Fri June 15 … with weekend updates


17 wounded, 1 dead in shooting at NJ arts festival
The usual American mayhem.
√ I started this web site out of dissatisfaction with GoogleNews, Yahoo, Drudge, etc. Google’s links to this story illustrate one of its weaknesses: lousy sources chosen by algorithm. They linked to CNN (which tortures you with videos) Yahoo Finance (why?) AOL and the Florida Sun Sentinel. But anyone with the faintest knowledge of the news landscape knows that the strongest journalism in NJ comes out of the old Star Ledger newsroom. (aka

Who’s against the California privacy initiative?
The Verge
Amazon, Microsoft, Uber, Facebook, Google, AT&T, Verizon …
— The initiative recently submitted 600,000 unverified signatures to qualify for a place on the November ballot. The state is currently sorting through those signatures to determine whether there are 366,000 legitimate ones, the required threshold for a ballot spot.
>>> Initiative to give Disneyland workers a “living wage” advances
L.A. Times
— Unions that represent workers at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim are one step closer to requiring the theme park to pay its employees a “living wage.”
— The Orange County Registrar of Voters has certified that a petition to force major Anaheim employers who get city subsidies to boost their workers’ hourly salaries had produced a minimum of 13,185 valid signatures — or at least 10% of the city’s voters.
— When the Anaheim City Council meets Tuesday, it can respond by either putting the measure on the Nov. 6 ballot for a public vote or adopt a city ordinance to impose the wages called for by the petition initiative.

Right-wingers move to sabotage Okla. teacher’s pay raise
The Guardian
— Striking Oklahoma teachers, the worst paid in the US, won a historic pay raise in the spring. Now, conservative groups have targeted the tax hikes earmarked to pay them, and by November the cash could be gone, leaving schools and educators in limbo.

Woman nearly killed by shopping cart, wins $45 million in court
New York Post
marion-hedges— Marion Hedges and her son were buying Halloween candy for poor kids on Oct. 30, 2011, at the East River Plaza mall in East Harlem when the teens tossed the cart from a 79-foot-high landing outside a Target store.
— Hedges, her son, Dayton, and her husband, Michael, sued Target, the mall and its security company for negligence in 2011, saying the businesses ignored past incidents involving kids fooling around with carts.

Once a star of Silicon Valley, Elizabeth Holmes indicted for fraud
— Theranos Inc. founder Elizabeth Holmes, who reigned briefly as the world’s youngest female self-made billionaire over her promise to revolutionize blood testing, was criminally charged with defrauding investors along with the company’s former president.

Manafort jailed, Giuliani sees presidential pardons
NY Daily News
— In one of his most forceful attacks on the special counsel yet, Rudy Giuliani on Friday claimed the Russia investigation could get “cleaned up” with pardons from President Trump in light of Paul Manafort being sent to jail.

“When the (Mueller investigation) is over, things might get cleaned up with some presidential pardons.”
— Rudy Giuliani

7 batshit-crazy moments from Trump’s ramble on the White House lawn
Raw Story
— Wants same kowtowing Kim gets from N. Koreans … Says Kim might nuke US, although last week said he was no threat … Says Dems forcing him to separate kids at border … blames Obama for Putin’s invasion of Crimea … AND THAT’S NOT ALL.
 The craziest thing is that 60 million Americans are okay with his leadership.
Sessions: Bible says it’s okay to take kids from parents
“I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13, to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained them for the purpose of order,” Sessions said. “Orderly and lawful processes are good in themselves and protect the weak and lawful.”

Fat & carbs together, hard to resist, brain study finds
New Scientist
… separate systems in the brain to evaluate fatty or carb-heavy foods. If both get activated at the same time, this tricks the brain to produce a larger amount of dopamine – and a bigger feeling of reward – than there should be based on the food’s energy content.
… This could be because when the human brain evolved, our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate a diet consisting mainly of plants and meat, and never encountered food that is high in both carbs and fat. “The brain is used to seeing one signal at a time. Modern food is tricking the system.”

China vows to go tit-for-tat on US tariffs
— The response from China signaled a rapid escalation of the dispute. China will impose tariffs with “equal scale, equal intensity” on imports from the U.S. and all of the country’s earlier trade commitments are now off the table, the Commerce Ministry said.

Millionaires now control half of all personal wealth
— The rich are getting a lot richer and doing so a lot faster.
— Personal wealth around the globe reached $201.9 trillion last year, a 12 percent gain from 2016 and the strongest annual pace in the past five years, Boston Consulting Group said. Booming equity markets swelled fortunes, and investors outside the U.S. got an exchange-rate bonus as most major currencies strengthened against the greenback.
— The growing ranks of millionaires and billionaires now hold almost half of global personal wealth, up from slightly less than 45 percent in 2012.

Folks are taking Equifax to small claims court, and winning (Consumer site)
— One of the plaintiffs, Christian Haigh, decided to document his case against the company because, like around 148 million other Americans, he was affected by the breach. Haigh, who is co-founder of litigation finance startup Legalist, wrote a couple of blog posts about the experience.
— “I also filed my own lawsuit against Equifax, half expecting to have my case dismissed, and half expecting Equifax to not even show up. In fact, Equifax did appear,” he writes. Going toe to toe with Equifax’s representative in front of a judge, Haigh won $8,000.

At urging of Minneapolis cops,
EMTs subdued suspects with powerful drugs
Star Tribune
— Minneapolis police officers have repeatedly requested over the past three years that Hennepin County medical responders sedate people using the powerful tranquilizer ketamine, at times over the protests of those being drugged, and in some cases when no apparent crime was committed, a city report shows.
— On multiple occasions, in the presence of police, Hennepin Healthcare EMS workers injected suspects of crimes and others who already appeared to be restrained, according to the report, and the ketamine caused heart or breathing failure, requiring them to be medically revived. Several people given ketamine had to be intubated.

Is Musk scamming the city of Chicago?
Vanity Fair
— Elon Musk has a way of pulling people into his reality distortion field, where intercontinental travel is effortless; autonomous fleets of emission-free Tesla vehicles have replaced personal cars; each home generates its own solar power; and reusable rocket ships ferry paying passengers to and from Mars. As much as he is an engineering genius, Musk is also one of the world’s best salespeople.

Nuclear power won’t survive without gov’t help
— It provides 20% of America’s electrical power, but the plants are aging. Fracking has made fossil fuel plants cheaper to run.
— It’s the cost of upkeep that’s prohibitive. Things do fall apart — especially things exposed to radiation on a daily basis. Maintenance and repair, upgrades and rejuvenation all take a lot of capital investment. And that means spending lots of money on power plants that aren’t especially profitable.

Did an Iowa Congressman endorse a white supremacist? TRUE
— Rep. Steve King engaged in yet another round of white nationalist speech on his Twitter account.
>>> √ Friends of Steve King defend “sage of the cornfields”

Taming the bluefin tuna
— Since 2003, the Spanish Institute of Oceanography has been trying to domesticate Atlantic bluefin tuna, one of the ocean’s most powerful and coveted fish. By raising bluefin through its full lifecycle, the IEO aims to pave the way for commercial production, from tiny egg to giant apex predator to succulent slivers of sashimi.
— Adult bluefins can grow as big as a cow, dive a mile below the surface to feed, and travel thousands of miles every year. They live up to 40 years and are phenomenal swimmers.
— So far, the IEO’s endeavor to tame bluefin has yielded slow progress and many setbacks.

MLB sees yet another drop in attendance
(But owners still fat & happy)

Hardball Talk blog (NBC Sports)
… total MLB attendance has fallen in five of the past six years, while ticket prices have held steady or have gone up.
.. I suspect Major League Baseball has chosen to ignore the realities … because, despite fewer customers, revenues have continued to rise. … MLB has worked hard to develop revenue streams that are independent of attendance.

China’s gov’t to begin tracking every car

… the state will have an unprecedented level of detail about who you are, your car, and where you’re going if you happen to pass a checkpoint.

To avoid humans, more wildlife now work the night shift
By Kaitlyn Gaynor, Ph.D. Candidate in Environmental Science, University of California, Berkeley
The Conversation
— For their first 100 million years on planet Earth, our mammal ancestors relied on the cover of darkness to escape their dinosaur predators and competitors. Only after the meteor-induced mass extinction of dinosaurs 66 million years ago could these nocturnal mammals explore the many wondrous opportunities available in the light of day.
— Fast forward to the present, and the honeymoon in the sun may be over for mammals. They’re increasingly returning to the protection of night to avoid the Earth’s current terrifying super-predator: Homo sapiens.

 In US workplace, pregnancy often ends a promising career
NY Times
— American companies have spent years trying to become more welcoming to women. They have rolled out generous parental leave policies, designed cushy lactation rooms and plowed millions of dollars into programs aimed at retaining mothers.
— But these advances haven’t changed a simple fact: Whether women work at Walmart or on Wall Street, getting pregnant is often the moment they are knocked off the professional ladder.
— Throughout the American workplace, pregnancy discrimination remains widespread. It can start as soon as a woman is showing, and it often lasts through her early years as a mother.

Do-Nothing EPA sued over air pollution
Courthouse News Service
— “The law requires that Pruitt and the Trump administration act to cut dangerous sulfur dioxide pollution from the air we breathe, but they have ignored those deadlines for protecting the public and are instead turning a blind eye to corporate polluters.”
>>> Pruitt faces revolt in Midwest
— Ethanol and corn prices, not ethics, are prompting Republicans across the Midwest to protest the EPA chief and call for his firing.
… “farmers are demanding accountability and I think that Mr. Pruitt probably is a dead man walking,” said Dane Hicks, GOP chairman in Anderson County, Kan. “I can’t imagine he rebounds from this in any way to salvage his position. I would expect his resignation soon.”


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