From the world pool: March 9, 2018

extreme closeup of glass garden ornament
Garden ornament

Not so much this time, since I didn’t wait a month or two to post.

Socio-political commentary

US politics

Christopher Steele, the Man Behind the Trump Dossier  A fascinating read.

Canadian politics

‘We have no alternative’: White paper warns lost B.C. farmland could be catastrophic

And here’s the white paper referenced:

Seeking an elusive, expensive catch: quotas What really makes business unprofitable for Pacific fishermen? About 70 per cent of the landed value of their catch can go to the holder of an evasive permit

A lot has changed since Mr. Edwards’s grandfather moved from Newfoundland to B.C. in 1927 to fish for halibut and salmon. Today’s fishermen use sonar, fish aggregating devices and computerized navigational systems. And in part because of all that equipment, it often barely pays to go out on the water; between labour, fuel, bait and other equipment, just leaving shore costs between $7,000 and $10,000.

But what really makes fishing unprofitable for many Pacific fishermen is that about 70 per cent of the landed value (or gross revenue) of their catch can go to pay the owner of the fish. And the owner is not the province, the country, the Queen nor Njoror, the Norse god of the sea.

The effective owner of B.C.’s fish is the holder of the individual transferable quota for catching them. An ITQ is a permit to harvest a certain amount of fish – per species – each year. Introduced in the 1990s, it’s a system that many in the industry say has essentially privatized a natural resource, rendering many fishermen oceanic sharecroppers beholden to big corporations.


Requiem for The New York Times Opinion Page

I wish folks could be more civil and welcoming, because I am a gentle fellow with a fairly well-known taste for temperate rhetoric, but I also wish that there weren’t so many people making nice bank on insulting people and then driving nails into their own palms when the people they deliberately have offended talk back to them.

The wonderful Jay Smooth on Crash Course; the beginnings of a 12-week course on media literacy

Feminist issues

‘You need to hear us’: over 1,000 female aid workers urge reform in open letter

“Trust in our sector can only be restored when we ask and answer the difficult questions and openly challenge those who exploit and hide behind the good work of many,” read the letter, which has the backing of 1,111 female aid workers from 81 different countries. “It is the behaviour of these men, not our complaint of their behaviour, which damages the sector’s reputation and public trust.”

Feminists have slowly shifted power. There’s no going back

Something had shifted. What’s often overlooked is that it had shifted beforehand so that this could happen. Something invisible had made it possible for these highly visible upheavals and transformations. People often position revolution and incrementalism as opposites, but if a revolution is something that changes things suddenly, incrementalism often lays the groundwork that makes it possible. Something happens suddenly, and that’s mistaken for something happening out of the blue. But out of the blue usually means out of the things that most people were not paying attention to, out of the slow work done by somebody or many somebodies out of the limelight for months or years or decades.

Indigenous Issues

So much for reconciliation: Canadian maple syrup still has more protection than Indigenous art 

…[The[ United States is ahead of Canada, having created a truth-in-advertising Indian Arts and Crafts Act in 1990 that prohibits the sale of any art product that falsely suggests it is “Indian produced, an Indian product, or the product of an Indian or Indian Tribe, or Indian arts and crafts organization.” Non-Indigenous individuals caught falsely misrepresenting traditional items such as jewelry, pottery, baskets, carved stone sculptures, woven rugs and clothing, could face up to $250,000 in fines or a five-year prison term in the States, while businesses faces fines up to $1 million. Canada has no such financial deterrent, beyond the Competition Bureau’s broad rules against false and deceptive marketing practices.

Racism and Civil Rights

Rethinking Work-Life Balance for Women of Color And how white women got it in the first place.

It was simple economics, and simple economics created different value systems that divide our priorities today. White women had money but wanted more time. Black and brown women needed more money. …

Much of that way of being still exists.

As do the economics. White women are calling for time to mother, but black women still need money to mother. While the male-female pay gap has been slowing decreasing, the pay gap between white women and black women is the fastest growing income inequality there is, according to a report by the Economic Policy Institute. In 1979, black women earned only 6 percent less than white women. Today, black women earn 19 percent less than white women, according the the report.


Trump White House quietly issues report vindicating Obama regulations It was easy to miss, but OMB demolishes the GOP’s deregulatory claims.


‘He’s smashed up the classroom’ How I got help for my disruptive son

Art + Design + Writing

Victo Ngai


Especially where I live.

How to Grow Moss Work your way down to “Creating a Moss Lawn” for some photographic gems.

Also useful where I live, since there are an awful lot of heat pumps around here.

‘I had no idea,’ heat pump owner says about potential for mould 


How to Make a Pearl

For 53 years, John Kapellas enjoyed the bright sky of the western US, but one day he started to burn, blister and break out in rashes whenever he was exposed to light. Now allergic to the entire spectrum of light, Kapellas has spent the last decade living in complete darkness.

This is an amazing and moving story, and I’m so glad I watched it. The man lives in the dark but he makes no room for darkness in his life



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