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Why Can't the U.S. Treat Guns as a Public-Health Problem? - The Atlantic
After a deadly shooting, the debate always, it seems, breaks down like this: One side argues for gun control, and the other argues there is no research proving those measures work. There is, in fact, little research into gun violence at all—especially compared to other causes of death in the United States.

The modern origins of the impasse can be traced to 1996, when Congress passed an amendment to a spending bill that forbade the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from using money to “advocate or promote gun control.”

The National Rifle Association had pushed for the amendment, after public-health researchers produced a spate of studies suggesting that, for example, having a gun in the house increased risk of homicide and suicide. It deemed the research politically motivated.
us  research  politics 
26 days ago by juliusbeezer
Nantes. Le muscadet menacé par Donald Trump ? -
Ici, 50 % de la production part à l’exportation, dont environ 30 % vers les États-Unis. Soit entre 10 000 et 30 000 bouteilles. Il faut dire que le muscadet et plus largement les vins de Loire séduisent de plus en plus les Américains.

Les États-Unis sont aujourd’hui le premier importateur de vins de Loire. En 2018, le marché était de 85 831 hectolitres pour une valeur de 67 millions d’euros. C’est le plus grand marché à l’export, affirmait en 2017 la fédération des vins de Nantes. Le marché nord américain (Québec compris) pèse près de 7 millions d’euros pour le seul muscadet. Trois états sont particulièrement concernés et concentrent 80 % des ventes : l’Illinois, New York et la Californie. Les Américains apprécient particulièrement le côté convivial et festif du vin nantais. Et son prix, entre 15 et 20 dollars, soit deux fois moins que le prix moyen d’un vin importé, et au niveau, voire légèrement en dessous des productions américaines.
agriculture  france  us  alcohol  politics 
27 days ago by juliusbeezer
SAS soldier was killed by friendly fire, inquiry finds | UK news | The Guardian
“It was initially believed that Sgt Tonroe was killed by enemy action, however subsequent investigation concluded that Sgt Tonroe was killed by the accidental detonation of explosives carried by coalition forces. Our thoughts continue to be with Sgt Tonroe’s family and friends.”

Tonroe, who joined the army in 2004, served in the 3rd Battalion of the Parachute Regiment in Colchester on completion of his training, where he served as part of the Sniper Platoon. He later passed selection for the Special Air Services Regiment. In Syria, he was embedded in Seal Team 6, the unit that killed Osama Bin Laden.

According to reports, Tonroe was on a mission to capture or kill high-value Isis personnel when he died. Five other people were injured in the explosion.

military  us  uk  syria  agnotology 
28 days ago by juliusbeezer
While the planet burns, Ohio's coal industry gets a bailout | Leah C Stokes | Opinion | The Guardian
These companies have spent several million dollars on deceptive advertising, lobbying and campaign contributions to help elect politicians sympathetic to their cause.

In return, these politicians have proven dutiful beneficiaries, working diligently to secure almost a billion dollars of ratepayer subsidies for FirstEnergy and AEP.

As lobbying goes, not a bad return on investment.

This isn’t just happening in Ohio. Utilities across the country are pushing to delay climate action and stall the growth of renewables, which are already a cheaper source of electricity than continuing to operate three-quarters of US coal plants.
climatechange  us  politics  fossil-fuel 
28 days ago by juliusbeezer
Rebel Metropolis | It’s Time to Stop Sharing the Road
Stand your ground.

Liberation theories vary depending on the discipline, but most include language recognizing true emancipation can never come from above, liberation can only be derived from the self. Another major component is addressing the socializing that places normalcy on the state of oppression, or even places blame on the oppressed for their condition. How many times have you read a comment claiming if a cyclist gets killed by a car, it was their own foolish fault for getting in the way? And how many times have you witnessed people calmly appeal to said commenter’s empathy, only to watch them predictably prove they have none?

Even more horrifying, if a driver does in fact kill a person walking or biking, they’ll likely be conditioned to believe they were in fact the victim. A recent Op-Ed in the always anti-bicycle Oregonian by a woman (who previously drove her SUV into a man and killed him) warned people on bikes to watch out – she’s killed before, she just may kill again! Even though no bikes were involved in her lethal act of driving that day, bicycles and the people who ride them are now apparently the target of this woman’s misplaced guilt. Such is the pathology of entitlement that so many drivers adopt.
cycling  road_safety  politics  us 
4 weeks ago by juliusbeezer
Marijuana legalization and road safety: a panel study of US States
Marijuana legalization and road safety: a panel study of US States
Young, Andrew
Policymakers and the public are concerned about the road safety implications of legalizing marijuana. Despite the more than two decades of data since California became the first state to legalize marijuana for medical use, there has been surprisingly little research on this question. This study seeks to address this gap in the literature. Specifically, this research combines twenty-three years of state traffic data with information on the contemporaneous legal status of marijuana, for both medical and recreational use, to estimate two models of road safety. First, while treating both the state and the year as fixed effects, the resulting panel regression model estimates that the legalization of medical or recreational marijuana is not a predictor of the number of fatalities per 100,000 vehicle-miles traveled. Second, due to limitations in the regression model, a difference-in-difference analysis was conducted over the same period and found no relationship between legalization of medical marijuana and the number of fatalities per 100,000 vehicle-miles traveled. These findings suggest that concerns of policy makers and the public that legalizing marijuana will worsen road safety are not ungrounded at this time. According to the models, the recent upward trend of traffic fatality rates nationwide is not a result of medical marijuana legalization. In fact, the legalization of marijuana is not found to be a predictor of traffic fatalities.
cannabis  road_safety  us 
9 weeks ago by juliusbeezer
Jeff Bezos Protests Invasion of His Privacy, as Amazon Builds Surveillance State
On Thursday, Bezos published emails in which the Enquirer’s parent company explicitly threatened to publish intimate photographs of Bezos and his mistress, which were apparently exchanged between the two through their iPhones, unless Bezos agreed to a series of demands involving silence about the company’s conduct.

In a perfect world, none of the sexually salacious material the Enquirer was threatening to release would be incriminating or embarrassing to Bezos: it involves consensual sex between adults...
If Bezos were the political victim of surveillance state abuses, it would be scandalous and dangerous. It would also be deeply ironic.

That’s because Amazon, the company that has made Bezos the planet’s richest human being, is a critical partner for the U.S. Government in building an ever-more invasive, militarized and sprawling surveillance state. Indeed, one of the largest components of Amazon’s business, and thus one of the most important sources of Bezos’ vast wealth and power, is working with the Pentagon and the NSA to empower the U.S. Government with more potent and more sophisticated weapons, including surveillance weapons.
privacy  surveillance  amazon  irony  politics  us 
february 2019 by juliusbeezer
Trump and Putin have relaunched the arms race. Hug Europe close, Britain | Rafael Behr | Opinion | The Guardian
Europe might feel a bit unstable these days, but at least it is not a hair-trigger away from nuclear Armageddon. One reason is the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty. That deal, signed by Washington and Moscow in 1987, banned missiles with a range of 310 to 3,420 miles. Last week, Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the INF, blaming Russian violations. Vladimir Putin reciprocated over the weekend, promising to accelerate development of prohibited weapons. Unless Moscow and Washington unexpectedly rediscover the spirit of detente, the INF treaty is finished. A global monument to the triumph of diplomatic rationality over militaristic paranoia is being pulled down.

The response in Britain has been oddly muted. Politics is mostly taken up by Brexit, but the issues are linked.
nukes  politics  us  russia  eu  uk 
february 2019 by juliusbeezer
US nuclear weapons: first low-yield warheads roll off the production line | World news | The Guardian
The new weapon, the W76-2, is a modification of the existing Trident warhead. Stephen Young, a senior Washington representative of the Union of Concerned Scientists, said its yield had most likely been cut by taking away one stage from the original two-stage, W76 thermonuclear device.

“As best we can tell, the only requirement is to replace the existing secondary, or second stage, with a dummy version, which is what they do every time they test fly a missile,” Young said, adding that the amount of tritium, a hydrogen isotope, may also be adjusted. The result would be to reduce its explosive power from 100 kilotons of TNT, to about five – approximately a third of the force of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

The Trump administration has argued the development of a low-yield weapon would make nuclear war less likely, by giving the US a more flexible deterrent.
nukes  us 
january 2019 by juliusbeezer
A Nation-Sized Battery | Do the Math
Putting the pieces together, our national battery occupies a volume of 4.4 billion cubic meters, equivalent to a cube 1.6 km (one mile) on a side. The size in itself is not a problem: we’d naturally break up the battery and distribute it around the country. This battery would demand 5 trillion kg (5 billion tons) of lead.
Get the Lead Out!

A USGS report from 2011 reports 80 million tons (Mt) of lead in known reserves worldwide, with 7 Mt in the U.S. A note in the report indicates that the recent demonstration of lead associated with zinc, silver, and copper deposits places the estimated (undiscovered) lead resources of the world at 1.5 billion tons. That’s still not enough to build the battery for the U.S. alone. We could chose to be optimistic and assume that more lead will be identified over time. But let’s not ignore completely the fact that at this moment in time time, no one can point to a map of the world and tell you where even 2% of the necessary lead would come from to build a lead-acid battery big enough for the U.S.
energy  storage  us  renewables  technology 
november 2018 by juliusbeezer
What happens to your life after you accidentally kill someone? | Science | The Guardian
I was driving my recently fixed-up 1973 VW Super Beetle. Around 5.30, as we rounded a curve in the road, the glare of the setting sun hit my eyes. I squinted and tried to shade my eyes with the car’s visor. I felt vulnerable in the passing lane, so I attempted to move into the right lane. As I moved right I saw a red Jeep already in that lane. I swerved back into my lane, but I swerved too far.

The driver’s side of my car slammed into a steel plate in the concrete median.
driving  crash_report  us  psychology 
november 2018 by juliusbeezer
Twitter recap: World's eyes on Baraboo High School after Nazi salute photo goes viral | Local News |
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censorship  eu  us  internet 
november 2018 by juliusbeezer
How the Koch Brothers Are Killing Public Transit Projects Around the Country - The New York Times
The group, the local chapter for Americans for Prosperity, which is financed by the oil billionaires Charles G. and David H. Koch to advance conservative causes, fanned out and began strategically knocking on doors. Their targets: voters most likely to oppose a local plan to build light-rail trains, a traffic-easing tunnel and new bus routes.

“Do you agree that raising the sales tax to the highest rate in the nation must be stopped?” Samuel Nienow, one of the organizers, asked a startled man who answered the door at his ranch-style home in March. “Can we count on you to vote ‘no’ on the transit plan?”
transport  us  politics 
november 2018 by juliusbeezer
Matthew and Sarah Elliott: How a UK Power Couple Links US Libertarians and Fossil Fuel Lobbyists to Brexit | DeSmog UK
At the heart of this network lies a little-known power couple, Matthew and Sarah Elliott. Together, the husband and wife team connect senior members of the Leave campaign and groups pushing a libertarian free-market ideology from offices in Westminster’s Tufton Street to major US libertarian lobbyists and funders.

Collectively, the network aims to use Brexit as an opportunity to slash regulations in the UK, paving the way for a wide-ranging US-UK free-trade deal that could have disastrous consequences for the environment.

The current draft withdrawal agreement appears to try and provide some protection for the current level of environmental regulation — at least in principle. But politicians associated with this transatlantic network are lobbying hard for the draft deal to be scrapped, along with those protections.

This DeSmog UK investigation reveals the strength of the ties between Matthew and Sarah Elliott, UK lobbyists and politicians, and US groups with vested interests in fossil fuels keen to profit from deregulation.

It shows how organisations with strong ties to the Koch Brothers and Robert Mercer increased their political activities in the UK immediately before and after the Brexit referendum.
agnotology  politics  uk  us  climatechange 
november 2018 by juliusbeezer
Hypergamy, Incels, and Reality – Axiom of Chance
he graph summarizes the differences between students in a simple fashion. The majority of both men and women reported one sexual contact in the past 18 months. Among those who are not having sex, it’s more the women than the men; even allowing for under-reporting by women, the idea that the majority of women are giving their favors to men, in Peterson’s words, “across and up dominance hierarchies”, is an absolute fantasy.

If the incels story fails, perhaps the idea of the 1% survives. Where is Chad? There is one candidate, an outlier male that reported nine sexual contacts. The data set as a whole contains 477 relationships, so this man monopolizes a total of… 1.8% of the sex in the school. Bill Gates he is not.

It gets worse for the Petersons and the dominant lobsters of the world. Not only is there not a conspiracy of elite men to monopolize women, it appears that if anything, it’s the other way around. Only fourteen men in the sample have four or more partners, but twenty-four women do.
sex  culture  us 
november 2018 by juliusbeezer
Half of white women continue to vote Republican. What's wrong with them? | Moira Donegan | Opinion | The Guardian
But there is something else at play, something more complicated, in white women’s relationship to white patriarchy. White women’s identity places them in a curious position at the intersection of two vectors of privilege and oppression: they are granted structural power by their race, but excluded from it by their sex. In a political system where racism and sexism are both so deeply ingrained, white women must choose to be loyal to either the more powerful aspect of their identity, their race, or to the less powerful, their sex. Some Republican white women might lean into racism not only for racism’s sake, but also as a means of avoiding or denying the realities of how sexist oppression makes them vulnerable.

In her book Right Wing Women, the feminist Andrea Dworkin wrote that conservative women often conform to the dominant ideologies of the men around them as part of a subconscious survival strategy, hoping that their conservatism will spare them from male hatred and violence.
racism  feminism  politics  us  authoritarianism 
november 2018 by juliusbeezer
'Phenomenally saddening': inside the sordid world of America's for-profit colleges | Film | The Guardian
The rerouting of financial aid money from institutions to students themselves was meant to allow private universities to compete with public ones, whose low costs made enrollment swell. But this opened the door for profit-driven colleges, who took advantage of the desire to make higher education more inclusive by encouraging students to take out huge sums of financial aid money...
These companies promised students eventual employment and, since the money was coming from taxpayers, had no vested interest in whether or not the students could pay back their loans. As an expert says in Fail State, for-profits had what amounted to risk-free access to the US treasury. Predictably, default rates soared in the 1980s, with almost half of all students at these colleges defaulting on their loans. By 1992, however, lawmakers began to wise up to the predatory recruitment practices and the virtually useless degrees these colleges were offering students.

At the time, a series of congressional hearings, and the attention of Congresswoman Maxine Waters (who appears in the documentary), helped set in motion a series of provisions that would allow for oversight of the for-profit industry: the 85-15 rule, requiring that at least 15% of the companies’ revenue came from sources other than government student aid; the 50/50 rule, ensuring no more than half of college courses were offered online or by mail; and the incentive compensation rule, banning college recruiters from receiving bonuses based on how many students they lured to the program. In the following decade, though, congressional interest in policing the for-profit sector waned and many of these regulations were dismantled or otherwise softened.
education  us 
november 2018 by juliusbeezer
How much damage can Saudi Arabia do to the global economy? | World news | The Guardian
He said Riyadh was weighing up 30 measures designed to put pressure on the US if it were to impose sanctions over the disappearance and presumed murder of Jamal Khashoggi inside the country’s Istanbul consulate. These would include an oil production cut that could drive prices from around $80 (£60) a barrel to more than $400, more than double the all-time high of $147.27 reached in 2008.
energy  saudi  us  oil  business  politics 
october 2018 by juliusbeezer
What America Still Doesn’t Understand About Fascism
So the disappointed prole turns to fascism to restore precisely the things that capitalism took away from him — what it was impoverishing him of while he wasn’t looking. But that means that he is at the mercy of tribal logic, in all its fearfulness and cowardice and stupidity, too. The rage that should be directed at capitalism is pointed at scapegoats. The anger that should be directed at those above him is aimed below him. The contempt he should have for the rich is turned into scorn of the poor.
politics  authoritarianism  us  capitalism  racism 
september 2018 by juliusbeezer
The Amazing Rise of Bilingualism in the United States | Psychology Today
there is a steady increase of the percentage of bilinguals between 1980 and 2016. Back in 1980, the percentage of bilinguals was 10.68% whereas in 2016, the last ACS survey for which we have data, it was 20.14%, practically a doubling of the number. If we add a few percentage points to take into account those not included in the survey, the proportion of bilinguals today is probably around 22% of the total population.
language  us 
september 2018 by juliusbeezer
The Real Solution to Cycling's "White Bro" Problem | Outside Online
Making sweeping pronouncements about the demographics of New York City cyclists from your rarefied perch on the Upper East Side is like concluding that caviar is America’s most popular condiment because they’re always serving it at your country club. But the rest of us who make our way around the city by bike know Cuozzo’s sweeping generalization about race and bikes doesn’t ring true—nor is it supported by actual data, which shows that black, white, and Latino adults in New York City cycle in similar proportions.
cycling  us  funny 
september 2018 by juliusbeezer
Hate crimes jump for fourth straight year in largest U.S. cities, study shows - The Washington Post
Crimes motivated by race or ethnicity bias are consistently the most common type of reported hate crime, and African Americans are the most targeted group, representing 23 percent of all hate crimes reported in major cities in 2017. Jews are consistently the most targeted religious group, and represented 19 percent of all hate crimes reported in major cities in 2017...
Nearly 90 percent of the country’s approximately 16,000 law enforcement agencies either choose not to supply data for those FBI statistics, or report no hate crimes in their jurisdictions, which can dramatically skew the data, social scientists say.
racism  us  politics  police  crime 
september 2018 by juliusbeezer
ACS Advocates a Consensus Strategy to Prevent Injury, Disability, and Death from Firearms
The ACS COT’s Consensus Strategy views firearm injury and mortality in the larger context of violence toward oneself or others, which is a major cause of unnecessary injury and death in the United States, claiming on average 175 American lives every single day.*

“To reduce death and disability associated with firearm injuries, we have to think about the strategies that cover the entire spectrum of violence-related events: how firearms are stored in the home, recognition that people who are at risk of self-harm or domestic violence should not have access to weapons, and addressing the causes of interpersonal violence. These strategies don’t get a lot of attention. These are not controversial ideas. All are achievable and could make a huge impact in terms of reducing injury, disability, and death,” said Eileen M. Bulger, MD, FACS, Seattle, Wash., current ACS COT Chair.
Violent Intentional Injuries and Deaths Are a Neglected Public Health Crisis

In 2016, the most recent year for which data are available, a firearm was involved in 51 percent (22,938) of suicides and 75 percent (14,415) of homicides. Since 1999 there has been a 17 percent increase in firearm-related intentional injury death rates; over the same time period, there was a 22 percent decrease in traffic-related deaths.*

Since 2014, the ACS COT has been engaged in a firearm-injury prevention consensus-building project that involved surveys of its members and the ACS Board of Regents and Board of Governors, town hall meetings, and outreach to a broad group of stakeholder organizations.
us  politics  deaths  guncontrol  medicine  healthcare  health 
september 2018 by juliusbeezer
Is Colin Kaepernick’s Nike deal activism – or just capitalism? | Ben Carrington and Jules Boykoff | Opinion | The Guardian
Gil Scott-Heron famously noted that the revolution would not be right back after a message, would not go better with Coke, and certainly would not be televised. It now appears, if Nike’s current advertising campaign is to be believed, that the revolution comes embossed with a Swoosh.

On Monday the famously underemployed NFL player Colin Kaepernick tweeted a black and white image of his face, his eyes staring at us, with the words “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything” etched over the top. Below sits Nike’s Swoosh. The campaign celebrates the 30th anniversary of arguably the most famous advertising slogan in sports – Just do it. Kaepernick’s deal with Nike will allow him to continue his empowering community and youth activism work, such as his Know Your Rights camp. In this light, Kaepernick might be seen as a modern-day Robin Hood.

But is the Nike-Kaepernick partnership a harbinger of 21st-century activism, or a case study in capitalist co-option?
music  politics  us  capitalism  advertising  spectacle 
september 2018 by juliusbeezer
Inside the Daily Stormer’s Style Guide
The style guide is surprisingly fastidious about formatting. Links must not “stretch into the spacing between words.” Images must be exactly three hundred and twenty pixels wide, to avoid anything “aesthetically problematic.” Each post “should be filled with as much visual stimulation as possible,” in order to “appeal to the ADHD culture”; passages from mainstream sources must be unaltered, so that “we can never be accused of ‘fake news’—or delisted by Facebook as such.”

One section is called, simply, “No Such Thing as Too Much Hyperbole.” “Even when a person can say to themselves ‘this is ridiculous,’ they are still affected by it on an emotional level,” the guide says. “Refer to teenagers who get arrested for racist Twitter posts as ‘eternally noble warriors bravely fighting for divine war to protect the blood heritage of our sacred ancestors’. . . . You and anyone reading can say omg corny lol. But it just doesn’t matter to the primitive part of the brain.”
editing  politics  us  internet  socialmedia 
august 2018 by juliusbeezer
Our scorched Earth needs voters to put more heat on their politicians | Andrew Rawnsley | Opinion | The Guardian
This is progress. It is not sufficient progress, but it does demonstrate that there are things that can be done to mitigate climate change and there are smarter responses to this threat than burying your overheated head in your sweaty hands...
The international picture has deteriorated. Global warming has been crowded out as a subject energising international leadership and the push to tackle the danger has lost momentum. The Paris climate agreement signed in 2016 was supposed to commit more than 170 countries to measures to hold the increase in the global average temperature to “well below” 2C above pre-industrial levels. What it lacks is any mechanism for holding the signatories to their promises and not one of the major industrialised nations has published a full and plausible strategy for meeting their targets. A growing number of the scientists of climate change fear that global warming is going to be in excess of 2C. Donald Trump, who dismisses climate change as a hoax made up by the Chinese to hurt US industry, has ripped up the commitments made by his predecessor. American withdrawal is a double disaster.
climatechange  politics  us  uk 
july 2018 by juliusbeezer
Why identity politics benefits the right more than the left | Sheri Berman | Opinion | The Guardian
Relatedly, research suggests that calling people racist when they do not see themselves that way is counterproductive. As noted above, while there surely are true bigots, studies show that not all those who exhibit intolerant behavior harbor extreme racial animus. Moreover, as Stanford psychologist Alana Conner notes, if the goal is to diminish intolerance “telling people they’re racist, sexist and xenophobic is going to get you exactly nowhere. It’s such a threatening message. One of the things we know from social psychology is when people feel threatened, they can’t change, they can’t listen.”...
Steve Bannon infamously remarked that he couldn’t “get enough” of the left’s “race-identity politics”. “The longer they talk about identity politics, I got ’em ... I want them to talk about race and identity … every day.”

In addition, Americans are more divided socially than they are on the issues; there is significant agreement even on controversial topics like abortion, gun control, immigration and economic policy. Promoting cross-cutting cleavages and diminishing social divisions might therefore help productive policymaking actually occur.
us  politics  authoritarianism  racism 
july 2018 by juliusbeezer
U.S. Opposition to Breast-Feeding Resolution Stuns World Health Officials - The New York Times
A resolution to encourage breast-feeding was expected to be approved quickly and easily by the hundreds of government delegates who gathered this spring in Geneva for the United Nations-affiliated World Health Assembly.

Based on decades of research, the resolution says that mother’s milk is healthiest for children and countries should strive to limit the inaccurate or misleading marketing of breast milk substitutes.

Then the United States delegation, embracing the interests of infant formula manufacturers, upended the deliberations.

American officials sought to water down the resolution by removing language that called on governments to “protect, promote and support breast-feeding” and another passage that called on policymakers to restrict the promotion of food products that many experts say can have deleterious effects on young children.
breastfeeding  us  politics 
july 2018 by juliusbeezer
Press: The milk of human kindness
In six days, the American dailies had taken a highly contentious health issue—the merits of breast and bottle feeding in the era of AIDS—and turned it into a simple battle between the benevolent corporations and a seemingly malicious international health agency.

Unicef, whose mission is to “advocate for children's rights and help meet their needs” (, stood charged by the papers of infanticide. How had this issue become so polarised in the eyes of the US media?

The main answer is that Unicef's stance against the formula industry, and the complexities of mother to child transmission of HIV, are both difficult topics to present in a catchy and newsworthy way. Vilifying Unicef was an easy option.
breastfeeding  media  us 
july 2018 by juliusbeezer
Where Do All the Cyclists Live? | Brooklyn Spoke
This was only the latest example of something that plays out in press coverage all over the country. When it comes to covering the ongoing shift from car dominance to people-powered transportation, “the community” is just shorthand for “people who oppose change.” People who support street redesigns, however, aren’t members of the “community.” They’re merely “bicycle advocates” or “cyclists.”
cycling  politics  us 
july 2018 by juliusbeezer
Why speaking Spanish is becoming dangerous in America | US news | The Guardian
In the last few months, a constant stream of race-related attacks, physical and verbal, have peppered the North American landscape like a feral pest. Last January, a woman was kicked out of a Florida UPS for speaking Spanish, the month prior an adult physically attacked legal South American immigrants – including a child – at a Canadian mall, and a few days ago a border agent in Montana arrested two women for the same thing, leaving them shaking with anger and crying at the unfairness of it all. Then there’s the case of the rich Manhattan lawyer who berated young workers at a deli for daring to communicate in the second most spoken language in the world in his presence.
language  exclusion  spanish  us 
may 2018 by juliusbeezer
Cougar kills one mountain biker and injures another in Washington state | US news | The Guardian
A mountain lion killed one mountain biker and mauled another in Washington state on Saturday when they rode into its territory. State officials later tracked the animal and shot it dead, police said.

The mountain bikers were riding together down a remote, backwoods trail at 11am local time in an area near North Bend, Washington state, around 30 miles (48 km) east of Seattle, when the they encountered the animal.

In the ensuing attack, the first rider received deep scratches and the other was dragged away by the cougar to its den, King county sheriff spokesman Sergeant Ryan Abbot said.
cycling  crash_report  us 
may 2018 by juliusbeezer
'Be Best': does Melania Trump's oddly named initiative break the laws of grammar? | Media | The Guardian
“Be Best” just so plainly doesn’t hold up to the laws of English grammar, which require that a superlative adjective following an imperative verb be preceded by the definite article “the”. Be good – be better – be the best: that’s the rule. In the 1990s, the British military ran a TV ad campaign that ended with the slogan: “Army soldier: be the best.” Try it without the the. “Army soldier: be best.” It sounds like you’re translating from the Sanskrit.
english  grammar  language  funny  us  politics 
may 2018 by juliusbeezer
The incel mind: As if hating women will get you a girlfriend - Chicago Tribune
What are we to make of “incels,” the oddball community of frustrated guys who go online to complain about how they can’t find women who want to have sex with them?

Gee, I wonder why.

There’s room for all sorts of opinions on the web, I like to think. But this one has turned deadly. An incel, which stands for “involuntary celibate,” is blamed for driving a rented van that jumped the sidewalk and plowed into pedestrians on a Toronto street on April 23.

Police charged Alek Minassian, 25, of Toronto with killing 10 people and injuring 15, most of whom were women. Before the attack, authorities say he posted a message on his Facebook page to announce his incel ties.

“The Incel Rebellion has already begun!” it said in part. “We will overthrow all the Chads and Stacys! All hail the Supreme Gentleman Elliot Rodger!”

That’s incel-speak. “Chads” in their world are guys who are cool and good-looking enough to attract what incels feel unfairly denied: sex with attractive and sexually active “Stacys.”
sex  us  relationships  crash_report  deaths  driving 
may 2018 by juliusbeezer
The Many Pitfalls of Cycling Fitness | Outside Online
That’s why I break traffic laws on a sliding scale. In an area with heavy motor vehicle traffic and absolutely no bicycle infrastructure, I’ll do whatever I need to do to stay safe. If I’m in suburban strip-mall hell, there’s no shoulder, and drivers are buzzing me like I’m a spy plane in their airspace, I’ll take to the sidewalk if I deem it necessary. However, if there are protected bike lanes and dedicated bicycle traffic signals and other acknowledgements of my existence, I’ll adhere as closely as possible to the letter of the law—not only because it’s safe and practical for me to do so, but also because I want to show my appreciation for a street design that says “You belong,” not “Adapt or die.”
cycling  pqpc  law  us 
april 2018 by juliusbeezer
Extremism pays. That’s why Silicon Valley isn’t shutting it down | John Naughton | Opinion | The Guardian
In the old days, if you wanted to stage a coup, the first thing to do was to capture the TV station. Nowadays all you have to do is to “weaponise” YouTube. After all, its first motto was “broadcast yourself”. Accordingly, if governments of the western world really wanted to cripple these disruptive forces, then shutting down YouTube would be a giant step forward. It wouldn’t prevent other such services springing up, of course, but none would have the power and reach that YouTube’s billion-strong network effect provides.

This doesn’t mean that YouTube’s owner (Google) is hell-bent on furthering extremism of all stripes. It isn’t. All it’s interested in is maximising advertising revenues. And underpinning the implicit logic of its recommender algorithms is evidence that people are drawn to content that is more extreme than what they started with – or perhaps to incendiary content in general.
google  facebook  socialmedia  politics  us 
march 2018 by juliusbeezer
Mass shootings: why do authorities keep missing the warning signs? | US news | The Guardian
behavioral experts know the basic psychological profile common to almost all mass shooters of the post-Columbine type, whether they claim to be swayed by white supremacy, radical Islamism, another ideology, or no ideology at all: they tend to be loners, with perilously low self-esteem and poor or non-existent family relations, and they are looking for a way to validate themselves and take revenge on a world they blame for their troubles.
guncontrol  us  religion 
march 2018 by juliusbeezer
Rage against the machine: self-driving cars attacked by angry Californians | Technology | The Guardian
The next level of driverless cars: how to solve the problem of humans falling asleep
Read more

Two of the six collisions involving autonomous vehicles in California so far this year involved humans colliding with self-driving cars, apparently on purpose, according to incident reports collected by the California department of motor vehicles.

On 10 January, a pedestrian in San Francisco’s Mission District ran across the street to confront a GM Cruise autonomous vehicle that was waiting for people to cross the road, according to an incident report filed by the car company. The pedestrian was “shouting”, the report states, and “struck the left side of the Cruise AV’s rear bumper and hatch with his entire body”.

No injuries occurred, but the car’s left tail light was damaged.

In a separate incident just a few blocks away on 28 January, a taxi driver in San Francisco got out of his car, approached a GM Cruise autonomous vehicle and “slapped the front passenger window, causing a scratch”.

The police were not called in either case.
driverless  driving  us 
march 2018 by juliusbeezer
The Parkland Shooting May Be a Sea Change Moment for Gun Laws
But the real high comedy has been to watch the conservative intelligentsia embark on a serious fool’s errand—namely, trying to battle with educated teenagers on social media. I mean, don’t any of these people have kids between the ages of 10 and 20?
us  politics 
february 2018 by juliusbeezer
After their attacks on climate science, industrial lobbyists target the scientific evidence on air pollution - Multinationals Observatory
Science under the influence

And obviously, there is the case of Michel Aubier. This eminent respiratory physician cruised the television studios downplaying the dangers of air pollution, only to later reveal that he was also a paid consultant to Total (read our article). In 2012, Aubier published an Académie de médecine report—widely cited by industry—entitled “Impact sanitaire des particules diesel : entre mythe et réalité ?” (The health impacts of diesel particulates: between myth and reality?), that promoted the merits of particle filters. In 2015 he had also testified along the same lines to a senatorial enquiry, claiming that the number of cancers linked to pollution was "extremely few". On both occasions he neglected to mention his pecuniary involvement with a multinational corporation whose primary business is the sale of petrol and diesel. In July 2017 he received a suspended six-month prison sentence and a €50,000 fine for failing to declare this conflict of interest to the Senat when asked.
agnotology  airpollution  air_quality  health  politics  france  us  india  germany  translation  driving  oil 
february 2018 by juliusbeezer
Après celle du climat, l’industrie et ses lobbyistes s’attaquent à la science de la pollution de l’air - Observatoire des multinationales
Après le climato-scepticisme, le dieselo-scepticisme ? « L’air moderne est un petit peu trop propre pour une santé optimale » ; « on ne peut pas faire de lien entre décès prématurés et ozone » ; « [si la pollution de l’air tue,] où sont les corps ? » ; « les experts ne sont pas d’accord entre eux quant à la réalité de l’impact sanitaire des particules fines » ; « la qualité de l’air n’a jamais été aussi bonne qu’aujourd’hui »… Telles sont quelques-unes des phrases que l’on a pu récemment glaner, de divers côtés, dans les médias ou les réseaux sociaux en France, aux États-Unis et ailleurs. Alors que des voix de plus en plus nombreuses s’élèvent pour dénoncer l’impact sanitaire de la pollution de l’air, et les dizaines de milliers de décès prématurés qu’elle provoque chaque année en France et dans le monde, certains font de la résistance.

Ce « déni de la pollution de l’air » se manifeste aussi sous une autre forme, dans certaines études « scientifiques » financées par des constructeurs automobiles. Le New York Times a raconté il y a quelques jours comment une officine crée par Volkswagen avait payé des chercheurs pour faire respirer des vapeurs de diesel à un groupe de singes, dans le but de prouver leur innocuité.
agnotology  pollution  airpollution  climatechange  tobacco  français  india  us  france  germany  oil 
january 2018 by juliusbeezer
New Atheism, Worse Than You Think
Recently though, after realizing that New Atheism is itself a dangerous species of fundamentalism, he became a staunch and vocal critic.

Werleman defines New Atheism as “evangelical atheism,” or, as he emphasizes elsewhere “evangelical anti-theism.” It is the conviction that religion is the leading source of problems around the world, and thus “is an obstacle to creating human perfection and a Western civilization utopia.” Werleman insists, as Hedges did before him, that the New Atheists are “secular fundamentalists.” They display a cultish commitment to science, a childishly simplistic view of religion, a severely bigoted stance toward Islam, and a slavish faith in what they take to be “the beneficent U.S. secular state.”

The book contains 11 chapters. In the first five, Werleman tells the story, in sometimes impressively self-deprecating manner, of his journey from religious indifference to New Atheism to pluralistic accommodationist...
Werleman convincingly demonstrates that the Islam that so troubles the New Atheists, particularly its most popular luminaries, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and the late Christopher Hitchens, is a cartoonish caricature of the real thing as conceived and practiced by most Muslims; that the motivations of Islamic terrorists are mostly sociopolitical and economic rather than religious; that in its lack of concern for the welfare of Palestinians, in its inability “to see Palestinians beyond their Muslimness,” New Atheism “is a completely illiberal secular ideology”; and that New Atheist discourse provides public relations support for American imperialism and contributes to a climate of fear and resentment leading to increased harassment of and violence against Muslim Americans.
religion  politics  us  scholarly 
january 2018 by juliusbeezer
The Bomb That Went Off Twice
RDX, it turned out, does not dissolve in water, quickly degrade underground, or cling to soil particles that can keep it in place and limit its spread. Instead of becoming diluted over distance — like many other pollutants — it remains concentrated, and then travels quickly.

“It’s widely used, persistent, and mobile,” said the EPA’s Craig. “It doesn’t go away.”...
It didn’t take long for the EPA to realize the military’s role as environmental offender.

The Pentagon, the agency learned, was responsible for legions of disastrously contaminated sites across the country, sites that by sheer number would soon dwarf the liabilities of any other single entity. There were the artillery testing grounds, packed with unexploded ordnance; the chemical weapons ranges; and the rocket fuel and airplane sites, saturated with solvents and fire retardants. The damage at the sites was so serious that in 1984 the EPA amended the rules of its Superfund cleanup program — the powerful 1980 law that allows federal authorities to take jurisdiction over the highest-priority contamination sites in the country and mandate their cleanup — to include military sites. Then it listed 36 of them.
pollution  water  us  military  war 
december 2017 by juliusbeezer
There’s a highly successful treatment for opioid addiction. But stigma is holding it back. - Vox
The research backs this up: Various studies, including systematic reviews of the research, have found that medication-assisted treatment can cut the all-cause mortality rate among addiction patients by half or more. Just imagine if a medication came out for any other disease — and, yes, health experts consider addiction a disease — that cuts mortality by half; it would be a momentous discovery.

“That is shown repeatedly,” Maia Szalavitz, a longtime addiction journalist and author of Unbroken Brain: A Revolutionary New Way of Understanding Addiction, told me. “There’s so much data from so many different places that if you add methadone or Suboxone in, deaths go down, and if you take it away, deaths go up.”
drugs  healthcare  law  us  culture 
december 2017 by juliusbeezer
'No shame': how the Trump administration granted big oil's wishlist | Business | The Guardian
in a “wishlist” drawn up by the American Petroleum Institute (API), the leading lobby group for US oil and gas companies.

In a document called “comments on specific regulations” sent to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in May, API highlighted eight key changes it wanted to ease the regulation of air and water pollution. An analysis shows that the EPA has now so far either partially or wholly delivered on six out of these eight key demands within the first year of the Trump administration, which solicited input on government rules from a number of trade groups.
energy  us  politics  climatechange  environment 
december 2017 by juliusbeezer
Google's true origin partly lies in CIA and NSA research grants for mass surveillance — Quartz
In 1995, one of the first and most promising MDDS grants went to a computer-science research team at Stanford University with a decade-long history of working with NSF and DARPA grants. The primary objective of this grant was “query optimization of very complex queries that are described using the ‘query flocks’ approach.” A second grant—the DARPA-NSF grant most closely associated with Google’s origin—was part of a coordinated effort to build a massive digital library using the internet as its backbone. Both grants funded research by two graduate students who were making rapid advances in web-page ranking, as well as tracking (and making sense of) user queries: future Google cofounders Sergey Brin and Larry Page.

The two intelligence-community managers charged with leading the program met regularly with Brin as his research progressed, and he was an author on several other research papers that resulted from this MDDS grant before he and Page left to form Google.

The grants allowed Brin and Page to do their work and contributed to their breakthroughs in web-page ranking and tracking user queries. Brin didn’t work for the intelligence community—or for anyone else. Google had not yet been incorporated. He was just a Stanford researcher taking advantage of the grant provided by the NSA and CIA through the unclassified MDDS program.
google  search  us  politics 
december 2017 by juliusbeezer
Widely used U.S. government database delists cancer journal - Retraction Watch at Retraction Watch
readers who are familiar with the guidelines MEDLINE follows when deselecting journals “can draw their own conclusions.”

Here is some background information from MEDLINE:

Journals may be deselected from MEDLINE for various reasons including, but not limited to, extremely late publication patterns, major changes in the scientific quality or editorial process, and changes in ownership or publishers.

Backus added that since she’s worked with MEDLINE over the past few years, only “a handful” of journals have been removed from the index.

It’s not very many. It’s infrequent.

Oncotarget has been on our radar for some time. Besides a handful of retractions that we’ve covered, we’ve obtained emails that show an editor of the journal, Mikhail Blagosklonny, contacted colleagues of Jeffrey Beall at the University of Colorado Denver who had published in Oncotarget in 2015 after Beall added the journal to his (now inactive) list of possibly predatory publications.
sciencepublishing  reputation  beall  indexing  attention  library  politics  us  peerreview 
november 2017 by juliusbeezer
Bike Snob NYC: BSNYC Field Trip: 2017 Philly Bike Expo
as I cruised around the test track I caught myself thinking that if anything has the ability to bring everyday riding to the lazy, complacent American masses then pedal assist is it, and if this doesn't do it then we're all dying in our Hyundais, end of story.
ebikes  cycling  us  driving 
november 2017 by juliusbeezer
The Best Speech Yet From Any U.S. President - World Beyond War . . .
“First: Let us examine our attitude toward peace itself. Too many of us think it is impossible. Too many think it unreal. But that is a dangerous, defeatist belief. It leads to the conclusion that war is inevitable–that mankind is doomed–that we are gripped by forces we cannot control. We need not accept that view. Our problems are manmade–therefore, they can be solved by man. And man can be as big as he wants. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings. Man’s reason and spirit have often solved the seemingly unsolvable–and we believe they can do it again.....
“With such a peace, there will still be quarrels and conflicting interests, as there are within families and nations. World peace, like community peace, does not require that each man love his neighbor–it requires only that they live together in mutual tolerance, submitting their disputes to a just and peaceful settlement.
war  us  history  politics 
october 2017 by juliusbeezer
Culture Shock: Biking in NYC – Beyond the Automobile
Recently, I finally had a chance to experience biking in New York first-hand during a free day on a recent visit to the city. I bought a day pass for the CitiBike Bike Share (for just $14) and set out on a day-long adventure across Manhattan and some of its boroughs. In short, bicycling in New York is chaos; it’s beyond anything I’ve experienced in Toronto, which by comparison seems like a Canadian politeness contest...
Congestion and traffic brings out the worst in all of us and New York is no exception. Throughout the day, I experienced constant selfish and risky endeavors from all road users (cyclists included). Drivers turning right across my path, cutting each other off, pulling over in front of me, other cyclists passing or merging on my left and right without notice, running red lights and lots of pedestrians crossing on red lights or walking in bike lanes. It was very much an every-person-for-themselves situation.

For the transit capital of North America, NY is astoundingly car-centric. Multi-lane, one-way arterials make up most of Manhattan’s streets, with the city’s many bridges and highways bringing a significant amount of motor vehicle traffic into the city daily. This massive volume of cars is accommodated by providing parking on both sides of just about every street. Most of the side streets are made of one traffic lane with a lane of parked cars on each side. It’s an incredibly inefficient use of public space, especially in a place where space is so precious.
cycling  us  driving 
october 2017 by juliusbeezer
Smartphones Are Killing Americans, But Nobody’s Counting - Bloomberg
Out of NHTSA’s full 2015 dataset, only 448 deaths were linked to mobile phones—that’s just 1.4 percent of all traffic fatalities. By that measure, drunk driving is 23 times more deadly than using a phone while driving, though studies have shown that both activities behind the wheel constitute (on average) a similar level of impairment. NHTSA has yet to fully crunch its 2016 data, but the agency said deaths tied to distraction actually declined last year.

There are many reasons to believe mobile phones are far deadlier than NHTSA spreadsheets suggest. Some of the biggest indicators are within the data itself. In more than half of 2015 fatal crashes, motorists were simply going straight down the road—no crossing traffic, rainstorms, or blowouts. Meanwhile, drivers involved in accidents increasingly mowed down things smaller than a Honda Accord, such as pedestrians or cyclists, many of whom occupy the side of the road or the sidewalk next to it. Fatalities increased inordinately among motorcyclists (up 6.2 percent in 2016) and pedestrians (up 9 percent).
driving  road_safety  attention  us  science  psychology 
october 2017 by juliusbeezer
One man’s online politics is another man’s poison | John Naughton | Opinion | The Guardian
As a recovering techno-utopian, I still celebrate the empowering aspect of the internet – the way it can give everyone a voice and a platform for their views. But when viewed from inside my “liberal” filter bubble, I am also distressed by the nastiness, untruthfulness and cant that flooded on to the net during the Brexit and US presidential campaigns. I see this abusive torrent as confirming my view that the technology holds up a mirror to human nature and that much of what we see reflected in it is appalling.

One man who feels this sharply is the Harvard scholar Yochai Benkler. His landmark 2006 book The Wealth of Networks celebrated the democratising power of the internet. But his research on the 2016 election campaign confronted him with an uncomfortable truth. “An important part of what happened in this election,” he said afterwards to the New York Times, “is that a marginalised community, with views that were generally excluded, forced their way into the mainstream.”
internet  politics  bubble  socialmedia  us  facebook  google 
october 2017 by juliusbeezer
The GOP wants to repeal Obama's climate plan. Like health care, it's going to be a fiasco. - Vox
In 2007, the Supreme Court ruled, in Massachusetts v. EPA, that carbon dioxide qualifies as an air pollutant under the Clean Air Act. If the EPA determines that carbon is a danger to public health, the court said, it must regulate carbon to reduce that danger.

In 2009, the EPA issued its Endangerment Finding, demonstrating (based on intensive research and documentation) that greenhouse gases are in fact a danger to public health.

The Supreme Court ruling plus the Endangerment Finding mean that the EPA is legally obligated to regulate carbon in such a way as to meliorate the danger it poses to public health.

The only way EPA can escape that core legal obligation is to overturn the Endangerment Finding. Some conservative denialist groups, recognizing that fact, are pressuring Pruitt to attempt just that. Doing so, however, would likely prove impossible. It would have to pass legal review, and the simple fact is that the science overwhelmingly supports the EPA’s case.
climatechange  us 
october 2017 by juliusbeezer
Why Facebook is in a hole over data mining | John Naughton | Opinion | The Guardian
What is intriguing about the Facebook founder is his astonishing blend of high intelligence, naivety and hubris. In February, when it finally began to dawn on him that the election of Donald Trump might tell us something significant and disturbing about the state of the US society, he wrote a lengthy epistle to his 86 million disciples.

“Today,” it began, “I want to focus on the most important question of all: are we building the world we all want?” Ponder that for a moment: note the imperial, hubristic “we” and the implicit assumption that it is possible to build a single world that everyone wants. It comes straight out of the Ladybird book of democracy. The epistle continues in the same vein. “Progress now requires humanity coming together, not just as cities or nations, but also as a global community.” And of course Facebook would provide just such a community: after all, it already has more than 2 billion users, which is significantly more people than there are in China.
politics  us  facebook  funny 
october 2017 by juliusbeezer
You Lead the Dance – CyclingSavvy
It is your choice of roadway position which most influences the behavior of motorists. Want them to give you more clearance? Use enough lane to make them realize they need part of another to pass you (on a multi-lane road, use even more lane to strongly encourage them to change lanes to pass). Want them to wait to pass? Use a lane control position and, if necessary, a hand signal. Want them to plan ahead and make decisions early? Be visible and predictable. If you want them to yield or let you merge, look back at them and communicate your intentions.

Motorists often operate on auto pilot where cyclists are concerned. They’re motoring along a highway or residential street and come upon you. The fact that you’re a person doesn’t always register. You’re an obstacle that needs to be dealt with. “Must pass the cyclist, must pass the cyclist.”
cycling  us  road_safety 
october 2017 by juliusbeezer
Does God Believe in Trump? White Evangelicals are Sticking with Their "Prince of Lies"
To historians, the evangelical leaders’ response was no surprise, because they know racism was behind the emergence of evangelicals as a political force in America. “If you are looking for the core animating spark of the Christian-right movement, it’s not abortion but private Christian universities not being able to have laws against interracial dating,” says Robert Jones, head of the Public Religion Research Institute and the author of The End of White Christian America (Simon & Schuster, 2016). He knows that when the federal government forced integration on public schools in the South, white parents yanked their kids out and enrolled them in new church-run schools dubbed “segregation academies.” The white flight was fast and devastating. In Mississippi, for example, the white population in the Holmes County school system dropped from 700 to 28 in year one of desegregation, and by the next year had dropped to zero.
sex  racism  us  religion 
october 2017 by juliusbeezer
The FBI’s Hunt for Two Missing Piglets Reveals the Federal Cover-Up of Barbaric Factory Farms
The factory farm industry and its armies of lobbyists wield great influence in the halls of federal and state power, while animal rights activists wield virtually none. This imbalance has produced increasingly oppressive laws, accompanied by massive law enforcement resources devoted to punishing animal activists even for the most inconsequential nonviolent infractions — as the FBI search warrant and raid in search of “Lucy and Ethel” illustrates.

The U.S. government, of course, has always protected and served the interests of industry. Beginning when most of the nation was fed by small farms, federal agencies have been particularly protective of agricultural industry.
food  agriculture  us  law  spectacle  activism 
october 2017 by juliusbeezer
They thought they were going to rehab. They ended up in chicken plants | Reveal
Sharon Cain runs the drug court in rural Stephens County and decides where to send defendants for treatment. She said state regulators don’t stop her from using CAAIR.

“I do what I wanna do. They don’t mess with me,” she said. “And I’m not saying that in a cocky way. They just know I’m going to do drug court the way I’ve always done it.”
drugs  prison  us  law  humanrights 
october 2017 by juliusbeezer
Bike Snob NYC: If You Don't Have Anything Nice To Say About Cyclists Then You're Probably An Idiot
Didn't moderate for 10 years because for the most part it was not necessary and I prided myself on keeping an open door.

Started moderating now mainly because of a racist Trump supporter who abused the policy when I mentioned those teens who were arrested for not wearing reflective clothing after they were hit by a driver. (Driver not charged.)

Oh, well, it was a good run. Sign of the times I guess.
commenting  blogs  cycling  racism  us  politics 
october 2017 by juliusbeezer
Preventing Mass Shootings Like the Vegas Strip Attack - The New York Times
The best example of intelligent regulation is auto safety. By my calculations, we’ve reduced the auto fatality rate per 100 million miles driven by more than 95 percent since 1921. There was no single solution but rather many incremental efforts: seatbelts, air bags, padded dashboards, better bumpers, lighted roads, highway guardrails, graduated licenses for young people, crackdowns on drunken driving, limits on left turns, and so on. We haven’t banned automobiles, and we haven’t eliminated auto deaths, but we have learned to make them safer — and we should do the same with guns.
road_safety  us 
october 2017 by juliusbeezer
1.5 Climate Action Plan - Mayor's Office of Sustainability
In 2014, the City of New York (the City) committed to reducing its GHG emissions 80 percent by 2050, compared to 2005 levels (80 x 50). The City's 2016 report, New York City's Roadmap to 80 x 50, used the best available science and state-of the-art analysis to identify strategies in the buildings, energy, waste, and transportation sectors that would achieve 80 x 50 based on current technology.

NYC's progress toward 80 x 50 continues: our air is cleaner, our energy is greener, and we are sending less waste to landfills. Meeting the global carbon budget to keep global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius requires that the City implement a priority subset of its 80 x 50 strategies by 2020 in order to accelerate GHG reductions. This plan clearly lays out the pace, scale, and impact of actions across the built environment that are necessary to bring NYC's actions in line with the Paris Agreement's 1.5 degree Celsius outcome - and commits the City to lead in the development of a global protocol for carbon neutrality.
climatechange  politics  us 
october 2017 by juliusbeezer
Tactical Urbanists Form "Human Bollards" On Bikes Lane - CityLab
Along midtown Manhattan’s busy Second Avenue, volunteers from the advocacy group Transportation Alternatives linked elbows to form a chain of “human bollards,” to borrow the title of a short Streetfilms documentary that captured the moment. Grateful cyclists on their way to work high-fived the volunteer human shields, who have been pressing the city to keep its word on properly securing the high-traffic right-of-way.

“These cyclists are so happy to see friendly faces in the morning, and also to have that bumper from moving traffic,” Macartney Morris, an organizer with Transportation Alternatives, tells Clarence Eckerson, Streetfilms director.

When the New York City DOT painted a new lane on 18-block strip of Manhattan’s Second Avenue last year, it was a huge improvement on the spotty sharrows that were there before. But it was a promise only partly fulfilled: The city decided against installing the "tuff curbs”—upright barriers to physically prevent vehicle intrusion—that it had initially proposed. Now, the exposed lane is perennially blocked by trucks and parked cars.
pqpc  video  SeparatistCritique  cycling  us 
september 2017 by juliusbeezer
Lords of Misrule | Matt Stoller
By the mid-2000s, though, Sporkin’s Silver Age faded into brass—and got smeared with generous helpings of chickenshit. One of the chief villains here is Mary Jo White, who headed the Southern District before Jim Comey and trained Preet Bharara. When she was appointed to run the SEC in 2013, President Obama said that “You don’t want to mess with Mary Jo.” Like much of the pseudo-populist rhetoric of the Obama age, it was fake tough-guy talk; Mary Jo White was in fact a softie at the SEC, pulling back on the already fading agency’s disclosure rules. Before she took the reins, she had represented some of the key villains in the financial crisis. This in itself is not a disqualification; what is scandalous is that she was caught discussing a proposal to procure a private-sector job for the SEC official who was in charge of investigating one of her clients, then Morgan Stanley CEO John Mack. Sure enough, the official got his job at her law firm, and Mack was never charged. Everything about White, from Obama’s phony get-tough bluster, to White’s delusional sense of her own upstanding moral character in the face of rancid corruption, to the destruction of Sporkin’s legacy, is sickening beyond belief.
finance  law  us  politics 
september 2017 by juliusbeezer
Hurricane Harvey raises awkward questions over US energy ambitions
With domestic consumption down slightly and exports surging, US oil import dependency plunged to a mere 25 per cent last year from as high as 60 per cent in 2005. On paper, that sounds like a big step for energy security. But the flipside is higher reliance on potentially vulnerable Gulf Coast infrastructure. On the downstream side, operating refining capacity in coastal Texas and Louisiana jumped by almost a quarter from about 7m barrels per day on the eve of Katrina to 9.7 bpd at the latest count, even as capacity elsewhere edged down, lifting the Gulf’s share of US refining activity to nearly half of the total.

The same dependency on the Gulf applies for logistics. Rising exports and falling imports turned the US into a net exporter of gasoline (including both finished product and blending components) last year. Roughly 90 per cent of gross exports came from the Gulf. The region leads the US surge in virtually all other types of oil exports by a wide margin: as of 2016, the Gulf accounted for 54 per cent of US exports of crude, 68 per cent of natural gas liquids, 86 per cent of diesel and 75 per cent of jet fuel — a much higher share of a much higher total.

One of the unexpected consequences of the US shale boom is the rising co-vulnerability of its increasingly complex and integrated energy system. Even inland plays such as the Permian, the shale industry’s star performer, seemingly out of harm’s way, have become exposed to the risk of weather disruptions at coastal refineries, pipelines and export facilities on which they depend for market access.
oil  energy  us  finance  economics 
september 2017 by juliusbeezer
Rich resource of military applications of the bicycle. Lots of images of 80s,90s magazine spreads
cycling  war  switzerland  us 
august 2017 by juliusbeezer
Ex-intelligence chief: Trump's access to nuclear codes is 'pretty damn scary' | US news | The Guardian
I worry about, frankly, the access to the nuclear codes,” Clapper told CNN, pointing to the current stand-off with North Korea.

If “in a fit of pique he decides to do something about Kim Jong-un, there’s actually very little to stop him. The whole system is built to ensure rapid response if necessary. So there’s very little in the way of controls over exercising a nuclear option, which is pretty damn scary.”

Clapper did not mention Richard Nixon, who was involved in a tense stand-off with North Korea in 1969, after the regime shot down a US spy plane. Nixon is reported to have gotten drunk and ordered a tactical nuclear strike, which was only averted by his national security adviser, Henry Kissinger.
nukes  us  politics 
august 2017 by juliusbeezer
Perhaps those involved in the study did the classic thing of saying seven because that’s deemed the least embarrassing number these days. It’s not too many that a prospective new partner feel like you got around, but not so little you might seem inexperienced or underwhelming.

After a survey of 2,000 people from across the world, they found that 17.5% of men had lied about the amount of people they had slept with and increased the number (with only 8% of women doing the same) and 18.6% of the women lying to decrease their number (with 13.7% men doing the same).
sex  uk  us  eu 
august 2017 by juliusbeezer
Sharp rise in NY cyclists linked to roll-out of bike lanes
The number of New Yorkers regularly making bike journeys has risen nearly 50% in five years, reveals a report from the New York City Department of Transport (NYC DOT). Between 2009 and 2014 the number of people cycling ‘at least several times a month’ went up 49% from 521,000 to 778,000, says the report.

It adds that the number of daily cycling trips has gone up from 100,000 in 1990 to 450,00 in 2015. The number of cycling commuters in New York has increased 80% between 2010 and 2015, faster than other major cities
cycling  us  pqpc 
august 2017 by juliusbeezer
The Other Inconvenient Truth - The New York Times
“The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or blacks, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”

The era Ehrlichman referred to was the beginning of the War on Drugs. Nixon started his offensive in 1971, declaring in a speech from the White House Briefing Room: “America’s public enemy No. 1 in the United States is drug abuse. In order to fight and defeat this enemy, it is necessary to wage a new, all-out offensive.”

The object of disrupting communities worked all too well
drugs  us  politics 
august 2017 by juliusbeezer
Why We Terminated Daily Stormer
Earlier today, Cloudflare terminated the account of the Daily Stormer. We've stopped proxying their traffic and stopped answering DNS requests for their sites. We've taken measures to ensure that they cannot sign up for Cloudflare's services ever again.

Our terms of service reserve the right for us to terminate users of our network at our sole discretion. The tipping point for us making this decision was that the team behind Daily Stormer made the claim that we were secretly supporters of their ideology.
internet  politics  us 
august 2017 by juliusbeezer
NYC Bike Etiquette: Unwritten Rules of Riding Your Bike in New York - Thrillist
1. Pedestrians always come first

New York is, first and foremost, a pedestrian city. This is why our unofficial motto is "Hey, I'm walkin' here!" And you're a rube if you expect everybody to follow the rules. Which leads us to the next point...
cycling  walking  us 
august 2017 by juliusbeezer
Media Lens - Racing Towards The Abyss: The U.S. Atomic Bombing of Japan
A stumbling block until recently has been that no historian has been sufficiently fluent in English, Japanese and Russian to investigate the primary archival material – including internal government documents, military reports and intelligence intercepts - in all three languages. This partly explains why historical debate in the West has been so focused on the Truman administration’s motives and policy-making: this, after all, could be pursued on the basis of English-language material...

In 2005, Tsuyoshi Hasegawa, professor of history at the University of California at Santa Barbara, published a landmark study, ‘Racing The Enemy: Stalin, Truman, and the Surrender of Japan.’[4] Hasegawa, born and raised in Japan but now a U.S. citizen, appraised seriously the trilateral wartime relationships between the United States, the Soviet Union and Japan. His study has been critically acclaimed and has generated considerable scholarly, as well as journalistic, debate. Barton Bernstein, professor of history at Stanford University and one of the world’s foremost commentators on A-bomb issues, warmly praised the book as “formidable”, “a major volume in international history” and “a truly impressive accomplishment, meriting prizes and accolades.”[5] The book has also delivered a huge jolt to anti-revisionists.
history  language  japan  russia  us  war  nukes 
august 2017 by juliusbeezer
Donald Trump just retweeted a man who accused him of supporting fascism - Mirror Online
Shocked Mr Holden, who has fewer than 1,000 Twitter followers, said: "I'm announcing my retirement from Twitter. I'll never top this."

It wasn't immediately clear if Mr Holden was calling Trump or the Sheriff he supported a fascist.

But either way it's not good for the US President.

One way he's supporting a fascist; the other, he's a fascist himself.

The President undid the retweet within half an hour of it appearing.
twitter  politics  us 
august 2017 by juliusbeezer
A New Problem for Keystone XL: Oil Companies Don’t Want It - WSJ
TransCanada has spent $3 billion to date on Keystone XL, much of it on steel pipe, land rights and lobbying. Completed, the pipeline would travel 1,700 miles from Alberta to Steele City, Neb., where it would link up with existing pipelines that run to the Gulf Coast.

The lack of interest has put the pipeline’s fate in jeopardy. The company, based in Calgary, Alberta, has said it wants enough customers to fill 90% of Keystone’s capacity before it proceeds...

Back then, the price of oil had surpassed $130 a barrel, producers were rushing to pump as much as possible and refiners were itching to secure steady supplies. Today, oil is trading around $45 amid a global supply glut caused in part by the emergence of American shale drillers.*

Refiners want the flexibility of being able to buy oil from wherever it is cheapest. In a world awash in low-price oil, Canadian crude doesn’t look as attractive as it once did. Many refiners thus far are unwilling to commit to long-term deals for Canadian crude, say people familiar with the matter.
energy  oil  us  climate  politics 
july 2017 by juliusbeezer
The British establishment is putting our lives at risk: Our state’s key ally is a major public threat – Mark Curtis
As Ahmed comments, the document provides extraordinary confirmation that the US-led coalition currently fighting IS had previously welcomed the emergence of an extremist “Salafist Principality” in the region as a way to undermine Assad, and block off the strategic expansion of Iran.[15]

US journalist Rania Khalek has written[16] that it was not until 2014, when IS started beheading westerners on video, that the group became a major concern for the West. Prior to that, Western covert operations in Syria were so focused on weakening Assad, they acquiesced as Saudi Arabia and Qatar funded and armed IS, following which IS brutally swept across swathes of Syria and Iraq.[17] The US then put heavy pressure on Saudi Arabia and Qatar to stop their support to IS and other radical groups in Syria, which is believed to have happened. However, Saudi Arabia still supports anti-Assad groups in Syria, which has been reported as including the Islamist Jaysh al-Islam.[18] Now, the Saudi regime is pledging support, including military operations, for the fight against IS in Syria. But the point is: the genie has long been out of the bottle.[19]
syria  iraq  Iran  us  uk  politics 
may 2017 by juliusbeezer
Social Media Needs A Travel Mode (Idle Words)
Both Facebook and Google make lofty claims about user safety, but they’ve done little to show they take the darkening political climate around the world seriously. A ‘trip mode’ would be a chance for them to demonstrate their commitment to user safety beyond press releases and anodyne letters of support.

What’s required is a small amount of engineering, a good marketing effort, and the conviction that any company that makes its fortune hoarding user data has a moral responsibility to protect its users.
facebook  google  privacy  politics  us  surveillance 
may 2017 by juliusbeezer
Physical separation of cyclists from traffic "crucial" to dropping injury rates, shows U.S. study
A new study published in the American Journal of Public Health has concluded that physical separation from motor traffic is “crucial” to reducing the higher than average cyclist injury rates seen across the U.S.

In an leading editorial to sit alongside the deeper study, the authors write: “bicycle infrastructure can indeed help improve cycling safety and increase cycling levels. That is clearly demonstrated by decades of evidence from Europe, by the 10 US cities listed in Table 1 (below), and by the article on Boston by Pedroso et al. However, the type and quality of bicycle infrastructure matter as well. It is crucial to provide physical separation from fast-moving, high-volume motor vehicle traffic and better intersection design to avoid conflicts between cyclists and motor vehicles.
cycling  separatistcritique  us 
may 2017 by juliusbeezer
Obama had a chance to really fight climate change. He blew it. - Vox
Despite vigorous recent attempts to greenwash his legacy, President Obama’s climate policy in his first term was largely indistinguishable from George W. Bush’s. Both fought mightily to avoid greenhouse gas regulation — Bush because he didn’t care about the issue, Obama because it was a lower priority than health care and, after the Affordable Care Act passed, because of fear of the political consequences. Only after the 2012 election did Obama show any appetite for actual emissions regulation, and by then it was too little — and way too late.

Why “too late”? Better late than never, you might think. The catch, and it’s a big one, is that regulations that came out in the second half of 2016 can be killed via the Congressional Review Act (CRA) — eliminated through a simple-majority vote of both houses of Congress, and the president’s signature. Such climate-related regulations that Obama issued exist at the whim of the Republican House and Senate — and we know the inclinations of the Republican Congress.
climatechange  us  politics 
april 2017 by juliusbeezer
The Media Bubble is Real — And Worse Than You Think - POLITICO Magazine
The national media really does work in a bubble, something that wasn’t true as recently as 2008. And the bubble is growing more extreme. Concentrated heavily along the coasts, the bubble is both geographic and political. If you’re a working journalist, odds aren’t just that you work in a pro-Clinton county—odds are that you reside in one of the nation’s most pro-Clinton counties. And you’ve got company: If you’re a typical reader of Politico, chances are you’re a citizen of bubbleville, too.

The “media bubble” trope might feel overused by critics of journalism who want to sneer at reporters who live in Brooklyn or California and don’t get the “real America” of southern Ohio or rural Kansas. But these numbers suggest it’s no exaggeration: Not only is the bubble real, but it’s more extreme than you might realize. And it’s driven by deep industry trends.
journalism  us  bubble  agnotology 
april 2017 by juliusbeezer
The Chemical-Weapons Attack In Syria: Is There a Place for Skepticism? | The Nation
 And so, “In order to cover up the lack of intelligence to supporting the president’s action, the National Security Council produced a fraudulent intelligence report.” Postol concludes that the “report is completely undermined by a significant body of video evidence taken after the alleged sarin attack and before the US cruise missile attack that unambiguously shows the claims in the WHR [White House Report] could not possibly be true.”

The Nation spoke to Postol over the weekend.

“What I think is now crystal clear,” he said, “is that the White House report was fabricated and it certainly did not follow the procedures it claimed to employ.”

“My best guess at the moment is that this was an extremely clumsy and ill-conceived attempt to cover up the fact that Trump attacked Syria without any intelligence evidence that Syria was in fact the perpetrator of the attack…. It may be,” he continued, “that the White House staff was worried that this could eventually come out—a reckless president acting without regard to the nation’s security, risking an inadvertent escalation and confrontation with Russia, and a breakdown in cooperation with Russia that would cripple our efforts to defeat the Islamic State.”
us  politics  spectacle  war 
april 2017 by juliusbeezer
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