In “Behind the Lines”, Mother Jones senior reporter Shane Bauer reports from Syria on America’s role in one of the 21st century’s bloodiest conflicts.
–-> video series
–-> in-depth report
–-> podcast series
Trailer introducing ’Behind the Lines’:
In “Behind the Lines”, Mother Jones senior reporter Shane Bauer reports from Syria on America’s role in one of the 21st century’s bloodiest conflicts.
–-> video series
–-> in-depth report
–-> podcast series
Trailer introducing ’Behind the Lines’:
A New Study Shows How Mushrooms Could Save Bees. Yes, Mushrooms. – Mother Jones
Over the past decade, the honeybee story has been the stuff of science fiction. Back in 2006, beekeepers first noticed their honeybees were mysteriously dying off in huge numbers, with no clear cause. For some, a whopping 30 to 90 percent of their colonies were disappearing, especially on the East Coast. Worker bees were abandoning their queens and leaving hives full of honey. That first winter, beekeepers nationwide lost about a third of their colonies. Since then, the numbers haven’t improved.
Researchers now call this ongoing phenomenon “colony collapse disorder,” but scientists still haven’t identified a singular cause. They say it’s a combination of factors: pollution, habitat loss, herbicides, and viruses, though some experts believe viruses may be the primary driver. For instance, “deformed wing virus,” which causes bees to develop disfigured, nonfunctional wings, can be nasty, and, like other viruses, is transferred to bees by parasitic mites. Until now, scientists haven’t developed any antiviral treatments to protect the bees.
But in a landmark study published Thursday in Nature journal Scientific Reports, researchers revealed they’ve discovered the first-ever “vaccine” for bees, procured from an unexpected source: mushrooms. Specifically, it’s mycelia—cobweb-like fungal membranes found in and on soil—from two species, “tinder fungus” and Red Reishi mushrooms.
Court Documents Show How OxyContin’s Sales Team Pushed “Hope in a Bottle” – Mother Jones
In 2007, a sales representative for Purdue Pharma visited a family doctor in Kingston, Tennessee, to urge the physician to prescribe more OxyContin. The doctor was interested in pain management, but didn’t prescribe the opioid painkiller because he’d heard that it was often resold on the street. “Asked him why it mattered if thought was going to end on street?” read notes that the rep wrote after the visit. “Point well received.”
That’s according to a 278-page lawsuit filed in May by the state of Tennessee against Purdue Pharma and made public earlier this month after the company dropped its effort to keep the suit sealed. The opioid maker is facing dozens of lawsuits alleging that it helped plant the seeds of today’s spiraling overdose epidemic, but this appears to be the only complaint that relies heavily on notes that company sales representatives jotted down after each visit with a prescriber or clinic. (It’s not alone in the lawsuits: opioid manufacturers and distributors across the country are facing litigation, including this recent whistleblower case against prescription fentanyl maker Insys.)
Purdue reps focused their efforts on general practitioners, internal medicine physicians, and other prescribers without pain management expertise, the suit alleges. Physician assistants and nurse practitioners, who Purdue found to be the fastest-growing group of opioid prescribers, were deemed to be “critical to our success; contributing to both volume and growth,” according to a 2015-2016 brand strategy training. “NPs and PAs desperately seek information, typically from sales representatives,” read a 2013 marketing plan.
New Report Details Dozens of Corrupt #Border_Patrol_Agents—Just As Trump Wants to Hire More
New records obtained by the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) reveal that their concerns may not have been misplaced. Since 2016, there have been 40 cases of corruption-related charges against CBP employees, including 13 since Trump took office. Overall, 80 Border Patrol agents and 127 CBP officers have been arrested or charged with corruption-related crimes since 2004. Records show that between February 2017 and mid-March 2018, CBP employees racked up charges including embezzlement, human smuggling, theft, bribery, breaking and entering, money laundering, providing false statements, and using firearms during drug-related crimes.
In early 2016, the Department of Homeland Security declared that corrupt border agents “pose a national security threat” and found that the CBP had a “broken disciplinary process.” James Tomsheck, the former head of Internal Affairs at CBP, has repeatedly warned about corruption at the agency. He maintains that its background investigations of new employees are sorely lacking, that it sweeps corruption allegations under the rug, and that it largely resists efforts to clean house. In an interview with Mother Jones last year, Tomsheck claimed that the head of the Border Patrol agents’ union had “opposed every integrity proposal” he had made during his eight years at CBP. (The National Border Patrol Council did not respond to requests for comment.)
Some of the crimes committed by border agents on the job have been extreme. While on patrol in March 2014, Border Patrol agent Esteban Manzanares kidnapped, assaulted, and raped two Honduran girls and their mother. He committed suicide when FBI agents surrounded his home. In late 2016, the discovery of a headless body a few hundred feet from the shore of South Padre Island in Texas led investigators first to an assassin for the Gulf Cartel and eventually to a Border Patrol agent who had run guns and drugs across the border.
The 210 corruption cases documented by POGO are just those that have come to light and in which legal action was taken. In 2014, the American Immigration Council published data on 809 complaints of alleged abuse by Border Patrol agents from 2009 to 2012. In 97 percent of the cases, Border Patrol took no action on the complaints. The same year, Tomsheck told Reveal that at least a quarter of violent incidents involving Border Patrol agents were “highly suspect,” adding that “in nearly every instance, there was an effort by Border Patrol leadership to make a case to justify the shooting versus doing a genuine, appropriate review of the information and the facts at hand.” In 2016, Reveal identified 140 CBP officials who had been arrested or convicted for acts of corruption including weapons charges, drug smuggling, and human trafficking.
#murs #barrières_frontalières #frontières #corruption #USA #Etats-Unis #gardes-frontière
A mettre en lien avec ce que Elisabeth Vallet avait dit à une émission radio à la RTS, dont voici la transcription sur la corruption :
Et enfin, l’élément important, qui va beaucoup avec l’érection d’un mur et le durcissement des frontières : la corruption des gardes frontaliers . C’est là où l’élément de maîtrise des Etats est le moins évident, parce que plus on recrute de gardes frontaliers pour patrouiller la frontière, plus on doit, et c’est le cas aux Etats-Unis, coupler les contrôles, les background check, donc contrôler un peu d’où viennent les gardes frontaliers, et on en voit déjà l’impact aujourd’hui : il y a des problèmes parce que les gardes n’ont pas été formés de manière adéquate, on a voulu les recruter trop rapidement.
An Updated Lead-Crime Roundup for 2018, by Kevin Drum – Mother Jones
A few weeks ago I promised an updated roundup of evidence about the link between lead poisoning and violent crime. Here it is.
It’s in three parts. (…)
The lead-crime hypothesis is pretty simple: lead poisoning degrades the development of childhood brains in ways that increase aggression, reduce impulse control, and impair the executive functions that allow people to understand the consequences of their actions. Because of this, infants who are exposed to high levels of lead are more likely to commit violent crimes later in life. There are three types of research that confirm the connection between lead and crime
et parmi les prédictions :
Lead and terrorism. Based on when they banned leaded gasoline, I predict that Middle East terrorism will begin a long decline starting around 2020 or so.
Shhhh. The “Gene Silenced” Apple Is Coming. – Mother Jones
Why go through all this trouble to change the color of the fruit? The Arctic’s non-browning properties mean it can be sold pre-sliced, which the company says makes it more appealing as a snack food for kids. And unlike other prepackaged apple slices, “our non-browning sliced apples are preservative free, avoiding negative flavor and aroma impacts of anti-browning treatments,” Okanagan President Neal Carter told me.
Et l’argument écologiste en prime
And if the apples stay white, we’re less likely to toss them out, according to the Breakthrough Institute, which is helping promote the fruit: “By eliminating superficial bruising and browning, the Arctic Apple holds the potential to dramatically reduce consumer food waste once it enters the market.” Food makes up the largest share of waste at municipal landfills, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Around the world, almost half of all fruits and vegetables are wasted every year, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization, and that includes a startling 3.7 trillion apples.
Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc.
But if the point of the apple is to help reduce food waste, why market it in a way that requires so much packaging? I asked the company, and it responded that the plastic bags are recyclable, as are the shipping cartons and trays. Still, it’s hard to see how whole apples would require as much plastic, recyclable or not.
Et la mention OGM n’est pas sur l’emballage
ut the Arctic apples are one of the first genetically modified foods created to please consumers, rather than farmers. “It’s good for people to bite into one of these apples and see in their own hand how simple it is,” says Professor Pam Ronald, a plant pathologist and geneticist at the University of California-Davis. “It tastes the same.”
If you come across a packet of Arctic apple slices in stores, it won’t say “GM” on the label.
That’s only if they know what they’re eating. A law signed in 2016 by President Barack Obama requires companies to reveal whether a product is genetically modified, but it does not force them to print that information on its packaging. If you come across a packet of Arctic apple slices in stores, it won’t say “GM” on the label. Instead, there will be a QR code on the back that you can scan with a smartphone to learn more about Okanagan and the biotechnology at work.
Finding a Fix – Mother Jones
Opioids started seeping into the surrounding counties in the mid-’90s, when Purdue Pharma introduced OxyContin and dramatically underplayed its addictive qualities. Thanks to pharmaceutical lobbying, years of liberal painkiller prescribing—the United States consumes more than 70 percent of the world’s opioid painkillers—planted the seeds for widespread addiction to both painkillers and heroin, which is chemically similar to the prescription pills but far cheaper and more potent.
As the demand for opioids grew in suburban areas, capillaries sprang up from the main drug trafficking artery of Interstate 95, which runs from Florida to Maine, bringing opioids to small towns like Bel Air and Aberdeen. But the turning point in Harford—and much of the country—came in 2015 after fentanyl, an opioid up to 50 times more powerful than heroin that is typically manufactured in illicit labs in China, started making its way into the heroin supply. Complicating matters is the fact that, by the time drugs get to Baltimore or Harford County, they have likely changed hands so many times—and mixed with fentanyl and other additives along the way—that dealers often don’t know what they are dealing. Indeed, the customary drug in Baltimore is “scramble”: an amalgamation of heroin and other drugs, sold in gel capsules. “We knew [fentanyl] was coming; we were trying to brace for it,” said Dunbar. He recruited officers to do nothing but heroin investigations, because “we knew we were gonna see this surge.”
Of course, the epidemic is much bigger than Harford. In Ohio, coroners’ offices use refrigerated trucks to store bodies. In Connecticut, medical examiners’ autopsy caseloads have quadrupled in one year. In West Virginia, 1 in 20 infants are born in withdrawal from opioids. And in Maryland, two-thirds of people in jail have a diagnosed substance abuse disorder, according to a 2016 analysis by the governor’s office. Harford County Sheriff’s Office cops are no longer allowed to test seized drugs suspected to contain opioids on the spot, because of reports that interacting with some variants of fentanyl can be deadly. When the drugs are sent to DEA labs, “while one person is testing, another person is ready to treat them with [the overdose reversal drug] naloxone in case they fall while they’re testing,” says Hedrick, the DEA supervisor.
As the wave of fatal overdoses hit Harford in early 2015, county officials sprang into action. Police officers are now equipped with naloxone and trained that addiction is a disease. Cops on the Narcotics Task Force rarely charge users for drug possession in quantities that seem intended for personal use. After every overdose, cops give victims a “help card” with addiction treatment resources. “We’re not going to solve the problem by putting addicts in jail,” said Underhill. “If they’re not going to get effective treatment, it’s not going to change anything.”
Another part of Harford’s response is aggressively tracking down dealers. In 2016 alone, the county arrested and charged 240 people with felony drug offenses. As Dunbar sums up the strategy, “We need to lock up the bad guys—the dealers and traffickers putting out stuff on the street—but we also play a role in getting the victims help.”
It’s not that Harford cops don’t empathize with user-dealers. The guy who gets in a car accident is prescribed painkillers, becomes addicted, and then starts selling to support his own habit—“I’ve seen that story 150 times,” Underhill told me. But where do you draw the line? “They’re selling just enough to get theirs,” he said of user-dealers, “but they’re killing people with what they’re bringing back.” He gets most worked up when he talks about the kids: the toddlers strapped in car seats as he pulls parents over for drugs, the children he terrifies when breaking open front doors with Halligan bars in predawn raids, the teens who come home from school to find that cops have gone through their bedrooms looking for drugs.
When it comes to reforming user-dealers, evidence strongly suggests that prison time isn’t very effective. Instead, stable housing, support services, and employment have been shown to promote long-term recovery. Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion, a Seattle program that has been replicated in dozens of jurisdictions across the country, demonstrates the research in action: Rather than jailing people for low-level drug crimes, police divert them to programs offering treatment, housing, and job training. Participants are nearly 60 percent less likely to be rearrested.
Government paying private firm $297 million to help hire 5,000 Border Patrol agents
The contract with a division of #Accenture, an international professional services corporation with $35 billion in revenues in 2017, comes at a time when the Border Patrol is struggling to meet minimum staffing levels mandated by Congress and is losing more agents per year than it hires.
#privatisation #asile #migrations #réfugiés #gardes-frontière #garde-frontière #frontières #USA #Etats-Unis #Border_patrol_agents #business #argent #industrie_militaro-sécuritaire
Top Democrat seeks answers on $297 million recruiting contract for Trump’s immigration crackdown
If the contract runs its full five-year course, Accenture would be paid $297 million to assist CBP to hire 7,500 new employees, including 5,000 Border Patrol agents, 2,000 customs officers and 500 Air and Marine officers. The company will be paid $42.6 million in the first year, according to federal contracting records.
Customs and Border Protection Paid $14 Million to Recruit Two Agents, Government Report Finds
US Customs and Border Protection paid a consulting company nearly $14 million to recruit new agents as the agency struggled to boost staffing levels amid an immigration crackdown. For that fee, the company processed just two successful job offers. The startling figure, along with plans to use a questionable Blade Runner-like lie detection system, is among the findings of a scathing new investigation by the Department of Homeland Security’s internal watchdog.
After receiving multiple complaints, DHS’s Office of Inspector General began investigating a five-year contract worth up to $297 million that CBP, a division of DHS, awarded last year to Accenture Federal Services, a subsidiary of global consulting company Accenture. The contract gives Accenture nearly $40,000 for each of the 7,500 CBP officials—including 5,000 Border Patrol agents—it is supposed to help recruit and hire. The OIG report, released Monday, shows that Accenture’s services have been even more costly than previously known and could put CBP at risk of being sued.
The watchdog found that Accenture is “nowhere near” meeting its goal of hiring 7,500 people over five years, even though CBP has used many of its own resources to do the job for which it is paying Accenture. “As such, we are concerned that CBP may have paid Accenture for services and tools not provided,” the report states. “Without addressing the issues we have identified, CBP risks wasting millions of taxpayer dollars.”
CBP has struggled for years to hire Border Patrol agents. Congress has set a minimum staffing level of about 21,370 agents, but there were just 19,555 agents in 2018. The Accenture contract came in response to President Donald Trump’s January 2017 request for 5,000 additional Border Patrol agents. It is still not clear whether CBP will be able to hire those agents, because Congress has refused to provide the funding for hiring them.
When CBP awarded Accenture the hiring contract in November 2017, Mother Jones reported in June, it was essentially paying the company for extremely expensive hand-holding throughout the application process for new agents. Accenture was supposed to give applicants “one-on-one” encouragement so they didn’t get “stuck,” according to federal contracting documents. That included reminding them to take their entrance exam and providing “helpful information” about the test. It was also supposed to help applicants schedule their physical fitness test and medical exams.
Accenture was to assist with all steps of CBP’s hiring process within 90 days of getting the contract. But CBP did not establish metrics to determine whether Accenture was doing that, the report states. OIG’s assessment of Accenture’s effectiveness was particularly damning. “[A]s of October 1, 2018—10 months into the contract—CBP has paid Accenture approximately $13.6 million for startup costs, security requirements, recruiting, and applicant support,” the report found. “In return, Accenture has processed two accepted job offers.”
CBP disagreed with that characterization in a response included in OIG’s report. “Accenture has created a hiring structure…and conducted many of the hiring steps for several thousand applicants,” Henry Moak, a CBP official wrote. OIG replied that the contracting documents it reviewed show that Accenture and CBP are unable to track applicants recruited by Accenture. “As such,” the report states, “we question the veracity of CBP management’s assertion.”
Instead of providing a team of hiring experts, OIG found, Accenture “relied heavily” on CBP during the hiring process. A key part of the contract required Accenture to develop a system to track applicants. That did not happen, and the company used CBP’s system instead, according to OIG. Accenture also planned to use a computer program to speed up background investigations and processing of security clearances, but the program didn’t work. The company responded by reviewing security clearance forms manually, which created a backlog.
OIG is also concerned about Accenture’s decision to use a lie detection system called EyeDetect to screen applicants. The system works by having a computer analyze respondents’ eyes as they answer questions. As Wired reported last week, the National Security Agency found that EyeDetect, a product of technology company Converus, worked no better than random chance at identifying false statements when it tested an early version of the system in 2013. Converus’ own scientists have conducted the only peer-reviewed study of EyeDetect. Yet in August, Accenture deployed EyeDetect at a hiring expo without getting approval from DHS’s science and technology compliance office. Accenture plans to use EyeDetect results to decide whether to keep applicants in its own pool of potential CBP hires or give them to CBP to process. That could put CBP at risk of being sued by applicants if they are held to different standards by Accenture and CBP, according to OIG.
The lack of funding raises additional questions about why CBP quickly awarded the lucrative contract to Accenture. DHS’s Inspector General found last year that CBP had failed to justify the need for more Border Patrol agents. Congress stated in a March budget document that hiring additional Border Patrol agents was “not supported by any analysis of workload and capability gaps across CBP.”
CBP has been strangely sympathetic to Accenture’s shortcomings. At one point, Accenture did not know which applicants it was recruiting, so “CBP agreed to give credit and temporarily pay Accenture for a percentage of all applicants regardless of whether CBP or Accenture processed the applicants,” OIG found. CBP also went out of its way to take blame, telling OIG in its responses to the report that it has sometimes failed to clear Accenture staff on time.
“We disagree,” OIG responded. “Based on our review of contract documentation…CBP has been accommodating Accenture, rather than Accenture accommodating CBP.”
US Mass Shootings, 1982-2017: Data From Mother Jones’ Investigation – Mother Jones
The full data set from our in-depth investigation into mass shootings. Plus: additional cases from 2013-17.
“We Just Feel Like We Don’t Belong Here Anymore” – Mother Jones
article présenté par la rédactrice en chef @ClaraJeffery de la manière suivante : After endless pieces detailing the feelings of white rural Americans, we talked to rural people of color
Sugar : The Bitter Truth
Robert H. Lustig, MD, UCSF Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology, explores the damage caused by sugary foods. He argues that fructose (too much) and fiber (not enough) appear to be cornerstones of the obesity epidemic through their effects on insulin. Series: UCSF Mini Medical School for the Public [7/2009] [Health and Medicine] [Show ID: 16717]
Mentionné dans ce #documentaire diffusé ce soir sur arte :
Sucre, le doux mensonge
Comment, depuis les années 1970, l’industrie agroalimentaire a oeuvré pour augmenter les doses de sucre dans nos assiettes, avec à la clé un problème majeur de santé publique : obésité, diabète et maladies cardiaques se répandent à travers le monde, notamment chez les enfants. Cette enquête dévoile les mensonges de l’industrie sucrière et les recours possibles pour enrayer l’épidémie.
C’est en épluchant les archives internes de la Great Western Sugar Company, l’un des fleurons de l’industrie sucrière américaine, que la dentiste Cristin Kearns a fait une découverte de taille, exposée fin 2012 dans le magazine américain « Mother Jones » : dans les années 1970, l’industrie mondiale du sucre a mis au point une stratégie délibérée de conquête, visant à inclure toujours plus de saccharose dans l’alimentation quotidienne mondiale et à en dissimuler sciemment les risques sanitaires. Quarante ans durant, l’Association américaine du sucre et ses homologues d’autres continents ont réussi à faire prospérer un empire lourd de plusieurs milliards et à transformer les habitudes alimentaires à l’échelle planétaire. Conséquence de la nouvelle addiction qu’ils ont su généraliser, l’obésité, le diabète et les maladies cardiaques se répandent à travers le monde, notamment chez les enfants.
Sucre et tabac, même combat ?
Le lobby du sucre est désormais au banc des accusés. Sa ligne de défense, jusqu’ici, ne bouge pas d’un iota : il exige de ses détracteurs toujours davantage de preuves de la nocivité du sucre. Des manœuvres qui rappellent celles de l’industrie du tabac pour retarder coûte que coûte l’application des décisions politiques. Alors que l’industrie, la recherche et les pouvoirs publics se mènent une lutte de plus en plus dure, la bombe à retardement sanitaire approche de l’explosion… Cette enquête dévoile les mensonges de l’industrie sucrière et les recours possibles pour enrayer l’épidémie.
Yudkin’s failure to incorporate possible confounding factors in his case-control designs was an area of heavy critique at the time; apart from other unmeasured known risk factors that might affect cardiovascular disease (CVD), data had emerged soon after suggesting that sugar intake was associated with smoking, a big risk factor for CVD. Yudkin’s failure to account for confounding factors led to harsh words from Ancel Keys at the time. From the late 2000s, there was a resurgence of interest in his work, following a 2009 YouTube video about sugar and high-fructose corn syrup by the pediatric endocrinologist Robert Lustig, and because of increasing concern about an obesity epidemic and metabolic syndrome. Pure, White and Deadly was republished in 2012, with a foreword by Lustig.
Et le concurrent de Yudkin, qui a gagné la bataille (Yudkin pointait du doigt le sucre, Keys les graisses) :
Ancel Benjamin Keys (January 26, 1904 – November 20, 2004) was an American physiologist who studied the influence of diet on health. In particular, he hypothesized that dietary saturated fat causes cardiovascular heart disease and should be avoided.
What’s a Food Industry to Do?
I’d been asked by the food industry to give this talk at an industry breakfast, but 3 days prior to the event they got cold feet and dis-invited me. The good news is, the internet’s a much larger audience than a room full of food industry folks who likely wouldn’t have cared much about what I had to say in the first place. So here’s my take on what the food industry can do, why they’re not going to do it, and what we can do about it.
Fredrick J. Stare
In 1942, Stare founded the Department of Nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health, which he led as a professor of nutrition until his retirement in 1976. He was a firm believer in the essential goodness of the typical American diet, holding that “prudence and moderation” was the key to healthy eating. As an adviser to the US government, Stare rejected the idea that ’the American diet’ was harmful; stating for example that Coca-Cola was “a healthy between-meals snack” and that eating even great amounts of sugar would not cause health problems. He was also an early advocate for the benefits of regularly drinking water throughout the day.
Coke secretly funded obesity conference for good coverage of sugary drinks – report
Coca-Cola secretly funded media training on obesity at a US university to influence journalists to report that a lack of exercise was more likely to cause obesity than consuming sugar.
Quand des spécialistes de l’obésité prennent la défense de Coca-Cola
Des scientifiques réputés dans le domaine de la recherche sur l’obésité ont soulevé colère et incompréhension chez plusieurs de leurs pairs, cette semaine, en diffusant des messages jugés favorables à l’industrie des boissons sucrées.
The data in this interactive graphic comes primarily from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Multiple Cause of Death database, which is derived from death certificates from all 50 states and the District of Columbia and is widely considered the most comprehensive estimate of firearm deaths. In keeping with the CDC’s practice, deaths of non-U.S. residents that take place in the U.S. (about 50 per year) are excluded. All figures are averages from the years 2012 to 2014, except for police shootings of civilians, which are from 2014.
The “homicides” category includes deaths by both assault and legal intervention (primarily shootings by police officers). “Young men” are those ages 15 to 34; “women” are ages 15 and older. Because the CDC’s estimates of police shootings are unreliable, we used estimates from non-governmental sources. Our figure is for 2014, the first year for which such estimates are generally available. (For more on the data we used, see Carl Bialik’s story on police shootings.)
For shootings of police officers, we used the FBI’s count of law enforcement officers “feloniously killed” by firearms in the line of duty. This figure excludes accidental shootings. The FBI counts all killings of federal, state and local law enforcement officers who meet certain criteria, including that they were sworn officers who ordinarily carried a badge and a gun.
For mass shootings, we used Mother Jones’s database of public mass shootings. For 2012 and earlier, Mother Jones includes only incidents in which at least four people (excluding the shooter) were killed; beginning in 2013, Mother Jones lowered the threshold to three fatalities. In order to use a consistent definition, we excluded the one incident in 2013-14 in which exactly three people were killed.
For terrorism gun deaths, we used the University of Maryland’s Global Terrorism Database. Our count of fatalities excludes perpetrators killed during their attacks. There was one incident, the 2012 attack on a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, that qualified as both an act of terrorism and a mass shooting. Seven law-enforcement officers were killed in incidents that the terrorism database classifies as acts of terrorism.
Population totals (used to calculate death rates per 100,000 people) are based on 2012-14 American Community Survey microdata from the University of Minnesota’s IPUMS project. As a result, death rates will not perfectly match official figures from the CDC, which are based on a different set of numbers from the Census Bureau. Racial and ethnic categories are mutually exclusive: All people who were designated as Hispanic in the CDC data are coded as “Hispanic” in ours; all other racial categories are non-Hispanic. “Native American” includes American Indians and Alaska Natives.
Data and code for this project are available on our GitHub page.”
My Four Months as a Private #Prison Guard: A Mother Jones Investigation – Mother Jones
“WE DO NOT WANT THEM TO FEEL AS THOUGH THEY ARE INDIVIDUALS. WE WANT THEM TO FEEL LIKE A HERD OF CATTLE.”
WaPo: UAE Hacked Qatar to Invent Pretense for Retaliation – Mother Jones
As you know, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries have imposed a blockade on Qatar, allegedly due to concerns over Qatar’s support for various and sundry terrorist groups. The blockade began in May, after Qatar’s official news agency published incendiary remarks from Qatar’s leader, and then claimed they had been hacked:
The fake article quoted Qatar emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani as calling Iran an “Islamic power” and saying Qatar’s relations with Israel were “good” during a military ceremony.
The Qatari state television’s nightly newscast…scrolling ticker…included calling Hamas “the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people,” as well as saying Qatar had “strong relations” with Iran and the United States. “Iran represents a regional and Islamic power that cannot be ignored and it is unwise to face up against it,” the ticker read at one point. “It is a big power in the stabilization of the region.”
Hacked? Get serious. Does anyone seriously believe that—
The United Arab Emirates orchestrated the hacking of Qatari government news and social media sites in order to post incendiary false quotes attributed to Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani, in late May that sparked the ongoing upheaval between Qatar and its neighbors, according to U.S. intelligence officials.
Officials became aware last week that newly analyzed information gathered by U.S. intelligence agencies confirmed that on May 23, senior members of the UAE government discussed the plan and its implementation. The officials said it remains unclear whether the UAE carried out the hacks itself or contracted to have them done.
That’s from the Washington Post. The UAE denies everything, of course.
This is a very big deal. For starters, what are the odds that the UAE did this alone? Pretty slim, I think. Saudi Arabia was almost certainly involved too. And what does President Trump do now? He’s taken the Saudi side of this dispute, but now his own intelligence agencies are telling him that other Arab countries conducted the hack as a deliberate way of giving themselves an excuse to create the blockade. In fact, he probably learned this a week ago.
Someone in the intelligence community apparently decided that (a) Trump was never going to go public with this, and (b) it really needed to become public. But who? And why?
Did UAE plant Fake News about Qatar to Fool Trump?, by Juan Cole
Bad News for Obama : Fracking May Be Worse Than Burning Coal | Mother Jones
His accession to office coincided (coincidentally) with the widespread adoption of hydraulic fracking to drill for natural gas, resulting in a sudden boom in supplies and a rapid drop in price, to the point where gas began to supplant coal as the fuel of choice for American power plants. As a result (and as a result of the recession Obama also inherited), the nation’s carbon dioxide emissions began to fall modestly.
For a political leader, it was the very definition of a lucky break: Without having to do much heavy lifting against the power of the fossil fuel industry, the administration was able to produce results. In fact, it gave Obama cover from the right, as he in essence turned the GOP chant of “Drill Baby Drill” into “Frack Baby Frack.” Not only that, the cheap gas was a boost to sputtering American manufacturing, making it profitable once again to make chemicals and other goods close to home. As Obama said in his 2012 State of the Union address, as his reelection campaign geared up, “We have a supply of natural gas that can last America nearly a hundred years, and my administration will take every possible action to safely develop this energy.”
But CO2 is not the only molecule that plays this trick. Methane—CH4—is a rarer gas, but it’s even more effective at trapping heat. And methane is another word for natural gas. So: When you frack, some of that gas leaks out into the atmosphere. If enough of it leaks out before you can get it to a power plant and burn it, then it’s no better, in climate terms, than burning coal. If enough of it leaks, America’s substitution of gas for coal is in fact not slowing global warming.
In April, Howarth published a review of all the data sets so far, and they showed that his original numbers were pretty likely correct: Up to 5 percent of the methane probably leaks out before the gas is finally burned.
1. Given what we know about methane leakage, it makes absolutely no sense to convert vehicle fleets to natural gas. That’s because, as you go from the well to the car, there are even more places for leaks than when you send the gas to a power plant. An EDF study found that converting even big diesel trucks to natural gas would result “in nearly 300 years of climate damage before any benefits were achieved.” Since we already use gas for lots of things like home heating and cooking, there should be a huge priority on plugging the leaks in the ancient pipes that deliver it to our cities, and in converting home gas furnaces to more modern technology like heat pumps.
Twenty years ago, when scientists first started calculating how much to worry about methane, they said that molecule for molecule, it trapped 25 times as much solar radiation as CO2. But now, over a more appropriate 20-year time frame, that ratio is reckoned to be about 86 times as much. At that rate, more than a third of the greenhouse gas that America produces is methane (not all of it from gas wells—a fair amount comes from cattle). And that means that while the Obama administration boasts about cutting carbon, it’s poised to leave behind a huge burst of methane as its greatest climate legacy.
Juste pour rappeler combien la façon dont on nous bassine avec les décisions de l’administration Trump est déconnectée de toute vision d’ensemble. Les méchants américains vont continuer de brûler un charbon qu’ils n’ont jamais cessé de brûler, du fait que les législations voulues par Obama n’ont jamais vraiment été appliquées, tout comme les législations de 2015 qui visaient à réguler un petit peu l’extraction des gaz de schistes...
Bref, le charbon, c’est mal, surtout pour la santé publique... mais le gaz de schistes, c’est carrément catastrophique... pour le réchauffement climatique. Et les extracteurs jusqu’alors parviennent à empêcher toute législation qui les forcerait à mieux contrôler des fuites qui ne sont de toute façon que très difficiles à maîtriser de bout en bout de la chaine de l’extracteur au consommateur.
Cet article de Mother Jones fait assez bien le point sur la question.
Here’s Why It’s Fair—and Necessary—to Call Trump’s Chief Strategist a White Nationalist Champion
After Donald #Trump announced he was appointing #Stephen_Bannon to a top job in the White House as chief strategist, I sent out a tweet referring to a Mother Jones story that reported on how Bannon, when he was head of Breitbart News, the far-right conservative site, provided a haven for white nationalists. In response, Roger Stone, a longtime Trump adviser and conspiracy theory advocate (he wrote a book claiming Lyndon B. Johnson killed John F. Kennedy), tweeted at me: “’White Nationalist’ my ass. Stop with the childish name calling….we don’t call you a communist.”
Donald Trump, Stephen Bannon and the Coming Crisis in American National Life
During the 1990s, two amateur historians, Neil Howe and the late William Strauss, developed a new theory of American history in two books, Generations: the History of America’s Future (1991), and The Fourth Turning: An American Prophecy (1997). They identified an 80-year cycle in American history, punctuated by great crises that destroyed an old order and created a new one.
Though their theory is not widely taught in colleges or discussed in the media, Strauss and Howe may well play a major role in Donald Trump’s administration. Stephen Bannon, the former head of Breitbart News who has been appointed Trump’s chief strategist in the White House, is very familiar with Strauss and Howe’s theory of crisis, and has been thinking about how to use it to achieve particular goals for quite a while. I know this because Bannon interviewed both Neil Howe and myself in 2009 while he was making a documentary film about the ongoing financial crisis. The film, called Generation Zero, discussed those ideas in some detail.
US Diplomats Line Up to Oppose Trump’s Refugee Ban |
Numerous diplomats have drafted a memo of dissent denouncing President Donald Trump’s executive order banning the resettlement of refugees and barring travel from seven Muslim-majority countries.
The current draft of the memo, which was obtained by the Lawfare blog, describes Trump’s actions as “counterproductive” to its stated goal of protecting Americans from potential terrorist attacks. According to the memo, the order will instead exacerbate relations with the targeted countries.
“We are better than this ban,” the draft memo adds. “Looking beyond its effectiveness, this ban stands in opposition to the core American and constitutional values that we as federal employees took an oath to uphold.”
A Guide to Donald Trump’s Huge Debts—and the Conflicts They Present | Mother Jones
No Parking Here | Mother Jones
You’ve heard about how robocars are going to upend the economy. But have you thought about what they will do to urban space?
grand article de prospective sur la #voiture_autopilotée, avec une partie très verte sur les aspects bénéfiques (fin de la bagnole, prise en mains possible des Uber and co par les municipalités, etc), et une partie plus sombre sur l’#effet_rebond
Beauty Products for Black Women Are Full of Dodgy Ingredients - Mother Jones
Less than a quarter of all the products analyzed by the EWG scored low in potentially hazardous ingredients—things like hormone-disrupting parabens, chemicals linked to skin cancer, and formaldehyde-releasing preservatives that can increase the risk of skin allergies—in the group’s analysis. By comparison, about 40 percent of health and beauty products targeted to the general public fell into the low-risk category.
The DWPs ’Fit For Work’ tests are not fit for purpose, and are routinely abused to cause stress and harm to vulnerable people.
From Dec 2011 to Feb 2014, 2,380 people died shortly after being declared ’fit for work’ and having their benefits stopped. I call on the House to hear their stories.
In the same period, 9,200 people in receipt of ESA were found ’fit to work in future’ and died shortly afterwards. These statistics are from a Freedom Of Information request to the DWP.
I call on the House to hear their stories, and to abolish this test. To allow GPs opinions to override that of a ’decision maker’ with no medical qualifications. And to investigate how 2,380 people were declared fit enough to work and financially penalised, when they were not fit enough to live, let alone work.
Sign this petition (launched by @MxJackMonroe)
Snap Judgment | Mother Jones
The tension between the rhetoric of welfare reform and the realities of poverty is nowhere more evident than in Mississippi, which has the nation’s highest rates of food insecurity and poverty and its fifth-highest unemployment rate. By reinstating the SNAP time limit, Gov. Bryant said he wanted to “steer people to jobs.” Yet with unemployment rates rising above 10 percent in some Mississippi counties, few jobs exist. And the loss of SNAP, which averages about $5 a day, will leave many low-income residents hungry
(...) more than 42,000 able-bodied adults disappeared from the state’s SNAP rolls in the first half of this year, about 7 percent of the Mississippians who’d been getting food aid.
Daily chart: Crime in America’s big cities is almost universally falling | The Economist
Étonnant, non ?
DURING the presidential debate on September 26th Donald Trump, the bombastic Republican nominee, was asked by the moderator how he might heal the divide between African-American communities and the police. “We need law and order”, he replied, “We have a situation where we have our inner cities, African-Americans, Hispanics, are living in hell because it′s so dangerous. You walk down the street, you get shot.”
At first glance Mr Trump could be forgiven for thinking the situation is dire. Fresh data released by the FBI on the same day as the debate show that America’s murder rate increased by 10% in 2015 compared with the previous year. The violent-crime rate was up by 3%. Despite this uptick, the longer-term trend is far rosier. The prevalence of murder has halved since the early 1990s and, with the exception of last year’s figures, violent crime remains at its lowest level since 1971. Property crime fell over that period, too.
I Went Undercover With a Border Militia. Here’s What I Saw. | Mother Jones
I crawl out of the back of the pickup with my rifle in hand. “Keep your weapons nice and tight,” Captain Pain orders. I am traveling light. Unlike the others, I don’t view southern Arizona as a war zone, so I didn’t put steel plates in my chest rig. Next to everyone else’s commando-style AR-15s, my Ruger Mini-14 with a wood stock is slightly out of place. But everything else is square—I’m wearing a MultiCam uniform, desert tan combat boots, and a radio on my shoulder. I fit in just fine.
We are in a Walmart parking lot in Nogales. Captain Pain and a couple of others go into the store to get supplies. In Pain’s absence, Showtime is our commanding officer. He is a Marine special-ops veteran who did three tours in Afghanistan. He has camo paint on his face and a yeti beard. He gets in the cab to check Facebook on his phone while Destroyer, Jaeger, Spartan, and I stand with our backs to the truck, rifles in hand, keeping watch for anything suspicious. The Mexican border is three miles away.
“There you go,” Jaeger says, looking across the lot. “Camaro with rims.” His hands rest casually on the butt of his camouflage AR-15, which hangs over his chest from a three-point tactical sling.
“You know every other Mexican has chrome rims on his car,” Destroyer says in a reasoned tone, suggesting that this particular ride might not belong to a drug cartel. He’s clutching the pistol grip of his AK-47, his trigger finger responsibly pointed down the receiver.
“Last time we were here, [there was] a blacked-out car,” Spartan adds. “Big-ass rims on it. Bumping Mexican music. It cruised us twice. Slowly, too.” He spits out a sunflower seed.
Patriot Games: A Brief History of Militias in America | Mother Jones
After independence, America’s militias were seen as an alternative to a standing army, but they fell by the wayside in the 19th century, only to be revived in the late 20th century by self-appointed patriots animated by fears of big government, illegal immigration, and societal collapse.
Meet the California Couple Who Uses More Water Than Every Home in Los Angeles Combined | Mother Jones
Having shrewdly maneuvered the backroom politics of California’s byzantine water rules, they are now thought to consume more of the state’s water than any other family, farm, or company.
Trump’s Giant Conflict of Interest Just Got Bigger | Mother Jones
Donald Trump came under fire last week for his financial ties to overseas investors, including controversial financiers and corporations, whose interests might not align with US foreign policy. But if elected president, Trump would face a tremendous conflict of interest regarding the hundreds of millions of dollars he owes Deutsche Bank, which is now in the crosshairs of US regulators.
The US government has charged that the German banking giant misled investors into buying bad mortgage-backed securities in the run-up to the financial crisis of 2007 and 2008, and it is demanding that Deutsche Bank pay $14 billion to settle legal claims. The bank is reported to have planned for a settlement of $2 billion to $3 billion, and negotiations between it and the Department of Justice are likely to be contentious and last for months—possibly well into the next administration. Should Trump take the White House, what Deutsche Bank ends up paying for its alleged misdeeds might depend on how tough Trump’s Justice Department will be with the bank to which he owes so much money.
The conflict of interest in this possible scenario is obvious. His administration would have to render a decision greatly affecting a foreign commercial interest holding substantial leverage over Trump. A President Trump would have a strong disincentive to apply pressure on Deutsche Bank and risk souring his relationship with the institution on which he is so dependent. And would he want to tick off this lender? If Trump and his company ever were to have trouble repaying his Deutsche Bank loans, he would be at the bank’s mercy.