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Sunday, June 25, 2017

JUSTIN ORDOÑEZ, SEATTLE -- I'm 35 years old. I didn't go to college after high school. Instead I got a job in insurance, and I've spent half my life on the business side of keeping people healthy. Only once have I felt that the industry took positive steps toward insuring America, and that was when Obamacare mandated it.

I assumed Donald Trump's presidency would doom the law. A Republican replacement, which could cut off insurance for millions of people, could pass the Senate as soon as next week. And I fear that most Americans, who don't really worry about their health until they get sick, won't be willing to fight against it.

Only when you've done what I've done will you understand what will happen if the Republicans destroy Obamacare.

read more


Monday, June 05, 2017

Mythili Sampathkumar, Independent: Donald Trump has seemingly defended his decision to withdraw the US from the Paris Agreement by saying that scientists "can't even get the weather report right, so how come they think they can get that right" when discussing the issue of climate change

The comment was overheard at the Trump National Golf Club in Virginia after the President played a round of golf.

He and his officials, including White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer and head of the Environmental Protection Agency Scott Pruitt, have refused to answer the simple question of whether Mr Trump believes in climate change or not.

The overheard comment - reported by Politico - may have answered that. read more


Friday, May 26, 2017

Alexandra Berzon and Rob Barry, The Washington Street Journal: The hacking spree that upended the presidential election wasn't limited to Democratic National Committee memos and Clinton-aide emails posted on websites. The hacker also privately sent Democratic voter-turnout analyses to a Republican political operative in Florida named Aaron Nevins.

From Salon:

The Wall Street Journal reported that hacked information was posted on a blog run by Aaron Nevins, the political operative, and then passed along to top Trump adviser Roger Stone during the campaign. The Republican operative in Florida received a trove of Democratic documents from the allegedly Kremlin-linked hacker, Guccifer 2.0. For months, both Congress and the FBI have been scrutinizing evidence that associates of Trump may have colluded with Russia during the campaign. read more


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

LOS ANGELES -- Hundreds of federal and local law enforcement fanned out across Los Angeles in pre-dawn sweeps, serving arrest and search warrants as part of a three-year investigation into the ultra-violent street gang MS-13. [...]

Acting U.S. Attorney Sandra Brown said the 127-page anti-racketeering indictment targets 44 members and associates of the gang, including the one-time leader of a Los Angeles faction of MS-13.

Twenty-one people named in the indictment were arrested in pre-dawn raids across Los Angeles and Brown said warrants were served at more than 50 locations. Jail officials around the region also conducted cell searches, as some of those indicted were already in custody on unrelated charges. About a dozen of those arrested were so-called "shot callers" for the gang. At least three people were still at large Wednesday.

"It's one of the largest and most entrenched gangs in Los Angeles," Brown said. "Today's actions will deal a critical blow to the top leadership." read more


Friday, April 14, 2017

The Independent: All of the necessary things to support life have been found on one of the moons that orbits Saturn. Enceladus has chemicals that when found on Earth tend to indicate life, suggesting that there might be living things under its icy shell. Scientists have long thought of Enceladus as one of the prime candidates for life within our solar system, in large part because of its subsurface ocean that covers its entire body. But the new research gives the best look yet at that moon, showing that it has a chemical energy source capable of supporting life. read more


Comments

But solar panels have become much more efficient and less expensive.

And so will AGI. It's time for people to start considering alternative forms of economic production in the U.S. and an alternative means of ensuring the voting populace is capable of continuing the mass consumption engine that fuels the current consumer based economic status quo.

If y'all haven't figured it out yet, it's all tied to Universal Basic Income. I used to be a libertarian (CALibertarian was the only other handle I have on the DR), but now that the reality of AGI is fully in the scope of our near future, I can't say that I'm anything else than a socialist. Single payer healthcare in combination with UBI will be the only method to maintain the current economic status quo.

Anticipation and planning is also crucial because, desired or not, once a transition is underway, events can move very quickly, often with severe and long-lasting impacts for workers and regions. Almost everywhere, with the notable exception of Limburg, the failure to prepare and invest in economic alternatives for former mining regions has meant that regional unemployment in mining regions is often significantly higher than the national average.

In southern Poland in the 1990s, a lack of adequate worker reemployment strategies meant that, meant that roughly 40% of former miners were still unemployed 5 years after redundancy. There, as in Spain in the 1990s, workers often faced little option but to retire at age 40 from mining and live off state pensions due to the lack of possibilities to find desirable alternative work.

In the UK, thirty years after the Thatcher government suddenly withdrew support for the industry, many mining regions still only count 50 jobs per hundred working age adults. This has created problems not just for former miners (now retired), but their children too. Low employment can be accompanied by poor educational attainment, lower average wages, higher rates of physical illness, higher suicide rates, higher rates of workers on disability and incapacity benefits.

In the US, failure to anticipate company bankruptcies has meant the pension and health care funds of former miners have been wiped out. The social and economic costs of failing to adequately prepare and implement the transition while time and resources are available can therefore be very high.

www.climatechangenews.com

Think otherwise? What's going to be the alternative economic engine fueling America? The only other viable factor I can think of that would challenge the above method would be hyper-inflating the Military Industrial Complex, clearly and inevitably leading to war.

So for argument's sake, which would be preferable? Socialism or the military industrial complex?

This opinion piece was written by a guy who works in the insurance business. He says you'd better get cancer now, while you're still covered. Healthcare in the USA is a crazy lottery where luck has far too much influence on whether your treatment is covered. www.nytimes.com
#42 | POSTED BY CBOB

An absolute must read! Repost to emphasize significance: www.nytimes.com

Further, an interesting take on the topic from a comment tied to the linked article:

Mario
2 hours ago
First let's call all of this what it is and the answer is not health care reform. It is and always has been a combination of insurance regulations and taxes. The pending Senate bill is heartless but the ACA is failing. These things are not mutually exclusive. Across the nation PPO and HMO networks are contracting while premiums soar. Several states are down to just one option for ACA coverage. Meanwhile the stories we hear about bills in the hundreds of thousands of dollars generally fail to ask why nearly all hospitals and too many doctors charge too much and clinical quality measures in this advanced tech age remain primitive and consequences for delivering mediocre care are essentially non-existent. It is time all Americans had access to care at affordable levels with real quality metrics. We should also be subsidizing healthy behaviors in our population rather than the corn and sugar lobbies. I realize that the NYT and it's readership skew left, just as the WSJ down the street skews right but the fact is that health is not in play here, only partisanship and the American people are once again the losers.

And I'm not sure why some Americans are unable to gain access to the skills required to survive in a modern economy.

#117 | POSTED BY MADBOMBER

Frankly it's not a ability issue, it's an interest level. For instance, how many of those coal miners that Trump put back to work would be interested in retraining in a sector completely unrelated to coal mining? It would be minimal, IMO, and untenable based upon the resulting job market.

Another example is any job related to transportation. Something like 30% of all jobs in the U.S. are somehow tied to transportation (i.e., transporting materials/people). The vast majority of those jobs are at risk to automation (take a look at the cross country freight trucks they've implemented recently; those poor truckers think their jobs just got easier, but it's actually one GIANT leap towards driverless trucks). Couple that with the current unemployment rate and you're pushing an unemployment rate that touches 30%! And that's just ONE sector, a low hanging fruit to be fair.

It's the rate of change that is so staggering; one in which the job market is incapable of keeping up with. The writing is on the wall and socialism will be inevitable. I've been pushing this hypothesis for over a decade and I was truly tickled when Musk publicly shared his adherence to the same hypothesis (paraphrasing):

"If we want to maintain the current consumer based economic status quo, a universal basic income will be required for the lower classes to be capable of consumption at the necessary levels for sustainability. Without UBI and in the face of the heightened rate of artificial general intelligence expansion and development, we can expect an economic revolution without legitimately understanding the consequences nor benefits of doing so."

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