The Evening Blues - 12-6-18



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The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Lee Shot Williams



Hey! Good Evening!


This evening's music features blues and r&b singer Lee Shot Williams. Enjoy!



Lee Shot Williams - Hello Baby

“I don’t have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. It’s a depression. Everybody’s out of work or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel’s worth. Banks are going bust. Shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter. Punks are running wild in the street and there’s nobody anywhere who seems to know what to do, and there’s no end to it. We know the air is unfit to breathe and our food is unfit to eat, and we sit watching our TVs while some local newscaster tells us that today we had fifteen homicides and sixty-three violent crimes, as if that’s the way it’s supposed to be.

We know things are bad – worse than bad. They’re crazy. It’s like everything everywhere is going crazy, so we don’t go out anymore. We sit in the house, and slowly the world we are living in is getting smaller, and all we say is: ‘Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster and my TV and my steel-belted radials and I won’t say anything. Just leave us alone.’

Well, I’m not gonna leave you alone. I want you to get MAD! I don’t want you to protest. I don’t want you to riot – I don’t want you to write to your congressman, because I wouldn’t know what to tell you to write. I don’t know what to do about the depression and the inflation and the Russians and the crime in the street. All I know is that first you’ve got to get mad. (shouting) You’ve got to say: ‘I’m a human being, god-dammit! My life has value!’

So, I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window. Open it, and stick your head out, and yell: ‘I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not gonna take this anymore!’

I want you to get up right now. Sit up. Go to your windows. Open them and stick your head out and yell – ‘I’m as mad as hell and I’m not gonna take this anymore!’ Things have got to change. But first, you’ve gotta get mad!…You’ve got to say, ‘I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not gonna take this anymore!’ Then we’ll figure out what to do about the depression and the inflation and the oil crisis. But first, get up out of your chairs, open the window, stick your head out, and yell, and say it: ‘I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not gonna take this anymore!’"

-- Paddy Chayefsky


News and Opinion


Unhinged GDP Growth Could Actually Destroy the Economy, Economists Find

For decades, scientists have warned of the pending crisis for the planet and humanity in the event of runaway climate change. But a new paper from prominent economists frames the situation in language that people might actually understand: Not addressing climate change, they conclude, will lead inevitably to “worldwide economic collapse.” Researchers also have a warning for renewable energy evangelists and techno-optimists, concluding that it is a fantasy to believe that the economy can grow at a torrid pace — as measured by GDP — while simultaneously reducing or eliminating greenhouse gas.

That’s because the “P” in GDP — production — necessarily requires energy inputs, which means more burning of fossil fuels unless and until the shift is fully made toward clean energy. That’s not a case for despair, though: By allocating less than half of what world governments spend annually on fossil fuel subsidies to mitigation efforts, we can prevent the above dystopia and improve millions of lives in the process — especially compared to what’s coming our way if we don’t.

As COP24 gets underway in Poland, the Institute for New Economic Thinking has released two working papers from prominent economists backing up the increasingly dire warnings from climate scientists. In “Economic Growth and Carbon Emissions,” Enno Schröeder and Servaas Storm find empirical evidence that economies can’t continue to grow their GDPs exponentially and bring down carbon emissions in line with the targets set in the Paris Agreement. In moving toward the latter, though, world governments can “improve overall welfare by redistributing income (and growth) between countries and income groups,” the authors told me via email. In order to grapple with the harsh reality of economic growth and climate change, Schröeder and Storm argue, governments need new ways of measuring welfare and well-being that don’t rely on GDP growth. (Bhutan, for instance, measures “Gross National Happiness,” but there are other options as well.) ...

In a similar vein, Gregor Semieniuk, Lance Taylor, and Armon Rezai wrote “The Inconvenient Truth about Climate Change and the Economy,” using a macroeconomic model to argue that while the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change scenarios largely assume steady economic growth, they undercount potential emissions by ignoring the historic relationship between higher GDP and increased energy usage, which — in a fossil fuel-based energy system — means more greenhouse gases spewed into the atmosphere. “If world output goes up to 3 percent per capita, energy use would go up by 3 percent per capita, and they didn’t get a hold of that,” Taylor said of the IPCC modeling.

An excellent article by Diana Johnstone, very much worth reading in full.

Yellow Vests Rise Against Neo-Liberal ‘King’ Macron

The Yellow Vests held their first demonstrations on Saturday, November 17, on the Champs-Elysées in Paris. It was totally unlike the usual trade union demonstrations, well organized to march down the boulevard between the Place de la République and the Place de la Bastille, or the other way around, carrying banners and listening to speeches from leaders at the end. The Gilets Jaunes just came, with no organization, no leaders to tell them where to go or to harangue the crowd. They were just there, in the yellow vests, angry and ready to explain their anger to any sympathetic listener. Briefly, the message was this: we can’t make ends meet. The cost of living keeps going up, and our incomes keep going down. We just can’t take it any more. The government must stop, think and change course. ... Things are much worse than officials and media in Paris have let on. There were young women who were working seven days a week and despaired of having enough money to feed and clothe their children. People were angry but ready to explain very clearly the economic issues. Colette, age 83, doesn’t own a car, but explained to whoever would listen that the steep raise of gasoline prices would also hurt people who don’t drive, by affecting prices of food and other necessities. She had done the calculations and figured it would cost a retired person 80 euros per month. ...

People pay taxes willingly when they are getting something for it. But not when the things they are used to are being taken away. The tax evaders are the super-rich and the big corporations with their batteries of lawyers and safe havens, or intruders like Amazon and Google, but ordinary French people have been relatively disciplined in paying taxes in return for excellent public services: optimum health care, first class public transport, rapid and efficient postal service, free university education. But all that is under assault from the reign of financial capital called “neo-liberalism” here. In rural areas, more and more post offices, schools and hospitals are shut down, unprofitable train service is discontinued as “free competition” is introduced following European Union directives – measures which oblige people to drive their cars more than ever. Especially when huge shopping centers drain small towns of their traditional shops. ...

And the tax announced by the government – an additional 6.6 cents per liter for diesel and an additional 2.9 centers per liter of gasoline – are only the first steps in a series of planned increases over the next years. The measures are supposed to incite people to drive less or even better, to scrap their old vehicles and buy nice new electric cars. More and more “governance” is an exercise in social engineering by technocrats who know what is best. This particular exercise goes directly opposite to an earlier government measure of social engineering which used economic incitements to get people to buy cars running on diesel. Now the government has changed its mind. Over half of personal vehicles still run on diesel, although the percentage has been dropping. Now their owners are told to go buy an electric car instead. But people living on the edge simply can’t afford the switch. Besides, the energy policy is incoherent. In theory, the “green” economy includes shutting down France’s many nuclear power plants. Without them, where would the electricity come from to run the electric cars? And nuclear power is “clean”, no CO2. So what is going on? People wonder. ...

Initial government responses showed that they weren’t listening. They dipped into their pool of clichés to denigrate something they didn’t want to bother to understand. ... After the second Yellow Vest Saturday, November 25, which saw more demonstrators and more tear gas, the Minister in charge of the budget, Gérard Darmanin, declared that what had demonstrated on the Champs-Elysée was “la peste brune”, the brown plague, meaning fascists. (For those who enjoy excoriating the French as racist, it should be noted that Darmanin is of Algerian working class origins). This remark caused an uproar of indignation that revealed just how great is public sympathy for the movement – over 70% approval by latest polls, even after uncontrolled vandalism. Macron’s Minister of the Interior, Christophe Castaner, was obliged to declare that government communication had been badly managed. Of course, that is the familiar technocratic excuse: we are always right, but it is all a matter of our “communication”, not of the facts on the ground. Maybe I have missed something, but of the many interviews I have listened to, I have not heard one word that would fall into the categories of “far right”, much less “fascism” – or even that indicated any particular preference in regard to political parties. These people are wholly concerned with concrete practical issues. Not a whiff of ideology – remarkable in Paris! ...

Macron is a bubble that has burst. The legitimacy of his authority is very much in question. Yet he was elected in 2017 for a five year term, and his party holds a large majority in parliament that makes his destitution almost impossible. So what next? Despite having been sidelined by Macron’s electoral victory in 2017, politicians of all hews are trying to recuperate the movement – but discreetly, because the Gilets Jaunes have made clear their distrust of all politicians. This is not a movement that seeks to take power. It simply seeks redress of its grievances. The government should have listened in the first place, accepted discussions and compromise. This gets more difficult as time goes on, but nothing is impossible. For some two or three hundred years, people one could call “left” hoped that popular movements would lead to changes for the better. Today, many leftists seem terrified of popular movements for change, convinced “populism” must lead to “fascism”. This attitude is one of many factors indicating that the changes ahead will not be led by the left as it exists today. Those who fear change will not be there to help make it happen. But change is inevitable and it need not be for the worse.

Yellow Vest protests: Government yields on fuel price hikes, appeals for calm

Global investors demand escalation of class war on workers’ jobs and wages

A week after General Motors announced the planned shutdown of five plants in the US and Canada and the elimination of nearly 15,000 hourly and salaried workers’ jobs, an analyst for Wall Street bank Morgan Stanley told investors that Ford would likely carry out even deeper cuts, eliminating 25,000 employees from its global workforce. ... The decision by GM to shut major assembly plants in Detroit, Lordstown, Ohio and Oshawa, Ontario, plus two transmission plants in Michigan and Maryland, led to a sharp spike in GM shares last week. The company, which is expected to make $10 billion in profits in 2018, is freeing up billions in cash to continue its stock repurchase program and dividend payments to wealthy investors. ...

The brutal downsizing by the US-based automakers is part of a wave of international job cuts. German-based drug manufacturer Bayer AG has just announced plans to cut 12,000 jobs out of its global workforce of 118,000 by the end of 2021. ... The moves, which came after shares of the company fell by more than a third this year, are seen as an effort to mollify Wall Street.

French steel pipe maker Vallourec, which owns a steel mill in Youngstown, Ohio, near the threatened GM Lordstown plant, announced plans last week to cut 1,800 jobs—1,200 at three sites in France and 600 in Germany. The company, which supplies the oil and gas industry, has struggled to recover since oil prices crashed in 2015. It has seen its shares plummet 56.6 percent over the last year. Last month, Montreal-based train and aircraft manufacturer Bombardier announced the layoff of 5,000 workers by 2021 to reduce its long-term debt by $9 billion. The workers being terminated include 2,500 in Quebec, 500 in Ontario and another 2,000 in overseas operations, including 490 in Belfast, Ireland. The announcement follows the elimination of 14,500 jobs around the world over the last three years.

Toronto-based Thomson Reuters Corporation said on Tuesday it will cut its workforce by 12 percent by 2020, axing 3,200 jobs. The media and information company said it will buy back $9 billion in stock from shareholders starting Tuesday, sending its stock up 4 percent. US corporations are expected to spend a record $1 trillion on stock buybacks this year, according to Goldman Sachs, up 46 percent from 2017. Global mergers and acquisitions hit a record $3.3 trillion in the first nine months of the year, eclipsing the previous high on the eve of the global financial crash more than a decade ago.

Keiser Report: Pamela Anderson Owns Left-Wing Economist

Gilets jaunes protests: Eiffel Tower and Louvre to shut amid fears of violence

Tourist attractions and museums in central Paris have said they will not open on Saturday, when fresh gilets jaunes (yellow vests) protests are planned, as French authorities prepared to deploy 65,000 security personnel across the country.

“The demonstrations announced on Saturday 8 December in Paris do not allow us to welcome visitors in safe conditions,” said the operator of the Eiffel Tower in a statement on Thursday. Police have also ordered about a dozen museums, including the Louvre and the Grand Palais, cultural sites such as the Opera and shops along the Champs-Élysées to close over fears of violence. “We cannot take the risk when we know the threat,” Franck Riester, the culture minister, told RTL radio. Several top-league football matches have also been cancelled.

As senior ministers sought to defuse public fury with conciliatory language on taxes, an official in Emmanuel Macron’s office risked provoking more anger by saying that intelligence suggested that some protesters would come to the capital “to vandalise and to kill”. ...

The finance minister, Bruno Le Maire, told a conference he was prepared to bring forward tax-cutting plans and that he wanted workers’ bonuses to be tax free. But he added: “In this case, it must go hand-in-hand with a decrease in spending.” He also said France would impose a tax on big internet firms in 2019 if there was no consensus on an EU-wide levy, seeking to appeal to anti-business sentiment among the protesters. ...

France’s hard-left CGT trade union on Thursday called on its energy industry workers to walk out for 48 hours from 13 December, saying it wanted to join forces with the gilets jaunes. ... Trouble is also brewing elsewhere for Macron. Teenage students blocked access to more than 200 high schools across the country on Thursday, burning garbage bins and setting a car alight in the western city of Nantes. Farmers, who have long complained that retailers are squeezing their margins and are furious over a delay to the planned rise in minimum food prices, and truckers are threatening to strike from Sunday.

“The Silence of Others”: New Film Warns Against Spain’s Fascist History Repeating Itself

Leading Senators Push Towards Deal Targeting Saudi Arabia Over Yemen

Efforts to advance a War Powers Act challenge to the Yemen War through the Senate continue apace, with Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) saying he believes the floor debate will begin on Monday.

As Congress never authorized the Yemen War, this resolution would demand the US end its support for the Saudi War. The soaring civilian death toll in the war was fueling this effort in Congress, and the Saudi murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi has brought even more to the side of ending support for the conflict.

There is negotiation underway within Congress for a series of combined deals, including a non-binding resolution saying the prince is complicit in the death of Khashoggi. The Yemen War vote is just one aspect of the moves on the Saudis, with Corker promising overall, the proposals will “have teeth.”

Ecuador says UK has given ‘guarantees’ for Assange to leave embassy

Ecuador has received written assurances from the UK government that it would not to extradite Julian Assange to any country where he would face the death penalty, the country’s president, Lenín Moreno, has said. In a live radio interview on Thursday, Moreno said that the WikiLeaks founder now had sufficient guarantees to leave Ecuador’s embassy in the UK, where he has lived under asylum since mid-2012.

Moreno told journalists he was talking to the UK government so it would “guarantee his life, and guarantee he wouldn’t be extradited to any country where his life would be in danger”. He added the UK would require Assange to complete a short jail term for breaching bail conditions.

The announcement comes as speculation mounts that the Australian activist’s six-year stay in the London embassy could be coming to a close. The appointment of a new ambassador Jaime Marchán in the London embassy this week is a sign that the government wants to resolve the problem, according to analysts in Quito.

Assange’s legal team has said it is considering how to respond, according to the Associated Press.

The Foreign Office did not deny a previous news report last month suggesting the home office had given written assurances to the Ecuadorean government that UK ministers would not allow Assange’s extradition to a country where he would face the death penalty. It is not clear if this assurance amounts to a commitment that the UK will not allow Assange’s extradition to the US at all – or whether it would allow extradition on condition that he would not face the death penalty. It is understood that the UK has also given assurances that Assange would not face more than six months in jail for related bail offences.

Trump aide's appearances on RT channel are focus for Russia inquiry

Robert Mueller is allegedly examining a Trump campaign adviser’s appearances on the Kremlin-controlled broadcaster RT, offering new hints about the investigation into possible collusion between Moscow and Donald Trump’s associates. Mueller’s investigators have asked Ted Malloch, the London-based American academic who is also close to Nigel Farage, about his frequent appearances on RT, which US intelligence authorities have called Russia’s principal propaganda arm. ...

Malloch disclosed that he was questioned about RT to his friend Jerome Corsi, a rightwing author who is himself a target of the investigation. “They thought maybe he was coordinating with Russia – and RT is Russia,” Corsi told the Guardian. Malloch denies any coordination.

Draft legal documents and visitor logs from Ecuador’s embassy in London, where Assange is based, show that RT staff met and interviewed Assange on the same day – 2 August 2016 – that Roger Stone, the self-described “dirty trickster” and longtime Trump associate who had previously bragged about having special access to WikiLeaks, was passed information about Assange’s plans.

The timing may be coincidental and is not clear evidence that RT shared information with Stone or others. RT denied sharing any information about its interview and said it was “ludicrous, baseless” to make any claim that information was passed from RT staff to Malloch or Corsi.

Putin voices support for Maduro as leader visits Moscow for financial aid

Vladimir Putin has voiced support for the Venezuelan leader, Nicolás Maduro, as he visited Moscow seeking financial assistance for the socialist country’s collapsing economy. At a meeting at Putin’s residence outside Moscow, the Russian president told Maduro: “We support your efforts to achieve mutual understanding in society and all your actions aimed at normalising relations with the opposition.” Putin added: “Naturally we condemn any actions that are clearly terrorist in nature, any attempts to change the situation by force.”

Hit by low oil prices, mismanagement and the impact of US sanctions, Venezuela is in freefall and Maduro is seeking support from allies after winning a second presidential term this year. ...

Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said ahead of the meeting that Maduro had travelled to Moscow specifically to ask Russia – itself the target of US sanctions – for financial assistance. “The talks will focus on the help that the Venezuelan leadership needs,” Peskov told reporters, declining to be more specific on how much Russia could lend. He said the economic situation in the Latin American country remained difficult but noted “signs of improving dynamics”.

Trump has already created a crisis for Mexico’s new president

Mexico’s new president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, rose to power on the promise that he would tackle the country’s rampant corruption and violence. That will have to wait, as he faces a more urgent matter: the migrant crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Thousands of migrants have arrived in the northern city of Tijuana in recent weeks, having trekked through Mexico as part of the caravans from Central America that began forming in October. Most of them have crowded into dirty makeshift shelters. Local officials have complained that they are unable to cover the cost, and humanitarian groups have warned of deteriorating conditions. Last week, UNICEF said it was “deeply concerned for the safety and wellbeing” of more than 1,000 migrant children in Mexico.

President Donald Trump has been at the center of the crisis, limiting the number of asylum seekers granted entry and putting the onus on Mexico to find a solution. For his part, Lopez Obrador, the veteran leftist who won in a landslide in the July election, has mostly taken a diplomatic tone with Trump. But a showdown between the two leaders is already brewing. While Trump has sent troops to the border to deter illegal crossings, Lopez Obrador has struck a more sympathetic tone. He has repeatedly called for fair treatment of migrants and acknowledged the desperate situations that many Central Americans are fleeing. And on Saturday, at his swearing-in ceremony, the veteran leftist leader spoke out against “coercive measures” on immigration.

The Trump administration is pressuring the Mexican government to accept a deal that would keep migrants in Mexico while they apply for asylum, breaking the established procedure of allowing asylum applicants into the U.S. as their claim is processed. Politicians in Mexico worry the proposal, known as “Remain in Mexico,” is already being practiced and could result in migrants waiting months or years at the border. Former Mexican congressman Agustin Barrios Gomez warned that illegal border crossings could spike as a result of such a policy.

'Good for the world'? Facebook emails reveal what really drives the site

The central mythos of Facebook is that what’s good for Facebook is good for the world. More sharing, more friends and more connection will “make the world more open and connected” and “bring the world closer together”, Mark Zuckerberg has argued, even as his company has been engulfed by scandal. But confidential emails, released Wednesday by the British Parliament, reveal the hardheaded business calculations that lurked beneath the feel-good image projected by Zuckerberg and Facebook.

“That may be good for the world, but it’s not good for us,” Zuckerberg wrote in a 2012 email about the possibility that developers would build applications that used data about Facebook users and their friends, but not provide any data back to Facebook. Zuckerberg’s assessment – that “sharing” was only valuable if people were sharing data with his company – was endorsed by Facebook’s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg, who responded, “I think the observation that we are trying to maximize sharing on facebook [sic], not just sharing in the world, is a critical one.”

The emails provide an uncommon window into the thinking of Zuckerberg and other Facebook executives as they sought revenue streams amid an industry-shaking shift from desktop to mobile computing. Executives considered charging developers fees to gain access to user data – something Facebook now claims it would never do – and discussed other schemes to leverage the company’s scale and vast troves of user data into revenue. At one point, Zuckerberg mused about how Facebook could mimic financial institutions as an “informational bank” whose assets were user’s personal information rather than money.

Amazon robot sets off bear repellant, putting 24 workers in hospital

Twenty-four employees at an Amazon warehouse in New Jersey were taken to hospital after a robot accidentally punctured a can of bear repellant. The 255g can containing concentrated capsaicin, a compound in chilli peppers, was punctured by an automated machine after it fell off a shelf, according to local media.

The incident happened on Wednesday at a warehouse in Robbinsville, New Jersey, on the outskirts of Trenton. ...

The incident has again shone a spotlight on conditions in Amazon’s warehouses, which have been criticised in the US and the UK for poor working practices and a focus on productivity above worker safety.

A Guardian investigation in June detailed multiple instances of workers left unable to work after injuries sustained in the warehouses, including the Robbinsville fulfilment centre.

Bernie Sanders: Concentrated Wealth is Concentrated Power

In 'Craven' Bait-and-Switch Attack on Workers, Michigan GOP Guts Minimum Wage and Sick Leave Proposals

Three months after ensuring that Michigan voters would not have a say in proposals to hike the state's minimum wage and provide sick leave to workers, the state's Republican-led Senate pushed through major changes to the initiatives on Tuesday, effectively gutting legislation that hundreds of thousands of Michigan residents had demanded.

Under the original minimum wage proposal, the state's minimum wage would have gone up from $9.25 to $12 per hour by 2022—but workers will have to wait until 2030 under the GOP's version of the bill. Tipped workers's wages will go up to only $4 from $3.52 per hour by that time under the Republican proposal.

The raise offered in the original proposal was meager compared to the reforms that Fight for 15 and other workers' rights groups advocate for. According to MIT, a single parent in Michigan needs to earn $23 per hour to make a living wage.

The paid sick leave proposal was supposed to allow workers to accrue an hour of paid sick leave after 30 hours of work, but the new version changes that to one hour after 40 hours. One million Michigan workers who work for the state's 162,000 small companies will also be exempt from the right to paid sick leave under the GOP's bill.


With Power to Kneecap Bold Demand, Incoming Democratic Tax Committee Chair Says Medicare for All 'Not Realistic'

As progressive House Democrats strategize and push for a vote on Medicare for All legislation as soon as possible, surging congressional and grassroots momentum for single-payer could soon run into a serious obstacle in the form of incoming Ways and Means Committee chair Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.), who has denounced Medicare for All as "not realistic" and will soon be in a position to tank healthcare plans that are unacceptable to his insurance industry donors.

"Neal will have near total control over what tax-related policies come to the House floor, including legislation that would create a Medicare for All healthcare system," noted investigative reporter Eoin Higgins in a piece for Sludge on Wednesday. "Having Neal at the helm of the committee, rather than a more progressive member, makes it much less likely that the House of Representatives will vote on universal healthcare measures."

As Higgins documents, Neal—who has served as the top Ways and Means Democrat since 2016—has received more insurance industry cash throughout his career than any other member of the incoming Congress, including Republicans. This fact may help explain his recent attacks on supporters of Medicare for All, who he recently called on to be more "calm" in their pursuit of bold solutions to America's deadly healthcare status quo.

"I think that there is an approach that is a little more incremental in nature," Neal said of his position on Medicare for All during an interview in August. "I understand aspiration... but the idea that overnight you're going to take 20 percent of the American economy and transform it is not realistic."



the horse race



With Deadline to Save Net Neutrality Days Away, Here Are the 18 Democrats Still Siding With Telecom Donors Over Open Internet

With just days to go before the Dec. 10 deadline to restore net neutrality protections, Fight for the Future on Wednesday launched a new website to pressure the 18 House Democrats who have yet to sign on to the congressional resolution that would overturn FCC chair Ajit Pai's deeply unpopular assault on the open internet.

The 18 House Democrats who still haven't signed on to the Congressional Review Act (CRA) measure to restore net neutrality protections are: Reps. Brandon Boyle (Pa.), Robert Brady (Pa.), G.K. Butterfield (N.C.), Matt Cartwright (Pa.), Jim Costa (Calif.), Henry Cueller (Texas), Dwight Evans (Pa.), Vicente Gonzalez (Texas), Josh Gottheimer (N.J.), Gene Green (Texas), Tom O'Halleran (Ariz.), Brad Schneider (Ill.), David Scott (Ga.), Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.), Filemon Vela (Texas), Pete Visclosky (Ind.), Frederica Wilson (Fla.), and Mary Gay Scanlon (Pa.).

Heh. DemoRat in the woodpile alert! This guy is so slick, he might be the next Obama.

Antonio Delgado Backed a Green New Deal on the Campaign Trail, but Hasn’t Since the Election

Antonio Delgado, the incoming representative from New York’s 19th District, hasn’t signed onto the “Green New Deal” yet. Yet during the height of his congressional campaign, he name-checked the program in front of voters and was tied to it in the media. In Delgado’s comments to the crowd at the League of Conservation Voters forum in August, he cited the Green New Deal in an inspirational dash of opening rhetoric, which positioned saving the environment as part of an American aspirational story. According to Delgado, transitioning to clean energy is not only the moral choice for the future, but an economically viable one. ...

Delgado’s use of the Green New Deal language at the August League of Conservation Voters forum didn’t sit well with Green Party candidate Steve Greenfield, who wasn’t invited to speak to voters at the event. The forum was packed, a turnout that underscored the importance of environmental issues to voters in the 19th. In a contemporaneous press release, Greenfield said that Delgado’s “opening statement was nearly word for word what Greenfield had been handing out on a leaflet on the sidewalk just before the event.” Greenfield told The Intercept on Sunday that Delgado hadn’t mentioned the Green New Deal again during the race. “It was a one-time mention,” said Greenfield, “in front of a specific audience.”

Now that he’s been elected to Congress, Delgado has the opportunity to deliver on the promise of the Green New Deal — but he has yet to take advantage of that opportunity. In an interview with the Cooperstown Crier on November 15, the incoming member of Congress hedged his language on the issue. ... That couched language and Delgado’s refusal thus far to endorse the program hasn’t stopped his name being tied to the legislation, however. In a number of news reports on the Green New Deal since the election, Delgado was referred to as a “Green New Deal candidate.” He got that treatment in a November 8 Reuters piece; a week later, he was mentioned as a member of the “Green New Deal Wing” of the Democratic Party in Consumer Affairs; and he has been linked to the program in publications like the Huffington Post, Daily Kos, and Common Dreams.

This misconception on Delgado’s positions isn’t unique to the Green New Deal. In June, the NPR radio program This American Life spent an hour profiling the race, focusing on one of Delgado’s primary opponents, the left-leaning Jeff Beals. Reporter Ben Calhoun found that voters in the district were unclear on Delgado’s views on “Medicare for All” — Delgado does not support it — and they believed that the then-candidate was for the legislation despite Delgado’s rejection of the popular progressive program in a primary debate.

Clinton Speaking Tour Huge Fail - Nobody Shows Up





the evening greens


'Brutal news': global carbon emissions jump to all-time high in 2018

Global carbon emissions will jump to a record high in 2018, according to a report, dashing hopes a plateau of recent years would be maintained. It means emissions are heading in the opposite direction to the deep cuts urgently needed, say scientists, to fight climate change. The rise is due to the growing number of cars on the roads and a renaissance of coal use and means the world remains on the track to catastrophic global warming. However, the report’s authors said the emissions trend can still be turned around by 2020, if cuts are made in transport, industry and farming emissions.

The research by the Global Carbon Project was launched at the UN climate summit in Katowice, Poland, where almost 200 nations are working to turn the vision of tackling climate change agreed in Paris in 2015 into action. The report estimates CO2 emissions will rise by 2.7% in 2018, sharply up on the plateau from 2014-16 and 1.6% rise in 2017.

Almost all countries are contributing to the rise, with emissions in China up 4.7%, in the US by 2.5% and in India by 6.3% in 2018. The EU’s emissions are near flat, but this follows a decade of strong falls. “The global rise in carbon emissions is worrying, because to deal with climate change they have to turn around and go to zero eventually,” said Prof Corinne Le Quéré, at the University of East Anglia,who led the research published in the journal Nature. “We are not seeing action in the way we really need to. This needs to change quickly.”

Sea levels may rise more rapidly due to Greenland ice melt

Rising sea levels could become overwhelming sooner than previously believed, according to the authors of the most comprehensive study yet of the accelerating ice melt in Greenland. Run-off from this vast northern ice sheet – currently the biggest single source of meltwater adding to the volume of the world’s oceans – is 50% higher than pre-industrial levels and increasing exponentially as a result of manmade global warming, says the paper, published in Nature on Wednesday.

Almost all of the increase has occurred in the past two decades – a jolt upwards after several centuries of relative stability. This suggests the ice sheet becomes more sensitive as temperatures go up. “Greenland ice is melting more in recent decades than at any point in at least the last four centuries, and probably more than at any time in the last seven to eight millennia,” said the lead author Luke Trusel, of Rowan University. “We demonstrate that Greenland ice is more sensitive to warming today than in the past – it responds non-linearly due to positive feedbacks inherent to the system. Warming means more today than it did even just a few decades ago.”

The researchers used ice core data from three locations to build the first multi-century record of temperature, surface melt and run-off in Greenland. Going back 339 years, they found the first sign of meltwater increase began along with the industrial revolution in the mid-1800s. The trend remained within the natural variation until the 1990s, since when it has spiked far outside of the usual nine- to 13-year cycles.

Greenland currently contributes about 20% of global sea-level rise, which is running at 4mm per year. This pace will probably double by the end of the century, according to the most recent models used by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. How the new study affects those projections will be the subjects of future study by the authors. If all the ice in Greenland melted, it would raise sea levels by seven metres. At the current pace that would take thousands of years, but the ongoing acceleration could bring this forward rapidly.

Luxembourg to become first country to make all public transport free

Luxembourg is set to become the first country in the world to make all its public transport free. Fares on trains, trams and buses will be lifted next summer under the plans of the re-elected coalition government led by Xavier Bettel, who was sworn in for a second term as prime minister on Wednesday. Bettel, whose Democratic party will form a government with the leftwing Socialist Workers’ party and the Greens, had vowed to prioritise the environment during the recent election campaign. On top of the transport pledge, the new government is also considering legalising cannabis, and introducing two new public holidays.

Luxembourg City, the capital of the small Grand Duchy, suffers from some of the worst traffic congestion in the world. It is home to about 110,000 people, but a further 400,000 commute into the city to work. A study suggested that drivers in the capital spent an average of 33 hours in traffic jams in 2016. While the country as a whole has 600,000 inhabitants, nearly 200,000 people living in France, Belgium and Germany cross the border every day to work in Luxembourg.



Also of Interest

Here are some articles of interest, some which defied fair-use abstraction.

Don’t Do Anything About Climate Disaster, USA Today Warns Dems

Lost lands? The American wilderness at risk in the Trump era

MSM Is Getting Weirder, More Frantic, And More Desperate By The Day

Iceland's "Anti-Trump" Prime Minister Joins Sanders-Varoufakis Open Call for Global Progressive Alliance

Student Loan Giant Navient Responds to Allegations of Abuse With a Bizarre Subpoena of a Former Federal Official

Trump’s Timidity is Letting Comey Off the Hook

The Bushes’ ‘Death Squads’


A Little Night Music


Lee Shot Williams - When You Move You Lose

Lee Shot Williams - I'm Trying

Lee Shot Williams - You're welcome to the club

Lee Shot Williams - I Like Your Style

Lee "Shot" Williams - Hold Me, Hold Me, Hold Me

Lee Shot Williams - I'm In Love

Lee 'Shot' Williams - The Love You Save

Lee Shot Williams - I Hurt Myself

Lee Shot Williams - Mark My Words

Lee Shot Williams - Get Some Order



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Comments

WindDancer13's picture

... would not to extradite Julian Assange to any country where he would face the death penalty,

How about guaranteeing they will not extradite him anywhere?

Meanwhile, I had to go to look at old pictures of Al Gore as I really did not recognize him when I first started watching the following.

Other thoughts:
It is good that Trump recognizes that he does not have a diplomatic bone in his body. Unlike many previous presidents, he ran away from Putin at the G-20 rather than challenge him regarding his recent actions. In fact, he used Putin's actions as an excuse not to meet with him. Coward or bought?

My latest favorite news station: FRANCE 24 Live – International Breaking News & Top stories - 24/7 stream

Thanks for the news, Joe.

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9 users have voted.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.--Aristotle
If there is no struggle there is no progress.--Frederick Douglass

joe shikspack's picture

@WindDancer13

yep, i agree, there's far too much wiggle room in lenin moreno's statement that can allow improper outcomes. on the other hand, moreno is only looking for plausible deniability, where most decent people are looking for an ironclad guarantee that assange's human rights (and others including his occupational rights as a journalist) will be fully respected.

i lean towards answering coward, with the caveat that not only does trump not have a diplomatic bone in his body, but he would not be able to muster the personal discipline to maintain a strategy (particularly one that requires him to button his lip) to save his worthless life.

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7 users have voted.
WindDancer13's picture

@joe shikspack

but threw bought in there for comradeship. = )

I am thinking that Trump should be invited to appear but not speak at more events (eg. the recent funeral).

I do not know all the ins and outs of it, but would giving Assange diplomatic immunity work for helping him leave the embassy?

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3 users have voted.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.--Aristotle
If there is no struggle there is no progress.--Frederick Douglass

joe shikspack's picture

@WindDancer13

well, giving assange diplomatic immunity was tried out under the previous ecuadorian government, but the u.k. refused to accept it and continued its threats to capture and possibly extradite assange should he step foot out of the embassy.

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7 users have voted.
WindDancer13's picture

@joe shikspack

I did not know that. Okay, one last hope. Obama would have been the one to start the process against Assange, right? Someone needs to tell Trump there is another thing of Obama's that he can throw out.

Oh, sorry, must have fallen asleep and dreamed that.

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5 users have voted.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.--Aristotle
If there is no struggle there is no progress.--Frederick Douglass

Pluto's Republic's picture

@WindDancer13

Unlike many previous presidents, he ran away from Putin at the G-20 rather than challenge him regarding his recent actions.

What took place, exactly, that is different from all other waterfront nations that orchestrate narrow passage and bridge navigation through their waters? All other nations require advance notice and use 'pilots' for this type of passage and/or docking — from San Francisco to Hong Kong, and from the Panama Canal to New York. Why would Putin be challenged over this global protocol for passage below the newly opened Kerch Strait Bridge?

American propaganda. Americans bamboozled again.

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6 users have voted.
WindDancer13's picture

@Pluto's Republic

the excuse that Trump used regarding the Ukrainian ships and sailors. He said that he would reschedule the meeting once the situation was resolved. Many past presidents (probably have to look to at least 50 or so years ago) would have had the meeting and used diplomacy to bring about a peaceful resolution (even if the whole incident was made up).

Basically what my remarks boil down to beyond other things he does, Trump is not fulfilling his role as president. He wanted a huge Soviet-style military parade, but has not been to see the troops yet.

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4 users have voted.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.--Aristotle
If there is no struggle there is no progress.--Frederick Douglass

Pluto's Republic's picture

@WindDancer13

...which was ushered out by the Neoliberals and Neocons. Trump doesn't know what he's about. He's surrounded himself with brain-damaged generals, self-absorbed know-nothings, and thoroughly corrupt saboteurs. And the high-level Democrats are made of the same stuff.

Now that the world got to see behind the curtain, let's hope they move on and stop feeding the beast.

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4 users have voted.
zoebear's picture

Raining here in Southern California for the second day. Real rain. Not the drizzly kind of rain we usually have. Dark and gray at 1pm in the afternoon. Wish I didn't have to go out and could snuggle up with the kitties underneath my comforter and watch movies instead.

US corporations are expected to spend a record $1 trillion on stock buybacks this year, according to Goldman Sachs, up 46 percent from 2017

Speaking of plagues...these fucking assholes can't seem to pile the money into their obscene bank accounts fast enough.

No humanity. Just Animality.

Ugh.

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11 users have voted.

Soldier: What? Ridden on a horse?
King Arthur: Yes!
Soldier: You're using coconuts!
King Arthur: What?
Soldier: You've got two empty halves of a coconut and you're bangin' 'em together.

QMS's picture

@zoebear
Where the grass don't grow in the nether regions. Greedy fuchs.

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9 users have voted.

Listen to your higher mind.

joe shikspack's picture

@zoebear

glad to hear that you are getting rain. i'm sure that water will be helpful in socal so long as it doesn't cause mudslides.

a plague of bankers. yes, that does sound like the right terminology to describe a group of the bastards.

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5 users have voted.
zoebear's picture

@joe shikspack

I thought the word fit much better to describe the economic raping the bankers inflict on the rest of us then applying it to the yellow vests like that idiotic French Bureaucrat did.

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4 users have voted.

Soldier: What? Ridden on a horse?
King Arthur: Yes!
Soldier: You're using coconuts!
King Arthur: What?
Soldier: You've got two empty halves of a coconut and you're bangin' 'em together.

lotlizard's picture

@zoebear  
as party chair of Germany’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU). (Merkel still intends to hold on to the chancellorship until 2021.)

Friedrich Merz’s Wikipedia article says:

Upon leaving politics, Merz has worked as a corporate lawyer. His work as a lawyer has made him a multimillionaire.[11] He has taken on numerous positions on corporate boards, including the following: [list of fifteen board memberships]

 
These board memberships include the American global investment company BlackRock (with $6.29 trillion in assets).

The Atlanticist elites over here usually connive to get the German public to worship every American president. Trump is the glaring exception; the elites hate him and have portrayed him in such a way that most of the German public does the same.

Real-estate developer? Contemptible! Corporate lawyer? Ethically spotless!

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8 users have voted.
janis b's picture

@lotlizard

I truly hope Germany finds it’s equilibrium again. It seems so fleeting.

He looks a little lifeless in that wiki photo of him. I hope the voting population sees it.

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5 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

Literally Just Me Yelling At People For Their Garbage Takes On Bush’s Eulogy

Nobody needs to give them credit for jack shit, you partisan hack. The fact that they invited your president and the McCains didn’t is a petty distinction which doesn’t reverse the unfathomable suffering this evil family has unleashed upon our world. No matter how many pieces of candy Bush gives to Michelle Obama, no matter how many tears he sheds for his dad, no matter how much you mass media pundits babble about unity and togetherness, the people who were killed by both Bush administrations are still dead, and their Orwellian surveillance programs and military expansionism are still getting worse by the year. There is no amount of patriotic performances which will undo that fact. George W Bush will always be the man who murdered a million human beings and made the world far darker than it was before he took office.

"I dream of a healthy future where George W Bush is unable to enter a room without being greeted by an avalanche of shoes thrown at his head."

Ditto.

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13 users have voted.

Disclaimer: No Russian, living or dead, had anything to do with the posting of this proudly home-grown comment

joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

meanwhile, still today i can't turn on national propaganda radio in the car without hearing some moron verbally fumigating the corpse of bush the elder.

yuk!

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7 users have voted.
shaharazade's picture

@snoopydawg "Nobody needs to give them credit for jack shit, you partisan hack." I read her daily on Facebook and enjoy her takes on US politics and any other topic she decides to mouth off on. Incrementalism is a scam. This is not an economy it's the biggest scam. Hey I like those French Parisians getting out there and shaking it up. Who gives a rat's ass about this farce of an economy, other then those of us who are heavily invested in keeping the scam going.

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10 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@shaharazade

I think this was one of her best. She held nothing back for how she feels about the silly spectacle of honor such a hideous war criminal by numerous other war criminals.

Did you read the tweets and the responses to them? More gobbly-gook from people who have no clue about the things that Bush 1 & 2 did. But then most of them probably don't realize what #2 did to our freedoms.

Saw a tweet this morning about how the Dutch have started to protest against some treaty recently passed. I think it's on RT. Lots of cars were not only burning, but exploding too.

Good to see you commenting again. How's your other half?

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10 users have voted.

Disclaimer: No Russian, living or dead, had anything to do with the posting of this proudly home-grown comment

zoebear's picture

@snoopydawg

But why limit ourselves to GWB? This should be our response to everyone of those contemptible assholes every time they open up their pie holes and spout out their fucking bullshit.

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6 users have voted.

Soldier: What? Ridden on a horse?
King Arthur: Yes!
Soldier: You're using coconuts!
King Arthur: What?
Soldier: You've got two empty halves of a coconut and you're bangin' 'em together.

snoopydawg's picture

@zoebear

We do a good job here reminding people of the war crimes committed by the people who are in the news, but how to make others see that people like Obama and Hillary, the darlings of the democrats are war criminals?

Robert Parry wrote this about George 2 in 2005.

By refusing to admit personal misjudgments on Iraq, George W. Bush instead is pushing the United States toward becoming what might be called a permanent “counter-terrorist” state, which uses torture, cross-border death squads and even collective punishments to defeat perceived enemies in Iraq and around the world.

Since securing a second term, Bush has pressed ahead with this hard-line strategy, in part by removing dissidents inside his administration while retaining or promoting his protégés. Bush also has started prepping his younger brother Jeb as a possible successor in 2008, which could help extend George W.’s war policies while keeping any damaging secrets under the Bush family’s control.

The plan was for Jeb to continue the family tradition of committing war crimes. Grandpa Prescott was very supportive of Hitler's war crimes. So much in fact that he wanted to bring them here after he threw Roosevelt out of office.

Good lord. The Bush family is responsible for countless numbers of people who died horrific deaths because of their policies. The more I learn the more I understand what Caitlin is saying.

Heh ... look at who was blamed.

The Reagan-Bush administration justified its actions in Central America by portraying the popular uprisings as an attempt by the Soviet Union to establish a beachhead in the Americas to threaten the U.S. southern border.

Russia Russia Russia .... poor Russia

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9 users have voted.

Disclaimer: No Russian, living or dead, had anything to do with the posting of this proudly home-grown comment

Bollox Ref's picture

but the idea that overnight you're going to take 20 percent of the American economy and transform it is not realistic."

Vote Democrat, Vote Incrementalism! One century (don't know when, don't care, I'll be dead), your descendants might have what everyone else had 200 years ago.

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11 users have voted.

Gëzuar!!
from a reasonably stable genius.

joe shikspack's picture

@Bollox Ref

it's statements like that which make one mourn the passing of the great american tradition of tarring and feathering.

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9 users have voted.
Bollox Ref's picture

@joe shikspack

Clement Attlee's Labour government transformed British health care.... three years after a bankrupting world war.

But the US can't do it. Sad.

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11 users have voted.

Gëzuar!!
from a reasonably stable genius.

joe shikspack's picture

@Bollox Ref

america has always been claimed to be a special nation. i guess they just forgot the quotes, as in "special" nation.

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9 users have voted.
Bollox Ref's picture

@joe shikspack

not to get at you Joe, just the sorry state of the 21st C.

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6 users have voted.

Gëzuar!!
from a reasonably stable genius.

dystopian's picture

Glad to see Putin talking with Maduro. Moreno sounds a little greasy on this.
Heartbreaking to see tickets for the Clinton Grift tour going for less than
I paid to see the Stones in '72 (Exile tour with Mick Taylor). Not really.
The last few years on the SST (sea surface temp) maps, what did people think
that big below average blue cold spot below southern greenland was??? People
don't understand the concept of tipping points, the straw that broke the camel's
back, how only a little tiny bit of air makes the balloon pop. So the verge
of runaway climate change we sit on they are oblivious to. Ignorance is bliss.

Thanks for the blues, gooduns.

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8 users have voted.

We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
both - Albert Einstein

@dystopian 'On the Verge' ?
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=_9nzANL_yAY&feature=youtu.be
Almost thirty years ago now, true as ever.
Thanks Gord/Fellas.

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4 users have voted.

Ya got to be a Spirit, cain't be no Ghost. . .

lotlizard's picture

their arms above their heads. Macron’s interior ministry is charging them with being part of an armed gathering.

There has been a wave of school occupations across the country, in support of the gilets jaunes or “yellow vests” movement.

https://www.liberation.fr/france/2018/12/06/a-mantes-la-jolie-des-dizain...

https://www.nouvelobs.com/societe/20181207.OBS6727/mantes-la-jolie-cette...

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7 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@lotlizard

Or were they the ones who set the cars on fire? The French lessons I took in high school have worn off. I'm thinking that more people in other countries are going to be doing some protesting. Just what will it take for people here to get fed up enough and start doing it here?

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5 users have voted.

Disclaimer: No Russian, living or dead, had anything to do with the posting of this proudly home-grown comment

lotlizard's picture

@snoopydawg  
part of the same “gathering” (or “mob”) as whoever did it, and thus complicit.

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5 users have voted.
mimi's picture

@snoopydawg
that folks can't feed themselves and their kids and have any sort of shelter to put their bodies in and stay warm, when folks fear that such a situation is very probable and unavoidable for them to get into, they protest. They have reached the lines that "the funding folks" are always eager to make them cross and abuse them and categorize them as "mob".

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5 users have voted.
mimi's picture

uprising in France article which mentioned that every French driver has a yellow vest in his car in their security tool box and how that was crucial to start a leaderless, unfunded and non-co-opted demo messing with folks, who could have 'financed' their making noise the 'right way', made me now go to look what kind of vests Germans have in their cars with their safety tools. I think our vests are orange, and that causes me to have an allergic itching color conflict. But first I have to look if our vests are real orange ... Smile

High visibility vests required by Germany July 1

I agree with the one, who said that your posts from France24 are often helpful to untwist one's mind. I like them a lot as well.

Sorry, I can't contribute something more useful, I am just feeling I have to accept my limited capabilities.

Thanks for the EB. As always. I cling to the rescue 'balizas'(? German Boje) every night.

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2 users have voted.