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Jerri-Lynn Scofield



Articles by Jerri-Lynn Scofield

You and I May Never Summit Everest But Microplastics Already Have

6 days ago

By Jerri-Lynn Scofield, who has worked as a securities lawyer and a derivatives trader. She is currently writing a book about textile artisans.
Regular readers no doubt have heard about the problems we have been having at Naked Capitalism this week. Mine have been particularly severe, though I understand some of the weirder ones have now migrated to Lambert as well.
So I have been slowed in my production of original posts, including one on the First Amendment that mentions the less than full-throated defence by the spineless man who later became our president. But I have not had stable enough access to finish that post to my satisfaction so I’m substituting this more whimsical one instead. Rest assured, you’ll get that First Amendment post soon. The issue isn’t going anywhere and will

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‘The Real Looting in America Is the Walton Family’: GAO Report Details How Taxpayers Subsidize Cruel Low Wages of Corporate Giants

7 days ago

By Jon Queally, staff writer, Common Dreams. Originally published at Common Dreams
Pinpointing a reality denounced as “morally obscene” by Sen. Bernie Sanders, a new government study shows how some of the nation’s largest and most profitable corporations—including Walmart, McDonald’s, Dollar General, and Amazon—feast upon taxpayer money by paying their employees such low wages that huge numbers of those workers throughout the year are forced to rely on public assistance programs such as Medicaid and food assistance just to keep themselves and their families afloat.
According to a statement from Sanders’ office, the study he commissioned the Government Accountability Office to carry out—titled “Millions of Full-time Workers Rely on Federal Health Care and Food Assistance Programs“—found

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Waste Watch: Carbon Emissions to Increase in the UK from Waste Disposal; Yet Another Reason We Need To Cease Making So Much Plastic

10 days ago

By Jerri-Lynn Scofield, who has worked as a securities lawyer and a derivatives trader. She is currently writing a book about textile artisans.
An article in Monday’s Guardian caught my eye, Increase in burning of plastic ‘driving up emissions from waste disposal’:
By 2030 the government’s push to increase incineration of waste will increase CO2 emissions by 10m tonnes a year, mostly from the burning of plastics, the groups said. They argue that the growth in energy-from-waste incineration means the UK will not be able to meet its commitment to net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
The coalition, which includes Extinction Rebellion’s zero waste group, Friends of the Earth, the UK Without Incineration Network (UKWIN), Greenpeace and the MP John Cruddas, says the expansion of waste incineration

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Links 11/16/2020

10 days ago

Revisiting “Seven Days in May” Counterpunch. I first read this book before I was a teenager. And I asked my uncle whether it was plausible. He was an Air Force pilot who flew missions in Vietnam, and retired as a full colonel, after finally serving as base commander at Hanscom Air Force Base near Boston. I was terrified by his response. Fascinated by the book then, but this TDS is getting overdone.
#COVID-19
Covid-19 Caused International Enrollments to Plummet This Fall. They Were Already Dropping. Chronicle of Higher Education
How Long Do I Need to Quarantine if I’m Exposed to Covid? WSJ
Damage to multiple organs recorded in ‘long Covid’ cases Guardian
Covid vaccine: Major new trial starts in UK BBC
Is it the end of the line for mass transit systems? FT
I’m seeing an industry disappear’:

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Save the Birds: Study Adds to Calls to Ban Dogs from Beaches During Shorebird Nesting Season

11 days ago

By Jerri-Lynn Scofield, who has worked as a securities lawyer and a derivatives trader. She is currently writing a book about textile artisans.
The Guardian reproduced a recent University of Valencia study that confirms another threat to nesting birds:
There is only one thing more terrifying for a nesting bird than a person walking nearby: when that two-legged beast is joined by a four-legged companion.
A study of how ground-nesting birds are disturbed on beaches in Spain has revealed how they are almost always scared from their nests by passing off-lead dogs, but seem unperturbed by motorbikes, helicopters and low-flying planes.
Walkers accompanied by dogs flushed Kentish plovers from the foreshore nests 80% of the time when walking on paths over the beach, compared with just 12.9% of the

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Links 11/15/2020

11 days ago

Happy Diwali!
How India Celebrated Diwali Amid Coronavirus Pandemic. See Pics NDTV
Cruise line resumed voyages in Caribbean. It’s not going well [Updated] Ars Technica
Fences Can Cause ‘Ecological Meltdown,’ Study Finds TreeHugger
Experience: my parachute failed Guardian
“Today I Learned’: 40 Interesting Things People Haven’t Learned At School Bored Panda
Government climate adviser urges Boris Johnson to act now to be ‘credible’ on crisis Independent
Egypt unveils scores of ancient coffins, statues found in Saqqara Al Jazeera
‘This Is a Really, Really Big Deal’: Michigan Gov. Moves to Shut Down Line 5 Pipeline to Protect Great Lakes Common Dreams
#COVID-19
New stats reveal massive NYC exodus amid coronavirus, crime NY Post
The Pandemic Winter Is Coming to New York, and It’s Going to Be

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Is Development for the World Bank Mainly Doing Business?

11 days ago

By Anis Chowdhury, Adjunct Professor at Western Sydney University & University of New South Wales (Australia), who held senior United Nations positions in New York and Bangkok and Jomo Kwame Sundaram, a former economics professor, who was United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development, and received the Wassily Leontief Prize for Advancing the Frontiers of Economic Thought. Originally published at the Inter Press Service
The World Bank has finally given up defending its controversial, but influential Doing Business Report (DBR). In August, the Bank “paused” publication of the DBR due to a “number of irregularities” after its much criticized ranking system was exposed as fraudulent.
Apparently, data from four countries – China, Azerbaijan, the UAE and Saudi Arabia – was

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Voting Turnout: Three Simple Ways to Get Out the Vote

24 days ago

By Jerri-Lynn Scofield, who has worked as a securities lawyer and a derivatives trader. She is currently writing a book about textile artisans.
One of many things I learned from Walter Dean Burnham during my years at MIT was the importance of voting turnout had on electoral outcome. Much of the history of electoral politics in the 20th century is  of efforts to depress turnout. This wasn’t limited to just trying to disenfranchise people of color – as serious as those efforts were.
But it also extended to efforts to suppress and undercount certain types of votes – those of people who lived in cities, for example.
Though most Americans are inured to our screwy electoral system, this situation looks very strange to the rest of the world, to say the least, as the NY Times highlighted in a

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11/2/2020

24 days ago

Virtue Signaling Over Corpses Craig Murray
Robert Fisk: Celebrated Middle East correspondent of The Independent dies aged 74 Independent
The Martin Papers Bookforum
A Nuts-And-Bolts Guide To Density People Actually Want American Conservative
We’re developing self-disinfecting surfaces that could curb the spread of infectious diseases Scroll How about good old copper?
5 Myths and Superstitions About Owls Big fan of owls. And snakes. (See my small collection of quirky jewellery.)
The cheap pen that changed writing forever BBC J still keep the faith and write with a fountain pen. And I allow myself an indulgence: a  new one, every time I start a new manuscript. I prefer the feel of pushing a heavy pen across the page. But this mode of composing doesn’t extend to the journalism – including

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As the World Watches US Election, the Appeal of America is Diminished

24 days ago

Jerri-Lynn here. And they say that as if it’s such a bad thing. Seriously, though, the election has made the defects of which many of those in the U.S. have long been aware apparent across the world.
There’s more than a touch of TDS to this screed, and I am conscious of how the mainstream media – and Democrats – never gave Trump a break. A fact of which my sister the Trump 2016 voter often makes me aware. So that perceptions of his deficiencies were transmitted, unchallenged, around the world. Yet still, there is much to ponder in this post,
By Liam Kennedy, Professor of American Studies, University College Dublin. Originally published at The Conversation.
A US presidential election always draws intense worldwide interest, in part due to the spectacle, but also because the leadership of

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Plastic Watch: Plastic Pushers Seek to Use Trade Negotiations to Rescind Plastic Bans

25 days ago

By Jerri-Lynn Scofield, who has worked as a securities lawyer and a derivatives trader. She is currently writing a book about textile artisans.
I’m going to take a break from COVID-19 and election coverage to write about a pernicious campaign by U.S.-based plastic pushers tp use the free trade mantra to dump more plastic in Africa (as well as the UK).
Readers with long memories will no doubt recall the infamous Larry Summers World Bank memo on pollution and developing countries.
More recently, many of these countries are slowly waking to the environmental costs of plastic  First by following China’s lead in not accepting plastic waste imports, and then by implementing their own single-use plastic bans, these countries have wakened to the dangers of excess plastic.
Now,as the plastic

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Links 11/1/2020

25 days ago

Sean Connery: James Bond actor dies aged 90 BBC
The First 50 Years of James Bond] Counterpunch. From the pen of the late great Alexander Cockburn.
Typhoon Goni weakens as it crosses Philippines, four dead Reuters
Typhoon Goni: Philippines hit by year’s most powerful storm BBC
70-year-old pulled out alive as Turkey quake death toll hits 51 Al Jazeera
Car-free neighbourhoods: the unlikely new frontline in the culture wars Guardian
In troubled times, a ritual walk can clear the mind and soothe the soul Guardian
Anne Applebaum’s Dinner Party, And Mine American Conservative
Why living with and tending plants is good for you BBC
California’s Hills Are Haunted by the Ghosts of Wind Energy’s Past Gizmodo
Let your children play in the green outdoors for just a month, watch immunity grow The Print
A

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Indian Pharma is Being Squeezed – and It’s Bad News for Drug Access in Developing Countries

25 days ago

Jerri-Lynn here. The key role Indian pharma plays in ensuring access to low-cost drugs for developing countries is especially important during the age of COVID-19, when big pharma is doing its best to promote high-cost, proprietary vaccines and treatments, regardless of their lack of history and questionable efficacy. Research into using low-cost generics is not part of the game plan. And the price of drugs is not just a concern for developing countries and is also not just limited to the pandemic,
By Thankom Arun, Professor of Global Development and Accountability, University of Essex, and Reji Joseph, Associate Professor of Economics, Institute for Studies in Industrial Development. Originally published at The Conversation.
India’s pharmaceutical industry is renowned for selling

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Waste Watch: Right to Repair as Remedy for School Computer Shortage?

October 22, 2020

By Jerri-Lynn Scofield, who has worked as a securities lawyer and a derivatives trader. She is currently writing a book about textile artisans.
The New York Times featured a piece earlier this month about how the pandemic is worsening the digital divide and thus indirectly worsening inequality, The Digital Divide Starts With a Laptop Shortage. Yet while that account is a decent statement of that problem, it fails to highlight an obvious remedy: adopting a right to repair.
Not only would such a solution help reduce inequality, but it would also help reduce global warming, as it would reduce the amount of computers that must be disposed of, as well as reduce the number of number of excess machines that need to be created in the first place.
Over to the NYT:
When the Guilford County Schools

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Links 10/22//2020

October 22, 2020

FBI Arrests Florida Lawyer for Bank Robberies Law.com
How the Soviets accidently discovered the ‘Gates of Hell’ BBC video  of the most amazing sites I’ve ever visited.
Airbnb brings in Jony Ive to oversee redesign FT
#COVID-19
AstraZeneca shares turn negative after Brazilian health authority says volunteer in Covid vaccine study dies CNBC
Why this week’s meeting of an FDA advisory panel on Covid-19 vaccines matters Stat
Spike in South Korea flu shot deaths fuels vaccine doubts Al Jazeera
A Glimmer of Hope: Mortality Rate Is Improving for Hospitalized COVID Patients TruthOut
As Covid-19 intensifies, shortages of staple drugs may grow worse Stat
Europe’s grim Covid choice: Who lives and who dies Asia Times
US on brink of rampant Covid-19 spread, Europe hospitals strained France 24

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What Developing Countries Can Teach Rich Countries About How to Respond to a Pandemic

October 22, 2020

Jerri-Lynn here. Back in the 1980s when I had a research fellowship in Switzerland, I remember a conversation with another scholar from Trinidad and Tobago about how her country pursed better infection control protocols than did the Swiss. Trinidad and Tobago had no choice, as their generally hotter climate was a breeding ground for infection, and health care officials were anxious to prevent their spread, as prevention was far cheaper than cure. I recalled that conversation when I saw the following post highlighting the relative success of developing countries in managing the pandemic, as compared to rich countries, including the U.S.and much of Europe, which have instead seen failure as they enter their second wave.
(I am aware that Trinidad & Tobago has the third highest GDP per capita

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U.S. Supreme Court Rejects GOP Call Not to Extend Deadline for Mail-In Ballots

October 20, 2020

By Jerri-Lynn Scofield, who has worked as a securities lawyer and a derivatives trader. She is currently writing a book about textile artisans.
In the first of what will no doubt be a series of blockbuster voting rights rulings or opinions in this 2020 electoral season, the U.S. Supreme Court let stand a Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling to count mail-in ballots received within three days of November 3rd’s Election Day, even if they lack a legible postmark.
For those keeping partisan score. this means the Court upheld the Democratic party argument, and rejected the Republican one.
The Wall Street Journal reports in Supreme Court Allows Extension for Mail-In Ballots in Pennsylvania:
The Supreme Court on Monday refused to disturb a ruling by Pennsylvania’s highest court that extended the

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Links 10/20/2020

October 20, 2020

A California shark lab tagged a record number of sharks off the Southern California coast this year KCTV
First tyrannosaur embryo fossils revealed National Geographic (The Rev Kev)
Neil deGrasse Tyson warns asteroid could hit Earth the day before the election The Hill. UserFriendly  “can I vote for the asteroid?”
NASA will (hopefully) snag samples from an asteroid for the first time ever on Oct. 20 Houston Chronicle
Want a bicycle by Christmas? ‘If you leave it till December there will be no stock’ Guardian
Turkey farmers fear that, this year, they’ve bred too many big birds WaPo. A confession. I don’t really care for turkey. Even when I start with a quality bird, brine it, and smoke/roast it on my Big Green Egg. Thanksgiving remains by favourite holiday, because – in spite of Black Friday

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Waste Watch: New York Begins Enforcing Plastic Bag Ban

October 20, 2020

By Jerri-Lynn Scofield, who has worked as a securities lawyer and a derivatives trader. She is currently writing a book about textile artisans.
The COVID-19 pandemic has upended many existing recycling policies, particularly those involving plastic.
Now, while this may in effect be a bit of a blessing in disguise – as it highlights the flaws in our touching but misplaced faith in techno fixes such as calling for the recycling fairy to solve our plastic problem – the net effect of cancelling many recycling schemes is to burden us with more rubbish of which  we need to dispose.
(For more detail on how the pandemic has – temporarily?- killed recycling, see my earlier post, Coronavirus Kayoes U.S. Recycling, as well as these subsequent crossposts by others, Rubbish Is Piling Up and Recycling

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COVID-19: Examining Theories for Africa’s Low Death Rates

October 20, 2020

Jerri-Lynn here. Two thing I wish to draw to reader attention of readers about this COVID-19 post about Africa..
First, India too has recorded low relative death rates, this despite reporting the world’s second incidence of cases, and having a poor health care system.
Second, the authors suggest that genetic factors may account for the lower death rates in African countries. Yet I point out that in richer countries, people of color seem to be dying at a higher rate, which suggest that the genetic explanation, if any, is not a simplistic one.
By Kevin Marsh, Professor of Tropical Medicine, University of Oxford, and Moses Alobo, Programme Manager for Grand Challenges Africa, African Academy of Sciences. Originally published at The Conversation.
As the threat of a COVID-19 pandemic emerged

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Can Hunter Biden Be Both Right and Wrong, Both Innocent and Guilty? Yes He Can.

October 20, 2020

By Thomas Neuburger. Originally published at DownWithTyranny!

The story that started the latest round of madness
If you’re confused by the welter of reports around the Hunter Biden-purloined laptop story, don’t be embarrassed. The reporting is not just confusing, but confusingly told. Even if we divide the story into its two major parts — what the Post printed; what Facebook and Twitter did about it — and analyze them separately, things don’t become more clear. Large sections of each side’s version of each side of the story overlap in confusing and unremarked-on ways.
In brief, here’s what happened as Matt Taibbi describes it:
The “blockbuster” had a controversial provenance. A computer repair shop in Delaware reportedly came to possess a laptop belonging to the younger Biden. According

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Pandemic Causes Food Security to Wobble, While Much of Rural India Still Continues to be Underfed

October 19, 2020

By Jerri-Lynn Scofield, who has worked as a securities lawyer and a derivatives trader. She is currently writing a book about textile artisans.
I intended to write about the pandemic’s impact on food security today. As regular readers know, the pandemic has brought this problem to the fore, and it is an issue over which I have great concern. Yet while food security has indeed wobbled as a result of the pandemic,  in many places not accustomed to seeing food supply problems, there has yet to be a widespread lack of  food – despite many areas experiencing shortages of particular foodstuffs (see Food Security: UN Warns People Are Vulnerable to Shortages as the COVID-19 Pandemic Continues).
Although there have been clusters of infection concentrated among those who produce our food – take, as

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Eating More Chocolate: A Cure for Pandemic Fatigue?

October 18, 2020

By Jerri-Lynn Scofield, who has worked as a securities lawyer and a derivatives trader. She is currently writing a book about textile artisans.
I just finished compiling today’s Links and they are particularly dire. COVID-19 is not going away. There is no vaccine or cure in sight. Even some places that had seemed to control spread of the disease – much of Europe – are imposing more draconian restrictions, in response to an uptick in cases. The only positive thing I can think of to say is the virus does not seem to have evolved into a more virulent form and that treatment is getting better. Small comfort.
According to today’s New York Times, As the Coronavirus Surges, a New Culprit Emerges: Pandemic Fatigue:
The United States surpassed eight million known cases this past week, and reported

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Links 10/18/2020

October 18, 2020

Cruise will soon hit San Francisco with no hands on the wheel Ars Technica
Unelected Bolivian govt detains, doxxes, threatens international observers on eve of election Grayzone
Sacha Baron Cohen: This Time He’s Serious NYT Just watched the Chicago 7 film on Netflix and it wasn’t half bad. In my next life I want to come back as William Kunstler.
France teacher attack: Suspect ‘asked pupils to point Samuel Paty out’ BBC
As Greek Nazis Go to Prison, Their Poison Runs Free Project Syndicate. Yanis Varoufakis.
Biden: Let the troops decide where to invade next Duffelblog
We know it intimately London Review of Books
The two months in 1980 that shaped the future of biotech Stat
#COVID-19
Covid-19: The global crisis — in data FT
Global coronavirus rise by one-day record of 400,000 Reuters
After

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AOC and Other Top Progressives Urge Biden—If Elected—to Deny K Street, Wall Street Execs Top Cabinet Posts

October 18, 2020

Jerri-Lynn here. It’s grey and gloomy where I find myself holed up today. The grim prospects for this cross-post being addressed – progressives asking Biden not to staff his administration with the usual corporate suspects – perfectly matches my mood.
Fat chance! I think there’s 0% of this happening.
What’s the point of winning if you cannot take your chance to feed at the trough?
Note also Democrats have tried similar pledges before and the devil has been in the details. Not much changed. Note the post recognizes Biden previously served as vice-president of the ‘Goldman Sachs administration’ that immediately preceded Trump. At least Common Dreams recognizes the problem isn’t confined to Republicans.
Nonetheless, I can dream, can’t I?
By Brett Wilkins, staff writer at Common Dreams.

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Corporate Law Consequences: Amy Coney Barrett Nomination

October 13, 2020

By Jerri-Lynn Scofield, who has worked as a securities lawyer and a derivatives trader. She is currently writing a book about textile artisans.
Yesterday was the kickoff for Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings. Barring some unforeseen and unprecedented event, the outcome is not in doubt. Republicans have the necessary votes to confirm her appointment to fill the seat previously held by Ruth Bader Ginsburg. And they are keen to do so. Some have suggested ways for Democrats to block the nomination. But they seem to lack the will – and necessary legislative skills – to do so.
Much media speculation has so far focused on what her appointment would mean for overturning or even more drastically circumscribing the Roe v. Wade decision, or in the event that the 2020 election

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Links 10/13/2020

October 13, 2020

New York’s Commercial Rents Are ‘Too Damn High’ NYT
How a suicide in Calcutta in 1800s sparked a debate on applying English laws in India Scroll
Apple’s T2 security chip has an unfixable flaw Ars Technica. Yet another reason to be wary of Apple devices.
When Black Lives Matter, Athletes Say “No More Games” Capital & Main
Shorebirds More Likely to Divorce After Successful Mating Treehugger
Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences Is Awarded to U.S. Academics WSJ
Philosophy in the Shadow of Nazism New Yorker
Peru opens Machu Picchu for single tourist stranded by Covid BBC
#COVID-19
What the Pandemic Has in Store for the World Der Spiegel
Post-COVID Capitalism Project Syndicate
Desperate Americans hit by pandemic beg Congress, Trump to pass economic relief bill Reuters
The dogs trained to sniff out

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As Trump Touts His ‘Great’ COVID Drugs, the Pharma Cash Flows to Biden, Not Him

October 13, 2020

By Jay Hancock, senior correspondent at Kaiser Health News.Originally published at Kaiser Health News
Pharmaceutical giants Regeneron and Gilead Sciences got the kind of publicity money can’t buy this week after President Donald Trump took their experimental drugs for his coronavirus infection, left the hospital and pronounced himself fully recovered.
“It was, like, unbelievable. I felt good immediately,” Trump said Wednesday in a tweeted video. “I call that a cure.”
He praised Regeneron’s monoclonal antibody cocktail, which mimics elements of the immune system, and mentioned a similar drug under investigation by Eli Lilly and Co. The president also took Gilead’s remdesivir, an antiviral that has shortened recovery times for COVID-19 patients in early research.
There is no scientific

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Right to Repair Redux: Massachusetts Ballot Questions

October 6, 2020

This is Naked Capitalism fundraising week. 1725 donors have already invested in our efforts to combat corruption and predatory conduct, particularly in the financial realm. Please join us and participate via our donation page, which shows how to give via check, credit card, debit card, or PayPal. Read about why we’re doing this fundraiser,what we’ve accomplished in the last year, and our current goal, more original reporting.
By Jerri-Lynn Scofield, who has worked as a securities lawyer and a derivatives trader. She is currently writing a book about textile artisans.
Massachusetts has been ground zero for spearheading state efforts to enshrine a right to repair into state law, starting with its passage by 87% in 2012 of a ballot question that resulted in landmark 2013 legislation.
This

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Links 10/05/2020

October 5, 2020

This is Naked Capitalism fundraising week. 1563 donors have already invested in our efforts to combat corruption and predatory conduct, particularly in the financial realm. Please join us and participate via our donation page, which shows how to give via check, credit card, debit card, or PayPal. Read about why we’re doing this fundraiser, what we’ve accomplished in the last year, and our current goal, more original reporting.
California Passes Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act Treeehugger
I tried the foreskin facial treatment – so you don’t have to Guardian. UserFriendly: “ROFLMAO it’s almost like they are begging people to fall for Qannon.” A bit old, but humor can be timeless.
Dust off the crystal ball: It’s time for STAT’s 2020 Nobel Prize predictions Stat, Still an interesting article even

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