“You go into a pandemic with the president you have, not the president you wish you had.” ~Paul Krugman, NYTimes
Why did Trump and his team deny and delay? All the evidence suggests that he didn’t want to do or say anything that might drive down stock prices, which he seems to regard as the key measure of his success. That’s presumably why as late as Feb. 25 Larry Kudlow, the administration’s chief economist, declared that the U.S. had “contained” the coronavirus, and that the economy was “holding up nicely.”
Well, that was a bad bet. Since then, the stock market has more or less given up all its gains under the Trump presidency. More important, the economy is clearly in free-fall. So what should we do now?
I’ll leave health policy to the experts. On economic policy, I’d suggest three principles. First, focus on hardship, not G.D.P. Second, stop worrying about incentives to work. Third, don’t trust Trump.
The DON, and Mitch Prepare to Give Away the Farm to BIGGIES.
. . . But She’s Watching for Slight-of-Hand, Fighting for Neighbors !
Elizabeth Warren, March 17
We’re not writing blank checks to giant corporations. Any taxpayer dollars that go to help big businesses during the coronavirus crisis should come with the following minimum requirements:
1. Companies must maintain their payrolls and use funds to keep people working or on payroll.
2. Companies must provide a $15 minimum wage within one year of the national emergency declaration ending.
3. Companies are permanently prohibited from engaging in share repurchases.
4. Companies are prohibited from paying out dividends or executive bonuses while they are receiving any relief and for three years thereafter.
5. Companies must set aside at least one seat – but potentially two or more, as the amount of relief increases – on the board of directors for representatives elected by workers.
6. Collective bargaining agreements should remain in place and should not be reopened or renegotiated pursuant to this relief program.
7. Corporations must obtain shareholder and board approval for all political expenditures.
8. CEOs must be required to personally certify a company is in compliance and face criminal penalties for false certifications.
Here’s a quote from Will Bunch, at Philadelphia Inquirer, with a link to Warren’s op-ed at CNN, on the topic of a just bailout for the middle class:
“When the 2008 financial crisis hit, the federal government responded with a bankers’ bailout,” Warren wrote this week in a CNN op-ed, recalling the tempest that put a once obscure academic on a near-miss White House trajectory a dozen years ago. “The rich and powerful got richer and more powerful. We should learn from the past and meet the challenges of this pandemic head-on, this time to deliver meaningful, grassroots relief directly to American families.”
For months I listened (and disagreed) while so many thinking friends said that Elizabeth Warren is sharp, respectable, cares deeply about justice for the middle class, but couldn’t beat Trump.
And then we saw her take down the $60-billion dollar man, Mike Bloomberg, in a NY-minute. Rarely has there been such a devastating bout on a political stage. Watch the one-minute segment below, and tell me that she wasn’t the ideal candidate to face Trump, the one-billion dollar blow-hard.
Sometimes old ways are superior to drugstore remedies. (BadPharma would prefer these approaches were forgotten, working diligently to discredit them, according to careful investigations byDr. Ben Goldacre.) ¶ A recent study reported that raw honey (miel cruda) outperformed numerous commercial cough remedies. I’ve taken to gargling with raw honey, straight—no chaser, at the slightest tickle. (Don’t rinse the potency away.) There are plenty of recipes online that add other stuff to honey, which seems silly to me, as this is already perfect product. And there’s science behind this product of nature. (But don’t use it to treat infants, or children under two.)
Sometimes old ways are superior to drugstore remedies. (BadPharma would prefer these approaches were forgotten, working diligently to discredit them, according to careful investigations by Dr. Ben Goldacre.) A recent study reported that raw honey (miel cruda) outperformed numerous commercial cough remedies. I’ve taken to gargling with raw honey, straight-no chaser, at the slightest tickle. (Don’t rinse the goodness away.) There are plenty of recipes online that add other stuff, which seems silly to me, as this is a perfect product. And there’s science behind this product of nature. (But don’t use it to treat infants, or children under two.)
Sometimes old ways are superior to drugstore remedies. (BadPharma would prefer these approaches were forgotten, working diligently to discredit them, according to careful investigations by Dr. Ben Goldacre.) A recent study reported that raw honey (miel cruda) outperformed numerous commercial cough remedies. I’ve taken to gargling with raw honey, straight-no chaser, at the slightest tickle. (Don’t rinse the goodness away.) There are plenty of recipes online that add other stuff, which seems silly to me, as this is a perfect product. And there’s science behind this product of nature. (But don’t use it to treat infants, or children under two.)Sometimes old ways are superior to drugstore remedies. (BadPharma would prefer these approaches were forgotten, working diligently to discredit them, according to careful investigations by Dr. Ben Goldacre.) A recent study reported that raw honey (miel cruda) outperformed numerous commercial cough remedies. I’ve taken to gargling with raw honey, straight-no chaser, at the slightest tickle. (Don’t rinse the goodness away.) There are plenty of recipes online that add other stuff, which seems silly to me, as this is a perfect product. And there’s science behind this product of nature. (But don’t use it to treat infants, or children under two.)
Next we come to the mineral, zinc. This essential mineral is best consumed as nuts and seeds, instead of as processed supplements. Pumpkin seeds (pepitas; seeds from the cucurbita family) come from locally grown calabasas. (I buy pepitas at Slow Food Market on Saturdays, Reforma at c.33-d; 9am-1pm.) Pepitas are high in zinc, according to Dr Andrew Weil. A fascinating article about the modern discovery of the health import of zinc appeared at npr (National Public Radio). There is some question in my mind about the availability of zinc in Yucatan soils, but I don’t have access to the research article (which US taxpayers likely funded). Walnuts (nueces de castilla)are another healthy source of zinc, offering significant additional benefits (see two-year nurses study).
Garlic bulbs with untrimmed roots, I’m told, indicate that it is locally grown, as the Chinese trim roots severely for shipping. Key to using garlic both as a flavor additive in cooking, and as a treatment, is oxidation, caused by smashing. Use the flat of a large knife, pounding with your fist to crush the garlic tooth; peel, and let it sit for a few minutes to oxidize. If for treatment, slice into slivers to swallow (without chewing)! Garlic is a healthy additive with many surprising benefits as indicated by these numerous mentions at Dr Weil’s blog.
From the same blog, Weil’s colleague, Dr Low Dog (her real name!) offers this excerpt, on respiratory homecare: “I’d say upper respiratory infections, coughs and sore throats are at the top of the list. For these alone, we spend a fortune on antibiotics, over-the-counter prescriptions and health care visits. Yet there are simple steps you can take at home for pennies. One of the simplest ways to ease a sore throat is to gargle with sage and saltwater, which is both soothing and has wonderful antimicrobial effects. Studies have also shown that a sage and echinacea gargle is as effective as lidocaine for relieving the pain of a sore throat. ¶ “You may not realize this, but according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the number one illness-related reason for visits to physicians in the U.S. is for cough. There are definitely many herbs that can address this common and annoying problem. My favorite is thyme – an amazing cough suppressant. It tastes delicious, and the science shows it has potent tracheal and laryngeal anti-spasmodic action. Honey is also very good. Honey alone has been shown to be a more effective cough suppressant for children than many over-the-counter medications. When you combine thyme and honey – I show various ways to do that in the book – you end up with a highly effective cough remedy.“
Naturalist Jim Conrad had several visitors on Monday. Early in the morning a pair of hunters walked past him, within arm’s length, while he sat in his front door, reading. They were carrying shotguns, said hello, apparently oblivious that they were intruding, and kept walking. Later in the day we would learn that another group of hunters, with dogs, were driving deer in their direction.
Around noon, after stopping for a plate of huevos Mexicanos in Teya, I delivered an old friend of Jim’s to the ranch for a site visit, while I engaged in some repairs. A valve, which enables Jim to fill a concrete stock tank providing water for local fauna, had broken. While I was rummaging in the stone hut for parts, Ines, another expected visitor showed up. At about the same time, I heard a male voice outside the hut say Jim’s name, at which point I met Tonio, a neighbor. We all collaborated in the repair, which was fun and successful. Here’s a look at the failed valve, but I never bothered to take a picture of the repair:
Once we verified that our repair worked, it was time to walk along Jim’s extended trails, including past some Africanized honeybees, which had given Jim some trouble while working on the trail.
Since we were headed in the direction of Tonio’s ranch, he invited us to come see their operation which includes 27 head of sheep.
Next, Tonio showed us their melipona honeybees. These bees are tiny, black, about the size of a housefly, and stingless. The honey is said to be medicinal, and is pricey, but rarely found, as the production volume is low.
Below, Ines asks Tonio about his raised-bed gardening, while Jim listens.
I wish I had been quicker with my camera, as an old guy came around a bend with a huge load of firewood on his back, on our return to Jim’s hut. The path itself was enchanting.
For those who haven’t read this novel, The Overstory, (about trees as metaphor and reality) you are missing a new classic. (The chapter titled Patricia Westerford, a forest research botanist who discovers that trees communicate with each other, alone is worth the price of the entire volume.) NYTimes author interview.(Winner, Pulitzer Prize.)
The theme of the novel is a grand tapestry, perhaps detectable in this short excerpt:
No one sees trees. We see fruit, we see nuts, we see shade. We see ornaments or pretty fall foliage. Obstacles blocking the road or wrecking the ski slope. Dark, threatening places that must be cleared. We see branches about to crush our roof. We see a cash crop. But tress—trees are invisible.
The book is long and the prose is vibrant. The story is told thru its characters, and the early chapters are named after them. Pay attention. Make a crib sheet, even — a cast of characters with a thumbnail of their backstories. These characters will reappear further into the account. Their accounts are gripping and the lessons instructive. If you care about your home you will be glad you encountered this masterwork.
Senators who believe that “Trump did nothing wrong” likely also believe that lying, cheating on a spouse, stealing, and murder are also ok, as this is the logical extension of their position.
Are we a nation of laws, or of fifty powerful Senators without moral conscience, and a nation of peons who will buy any slippery dodge of an excuse ? ? ? ? Many of our Senators are disrespecting us, folks. They are fearful toadies who simple want to retain their powerful positions, putting our entire system at risk of being run by mafiosos who swear there are no rules, but merely raw power. Many of these same Senators spoke against Trump’s nomination, but now cower when he looks in their direction.
This is a danger zone for Americans of every sort. (Less than 20% of current Senators have served in our military; but the majority seem to serve themselves quite well.) Don’t drink this KoolAid !!! : If you want to live in a country were there are no rules, and no recourse to recall those who believe there are no rules, then keep these bums in office.
CLICK : “ Greta and George” : “best short video of 2019”
Friends, I wouldn’t term myself “a survivalist” — and yet my genes, my DNA have flourished on this planet since near the beginning. (I’m grateful to my ancestors for their wise choices!) Yes, we’re all survivors – – – until we aren’t.
The video urges us to PROTECT, RESTORE, FUND . . . and
I don’t know when I first heard my grandfather’s story. But I do remember the little green book with the white cross on it. The book was kept in a black steel cabinet in our living room, one that was usually locked, its contents mysterious. There must be important things in there, I thought, that were not for me to see.
My paternal grandparents were part of my childhood; my sister and I called them Oma and Opa and paid them regular visits, but we knew very little about our mother’s parents. [Continued here.] repaired link
Academic, David Carroll sued for return of his personal data (IMDB fair use)
Michelangelo’s David. Photo by Yair Haklai, Wikimedia Commons
Sometimes life imitates art. Such is arguably the case in The Great Hack, (youtube link to preview) — a documentary film featuring a modern-day hero – a mild-mannered academic named David Carroll – an American digital rights philosopher who took on a billionaire’s empire.
In the Biblical epic, little David slew giant Goliath. Today, our modern David brought down a powerful firm which was diverting the personal information of 87 million Facebook users, among others, for political targeting of “persuadables” in that group by suing for the return of his personal information. And David Carroll did exactly that, at court in UK.
In this socially-disruptive Netflix documentary, we learn about how thousands of our data points, which “THEY” know about each of us, are used to seduce us. (No longer are we private citizens; we’re all naked, on the auction block.) We’ve been identified, defined, profiled, and made ready for sale to buyers, for what they bet is our persuadability. We have no say in what they will show us online, based on our deepest psychological secrets — which has been designed to appeal to our known vulnerabilities, histories, weaknesses, fears, and longings.
According to the film, the firm Cambridge Analytica deployed “weapons-grade communications tactics” in elections which had been developed by governments for psy-ops in digital warfare. Persuading as few as 70,000 voters to change their minds was enough to sway elections in four US States, in 2016, according to the film.
Netflix has done a superb job of following real participants around with video cameras while interviewing these whistleblowers, journalists for The Guardian, and former executives of the firm.
NOTE:Be sure to turn on subtitles, as there are challenging accents coming from some of the British participants. (However, much of the action follows several American individuals caught up in this frightening theft of elections.) This real life drama makes “reality tv” into a yawn!
A Puerto Rican sculptor is one of many featured artists.
The word craft has many layers of cultural meaning. If you want to enjoy the high end of the spectrum — if you long for inspiration and uplift — I invite you to consider this series, CRAFT in AMERICA. It’s available on Amazon Prime, Apple TV, and from many Public Broadcasting Stations. (The link is to a 2-minute preview at PBS. Amazon previews are not found by me, and viewing PBS here in Mexico can be tricky, involving use of a VPN – a virtual private network.)
NOTE: The season/episode numbers are a jumble, being dissimilar between PBS and other streamers. For example: at PBS, the item above is Season 11, Episode 2; but at Amazon the same episode is Season 9, Episode 2. Season 7, Episode 1 is titled Neighbors at Amazon, and features craft artists from Mexico; but PBS says that particular production is Season 9 Episode 2, so there appears to be no correlation between platforms and numbering.
To find the Identity episode at Amazon, go to Prime Video. Search for Craft in America: Identity. Individual episodes are $1.99 usd. Subscriptions are $2.99/month. Start the new year inspired!