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

Friday, June 5, 2020

Linkee-poo Friday

"Our guest (on Fresh Air), journalist and historian Anne Applebaum, has a new piece in The Atlantic examining the motives and behavior of Republican leaders, who she says have abandoned their principles to support a president who's built a proto-authoritarian cult in the White House."

And her article, "History Will Judge the Complicit."

It's a phrase of mine, "Remember when computers were fast?" To wit… "The system with the lowest input latency — the amount of time between when you hit a key and that keystroke appears on the computer — is the Apple IIe, at 30ms." (Grokked from John)

"But after serious challenges, the mole has finally reached a new milestone. 'After several assists from my robotic arm, the mole appears to be underground,' the official Twitter account for the mission wrote yesterday (June 3). 'It's been a real challenge troubleshooting from millions of miles away. We still need to see if the mole can dig on its own.'"

"The world hit another new record high for heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, despite reduced emissions because of the coronavirus pandemic, scientists announced Thursday." With all the stay at home orders and reduced flights and road traffic CO2 emissions decreased only slightly. It's not what consumers are doing, it's mostly industry. So when people try to tell you otherwise, you'll know the truth.

"President Vladimir Putin has declared a state of emergency in a region within the Arctic Circle in far northern Russia after 20,000 tons of oil leaked into a river from a power plant." And Vlad is grumpy about it.

"Two influential medical journals retracted separate coronavirus studies Thursday over concerns about the data used in both studies -- data that came from the same international registry." How science works.

"Infusions of antibody-rich blood plasma from people who have recovered from the coronavirus, so-called convalescent plasma, failed to make a difference in a study of hospitalized patients in China, researchers reported on Wednesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association. In a randomized trial involving 103 COVID-19 patients, convalescent plasma made no difference in the time it took to show signs of improvement or in rates of death at 28 days versus a placebo." That's… not good.Also, "U.S. emergency departments may be packed with coronavirus patients, but the number of people coming in for other reasons has plummeted, a U.S. study confirms." Can confirm, although it's getting better. And yes, we worry about those patients we're not seeing. (Grokked from Christopher Moore)

"An unidentified Orange County sheriff’s deputy is under investigation for wearing patches connected with extremist groups on his uniform during a protest in Costa Mesa over the killing of George Floyd." Funny, I thought the oath keepers were dead-set against using government forces against the people. The best part is where the fix the problem by reminding all the sheriffs they're not supposed to wear their extremist iconography on their official uniforms. Not helping.

"Videos of police brutality during protests shock US." It's not that this hasn't happened before, it's just we now have video to prove it.

"After another night of peaceful protests outside Lafayette Square, workers were seen putting up new fencing barriers around the White House complex Thursday morning, adding to the 8-foot fence that was erected around the entrance to Lafayette Square earlier this week." Bunker mentality. "The additional fencing did not have the same slightly sharper edges at the top as the fence blocking off the entrance to Lafayette Square, where the majority of the protests have taken place." Well, at least there's that. But "sharper" fencing might has been on back order.

"Civil rights groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union and Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, filed a lawsuit Thursday against the Trump administration and federal law enforcement agencies, saying they violated the constitutional rights of demonstrators who were violently evacuated out of a park Monday to clear the path for a photo op by President Trump."

"A similar genre of unidentified, armed personnel clad in insignia-free uniforms has appeared policing street protests in Washington, D.C., in recent days, and Democratic lawmakers are demanding answers about just who these anonymous enforcers are." Just a reminder, if you wear no insignia or identifying marker & are unwilling to identify yourself, you are outside the law. You have no authority or legal protection as an enforcement officer. You are only a citizen. You have no power to protect, direct, or expect your orders to be obeyed. And you are personally liable for your actions.

"Seven people were killed in a mass shooting at a residence in Morgan County (Alabama) late Thursday."

"A family of six — a husband, wife, and four children, the oldest of whom is four — was found dead Thursday in a vehicle in the garage of a San Antonio home after police were called for a welfare check and discovered what was reported to be a 'cryptic' note on the front door… Authorities could smell carbon monoxide that 'kind of blew everybody back out the door,' McManus told reporters Thursday night." Carbon monoxide is odorless, which is why it's so deadly.

"The American economy just got a shocking piece of good news: The job market may be recovering well ahead of schedule… The US unemployment rate surprisingly fell to 13.3% in May, as the economy gained 2.5 million jobs… It was the largest monthly gain in new jobs since the Bureau of Labor Statistics started tracking the data series in 1939." Plays "we're in the money." But wait a second, "The Labor Department noted that during the pandemic, millions of workers were misclassified as 'employed but not at work,' when they should have been counted as 'unemployed on temporary layoff.' If it weren't for those misclassifications, the unemployment rate would have been higher — around 19.2% in April and 16.1% in May, not including seasonal adjustments." Um…

"Tens of thousands of demonstrators in Hong Kong have defied a ban to stage a mass vigil for the victims of the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown in Beijing."

"Fox News host Laura Ingraham appears to have changed her mind whether athletes should express political opinions." Shocking, I know. Gee, what could be the difference here between LaBron James and Drew Brees? It seems like it's white in front of my face.

"The Republican Party is facing a reckoning over some of its most divisive candidates. So far the results are mixed, and that’s dicey for the GOP as a country shuddering from coast-to-coast civic unrest hurtles toward November elections." It's a problem of their own making and the direct result of the Southern Strategy and the Reagan compromise. It's just they thought they could ride that tiger and didn't realize that the tiger could bite them back.

Not that Piers Morgan isn't also a dick… "The interview went south four minutes into the 13-minute long interview when Morgan asked Giuliani about Trump's 'when the looting starts, the shooting starts' tweet in reference to the nationwide protests against police brutality. (The controversial tweet was hidden by Twitter for violating its rules against glorifying violence.)… Morgan pushed Giuliani to explain why Trump used the quote, to which an increasingly agitated Giuliani replied: 'It isn't inflammatory, it's accurate.'" Rudy must be drinking again.

"The campaign to reelect President Donald Trump has pulled a short-lived 'Make Space Great Again' video ad this week that surprised NASA and appeared to violate the agency's advertising regulations on the depictions of its astronauts." Naughty naughty.

"In rare public comments, the former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Ret. Gen. Martin Dempsey condemned Trump's threat to use military force to suppress nationwide protests as 'dangerous' and 'very troubling,' in an interview with NPR on Thursday."

"Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska said Thursday she isn't sure she can support President Trump's bid for reelection." A concerned Senator is concerned again.

"Former White House chief of staff John Kelly said Thursday that President Donald Trump 'has clearly forgotten' the circumstances of former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis's departure from the administration, breaking with his former boss to side with a fellow retired Marine Corps general." No, John Kelly, the president just doesn't care and is trying to enforce his view of reality. The president lies about everything. I'm sorry that as his chief-of-staff you couldn't recognize what he does. And that's on you, sir.

"Make no mistake what Murkowski is acknowledging here: that many of her fellow Republicans -- and, presumably, her colleagues in the Senate -- have long held deep doubts about Trump and his conduct, but have lacked the courage of their convictions to speak out about those worries." So begins the conservative "Great Awakening" when those who supported the president finally see how badly this will end and have decided to try the gambit of, "Oh no, I was with you blokes the whole time (while I worked directly with/for the fucker). Please don't jail me as well."

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