Sunday, September 29, 2019

How well are governmental whistle blowers protected in the U.S,?

From The Conversation on 09/27/19:
In many instances, whistleblowers find the abusive power they have revealed turned against them, both ending their careers and harming their personal lives.
For more click here.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Judicial branch blocks Trump's racist policy of indefinitely detaining immigrant children

From The Week on 09/28/19

 Federal judge blocks indefinite detention of migrant children
U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee on Friday blocked the Trump administration's proposal to alter rules for the detention of immigrant children, ruling that detaining undocumented families together indefinitely is inconsistent with longstanding precedent on the conditions of migrant custody. The Trump administration sought to override the Flores settlement, a ruling that requires the government to release immigrant minors in 20 days or less. While the Department of Homeland Security argued the settlement made immigration enforcement more difficult, Gee said officials "cannot simply ignore the dictates of the consent decree merely because they no longer agree with its approach as a matter of policy." [The Associated Press, CNN]

How media literate are you when you rely on corporate media solely for your information?

How media literate are you? Do you rely solely on corporate media for your information? How can you make good political decisions about your own, your family, your community, your state, your country's welfare when the information you receive is being filtered by the 1%?

From Bernie Sanders' book, Where We Go From Here.

The truth is that it is very difficult for people to understand what’s going on in our country economically or politically, or to imagine an alternative vision, if the corporate media is their major source of information. Let’s be very clear. Corporate media is not ‘objective’; they are not the ‘referees’ trying to provide ‘all sides of the story.’ Corporate media are profit-making entities owned and controlled by the ruling class and some of the wealthiest people in the country. And, like all private corporations, they have an agenda.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Ice melt leading to rise in ocean levels irreversible

This appeared on The Week on 09/26/19

U.N. report says some impact from warming oceans irreversible
A landmark United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report released Wednesday warns that sea levels are rising faster than previously believed, and that some ice melt could already be irreversible as many coastal areas face increased flooding. Even if countries significantly curbed emissions blamed for rising global temperatures and warming oceans, most of America's East and West coasts will face 100-year flood levels annually due to a one-meter sea-level rise. "This report highlights the urgency of timely, ambitious, coordinated, and enduring action," said IPCC vice chair Ko Barrett, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's deputy assistant administrator for research. "What's at stake is the health of ecosystems, wildlife, and importantly the world we leave our children." [The Hill]

Friday, September 20, 2019

Be aware of the funding of your news source

From America magazine, 09/02/19 issue in an article entitled "Why Americans need nonprofit sources for news."

The First Amendment guarantees the right to a free press because the founders recognized the vital role the Fourth Estate should play in the republic. A free press helps hold government accountable to the people. But the commercial press, pressured by different motivations, has been negligent in fulfilling its civic function. There is a need, even if the demand is not yet loud, for a press that is less susceptible to market influences and keeps the government in check.

Nonprofit sources of news may be one answer. Government-funded media outlets like National Public Radio demonstrate—most of the time—how a news organization can function when it does not rely solely on marketplace conditions. But Americans also need options that are not susceptible to de-funding threats from Congress. Nonprofit media, like ProPublica, can zero in on matters of public concern instead of aggravating existing partisan rifts.
While cable news outlets have benefited from a divided America, independent news groups could be in a better position to communicate difficult truths on which audiences can agree. Nonprofit trusts—independent of both the government and the marketplace—may provide a much-needed avenue to civil conversation. Profit-driven media conglomerates will not always give us trustworthy news. It is time to find another way.

Editor's comment:

Trumpism is rampant in the United States currently and there is not much about it that is beneficial to our society except their complaint about "fake news" and "alternative facts."

Of course, "alternative facts" is an oxymoron because there is no such thing. There certainly can abe "alternative opinions" or "alternative interpretations" but a "fact" by definition corresponds to empiral, fundamental reality. People are entitled to their own opinions but not to their own facts.

Even with empirial facts reality can be distorted by chosing which facts to lift up for viewing and which are marginalized are silenced into the shadows for hiding. 

Commerical media has a profit incentive and so it presents the "facts" and interpretations which will emotionally arouse and hook viewers and readers. In other words the "news" is often sensationalized to grab attention for advertisers to the channel or conduit of the media communication being attended to. Nonprofit news has no profit incentive and is not so dependent on the quanity of consumers and thus can concentrate on the quality of the consumers.

The truth is sometimes painful and upsetting and thus preferably avoided. The truth is hard some times, and yet would you rather know it and be told it? The truth can sometimes be boring even if illuminating and enlightening. Would you still want to attend to it?

Support nonprofit news sources. My favorites are Propublica, Mother Jones, and Democracy Now. There are others. Distrust the profit making news sources like Fox, MSNBC, CNN, etc. 

In the age of Trumpism the ratings for the profit making news sources are up because Trumpism is more entertaining and emotionally arousing than the truth. It reminds me of fake wrestling which has a huge fan base and makes millions of dollars per year. The U.S. President, Donald J. Trump has been a participant in and a purveyor of fake wrestling long before he was elected President. Did the voters want a chief executive of their country or an entertainer? Apparently they wanted the entertainment because the competence and performance of the chief executive is very poor and in some ways destructive to the well being of the American public.

One of the most fundamental skills in media literacy is deliberately choosing one's news source and vetting it. It is a good idea to use and financially support nonprofit news sources for your information gathering so you can make more informed and less biased judgements about what is best for yourself, your family, the country and the world.

Friday, September 13, 2019

McDonald’s offers larger educational plum to seek new hires and hires more retirees

McDonald’s restaurant owners and Rochester City Mayor Lovely A. Warren announced on Thursday morning two new recruitment tools that may help the restaurants hire about 230 new employees this fall.
McDonald’s is expanding its Archways to Opportunities program that supports employees attending college, completing high school diploma requirements, or learning English. At the same time, it has partnered with the American Association of Retired Persons to be able to tap into new hires 50 years and older.
At the same time, the McDonald’s corporation recently completed the AARP process required to advertise jobs through that organization’s channels, said Louis Buono, who operates 12 restaurants in the Rochester area. McDonald’s offers work for people who to return to work after retiring, and for those who never retired but want to continue to work into their older years, he said.
Up to 8 percent of his work force of 650 employees fall into the AARP age group, Buono said.
“Some have worked 15 years or more years,” he said. “And a bunch of employees came back and need part-time work.”