Opinion | Can I Ruin Your Dinner Party? (Italy Libya and the EU) – by Thomas Friedman – NYT

But the European pillar of this community of democracies has never been more under assault — so much so that for the first time I wonder if this European pillar will actually crumble.

From Italy you can see all the lines of attack: Donald Trump coming from the West, Vladimir Putin from the East and environmental and political disorder from the south — from Africa and the Middle East, where the reckless 2011 French-British-U.S. decision to topple Libyan strongman Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, and not stay on to help build a new order in his place, now haunts Italy.

Toppling Qaddafi without building a new order may go down as the single dumbest action the NATO alliance ever took.

It took the lid off Africa, leading to some 600,000 asylum seekers and illegal migrants flocking to Italy’s shores in recent years, with 300,000 staying there and the rest filtering into other E.U. countries. This has created wrangles within the bloc over who should absorb how many migrants and has spawned nationalist-populist backlashes in almost every E.U. country.

via Opinion | Can I Ruin Your Dinner Party? – The New York Times

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The Failure of Egypt’s Revolution – Book Review By Steve Negus – NYT

By Steve Negus
Aug. 7, 2018

INTO THE HANDS OF THE SOLDIERS
Freedom and Chaos in Egypt and the Middle East
By David D. Kirkpatrick
370 pp. Viking. $28.

People versus power: This is how most of us remember Egypt’s 2011-13 upheavals. Crowds fight the police under clouds of tear gas on a Nile bridge, bringing down the dictator Hosni Mubarak. Later, they rise to challenge his replacement, the Islamist leader Mohamed Morsi, but are ultimately betrayed and crushed by a revived military regime. Such dramatic street clashes feature heavily in works like the documentary “The Square,” telling a story in which the protagonist is the Egyptian street — or more specifically, the left-leaning activist networks with the most talent in organizing demonstrations. Their courage may have failed to create a democracy, the story goes, but it was only because the forces of reaction were too cunning and too ruthless.

David D. Kirkpatrick’s engrossing account of his time as the New York Times Cairo bureau chief covering the Egyptian revolution, “Into the Hands of the Soldiers,” is a less uplifting but more instructive tale. He brings two new contributions to his retelling. One is The Times’s extraordinary access to decision makers. Kirkpatrick gives an unmatched blow-by-blow of the Obama administration’s Egypt diplomacy, with the Americans’ mixed signals undercutting its impact. Of greater general interest in understanding the final outcome are Kirkpatrick’s extensive interviews with Egyptian officials and with Morsi’s aides. Kirkpatrick’s other key contribution is his willingness to plunge into the messy, sprawling street violence, and show how each side could perceive itself a victim and step up its own provocative tactics in response.

via The Failure of Egypt’s Revolution – The New York Times

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2018 Karma Revero is an ‘ultra-luxury’ CA hybrid $130000 taken over by Wanxiang Group- Los Angeles Times

The sleek, low slung Revero features design language from the pen of Henrik Fisker, whose company of that name built the original Karma.

Rising from the ashes of designer Henrik Fisker’s failed car company, the first units of the 2018 Karma Revero hybrid electric luxury super cars rolled off the Moreno Valley factory floor and onto Southern California roadways this week.

Ten went to dealer showrooms around the U.S. and Canada, where company officers hope they will inspire buyers.

Another 10 went to Laguna Beach, where on Monday they made their test-drive debuts before an avidly curious motoring press.

The Karma Revero is the new company’s first vehicle. Built largely from the platform Fisker envisioned before his company crashed and burned after producing a 2012 model year Fisker Karma, the new car is sleek, speedy and almost silent.

Sitting low, its wheels crouched beneath sinuous, strong shoulder and hip lines, the Revero’s silhouette may call to mind an Aston Martin Rapide, Jaguar F-Type, or Ferrari California T.

via 2018 Karma Revero is an ‘ultra-luxury’ hybrid

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Opinion | The Expensive Education of Mark Zuckerberg and Silicon Valley – by Kara Swisher – NYT

Let me first state that I actually like Mark Zuckerberg and have since the day I met him more than a dozen years ago.

But let me also say that he and Facebook, the huge social network that he started in college, have been working humanity’s last nerve for far too long now.

Every week, it’s something, and that something is never good.

This week, it was the revelation that the Russians — or, more precisely, a group of geek thugs who are acting the exact same way that a group of Russians acted when they messed with the 2016 United States elections on Facebook — are still skulking around the platform and making trouble for the midterms.

This comes as no surprise to anyone at this point, except for maybe President Trump. I suppose we should be grateful that this time it was Facebook’s management that revealed the news, in a departure from the company’s previous stance of stubbornly resisting pressure from the government and the media to be more transparent. (Over the past months, it has copped to trouble in Brazil, Mexico and Russia, which is a good sign, although a report on Sunday from Britain’s Parliament rebuked the company for being “unwilling or unable to give full answers to the committee’s questions.”)

via Opinion | The Expensive Education of Mark Zuckerberg and Silicon Valley – The New York Times

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Apple Is Worth $1 Trillion; 21 Years Ago It Was on the Brink of Bankruptcy – By Jack Nicas – NYT

By Jack Nicas
Aug. 2, 2018

39 comments
SAN FRANCISCO — In 1997, Apple was on the ropes. The Silicon Valley pioneer was being decimated by Microsoft and its many partners in the personal-computer market. It had just cut a third of its work force, and it was about 90 days from going broke, Apple’s late co-founder, Steve Jobs, later said.

On Thursday, Apple became worth more than $1 trillion when its shares briefly climbed to $207.05, two days after the company announced the latest in a series of remarkably profitable quarters.

Apple’s ascent from the brink of bankruptcy to the world’s most valuable company has been a business tour de force, marked by rapid innovation, a series of smash-hit products and the creation of a sophisticated, globe-spanning supply chain that keeps costs down while producing enormous volumes of cutting-edge devices.

That ascent has also been marked by controversy and tragedy. Apple’s aggressive use of outside manufacturers in China, for example, has led to criticism that it is taking advantage of poorly paid workers in other countries and robbing Americans of good manufacturing jobs.

via Apple Is Worth $1 Trillion; 21 Years Ago It Was on the Brink of Bankruptcy – The New York Times

David Lindsay:  An amazing story. However, there is an underside, revealed by the following comment I recommended:

Rod F
San Francisco, CA

The day I celebrate this milestone is the day Apple pays its taxes. They pretend to be a force for good for their community and yet twist themselves into pretzels finding ways to avoid paying taxes in the US. The best, most equitable way they could contribute to their community would be to pay their fair share towards the costs of the country that has enabled them to become the huge success they are. Spare us the argument that they’re doing what’s best for their shareholders by limiting their tax liability. Exploiting loopholes in the name of the fiduciary duty owed to shareholders is unethical and should be illegal. The average taxpayer has no such “legal” argument and neither should corporations.

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California’s Birds Are Testing New Survival Tactics on a Vast Scale – By Wallace Ravven – NYT

By Wallace Ravven
July 30, 2018

More than a century ago, zoologist Joseph Grinnell launched a pioneering survey of animal life in California, a decades-long quest — at first by Model T or, failing that, mule — to all corners and habitats of the state, from Death Valley to the High Sierra.

Ultimately Grinnell, founding director of the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at the University of California, Berkeley, and his colleagues produced one of the richest ecological records in the world: 74,000 pages of meticulously detailed field notes, recording the numbers, habits and habitats of all vertebrate species that the team encountered.

In 2003, museum scientists decided to retrace Grinnell’s steps throughout the state to learn what changes a century had wrought. And that’s why Morgan Tingley, then an ecology graduate student at the university, found himself trekking through the Sierra for four summers.

Dr. Tingley wanted to know how birds had fared since Grinnell last took a census. Years later, the answer turned out to be a bit of a shock.

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Of 32,000 birds recorded in California mountain ranges in the old and new surveys — from thumb-sized Calliope hummingbirds to the spectacular pileated woodpecker — Dr. Tingley and his colleagues discovered that most species now nest about a week earlier than they did 70 to 100 years ago.

via California’s Birds Are Testing New Survival Tactics on a Vast Scale – The New York Times

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Losing Earth: The Decade We Almost Stopped Climate Change – By Nathaniel Rich Photographs and Videos by George Steinmetz – NYT

Amazing, heartbreaking. Caution: intelligent people should be warned that this story might cause depression and despair. The antidote, go see Al Gore’s second film, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power. It is full of good news.

By Nathaniel Rich
Photographs and Videos by George Steinmetz

 

About this article

 

NYTIMES.COM
We knew everything we needed to know, and nothing stood in our way. Nothing, that is, except ourselves. A tragedy in two acts.
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David Lindsay:
Everyone please read the article above, Losing Earth. Here is my comment at the NYT.

David Lindsay Jr.

Hamden, CT 

Thank you Nathanial Rich and the NYT. There are real villains in this story. I was unaware that George H W Bush beat Michael Dukakis partly because Dukakis was pro Coal and a climate change denier, and George HW Bush was looking for a way to beat Dukakis in New Hamshire, where the former Governor, John Sununu recommended climate change was popular in his state. These two men are the villains. Sununu almost single handedly, according to this short history, derailed the climate change summit in 1988, that was headed to world action on carbon dioxide pollution. Sununu deserves our disgust and contempt, but he wasn’t the only villain. George HW Bush was an oil and gas man from Texas, and he put as his Secretary of Defense, Dick Cheney, another oil and gas executive. Both Bush presidents were intellectual light weights. According to this short history, HW Bush didn’t like or let scientist brief him. He preferred getting briefed by his political buddies. Billions of people will probably suffer, and many of them die, in the ugly centuries ahead, even if we get serious about climate change after the next election or to. There will be plenty of blood, on many hands, but there will be a specially hot place in the 9th ring of hell, for John Sununu, Dick Cheney, and the anti-science Bush presidents. Don’t quit, don’t despair. Get environmental patriots to the polls, and to run for office.

David Lindsay Jr. blogs at TheTaySonRebellion.com and InconvenientNewsWorldwide.wordpress.com

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Why Freezing Temps Are Due to Warming – John Englander – Sea Level Rise Expert

From my website designer and consultant Linda Sorrells-Smith

 

JOHNENGLANDER.NET
Freezing temperatures have hit the Eastern U.S. big time, with temperatures more than twenty degrees Fahrenheit below normal. (Even President Trump joked that “global warming” might be a good thing — rather interesting since he has labeled it a hoax.) What’s going on? Does the freezing contr…
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Facebook Has Identified Ongoing Political Influence Campaign – By Nicholas Fandos and Kevin Roose – NYT

By Nicholas Fandos and Kevin Roose
July 31, 2018

198
WASHINGTON — Facebook announced on Tuesday that it has identified a coordinated political influence campaign, with dozens of inauthentic accounts and pages that are believed to be engaging in political activity around divisive social issues ahead of November’s midterm elections.

In a series of briefings on Capitol Hill this week and a public post on Tuesday, the company told lawmakers that it had detected and removed 32 pages and accounts connected to the influence campaign on Facebook and Instagram as part of its investigations into election interference. It publicly said it had been unable to tie the accounts to Russia, whose Internet Research Agency was at the center of an indictment earlier this year for interfering in the 2016 election, but company officials told Capitol Hill that Russia was possibly involved, according to two officials briefed on the matter.

Facebook said that the accounts — eight Facebook pages, 17 Facebook profiles, and seven Instagram accounts — were created between March 2017 and May 2018 and first discovered two weeks ago. Those numbers may sound small, but their influence is spreading: More than 290,000 accounts followed at least one of the suspect pages, the company said.

Between April 2017 and June 2018, the accounts ran 150 ads costing $11,000 on the two platforms. They were paid for in American and Canadian dollars. And the pages created roughly 30 events over a similar time period, the largest of which attracted interest from 4,700 accounts.

via Facebook Has Identified Ongoing Political Influence Campaign – The New York Times

David Lindsay:

The European Union passed a law that companies like Facebook, have just 24 hours to identify fake news and remove it in the European Union, or face a 50 Million Euro fine per incident. Facebook set up an HQ in Germany with 2000 analysts to remove all fake posts within 24 hours.

If only the GOP were patriots, they would pass similar legislation. But they are in bed with the Russians, it appears.

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How to Beat F.O.B.O.- From the Expert Who Coined It – by Tim Herrera – NYT

Earlier this summer we talked about F.O.B.O. — the Fear of Better Options — and how it can sometimes lead us to paralysis when we’re trying to make a decision.

To refresh, F.O.B.O. gives a name to that spiral we fall into when we obsessively research every possible option when faced with a decision, fearing we’ll miss out on the “best” one. It can lead to indecision (duh), regret and even lower levels of happiness. One of the solutions I threw out was finding the Mostly Fine Decision — the outcome you’d be fine with, even if it’s not the absolute best possible outcome.

Hundreds of readers emailed and tweeted saying they recognized their own behavior, but one reader email in particular caught my attention: a note from Patrick McGinnis.

via How to Beat F.O.B.O., From the Expert Who Coined It – The New York Times

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