Suggestions for Posts?

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111 thoughts on “Suggestions for Posts?

  1. Footnote says:

    Edward R. Murrow, “See it Now” (CBS-TV, March 9, 1954)
    “A Report on Senator Joseph R. McCarthy”
    (transcript) http://www.plosin.com/beatbegins/archive/Murrow540309.htm Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEvEmkMNYHY

    “We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. We must remember always that accusation is not proof and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law. We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men — not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate and to defend causes that were, for the moment, unpopular.”
    “This is no time for men who oppose Senator McCarthy’s methods to keep silent, or for those who approve,” Murrow continued. “We can deny our heritage and our history, but we cannot escape responsibility for the result. There is no way for a citizen of a republic to abdicate his responsibilities. As a nation we have come into our full inheritance at a tender age. We proclaim ourselves, as indeed we are, the defenders of freedom, wherever it continues to exist in the world, but we cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home.”

  2. Prescience says:

    “There will come a time when it isn’t ‘They’re spying on me through my phone’ anymore. Eventually, it will be ‘My phone is spying on me’.” Philip K. Dick (1928~1982)

  3. Josef K. says:

    For the 18-year lifespan of the war on terrorism, an obscure provision of the PATRIOT Act permitting the indefinite detention of non-citizens on U.S. soil has gone unused. But to keep a Palestinian man behind bars even after he finished serving his sentence, the Trump administration has fired this bureaucratic Chekhov’s gun.
    https://www.thedailybeast.com/trump-invokes-patriot-act-to-detain-palestinian-adham-amin-hassoun-forever
    Adham Amin Hassoun, now in his late 50s, has spent nearly the entire war on terrorism in cages. First picked up on an immigration violation in June 2002, he ended up standing trial alongside once-suspected “dirty bomber” Jose Padilla. But Hassoun was never accused of any act or plot of violence. His crime was cutting checks to extremist-tied Muslim charities operating in places like Kosovo and Chechnya that Congress outlawed after the 9/11 attacks. Hassoun wrote all but one of those checks before 9/11.
    ICE wanted to deport Hassoun, but his statelessness as a Palestinian got in the way. No country—not the Lebanon of his birth, not the Israel that occupies the West Bank and Gaza—was willing to take him. Aided by attorneys at the University of Buffalo Law School, Hassoun in January won what should have been his freedom, on the grounds that his deportation was unlikely.
    The Trump administration instead declared him a threat to national security. It did so at first using an also-obscure immigration regulation designed to sidestep a 2001 Supreme Court ruling imposing a six-month detention limit. And it was aided by a testimonial, under seal, of Hassoun’s alleged misdeeds behind bars as related by what his attorneys describe as jailhouse snitches who provided second- or third-hand accounts. But as the government fought what had become a habeas corpus case for Hassoun’s release, the Department of Homeland Security invoked, for the first time in U.S. government history, section 412 of the PATRIOT Act.
    …Attorneys for Hassoun, who were in federal court on Friday to argue for his freedom, are stunned at the invocation of Section 412. They noted that the PATRIOT Act provision is written to “take [a non-citizen] into custody,” not to retroactively designate someone already in detention as a threat.
    “If the government were to prevail in its claim of extraordinary and unprecedented executive power, the government would be free to lock up non-citizens indefinitely based solely on executive say-so, even after they completed serving their sentences,” said Jonathan Hafetz, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union.
    ICE, citing the ongoing litigation, declined comment. The Department of Homeland Security did not respond to requests for comment.
    [re: Chekhov’s gun see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chekhov%27s_gun )
    Prologue of the Orson Welles’ adaptation of the Franz Kafka novel. “The Trial” (1962) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IlKEybkVl0M

  4. Aftermath says:

    UN report claims Israeli occupation of West Bank costs Palestinians billions https://www.aljazeera.com/ajimpact/israeli-occupation-west-bank-costs-palestinians-billions-191203114531218.html
    The report blames the fiscal crisis in Palestine mostly on “fiscal leakage”, which is the idea a substantial portion of the revenues collected by Israel on behalf of the Palestinian treasury never reaches the Palestinian government.
    According to an agreement signed between the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Israel in 1994, Israel levies taxes on behalf of the Palestinian authorities, in particular revenues from indirect imports from third countries. But instead of regularly transferring these funds to the Palestinian government, the report says Israel withholds funds, sometimes for very long periods.
    Reportedly this practice not only limits the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) ability to plan and invest but it also directly impacts the region’s economic development.
    According to the report, which will presented to the UN General Assembly today, “the cumulative fiscal costs during the 18 years under consideration, without interest, are estimated at $19.5bn. Adding the interest increases the losses by $28.2bn, bringing the total valuation to $47.7bn” – which is more than three times Palestine’s 2017 economic output. See https://unctad.org/en/PublicationsLibrary/gdsapp2019d2_en.pdf?utm_source=UNCTAD+Media+Contacts&utm_campaign=4a5ede8c19-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_11_26_11_17&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_1b47b7abd3-4a5ede8c19-70649809
    The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) says this estimate is a conservative figure based on the data available, but the correct amount is likely to be much higher.

  5. रामराज्य says:

    “Blood and Soil in Narendra Modi’s India : The Prime Minister’s Hindu-nationalist government has cast two hundred million Muslims as internal enemies.” (The New Yorker, December 9, 2019 issue) https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/12/09/blood-and-soil-in-narendra-modis-india
    “India moved a step closer on Tuesday to making it easier to imprison and deport some members of its 200-million strong Muslim minority, in a significant challenge to the country’s secular constitution. https://time.com/5746688/india-citizenship-amendment-bill/
    On Tuesday, Indian lawmakers passed the Citizenship Amendment Bill through the lower house of Parliament where the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has a huge majority.

  6. IWW cat says:

    What could the US afford if it raised billionaires’ taxes? If the richest 1% of American households paid at the same rates they did in the 40s and 50s, the change could be transformative
    (Guardian UK) https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/dec/13/billionaires-taxes-inequality-one-percent
    For most of the last four decades, the gains from economic growth have flowed overwhelmingly to the rich. Much of those gains to the rich weren’t “earned” in any traditional sense, but rather extracted, excess profits squeezed out of a system designed to favor those who already have power, position and wealth. Today, the top 1% of Americans own more wealth than the bottom 90% combined. It’s no wonder “abolishing billionaires” has become a rallying cry. https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3330239

  7. Bilagáana says:

    Stolen and Erased : A Navajo girl was exploited and sex trafficked in urban and rural New Mexico. Why did so many fail to help her? https://www.searchlightnm.org/stolen-and-erased
    “Nobody Saw Me” : One Navajo girl’s experience shows how sex trafficking happens in America. https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/12/sex-trafficking-in-america-native-women-lack-of-screening.html A 2016 National Institute of Justice study found that 4 in 5 indigenous women will experience violence in their lifetimes. A landmark national needs assessment was slated to begin in 2018, but the Department of Justice eliminated its funding.
    “Why was a study on trafficking in Indian Country canceled? After the Trump administration transition, the Department of Justice killed a critical needs assessment initiative.” (Jan 2019) https://www.hcn.org/articles/tribal-affairs-how-trafficking-in-native-communities-has-been-ignored-under-the-trump-administration

  8. Pedant says:

    Animation of a rotating globe of Jupiter’s moon Io, with a geologic map superimposed over a global color mosaic. The 51-second animation begins as a global color mosaic image of the moon, then at 28 seconds, it displays the geologic map overlain on the mosaic. (USGS) https://www.usgs.gov/media/videos/rotating-globe-io-geology

    Illustration “Fantastic Adventures” (May 1940) illustration by Frank R. Paul. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/bd/Life_on_Io_-_Back_cover_of_%22Fantastic_adventures%22_-_may_1940.jpg
    See also https://i.pinimg.com/originals/f8/e1/d9/f8e1d9b376c2c0ad3ae501585fbdc410.jpg
    In the essay “Life on Io” by Henry Gade the Galilean moon is inhabited by furry, black-and-white intelligent beings living in the city of Crystallis, built entirely of crystals http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/pl.cgi?FANTADMAY1940

    “Moons of Jupiter”, Scruffy the Cat (1988) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qhy6SZf_3Gk

  9. McLeod says:

    Scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico are modeling the complicated dynamic feedback loop between wildfires and the atmosphere to help prevent and control the spread of devastating wildfires in the future https://arstechnica.com/science/2019/12/scientists-model-dynamic-feedback-loop-that-fuels-the-spread-of-wildfires/
    See also “Fluid dynamics of wildfires” (Physics Today, 11/1/19) https://physicstoday.scitation.org/doi/10.1063/PT.3.4350 [includes computer-generated snapshot of a grass fire] and “Fighting fire with software” (Los Alamos National Laboratory) https://youtu.be/nVp8OH426-0

  10. Gwailo Joe says:

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – A growing number of Chinese scientists working in the United States and other parts of the world are returning to their homeland, enhancing China’s research productivity.
    (Ohio State University press release 12/30/19) https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-12/osu-mcs123019.php
    In a new study, researchers found that more than 16,000 researchers have returned to China from other countries since that nation has opened up to international engagement. More than 4,500 left the United States for China in 2017 – nearly double the number who left in 2010.
    These foreign-trained researchers are helping grow China into a scientific powerhouse, said Caroline Wagner, co-author of the study and associate professor in the John Glenn College of Public Affairs at The Ohio State University.
    “In our lifetime, China has joined the global scientific community to become world-class in a number of critical fields, such as AI and materials science,” Wagner said.
    “As more of their researchers return home, that rise is going to continue.”
    The study was published online this month in the journal Science and Public Policy.
    See “Returning scientists and the emergence of China’s science system”. Science and Public Policy, scz056, https://doi.org/10.1093/scipol/scz056 December 5, 2019

  11. WTFU says:

    “It is largely the top 1 percent that will disproportionately benefit — the wealthiest people in the world.” Brett Wells, a tax law professor at the University of Houston on how the Trump administration is transforming a tax package that slashed taxes for big companies into an even greater corporate windfall.
    See “How Big Companies Won New Tax Breaks From the Trump Administration : As the Treasury Department prepared to enact the 2017 Republican tax overhaul, corporate lobbyists swarmed — and won big.” https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/30/business/trump-tax-cuts-beat-gilti.html and “Why the Impact of the Trump Taxes Remains Partly Hidden” https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/30/business/corporate-tax-cuts-impact.html

  12. Mr. McGuire says:

    New study reveals Microplastic pollution is raining down on city dwellers : The health impacts of breathing or consuming the tiny plastic particles are unknown, and experts say urgent research is needed to assess the risks. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/dec/27/revealed-microplastic-pollution-is-raining-down-on-city-dwellers
    “Recent research shows the whole planet appears to be contaminated with microplastic pollution. Scientists have found the particles everywhere they look, from Arctic snow and mountain soils, to many rivers and the deepest oceans. Other work indicates particles can be blown across the world.”
    See also “New study reveals higher microplastics in London air compared to other cities” https://phys.org/news/2019-12-reveals-higher-microplastics-london-air.html
    “Atmospheric microplastic deposition in an urban environment and an evaluation of transport”, Environment International (2019). DOI: 10.1016/j.envint.2019.105411

  13. Bilagáana says:

    New Mexico: Located just a half-mile from the Village of San Mateo, Mount Taylor can be seen rising from the San Mateo mountains 100 miles in any direction. The mountain, whose peak stretches nearly 12,000 feet upward, sits east of Grants and has long been considered a place of cultural and spiritual significance. Mount Taylor is a pilgrimage destination for at least 30 indigenous communities, including the Navajo Nation, the Hopi and Zuni peoples, and the Acoma and Laguna Pueblos.
    The mountain is one of the four sacred mountains that make up the boundaries of the Dinétah land. It holds special significance for the Acoma people, where streams on the mountain feed into the Rio San Jose, one of the pueblo’s primary water sources.
    But Mount Taylor also sits atop one of the country’s largest uranium deposits, and was mined for decades. The mine once provided jobs for the surrounding communities, but a prolonged slump in the uranium market has left the operation inactive since 1990. Now, indigenous communities and environmental advocates are cheering a recent decision to close down the mine for good.
    “We are excited,” Susan Gordon, coordinator for the Multicultural Alliance for a Safe Environment (MASE), told NM Political Report. MASE is comprised of groups representing communities impacted by uranium mining in New Mexico. https://nmpoliticalreport.com/2020/01/10/an-inactive-uranium-mine-located-on-a-sacred-mountain-will-finally-close/
    See links – also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Taylor_(New_Mexico)

  14. Legacy of Ashes says:

    “Suleimani killing the latest in a long, grim line of US assassination efforts : There has been no shortage of US attempts to remove foreign adversaries through highly dubious legal or ethical means” https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jan/04/us-political-assassinations-history-iran-suleimani
    “Killing Hope : U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II” https://williamblum.org/books/killing-hope (includes links to excerpts)

  15. Ka-ching says:

    As of now, US president Donald Trump’s two-day jaunt to the 2020 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland is set to cost US taxpayers more than $3.4 million, for car rentals and hotel rooms, according to an analysis of federal filings. Last year’s trip, which Trump canceled at the last minute amid a partial government shutdown, was set to hit $3.6 million but still cost around $3.2 million in unused hotel rooms and rental cars. https://qz.com/1787627/trumps-3-4-million-davos-bill-will-be-his-highest-yet/
    The total does not include security costs, salaries, or an estimated $2.2 million needed to fly Air Force One round-trip between the US and Zurich and the Marine One helicopter from Zurich to Davos.
    Cabinet officials expected to attend Davos 2020 alongside Trump include Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin, US trade representative Robert Lighthizer, labor secretary Eugene Scalia, and transportation secretary Elaine Chao. First daughter and White House adviser Ivanka Trump will be there, along with husband Jared Kushner, also an adviser to the president.
    This will be the 50th anniversary of the annual event, which will run from Jan. 21 through Jan. 24. The theme for 2020 is “Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World.”

  16. Jimmy Click says:
  17. Gwailo Joe says:

    “A little over a year ago, Caltech’s Lihong Wang developed the world’s fastest camera, a device capable of taking 10 trillion pictures per second. It is so fast that it can even capture light traveling in slow motion. https://www.caltech.edu/about/news/ultrafast-camera-takes-1-trillion-frames-second-transparent-objects-and-phenomena
    But sometimes just being quick is not enough. Indeed, not even the fastest camera can take pictures of things it cannot see. To that end, Wang, Bren Professor of Medical Engineering and Electrical Engineering, has developed a new camera that can take up to 1 trillion pictures per second of transparent objects. A paper about the camera appears in the January 17 issue of the journal Science Advances.
    The camera technology, which Wang calls phase-sensitive compressed ultrafast photography (pCUP), can take video not just of transparent objects but also of more ephemeral things like shockwaves and possibly even of the signals that travel through neurons.”
    “Picosecond-resolution phase-sensitive imaging of transparent objects in a single shot.” Co-authors include Taewoo Kim, a postdoctoral scholar in medical engineering, and Jinyang Liang and Liren Zhu, both formerly of Caltech. https://authors.library.caltech.edu/100802/ (includes video examples of pCUP)

  18. Nightmare fuel says:

    The American founder of US-based militant neo-Nazi group The Base is directing the organisation from Russia, a BBC investigation has found. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-51236915
    Rinaldo Nazzaro, 46, who uses the aliases “Norman Spear” and “Roman Wolf”, left New York for St Petersburg less than two years ago.
    The Base is a major counter terrorism focus for the FBI.
    Seven alleged members were charged this month with various offences, including conspiracy to commit murder.
    Court documents prepared by the FBI describe The Base as a “racially motivated violent extremist group” that “seeks to accelerate the downfall of the United States government, incite a race war, and establish a white ethno-state”.

    “A New Face of White Supremacy: Plots Expose Danger of the ‘Base’ : A secret domestic terrorism investigation revealed that the violent neo-Nazi group was recruiting cells across the United States.” (NYT 1/22/2020) https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/22/us/white-supremacy-the-base.html
    “The Base illustrates what law enforcement officials and extremism experts describe as an expanding threat, particularly from adherents who cluster in small cells organized under the auspices of a larger group that spreads violent ideology.
    “We have a significant increase in racially motivated violent extremism in the United States and, I think, a growing increase in white nationalism and white supremacy extremist movements,” Jay Tabb, the head of national security for the F.B.I., said at an event in Washington last week.
    Experts who have studied the Base say it seems to have followed the model of Al Qaeda and other violent Islamic groups in working to radicalize independent cells or even lone wolves who would be inspired to plot their own attacks.”

  19. Whack job says:

    “A newly surfaced recording shows President Donald Trump demanding that former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch be fired, ABC News reported Friday.”
    https://www.cnbc.com/2020/01/24/trump-reportedly-caught-on-tape-talking-about-ousting-ukraine-ambassador.html
    “Get rid of her!” Trump apparently said of Yovanovitch at a small dinner on April 2018, at the Trump International Hotel, according to ABC’s report on the recording, which CNBC has not heard.
    “Get her out tomorrow. I don’t care. Get her out tomorrow. Take her out. Okay? Do it,” Trump said in the recording, ABC reported. https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/recording-appears-capture-trump-private-dinner-ukraine-ambassador/story?id=68506437
    A copy of the recording has been obtained by federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York, ABC reported. A spokesman for the Southern District declined CNBC’s request for comment.
    The small event at Trump’s hotel in Washington, D.C., reportedly included Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, who worked with Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani in his efforts to get Ukraine to announce probes into Trump’s political opponents and a debunked theory about the 2016 election.
    The Giuliani associates were apparently telling Trump at the dinner that Yovanovitch had been bad-mouthing him, ABC reported.

    Barry Blitt’s “Whack Job” (The New Yorker, September 27, 2019) https://am14.akamaized.net/med/cnt/uploads/2019/09/CoverStory-STORY_blitt_trump_uncle_sam-884×1200.jpg

  20. Joe says:

    Trump Shrugs Off U.S. Soldiers’ Injuries From Iran Attack: ‘They Had Headaches’ https://www.huffpost.com/entry/trump-shrugs-off-soldiers-injuries-iran-attack_n_5e284b30c5b6779e9c2b2081
    34 US service members diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries after Iranian missile strike https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/24/politics/34-injuries-iran-missile-strike/index.html
    As injury numbers grow from Iran attack, lawmaker wants answers on head trauma https://federalnewsnetwork.com/defense-main/2020/01/as-injury-numbers-grow-from-iran-attack-lawmaker-wants-answers-on-head-trauma/

  21. Queen of Hearts says:

    A brief history of displaying opponents’ severed heads https://www.washingtonpost.com/science/2018/11/07/brief-history-displaying-opponents-severed-heads/
    Senate Republicans’ disingenuous outrage over Schiff’s “head on a pike” comment, briefly explained https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2020/1/25/21071035/senate-republicans-adam-schiff-head-on-a-pike-comment-outrage
    Republican Senators Are Afraid of Trump, No Matter How Mad They Get When Someone Says So https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/a30661659/adam-schiff-head-on-a-pike-republican-senators-trump/

  22. McLuhan says:

    Amazon Prime Video has won lots of attention in recent years for its highly produced, critically acclaimed originals, including Fleabag, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and Transparent. What’s less known is how the streaming service relies heavily on often-bizarre user-uploaded content. As the Wall Street Journal points out in a new feature, some two-thirds of the titles on Amazon Prime Video are uploaded by users, and although you might expect Amazon to be selective in what ends up on its subscription-based service, that is not the case. https://www.vox.com/recode/2020/1/24/21080240/amazon-prime-video-conspiracy-theory-offensive-content
    WSJ: “Amazon Prime Video Gives Amateur How-To’s, Conspiracy Theories a Stage” https://www.wsj.com/articles/amazons-video-library-has-grown-big-on-amateur-content-11579792605

  23. Knock, knock... says:

    Amazon Engineer: ‘Ring should be shut down immediately and not brought back’ https://thenextweb.com/artificial-intelligence/2020/01/28/amazon-engineer-ring-should-be-shut-down-immediately-and-not-brought-back/
    Amazon’s Ring app shares loads of your personal info, report finds : Ring isn’t the only company getting a ton of info about you and your setup. https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2020/01/amazons-ring-app-shares-loads-of-your-personal-info-report-finds/

    • eideard says:

      Ring is like the average sleaze in Tech. The engineer is over the top with his privacy fixation, though. The police connections he and others are so hot about are a requisite – generally via municipal regulation of burglar alarms with or without security cameras – and panic buttons. The primary reason for that relationship actually is false alarms. Something always frowned on by coppers.

  24. Reddy Kilowatt says:

    In the latest long-term projections, the U.S Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects electricity generation from renewable sources such as wind and solar to surpass nuclear and coal by 2021 and to surpass natural gas in 2045. https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=42655
    Alternative scenarios in the EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook 2020 (AEO2020) examine the sensitivity of results to changes in the costs of renewables and the availability of oil and natural gas resources. Even in the High Oil and Gas Supply (where natural gas prices remain lower than in the Reference case) and High Renewables Cost cases, renewable generation nearly doubles from current levels by 2050. https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/images/2020.01.30/chart4.svg

  25. Santayana says:

    “Finally, after days of presentation, followed by two days of Senate questions, we reached the bottom line in the arguments of Team Trump’s lawyers:
    • There are no limits on Trump’s powers, he does not need to meet requests, demands, even subpoenas from Congress. At the same time, there apparently is no reason to settle any of these refusals to acknowledge Congress in the courts, where Team Trump is arguing that the appropriate response to access complaints incongruously is impeachment.
    • There is nothing impeachable about anything that a president does in pursuit of re-election because seeking reelection might be “in the public interest” and including seeking “information” from foreign countries, because “information” has no value.
    • And, apparently, there is nothing wrong with running a rogue campaign to trade military aid for dirt on Joe Biden, as a prime political opponent. Per Team Trump, there was no quid pro quo, unless there was, in which case, it was perfectly reasonable either because Trump cared so deeply about corruption in Ukraine over years or because it was in the public interest rather than his own.” Terry H. Schwadron, DCReport Jan 31, 2020 https://www.dcreport.org/2020/01/31/now-we-know-what-trump-really-thinks-of-us/

    ‘L’etat c’est moi’ (‘I am the state’) Louis XIV, King of France from 14 May 1643 until his death in 1715. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_XIV_of_France.

  26. Bait&Switch says:

    Ajit Pai’s “surprise” change makes it harder to get FCC broadband funding : Nearly 30 states may have “eligibility reduced or eliminated,” Democrat says. https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2020/01/ajit-pais-surprise-change-makes-it-harder-to-get-fcc-broadband-funding/
    After deciding to shut New York and Alaska out of a rural broadband fund, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai has made another change that could reduce or eliminate funding available for ISPs in other US states.
    When the FCC yesterday approved the $20.4-billion Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF), the order contained a new provision that bans funding for areas already receiving money from any similar federal or state broadband-subsidy program. The new provision is so vague and expansive that it could affect areas in dozens of states or exclude some states from receiving money entirely, according to Democratic FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks.

  27. Joe says:

    The Trump administration is looking to loosen regulations on certain kinds of landmines, and may soon utilize mines that deactivate after a certain period of time. https://warisboring.com/trump-expected-to-make-the-use-of-landmines-by-us-troops-legal-again/
    Demonized for their ability to kill indiscriminately and remain active while buried for long periods of time, landmines have effectively been banned or discontinued by over 160 nations around the world.
    The 1997 Ottawa Convention was an international agreement which banned the use, stockpiling, manufacture and transfer of anti-personnel landmines, and the US has largely stuck to the agreement- until now.
    The decision is the result of a 2017 review initiated by then-Defense Secretary James Mattis, who determined that suspension of landmine usage outside of Korea was hampering US troops, and that utilizing mines could save lives.
    According to CNN.com, The new policy recommended by the Pentagon will likely permit the use of landmines only if they have a 30-day self-destruction or self-deactivation feature, a design feature predicted to reduce civilian casualties.
    See also CNN https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/30/politics/trump-landmines/index.html and Demining https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demining

  28. n00b says:

    “Facebook will now show you exactly how it stalks you — even when you’re not using Facebook
    The new ‘Off-Facebook Activity’ tool reminds us we’re living in a reality TV program where the cameras are always on. Here are the privacy settings to change right now.” (Washington Post) https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2020/01/28/off-facebook-activity-page/
    “How to delete what Facebook knows about your life outside of Facebook : The “Off-Facebook Activity” tool lets you see — and somewhat control — what other sites and apps tell Facebook about you.” https://www.vox.com/2020/1/28/21112380/facebook-activity-tool-data

  29. Day 1107 says:

    “America Needs a Miracle” By Andrew Sullivan http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/01/andrew-sullivan-america-needs-a-miracle.html
    “The Department of Justice revealed in a court filing late Friday that it has two dozen emails related to President Donald Trump’s involvement in the withholding of millions in security assistance to Ukraine — a disclosure that came just hours after the Senate voted against subpoenaing additional documents and witnesses in Trump’s impeachment trial, paving the way for his acquittal.
    The filing, released near midnight Friday, marks the first official acknowledgment from the Trump administration that emails about the President’s thinking related to the aid exist, and that he was directly involved in asking about and deciding on the aid as early as June. The administration is still blocking those emails from the public and has successfully kept them from Congress.” https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/01/politics/trump-ukraine-aid-emails-omb-justice-department/index.html
    “Sean Hannity previews President Trump Super Bowl interview” https://www.foxnews.com/media/sean-hannity-previews-super-bowl-interview-with-president-trump
    “The Downfall of the Republican Party : To see men and women who had a positive vision beaten down and broken by Trump is a poignant thing.” https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/02/broken-trump/605959/

  30. Boomer says:

    “For many young evangelicals in Iowa, climate is front and center : As Iowa kicks off 2020 US presidential primary and caucus season, young evangelicals are demanding climate action.” https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/02/200201220320985.html
    “Older evangelicals are generally far more likely to deny climate change is happening than the general public. While data on younger evangelicals’ opinions of climate change is scarce, many people who study this demographic say that, in general, this group more closely aligns with others in their generation who believe that climate change is a “major threat”.
    “The United States Conference of Mayors-Zogby Strategies 2020 National Youth Poll : A Survey of Gen Z & Millennials’ Behavior & Values.” https://www.usmayors.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/USCM_National-Youth-Poll-FINAL.pdf

  31. Hey, Rube! says:

    Chief Justice John Roberts wears a $49,780 Patek Philippe Watch during the Trump impeachment trial https://www.mediaite.com/news/chief-justice-john-roberts-rocks-a-patek-philippe-watch-at-trump-trial/ The watch was released in 2010, with a retail price of approximately $30,000. These watches currently sell for approximately $35,000 to $40,000 in the pre-owned market. http://www.onthedash.com/spotted-chief-justice-roberts-pp-ref-5205g/
    “CBS News anchor blows mall shoppers’ minds by showing real US wealth gap — using American pie” https://www.rawstory.com/2020/02/cbs-news-anchor-blows-mall-shoppers-minds-by-showing-real-us-wealth-gap-using-american-pie/

  32. Contagion says:

    “In Pictures: Inside Wuhan’s fast-built hospital : New 1,000-bed facility dedicated to treating people infected with coronavirus in Chinese city begins receiving patients.” https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/inpictures/pictures-wuhan-fast-built-hospital-200203080542994.html
    “U.S. Hospitals Unprepared For A Quickly Spreading Coronavirus” https://www.npr.org/2020/02/02/802087551/u-s-hospitals-unprepared-for-a-quickly-spreading-coronavirus
    “The Wuhan coronavirus spreading from China is now likely to become a pandemic that circles the globe, according to many of the world’s leading infectious disease experts.
    The prospect is daunting. A pandemic — an ongoing epidemic on two or more continents — may well have global consequences, despite the extraordinary travel restrictions and quarantines now imposed by China and other countries, including the United States.
    Scientists do not yet know how lethal the new coronavirus is, however, so there is uncertainty about how much damage a pandemic might cause. But there is growing consensus that the pathogen is readily transmitted between humans.
    The Wuhan coronavirus is spreading more like influenza, which is highly transmissible, than like its slow-moving viral cousins, SARS and MERS, scientists have found.” https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/02/health/coronavirus-pandemic-china.html

  33. Cassandra says:

    Antarctic Peninsula is warmer than most of Texas on potentially record-breaking day (CBS News February 7, 2020 / 8:15 PM) https://www.cbsnews.com/news/antarctic-peninsula-is-warmer-than-most-of-texas-on-potentially-record-breaking-day-today-2020-02-07/
    (February 8, 2020): Arctic ice melt is changing ocean currents https://phys.org/news/2020-02-arctic-ice-ocean-currents.html A major ocean current in the Arctic is faster and more turbulent as a result of rapid sea ice melt, a new study from NASA shows. The current is part of a delicate Arctic environment that is now flooded with fresh water, an effect of human-caused climate change.
    Using 12 years of satellite data, scientists have measured how this circular current, called the Beaufort Gyre, has precariously balanced an influx of unprecedented amounts of cold, fresh water—a change that could alter the currents in the Atlantic Ocean and cool the climate of Western Europe.

  34. Ministry of Truth says:

    (Feb 7, 2020): Facebook and Twitter have refused to take down a video posted by President Donald Trump that was edited to make it appear that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ripped up his speech when the president was saluting a Tuskegee airman during the State of the Union rather than at the end of his address.
    Pelosi’s office had demanded the video, titled “Powerful American stories ripped to shreds by Nancy Pelosi,” be removed from both platforms. Trump tweeted the video Thursday evening to his more than 72 million followers. https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2020/02/07/trump-video-nancy-pelosi-tearing-sotu-speech-remain-facebook/4694454002/
    (Feb 4, 2020): Election 2020: Twitter says deceptively doctored videos and photos may get labeled or removed https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2020/02/04/twitter-deepfake-edited-doctored-altered-video-biden-pelosi-trump/4657981002/
    (Feb 7, 2020): Republican senators tell Twitter it’s subject to US sanctions laws unless it bans Iranian leaders https://www.cnbc.com/2020/02/07/republican-senators-tell-twitter-its-subject-to-us-sanction-laws.html

  35. Social Darwinism says:

    Why Home Health Care Is Suddenly Harder To Come By For Medicare Patients https://khn.org/news/why-home-health-care-is-suddenly-harder-to-come-by-for-medicare-patients/
    Altogether, about 12,000 home care agencies (most of them for-profit) provided care to 3.4 million Medicare beneficiaries in 2017, the most recent year for which data is available.
    What to do if your home health care agency ditches you https://www.poconorecord.com/entertainmentlife/20200207/what-to-do-if-your-home-health-care-agency-ditches-you
    Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Patient-Driven Groupings Model (PDGM) https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare-Fee-for-Service-Payment/HomeHealthPPS/Downloads/Overview-of-the-Patient-Driven-Groupings-Model.pdf

  36. Go figure... says:

    Something in Deep Space Is Sending Signals to Earth in Steady 16-Day Cycles : Scientists have discovered the first fast radio burst that beats at a steady rhythm, and the mysterious repeating signal is coming from the outskirts of another galaxy. https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/wxexwz/something-in-deep-space-is-sending-signals-to-earth-in-steady-16-day-cycles
    See also “Periodic activity from a fast radio burst source” https://arxiv.org/abs/2001.10275

  37. Running roughshod says:

    ‘This Is the Wild West Out Here’ : How Washington is bending over backward for mining companies in Nevada at the expense of environmental rules. https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2020/02/09/nevada-lithium-mine-environmental-investigation-bureau-land-management-100595
    According to a sweeping whistleblower complaint filed on October 4 by a five-year BLM employee and obtained by POLITICO and Type Investigations, the BLM’s Battle Mountain office in northern Nevada has repeatedly disregarded its own environmental rules and regulations to fast-track permits on public land. The historic antipathy toward federal oversight common to this region, combined with a presidential administration that has announced its hostility to decades of environmental law, has left public lands especially vulnerable.
    See Nevada Whisteblower Complaint “Culture of Lawlessness” Disclosure #4 https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/6768915-Nevada-Whisteblower-Complaint.html#document/p1/a549041

  38. Former diplomat says:

    “Qassem Suleimani and How Nations Decide to Kill : A new frontier in the use of assassination.” By Adam Entous and Evan Osnos. The New Yorker, Annals of Covert Action, February 10, 2020 Issue. https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/02/10/qassem-suleimani-and-how-nations-decide-to-kill
    “Impact of Suleimani’s death is playing out in unexpected ways : Iranian general’s assassination has led to an eerie calm rather than the predicted turmoil” (Guardian UK Jan 12, 2020) https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jan/12/impact-of-qassem-suleimanis-death-is-playing-out-in-unexpected-ways-iran

    • Update says:

      A new report to Congress by the Trump administration justifying the killing last month of Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani “directly contradicts” President Donald Trump’s first claim of why he ordered the attack, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee said Friday. (CNBC) https://www.cnbc.com/2020/02/14/trump-administration-issues-report-on-soleimani-killing.html
      “White House Memo Justifying Suleimani Strike Cites No Imminent Threat : A new report sent to Congress about the drone strike that killed Iran’s top general contradicted the original justification the administration provided.” (NYT) https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/14/us/politics/white-house-memo-suleimani-strike.html “…The document confirmed what lawmakers had privately suspected as the Trump administration has offered a shifting set of justifications for the strike against General Suleimani in Baghdad — taken with no congressional consultation — which brought the United States and Iran to the brink of war.
      “This official report directly contradicts the president’s false assertion that he attacked Iran to prevent an imminent attack against United States personnel and embassies,” Representative Eliot L. Engel of New York, the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, said in a statement. “The administration’s explanation in this report makes no mention of any imminent threat and shows that the justification the president offered to the American people was false, plain and simple.”

      The legally mandated, two-page unclassified report to lawmakers can be found at https://foreignaffairs.house.gov/_cache/files/4/3/4362ca46-3a7d-43e8-a3ec-be0245705722/6E1A0F30F9204E380A7AD0C84EC572EC.doc148.pdf

  39. Gleichschaltung says:

    “Whatever He Wants.” By Fintan O’Toole, The New York Review of Books, February 27, 2020 Issue https://www.nybooks.com/articles/2020/02/27/trump-senate-trial-whatever-he-wants/

    “Justice Dept. to Seek Shorter Sentence for Roger Stone, Overruling Its Prosecutors : President Trump had complained that the recommendation of seven to nine years in prison for his former adviser and longtime friend was a “miscarriage of justice.” (NYT) https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/11/us/politics/roger-stone-sentencing.html

    “Two career prosecutors who handled the case against Roger Stone, a confidant of President Trump, resigned their posts Tuesday after the Justice Department signaled it planned to reduce their sentencing recommendation for the commander-in-chief’s friend.
    The resignations come just hours after a senior Justice Department official told reporters that the agency’s leadership had been “shocked” by the seven-to-nine-year penalty prosecutors, including Zelinsky, asked a judge to impose on Stone and intended to ask for a lesser penalty.” (Washington Post) https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/justice-dept-to-reduce-sentencing-recommendation-for-trump-associate-roger-stone-official-says-after-president-calls-it-unfair/2020/02/11/ad81fd36-4cf0-11ea-bf44-f5043eb3918a_story.html

  40. Mayordomo says:

    March through May 2020 temperature outlook from The Weather Company, an IBM Business.
    The record-strong positive Arctic Oscillation (AO) and the strong polar vortex are two important factors in this forecast because they usually result in colder air generally being confined to the polar regions.
    The AO is a climate pattern characterized by winds circulating counterclockwise around the Arctic. When the AO is in a positive phase, it typically correlates with a stronger polar vortex. A strong polar vortex doesn’t allow cold arctic air to sag into the United States, keeping things warmer.
    This upper level atmospheric pattern with a positive AO and a strong polar vortex has generally been in place this winter and has allowed the contiguous U.S. to experience its warmest winter on record through the end of January.

  41. Tweety pie says:

    Today the Center for American Progress Action launched TrumpsPriorities.org, an interactive tool that analyzes all of Trump’s tweets in real-time, from his inauguration to present day.
    Select from either list to compare.

    “Make no mistake, under the MAGA hat and the faux-populist Twitter rants, Trump’s economics are those of a plutocrat, and not even a fiscally conservative one at that: His budget, combined with the GOP’s 2017 tax cut package, will lead to trillion-dollar-plus deficits each year for the next decade. If the Democrats can’t successfully run against these inequality-fueling policies of pillage, they might as well close shop. For Trump’s priorities, if implemented, would destroy what’s left of the safety net and finish the hollowing out of America’s working and middle classes, which began decades ago and has had such catastrophic political consequences.” (The Nation) https://www.thenation.com/article/economy/trump-budget-economy-military/

  42. følg med... says:

    “Russia With Stern Svalbard Warning to Norway” (Feb 05 2020) https://www.highnorthnews.com/en/russia-stern-svalbard-warning-norway
    “Russia said on Thursday it was alarmed by a trip to a Norwegian outpost in the Arctic by a U.S. Air Force unit and urged Oslo to refrain from what it said were de-stabilizing moves in the strategic region.” https://www.reuters.com/article/us-russia-norway-usa/russia-alarmed-by-u-s-air-force-visit-to-norwegian-island-idUSKBN20721H
    “Russia’s and China’s Interest in Cold Svalbard Heats Up” https://nationalinterest.org/feature/russia%E2%80%99s-and-china%E2%80%99s-interest-cold-svalbard-heats-123171
    “Before the Svalbard archipelago became Norwegian in 1925, the area was called Spitsbergen. It is still important to Russia to refer to the islands with their historic name, though a number of other countries also do. We explain the many terms and conflicts related to the 100-year old Svalbard Treaty.” https://www.highnorthnews.com/en/spitsbergen-or-svalbard-answer-includes-both-politics-and-history

  43. Walleyed says:

    “The Trump administration has notified Congress that it plans to divert $3.8 billion from the Defense Department’s budget to build the border wall.
    This is in addition to more than $11 billion that’s already been identified to construct roughly 500 miles of new barriers along the southern U.S. border with Mexico. That includes money that Congress has appropriated and funding that was previously diverted from military construction and counternarcotic operations.
    The latest funding diversion takes $1.5 billion originally allocated for buying equipment for National Guard and Reserve units, such as trucks, generators and spare parts, as well as fighter jets and ships.” https://www.npr.org/2020/02/13/805796618/trump-administration-diverts-3-8-billion-in-pentagon-funding-to-border-wall
    “The top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee issued a sharp rebuke of President Donald Trump Thursday, slamming the administration’s plan to divert $3.83 billion in Pentagon funding to border wall construction as unconstitutional and pledging to take action after lawmakers were notified of the move by the Department of Defense.” https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/13/politics/pentagon-border-wall/index.html

  44. Ahoy says:

    Sailors who donned patches with a cartoon depiction of the president and the phrase “Make Aircrew Great Again” during his May speech here received nonjudicial punishments, according to a report Thursday on Military.com.
    A Navy investigation document revealed the patches featuring the twist on President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign slogan violated a Department of Defense order banning troops from participating in political events in uniform, the report said. https://www.military.com/daily-news/2020/02/13/navy-punishes-sailors-over-make-aircrew-great-again-patches-worn-trump-speech.html

  45. HAR says:

    In the Western U.S., President Trump’s executive order requiring states and localities to agree to refugee resettlement in their municipalities led to an almost unanimous consensus that refugee resettlement was, in fact, welcome. Governors—Republicans and Democrats alike—came out in enthusiastic bipartisan support. Wyoming was the exception. Trump’s executive order seemed to backfire. Given the opportunity, most officials said the country’s refugee resettlement program wasn’t a burden, but rather, a boon—a sign of the resilience of both the cities and rural towns that shape the region. https://www.hcn.org/articles/social-justice-refugee-resettlement-is-a-yes-out-west
    According to a report by the New American Economy, refugees held a spending power of $17.2 billion in California in 2015 alone. https://www.newamericaneconomy.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/NAE_Refugees_V5.pdf According to Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, [D], “For every dollar Colorado invests in refugees, we receive a $1.23 return on investment in tax revenue.”

  46. YIKES says:

    Oregon landfill accepted 2 million pounds of radioactive fracking waste from North Dakota https://www.oregonlive.com/environment/2020/02/oregon-landfill-accepted-2-million-pounds-of-radioactive-fracking-waste-from-north-dakota.html
    Oregon regulators said it has become increasingly difficult to find places to dump fracking waste that comes from North Dakota, New Mexico and elsewhere. The Arlington landfill, which accepts about 20 million pounds of hazardous chemical waste a month, is among only a dozen sites nationwide that can accept certain types of such waste, they said.
    It’s unclear which route the waste took to come to Oregon. The energy department officials said they weren’t sure how it arrived in Arlington and added that the radioactivity levels [some which were 300 times the state’s limits] did not require special warnings on train cars.
    See also ” America’s Radioactive Secret : Oil-and-gas wells produce nearly a trillion gallons of toxic waste a year. An investigation shows how it could be making workers sick and contaminating communities across America” https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/oil-gas-fracking-radioactive-investigation-937389/ also “In 2018 alone, New Mexico’s share of the Permian Basin generated 42 billion gallons of oil and gas wastewater, according to the New Mexico Environment Department.
    …Produced water is not only contaminated with salts; it also contains bits of crude oil, naturally occurring heavy metals and radioactive materials, and trace amounts of fracking chemicals — the identities of which companies do not have to disclose to the public, aside from a few exceptions, because the information is considered proprietary.” https://www.searchlightnm.org/wastewater-everywhere

    • Nightmare fuel says:

      1982 American Petroleum Institute Report Warned Oil Workers Faced ‘Significant’ Risks From Radioactivity https://www.ecowatch.com/radioactive-risks-oil-workers-2644908611.html
      On Tuesday, a major new investigative report published by Rolling Stone and authored by reporter Justin Nobel delves deep into the risks that the oil and gas industry’s waste — much of it radioactive — poses to the industry’s own workers and to the public. https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/oil-gas-fracking-radioactive-investigation-937389/
      “There is little public awareness of this enormous waste stream,” Nobel, who also reports for DeSmog, wrote, “the disposal of which could present dangers at every step — from being transported along America’s highways in unmarked trucks; handled by workers who are often misinformed and underprotected; leaked into waterways; and stored in dumps that are not equipped to contain the toxicity.”
      Additional documents obtained by Nobel and shared with DeSmog show that a report prepared for the American Petroleum Institute (API), the nation’s largest oil and gas trade group, described the risks posed by the industry’s radioactive wastes to workers as “significant” in 1982 — long before the shale drilling rush unleashed new floods of wastewater from the industry — including waste from the Marcellus Shale, which can carry unusually high levels of radioactive contamination.
      Oil and gas wells pump out nearly a trillion gallons of wastewater a year, Rolling Stone reported. That’s literally a river of waste — enough to replace all the water flowing from the Mississippi River into the Gulf of Mexico for more than two and a half days.

      1982 API report https://www.desmogblog.com/sites/beta.desmogblog.com/files/1982%20API%20Analysis%20of%20RADIONUCLIDES%20in%20oil%20and%20gas%20industry.pdf

  47. Gwailo Joe says:

    Big Oil Warned Trump Team China Trade Deal Was Unrealistic https://finance.yahoo.com/news/oil-chiefs-warned-trump-team-225644943.html
    The “phase one” deal signed by President Donald Trump on Jan. 15 calls for China to purchase an additional $52.4 billion in liquefied natural gas, crude oil, refined products and coal over the next two years. To do that, China would have to import an additional 1 million barrels per day of crude oil, 500,000 barrels per day of refined products and 100 tankers full of liquefied natural gas, the American Petroleum Institute cautioned last month in a closed-door meeting with the Energy Department. https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/16/business/us-china-phase-1-trade-deal-details/index.html
    Those amounts would strain shipping infrastructure and production capacity and would require China to purchase more crude oil than the federal government has predicted the U.S. would add in new production by 2021, the oil industry lobbying group said.

  48. Artifactual says:

    Donald Trump, Melania Knauss (later Trump), Jeffrey Epstein, and Ghislaine Maxwell at the Mar-a-Lago club, Palm Beach, Florida, 2000

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