Daily Blog January 2020

The station operation is back home now which opens all kinds of possibilities good and bad. It’s good that I can make instant changes and updates but bad because I can also accidentally turn it off like I did yesterday.

I have two computers sharing one monitor and in the process of switching back and forth, I closed the Radiologik DJ program that is essentially an AI powered DJ. Apologies if you happened to be listening at the time.

I want to thank the station’s patrons at Patreon.com. 100% of all gifts will go towards building the library of eclectic goodness. 😉


67 thoughts on “Daily Blog January 2020

  1. Yes, we still need the news. But it needs to be done differently

    How do we fix the news? Experts and members shared antidotes and solutions in our transnational chat.

    Illustration by Luka van Diepen

    In the run-up to the 2016 US elections, a news story written by a North Macedonian teenager spread quickly online: “Pope Francis shocks world, endorses Donald Trump for president.”

    The story was, of course, just not true. The teenager from the small eastern European country had written it to go viral by targeting Trump supporters (then used the ad revenue to throw lavish parties).

    In India in the summer of 2019, rumours of child kidnappings spread over WhatsApp, leading to a spate of mob lynchings. There was no proof or reporting around the rumours, but they flew around social media with real-time violent consequences.

    That’s a dark example, and it’s by no means only Trump supporters that struggle separating fact and fiction. The average person around the world finds it difficult to tell truth from rumour. And trust in the media is low globally. In democratic countries, people trust the media more than the government – but just about.

    Seismic events like the Iraq War, the effects of globalisation, and recession have damaged people’s trust in news organisations. And the proliferation of social media and digital platforms has radically changed the way news is consumed and distributed.

    As the new year began, we asked our members whether they followed breaking news.
    Read an excerpt from Swiss writer Rolf Dobelli’s new book You told us about the need for journalism but also how you detoxed from negative news. You also mentioned your wish for a different kind of news format to exist to help understand the powers at play in the world.

    So we invited media experts to join us for an online transnational chat. We wanted to know whether we still need the news. We were also joined by young leaders who had founded news organisations that are doing news differently. The result was a chat with over 350 contributions from people in five continents.

    If you didn’t get a chance to join us then, you can catch up here. Here are the nine key points that came up on the state of the news today.

    Read more .

  2. Document Offers Tantalizing Preview of a Sanders Administration

    Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks with reporters Wednesday during the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump. (Patrick Semansky / AP)

    While former Vice President Joe Biden still leads the Democratic field nationally, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., has pulled ahead in Iowa and New Hampshire, and Politico reports that he’s now receiving the kinds of political attacks typically associated with “front-runner status.” It’s a label the Vermont senator appears willing to embrace, as a new internal document reveals his campaign is already preparing dozens of executive orders if he’s elected president.

    According to Jeff Stein and Sean Sullivan of The Washington Post, Sanders is considering a raft of bold, palliative measures that include “unilaterally allowing the United States to import prescription drugs from Canada; directing the Justice Department to legalize marijuana; and declaring climate change a national emergency while banning the exportation of crude oil. Other options cited in the document include canceling federal contracts for firms paying less than $15 an hour and reversing federal rules blocking U.S. funding to organizations that provide abortion counseling.”

    The 2020 hopeful has already pledged to repeal President Donald Trump’s “racist” immigration policy on his first day in office. Per the Post, this could include immediately halting construction of the border wall, removing the current administration’s limit on refugees and reinstating the Obama-era legal status of Dreamers — undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children.

    “The unilateral actions considered by Sanders’ campaign are likely to be fiercely opposed by conservatives and even moderate liberals, and Sanders could face criticism for moving to take more power away from the legislative branch amid ever-expanding executive authority,” Stein and Sullivan note. “Many Democrats and some Republicans have criticized Trump for the numerous executive orders he signed in the early part of his presidency.”

    Read more .

  3. Trump’s Border Wall Takes a Fall, Literally

    Today’s forecast: Windy with a chance of symbolism

    The new border wall that President Trump bragged would be “impenetrable, powerful, beautiful” fell Wednesday amid heavy winds and heavier metaphors.
    Moving air proved too much for what the president said would be a “great wall” that “can’t be climbed” and is “virtually impenetrable.”

    Read more .

  4. The GOP’s Attempts to Spin and Deny on Impeachment Have Hit Pathetic New Lows

    You can smell the desperation

    Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP/Shutterstock; Shutterstock; Michael Reynolds/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

    WASHINGTON — Over the past several days, the president’s legal team and his allies in the Senate mounted a feeble and fact-challenged defense as part of the third impeachment trial in history. They pushed the ahistorical and widely mocked view that Trump shouldn’t be convicted because he committed no actual crimes. They then insisted the first of the two impeachment articles, abuse of power, was bogus because there was no connection between Trump’s decision to freeze congressionally-approved military aid for Ukraine and his demand that Ukraine announce investigations into the Biden family.

    That argument, of course, suffered a major setback when The New York Times reported that former National Security Advisor John Bolton wrote in a forthcoming book that Trump conditioned the aid money on Ukraine pledging to go after the Bidens. The Bolton revelation provided a dramatic twist in what had felt like a low-stakes drama destined to end with Trump’s acquittal. Before the Bolton news, it was likely the Senate would not call any new witnesses to testify as part of the trial; now, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has reportedly said it’s likely a majority of senators will vote to call new witnesses.

    For President Trump’s most loyal backers in the Senate, Bolton’s assertion has sent them into an overdrive of denial, deflection, and spinning. Here are the most absurd, desperate, and nonsensical efforts by Senate Republicans to defend Trump and ensure the impeachment trial ends with an acquittal.

    The president can do basically anything he wants to get reelected if it’s in the “public interest”

    Alan Dershowitz, the legal scholar and cable-news talking head who once defended Jeffrey Epstein, pushed perhaps the most expansive view imaginable of executive power during an appearance at the impeachment trial on Wednesday.

    Read more .

  5. How Medicare for All Could Help Fight Pandemics

    The climate crisis could make outbreaks like the coronavirus more common. Is America’s for-profit health care system ready?

    Mario Tama/Getty Images

    Consider the life of someone with the misfortune of contracting coronavirus in the United States. Let’s call her Mary, and let’s say she works at an airport as a baggage agent, helping travelers locate their lost belongings. At work one day she starts feeling run down and develops a dry cough. It’s just a cold, she thinks. Maybe allergies. Her supervisor’s been on her case all week, so she doesn’t call in sick for risk of testing things. She feels worse as the week goes on. The health insurance Mary’s employer offers is too expensive to afford, but she also makes too much money to qualify for Medicaid. A visit to the urgent care near her house might run her $200. Rent, which went up again last year, is due next week. She keeps going to work until, while helping an irate customer find his bag, she starts to have more serious trouble breathing and faints. Her co-worker calls an ambulance. She’s placed on a ventilator on the way to the emergency room and admitted to the intensive care unit for oxygen therapy. A quick test confirms that Mary has 2019-nCoV, the strain of coronavirus causing the current outbreak. She’s placed in quarantine, her desk at the airport is shut down, and all of her co-workers are sent for testing. It’s not clear how many people she infected before winding up in the hospital. If Mary survives, she’ll have tens of thousands of dollars worth of medical debt to show for it. And she won’t be the only one in that position.

    There’s a lot we don’t know about the coronavirus, with plenty of rumors and speculation flying around about its mortality rate and source, some of it plainly racist. What we do know is that public health crises, and infectious diseases, are expected to become more of a problem, not less, in the coming decades. “It would be difficult to make a case for climate involvement in this outbreak,” said Colin Carlson, a biologist, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change author and postdoctoral fellow at Georgetown University. “What I can tell you is that the rate at which things like this happen is increasing because of climate change.”

    Carlson—who studies the relationship between climate change, biodiversity loss, and emerging infectious diseases—likens the situation to the state of attribution science for disasters when Katrina struck New Orleans, before it was possible to say with confidence whether that storm or any other had been caused by the climate crisis. But coronaviruses—in fact a family of viruses including SARS and MERS, in addition to the current coronavirus—generally develop in animals, infecting humans in events called “spillovers.” And scientists now know that climate-induced changes to the earth’s ecosystems are driving species into new habitats, where they can transmit diseases between one another and eventually to humans. Researchers are just now starting to be able to model how many cases of dengue fever and malaria might develop as the earth warms, Carlson told me. And while reducing greenhouse gas emissions is essential, he said, governments should also prepare for the public health effects of whatever level of warming ends up happening.

    As with the current coronavirus outbreak, the places hit first and worst by climate-fueled ailments are unlikely to be in North America or Europe. They’ll be concentrated in less affluent countries—ones that share the least historical responsibility for the climate crisis. That doesn’t mean, though, that the U.S. doesn’t face its own serious challenges for dealing with disease in a warming world. The first line of defense against epidemic is a strong and accessible health care system. And in that field, the U.S. is far from prepared.

    Read more .

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