Wednesday, November 07, 2018


This gives me cautious optimism. I hope this is not just an attempt by conservatives on the supreme court to help republican voters by calming people's fears of how they will vote on the environment in the future. Time will show.
Nov. 3, 2018
Supreme Court Rejects White House Move To Block Teens' Climate Change Lawsuit
The Supreme Court has refused a Trump administration application to halt an intriguing climate change lawsuit filed by a group of young people against the U.S. government.
The suit, filed in 2015 by 21 plaintiffs now ages 11 to 22, argues that the failure of government leaders to battle climate change violates their constitutional right to life, liberty, property and to a “stable climate system” that will sustain human life.
The Trump administration moved for an emergency ruling to block a hearing of the case that had been scheduled to begin Monday in an Oregon federal court.
The lawsuit calls on the federal government to devise a plan to phase out fossil fuels and carbon emissions, and to stabilize the Earth’s climate.
The Supreme Court refused Friday to halt the case. But it said that the government could present arguments against the case before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in the future. 
Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch said they would have blocked the suit.
The Supreme Court in July shot down an earlier attempt by the Trump administration to block the case, calling that action “premature.”
The Obama administration also tried to have the case thrown out.
Nov. 3, 2018
With the U.S. midterm elections days away, researchers have identified what they called a coordinated network of Twitter accounts that’s pushing false and misleading narratives about election integrity with hashtags like #VoterFraud.
They found a core of 200 accounts that tweeted or were mentioned in tweets more than 140 million times over the last year, according to a research report published Saturday.
The findings don’t necessarily reflect a reprise of the Russian influence efforts in the 2016 election, nor is the tweeting clearly driven by automated bots, researchers say. But the network of accounts, which sounds off at relatively regular intervals -- even at times when there’s nothing about the topic in the news -- has helped create an echo chamber to justify state-level ballot restrictions despite little evidence of actual voter fraud.
Researchers couldn’t identify who was behind the coordination -- and they said the patterns they found suggest that online influence operations have evolved in subtle ways that avoid detection.
Nov. 4, 2018
Iraqi officials and fishermen are at a loss to explain how hundreds of tons of carp have suddenly died in fish farms in the Euphrates River, fueling anxieties about soaring water pollution.
Nov. 4, 2018
Sweeping accusations that the Kremlin tried to sway the 2016 U.S. election haven't chastened Russian trolls, hackers and spies — and might even have emboldened them.
U.S. officials and tech companies say Russians have continued online activity targeted at American voters during the campaign for Tuesday's election, masquerading as U.S. institutions and creating faux-American social media posts to aggravate tensions around issues like migration and gun control.
"Russians have a preference and they will do what they can to swing (the result) in their favor, especially if margins are tight," said James Nixey, head of the Russia and Eurasia program at the London-based think tank Chatham House.
He cautions, however, that "Russia is not responsible for all of America's problems. America has splits and fissures like all of us, and Russia puts in a lever and pries them open."
Oct. 30, 2018
Later studies of the mass media would confirm these two fundamental rules of persuasion. Media messages generally cannot convince audiences of something contrary to their existing attitudes or prejudices. But they can powerfully reinforce what people already believe. Second, especially in the age of social media, fake news is most powerful when it is shared — not just by prominent information sources but also by anyone on Twitter or Facebook.
The social media campaign carried out by Russian intelligence in 2016 to help elect President Trump depended on the very same persuasive factors that Welles unwittingly revealed. Russian operatives developed propaganda that, like “The War of the Worlds,” appealed to pre-existing fear and anger among the American public, activating voters inclined to vote Republican and giving Democrats reasons to stay home. This content was specifically designed to be shared, so that voters might encounter it through someone they trusted.
Still, the basic means of fighting fake news haven’t changed much in 80 years. Many listeners frightened by “The War of the Worlds” tried to verify what they heard, either by changing stations or calling local authorities.
Such reflexive skepticism can and must be taught. The fundamentals of media literacy should occupy a central place in middle school and high school curriculums, arming students with the critical mind-set today’s media landscape demands.
Nov. 1, 2018
An Indie Music Expert Explains Why Artists Are Turning Away From Record Deals
Nov. 7, 2018
How to explain to someone living abroad that Democrats can have over 10 million more Senate votes and still lose

Worked at the election, at Shorty Howell Park in Duluth. Of course, there was a morning rush. At least half a dozen people waiting when we arrived a little before 6am to set up. So as usual we had to get in the swing of things while being rushed. But things went well. Thankfully, people voting see that we are working hard to try to do a good job. Hate to see that the things we learned by the end of the day about how to do an efficient, effective job won't be used again for another two years unless we have a runoff.
Nov. 7, 2018
Because the process of redrawing political maps will not begin until after 2020, House Democrats will have to defend their gains on the same, skewed playing field. Ahead of Tuesday’s election, various forecasts posited Democrats would have to beat Republicans by roughly 5.5, 7, or even 11 points in the general vote just to win a slim majority of seats in the House.

Disturbing to have a president who thinks the purpose of the justice department, which is paid for by taxpayers, is to serve him personally.
Nov. 7, 2018
Jeff Sessions, the attorney general, has been fired by Donald Trump and replaced with a senior aide who has previously called for special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation to be defunded and reined in.
Sessions, a former US senator for Alabama, was one of the earliest supporters of Trump’s presidential campaign, but soon ran into trouble after being confirmed to the new administration.
He enraged Trump by recusing himself in March 2017 from investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 election, following revelations that he had two undisclosed meetings with Sergey Kislyak, then Russia’s ambassador to the US.
Trump has publicly lambasted Sessions for recusing himself, claiming he ought instead to have protected Trump against what the president has termed a “witch-hunt” over Russia. Sessions and Rosenstein have defended Mueller’s integrity.
Whitaker’s view on the investigation appears to be in more line with the president’s. He has publicly proposed choking off funding for Mueller’s investigation and wrote an article for CNN last year declaring that the special counsel was “going too far” and needed to be brought under control.

People in Alabama say "Thank God for Mississippi", because it has so kept Alabama from being at the bottom of the heap on things like poverty. Now many states can "Thank God for Nevada"!
Nov. 7, 2018
Dead pro-Trump pimp still manages to win election in Nevada
Nov. 7, 2018
US researchers have found early intervention can help prevent negative experiences in infancy turning into long-term health risks
Nov. 6, 2018
Parker, a television makeup artist, was in excruciating pain as cancer crept from her breast into her bones and brain, and intended to end her life before the suffering became too overwhelming.
But because Canadian federal law required that she was lucid at the time of death – and fearing that the combined effects of cancer and medication could rob her of that clarity – Parker was forced to end her life months before she had intended to die.
Nov. 6, 2018
'I still feel sad and cry': Korean victim of Japanese forced labour awaits justice
Oct. 1, 2018
Beach lovers were celebrating on Monday after the US supreme court declined to hear a case brought by the billionaire Vinod Khosla that threatened the public’s right to access beaches across California.
Nov. 5, 2018
This is why Internet voting is a terrible idea. It would need to be invulnerable, a standard that is impossible to meet. "This is what all of security is about, that we don't know how to make perfect computer software and hardware," Halderman said. That's why your computer and phone are constantly getting security updates, and why you're only on the hook for $50 if your credit card gets jacked. New flaws are always being discovered and patched, even in state-of-the-art systems. The typical suite of election software, meanwhile, contains about a million lines of code. "There is no million-line software package ever written," Halderman said, "that does not have security problems." Worse, machines in dozens of states use software so old that developers stopped dispensing security updates years ago.
"Probably the worst case is a silent attack," Halderman said between sips of coffee. "A silent attack is where the election outcome is changed but nobody notices. And then after the fact, a foreign government has the ability to prove it and uses that as leverage against the people in power."
He let that hang for a moment, took another sip, set his cup down.
"That is the worst case."
He chuckles at that.
"It's an amazing form of blackmail," he says. "I mean, if I were evil, that's what I'd be doing."
Oct. 26, 2018
There are many divides in the world right now. But there's one divide, deeply embedded into the core of human nature, that helps explain many other divides. What I'm referring to is a source of human personality variation that is built right into our DNA: antagonism.
Nov. 5, 2018
The good news is that same study found that patience as a personality trait is modifiable. Even if you’re not a particularly patient person today, there’s still hope you can be a more patient person tomorrow. So if you find yourself getting exasperated more than you’d like, here are ways to keep those testy impulses in check.
Nov. 7, 2018
On Tuesday, at least eight new science-credentialed candidates were elected: one senator and seven members of the House. Full results are not yet available in Washington state, where a pediatrician is likely to be elected to the House.
The members of the 115th Congress (current) include one physicist, one microbiologist, and one chemist, as well as eight engineers and one mathematician. The medical professions are slightly better represented, with three nurses and 15 doctors.

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