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With what we know now, why is Fox News still broadcast on the American Forces Network?

Source: Tampa Bay Times

I asked a simple question in a column for the Tampa Bay Times in 2021: Why is Fox News still broadcast worldwide on the American Forces Network? My position, simply put, was that Fox News has commentary that tells lies to its conservative viewers to keep them watching. I felt that known misinformation should not be rebroadcast by an organ of our government, the U.S. Department of Defense.

The question is more urgent than ever. Now, even Fox patriarch Rupert Murdoch has admitted in a deposition in the $1.6 billion Dominion Voting Systems defamation lawsuit that some Fox hosts “were endorsing” the Big Lie told by Donald Trump that he had been cheated out of the White House. In other words, it’s no longer just my opinion.

In their own texts, some of Fox’s best-known employees such as Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham showed they knew the truth but didn’t say so on air, according to a legal filing by Dominion. “This filing argues a fire hose of direct evidence of knowing falsity,” law professor RonNell Andersen Jones told the New York Times.

It no longer matters to me if Dominion wins its case in court, although I hope they do. The truth is now out there. No amount of weasel-wording on the part of Rupert Murdoch, his spin-meisters and in-house counsels can change this.

Once again, I will repeat my question of last year: Why is Fox News still broadcast on the American Forces Network to our military personnel overseas, especially knowing what we know now? Our citizens in uniform deserve better. They should not be treated as suckers.

Read more: https://www.tampabay.com/opinion/2023/03/02/with-what-we-know-now-why-is-fox-news-still-broadcast-american-forces-network-column/

In an Epic Battle of Tanks, Russia Was Routed, Repeating Earlier Mistakes

A three-week fight in the town of Vuhledar in southern Ukraine produced what Ukrainian officials say was the biggest tank battle of the war so far, and a stinging setback for the Russians.

KURAKHOVE, Ukraine — Before driving into battle in their mud-spattered war machine, a T-64 tank, the three-man Ukrainian crew performs a ritual.

The commander, Pvt. Dmytro Hrebenok, recites the Lord’s Prayer. Then, the men walk around the tank, patting its chunky green armor.

“We say, ‘Please, don’t let us down in battle,’” said Sgt. Artyom Knignitsky, the mechanic. “‘Bring us in and bring us out.’”

Their respect for their tank is understandable. Perhaps no weapon symbolizes the ferocious violence of war more than the main battle tank. Tanks have loomed over the conflict in Ukraine in recent months — militarily and diplomatically — as both sides prepared for offensives. Russia pulled reserves of tanks from Cold War-era storage, and Ukraine prodded Western governments to supply American Abrams and German Leopard 2 tanks.

The sophisticated Western tanks are expected on the battlefield in the next several months. The new Russian armor turned up earlier — and in its first wide-scale deployment was decimated.


More colon cancer cases found in younger people, new report shows

Overall cases of colon and rectal cancer are down, but experts are worried that the proportion of cases is shifting to younger people with more advanced disease

The burden of colorectal cancer in the United States is shifting to younger adults, and more patients are being diagnosed with later stage disease, according to a concerning new report from the American Cancer Society.

One in 5 new cases of colorectal cancer in the United States occur in people younger than 55 — about twice the rate in 1995, when 11 percent of cases were in this age group. In another alarming shift, 60 percent of patients are being diagnosed with an advanced stage of the disease, up from 52 percent in the mid-2000s.

The reasons behind the trends aren’t fully understood, but the findings suggest that steady progress to reduce the incidence of colon cancer through screening during the past few decades is losing momentum.

“There is a bit of a worrisome trend,” said Paul Oberstein, a medical oncologist at the NYU Langone Perlmutter Cancer Center who was not involved in the study. “Something is clearly different among the young, the under 50 population, that does suggest, although it’s small, that the number of cancers are going up.”


How does the brain age across the lifespan? New studies offer clues.

Our brains are built to change over our lifetime, meeting the challenges set by every life stage.

Do brains peak in childhood? Is it all downhill after 30? Can a 65-year-old brain keep up with an adolescent?

While growth charts tracking metrics like height and weight give a relatively clear picture of the range of human physical development, less has been known about the key milestones of normal brain aging.

To find out more, an international team of researchers collected brain scan data from multiple studies representing 101,457 brains at all stages of life. The youngest scan in the study came from a 16-week-old fetus; the oldest was from a 100-year-old.

Across this large data set, some striking milestones emerged.
- The thickness of the cerebral cortex, the wrinkled outer layer of the brain, peaks at about age 2 — the region is involved in processes like perception, language and consciousness.
- Gray matter volume, which represents the overall number of brain cells, peaks in childhood about age 7.
- White matter, made up of the connections between neurons that allow for regions of the brain to quickly communicate, is at its highest volume at about age 30 and begins to decline in later adulthood.
- The volume of ventricles, fluid-filled cavities within the brain, increases rapidly at later age — larger ventricle size has been associated with some neurodegenerative diseases.


Rupert Murdoch Worried He Might Have Damaged Heretofore Perfect Reputation

From The Onion archives:

LONDON—Embroiled in a vast scandal involving the company he founded, respected entrepreneur and News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch expressed concern Monday that he might have caused significant damage to his heretofore pristine reputation.

Murdoch, who established his widely admired career on the foundations of basic morality and sound business ethics, has, until now, been revered as a pillar of honesty and accountability in the media world. However, the Australian-American billionaire said the events of the past few months could make it very difficult for him to restore honor to his otherwise spotless legacy.

“I have spent more than 50 years working to establish a résumé of integrity, virtue, and unwavering beneficence, and now it could all be washed away by this one careless mistake,” said Murdoch, speaking with the candor, sensitivity, and humility for which he is greatly admired. “I have let down my family, I have let down my employees, but most importantly, I have let down all of those around the world who have long known me as both a genuine humanitarian and a gatekeeper for truth.”

As news of the scandal continues to blemish the tradition of journalistic excellence and dignity exemplified by News Corp.–owned outlets such as the New York Post and the Fox News channel, Murdoch himself has remained focused on rectifying his missteps, starting with paying those affected out of his own pocket.

“Look, anyone who knows me knows that I have never cared about money,” said Murdoch, explaining that his distress over invading the private lives of citizens far outweighs his concern for his company’s quickly falling stock prices. “While some of my competitors focus on sensationalist or partisan headlines to sell papers, I’ve always been willing to do whatever it takes to ensure my products are as fair and committed to the truth as I myself am. After all, truth and fairness are what people have come to expect from Rupert Murdoch.”


DeSantis enacts Disney punishment, appoints oversight board on eve of book launch

TALLAHASSEE – Flexing his power over one of Florida’s largest employers, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law Monday a measure stripping away Walt Disney Company’s self-governing status, payback after the tourism giant defied him last year.

The Legislature approved the bill almost three weeks ago. But DeSantis apparently timed the signing to the eve of his new book release, which he also touted Monday during his appearance at a Lake Buena Vista fire station.

The governor, widely expected to announce his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, also twice used what is emerging as a favorite taunt aimed at the company – warning, “there’s a new sheriff in town.”

“The corporate kingdom finally comes to an end,” DeSantis said.

The governor’s book, “The Courage to Be Free,” will be formally launched Tuesday during his announced visit to Venice in Sarasota County. DeSantis covers the Disney dispute at length in the book, laying out his version of the backstory and clash with the entertainment icon.


A Christian Health Nonprofit Saddled Thousands With Debt as It Built a Family Empire

A Christian Health Nonprofit Saddled Thousands With Debt as It Built a Family Empire Including a Pot Farm, a Bank and an Airline

Despite a history of fraud, one family has thrived in the regulatory no man’s land of health care sharing ministries, where insurance commissioners can’t investigate, federal agencies turn a blind eye and prosecutors reach paltry settlements.

Bonnie Martin kept the bleeding secret for as long as she could. Her sisters, boyfriend and sons knew nothing of her illness until suddenly, during a family gathering in October 2018 at a diner in Annapolis, Maryland, she began hemorrhaging.

A tumor had burst through the wall of her uterus. Doctors performed an emergency hysterectomy and removed what cancer they could reach. She needed multiple rounds of chemotherapy and radiation, expensive stuff. As her family grew fearful, Martin walked that fine line between resilience and denial — she’d beat this, she said. She focused instead on fun things ahead, a trip to Ireland with her boyfriend and sisters, for instance, and a Rolling Stones concert.

Luckily, or so Martin thought, she had placed her trust — and her money — in Liberty HealthShare. Liberty is what’s known as a health care sharing ministry, a nonprofit alternative to medical insurance rooted in Christian principles. Hundreds of thousands of people rely on such organizations for basic health coverage. They promise no red tape, lower costs and compassion for the sick. Although Martin wasn’t religious, she found comfort in Liberty’s pledge to “carry one another’s burdens.”

Martin received treatment that pushed her cancer into remission. But 18 months later, it returned, this time in her lungs. She was dying.

Liberty covered her bills at first, but then, without warning or explanation, the payments stopped. Suddenly, she faced $10,000 in unpaid charges. Her whole life, she’d had pristine credit. Now creditors called constantly and sent harassing letters.


George Santos Quickly Removes Job at Wuhan Lab from Resume

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Representative George Santos hastily removed an entry from his résumé indicating that he had worked at a biological laboratory in Wuhan, China, the congressman’s office has confirmed.

The entry, which said that Santos worked at the lab in late 2019, disappeared with no explanation in the early hours of Monday morning.

Speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill, Santos said that he had “no idea” how the Wuhan job wound up on his C.V.

“I haven’t even spent time in China since 2007, when I invented the iPhone,” he said.


The risk of damage from hurricane winds will shift in coming decades. See the impact by Zip code.

1 in 3 Americans may face risk by mid-century as winds are projected to reach further inland, northward

Hurricane winds fueled by climate change will reach further inland and put tens of millions more Americans’ lives and homes at risk in the next three decades, according to a detailed new analysis released Monday.

The data from the nonprofit First Street Foundation comes as hundreds of people remain displaced across southwest Florida, five months after Hurricane Ian barreled across the state and killed nearly 150 people.

A Washington Post analysis of the group’s data found that nearly 30 million Americans in about 235 counties across 18 states in the contiguous United States, from Texas to New England, will face new threats from hurricane-force winds. A third of Americans could experience damaging gales by 2053, in places as far inland as Tennessee and Arkansas.

People continue to move to possibly problematic areas. The Post analysis found people have been moving to counties categorized as high risk for hurricane-force winds at six times the rate of other counties.

In some places where people are flocking, few residents have lived through storms that produce destructive winds, said Kerry Emanuel, an MIT climate scientist and longtime hurricane researcher whose data helped inform the First Street analysis. “Even if the risks are well known, it doesn’t mean, unfortunately, that we are going to be well prepared,” Emanuel said.


Scott Adams and the right-wing insistence on White victimhood

For months it has seemed inevitable that the “Dilbert” comic strip’s run as a popular American newspaper cartoon would end precisely as it did: a victim of controversy triggered by its creator, Scott Adams. In retrospect, even the specific catalyst seems as if it could have been predicted. Adams’s increasing espousal of right-wing racial politics — and his embrace of the or-am-I-just-joking mode of online boundary-pushing — led him to declare in a video last week that he viewed Black Americans as a “hate group.”

“If nearly half of all Blacks are not okay with White people … that’s a hate group,” Adams said, citing polling from Rasmussen Reports. “I don’t want to have anything to do with them. And I would say, based on the current way things are going, the best advice I would give to White people is to get the hell away from Black people … because there is no fixing this.”

And that was that. Syndicators of “Dilbert” dropped the strip, as did individual newspapers. The cartoon will no longer appear in The Washington Post, among other news outlets. The damage was done.

Adams himself has at times predicted his own “cancellation,” his ostracization for making controversial or repugnant claims. This is itself a common tactic on the right, people amplifying their supposed anti-left credentials by suggesting their views are unacceptably politically incorrect. Often, the controversy fails to materialize or, at least, to reach the scale that Adams achieved over the past week. But it’s the thought that counts.

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