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Hometown: Green Mountains
Home country: US
Member since: Tue Feb 5, 2013, 03:27 PM
Number of posts: 10,026

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Earth Observing Dashboard - see the effects of COVID 19 lockdowns on the environment


A Tri-Agency Dashboard by NASA, ESA, JAXA

International collaboration among space agencies is central to the success of satellite Earth observations and data analysis. These partnerships foster more comprehensive measurements, robust datasets, and cost-effective missions.

The tri-agency COVID-19 Dashboard is a concerted effort between the European Space Agency (ESA), Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The dashboard combines the resources, technical knowledge and expertise of the three partner agencies to strengthen our global understanding of the environmental and economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Use the dashboard to explore environmental and economic indicators based on remote sensing data from ESA, JAXA and NASA, and investigate how social distancing measures and regional shelter-in-place guidelines have affected Earth’s air, land, and water. Explore individual countries and regions across the world to see how the indicators in each specific location have changed over time.

Together, ESA, JAXA, and NASA will continue to update this dashboard with the most current information.

Looks like it may be a good resource as its data is built up.

Please post enough content in your title to make it worthwhile to open the body!

I know this is mentioned frequently but for people that have lots of other things going on in their lives it is really nice to know what merits consideration.

It's been a long time since I was in grade school but I was taught that the subject line should contain as much of the content as useful.

But many posters like to use "teaser" lines which are just "Look at this!"

Maybe this works ok when the browser is looking at the home page which may include a bit more context.

It doesn't work if someone is trying to scan other one-line lists.

I won't click on teasers any more.

The Atlantic: History Will Judge the Complicit - Why have Republican leaders abandoned

Subtitle: Why have Republican leaders abandoned their principles in support of an immoral and dangerous president?

I won't normally post articles behind paywalls but TheAtlantic.com does have some limited number of free views per month. This one is worth one of your views. Of course, I think The Atlantic is worth every penny for a subscription, too. (Going to be saving some money cancelling my NYT, again.)

Much background and history precede the following excerpt.

The built-in vision of themselves as American patriots, or as competent administrators, or as loyal party members, also created a cognitive distortion that blinded many Republicans and Trump-administration officials to the precise nature of the president’s alternative value system. After all, the early incidents were so trivial. They overlooked the lie about the inauguration because it was silly. They ignored Trump’s appointment of the wealthiest Cabinet in history, and his decision to stuff his administration with former lobbyists, because that’s business as usual. They made excuses for Ivanka Trump’s use of a private email account, and for Jared Kushner’s conflicts of interest, because that’s just family stuff.

One step at a time, Trumpism fooled many of its most enthusiastic adherents. Recall that some of the original intellectual supporters of Trump—people like Steve Bannon, Michael Anton, and the advocates of “national conservatism,” an ideology invented, post hoc, to rationalize the president’s behavior—advertised their movement as a recognizable form of populism: an anti–Wall Street, anti-foreign-wars, anti-immigration alternative to the small-government libertarianism of the establishment Republican Party. Their “Drain the swamp” slogan implied that Trump would clean up the rotten world of lobbyists and campaign finance that distorts American politics, that he would make public debate more honest and legislation more fair. Had this actually been Trump’s ruling philosophy, it might well have posed difficulties for the Republican Party leadership in 2016, given that most of them had quite different values. But it would not necessarily have damaged the Constitution, and it would not necessarily have posed fundamental moral challenges to people in public life.

In practice, Trump has governed according to a set of principles very different from those articulated by his original intellectual supporters. Although some of his speeches have continued to use that populist language, he has built a Cabinet and an administration that serve neither the public nor his voters but rather his own psychological needs and the interests of his own friends on Wall Street and in business and, of course, his own family. His tax cuts disproportionately benefited the wealthy, not the working class. His shallow economic boom, engineered to ensure his reelection, was made possible by a vast budget deficit, on a scale Republicans once claimed to abhor, an enormous burden for future generations. He worked to dismantle the existing health-care system without offering anything better, as he’d promised to do, so that the number of uninsured people rose. All the while he fanned and encouraged xenophobia and racism, both because he found them politically useful and because they are part of his personal worldview.

More important, he has governed in defiance—and in ignorance—of the American Constitution, notably declaring, well into his third year in office, that he had “total” authority over the states. His administration is not merely corrupt, it is also hostile to checks, balances, and the rule of law. He has built a proto-authoritarian personality cult, firing or sidelining officials who have contradicted him with facts and evidence—with tragic consequences for public health and the economy. He threatened to fire a top Centers for Disease Control and Prevention official, Nancy Messonnier, in late February, after her too-blunt warnings about the coronavirus; Rick Bright, a top Health and Human Services official, says he was demoted after refusing to direct money to promote the unproven drug hydroxychloroquine. Trump has attacked America’s military, calling his generals “a bunch of dopes and babies,” and America’s intelligence services and law-enforcement officers, whom he has denigrated as the “deep state” and whose advice he has ignored. He has appointed weak and inexperienced “acting” officials to run America’s most important security institutions. He has systematically wrecked America’s alliances.

Ending paragraph:
In the meantime, I leave anyone who has the bad luck to be in public life at this moment with a final thought from Władysław Bartoszewski, who was a member of the wartime Polish underground, a prisoner of both the Nazis and the Stalinists, and then, finally, the foreign minister in two Polish democratic governments. Late in his life—he lived to be 93—he summed up the philosophy that had guided him through all of these tumultuous political changes. It was not idealism that drove him, or big ideas, he said. It was this: Warto być przyzwoitym—“Just try to be decent.” Whether you were decent—that’s what will be remembered.

Not that I expect the repuglicon party to return to decency. And trump never had it in the first place.

US Law Enforcement Are Deliberately Targeting Journalists During George Floyd Protests

Source: Bellingcat

Bellingcat has identified and collected multiple instances of US law enforcement deliberately targeting journalists during the protests against the killing of George Floyd.

The arrest of a CNN crew in Minneapolis while broadcasting live on air on May 29th was a shocking event, especially in a country with such strong protections on freedom of speech. However as of the time of writing we have identified at least 29 separate incidents where journalists have been attacked by law enforcement.

This selection of incidents demonstrates that law enforcement across multiple cities, but especially in Minneapolis, are knowingly and deliberately targeting journalists with less lethal munitions, arrests and other forms of violence.

Considering the role of journalists to keep society informed about current events, as well as the strong constitutional protections of a free press in the United States, these actions by law enforcement represent an attack on the freedom of the press.

Read more: https://www.bellingcat.com/news/americas/2020/05/31/us-law-enforcement-are-deliberately-targeting-journalists-during-george-floyd-protests/

Blatant attacks against the press.

I can't imagine what would happen if we didn't have available video and citizen recorders.

FDA suspends Gates-backed at-home COVID-19 testing program

Source: Reuters

An at-home coronavirus testing project in Seattle backed in part by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation said on Saturday it was working with U.S. regulators to resume the program after being suspended by the Food and Drug Administration.

The Seattle Coronavirus Assessment Network (SCAN), which aims to monitor the spread of the novel coronavirus in the region, had said it was suspending its testing of patient samples collected at home after the Food and Drug Administration tightened guidelines to require emergency approval first.

“The FDA has not raised any concerns regarding the safety and accuracy of SCAN’s test, but we have been asked to pause testing until we receive that additional authorization,” SCAN said.

Separately, the FDA on Saturday approved a standalone at-home sample collection kit for Everlywell Inc, a health and wellness company, which launched its kit in March.

Read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-tests/fda-suspends-gates-backed-at-home-covid-19-testing-program-idUSKBN22S0QA

I'm sure that this isn't related to Melinda Gates: US coronavirus response 'lacking leadership at the federal level'

There is not one (r)epuglicon party. There is the former GOP and a parasite that has taken over.

The (r)epuglicons were always a fringe group since they catered to conservatives that feared change, feared "others". Their numbers were rarely very large except when stoked by fear-mongers.

The parasites have tried to corrupt the Democrats many times and disrupt any unity. Unfortunately most Democrats are fairly intelligent and open-minded. Not a good medium for parasitic growth.

But the parasites have totally conquered the (r)epuglicons. Gutting them from the inside and leaving just a stinky shell.

Not sure when this parasite started but it was probably during the cold war. Probably supported by enemies of the US, external and internal.

It has been more embedded and more dangerous with media outlets spewing their agents.

WaPo: I worked for Jared Kushner. Of course he says his covid-19 failure is a success.


President Trump’s son-in-law always casts himself as the genius cleaning up someone else’s problems.

By Elizabeth Spiers
Elizabeth Spiers is the chief executive of the Insurrection, a progressive digital messaging firm.
May 8, 2020 at 9:48 a.m. EDT

Jared Kushner’s coronavirus response team, we learned this week, is fumbling because it’s largely staffed with inexperienced volunteers. Of course it is. It’s being run by one.

Kushner’s lack of experience and expertise has not been remedied in any way during his now three-plus years in the White House. After bungling many high-profile efforts to address various problems and often making them worse (see, Middle East, peace in), he keeps being handed more responsibilities with higher stakes. He has wasted taxpayer resources and endangered lives trying on policy roles usually reserved for the country’s top experts with the sophistication of a child playing dress-up, cavalierly discarding them when he can’t fit into them.

This is basically Kushner’s modus operandi, and it’s painfully familiar to me because he was my boss when I was the editor in chief of the New York Observer, which he had bought when he was 25. (I’ve written before about what he was like as a businessman.) One of the more memorable instances of this I witnessed was at a memorial service for a beloved longtime Observer staffer, Tyler Rush, who’d joined the paper well before Kushner bought it. When it came time for Kushner to say a few words, he launched into a supercilious monologue crediting himself with finally getting the paper published on time after what he described as chaos when he arrived. He also told an anecdote about Rush approaching him when he bought the paper to note that his staff was underpaid, which was true at the time, and true when I took the editor job years later. Kushner congratulated himself during the memorial for giving Rush and his production team the only raise that year because “unlike everyone else,” Rush hadn’t been lying to Kushner.

I'm glad to see the WaPo start to be a good investigative reporting organization. For too long it was part of the DC power group.

Is there a game plan, a credo, a document that outlines how they want to destroy US?

There's way too much coordination between the (r)epuglicons in the US senate/house, the state governors and legislators, the peeResident, the RW media, the NRA, the armed nut-jobs, etc. for there not to be some outline of how this is supposed to play out.

I don't believe at all that these are all independent acts of "patriots" or "libertarians" or "trumpistas". They are coordinated.

Someone is orchestrating this. Somewhere there is a plan - written/interactive/recorded. Is there a book that guides them? Do they have monthly video chats or do they just meet in a yacht regatta or secluded island?

What is their end-game? Where do "they" want to be in 1, 2, 5, 50 years?

How many lower-class people will be left alive? How will "they" clean up the stench?

The southern border wall is a manifestation of their fear of people flooding the US and depriving "them" of their rightful inheritance of land and power.

I'm out of tin-foil. This is a real question for me.

Handcuffed: Black Miami Doctor Who Works with Homeless Says He Was Racially Profiled by Police -


Democracy Now, 2nd part. The first part was filed at https://upload.democraticunderground.com/100213285914 but was self-deleted by author, not sure why.

Marcy Wheeler's follow-up to George Packers: "We are living in a failed state"


I’m not usually a fan of George Packer. But I keep coming back to this column, We Are Living in a Failed State. The coronavirus didn’t break America. It revealed what was already broken, which is something I might have written. It argued that this pandemic, to which the US responded like a corrupt poor country, was actually the third crisis of this century, and our responses to the previous two — 9/11 and the Iraq War, and the Wall Street crisis — simply brought this country to the place where Trump could loot it.

A good read and, as usual, a lot of intelligent conversations below.

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