Pretty Picture and Some Links!
- Health, Science, & Technology
- Laziness isn’t why people are poor. And iPhones aren’t why they lack health care. "The real reasons people suffer poverty don't reflect well on the United States."
- A Neuroscientist On How to Tell Real Experts From ‘Experts’ A really good overview of what an expert is, how expertise works - and how to determine the boundaries.
- Bald Eagles Keep Dying And No One's Talking About It "The lead gets into the bodies of bald eagles — as well as owls and other kinds of raptors — after they've eaten dead animals shot by hunters who use lead bullets."
- Chief Environmental Justice Official at EPA Resigns, With Plea to Pruitt to Protect Vulnerable Communities "The head of the environmental justice program at the Environmental Protection Agency has stepped down, departing the government with a lengthy letter to Scott Pruitt, the EPA's new administrator, urging him not to kill the agency's programs."
- After all his good work, he probably feels dismayed and disheartened. I would, in his shoes: E.P.A. Head Stacks Agency With Climate Change Skeptics "Agency employees say morale has already been damaged. After working for years to draft climate change regulations under the Obama administration, many of those same career scientists and lawyers will be ordered to go back and undo them."
- Speaking of skeptics: EPA chief Scott Pruitt says carbon dioxide is not a primary contributor to global warming "The statement contradicts the public stance of the agency Pruitt leads.... Pruitt's view is also at odds with the opinion of NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration."
- What Cities Looked Like Before the EPA Also known as "Why we need to keep the EPA". Literally, rivers on fire, smog shrouded cities, birth defects from toxic waste in backyards.
- Related: Majority of Americans Oppose Weakening the EPA
- 'Just racist': EPA cuts will hit black and Hispanic communities the hardest "Donald Trump’s administration is proposing a 25% reduction in the EPA’s $8.1bn budget, eliminating nearly 3,000 jobs and several programs including the agency’s environmental justice office.... The environmental justice office is tasked with bridging the yawning disparity in pollution experienced by black, Hispanic and low-income communities and wealthier white neighborhoods."
- The Energy Star program is good for the climate and the economy. Trump wants to kill it anyway. "The program, which was created in 1992, sets an international standard for energy-efficient products, including heating and cooling systems, appliances, and electronics. Homes and other buildings may also receive Energy Star certification by meeting certain standards for energy efficiency. Since its inception, the Energy Star program says, it has saved consumers an estimated $430 billion on utility bills and avoided 2.7 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions. "
- The Sticky Truth about Modern Written Language : What heiroglyphics, emoji, and stickers have in common "There has been a lot of ink spilled about how stickers and emoji are bringing about the death of modern communication, but that draws an incorrect (and Western-biased, and frankly kind of racist) parallel: that language evolved from a logographic language (hieroglyphics, say) into an alphabetic language (English). In point of fact, English didn’t evolve from a logographic system at all; it’s a cousin, not a child."
- Briefly mentioned in the article and highly recommended by myself: Xu Bing's Book from the Ground: from point to point The simple story is told entirely with icons and images - and it is a lovely story.
- Rabbit hole in farmer's field leads to 'mystery caves' Neat!
- Gunmen dressed as medical personnel attack Kabul hospital "Gunmen disguised as medical personnel stormed a military hospital near the US Embassy in Kabul on Wednesday, killing at least 30 people in a six-hour siege before Afghan security forces killed the attackers, authorities said."
- Fire hits Guatemala children's shelter, killing at least 22 "The head of Guatemala's social welfare agency, Carlos Rodas, said youths at the shelter started rioting Tuesday in an effort to escape. Complaints about abuse and living conditions at the overcrowded shelter have been frequent. Then on Wednesday, about 9 a.m., 'Some of the adolescents lit their mattresses on fire,' Rodas said. 'We don't shirk responsibility, we accept it, but we can't get those lives back.'"
- U.S. News
- Not Trump
- Texas Bill Would Allow OBs To Withhold Information From Pregnant Women "The Texas Senate Committee and State Affairs voted this week to advance a controversial bill that would prevent parents from suing their care provider if their baby is born with disabilities, even if their doctor discovered the fetus’ condition and failed to disclose it."
- In Georgia, Democrats cry foul as House Republicans redraw district lines "HB 515 takes two, predominantly white, precincts from Jones’ district 53 and gives them to Rep. Rich Golick, R-Smyrna. In exchange, Jones gets two predominantly minority precincts." AKA, racial gerrymandering - which is unconstitutional.
- Related: Georgia Republicans Pass Racial Gerrymander to Kick Black Voters Out of GOP Districts "Is this legal? Almost certainly not! Under the Equal Protection Clause, Georgia is barred from using race as the 'predominant factor' in redistricting. Indeed, last Wednesday, the very same day Georgia Republicans introduced the bill, the Supreme Court affirmed that a gerrymander violates equal protection when a state 'subordinates traditional race-neutral districting principles to racial considerations' and views race as the key criterion in redistricting."
- New Hampshire Considering Sending Cops To Homes To Verify Voter Registrations "The bill under consideration would require those who register to vote to show some kind of proof that they intend to live in New Hampshire or sign an affidavit promising to show documentation in 10 or 30 days following the election. If a voter doesn’t provide that proof, officials could take several actions to verify that person’s address, including sending law enforcement there or requesting that the secretary of state send a letter." This, despite no evidence whatsoever of voter fraud in New Hampshire. Hey, look, voter intimidation! "'This shocking penalty, as well as the criminal investigations themselves, will deter individuals—especially those who may not have physical proof because they just moved—from voting through the same-day registration process.'"
- AMA Joins Increasingly Loud Chorus Of Health Groups Opposing GOP Repeal Bill "The American Medical Association just announced that it 'cannot support' the Republican bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act. The AMA announced its opposition in a letter Wednesday morning, hours before two House committees were set to mark up repeal legislation. It comes one day after a slew of patient advocacy and health industry groups including the American Hospital Association announced they were against the House GOP bill ― and it’s one more sign of political trouble for the Republican repeal effort."
- GOP tries to discredit agency reviewing its health care bill "Lawmakers of all stripes are anxiously waiting for the nonpartisan and highly respected Congressional Budget Office to issue its report of the GOP's Obamacare replacement bill, which will detail how much the measure will cost and how many millions of people stand to lose health coverage. But anticipating a report that isn't favorable to Republicans, the White House and GOP lawmakers are actively looking to delegitimize the agency's credibility."
- Flynn Admits Lobbying May Have Helped Turkey "President Donald Trump's former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, who was fired from his prominent White House job last month, has registered with the Justice Department as a foreign agent for $530,000 worth of lobbying work before Election Day that may have aided the Turkish government." Not shady at all.
- U.S. Is Sending About 400 Marines To Syria "These 400 troops will bring the number of U.S. forces on the ground in Syria to about 900, Phil says."
- Of Course Trump
- Meet the Hundreds of Officials Trump Has Quietly Installed Across the Government "The list we obtained includes obscure campaign staffers, contributors to Breitbart and others who have embraced conspiracy theories, as well as dozens of Washington insiders who could be reasonably characterized as part of the 'swamp' Trump pledged to drain."
- Hawaii Will Mount Legal Challenge To President's Revised Travel Ban "Hawaii's proposed lawsuit argues that while the language in Trump's revised executive order has changed, it is merely the president's latest effort to enact what he promised early in his campaign: a Muslim ban."