🎧 The Hamlet Fire | Eat This Podcast

Listened The Hamlet Fire What an industrial accident tells us about industrial food by Jeremy Cherfas from Eat This Podcast

Book coverIndustrial accidents, tragic though they may be, can also lead to change. The fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York in 1911 is credited with changing a generation’s attitudes to worker safety, unions and regulation. Eighty years later, another industrial fire also killed workers because, like the Triangle fire, the doors were chained shut from the outside. That fire, at the Imperial Food Products plant in Hamlet, North Carolina, changed almost nothing.

In his new book The Hamlet Fire, historian Bryant Simon uses the fire to tell what he calls A Tragic Story of Cheap Food, Cheap Government and Cheap Lives. Simon’s thesis is essentially that the Hamlet fire wasn’t really an accident; circumstances conspired to make it likely, and if it hadn’t happened in Hamlet, it would have happened somewhere else. Among the points he makes: at the time of the fire North Carolina, a state that my imagination sees as resolutely rural, was the most industrialised of the United States. It had become so essentially by gutting control, regulation and inspection in order to attract jobs.

The USDA, responsible for the safety of the food people eat, agreed that a good way to keep out flies would be to lock the doors of the plant. But the North Carolina Occupational Safety and Health Administration had never once inspected the plant.

There’s a whole lot of Bryant Simon’s analysis that just wouldn’t fit comfortably in the episode. One nugget I really want to share here is a brief little scene from the first season of The Wire.

In a minute and a half, David Simon’s characters offer an object lesson in poultry economics, which Bryant Simon uses to explore the real history of the chicken nugget. And the dipping sauces are the key to overcoming chicken fatigue. Genius.

Notes

  1. Bryant Simon is a professor of history at Temple University in Philadelphia.
  2. His book The Hamlet Fire is available at Amazon and elsewhere.
  3. The music at the front is Hamlet Chicken Plant Disaster by Mojo Nixon and Jello Biafra, from their album Prairie Home Invasion.

We need some better regulations to prevent this type of race to the bottom… Companies that are found in violation of things like this should be forced to pay a multiple of the cost of having supported the potential regulations upfront in addition to major fines for the loss of life. Too many companies are free-riding on the fact that they’re not paying the cost for externalities which affect their workers, their environment, and their communities.

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🎧 ‘The Daily’: ‘Dear Mr. Chairman …’ | New York Times

Listened ‘The Daily’: ‘Dear Mr. Chairman …’ by Michael Barbaro from nytimes.com

President Trump abruptly canceled on Thursday the highly anticipated summit meeting with Kim Jong-un, the leader of North Korea, that was scheduled to take place on June 12. In a letter to Mr. Kim announcing his decision, Mr. Trump wrote, “The world, and North Korea in particular, has lost a great opportunity for lasting peace.”

On today’s episode:

• Mark Landler, who covers the White House for The New York Times.

Background reading:

• Mr. Trump announced his decision to call off the summit meeting in a strikingly personal letter that contained mixed messages, both raising the possibility of military action against the North and leaving the door open for a future diplomatic encounter between the two men.

• The announcement came hours after North Korea appeared to destroy its only known nuclear test site in a spectacle that was attended by foreign journalists and was meant to be a sign of good faith ahead of the meeting with Mr. Trump.

• North Korea responded in a carefully worded statement that it remained “willing to sit down with the United States any time, in any format, to resolve the problems.”

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🎧 ‘The Daily’: Putting ‘Fake News’ on Trial | New York Times

Listened ‘The Daily’: Putting ‘Fake News’ on Trial by Michael Barbaro from nytimes.com

The families of children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in 2012 are suing a conspiracy theorist who claims the massacre was a hoax. Their lawsuits are bringing the issue of “fake news” to the courts.

On today’s episode:

• Elizabeth Williamson, a reporter in the Washington bureau of The New York Times.

Background reading:

• The families of eight Sandy Hook victims, as well as an F.B.I. agent who responded to the massacre, are suing the conspiracy theorist Alex Jones for defamation. Relatives of the victims have received death threats from those who embrace the falsehoods Mr. Jones has propagated on his website Infowars, which has an audience of millions.

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🎧 ‘The Daily’: A Crossroads for the Democratic Party | New York Times

Listened ‘The Daily’: A Crossroads for the Democratic Party by Michael Barbaro from nytimes.com

In Georgia, two women were locked in a close race for the Democratic nomination for governor. What does this primary tell us about the future of the Democratic Party?

On today’s episode:

• Jonathan Martin, a national political correspondent for The New York Times.

Background reading:

• Stacey Abrams, a former minority leader of the Georgia House, made history by becoming the first black woman to be a major party nominee for governor in the United States, defeating Stacey Evans in Georgia’s Democratic primary.

• The race between Ms. Abrams and Ms. Evans, two well-regarded candidates with starkly different campaign strategies, was viewed as a weather vane for the Democratic Party’s prospects in the midterm elections. Ms. Abrams banked on the support of young people, women, and African-American and Hispanic voters, while Ms. Evans reached out to moderate and conservative-leaning white voters.

• Here are the results for Tuesday’s primaries in ArkansasGeorgiaKentucky and Texas.

• Record numbers of women are running in the midterm elections, but the road to Capitol Hill is a hard one.

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🎧 ‘The Daily’: Rod Rosenstein’s Impossible Choice | New York Times

Listened ‘The Daily’: Rod Rosenstein’s Impossible Choice by Michael Barbaro from nytimes.com

President Trump has asked the Department of Justice to investigate whether the F.B.I. infiltrated his campaign in 2016 for political purposes. In response, the department granted the president’s team access to highly classified information from the special counsel’s Russia investigation. What’s behind this decision?

On today’s episode:

• Julie Hirschfeld Davis, who covers the White House for The New York Times.

Background reading:

• In a series of tweets on Sunday, President Trump demanded an investigation into whether an F.B.I. informant “infiltrated or surveilled” his campaign. The deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein, asked the Justice Department’s inspector general to accommodate the president’s wishes by expanding an existing inquiry.

• The president’s tweets referred to a Times report about Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, examining whether countries other than Russia, including Saudi Arabia, had offered assistance to the Trump campaign.

• After a White House meeting on Monday, intelligence and law enforcement officials agreed to disclose some sensitive documents from the Russia investigation to Republican congressional leaders.

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🎧 ‘The Daily’: North Korea’s Fear? Becoming Libya | New York Times

Listened ‘The Daily’: North Korea’s Fear? Becoming Libya by Michael Barbaro from nytimes.com

John R. Bolton, President Trump’s new national security adviser, has said that negotiations with North Korea should follow “the Libya model.” Now, North Korea is threatening to call off the planned summit meeting with Mr. Trump. What risks does the Libya model hold for Kim Jong-un?

On today’s episode:

• Mark Landler, a White House correspondent for The New York Times.

Background reading:

• In a statement released on Wednesday, North Korea’s vice foreign minister threatened to cancel scheduled talks with President Trump if the United States continues to insist on complete nuclear abandonment.

• The statement repeatedly cites the example of Libya, whose former leader, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, agreed in 2003 to forfeit the country’s nuclear capability in the hope of economic integration with the West. Colonel Qaddafi was captured and killed by rebel forces after the United States and its allies launched airstrikes in Libya in 2011.

• According to administration and foreign officials, President Trump has been seeking advice from his aides and allies, including from President Moon Jae-in of South Korea, about whether he should proceed with the talks with Kim Jong-un at the risk of political embarrassment.

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🎧 ‘The Daily’: Does Mueller Have a Plan for Trump? | New York Times

Listened ‘The Daily’: Does Mueller Have a Plan for Trump? by Michael Barbaro from nytimes.com

White House lawyers have claimed that Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel overseeing the Russia investigation, will not indict the president, regardless of his findings. If that’s true, then what is the purpose of his inquiry?

On today’s episode:

• Michael S. Schmidt, a Washington correspondent who covers national security and federal investigations for The New York Times.

Background reading:

• According to President Trump’s lawyers, Mr. Mueller’s investigators said that they would abide by the Justice Department’s legal and historical precedent to refrain from prosecuting sitting presidents.

• Any discovery of wrongdoing by the president might instead be referred to Congress for a decision, as was done when Presidents Richard M. Nixon and Bill Clinton were under investigation.

• It has been one year since Mr. Mueller was appointed special counsel to look into a dizzying array of events that span years and continents. Here's a guide to what has happened.

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🎧 ‘The Daily’: A Child of Gaza Becomes a Political Symbol | New York Times

Listened ‘The Daily’: A Child of Gaza Becomes a Political Symbol by Michael Barbaro from nytimes.com

The death of a Palestinian baby during the protests in Gaza became a rallying cry for critics of Israel. Within hours, the family’s story was being questioned.

On today’s episode:

• Declan Walsh, the Cairo bureau chief for The New York Times, who has been reporting from Gaza.

Background reading:

• Layla Ghandour, an 8-month-old Palestinian girl, inhaled tear gas during the protests at the Gaza border on Monday and died hours later. The tragedy became a focal point of outrage for critics of Israel’s use of force, while the Israeli military and its supporters questioned the narrative around her death as a political ploy by Hamas.

• The child was one of more than 60 Gazans killed during this week’s demonstrations, which were held to draw attention to the 11-year Israeli blockade of the territory. The violence gave way to mourning on Tuesday, the 70th anniversary of what Palestinians refer to as the Nakba, or Catastrophe, when hundreds of thousands fled their homes upon the creation of the state of Israel.

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🎧 ‘The Daily’: When Facebook Rumors Incite Real Violence | New York Times

Listened ‘The Daily’: When Facebook Rumors Incite Real Violence by Michael Barbaro from nytimes.com

A series of damning posts on Facebook has stoked longstanding ethnic tensions in Sri Lanka, setting off a wave of violence largely directed at Muslims. How are false rumors on social media fueling real-world attacks?

On today’s episode:

• Max Fisher and Amanda Taub, who have reported on Sri Lanka for The New York Times.

Background reading:

• Fraudulent claims of a Muslim plot to wipe out Sri Lanka’s Buddhist majority, widely circulated on Facebook and WhatsApp, have led to attacks on mosques and Muslim-owned homes and shops in the country.

• Facebook’s algorithm-driven news feed promotes whatever content draws the most engagement — which tend to be the posts that provoke negative, primal emotions like fear and anger. The platform has allowed misinformation to run rampant in countries with weak institutions and a history of deep social distrust.

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🎧 ‘The Daily’: Two Views of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem | New York Times

Listened ‘The Daily’: Two Views of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem by Michael Barbaro from nytimes.com

Many Israelis see the relocation of the United States Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv as a historic milestone for the Jewish state. But for Palestinians, who hope to see the eastern part of Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state, it’s a betrayal.

On today’s episode:

• David M. Halbfinger, the Jerusalem bureau chief for The New York Times.

• Declan Walsh, The Times’s Cairo bureau chief, who has been reporting from Gaza this week.

Background reading:

• At least 58 Palestinians were killed and 2,700 injured on Monday as demonstrators clashed with Israeli forces along the Gaza border fence.

• Meanwhile, an hour’s drive away, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel celebrated the new American embassy in Jerusalem at a ceremony attended by Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner.

• Here are images of the two contrasting scenes, which illustrate the widening chasm between Israelis and Palestinians after 70 years of conflict.

While listening I forgot about the opener and thought the first half was too chipper and upbeat. I was ready to get upset at the break thinking that they were doing their usual commercial and closing. I had a sigh of relief that it continued. The second half made for a far more balanced picture.

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🎧 ‘The Daily’: The Prospect of Peace With North Korea | New York Times

Listened ‘The Daily’: The Prospect of Peace With North Korea by Michael Barbaro from nytimes.com

The time and place for a historic meeting between the president of the United States and the leader of North Korea have been set. Does President Trump deserve credit for the diplomatic breakthrough on the Korean Peninsula?

On today’s episode:

• Nicholas Kristof, a New York Times columnist who writes about human rights and global affairs, and who has repeatedly traveled to North Korea for The Times.

Background reading:

• After the release of three American detainees in North Korea, President Trump confirmed on Thursday that he would meet with Kim Jong-un, the North’s leader, on June 12 in Singapore.

• North Korea has invited journalists from the United States and other countries to witness the dismantling of its underground nuclear test site before the summit meeting.

• It may now be possible to envision an era of peace with North Korea, but the odds that the North will forfeit its nuclear arsenal entirely are uncertain at best, Nicholas Kristof writes.

Does Trump get credit? He still hasn’t actually carried anything out yet. It’s even more ironic to be listening to this on the same day that they’re walking away from the table less than 10 days later. Nick Kristof should have held to his guns of doom and gloom.

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🎧 ‘The Daily’: A Life-or-Death Crisis for Black Mothers | New York TImes

Listened ‘The Daily’: A Life-or-Death Crisis for Black Mothers by Michael Barbaro from nytimes.com

Black mothers and infants in the United States are far more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than their white counterparts. The disparity is tied intrinsically to the lived experience of being a black woman in America.

On today’s episode:

  • Linda Villarosa, a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine.
  • Simone Landrum, a young mother in New Orleans.

Background reading:

The story in this episode is a superb and emotional follow-on of an excellent NPR/ProPublica story I read back in December. We need more stories like this.

I nearly had a panic attack while listening to this. The disparities in parts of America are so painful and distressing and we can, could, and should be doing more to improve them.

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🎧 ‘The Daily’: The C.I.A.’s Moral Reckoning | New York Times

Listened ‘The Daily’: The C.I.A.’s Moral Reckoning by Michael Barbaro from nytimes.com

Gina Haspel, President Trump’s pick for C.I.A. director, faced the Senate Intelligence Committee for the first time on Wednesday as her confirmation hearings began. Lawmakers addressed her with an unusual line of questioning: What is your moral character?

On today’s episode:

• Matthew Rosenberg joins us from Washington, where he covers intelligence and national security for The New York Times.

Background reading:

• Ms. Haspel defended the C.I.A.’s torture of terrorism suspects after the Sept. 11 attacks, but vowed that she would not start another interrogation program.

• Among the issues raised in the hearing were Ms. Haspel’s involvement in a black site in Thailand where Qaeda suspects were tortured, her role in carrying out an order to destroy videotapes of C.I.A. interrogations, and her willingness to defy a president who has supported waterboarding.

We’ve recently seen the head of the F.B.I. be ousted because he ostensibly wouldn’t take a loyalty oath and refused to close an investigation. Could this happen again? Could it be far worse?

They stopped far too short here in opening up questions of harkening back to the Third Reich and Hitler and his government commanding people to commit genocide. We all know there’s a line one can’t cross and use the defense that “I was commanded to by the authorities.”

So the real question is: will Haspel stand up to Trump to prevent moral atrocities which Trump may want to inflict, whether this may extend to areas like torture or, perhaps, far worse?

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🎧 The IndieWeb – Martijn | jeena.net

Listened The IndieWeb - Martijn by Jeena ParadiesJeena Paradies from jeena.net
We're two senior IndieWeb participants talking about owning your own content.

I can see why several folks in the IndieWeb community love this discussion. Jeena and Marjtin have a wide-ranging conversation that hits almost all of the high points and most of the discussion is very accessible. There are some places in the second half of the episode where those who aren’t developers may feel like they’re in some higher weeds particularly with some jargon, but much of it is well defined and discussed. In solid journalistic fashion, they start from the most basic (with lots of attention to definitions and detail) and ramp up to the more advanced and detailed. If you’re a blogger, journalist, librarian, educator, other who is relatively web savvy and wants to supplement your knowledge of what is going on in this area, this is a great place to help fill in some gaps before delving into additional help and documentation.

In particular, I love that they do an excellent job of helping to communicate the intentional work, craft, morality, ethics, and love which most of the community approaches the topic.

As I suspect that Jeena doesn’t receive many “listen” posts, I’ll webmention his post here with an experimental microformat class like-of. Perhaps he’ll join some of the podcasting community who supports this and make it a stronger standard.

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