Addiction, Trump’s Budget And Justified Anger in [Market-Ticker]

What Trump is trying to do with his budget, and what the Republicans and Democrats eventually will do is toss the grenade to the States. Medicaid is the vehicle to do so; it is a federal and state joint program, so tossing off “block grants” to the states which are an effectively-fixed chunk of cash throws half the ticking bomb at them and thus blows up both federal and state budgets instead of just the federal side.Isn’t that special?You, for your part, will not and have not bombarded and demanded, under penalty of whatever action is necessary to enforce the demand, that both federal and state law enforcement go after the medical industry for practices that in any other business would land people in prison immediately. Specifically, refusal to quote a price, discriminating in price between like kind and quantity of purchase by a factor of 10, 100 or even 1,000% or more based on “what sort of insurance” someone has (or whether they have it at all), billing people for things they never consented to, billing people for events that didn’t happen or products that weren’t even used, allowing a doctor to call sticking his head into a room and saying “hi” as a “consultation” and billing that at several hundred dollars and more. You allow drug companies to take a drug that costs $500 for a year’s supply in other developed, first-world nations and charge $70,000 for it here instead of such an action being deemed an unlawful restraint of trade made illegal in laws that are over 100 years old resulting in indictments.But there’s a second-level problem embedded in this budget and the screamfest which, unlike the above, hasn’t gotten a lot of digital ink from me — and that’s addiction.

Source: Addiction, Trump’s Budget And Justified Anger in [Market-Ticker]

Twin Peaks Return

Did Anyone Watch the Twin Peaks Return?The show was not what I thought it would be, at all.I thought the show would be what is now called a “soft reboot.” I thought they would continue the storyline, but they would introduce a young FBI agent to track the whereabouts of the missing Special Agent Dale Cooper. That agent would then go to Twin Peaks — where Cooper was last seen, and where he had been working a couple of major cases before disappearing — and there the agent would meet the locals, and get a sense of the strange darkness that lurks in the woods of the area.I was pretty sure they would do something like this because most people have not seen Twin Peaks, and most people who have seen it have forgotten most of it except for catchphrases (“Damn fine cup of Joe!”), and most people who have seen it haven’t really even seen it — most people who saw the show actually stopped watching after the first season, and those who persisted through that stopped watching after the killer was kinda sorta revealed in season 2 episode 8.And even people who’ve seen the whole thing — a group which could not possibly constitute more than 1% of the population — still need a refresher.How many people actually know that Dale Cooper was imprisoned in the nightmarish alternate-plane-of-existence called “The Black Lodge” (or, the Red Room in the Black Lodge), and replaced on earth by an evil doppleganger possessed by the eternal (?) spirit of murder called “BOB” in the last shot of the show?Hell, how many people even know about the White Lodge/Black Lodge mythology the show developed in the last six or so episodes after the show had been cancelled because no one was watching any longer?

Source: Ace of Spades HQ

Manchester: The Chilling Sound of Terror | National Review

Watch and — more importantly — listen to this video of the moment the bomb detonated in Manchester tonight: Video capturing the moment the explosion goes off at the #ManchesterArena earlier tonight. Video Credit: @elliefreyax — The Reagan Battalion (@ReaganBattalion) May 23, 2017 That sound you hear is the slowly dawning realization that something horrifying is happening, a swelling of screams of panic. And it’s the panic of hundreds and hundreds of young girls (boys too, but the sound of girls’ screams is unmistakable.) Let that sink in. This attack was the virtual equivalent of walking into a middle school auditorium for the express purpose of maiming and mutilating children. There is no reasoning with this hate. There is no “legitimate grievance” with the West that triggers such violence. It is the product of fanatical devotion to the most evil of all causes, a cause that perversely promises paradise for the slaughter of innocents. There is no way for the West to be “good” enough to appease terrorists. There is no policy short of religious conversion that will cause them to relent. The best deterrent to jihad is the obliteration of jihadists. They thrive on victory, not defeat. Tonight, sadly, they won a victory, and here’s all you need to know to understand the character of our enemies – they relish the sound of young girls’ screams.

Source: Manchester: The Chilling Sound of Terror | National Review

Patents on MP3 Format Due to Expire | Hackaday

MP3 took off in the late 90s as the digital music format. It then proceeded to slaughter the CD, and launch the file sharing revolution as well. It’s a proud format that has roots stretching all the way back to the early 1980s, when the possibility of sending music over ISDN lines was first considered. Now the patents on it are beginning to expire and its licencing program has been terminated.The MP3 standard was the property of Fraunhofer IIS, and the original licencing model was intended such that encoders would be expensive, and decoders relatively inexpensive. This would allow people to buy software to listen to MP3s cheaply, but the creation of MP3s would be expensive, and thus handled by studios and music labels. This all changed when a high-quality MP3 encoder was leaked to the public, and suddenly it became possible to readily convert your CDs at home into the MP3 format.One hangover of this ownership of the MP3 standard was that when you installed certain FOSS software, such as Audacity or a Linux distro, you would find that you had to go and do some legwork to find an MP3 codec. That was because it wasn’t worth the legal trouble for the FOSS authors to arrange a workaround, and trading in proprietary software is the antithesis to everything they stand for.

Source: Patents on MP3 Format Due to Expire | Hackaday

ISIS calls on “Muslims in France” to launch Election Day attacks • The Foreign Desk

ISIS has called upon Muslims in France to “kill candidates” and “burn down polling stations” as the country prepares to vote in the second round of the presidential election this weekend.An article appearing in the French edition of the terror group’s monthly propaganda magazine “Rumiyah” addresses all Muslims in France stating: “Don’t forget your duty as a Muslim. Choose a candidate to kill & polling station to burn.”Likening Western democracies to ‘?âghût’ or idol worship, the Islamic State advises supporters to instead put their faith in Allah over a ‘false deity’ and not vote in this weekend’s crucial runoff between Centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron and his rival, Right-wing candidate Marine Le Pen in which Macron is widely expected to emerge the winner.Addressing the option of voting for one candidate over the other as the ‘lesser of the two evils’ (presumably a reference to Macron), the writer rejects the argument, because both candidates are ‘?âghût’ or idolaters.Instead, the article advises supporters to not stand idly on the sidelines but instead to destroy ‘idolatrous’ voting booths, calling them “places of shirk” or sin.Seeking to draw inspiration from history, the writer references the Biblical Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) who destroyed the idols of his father’s household.

Source: ISIS calls on “Muslims in France” to launch Election Day attacks • The Foreign Desk