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

Monday, July 27, 2020

Linkee-poo Monday

Olivia De Havilland, and so it goes.

"Hurricane Hanna weakened to a tropical depression after making landfall as a hurricane along the Gulf Coast of southern Texas on Saturday evening, bringing heavy rains and threats of flooding to parts of the state already reeling from the coronavirus pandemic."

"As Texas contends with the ongoing aftermath of one hurricane on Sunday, Hawaii is bracing for the impact of another."

"A new study, yet to undergo peer review, was published on the pre-print repository bioRxiv on July 17 and examines one of these species, Cladosporium sphaerospermum. It suggests the fungi could be used as a self-healing, self-replicating shield to protect astronauts in deep space. Specialist science publication New Scientist reported on the findings on July 24."

"For years, public health officials have been trying to dispel the myth that people who get a flu shot are more likely to get Alzheimer's disease… They are not. And now there is evidence that vaccines that protect against the flu and pneumonia may actually protect people from Alzheimer's, too."

"President Donald Trump’s national security advisor Robert O’Brien has tested positive for the coronavirus… O’Brien has 'mild symptoms and has been self-isolating and working from a secure location off site,' the White House said in a statement Monday." Insert the theme of Jaws here.

"Young Catalans should stop partying to help halt a surge in new coronavirus cases or local authorities may have to reimpose harsh restrictions, the leader of the northeastern Spanish region said on Monday." Here comes Europe's second wave.

"Nightclubs, bars and beaches — some of Spain’s most beloved summer venues — are facing new lockdown restrictions after turning into coronavirus hot spots, and some European nations are warning citizens not to visit the country."

"Want to beat COVID-19? Then lose weight… That's the message from Boris Johnson, Britain's boisterous prime minister, who has used his own brush with the coronavirus to urge Britons to shed a few pounds to reduce their risk of catching it." Fat shaming? Sure, why not.

"Police say a bag containing Molotov cocktails and loaded rifle magazines has been found at a park in Portland, close to where nightly protests have taken place for two months." So, let's unpack this a little bit. First, those "molotov cocktails" aren't very well made and you also wouldn't carry them in a closed bag. And if used, would not cause much of an issue (you'll note there is very little liquid in only one of them, the other looks fairly dry inside, although the rag may be saturated). Secondly, mason jars are inappropriate (the glass is somewhat thick and prone to not breaking and expensive, when vodka bottles are easily found and used). Seriously, pickle jars are more appropriate, unless you're shopping for supplies. Also, terry cloth? This is also not the first time "prepositioned" munitions have been found… at protests where no one is carrying a weapon that could use them. Is there some manual out there that outlines prepositioning weapons like this?

"A suspect is in custody following the fatal shooting Saturday of an anti-racism demonstrator in Austin, Texas, police said… Officials have not released the victim’s name, but his mother identified him as Garrett Foster in an interview with ABC’s 'Good Morning America.'" So much for the "more guns make us a polite society" argument.

"A senator for the state of Arkansas has described slavery as a 'necessary evil' on which the American nation was built… In a local newspaper interview, Republican Tom Cotton said he rejected the idea that the US was a systemically racist country to its core… He is introducing legislation to ban federal funds for a project by the New York Times newspaper, aimed at revising the historical view of slavery." Tom Cotton, just evil, not necessary.

"So as you might have surmised, this week we talking about Karens."

"The price of gold has hit a record high, reaching $1,943 an ounce, as worries over issues such as the coronavirus pandemic as well as U.S.-China tensions weighed on investor sentiment."

"White House officials and Senate Republicans are finalizing a bill that would offer another round of $1,200 checks to many Americans and that would not renew the full unemployment insurance enhancement as part of a proposal for the next stimulus bill set to be unveiled Monday, several top administration officials said Sunday."

"Great Depression levels of unemployment have hit some of the country’s biggest cities… The coronavirus pandemic has pushed the jobless rate in New York, Los Angeles and other major urban areas to near or above 20%, nearly twice the national rate."

"A group of more than 100 Christian pastors, religion professors and other advocates is urging the Democratic National Committee to adopt a party platform that’s friendlier to abortion opponents." No. If your only political concern is "anti-abortion", go ahead and vote Republican. If the entirely of the rest of the conservative agenda gives you pause or makes you feel icky, that's your own problem and maybe you should rethink whom you support. A vote for the GOP brings all that extra baggage, because in reality the GOP is only anti-abortion just to get your vote. They don't care about really being anti-abortion, but they'll throw you enough red meat to keep you somewhat satisfied.

"In an exclusive four-part series, CNN offers a rare glimpse behind the scenes at how justices on the Roberts court asserted their interests, forged coalitions and navigated political pressure and the coronavirus pandemic. The justices' opinions are public, but their deliberations are private and usually remain secret." This one focuses on Chief Justice Roberts.

"As criticism of these events rolled in—including from virtually every relevant state and local official in Oregon—the Department of Homeland Security scheduled a press conference earlier this week to try to reclaim the narrative. If the point of that press conference was to reassure an anxious nation that this unfamiliar and recently constituted federal police force is following the law, it likely achieved the opposite effect." A legal discussion about the cluelessness of those who lead our government. (Grokked from Eric)

"President Donald Trump has a symbiotic relationship with white nationalists… It’s been a constant in nearly every element of his presidency: The white nationalist violence in the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, was followed by a pronouncement that there were 'some very fine people on both sides.'" Is this really in doubt anymore?

"The Reagan Foundation has asked the Donald Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee joint fundraising committee to stop using President Ronald Reagan's likeness in fundraising appeals, an RNC spokesman confirmed to CNN." Let's you and him fight.

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