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

Friday, June 30, 2023

Linkee-poo Friday June 30

John Goodenough and Alan Arkin,and so it goes.

"As the sun rose on Madison, Wis., Thursday morning, the air quality was measured at 242 — a 'very unhealthy' purple alert rating — due to smoke from Canada's wildfires… Madison wasn't alone: from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to Columbus, Ohio, a swath of the Midwest was marked by a dense mass of purple dots on the U.S. AirNow fire and smoke map, signaling the need for people to limit their time outside."

"A study published Monday found that female bottlenose dolphins change their tone when addressing their calves. Researchers recorded the signature whistles of 19 mother dolphins in Florida, when accompanied by their young offspring and when swimming alone or with other adults."

"A pronounced dip in the geoid under the Indian Ocean—called the Indian Ocean geoid low (IOGL)—is the planet’s most prominent gravitational anomaly… As a result of the low pull of gravity there, combined with the higher gravitational pull from the surrounding areas, the sea level of the Indian Ocean over the hole is a whopping 106 meters lower than the global average, says the new study’s senior author Attreyee Ghosh, a geophysicist at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bangalore." There's a hole in the bottom of the sea.

"A giant detector buried deep within the Antarctic ice at the South Pole has obtained the first evidence of eerie particles called neutrinos coming from the innards of our own home galaxy, the Milky Way… The discovery is a step towards scientists being better able to use particles to study hidden or elusive phenomena in the universe, rather than having to rely on light seen by telescopes."

"The oppressive heat that descended on Texas last week will continue this week, with nearly every weather service office in the state issuing heat advisories or warnings for the days ahead."

A warmer globe and increased CO2 is better, they say. "Five cases of malaria have been confirmed in Florida and Texas, the first time the potentially fatal mosquito-borne disease has been locally acquired in the United States in 20 years, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday."

"A warming world is transforming some major snowfalls into extreme rain over mountains instead, somehow worsening both dangerous flooding like the type that devastated Pakistan last year as well as long-term water shortages, a new study found."

"'They're trying to find a cool space, and if they can put as much of their core body on to a cool space, then the heat is going to transfer from their bodies to the other surface. So in the case of squirrels, you'll often see them maybe on a shady sidewalk, or a park path, or in the grass, just splayed out.'" Splootting.

"A federal judge in South Dakota has sentenced a Montana man to three years in prison for trafficking eagle feathers, wings and tails… Harvey Hugs, 59, of Hardin, Montana, was sentenced Monday in Rapid City. He was found guilty in February of three counts of violating the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, the Rapid City Journal reported."

"A report published Monday morning by the nonprofit First Street Foundation warns that new infrastructure projects built today using Atlas 14 data 'are instantly decades out of date.'… As a result, the projects are 'unable to adequately protect against current and future flood risks from heavy precipitation events,' the report says."

"In January, I traveled to the Upside Foods manufacturing plant in Emeryville, California. There, chef Jess Weaver sauteed a cultivated chicken breast in a white wine butter sauce with tomatoes, capers and green onions… The aroma was enticing, just like any filet cooked in butter would be. And the taste was light and delicate with a tender texture, just like any chicken breast I’d make at home – if, that is, I were a chef trained at the Culinary Institute of America." Here's the thing about stuff like this, if we're going to make things artificially, why the hell don't we emulate the good things that used to be? Like flooring, why emulate 4" boards instead of 10" and 12" floorboards. Decking emulates 6" planks, why not 10" planks, like we had. So why make lab grown chicken taste like modern chicken and not real chicken, flavorful, moist, meat that takes years to develop instead of emulating the chicken we kill at 6 weeks which is bland?

"Intermittent fasting has taken off in popularity in recent years as an alternative to more traditional weight loss advice, including counting calories, which can be cumbersome and hard to sustain for some people… Intermittent fasting can take different forms. One approach — called time-restricted eating — limits when people eat to a specific window of time, often around six to eight hours."

"I spoke with the genetic counselor from my OB’s office. There’s no good news. It just gets worse. Every day he continues to develop, he puts myself and his twin at greater risk for complications. She can’t say much because of the new Texas laws. She said that when she was in New York, they would do a single twin reduction (ie, an abortion of one twin), but she couldn’t give me any more information."

"When people are looking for abortion services, they often turn to Google, searching a phrase like 'abortion clinic near me' or 'planned parenthood.'… Yet the ads they'll see at the top of the Google search results are often not abortion providers at all, but instead misleading ads for anti-abortion 'crisis pregnancy centers' — facilities that use various tactics to dissuade or delay pregnant people from getting an abortion." The combined result of enshittification and the wrongful decision linking money to free speech.

"In many places, that leaves a teacher who wants to have a baby with few options: take limited unpaid leave, save up sick leave, hope for colleagues to share their sick leave, pay for their own substitute teacher, or try to time the birth for summer break."

"Transgender Kansans who legally changed the gender on their drivers’ licenses or birth certificates will soon see them changed back by the state, Attorney General Kris Kobach said… Kobach said Monday that an expansive new Kansas law defining male and female according to a person’s biological characteristics requires state agencies to maintain records in line with a person’s sex assigned at birth." What a bunch of bullshit.

"When the dismissal was announced recently of most of the people who have guided Turner Classic Movies brilliantly for years — the programmers, the producers of special material, even the executives who plan the TCM film festivals and party cruises — many people in Hollywood reacted like there'd been a death in the family. Because, to people who really love movies, that's what the news felt like." Fuck. Enshittification before they become a widely available streaming service.

"Waste electrical and electronic equipment (better known by its unfortunate acronym, Weee) is the fastest-growing waste stream in the world. Electronic waste amounted to 53.6m tonnes in 2019, a figure growing at about 2% a year. Consider: in 2021, tech companies sold an estimated 1.43bn smartphones, 341m computers, 210m TVs and 548m pairs of headphones. And that’s ignoring the millions of consoles, sex toys, electric scooters and other battery-powered devices we buy every year. Most are not disposed of but live on in perpetuity, tucked away, forgotten, like the old iPhones and headphones in my kitchen drawer, kept 'just in case'. As the head of MusicMagpie, a UK secondhand retail and refurbishing service, tells me: 'Our biggest competitor is apathy.'" Including corporations sipping the middle-man (consumer) and just destroying products newly made.

"Across Europe, the continent that nurtured Christianity for most of two millennia, churches, convents and chapels stand empty and increasingly derelict as faith and church attendance shriveled over the past half century."

"In his first address since a group of rebellious mercenaries marched toward Moscow over the weekend, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the country had united in opposition to the uprising… In a brief five-minute speech, Putin seemed to reaffirm a deal he agreed on to end the conflict, which resulted in Wagner Group commander Yevgeny Prigozhin being exiled to Belarus."

"Mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin led an armed rebellion against the Russian military — and walked free. Others who merely voiced criticism against the Kremlin weren’t so lucky." Yeah if I were Yevgeny Prigozhin, I'd stay away from windows, accepting tea, or touching a door knob.

"The Australian government has evacuated the last refugee it was holding on Nauru, ushering in the end of its 11-year controversial off-shore detention processing policy on that Pacific island nation."

"Hungary’s parliament postponed ratifying Sweden’s NATO accession bid on Wednesday to its autumn legislative session." Hungary, always wanting to be the turd in the punch bowl.

"Police released video footage on Wednesday of an officer killing a neo-Nazi gunman, quickly ending a mass shooting that left eight people dead and seven others wounded at a Dallas-area shopping mall."

"An argument over seating at an Albuquerque movie theater escalated into a shooting that left a man dead and sent frightened filmgoers scrambling to flee, police said Monday." That "polite society" I'm always hearing about.

"The U.S. Supreme Court shot down a controversial legal theory that could have changed the way elections are run across the country but left the door open to more limited challenges that could increase its role in deciding voting disputes during the 2024 presidential election."

"The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to take up a case challenging a skirts-only dress code for girls at a North Carolina charter school, letting stand a lower court ruling that the school's dress code violated federal law."

"The Supreme Court's ruling on Thursday that effectively ends affirmative action in higher education raises questions about the future of employer-run initiatives and programs that consider race — which exist extensively across the United States."

"Although Chinese-owned land is a tiny fraction of all foreign-owned land in the U.S., its purchases have raised fears that the Chinese government could have control, through the Chinese corporations, over U.S. assets or gain access to U.S.-based information. Indeed, during the past four decades, Chinese companies and investors have bought up land in the U.S. as well as purchased major food companies like Smithfield Foods, the United States' largest pork processor. Corporations own the majority of that land. Now legislation in Congress would restrict Chinese ownership of U.S. land." Just because it's small doesn't mean we can't all freak the fuck out now. Beat the Christmas rush as it were. Wait until their hear about what Saudi Arabia has been doing.

"The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 6-3 long ideological lines that the First Amendment bars Colorado from 'forcing a website designer to create expressive designs speaking messages with which the designer disagrees.'" There's a hellalotta problems with this case, including that Ms Smith has no standing. "Though Smith hasn’t yet expanded to her services to include wedding websites with her company, 303 Creative, she said she’s dreamed about doing so since she was a child." The person she states asked her to make a wedding site is not gay, is in a heterosexual marriage, and didn't submit the request until after she filed her lawsuit. And, again, a "graphic designer" is not an "artist."

"Here's the upshot: A quarter-century after California banned race-based admissions at public universities, school officials say they haven't been able to meet their diversity and equity goals — despite more than a half billion dollars spent on outreach and alternative admissions standards." Um, NPR, that's not an "upshot." That's just a "result."

"Driven by the demands of hard-right members, Republicans in the House are threatening impeachment against Biden and his top Cabinet officials, creating a backbeat of chatter about “high crimes and misdemeanors” that is driving legislative action, spurring committee investigations, raking in fundraising money and complicating the plans of Speaker Kevin McCarthy and his leadership team." It's all about the money.

"Brazil's former President Jair Bolsonaro goes on trial… facing charges that he spread false information about Brazil's election system just months before he lost his reelection bid last October. He's also facing allegations that he abused his power to spread the misstatements."

"On Tuesday, former president Trump was arraigned following his federal indictment. On this week’s On the Media, debunking claims that the former president is being targeted for his politics. Plus, one reporter’s cross-country examination of fascism in the United States." On the media podcast coverage of the events and politics around the case along with both the political mood of the nation and the stories we tell ourselves.

"The country is headed toward the anniversary date as it remains riven politically, its citizens divided over how to view the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the U.S. Capitol and whether President Joe Biden was legitimately elected. Even decisions on where to shop or what beer to drink have been caught up in political fighting."

How do you say "waaa" but you're rich? "Former President Donald Trump is trying to turn the tables on the advice columnist who won a $5 million jury award against him in a sexual abuse lawsuit, saying in a countersuit that she owes him money and a retraction for continuing to insist she was raped even after a jury declined to agree."

Monday, June 26, 2023

Linkee-poo June 26, the much delayed edition

Sorry, way too much happening and my time is being pulled in many directions. I think part of it also has to do with the resurfacing of That Fucking Guy in the news.

Crazy Uncle Pat is gone? Well, Hallelujah. While most deaths are at the very least regrettable, some are occasions for joy. If you think that's harsh, Pat should have emulated God's incarnation on Earth while he was alive. Instead he choose to use the Bible as a cudgel while engaging in every venal sin in an attempt to glorify himself. By his own standards he did wrong, and any minimal grace and compassion he had was vastly overshadowed by his cruelty, hate, and greed for worldly dominion and lucre.

George Winston, and Silvio Berllusconi, and so it goes.

Enter your zip code in this US Noise Level Map to see how much noise stress you live with. (Grokked from Chang)

"All five passengers aboard the missing Titan submersible have died following a 'catastrophic implosion of the vessel,' the U.S. Coast Guard said Thursday." And then there's this, "When asked about the likelihood of recovering the bodies, Mauger said he does not have an answer and noted the 'incredibly unforgiving environment' of the sea floor." There are no bodies to recover. This isn't a conspiracy statement, this is physics from a small chamber going from 1 atmosphere to 398 in less than a second. Most likely there won't even be a grease stain on the metal. The people inside the Titan were dead before they could even process that something was wrong. And while there is some debate over when you die do you still have enough brain function to know you're dead, but in this case it's a moot question. It's quite possible the air inside the chamber became plasma because of the compression. Even if it didn't, the pressure at that depth, and the sudden change, would have literally ripped the cells of the passengers apart. Within that second there wouldn't even be a braincell left intact.

"An ancient Nevada lakebed beckons as a vast source of the coveted element needed to produce cleaner electric energy and fight global warming. But NASA says the same site — flat as a tabletop and undisturbed like none other in the Western Hemisphere — is indispensable for calibrating the razor-sharp measurements of hundreds of satellites orbiting overhead." Prospectors out in the field, "Wow, this is great, and nobody is using this area or lives around here. Woohoo!" Spacesuited astronaut descends on cable from the sky with a bullhorn, "Stop that!"

"Fortunately, the worst didn’t happen. There are a few reasons why. To reduce demand, many Texans turned up the thermostat by a few degrees to help save power, and ERCOT’s emergency response program paid some large energy customers to scale back usage during peak times. And significantly, solar power, which has been the star of the Texas grid so far during this interminable summer, continued to set records for energy production. If your air conditioner has been steadily running all summer long, you can thank the mighty power of the sun."

"A line of severe storms produced what a meteorologist calls a rare combination of multiple tornadoes, hurricane-force winds and softball-sized hail in west Texas, killing at least four people, injuring nine and causing significant damage around the town of Matador, a meteorologist said Thursday."

"Archeologists have found a pre-Hispanic mummy surrounded by coca leaves on top of a hill in Peru’s capital next to the practice field of a professional soccer club."

"A nationwide Medicare survey released Wednesday found that veterans rated Veterans Affairs hospitals higher than private health care facilities in all 10 categories of patient satisfaction." I think they're taking the wrong lesson from this. It's not that VA care has gotten so much better from when it was rated far below probate care, it's that private care quality has gone in the toilet.

"An Illinois hospital will shutter its doors this week in part because of a devastating cyberattack, which experts say makes it the first hospital to publicly link criminal hackers to its closure." Well, somewhat.

"In late 2021, Isabella Weber, an economist at University of Massachusetts, Amherst published a paper with a new idea. The theory, what she called 'seller's inflation,' sought to address the confounding fact that the economy was seeing rising high prices and skyrocketing corporate profits. The idea quickly moved from the halls of academia to the political arena. And quicker still, it was dismissed—at one point called a 'conspiracy theory.' But now, in 2023, 'greedflation' is popping up across headlines. This week, (On the Media) correspondent Micah Loewinger sits down with Lydia DePillis, a reporter on the business desk at The New York Times, to talk about her 2022 article dissecting the arguments for and against greedflation’s impact on the economy, and everything that's happened since."

"All of it led to the greatest grift in U.S. history, with thieves plundering billions of dollars in federal COVID-19 relief aid intended to combat the worst pandemic in a century and to stabilize an economy in free fall."

"The really remarkable thing isn't just that Microsoft has decided that the future of search isn't links to relevant materials, but instead lengthy, florid paragraphs written by a chatbot who happens to be a habitual liar – even more remarkable is that Google agrees."

"Federal regulators have sued Amazon, alleging the company for years "tricked" people into buying Prime memberships that were purposefully hard to cancel."

"South Korea’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission said Thursday it will investigate 237 more cases of South Korean adoptees who suspect their family origins were manipulated to facilitate their adoptions in Europe and the United States."

"A grainy black-and-white gunsight video Russia released this week to bolster a claim its military blew up some of Ukraine’s most fearsome tanks actually documented the destruction of a tractor, according to a visual analysis by The Associated Press." Glory to the Motherland.

"A deal struck Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the Wagner Group mercenary army that had advanced to the outskirts of Moscow late Saturday, ended what many saw as a coup attempt. Under the terms of the deal, Prigozhin agreed to call off a military assault on the Russian capital, withdraw forces from the captured city of Rostov-on-Don and leave Russia for Belarus." Stay safe, my Russian friends.

"The armed rebellion against the Russian military may have been over in less than 24 hours, but the disarray within the enemy’s ranks was an unexpected gift and timely morale booster for Ukrainian troops."

"Florida Republicans who voted to pass the state's imminent anti-immigration law are trying to curb a potentially disastrous mass exodus of undocumented residents by touting the legislation's many 'loopholes.'"

"Domestic extremists who plot or commit mass killings often share characteristics, like mental health problems and criminal histories. But the most common thread is a record of military service, according to new analysis of three decades of attacks inside the U.S." Funny, that.

"The Battle of Bamber Bridge — which took place 80 years ago this weekend, on June 24-25, 1943 — was a precursor to battles that would unfold on American streets for decades to come, during the Civil Rights era. It horrified the mostly white local villagers, who were unaccustomed to segregation and had befriended their Black guests. But because of wartime censorship, the battle was virtually unknown outside the tiny English village where it happened." The history they don't want you to know.

"A few weeks before last fall’s midterm elections, a paid canvasser in Nevada did what thousands of door-knockers across the country were doing: They went on an app and marked off the homes they had visited that day… There was just one problem. This canvasser never went anywhere near those homes in a neighborhood in south Las Vegas. They were 8 miles away, sitting inside Caesars Palace casino, according to geotracking data obtained by NBC News."

"The court said that in Alabama, a state where there are seven congressional seats and one in four voters is black, the Republican-dominated state legislature had denied African American voters a reasonable chance to elect a second representative of their choice."

"Illinois became the first state in the U.S. to outlaw book bans, after Gov. JB Pritzker on Monday signed legislation that would cut off state funding for any Illinois library that tries to ban books, CBS Chicago reports… The new law comes as predominantly Republican-led states continue to restrict books some consider offensive in schools and libraries across the country."

"The petition filed against Secretary of State Frank LaRose (R) and the Ohio Ballot Board alleges that the defendants used 'inaccurate, incomplete ballot language that improperly favor the Amendment in flagrant violation Ohio’s Constitution and laws and this Court’s jurisprudence.' The petitioners also argue that the amendment’s title 'is not impartial and will create prejudice in favor of the Amendment.'" If you live in Ohio, and are registered, don't forget to vote to save our democracy on Aug 8.

"The indictment unsealed early Friday afternoon shows that a grand jury indicted Trump on 37 counts, including 31 counts of willful retention of national defense information and making false statements."

"Donald Trump improperly stored in his Florida estate sensitive documents on nuclear capabilities, repeatedly enlisted aides and lawyers to help him hide records demanded by investigators and cavalierly showed off a Pentagon “plan of attack” and classified map, according to a sweeping felony indictment that paints a damning portrait of the former president’s treatment of national security information."

"The House of Representatives has voted to censure Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff for his past actions while chair of the House Intelligence Committee in leading investigations into then-President Donald Trump."

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Linkee-poo Late Wednesday Night June7

"Billy Joel is finally moving out of his monthly perch at Madison Square Garden. The singer-songwriter says he will conclude his residency in July 2024 with his 150th lifetime performance at the venue." He is the Entertainer…

"The Warren B. Rudman courthouse is one of several federal facilities around the country participating in the General Services Administration’s Pollinator Initiative, a government program aimed at assessing and promoting the health of bees and other pollinators, which are critical to life on Earth."

"Smoke from Canadian wildfires poured into the U.S. East Coast and Midwest on Wednesday, covering the capitals of both nations in an unhealthy haze, holding up flights at major airports, postponing Major League Baseball games and prompting people to fish out pandemic-era face masks."

"Bystander-initiated CPR may increase those odds to 10%. Survival after CPR for in-hospital cardiac arrest is slightly better, but still only about 17%. The numbers get even worse with age. A study in Sweden found that survival after out-of-hospital CPR dropped from 6.7% for patients in their 70s to just 2.4% for those over 90. Chronic illness matters too. One study found that less than 2% of patients with cancer or heart, lung, or liver disease were resuscitated with CPR and survived for six months." I've been lucky. The 2 people I've done CPR on we got back, at least long enough for me to leave the floor. CPR, while it can be lifesaving, is violent. As I tell the students that come through the hospital, "When you start CPR you'll hear a lot of noise, think of cracking your knuckles but 30 years worth all at one time. That's because that's partly what you're doing to the sternum. The other part is because it's common to break ribs when doing CPR. But know that you can't hurt the patient anymore than they already are. The patient is dead when you start CPR (this is not always or completely true, but close enough), they will not survive unless you do this. So if a doctor or the AED says start compressions, go ahead. You're giving them a chance at life." We then have a discussion of DNR orders, the effects of CPR, the probabilities, and making sure they express their wishes to those who may be in a position to either do CPR, or direct those who may.

"These deaths are often hidden in plain sight. For instance, nearly a thousand deaths a day are linked to diet-related disease — heart disease, complications from Type 2 diabetes and liver disease. And diet now outranks smoking as a leading cause of death around the globe. Chronic stress fueled by poverty and racism also contributes to the toll of preventable deaths… Deaths from chronic disease are not as dramatic, but the tragedy is that despite having the most sophisticated health care system in the world — great doctors, top-notch hospitals, lots of medical breakthroughs — the U.S. as a nation is not getting healthier." That's because those things stated in the first paragraph are considered "moral failings" (or in these later years, "our personal responsibility" to ourselves) and not environmental and political failings.

Yeah, wearing a mask to halt the spread of COVID is "infringing on your liberties." TB steps up and says, "Hold my beer." "A Washington state woman who was diagnosed with tuberculosis has been taken into custody after months of refusing treatment or isolation, officials said on Thursday… The Tacoma woman, who is identified in court documents as V.N., was booked into a room 'specially equipped for isolation, testing and treatment' at the Pierce County Jail, the local health department said, adding that she will still be able to choose whether she gets the 'live-saving treatment she needs.'"

"The latest employment report from the Labor Department showed the country's job market remained red hot, with 339,000 jobs added in May… It was a number that blew past expectations, considering the headwinds facing the economy including higher interest rates. Analysts had forecast around 190,000 jobs would be added."

"Overall, the report painted a mostly encouraging picture of the job market. Yet there were some mixed messages in the May figures. Notably, the unemployment rate rose to 3.7%, from a five-decade low of 3.4% in April. It’s the highest unemployment rate since October. (The government compiles the unemployment data using a different survey than the one used to calculate job gains, and the two surveys sometimes conflict.)"

Why doesn't anyone want to work anymore? "While there's no set rule, many jobs have traditionally required something between two and four interviews. But candidates for many white-collar positions are now up against a growing number of interview rounds — as many as eight, nine, or, in one staggering anecdote, 29 — as recent reporting by Slate and The Wall Street Journal makes clear." Seriously? That's just bad management.I've hired and fired more people than I can remember (okay, firing was about 4 people, I remember those). This is businesses forgetting that part of their job is finding the best person and growing them into the position. They're thinking they'll find someone they don't need to train or mentor. That's complete bullshit and you only find those by luck (not by interviewing technique). You hire the best person you can find, that doesn't take more than 3 interviews (unless the job is a half million or more, I've never been involved in that). If you don't know by then, you don't know how to manage or lead a team (which is the actual problem here).

"'Virtually every strike is based on timing that will hurt the employer,' said Stanford Law School professor William Gould, a former chairman of the National Labor Relations Board, and there was "great concern that the court would rule broadly to limit the rights of strikers. 'But that didn't happen,' he noted in an interview with NPR." Teaching us to be grateful for the crumbs that fall from the table of the rich.

"The bust out tactic wasn't limited to mocking middlebrow family restaurants. For years, the crooks who ran these ops did a brisk trade in blaming the internet. Why did Sears tank? Everyone knows that the 19th century business was an antique, incapable of mounting a challenge in the age of e-commerce. That was a great smokescreen for an old-fashioned bust out that saw corporate looters make off with hundreds of millions, leaving behind empty storefronts and emptier pension accounts for the workers who built the wealth the looters stole…" The pirate economy.

"Customers of Venmo, PayPal and CashApp should not store their money with those apps for the long term because the funds might not be safe during a crisis, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau warned Thursday." They aren't banks, folks. There's no insurance to protect you there.

"While Kyiv is keeping silent about the start of any counteroffensive, fighting is raging in several sections of the front line, signaling that the long-expected campaign could be getting underway."

"Why are Republicans abandoning one of the best tools the government has to catch voter fraud? That simple question is the focus of a new NPR investigation, published Sunday… The tool is the Electronic Registration Information Center, better known as ERIC. It was created almost a decade ago as a way for states to share government data, in an effort to keep their voter rolls up to date. It allows election officials better insight into when their voters move and die and the rare times when they vote twice in different states, which is illegal." Because it was never about voter fraud, it was about keeping the "wrong people" from voting.

"In an SEC filing Friday, the company said that on May 26, 2023, it removed 'certain produced content' from its direct-to-consumer streaming services. As a result, Disney will record a $1.5 billion impairment charge in its fiscal third quarter financial statements 'to adjust the carrying value of these content assets to fair value.'" Losing to win.

"On Friday, a complaint was submitted about the signature scripture of the predominant faith in Utah, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, widely known as the Mormon church. District spokesperson Chris Williams confirmed that someone filed a review request for the Book of Mormon but would not say what reasons were listed. Citing a school board privacy policy, he also would not say whether it was from the same person who complained about the Bible."

"In the year since the Supreme Court struck down the nationwide right to abortion, America’s religious leaders and denominations have responded in strikingly diverse ways — some celebrating the state-level bans that have ensued, others angered that a conservative Christian cause has changed the law of the land in ways they consider oppressive."

"Barry, 54, pleaded with the arresting officer seven times back in November. He alerted the jail nurse and a court judge about his condition too. But in the two days that Barry was held at Duval County Jail in Jacksonville, Fla., no one allowed him access to the medication he desperately asked for… Three days after he was released from jail, Barry died from cardiac arrest that was caused by an acute rejection of the heart, Dr. Jose SuarezHoyos, a Florida pathologist who conducted a private autopsy of Barry on behalf of Barry's family, told NPR."

"A federal judge overseeing the First Amendment lawsuit that Walt Disney Parks filed against Gov. Ron DeSantis and others is disqualifying himself, but not because of bias claims made by the Florida governor… Chief U.S. District Judge Mark Walker said in a court filing Thursday that it was because a relative owns 30 shares of Disney stock. Walker described the person as “a third-degree relative,” which typically means a cousin, a great-aunt or great-uncle, or a great-niece or great-nephew."

"But two and a half years later, the company said it 'will stop removing content that advances false claims that widespread fraud, errors, or glitches occurred in the 2020 and other past U.S. Presidential elections' because things have changed. It said the decision was 'carefully deliberated… In the current environment, we find that while removing this content does curb some misinformation, it could also have the unintended effect of curtailing political speech without meaningfully reducing the risk of violence or other real-world harm,' YouTube said." I call bullshit.

"A top Twitter executive responsible for safety and content moderation has left the company, her departure coming soon after owner Elon Musk publicly complained about the platform’s handling of posts about transgender topics."

"At issue is an internal FBI document known as an FD-1023, which agents use to record unverified tips and information they receive from confidential human sources. The FBI says such documents can contain uncorroborated and incomplete information, and that documenting the tip does not validate it."

"Chris Licht came into the top spot at CNN pronouncing he had a clear view of what was wrong with the cable news channel, the vision to fix it, and the corporate backing that would enable him to turn the ship around… Barely more than a year later, with the channel's battered ratings further sagging, the formats for key shows still in doubt, internal strife at crisis levels, and journalists inside CNN still questioning what his vision is, Licht is gone, ousted by the corporate patron who wooed him to the network, Warner Bros. Discovery chief David Zaslav." The keep saying he failed. Nope, he did exactly what was expected of him. He sank CNN.

"More than two years into a conservative push against teaching about Black history, literature and gender identity in public schools, the Southern Poverty Law Center has concluded that a dozen so-called 'parental rights' groups behind the movement are extremist." About time.

Friday, June 2, 2023

Linkee-poo stumbles into Summer, June 2

"Ten lighthouses across the U.S. are being sold or given away for free by the General Services Administration."

"A new federal lawsuit alleges that recent decisions by officials in a Florida county to ban and restrict access to books in school libraries violates constitutional rights to free speech and equal protection under the law."

Feeling crabby? "A crab-like body plan has evolved at least five separate times among decapod crustaceans, a group that includes crabs, lobsters and shrimp. In fact, it's happened so often that there's a name for it: carcinization."

"Arizona will not approve new housing construction on the fast-growing edges of metro Phoenix that rely on groundwater thanks to years of overuse and a multi-decade drought that is sapping its water supply."

"As a math professor who teaches students to use data to make informed decisions, I am familiar with common mistakes people make when dealing with numbers. The Dunning-Kruger effect is the idea that the least skilled people overestimate their abilities more than anyone else. This sounds convincing on the surface and makes for excellent comedy. But in a recent paper, my colleagues and I suggest that the mathematical approach used to show this effect may be incorrect." But note, while this professor showed his math on the number of imaginary students, he declined to state how many real life students took his 25 question test, of if that test was repeated.

"Throwing things away comes with an environmental cost. Manufacturing processes and decomposing products in landfills emit significant levels of climate warming pollution. Some materials, like plastic, never decompose. Savage said it's time human beings reminded themselves that throwaway culture is a relatively new phenomenon. It started about a hundred years ago with the rise of mass manufacturing."

"A USAF official who was quoted saying the Air Force conducted a simulated test where an AI drone killed its human operator is now saying he 'misspoke' and that the Air Force never ran this kind of test, in a computer simulation or otherwise." Is there a drone flying over his head right now? And as I've stated elsewhere, this is exactly the plot to Clarke's 2001 and 2010.

"State Medicaid programs are reviewing the eligibility of roughly 90 million beneficiaries in the U.S., now that a rule suspending that process has expired. Those who remain eligible should be able to keep their coverage, and those who don't will lose it… But new data from states that have begun this process show that hundreds of thousands of people are losing coverage – not because of their income, but because of administrative problems, like missing a renewal notification in the mail."

"As a public health instructor, she taught college students about racial health disparities, including the fact that Black women in the U.S. are nearly three times more likely to die during pregnancy or delivery than any other race. Her home state of Alabama has the third-highest maternal mortality rate in the nation." While much of the community then says, "this is why we need more black doctors," and I agree, this is much more of a "we need to be aware of our bias and consciously work to counter it."

"For more than 20 years, the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) has operated a phone line and online platform for people seeking help with anorexia, bulimia, and other eating disorders. Last year, nearly 70,000 individuals used the helpline… NEDA shuttered that service in May. Instead, the non-profit will use a chatbot called Tessa that was designed by eating disorder experts, with funding from NEDA." Well, the workers there had just unionized. I'm sure this was total coincidence, though. But then, in a twist nobody could have foreseen… "The National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) has taken its chatbot called Tessa offline, two days before it was set to replace human associates who ran the organization’s hotline… following a viral social media post displaying how the chatbot encouraged unhealthy eating habits rather than helping someone with an eating disorder."

"A beluga whale long believed to be a Russian spy has surfaced in Sweden, fueling concerns about his well-being and efforts to protect him from dangerous boat traffic… Hvaldimir — a combination of the Norwegian word for whale (hval) and Russian President Vladimir Putin's first name — has spent the last several years swimming south down the coast of Norway, where he was first spotted by fishermen in 2019."

"Malaysia’s maritime agency said Monday it found a cannon shell believed to be from World War II on a Chinese-registered vessel and was investigating if the barge carrier was involved in the looting of two British warship wrecks in the South China Sea."

"The Marines knew almost immediately it was an accidental case of 'friendly fire' — the deadliest such Marine-on-Marine attack in decades — and they opened an investigation. But the families of the dead Marines were told it was enemy fire and didn't get the truth for three years. It seems the son of a prominent politician — Marine 1st Lt. Duncan D. Hunter — was involved in the mishap. His father, Duncan L. Hunter, was chairman of the powerful House Armed Services Committee at the time. Rather than tell the truth, the Marine Corps buried the report of its investigation for years."

"The Taliban and Iran exchanged heavy gunfire Saturday on the Islamic Republic’s border with Afghanistan, killing and wounding troops while sharply escalating rising tensions between the two countries amid a dispute over water rights."

"The U.S. Supreme Court Court on Thursday (May 25th) significantly curtailed the power of the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate the nation's wetlands and waterways. It was the court's second decision in a year limiting the ability of the agency to enact anti-pollution regulations and combat climate change."

"The FBI is investigating a cybercriminal group called 'the Comm' whose members are allegedly involved in a nationwide wave of swattings that impacted schools and universities earlier this year, according to court records reviewed by Motherboard."

But what do you do when it's the cops who do the SWATting? "On Wednesday morning, a heavily armed Atlanta Police Department SWAT team raided a house in Atlanta and arrested three of its residents. Their crime? Organizing legal support and bail funds for protesters and activists who have faced indiscriminate arrest and overreaching charges in the struggle to stop the construction of a vast police training facility — dubbed Cop City — atop a forest in Atlanta."

"President Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy reached an agreement in principle to avoid a potentially disastrous government default and raise the nation's debt ceiling. But as details — and criticism — of the deal began to trickle out on Sunday, both sides moved to rally support for a plan that negotiators concede will not please everyone."

"Texas’ Republican-led House of Representatives impeached state Attorney General Ken Paxton on Saturday on articles including bribery and abuse of public trust, a sudden, historic rebuke of a GOP official who rose to be a star of the conservative legal movement despite years of scandal and alleged crimes."

"In the recesses of the internet where some of Donald Trump’s most fervent supporters stoke conspiracies and plot his return to the White House, suspected con artists have been mining their disappointment over the last presidential election for gold… They’ve been peddling 'Trump Bucks,' which are emblazoned with photos of the former president, and advertising them online as a kind of golden ticket that will help propel Trump’s 2024 bid and make the 'real patriots' who support him rich when cashed in." Grifters attract other grifters.

"An Arkansas man who propped his feet on a desk in then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office in a widely circulated photo from the U.S. Capitol riot was sentenced Wednesday to more than four years in prison."

"The August election has also drawn opposition from local election officials. A GOP-backed state law that took effect in April made a number of changes to voting, including banning most August special elections. But on May 10, Republican lawmakers approved a statewide vote this upcoming August to decide on a resolution to make it harder to amend the Ohio Constitution… Republicans want voters to raise the threshold for approving future amendments to the Ohio Constitution from a simple majority to 60%, before a possible November ballot measure to codify abortion rights in the constitution." This is a blatant power grab by the legislature. If you're in Ohio and eligible to vote, I encourage you to vote this fucker down.