E-Book Pirates | Lungs of The World | New Republicans VS Old Republicans
June 8, 2020
“Hating people because of their color is wrong. And it doesn’t matter which color does the hating. It’s just plain wrong.” ― Muhammad Ali
“No human race is superior; no religious faith is inferior. All collective judgments are wrong. Only racists make them” ― Elie Wiesel
The Lungs Of The World Will Burn
- Human lungs aren’t the only things suffering this year: with the coronavirus epidemic as cover, illegal loggers in Brazil have cleared huge areas of the Amazon rainforest in the past few months. Environmental regulations, already weakened under Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, have been enforced even less in recent months Brazilian struggles to contain its coronavirus outbreak.
- Between January and April, 464 square miles of rainforest were cleared by loggers, a 55 percent increase in cleared land from the same period in 2019. Besides causing habitat destruction in the short term, clearing land in the Amazon will have effects in the near future: every year, Brazilian farmers set patches of cleared land ablaze in late summer and early fall to create more land for cattle grazing. The increase in cleared land could set up the Amazon for a wildfire event even larger than last year’s fires, which scorched over 3,500 square miles of the rainforest. While those fires were stopped with the help of military deployments, cleared land saved from last year’s fires will still be vulnerable to blazes this year, adding to the additional land cleared in the past 5 months.
- This increase in illegal clearing is an effect of weakened environmental regulation under Bolsonaro. In 2019, Bolsonaro’s inaugural year, the Brazilian Environmental and Renewable Natural Resources Institute seized 64 percent less illegal timber compared to its seizures in 2018. In May, oversight of federal nature reserves shifted from the Ministry of the Environment to the Ministry of Agriculture, highlighting Bolsonaro’s outlook on natural resources as a way to increase commercial growth.
- In May, the Brazilian government dispatched almost 4,000 troops to the Amazon to prevent further illegal clearing, but the action was seen as too little too late by some parties: environmental groups called out the operation as a public relations stunt which does not address the root causes of deforestation, while indigenous groups stated that the operation will not lead to meaningful arrests.
- The world must seize this opportunity to meet the climate challenge (Guardian)
See Some Covid, Hear Some Covid, Report No Covid
- Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro’s government has stopped publishing running totals of coronavirus cases and deaths. The federal Health Ministry website had been showing daily, weekly, and monthly figures on infections and deaths in Brazilian states, but was taken down Friday. When it reappeared the next day the site showed only numbers for the previous 24 hours.
- The move came after months of criticism from experts that Brazil’s statistics are either woefully deficient, or being manipulated, such that it may never be possible to understand the depth of the pandemic in the country. Public prosecutors announced an investigation into the health Ministry’s justification for the website’s change.
- The last official numbers showed nearly 615,000 infections, putting Brazil second in the world behind the US. 34,000 deaths had been recorded, the third highest number world-wide. (AP)
Equality Has No Language Barrier
- George Floyd’s death in Minnesota on Memorial Day set off protests demanding racial justice that continue to roil around the world. In addition to the tens of thousands of protesters amassed in Washington and other US cities over the weekend, demonstrators in Rome held their fists in the air and chanted “No Justice! No Peace!” In London people defied official warnings not to gather and lay down outside the US Embassy.
- Police in Belgium fired tear gas and used a water cannon to disperse about a hundred protesters in a central part of Brussels; they were part of a crowd of some 10,000 demonstrators who had gathered at the Palace of Justice. Many wore face masks and carried banners with phrases like “Black Lives Matter – Belgium to Minneapolis,” “I can’t breathe,” and “Stop killing black people.”
- Tens of thousands gathered in London, where one protester carried a banner reading: “UK guilty too.” Footage posted on social media showed protesters in Bristol, England cheering as they tore down a statue of Edward Colston, a 17th century slave trader, and pushed it into a river.
- Elsewhere in Europe US embassies were the focus of protests, with more than 10,000 gathering in Copenhagen and hundreds in Budapest. In Madrid, Spain, thousands lined a street guarded by police in riot gear. A teacher there said about the protests: “It’s not something that is only going on in the USA or in Europe, it’s also worldwide.” (Reuters)
- Who was Edward Colston and why was his Bristol statue toppled? (Guardian)
- After six months of coronavirus, how close are we to defeating it? (Guardian)
- The US government’s supply of the only proven Covid-19 drug runs out at the end of the month (CNN)
- We like to put the world in a nutshell, but we try to do it safely. We only have one planet and we here at Daily Pnut want to keep it spinning. One of the best ways to do that is to live your life as sustainably as possible. Looking for some new sneakers? Try Nothing New. They’re sustainable with style.
- Very rarely if ever have we made outright endorsements on products or brands but this is one of if not Daily Pnut’s Tim’s favorite brand that he stands by not just for what they do but also in terms of a great pair of kicks.
- Saving the planet doesn’t have to come at the expense of looking good. Nothing New Sneakers give you the satisfaction of eco-friendly footwear without sacrificing aesthetic.
- Made from recycled water bottles, the uppers are crafted from a canvas material that is both sustainable and durable while a true stitch construction creates a flexible bond without the need for harmful chemicals or sulfur emissions. Their sneakers come in over 10 colorways, including slick monochromatic options, and are also available high-top options. Nothing New lets you look and feel good while doing good.
Don’t Forget To Cross Your T’s And Cover Your Eyes
- When the US government’s unemployment report for May came out on Friday, with a rate looking much lower than circumstances would suggest, it was immediately suspect. Sure enough the report included a note at the bottom saying there had been a major “misclassification error,” and if that had not occurred, the reported 13.3 percent unemployment rate would likely have been 16.3 percent.
- The note also said the Bureau of Labor Statistics was working to fix the problem. “BLS and the Census Bureau are investigating why this misclassification error continues to occur and are taking additional steps to address the issue.”
- Many people thought President Trump or one of his staffers may have manipulated the data to make it look better, especially since most forecasters predicted the unemployment rate would be close to 20 percent in May, up from 14.7 percent in April. But economists and former BLS leaders from across the political spectrum dismissed that idea, saying it just shows how hard it is to collect accurate data during a pandemic.
- This problem started in March when there was a big jump in people claiming they were temporarily “absent” from work for “other reasons.” The BLS noticed it and flagged it right away, later saying the unemployment rate likely should have been 5.4 percent instead of the official 4.4 percent rate. In April, the BLS said the real unemployment rate was likely about 19.7 percent, not 14.7 percent. (WaPo)
- Surprise U.S. unemployment rate drop leaves out blacks, Asians (Reuters)
- Jobs report shocker is evidence economy is playing catch-up to a ‘ray of sunshine’ market, Wall Street bull Ed Yardeni suggests (CNBC)
- U.S. labor market unexpectedly improves; recovery years away (Reuters)
Powell! Right In The Kisser
(Drew Angerer via Getty Images)
- Colin Powell, a former secretary of state and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Sunday that he would vote for Joe Biden in November because President Trump has “drifted away” from the Constitution, is a chronic liar, and is “dangerous to our country.” In a blistering interview on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Powell joined a string of retired generals, admirals and Pentagon chiefs who have denounced Trump since he threatened to use troops to break up nationwide protests over the killing of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis.
- “We have a Constitution,” Powell said. “And we have to follow that Constitution. And the president has drifted away from it.” The former secretary called Trump — who has shown disdain for diplomacy and long-standing US allies and has demonized immigrants — a liar who has harmed America’s moral authority. Powell also rebuked Republicans who have been silent about Trump’s behavior in office, and urged the American people to remove him. (WaPo, $)
Black Lives Matter
- The protests are growing larger, calmer, and more community-oriented (Vox)
- If you see the cops, start recording: You have a right to record the police — and right now, a responsibility (Verge)
- How racist policing took over American cities, explained by a historian (Vox) & If you’re surprised by how the police are acting, you don’t understand US history (Guardian)
- George Floyd: Minneapolis council pledges to dismantle police department (BBC) & There’s a growing call to defund the police. Here’s what it means (CNN)
- Protesters hope this is a moment of reckoning for American policing. Experts say not so fast. (WaPo, $)
Additional USA News
- Trump Orders Troops to Leave D.C. as Former Military Leaders Sound Warning: The president said National Guard soldiers would withdraw “now that everything is under perfect control,” even as three former Joint Chiefs chairmen condemned his use of military force. (NYT, $) & 89 former Defense officials: The military must never be used to violate constitutional rights (WaPo, $)
- Barr seeks to dissociate himself from move on demonstrators outside Lafayette Square (WaPo)
- Melania Trump’s messaging frustrating the West Wing, source says (CNN)
Internet Arrrrghchive Pirates Books
- Writers and publishers were outraged when the Internet Archive announced it was creating a “National Emergency Library,” temporarily suspending wait lists to borrow e-books amid the pandemic. Now four major publishers have sued IA in federal court, complaining that it “is engaged in willful mass copyright infringement.” The plaintiffs — John Wiley & Sons, and three of the big five US publishers — are trying to block the nonprofit group’s operations and recover damages for scores of allegedly infringed works.
- The publishers argue that “[ IA’s ] goal of creating digital copies of books and providing them to whomever wants to download them reflects a profound misunderstanding of the costs of creating books, a profound lack of respect for the many contributors involved in the publication process, and a profound disregard of the boundaries and balance of core copyright principles. IA does not seek to ‘free knowledge’; it seeks to destroy the carefully calibrated ecosystem that makes books possible in the first place— and to undermine the copyright law that stands in its way.”
- IA describes itself as a library which temporarily lends free digital copies of millions of books obtained through donations, purchases or collaborations with brick-and-mortar libraries. The group has used a wait list to ensure that just one copy of a given work is in use at a time. However, professional groups representing writers and publishers have repeatedly called out the organization for “infringement.” (NPR)
- Stagnant and dull, can digital books ever replace print? (Aeon)
- Our Bookless Future (Claremont Review)
- A reading list to understand police brutality in America (Vox)
- The Best Way to Retain What You Read (Art of Manliness)
- 5 summer books and other things to do at home (GatesNotes)
- Why it’s so hard to read a book right now, explained by a neuroscientist (Vox)
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