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

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Linkee-poo, stand up

"Donald Trump's era in Washington is over… The all-consuming, camera-hungry, truth-starved era that fixated the nation and exposed its darkest recesses officially concludes at noon Wednesday. The President, addled and mostly friendless, ended his time in the capital a few hours early to spare himself the humiliation of watching his successor be sworn in."

"2020 was not the year I wrote my first book—but it was the year I started thinking about it. And in typical freelance writer fashion, I decided to take advantage of my position and get some advice on how to go about it from people much more accomplished than me under the guise of researching this article. Here’s what I managed to learn."

"'To play a wrong note is insignificant. But to play without passion is inexcusable…'." Probably of little interest to anyone but me, Annie Lennox plays Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata. Music is a life long journey of exploration and discovery. Here is one of the icons of 80s rock, and she's still exploring and discovering, improving, and pushing her envelope. As I've tweeted out before, in my own journey through music, it seems every few years I rediscover how much I love her voice and talent.

"A beetle trapped in amber for over 100 million years is offering scientists clues to why the bioluminescent insects may have glowed way back during the Cretaceous period, about 145 to 66 million years ago."

"A newly identified strain of the coronavirus prevalent in Southern California could be contributing to the drastic spike in cases in the region, according to new research released Monday. The study, which has not been peer-reviewed, found that more than a third of recent COVID-19 patients at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles were infected with the strain, according to a release summarizing its findings."

"Maine health officials discovered that a majority of Moderna vaccine shipments received across the state on Monday were not kept adequately cold during transport, meaning 4,400 doses may have to be thrown out."

"Frustration visibly boiled over with some Canadian leaders Tuesday as Pfizer told Canada that it would not receive any vaccine doses next week due to the continuing manufacturing disruptions at its facility in Belgium." Rhut rho.

And finally Bullshit Mountain caves, on one issue… "In the ongoing debate about coronavirus face mask effectiveness, a new study published this week suggests that widespread use of face masks can help to prevent large outbreaks of COVID-19."

"President-elect Joe Biden addressed a grieving nation on Tuesday after the United States had earlier in the day passed 400,000 deaths from the coronavirus… Speaking at a service to remember Americans killed by the virus, Biden praised medical professionals for their roles in caring for the ill and their families during the pandemic."

"Police in the United States are three times more likely to use force against leftwing protesters than rightwing protesters, according to new data from a non-profit that monitors political violence around the world… In the past 10 months, US law enforcement agencies have used teargas, pepper spray, rubber bullets, and beatings at a much higher percentage at Black Lives Matter demonstrations than at pro-Trump or other rightwing protests."

"Aid agencies report swarms of locusts have been descending on farms in northern Kenya, destroying crops and even leaving pastures bare of vegetation… The UN's Food and Agriculture Organization in a regional update on the pests says swarms have been detected this week in seven counties in Kenya compared to just four a week ago." Here we go again. As the story says, there have been "unusual rainfall patterns."

"With only hours to go before leaving office, President Donald Trump pardoned 73 people and commuted the sentences of 70 others… The list, made public early Wednesday morning, included his former chief strategist and longtime ally Steve Bannon as well as his former top fundraiser Elliott Broidy."

"'Like theure [sic] gonna arrest me,' Ms. Williams allegedly wrote, adding in another post hours later: 'They’ll never take me alive.'… Eventually, however, they did."

"Federal prosecutors are preparing to charge a 22-year-old woman with felony theft for allegedly taking a laptop from Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office, and they're urging a Harrisburg-area judge to deny her bail." Again, there are a lot of Russians hanging around.

"Federal and state law enforcement agencies are bracing for violence planned by radical conservatives and extremists in Washington in the days before the inauguration… And while significant preparations have been put in place around the U.S. Capitol, there is growing concern that statehouses around the country will be targeted, many of which have already been the scene of armed protests, arrests and violence."

"Republican support for convicting President Donald Trump in his Senate impeachment trial has grown in his final days in office, according to a POLITICO/Morning Consult poll released Tuesday."

"In one of his final acts in office, in the wee hours of the night, President Trump revoked Executive Order 13770, an order on ethics he signed when he first took office, freeing the way for people who have served in his administration to cash in with lobbying gigs… When Trump signed the order on Jan. 28, 2017, he hailed it as a fulfillment of his campaign promise to 'drain the swamp.' Among other things, it banned administration officials from lobbying the agencies where they worked for a full five years after the termination of their employment." So much for that. Grifters gotta grift.

"A U.S. Army soldier was arrested Tuesday in Georgia on terrorism charges after he spoke online about plots to blow up New York City’s 9/11 Memorial and other landmarks and attack U.S. soldiers in the Middle East, authorities said."

"For the first time since the Jan. 6 mob attack on the U.S. Capitol, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell publicly denounced President Trump and his supporters for instigating the insurrection… 'The mob was fed lies,' McConnell, R-Ky., said in a speech on the Senate floor Tuesday afternoon." And it only took being removed as Senate Majority Leader (well, technically not until today) and having Trump out of office.

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