The Trump Administration Began Scaling Back the Census Count. A Judge Stopped it — for Now

Is Trump Planning a Coup d’État? ; Active Shooter Drills May Do More Harm Than Good ; and More Picks

Census 2020, court ruling, winddown halted
The author writes, “A federal judge ruled Saturday that the Trump administration must stop plans to halt in-person census counting early — at least temporarily. The long-term fight over the administration’s efforts to shorten the census data collection period will continue under the decision, which resulted in a temporary restraining order from US District Judge Lucy Koh of the Northern District of California. ... The potential consequences are vast: The census count influences not only the number of representatives each state gets in Congress, but how much federal funding each state receives — and how voting district lines are drawn for the next decade.” Photo credit: Arlington County / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)
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Is Trump Planning a Coup d’État? (Russ)

The author writes, “This summer, shortly after scores of camo-wearing, heavily armed federal agents descended on Portland, Ore., to attack protesters, Charles Fried, Ronald Reagan’s solicitor general, pondered the implications of what he was seeing on the streets. What he saw scared him; he remembered the use of paramilitaries by fascist leaders in 1930s Europe, where he was born, and he feared he was now witnessing a slide into paramilitarism in the United States.” 

Florida Sheriff Hunts Down People Computer Identified as Likely Criminals (Reader Steve)

From the Tampa Bay Times: “First the Sheriff’s Office generates lists of people it considers likely to break the law, based on arrest histories, unspecified intelligence and arbitrary decisions by police analysts. Then it sends deputies to find and interrogate anyone whose name appears, often without probable cause, a search warrant or evidence of a specific crime.”

US Tax Dollars Funded Every New Pharmaceutical in the Last Decade (DonkeyHotey)

From the Institute for New Economic Thinking: “The escalating controversies and divisive commentaries over drug pricing and the prioritization of products that benefit from federal funding also highlight deep divides between the precepts of the public and private sectors concerning the mission of the corporation as well as the role of government in value creation and markets. These conflicts also highlight the lack of coherent policies designed to maximize the public return on taxpayer investments and ensure that the public’s needs are met.”

‘We Are Not Okay.’ Active Shooter Drills May Do More Harm Than Good (Dana)

The author writes, “Since the 1999 Columbine shooting in Colorado that left 12 students and one teacher dead, active shooter drills in the U.S. have become more common. These drills, sometimes unannounced, are designed to teach students and faculty how to act in the event an active shooter is in their school, often involving masked gunmen actors and fake gunfire. In some instances, students learn how to quickly lock doors, turn off lights and take shelter, but new research released Thursday shows that regardless of education level, the mental health of all involved is significantly stained with increased levels of depression, stress and anxiety following drills.”

Reef Sharks Are in Serious Danger of Extinction (Dana)

The author writes, “Researchers conducted a survey of 371 tropical reefs across 58 countries, reports Riley Black for National Geographic. No adult sharks were recorded at 69 reefs, about 20 percent of all locations surveyed, which suggests that reef sharks are ‘functionally extinct’ at those sites, the researchers write. More than half of the stations recorded 50 percent fewer sharks than expected.”

Has Earth’s Oxygen Rusted the Moon for Billions of Years? (Mili)

The author writes, “To the surprise of many planetary scientists, the oxidized iron mineral hematite has been discovered at high latitudes on the Moon. … Iron is highly reactive with oxygen — forming reddish rust commonly seen on Earth. The lunar surface and interior, however, are virtually devoid of oxygen, so pristine metallic iron is prevalent on the Moon and highly oxidized iron has not been confirmed in samples returned from the Apollo missions. In addition, hydrogen in solar wind blasts the lunar surface, which acts in opposition to oxidation. So, the presence of highly oxidized iron-bearing minerals, such as hematite, on the Moon is an unexpected discovery.”

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