Cmnd+F: 1/2/2017

The good stuff. Jan. 2, 2017

Climate Change

Want to Survive Climate Change? You’ll Need a Good Community

Just as the temperature of a heat wave, the height of a storm surge, or the thickness of a levee, it’s the strength of a neighborhood that determines who lives and who dies in a disaster. Building against climate change can either support vibrant neighborhood conditions or undermine them.

Want to Survive Climate Change? You’ll Need a Good Community


https://twitter.com/mattharding51/status/815631889914621952

Indeed, most worrisome is that climatologists have been expecting just this kind of “jump” in global temperatures for a while. There is “a vast and growing body of research,” that “humanity is about to experience a historically unprecedented spike in temperatures.” One 2015 study concluded that we could even see Arctic warming rise an alarming 1 degree Fahrenheit per decade by the 2020s.

On (the) Media

Want to Survive Climate Change? You’ll Need a Good Community

Mainstream commentators suggested Trump’s working-class supporters would eventually feel betrayed by their candidate’s sudden lurch towards plutocracy. But judging by my sample size, the news from the #swamp wasn’t even coming across their computer screens…

In that regard they’re no different from other partisans. But there is a distinction between wearing political blinders, as we all do, and actively embracing ludicrous untruths manufactured for the purpose of making money. The tragic irony of the new credulousness is that it badly exacerbates the tribalism and distrust that turned so many fake news adherents against “establishment” politicians and journalists in the first place.

Other

Want to Survive Climate Change? You’ll Need a Good Community

The waves of protests in Portland, Los Angeles, Oakland, New York, Chicago, and Washington, D.C., in the days after the election look less like spontaneous outrage and more like a preview of what the next four years may hold. Unlike the specific protests that emerged during the Obama Administration, the post-election demonstrations have been directed at the general state of American democracy.

Want to Survive Climate Change? You’ll Need a Good Community

No single factor “explains” American political history, but this basic divide — North vs. South, free vs. slave, democracy vs. racist regime — comes the closest. The idea that we should celebrate the losing side in this long battle not only dishonors the brave warriors who finally defeated the forces of bigotry; it undermines the victory itself. And it was a resounding, triumphant victory, in both the Civil War and a century later.

To put it bluntly: The Confederates were the bad guys, as were their Jim Crow descendants. They lost, and the country is immeasurably better for it.

Want to Survive Climate Change? You’ll Need a Good Community

“Gutting the independent ethics office is exactly the wrong way to start a new Congress,” said Chris Carson, spokesperson for League of Women Voters, in a statement. “This opens the door for special interest corruption just as the new Congress considers taxes and major infrastructure spending.”

Want to Survive Climate Change? You’ll Need a Good Community

Want to Survive Climate Change? You’ll Need a Good Community

“Those people nowadays who say they would have stood up against the Nazis — I believe they are sincere in meaning that, but believe me, most of them wouldn’t have.” After the rise of the Nazi party, “the whole country was as if under a kind of a spell,” she insists.

The week in climate change

12/19— 12/25

Political

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/arctic-atlantic-drilling-obama-ban-permanent/

White House officials in a conference call with reporters said previous “indefinite withdrawals” remain in place and voiced confidence that Mr. Obama’s decision will stand.

Advocacy groups were already warning that they were prepared to file suit to protect the ban during future administrations.

Science/Effects

I can’t recommend this interview with James Hansen enough. Good points on the Paris agreement, a carbon fee and why Al Gore is too optimistic:

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/arctic-atlantic-drilling-obama-ban-permanent/

We’re close to that point of no return. Whether we’ve passed it or not, I don’t know…. We’ve passed it in the sense that some climate impacts are going to occur and some sea-level rise is going to occur, but we have not necessarily hit the disastrous level, which would knock down global economies and leave us with an ungovernable planet.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/arctic-atlantic-drilling-obama-ban-permanent/

The dramatic melting of Arctic ice is already driving extreme weather that affects hundreds of millions of people across North America, Europe and Asia.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/arctic-atlantic-drilling-obama-ban-permanent/

Even after adjusting for uncertainty, he writes, there is “virtually no chance” that nations will prevent the world from warming more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit), the upper bound for avoiding cascading catastrophes. With revisions to methods and data in the model, he estimates that the price associated with each ton of carbon dioxide emitted should be about 50 percent higher than the previous version of DICE.

Activism

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/arctic-atlantic-drilling-obama-ban-permanent/

What I witnessed is that a shift is underway the likes of which we have not experienced since the time of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense (BPP) and the American Indian Movement (AIM), when the oppressed peoples from all over the world are uniting in a common cause: to end the harmful exploitation of our peoples and planet, and caring for our world and peoples in such a way that ten generations from now our descendants will inherit a healthy and vibrant world to share…

When we arrived at the camp we were asked to set these feelings aside and to pray for the police, the army, the militias, and the mercenaries suppressing the people at Standing Rock. This was difficult for me, as it was for many others, too. Then I heard a report about one of the leaders of theInternational Indigenous Youth Council, speaking directly to how the people interact with the police during a prayer ceremony;

“It is our duty not to dehumanize others, as we seek to establish our own humanity.”

What I learned from this is that I am no better if I create the same trauma that I am seeking to overcome. I cannot become my enemy and still expect to overcome the oppression I suffer from my enemy. The means must be consistent with the ends, if the ends are to be just.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/arctic-atlantic-drilling-obama-ban-permanent/

“I think the most pressing issue is our inability as a species to get along, our inability to work together, our sort of amplification of religious ideas and our continued propagation of certain socioeconomic and geopolitical divides, and nationalism,” he says. Such deeply rooted socioeconomic and historical divisions cannot simply be wished away nor solved with art. And fighting to transcend these issues in the face of entrenched economic interests rooted in the fossil fuel industry — members of which are slated to occupy key positions in the Trump administration — is a growing rather than receding challenge for climate change activists.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/arctic-atlantic-drilling-obama-ban-permanent/

While climate change advocates often frame their message as a warning about the future of the planet, it might be more effective to speak about restoring the environment to its former glory. “Activists can use this research to more effectively market climate change science. We know that scientific evidence alone is often not an effective way to convince people,” says Baldwin. “Taking care to understand the audience and tailor the message to fit the audience is as important in science as it is in any other marketing domain.”

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/arctic-atlantic-drilling-obama-ban-permanent/

Climate change, like a lot of things, is scary. But if mental health professionals a tip for coping, it seems to be this: Talk about it. Share your feelings. And remember that we are all in this together.


Piers Sellers, 1955–2016

Leonardo DiCaprio interviews Dr. Piers Sellers. Credit: NASA/Goddard/Rebecca Roth

“Very quickly, I found out that I had no desire to jostle with wealthy tourists on Mount Everest, or fight for some yardage on a beautiful and exclusive beach, or all those other things one toys with on a boring January afternoon. Instead, I concluded that all I really wanted to do was spend more time with the people I know and love, and get back to my office as quickly as possible.” *

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/arctic-atlantic-drilling-obama-ban-permanent/

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/arctic-atlantic-drilling-obama-ban-permanent/

*

What should the rest of us do? Two things come to mind. First, we should brace for change. It is inevitable. It will appear in changes to the climate and to the way we generate and use energy. Second, we should be prepared to absorb these with appropriate sang-froid. Some will be difficult to deal with, like rising seas, but many others could be positive. New technologies have a way of bettering our lives in ways we cannot anticipate. There is no convincing, demonstrated reason to believe that our evolving future will be worse than our present, assuming careful management of the challenges and risks. History is replete with examples of us humans getting out of tight spots. The winners tended to be realistic, pragmatic and flexible; the losers were often in denial of the threat.

Other

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/arctic-atlantic-drilling-obama-ban-permanent/
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/arctic-atlantic-drilling-obama-ban-permanent/

In Colorado it’s born out through diminished snowpack in the mountains, drought and heat-induced wildfires and pine beetles and now spruce beetles devastating our forests. Although 2016 was a great year in the state for precipitation, the EPA says April snowpack has declined by 23 percent over the past 61 years in the West in part due to warming temperatures.

Even more startling are changes at the top and bottom of the world. In the Arctic, water temperatures are as much as 9 degrees warmer than the 30-year average, and sea ice late in the year has been at a record minimum. In the Antarctic, glacial melting is happening at a startling rate, threatening unprecedented seal level rise.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/arctic-atlantic-drilling-obama-ban-permanent/

The city of Las Vegas is now drawing 100 percent of its power from renewable energy sources, a goal officials have been working toward for the better part of a decade.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/arctic-atlantic-drilling-obama-ban-permanent/

Cmnd+F: 12/21/2016

Everything worth reading for Wednesday, Dec. 21.

Pixabay

Trump and Related

http://www.npr.org/2016/12/20/506210163/the-richest-administration-in-history-just-got-richer

Trump plans to nominate a wealthy financial executive, Vincent Viola, to be secretary of the Army. Viola would be at least the fourth Trump nominee with a net worth in the billions. And that’s not counting Trump’s own 10-figure fortune.

http://www.npr.org/2016/12/20/506210163/the-richest-administration-in-history-just-got-richer

No candidate talked much about automation on the campaign trail. Technology is not as convenient a villain as China or Mexico, there is no clear way to stop it, and many of the technology companies are in the United States and benefit the country in many ways…

Another analysis, from Ball State University, attributed roughly 13 percent of manufacturing job losses to trade and the rest to enhanced productivity because of automation. Apparel making was hit hardest by trade, it said, and computer and electronics manufacturing was hit hardest by technological advances…

The changes are not just affecting manual labor: Computers are rapidly learning to do some white-collar and service-sector work, too. Existing technology could automate 45 percent of activities people are paid to do, according to a July report by McKinsey. Work that requires creativity, management of people or caregiving is least at risk.

Organizing

http://www.npr.org/2016/12/20/506210163/the-richest-administration-in-history-just-got-richer

[W]hatever form it takes, no coalition or movement can function without a base. And building a base today means defending marginalized communities against the forces of white supremacy and neoliberalism, while also shoring up their power so that they’re never compelled to capitulate to corporations or neoliberal solutions…

Much of the recent discourse on whiteness has focused on privilege and being a “good ally” within black, brown, and queer movements. There is undoubtedly value in this, and any cross-racial movement we build now must prioritize the voices of the communities most impacted by America’s racial capitalism. But there is also value — and urgency — in dismantling white supremacy among the white working class, who also stand to lose under the anti-labor, anti-environment and anti-democratic policies the Trump administration has promised.

http://www.npr.org/2016/12/20/506210163/the-richest-administration-in-history-just-got-richer

[I]f there’s a more organized political effort in 2018 and 2020, it will have to incorporate a deep, pervasive structural program to subordinate corporations to humans under the law and the Constitution

An interesting note regarding Brand New Congress:

There’s also a Green Party candidate [Matt Funiciello] who could be a sure winner. The press loves him. He’s articulate on more issues than you can believe. And the Democrats weren’t smart enough to come to him and say, “What does it matter, Green or Republican, we’re going to support you because you can win in a two-way race.” Now what is Brand New Congress going to do? They want to support Democrats.

On (the) Media

https://www.facebook.com/AETV/videos/10154753009859799/

This is a TV show and it’s definitely going to be problematic/disappointing. Expect hot takes by the dozens after each episode. Also- there are probably so many kids in the same circumstances as the daughter in this trailer. That’s sad.

https://cms.megaphone.fm/channel/ezrakleinshow?selected=PP4836388054

This interview is really, really good. For my journo/writer friends — they get into writing career advice in the last 10 minutes.

http://www.npr.org/2016/12/20/506210163/the-richest-administration-in-history-just-got-richer

Isn’t the answer here that sustained efforts at total delegitimization, no matter how deranged, is actually the path back to power?

Climate Change

This is the biggest piece of news in this whole post:

http://www.npr.org/2016/12/20/506210163/the-richest-administration-in-history-just-got-richer

It’s totally unclear how (not)permanent these restrictions are. I suspect this is actually a legitimate setback for offshore drilling expansion because the court battles over that question will last years and cost millions.

The American Petroleum Institute pointed to 2008 when President George W. Bush used a simple memorandum to remove previously withdrawn lands and make all Outer Continental Shelf lands available for leasing except marine sanctuaries…

But White House officials in a conference call with reporters said previous “indefinite withdrawals” remain in place and voiced confidence that Mr. Obama’s decision will stand.

Advocacy groups were already warning that they were prepared to file suit to protect the ban during future administrations.

http://www.npr.org/2016/12/20/506210163/the-richest-administration-in-history-just-got-richer

Other

http://www.npr.org/2016/12/20/506210163/the-richest-administration-in-history-just-got-richer

9 million prime-age working men in our country are out of work. 7 million of them have stopped looking for work completely.

http://www.npr.org/2016/12/20/506210163/the-richest-administration-in-history-just-got-richer

[A]t least one of the two great powers of the 20th century intervened in about 1 of every 9 competitive, national-level executive elections [during the Cold War].

http://www.npr.org/2016/12/20/506210163/the-richest-administration-in-history-just-got-richer


Note: If you enjoy anything in this post, especially if its from an article, please click the link — even if you don’t (intend to) read the whole thing — to at least give the author/source the page view.

Cmnd+F: 12/20

you already know


Trump and Related

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-electoralcollege-idUSKBN1480FQ

At least four Democratic electors voted for someone other than Clinton, while two Republicans turned their backs on Trump.

With nearly all votes counted, Trump had clinched 304 electoral votes to Clinton’s 227, according to an Associated Press tally of the voting by 538 electors across the country.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-electoralcollege-idUSKBN1480FQ

The findings unambiguously debunk repeated statements by President-elect Donald J. Trump that millions of illegal voters backed his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton. They also refute warnings by Republican governors in Maine and North Carolina that election results could not be trusted.

And they underscore what researchers and scholars have said for years: Fraud by voters casting ballots illegally is a minuscule problem, but a potent political weapon.

via GayRVA

via the Atlantic

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-electoralcollege-idUSKBN1480FQ

International

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-electoralcollege-idUSKBN1480FQ

“Don’t forget Aleppo! Don’t forget Syria!” the man can be heard screaming. “Until they are safe, you will not taste safety! Go back, go back, only death will take me from here. All those who have taken part in this cruelty will pay one by one!”

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-electoralcollege-idUSKBN1480FQ

Investigators said they suspect the driver of a truck that plowed into a crowd at a Berlin Christmas market, killing 12 people and injuring 48, did so in a deliberate terrorist attack, and Chancellor Angela Merkel said he may have been an asylum-seeker.

https://twitter.com/MazMHussain/status/810938709965152256https://twitter.com/MahirZeynalov/status/811051583026802688

Climate Change

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-electoralcollege-idUSKBN1480FQ

While climate change advocates often frame their message as a warning about the future of the planet, it might be more effective to speak about restoring the environment to its former glory. “Activists can use this research to more effectively market climate change science. We know that scientific evidence alone is often not an effective way to convince people,” says Baldwin. “Taking care to understand the audience and tailor the message to fit the audience is as important in science as it is in any other marketing domain.”

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-electoralcollege-idUSKBN1480FQ
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-electoralcollege-idUSKBN1480FQ

On (the) Media

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-electoralcollege-idUSKBN1480FQ

Mussolini’s success in Italy normalized Hitler’s success in the eyes of the American press who, in the late 1920s and early 1930s, routinely called him “the German Mussolini.” Given Mussolini’s positive press reception in that period, it was a good place from which to start. Hitler also had the advantage that his Nazi party enjoyed stunning leaps at the polls from the mid ‘20’s to early ‘30’s, going from a fringe party to winning a dominant share of parliamentary seats in free elections in 1932.

But the main way that the press defanged Hitler was by portraying him as something of a joke. He was a “nonsensical” screecher of “wild words” whose appearance, according to Newsweek, “suggests Charlie Chaplin.” His “countenance is a caricature.” He was as “voluble” as he was “insecure,” stated Cosmopolitan.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-electoralcollege-idUSKBN1480FQ

This is a great interview

Other

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-electoralcollege-idUSKBN1480FQ

The trail of painkillers leads to West Virginia’s southern coalfields, to places like Kermit, population 392. There, out-of-state drug companies shipped nearly 9 million highly addictive — and potentially lethal — hydrocodone pills over two years to a single pharmacy in the Mingo County town…

As the fatalities mounted — hydrocodone and oxycodone overdose deaths increased 67 percent in West Virginia between 2007 and 2012 — the drug shippers’ CEOs collected salaries and bonuses in the tens of millions of dollars. Their companies made billions. McKesson has grown into the fifth-largest corporation in America. The drug distributor’s CEO was the nation’s highest-paid executive in 2012, according to Forbes…

Between 2007 and 2012 — when McKesson, Cardinal Health and AmerisourceBergen collectively shipped 423 million pain pills to West Virginia, according to DEA data analyzed by the Gazette-Mail — the companies earned a combined $17 billion in net income.

Over the past four years, the CEOs of McKesson, Cardinal Health and AmerisourceBergen collectively received salaries and other compensation of more than $450 million.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-electoralcollege-idUSKBN1480FQ

The palpable delight that many boomers display when they ridicule millennials calls into question how they feel about their own children, but it also indicates that they long ago filed for divorce from the truth. Because the dopamine rush of mocking young people is so irresistible, no one bothers to actually investigate the veracity of the charges against the so called “snowflake generation.”

Anyone who has spent time teaching in the college classroom would relate to my testimony that the biggest problem of political participation among American youth is that it does not exist. Too many college students are apathetic — not only about politics, but about the arts, and history and culture in general.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-electoralcollege-idUSKBN1480FQ

No DC house venues have been shut down, but their inclusion on lists of “places to research” is alarming members of the local punk scene.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-electoralcollege-idUSKBN1480FQ

Last Week in Climate Change

What was new in climate change: 12/13 — 12/18

Svein T veitdal

Trump and Related

  • This is the most important link on this page:

View at Medium.com

The difference between the Carbon Bubble deflating rapidly now and popping spectacularly in a decade or more could mean literally trillions more dollars in profits for the kind of people now helicoptering into Washington.

But that same delay would also bring on climate catastrophe, damage our democracy and bring financial ruin for the investors who are left holding those assets when the bubble pops. If history is any guide, those investors will be pensions and mutual funds and small timers — in other words, regular people…

Journalists are unused to thinking about climate change as being an economic and financial issue — much less the core political issue of our day — so for a lot of us this whole problem is invisible, despite the credibility of everyone pointing it out. It sounds like a conspiracy theory, frankly, because we are so cognitively unprepared to see the Bubble in front of us. That we are so blind to these risks is a tragedy.

View at Medium.com

Trump has already made it pretty clear that he would like to undo the Paris Climate Agreement. CEI lays out a plan for doing so by reclassifying the agreement as a treaty requiring ratification in the Senate, which would almost certainly fail to receive the necessary two thirds vote…

CEI also calls for overturning the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, which includes carbon dioxide and other pollution standards for power plants. If Congress can’t dismantle the actual Clean Power Plan rule, which the report describes as “an unlawful power grab that will increase consumer electricity prices,” the think tank suggests a plan B, defunding the EPA’s implementation of it.

View at Medium.com

[Under Tillerson] Exxon shifted from its public position of doubting climate change to declaring that there is “no question” that human activity was the source of carbon dioxide emissions contributing to the phenomenon…

After Tillerson took over, the company backed a tax on carbon dioxide emissions, implemented an internal accounting measure to put a fee on carbon emissions and stopped funding many groups that outright reject the scientific consensus behind climate change, all major shifts away from its previous positions.

Exxon endorsed last year’s agreement in Paris on global warming.

That doesn’t mean anyone should be putting any faith in him to change Trump’s views (or do anything not terrible), however:

Tillerson nonetheless disagrees with environmentalists’ views that fighting climate change means using less fossil fuels. Instead, Exxon looks at solutions like replacing coal with natural gas — which the company produces — and adapting to the effects of a changing world.

View at Medium.com

“There is no doubt that Rick Perry is completely unfit to run an agency he sought to eliminate — and couldn’t even name. Perry is a climate change denier, opposes renewable energy even as it has boomed in Texas, and doesn’t even believe CO2 is a pollutant,” League of Conservation Voters President Gene Karpinski said in a statement. “Not only that, he is deep in the pocket of Big Polluters, who have contributed over $2.5 million to his presidential campaigns, a disturbing sign that they expected him to protect their profits in office, not do what’s best for the American people.”

Perry sits on the board of Energy Transfer Partners, the firm that is trying to complete work on the Dakota Access Pipeline on the Great Plains.

Science

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nqQVBmMMgEw

This is kind of an incredible clip.

View at Medium.com

Drinking water can be affected at any stage of the fracking process, the report notes, from acquiring the water that will be used to injecting it into production wells and disposing of the wastewater afterward. Impacts are generally seen at sites close to production wells.

View at Medium.com

A number of independent groups of scientists, technologists and journalists are working to get a snapshot of crucial U.S. government datasets and mirror it on private servers should access be curtailed…

American data is crucial for understanding everything from big questions about how carbon dioxide moves around the globe to tiny ones like how tides are affecting sand crabs on South Padre Island in Texas. Its usefulness extends beyond pure science questions to ones about infrastructure, forest management, climate negotiations and insurance rates…

“What strikes me the most over those 20 years is that even when researchers aren’t specifically looking for evidence of climate change or anthropogenic influence, they often find it,” said Laura Naranjo, a science writer at the National Snow and Ice Data Center…

View at Medium.com

“We are going to respect the professional and scientific integrity and independence of our employees at our labs and across our department,”
– Energy spokesman Eben Burnham-Snyder

Effects

View at Medium.com

The world’s tallest animal is at risk of extinction after suffering a devastating decline in numbers, with nearly 40% of giraffes lost in the last 30 years, according to the latest “red list” analysis…

The natural world is in the midst of a mass extinction as wild places are destroyed by conversion to farmland, mining and pollution, and animals are hunted in huge numbers. In October, a major analysis found the number of wild creatures was on track to fall by two-thirds by 2020, compared to 1970. Recent red list updates have found the eastern Gorilla and whale shark moving closer to extinction, while the prospects of the giant panda are improving.

Energy

View at Medium.com

The overall shift to clean energy can be more expensive in wealthier nations, where electricity demand is flat or falling and new solar must compete with existing billion-dollar coal and gas plants. But in countries that are adding new electricity capacity as quickly as possible, “renewable energy will beat any other technology in most of the world without subsidies,” said Liebreich.

View at Medium.com

This is likely the first time an American city has wielded its zoning code to halt such a large array of fossil fuel projects. Under the new ordinance, which will take effect next month, new large terminals for transporting and storing coal, methanol and various natural gas and oil products can’t be built in the city. The rules also forbid expansion of Portland’s 11 existing facilities — one liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant and 10 terminals for petroleum fuels.

View at Medium.com

Other

View at Medium.com

As a scientific concept, the Anthropocene is ambiguous and disputed. As a political and ethical concept, it is sharper: it means we have take responsibility for a world we partly create. Simple “preservation of the world,” as Thoreau named it, is not an option anymore, just as nothing today is truly wild…

I’ve been wondering, though, whether we can’t have a Thoreau for the Anthropocene, a Thoreau who is less interested in wilderness than in how to live with, relate to and value a world we have irrevocably changed, a world where nothing is really separate from us. I like this idea because the Anthropocene needs its own cultural history, its environmental texts.

https://twitter.com/MatthewCNovak1/status/810193330432774144

Cmnd+F: 12/16/2016

What a (news) day.. Here’s everything worth reading on Dec. 16, 2016

Pixabay

What is Command+F?


Trump and Related

The Donald announced his pick for ambassador to Israel… and he almost couldn’t be worse. David M Friedman wants to expand settlements in Palestinian territory, thinks Israel should annex the West Bank altogether, and has advocated for the American embassy to be moved to Jerusalem. (The Trump team reiterated that it also wants to see the embassy relocated, on Friday)

He also compared the Jewish, “pro-peace” J Street lobbying group to Nazi collaborators:

They are far worse than kapos — Jews who turned in their fellow Jews in the Nazi death camps. The kapos faced extraordinary cruelty and who knows what any of us would have done under those circumstances to save a loved one? But J Street? They are just smug advocates of Israel’s destruction delivered from the comfort of their secure American sofas — it’s hard to imagine anyone worse.

— Friedman, Arutz Sheva

The Anti-Semitism Awareness Act incorporates a definition of anti-Semitism which, among other things, considers Israel/Nazi comparisons anti-Semitic. Surely, the spirit of the law also includes other comparisons of Jewish institutions to Nazis or their collaborators, yes?

The ASAA does not contain an “unless you’re a right-winger” carve out. Once again, there’s an opportunity for Jewish organizations to demonstrate that they’re unafraid to call out anti-Semitic rhetoric when it emerges from the right.

— David Schraub, Haaretz

Matt Taibbi on Goldman Sach’s infiltration of the executive:

His chief strategist, the unabashed white-supremacist loon Steve Bannon, is a former Goldman banker, as is adviser Anthony Scaramucci. Steve Mnuchin marks the fourth Goldman-pedigreed treasury secretary in the last four presidencies, after Bob Rubin, Lawrence Summers and Hank Paulson.

But the real shocker is the recent appointment of Goldman Chief Operating Officer Gary Cohn to the post of director of the National Economic Council. Bannon and Mnuchin were former, past Goldmanites. Cohn, meanwhile, is undoubtedly at least the number-two figure at the world’s most despised bank, if not the outright co-head with Blankfein. He has been at the center of many of its most infamous episodes, including the Greek affair.

So much for draining the swamp.

Russian Hacking v. American Democracy

The case that Russia interfered in the U.S. election has grown stronger, at least symbolically. No damning evidence has been released, but the FBI and Office of the Director of National Intelligence — which oversees American intelligence agencies — both now support the CIA’s assessment that the Kremlin was involved.

At a press conference Friday, Obama said that he had told Russian President Vladmir Putin to “cut it out,” regarding Russian hacking as early as September. He also said he didn’t publicly retaliate to protect the integrity of the election.

On the same day, Putin called for the U.S. government to either released evidence of Russian involvement or stop talking about it:

“They should either stop talking about that or produce some proof at last. Otherwise it all begins to look unseemly.”

– Putin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov, via CNN

In an op-ed for the Boston Globe, John Shattuck went so far as to say that a “specter of treason hovers over” the president-elect:

By denigrating or seeking to prevent an investigation of the Russian cyberattack Trump is giving aid or comfort to an enemy of the United States, a crime that is enhanced if… he is in fact seeking to cover up his staff’s or his own involvement in or prior knowledge of the attack.

Climate Change

Exxon Mobil CEO and Trump pick for secretary of state Rex Tillerson may not be as anti-science as many initially feared. Via The Hill:

[Under Tillerson] Exxon shifted from its public position of doubting climate change to declaring that there is “no question” that human activity was the source of carbon dioxide emissions contributing to the phenomenon…

After Tillerson took over, the company backed a tax on carbon dioxide emissions, implemented an internal accounting measure to put a fee on carbon emissions and stopped funding many groups that outright reject the scientific consensus behind climate change, all major shifts away from its previous positions.

Exxon endorsed last year’s agreement in Paris on global warming.

That doesn’t mean anyone should be putting any faith in him to change Trump’s views (or do anything not terrible), however:

Tillerson nonetheless disagrees with environmentalists’ views that fighting climate change means using less fossil fuels. Instead, Exxon looks at solutions like replacing coal with natural gas — which the company produces — and adapting to the effects of a changing world.

Giraffes are on their way out… of existence. 
From the Guardian:

The world’s tallest animal is at risk of extinction after suffering a devastating decline in numbers, with nearly 40% of giraffes lost in the last 30 years, according to the latest “red list” analysis…

The natural world is in the midst of a mass extinction as wild places are destroyed by conversion to farmland, mining and pollution, and animals are hunted in huge numbers. In October, a major analysis found the number of wild creatures was on track to fall by two-thirds by 2020, compared to 1970. Recent red list updates have found the eastern Gorilla and whale shark moving closer to extinction, while the prospects of the giant panda are improving.

Other

Dylan Roof, the man who massacred nine black churchgoers last year, was convicted on 33 counts in U.S. district court yesterday. According to NBC News, the jury will reconvene on Jan. 3 to decide whether Roof will face the death penalty or the rest of his left behind bars.

From Chris Hayes’ piece in The Nation, regarding Obama’s presidency:

By the end of Obama’s two terms, wages were growing at their fastest pace in 60 years, unemployment was down to 4.6 percent, and 20 million more people had health insurance. Life had improved — tangibly, if at the margins — for millions…

[T]he Democratic Party under Obama became associated with institutionalism. Its message was: Things are getting better; America still works; just hang on, because daybreak is around the corner. This allowed the Republicans — the party of plutocracy and deregulation and the US Chamber of Commerce — to become, in the person of Donald J. Trump, the insurrectionist party, the party of those who believe, as Trump said so many times, that “the system is rigged.”

Jeff Sharlett (who I’m a hug fan of) wrote a great piece on antisemitism:

And here’s your Moment of Zen:


Note: If you enjoy anything in this post, especially if its from an article, please click the link — even if you don’t (intend to) read the whole thing — to at least give the author/source the page view.

CMND+F: 12/14/2016

All the news that was fit to p̶r̶i̶n̶t̶ get put on the Internet… for December 14, 2016

ANNE HIDALGO/TWITTER

Syria

The Cease-Fire in Syria Is, For Now, Back On

The initial cease-fire deal, which Russian officials earlier said would have allowed rebels to leave Aleppo and provided humanitarian “arrangements” to civilians, fell apart Wednesday morning. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, shelling and airstrikes prevented the evacuations from even beginning.

The Cease-Fire in Syria Is, For Now, Back On

This has some good links to charities^

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_2-ycehCnuM

At 2:35 Graham starts explaining why Syrian refugees shouldn’t come to the U.S., and 3:20 he brushes off the fact that Russia may be responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths…

Trump and Related

The Cease-Fire in Syria Is, For Now, Back On

(Don’t sleep on Michael Moore. He called the election perfectly.)

To you, Mr. Trump, I say this: When this next terrorist attack takes place, it is YOU who will be charged by the American people with a gross dereliction of duty. It was YOUR job to pay attention, to protect the country. But you were too busy tweeting and defending Putin and appointing cabinet members to dismantle the government. You didn’t have time for the daily national security briefing.

The Cease-Fire in Syria Is, For Now, Back On

The bookers, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said they were approached by members of Trump’s Presidential Inaugural Committee in recent weeks with offers of cash or even plush diplomatic posts in exchange for locking in singers.

The Cease-Fire in Syria Is, For Now, Back On

It’s significant that Don Jr. took a hands-on role in hiring a Cabinet secretary. Either Trump’s boys — Don and Eric — are running the Trump Organization, or they’re helping advise their father, the next president of the United States. Doing both is exactly what Republicans and Democrats alike are worried about. If he’s running the company, why is he helping his father assemble his Cabinet?

https://twitter.com/ezraklein/status/808759992815861762

On (the) Media

The Cease-Fire in Syria Is, For Now, Back On

This is the best writing about the NRA I’ve ever come across.

The 1980s and early ’90s saw a surge in gun violence as crime increased, and the facts on how guns were used in America were not in the NRA’s favor. Numerous studies into the causes and prevalence of gun deaths clearly showed that access to firearms made a difference, and that guns were statistically likelier to harm their owners than to successfully be used in self-defense. None of this information necessarily meant that the NRA was wrong about the Second Amendment conferring an individual right, or even wrong to promote gun ownership. But it had no good answers for how to slow the pace of violent crime carried out with guns.

So the gun lobby adopted an age-old strategy: Destroy the credibility of the institutions that would challenge it, through direct attacks, and then create a competing set of “facts.” Crime was up because government was incompetent and heavy-handed. The alleged dangers of personal firearms were fictions created by reporters and researchers with anti-freedom agendas. Only your weapons and your lobby could help you.

Climate Change

The Cease-Fire in Syria Is, For Now, Back On

A number of independent groups of scientists, technologists and journalists are working to get a snapshot of crucial U.S. government datasets and mirror it on private servers should access be curtailed…

American data is crucial for understanding everything from big questions about how carbon dioxide moves around the globe to tiny ones like how tides are affecting sand crabs on South Padre Island in Texas. Its usefulness extends beyond pure science questions to ones about infrastructure, forest management, climate negotiations and insurance rates…

“What strikes me the most over those 20 years is that even when researchers aren’t specifically looking for evidence of climate change or anthropogenic influence, they often find it,” said Laura Naranjo, a science writer at the National Snow and Ice Data Center…

The Cease-Fire in Syria Is, For Now, Back On

Perry has been a vocal advocate for the Dakota Access Pipeline. In early 2015 — just days before he joined ETP’s board and four months before he officially launched his presidential bid — Perry said on local Iowa TV that he favored building the pipeline, which would pass through Iowa if completed. “We probably have as safe a pipeline industry in the country as there is in the world,” he boasted.

The Cease-Fire in Syria Is, For Now, Back On

“We are going to respect the professional and scientific integrity and independence of our employees at our labs and across our department,”
– Energy spokesman Eben Burnham-Snyder

Other

The Cease-Fire in Syria Is, For Now, Back On

A report by the group Cluster Munitions Monitor found that civilians made up 97 percent of all worldwide cluster bomb casualties, primarily due to their use by the Assad government in Syria and the U.S.-backed bombing coalition in Yemen.

Due to their civilian toll, cluster bombs were banned by a 2008 treaty signed by 119 countries, but not by the U.S., Russia, and Saudi Arabia.

The U.S. has sold hundreds of millions of dollars worth of cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia in recent years. In 2010, the State Department authorized the sale of 1,300 CBU-105 bombs to Saudi Arabia as part of a $30 billion arms sale, and in 2011, another 400, for $355 million.

The Cease-Fire in Syria Is, For Now, Back On

It must be stated plainly: The U.S. intelligence community must make its evidence against Russia public if they want us to believe their claims. The integrity of our presidential elections is vital to the country’s survival; blind trust in the CIA is not.

Command+F: 12/13/2016

Everything worth reading on December 13, 2016


What is Cmnd+F?

Trump and Related


https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/12/13/trump-taps-former-texas-gov-rick-perry-to-head-energy-department-he-once-vowed-to-abolish/?utm_term=.76e350926183

[Trump is] seeking to put the former Texas governor in control of an agency whose name he forgot during a presidential debate even as he vowed to abolish it…

“The fact that Gov. Perry refuses to accept the broad scientific consensus on climate change calls into question his fitness to head up a science-based agency like DOE,” said Ken Kimmell, president of the Union of Concerned Scientists. But, he added, as governor Perry “increased the ambition of the state’s Renewable Energy Standard, directed state funds to innovative wind energy R&D initiatives, and created a ‘Competitive Renewable Energy Zone’ that helped expand transmission of renewables, bringing clean wind energy from rural communities to new state markets.”

Climate Change

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/12/13/trump-taps-former-texas-gov-rick-perry-to-head-energy-department-he-once-vowed-to-abolish/?utm_term=.76e350926183

Drinking water can be affected at any stage of the fracking process, the report notes, from acquiring the water that will be used to injecting it into production wells and disposing of the wastewater afterward. Impacts are generally seen at sites close to production wells.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/12/13/trump-taps-former-texas-gov-rick-perry-to-head-energy-department-he-once-vowed-to-abolish/?utm_term=.76e350926183

North Dakota officials estimate more than 176,000 gallons of crude oil leaked from the Belle Fourche Pipeline into the Ash Coulee Creek.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/12/13/trump-taps-former-texas-gov-rick-perry-to-head-energy-department-he-once-vowed-to-abolish/?utm_term=.76e350926183

688 institutions and nearly 60,000 individuals in 76 countries [have divested] themselves of shares in at least some kinds of oil, gas and coal companies, according to the report.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/12/13/trump-taps-former-texas-gov-rick-perry-to-head-energy-department-he-once-vowed-to-abolish/?utm_term=.76e350926183

Having an independent repository of the sum total of American knowledge of the climate system will serve as a testament to future fundraising efforts, if necessary, to support universities or other nongovernmental organizations to continue the (previously public) practice of climate science in the United States. I see our efforts as a firewall against a hostile administration: The more we can preserve before Trump takes power, the less incentive he has to stand in the way of science.

On (the) Media

This is a really good take on the Tomi Lahren “Daily Show” interview.


https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/12/13/trump-taps-former-texas-gov-rick-perry-to-head-energy-department-he-once-vowed-to-abolish/?utm_term=.76e350926183
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/12/13/trump-taps-former-texas-gov-rick-perry-to-head-energy-department-he-once-vowed-to-abolish/?utm_term=.76e350926183

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/12/13/trump-taps-former-texas-gov-rick-perry-to-head-energy-department-he-once-vowed-to-abolish/?utm_term=.76e350926183

While the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) does not dispute the CIA’s analysis of Russian hacking operations, it has not endorsed their assessment because of a lack of conclusive evidence that Moscow intended to boost Trump over Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton, said the officials, who declined to be named…

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, whose evidentiary standards require it to make cases that can stand up in court, declined to accept the CIA’s analysis — a deductive assessment of the available intelligence — for the same reason…

“It’s obvious that the Russians hacked into our campaigns,” [John]McCain said. “But there is no information that they were intending to affect the outcome of our election and that’s why we need a congressional investigation,” he told Reuters.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/12/13/trump-taps-former-texas-gov-rick-perry-to-head-energy-department-he-once-vowed-to-abolish/?utm_term=.76e350926183

The current discourse on this issue is plagued by partisan gibberish — there is a disturbing trend emerging that dictates that if you don’t believe Russia hacked the election or if you simply demand evidence for this tremendously significant allegation, you must be a Trump apologist or a Soviet agent.

The reality, however, is that Trump’s reference to the Iraq War and the debacle over weapons of mass destruction is both utterly cynical and a perfectly valid point. U.S. intelligence agencies have repeatedly demonstrated that they regularly both lie and get things horribly wrong. In this case they may well be correct, but they cannot expect Americans to simply take their word for it.

Other

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/12/13/trump-taps-former-texas-gov-rick-perry-to-head-energy-department-he-once-vowed-to-abolish/?utm_term=.76e350926183

Ignore the title of this video. It provides an interesting glimpse into the minds of Trump supporters as well as Bernie Sanders’ take on Trump’s campaign promises:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/12/13/trump-taps-former-texas-gov-rick-perry-to-head-energy-department-he-once-vowed-to-abolish/?utm_term=.76e350926183

The new abortion regulations, which will take effect in 90 days unless a court halts them, will make it a fourth-degree felony for a physician to perform an abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy when the fetus is viable. The crime is punishable by up to 18 months in prison. A conviction also would result in the loss of a physician’s medical license.


Note: If you enjoy anything in this post, especially if its from an article, please click the link — even if you don’t (intend to) read the whole thing — to at least give the author/source the page view.

Command+F: 12/9

The ultimate reading list for Friday, Dec. 9


Trump and Related

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2016/12/09/the-six-donors-trump-appointed-to-his-administration-gave-almost-12-million-with-their-families-to-his-campaign-and-the-party/?utm_term=.98226b0422e6

Together with their families, Trump’s nominees gave $11.6 million to support his presidential bid, his allied super PACs and the Republican National Committee, according to a Washington Post analysis of federal campaign filings.

WWE co-founder Linda McMahon — contributed $7.5 million to back his White House run before Trump selected her to run the Small Business Administration this week. She and her husband Vince were also the top outside donors to Trump’s private foundation.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2016/12/09/the-six-donors-trump-appointed-to-his-administration-gave-almost-12-million-with-their-families-to-his-campaign-and-the-party/?utm_term=.98226b0422e6

[M]ore than $14.6 million worth of campaign funds went back into Trump’s businesses in the form of air travel, event rentals and even $8,040.01 to Trump’s bottled water company, Trump Ice LLC.

Climate Change

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2016/12/09/the-six-donors-trump-appointed-to-his-administration-gave-almost-12-million-with-their-families-to-his-campaign-and-the-party/?utm_term=.98226b0422e6


“Last month was easily the hottest November on record globally, according to satellite data sets.

In fact, satellite data, ground-based weather stations, sea-based buoys, and even weather balloons all reveal a steady long-term warming trend.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2016/12/09/the-six-donors-trump-appointed-to-his-administration-gave-almost-12-million-with-their-families-to-his-campaign-and-the-party/?utm_term=.98226b0422e6

This interactive (link above) does a really good job of visualizing carbon emissions and America’s pledge under the Paris agreement.

Other nations are not expected to back out of their pledges if the United States does not participate, but there is concern over how much developing countries will be able to do.

Part of the global climate conversation is focused on financial assistance to poorer countries. Developed nations agreed to give $100 billion a year by 2020, which will require coordination and planning on a large scale, and the United States may have a critical role in that planning.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2016/12/09/the-six-donors-trump-appointed-to-his-administration-gave-almost-12-million-with-their-families-to-his-campaign-and-the-party/?utm_term=.98226b0422e6

The questionnaire, which one Energy Department official described as unusually “intrusive” and a matter for departmental lawyers, has raised concern that the Trump transition team was trying to figure out how to target the people, including civil servants, who have helped implement policies under Obama.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2016/12/09/the-six-donors-trump-appointed-to-his-administration-gave-almost-12-million-with-their-families-to-his-campaign-and-the-party/?utm_term=.98226b0422e6


“The president’s executive order closes off 40,300 square miles from future oil and gas leasing — the Norton Basin planning area and parts of the St. Matthew-Hall planning area. The areas are in the waters offshore of Nome and surrounding St. Lawrence Island…

Obama has made it clear that he would rather listen to Alaska Native groups than the state’s elected officials. In 2015, he became the first sitting president to visit Alaska’s Arctic, and he has spoken extensively about protecting the region from the results of encroaching climate change. The executive order closely mirrors requests brought to the White House this year by the Association of Village Council Presidents, Kawerak, Inc. and the Bering Sea Elders Group.”

On (the) Media

Vice News

MIT’s analysis — which used the social media company’s complete data set — shows that on Twitter, Trump supporters formed a particularly insular group when talking about politics during the general election. They had few connections to Clinton supporters or the mainstream media. By contrast, Clinton supporters were more splintered and verified journalists often overlapped within their mutual follower networks. (Vice News)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2016/12/09/the-six-donors-trump-appointed-to-his-administration-gave-almost-12-million-with-their-families-to-his-campaign-and-the-party/?utm_term=.98226b0422e6

[I]f you have prominent journalists telling the public to trust an anonymous group with a false McCarthyite blacklist, or telling it to ignore informative documents on the grounds that they are fake when there is zero reason to believe that they are fake, that is a direct threat to democracy. In the case of the Podesta emails, these lies were perpetrated by the very factions that have taken to most loudly victimizing themselves over the spread of Fake News.

But the problem here goes way beyond mere hypocrisy. Complaints about Fake News are typically accompanied by calls for “solutions” that involve censorship and suppression, either by the government or tech giants such as Facebook. But until there is a clear definition of “Fake News,” and until it’s recognized that Fake News is being aggressively spread by the very people most loudly complaining about it, the dangers posed by these solutions will be at least as great as the problem itself.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2016/12/09/the-six-donors-trump-appointed-to-his-administration-gave-almost-12-million-with-their-families-to-his-campaign-and-the-party/?utm_term=.98226b0422e6

Welch told the Times he learned about “Pizzagate” from friends and then conducted his own online investigation once he had internet installed at his house. His research convinced him that “something nefarious was happening.”

He told the newspaper that Alex Jones, who used his conspiracy site InfoWars to promote the “Pizzagate” conspiracy and whose page he follows on Facebook, was “a bit eccentric.”

“He touches on some issues that are viable but goes off the deep end on some things,” Welch explained.

Other

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2016/12/09/the-six-donors-trump-appointed-to-his-administration-gave-almost-12-million-with-their-families-to-his-campaign-and-the-party/?utm_term=.98226b0422e6

”I think there’s a reason attitudes about my presidency among whites in northern states are very different from whites in southern states.” -Pres. Barrack Obama


Note: If you enjoy anything in this post, especially if its from an article, please click the link — even if you don’t (intend to) read the whole thing — to at least give the author/source the page view.

Command+F: 12/08/2016

Everything worth reading for Thursday, December 8.

Pixabay

Trump and related

http://www.politico.com/story/2016/12/larry-lessig-electors-trump-232231

Larry Lessig says his new effort, which he calls “The Electors Trust,” will provide free counsel to electors.

http://www.politico.com/story/2016/12/larry-lessig-electors-trump-232231

Pruitt, the Republican attorney general for Oklahoma since 2011, has interacted most directly with the EPA by suing it over what he sees as over-reaching federal regulations. Some scientists have also questioned his fitness to run the environmental agency considering he has publicly stated that he believes the debate over the cause of global warming is “far from settled.”

http://www.politico.com/story/2016/12/larry-lessig-electors-trump-232231

First, Trump blasted an Indiana union boss personally on Twitter, prompting a blistering response from labor leaders. Then he announced his choice for secretary of the Department of Labor is fast-food executive Andrew Puzder, a union critic who’s even floated the idea of automating his restaurants to avoid worker costs.

“This is about the opposite of what Trump promised he was going to do when he said he was going to be the president for the working class. This pick is about pulverizing the working class.” — Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers

http://www.politico.com/story/2016/12/larry-lessig-electors-trump-232231

“I like beautiful women eating burgers in bikinis. I think it’s very American.” — Andrew Puzder

Mr. Puzder has spent his career in the private sector and has opposed efforts to expand eligibility for overtime pay, while arguing that large minimum wage increases hurt small businesses and lead to job loss among low-skilled workers.

Climate

http://www.politico.com/story/2016/12/larry-lessig-electors-trump-232231

[M]ore than 800 Earth science and energy experts in 46 states have signed an open letter to Donald Trump, urging him to take six key steps to address climate change to help protect “America’s economy, national security, and public health and safety.”

Publicly acknowledge that climate change is a real, human-caused, and urgent threat. If not, you will become the only government leader in the world to deny climate science. Your position will be at odds with virtually all climate scientists, most economists, military experts, fossil fuel companies and other business leaders, and the two-thirds of Americans worried about this issue.

http://www.politico.com/story/2016/12/larry-lessig-electors-trump-232231

On Sunday, protesters in North Dakota celebrated as news that the Army Corps of Engineers would not be granting a necessary permit for the Dakota Access pipeline spread.

The next day, North Dakota’s State Health Department spill investigation team was dispatched to the western part of the state — about 200 miles from the protest camps at Standing Rock — to contain a crude oil spill from a different pipeline.

http://www.politico.com/story/2016/12/larry-lessig-electors-trump-232231

[T]he bulk of the planet’s technosphere is staggering in scale, with some 30 trillion tons representing a mass of more than 50 kilos for every square metre of the Earth’s surface…

Professor Williams said: “The technosphere can be said to have budded off the biosphere and arguably is now at least partly parasitic on it. At its current scale the technosphere is a major new phenomenon of this planet — and one that is evolving extraordinarily rapidly.

On (the) Media

http://www.politico.com/story/2016/12/larry-lessig-electors-trump-232231

At this point, no one can stop right-wing nuts from attaching fake news as an epithet to every CNN report that bothers them. But there may still be time for the reality-based community to find enough common ground to tackle the original problem. If we can’t collectively find a way to counter misinformation so egregious that even its authors admit it’s a hoax, the outlook for the media — and the truth — in the Trump era is bleak indeed.

http://www.politico.com/story/2016/12/larry-lessig-electors-trump-232231

An overview of the science on need for cognition shows that lower levels of this individual difference lend one to be influenced easily by short messages or strong images, engage in biased thinking and partisan news sources, and fall victim to other ill sources of information. They can also become overwhelmed by complicated, layered information, instead favoring mental shortcuts to make decisions. So what’s the harm? In short, the strong potential for bad decisions. Low need for cognition can lead down paths of following stronger personalities (see below), contributing to prejudice and interpersonal conflict, and, at worst, serving as a precursor to some of the most tragic human rights issues in modern history. Don’t think? Then don’t expect the best to happen for you or society!

-Robert J. Cramer, Associate Professor of Community & Environmental Health at Old Dominion University

That one time Rick Santorum told a dreamer to go back to her country and come back later (spoiler: if you were raised in the U.S., then it is your country).

http://www.politico.com/story/2016/12/larry-lessig-electors-trump-232231

Media Matters will now focus their efforts on grappling with misinformation, where it comes from, and how it spreads. These new efforts will include new staff and a focus on technology, bringing in experts to build in-house software to help track conspiracy theories and misinformation.

Other

Noam Chomsky and Harry Belafonte spoke at the Democracy Now! 20th Anniversary event Monday night. The whole broadcast is worth watching if you have the time.

http://www.politico.com/story/2016/12/larry-lessig-electors-trump-232231

One pivot I’m encouraging is for people to think about strategic alignment between progressives, liberals and the radical left when necessary and possible. This will not be applicable to all issues but may apply most to potential campaigns, issues and strategies where the stakes are so high that we need to create multipronged strategic alliances. Whether we’re talking about the Muslim registry or the elimination of the Affordable Care Act, we need to be thinking about how we can simultaneously create local and state policies to prevent and/or undermine local and state government participation, and coordinate that work with civil disobedience, direct action and strategic communications. In these times, we need to examine the possibility of using public policy to increase our reach and power, and to support our survival.

http://www.politico.com/story/2016/12/larry-lessig-electors-trump-232231

A review by The New York Times of tens of thousands of disciplinary cases against inmates in 2015, hundreds of pages of internal reports and three years of parole decisions found that racial disparities were embedded in the prison experience in New York…

In most prisons, blacks and Latinos were disciplined at higher rates than whites — in some cases twice as often, the analysis found. They were also sent to solitary confinement more frequently and for longer durations. At Clinton, a prison near the Canadian border where only one of the 998 guards is African-American, black inmates were nearly four times as likely to be sent to isolation as whites, and they were held there for an average of 125 days, compared with 90 days for whites.

http://www.politico.com/story/2016/12/larry-lessig-electors-trump-232231

But there is a point where it becomes too much, a kind of roar of opinions and fears that does not truly stir us to action or make us more aware. There is a danger to unfettered catastrophizing, which will sap our energy and distract and drain us. On social media and elsewhere, our attention has been monetized, not figuratively but literally, to a personally and societally harmful degree. We are fully in danger of succumbing to the rope-a-dope of the outrage machine. If we aren’t careful, we’ll punch ourselves out by Inauguration…

The role of poetry in our time of crisis is the same as always: to preserve our minds and language, so we may be strong for whatever is to come. And also, to preserve the possibility of mutual understanding, not by arguing for it, but by demonstrating it.

http://www.politico.com/story/2016/12/larry-lessig-electors-trump-232231

“The explanation for Byrd Park says that the area is yellow because negroes- that’s the term they used for African Americans- travel back and forth to get to Byrd Park. And because the school is in Randolph, the African American neighborhood, and for that reason, losses on property are being taken. It’s explicit acknowledgment that it’s not just the presence of African Americans as neighbors that negatively affects these assessments from HOLC’s perspective, it’s even the proximity of African Americans. Not just as residents, but as pedestrians.” — Robert Nelson

“Jackson Ward was the single largest African American neighborhood in Richmond and it was a separate city together. It had its own economy. There were several Black-owned banks, there were department stores, law firms, insurance companies, and by the same token you had skilled labor and poor Blacks but they all lived in the same neighborhood.” — John Moeser

http://www.politico.com/story/2016/12/larry-lessig-electors-trump-232231

Liberty University announced that it had hired Ian McCaw, a “godly man of excellent character,” as its athletic director…

McCaw is well acquainted with Christian athletics. In May, he left his job as the athletic director at Baylor, another eminent Christian university. His departure followed a devastating investigation that found that the leaders of the football team and the athletic department had looked away when told of multiple gang rapes and sexual assault.


Note: If you enjoy anything in this post, especially if its from an article, please click the link — even if you don’t (intend to) read the whole thing — to at least give the author/source the page view.