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

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Linkee-poo Pre Solstice

"A 2,000-year-old Sri Lankan hydraulic system uses natural features to help harvest and store rainwater. In a rapidly warming world, it is providing a lifeline for rural communities." Again, our ancestors were not stupid.

"New Horizons is now nearly twice as far from the Sun as Pluto, the outer planets are receding fast, and interstellar space is illuminated by the vast swath of the Milky Way ahead. But the spacecraft’s research is far from over. Its instruments are all functioning and responsive, and the New Horizons team has been working hard, pushing the spacecraft’s capabilities to carry out new tasks."

"Doctors working for health insurers can rule on 10,000 or more requests for care a year. At least a dozen were hired by major insurance companies after being disciplined by state medical boards or making multiple or outsized malpractice payments." Sounds like a winning business plan.

"The nation’s largest pharmacy chains have handed over Americans’ prescription records to police and government investigators without a warrant, a congressional investigation found, raising concerns about threats to medical privacy." And yet, they can't tell a spouse anything about the other spouses prescriptions.

"More than 30 million older Americans are enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans, wooed by lower premiums and more benefits than traditional Medicare offers… But a bipartisan group of lawmakers is increasingly concerned that insurance companies are preying on seniors, and, in some cases, denying care that would otherwise be approved by traditional Medicare." Sure, let's privatize the our collective healthcare safety net. What's the worst that could happen?

"ProPublica’s Claim File Helper lets you customize a letter requesting the notes and documents your insurer used when deciding to deny you coverage. Get your claim file before submitting an appeal."

"General Mills Inc., a Kraft Heinz Co. unit, Kellogg Co., and Nestle SA for years likely overpaid for eggs because the nation’s largest producers and two trade groups conspired to restrict the supply, an Illinois federal jury decided on Tuesday." Greedflation.

"Some officers are still paid in cash, increasing the risk of tax evasion. And, several business owners and Minneapolis officials said some small business owners — particularly those owned by immigrants — have been led to believe they must hire MPD officers, or risk getting ghosted by police." Well there's a racket, and no mistake.

"The Russian military has suffered dramatic casualties on the battlefield since invading Ukraine in February 2022, according to newly declassified intelligence shared with Congress, a person familiar with the intelligence told NBC News… In the past 22 months, 315,000 Russian troops have been killed and wounded, according to the assessment provided to lawmakers. Prior to the invasion, Russia had a ground force strength of about 360,000."

"A Russian propaganda campaign involving thousands of fake accounts on TikTok spreading disinformation about the war in Ukraine has been uncovered by the BBC… Its videos routinely attract millions of views and have the apparent aim of undermining Western support."

"Israeli officials obtained Hamas’s battle plan for the Oct. 7 terrorist attack more than a year before it happened, documents, emails and interviews show. But Israeli military and intelligence officials dismissed the plan as aspirational, considering it too difficult for Hamas to carry out."

"An Ohio woman who had sought treatment at a hospital before suffering a miscarriage and passing her nonviable fetus in her bathroom now faces a criminal charge, her attorney told CNN… Brittany Watts, 33, of Warren, has been charged with felony abuse of a corpse, Trumbull County court records show." (Grokked from John)

"The children hid. They dropped to the floor, crouching under desks and countertops, far from the windows. They lined up against the walls, avoiding the elementary school doors that separated them from a mass shooter about a decade older than them. Some held up the blunted scissors that they often used to cut shapes as they prepared to fight. A few grabbed bloodied phones and dialed 911. And as students across the country have been instructed for years, they remained quiet, impossibly quiet. At times, they hushed classmates who screamed in agony from the bullets that tore through their small bodies… Then, they waited. Waited for the adults, whom they could hear in the hallway. If they were just patient, those adults would save them."

"A jury spent about five hours deliberating before convicting Kim Phuong Taylor on 52 counts of voter fraud in federal court Tuesday in Sioux City. Taylor faces up to five years in prison on each count. A sentencing date hasn’t been set." Oh look, real voter fraud! Oh wait, never mind, it's another Republican. Move along, nothing to see here.

"When the U.S. Supreme Court last year overturned Roe v. Wade, it greenlighted the kind of near-universal abortion restrictions that Idaho lawmakers had spent the previous two years crafting. Gov. Brad Little said the state should turn to helping women who might otherwise have terminated pregnancies… But since the June 2022 decision, Idaho has failed to deliver — even as other conservative states with abortion bans took steps to enhance their safety nets for families during pregnancy and after birth."

"Since then, Trump has fixated on new bogeymen. Lately, he has found one in a mundane nonprofit designed to spot the very voter fraud Team Trump professes to hate. Until recently, 33 states and the District of Columbia — a mixture of solidly Republican, Democratic, and battleground states — used data from the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) to spot voting irregularities and to identify and reach voters who haven’t yet registered, a group that numbered 4.4 million people in 2022. ERIC has been employed in this way since 2012, without incident or controversy. But in Trump’s imagination, ERIC is the engine for election rigging."

"Trump has not spelled out precisely how he might use the military during a second term, although he and his advisers have suggested they would have wide latitude to call up units. While deploying the military regularly within the country's borders would be a departure from tradition, the former president already has signaled an aggressive agenda if he wins, from mass deportations to travel bans imposed on certain Muslim-majority countries." He's promising to overturn democracy.

"A binder containing highly classified information related to Russian election interference went missing at the end of Donald Trump’s presidency, raising alarms among intelligence officials that some of the most closely guarded national security secrets from the US and its allies could be exposed, sources familiar with the matter told CNN… The binder was last seen at the White House during Trump’s final days in office." Totally normal.

There's also news that the Colorado Supreme Court has ruled that Trump can not be on the ballot due to the 14th Amendment barring those who commit insurection against the Constitution after swearing an oath to the same. The ruling has been stayed waiting on appeal to SCOTUS. Constitutional crisis here we come.