Journalism Heavyweight

Congress has been asleep at the anti-trust wheel for a long time. Meaning you and I are largely responsible for the fact that every sector of our economy is dominated by fewer, ever larger entities. Small promising companies are inevitably gobbled up by larger ones. Economic theory suggests a lack of competitiveness is bad for consumers.

Similarly, if an ever shrinking number of newsrooms translates into less competition for readership, ever larger newspapers should be bad for citizens and our democracy. Right now, The New York Times is serving as a powerful counterfactual to this phenomenon. I’m not sure what to make of the fact that the largest newspaper is doing a lot of the best work.

Two examples.

‘Straight to Gunshots’: How a U.S. Task Force Killed an Antifa Activist. From the article,

“President Trump praised the killing of Michael Reinoehl, suspected of fatally shooting a far-right protester, as ‘retribution.’ Our investigation found that officers may have shot without warning or seeing a gun.”

More and more it’s looking like Reinoehl was murdered by the U.S. government inside the U.S. Four officers fired their weapons around 30 times. Eight bullets hit civilian properties. Some bullets flew right by an eight year old on his bike. Others blew out windows of neighboring cars. Our incredible passivity about this murder will embolden our President. 

As the virus spread, private briefings from the Trump administration fueled a stock sell-off. While we’re making jokes about a fly, the owners of production fuck the proletariat. By calling it “draining the swamp”, their thoughts about us are obvious, they think we’re stupid. Remember what the President said in the run-up to the last election, “I love the uneducated.”

“The president’s aides appeared to be giving wealthy party donors an early warning of a potentially impactful contagion at a time when Mr. Trump was publicly insisting that the threat was nonexistent.

Interviews with eight people who either received copies of the memo or were briefed on aspects of it as it spread among investors in New York and elsewhere provide a glimpse of how elite traders had access to information from the administration that helped them gain financial advantage during a chaotic three days when global markets were teetering.”

Imagine if the President’s base got half as upset about white collar criminality as they do about the occasional criminality that accompanies urban protests.


Olympia, Washington Y’all

Or if you’re solar powered, Detroit, Rochester, Buffalo or Milwaukee.

Our politicians are not thinking nearly enough about the next several decades. Fortunately, some people are as this impressive piece of journalism attests, “How Climate Migration Will Reshape America”. Amazing photography throughout.

“Once you accept that climate change is fast making large parts of the United States nearly uninhabitable, the future looks like this: With time, the bottom half of the country grows inhospitable, dangerous and hot. Something like a tenth of the people who live in the South and the Southwest — from South Carolina to Alabama to Texas to Southern California — decide to move north in search of a better economy and a more temperate environment. Those who stay behind are disproportionately poor and elderly.

In these places, heat alone will cause as many as 80 additional deaths per 100,000 people — the nation’s opioid crisis, by comparison, produces 15 additional deaths per 100,000. The most affected people, meanwhile, will pay 20 percent more for energy, and their crops will yield half as much food or in some cases virtually none at all. That collective burden will drag down regional incomes by roughly 10 percent, amounting to one of the largest transfers of wealth in American history, as people who live farther north will benefit from that change and see their fortunes rise.

The millions of people moving north will mostly head to the cities of the Northeast and Northwest, which will see their populations grow by roughly 10 percent, according to one model.”

Paragraph To Ponder

“After the Lakers’ disappointing flame-out last season, general manager Rob Pelinka was under pressure to assemble a roster after holding out for, then missing on, Kawhi Leonard. He didn’t bring in a third star, but it’s worth noting that Alex Caruso, Rajon Rondo, Markieff Morris and Dwight Howard (!) made up just 7 percent of the team’s salary cap, while ultimately contributing far more than that to the Lakers’ championship run.”

From “LeBron And AD Are The Heroes. But The Sum Of This Lakers Club Was More Than Its Superstar Parts”.

Weekend Required Reading

1. Defund police dogs.

2. The Trump Administration Says Diversity Training Can Be Harmful. What Does the Research Say? Make it voluntary and invest sufficient time. I remember how resistant some of my Southern white colleagues were to it at the North Carolina college I taught at. The starting point was an acknowledgement that “We’re all racist”. Or for them, I should say, the non-starting point.

3. How Hatred Came To Dominate American Politics. Our hatred creates serious opportunity costs. Instead of thinking about and planning for 2025, the current administration is fixated on 2015 and Hillary Clinton’s emails. Meanwhile, other countries are investing in infrastructure, social safety nets, and trade partnerships.

4. Dr. Dobson’s Open Letter To Christians Regarding The Election. If Dr. Dobson is a Christian, I need a different term to describe my religious worldview. He claims the Presidential candidate that is much stronger on “racial unity” also brings “more wisdom in handling the pandemic”. Can you guess which candidate that is? Then again, his audience is 800,000, the humble blog’s is a little less than that.

5. This is what I’m currently watching. Starts fast.

6. Magnus Carlsen extends his winning streak to 125 games.

Today’s Lesson—Some Violence Is Worse Than Other

Like their leader, and Fox “News”, conservatives have repeatedly complained about radical left wing violence in places like Portland and Seattle.

Today we’ve learned a private militia planned to kidnap Michigan’s Governor and overthrow the government.

And funny thing, I haven’t heard anyone on the right condemn it at all, let alone with similar fervor. Granted, kidnapping and overthrowing the government don’t rise to the level of throwing cans of tuna, breaking windows, and graffiti*, but still, I’d expect some conservative somewhere to condemn the right wing extremists.

My naivety is one of my more endearing qualities.

*that’s satire

The All-Important Boater-Trucker Vote

Never mind seniors and women.

Trump asked why the polls show him trailing: “I don’t know, I don’t understand it, I don’t believe them. I don’t believe the polls. Because we’ve never had this much support. They have a boat thing, they have 5,000 boats. They have thousands of trucks all over the country.”

The Inaugural ‘Gal Pal’ Award

She tries. But it makes no matter, the Gal Pal routinely botches sports lingo. In her honor I am creating a new award whose prestige I’m sure will only grow over time.

The ‘Gal Pal’ will be awarded annually to the person who makes the biggest mess of basic sports terminology. I will present the award myself to the recipient who will be put up in one of downtown Olympia’s nicest tents. All expenses paid.

The first recipient is Roger Whitney whose podcast I enjoy. Recently Rog was talking about the importance of trying new things in retirement. He went on say he wasn’t a very good golfer but he and his wife had started playing regularly. And while still not very good, “I’ve improved by about 10 points.”

No, no, no! I didn’t even have to get the Award Committee together before declaring RW the inaugural winner. He is on his way to Olympia as you read this.

For those scoring at home (baseball lingo), what Rog meant to say was something along the lines of, “I’ve shaved 10 strokes off my average score.”

For the love of Golf, always “fewer strokes” never “more points.” Go and sin no more.