Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO): Brett Kavanaugh. (YouTube, 29:11min) “John Oliver discusses the ongoing controversy surrounding Brett Kavanaugh, the sexual assault allegations against him, his Supreme Court nomination, and what that could all mean for the highest (mostly-dog) court in the land.”
“A man emailed recently in response to something I’d written about street harassment. He was so glad, he said, that his college-age daughter never experienced anything like that. Less than a day later, he wrote again. They had just talked. She told him she’d been harassed many, many times — including that week. She hadn’t ever shared this, because she wanted to protect him from her pain.”
“There is no question that most Americans disapprove of Mr. Trump and the GOP. The question for November is whether dissent matters in the face of an increasingly autocratic regime, one whose disregard for rule of law is unparalleled in U.S. history, and one that may have engaged in voter suppression and one whose associates are being investigated for whether they collaborated with operatives of hostile states to win the previous election. The midterms have become an existential matter: Will we salvage our damaged democracy, or lose what rights remain? For non-white Americans, immigrants, women, LGBTQ Americans and other groups targeted by the administration, there is nothing abstract about this inquiry.
I spent most of the year on the road in America, and I don’t think we, as a people, are as cruel or mercenary as those who represent us. Political activists and Democrats are not as disorganized as pundits claim. Everything sounds confusing when you listen for a coherent message, and what you hear instead is an anguished cry. But at least that cry is honest. That cry means people still care. The worst sound, these days, is silence.”
Deutsche Welle: Brille nötig: Kurzsichtig durchs Smartphone. “In 30 Jahren wird jeder zweite Mensch kurzsichtig sein. Schuld ist auch die übermäßige Nutzung von elektronischen Medien, vor allem bei Kindern. Dabei läßt sich Kurzsichtigkeit leicht vermeiden.”
“Der ständige Blick auf den Bildschirm kann vor allem Kinderaugen reizen, ermüden und austrocknen. Eine übermäßige Nutzung von elektronischen Medien führt nach Ansicht der Wissenschaftler aber nicht nur zu mehr Kurzsichtigkeit, es leidet auch das räumliche Vorstellungsvermögen. Verschwommenes Sehen oder Schielen können die Folge sein. “
“The Trump administration is rolling back another Obama-era energy regulation, this time one that aimed to curb methane leaks from oil and gas operations on tribal and public lands.
Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas, even more potent than carbon dioxide in the short term, that contributes to climate change. The Obama administration said that large amounts of methane are lost into the atmosphere through leaks, as well as intentional venting and flaring at energy production sites. It moved to limit that by requiring oil and gas companies to capture leaking and vented methane at existing sites, to gradually update their technology and to make plans for monitoring escaping gas.
The Government Accountability Office says as much as $23 million of potential royalty revenue from those gases is lost annually.
But in a statement, the Department of the Interior said that rule was “unnecessarily burdensome on the private sector.“”
This is kind of an understatement. Each ton of methane has about the same effect as 21 to 25 tons of carbon dioxide, so it’s much worse. How about methane being “burdensome on the world’s climate”?
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