Usher’s News & Analysis, Feb. 15, 2020

Polar Vortex Grows Arctic Sea Ice to 10-Year High, but There’s a Catch

… fire … tore through a Southern California apartment building, gutting dozens of apartments, collapsing the roof and displacing about 100 tenants.

Arrest Made After Fire Guts California Apartment Building

Sanitary sewer systems are designed to keep sewage in and rainwater out. Decatur’s aging system, much of it clay pipe installed a half-century ago, is failing in that role. Heavy rains cause water to enter the sewer pipes, mixing with the sewage and exceeding the pipe’s capacity.

Parts of Alabama Face Millions of Gallons of Sewage Overflow After Storms

Maybe stick to walking the beat instead of infosec advice, eh?

Call us immediately if your child uses Kali Linux, squawks West Mids Police

… Some very good friends of mine who were competing in the Democratic nomination — people like Cory Booker of New Jersey, Julián Castro — work really, really hard. Nobody changed the rules to get them in the debate,” he said on “CBS This Morning” Friday.

“But I guess if you’re worth $60 billion, you can change the rules. I think that is very, very unfortunate,” he added.

Sanders doesn’t think Bloomberg should be in next debates: “I guess if you’re worth $60 billion, you can change the rules”

This new knowledge will improve how Arctic land models represent methane dynamics and therefore our ability to forecast the region’s impact on global climate and global climate change impacts on the Arctic.

NASA flights detect millions of Arctic methane hotspots

Nearly 3,000 synthetic chemicals belong to the PFAS class. They have been used since the 1940s in food packaging, water-resistant fabrics, non-stick products, pizza boxes, paints, firefighting foams and more, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Researchers Unearth a ‘Ticking Time Bomb’ – Synthetic Chemicals in Soils

Impressive discovery:

Artificial atoms create stable qubits for quantum computing

Computers that had one of the plugins received a popup notification that said it had been “automatically disabled.” People who followed a link got a red warning that said: “This extension contains malware.”

The discovery of more malicious and fraudulent browser extensions is a reminder that people should be cautious when installing these tools and use them only when they provide true benefit. It’s always a good idea to read user reviews to check for reports of suspicious behavior. People should regularly check for extensions they don’t recognize or haven’t used recently and remove them.

500 Chrome extensions secretly uploaded private data from millions of users

Joe Biden Faces Questions Over Claims of Civil Rights Activism

In 1987, Joe Biden said he was a teenage civil rights activist, then said he wasn’t. Now he says he was. Does he have a hazy memory or is this all malarkey?

RAW VIDEO: Bernie Sanders eviscerates James Carville calling him “a political hack”

Usher’s News & Analysis, Feb. 12, 2020

Martha MacCallum: Leaked Bloomberg audio will be weapon for 2020 opponents

A Marxian view at the oceans under unbridled capitalism:

A rational society … would carefully manage its relationship with the oceans, always applying the precautionary principle and giving top priority to the protection and regeneration of essential ecosystems.

But we don’t live in a rational society. As Michael Parenti writes, capitalism has very different priorities: “The essence of capitalism, its raison d’etre, is to convert nature into commodities and commodities into capital, transforming the living earth into inanimate wealth. This capital accumulation process wreaks havoc upon the global ecological system. It treats the planet’s life-sustaining resources (arable land, groundwater, wetlands, forests, fisheries, ocean beds, rivers, air quality) as dispensable ingredients of limitless supply, to be consumed or toxified at will.”[20]

That is precisely what the blue acceleration represents: a drive to accumulate capital by enclosing, exploiting and commoditising the oceans.

Blue Acceleration: Capitalism’s growing assault on the oceans

This one caught my eye in the linked-article immediately above. We’ve been polluting the oceans as if they are a limitless, toxic dump. We’ve been heating it up via our out-of-control carbon burning. That’s been raising the acid levels. Then, we want to eat the ocean creatures without being poisoned. It’s not bright at all. Now, we (I use the term loosely) want to mine the oceans. What in creation is sacred in the eyes of rabid capitalists?

“You can’t just stick your head in the sand,” says Van Dover, “and hope it will all go away.”

Seabed mining is coming — bringing mineral riches and fears of epic extinctions

Hmmm? Would you by one?

Senate Bill 319 would allow for homes and other inhabitable structures to be built in a dam’s inundation zone – the area that would be flooded if the dam fails – without causing the dam to be recategorized and required to meet higher safety standards. The structures would have to be built to withstand a breach of the dam and receive certification from an engineer approved by the state Environmental Protection Division’s Safe Dams Program.

Georgia Moves Towards Loosening Safety Regulations for Dams Near New Homes

A group of Chinese academics, including Xu, have signed an open letter calling for the government to issue an apology to the deceased doctor, Li Wenliang, and for freedom of speech and rights guaranteed by the constitution to be protected. Over the weekend, a woman was photographed in Shanghai holding a sign calling for freedom of speech.

Xu, who was suspended from his position last year after publishing a similarly critical essay of Xi, does not refer to the leader by name but uses other terms to refer to him. In his essay he urges citizens to call for “five demands”, a reference to anti-government protesters in Hong Kong.

The demands he lists relate to freedom of speech and assembly, as well as the right to vote in open elections and an independent body to investigate the response to the coronavirus crisis.

Coronavirus: outspoken academic blames Xi Jinping for ‘catastrophe’ sweeping China

For now, containment measures are essential. Leung said the period of time when people were infected but showed no symptoms remained a huge problem. Quarantine was necessary, but to ensure people were not still carrying the virus when they left, everybody should ideally be tested every couple of days. If anyone within a quarantine camp or on a stricken cruise ship tested positive, the clock should be reset to 14 days more for all the others.

Some countries at risk because of the movement of people to and from China have taken precautions. On a visit to Thailand three weeks ago, Leung talked to the health minister and advised the setting up of quarantine camps, which the government has done. But other countries with links to China appear, inexplicably, to have no cases – such as Indonesia. “Where are they?” he asked.

Scientists still do not know for sure whether transmission is through droplets from coughs or possibly airborne particles.

Coronavirus ‘could infect 60% of global population if unchecked’

People may be leaving quarantine 10 days too soon.

Medical researchers in China have found the incubation period for coronavirus ranges up to 24 days — 10 days longer than experts previously thought.

Coronavirus could have incubation period of 24 days — 10 days longer than previously thought

Krystal goes on Tucker to combat Chuck Todd smear of Bernie backers