- Emory Hospital, which has successfully treated four U.S. Ebola sufferers, shares its learnings and its protocols. (Tip o’ hat to PT)
- Obamacare and the part-time workforce. I know this isn’t a good thing for people who want full-time work or for people who prefer honesty and small government. But in the long run, one of the best things that could happen to health insurance is to break its artificial link to employers. Maybe O’care will eventually do that.
- Flu shots: actually bad for the elderly.
- GOA alert to gun owners about our status as “domestic terrorists.” Nothing new or surprising; just lays a lot out in one place.
- Yes, the “greatest orator of his generation” has truly lost his mojo. (Never did understand where that “greatest orator” thing came from, anyhow. Just because the man speaks English better than “Mumbler” Bush? But then, some border collies have a better grasp of language than both Bush presidents.)
Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category
Okay, not hermitting yet. So here are some newslinks.
- Just vaporware so far, but Forbes thinks cops might soon add ‘Net-connected guns to their growing arsenal of monitoring gear.
- Nastiest political tactic of the year: siccing SWAT teams on your opponents and critics.
- A southerner apologizes for bigotry. But with the southerner being Fred Reed, things don’t quite come out the way northern liberals might wish.
- Nooz you can use (if you’re really into alternative housing): grain-bin homes. (I love the stuccoed one, but I’d like to know how you keep these things from getting hotter than the hinges of heck, long about August.) Tip o’ hat, MJR.
- More nooz to use: how successful people handle toxic people.
- Mike V. on blood dancers and 4th-gen. warfare.
- You forgot to add how useful those bags are for picking up dog poop. I live in a blue state and the closer you go to civilization, the more likely it is that you’ll have to bring your own cloth shopping bags. Misguided political correctness.
PayPal the Terrible
I won’t go into detail about how my PayPal account became overdrawn.* It was a mistake (not mine). The mistake-maker assured me the problem was resolved days ago. PayPal being PayPal, though, what’s “resolved” on one end may not be on the other. So there’s a $50 negative balance and nobody will fix it. That means I can’t use my account.
No problem. Hey, I’ll just add money. There’s a handy-dandy button for that. But suddenly, for me, the button yields only a variety of bizarre messages (“talk to the person responsible for setting permissions on your account”) that leave PayPal customer service reps as baffled as I am.
This became a four-hour customer service nightmare this lovely Sunday morning. I won’t go into detail about that, either.** Except to say that PayPal’s customer service makes the famously bad Comcast service look like a concierge operation at a fawncy hotel by comparison. And except to say that one rep told me (humiliatingly) that I’d have to deal with their collections department. Then he cheerfully transferred me to collections — without mentioning that they’re closed today.
And of course, PayPal being PayPal, they can’t be bothered with an automated “we’re closed today” message. So there went yet another half hour of my life, listening to endlessly repeated mini-lectures from a voice that sounded increasingly smug by the moment, until — for the second time today — I hung up without managing to speak to the human in some other department who was supposed to help.
Not only that, but the fifth PayPal rep I talked to — who I’d already told that story to — also tried to transfer me to collections.
I know Peter Thiel hasn’t run PayPal in more than a decade. But its service was hair-tearingly deplorable a decade ago, too. Hard to believe that a man the media lauds as a great libertarian created something that operates so much like the freakin’ DMV. Or the IRS.
If you ever need a reminder of how little you really matter to institutions, corporate or governor, just call up PayPal and ask them something really, really simple.
Oh, and the problem never did get resolved. You didn’t really think it would, didja? I get to call collections tomorrow and present myself as a deadbeat making amends.
Zelman Partisans the Good
On the brighter side of things, it’s wow time over at The Zelman Partisans.
Not only is it a place of some lively blogitude and comment. Not only have we had 4,000-some visitors in the 10 days since the Lovely Nicki put up a counter. Not only has social-media maven Nicki gotten us somewhere in the vicinity of 1,100 Twitter followers in a matter of days. But we’ve gotten our first interview request (which Sheila will handle), a couple of requests to join, our very first donation (a monthly commitment, yet!), and demands for logoed tee-shirts, fridge magnets, etc.
Whew! Workin’ on it, workin’ on it!
For a bunch of volunteers who are putting this thing together in their scarce spare time, this is awesome.
But then, so are the volunteers. And so are the hardcore rights advocates who won’t settle for compromise.
* In case you’re wondering, all those wonderful donations got moved out of PayPal almost as soon as they came in, thanks to PayPal’s other notorious habit of arbitrarily freezing accounts just when they have nice sums of money in them. PayPal: can’t live with ‘em, can’t live without ‘em. Someday — soon — they’ll lose their de facto monopoly, and on that day they’ll rue the fact that they treated their customers like crap all these years.
**Yeah, you’ve had experiences exactly like this, right? You don’t need to be told anything.
- Just in case you ever wanted to become a crooked psychic/fortune-teller/medium … or in case you’d like to explain to a gullible relative how not to be so easily conned, here’s how cold reading is done.
- Wow. Sometimes using stupid passwords could be a good thing. Might have saved this young woman’s life. (But ohboy, OnStar, what a fail!)
- The Centers for Anything But Disease Control. Michelle Malkin lists just a few of the “diseases” the CDC has spent its billions on.
- I don’t intend to make this the all-Ebola all-the-time blog because I do think the fear is overblown (for everyone except medical personal). But here’s some plain common sense for avoiding exposure to infectious disease. And for those who really feel the need for hardcore protection (and have the money and time to go for it), here’s that, too.
- And hey, if you’re really going to buy moonsuits and the kind of respirators (scroll down that page) needed for real Ebola protection, please don’t forget to use my Amazon links. Those could generate some very nice commissions — unfortunately for anyone who really needs such gear.
- Not confirmed yet. But if true this could be a sweet lesson for those meddling “Moms” who believe in trying to get every open carrier SWATted. Will keep an eye on this. I’ve searched a couple of times today and found no further information.
- The FBI’s report on mass shootings … doesn’t actually report on mass shootings. So says John Lott.
- Attorney wants to overturn the “machine-gun ban” and then take on the NFA. In four days, he’s more than half funded. (Via David Codrea)
- Blogs are 20 years old now. That’s older than dinosaurs in ‘Net time. (H/T JB)
- Robinson Jeffers handcrafted stone cottage. Just because. (This strikes me as a very apt sort of thing for a poet to do. H/T A.G.)
- They were Irish and they were slaves. Where are our reparations???
Owey! And take care of yourself, Borepatch. Those motorcycles aren’t for the faint-hearted.
(I’d leave a comment over at Borepatch’s site, but far as I can see, you have to use an “official” ID with Google or some other outfit. Not doing that and can’t see why an increasing number of sites demand it.)
- 15 ways to live deliberately. (ADDED: point 7 sucks!)
- Your nose knows when death is near.
- It’s Hong Kong, not the U.S. of A., but it’s a typical example of Authoritah makes bad situations worse.
- How to worry less.
- The real problem with millennials. It may be that they’re just recognizing reality.
- :-) The rudest space cloud in the known universe. :-)
- Security Theater of the Absurd: petitioners want to have CopBlock declared a terrorist group.
- Why “everybody” is moving to Texas. The reasons given are as facile as the assumption in the title, so apply grains of salt. But other state governments could learn some lessons from Texas — not that they would.
- So, John Tamny, how do you propose to make that last paragraph of yours a reality? In falling empires, and overripe civilizations everything becomes political.
- Who (or what) killed adulthood? This article is mostly by and for young women, but the phenomenon it describes is too real for too many.
- How happiness leads to success, not vice versa.
More non-nooz, well mostly non-nooz …
- “Why Liberals Love the Disease Theory of Addiction by a Liberal Who Hates It.”
- First great reason I’ve seen to consider a smart phone: The iPhone 6 locks out the NSA.
- And look how upset it’s got some lawbreaking authoritarians! The FBI director seems to think that, historically, it’s been okay for the feds to snoop randomly on everybody and verboten for us to have secrets from them. Apparently that’s what it means to be a “country of laws.”
- While this article asks the irrelevant-to-most-of-us question of why billionaires get depressed, the solution it presents is one for anybody who feels stuck.
- Mysterious private ninja forces destroying California’s legal pot crops. The progress of the police state.
- Good cops.
… and how human error begets automation, which in turn increases human error.
One of the most harrowing things you’ll ever read.
Ya know, takes a lot longer to come up with a links dump of good, useful stuff than collect a bunch of interesting nooz. But we try, we try.
- Free will. Not just an illusion any more. You already knew that, didn’t you?
- “Sit less, live longer.” And it’s not even about exercise, just about not sitting.
- The countries with the highest levels of well-being.
- Why Richard Branson is giving employees the freedom to take unlimited leave.
- I owe someone a hat tip for this, but pardon me I’ve lost track of whom. How not to be ignorant about the world. Aka all those things people think they know but don’t really know at all.
- Speaking of which, here’s a perfect example of how bogus “knowledge” gets institutionalized.
- This is mostly, wildly, bogus — just a pseudointellectual way to say, “Libertarians are wrong.” The writing style is also thick as a brick. But that said, it’s one of those things worth reading. If you’ve got the time and patience for it.
Finally some thanks are in order. I didn’t mean to bleg when I wrote about the latest roof troubles. Yeah, that was a shock and a blow (and not only to the structure). But it’s also … well, life in old houses. After what you guys already did, I’m not asking a thing.
But yesterday, in came two $50 donations. So big thanks, MK and SH, for lifting my mood — and helping lift that wacky roof.
Sorry about the loooooong BHM-wide downage yesterday, guys. Oliver the webmaster tells me it was the result of a security update gone awry at the hosting company. But all should be well now.
Today is the day The Great Roof Project begins! Two stages. The first involves returning part of the roof to its original form (after a long-ago “improvement” done by a committee of chimpanzees on a no-bid government contract). After that, the actual roofing crew comes in.
Crews must coordinate with each other on timing. Weather holding so far. Might have a few nervous-making days. But winter should be dry inside — thanks to you.
Now for some links. I’m shifting away from “news” as I mentioned the other day so it takes a little longer collecting good stuff. Fortunately, I get by with a little help from my friends.
- In business: the case for recruiting weirdos. (Hey, that might be us!)
- Although this item is kind of “news” (it being about how people hate Eric Holder), I’m linking it as “anti-news.” Note the percentage of those polled who simply don’t know who the guy is. I used to think such ignorance was shocking and dangerous. Now? I rather envy it.
- How the power of no saved my life. (James Altucher’s off-kilter notion of no. H/T Randall in comments.)
- For those who are rilly, rilly, rilly serious about their guns, old acquaintance Ian of Forgotten Weapons, is now producing episodes of InRange.tv. It’s pay-per-episode, but with Ian you always know you’ll get something you can’t find elsewhere. (Via Joel)
- I was going to save this for Halloween. But what the heck; weird dog videos are always in season. (Tip o’ hat and a smile to Jim B. in comments.)