Nevadan arrested for threatening Sen. Heller over Obamacare

Richard Holley was arrested for leaving a handwritten note threatening to kill Nevada Senator Dean Heller if Heller voted to repeal Obamacare. Holley’s wife suffers from multiple debilitating conditions and is bedridden.

Heller did vote to repeal, however the vote lost. Holley was arrested on felony charges and could go to prison. What happens to his wife? Gosh people, threatening to kill public officials is just a really bad idea.

The arrest comes nearly a month after an ominous handwritten note was found wedged behind the placard identifying Heller’s suite in an office complex in southwest Las Vegas. At the time, an acrimonious debate was raging over health care, and swing voting Heller was the subject of an advertising blitz and frequent protests.

“Sen Heller, I am sick and will die without continued medical care,” read the message left on a folded piece of binder paper. “If I’m going to die because you voted to repeal or replace with a death bill, I will take you with me. If I’m going to die so are you.”

Rural counties in Nevada will have access to Obamacare again. Anthem left the exchange, however SilverSummit has agreed to provide coverage in 2018.

As other companies have abandoned insurance exchanges, Centene has expanded its presence, stepping in to offer low-premium, high-deductible plans. The company has said that 90 percent of its exchange customers are eligible for federal subsidies based on income, including many who rotate in and out of Medicaid, which is Centene’s core business.

Trump Administration is a dumpster fire, not cunning manipulator

Could people stop hyperventilating every time Trump does something stupid and odious that he is fiendishly deflecting from something else, also stupid and odious, he did? Because he’s not.
a) Trump is lurching from crisis to crisis. He and he and his Administration are currently a raging dumpster fire.
b) Deflecting from something horrible by doing something horrible is not a long-term strategy for success.
c) Everything Trump does needs to be attacked. Attacking on one front doesn’t mean attacks on other fronts have stopped or lessened.

d) Saying this is somehow a super-devious scheme on Trump’s part grants him way too much undeserved power.

Continue fighting, we’re winning.

Aggrieved white male nerds to march against Google

The belly of the beast

Oh goodness, Google should be very very scared. There could be tens of protesters protesting them on Aug 19. Alt-right nerdlings are deeply disturbed that Google just does not understand they are biologically superior and wish to express their displeasure.

I’ve helped organize marches that sometimes drew hundreds of thousands of protesters. The March on Google website is comically inept. There is no logistical information, like where to park, where to gather, where the march will go to. Or will just be a protest, with no marches, but maybe speakers at a rally?

Oh wait, having speakers and a rally requires having a sound system and a stage. That means they need a permit from the city. Negotiating permits takes time. Bureaucratic hurdles must be overcome. They might even need to buy insurance for the event. Can you hear these alt-right libertarians squealing about the indignities of having to deal with governments?

If the turnout is tiny, they can probably march on the sidewalks, obeying all traffic laws. If they want to march in the street, they will have to get a permit. The protest is 8 days away. That simply isn’t enough time to put on a protest of any size.

I wonder if they know they should probably supply porta-potties? Nothing gets a crowd crankier than no place to pee or long lines if there is a place.

California agricultural canal loses 60% of capacity

San Joaquin Valley’s Santa Rita Bridge subsidence

The Friant-Kern agricultural irrigation canal in the San Joaquin Valley of California has sunk so much due to subsidence it has lost 60% of its flow. The 152-mile canal delivers water to one million acres of farmland. It has sunk 2-3 feet in some areas. Five years of drought and its accompanying over-pumping of ground water to compensate is the cause.

Subsidence happens when the ground slips or collapses. In this case, pumping water out of underground areas made of clay creates the problem.

There is no way to make to ground go up again. Workarounds can help, however they are expensive and the earliest they could start is 2019. Other canals have similar, sometimes worse, problems. Subsidence has been a problem in the Central Valley for decades. If groundwater continues to be over-pumped, subsidence will continue.

“Subsidence by really no surprise is continuing there, but it’s actually got a lot faster during the drought period,” says Tom Farr with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. “In those areas they’re just more susceptible. They have certain kinds of layers of fine grain material that are the type that compact and they pump too much.”

To fix the flow problems DeFlitch says the entirety of the canal needs to be adjusted to make up for the subsidence, which will cost around $400 million. But because of the high price tag he says his team is focusing first on fixing the area most severely impacted. Even though only preliminary design work has been done, he says to raise the canal by three feet will cost tens of millions of dollars and about three to five years to complete.

No, Google is not censoring search results

WSWS, a socialist site, is quite sure Google is censoring it and other leftie sites. Infowars, which is on the hard right, says Google is doing the same to them. Deranged nutcase site Natural News was delisted by Google, and predictably blamed those bastards at Mountain View who are trying to kill political dissent. We should be morally outraged, they yell. They generally think the censorship is only happening to those with their politics and not to websites with opposing views. Well, I like a good conspiracy as much as anyone, however these cries of censorship are dumb. The problem isn’t with Google, it’s with the sites themselves.

Natural News was delisted because of webmaster violations, specifically “sneaky mobile redirects.” Google notified Natural News, who did nothing until their site was delisted. Once Natural News stopped their black hat SEO, the site was listed again. It had nothing to do with political content.

Google changes their algorithms periodically and webmasters need to keep up with the changes. It also really helps if sites pay attention to basic SEO principles like quality incoming links, meaningful H1 descriptions, no duplicate content, and using social media to drive traffic.

Facebook and Google are trying to cut down on linking to low-quality fake news. This is a good thing. A garbage sites like Natural News may need to worry about this. Infowars and WSWS don’t. Readers may disagree with their content however Google is not blocking them.

When Google updates their search algorithms, some sites get ranked higher and some lower. This happens all the time. Webmasters need to be paying attention. If you have quality content, do a few simple SEO things, and don’t duplicate content, Google will rank you fine.

Google webmaster guidelines:

Basic principles

Make pages primarily for users, not for search engines.

Don’t deceive your users.

Avoid tricks intended to improve search engine rankings. A good rule of thumb is whether you’d feel comfortable explaining what you’ve done to a website that competes with you, or to a Google employee. Another useful test is to ask, “Does this help my users? Would I do this if search engines didn’t exist?”

Think about what makes your website unique, valuable, or engaging. Make your website stand out from others in your field.