Monthly Archives: November 2018




PFAS, Cancer, 3M, and a Coverup that’s Decades Old


Studies have shown that 3M-made “per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (or PFAS, pronounced ‘PEE-fas’)” found in Teflon, Scotchgard, and fire-fighting foam have been linked to a weakened immune response and cancer. As Tiffany Kary and Christopher Cannon report at Bloomberg Businessweek, the chemicals contaminate the ground water around the 3M plant in Cotton Grove, Minnesota creating an “underground plume” of pollution that’s 100 square miles in size. The biggest problem? 3M knew of the dangers and has been covering it up for decades.

Still, in Cottage Grove, where 3M first made the chemicals in bulk, there’s a sense of betrayal—stoked by a half-century of deceptions that came to light earlier this year with the airing of some of its internal documents. Here, as some parents of children with cancer say they’ve switched to bottled water and thrown away their Scotchgard and Teflon pans, it has become clear that a…

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A Confederacy of (Dangerous) Dunces


In her new column for The Guardian, Rebecca Solnit makes a solid argument that Donald Trump’s presidency, and his fervent support from white racists, mark an attempt of the American Confederacy to rise again.

We had an ardent Unionist president for eight years, and now we are 21 months into the reign of an openly Confederate president, one who has defended Confederate statues and Confederate values and Confederate goals, because Make America Great Again harks back to some antebellum fantasy of white male dominance. Last weekend might as well have been Make America Gentile Again. And then came the attack, last Tuesday, on one of the signal achievements after the end of all-out war between the states: the 14th Amendment, which extends equal right of citizenship to everyone born here or naturalized.

So much of what is at stake is the definition of “us”, “ours” and “we”. “We the…

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