Barcelona has a plan to take back streets from cars

❝ What I found was more fascinating than anything I could have imagined: not just an urban plan, but a vision for a different way of living in the 21st century, one that steps back from many of the mistakes of the auto-besotted 20th century, refocusing on health and community. It is a bigger and more ambitious city plan than anything being discussed in America and, more important, a plan that is actually being implemented, with a few solid pilot projects behind it, a list of lessons learned, and a half-dozen new projects in the works.

❝ There’s no guarantee Barcelona can follow through on its outsized aspirations; it faces the same political cross-currents and commercial pressures of any other big city. (Municipal elections on May 26 will provide a crucial test for the plan.)

But it is also, by virtue of its history, character, and circumstances, uniquely well positioned to push back the tide of cars. Other cities seeking to reduce pollution, prepare for climate change, and restore a sense of community have much to learn, not only from what Barcelona has done so far, but also from what it’s able to do next.

We’re pretty settled into our family-built hacienda in a small community just outside of Santa Fe. But, for many reasons, I should note that Barcelona is one of those world-class cities truly worth considering for someone who prefers the spirit of urban living – in a city willing to lead the way into the future.

New Zealand gun lobby backs government ban after mosques massacre


Vincent Thian/AP Photo

❝ New Zealand will crack down on firearms ownership this week after the Christchurch mosques massacre that killed 50 people.

In stark contrast to the United States, where even the most minor curbs on gun ownership meet ferocious opposition led by the National Rifle Association, New Zealand gun owners agree action is needed.

❝ “We want to support our government in any changes to prevent a terrorist attack from happening in New Zealand again,” said Nicole McKee, secretary of the Council of Licensed Firearm Owners.

❝ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s government announced an immediate ban on military-style semi-automatic rifles after the shooting and will put laws to parliament formalising its action on Tuesday…

Finalising such legislation can often take months but Ardern said the matter was so urgent it will be done by April 11.

❝ Further curbs – potentially including a gun register, tighter vetting and stricter gun storage rules – are set to be passed by the end of the year.

It’s not as difficult as you might think to have responsible, thoughful legislation passed in a nation where politicians are likely to count voters as taking primacy over donors and corporate flunkies.

Walgreens to sell CBD products in select states

Walgreens will sell CBD creams, patches and sprays in nearly 1,500 stores in select states…The drugstore chain will sell the cannabis-based products in Oregon, Colorado, New Mexico, Kentucky, Tennessee, Vermont, South Carolina, Illinois and Indiana. Walgreens declined to specify which brands it would carry…

❝ “This product offering is in line with our efforts to provide a wider range of accessible health and wellbeing products and services to best meet the needs and preferences of our customers,” Walgreens spokesman Brian Faith said in an email to CNBC.

Rival drugstore chain CVS introduced CBD-containing topicals, including creams and salves, to stores in eight states earlier in March. As the non-psychoactive cannabis compound becomes one of the hottest ingredients in consumer products, retailers are carefully evaluating the market.

I have an irksome albeit minor idiopathic quirk which has responded to combinations of CBD and cannabis via inhalation therapy. According to some early studies. Worth waiting around to try [1] if legal beagles decide it fits into Medicare and [2] inhalation therapy means the hospital flavor – not smoking the stuff. I quit smoking about 60 years ago. Ain’t about to resume.

If Alice B. Toklas brownies work – I’m in!

International Women’s Day saw U.S. Women’s Soccer Team file landmark lawsuit

Alex Morgan

❝ While some sporting brands used International Women’s Day to launch their Women’s World Cup team kits, lawyers representing the world-champion U.S. team were on their way to a California courthouse to file a landmark lawsuit that would rock the sport.

Instructed by the 28 members of the women’s national team, they filed a suit accusing the U.S. Soccer Federation of gender discrimination, alleging that it pays them less than their male counterparts…

“They sacrifice their whole lives to play for their country, they’re together and play more games than the men’s team and they’ve been more successful,” Ireland striker Stephanie Roche told Reuters.

“They are more like a club team in some ways, they play that many games. I think they have proven that they are equal, they have brought success and therefore have every right to demand equality,” she added…

Winners of four Olympic gold medals and three of the seven World Cups that have been held to date, the U.S. women’s team are ranked first in the world and have never been lower than second, while the American men are currently 25th.

Keep on rocking in the Free World!

Mexico closes 5 immigrant detention centers — “lacking…shelter and services”


mintpressnews.com

❝ Mexico’s federal immigration agency shuttered five of its detention centers late last month, as the agency’s new chief says he wants to improve the treatment of undocumented migrants.

The closings included the detention center in Reynosa, across the border from McAllen, Texas, just days after the director of that office was fired. A report from TV network Telemundo had found officials at that office had extorted migrants being held there, and officials have said they’re investigating the complaints.

The remaining closures were in Nogales, across the border from Nogales, Arizona, on the coasts in Acapulco, Guerrero, and Tuxpan, Veracruz; and toward southern Mexico in Morelia, Michoacan…

❝ Top immigration officials, appointed by the newly elected President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, appear to be making an effort to reform the agency, said Gretchen Kuhner, director of the Institute for Women in Migration, a Mexico City-based nonprofit.

Mexico now working to improve the lot of undocumentados while the home of the brave and the land of the free couldn’t care less. At least the Executive branch and a chunk of Congress.

Actually, the world might run out of people


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❝ You know the story. Despite technologies, regulations, and policies to make humanity less of a strain on the earth, people just won’t stop reproducing. By 2050 there will be 9 billion carbon-burning, plastic-polluting, calorie-consuming people on the planet. By 2100, that number will balloon to 11 billion, pushing society into a Soylent Green scenario…

But what if they’re wrong? Not like, off by a rounding error, but like totally, completely goofed?

❝ That’s the conclusion Canadian journalist John Ibbitson and political scientist Darrell Bricker come to in their newest book, Empty Planet, due out February 5th. After painstakingly breaking down the numbers for themselves, the pair arrived at a drastically different prediction for the future of the human species. “In roughly three decades, the global population will begin to decline,” they write. “Once that decline begins, it will never end.

I only disagree with the last sentence. Just as – over time – even people ignorant enough to vote for someone like our Fake President will come to understand the economics of birth control. You can afford a better life by not trying to create and support an excess population. That translates from simply staying comfortably alive to how you order your life and living into any number of additional qualities of time spent doing what you’d like to be doing instead of just treading water to afford basic necessities for your family.

Women in particular can order their own lives and lifestyle beyond biblical rules and backwards politicians. Mostly men. All of that inevitably continues to change over time.

While there are many factors outside birth and death helping these decisions along, I believe they will also constrain the potential for our species dying off. We’re just as likely to come up with alternatives to gestation as evolved within our species. We are bright enough – with sufficient education – to redirect our lives’ path beyond the scope of evolution.

New Mexico governor yanks National Guard from the border


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❝ Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) on Tuesday ordered the withdrawal of most New Mexico National Guard troops assigned to the state’s southern border.

Lujan Grisham said some troops would remain in the southwest part of the state to provide humanitarian aid assistance for migrants and asylum-seekers who have arrived in recent weeks.

❝ “I reject the federal contention that there exists an overwhelming national security crisis at the southern border, along which are some of the safest communities in the country,” said Lujan Grisham in a statement Tuesday. “However, I recognize and appreciate the legitimate concerns of residents and officials in southwestern New Mexico, particularly Hidalgo County, who have asked for our assistance, as migrants and asylum-seekers continue to appear at their doorstep.”

❝ In addition to withdrawing the majority of troops, the governor asked Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Wisconsin to pull out their troops who were ordered to the border by President Trump in October.

Maybe the national Democratic Party should ask NM Dems how to run a campaign against Republicans who kiss Trump’s sacred butt. They performed in mediocre fashion the last 8 years. Got Liberal/Progressive religion and backed Michelle Lujan Grisham against a Republican who brought in Trump and ran out a platform slightly to the Right of Attila the Hun. MLG won!