Politics and news

Erik Loomis vents about the increasing emphasis on college as a tool for training workers rather than learning. I think he’s spot on. He references Australia, where the government is pushing universities to focus scientific research on what corporations can make money off. And I remember NC governor Pat McCrory complaining universities should get rid of liberal arts degrees and Florida proposing (I don’t think it came off) to charge students more tuition if the job market can’t use their skills.

•If you put health/medical/genetic information into an app or an online database, medical privacy laws do not apply.

•The AMA calls for a ban on those TV prescription-drug ads.

•A bill banning “no negative review” clauses in contracts is moving through the Senate.

•The FTC announces new telemarketing restrictions, covering the use of prepaid cards or wire transfers over the phone.

•The mystically oriented Isis Bookstore in Colorado has been accused of supporting—well, you know.

•Consumerist looks at things that jack up your auto insurance rates: bad credit, living in a black neighborhood, widowhood.

•Washington’s Governor Inslee compares banning Syrian refugees to interning Japanese -Americans in WW II. Though the writer of the article, Amber Phillips, has to work in a tut-tut at Obama for making mock of his opponents over this issue. Sorry, but nothing will make people who think five-year-olds are threatening listen to “nuance.” And I agree with Roy Edroso, Obama’s take is a common-sense one too. Oh, and the mayor of Roanoke, Va. has held up the internment camps as sound policy. And Donald Trump is proposing special IDs for Muslims (little yellow stars on their clothes, maybe?)

•The FDA has approved genetically modified salmon for sale in the US without GM labeling.

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