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"Research suggests Maine is one of America’s most ideologically ‘loose’ states"

Bangor Daily News:

Don’t read that headline the wrong way. For the purposes of this discussion, ideological “looseness” is strictly referring to how flexible — or not — people are in terms of enforcing rules and accepting variances from social norms.

As opposed to -- not that I want to skew the argument too much with binary thinking -- "possibles" (dark green) vs. "hellholes" (bright red), possibles meaning if I were considering moving out of "possible" Maine (which I'm not), and not to stigmatize all the inhabitants (victims) of the hellhole states (local oligarchies). Here's the handy map: Read below the fold...

In the garden: Wildflowers in profusion!

I wonder what species will bloom next?! (Wildflower mixes are staged, so one species' blooming follows another through the whole season, a process I may have messed up by planting them too late, like everything else this season. We'll see!) Read below the fold...

BruceMcF's picture

Sunday Train: Thinking About a Bakersfield Express Bypass

From The Sunday Train

Since Gov. Brown saved the California HSR project for the second time (the first time was in 2012), I've had a look at the general issue of funding HSR with Cap and Trade, and looked at some possibilities for complementary conventional intercity rail in the Bay Area and the San Joaquin Valley north of Fresno ... so I thought I might start moving south of Fresno.

And today I am going to focus on Bakersfield and a starting sketch of an idea for what I call the "Bakersfield Express Bypass." I do want to stress upfront, so its not lost in the details of talking about the Bypass, that I am not talking about "skipping Bakersfield", but rather talking about how best to plan for those LA to SF trains that will eventually be Express trains, Anaheim, LA, Burbank, Fresno, San Jose, San Francisco Transbay. Read below the fold...

Deadly Salafist Declaration of Independence - Born of GWOT!

Pepe Escobar in “Empire of Chaos/Arab Spring, Jihad Summer” explains that “IS” (Islamic State) is the new branding of ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham) or ISIL (Islamic State of the Levant).

Escobar writes: Read below the fold...

In the garden: Raising the stakes

OK, OK.... Anyhow:

Read below the fold...

Tweet of the day

In the garden: Hurricane damage!

Well, not quite. Hurricane Arthur -- here let me touch wood to avoid the wrath of the wind gods -- blew past us on the way up to Nova Scotia, and all we got was very heavy rain and some wind.

Read below the fold...

Chuck Schumer is a horrible human being, or why we should tax the rich

WaPo describes the end of Obama's brief flirtation with "income inequality":

With Democrats split on inequality issues, Obama shifts talk away from income gap

Wow!!! Who could have seen that coming?! But this quote from Chuck Schumer caught my eye:

Both the White House and the Senate agreed that the decline of middle-class incomes was the most serious issue we face in this country, but the focus had to be on how to get middle-class incomes up, rather than drive other people’s incomes down,” said Sen. Charles E. Schumer (N.Y.), the messaging chief for Senate Democrats.

We most definitely should drive "other" [i.e., wealthy] people's income down: Read below the fold...

4th of July -- Worth Celebrating if You’re an Ostrich!

Ready to salute the flag and glorify US militarism?

Ready to celebrate how the original 13 colonies declared independence from King George of England on behalf of civil independence for the collective citizenry when we as a citizenry no longer have power over the sociopathic and heartless policies of our government that reward wealthy fraudsters at home and abroad and let the rest of us Americans twist in the winds of poverty, joblessness, non- or under-insured illnesses, debt, aborted educational opportunities, homelessness, etc.? Read below the fold...

In the garden: The first tomato!

(I have The First Noël going through my head, even though "The First Tomato" doesn't scan properly.)

Read below the fold...

Fourth of July Open Thread: What does it mean to be an American?

I missed the parade. Which seems about right. Read below the fold...

Ukraine: US-Enabled/Encouraged Ethnic Cleansing/Genocide!

Merriam Webster:

“ethnic cleansing - n - the practice of removing or killing people who belong to an ethnic group that is different from the ruling group in a country or region”

“genocide - n- the deliberate and systematic destruction of a racial, political or cultural group”

Wikipedia:

Read below the fold...

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