Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Stories behind the news

AnneAlthouse actually reads a bio on Andrew Jackson and notes how he stopped secession. She also finds a quote on Franklin Pierce's lax response that might have made secession more likely. See my previous post. It's nice to have someone agree with me.

Maybe next she will notice that this was actually a "headsups" to the "resistance" in California who refuse to follow federal law and talk about seceding.

I am a Democrat, and ashamed of my party.

When Trump passed the budget compromise it was a hand out to the Democrats and allowed funds for them. Ah, but instead of saying: We are happy to show we can work with the president, they went out and crowed they won and would continue to overcome him.

This is not the way to pass laws.

As for the healthcare plan: I agree with Dilbert. No one understood the first one before it was passed, and no one understands this new one.

all I know is that as the paper pushers got into medicine, instead of writing "Cold...penicillin" on the patients' charts, you have to sit and take notes while grilling the patient (which interferes with the intimate discussion of taking a history) because there are so many unimportant things you have to document to get paid.

The really bad part is that a lot of time the patient is coming to discuss something else: Not the cold, but wondering if they are pregnant, or their husband is cheating on them, or the teenage grandchild has stolen their pain pills (and money from their wallet) again, and they are worried about him. And a lot of this doesn't get into the chart, or at least I didn't put it down in detail, because despite all those confidentiality laws, you know their sister in law is working in the record room etc. and will snoop.


for later reading: How cheap oil (from fracking) is changing the world.

the article seems more about the USA.

But for us, it means lower tricycle fares, lower bus fares, and lower prices for LPG (so the poor can use this istead of polluting wood to cook).

It also means lower prices for fuel for your handplow (a large rototiller used to plow the fields, instead of old fashioned water buffalo), and fuel for the reaper/thresher (which replaces the back breaking hand harvesting which is still being done here).

Of course, it also means it's cheaper to transport food.

so food prices don't rise despite local inflation

But it does have a downside for people in oil producing countries.

I just read that there was a mine accident in Iran and the miners and their families were rioting. Obama's sanction busting did not help the economy as desired, due to lower oil prices and of course because they are busy funding war in Syria and Yemen.

Alas, a lot of the problem is corruption by the establishment, and the "moderate" candidate cooperates with the establishment. The radical candidate is a warmonger but believed to be honest.

I also read that Mozambique is sitting on a huge natural gas field, but the plans to open it up has snagged due to low oil prices, and (altogether now children)> CORRUPTION. Yes, this article says they are balking at exchanging foreign currency for the local money, but there is often a huge difference between the "official" rate and the real rate that you find on the black market...


related item: AlJ: Another mining disaster in China. In our prayers.
China is the world's largest coal producer and deadly accidents in mines are common.

coal mine disasters all over the world are alas common, and often the cause is neglect of safety standards.

more at MiningTechnology.com. A culture that does't put value on the lives of the miners, and companies that put profit over lives.

While effective management at mine sites is important, the role of the authorities in enforcing stricter safety conditions across its mining industry will be vital to ensuring a rise in safety standards. According to Joyce, Chinese authorities have been striving to cut fatality rates and improve conditions at mines for many years. She conducts seminars and training sessions with Chinese delegations seeking advice on best practice and UK safety standards, considered to be some of the best in the world.

2005 WaPo article says China's gov't has found

 "astonishingly serious" corruption, chaotic management and lax enforcement of safety rules in investigating coal mine disasters that have killed thousands of Chinese workers this year.


oh yes: with Trumpie boy reopening the coal mines, some have ridiculed him since Obama shut the coal burning electrical plants.

Ah, but they forget: American coal is low sulfur and produces less pollution, so this article (2013) notes that it can be exported to China, to cut pollution. The article also notes it is actually cheaper to import than to ship the local coal.

“Because we lack the infrastructure here, moving coal from China’s mountains to its coast by rail or by truck is actually more expensive than shipping coal from foreign countries," says Hu Xiaoyong
the bad news? Coal is so cheap that it underprices renewable and nuclear energy production.

StrategyPage report Afghanistan is still a mess: and it has more to do with drug gangs than Islamic radicals, who seem to be busy killing each other.

Foreign troops stabilize the situation, and removing them means the bad guys can push people around again. In the meanwhile, the educated are leaving the country.


Floods in Quebec. three small dams broke, making the flooding worse.

In our prayers

from Dave Barry: Feminists discussing squirrels.
I, therefore, juxtapose feminist posthumanist theories and feminist food studies scholarship to demonstrate how eastern fox squirrels are subjected to gendered, racialized, and speciesist thinking in the popular news media as a result of their feeding/eating practices, their unique and unfixed spatial arrangements in the greater Los Angeles region, and the western, modernist human frame through which humans interpret these actions.

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