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

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Linkee-poo when the lights go down in the city

PG&E is enacting a blackout in Northern California to prevent wildfires. Which is a good idea corporately because of the huge amount of liability it takes during several days of dangerous weather conditions. But it's a terrible idea for those who are dependent on the flow of electricity for their lives (oxygen concentrators, home dialysis, CPAP, electric wheelchairs, those who require air conditioning and refrigeration, etc). So basically they're trading one liability for another. You know, instead of hardening the grid.

"Twenty new moons have been found to be orbiting Saturn — and scientists want the public's help in naming them, according to a Carnegie Institution for Science news release. The new discovery brings the total moons around the 'jewel of our solar system' to 82."

There's this joke in healthcare. When your friends and families ask you to diagnose something, it's always chlamydia. "U.S. infections from three sexually transmitted diseases have risen for the fifth consecutive year." The joke is eventually people stop asking.

"This week on Hidden Brain, we explore how the satisfactions of outrage affect our politics, our communities, and our minds." Outrage as entertainment and distraction.

"There’s (an Ohio) House bill that would demand schools post information about vaccine exemptions just as they put up immunization requirements. Acton said her agency's goal is to reduce or eliminate vaccine-preventable diseases, though there are exemptions in the immunization law for medical reasons or religious convictions." Because apparently we can't die fast enough for these fuckers. Also, at the end of the article there are these, "One (abortion bill) would require doctors performing medication abortions to tell patients of pills that can reverse them… Another bill would ban insurance coverage of abortion, but its sponsor Rep. John Becker (R-Cincinnati) said in an ectopic pregnancy, it would 'allow for removing that embryo from the fallopian tube and reinserting it in the uterus so that is defined as not an abortion under this bill.'" Those two things, the "abortion reversal pill" and the transplanting from an ectopic pregnancy don't exist in the real world.

"There were slightly fewer abortions performed in the Buckeye state in 2018 than the year before. Supporters and opponents of legal abortion disagree on the reason for the decline." Occam's razor applies here.

"Five young purebred bulls mysteriously showed up dead on the ranch this past summer, drained of blood and with body parts precisely removed." Aliens? Some government experiment? Someone perpetrating a huge hoax? Someone upset about the competition or a personal beef with the rancher?

"Three suspects have been identified in the murder of Joshua Brown, a key witness in the murder trial of former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger." Well thank the gods it was about a drug deal… instead of police revenge. And, really, who the hell drives 4 hours to buy weed (which then was "left" in the apartment)?

"The campaign around Ohio's nuclear bailout law is intensifying with more reports of people intimidating signature gatherers who want to put the law up for a vote on next year's ballot." And then there's this, "Pierce says the opposition, which wants to save the subsidies for FirstEnergy Solutions’ nuclear plants, is offering to pay circulators to drop out and sometimes offers money for the signatures they've collected, which is illegal."

"According to HOLA Ohio, a non-profit Latino outreach organization, ICE agents in plain clothes and unmarked cars descended on Perry Trailer Park in Perry and arrested a man named Vicente Hernandez as he left for work. At least two other parents were also taken into custody."

"Immigrants are increasingly the targets of money-making scams. However there are a growing number of grassroots efforts to provide them with the information and tools to avoid these scams." And this is why you don't want that community to be afraid to contact the police.

"The Ohio Public Employees Retirement System has voted to ask lawmakers for permission to freeze a cost of living adjustment in 2022 and 2023 and to delay that increase for all new retirees. Michael Pramik of OPERS says that will eliminate a record high unfunded liability of $24 billion. Pramik says that’s the result of several down years for its investments and an increase in retirees who are also living longer. And he says OPERS isn’t alone." No. What it is a result of is several decades of the Ohio legislature (and local governments) constantly underfunding/underpaying into the retirement system to help balance their budgets all while betting on "future growth" to help make up the deficit. Now comes the piper wanting to be paid.

How go the Trade Wars? "Stocks fell on Tuesday as investor optimism around the upcoming U.S.-China trade talks faded… The indexes trimmed losses slightly after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the central bank will expand its balance sheet “soon.” He noted this measure will be used as a response to the recent funding issues the bond market faced in recent weeks."

How goes Brexit? "Trade and customs experts have given MPs sharply differing opinions on the government's Brexit plan for the Irish border… The plan would involve a new customs border, albeit one where checks and controls happen away from the border."

"A No 10 source has said a Brexit deal is 'essentially impossible' after a call between the PM and Angela Merkel… Boris Johnson and the German chancellor spoke earlier about the proposals he had put forward to the EU - but the source said she made clear a deal based on them was 'overwhelmingly unlikely'." Although the propertied Merkel quote might be disinformation.

Conservatives are all about the free market and allowing business owners to "follow their conscience", unless it's to decide to not sell guns. And then, well, that's just anti-American.

"Turkish forces began crossing the Syrian border on Wednesday, launching an operation in Kurdish-dominated areas of the country's north, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced."

"The Kurdish-led civilian administration in northeastern Syria issued a 'general mobilization' call along the Syrian border with Turkey on Wednesday as Ankara poised for an imminent invasion of the area in the latest major escalation in the war-ravaged country."

"One person was arrested, police said, but other suspects were believed to have fled the Paulus area in a vehicle… A witness told German n-tv news that a gunman in camouflage opened fire with an assault rifle on a Turkish kebab shop… Shots were also fired near a synagogue in Halle, according to German media, but details have not been confirmed."

"Donald Trump has raised record amounts of money as a presidential candidate. But he’s still left a slew of unpaid bills in his wake… In city after city, across the nation, Trump has failed to pay local officials who provide thousands of dollars’ worth of security assistance to the president’s campaign during his Make America Great Again rallies." Oh, you thought he was supposed to spend that in places other than those he owns? I don't think you've been paying attention. (Note, his campaign has promptly paid the rent bill at Trump Tower.) (Grokked form Laura J Mixon)

"The Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee just released a report that states the obvious, but in these times is quite damning for President Donald Trump: Russia directed a disinformation campaign during the 2016 election to hurt Hillary Clinton and favor Trump." Captain Obvious finds his social drinking-club.

"'This is not about politics, this is about corruption,' Trump said last week. 'If you look and you read our Constitution and many other things, I have an obligation to look at corruption.'… But anti-corruption advocates say his administration's record of fighting corruption is weak and not in line with Trump's rhetoric." Okay Sparky, point out where the Constitution mentions corruption. I'll wait. And while you're looking, then why didn't you ask the Ukraine to crack down on corruption and then stop. Instead you specifically mentioned Joe and Hunter Biden and said that's who you want them to investigate. Still haven't found it? Don't worry. It isn't there. Also, why have you removed rules that were specifically anti-corruption actions?

"The White House told House Democrats it will not comply with demands for documents and testimony in Democrats' impeachment inquiry, setting up a legal showdown between the two branches of government."

"Meanwhile, in a less-noticed federal court hearing later in the day, the Department of Justice sought to block the release of the remaining redacted materials of the Mueller report and underlying evidence from Congress, arguing that if Watergate happened today, it would be able to prevent the release of grand jury evidence to Congress and the public." To quote the judge. "Wow."

Meanwhile, on Bullshit Mountain, "A newly unearthed document shows that Ukrainian officials had opened a new probe into the firm linked to Hunter Biden months before President Trump's phone call with that country's leader, Fox News contributor John Solomon reported late Tuesday." One, yeah, Imma gonna need to see some confirmation here. And two, this doesn't change anything about the president abusing his office and asking for a foreign government's help to create controversy around a political opponent. And three, it doesn't change shit about the whistleblowers' complaints. This is what's known as "throwing sand in the bull's eyes."

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