Archive for April, 2017

“Besides, there’s also the odd business of bog butter.”

Sunday, April 30th, 2017

Smithsonian.com: Europe’s Famed Bog Bodies Are Starting to Reveal Their Secrets. “High-tech tools divulge new information about the mysterious and violent fates met by these corpses.”

“A wooden post was planted to mark the spot where two brothers, Viggo and Emil Hojgaard, along with Viggo’s wife, Grethe, all from the nearby village of Tollund, struck the body of an adult man while they cut peat with their spades on May 6, 1950. The dead man wore a belt and an odd cap made of skin, but nothing else. Oh yes, there was also a plaited leather thong wrapped tightly around his neck. This is the thing that killed him. His skin was tanned a deep chestnut, and his body appeared rubbery and deflated. Otherwise, Tollund Man, as he would be called, looked pretty much like you and me, which is astonishing considering he lived some 2,300 years ago.”

Link via MetaFilter.

“[W]hat surgeons know about gun violence that the rest of us don’t”

Saturday, April 29th, 2017

Huffington Post: What Bullets Do to Bodies.
By Jason Fagone, photographs by Finlay Mackay.

“The gun debate would change in an instant if Americans witnessed the horrors that trauma surgeons confront every day.”

Link via MetaFilter.

“Trump […] talks of helping ordinary Americans even as he enriches tycoons like himself.”

Friday, April 28th, 2017

New York Times Opinion by Nicholas Kristof: This Isn’t Tax Policy; It’s a Trump-Led Heist.

“What do you do if you’re a historically unpopular new president, with a record low approval rating by 14 points, facing investigations into the way Russia helped you get elected, with the media judging your first 100 days in office as the weakest of any modern president?

Why, you announce a tax cut!

And in your self-absorbed way, you announce a tax cut that will hugely benefit yourself. Imagine those millions saved! You feel better already!

I’m deeply skeptical that President Trump will manage to get a tax reform package passed into law, and that’s just as well. Trump’s new tax “plan” (more like an extremely vague plan for a plan) is an irresponsible, shameless, budget-busting gift to zillionaires like himself.

This isn’t about “jobs,” as the White House claims. If it were, it might cut employment taxes, which genuinely do discourage hiring. Rather, it’s about huge payouts to the wealthiest Americans — and deficits be damned!”

“There are legitimate reasons to run deficits […] Borrowing trillions of dollars to provide a huge windfall for people at the top is not one of those reasons.”

Thursday, April 27th, 2017

The New York Times: President Trump’s Laughable Plan to Cut His Own Taxes”.

“As to the rationale offered up by Mr. Mnuchin and Mr. Cohn, even many conservative economists believe that the argument that tax cuts will pay for themselves, by increasing investment and creating jobs, is the same supply-side fantasy that has repeatedly been proved wrong. This durable nonsense would instead add mightily to a federal debt that Americans will be paying off for generations to come.
[…]
Regardless of the plan’s fate, Mr. Trump has already sent a strong message about where his sympathies really lie. They lie not with the working people who elected him, but with the plutocracy that envelops him.”

“The apple does not fall far from the orange”

Tuesday, April 25th, 2017

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO): Ivanka & Jared. (YouTube, 22min 27sec)

“Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner hold an incredible amount of political power. That’s troubling considering their incredibly small amount of political experience.”