Lost My Train of Thought

Actually, the whole line is down. I had a thing to say, but then I got home really late and I was tired and I grabbed a popsicle, but someone had taken two bites out of it and put it back in the wrapper and the box, so I'm sitting here finishing this popsicle and can't remember what I was going to say.

Here's a pretty picture:

  • Library Land
    • Happy 101st birthday, Beverly Cleary! Related: Happy Drop Everything and Read Day! Celebrating this one is easy - just drop what you're doing and read! Also, we encourage you to celebrate this particular holiday every day. 
    • Help Young Readers Understand the Refugee Experience with Picture Books "With all the fear, uncertainty, and difficulties that adult refugees face, a young child’s experience is likely to be exponentially more challenging. In encouraging understanding and empathy—especially in schools and other kid-centric institutions—picture books can be especially useful as validation for the refugee child in seeing her/ him/ themselves reflected in the pages, and as portals for their new classmates and friends to learn more about the refugee experience."
  • Health, Science, & Technology
    • Silicon Valley is beginning to fight the Trump administration’s net neutrality plan  "A lobbying group representing Facebook, Google, Twitter and other web giants told the U.S. Federal Communications Commission yesterday that it shouldn’t weaken net neutrality rules — an early warning shot at the ideas contemplated by the agency’s new Republican chairman, Ajit Pai."
    • Defeating encryption: the battle of governments against their people "Technologists hoped the 'Crypto Wars' of the 1990s — which ended with cryptographers gaining the right to legally develop strong encryption that governments could not break — was behind them once and for all. Encryption is a fundamental part of our modern life, heavily relied on by everything from online banking and online shopping services to the security our energy infrastructure." 
  • Randomnesses
    • What cats can teach us about how to live "The moralising philosopher who believed he had persuaded his cat to adopt a meat-free diet only showed how silly philosophers can be. Rather than seek to teach his cat, he would have been wiser to learn from it..."
  • International
  • U.S. News
    • The Latest San Bernardino Shooting Reveals A Far More Common Form Of Terror "The story police told was as American as apple pie: A rage-filled man taking his wife’s life.... An 8-year-old and his teacher were dead. But the public breathed a sigh of relief: At least the shooting was not an act of terrorism."
    •  The United Story Isn’t About Customer Service. It’s About Class Warfare. "It should be clear to anyone who’s paying attention that this story is not about customer service. It’s about income inequality.... When you get down to it, like everything else in America today, this is about the haves and the have-nots. If you’re in first class, you don’t need to worry about shock troops coming and beating you until you get out of the seat that you bought. If you’re not in first class, you’re on your own. If you’re in the top one percent on Wall Street, you turn a tidy profit off the whole ordeal. This is what class warfare looks like."
    • Alabama senate votes to allow church to form own police force "Lawmakers on Tuesday voted 24-4 to allow Briarwood Presbyterian church in Birmingham to establish a law enforcement department. The church says it needs its own police officers to keep its school as well as its more than 4,000 person congregation safe.Critics of the bill argue that a police department that reports to church officials could be used to cover up crimes." I'm sure this will end well..
    • Earth Day in the Age of Trump  "Next week, millions of Americans will celebrate Earth Day, even though, three months into Donald Trump’s Presidency, there sure isn’t much to celebrate. A White House characterized by flaming incompetence has nevertheless managed to do one thing effectively: it has trashed years’ worth of work to protect the planet. As David Horsey put it recently, in the Los Angeles Times, 'Donald Trump’s foreign policy and legislative agenda may be a confused mess,' but 'his administration’s attack on the environment is operating with the focus and zeal of the Spanish Inquisition.'... How is it that a group as disorganized as the Trump Administration has been so methodical when it comes to the (anti) environment? The simplest answer is that money focusses the mind." Money isn't the only thing, though - "Combatting a global environmental problem like climate change would seem to require global co√∂peration. If you don’t believe in global co√∂peration because 'America comes first,' then you’re faced with a dilemma. You can either come up with an alternative approach—tough to do—or simply pretend that the problem doesn’t exist.... To acknowledge our interconnectedness is to acknowledge the need for caution, restraint, and, yes, rules. Almost a hundred days into Trump’s Presidency, it’s obvious that he has no agenda or coherent ideology. But two qualities that clearly have no place in his muddled, deconstructive Administration are caution and restraint. As a result, the planet, and everything on it, will suffer."
      • Related: Energy Star ratings are cheap, effective and popular. Why does Trump want to kill them? "At the EPA, many longtime veterans of the agency have their own ideas. They see Trump’s proposal to jettison the voluntary program as confirmation of their fears that his overarching goal is not to shift the mission of the EPA but to suffocate it. 'If this administration really wants to reorganize around the importance of individual decision-making, getting government out of people’s lives and giving them what they want, then they shouldn’t be getting rid of this program,' said Whitman. 'What they really want to do is get rid of the agency. The kinds of cuts they are making are scary.'"
    • Trump Budget Director Admits Their Goal Is High Inequality, Not Low Deficits  "For more than a generation, the Republican Party has single-mindedly pursued the goal of maximizing economic inequality. They have been almost as single-minded about not describing this as their priority. Republicans say their goal is reducing out-of-control deficits, or reducing out-of-control surpluses, or promoting economic growth, or saving Social Security and Medicare. But Donald Trump’s budget director Mick Mulvaney, in a new interview with CNBC’s John Harwood, basically admits that what he cares about is reducing transfers from the rich to the poor..." Just so we all know where we stand, I guess. 
    • Trump changes course again, says health-care repeal must happen before tax overhaul  "The comments from Trump and Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney mark a sharp reversal from the administration’s approach just a few weeks ago. After they were dealt a stinging defeat when conservative Republicans refused to vote for a GOP health-care plan, Trump angrily said he was pivoting to tax reform and has been peppering his top economic adviser, Gary Cohn, for details of their tax timeline ever since."
    • Trump administration moving quickly to build up nationwide deportation force  "An internal Department of Homeland Security assessment obtained by The Washington Post shows the agency has already found 33,000 more detention beds to house undocumented immigrants, opened discussions with dozens of local police forces that could be empowered with enforcement authority and identified where construction of Trump’s border wall could begin.... Government figures show the number of people illegally crossing the border from Mexico has dropped sharply in the first two months of Trump’s administration. The DHS assessment states that 2,100 detention spaces previously reserved by CBP and ICE during an immigration surge late last year are unused. 'Overall, it’s a wasted use of resources that could be used more efficiently,' Appleby said."
    • Classified docs contradict Nunes surveillance claims, GOP and Dem sources say "After a review of the same intelligence reports brought to light by House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes, both Republican and Democratic lawmakers and aides have so far found no evidence that Obama administration officials did anything unusual or illegal, multiple sources in both parties tell CNN.  Their private assessment contradicts President Donald Trump's allegations that former Obama national security adviser Susan Rice broke the law by requesting the 'unmasking' of US individuals' identities. Trump had claimed the matter was a 'massive story.'" I am SHOCKED! SHOCKED, I tell you!
    • Sean Spicer Says Even Hitler Didn't Use Chemical Weapons, Apparently Forgetting About the Holocaust "Anytime you have to issue a statement clarifying that you were not trying to 'lessen the horrendous nature of the Holocaust' is not a good day. Especially when you are the White House press secretary, and the time is the second day of Passover." It's even worse when you have to do it multiple times - and still never quite manage to get it right... "Spicer’s Holocaust snafu has, miraculously, temporarily aligned Alex Jones, the conspiracy theorist who runs the fake news site Infowars, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi." This is not what we mean when we say we want to bring people together.
      • Spicer really needs to pull it together. I hope. Spicer says Trump trying to 'destabilize' the Middle East "White House press secretary Sean Spicer apparently misspoke Tuesday evening, saying that President Trump is trying to 'destabilize' the Middle East. The comment came while Spicer was apologizing for his earlier, incorrect claim that Nazi leader Adolf Hitler did not use chemical weapons during World War II." At least, we all hope he misspoke."It's the second time Spicer has said 'destabilize' in recent remarks on the region." Sheesh...


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