No doorways, no windows, no walls
No shelter here on the ground
No standing and no safe place to fall
Just the promise of this distant sound
Bells are ringing all over the world

Monday, January 24, 2022

Linkee-poo Monday Jan 24

"Today's the day: Nearly a month after launch, the James Webb Space Telescope will arrive at its deep-space celestial destination on Monday (Jan. 24)… Webb will be orbiting Earth-sun Lagrange Point 2 (L2), which is about 930,000 miles (1.5 million kilometers) away from our planet. Here, the spacecraft can use a minimum of fuel to orbit thanks to its alignment with the sun and Earth."

"Many patients don't understand that they can rack up huge bills almost as soon as they walk through the doors of an ER." And if you leave "against medical advice," even if you met your deductible, more than likely you will be on the hook for the entire amount.

"The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) warned on Monday that it was dangerous to assume the Omicron variant would herald the end of COVID-19's acutest phase, exhorting nations to stay focused to beat the pandemic."

"The Biden administration on Friday opened a phone line for people to order free at-home COVID-19 tests… The phone number — 1-800-232-0233 — follows the launch earlier this week of a website to order the tests, and is available for those who may have difficulty accessing the internet or need additional help to place their orders."

"How much should you trust the results of a rapid antigen test? That's a question many people are asking these days amid recent research and anecdotes suggesting these tests may be less sensitive to omicron. Researchers are working fast to figure out what's going on and how to improve the tests."

"During a Friday press briefing, Walensky said the agency is working to 'pivot the language' for being fully vaccinated. She explained that the goal is to ensure Americans are caught up on their vaccines."

"Four inmates at an Arkansas jail have filed a federal lawsuit after they say medical staff gave them the anti-parasitic drug ivermectin to treat COVID-19 without telling them what it was. The inmates said they were told the medicines they were taking were 'vitamins,' 'antibiotics' or 'steroids.'"

"Cases are spiking on college campuses because, despite the rapid spread of the omicron variant, most schools are beginning their spring semesters in-person. Just 14% of colleges are beginning the semester online, according to new data from the College Crisis Initiative. This time last year, before there were vaccines, about 40% of colleges started online."

"Months of research and dozens of interviews by found that Brookside’s finances are rocket-fueled by tickets and aggressive policing. In a two-year period between 2018 and 2020 Brookside revenues from fines and forfeitures soared more than 640 percent and now make up half the city’s total income." This is a crime.

"This Monday marks the beginning of tax filing season, when the IRS will begin accepting 2021 income tax returns from individuals and businesses. Most people have until April 18 to submit them this year… As it starts to accept this year's returns, the IRS is still working through millions filed last year. And that's just one of its problems."

"But looking back, Wilkinson thinks Google's luxurious on-site perks have made workers too dependent on the company, a situation he calls 'dangerous.'" Gee, ya think?

"The cryptocurrency market had around $130 billion wiped off its value over the last 24 hours, as major digital coins continued their multi-day sell-off." Sad trombones.

"The Biden administration is considering sending as many as 5,000 U.S. troops to Eastern Europe, a U.S. official confirmed to NPR, in what would be a step-up in American military involvement in the region amid growing fears of a Russian invasion of Ukraine." Look, guys, That 80s Show isn't as good as you think it is.

"The United Arab Emirates intercepted two ballistic missiles launched by Yemen's Houthis over its capital Abu Dhabi early Monday, in what the Iran-backed group warned would be part of a continuous campaign to target the Emirati capital."

"The Taliban and western diplomats have begun their first official talks in Europe since they took over control of Afghanistan in August."

"The Supreme Court agreed Monday to revisit the question of affirmative action in higher education, deciding to hear a case challenging Harvard and the University of North Carolina's use of race in college admissions." Because why wouldn't they.

"Black lawmakers walked out in protest Friday and withheld their votes as the Mississippi Senate passed a bill that would ban schools from teaching critical race theory… The state superintendent of education has said critical race theory is not being taught in Mississippi schools and legislators have offered no evidence to show it is… Republicans said the theory teaches 'victimhood,' while Democrats said the ban could squelch discussion of Mississippi's racist history."

"The sermon, titled 'How Satan Destroys the World,' zigzags between familiar grievances of conservative Christians, such as abortion and transgender people's rights. But what makes this church different, and others like it across the nation, is its embrace of the secular agenda of the far right. They believe that masks and vaccinations violate religious freedom, that the participants in the Jan. 6 capitol riot were proud patriots, and the Biden administration is evil and illegitimate." These are not "churches." Time to tax the fuck out of these people.

"A Capitol riot defendant claims he was barred from Airbnb and Lyft, and lost his TSA precheck pass after his arrest, according to a legal filing… He is due to be sentenced on Friday, and in a formal request to the court for leniency his lawyers described how the plea has already disrupted his life as an accountant living on Bellmore, Long Island." Don't do the crime if you can't do the time.

"The House panel looking into last January's attack on the Capitol is investigating a plan that would have directed the secretary of defense to seize voting machines in battleground states, Jan. 6 Committee Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., told Face the Nation on Sunday."

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