When I hear that women fight reactionary forces in Kuwait who call the mere presence of yoga classes an affront to Islam, I can't be too proud that at least American women can go to yoga classes largely unmolested, not least because American women still had to get their husbands' permission to get credit cards during my lifetime. These right-wing drama hounds may say they're "defending the daughters" of Kuwait, but American right-wingers sound no different, and I'm pretty sure they look at how much further Kuwaiti women have to go and wish they could start America from there! I wish the women of Kuwaiti luck, and how about the rest of us stop appeasing assholes?
Sanitation workers in San Diego County win a fairly substantial raise after going on strike for seven weeks with enthusiastic community support. Yes, even though they weren't getting their trash picked up, to the point where the city of Chula Vista actually declared a public health emergency. The new contract did not resolve many of the workers' grievances -- like poorly-maintained garbage trucks, that's a big one -- and I think it'll take many, many more strikes to get those issues resolved, because they don't actually work for the county government, but for Republic, a corporation that collects trash in 40 states and pays its CEO $12 million annually. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that's yet another argument against privatization.
Jim Hightower describes "Corporate Profiteers' Pandemic Strategy" thusly: "Gouge Consumers and Blame Joe Biden." "What the GOP bemoans as America’s inflation problem," he writes, "is actually a corporate greed problem" (italics in original, I swear!) because "our economy doesn’t remotely resemble a competitive marketplace." You'll be familiar with the record-profits-but-still-raising-prices-story, but you may be less familiar with corporate monopoly's effects on small businesses, such as the cattle ranchers who get less money for their beef as meat processors charge consumers more. Read to the end so you can do something about all of this, versus just staying angry.
John F. Tooker at The Conversation warns us that we are overusing seeds coated with insecticides. Coating a seed with insecticide? What will they think of next? With neonicotinoid-coated seeds now being planted in just about all corn and cotton fields and about half of soybean fields, the answer to that question is, as always, "whatever allows big ag to hire fewer workers." Pretty soon nobody's going to have the money to buy food! Mr. Tooker isn't anti-neonic per se, but would prefer that farmers use integrated pest management, which I sure hope wouldn't involve introducing any more invasive species (after all, the spotted lanternfly is one of those species that makes neonics useful).
From the "Who Greenlighted This?" file: a bitcoin "mining" corporation rescues a Montana "zombie" coal plant which had operated on only 46 days in 2020, and perhaps not unexpectedly, the climate change emissions skyrocket. "This isn’t helping old ladies from freezing to death," one observer notes, "it’s to enrich a few people while destroying our climate for all of us." So how did Marathon get its gnarled hand around the Hardin plant? Oh, the usual way -- by promising JOBZ!!!! Though we read yesterday about how fossil fuel corporations' job promises typically fall well short. And while wind isn't the zero-sum game coal is, I'd prefer wind turbines power homes and businesses rather than speculative investments. No, I will not call it "currency," because it's not currency. Words mean things, after all.
Finally, Sen. Rick Scott (E-FL) releases an 11-point agenda for Republicans if they take back Congress in 2022, and most of it makes you realize that Mitch McConnell's refusal to issue any agenda makes him the brains of that outfit. I've already got the ad written: "Sir, what would Republicans do about inflation?" "We'll finish the border wall and name it after Trump!" "I see. So what would Republicans do about high prescription drug prices?" "We will make a law saying there are only two genders!" "Don't see how those relate; so what would Republicans do about paid family leave?" "We're going to take critical race theory out of the schools!" "OK, so family, schools, I guess -- what would Republicans do about corporate monopolies?" "We will make private corporations do everything government does!" "Uh huh. Oh, and what's this I hear about Republicans wanting to raise taxes on half of all Americans?"