Links 9/10/19

Links for you. Science:

One Scientist’s Quest to Bring DNA Sequencing to Every Sick Kid
Crowdsourced archaeology shows how humans have influenced Earth for thousands of years
Burning issue: how fashion’s love of leather is fuelling the fires in the Amazon
Make science PhDs more than just a training path for academia
Fossil DNA Reveals New Twists in Modern Human Origins


Black farmers say Warren’s farm plan wouldn’t solve their biggest problem
Soul-crushing. Demoralizing. My tortured odyssey to find an apartment in Boston
Trump pledged not to use his office to help his business. Then he pitched his Florida club for the next G-7.
Is it Cynical to Believe the System is Corrupt?
There is an anti-fascist rebellion brewing in the Pacific Northwest. And soccer is at the center of it.
Is Tulsi Gabbard Right About Syria? She’s Not Wrong.
What happened when Trump visited the African American History Museum, according to its founding director
Wall Street’s Worst Nightmare for 2020 Is Coming True
Push to allow some violent criminals a chance at early release causes U.S. attorney for District to come out fighting
Wendy’s Billionaire Owner Spurns Farmworkers While Profiting Off Pension Funds
Two D.C. Council members call for probe of sports betting contract
With the Volcker Rule Now Dead, Democrats Need to Bring Back Glass-Steagall
Trump endorses a raise for federal workers, reversing earlier calls for a salary freeze (this actually prevents a larger pay raise)
Wicked & Cruel
Donald Trump Is Mentally Ill
Ghost Towns of Instagram
Why Labour Unions Matter(ed)
Nearly two out of three people favor unions in a 50-year polling high
RIP Shareholder Primacy
AOC Calls Out Barbara Boxer for Helping Lyft Fight Against California Labor Bill

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2 Responses to Links 9/10/19

  1. Zachary Smith says:

    *** RIP Shareholder Primacy ***
    ^^^ Three federal reforms:
    – First, and most crucially, Congress can mandate that large corporations (say, those over $1 billion in annual revenue) be required to charter federally.
    – number two: a redefinition of “fiduciary duties.” By redefining a board’s fiduciary duties to include more than just shareholders, the board of directors would be accountable to more stakeholders
    – Finally, corporate purpose statements, which are filed as part of the charter at the time of incorporation, should include a requirement of positive social benefit. ^^^

    I like these proposals, but it may be too late to push them through. The Super-Rich are running things these days. We pretend to vote on the no-verify touch-screen machines, and they pretend to count them.

    *** Donald Trump Is Mentally Ill ***
    I don’t know enough about “mental illness” to say whether or not this is true, but it’s plain as the nose on your face Trump has some loose screws. “seventy-three year old spoiled brat”. “ignorant.” “incompetent.” “cruel.” “paranoid.” “arrogant.” “corrupt.” “racist.” Or as it says in the link, “THE BOY AIN’T RIGHT.”
    But mentally ill? Again, I don’t know. But the man sure isn’t fit to be in the White House.

    *** With the Volcker Rule Now Dead, Democrats Need to Bring Back Glass-Steagall ***
    What the Democrats “need” to do and what they “want” to do are generally different things. I don’t follow this stuff, but I have to ask if Obama did anything more than run his mouth about the “need” for G-S. And my memory is that Obama did NOT want Warren to become a US Senator. IMO Obama was totally in the pocket of Big Banks.

    *** Wall Street’s Worst Nightmare for 2020 Is Coming True ***
    Hopefully both Sanders and Warren will avoid flying in light aircraft.

    *** Is Tulsi Gabbard Right About Syria? She’s Not Wrong. ***
    I have some doubts about this author.
    ^^^ To be sure, these are sickening policies to contemplate. Bashar al-Assad is a tyrant, a murderer, and a war criminal. In an ideal world, he would face justice for his wrongdoing. ^^^

    If anybody cares to do a body-count, I believe they’ll find Bill Clinton, George Bush (2), and Barack Obama each killed a hell of a lot more people than Assad. Why the laser-like focus on the Syrian guy?

    *** Is it Cynical to Believe the System is Corrupt? ***
    No. IMO a person would have to be both gullible and uninformed to believe otherwise. Notice how the link points again at Corporate Corruption.

    *** Burning issue: how fashion’s love of leather is fuelling the fires in the Amazon ***
    I don’t believe the author of this piece has a clue about what’s going in in the Amazon. I’ll freely admit I don’t either, but the stuff she writes just doesn’t make sense.

    My 2019 link says there is a glut in the Leather market. Processing cattle hides seems to be done mostly in low-wage areas of the world, but the finished leather is still more expensive than the Plastic Shoe alternatives available at the Big Box stores. Remember, the US of A has exported much of our Industry, the Super-Rich are stealing all productivity increases to pad their own bloated incomes, and the net result is that the US Consumer is very short on money. Last week I bought an appliance – less than $500 cost. I was surprised to be asked if I would be making payments. Likewise, I’m shocked at funeral wakes and ‘regular’ church services to see almost nobody wearing “dress” clothes. Joe Sixpack just can’t afford these anymore. Just like he can’t afford to have many (or any) leather shoes.

    All my life I’ve been taught the Amazon soils are basically infertile, and a quick search verified that’s still the claim.
    ^^^ Cattle ranching in the Amazon region is a low yield activity, where densities often average just one cattle per hectare. ^^^
    ^^^ Lush vegetation, barren soils

    In this rainforest “universe,” there are infinite niches for animals — thanks to an abundance of food, like leaves, seeds, fruits and nutrients. Everything is in the plants. As is the CO2 the trees extract from the atmosphere and store as they grow. All the while, they produce oxygen.

    The amazing thing is that the soil is as poor in nutrients as the vegetation is rich. The humus layer, which is that dark, organic stuff in the soil that develops when plants or animal matter break down, is minimal nearly everywhere. The soil in the Amazon rainforest is the poorest and most infertile in the world. If one cuts down the forest, it is irretrievably lost. The humus layer is quickly washed out. Three years after clearing the forest (at the latest, nothing will grow there. What remains is washed out, worthless soil. ^^^

    So why are the thieves setting the fires? I don’t know, but it could be as simple as “Because They Can”. Who is there to stop them? And they Will become the new owners. Maybe it comes down to “why not?”

  2. David T says:

    I need a subscription to access the Boston Globe article about finding an apartment, but the title brought back memories from decades ago when I was looking for an apartment in Boston as I was starting medical school. The prices were breathtaking, the condition of affordable apartments was wretched, and I despaired of ever finding something. I remember a two bedroom place with walls that were falling in, roaches everywhere, mold, grunge, and $2000 a month, which was real money in those days. The landlord was showing me the place, and I asked, appalled, “Who would pay $2000 a month for this place?” He replied “Ten students!” with a grin. I managed to get a small place in a triple decker in JP — almost walking distance to HMS — for just under that, but I have always remembered the crazy apartment situation in Boston.

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