Linkee-poo, karma is a bitch, so I hope you have a daughter

A life lesson from XKCD that I'm still trying to internalize and live by. (Grokked from Dan)

Okay, for all my Hamilton loving friends, Rudolph reimagined in the same vein as Hamilton. Includes a shoutout to Hermie, the Elf Dentist. (Grokked from Dan)

Stupid Google Home vs Echo tricks. (Grokked from Dan)

NASA paging Howard Wolowitz, Howard Wolowitz you're needed at NASA. "NASA is looking for a few good men and women to solve an upcoming problem. Astronauts will soon be venturing outward beyond Earth orbit. If the spacecraft cabin should depressurize then they’ll have to put on their spacesuits and may have to keep them on for up to six days. During that time something will have to handle the resulting urine, fecal, and menstrual waste, all without the astronauts use of their hands. And that’s where you come in." (Grokked from Dan)

And as the rubber meets the road of the Trump administration, there's some buyer's remorse. "When Donald Trump named his Treasury secretary, Teena Colebrook felt her heart sink." Yeah, I bet she's going to have a lot of company in the next 4 years. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

"A group of concerned Texans last year filed a lawsuit seeking to block the $350 million cut to Medicaid, the federal-state insurance program for the poor and disabled, from taking effect. That group included speech, physical and occupational therapy providers and the families of children who receive their service. They argued that the cuts were so steep that providers would have to close their businesses and forgo seeing as many as 60,000 children." Ah, that vaunted "compassionate conservatism" we've heard so much about. Of course the Texas legislators have a report that says these in-home therapists are overpaid. To bad reality disagrees. (Grokked from Kathryn Cramer)

SCOTUS will hear two case challenging gerrymandering. And their decision could decide if the Democratic Party could ever have a chance of controlling government, even though it's been winning a majority vote for the last several election cycles. The concept of "sorting" is happening in more cases than just geographic preference (which I have my own feeling about, and yes I have said out loud that I would like to live somewhere that I'm not continually barraged with conservative crap, including place of employment). So I might be part of this problem. (Grokked from Justine Larbalestier)

In relation to my link about Seattle actually prospering after their minimum wage hike, the Fuck Fifteen website. If you can call it a website. Here it is, people attempting to get everyone to pull the fucking crab back into the bucket. Note, is registered through's private registry program (which means all attempts to find who is behind it point to godaddy, not who actually setup the site). First video was "you're going to lose your job!" Second video is, "that's not fair to me!" Funny how reality is different from these people's fantasies. Even minimum wage increase has seen the same fear mongering. What these people don't get is capitalism fails when it becomes exploitive. When everybody shares the ride, capitalism flourishes. (Grokked from Dan)

"D.C. Police responding Sunday to a report of a gunman at a popular pizza restaurant in Northwest Washington detained a man armed with an assault rifle, according to a police spokeswoman." I'm sure this has nothing to do with the fake news that a child-abuse ring was being run by the Clintons out of the same pizza joint. Yes, I'm sure the many, many threats against the place (and their neighbors) because of that fake news had absolutely nothing to do with it. (Grokked indirectly from Jim Wright)

And then, "A North Carolina man was arrested Sunday after he walked into a popular pizza restaurant in Northwest Washington carrying an assault rifle and fired one or more shots, D.C. police said. The man told police he had come to the restaurant to 'self-investigate' an election-related conspiracy theory involving Hillary Clinton that spread online during her presidential campaign." Hey, genius, it's called Easy peasy. Note, this may be an update to the previous link. (Grokked from Patrick Nielsen Hayden)

And now that are reports that he actually fired the rifle in the restaurant. That's fantastic.

A map of the Dakota Access Pipeline's route with notes of the protests and reroutings made at the behest of white residents.

"The Army Corps of Engineers has decided to deny a permit for the construction of a key section of the Dakota Access Pipeline." While it's a victory for the Standing Rock Sioux, it's not a permanent solution and can easily be reversed.

More details on that Carrier deal are becoming clear. "In sum, about 800 American jobs are being saved, but another 1,300 are disappearing." Good job, Trump. And those 800 jobs only cost the American Taxpayer $7M+ (that we know of). And I say "American Taxpayer" because guess who is going to foot that bill.

Tweet of my heart: @mareasie Remember that women used to wear miniskirts in Iran and Afghanistan. Remember that rights can be revoked.

Linkee-poo has got a brand new attitude and I'm gonna wear it tonight

"When you walk into the Smithsonian's Art of the Qur'an exhibition, you're met with a book that weighs 150 pounds. The tome, which dates back to the late-1500s, has giant pages that are covered in gold and black Arabic script." I just love illuminations and calligraphy and this would be something to see. Also, Arabic calligraphy has a long history of producing amazing artwork (much more so than Phoenician, Cyrillic and Kanji based scripts). Now thinking I may need to make a visit to our capital. Also, here is the website for the exhibit.

Nestle develops "hallow" sugar. Ah, yeah. Let's see the lab results on that one (also the real world taste tests).

"The unemployment rate in the city of Seattle – the tip of the spear when it comes to minimum wage experiments – has now hit a new cycle low of 3.4%, as the city continues to thrive… The restaurant business, by all accounts, is booming (in fact, probably reaching a saturation point when one looks at eateries per capita). I think it’s safe to say we’ve got enough data – over almost two years now – to declare that Seattle has not suffered adverse consequences from its increases in the minimum wage, and has certainly not experienced the dire effects foretold by the anti-min wage crowd." Funny how when you pay people and actually decent paycheck, it tends to increase the economy. (Grokked from Chuck Wendig)

"Mathematician Michael Tippett at Columbia University, who tracks these (tornado) outbreaks, says that while the number of tornadoes nationwide varies a lot year to year, the overall average is pretty steady… 'But the number of tornadoes in outbreaks is increasing,' he says. And the number of tornadoes in the most extreme outbreaks — those where at least a dozen tornadoes hit a region within one to three days — is increasing the fastest." Everything is fine. We're all fine here.

"Most recently, BP gave the state of Alabama a $1 billion settlement to help with the state’s recovery. But people in the region are none too happy with the way the state decided to spend it."

Using magnetic pulses to recover memories.

"Vacuum birefringence is a weird quantum phenomenon that has only ever been observed on an atomic scale. It occurs when a neutron star is surrounded by a magnetic field so intense, it’s given rise to a region in empty space where matter randomly appears and vanishes." The universe is stranger than you can imagine. (Grokked from Kameron Hurley)

"Any policies favorable to insurers could be politically treacherous for Republicans, given that they have railed for years against ObamaCare 'bailouts' of insurance companies. It is also unclear if any policy changes would be enough to convince insurers to stay." Turns out unravelling Obamacare is going to be a very tough proposition. And it looks like conservatives are going to give away the store to the insurers to keep the market from collapsing. (Grokked from Kathryn Cramer)

"'One thing that’s been interesting this entire campaign season to watch is that people that say facts are facts. They’re not really facts,' Trump surrogate Scottie Nell Hughes said on The Diane Rehm Show on NPR. 'It’s kind of like looking at ratings or looking at a glass of half-full water. Everybody has a way of interpreting them to be the truth or not true. There’s no such thing, unfortunately, anymore as facts.'" We have always been at war with Eastasia.(Grokked from Kathryn Cramer)

"Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort is back in the fold and involved with the President-elect's transition effort, according to multiple reports." Seems Putin wanted a more hands-on approach. Given that the FBI is looking into Manafort's involvement with "foreign governments", this might be the time the movie announcer says, "Before he was fighting for a paycheck, now he's fighting for his life…"

"Since Carrier still plans to outsource a good number of jobs to Mexico — Fortune reports 600 from an Indianapolis plant and another 700 from a Huntington, Indiana plant are still slated to move south of the border, despite this week’s deal — it remains to be seen whether Trump will follow through with his campaign promise to hit the company with a stiff tariff." And potentially have to admit this victory lap was a 3 card Monte game? Never. (Grokked from Jer)

"It indicates an environment where business decisions are now about how much you please the president." Crony capitalism, the other form of political corruption. Also, while they talk about socialists/communists and their "controlled economy", they forget that while we remember fascism for its social programs, fascism was also about a controlled economy with heavy government interference and nationalization of important industries.

"And for two days, at a Harvard University conference debriefing the 2016 election — an event that brings together political operatives and the press that followed them around — it was clear that everyone was mad at the media. Explosively furious." The GOP is upset that after beating the media into being uncritical of political views and providing an outlet for their rantings, they were uncritical of Trump and gave the vulgar clown all the time he desired to masturbate on camera.

Trump's ignorance is dangerous. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

Chuck Wendig storifies and expands his comments from yesterday regarding the white working class.

Tweet of my heart: ‏@JimPethokoukis BREAKING: US economy creates 223 Carrier Units of jobs in November. (178,000 net new payrolls to be exact) (Grokked from Lisa N. Morton)

Double dip: @joshtpm Wikileaks has an amazing knack of finding documents from govts with upcoming elections who are opposed by Vladimir Putin. LOL. #beenthere (Grokked from Elizabeth Bear)

Linkee-poo is going to hold you forever

John Scalzi on how writing for audio performance helped improve his writing. This also goes to the old trick of reading your writing out loud, but takes it a few steps farther.

"National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, is about to draw to a close. But this particular November, after a fractious and often devastating campaign season concluded, many folks had a difficult time writing anything at all. The stress, the sadness, the fear for the rights of many Americans in marginalized or oppressed groups to openly express themselves without being harassed and abused—these are very real concerns that have gotten in the way for many talented writers." I would raise my hand, but truthfully it's been a few years since I've written regularly and/or well. So, which Nov 8 did knock me for a loop, my schedule of 2 jobs pretty much soaked up any time and willpower. YMMV, though.

Y Fari Lwyd, the Grey Mare. Here we come a' wassailing… (Grokked from Ellen Kushner)

Nat Geo asked their photographers to capture climate change. (Grokked from Robert J Bennett)

There's been a lot of news of using Schedule 1 drugs as therapeutic medicine (note, Schedule 1 drugs are deemed, as a part of the definition, to not have any legitimate medical uses). Theres a study about using Ecstasy for PTSD. And now, "magic mushrooms" for anxiety in cancer patients. "In both studies, psilocybin treatment had more effect on anxiety and depression than a placebo did. For example, by the day after treatment, about 80 percent of the treated NYU patients no longer qualified as clinically anxious or depressed by standard measures. That compares to about 30 percent for the placebo group. That's a remarkably fast response, experts said, and it endured for the seven weeks of the comparison."

"A report from the National Center for Health Statistics released Wednesday shows that the number of people whose families are struggling to pay medical bills fell by 22 percent, or 13 million people, in the last five years… And that's good news, according to consumer and health policy advocates." Good thing we're going to repeal that Obamacare, 'cause we wouldn't want it to be easy of low to moderate income people to have financial security. Yep, there's the real story, instead of the news being all about the increases in premiums. (Grokked from Lisa N. Morton)

Regulations? We don't need no stinkin' regulations. "For quake-prone parts of Oklahoma, the state ordered what is essentially a 40 percent reduction in injection of the saltwater that scientists generally blame for the massive increase in earthquakes. This year, before the new rules went into effect on May 28, Oklahoma averaged 2.3 quakes a day. Since then the average dropped to 1.3 a day, based on AP's analysis of U.S. Geological Survey data of earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 or larger." And that sounds like good news, right? "But some of those fewer post-regulatory quakes have been large and damaging." Because some things, once set in motion, tend to magnify. Or, all that previous activity is still continuing to cause problems. (Grokked from Tobias Buckell)

Remember that EPA study on fracking that said that we all didn't need to worry so much? "Top officials of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency last year made critical changes at the eleventh hour to a highly anticipated, five-year scientific study of hydraulic fracturing’s effect on the nation’s drinking water. The changes, later criticized by scientists for lacking evidence, played down the risk of pollution that can result from the well-drilling technique known as fracking." Yeah, maybe it wasn't so rosy after all.

It got lost in all the other news, but lawmakers actually did pass legislation to help the California National Guard members who were being forced to pay back bonuses they "earned" for re-enlighting. I use quotations there because many of them didn't actually qualify for the bonuses, but were involved (without their knowledge) in a criminal skimming scheme by from recruiters who have been sent to jail.

"By enabling the plant to stay open, the deal spares about 800 union workers whose jobs were going to be outsourced to Mexico, according to federal officials who were briefed by the company. This suggests that hundreds will still lose their jobs at the factory, where roughly 1,400 workers were slated to be laid off." So, yes, while everybody is "Oh, he saved jobs!" Nope, he lost almost half. And there is no word on Carrier's second factory, right next door, that was also slated to close and move the jobs to Mexico. Also, no word if there was anything more than what VP-elect Mike Pence could have done on his own.

Meanwhile, as everybody goes crazy over the national shitting the bed, in the backwaters of Ohio… "Ohio has revoked the operating license of one of the state's few remaining abortion clinics on grounds it failed to obtain a required transfer agreement with a nearby hospital for emergencies." Rust may never sleep, but neither do social conservatives miss a chance to push their hardline extremist agenda.

Chuck Wending tweet storm on the myths of the white working class. Very much this. Don't think so. I'm somewhere in the middle of that tweet storm. I've made it so far, but I can tell you the fear I might lose it all is very fucking real. But, I have seen that hand picking my pocket. That one of the legion of reasons I'm no longer a Republican. Think Chuck is a little over selling it? Really? Do you know how the Southern Strategy actually works? Hint: it was formulated just at the time that African-Americans started joining the unions. Why did more union households vote for Trump? Note that it was White union households who voted for Trump. The very same "Reagan Democrats." They're fucking scared that they're about to lose again, and Trump (and the alt-right) were telling them they had to be afraid of the brown people. So they voted for the guy who told them he was going to make them great again by getting all those brown people out of the country. Yeah, it's not going to happen. Coal jobs are never coming back (even if somehow they figure out Clean Coal - unlikely - automation is what was killing coal jobs before cheap natural gas plunged the knife in coal's back - and they just discovered new huge reserves that with fracking they can exploit just outside Midland, Texas - Coal. Is. Never. Coming. Back). We make a lot of stuff in this country, but all those jobs require training that the company isn't going to give you. Low-skill work is only going to be in service industries, which don't pay for shit. Note all of the people yelling, "(other 'important' job) only pays $12/hr, why do fast food workers think they deserve $15!". Maybe because those $12/hr jobs should be $18+/hr jobs. Crabs pulling each other back into the bucket. And it's easy for the oligarchs (yes, that class has been developed, look who Trump is nominating for Cabinet Positions) to fuel it. "The WWC don't need coddling. They don't need saving. They need an awakening. They need to see the hand that's hitting them."

"Trump voter explains how she knows millions of illegal immigrants voted." Dear "Silent Majority", you're just like "Christian Conservatives", you don't really belong to either of the two words that make up your supposed group name.

Tweet of my heart: @paulkrugman Another metric: Trump would have to do one Carrier-sized deal a week for 30 years to save as many jobs as Obama's auto bailout (Grokked from Chuck Wendig)

Linkee-poo, don't you need, don't you need to feel at home?

Cat Rambo is offering a class on how to use old tales to tell new stories, taught with Rachel Swirsky.

A guest post on Chuck Wendig's blog, Gareth Powell on things he learning writing a trilogy. (Grokked from Ken McConnell)

"Not all galaxies sparkle with stars. Galaxies as wide as the Milky Way but bereft of starlight are scattered throughout our cosmic neighborhood. Unlike Andromeda and other well-known galaxies, these dark beasts have no grand spirals of stars and gas wrapped around a glowing core, nor are they radiant balls of densely packed stars. Instead, researchers find just a wisp of starlight from a tenuous blob."

The problem with "news as entertainment," an article about "mysterious jelly-like creature washing up on a beach." There's lots of speculation by people who have no fucking clue. About two-thirds down we get this, "Christopher G. Lowe, a marine biology professor at Cal State Long Beach who is the director of the university's shark lab, told KTLA that the the school's resident invertebrate expert says they are sea cucumbers…" and then a little by a semi-expert who says, "''There’s all kinds of weird things happening.' So, one expert who can say what they are, buried in the article after the "space alien" comment, and it's not even the guy who knows, but someone who knows someone else who knows what they are, and then another who basically says, "weird shit, man." Dear news, this is why you're fucked. (Grokked from Xeni Jardin)

"The Somali-born student who carried out a car-and-knife attack at Ohio State University complained on his Facebook account about U.S. interference in countries with Muslim communities, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press."

I'ma just gonna drop this hear for the record. "The Internet Archive, a digital library non-profit group that stores online copies of webpages, e-books, political advertisements and other media for public record, is fundraising to store a copy of all of its contents in Canada after Donald Trump's election to the presidency."

"New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says work will begin immediately on a complete renovation of the 'shameful' statehouse… He says the portion of the building used by the Legislature won't be affected." Because fuck those guys.

"Before Obamacare, women were also generally charged higher rates for health insurance than men on the individual market. According to the law center's analysis, 60 percent of best-selling individual plans in 2009 charged a 40-year-old nonsmoking woman more than a 40-year-old man who smoked, even in plans that didn't include any type of maternity coverage." Won't it be great when we go back to that! It hasn't been that long ago, but obviously a lot of people forget what a shit-show health insurance was before Obamacare. It needs some fixing, but let's not toss everything. Also Obamacare is, as some people have said, a Jenga puzzle. It only works in the whole, start removing parts and the whole thing falls down eventually.

"The Environmental Protection Agency has released a list of toxic chemicals that will be the first reviewed under a recently enacted law that gives regulators increased authority to ban substances shown to endanger human health." Any guesses on what the first policy initiative it is that Trump tries to stop?

"There is always a strong argument." On cooperation and co-opting autocratic and authoritarian rule. "What separates Americans in 2016 from Europeans in the 1940s and 1950s is a little bit of historical time but a whole lot of historical knowledge. We know what my great-grandfather did not know: that the people who wanted to keep the people fed ended up compiling lists of their neighbors to be killed. That they had a rationale for doing so. And also, that one of the greatest thinkers of their age judged their actions as harshly as they could be judged." (Grokked from Tobias Buckell)

"Liberal White people, however? You’d think someone told them their favorite gluten-free bakery has been using wheat. And some of their reactions to this have been quite telling, particularly in regards to how they feel about race and America’s relationship to it. Liberal White men, in particular." (Grokked from Joshua Parker)

"Civil rights groups say President-elect Donald Trump should forcefully and publicly denounce racism and bigotry. They are pointing to more than 860 bias-related incidents recorded in the 10 days following his Nov. 8 victory."

"When people start throwing Nazi salutes in public, it has a way of clarifying where everybody stands." Basically, a lot of people who joyously embraced the Alt-Right label and vociferously denounced "PC culture" and liked to "not censor themselves" (i.e. finally could say all the racist shit in their heads out loud) are now a little uncomfortable with their compatriots tossing the fascist salute. Dear fucking idiots, did you not pay attention before? Also, Nazis took over Germany not so much because they were the majority (although a significant population were if not party members, party supporters), but because the vast majority of people aligned with at least some of their philosophy and didn't feel the rest of it was worth bothering about as long as they got what they wanted (although some of the politicians who tried to play that game found themselves hanging from piano wire once they were no longer needed, this is a lesson many GOP members should learn as they all bend over to kiss Trump's - and his inner team's - ass). As for "alt-lite"… seriously, "Nazi-lite" is still a fucking Nazi. They don't understand there isn't a middle-ground here. Once you've accepted the social programing, the path is determined and it's a slope downward into mankind darkest histories (Nazis weren't the first, nor are they the last, the Khmer Rouge for example). America (and much of the world) toyed with philosophies of eugenics, of "racial superiority", and in some ways we are still dealing with the aftermath and echoes of that. Fortunately we stepped back (slightly) from that brink. What I (and it appears a lot of other people) worry about is that we haven't taken enough steps away from that brink that we can't topple over into the abyss with a few nudges in the wrong direction. (Grokked from Elizabeth Bear)

"In the first days after the 2016 presidential election, the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance project administered an online survey to K–12 educators from across the country… Ninety percent of educators report that school climate has been negatively affected, and most of them believe it will have a long-lasting impact. A full 80 percent describe heightened anxiety and concern on the part of students worried about the impact of the election on themselves and their families." (Grokked from Cherie Priest)

On the business conflict that Trump will have when he's sworn in as President, specifically the GSA lease to his Washington DC hotel. You know the one. It's were he held two "press conferences" during his campaign which were really "here's our soft-open tour" and "here's the ribbon cutting" events.

Penn & Teller burn a flag in the White House (on The West Wing). Just as an aside, of course they vanished the flag and used flash powder in the roll of the Bill of Rights, that's how that trick works. (Grokked from Dan)

Tweet of my heart: ‏@scalzi Creative people: Assume any Twitter account telling you not to opine about politics is a Russian tweetbot and proceed accordingly.

Double dip: @lizzwinstead So Trump will have someone else sign checks? Got it.

Linkee-poo has got wild staring eyes and I've got a strong urge to fly, but I got nowhere to fly to

"Remember all the news reports suggesting, without evidence, that the Clinton Foundation’s fund-raising created conflicts of interest? Well, now the man who benefited from all that innuendo is on his way to the White House. And he’s already giving us an object lesson in what real conflicts of interest look like, as authoritarian governments around the world shower favors on his business empire." Much of the Trump campaign bombast against Clinton was projection.

"Two weeks after Election Day, voting rights advocates are taking stock of the issues that plagued the 2016 election cycle—barriers to registering to vote, access to the ballot box, confusing new laws and court cases—and looking ahead to the battles to come. Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, Trump's pick for attorney general, has a troubling record when it comes to voting rights, only adding to the post-election worries among voting rights supporters." (Grokked from Cat Rambo)

"The plan, called the Miners Protection Act, was sent for floor action by a bipartisan 18-to-8 vote of the Senate Finance Committee in September. But it has run into trouble with the Republican majority leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. He questions why the bill would protect only members of the United Mine Workers of America… The senator’s concern for nonunion miners seems a classic example of a hackneyed legislative tactic — arguing for the perfect to block the good." (Grokked from Xeni Jardin)

"Whereas President Bush offered America the illusion of morality clarity, President-elect Trump offers an ever-shifting phantasmagoria of sense impressions and unreliable information, barely held together by a fog of anxiety and bewilderment. Think Kafka more than Lord of the Rings." Well that's kind of horrifying, because I've read both. But here is the real goal, "When fake news becomes omnipresent, all news becomes suspect. Everything starts to look like a lie…" and "Non-linear warfare is intrinsically authoritarian. The president-elect is speaking the language of dictators." (Grokked from Xeni Jardin)

I see four fingers.

Tweet of my heart: @SarahThyre All the people who still believe he's tweeting crazy shit to distract us from real scandal: congrats, you never had an alcoholic parent. (Grokked from Christopher Moore)

Linkee-poo is bleary-eyed and its back hurts from the long weekend

Scrivener is 25% off today. While I have moved back to writing in a plain text editor, I had originally bought my iPad in anticipation of Scrivener for iOS. So, yes, I did purchase it.

Who needs clean air legislation? "In the middle of the last century, London was no stranger to oppressive pea-soup fogs laced with smoke from coal fires. But the smog that blanketed the city in December 1952 was unusually vicious: It lasted for five days and killed thousands of people. Official estimates put the death toll at 4,000, but the BBC reports research suggests the fatal fog might have killed as many as 12,000 people." I mean, it's not like people are dying from bad air.

"The number of white nationalists and self-identified Nazi sympathisers on Twitter have multiplied more than 600 per cent in the last four years, outperforming the so-called Islamic State (Isis (sic)) in everything from follower counts to number of daily tweets, a new study found… Yet, the GWU study said that white nationalists are using the site with 'relative impunity'." (Grokked from Cat Rambo)

Fidel Castro is dead.

A democrat from a rural district talks about how gerrymandering has lead to the urbanization of the Democratic Party and to their losses. (Grokked form Ferrett Steinmetz)

"Arrest: We can confirm 1 arrested for attempting to vote a second time. Claimed he worked for Trump and was testing the system." So another person arrested for attempting to violate election laws, and again it was a conservative. (Grokked from Xeni Jardin)

Sen. Jeff Sessions as told by the lawyer who testified against him during his nomination for the federal judiciary. Can people change over 30 years? I hope so. I certainly have. But they can also get better at hiding what they really believe.

"The alt-right believes, at its core, that the American government has been poisoned. Poisoned, specifically, by the ideology of tolerance and multiculturalism. So long as the United States is officially committed to the idea that all people should be treated equally, regardless of race or creed, then it cannot take the steps necessary to make America a nation for whites." Aw, their poor widdle feewings that they're not special, poor little lost lambs. And they can't talk they way they want. If we give them all participation trophies, would they go back home? (Grokked from Ellen Kushner)

Tweet of my heart: ‏@freddiedeboer The great American pretense is that communism is to blame for bread lines in Havana but capitalism isn't to blame for poverty in Detroit. (Grokked from Annalee Flower Horne)

Linkee-poo T-day edition with things you shouldn't discuss at the table

Earth's history as compared to a football field's length. Visualization can sometimes help people understand huge concepts (like deep time) better.

"The search for alien life is taking a shortcut. The Hubble Space Telescope is set to spend hundreds of hours over the next year running reconnaissance on a shortlist of worlds to identify those we should scour for life first."

So how much is that movie based on a true story actually truthful. A visualization approach. (Grokked from Dan)

So, what harm can this language against Muslims do? So, not only did this teach support abusive behavior against this 5 year old, but joined in and then choked the kid. Just WTF are these people thinking? (Grokked from Saladin Ahmed)

A screen grab of Mark Zuckerberg coming out against fake news… framed by two ads for fake news sites. (Grokked from Xeni)

How to detect fake news. (Grokked from Robert J Bennett)

"This (fake news about a pizza joint as a front for a Clinton child abuse ring) isn’t about saving children from the Satanic baby-killers. It never is. It wasn’t during the earlier years of the Satanic Panic in the 1980s. It wasn’t during the Salem Witch Trials. It wasn’t during the centuries of anti-Jewish violence rallying around the blood libel… That’s the precise and direct lineage of this. And it has nothing to do with 'fake news.'… The folks spreading 'PizzaGate' lies know that they’re spreading lies. They know they’re pretending, and playing a game, because they enjoy it." Fred Clark on one of the lies. And this is the part that bothers me, right now this is being done by people who don't have much of an agenda beyond making money or continuing some self-stroking mental game of who is good, who is smart, who can "shape" the world (it's a very deep form of pretending you have superpowers). Imagine what happens when actual intelligence warfare professionals get in on the act (actually I think some of them have already).

"We tracked down a fake-news creator in the suburbs. Here's what we learned." NPR does some actual journalism on "fake news" sites. I don't entirely believe this guy's stated motives (I think it is more about the money). Also, I think I've mentioned before that this election cycle I spent way too much time figuring out if many of these sites were real or not. I'm pretty happy that (I don't think) I let anyone of them through to make links. But some days it was really hard work.

So how is Facebook's new policies and attempts at controlling harmful information going? Let's check in with our friend Jim Wright (who has a very large Facebook presence and is very active there) to see what's happening. Ah, about as well as could be expected (in case you didn't want to click on that link, Jim has been booted off of Facebook for a day for pointing out that a person who calls themselves a Nazi is actually a Nazi). So we're going to add another phrase to the lexicon used here. Fuck Nazis.

Seriously, in this day and age, and we have to say "Fuck Nazis." I used to crack the joke during the campaign about people whispering to each other, "Hail Hydra." And I think what we've all seen as they've come out of the woodwork and into the light, yeah, fucking Nazis. Now, most of these people are really Nazi-fetishists (because, while they mostly line up with Nazis on the big outward things, my guess is most of the economic theory of nationalizing businesses, control of monetary markets, and all the rest is lacking), but that still makes them dangerous as fuck. Because the worst atrocities were performed in service of their social, racial, and nationalism ideals. Which these skinhead wannabes seem to have latched onto, mixed it with American Exceptionalism, and shat it out in a stinking mess of "My Country." So, remember when a lot of us were asking, "what does it mean when you say, 'I want my country back'?" we now have the answer. Yes, they were fucking racists, or at best they were being played by racists.

"A woman protesting the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline who was wounded earlier this week might lose her arm as a result of the injury, her family says. Sophia Wilansky's injury is the most gruesome to date of the months-long standoff at Standing Rock, N.D… 'The doctor just said she may need as many as 20 surgeries over very many months to have any hope of saving her arm and her hand,' Wilansky's father, Wayne Wilansky, told a group of reporters outside a Minneapolis hospital." Ah, those less-than-lethal methods of crowd control.

"If the children are the future, the future might be very ill-informed… That's one implication of a new study from Stanford researchers that evaluated students' ability to assess information sources and described the results as 'dismaying,' 'bleak' and '[a] threat to democracy.'" From an informal look at the students in my wife's courses, for one she had them do exercises on spotting "false information" sites. They didn't do well. Also, from an informal study of my coworkers, booth at the day job and (distressingly) at the hospital (these people have actual "science" and technical instruction), yeah, young people score very low in figuring out what is fake and what isn't (I'll leave it to the reader to look at their own Facebook feeds for "shares" from friends and how many of them are fake, propaganda, framing stories/graphics - that last one are items meant to change how people respond to seemingly unrelated materials by pre-loading the brain with thoughts and images).

We don't need no stinkin' regulations! "Levels of highly toxic mercury contamination in Atlantic bluefin tuna are rapidly declining, according to a new study… it does represent a major break in the long-standing, scary connection between tuna and mercury, a source of public concern since 1970… Tuna consumption continues to be the source of about 40 percent of the mercury contamination in the American diet… The new study… links the decline directly to reduced mercury emissions in North America. Most of that reduction has occurred because of the marketplace shift by power plants and industry away from coal, the major source of mercury emissions. Pollution control requirements imposed by the federal government have also cut mercury emissions." Yeah, what good are regulations? "Progress on both counts could, however, reverse, with President-elect Donald Trump promising a comeback for the U.S. coal industry, in part by clearing away such regulations." What could possibly go wrong (note, the coal industry is not charged for the health issues they cause, of which mercury is just one of a few thousand, but that's picked up by the American Taxpayer and factored into your health insurance premium).

John Marshal of TPM on the reports of election hacking. All very salient points. And overall, I agree with him. Except for number 5. Again, were I to do it, with the resources available to the "foreign power", and I wanted to make sure it wasn't traceable ("plausible deniability" for those of you old enough to remember that concept), it would look very close to what we saw. Everybody is thinking along, "well the results were so unpredicted that nobody could have hacked the election in that direction." Wrong. If you start with the premise that 1) actor doesn't want to be "seen" causing problems (such as his point 8), 2) actor is basing hack on internal/exclusive polling, and 3) one way to avoid suspicion is to make it appear random and not fit preconceived notions (ie. not make it look like one of the "accepted" scenarios). So, yes, I don't think it was hacked. We should certainly do the audit to remove any doubt (because there will be). But many a lot of people have forgotten how the Cold War was played, with multitude of small moves and slight deflections to bring about a desired end. That is, you don't actively push the desired end, you entice the players to come up with the desired solution for themselves by giving them information programmed to bring about the end. Or, if you want to fill a bathtub with water, you can turn the faucet open to full blast, or you can set it to drip faster than evaporation can take water away. Either way, the tub will fill, but you won't notice it so much with the dripping until it's almost full.

So, how's the election fallout playing in the general populace? "In the two weeks since the election, Planned Parenthood Federation of America has seen a huge increase in volunteers and donations – over 200,000 donations in a single week. But this surge in support hasn't reached many other reproductive health organizations. And many of these centers are already struggling to meet a spike in demand for long-acting contraception after the election of Donald Trump." Yep. Full disclosure, for what I still buy off of Amazon, I recently changed my "smile" account donation to Planned Parenthood (before was the Carter Foundation, and it was a close choice with ACLU). "It's not an unfounded concern… In the last several years, numerous bills have been introduced in Congress to block Title X funds from organizations that also provide abortions, like Planned Parenthood. In 2011, the House voted to defund Title X in its entirety, but the measure didn't pass the Senate. Still, for the last several years Title X funding has decreased, from $317.5 million in 2010 to $286.5 million in 2016. Under a Trump administration and with a Republican Congress, those numbers could shrink even more." Say, I wonder which party is trying to do this?

Tweet of my heart: ‏@nkjemisin I've listened to Trump voters who insist they aren't racist. What I've learned: They do not think discriminating against PoC is racism. (Grokked from Ann Leckie)

Take that, poorly coded problem

Okay, last night not only did I triple check I had closed the blogger editor, I closed the window. Then today, I copied the link text (the file I edit for the linkee-poo has a lot of other stuff in it, things that accumulated during the crazy years, clips of text, etc that I really should finish closing out and putting where they need to go), opened a new blog post, and pasted the text there. Published that blog post. Opened the draft linkee-poo, copied out the rest of it, and pasted that into a new file as well. And then I deleted the old working linkee-poo post.

So what happened tonight when I got home and opened my browser and went to blogger, it took me directly to the old linkee-poo working post (even though it no longer appears on the list). But it did throw the accustomed error when I closed that window. So. it maybe a PIA, but I have the work around (as long as I remember it) for when I'm editing on multiple computers.

Linkee-poo, over the river and through the woods

Posting may be sporadic over the next 4 days. If you're in the US, happy Thanksgiving. You're alive. That's something to be thankful for.

Oh, and Blogger has a new interface this morning. Fancy that. Who could have seen that coming?

Saladin Ahmed is writing for Marvel Comics. Hearty thumbs up!

Airspace Systems counter-drone drone. I expect the counter-counter-drone technology by Summer (could be avoidance software, or some direct strike capability to disable the killer-drone). Sword, shield, better sword, better shield… same game. I've heard way too many "this is the end-game" technology that wasn't just a better shield that someone needed a better sword to get around.

"The caricaturization of history, of figures and groups–like Hitler, like the Nazi party–isn’t just lazy storytelling. It’s a failure of vigilance. It reveals a mental disconnect between the horrors of reality and the memory of the people who perpetrated those horrors." Examining how with the years Nazis have been reduced to our caricatures of them, and we've made them less real, and less of a threat, that we should consider them. Fucking Nazis. Also pointed to because of the writing implications. One of the novels I am developing includes two alien races who do terrible things to humans, and part of that debate is just how much is implied and how much is shown. (Grokked from Elizabeth Shack)

"How a country slides into despotism, the 1946 short film version." Also noted, besides the "these are people who just finished dealing with it, telling us the lessons they learned" (before time softened and adjusted their memory), that they include parts of the original Pledge of Allegiance, which you'll notice doesn't include the "under God" part, because this was made before the Knights of Columbus had it added. Of course the video is a Rorschach Test, some people will see echoes of the signs of despotism in our own culture these days, others will man the ramparts to keep anything from coming in. Also, I'll note how "call to authority" is rife in actions that "score high in despotism". I leave it to an exercise for the reader on which direction we've been going on the Economic Distribution and Information Scales.

"The U.S. Justice Department filed a lawsuit Tuesday charging a New Jersey town violated federal anti-discrimination laws when it blocked an Islamic group from building a mosque on property the group had bought."

Note to Self podcast "Your Facebook Friend Said Something Racist: Thanksgiving Edition" with handy-dandy flowchart.

"Rebel Well: A Starter Survival Guide To A Trumped America." Targeted at teens (and I haven't read the guide yet), but I'm sure we could all use some tips. (Grokked from Maureen Johnson)

Tweet and response from the @YoungCons "Party like it's 1928!" Because the last time Republicans controlled the House, Senate, Executive, most governorships, had immediate Supreme Court picks… it was 1928. And in case you can't or don't want to look, the first and main response is, "That worked out so well in 1929." (Grokked from Annalee Flower Horne)

"President-elect Donald Trump's transition team released a statement Monday in response to a white nationalist organization's meeting celebrating his election, which denounced racism without mentioning the group in question." But sure, he can say "Radical Islamic Terrorists", but he obviously can't say, "alt-Right" or "neo-Nazi", which is a shame. And about the claim of the "Heil (whatever)" and the fascist salutes were meant to be ironic, can we just call that the bullshit that it is. One is not ironic about Nazis.

"The lawyer for a man charged with disrupting a Chicago performance of the musical 'Hamilton' blamed the incident on a 'hostile' and 'partisan' audience." Uh, yeah, Bob. Say, the voices are coming from inside your head. I would make a joke about conservatives are really all about making sure no one has a good time, because obviously enjoying yourself is a liberal lie. There's been no reports of audience members talking, etc. Shit these next four years are going to be tedious.

Gov. McCrory continues to be a dick. One of the links lost yesterday explained how McCrory was probably gaming the system to run out the clock and allow the Republican supermajority legislature bypass the election and declare him the winner. Essentially stealing the race.

"Hillary Clinton is being urged by a group of prominent computer scientists and election lawyers to call for a recount in three swing states won by Donald Trump, New York (Magazine) has learned." I guess it would depend on which counties the electronic ballot machines versus the optical scanners were in. Seven percentage points could be related to demographics (remember how the GOP complained about Romney getting 0% in some Philadelphia voting districts, turned out demographics could explain it). Also note the concern over challenging the election results and what that does to the smooth transfer of power come January 20th. But in 2000, the audit of votes continued after Bush v. Gore was decided (IIRC, using the criteria outlined by the Gore Campaign, Bush would have won and using the the criteria outlined by the Bush Campaign, Gore would have won Florida). So, yes, even if Clinton doesn't challenge the election, an audit should be performed. (Grokked from Xeni Jardin)

And the Washington Post is having none of it. "Before the election, when Democrats were dismissing the idea of rigging an election when it was raised (repeatedly) by Trump and his allies, we outlined just how difficult such a proposal would be. For one thing, one would need to know in advance where to rig the vote in order to have the most effect. For example: In 2000, you would have needed to know that the margins in Florida were razor thin, and to have put just enough resources into the state to tip the scales without tipping your hand. That sort of prognostication is far, far easier in retrospect… That's the thing about Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. The polls in Wisconsin in particular were far from the mark, meaning that ne'er-do-wells looking to affect the results would be less likely to target the state. Why rig the vote in a place where Clinton's up by 6 points?" Good points, although this is rank retroactive framing. No, if you were to hack the results, you would hack everywhere because it was going to be a close election everywhere. And it's not like Russia doesn't have the resources (or had laid out the pre-work by testing the systems since April). So, if I were to hack the election and had an army of cyberwarriors and had the intelligence ready for election setup, voting, and counting, I would adjust everywhere I could by just a tiny bit hoping to throw enough of the very close states over to my intended candidate and make it look plausible by the results from everywhere else. Plus a pervasive attack is harder to suss out than a targeted hack. (Grokked from Joe Hill)

"Following several reports laying out the potential conflicts of interest Donald Trump could have as president given his real estate holdings around the world, the President-elect dismissed concerns and said that voters knew about his business before the election." Actually, Mr. PEOTUS, we didn't because you refused to release your taxes (which you promised to do if you were elected). Also, it wasn't a deal breaker because you are expected to hand over your businesses to a blind trust, with which you have no contact or direction over.

"When President-elect Donald Trump's senior adviser Kellyanne Conway said Monday that Trump "doesn't wish to pursue" charges against Hillary Clinton for using a private email server as Secretary of State, conservative news outlets and personalities broadcast their own sense of whiplash." For some reason I can't help but think the outrage in carefully planned and staged to say, "see, I piss off both sides, so I'm a moderate."

Report out of Trump's on-the-record meeting with the NYT, "The problem is, as pleasant as it was to hear those remarks, it was alarming to confront how thinly thought through many of the president-elect’s stances actually are. Consider climate change. Mr. Trump said that he valued clean air and water, but that he hadn’t decided if combating climate change was worth the expense. 'I have a totally open mind,' he said, making a virtue of not knowing the issue." And that is the real problem. He disavowed racists and neo-Nazis, not really because he's ideologically against what they're for, but because it was becoming uncomfortable and embarrassing by their overt actions (if "accepting" is the weakness of the left, "overplaying their hand" is the weakness of the right). So that, as I stated way back earlier this year, is the main thing I'm worried about. He doesn't hold these convictions that he ran on as convictions (although I do believe he is a racists and only has the interests of himself and those in his "class" at heart). He will blow both ways. As easily as he was swayed off some of these points, he could be swayed back on. (Grokked from Miranda Suri)

Tweet of my heart: ‏@BettyFckinWhite Half the time, Trump acts like being president is a Groupon he forgot he bought and probably won't ever use. (Grokked from Eric VanNewkirk)