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

Monday, September 16, 2019

Linkee-poo's got two tickets in my pocket, now baby, we're gonna disappear

Eddie Money and Ric Ocasek, and so it goes.

I'm sure I've posted this before, but… "Links and Resources for Fantasy and Science Fiction Writers" from Cat Rambo.

"Madison didn't bother going to a doctor after the microwave incident. She knew that hearing aids were so expensive that she could never afford them. So she decided to deal with the hassles of hearing impairment on her own and 'just kind of pulled up my socks.'… Before long, her world began to shrivel." Self-isolation in the elderly is a real problem. Also noted for the anecdotal evidence that some over-the-counter hearing devices are many times better than $6000 hearing-aids.

"Utility giant PG&E has agreed to a second large settlement over devastating Northern California wildfires, saying it will pay $11 billion to resolve most insurance claims from the wine country fires in 2017 and massive Camp Fire in 2018." That's a little over half of the actual liability.

"A small amount of daily aspirin, it turns out, can significantly cut the risk of developing preeclampsia in pregnancy. It's currently recommended for many pregnant women by two influential groups — the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, an independent panel of experts commissioned by the federal government."

"School official says boy's hair doesn't follow dress code and he must cut it or wear dress." Hey, I got an idea. Why doesn't the school board update their dress code to get with the 80s, or, you know, cut the patriarchal racism shit out of it. Maybe be not so concerned about bullshit things and get back to educating kids. Also, fire that principal because no fucking idiot like that should be around kids. (Grokked from Jim Wright)

"Femicide — killing women because of their gender — is a longstanding issue in Turkey. Nearly 300 women have been killed so far this year, according to the Istanbul-based advocacy group We Will Stop Femicide, which has been tracking gender-related deaths since Turkish authorities stopped doing so in 2009." Now do the US.

How goes Brexit? "Boris Johnson has said he 'won't be deterred by anybody' from leaving the EU on 31 October." Hey Boris baby, there's this law, see. The UK Parliament runs by a series of traditions for much of their activity. Traditions that when you ask just WTF is going on, the explanation usually starts with, "a few centuries ago, we had this problem…". So I wonder if they'll have a new tradition of law enforcement mock-arresting a newly installed Prime Minister?

"The prime minister is having a working lunch with European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker in Luxembourg, the first time the two men have met since he took office in July." And there's a bunch of deflection going on, such as the PM saying he won't countenance the EU forcing another delay… when it's been the UK begging for delays.

How go the Trade Wars? "U.S. retail sales got a big boost in August from purchases of new autos and building supplies, but most other stores reported weak or declining receipts in a sign that consumers trimmed spending toward the end of summer."

"'Seven out of 10 of the bankers he surveyed support either continuing with the tariffs or in some cases raising the tariffs, Goss said. 'Their belief is that the long-term gain will outweigh the short-term pain.'… The agriculture economy was already struggling, and the trade war is insult to injury that won't be solved overnight, says Iowa State University agriculture economist Chad Hart." The long-term gain isn't going to mean anything if the farmers go out of business before that gain is realized? Also, after trade disputes like this the level of market share never returns to the same for at least a decade.

"China will exempt American soybeans and pork from its latest round of tariffs, in what appears to be another move to ease tensions between the countries as they prepare for a new round of trade talks." Doesn't mean they'll actually buy any more from US producers.

"In fact, shoppers are only starting to feel tariffs. Last year, the Trump administration specifically targeted industrial materials and parts rather than consumer products, to avoid shocking Americans with price hikes. The new rounds kicking in this month and in December will more directly affect a lot more of things people buy every day, like shoes, clothes and electronics." There is also the fact that real consumer inflation is way more than the official numbers.

"80% of the world's vanilla is grown by small holding farmers in the hilly forests of Madagascar. For a generation the price languished below $50 a kilo (about 2.2 pounds) but in 2015 it began to rise at an extraordinary rate and for the past four years has hovered at ten times that amount, between $400 and $600 a kilo." And higher prices bring wealth, prosperity, and crime.

"Contract negotiations between the United Auto Workers and General Motors are expected to run down to the wire as both sides work to get a deal before their current labor agreement expires just before midnight on Saturday." After posting record profits the company is begging poor because of the potential recession. Time to call BS.

"The United Auto Workers began a nationwide strike just before midnight on Sunday at General Motors after both sides failed to agree on a new contract over issues including wages, health care and profit-sharing."

"A U.S. federal appeals court on Friday revived a lawsuit alleging President Donald Trump violated the U.S. Constitution by profiting from foreign and domestic officials who patronized his hotels and restaurants, adding to the corruption claims against Trump." Tick tock.

"'Brett Kavanaugh should start suing people for liable, or the Justice Department should come to his rescue,' the president wrote on Twitter, misspelling the word 'libel.' Approximately an hour after the original tweet, he sent out a new one with the correct spelling." So, we all know Kavanaugh lied during his confirmation hearings, right. But this is what happens to liars, eventually it all comes out. Get ready to relitigate the definition of "devil's triangle" and just how many times (and why) he threw up, not to mention the serial sexual-assault.

"Congressman Adam Schiff claimed on Sunday that the official who sits atop the intelligence community is rejecting a subpoena to turn over a whistleblower complaint in order to protect an even higher-ranking official, possibly a top administration official or even President Trump." Tick tock.

A video of Lou Dobbs that so strongly echos the Ministry of Truth vibe it's almost a self-parody. "There's sunshine beaming throughout the place…" Man, that must be some strong kool-aid. (Grokked from Kathryn Cramer)

"In their decision this month, three superior court judges in Wake County ruled that all aspects of the mapmaking process need to be public — a clear rebuke of the backroom conversations through which redistricting negotiations traditionally are conducted… The computers that lawmakers worked on, in both the Senate and House redistricting committee rooms, were livestreamed to YouTube. And negotiations were forbidden outside of public view." Ah North Carolina, you can gerrymander in full view of the public when the public doesn't understand exactly what's going on.

"At a recent Trump campaign fundraiser, first daughter and senior White House adviser Ivanka Trump appealed to wealthy donors by sharing that she got her moral compass from her father, President Donald Trump." Oh honey, that's nothing to brag about. Although it is a way to say, "I'm just like you" to that crowd. So I wonder if she's also paid hush money to pornstars for sex when Jared has been out of town.

"Among the projects is a boiler replacement at Eielsen Air Force Base in Alaska, which the report says is in 'imminent' danger of failing. According to NBC News, the boiler in question 'provides all electrical power and steam heat for the base' and the Air Force would have to evacuate the entire base if it went down." You know all those videos and stills of US fighter planes escorting Russian bombers back into international airspace? Guess which base they normally launch from. Also these fund diversions by the Trump administration to build his wall may also affect our readiness stance in Europe. Why do we have bases in Europe, what are we prepositioned for? (Grokked from Jim Wright)

"Two Saudi sources familiar with the kingdom’s oil operations tell CNN that restoring oil production to its pre-weekend attack levels 'will take weeks, not days.'" What's that I hear, could those be the drums of war? What a time to be without a national security advisor. And imagine John Bolton's feelings right now as we look to get the war he so longed for, just after he was pushed out.

"Iran says it is not behind Saturday's drone attacks on oil plants in Saudi Arabia, denying accusations from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that Tehran was responsible for 'an unprecedented attack on the world's energy supply.'" That's exactly what you'd expect the perpetrators to say. War by proxy.

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