Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Early August Mid-week Links

A few interesting stories:

Mysterious craters are just the beginning of Arctic surprises - Salon

'Agri-Terrorism'?  Town's Seed Library Shut Down - Common Dreams.  "According to reporting by the Carlisle Sentinel on July 31, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture sent a letter to the library stating that the seed library violated the state's Seed Act of 2004.
While the Act focuses on seeds that are sold, Cumberland County Library System Executive Director Jonelle Darr told The Sentinel that there could also be a problem with seeds being mislabeled and potentially invasive, and noted that the Department indicated it would "crack down" at other seed libraries within the state."  Seems like a strange worry to me.

Using Rush Limbaugh to Teach the Civil War to 3rd Graders - Conor Friedersdorf.  Hey, what could go wrong?

Delays Persist for U.S. High-Speed Rail - NYT.  I just wanted to see train service between Cincinnati and Cleveland, but even that was too much for John Kasich (asshat).  Michigan did ok, though.

AGs from Iowa, 14 other farm states challenge EPA water rule - Des Moines Register. Ya know, because water quality related to agriculture hasn't been in the news lately. See also, The EPA Is Failing to Properly Oversee Hundreds of Thousands of Toxic Injection Wells - Pacific Standard.  This may be something farmers would want EPA to regulate.  It also is an indicator that I doubt EPA will be hounding farmers anytime soon for plowing or other 'normal farming activities.'  But don't try arguing about that with most farmers, because it will make your head hurt. Number of times the average farmer has ever dealt with EPA? Approx. 0.  But they are experts on the workings of EPA. (Also, fuck Farm Bureau, the goddamn overpaid no-good lobbyists)

How Increasing Income Inequality Is Dampening U.S. Economic Growth, And Possible Ways To Change The Tide - Standard & Poor's.  When S & P is noticing, it is a big deal.

In Canada, a Feud Divides the Irving Family Empire - WSJ.  Interesting piece on the dynamics of family businesses, and also a fascinating collection of industries.
K.C. Irving got his start in rural Bouctouche, where his father J.D. Irving owned a general store and a few small farms. He added gas pumps and a garage in 1924 and seven years later, seeing an opportunity in mass auto ownership, moved to Saint John to expand a lubricants business and open a Ford franchise.
From there, he bought or built out manufacturing, lumber, oil, shipbuilding, construction and trucking businesses, among others. He also built a media organization that still publishes all three of the province's daily English language newspapers and the majority of its English and French weekly language newspapers....
As adults they each ran a separate part of the empire, but operated as an integrated whole, buying from each other and gradually expanding the family's hold on the province's business. The oldest, James (J.K.), ran J.D. IrvingLtd , a conglomerate that would eventually include over 30 separate companies that range from potatoes to shipbuilding. It also includes a forestry business which currently owns over 1.35 million hectares of land, more than half a million hectares of which are in Maine. J.K. would also steer Brunswick News Inc., the family's media operation.
Arthur Irving Sr. went into the oil business, running a refinery that his son Kenneth would later expand into a 320,000 barrel a day operation with a chain of 800 service stations across Atlantic Canada and Maine.
The youngest son John (Jack) Irving, inherited radio station operator Acadia Broadcasting and the steel fabrication and construction company OSCO Construction Group.
Wow. That is a lot of stuff.

What States Have the Most Government Workers? - Wall Street Journal.  Surprise! The highest percentage of government workers is in the plains states that hate government.  No wonder the Kansas economy suffered when Sam Brownback (asshat) cut taxes and cut government spending.

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