Wednesday, July 18, 2018

The Fermi Paradox ... paradoctered

Possible explanations for the Fermi Paradox:
• Sufficiently advanced alien civilizations would be very good at hiding. They’re doing exactly that due to threats from other sufficiently advanced alien civilizations.
• Sufficiently advanced alien civilizations get the f**k out of the cramped confines of our 4-D bubble of spacetime as soon as inhumanly possible.
• Sufficiently advanced, starfaring, alien civilizations wouldn’t communicate with EMF broadcast.
• The speed of light is absolute. Period. Their ain’t no interstellar travel, except for exceedingly rare generation ships or research vessels hopping to nearby star systems. Due to this limitation, there is zero possibility of interstellar civilization, let alone interstellar communication. The universe is filled with intelligent life. But each species is an island unto itself.
• Everything’s alive. The entire cosmos is one big organism—an ocean of emerging self-awareness. The whole damn thing is “intelligent life.”
• Blinkered species that we are, humanity doesn’t recognize intelligent life that doesn’t look like humanity. There are other intelligent life forms on Earth. We eat them, cut them up in labs, and put them in cages.
• Something really, really bad happened on a cosmic scale and wiped out all the sufficiently advanced alien civilizations in our immediate galactic vicinity. Earth is like a remote island in the South Pacific whose inhabitants somehow survived WWIII.
• There are umpteen different templates for life (including intelligent life) aside from the carbon-based model. Humanity wouldn’t recognized a typical alien life form if it bit us in the collective ass.
• The bulk of the cosmos is comprised of dark matter. We’re utterly blind to it—including any dark matter species.
• We’re living in a computer simulation. Earth is the main event. Aside from a few broad strokes, the lazy designer didn’t bother filling in the details of the so-called "Universe" outside the Earth.
• Powers unknown have burned our brains with a mental blind spot that prevents us from seeing evidence of intelligent alien life. We see it—and don’t see it. “It doesn’t look like anything to me,” is our conditioned response.
• 99.999999999% of intelligent life forms evolve into industrial civilizations which relentlessly grow—and refuse to stop growing until they devour and destroy their planetary ecologies and, after a period of cannibalism and degeneracy, destroy themselves. (Props to Piers Anthony.)
• They’re lying to us. The truth is out there, oh yes. But an evil “X-Files”-type conspiracy is covering up the evidence, blah-blah-blah.
• Earth is the alien equivalent of a game preserve. We’ve been deliberately isolated and blocked from contact with other intelligent life forms. Sure, every now and then, some alien pervert breaks through the barrier and gives a redneck in Alabama an anal probe. But, most of the time, we're on our own.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

July 7, 2018

Trump administration halts billions in insurance payments under Obamacare

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Trump administration on Saturday halted billions of dollars in payments to health insurers under the Obamacare healthcare law, saying that a recent federal court ruling prevents the money from being disbursed.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which administers programs under the Affordable Care Act, said the action affects $10.4 billion in risk adjustment payments.

Reuters: Trump halts billions in Obamacare insurance payments

Friday, July 6, 2018

July 6, 2018

US Army quietly discharging immigrant recruits

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Some immigrant U.S. Army reservists and recruits who enlisted in the military with a promised path to citizenship are being abruptly discharged, the Associated Press has learned.

The AP was unable to quantify how many men and women who enlisted through the special recruitment program have been booted from the Army, but immigration attorneys say they know of more than 40 who have been discharged or whose status has become questionable, jeopardizing their futures.

AP: Army discharging immigrant recruits

Thursday, July 5, 2018

July 5, 2018

Obama’s wetlands protection rule put ‘too much emphasis’ on science, Trump officials argue.

President Donald Trump’s administration is faulting its predecessor for overemphasizing science in writing a 2015 Clean Water Act rule aimed at defining what isolated wetlands and waterways deserve automatic federal regulatory protection.

At issue: the Obama-era Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers' 400-page review of research on how wetlands and small streams affect downstream rivers, lakes and estuaries.

Science: Trump faults EPA's science-based wetlands protection.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

June 23, 2018

Deepwater Horizon led to new protections for US waters. Trump just repealed them.

Trump’s executive order voids an Obama policy that aimed to prevent oil spills.

The Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling rig exploded on April 20, 2010, killing 11 workers. Gas erupted into a massive fireball, and then the rig gushed 4.9 million barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. It soon became the largest and most expensive marine oil spill in history, with an estimated $17.2 billion in damages to properties, fisheries, and tourism across the Gulf Coast.

Vox: Trump voids Obama oil spill policy

Thursday, June 7, 2018

June 7, 2018

Donald Trump called asbestos poisoning a mob-led conspiracy, now his EPA won’t evaluate asbestos already in homes.

The Environmental Protection Agency will not consider the health risks and impacts of asbestos already in the environment when evaluating the dangers associated with the chemical compound, Scott Pruitt, the agency's head, quietly announced last week. That means asbestos used in tiles, piping and adhesives throughout homes and businesses in the United States will remain largely unchecked and unaccounted for. Nearly 15,000 Americans die each year from asbestos-related diseases, but President Donald Trump has called the substance "100 percent safe, once applied."

Donald Trump directs EPA to curb asbestos inspections

Friday, May 25, 2018

May 25, 2018

Trump takes steps to ease firing of federal workers.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Friday signed a trio of executive orders to overhaul the federal bureaucracy by making it easier to fire federal workers for poor performance and misconduct, requiring that departments and agencies negotiate better union contracts and limiting the amount of time certain federal workers can spend on union business.

Trump to Ease Firing of Federal Workers