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Culture

Hundreds of iconic music videos are being remastered in HD on YouTube

Universal Music Group and YouTube have teamed up to remaster iconic music videos from standard definition to HD. The partnership will result in more than 100 music videos from artists like Janet Jackson, Lady Gaga, and Lionel Richie receiving a significant upgrade in visual quality. The two companies are working to bring that number up to 1,000 videos by the end of 2020.

These HD videos will replace the original versions on YouTube and YouTube Music, but will maintain the same URLs, view counts, and likes as before. You’ll know it’s an updated video if there’s a #Remastered label and “Remastered in HD!” in the description. Many of these videos weren’t shot in HD, but the remastering will still make things noticeably clearer than before.

Continue reading…

from The Verge – All Posts https://www.theverge.com/2019/6/19/18691481/youtube-universal-music-videos-group-hd-remaster-umg

Culture

US health care plan perfectly described in a single tweet

Millennial dad nailed it.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

from Boing Boing https://boingboing.net/2019/06/19/us-health-care-plan-perfectly.html

Culture

YouTube executives reportedly mulling over removing all children’s content from main site

Google executives are reportedly discussing whether to remove all children’s videos from the site and have them exist solely on the standalone YouTube Kids app, according to a new Wall Street Journal report.

The move is being discussed within Google’s executive unit, according to the Journal, with the idea to move every single piece of content starring children into YouTube Kids. The move would be the most aggressive change undertaken by Google to fight predatory behavior targeting children on the site. A YouTube spokesperson told The Verge the company considers “lots of ideas for improving YouTube and some remain just that — ideas.”

Other employees at Google and YouTube are also reportedly asking executives to consider turning off a…

Continue reading…

from The Verge – All Posts https://www.theverge.com/2019/6/19/18691403/youtube-kids-content-predator-protection-app-google

Culture

Is this the best way to peel garlic?

Hold a bulb of garlic in one hand, a paring knife in the other. Jab the knife into a clove and lever it out of the husk.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Image: Twitter

from Boing Boing https://boingboing.net/2019/06/19/is-this-the-best-way-to-peel-g.html

Culture

KPMG is in the middle of an unbelievably dirty cheating scandal that keeps on getting uglier

KPMG is one of the “Big Four” accounting firms: that means that whenever a plan for a business or a public project has a box that says, “Make sure no one is cheating,” it means that you hire KPMG or one of its rivals to come in and check the books and make sure that everything is on the level. If you can’t trust the accounting firm, the whole thing falls apart.


You’ll never guess what happened next.

For more than a year, regulators have known that KPMG employees had been stealing regulatory information and using it to cheat on inspections of its audits — they’d steal the FEC’s list of upcoming inspection targets and revise their work to make sure the inspections didn’t find any flaws. The SEC was set to hand down a $50m fine.

Then, yesterday, the SEC announced that they’d found a second, even more disturbing pattern of cheating, one that went right to the top, with KPMG’s most senior staff cheating on their integrity exams (!!), sharing answers in advance, and hacking the tests to lower the score needed to pass it (the tests were delivered online, and in the URL for the test was a variable that set the percentage needed for a passing grade: “MasteryScore=70” — by lowering this value, cheaters could turn any number of right answers into a pass). Some auditors “passed” their ethics exams with a score of only 25%.

These exams tested auditors on their ethics, their expertise, and their mastery of the continuing education courses they were required to take to remain licensed to practice.

As Matt Kelly says, the scandal reveals “chronic, widespread and intentional illegal behavior by senior partners including some leading public company audits for the firm.”


We’ve known that the Big Four auditors were rotten since the Carillion Scandal, but we continue to behave as though they can be trusted — even though we know they can’t be trusted. The thing is that every public project and every business plan has an “insert trust here” box that’s shaped exactly like the Big Four firms, and that’s made them both too big to fail and too big to jail.


KPMG has admitted that the accusations are true.


Five former KPMG officials — including its former national managing partner for audit quality and professional practice — and one former PCAOB official were charged last year in a case that alleged they schemed to interfere with the PCAOB’s ability to detect audit deficiencies at KPMG. The SEC said the senior KPMG partners sought and obtained confidential PCAOB lists of inspection targets and then led a program to review and revise certain audit work papers after the audit reports had been issued in order to reduce the likelihood of deficiencies being found during inspections.

Three have pleaded guilty, two were found guilty and one is still pending trial.

The SEC’s order says KPMG must “cease and desist” violating the securities laws and is required to evaluate its quality controls relating to ethics and integrity and identify audit professionals that violated ethics and integrity requirements in connection with training examinations within the past three years. KPMG must also hire an independent consultant to review and assess the firm’s ethics and integrity controls and its investigation of the cheating scandal.


The KPMG cheating scandal was much more widespread than originally thought
[Francine McKenna/Marketwatch]

Day of Reckoning for KPMG-Failures in Ethics [Thomas R Fox/Compliance Report]


(via Naked Capitalism)


(Image: NOFD)

from Boing Boing https://boingboing.net/2019/06/19/quis-custodiet-ipsos-kpmg.html

Culture

Xiaomi fires employee who used artist’s work without permission

Xiaomi has admitted to using an artist’s work without their permission to promote its products and says it’s fired the employee responsible.

Last night, we reported that Xiaomi’s Spanish website used elements from three creations by 3D artist Peter Tarka. Tarka said he was “100 percent sure” Xiaomi had used his work, and the elements appeared to line up quite clearly. Now the company is pinning the blame on a single employee and saying the incident is due to “lapses in our approval process.”

Xiaomi says it will strengthen its internal processes for approving art “to prevent this from happening again,” and that it’s reached out to Tarka to apologize. Tarka’s work has since been removed from Xiaomi’s website.

Tarka made a GIF showing how…

Continue reading…

from The Verge – All Posts https://www.theverge.com/2019/6/19/18691355/xiaomi-fires-employee-art-permission-artist-tarka-removal

Culture

The Friends of Ringo Ishikawa is a free-form 2D brawler with a unique sense of melancholy

The Friends of Ringo Ishikawa is a game that wears its influences on its sleeve, yet manages to feel altogether exceptional. At first glance, it appears to be a simple, side-scrolling beat-em-up in thrall to River City Ransom, but it blends life-sim elements from games like Persona and Shenmue with punchy combat and excellent, world-weary writing that you wouldn’t expect from a pixel-art tale about delinquent school kids.

I played a lot of The Friends of Ringo Ishikawa on a recent vacation and couldn’t get it out of my head, so I got in touch with its developer, which turned out to be just one guy from Moscow who goes by the name Yeo. As it happens, the story behind the game is as unusual as the game itself. It’s not every day that you…

Continue reading…

from The Verge – All Posts https://www.theverge.com/2019/6/19/18691106/the-friends-of-ringo-ishikawa-review-interview-yeo

Culture

To help the news business, subject Big Tech to antitrust — but don’t forget Big News’s antitrust problem

The University of Chicago Business School’s Promarket blog has run a transcript of former antitrust enforcer Sally Hubbard’s June 11 testimony before the House Judiciary Committee on June 11, 2019, where Hubbard discusses the ways that the monopolized and concentrated tech sector have eroded the margins of the news business, creating a “decline of American journalism.”


Hubbard describes how algorithmic upranking or downranking can make or break a media outlet, while ad targeting gives Big Tech the power to command better ad rates than news media can attain; she accepts Big Tech’s claim that its machine-learning persuasion technologies can “learn what messages people are susceptible to, whether ads or propaganda” and then create public opinion (I’m skeptical of this claim — I don’t know why we’d take Big Tech’s sales literature at face value).


Hubbard then lays into Big Tech’s anticompetitive activities, like the buying sprees that have them snapping up hundreds of small companies every year, and the use of “monopoly power to exclude competition.”


In response to all this, Hubbard calls for the whole suite of antitrust remedies: forcing selloffs of Big Tech’s acquisitions, banning future purchases of small companies that take Big Tech into new lines of business, and an end to “exclusionary practices.”


I’m pretty much in favor of all of that, but I was also disappointed by the narrowness of the frame that Hubbard uses to describe news media’s woes, and not just because of her belief in Big Tech’s ability to turn surveillance data into a mind-control ray.


The story of the news media doesn’t start the day that Craigslist started to upend the classified ad market. It starts at least a decade before, when private equity firms started to buy up and merge local news outlets (including rival papers and TV stations). These corporate raiders loaded up the media companies with debt, centralized their sales forces, gutted their news-rooms, laid off unionized drivers and printers and switched to contractors, sold off physical plant leased it back, sold off their flagship headquarter buildings in prime downtown locations and became tenants instead of landlords, and outsourced much of their reporting to wire services, so that each town’s paper became largely indistinguishable from the paper in the next town.


These changes left the news business in a brittle state: deprived of its war-chests, producing an inferior product, shed of the local sales knowledge that had been painstakingly built over decades, and liable to shocks in labor, real-estate and debt markets.


And then the dotcoms came, and suddenly, the wire-service-stuffed papers that were identical to their neighbors were all available everywhere, even as classified ads got much more efficient thanks to Craigslist and its successors, and then real estate prices went bonkers, and so on.


Big Tech’s dominance isn’t helping Big News, but Big News is no paragon of competitive virtue. What’s more, efforts to “fix news” by limiting who can link to news sites will only cement Big Tech’s dominance, because Big Tech can afford linking licenses while potential nascent competitors can’t.


I’m also worried about Hubbard’s idea that we should give users “ownership of their data.” Using property frames to describe something like private information is a recipe for disaster: when you and your friend have a conversation, who owns the fact that the conversation exists? You? Your friend? If everyone who sees you walking down the street is co-owner of the fact that you were walking down the street, do they all have to agree before that fact can be shared? Giving people control over their data is really important. Giving them ownership of that data is a terrible one.


Antitrust enforcement alone won’t solve all of the problems listed above, but we won’t be able to solve anything unless we weaken monopolies’ power. It is a necessary but not sufficient condition.

News is not just any commodity. It’s a social good that is essential to hold power to account. It was a journalist named Ida Tarbell that took down the most notorious monopoly in US history, Standard Oil. News deserves the special protection it has had throughout American history, through non-discrimination and interoperability rules for networks. We also need rules to curb invasive data collection by default and to give citizens ownership of their data.

The good news is that we have been here before. We have stood up to powerful tech monopolists. Each time, we were better for it. We unleashed new waves of innovation. We restored our markets and removed gatekeepers. But if we don’t act now to change the structure of our markets, titans will continue to control speech, journalism will continue to wither, and so will our democracy.

The Decline of American Journalism Is an Antitrust Problem [Sally Hubbard/Promarket]

from Boing Boing https://boingboing.net/2019/06/19/privacy-not-property.html

Culture

Joy Harjo named 23rd Poet Laureate, first Native American to serve in U.S. position of honor

The Library of Congress today appointed Joy Harjo as the 23rd U.S. Poet Laureate.

Harjo becomes the first Native American to serve in the position.

Harjo is a member of the Muscogee Creek Nation.

Here’s the full text of Wednesday’s announcement from the Library of Congress:

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden today announced the appointment of Joy Harjo as the nation’s 23rd Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry for 2019-2020. Harjo will take up her duties in the fall, opening the Library’s annual literary season on Sept. 19 with a reading of her work in the Coolidge Auditorium.

Harjo is the first Native American poet to serve in the position – she is an enrolled member of the Muscogee Creek Nation. She succeeds Tracy K. Smith, who served two terms as laureate.

“Joy Harjo has championed the art of poetry – ‘soul talk’ as she calls it – for over four decades,” Hayden said. “To her, poems are ‘carriers of dreams, knowledge and wisdom,’ and through them she tells an American story of tradition and loss, reckoning and myth-making. Her work powerfully connects us to the earth and the spiritual world with direct, inventive lyricism that helps us reimagine who we are.”

Harjo currently lives in her hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and is the nation’s first Poet Laureate from Oklahoma.

“What a tremendous honor it is to be named the U.S. Poet Laureate,” Harjo said. “I share this honor with ancestors and teachers who inspired in me a love of poetry, who taught that words are powerful and can make change when understanding appears impossible, and how time and timelessness can live together within a poem. I count among these ancestors and teachers my Muscogee Creek people, the librarians who opened so many doors for all of us, and the original poets of the indigenous tribal nations of these lands, who were joined by diverse peoples from nations all over the world to make this country and this country’s poetry.”

Harjo joins a long line of distinguished poets who have served in the position, including Juan Felipe Herrera, Charles Wright, Natasha Trethewey, Philip Levine, W.S. Merwin, Kay Ryan, Charles Simic, Donald Hall, Ted Kooser, Louise Glück, Billy Collins, Stanley Kunitz, Robert Pinsky, Robert Hass and Rita Dove.

Harjo was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on May 9, 1951, and is the author of eight books of poetry – including “Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings” (W. W. Norton, 2015); “The Woman Who Fell From the Sky” (W. W. Norton, 1994), which received the Oklahoma Book Arts Award; and “In Mad Love and War” (Wesleyan University Press, 1990), which received an American Book Award and the Delmore Schwartz Memorial Award. Her next book of poems, “An American Sunrise,” will be published by W.W. Norton in fall 2019. Harjo has also written a memoir, “Crazy Brave” (W.W. Norton, 2012), which won the 2013 PEN Center USA literary prize for creative nonfiction, as well as a children’s book, “The Good Luck Cat” (Harcourt, Brace 2000) and a young adult book, “For a Girl Becoming” (University of Arizona Press, 2009).

As a performer, Harjo has appeared on HBO’s “Def Poetry Jam” and in venues across the U.S. and internationally. In addition to her poetry, Harjo is a musician. She plays saxophone with her band, the Arrow Dynamics Band, and previously with Poetic Justice, and has released four award-winning CDs of original music. In 2009, she won a Native American Music Award (NAMMY) for Best Female Artist of the Year.

Harjo’s many literary awards include the PEN Open Book Award, the American Indian Distinguished Achievement in the Arts Award, the New Mexico Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts and the Arrell Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award from the Oklahoma Center for the Book. Harjo has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Witter Bynner Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Her collection “How We Become Human: New and Selected Poems 1975-2001” (W.W. Norton, 2002) was selected by the National Endowment for the Arts for its Big Read program. Her recent honors include the Jackson Prize from Poets & Writers (2019), the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize from the Poetry Foundation (2017) and the Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American Poets (2015). In 2019, she was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.

Harjo has taught at UCLA and was until recently a professor and chair of excellence at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She has returned to her hometown where she holds a Tulsa Artist Fellowship.

About the Laureateship

The Library of Congress Poetry and Literature Center is the home of the Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry, a position that has existed since 1937, when Archer M. Huntington endowed the Chair of Poetry at the Library. Since then, many of the nation’s most eminent poets have served as Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress and, after the passage of Public Law 99-194 (Dec. 20, 1985), as Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry – a position which the law states “is equivalent to that of Poet Laureate of the United States.”

During his or her term, the Poet Laureate seeks to raise the national consciousness to a greater appreciation of the reading and writing of poetry. The Library keeps to a minimum the specific duties required of the Poet Laureate, who opens the literary season in the fall and closes it in the spring. In recent years, Laureates have initiated poetry projects that broaden the audiences for poetry.

For more information on the Poet Laureate and the Poetry and Literature Center, visit loc.gov/poetry. Consultants in Poetry and Poets Laureate Consultants in Poetry and their terms of service can be found at loc.gov/poetry/laureate.html.

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States – and extensive materials from around the world – both on site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov, access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov, and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.

Photo by Shawn Miller, Library of Congress.

from Boing Boing https://boingboing.net/2019/06/19/joy-harjo-named-23rd-poet-laur.html

Culture

Joy Harjo named 23rd Poet Laureate, first Native American to serve in U.S. position of honor

The Library of Congress today appointed Joy Harjo as the 23rd U.S. Poet Laureate.

Harjo becomes the first Native American to serve in the position.

Harjo is a member of the Muscogee Creek Nation.

Here’s the full text of Wednesday’s announcement from the Library of Congress:

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden today announced the appointment of Joy Harjo as the nation’s 23rd Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry for 2019-2020. Harjo will take up her duties in the fall, opening the Library’s annual literary season on Sept. 19 with a reading of her work in the Coolidge Auditorium.

Harjo is the first Native American poet to serve in the position – she is an enrolled member of the Muscogee Creek Nation. She succeeds Tracy K. Smith, who served two terms as laureate.

“Joy Harjo has championed the art of poetry – ‘soul talk’ as she calls it – for over four decades,” Hayden said. “To her, poems are ‘carriers of dreams, knowledge and wisdom,’ and through them she tells an American story of tradition and loss, reckoning and myth-making. Her work powerfully connects us to the earth and the spiritual world with direct, inventive lyricism that helps us reimagine who we are.”

Harjo currently lives in her hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and is the nation’s first Poet Laureate from Oklahoma.

“What a tremendous honor it is to be named the U.S. Poet Laureate,” Harjo said. “I share this honor with ancestors and teachers who inspired in me a love of poetry, who taught that words are powerful and can make change when understanding appears impossible, and how time and timelessness can live together within a poem. I count among these ancestors and teachers my Muscogee Creek people, the librarians who opened so many doors for all of us, and the original poets of the indigenous tribal nations of these lands, who were joined by diverse peoples from nations all over the world to make this country and this country’s poetry.”

Harjo joins a long line of distinguished poets who have served in the position, including Juan Felipe Herrera, Charles Wright, Natasha Trethewey, Philip Levine, W.S. Merwin, Kay Ryan, Charles Simic, Donald Hall, Ted Kooser, Louise Glück, Billy Collins, Stanley Kunitz, Robert Pinsky, Robert Hass and Rita Dove.

Harjo was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on May 9, 1951, and is the author of eight books of poetry – including “Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings” (W. W. Norton, 2015); “The Woman Who Fell From the Sky” (W. W. Norton, 1994), which received the Oklahoma Book Arts Award; and “In Mad Love and War” (Wesleyan University Press, 1990), which received an American Book Award and the Delmore Schwartz Memorial Award. Her next book of poems, “An American Sunrise,” will be published by W.W. Norton in fall 2019. Harjo has also written a memoir, “Crazy Brave” (W.W. Norton, 2012), which won the 2013 PEN Center USA literary prize for creative nonfiction, as well as a children’s book, “The Good Luck Cat” (Harcourt, Brace 2000) and a young adult book, “For a Girl Becoming” (University of Arizona Press, 2009).

As a performer, Harjo has appeared on HBO’s “Def Poetry Jam” and in venues across the U.S. and internationally. In addition to her poetry, Harjo is a musician. She plays saxophone with her band, the Arrow Dynamics Band, and previously with Poetic Justice, and has released four award-winning CDs of original music. In 2009, she won a Native American Music Award (NAMMY) for Best Female Artist of the Year.

Harjo’s many literary awards include the PEN Open Book Award, the American Indian Distinguished Achievement in the Arts Award, the New Mexico Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts and the Arrell Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award from the Oklahoma Center for the Book. Harjo has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Witter Bynner Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Her collection “How We Become Human: New and Selected Poems 1975-2001” (W.W. Norton, 2002) was selected by the National Endowment for the Arts for its Big Read program. Her recent honors include the Jackson Prize from Poets & Writers (2019), the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize from the Poetry Foundation (2017) and the Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American Poets (2015). In 2019, she was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.

Harjo has taught at UCLA and was until recently a professor and chair of excellence at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She has returned to her hometown where she holds a Tulsa Artist Fellowship.

About the Laureateship

The Library of Congress Poetry and Literature Center is the home of the Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry, a position that has existed since 1937, when Archer M. Huntington endowed the Chair of Poetry at the Library. Since then, many of the nation’s most eminent poets have served as Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress and, after the passage of Public Law 99-194 (Dec. 20, 1985), as Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry – a position which the law states “is equivalent to that of Poet Laureate of the United States.”

During his or her term, the Poet Laureate seeks to raise the national consciousness to a greater appreciation of the reading and writing of poetry. The Library keeps to a minimum the specific duties required of the Poet Laureate, who opens the literary season in the fall and closes it in the spring. In recent years, Laureates have initiated poetry projects that broaden the audiences for poetry.

For more information on the Poet Laureate and the Poetry and Literature Center, visit loc.gov/poetry. Consultants in Poetry and Poets Laureate Consultants in Poetry and their terms of service can be found at loc.gov/poetry/laureate.html.

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States – and extensive materials from around the world – both on site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov, access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov, and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.

Photo by Shawn Miller, Library of Congress.

from Boing Boing https://boingboing.net/2019/06/19/joy-harjo-named-23rd-poet-laur.html

Culture

Ajit Pai promised that killing Net Neutrality would spur investment and improve service: a year later, service and investment have declined

A year ago, Trump FCC Chairman (and former Verizon exec) Ajit Pai killed Net Neutrality, leveraging illegal, fraudulent industry dirty tricks to ram his rule through the process; all along, he claimed that Net Neutrality was a drag on investment, competition and service improvements, and that Americans would see immediate benefits once he was done killing Net Neutrality.


It’s been a year, and while Pai has touted major gains in broadboand investment, these were also a fraud, with the big telcos slashing investment, slashing jobs, sucking up massive tax subsidies (no, even more massive), while continuing to deliver the slowest, most expensive data in any developed country.


Veteran telcoms journalist Rob Rogoraro digs into Pai’s claims in depth, finding them to be baseless: since the slaughter of Net Neutrality, investment and service are worse, and prices are higher.


Now, it’s also true that the throttling and paid prioritization deals we worried about are also not in evidence, but as Karl Bode points out at Techdirt, that’s likely because dozens of states’ attorneys general are suing to the FCC to restore Net Neutrality, so any throttling/prioritization deals that the teclos struck would have to be unwound if the AGs prevailed (a ruling is expected any day now, and then it will likely head to the Supreme Court).


Gigi Sohn, a net-neutrality advocate who served as counselor to Tom Wheeler, Pai’s predecessor as FCC chairman, called throttling and paid prioritization “one half of the picture.”

She pointed to privacy issues, as seen in the discovery that all four wireless carriers—Yahoo Finance’s corporate parent Verizon (VZ) among them—had sold location data to third-party brokers.

The Obama-administration FCC had approved privacy regulations grounded in the old net-neutrality rules, but Republicans in Congress rushed to cancel them in early 2017.

“It’s a lack of oversight that’s the most egregious part,” Sohn said. “I doubt anybody’s minding the store.”


The FCC said repealing net-neutrality rules would help consumers: It hasn’t [Rob Pegoraro/Yahoo Finance]


None Of The Claimed Benefits Of Killing Net Neutrality Ever Arrived [Karl Bode/Techdirt]

from Boing Boing https://boingboing.net/2019/06/19/thanks-ajit.html

Culture

No, anti-vaccine hysteria didn’t emerge from grassroots. This rich NYC couple funded it.

“A myth of the anti-vaccine movement is that it emerged organically through the rise of social media,” says Washington Post investigative reporter Amy Brittain. “We looked into the $$$ behind the movement and found a well-funded operation, driven largely by one Manhattan couple who gave millions to the cause.”

Brittain’s report with Lena H. Sun in today’s Washington Post lays out how New York millionaire couple Bernard and Lisa Selz became “significant financiers of the anti-vaccine movement, contributing more than $3 million in recent years to groups that stoke fears about immunizations online and at live events — including two forums this year at the epicenter of measles outbreaks in New York’s ultra-Orthodox Jewish community.”

Excerpt:

Hedge fund manager and philanthropist Bernard Selz and his wife, Lisa, have long donated to organizations focused on the arts, culture, education and the environment. But seven years ago, their private foundation embraced a very different cause: groups that question the safety and effectiveness of vaccines.

How the Selzes came to support anti-vaccine ideas is unknown, but their financial impact has been enormous. Their money has gone to a handful of determined individuals who have played an outsize role in spreading doubt and misinformation about vaccines and the diseases they prevent. The groups’ false claims linking vaccines to autism and other ailments, while downplaying the risks of measles, have led growing numbers of parents to shun the shots. As a result, health officials have said, the potentially deadly disease has surged to at least 1,044 cases this year, the highest number in nearly three decades.

The Selz Foundation provides roughly three-fourths of the funding for the Informed Consent Action Network, a three-year-old charity that describes its mission as promoting drug and vaccine safety and parental choice in vaccine decisions.

Lisa Selz serves as the group’s president, but its public face and chief executive is Del Bigtree, a former daytime television show producer who draws big crowds to public events. Bigtree has no medical credentials but holds himself out as an expert on vaccine safety and promotes the idea that government officials have colluded with the pharmaceutical industry to cover up grievous harms from the drugs. In recent weeks, Bigtree has headlined forums in ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities in Brooklyn and Rockland County, N.Y., both areas confronting large measles outbreaks.

Read more:
Meet the New York couple donating millions to the anti-vax movement [washingtonpost.com]

PHOTO: Nurses prepare influenza vaccine injections during a flu shot clinic at Dorchester House, a health care clinic, in Boston, Massachusetts January 12, 2013. REUTERS/BRIAN SNYDER

from Boing Boing https://boingboing.net/2019/06/19/no-americas-anti-vaccine-hy.html