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What Was in My In-Box

Summary:
Both Dan and I put this assortment of articles from various sites showing up in our In-Box. Rearranged the articles according to subject. Hopefully, you find something of interest. Democracy “How to confront the growing threat to American democracy,” Tom Nichols – Niskanen Center, In September 1787, an onlooker is said to have asked Benjamin Franklin what kind of government he and the other delegates to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia’s Independence Hall had given the United States. “A republic,” he replied, “if you can keep it.” “State Legislatures Are Torching Democracy” | The New Yorker, Jane Mayer, Even in moderate places like Ohio, gerrymandering has let unchecked Republicans pass extremist laws that could never make it

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Both Dan and I put this assortment of articles from various sites showing up in our In-Box. Rearranged the articles according to subject. Hopefully, you find something of interest.

Democracy

How to confront the growing threat to American democracy,” Tom Nichols – Niskanen Center, In September 1787, an onlooker is said to have asked Benjamin Franklin what kind of government he and the other delegates to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia’s Independence Hall had given the United States. “A republic,” he replied, “if you can keep it.”

State Legislatures Are Torching Democracy” | The New Yorker, Jane Mayer, Even in moderate places like Ohio, gerrymandering has let unchecked Republicans pass extremist laws that could never make it through Congress. As the Supreme Court anticipated when it overturned Roe v. Wade. States are waging battles over abortion rights.

Yes, Social Media Really Is Undermining Democracy” – The Atlantic, Jonathan Haidt, Within the past 15 years, social media has insinuated itself into American life more deeply than food-delivery apps into our diets and microplastics into our bloodstreams. 

The Gun Industry Created a New Consumer. Now It’s Killing Us” – The Atlantic The gun industry’s modern marketing effort did not just arm these shooters; in a very real sense, it created them.

Energy

What So Many People Get Wrong About The Energy Transition” – Odd Lots – Omny.fm, With energy prices booming, heatwaves ravaging Europe, and Russia going to war against Ukraine, there’s an increased focus on the so-called energy transition. Interest in decarbonization is surging.

“Three things to watch out for when choosing an energy company” – DutchNews.nl, Energy prices have been soaring of late, and many people have been shopping around in an effort to find a cheaper deal because their current contract is expiring.

Environment

Massive Quantities of PFAS Waste Go Unreported to EPA(theintercept.com), Sharon Lerner. A Waste Management company received millions of pounds of waste containing toxic firefighting foam and other materials contaminated with the industrial chemicals known as PFAS in 2020 yet did not report it to the Environmental Protection Agency, according to public records.

Minn. Study Is First To Show Cause-and-Effect Link Between ‘Forever Chemicals’ in Drinking Water and Reproductive Harms” | Environmental Working Group (ewg.org) A study of almost 50,000 births in Minnesota is reportedly the first to establish a cause-and-effect link between high levels of the fluorinated “forever chemicals” known as PFAS in drinking water and higher rates of infertility, premature birth and low birth weight babies.

Outside the Safe Operating Space of a New Planetary Boundary for Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)” | Environmental Science & Technology (acs.org), It is hypothesized that environmental contamination by per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) defines a separate planetary boundary and that this boundary has been exceeded. This hypothesis is tested by comparing the levels of four selected perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs).

The Netherlands has the lowest bathing water quality in Western Europe” – DutchNews.nl, The Netherlands has the lowest proportion of ‘excellent’ bathing waters in Western Europe, according to the latest report by the European Environment Agency.

Water_Markets_Europe.pdf” (kysq.org), David Zetland During the summer of 2008, ships carried emergency supplies of water to Cyprus and Barcelona, Spain. These expensive deliveries were the result of political decisions to transfer water to “important” destinations, not arms length transactions in a market.

What Is Climate Change?” | United Nations,, Climate change refers to long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns. These shifts may be natural, such as through variations in the solar cycle. But since the 1800s, human activities have been the main driver of climate change, primarily due to burning fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas.

Why Tipping Points Could Save Civilisation” | Paul Behrens | TEDxLeidenUniversity – YouTube Dr. Paul Behrens takes a new approach to existing debates about global warming by discussing the concept of social tipping points. He unpacks the differences between natural and social tipping points and explains how social dynamics can save us from climate change catastrophes.

Living with Water Scarcity“_Free.pdf (kysq.org), Scarcity is a perception. Shortage is a fact. Most of us deal with scarcity every day. We spend our time going places, doing things and seeing people. And we spend our money on products and services. We wouldn’t mind a bit more time and money, but at least we get some of what we want.

Stream episode Colin Green on floods, risk and bad economics,” Jive Talking podcast | Listen online for free on SoundCloud, Colin Green, a mad monk and emeritus professor of water economics who misses flying around the world at other people’s expense to do economic analyses of water problems. Listen and see what else we come up with!

World’s wildlife more at risk than realised, study says” | Reuters, Gloria Dickie The world’s wildlife may be in more trouble than scientists have so far reported, new research published on Thursday suggests.

George Carlin on our failing species” – The one-handed economist (one-handed-economist.com), Three minutes that you need to watch

Immigration

The Secret History of Family Separation” – The Atlantic, Caitlin Dickerson, in the summer of 2017, Quintana encountered a curious case. A 3-year-old Guatemalan boy with a toothy smile and bowl-cut black hair sat down at her desk. He was far too little to have made the journey on his own. He had no phone numbers with him. When she asked where he was heading or whom he’d been with, the boy stared back blankly. Quintana scoured his file for more information but found nothing. She asked for help from an Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer, who came back several days later with something unusual: information indicating that the boy’s father was in federal custody.

The Secret History of Family Separation” – The Atlantic, Tom Nichols I am appalled at the intentional cruelty and shocking incompetence that drove the Trump administration’s family-separation tragedy.

Healthcare

“Americans Have No Right to Healthcare” | MedPage Today, Cedric Dark, MD, MPH, and Kyle Fischer, MD, MPH The United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, signed in 1948, set up the framework that healthcare is a human right. Article 25 of the document stated that, “everyone has a right to standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and his family including . . .

New Report Offers Another Compelling Reason for States to Expand Medicaid” – Center For Children and Families (georgetown.edu), Jade Little It found that 79 of the 100 counties with the highest levels of medical debt are in states that have not expanded Medicaid. The majority of these counties are in Texas (34 counties), Georgia (20 counties), and North Carolina (12 counties), three of the 12 remaining non-expansion states.

Blueprinting the Kansas Abortion-Rights Victory” | The New Yorker, Peter Slevin For months, she had been a public face in the fight to protect abortion rights from a ballot initiative that would change the state constitution and open the door to severe restrictions, or even a ban. Polling had been iffy, the opposition had been relentless,

Should Abortion Providers Break the Law?(theintercept.com) Judith Levine, THE HORRIFIC STORIES are pouring in. A Texas woman’s water breaks at 18 weeks, leaving the fetus’s chance of survival “as close to zero as you’ll ever get in medicine,” according to one expert. Yet she must wait until she is hemorrhaging profusely and burning with fever.

Hong Kong Reports 5020 New COVID Cases on Thursday” (medscape.com), Reuters Staff Hong Kong (Reuters) – Hong Kong reported more than 5,000 new COVID-19 infections on Thursday and three new deaths, as daily infections continue to rise.

Tennessee sues Walgreens over ‘unlawful’ prescription opioid sales(tennessean.com), Frank Gluck The lawsuit, filed in Knox County Circuit Court, focuses on Walgreens’ operations between 2006 and 2020. According to Slatery, the company’s 200 to 300 pharmacies sold 1.1 billion oxycodone or hydrocodone pills, roughly the equivalent of 175 pills for every state resident during this period.

A Week of Spending for a Buffalo, N.Y. Surgeon Making $490K” | MedPage Today, I became a cashier at 17-years-old. It was at local grocery store where I also helped collect carts in the parking lot. I started working to pay for a car and other expenses.

Economy

July Inflation Preview: Finally, Fewer Fireworks” (employamerica.org), Skanda Amarnath & Alex Williams July headline inflation is likely to come in roughly in line with the consensus forecast at 0.2% with the possibility of a mild downside surprise. Core inflation will likely be in line with forecasts as well at 0.5%. It is poised to cool further in coming months.

America’s climate-plus spending bill is flawed but essential” | The Economist, After a long, twisting path through Congress, complete with detours, delays, side-deals, disappointments and a fair amount of deceit, the Democrats are on the verge of passing a giant tax-and-spend bill. It will be America’s first significant climate law and a cornerstone of President Joe Biden’s domestic agenda. 

Statement: Joseph Stiglitz on the Inflation Reduction Act” – Roosevelt Institute, Ariela Weinberger, In response to the announcement of the Inflation Reduction Act agreement, Joseph Stiglitz, Roosevelt Institute Chief Economist, made the following statement: “The compromise agreed to under the rubric of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 is far more than just an act addressing inflation—although it does that in several ways. It simultaneously addresses several key and long-standing problems facing our economy and society.

America’s climate-plus spending bill is flawed but essential” | The Economist, It will be America’s first significant climate law and a cornerstone of President Joe Biden’s domestic agenda. A dizzying set of tweaks was needed to keep centrist hold-outs within the Democratic Party on board, allowing the bill, seemingly dead two weeks ago, to come back to life.

Fewer new homes are being built, and there is no improvement in sight.” – DutchNews.nl, The downturn in building new owner occupier properties first recorded at the end of last year is conti”nuing, according to research by Delft University.

Ocean Freight Shipping Costs Are Driving Goods Prices Higher” — ProPublica, A cadre of ocean carriers are charging exorbitant, potentially illegal, fees on shipping containers stuck because of congestion at ports. Sellers of furniture, coconut water, even kids’ potties say the fees are inflating costs.

Substacks

August 6, 2022,” Letters from an American, Heather Cox Richardson (substack.com) On this day in 1880, the Republican candidate for president, James A. Garfield, spoke to thousands of supporters from the balcony of the Republican headquarters in New York City. Ten years before, in 1870, Americans had added the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution, making sure that Black men could vote by guaranteeing that “the right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.”

Little Marco’s dog whistle:(substack.com) Marco Rubio just delivered a very angry speech, which is his version of Trump’s “American Carnage.” Would it be better and more honest if he dropped the coded language to get the Orban vote, and said “Jewish” instead of “Soros.” What’s your vote? Should Little Marco use A or B?

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