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Trump’s False Election Fraud Claims Split Republicans

first_imgWithout naming Mr. Trump, Representative Adam Kinzinger of Illinois tweeted that “if you have legit concerns about fraud present EVIDENCE and take it to court. STOP Spreading debunked misinformation.”“This is getting insane,” he added. WASHINGTON — Republican reaction to President Trump’s baseless claims of election fraud ranged widely Friday, from vigorous agreement to sharp condemnations, and in between some carefully constructed statements supporting the idea of fair elections without any endorsement of the president’s fabricated assertions of an election conspiracy.“Here’s how this must work in our great country: Every legal vote should be counted,” Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, wrote on Twitter Friday morning. “Any illegally-submitted ballots must not. All sides must get to observe the process. And the courts are here to apply the laws & resolve disputes.”- Advertisement – – Advertisement – “Republicans are facing a character test,” Mr. Bolton wrote on Twitter. “All candidates are entitled to pursue appropriate election-law remedies if they have evidence supporting their claims. They should certainly not lie. The first Republican president was called ‘Honest Abe’ for a reason.”The statements on Friday followed a wave of Republican reaction on Thursday night, including some defenses of Mr. Trump.“I don’t trust Philadelphia,” the newly re-elected Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said, also on Fox News, referring to the city where voters overwhelmingly chose Mr. Biden, helping eliminate Mr. Trump’s early lead. “I’m here tonight to stand with President Trump,” he said, echoing Mr. Trump’s claim that “mainstream” pollsters had inflated Democratic numbers to “suppress Republican votes.”But many more senior Republicans were at least indirectly critical of Mr. Trump, even after Mr. Trump’s son and former campaign manager publicly complained that more Republicans were not stepping forward to defend the embattled president.“Counting every vote is at the heart of democracy,” Mr. Romney wrote the night before his more forceful statement on Friday.“There is no defense for the President’s comments tonight undermining our Democratic process,” tweeted Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland, a Republican and frequent Trump critic. “No election or person is more important than our Democracy.”Several Republicans noted the absence of any specific evidence of substantive wrongdoing.“If a candidate believes a state is violating election laws they have a right to challenge it in court & produce evidence in support of their claims,” tweeted Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, who reposted a message from Wednesday in which he said, “Taking days to count legally cast votes is NOT fraud. And court challenges to votes cast after the legal voting deadline is NOT suppression.” “That’s how Americans’ votes decide the result,” he added.Notably absent from Mr. McConnell’s statement was any suggestion that Democrats were stealing the election through an elaborate national conspiracy that included pollsters and the news media, as Mr. Trump asserted with no evidence in a rambling news conference on Thursday. It also implicitly rejected Mr. Trump’s fruitless calls for a halt to vote counting in states where his early leads have been threatened or eliminated.In a stinging statement, Senator Mitt Romney of Utah said that Mr. Trump, while free to request recounts and present valid evidence of fraud, “is wrong to say that the election was rigged, corrupt and stolen — doing so weakens the cause of freedom here and around the world, weakens the institutions that lie at the foundations of the republic, and recklessly inflames destructive and dangerous passions.” Updated Nov. 6, 2020, 2:36 p.m. ET As Mr. Trump and his die-hard allies maintained that the vote in Pennsylvania — where his early lead over former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., evaporated on Friday — was badly corrupted, that state’s Republican senator, Patrick J. Toomey, condemned Mr. Trump’s claims.“The president’s speech last night was very disturbing to me because he made very, very serious allegations without any evidence to support it,” Mr. Toomey told “CBS This Morning.”“I am not aware of any significant fraud, any significant wrongdoing,” he added.- Advertisement – Some Republicans seem prepared to defend Mr. Trump’s position without reservation, however.“President Trump won this election,” Mr. McCarthy told the Fox News host Laura Ingraham on Thursday night. “So everyone who’s listening: Do not be quiet. Do not be silent about this. We cannot allow this to happen before our very eyes.”Claiming that poll watchers have not been able to watch vote counts, Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas tweeted a link to Mr. Trump’s legal defense fund, with the headline, in all capital letters, “The Democrats Will Try to Steal This Election.” Her words were a contrast to those of her brothers, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, who have both made sweeping accusations of widespread fraud. Earlier in the morning, Donald Trump Jr. tweeted the groundless claim that there is “infinitely more evidence of voter fraud than there ever was of ‘Russia Collusion’ but strangely no one in the media wants to look into it.”Ms. Trump’s position also echoed one on Thursday evening from Vice President Mike Pence, shortly after the president spoke, which also did not include talk of conspiracy or fraud.“I Stand With President @realDonaldTrump. We must count every LEGAL vote,” Mr. Pence tweeted.Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser John R. Bolton, who since his acrimonious departure from the White House last summer has become a Trump critic, indirectly condemned his former boss without mentioning his name. Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida even told Fox News that if Mr. Trump were denied what he called a “fair” count, then state legislatures could consider “remedies,” suggesting that they might direct their electors to vote against their state’s election winner.But other Republican governors were much less supportive. Utah’s lieutenant governor, and now governor-elect, Spencer Cox, said “there is nothing nefarious about it taking a few days to count all legitimate votes.” Gov. Phil Scott of Vermont, who voted for Mr. Biden, called Mr. Trump’s Thursday comments “absolutely shameful.”Even Mr. Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump, in a superficially supportive tweet on Friday morning, made no claims of fraud or election theft.“Every legally cast vote should be counted. Every illegally cast vote should not. This should not be controversial,” Ms. Trump wrote. “This is not a partisan statement — free and fair elections are the foundation of our democracy.” – Advertisement –last_img read more

Inside Conditions…Growing Pains?

first_imgPitt freshman wide receiver Tyler Boyd (23) celebrates with fello0w freshman tight end Scott Orndoff (83) and other teammates after making a touchdown catch in the second quarter of the NCAA football game against New Mexico on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)by Aubrey BruceFor New Pittsburgh Courier2013 was predicted to be a growth year for the Pitt Panthers football squad because of the slew of 1st and 2nd year players scheduled for major playing time. Well sometimes kids grow up sooner than planned. Aubrey BruceAs far as I am concerned, the upcoming competition of Pitt might become the victims of the “tough love” of the fresh faced, youth-based Pitt Panthers football squad. Pitt smashed New Mexico 49-27 Saturday at Heinz Field and the boys from the “frosh” brigade did not give their rear ends a chance to develop “booty sores” as a result of “benchitis.” Head coach Paul Chryst pointed after the game that; “It’s hard to say you’re surprised when you’re around these guys as much as we are. You definitely appreciate it and you’re happy for them to have some success.”Freshman receiver Tyler Boyd did not “wait till next year.It appears that Boyd is poised to make an impact sooner than later.  Remember, just last year he was on the sidelines of Clairton High torturing high school cornerbacks who had the dubious distinction of being assigned to cover him. Boyd said after the game that; “It’s real fun because once our offense is rolling, I can do multiple things. I can get deep passes [and] bubble screens. It just opens up way more.” Pitt senior quarterback Tom Savage seemed just as hyped with the possibility of being the “field general” charged with guiding this overabundance of young talent. Even though he was intercepted early in the game Savage was still brimming with confidence. “I’m going to take shots downfield and I’m going to try and put balls in there. Obviously, I’ve got to learn from that mistake and never do it again.” I hope that again Savage was not saying that he would never be intercepted again because in the real world that is almost like saying; “I will never sin again and I will be perfect” anyway Savage did a great job against New Mexico. Now the Panthers are scheduled to face Duke. Don’t you feel goose bumps. Pitt’s starting offense consists of two freshmen. Their second team is made up of six freshmen. The second team QB, tailback, tight ends, right tackle and center. The first team defense is a bit longer in the tooth starting only one first team freshman and he is Bam Bradley at linebacker. However, the second team boasts six freshmen and three sophomores. It is my opinion that coach Paul Chryst is navigating the University of Pittsburgh football program back to the road of success even in the football rich ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference). The Panthers might be fresh faced but I predict that they will be inflicting some old damage on their conference as well as non-conference opponents before the 2013 season ends.Eye of the Tiger“It’s the eye of the tiger, it’s the thrill of the fight. Rising up to the challenge of our rival. And the last known survivor stalks his prey in the night. And he’s watching us all with the eye of the tiger. Face to face, out in the heat. Hangin’ tough, stayin’ hungry. They stack the odds, still we take to the street. For the kill with the skill to survive.” From the song ‘Eye of the Tiger’ I have my Cincinnati/Steelers credential sitting right in front of me. I couldn’t make the trip for reasons I choose not to disclose at this time but that is another story. I feel a bit like a hybrid of James Earl Jones, Leonard Nimoy and Barry White. Two narrators that would have you thinking intergalactic travel and the third creating and narrating for you a fast track to the boudoir.Will the 2013 chronicles of the Pittsburgh Steelers be more about their victories on the field as opposed to exploits after dark and at home? Are the men of steel just star stuck or will they have an unexpected winning and successful season? As I gazed upon my 2013 press box credentials for the hard fought Steelers/Bengals game at Cincy, I felt a twinge of guilt for not being there, through no fault of my own. The Pittsburgh Steelers have a $100 million quarterback, not a $50 million or $25 million field general, but a $100 million…signal caller. Ben Roethlisberger has played three straight games including the second to last game of 2012 played at Heinz Field a game that the Bengals defeated the Steelers by three points. Last weekend was the 2013 season opener a game in which the Black and Gold was defeated by the Tennessee Titans and the course, the primetime showdown this past Monday night in Cincinnati a game in which a tight end made a careless bonehead play and a contest in which “Big” Ben threw another “spirit” killing interception attempting to make a splash play downfield; as opposed to taking what the defense gives you. For almost the entire game, Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton was frustrated because Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor covered Bengals star receiver A.J. Green like a glove and held Green to a paltry 4 catches for a measly 41 yards and those catches came after the Cincy offensive coordinator made adjustments and began to toss the rock to Mr. Green underneath. See, the Bengals realized that they were not going to get a splash play in Ike Taylor’s pool because they had no life jackets and because someone might drown; so they began to stay in the shallow end. To their credit when they implemented that strategy; Green became effective especially down the stretch because before that series of plays he was a non factor, no matter how much you scramble around and avoid getting sacked when coverage is tight throw the ball away and live for another day. Are the Pittsburgh Steelers are experiencing growing pains, or just plain pain? Time to head to the kitchen and pour myself a stiff martini. (Aubrey Bruce can be reached at [email protected] or 412-583-6741)last_img read more

Sharks top Ducks, as Brent Burns celebrates milestone night with game-winning goal

first_img(Click here, if you are unable to view this photo gallery on your mobile device.)SAN JOSE — Sharks defenseman Brent Burns may have entered Thursday’s game against the Anaheim Ducks with just four goals on the year. But he’s made one thing abundantly clear over the course of his 1,000 career regular season games: he isn’t afraid to shoot.Burns celebrated his milestone evening with a game-winning goal, as he beat Ducks goalie Chad Johnson with 9:39 left in the third period to break a tie and …last_img read more

Conservatives Benefit Society

first_img(Visited 53 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 If many social ills derive from lack of self-control and poor judgment, governments should foster conservatism.Choose to Control YourselfA paper in PNAS found that conservatives have more self-control than liberals:Evidence from three studies reveals a critical difference in self-control as a function of political ideology. Specifically, greater endorsement of political conservatism (versus liberalism) was associated with greater attention regulation and task persistence. Moreover, this relationship is shown to stem from varying beliefs in freewill; specifically, the association between political ideology and self-control is mediated by differences in the extent to which belief in freewill is endorsed, is independent of task performance or motivation, and is reversed when freewill is perceived to impede (rather than enhance) self-control. Collectively, these findings offer insight into the self-control consequences of political ideology by detailing conditions under which conservatives and liberals are better suited to engage in self-control and outlining the role of freewill beliefs in determining these conditions.This led to a variety of responses from other science media. Dawn Fuller on PhysOrg summarized the three studies, explaining that one’s beliefs about free will are crucial to the exercise of self-control, and conservatives tend to believe in free will with its associated value of personal responsibility.The association of conservatism with personal responsibility was also clearly made on Science Daily.“Effective self-control comes down to the extent to which you believe that you can control your behavior,” Clarkson said. “At the end of the day, the default seems to be that conservatives more strongly believe that they can control their behavior … than liberals.” And conservatives do control their behavior better than liberals, according to the study.This value spills over into beliefs about others’ responsibility:Differing perspectives on free will could explain several political differences among conservatives and liberals, the researchers surmised: One who believed less strongly in free will might arguably be more likely to attribute poverty, addiction and other hardships to sociological, economic and other factors beyond individual control. Such individuals might thus conclude, as many liberals do, that people struggling deserve government help. On the other hand, a believer in free will might be more likely to think people cause their own problems and should also solve them, rather than relying on government support, a typical conservative position.Clarkson believes, therefore, that programs to encourage more self-control need to start with ideology about free will.Who’s Anti-Science?The old canard that Republicans are anti-science is not supported by data, new studies admit. A Pew Research survey reported on PhysOrg by Seth Borenstein says, “There is not a one-size-fits-all explanation for the public’s attitudes on science.” Gaps between the consensus and the person depend on age or what the issue is more than political party. Results vary whether the issue is fracking, global warming, GMO foods, space exploration, vaccination, and other hot topics.  Another PhysOrg article reported that views on environmental issues show a stronger link to political ideology, but race, age, religion and education are non-trivial factors. Perhaps this is because environmental issues so strongly overlap with government regulation—a dislike among many conservatives.Jeffrey Mervis at Science Magazine implies that the findings were unexpected among scientists. “Contrary to perceptions, politics doesn’t always drive public views on science issues,” his headline reads.  Later, he has to correct scientists’ gut feelings:The poll also casts doubt on many scientists’ belief that people would be more supportive of scientists’ views on controversial issues if they just knew more about the topic. In only three of the 22 topics was a person’s level of education or general scientific knowledge (as judged by answers to six questions) a significant factor in their views. One was animal research, where only 31% of persons with a postgraduate degree oppose the practice, compared with 56% of those with a high school education. (The other two issues where education appears to shape a person’s stance were nuclear power and GM foods—in both cases, more knowledge leads to greater acceptance.)But if so many well-educated, intelligent people take issue with “scientists’ views” (if there is such a broad category), would this not cast doubt on the credibility of scientists? It might lead outsiders to think that “scientists” comprise a special interest group that get locked into a herd mentality. Mervis didn’t consider that possibility.Mervis and his “scientists” should go out and mix with real people more often. But that would require personal responsibility, which presupposes free will. Evolutionary scientists deny the existence of free will. That’s why they are liberals. That’s why they lack self-control, following the “consensus” like lemmings.Want a healthy society? Promote conservatism. Self-control has many societal benefits: care for the environment, excellence at work, better parenting, cleanliness, voting, taking care of one’s health, and much more. The more conservatives in society, the less government hand-outs would be needed. Government dependence would shrink, taxes would go down, and free market economics from all those responsible entrepreneurs would create a boom in prosperity that could be exported abroad. A lessening of entitlement spending (the largest share of the federal budget) would leave more money for scientific research. If scientists were really scientific—if they followed the evidence—they would take our advice and stop the nonsense about the “Republican war on science.” Science needs more responsible citizens and fewer pot-smoking, mantra-chanting, food-stamp-recipient, occupy-wall-street dopeheads who defecate in the street and expect someone else to clean it up.last_img read more

Little excitement in today’s USDA numbers

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Conclusion, boring report. Santa, back to work.Today’s report was vanilla and boring. No big changes that sparked huge price movement in either direction. Shortly before the report corn was up 3 cents, soybeans up 1 cent, with wheat up 8 cents. At 12:15 corn was unchanged, soybeans were down 3 cents, and wheat was up 6 cents.If you were looking for drastic changes today, you were certainly disappointed.The question is: Will this USDA report day be bearish, with Santa bringing lumps of coal for grain producers? Or will it be bullish, with Santa bringing lots of presents of higher prices?  There certainly are lots of news tidbits that have been floating around for weeks. They would include Argentina and its election, China, weather in South America, U.S. production reports, and U.S. grain exports to include just a few.Corn ending stocks were 1.785 billion bushels, up 25 million bushels from November. Soybean ending stocks were 465 million bushels, unchanged from the last report. Wheat ending stocks were unchanged at 911 million bushels. World ending stocks of corn were down and world ending stocks of soybeans were down, both in very small amounts. World ending stocks of wheat were higher. No huge surprise there.The biggest changes took place with the corn table today. Ending stocks up 25 million bushels, corn exports reduced by 50 million bushels, corn used for ethanol increased 25 million bushels.This was predicted to be a pretty boring USDA report day. There were not any production numbers or yields for U.S. corn and soybeans to be released today. With grain exports trending below those of a year ago, ideas of slightly higher corn and wheat ending stocks are present. Corn exports were expected to decline 50 to 100 million bushels while corn used for ethanol was thought to increase that same amount. The final U.S. 2015 corn and soybean production and yields will be released with the Jan. 12 report. On that same day, U.S. grain stocks as of Dec. 1, 2015 will be released. The election of Mauricio Marci as the next president in Argentina has dominated the news for the past three weeks. It brings much uncertainty, yielding lots of price volatility in recent weeks. The runoff election on Nov. 23 is ushering in a new era of government in Argentina. Argentina has seen a struggling economy for years, some would say decades. Rampant inflation has been dominant for years. The current president, Christina Fernandez de Kirchner has been in office for eight years. She is not exiting quietly with her political appointees refusing to vacate their positions. Lots of money is being spent during her last days as president. Mauricio Marci is a strong advocate of business, a far cry from the strong threads of socialism currently running through Argentina.Marci has stated he would reduce export taxes on grains. How much and for which grains is a huge unknown. He takes over the reins as president on Dec. 10. Those taxes have long been a festering sore for Argentina’s farmers. The taxes have formerly been a strong incentive for Argentina’s farmers to hold onto nearly 18 million tons of unsold soybeans as they hoped some kind of change was around the corner. In recent weeks Marci has floated about the idea of reduced export taxes, though the amount appears to be uncertain. In addition, there has been strong talk that Argentina would devalue its currency very shortly. Those two ideas from Argentina of lowering export taxes and the currency devaluation pushes more money into the pockets of Argentina’s farmers. U.S. producers are on edge that soybeans will soon be flooding the market, pushing soybeans to new contract lows. The potential movement of Argentina soybeans, perhaps a lot of soybeans, has raised the notion that soybeans could reach $8 in coming weeks.China’s economy is also in the headlines. Their economy has been struggling, although a struggling economy in China translates into just 6% growth. That is something the U.S. would kill for when we have been crawling along at a pace of just 1% to 2% growth for years. China has been stimulating the economy, pumping huge amounts of money into the banking system, just like the U.S. and Europe has been doing for years. China also imported a record amount of US ethanol in October.Weather uncertainty hits us on two fronts. First, in Brazil with two huge extremes. Southern Brazil is too wet and has been wet for weeks. Northern Brazil is too dry. Some weather trackers like World Weather are forecasting for the dry conditions to continue in northern Brazil in coming weeks. Second, is El Nino.The current El Nino is the strongest for the past 20 years. For years there have been correlations for El Nino to translate into weather changes for the next US growing season. Some are already that this El Nino is a “Monster,” that it will influence strong weather events for the next decade. That is something to grasp and hang onto.Export loadings for corn year to date are 285 million bushels, last year at the same time were 379 million bushels. Soybean exports to date are 802 million bushels; last year was 872 million bushels.Just when you thought you were suffering from information overload, allow me to pile on. Here is what the market will be watching in coming days. Dec. 10, the new president in Argentina will take office. Dec. 14 will provide additional details on upcoming policy changes in Argentina. Those changes would include the likely lowering of export taxes on grains along with the devaluation of their currency. Dec. 16 is when the U.S. Fed meets to discuss policy. It has long been anticipated that meeting would detail the raising of U.S. interest rates.With no production number or yields with this report, it will be dismissed even quicker than previous reports. Any changes in Argentina policy will dominate price activity in coming days and weeks.Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!last_img read more

Auction of Ohio’s prison farm dairy cattle begins

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections are following through with a plan set last month to terminate the state’s prison farms as the auctioning of state-owned dairy cattle began Monday.On Monday, 42 dairy cows from the Marion Correctional Institution were scheduled to be sold at Mt. Hope Auction in Holmes County. The sale was the first of many in order to liquidate the 1,000 head of state-owned dairy cows.The Columbus Dispatch reported the animals were removed from the prison earlier in the day, though the transport didn’t go unnoticed. About 100 people from the Ohio Civil Services Employees Association, a union representing prison workers, picketed the prison on auction day in opposition of the decision to close the state’s prison farms.Gary Mohr, director of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, announced last month that all 10 prison farms around the state would be phased out by the end of the year and the land used for said operations would be sold. The change to the century-old program comes during a time of high land prices. The sale of any land will require approval by Ohio legislators.Many critics have responded to the action by saying it axes a valuable teaching tool of the Departments while also making an irresponsible use of the state’s resources. A newly installed dairy facility at the Marion Correctional Institution has been a major component of that argument.The department holds that purchasing milk from private suppliers is advantageous financially. There are 30 prisons listed on a recently added “Invitation to Bid” for milk providers, aiming “to obtain a contractor(s) to furnish and deliver milk to state agencies in Ohio.”The next dairy cattle sale is set for May 26 at Mt. Hope. Pickaway Correctional Institution is scheduled to have 416 cattle up for bid. Dairy cattle auctions will also be held on June 8 at the Lebanon Correctional Institution and again on June 9 at the London Correctional Institution.last_img read more

Nitrogen deficiency issues in corn

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Matt Hutcheson, CCA, Product Manager, Seed Consultants, Inc.Due to heavy rainfall and saturated soils during the 2019 growing season, it is not surprising to see some signs of nitrogen deficiency showing up in corn fields across the eastern Corn Belt. Whether applied preplant or sidedress, patterns of heavy rainfall and wet soils increase the likelihood of nitrogen being lost. Because nitrogen is an essential nutrient for corn plant development and ultimately yield, losses will impact final yields this fall.When saturated conditions persist, nitrogen can be lost though leaching or denitrification. Leaching (more likely to occur in course-textured soils) is the process where nitrogen is moved down through the soil profile and out of the root zone where it is not available to plants. The severity of nitrogen loss due to leaching is impacted the intensity and duration of rainfall. Denitrification is the process where soil nitrogen is biologically converted to gaseous nitrogen and lost to the atmosphere. During denitrification, microorganisms break down soil nitrogen and convert it to nitrogen gas when soil is saturated and oxygen is limited.Nitrogen deficiency symptoms initially appear as a “V” shaped yellowing on lower leaves that begins at the tip and progresses toward the stalk. Nitrogen deficiency can also cause ears with tip-back, poor kernel set, and shallow kernel development. Fields that have experience excessive rainfall, ponding, and saturated soils could be exhibiting the symptoms discussed above.While nitrogen deficiency has most likely impacted yields, another concern for eastern Corn Belt farmers this fall is stalk integrity. When nitrogen deficiencies exist, the corn plant will “cannibalize” its own stalk to produce an ear. As a result, stalks will be weakened and will be prone to lodging this fall. Fields where nitrogen deficiency has been observed should be harvested in a timely manner this fall to avoid harvest losses due to lodged corn plants.last_img read more

How Facebook’s New Privacy Changes Will Affect You

first_imgBeginning with a small group of users, Facebook has been testing six different versions of this tool to determine what works best. Based on feedback from the group, the testing tool will be refined to a final version before all the changes are made available to the entire network. However, since the recent post made no mention of a timeline for these changes, the implication is that these new updates are not going live just yet. Instead, the post was merely setting the stage for what’s to come. Why Facebook Cares About PrivacyIt’s good to see Facebook taking the issue of privacy seriously. Although it’s easy to blame the user for over-sharing and then having to deal with harsh consequences like job loss or even, remarkably, the loss of health-care benefits by sharing some items too publicly, at the end of the day, affected users will not blame themselves, they will blame Facebook. And those reading these “social network horror stories” in the media could ultimately become too afraid to post to the site, leading to a less active user base, or worse – users deleting their accounts. Privacy issues are bad news for Facebook, just as they were bad news for MySpace back when they were king. For years, there were so many news stories about sexual predators on MySpace that eventually the public perception of MySpace was that the network wasn’t very safe. Instead of going that route and allowing the media stories about Facebook blunders to control the network’s public image, these privacy changes are designed to preempt the missteps and mistakes the not-so-savvy user base may make by making Facebook privacy simpler and more refined while also more representative of the large network Facebook has become. ReadWriteWeb’s Best Of Lists for 2009:Top 10 Mobile Web Products of 2009Top 10 Consumer Web Apps of 2009Top 10 Semantic Web Products of 2009To be continued… Also check out ReadWriteWeb’s ongoing series on the top products of 2009:Top 10 Mobile Web Products of 2009Top 10 Consumer Web Apps of 2009Top 10 Semantic Web Products of 2009Change #1: No More Regional Networks Over the years, Facebook has grown from a tightly closed social network designed for connecting college students to an entirely open network which anyone and everyone can join. At first, Facebook’s privacy model revolved around “networks” – communities for your school, your region, or your company. “This worked well when Facebook was mostly used by students,” Zuckerberg writes, “since it made sense that a student might want to share content with their fellow students.” Over time, the company added more networks, including some for entire countries. But now, thanks to Facebook’s ever-growing popularity, these “regional” networks have grown so large that some have millions of members. The problem with networks of this size when it comes to privacy is that people who had opted in to sharing content with their network (via the setting share with my “networks and friends”) were inadvertently be sharing personal updates with far more people than they intended to. To address this issue, Facebook demoted cities and regions from being considered networks although the information still exists in user profiles, listed under “Current City” and/or “Current Region.” This update isn’t exactly news – the company revealed their plans to remove regional networks back in July of this year. Zuckerberg’s mentioning of this update seems to be more of a confirmation that indeed, this process is underway, than any sort of major announcement about a new direction for Facebook. Change #2: Control Who Sees Each Piece of Individual Content You Add or UploadA second privacy update involves Facebook’s plans to allow its users more control over individual pieces of content uploaded or added to the social network. This control will be implemented on a per-post basis through a mechanism dubbed the “Publisher Privacy Control.” Simply put, this change adds a new feature to the publisher box on Facebook – aka the status update box. From here, Facebook users post their status, upload photos and videos, and share links. At the moment, when you click the “Share” button, who sees that content is governed by settings tucked away under a cavalcade of menus (Settings -> Privacy Settings -> Profile -> Status and Links.)With the the upcoming Publisher Control functionality, already in beta testing, a new button featuring an image of lock will appear beneath the status update box. Click on this button and you’ll be able to choose precisely who is allowed to see that update or other piece of content (“everyone,” “friends,” “friends of friends,” etc.) Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Change #3: A Simplified Privacy PageFacebook’s granular privacy controls have always been sort of a blessing and curse for the social network. Although savvy users could drill down into each individual setting and adjust it to their needs, the majority of the site’s users don’t even know where these settings are, much less how to change them or to what. The problem, as noted above, is that many of the privacy settings are buried in a series of complex menus. Even if you can find the Privacy Page, the drop-down boxes and their lists of choices stump average users who aren’t sure what a setting like “my networks and friends” really means. To make privacy simpler, Facebook’s controls will be changed to permit sharing with three groups: “only friends,” “friends of friends,” or “everyone.” In addition, the Privacy Page itself will be simplified to combine some settings which currently overlap. This, too, was announced in July. Although neither post details specifically what settings will be combined, a quick glance at the Privacy Page allows for some speculation. Perhaps the “basic info” and “personal info” boxes will become one? There really isn’t that much distinction between the two, despite what their names imply. For example, “basic” information includes what many consider “personal” information such as birthday, hometown, and religious views. Meanwhile, the so-called “personal” information setting controls more innocuous content like favorite books and movie. The “Photos Tagged of You” and the “Videos Tagged of You” settings also seem like worthy contenders for combination. It seems that you’re either okay with people seeing content you’ve been tagged in by others or you’re not. Whether that’s a photo or video doesn’t really matter to most. However, these are just guesses, mind you – until the update goes live, there’s no way to tell what will and will not be changed. How the Transition Will OccurAlthough not mentioned by name in Zuckerberg’s blog post, the July post mentioned a new “Transition Tool” that would be rolled out to users to aid them in configuring the new settings. This is likely what Zuckerberg was referring to when he noted that “we’ll suggest settings for you…” With the Transition Tool, users are prompted to pick from different privacy level options like “open,” “recommended,” or “limited.” According to the recent post, the recommended settings will be based on your current level of privacy but you’ll be able to read through the other options to make changes if you so desire. In a late night post on Facebook’s company blog, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced a round of upcoming changes that will affect all users of the social network. Specifically, the changes focus on new privacy controls for information sharing. For those who have been following Facebook closely, the announcement doesn’t deliver any new information, it only confirms some previously discussed plans. However, for Facebook’s user base, now 350 million strong, the updates represent a major overhaul as to how privacy is handled on the site. Related Posts Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification Tags:#Facebook#Features#news#NYT#social networks#web sarah perez A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Auditlast_img read more

Does Spray Foam Insulation Off-Gas Poisonous Fumes?

first_imgSpray Foam Jobs With Lingering Odor ProblemsCan Houses be “Too Insulated” or “Too Tight”?Houses Need to Breathe … Right? VentilationSpray Foam Insulation: Open and Closed CellQ&A: Odor problem in attic after spray foam appliedQ&A: Chemical smell continues after Demilec installation Q&A: High humidity issues in a spray foam attic Pro/Con: Open-Cell or Closed-Cell Foam? GREEN PRODUCT GUIDE Spray-foam insulation has become a weapon of choice for many builders and homeowners trying to build tight, energy efficient houses. And with its long list of attributes, that’s no wonder. It fills tiny cracks and fissures in walls and roofs to form an effective air seal. The high R-values of closed-cell foam pack a lot of punch in a small space, and closed-cell versions can block the movement of moisture into wall and roof cavities. Expensive as it may be, it’s at the top of its class.But does this miracle material have a darker side? Dan Fette’s question about the potential hazards of spray foam launched an extended thread containing enough anecdotal information to give a few readers pause for thought and dissuaded others from using foam at all.Polyurethane foam is a two-part compound mixed at the job site as it’s sprayed from a high-pressure gun. Although some of its ingredients are nasty at the time of application, when it cures the foam becomes an inert material that should not off-gas any harmful chemicals. That, at least, is our common understanding and the word from manufacturers and installers. RELATED ARTICLES Spray Foam InsulationAir Cleaning DevicesEnergy Recovery VentilationBathroom Vent FansTypical are these words of assurance from Foam-Tech:: “Urethanes are non-toxic and only require protection for our operators during installations, but the finished product is completely safe and has no formaldehydes.”Some dissent from the fieldBut that sunny expectation doesn’t always pan out. An anonymous poster reported developing a serious chemical sensitivity while building an “uber-green” house, which included non-toxic wood finishes and closed-cell polyurethane foam.“I became ill after moving into the house two years ago, and had to move out,” Anonymous wrote. “Any exposure to the indoor air induces neurological symptoms…I never had these sorts of problems before that I know of.”Not far behind was Marlene, who said her 66-year-old brother had experienced a “very dire situation” after Icynene (a brand of open-cell foam) was sprayed in his house. Marlene said her brother was told he would probably have to sell his half-completed home after investing his life savings in the project.David Posada said a strong odor persisted two months after Demilec Sealection 500 foam was sprayed into a 95-year-old house in Oregon during a retrofit. Julia, who suffers from chemical sensitivities, says her building materials consultant “won’t allow her clients to use spray foam insulation of any kind.”More study is neededWilliam Swietlik, who identified himself as a member of the Federal Interagency Spray Polyurethane Foam Worksgroup and co-chair of the EPA’s workgroup on spray foam, said that both open- and closed-cell foams are made with diisocyanates, among other ingredients, a leading cause of workplace asthma and a “well-known sensitizing toxicant to humans.” He added: “Once an individual becomes sensitized to diisocyanates there may be no safe exposure level.”Swietlik said this is why occupational health authorities recommend personal protective equipment for installers, and that any unprotected workers or occupants leave the building while the foam is being sprayed and not return until “all residual vapors are ventilated and all dust particles (from shaving the finished foam) are cleaned up to safe levels.”Just what is “safe?” That’s not clear. Swietlik had this to say: “The exact timing of this is not known for each specific building application as this depends on the amount of vapors and particles generated to begin with, the amount and type of ventilation, the size and configuration of the building, the foam curing factors and the installation and clean up techniques of the workers.”More reserach is needed, he said, not only on the problems posed at the time the foam is applied, but also on “whether or not there remains off-gasing from the finished foam that was applied days or months earlier that could affect sensitive, or sensitized individuals who occupy the building.” Are Spray Foam’s Benefits Worth The Risk?(answers)Application is the wild cardIf spray foam is designed chemically to morph into an inert material after it cures, could the problem be the installation itself, an improper balance of Part A and Part B? This, at least, was the suggestion of David Posada, who raised the question after following two threads at sprayfoam.com.There was no unanimity on this question, but Posada added this: “Much of the published information regarding low density spray foams addresses the low- or non- toxicity of ‘properly cured’ or ‘properly installed’ foams; little seems to be said about what constitutes a improper curing or installation, what chemicals can be released, what hazards (if any) may be present, and what remedies are appropriate.”A bad mix may be only one potential problem. A poster named B. Kolodziej recounted his experience with BASF Comfort Foam during a remodel of his California home. The installer exceeded the 2-inch per-pass maximum set by the manufacturer, which causes the foam to overheat as it cures. The result is a discolored insulation layer of insufficient density that just happens to smell like rotten fish. Although Kolodziej believes the product will work as advertised if installed correctly, he now regrets he used the stuff in the first place. Further, because the foam sticks tenaciously to whatever it’s applied to, removing it will be a nightmare.Tracy Nelson summed up the dilemma this way: “Here is the simple truth of spray foam in an existing building: Mixing this material in the field can be inconsistent and as mentioned many times above, completely depends on the skill level of the installer (don’t confuse the actual person who shows up at the property with the company who sells you the product and promotes themselves as experts).”An anonymous poster said a variety of factors affect the reaction of parts A and B on application, making it “very difficult, if not impossible, to get a full and complete reaction…so A+B seldom ever equals C.”The poster included a link to an American Chemistry Council site with information on spray foam for consumers.Making a case for natural materialsJust what were you expecting when you chose a petrochemical over a natural insulation, like cellulose, wondered Robert Riversong?“As I’ve stated more times than anyone here cares to remember, there is nothing either ‘green’ or healthy about petrochemical foams, or any of the 80,000 petrochemicals that never existed on earth before we created them.“Unfortunately, most of American society is brainwashed into believing in the ‘magic’ of chemistry, as the advertisers and marketers have impressed on us for generations. Every product produced since the start of the petrochemical age is toxic, either to people or the environment or both.”Riversong points to studies suggesting that not enough is known of the impact on health by spray foam insulation. Moreover, he adds that the foam creates a sealed building that can’t breathe, making humidity control more difficult and raising the potential for mold.“I would suggest considering environmentally-friendly, non-toxic, fire-resistant, insect-proof, rodent-resistant, and mold-resistant cellulose, which is also significantly hygroscopic and assists with natural moisture management (as long as the thermal envelope can breath – i.e. no vapor barriers),” Riversong writes.Where does this leave us?The many performance benefits of spray-in polyurethane foam no doubt will continue to make it popular, particularly as the cost of energy goes up. Canadian insulation installer Dwaine doesn’t dispute the problems cited elsewhere in the thread, but he also admits he is “completely in awe” of what spray foam can do.“The blame is being laid in the wrong places,” he writes. “When someone like myself sits back and reads these various comments, it is easy to see they are all for the most part human error. The biggest problem reputable companies are having right now in the foam industry is companies who are trying to make a quick buck and not follow proper manufacturer guidelines and installation instructions. I blame the governing agencies.”Dwaine thinks there are lessons to be learned from the Canadian Urethane Foam Contractors Association. Although it’s not a perfect approach, it could help consumers feel confident in using foam.last_img read more

a month agoWatford boss Quique Sanchez Flores: We’re looking for some kind of style

first_imgWatford boss Quique Sanchez Flores: We’re looking for some kind of styleby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveWatford boss Quique Sanchez Flores admits their performance was not good enough in their 2-0 defeat at Wolves.Matt Doherty’s opener was added to by Daryl Janmaat’s own goal after the break, which saw Wolves pick up three points and rise up the table. The Hornets head coach said: “We knew today would be a different match [to the defeat at Manchester City] and it would be tough. It’s not enough, it’s clear the performance should be better.“Now we are looking for some kind of style, some way we’re going to play, but at the moment we’re not playing in that way. We concede very easy goals and these destroy all the plans. We are playing [catch-up] behind the score so it’s difficult for the players right now.”Asked what it would take to turn the corner, Sanchez Flores responded: “Winning. We need to win. We need to train hard, we need to improve, we’re stronger on the training ground every single day but in the matches we still have problems, we have insecurities, we have situations we can’t solve, easy mistakes giving opportunities to the opponent.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more