9.10.17: Wake Up Wyoming

https://dtube.video/#!/v/maxmogren/cwuftxv2

JH Local News

JHNG: Firefighters jump on wildfire south of town

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image source: JH News and Guide

“Jackson Hole Fire/EMS, National Park Service and National Forest Service teams responded to the blaze, which was suspected to have started by a spark from an old fire truck sitting on dry grasslands. The fire is burning south of Jackson, to the east of Highway 191.”

JHNG: Stearns to keep animals for now

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image source: video still from concerned neighbor of Forrest Stearns

Stearns was cited for animal cruelty on Aug. 25 by the Teton County Sheriff’s Office. He is accused of tying a horse down to the ground, possibly leading to its death.  It’s Stearns’ first citation for animal abuse, but he has been investigated for a similar case involving a mule before.

Global Ponzi Scheme

CHS: The Real Reason Wages Have Stagnated: Our Economy is Optimized for Financialization

Labor’s share of the national income is in freefall as a direct result of the optimization of financialization.
The Achilles Heel of our socio-economic system is the secular stagnation of earned income, i.e. wages and salaries. Stagnating wages undermine every aspect of our economy: consumption, credit, taxation and perhaps most importantly, the unspoken social contract that the benefits of productivity and increasing wealth will be distributed widely, if not fairly.
This chart shows that labor’s declining share of the national income is not a recent problem, but a 45-year trend: despite occasional counter-trend blips, labor (that is, earnings from labor/ employment) has seen its share of the economy plummet regardless of the political or economic environment.

NBC: Americans Split on Whether 4-Year College Degree Is Worth the Cost

Americans are becoming more skeptical that a four-year college education is worth the cost, a new poll from NBC News and the Wall Street Journal finds.

The national survey of social trends, which was conducted August 5-9, found that 49 percent of Americans agreed with the statement that a four-year degree “is worth the cost because people have a better chance to get a good job and earn more money over their lifetime.” But about the same share, 47 percent, said that a degree is not worth the cost “because people often graduate without specific job skills and with a large amount of debt to pay off.”

When pollsters posed a similar question in a June 2013 CNBC survey, 53 percent of Americans said that a four-year degree is worth the cost, while just 40 percent said that it is not.

PEW RESEARCH: 5 facts about Millennial households
1.  More Millennial households are in poverty than households headed by any other generation.

2.  Millennial households dominate the ranks of the nation’s renters.

3. About half of cohabiting-couple households are headed by a Millennial.

4.  In 2016, Millennials for the first time surpassed all other generations in number of household heads who were single mothers.

5.  Among heads of household, Millennials in 2016 became the generation with the largest number identifying as multiracial.
CNBC: The incredible falling dollar: Greenback hits new 2017 low

The dollar skidded to new lows against a basket of rival currencies on Friday, and some strategists see further downside ahead for the currency that’s already lost nearly 11 percent this year.

The dollar index hit its lowest level since January 2015 in early Thursday trading, at the 91.011 mark; this was a further decline from the 2017 low hit in the previous session. As the likelihood appears to dwindle that the Federal Reserve will hike its federal funds target rate later this year (as inflation remains tepid and political drama swirls in Washington), so too has the relative value of the dollar.
ZEROHEDGE: Expats Don’t Want To Live In The US & UK Anymore

So unsurprisingly, members of the internationalist class of workers who populate urban centers like New York City and London – and who have the most to lose from nationalist economic and immigration policies – now perceive the US and Britain as less friendly to foreigners, not to mention less politically stable, according to a survey of 13,000 expatriates of 166 nationalities that was cited by Bloomberg.

The respondents said that quality of life in both countries is declining by other measures, including the affordability of child care and health care. However, we don’t think one can easily blame that on the election.

The UK ranks 54, down 21 places from last year’s survey, after its June 2016 vote to leave the European Union. Before the referendum, 77 percent of expats had a favorable opinion of the nation’s political stability. That’s down to 47 percent this year.  The survey was conducted in February and March, before the most recent British election. Just half of expats say the UK has a good attitude toward foreign residents, compared to 67 percent worldwide.

In another twist, China ranked as one of the expats’ favorite places, despite the severe pollution and the quality and cost of health care and education. Two-thirds of respondents said they were happy with their careers, though the country ranked 55 out of 65 for overall quality of life. Elsewhere in Asia, Taiwan, which topped last year’s list, slipped to fourth place, while Singapore climbed into the top 10. Hong Kong languished at 39, up from 44 last year.

The survey was conducted by InterNations, a Munich-based network of 2.8 million expats. The survey includes interviews with executives, skilled workers, students and retirees who live outside the country where they grew up. There are about 50 million expats worldwide, according to market research by Finaccord, and the number is expected to hit 60 million over the next five years.

JACOBIN MAG: Infrastructure Spending: Why the United States Is Falling Apart

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Environment and Health

TREEHUGGER: Plastic particles found in most tap water samples across the globe

With an average of 83 percent of samples harboring plastic, the U.S. fared the worst with a whopping contamination rate of 94 percent. And it’s not like the samples were taken from sketchy locations; plastic fibers were found in tap water coming from places like Congress buildings, the US Environmental Protection Agency’s headquarters, and Trump Tower in New York

The scale of global microplastic contamination is only starting to become clear, with studies in Germany finding fibres and fragments in all of the 24 beer brands they tested, as well as in honey and sugar. In Paris in 2015, researchers discovered microplastic falling from the air, which they estimated deposits three to 10 tonnes of fibres on the city each year, and that it was also present in the air in people’s homes.
IB TIMES: Can Marijuana Cure Seizures? Boy Suffering From Epilepsy Treated With Cannabis Oil

An 11-year-old boy suffering from epilepsy, who became the first patient with the condition to be prescribed cannabis oil and began treatment in the United States in 2016, has been seizure-free for 300 days since being under the treatment. Earlier he used to suffer from potentially 30 fatal seizures a month, his mother Charlotte said, the Independent reported Thursday.

UPI: Can’t afford the dentist? You’re not alone

Nobody loves a trip to the dentist, but for many middle-aged Americans even basic dental care is now financially out of reach, a new poll finds.  In fact, 28 percent don’t have dental insurance, while 56 percent don’t get dental care except for serious dental problems, researchers said.  Even more troubling is that 51 percent of people surveyed said they didn’t know how they will get dental insurance after they turn 65, said lead researcher Erica Solway. She’s a senior project manager at the University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation.
ABC: A look at the damage from Hurricane Irma in the Caribbean
ABC: Hurricane Irma threatens ‘to devastate the United States,’ FEMA chief says
BLOOMBERG: Hurricane Irma’s Chemical Fallout Could Be Worse than Harvey’s

Silver Lining from SURFLINE: Jose Pumps Swell to East Coast and Caribbean

Much of the attention, rightly so, over the past week has been on Irma. Meanwhile Jose quietly strengthened into a formidable Category 4 hurricane and is taking a much more favorable track for swell production for the East Coast. In fact, this morning as Jose was passing the NE Puerto Rico buoy (41043) we saw an observation of 44′ seas. Swell from Jose has already produce pumping surf for parts of the Eastern Caribbean the past few days and Puerto Rico today.

Cyberwars and Security

WOLFSTREET: Worst US Consumer Data Hack Ever? Equifax Confesses

Your data was likely stolen. Here’s what you can do to protect yourself even after the hack, and Equifax doesn’t want you to do it.

Equifax, as a consumer credit bureau, collects financial, credit, and other data on every US consumer. It has names, birth dates, social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, bank account numbers, credit card numbers, mortgage data, and payment history data, including to utilities, wireless service providers, and the like. It collects data on bank balances, loan balances, credit card balances, credit card purchases, and myriad personal details. It has massive digital dossiers on every consumer in the US and in some other countries. And it sells this data to other companies, such as banks, credit card companies, car dealerships, retailers, and others, as a routine part of its business model. That’s how it makes money.

But when someone breaks in and steals this data without paying Equifax for it, well, that’s a huge deal. And it is.

Turns out, Equifax got hacked – um, no, not today. Today it disclosed that it had discovered on July 29 – six weeks ago – that it had been hacked sometime between “mid-May through July,” and that key data on 143 million US consumers was stolen. There was no need to notify consumers right away. They’re screwed anyway. But it gave executives enough time to sell 2 million shares between the discovery of the hack and today, when they crashed 13% in late trading.
CNBC: Three Equifax executives sold $2 million worth of shares days after cyberattack

Three Equifax executives sold shares worth nearly $2 million in the company days after a data breach was discovered, according to filings to the SEC.  The company said the trio “had no knowledge that an intrusion had occurred at the time they sold their shares”

CNBC: Equifax tweets out ‘Happy Friday’ one day after the massive data breach is revealed
MARKETWATCH: Facebook accused of fake audience numbers

Facebook Inc. claims its ads have the potential to reach more people than recent U.S. census data shows exist, and that’s troublesome for one analyst, who thinks third-party measurement services stand to benefit.

Recently, Pivotal Research Group analyst Brian Wieser was intrigued by a trade publication study in Australia that said Facebook FB, -1.30%  was claiming to reach 1.7 million more 16- to 39-year olds than actually existed in the country, according to Australian census data.

In reproducing the study for the U.S., Wieser said Facebook’s Ads Manager claims it can potentially reach 41 million 18- to 24-year-olds, 60 million 25- to 34-year-olds, and 61 million 35- to 49-year-olds. The problem arises when Wieser pulls up U.S. Census data from a year ago, showing 31 million 18- to 24-year-olds, 45 million 25- to 34-year-olds, and 61 million 35- to 49-year-olds.
DEFENSE ONE: You Can Protest, But You Can’t Hide From Government Facial Recognition (For Much Longer)

Artificial intelligence is giving rise to unprecedented capabilities for surveillance, from facial recognition at bridge crossings to the ability to identify thousands of people at once. Now, new research suggests that AI could potentially be used to identify people who have taken steps to conceal their identities by wearing hats, sunglasses, or scarves over their faces.

The paper, accepted to appear in a computer vision conference workshop next month and detailed in Jack Clark’s ImportAI newsletter, shows that identifying people covering their faces is possible, but there’s a long way to go before it’s accurate enough to be relied upon. Researchers used a deep-learning algorithm—a flavor of artificial intelligence that detects patterns within massive amounts of data—to find specific points on a person’s face and analyze the distance between those points. When asked to compare a face concealed by a hat or scarf against photos of five people, the algorithm was able to correctly identify the person 56% of the time. If the face was also wearing glasses, that number dropped to 43%.
REUTERS: Two-thirds of American adults get news from social media: survey

(Reuters) – About two-thirds of American adults are getting “at least some of their news on social media” with two-in-ten doing so often, according to a Pew Research Center survey this week.

About 67 percent of American adults somewhat rely on social media platforms such as Facebook Inc, Twitter Inc and Snapchat for news, the survey showed, compared with 62 percent in 2016.

For the first time in the Center’s surveys, the research also found that 55 percent of Americans adults over 50 were consuming news on social media sites, up from 45 percent in 2016.

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