The H2O highway

https://www.freightwaves.com/news/freightwaves-classics-st-lawrence-seaway-connects-mid-america-to-sea

‘The 63rd navigation season on the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway System was launched on March 22nd during an official opening ceremony.

“Moving goods by water through the Seaway ensures trade is flowing freely between the U.S.
and Canada while also reducing emissions,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg.
“After 62 years of operation, the binational Seaway System remains a model of international
cooperation and partnership and showcases how we can work together to address the challenges
of climate change.”

Keep reading….

NYTimes: What Are Republicans So Afraid Of?

What Are Republicans So Afraid Of? https://nyti.ms/3f7DKCK

Excerpt:”To appeal to moderate suburban voters, Bush would make education a priority and promise a “compassionate conservatism.” To strengthen the party’s hold on white evangelicals, Bush emphasized his Christianity and worked to polarize the country over abortion, same-sex marriage and other questions of sexual ethics and morality. Bush courted Black and Hispanic voters with the promise of homeownership and signed a giveaway to seniors in the form of the Medicare prescription drug benefit. He also made it a point to have a diverse cabinet, elevating figures like Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice and Alberto Gonzales.”

A good beginning to understand how Congress got to gridlock and polarization. We need a functioning Congress to rebuild outdated infrastructure and keep our edge in trade and tech, combat natural disasters, etc.

NYTimes: How Betsy DeVos Has Influenced Education Policy’s Future

How Betsy DeVos Has Influenced Education Policy’s Future https://nyti.ms/3ooER2j

Excerpt from article about Devos’ campaign to defund public schools and privatize education:

“Through her attention-attracting assault on the public education system, Betsy DeVos has actually given the next secretary of education an opportunity — to recommit to public education as a public good, and a cornerstone of our democracy.”

Policy choices in time of crises

This is an excerpt from Bloomberg’s Morning Joe:

Citizens need to recognize that Federal government has the power to mitigate economic crises to a greater extent. I ask why are our leaders in Washington choosing austerity over charity? Read Joe’s take on Federal response to crises.

“Something people should understand about the current U.S. economic crisis is that it is in large part a policy choice.

People joining food lines all around the country is the result of a policy choice not to supply laid off workers with more income, or easy enough access to income from the government. The spiraling number of small businesses closing up shop is the result of a policy choice to cap the level of payroll support, turning the program into a de facto lottery. The wave of state and local austerity we’re already seeing (Los Angeles is the latest) is due to a policy choice, not to include ample money for municipal funding in any of the emergency spending bills that we’ve seen so far. Of course, the social distancing demands create an exceptionally difficult and disruptive situation for everyone, but the attendant level of economic devastation that this has caused was a choice. The federal government isn’t anywhere close to exhausting its fiscal capabilities to supply the private, state and local sectors with replacement income for the duration of the public health emergency.

The reasons behind these choices are different and complex. However the economist JW Mason nailed one aspect of it in a blog post, writing: “It seems like one of the deepest lessons of the crisis is that a system organized around the threat of withholding people’s subsistence will deeply resist measures to guarantee it, even when particular circumstances make that necessary for the survival of the system itself.” Tomorrow another 4.5 million initial jobless claims are expected to be reported.”

David Brooks: The urban backlash against the populist backlash – The Salt Lake Tribune

https://www.sltrib.com/opinion/commentary/2019/11/22/david-brooks-urban/

The populist backlash came in different forms in different parts of the world. In Central and Eastern Europe it came in the form of nationalist strongmen — Victor Orban, Vladimir Putin, the Law and Justice party in Poland. In Latin America it came in the form of the Pink Tide — a group of left-wing economic populists like Hugo Chávez and Nicolás Maduro. In the Anglosphere it was white ethnic nationalism of Donald Trump and Brexit. In the Middle East it was Muslim fundamentalism. In China it was the increasing authoritarianism of Xi Jinping. In India it was the Hindu nationalism of Narendra Modi.

David Brooks

Thank you Hyatt

“Hyatt is the latest international hotel brand to ditch travel-sized toiletries from its rooms, following Holiday Inn-owner InterContinental Group and Marriott International.

Portable tubes of shampoo, conditioner and bath gel will be replaced with bulk-sized toiletries across Hyatt’s global chain of 220,000 rooms beginning in June 2021. The changes will affect Hyatt’s 900 hotels worldwide, encompassing 20 brands, including Park Hyatt, Hyatt Place and the Andaz.

“Plastic pollution is a global issue, and we hope our efforts will motivate guests, customers and, indeed, ourselves to think more critically about our use of plastic,” Mark Hoplamazian, president and CEO of Hyatt, said in a press release.”

It takes everybody working together to reduce plastics….why all the packaging? Ever since Tylenol scare back in the 1980s, companies have gone packaging crazy…time to ease up on Plastics. Buying local is a starting point…