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Author: Claire

Well, thank heaven that’s done.

Trump’s officially been sworn in. The world hasn’t ended. Minorities aren’t being marched off to extermination camps. Women are not required to be either barefoot and pregnant or sexy and available. Putin hasn’t moved into the White House. And, poor CNN is disappointed in its embarrassingly obvious hopes that someone would murder Trump before the swearing in so that Obama could … appoint the next president or something like that. 2+

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Thursday links

  • “Ethics rules,” eh? How can it be ethical to take someone’s blood or body tissues, use them in research, even patent them and make millions of dollars from them — all without the consent of the person being so used? The Obama administration had the chance to change this barbaric, anti-freedom, anti-privacy policy and decided not to.
  • And how can it be ethical, moral, legal, or tolerable in a decent society to let this POS cop off while forcing tax slaves to pay millions for his cruel deeds?
  • “Crowdsourcing Death.” Scott Greenwood ponders some of the more obscure, but inevitable, implications of driverless vehicles.

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  • Ammon Hennacy’s One Man Revolution

    David Gross writes: Your readers might be interested in knowing that Ammon Hennacy’s autobiography has just been released as a free (as in speech and as in beer) ebook. Hennacy was a Christian anarchist, and the most walk-the-talk radical I can think of. He did time during World War I for distributing anti-conscription propaganda, then spent 9 months in the hole for organizing a prison strike. He quit his job and started working day labor when income tax withholding was introduced so the government wouldn’t get a dime from him. And he operated Catholic Worker houses of hospitality — homeless…

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    Wednesday links

    The FBI. — yes, the freakin’ FBI. — has cameras on Seattle streets and a judge has just forbidden releasing information about them. Why should the FBI be doing street-level surveillance in U.S. cities (if they’re in Seattle, they’re everywhere else)? We can’t know and I haven’t found a single article that tells more than this one does. (H/T @EasyMac308 on Gab) Why aren’t Americans moving away from impoverished, jobless areas? Government, of course. Oh, there are SO many problems with technocracy — as the technocrats themselves are now learning the hard way (after they made millions of us learn…

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    Manning to go free!

    I didn’t think he’d do it. But Obama just commuted Chelsea Manning’s sentence. Manning is set to go free on May 17. Here’s another link in case the one in the first paragraph gives you trouble, as it’s momentarily giving me.) This is a commutation, not a pardon. The sentence is cut short, but Manning remains a convicted criminal with all the loss of rights and other problems and stigmas that entails. But this is what she’d asked for, the best she’d hoped for. Hm. Now I wonder if Assange will agree to that extradition to the U.S.? 0

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    Race, gender, actors, and highly selective indignation

    It was probably foreseeable that casting Joseph Fiennes, a white guy, as Michael Jackson, a black guy who desperately mimicked whiteness, would not set well with some people. Never mind that the TV episode was obviously pure silliness or that it played with a whole lot of other identities. No, a white guy playing a black guy, even if the black guy spent his life and fortune badly attempting to play a white guy, is verboten. After the standard indignation, the episode of the show was pulled before airing. Never mind more sensible people (here’s Tom Knapp) raising their hands…

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    Monday links

  • Trump “may” include talk-radio hosts and bloggers in press briefings. ‘Bout time. This being the 21st century and all. Nothing “right-wing” about it. (H/T SC)
  • Turns out Jerry Brown and the California legislature are just as effective as Obama at selling guns. And given the timing, clearly those guns will not be placidly turned in.
  • But ugh. Trump promises “insurance for everybody.” And how’s he gonna achieve that? (Please tell me it’s going to be by getting government out and let the market make medical care inexpensive again. No? Yeah, I didn’t think so.)

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  • Ahhhh, spring!

    Okay, okay. I know two blazing afternoons — afternoons soaring all the way to 45 degrees — do not a change of seasons make. I know we’re not yet a month into winter. I know — with many sighs — that in the part of the world we don’t expect consistently friendly weather until mid-July. But damn! This weekend’s been a blessed relief from what some wag called the Northwest’s Mini-Ice Age. Freezing at night, as per our usual lately, but with blessedly benign afternoons. Spring? Alas, no. But a fine substitute. Besides, a girl can dream, can’t she? And…

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    More on jump starters

    Alert: Lots of Amazon links ahead! Couple of weeks ago I blogged about jump starters. The ones I’d been looking at were big and clunky — basically lead-acid batteries to kickstart your lead-acid battery. Until S. placed a comment, I didn’t know about elegant lithium-ion alternatives, some not much bigger than smartphones. The reason for my interest was that I knew I was soon going to run Old Blue’s battery down. It was inevitable. Around the time we broke down last month, the headlight-alert bell quit. My mechanic thought he fixed it but if so it didn’t stay fixed (he…

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