April, 2019 archive
Sam and Daniel Denvir discuss how the right-wing uses immigration to divide the polity, the futility of attempting to compromise with the right-wing, and possible courses of actions.
The Environmental Pollution Agency decides (again) against regulating fracking waste. A nugget:
The corrosive salt-laden wastewater from fracked wells has been spread on roads as a de-icer. It’s been sprayed into the air in the hopes of evaporating the water — a practice that spreads its blend of volatile chemicals into the air instead. Oil industry wastewater has even been used to irrigate crops — in California, where state regulators haven’t set rules to keep dangerous chemicals like the carcinogen benzene out of irrigation water.
If equally contaminated waste came from other industries, it would usually be designated hazardous waste and subject to strict tracking and disposal rules designed to keep the public safe from industrial pollution. But in July 1988, after burying clear warnings from its own scientists about the hazards of oilfield waste, the EPA offered the oil and gas industry a broad exemption from hazardous waste handling laws.
The EPA‘s decision this week echoes that.
Much more at the link.
Greg Kesich examines how Russian interests promote American divisiveness. A snippet:
Division is good for Russia, it’s good for Trump and it’s good for the Republican Party, which has a hold on power that exceeds the number of people who vote for their candidates. Regardless of how Republican office holders personally feel about Trump, they certainly don’t want to spend the next year getting to the bottom of the election that put them in charge of everything, and give their real enemies – the Democrats – a political advantage.
Susan Estrich parses what she considers the key passage in the Mueller Report. A nugget:
(Quoting from the text—ed,) “The conclusion that Congress may apply the obstruction laws to the President’s corrupt exercise of the powers of office accords with our constitutional system of checks and balances in the principle that no person is above the law,” the team wrote.
Meaning, “We aren’t going to apply the law to him. You can.”
Follow the link for her reasoning.
Eric Hazeltine theorizes that Russian interference in American politics (and, no doubt, others’ politics) benefited from a deep understanding of psychology and tribalism. Here’s a snippet:
. . . as a neuroscientist and former intelligence officer, I see a different dimension of Russia’s recent espionage efforts: the masterful use of evolutionary psychology to weaken a strategic opponent on the world stage.
Specifically, I believe the Russians took advantage of what evolutionary psychologists call “Darwinian scripts” operating deep in the brains of the American public, especially “scripts” encouraging tribal conflict.
Follow the link for his reasoning.
The North Jersey Record takes a long, in-depth look at how vaccinations became controversial. I commend the article to your attention. Here’s a bit:
Facebook and Google both were called out earlier this year for serving up false information in searches and spreading misinformation. Women of childbearing age in Washington State reportedly were targeted on Facebook with anti-vax messages after that state’s governor declared measles in one county a public health emergency. Both companies said they would take steps to direct users to more credible sources, but did not completely remove problematic content.
U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, a California Democrat, also chided Amazon for accepting paid advertising from anti-vaccine groups.
Russian Internet trolls and bots (one used the hashtag #VaccinateUS) have also “weaponized” public health messages to sow discord among the American public, using vaccines as a wedge issue, researchers found.
By issuing both anti- and pro-vaccine tweets and memes they attempt to make it seem vaccine safety and efficacy are open to debate and create mistrust of public health institutions and experts.
I can remember pictures of rows of children suffering from polio ensconced in iron lungs. And today we have some who would willingly bring those days back.
We are a society of stupid.
Politeness is a family value.
It’s unclear where the little girl was shot.
Police said she was alert and asking questions when first responders got to the scene.
The stupid. It burns.
Martin Longman discusses the permeation.
This correlates with the increase in incidents of Trumpling.