I had a couple of Insider pieces this week, on the trade of Jaime Garcia to Atlanta, the Cespedes contract, the trade of Alex Jackson to Atlanta, and my proposal for an international draft (written before the CBA negotiations ended). I also held a Klawchat on Thursday.
My latest boardgame review for Paste covers Grifters, a “deckbuilder without a deck” that I thought played a little too mechanically.
And now, the links…
- An important longread from Scientific American: How factory farming is speeding antibiotic resistance, endangering animals and humans alike, while the government does virtually nothing to stop them. The best thing we can all do is buy only meat from animals raised without antibiotics – organic is not necessary for this but it does qualify – or just don’t eat meat. The article also details some of the oppressive conditions in the ‘contract growing’ business of raising animals for food.
- Another longread, this time from the Guardian, on Italy’s “ultras,” dangerous gangs of soccer fans who exert unusual control over the sport and are behind much of the violence that surrounds the sport.
- I linked to this on Twitter earlier in the week: Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Viet Thanh Nguyen wrote about the disastrous policies of Henry Kissinger in Southeast Asia, which led to millions of civilian and military deaths.
- The House Science Committee is notoriously hostile to real science, something that became apparent again this week when its official account tweeted a link to a climate-denial article at a neo-Nazi site.
- The FTC finally did something good! They’re requiring so-called “homeopathic medicines” to include a label that says there’s no evidence they work. That’s because they can’t work. Homeopathy, like cupping and acupressure, is just woo.
- The Kansas government of Governor Sam Brownback has been an economic disaster, but it’s also been a test tube for voter-suppression tactics, like requiring proof that voters are Americans, even though the state could only identify three non-citizens who voted in the ten years before the law in question was passed.
- A junk study claiming a link between vaccines and autism has been pulled following heavy criticism. I doubt that’ll stop deniers from using it, though.
- And those same looney-toons think that Donald Trump will be an ally for their cause. Given his actions so far as President-Elect, I think he’ll throw them overboard the moment it’s politically expedient.
- A federal judge ruled that counties in Hawai’i can’t ban genetically modified crops because state law prohibits counties from legislating agricultural issues. It’s painted as a win for Big Ag, but it’s also a win for science.
- Research by the Pew Center finds that Americans don’t understand the meaning or import of organic or GMO food. Organic food is not more healthful to your body than conventionally-grown food, although it may be better for the soil, and GM food is not less healthful or more dangerous than non-GM food.
- Why are some Massachusetts district attorneys refusing to reveal lists of cases they’ve prosecuted, in violation of state public records laws? The Boston Globe‘s Spotlight team is suing to get those records opened. Real journalism still exists, and I think it will matter in the next four years more than it has in decades.
- The Daily Beast has a piece on Casey Affleck’s disturbing history of alleged harassment of women, including abusive behavior.
- This Washington Post feature on the effort by the San Bernadino terrorists’ siblings to adopt the killers’ infant daughter is heartbreaking.
- Rising ocean temperatures resulted in the worst bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef on record. Increasing carbon sequestration in the oceans raises the water temperature and lowers its pH. Both are bad for coral.
- I loved the short-lived animated TV series The Critic, especially its crazy movie parodies, so I was thrilled to read this UPROXX conversation with the two creators.
- News outlets are belatedly telling their writers not to use the term “alt-right” any longer, because it’s a euphemism for white nationalist, white supremacist, or neo-Nazi.
- Another white-nationalist type has started a blacklist website devoted to identifying left-wing college professors, and Emory University Professor George Yancy is having none of it.
- Miami Herald writer Armando Seguero absolutely lights up Colin Kaepernick for wearing a Fidel Castro shirt in a column published hours before the brutal, repressive Cuban dictator’s death was announced.
- Many folks weighed in on Joe Posnanski’s columns about the WAR discrepancy between Justin Verlander and Rick Porcello; I particularly enjoyed Phil Birnbaum’s explanation of why the Baseball-Reference approach makes sense. You should read Birnbaum’s post, but in essence, he says that we should deduce from Verlander’s performance that he was the beneficiary of help from his defense, even though Detroit’s defense on the whole was not good.
- Is the Internet a “failed state” along the lines of Somalia or now Libya? This Guardian op ed argues that the increasing lawlessness online makes it so.
- Bloomberg View/Gadfly executive editor Timothy L. O’Brien argues that Donald Trump’s business is not too big to sell, and the President-Elect needs to sell before he takes office.
- Trump’s pick to head the Department of Health and Human Services is a member of a fringe, far-right, anti-science doctors’ group whose positions include opposition to mandatory vaccinations, opposition to abortion, opposition to stem cell research, and opposition to organ donations, and whose journal is “a repository for quackery.”
- The Columbia Journalism Review profiles the overhaul and success of the Washington Post in a wide-ranging conversation with two of the digital media company’s leaders – although I think some of what they reveal is less flattering than they think.
- Baltimore is attacking street violence by treating it as a public-health problem, not as a typical crime.
- Let’s get to the Trump stuff: One potential pick to head NIH is opposed to stem-cell research and faces much opposition even within Republican circles.
- His pick for Secretary of Education is a blow to our nation’s science health. She’s also a disaster for church-state separation, proposing more school-choice programs to allow parents to send kids to religious schools using government dollars, and with ties to the ‘intelligent design’ pseudoscience movement.
- Reince Preibus confirmed that Trump’s default position on climate change is denial.
- That Carrier deal? It shows Trump and Pence don’t understand the constant churn of jobs in our modern economy.
- The NY Times editorial board published a blunt column on Trump’s flag-burning tweet saying Mr. Trump, meet the Constitution.
- After Trump won the election, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors issued a (symbolic) resolution saying they would oppose much of what he and the GOP stand for. Of course, it’ll matter when they act, or take the feds to court, but I wish more local politicians were so vocal about their opposition.
- From June, a great New Yorker piece on just what a colossal scam Trump University was.
- Here are a few of the Senate Democrats who’ve spoken out against Trump so far.
- A Texas town’s mayor and government just learned it has had an independent housing authority for the last 40 years, which means that department, which had two employees, has had essentially zero oversight and, of course, hasn’t been fulfilling its mission to maintain living conditions in public housing.
- The BBC spoke to hyperglots, speakers of many languages, about how they learned and retained so many tongues and why some people seem better able to do so.
- A Canadian town’s police department has threatened to force people arrested for driving drunk to listen to Nickelback.
- A 19-year-old Guatemalan woman with Down Syndrome has started a clothing line for other women with the genetic disorder.
- Tweet of the week:
Quick recap: the new ed secretary is anti-public schools, the new HUD sec'y is anti-Fair Housing, and the new AG is anti-Voting Rights Act.
— Alec MacGillis (@AlecMacGillis) November 28, 2016
But to that, you can add that the new HHS head is anti-science, and the potential Secretary of State is still on probation.