Welcome to onfocus—a weblog by Paul Bausch where I post recommended links, my photos, and occasional thoughts. Subscribe here if you like RSS.
Finally some decisive action you can take locally if you're uncomfortable.
In recent years, the state has witnessed some of the most destructive wildfire seasons in its history. In 2018, the Camp Fire destroyed 11,000 homes and at one point, displaced nearly 50,000 people. In its aftermath, insurance companies saw huge losses, causing premiums to go up and toughening eligibility requirements to get covered.
This seems like something that should be covered more. How can people live in California without insurance or extremely expensive insurance as their options decrease? Maybe California needs to be in the insurance business?

Update: And...CA already is in the insurance business via FAIR Plan.
Daily Beast
Coupled with the Writers Guild strike and the arguably reckless pace at which companies are willing to adopt a mostly unproven, experimental, and demonstrably harmful technology, the world seems to be falling headfirst into a labor struggle the likes of which it hasn’t seen in quite a while.
The answers here are to vote for labor-friendly politicians and unionize. Good evergreen advice but also frustratingly vague for a specific looming threat.
  1. Mastodon users verify themselves by adding a custom link to their personal site.
  2. StreetPass lets you know when you've found one of these links, and adds them to your StreetPass list.
I've been using this browser plug-in for a while now and so far it has detected 16 Mastodon accounts. Today it let me know that Slashdot has an official Mastodon account. Who knew? Anyway, StreetPass is RIYLM.
Indeed, the article does not even bother to inform readers what the Republican demands are. The audience is left to assume that whatever it is Republicans want, Democrats should meet halfway or thereabouts.
This is a good explanation of the artificial debt ceiling media story that blames both sides for political dysfunction when it’s clear Republicans want a broken government.
First, and most importantly, it uses a delegated power from Congress in a way that is explicitly authorized, in contrast to using a Congressional power in a way that is explicitly unauthorized. That side-steps the separation-of-powers fight that the 14th Amendment plan would otherwise involve entirely.
Minting a coin the size of the debt is a clever hack that would stop the Republicans from taking the country hostage and keep the political fight out of the corrupt Supreme Court.
The Atlantic
Twitter has long been described, even by its most ardent users, as a hellsite. But under Elon Musk, Twitter has evolved into a platform that is indistinguishable from the wastelands of alternative social-media sites such as Truth Social and Parler. It is now a right-wing social network.
I think it has been since 2016 when they chose not to enforce their terms of service for Trump. The billionaire buyout just brought it to this ultimate state faster.
Rolling Stone
Doctors who are found guilty of providing an abortion in violation of the bans can face up to 99 years in prison, a minimum of $100,000 in fines, and the loss of their medical license.
Just straight up evil behavior happening in Texas and other places that have outlawed reproductive care for women. I’m not sure how health care workers can navigate this ethically and they should never have been put in this position.
Finding Gravity
This is not, as CNN’s Chris Licht portrays it, a news company reporting on the existence of support for Trump; it’s a news company orchestrating a broadcast to accentuate support for Trump and silence those who disliked his responses. It is CNN making news instead of reporting it.
CNN, propagandist. Media bosses really want to bring fascism to America.
Good prophets know how to inspire the zeal of the faithful. They don’t necessarily have the social and political nous to deal with unbelievers, or to reach grudging but necessary accommodations with them. Often, indeed, disagreement is treated as being tantamount to heresy. Nor are prophets good at working with routines, which are antithetical both to their self image and their style of operation.
I have been thinking about this priest and prophet dichotomy since I read this post and I'm seeing it everywhere. It's like the tension between tech innovation and maintenance personified. Plus the phrase routinization of charisma has been giving me good brain dissonance.
The Lever
Thomas wrote a landmark Supreme Court opinion upholding the doctrine in 2005, but began questioning it a decade later, before eventually renouncing his past opinion in 2020 and claiming that the doctrine itself might be unconstitutional. Now, Thomas could help overturn the doctrine in a new case the high court just agreed to hear next term.
Corrupt court. You can put a price tag on overturning precedents. Happy to hear Ron Wyden is working on accountability but I’m skeptical there will ever be consequences.
I’ve been returning to this site frequently. Getting a playlist right is an art that humans are better at than algorithms, and I’m enjoying these curated mixes more than the big streaming service offerings.
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