Interesting & Important News & Analysis, November 26, 2019

Read the whole article. It’s good reporting.

Medeiros bristles at comparisons to Paradise, where residents were caught in gridlock on mountain roads. For Centennnial, the state is considering plans to widen two-lane sections of Highway 138, and residents will have five routes to access it during an emergency escape, he said.

Medeiros sees the city as a model of resilience, no matter what the climate throws at it. To prepare for longer—and more intense—droughts ahead, the site will be able to store enough water to function for 12 years without needing to pipe it in from elsewhere. A weather station will measure conditions that could affect the spread of fires. The power lines will be buried, and homes will have fire-resistant doors, windows and roofs.

“We hear a lot about why it’s not appropriate for growth,” Medeiros said. “But, honestly, I don’t hear the reasons why it shouldn’t be developed.”

Hanson, the forest ecologist, acknowledges that modern homes are safer than they used to be. But even if 5% burn, thousands of lives would be at risk, he said. The development’s three or more fire stations won’t be enough to stop a big blaze, which will require help from outside, he said.

The aqueduct won’t protect the community from embers that can rain down by the thousands, and travel two miles or more, Hanson said. And an escape route—no matter how much it’s widened—is of no use if it’s closed or blocked by 30-foot high flames, he added.

“It’s an area that naturally burns,” Hanson said. “It’s going to burn again.”

California’s Housing Crunch is Pushing Developers Deeper into Dangerous Fire Zones

Insurance Claims from Tornado in Missouri’s Jefferson City Exceed $170M reports that the testing found high levels of radon in apartments owned by the Huntsville Housing Authority.

Tests Reveal High Level of Radioactive Gas in Alabama Public Housing

• Tsunami of disaffection washes over city as pro-Beijing camp left reeling by record turnout and overwhelming defeat
• Result set to give pan-democrats increase in seats on committee that chooses city’s chief executive

Hong Kong elections: pro-democracy camp wins 17 out of 18 districts while city leader says she will reflect on the result

John Solomon Goes Off, After Facing Scrutiny in Hearings: They ‘Smeared Me, Just Like Joe McCarthy Smeared People’

As yet, the U.S. Supreme Court has not yet ruled on the Fifth Amendment’s application to an order to decrypt, provide a password for or provide plain text copies of files on an electronic device. Until then, we can expect that the law will remain murky.

PA Supreme Court Rules Defendant Need Not Decrypt Drive

According to HIPPA Journal, almost half of all ransomware attacks in 2018 involved health-care companies, and those attacks are projected to quadruple by 2020.

Campbell County Memorial Hospital hit with cyber crime

Convenience can quickly become a nightmare.

As manufacturers race to compete on price for “smart home” products, security is an invisible cost they can easily shave if they choose to.

Why Smart Home Devices Need Enterprise-Level IT Networks

AI may open dangerous new frontiers in geopolitics

Andrew Yang Calls Out MSNBC For Lack Of Coverage

Andrew Yang’s #BoycottMSNBC shows how the network lost the left

This is definitely an insurance issue everyone should be made aware of. We need to know exactly what information has been shared. Aggregate, anonymous information is one thing; but, if individuals can be connected with their specific health records without their express consent, it sure sounds like a violation.

Google Building New AI Using Private Patient Info on 50 Million Americans?

Google’s deal with Ascension strikes a nerve with Feds now making it subject to a probe. Rick Sanchez and Myles Edwards take us through this deal and what it means for big tech to get involved in the healthcare industry.

New technology developed to improve forecasting of earthquakes, tsunamis


Clinton’s pony was a metaphor for the big-ticket items on Sanders’ agenda. Namely, tuition-free college and Medicare for all. Putting a fiscal twist on Nancy Reagan’s famous catchphrase, Clinton scoffed at the price tag and warned voters to Just Say Neigh. But Americans still like Sanders’ ideas: 63% support free tuition and 66% support Medicare for all. To make these policies work, all we have to do is produce enough hospitals, doctors, nurses, universities and teachers. Just imagine how high those poll numbers would climb if everyone understood how easy it would be for Congress to pony up.

Op-Ed: Congress can give every American a pony (if it breeds enough ponies)

Cooperation is the better path.

“This was a country of ‘success’ before; we tried hard, and success came accordingly… At the same time, Korea has become a society that values only success and economic achievement and became [too] competitive,” says Lee Jae-yeol, a sociologist at Seoul National University who published a book this year titled If You Were Born Again, Would You Live in Korea, which explores the reasons behind Korea’s widespread unhappiness and high suicide rate.

South Korea’s success-obsessed culture is finally reckoning with its dark side

Our fight against tax avoidance and tax evasion has been going on for a couple of years, and it took on even greater momentum when I arrived in this job. We attracted, for example, a lot of attention when we created our own blacklist for countries that have a tax rate that are lower than nine percent. You can call them tax paradises—we just call them countries with a tax rate lower than nine percent. The Netherlands draws up that list once a year, and once a company does business with this country, it has consequences. For example, when a company wants to pay dividends or royalties to a country with low tax rates, we will put a withholding tax on these kind of capital flows. This same tax does not apply on capital flows to countries with a tax rate higher than nine percent.

The Netherlands is an open economy with an internationally oriented tax system. We know that a lot of capital flows through the Netherlands to countries with low tax rates. If you want to participate in this activity, you are free to do so, but from next year on, as I mentioned, we will collect this withholding tax of more than 20 percent on these kinds of streams. This makes it very unlikely that companies will route capital through the Netherlands.

This is quite important because when you’re seen as a “conduit country” for tax evasion, stopping it is quite a big step. People were surprised that we did it, but I think it was time to put an end to it.

Menno Snel on Tackling Tax Avoidance

This surprised certain people.

… Americans who’d given up looking for work after the financial crisis -– and who weren’t therefore counted among the unemployed –- were pouring back into the job market.

Inequality Fight Gets In Ally At The Fed

It didn’t surprise me. I wrote openly that people will come back and that there’s still plenty of labor slack. That was when the “experts” were saying that they won’t come back and there’s little to no slack. They called for raising rates. Well, they had to lower them again and not just because of Trump’s tariff war with Xi and Trump’s counter-productive tax cuts.


Progressives, trust your gut: Elizabeth Warren is not one of us

It was obvious when, among other things, she didn’t come out for Bernie Sanders against Hillary Clinton.

The US used to put R&D at the top of its list of priorities. Then the anti-government types took over.

U.S. Trails In Government Funding For University Research

Public ownership of rail, water, energy, buses, Royal Mail, broadband and the NHS would save the UK nearly £13billion every year, a study has found.

And the money saved could be ploughed into improving public services, creating jobs, boosting local economies and delivering green policies, according the anti-privatisation group We Own It.

Nationalisation of public services could save £13billion every year

Why an Overseas Bank Account Isn’t a Good Idea