Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Snopes' Field Guide to Fake News Sites and Hoax Purveyors, updated 7/9/2017

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.

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.


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, update 7/2/2017

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.

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.

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, October 21, 2017

Tax-Aide needs volunteers


Help your neighbors get the (tax) credit they deserve! AARP Foundation is looking for compassionate and friendly individuals to join our volunteer team this upcoming tax season!

The Air Force now has the power to recall up to 1,000 retired pilots to address its personnel crisis

Christopher Woody
Oct. 21, 2017

President Donald Trump amended an executive order on Friday to allow the Defense Department to recall up to 1,000 retired pilots in order to address the Air Force's shortage of qualified fliers.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis reportedly requested the move, and he now has "additional authorities to recall retired aviation officers," Pentagon spokesman Navy Cmdr. Gary Ross said in a statement.

The Air Force is currently about 1,500 pilots shy of the 20,300 it is mandated to have. Of those missing, about 1,000 are fighter pilots. Some officials have deemed the shortage a "quiet crisis."

"We anticipate that the Secretary of Defense will delegate the authority to the Secretary of the Air Force to recall up to 1,000 retired pilots for up to three years," Ross said.

Executive order 13223 declared a temporary state of emergency after the September 11 attacks and allowed the president to call up the National Guard, hire and fire officers, and delay retirements. It has been renewed by every president since, including Trump, but under the previous version only 25 retired officers could be called back to active duty. Trump's amendment expands that authority.


Air Force officials have pointed to commercial airlines, which pay more, as the main draw for fliers; budget cuts, longer deployments, and long-term personnel drawdowns have also contributed to more pilots leaving. (The service is also dealing with a shortage of aircraft maintainers.)

The service is pursuing a bevy of changes to retain pilots and airmen, including more flexible assignment policies, increased pay and bonuses, and reshuffling of administrative duties. It is also looking to change its training programs, potentially outsourcing some elements in order to resolve a personnel bottleneck and free up Air Force aircraft for other uses.

In August, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson announced the Voluntary Rated Return to Active Duty, or VRRAD, program, which allowed up to 25 retired qualified pilots to return to fill "critical-rated staff positions" so active-duty pilots could stay with units where they are needed to meet mission requirements.


At least one Air Force officer has mentioned "stop-loss" policies as a way to keep fliers in uniform.

The executive order the president signed on Friday is not limited ot the Air Force, and it could allow other branches to call up officers in the future.

At least one Air Force officer has mentioned "stop-loss" policies as a way to keep fliers in uniform.

The executive order the president signed on Friday is not limited ot the Air Force, and it could allow other branches to call up officers in the future.


Forest fires on the rise as JRC study warns of danger to air quality

Public Release: 19-Oct-2017
Forest fires on the rise as JRC study warns of danger to air quality
European Commission Joint Research Centre

The JRC's annual forest fires report confirms a trend towards longer and more intense fire seasons in Europe and neighbouring regions, with wildfires now occurring throughout the year. The report coincides with an international study which finds that global wildfire trends could have significant health implications due to rising harmful emissions.


Despite authorities' efforts, the current trend is towards longer fire seasons with peaks of fire intensity that cause catastrophic fires like those seen in Portugal both this summer and last year. In 2016, Portugal suffered many fires in just over a week that burnt over 100,000 hectares of land and contributed significantly to the overall results of the fire season.

With over 700,000 hectares of land already burnt, 2017 will be remembered as one of the most devastating for wildfires in Europe. The latest data from the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS) suggests that nearly all wildfires are man-made, with very few resulting from natural phenomena like lightning. However, the hot and dry conditions induced by climate change result in more severe fires and a higher frequency of small fires growing to become uncontrollable.

On top of the immediate danger to lives and livelihood, smoke from these destructive fires also poses a substantial risk to human health.


Prozac in ocean water a possible threat to sea life, PSU study finds

Public Release: 20-Oct-2017
Prozac in ocean water a possible threat to sea life, PSU study finds
Portland State University

Oregon shore crabs exhibit risky behavior when they're exposed to the antidepressant Prozac, making it easier for predators to catch them, according to a new study from Portland State University (PSU).

The study, published in the journal Ecology and Evolution, illustrates how concentrations of pharmaceuticals found in the environment could pose a risk to animal survival.

For years, tests of seawater near areas of human habitation have shown trace levels of everything from caffeine to prescription medicines. The chemicals are flushed from homes or medical facilities, go into the sewage system, and eventually make their way to the ocean.

In a laboratory, the PSU team exposed Oregon shore crabs to traces of fluoxetine, the active ingredient in Prozac. They found that the crabs increased their foraging behavior, showing less concern for predators than they normally would. They even did so during the day, when they would normally be in hiding.

They also fought more with members of their own species, often either killing their foe or getting killed in the process.

"The changes we observed in their behaviors may mean that crabs living in harbors and estuaries contaminated with fluoxetine are at greater risk of predation and mortality," said researcher Elise Granek, a professor in PSU's department of Environmental Sciences and Management.


Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you. - Friedrich Nietzsche

Five former US presidents to appear at hurricane relief concert

Why does nobody mention that Hillary Clinton is perfectly nice?

Our cities need fewer cars, not cleaner cars

Niger Ambush Came After ‘Massive Intelligence Failure,’ Source Says

Friday, October 20, 2017


New Fire Danger Threatens to Worsen Most Disastrous Wildfire Season in California History
A record-breaking heat wave will build over Southern California over the weekend and peak on Tuesday, bringing triple-digit temperatures that could set marks for the hottest temperatures ever recorded so late in the year in the Los Angeles area. Accompanying the heat will be the notorious Santa Ana winds, which will bring a multi-day period of critical fire danger, Saturday through Tuesday.

White nationalist shot at protesters after Richard Spencer speech in Florida, police say

Texas city offers Harvey relief in exchange for Israel no-boycott pledge

Report: Some North Korea elites being deprived of rations

Gallup: Rate of American adults without health insurance rises

A restaurant worker in Nova Scotia was caught on camera jumping into a harbor to rescue a drowning seagull that was tangled in fishing line.

Scientists reveal e-cigarettes may trigger unique immune responses

Workers are dangling from helicopters to fix Puerto Rico's power lines

People With HIV Should Be Quarantined, Says Georgia Lawmaker and Wife of Tom Price
People with HIV should be quarantined, and the U.S. would be safer if they “died more readily,” according to Betty Price, a Republican state representative and wife of former Health Secretary Tom Price.
The Georgia-state lawmaker and former anesthesiologist, who now represents people who live in the northern Atlanta area,

'Our task was to set Americans against their own government': New details emerge about Russia's trolling operation

Thursday, October 19, 2017


After Ikea Dresser Recall, Another Toddler Reportedly Died In Tip-Over
Safety standards for dressers are currently voluntary. Last year, some lawmakers introduced a bill to call for mandatory safety standards, which died in committee.

As temperatures rise, mosquitoes will thrive. As a result, the tropical diseases they carry will creep across the South to places like Mississippi and possibly points north.

Trump pick for top environmental post called belief in global warming a 'kind of paganism'

CMU Student Charters Plane, Delivers Aid to Puerto Rico

Apocalypse survivalist donates stockpiled goods to Puerto Rico

More Rain In Puerto Rico Brings Misery To Those With Damaged Roofs

Report: Pollution Kills 3 Times More than AIDS, TB And Malaria Combined

October 19, 20176:30 PM ET
Susan Brink

Exposure to polluted air, water and soil caused nine million premature deaths in 2015, according to a report published Thursday in The Lancet.

The causes of death vary — cancer, lung disease, heart disease. The report links them to pollution, drawing upon previous studies that show how pollution is tied to a wider range of diseases than previously thought.

Those studies observed populations exposed to pollutants and compared them to people not exposed. The studies have shown that pollution can be an important cause of diseases — many of them potentially fatal — including asthma, cancer, neurodevelopmental disorders, birth defects in children, heart disease, stroke and lung disease.

The nine million figure adds up to 16 percent of all deaths worldwide, killing three times more people than AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined. Pollution is responsible for 15 times more deaths than wars and all other forms of violence.

"No country is unaffected," the report notes. But 92 percent of those deaths occurred in low- and middle-income countries.

"Pollution in rapidly developing countries is just getting worse and worse and worse.


Rates of heart disease and stroke are kicked up by air pollution. [Inhaled nanoparticles of pollution can play a role in rupturing plaque build-up in arteries, causing a heart attack or stroke, according to the American Heart Association.]

Arsenic in the water increases rates of some cancers, but the connection isn't immediate. When debates arise about controlling pollution, industry almost always says it's too expensive to make changes. Industries can make that statement because they can calculate how much it costs, say, to put filters on smokestacks. The health costs to people over many years of exposure to pollution is less obvious.


One blatant example is asbestos. About two million tons of new asbestos is produced every year. [Asbestos is outlawed in most of the developed world because of the high risk of lung cancer.] Virtually all of that goes to the world's poorest countries that have poor or no regulations against it. [According to reports it is used in the production of building materials, among other products.] It's going to continue to cause epidemics of cancer in poor counties. Another example is pesticides. About 20 percent of U.S. pesticide production is of pesticides not allowed in this country because of known health risks. So we export it to poor countries.

Then there is the international transfer of materials like old computers, cell phones, TVs, refrigerators from rich countries to the developing world. People break them up and try to extract valuable things like gold or copper, and pollutants get into the soil. Or lead batteries end up in developing countries and contaminate communities.


Climate change at work? Weather Service calls for third straight mild winter.

Cold temps that used to occur regularly are now regarded as unbearably extreme.

I remember a few years ago when the Atlanta winter was mild until the very end, when we had a couple of weeks of really cold weather. The rest of the year, people were talking about how cold the winter had been, even though in reality it had almost all been very mild. Shows why science requires written records.

By Jason Samenow October 19, 2017

If you’re itching for outbreaks of the polar vortex and waist-deep snow, the upcoming winter may not be your cup of tea. And, thanks to climate change, the odds of brutally cold winters are decaying.

For the third time in as many years, the nation — on balance — should expect warmer-than-normal temperatures, according to the National Weather Service, which released its winter outlook on Thursday.

The Weather Service favors warmer-than-normal conditions for the southern two-thirds of the Lower 48, including the Mid-Atlantic. Only a sliver of the Northern Plains and Pacific Northwest is expected to experience colder-than-normal temperatures.

The mild forecast follows back-to-back lackluster winters across the nation.

Last winter was practically the winter without a winter. Spring arrived weeks ahead of time, and Chicago basked in record 70-degree warmth in February. It ranked as the sixth-warmest winter on record.

The winter before, with the exception of the blockbuster January snowstorm along the East Coast, was quite tame, as well, ranking as the warmest on record. Temperatures surged through the 70s to the Canadian border on the East Coast’s warmest Christmas Eve on record.

Climate warming from rising concentrations of carbon dioxide is exerting an effect on winter temperatures, said Mike Halpert, deputy director of the Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center. “It does, undoubtedly, play a role,” he said in a call with reporters. “The increase in CO2 factors into our model forecast.”


He further said that while winters are warming, on average, natural variability continues to play the dominant role in the ultimate outcome of the season’s temperatures.

Still, Halpert said “there was nothing to indicate” that the nation will have punishing outbreaks of the polar vortex as experienced in the winter of 2013-2014 and, to a lesser degree, the winter that followed. But he wouldn’t totally rule out some penetrating outbreaks of extreme cold, explaining that they usually can’t be predicted until about a week or so in advance.



The controversy over whether Trump should call the family of every military person killed on duty shows that we are fortunately not losing large numbers. No way the president could have called the families of every military person killed in Vietnam, much less WWI, WWII, or Korea.

The controversy over whether Trump should call the family of every military person killed on duty shows that we are fortunately not losing large numbers. No way the president could have called the families of every military person killed in Vietnam, much less WWI, WWII, or Korea.
And I know from personal experience that some people look for the most negative way of interpreting other's statements, and claim they said something they didn't. .

Relationship between sugar and cancer is now clearer, scientists say

George W. Bush: 'Bigotry seems emboldened' in US
Former President George W. Bush said Thursday that “bigotry seems emboldened” in the United States, warning that Americans need to reject “white supremacy.”
The former president also criticized the “governing class,” but did not specifically mention President Trump, Congress or any other politicians in office.

Higher Education's Biggest Scam Is Legacy Admissions Policies

Trump's Evangelical Fans Preach the Gospel of Greed, Not Grace

Sleep Better Diet: The Eating Habits of Hightly Rested People

Maryland Office Shooter was always angry, victim's widow says
[His father was described as "strict", which in my experience usually means abusive.]

Pittsburgh teacher beaten after cellphone dispute at school

Cop battling advanced cancer helps rescue nearly 1,500 in Harvey aftermath

Formerly homeless hairdresser gives free makeovers to homeless girls

Meet 60 Minutes, Washington Post DEA whistleblower

Former soldier posing as a hit man exposes Texas doctors' murder-for-hire plot

Death toll rises to 42 as California anticipates much-needed rain this week after catastrophic wildfires

Hurricane Irma’s Overlooked Victims: Migrant Farm Workers Living at the Edge

In attempt to sow fear, Russian trolls paid for self-defense classes for African Americans

by Donie O'Sullivan, Drew Griffin and Curt Devine @CNNMoney October 18, 2017

A group linked to the Russian troll farm behind thousands of fake Facebook ads paid personal trainers in New York, Florida, and other parts of the United States to run self-defense classes for African Americans in an apparent attempt to stoke fear and gather contact details of Americans potentially susceptible to their propaganda.

"Be ready to protect your rights... Let them know that black power matters," the group, known as Black Fist, wrote on its website promoting the events.

The group appears to have been set up in January 2017, and it ran events before stopping at some point this year, evidence that Russia's attempts to use social media to meddle in American affairs have extended far beyond the 2016 presidential election.

The events, which appear to have been designed to suggest a connection to the Black Lives Matter movement, were -- unbeknownst to the trainers who led them -- likely conceived by the Russian government-linked Internet Research Agency.

The site lists Facebook and Instagram pages that CNN is told were removed as part of Facebook's investigation into Russian meddling in U.S. politics, a source familiar told CNN.

The mysterious effort matches other previously discovered Russia-connected efforts to engage in U.S. social issues, including promoting rallies for a fake secessionist group in Texas and protests and demonstrations that were, like Black Fist, supposed to seem connected to Black Lives Matter.


Black Fist is one of a series of campaigns run from Russia designed to look like part of the American Black Lives Matter movement. CNN first reported last month on Blacktivist, a campaign whose Facebook page had more than 300,000 followers on Facebook.

Black Fist's use of Eventbrite and MeetUp adds the two companies to a growing list of organizations utilized by Russian trolls in their attempt to sow discord in the U.S. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, and even Pokemon Go were also employed in various ways.

For many older Americans, the rat race is over. But the inequality isn’t.

By Peter Whoriskey October 18, 2017

While the rat race ends with retirement, one of its principal features extends well past a person's last day of work.

Income inequality in the United States spills over from the job into the last decades of life, according to a new survey that ranks the differences among U.S. retirees as among the most extreme in the 35-country comparison.

The report being issued Wednesday by the OECD, or Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, reports levels of inequality in a survey of member countries.

The inequality among older people in the U.S. is among the most extreme, according to the report.

“Inequality has been growing from one generation to the next in the United States,” according to the report. “This is particularly alarming . . . as old age inequality among current [U.S.] retirees is already higher than in all other OECD countries, except Chile and Mexico.”

The gap between the top and bottom incomes seems destined to rise, too.

Within each generation of workers, according to the OECD data, inequality rises. For example, researchers tracked U.S. income inequality for four different generations — people born in 1920, 1940, 1960, and 1980. For each group, inequality has been more extreme than the previous generation.



Baby & Child Among Those Rescued In Sex Trafficking Sting
The FBI has recovered a three-month-old baby and a five-year-old in Denver during a nationwide child sex trafficking investigation.

Typhoon Lan poised to intensify into giant super typhoon, head for Japan

The Danger of President Pence

Warning of 'ecological Armageddon' after dramatic plunge in insect numbers

‘This is very alarming!’: Flying insects vanish from nature preserves
[There are hardly any fireflies in my backyard anymore.]

Suspect in shootings of 6 in Maryland and Delaware caught
Karen Flowers, 51, of Wilmington said in an interview that she has known Prince since he was a child. He was raised by caring parents, she said, including a strict father.
[Maybe his "strict" father was a factor.]

Iceland’s Forgotten Fisherwomen
Many Icelandic women fished in the 18th and 19th centuries, but their work has been largely unrecognized. Why did these female seafarers fade from the country’s memory?

September 2017: Earth's 4th Warmest September on Record

Dr. Jeff Masters · October 18, 2017, 12:04 PM EDT

September 2017 was the planet's fourth warmest September since record keeping began in 1880, said NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) and NASA this week. The only warmer Septembers came during 2015, 2016, and 2014. Minor differences can occur between the NASA and NOAA rankings because of their different techniques for analyzing data-sparse regions such as the Arctic.

Global ocean temperatures last month were the fourth warmest on record for any September, according to NOAA, and global land temperatures were the third warmest on record.


Second-warmest year on record thus far

Each of the first eight months of 2017 have ranked among the top four warmest such months on record, giving 2017 the second highest January–September temperature in the 138-year record: 0.78°C (1.57°F) above the 20th-century average. This is behind the record year of 2016 by 0.13°C (0.24°F). This near-record warmth in 2017 is especially remarkable given the lack of an El Niño event this year. Global temperatures tend to be warmer during El Niño years, when the ocean releases more heat to the atmosphere. Given the lack of an El Niño event in 2017, it is unlikely that we will surpass 2016 as the warmest year on record. However, 2017 is almost certain to be the planet's warmest year on record that lacks any influence from El Niño, and Earth's four warmest years of the last century-plus are likely to be 2016, 2017, 2015, and 2014.


Arctic sea ice extent during September 2017 was the seventh lowest in the 38-year satellite record, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center


Sea ice surrounding Antarctica had the second lowest extent on record in September 2017, and has been at record- to near-record lows since September 2016.


Tuesday, October 17, 2017


Ex-GOP lawmaker: Republicans hope Democrats take House in 2018 to save America from Trump

Portugal and Spain wildfires: Dozens dead and injured

Strange Days: Ex-Hurricane Ophelia Batters Ireland Under Orange Skies

Patriotic Millionaires
Proud “traitors to their class,” members of the Patriotic Millionaires are high-net worth Americans, business leaders, and investors who are united in their concern about the destabilizing concentration of wealth and power in America.

Meet the new class traitors who are coming out as rich

Skimping on sleep may contribute to gestational diabetes

Stress might be just as unhealthy as junk food to digestive system

Majority overestimates US gay population, could influence gay rights policies

Childhood poverty, poor support may drive up pregnant woman's biological age

Social media accounts promote skeletal images of women

Surprisingly low concentrations of toxic chemicals - from fungicides to antidepressants - can change the way some aquatic creatures swim and feed, according to new research.

Integration of smoking cessation within CT lung cancer screenings shows life-saving results

Brain training shows promise for patients with bipolar disorder

Healthy lifestyle reduces cardiovascular risk after gestational diabetes, NIH study shows

Doctors urged to make a public commitment to talk to their patients about guns

GP referral to Weight Watchers avoided type 2 diabetes in third of patients

Ten pence (13 cents) restaurant chain levy on sugary drinks linked to fall in sales

Differences in insurance account for a substantial proportion of the excess risk of death from breast cancer faced by black women

In the UK, one in five witness someone collapse who requires CPR but the majority do not act

Scientists reveal the relationship between sugar and cancer

Learning and staying in shape key to longer lifespan, study finds

Warming seas could lead to 70 percent increase in hurricane-related financial loss

What do Americans fear most? Chapman University releases 4th annual Survey of American Fears

Conservationists' eco-footprints suggest education alone won't change behavior

Forest grazing counteracts the effectiveness of trees to reduce flood risk

Pest resistance to biotech crops surging

Scientists find evidence our best friends, dogs, similarly adapted to malaria in Africa

Formation of coal almost turned our planet into a snowball