June 8 & weekend updates

Bob Englehart / Cagle Cartoons


“If you’re a middle-class person and feel like the country has left you behind, that is an objective truth. That didn’t happen by accident.”
— Billionaire Nick Hanaeur

“Raising wages doesn’t kill jobs,
it’s just a thing rich people say to poor people”
Yahoo News
nick-hanauer— In the late 1970s, the richest 1 percent of Americans shared only about 8 percent of the national income. By 2007, however, that number had grown to almost 23 percent.
— Hanauer believes every state should institute a $15 minimum wage, which he successfully lobbied for in the state of Washington. “The idea that raising wages kills jobs lies in the face of all common sense. If people don’t have any money, who will buy the stuff?”
— And even though Hanauer was one of the first investors in Amazon, he holds Jeff Bezos to the same standard he would to any CEO who runs a successful business empire. “Until we collectively raise standards so that we require Jeff Bezos to pay his workers enough to get by without food stamps, it’s not his obligation to do that unilaterally,” he says. “Certainly, that’s not what Walmart is doing, or Walgreens, or any of his competitors …

Pope seeks “courageous” ideas to help priest shortage
— The Vatican called Friday for courageous proposals to cope with a shortage of priests in the Amazon, and said it wouldn’t rule out debate on whether married men could step in to fill the “precariously-thin presence” of the Catholic Church in the vast region.
√  Dear Pope: Here’s a courageous idea … Why not try utilizing the female half of the human race … ?

More lies from trustworthy folks at Facebook

Wall Street Journal
— Facebook Inc. struck customized data-sharing deals that gave select companies special access to user records well after the point in 2015 that the social network has said it walled off that information, according to court documents, company officials and people familiar with the matter.
… also allowed certain companies to access information like phone numbers and a metric called “friend link” that measured the degree of closeness between users and others in their network.
… The deals were struck with companies including Royal Bank of Canada and Nissan Motor Co. , who advertised on Facebook or were valuable for other reasons.

Classy Scott Pruitt and the Chick-fil-A franchise
Vice News
√ Protecting the environment is top priority for Uncle Scotty

— About three months after Pruitt took office, he had one of his staff email Dan Cathy, the Chick-fil-A CEO, to set up a call about a “business opportunity,” according to emails obtained by the Washington Post.
>>> Big-time Trump donor helped EPA pick so-called science advisors

Doc says Vanderbilt axed him because he sued Trump
The Tennessean
gu— Dr. Eugene Gu, a liberal doctor with a large Twitter following, has become one of the most controversial figures at Vanderbilt over the past two years because of his public criticism of Trump, Republicans, gun culture and sometimes the hospital itself.

1,768 families have been separated at US border
—  In most of the cases of families separated by border agents between October 2016 and February, children were removed from parents for medical reasons or because of security concerns, the government claims, citing examples such as parents needing hospitalization or officials discovering the parent had a criminal record.
— In 237 cases, officials said, children were removed because border agents suspected adults were falsely posing as the parents of minors in their charge.

Whacko #Qanon conspiracy theory
has dudes searching 
Arizona desert
for pedophile Democrats
qanon— Qanon is a new spin on an old American cultural myth—cabals of elite predators who prey on children. There’s no evidence to back any of this up, but the fantasy has persisted online for more than a year and now it’s made the jump to real life.
— Its believers are patrolling the Arizona desert, chasing shadows and bothering local law enforcement, egged on by anonymous conspiracy theorists following their every move from behind a computer screen.
— So far, no one has been harmed, but what’s happening in Tucson right now is a good reminder that the tentacles of crazy internet conspiracies reach into the real world.
>>> Programmed to believe: Why people buy into falsehoods
Christian Science Monitor

NASA rover finds building blocks of life on Mars
Digital Trends
“Curiosity has shown that Gale crater [on Mars] was habitable around 3.5 billion years ago, with conditions comparable to those on the early Earth, where life evolved around that time,” Inge Loes ten Kate, a professor of Earth sciences at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, wrote in Science.`

US sending 1,600 immigrants to federal prisions
— U.S. authorities are transferring into federal prisons about 1,600 Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainees …  first large-scale use of federal prisons to hold detainees …

Despite the propaganda
Social Security is NOT running out of $$$
The Conversation
Hard to believe an economist knows more than Drudge but…

— The federal government will have to tap Social Security reserves to pay a small portion of promised benefits in the current fiscal year for the first time since 1982. They also projected Social Security can continue to pay 100 percent of benefits through 2034 by relying in part on the money in the trust funds.
— At that point, the trust funds will be depleted, and Congress will need to decide whether to increase revenue, cut benefits or both.

Chemical industry scores big over so-called EPA
New York Times
–The US, after heavy lobbying by the chemical industry, is scaling back the way the federal government determines health and safety risks associated with the most dangerous chemicals on the market.
— Under a law passed by Congress during the final year of the Obama administration, the E.P.A. was required to evaluate hundreds of potentially toxic chemicals and determine if they should face new restrictions, or even be removed from the market. The chemicals include many in everyday use, such as dry-cleaning solvents, paint strippers and substances used in health and beauty products like shampoos and cosmetics.
— But the E.P.A. has in most cases decided to exclude from its calculations any potential exposure caused by the substances’ presence in the air, the ground or water.

Researchers find tiny bits of plastic in all mussels sampled
— Researchers have found tiny pieces of plastic in all the samples of mussels they tested in British seawaters and bought from local supermarkets.
— The scientists, from the University of Hull and Brunel University, said the contamination from microplastics and other human debris, such as cotton and rayon, was significant and widespread.

US links brain injuries in China, Cuba
Business Insider
— “​At this time, 24 U.S. government personnel and family members who served in Cuba have been medically-confirmed as having symptoms and clinical findings similar to those noted following concussion or minor traumatic brain injury. On May 16, 2018, a U.S. government employee serving in China was medically-confirmed with similar findings.”
— Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

Minneapolis cops halt pot stings
after racial disparity revealed

Star Tribune

What’s the consensus point for social change?
About 25% of a population, study says
Eureka Alert
— When organizations turn a blind eye to sexual harassment in the workplace, how many people need to take a stand before the behavior is no longer seen as normal?
— According to a new paper published in Science, there is a quantifiable answer: Roughly 25% of people need to take a stand before large-scale social change occurs. This idea of a social tipping point applies to standards in the workplace and any type of movement or initiative.

Could carbon dioxide be sucked from the air to make fuel?
Yes, these researchers say
Eureka Alert
— Direct air capture technology works almost exactly like it sounds. Giant fans draw ambient air into contact with an aqueous solution that picks out and traps carbon dioxide.
— Through heating and a handful of familiar chemical reactions, that same carbon dioxide is re-extracted and ready for further use — as a carbon source for making valuable chemicals like fuels, or for storage via a sequestration strategy of choice.
— It’s not just theory–Carbon Engineering’s facility in British Columbia is already achieving both CO2 capture and fuel generation.

“Racial resentment” causing more whites to oppose welfare
— A new study shows that since 2008, more white people in the United States oppose welfare programs, in part because of increasing “racial resentment.”
— One of the reasons for this opposition, according to the report, is white Americans’ perceptions that they might be losing financial and social status while people of color make gains in those areas.

Hard, hard times at rural retail malls
Des Moines Register
— National retail distress is emptying rural regional malls, experts say. But long-term economic deterioration is driving their inability to bounce back: Fewer jobs and fewer people mean less money spent on TVs, couches and clothes.

Tennessee hardware store owner reacts to SCOTUS ruling
The Hill
jeff_amyx-face“Christianity is under attack,” Jeff Amyx said. “Right now, we’re seeing a ray of sunshine. This is ‘happy days’ for Christians all over America, but dark days will come.”

Deported “dreamer” murdered 3 weeks later
Des Moines Register
>>> Mexico’s border gangs prey on recently deported
Dallas Morning News

Google keeps flip-flopping on whether it will do Pentagon work
— Of course it will. The US military is famously generous with taxpayer dollars, and Google is not going to miss out.

Father of toddler who shot himself faces charges
Deseret News
— The Utah father of a child who fatally shot himself in the head on May 26 has been charged with child abuse homicide.
— Tasman Maile told police that he was asleep with a handgun next to him when he woke up to the sound of the gunshot, according to police. He said he always slept with his gun under his pillow with the gun “fully loaded and off safety within arm’s reach,” charges state.


Trump considering 3,000 pardons, including Muhammad Ali
— U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday he is considering pardoning some 3,000 people “who may have been treated unfairly,” including late heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali.
>>> Ali’s attorney:  Trump is full of shit
Raw Story
>>> Trump won’t rule out pardons for Manafort, Cohen
>>> It was Manafort’s friends who ratted him out
NY Times




G7 ! ! !

No link at Don’t-bother.com
dog-pony-juggle— Oh, the New York Times will get quite excited. All the world’s media will send thousands of reporters, who will write millions of dull words. We’ll see photo-ops galore of white guys shaking hands, we’ll hear pronouncements by false prophets, and in the end, as Will the Scribe said, it will prove to be full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
— Whatever real deals are cut, they’re unlikely to appear on any front pages, anytime soon.

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