authorities are urging residents not to underestimate the danger and destruction Tropical Storm Barry threatens as it gets closer to the coast Friday." Many people like to remember that Katrina hit as a Cat 5 hurricane. Those categories are based on wind speed, but most of the damage these storms do are from the water. Barry is just a tropical storm, but it has a huge potential to drop water as it makes its way inland. And all that water will find its way to the Mississippi. The slower the storm moves, the more chance it has to pick up water from the Gulf of Mexico and dump it on land. New Orleans survived Katrina's eye-wall, it flooded days after she moved inland as all that water came down the Mississippi. But this time the Mississippi is already close to flood stage.

"The U.S. Geological Survey reports that a 4.6 magnitude earthquake has rattled the Three Lakes area of Washington state. That was followed minutes later by a 3.5 magnitude aftershock near the city of Monroe, some 30 miles northeast of Seattle."

For you higher mathematics types. "Shitov has now sliced through these uncertainties with a crisp, simple demonstration that Hedetniemi’s conjecture is false. In a paper whose main argument boils down to just over one page of dense mathematics, he shows how to construct a type of tensor product that requires fewer colors than either of its constituent graphs." Okay, my brain hurts. (Grokked from Sheila)

"Japan's Hayabusa2 has successfully collected its second sample from the asteroid Ryugu."

Nuclear power is pollutant free. "A small radiation leak from a Soviet nuclear submarine that sank 30 years ago has been found, Norwegian researchers said Thursday, but it poses no risk to people or fish." Except when it isn't.

"A man who was in a vegetative state for 11 years yet at the center of a bitter dispute that divided his family and French courts, and provoked national soul-searching over how to deal with terminally ill patients, died on Thursday." Those cases are never easy. And this is why I tell people, let other know your wishes. Have a durable healthcare power of attorney. You never know when you're going to need it.

"Now a study has answers, finding no difference in hospital deaths, readmissions or costs when comparing results from doctors trained before and after caps limiting duties to 80 hours per week took effect." Yes, some doctors have long hours and it's good to know who can handle them. But sleep deprivation does have quantifiable effects on patient outcomes. This "100-hour work week" bullshit is just hazing.

"The tiny, 1,200-year-old Teutonic Cemetery is the only graveyard inside the walls of Vatican City. The cemetery just behind St. Peter's Basilica is the final resting place of royals, cardinals, artists. Until Thursday, there had been a brief hope that just maybe, the remains of a teenage girl who disappeared 36 years ago might also be inside one of the tombs." It was an anonymous tip, and there was evidence the 19th century graves had been disturbed. But in both tombs they found no human remains. Including the princesses who were supposed to be buried there. If this isn't a storybone, I don't know what one would be. Of possible interest to this story is the history of the Catholic Church "re-finding" relics of saints after many reliquaries were destroyed during the reformation.

"Google today defended its practice of having workers listen to users' Google Assistant queries, following the leak of 1,000 voice recordings to a media outlet. Google also said it will try to prevent future leaks of its users' voice recordings." Note they'e not going to stop recording, or sharing those recordings. They'll just try and not have them leak in the future. (Grokked from John)

"A Texas man who had been missing for months was eaten, bones and all, by his pack of dogs, sheriff’s deputies said."

"The one with the face, known as Apidima 2, is a 170,000-year-old Neanderthal—no surprises there. But the other, Apidima 1, was one of us—a 210,000-year-old modern human. And if the team is right about that, the partial skull is the oldest specimen of Homo sapiens outside Africa, handily beating the previous record holder, a jawbone from Israel’s Misliya Cave that’s about 180,000 years old." Get out the erasers, it's time to rewrite prehistory. Again.

"'The relationship between the slack in the economy or unemployment and inflation was a strong one 50 years ago ... and has gone away,' (Fed Chairman) Powell says." Or, ya know, it could be what or how we're measuring isn't giving us correct information on unemployment or inflation.

"Battling to shape public perceptions of the worsening migrant crisis at the southern U.S. border, Vice President Mike Pence and a group of Republican senators will head to the border to tour a migrant detention center while Democrats host a high-profile hearing about the centers featuring testimony from government watchdog officials and some of their most outspoken members, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez." Wait, I need to make more popcorn.

"US Immigration and Customs Enforcement plans to begin the previously postponed raids across the country Sunday to arrest thousands of migrant families who already have court orders to be removed, according to a US official." Because the pause was never meant to be permanent. It was only meant to make the president appear rational. So, considering ICE and CBP facilities are over capacity, just where will they house these 2000 people?

"House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday warned her caucus about President Donald Trump’s planned immigration raids this weekend, urging members to spread information about undocumented immigrants' legal rights."

"Officials told NBC News they are targeting approximately 2,000 families in several cities — Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York and San Francisco." So why do they announce this? Because this is terrorism by the government. They want undocumented immigrants to be afraid. And that will hamper policing efforts. But then "law and order" conservatives only want law and order for themselves. When it comes to anyone else it's fuck all.

"The first shipment of the Russian-made S-400 air defense missile system has landed in Ankara, in a move that sets up a potential showdown between Turkey and the United States."

"An undercover researcher from a group that supported the bill took Aguero up on his offer and was referred to Republican consulting firm Mobilize the Message, who gave him a contract offering a system of payouts and bonuses for presenting himself to lawmakers as a concerned citizen and repeating their talking points." Man, this gig economy is a killer. (Grokked from Xeni Jardin)

"A Republican candidate for Mississippi governor has refused to be interviewed by a female reporter unless she brings a male colleague with her… During the CNN interview with Ms Campbell and Mr Foster on Thursday, the 36-year-old gubernatorial candidate cited his religion and faith, arguing he made a vow to his wife to not be alone with someone of the opposite sex." You know, if you don't have an adult relationship with your spouse, I'm not sure you are in any position to be elected.

"Former Palm Beach State Attorney Barry Krischer accused Labor Secretary Alex Acosta of trying to 'rewrite history' by suggesting that state prosecutors in Florida went easy on accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein when he got a lenient plea deal more than a decade ago" As Jack Nicholson as the Joke said, "This town needs an enema!"

Editorial updateAlex Acosta has resigned.

"President Donald Trump is expected to announce new executive action Thursday to try to force the inclusion of a citizenship question on the 2020 census, even after the Supreme Court temporarily blocked the effort." If they didn't buy the "to enforce the Voting Rights Act" excuse, I doubt they'll accept the "because I said so" excuse. Republicans know they'll lose in a true representative government, so they'll try every tactic to tilt the field towards themselves.

"President Donald Trump retreated from his quest to add a question about US citizenship to the 2020 census on Thursday, instead asking government agencies to provide records that could determine a head-count of citizens without polling census-takers directly." Note, some of those agencies can't share that information legally. Also please note that the Census is of "all persons", not just citizens. And that congressional reapportionment is of "all persons", not just citizens (or registered voters). There is no reason for the Commerce Department to have this data.

Case in point. "Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose has told House Democrats that county officials are prepared to successfully administer elections no matter what the day. LaRose's message is in response to a letter from House member expressing concerns about potentially changing the date of the 2020 Presidential Primary to March 17, St. Patrick's Day… The two dozen Democrats from the Ohio House are worried that St. Patrick's Day festivities could impact access to polling locations, discourage people from working at the polls, and reduce overall turnout." The move is supposed to be a work around for the GOP primary rules that any states with primaries before March 15 will be winner take all. So, anyone think there will be a credible challenge to Trump (the only way this concern would be legitimate)? Right now this change is in the 2 year budget Ohio needed to pass before July 1st. They're still working on it.

Here we go. "The Trump administration warned of unspecified 'active threats' to U.S. elections as top security officials briefed Congress Wednesday on steps the government has taken to improve election security in the wake of Russian interference in 2016."

"He pushed back against establishment Washington on Thursday with a one-two punch — first by giving conservative bloggers a space to air their grievances about anti-conservative media bias, then by announcing an executive order to collect data about immigrants after the courts blocked him from adding a citizenship question to the census." Because Trump is a weak person's version of a tough guy.

"But, if attendees were hoping for a precise battle plan to emerge from the summit, they may have walked away disappointed. Speaking to CNN Business on the condition of anonymity because their employers had not authorized them to speak to the press, two attendees said that the event was light on substance. In fact, as one attendee put it, there was 'zero substance.'" I'm sorry, your dear leader doesn't need to organize shit, it's your job to praise him and help him get re-elected. Did you miss understand this relationship?

"... in the rose garden of the @whitehouse, @sebgorka just screamed at journalist @briankarem calling him a 'punk.' then someone remarked that gorka could 'kick your punk ass.'" A twitter post with video. (Grokked from Jim Wright)

"Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are two of the most ideologically aligned candidates in the Democratic primary — both left-wing populists who rail against a 'rigged' economic system… But the fellow enemies of the 1 percent have surprisingly different bases of support." Next up, water is wet. The question this time is will Bernie unequivocally support the nominee and work for their election?

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