🌞 Buttergate – February 25 2021


Happy Thursday.


This is high school band practice in America during a pandemic. How does the sound get out?


In Case You Missed It:


🔌 West-coast electronics chain Fry’s Electronics announced that it is abruptly shutting down all stores due to the pandemic.


🛑 Police in Berkeley, California will no longer be allowed to stop drivers for not wearing a seatbelt or having an expired license. This is the city’s effort to end policing that heavily targets Blacks. Everyone should still always wear a seatbelt!


📈 GameStop stock is still on the rise. The stock shot to over $90 on Wednesday after the company’s CEO announced he would step down.


📺 Paramount is going to revive “Frasier” starring Kelsey Grammer in his title role.


Coronavirus Update: 😷 Total confirmed cases as of 5:00 a.m. ET Thursday: 28,334,981 — Total deaths: 505,808


  • The FDA has endorsed Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose Covid vaccine. It could begin its rollout as early as this weekend.
  • Roughly 40% of California’s prison inmates have received the Covid vaccine.
  • Insane amounts of trash have piled up on Los Angeles highways and this has only worsened during the pandemic.
  • new study shows that people in the UK who have had both Pfizer vaccines are generating strong antibody responses.
  • The National Health Service director in England is warning people not to turn to Gwyneth Paltrow for medical advice to combat long Covid.


30 year2.89% 0.12% 2.95% 0.12%
15 year2.22% 0.05% 2.33% 0.06%


President Biden’s Busy Wednesday


credit: getty

President Biden made two policy decisions of note on Wednesday.

In the first, he revoked the Trump administration’s immigration restrictions that blocked immigrant workers and family reunification immigrants. The President did not revoke work visas such as the H-1B skilled worker visa that is heavily relied upon by tech companies. That ban will expire on its own on March 31 and the administration is unlikely to renew it.


Progressive Plan

Progressives are asking the President to go further in immigration reform. They have proposed the Roadmap to Freedom resolution introducing protection for migrant workers and ending the military policing at the border. The White House has not committed to this but the push will continue, led by Representative Pramila Jayapal, chair of the Progressive Caucus.


President Biden also signed an executive order asking for a review of supply chains for critical materials in four industries: semiconductors, large-capacity batteries used in electric vehicles, pharmaceuticals and rare-earth elements. The administration wants to be sure that production can continue in these key areas to ensure the economy remains on a recovery track. That has not seemed likely as manufacturers are reporting supply chain shortages.


Much of these materials come from China and relations with China are still shaky. The administration wants to study ways to reduce foreign dependence through this study.


What does President Trump think of all of this undoing of his policies? We’ll know soon enough. The former President hasn’t had much to say since leaving office and being booted from Twitter but he is scheduled to speak at CPAC this Sunday. Organizers have given him as much time as he wants and you can bet he’s got a lot to say.

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Gone With The Wind


credit: npr

Scientists at the University of Massachusetts say that one third of the most fertile topsoil in the Midwest is gone. This is the darker and better soil for growing food, rich in microorganisms and natural compost. It is called “A-horizon.”


Ph.D. students analyzed satellite images showing farmland in the Midwest and compared it with direct measurements of soil quality from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Lighter-colored soil was found to be of poorer quality and not “A-horizon” at all. They assert that plowing is to blame as farmers try to turn over crops year-to-year by tilling the earth.


Experts agree that “A-horizon” soil has been depleted and farmers are desperate for ways to bring it back.


“We’re essentially trying to make up for many years of fairly thoughtless practices,” Anna Cates, Minnesota’s topsoil health specialist, told NPR.

Myanmar Military Removed From Facebook


credit: getty

Facebook banned the Myanmar military from using its main platform and Instagram. The military seized control of the government a few weeks ago and has held back protestors in violent uprisings ever since.


In a post about this decision, Facebook said: “Events since the February 1 coup, including deadly violence, have precipitated a need for this ban. We believe the risks of allowing the Tatmadaw (Myanmar army) on Facebook and Instagram are too great.”


The rogue military had been using Facebook actively and has since tried to rebuild accounts that were banned. Facebook already banned the current military leader Min Aung Hlaing in 2018 along with 19 other senior officers but organization pages had been active in the same cause.


Facebook’s days of pretending to be innocently apolitical are over. Facebook posts have consequences for people’s lives. Words matter very much. A conversation about this is long overdue clearly.

News By The Numbers


credit: dunkin

$2.99. That is the cost of Dunkin’ Donuts’ new avocado toast that will be added to the chain’s spring menu. It will feature avocado spread on sourdough bread with everything bagel seasoning.


$10,000. That is how much the value of Bitcoin dropped on Wednesday, the largest single-day drop in the currency’s history.


925,000. That is how many juvenile salmon will be killed today in a Vancouver Island fish farm because the government has banned such farms from this region. The fish will be euthanized so they cannot be used as food. Instead, they’ll turn them into fertilizer and the staff at the farm are just sick over it. Understandably.


Two. That is how many livestock ships have been stranded at Spanish ports since December. They were not allowed to dock due to fears of disease outbreaks and now thousands of animals on board have been “suffering hell” ever since.

I Can’t Believe It’s Not Sustainable


giphy.gifa deforested palm oil forest credit: greenspace

Canadians are demanding to know why their butter has not been spreadable at room temperature for the last year. This is a major source of frustration in our house too – namely, when butter is not spreadable.


A social media movement is calling this “buttergate” and Canadians reject the notion that it is due to cold winter temperatures. Butter usually spreads in heated homes during the winter but this year is different. Some food experts say that this is due to palm oil that is fed to the cows that produce the dairy for butter.


Palm oil consumption has quadrupled since 1995 and it is in oh-so-many consumer products from food to personal care items. It can be sustainably produced but it is not. Producers burn away rain forests in order to produce this product, destroying the habitat of Sumatran tigers, rhinos and orangutans. It’s bad.


Butter should not have palm oil but margarine usually does. Cow feed does have palm oil, however, and some speculate that farmers have added more of it during the pandemic to keep up with the higher demand for butter. In fact, sales of butter have increased 12% over the last year as more people cook at home. Consumers are now challenging the legality of using palm oil in cow feed and if it took some hard butter to make that happen, that’s a udder-ly great! Get it!? 

Police Academy 9: Rollercops on Patrol


giphy.gifcredit: reuters

Police in Pakistan have been outfitted with rollerblades to patrol the city’s streets. And to have fun we presume!


The country’s largest city of Karachi has 20 million residents and theft and harassment is a problem in the streets. To help catch criminals, the city turned to rollerblades. This allows police to move faster down narrow streets that cruisers cannot go.


The force had to train to rollerblade with handguns because that could go very wrong.

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  • The infrastructure bill could hit a Manchin sized wall

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