The Evening Blues - 12-11-18



eb1pt12


The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: T-Bone Walker


Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features blues guitarist T-Bone Walker. Enjoy!

T Bone Walker - T Bone Shuffle

“Thus did a handful of rapacious citizens come to control all that was worth controlling in America. Thus was the savage and stupid and entirely inappropriate and unnecessary and humorless American class system created. Honest, industrious, peaceful citizens were classed as bloodsuckers, if they asked to be paid a living wage. And they saw that praise was reserved henceforth for those who devised means of getting paid enormously for committing crimes against which no laws had been passed. Thus the American dream turned belly up, turned green, bobbed to the scummy surface of cupidity unlimited, filled with gas, went bang in the noonday sun.”

-- Kurt Vonnegut


News and Opinion

Capitalism at its finest:

DuPont Has Spread Its Pollution Around the World. Now It Wants to Filter Your Contaminated Drinking Water.

Dupont opened a actory in Saudi Arabia last week that will produce reverse osmosis water filters. The filters use ultra-thin membranes to remove water impurities, including PFAS — chemicals made and used by DuPont that have caused widespread water contamination around the world. Reverse osmosis is one of the technologies that the Environmental Protection Agency recommends for reducing water contamination from PFAS chemicals, which are associated with cancers, immune dysfunction, reproductive issues, and other health problems. According to the agency’s website, reverse osmosis “membranes are typically more than 90 percent effective at removing a wide range of PFAS, including shorter chain PFAS.”

DuPont Water Solutions, a division of DowDuPont that focuses on water filtration, opened the plant with a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Jubail, Saudi Arabia, on December 3. “Milestone achievement improves direct access to potable and industrial water solutions,” announced a DuPont press release about the plant, which is expected to begin production early next year. ...

Al Telsey, an attorney suing DuPont over massive contamination from PFOA and more than 1,000 other chemicals in New Jersey, is one of the many people contending with PFAS contamination from DuPont who may be more focused on the company’s role putting the chemicals into water than removing them. “These guys are polluters, not water cleaners,” said Telsey, who nevertheless acknowledged the business acumen involved in getting into the filtration business. “DuPont has learned the art of making money coming and going,” said Telsey. “They profited off the environmental contamination and now can profit on cleaning it up. It’s quite a feat.”

"Too little, too late," say some Yellow Vests after Macron's speech

Gilets jaunes protests continue despite Macron concessions

Protests and road barricades at roundabouts and toll-booths across France have continued, as many gilets jaunes demonstrators said concessions made by the French president, Emmanuel Macron, were not enough to calm their anger and sense of social injustice.

Anti-government demonstrators have called for further demonstrations in Paris on Saturday, after four weekends of protests saw rioting in the French capital and other cities and plunged France’s centrist president into his worst crisis in office. ...

It was difficult to assess the full reaction of the gilets jaunes, a grassroots citizens’ movement with no leader or fixed structure.Jacline Mouraud, a self-employed Breton woman who had been among the first demonstrators, called for a truce and said she felt gains had been made and a “door had opened” for discussion. But many gilets jaunes on the barricades said the distrust of Macron was now so high that the protests would not stop. At a roundabout in the southern town of Le Boulou, a car mechanic who was protesting said: “We can see that he isn’t sincere, that it’s all smoke and mirrors.” Another gilet jaune in the north, who asked not to be named, told AFP it was too, little too late and Macron was “putting plasters on a third-degree burn”.

Blockades continued on roads from Brittany to the south of France on Monday night and Tuesday morning. One group even bricked up the entrance of the local government office in Mont-de-Marsan in south-west France shortly after Macron’s speech. High-school and university students also continued their blockades and strikes over school and university reforms on Tuesday.

Macron’s speech and concessions on Monday night were above all aimed at the general public, which has massively supported the gilets jaunes – with a majority of French people agreeing with the feeling of injustice and an unfair tax system in France. Macron sought to try to win back the general public and lessen support for the protesters. A poll for LCI taken after Macron’s speech found 64% of the public still supported the gilets jaunes, but 54% thought the street protests should stop. The poll found that just under half of French people were won over by Macron’s speech.

Students rally against education reforms in France

Macron keeps folding to the yellow vest protesters — but it might not be enough

French President Emmanuel Macron announced a string of emergency economic giveaways Monday in the hope of ending the monthlong yellow vest protests. ... The key question now is whether Macron’s concessions will be enough to avert a so-called “Act V”, a repeat on Saturday of the violent protests that have roiled Paris and other major cities in recent weeks. ...

The sprawling yellow vests movement has no formal leadership structure and was unable to make a unified response to Macron’s concessions. But initial indications from yellow vests spokespeople were that they were underwhelmed.

Jeremy Clément, one representative for the movement, said the proposals were “crumbs,” although like many other yellow vests he saw them as a “start.” “We can’t be content with a 100 euros rise [in minimum wage],” he said. Many other yellow vest activists vowed to keep up their roadblocks, and on Tuesday, large student strikes continued across the country.

Meanwhile, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, leader of the far-left France Insoumise party, called for a repeat of protests on Saturday. He said Macron’s measures did nothing for the unemployed, students, part-timers and other groups. “Faced with the indignation of the people at inequality, and the refusal of some to contribute like the others, he thinks that a distribution of money can calm the citizen insurrection,” Mélenchon said, adding that he thought next Saturday would be a day of “great mobilization.”

Macron's 'Yellow Vest' measures : who will foot the bill?

Is Kushner Covering for Bin Salman Murder Charge so Israel can Usurp Palestinian West Bank?

The New York Times (h/t Mother Jones) has reported from one Saudi source and several sources in US intelligence that Jared Kushner has been corresponding over Whatsapp with Saudi crown prince and world-renowned axe murderer, Mohammed Bin Salman. Kushner, the Times reporting concludes has “offered the crown prince advice about how to weather the storm, urging him to resolve his conflicts around the region and avoid further embarrassments.” ...

Kushner famously made a relationship with Bin Salman when he was still third in line to the throne, in spring of 2017, and may have tried to pull strings for his friend so as to slip him into the position of crown prince in summer of 2017. Kushner has stood with Bin Salman through a whole series of crimes, including extorting $100 bn from some 200 fellow princes and his Yemen war that has resulted in starving 85,000 Yemeni children to death. And now the advice to “weather the storm” of being caught red-handed murdering Khashoggi.

Journalism focuses on personalities and often depicts Kushner as a lonely young man eager to have a Saudi BFF. But Israeli journalist Michael Bachner at The Times of Israel has proposed a structural explanation for the link: Bin Salman is using his willingness to throw the Palestinians under the bus as a way of bonding with Kushner and getting the latter’s support in the Trump White House. ...

Bin Salman told a group of Jewish Americans in New York that he doesn’t care about the Palestinians. There is in fact no good evidence that he cares about anyone at all aside from himself and a couple of cronies. Bin Salman wants to do a deal with Israel whereby it is recognized by the Gulf Cooperation Council states, just as it was recognized by Egypt and Jordan. But as with Egypt, which negotiated a separate peace with Israel and the US that left the Palestinians in the lurch, Bin Salman is perfectly willing to trade his own security as crown prince for the 5 million or so Occupied and stateless Palestinians. Hence Kushner’s unwavering support for the crown prince, said to be the most vocal and steadfast in the White House.

Anti-Russian Hysteria Makes Americans Stupid

Venezuela welcomes Russian bombers in show of support for Maduro

Russia has landed two nuclear-capable “Blackjack” bombers in Venezuela as part of a joint training exercise experts say is designed to showcase Moscow’s growing military prowess and shore up the position of Venezuela’s embattled president, Nicolás Maduro. The Tu-160 planes touched down at the Simón Bolívar international airport near Caracas on Monday morning, according to Venezuelan state media.

Russia’s defence ministry said the strategic bombers – used during the country’s campaign in Syria – were part of a larger fleet also including an An-124 military transport plane and an Il-62 passenger jet that had flown more than 10,000km to Venezuela.

Venezuela’s defence minister, Vladimir Padrino López, said the arrival of the aircraft for joint manoeuvres was not intended as a provocation. “We are makers of peace, not war,” he was quoted as saying by the state broadcaster Venezolana de Televisión (VTV). ...

However, specialists say the move – which follows a three-day visit to Moscow by Maduro last week – is designed to signal to Washington that Caracas is not without international support. Earlier this month the US defense secretary, James Mattis, described Maduro as an irresponsible despot who was leading his country into ruin and would ultimately “have to go”.

Last year Donald Trump told reporters there were “many options” to resolve the Venezuelan crisis, before adding: “And by the way, I’m not going to rule out a military option.”

Worth a read:

The Pentagon’s Massive Accounting Fraud Exposed

On November 15, Ernst & Young and other private firms that were hired to audit the Pentagon announced that they could not complete the job. Congress had ordered an independent audit of the Department of Defense, the government’s largest discretionary cost center—the Pentagon receives 54 cents out of every dollar in federal appropriations—after the Pentagon failed for decades to audit itself. The firms concluded, however, that the DoD’s financial records were riddled with so many bookkeeping deficiencies, irregularities, and errors that a reliable audit was simply impossible. ...

As Republican Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa, a frequent critic of the DoD’s financial practices, said on the Senate floor in September 2017, the Pentagon’s long-standing failure to conduct a proper audit reflects “twenty-six years of hard-core foot-dragging” on the part of the DoD, where “internal resistance to auditing the books runs deep.” In 1990, Congress passed the Chief Financial Officers Act, which required all departments and agencies of the federal government to develop auditable accounting systems and submit to annual audits. Since then, every department and agency has come into compliance — except the Pentagon.

For decades, the DoD’s leaders and accountants have been perpetrating a gigantic, unconstitutional accounting fraud, deliberately cooking the books to mislead the Congress and drive the DoD’s budgets ever higher, regardless of military necessity. DoD has literally been making up numbers in its annual financial reports to Congress—representing trillions of dollars’ worth of seemingly nonexistent transactions—knowing that Congress would rely on those misleading reports when deciding how much money to give the DoD the following year, according to government records and interviews with current and former DoD officials, congressional sources, and independent experts.

The fraud works like this. When the DoD submits its annual budget requests to Congress, it sends along the prior year’s financial reports, which contain fabricated numbers. The fabricated numbers disguise the fact that the DoD does not always spend all of the money Congress allocates in a given year. However, instead of returning such unspent funds to the US Treasury, as the law requires, the Pentagon sometimes launders and shifts such moneys to other parts of the DoD’s budget. ...

So here’s the situation: We have a Pentagon budget that a former DOD internal-audit supervisor, Jack Armstrong, bluntly labels “garbage.” We have a Congress unable to evaluate each new fiscal year’s proposed Pentagon budget because it cannot know how much money was actually spent during prior years. And we have a Department of Defense that gives only lip service to fixing any of this. Why should it? The status quo has been generating ever-higher DoD budgets for decades, not to mention bigger profits for Boeing, Lockheed, and other military contractors. The losers in this situation are everyone else. The Pentagon’s accounting fraud diverts many billions of dollars that could be devoted to other national needs: health care, education, job creation, climate action, infrastructure modernization, and more. Indeed, the Pentagon’s accounting fraud amounts to theft on a grand scale—theft not only from America’s taxpayers, but also from the nation’s well-being and its future.

Oops! US taxpayers paid for refueling of Saudi jets bombing Yemen due to 'accounting error'

Wall Street's Corruption Runs Deeper Than You Can Fathom

Of the myriad policy decisions that have brought us to our current precipice, from the signing of the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to the invasion of Iraq and the gerrymandering of House districts across the country, few have proven as consequential as the demise of Glass-Steagall. Signed into law as the U.S.A. Banking Act of 1933, the legislation had been crucial to safeguarding the financial industry in the wake of the Great Depression. But with its repeal in 1999, the barriers separating commercial and investment banking collapsed, creating the preconditions for an economic crisis from whose shadow we have yet to emerge.

Carmen Segarra might have predicted as much. As an employee at the Federal Reserve in 2011, three years after the dissolution of Lehman Brothers, she witnessed the results of this deregulation firsthand. In her new book, “Noncompliant: A Lone Whistleblower Exposes the Giants of Wall Street,” she chronicles the recklessness of institutions like Goldman Sachs and the stunning lengths the United States government went to to accommodate them, even as they authored one of the worst crashes in our nation’s history.

“They didn’t want to hear what I had to say,” she tells Robert Scheer in the latest installment of “Scheer Intelligence.” “And so I think what we have in terms of this story is really not just a failure of the banks and the regulators, but also a failure of our prosecutors. I mean, a lot of the statutes that could be used—criminal statutes, even, that could be used to hold these executives accountable are not being used, and they have not expired; we could have prosecutors holding these people accountable.”

Segarra also explains why she decided to blow the whistle on the Fed, and what she ultimately hopes to accomplish by telling her story. “I don’t like to let the bad guys win,” she says. “I’d rather go down swinging. So for me, I saw it as an opportunity to do my civic duty and rebuild my life. … I was very lucky to be blessed by so many people who I shared the story to, especially lawyers who were so concerned about what I was reporting, who thought that the Federal Reserve was above this, who thought that the government would not fail us after the financial crisis, and who were livid.”

“Noncompliant” explores one of the darkest chapters in modern American history, but with a crook and unabashed narcissist occupying the Oval Office, its lessons are proving remarkably timely. “We live in a culture where we reward bad behavior, we worship bad behavior, and it’s something that needs to stop,” she cautions. “Changing the regulatory culture on [a] U.S. governmental level is something that’s going to take a decade, maybe two. And we need to start now, before things get worse.”

IMF warns storm clouds are gathering for next financial crisis

The storm clouds of the next global financial crisis are gathering despite the world financial system being unprepared for the next downturn, the deputy head of the International Monetary Fund has warned. David Lipton, the first deputy managing director of the IMF, said that “crisis prevention is incomplete” more than a decade on from the last meltdown in the global banking system. ...

Lipton said individual nation states alone would lack the firepower to combat the next recession, while calling on governments to work together to tackle the issues that could spark another crash. “We ought to be concerned about the potency of monetary policy,” he said of the ability of the US Federal Reserve and other central banks to cut interest rates to boost the economy in the event of another downturn, while also warning that high levels of government borrowing constrained their scope for cutting taxes and raising spending. ...

Speaking to an audience at Bloomberg in London, Christine Lagarde’s deputy called on China to take urgent steps to open up its economy to global competition. Against a backdrop of Donald Trump engaging in a bitter trade dispute with Beijing, he said China needed to lower trade barriers, while also impose tougher rules to protect intellectual property – a key complaint of the US president.

Keiser Report: Predatory Lending As The Way to Respectability

Rights Groups Turn Up Pressure on Google Over China Censorship Ahead of Congressional Hearing

Google is facing a renewed wave of criticism from human rights groups over its controversial plan to launch a censored search engine in China. A coalition of more than 60 leading groups from countries across the world have joined forces to blast the internet giant for failing to address concerns about the secretive China project, known as Dragonfly. They come from countries including China, the United States, the United Kingdom, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, France, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Norway, Pakistan, Palestine, Romania, Syria, Tibet, and Vietnam. ...

If the plan proceeds, “there is a real risk that Google would directly assist the Chinese government in arresting or imprisoning people simply for expressing their views online, making the company complicit in human rights violations,” the human rights groups wrote in a letter that will be sent to Google’s leadership on Tuesday.

The letter highlights mounting anger and frustration within the human rights community that Google has rebuffed concerns about Dragonfly, concerns that have been widely raised both inside and outside the company since The Intercept first revealed the plan in August. The groups say in their 900-word missive that Google’s China strategy is “reckless,” piling pressure on CEO Sundar Pichai, who is due to appear Tuesday before the House Judiciary Committee, where he will likely face questions on Dragonfly.

Migrant teens are being physically blocked from applying for asylum

A Honduran teenager walked up the sidewalk to a Border Patrol agent at the Otay Mesa Point of Entry in Tijuana. “I am afraid for my safety and want asylum,” he said. Seven more boys — aged 15 to 17 — stood behind him waiting to do the same. To their left, a long line of cars inched forward slowly, the drivers waiting their turn to pass into San Diego. It was only 7:30 p.m. but already pitch-dark. On the advice of their lawyers, the boys had come at night to avoid pedestrian traffic, and, they hoped, Mexican officials.

“Back up,” the U.S. agents said, as they formed a line blocking entry into the gated area that marked American soil. The agents said they had no capacity to accept asylum seekers and the kids had to go elsewhere.

Every year, thousands of children and teenagers traveling alone from Central America have turned themselves in to agents along the Southwest border and asked for asylum. Even as the number of overall asylum claims surged in recent years — generating a waitlist of more than 5,000 people in Tijuana alone — unaccompanied children generally skipped the list and were allowed to enter the U.S. and seek protection. But now, some are being stopped by U.S. Border Patrol agents and carted off by Mexican officials, without receiving any kind of due process.

“In telling asylum-seeking minors to ‘back up’ off U.S. territory and physically blocking their access to the port of entry, the United States is violating national and international law,” said Anna Joseph, an attorney with the Mexico City-based Institute for Women in Migration who accompanied the teenagers to the border last week. By forcing them back, border agents were effectively preventing the boys from legally seeking asylum in the U.S. They said because the boys were on Mexican territory that Mexican police had the right to deal with them however they wanted, including arresting them for loitering.

'Appalling' video shows NYPD officers wrenching baby from mother’s arms

A video of New York police officers wrenching a baby from his mother’s arms has sparked outrage and an investigation by the NYPD. The video shows the woman lying on the floor of a Brooklyn benefits office as several officers struggle to arrest her and remove the one-year-old boy from her arms, as she cries out, “You’re hurting my son.” At one point, an officer pulls out a Taser and waves it at a crowd of onlookers objecting to the police actions. Eventually the woman, 23-year-old Jazmine Headley, is dragged to her feet and removed in handcuffs.

The scuffle broke out on Friday afternoon at a Brooklyn office of the city human resources administration, which administers welfare benefits in the city. There were no seats available, so the mother sat on the floor in a corner, according to witness Monae Sinclair, who posted the video on Facebook. A security guard told her to stand, and when she refused, called police. “She had her baby in her hands the whole time,” Sinclair wrote. ...

Headley remains locked up on Rikers Island, charged with criminal trespassing, resisting arrest, acting in a manner injurious to a child, and obstruction of governmental administration.

The Brooklyn borough president, Eric Adams, a former NYPD captain, plans to visit the HRA office on Monday and call for the charges to be dropped. “Something’s terribly wrong when the most well-trained police department can’t resolve a dispute with a mother and child without looking like @RealDonaldTrump‘s southern border strategy,” he said. “We must do better.”

The NYPD in a statement called the incident “troubling”.

Charlottesville: jury to recommend sentence for James Fields

A man convicted of first-degree murder for driving his car into counterprotesters at a white nationalist rally in Virginia faces 20 years to life in prison as jurors reconvene to consider his punishment.

James Alex Fields Jr was convicted last week of first-degree murder and other charges for ramming his car into a crowd in Charlottesville on 12 August 2017.

Fields’ lawyers were scheduled to present their own witnesses during the sentencing hearing on Monday afternoon. The panel that convicted Fields Jr will hear more evidence on Monday before recommending a sentence for Judge Richard Moore.

Progressives on parade:

Democrats Watering Down Single Payer Bill

Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (D-Washington) is the new lead sponsor of HR 676, the gold standard single payer bill in the House.

Unfortunately, Jayapal has been working behind closed doors to water down the bill.

Jayapal is changing HR 676 in substantive ways that would, among other things, keep for-profit hospitals at the center of a new Medicare for All system. (The gold standard HR 676 calls for the conversion of for-profit hospitals to non-profit status financed by issuing bonds.)

Jayapal is refusing to reveal her draft and plans to introduce it in the new year.



the horse race



The Remarkable Tale of the Corporate Lobbyist Sworn In as a Temporary U.S. Senator

Late last month, two former policymakers and lobbyists teamed up for an op-ed in the Washington Post. It was, as the genre goes, fairly mundane: a description of a problem or a threat, and a prescription that just happens to benefit a particular corporate sector that the lobbyists just might have an interest in benefiting. In a piece titled “Why America needs low-yield nuclear warheads now,” Michael Morell and Jon Kyl argued that Russian and Chinese nuclear modernization programs demanded a response. “Russia is intent on exploiting what it perceives as a U.S. nuclear capability gap,” they write. “We must change that calculation” by adding submarine and sea-launched missiles with nuclear warheads. This would increase deterrence and prevent nuclear war, they claim; otherwise Russia will strike first.

The only difference here is that while Morell is a lobbyist — technically speaking a “senior counsel” at advisory firm Beacon Global Strategies — Kyl no longer is. As of this writing, Jon Kyl is a sitting U.S. senator. Kyl, who served in the House and the Senate for decades but retired in 2012, was chosen to replace the late John McCain on an interim basis, as a placeholder before a special election for the seat in 2020. But Kyl, who was sworn in September 5, never committed to filling out the vacancy for the next two years; from the beginning, he only committed to serve through the lame-duck session, and he is widely expected to leave after that. That means that the final senator for the next Congress has yet to be determined.

Few have paid much attention to Kyl, who is wrapping up one of the strangest and — to his critics — one of the most corrupt tenures in the modern history of the Senate. Kyl was a registered lobbyist at a powerhouse D.C. law firm, who lived and worked in Washington for five and a half years before taking a four-month gig as a senator. His only floor speeches have involved matters at least glancingly tied to his lobbying. His entire term of office seems like a calculated attempt to refresh his contacts and gain clout from the inside, only to spin back out to influence the institution. He’s supposed to represent Arizona, but increasingly it appears that he only represents K Street.



the evening greens

Pelosi offers meeting to Green New Deal activists as 61 protesters are arrested at her office

House Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi offered a meeting to a group of young climate change activists the same day 61 people were arrested for demonstrating outside her office Monday, according to the Sunrise Movement, which organizes direct action protests against Democrats. The organization told VICE News Monday that Pelosi’s office had extended the invitation for a meeting as they staged their second sit-in outside her office this month. “We look forward to meeting with Leader Pelosi and hope she joins her colleagues in supporting the Select Committee on a Green New Deal,” Stephen O'Hanlon, a spokesman with Sunrise, said in a statement to VICE News.

In what Sunrise says was its biggest demonstration ever, more than 1,000 youth protesters from across the U.S. stormed the offices of major Democratic Party officials Monday to stage sit-ins in support of Congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s select committee for a Green New Deal, a climate change policy proposal that would decarbonize the U.S. economy by investing in green infrastructure and jobs.


The Sunrise Movement is a grassroots-funded organization of climate change activists who range in age from about 12 to 25. The group stages protests and sit-ins against Democrats in the U.S. to push them left on climate change.

During the Sunrise Movement’s first sit-in, Pelosi released a statement urging police to release the demonstrators and promised to take action against climate change. But the protesters were pushing for an explicit agreement. In a statement to VICE News Monday, a spokesman for Pelosi stopped just short of endorsing a Green New Deal.

Protesters disrupt US panel's fossil fuels pitch at climate talks

A Trump administration presentation extolling the virtues of fossil fuels at the UN climate talks in Poland has been met with guffaws of laughter and chants of “Shame on you”. Monday’s protest came during a panel discussion by the official US delegation, which used its only public appearance to promote the “unapologetic utilisation” of coal, oil and gas. Although these industries are the main source of the carbon emissions that are causing global warming, the speakers boasted the US would expand production for the sake of global energy security and planned a new fleet of coal plants with technology it hoped to export to other countries. ...

Ten minutes into Donald Trump’s adviser on global energy and climate, Wells Griffith's opening speech, he was interrupted by a sudden, sustained, loud volley of laughter by several dozen protesters that was then followed by a single shout of “It’s not funny”, and then a series of chants of “Keep it in the ground” and “Shame on you”.


Several campaigners read statements. “There is no such thing as clean coal. Coal is deadly from the beginning to the end. They talk about the life cycle of coal, I talk about it as a death march. My father died of black lung, and I am in this struggle with others whose fathers and husbands are dying of black lung right now,” said Teri Blanton of Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, which represents Appalachian coal workers in North America.

After the protesters were led away by security guards, Griffiths said: “In the US our policy is not to keep it in the ground, but to use it as cleanly and efficiently as possible”. This statement was contradicted by climate analysts, who noted the US environment agency estimates that 1,400 more deaths per year will result from Trump’s proposal to replace the Clean Power Act. ...

This was the second consecutive year that the Trump team was heckled after promoting fossil fuels and nuclear power at the climate talks, underscoring how the US position has shifted since the president took power in 2017.

Crop burning crisis: India chokes as farmers set fields on fire

As Demand for Urgent Transformation Intensifies, New Study Shows Hotter Planet Making Extreme Weather Deadlier

With people across the globe mobilizing, putting their bodies on the line, and getting arrested en masse as part of a broad effort to force the political establishment to immediately pursue ambitious solutions to the climate crisis, new research published on Monday provided a grim look at what the future will bring if transformative change is not achieved: colossal flooding, bigger fires, stronger hurricanes, and much more.

Titled "Explaining Extreme Events in 2017 from a Climate Perspective" and published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS), the series of new studies identify a total of 15 weather events that took place throughout the world last year that were made significantly more likely by the human-caused climate crisis, such as deadly heatwaves in China and catastrophic flooding from Uruguay to Bangladesh. "A warming Earth is continuing to send us new and more extreme weather events every year," BAMS editor-in-chief Jeff Rosenfeld said in a statement. "The message of this science is that our civilization is increasingly out of sync with our changing climate."

In contrast to the corporate media's systematic failure to connect the dots, the new studies make the case that increasingly extreme global weather events and the climate crisis are intricately linked—and that the former will likely continue to get worse if the latter is not urgently and boldly confronted. "These studies confirm predictions of the 1990 First [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] report, which foresaw that radical departures from 20th century weather and climate would be happening now," research meteorologist and BAMS special editor Martin Hoerling said. "Scientific evidence supports increasing confidence that human activity is driving a variety of extreme events now. These are having large economic impacts across the United States and around the world."


Also of Interest

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

How Plutocratic Media Keeps Staff Aligned With Establishment Agendas

Prosecutors don’t want El Chapo’s jury to hear how the U.S. government sent guns to the Sinaloa cartel

'Yemenis are left so poor they kill themselves before the hunger does'

From freecycling to Fairphones: 24 ways to lead an anti-capitalist life in a capitalist world

How whale sharks saved a Philippine fishing town and its sea life

Scientists identify vast underground ecosystem containing billions of micro-organisms


A Little Night Music

T Bone Walker - Hey Baby

T-Bone Walker - Goin' to Chicago

T Bone Walker - Born To Be No Good

T Bone Walker - Louisiana Bayou Drive

T Bone Walker - Bye Bye Baby

T Bone Walker - She Had To Let Me Down

T Bone Walker - I'll Understand

T Bone Walker - Evening

T-Bone Walker - Strollin' With Bones

B.B. King & T-Bone Walker Live at the Monterey Jazz Festival


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joe shikspack's picture

heh, it's early today because i have a busy afternoon and early evening. i will catch up with you all when i get back tonight.

have a great day!

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Raggedy Ann's picture

Thought I'd get my licks in early, like joe. That Kurt Vonnegut - he was a "seer" and thank goodness he wrote it all down. Now, if only I had paid attention back when I read him and only thought of his writings as fiction! Lesson learned.

I sure am hoping we get a yellow vest movement of our own in America. Too bad most Americans are such a lazy bunch when it comes to defending their freedom. The idiots think the military is keeping us free. Dumbasses! (point of clarification - I don't consider the readers of this site - at least the majority of them - not in the same club as most Americans referenced above). The vids on it today are very informative.

When you or I cannot manage our budgets, there are severe consequences. When the DOD/Pentagon cannot manage their budgets, we get the privilege of bailing them out! Once again - most "lazy" Americans are not paying attention!

The video on the climate crisis in India was interesting. I did not know about the burning and how it is wreaking havoc on their environment. The climate is coming for all of us, soon enough!

Have a beautiful evening, folks! Pleasantry

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"If there is not justice for the people, let there be no peace for the government." Emiliano Zapata

joe shikspack's picture

@Raggedy Ann

a yellow vests movement here would be a good thing, though it the u.s. is probably a more combustible society than france. since the u.s. oligarchs are so obstinate in their refusal to countenance real reform, an equal and opposite reaction would indeed be impressive.

heh, it's not that the dod cannot balance its books, it's that it refuses to do so. dod is an utterly corrupt enterprise.

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9 users have voted.
divineorder's picture

Interesting recorded interview with Congresswoman Jayapal. No transcript AFAIK.

###

FWIW People who want to give input on Medicare for All House and Senate bills differences are encouraged to contact Jayapal and Sanders now.

...

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8 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

joe shikspack's picture

@divineorder

thanks for the links! i'll check them out later to see what sort of bamboozlement jayapal and her democratic "progressive" friends are offering. i have to say that i am very skeptical of her intentions.

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Azazello's picture

@joe shikspack
She didn't seem evasive or dishonest to me.

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5 users have voted.
divineorder's picture

@joe shikspack ill informed in part from being outback so much of the year. Would love link on how she went from socialist darling to just another politician not worthy of trust.

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4 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

joe shikspack's picture

@divineorder

i am concerned that jayapal will water down, or accept watering down of mfa. the devil will be in the details.

i don't have evidence that this will happen, unless of course you consider the history of democrats (including alleged progressives) handling of single-payer proposals.

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8 users have voted.

I was in the Galapagos islands on a tour

I didn't see any sharks but others snorkeling did see one shark

What I did see was much more wildlife than anytime before in my life

There were a few land iguanas on Santiago Island but when Darwin was there in about the 1830's, he had difficulty finding a place to pitch his tent because their burrows collapsed when walked on them. An American navy man during the war of 1812 put goats on the island which almost totally wiped out the land iguanas on the island. Ecuador has spent decades trying to get rid of goats and black rats which took out large tortoises on several islands.

I snorkeled 3 times. First time hovering over large sea turtle eating for several minutes, next time watching pelicans eat under water for several minutes. They paddled over with their feet and sucked up fish and their gullet swelled up and looked like a plastic bag. The final time I was within 6 feet of two Galapagos penguins. Spent 7 nights on the small ship taking us around some of the islands.

The Galapagos are a national park and they protect their borders from fishing fleets and from people trying to move the island which now has 23,000 people mostly in one town. It is like Hawaii, totally lava and the second largest active volcano in the world which was active a few months ago. Their volcanoes lava flows like the one on the big island in Hawaii. Their entire economy depends on tourism and they were hit hard in the 2008 global economic collapse. I am concerned that when the next one comes, they will suffer big time.

The first part of the trip was in the almost Amazon - a tributary of the Amazon which passes for the Amazon in my book and in their ads. It was a mile wide in places. Living on the river. Walks in the forests. Lots about plants including many of the unique ways people have benefited from them (including drug companies which charge for natural products from rain forests). Stories from earlier cultures who lived with the land and creatures in ways that require much unlearning to appreciate as we are being forced to return to the earth and not exploit it. Saw some wildlife, but very hard to find in the forest.

The trip was run by Overseas Adventure Travel and is very reasonable compared to other trips which only include the islands. It was planned to be 16 people but only 10 were on our trip. If one waits until the end, there are specials run to fill the last few seats.

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12 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@DonMidwest

sounds like a pretty amazing trip! have a great evening.

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5 users have voted.
The Aspie Corner's picture

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4 users have voted.

Modern education is little more than toeing the line for the capitalist pigs.

joe shikspack's picture

@The Aspie Corner

heh, trump is what the ruling class wants, but so was hillary. the ruling class hedges its bets by having two acceptable candidates run every four years, heading the tickets of the only parties that can get the attention of the american people. both are degenerates.

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10 users have voted.

The thing about Russiagate is that it has become a tool of the neoliberal order. Lots of bad stuff has resulted. First you get an apologist argument for aggressive imperialism with a huge budget increase to go along with it that includes nuclear weapons. On the domestic front, it is used to batter, marginalize basically leftist opposition to the ruling order--and this includes Europe when bunches of people are blaming Putin for French issues. And it has become ground zero, Patient Zero, the Adam and Even of social media censorship. Add to that it has created xenophobic hatred toward Russians

Here is a tweet from Aaron Matte on how much money "Russians" spent on Google during 2016. Never guess the amount given the hysteria.

https://twitter.com/aaronjmate/status/1072570535459086337

Whenever Russiagate peddlers are confronted w/ the actual facts, it doesn't go so well. Here's @RepJerryNadler asking Google CEO Sundar Pichai about "the full extent" of Russian meddling activity on its platforms in 2016. The answer: Russian-linked accounts spent $4,700 on ads.

Edited. Adding...From Michael Tracy on stuff that Jerry Nadler said about Russian interference being comparable to Pearl Harbor (which is WAR talk).

https://twitter.com/mtracey/status/965038679361245190

Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) says Russian Twitter trolls are “destroying our country” and “on par” with Pearl Harbor -- this is lunatic rhetoric, and the fact that people don’t think twice about it anymore is doubly disturbing

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12 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@MrWebster

further clamp down on us by censoring the net and to create reasons for war with Russia and to make sure that this country stays the biggest weapons supplier and and and ... Yep you're seeing what this sh*t is about.

$4,700 Russian ads vs Hillary's $2 billion and it was the Russians who caused Her to lose?

Aaron Mate has written a few articles about Russia Gate if you're interested.

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11 users have voted.

The public has been conditioned over time—in ways that would make Pavlov’s dawg seem like an in independent thinker

joe shikspack's picture

@MrWebster

absolutely. pulling joe mccarthy's rotting corpse out of the mausoleum of ruling class inventions russiagate is an ingenious invention to monopolize the public square and police the opinions of the people. it's probably not going to go away anytime soon.

perhaps somebody will have to ask adam schiff if at long last he has no sense of decency.

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13 users have voted.

In professional wrestling, a heel (also known as a rudo in lucha libre) is a wrestler who portrays a villain or a "bad guy" and acts as an antagonist to the faces, who are the heroic protagonist or "good guy" characters. ... Many heels do both, cheating as well as behaving nastily.

I added the bold. Faces comes from baby face.

Notice how Trump played the heel today in the WH session.

Heard about this today on Thom Hartmann. He pointed out the pro wrestling is drama. The main characters are the heel and the face. Trump has been involved with pro wrestling and one of his cabinet members is the wife of head of the wrestling federation.

Matt Taibbi wrote about this drama couple of years ago.

Wrestling’s Newest Star, Daniel ‘The Progressive Liberal’ Richards, on Trump The best wrestling villain in the country offers unique insight into another famous heel act – Donald Trump

it played out today at WH - watch the heel - which you probably can't avoid seeing

https://twitter.com/RayRedacted/status/1072547158639951873

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9 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@DonMidwest

Schumer kept interrupting Trump who kept interrupting Nancy and talking down to her and she wanted to move the meeting behind closed doors so they could hide how they all want the same things.

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13 users have voted.

The public has been conditioned over time—in ways that would make Pavlov’s dawg seem like an in independent thinker

@snoopydawg I watch the same thing, and Nancy appears half-crazy as usual, practically begging to hide all of this because she can't stand sunlight, Schumer couldn't even keep his head up and kept making weird cracks at Trump.

Trump whupped both of them. They both had whipped body language.

This is Trump in action, and he is going to make further inroads into whatever is left of the dem 'coalition' with his prison reform.

And the dems keep up with their utter stupidity.

Believe it or not, people do like a fighter and people who have convictions across the political spectrum.

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5 users have voted.

dfarrah

divineorder's picture

@dfarrah Trump is making claims unsupported by reality, and Pelosi, all about trying to keep the public feeling that things are handled and decorum reigns, all but calls him a liar.

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8 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

@divineorder a liar - so what? Everybody calls him everything, and it doesn't usually affect him at all.

What is 'not really'? That people like fighters, like Trump and Bernie? That Nancy sounds like a buffoon with her partially slurred speech and weird hand waving? That P and S both had defensive body language while Trump had dominating body language?

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3 users have voted.

dfarrah

snoopydawg's picture

@dfarrah

What got accomplished with this side show? None of them were able to get their point across because they weren't listening to each other's ideas.

And the dems keep up with their utter stupidity.

I agree with you on this, but at the beginning of the whole segment I thought Nancy said that she does have the votes in the house and after Trump said that didn't matter because democrats wouldn't vote for it in the senate she then said that he does not have the house.

This was hard to follow because they were talking over each other and I got distracted watching Schumer bobbing his head up and down and grinning because of ... well who the hell knows what goes through Chuckles' mind?

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10 users have voted.

The public has been conditioned over time—in ways that would make Pavlov’s dawg seem like an in independent thinker

@snoopydawg to be a side show.

It isn't.

Trump demonstrated what a bunch of hypocrites dems are on the border wall (see speeches by HRC, BC, and BO on immigration). Trump has P and S practically begging to take the argument private so everything can be decided in the dark, something a lot of US citizens are sick of - back room deals that sell them out, over and over - and makes them look like the cowards that they are. Then P and S are begging him not to shut down the government - not a nice look at all.

Not to mention that Trump will do what dems want on DACA if he gets his border funding.

I predict Trump wins this one, but we'll see.

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3 users have voted.

dfarrah

snoopydawg's picture

@dfarrah

Exactly what was accomplished today with the public watching it? Nada. Nothing. Not a durn thing because the 3 of them can't make decisions on their own. It takes all of congress to agree on how much is to be spent on it. Did you just watch this clip or did you watch the entire video?

"It isn't". In your opinion it isn't. I'm entitled to my opinion that it was a side show.

Not to mention that Trump will do what dems want on DACA if he gets his border funding.

The democrats agreed to give Trump $25 billion for the wall in return for passing legislation on DACA the last time they negotiated for it and after he agreed to the deal he went back on it.

BTW. Trump has been saying for years that Mexico would pay for the wall. What happened to that? Another BTW. Do you know who is very invested in getting the wall built? The banks. They have a few of the segments of it built for revenue review. One more BTW. How many times did Trump ridicule Obama for when the government was shut down? This hurts thousands of people who work for the government and lots of programs that depend on funding from it. There is no reason for congress to wait until the last minute every time they fund the government. Why did they start playing this game?
Just some random thoughts here, but it shouldn't be who wins or not. It should be what's best for the country.

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10 users have voted.

The public has been conditioned over time—in ways that would make Pavlov’s dawg seem like an in independent thinker

@snoopydawg it is political theatre.

However, I believe it ultimately serves several purposes for Trump (or Trump hopes it does).

As to the merits of the wall and other issues you mentioned, I wasn't really commenting on those.

I know it would be nice if in every meeting, all would get along and every meeting would have a positive impact. Politics is war by other means (who said that?), and the dems and Trump are at war.

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3 users have voted.

dfarrah

smiley7's picture

@snoopydawg
a deft sport, short of revolution, that is; we postulate freely on blogs with little information which in turn is broadcast to others--extrapolated by multitudes on social media, an Edward Bernays' wetdream.

People and creatures of earth in want of leadership as the 'Arc' sinks applies, doesn't it?

Tempted to call Pelosi, Schumer and Trump and ask if they read or ever saw a production of Richard II; how foolish of me to have these thoughts, huh?
....
Hi Joe, hope all is well.

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7 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@smiley7

heh, shakespeare certainly covered the range of political intrigue, but he would never have written characters that express themselves as inartfully as trump, schumer and pelosi. Smile

good to see you, take care!

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8 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@DonMidwest

i thought that chuckie and nancy did a great job of playing into the donald's act. he should hire them. you'd almost believe that they are being candid and are incredulous at the donald's intransigence.

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8 users have voted.
Azazello's picture

Here's Jimmy Dore doing a half hour on Diana Johnstone's article in Consortium News last week.

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15 users have voted.

@Azazello Thanks, AZ

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6 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@Azazello

thanks! i'm part way through it and it's quite good. i'll probably post it tomorrow.

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7 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@Azazello

the tax cuts on the rich. Of course he won't.

Excellent video and article. Yep. We're going to have to get into the streets and Nancy needs to go and take her ideas with her.

I still think that what happened in Greece was a laboratory test to see how well that worked.

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12 users have voted.

The public has been conditioned over time—in ways that would make Pavlov’s dawg seem like an in independent thinker

divineorder's picture

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9 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

joe shikspack's picture

@divineorder

if pay go pelosi has been defeated in her transparent first salvo at stopping any sort of progressive programs, that's a good step forward. on the other hand, i'm sure that she and her corpadem buddies have more tricks up their sleeves.

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7 users have voted.
divineorder's picture

Found this series on rethinking energy, the economy, etc. :

@postcarbon

Post Carbon Institute is leading the transition to a more resilient, equitable, and sustainable world.
Corvallis, Oregon, USA
postcarbon.org
Joined July 2008

Post Carbon Inst. Retweeted

###

###
Interesting looking book....

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6 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

social-winter-is-coming.jpgFrom Brussels

And in case you don't understand the reference:

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6 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@gjohnsit

heh, well, that clip certainly captures the cycle of violence and reprisal that seems imminent. one wonders if the oligarchs can really be this stupid.

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8 users have voted.
TheOtherMaven's picture

@joe shikspack

Then the Revolution comes, and (if they survive it) they are left wondering "What happened?"

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3 users have voted.

There is no justice. There can be no peace.

snoopydawg's picture

Nah! This was done deliberately and everyone knew what would happen if Clinton did that.

They didn’t want to hear what I had to say,” she tells Robert Scheer in the latest installment of “Scheer Intelligence.” “And so I think what we have in terms of this story is really not just a failure of the banks and the regulators, but also a failure of our prosecutors. I mean, a lot of the statutes that could be used—criminal statutes, even, that could be used to hold these executives accountable are not being used, and they have not expired; we could have prosecutors holding these people accountable

.”

She be talking about Obama here?

Noncompliant” explores one of the darkest chapters in modern American history, but with a crook and unabashed narcissist occupying the Oval Office

ICYMI

At Elite Gala With Ex-Bush Official, Obama Implores Wall Street to Thank Him for Making Them so Much Money

Barack Obama urged bankers to thank him for helping make them so much money during his tenure as president. He also boasted of turning the US into the world’s largest oil producer.

“Have you checked where your stocks were when I came in office?”

In one of the most eyebrow-raising moments of the night, Obama pushed back against Wall Street executives who have criticized him. He told the bankers who crashed the global economy in 2008, and who were then bailed out by the US government, that they should have been grateful, because they still made money.

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11 users have voted.

The public has been conditioned over time—in ways that would make Pavlov’s dawg seem like an in independent thinker

joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

heh, you just have to suspect that the bill cardin is hawking was written by aipac or some similar lobbyist group. they are certainly pushing hard for it's passage.

segarra is probably not talking about obama, though the description seems quite apt to me.

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6 users have voted.

@snoopydawg

https://wolfstreet.com/2018/12/11/us-bank-stocks-spiral-down/

I don't know whether to be glad or not.

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3 users have voted.

dfarrah

WoodsDweller's picture

So let me just spin you a record.

Be kind to one another.

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8 users have voted.

I like this world. It's not perfect, but everything I love is in it.

joe shikspack's picture

@WoodsDweller

thanks for the tune! have a great evening.

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5 users have voted.
dystopian's picture

Great T-bone Walker JS! He was a major major influence on many.

Love DuPont's financial planning... kinda like Cheney and co. and that ilk 1) buying up water rights all over the west, 2) now spending 20 years fracking BREAKING the alleged barrier between the waste water and drinking water tables, and 3) give it a decade the water will be screwed when 4) the people that did it will have the last good water rights. Machiavelli would be proud.

Glad to see the Russian's putting a calling card in Venezuela.

Great we are paying for the war crimes the Saudis and UAE are committing on their bombing runs by buying their jetfuel. Seems like we ought to get a ride for that? How it used to be...

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7 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

joe shikspack's picture

@dystopian

heh, you might enjoy this article about t bone. it's pretty excellent.

all of the real corporate capitalists are machiavellians.

have a great evening!

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3 users have voted.
divineorder's picture

@dystopian Faced up to the bully in Syria, Ukraine, now Venezuela.

However, we need to face up here mire.

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2 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.