Links 10/19/17

Links for you. Science:

LIGO Detects Fierce Collision of Neutron Stars for the First Time
Seven New Species Of Peacock Spiders Discovered In Australia (DANCING MINI-SPIDERS!)
Why is it so hard to track the source of a food poisoning outbreak?
Mathematicians Discover Prime Conspiracy
Sexual Harassment in Science is Just Like Hollywood: Everyone Knows Who The Weinstein Is


The Case of the Spitting Legionnaire
This is what America’s eco city of the future looks like
Voters Are Horrible
‘Beautiful Girls’ Scribe Scott Rosenberg On A Complicated Legacy With Harvey Weinstein
DC updates snow strategy; adds cash, contractors and gear (D.C. digging out really isn’t the problem. So many people live in the burbs and commute to D.C. or other burbs, and they take so long to clear the roads)
Marc Faber, author of influential ‘Gloom, Doom, and Boom,’ report, says ‘thank God white people populated America, not the blacks’
Working at Google seemed like a dream job. The reality has been a tedious, pointless nightmare.
‘A Soulless Coward’: Coach Gregg Popovich Responds to Trump
Save the Phony Weinstein Outrage, Republicans
Deep in Trump Country, a Big Stake in Health Care (everybody embraces Lernerism when it’s their jobs on the line…)
The G.O.P. Is No Party for Honest Men
Cyrus Vance and the Myth of the Progressive Prosecutor
Lies, Lies, Lies, Lies, Lies, Lies, Lies, Lies, Lies, Lies
What Will It Take for Black Lives to Matter?
Welcoming Our New Robot Overlords
Scaramucci Apologizes After His New Media Venture Goes Into Full Holocaust Denial
He’s Poison
Ben Bernanke Wouldn’t Have to Worry if Trade Were More Balanced

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Public Notice

Observed at the corner of Fairfax Drive and North Stafford St., Ballston, Arlington, VA:

Public notice

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The Opioid Crisis Will Be With Us For Decades: Lessons From D.C.

D.C. offers a sobering lesson about just how long a drug addiction crisis lasts in a community (boldface mine):

While other jurisdictions across the country grapple with opioid overdoses among their white residents, the District offers a unique perspective. The majority of opioid-related deaths in the city fit a select profile: male, between ages 50-59, and black, according to a 2017 report from the D.C. Office of the Chief Medical Examiner….

Historians trace its presence in D.C. as far back as the late 1930s, and by the 1960s heroin addiction reached epidemic status in the city. During that epidemic, a young Harvard-trained psychiatrist named Dr. Robert DuPont was working in the D.C. Department of Corrections. He found that nearly half of the men who came into the D.C. jail between 1968 and 1970 tested positive for heroin

In 1972, DuPont authored a report titled “Where Does One Run When He’s Already in the Promised Land,” referring to people who had escaped the Jim Crow South for northern cities. He found that 13.5 percent of males born in the District in 1953 were addicted to heroin, that in “large sections of Washington” the addiction rates were double that, and that addiction was concentrated among young, lower class black men.

The heart of the heroin epidemic in the 1970s was in a population of people who were born between 1945 and 1957. That group is the group that is now aging,” says DuPont. “The teenagers of the 70s have become 50 and 60 year olds. I’m amazed at the the tenacity of the problem.”

…“These gentlemen who have been using for many years are teetering on this line of safety,” says Dr. Tanya A. Royster, Director of D.C.’s Department of Behavioral Health. “They know how much to use. They know when to use. They know where to get it.

“Now that these new things are introduced into the opioid supply, like fentanyl and some of the other synthetics, they are much more lethal and much more deadly. So what they have been doing for the last 20 or 30 years is not necessarily safe. That’s our message to them: What you’ve been doing isn’t working anymore because the supply has changed.”

Changes in supply can be lethal, though political pressures, such as ‘getting tough’, often lead to these changes.

D.C.’s experience also means we’re going to have to take harm reduction, and not just ending addiction seriously:

The Department of Behavioral Health has had its eyes on this problem for a long time, setting up prevention centers across the city and hotline numbers. Royster’s goal is to reach the users before fentanyl does. “We have two approaches to recovery,” she says. “One is abstinence, which is: Stop using or don’t start using drugs. The other is harm reduction. If you’re going to use a drug, use it in the safest, least harmful way—trying to reduce the amount of damage. So we try to make sure you have good healthcare. We make sure you have clean needles.

“Many of the the older black men are in the harm reduction category. We know that they’ve been using for a long time. They have been very clear that at this point in their lives, or at no point in their lives, have they been willing to stop using. So the strategy is, how do we keep them healthy and alive while we continue to encourage and support treatment?

Harm reduction is a controversial option. It involves supplying addicts with clean needles for drug use and methadone, an opioid medication, to reduce withdrawal symptoms. Abstinence supporters say that this approach is complicit and counterproductive, while harm reduction advocates argue that it is a more effective method to treat addiction and that it decreases the rates of other comorbidities such as HIV and Hepatitis C infection.

The consequences of opioid addiction likely will be with us for decades, and no one seems to realize this.

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Links 10/18/17

Links for you. Science:

Marine Biologist Explains Why Menhaden Managers Should Keep Ecosystem in Mind
A new dipstick test can rapidly distinguish between Zika and dengue fever infections
Changing face of Easter Island (been making this point for years)
The death of colistin for KPC producers
Amid Fear and Guns, Polio Finds a Refuge


Trump Or Weinstein? Take The Quiz! (I did no better than 20 coin flips)
Excellent Pee Tape Content
The Question of Cultural Appropriation
Why I Almost Fired My Doctor
What nobody told me…
Even smart people are shockingly bad at analyzing sources online. This might be an actual solution.
The Rule of Capture, Returned
Inheriting the World
Resource Extraction
Born in Auschwitz, Israeli Artist, 102, Harnesses the Dark and the Light
How Stephen Miller Single-Handedly Got the U.S. to Accept Fewer Refugees
As People Stop Carrying Cash, The Street Sense Newspaper Pioneers Digital Payments
A Real Underground Kingdom
D.C. Already Passed A Paid Family Leave Law. Here’s Why The Council Is Still Discussing It
To many Americans, being patriotic means being white
“It’s Scalias All the Way Down”: Why the very thing that scholars think is the antidote to Trump is in fact the aide-de-Trump
Trump, Weinstein, and the enormously high cost of doing nothing

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“He Knew What He Signed Up For”

Yes, Il Trumpe actually said that to a grieving war widow. First, it just shows that Trump isn’t just a narcissist, but that he, due to his wealth and privilege, has not had to hide his narcissism for a very long time (and he also created an environment which encouraged his narcissism). Like many of Trump’s utterances, this is designed largely for his consumption, to validate his own sense of well-being: he says this, so it’s not his fault.

Second, we need to stop fighting all of our wars. We’ve reached the point where traditional college seniors have no recollection of what it’s like for the U.S. not to be in multiple combat theaters (or even one). Our constant state of war is incredibly harmful in so many ways, and those of us (including me) who remember when we weren’t at constant deployment need need to do more to remind people of this.

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How Much Ruin In A Nation: Bush Was As Awful As Il Trumpe, Just No One Cared

There has been a spate of ‘how awful everything is under the reign of Il Trumpe‘ articles. And things are pretty crappy. But things were really awful under Bush 43 too. Katrina was horrible, not just in terms of the death toll, but also in the overt racism evinced by so many Americans–story after story of desperate black Louisianans being told to move along, often at gun point. There was no dog whistling. And Little Lord Pontchartrain did nothing, even to speak out.

Also there was that Iraq War you might have heard of which led to this:

While I agree Trump is doing this, normalizing the abnormal started well before Trump even considered running. If Trump would be Caesar, then the open advocacy of torture by most Republicans was Sulla (though #NotAllRepublicans and, shamefully, there was the tacit acquiescence of some Democrats).

For once you have decided that the mutilation and violation of other people is openly acceptable state policy, you have hit rock bottom. You can not fall any further. While I’m not naive about what the U.S. has done (especially in ‘outsourcing’ torture), it was never publicly acclaimed as a right and just action. Time was, in popular culture, torturers were viewed as evil, not as heroes ‘doing what needs to be done.’

…There is an entire cohort of conservatives (and, yes, some Democrats as well) who have no business being anywhere near public life due to their support for torture (and we should include on that list, Very Serious Pundits who excused such behavior). Likewise, we need to remember that many people openly embraced–and still do embrace–torture.

In a sense, it’s remarkable that it took the Republican Party this long to nominate someone like Trump: the moral rot had set in long before 2015.

The problem isn’t just Trump, it’s that we’ve had a quarter century decline, if not collapse, in many U.S. institutions and much of our political leadership. As Corey Robin (and others) has noted repeatedly, Trump isn’t getting much done, but at this point, he really doesn’t have to–we’re really far gone.

As Adam Smith wrote, there is a great deal of ruin in a nation, but just how much more ruin does the U.S. have left in it? That’s the danger of Il Trumpe.

Posted in Conservatives, Little Lord Pontchartrain, Resistance Rebellion And Death, Torture | 4 Comments

Links 10/17/17

Links for you. Science:

In a Cave Once Filled With Bats, Nothing But Eerie Silence
A century-old vaccine vial sheds light on one of medicine’s enduring mysteries
Soot-Covered Bird Corpses Cough Up Environmental Secrets
Scientific Publishing – A Conversation
The Best Explanation For The Growing STD Crisis? Politics


Bernie Sanders Isn’t A Democrat… Thank God (as I’ve mentioned before, on economics, he’s just what used to be called a liberal Democrat)
Is Washington bungling the Census? (it’s not “bungling”, it’s intentional Republican sabotage)
Evangelical conservatives are proving their harshest critics right
Former GOP Candidate Arrested For Mailing Pipe Bomb, Bullet To Political Enemies
I own a gun. Here’s why I’m not getting a concealed-carry license.
Scoring glitch means thousands of Tennessee students got wrong TNReady score
Boston’s housing future? Compact living spaces, no parking
NFL Owners and ESPN Bosses Are Showing Which Side They Are On
Gutting the census would sabotage democracy
Here’s Where Your Tax Dollars for ‘Defense’ Are Really Going
A battle we’ve already waged
The Fraternal Order of Police Must Go
Trump’s pick for DHS chief was at center of Katrina disaster
Truth and Lies in the Trump Era
Hackers have turned Politifact’s website into a trap for your PC
A Hero Turned Villain: Aung San Suu Kyi and the Annihilation of Myanmar’s Rohingya
Va. gubernatorial candidates have little to say about transportation
Rightbloggers Cheer as Trump Explodes Obamacare

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