The Evening Blues - 7-11-19
Hey! Good Evening!
This evening's music features country bluesman Doctor Ross. Enjoy!
Dr. Ross - Feel so good
"All administrations, all governments lie, all officials lie and nothing they say is to be believed. That's a pretty good rule."
-- Daniel Ellsberg
News and Opinion
See your tax dollars at work paying for this bunch of homicidal, degenerate, lying sacks of festering poop. There's lots more at the link.
Pentagon Document Shows U.S. Knew of “Credible” Reports of Civilian Casualties After Its Attacks in Somalia
On April 1, 2018, the U.S. military carried out an airstrike near El Buur, a town in central Somalia. A press release issued by U.S. Africa Command a day later announced that the attack killed five “terrorists” and destroyed one vehicle. In reality, these “terrorists” included a civilian woman and a child.
AFRICOM, however, told the world a different story. “We assess no civilians were killed in this airstrike,” the command claimed, a regular feature of press releases following U.S. attacks in Somalia. A year later, AFRICOM publicly admitted those two, but only those two, civilian deaths. “This is our first confirmed civilian casualty incident in Somalia,” AFRICOM’s chief spokesperson, John Manley, told The Intercept in the aftermath of the reversal.
AFRICOM contends that hundreds of airstrikes and commando missions in the past 10 years have killed or injured only two civilians in Somalia. This flies in the face of scores of local accounts as well as investigations by international journalists and human rights organizations, including a recent report by Amnesty International. And The Intercept has obtained an AFRICOM document, through the Freedom of Information Act, that shows the command itself has long been aware of multiple attacks that left civilians dead or wounded following operations by U.S. or allied forces.
The document was produced by a team of AFRICOM personnel that conducts credibility assessments of civilian casualty, or CIVCAS, allegations. It contains brief synopses of alleged CIVCAS incidents, drawing on press coverage, reports from nongovernmental organizations, and self-reports by U.S. military personnel. Though undated, it lists incidents in 2018, so it appears to have been drawn up at the end of 2018 or early 2019. The document also presents AFRICOM’s own findings, including its determination of whether the allegation is “credible” or “not credible.” The document contains little detailed information about the reasons for those determinations, however, and there are no indications that AFRICOM conducts any shoe-leather investigations or interviews witnesses or family members of the victims of its attacks. ...
The document, along with remarks from a former commander of U.S. Special Operations forces in Africa who spoke with The Intercept, suggests that AFRICOM may be classifying all military-aged males killed in airstrikes, including civilians, as combatants. (This has long been standard operating procedure in Afghanistan, suggesting that targeting protocols employed by U.S. Central Command have migrated to AFRICOM.) Experts say that even allegations deemed “not credible” by the command warrant further examination; yet there is no evidence that AFRICOM has conducted genuine investigations of CIVCAS allegations. AFRICOM is likely violating the laws of war when it comes to targeting, the experts say, and its claims about civilian casualties should, themselves, be deemed “not credible.”
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism has dropped a new report filling in more of the missing details that the powers-that-be don't want you to know about their stinking torture state.
The CIA started by grabbing terror suspects off the streets and transferring them in secret to interrogators in the Middle East. But soon the agency decided it needed to run its own detention facilities, or "black sites". Over the next few years, it set up a network of prisons and a fleet of private jets to move people between them. In December 2014, the Bureau, alongside The Rendition Project, began a major project to trace the history of the RDI programme. The impetus for our investigation came from the long-awaited publication of a report into CIA torture by the US Senate Select Intelligence Committee. The authors of this report had high-level access to internal CIA documents, which they mined to produce a damning assessment of the torture programme's brutality, mismanagement and ineffectiveness. But they were compelled by the Obama administration, and by the CIA itself, to censor — "redact" — all parts of the report that could identify specific times and places where abuses had occurred.
This is important, because without being able to tie illegal activities to specific times and places, the quest for redress is hamstrung, and meaningful accountability — legal, public, historical — remains a mirage. We've brought to light further details of how deeply implicated the UK was in the overall running of the CIA's torture network
The Senate report did offer a crucial insight, however: the first complete list of prisoners held in the CIA's black sites. 119 names, each with a date of custody (redacted) and a record of how many days they were held (also partly redacted). In the days after the publication of the Senate report, we set to work reconstructing this list to reveal the hidden dates. Figuring out a date often meant that we could match it to a flight record; matching to a flight record meant that we could determine where a prisoner was brought from or sent to. As we cross-correlated thousands of data points — from declassified government documents, footnotes in the Senate report, aviation data, records of corporate outsourcing of rendition flights, legal cases, media reporting and NGO investigations — the contours of the CIA's programme of secret detention and torture began to emerge more clearly. Rather than just understanding certain individual histories, we could begin to discern the entire scope of the programme's development.
More than four years later, we're publishing the results of our investigation in a 400-page report entitled CIA Torture Unredacted. It is the first time that the entirety of the CIA's detention programme has been systematically revealed. ...
Last year, some of our findings were cited in two judgments at the European Court of Human Rights, which held that Romania and Lithuania had assisted the US in illegally holding prisoners incommunicado on their territory. Elsewhere, our work has assisted legal teams, police inquiries and citizen accountability projects. CIA Torture Unredacted is the most comprehensive public account of one of the most disturbing elements of the ‘War on Terror’: a global programme of systematic disappearance and torture, carried out by the world’s most powerful liberal democratic states in contravention of laws which they purport to uphold. In the face of continued obstruction and denial by the governments involved, we hope that it will stand as a central reference point for all those interested in accountability, truth and the rule of law.
The U.S. is seeking support from its allies to create a naval coalition in the Middle East, adding to concerns that the increased military presence in the Gulf combined with growing tensions on both sides could accidentally kickstart a military conflict between Washington and Tehran. ...
The plan will see each member of the coalition provide security to ships carrying their country’s flags by escorting them with military vessels, while the U.S. will provide “command and control” capabilities, gathering intelligence from a number of different sources and sharing it with the other members of the coalition. ...
It emerged Wednesday that in early June, Iran had hoped to defuse growing tensions when it released Nizar Zakka, a Lebanese businessman with U.S. permanent residency who had been in jail for four years. Iranian officials hoped the move would cool tensions and open the door for negotiations, according to sources speaking to Reuters. Either the U.S. missed the signal or chose to ignore it, but since Zakka’s release on June 11 pressure has escalated as a result of attacks on the tankers and drone..
The U.S. has significantly increased its military presence in the region in recent months. As a result, the possibility of accidentally kickstarting a military conflict has grown and on Tuesday Iran made clear that any escalation of military action by the U.S. in the region would be met with a strong response. “American bases are within the range of our missiles," Hossein Nejat a commander in Iran's elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), told Tasnim news agency. “Our missiles will destroy their aircraft carriers if they make a mistake. Americans are very well aware of the consequences of a military confrontation with Iran.”
Washington continues to say it is not interested in entering a military conflict with Iran, but experts have warned for months that incidents like the shooting down of a military drone could see an all-out conflict begin by accident.
Five armed Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps boats unsuccessfully tried to seize a British oil tanker in the Persian Gulf Wednesday, according to two US officials with direct knowledge of the incident.
The British Heritage tanker was sailing out of the Persian Gulf and was crossing into the Strait of Hormuz area when it was approached by the Iranian boats. The Iranians ordered the tanker to change course and stop in nearby Iranian territorial waters, according to the officials. A US aircraft was overhead and recorded video of the incident, though CNN has not seen the footage.
The UK's Royal Navy frigate HMS Montrose had been escorting the tanker from the rear. It trained its deck guns on the Iranians and gave them a verbal warning to back away, which they did. Montrose is equipped on the deck with 30 mm guns specifically designed to drive off small boats. UK officials had previously confirmed that the Montrose was in the region performing a "maritime security role."
In a statement, the UK's Ministry of Defense said that "contrary to international law, three Iranian vessels attempted to impede the passage of a commercial vessel, British Heritage, through the Strait of Hormuz."
"HMS Montrose was forced to position herself between the Iranian vessels and British Heritage and issue verbal warnings to the Iranian vessels, which then turned away," the statement said. "We are concerned by this action and continue to urge the Iranian authorities to de-escalate the situation in the region."
The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) stands at $733 billion in the House, and on Thursday will be facing votes on some amendments, including multiple amendments related to ending the US involvement in the Yemen War. The House Democratic leadership is expressing concern that the progressives will derail the NDAA with their many amendments.
Progressive Democrats are particularly interested in pushing amendments to limit the president’s war-making powers, and most are confident this will survive, despite some leaders resisting such moves.
Several of the amendments are directly related to the US war in Yemen, with lawmakers wanting to use the power of the purse to enforce limits on the administration’s war-making powers in the face of previous vetoes.
Right-wing Israelis, and their supporters in the United States, have spent the last 48 hours venting their fury at Sen. Elizabeth Warren, since the Massachusetts Democrat told a young Jewish activist that she would press Israel to end its military rule over millions of disenfranchised Palestinians in territories it seized by force in 1967. To be more precise, Warren’s critics, led by the Republican Jewish Coalition, have expressed outrage that she said “yes — so, I’m there” when asked, as she campaigned for the presidency in New Hampshire on Monday, if she would commit to push the Israeli government “to end occupation.”
BREAKING: Our members in New Hampshire just asked @ewarren if she would commit to pressuring the Israel to stop their 52 year military Occupation over the Palestinian people.
She said YES. pic.twitter.com/8GLhNMQ2gf
— IfNotNow (@IfNotNowOrg) July 8, 2019
While the various means of Israeli control of the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights remain an occupation under international law, and the need for “an end to the occupation” was described as essential by a Republican president, George W. Bush, just over a decade ago, Israel’s far-right government now considers even using the word “occupation” to be an unpardonable slur. The success of this Israeli effort to change the terms of the debate explains why video of Warren’s comment has been described in the right-wing echo chamber as the candidate being “caught on camera” endorsing an “attack on Israel” that is tantamount to anti-Semitism. ...
What’s perhaps most remarkable about the attempt to smear Warren as an anti-Semite is that her acknowledgement that the territories are indeed occupied, rather than contested or disputed, echoes not just the longstanding position of every American president before Donald Trump but famous remarks made 16 years ago by an ultranationalist Israeli prime minister, Ariel Sharon. Sharon, who was one of Israel’s most revered military leaders, told fellow members of the right-wing Likud party in 2003 that a political solution to the conflict with the Palestinians was necessary because “the idea that we can continue holding under occupation — and it is occupation, you might not like this word, but it’s really an occupation — to hold 3.5 million Palestinians under occupation is, in my opinion, a very bad thing for us and for them.”
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has built a national profile through social media – but not everyone can see it. The representative from New York is facing two federal lawsuits for blocking users on Twitter. It comes after – and apparently only because – an appeals court on Tuesday upheld a ruling that President Donald Trump had violated the constitution by blocking constituents on Twitter.
“The First Amendment does not permit a public official who utilizes a social media account for all manner of official purposes to exclude persons from an otherwise-open online dialogue because they expressed views with which the official disagrees,” the court ruled.
Rightwing rabble-rousers are now taking that ruling and using it to challenge Democrats such as Ocasio-Cortez. YouTuber Joey Saladino is one of the two users who filed a lawsuit against the congresswoman for blocking him. “I have officially filed my lawsuit against AOC for blocking me on twitter. Trump is not allowed to block people, will the standards apply equally?” he said on Twitter.
“Unconscionable & Unacceptable”: Rep. Barragán Decries Detention of Migrant Children in Prison Cells
'Only the Tip of the Iceberg': Outrage Over Border Abuses Grows Amid Reports of Sexual Assault and Retaliation by CBP Agents
The office of the inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security said Wednesday it was investigating allegations that border agents sexually assaulted children in at least one migrant detention center and retaliated against children who spoke out about the conditions they've been forced to live in.
In internal reports obtained by NBC News on Tuesday, a 15-year-old girl reported that a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agent had put his hands inside her bra, pulled down her underwear, and groped her during what was ostensibly a "routine pat-down," which children are reportedly subjected to in the detention centers that the Trump administration is running.
According to the allegations, the guard laughed with other staff members and spoke to them in English during the assault at a facility in Yuma, Arizona. ...
I talked to dozens of migrants in El Paso after being released from detention centers.
They all had HORRIFIC stories of their time in detention.
This is only the tip of the iceberg
Migrant kids in Yuma report sex assault, retaliation from U.S. agents https://t.co/Z54OKxQU58
— Paola Mendoza (@paolamendoza) July 10, 2019
The girl's allegations are far from the first to detail sexual abuse within the U.S. government's immigrant detention centers. As Common Dreams reported last week, an immigrant was forced by agents at a Texas border station to wear a sign around his neck reading, "Me gustan los hombre," or, "I like men."
In February, Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) released documents detailing thousands of accusations of sexual assault against minors in U.S. migrant detention centers. Nearly 200 of the cases involved an adult staff member abusing a child.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said last year that the agency is not responsible for abuses that take place in their detention centers, but last week a federal court ruled that a sexual assault survivor's case against a guard at Berks Family Residential Center in Pennsylvania could move forward. The detention center had argued that the alleged attack was consensual and that alleged sexual abuse should be assessed differently for immigrants in detention facilities than it is for American inmates in prisons or jails.
NBC's report also detailed how children in U.S. custody are frequently afraid to speak up about abuses in the facilities.
'Just as We Said They Would,' Says Ocasio-Cortez as ICE Opens Three New Detention Centers in Defiance of Congress
Immigration and Customs Enforcement has reportedly opened three new detention centers in defiance of congressional orders, a move Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said vindicates her opposition to additional funding for the agency.
Mother Jones reported on Tuesday that "ICE has started using three new for-profit immigration detention centers in the Deep South in recent weeks," despite Congress's instructions in February to detain fewer people.
"DHS and ICE are flagrantly violating congressional orders, just as we said they would," Ocasio-Cortez tweeted in response to the news. The New York Democrat opposed the party leadership's decision last month to hand the Trump administration $4.6 billion in additional border funding.
DHS & ICE are flagrantly violating Congressional orders, just as we said they would.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) July 10, 2019
The border funding bill contained over $200 million for ICE, but it did not include additional detention money the agency requested. "ICE is continuing to spend money it hasn't been given," Mother Jones reported.
A House committee looking into the treatment of migrant children at detention facilities on the US border has heard searing testimony from the mother whose 21-month old toddler died weeks after being released by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice).
Yazmin Juárez, who has said she was fleeing an abusive situation at home in Guatemala when she crossed the border to seek asylum in the US, recalled seeing a number of sick children while she and her daughter were being held at a family detention center in Dilley, Texas, in 2018. Her daughter Mariee began showing symptoms after entering the facility, Juárez recalled. “First, it was coughing and sneezing, and a lot of nasal secretions – I brought her to the clinic where I waited in line with ... many other people in a gymnasium to get medical care,” she told the committee.
According to the family’s attorney, Mariee had a 104F fever and suffered from cough, congestion, diarrhea and vomiting a week after entering Dilley. But the symptoms were not mentioned by medical staff on discharge forms, according to the lawsuit. Mariee’s condition worsened over time. She spent six weeks in hospitals before succumbing to a collapsed lung from a respiratory infection last May, six weeks after being released from the detention facility. ...
At the hearing, Juárez reminded the panel that she’d made the trip because she feared for her and her daughter’s lives. “The trip was dangerous, but I was more afraid of what might happen to us if we stayed. So we came to the United States where I hoped to build a better, safer life for us,” she said. “Unfortunately, that did not happen.”
Earlier in the day, the House oversight committee chair, Elijah Cummings, called the treatment of migrant children at facilities on the border “government-sponsored child abuse”.
Conservatives love to take pot shots at progressive Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, but Tucker Carlson managed to turn his latest attack on her into a blatantly racist attack on all immigrants. The Fox News host tore into the Democratic representative from Minnesota on his show Tuesday night, saying “she hates this country” and then insisting she’s “living proof that the way we practice immigration has become dangerous in this country.” Omar, per Carlson, isn’t grateful enough for the opportunities she’s been afforded as an immigrant.
Omar, for her part, shot back at Carlson, calling him a “racist fool,” throwing in some laugh-crying emojis for good measure. ...
Omar’s critiques of the U.S., he said, were “undermining” the country. Immigrants, according to Carlson, aren’t grateful to homegrown Americans for the opportunities they’re afforded. And if they’re not stopped, he suggested, they’ll cause the country to collapse. “No country can import large people who hate it and expect to survive,” he said. “The Romans were the last to try that, with predictable results.”
Oh my, this is pretty amusing.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi continued her criticism of the progressives in her party at a private House Democratic caucus meeting on Wednesday. “Every time I’m attacked, I raise more money,” Pelosi said, looking directly at Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and drawing huge applause from the caucus. Pelosi claimed that party infighting was putting the House majority at risk by jeopardizing seats flipped from red to blue in 2018. Ocasio-Cortez has been openly critical on Twitter of Blue Dogs and New Democrats, who represent conservatives in the caucus. “Think twice about it,” Pelosi advised about staffers who tweet, according to a member in the room. “Actually, think only once about it and don’t do it.”
Pelosi has been engaged in a feud with the four freshman Democrats known as “the Squad,” comprised of Ocasio-Cortez; Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass.; Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich.; and Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., over their lack of support for a bill to provide funding for President Donald Trump’s border wall alongside humanitarian aid. Over the weekend, Pelosi ignited the infighting with comments to the New York Times’s Maureen Dowd. “All these people have their public whatever and their Twitter world,” she told the Times. “But they didn’t have any following. They’re four people and that’s how many votes they got.” ...
On Saturday, Ocasio-Cortez responded to Pelosi’s comments by citing distrust of the administration not to divert aid away from overcrowded detention centers, where many migrants have now died, toward immigration enforcement. Most recently, NBC News reported that migrant children have alleged sexual assault at the hands of officers. The chief concern of the meeting for Democratic leadership back in Washington, though, was not the decrepit conditions or the allegations of assault against the children, but the public criticism of how the bill was handled — linked to a concern about upcoming congressional elections and the fate of moderate Democrats.
Initial reporting of the caucus meeting suggested that Pelosi was referring to Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wisc., calling him out for his dubbing of the Problem Solvers Caucus as the “Child Abuse Caucus” on Twitter after the group organized an effort to block a House bill that would have mandated better conditions for children in detention at the border.
At the end of the meeting, Pelosi sought to heal the wounds she had freshly reopened, and asked a preacher to come forward and lead a prayer so that the rifts in the Democratic Party may be healed. No preacher came forward, as none were present, so Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., led the faithful.
Nancy Pelosi is more worried about people tweeting about her than the looming destruction of human civilization
— Kate Aronoff (@KateAronoff) July 10, 2019
Calling for Dignity for All Immigrants, Families Separated by Obama Administration Demand Apology From Biden
President Donald Trump's openly xenophobic hardline anti-immigration agenda has brought the United States to a "moment of reckoning" on immigration policies that have been in place for decades, a New Jersey-based advocacy group said Wednesday as it led families whose loved ones were deported in a protest at Joe Biden's campaign headquarters.
The former vice president, the Cosecha Movement said, must apologize for his part in the Obama administration's separation of thousands of families as it deported more people than ever before in U.S. history. Biden must also commit to ending the detention and deportation of immigrants, the group added.
In a press release, the group noted that the Trump administration's separation of thousands of families, violent ICE raids, and reports of abuse and neglect in the detention centers where thousands of immigrants are in custody, have called attention to the U.S. government's treatment of migrants and asylum seekers—but stressed that the Obama administration also separated and detained thousands of families and was complicit in the country's broken immigration system.
"While Republicans scapegoated immigrants and fanned the flames of white supremacy," the group wrote, "the Obama administration failed to deliver on the promise of legalization, and instead chose to deport three million immigrants." This "false strategy of appeasement to anti-immigrant forces," the group continued, "resulted in the meteoric expansion of detention and more deportations than ever before in our nation's history."
There must be a moral reckoning from the Democratic party, which deported 3 million people under Trump and wrote a blank check to Trump's deportation machine. #DignityNotDeportation
— CREDO Mobile (@CREDOMobile) July 10, 2019
Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign is collapsing. Or at least that’s what a passing glimpse at the country’s leading national news outlets would have you believe.
A recent CNN National poll found he dropped to just 14%, slipping behind Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren, and still farther away from frontrunner Joe Biden. Quinnipiac too! Accordingly, the Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin ominously forecasts that “Sanders likely can’t turn it around”, while Harry Enten at CNN warns “Bernie Sanders 2020 is in big trouble”. But an ABC News and Washington Post poll has him just behind Biden, at 23% – more than double Harris and Warren, who are tied at 11%. And he’s packing rooms in Iowa, where his supporters will haggle over caucus participants next winter.
What should we make of these conflicting messages? Mainly, that lots of pundits are not especially good at what is nominally their job: interpreting American politics. There are plenty of people in the political establishment who have it out for Sanders. But it’s bigger than the tantalizingly simple explanation of a mainstream media plotting with Democratic party elites against socialism; that would give both of them too much credit. ... It’s not that pundits or even their network bosses are all scheming against Sanders. Neoliberalism, the ideology that Sanders challenges, is just the water they’re swimming in. Its influence is reinforced by the fact that six corporations own about 90% of US media. Commentators, in other words, are working with a set of ideological tools and frameworks that are far from neutral.
The people counting out Sanders’s campaign also took it as a given that Hillary Clinton would best Donald Trump by a landslide in 2016. Four years later we seem to be waking up on Groundhog’s Day, where those same voices are positing their own reading of the country’s electoral tea leaves as definitive proof of what’s going to happen five months down the line. As New York’s Rebecca Traister aptly pointed out in a recent essay, the pundits aren’t keeping up with the politicians: “In all of their hand-wringing,” she writes, “they seem not to have noticed that … assumptions about a safe center are crumbling in the hands of a new generation of political leaders willing to make a stirring case for radical ideas,” like the Green New Deal and Medicare for All.
Billionaire mega-donor Haim Saban said Wednesday that he loves every 2020 Democratic presidential candidate—before quickly correcting himself. "No, minus one. I profoundly dislike Bernie Sanders, and you can write it," Saban told The Hollywood Reporter. "I don't give a hoot."
Saban, whose net worth is estimated to be around $3 billion, said his disdain for the Vermont senator stems from his frequent denunciations of the "billionaire class," which, said Saban, is "how communists think."
"He's a communist under the cover of being a socialist," Saban said of Sanders. "He thinks that every billionaire is a crook. He calls us 'the billionaire class.' And he attacks us indiscriminately. 'It's the billionaire class, the bad guys.'"
Siri, show me the hatred that we welcome https://t.co/bhIplvoo6C
— David Sirota (@davidsirota) July 10, 2019
Saban—who told the New Yorker in 2010 that he is "a one-issue guy, and my issue is Israel"—expressed fury at Sanders last year for spearheading a letter that called for humanitarian aid to the occupied Gaza Strip. "Senators, for you to listen to Senator Sanders and accuse Israel of being the main culprit is outrageous, misinformed, offensive, and shows a lack of understanding of the region's basic fundamentals," Saban wrote in an email to Democrats who signed Sanders's letter, which urged Secretary of State Mike Pompeo "act urgently in order to help relieve the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip."
As The Intercept reported at the time, Sanders's letter "came amid a deadly Israeli response to a protest movement in the Gaza Strip... Three days after the senators sent the letter, Israel fired on another round of protests, leaving dozens dead and hundreds more wounded."
A manure-to-energy scheme to produce "biogas" is, contrary to its proponents' claims, an avenue to incentivize destruction of the environment, communities, and the climate while propping up Big Ag.
That's the thrust of a new issue brief from advocacy group Food & Water Watch.
Released Wednesday and entitled "Biogas From Factory Farm Waste Has No Place in a Clean Energy Future," the publication details how the process works, why each step is problematic, and where's it's already been used—and failed—all of which adds up to biogas being a false solution to the climate crisis.
"Burning animal poop under the ruse of 'clean energy' is a dirty deal for big companies that want to build more and more factory farms and pipelines to grow their stronghold on our agriculture," said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch, in a statemnt.
"A real clean agricultural revolution," she said, "would include only 100 percent clean and renewable energies and not methane-producing, smog-forming biogas."
Obtaining biogas relies on a "digester," a space where matter is broken down through anaerobic digestion. Left behind are gases, including methane and carbon dioxide. Proponents say that the vast mounts of manure produced on factory farms can be converted in this way, rather than flowing into giant, stinking manure lagoons.
But, the paper says, capturing biogas from factory farm manure just entrenches the existence of the methane-producing factories where animals are packed in cruel and unsanitary conditions.
Louisiana on Wednesday declared a state of emergency as a storm in the Gulf of Mexico was fast developing into a category 1 hurricane and spinning towards the Louisiana coast. Experts are warning that the resulting storm surge could push the already swollen Mississippi River precariously close to the tops of levees that protect New Orleans – in what will be their greatest test since the catastrophic failure during Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
This would be the highest crest on the Mississippi River at New Orleans since 1950.
Arguably, this is the city’s biggest test since Katrina. River levees are only built to 20ft, and have not been tested in this way in decades — if ever. This is a deadly serious situation. https://t.co/0VZwwdWFOf
— Eric Holthaus (@EricHolthaus) July 9, 2019
The latest dire forecasts come as the city was already reeling from flash flooding on Wednesday morning. Garbage containers tilted on their sides and pieces of wood floated down rain-swollen streets in a number of neighborhoods. Water was up to the doors of many cars during the morning rush hour and a waterspout over Lake Pontchartrain was also spotted in the Gentilly neighborhood.
The mornings storms were associated with the broader area of disturbed weather over the gulf which forecasters now believe will organize and strengthen into a named storm – Barry – as it moved west through the Gulf’s warm waters.
Forecasters say parts of Louisiana could see up to 12in (30.5cm) of rain by Monday, with heavier amounts possible in some spots. On Wednesday afternoon, Louisiana’s governor, John Bel Edwards, announced a state of emergency across the state that is effective until 8 August unless terminated sooner.
Many more details about the slimy people behind the opposition to the California fur ban bill at the link.
The fur industry is relying on a small phalanx of vocal supporters who have rallied across the country to prevent a ban on fur products, often inflaming the debate with accusations of hypocrisy and racism. Many of the impassioned defenders of fur hats and mink coats, however, have received undisclosed financial support for their activism.
At a hearing in Sacramento on Tuesday morning, a parade of opponents appeared before the state Senate Judiciary Committee panel at a pivotal hearing over California’s proposed ban on fur products, AB 44. Many of the same individuals appeared at another hearing before the California Senate Natural Resources Committee last month. ...
“The worst part of this bill is that people from a privileged culture are telling people of my culture that our culture is inhumane,” declared Andrew Aguero, who identified himself as a Native American student from California State Polytechnic University. ... Others, including Edwin Lombard, a public and government relations consultant, said he viewed the fur ban as “an affront to the African-American community.” Lombard argued that after decades of redlining and discrimination, owning a fur coat “was a way of showing we could overcome these barriers.”
The bill passed the Senate Natural Resources Committee by one vote last month, and also passed the Senate Judicial Committee on Tuesday, but questions lingered about how the debate had shifted so quickly away from a discussion over the ethics of caging and skinning wild animals into a divisive argument about identity and race.
Documents obtained by The Intercept show that several of the fur ban opponents received money in exchange for their testimonies. ...
The California legislation contains exemptions for Indigenous tribes that use furs for religious ceremonies, and allows hunters to skin animals they catch while hunting. Assembly Member Laura Friedman made clear that the bill is tailored to suppress the industrial fur farms that raise caged animals, such as bobcats, foxes, and minks.
Also of Interest
Here are some articles of interest, some which defied fair-use abstraction.
A Little Night Music
Dr Ross - Doctor Ross Boogie
Dr Ross - Going To The River
Dr Ross - Come Back Baby
Dr Ross - Country Clown
Doctor Ross - Cannonball
Doctor Isaiah Ross - Flying Eagle Boogie
Dr Isaiah Ross - Hobo blues
Doctor Ross - The Sunnyland
Doctor Ross - The Boogie Disease
Doctor Ross - Numbers Blues