Open Thread

I have the most worthless dogs on the planet. They will bark all day long at anything and everything (well, not Lily, but the other two assholes). I just got a text from my friend Amy, who has hens and we trade veggies and eggs and the like, stopped by my house and put some chicken poop for my compost pile and some eggs on my back deck.

The dogs didn’t make a sound. So to recap: anything they imagine and they raise a god damned ruckus and rouse the entire neighborhood. A strange woman throwing a literal bucket of shit on my back yard and they do nothing.


Sunday Morning Garden Chat: This Year’s Project…

… from indefatigable gardener & photographer Ozark Hillbilly:

This year’s main gardening project started last year just before the Eclipse, when I tore up the old worn out flagstone path with a skidloader.

The skidloader had a 6’wide bucket. The new concrete sidewalk being only 3′-6” wide, that left me with 2′-6″ to play with. So I did.

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Late Night Open Thread

My needs-a-new-thread-dar is pinging.

Current mood:

Have at it.

The Rich And Powerful Take What They Want (Open Thread)

John Rogers is a Friend of the Blog, co-originator of the “27%” crazification factor, and creator of (among other things) the show Leverage (2008-2012). For those who don’t know, Leverage is about a team of grifters and thieves who turn their considerable talents to defrauding corporate criminals. (It’s fun, good-hearted, and a bit silly; you should watch it!).

Leverage first aired when I was twenty-three and fresh off working for the first Obama campaign. Well, being young and jobless in that era, I had lots of free time to read about politics and watch television. I can’t remember if the plots seemed ridiculous to me at first or not. Soon enough, though, I knew that only half the show was unrealistic. White-collar crime really is as widespread and banally-accepted as the show portrays. But, of course, there’s no strike-team of good guys stealing the money back.

Anyway, I saw this and figured I would share:

Leverage is off Netflix and Hulu right now, or I’d fire it up… There is also a tabletop RPG version I’ve always wanted to try.

Open thread!

Saturday Evening Open Thread

I still haven’t done all the laundry today. Those are the old sheets you see on the bed. But the cats will be getting up soon (and here comes Zooey!) for their dinner.

Here are some security thoughts about last night’s incident at Sea-Tac.

And the last important point:

There’s also a new book out that some of you may be interested in. I will read it at some time in the near future. Might be something for Major Major Major Major if we can get off his back long enough on the difficulties with the site.

Site Issues. Working On It

Sorry for the issues folks.

ETA: I removed Recent Comments again because the server cannot take the extra load it causes. We’ll have something new sometime in the future, but for now, it’s done. I’m sorry, but that’s the reality of the current setup.

Saturday Morning Open Thread: “Get Your Act Together. Stop Hating”

… “They tried to kill my child to shut her up,” Susan Bro told mourners last August. “Well, guess what? You just magnified her!”

Bro now spends her days in a cozy office at the law firm where her daughter worked as a paralegal. It’s the headquarters of the Heather Heyer Foundation. Near her desk is a sign with her daughter’s favorite motto — “If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention.”

“I think that’s what we have with Heather’s legacy, is a call to action,” says Bro…

Portraits of Heyer hang on the walls, and there’s a collection of posthumous civil rights awards. Bro resists the notion that her daughter is some sort of symbol. She didn’t make speeches, or lead rallies, Bro says, but tried to persuade those around her to care more about inequality and social justice issues. Bro has taken up her cause.

“Not only will I speak and speak loudly and often,” she says, “I’m going to make sure that other people speak.”

She compares it to a relay race.
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Late Night Open Thread: Easily Triggered White Men, the Internet Equivalent of Herpes

They won’t kill you, probably, but it’s irksome that they never go away permanently. The Chicago Maroon presents: Conservative University of Chicago Law Professor M. Todd Henderson:

Henderson said in a tweet Tuesday that Justice Sonia Sotomayor was appointed to the Supreme Court because “her Latinaness gave us insight into her soul.”

His tweet, which said she is a “second-class intellect,” immediately drew sharp criticism from members of the University community and beyond. Some questioned how Henderson was a professor at the Law School; one user wrote, “Your dumb ass couldn’t get onto the food court.”

After initially fighting back against his critics, Henderson issued a half-apology Tuesday evening, again via tweet. He said that having another woman and Hispanic on the Court was a good thing, but argued that there are dozens of appeals court judges “smarter” than Justice Sotomayor. Still, he said, if he were a senator he would have confirmed her to the Court.

Henderson deactivated his Twitter account on Wednesday…

And, of course, along with being a coward, he’s a repeat offender:

… This is not particularly out of character for Henderson. He defended the Law School’s Edmund Burke Society after it advertised a debate using a whip sheet that said immigrants bring “disease into the body politic.”…

In 2010, Henderson wrote in a widely-mocked blog post (also now deleted) that his family was just getting by and that President Obama’s tax hikes on households making over $250,000 might force him to sell his house. In that same post, Henderson said he paid $100,000 in federal and state taxes, which, according to Business Insider, would make his annual household income around $400,000.

By all means click the link, because for full effect, you want to see his publicity still — complete with manly, professorial props!

Henderson and his less-tweedy fellows decided to have their extremely online snit because the NYTimes hired Sarah Jeong, who has previously been snarky on Twitter, and then refused to un-hire her no matter how loud the screams about ethics in online journalism. (Presumably because it’s harder to find a sharp, smart tech writer than another Brave Pundit willing to ask the Bold Questions: ‘Why can’t white people use the n-word?’) Much shade was thrown, in response to nasty brutish & short rages by perennial offenders such as the epically self-pwning Andrew Sullivan. If you’re curious, Roy Edroso has an excellent aggregated summary of the whole kerfuffle: “Oh, the Caucasity!…Won’t anyone think of the white male Christians?

Among the Jeong tweets that seems to have so offended the Hendersonian white men?

How did the mansplainer drown in a puddle?
It was a WELL, actually

Friday Evening Open Thread: Nice ‘Work’, If You Can Get It

Every successful organization must consider the best use of their paid employees. Therefore, some are paid to show up; some are paid to stay home…

… or to go on tv and make fools of themselves…

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Stoking the Conspiracy Fantasists: Like A Spark to Tinder

I haven’t wanted to post about the California wildfires because, from this distance, it feels like indulging in disaster porn. “We” have seriously fvcked up another gorgeous chunk of the only planet currently available, and the locals are paying for that in some of the most dramatic footage possible, thoughts & prayers.

But there’s no “natural” tragedy that can’t be made worse… Per the Washington Post:

The arrest was made as more than 18 fires across the state continue to endanger the lives of thousands, including hundreds of firefighters and first responders working around the clock. One, the Mendocino Complex Fire in Northern California, is the largest wildfire in California history. Yosemite National Park has been closed “indefinitely” because of smoke from another fire…

The Holy Fire, which started in the Holy Jim Canyon area, has been burning in Southern California since Monday, with more than 600 firefighters assigned to fight it. Two firefighters have been treated for heat-related injuries. The fire remains only 5 percent contained.

Mike Milligan, 71, who calls himself a volunteer fire firefighter and chief, said in an interview with The Washington Post that he has been flagging problems with suspect Forrest Gordon Clark for more than three years. He said he alerted the U.S. Forest Service that “you have to do something or he’s going to kill someone or burn this place down.”

Milligan said he received several texts from Clark last week threatening to start a fire.

“In a text, he said this place ‘is going to burn just like we planned,’ ” Milligan said, adding that he reported it to the sheriff’s office and again to the U.S. Forest Service. “Why the hell didn’t they respond? I reported this over and over again.”
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Okay, this is weird…

Trump eats paper? According to Omarosa Manigault Newman, yes. She claims she saw Trump stuff a note into his mouth and eat it as she was escorting Michael Cohen out of the Oval Office. Via TPM:

“I saw him put a note in his mouth. Since Trump was ever the germophobe, I was shocked he appeared to be chewing and swallowing the paper. It must have been something very, very sensitive.”

Manigault Newman also claims she turned down $15K per month to keep her mouth shut after she was fired. The Post, which got an advance copy of the book, says Omarosa “depicts Trump as unqualified, narcissistic and racist.”

Too bad she didn’t figure that shit out before her embarrassing “kneel before Zod” comment. Manigault Newman is a reality show clown without a whole lot of credibility, IMO, but if she gets under the Tang Tyrant’s orange skin with her book, more power to her.

Open thread.

Finally, A Uniter for President

Thor Michaelson 2020:

I have no idea where this is from as I stole it from a college buddy’s FB feed.

A wrong number and purpose

Yesterday, I had a busy day at work.  I was running SQL for a claims analysis of Medicare beneficiaries who had died in the Carolinas.  After that I was reviewing a data dictionary for complex chronic care conditions in alternative payment models.  And to take a break from that, I sketched out a table to describe the impact of the exclusionary criteria from a paper that my collaborator and I are working on a revise and resubmit.  It was a productive day.

However the most important thing was a wrong number leading to an illuminating conversation.

This was worth a chuckle at first, and then I had to think more about it.

The young woman on the line was new to the area and new to insurance. She was trying to follow her new doctor’s orders and get a simple thing done. The system was working against her best efforts and then she decided to reach out for help.  I’m listed as working at the Health Policy Center and my name is early on in the directory.  She has an insurance policy, and this seemed like a good spot to start.

I could not help her, but I understood where she was coming from.  She was trying to navigate a confusing system to take care of a problem.  And the system was throwing up road blocks.  And when she reached out to a seemingly plausible source of help, I was of no immediate assistance.  I helped her find the member service number on the back of her insurance card and wished her well.

She did not care that I am working on an evaluation of a fascinating palliative care model.  She does not care that I have a nifty little paper that has a really cool identification strategy.  She just wanted to solve a health problem and let the nerds in the background work towards helping her solve actual need.  This was a good reminder of the vast space between my interests and the outcomes that most people care about — can I get to my doctor or my test and can I afford to pay for that needed care?

Setting up, evaluating, arguing and assessing about the structure of healthcare delivery is critical; it shapes the hallways that the woman on the phone has to walk and it creates the choices that she needs to make, but in a day to day experience, it does not matter too much for the patient who is just trying to figure out how to follow their doctor’s recommendations to take care of a problem.

Friday Morning Open Thread: Readership Capture

In before the Friday News Dump, assuming we get another one here in mid-August…


In support of Marcia Blackburn’s opponent:


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Late Night Mockery Open Thread: SPACE. FARCE.

I was pleased that, on its national segment Thursday evening, ABC News made it clear that Trump’s new! improved! separate but equal! (yes, he said that) Space Force was (a) impossible without an act of Congress; and (b) intended, for the moment, to sell logo-branded gear to Trump supporters. Can’t stop the Grifter-in-Chief from fleecing his deplorables, but at least we stop pretending it’s anything but a short-term distraction…

WARNING: If you don’t ‘get’ this last one, here is the Urban Dictionary definition you need. For the sake of your nightmares, do *not* google the word itself!