Links 1/1/18

Happy New Year!

Who was Janus, the Roman god of beginnings and endings? The Conversation

January 1 marks mass birthday in Afghanistan The Hindu

New Year’s Is America’s Fourth-Favorite Holiday FiveThirtyEight

Red Square lights up with fireworks as Moscow sees in the New Year – but Dubai CANCELS its display for ‘security reasons’ and instead emblazons the world’s tallest skyscraper in spectacular laser display Daily Mail

North America weather: Canadian zoo moves penguins indoors because of cold temperatures Independent

Niagara Falls is coated in ice — and absolutely jaw-dropping WaPo

Top Ten Global Weather/Climate Events of 2017: A Year of Landfalls and Firestorms Weather Underground

This year, I spent a lot of time thinking about corvids Grist

Who gets the dog in a divorce and other state laws going into effect in 2018 CNN

Bay Area Pot Merchants Ready For New Year’s Day ‘Green Rush San Francisco Chronicle

Canada spends as much on marijuana as wine BBC

The Biggest Technology Failures of 2017 MIT Technology Review

Erica Garner

Goodbye, Erica Garner Rolling Stone (martha r). Matt Taibbi.

New Cold War

Judiciary Republican: If there was any Trump-Russia collusion, it would have leaked months ago The Hill

The CIA’s 60-Year History of Fake News: How the Deep State Corrupted Many American Writers Truthdig

Kill Me Now

Ex-DNC chair: Biden would ‘win overwhelmingly’ against Trump in 2020 The Hill. Really?!? They just don’t get it, do they?


And Quiet Flow the Rivers The Wire

On another New Year’s Day: Mahatma Gandhi’s ‘khorak’ a 100 years ago The Hindu

A Surprise Journey, an Unexpected New Year’s Gift From Across the Arabian Sea The Wire


Nine ways Chinese scientists pushed the envelope in 2017 SCMP

A Diet Strategy That Counts Time, Not Calories WSJ

How Germans are taking back sauerkraut Handelsblatt

Read this before you go sales shopping: the environmental costs of fast fashion The Conversation

ADDERALL RISKS: MUCH MORE THAN YOU WANTED TO KNOW Slate Star Codex. About much more than Adderall.

Class Warfare

‘Climate gentrification’ is coming to Miami’s real estate market. Grist

Minimum wage increases expected in 18 states in January Fox Business

Maternity Wards Are Disappearing From Rural America

Is DIY Disaster Relief the New Normal? TruthOut

A tarnished hospital tries to win back trust Politico

A Return to Debtors’ Prisons: Jeff Sessions’ War on the Poor TruthOut

Goldman Sachs Trying to Kill Initiative Requiring More Lobbying Disclosure International Business Times. David Sirota.


Tax “Reform”

The Federal Tax Overhaul May Boost States’ Bottom Lines, But Some Governors Don’t Want the Money

Tax cut on booze triggers fears of more abuse and drunken driving Politico

Tax Law Offers a Carrot to Gig Workers. But It May Have Costs. NYT

Imperial Collapse Watch

America’s Imperial Decline Might Be Our Last, Best Hope to Salvage Our Democracy AlterNet

Puerto Rico

‘We have a big problem’: Puerto Rico seeks aid for tens of thousands of squatters Politico

The more we learn about Amtrak derailment the stranger it gets  The Hill

Only in America

Police in Houston say a man who had an AR-15 rifle, a shotgun, handgun, and ammunition in his hotel room on New Year’s Eve had no intention to use them Business Insider

In a year of mass shootings, an ambush on police adds one more victim to the toll LA Times

North Korea

US and North Korea closer to nuclear war than ever, warns US ex-military chief SCMP

Kim Jong-un’s Overture to South Korea Signals Possible Thaw in Nucle/ar Crisis NYT

Trump Transition

Trump administration kills Gateway tunnel deal Crain’s New York Business

NYT Trumpwashes 70 Years of U.S. Crimes AlterNet

US considers mortgage credit check shake-up FT

Chief Justice Roberts says courts will examine protections against sexual harassment WaPo

How a Liberal Scholar of Conspiracy Theories Became the Subject of a Right-Wing Conspiracy Theory New Yorker


Brexit: the truth about our passports

2,300 years on, the spirit of warrior hero hovers over Macedonia peace bid Guardian

US Monitor: VW had corrupt culture, flawed leadership Handelsblatt


Rouhani defends right to protest but rejects violence Al Jazeera

The Iranian Protests American Conservative

Iran unrest: ‘Ten dead’ in further protests overnight BBC

Iran – Early U.S. Support For Rioters Hints At A Larger Plan Moon of Alabama

Will new tax spur economic reform in UAE and Saudi? Al Jazeera

The 100 best nonfiction books of all time: the full list Guardian

Antidote du jour:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. moving left

    Well, here’s another!

    What’s up with no comments on so many of the links/articles? Did I miss something? Are we in timeout again or is it the holidays?

  2. allan

    Utah lawmaker’s plan would kick immigrant kids off insurance [AP]

    It’s going to be a long year.

    A Utah senator proposing to make new legal immigrants wait five years before receiving coverage through government health insurance programs said he’s trying to promote self-reliance and discourage socialism.

    Critics of State Sen. Allen Christensen’s plan argue that it’s mean-spirited and will strip health care coverage from 475 legal immigrant children, The Salt Lake Tribune reported Thursday.

    His plan would reinstate a previous provision that required new legal immigrants, who are mostly Latinos, to wait five years before they could qualify for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

    “It’s kind of a fairness issue,” he said. “Do we welcome immigrants and say the minute you get here you can have Medicaid when a lot of our people who are already here don’t?”

    Entitlement programs don’t have a place in our society, Christensen said. …

    The Culture of Life™ is strong in this one.

    1. Daryl

      > “It’s kind of a fairness issue,” he said. “Do we welcome immigrants and say the minute you get here you can have Medicaid when a lot of our people who are already here don’t?”

      Good point — we should let the people already here have Medicaid too…

    2. Jean

      Any reason that supporters of mass migration into the U.S. cannot set up a private charity to pay the benefits for the people they want to be here for the first five years? Corporations that employ cheap labor and who benefit from the new markets could donate and even sponsor a family.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Not likely. I read how some meat corporation brought up a bus load of illegal emigrants from South America to work at one of their abattoirs. When they arrived, the corporation had the bus drop them at the local homeless shelter so that the City could pay the living expenses of their new workers while they worked at their abattoir.

      2. marym

        Any reason we can’t tax the profits of the people and corporations making money from other people’s labor to pay for universal healthcare? Like a civilized country and a civil society?

  3. ambrit

    The holiday schedule said no comments on New Years Day. So far, so good. However, if Mz Scofield is in London, wouldn’t tuesday come on there somewhat ahead of the Colonies? It could be the First here and the Second there. Fun with Datelines!

    1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

      NC runs on NY time– wherever the posters might physically be.

      As it happens, this is the rare occasion when I’m actually in NY. Last minute holiday visit.

      Incidentally, I crossed the int’l dateline this summer, flying from Tasmania to Rarotonga– so got to live part of the same day twice. Fun indeed!

  4. The Rev Kev

    Re Police in Houston say a man who had an AR-15 rifle, a shotgun, handgun, and ammunition in his hotel room on New Year’s Eve had no intention to use them

    No word yet on the 1963 police report of a man seeing going into the Texas School Book Depository building in Dallas with a rifle.

  5. kareninca

    Re the WSJ article on intermittent fasting: I just tried that for two weeks. My weight is fine but my blood sugar is dismal (a lousy combo it turns out), and fasting is supposed to help reduce blood sugar. Alas, it raised my blood pressure tremendously. I went online and that seems to be common. There are a lot of really disappointed people out there saying how much they liked fasting; how easy and painless it was to lose weight that way, but that their blood pressure went through the roof as a result of it (when they quit fasting their blood pressure went back down). They mostly seem to be women. Maybe it is stress hormones. Once I quit it myself, my blood pressure went back down. So if you try it, purchase a blood pressure monitor.

    BTW, re the 600 calorie Newcastle “diabetes reversal diet” that was linked recently: Jenny Ruhl, the author of “Blood Sugar 101” (a great book despite the title) claims plausibly that it is just a carb restriction diet in torture form. That the upshot is that you are consuming hardly any carbs, and that is why it works. And that if you ate at the carb level of the Newcastle diet, but also ate fats and some protein, you could have the same results but without the misery. And that “diabetes reversal” is a weasel phrase, since people aren’t actually cured; they still have to eat low carb.

    1. cnchal

      The Schwarzbein Principle is a low-carbohydrate diet. If you go on the diet, you’ll eat plenty of protein and a lot of good fats. You’ll stop eating processed foods, sugar, artificial sweeteners, and refined grains.

      I am living proof that this works.

      From the WSJ
      You can eat whatever you want with time-restricted feeding, just not whenever you want.

      What is the worst possible breakfast you can eat? A bowl of cereal with skim milk, or a few pieces of toast with jam, followed by a glass of orange juice, with a danish. All carbs, and for the kiddies, sugared cereal.

      This will elevate the blood sugar and raise the insulin level in the bloodstream, which accelerates metabolic aging. When the pancreas cannot secrete enough insulin to counteract the sugar, the medical system calls it diabetes, and they have diagnoses to make and pills to sell.

        1. kareninca

          Oh dear, I just looked. Schwarzbein’s recipes are not low carb; her vegetarian recipes are really high carb. They would send my blood sugars through the stratosphere; I know since I have a meter. I guess they are better than some other alternatives, but unfortunately a lot of people need “Bernstein” level carbs in their diets; that is, nearly none.
          I hope that anyone who tries Schwarzbein’s recipes uses a glucose meter, before and after meals, and does not just assume that they are okay. Having blood sugar that is over a certain level will in time kill your beta cells.

  6. Crosley Bendix

    I highly recommend the article “America’s Imperial Decline Might Be Our Last, Best Hope to Salvage Our Democracy” by Jacob Bacharach on Alternet. He does a superb job of critiquing the fake resistance offered by mainstream Democracts.

    1. Tyronius

      A brilliant bit of commentary, on a situation that frankly can’t come soon enough. Spending $250,000,000 a day on war is, if anything, an understatement of the actual price tag. Worse, it’s money we’re stealing from the future prosperity of our children while simultaneously making that future far less secure.

      We’ve become a grotesque caricature of everything we say we stand for, from the protection of our civil rights at home to the defense of the downtrodden abroad to accountability for malfeasance everywhere.

      Do we merely shrug and accept our new reputation or stand up and demand better of our government and those in it? That’s the question the next decade will answer.

  7. Mildred Montana


    If I post a comment and nobody reads it, does it exist?

    Anyway, Happy New Year everybody.

    1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

      I read it, so therefore it exists!

      Wishing one and all a joyful and healthy 2018.

    2. ambrit

      A) It exists for you. (Deliberately ambiguous phrasing there.)
      B) It exists for the NSA Utah server farm. (If ever a sparrow falls in the forest…)
      C) It exists to the commenteriat that ‘in potentia’ reads it. (Mz Scofield is a special case. Extra points!)
      D) “Nobody reads it” is not a ‘in perpetuity’ statement. (Fickle Time does its’ eternal work.)
      E) Commenting is a form of charity work. (One casts ones’ bread upon the waters…) (Also an ambiguous phrasing.)
      E) Finally, Skynet reads all. (You have been encouraged, and warned.)
      Survivable New Year to all also!

  8. Meher Baba Fan

    Peter Attia is a very respected MD, Surgeon and researcher focusing on ketogenic diet, intermittent fasting and other metabolic therapies to heal cancer. His blog is called Eating Academy. very science focused and critical thinking focus. His huge hangup is that no nutritional studies fit the scientific model. He wants to raise nutrition to the level of a science- which he says it definitely isn’t. Anyway brilliant guy and very levelheaded.

  9. Meher Baba Fan

    PS Peter Attia states it is public policy that informs nutrition and he hasn’t seen a single nutritional study that doesnt mix correlation and causation.
    My own note : the infamous “China Study’ is a glaring example of this error

Comments are closed.