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Saturday, October 31, 2020

“Trumpcare” Does Not Exist

Facebook and Google Cash In on Misleading Ads for “Garbage” Health Insurance.
By Jeremy B. Merrill for ProPublica and Marshall Allen, ProPublica

“Trumpcare” insurance will “finally fix healthcare,” said an advertisement on Facebook.

A Google ad urged people to “Enroll in Trumpcare plans. Healthcare changes are coming.”

The problem is, there’s no such thing as “Trumpcare.”

Facebook and Google have promised to crack down on lies and misinformation about politics in the run-up to next month’s presidential election, but they have run tens of thousands of ads in the past year containing false claims about health insurance reform and plans.

The “Trumpcare” ads don’t appear to have a political aim and don’t advocate for the reelection of President Donald Trump over former Vice President Joe Biden. 

Nonetheless, the Facebook ads touting these nonexistent products have been viewed some 22 million times in the past year, disproportionately in battleground states like Texas, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania, according to Facebook data.

The ads are placed by marketers targeting consumers — politically conservative ones in some cases — who become sales leads if they respond. Then the consumers get deluged with phone calls from brokers hawking health insurance plans that are not the comprehensive solution that’s often promised, but instead are less conventional products that have traditionally been used as supplemental coverage or for when people transition between jobs.

The Affordable Care Act requires traditional health insurance plans to provide “minimal essential coverage,” which includes preventive care, mental health care, substance abuse, maternity and more. The less-conventional plans are exempted from those requirements. 

Some of the plans are offered by name-brand companies like UnitedHealthcare, but critics say they’re typically big moneymakers for the companies that can leave patients with unexpected medical bills. The plans’ limitations often are not explained in the advertisements or in brokers’ high-pressure sales presentations. Hundreds of complaints about the plans show up on consumer sites like the Better Business Bureau or Yelp.

Turn your clocks (and calendars) back tonight


Shocking things liberals believe


Undocumented immigrants may actually make American communities safer

Generally, they pay their taxes and mind their own business
Robert M. AdelmanUniversity at Buffalo and Lesley ReidUniversity of Alabama 

Donald Trump has repeatedly claimed that undocumented immigrants
cause more crime, but new research suggests the opposite might be true. 
Apu Gomes/AFP via Getty Images 

Undocumented immigration does not increase the violent crime rate in U.S. metropolitan areas. 

In fact, it may reduce property crime rates. These are the key findings from our recently published article in the Journal of Crime and Justice, co-authored by Yulin Yang, James Bachmeier and Mike Maciag.

Research shows that the American communities where immigrants make their homes are more often improved by their presence than harmed by it. 

Immigrants bring social, cultural and economic activity to the places they live. That makes these places more vital and safer, not more dangerous.

You have rights when you go to vote

There are people there to help if you have any problems at the polls 

Poll workers, election observers and poll monitors are all on hand at
voting places to ensure the 2020 election proceeds smoothly
and safely. Macrovector/iStock via GettyImages 

Despite all the challenges to this year’s election – long lines, calls for voter intimidation, baseless claims of fraud – voting is a fundamental civil right.

As a political scientist who studies campaigns and elections, I have confidence in American democracy. Lots of people are working at the polls and behind the scenes to ensure election 2020 runs smoothly and safely.

Here, I’ll outline your rights as a voter and explain where to turn if you encounter trouble at the polls.

First, a caveat: Elections in the United States are run by the states, so there are 50 versions of everything I’m about to say – more with Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and other overseas territories. 

Specific information about polling locations, voter ID requirements and how to vote can be found at the National Conference of State Legislatures website or at your state’s Secretary of State website.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Rhode Island is one of the only "blue" states that requires you to present a voter ID - a government-issued document such as a driver's license - in order to vote. This year, because of the pandemic, your Rhode Island documents (license or official ID) is still valid if expired, so long as the expiration date is March 1 or later. For the Secretary of State's webpage on voting in person, CLICK HERE. - Will Collette. Another note appears below.

If you still have a mail-in ballot, time to fill it out and stick it in the drop-off box at Town Hall

UPDATED: Langevin endorses Democrats for Town Council

By Will Collette

These three CRU Town Council candidates have also been endorsed by the Charlestown Democratic Town Committee as well as our Congressman, Rep. Jim Langevin. Please vote for them and the entire CRU slate.

UPDATE: Rep. Jim Langevin has issued a rare endorsement of local candidates by formally endorsing Charlestown Democrats Deb Carney, Jodi Frank and Scott Keeley for Town Council. 

In his statement, Langevin said:
"Each of these candidates offers a unique set of attributes and a staunch commitment to public service that will benefit the people of Charlestown. With their different experiences and their commitment to the community, they are the most qualified team to help Charlestown get through this difficult time and ensure every citizen will be heard.”
We have 6,115 active, registered voters in Charlestown and as of Friday Thursday, 3,392 2,964 of them had voted either by in-person early voting or by mail. That’s 55.5% a tad under 50%.

There is also a new on-line tool you can use to track your vote. I used it to confirm my mail-in ballot was received and my vote has been registered. CLICK HERE to check on your own vote status.

Some of the outcomes in Charlestown are very predictable. For example, we expect a Charlestown majority for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, for Sen. Jack Reed and US Rep. Jim Langevin. Charlestown state Rep. Blake “Flip” Filippi (R-Somewhere) has no opponent. State Senator Dennis Algiere (R-Westerly) faces only a write-in candidate, Justin Dunn.

Where the fireworks are

If you're north of One, please vote for Jennifer
But we have a very competitive – and important – state Senate race for the district that includes most of north of One Charlestown, pitting an incumbent and one of the worst state senator Elaine Morgan (R-Hopkinton) against smart and capable Democrat, Jennifer Douglas of Charlestown. 

If I was in that District (Senate District 34), I’d be voting for Jennifer.

Then we have our municipal races where our town rulers in the Charlestown Citizens Alliance (CCA Party) seek to retain power against a full slate mustered by Charlestown Residents United (CRU).

The CRU slate includes a full five candidates for Town Council, three endorsed by the Charlestown Democratic Town Committee and two by the Republican State Committee.

This year, the two sides’ financials are more evenly matched than I have ever seen in ten years of following the money in Charlestown.

As usually, most of the fund-raising was done in the last couple months of the campaign.

The CCA Party usually counted on at least half its money coming from non-residents. However this year, the CCA Party’s non-resident funding fell off substantially.

Of the $12,518 raised by the CCA Party and reported in their final campaign finance reports, less than $2,000 came from non-residents. I doubt that will change the CCA Party’s bias for non-residents often over the interests of those of us who actually live here.

The CRU’s filings show that they raised $9,557, all of it from Charlestown residents. That’s the smallest funding gap between the CCA Party and its opponents ever.

Most of the money raised by the CCA Party and CRU has been spent on yard signs and mailings.

Both CRU and the CCA Party have been battling in the letters to the editor columns of our local newspapers, all of which are owned by RI Suburban Newspapers.

Leaving aside the very civil game of verbal badminton both the CCA Party and CRU use in those letters to call each other liars, here are some blunt reasons why I believe you should vote to END the CCA Party’s decade long Reign of Error.

The CCA Party is incompetent

A recent example is the CCA Party’s touting the release of a draft 10 Year Town Comprehensive Plan. It’s a long and complicated document, though not difficult to read.

However there’s a problem that directly relates to the CCA Party’s competence: it’s late by seven years.

Our current Comprehensive Plan expired on April 27, 2013. Work on the re-write began about three years earlier. During that whole time, CCA Party co-founder Ruth Platner was chair of the Planning Commission.

Right before the election, Ruthie unveils the draft plan. Mikey Chambers, the CCA Party’s main propagandist, hails the event as if Ruth brought the (draft) Plan down on tablets from Mount Sinai. They posted this stuff on NextDoor, a neighborhood blog run by a national corporation that generally tries to filter out politics.

I pissed on their parade by noting how late the plan is,and that most of Rhode Island’s 39 cities and towns have already finalized their plans and won state approval. Mikey got very upset at me for “politicizing” NextDoor by pointing these facts out. Hey, Mikey, you guys need to do your homework on time.

They are fear-mongers. 

Ever since the CCA Party launched itself to oust Charlestown curmudgeon Jim Mageau from the Town Council in 2008, the CCA Party has thrived on creating and then attacking all manner of boogeymen.
THIS ARTICLE covers many of them.

The most outrageous, in my opinion, was the creation from whole cloth of the Ninigret Park crisis, founded on the theory that a rejected proposal for state funding for a lighted sports field for Pee-Wee Football practice would set off a chain of events leading to the US Interior Department taking back Ninigret Park.

It was insane and ridiculous but was pumped up by the CCA Party into such a crisis that it took a visit from a top official of the National Parks Service to debunk the lies the CCA Party used to get everyone in town upset.

It didn’t end there, as the “Battle for Ninigret Park” morphed into the CCA Party’s “Kill Bill Campaign” that was aimed at ousting town administrator Bill DiLibero, largely because he would not go along with the fiction the CCA Party had created about Charlestown’s rights to Ninigret Park. In the end, Bill lost his job.

Just about every year, some other existential threat gets surfaced by the CCA Party. Some are genuine threats, most are exaggerated. Sometimes they involve the Narragansett Indian Tribe which the CCA Party treats as an enemy, to the point of paying attorney Joe Larisa a retainer fee of $24,000 to watch the Tribe – and when he spots suspicious activity by the Tribe, we pay him more.

A threat by the Tribe is anything the Tribe might want to do that does not have the town’s advance, expressed approval.

If this is not outright institutional racism, I don’t know what is. I would hope that among the first acts of our new Town Council, however constituted, would be to terminate our retainer contract with Larisa.

They are the party of exclusion

The CCA Party is a closed loop institution in every respect. On a micro level, you can’t join the CCA, can’t go to their meetings, can’t see their minutes but you do have to live with the results of their secret decision-making.

In their running of town government, they promote secrecy by skewing the state’s open records law to make it difficult to monitor shady land deals involving the spending of public money to buy property from people tied to the CCA Party. SPA-Gate is the current example. CLICK HERE to read more about SPA-Gate and the cover-up.

This population projection, created in 2006 in the town's current
Comprehensive Plan, shows that we expected to have 9,768 people
in 2020. The CCA Party's exclusionary policy actually shrunk
our population from 2006 to its present 7,7,80.

On a macro level, the CCA Party is dedicated to keeping outsiders out, with an exception made for rich retirees who wish to buy a “cottage” on the shore.

The CCA Party explicitly tries to block affordable housing of all types and new housing designed to attract families with children. 

The phrase I’ve heard most often is the need to keep “those people from Providence” from soiling our “rural character.”

Planning Commissar Ruth Platner actually devised a mathematical formula to support her position that school-age children are parasites who eat up more tax revenue than they create. Once taking up a whole page, Ruthie's math has been taken down from the CCA Party website.

As the following profile shows, Charlestown is one of the worst towns in the state for exclusionary policies. You need an annual income of $105,959 to buy a median priced house in Charlestown. You probably won't be able to find a rental.

We have had ten solid years of total control of Charlestown town government by the CCA Party and examples too numerous to list of actions they have taken that betray the public trust.

In the remaining time or on Election Day itself, I urge you to do your civic duty and vote and to vote for Biden-Harris, Reed, Langevin, Jennifer Douglas (if you are in her district) and the CRU slate.

RIP, Sean Connery


Hot-button words trigger conservatives and liberals differently

Brain scans reveal the vocabulary that drives neural polarization

University of California - Berkeley

How can the partisan divide be bridged when conservatives and liberals consume the same political content, yet interpret it through their own biased lens?

Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, Stanford University and Johns Hopkins University scanned the brains of more than three dozen politically left- and right-leaning adults as they viewed short videos involving hot-button immigration policies, such as the building of the U.S.-Mexico border wall, and the granting of protections for undocumented immigrants under the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Their findings, published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, show that liberals and conservatives respond differently to the same videos, especially when the content being viewed contains vocabulary that frequently pops up in political campaign messaging.

"Our study suggests that there is a neural basis to partisan biases, and some language especially drives polarization," said study lead author Yuan Chang Leong, a postdoctoral scholar in cognitive neuroscience at UC Berkeley. 

"In particular, the greatest differences in neural activity across ideology occurred when people heard messages that highlight threat, morality and emotions."

Overall, the results offer a never-before-seen glimpse into the partisan brain in the weeks leading up to what is arguably the most consequential U.S. presidential election in modern history. 

Friday, October 30, 2020

A free press is fundamental to democracy

Political bias in media doesn't threaten democracy — other, less visible biases do
Marjorie HersheyIndiana University

People see bias in the stories that favor the other party, but
they tend not to see bias in stories favoring their own party. 
Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images
Charges of media bias – that “the media” are trying to brainwash Americans by feeding the public only one side of every issue – have become as common as the hope that the presidential race will end safely … and soon.

As a political scientist who has examined media coverage of the Trump presidency and campaigns, I can say that this is what social science research tells us about media bias.

First, media bias is in the eye of the beholder.

Communications scholars have found that if you ask people in any community, using scientific polling methods, whether their local media are biased, you’ll find that about half say yes. But of that half, typically a little more than a quarter say that their local media are biased against Republicans, and a little less than a quarter say the same local media are biased against Democrats.

Research shows that Republicans and Democrats spot bias only in articles that clearly favor the other party. If an article tilts in favor of their own party, they tend to see it as unbiased.

Many people, then, define “bias” as “anything that doesn’t agree with me.” It’s not hard to see why.

A closing argument

By William Schaff


Food Bank video conference addresses preparations for a long, hard winter





Video Update: Food Pantries Respond
to COVID-19 and Look at the Path Ahead

Food Bank CEO Andrew Schiff recently held a Virtual Town Hall featuring the Executive Directors from four of our largest member agencies. In a panel format, they provided us with an update on how they've been responding to the ongoing need in the community and discussed what's to come as we prepare for the long winter ahead.  Watch the video for the latest information on our response to this public health crisis. 



  • Andrew Schiff, Food Bank CEO
  • Kim Fernandez, Federal Hill House
  • Rilwan Feyisitan, Community Action Partnership of Providence
  • Kate Brewster, Jonnycake Center for Hope
  • Heather Hole Strout, Dr. Martin Luther King Community Center



Healthy Habits Nutrition Education
Program Goes Virtual

Our Healthy Habits Nutrition Education Team focuses on sharing healthful recipes and nutrition education with guests at member agencies around Rhode Island. To meet the challenge of reaching people during the COVID-19 pandemic, they’ve gone virtual, providing online cooking demos and tips on healthy living. You can access the resources that our team of trained educators and nutritionists have put together, geared toward helping you develop a healthier life.

Visit our website to get started. And follow the Food Bank on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for regular Healthy Habits' Tasty Tuesdays features plus much more! 



Copyright © 2020 Rhode Island Community Food Bank, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:

Rhode Island Community Food Bank

200 Niantic Ave

Providence, RI 02907-3150

Achieving COVID-19 herd immunity through infection is dangerous, deadly and might not even work

Herd immunity or mass suicide?

Steven AlbertUniversity of Pittsburgh

Under relaxed public health restrictions, deaths will spike far
before herd immunity is achieved. AP Photo/Mark Lennihan

White House advisers have made the case recently for a “natural” approach to herd immunity as a way to reduce the need for public health measures to control the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic while still keeping people safe. 

This idea is summed up in something called the Great Barrington Declaration, a proposal put out by the American Institute for Economic Research, a libertarian think tank.

The basic idea behind this proposal is to let low-risk people in the U.S. socialize and naturally become infected with the coronavirus, while vulnerable people would maintain social distancing and continue to shelter in place. Proponents of this strategy claim so-called “natural herd immunity” will emerge and minimize harm from SARS-CoV-2 while protecting the economy.

Another way to get to herd immunity is through mass vaccinations, as we have done with measles, smallpox and largely with polio.

A population has achieved herd immunity when a large enough percentage of individuals become immune to a disease. When this happens, infected people are no longer able to transmit the disease, and the epidemic will burn out.

As a professor of behavioral and community health sciences, I am acutely aware that mental, social and economic health are important for a person to thrive, and that public health measures such as social distancing have imposed severe restrictions on daily life. 

But based on all the research and science available, the leadership at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health and I believe this infection-based approach would almost certainly fail.

Dropping social distancing and mask wearing, reopening restaurants and allowing large gatherings will result in overwhelmed hospital systems and skyrocketing mortality. Furthermore, according to recent research, this reckless approach is unlikely to even produce the herd immunity that’s the whole point of such a plan.

Vaccination, in comparison, offers a much safer and likely more effective approach.

Ethical chocolate

High social and ecological standards for chocolate

University of Göttingen

Worldwide demand for food from the tropics that meets higher environmental and social standards has risen sharply in recent years. 

Consumers often have to make ethically questionable decisions: products may be available to the global market through child labour, starvation wages or environmental destruction. 

Building on an interdisciplinary project in Peru, an international research team with the participation of the University of Göttingen has now published an overview article on the transition to responsible, high-quality cocoa production. 

Chocolate is made from cocoa beans, and because cocoa is originally from Peru, using indigenous varieties means a premium price can be charged. A large cooperative for small-holder farmers in northern Peru stands for social and ecological improvements with the help of organic and fair-trade certification, as well as the cultivation of native varieties in species-rich cocoa agroforestry systems. 

Brown study says less jail time can save lives

Amid pandemic, U.S. must reduce incarceration to protect public safety, report finds

Photo by Spencer Weiner/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
Brown University

To stem the tide of COVID-19 infections both within correctional institutions and in surrounding communities, jurisdictions around the U.S. should act immediately to reduce the number of people housed behind bars.

That’s the recommendation of a panel of criminal justice and public health experts assembled by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. 

The panel detailed its guidance in “Decarcerating Correctional Facilities During COVID-19: Advancing Health, Equity and Safety,” a report released on Oct. 19.

Jails and prisons in the U.S. are often overcrowded, dense, poorly ventilated and disconnected from public health systems, making COVID-19 prevention among incarcerated people and staff exceedingly difficult, the panel reported. As of August 2020, COVID-19 case rates among incarcerated people were nearly five times higher than in the general population, and three times higher among correctional staff.

Decarceration — reducing prison populations by releasing individuals and diverting others away from incarceration before they enter the criminal justice system — can lower the risk of infection for older and other high-risk incarcerated persons, the report said, and allow correctional facilities to more easily implement other COVID-19 prevention strategies such as physical distancing.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Aw, so cute!


I support Dr. Fauci


Mystic Aquarium and Seaport offering combo ticket

Visit both through the rest of the year

Two of Connecticut’s largest cultural attractions – Mystic Aquarium and Mystic Seaport Museum – have teamed up to offer the Mystic Pass, a combination admission ticket. 

This combination ticket offers affordable family fun and enrichment at each of the iconic destinations.  

The Aquarium and Seaport enjoy a strong partnership as the centerpiece of the area’s tourism industry. The Mystic Pass is another example of the joint effort to drive visitation to the region. 

The Mystic Pass is offered for adults, seniors and children ages 3-14. Kids 2 and under are free at both attractions.  

For nearly a decade, the Aquarium and Seaport have worked together to present the Mystic Pass; affording savings to consumers. In years’ past, the combination ticket was offered seasonally in the spring and summer. This year; however, the two organizations have expanded sales of the Mystic Pass to include the fall and winter.  

“During these difficult times, we recognize the importance of Mystic’s cultural institutions working together to make the Aquarium and Seaport more accessible to everyone,” said Steve Coan, President and CEO of Mystic Aquarium. 

“Our respective educational missions of ecological conservation and historical preservation realize their value only when we can deliver the experience to families and visitors of our community, and the Mystic Pass is a reflection of our commitment to do just that.”  

Mystic Aquarium offers a fun and exciting family-friendly experience that includes an up-close look at more than 5,000 animals, including New England’s only beluga whales and the endangered African penguin. This Halloween, there are special pumpkin feedings throughout the day in habitats around campus. Mystic Aquarium also offers unique animal encounter experiences that foster a deeper appreciation for the animals, their conservation stories and the environment. 

Mystic Seaport Museum offers guests a trip into the past where they can explore America’s maritime heritage in an historic 19th century village, a working shipyard and in compelling indoor exhibit galleries. This Halloween, the campus will be decorated at night with more than 500 jack-o’-lanterns for a spooky walk accompanied by live music, food and family activities. 

“We are pleased to be able to once again offer the Mystic Pass to guests so they can experience and enjoy both of our attractions at a reduced cost,” said Steve White, president of Mystic Seaport Museum. “The town of Mystic is an easy day trip for many on the Northeast and the Pass is a great way to build an affordable weekend trip for the family.” 

Both organizations are keenly focused on the health and safety of visitors during COVID-19. New and comprehensive safety protocols have been implemented on both the Aquarium and Seaport campuses to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all visitors, staff and volunteers.  

Visit and for complete details. Tickets may be purchased online at 

About Mystic Aquarium 

Mystic Aquarium, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, is counted among the nation’s leading aquariums, offering exemplary care to a variety of species while also serving as the northeast’s premier marine mammal rescue and rehabilitation center. Robust conservation and education programming along with unparalleled visitor experiences serve to strengthen personal connections to the animals and their environments. The mission of Mystic Aquarium is to inspire people to care for and protect the ocean planet through conservation, education and research, and introduces approximately 800,000 guests annually to thousands of animals through structured interpretations, specially curated exhibits and hands-on interactions. As a leading research organization, Mystic Aquarium employs a full staff of scientists engaged in projects focused on the conservation and sustainability of our ocean planet. 


About Mystic Seaport Museum 

Mystic Seaport Museum, founded in 1929, is the nation’s leading maritime museum. In addition to providing a multitude of immersive experiences, the Museum also houses a collection of more than two million artifacts that include more than 500 historic vessels and one of the largest collections of maritime photography. Mystic Seaport Museum is located one mile south of Exit 90 off I-95 in Mystic, CT. For more information, please visit and follow Mystic Seaport Museum on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram. 

Endangering fish babies

Hormone-mimicking chemicals harm fish now—and their unexposed offspring later

Brian Bienkowski   for Environmental Health News

Fish exposed to endocrine-disrupting compounds pass on health problems to future generations, including deformities, reduced survival, and reproductive problems, according to a new study.

The study, published in Environmental Science and Technology, is the first of its kind in a fish that can live in freshwater, brackish water or salt water, and suggests that compounds in pesticides and birth control that pollute waterways are not only harming fish living there now, but their offspring and the subsequent generation as well.

The results are troublesome as the negative effects seen in fish offspring—including reduced survival and reproduction problems—could lead to population level declines over time.

How to deal with pandemic fatigue

Sick of COVID-19? Who isn't?

It’s tempting to take a break from pandemic precautions. 
Erin Clark for The Boston Globe via Getty Images

As the pandemic drags on, following COVID-19 prevention guidelines can feel like more and more of a challenge.

This kind of fatigue is not unique to pandemic precautions like sticking with social distancing, masking up and keeping your hands washed. 

With all kinds of health-related behavior changes – including increasing physical activity, eating healthy and decreasing tobacco use – at least half of people relapse within six months.

Think back to the start of April. Much of the United States was under stay-at-home orders. New York City was experiencing close to a thousand COVID-19 deaths a day, and new cases of this previously unknown disease were popping up all over the country.

Coronavirus fears had people either ordering necessities for delivery or rushing through stores as fast as possible, avoiding everyone. When they got home, shoppers wiped down their groceries, vigorously washed hands, maybe even took a shower and changed into clean clothes. People got used to staying home.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

How Trump’s Russian-style practices have devastated America

Scott Atlas Is Trump’s Doctor Death

By Michael Winship for Common Dreams

Jussi Nukari/Lehtikuva via AP
After all this time, most of us realize that Donald Trump is a Russian asset. Not that he’s a secret mole necessarily or even The Manchurian Candidate, but Vladimir Putin plays him like a balalaika strumming Song of the Volga Boatmen.

No one but the two of them knows with absolute certainty why this is—whether it’s money-related (probably) or something else—but unwittingly or not, the cash-strapped president’s certainly playing the “useful idiot” role so beloved in spy fiction and such TV shows as “Homeland.” 

Doubtless to Putin’s delight, a second term would see an even more concerted effort on Trump’s part to tear apart the NATO alliance and other vital international coalitions, not to mention a further fracturing of these United States.

What’s more, the intelligence community has made us aware, in no uncertain terms, that Russian cybermeddling in our election is still hammering away at American social media with trolls, bots and fake websites favoring Trump, and that he has been informed that Rudy Giuliani is a primary conduit for made-in-Russia leaks and misinformation about Joe Biden and his son Hunter. Trump waved the allegations aside.

Prostituting justice


It is what it is


What's wrong with this picture?


Bad behavior stinks. Really.

Malice leaves a nasty smell

Université de Genève

Unhealthy behaviours trigger moral judgments that are similar to the basic emotions that contribute to our ability to survive. 

Two different hypotheses are to be found in the current scientific literature as to the identity of these emotions. Some researchers single out disgust, while others opt for pain. 

After developing a new approach to brain imaging, a research team from the University of Geneva (UNIGE) has come down on the side of disgust. 

The study, which can be found in Science Advances, shows that unhealthy behaviours trigger brain responses that are similar to those prompted by bad smells. The research also identifies for the first time a biomarker in the brain for disgust.

Disgust is a basic emotion linked to our survivability. Smell provides information about the freshness of foodstuffs, while disgust means we can take action to avoid a potential source of poisoning. 

Following the same principle, pain helps us cope with any injuries we might suffer by activating our withdrawal reflexes. Psychologists believe that these types of survival reflexes might come into play in response to other people's bad behaviour.