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Showing posts from May 18, 2017

Today's Trumpery

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Are Solar and Wind Really Killing Coal, Nuclear, and Grid Reliability?

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[Disinformation and the corporatocracy. Betteridge's Law of Headlines: "Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word 'no'." *RON*]
Joshua D. RhodesMichael E. WebberThomas Deetjen, & Todd Davidson, The Conversation / DeSmog Blog, 14 May 2017
U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry in April requested a study to assess the effect of renewable energy policies on nuclear and coal-fired power plants.

Some energy analysts responded with confusion, as the subject has been extensively studied by grid operators and the Department of Energy’s own national labs. Others were more critical, saying the intent of the review is to favor the use of nuclear and coal over renewable sources.

So, are wind and solar killing coal and nuclear? Yes, but not by themselves and not for the reasons most people think.

Are wind and solar killing grid reliability? No, not where the grid’s technology and regulations have been mode…

Why Are Economists Giving Piketty the Cold Shoulder?

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[We live according to the tenets of a mythology that props up power and greed, that masquerades as a 'science' for driving rational policy. *RON*]
Marshall Steinbaum, Boston Review, 12 May 2017
When it was first published in English in the spring of 2014, Thomas Piketty’s book Capital in the Twenty-First Century was a surprising bestseller. For a book that contains mathematical equations, it saw unthinkable sales, clearly resonating with readers and eventually even the political system, as it provided a respectable background to mounting dissatisfaction with the economic status quo in both the United States and Europe.

The book’s central tenet—that wealth grows faster than economic output, thus concentrating capital (and the income it produces) in ever-fewer hands—confirmed the public’s sneaking suspicion that the workings of the capitalist economy are malfunctioning. Indeed even Goldman Sachs, perhaps the highest-profile symbol of global…

Mohamed El-Erian: ‘We get signals that the system is under enormous stress’

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[I believe this much is true: "the developed world is approaching a T-junction. One road leads to higher growth and a more inclusive form of capitalism while the other turns towards recession, instability and turmoil." But I foresee something more than 'turmoil.' *RON*]

Nils Pratley and Jill Treanor, The Guardian, 17 May 2017
The bad news is that another economic crisis could strike within two years. The good – or better – news is that such a shock is not nailed on. It’s a 50% chance. But the developed world is approaching a T-junction. One road leads to higher growth and a more inclusive form of capitalism while the other turns towards recession, instability and turmoil.

The speaker is Mohamed El-Erian, one of the biggest names in financial markets, who advised President Obama. Born in New York to Egyptian parents, he spent 14 years at Pimco, the world’s biggest bond fund manager. Six of those years were as chief executive bef…

Quitting the Silicon Valley Swamp

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["After 15 long years, I've said all I have to say about tech awfulness." On the struggles involved in trying to decide how to live in a world gone weird and ugly. *RON*]

Paul Bradley Carr, Pando, 28 April 2017
There are, I humbly submit, few people as adept at quitting as I.

My 20s were a blur of jobs and relationships abandoned, most due to a combination of restlessness, ambition, and alcoholism. The net result of that recklessness: A fat advance check for my first book, Bringing Nothing To The Party.

No wonder I got a taste for it.

Later I quit my apartment in London - and London itself, and then England - and embarked on a new life spent living in hotels. Along the way, I quit most of my possessions until I could fit my life in a single carry-on bag. On the eve of my 30th birthday, I finally quit alcohol, and have been sober ever since. All of which saw me rewarded with yet another check, for a second book called The Upgrade. (And …

Ontario nursing homes can add fresher, better food to menu thanks to budget boost

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[Nursing home residents in Ontario get 67 cents a day more for food. Shameful. The 'good news' story title is nullified by the photo that accompanies the article: "The province spends less per day feeding seniors than it does feeding prisoners." *RON*]

Moira Welsh, The Star, 10 May 2017

Residents of Ontario nursing homes will get better, fresher food thanks to a funding boost from the province.

The 67-cent increase — from $8.33 to $9 a day starting July 1— is double the amount requested by long-term care associations. It comes after advocate lobbying and a Star story that detailed the types of cheap, processed food that seniors in nursing homes were served.

“This new funding will enable homes to buy local produce, fresh fruits and vegetables more often,” said Cathy Gapp, CEO of AdvantAge Ontario, the recently renamed association that represents not-for-profit and municipal homes.

Outrage from Star readers forced the government’s ha…