Veterans cleaning up after Trump’s ragtag insurrection attempt


Ben Peifer

When Capitol Hill was in chaos on Jan. 6, David Smith was there.

Smith, 40, was distributing hand-warmers to homeless people nearby when the siege started. He watched in disbelief as a menacing mob stormed the U.S. Capitol.

“It was pretty gut wrenching to see,” said Smith, who retired less than a month ago after serving in the Navy for 13 years.

As a veteran, he was especially horrified, he said, to learn that his fellow vets participated in the insurrection, including Jake Angeli, also known as the “QAnon Shaman,” and Ashli Babbitt, who was shot and killed in the Capitol…

Smith decided he wanted to do something about it, calling on a group of fellow veterans and volunteers to do a thorough sweep of the area around the Capitol and downtown D.C. Beyond ridding the area of hateful markings, Smith hoped to reinforce that the veterans who participated in the siege do not represent them all.

My kind of military. My kind of veteran.

Our Political Crisis…the task before the rational part of this nation

Owing to America’s disproportionate military, financial, and technological power, the breakdown of rational politics in the United States is the most dangerous fact for the world today. And while President Donald Trump’s recent election defeat is a necessary step toward restoring sanity to American politics, it is only the first of many that will be required to stop the downward slide of the US and convince the rest of the world that the country no longer poses a threat to itself or others.

There are two urgent challenges facing America and the world in the wake of the US election. First, President-elect Joe Biden must take on the long uphill struggle to restore some measure of domestic political stability. Second, other regions of the world should forge their own paths of global cooperation, rather than waiting in vain for the US to return to global leadership.

Jeffrey Sachs rocks! He is a high-order player in the world of economics and politics. Which means creeps like Trump hate him. Most Trump followers, of course, have no idea who he is or what he has to say.

Tech Companies moving to Non-Localized wages

Tech workers and employers alike are beginning to question location-focused pay scales. A handful of companies are moving to abandon them altogether.

In setting pay without regard for location, tech companies including Reddit Inc. and Zillow Group Inc. are making a potentially expensive gamble to retain talent and gain a hiring edge. The move can entail maintaining relatively high salaries of employees who are relocating, and adopting a revised scale for new hires. Though it is early, the move challenges a long-held, but not universal, notion that where people live should determine what they make…

Zillow, the Seattle-based real-estate search firm, told its 5,600 employees in October that if they chose to relocate from their current city, their pay wouldn’t be adjusted. “We’re not making this change to save money,” said Dan Spaulding, chief people officer of Zillow. “We’re making this change to retain our employees.”…

“If people think the world is going to snap back to where it was 18 months after the pandemic starts, I don’t think that’s realistic,” said Mr. Spaulding. “Your best talent is going to have options coming out of this.”

Overdue!

Hawks and hope


Ellis Juhlin

I am a graduate student in ecology studying the parasites of ferruginous hawk nestlings. I have worked studying birds and promoting their conservation since I graduated college in 2017. I watch the diversity of birds that migrates through Cache Valley, Utah, keeping my outdoor lights off to diminish the light pollution they struggle to navigate through. Birds are a great unifier, the most accessible wildlife we have. No matter where you are, you can almost always spot a bird nearby. But now, as someone who works with wildlife in the West, I am scared for my hawks, and the rest of the wildlife that calls this place home.

What I am observing in the lives of these birds, and experiencing in my own life, surpasses the emotionless term “climate change.”…In an online discussion in November between Terry Tempest Williams and Pam Houston, two authors I admire, the term “climate change” was not used. We were discussing Williams’ book, Erosion, where the changing climate is a central theme. However, these two authors referred only to climate collapse. The moment Houston said “climate collapse,” the buzzer in my head went off, as if we were in a game show. I immediately knew what she meant. I am living through a climate collapse.

RTFA. Ellis Juhlin is a grad student at Utah State. An advocate for “the cultivation of responsible relationships between humans and our natural world”.

I’ll second that emotion!

Asia-Pacific countries form world’s largest trading bloc


VNA

Fifteen countries have formed the world’s largest trading bloc, covering nearly a third of the global economy.

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is made up of 10 Southeast Asian countries, as well as South Korea, China, Japan, Australia and New Zealand…

Negotiations over the RCEP began in 2012. The deal was signed on Sunday on the sidelines of a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), hosted by Vietnam…

India was also part of the negotiations, but it pulled out last year over concerns that lower tariffs could hurt local producers…Signatories of the deal said the door remained open for India to join in the future…

Members of the RCEP make up nearly a third of the world’s population and account for 29% of global gross domestic product.

I left out the BBC commentary. Predictably, the Brits’ noses are out of joint over this.

The GOUSA wasn’t invited.