The Biden administration’s efforts to provide $4 billion in debt relief to minority farmers is encountering stiff resistance from banks, which are complaining that the government initiative to pay off the loans of borrowers who have faced decades of financial discrimination will cut into their profits and hurt investors.

Yup, you read that right. these are the same banks that have made millions on the backs of Black and minority farmers with predatory loans for decades. Don’t tell me racism doesn’t exist, and don’t tell me the free market is fair to everyone.

I voted for this administration to do things just like this. I hope they write some big fat checks and let the banks suck on it.

Date posted: May 19, 2021 | Filed under politics, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

I loved reading The Martian, Andy Weir’s science-tastic thriller about an astronaut trapped on Mars, and the movie adaptation was equally excellent. So I’m definitely looking forward to his new book, Project Hail Mary, which is written in much the same format but sounds like it’s got a lot more going on.

Date posted: May 19, 2021 | Filed under books, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

My views on gun control are pretty well documented here, and I’ve linked to stories about how the NRA is clearly run by crooks who have wrapped themselves in the Second Amendment to enrich themselves and their friends. Turns out a judge in Texas has decided they’re crooks too, and won’t allow them to declare bankruptcy to avoid federal prosecution.

Date posted: May 12, 2021 | Filed under politics, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

Gen. Webb didn’t realize that the president was going to be there, so he stood to give up his chair, and President Obama just motioned him, no, you sit right where you are. Gen. Webb had this little laptop, messaging somebody. And so the president pulled up this hardback portable chair right next to him.

Politico does a great oral history of the leadup to and the day of the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden from the POV of the government officials who planned and executed it. It’s a fascinating look at how global decisions like that are made, and underlines the fact that they weren’t sure he was even there—they took a giant calculated risk, and it paid off.

Date posted: May 12, 2021 | Filed under history, politics, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

Reports are out that the FDA is going to approve the Pfizer vaccine for 12-15 year olds sometime next week. Which means we’ll be pulling Finn from school as soon as possible to get her first shot. Best news of the week.

Date posted: May 4, 2021 | Filed under finn, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

I linked to Kevin Kelly’s first list of unsolicited advice, so it’s only fair I link to the new one: 99 additional bits of unsolicited advice. Some gems:

  • Train employees well enough they could get another job, but treat them well enough so they never want to.
  • Compliment people behind their back. It’ll come back to you.
  • Don’t aim to have others like you; aim to have them respect you.
  • Ignore what others may be thinking of you, because they aren’t.
  • When you are stuck, sleep on it. Let your subconscious work for you.
  • When making something, always get a few extras — extra material, extra parts, extra space, extra finishes. The extras serve as backups for mistakes, reduce stress, and fill your inventory for the future. They are the cheapest insurance.
Date posted: April 27, 2021 | Filed under life, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

So today Apple announced some ugly colored iMacs and some other stuff, but what caught my eye are AirTags, which are going to cost $29 and will run on a replaceable battery with a year worth of power. One of these will go under the seat of the Scout, hidden away from prying eyes, and provide another measure of security through the Find My network.

Date posted: April 20, 2021 | Filed under apple, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

Last week there were a flurry of stories of police taking arrests way too far; an Army lieutenant was pepper-sprayed and handcuffed while Virginia cops searched his car with no probable cause. An Ohio man had snow forcibly shoved in his mouth during a February arrest.

Here in Maryland, a police Bill of Rights was enacted in 1974, ensuring police had extra protections unavailable to ordinary citizens, including time limits on alleging brutality complaints, allowing only other law enforcement officers to investigate misconduct, and allowing a delay before questioning an officer. Last week this was struck down by our state legislature over the objections of our Governor, ensuring that police will need to begin to rein in their worst impulses and be held accountable for their actions. I’m proud of our legislature this morning.

Date posted: April 12, 2021 | Filed under politics, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

Wow, I’d forgotten about this excellent site: The Internet K-Hole, which is basically just posts of old pictures from the 70’s through the early 90’s. I am guilty of several of the fashion disasters here, as are most of my peers; I’m just glad I haven’t found pictures of myself yet.

Date posted: April 7, 2021 | Filed under humor, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

Thanks to Seth Godin, this is the is the first reasonable explanation of NFTs that I’ve read so far; all of the mainstream coverage I’ve seen has been the confused dad/clickbait headline variety, much like coverage of Bitcoin continues to be. Yet another scam, made by people trying to sell scarcity.

Date posted: March 24, 2021 | Filed under money, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »