Lees and Orts

Forbes, that staunch defender of capitalism, is sorta worried about…um…capitalism:

  • Capitalism has generated massive wealth for some, but it’s devastated the planet and has failed to improve human well-being at scale.
  • Species are going extinct at a rate 1,000 times faster than that of the natural rate over the previous 65 million years (see Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School).
  • Since 2000, 6 million hectares of primary forest have been lost each year. That’s 14,826,322 acres, or just less than the entire state of West Virginia (see the 2010 assessment by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the UN).
  • Even in the U.S., 15% of the population lives below the poverty line. For children under the age of 18, that number increases to 20% (see U.S. Census).
  • The world’s population is expected to reach 10 billion by 2050 (see United Nations’ projections).

How do we expect to feed that many people while we exhaust the resources that remain?

Human activities are behind the extinction crisis. Commercial agriculture, timber extraction, and infrastructure development are causing habitat loss and our reliance on fossil fuels is a major contributor to climate change.

Don’t let the ReThugs hear this, else it’s the reeducation camps for Forbes!
Lees and Orts

A divided federal appeals court is ruling for the First Amendment, saying the public has a right to film the police. But the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals, in upholding the bulk of a lower court’s decision against an activist who was conducting what he called a “First Amendment audit” outside a Texas police station, noted that this right is not absolute and is not applicable everywhere.

The facts of the dispute are simple. Phillip Turner was 25 in September 2015 when he decided to go outside the Fort Worth police department to test officers’ knowledge of the right to film the police. While filming, he was arrested for failing to identify himself to the police. Officers handcuffed and briefly held Turner before releasing him without charges. Turner sued, alleging violations of his Fourth Amendment right against unlawful arrest and detention and his First Amendment right of speech.

The 2-1 decision Thursday by Judge Jacques Wiener is among a slew of rulings on the topic, and it provides fresh legal backing for the so-called YouTube society where people are constantly using their mobile phones to film themselves and the police. The American Civil Liberties Union says, “there is a widespread, continuing pattern of law enforcement officers ordering people to stop taking photographs or video in public places and harassing, detaining and arresting those who fail to comply.”

A dissenting appellate judge on the case—Edith Brown Clement—wrote Turner was not unlawfully arrested and that the majority opinion from the Texas-based appeals court jumped the gun to declare a First Amendment right here because one “is not clearly established.”

Previously, a federal judge had dismissed Turner’s allegations, saying the officers involved held so-called “qualified immunity” because the right to film the police was not “clearly established” at the time of the incident. And on appeal, the appellate court upheld this lower court’s position. However, the majority then went on to declare a prospective First Amendment right to film the police within the circuit’s jurisdiction, which includes Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas…

The Supreme Court still has not ruled on the issue.

Lees and Orts

Lees and Orts

How would repealing the Affordable Care Act affect health care and jobs in your state?

Across the country, 29.8 million people would lose their health insurance if the Affordable Care Act were repealed—more than doubling the number of people without health insurance. And 1.2 million jobs would be lost—not just in health care but across the board.

Link to maps showing jobs and health care losses.

Lees and Orts

the world of yesterday
Perhaps tellingly, World Cat can only find copies of the book in the Shanghai Library and the Hong Kong university system…

Lees and Orts

Food for thought in an era where OMB is expected to ease all sorts of pollution regulations…

Lees and Orts

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