ON THIS DAY: January 11, 2019

January 11th is

Milk Day *

Hot Toddy Day

International Thank You Day

International Parity at Work Day *

Human Trafficking Awareness Day *

Learn Your Name in Morse Code Day *


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Word Cloud: STONECRAFTER (Redux)


Robinson Jeffers (1887–1962) was 26 years old when he found his place in the world.

The son of a Presbyterian minister and biblical scholar who took the family on frequent research trips to Europe, young Jeffers attended boarding schools in Germany and Switzerland. His father made sure he got thorough training in classical languages and the Bible. He began his undergraduate studies at Western University of Pennsylvania and finished them at Occidental College in Southern California, where he graduated at the age of 18.


In the fall of 1905, he began graduate school at the University of Southern California with a somewhat vague focus on language study: Spanish, Old English, Oratory and Advanced German. It was in his German class that he met Una Call Kuster, the 21-year-old wife of an ambitious young attorney, who “indulged” her desire to complete her college degree, interrupted when she married him at age 18, as long as it didn’t interfere with the social engagements that helped advance his career.

As classmates, ‘Robin’ and Una began a friendship that ultimately turned into an on-again off-again love affair, while they both struggled to ‘do the decent thing’ – she, to save her marriage, and he, to let her go because he couldn’t support a wife. He restlessly pursued studies in Philosophy, Old English, Dante, and Spanish Romance Poetry at the University of Zurich, then returned to UCLA for Medical School, but switched again, this time to Forestry at the University of Washington.


In 1912, two things changed: Jeffers came into a family inheritance; and during a trial separation from Una, Ted Kuster met sixteen year old Edith Emmons, daughter of another attorney, and fell in love.

Jeffers self-published his first collection of poetry, Flagons and Apples, and sent a copy to Una with a love note. In spite of the scandal still attached to divorce in the pre-WWI years, the Kuster’s divorce became final on August 1, 1913 – both sets of lovers were married on the following day.


In 1914, the newly-married couple came to Carmel, California. Jeffers wrote of their first sight of a promontory overlooking the sea, “The breath of the morning hung in the pines, and this we felt was our home. . . .”

They didn’t buy land until 1919, but Robinson Jeffers had found his place in the world. As the years passed, he would feel the weight of humanity as a threat to its pristine beauty, and he became an ‘environmentalist’ before the word had been coined.

To the House

I am heaping the bones of the old mother
To build us a hold against the host of the air;
Granite the blood-heat of her youth
Held molten in hot darkness against the heart
Hardened to temper under the feet
Of the ocean cavalry that are maned with snow
And march from the remotest west.
This is the primitive rock, here in the wet
Quarry under the shadow of waves
Whose hollows mouthed the dawn; little house each stone
Baptized from that abysmal font
The sea and the secret earth gave bonds to affirm you.



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ON THIS DAY: January 10, 2019

January 10th is

Save the Eagles Day

Bittersweet Chocolate Day

Cut Your Energy Costs Day

Houseplant Appreciation Day

League of Nations Day *

Oysters Rockefeller Day *

Peculiar People Day *


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ON THIS DAY: January 9, 2019

January 9th is

Apricot Day

Balloon Ascension Day *

Cassoulet Day

Static Electricity Day

Law Enforcement Appreciation Day *


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ON THIS DAY: January 8, 2019

January 8th is

Argyle Day

Bubble Bath Day

Earth’s Rotation Day *

English Toffee Day

Joy Germ Day *

World Typing Day *


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Russia profits from Trump tariff policies as US farmers continue to suffer

iu[1][1]by ann summers

The recent Chinese soybean purchase from the US made prior to US-China trade talks might only give the impression of reversing a claim made by Putin in November that the US had “given up” on the Chinese soybean market. In November 2018, soybean sales to China were down 94%. The net result will be profits for Russian agriculture and continued crippling of the US farm sector, now propped up with Depression era emergency funds.

(January 2019)

Chinese importers made their third large soybean purchase from the United States in the last month on Monday, as officials from both countries meet this week for the first face-to-face talks since agreeing to a 90-day trade war truce on December 1, two traders with knowledge of the deals said.

Chinese state-owned firms bought at least three cargoes of US soybeans on Monday morning, or about 180,000 tonnes, the traders said.

One said the total was closer to 15 cargoes, or about 900,000 tonnes.

The soybeans will be shipped mostly from terminals in the Pacific northwest from January to March, with a smaller volume to be exported from US Gulf coast terminals, the traders said.

The current trade war truce agreed between China’s Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump expires on March 1.


900k tons is a small fraction of a total market for US soybeans which has declined since the beginning of the Trump administration. Then there’s RU disinformation.

(November 2018) MOSCOW (Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that Russia would supply soy beans and poultry meat to China and that the United States had effectively given up on that market.

Putin was speaking at the Russia Calling annual investment forum.

Like other markets, Trump is doing more business for Russia than for the US, stimulating the production of eastern Russian soybeans and essentially making US tariff policy subsidize a growth in Russian agricultural production.

According to the latest trading data from International Trade Centre (ITC), in 2016, the USA exported about $22.9 billion worth or equivalent of 57.8 million tons of soybeans to the global market, representing approximately 43.8% of the world’s total soybean supplies in that year, making it again the world’s largest soybean exporter. China has been the largest importer of soybean from the USA over recent decades; over 31 million metric tons of soybeans are exported to China every year, representing over 62% of the US total soybean exports per annum. Other major importers of the US soybeans include Mexico, Japan, Indonesia, and the Netherlands.

Figure 1 provides a comparison between U.S. and Brazilian soybean prices and it indicates that the Chinese tariff is having a negative impact on U.S. soybean prices. Since April 2018, the U.S. soybean price is on the decline while the Brazil price increases.


The initial responses are concerning as the trade shocks generated by the current US-China trade war is already leading to trade diversion, benefiting other soybean suppliers on the global market, such as Brazil and Argentina.  Given Brazil and Argentina’s rapid expansion of their soybean sectors, US soybean producers are right to worry whether this short-term shift in trade patterns might establish itself in the long run, to the detriment of our soybean industry.


As stated elsewhere, Russia is taking advantage of Belt and Road initiatives as the US withdraws from selective markets, and as speculators will profit from the long-run demand expectations for China choosing alternative suppliers of soybeans.


(May 2018)

China has purchased record amounts of soybeans from Russia in recent months amid trade tensions with the U.S., Bloomberg reported.

The world’s biggest soybean importer, China has nearly tripled its imports from Russia, according to Bloomberg. Russian trade data show the country sold 850,000 metric tons of soybeans to China between July 2017 and mid-May this year.


China is the second-largest market for U.S. agricultural exports.

While Russia’s soybean production makes up less than 1 percent of the amount China imports, the size of soybean plantings in eastern Russia could reportedly expand up to 20 percent in the next two to three years.



(August 2018)

The growing trade war between the United States and China could benefit Russia’s agricultural giant RusAgro, CGTN reports. One of the country’s biggest agriculture companies says they are now targeting China as a key export destination.

According to RusAgro’s CEO, Maxim Basov, the company was about to sign its first direct contracts with China this year, after years of slow progress.

“In fact we had troubles exporting even soybean to China for the past couple of years. But this year we see a big difference,” Basov said.

He added that Russia’s geographical proximity to China is a big advantage since Russia can export to China in four different directions.


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ON THIS DAY: January 7, 2019

January 7th is

Bobblehead Day *

Harlem Globetrotters Day *

Old Rock Day

Tempura Day

Computer Programmers’ Day *


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