Actors’ Strike Over:
The union is so far providing some details of the agreement, more of which will likely emerge in the next few days prior to the union’s ratification vote. In a message to members on Wednesday night, the union said the pact is valued at over $1 billion and includes pay increases higher than what other unions received this year, a “streaming participation bonus” and regulations on AI. The tentative deal also includes higher caps on health and pension funds, compensation bumps for background performers and “critical contract provisions protecting diverse communities.” If the deal is ratified, the contract could soon go into effect, and if not, members would essentially send their labor negotiators back to the bargaining table with the AMPTP.
Sounds like a win.
Twenty Farming Families Take More Water From the Colorado River Than At Least Three States. This water rights shit is bleeped up:
Farmers in one family, the Abattis, used an estimated 260,000 acre-feet, more water than the entire Las Vegas metropolitan area uses. One acre-foot is about 326,000 gallons.
The district and its farmers emphasize that they keep a steady stream of broccoli, lettuce, onions and other produce on American dinner tables, including in the dead of winter. But only a few families used a majority of the water they got to grow food that people eat. Instead, we found that most use the bulk of their water growing hay to feed livestock.
While Southwest cities like Las Vegas have turned to conservation tactics like ripping up lawns as they near the limits of their river allocation, the irrigation district hasn’t faced mandatory reductions for 20 years.
It holds some of the oldest rights to the river’s water. Many of the district’s farmers are grandchildren of early homesteaders, and the land they farm has guaranteed use of large amounts of river water.
This allowed the Imperial County farmers to produce almost half a billion dollars’ worth of hay in 2022, according to the county’s agricultural commissioner. Some of it is used to feed nearly 400,000 cows that are raised here in the scorching desert. Significant quantities are shipped out of the valley — both domestically and overseas.
Award-worthy journalism. Also highly-recommended for the way graphics are used to illustrate the story.
Psychedelics Are Good For You. Can the ‘trip’ be just a pleasurable side-effect?:
I don’t doubt my patient’s improvement—his anxiety, world-weariness, and self-doubt seemed to have evaporated within hours of taking psilocybin, an effect that has continued for at least three months. But I’m not convinced that his brief, oceanic experience was the source of the magic. In fact, some neuroscientists now believe that the transcendent, reality-warping trip is just a side effect of psychedelics—one that isn’t sufficient or even necessary to produce the mental-health benefits the drugs seem to provide.
Over the past five years, studies have demonstrated that psilocybin has powerful antidepressant effects, and that MDMA (a.k.a. Ecstasy), in conjunction with psychotherapy, can relieve the symptoms of PTSD. Remarkably, just a few doses of either psilocybin or MDMA can produce a rapid, lasting improvement in depression and anxiety symptoms, meaning symptom relief within minutes or hours that lasts up to 12 weeks. (MDMA is what psychiatrists call an “atypical psychedelic”; it has a mix of psychedelic-like and amphetamine-like effects, producing a feeling of bliss rather than a transcendent or mystical state.) The FDA is widely expected to approve MDMA for supervised use sometime in 2024—an extraordinary turnabout for drugs that have long been stigmatized for their possible (if rare) serious harms.
Memo To Self: Talk To Doctor. Get Scrip. Alternatively, anyone out there know anybody?
Media’s Fault That Public Doesn’t Understand The Risks Of A Trump Victory? To a large degree, yes:
The press must get across to American citizens the crucial importance of this election and the dangers of a Trump win. They don’t need to surrender their journalistic independence to do so or be “in the tank” for Biden or anyone else.
It’s now clearer than ever that Trump, if elected, will use the federal government to go after his political rivals and critics, even deploying the military toward that end. His allies are hatching plans to invoke the Insurrection Act on day one.
The press generally is not doing an adequate job of communicating those realities.
Instead, journalists have emphasized Joe Biden’s age and Trump’s “freewheeling” style. They blame the public’s attitudes on “polarization”, as if they themselves have no role. And, of course, they make the election about the horse race – rather than what would happen a few lengths after the finish line.
Here’s what must be hammered home: Trump cannot be re-elected if you want the United States to be a place where elections decide outcomes, where voting rights matter, and where politicians don’t baselessly prosecute their adversaries.
When Americans do understand how politics affects their lives, they vote accordingly. We have seen that play out with respect to abortion rights in Ohio, Virginia, Wisconsin and beyond. On that issue, voters clearly get that well-established rights have been ripped away, and they have reacted with force.
Monica Beard: ‘We Can’t Allow Domestic Violence Offenders To Own Guns In Delaware.’: If only people like Monica would run for the General Assembly. Oh, she is? Yep, right here.
I close with this photo of a peaceful demonstration in Portland, Oregon. Why? My daughter’s in that photo, and I’m proud of her stand on this and many other human rights issues:
What do you want to talk about?
Author: El Somnambulo