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

Wednesday, April 24, 2024


From a dream the other night. I remember it being a very cool premise, but all of that is gone except for the note: Fredda and Heathis, werecats (various species, IIRC, linxs and cheetah) who fight vampires/eldrich horror Nazis in WWII.

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Linkee-poo April 14

Robert MacNeil, and so it goes.

"Israel, its allies and other world leaders are assessing how to respond after Iran launched more than 300 drones and missiles toward Israel overnight. The great majority of strikes were shot down outside Israeli airspace by Israel, with help from allies that included the U.S. and U.K. Israel says at least one person, a young girl hit by shrapnel, was seriously injured. This is the first time Iran has directly attacked its regional foe from Iranian soil." And so begins the stupidity. Including a completely ineffectual "The House Supports Israel" bill because ignoramus Steve Scalise believes this was "unprovoked" (no, it may not be a proportionate response, but Israel destroyed the Iranian Consulate in Syria, that was an escalation calculated to provoke such a response no matter what Israel may say on TV).

"A spike in measles cases, largely caused by people not getting vaccinated, poses a 'renewed threat' to the declaration in 2000 that the highly contagious airborne disease had been eliminated in the United States."

"A St. Louis judge has ruled that Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey is entitled to Planned Parenthood’s transgender care records, ordering the nonprofit to turn over some of its most sensitive files to the man who has built his unelected political career on restricting health care access for trans people." One, HIPAA is quite specific here (from my training) that he will have to issue a subpoena for an active criminal investigation. Anyone's record given to this douche should sue him and Missouri for as much money they can for violation of their rights under HIPAA.

"Customers who purchased certain 'weighted goods' — including meat, poultry, pork and seafood products — and bagged citrus in person at Walmart locations across the U.S. and Puerto Rico between Oct. 19, 2018 and Jan. 19, 2024 may be eligible for cash payments, according to the settlement administrator's website."

"The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) said one person died and there were 'multiple serious injuries' Friday after a man drove a stolen 18-wheeler into its office in Brenham, which is about 75 miles northwest of Houston… Clenard Parker, a 42-year-old resident of nearby Chappell Hill, was arrested at the scene, according to DPS Sgt. Justin Ruiz, who said Parker had visited the DPS office the day before and was denied a commercial driver’s license. Local law enforcement was pursuing Parker at the time of the crash, Ruiz said."

"The U.S. Coast Guard and Navy were able to successfully rescue three sailors who were stranded on a small Pacific island for over a week, after they spelled 'help' in the sand with palm tree leaves… The three men, all in their 40s, left Easter Sunday on a 20-foot skiff from Polowat to Pikelot (both places are two small Pacific islands that make up the Micronesia archipelago), the Coast Guard said."

"The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum accepted on Thursday the remnants of the vandalized statue. The cleats will be added to an existing exhibit about the first Black American to break Major League Baseball’s color barrier."

"'Fortunately for me, and unfortunately for everybody else, counterintelligence, it turns out, is a growth business,' he told NPR in an interview. 'More players are getting into it with more tools, going after more targets.'… The list of concerns is a long one. The usual suspects — China, Russia, Iran and North Korea — lead the way, he says, but there are other actors, including private sector entities and cybercriminals who are also getting involved."

Both parties are both the same… "Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed a law that prevents cities or counties from creating protections for workers who labor in the state's often extreme and dangerous heat… Two million people in Florida, from construction to agriculture, work outside in often humid, blazing heat." One wants to regulate business and the other :: checks notes :: just wants workers to die.

"Google has temporarily blocked links from local news outlets in California from appearing in search results in response to the advancement of a bill that would require tech companies to pay publications for links that articles share. The change applies only to some people using Google in California, though it is not clear how many." I'm sure it's fine.

"Former President Donald Trump and House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., appeared together Friday to tout legislation aimed at stopping something that is already illegal in America: noncitizens voting in federal elections… Johnson gave a broad overview of a bill House Republicans will soon introduce that would implement new citizenship documentation requirements for people to register to vote, which experts have said would make voting harder for many eligible voters like naturalized citizens and young voters." It would be easy to say that Republicans love making illegal things which are already illegal, but the real focus of this is to discourage voting by people who have every right to vote. It's also to give the GOP a talking point for this coming election.

"President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign is wrangling with Republican-dominated state governments in Ohio and Alabama to assure he is listed on their fall ballots, as once-mundane procedural negotiations get caught up in the nation’s fractious politics."

Sunday, April 7, 2024

Linkee-poo pre-eclipse

"Baron, author of the 2017 book American Eclipse: A Nation's Epic Race to Catch the Shadow of the Moon and Win the Glory of the World, wants others to witness its majesty too. On April 8, millions of people across North America will get that chance — a total solar eclipse will appear in the sky. Baron promises it will be a surreal, otherworldly experience. 'It's like you've left the solar system and are looking back from some other world.'"

"When the container ship Dali struck the base of the Francis Scott Key Bridge early Tuesday morning, it set off a rapid chain of events. The bridge crumpled into the Patapsco River, its twisted metal draped over the ship and its thousands of containers. Eight construction workers and their cars tumbled into the water. Two of the workers are dead; four are still missing and presumed dead. And the whole disaster is now blocking one of the country's busiest ports, the Port of Baltimore."

"A few weeks ago, something from the heavens came crashing through the roof of Alejandro Otero's home, and NASA is on the case… In all likelihood, this nearly 2-pound object came from the International Space Station. Otero said it tore through the roof and both floors of his two-story house in Naples, Florida."

"During times when energy is abundant and cheap to produce, SRP pumps water from Saguaro Lake - one of the reservoirs it manages at a lower elevation - uphill to this reservoir. Then at times when energy production slows, SRP can release that same water back downhill to produce power. Then the process starts over again… This method of storing electricity has become especially critical as SRP has invested more in solar power."

"A mere 57 oil, gas, coal and cement producers are directly linked to 80% of the world’s global fossil CO2 emissions since the 2016 Paris climate agreement, a study has shown." But I'm sure your choice to drive a small car is what will save us.

"But while hundreds of thousands of new residents have flocked to (Florida) on the promise of beautiful weather, no income tax and lower costs, nearly 500,000 left in 2022, according to the most recent census data. Contributing to their move was a perfect storm of soaring insurance costs, a hostile political environment, worsening traffic and extreme weather, according to interviews with more than a dozen recent transplants and longtime residents who left the state in the past two years."

"On Monday, the Texas Department of State Health Services announced that a person who was exposed to dairy cattle presumed to be infected with bird flu had also caught the virus." Ahhh…

"Unauthorized enrollment or plan-switching is emerging as a serious challenge for the ACA, also known as Obamacare. Brokers say the ease with which rogue agents can get into policyholder accounts in the 32 states served by the federal marketplace plays a major role in the problem, according to an investigation by KFF Health News… Indeed, armed with only a person's name, date of birth, and state, a licensed agent can access a policyholder's coverage through the federal exchange or its direct enrollment platforms. It's harder to do through state ACA markets, because they often require additional information." Here's the thing, in my profession anything like this would result in the loss of the license, removal from the national registry, and a lifelong ban from working in healthcare.

"So anyone who's been told they have cancer must wrestle with difficult decisions about sharing the news. Do you tell little kids in the family? Elderly relatives? Colleagues at work? All your friends and neighbors?"

"You've heard that it's a tough time to buy a house, but exactly how tough is it?… A pair of recent studies predicts that you'd need to earn more than $100,000 per year to comfortably afford a typical home in much of the U.S. right now."

"The federal Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) appears poised to mandate a SawStop-type safety brake on all new table saws sold in the United States. The move would follow years of failed efforts and false starts by the agency to impose such a standard."

"Tesla has canceled the long-promised inexpensive car that investors have been counting on to drive its growth into a mass-market automaker, according to three sources familiar with the matter and company messages seen by Reuters… The automaker will continue developing self-driving robotaxis on the same small-vehicle platform, the sources said."

"All of the world’s billionaires younger than 30 inherited their wealth, the first wave of “the great wealth transfer” in which more than 1,000 wealthy people are expected to pass on more than $5.2tn (£4.1tn) to their heirs over the next two decades." And now you know why the conservatives were hell bent on removing the inheritance tax, but not willing to reform Medicaid claw back actions.

"José Andrés, the founder of the World Central Kitchen that feeds people in war and disaster zones, said Monday that his organization has lost 'several' of its international volunteers in an Israeli airstrike in the Gaza Strip… The Israeli military said in a statement it is investigating the report 'at the highest levels to understand the circumstances of this tragic incident.'"

"Iran said Monday that Israel killed two of its generals and several others in an airstrike on the Iranian consulate in the Syrian capital Damascus… Iranian state media said at least seven members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' elite overseas wing, known as the Quds Force, were killed when Israeli F-35s struck the building with six rockets, almost entirely demolishing it. Syrian state media said the airstrike leveled the Iranian embassy annex." That is what's called an escalation. I would like to be generous and say that it was a mistake, but unfortunately it's too easy to see this as deliberately provoking a response from Iran, widening the war in an attempt to justify the harshness and continuation of operations in Gaza.

"A doctor at a field hospital for detained Palestinians at Israel’s Sde Teiman army base has described 'deplorable conditions' and 'routine' amputations due to handcuff injuries, according to an exclusive report from the newspaper Haaretz."

"Michigan U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg suggested that nuclear weapons should be dropped on Gaza, which his office said was a metaphor to 'support Israel’s swift elimination of Hamas… It should be like Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Get it over quick,' Walberg says in a video circulating on social media, referencing the Japanese cities that the U.S. dropped atomic bombs on at the end of World War II." What an asshole.

"This would certainly be a worrying world news development. Earlier that week, Israel had conducted an airstrike on Iran's embassy in Syria, killing two generals as well as other officers. Retaliation from Iran seemed like a plausible occurrence… But, there was one major problem: Iran did not attack Israel. The headline was fake… Even more concerning, the fake headline was apparently generated by X's own official AI chatbot, Grok, and then promoted by X's trending news product, Explore, on the very first day of an updated version of the feature."

"Meta blocked a newspaper’s critical report about it on Facebook and its other social sites for hours, sparking a backlash that intensified after the company appeared to subsequently block links to the website of an independent journalist who republished the report."

"Newly released law enforcement footage captures the moment California police fatally shot an unarmed 15-year-old girl who was a reported kidnapping victim."

"Voters in Enid decided by a nearly 20-point margin Tuesday to remove a City Council member over his ties to white nationalist groups… Judd Blevins lost his seat on Enid’s six-member City Council by 268 votes, according to unofficial results from the Oklahoma State Election Board. Nearly 1,400 people turned out, about a quarter of Ward 1’s registered voters and hundreds more than voted when Blevins was first elected last year." Good.

"A judge ruled this week that a top Georgia Republican Party official, who has promoted former President Donald Trump's claims of widespread voter fraud affecting the outcome of the 2020 presidential election, has repeatedly voted illegally… Brian Pritchard, first vice chairman of the Georgia Republican Party and a conservative talk show host, was fined $5,000 for voting illegally and registering to vote while serving a sentence for a felony conviction. Pritchard was also ordered not to commit further violations, to face public reprimand for his conduct and to pay the State Election Board's investigative costs." There's a lot to unpack in there.

"Former President Donald Trump posted a $175 million bond Monday in his New York civil fraud case. Meanwhile, a judge approved the expansion of Trump's gag order in his hush-money case to include the judge's family."

"At RePlatform in Las Vegas, GabPay got to be the hero. But it's also possible that the company was part of why Stripe froze the conference's money in the first place. A few weeks earlier, a news story by Mother Jones about the event highlighted a promotional appearance that GabPay's executives had made on far-right conspiracy theorist Stew Peters' streaming show." It's so amazing that we keep hearing from all these people who have been "cancelled." It's almost like the claim of being cancelled is bullshit.

"Before Clark's testimony, his lawyer talked about wanting to prevent him from having to repeatedly assert his Fifth Amendment right and 'avoid us being on MSNBC for no good reason.'… Once his testimony got underway, Clark repeatedly asserted his Fifth Amendment right, as well as law enforcement privilege, deliberative process and attorney-client privilege."