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Showing posts from January 27, 2017

Today's Trumpery

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France prosecuting citizens for 'crimes of solidarity'

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[French citizens are facing prosecution and even jail time for helping refugees and migrants. "Their strategy is to exhaust us. And it's working." *RON*]
Kyle G Brown, Al Jazeera, 25 January 2017
Paris, France - Trying to ward off the overnight cold with a blanket donated by volunteers, Muktar Ali was sleeping rough in the north of Paris when at about 4:30am, the police returned. He and several other Eritreans say they were pushed, prodded and kicked by police clearing the area.

Stanford historian uncovers a grim correlation between violence and inequality over the millennia

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["It is almost universally true that violence has been necessary to ensure the redistribution of wealth at any point in time." Professor Walter Scheidel examines the history of peace and economic inequality over the past 10,000 years. *RON*]

Elena Dancu, Stanford News, 24 January 2017


What price do we pay for civilization? For Walter Scheidel, a professor of history and classics at Stanford, civilization has come at the cost of glaring economic inequality since the Stone Age. The sole exception, in his account, is widespread violence – wars, pandemics, civil unrest; only violent shocks like these have substantially reduced inequality over the millennia.

San Francisco is launching an experiment to give families free money

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[Much easier to implement and study on a local level. *RON*]

Chris Weller, Business Insider, 26 January 2017

A basic income experiment is coming to San Francisco, California.

Announced at a January 23 forum hosted by the city's Office of Financial Empowerment (OFE), a subsection of the Office of the Treasurer, the experiment will reportedly be a pilot program focused on families and children, Hoodline first reported.

Basic income is a wealth-distribution system that involves giving every citizen a fixed amount of money each month to cover basic living expenses. Advocate argue that by strengthening the social safety net, fewer people will be able to slip into poverty, ultimately creating healthier and happier societies.

Solar-energy jobs are growing 12 times as fast as the US economy

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[While Donald Trump signs off on Keystone XL, shouting "Jobs, jobs, jobs!" See also: President Trump’s inflated estimate for Keystone XL construction jobs. *RON*]

Dana Varinsky, Business Insider, 26 January 2017

If you're looking to switch careers, you may want to listen to the wind.

A new report says wind turbine technician is the fastest-growing profession in the US.

The growth in wind power is just one example of the rising employment numbers associated with the clean energy and sustainability sector. According to the report, published by the Environmental Defense Fund's Climate Corps program, the industry now has at least 4 million jobs, up from 3.4 million in 2011.

The Polluted Brain: Evidence builds that dirty air causes Alzheimer’s, dementia

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["I think [air pollution] will turn out to be just the same as tobacco—there’s no safe threshold." Air pollution, particularly in major cities such as Los Angeles, California, may promote brain inflammation and disease. *RON*]

Emily Underwood, Science, 26 January 2017

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA—In a barbed wire–enclosed parking lot 100 meters downwind of the Route 110 freeway, an aluminum hose sticks out of a white trailer, its nozzle aimed at an overpass. Every minute, the hose sucks up hundreds of liters of air mixed with exhaust from the roughly 300,000 cars and diesel-burning freight trucks that rumble by each day.

Crouched inside the trailer, a young chemical engineer named Arian Saffari lifts the lid off a sooty cylinder attached to the hose, part of a sophisticated filtration system that captures and sorts pollutants by size. Inside is a scientific payload: particles of sulfate, nitrate, ammonium, black carbon, and heavy metal at lea…