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

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Linkee-poo May 23

Girding my loins for the annual Summer of Remembering People Who Died for Your Freedom bullshit. The traditional launch of which occurs on Memorial Day, which ironicly is a day set aside for us to remember those who have died to protect our freedom (or at least our "national interests" for the various definition of those). So in honor of those who gave all, don't forget to shop the crazy sales of mattresses, cars, and everything else.

"The economic damage wrought by climate change is six times worse than previously thought, with global heating set to shrink wealth at a rate consistent with the level of financial losses of a continuing permanent war, research has found." We're boned.

"The crew of a sinking yacht was rescued off the coast of Spain this week after a pod of orcas apparently rammed the vessel – the latest "attack" by the marine mammals in the area that has left scientists stumped, several boats at the bottom of the ocean and scores more damaged." Team Orca.

"More than 200 people with diabetes were injured when their insulin pumps shut down unexpectedly due to a problem with a connected mobile app, the US Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday… Version 2.7 of the t:connect Apple iOS app – used with the t:slim X2 insulin pump with Control-IQ – has been recalled due to a software issue that causes the app to crash and relaunch. This cycle drains the pump battery, causing it to shut down sooner than expected and suspend insulin delivery." Oopsie.

"So Americans are not likely to get those other sunscreens — which do a better job of blocking UVA rays that can cause skin cancer and lead to wrinkles — in time for this summer, or even the next… Sunscreen makers say the U.S. approval standards are unfair because companies, including BASF Corp. and L'OrĂ©al which make the newer sunscreen chemicals, submitted safety data on sunscreen chemicals to the European Union authorities some 20 years ago."

"'Steward Health Care has done everything in its power to operate successfully in a highly challenging health care environment,' said Steward's CEO Ralph de la Torre… Flanked by health care officials, union leaders and the state's attorney general Monday morning, Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey placed the blame for Steward's bankruptcy squarely on the shoulders of company leaders… 'This situation stems from and is rooted in greed, mismanagement and lack of transparency on the part of Steward leadership in Dallas, Texas,' Healey said."

"Military servicemembers like Grahfls are known as 'atomic veterans,' and they're on the verge of losing federal benefits meant to compensate for the long-term health effects of their work… They're part of a group fighting for a critical lifeline known as the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act, or RECA. The 34-year-old law is set to expire next month."

"Red Lobster, America's largest seafood chain known for its shrimp and Cheddar Bay biscuits, has filed for bankruptcy… Its seafood restaurants are in hot water after a series of bad choices by a parade of executives, including an ill-fated promotion for all-you-can-eat-shrimp starting at $20." Most of the articles surrounding this site the "all you can eat shrimp" but then hide… "A private equity firm bought the chain ten years ago… The firm… funded the deal partly by selling Red Lobster's real estate… That's now a major financial factor in Red Lobster's bankruptcy filing, which asks the court to reject 108 leases, letting the company abandon those locations… After massive financial losses during the pandemic, followed by increases in the costs of food and wages, Thai Union pursued extensive cost-cutting at Red Lobster. The chain was run by a conveyor belt of executives; it had no CEO for a year." So I'm thinking it wasn't really the shrimp deal.

"Congress has less than a decade to fix Social Security before the popular program runs short of cash, threatening a sharp cut in benefits for nearly 60 million retirees and family members, according to a government report released Monday." Remove the income cap for paying Social Security and Medicare taxes. Reclassify streams of income that have been removed from taxes (pass through, capital gains, etc) back into "earned income."

"President Biden has quadrupled tariffs on electric vehicles from China — from 25% to an eye-watering 100% — in a move designed to bolster U.S. jobs and manufacturing." Now the question is, while American businesses take the baton and run with it. History points to no. We tried to do the same thing with HD TV. And what did we do? American companies produced a fairly robust system, and then sold all their IP to Asian companies (or at the very least, outsourced the manufacture and licensed the IP).

"About 8.9% of credit card balances fell into delinquency over the last year, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York — a sign that a growing number of borrowers are feeling the strain of rising prices and high interest rates." Rhut rho.

"Major U.S. airlines are suing the U.S. Transportation Department over a new rule requiring upfront disclosure of airline fees, the latest clash between air carriers and the Biden administration." On noes, someone is upset they have to be honest and forthright with their customers.

"Target says it is dropping the prices of 5,000 common items, joining a growing list of stores trying to draw inflation-weary shoppers… Target's list of price cuts, posted on Monday, includes 'milk, meat, bread, soda, fresh fruit and vegetables, snacks, yogurt, peanut butter, coffee, diapers, paper towels, pet food and more.' The company said it has already lowered prices of about 1,500 items and will continue to do so throughout the summer." If they can lower the prices, that means they raised the prices without cause in the first place.

"Lawyers for Scarlett Johansson are demanding that OpenAI disclose how it developed an AI personal assistant voice that the actress says sounds uncannily similar to her own… Johansson's legal team has sent OpenAI two letters asking the company to detail the process by which it developed a voice the tech company dubbed 'Sky,' Johansson's publicist told NPR in a revelation that has not been previously reported." OpenAI thinks it can do whatever it wants because they have been able to get away with it so far.

"Individual members of Israel’s security forces are tipping off far-right activists and settlers to the location of aid trucks delivering vital supplies to Gaza, enabling the groups to block and vandalise the convoys, according to multiple sources… Settlers intercepting the vital humanitarian supplies to the strip are receiving information about the location of the aid trucks from members of the Israeli police and military, a spokesperson from the main Israeli activist group behind the blockades told the Guardian."

"Photos: Authorities move in to clear pro-Palestinian protesters from UC Irvine."

"Spokespeople at several Ohio universities, including Ohio State, Kent State and University of Akron have said they are reviewing race-based scholarships and programs for potential noncompliance." Segregation comes in many forms.

"The problem is getting worse. Sheriffs' officers are twice as deadly as they were a decade ago, according to a CBS News analysis of FBI data, and increasingly, they are taking on a larger role in policing American towns, since small police departments have been shutting down and ceding their responsibilities to county sheriffs… A dozen sheriffs interviewed by CBS News said they hold themselves to a high standard. But some acknowledged that there is little is in place to hold them accountable if they don't. Many attribute that to their unique status as independently elected officials who are, nonetheless, empowered with the discretion to take away a person's life or liberty."

"A new report adds to a growing line of research showing that police departments don’t solve serious or violent crimes with any regularity, and in fact, spend very little time on crime control, in contrast to popular narratives."

"For decades, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has routinely warned its agents that the white supremacist and far-right militant groups it investigates often have links to law enforcement. Yet the justice department has no national strategy designed to protect the communities policed by these dangerously compromised law enforcers. As our nation grapples with how to reimagine public safety in the wake of the protests following the police killing of George Floyd, it is time to confront and resolve the persistent problem of explicit racism in law enforcement."

"Republican lawmakers in Tennessee gave final approval on Monday to an aggressive plan to split Nashville, a Democratic bastion, in a deeply Republican state, into several congressional districts as part of an effort to tilt the state’s congressional map in their favor. The plan is now waiting for approval from Governor Bill Lee, who is likely to sign it."

"After the 2020 presidential election, as some Trump supporters falsely claimed that President Biden had stolen the office, many of them displayed a startling symbol outside their homes, on their cars and in online posts: an upside-down American flag… One of the homes flying an inverted flag during that time was the residence of Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., in Alexandria, Va., according to photographs and interviews with neighbors." They're not really hiding anymore. Although, when the shit hit the fan, Alito started blaming everyone else, including his wife and a neighbor.

"Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, argued that President Joe Biden should have pardoned Donald Trump after the Justice Department brought indictments against the former president and pressured New York prosecutors not to pursue Trump's ongoing hush money trial." Romney is so wrong, it's almost impossible for him to even see what is right.

"Donald Trump’s lawyers rested their defense Tuesday without the former president taking the witness stand in his New York hush money criminal trial, moving the case closer to the moment the jury will begin deciding his fate."

"Arizona prosecutors have tried for weeks – and so far failed – to serve Rudy Giuliani with notice of his indictment related to an alleged scheme to overturn the 2020 election results in that state."

And then… "Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani was officially served with a felony indictment on Friday night for allegedly interfering in Arizona's 2020 presidential election. Officials with the office of Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes served Giuliani in front of nearly 100 guests at his 80th birthday celebration in the Palm Beach, Florida area."

"In 2010, Kennedy, now 70, experienced severe memory loss and mental fog, he said in a deposition two years later. According to the Times, he consulted top neurologists familiar with the medical history of his uncle, the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, who had died of brain cancer in 2009. A New York doctor, after reviewing a scan of his brain, told him that his health issues could be 'caused by a worm that got into my brain and ate a portion of it and then died,' Kennedy said in the 2012 deposition, which concerned a divorce from his second wife, Mary Richardson Kennedy. Robert Kennedy said at the time that his earning power had been negatively affected by the cognitive issues, the Times reported." In a normal election, that would be the end of his campaign.

"Former President Donald Trump posted a video on Monday showing images of a fake newspaper article that references a 'unified Reich' if he’s reelected in 2024… The video details 'what happens after Donald Trump wins”' with a narrator reading hypothetical headlines like 'Economy Booms!' and 'Border is closed,' styled as World War I-era newspaper clippings. Under one headline that reads 'What’s next for America?' is a reference to the 'creation of a unified Reich.'"

"Nearly three in five Americans wrongly believe the US is in an economic recession, and the majority blame the Biden administration, according to a Harris poll conducted exclusively for the Guardian. The survey found persistent pessimism about the economy as election day draws closer… The poll highlighted many misconceptions people have about the economy…" It's like there's a constant stream of misinformation that is sometimes amplified by the media. No, the information war has not ended. "Another thing that hasn’t changed: views on the economy largely depend on which political party people belong to." Shocked, shocked I am…

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