Ghost in the Machine: A Wasted Opportunity. So Now What?
Here it is. Your most important read this week. I’ll call it early.
Vox: Why a federal court just ruled Obamacare subsidies are illegal in 36 states.
“The suit alleges that subsidies should only be available in states that set up their own insurance exchanges, based on the text of the Affordable Care Act. The government can still appeal, but if it ultimately loses the case at the Supreme Court, it’s possible that federal subsidies will no longer be available to help make insurance affordable in over thirty states.” And everything hinges on a single word. Who says proper English isn’t important?
TechDirt: FAA Investigates Congressman’s Use Of Drone To Help Videotape His Wedding.
“That brings us to today, where we get to read news about the FAA investigating the use of a drone to take sky-recordings of the wedding of a US Congressman who sits on the subcommittee that oversees the FAA.” Oh, this one’s worth watching, just for the entertainment value alone.
NY Times: Rich People Shrug Off High Taxes.
“Despite the common political argument that local governments need to coddle high earners with low taxes, lest they take their wealth elsewhere, rich New Yorkers, at least, seem to accept with equanimity the burden of contributing to civilization.” OK, that’s it. We can end the tax cut insanity then?
ProPublica: CA Halts Injection of Fracking Waste, Warning it May Be Contaminating Aquifers.
“The state’s Division of Oil and Gas and Geothermal Resources on July 7 issued cease and desist orders to seven energy companies warning that they may be injecting their waste into aquifers that could be a source of drinking water, and stating that their waste disposal ‘poses danger to life, health, property, and natural resources.’” Told you so. When there’s a drought, there are no ‘useless’ aquifers. Even if brackish. Fracking should be banned in all drought areas - period.
The Dish: The Lusitania Of The 21st Century?
Mischiefs of Faction: Impeachable offenses are in the eyes of the beholders (part 1).
The question is, impeachable for what, exactly? Listed under “Psychology” for psychoceramic reasons.
BBC: Airlines divert flights away from eastern Ukraine.
Too late. Tragically so.
WwLTV: Gulf shipwrecks are ghostly reminders of Nazis off Louisiana coast.
“The United States government didn’t want us to know. They didn’t want us to know how Germany was taking us to task, how successful these U-boats were.” ‘Tis true. My late father talked about how the night sky would be lit up by burning shipping off the coast of New Jersey. There was a blackout on reporting, for fear of causing panic. But everyone near the coasts knew what was going on. You’ve seen the ‘loose lips’ and similar posters - here is a direct reference. Preventing word-of-mouth panic spreading about the tens of thousands of tons of shipping being lost weekly. In fact, you can still see some of the huge concrete batteries along the NJ coast. Dönitz’ U-boats were terribly efficient.
The Rumpus: Typewriters Are Latest High Tech Spy Tool.
A renaissance for the typewriter? Perhaps a job market for old-fashioned typists, too? I should put out a shingle.
Later, Related: Mac only.
The Atlantic: Turbulence Ahead - The Coming Pilot Shortage and How It Came to Be.
“The First Officers I flew with at American Eagle came there with over $200,000 in debt for a job that pays $22,914 per year, to start.” Becoming a pilot used to be a virtual guarantee of a high-paying job; the industry was ‘Napstered’ even before Napster existed.
Time: Bloggers, Surveillance and Obama’s Orwellian State.
“In some ways, bloggers use the same practices of 19th Century pamphleteers, where anybody with a hand-crank could stand on a corner and shout to a group of people.” I’ve repeated this metaphor countless times now … I should have trademarked it a decade ago.
NPR: Founders Claimed A Subversive Right To ‘Nature’s God’.
“… Jefferson, like all of America’s founders, appreciated the tremendous value and richness of the Christian tradition and of other religious traditions. The important point, though, is that he understood that value to lie in the morality, and this morality was ultimately based on reason.” Once upon a time, young folks would learn about deism in the course of attending grade school, and noone saw it as a threat to morality.
Vox: Judge throws out Florida’s gerrymandered Congressional map.
“The 5th district, Judge Lewis wrote, is ‘visually not compact, bizarrely shaped, and does not follow traditional political boundaries as it winds from Jacksonville to Orlando.’ At one point, it ‘narrows to the width of Highway 17.’” Perhaps a limitation to county boundaries would be logical … no?
The Dish: Tax Cuts Don’t Pay For Themselves.
How many goddamn times need it be said? Reagan/Contract with America/Bush II/today … we need to put a stake through the zombie’s heart, immolate the corpse and forget the location.
The Atlantic: The Weeping Time.
“When Thomson recounts the auction, he holds nothing back. By its very nature, the sale of human beings is a disgraceful affair and he describes the slave speculators as a motley lot, poking and prodding the ‘chattel,’ pinching their muscles and checking the insides of their mouths like livestock, all while joking and making lurid comments at some of the female slaves.” And much worse.
Guardian.UK: US drought to deplete Lake Mead to levels not seen since 1930s.
“California, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Wyoming wouldn’t see direct cuts in their share of river water, but officials have acknowledged there would be ripple effects.” Water wars are gearing up. Just wait.
Metafilter: Tsilhquot’in victory in the Supreme Court.
“The recognition of aboriginal title rings in a new era, after years of frustration over treaty negotiations …” So, we’re returning the Black Hills when?
LiveScience: Imperiled Amazon Indians Make 1st Contact with Outsiders.
NY Times/Upshot: How Birth Year Influences Political Views.
If you push the meter to my birth year (1959), I think the graph is a bit off. I was 14 when Nixon left office in disgrace. I don’t think you could throw a stone and hit *any* Republicans at that time.
Denver Post: Colorado claims contraceptive program caused big drop in teen birth rates.
“A state health initiative to reduce teen birth rates by providing more than 30,000 contraceptive devices at low or no cost has led to a 40 percent drop in five years, Gov. John Hickenlooper said Thursday.”
The Daily Beast: ISIS Is About to Destroy Biblical History in Iraq.
VQR: Losing Sparta.
Slate: Box and burn - The future of U.S. wildfire policy.
“The reality is that fire suppression remains dominant nationally, though it has acquired a lighter hand in the backcountry and a heavier one near exurbs. The other reality is that every wildland fire put out is a fire put off. Fire agencies now face a phalanx of changes that are powering conflagrations — not only the legacy of stockpiled fuels but also climate change, invasive species, a fractal exurban sprawl, and political gridlock. With no single cause, there is no single solution.”
Vox: ‘1776’ is the 4th of July movie for people who love to hate Congress.
Oh yes … if you haven’t seen this film, you absolutely must. Our schools actually marched us out of class to go see this in the local theater, it was considered so ‘important’ in the early ‘70’s. William Daniels is, in my decades-old memory, fantastic.