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Morning rays, CaƱon de Chelly

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Horror movie


In between the WWE style tweet war between Donald Trump, LaVar Ball and whatever other target of his he is currently battling with, there was actually some news and goings on worth reading about and considering.

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In shades of the evil shenanigans of big tobacco, new news that the big sugar industry successfully buried scientific research that showed a strong connection between sugar consumption and blood fat levels.
Back in 1968, the Sugar Research Foundation, a predecessor to the International Sugar Research Foundation, paid a researcher to lead a study with lab animals.
Initial results showed that a high-sugar diet increased the animals' triglyceride levels, a type of fat in the blood, through effects on the gut bacteria. In people, high triglycerides can increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes. The study also found that animals fed sugar had higher levels of an enzyme associated with bladder cancer in their urine.
The study was halted before it was completed. Glantz says the researcher asked for more time to continue the study, but the Sugar Research Foundation pulled the plug on the project.
The Sugar Industry's statement on the matter is classic misdirection, lies and gobbledygook:
"The study in question ended for three reasons, none of which involved potential research findings," the association says. The statement goes on to explain that the study was over budget and delayed. "The delay overlapped with an organizational restructuring with the Sugar Research Foundation becoming a new entity, the International Sugar Research Foundation," the statement says.
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The New Yorker had an excellent article a few weeks ago about Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family and their role in hooking the country on opioids. The Family that built an Empire of Pain by Patrick Radden Keefe.
Highly regarded doctors, like Russell Portenoy, then a pain specialist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, in New York, spoke out about the problem of untreated chronic pain—and the wisdom of using opioids to treat it. “There is a growing literature showing that these drugs can be used for a long time, with few side effects,” Portenoy told the Times, in 1993. Describing opioids as a “gift from nature,” he said that they needed to be destigmatized. Portenoy, who received funding from Purdue, decried the reticence among clinicians to administer such narcotics for chronic pain, claiming that it was indicative of “opiophobia,” and suggesting that concerns about addiction and abuse amounted to a “medical myth.” 
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Yes they are watching you. And they see everything. No boundaries: Exfiltration of personal data by session-replay scripts 
You may know that most websites have third-party analytics scripts that record which pages you visit and the searches you make.  But lately, more and more sites use “session replay” scripts. These scripts record your keystrokes, mouse movements, and scrolling behavior, along with the entire contents of the pages you visit, and send them to third-party servers. Unlike typical analytics services that provide aggregate statistics, these scripts are intended for the recording and playback of individual browsing sessions, as if someone is looking over your shoulder.

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Two Republican Senators in North Carolina have joined forces to oppose the nomination of Michael Dourson to lead the EPA's Chemical Safety office. Dourson is a scientist who appears to have long been in the pocket of the chemical companies.
The opposition from the North Carolina senators, first reported by the Wilmington, N.C., Star News, stems from a pair of major health controversies in the state surrounding water contamination at the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and the recent discovery of the as-yet-unregulated chemical GenX in the Cape Fear River. The senators do not believe Dourson would be an effective force to protect the victims of those incidents.
The nominee worked on behalf of the chemical industry defending weakened standards and exposure guidelines for toxic chemicals like PFAS, 1,4, dioxane and trichloroethylene.

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Speaking of water and chemicals, the EPA estimates that about 1% of water in our country is contaminated with PFOA, a main ingredient of teflon. The real number is more like 28%. Good article here.

Or read this article
at the good old Blue Heron Blast, Over persistent three eyed frogs and geologic time.
Internal documents revealed DuPont had long known that C8, also known as PFOA, caused cancer, had poisoned drinking water in the mid-Ohio River Valley and polluted the blood of people and animals worldwide. But the company never told its workers, local officials and residents, state regulators or the EPA. After the truth came out, research by federal officials and public interest groups, including EWG, found that the blood of almost all Americans was contaminated with PFCs, which passed readily from mothers to unborn babies in the womb. 
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Not content to overthrow Obama era policies on the environment, police brutality, the state department, etc. Trump FCC commissioner Ajit Pal is getting ready to screw up the internet and the concept of net neutrality. This will adversely affect both performance and content.
"If the FCC votes to roll back these net neutrality protections, they would end the internet as we know it, harming every day users and small businesses, eroding free speech, competition, innovation and user choice in the process," said Mozilla, the nonprofit corporation that makes the Firefox browser and advocates for internet accessibility. "Our position is clear: the end of net neutrality would only benefit Internet Service Providers."
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Of course one of Trump's favorite Bogeymen is CNN so he is now going after the ATT vertical merger under the guise of being suddenly concerned about monopolies. But he has no problem with Sinclair Broadcast Group gobbling up television and radio stations right and left and forcing them to carry "must runs", editorial content snippets to the right of Breitbart.

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Have to love the story of Wes Goodman, the anti gay "family values" Republican congressman from Ohio who liked to cruise Craig's list for man on man meet-ups. Wes is now going to have to find new employment after being caught having sex with a man in his office.
Johnny Hadlock, a former congressional staffer, told The AP he engaged in sexual banter by text and had phone sex with Goodman while the two worked in Washington in the early 2010s. He said he was furious when, years later, he saw Goodman campaigning on the issue of “natural marriage” between a man and a woman, “because I knew differently.”
This story segues nicely with the recent story about the vocal Pro Life congressman Tim Murphy from Pittsburgh, who resigned after news got out that he forced his mistress to get an abortion. Not the first hypocrite to get nailed on this count, of course.

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