Showing posts from March 1, 2017

Remembering a City Where the Smog Could Kill

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[With the future of the EPA now in doubt, it's worth remembering what NYC was like before the agency and the movement it represented. *RON*]

Jim Dwyer, New York Times, 28 February 2017

Once upon a time, you could touch the air in New York. It was that filthy. No sensible person would put a toe in most of the waterways.

In 1964, Albert Butzel moved to New York City, which then had the worst air pollution among big cities in the United States.

“I not only saw the pollution, I wiped it off my windowsills,” Mr. Butzel, 78, an environmental lawyer, said. “You’d look at the horizon and it would be yellowish. It was business as normal.”

The Economics of Environmentalism

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Use your power as a consumer to shape capitalism. *RON*

Natalie Schmidt, Pensive Post, 25 February 2017

For some reason, years ago, someone decided that business and environmentalism should be mortal enemies.

Well, maybe that’s not quite how it happened. But some days, it feels like it.

Calls for environmental protection often include plans for regulations, particularly on businesses and their water, soil, and air pollution. But businesses usually like free markets, and free markets don’t like regulations.

These differing priorities have put these two sides in fierce competition, each viewing the other as the enemy: businesses often characterize environmental reforms as overzealous, impractical limits on their freedom, while activists depict business executives as cold, heartless misers.

Today's Trumpery

[A daily pastiche of Trumpisms and responses thereto. *RON*]

Trump to SEAL's widow: 'We will never forget Ryan', San Diego Union-Tribune [Grieving widow used as ratings-point sock-puppet. Cf., A Month Into Office, Trump's Job Approval Rating a Historic Low.]
12 Glaring Omissions, Contradictions and Lies Bernie Sanders Spotted in Trump's Address, AlterNet
Trump, Putin and the New Cold War, New Yorker [Probably the definitive piece so far]
Attorney general talks of sense 'we're in danger' from rising crime, ABC News ["There's a lot out there driving the sense that we're in danger" - I'll say; you and Donald]
Donald Trump moving forward with plans to kill National Endowment for the Arts, PBS and NPR, Consequence of Sound [These programs cost fractions of a penny on the dollar]
Decoding the Doublespeak of FCC Chairman Pai, Moyers & Company [Destroying the open Internet]

'We have never ceded our lands': First Nations in B.C.'s interior weigh impacts of Kinder Morgan pipeline

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[I'm going to a fund-raiser on Saturday and I'll post some photos if they let us take them in the theatre. *RON*]
Alyse Kotyk,, 28 February 2017
Kinder Morgan's controversial Trans Mountain pipeline is pitting First Nations and climate science against industry and the federal and B.C. governments. rabble's Alyse Kotyk is investigating how TMX will impact British Columbians in the lead-up to the May election. Read her first piece here.

Across B.C.'s interior, Indigenous communities are deciding whether or not they will support Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline project through mutual benefits agreements (MBA).

While most of the media attention has focused on the Coast Salish First Nations near the lower mainland's metropolitan areas, the majority of the pipeline crosses the traditional territories of interior First Nations, including the Secwepemc Nation in the Shuswap and the Nlaka'pamux to the west o…

Defense Against the Dark Arts: Networked Propaganda and Counter-Propaganda

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[Orwell was right: “We have always been at war with Eastasia” really does work, if there are enough people repeating it. *RON*]

Jonathan Stray,, 24 February 2017

In honor of MisinfoCon this weekend, it’s time for a brain dump on propaganda — that is, getting large numbers of people to believe something for political gain. Many of my journalist and technologist colleagues have started to think about propaganda in the wake of the US election, and related issues like “fake news” and organized trolling. My goal here is to connect this new wave of enthusiasm to history and research.

Border rights: what you need to know

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[Terrible that we should need to know any of this. *RON*]

Laura Track, BC Civil Liberties Association, 27 February 2017
Like many of you, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my rights at the border. In light of reports that numerousCanadians have been refused entry to the United States for unclear or troubling reasons recently, not to mention the possibility that US officials could start demanding social media passwords from would-be travellers, I’m worried about delays, refusal, and protecting my privacy. And as a white woman born in Canada with an Anglophone last name, I probably have a lot less to worry about than many others.

Your rights at the border have been extensivelycanvassed in a widerange of mediaarticles recently. We hope it’s useful to have this information available all in one place, but remember that the law can change and things are happening quickly, so don’t rely on this information for advice about your own specific situatio…