Thur June 14

A lot of this “Sea to Table” stuff is apparently bullshit
… Fish distributor faces accusations
AP/Newser
fish— In a global industry plagued by fraud and deceit, conscientious consumers are increasingly paying top dollar for what they believe is local, sustainably caught seafood.
— But even in this fast-growing niche market, companies can hide behind murky supply chains that make it difficult to determine where any given fish comes from. That’s where national distributor Sea To Table stepped in, guaranteeing its products were wild and directly traceable to a US dock—and sometimes the very boat that brought it in.
— However, an AP investigation found the company was linked to some of the same practices it vowed to fight. Preliminary DNA tests suggested some of its yellowfin tuna likely came from the other side of the world, and reporters traced the company’s supply chain to migrant fishermen in foreign waters who described labor abuses, poaching, and the slaughter of sharks, whales, and dolphins.

‘Prison-like’ migrant youth shelter is understaffed,
unequipped for ‘zero tolerance’ policy, insider says
L.A. Times
— Colleagues at a government-contracted shelter in Arizona had a specific request for Antar Davidson when three Brazilian migrant children arrived: “Tell them they can’t hug.”
— Davidson, 32, is of Brazilian descent and speaks Portuguese. He said the siblings — ages 16, 10 and 6 — were distraught after being separated from their parents at the border.
— The children were “huddled together, tears streaming down their faces,” he said.
— Officials had told them their parents were “lost,” which they interpreted to mean dead. Davidson said he told the children he didn’t know where their parents were, but that they had to be strong.
>>> Child abuse is now official US policy
Opinion via The Guardian
— The trauma caused by separations is not the byproduct of necessary legal process – it’s a punishment designed to be grotesque to scare other migrants.

NY attorney general sues Trump,
his “charity” and his spawn

NY Daily News
√ Trump charity a scam? Nah. Really?
… “As our investigation reveals, the Trump Foundation was little more than a checkbook for payments from Mr. Trump or his businesses to nonprofits, regardless of their purpose or legality,” Underwood said. “This is not how private foundations should function and my office intends to hold the Foundation and its directors accountable for its misuse of charitable assets.”
… … The lawsuit, which stems from a probe that began in June 2016, just months before the election, alleges the Donald J. Trump Foundation raised $2.8 million that was used at the direction of top Trump campaign officials to help influence the 2016 presidential election.

US “war on drugs” failing horribly in Afghanistan
Stars & Stripes
— The drug trade in Afghanistan, which helps fund the insurgency and impedes reconstruction efforts, has grown stronger despite billions of dollars spent by the U.S. to fight it, a government watchdog said Thursday.
— The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, or SIGAR, said in a report that the U.S. needed a new strategy to fight drugs in the country.
— It also questioned the military’s latest counternarcotics endeavor, which includes a U.S. and Afghan air campaign targeting Taliban drug labs.

afghan-drugs
Capt. Sayed Baba Mansory destroys opium poppy plants discovered during a routine patrol, outside the village of Samogay, Afghanistan, May 7, 2012.
CHRISTOPHER MCCULLOUGH/U.S. ARMY

Gov’t dude: let banks make “payday loans”
… 
will face questions
NPR
√ Banks clearly aren’t making enough money as is, and need to rip off the working stiff.

otting-trix.jpg— A powerful banking regulator appointed by President Trump could face tough questions in a Senate hearing Thursday about his efforts to allow big banks to make small, high-interest, short-term loans to consumers.
— Joseph Otting is a former banking executive who is now in charge of an agency that oversees the nation’s largest banks – including some that Otting used to help run. And he’s slated to appear before the Senate Banking Committee, a panel which includes Massachusetts Democrat Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who has been sharply critical of the Trump administration financial regulators.

Nevadans may elect first majority female state legislature
Vice News
— No state in American history has ever had a female-majority legislature, but that could change in November in Nevada where a record number of women — both Democrat and Republican — have been nominated to compete for open seats in the state house and senate.
— There is at least one woman nominee in 30 of the 42 state assembly seats up for grabs this November and there is a mix of strong incumbents and open seats to make it so at least 21 seats could be won by women.

Most Americans wages have declined over past year
NY Mag
… the fact that workers aren’t seeing any real wage gains — at (somewhere near) the peak of an economic expansion — is a crisis. The share of growth that goes to labor has declined substantially in recent decades. If workers can’t secure a bigger slice of the economic pie at a time of 3.8 percent unemployment, when can they?

Microsoft’s checkout-free tech
would eliminate lines, and cashiers, at stores
Reuters
— Microsoft Corp is working on technology that would eliminate cashiers and checkout lines from stores, in a nascent challenge to Amazon.com Inc’s automated grocery shop, six people familiar with the matter told Reuters.
— The Redmond, Wash.-based software giant is developing systems that track what shoppers add to their carts, the people say. Microsoft has shown sample technology to retailers from around the world and has had talks with Walmart Inc about a potential collaboration, three of the people said.
— Microsoft’s technology aims to help retailers keep pace with Amazon Go, a highly automated store that opened to the public in Seattle in January.

√ Beginning of the end of college entrance exams?
University of Chicago says screw the SAT, ACT
USA Today
— The University of Chicago announced Thursday it will no longer require its American undergraduate applicants to submit ACT or SAT scores, making it the most prominent institution to make the exams optional.
— The new policy, which is being implemented starting with the Class of 2023, is meant to help even the playing field for students coming from low-income and underrepresented communities, university officials said.

Most attractive cities to millenials?
Seattle, Columbia S.C., Sacramento …
USA Today
See the top 15 and the numbers.

Antarctic ice melt has tripled in 5 years
EcoWatch
“The last time we looked at the polar ice sheets, Greenland was the dominant contributor (to melting). That’s no longer the case.”

NASA flies first drone in commercial airspace
Newsweek
— NASA has said the U.S. is “one step closer to normalizing unmanned aircraft operations” in commercial airspace after its remotely-piloted drone aircraft—known as Ikhana—successfully flew its first mission in the skies above California without a chase aircraft for the first time this week.
— According to the American space agency, the success of the flight could now open the doors to a slew of future uses, from monitoring and fighting forest fires to emergency search and rescue operations. It also claimed that the tech could soon be scaled down for use in general aviation.

Miserable in America:
The need to numb the pain,
the rise of suicides
The Conversation
— Why are the suicide rates increasing so fast? And, are the increasing suicide rates linked to the seeming increase in demand for drugs such as marijuana, opioids and psychiatric medicine?
— As a public health researcher and epidemiologist who has studied these issues for a long time, I think there may be deeper issues to explore.
… … … Americans stand out from people in other countries with respect to their focus on individualism. Americans believe that success is determined by our own control and that it is very important to work hard to get ahead in life. Perhaps it is this focus on our own achievements, successes and work culture that have created an environment that is no longer sustainable – it has become too stressful.

Musks’s Boring Co. to build high-speed Chicago-Airport rail
Motherboard
— Up until this point, the Boring Company was just a handful of employees working from two trailers in the SpaceX parking lot, where it is digging a test tunnel. Boring has developed a tunnel excavation system that can currently excavate at 1/15 the speed of a snail, but so far the only products it has sold are $1 million worth of hats and $10 million worth of flamethrowers.
— Chicago’s airport loop will consist of consist of an 18-mile rail network for autonomous, 16-passenger cars that can reach peak speeds of 150 miles per hour. This is the company’s largest city contract so far. Last year, the Boring Company received permission to dig a 12 mile tunnel between Baltimore and Washington, DC, and last month the city of Los Angeles granted the company permission to build a 2.7-mile test tunnel.

Subjects in famed Stanford Prison Experiment say it was faked
Medium
— A new exposé based on previously unpublished recordings of Philip Zimbardo, the Stanford psychologist who ran the study, and interviews with his participants, offers convincing evidence that the guards in the experiment were coached to be cruel. It also shows that the experiment’s most memorable moment — of a prisoner descending into a screaming fit, proclaiming, “I’m burning up inside!” — was the result of the prisoner acting. “I took it as a kind of an improv exercise,” one of the guards told reporter Ben Blum. “I believed that I was doing what the researchers wanted me to do.”

TODAY’S DOG & PONY SHOW

Trump ordered troops to the border …
but they’re just screwing around down there
Politico
troops-gloom— They have been carrying out a variety of tasks assisting the U.S. Border Patrol in the months since their initial deployment, but all with one thing in common: They’re as far away from the border as possible.
— In reality, the hundreds of troops deployed in southern Arizona are keeping up the rear, so to speak; in one assignment, soldiers are actually feeding and shoveling out manure from the stalls of the Border Patrol’s horses.

 

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