Linkee-poo, let me hear that Rock 'n Roll music

It's a basic "division of labor" issue. It's a shocking development when just one person does a "terrible" thing. While the overall task looks like an insurmountable mountain to climb, if we all just punched one neo-nazi we would be that much further along.

Alanis Morissette’s update “Ironic” for a Late Late Show appearance. (Grokked from Dan)

Wanna know how and when your representatives vote on things? there's an app for that. "Once you've shared your opinion (they have a poll of if you agree with your representative's vote), you can send email or call your legislator directly from VoteSpotter to keep them accountable." A little retro in action, but interesting. (Grokked from John)

"Research funded by the DoD Suicide Prevention Office shows how information on social media can provide an important window into a person’s state of mind. Social media platforms provide potential opportunities for individuals to connect to support or treatment they need. For instance, social media posts that convey messages of despair or a pattern of increasing hopelessness over a period of time could spur outreach from peers, who in turn can help connect a friend or teammate to commanders and professionals." This really isn't rocket-science, folks. When someone says they're depressed, believe them. When they make threats against themselves, believe them. If someone you care for (or others) shows signs of isolation, depression, and thoughts outside the norm, reach out to them. It may even be only a "like", which can say "I see you." It can be difficult in these times to sort out some of these signals, but make an effort for the people close to you. (Grokked from Fran Wilde)

Neuroscientists apply some of their methodologies to a computer. With somewhat predictable outcomes (our methods don't show the whole picture and can lead to false positives). Again, the brain is not a computer. (Grokked from Dan)

That traffic-camera ticket and a court case to dismiss it. Or how when we're not watching, those in government will tray almost anything in the name of "law and order." (Grokked from John)

"A bill that would require public officials in Indiana to dispatch law enforcement swiftly to remove any protesters blocking traffic by 'any means necessary' prompted uproar on Wednesday." It's fine, I'm sure it's fine. (Grokked from somebody, lost the link, sorry)

"While most of the world is still buzzing with positive energy from the Women's Marches on Saturday, several Republican legislators have been working hard to potentially make future peaceful protests a punishable offense." Jeebus, Teen Vogue is one thing, but when you've lost Cosmo you've really gone off the deep end. But the conservatives are just following the 12th Commandment, "That shall not embarrass or inconvenience the people in places of power." It's there in the Bible. (Grokked from Laura J Mixon)

Linkee-poo before Confusion

Just a few things. But about to head to Confusion, my annual time to confer, converse, and otherwise hob-nob with my writing friends. So don't expect anything until Monday. Sorry. I know that Friday and Saturday are going to be yuge and bigly. But blissfully I will be unawares of things (probably not, I apologize in advance for any untoward cursing and shouting that may occur spontaneously). Relax. Do what you can. Pay attention. Stay hydrated. Take care of yourself and others. I'm sure there will be things to discuss on Monday.

Okay, sorry, this was supposed to publish yesterday (and it's still scheduled, for yesterday). But it allows me to add one more.

All mention of climate change has been removed from the White House website. Doesn't have time to vet cabinet members or hire a staff, but time enough to do this scrub. Priorities. (Grokked from Jeff VanderMeer)

So what do I really think? Well, as usual I have smart friends to tend to put things better than I can. For example, here is John Scalzi on the end of the Obama era and the start of the Trump reign.

Ima just gonna leave this here. "Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s office won’t say who is paying for the Hawaii Democrat’s controversial trip to Syria and Lebanon this week… This isn’t the first time Gabbard has defied her party or conventional norms. She criticized the Obama administration's actions on Syria, endorsed Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary and was one of the first Democrats to meet with President-elect Donald Trump… Gabbard, who sits on both the Armed Services and Foreign Affairs committees is opposed to U.S. military intervention in the war-ravaged country." (Grokked from Xeni Jardin) So, remember those Carrier (and Rexnord) jobs? "All told more than 1,600 jobs are leaving that Trump vowed to save." Yep, their still screwed. Also, the workers who are staying still haven't seen what the deal is. There are also a few workers who voted for Trump, who are losing their jobs, but they have faith Trump will bring them back. My advice, look what that kind of optimism did for coal. If you can move, move. Because the jobs aren't coming back, folks. Trump may capitalize on the re-shoring trend already in progress, but while the numbers of widgets out the door have increased, with automation the number of jobs are about a tenth of what they were. (Grokked from Michele)

Tweet of my heart: @KAmorphous It's not just a Farewell Address from Obama. It's a Farewell Address from the America I was starting to have hope in. #ObamaFarewell (Grokked from Shiela)

Linkee-poo, black water keeps rolling on past just the same

Hmm, I see some of our friends from Russia are still here. But man have you guys been overtaken by China. (Debates adding ads and starting a turf war between Russian trolls and China link farmers)

"Oxfam's accounting works like this: your net worth is your assets minus your debts… That means if you are debt-free, and have one penny, you are richer than the poorest 40% of the Earth: 2,800,000,000 people." What it really means is that those who are least able to afford debt, are the ones who carry the most. And here in the US, much of your debt is indexed against your FICO. The lower it is, the more you will have to pay (and that includes everything from not being able to get a good paying job, to what you pay for insurance, to your interest rates on loans - if you're even able to get a loan).

"The newly-minted chair of the House Appropriations Committee said Monday that both House and Senate leadership, as well as the incoming Trump administration, had made a “promise” to have a replacement ready for Obamacare as soon as it is repealed." Would you trade Obamacare for what's behind Curtain Number 3?

"Under this (legislative) proposal (from a conservative controlled legislature), if a utility provided energy produced by a large-scale wind or solar plant to Wyoming residents, it would be fined $10 per megawatt sold. Only energy from coal, natural gas, nuclear, hydroelectric, oil and small-scale, privately-owned solar panels and wind turbines could be sold without repercussions." Remember when Republicans where the "free-market" party? (Grokked from John Scalzi)

"Generally, this model forces insurers to take fewer risks so that they can still make money. They do this by excluding preexisting conditions and paying fewer claims. In such a market, fewer people are helped, and when they are able to get insurance, they pay a lot more for it than if they were part of an employee-sponsored plan… The Affordable Care Act changed all of this. Companies were required to stop doing these bad things. In exchange for taking on substantially more risk of less healthy patients, they were promised more business by getting access to more potential customers." On what went wrong and why repealing will not lead to a replacement. (Grokked from Ferrett Steinmetz)

"U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady, R-The Woodlands, faced a skeptical and at times testy crowd Tuesday as dozens of people arrived at an afternoon meeting to make sure he knew they would not let the Affordable Care Act end without a fight." He still supports repeal. (Grokked from Kathryn Cramer)

"Millionaire president-elect Donald Trump tweeted at @Ivanka, but that ain't his daughter. Even better, Ivanka Majic smacked him down for good measure." It's. His. Own. Fucking. Daughter. Drunk tweeting again. (Grokked from Dan)

The DeVos confirmation hearing train wreck. I guess "extreme vetting" isn't for internal consumption. This is what happens when you choose people for ideology, especially when it's a one-trick-pony kind of ideology (school vouchers/dismantle public education). Mrs. DeVos is all over that. (Grokked from Kathryn Cramer)

"Conservative talk radio host Laura Ingraham says she's considering a 2018 challenge to Democrat Tim Kaine for a U.S. Senate seat representing Virginia." Oh please let us see that salute at the RNC 1000x over creating another "I'm not a witch" moment.

"In response to Donald Trump’s pending inauguration, Shepard Fairey has designed a series of posters featuring groups he considers traditionally marginalized. The “We the People” series is the work of Fairey — with contributions from artists Jessica Sabogal and Ernesto Yerena — and it has raised several hundred thousand dollars to purchase full-page ads with the posters in the Washington Post to make a statement on Inauguration Day." Stands and salutes. (Grokked from Dan)

So, with only a few days left, how is the transition going? Opens door. "The Obama administration has written 275 briefing papers for the incoming Trump administration: nearly 1,000 pages of classified material on North Korea’s nuclear program, the military campaign against the Islamic State, tensions in the South China Sea, and every other kind of threat the new team could face in its first weeks in office… Nobody in the current administration knows whether anyone in the next has read any of it." Closes door. To be fair, there's a lot that needs to happen for the transition, and almost no modern transition has been without hiccups (you might remember the stream of Obama appointees who had tax issues). But, yeah, sorta wow. (Grokked from Chuck Wendig)

Tweet of my heart: @Attervar If you feel like you're in the wrong universe, remember all this weird crap only started after they turned on the Large Hadron Collider. (Grokked from Joshua Parker)

Linkee-poo, here's your ticket, pack your bags, time for jumping overboard

The James White Award for new writers in SF. From their rules page (which you should read in full) "The James White Award is open to previously unpublished stories between 1000 and 6000 words by non-professional authors. Submissions are welcome from authors based anywhere in the world, but the stories must be written in English." No fee, online submission process. Deadline is Friday. (Grokked from Steven Gould)

Terri Windling on every day being Judgement Day. "Some artists fear the judgement of failure: the manuscript unpublished, the painting unsold; and others the judgement of the marketplace: bad reviews, poor sales, disappointed fans. Some fear specific kinds of judgement: the lowered esteem of colleagues or certain critics, the negative opinions of family or friends. And for others, the harshest judge of all is the one who whispers inside our own head…" And the bad part, as a graduate of Art School, I was critiqued every single day and in every class. I have about a thick of a skin as you're likely to see. And since August I've been dealing with this question of "perfection is the enemy of good." Being the grandchild and child of perfectionists it's a high-hurdle to cross once you stop running. Damn Newton, inertia is a hard thing to get past. "Perfectionism is a bargain with the Universe: If my work is absolutely perfectly, then you, oh Universe, will absolve me from my mortal share of judgement, criticism, disappointment, and hurt. But the bargain never works." I may need to read this post a few more times to let all those lessons I once learned sink back into my thick skull and try to kick out the others who have invaded it.

Elizabeth Bear on a similar vein. "Because as all writers know, the only way to get that book--the book that speaks with your own voice--is to write it… And then fail, because every book is a failure in some way, even if only its author knows it." There's a recurring theme in my reading about writing, it's "get off the internet." And it's something I'm struggling with. Hell, I've been struggling with it since Alex C. Renwick made the comment to me so many damn years ago. But I've been struggling hard with it since Nov. 8th. You might remember that I said before the election that I would be going lighter with posting here after the election. That hasn't happened (do I need to explain why). However I have taken large breaks (and have been very creative during those times). I don't know why I need to keep relearning this lesson. Sorry to make this about me (isn't this whole damn blog about me?), but it's reached a point that the Universe is trying to send me a message.

"A lot of people mix up children's names or friends' names, but Deffler is a cognitive scientist at Rollins College, in Winter Park, Fla., and she wanted to find out why it happens. So she did a survey of 1,700 men and women of different ages, and she found that naming mistakes are very common. Most everyone sometimes mixes up the names of family and friends." The mind is not a computer. Also note the use of "folder" as an easy metaphor. Before graphic UI (like the Mac and Windows) they would have said "directory."

"Gretchen Rubin, mega-bestselling author of The Happiness Project, says the key to long-term habit change is understanding how we respond to expectations. She names four broad categories of responders: the Ravenclaw, Gryffindor, Hufflepuff and Slytherin of habit-changing. Figuring out your cognitive house might be the key to changing your bad habits for good. Including one habit we hear about a lot: clinging to the phone right up until our eyes drop closed." A Note to Self podcast.

"The report by the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that supports legalized abortion, puts the rate at 14.6 abortions per 1,000 women of childbearing age (ages 15-44) in 2014. That's the lowest recorded rate since the Roe decision in 1973. The abortion rate has been declining for decades — down from a peak of 29.3 in 1980 and 1981." Some of it is because of restrictions, but the majority is because of better, cheaper, and longer last birth control for women. Another effect of Obamacare which is about to be gutted in a one-two punch from dismantling the ACA and defunding Planned Parenthood. Also, the experiment in Colorado, which provided free long term birth control to low-income women, wasn't adopted by the state lawmakers (the trial period was privately funded) even though it would save Colorado hundred of millions in other programs.

Payola is alive and well even if it isn't called that.

"There is one fact that is both central to the debate over repealing the Affordable Care Act yet strangely absent from explicit discussion about it. One of the main ways the ACA makes health insurance affordable is by providing families earning less than 400 percent of the poverty line… with tax credits to defray the cost of purchasing insurance… Democrats who wrote the law didn’t find the money for those subsidies hidden in a banana stand — they did what Democrats like to do when paying for things and raised taxes on affluent families." This may have a lot to do with conservative scorn of Obamacare, but I still believe they see it as a threat to their power and learned the (wrong) lessons of Social Security and Medicare (when they lost power in Congress for decades). And I don't believe they'll move on from repealing the ACA because they can't propose a workable alternative, they'll just repeal and never replace (except with half-hearted gestures that in reality mean nothing). (Grokked from Kathryn Cramer)

How big pharma has high-jacked the Orphan Drug legislation to get big subsidies for their best selling drugs. Yep, we have too much regulation going on. This is why we have "too much" regulation. It's because assholes always try to get a free ride and spoil the punch.

"In control of Congress and soon the White House, Republicans are readying plans to roll back the influence of the Endangered Species Act, one of the government’s most powerful conservation tools, after decades of complaints that it hinders drilling, logging and other activities." Because why the fuck not. Because after we actually have the renewable power revolution, we won't want or need any of those animals and we'll accept blasted landscape in place of natural beauty. Can you tell a green field from a cold steel rail? A smile from a veil? Do you think you can tell? (Grokked from Chuck Wendig)

"Incoming White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus claimed during a Sunday interview that Republicans never questioned the legitimacy of President Barack Obama's election victory, despite the fact that President-elect Donald Trump himself spent years pushing the so-called birther movement." Well that answers my question about if Reince Priebus looks like he drinks too much. The answer is yes.

Going to see your congressman in person works. "Colorado congressman Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO), who vowed to 'stand up' to President-elect Donald Trump, left his own community event early on Saturday after a crowd of constituents showed up with questions." In fairness, he met with constituents a few at a time, which left many people who showed up out in the cold.

Apparently, for Trump, his first day will be Monday. Cause, you know, Friday will lead to a weekend bender or something. I would point to the Time of London article, but unfortunately it's behind a paywall. Great work ethic you've got there, Mr. PEOTUS. (Grokked from Laura J Mixon)

"Some flippers, who acquired tickets to Trump's inauguration with the intent of reselling them on the secondary market, are striking out in their efforts to peddle them and are now looking at some relatively 'yuge' losses." Considering I saw the Inauguration offer "free" tickets in a Facebook ad last night, yeah, I think they're in big trouble. (Grokked from Maureen Johnson)

Tweet of my heart: @matociquala if you're keeping a safe distance from your work while you're in the first flush of creation, you're not making good art. (actually the whole tweet storm is worthwhile)

Linkee-poo, and every time I thought I'd got it made it seemed the taste was not so sweet

Today it seems relevant to return to an old quote, "Freedom can not be given, it must be torn from the hands of those who would deny it to you." Or as Dr King put it, "We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed."

"Free speech advocates see President-elect Trumps's testy relationship with the media and his middle-of-the-night tweets reacting to critics as evidence that he is — at best — insensitive to the First Amendment. And they say one recent controversy, the decision by Simon & Schuster to publish a book by social media provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos, has grown out of an atmosphere that encourages hate speech." Severe teen-aged eye-roll. The call to boycott S&S as censorship? The right to free speech doesn't include a publishing deal (if so, where the fuck is mine?), it doesn't mean there are no consequences. Is it a form of censorship? In an exceedingly around the park way (equal to going to your corner store by way of orbiting the Moon). There there are bigger forces of censorship that fall into play that are considered "acceptable" before you get to that. As Dennis Johnson, head of Melville House, says "Nobody in the protest is saying 'you have no right to be published… You have no right, Simon & Schuster, to publish this guy, and this guy, you have no right to be published' — nobody's saying that. What they're saying is, 'we're shocked and we're outraged that you would stoop so low to make a buck as to publish this purveyor of vile hate speech.'" We're also saying, "and it won't be our bucks you'll be earning." Harsh, but very far away from the concept "the press is only free if you actually own a paper." Milo is a walking, talking load of crap most sewage plants wouldn't accept. As long as his work isn't plagiarized or falls into any of the buckets by which we restrict the 1st Amendment, S&S can publish him. But we also get to say he's crap and S&S is being opportunistic and catering to the worst of us and we won't buy his (or their) books. That said, S&S might sell a buttload of his books to the faithful (who probably won't read them, but buy them because "can't let those damn lefties win") and with that money might be able to publish some more mid-range authors that will give us good stories. They just won't do it with my money and Milo can fall down a well.

Light pillars. (Grokked from Jim Hines)

Ah sheep. So peaceful, so passive. OMG, WTF? That's a video of a ram being spooked by a car doing what rams do (butting heads) but to the shepherd. "When cometh the day we lowly ones, through quiet reflection and great dedication master the art of karate…"

Making nail salons a slightly less toxic environment for their workers. Now, if we could also get them to a living wage and stop the rampant wage theft in the industry, that would also be great.

Tying knots with chemicals. I don't remember that from Boy Scouts.

Sure there's no race problem with police in this country. They're all upstanding… the Vanity Fair article on the DoJ investigation of the Chicago Police. Just a reminder, Chicago Police ran at least one "off the books" interrogation center. (Grokked from Xeni Jardin)

Toadies will always volunteer. "A pack of former Breitbart staffers are publicizing their plans to create a political action committee that would pressure lawmakers into falling in line with Donald Trump’s political agenda." Ooh, ooh, they should all wear black shirts when they "organized town hall confrontations and a team of reporters that would 'ambush' unfriendly lawmakers." Maybe they could get matching ones at the Hugo Boss store.

"The more persuasive theory, supported by no less than Edward Snowden, is that the Shadow Brokers are one of the same Russian government hacking groups now accused of targeting the U.S. election. Coincidently, the same day the Shadow Brokers said goodbye, the hacker who claimed responsibility for penetrating the DNC suddenly re-emerged after nearly two months of silence." Say "Moose and Squirrel". Come on. Just for me? (Grokked from Xeni Jardin)

The sound of shoes dropping. "The Justice Department's watchdog has launched a sweeping review of conduct by the FBI director and other department officials before the presidential election, following calls from Congress and members of the public."

Your giggle moment for the day, "Workers preparing for the inauguration Jan. 20 have taped over the name of the company — 'Don's Johns' — that has long supplied portable restrooms for major outdoor events."

Linkee-poo shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die

Whelp, that's actually not such a bad idea to generate a social media filter list. (Grokked from Daniel J. Hogan)

"‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ played on a 100-year-old fairground organ." Okay, starts out slow, but by the time you get to the trial you should be hooked. (Grokked from Dan)

Engineering salmonella to eat glioblastomas. Okay then. Wow, that would be amazing if it works without killing the patient. That's going to be a hellofahurdle to overcome to get approval for trials, because basically you're giving the patient meningitis. There would have to be something that kills the salmonella when it can't find anymore purine rich cells (because, IIRC, once the "good stuff" is gone it'll just go to a slow growth by eating other cells (which have lower purine content). And there's a reason we have a blood/brain barrier. (Grokked from John)

"Later, I used an intermediary to pass some questions to active duty CIA officers dealing with the case file - they would not speak to me directly. I got a message back that there was 'more than one tape', 'audio and video', on 'more than one date', in 'more than one place' - in the Ritz-Carlton in Moscow and also in St Petersburg - and that the material was 'of a sexual nature'." It's quite possible this is all a part of a grand disinformation plan (again, the Russians aren't friends of either party, but they will play them against each other and might have set up one party to make a spectacular fireball and crash of democracy). Or, it could all be true and the Russians are still playing it to the same ends. It could also be an EU attempt to force Trump into supporting NATO (of which they think he's rather weak), although that appears less likely after Brexit. Actually there are at least 3 more grand scenarios with multiples of complications and motivations that I can think of just off the top of my head. But I'm thinking the obvious answer, most of the memo is correct if incomplete, is probably the best bet at this point. (Grokked from Mary Robinette Kowal)

"Sometimes, the general public is completely unaware of very important decisions government makes because they are shrouded in technicalities. Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed a bill that could crippled the ability of government to regulate private industry." And we all know how well we can trust private industry to keep us safe. Remember this goodie from 2008 when some Chinese industries use melamine as a milk additive to boost its protein count? (Grokked from Justine Larbalestier)

Project Vertias caught trying to recruit liberals to be paid to demonstrate and disrupt the inauguration. Writes fan fiction where some people in organized crime take up the offer, successfully disrupt the inauguration, and then show up in O'Keefe's office demanding payment. (Grokked from Michele)

This is how you do it. On live TV at a CNN town hall a GOP activist and cancer patient confronts Paul Ryan, asks him why he is proceeding with Obamacare repeal without a replacement ready. He then says to Ryan that without Obamacare he would be dead (and yes, he would have been, many people don't remember what it was like before Obamacare) and thanks Obama. Again, conservative changes mind when the problem becomes real to him and his family.

Tweet of my heart: ‏@jakebackpack Almost as if boomers engaged a massive generational program of capital sequestration, treating their children's future lives as unpaid debts (Grokked from Annalee Flower Horne)

Was in response to this tweet: @AP Millennials earn 20 percent less than baby boomers did at the same stage of life, according to a new analysis.

Quote du jour: Johnny "Cash said: 'You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don't try to forget the mistakes, but you don't dwell on it. You don't let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.'" (Grokked from the Writers Almanac)

Linkee-poo's OK, I'm alright, I ain't gonna face no defeat

"Fitness tracking is all the rage right now… Fresno Chaffee Zoo, in Fresno, Calif., is taking fitness tracking to a mammoth new level — part of a national project to guard the health and happiness of zoo elephants." Mommy, why is the elephant wearing a fitbit?

"Computer scientists at University College London recently felt a disturbance in the force. They discovered a Twitter botnet – which they think could comprise more than 350,000 accounts – that has tweeted thousands of random quotations from Star Wars novels." While the researchers seem puzzled as they don't know why these accounts were set up, the miss the point that in warfare there are long hours of intense boredom that surround an intense few seconds. Or, just because an army is not on the march does not mean they are not an army waiting to be used. They're just setting up background noise so a casual look a the account will see it has been online for years and during that time it looks innocuous enough.

A Pew Research Center study, "Amid protests and calls for reform, how police view their jobs, key issues and recent fatal encounters between blacks and police." Also tied in with the general public. Wow, look at that disconnect. There's a lot of overlap on some things, though. (Grokked from Annalee Flower Horne)

"At about 1:30 a.m. on Thursday, Republicans moved one step closer to repealing (Obamacare)… By a final vote of 51-48, the Senate approved a budget resolution that sets the stage for broad swaths of the Affordable Care Act to be repealed through a process known as budget reconciliation. The resolution now goes to the House, where leaders are hoping to approve it by the end of the week." I know there's going to be consternation over how they're doing this, but that's a distraction. Be very upset that they're doing this. Again, repeal without a replacement means there will be no replacement. As is being said all throughout my twitter feed, they're voting to kill people. People will die because of this. Call your representatives and senators.

"1. Sherri Dillon of Trump's law firm Morgan Lewis forgot to mention Trump + her firm were hit with $1B fraud lawsuit by Holocaust survivors." And their law firm was once named the law firm of the year… in Russia. Folks, you can't make this shit up. If the Trump people started sporting long mustaches they could twirl it wouldn't be the most outrageous and unbelievable part of these stories.

So, how did the press conference go? "The Trump employees laughed at his jokes and shouted out supportive answers to his rhetorical questions. One even took it upon himself to look over a reporter’s shoulder and ask if he intended to publish the words written on his notepad. When Mr Trump was finished, his acolytes pronounced his performance a resounding success."

"President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday would not let a reporter from CNN ask him a question during a press conference, saying that he worked for a 'fake news' company."

"In any case, welcome to the world of kompromat, America." Or how Russia does blackmail. (Grokked from Ferrett Steinmetz)

Tweet of my heart: @FlynnFan1 @xeni Blu*Cr*ss told me in '05 my breast cancer was a PEC & dropped coverage. I had had them for 10 YEARS at that point.

Most people forget when this was common practice. And it was only 6 years ago.