The Evening Blues - 10-10-17


The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Sunnyland Slim

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features Chicago bluesman Sunnyland Slim. Enjoy!

Sunnyland Slim - Louise

"A great empire, like a great cake, is most easily diminished at the edges."

-- Benjamin Franklin

News and Opinion

Mattis tells Army to "be ready" on North Korea military options

Defense Secretary James Mattis says the U.S. Army "must stand ready" in the face of continued provocations by the North Korean regime.

While delivering the keynote address at the Association of the U.S. Army's annual meeting on Monday, Mattis outlined the current strategy in North Korea for the U.S. military, saying "it is right now diplomatically led, economic sanctioned, buttressed effort to try to turn North Korea off its path."

He conceded, however, that "neither you nor I can say" what the future holds for the regime.

"There's one thing the U.S. Army can do, and that is you have got to be ready to ensure that we have military options that our president can employ if needed," said Mattis.

Trump Visit to Korean DMZ Called "Extremely Dangerous Idea"

Amid escalating tensions between North Korea and the U.S., critics were alarmed Tuesday when a South Korean news outlet reported that President Donald Trump will travel to the demilitarized zone (DMZ) between the neighboring countries next month.

A defense source reportedly told the Yonhap news agency that the White House has sent officials to the DMZ to assess potential sites for a planned "special activity" in which the president is "expected to send a significant message to North Korea, either verbally or 'kinetically'," according to a Reuters report.

Last week, the president cryptically told the press that the U.S. may currently be in "the calm before the storm." The statement, combined with president's refusal to engage in talks with Kim Jong-un and the news of his planned visit to the DMZ, alarmed critics, with many raising concerns that Trump is seeking to provoke North Korea.

In an email comment sent to Bloomberg, Bong Youngshik, a researcher at Yonsei University’s Institute for North Korean Studies in Seoul, said the trip would fit the "appetite for high theatrics" often exhibited by the U.S. president.

"The image of him narrowing his eyes to stare across the DMZ. It is tweeting by another means," Bong said. "Mr. Trump may also think that if it provokes Pyongyang, all the better."

Trump Threatens Genocide, Crimes Against Humanity in North Korea

Donald Trump threatened to "totally destroy North Korea" in his address to the United Nations General Assembly on September 19. That threat violates the UN Charter, and indicates an intent to commit genocide, crimes against humanity, the war crime of collective punishment and international humanitarian law. Moreover, a first-strike use of nuclear weapons would violate international law. ...

Article 2 of the UN Charter states that all members "shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state." Trump's threat to totally destroy North Korea violates that mandate. In addition, the preemptive use of force violates the Charter. ...

By stating the intention to totally destroy North Korea, Trump has threatened genocide. The crime of "genocide," as defined in the Rome Statute for the International Criminal Court, is committed when, with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, any of the following acts are committed: killing members of the group, causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group, or deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its destruction in whole or in part. ...

In its 1996 advisory opinion, "Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons," the International Court of Justice (ICJ) determined that "the threat or use of nuclear weapons would generally be contrary to the rules of international law applicable in armed conflict, and in particular the principles and rules of humanitarian law."

Julian Assange on Roger Stone & Accusations About WikiLeaks and Trump Campaign Ties to Russia

Russia-gate Jumps the Shark

Tuesday, the major news outlets were filled with the latest lurid chapter of Russia-gate, how Google, the Internet’s dominant search engine, had detected suspected “Russia-linked” accounts that bought several thousand dollars worth of ads. The Washington Post ran this item as front-page news entitled “Google finds links to Russian disinformation in its services,” with the excited lede paragraph declaring: “Russian operatives bought ads across several of Google’s services without the company’s knowledge, the latest evidence that their campaign to influence U.S. voters was as sprawling as it was sophisticated in deploying the technology industry’s most powerful tools.”

Wow! That sounds serious. However, if you read deeply enough into the story, you discover that the facts are a wee bit less dramatic. The Post tells us:

“Google’s internal investigation found $4,700 of search ads and display ads that the company believes are Russian-connected, and found $53,000 of ads with political content that were purchased from Russian Internet providers, building addresses or with Russian currency, people familiar with the investigation said. …

“One Russian-linked account spent $7,000 on ads to promote a documentary called ‘You’ve Been Trumped,’ a film about Donald Trump’s efforts to build a golf course in Scotland along an environmentally sensitive coastline, these people said. Another spent $30,000 on ads questioning whether President Obama needed to resign. Another bought ads to promote political merchandise for Obama.”

A journalist – rather than a propagandist – would immediately follow these figures with some context, i.e., that Google’s net digital ad sales revenue is about $70 billion annually. In other words, these tiny ad buys – with some alleged connection to Russia, a nation of 144 million people and not all Vladimir Putin’s “operatives” – are infinitesimal when put into any rational perspective. ... And, by the way, how does any of this material reveal a Russian plot to put Trump in the White House and to ensure Hillary Clinton’s defeat, which was the original Russia-gate narrative? Now, we’re being told that any Internet ads bought by Russians or maybe even by Americans living in Russia are part of some nefarious Kremlin plot even if the content is an anti-Trump documentary or some ads for or against President Obama, but nothing attacking Hillary Clinton. ...

However, rather than include the comparative numbers which would show how nutty Russia-gate has become, the U.S. mainstream media systematically avoids any reference to how tiny the “Russia-linked” pebbles are when compared to the size of the very large lake into which they were allegedly tossed.

NATO launches Black Sea force as latest counter to Russia

NATO launched a new multinational force in Romania on Monday to counter Russia along its eastern flank and to check a growing Russian presence in the Black Sea following the Kremlin’s 2014 seizure of Crimea.

The force will initially be built around a Romanian brigade of up to 4,000 soldiers, supported by troops from nine other NATO countries, and complementing a separate deployment of 900 U.S. troops who are already in place. The plans are to include additional air and sea assets to give the force greater capabilities. ...

Russia accuses NATO of trying to encircle it and threatening stability in Eastern Europe, which NATO denies. Around the Black Sea, Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey are NATO members while Georgia and Ukraine aspire to join.

AIPAC Struggles to Structure Debate on Iran Deal

Major Israel Lobby organization AIPAC was leading the campaign against the Iran nuclear deal for years, and is now struggling to revise the appropriate confines of debate on the matter in the lead-up to President Trump decertifying the deal to try to kill it.

AIPAC insists that they take no specific position on whether or not Trump ought to decertify the deal. They are, however, heavily lobbying the administration and US Congress on a new round of sanctions which would amount to a breach of the deal.

Oh my, I've got to lay in a supply of popcorn.

An Al Jazeera Reporter Went Undercover with the Pro-Israel Lobby In Washington

Britain's broadcasting regulator on Monday concluded that Al Jazeera did not violate any rules in its controversial undercover investigation exposing the Israeli embassy’s campaign to target British citizens critical of Israel, a campaign that included attempts to destroy the careers of pro-Palestinian British politicians.

The move by the communications regulator, known as Ofcom, clears the way for a follow-up documentary focused on Israeli influence in the U.S., the existence of which has previously been suspected but had yet to be made public. Clayton Swisher, director of investigative journalism for Al Jazeera Media Network, confirmed it to The Intercept on Monday. The goal of the British complaint may partly have been to delay publication of the follow-up American version, he said. “At the very same time [as the London investigation] — and we can safely reveal this now — we had an undercover operative working in tandem in Washington, D.C. With this U.K. verdict and vindication past us, we can soon reveal how the Israel lobby in America works through the eyes of an undercover reporter,” he said. ...

In January, pro-Israel activists in the U.S. began to suspect they’d been infiltrated when footage in America appeared in the British version of “The Lobby. Tablet began piecing things together and identified the likely hoaxer as a highfalutin British intern who’d dissonantly been renting a fully furnished $5,460 a month corporate apartment.

Swisher wouldn’t confirm or deny the identity of the American operative, but he said that with the American political class focused on foreign intervention in the affairs of the United States, now is an appropriate time to run the follow-up investigation. “I hear the U.S. is having problems with foreign interference these days, so I see no reason why the U.S. establishment won’t take our findings in America as seriously as the British did, unless of course Israel is somehow off limits from that debate,” he said.

Keiser Report: Decline of US

Spanish Government Issues Veiled Death Threat To Catalan Leader

In a quite shocking escalation of the rhetoric in Spain, a spokesman for the ruling People's Party just issued a (barely) veiled death threat to the President of Catalonia.

Lluís Companys was the President of Catalonia (Spain), from 1934 and during the Spanish Civil War. He was a lawyer and leader of the Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC) political party. Exiled after the war, he was captured and handed over by the Nazi secret police, the Gestapo, to the Spanish State of Francisco Franco, who had him executed by firing squad in 1940.

Seems about as clear as it gets from Rajoy's PP to Puigdemont - Call for Independence and Die!

Catalonia Crisis: Puigdemont says referendum result must be respected

Catalan government suspends declaration of independence

The Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, has pulled the region back from the brink of an unprecedented showdown with the Spanish government by announcing that he will suspend a declaration of independence to pursue negotiations in the hope of resolving Spain’s worst political crisis for 40 years.

Addressing the Catalan parliament on Tuesday evening, Puigdemont said that while the recent referendum had given his government a mandate to create an independent republic, he would not immediately declare unilateral independence from Spain.

“We propose the suspension of the effects of the declaration of independence for a few weeks, to open a period of dialogue,” he said. “If everyone acts responsibly the conflict can be resolved in a calm and agreed manner.” ...

In the run-up to the announcement, police had been stationed outside government buildings in Barcelona and had closed off the Ciutadella park around the regional parliament.

Thousands of independence campaigners, many of them draped in Catalan estelada flags, gathered nearby on Tuesday afternoon to watch the parliamentary session on giant screens as police helicopters hovered overhead. Behind them, just in front of Barcelona’s Arc de Triomf, stood nearly three dozen tractors that had been driven into the city in a show of farmers’ support for Catalan sovereignty. Many among the crowd drifted away when it became clear that an immediate declaration of independence would not be forthcoming.

France: Thousands join public sector strikes against Macron reforms

French public sector workers protest against Macron budget cuts

Thousands of French public sector workers have gone on strike and staged street demonstrations across France to protest against Emmanuel Macron’s budget cuts and pro-business agenda. All nine unions representing public sector workers from hospital staff and teachers to air traffic controllers called joint industrial action for the first time in a decade. Union leaders said they wanted to show a “profound disagreement” with the president’s plans to overhaul the state sector, accusing him of “stigmatising” state workers and favouring private business.

France’s vast public sector employs about 5.4 million staff and accounts for one in five jobs in the country. Macron, like previous presidents, has sought to make cuts in the large state sector budget with a plan to reduce the number of state workers by 120,000 over the next five years. A consultation on the future of the public sector is to begin soon.

Demonstrators from nurses to school canteen staff protested against issues including job cuts, low pay, tax increases and the tightening of rules that mean the first day of sick leave goes unpaid.

The education ministry said one in five primary school teachers and 16% of secondary school teachers had gone on strike, while unions said the figure was higher. Some high schools were blockaded by pupils. For the first time since 2009, hospital unions called on medical staff to walk out. About 30% of flights in and out of Paris and other major cities were cancelled because of action by air traffic controllers.

Julian Assange Marks 5.5 Years Inside Ecuadorean Embassy as UK & US Refuse to Confirm Arrest Warrant

Hat tip Snoopydawg:

FBI terrorism unit says 'black identity extremists' pose a violent threat

The US government has declared “black identity extremists” a violent threat, according to a leaked report from the FBI’s counter-terrorism division. The assessment, obtained by Foreign Policy, has raised fears about federal authorities racially profiling activists and aggressively prosecuting civil rights protesters.

The report, dated August 2017 and compiled by the Domestic Terrorism Analysis Unit, said: “The FBI assesses it is very likely Black Identity Extremist (BIE) perceptions of police brutality against African Americans spurred an increase in premeditated, retaliatory lethal violence against law enforcement and will very likely serve as justification for such violence.” Incidents of “alleged police abuse” have “continued to feed the resurgence in ideologically motivated, violent criminal activity within the BIE movement”.

The FBI’s dedicated surveillance of black activists follows a long history of the US government aggressively monitoring protest movements and working to disrupt civil rights groups, but the scrutiny of African Americans by a domestic terrorism unit was particularly alarming to some free speech campaigners. “When we talk about enemies of the state and terrorists, with that comes an automatic stripping of those people’s rights to speak and protest,” said Mohammad Tajsar, staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union. “It marginalizes what are legitimate voices within the political debate that are calling for racial and economic justice.”

The document has emerged at a time of growing concerns about Donald Trump’s links to the far right and white nationalists, and increasing anxieties about his administration’s efforts to further criminalize communities of color and shield police from scrutiny. Anti-Trump protesters and Black Lives Matter activists have continued to face harsh prosecutions and close federal monitoring.

Despite Dire Needs in Puerto Rico, Trump Lets Jones Act Waiver Expire

Amid desperate calls for more supplies from the mayor of San Juan, the White House allowed the 10-day waiver it issued on September 28 for the Jones Act, to expire on Monday.

The 1920 shipping rule prohibits foreign ships from carrying cargo between U.S. ports, citing tariffs, and was the subject of outcry last month as the Trump administration raised alarm with its slow response to Hurricane Maria's devastation of Puerto Rico.

Despite President Donald Trump's statements about the strong recovery Puerto Rico has made and his declaration that Maria was not "a real catastrophe like Katrina," nearly half of the island's 3.4 million people are still without drinking water and 85 percent of the territory is without power. Only 25 of Puerto Rico's 67 hospitals have electricity. The recovery is expected to go on for months.

The death toll, which was reported as 16 for several days without being updated, has gone up to 36—and that number is expected to rise as rescue crews make it to areas of the island that have been isolated since the hurricane struck on September 20.

Critics say an indefinite lifting of the Jones Act would allow the U.S. to deliver gasoline and other supplies more quickly to speed along the recovery without imposing the high costs of American-owned ships on the island, which declared bankruptcy earlier this year.

Distraction politics at its best:

Trump challenges Tillerson to 'compare IQ tests' after reported 'moron' dig

Donald Trump has challenged his secretary of state to “compare IQ tests”, if Rex Tillerson did call the president a “moron” as reported. Trump told Forbes magazine: “I think it’s fake news. But if he did [say] that, I guess we’ll have to compare IQ tests. And I can tell you who is going to win.”

The president spoke to the magazine on Friday and the interview was published online on Tuesday. Last week, an NBC story claimed Mike Pence, the vice-president, had to talk Tillerson out of resigning this summer, and that Tillerson had called Trump a “moron”. Some reports said he called the president “a fucking moron”. Tillerson said he never considered resigning but did not deny calling Trump a moron. His spokeswoman said he never used such language. ...

Later, at the daily White House briefing, press secretary Sarah Sanders insisted: “The president never implied the secretary of state was not incredibly intelligent. He made a joke – nothing more than that. He has full confidence in the secretary of state … They’re working hand in hand to move the president’s agenda forward.”

She chided reporters: “Maybe you guys should get a sense of humour and try it some time … He’s got 100% confidence in the secretary of state. We’re trying to move forward and talk about the agenda whereas you guys are trying to talk about who likes who.”

Charlottesville Victim Charged

Six white supremacists violently beating a black man in a parking garage was one of many disturbing incidents caught on camera during the striking events surrounding the far-right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August.

But now 20-year-old DeAndre Harris, who reportedly suffered a concussion, a head laceration that required 10 staples, a broken wrist, and a chipped tooth, is facing a felony charge himself: unlawful wounding for allegedly fighting back.

If convicted, he could face up to five years in prison and be slapped with a $2,500 fine. On Monday, a local magistrate issued a warrant for Harris’ arrest based on a complaint brought by one of the individuals involved in the melée.

According to a statement provided to local NBC station WVIR, the alleged victim relayed his account of what happened to the magistrate’s office. After a detective from Charlottesville Police Department concluded that the victim was telling the truth, the magistrate issued a warrant for Harris’ arrest.

The Charlottesville PD is withholding the identity of the accuser until Harris is in custody. Harris’ attorney C. Lee Merritt told the Washington Post that the accuser was a member of a white supremacist group, and that the charge was “clearly retaliatory.” He also said it was “highly unusual” that the warrant was issued by the magistrate rather than the local police department.

the evening greens

Thousands of Sharks, Other Sea Life Mysteriously Die in San Francisco Bay

As many as 2,000 leopard sharks have mysteriously died in the San Francisco Bay over the past few months. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife says determining the cause is not a priority for the state since the sharks are not threatened or endangered, however, scientists say additional research and resources are crucial since the threat is now believed to be preying on other marine life. “This year is unusual in that there has been a large number of other species that have also been dying,” said Dr. Mark Okihiro, a research scientist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. “This pathogen can tackle a variety of different species … we've had a much more diverse group of fish that have been found dead in the San Francisco Bay.”

At least 500 bat rays, hundreds of striped bass, 50 smooth-hound sharks and about 100 halibut died in the bay between February and July, according to Okihiro’s estimates.

Okihiro regularly performs necropsies on stranded sharks found along the bay and says researchers at UC San Francisco helped him identify parasite DNA in a large number of those shark samples. The deadly pathogen sneaks in through the shark’s nose and slowly eats away at the brain, Okihiro says, oftentimes causing sharks to beach themselves or swim in circles.

Okihiro estimates 1,000 to 2,000 leopard sharks have died in the bay so far this year, however, he concedes the death toll could actually be higher. “The sharks you see on shore are just a small fraction of the sharks that are actually dying in the bay,” he said. Sharks are not naturally buoyant. Unless they are actively swimming, their bodies sink. As a result, infected sharks that die in deep water may never actually wash up on shore.

California fires: at least 13 killed in 'unprecedented' wine country blaze

At least 13 people have died in northern California after what officials are describing as an “unprecedented” wildfire that has already destroyed over 1,500 structures and devastated large swaths of wine country.

“We often have multiple fires going on, but the majority of them all started right around same time period, same time of night – it’s unprecedented,” Amy Head, the fire captain spokeswoman for Cal Fire, the state agency responsible for fire protection, told the Guardian. “I hate using that word because it’s been overused a lot lately because of how fires have been in the past few years, but it truly is – there’s just been a lot of destruction.”

About 20,000 people have been evacuated, including hundreds of senior citizens from nursing homes, and public schools in Napa and Sonoma counties were closed Tuesday. Major fires in those regions remain completely uncontained, threatening thousands of homes and vineyards in the wine country north of San Francisco. ...

Years of drought in California, followed by an extremely wet winter, have meant that vegetation is thicker and more susceptible to the fires that tend to be at their worst in the autumn. Officials say the high winds are hampering firefighting efforts in the region about 140 miles (225km) north of San Francisco. To assist with the efforts the country’s largest firefighting aircraft – a converted 747 – has been deployed.

It’s Not Regulation That’s a Threat to Jobs, It’s Climate Change

President Donald Trump and Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt have a go-to argument they lean on when pushing for repeal of the Clean Power Plan or other government regulation: The red tape is costing America jobs. ...

Pruitt may be right about a connection between climate change policy and jobs, but he seems to have it backward. The United States shed 33,000 jobs in September, ending a seven-year streak in U.S. jobs growth — the longest-ever in U.S. history. Two of the main causes of that reversal?

Hurricanes Irma and Harvey.

As Economic Policy Institute Senior Economist Elise Gould wrote, the drop-off in employment “was almost certainly due to Hurricane Irma, which struck smack in the middle of the reference period, and the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.” Over the phone, she told The Intercept that the storms had “a larger effect than I would have expected.”

While drawing direct correlations between warming and any single storm is virtually impossible, rising temperatures almost certainly shaped both Irma and Harvey. Each benefited from unusually warm waters in the seas where they brewed. The fact that sea levels are higher than they were just a few decades ago also makes storm surges higher. Worth noting as well is that Harvey was the third “once-in-500-year” flooding event Houston had experienced in just three years.

Also of Interest

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

The Only Thing Stopping Us From Creating Utopia Is The Fact That We Don’t Truly Want It Yet

Russia’s plan to free itself from the US dollar is working better than anyone ever imagined

Blaming Russia for Major U.S. Problems Raises Risk of Not Seeing Enemy Within

Recordings Capture Brutal FBI Tactics to Recruit a Potential Informant

Pacific martens are missing from all over the Olympics

A Little Night Music

Sunnyland Slim - I Had It Hard

Sunnyland Slim - Speak Once And Think Twice

Sunnyland Slim - Miss Ida B.

Sunnyland Slim - It’s You Baby

Sunnyland Slim - Orphan Boy Blues

Sunnyland Slim - Get Hip To Yourself

Sunnyland Slim + Johnny Shines - Livin' In the White House

Sunnyland Slim - Shake It Baby

Sunnyland Slim + Big Time Sarah - Rocking My Blues Away

20 users have voted.


joe shikspack's picture

i may be scarce this evening, the kids are coming over for dinner. i'll catch up with y'all later.

17 users have voted.
k9disc's picture

The deep state wants a big hot war and doesn't like him much.

What could go wrong...

13 users have voted.

“Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” ~ Sun Tzu

joe shikspack's picture


fortunately, i'd imagine that like all bullies, trump has a heightened awareness of the risks of stepping just a little too far over the line.

2 users have voted.


Great, now I'm wondering about the odds of Trump disposal via a False Flag event where 'Putin' assassinates the US president, thus requiring immediate nuclear annihilation of life on the planet.

Cheney's advising the Trump Admin and mentoring Vice President Pence, who wants to model his Vice on Cheney's, after all...

0 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

SparkyGump's picture

the Billy Joel song "We didn't start the fire" comes to mind.

What the heck is it with Republican presidents and picking fights with other countries? Now Trump wants to trade nukes with North Korea. smh

11 users have voted.

The real SparkyGump has passed. It was an honor being your human.

mimi's picture

Thanks for the EB and have a good evening, all.

12 users have voted.
karl pearson's picture


4 users have voted.
Deja's picture

I got this in my inbox, my jaw dropped, and I actually went to read the article. I admit that I didn't thoroughly read it, but I think the headline is misleading (and Sean King isn't the author).

Did I miss something yuuuge?

Title: Congress Uses Las Vegas Massacre to Push Abortion Ban


Now I need to watch Assange. Thanks, and hey Joe!

8 users have voted.

"The gatekeepers must change."

mimi's picture

may be it's for a good cause? Who knows, you tell me.
Who Are the Two Hezbollah Military Commanders Wanted by the U.S.? - A multi-million dollar reward for the arrest of Talal Hamiyah and Fu'ad Shukr was announced by the U.S. counterterrorism director on Tuesday

Come on, everyone has his price, and, anyhow, who knows who are the good guys and who are the bad guys, so why bother, just take the dough and go on...

U.S. Believes Hezbollah Determined to Develop Attack Capability Inside U.S.

Wanted: Freedom from Fear.

11 users have voted.
Azazello's picture

The Keiser Report was good, looks like Amy got on Assange's nerves a little bit.
Monk woulda' been 100 today.

11 users have voted.
Arrow's picture

EB as good as always. HT on Thelonious Monk too Azazello.

Added good tweet to the 'Green' section:

10 users have voted.

I want a Pony!

Not Henry Kissinger's picture

Looks a bit like Hiroshima.

I live about 30 minutes south. Woke up Monday to ash falling to the ground like snow.

15 users have voted.

"Friends don't let friends Russiagate." - Caitlin Johnstone

smiley7's picture

@Not Henry Kissinger

13 users have voted.
Not Henry Kissinger's picture


the worst fire in the California history. Many thousands have lost everything - homes, jobs, schools, hospitals, pets. etc.

Not to mention the fires hit right during harvest season, which means the wine country's economy is screwed for the forseeable future. And it's far from over.

Meanwhile Trump spends his day playing golf with Lindsey Graham....

12 users have voted.

"Friends don't let friends Russiagate." - Caitlin Johnstone

smiley7's picture

@Not Henry Kissinger

have one in drafts, will post soon; again, be safe and please stay in touch.

6 users have voted.
Not Henry Kissinger's picture


6 users have voted.

"Friends don't let friends Russiagate." - Caitlin Johnstone

smiley7's picture

@Not Henry Kissinger

as i've just taken a look and i am thinking from the hip, feeling helpless as to what one can do but pray for rain, immediately.

Amazing how the network vids hardly move us compared to having friends in danger as Mollie says, be safe folks and be in touch.

5 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture


to Eyo--hope you're safe and sound!


6 users have voted.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

@Unabashed Liberal thanks for the good thoughts. I need to ramble so here is a story;

I remember you recommended brita filters for my bad tasting tap water, but they are kind of expensive and very plastic, so I resisted going that route again. I have two brita pitchers and much stubbornness. When I did tech support for an independent sales rep, one year he had a mavea contract and I learned lots about filtration, had reverse RO (for arsenic) softened well water back then. Spoiled.

I am on a strict cash budget now, city water and no room for extra expenses. Out of the blue my neighbor asked if I could help them clear out tons of stuff from her mom's in Santa Rosa, really short notice for them. So I spent a couple of days hauling stuff from the house to a big dumpster up near the street. "Stuff" I can't even begin to describe, lots of it was brand new, still in a box.

For lending a hand that weekend, I ended up owning a Pioneer SS Gravity System and it is pretty pretty great!

The Pioneer™SS is an 18 liter (4.75 gallon) gravity filter system that accommodates up to 4 filter candles. The Pioneer™SS is easy to assemble, requiring no tools to set up. Manufactured from 304 grade stainless steel, it is highly durable and lightweight. The upper chamber nests into the lower chamber for easy transport of the unit. This unit will hold both Slimline and Imperial filter candles.
Available filters are the CeraPlus™, CeraMetix®GF, and our QuickDrip™ filters.

They let me have the demo model off the shelf where I bought it, so I was lucky that time too! It's a challenge shopping locally here on a cash-only budget, had to go to Hopland for it. It was right there next to a medical dispensary. Water is life. Herbals make it worth living.

Now you are stuck in my lint trap too, every time I go to get water I think about dogs running off-leash, and how great it tastes. Biggrin Lots of c99ers are up in my lint trap now, thanks a lot everyone keep going.

ever widening circles
let the good vibes ring

Of course this ends in disaster, because yo it's me. Sorry I don't know how to end happy yet. I am pretty sure that house is burned to the ground, and the oak woodlands that surrounded it are most likely gone. I don't know for sure though, it is unbelievable hardship for everyone involved. Hard to comprehend. Just forget I saw the confederate flag downstairs too while I'm at it. sheesh

3 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@Not Henry Kissinger

This neighborhood had 100s of homes and poof, they are gone. It's hard to comprehend this amount of homes that have been destroyed by the fires. Over 15,000 homes and businesses gone. How do people recover from this or from the storms in the south and PR?

People who rented homes in Houston got 4,days eviction notices because the owner of their rentals wanted to rebuild, but with that many homes destroyed, where are they going to be able to find housing? How many people lost their jobs because of the storm damage to them and now have no money to live on? I don't think people outside their area can comprehend how bad it is for so many people and I haven't seen any news reports on this. This isn't surprising, but still I'd think someone would be covering this.

Where are the people in PR supposed to live if all the houses were destroyed? What about people in Santa Rosa and the other areas that burned? It's difficult enough for people to find rentals that they can afford because banks have bought us so many.

And of course the government isn't going to cough up money to help people. Can this country be called a banana republic yet?

12 users have voted.

America is a psyop wearing a cowboy hat

Not Henry Kissinger's picture

@snoopydawg What about people in Santa Rosa and the other areas that burned? It's difficult enough for people to find rentals that they can afford because banks have bought us so many.

People are already saying the character of the city is bound to change, as only the rich will be able to afford to rebuild.

SR is a very cool small city (about 200,000). Diverse both ethnically and economically, but like a lot of communities in NoCal suffering under the strain of rampant financialization which has forced more and more people to the brink.

How those folks cope now is anybody's guess.

8 users have voted.

"Friends don't let friends Russiagate." - Caitlin Johnstone

@Not Henry Kissinger don't say karma. I hope the hundreds denied housing in the past will blend in somehow and get housing along with the rest of the sudden transients. Coffey Park is the middle class area in the photos, I know people who lived there but haven't spoken in years. I hope they moved. Fountaingrove area burned first, a lot more money up there in the hills. I don't think fire insurance is mandatory, maybe some mortgages still require it. Financial Services work better when you have finances. "That's the system."

Because I've lived in Sonoma County since 1975, I'm gonna know or have known people in all the areas affected. My neighbor did not call back yesterday about her mom's house in Bennet Valley, I think this morning's paper says why: Bennett Ridge neighborhood loses more than 75 homes

“Lost. Lost. Lost. Lost. All these houses are just burned to the ground,” said Rollo Road resident Matt Jennings, who made the list.

I'm not the only one who needs therapy right now, most people are walking and driving around in shock. There was only one tent camper at the evac center up here yesterday, and a few extra RVs in the lot, maybe from the evac'd Cloverdale KOA, Geyserville fire. The motels are busy. The ATMs are out of cash.
Roto-rooter guy showed up yesterday and now there is water in the house again. Clearly we did not need a new water heater, I am trying not to obsess over lack of control to get stuff fixed around here. The house guy is not a DIY type, but omg can't even replace a common threaded hose? No water for days because... omg don't think about it. The absentee landlord is still absent, I'll need to send him photos of the wind damage from Sunday, torn off soffit paneling above my deck, ugly hole there now.


4 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@Not Henry Kissinger

i've been seeing a bunch of pictures from california that look a lot like pictures from afghanistan and syria until you look at them closely for the past couple of days.

i hope that the fires avoid you. stay safe!

3 users have voted.

Unfortunately, I go to TOP to read about Russian conspiracies. One struck me as what I actually predicted. There was a diary accusing two black guys of being directly Kremlin agents. The evidence was that they said very nasty things about Hillary in a video and some unknown sources accused them of being direct Kremlin agents.

I don't have an FB account and went to youtube to watch their videos. Like the overwhelming majority of their poorly done vidoes decried racism in America. Never once mentioned Hillary of the democratic party.

I predicted all along that the Russian hysteria would lead to the marginalization of dissent. This has been developing since last year become hysteria in a number of areas. Will be interesting when black movements are told in no uncertain terms they are Putin stooges.

10 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture


yeah, i'm not surprised to see stooges at top attacking black lives matter and other african american activists.

i am sad to see it tolerated there, but once again, not too surprised.

1 user has voted.


I kinda thought that the stifling of dissent and imposition of censorship was one of the main purposes, after the excuse to attack Russia, of course.

Toe the Party line or Gitmo trouble than could ever be actually legal. If not for a lot of illegal and unconstitutional changes luckily put into place...

0 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

Steven D's picture

That's my thought after seeing all this crap.

8 users have voted.

"You can't just leave those who created the problem in charge of the solution."---Tyree Scott

joe shikspack's picture

@Steven D

that's often my thought, too. i frequently think that humanity is too stupid to pull its own ass out of the fire. individually we humans are intelligent, but collectively humans are dumb as a stump.

2 users have voted.
divineorder's picture

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.

Unabashed Liberal's picture

had a nice evening with 'the kids.' BTW, when are we going to see more pictures of the 'Granddogs?' Especially, that pretty one with the shiny black coat.


Everyone have a nice evening!



"I think dogs are the most amazing creatures--they give unconditional love. For me, they are the role model for being alive."--Gilda Radner

"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went."--Will Rogers

3 users have voted.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

From the OP:

It’s Not Regulation That’s a Threat to Jobs, It’s Climate Change

President Donald Trump and Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt have a go-to argument they lean on when pushing for repeal of the Clean Power Plan or other government regulation: The red tape is costing America jobs. ...

I'd just like to point out that this is perfectly true - in one sense; the more rapidly workers are poisoned/sickened, injured/crippled, or more directly and immediately killed due to a lack of adequately enforced workplace regulations, the more this faster turnover will require new hirings. And additional industrial pollution and increasingly toxic/unsafe products due to the same cause will also reduce the numbers of potential applicants capable of working, among many other things...

Considering that - even apart from the misery and destruction to human and environmental health and life already long being caused, which will further increase in correlation with the increases in causal industrial pollution, involving environmental, workplace and other exposures, such as from those within the food supply, cosmetics, etc. - the fiscal costs paid by affected individuals and the general taxpaying public, on whom such monetary costs are also off-loaded, far outweigh the 'cost-savings' gained by polluting industry by being able to pollute more freely, this constitutes murderous fraud.

Due to sucky connection and search, I lack time and energy to try tracking down some of the very telling studies done years back, assuming that any of them are still on the internet/generally available to the public. If they are, they seem to be a good distance down and I cannot currently recall enough of any additional specifics beyond those already attempted, in order to potentially track any of these down.

Certainly much of the once-profuse publicly-available material pertinent to this was paywalled off or otherwise made difficult to locate years back. Under Obama, not Bush.

Health & Environmental Effects of Air Pollution

(Please note: Jan. 1st, 1971 - this is very old but I felt that portions are interesting.)

Pollution costs
by Edward Goldsmith · January 1, 1971

...Also there must be thresholds beyond which levels for different pollutants become lethal. Before these thresholds are reached, the effects are not easily observable. This does not mean that biological damage is not being done and that ecological costs are not being incurred, but that they will only be translated into economic costs once they have led to a reduction in economic activity.

The reason why there has been this sudden interest in pollution is that many of these thresholds are now being reached and pollution is beginning to affect our economy.

There appear to be few satisfactory studies of the cost of pollution to our society. However, in the United States, Lester B. Lave and Eugene Seskin [1] of the Carnegie-Mellon University estimate that roughly 25 percent of all respiratory disease is associated with air pollution. This means that the cost of air pollution to health in the United States was about $2 billion in 1963, the last year for which usable data is available.
Ailing shrubbery

Professor Thomas D. Crocker, of the University of Wisconsin, and Professor Robert J, Anderson Junior, of the University of Purdue, [1] have estimated that an increase in air pollution of from 5 to 1.5 percent, reflected in off-colour paint, ailing shrubbery, sooty surfaces and unpleasant odours, takes $300 – $700 off the value of a house. On this basis air pollution in 1965 was costing America $621 million in reduced property values.

The Beaver Committee Report put the cost of air pollution in Britain on our health and property at £350 million. This was 16 years ago, and it was probably even then a conservative estimate (see Albone, Chapter 14).

Gerald H. Michael, Assistant Surgeon General, has calculated that the 173 million tons of contaminants ejected annually into the atmosphere in the United States costs Americans $10-$20 billion a year in medical bills and cleaning bills.

According to the National Air Pollution Control Administration, the figure is between $14 and $18 million. [2]

The harm done by sulphur dioxide alone to crops in the United States has been estimated at more than $500 million a year. The damage done by the countless poisons we pour into rivers and seas in terms of reduced fish catches must also be colossal, and can only go on increasing. Mercury alone has been considered responsible for an annual 1 billion’s-worth of damage world-wide.

Representative James Murphy of Staten Island, member of the Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee, asserts that pollution in general costs the United States more than $30 billion a year and predicts that this figure will rise to $60 billion by 1980.

From these terrifying figures, it must be apparent that pollution control is not the luxury many people think it is. To refuse, for economic or political reasons, to install pollution control equipment is not to save money, again as many people think but simply to pay the cost of pollution in a different currency: in reduced plant yields, in larger cleaning bills, in higher medical costs, etc.

Also the amount of money spent on pollution control has up till now been but a minute fraction of total pollution costs. In Britain the £32 million spent on air pollution control is less than an eleventh of total cost as estimated by the Beaver Committee. In the United States the $10 billion that President Nixon proposes to spend before 1975 (assuming that it is in fact spent, which is by no means sure) is also but a fraction of what it will really cost to clean up that country’s polluted environment. Let us briefly examine this. ...

...The cost of controlling pollution of the seas may be highest of all. Practically all our waste products end up in the seas, and they cannot absorb it all indefinitely. Strict measures will undoubtedly soon have to be taken to curb oil pollution by tankers. Nuclear power stations will have to find ways of reducing levels of radioactive waste at present ejected into the seas. Pesticide levels will have to be reduced which simply means that farmers will have to use less of these poisons, though this may in the long run represent a saving both in expenditure and crop yields.

There will also have to be a limit to the amount of solid waste indiscriminately tipped into the sea. At present the cost of collecting solid waste in the United States including 7 million cars, 100 billion tyres, 2 million tons of paper, 20 billion bottles and 48 billion cans adds up to about $2-8 billion. Much of this ends up in the seas. More sophisticated means of disposal are clearly required, and this must radically increase expenditure.

The total cost of controlling all different types of pollution, has I am sure never been calculated. Senator Gaylord Nelson estimates that in the United States it will be between $25 and $30 billion a year. “No administration has understood the size of the issue. It is much more important than space programmes, weapons systems or the money we are wasting in Vietnam.” ...

...As already mentioned, it is important to realize that the effect of pollutants on biological organisms is unlikely to be linear. There are likely to be thresholds below which concentrations have only sub-lethal long term effects, but above which serious biological damage becomes apparent. When these thresholds are reached, observable and measurable damage to crops, wild life and humans will start soaring.

With oil transported across the seas trebling every ten years, interest in the long term sub-lethal effects of oil pollution has increased. Dr Max Blumer in the United States and Dr J. D. George in the United Kingdom have pointed to its very serious nature. It is possible that in the next decades the accumulated effects of oil pollution will become very costly in terms of fish resources.

The levels of pesticides in marine organisms, birds and surprisingly enough in our rainwater is also on the increase – not surprisingly as pesticides in the United States are a $450 million business, and in the United Kingdom £20 million worth are sold, a sum that is increasing at 6 percent per annum. [7] It must be but a question of time before these levels are no longer tolerated and start taking their toll in human lives.

As little as possible

I think that one can take it as axiomatic that governments and businesses will spend as little on pollution control as they can possibly get away with. Conservationist pressure can force their hand to a certain extent. Political and economic necessity, however, must be the ultimate determinant of the amount of money spent on pollution control.

Thus DDT was banned for 2 years in Sweden only when herrings were found to contain higher than permissible levels of this poison, which rendered them unsaleable. In Britain the Clean Air Act was passed only after 3,000 people had died from the effects of smog in the winter of 1952.

In Northern Italy businesses are spending a lot of money on water-pollution control equipment, and advertising the fact in the popular press to show just how socially responsible they are. The fact is that they are running out of usable water and their choice is clear cut: either to spend the money or close down.

Situations of this sort are likely to occur more and more. For instance, in Japan, pollution is so bad that in certain industrial areas, further expansion is simply no longer viable. Manufacturers are getting round this by setting up manufacturing facilities in other countries, mainly in South-East Asia, though Toyota is apparently looking around for a suitable site in Europe.

We have here a totally new phenomenon, ‘Industrial Nomadism’. Manufacturers pollute an area until it is incapable of supporting further industrial growth and then move off to another one.

The trouble is that growing social and ecological problems will tend to make economic imperialism ever less easy. ... Sanford Rose writes,

“Once society, by one means or another, begins charging rent for use of the environment’s capacity to absorb wastes, engineers will have to think about pollution control as an integral part of plant design rather than as an afterthought. A lot more research funds will be allocated to pollution control, and costs may go down faster thin anyone expects.” ...

...Even the sophisticated after-burners used to cut down exhaust suffer from the same deficiency. According to Bio-Science they simply break up the exhaust into minute particles which stay in the air longer because of their small size. A single motor car will emit about 100 billion such particles per second. Instead of forming condensation centres for raindrops, they form centres for tiny ice crystals, or mist droplets, that tend to remain in the air or descend very slowly. As Professor Wayne Davis comments, “The result is that in regions far from the pollution centres, we now have developing misty covers, which can cut down the amount of sunlight reaching the earth.” ...

... The amount spent on pollution control must also increase as scientific research reveals the ever greater damage done by different pollutants to biological organisms and in particular to human health.

Things considered harmless are slowly becoming incriminated as research progresses. It is in fact gradually being revealed to scientists, who should already know, that man has developed phylogenetically as an adaptive response to much more specific environmental conditions than we think, and that any undue modification of these conditions will affect him adversely.

Take sulphur dioxide; there is as yet no legislation calling for its control. Yet we know of its adverse effects on plant growth and we learn from Dr. Robert Shapiro that it has a significant mutagenic effect, and can thereby cause infant malformations and probably cancer. It seems probable, Shapiro writes that sulphur dioxide constitutes a genetic hazard to living organisms. [9]

Research on the effect of radioactivity of biological organisms is constantly leading to further reductions in permissible levels. Recently, Doctors Tamplin and Goffman of the AEC have provided evidence to show that the effects of low level radiation are much more dangerous than previously thought. [10] It was pointed out that if their recommendations were to be adopted, the effect on the nuclear power industry would be disastrous.

One reaction was that it would simply put America out of business. ...

Profits before survival - the business plan of the Psychopaths That Be...

0 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.