Politics

Three railroad workers were killed on June 29 when two BNSF locomotives crashed head-on into each other. “Positive train control” could have prevented the collision, but regulatory deadlines were delayed by industry lobbying.

Detroit Free Press reporters investigate Michigan’s flawed worker safety oversight system; workers in China’s fireworks factories face life-threatening conditions; New Mexico farmworkers win major workers’ comp victory; and OSHA rules in worker’s favor in asbestos retaliation case.

When I was going through the huge collection of photos I have from the Forum in Rome, I kept running across pictures containing two young Asian women (neither of them Kate). This isn’t because I was stalking them, but because they were everywhere, stopping for long periods in front of virtually every significant ruin and…

Only You Can Prevent Gun Violence

The 1993 research paper by Arthur Kellerman et al, “Gun ownership as a risk factor for homicide in the home” concluded that having firearms in the home increased the risk of homicide in that home. Guns, it turns out, do not provide protection, but rather increase risk. That research was funded by the Center for…

Two related, but contrasting, items on Brexit. The climate change connection to Brexit is unclear and mostly negative. It is simply true that we benefit from international unity when addressing a global problem, and the EU is a powerful forward looking entity that could address climate change more effectively than the collection of individual nations…

On Friday, June 24, President Obama designated the Stonewall National Monument – the first national monument dedicated to telling the story of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community’s struggle for equal rights. Listen for the Ken Burns tribute near the end.

A couple months ago, we reported on a study that found raising the minimum wage to $15 could have prevented thousands of premature deaths in New York City alone. Now comes more science on the life-saving benefits of higher wages — this one found that just a modest increase in the minimum wage could have saved the lives of hundreds of babies. It’s yet another reminder that the movement for a living wage is also a movement toward a healthier nation for all.

A puzzling OSHA regulatory agenda for last 6 months of Obama term

OSHA added five new topics to its regulatory agenda despite being tardy completing its current rulemaking activities. Reading the agenda brings several questions to mind.

One of the key faults of the Harper Conservatives’ science policy was their emphasis on applied research to the detriment of basic, curiosity driven research. Obviously there needs to be a balance between any government’s approach to those two kinds of research, neither polar opposite is appropriate. But the Conservatives were way out of wack…

Obama calls out asbestos at TSCA signing ceremony

President Obama called out asbestos as the key example of why the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act is needed. He signed it into law today.