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Gender: Female
Home country: USA
Current location: Charlotte, NC
Member since: Fri Sep 14, 2012, 12:15 AM
Number of posts: 13,305

Journal Archives

Biden has big leads among those who didn't vote in 2016



Imagine being 73 years old and never once voting. I don’t understand this.

Republicans closely resemble autocratic parties in Hungary and Turkey - study

Julian Borger in Washington
Mon 26 Oct 2020 01.00 EDT

The Republican party has become dramatically more illiberal in the past two decades and now more closely resembles ruling parties in autocratic societies than its former centre-right equivalents in Europe, according to a new international study.

In a significant shift since 2000, the GOP has taken to demonising and encouraging violence against its opponents, adopting attitudes and tactics comparable to ruling nationalist parties in Hungary, India, Poland and Turkey.
The shift has both led to and been driven by the rise of Donald Trump.

By contrast the Democratic party has changed little in its attachment to democratic norms, and in that regard has remained similar to centre-right and centre-left parties in western Europe. Their principal difference is the approach to the economy.

The new study, the largest ever of its kind, was carried out by the V-Dem Institute at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, using newly developed methods to measure and quantify the health of the world’s democracies at a time when authoritarianism is on the rise. Anna Lührmann, V-Dem’s deputy director, said the Republican transformation had been “certainly the most dramatic shift in an established democracy”.


NC AG Josh Stein said that voting wasn't impacted in Alamance County


... and all is calm now. I reached out to the State Board of Elections and was informed that the events appear not to have impacted voting at the early voting location. The site there was calm, and the voters got in line and voted.

I have also reached out to the Alamance County Sheriff but have not yet connected. I will update when I learn more. 3/3




The Lincoln Project's new ad has the honey badger guy!

Covey Spreader don’t care


The Nine Inch Nails endorsed Joe Biden




Nigel Farage must have gotten a special exemption from US quarantine rules



Anonymous will reveal themselves this afternoon, supposedly



Obama will join Joe for event in Michigan Saturday


Trump to strip protections from 16.7 million acres of Alaska's Tongass National Forest

Juliet Eilperin
Oct. 28, 2020 at 10:48 a.m. EDT

President Trump will open up all 16.7 million acres of Alaska’s Tongass National Forest to logging and other forms of development, according to a notice posted Wednesday, stripping protections that had safeguarded one of the world’s largest intact temperate rainforests for nearly two decades.

As of Thursday, it will be legal for logging companies to build roads and cut and remove timber throughout more than 9.3 million acres of forest — featuring old-growth stands of red and yellow cedar, Sitka spruce and Western hemlock. The relatively-pristine expanse is also home to plentiful salmon runs and imposing fjords. The decision, which will be published in the Federal Register, reverses protections President Bill Clinton put in place in 2001 and is one of the most sweeping public lands rollbacks Trump has enacted.

For years, federal and academic scientists have identified Tongass as an ecological oasis that serves as a massive carbon sink while providing key habitat for wild Pacific salmon and trout, Sitka black-tailed deer and myriad other species. It boasts the highest density of brown bears in North America, and its trees — some of which are between 300 and 1,000 years old — absorb at least 8 percent of all the carbon stored in the entire Lower 48′s forests combined.

While Trump has repeatedly touted his commitment to planting trees through the One Trillion Tree initiative, invoking it as recently as last week, his administration has sought to expand logging in Alaska and in the Pacific Northwest throughout his presidency. Federal judges have blocked several of these plans as illegal: Last week, the administration abandoned its appeal of a ruling that struck down a 1.8 million-acre timber sale on the Tongass’s Prince of Wales Island. Alaska Republicans — including Gov. Mike Dunleavy and Sen. Dan Sullivan, who is locked in a tight reelection race — lobbied the president to exempt the state from the roadless rule on the grounds that it could help the economy in Alaska’s southeast. Fishing and tourism account for 26 percent of regional employment, according to the Southeast Conference, a regional business group, compared with timber’s 1 percent.


Jack Dorsey of Twitter is testifying before the Commerce Committee on 230


He's tweeting his opening statement:


§230 gave internet services two important tools. The first provides immunity from liability for user’s content. The second provides “Good Samaritan” protections for content moderation and removal, even of constitutionally protected speech, as long as it’s done “in good faith.”

That concept of “good faith” is what’s being challenged by many of you today. Some of you don’t trust we’re acting in good faith. That’s the problem I want to focus on solving. How do services like Twitter earn your trust? How do we ensure more choice in the market if we don’t?

There are three solutions we’d like to propose to address the concerns raised, all focused on services that decide to moderate or remove content. They could be expansions to §230, new legislative frameworks, or a commitment to industry wide self-regulation best practices.

The first is requiring a service’s moderation process to be published. How are cases reported and reviewed? How are decisions made? What tools are used to enforce? Publishing answers to questions like these will make our process more robust and accountable to the people we serve.

The second is requiring a straightforward process to appeal decisions made by humans or algorithms. This ensures people can let us know when we don't get it right, so that we can fix any mistakes and make our processes better in the future.

And finally, much of the content people see today is determined by algorithms, with very little visibility into how they choose what they show. We took a first step in making this more transparent by building a button to turn off our home timeline algorithms. It’s a good start.

We’re inspired by the market approach suggested by Dr. Stephen Wolfram before this committee in June 2019. Enabling people to choose algorithms created by third parties to rank and filter their content is an incredibly energizing idea that’s in reach. https://writings.stephenwolfram.com/2019/06/testif

Requiring 1) moderation process and practices to be published, 2) a straightforward process to appeal decisions, and 3) best efforts around algorithmic choice, are suggestions to address the concerns we all have going forward. And they’re all achievable in short order.

It’s critical as we consider these solutions, we optimize for new startups and independent developers. Doing so ensures a level playing field that increases the probability of competing ideas to help solve problems. We mustn’t entrench the largest companies any further.

This is a personal preference but I'm not a fan of the beard. Or David Letterman's , for that matter.

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