wtf BBC?

Aug. 16th, 2014 09:29 am
ritaxis: (hat)
I get the BBC world newsfeed in my livejournal flist.

This is problematic not least for the reason that whatever headline they think is most interesting will run over and over and over as they update it every fifteen minutes.

And so, if they decide something stupid and prejudicial and discredited is the most interesting thing ever they will run that over and over and over.

What is it since yesterdary (or the day before -- another thing this practice does is confuse the passage of time, as it simultaneously seems to rush forward while the same thing seems to happen over and over and to stand stock still as the news remains the same for soimetimes days at a time) --

the allegation that the kid murdered by police was a robbery suspect. It's in every headline from Ferguson "Police confront demonstrators as teen is identified as robbery suspect" "Dead teen identified as robbery suspect."

This is how long after the police chief has already disclaimed this?

Oh wait, it's gone now. I just went back to get the exact wording of the headlines and there are none referring to it anymore, no matter how far back I go,

Completely, utterly gone, even from the past stream.

Took them a while to see that they were doing the wrong thing, but I guess now they're utterly embarrassed by it.

Breaking

Jun. 28th, 2012 07:55 am
ritaxis: (Default)
Apparently the CBC is ahead of most of the US news.  Only the Houston Chronicle seems prepared to report that the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the Health Care Act.

I found out from personhead[livejournal.com profile] james_nicoll .

Fake edit: now it seems that CNN is reporting it too.


5-4.  Scalia dissenting, of course, and I am not sure who else.
ritaxis: (Default)
This from the BBC: Three sailors die and a fourth is missing during a California yacht race, only weeks after another fatal accident off the same coast.

The California coast is not a small place: 840 miles long.  So two fatal accidents in the course of "weeks" does not constitute a trend.

Yacht races still dumb, though, even though my brother in law loves them.
ritaxis: (Default)
A bit more than year after the not-Poland novel first came to my head, I have an outline. This is not to say that I didn't know the whole of the events in the story before now -- I did -- but the specific structure wasn't there, which is why I kept moaning about how it should be written. Now I know in what size chunks the story needs to be told, and where the chunks go, and even, oh my dog, why.

But my house is flithy and I am having visitors who are already worried about me.

on another front: a Reuters columnist muses "is climate change increasing earthquakes?" No, stupid. This is just an attempt on your part to combine two sexy and frightening things in one headline.

And another thing. Old usenet buddies might remember when the US first invaded Afghanistan I said "But the war seems awfully civilian-oriented" because of early reports of biombing villages and schools. Pete McCutcheon was outraged. He said, essentially, "do you see what she said? How dare she say anything like that! That's completely out of bounds!" (Pete was an early harbinger, on a trivial scale, of the vicious eliminationism that has become a normal part of the US political landscape). But, really? Years and years and years later, what is the war in Afghanistan but worse and worse for civilians while warlords and arms traders and other criminals get richer and richer?

I almost wonder what old Pete is saying now.
ritaxis: (Default)
The Republican Party has a plan. The plan is to destroy everything. Look at these things (not in any order):

-- destroy the ability of working people to act in their own behalf
(abolish collective bargaining rights)

--destroy education
(abolish public schools)
(oppose national funding for school construction)

-- destroy modern medicine
(defund CDC's center for injury prevention and control)
(defund health care reform, but it goes farther than this)
(prevent vaccinations)
(disallow life-saving medical procedures for women)



-- destroy protections for children
("modify" -- that is, repeal -- child labor laws)
(oppose school breakfast programs in the name of economy)

-- destroy the environment

(really, so petty: end the capitol's own compostable dishware program)
(stop protecting wild lands from exploitation)
(redfine rape so it means nothing) (they backed down on this. Voluble outrage can make a difference!)

I can't do this anymore. But you get the picture.

It's not just that the Republicans don't have out best interests at heart. What they have at heart is actual harm and ultimate destruction for everybody and everything.

They want us to be poor, uneducated, ill, without rights or prospects. The war on women is part of a larger war on everybody.

I have my ideas about the ultimate motivation for this, but I am not certain of it. Perhaps it is the mindless instinct of a foul, dying beast, determined to take everything and everyone down with it.
ritaxis: (Default)
Reuters has a headline today: "Studies find gene links to world's biggest killer". earlier I was aprticipating in a discussion about assassin/mercenary/thug/serial killer/torturer/executioner protagonists in slash fiction (short version: I'm totally uninterested in them, where "uninterested" means "I'd rather wash dog poop off the floor than read another one of those"). So of course I thought it was another one of those periodic articles where they find a gene that pops up in fifty-five serial killers and the newsies decide that they must have found the gene for mass murder.

But instead, it was one of those articles where they find a gene in a wad of people with heart disease -- and Reuters actually did okay with putting the findings in scientific perspective.
ritaxis: (Default)
The women involved in the Julian Assange affair did not accuse him of any misconduct other than refusing to get his act together and get tested for STDs.

They didn't ask for him to be prosecuted for sex crimes: they asked for him to be forced to get tested.

(this is yet another interim report on this thing, and it may change again, but this seems to be the most thorough report so far)

Now, wandering off after a broken condom and not responding to your partner's pleas to set their mind at ease is a jerk th8ing to do.  But  it's not rape.

It's a pretext to arrest the Wikileaks guy, though.
ritaxis: (Default)
I voted for John Edwards in the primary, though he withdrew the week before.  The one thing I will never forgive him for is withdrawing before the California primary.  He would have taken a ch8unk of the state and he would have had a raft of delegates to bargain with at the convention.  If you're going to put all that effort into runnign a primary campaign, you should be prepared to put some effort into making your losing a moment of strength.

Elizabeth Edwards died today and you know damned well that the thing they're talking about is not her work and her part in politics, or even the medical science behind her cancer (which is a legitimate opportunistic thing to do, I think).

Anyway, I admired Elizabeth Edwards: she was strong and progressive and did the right thing, as far as I could tell.  And I'm really sorry that she didn't get a better deal all around.
ritaxis: (Default)
Here is the Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres yearly top ten list of humanitarian crises.

Seven of them directly involve protracted warfare.
ritaxis: (Default)
So for some reason the nice fellow has had CNN on since I've been home from work. You know the crawl at the bottom of the screen, with the breaking news? Well, sometimes it's sports scores, but anyway. All night they've had great big letters "Breaking News: Obama and Clinton to speak together tomorrow in Unity, New Hampshire," which is notable but not breaking news since it was announced days ago and despite the media's best efforts to the contrary, these two have been all about forging party unity and winning this election -- yes, they said mean things about each other in the course of struggling for who would get the nomination, but that was partly because there were a few real issues being hammered out in those speeches and partly because each of them really wanted that nomination. Oh, yeah, also: "breaking news" is that Obama's going to help CLinton pay off her campaign debt. That's interesting, of course, but it's not top-of-the-front=page, 50-point banner headline news.

On the other hand I never read or heard about the latest in impeachment news. I wonder why?

look at this email I got from my representative: )
ritaxis: (Default)
So the police rioted on campus yesterday. People were sitting in trees and marching around with drums, so the police busted out the pepper spray and the batons. Films all over: links behind the cut, at the bottom, in case you want to scroll down and skip the neepery.

Read more... )
The University here is in a period of great expansion. Largely this is due to its shining-star status in the cutting-edge sciences: environmental studies, genetics, astronomy, etc. But it's also a response to the fact that if you have a growing population, and a demand to educate that population, you need more and/or bigger schools to do it. So there are two solid reasons to expand the campus, as much as it grieves me to see the forest and meadow impacted.

However. The University has been stupid about planning and about mitigating its impact on quite sensitive habitats and its impact on the community (about which more in a minute). Lots of people are quite angry at the University's stance that it has to be able to do whatever it thinks of without meaningful involvement from those the Regents consider outsiders. The City and County are especially angry because the University plans its expansions without working with them on water, traffic, housing, and other infrastructure issues. The University maintains on the housing front that UCSC provides more campus-sponsored housing, relative to the campus population, than most colleges. The obvious answer to that is: don't compare us to just any other colleges: compare us to other communities where the college accounts for a similar proportion of the population, and where the housing situation was already dire five years into the existence of the college.

It's not simple. None of it's simple. The University decided it would deal with its housing crunch, and some of its other problems, by buying buildings and by building in town. This should be a good solution, yes? Except that the University doesn't pay property tax, and most importantly, doesn't pay hotel tax (10%!!!), so the city suffers noticeably when a giant, important hotel is taken out of the pool. So it's a good thing and a bad thing. But the City didn't get to take part in the planning for that: it was presented as a fait accompli. If the City had been part of that planning, they may have been able to suggest something the University could do to help out.

Don't fail to understand that on the whole the University has been a great benefit to the town, the county, and the region in its forty-two years of existence. The town had outrageous unemployment when the University was invited to build here -- the fishing industry had more or less died when the sardines crashed, the tourist industry was flagging, agriculture is seasonal, logging was fading, and the writing was on the wall for canning and freezing. Jobs at the University are better paid than other local jobs. More of them are unionized, too. The University provides eager young student teachers, crusading young environmentalists -- we have really clean beaches and waterways! -- public servants, concerned parents, active citizens -- money! Students are not as flush as established white-collar workers, but there's a higher proportion of students with money than in the general population of very young adults. And they spend their money, which is good for the local economy.

But. The University also needs a lot of water, sewer, fire and police support (even without police riots -- just the addition of that many people, most of them in their early, impulsive years, though students are generally less impulsive than non-students -- think about it, how did they get to the University?). Especially water. And Santa Cruz County does not import water and until the mid-close future does not use desalination: the rain that falls between November and April is all there is (if you pump out groundwater as your main water supply, you will go into deficit sooner rather than later, as some Southwestern cities are learning). And the University refuses to allow the City -- whose water they use -- any authority over how much water they use. So the City's pissed because they can't control water use in this one huge, expanding sector of their service area.

Meanwhile, students come to UCSC -- if they know what they're doing, and apparently some of them lately don't because they are dismayed when they get here -- because it is situated in a redwood forest. So when the University takes out chunks of forest to expand, it pisses off the students, or at least some of them. So they sit in trees, or in the past, chain themselves to trees. And the University is never cool about it. They always bring out the cops with their tear gas and pepper spray and batons, and they always rough up the students. I don't get this. The University knows from experience that they can wait out the students and do whatever they want in the summer -- which is a much better building time than winter anyway, since it doesn't rain! So why do they always choreograph these situations where they end up roughing up the students?

I don't know about this expansion thing, myself. It seems stupid to situate a campus in the middle of a redwood forest and proclaim mightily to the world about how you have small classes and an intimate college system and then cut down the forest and expand all the classes and obliterate the narrative evaluation system. On the other hand, these sciences are expanding, they need modern facilities, and the population of University goers has to expand if the population of the State is going to expand (and that's a story in itself) and if we're going to democratize education and if we're going to bring everybody into the century of the fruitbat 21st century and have people able to do the things they'll need to do to save the world.

Of course, California's population would be contracting, not expanding, if it were not for the children of immigrants. And if California's population was not expanding, it would be increasingly composed of old creaky people who need tremendous amounts of care and who could not be producing as much in the way of wealth and services.

I promised links for the demonstration yesterday.

a dumb, short, news article

Student video of the event (here are multiple parts but you have to click around like a crazy person to get them put into order)

I'm including this link to a straight news broadcast video because even though it doesn't work for me, the couple seconds I can see and hear indicate there's something interesting there if you can get it to work right.

The local-ish paper (not locally owned, not locally printed, but its reporters work out of an office that's actually in the county, though not actually close to most of the interesting things that happen here) -- an almost decent article with only a couple of misleading features -- the headline being one of them!

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