March, 2020 archive
Geeking Out 0
Ubuntu MATE with the Fluxbox window manager, xclock, GKrellM, and QMMP on a Zareason Mediabox. The wallpaper is from my collection.
The Snaring Economy 0
The Inky reports on the lack of protections–sick leave, worker’s comp, etc.–for those ensnared in the “gig” economy. Here’s a snippet (emphasis added):
As efforts to stem the spread of the coronavirus force Philadelphians into isolation, consumers are increasingly relying on gig workers to deliver groceries, takeout, and beer.
But even as their work is deemed “essential” in the face of government-mandated business closures, the delivery workers who power these apps are in a precarious position. There is no law that requires companies such as Instacart or GoPuff to keep their workers safe on the job. And if they get sick or hurt on the job, they do not qualify for sick pay or worker’s compensation. That’s because most app-based gig workers are classified — or misclassified, depending on whom you ask — as independent contractors, who aren’t afforded the same legal protections as employees.
I was an independent contractor for several years, designing and delivering training for several clients. I paid quarterly estimated income tax installments and my own health insurance premiums.
Delivering pizza for a pittance (plus tips) because it’s the only work you can find is not the same thing.
Juanita Jean takes the Liberty (University) to explain.
Viral Vigilantes 0
Civilization is a thin veneer indeed.
The Epidemiologist’s Apologist 0
conservative right-wing* law professor tried his hand at sciencing and failed miserably.
In related news, The Roanoke Times’s Dan Casey, who is decidedly not an apologist for the Epidemiologist-in-Chief, responds to those who complain that his coverage of Donald Trump has been–er–less than even-handed.
*He’s with the Hoover Institute.
“An Armed Society Is a Polite Society” 0
A polite society is a clean society.
After conducting an investigation, police allege that the man was cleaning a handgun at a residence in Storm Lake when the weapon accidentally discharged, striking him in the hand.
I always unloaded guns before disassembling and cleaning them. I guess I’m old school.
All the News that Fits 0
Bronson Pinchot, as George Burton:
We, um, sociopaths, we would do anything, lie, manipulate, anything, to get what we want.
A Tune for the Times 0
Twits on Twitter 0
Words fail me.
Homer Had the “Catalog of Ships”
John Oliver Has the Catalog of Trump’s Coronafail
Warning: Some language.
Via Mediaite, which has commentary.
The Big Shill 0
Mike Littwin notes that Donald Trump wants the governors–particularly Democratic governors–of states fighting coronavirus to “do us a favor.” An excerpt:
And there it was, waiting for him — the ideal target. Not just governors, but Democratic governors, in plain view. And if you watched the latest Trump-led press briefing/campaign rally Friday, you saw Trump in full-blame mode, name-calling Washington Gov. Jay Inslee — who, Trump said, “leveled out at zero” in the polls when he ran for president — and “the woman” from Michigan, otherwise known as Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Of Whitmer, Trump said, “she has no idea of what’s going on.” When he used her name in a tweet later, he called her Gov. Gretchen “Half” Whitmer. Seriously. That’s the same president who kept saying that the coronavirus was under control when it wasn’t and who was — actually, still is — pushing unproven medications to treat it.
And here’s the kicker, the so-Trump-like kicker, the kicker that only Trump would proudly admit to: Trump said his problem with Inslee and Whitmer was that they weren’t showing him — and, to his credit, he actually included his team — proper appreciation.
A Topsy-Turvy Picture for Topsy-Turvy Times 0
Via All Things Amazing, an image site (some images NSFW).
A Neo No-No 0
At the Bangor Daily News, Mark Anderson suggests the rapid spread of coronavirus has been exacerbated by our embrace of Neoliberal economic theory. A snippet (emphasis added); follow the link for the rest:
The wholehearted embrace of neoliberal ideology over the past three years led to a smaller role for government, particularly in the area of health and safety. Nowhere is this intentional reduction in health and safety clearer than in the public health infrastructure that should be ready to deal with a global pandemic of a novel infectious disease. This “small government” policy is part and parcel of the broader distrust of scientists and other experts throughout the federal government. Even for positions in public health that have not been cut in the wake of the neoliberal small government movement, it is hard to attract and retain talented professionals, when their advice is ignored and their expertise is devalued. This is true from the Centers for Disease Control to the National Security Council to the Department of State. Cuts in their budgets and missions left them unprepared and the nation at risk.
Neoliberals and conservatives distrust expertise for a very simple reason. The facts lean left.
The True Believers 0
Leonard Pitts, Jr., marvels at the Trumpettes’ loyalty to their idol.