180k farmworkers sickened w/Covid

According to this excellent and short WSJ video feature, 180k farmworkers this year have tested positive for COVID-19, and some of them have died. Here’s a story from Santa Maria in Santa Barbara county about a group of 250 or so such guestworkers living in crowded conditionsin a motel…and interviews with two who contracted theContinue reading “180k farmworkers sickened w/Covid”

Congressman Covid

The coronavirus has provided an extraordinary new image for cartoonists around the world to work into their satirical art. Here’s an example I think really clicks, from John Arlington of the US, discovered on the international — and great — Cartoon Movement, of the Texas Republican Louie Gohmert. Gohmert has been waging a brazen cultureContinue reading “Congressman Covid”

John Muir taken down from the pedestal by Sierra Club

Two days ago the Sierra Club made the front page of the Los Angeles Times when the 122-year-old environmental organization took down the monument in esteem that was its hero, John Muir, the co-founder of the organization, from his emeritus leadership position in the great beyond. Joseph LeConte, his friend and co-founder was outright disowned,Continue reading “John Muir taken down from the pedestal by Sierra Club”

Megadrought in the Southwest: LA Times vs NYT

Let me point out how different the same study can look to different reporters in different arenas. Bettina Boxall, the Pulitzer Prize-winning LA Times reporter, looks at California in her big front-page story a week ago about long-term drought in California and SoCal, and finds little change in rainfall but substantial change in human behaviorContinue reading “Megadrought in the Southwest: LA Times vs NYT”

On the lying of the President, by Robert Bly, in 1973

The ministers lie, the professors lie, the television lies, the priests lie. . . . These lies mean that the country wants to die. Lie after lie starts out into the prairie grass, like enormous caravans of Conestoga wagons. . . . And a long desire for death flows out, guiding the enormous caravans fromContinue reading “On the lying of the President, by Robert Bly, in 1973”

“Now the Chief Executive enters, the press conference begins” — Robert Bly on Presidential Liars

From Robert Bly‘s The Teeth Mother Naked At Last Now the Chief Executive enters; the press conference begins: First the President lies about the date the Appalachian Mountains rose. Then he lies about the population of Chicago, then he lies about the weight of the adult eagle, then about the acreage of the Everglades HeContinue reading ““Now the Chief Executive enters, the press conference begins” — Robert Bly on Presidential Liars”

How humanity fought infectious disease before vaccination

Siddartha Mukherjee, who won the Pulitzer Prize for the magisterial “The Emperor of All Maladies,” a history of cancer, wrote in The New Yorker last month about the history of our ability to control infectious disease. The answer for one plague came came from the East, from an era before doctors and medical science. It’sContinue reading “How humanity fought infectious disease before vaccination”

Ishmael, meet Queequeg: the estranged genius of Melville

In a dazzling essay on the true story behind “Moby Dick,” Carl Safina reminds us of the opening of that great novel, in which the seafarer Ishmael meets Queequeg, a sailor of “cannibalistic” heritage. They are thrown into bed together, much to Ishmael’s discomfort, but he ends up respecting Queequeg all the more, after sleepingContinue reading “Ishmael, meet Queequeg: the estranged genius of Melville”