What if Kurzweil doesn't make it?
What if all the switches get stuck on destroy?
When the shuttle goes, we won't take it
When the final counter-measures are deployed
All we'll have is all this time

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Linkee-poo Thursday Dec 3

"The giant moving Gundam in Yokohama is now complete." While the article has a date of August, they talk about the delay in October. (Grokked from Steve)

In case you have forgotten what health insurance was like before the ACA… "To Bloechl's dismay, he soon learned that none of the expensive care he needed would be covered by his new health plan. Instead of a comprehensive plan that complied with the ACA, he had purchased a bundle of four short-term plans (with three-month terms) that provided only limited benefits and didn't cover preexisting conditions." I'm glad his cancer is in remission now, but… "But the experience with the short-term policy still rankles. 'Charity care picked up the one bill and [UnitedHealthcare Golden Rule's] competitor paid for the transplant,' Bloechl says. 'They got off the hook without paying a dime.'" That "charity care", yeah that's why you pay more when you go to a hospital. You're paying for that "charity." Also, that's your Medicare/Medicaid tax dollars paying for it because his income is too low.

"According to the Johns Hopkins University tracker, 3,157 new deaths were recorded on Wednesday, more than the number of people killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The previous high was the 2,607 deaths recorded on 15 April, at the beginning of the pandemic."

"The State of Ohio has hit a 15% COVID-19 infection rate, a measurement the health department has used for several months to indicate states where the virus is widespread."

Ya all (the general American public, not you specifically) are determined to fuck up my vacation.

"A couple in Hawaii face reckless endangerment charges after they boarded a flight with their 4-year-old son even though they had tested positive for Covid-19, police said."

"The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced new quarantine guidelines for people who were exposed to coronavirus, reducing the length of time from 14 days to 10 days without symptoms or seven days with no symptoms and a negative test. Officials said the shorter time period is intended to encourage more people to quarantine." Okay, would you stay home for 5 days? How about 2 days? Do I hear a bid for 1 day?

SO, ten-months into this and how are we handling it? "'This is a crisis that's been going on for almost a year — that's not the way humans are built to work,' says Dr. John Lynch, an associate medical director at Harborview and associate professor of medicine at the University of Washington… 'Our health workers are definitely feeling that strain in a way that we've never experienced before,' he says." Just the other day, if I had told coworkers what I really thought of their performance, I would have been fired.

"Former presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton have said they are willing to take a coronavirus vaccine to prove that the treatment is safe and effective. They may even film themselves getting injected." And that's how you build trust like a real leader.

"Operation Warp Speed’s director of supply production and distribution put out an estimated timetable on Covid-19 vaccine availability across the United States… Ret. Lt. Gen. Paul Ostrowski promised in a CNBC interview that everyone who wants a vaccine will be able to get one by June." June. Also note, we are not the only client for these. The UK just approved the Pfizer vaccine yesterday.

And my tweet thread about the UK deal… "So, watching BBC news and there is plenty of joy over the UK government approving the Pfizer vaccine for use. And hurrah Brits. Love you… The Pfizer vaccine is a 2 step vaccine. They expect to ship 800,000 doses next week, with some 40 million on order (so that's approx 20M getting the 2 doses). Dosing is 21 days apart. Pfizer is manufacturing the vaccine in Belgium. So let's say everything goes well (good on you, UK) and people start getting the first jab next Wednesday, 9 December. They'll get the second jab on 30 December. So think about 2 weeks after that they'll have immunity. Hurrah! The first 400,000 protected (mostly, let's say 95% of those, but that's not how the data actually works, blah blah blah). Again, well done, UK. Good job… Brexit is 1 January. So let's say Pfizer gets it's move on and get's you all they can before that. I doubt you'll have 40 million in country by then. Pfizer pre-started manufacturing, so this will be less than 800,000 doses a week. Let's say it's a million a week (top end). You'll have 5 million doses in country before the UK exits the EU. So, just spitballing here, people who have their first jabs after the 17th will need their second dose to arrive AFTER Brexit. You have no deal in place. I doubt Pfizer will move manufacturing to the UK. So after you finish your champaign toasts, you better get into the negotiation room and hammer out a deal quick. The EU just got a huge lever over you."

"Now, an NPR investigation has uncovered another side to Co-Diagnostics' dramatic growth during the pandemic, including potential legal concerns for company leaders, and persistent questions about its tests' accuracy." It's been a money grab since the beginning.

And in rural hospital news… "There will be even fewer options for soon-to-be or would-be mothers and fathers in the valley. 21 news has learned that the maternity ward at Trumbull Regional Medical Center will close its doors by the end of the year."

And after four-years of a conservative presidency and GOP controlled Senate… "The situation is dire. About 20 million Americans are currently unemployed. For many hunger has become a major issue. Government figures show that the week before Thanksgiving – America’s biggest feast day – 5.6m households struggled to put enough food on the table. Huge, haunting lines have formed at food banks across the country and years of neglect and underfunding of the systems to help those in need have worsened their plight." Reminds me of 2008 (and 1992).

"Initial claims for state unemployment benefits decreased 75,000 to a seasonally adjusted 712,000 for the week ended Nov. 28, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast 775,000 applications in the latest week."

Don't be evil, 2020. "Google illegally fired two employees involved in labor organizing last year, the National Labor Relations Board alleged in a complaint on Wednesday… The tech giant also violated federal labor law, the agency said, by surveilling employees who viewed a union organizing presentation, interrogating others, unfairly enforcing some rules and maintaining policies that 'discourage' workers from protected organizing activities." It's a popular myth that unions are formed because people want more pay. In reality workers form unions for mostly two reasons, they feel disrespected and abused by their employers. Higher pay is one way unions force employers to respect and honor their workers. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

"Abu Alaa leaves his home in Damascus at dawn to buy bread from his local bakery. There he stands in line for up to six hours to get the two packets of the round flat pita bread that government rations allow for a three-child family like his… Abu Alaa gives only the name he goes by in his neighborhood because he fears that Syria's repressive government does not want him to speak with foreign journalists."

"Tens of thousands of farmers, most of them from northern states of Punjab and Haryana, have taken to the streets in protest against the farm reforms that were enacted into law this year."

"The Afghan government and the Taliban have agreed to forge ahead with substantive negotiations aimed at ending decades of almost continuous war in the country, representatives from the two sides said in near-twin tweets on Wednesday."

"The U.S. Office of Special Counsel, a federal watchdog, disclosed Wednesday that it had found 'a substantial likelihood of wrongdoing' at the parent agency of the Voice of America under the leadership of the CEO appointed by President Trump."

"Ivanka Trump was deposed on Tuesday as a part of an ongoing lawsuit from the Washington D.C. attorney general, which alleges the misuse of funds from President Donald Trump's inauguration in 2017, new court documents show." Well, there's one need for a pardon, but I don't think a pardon would get them out of legal trouble here.

But wait, there's more… "The analysis found that tenants paying rent at properties owned by the Trump Organization as well as the Kushner Companies, owned by the family of Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, benefited financially from the program. These tenants received loans, which they then were required to put toward rent for the loans to be forgiven. The data did not show that the Trump Organization received PPP loans for its properties." And that's just the teaser of the article.

"A bipartisan group of lawmakers, including key Republican leaders, are balking at President Trump's latest threat to veto the annual defense bill, barreling ahead with plans to finalize their plan… On Tuesday, Trump threatened to veto the critical policy bill if it doesn't include a move to repeal a legal protection for social media companies." That's not what "balk" means. The word you were looking for was "buck".

Meanwhile on Bullshit Mountain… "Hollywood is going all-in for the Georgia Senate runoffs, with a number of figures satirically pretending to be Republicans to urge conservatives in the Peach State to write in President Trump." Yeah yeah, it's all a Hollywood plot.

Except… "Georgia allies of President Trump continue to push baseless accusations of voter fraud in an attempt to have the election results overturned, following weeks of news networks, legal bodies and state certification boards affirming the election win for President-elect Joe Biden. At a rally Wednesday, they went even further, discouraging Georgia residents from voting in the Jan. 5 Senate runoff election." The call is coming from inside the house.

And in actual reality… "'I just learned of absolute incontrovertible evidence of North Korean boats delivering ballots through a harbor in Maine, the state of Maine,' (Roger) Stone said. 'If this checks out, if law enforcement looked into that and it turned out to be true, it would be proof of foreign involvement in the election.'" Okay, he has incontrovertible evidence, but still isn't sure the police will believe him. Uh huh. Also, let's say for the moment that North Korea really wanted to do this, and somehow they would be able to convince state election officials to accept these ballots (it's not like election officials wander the state looking for wayward ballot boxes), why in the ever-loving fuck would they go into Maine when it's on the wrong coast for them? I think Roger needs to check into a rehab facility really soon.

"Sidney Powell released the Kraken. And it turns out the mythological sea beast can't spell, is terrible at geography and keeps mislabeling plaintiffs in court… A congressional candidate Powell claimed to represent in one lawsuit said that, in fact, he had nothing to do with Powell or her quixotic effort, which she dubbed 'the Kraken,' arguing the election was stolen from President Donald Trump. An expert witness cited in another suit named a nonexistent county in Michigan. A Wisconsin lawsuit sought data on alleged irregularities at a voting center in Detroit, which is in Michigan. And a filing in federal district court signed by Powell misspelled 'district' twice in the first few lines."

"Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani was forced to 'shush' one his own witnesses during a hearing on alleged irregularities in the 2020 presidential election on Wednesday. A video of the moment has already been viewed more than 7 million times." When the circus comes to town.

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