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

Saturday, February 17, 2024

Linkee-poo February 17

"Record hot seawater killed more than three-quarters of human-cultivated coral that scientists had placed in the Florida Keys in recent years in an effort to prop up a threatened species that’s highly vulnerable to climate change, researchers discovered." Well fuck.

"Officials reported Thursday that the Osiris-Rex spacecraft collected 121.6 grams (4.29 ounces) of dust and pebbles from asteroid Bennu. That’s just over half a cup and the biggest cosmic haul ever from beyond the moon."

"In fact, buprenorphine prescriptions for adolescents were declining as overdose deaths for 10-19-year-olds more than doubled. These overdoses, combined with accidental opioid poisonings among young children, have become the third leading cause of death for U.S. children." The staunch "cold turkey" brigade strikes again.

"As part of a growing effort among museums to reevaluate the curation of human remains, the Ivy League school laid some of the remains to rest last week, specifically those identified as belonging to 19 Black Philadelphians. Officials held a memorial service for them on Saturday... The university says it is trying to begin rectifying past wrongs. But some community members feel excluded from the process, illustrating the challenges that institutions face in addressing institutional racism."

"Yet in the United States, the economy motored ahead in last year’s fourth quarter for a sixth straight quarter of growth. It’s blown past many predictions coming into last year that a recession seemed inevitable because of high interest rates meant to slow the economy and inflation." Yes, our economy is doing very well, but this inflation being driven by corporate greed is really hurting. This is why we have governments, to protect our collective needs.

"Amazon is arguing in a legal filing that the 88-year-old National Labor Relations Board is unconstitutional, echoing similar arguments made this year by Elon Musk’s SpaceX and the grocery store chain Trader Joe’s in disputes about workers’ rights and organizing." The neo-gilded-age barons are upset that your puny labor issues might affect their whole pillaging of the American economy.

"And so, the same state that questioned Mayron’s fitness to care for her four children forced her to continue a pregnancy that risked her life to have a fifth, one that would require more intensive care than any of the others… Tennessee already had some of the worst outcomes in the nation when measuring maternal health, infant mortality and child poverty. Lawmakers who paved the way for a new generation of post-Roe births did little to bolster the state’s meager safety net to support these babies and their families."

And in "when you only have a hammer, everything is a nail" news… "In a video that has gone viral on social media this week both for its absurdity and terrifying implications, Deputy Jesse Hernandez hears an acorn drop onto his car. In response, he dramatically rolls on the ground while repeatedly shouting 'shots fired!' and unloading his sidearm into the vehicle, shattering its back window."

"Jackson County's Office of the Juvenile Officer charged two people under 18 with gun charges and resisting arrest on Thursday, in connection with the shooting at the end of the Chiefs parade and rally at Union Station... Police believe the shooting occurred because of a dispute, and not because of terrorism or extremism." Ah the "more guns make us a politer society" gang strikes again.

"The family of a disabled undergraduate who killed herself on the day of a 'truly terrifying' oral exam have won the latest stage of a legal battle to compel universities to take more care of students struggling with their mental health."

"Ukraine’s military chief said early Saturday that he’s withdrawing troops from the city of Avdiivka in eastern Ukraine, where outnumbered defenders battled a Russian assault for four months."

"(Ukrainian) Lieutenant General Kyrylo Budanov said that Russian troops have been communicating over the Starlink system 'for quite a long time' and acquired the terminals from private Russian firms that purchased them from intermediaries." Remember when Musk cut off Starlink access when Ukrainian troops crossed into Russian held territories on the eastern edge and southward toward Crimea? It's almost like Starling can pinpoint the ground stations with great accuracy and turn individual systems off. When they want to.

"The death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny in a penal colony in Russia's Arctic north was shocking, but hardly surprising... For years, critics and opponents of Russian leader Vladimir Putin have fallen victim to shootings, poisoning with radioactive or nerve agents, or have plunged to their deaths from open windows." We all knew it was coming.

"Russia is trying to develop a nuclear space weapon that would destroy satellites by creating a massive energy wave when detonated, potentially crippling a vast swath of the commercial and government satellites that the world below depends on to talk on cell phones, pay bills, and surf the internet, according to three sources familiar with US intelligence about the weapon." And this is why we had treaties that the Trump Administration helped Putin dismantle. Also, it's not that hard, it's called a halo burst, and it is one of the first strike scenarios we've had on the books since the 70s.

"State lawyers said at the trial that LaPierre, who announced his resignation just days before the trial opened in early January, billed the NRA more than $11 million for private jet flights and spent more than $500,000 on eight trips to the Bahamas over a three-year span. They also say he authorized $135 million in NRA contracts for a vendor whose owners showered him with free trips to the Bahamas, Greece, Dubai and India, and gave him access to a 108-foot (33-meter) yacht." No no no, bribery and corruption are only done by those brown people.

"The Texas National Guard will expand its presence on the border in the form of a new operations center in Maverick County that can house more than 2,000 soldiers... Gov. Greg Abbott announced the construction of a base camp, which will be built on 80 acres of property near the banks of the Rio Grande, Friday afternoon." The problem with playing the tough guy is that you always have to one up the other person, do one better. It's a never ending cycle.

"Prosecutors say Smirnov falsely told FBI agents in 2020 that executives associated with the Ukrainian energy company Burisma paid Hunter and Joe Biden $5 million each in bribes in 2015 or 2016 to protect the company from investigators... The indictment also alleges that Smirnov repeated false claims when interviewed by the FBI last year and changed some of his story."

"A man expected to be a key witness for lawyers trying to get Fani Willis disqualified from the Georgia election interference case against Donald Trump instead refused to answer most of their questions on Friday, citing attorney-client privilege during the second day of a hearing that sometimes bordered on theater."

"The Friday decision from Judge Arthur Engoron orders Trump and his flagship organization to pay the bulk of that amount: almost $355 million. Trump's two sons and co-defendants, Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr., are each liable for $4 million. Allen Weisselberg, a former Trump Organization executive, is liable for $1 million. The total is even higher with interest — more than $450 million overall, according to the attorney general's office."

"The verdict in the civil fraud trial requires Trump to pay interest on some of the deal profits he has been ordered to give up. New York Attorney General Letitia James, who brought the case, said the interest payments totaled $99 million and would “continue to increase every single day until it is paid."

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