Trump’s praise of Robert E. Lee gets pushback from Minnesotans proud of state’s role at Gettysburg – StarTribune.com

Source: Trump’s praise of Robert E. Lee gets pushback from Minnesotans proud of state’s role at Gettysburg – StarTribune.com

Standing in the heart of a state that has long felt pride in its role in helping save the Union at the pivotal Civil War battle of Gettysburg, President Donald Trump extolled at length Friday the battle prowess of a seemingly odd hero — Gen. Robert E. Lee.

Some Minnesota veterans and Civil War historians were surprised to hear the commander-in-chief lavish praise on a man who led the Confederacy’s fight against Americans defending the Union.

“Had he won, we would be two countries,” state Sen. Jerry Newton, a veteran who served in the Vietnam War and the Middle East, said Saturday. “That’s just unconscionable for me, for him to make those statements.”

Newton, a Coon Rapids DFLer, said the president praising Lee “hurt for those of us who have served and who have lost friends in the service.”

Trump mocks MSNBC anchor Ali Velshi getting shot with rubber bullet – CNN

Source: Trump mocks MSNBC anchor Ali Velshi getting shot with rubber bullet – CNN

Velshi responded to Trump in a tweet, noting he was actually hit by a rubber bullet, not a tear gas canister, and asking, “What law did I break while covering an entirely peaceful (yes, entirely peaceful) march?”
In a statement, an MSNBC spokesperson said, “Freedom of the press is a pillar of our democracy. When the President mocks a journalist for the injury he sustained while putting himself in harm’s way to inform the public, he endangers thousands of other journalists and undermines our freedoms.”

‘The Time Has Come.’ Barbados Casts Off the Queen as Head of State, and Others May Follow — Repeating Islands

The Black Lives Matter movement has revived a simmering debate about the legacy of colonialism, potentially inspiring change in other Caribbean countries. A report by Mark Landler and Azam Ahmed for The New York Times. The last time a string of distant dominions cast off Queen Elizabeth was in the 1970s when the Black power […]

‘The Time Has Come.’ Barbados Casts Off the Queen as Head of State, and Others May Follow — Repeating Islands

How years of underfunding public health left Texas ill prepared for the pandemic – Note

By Edgar Walters, The Texas Tribune Sept. 17, 2020 Photo by RF._.studio from Pexels “How years of underfunding public health left Texas ill prepared for the pandemic” was first published by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues. In the…
— Read on note50.wordpress.com/2020/09/17/how-years-of-underfunding-public-health-left-texas-ill-prepared-for-the-pandemic/

Baton Rouge mom dies from coronavirus, and her premature baby girl is fighting for her life | Coronavirus | theadvocate.com (RIP)

Source: Baton Rouge mom dies from coronavirus, and her premature baby girl is fighting for her life | Coronavirus | theadvocate.com

Allie Guidry, 29, had tested positive for coronavirus and was admitted to Woman’s Hospital in Baton Rouge last month, relatives said. She was about 20 weeks pregnant at the time.

Guidry died Thursday morning after her doctors delivered the baby while performing CPR, according to her family. Madaline Guidry Conish weighed just 2 pounds at birth and remains in the neonatal intensive care unit. She was born almost four months early.

Scientists’ Social Engagement Is Needed to Stem the COVID-19 Pandemic

Note

To tackle the pandemic and other global threats like climate change, scientists, citizens and policymakers need to work together.

By Deborah BrosnanAndreas Rechkemmer & James Bohland Fair Observer

Sep 18, 2020

Photo by Edward Jenner from Pexels

The global COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the unpreparedness and inability of many countries to effectively manage complex risks and ensure community resilience. An important dimension of this dangerous flaw is the sharp divide between those who rely on science to shape policies and actions, and those who undermine or dispel science when inconvenient to their viewpoints and agendas.

The divide has manifested itself in myriad ways, through anti-mask protests, arguments that the coronavirus — which causes the COVID-19 disease — is either a hoax or created by Bill Gates or the Chinese military, or proclamations about untested or potentially deadly “treatment regimes.” The divide is fueled by the rhetoric of…

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Lack of Antigen Test Reporting Leaves Country ‘Blind to the Pandemic’ – Note (Covid-19)

Source: Lack of Antigen Test Reporting Leaves Country ‘Blind to the Pandemic’ – Note

“The absence of information is a very dangerous thing,” said Janet Hamilton, executive director of the Council for State and Territorial Epidemiologists, which represents public health officials. “We will be blind to the pandemic. It will be happening around us and we will have no data.”

The states that don’t report antigen test results or don’t count antigen positives as COVID cases are California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming, as well as the District of Columbia.

The Baloney Detection Kit – Carl Sagan

Source: The Baloney Detection Kit

Sagan shares nine of these tools:

  1. Wherever possible there must be independent confirmation of the “facts.”
  2. Encourage substantive debate on the evidence by knowledgeable proponents of all points of view.
  3. Arguments from authority carry little weight — “authorities” have made mistakes in the past. They will do so again in the future. Perhaps a better way to say it is that in science there are no authorities; at most, there are experts.
  4. Spin more than one hypothesis. If there’s something to be explained, think of all the different ways in which it could be explained. Then think of tests by which you might systematically disprove each of the alternatives. What survives, the hypothesis that resists disproof in this Darwinian selection among “multiple working hypotheses,” has a much better chance of being the right answer than if you had simply run with the first idea that caught your fancy.
  5. Try not to get overly attached to a hypothesis just because it’s yours. It’s only a way station in the pursuit of knowledge. Ask yourself why you like the idea. Compare it fairly with the alternatives. See if you can find reasons for rejecting it. If you don’t, others will.
  6. Quantify. If whatever it is you’re explaining has some measure, some numerical quantity attached to it, you’ll be much better able to discriminate among competing hypotheses. What is vague and qualitative is open to many explanations. Of course there are truths to be sought in the many qualitative issues we are obliged to confront, but finding them is more challenging.
  7. If there’s a chain of argument, every link in the chain must work (including the premise) — not just most of them.
  8. Occam’s Razor. This convenient rule-of-thumb urges us when faced with two hypotheses that explain the data equally well to choose the simpler.
  9. Always ask whether the hypothesis can be, at least in principle, falsified. Propositions that are untestable, unfalsifiable are not worth much. Consider the grand idea that our Universe and everything in it is just an elementary particle — an electron, say — in a much bigger Cosmos. But if we can never acquire information from outside our Universe, is not the idea incapable of disproof? You must be able to check assertions out. Inveterate skeptics must be given the chance to follow your reasoning, to duplicate your experiments and see if they get the same result.