Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for July 1st, 2017

One reason Trump sends tweets in the early hours of morning

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Bradley Eversley offers an answer on Quora on 4 May 2017:

The number 1 reason why Donald Trump tweets extremely controversial things, especially mostly early in the morning is to get the media to jump on it right away. Doing so pushes bad press out of the front page and into limbo, quickly to be diluted by the massive amounts of coverage on his often unfounded claims. And he does so super early in the morning so the news can spread from the East Coast to the West as people start to wake up. This is not some master plan here, it’s basic media manipulation. Being in high value business for decades, and having been the topic of countless New York Times articles since before I was ever even born, Trump knows how to work the media, and they will fall for it every time, no exceptions. When a journalist comes in the office in the morning ready to write his piece on Trump’s possible Russia ties, an article that is likely to bring in tens of thousands of reads, his supervisor tells him to hold off on that story and cover Trump’s dumb tweet, we have to jump on that NOW, people need to know this claim has no evidence and that he can’t be trusted.

Think about it logically here, you are given two options, have a progressively increasing number of Americans following your possible conflicts of interest, that could lead to a huge investigation if enough people are backing it, or be called a liar? Trump is simply choosing the lesser of two evils. Everything is so wishy washy, he knows he won’t ever be objectively be labeled as a liar because he will always have his supporters to defend him.

So what’s a good rule of thumb? Anytime Trump tweets a huge, obviously false claim, take a look at what the news has been saying about him and his circle for the past few days before that. This happens every single time and it suprises me how people gobble it up. 3 million voters, Chinese hoaxes, and now Obama wiretapping, etc. The media can defeat this if they either ignore his false claims, or explicitly call out his claims as distractions to his recent coverage. I mean if ABC, CNN, NYT, Washington Post, etc all had headlines that stated, “Trump attempts to distract media from Russian investigation by making false claims about….” Only if it’s proven to be false. Otherwise let’s just leave it as a little side story we cover for 20 seconds then on to other news. Trumps controversial tweets should only be heavily covered if irrefutable evidence is provided alongside them. The good news is, Trump is quickly realizing that, as President, his words have 20x more power and are taken very, very seriously by those in Government. One tweet can send thousands of federal workers into overtime-filled, sleepless nights calling sources, sending countless emails, checking databases and files, endless meetings, you get the idea. I reckon he did not anticipate a simple lie would have the right people fact checking him. It’s kind of like when you told your mom you did your homework even though you know you didn’t, so she takes your lie at face value, calling your friends over so you can help them with the same homework, then calling your teacher to advise them that you’re helping half the students in her class with that homework. Then she puts together a study group so all of you can go through each problem step by step, using your finished homework as an example. Then she takes you to get a McDonald’s ice cream cone for completing your homework with integrity…All the while, you haven’t so much as stroked a scratch of lead on that paper. You keep asking yourself, when will it finally die down, that way you don’t have to continually build lie upon lie to support the original, but you know one thing is for certain, you will NEVER admit to your mom you lied, not even when she finally sees that blank paper.

I think the biggest mistake people make is thinking that Donald Trump is stupid. So naturally, they attribute any and all of his actions and words to just being an idiot and relegate it down to lack of critical thought. You can be intelligent, yet still be dumb. He knows exactly what he’s doing. He has roughly average intelligence, but he has extreme beliefs which cloud his moral standing and analytical skills deeply.

I encourage everyone reading this to watch this video by Nerdwriter (one of the most analytical minds on Youtube in my opinion) explaining the above about how well Trump knows how to use sleight of hand with your attention. “Magician-in-Chief”.

And also:

Written by LeisureGuy

1 July 2017 at 7:36 pm

EPA chief met with Dow CEO before deciding on pesticide ban

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First, note correction to story:

In a story June 27, The Associated Press, relying on schedules provided by the Environmental Protection Agency, reported erroneously that EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt met with Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveris for about a half-hour at a Houston hotel. A spokeswoman for the EPA says the meeting listed on the schedule was canceled, though Pruitt and Liveris did have a “brief introduction in passing.”

A corrected version of the story is below:

EPA chief met with Dow CEO before deciding on pesticide ban

Records show the Trump administration’s top environmental official met briefly with the chief executive of Dow Chemical shortly before reversing his agency’s push to ban a widely-used pesticide after health studies showed it can harm children’s brains

Michael Biesecker reports for Associated Press:

The Trump administration’s top environmental official met briefly with the chief executive of Dow Chemical shortly before reversing his agency’s push to ban a widely used pesticide after health studies showed it can harm children’s brains, according to records obtained by The Associated Press.

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt’s schedule showed he was slated to meet with Dow CEO Andrew Liveris on March 9 for about a half-hour at a Houston hotel. Rachelle Schikorra, a spokeswoman for Dow, said the formal meeting “never happened due to schedule conflicts.”

EPA spokeswoman Liz Bowman also said the formal meeting was canceled. She said Pruitt and Liveris did have a “brief introduction in passing” at the energy conference in Houston they were both attending.

“They did not discuss chlorpyrifos,” Bowman said. “During the same trip he also met with the Canadian minister of natural resources, and CEOs and executives from other companies attending the trade show.”

Twenty days later Pruitt announced his decision to deny a petition to ban Dow’s chlorpyrifos pesticide from being sprayed on food, despite a review by his agency’s scientists that concluded ingesting even minuscule amounts of the chemical can interfere with the brain development of fetuses and infants.

EPA released a copy of Pruitt’s March meeting schedule earlier this month following several Freedom of Information Act requests. Though his schedule for the intervening months has not yet been released, Bowman said Pruitt has had no other meetings with the Dow CEO. There was a larger group meeting that Pruitt attended which also included two other Dow executives, but she said that didn’t involve chlorpyrifos.

Dow, which spent more than $13.6 million on lobbying in 2016, has long wielded substantial political power in the nation’s capital.

When President Donald Trump signed an executive order in February mandating the creation of task forces at federal agencies to roll back government regulations, he handed the pen to Dow’s chief executive, who was standing at his side. Liveris heads a White House manufacturing working group. His company also wrote a $1 million check to help underwrite Trump’s inaugural festivities.

The American Academy of Pediatrics urged Pruitt on Tuesday to take chlorpyrifos off the market. The group representing more than 66,000 pediatricians and pediatric surgeons said it is “deeply alarmed” by Pruitt’s decision to allow the pesticide’s continued use.

“There is a wealth of science demonstrating the detrimental effects of chlorpyrifos exposure to developing fetuses, infants, children, and pregnant women,” the academy said in a letter to Pruitt. “The risk to infant and children’s health and development is unambiguous.”

The AP reported in April that Dow is also lobbying the Trump administration to “set aside” the findings of federal scientists that organophosphate pesticides, including chlorpyrifos, are harmful to about 1,800 critically threatened or endangered species.

The chemical is similar to one developed as a weapon in World War II. Dow has been selling Chlorpyrifos for spraying on citrus fruits, apples, cherries and other crops since the 1960s. It is among the most widely used agricultural pesticides in the United States. Dow sells about 5 million pounds domestically each year.

As a result, traces of the chemical are commonly found in sources of drinking water. A 2012 study at the University of California at Berkeley found that 87 percent of umbilical-cord blood samples tested from newborn babies contained detectable levels of chlorpyrifos.

Dow, which sells chlorpyrifos through its subsidiary Dow AgroSciences, contends it helps American farmers feed the world “with full respect for human health and the environment.”

Under pressure from federal regulators over safety concerns, Dow voluntarily withdrew chlorpyrifos for use as a home insecticide in 2000. EPA also placed “no-spray” buffer zones around sensitive sites, such as schools, in 2012. But environmental and public health groups said those proposals don’t go far enough and filed a federal lawsuit seeking a national ban on the pesticide.

In October 2015, the Obama administration proposed banning the pesticide’s use on food. . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

1 July 2017 at 6:13 pm

Kevin Drum has a brief—and illuminating—primer on single-payer healthcare

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Definitely worth reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

1 July 2017 at 5:01 pm

What is happening to America: Example from Minnesota

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Stephanie McCrummen reports in the Washington Post:

The doctor was getting ready. Must look respectable, he told himself. Must be calm. He changed into a dark suit, blue shirt and tie and came down the wooden staircase of the stately Victorian house at Seventh and Pine that had always been occupied by the town’s most prominent citizens.

That was him: prominent citizen, town doctor, 42-year-old father of three, and as far as anyone knew, the first Muslim to ever live in Dawson, a farming town of 1,400 people in the rural western part of the state.

“Does this look okay?” Ayaz Virji asked his wife, Musarrat, 36.

In two hours, he was supposed to give his third lecture on Islam, and he was sure it would be his last. A local Lutheran pastor had talked him into giving the first one in Dawson three months before, when people had asked questions such as whether Muslims who kill in the name of the prophet Muhammad are rewarded in death with virgins, which had bothered him a bit. Two months later, he gave a second talk in a neighboring town, which had ended with several men calling him the antichrist.

Now a librarian had asked him to speak in Granite Falls, a town half an hour away, and he wasn’t sure at all what might happen. So many of the comforting certainties of his life had fallen away since the presidential election, when the people who had welcomed his family to Dawson had voted for Donald Trump, who had proposed banning Muslims from entering the United States, toyed with the idea of a Muslim registry and said among other things, “Islam hates us.”

Trump had won Lac qui Parle County, where Dawson was the second-largest town, with nearly 60 percent of the vote. He had won neighboring Yellow Medicine County, where Granite Falls was the county seat, with 64 percent. Nearly all of Minnesota outside the Twin Cities had voted for Trump, a surprising turn in a state known for producing some of the Democratic Party’s most progressive leaders, including the nation’s first Muslim congressman.

Now Trump was in the White House, and Dawson’s first Muslim resident was sitting in his living room, strumming his fingers on the arm of a chair. The pastor had called to say two police officers would be there tonight, just in case. The late afternoon sun came in through the windows, beyond which was a lovely town of sprawling cottonwoods, green lawns and so many people the doctor felt he no longer knew or maybe even could trust. The doorbell rang.

“Hey there,” Ayaz said, snapping out of his thoughts to greet his neighbor.

“Hiya,” said the neighbor, who worked in security.

He had heard from his wife about the talk in Granite Falls and, wanting to be helpful, had offered to lend Ayaz his bulletproof vest for the evening, and here it was, in the duffle bag he was slinging through the ornate front door. He set it down on a chair in the doctor’s study and pulled out the vest. Ayaz looked at it. He began taking off his suit jacket and tie to try it on.

This was Dawson six months after the election, which was how Ayaz most often thought of things these days — before and after.

He remembered his first visit three years before, driving with Musarrat on a narrow highway west into the prairie and passing one little farm town after another — Cosmos, Prinsburg, Bunde, and finally seeing the wooden sign, “Welcome to Dawson.”

They arrived on a breezy fall day, and he remembered how it all seemed almost corny, from the park with little gnome figurines, to the wide streets named Oak and Maple, to the formidable Grace Lutheran church at the town center. The whole visit felt like one big welcoming parade.

Welcome to our hospital and clinic, where the two other doctors, the nurses and other staff members were lined up to greet them. Welcome to the school, where the principal showed them around. Welcome to the two-block downtown, where there was a butcher, and a bowling alley, and a diner named Wanda’s, and as they walked along, Musarrat noticed something rare. She didn’t feel people staring at her headscarf. They were saying hello and smiling.

Ayaz remembered that it “just felt right.” Wholesome. He had been wanting to get away from his job working for a huge health-care chain in Harrisburg, Pa., and find a way to practice what he called “dignified medicine.” The town seemed to want him, too, a doctor with a medical degree from Georgetown University and an interest in rural health. No one seemed to care that he was Muslim, of Indian descent, born in Kenya and raised in Florida. They just needed a good doctor. So the Virjis decided to move to Dawson.

By the winter of 2014, they were settling into the Victorian house on Pine and the life Ayaz imagined for his family. The children — Maya, Imran and Faisal, the oldest, who was 12 then — enrolled in the public school around the corner. Musarrat set up a spa business down the street. Ayaz often walked to work, where his smiling photo hung on the clinic and hospital walls along with his titles: chief of staff and medical director. He was one of only three doctors practicing in Dawson, and one of a few in the county, and was soon busy with patients and helping to plan a $7 million expansion of the facilities.

He and Musarrat made friends — Jason, Betty, Duane, Stacey and other Dawsonites who would drop by for kebabs or chicken parmesan. When John and Jill Storlien, the local butchers, found out that Ayaz was driving all the way to Minneapolis to get his halal meat, they offered that perhaps they could manage. Their cows came in facing Mecca anyway, it turned out. Ayaz texted them the prayer to say as they butchered, and so one day in a tiny Midwestern town, two Lutherans spoke their first Islamic verses over the carcass of a cow. In summer, neighbors spread blankets and chairs on the Virjis’ front lawn and watched the annual parade float by.

And that was how it was going in Dawson, even through an election season that Ayaz found increasingly disturbing, as Trump kept whipping up crowds by saying that maybe Syrian refugees were part of a secret army, and maybe he’d have to shut down mosques, and maybe Muslims were the one immigrant group that could not become fully American.

All of that was in the air, but in a county that Barack Obama had won twice, Ayaz saw only two “Trump-Pence” yard signs during the whole campaign. He never thought Trump would win, much less in Dawson.

The morning after the election, he was shocked and angry, and when he looked up the local results before he went to work, the feelings only intensified. Not only had Trump won the county, he had won Dawson itself by six percentage points.

By the time he got to the hospital, he was pacing up and down the hallways, saying he hoped people realized that they just voted to put his family on a Muslim registry, and how would he be treated around here if he didn’t have “M.D.” after his name? People tried to reason with him. A colleague told him it’s not that people agreed with everything Trump said, and Ayaz said no, you’re giving them a pass. He told the hospital’s chief executive that he was thinking of resigning, and she told him to take some days to cool off.

He and Musarrat talked about what to do. He began investigating . . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

1 July 2017 at 4:22 pm

Plisson European Grey, Geo. F. Trumper Sandalwood, the actual iKon 102, and TOBS Sandalwood

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I really like the coarse feel of this Plisson brush. It does a fine job, and it is a nice change of pace. The handle is plated brass and quite substantial. The Trump Sandalwood is from years ago, long before the reformulation and outsourcing of their shaving soap, so it is an excellent soap.

I’m using the actual iKon 102 today. (Yesterday I uses the 101 and called it the 102, so today I checked carefully.) A smooth, comfortable, and efficient shave that left my face feeling good and feeling smooth.

A splash of TOBS Sandalwood, and the weekend is launched. I am soon going to be out of that aftershave, but I have others.

Written by LeisureGuy

1 July 2017 at 12:58 pm

Posted in Shaving

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