There's battle lines being drawn.
Nobody's right if everybody's wrong.
Young people speaking their minds
getting so much resistance from behind

Sunday, October 30, 2022

Linkee-poo hey there Little Red Riding Hood, you sure are looking good

Jerry Lee Lewis, and Leslie Jordan, and so it goes.

"While Halloween conjures images of candy and costumes around the U.S., the holiday looks different across the globe. Here's a breakdown into how the holiday is celebrated in seven other countries."

"A painting by abstract Dutch artist Piet Mondrian has been hanging upside down in various museums since it was first put on display 75 years ago, an art historian has found, but warned it could disintegrate if it was hung the right side up now." This is one of the longest running jokes in modern art, "which way is up?"

"Two NASA spacecraft at Mars — one on the surface and the other in orbit — have recorded the biggest meteor strikes and impact craters yet."

"Several marketable species harvested by U.S. fishermen are the subject of quota cuts, seasonal closures and other restrictions as populations have fallen and waters have warmed. In some instances, such as the groundfishing industry for species like flounder in the Northeast, the changing environment has made it harder for fish to recover from years of overfishing that already taxed the population."

"The head of the U.S. Forest Service has denounced the arrest by an Oregon sheriff of a Forest Service employee after a planned burn in a national forest spread onto private land."

Not sure if I linked this here before… 
"A massive recall of millions of sleep apnea machines has stoked anger and frustration among patients, and U.S. officials are weighing unprecedented legal action to speed a replacement effort that is set to drag into next year." Philips has been dicking around with people who rely on these devices (full disclosure, I am one of those). At least they offered this guy $50 for his machine. They only offered me $25 for my machine. CPAP devices typically cost $1,300.

"Commissioner Louis Molina said at a city council hearing Tuesday that fentanyl-soaked children’s drawings, love letters, prayer schedules, and T-shirts have been shipped to detainees. To address that he plans to hire a vendor to scan letters and distribute them to detainees digitally on tablets. Molina also said he may restrict packages so they only come from approved vendors." Note no evidence was presented to back up the claim.

"The authors of the interim report do not claim to have definitively solved the mystery of COVID-19’s origin. 'The lack of transparency from government and public health officials in the [People’s Republic of China] with respect to the origins of SARS-CoV-2 prevents reaching a more definitive conclusion,' the report says, adding that its conclusion could change if more independently verifiable information becomes available." Lemme call bullshit right here. One, this "investigation" into the lab origin theory relies on Kremlinology processes and only focuses on the lab origin theory. It's no wonder they came to this conclusion. Two, no one is saying we shouldn't address lab safety issues, this is an ongoing argument that started decades ago. Three, correlation is not causation. Let's say their analysis is accurate an a Wuhan virology lab had an accident prior to the discovery of the COVID19 outbreak. This does not mean the accident released COVID19. Four, a lot of the "facts" regarding concern for security in a the bio lab center around "discussions" that sound alarming. Considering the research, they should sound this way. The concern for lab safety is a normal thing for labs of this type. China is just a few decades into this high tech world, there should be concern. As for the conditions and "deficiencies" in lab techniques, I'd really hate for you to see JACO reports on the hospitals you go to. And finally, to the statement "adding that its conclusion could change if more independently verifiable information becomes available." There is more independently verified information that shows that SARS-CoV2 is zoonotic in origin, there is an identifiable hotspot that harbored animals that can both carry this type of coronavirus and help it acquire the ability to infect humans, and there are none of the genetic markers that would show any artificial adjustment. The preponderance of available evidence points to an animal sold at a Wuhan wet market "most likely" harbored the virus and spread it to 3 people who visited the market on a single day. That said, the article (and Sen. Burr's single report not authorized by the committee) leverages "scientific speak" (not the Chinese dispatches, but how scientists speak in general) to fan fear and suspicion. Science of this type speaks in probabilities, not concrete terms.

"Early in the pandemic, weight was named a risk factor for severe covid-19. But what if the greater risk is poor medical treatment for fat people? This week, On the Media dives into the fictions, feelings, and fraught history of fat. Including how sugar and the slave trade laid the groundwork for American beauty standards."

"The drug that killed her daughter was rare a decade ago, but fentanyl and other lab-produced synthetic opioids now are driving an overdose crisis deadlier than any the U.S. has ever seen. Last year, overdoses from all drugs claimed more than 100,000 lives for the first time, and the deaths this year have remained at nearly the same level — more than gun and auto deaths combined."

"In September, the share of people 55 and older who were working or looking for work was down 1.5 percentage points as compared with February 2020, according to the Labor Department. (For comparison, prime-age workers, or those 25 to 54 years old, are down just 0.3 percentage points from before the pandemic.)"a I'm sure ageism in hiring has nothing to do with this phenomenon.

"An investigation by nonprofit newsroom The Markup found that four internet providers disproportionately offered lower-income and least-White neighborhoods slow internet service for the same price as speedy connections they offered in other areas." An On The Media midweek (short) podcast.

"The transition to electric vehicles is underway for homeowners who can power up in their own garage, but for millions of renters, access to charging remains a significant barrier. Now, cities across the U.S. are trying to come up with innovative public charging solutions as drivers string power cords across sidewalks, erect private charging stations on city right-of-ways and queue at public facilities." I would say this would force savvy landlords to install chargers as a marketing advantage, but that would require landlords who cared about their renters and not just about how money they can get out of them. But more than likely it'll lead to one realizing they could convert their property to a pay-for-charging outlet.

"Twitter’s unending fight against spam accounts is now a problem for new owner Elon Musk, who pledged in April to defeat the bot scourge or 'die trying!'" Puts my quarter on "dies."

"The troops moving toward the capitol had been ordered to block and destroy 'nationalist resistance,' according to the Royal United Services Institute, a London think tank that has reviewed copies of Russia’s battle plans. Soldiers used lists compiled by Russian intelligence and conducted 'zachistka' — cleansing operations — sweeping neighborhoods to identify and neutralize anyone who might pose a threat."

"Authorities in Iowa are investigating a woman’s claim that her late father was a prolific serial killer who murdered dozens of people over decades… Fremont County Sheriff’s Sgt. Andrew Wake said his office is looking into allegations, first reported last week by Newsweek, that Donald Dean Studey buried the bodies around his property in Thurman, in southwest Iowa near the border with Nebraska." She tried to tell them earlier, but they brushed her off.

The Throughline podcast with - "Is the U.S. on the brink of civil war? It's a question that has been in the air for a while now, as divisions continue to worsen. Beyond the political speeches and debates in the halls of Congress, it's something you're likely feeling in your day-to-day life. Vaccines, school curriculums, climate change, what you define as a human rights issue, even who you call a friend. Some say we've moved beyond the point of discussion. But when words fail, what comes next? In conversation with Malcolm Nance, Anne Applebaum, and Peniel Joseph, we take a deeper look at what we mean when we say civil war, how exactly the country reached this political moment, and where we go from here." Nice democracy you got there. Shame if anything happened to it.

"Crime and public safety are among the issues that have taken center stage in many midterm races nationwide, from Wisconsin to Pennsylvania to New York… Republicans are repeating a page from their 2020 playbook by ramping up ads accusing Democrats of being soft on crime. The GOP spent nearly $40 million on crime-related messaging in September alone, as NPR has reported — and ad spending tends to be a good indication of what candidates and their backers think will sway voters."

"With early midterm voting underway, Fox News has been increasing crime coverage to drive voters to the polls. On this week’s On the Media, a look at the ways fear impacts our minds and bodies, both on and off screen. Plus, how filmmakers like Jordan Peele have inspired a renaissance of the Black Horror genre."

"U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials in the Trump administration compiled extensive intelligence dossiers on people who were arrested, even for minor offenses, during Black Lives Matter protests in Oregon… Initial drafts of the dossiers even included friends of the subjects as well as their interests, but those were later removed and replaced with a note that they would be made available upon request, according to an internal review by the Department of Homeland Security." Of course they did.

"Brazilians head to the polls Sunday to vote in a crucial presidential election that is testing the world's fourth-largest democracy and could have a critical impact on the fight against climate change."

"The next day, Steve Bannon, Donald Trump’s former chief strategist and a family friend of Bolsonaro’s, took to his podcast, ‘Bannon’s War Room’, to raise allegations of electoral fraud. Bannon was joined by Matthew Tyrmand, a board member for Project Veritas – a discredited US group that uses hidden cameras to supposedly ‘expose’ leftist journalists – and Darren Beattie, a former Trump speechwriter who was fired in 2018 after it emerged he had met with white nationalists two years earlier. (Beattie told US media he had said 'nothing objectionable' at this meeting.)" The warmup.

"A Tennessee man who dragged a police officer into a mob of rioters, initiating one of the most harrowing acts of violence during the U.S. Capitol attack, was sentenced on Thursday to more than seven years in prison."

"A 78-year-old woman is taking Bullhead City, Ariz., to court over her arrest earlier this year for feeding the homeless community at a local public park… The Institute for Justice wants a federal court to effectively end the city ordinance that prohibits Norma Thornton from giving food to the hungry in a public park. Thornton's attorneys say the ordinance violates several of the woman's civil rights granted under the 14th amendment."

"Most notably, a passage in the recalled version of the book (2,000 Mules) that accused specific, named nonprofit organizations of involvement in illegal 'ballot trafficking' has been rewritten, softening certain claims and outright removing the names of the groups. Separately, sections of the book that purported to link election fraud to antifa and the Black Lives Matter movement have also been deleted." When you tell the truth, and have actual evidence, you don't need to do that.

"The most influential anti-abortion group in Kansas politics is urging voters in mailers to remove five of the seven justices on a state Supreme Court that declared access to abortion a fundamental right under the state constitution."

"Election Day is 12 days away. But in courtrooms across the country, efforts to sow doubt over the outcome have already begun… More than 100 lawsuits have been filed this year around the Nov. 8 elections. The legal challenges, largely by Republicans, target rules for mail-in voting, early voting, voter access, voting machines, voting registration, the counting of mismarked absentee ballots and access for partisan poll watchers."

"Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose said those voters who heed advice from a prominent national group of Republican election deniers and hold onto their paper ballots until Nov. 8 must deliver them to their county board of elections office. Poll workers at precinct-level voting locations cannot accept them, he said." No, they don't know what they're doing.

"The husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was attacked and severely beaten with a hammer by an assailant who broke into the couple’s San Francisco home early Friday, searching for the Democratic leader and shouting, 'Where is Nancy, where is Nancy?'" And rightwing media and talking heads have spent the last few days trying everything from deflection, denial, and saying he had it coming.

"Officials in Ann Arbor, Mich., Union County, N.C., and Contra Costa County, Calif., are posting infographics on social media urging people to 'think critically' about what they see and share about voting and to seek out reliable election information… Earlier this month, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency put out a public service announcement saying cyberattacks are not likely to disrupt voting."

"Social media users are sharing an edited video showing an interaction between Jean-Pierre and Doocy after he asked about Biden’s plans to combat high gas prices during an Oct. 19 White House press briefing."

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Linkee-poo keep comin' up with love but it's so slashed and torn

"Insurance companies that have long said they’ll cover anything, at the right price, are increasingly ruling out fossil fuel projects because of climate change — to cheers from environmental campaigners."

"Photos and satellite imagery from the central United States show how the region’s worst drought in at least a decade has pushed the Mississippi River and its tributaries to drop to record lows this month." (Grokked from John)

"The Greek electrical system has hit a new milestone, after running completely on 'clean' renewable energy for the first time."

"The U.S. Mint will begin shipping coins featuring actress Anna May Wong on Monday, the first U.S. currency to feature an Asian American."

"There are plenty of machines that can wash and dry clothes. So why isn't there a way to similarly automate the dreaded folding process?… Researchers have looked into it over the years — and, as it turns out, robots just aren't good at folding laundry." They may rule the future, but it'll be a very messy future. Can't wait for the speculative fiction that foils the robot uprising by throwing t-shirts at them and they implode like Norman in I, Mudd.

"A Scottish woman named Joy Milne made headlines in 2015 for an unusual talent: her ability to sniff out people afflicted with Parkinson’s disease, a progressive neurodegenerative illness that is estimated to affect nearly a million people in the U.S. alone. Since then a group of scientists in the U.K. has been working with Milne to pinpoint the molecules that give Parkinson’s its distinct olfactory signature. The team has now zeroed in on a set of molecules specific to the disease—and has created a simple skin-swab-based test to detect them."

"Drink eight glasses of water a day. Coffee will make you dehydrated. Drinking extra water can help you lose weight… You've probably heard these claims about water and hydration before. But are they true?"

Anyone who has been around me long enough will hear me spout off about how what we think of as consciousness, this movie in our head, is not reality. It isn't what our eyes see or our ears hear, although it's informed by them. It's a fully holographic projection in our heads. So when out off the corner of your eye you think you see A but when you can focus on it it's actually B, I will tell you that literally you saw A, because that's what your mind fed this consciousness. Whelp… "According to a new theory, choices are formed unconsciously and become conscious around half a second later." Your conscious brain is too slow to keep up with reality. And that is nothing new. (Grokked from Dan)

"In the study, Barreiro and his colleagues found that Black Death survivors in London and Denmark had an edge in their genes – mutations that helped protect against the plague pathogen, Yersinia pestis. Survivors passed those mutations onto their descendants, and many Europeans still carry those mutations today… But that edge comes at a cost: It increases a person's risk of autoimmune diseases." Evolution giveth, and taketh away.

"What a pregnancy actually looks like before 10 weeks – in pictures."

"Each year, child protective services agencies inspect the homes of roughly 3.5 million children, opening refrigerators and closets without a warrant. Only about 5% of these kids are ultimately found to have been physically or sexually abused."

"The U.S. is exporting more LNG to Europe as a result of Russia’s war in Ukraine and cuts made to natural gas supplies ahead of winter, but there has been a buildup of LNG vessels waiting to unload at ports with European infrastructure unable to handle the increased LNG shipments." EU storage is at 93% capacity. (Grokked from Levin Armwood)

"Five months after the deadly mass shooting that claimed the lives of 10 Black people and injured three others at a Buffalo, N.Y. grocery store, the New York Attorney General's office released a scathing report calling on the state legislature to pass new laws to stop the livestreaming of homicides."

"The state of Texas is sending public school students home with DNA kits designed to help their parents identify their children 'in case of an emergency.'" One, how fucked up is that? And two, never give the government your DNA if you can avoid it.

"The Internal Revenue Service is increasing its inflation adjustments for the 2023 tax year after prices for rent, groceries and gas have reached heights not seen in 40 years… The announcement of adjustments is an annual occurrence, but in a year of high inflation, the move to raise the standard deduction and income thresholds where tax rates take effect may mean savings for people in all income brackets."

"California is slowly clawing back some of the estimated $20 billion in unemployment money stolen by domestic and international criminals, money earmarked for jobless relief during the height of the pandemic."

How to buy a US election… "More than $1.6 billion has been spent or booked on TV ads in a dozen Senate races, with $3 out of every $4 being spent in six states — Georgia, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Wisconsin, Nevada and Ohio, according to an NPR analysis of data provided by the ad-tracking firm AdImpact… Most of that money is coming from dark money outside groups with little-to-no donor transparency — and Republicans are getting a huge boost from them."

"Two right-wing conspiracy theorists who placed thousands of robocalls with false information to largely minority and Democratic voters in Cleveland in the months before the November 2020 election pleaded guilty on Monday to a felony charge."

"A jury on Tuesday acquitted on all counts a think tank analyst accused of lying to the FBI about his role in the creation of a discredited dossier about former President Donald Trump… The case against Igor Danchenko was the third and possibly final case brought by Special Counsel John Durham as part of his probe into how the FBI conducted its own investigation into allegations of collusion between the 2016 Trump campaign and the Kremlin."

"Baseless claims that voting machines made by Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic are being used to rig voting in Brazil are circulating online and in far-right media in the U.S. — even though neither company's hardware or software is being used in the current election there." It's not about the veracity of the lie, it's about the lie itself.

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Linkee-poo Brexit Update

Because this won't hold.

How goes Brexit? "The United Kingdom used to be synonymous with stable, dependable, if sometimes dull, governance. But the resignation Thursday of Prime Minister Liz Truss — after six weeks in office — shows just how chaotic British politics has become in recent years." I tall ya, if the whole purpose of pushing for Brexit was a foregin operation meant to destablize the UK and the EU, it's been wildly successful at at least half of that goal.

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Linkee-poo Wednesday Oct 19

Not a full set, but…

"In a major blow to America's seafood industry, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game has, for the first time in state history, canceled the winter snow crab season in the Bering Sea due to their falling numbers. While restaurant menus will suffer, scientists worry what the sudden population plunge means for the health of the Arctic ecosystem."

"We attached satellite tags to 26 eels from rivers in the Azores archipelago and tracked them for periods between 40 and 366 days at speeds between 3 and 12 km day−1, and provide the first direct evidence of adult European eels reaching their presumed breeding place in the Sargasso Sea."

"Hoping to win a pro fishing tournament with nearly $30,000 on the line, Jake Runyan and Chase Cominsky illegally stacked the deck in their favor, according to officials in Ohio — and now the pair have been indicted on three felony charges each."

"Han Solo may be a hunk. But 'Pan Solo' is a hunk of bread… That's what a bakery in the San Francisco Bay Area has dubbed its 6-foot bread sculpture of the Star Wars character as he appeared after being frozen in carbonite in The Empire Strikes Back."

"Florida has seen an increase in cases of flesh-eating bacteria this year driven largely by a surge in the county hit hardest by Hurricane Ian… The state Department of Health reports that as of Friday there have been 65 cases of vibrio vulnificus infections and 11 deaths in Florida this year. That compares with 34 cases and 10 deaths reported during all of 2021."

"Starting Monday, hearing aids will be available to buy over the counter across the U.S.…The major shift in hearing health care is due to a recent rule change by the Food and Drug Administration, which in August cleared the way for the devices to be sold in retail stores without the need for buyers to see a doctor first."

"There is significant radioactive contamination at an elementary school in suburban St. Louis where nuclear weapons were produced during World War II, according to a new report by environmental investigation consultants… The report by Boston Chemical Data Corp. confirmed fears about contamination at Jana Elementary School in the Hazelwood School District in Florissant raised by a previous Army Corps of Engineers study."

"You’ll never guess who’s behind the fascist ads being aired during postseason baseball games…"

Part of what we mean when we say it was a grift all the way down. "The Trump Organization appears to have overcharged the Secret Service for stays at Trump-owned properties… According to the documents, the Secret Service was charged as much as $1,185 per room per night, nearly five times the government rate, which is set by the General Services Administration… This is a far cry from what Trump Organization Executive Vice President Eric Trump claimed in 2020 — that rooms were provided 'at cost' to the Secret Service."

Busy Steve is busy

Sorry, been busy busy busy. But I had a breakthrough today, my Wordpress site build finally recognized the products I've been creating. Yippie.

Friday, October 14, 2022

Linkee-poo said, yep, what a concept, I could use a little fuel myself and we could all use a little change

"Two flamboyant pop culture icons take center stage at the staid, tradition-bound Supreme Court on Wednesday as the justices weigh whether artist Andy Warhol infringed on the copyright of a photographer’s image of the rock star Prince when making a series of his signature silkscreen prints." Here we go again.

"Climate protesters threw soup over Vincent van Gogh’s 'Sunflowers' in London’s National Gallery on Friday to protest fossil fuel extraction." I understanding wanting to get your points talked about, but instead of talking about the licensing auction, they're talking about you being vandals with no respect.

"Fat Bear Week was rocked by scandal over the weekend after organizers in Alaska uncovered voting irregularities that were meant to skew the results of a pivotal semifinal. A new champion was crowned on Tuesday, ending the 2022 competition."

"Some 477 pilot whales have died after stranding themselves on two remote New Zealand beaches over recent days, officials say… None of the stranded whales could be refloated and all either died naturally or were euthanized in a 'heartbreaking' loss, said Daren Grover, the general manager of Project Jonah, a nonprofit group which helps rescue whales."

"Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) has laid off more employees after eliminating 14% of its HBO Max workforce earlier this summer… The media giant also shuttered its digital production arm Stage 13 and the 40-year-old Warner Bros. Television Workshop, a longstanding pioneer in fostering new and diverse talent." We don't need to develop talent to have a viable business model in 20 years.

"Thousands of Egyptians are demanding the repatriation of the Rosetta Stone from the British Museum back to its home country… The iconic artifact, which helped scientists finally decode Egyptian hieroglyphs almost exactly 200 years ago, has been in English hands since Napoleon gave it up – as well as 16 other artifacts – as part of the Treaty of Alexandria in 1801."

"Access to maternity care is decreasing in the parts of the U.S. that need it the most, affecting nearly 7 million women of childbearing age and some 500,000 babies… That's according to a report released Tuesday by March of Dimes, a nonprofit focused on maternal and infant health. It finds that 36% of counties nationwide — largely in the Midwest and South — constitute "maternity care deserts," meaning they have no obstetric hospitals or birth centers and no obstetric providers."

"As it stands, consumers bear much of the responsibility for avoiding illness from raw poultry by handling it carefully in the kitchen — following the usual advice to not wash raw chicken or turkey (it spreads the bacteria), using separate utensils when preparing meat and cooking to 165 degrees. The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service wants to do something about it by starting with the farmers that raise the birds and following through the processing plant where the meat is made." Wrong. Consumer prep is the backup plan because we've already lost the battle on protecting the source, and we're losing the battle on protecting the processing.

"Supply chain snarls and parts shortages inflated the cost of factory goods when the economy rocketed out of the pandemic recession two years ago. Then it was a surge in consumer spending fueled by federal stimulus checks. Then Russia’s invasion of Ukraine disrupted gas and food supplies and sent those prices skyward."

"Millions of Social Security recipients will get an 8.7% boost in their benefits in 2023, a historic increase but a gain that will be eaten up in part by the rising cost of everyday living."

"The higher mortgage rates are putting home ownership out of reach for millions of people. And as a result, it's no longer a frenzied housing market with bidding wars and multiple offers on every home. These days a realtor can have an open house and nobody shows up."

How's that whole, "we need to be friendly with murderers and thugs on the world stage" thing going? "President Joe Biden is angry at Saudi Arabia for its decision to slash oil production along with its OPEC allies against U.S. wishes, and he’s made no secret of it… With the global economy on a knife-edge and energy prices high, Washington sees the kingdom’s move – which it made in coordination with Russia and other oil-producing states – as a snub and a blatant display of siding with Moscow."

"Russia claims that these children don’t have parents or guardians to look after them, or that they can’t be reached. But the AP found that officials have deported Ukrainian children to Russia or Russian-held territories without consent, lied to them that they weren’t wanted by their parents, used them for propaganda, and given them Russian families and citizenship."

"Which made what happened next all the more remarkable. In the midst of the interview with the pro-Russian official in Kherson, one of the hosts asked, in a halfway hopeful tone, a question he all but answered: 'So the situation is fine?' Only he did not quite get the expected — and required — response… 'The situation is difficult,' the Kherson administrator glumly admitted… The telephone line went dead. The interview was over. Perhaps a faulty line had been at work, but given how little dissent is tolerated in Russian media outlets, the moment was revealing all the same."

"Eight people have been detained over Saturday’s blast that damaged the only bridge connecting annexed Crimea with the Russian mainland, marking a critical juncture in Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine."

"Ukraine’s allies vowed Thursday to supply the besieged nation with advanced air defense systems as Russian forces attacked the Kyiv region with kamikaze drones and fired missiles elsewhere at civilian targets, payback for the bombing of a strategic bridge linking Russia with annexed Crimea."

"Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Friday that Turkey and Russia have instructed their respective energy authorities to immediately begin technical work on a Russian proposal that would turn Turkey into a gas hub for Europe." No matter how he bluffs, Putin is still exposed and vulnerable that most of the Russian economy depends on energy exports.

"A 50-year-old Russian man has been detained in Arctic Norway with two drones and is suspected of flying the unmanned aerial vehicles somewhere in the country, police said Friday… Numerous drone sightings have been reported near Norwegian offshore oil and gas platforms in recent weeks."

"President Joe Biden said he does not believe that Russian President Vladimir Putin would use a tactical nuclear weapon on Ukraine… 'I think it’s irresponsible for him to talk about it, the idea that a world leader of one of the largest nuclear powers in the world says he may use a tactical nuclear weapon in Ukraine,' Biden told CNN’s Jake Tapper in an exclusive interview with the network." Once again, there is no such thing as a "limited exchange." It will always escalate. The only "winning move" is to never use them, the second best is to launch everything all at once.

"For years, the conspiracy theorist and provocateur Alex Jones spread lies about the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, falsely claiming on his InfoWars broadcasts that none of the 20 children and six adults killed had actually died and that their relatives were crisis actors… Now, he has been ordered to pay $965 million to families of those killed."

"Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson and Democratic challenger Mandela Barnes got personal in their final debate Thursday before the Nov. 8 election, with each candidate attacking the other as being a liar, radical and out of touch with the average Wisconsin voter." The microcosm that reveals the macrocosm.

"Kari Lake, the Republican candidate for Arizona governor, blasted a Phoenix PBS affiliate Wednesday for scheduling an interview with her Democratic rival, Katie Hobbs, saying the move makes it easier for Hobbs to avoid a debate… A state commission that organizes political debates abruptly canceled a one-on-one interview with Lake that the PBS station was scheduled to broadcast Wednesday after learning of the station’s plans to interview Hobbs next week."

"Former President Donald Trump angrily lashed out Wednesday, calling the nation’s legal system a “broken disgrace” after a judge ruled he must answer questions under oath next week in a defamation lawsuit lodged by a writer who says he raped her in the mid-1990s."

"A member of the Oath Keepers who traveled to Washington before the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol testified Wednesday about a massive cache of weapons the far-right extremist group stashed in a Virginia hotel room."

"The seven Democrats and two Republicans on the panel have said that their probe of the 2021 insurrection is for history, not only for current concern, and to ensure that nothing like it ever happens again. But Republicans allied with former President Donald Trump who are hostile to the investigation could take the congressional majority in the November elections, potentially making it harder for the committee to protect its documents and transcripts if they are not already made public."

"Members of the far-right Oath Keepers were ecstatic when then-President Donald Trump invited supporters to a “wild” protest in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021, when Congress would be certifying the results of the 2020 election, according to messages shown Thursday during the seditious conspiracy trial for the militia group’s founder and four associates."

"The House Jan. 6 committee voted unanimously to subpoena former President Donald Trump, demanding his personal testimony as it unveiled startling new video and described his multi-part plan to overturn his 2020 election loss, which led to his supporters’ fierce assault on the U.S. Capitol." Also with a recap of the Committee's latest public hearing.

Wednesday, October 12, 2022


Threadless is selling t-shirts for $15,

TeePublic has $14 t-shirts and is 35% off site wide,

RedBubble is 20% (just today),

Linkee-poo, do you have to let it linger

Angela Lansbury, and so it goes.

"Former Hurricane Julia has dissipated, but is still drenching Guatemala and El Salvador with torrential rains Monday after it reemerged in the Pacific following a pounding of Nicaragua… At least 28 people were reported dead as a direct or indirect result of the storm."

"NASA says its mission to knock an asteroid off course — a test of planetary defense — succeeded beyond its expectations… The Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) slammed a spacecraft into one asteroid to see if it could change its orbit around another asteroid."

"SpinLaunch, a California-based start-up developing a rotating arm that can fling small satellites into near-Earth space has pulled off its 10th successful test launch in less than a year." (Grokked from Dan)

"Dallas-Fort Worth residents are caught in the web of an outbreak. Caterpillars are feasting on foliage and leaving yards covered in silk." Flips through my Bible, nope, nothing about plague of caterpillars. Sorry.

"Residents of a small community in Vermont were blindsided last month by news that one official in their water department quietly lowered fluoride levels nearly four years ago, giving rise to worries about their children’s dental health and transparent government — and highlighting the enduring misinformation around water fluoridation."

"Sick kids are crowding emergency rooms in various parts of the country, and some pediatric hospitals say they are running out of beds. But this uptick in illness has largely been due to viruses other than the coronavirus, like RSV, enteroviruses and rhinovirus… While respiratory infections typically surge in the winter months, experts say that this year the season has started much sooner, and that numbers are unusually high.

"Open enrollment season is upon us, and it's time to sign up for a health insurance plan for the next calendar year. But between the alphabet soup of acronyms and all those daunting data tables, it can be hard to figure out which plan to choose."

"The DEA alert didn't mention Halloween, but fears about 'rainbow' fentanyl and the holiday went viral… In an interview on Fox News, Milgram was asked whether parents should worry about candy gathered by kids trick-or-treating… 'We have not seen any connection to Halloween,' Milgram said." Drug dealers are not handing out drugs for Halloween. Shit, candy is expensive enough. I mean, a drug dealer handing out "rainbow" fentanyl or canabis gummies would be better served (and it would be cheaper) to hand out full sized chocolate bars. And just how many people hand those out anymore?

"An ongoing strike at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, famous for its sweeping collection and cameo in the movie 'Rocky,' is emblematic of the tensions driving this movement… One common thread, union organizers say, is the contradiction that comes from working with priceless pieces of art or history while struggling to pay your bills."

"The U.S.’s third largest railroad union rejected a deal with employers Monday, renewing the possibility of a strike that could cripple the economy. Both sides will return to the bargaining table before that happens."

"An apparently coordinated denial-of-service attack organized by pro-Russia hackers rendered the websites of some major U.S. airports unreachable early Monday, though officials said flights were not affected."

"At least two sections of the bridge connecting Crimea with Russia's rail and road network have collapsed, according to Russian state media. The Russian highway authority said the road is still navigable, but it has suspended traffic for the time being."

"Explosions rocked several cities across Ukraine in the most extensive attack on the country since the early days of Russia's invasion in February. The attacks came only hours after Russia blamed Ukraine for a weekend explosion that partially damaged a strategic bridge that connects Russian-occupied Crimea to mainland Russia."

"Russia retaliated Monday for an attack on a critical bridge by unleashing its most widespread strikes against Ukraine in months, a lethal barrage that smashed civilian targets, knocked out power and water, shattered buildings and killed at least 14 people."

"North Korea warned Saturday the U.S. redeployment of an aircraft carrier near the Korean Peninsula is causing a 'considerably huge negative splash' in regional security, as it defended its recent missile tests as a "righteous reaction" to intimidating military drills between its rivals."

"North Korea’s recent barrage of missile launches were the simulated use of its tactical battlefield nuclear weapons to 'hit and wipe out' potential South Korean and U.S. targets, state media reported Monday, as its leader Kim Jong Un signaled he would conduct more provocative tests."

"A six-week abortion ban in Ohio has forced people with cancer to travel out of state for abortions that are necessary to continue with life-saving treatment, according to affidavits submitted by abortion providers in the state. In at least two cases, cancer patients have been blocked from receiving treatment until their pregnancies were terminated — and getting an abortion required them to leave the state."

"The Los Angeles Police Department officer who was killed during a training exercise, in what officials called a 'tragic accident,' was allegedly targeted for investigating a gang rape by fellow officers, according to his family." Called it.

"North Carolina police officers who shot and killed a man throwing Molotov cocktails and setting cars on fire near a police station in May won’t face charges, prosecutors announced Monday."

"A now-former San Antonio police officer was charged Tuesday with two counts of aggravated assault by a peace officer for shooting and gravely wounding a teen eating a hamburger in his car in a McDonald's parking lot. The teen had begun driving away when the officer opened fire."

"A majority of U.S. adults expect America’s relations with foreign adversaries like Russia and North Korea to grow more hostile, according to a new poll, a major shift in public opinion from four years ago under President Donald Trump." You say that like it was a bad thing.

"Vance said Ryan had supported policies that led to a 10-year-old girl in Ohio being raped. Ryan said Vance had started a “fake nonprofit” to help people overcome addiction issues. The two accused each other of being beholden to their party, with Ryan echoing a comment from former President Donald Trump in calling Vance an 'a— kisser' and Vance saying Ryan’s 100% voting record with President Joe Biden means he’s not the reasonable moderate he says he is."

"Former congresswoman and 2020 presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard has announced she is leaving the Democratic party… 'I can no longer remain in today's Democratic party,' she said on an episode of her podcast. 'It's now under the complete control of an elitist cabal of warmongers, driven by cowardly wokeness...'" I'm not sure the future tense is warranted here.

"As Republicans and Democrats fight for control of Congress this fall, a growing number of conservative political action groups are targeting their efforts closer to home: at local school boards… Their aim is to gain control of more school systems and push back against what they see as a liberal tide in public education classrooms, libraries, sports fields, even building plans."

"With voting underway in Michigan’s general election, the Republican nominee for secretary of state stepped on stage as a warm-up act for former President Donald Trump and hit hard on the main theme of her campaign… Kristina Karamo repeated unfounded assertions about the 2020 presidential election that have been repeatedly debunked. She told the crowd at the recent rally at Macomb Community College that 'authoritarians' are giving millions to her Democratic opponent — Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson — in an attempt to 'corrupt battleground state election systems so they can control America.'"

"Dozens of individuals held in Washington, D.C.'s jail on charges related to the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol have submitted a handwritten letter to a federal court demanding to be moved to Guantanamo Bay. The detainees say they are living in inhumane conditions." Please grant this request.

"Once shunned as a political pariah for her extremist rhetoric, (Marjorie Taylor Greene) who spent her first term in the House stripped of institutional power by Democrats is being celebrated by Republicans and welcomed into the GOP fold. If Republicans win the House majority in the November election, Greene is poised to become an influential player shaping the GOP agenda, an agitator with clout."

"The Georgia prosecutor investigating whether then-President Donald Trump and others illegally tried to interfere in the 2020 election filed paperwork Friday seeking to compel testimony from a new batch of Trump allies, including former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former national security adviser Michael Flynn."

"'We’re under warfare,' one speaker told them. Another said she would 'take a bullet for my nation,' while a third insisted, 'They hate you because they hate Jesus.' Attendees were told now is the time to 'put on the whole armor of God.' Then retired three-star Army general Michael Flynn, the tour’s biggest draw, invited people to be baptized." We're going to need to launch a satellite to start measuring the whackaloon quotient here.

"Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., compared descendants of enslaved people to criminals on Saturday at a rally for former President Donald Trump, drawing intense backlash for promoting a racist narrative."

Friday, October 7, 2022

Linkee-poo, that's when she told me a story about free milk and a cow

Charles Fuller, and Judy Tenuta, it could happen.

"President Biden on Thursday announced that he is taking executive action to pardon people convicted of simple marijuana possession under federal law and D.C. statute… The pardons will be done through an administration process to be developed by the Justice Department, senior administration officials told reporters on a briefing call, and will cover citizens and lawful permanent residents." Brilliant. Not everything we could have wanted, but this is 1) a Good Thing™ and 2) brilliant politics.

"A charmed pair of guests will have the chance to stay in the cottage of the Sanderson sisters from Hocus Pocus. The building – complete with a cauldron, spell book and black-flame candle – has been recreated in the woods of Danvers, Mass. It's just a few miles from Salem, where the movie takes place, and where townsfolk accused more than 200 people of practicing witchcraft in 1692 and 1693."

"The asteroid that got smacked by a NASA spacecraft is now being trailed by thousands of miles of debris from the impact."

"As the U.S. heads into a third pandemic winter, the first hints are emerging that another possible surge of COVID-19 infections could be on its way… So far, no national surge has started yet. The number of people getting infected, hospitalized and dying from COVID in the U.S. has been gently declining from a fairly high plateau." Ta-da!

"Drugs like magic mushrooms and LSD can act as powerful and long-lasting antidepressants. But they also tend to produce mind-bending side-effects that limit their use… Now, scientists report in the journal Nature that they have created drugs based on LSD that seem to relieve anxiety and depression – in mice – without inducing the usual hallucinations." Bummer, Dude. Oh wait, no, that's good.

"Elon Musk now wants to go through with his original offer to buy Twitter for the previously agreed upon price… The legal team for the billionaire Tesla CEO sent a letter to Twitter Monday, which could put an end to the knock-down, drag-out legal fight over the merger that he tried to abandon in July." Twitter is not dismissing their suit.

"It seems Meta is having problems persuading even its own employees to don one of its virtual reality headsets and use its primary metaverse app, Horizon Worlds. So much so that an internal memo says the company would 'hold managers accountable' for their teams using it." (Grokked from John)

"America’s employers slowed their hiring in September but still added 263,000 jobs, a solid figure that will likely keep the Federal Reserve on pace to keep raising interest rates aggressively to fight persistently high inflation."

"Data now shows that the U.S. workforce is not as productive as just a year ago — it seems people are not producing as much in the hours between clocking in and clocking out each day. In the end, this could have a profound effect on the country's well-being, according to economists." Slackers. It's almost as if the success of the US economy, and capitalism, is based on unpaid labor. I'm sure it has nothing to do with how we're all doing three people's jobs and expected to kill ourselves for the jobs we have. Dear CEOs, you want your employees to embrace the fiction of "hard work will be rewarded", then you actually have to start rewarding hard work, not punishing it.

"Two Russians who said they fled the country to avoid compulsory military service have requested asylum in the U.S. after landing in a small boat on a remote Alaska island in the Bering Sea, Alaska U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski's office said Thursday." Not exactly landing a MiG in Seoul, but okay.

"Relatives wailed and collapsed in grief before the small coffins of children Friday after a fired police officer stormed a rural Thai day care center at naptime and massacred dozens of people… At least 24 of the 36 people killed in Thursday’s grisly gun and knife attack were children, mostly preschoolers."

"Some Democrats in Congress are furious about OPEC+'s decision to cut production by 2 million barrels of oil per day starting next month, and are calling to reexamine ties with key oil producers, and even withdraw U.S. military support from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates." I say we develop some logistics issues with their current orders.

"As Conley began digging further (into the rash of calls about active shooters in schools), more questions emerged. Elements of these calls were notably different than what she has typically seen in school-based threats. Nobody has taken credit for these calls, even as they stretched over several weeks, and the technological planning and research behind the calls betrayed a level of sophistication not typically seen." Finding signal in the noise.

"The city of Philadelphia issued an apology Thursday for the unethical medical experiments performed on mostly Black inmates at its Holmesburg Prison from the 1950s through the 1970s."

"The satirical site that manages to persuade people to believe the absurd has filed a Supreme Court brief in support of a man who was arrested and prosecuted for making fun of police on social media… The court filing doesn’t entirely keep a straight face, calling the federal judiciary 'total Latin dorks.'" Oh Onion, don't ever change.

"Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt signed a bill Tuesday targeting medical treatments for transgender youth and called on the GOP-controlled Legislature to impose a statewide ban when it returns in February." Hey, remember when Republicans didn't want the government to come between you and your doctor?

"A Michigan judge threw out felony charges Tuesday against seven people in the Flint water scandal, including two former state health officials blamed for deaths from Legionnaires’ disease." Well fuck.

"A former Tennessee state trooper has gone missing after he was sentenced for a misdemeanor assault conviction on a charge that he pulled the face mask off a protester during the COVID-19 pandemic in August 2020."

"And Republicans are now using the loss to attack what they see as the 'big lie' that underlies Abrams’ career. They label her claims that Georgia’s election system has been discriminatory as a fraud she used to enrich herself and aggrandize her political career after her 2018 loss." You know, conservatives, you could have just walked away and nor drawn attention to how the 2018 election was handled by the person who is now governor.

"The ACLU’s Nevada chapter filed a lawsuit Tuesday against a rural Nevada county and its interim clerk to stop the implementation of the county’s new hand-counting process, which was spurred by false claims of election fraud. The process entails hand-counting all paper ballots alongside a machine tabulator."

"Hand-counting ballots is a voting 'solution' that, to those without familiarity with elections, may sound nice. The problem is that counting tactic has actually been found to be significantly less accurate, more expensive and more time-consuming than using tabulation equipment."

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Linkee-poo darkness has a hunger that's insatiable

Sacheen Littlefeather and Loretta Lynn, and so it goes.

"WINTER FOLKLORE IN COSTUMES - A thread Europe loves its folk festivals and Charles Fréger has lovingly photographed the most striking winter folk costumes - a delight to behold." A twitter thread of photos. (Grokked from Gwenda Bond)

"The extreme heat that obliterated temperature records in the Pacific Northwest in 2021 will likely occur just once every 10,000 years… Researchers from UCLA used multiple climate models to determine that the extraordinary heat disaster last year was a highly improbable event, even in the age of climate change. Previous studies suggested that the deadly heat wave, which killed about 800 people, had a probability of near zero." And yet…

"The Central Valley almond growers had two wells go dry this summer. Two of her adult children are now getting water from a new well the family drilled after the old one went dry last year. She’s even supplying water to a neighbor whose well dried up." Approaching Day Zero.

"Tumours of various types of cancer contain different species of microscopic or single-celled fungus, and investigating the species that are present might one day be useful for diagnosing cancer or predicting its course, according to two studies published in Cell on 29 September. 'It’s fascinating to look at fungi in the setting of cancer,' says Ami Bhatt, a microbiome specialist at Stanford University in California. But she cautions that the studies only suggest that there is an association between fungal species and certain cancers—they do not show whether or not the fungi are directly responsible for cancer progression."

So, how is the NFL doing with that "players suffering multiple head-traumas is an important issue" thing going? "The NFL Players Association has fired the unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant who evaluated Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa after he stumbled off the field against Buffalo last weekend, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press on Saturday."

"More than 1 million Minnesotans have qualified for bonus checks to frontline workers to recognize their work during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the payments will be for less than $500, the governor’s office announced Monday."

How goes Brexit? "The British government on Monday dropped plans to cut income tax for top earners, part of a package of unfunded cuts unveiled only days ago that sparked turmoil on financial markets and sent the pound to record lows." Not that they don't want to make the cut, but it's become "a distraction."

"A day after an inconclusive presidential election, Brazil is now bracing for a frantic four-week campaign ahead of a runoff vote that will pit leftist Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva against Jair Bolsonaro, the far-right incumbent president."

"Sweden has sent a vessel capable of 'advanced diving missions” to the Baltic Sea area where ruptured undersea pipelines had leaked natural gas for days, the Swedish navy said Monday."

"Europe faces “unprecedented risks” to its natural gas supplies this winter after Russia cut off most pipeline shipments and could wind up competing with Asia for already scarce and expensive liquid gas that comes by ship, the International Energy Agency said."

"A Ukrainian counteroffensive that already has reclaimed thousands of miles is breaking through Russian lines in the southern Kherson region recently subject to annexation by Moscow, Kremlin-aligned officials said Monday."

"The first time the Russian soldiers caught him, they tossed him bound and blindfolded into a trench covered with wooden boards for days on end… Then they beat him, over and over: Legs, arms, a hammer to the knees, all accompanied by furious diatribes against Ukraine. Before they let him go, they took away his passport and Ukrainian military ID — all he had to prove his existence — and made sure he knew exactly how worthless his life was."

"Japan urged residents to take shelter early Tuesday morning after North Korea fired a ballistic missile without warning over the country for the first time in five years, in a major and potentially dangerous escalation of recent weapons tests by the Kim Jong Un regime."

"The antipathy many conservatives feel toward President Biden's student debt relief plan, which the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office recently estimated will cost roughly $400 billion, is as vivid as many borrowers' enthusiasm for it." Over 30 years. Possibly. Look, any forecast more than 6 years out is not much better than guess work. Just as a comparison, that $400 billion over 30 years is just over half of the Pentagon's budget request for next year alone.

"They're among the more than 1.2 million people who struggled to put food on the table at some point last year in the Washington, D.C. region. That's a third of the population living in and around the capital of one of the richest nations on Earth… Nationwide, more than 33 million people, including five million children, are food insecure, according to the USDA. No community is spared, with rural areas, families with children and communities of color disproportionately affected."

"Police in Oklahoma said Monday they have found two more gunshot victims who were wounded in a shooting at a Oklahoma high school football homecoming game."

"Lawyer for LAPD officer killed during training exercise by other cops says dead cop was investigating a gang rape by four cops at least one of whom was there when he was beaten to death." Called it.

Oh look, it's voter fraud… "But when I asked the Alabama Department of Finance, which administers employee IDs, that department said it had never issued him one, nor was Wahl on the list of employees, past and present, in Zeigler’s office… As it turns out, Wahl made the ID, he says, with Zeigler’s permission… And now, the state’s top election official, Secretary of State John Merrill, says that badge is not a valid voter ID." Wait, no, another Republican. Never mind.

From July, but… "(Ohio) State Rep. Jean Schmidt, a Clermont County Republican, said during a radio interview this week that she would entertain a debate about outlawing birth control in the wake of the United States Supreme Court overturning constitutional protections for abortion."

"Government prosecutors in the case of Tom Barrack on Thursday read aloud hundreds of emails and texts sent by the former Trump fundraiser, who is on trial at a federal courthouse in Brooklyn, New York, for allegedly illegally lobbying on behalf of the United Arab Emirates."

"One of two Texas brothers who authorities say opened fire on a group of migrants getting water near the U.S.-Mexico border, killing one and injuring another, was warden at a detention facility with a history of abuse allegations."

"Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes and four other members of the far-right group tried to change history and disrupt the peaceful transfer of power on Jan. 6, 2021, prosecutor Jeffrey Nestler told jurors hearing the first seditious conspiracy trial to result from the assault on the U.S. Capitol last year… 'They concocted a plan for an armed rebellion to shatter a bedrock of American democracy,' Nestler said."

"Herschel Walker, who has vehemently opposed abortion rights as the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in Georgia, paid for an abortion for his girlfriend in 2009, according to a new report published late Monday. The candidate called the accusation a 'flat-out lie' and said he would sue."

"The man eventually was able to vote, but the incident was one of several Risku cited from the May primary that made her worry about a wave of newly aggressive poll watchers. Many have spent the past two years steeped in lies about the accuracy of the 2020 election."