environment, free-market ideology, political system, video-movies-podcasts

Recently Noted – the chemical industry, government, and personal connections to TCE

March 1, 2020
Back in the early and mid ‘70s both Karen and I worked in various machine shops and other industrial locations. Trichloroethylene (TCE) was used on a daily basis to clean metals parts and other materials. I remember a large tank of slowly roiling hot TCE at Stevens Arnold, Inc. in South Boston. I would use it several times a day to clean parts. Every week or so I would be detailed to drain the tank, —>> read more –>>

Footnotes

  1. https://cen.acs.org/articles/95/i9/chemicals-use-today.html accessed 3/1/2020
economy

The Coming End of Branding and Logos….. the shutdown

February 14, 2020
Perhaps the ceaseless clamoring for our attention by marketers is reaching its final stage of saturation in which our brains simply shut down and go on attention strike.
economy, family, inequality, recently noted

Recently Noted – “Across America, working-class people are dying of despair”

January 17, 2020
Essay explores the grim reality of life in one small corner of America within the broader landscape of the bottom 90%.
economy, free-market ideology

Real Estate Development – a local story –

December 16, 2019
In an area with dozens of empty store fronts and several hundred thousand sq ft of empty space, a new strip mall is approved for construction. A rational market??
empire, politics, security state

How America Tortures – a new report with drawings and a movie

December 13, 2019
 How America Tortures by M. P. Denbeaux, & Seton Hall University. (2019) This report includes eight drawings by Abu Zubaydah, a Guantanamo detainee, illustrating his experiences during torture sessions. Abu Zubaydah is also a figure in the movie discussed below. This report is really a short book, some 95 pages including extensive notes, that covers all aspects of the CIA torture program. Download the report here>>>>. Here are screen grabs of the Abu Zubaydah drawings —>> read more –>>
environment, recently noted, video-movies-podcasts

The Great Recycling Con video story – recently noted

December 9, 2019
Over 90% of plastic materials in consumer items and packaging end up in landfill dumps. Time for industry to take responsibility for their waste.
politics

A Window into the Minds of Conservatives – The Bulwark

November 20, 2019
It is a continuing source of amazement and consternation that most conservatives and evangelical Christians support Trump. So many of his character features would seem to be inimical to both of these groups. We won’t list them here since that is hardly necessary.  Trump demonstrates them on a daily if not hourly basis. Thankfully there are a few conservatives who have retained enough common sense and morality to oppose Trump and Trump Republicanism. A major —>> read more –>>
economy, free-market ideology, politics

Nobel Prize Winners Critique Markets – Duflo and Bannerjee

October 27, 2019
Nobel Prize winners Duflo and Bannerjee take on idealized views of markets. They target the role of financial incentives, markets as self-correcting, efficient and ethically sound.
free-market ideology, racism, recently noted

Recently Noted – challenging views of Justice Clarence Thomas – the intractable nature of white racism

October 15, 2019
A challenging take on the state of racism in the US. Harvard sociologist Orlando Patterson reviews books on Clarence Thomas and his views on countering intractable white racism.
environment, recently noted

Recently Noted – Your Burger vs. Transatlantic Flight – how much CO2?

October 4, 2019
The New Yorker published “Value Meal: Impossible Foods wants to save the world by inventing a better burger” by Tad Friend in the 9/30/2019 issue. During the introductory paragraphs the following statistic was cited: Every four pounds of beef you eat contributes to as much global warming as flying from New York to London—and the average American eats that much each month.
racism

Slavery in Hudson – updated

September 14, 2019
9/12/2019 A lecture at the Hudson Area Library tonight, Slavery and Dutch-Palatine Farmers: How did middle class farmers in Colonial New York interact with slavery?’ by Travis M. Bowman. The lecture began with the note that slavery in NY state lasted for over 200 years – from 1625 when the Dutch East India Company began the import and sale of slaves in New York City ending with its outlawing in 1827. Mr. Bowman brought new —>> read more –>>
environment, project blog

A Major Shift in Emphasis – the environment

September 6, 2019
Friday 9/6/2019 Over the last several months I have been working on a restatement of the fundamental characteristics of the capitalist system. In doing this I have been thinking afresh about the current crisis of global warming and the surrounding environmental disasters of species extinction and the general defacement of the earth. I will complete this restatement shortly. Meanwhile I have rearranged the section of the website devoted to the environment to a more prominent —>> read more –>>
empire, recently noted, video-movies-podcasts

Recently Noted – Overthrow: 100 Years of US Meddling & Regime Change, from Iran to Nicaragua to Hawaii to Cuba

August 22, 2019
We’ve written quite a bit about the US Empire. A key component of this US foreign policy is regime change. Here is a list of the posts here on this topic. Recently Democracy Now! ran a 22 minute discussion of the history of US regime change actions over the last 100 years plus. It features discussion with Stephen Kinzer the author of many books on the history of American foreign policy.
other, political system

Our History – the intentionally forgotten – a new keynote essay

August 2, 2019
…nations are based as much on what people collectively agree to forget as what they wish to remember. In a visit in February 2019 to a photography exhibit, Imagined Communities by Mila Teshaieva, at the MIT Museum I came across this paraphrase from the late 19th century French historian Ernest Renan: …nations are based as much on what people collectively agree to forget as what they wish to remember. In the present moment we might revise —>> read more –>>
education, inequality, racism, recently noted

Recently Noted – busing, re-segregation, white supremacy

July 17, 2019
The recent controversies surrounding Joe Biden’s anti- school busing collaborations with racist politicians from the south has for the moment aroused new comment on segregated America. The New York Times published an excellent review of the history of school desegregation by Nikole Hannah-Jones, “It Was Never About Busing: Court-ordered desegregation worked. But white racism made it hard to accept.” As the article notes the yellow school bus has been in use for almost a hundred years. —>> read more –>>
economy, free-market ideology

Recently Noted – Robert Reich on breaking up Big Tech – a limited view

The Monopolization of America video by Robert Reich
June 26, 2019
Robert Reich is continuing his series of brief YouTube videos on progressive view of the economy. This is a good introduction to the arguments for re-invigorating our protections against monopolies. However, the problem is much more widespread than just the high tech industry. We’ve written about this broader phenomenon in The Monopolization of America. Here is one chart from that post. Dominance of Corporate Behemoths – NYTimes – 11/25/2108 The concentration of market power is —>> read more –>>
economy, free-market ideology

Monopoly and Facebook – as told by Facebook’s co-founder

Facebook logo
May 9, 2019
It’s Time to Break Up Facebook, by Chris Hughes, the co-founder of Facebook is very thorough in describing the current monopoly behavior of Facebook, the deleterious effects on competition and vigor in the economy of monopolies, and a great introduction to the history of anti-trust movements and legislation in the US.
empire

US Empire and Jimmy Carter – five years of peace during our entire history

April 19, 2019
Prompted by President Jimmy Carter, here is a list, self-described to “not pretend to be definitive or absolutely complete.”, of some of our adventures to bring democratic values to others in need.
justice/jails, video-movies-podcasts

Recently Noted – more John Oliver on American justice – or not

April 13, 2019
Once again we return to our comedians for information about what is going on in the world. This time more on the fraud that is our judicial system.