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We Are So Screwed

Posted by Ogged
on 09.01.18

 

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Strong People

Posted by Ogged
on 09.01.18

From Mollie Tibbetts' father.

My stepdaughter, whom Mollie loved so dearly, is Latina. Her sons -- Mollie's cherished nephews and my grandchildren -- are Latino. That means I am Hispanic. I am African. I am Asian. I am European. My blood runs from every corner of the Earth because I am American. As an American, I have one tenet: to respect every citizen of the world and actively engage in the ongoing pursuit to form a more perfect union.

Given that, to knowingly foment discord among races is a disgrace to our flag. It incites fear in innocent communities and lends legitimacy to the darkest, most hate-filled corners of the American soul. It is the opposite of leadership. It is the opposite of humanity. It is heartless. It is despicable. It is shameful.

 

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Programming Career Advice

Posted by Ogged
on 08.31.18

Here's a question for the programming types. I'm what gets called a "front-end" or "full-stack" developer. In my current job, of course I use Javascript regularly, and our middleware is all .NET/C#, so I'm passably familiar with that, in addition to writing the occasional SQL query and setting up some AWS S3/Lambda stuff with Terraform. As I've discovered, I'm a not-uncommon type of front-end developer, who doesn't actually enjoy true front-end (css/styling/ui) work.

Assuming that I'm willing to, say, learn a new language or tech or two, but not realistically going to make a big jump like learning stats and doing data science, or Haskell and doing..something, or anything else big-brained (and staying away from DevOps), what are the job and career paths open to me? What are those jobs called, what do those people do?


 

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Get Involved

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 08.31.18

Remember, the more you do now, the more you can direct your anger outwards instead of inwards come November if the outcome is bad. Let's all hedge our mental health outcomes. So what are you up to?

(if you're curious, my foibles are here.)


 

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Sickening

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 08.31.18

This article on the abuses by nuns at the St. Joseph orphanage is a completely grueling read.

Via one of you, who can tell, you all look alike from here anyway, elsewhere


 

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Beto and Ted

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 08.30.18

The Texas GOP tried to make Beto look like some sloppy grunge stoned dude, and it seems to have backfired (but who can really tell). But anyway, someone unearthed a truly marvelous picture of high school Ted Cruz from the same time period. Then a lot of people had a lot of fun with it.

Somehow Beto is only two years younger than Ted.


 

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Citizenship Tests

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 08.30.18

Mossy Character writes: Modi madness. (I know nothing about India.)

Heebie's take: Modi madness sounds kinda fun, like a brand new dance! The actual article is awful and infuriating:

With an eye on the 2019 national election, the BJP's Hindu-first campaign has become more strident, critics say, playing to its core base with divisive programs such as the citizenship test in Assam, already a tinderbox of ethnic and religious tensions.

The backdrop is that many of these people are survivors of an ethnically-driven massacre in the 80s, which killed about 2000 people.


 

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Prison Strike

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 08.30.18

I went searching for a prison strike article, and none of them seem to have a ton of detail, but I'm not sure what I'm expecting. I would like to highlight this last paragraph from Vox, which I'm not faulting for doing its even-handed-explanation thing, but still:

Prison officials say they couldn't afford to pay inmates more. They point out that there are many extra costs tied to prison labor -- such as the chance of lockdowns, security needs, and the costs of inmates' housing, food, and health care. As California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokesperson Jeffrey Callison told me, "The per capita cost of one inmate in our prison system now exceeds $80,000." Those are expenses employers in the free world don't typically have to carry.

It's just simple economics, see? Maybe in some fancy dream world, Poindexter, your prisons can turn a profit and give humane work conditions, but for the rest of us on planet Earth, this is just Econ 101 for a prison to thrive and deliver a profitable revenue-stream to stake-holders.


 

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Replacing Migrant Workers with High Schoolers

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 08.29.18

Sometimes history is weird, like when someone actually implemented every libertarian's favorite thought-experiment:

The year was 1965. On Cinco de Mayo, newspapers across the country reported that Secretary of Labor W. Willard Wirtz wanted to recruit 20,000 high schoolers to replace the hundreds of thousands of Mexican agricultural workers who had labored in the United States under the so-called Bracero Program. Started in World War II, the program was an agreement between the American and Mexican governments that brought Mexican men to pick harvests across the U.S. It ended in 1964, after years of accusations by civil rights activists like Cesar Chavez that migrants suffered wage theft and terrible working and living conditions.

(maybe not libertarians. College students' favorite thought-experiment? Whose?)

It gets up and running:

Despite such skepticism, Wirtz's scheme seemed to work at first: About 18,100 teenagers signed up to join the A-TEAM. But only about 3,300 of them ever got to pick crops.

No one liked it very much:

The University High crew worked six days a week, with Sundays off, and they were not allowed to return home during their stint. The farmers sheltered them in "any kind of defunct housing," according to Carter -- old Army barracks, rooms made from discarded wood, and even buildings used to intern Japanese-Americans during World War II.
Problems arose immediately for the A-TEAM nationwide. In California's Salinas Valley, 200 teenagers from New Mexico, Kansas and Wyoming quit after just two weeks on the job. "We worked three days and all of us are broke," the Associated Press quoted one teen as saying. Students elsewhere staged strikes. At the end, the A-TEAM was considered a giant failure and was never tried again.

So no one ever discussed it again, and everyone agreed that having powerless people doing horrible labor causes much less friction than having young, connected people. It feels like a lesson from a Kurt Vonnegut novel, or maybe an entire plotline.


 

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Guest Post - "When a Stranger Decides To Destroy Your Life"

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 08.28.18

Nick S. writes: A fascinating story about somebody coping with having a false story shared about them online. What's interesting is how banal the whole thing is. It isn't a case of some bad joke going viral. It was intentional, but in a very round-about way. By the time the story was public the person who had fabricated had, reportedly forgotten about the entire prompting incident.

Monika Glennon has lived in Huntsville, Alabama, for the last 12 years. ... She sells houses--she's a real estate agent at Re/Max--helping others realize their own American dream.

But in September 2015, she was suddenly plunged into an American nightmare. She got a call at 6 a.m. one morning from a colleague at Re/Max telling her something terrible had been posted about her on the Re/Max Facebook page. Glennon thought at first she meant that a client had left her a bad review, but it turned out to be much worse than that.

It was a link to a story about Glennon on She's A Homewrecker, a site that exists for the sole purpose of shaming the alleged "other woman." The author of the Homewrecker post claimed that she and her husband had used Glennon as their realtor and that everything was going great until one evening when she walked in on Glennon having sex with her husband on the floor of a home the couple had been scheduled to see. The unnamed woman went into graphic detail about the sex act and claimed she'd taken photos that she used to get everything from her husband in a divorce. The only photo she posted though was Glennon's professional headshot, taken from her bio page on Re/Max's site.

...

Rosenblum wrote and submitted the story in August 2014, but it wasn't published until September 2015, long after Rosenblum had forgotten about it. That's because submissions to She's a Homewrecker are reviewed before publication. Asked about the reason for the delay, the site's lawyer David Gingras speculates that Rosenblum's story may have "sat in a holding pen for a year." The trigger for publication was likely the sale of the site. She's a Homewrecker was started in 2013 by Arielle Alexander, but she sold it in August 2015 to Relic Agency, which is run by Nik Richie, who also founded The Dirty, another important star in the constellation of grudge-settling sites. The story about Glennon went up a month after the site changed ownership.

Heebie's take: First, in case you're wondering, Glennon didn't actually sleep with the husband.

Also:

It may have languished in obscurity there if not for a person who went by Ryan Baxter on Facebook. Baxter was the one who posted the story to Re/Max's Facebook page, emailed it to Glennon's bosses, and sent it to many of her Facebook contacts. Apparently a regular reader of She's A Homewrecker, Baxter had a habit of compounding the damage to people shamed on the site. Glennon found numerous instances of Baxter posting She's a Homewrecker posts to the Facebook walls of other people's employers and friends. Such are the strange hobbies of the modern age.

Holy fucking shit - is this person equally as monstrous as the original poster? What if Glennon had actually had an affair and the wronged spouse was at least grounded in the truth - why does this Ryan character have to escalate things so awfully?!


 

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Guest Post - The End of Nutrition

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 08.27.18

Dairy Queen writes: Quoth the Angry Chef aka Anthony Warner:

It is not food that is kills people early. It is poverty, stress and broken lives. No dietary change can insulate people from these things. The reason why we have not yet discovered which diet is best, is because within a society that has enough food to eat, any diet that rich people eat is associated with optimum health. And the reasons why have nothing to do with the food itself.
On average, within developed countries, people appear to settle on a percentage of carbohydrates at around 55%, no matter what advice they are given. For better or for worse, whenever we have complete freedom of choice about what to eat, that is the calorie breakdown the majority of us end up consuming. Most people reading this blog probably eat around this much, and will do so without thinking about it a great deal.
As this is the preferred diet of affluent people, perhaps that is why it consistently appears to be the healthiest in large epidemiological studies. Could it be that this diet is 'best' because it is associated with the most severe life stresses being removed, and so is the diet eaten by people who were always likely to live a long time anyway.

Anecdotally, some of our farmer friends are starting to reduce the variety and amount of crops they bring to our ultimate-bourgeoise-annoying-SF-market, because they can't hire sufficient labor, even though they *can* charge a premium price and therefore pay decent wages. The long term factor that's been headed for our food supply like a missile for years now is the increasing average age of CA farm labor, see here, up to 38 in 2016 from 30 in 2000. Younger folks coming here from Mexico do not want to work in the fields. Maybe it would have been a better strategy to welcome sector-wide unionization a couple of decades ago, leading to better working conditions, higher wages and worker participation in ownership, and producing an organized and funded political base for sane immigration policies, just maybe?

And short term the current horrors of our immigration policies are discouraging farm labor, although our hideous policies at the border and in immigration detention are extremely unlikely to discourage Guatemalan mothers fleeing the horrors of our policies there.

For "lighter" reading on the food front, let's consider the potato!

I will always have a soft spot for Warner's wonderful ode to the tuber, despite the annoying multi-voice thing he does - skip down to the "Go on then. Tell us about potatoes" heading.

But the best is Andy Griffin on potatoes and Miami.

Enjoy!

Heebie's take: I have long thought that we're obsessed with nutrition because it feels like the only independent variable in the hand we're dealt. More or less: Ack! I've got an uncooperative body! Stuff goes in one end, so that's what I'll focus on.


 

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