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Daily Archives: December 5, 2018

Monumental Disaster at the Department of the Interior

Scientific American – A new report documents suppression of science, denial of climate change, the silencing and intimidation of staff: “…In a new report, Science Under Siege at the Department of the Interior, the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) has documented some of the most egregious and anti-science policies and practices at the DOI under Secretary Zinke. The report describes suppression of science, denial of climate change, the silencing and intimidation of agency staff, and attacks on science-based laws that help protect our nation’s world-class wildlife and habitats. It is a damning report and required reading for anyone who values public lands, wildlife, cultural heritage, and health and safety. It would be impossible to cover everything this clumsy political wrecking crew is up to, but the report provides details on the most prominent actions that deserve greater scrutiny, such as: the largest reduction in public lands protection in our nation’s history; a systematic failure to acknowledge or act on climate change; unprecedented constraints on the funding and communication of science; and a blatant disregard for public health and safety.

Why is this administration so scared of science? Why cancel a study into the health effects of mountaintop removal coal mining so soon after lifting a moratorium on coal leasing on public lands? Why keep scientists from speaking with the press? Because, while science provides the best evidence we have for making policy decisions that serve the broader public, Ryan Zinke has been very clear that he is in office to serve the oil, gas and mining industries, not the general public…”

Federal Workers Warned Against Talk of ‘Impeachment,’ ‘the Resistance’

Reason.com: “Employees of the federal government were warned this week that both praising and criticizing the Trump administration while on duty may be considered illegal. Federal workers are specifically barred from “advocating” for or against impeachment and from expressing support for the so-called “resistance” to President Donald Trump. Such expressions could be considered violations of… Continue Reading

CBO’s Long-Term Social Security Projections

CBO’s Long-Term Social Security Projections: Changes Since 2017 and Comparisons With the Social Security Trustees’ Projections – December 3, 2018: “This report explains the changes to CBO’s long-term Social Security projections since last year and compares CBO’s projections with those of the Social Security Trustees. The projected 75-year actuarial balance, a commonly used measure of… Continue Reading

Document: Special Counsel Files Flynn Sentencing Memo

Lawfare: “The special counsel’s office has filed its sentencing memo in the case of Michael Flynn. The memo is available here and below. A redacted addendum is available as well.” Via the Washington Post – “The most striking part of Bob Mueller’s sentencing memo recommending Michael Flynn serve no prison time, because of his “substantial”… Continue Reading

Glassdoor’s list of Best Places to Work in 2019

“Employees have spoken! These are the Best Places to Work in 2019 – did your company make the cut?”  The list this year does not place Facebook, Google, Apple in the top 5 slots, although there is a slim margin between all the top rated companies. In the number one place this year – as… Continue Reading

UK Investigation – Facebook allegedly offered advertisers special access to users’ data and activities

Washington Post: [see also Motherboard for coverage w/out payall]”A key British lawmaker alleged Wednesday that Facebook maintained “whitelisting agreements” that gave select companies preferential access to valuable user data several years ago, offering insight into how the company balanced concerns about user privacy with the business imperative of growing revenue. Damian Collins, chairman of a… Continue Reading

Responses Due December 14 – AALL State of the Profession Survey

AALL State of the Profession Survey – Please respond by December 14, 2018  – “The inaugural AALL State of the Profession Survey seeks input from those with expertise in law libraries and equivalent organizations. The goal of the project is to deliver a report to identify, clarify, and support the value of your individual and collective roles.” As… Continue Reading

By the numbers: Political tweets turn blue in 2018

Axios: “New data from Twitter shows the top 10 U.S. politicians who were most tweeted about in the few months after the midterm election were Democrats, replacing a list that was once dominated by GOP lawmakers the majority of 2018. Why it matters: The political clout and conversation is changing with its politicians. Republicans like Speaker… Continue Reading

Measuring the “Filter Bubble”: How Google is influencing what you click

Duck Duck Go: “Over the years, there has been considerable discussion of Google’s “filter bubble” problem. Put simply, it’s the manipulation of your search results based on your personal data. In practice this means links are moved up or down or added to your Google search results, necessitating the filtering of other search results altogether.… Continue Reading

The Oxford Place of the Year 2018 is

Oxford University Press Blog: “Our polls have officially closed, and while it was an exciting race, our Place of the Year for 2018 is Mexico. The country and its people proved their resilience this year by enduring natural disasters, navigating the heightened tensions over immigration and border control, engaging in civic action during an election… Continue Reading

Potential Changes to UC’s Relationship with Elsevier in January 2019

An Open Letter to the Academic Community – from MacKenzie Smith, University Librarian and Vice Provost of Digital Scholarship, November 28, 2018. “The University of California is renegotiating its systemwide licenses with some of the world’s largest scholarly journal publishers, including industry giant Elsevier. These negotiations may create significant changes in our access to new… Continue Reading