Sugar industry hid evidence of negative health effects nearly 50 years ago

❝ A U.S. sugar industry trade group appears to have pulled the plug on a study that was producing animal evidence linking sucrose to disease nearly 50 years ago…

Researchers Cristin Kearns, Dorie Apollonio and Stanton Glantz from the University of California at San Francisco reviewed internal sugar industry documents and discovered that the Sugar Research Foundation funded animal research to evaluate sucrose’s effects on cardiovascular health. When the evidence seemed to indicate that sucrose might be associated with heart disease and bladder cancer…they found the foundation terminated the project without publishing the results…

❝ The results suggest that the current debate on the relative effects of sugar vs. starch may be rooted in more than 60 years of industry manipulation of science. Last year, the Sugar Association criticized a mouse study suggesting a link between sugar and increased tumor growth and metastasis, saying that “no credible link between ingested sugars and cancer has been established.”

Sugar can be part of a natural diet, one reflective of the gradual evolution of Homo sapiens. Want to get back to that situation? You’ll have to battle against the brainwashing you’ve been subjected to by decades of adverts on radio and TV, in movies – and, now, on the interwebitubes [thanks, Dave].

Nothing new about profiting from induced addiction.

Bigoted adverts still make it into Facebook

❝ After ProPublica revealed last year that Facebook advertisers could target housing ads to whites only, the company announced it had built a system to spot and reject discriminatory ads. We retested and found major omissions…

❝ Last week, ProPublica bought dozens of rental housing ads on Facebook, but asked that they not be shown to certain categories of users, such as African Americans, mothers of high school kids, people interested in wheelchair ramps, Jews, expats from Argentina and Spanish speakers…

Every single ad was approved within minutes.

The only ad that took longer than three minutes to be approved by Facebook sought to exclude potential renters “interested in Islam, Sunni Islam and Shia Islam.” It was approved after 22 minutes…

❝ Under its own policies, Facebook should have flagged these ads, and prevented the posting of some of them. Its failure to do so revives questions about whether the company is in compliance with federal fair housing rules, as well as about its ability and commitment to police discriminatory advertising on the world’s largest social network.

Long, detailed article – including answers and promised solutions from Facebook. They didn’t work.

Canadian province puts up $40-million for workers losing jobs during the end of coal

❝ Alberta is putting aside $40 million to help workers losing their jobs as the province transitions away from thermal coal mines and coal-fired power plants over the next decade.

Labour Minister Christina Gray said the money will top up benefits to 75 per cent of a worker’s previous earnings during the time they collect employment insurance…

“Our government is going to provide workers with income support,” Gray said…

❝ “This income would insure that workers are better able to support their families as they transition to new employment training opportunities or retirement,” said Gray…

❝ Vouchers up to $6,000 over two years will help cover the costs of post-secondary education, like tuition, books and fees…

❝ Alberta, under its Climate Leadership Plan, is phasing out coal-fired electricity and moving to renewable and natural-gas generated electricity by 2030, aligning closely with a similar deadline set by the federal government.

Conservatives hate this. The Harper government had no compunction about closing down diminishing, backwards, energy systems. But, provision for retraining workers was out of the question. No doubt other ideologues will also find a creative way to hate change, hate means of helping working folks through qualitative change.

Of course, none of these problems exist in the GOUSA. There is no concept of helping workingclass families from our present government, our fake president.

The End of Gothamist Is a Terrible Sign for the Future of Local News


Billionaire Class Scumbag

❝ …While on my lunch break, I lost my job as editor in chief at LAist. I’d just finished a bowl of unmemorable office cafeteria chili and was sitting in the lobby of our WeWork when a coworker in New York sent me a three-word text: “Check your inbox.”…there was just a letter from our billionaire owner Joe Ricketts, informing readers that he had made “the difficult decision” to discontinue publishing DNAinfo and Gothamist, our parent site.

…With what appeared to have been the flip of a switch, 116 journalists had lost their jobs, and LAist had been shuttered—along with our four sister sites in New York, Chicago, D.C., and San Francisco, and the DNAinfo sites in New York and Chicago.

❝ The Gothamist and DNAinfo New York newsrooms had formally voted to unionize a week earlier…

❝ Gothamist, LAist, Chicagoist, DCist and SFist each fulfilled critical roles in their cities. Even as our hometown papers faced cuts and layoffs, we continued to cover local and hyperlocal news, find the relevant takeaways in hours-long public meetings, and strive to relay it all in a tone that was frank, compulsively readable, and often funny…There is a much larger loss here, one that should scare everyone (even those who’ve never read an ist site in their lives). At a time when local journalism is more crucial than ever, the closure of our sites effectively amounts to a silencing. There will now be less information for everyone, in each of those five cities.

This wasn’t a case about money. The creep who owned the sites made money on all five. Already a billionaire, Joe Ricketts plays with your money if you invest with TD Ameritrade. And cavort with his favorite politician – our fake president.

Nope. He doesn’t believe that folks who work for a living have the right to bargain collectively, to negotiate income and working conditions – even though that is a right protected by federal law for decades. He’d rather declare the companies he owns to be unprofitable – and close them down.

Cycling Mom Fired for Giving Our Fake President The Finger


Life in a Slightly-Free Country — Click to enlargeBrendan Smialowski/AFP

❝ A photo of Juli Briskman flipping off President Trump’s motorcade while riding her bike went viral, and now, her employer – Akima LLC – has fired her for it…

❝ She was told that the snap — which Briskman made her profile picture on Twitter and Facebook — violated Akima’s social media policy, even though she didn’t have the company listed as her place of work anywhere on either platform. She said that she emphasized to the company that she wasn’t working when the photo was taken but was told, as a government contractor, Akima’s business could be hurt by the shot.

Unsurprising; but, the company recently reprimanded a male employee for deliberate obscene pejorative statements online clearly identifying him as an employee of Akima. He kept his job. Chickenshit management is sufficiently scared of our Fake President – and careless of freedom of expression by women – to increase the penalty for such expression to firing.

My suggestion is one of the oldest around the world, free country or not. Boycott the bastards. Any contact with Akima, business or otherwise? Shut it off. Don’t spend a penny in any way which might benefit their balance sheet. Let them know that the rights of working people are supposed to be as important as the president – fake or otherwise.

Bullying Can Wreck Your Day

❝ We know 2017 has been a dark year when a fast food chain is suddenly one of the most principled public figures in America. But, bear with us. Burger King put out an anti-bullying PSA that’s surprisingly moving and effective. Yes, the company that made the super-creepy plastic-headed king mascot. Yes, this is basically a three minute Burger King ad. And, yes, it’s not subtle. But this PSA is better than it has a right to be, and is certainly more than you’d expect from a restaurant that doesn’t really have an ethical obligation beyond selling burgers.

And, let’s be frank, this is a serious issue. So if it takes Burger King of all places to shame more adults into intervening, we’ll take it.

Thanks, UrsaRodinia and others

The House GOP Tax Bill Is Mostly Crappola

❝ House Republicans made their tax bill public today. Boiled down to the basics, it is a mid-sized tax cut–aimed mostly at businesses and their owners. Here are five big take-aways.

It is a tax cut, not tax reform.

It is not the biggest income tax cut in history—not even close– despite President Trump’s repeated promises that it would be.

For households, it will almost surely create winners and losers. Many middle-income households are likely to pay more under this plan, not less.

It is not tax simplification. Indeed, for many taxpayers the House bill would make filing more complicated.

At the end of 10 years, it likely would end up increasing the deficit by far more than the advertised $1.5 trillion.

It will not lead to a 3 percent permanent economic growth.

Howard Gleckman from the Tax Policy Center offers up the gold standard for truthful tax analysis inside the Beltway. No doubt the Congressional Budget Office will soon be out with a version – more polite; but, no less accurate and free from the lies today’s Republicans seem to need before they even put their pants on in the morning.

RTFA. You won’t enjoy it. At a minimum, you won’t have to hold back a belch over fake news, fake statistics, 19th Century ideology.