Truthfeed has a bombshell,
picked up from the NY Post:
If the story of a letter to subscribers from New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr, including a mea culpa that the paper failed to appreciate Donald Trump’s appeal, is indeed true, it will be an extraordinary admission.
The Times style is more to cover their fuckups by claiming that in all the world only the NYT marches in step.
But the promise of change by the NYT is worthless, and Truthfeed is naive to believe in it.
The NYT simply doesn’t have enough reporters and other writers who remember unbiased reporting to go back. The NYT has been a post-modern, post-normal, post-truth journal for too long to recover.
If, furthermore, the stories of financial strain are true, the NYT can forget about saving itself as a newspaper; it can only save itself as an opinion journal or an entertainment rag.
Perhaps Rupert Murdoch wants to buy the NYT as well, just to have it, though I can’t see any solid business reason for wasting his money.
This is what you get for betraying journalistic principles for so long.
Donald Trump has chosen Myron Ebell (above) to lead the Environmental Protection Agency transition team. Ebell is well-known for not swallowing the “global warming” Coolaid.
Excellent start, Mr Trump.
So, Mr Ebell, which will be your most urgent step? Permit me to offer a passionate priority that will save at least a million lives in your first year on the job. And that million is a minimum, just direct deaths from malaria; do this particular job right, and it could be millions, plural.
Your first step should be to remove the ban on DDT, the banning of which has caused a genocide of more than 220 million defenseless people in Africa from malaria and starvation, for which American environmentalists are responsible. And, it should be remembered, they did it in the full knowledge that DDT is not carcinogenic, that their excuse for this crime was a lie. Not a single human being ever contracted cancer from ingesting DDT; in fact, it is safe to eat with a spoon. The International Agency for Research on Cancer lists DDT as “possibly carcinogenic” – right up there with coffee and pickles.
They did it to grab power for themselves: “If the environmentalists win on DDT,” Charles Wurster of the Environmental Defense Fund told the Seattle Times, “they will achieve a level of authority they have never had before.”
The Nixon government comitted this great crime for political convenience. EPA Administrator William Ruckelshaus convened a scientific panel, which held six months of hearings, compiled 9,312 pages of studies and testimony, and concluded that DDT was safe and effective and should not be banned. Nevertheless, without attending a single hour of hearings or reading a page of the report, Ruckelshaus banned US production and use of DDT in 1972 – at a time when over 80% of the chemical was being exported for disease control. He later said his decision had nothing to do with cancer. He had a political problem, he said, and he fixed it.
American environmentalists knowingly committed a genocide by banning DDT, and Donald Trump and Myron Ebell can stop the rest of the annual, ongoing genocide by restoring the production and export of DDT.
The longterm impact of any election is cultural. Think of JFK, who legislatively was a useless president who couldn’t get any legislation passed (Johnson did it for him after Kennedy was assassinated) but who looms large in the universal consciousness because of his inspiring speechwriters.
President Obama, regardless of what happens to his now doomed health program that he sees as his legacy, will live on as the first black President, a glass-ceiling smasher.
It is because of an intuitive understanding of the cultural impact of the presidency that parents who despise President-elect Trump are now agonising about what to tell their children about his election.
Trump too will have his cultural impacts. Time will decide which of those will be the most important, but Michelle Malkin has already identified one important Trump cultural effect, which is responsible for his election.
This is absolutely right:
“…one of the most important cultural accomplishments of Donald Trump’s bid will be the platform he created for Americans of all colors, ethnicities, political affiliations, and socioeconomic backgrounds to defy soul-draining identity politics.”
A cost-benefit analysis of new bike lanes in New York concludes that “over the lifetime of all people in NYC, bike lane construction produces additional costs of $2.79 and gain of 0.0022 quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) per person.” Let’s see what that means in actual lifespan.
That comes to 0.803 quality-adjusted days or about 20 hours of extra life.
Since life is the ultimate benefit, 2.79USD for an additional 20 hours of a high quality life like mine or yours seems a bargain, annualizing to 1268USD for a year of extra life.
My physician and cardiologist have long been on this case, saying that cycling so regularly for the last quarter-century saved my life, and that continuing to cycle continues to contribute to the quality of my life.
Of course, if you were a sourpuss econometrist, you might argue that the hours spent on the bike to receive the benefit must be subtracted, and so inflate the annual cost by perhaps as much 10 per cent (if you spent around 2 hours a day on the bike). I wearily wave off such accounting hairsplitting: who wouldn’t pay even double the simple calculated base cost, $2536, for an extra year of life?
SQUARED CIRCLE BLUES is exactly what it says on the tin, a novel of pro wrestling. Author Matt Posner pulls no punches, paints no glosses, makes no excuses for the milieu, the characters, or their actions. Pro wrestling turns out exactly as expected, only more violent, more dangerous, more crooked and more ruinous of the lives of innocent bystanders.
SQUARED CIRCLE BLUES rings true because it is true to the spirit and the detail of pro wrestling, which isn’t a sport but a business which consumes its children.
The organizers of pro wrestling are, of course, unsympathetic characters. But the surprising thing is how many of the wrestlers, and their families, are simpatico. It helps enormously to build our identification with the good characaters that Mr Posner gives us their viewpoint largely in dialogue, in their own words. He has a fine ear for the vernacular, and it turns these fantastic characters from the bizarre end of the spectrum of human experience into people like our
neighbours, at least if our neighbours were colourful.
By adding a large appendix of sources in which his facts can be checked, Mr Posner reinforces the impression that SQUARED CIRCLE BLUES, if it weren’t such good storytelling, could be a documentary, straightforward journalism told mainly in dialogue.
This is not even an attempt at humor. This is dead serious.
And if you don’t take it seriously, you could die.
MY TOWN, MY TOWN
An international traffic consultancy, which had better remain anonymous, wonders why children don’t cycle to school in my home town. In the next pigeonhole of their report they show this photograph of North Main Street. Behind the photographer, up further, steeper, busier hills, there are four schools… On the other end of this road, the only road across the only bridge, there are four more schools… These international consultants tell us they made “a site visit”, that is, they came to look. (That must be their helicopter top right, giving a new meaning to “a flying visit”.) Still they wonder why children don’t cycle to school!
You don’t have to be an idiot to be an “international consultant”, but it certainly helps!
Among Andre Jute‘s sixty or so books is The Time-Life Conspiracy, which explains who committed the earlier electoral crime of giving over the politics of ideas to the soundbite universe of television, which at that time didn’t want it. You’ll be surprised at who did it.
In the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race at this point the musher runs along rolling low wooded hills and ridges, really quite pleasant, then the dog team crests one last forested ridge and enters the alien hell of the Farewell Burn. This is the grim remnant of Alaska’s largest forest fire, a million and a half acres burning in 1978, through which the race runs for 40 miles. Without trees, the sightlines are forever, and at night one can see the single light of the radar tower on the peak of Tatalina Mountain, near McGrath, a couple of days away by dogsled, seeming to stay eternally unreachable even at racing sled dog speed. While in it, the Farewell Burn seems to continue forever, without hope, like Purgatory. It is the all-too-real proof that after three days among the trees the Spirit of the Forest, Wendigo, drives men mad.
Andre Jute: The Farewell Burn, Alaska,
an Iditarod Trail painting, acrylic on card, 320x230mm, 2016
I made two of these paintings, mirror images, because I intend to use them as endplates for a sketchbook that I’m binding. The sketchbook is 300gr cotton watercolor paper, which is why I made the painting in acrylic. For further waterproofing I’ll also varnish both the front and the back of the cardstock before glueing it in.
Nash, one of Jeff King’s sled dogs, was killed by a drunken snowmobiler during the 2016 Iditarod. Here I’ve imagined the start of a sort of Iditarod Sled Dogs’ Mount Rushmore, with Nash just emerging from the raw rock as its first inhabitant. And didn’t one of the Colonel’s pound-find Iditarod dogs go to Mass with the Pope? It’s not such a bizarre idea at all!
2016 IDITAROD TRAIL SLED DOG RACE RESULT
1 Dallas Seavey, new record of 8d 11h 20m 16s
2 Mitch Seavey
3 Aliy Zirkle
4 Wade Marrs
5 Peter Kaiser
6 Joar Leifseth Ulsom
Congratulations all round!
A few points are worth making. This year I chose a likely top ten before the race. Five of the six finishers so far are in my chosen top ten. This isn’t magic.
The Iditarod is only for the hardest, most experienced and most persistent mushers. Even the presently dominant Dallas Seavey took ten years to become an “overnight star”, and before that he was in the Junior Iditarod, and before that he grew up in the mushing household of Mitch Seavey, another multiple champion, who this year came second and at stages looked like a possible winner. In short, Dallas has been preparing all his life to take a shot at the Iditarod championship. So what is surprising isn’t that experience counts for so much but that so many outsiders (Butcher, King, to name just two) came and conquered.
The two photographs of Aliy Zirkle (courtesy of the excellent Alaska Dispatch News) demonstrate my other point as well as words can. First the public relations shot: Doesn’t it just look like a carefree camping holiday, albeit a bit extended at a 1000 miles? And then the hard reality: Running a thousand miles behind a dog-sled in sub-zero temperatures, eight and a half days over a thousand miles to be even in contention. After subtracting 40 hours of mandatory rest for the dogs, that’s nearly 150 miles per day average including all other feeding and rest stops.
“The information which Zaharoff secured in Germany for Lloyd George was the most important piece of intelligence of the whole war.” Georges Clemenceau, Premier of France in World War One.
“They say that the information I brought ended the war.” Sir Basil Zaharoff to the journalist Rosita Forbes in 1933 in a statement not for publication until after his death
So crucial was this mission that David Lloyd George, Prime Minister of Britain, persuaded his King to knight the sometime Constantinople brothel tout Zaharoff for the information he brought out of the chaos of Germany.
THE ZAHAROFF COMMISSION is the true story of how Basil Zaharoff, the greatest armaments manufacturer the world has ever seen, the notorious Pedlar of Death himself, the hated enemy of the Left, in June 1918 risked death to enter Germany like a common spy to determine whether the Germans should be offered an honorable peace by the reluctant Allies before the triumphant Bolsheviks took over Germany and brought chaos to all Europe.
Peopled by the heroes and villains of history — including a cameo by the young Hermann Goering — THE ZAHAROFF COMMISSION is a literally true thriller. Historically, it shatters the century-old myth that Germany was defeated in World War One by military force.
“Jute’s work of fiction is, once again, bang on target.” Donald McCormick, author of PEDLAR OF DEATH: THE LIFE OF SIR BASIL ZAHAROFF
“Wild but exciting. A grand job with plenty of irony.” New York Times
“So bizarre, it’s probably all true.” London Evening News
“This is an important book.” Sydney Morning Herald
“Keeps up such a pace and such interest that it really satisfies.” Good Housekeeping
“A masterly story that has pace, humor, tension and excitement with the bonus of truth.” The Australian
“Jute has clearly conducted a great deal of research into everything he describes, investing the novel with an air of prophecy. His moral and ecological concerns are important.” Times Literary Supplement
Dallas Seavey, into White Mountain at 0948, has left a wake-up call for 1430. He can leave, his mandatory 8hr rest expired, at 1748. Mitch Seavey, in at 1027, and Brent Sass, in at 1140, will be 39m and 1h52m behind him when they exit White Mountain.
Aliy Zirkle, out of Elim at 0924, is out of it unless there is an upset ahead of her. At this stage it looks like the rest of the top ten will be made up of Marrs, Kaiser, Leiftseth Ulsom, Burmeister, Petit, Johannessen, with King, Sorlie, Phillips, Beals and Baker pressing for a place, a hard-fought second tier.
At the head of the field, Mitch Seavey and Brent Sass have 77 miles to make up 39m and 112m respectively. But Dallas Seavey has only 9 dogs left, whereas Mitch has 12 and Brent has 13. Weather conditions, especially the wind, may count for as much as Dallas’s youth and strength, or so Mitch will hope. Brent must hope for an upset.
In his record year of 2014 Dallas Seavey left Shaktoolik on the Sunday morning at 1028. This year he left at 1027. That record year he left Shaktoolik with 13 dogs. This year he has 9. He says he likes a light team for a fast end run. However that may be, other top contenders, spotting a possible chink, will press Dallas hard, and that could lead to a new record, and possibly an upset too.
Others still on the trail from Unalakleet appear mostly out of contention, though there is still time for an upset to bring them back into play. Photos, from the top, D Seavey, Sass, Zirkle and M Seavey.
The last third of the Iditarod splits into three parts, of which the middle part is fixed and the final part can either be controlled by a dominant musher or deliver vast surprises, as in 2014, when first Jeff King and then Aliy Zirkle, in turn apparent champions, were overtaken by Dallas Seavey, who was staggering from fatigue.
Download the map from http://coolmainpress.com/iditarodcompmap.html and study it to grasp that from the Kaltag Portage onwards the rules of the Iditarod are stacked in favour of the front runners, which is why year on year there is now an expectation of a new record for the race.
Let’s take it from the middle of the three parts in the last third of the race. The rules mandate an 8hr stop to rest the dogs at White Mountain. This stationary moment at a fixed spot is the key in an otherwise extremely dynamic race.
From White Mountain to the victory arch in Front Street in Nome is 77 miles, not a huge distance in a thousand-mile race to gain any appreciable time on a highly competitive and motivated team. That’s why it took extraordinary circumstance for Dallas Seavey to win from so far behind in 2014.
While nothing in the Iditarod is certain — nothing except unpredictability! — mushers coming from behind can’t count on the weather breaking against the leaders but being just not bad enough to stop their good selves.
So, because of the short distance from the 8hr stop in White Mountain to triumph in Nome, and because of the strategic placing of this 8hr stop at White Mountain, mushers who wish to control the outcome, must reach White Mountain not only first, but with an adequate margin to ensure that teams faster than theirs cannot overtake them on the short run to Nome.
Let’s emphasize that: FIRST TO WHITE MOUNTAIN, WITH BREATHING SPACE
And that means they must start their home run at Kaltag — at the latest — 346 miles from Nome.
Unfortunately, every other musher knows (intermittently, from talk at checkpoints) when you make your break, and can respond.
So, as the Iditarod competition becomes more and more professional, the home run starts earlier and earlier.
This year, Dallas Seavey started his home run for Nome in the summer when he trained his dogs on a treadmill inside a 75ft long refrigerated truck.
In 2016, out of Kaltag it looks to be between Brent Sass, Aliy Zirkle and Dallas Seavey.
Out of Kaltag, 12 March 2016
1 Brent Sass 0820
2 Aliy Zirkle 1053
3 Dallas Seavey 1124
IDITAROD TRAIL SLED DOG RACE
Sass and Zirkle grab lead in Iditarod
10 March 2016 1620 Alaskan Time
Now it gets a bit confused. The starting time differential is taken into account during the mandatory 24hr stopover. The 8hr stopover must be taken on the Yukon, so Jeff King, taking his 24 hours in Ruby and officially the leader of the race until he is overtaken by Brent Sass, will take two mandatory rest periods relatively closely together between Ruby, Galena, Nulato and Kaltag, before the race turns away from the Yukon down
the Kaltag Portage.
Behind Brent Sass, the real leader of the race, the rest of the top ten will be determined by those who already stopped for their mandatory 24 hours, and whether those who served it at Ophir or before can overtake those who are serving it at Cripple before the Cripple crowd are released.
Even as I wrote this, Aliy Zirkle catapulted herself into second place behind Sass by blowing through Cripple in twelve minutes, and hour and a half behind Sass.
In theory any of the 85 runners can win but many know that just finishing the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race is a higher accolade than is available in almost any other sport. Realistically, even with catastrophic lack of snow on the trail to create upsets, most literally and dangerously, the winner will come from fewer than twenty men and women.
For a start, remember this. The race is so dangerous that the organizers don’t let in anyone who doesn’t have substantial experience in lesser races, some of them as long, and some of them almost as dangerous. Though some are called “rookies”, there are no real rookies in this race. Everyone is experienced, and experience counts for a very great deal, which is how come there are so many middle-aged men among the champions and would-be champions.
Also, this is a sled dog race; the humans are there only to feed and tend the dogs. And dogs, unlike for instance horses, cannot be driven to work. If the dogs decide they’re tired or hungry or the conditions are too dangerous, they will lie down and the musher’s run will be over. It has happened, recently, to leading mushers. It can happen again.
Dallas Seavey has to be the odds-on favorite. He’s been in the top five five years in a row, with three victories and the race record. He’s a dominant musher, and you bet against him at your peril. It gets worse for every other musher. In years gone by, Dallas has “built his monster” (his own words) slowly and cautiously in the first part of the race, saving his team for a strong finish. This year, when every other musher was taking the summer off because it was too hot for the dogs to train, Dallas was building his monster inside a refrigerated truck on a treadmill long enough to take his entire team. If Dallas doesn’t need to build his monster, if he comes out of the starting blocks sprinting, he could win again.
Okay, so it’s Dallas Seavey’s race to lose. But there are a lot of hard men and women who would be only too happy to take the Iditarod away from Dallas if he makes the slightest misstep or misjudgment, for which an opportunity arises on the Iditarod every few seconds. Chief among the aspirants is Mitch Seavey, father to Dallas, himself a recent champion, and known for never giving up.
So who do I fancy for an upset? It won’t come as much of a surprise to those of you who’ve gone to the Iditarod with me a few times now that I’ve got my money on Joar Leifseth Ulsom, the Norwegian who has finished in the top ten in every Iditarod he has run, and Jessie Royer, who has five top-ten finishes, including three in the last four years, and five further top-20 finishes.
Some other young guns whose time has come, and that you should take a look at, are Brent Sass, Pete Kaiser and Nicolas Petit.
Also, you can’t discount huge depth of experience, including being champion or close runner-up, so given that they have depth in their kennels, I reckon Jeff King, Aliy Zirkle and Hans Gatt stand a good chance of featuring somewhere in the top ten.
Every year we also follow an outsider but this year I want to break that pattern and follow DeeDee Jonrowe in her 34th Iditarod. DeeDee has a stack of Iditarod awards and prize money, and as recently as 2013 she was tenth, but in 2014 she scratched and last year she was 31st. The question is, is she on the comeback trail this year?
Talking of comeback trails, we’ll also be looking at Lance Mackey. It wasn’t so long ago that he was joking about going straight from Champion to Red Lantern. The man has grace.
I first heard about the Iditarod in 1978 at a regatta in Seattle, when a journalist told me, “There’s a little race up in Alaska that is also tough.” I couldn’t resist going to look.
The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race is the greatest athletic test in the world for man, woman or dog. It is roughly a thousand miles running across barren Alaska within spitting distance of the Arctic Circle.
The Iditarod is for a different order of hard folk, men and women alike; if no one has told you yet, men and women run the Iditarod on equal terms. If the foul weather doesn’t get you, and the dangerous animals don’t either, and you escape frostbite, and the rough trail doesn’t break your bones, you could win.
Fewer people have won the Iditarod than have climbed Everest.
One Frank Krygowski wrote on the cycling newsgroup rec.bicycles.tech:
> …a bigger problem is that Stevenage did nothing to actively
> discourage car use. By contrast, Dutch cities tend to make car parking
> rare and super-expensive, and they close direct routes to cars so car
> trips take longer than bike trips, etc. etc.
> It seems that as long as it’s easier to get into a car and turn the key,
> almost everyone will prefer to drive.
This is my reply:
Let’s forget for the moment that from close acquaintance we are unfortunately burdened with the sure knowledge that Frank Krygowski is a fascist asshole in each and every way imaginable, and on all observed occasions. For once read what Krygowski says carefully, don’t just dismiss it as “Oh, more Kreepy Krygo Krap, same-old, same-old”, because here Franki-boy is at last what he always wanted to be, a “spokesman for bicycles”.
If you close your eyes and you try hard to ignore Krygowski’s bullying breath on the back of your neck, you can hear those words coming from the mouths of so many cyclists, albeit more insidiously stated, it is almost a generic mantra.
It shouts, “Compulsion, compulsion, compulsion.” It raises its voice insistently, “I know what is best for you, and if you don’t do as I say, you will be forced to do as I say.” It grates, “You will conform to my worldview, or suffer the consequences.” All three of these are fundamental fascist attitudes.
It’s one reason people who could cycle if they wished to don’t want to, and instead drive their cars. Some of us believe that this offensive, self-assumed, unwarranted, fascist “superiority” of the “cycling cause”, as it is perceived, does more damage to the future of cycling than anything else.
Yes, I know, most cyclists don’t even notice because, in general, they’re environmentalists and other classes of those “liberals” whose intolerance of dissent, reason, debate and liberty are a sickening byword among intelligent people, and a huge part of the cycling community isn’t very bright, nor sensitive enough to observe how offensive their attitudes are to those with better manners and more tolerance. Instead they think motorists are out to get them. Paranoia comes with fascism, chaps.
It goes without saying that threats of compulsion won’t achieve the cycling nirvana. Persuasion and education was never even tried, and it is now too late to try them while the memory cone of the nastiness of Frank Krygowski and his like persists. It’ll be ten or fifteen years down the line—if no single cyclist spouts this nastiness in public during that time—before we get another chance. It takes that long to clear the air,
Today is a good day to start. Why am I not holding my breath?
Yes, I know, I’m speaking about a minority of abrasive cyclists. I appreciate the majority of cyclists who’re nice people. But I have news for you: you influence the perception of cyling among non-cyclists much, much less than the nasty minority. That’s just the way of the world.
Of course it is dull and overcast in Ireland most of the time, which is how come it remains the “green and beloved island”; maintaining greenery requires a lot of rain. But the light always has an eerie quality even when it is overcast, and when the sun shines can be as intense as the (colder) light on the Sahara.
Just outside my bedroom is a large landing under a skylight, where an overflow drying rack from my studio stands. I woke at dawn to see the sun shining through the skylight giving a monotone oil standing on the drying rack a definitely otherwordly quality.
Yves Klein noticed something similar about the light on the Mediterranean coast of France, and he too was into blue paintings. Perhaps I’ll teat myself and my fans to a blue period, though I’ll give jumping off buildings, which is how Klein actually became famous, or at least notorious, a miss as in my reckless youth I already jumped off the Town Hall in Stellenbosch holding an umbrella. Once was definitely enough!