Unbreaking America (Jennifer Lawrence)

I was pleasantly surprised by the analysis, conclusions and recommendations in this (not-so-short) video.  The premise is that the politicians in Washington aren’t responsive to the preferences of the voters – they’re responsive to the people that get them elected – big donors, big corporations and the two major political party machines.  It’s depressing.  And it takes a long time to make some of the points.  But I think it’s worth watching.

Premier Doug Ford’s cap-and-trade move will cost treasury $3B over four years | The Star

“Yes, that means less money for government — that’s more money for families.”

I don’t know where to start…Government of Ontario revenues will go down by $3B and provincial Environment Minister Rod Phillips spins it as windfall for Ontario families.

Source: Premier Doug Ford’s cap-and-trade move will cost treasury $3B over four years | The Star

Are utilities missing out on the opportunity to use old coal sites for solar? | Utility Dive

Repurposing shuttered coal plant sites is “an overlooked opportunity to put these sites back into use and bring jobs and investment to communities that have been hit hard,” McKittrick said. “A lot of utilities tear the plant down, put a fence around the site, and forget about it, but they can turn these liabilities into assets.”
— Read on www.utilitydive.com/news/are-utilities-missing-out-on-the-opportunity-to-use-old-coal-sites-for-sola/518319/

 Bertrand Russell, In Praise of Idleness and Other Essays

I like the simplicity of this argument.  It’s meant as a refutation of capitalism but there’s a logical short-cut here.

“Suppose that, at a given moment, a certain number of people are engaged in the manufacture of pins. They make as many pins as the world needs, working (say) eight hours a day. Someone makes an invention by which the same number of men can make twice as many pins: pins are already so cheap that hardly any more will be bought at a lower price. In a sensible world, everybody concerned in the manufacturing of pins would take to working four hours instead of eight, and everything else would go on as before. But in the actual world this would be thought demoralizing. The men still work eight hours, there are too many pins, some employers go bankrupt, and half the men previously concerned in making pins are thrown out of work. There is, in the end, just as much leisure as on the other plan, but half the men are totally idle while half are still overworked. In this way, it is insured that the unavoidable leisure shall cause misery all round instead of being a universal source of happiness. Can anything more insane be imagined?” ― Bertrand Russell, In Praise of Idleness and Other Essays

It’s important not to overlook that “invention”.  It’s not the invention itself that makes the workers more productive.  It’s the embodiment of the invention in the pin-making machinery that generates the productivity.  Somebody has to pay for those more expensive machines.

When the left turns on its own

This is nuts. The liberals or progressives among us used to defend one’s right to express an opinion, however unpopular.  Not so much now.  

“Shutting down conservatives has become de rigueur. But now anti-free-speech activists are increasingly turning their ire on free-thinking progressives. Liberals shouldn’t cede the responsibility to defend free speech on college campuses to conservatives. After all, without free speech, what’s liberalism about?”

http://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/when-the-left-turns-on-its-own/

A not-so-innocent abroad: Trump bumbles across the Middle East – The Washington Post

The tail end of this critical piece observes that even when President Trump is reading from the teleprompter he can’t resist embellishments.  The columnist imagines, What if Trump were called upon to deliver the Gettysburg Address?

“Four score and seven years ago — that’s a long time ago, very long — our fathers, who spoke about this at great length, did what perhaps has virtually never been done before: brought forth on this continent, a new nation, a very great new nation — there’s no question about that — conceived in liberty — and that is so important! — and dedicated to the amazing proposition — and they felt very strongly about this, I can tell you — that all men are created equal. Number one for me.”

Source: A not-so-innocent abroad: Trump bumbles across the Middle East – The Washington Post