Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Snopes' Field Guide to Fake News Sites and Hoax Purveyors

I'm not giving examples of fake news items, because research has shown that when this is done, many people will remember the debunked "news" but not remember that it is false.

It boggles my mind that so many people on Facebook will take seriously obviously satirical items.

http://www.snopes.com/2016/01/14/fake-news-sites/

Kim LaCapria
Jan 14, 2016

The sharp increase in popularity of social media networks (primarily Facebook) has created a predatory secondary market among online publishers seeking to profitably exploit the large reach of those networks and their huge customer bases by spreading fake news and outlandish rumors. Competition for social media’s large supply of willing eyeballs is fierce, and a number of frequent offenders regularly fabricate salacious and attention-grabbing tales simply to drive traffic (and revenue) to their sites.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Honest Reporting

For the list liberal fake news sites he warns against, see the preceding blog post "If You’re A Liberal, Stop Sharing Links From These Fake News Sites"

I point out that Modern Liberals itself does contain a clearly labeled humor/satire section.

http://modernliberals.com/if-you-are-a-liberal-stop-sharing-links-from-these-fake-news-sites/

•••••

If you want to subscribe to honest reporting on national issues in the United States, there are many reputable and mostly neutral sources like AP, Reuters, BBC out there.

Here are a few of the websites I go to for news or opinion articles.

If You’re A Liberal, Stop Sharing Links From These Fake News Sites

I haven't looked at all of these web sites, but the ones I have I agree should be disregarded.

To avoid confustion, I'll list the sources he recommends is a separate post.

http://modernliberals.com/if-you-are-a-liberal-stop-sharing-links-from-these-fake-news-sites/

Saturday, March 10, 2018

10 Journalism Brands Where You Find Real Facts Rather Than Alternative Facts

I went ahead and went with their headline, although I disagree with their rosy view of WSJ editorials. I have found the WSJ editorials not trustworthy. They are often biased on behalf of the power elite. As this article says, it does provide info on what the non-batty right-wing is saying.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/berlinschoolofcreativeleadership/2017/02/01/10-journalism-brands-where-you-will-find-real-facts-rather-than-alternative-facts/#341d134ae9b5

By Paul Glader
Paul Glader is an associate professor of journalism at The King's College in New York City, a media scholar at The Berlin School of Creative Leadership and is on Twitter @PaulGlader.
Feb 1, 2017

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Informative links


The Senate GOP hid the meanest things very deeply in its Obamacare repeal bill. We found them
http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-hiltzik-senate-hidden-20170623-story.html


Evacuate Earth? Hold your Horses Hawking
https://avoiceforearth.wordpress.com/2017/06/24/evacuate-earth-hold-your-horses-hawking/


Very important. Hope to have time to make a post of it:
The Rise of the Weaponized AI Propaganda Machine
https://medium.com/join-scout/the-rise-of-the-weaponized-ai-propaganda-machine-86dac61668b


Why Did Henry Ford Double His Minimum Wage?
http://www.saturdayeveningpost.com/2014/01/03/history/post-perspective/ford-doubles-minimum-wage.html


Renowned Psychoanalyst Reveals Disturbing Revelation About Donald Trump’s Supporters, And It Is Extremely Sad
https://www.leftscoop.com/2017/06/renowned-psychoanalyst-reveals-disturbing-revelation-donald-trumps-supporters-extremely-sad/


Spare the Kids
Why Whupping Children Won't Save Black America
http://www.beacon.org/Spare-the-Kids-P1257.aspx


40 is Considered Old in Senate GOP Health Plan
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/40-is-considered-old-in-senate-gop-health-plan/?WT.mc_id=SA_FB_HLTH_NEWS


Pedophiles in Conservative Protestant churches
https://newrepublic.com/article/142999/silence-lambs-protestants-concealing-catholic-size-sexual-abuse-scandal


Trump Adviser Who Called For Killing Hillary Clinton Gets Front-Row Seat At White House
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/al-baldasaro-turmp_us_594d62afe4b05c37bb765250?ncid=engmodushpmg00000003


The World Is Burning





By IPS World Desk

Jun 23 2017 (IPS) - Record high temperatures are gripping much of the globe and more hot weather are to come. This implies more drought, more food insecurity, more famine and more massive human displacements.

In fact, extremely high May and June temperatures have broken records in parts of Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and the United States, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) reported, adding that the heat-waves have arrived unusually early.

At the same time, average global surface temperatures over land and sea are the second highest on record for the first five months of 2017, according to analyses by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NASA-Goddard Institute for Space Studies and the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting Copernicus Climate Change Service.

•••••

Meanwhile, the world has marked New Inhumane Record: One Person Displaced Every Three Second. Nearly 66 million people were forcibly displaced from their homes last year, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) informed in its report Global Trends, released ahead of the World Refugee Day on June 20.

The figure equates to “one person displaced every three seconds – less than the time it takes to read this sentence.

Such an unprecedented high records of human displacements is not only due to conflicts. In fact, advancing droughts and desertification also lay behind this “tsunami” of displaced persons both out of their own countries and in their own homelands.

On this, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) on the occasion of the World Day to Combat Desertification (WDCD) on June 17, alerted that by 2025 –that’s in less than 8 years from today– 1.8 billion people will experience absolute water scarcity, and two thirds of the world will be living under water-stressed conditions.

Now it is feared that advancing drought and deserts, growing water scarcity and decreasing food security may provoke a huge ‘tsunami” of climate refugees and migrants. See The Relentless March of Drought – That ‘Horseman of the Apocalypse’

Monique Barbut, UNCCD Executive Secretary, reminded that the world’s drought-prone and water scarce regions are often the main sources of refugees. Neither desertification nor drought on its own causes conflict or forced migration, but they can increase the risk of conflict and intensify on-going conflicts, Barbut explained.

In Parallel, the United Nations leading agency in the fields of agriculture has issued numerous warnings on the huge impacts that droughts have on agriculture and food security, with poor rural communities among the most hit victims.

•••••

Wildfires blazing under extreme heat out West

Part of Trump & other republican's plans for stimulating the economy and making jobs. Spend money on overtime and other costs for combating wildfires and floods. After they are over, people and government will have to spend a lot of money on repair and replacement, and medical care for the injured, work for those who take care of the dead.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/24/us/west-us-wildfires-heat/index.html

By Nicole Chavez and Eric Levenson, CNN
Updated 5:19 PM ET, Sat June 24, 2017
CNN's Tony Marco contributed to this report.

A series of wildfires is blazing across the Southwest as the chance of rain remains low amid a deadly heatwave.
Eighteen large fires are burning in the region, including six in Arizona, three in Utah, three in California, three in New Mexico, two in Nevada and a large one in Oregon. The two biggest wildfires are in southern Arizona and Utah.
Wildfires already have caused far more destruction than usual in the first half of 2017, meteorologist Haley Brink of the CNN Weather Center said. Almost 1 million more acres had burned by Thursday, compared with the 10-year average through June 22.

•••••

The Frye Fire in southern Arizona covered nearly 30,000 acres as of Saturday afternoon and was 29% contained, the forest service at Coronado National Forest said.

More than 800 personnel are battling the fire, which started June 7. The Frye Fire is about 70 miles northeast of Tucson, the second-largest city in Arizona.
Gov. Doug Ducey declared a state of emergency Friday in Arizona to authorize the use of $200,000 of emergency funds to counter increased wildfire activity.
Since April, the state has experienced more than a dozen large wildfires "aided by high temperatures, winds, and available fuels," his office said in a statement.

•••••

In Utah, too, raging fires continue to blaze with little rain relief in sight.
Nine communities, including Brian Head, a ski town near the Dixie National Forest in the southern part of the state, have been evacuated, officials said. At least 800 people have been evacuated so far, according Brian Head town manager Bret Howser.

•••••

Sixteen other active fires of lesser size are blazing around the West.
In New Mexico, the Corral Fire reached about 17,000 acres and is burning with low to moderate intensity, according to New Mexico Fire Information.
And in central Oregon, the Rhoades Canyon Fire grew to 15,000 acres but was 50% contained, according to CNN affiliate KTVZ.
The heat in the West and Southwest is blamed for the deaths of two people in California, and it could have been a factor in the deaths of two hikers whose bodies were found in New Mexico's Carlsbad Caverns National Park.

Scientists: Get Used to Wildfires in a Warming World

http://www.climatecentral.org/news/scientists-wildfires-warming-world-21360

Bobby Magill
April 17, 2017

Communities across the Western U.S. and Canada may have to adapt to living with the ever-increasing threat of catastrophic wildfires as global warming heats up and dries out forests across the West, according to a University of Colorado study published Monday.

Residents living in neighborhoods adjacent to forests — known as “wildland-urban interface” zones — will have to accept that many wildfires may have to be allowed to burn and that building new homes in fire-prone forests should be discouraged, the study says.

•••••

climate change is making wildfire seasons longer and more intense. The trend bends toward bigger, more destructive and drought-driven blazes in the West. On average, wildfires burn six times the acreage they did 45 years ago, Climate Central research shows.

Since the 1970s, the frequency of wildfire has increased 1,000 percent in the Pacific Northwest, 889 percent in the Northern Rockies, 462 percent in the Southwest and 256 percent in California’s Sierra Nevada as the mountain snowpack melts earlier and the fire season lengthens, according to Schoennagel’s team’s research.

•••••

Friday, June 23, 2017

Burned feet, parched throats: Arizona homeless desperate to escape heatwave

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jun/23/arizona-heatwave-homeless-phoenix

Supported by
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Griselda Nevarez in Phoenix
Friday 23 June 2017 1

The man was not wearing any shoes, and he was crawling along the baking asphalt with socks on his hands.

That was how David Lee Witherspoon Jr, president of a food pantry, found him while driving through Phoenix last week. The man told Witherspoon he had left his home without any footwear after a fight, though Witherspoon thought he might have been homeless. Then he had taken off his socks to remove some burrs, but the road surface was so scorching he was forced onto all fours. Luckily Witherspoon had some spare sneakers in his car, and helped the man put them on.

“Anyone crawling along the street when it’s over 100 degrees – you would not survive very long before you got third-degree blisters on your hands and even your knees,” Witherspoon said.

It is currently so hot in Arizona that just inhaling can feel painful. Dozens of flights have been canceled at the Phoenix airport. The National Weather Service has declared an excessive heat warning that will be in place until Monday, amid temperatures approaching 120F.

Yet the swelter is, for the majority of people, mostly avoidable thanks to air conditioning. For those living under bridges and in tents, however, it is suffocating and inescapable. Eventually, it could be fatal.

Almost 6,000 homeless people were counted in the Phoenix region during a one-day census last year.

•••••

Katrina Giddings, 35, said she had spent the previous night, when temperatures were in the high 90s, bedded down on some concrete. “It was a terrible night,” she said. “I kept waking up every hour just to drink some water and to get my hair wet.”

According to the National Weather Service, when the air temperature is 102F and the sun is shining, blacktop can be heated to as much as 167F. That is hot enough to fry an egg or cook ground beef, though more worryingly, the weather service also notes that in such conditions, “human skin is instantly destroyed”. Pets’ paws are also vulnerable – and it is common for homeless people to have dogs.

Phoenicians might fancy themselves accustomed to climatic extremes, though this week even they have been surprised: temperature records have been surpassed two days in a row.
US south-west swelters under extreme heatwave – in pictures
Read more

To help people living on the streets, the Phoenix Rescue Mission has volunteers passing out water, sunscreen, hats, bandanas and towels soaked with cold water. A few beneficiaries don’t realize how dangerous the conditions are.

•••••

And some organizations have been giving out items that seem bizarre: blankets. But there is good reason. The sidewalks don’t necessarily cool all the way down at night, and the blankets are a barrier.

Meanwhile, cooling centers have been set up around the city, and demand for indoor shelter is high. On Thursday, close to 100 homeless people packed the Lodestar Day Resource Center in downtown Phoenix. Some were drenched in sweat and their skin was tomato-red, while others sat and laid their heads on round tables trying to sleep.

•••••

Informative links


Navy files first charges under military law in ‘Fat Leonard’ scandal
https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/navy-files-first-charges-under-military-law-in-fat-leonard-scandal/2017/06/19/10042eb2-54fa-11e7-a204-ad706461fa4f_story.html?utm_term=.cb8c32519f72


Congress to Pruitt: We’re Not Cutting EPA Budget to Trump’s Levels
https://insideclimatenews.org/news/15062017/scott-pruitt-epa-budget-hearing-congress-opposes-trump-cuts


How Liberals Really Reacted to Obama-Themed ‘Julius Caesar’
https://www.yahoo.com/tv/real-time-fact-check-did-liberals-react-obama-042432507.html
http://theweek.com/speedreads/705338/delta-once-sponsored-production-julius-caesar-where-emperor-looked-like-obama



Polk inmates save correctional officer who passed out during work detail
http://www.11alive.com/news/local/polk-inmates-save-correctional-officer-who-passed-out-during-work-detail/450246591


Daniel Ellsberg: Nixon White House Wanted to ‘Shut Me Up’ With Assault
http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/daniel-ellsberg-nixon-white-house-wanted-shut-me-assault-n774376


Mike Pence's infrastructure mess: What went wrong with I-69?
http://www.indystar.com/story/news/2017/06/18/mike-pence-donald-trump-public-private-partnerships-mitch-daniels-interstate-69-isolux-bloomington/388756001/


A Republican contractor’s database of nearly every voter was left exposed on the Internet for 12 days, researcher says
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2017/06/19/republican-contractor-database-every-voter-exposed-internet-12-days-researcher-says/?utm_term=.b443056a4c06


Remember Trump’s Promise Not to Touch Social Security? It’s Gone Now
http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/06/trumps-promise-not-to-touch-social-security-is-gone-now.html


Trump sells Qatar $12 billion of U.S. weapons days after accusing it of funding terrorism
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/trump-sells-qatar-12-billion-arms-days-after-accusing-it-of-funding-terrorism/


That $9.99 find at T.J. Maxx? It might raise questions about labor practices
http://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2017/06/13/that-find-maxx-might-raise-questions-about-labor-practices/BbiHyN8m4z6M9EgBIsDoOM/story.html?s_campaign=todaysheadlines:newsletter


Died from mixing ammonia and bleach
https://www.quora.com/Has-anyone-ever-died-from-mixing-ammonia-and-bleach-Who/answer/Daniel-Kaplan


Trump 'simply does not care' about HIV/AIDS, say 6 experts who just quit his advisory council
http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Trump-simply-does-not-care-about-HIV-AIDS-say-11230444.php


London mosque attack suspect named, according to media outlets
http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/18/europe/urgent---london-vehicle-collision/index.html


How cats conquered the ancient world
http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-40306897


Personal Bankruptcies Cut Almost in Half After Obamacare
http://www.investopedia.com/news/personal-bankruptcies-cut-almost-half-after-obamacare/?lgl=myfinance-layout-no-ads


Weed Warning: Legalizing Marijuana Tied to Rise in Crashes in 3 States by HLDI
http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2017/06/23/455548.htm


Russia debacle destroys the last rationale for Trump, the myth of the genius CEO
https://www.yahoo.com/news/russia-debacle-destroys-last-rationale-trump-myth-genius-ceo-090002823.html


Living with climate change: You can make a difference
https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg23431310-700-living-with-climate-change-you-can-make-a-difference/


How Could the Fitzgerald Collision Happen?
https://www.yahoo.com/news/could-fitzgerald-collision-happen-164846976.html

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Federal court allows Mississippi to let businesses and government employees cite religious beliefs to refuse service to LGBT people

Jerry Smith was appointed by Ronald Reagan.
Jennifer Elrod and Catharina Haynes were appointed by George W. Bush.


http://www.businessinsider.com/court-clears-mississippi-lgbt-objections-law-2017-6

Emily Wagster Pettus, Associated Press
June 22, 2017

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A federal appeals court said Thursday that Mississippi can start enforcing a law that allows merchants and government employees cite religious beliefs to deny services to same-sex couples, but opponents of the law immediately pledged to appeal.

A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a judge’s decision that had blocked the law.

•••••

http://www.jacksonfreepress.com/news/2017/jun/22/house-bill-1523-becomes-law-after-5th-circuit-appe/

House Bill 1523 Becomes Law after 5th Circuit Overturns Injunction

JACKSON — The controversial "Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Religious Discrimination Act" is now state law, after the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the 2016 injunction that prevented House Bill 1523 from becoming law last July.

The opinion says that plaintiffs, who were Mississippians from every corner of the state claiming the wide-ranging legislation affected and discriminated against them, did not prove that they had suffered injury-in-fact that would allow a court to deem the law unconstitutional.

"We do not speculate on whether, even with those allegations, the injury would be too attenuated to satisfy the standing requirements. The plaintiffs have not shown an injury-in-fact caused by HB 1523 that would empower the district court or this court to rule on its constitutionality," the opinion says.


•••••

The three-judge panel ruled unanimously with an opinion from Circuit Judge Jerry Smith. Jennifer Elrod and Catharina Haynes were the other two judges. Plaintiffs could appeal to the full 5th Circuit to hear the case or appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

•••••

Rick Perry Denies Climate Change Role of CO2

Where does he think the heat from the oceans is coming from?



By Marianne Lavelle
Jun 19, 2017

Energy Secretary Rick Perry said Monday he does not believe carbon dioxide emissions are the main driver of the earth's record-setting warming, a core finding of climate science. Instead, Perry said, the driver is most likely "the ocean waters and this environment that we live in."

Perry became the second of President Donald Trump's cabinet members to go on television to publicly dismiss the importance of CO2 in global warming, ignoring the scientific evidence. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt rejected its role in answer to essentially the same question in March, also on CNBC's "Squawk Box."

But Perry went further in his response to CNBC host Joe Kernen—who has expressed his own skepticism about climate science in the past—when asked whether he viewed carbon dioxide as the main "control knob" for climate.

"No. Most likely the primary control knob is the ocean waters and this environment that we live in," Perry, a former Texas governor, said.
Where does he think the heat in the ocean comes from?
What does he mean by "this environment that we live in"? The increasing amounts of CO2 and other greenhouse gases are part of "this environment that we live in". What other part of it does he think is causing global warming?


Despite the fuzzy, circular illogic of that reply, Perry went on to say that skepticism about the scientific consensus is a sign of a "wise, intellectually engaged person."

His view comes at a time of record-setting temperatures around the world. The U.S. southwest is entering a brutal heat wave, parts of the Middle East are even hotter, and a fatal wildfire in Portugal punctuated a tremendous hot spell in that part of Europe. No part of the world has been immune from the damages of the warming climate in the past few years.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has said that the global scientific consensus is that it is "extremely likely" that most of the observed increase in global average surface temperature since 1951 was caused by the concentrations of greenhouse gas emissions from human activity. The science shows that the oceans are warming—as they absorb carbon dioxide and heat trapped by increasing levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

•••••

"The point is, are we going to continue to have innovation that helps affect in a positive way our environment?" Perry said. "Absolutely!"

But such technology won't be getting much federal government support under the White House budget plan that Perry is slated to defend tomorrow before the House Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee and on Wednesday before the Senate Appropriations Committee's energy panel.

The portion of the Energy Department's budget that actually addresses energy (as opposed to stewardship of nuclear weapons facilities) would be cut by 18 percent, with the budget ax falling most heavily on programs aimed at reducing fossil fuel emissions. The department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), which funds research on electric vehicles and clean energy, would face a 70 percent funding cut in the fiscal year beginning in October, under the Trump budget—losing $1.5 billion from its current $2.1 billion budget. Clean coal research would be cut by 85 percent.

Perry will face some of the GOP senators who wrote a letter last month decrying the proposed cuts. "Government-sponsored research is one of the most important investments our country can make to encourage innovation," wrote the group, led by Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, chairman of the Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee.

Informative links




House GOP health bill changes exempt members of Congress
http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/330592-house-gop-health-bill-changes-exempt-members-of-congress


Heat Wave Across Southwest Turns Deadly
https://weather.com/news/news/southwest-heatwave-june-2017


Carrier braces for 600-person layoff just 6 months after Trump touted the company as a job policy victory
http://theweek.com/speedreads/707762/carrier-braces-600person-layoff-just-6-months-after-trump-touted-company-job-policy-victory


If your neighbor's tree falls in your yard, who pays for cleanup?
http://www.ajc.com/business/real-estate/your-neighbor-tree-falls-your-yard-who-pays-for-cleanup/zazzQ1qylBHcTiZOp5DGEL/?ecmp=socialflow_ajc


Want to be happy and successful? Try compassion
http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/12/health/compassion-happiness-training/index.html


Learning compassion
http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/09/health/sanjay-gupta-partners-in-health-champions-for-change/index.html


America’s Generosity Divide
https://www.philanthropy.com/article/America-s-Generosity-Divide/156175


Four GOP senators say they can't vote for current Republican health care bill
http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/22/politics/republicans-resist-health-care-bill-support/index.html


What the Republicans’ Senate Health-Care Bill Means for America

The Senate republican health care bill goes into effect over several years, some things not fully going into effect until 2021. (Tax cuts for the rich go into effect immediately.) Surely I'm not the only one who sees that this puts these changes not only after the next mid-term elections, but after the next presidential election. So many people will blame the people who are in office then. Since the party of the president usually loses seats in the next mid-year election, this would result in many people blaming them for the actions of the republicans. Same if the Democrats win in 2020. And the people who are oblivious to the way republicans blocked President Obama's efforts to help the economy will be oblivious to the clever scheming of Congressional republicans on this issue.

http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/what-the-senate-health-care-bill-means-for-america

By John Cassidy, Benjamin Wallace-Wells, and Adam Davidson

On Thursday, Senate Republicans unveiled their bill to replace the Affordable Care Act. Below, New Yorker writers offer some initial reactions to the news.

The Senate bill is really three separate proposals. In the private-insurance market, it amounts to what Larry Levitt, a health-care expert at the Kaiser Family Foundation, calls “Obamacare-lite.” As for Medicaid—the federal program that provides health services to roughly seventy-five million Americans, most of whom are poor or elderly or are children—the bill involves much bigger, and more harmful, changes. Finally, the legislation would deliver a hefty tax cut to some of the wealthiest households in the country.

•••••

The Affordable Care Act’s biggest achievement came through its expansion of Medicaid and its sibling, the Children’s Health Insurance Plan. By raising the income-eligibility threshold for households and allowing states to cover low-income adults who don’t have children, some thirteen million people have been added to the Medicaid rolls since January, 2014. But the Senate bill would reverse this extension, over three years, starting in 2021. Additionally, it would drastically change the future financing of Medicaid, placing a cap on federal subsidies per person and putting strict limits on the subsidies’ future growth. (The funding formula is actually less generous than the one in the House legislation.) Like the House bill, these changes would cause millions of Americans to lose their health coverage. It would also generate hundreds of billions of dollars of cost savings over the next ten years. We’ll see some precise projections in the coming days, after the Congressional Budget Office releases its analysis of the bill. For some reason, the Republicans’ desire to slash Medicaid has received less coverage than their proposals for the private-insurance market have. This should be at the center of the political debate.

•••••

According to a recent analysis by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, the top 0.1 per cent of earners—i.e., households that make at least 3.9 million dollars a year—would receive a tax cut of more than two hundred thousand dollars. And, unlike other aspects of the bill, this one would go into effect immediately.

•••••

This bill does openly what killing the Labor Reform Act did with considerable more subtlety: it takes hundreds of billions of dollars from the poorest and most vulnerable and gives it to the richest. It is, by any rational metric, the opposite of what our country needs at this moment. And savvy, self-protective Republican lawmakers feel no need to offer an explanation. This is not a health-care bill; it is a wealth grab by the wealthy. Political-opinion polls show that most Americans know that. Do Republicans care?—Adam Davidson

Why does America have so many hungry kids?

When children are hungry, it cause their bodies to react in a way that eventually causes them to be overweight, becoming more efficient at storing fat from food, lowering their metabolism.



By Thom Patterson, CNN
Updated 3:48 PM ET, Thu June 15, 2017

•••••

Ryder's family represents America's 13.1 million households with children that often go without food: "food-insecure households."

"Food is a struggle at times," said Ryder's mom, Kelly Ann Pfaffly, who also is raising a newborn boy.
Pfaffly, 23, and her 24-year-old husband, Justin, have been married five years. They -- along with Ryder, his 7-year-old sister and his infant brother -- all live in a small room at the hotel. "We've been struggling for quite sometime now," she said. "But we always find a way to make it."

She said she and her husband always make sure the kids have food and clothes. "Even if they don't like wearing them," she joked.

Money from cleaning hotel rooms doesn't always last them through the month. Neither do foodstamps. Lately, the family's broken-down car has made transportation difficult, prompting Kelly to quit her part-time cashier job at a local restaurant.

Located deep in the heart of the Ozark Mountains, the area is swimming in "up to 65,000 visitors daily who pump $1.5 billion into the local economy," according to the Branson Tourism Center. Yet the town doesn't have public transit.

A larger percentage of America's food-insecure households are outside metropolitan areas, according to the US Department of Agriculture.

Missouri ranked 12th in the nation for highest percentage of food-insecure households: 15.2% with "low or very low" food security in 2015, according to the USDA. North Dakota had the lowest percentage of food-insecure households with 8.5%, and Mississippi had the highest with 20.8%. The national percentage: 12.7%

•••••

The national percentage of food-insecure households has been dropping lately. It peaked at 11% during the 2008 recession, when so many Americans were losing their jobs. But as unemployment figures began to drop, so did the number of food-insecure households. By 2015, the percentage of American food-insecure households had dipped below 8%.

•••••

Helping the hungry shifted the perspective of Ashley Harkness, another Jesus Was Homeless employee.
"I started seeing that people that I used to judge are so much more like me," Harkness said. "We're all are only one paycheck away from poverty. The only difference is, I have someone who can help me -- and they don't."

The war against child hunger is also being fought in America's schools. Blessings in a Backpack is a nationwide program that helps school children who might otherwise go hungry by providing them with a backpack full of food for the weekends. It's funded in part by Walmart, Cigna and other private companies. But once schools close for summer break, this and many other school-linked programs disappear until the fall.

The federal Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act provides needy children with free breakfast and lunch at schools. But the USDA in May began relaxing guidelines for that program, opening the door to meals with reduced whole grains, higher sodium and higher fat and sweetened milk. [Due to decisions by republicans.]

•••••

Kelly and Justin Pfaffly want nothing more for little Ryder and his siblings than most parents: a safe place to live and raise their kids and enough work to make a living.

"We never ask for much unless it's absolutely necessary," Justin Pfaffly said.

Currently, they're relying on the kindness of their employer -- a hotel owner who advanced them rent money to live in the hotel in exchange for work cleaning rooms and performing maintenance.

They believe that if they can somehow purchase a reliable vehicle, it could give them better job options and more opportunities.

"I want my kids to never have to worry about being low on food and clean clothes," Justin Pfaffly said. "All in all, my hopes and dreams are that Kelly and I could finally give our children the life they need and most definitely deserve -- and for them to never worry again for things they want."

Woman accused of faking cancer, receiving donations

http://www.fox25boston.com/news/woman-accused-of-faking-cancer-receiving-donations/537780751

Updated: Jun 22, 2017

A Rhode Island woman was arrested for allegedly receiving money through a GoFundMe to help with her fake cancer diagnosis.

In May of 2016, the financial crimes unit began investigating a report that a woman was asking for money under false pretenses. Their investigation revealed that 35-year-old Alicia Pierini had told her friends and family she had brain cancer, and one of her friends started a GoFundMe to help with medical expenses.

Rhode Island State Police said that many contributed to the GoFundMe or to Pierini directly, in total about $28,000.

However, as time went on, some became suspicious.

Detectives said they confirmed she had never been a patient at any of the cancer treatment facilities or doctors she said she was attending.

The Woonsocket resident was charged with obtaining money under false pretenses over $1,500 and access to computer for fraudulent purposes.

She was arraigned and released on $40,000 personal recognizance.

GoFundMe will be reimbursing the individuals who donated directly to the account.

•••••

If you believe you were a victim in this case, Rhode Island Police are asking you to call the Financial Crimes Unit at 401-444-1201.

It’s so hot in England, schoolboys are wearing skirts

Few houses in England have air conditioning, so I suspect that is true for schools.
When I was a child in the U.S., schools did not have air conditioning.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2017/06/22/its-so-hot-in-england-schoolboys-are-wearing-skirts/?utm_term=.447533bdba41

By Lindsey Bever June 22

Amid an intense heat wave, dozens of British schoolboys went to class wearing girls' uniform skirts when the head teacher would not relax a dress code banning the more suitable option: shorts.

The teenage boys at Isca Academy in Exeter argued it was too hot for pants as temperatures approached 90 degrees Wednesday. Dozens of boys, who borrowed uniform skirts from female friends and sisters, planned to go to class Thursday sporting a new look in protest of the school's 'no shorts' policy, according to the English news site, Devonlive.com, though, the temperatures Thursday had dropped into the upper 60s, according to the Associated Press.

“We're not allowed to wear shorts, and I'm not sitting in trousers all day — it's a bit hot,” one of the boys told BBC News.

•••••

“My son wanted to wear shorts but was told he would be put in the isolation room for the rest of the week,” a mother, who was not named, told Devonlive.com about her 14-year-old son. “The head teacher told them 'Well you can wear a skirt if you like' but I think she was being sarcastic. However, children tend to take you literally, and so five boys turned up in skirts today — and because she told them it was okay there was nothing she could do as long as they are school skirts.

•••••

The mother also told Devonlive.com the boys are fighting “injustice.”

“Children also don't like injustice,” she told the news site. “The boys see the women teachers in sandals and nice cool skirts and tops while they are wearing long trousers and shoes and the older boys have to wear blazers. They just think it's unfair that they can't wear shorts in this heat.

“They are doing this to cool down — but also to protest because they don't feel they have been listened to.”

•••••

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-23341698

10 ways the UK is ill-prepared for a heatwave
By Vanessa Barford BBC News Magazine
18 July 2013
From the Magazine

•••••

The UK is a country of radiators, not air conditioning. A Mintel report in 2008 found that just 0.5% of houses and flats in the UK had any kind of air con.

That contrasts with the US, where nearly 100 million homes have it. It has even been suggested that air con accounts for as much as 15% of total American energy consumption.

Air con is more common in the workplace in the UK, which might avoid some problems. A Nasa study, cited by Mintel, suggested that productivity falls by 3.6% for every degree over 22C [71.6F].

•••••

McDonald’s Says its Wage Hikes Are Improving Service

http://fortune.com/2016/03/09/mcdonalds-wages/

Phil Wahba
Mar 09, 2016
Last year, McDonald's (mcd, +0.70%) joined a chorus of struggling U.S. companies offering workers pay hikes to help spur a turnaround. And it looks like the move is paying off for the fast-food giant.

The hamburger chain in April announced it would raise the average hourly rate for workers at the U.S. restaurants it owns to $9.90 from $9.01 starting July 2015, with average wages climbing above $10 per hour by the end of 2016. The company also said it would allow those employees to earn up to five days of paid vacation every year following one year of employment. (The higher wages remain very far from the $15 rate many labor advocates are pressing McDonald's to adopt.)

The raises, which affected only about 10% of workers (the vast majority of McDonald's U.S. restaurants are franchised), were announced while McDonald's was developing a plan to shake off a multi-year comparable sales slump and bring people back to its stores.

McDonald's CEO Steve Easterbrook, who took the helm in 2015, has since moved swiftly, closing hundreds of weak stores, bringing back all-day breakfast, and simplifying the chain's menu, reducing bottlenecks in serving customers quickly. But improving the customer experience hinges on workers being on board with all these changes, hence the raises.

"It has done what we expected it to—90 day turnover rates are down, our survey scores are up—we have more staff in restaurants," McDonald's U.S. president Mike Andres told analysts at a UBS conference on Wednesday. "So far we're pleased with it—it was a significant investment obviously but it's working well."

•••••

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Facebook manipulators


From a Facebook comment I saw:

There's a business in Facebook, of liking and sharing, people get paid for it . often it involves a sick child in bed or a hurt animal or things of that nature that Force reactions from people and get likes and shares. This builds up stats and those stats are what they get paid for because of advertisements.snd agendas.
I spoke to a really right-wing string and they were in no way ashamed of the fact that this person's job was to acquire information, steal it -and then manipulate it into algorithms for Facebook for the sole purpose of getting people to support a political candidate in the United States. This person was a Freemason. I told him I had suspected that these algorithms were being developed because a lot of the provocateurs are on Facebook seemed professional. He verified my suspicions and let me know that that was his profession. And let me tell you this guy was living pretty well. I guess the bottom line is we need to gain some awareness into the source of certain kinds of memes and when you see people like really going off the handle on the right wing on social media , no pun intended...🌞 they may be following instructions and patterns and algorithms that were given to them to follow by professional propagandists. This alone has been very interesting and its effect on our society will be long-lasting.

Tags: influence