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Showing posts from August 2, 2017

Today's Trumpery

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[Welcome to the monkey house. A daily pastiche of Trumpisms and responses thereto. *RON*]


Warnings of 'Nuclear Nightmare' as Trump Escalates Tensions With World Powers, Common Dreams
Why the Trump dynasty will last sixteen years, Times Literary Supplement [Plenty to disagree with, but an interesting read]
Venezuela accuses Rubio, CIA of plotting to topple Caracas government, Miami Herald
From 9/11 to President Donald Trump: A Short History of World War IV, AlterNet
Team Trump's Bible Study: Weekly Worship Meeting at the White House, Common Dreams [American Taliban. See also: The White House Bible Study Isn’t a Problem (But the Instructor Is)]
New DOJ Memo Shows Trump Intensifying Assault on Civil Rights, Common Dreams [Trump Justice Department looks to begin "investigating and suing universities over affirmative action admissions policies deemed to discriminate against white applicants."]

Google’s chief search engineer legitimizes new censorship algorithm

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[Is censorship posing as a response to "Fake News"? *RON*]
Andre Damon, World Socialist Web Site, 31 July 2017
Between April and June, Google completed a major revision of its search engine that sharply curtails public access to Internet web sites that operate independently of the corporate and state-controlled media. Since the implementation of the changes, many left wing, anti-war and progressive web sites have experienced a sharp fall in traffic generated by Google searches. The World Socialist Web Site has seen, within just one month, a 70 percent drop in traffic from Google.

In a blog post published on April 25, Ben Gomes, Google’s chief search engineer, rolled out the new censorship program in a statement bearing the Orwellian title, “Our latest quality improvements for search.” This statement has been virtually buried by the corporate media. Neither the New York Timesnor the Wall Street Journal has reported the statement. The Was…

New ‘Monsanto Papers’ Add To Questions Of Regulatory Collusion, Scientific Mischief

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["Monsanto has deliberately been stopping studies that look bad for them, ghostwriting literature and engaging in a whole host of corporate malfeasance. They (Monsanto) have been telling everybody that these products are safe because regulators have said they are safe, but it turns out that Monsanto has been in bed with U.S. regulators while misleading European regulators." *RON*]
Carey Gillam, Huffington Post, 1 August 2017

The other shoe just dropped.

Four months after the publication of a batch of internal Monsanto Co. documents stirred international controversy, a new trove of company records was released early Tuesday, providing fresh fuel for a heated global debate over whether or not the agricultural chemical giant suppressed information about the potential dangers of its Roundup herbicide and relied on U.S. regulators for help.

More than 75 documents, including intriguing text messages and discussions about payments to scientists,…

Suicides of nearly 60,000 Indian farmers linked to climate change, study claims

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[Rising temperatures and the resultant stress on India’s agricultural sector may have contributed to increase in suicides over the past 30 years, research shows. *RON*]

Michael Safi, The Guardian, 31 July 2017

Climate change may have contributed to the suicides of nearly 60,000 Indian farmers and farm workers over the past three decades, according to new research that examines the toll rising temperatures are already taking on vulnerable societies.

Illustrating the extreme sensitivity of the Indian agricultural industry to spikes in temperature, the study from the University of California, Berkeley, found an increase of just 1C on an average day during the growing season was associated with 67 more suicides.
An increase of 5C on any one day was associated with an additional 335 deaths, the study published in the journal PNAS on Monday found. In total, it estimates that 59,300 agricultural sector suicides over the past 30 years could be attributed to…

Climate change before your eyes: Seas rise and trees die

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[Ghost forests are one of the most visible markers of climate change. *RON*]

Wayne Parry, Associated Press / ABC News, 1 August 2017

They're called "ghost forests" — dead trees along vast swaths of coastline invaded by rising seas, something scientists call one of the most visible markers of climate change.

The process has happened naturally for thousands of years, but it has accelerated in recent decades as polar ice melts and raises sea levels, scientists say, pushing salt water farther inland and killing trees in what used to be thriving freshwater plains.

Efforts are underway worldwide to determine exactly how quickly the creation of ghost forests is increasing. But scientists agree the startling sight of dead trees in once-healthy areas is an easy-to-grasp example of the consequences of climate change.

"I think ghost forests are the most obvious indicator of climate change anywhere on the Eastern coast of the U.S.," sai…

An anti-immigrant group mistook empty bus seats for women wearing burqas

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[Hilarious and repulsive in equal doses. *RON*]

Adam Taylor, Washington Post, 1 August 2017


Last week, a photograph that appeared to show six women wearing burqas on a bus sparked a heated debate in a private Facebook group for Norwegians critical of immigration.

For many members of the group, which is called “Fedrelandet viktigst” or “Fatherland first,” the image encapsulated the problems Norway was facing after an influx of Muslim immigrants in the past few years.

It also played into a continent-wide debate about Islamic dress across Europe. Norway's right-wing government recently proposed a law that would ban some forms of dress worn by Muslim women in schools and universities — the first Scandinavian country to do so.

The burqa, a long, loose veil worn by some Muslims in Afghanistan and other parts of South Asia, would be restricted under the law, as would the face-covering niqab more commonly worn in Arab countries. Masks and other items of …