The Evening Blues - 10-8-15



eb1pt12


Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features blues guitarist and singer Larry Johnson. Enjoy!

Larry Johnson - Hear The Angels Singing

"You must pursue this investigation of Watergate even if it leads to the president. I'm innocent. You've got to believe I'm innocent. If you don't, take my job."

-- Richard M. Nixon


News and Opinion

Why Is the U.S. Refusing an Independent Investigation If Its Hospital Airstrike Was an “Accident”?

On Monday, we documented the multiple conflicting accounts offered in the first three days by the U.S. military and its media allies, but the story continued to change even further after that. As The Guardian’s headline yesterday noted, the U.S. admission that its own personnel called in the airstrike — not Afghan forces as it claimed the day before — meant that “U.S. alters story for fourth time in four days.” All of this led MSF president, Dr. Joanne Liu, to state the obvious today: “We cannot rely on internal military investigations by the U.S., NATO and Afghan forces.”

An independent, impartial investigation into what happened here should be something everyone can immediately agree is necessary. But at its daily press briefing on Monday, the U.S. State Department, through its spokesperson Mark Toner, insisted that no such independent investigation was needed on the ground that the U.S. government is already investigating itself and everyone knows how trustworthy and reliable this process is. ...

So predictably, American journalists have announced without even waiting for any investigation that this was all a terrible accident, nothing intentional about it. ... Many Americans, and especially a large percentage of the nation’s journalists, need no investigation to know that this was nothing more than a terrible, tragic mistake. ...

They’re certain of this despite how consistent MSF has been that this was a “war crime.” They’re certain of it despite how many times, and how recently, MSF notified the U.S. military of the exact GPS coordinates of this hospital. They’re certain of it even though bombing continued for 30 minutes after MSF pleaded with them to stop. They’re certain of it despite the substantial evidence that their Afghan allies long viewed this exact hospital with hostility because — true to its name and purpose — the group treated all wounded human beings, including Taliban. They’re certain of it even though Afghan officials have explicitly defended the airstrike against the hospital on the ground that Taliban were inside. They’re certain of it despite how many times the U.S. has radically changed its story about what happened as facts emerged that proved its latest claims false. They’re certain of it despite how many times the U.S. has attacked and destroyed civilian targets under extremely suspicious circumstances.

Doctors Without Borders: Bombing Could Not Have Been a Mistake

That Awkward Moment When One Nobel Peace Prize Winner Bombs Another

Doctors Without Borders won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1999. President Obama was awarded his in 2009. As Commander-in-Chief of the military that bombed the Doctors Without Borders hospital, this makes Obama perhaps the first Nobel Peace Prize winner to bomb another Nobel Peace Prize winner.

Or maybe not? Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1973, and he masterminded the secret bombing of Cambodia and Laos for President Nixon around that time. Shortly thereafter, it came to light that in that campaign, hospitals were routinely targeted for bombing. As The Nation recently reported:

“A letter from former Army captain Rowan Malphurs said that in 1969 and 1970, he analyzed aerial photographs where B-52 bombs (the ones ordered by Kissinger) fell on Cambodia: “I saw on several occasions where possible hospitals had been bombed…. On another occasion I observed a red cross on a building that was partially destroyed by bombs.”

By then, the Red Cross had already been awarded its three Nobel Peace Prizes.

Sorry, Obama, it looks like that’s one “historic first” you can’t claim. That old fox beat you to it.

If it makes you feel any better, Kissinger seems to think your mass-murder record actually beats his. (I know this will warm your heart, since you once bragged, “Turns out I’m really good at killing people.”) When confronted about bombing Cambodia on a recent book tour, Kissinger said in his own defense:

“I think we would find, if you study the conduct of guerrilla-type wars, that the Obama administration has hit more targets on a broader scale than the Nixon administration ever did. (…)

And I bet if one did an honest account, there were fewer civilian casualties in Cambodia than there have been from American drone attacks.”

Whether that dubious claim is true or not, it’s the thought that counts. Consider it a compliment: a gold star from teacher. Or even an elder statesman’s passing of the torch: from one peace-prize winning war criminal to another.

Afghan Special Forces Attacked Kunduz Hospital Three Months Before US Strike

Adding to the questions surrounding last weekend’s calamitous US attack against a Kunduz hospital run by Doctors Without Borders, a strike which killed 22 civilians, including 12 staff members, it has since been discovered that troops from the Afghan Special Forces attacked the same hospital in early July.

In a Doctors Without Borders statement from the time, the aid group condemned the attack, in which the forces stormed the hospital, “physical assaulted three MSF staff members,” and “began shooting in the air.” They threatened to arrest three patients, and threatened a staff member at gunpoint during the raid, before leaving without any prisoners.

The revelation becomes all the more important following the revelation that it was Afghan forces who initially requested the US attack the hospital, and is raising speculation that ongoing Afghan hostility toward the site played a role in the request for “air support” by attacking it.

As Military Escalation Grips Syria, Oxfam Decries World Powers for Fueling War

As reports of a new military offensive by Syrian and Russian forces made headlines on Wednesday, Oxfam International rebuked wealthy and powerful nations for flooding the war-torn country with weapons, fueling bloodshed on all sides, and failing to adequately assist those seeking aid and refuge.

In a briefing entitled Solidarity with Syrians (pdf), Oxfam singles out the United States, Iran, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey for "fueling violence and violations of war in Syria through arms and ammunition transfers to parties to the conflict."

The report also slams the international community for its "cursory and insincere" efforts to arrive at a political resolution to the crisis.

"The violence in Syria is intensifying, fueled by a divided international community and the transfer of arms and ammunition to warring parties," said Andy Baker, head of Oxfam's Syria crisis response, in a statement accompanying the report. "Faced with this grim situation, many Syrians are literally jumping in the water to seek a better future."

For those Syrians forced to flee their homeland, says Oxfam, too many are being met with a faltering aid response from the international community, including from governments most able to afford assistance. ...

The United States, United Kingdom, and Kuwait are identified by researchers as "less than generous in their offers to welcome the most vulnerable refugees"—with the U.S. resettling just 8 percent of its "fair share."

Another day, another round of impotent sabre-rattling from NATO and another heaping helping of US propaganda.

NATO Is Getting Ready to Defend Turkey From Russia

NATO said today it was prepared to deploy troops in Turkey to defend its ally after violations of Turkish airspace by Russian jets bombing Syria, and Britain scolded Moscow for escalating a civil war that has already killed 250,000 people.

"NATO is ready and able to defend all allies, including Turkey, against any threats," Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters as he arrived for the meeting of defense ministers in Brussels.

Meanwhile, the US State Department claimed that a huge percentage of Moscow's attacks were not striking Islamic State (IS) targets but hitting moderate rebel groups opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad instead.

"Greater than 90 percent of the strikes that we've seen them take to date have not been against ISIL [an alternative acronym for IS] or al Qaeda-affiliated terrorists," said state department spokesman John Kirby. "They've been largely against opposition groups that want a better future for Syria and don't want to see the Assad regime stay in power."

Nato ready to send troops to defend Turkey, says Stoltenberg

The NATO-Russia Face Off in Syria

So a Su-30 enters a few hundred meters into Turkish airspace for only two minutes over Hatay province, and returns to Syrian airspace after being warned by a couple of Turkish F-16s.

Then all hell breaks loose as if this was the ultimate pretext for a NATO-Russia war. ...

Enter Dr. Zbigniew “Grand Chessboard” Brzezinski, growling in a FT Op-Ed that Washington should “retaliate” if Moscow does not stop attacking US assets in Syria. “US assets” means CIA-trained “moderate rebels”. And after all, “American credibility” is at stake.

Dr. Zbig – Obama’s prime foreign policy mentor – insists bombing CIA-trained “rebels” accounts for “Russian military incompetence”. And the American counter-attack should be to “disarm” the “Russian naval and air presence.” Now that’s how you go for a NATO-Russia Hot War 2.0.

Dr. Zbig admitted though that “regional chaos could easily spread northeastward,” and then “both Russia and then China could be adversely affected.” Who cares? What matters is that “American interests and America’s friends…would also suffer.”

This is what passes for prime geopolitical analysis in the ‘Empire of Chaos’.

US-Armed Syrian Faction Complains Russia Destroyed Weapons Depot

Adding to US claims that the vast majority of Russian airstrikes in Syria aren’t targeting ISIS, but rather other rebel factions, the Liwa Suqour al-Jabal (Falcons of the Mountain) brigade is claiming that Russia attacked and destroyed their main weapons depots in western Aleppo Province on Tuesday.

The Falcons are part of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), and the recipients of massive amounts of arms from the CIA earlier in the war. The group also claims large funding from other unnamed “Arab and foreign countries” and insists it is fighting ISIS as well as the Syrian government.

Which all appears to be true enough, but absent in the story is that this faction of the FSA has been closely allied with al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front in the offensive in Idlib, which left them in control of that province. With one of the main early focuses of Russia’s Syria campaign retaking territory in Idlib Province to more readily connect the capital of Damascus to the Latakia coast.

Iraq wants Russia to bomb ISIS on its territory, US concerned

Iraq May Request Russian Airstrikes Against ISIS

Key MP Says Russia Likely to Have Bigger Role Than US

Citing frustration with the ongoing situation in the ISIS War, Iraqi parliament defense and security committee chairman Hakim al-Zamili today said he believes that Iraq will be asking Russia, in a matter of a “few days or weeks,” to start launching airstrikes on ISIS in Iraqi territory. He added Russia’s role would likely be larger than the US role.

Russia began launching strikes on ISIS in Syria, at the behest of the Syrian government, last week, and at the time indicated they were open to expanding the strikes into Iraq, if the Iraqi government requested it. Iraqi officials have since talked up the idea several times.

Saudi Arabia Silences UN Human Rights Council Over Its War Crimes in Yemen

Locals Say US-Backed Saudi Coalition Bombed Yemeni Wedding Party. Again.

The U.S.-backed, Saudi-led coalition is suspected of being responsible for an airstrike that killed up to 30 people attending a wedding celebration in Yemen on Wednesday.

It marks the second strike to hit a Yemeni wedding party in less than two weeks, with a Sept. 28 strike killing at least 131 people. ...

The exact death toll is unclear, with estimates in media reports ranging from at least 13 to at least 30.  "Local hospitals have been overwhelmed with victims, [local security] officials said," CNN reports.

Human rights organization Amnesty International released a report this week—entitled ‘Bombs fall from the sky day and night’: Civilians under fire in northern Yemen—and called for a suspension of transfers of arms implicated in war crimes to the coalition.

"The USA and other states exporting weapons to any of the parties to the Yemen conflict have a responsibility to ensure that the arms transfers they authorize are not facilitating serious violations of international humanitarian law," said Donatella Rovera, Amnesty's senior crisis response adviser.

Intractable US Hostility Has Iran Looking Elsewhere for Diplomatic Partners

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has put the kibosh on plans by the Rouhani government to seek more talks with the United States on other diplomatic issues, leading pundits to claim that Iran “hasn’t really changed.” The ban, however, seems to be driven more by America’s post-deal attitude than anything internal to Iran.

Some analysts were quick to note that the Obama Administration had squandered the opportunity for rapprochement in the wake of the nuclear deal by constantly expressing hostility and continued to threaten military action against Iran, hoping to quell domestic resistance to the deal by insisting that US hostility toward Iran would continue as usual. ...

It’s particularly noteworthy that Khamenei’s “ban” didn’t cover any other Western nations, suggesting the reformist government is free to continue its efforts at rapprochement with the rest of the international community, and that it is simply direct US ties which are being cut out of the equation.

War Party’s New Line: Vladimir Putin is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

America’s War Party (a faction that sprawls across Democratic and Republican affiliation lines) has been looking for something to replace the Cold War ever since it ended. ...

Enter Vladimir Putin. He’s perfectly suited to serve as the War Party’s new hobgoblin: Former KGB agent, head of an authoritarian regime, already on the US enemies list after frustrating US ambitions in Georgia and Ukraine … what’s not to like?

As I write this, Putin is escalating Russian involvement in the Syrian conflict, going from airstrikes against Islamic State targets to having the Russian navy fire cruise missiles in support of a regime ground offensive. ...

No more solitaire for the American empire. It’s back to high-stakes poker. Which, of course, is exactly what War Party politicians on both sides of the aisle want. Gambling with our money and lives is their bread and butter.

Can we build a real American peace movement to call the War Party’s bluff? Our lives may depend on it.

I wonder if Putin can see UK Defense Secretary Michael Fallon's little dick waving from his house.

Britain to station troops in Baltic region 'to deter Russian aggression'

Britain is to station troops in the Baltic states to shore up Nato’s eastern borders and deter Russian aggression, the UK defence secretary, Michael Fallon, has said.

Fallon announced the commitment upon arrival at the quarterly meeting of Nato defence ministers in Brussels. The deployment is intended to reassure former Soviet bloc members in light of increased tension between Russia and Ukraine.

“This is further reassurance for our allies on the eastern flank of Nato – for the Baltic states and for Poland,” said Fallon. “That is part of our more persistent presence on the eastern side of Nato to respond to any further provocation and aggression.”

He said the British troops would be “part of a more persistent presence by Nato forces” in the region.

A little fear-mongering, a little hubris and then the ever-present demand for more military funding...

North Korea could hit US homeland with nuclear weapon, says top admiral

The US government believes North Korea has the capability to launch a nuclear weapon against the homeland and stands ready to defend against any such attacks, a high-level US military official has said.

Admiral Bill Gortney, commander of US Northern Command and the North American Aerospace Defense Command, said he agreed with US intelligence assessments that North Korea had nuclear weapons, as well as the ability to miniaturise them and put them on a rocket that could reach the United States. ...

Gortney said it was very difficult to predict the behavior of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un but the US military was prepared to respond if he were to use a nuclear weapon.

“We’re ready for him, and we’re ready 24 hours a day if he should be dumb enough to shoot something at us,” Gortney said. ...

On Wednesday, Gortney said the US military was investing to modernise its current missile defence system, add new sensors and radars to better identify potential missile launches, and drive down the cost of defending against such attacks.

He warned that the failure of the US Congress to pass a budget for fiscal year 2016, or a resumption of mandatory budget cuts, could jeopardise the funding needed for such efforts.

Video Shows Disguised Israeli Soldiers Turning Guns on Protesters

Dramatic footage showing members of an elite Israeli army unit disguised as Palestinian stone throwers turning and opening fire on protesters emerged on Wednesday night, as tensions in Jerusalem and the West Bank continue to mount.

In the videos, the undercover soldiers — wearing t-shirts, jeans, and keffiyehs wrapped around their faces to blend in — can be seen mingling with a crowd of Palestinian youths hurling rocks at an Israeli checkpoint near Ramallah.

They then turn and shoot handguns in the direction of the crowd. Uniformed soldiers then move in and arrest three men, one of whom appears to be shot at point-blank range in the leg by an undercover officer during the scuffle.

The Snowden effect: new privacy wins await after data transfer ruling

Many politicians held their nose and voted for the USA Freedom Act in June, hoping that the Snowden revelations would recede into the distance with the modest NSA reform bill’s passage. How wrong they were: the Snowden effect continues to ripple throughout the world on matters of privacy and law and it’s possible this second wave is only beginning.

On Tuesday, in a landmark decision, the European Court of Justice invalidated the “safe harbor” provision between the United States and Europe that allowed large tech companies like Google and Facebook to move large amounts of private Europeans’ data into servers in the United States. The case was brought by privacy activist and lawyer Max Schrems after the initial stories about the NSA’s Prism program. As the New York Times reported, the court “made it clear that American intelligence agencies had almost unfettered access to the data, infringing on Europeans’ rights to privacy.” ...

In the US, there are still a series of lawsuits alive and well that are challenging different aspects of the NSA’s surveillance. Wikipedia was just in court, represented by the ACLU, arguing that the NSA’s “upstream” surveillance program - where the spy agency has access to entire Internet streams coming into and out of the country - is illegal and unconstitutional. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (my former employer) has a case in the 9th Circuit challenging the constitutionality of the same program, focused on the expansive and secret partnership between AT&T and the NSA that has allowed the spy agency to siphon off huge amounts of data right off AT&T’s fiber optic cables all over the country.

In the UK, Privacy International has a slew of active cases in the British courts and the European Court of Human Rights which could potentially upend GCHQ’s mass surveillance capabilities. ...

Despite all of the disturbing tactics we’ve learned about from the NSA and their partners at the GCHQ in the past two years, our digital rights is unquestionably more protected than it was when the leaks started. And with the coming court cases over the next year or two, the seismic shift will undoubtedly continue to occur.

Members of Congress Say OPM Can’t Be Trusted With Security Clearance Data Anymore

Representatives Ted Lieu, D-Calif., and Steve Russell, R-Okla., have asked the Obama administration to remove sensitive security clearance information from Office of Personnel Management computers and put it somewhere safer.

The congressmen acted in the wake of data breaches at OPM that compromised sensitive information on more than 20 million people who have undergone background checks for security clearances. ...

The congressmen — members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee — wrote to David Mader, the deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, that they were “shocked to learn” in committee hearings “that for years OPM leadership had ignored warnings from the inspector general of ‘material weakness’ in data security. OPM’s failure to address known vulnerabilities was inexcusable.”

Hmmm... here are some findings with dark implications:

New study details digital amnesia

Elections Canada Is Accidentally Outing Trans People on Voter Cards

Angie Reid, a transgender rights activist in Alberta, feels no attachment to her birth name and doesn't want to reveal it. Many in the trans community call them "deadnames" because, she says, they're used in media reports about trans people who have been murdered or committed suicide.

So Reid, who sits on the board of the Trans Equality Society of Alberta, was startled when she saw that the voter registration card Elections Canada mailed her recently referred to her by the name she had legally changed nearly a decade ago.

She has heard, through social media, from 25 others in Alberta and Saskatchewan going through the same thing, and says many of them are being forced to "out" themselves to Elections Canada staff as they explain the discrepancy on their identification.

"It's frustrating," said Reid, who has since had her own registration card fixed and is helping others with theirs. "When you're transitioning, it can be a vulnerable time, and it takes time and money to change your identity documents. And then this, again, forces us to reveal secrets we might have otherwise not wanted to."

Reid says that process could be painful and embarrassing. "Worst case scenario is that they have to get in a lineup with other people waiting to vote, and there's scrutiny from those around you," Reid explained. "This might be very intimidating for a lot of people who don't want it to be known publicly that they are trans."

FBI chief: 'unacceptable' that Guardian has better data on police violence

The head of the FBI has said it is “ridiculous [and] embarrassing” that the federal government has no better information on police shootings than databases compiled by the Guardian US and the Washington Post.

“It is unacceptable that the Washington Post and the Guardian newspaper from the UK are becoming the lead source of information about violent encounters between police and civilians. That is not good for anybody,” said James Comey, the FBI director, on Wednesday.

“You can get online and figure out how many tickets were sold to The Martian ... the CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] can do the same with the flu,” he continued. “It’s ridiculous – embarrassing and ridiculous – that we can’t talk about crime in the same way, especially in the high-stakes incidents when your officers have to use force.”

Comey was speaking at the summit on violent crime reduction convened by the US justice department, a private gathering of more than 100 politicians and top law enforcement officials, the Washington Post reported.

Heh.

Keiser Report: Global Paradox of Risk

'The People Are Livid': 100,000 March Against 'Pick-Pocket' Austerity in Brussels

Anti-austerity demonstrations in Belgium on Wednesday drew tens of thousands of people—some of whom clashed with police and were sprayed by water cannons as they marched through Brussels demanding an end to new measures which they say unfairly target workers and favor corporations.

Organized by Belgium's three largest unions, the protests came in response to new rules pushed through by the country's center-right coalition government, led by Prime Minister Charles Michel, in its first month in office, including wage freezes amid rising inflation, an increase in the retirement age, cuts to social services, and punitive taxes on lower-wage earners. ...

Marie-Helene Ska, ACV-CSC secretary general, added, "The government tells us and all of the parties tell us that there's no alternative. We don't contest that they have to find 11bn euros (£8.6bn; $13.6bn) but we've been saying for a long time that it's possible to find this money elsewhere, rather than in the pockets of the workers."



the horse race


Hillary Clinton breaks with Obama to oppose Trans Pacific Partnership

After months of prevarication, Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton on Wednesday has come out against a landmark trade agreement reached earlier this week between the United States, Japan and 10 other countries circling the Pacific Ocean.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (or TPP) trade deal, which would create one of the largest free trade areas in the world, had presented a political hurdle for Clinton, who promoted trade talks while serving as secretary of state but has since distanced herself from it as a presidential candidate, to court liberal voters, who strongly oppose the pact.

In a taped interview with PBS’s NewsHour, Clinton said “as of today, I am not in favor of what I have learned about it”. The former secretary of state added, “I don’t have the text, we don’t yet have all the details, I don’t believe it’s going to meet the high bar I have set.”

Clinton criticized it in particular for failing to address currency manipulation and because of her worries that “pharmaceutical companies may have gotten more benefits and patients and consumers got fewer”

The statement marks a reversal from Clinton, who had long been supportive of the agreement and played a leading role in its negotiation while serving as secretary of state, repeatedly expressing her support for the deal. In 2012, she told an audience in Australia, “This TPP sets the gold standard in trade agreements to open free, transparent, fair trade, the kind of environment that has the rule of law and a level playing field.”

Clinton e-mails were vulnerable to hackers, tech firm warned

A technology subcontractor that has worked on Hillary Rodham Clinton’s e-mail setup expressed concerns over the summer that the system was inadequately protected and vulnerable to hackers, a company official said Wednesday.

But the concerns were rebuffed by the company managing the Clinton account, Platte River Networks, which said it had been instructed by the FBI not to make changes. The FBI has been reviewing the security of the e-mail system.

The subcontractor, Datto, which specializes in backing up data, had not been aware that it was handling Clinton e-mails until media reports in August noted Platte River Networks’ involvement with the controversy surrounding the former secretary of state’s e-mails.

Datto officials, worried about the “sensitive high profile nature of the data,” then recommended upgrading security by adding sophisticated encryption technology to its backup systems, said the Datto official, who requested anonymity to discuss an issue involving a client.

Golden State's Love for Sanders Grows as Support for Clinton Dwindles

Support for Sanders up 26 points since May poll; Clinton's support down 19 points

Support in California for presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders has surged since May while support for Hillary Clinton is on the decline, a Field Poll released on Wednesday shows.

Though Democratic front-runner Clinton still leads the Vermont Independent by 12 points, her support from likely voters in state's Democratic presidential primary stands at 47 percent—a 19-point drop since May. Sen. Sanders, in contrast, has seen his support surge, from just 9 percent in the May to 35 percent in the new poll.

Though the respondents expressed strong support—63 percent—for Vice President Joe Biden entering the presidential race, the poll found he'd only have the backing of 15 percent of voters.

"Bernie Sanders has been making significant inroads across the country, and it’s reflected here in California,” Mark DiCamillo, the Field Poll's director, told the San Francisco Chronicle.

Bernie Sanders gets first presidential endorsement from member of Congress

Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders received his first endorsement from a member of Congress on Wednesday, with word that veteran Arizona Democrat Raul Grijalva would back the Vermont senator.

Grijalva, a seven-term congressman from Tucson, is one of the leading progressives on Capitol Hill and the top Democrat on the Natural Resources Committee.

In an interview with the Guardian, Grijalva said that he didn’t make his endorsement for political reasons, even though it comes on the eve of the first Democratic debate and deadline for Joe Biden to make a final decision about mounting a campaign. Instead, he said that he felt strongly that “if I am going to make a commitment to [Sanders’] message that I do it prior to those other things”. Grijalva insisted “this is not contrived and I don’t want it to appear that way”.

The Arizona Democrat said what attracted him to Sanders was the Vermont senator’s consistency throughout the years. “People might or might not like what he has to say,” said Grijalva, “but the fact is he has said it repeatedly with people and it’s resonating with people, and I think his message is something that I wanted to reinforce.” Grijalva also pointed out he liked that fact that Sanders has “not been disparaging about his opponents ... I think that’s a winning race. Your ideas versus theirs”.



the evening greens


World's oceans facing biggest coral die-off in history, scientists warn

Scientists have confirmed the third-ever global bleaching of coral reefs is under way and warned it could see the biggest coral die-off in history.

Since 2014, a massive underwater heatwave, driven by climate change, has caused corals to lose their brilliance and die in every ocean. By the end of this year 38% of the world’s reefs will have been affected. About 5% will have died forever.

But with a very strong El Niño driving record global temperatures and a huge patch of hot water, known as “the Blob”, hanging obstinately in the north-western Pacific, things look far worse again for 2016.

via GIPHY

For coral scientists such as Dr Mark Eakin, the coordinator of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Coral Reef Watch programme, this is the cataclysm that has been feared since the first global bleaching occurred in 1998 .

“The fact that 2016’s bleaching will be added on top of the bleaching that has occurred since June 2014 makes me really worried about what the cumulative impact may be. It very well may be the worst period of coral bleaching we’ve seen,” he told the Guardian.

The only two previous such global events were in 1998 and 2010, when every major ocean basin experienced bleaching.

Climate Scientist Faces Backlash for Urging Investigation of Fossil Fuel Companies

A climate scientist who was the lead signatory on a letter urging President Obama to launch a federal investigation into whether fossil fuel companies "knowingly deceived the American people about the risks of climate change" is now facing an investigation by Congress because of his part in the letter.

Jagadish Shukla, a climate scientist at George Mason University in Virginia, received notice Oct. 1 that the non-profit research organization he runs, the Institute of Global Environment and Society (IGES), will soon be investigated by the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology for suspected misuse of federal funding.

Republican Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, who chairs the House committee, requested that Shukla and IGES "preserve all e-mail, electronic documents, and data (‘electronic records’) created since January 1, 2009," according to the notice.

The investigation stems from Shukla's involvement in the letter to President Obama, Attorney General Loretta Lynch and White House science advisor John Holdren on Sept. 1. The letter's 20 signees—climate scientists from Columbia University, the National Center for Atmospheric Research, the University of Maryland and other institutions—asked the administration to explore whether energy companies could be prosecuted under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) of 1970 for purposefully casting doubt on the scientific evidence for climate change. Federal prosecutors used the RICO Act in the 1990s and 2000s to sue tobacco companies for covering up the health impacts of smoking. ScienceInsider first reported Smith's investigation.

Shukla's research organization, IGES, posted a copy of the RICO letter to its website—a move that Smith told Shukla "raises serious concerns" over a taxpayer-funded scientific group "participating in partisan political activity." The research center has received funds from the National Science Foundation, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA.

Head of VW in US will tell Congress he knew of emissions rigging in early 2014

Michael Horn, president and CEO of Volkswagen (VW) Group of America, will confirm he knew of the company’s emission rigging issues as early as spring 2014, according to a statement released ahead of a congressional inquiry.

In prepared remarks before what looks set to be an intense public hearing on Thursday, Horn will apologize once again for VW’s use of software to “defeat the regular emissions testing regime”.

“In the spring of 2014 … I was told that there was a possible emissions non-compliance that could be remedied,” he will tell the House committee on energy and commerce before questioning begins.

“I was informed that EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] regulations included various penalties for non-compliance with the emissions standards and that the agencies can conduct engineering tests which could include ‘defeat device’ testing or analysis. I was also informed that the company engineers would work with the agencies to resolve the issue.”

Europe’s largest carmaker is under pressure to identify those responsible for the scandal and to say how vehicles with illegal software will be fixed.


Also of Interest

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

A Short History of U.S. Bombing of Civilian Facilities

JFK: declassified documents reveal a cunning and cagey president

Kurds protest in north Iraq as discontent grows with government

Why is the US Aiding and Enabling Saudi Arabia’s Genocidal War in Yemen?


A Little Night Music

Larry Johnson - Catfish Blues

Larry Johnson - So Sweet

Larry Johnson - Midnight Hour

Larry Johnson - Whiskey Store Blues

Larry Johnson - Tell You Women 'Bout Me

Larry Johnson and Brian Kramer - Mean Ol' Frisco

Larry Johnson - Four Women Blues

Larry Johnson & Nat Riddles - I Believe

Larry Johnson - Lordy Good Lord

Larry Johnson - Put It All in There

Larry Johnson - Keep It Clean

Larry Johnson and Brian Kramer - Don't You Leave Me Here

Larry Johnson - My Hoodoo Doctor

Larry Johnson - Troubles Just Begun

Profile In Blue: Larry Johnson



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blowing through to say praenomen could use a hug

Now, I can read the news.

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"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

mimi's picture

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“Trauma is not what happens to you.
Trauma is what happens inside you,
as a result of what happens to you.”
— Dr. Gabor Maté

joe shikspack's picture

thanks for the heads up. i dropped by and left a comment, it looks like he could use some more support.

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enhydra lutris's picture

types of posts haven't got a chance - the place gets more right wing daily.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

MarilynW's picture

I cannot even imagine it.

But I regret reading the comments. Praenomen's supporters are the "anti-DOV clan."

You can't win over there, the site is all sewed up.

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He gets pointed to one comment by someone and hangs his defense on what he is told. Some lawyer. The thread is the most viscous, racist, HS gang-ish call out of praenomen, white people, hippies, and white liberals I have ever seen. Whitesplaining was everywhere and a "cracker" was thrown in for good measure.
I have never seen an uglier gang of racist souls and comments at dkos, and Armando flamed it and basked in it.

I couldn't comment. First I was pissed. Black racists dredge up unpleasant childhood memories. I also have a huge target on my back. If I'm not getting attacked as a racist, I'm being HR'd for misogyny. I can't believe any business would allow this.

http://m.dailykos.com/stories/1429712

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"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

lotlizard's picture

From the very beginning, it seems that there were always a number of insiders that were being given free rein to bully and throw their weight around as they saw fit.

It's the online equivalent of the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice in the KSA.

They are empowered to detain and berate offenders and shut down businesses. Prior to the reforms of 2007 they were armed with thin wooden canes to strike miscreants.

Wink

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gulfgal98's picture

Here is part of a comment I made in praenomen's diary.

There have been unfair attacks on individual diarists here in the past by front pagers. Some of those diarists no longer post here as a result.

It is obvious that this diarist has not only suffered a very traumatic experience in his past but apparently that was compounded by a personal attack by a front pager. Perhaps we need to be a kinder and gentler site in the way we treat each other here.

Amando doubled down on his attack and that is shameful. We have seen other good writers run off and even banned from dkos as a result of coordinated attacks by certain front pagers, usually AdamB, Trix, Deo, and/or Armando. Markos loves that stuff. It is his playpen and often he and his minions play dirty.

When kos came out backing the STFU/GTFO diary 100%, I knew he does not care about how his business is perceived. It is all about clicks which is why the quality of the front page writing has devolved so much over the years.

I have posted there in the past that front pagers need to be held to a higher standard of conduct toward other posters, but in the world of kos, it is the exact opposite.

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~ Dr. Cornel West

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." ~ President John F. Kennedy

lotlizard's picture

If I didn't have anything to add to the discussion about empire…
http://www.commondreams.org/views/2015/10/05/empire-or-humanity

… or about Goldman Sachs and the pathological culture of Wall Street…
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/14/opinion/why-i-am-leaving-goldman-sachs...

… etc., but felt comfortable using my non-whiteness as a "hammer," I might be tempted to make any given topic into a race "nail" (for example, by hanging the mantle of "white privilege" over it).

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mimi's picture

I will be a bit more silent in the future, doesn't mean I will not read, means I still support you much, incognito and silent. Smile
I have to ... walk on a little.

I will find my way back home though, and that's here at the EB.
Give rose
That's for you and the folks here at the caucus. I like you all very much. See 'ya again.

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“Trauma is not what happens to you.
Trauma is what happens inside you,
as a result of what happens to you.”
— Dr. Gabor Maté

joe shikspack's picture

i hope that everything is going well and your travels as you walk on are rewarding.

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mimi's picture

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“Trauma is not what happens to you.
Trauma is what happens inside you,
as a result of what happens to you.”
— Dr. Gabor Maté

MarilynW's picture

years while they were singing together.

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mimi's picture

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“Trauma is not what happens to you.
Trauma is what happens inside you,
as a result of what happens to you.”
— Dr. Gabor Maté

joe shikspack's picture

airing of the reason for the conflicts between brownie and sonny, though it is a well known feud.

here's one account of it:

Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, who are appearing at the Other End on Bleecker Street through Sunday, have been performing together since 1939 -probably longer than any working blues or folk duo or group. But their story isn't one of close, undying friendship, as one might suppose. Mr. Terry, the harmonica player and singer, and Mr. McGhee, the guitarist and singer, are staunch individualists whose partnership has been marked by feuds, splits, and reunions.

''Sonny does what he wants to do as an artist, and I do what I want to do,'' is the way Mr. McGhee put it recently. Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee grew up in the Southeast, in harsh conditions that go a long way toward explaining both their determination to think of themselves as individuals and their success as a team.

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mimi's picture

to become such great musicians, ie "both their determination to think of themselves as individuals" and knowing that they had to stick it out together to have success as a team.

Amazing, but just vaguely I can follow them on this. Geez, life must have been very tough for them...
considering how many beautiful songs they produced for us, one can't be more than grateful that they had the strength to hold it together.

Thanks, Brownie, he is my favorite of the two. But then Sonny is just so brilliant it takes my breath away as well. Smile
I listen to this specific song almost daily.

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“Trauma is not what happens to you.
Trauma is what happens inside you,
as a result of what happens to you.”
— Dr. Gabor Maté

cybrestrike's picture

He's always on my radar, along with Matt Taibbi, Glenn Greenwald, Richard Eskow, etc.

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snoopydawg's picture

I don't think she against it, she wants better terms in it. "As of today, I am not in favor of what I have learned about it" LOL. Read that a few times and let it sink in. As of today. Meaning today only. She is against the TPP. Tomorrow? Might be a whole lot different. . She is not against TPP. In fact she makes that very clear. She supposedly wants "better terms". I do not want better terms. I want no TPP. Not today. Not tomorrow. Never. Anybody backing these NAFTA type trade deals (this woman's husband!!!!!) is an enemy of all Americans who don't want to be ruled by mega corporations and wall street bankers.
But her supporters take it as fact that she's against it. It doesn't matter how many times we point out that she called it the gold standard of trade agreements or that she gave over 40 speeches pushing for it during her time as SOS.
I don't get her or Obamas's supporters. Both of them are doing the same things Bush did when he attacked Iraq. Obama has attacked HOW MANY countries? Either with drones or air strikes and that is okay with them?
And they're pissed at Putin for bombing the U.S. and its allies terrorists groups who they've given funding and weapons to overthrow Assad. Putin is defending Assad because they are allies.
The hubris of Obama complaining about Putin killing his terrorists after the U.S. bombed that hospital and the Saudis bombed 2 weddings. That guy needs to buy a clue
Please visit, enjoy, consider as gifts, and spread via Social Media that my beautiful photos are available at Snoopydawg Photography!! Thank you, generous Kossacks, for your support!

by snoopydawg on Thu Oct 08, 2015 at 12:00:44 PM MST

[ Parent | Reply to This ]

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“You know me. Do I look like a radical socialist with a soft spot for rioters? Really?” - Joe Biden 8/31/2020

NCTim's picture

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The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. - Friedrich Nietzsche -

joe shikspack's picture

and making mountains out of molehills. on the other hand, hillary's position reeks of political calculation and nobody in their right mind should take it seriously.

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cybrestrike's picture

...trying to reignite the Cold War in a 21st century with no regard for what the old rules were. Do they even remember how close we got to actual bombs dropping the last time? They have no sense or respect for history. They have no concept of blowback, or generally just don't care. And millions of people who they see as numbers on a spreadsheet or power point slide as collateral damage continue to suffer, and worse, become radicalized themselves.

It's a perpetual war machine, and NATO poking Putin is just another way to get even more money into useless missile shields, proxy wars, and more electronic toys for the MIC.

In a just world, we'd have the morally bankrupt oligarchs and their political pets who started all of these messes just fight it out in the octagon.

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mimi's picture

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“Trauma is not what happens to you.
Trauma is what happens inside you,
as a result of what happens to you.”
— Dr. Gabor Maté

joe shikspack's picture

if only we could send the think tanks to war...

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lotlizard's picture

http://www.alternet.org/tea-party-and-right/modern-day-mccarthyists-are-...

Pro-Israel modern day McCarthyites going to extremes to slime human rights activists
As pro-Israel extremism reaches new depths with the notorious Canary Mission project, the FBI investigates growing threats against BDS activists

Money not only buys lobbyists, laws, and legislatures. It can also persuade universities to abolish free speech.
https://electronicintifada.net/content/are-pro-israel-bullies-us-campuse...

A member of the University of California’s governing body has called for the expulsion or suspension of students for expressing their views about Israel, under the guise of combating anti-Jewish bigotry.

This comes as Israel lobby groups, flush with huge new injections of cash, are stepping up their efforts to silence the Palestine solidarity movement on campuses nationwide.

. . .

Befriending Saudis highlights U.S. hypocrisy on human rights

And against the backdrop of a Canadian federal election coming up on Oct. 19:
Campaign cone of silence descends on Saudi Arabia arms deal

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joe shikspack's picture

it's kind of disturbing how it seems that foreigners armed with wads of cash are so effective at cutting off public discussion in america's public square.

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NCTim's picture

Sharia Prince Owns Stake In FOX News Parent

How ironic is it that the FOX News where Sean Hannity has been howling about Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf wanting “Sharia law” to replace our existing laws is the very same FOX News whose parent company, the Rupert Murdoch controlled News Corporation, has as its second largest shareholder Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal?

Prince Alwaleed’s uncle, King Abdullah, actually rules Saudi Arabia under Sharia law. Prince Alwaleed, who is reported to enjoy a close personal relationship with Murdoch, has become so enamored of Murdoch’s media success that he is starting his own 24 hour news station, a venture dubbed the “Arabic FOX News” by Raw Story.

Can you say Aramco?

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The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. - Friedrich Nietzsche -

lotlizard's picture

The only cool thing about being sick for a couple weeks was, having enough time to read all you folks' stuff on c99 and post my own stuff from in bed.

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joe shikspack's picture

well, i bet its' a good deal later now. Smile

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NCTim's picture

Digital amnesia -> not me, I do not carry a cell phone. I don't like wearing a leash.

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The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. - Friedrich Nietzsche -

joe shikspack's picture

what i found interesting was the increasing reliance on the internet as a storage facility for facts and memories rather than one's own mind. it strikes me that by externalizing the storage of memory and placing it in a public location that is far from tamper-proof, it opens up the possibility of an even more effective means of editing the past than even orwell was on about.

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NCTim's picture

live in a different reality.

The thing I find amazing is that there seems to be no accountability. Politicians say some of the oddest things then deny they ever said it, and the corporate media defends them.

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The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. - Friedrich Nietzsche -

lotlizard's picture

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_House_Select_Committee_on_As...

The United States House of Representatives Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) was established in 1976 to investigate the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. The HSCA completed its investigation in 1978 and issued its final report the following year, concluding that Kennedy was probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy.

That's right. The U.S. House itself set up an investigation, and the result it came back with was that JFK was probably killed by a conspiracy.

Especially after 9/11, the committee's conclusion just doesn't sit well with people who want the public always to have faith in the government's official version of things.

So over the years, people keep fiddling with the rest of the article to try to turn the conclusion into its opposite. "But blah blah blah Dictaphone belt blah blah blah acoustic tests blah blah blah, so you see, the committee was wrong and there wasn't really a conspiracy after all."

Would you mind passing the Cheetos? The Outer Party has now crowdsourced Winston Smith's job so anyone can do it from the proverbial comfort of mom's basement.

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Azazello's picture

The first congressman to endorse Bernie Sanders. Bernie will be in Tucson tomorrow night as will Raul, he'll give one of the introductory speeches no doubt. This will be my third time seeing Bernie in person. I've heard the stump speech, of course, I'm going to add to the head count. The damn numbers are the only thing the corpo media will report. Also, it'll be a chance to network with every progressive in Southern Arizona. It's gonna' be yuge.

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It didn't have to be this way.

joe shikspack's picture

cool. let us know how the event goes. wow, bernie's been to (republican) arizona 3 times already?

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Azazello's picture

He gave two speeches in Phoenix, one at the Netroots Nation debacle and one at the big rally later. People are saying that Raul was gutsy to step up first like that. It was and it wasn't. The reason he can do things like that, the reason he's free to be progressive, is that he's not dependent on the fucking Party. He runs a people powered campaign so he doesn't need their damn consultants and he could probably win without any Party money.

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It didn't have to be this way.

joe shikspack's picture

regardless of the fact that he doesn't need party money, they could try to do to him what they did to kucinich.

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lotlizard's picture

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/March_29,_2006,_Capitol_Hill_police_incident

Soooo… funny how people have decided that #BlackLivesMatter now — and that police officers can sometimes be confrontational and not always honest in their reports…

In contrast to 2006, where everyone — including the media and her fellow Democrats — blithely assumed that Rep. McKinney was in the wrong and the Capitol police officer was totally telling the truth…

What's the likelihood that she was "set up" to make her look bad? … Don't #BlackCareersMatter ?

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NCTim's picture

Do you think he realized that he is not the shiniest coin in the fountain? The dude is slow, even by conservative standards.

Bring on Lyin' Ryan.

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The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. - Friedrich Nietzsche -

joe shikspack's picture

i'm sure that the rethugs will come up with a more amusing speaker, now. i'm going to lay in some supplies of jiffy pop, i can't wait.

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"That Awkward Moment When One Nobel Peace Prize Winner Bombs Another" - haha ! Only by Amureeka. Or, "uniquely Amureekan? "USA! USA!"

Jon Schwarz hits it out of the park as always with the history of US bombing of civilian places.

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joe shikspack's picture

the snark practically writes itself these days. obama has almost rendered cynicism and sarcasm indistinguishable from reality.

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snark.

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http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2015/10/marketplace-program-from-nonprofi...

I didn't listen to the interview but maybe I should, now.

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joe shikspack's picture

Peter Petri, a professor at Brandeis, said … ‘It’s when you use foreign pressure to do the things that you know you have to do but are politically very difficult.’

translation: it's when you create secret treaties with other nations for the purpose of obtaining domestic policy changes demanded by your paymasters that you could never pass in a normal domestic legislative process with public input.

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running against the deals they themselves made by saying "hey, look at those Westerners, they are exploiting us. Vote for me and I will put them in their place". This is not to deny Western exploitation.

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NCTim's picture

Marketplace had David Frum do an opinion piece. He blamed the victim, people. We smoke and drink too much. They never pointed out his role in the Bush Whitehouse.

I sent them an email pointing out:
1. Frum is Canadian
2. They didn't say he was a Bush speech writer.
3. The French drink and smoke more, and have better healthcare
4. Gun violence was not mentioned and it is a national healthcare crisis.

The next time Marketplace wasted air time with Frum, they introduced him as a Bush speech writer. Marketplace consistently sends me their opinion survey.

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The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. - Friedrich Nietzsche -

ample amount of victim-blaming nonsense. There was this specimen Tess Viglund (not going to bother to spell the a-hole's name correctly) with the Marketplace Week-end program. According to her, people don't have money because they don't save. Even when someone complained about how they can't relate to what she says on the show, her condescending spiel didn't stop : "save, save, save. Save for retirement". And then she once did a very "compassionate" segment about how $400,000 is never enough for a President of the USA (think of the expenses for being in a socialite crowd blah blah blah). The specimen is gone now.

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MarilynW's picture

He probably has dual citizenship, I hope not. He is not well-liked in his country of origin, Canada.

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NCTim's picture

If I were the negotiating, I would of held out for Canada taking back Cruz. Raphael and Ted.

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The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. - Friedrich Nietzsche -

MarilynW's picture

penicillin, hockey, maple syrup and all you want to talk about are the bums like Frum, Cruz ?!

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NCTim's picture

During her teen years Sweetie was a rink rat. I much prefer basketball.

I am allergic to penicillin. My last dose was in 1958.

Joni and Neil were a good deal.

I prefer to think of humanity as a whole. National boundaries are artificial. No human should be prevented from migrating. Then the powers that be would be forced to deal with inequality. Besides, how can you tell a person to stay where there is no potable water or they are starving?

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The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. - Friedrich Nietzsche -

enhydra lutris's picture

damn near nets out, don't it?

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

lotlizard's picture

Of course, they were just 6 and 11 then…

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gentrified areas and felt hipsters love the place (hey I got that one right it seems). But wasn't aware of their politics including racist/sexist/homo/transphobic merchandise. Now comes this :

http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/right-wing-urban-outfitters-no...

Remember reading a book with a chapter on the above theme - Bank of America "offering volunteer opportunities" for its workers to clean their ATM machines and maintain the surroundings, for example. i could imagine some of my ex-colleagues in the corporate world falling for this type of shit and patting themselves on their back for "giving back to the community".

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Crider's picture

And of course if any salaried employee didn't show up to pack orders for free, they would miss out on having a successful future at that creepy company.

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enthusiastic about the company's mission". Corporate Newspeak.

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NCTim's picture

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The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. - Friedrich Nietzsche -

joe shikspack's picture

and since i avoid malls like the plague, i've never actually seen one of those stores. sounds like i haven't missed anything.

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That part is getting gentrified and more suburban-ish in terms of the stores (except not-so-sprawling since they are close to the heart of the city).

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lotlizard's picture

http://russiapedia.rt.com/of-russian-origin/subbotnik/

"Slavery is freedom"

Subbotnik (from the Russian word subbota meaning Saturday) is a day of unpaid labor, usually on a Saturday. Originally it was voluntary and it had the idea of uniting the revolutionary minded masses and promoting the ideas of socialism through labor.

However, as the enthusiasm among the people dwindled, subbotniks simply became the means for the ruling class to get free work from their employees under the cover of communist capitalist ideology.

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MarilynW's picture

never fails to shock me even after all the disgusting things I have learned about him.

He intervened and blocked refugees from Syria. A Prime Minister, how does he have the time to destroy human rights like that?

Prime Minister’s Office ordered halt to refugee processing
The Prime Minister’s Office directed Canadian immigration officials to stop processing one of the most vulnerable classes of Syrian refugees this spring and declared that all UN-referred refugees would require approval from the Prime Minister, a decision that halted a critical aspect of Canada’s response to a global crisis.

The Prime Minister’s Office asked Citizenship and Immigration for the files of some Syrian refugees so they could be vetted by the PMO – potentially placing political staff with little training in refugee matters in the middle of an already complex process.

PMO staff could have also had access to files that are considered protected, because they contain personal information, including a refugee’s health history and narrative of escape, raising questions about the privacy and security of that information and the basis on which it was being reviewed.

As a result of the halt, and the additional layers of scrutiny, families that had fled Syria and were judged by the United Nations refugee agency to be in need of resettlement had to wait longer to find refuge in Canada. It also meant there were fewer cases of UN-referred Syrians approved and ready for sponsorship when the public came forward in large numbers after the drowning death of three-year-old Alan Kurdi in August.

Also there are many mistakes on our Voting cards, involving incorrect names, addresses and locations of polling stations. Some voters are being sent to addresses that do not exist. Previously Harper dismantled Elections Canada and cut their budget

Harper under fire for Elections Canada budget cuts amid rampant voting problems
The Harper government is under fire for cutting Elections Canada’s budget even as the agency struggles to address rampant procedural errors and widespread allegations of cheating during the last federal vote.

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joe shikspack's picture

that harper, he's just like a brown tornado.

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http://www.usuncut.com/politics/heres-33-direct-quotes-of-hillary-clinto...

I know I am preaching to the choir. But posting here since it is a handy tool against Hillarybots.

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joe shikspack's picture

i can't believe that anyone feels that she is sincere in her rejection of tpp.

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enhydra lutris's picture

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

joe shikspack's picture

thanks for reading.

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link

Machines won't bring about the economic robot apocalypse -- but greedy humans will, according to physicist Stephen Hawking.

In a Reddit Ask Me Anything session on Thursday, the scientist predicted that economic inequality will skyrocket as more jobs become automated and the rich owners of machines refuse to share their fast-proliferating wealth.

If machines produce everything we need, the outcome will depend on how things are distributed. Everyone can enjoy a life of luxurious leisure if the machine-produced wealth is shared, or most people can end up miserably poor if the machine-owners successfully lobby against wealth redistribution. So far, the trend seems to be toward the second option, with technology driving ever-increasing inequality.

Essentially, machine owners will become the bourgeoisie of a new era, in which the corporations they own won't provide jobs to actual human workers.

As it is, the chasm between the super rich and the rest is growing. For starters, capital -- such as stocks or property -- accrues value at a much faster rate than the actual economy grows, according to the French economist Thomas Piketty. The wealth of the rich multiplies faster than wages increase, and the working class can never even catch up.

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joe shikspack's picture

the people who own the machines are no doubt driven by the same urges for control and power that the people who owned commodified the labor force (they are probably the same people). they seem to need a large number of desperate people around them begging for their survival needs to feel good about themselves.

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Sending greetings. I hope to be able to participate more soon. I'm doing okay. It's all just a tad rough right now. Be well and keep up this great work.

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Thanks for dropping by with your
update. Hope your trials aren't too
trying and that you're soon back in
the trenches here, contributing your
thoughts and insights again.

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Only connect. - E.M. Forster

joe shikspack's picture

i hope that you're well, happy and back among us soon take care!

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gulfgal98's picture

You always have good comments so I hope we will hear more from you in the future. Smile

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~ Dr. Cornel West

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." ~ President John F. Kennedy