Tour de Cybor

“Behind the scenes a local group is hoping to buy the 183-year-old newspaper in an attempt to free the Sun from further downsizing and cement its future. The Baltimore Sun is owned by Tribune Publishing. Alden Global Capital, a New York-based hedge fund infamous for purchasing, then gutting, newspapers across the US, owns a 32% stake in Tribune Publishing.”
Baltimore Sun looks to non-profit status to stay afloat amid coronavirus threat, by Adam Gabbatt, The Guardian, 12 May 2020

“So far, Americans have largely supported using social distancing to slow the spread of the new coronavirus. According to a Washington Post/University of Maryland poll published this week, most Americans agree that it’s necessary to wear a mask, stay at home when possible, avoid gatherings and keep 6 feet away from others in public. And while Democrats are more likely than Republicans to say these measures are important, sizable majorities in both parties still agree that they are necessary. But while Americans are mostly on the same page about current social distancing measures, there are also signs that they increasingly disagree about where the crisis is headed, with Democrats saying the worst is yet to come and Republicans saying the worst is behind us.”
Democrats Say The Worst Of The Coronavirus Is Yet To Come. Republicans Say The Worst Is Over., by Dhrumil Mehta, 538, 15 May 2020

“The American health care system for years has provided many hospitals with a clear playbook for turning a profit: Provide surgeries, scans and other well-reimbursed services to privately insured patients, whose plans pay higher prices than public programs like Medicare and Medicaid. The Covid-19 outbreak has shown the vulnerabilities of this business model, with procedures canceled, tests postponed and millions of newly unemployed Americans expected to lose the health coverage they received at work.” ~snip~ “A nonprofit database shows that Minnesota’s private insurers pay the Mayo Clinic $566 for each obstetric ultrasound, approximately five times the Medicaid price. For an echocardiogram, the difference is tenfold. At Mayo Clinic centers in Florida and Wisconsin, according to RAND estimates, insurers pay three to four times the Medicare prices for outpatient care. Similar data for inpatient prices is not publicly available. The Minnesota-based hospital system promotes its services to well-off patients, delivering quality health care alongside luxury amenities such as hotel-like suites with fluffy bathrobes, private dining rooms and access to chef-cooked meals.”
Hospitals Knew How to Make Money. Then Coronavirus Happened. by Sarah Kliff, NYT, 15 May 2020

Hospitals Knew How to Make Money… by gouging consumers via their health insurance? America! Cash cow healthcare o’er amber waves of greed.

“In early March, the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ National Science Review published a peer-reviewed study titled ‘On the Origin and Continuing Evolution of SARS-CoV-2.’ The authors argued that the various strains of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes Covid-19, could be grouped into two clusters: An “L” type, which was predominant during the early weeks of the outbreak in Wuhan, and an ‘S’ type, which could be distinguished from the L type by only two genetic changes. The researchers speculated that the L type was ‘more aggressive’ and more contagious than the S-type strains that had become more common outside of China. The implication was that Covid-19 might not spread as quickly throughout the rest of the world as it had in Wuhan.”
Opinion: The Coronavirus Is Mutating. That’s Not Necessarily Good or Bad, by Jeremy Draghi and C. Brandon Ogbunu, Undark, 14 May 2020

“Does L.A. really need its own specific satirical news site?
“No. Los Angeles needs affordable housing and to replace its District Attorney Jackie Lacey and to make sure that its people are not deprioritized out of living in one of the best places to find tacos in the country. But it doesn’t have those things yet, and we think the best way to get them is through impactful local journalism and idiots like us who then spread their message to folks who might not necessarily seek out the news every day. Satire is much more than comedy, and it’s not fake news. It’s perspective presented through comedy. And Los Angeles “satire” has to be much more than just jokes about Hollywood, because L.A. is more than just Hollywood. As Angelenos, we have opinions about the things that impact our daily lives. We try to write about those things and will continue to do so until L.A. gets everything it really needs.”
The Avocado is Teaming up with LA Taco to Laugh at the Stuff that makes us want to Scream, by ERICK GALINDO LA Taco, 15 2020

“Small presses have been hit especially hard because they are more dependent on physical sales in bookstores, rather than online retailers or ebook sales. I know, because my publisher, Galley Beggar Press, has also seen a big chunk of its income disappear. One of the great strengths of our kind of publishing is that we have a real connection with dedicated readers who love books as physical objects, readers who have an equally strong connection with booksellers. A great deal of what we do relies on the enthusiasm and personal recommendations of those heroes of our trade whose shops Covid-19 has closed. We have lost many of our best advocates, not to mention the most practical way of getting books into people’s hands.”
Coronavirus has left small publishers desperately fighting for survival, by Sam Jordison, The Guardian, 15 May 2020

“Afghanistan has a long and flourishing literary tradition that faced challenges during the Taliban era, when libraries were looted and burned. The country is considered conservative but a liberal underground culture has existed for a long time, and has further developed since the US-led invasion in 2001, exposing a different side of the war-torn nation.”
‘Love and desire’: how erotic poetry is helping Afghans through lockdown, by Stefanie Glinski, The Guardian, 11 May 2020

“The D.N.C. last month moved its convention, initially set to be held in Milwaukee in mid-July, to late August in the hopes that the pandemic will have subsided enough by then to allow for an in-person celebration of Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s presidential nomination. Party officials have insisted that some sort of convention will take place in Milwaukee, though it appears less possible by the day that a traditional convention, which attracts tens of thousands of Democratic delegates, journalists and hangers-on, could be safely held in August.”
Democrats Will Take Their First Step Toward a Virtual Convention, by Reid J. Epstein, NYT, 11 May 2020

“Since 1975, Oakland’s Marcus Books has survived one of the most dramatic gentrifications in US history, aggressive competition from online stores, and the inevitable racism directed at a space that celebrates black voices. Located in a city that saw its black population nearly halved over two decades, Marcus Books staff learned how to navigate the intense pressures and forge a path towards survival.”
‘Economic duress is nothing new’: Can America’s oldest black bookstore survive the pandemic?, by André Wheeler, The Guardian, 15 May 2020

“As states establish reopening timelines and Covid-19 infection rates continue to rise in various parts of the country, bookstores are not reopening in any conventional sense—nor do many owners intend to. PW reached out to 22 bookstore owners across the U.S. to assess their plans for the month ahead, their April sales, and the issues they hope publishers will take up in order to support their businesses during a challenging time.”
Booksellers Look to Curbsides and Online Sales, Not In-Store Customers, by Alex Green, PW, 12 May 2020

“Economists have a crisp-sounding solution: Calibrate government help, such as unemployment insurance and aid to state governments, so that it rises automatically when the economy is weak and falls as the economy returns to health. The unemployment rate or other economic indicators can serve as triggers. The concept of automatic stabilizers is embraced by many centrist and left-of-center technocrats, including the last two leaders of the Federal Reserve.”
Economists Want to Put Stimulus on Autopilot. Congress Has Other Ideas., by Neil Irwin, NYT, 15 May 2020

“Representative Pramila Jayapal of Washington tried to keep her concerns about the company private. Now she’s going public.”
One of Amazon’s Most Powerful Critics Lives in Its Backyard, by David McCabe, NYT, 3 May 2020

“In case you’re not holding this date firmly in your mind, 1584 is the year in which Cambridge University Press published its first book. It’s on the basis of that event that Cambridge lays claim to being the oldest publisher in the world. And that’s where the company’s FifteenEightyFour blog gets its name. The press has begun a series of reflections there on the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and its effects and impact, drawing on its deep reach into the international community of writers in the humanities, sciences, medicine, and social science. You can read them free of charge.”
Cambridge Opens an Essay Series, New Writings on the Pandemic, by Porter Anderson, Publishing Perspectives, 15 May 2020

Quotes:

Can anything be so elegant as to have few wants, and to serve them one’s self?
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Cause and effect are two sides of one fact.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Change your life today. Don’t gamble on the future, act now, without delay.
Simone de Beauvoir

Character is always known. Thefts never enrich; alms never impoverish; murder will speak out of stone walls.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Character is higher than intellect. A great soul will be strong to live as well as think.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Charm is a way of getting the answer ‘Yes’ without asking a clear question.
Albert Camus

Children are all foreigners.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Common sense is genius dressed in its working clothes.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Communism doesn’t work because people like to own stuff.
Frank Zappa

Conscious of not being able to separate myself from my time, I have decided to become part of it.
Albert Camus

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