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User Journal

Journal Journal: Some post election clarifications 4

1. No, Liberals were not "in a bubble". Our reaction isn't because we were surprised by the Trump victory, we knew there was a chance of one, pretty much every liberal I knew in a swing state voted for Clinton because we knew how close it was. Our reaction post election is horror, not surprise. Insofar as we expected a Clinton win, it was because the opinion polls seemed to suggest that. Those of us who trusted Nate Silver knew there was a one third chance of Trump winning.

2. No, Trump did not win because his supporters were called idiots, or racists, or fascists, or both. Nobody has ever said "That man called me a fascist! Well, that does it, I'm going to vote for a fascist who'll most likely destroy the country I live in and love! That'll show them!" Besides, we didn't, for the most part, call Trump supporters any of those things, we called TRUMP a fascist, and we also observed that actual self-described NEO-NAZIs ("Deplorables") were voting for Trump - as in David Duke was voting for him, and any analysis of what neo-nazis were doing showed they were enthusiastic about Trump.

(On that note: are you a fascist for voting Trump? You might be, you might not, but what is clear is that you don't consider fascism to be such a terrible thing that you'd refuse to vote for someone who runs as a fascist. That is not a good thing, and whether you're one or not, you should feel bad if you voted for him.)

2.1 No she didn't. She said half of Trump's supporters were "deplorables", an entirely reasonable statement to make. She never said that half of voters, or that all Trump supporters, were racists, you just made that up.

3. You may think he made it all up just to get elected. But you have no real evidence of that. We will be fearful that Trump intends to continue as a fascist until he proves otherwise. Thus far, he's been all over the map, we have to wait until he's in office before we can judge.

4. No, we will not "Hope for Trump's success". We'll hope for America's success, but to our eyes, that appears to be in conflict with the success of Trump. We'll hope that Trump somehow redeems himself, and turns into something completely unlike what we've seen so far.

Addressing a different crowd...

5. No, she didn't win the popular vote. She did great, and has a plurality, but she's not even near the 50% mark. The EC would have absolutely no mandate - moral or otherwise - to substitute Clinton for Trump. Both candidates lost the popular vote.

6. She was a shitty choice of candidate, get over it. No, she's not Nixon, she's the victim of a 25 year long smear campaign, but she's also a neo-con who doesn't represent liberal values on certain key issues like war and civil liberties, and she's spent so much time cosying up to the various establishments that she appears aloof of ordinary American's problems. She's rightly or wrongly associated with her husband who may or may not have been popular but is infamous for regressive anti-progressive positions during his time in office. In the primaries we may have had two shitty candidates to choose from, we may or may not have picked the best of the two, but she was still shitty.

6.1 Sanders? You really think a country brainwashed for more than a century to think Socialist is a bad word would have voted for Sanders? Really? Even Trump had the good sense to not explicitly use the word that described the ideology he was campaigning on. He wasn't even a great campaigner - he might have beaten Ron Paul if the latter had been the Republicans choice, but nobody else.

7. No, we're probably not going to win back either house in 2018. We're not Republicans, we're obsessed with looking reasonable and getting the blessing of the media, and the media is going to normalize Trump and the Democrats will end up compromising themselves and fucking themselves over. When Obama won, the Republicans went Scorched Earth despite there being no reason to think he was particularly offensive. Democrats need to go Scorched Earth now, but won't, because they're pathetic.

8. No, we shouldn't abandon our principles to win the next election. Supporting minorities didn't kill us, failing to address issues that affect everyone might have done, but the two are not in conflict. We need to abandon people suffering real hardship and discrimination so we can focus on the "White Working Class"? Bullshit. We need policies that lift up the whole of the working classes, not just whites. And while we do so, nothing prevents us from reforming chronically discriminatory institutions, or dealing with hate crimes at the same time.

We have precious little we can do at this stage, but we can resist in our own small ways, and make it politically possible for others with more power to resist too. That's what we must, at minimum, do right now.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Filling in a DNR or Advanced Medical Directive is sobering. 5

With people living longer, and with the possibility to extend life even when doing so would be undignified, and distressing to everyone around you, eventually you should ask yourself "do I want to live like that?" Nobody wants to spend their last years unable to recognize anyone, in diapers, eating through a tube, and being the source of continual stress for friends and family.

I've seen people whose quality of life is pretty low and will never improve. I would never want to be like that, and neither do my sisters. So, figured I'd fill in a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) and Advanced Medical Directive - ot doing so is just too cruel to allow it to happen.

The forms are an eye opener - they make it real. And it's not a simple case of saying "No advanced measures if I'm going to be brain damaged." Gotta fill in a bunch of use cases, appoint someone who knows your wishes if a situation comes up that hasn't been anticipated in the directive, get it witnessed, give copies to several people, stick it in your hospital file, update the hospital's medical card to indicate that there's an advanced directive on file (and make sure they have a copy), as well as giving a copy to every doctor you deal with outside a hospital setting.

Most importantly, keep a copy on you so that EMTs won't do something that results in you receiving enough care to live, but not enough to live like a human being.

Only 14% of people who receive cpr in a hospital ever leave it alive, and only 2% in the field. It's not worth taking the risk.

Several articles to give you something to think about

User Journal

Journal Journal: Santa Killed My Dog!

They say that Santa's coming,
He comes 'round every year.
He comes he'll meet a shotgun slug
'cause he ain't welcome here.

Five years ago this Christmas
The fatass came around
With jingle bells and ho ho hos
And looking like a clown.

He came in for a landing
As I let out a yawn
My house is pretty little
So he landed on the lawn.

I didn't have the time to yell
As he came in through the fog;
He came in fast and and came down hard
And landed on my dog.

He looked around all furtive like
As I reached for my gun,
Then jumped in sleigh, yelled âoegiddie upâ
And took off on the run.

And so, that fatassed bastard
Better stay away from here
'cause ever since he killed my dog
I have no Christmas cheer.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Trouble on Ceres 11

I'm not even bothering to paste it, since slashdot would render it unreadably, so I'll just sent you to mcgrew.info.

I really wish they'd fix that horrible bug...

User Journal

Journal Journal: Is Anyone Tracking Trump's Broken Promises? 34

Trump made a great deal of campaign promises, and he is already back-tracking on quite a few of them.

Raise criminal charges against Hillary Clinton? nah, maybe not

Repeal all of Obamacare, immediately? nope, not doing that either

Start deporting people on day one? nah, that can wait (note what the same article also says about the wall)

Can anyone name anything substantive he was planning that he hasn't already walked back? Should be an interesting "first 100 days", being as he's already been dropping things off his to-do list.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Justifying not cleaning up code in a click-bait "agile" article 15

The reg has this incredibly stupid attention-seeking article justifying not trying to clean up dirty code that seems to be working okay.

âoeYou might have a complete disaster in code ... that hasnâ(TM)t been touched in four years, that is actually working pretty well now finally, even if it is being held together with duct tape and baling wire. And hopefully by the time I have to change it, itâ(TM)ll be so far out of date that I can throw it away.â

You know the code is crap, and you're willing to leave that technical debt until you HAVE to change it? In any other industry that would be called willful negligence. No wonder it's a good thing we don't build houses (or cars or airplanes) the way we build software. That code could be one reboot away from a disaster but hey, we won't fix it until we have to.

âoeThe purist in me would like to say you still need to clean it up because itâ(TM)s terrible. The pragmatist says ignore it, itâ(TM)ll go away.

Ignore it, it'll go away. Really? Here's a hint. The code is not self-aware. It won't fix itself, and ignoring it means that it won't go away. Only paying attention to it and doing a good review *might* make it go away.

Dirty code is a fact of life, and working out which software really needs changing and leaving the rest will help many IT organizations gain at least some of the benefits of going Agile, ThoughtWorksâ(TM) CTO told the Continuous Lifecycle conference today.

Just another consulting business trying to convince other businesses that it's better to wait until stuff craps out and then call in a consulting firm to fix it rather than keep people on staff who know the product and have a vested interest in making sure that the dirty stuff gets done before the turds hit the ventilator.

Their motto should be "Don't be proactive - be agile!"

Of course, if your bosses buy into this, you'll probably be out of a job when the company has an unrecoverable error and goes broke, if they haven't already fired you because maintenance of legacy code is seen as no longer needed.

Only more lawsuits over bad software will get rid of this attitude. And jail terms for bad software that results in injury or death. Bosses will only take quality seriously when their asses could be thrown in jail because of such willful negligence, or shareholders suing their asses into personal bankruptcy for loss of value.

User Journal

Journal Journal: No thanks, I don't want a mammogram. 3

The government came up with a new initiative to offer every woman a referral for a free program to screen for breast cancer, including followups and treatment. Got the invite in the mail Tuesday, and thought it was funny. I'm literally in the lowest-risk group.

Statistically, over a 20-year period, 73 cases per thousand will be detected, as opposed to 54 per thousand without screening. Makes sense. However, 10 women will be over-diagnosed (have a detected breast cancer treated that would have been harmless if ignored). Not so good. 1 in 100 over 20 years. Hmm.

Now for individual risk factors. There have been no cases of breast cancer in my relatives that I am aware of. That means that, while about 5-10% of the population of both sexes have the BRCA-1 or BRCA-2 gene, I almost certainly do not. Also, I don't have any of the "lifestyle diseases" that promote cancer.

And then there's the only complete longitudinal study of more than 4500 subjects like me over a 40 year period, with only ONE case of breast cancer.

So, over the next 20 years I have less than a 1 in 4500 chance of getting breast cancer, and a 1 in 100 chance of a misdiagnosis resulting in unnecessary treatment. And those unnecessary treatments carry their own risks.

So I made a few jokes about it, and put the letter aside.

The next day was an appointment with my gp. You'd almost think there's a conspiracy going on. After an examination that found my lungs work fine, my heart doesn't make any weird noises, there's nothing in my guts that feels abnormal when palpitated, my blood tests are ok (and you'd kill to have my cholesterol numbers), my blood pressure is within norms, what does she want me to do "just as routine preventative care?"

A mammogram. A bone density xray. A test for colon cancer.

Since this is the first gp I've ever had (saw her for the first time a few weeks ago, and the waiting list is LONG), I kind of don't want to antagonize her, so here goes for the useless mammogram.

Of course, when you get quacks like Dr. Mercola saying to avoid it, why not go for it?

Note: This guy is such a quack. Here's just one example:

As little as ten years ago, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) was believed to be safe, but has since been proven to drastically increase your risk of breast cancer.

One study made the startling discovery that HRT with either estrogen alone or estrogen-plus-progestin was associated with a 70 percent increase in breast cancer risk when the therapy was taken for five years within the six years preceding the cancer diagnosis!

This is also true for birth control pills. Theyâ(TM)re synthetic hormones which may even be worse than Premarin, so I strongly advise women to avoid birth control pills as well as traditional approaches to HRT.

Bioidentical hormones, which are a safer alternative, do not appear to contribute to breast cancer like its synthetic counterparts.

Who the hell still uses premarin (made from pregnant horse urine, cruelly obtained, not bio-identical, and containing some enzymes not found in human bodies)? The treatment of choice has been estradiol for a LONG time. HRT with estradial and without progestins lowers rates of breast cancer, osteoporosis, and cardiovascular disease, delays dementia, cognitive decline, Alzheimers, and takes at least a decade off your apparent age.

What's not to like?

And that advice at the bottom to sleep in absolute darkness? It's not natural. We didn't evolve for that. He seems to forget that there's these things called stars, and the moon. If sleeping in the dark is so necessary, how come we feel so refreshed, SO GOOD after an afternoon snooze, or sleeping under the stars with a sleeping bag?

He should team up with that other peddler of BS, Dr. Oz.

User Journal

Journal Journal: 97% in 2016 30

What was 97% in 2016? According to opensecrets.org, 97% of US House members who ran for re-election in 2016 won their re-election bid. While that seems high - and it is higher than 2014, 2012, or 2010 - it is not the highest we've seen since the 60's, and we've never seen less than 80% in that time frame.

This is of course while congress has approval ratings from US polls that is barely better than Ebola or ISIS.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Donald Trump is leader of the Free World 66

That, right there, is one very useful phrase, I'll have to admit. I've used it in all kinds of contexts, and for different effects, and it works great. It's like a rhetorical swiss army knife.

Moving on, talk about getting shafted! I'm glad my political gambling is a hobby, not an addiction, cuz Cheeto Mussolini just fucked me out of 5K. Although I'm even more glad of my Senate side bet since it helps take the sting out of it.

Congratulations to all the Republicans out there! It's been exhausting work pretending to care about the deficit, unemployment numbers, and whether or not the rest of the world thinks the US is a laughingstock, so I'm sure you'll all be glad for the break.

Last but not least, commiserations to all the kids out there, the ones who'll get punched repeatedly in the face as they struggle through life because global warming as a solvable problem is gone for at least a generation, whilst us Boomers and Gen Xers get to pop our clogs before the really bad shit starts. Time to start volunteering for those Mars missions, I guess.

For any non-Yanks out there, there is a small silver lining: Between, incompetence, corruption, and taking advantage of these historic circumstances to finally bury the Dem party forever, the incoming administration may be too busy trying to fuck over the US to have any time to fuck over the rest of the planet any more than they have already have. Fingers crossed!

User Journal

Journal Journal: Fuck Obamacare 13

Trump has been all over the map about the Affordable Care Act since he "won" the election, stating he'd like to keep the "popular" bits after meeting with Obama, then stating he'd organize a special session of Congress the day after he's inaugurated to repeal the whole thing. (He's apparently unaware Congress will already be in session, but, whatever.) If he chooses to keep the "popular" bits, the health insurance industry will crumble, for what it's worth, because they'll be forced to provide coverage for pre-existing conditions to people who refuse to pay a penny in premiums until they fall ill.

My view is nuanced on Obamacare, so I expect 99% of the replies to this post to miss the point completely, probably just focusing on the headline, but...

...this was entirely predictable. Obamacare was a really bad idea. I said so at the time. I stand by my comments. It was never feasible in the long term and it was politically the most inept attempt to introduce universal health care ever devised.

That it's going... is not to be celebrated, because it means suddenly a huge number of people will be unable to afford health care. That's bad. But simply blaming Republicans and Fascists for its removal is missing the greater picture: it was insanely unpopular. It was something Republicans were able to rally around to defeat Democrats. Think about that for a second: UH should be popular. It should have been a real concern by most of the country that they were going to lose it. When in 2012 Democrats wanted the Senior vote, they pointed out Paul Ryan planned to replace Medicare - UH for seniors - and were rewarded by a shift towards them. Nobody was able to stand up in 2016 and say "Hey guys, Trump will kill Obamacare, you don't want to lose that!" In fact, the opposite happened, Trump used Obamacare against Clinton.

Why did it fail? Because it sucked. It didn't control prices significantly enough that people noticed - in fact, most believed Obamacare was to blame for rising insurance costs. Most had insurance before, they had insurance afterwards, and the insurance afterwards was still going up in price way above inflation. It was the same system as they had before, but it was more expensive.

And those who didn't have insurance before, well, they resented it. Suddenly they were forced to pay for something they hadn't been required to have before, and most people don't have cancer or require an MRI, so they never saw any value in what they were forced to buy, despite the subsidies and so on.

The Democrats, if they ever get back into power, have to decide where they want to go with Universal Healthcare. But next time - if there is a next time - there's really only one option, and that's an income tax funded single payer system. If that's not politically possible thanks to Blue Dogs or whatever, then don't address the issue - it's a waste of time, and it'll result in Democrats being unable to address any other aspects of their agenda. But Single Payer is virtually the only healthcare system you can create that people would be frightened of losing. Which makes it politically the only choice worth pursuing. And in practical terms, it's also the only way to deliver truly universal healthcare.

RIP Obamacare. I'm sorry for the people who'll lose coverage, but I'm not going to blame the Republicans for getting rid of it.

User Journal

Journal Journal: You seriously want us to respect you now? 46

Rioting after losing because YOU fucked it up by rigging the nomination against #FeelTheBern Sanders. Take responsibility for your own shitty actions. It wasn't misogynists - white women voted in almost as high numbers as men for Trump (but they didn't admit it to polsters, hence the surprise). It wasn't because Trump supporters are racist, Clinton failed to get as many votes in many counties as Obama had, and last I looked, Obama was at least sort of black. It was because your candidate was so shitty, so unelectable, so untrustworthy that people would rather vote for anyone else, even Trump, or just stay home.

And now that Clinton is out, her phoniness is exposed, and people can talk about it openly.

So stop being butt-hurt crybaby Clinton losers. Her and her husband Bill were not social progressives. Bill signed the Defense of Marriage act, and Hillary opposed same-sex marriage on Ellen and in the senate and outside the senate. What a bitch!

Don't blame anyone else - you rigged your convention, you didn't speak out against it, you rejected an easy win with Sanders and insisted on running a woman who was unelectable, tarring everyone who pointed this out as misogynists or racists or a traitor to women or whatever. Here's a clue - voting for someone based of their sex is just as bad as voting against someone based on their sex. Voting for her just to shatter the glass ceiling is no reason. Elizabeth Warren would easily have been able to do it, so it's not about sex or gender. It's a rebellion against bullshit as usual. Get over yourselves, stop your whining and rioting and look in the mirror - you made Donald Trump president, all you Clintonistas. It's all your fault.And it's worth 4 years of Trump just to get rid of you and your "public position and private position" lying mouth.

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