Patrice Ayme’s Thoughts: Terminal Greenhouse Crisis.
Guardian.UK: The 1% wants to ban sleeping in cars – because it hurts their ‘quality of life’.
“It is easy to be opposed to inequality in the abstract. So why are Los Angeles and Palo Alto spending virtually none of their budgets on efforts to provide housing for the very poor and homeless? When the most obvious evidence of inequality parks on their street, it appears, even liberals would rather just call the police.”
Dissent: From the War on Poverty to the War on the Poor.
“The United States Census reported in September 2012 that 47.1 million people, or 15.1 percent of the population, now live in poverty—the highest number in fifty-two years, up from 11.7 percent of the population in 2000. Half of these individuals are children and nearly 60 percent of poor adults are women. Almost half of this group has family incomes below 50 percent of the official poverty level, or $22,113 for a family of four. That is only 30 percent of the average family income, while the 1962 poverty line was 50 percent of the average income.”
SF New Mexican: Patients hit with fees amid health care consolidation.
Representatives of several of the state agencies that were contacted said consumers would be best served by asking whether out-of-pocket hospital-based service charges apply under their insurance plans before setting an appointment at a specialty clinic. Caveat emptor, never moreso than with health care.
WaPo: Social Security, Treasury target taxpayers for their parents’ decades-old debts.
SF New Mexican: Mayor proposes closing Plaza to all vehicles.
Merchants are going to have a bloody fit again. This is the eternal conundrum in Santa Fe - it’s a walking town, but Americans prefer to park their behemoths as close as possible to shops. Closing the Plaza does not really take away much parking, and the traffic flow has been logically rerouted before with little inconvenience. I’d ask them to provide information on harm through sales figures, then make a judgment based on realities.
The Atlantic: Greed Is Good, A 300-Year History of a Dangerous Idea.
“But for the most part, I don’t think we don’t say very much about greed, not comfortably at least. Perhaps that is the inevitable price of an economic system that relies on the vigor of self-interested pursuits, that it instills a kind of moral quietism in the face of avarice, for whether out of a desire to appear non-judgmental or for reasons of moral expediency, unless some action verges on the criminal, we hesitate to call it greed, much less evidence of someone greedy.” Worth the read. Yet greed today is not what greed was even a couple of decades ago; as disposable consumer items continue to burgeon, so do disposable corporations - run into the ground for sheer profit, the hulk discarded for taxpayers to clean up. Modern greed, to me, is built upon working the system to one’s own benefit, burning bright and short - then burning out - with complete and utter disregard for future generations. The post-9/11 entertainment/culture/psychological dystopias play into this sort of mentality as well; “grab it now, tomorrow’s going to be worse.” It’s a very cynical time in our history, for many.
Billfold: How Much Was Jane Austen Paid For Some of History’s Best Books?
“… perhaps there is a lesson there: it is certainly harder to produce art without a trust fund to bolster you, but the art can be deeper, richer, and more resonant for the struggle that went into it.” Bless you, Jane.
Atlantic: States With the Fastest-Growing Wages Are Controlled by Republicans - Coincidence?
“But somebody in the energy sector might look at the same list and notice something else: Wages are growing the fastest in states that produce oil. [snip] When you adjust for energy, it’s not clear at all that red states are doing better than blue states.” And that’s the diff. Take away the regulations, drill baby drill, you get fast results. Wait until the back-end cleanup and health costs hit, a decade or so down the road.
ShortFormBlog: This drug cures most cases of hepatitis C, but there’s a problem.
Guardian.UK: Exxon Mobil’s response to climate change is consummate arrogance.
Braudel: The Structures of Everyday Life, Civilization and Capitalism (Vol. 1).
For the SCOTUS-concerned: “On the other hand, looking up instead of down from the vast plane of the market economy, one finds that active social hierarchies were constructed on top of it: they could manipulate exchange to their advantage and disturb the established order. In their desire to do so — which was not always consciously expressed — they created anomalies, ‘zones of turbulence’ and conducted their affairs in a very individual way. At this exalted level, a few wealthy merchants in eighteenth-century Amsterdam or sixteenth-century Genoa could throw whole sectors of the European or even world economy into confusion, from a distance.” We continue to be impervious to history.
NPR: Supreme Court Rolls Back Campaign Spending Limits On Corporations.
Hillary vs. Jeb is going to be hell. “Cry ‘Havoc!’, and let slip the dogs of war.”
538: The Dollar-And-Cents Case Against Hollywood’s Exclusion of Women.
“Bechdel said that if a movie can satisfy three criteria — there are at least two named women in the picture, they have a conversation with each other at some point, and that conversation isn’t about a male character — then it passes “The Rule,” whereby female characters are allocated a bare minimum of depth.”
ProPublica: In Fracking Fight, a Worry About How Best to Measure Health Threats.
Of note. UK, pay attention.
The Art Newspaper: Bulgari ‘adopts’ Rome’s Spanish Steps.
Saved from the fate of Pompeii.
The Dish: A Bachelor’s Degree In Gettin’ Paid.
Happy to see NM Tech on the list.
The New Yorker: The Right’s New ‘Welfare Queens” - The Middle Class.
“The idea that the main cause of inequality is Americans who choose not to work because it’s more attractive to live off the government could only occur to someone who has spent his career inside Washington think tanks and the White House.”
CNN Money: Klout acquired for $200 million by Lithium Technologies.
“How valuable is an individual’s social pull? Could it be monetized? And how exactly were Klout scores achieved? To wit, at one point, President Obama ranked lower than tech influencer Robert Scoble, an issue that was remedied with a major redesign in 2012 that offered more accurate scores, as well as further transparency into how scores are measured.” Their article-suggestion mechanism still blows the big one, IMHO.
Buzzfeed: Killing Conservative Books - The Shocking End Of A Publishing Gold Rush
“The casual Barnes & Noble browser is unlikely to have ever purchased one of these books — almost nobody does — but he will recognize the subgenre by its uniform covers: the patriotic color scheme, the besuited politician striking a square-shouldered pose, the author’s name and title stamped across the dust jacket in imposing, all-caps lettering. Inside, the books follow a well-worn formula, lacing lofty talking points and vaguely drawn policy proposals with a sanitized personal narrative that reads as though it has been vetted by a thousand political operatives and stripped down to a fourth-grade reading level.”
The Atlantic: Europe’s Latest Secession Movement - Venice?
“For centuries, councils elected the Doge of Venice, who ruled the city-state, with small silver and gold balls. Now Venetians have put their modern equivalent to good use in a bid to declare independence from Italy. And they have a pretty good case to make for restoring their once-mighty republic.” My question - will they settle on dogecoin for currency?
Atlantic: America’s Workers -: Stressed Out, Overwhelmed, Totally Exhausted.
“… the U.S. falls several rungs below other countries with more rational work-life policies, such as France. So we’re putting in the most hours, but we’re not actually working intense, short, productive hours. We’re just putting in a lot of meaningless face time because that’s what our workplace cultures value — at the expense of our health, our families, and our souls.”
The Atlantic: The Conservative Myth of a Social Safety Net Built on Charity.
Good read. As I’ve mentioned before, my late father was orphaned before the Depression. Private and religious charity was fly-by-night. There was no stronger advocate for Federal aid programs than ol’ Dad. He’d been there.
Randal S. Olson: It’s impossible to work your way through college nowadays.
WaPo Factchecker: Ted Cruz’s ‘biggest lie in politics’; Is it actually the truth?
“One could have the opinion that Republican policies will be better for the poor, and obviously Cruz believes that. But, without more evidence, Cruz simply can’t pair it with a sweeping statement that saying Republicans are the party of the rich is ‘the biggest lie’ when decades of economic data show the poor do better under Democrats, that the rich tend to vote Republican and that most Americans believe Republican policies favor the rich.”