I watch the ripples change their size
But never leave the stream
Of warm impermanence
And so the days float through my eyes
But still the days seem the same
And these children that you spit on
As they try to change their worlds
Are immune to your consultations
They're quite aware of what they're goin' through

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Linkee-poo Low-ride-er

"Hurricane Ian destroyed a cross-section of Florida, trapping people in flooded homes, forcing patients from nursing homes and hospitals, cutting off a popular barrier island and obliterating a historic waterfront pier. Nearly 2.7 million people lost power as rain fell and waters rose."

"Ian, now a tropical storm, continues to dump flooding rain across Florida. It could return to near-hurricane force when it approaches the coast of South Carolina on Friday."

"The U.S. government announced Wednesday it would temporarily waive a federal law and allow foreign diesel deliveries to Puerto Rico as it faces a dwindling supply of fuel nearly two weeks after Hurricane Fiona pummeled the U.S. territory." How about we just end the Jones Act?

"But planetary defense experts say in reality, if astronomers spotted a dangerous incoming space rock, the safest and best answer might be something more subtle, like simply pushing it off course by ramming it with a small spacecraft… That's just what NASA did on Monday evening, when a spacecraft headed straight into an asteroid, obliterating itself." Oh no, not again.

"What scientists thought were lakes of liquid water hiding under the southern polar ice cap of Mars could turn out to be… just regular old rock… New analysis has found that the brightly shining radar signal interpreted as underground water on the red planet could also have been produced by geological layering. It's not a foregone conclusion, but it does suggest that stronger evidence is needed before we can determine with any certainty what's lurking under there."

"Some 200 environmental and land defense activists were killed around the world in 2021, including some 54 in Mexico, which assumed the position of the deadliest country in the annual report by nongovernmental organization Global Witness."

"It wasn't supposed to be like this. This coal-fired power plant is one of several nationwide that were scheduled to be shut down by the end of the year, to maintain Germany's commitment to phasing out coal by the end of this decade. But with Russia cutting natural gas deliveries to Europe, and with no quick options to replace that energy, Germany is warily turning to its most reliable — and environmentally polluting — fossil fuel. At least 20 coal-fired power plants nationwide are being resurrected or extended past their closing dates to ensure Germany has enough energy to get through the winter."

"That's because the questions involved a decades-old teaching concept many educators thought was settled, uncontroversial territory: the idea that, in order to learn, students need to know how to manage themselves and get along with others." Social-emotional learning is back on the firing range. It seems conservatives don't actually like people learning how to exist in a civil society and being fully aware of themselves.

Cough… "Montana health officials are proposing to oversee and set standards for the charitable contributions that nonprofit hospitals make in their communities each year to justify their access to millions of dollars in tax exemptions." Cough. I would like to say this is an actual good move and not a blatant attempt to shake-down hospital execs for campaign contributions or punish perceived transgressions of the conservative cause.

"The Bank of England will suspend the planned start of its gilt selling next week and begin temporarily buying long-dated bonds in order to calm the market chaos unleashed by the new government’s so-called mini-budget."

"Markets are a mess, and not just in the United States, where the three major stock indexes are down more than 20% each from their highs."

The Planet Money podcast with… "A few months ago, a mechanic named Oraz who lives in Turkmenistan came across a kind of puzzle. A new vehicle had arrived on his lot. A white Lexus SUV. He could see by the registration sticker that it came from the U.S., from New Jersey, but that wasn't what was odd about it. The strange thing was the shape it was in. It was practically brand new, not like the dented and mangled cars that usually come to him for repairs."

"At least six adults were wounded in a shooting at a school campus in Oakland on Wednesday, with at least some of the victims found inside the school, authorities said."

"Protests erupted across dozens of cities in Iran in recent days, triggered by the death of a 22-year-old woman in police custody in mid-September. Tehran's morality police — who roam the streets enforcing dress codes in line with the government's view of Islam — detained Mahsa Amini earlier this month for allegedly violating dress rules. Her family has disputed this claim, but what is undisputed is that Amini died days after being taken into custody."

"In a show of defiance, North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea on Thursday, hours after U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris flew home from a visit to South Korea during which she traveled to the Demilitarized Zone separating the two Koreas and emphasized the “ironclad” U.S. commitment to the security of its Asian allies."

"The Finnish government said Thursday it would significantly limit passenger traffic on Finland’s border with Russia, banning Russian citizens traveling with tourist visas from entering the Nordic country effective Friday."

"Facebook parent Meta says it has disrupted a large Russian network of fake accounts impersonating European news outlets to push a pro-Kremlin view of the war in Ukraine." Well that only took, what, almost a year.

"Russia on Friday will formally annex parts of Ukraine where separation 'referendums' received approval, the Kremlin’s spokesman said, confirming the expectations of Ukrainian and Western officials who have denounced the Moscow-managed votes as illegal, forced and rigged."

"Former National Security Agency contractor-turned-whistleblower Edward Snowden has been granted Russian citizenship. The news was confirmed in a decree by Russian President Vladimir Putin posted Monday to the Kremlin's website." This is my shocked face.

"NATO said Thursday it would retaliate for any attacks on the critical infrastructure of its 30 member countries as it suggested that damage to two gas pipelines off Denmark and would-be member Sweden in international waters in the Baltic Sea is the result of sabotage." Shakes Magic 8-Ball, "All signs point to Russia."

"Women who apply for welfare often have to identify who fathered their children and when they got pregnant, among other deeply personal details. State governments use that information to pursue child support from the dads — and then pocket the money." Alex I'll take "things about our government we should actually reform" for $5000. "It also means that contrary to the popular understanding of child support — that it is intended to go to children —​ more than $1.7 billion in child support collected from fathers in 2020 was seized by federal and state governments as repayment for mothers and children having been on welfare, according to a ProPublica analysis of federal Office of Child Support Enforcement statistics." That is a crime.

"After Mississippi spent millions of dollars in welfare money on Brett Favre's pet project, a university volleyball arena, the retired NFL quarterback tried two years later to get additional cash from the state's welfare agency for another sports facility, new court documents show."

"Gadsden County commissioner appointed by Gov. DeSantis resigns after KKK costume photo emerges… Jeffery Moore, a Havana resident and former Department of Revenue employee, abruptly resigned from the post in Florida’s only predominantly Black county after the photo began circulating."

"Senate Democratic leaders unveiled a stopgap government funding bill overnight, just days before federal agencies run out of money on Friday… The continuing resolution funds the government through Dec. 16 and keeps spending at the same levels, giving Appropriations committees in both the House and Senate more time to iron out a broader budget deal for the rest of the fiscal year." Here we go again.

"Dan Johnson of Laurel, who is running to represent part of northwest Washington in the House, posted a meme on Facebook that showed a yellow Star of David with the words, 'A new badge has been created which will allow you to go back to work, to travel in your state, to fly, catch a train or bus, and to buy and sell,' The Bellingham Herald reported."

"Colorado’s Democratic governor, Jared Polis, and his GOP challenger, Heidi Ganahl, offered differing versions of the state with the economy, crime, education and post-pandemic recovery among the top issues in their first debate Wednesday night."

"Wisconsin’s Republican Assembly leader is suing to block a subpoena that orders him to testify before the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection about a conversation he had with Donald Trump about overturning the 2020 election."

"Experts say ballot rejections are largely the result of relatively minor voter errors, often associated with security measures that are designed to verify a voter's identity… That's why about half of states have a process in place to help voters fix their mail ballots if they do make a mistake. It's known as ballot curing."

"Wolpe -- whose congregation includes liberal Democrats and hundreds of conservative Iranian Americans -- is far from alone in facing such challenges. Though many congregations in the U.S. are relatively homogeneous, others are sharply divided. In some cases, divisions are becoming more pronounced as midterm election season heats up, leaving clergy to keep the peace while still meeting the spiritual needs of all of their members."

"Lawyers for former President Donald Trump are resisting a federal judge's instruction to submit a sworn declaration on whether they believe the government's list of property taken from Trump's Florida estate is accurate."

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