50-ton freighter powered by wind

In a return to the age of the clipper, a French company is using a sailing boat to ply the trade routes that pre-dated steam power – and delivering wine and chocolate to environmentally conscious customers on either side of the Atlantic.

Sleek and light like its larger predecessors, the aluminium-hulled “Grain de Sail” was custom built in a French shipyard and combines the technology used in modern yachts with a hold that can accommodate up to 50 tonnes of cargo.

It docked at Saint-Nazaire, in France’s northwestern Brittany region, on Monday with 33 tonnes of cacao – the raw ingredient for chocolate – after a three-month round trip.

The boat…set off from Brittany in November carrying 15,000 bottles of French organic wine and crewed by just four sailors…It delivered that cargo to New York four weeks later and then set course for the Dominican Republic to pick up the cacao that the company will now roast in France.

Delightful news. And a helluva way to run a company. Old-fashioned transport brought up-to-date. Great wine sold to pay for the raw materials to make great chocolate.

Michelle Obama defends our voting rights against Republican greed

The former first lady and voting rights activist said (last night) that the Senate should also pass the For the People Act “as soon as possible — because there is nothing more important to the health and future of our democracy than safeguarding the right to vote.”

On Wednesday, the House of Representatives passed the proposal, which would help create a nationwide automatic voter registration system, expand mail-in voting, restore voting rights to people with a past felony and protect against state’s individual attempts to create restrictive new laws surrounding voter identification…

…”I’m so proud that we saw a record turnout in the 2020 election. I’m proud of all those who voted and volunteered to make sure that, even in the middle of a pandemic, Americans everywhere could exercise their unalienable right to vote.”

“But while we celebrate these historic gains, unfortunately too many leaders are working to reverse that progress and make it harder for people with every right to vote to cast a ballot,” she continued. “Our democracy remains under attack by the partisan and unpatriotic actions of those at the state level who are doing everything they can to curtail access to the ballot box.”

“Make no mistake — the idea that we cannot both hold secure elections and ensure that every eligible voter can make their voices heard is a false choice. It’s based on lies and it flies in the face of our history,” the former first lady said. “It is sad. It is infuriating. And it is a genuine threat to our future that must be taken seriously.”

RTFA. It’s white bread-Yahoo. But, most of it is useful, positive, supporting the ideals that forged the American Revolution, led it to victory against an established government owned and run by power-hungry royalists…not very different from today’s Republican Party.