Showing posts from July 15, 2017

Today's Trumpery


Iranian cancer researcher detained at Boston airport despite valid visa

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[Trump's America continues to bury the needle on the insane-o-metre. Mohsen Dehnavi, along with wife and three children, may be sent home, Boston children’s hospital says, two weeks after Trump’s travel ban took force. *RON*]
Saeed Kamali Dehghan, The Guardian, 14 July 2017

An Iranian cancer researcher traveling to the US on a valid visa has been detained at Boston Logan international airport with his wife and three children, two weeks after Donald Trump’s revised travel ban came into force.

Mohsen Dehnavi was traveling to the US to work as a visiting scholar at Bostonchildren’s hospital, which is affiliated with Harvard Medical School. But when he arrived on Monday afternoon, he was not allowed to enter the country and may now be sent home along with his family, according to a friend who was due to pick them up from the airport.

“An Iranian Harvard postdoc came to the Boston Logan airport today with his family. Now after 10h in the airport, th…

Oh boy, Florida residents can now challenge the science taught in public schools

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[In this, the hottest year in recorded history, see also: Chris Mooney (2012) The Republican Brain: The Science of Why They Deny Science--and Reality; and Charles P. Pierce (2009) Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free. *RON*]

Maria Galluvvi, Mashable, 2 July 2017

Parents have fought successfully over the years to ban books like the Harry Potter series and Catcher and the Rye from public schools. Now in Florida, residents could possibly do the same with textbooks about the science behind climate change and evolution.

Last week, Republican Gov. Rick Scott signed legislation that makes it easier for any Florida resident to object to classroom materials they don't like.

SEE ALSO: Climate researchers shot down Trump's EPA administrator in the nerdiest way imaginable

The statute, which took effect on Saturday, requires district school boards to hire an "unbiased and qualified hearing officer" who could de…

1,800 tons of radioactive waste has an ocean view and nowhere to go

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[Greed turns our entire planet into a terrible messy series of senseless and preventable disasters waiting to happen. *RON*]

Ralph Vartabedian, Photos Allen J. Schaben, Los Angeles Times, 2 July 2017
The massive, 150-ton turbines have stopped spinning. The mile-long cooling pipes that extend into the Pacific will likely become undersea relics. High voltage that once energized the homes of more than a million Californians is down to zero.

But the San Onofre nuclear power plant will loom for a long time as a landmark, its 1,800 tons of lethal radioactive waste stored on the edge of the Pacific and within sight of the busy 5 Freeway.

Across the site, deep pools of water and massive concrete casks confine high-power gamma radiation and other forms of radioactivity emitted by 890,000 spent fuel rods that nobody wants there.

And like the other 79,000 tons of spent fuel spread across the nation, San Onofre’s nuclear waste has nowhere to go.

The nation’…

Fraser Institute's Calgary Herald op-ed used 'B.S.' data to attack raising the minimum wage

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[See also David Lewis (2014) Science for Sale: How the US Government Uses Powerful Corporations and Leading Universities to Support Government Policies, Silence Top Scientists, Jeopardize Our Health, and Protect Corporate Profits; and Shawn Lawrence Otto (2011) Fool Me Twice: Fighting the Assault on Science in America. *RON*]

Press Progress, 12 July 2017

Another fire and miss from the Fraser Institute.

In its latest Calgary Herald op-ed attacking the idea of raising the minimum wage, the right-wing, pro-big business think tank tries to convince readers that raising the minimum wage will hurt the "vulnerable."

Never mind that millions of working Canadians can't make ends meet or that six-in-ten Canadians earning less than $15 per hour is now over the age of 25 or that nearly half work for large companies – particularly big retail chains.

To make their case why millions of Canadians should continue to struggle, the Fraser Institute implo…

Rise of income inequality in Canada ‘almost exclusive’ to major cities: study

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[Of course, most Canadians live in cities, and this is where economic activity is most concentrated. Their point is that inequality is at its strongest in the cities where most of us live. See also: 2 richest businessmen hold same wealth as 11 million Canadians: Oxfam report; and Should Canada have a maximum wage? *RON*]
Maham Abedi,, 14 July 2017

Income inequality in Canada is “almost exclusive” to major cities, while it’s “surprisingly equal” in the rest of the country, a recent study found.

Research by Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada) found that major cities such as Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary see the widest gap in wages.

“This rapid pace of urbanization is happening at a time when inequality is rising in our cities,” the study noted.

It added that the growth of inequality in major cities has been occurring since the mid-1970s.

Calgary’s inequality is four times higher than the national ave…