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This Blessed Earth: A Year in the Life of an American Family Farm – Ted Genoways


This Blessed Earth: A Year in the Life of an American Family Farm

Ted Genoways

Genre: Agriculture

Price: $1.99

Publish Date: September 19, 2017

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

Seller: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.

Winner of the Stubbendieck Great Plains Distinguished Book Prize 2019 selection for the One Book One Nebraska and All Iowa state reading programs "Genoways gives the reader a kitchen-table view of the vagaries, complexities, and frustrations of modern farming…Insightful and empathetic." —Milwaukee Journal Sentinel The family farm lies at the heart of our national identity, and yet its future is in peril. Rick Hammond grew up on a farm, and for forty years he has raised cattle and crops on his wife’s fifth-generation homestead in Nebraska, in hopes of passing it on to their four children. But as the handoff nears, their family farm—and their entire way of life—are under siege on many fronts, from shifting trade policies, to encroaching pipelines, to climate change. Following the Hammonds from harvest to harvest, Ted Genoways explores the rapidly changing world of small, traditional farming operations. He creates a vivid, nuanced portrait of a radical new landscape and one family’s fight to preserve their legacy and the life they love.

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This Blessed Earth: A Year in the Life of an American Family Farm – Ted Genoways

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What to Do With Your Extra Craft Supplies

If your closets are starting to look like the scrapbooking aisle at Hobby Lobby, it might be time to talk about downsizing. Crafting is fun?? it’s a great way to engage your creative side, let off a little steam or just pass the time?? but it’s easy to get carried away.?

While it?can be convenient to?have every type of ribbon under the sun available at a moment’s notice, the wise?thing to do is buy only what you need, when you need it and to pass on the excess in a responsible manner.

Overwhelmed by boxes upon boxes of craft supplies? Downsizing in anticipation of a move or lifestyle change? Here’s how to responsibly dispose of those extra crafting supplies in a way that’s both thoughtful and environmentally friendly.

What to do with unopened?supplies

It’s easy to overestimate how much you’ll need of any given craft supply, particularly if you aren’t crafting with detailed instructions. Unopened supplies?? paints, yarn, stickers, buttons, etc.?? can be given away in any of the following manners:

Create a kit for a friend:?Do you have a?friend, godchild, neighbor or family member who might enjoy using the excess you have available? Put together a little kit of “like items” that can be used together to create something new!
Share what you have online:?There are all sorts of Facebook groups specifically centered around passing along useful items. Conduct a quick search for your local “Buy Nothing” chapter. Someone is certain to pick up what you’re giving away!
Donate:?There are so many schools, community centers and nonprofits out there with small budgets and limited resources. Why not give them away? Just make sure you give them a call ahead of time to see if they could use?what you’re getting rid of.

What to do with fabric?remnants and notions

There are lots of uses for fabric remnants, no matter how small! You could quilt a blanket, make a wall hanging, whip up some pot holders or start tying a rug.?If the remnants are too small to be usable, you can always donate them to a textiles recycler (more on that here). The process isn’t perfect, but most old textiles?can be turned into recycled?fibers and put to productive use.

What to do with unwanted tools

Sewing machines, sergers, wire clippers, paper cutters…there are so many tools needed to stock a crafting closet. Then again, if you find yourself always doing paper crafts instead of sewing, that seam ripper is never going to see the light of day. If you have more tools than you know what to do with,?ask yourself these questions:

  1. Which crafting styles really speak to me??Locate your preferences. Consider holding onto supplies for only three styles of crafting and no more. You can always hop back on your “Buy Nothing” page to request tools for a new project if your tastes change.
  2. Have I used this tool in the last month??Downsize like you would if you were editing your clothes closet. Have you used those decorative scissors in the last month? Two months? If not, pass it along.
  3. Do I know someone from whom I could borrow what I need??The ability to borrow infrequently used items is such a blessing! Aunt, grandma, nephew, neighbor…there’s always someone nearby that would be glad to share.

Once you know what you’re keeping and what you’re getting rid of, think through the best possible donation for your extras. Is there a local school that could use that three-hole punch or set of paint brushes? A community center that would love to get their hands on a jewelry-making set? Give those items away. Those organizations (and the people they serve) will be so glad you did!

What to do with?leftover papers

That paper stash can so easily get out of hand! There are themed papers, glittered papers, cardstocks, transparent papers, striped papers, spotted papers, holiday papers, and on and on. Rather than purchasing a large book of 250, consider buying single sheets for specific projects instead. This will help you avoid overwhelming drawers with half-used sheets and help prevent paper waste.

Have clippings of seemingly unusable paper? Use those shreds to make new paper (look for a secondhand deckle) or create bedding for small animals, then recycle the rest. There are so many?alternative uses for paper!

There’s more than enough to share

While it may be nice?to have a wire cutter and acrylic paints?handy at all times, the best?approach to crafting?is to buy only what you need, when you need it, and to pass on the excess in a responsible manner. Happy crafting!

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What to Do With Your Extra Craft Supplies

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Joe Biden wants to be the anti-Trump. Here’s what that could mean for climate policy.

Let’s play a game called two truths and a lie:

  1. Joe Biden is running for President.
  2. Joe Biden has endorsed a carbon tax and the Green New Deal.
  3. Joe Biden was the first senator to introduce climate legislation in the U.S.

For all those who guessed that No. 2 is the lie, you are correct! Congrats. The Democrat has not, in fact, endorsed the Green New Deal. Nor has gone on record about supporting carbon pricing, a climate solution embraced by most political moderates.

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Biden announced Thursday morning that he is throwing his ice cream-stained cap in the 2020 presidential ring, which means the already-crowded, left-lurching Democratic primary has its most establishment member yet in the 76-year-old former vice president. In a video that focuses heavily on the 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, and the current White House occupant’s shocking response to the event, Biden clearly positions himself as the antidote to Donald Trump.

The longtime senator from Delaware has been under scrutiny for months as the media anticipated his official announcement. Dozens of stories have probed his decades-long record. And a month ago, Lucy Flores, a Democratic politician from Nevada, accused him of unwanted touching. Since then, a number of women have come forward with similar stories.

The accusations and the background checks didn’t stop the Democrat from joining the 2020 race. His launch video eschews any talk of issues, so what can we expect from Biden when it comes to tackling climate change? Let’s take a trip down memory lane.

Amtrak Joe was actually the first to propose climate legislation in Congress’s upper chamber — a bill called the 1986 Global Climate Protection Act that would have done what Nancy Pelosi’s Select Committee on the Climate Crisis does now: “Establish a Task Force on the Global Climate to research, develop, and implement a coordinated national strategy on global climate.” Imagine how useful such a panel might have been three decades ago. Unfortunately the president at the time, Ronald Reagan, wasn’t exactly champing at the bit to address rising temperatures.

Between his early days in the Senate and now, Biden’s most notable climate-related accomplishment was serving as Barack Obama’s sidekick for eight years. The administration was especially focused on climate action, especially during its second term (think: CAFE standards, Clean Power Plan, the Paris agreement, among other achievements). Following the 2008 recession, Biden handed out $90 billion in funding for clean-energy programs and called the move “the thing I’m proudest of” from the administration’s first term. In a 2015 speech, the vice president said tackling climate change was “the single most important thing” the White House could do.

Overall, however Obama’s climate record is far from spotless: He bragged about helping the U.S. become the world’s leading oil producer. And part of his energy plan included handing Shell a permit to drill in the Arctic and promoting offshore drilling. Biden might now have to answer for those decisions.

Today, as the chatter left of the aisle centers on the Green New Deal, it’s clear that ideas like the Obama-era “all of the above” energy strategy aren’t going to fly in the Democratic primary. Already, five 2020-bound senators have signed on as cosponsors of the ambitious equity-focused, economy-transforming proposal offered by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey. A slew of other candidates not serving in the Senate have thrown their support behind the idea, too.

Biden, however, has so far been uncharacteristically quiet on that front. But, in a speech at the Conference of Mayors in January, he gave the audience a taste of what his thinking around climate is these days:

Lots of renewables: “Today we generate wind power for 24 million homes,” he said. “There’s no reason why we can’t quadruple that, virtually overnight.”
He’s all about setting goals: “There’s no reason that in 2025 all of North America can’t get half its electricity from non-polluting sources.”
Bipartisanship: “There’s unanimity in my party, the vast majority of Republicans agree,” he claimed, that climate needs to be addressed.
Climate change is a matter of national security: “Sea levels rise a half a foot or a foot, you have tens of millions of people migrating,” he explained, shaking his fist. “That’s how wars start.”
Climate change poses an existential threat: “It’s about a matter of survival.”

Biden wrapped up his speech with a call to arms: “We cannot continue down this blind path,” he proclaimed. “We cannot ignore science, we cannot abdicate our duty to lead the world.”

It’s no accident that Biden spent a third of his 30-minute speech expounding on his record on the environment and enumerating ideas to tackle climate change. With the clock ticking on much-needed action, the issue is often on the lips of many challengers vying to take on Donald Trump — and then, hopefully, warming.

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Joe Biden wants to be the anti-Trump. Here’s what that could mean for climate policy.

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Mama’s Last Hug: Animal and Human Emotions and What They Tell Us about Ourselves – Frans de Waal


Mama’s Last Hug: Animal and Human Emotions and What They Tell Us about Ourselves

Frans de Waal

Genre: Life Sciences

Price: $14.99

Publish Date: March 12, 2019

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

Seller: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.

New York Times best-selling author and primatologist Frans de Waal explores the fascinating world of animal and human emotions. New York Times best-selling author and primatologist Frans de Waal explores the fascinating world of animal and human emotions. New York Times best-selling author and primatologist Frans de Waal explores the fascinating world of animal and human emotions. Frans de Waal has spent four decades at the forefront of animal research. Following up on the best-selling Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?, which investigated animal intelligence, Mama’s Last Hug delivers a fascinating exploration of the rich emotional lives of animals. Mama’s Last Hug begins with the death of Mama, a chimpanzee matriarch who formed a deep bond with biologist Jan van Hooff. When Mama was dying, van Hooff took the unusual step of visiting her in her night cage for a last hug. Their goodbyes were filmed and went viral. Millions of people were deeply moved by the way Mama embraced the professor, welcoming him with a big smile while reassuring him by patting his neck, in a gesture often considered typically human but that is in fact common to all primates. This story and others like it form the core of de Waal’s argument, showing that humans are not the only species with the capacity for love, hate, fear, shame, guilt, joy, disgust, and empathy. De Waal discusses facial expressions, the emotions behind human politics, the illusion of free will, animal sentience, and, of course, Mama’s life and death. The message is one of continuity between us and other species, such as the radical proposal that emotions are like organs: we don’t have a single organ that other animals don’t have, and the same is true for our emotions. Mama’s Last Hug opens our hearts and minds to the many ways in which humans and other animals are connected, transforming how we view the living world around us.

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Mama’s Last Hug: Animal and Human Emotions and What They Tell Us about Ourselves – Frans de Waal

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EVOLUTION MYTHS – Jeffrey K. Lyons



A Critical View of neo-Darwinism

Jeffrey K. Lyons

Genre: Nature

Price: $7.99

Publish Date: November 28, 2018

Publisher: Liberty Hill Publishing

Seller: South Tx Broadcasting dba Xulon Press

Today, evolutionary theory is ubiquitous in our secular education systems. This book is a critical view of neo-Darwinism, which is the dominant dogma throughout secular higher education and K-12 public education. The criticisms of neo-Darwinism cited in this book are from various overlapping groups of: scientists, atheists, philosophers and university professors. If you are looking for a resource that will give you sound arguments and facts, that will aid you in thinking critically about Darwinism; this is the resource for you. Evolution is no longer a biological theory.  It permeates the natural sciences, social sciences and philosophy. It has become a meta-theory. Whenever scientific data are absent, both natural and social scientists resort to narrative as a super glue. Evolution is open to criticism! You will discover the following: Who popularized the term  evolution  and why Darwin opposed the term  evolution   How many times Darwin referred to the Creator in  The Origin of Species What world famous scientist believed DNA was not naturally caused The Three Barriers to Life, that evolution cannot explain Proof that life cannot be the result of random forces How catastrophic events wiped out about 90% of life on Earth Who are some of the leading scientists and philosophers that dare to question  evolution Chapter summaries will guide you through the topics Hundreds of scientific sources are cited for further research

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EVOLUTION MYTHS – Jeffrey K. Lyons

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Empire Antarctica – Gavin Francis


Empire Antarctica

Ice, Silence & Emperor Penguins

Gavin Francis

Genre: Nature

Price: $1.99

Publish Date: September 16, 2013

Publisher: Counterpoint Press

Seller: OpenRoad Integrated Media, LLC

“It is difficult to read this engaging memoir without a smile on one’s face . . . moments of sheer joy . . . [a] mesmerizing and memorable book.” — The Economist   Chosen as a Book of the Year by the Scotsman , the Financial Times , and the Sunday Herald Gavin Francis fulfilled a lifetime’s ambition when he spent fourteen months as the basecamp doctor at Halley, a profoundly isolated British research station on the Caird Coast of Antarctica—so remote that it is said to be easier to evacuate a casualty from the International Space Station than it is to bring someone out of Halley in winter.   Antarctica offered a year of unparalleled silence and solitude, with few distractions and a rare opportunity to live among emperor penguins, the only species truly at home in the Antarctic. Following penguins throughout the year—from a summer of perpetual sunshine to months of winter darkness—Francis explores the world of great beauty conjured from the simplest of elements, the hardship of below-zero temperatures and the unexpected comfort that the penguin community brings. Empire Antarctica is the story of one man’s fascination with the world’s loneliest continent, and the emperor penguins who weather the winter with him.   Includes maps and illustrations   “Part travelogue, part memoir, part natural history book, a fascinating, lyrical account of one of the strangest places on earth and its majestic inhabitants.” — Esquire   “Highly readable, enjoyable . . . the author writes vividly of auroras, clouds, stars, sunlight, darkness, ice and snow . . . A literate, stylish memoir of personal adventure rich in history, geography and science.” — Kirkus Reviews

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Empire Antarctica – Gavin Francis

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5 Tips for Biking to Work in the Rain

Biking to work is a wonderful way to commute. It’s healthy, eco-friendly and saves you tons of money on gas! However, biking to work becomes instantly a lot more complicated in inclement weather. How do you stay safe when visibility is down and it’s cold and wet outside?

Whether you’re dealing with a thunderstorm or a spring shower, these tips for biking to work in the rain will help you get to work safe, on time and completely dry. Before you know it, you might actually learn to love riding in the rain!

5 Tips for Biking to Work in the Rain

1.?Bundle up

First things first, you need to learn how to layer. Layers trap your body heat, ensuring you stay warm during cooler weather.

If you’ll be riding in the rain, you’re going to want to choose a waterproof jacket, rather than a water-resistant one, to keep you warm and dry. Look for a garment that is seam-sealed (turn the garment inside out to check), but also has vents to help release body moisture without letting rain?in.

Your jacket of choice should also fit snuggly over a wool or synthetic polypropylene-polyester base layer, which will help keep sweat off your body (so you don’t get chilled when you stop moving). Just make sure it doesn’t restrict your movement in any way.

Here are a few bonus features?you’ll want to check for as well:

Comfortable cuffs that fit tight around your wrists
Pockets where you can stash your phone and other essentials

2.?Be as visible as possible

Reflective clothing is your friend! If you’re going riding in the rain, make sure you’re wearing a variety of items that will ensure you stay visible on the road. Some great options include: a high-visibility vest, a flashing?light for both the front and the back of your ride and reflective spray (yes, spray!) that helps you show up in the dark and washes off when you’re done.

3.?Learn?the rules of the road

Biking in the city is hard enough as it is; keep yourself safe by following the rules for bikers on the road. Here are some of the basics:

Behave predictably ? stay visible, leave distance and yield as much as possible
Ride on the right side of the road and not on the sidewalk
Yield before entering major?roadways ? stay behind crosswalks and away from the curb
Look before moving laterally or turning ??check your blindspot and?use hand signals
Use correct lanes ? choose right, left or thru lanes like you would if you were driving
Stay visible to motorists who may cross your path and make it clear you need your space

Following these rules and signaling properly will ensure you stay safe and visible to other drivers on the road.

4. Know your bike

Find?a safe, rarely-trafficked area to test your bike’s behavior. How does it respond to wet conditions when you brake? Do you find it more difficult to control? In what specific scenarios should you be wary when you’re riding for real?

Riding in the rain is more challenging for obvious reasons: everything gets slipperier when?wet. So keep an eye out for painted surfaces, metal manhole covers and?rainbow oil residue.?You’ll also want to be careful when you turn; sudden movements or leaning could cause you to spin out.

5. Embrace it

Unless you live where the sun always shines,?rainy days can really mess with your biking schedule. So brave?the rain, power through with confidence and bike like the hero rider you know you are.

Are you a cyclist? What tips do you have for our other riders? Let us know in the comments!

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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5 Tips for Biking to Work in the Rain

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How to Protect Your Fall Garden from Cold Weather & Strong Winds

Regardless of which hardiness zone you live in, fall weather can pack a punch. Whether it?s sudden wind storms or plunging temperatures, your garden needs to be prepared. Check out some of the following tips to get your garden in top shape for the cold season ahead.

Keep Your Soil Moist

If you?ve had a dry summer, it?s always beneficial to give your garden a thorough watering before cold weather sets in. Cooler fall temperatures reduce evaporation, which helps water absorb into the ground more easily than in the heat of summer.

Moist soil is ideal during cold snaps because it holds heat longer and insulates roots better than dry soil. Just be careful not to overwater; very wet soils can promote rot and disease.

Mulch Your Beds

Another excellent way to keep heat and moisture in your soil is to apply a good layer of mulch to any exposed areas in the fall. This will also help protect any tender surface roots.

One of the easiest methods of mulching is to leave plant debris on the ground. Any fallen leaves can be left on top of your soil, as well as the remains of any annual or perennial plants that have died back for the year.

Many other types of mulch also work well, check out these great mulch choices for your yard.

Cover Tender Plants

Plants that are borderline hardy in your climate zone often need to be wrapped or covered before freezing temperatures start.

You can use any fabric that breathes for wrapping, such as burlap, commercial frost blankets or your old blankets from home. Landscape Ontario has helpful step-by-step instructions on how to wrap a plant.

If you have smaller plants that don?t need a full wrapping, such as vegetables, you can use a fabric row cover instead. Row cover is a light material that?s sold at most garden centers. It can be placed directly over your tender plants and weighted down on the edges with rocks, bricks or staples. You can also install short hoops over your plants for the fabric to rest on. PVC or other thin, flexible materials are good for hoops.

Protect Container Plants

Plants grown in containers are less cold tolerant than plants in the ground. The limited amount of growing medium in a pot has far less temperature buffering capacity, so plunging temperatures can spell disaster for potted plants.

Bring potted plants indoors for the cold season when possible. Even moving them into your garage or other non-heated space may be enough protection, depending on the plant and your hardiness zone.

If you need to leave a container plant outside, at least move it to a protected location, such as up against your house or under dense trees. Wrap it well in fabric, and remember to wrap the pot as well. Containers can easily crack during cold weather when left to the elements.

Don?t Fall Prune

Do you have any plants that consistently have tip damage in the spring from cold damage over winter? You can avoid this by simply not pruning them in the fall. This year?s growth will take the brunt of the cold and protect the core of your cold-sensitive plants.

Tuck Your Veggies in for Winter

Many root vegetables like leeks, parsnips, carrots, beets and garlic overwinter well when they?re left in the ground and covered for the cold season.

You can cover them with straw, fabric row covers, dry fallen leaves or other dry material or fabric. Avoid covering with extra soil or anything that will absorb excess water and promote rot. It?s also beneficial to allow the soil to remain somewhat dry. This reduces the chances of excess water in the soil freezing and heaving, which can damage your crops.

Create Windbreaks

Windbreaks are typically tall, dense plantings of trees and/or shrubs. These block strong winds, which helps moderate temperature changes in your yard and prevents physical damage to outdoor plants.

Windbreaks can also lower heating costs for your home. It?s estimated that winds during the cold season can account for up to 30 percent of your heating bills. These winds can be significantly reduced with an effective windbreak.

Permaculture and Sanity has a great description of how to design and establish a windbreak.

Artificial structures, such as fences, sheds and walls, also make excellent windbreaks.

12 of the Best Cover Crops for Your Garden
Bee Our Guest: How to Build a Bee Hotel
12 Ways to Get Rid of Aggressive Weeds Without Resorting to Roundup

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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How to Protect Your Fall Garden from Cold Weather & Strong Winds

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Singer Rodney Crowell’s Regret-Soaked Vignettes

Mother Jones

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Rodney Crowell
Close Ties
New West

Courtesy of New West Records

Rodney Crowell has certainly aged well. A reliable country hitmaker in the ’80s, this gifted songwriter subsequently traded chart success for more thoughtful records that deepened his roots in the best Nashville and folk traditions. Following the second of his fine collaborations with former employer Emmylou Harris, he’s returned to solo work on the quietly devastating Close Ties. Stripping his music down to its emotional essentials, Crowell crafts vivid, regret-soaked vignettes of reckless behavior and hard lessons learned, with his weary, rueful voice amplifying the confessional vibe. The loping “It Ain’t Over Yet,” featuring guest vocals by ex-wife Rosanne Cash and John Paul White, late of The Civil Wars, champions the resilient spirit, while “East Houston Blues” recounts the trials of “a worried man on a losing streak” to a jaunty groove. And “Nashville 1972” takes a fond look back at his early days in Music City, rubbing shoulders with greats like Willie Nelson, Guy Clark and Tom T. Hall. Call it country, folk, pop or Americana, Close Ties will connect with anyone who appreciates insightful tunes and honest, unadorned performances.

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Singer Rodney Crowell’s Regret-Soaked Vignettes

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Why Does Apple Object to News About Drone Strikes?

Mother Jones

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Over at the Intercept, Josh Begley has a story that’s disturbing—but not in the usual Intercept way:

Five years ago, I made a simple iPhone app. It would send you a push notification every time a U.S. drone strike was reported in the news. Apple rejected the app three times, calling it “excessively objectionable or crude content.”

….In 2014, after five rejections, Apple accepted the app….But the following September, Apple decided to delete the app entirely. They claimed that the content, once again, was “excessively objectionable or crude.”…Well, Apple’s position has evolved. Today, after 12 attempts, the Metadata app is back in the App Store.

….Update: 2:32pm. Apple has removed Metadata from the App Store.

There is, needless to say, nothing objectionable or crude about this app. It merely aggregates news on a particular subject. Drone strikes themselves may be objectionable and crude—opinions differ, obviously—but reporting on them isn’t.

This matters. Upwards of half of all Americans get some or most of their news from their mobile devices, and for all practical purposes there are only two options in the mobile device world: iOS and Android. If you can’t get an app accepted on either platform, then no one will ever see your app. Apple and Google are the sole gateways to what we can and can’t see.

Now, there are obviously other ways of getting the news. There may even be a website that aggregates drone news the same way Begley’s app does. Still, there’s no question that an app can do things a news site can’t. It can make the news more immediate. It can make sure you don’t miss anything. It can allow you to share more easily with fellow activists.

When Google and Apple are just keeping out porn sites, no one really cares. Even when they’re nixing apps that happen to compete with Apple or Google, people mostly shrug. But when they start censoring apps based on their news content, we’re in trouble. If there were dozens of mobile platforms, and none of them had a big market share, it might not matter too much. Competition would probably sort things out. But when there are only two, it matters a lot. There may still be plenty of news outlets, but in a real-world sense we’re increasingly outsourcing our news to a tiny number of players—mostly Apple, Google, and Facebook. We may wake up some morning and be sorry we did that.

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Why Does Apple Object to News About Drone Strikes?

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