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Why We’re Underestimating American Collapse

NewImageUmair Haque writes:

‘When we take a hard look at US collapse, we see a number of social pathologies on the rise. Not just any kind. Not even troubling, worrying, and dangerous ones. But strange and bizarre ones. Unique ones. Singular and gruesomely weird ones I’ve never really seen before, and outside of a dystopia written by Dickens and Orwell, nor have you, and neither has history. They suggest that whatever “numbers” we use to represent decline — shrinking real incomes, inequality, and so on —we are in fact grossly underestimating what pundits call the “human toll”, but which sensible human beings like you and I should simply think of as the overwhelming despair, rage, and anxiety of living in a collapsing society.

Let me give you just five examples of what I’ll call the social pathologies of collapse — strange, weird, and gruesome new diseases, not just ones we don’t usually see in healthy societies, but ones that we have never really seen before in any modern society….’

Via Eudaimonia

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Pharma’s Conspiracy to Kill West Virginians

NewImageDrug firms shipped 20.8M pain pills to WV town with 2,900 people:

‘Over the past decade, out-of-state drug companies shipped 20.8 million prescription painkillers to two pharmacies four blocks apart in a Southern West Virginia town with 2,900 people, according to a congressional committee investigating the opioid crisis.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee cited the massive shipments of hydrocodone and oxycodone — two powerful painkillers — to the town of Williamson, in Mingo County, amid the panel’s inquiry into the role of drug distributors in the opioid epidemic.

“These numbers are outrageous, and we will get to the bottom of how this destruction was able to be unleashed across West Virginia,” said committee Chairman Greg Walden, R-Ore., and ranking member Frank Pallone Jr., D-N.J., in a joint statement.

The panel recently sent letters to regional drug wholesalers Miami-Luken and H.D. Smith, asking why the companies increased painkiller shipments and didn’t flag suspicious drug orders from pharmacies while overdose deaths were surging across West Virginia….’

Via West Virginia Gazette Mail

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Why Is Snowplowing Still a Thing?


NewImage‘I really shouldn’t need [crampons] to get around in a city’s downtown area. I mean, shouldn’t we have heated sidewalks and roads by now? We don’t need an expensive solar-tile road to do it, although that would be cool. Iceland’s got a nifty geothermal snowmelt system that uses hot water to melt snow and ice on Reykjavik streets. The city of Holland, Michigan has a snowmelt system too. Sure, it would require digging up streets and putting in tubing to circulate hot water—but places with snowmelt systems still generally save a ton of money every year….’

Via Motherboard

The costs include not only the snow removal budget but the environmental impact of the plowing (fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emission from diesel plows, etc.), the cost of pavement damage from plowing, the environmental impact of road salt, and the costs of social harm from associated traffic accidents and pedestrian injuries. 

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Donald Trump is winning

Ezra Klein writes:

‘Trump is making us a little more like him, and politics a little more like the tribal clash he says it is….’

Via Vox

The other way he is winning is by inuring you to his outrages. The lie told often enough becomes the truth. This is not normal. Resist

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Trump Will Try to Fire Mueller. Again.

Timothy L. O’Brien writes:

‘Trump has the power to fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the official overseeing Mueller’s probe, if Rosenstein doesn’t obey a request to fire Mueller. Trump could then tear through the Justice Department’s senior ranks, firing people until he finds one who would comply with his demands.

Although there’s some debate among legal scholars about how much latitude the president would have for such a purge, Trump’s previous maneuvering in this investigation suggests he believes he can do almost whatever he wants. …’

Source: Bloomberg

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With Attempt to Fire Mueller, the Answer to Whether Trump Obstructed Justice Now Seems Clear

John Cassidy writes:

‘Mueller and his team surely have evidence on obstruction of justice that has not yet been made public. But even on the available evidence, Trump’s position looks perilous indeed. The portrait is of a President using every resource at his disposal to shut down an investigation—of Trump himself. And now it has become clear that Trump’s own White House counsel rebelled at the President’s rationale for his actions. …’

Source: The New Yorker