Michael Hudson weighs in on the significance of the now-famous Panama Papers. Better strap in, though, because he covers a lot of ground -- how Panama and Liberia are less "countries" than tax havens for foreign criminals and American oil/gas corporations, how foreign criminal income props up American military spending and doesn't get taxed, how money laundering takes cash to plenty of locations before it winds up in a tax haven like Delaware or Wyoming. Mr. Hudson also says we won't fix this, since politicians won't be able to tax corporations hard again and get campaign contributions from them. Of course I disagree that it's hopeless -- it's sorta my job -- but I appreciate why he thinks so.
Geoff Gilbert, writing at TruthOut, speculates as to "How Sanders Could Lay the Foundation for a Third US Political Party." He finds hope in Mr. Sanders's fundraising, which is both enormously impressive and relatively free of big corporate influence. But he'd actually have to retain that fundraising apparatus and/or hand it over to an actual third-party operation, neither of which is a given. And Mr. Gilbert may be optimistic (certainly in the short term!) in thinking a 24-7 Youtube channel can counteract the force of traditional media, especially if Mr. Sanders can't sign up the "dream team" Mr. Gilbert describes. I mean, I like the theory, obviously, but I also know that lots of eyeballs remain glued to TV.
Ian Leslie, writing at The Guardian, tells the story of British scientist John Yudkin, roundly dismissed for warning, way back in 1972, that sugar, not fat, was the biggest danger to our health. More people accept the sugar-is-poison notion today, but of course in the old days Mr. Yudkin became a pariah, despite the obvious strength of his signal insight -- that heart disease, which had increased dramatically in the first half of the 20th century, correlated more precisely with sugar intake than saturated fat intake, especially since Westerners had been eating saturated fat forever (it even shows up in breast milk!) but had only taken up sugar in the previous few centuries. Sadly, the story also includes a counter-hypothesis (the Seven Countries study) that turned out to be as self-serving in some ways as Samuel Eliot Morison's infamous craniometry studies, and ideological descendants of Seven Countries who employ personal attacks against their contemporary opponents.
University of Sheffield students testify that they're having trouble finishing their reading because of time constraints. Speaking as someone who didn't finish all the reading in college either, I think the mote in these kids' eyes is their social lives -- your first time away from home, and all the possibilities and challenges that entails, leaves less time for Arnold and Achebe. I suppose the slow evolution of media from books to screens has a not inconsiderable influence as well, but I always maintain that screens can supplement books. (I actually did dip into the comments, against my better judgment, and found some unusually frank and useful tips on not-reading-the-whole-text from a commenter named Contabs.)
Finally, tens of thousands of California voters seem to have mistakenly declared their affiliation with the far-right American Independent Party. It could be a fault with the state's voter registration form (which has a box for "no party preference" rather than "independent"), or it could be the fault of inattentive voters. At least the American Independent Party, an offshoot of the many George Wallace campaigns for President, has officially abandoned racial segregation as a goal.