Are these Vidalia onions actually Bill Gates's contraband onions? / Mike Mozart
The Baffler,  August 4, 2015

Daily Bafflements

Are these Vidalia onions actually Bill Gates's contraband onions? / Mike Mozart


• Today in Billionaires: Bill Gates has fallen foul of an onion advisory committee, after it was noticed that the Vidalia onions he was growing (why?) were getting to market before other, better equipped farmers’ Vidalias. For a more layered account of this story, may we recommend this chastening exposé by Margaret Newkirk, for its description of the cloak-and-dagger ways of the onion farmers who staked out Gates’s delivery route and proved he was passing off regular yellow onions as sweet Vidalia onions (“not just the most famous onions in the world,” according to Bobby Flay Cooks American, “but the only famous onions in the world.”)

• Moved into the startup castle and looking for a something to cheer up those palace walls? Why not this poster timeline of the ages at which entrepreneurs dropped out of school, replete with stick figures (representing Hyman Golden of Snapple, at 15 years old, and Milton Hershey, at 10) tottering into the abyss? Or this infographic, at once optimistic and Beckettian, of “How Angry Birds Started”?

If you think nothing ever changes, have a taste of CNN now bemoaning the idea that your emails shouldn’t be read by strangers: “Technology companies are creating encrypted communication that protects their users’ privacy in a way that prevents law enforcement, or even the companies themselves, from accessing the content.” (Thanks, Sarah Henry!)

• John Kerry seems to think the TPP deal is getting there: “We made progress,” said he. Last month, Scott Beauchamp wrote about the arc of neoliberal progress—giving social rights with one hand and taking away economic agency with the other—on the Baffler blog.

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Further Reading

 November 6

As the old refrain goes, at Gothamist and DNAinfo the union made us strong---not Joe Ricketts, not his money, not his decisions and certainly not his “direction.”

 August 3

I was wandering in a smoldering landscape, knowing that nothing could be done. The decisions had been made.