Aged Cheddar

Cheese Stakes, Scotus' Bogus Modus

“At Lake Champlain Chocolates, the owners take shifts stacking boxes in the warehouse. At Burlington Bagel Bakery, a sign in the window advertises wages starting at $25 an hour. Central Vermont Medical Center is training administrative employees to become nurses. Cabot Creamery is bringing workers from out of state to package its signature blocks of Cheddar cheese.” Welcome to Vermont, where hiring is tough. What gives? “The root of the staffing challenge is simple: Vermont’s population is rapidly aging. More than a fifth of Vermonters are 65 or older, and more than 35 percent are over 54, the age at which Americans typically begin to exit the work force. No state has a smaller share of its residents in their prime working years.” Why does this matter to anyone outside of Vermont (other than those expecting a package of cheese in the mail)? Because Vermont could serve as a preview for the rest of America. Baby boomers are aging out of the workforce. Immigration is increasingly out of fashion. And we’re all getting old. Don’t like it? Tough cheddar. NYT (Gift Article): Vermont May Be the Face of a Long-Term U.S. Labor Shortage. What seems like a mild story now might become quite sharp as time passes.

+ Another indicator of where we’re headed: The occupation expected to see the most hiring growth over the next decade is home health aides.


Scotus Modus Opus Bogus

Well, the Supreme Court says it is adopting a code of ethics for the first time. New requirements? Nope. Enforceable? Nah. “The policy, agreed to by all nine justices, does not appear to impose any significant new requirements on them, and, indeed, they said in an unsigned statement that they have long adhered to ethics standards. ‘The absence of a Code, however, has led in recent years to the misunderstanding that the Justices of this Court, unlike all other jurists in this country, regard themselves as unrestricted by any ethics rules,’ the justices wrote. ‘To dispel this misunderstanding, we are issuing this Code, which largely represents a codification of principles that we have long regarded as governing our conduct.'” And the kicker: “The code leaves compliance to the justices themselves and does not create any other means of enforcement.” In short, we have clearance, Clarence.


Off Campus

“As the Israel-Gaza war crosses the one-month mark, college campuses across the United States are facing an ideological reckoning and have become ground zero for protests, counter protests and debates over hate speech and freedom of expression. But mainstream social media platforms, as well as those geared toward college students, are increasingly becoming vehicles to spread threats, stir up fear and sow division at American universities, including by agitators who may not even be part of the school community. Anonymous emails are similarly being weaponized.” Fake Profiles And Anonymous Posts: How Social Media Is Upending College Life During The Israel-Gaza War.

+ More than 180,000 march across France against soaring antisemitism. (Let’s give them all scholarships to American universities…)

+ “Each was like a piece from a grisly puzzle, a snippet of fine detail from a terrorist operation that called for hundreds of discrete crimes in specific locations. Four weeks later, the reassembled fragments are beginning to reveal the contours of Hamas’s broader plan, one that analysts say was intended not to just kill and capture Israelis, but to spark a conflagration that would sweep the region and lead to a wider conflict.” WaPo (Gift Article) with a deeply researched piece: Hamas envisioned deeper attacks, aiming to provoke an Israeli war.”Hamas knew Israel would strike back hard. That was the point …To Hamas, Palestinian suffering is a critical component in bringing about the instability and global outrage it seeks to exploit.”

+ The IDF has taken over Hamas parliament building in Gaza, says Hamas has lost control of the city. Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza stops functioning as it’s surrounded by troops. Fuel being prevented from getting to hospital. Underground command center and signs of hostages found under a children’s hospital. Here’s the latest from CNN, BBC, NBC, and Times of Israel.


Lone Ranger

“I still will talk about orgasms. I still will talk about sexual dysfunction. But I have done that.” At 95, Dr. Ruth has a new gig. “Taking the lessons of pandemic isolation — and her adolescent diary — Dr. Ruth Westheimer, 95, decided she should be New York’s Loneliness Ambassador. And so she is.” NYT (Gift Article): Dr. Ruth Saved People’s Sex Lives. Now She Wants to Cure Loneliness. (To paraphrase Groucho Marx, I don’t want to belong to any club that would accept my member as one of its members.) Loneliness is increasingly viewed as a major health concern. “In May, the United States surgeon general, Vivek Murthy, issued an official advisory, warning that isolation can be just as deadly as smoking up to 15 cigarettes a day and poses a greater risk to longevity than being sedentary or obese.”

+ SF Standard: Could a Six-Week Friendship ‘Boot Camp’ in San Francisco Cure Loneliness? I Decided To Find Out.


Extra, Extra

Apec’ing Order: “But back in China, in meetings with the military, Xi was warning in strikingly stark terms that intensifying competition between a rising China and a long-dominant United States was all but unavoidable, and that the People’s Liberation Army should be prepared for a potential conflict.” Ahead of this week’s APEC meeting between Biden and Xi, from the NYT (Gift Article): Behind Public Assurances, Xi Jinping Spreads Grim Views on U.S. And some more, interesting background from a kid from my old neighborhood (now a very knowledgeable adult). Michael Froman, Council on Foreign Relations Chief: China sending ‘schizophrenic’ messages to American business.

+ This is Not a Drill: Two trends worth noting. Trump is starting to talk a lot more like Hitler. Trump campaign defends “vermin” speech amid fascist comparisons. And Trump’s authoritarian language is being matched by some very detailed and disturbing authoritarian plans. Behind the Curtain: Trump allies pre-screen loyalists for unprecedented power grab.

+ The Mayor Can’t Take Your Call Right Now It’s probably not a good sign when you’re the mayor of a major city and the FBI seizes your personal devices. FBI seizes electronic devices from New York City mayor.

+ Jimbo’s Jumbo: Texas A&M AD fired Jimbo Fisher because program ‘stuck in neutral.’ The payout is definitely in overdrive. “Fisher’s dismissal is expected to cost the school more than $76 million to buy out his contract, nearly triple the highest known previous coaching contract buyout at a public school.”

+ Ice Breaker: “Hundreds of small earthquakes have been rattling the Reykjanes Peninsula in southwestern Iceland over the past few days — an early warning sign of a looming volcanic eruption. About 900 earthquakes have been detected so far since midnight on Monday. A day earlier, more than a thousand quakes — all below a 3 magnitude — were recorded.” A volcano in southwestern Iceland is expected to erupt in the next few days.

+ Lamped Up: “The temple town eyed breaking its own Guinness World Record for the most small oil lamps lit up at the same time.” Hindus in India and Pakistan celebrate Diwali. And from The Atlantic: Diwali 2023: Images From the Festival of Lights.


Bottom of the News

“In other words: Sit outside on 16th Street on Manhattan’s far West Side — where five Google office buildings abut a Google store, and tourists of all ages mill around in the Chelsea Market food hall near the man-made Little Island and one end of the High Line — and you’ll witness a sidewalk-level parade of white, black and cotton candy-colored On sneakers, their gum-toothed outsoles traversing the same ground an army of Allbirds once did.” How On running shoes became inescapable.

+ We all occasionally drop our tools. But they rarely end up orbiting the Earth. Astronauts accidentally drop tool bag during ISS spacewalk.

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