editor: fred miller July 4, 2019 firstname.lastname@example.org #12 July 2019
A lot of stuff comes across my computer screen, sorting out the wheat from the chaff can be trying. These items are of particular interest...at least to me. It's interesting-and fascinating-to understand how the world works, even in such a truncated form as this.
WILLCOX RADIO STATION: THE PLIGHT OF SMALL TOWN RADIO https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2019/jun/06/radio-silence-how-the-disappearance-of-rural-stations-takes-americas-soul-with them?utm_term=RWRpdG9yaWFsX0d1YXJkaWFuVG9kYXlVUy0xOTA2MDg%3D&utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=GuardianTodayUS&CMP=GTUS_email @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
HOW A WEALTH TAX WORKS
Elizabeth Warren's wealth tax. https://news.berkeley.edu/2019/02/11/warrens-wealth-tax-plan-relies-on-findings-of-berkeley-economists/ ................................................... THE GUY WHO FINDS RICH PEOPLE'S MONEY
THE RICH HAVE LITTLE TO FEAR FROM THE IRS
"While electronic filing technology has eliminated many of the IRS’ running costs, 2011 spending cuts seem to have hit hard: this year’s budget is smaller than 2000’s and 19% below a funding peak in 2010, according to the Government Accountability Office. IRS staffing has fallen 21% since 2010, with auditors in particular down almost 40%." https://qz.com/1623713/the-irs-is-auditing-fewer-very-wealthy-american-than-ever/ @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
IRS RESTRICTS GIVEAWAYS TO CHARTER SCHOOLS
Arizona and 18 other states provide public support to private and religious K-12 schools through large tax credits for taxpayers who contribute money to K-12 school voucher funds. These credits range from 50 percent to 100 percent of the amount contributed, which far exceeds the tax benefit available for charitable contributions to other organizations such as homeless shelters or veterans’ groups.
For many years, high-income taxpayers were able to turn a profit by stacking additional federal and state tax breaks on top of these state credits, resulting in tax cuts larger than their contributions. In June 2019, the IRS finalized a regulation drastically curtailing this tax shelter, though additional work remains before it will be fully closed for investors who contribute stock or other property to private K-12 voucher funds. @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
A STRIDENT NON-ENDORSEMENT
One of the more interesting things you can read is the refusal to endorse Trump for president by the Orlando Sentintnal. You can read it here: https://www.orlandosentinel.com/opinion/editorials/os-op-sentinel-not-endorsing-donald-trump-2020-20190618-63ya7cyb5ngf3irllodwxnznui-story.html. I would hope that other media do the same before the round of primaries.
HOW TO WIPE OUT MEDICAL DEBT FOR PENNIES ON THE DOLLAR
An example of churches doing real good with those Sunday plate passings. Ya know if just some of those rich people who are getting more rich by not paying taxes, would buy up medical debt for cheap, thousands of people could have their lives back from crushing medical debt. Oh yeah, rich peeps don't get rich by helping other people. https://khn.org/news/churches-wipe-out-millions-in-medical-debt-for-others/ @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
CITIES DIVIDED; WHERE THE VOTERS LIVE
This interactive map tells where Republicans and Democrats live in major metropolitan areas (including Tucson and Arizona). It is quite interesting to see that often the core of cities are dems while the outlying areas and burbs are repubs or mixed. There is quite a bit of racial/political overlap.
"When you expand the definition of urban areas beyond their downtown areas, cities start to look less Democratic and less densely populated. In more than half of the country’s 153 biggest urban areas, Democrats got between 40 and 60 percent of the 2016 two-party vote share2 — the share of votes that went to one of the two major parties, ignoring third-party votes and write-in candidates. Many of those urban areas aren’t small, tightly packed areas like Manhattan but sprawling, low-density regions like Phoenix, say, or Jacksonville, Florida." https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/republicans-democrats-cities/ @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
WHAT BLACK PEOPLE WANT
YOUR GUIDE TO BETTER SUNSCREENS
HOW TO LIMIT FACEBOOK USE OF YOUR DATA
“What we’ve seen is that the migration problem is a coffee problem,”
Coffee as a commodity is inherently volatile, but the past ten years have been particularly bad for coffee farmers. Right now, coffee sells at $0.89 per pound, which is down from a peak of $2.20 per pound in 2015, a 60 percent drop that has devastated coffee farmers, who since 2017 have operated at a loss. Guatemala is a major producer of coffee, with 120,000 small-scale coffee farmers facing an increasingly desperate market situation, with the national coffee association estimating production costs per pound to be $1.93. This, in turn, is fueling the surge of migrants leaving Guatemala for better opportunities, so much so that the country is now the single largest source of migrants apprehended at the U.S. border. "Guatemala’s coffee farmers are at the mercy of one of the world’s most volatile commodity markets. Over the past two years, the price has been pushed down by the increase in cheap, mechanized coffee production in Brazil — the Saudi Arabia of coffee — the strength of the U.S. dollar and increased production in Vietnam, Honduras and Colombia. It’s a perfect storm that has eaten away at the value of the beans even as the price of lattes and Americanos in U.S. shops has risen."
FARMERS ON THE DOLE, RECEIVE HUGE SUBSIDIES
Let's not hear more talk about urban poor on welfare, let's talk about welfare for corporate farms.
"In 2017, American farmers received $11.5 billion in subsidies, 15.3% of $75.1 billion in total net farm income." and ..."Sugar ranks second in subsidies. While the US sugar industry produced $2.4 billion worth of sugar in 2016, it received $1.5 billion in subsidies in 2016, or 64.4% of production" https://usafacts.org/reports/farm-subsidies-usda-ccc-crop-insurance?utm_source=EM&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=households
FILM & TV REVIEWERS MOSTLY MEN
FREE SCIENCE! OPEN ACCESS TO SCIENTIFIC JOURNALS
There is an upheaval going on in the publishing world. The few lucrative companies that are limiting access to scientific research are under attack. That's a good thing. https://www.vox.com/the-highlight/2019/6/3/18271538/open-access-elsevier-california-sci-hub-academic-paywalls "This disparate band of revolutionaries is waging war on the scientific publishing industrial complex on three fronts: Librarians and science funders are playing hardball to negotiate lower subscription fees to scientific journals.Scientists, increasingly, are realizing they don’t need paywalled academic journals to act as gatekeepers anymore. They’re finding clever workarounds, making the services that journals provide free.Open access crusaders, including science pirates, have created alternatives that free up journal articles and pressure publishers to expand access."
WHERE DOES THE US DITCH 1,000,000 TONS OF PLASTIC?
The price of thousands of products is the death of people where it ends up and deadly pollution of earth and sea. this important series from the Guardian is a must read to understand that the burden of product disposal must be put on the producers not consumers.
"A study released this spring by the environmental group Gaia documented the human toll of US plastics exports on the countries that receive them. “The impact of the shift in plastic trade to south-east Asian countries has been staggering – contaminated water supplies, crop death, respiratory illness from exposure to burning plastic, and the rise of organized crime abound in areas most exposed to the flood of new imports,” the report found."
RECYCLING PLASTIC; 7 TAKEAWAYS
There really aren't many good ways to recycle plastic, contrary to the pleading pleas, recycling signs, and the, earnest efforts of many of us. An increase of the use of paper instead of plastic and reusable containers is the best. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jun/17/recycling-plastic-wrong-guide?utm_term=RWRpdG9yaWFsX0d1YXJkaWFuVG9kYXlVUy0xOTA2MTc%3D&utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=GuardianTodayUS&CMP=GTUS_email
RANDOM FACTS ABOUT ENERGY CONSUMPTION
For example, we've become more efficient at our energy use. Individual Americans use less energy than we did in 1980, but because there's so many more of us, the country as a whole consumes 25 percent more energy than we did back then. And most of our energy mix still comes from fossil fuels.
Fossil fuels supplied 77.7% of American power in 2017, down from 89.4% in 1980. As of 2017, renewables provided 12.8% of the US power supply. That's up from 8.1% of the fuel mix in 1980. Renewables include solar, wind, hydroelectric, geothermal and biomass. Biomass is the leading renewable energy source, accounting for 5.1% of 2017 power production.Solar power grew by 12 times over the past decade, but remains a tiny part of the energy mix. It generated 0.9% of power in 2017.Nuclear power provided 8.6% of the nation's power, up from 3.5% in 1980.Petroleum continues to be the largest source of energy consumption.Coal continues to decline as a fuel source; meanwhile, natural gas consumption continues to rise and is now double that of coal use.Explore our interactive charts and dig into the most up-to-date EIA stats, breaking down CO2 emissions by sector, residential, commercial, industrial, transportation, and electric power. According to the EPA, the U.S. produced 15% of all CO2 in 2014, second only to China.
NOTESFROMTHEPEN.COM A prisoner in the Michigan joint, this guy is an interesting writer detailing the human importance of minutiae revealed in daily prison life. Well worth a read as these three samples illustrate. Tip of the hat to Doug Stanhope for the twitter mention.
PRISON YARD BEEF
Today I sat down at a table on the prison yard with a friend of mine. We faced the basketball court and started to discuss the books we were reading…almost immediately a lively exchange jumped off behind us.
Old inmate: You ain't talking bout shit! Young inmate: Whatcha gonna do nigga?! Old Inmate: I'll show u what I'm gonna do! I'm gonna beat the snot outta yo face! I even got a tissue for yo ass!
The older inmate was clearly getting the better of this exchange, probably from years of experience hyping fights.
Young Inmate: Fuck u nigga! Old Inmate: OH its gonna get REAL DIRTY in this bitch! Old Inmate: Don't do that! Don't do that! U just gonna make me real mad nigga! Old Inmate: I wish a muthafucka would! I wish a muthafucka would do that! Young Inmate: U ain't shit nigga.. aint nobody worried bout u!
Clearly the shit was about to hit the fan. In the joint u don't want to draw attention to an altercation by turning and staring... so we sat facing the basket ball game, and listened.
Old Inmate: Here we go! I'm taking all this shit away! Young Inmate: U ain't got shit popping! Old Inmate: U know what I got popping?! U know what I got popping?! Old Inmate: I GOT THIS POPPIN!..... CHECK!
That's when I realized that they weren't about to fight... they were playing chess... prison style chess. Anything in here can be done with ridiculous aggression.
There is a quilting class here. Its euphemistically called "quilting for a cause" I've never been but I like to think that there's someone over there shit talking while quilting : "U see this hook stitch bitch?! U can't quilt like this nigga!"
Other quilter: "U can't sew shit!!"
GARDENING IN THE JOINT The taste of Freedom through a plot of dirt. "Just listening to music and playing in the dirt, after five years of confinement, I managed to touch the tail of Freedom. It had been so long, that I hardly recognized the feeling. A feeling so foreign and elusive it felt like a distant dream. A type of deja-vu." https://www.notesfromthepen.com/new-blog/2018/7/14/gardens-gangstas-and-freedom-1 ............................
THE SYSTEMATIC PICKPOCKET OF THE JUSTICE SYSTEM "It's all about the money. It always is. Prison is no exception. After you've lost it all, physically, mentally, spiritually, stripped bare in every sense of the word, from family to freedom, just when you think there's nothing left to take, they go after the money; yes, even if you don't have any." https://www.notesfromthepen.com/new-blog/2019/7/3/the-michigan-squeeze-play #################FM#############
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