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wepon ([personal profile] wepon) wrote2017-06-08 11:18 am
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Link Roundup May 2017

The Deadliest Jobs in America
Garbage collectors: These workers die on the job about four times more often than firefighters and security guards. Transportation incidents are the biggest cause, accounting for 69% of fatalities.

Some Flint Residents Could Face Foreclosure Over Unpaid Water Bills
And the fiscal pressures that pushed Flint to look for a cheaper water source in 2014, which led to the contamination, haven’t gone away. The city is desperate for revenue, and the tax lien warnings come after the city started sending water cutoff notices in March.

Every Republican who voted for this abomination must be held accountable
Removes the subsidies that the ACA provided to help middle-income people afford health insurance, replacing them with far more meager tax credits pegged not to people’s income but to their age. Poorer people would get less than they do now, while richer people would get more; even Bill Gates would get a tax credit.

This Is How the Free Press Dies
When both sides of the aisle agree that press freedom is not a guaranteed right, journalists and the public they inform will suffer. The broad subpoena powers given to the federal government in cases involving national security means that governments are rarely punished for testing the limits of their power. Barack Obama's administration charged more whistleblowers with violating the Espionage Act than any other administration in history. Meanwhile, Obama's Department of Justice secretly spied on Associated Press reporters while simultaneously whining about encryption and internet privacy as major barriers to national security.

Family by Family, How School Segregation Still Happens
P.S. 145, the Bloomingdale School, is on West 105th Street, four blocks south of P.S. 165. A quarter of its students live in temporary housing. Last year, just 15 percent of third- through fifth-grade students passed the state reading tests, and only 7 percent passed the math tests. In recent years, less than half of the kindergartners living in P.S. 145’s zone who attended public school enrolled there. Some go to P.S. 75, others to the Manhattan School for Children or to charter schools.

Chechens tell of prison beatings and electric shocks in anti-gay purge: ‘They called us animals’
Under the Moscow-backed local leader Ramzan Kadyrov, Chechnya has been rebuilt after two brutal separatist conflicts in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Kadyrov pledges allegiance to Vladimir Putin and a love for Russia, and in return the Kremlin turns a blind eye to human rights abuses. Critics say Kadyrov’s notorious battalions have long operated outside the law.

Yikes! New Behind-the-Scenes Book Brutalizes the Clinton Campaign
Most don't see elections as organic movements within populations of millions, but as dueling contests of "whip-smart" organizers who know how to get the cattle to vote the right way. If someone wins an election, the inevitable Beltway conclusion is that the winner had better puppeteers.

In Sheriff David Clarke’s jail, water was kept from mentally ill inmate for 7 days before he died of dehydration
The cause of death was ultimately ruled “profound dehydration” and the medical examiner classified it a homicide — meaning death at the hands of others — an announcement that drew a torrent of rage from Sheriff David Clarke, a tough-talking and loyal President Trump surrogate.

Is American Retail at a Historic Tipping Point?
More workers in general merchandise stores have been laid off since October, about 89,000 Americans. That is more than all of the people employed in the United States coal industry, which President Trump championed during the campaign as a prime example of the workers who have been left behind in the economic recovery. The job losses in retail could have unexpected social and political consequences, as huge numbers of low-wage retail employees become economically unhinged, just as manufacturing workers did in recent decades. About one out of every 10 Americans works in retail.

Japan becomes first country in the world to elect a transgender man to a public office
Mr Hosoda is the second transgender politician elected in Japan after Kamikawa Aya, a transgender woman who was elected as a Tokyo municipal official in 2003.

America has become so anti-innovation – it's economic suicide
VCs didn’t create the internet, of course – and they haven’t funded much innovation with the additional wealth they acquired from pretending they did. In fact, VCs are anti-innovation by design. They want a big payday for their partners on a short timetable, typically looking for start-ups headed for an exit – an IPO or an acquisition by a bigger company – within three to five years. This isn’t a recipe for nurturing actual breakthroughs, which require more patient financing over a longer timeframe. But it’s a good formula for producing nonsense like the Juicero, or overvalued companies that serve as lucrative vehicles for financial speculation.

Resistbot Turns Your Texts Into Faxes to Elected Officials
Resistbot is a new service that turns your text messages into faxes, and sends them to your elected officials for you, Recode reports. Want to urge your House representative to oppose the Affordable Care Act replacement, or ask your senators to demand an independent commission to investigate Russia’s involvement in the election, or block the implementation of the revised Muslim ban? Just text “resist” to 50409.

Minnesota Sees Largest Outbreak of Measles in Almost 30 Years
Mohamud Noor, executive director of the Confederation of Somali Community in Minnesota, said anti-vaccine activists had met one-on-one with families and had been more aggressive than public health educators in getting their message out.

Second Chance for ‘Obamacare’ Repeal. And for Reince Priebus.
Mr. Priebus, who has said he has self-diagnosed obsessive-compulsive disorder, tried at first to restrict these interactions, often by keeping the president busy with ceremonial events like executive order signings and meetings with business leaders. Over time, Mr. Trump bridled and demanded the unstructured time he had so valued as an executive at Trump Tower. Mr. Priebus, who initially outsourced the details of Oval Office scheduling and paper flow to a deputy, has now taken over those tasks himself. He has reduced the pace of public events and, like a Montessori teacher, modulates structured work time with the slack periods Mr. Trump craves.

U.S. Census director resigns amid turmoil over funding of 2020 count
A former Capitol Hill staffer who is knowledgeable about the census said Congress’s mandate for the 2020 Census to cost no more than the 2010 one was unrealistic. “They’re not accounting for inflation; they’re not accounting for the 30 million more Americans, for the fact that people don’t have hard [telephone] lines anymore. And you’re going to do the census for the same amount of money? That’s not possible.”

What the last Nuremberg prosecutor alive wants the world to know
Benjamin Ferencz: Well, if it's naive to want peace instead of war, let 'em make sure they say I'm naive. Because I want peace instead of war. If they tell me they want war instead of peace, I don't say they're naive, I say they're stupid. Stupid to an incredible degree to send young people out to kill other young people they don't even know, who never did anybody any harm, never harmed them. That is the current system. I am naive? That's insane.

USAID effort to undermine Cuban government with fake ‘Twitter’ another anti-Castro failure
On Thursday, the U.S. Agency for International Development confirmed the broad outlines of an Associated Press report exposing the clandestine creation of a phony “Cuban Twitter” network that was meant to undermine the government now headed by Fidel’s brother Raul. The audacious program, set in motion through shell companies around the world, lured 40,000 unsuspecting Cuban subscribers with seemingly innocuous text messages about sports and popular music, the report said. Its creators called the network “Zunzuneo,” Cuban slang for the sound a hummingbird makes.

How Netflix Reverse Engineered Hollywood
If we reverse engineered Yellin's system, it was Yellin himself who imagined a much more ambitious reverse-engineering process. Using large teams of people specially trained to watch movies, Netflix deconstructed Hollywood. They paid people to watch films and tag them with all kinds of metadata. This process is so sophisticated and precise that taggers receive a 36-page training document that teaches them how to rate movies on their sexually suggestive content, goriness, romance levels, and even narrative elements like plot conclusiveness.