The Evening Blues - 4-17-17



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The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Cow Cow Davenport



Hey! Good Evening!


This evening's music features blues and boogie woogie piano player Cow Cow Davenport. Enjoy!



Cow Cow Davenport- Don't You Loud Mouth Me

"Actions are held to be good or bad, not on their own merits, but according to who does them, and there is almost no kind of outrage — torture, the use of hostages, forced labour, mass deportations, imprisonment without trial, forgery, assassination, the bombing of civilians — which does not change its moral colour when it is committed by ‘our’ side. ... The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them."

-- George Orwell


News and Opinion


An excellent article, here's the intro:

Trump’s CIA Director Pompeo, Targeting WikiLeaks, Explicitly Threatens Speech and Press Freedoms

In February, after Donald Trump tweeted that the U.S. media were the “enemy of the people,” the targets of his insult exploded with indignation, devoting wall-to-wall media coverage to what they depicted as a grave assault on press freedoms more befitting of a tyranny. By stark and disturbing contrast, the media reaction yesterday was far more muted, even welcoming, when Trump’s CIA Director, Michael Pompeo, actually and explicitly vowed to target freedoms of speech and press in a blistering, threatening speech he delivered to the D.C. think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies.

What made Pompeo’s overt threats of repression so palatable to many was that they were not directed at CNN, the New York Times or other beloved-in-D.C. outlets, but rather at WikiLeaks, more marginalized publishers of information, and various leakers and whistleblowers, including Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden.

Trump’s CIA Director stood up in public and explicitly threatened to target free speech rights and press freedoms, and it was almost impossible to find even a single U.S. mainstream journalist expressing objections or alarm, because the targets Pompeo chose in this instance are ones they dislike – much the way that many are willing to overlook or even sanction free speech repression if the targeted ideas or speakers are sufficiently unpopular.

Decreeing (with no evidence) that WikiLeaks is “a non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia”  a belief that has become gospel in establishment Democratic Party circles – Pompeo proclaimed that “we have to recognize that we can no longer allow Assange and his colleagues the latitude to use free speech values against us.” He also argued that while WikiLeaks “pretended that America’s First Amendment freedoms shield them from justice,” but: “they may have believed that, but they are wrong.”

He then issued this remarkable threat: “To give them the space to crush us with misappropriated secrets is a perversion of what our great Constitution stands for. It ends now.” At no point did Pompeo specify what steps the CIA intended to take to ensure that the “space” to publish secrets “ends now.”

War of Words: Assange fires back at new CIA chief over WikiLeaks ‘demon’ comment



Obama/Trump: Contrasting Deceivers

Donald Trump won the 2016 Republican nomination and the general election largely because he was able to pose as a populist and an anti-interventionist, an “America Firster.” Similarly, Barack Obama won the 2008 election in good part because he promised “hope and change” and because he had given a speech years earlier against the then-impending invasion of Iraq. Short of disclosure of diaries or other documents from these politicians, we can’t know for certain if they planned on reversing much of what they promised or if the political establishment compelled them to change, but they both reversed themselves on their core messages, committing what you might call a massive political fraud. Yet, what is perhaps most striking is how quickly each of them backtracked on their winning messages, particularly since they were both proclaimed as representing “movements” seeking to shake up the system. ...

Trump’s election also brought some hope that he would live up to his populist promises and at least pursue U.S. policies that reflected his “America First” ideas and minimize U.S. military adventures abroad. Instead there have been a series of key reversals, topped off by Trump’s April 6 launching of 59 cruise missiles against the Syrian government. But that military intervention, reversing his plans to focus on defeating ISIS not orchestrating “regime change,” was not alone. There have been “flip-flops” on the Ex-Im Bank, NATO, China, Russia, the Federal Reserve. ...

While the Obama/Trump deceptions have much in common, their prime difference has been in style. Obama is lawyerly and, like Jell-o, hard to pin to the wall. Many of his broken promises were actually violations of the spirit of what he said, not the letter. For instance, he vowed to withdraw “all combat troops” from Iraq, but didn’t tell voters he made a distinction between “combat troops” and, say, frontline military advisers and special-operations teams. Since many of his backers were utterly infatuated with him, they seemed incapable or unwilling to parse out his deceitful misimpressions. Trump is an extreme example demonstrating the emptiness of political words and promises, but he is hardly unique. It’s largely meaningless if a politician declares a position, especially during a campaign.

Obama and Trump were both salesmen, albeit with divergent pitches and contrasting personas. Nor were their deceptions particularly new. George W. Bush campaigned against “nation building” before launching a war of choice in Iraq supposedly intended to remake its entire political and economic structure; Bill Clinton campaigned as the “man from Hope” who felt the pain of the little guy before parlaying his presidency into a very lucrative business model for himself, his family and his friends; George H. W. Bush claimed he was a compassionate conservative but showed little compassion either in his domestic or foreign policies. All backed corporate power and finance. All waged aggressive war.

On Contact: The Uncivil War with Max Blumenthal and Ben Norton



The U.S.-led coalition in Syria and Iraq killed a staggering number of civilians in March, new report says

When asked Thursday about the U.S. dropping its largest non-nuclear bomb on an ISIS target in rural Afghanistan, President Donald Trump praised the U.S. military as the “greatest” in the world and celebrated its recent conduct. He was, he said, giving his generals “total authorization.” ...

According to a new report from independent monitoring group Airwars, March was the deadliest month in the U.S.-led coalition’s 32-month campaign in Iraq and Syria, and the third straight month the coalition has been responsible for more reported civilian casualties in Syria and Iraq than Russia was responsible for in Syria.

At least 1,782 civilians were allegedly killed by coalition airstrikes in March alone, according to an analysis by Airwars — numbers the research organization says are comparable to the deadliest period of Russia’s 2016 air campaign in Syria. ...

The stark rise in reported civilian deaths coincides with an equally staggering increase in the number of bombs and missiles dropped on Iraq and Syria in the first three months of 2017 — 10,918, according to official military data. In March the coalition bombed Iraq and Syria a whopping 3,878 times — the most ever in the 32-month campaign, and the third straight record month. It’s a 59 percent rise in the number of munitions released during the same time period last year, Airwars points out. And a majority — 57 percent — of all alleged coalition-caused civilian casualties in March recorded by Airwars took place in Syria.

McMaster casts doubt on US sending more troops to Syria

President Donald Trump's national security adviser is expressing doubt the U.S. will send more ground troops to Syria. His comments come as rebel forces appear close to launching an assault to capture the Islamic State group's de facto capital of Raqqa.

H.R. McMaster spoke to ABC's "This Week" from Afghanistan. He says it "remains to be seen" whether additional troops are needed, but he doesn't "think so."

What Russia-gate Has Wrought

Democrats, liberals and some progressives might be feeling a little perplexed over what has happened to Russia-gate, the story that pounded Donald Trump every day since his election last November – until April 4, that is. On April 4, Trump fully capitulated to the neoconservative bash-Russia narrative amid dubious claims about a chemical attack in Syria. On April 6, Trump fired off 59 Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian airbase; he also restored the neocon demand for “regime change” in Syria; and he alleged that Russia was possibly complicit in the supposed chemical attack.

Since Trump took those actions – in accordance with the neocon desires for more “regime change” in the Middle East and a costly New Cold War with Russia – Russia-gate has almost vanished from the news. ...

[G]iven all the hype and hullabaloo over Russia-gate, the folks who were led to believe that the vague and amorphous allegations were “bigger than Watergate” might now be feeling a little used. It appears they may have been sucked into a conspiracy frenzy in which the Establishment exploited their enthusiasm over the “scandal” in a clever maneuver to bludgeon an out-of-step new President back into line. ... Trump was made to look weak when he argued for a more cooperative and peaceful relationship with Russia. Hillary Clinton dubbed him Vladimir Putin’s “puppet” and “Saturday Night Live” portrayed Trump as in thrall to a bare-chested Putin. More significantly, front-page stories every morning and cable news segments every night created the impression of a compromised U.S. President in Putin’s pocket.

Conversely, Trump was made to look strong when he fired off missiles against a Syrian airbase and talked tough about Russian guilt. Neocon commentator Charles Krauthammer praised Trump’s shift as demonstrating that “America is back.” ... [O]nce Trump waved the white flag by placing his foreign policy under the preferred banner of the neoconservatives, the Russia-gate pressure stopped. The op-ed pages suddenly were hailing his “decisiveness.” If you were a neocon, you might say about Russia-gate: Mission accomplished!

US bomb dropped in Afghanistan: "It seems disproportionate to what the needs were on the ground"



Neocons Point Housebroken Trump at Iran

The Trump administration’s growing use of military force in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen has neoconservative hawks rooting for armed confrontation with what they view as the root of all evil in the Middle East: Iran. Many of these armchair warriors recently cheered President Trump’s decision to take on the Assad regime — and Moscow — by firing 59 Tomahawk cruise missile at a Syrian air base alleged to be the source of a chemical weapons attack. But they urged him to do more.


With Saddam dead and Syria’s Assad stripped of much of his power, Iran is now at the center of neocon crosshairs. Kristol linked his recent tweet to a Washington Post column by two stalwart advocates of ousting the mullahs in Tehran: Reuel Gerecht and Ray Takeyh. Titled “How Trump Can Help Cripple the Iranian Regime,” their article called for putting the nuclear arms deal with Iran at risk in order to “stoke the volcano under Tehran and to challenge the regime.” The centerpiece of their bizarre argument was that the Iranian people would gratefully welcome the United States imposing “crippling sanctions” to destroy their economy in the name of “human rights.”

Today the hardline Israeli/neocon agenda is still being pursued by hawks in Congress, who have introduced bills in both houses to ratchet up economic sanctions against Iran and designate a major branch of the country’s armed forces as a terrorist organization. If enacted — against the wishes of other signatories to the Iran nuclear deal — such measures could put the United States and Iran on a war footing. President Trump is unlikely to stand in their way. Ignoring the role of major Arab states in supporting such terrorist groups as al-Qaeda and ISIS, Trump named Iran “the number one terrorist state” and warned during his campaign that if Iranian patrol boats in the Persian Gulf continue to “make gestures that our people — that they shouldn’t be allowed to make, they will be shot out of the water.”

Trump has surrounded himself with anti-Iran hardliners who may be only too eager to give war a chance. ... Defense Secretary General James Mattis reportedly came close to ordering an act of war against Iran in early February — the boarding of an Iranian ship to look for weapons headed for Houthi rebels in Yemen. Such an incident could escalate rapidly out of control if Iran chose to retaliate against U.S. vessels in the Persian Gulf.

Some other Trump "housebreaking" infrastructure:

New Power Center in Trumpland: The ‘Axis of Adults’

There’s a new band in town that’s guiding national security by quietly tutoring the most powerful man in America. Never-Trump Republicans who’d been apprehensive about President Donald Trump are celebrating the trio’s influence, calling Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and Homeland Secretary John Kelly the “Axis of Adults.”

Through near daily contact with the trio, as well as Trump’s National Security Adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster and CIA director Mike Pompeo, Trump’s world view appears to be morphing more closely to match hawkish conservatives of the Bush administration. They point to the men’s influence in the Tomahawk strike in Syria—in contrast to Trump’s isolationist slogans on the campaign trail; the outreach to China, compared to Trump’s threats to launch a trade war; a possible escalation of the war in Afghanistan; and Trump’s hardening stance toward Russia. They are seen by those who work most closely with them as loyal to the office of the president but still getting to know the man himself, said a senior administration official, speaking anonymously to describe the interactions just 11 weeks into the fledgling presidency.

“They realize this is a tumultuous White House, and they are serving as a leveling influence over fractious personalities… responsibly protecting the country from enemies both foreign and domestic,” the official said, lumping Trump campaign veterans like embattled advisor Steve Bannon into the “domestic” enemy camp. Bannon’s removal from the official NSC roster by H.R. McMaster is seen as a sign the “adults” are winning.

Nuclear war has become thinkable again

I don’t wish to alarm you, but right now the majority of the world’s nuclear warheads are in the hands of men for whom the idea of using them is becoming thinkable. For Kim Jong-un, it’s thinkable; for Vladimir Putin, it’s so thinkable that every major Russian wargame ends with a “nuclear de-escalation” phase: that is, drop one and offer peace. On 22 December last year, Trump and Putin announced, almost simultaneously, that they were going to expand their nuclear arsenals and update the technology. ...

We don’t know what secret diplomacy went on between Xi Jinping and Trump at Mar-a-Lago, but the US is sounding confident that China will rein the North Koreans in. What we do know is that Trump has been obsessed since the 80s with nuclear weapons, that he refuses to take advice from military professionals and that he seems not to understand the core Nato concept of nukes as a political deterrent, as opposed to a military superweapon.

This sudden mania for speaking of nuclear warfare, among men with untrammeled power, should be the No 1 item on the news, and the No 1 concern of democratic and peace-loving politicians. ...

It has been human nature, given the scale of devastation a nuclear war would bring, to blank the possibility from our minds, to worry about small risks because the big one is incalculable. But from the 50s to the 00s, we had – in all nuclear powers – military/industrial complex politicians who understood the value of multilateralism. All around us high politics is becoming emotion driven, unilateral, crowd-pleasing and falling under the control of erratic family groups and mafias, rather than technocrats representing ruling elites.

US conducts tests for upgraded nuclear bomb

Scientists say they have successfully carried out an initial test flight for an improved version of a nuclear bomb that has been in the U.S. arsenal for decades, The Associated Press reported Saturday.

Sandia National Laboratories conducted a test last month to assess the non-nuclear capabilities of the B61-12, the report said. As part of the test, an F-16 dropped an inert version of the weapon over a Nevada desert. ... Work on the B61-12 has been going on for years, the AP noted, while government officials characterized the latest tests with mock versions of the bomb as vital to refurbishing efforts.

Woohoo! We appear to have made it through the weekend without Trump starting WWIII.

Mike Pence warns North Korea: do not test Trump's resolve

The US vice-president, Mike Pence, has warned North Korea not to test Donald Trump’s resolve over its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes, adding that the US and its allies were running out of patience with the regime.

Noting that Trump had recently ordered a missile strike against Syria, the vice-president, who is in Seoul at the start of a tour of Asia, said: “North Korea would do well not to test his resolve.”

Pence, standing alongside South Korea’s acting president, Hwang Kyo-ahn, said Washington’s commitment to its ally was “iron-clad and immutable”, and repeated that “all options are on the table” – including military action – to forestall North Korea’s quest to produce a nuclear weapon capable of striking the US mainland.

Any use of nuclear weapons by Pyongyang, he added, would be met with “an overwhelming and effective response”, a day after the regime conducted a failed missile launch.

Advocates Urge Trump to De-escalate with North Korea, Not Ratchet Up Threats & Military Aggression



Pence:"Era of strategic patience is over."

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence says the "era of strategic patience is over" with North Korea, expressing impatience with the unwillingness of the North Korean regime to move toward ridding itself of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. ...

He says there was a "period of patience" over the years but "the era of strategic patience is over." He says the Trump administration hopes their clarity will be received in North Korea, adding the U.S. and its allies will achieve its objectives through "peaceable means or ultimately by whatever means are necessary" to protect South Korea and stabilize the region.

Apocalypse not right now

The apparent failure of a North Korean missile launch on Sunday seems to have allowed the threat of a catastrophic war to recede. Neither President Donald Trump nor Kim Jong-un has backed down, yet neither has been forced into delivering on his threats. This may have been the best possible outcome of the crisis in the short term, but it was a remission, not a cure. The underlying and apparently insoluble conflict remains and there is little sign of the kind of clear and careful thinking on either side which will be needed to scale it down. The North Korean regime is a ruthless tyranny with a clear aim in view, while Mr Trump is vainglorious, sentimental and unpredictable. Both sides have been hooting and bellowing at each other in a manner foreign to diplomacy: a North Korean general boasted on Saturday that his country could defeat all its enemies so that there would be nothing left even to sign a ceasefire, while Mr Trump tweeted last week that “North Korea is looking for trouble. If China decides to help, that would be great. If not, we will solve the problem without them! U.S.A.” There was a time when we asked whether the president of the USA could be trusted with his finger on the nuclear button. Now we have to worry as well whether he can be trusted with a mobile phone. North Korea won’t start a war because of one of his provocative tweets, but it might well respond with a counter provocation which he felt he could not ignore. All the choices open to him then would be bad.

Well now, it looks like there might be a downside for the US for undermining the Venezuelan government and economy.

Russia could soon take over a chunk of U.S. oil infrastructure

Russia may soon take control of American oil and gasoline infrastructure in a deal U.S. lawmakers warn represents a threat to energy security.

Rosneft, Russia’s state-controlled oil company, could end up with a majority stake in Texas-based Citgo after the entity that owns Citgo, Venezuela’s state-owned oil and natural gas company PDVSA, used almost half of Citgo’s shares as collateral for a loan from Rosneft.

In the midst of Venezuela’s ongoing economic crisis, PDVSA is reportedly in danger of defaulting on that loan. That means Rosneft, a company specifically named in U.S. sanctions levied against Russia after its 2014 annexation of Crimea, is poised to become one of the biggest foreign owners of American oil refining capacity.

Rosneft is headed by Igor Sechin, a powerful crony of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and is often seen as a proxy for the Kremlin’s energy policies.

Is Turkey Becoming a Dictatorship?: Erdogan Claims Victory in Vote to Give President Sweeping Powers



Turkey’s president claims victory in a referendum that would grant him immense power

Late Sunday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed victory in a close referendum that will likely grant him sweeping new powers; critics say this will inch the country closer to authoritarianism while supporters argue it will make the executive branch more efficient. ...

After the polls closed at 5 p.m., results started pouring in: more than 60 percent seemed to have voted yes, but that number started dropping swiftly in the course of a nail-biting two hours when all the country watched elections specials on the telly.

By 8 pm, it became clear that the margin of the Yes vote was less than 3 percent (1,293,033 votes in total). Half an hour later, the president called the prime minister to congratulate him for the win.

If you haven't done it recently, patch your windows box.

Leaked NSA Malware Threatens Windows Users Around the World

The ShadowBrokers, an entity previously confirmed by The Intercept to have leaked authentic malware used by the NSA to attack computers around the world, today released another cache of what appears to be extremely potent (and previously unknown) software capable of breaking into systems running Windows. The software could give nearly anyone with sufficient technical knowledge the ability to wreak havoc on millions of Microsoft users. ...

Late Friday night, Microsoft published a blog post stating that after an analysis of the ShadowBrokers leak, it had determined that most of the vulnerabilities were patched in a series of Windows updates released in March — updates that security researchers who analyzed the NSA tools apparently neglected to install. This means the exploits in question were not in fact “zero days” and that anyone running the most recent updates on software still supported by Microsoft is safe from the ShadowBrokers arsenal.

New York Times Promises Truth and Diversity, Then Hires Climate-Denying Anti-Arab White Guy

Following Donald Trump's election, The New York Times promised its readers that it would aggressively pursue truth and challenge power in the days and months ahead. ... The Times has also strongly committed itself to diversity in its hiring. ... But the Times’s editorial page — which is distinct from the newsroom — apparently has other priorities.

In the paper’s biggest marquee hire since the election, the Times has poached the Wall Street Journal’s Bret Stephens as a regular columnist. ... Stephens’s voice is hardly new to the media landscape — it echoes the powerful and attacks the powerless, specifically marginalized groups like Arabs and Muslims who have little representation in U.S. media.

And although Stephens has been hailed as an anti-Trump conservative, he and Trump share a very significant belief that defies reality: They both deny the existence of climate change. Stephens used his Wall Street Journal columns to compare climate science to a religion, saying that environmental groups “have been on the receiving end of climate change-related funding, so all of them must believe in the reality (and catastrophic imminence) of global warming just as a priest must believe in the existence of God.” ...

And as a white male member of the media elite, he hardly brings diversity to the stable of editorial page columnists. Indeed, several regulars already hold right-wing or center-right views. And although the editorial board consistently espouses liberal positions in the editorial column, the op-ed page by and large has to outsource to publish genuinely left perspectives on most major issues. The Times editorial page currently does not have a female minority columnist and, despite frequently writing about conflicts in the Middle East, employs no regular Arab American or Muslim American writers.

Hundreds of immigrants detained in a private prison have gone on hunger strike

Hundreds of immigrant detainees held in one of the largest detention centers in the U.S. are refusing meals as part of an organized hunger strike, activist groups say. Northwest Detention Center, located on the tidal flats of Tacoma, Washington, at the edge of a toxic EPA Superfund site, has a capacity of 1,575 detainees. It’s operated by giant private prison company the Geo Group.

The number of participants in the strike has been fluctuating. Threats of medical intervention, or force-feeding, have discouraged some detainees from continuing, said Maru Mora Villalpando, an activist with the Northwest Immigrants Rights Project. But as of Thursday, about 500 male detainees were taking part. Villalpando said that a group of detained women, who are held in a separate part of the facility from men, learned of the strike and joined, but she was unable to specify how many were participating.



the horse race



Paul Ryan Raised $657,000 While Avoiding His Constituents During Recess

House Speaker Paul Ryan snubbed his Wisconsin constituents during the President’s Day congressional recess, refusing to hold even a single town hall. ... Newly filed campaign filings show what Ryan was doing instead: jetting around the country, raking in a whopping $657,400 in contributions in just nine days. ...

In the first three months of the year, Ryan’s joint fundraising committee brought in an astounding $17,272,248 in contributions. Ryan’s affiliated Super PAC, the Congressional Leadership Fund, also raised $4,496,473 during that same period. The CLF account, which can accept unlimited contributions from virtually any source, was buoyed by large checks from major corporations. The Geo Group, the Florida-based private prison company, gave $100,000 and Chevron gave $250,000.

Ryan’s pedigree as a fundraiser often goes overlooked given his carefully crafted image as a “policy wonk.”

Sheepdog festival tour?

Sanders and Perez to Launch Nationwide 'Come Together & Fight Back' Tour

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Democratic National Committee (DNC) chair Tom Perez will kick off a multi-state tour in Maine on Monday, where they are expected to outline the progressive plan to strengthen the party, bolster grassroots activism, and resist President Donald Trump.

"At a time of massive income and wealth inequality and a shrinking middle class, we need a government which represents all Americans, not just Wall Street, multi-national corporations, and the top 1 percent," Sanders and Perez said in a joint statement.

The circuit is officially named the "Come Together and Fight Back" tour.

Sanders won Maine's presidential caucuses by nearly two-thirds when he ran in the 2016 primaries against Hillary Clinton. The tour is expected to take him and Perez through Maine, Kentucky, Florida, Nebraska, Utah, Montana, Arizona, and Nevada—the red and purple states where the Vermont socialist swept up the kind of blue-collar support that Democrats often fall short on, turning him from a fringe candidate to a formidable challenger and bringing his brand of progressive populism to the forefront of the race.

The two are expected to speak in favor of a $15 minimum wage, women's equality, combating climate change, criminal justice reform, debt-free education, and other issues.





the evening greens


Humans on the verge of causing Earth’s fastest climate change in 50m years

A new study published in Nature Communications looks at changes in solar activity and carbon dioxide levels over the past 420 million years. The authors found that on our current path, by mid-century humans will be causing the fastest climate change in approximately 50 million years, and if we burn all available fossil fuels, we’ll cause the fastest change in the entire 420 million year record.

The study relates to a scientific conundrum known as the “faint young sun paradox” – that early in Earth’s history, solar output was 70% less intense than it is today, and yet the planet was warm enough to have a liquid ocean. A stronger greenhouse effect due to higher carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere may be one explanation.

Over time, solar output has grown stronger, and atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have fallen due to an effect known as “weathering” of rocks and an increase in plant life. The authors of this study found that over the past 420 million years, the slow heating of the sun and slow decline of the greenhouse effect have roughly offset each other, leading to a fairly stable long-term global climate. ...

Climate deniers will often argue against taking action to curb carbon pollution because climate changed naturally in the past and carbon dioxide levels were higher in the past. One Republican congressman repeated these talking points in the latest House “Science” committee hearing. While both arguments are technically true, they miss several important points. First, the rate at which we’re currently causing climate change is alarmingly fast – much faster than in most natural climate change events. Second, similar past rapid climate changes have caused mass extinction events. Third, the sun’s cooler past helped keep temperatures lower.

Artist Redesigns National Parks Posters for 2050, Showcasing Climate Devastation

In a project meant to galvanize people to take action on climate, the Berkeley, California-based artist Hannah Rothstein has redesigned iconic National Parks posters for the year 2050 to showcase the devastation to come if climate change goes unchecked.

hannah rothstein parks

While the Trump administration is rolling back climate policies and reinvigorating the fossil fuel industry, Rothstein calls on viewers to push back with her series National Parks 2050, depicting the terrifying ramifications of such government actions.

The classic posters, originally created by artists working for the Works Progress Administration from 1938 to 1941, have been re-imagined so that instead of blue lakes, towering forests, craggy snow-peaked mountains, and tropical lagoons, the posters showcase horrible algae blooms, dead redwoods, snow-free mountain peaks, and rising seas.

Stop swooning over Justin Trudeau. The man is a disaster for the planet

Donald Trump is so spectacularly horrible that it’s hard to look away (especially now that he’s discovered bombs). But precisely because everyone’s staring gape-mouthed in his direction, other world leaders are able to get away with almost anything. Don’t believe me? Look one nation north, at Justin Trudeau.

Look all you want, in fact – he sure is cute, the planet’s only sovereign leader who appears to have recently quit a boy band. ... But when it comes to the defining issue of our day, climate change, he’s a brother to the old orange guy in DC. Not rhetorically: Trudeau says all the right things, over and over. ... But those words are meaningless if you keep digging up more carbon and selling it to people to burn, and that’s exactly what Trudeau is doing. He’s hard at work pushing for new pipelines through Canada and the US to carry yet more oil out of Alberta’s tarsands, which is one of the greatest climate disasters on the planet.

Last month, speaking at a Houston petroleum industry gathering, he got a standing ovation from the oilmen for saying “No country would find 173bn barrels of oil in the ground and just leave them there.” Yes, 173bn barrels is indeed the estimate for recoverable oil in the tar sands. So let’s do some math. If Canada digs up that oil and sells it to people to burn, it will produce, according to the math whizzes at Oil Change International, 30% of the carbon necessary to take us past the 1.5 degree target that Canada helped set in Paris. That is to say, Canada, which represents one-half of 1% of the planet’s population, is claiming the right to sell the oil that will use up a third of the earth’s remaining carbon budget. Trump is a creep and a danger and unpleasant to look at, but at least he’s not a stunning hypocrite.



Also of Interest

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

Through the ‘War on Terror’ Looking Glass

Nuclear War Is As Great A Threat As Ever, And The Elites Are Playing Games With Our Lives

It’s time America explored how to end the multiple wars it has helped cause since 2001, rather than dropping more bombs

D.C.'s war madness

Russiagate Is Finally Dying, But For The Wrong Reason

Will the “Alt-Right” Hijack the Antiwar Movement?

A Father Describes Saving His Daughter From U.S. Bombardment of Mosul

President Bannon Is Dead, Long Live President Cohn

Has Former Goldman Sachs President, Gary Cohn, Gone Rogue on Glass-Steagall?

'Terrorist' baby faces US embassy interview after error on visa form


A Little Night Music


Cow Cow Davenport - State Street Jive

Cow Cow Davenport - I Aint no Iceman

Cow Cow Davenport - Cow Cow Blues

Cow Cow Davenport - Jim Crow Blues

Cow Cow Davenport - Texas Shout

Cow Cow Davenport - Alabama Strut

Cow Cow Davenport - Slow Drag Blues

Hound Head Henry + Cow Cow Davenport - Cryin' Blues

Cow Cow Davenport - The Mess Is Here



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19 users have voted.

Comments

enhydra lutris's picture

threatened by the autocrats at the drop of a hat. Can't publish naughty writing. Can't say fuck. Can't burn the fucking flag. Can't talk commie talk. Can't expose government wrongdoing. This isn't even the first time that the press has gone along, but possibly the worst.

Strangely enough, Freedom of speech was one of my first 3 pet issues way back in high school, along with freedom of (from) religion, and ending racial discrimination. The first organization I ever sent money to (scrimped from money from odd jobs and shit) was the ACLU (SNCC was #2).

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9 users have voted.

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

@enhydra lutris

yeah, authority figures are always proud of how 'merika supports "free speech" until somebody says something inconvenient for said authority figures. then, you know, there are limits.

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8 users have voted.
Shockwave's picture

Deterrence by insanity has replaced "strategic patience"

I hope the generals understand we have a Crazy in Chief.

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10 users have voted.

The political revolution continues

joe shikspack's picture

@Shockwave

heh, it appears that the donald has borrowed nixon's "madman theory."

it's going to be a bumpy ride as trump and kim jong un face off and try to out-crazy each other.

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8 users have voted.
shaharazade's picture

@Shockwave crazier then Trump. The spooks are even crazier. The Hairball is nothing but another insane oligarchical developer ex-Democrat puppet. The monkeys, both guys and gals with the fruit all over their chests, are psycho killers. Totally nuts and they seem to rule the roost. So do you want The Mad Bomber back or what? The ruling class and boy do we have one, are all nuts.

They operate on a different system mentally then most decent humans do. The trouble is is that people seem to think they are the only choice we have as humans. Were stuck in their reality which is not reality but a carefully constructed loop that all leads back to the false facts that call this inevitable or hard data. How can prove it when it's all a lie.

From the economists, left and right,the pols, to the academic left we hear garbage. Look at Bernie on foreign policy fer christsake he is just another Joseph. The whole reality were dealing with is not real it's made up of whole cloth regardless of where you stand on the absurd scale of right to left. There is no direction home as an option or a prompt.

Why are we spending our energies rehashing how fucked we are? Politics as they stand right now are surreal and it's a big fucking waste of time to sift through the ashes of what brought us here. We all know especially here on caucus 99% exactly how we got here. So is this site stuck on an endless loop that all leads back to the blue vs. red and more importantly to the Demorats latest greatest outrage that just feeds on the current outrage du jour? Face it people it's a duopoly and all of the government is complicit and in cahoots. It's a global screw and it matters little what you do politically.

Of course Trump will listen to the generals he's a fucking puppet, carnie barker. Not only that I don my tin foil hat and think he was always a tool of the Clinton's. A fake back up like Obama was, with the added desirability that he would scare the pants off the left while getting the owners of the place and the psycho killer MIC every thing they ever wanted. So if I'm wrong here why are the so called progressive Demorats not resisting or obstructing? Take a look see and tell me how in the fuck they are not in cahoots with this madness.

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8 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@shaharazade

it is very plain that one cannot vote for peace, not can anything like a "peace candidate" ever lead the ticket of one of the duopoly parties.

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5 users have voted.
mimi's picture

@shaharazade
... too high for them.

So if I'm wrong here why are the so called progressive Demorats not resisting or obstructing?

I think it's all written in this article. I need to post it.
The Price of Resistance - Posted on Apr 17, 2017 - By Chris Hedges
That's the conclusion of his essay, which is to me a 'must read'.

“My faith has been tempered in Hell,” wrote Vasily Grossman in his masterpiece “Life and Fate.” “My faith has emerged from the flames of the crematoria, from the concrete of the gas chamber. I have seen that it is not man who is impotent in the struggle against evil, but the power of evil that is impotent in the struggle against man. The powerlessness of kindness, of senseless kindness, is the secret of its immortality. It can never be conquered. The more stupid, the more senseless, the more helpless it may seem, the vaster it is. Evil is impotent before it. The prophets, religious leaders, reformers, social and political leaders are impotent before it. This dumb, blind love is man’s meaning. Human history is not the battle of good struggling to overcome evil. It is a battle fought by a great evil struggling to crush a small kernel of human kindness. But if what is human in human beings has not been destroyed even now, then evil will never conquer.”

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4 users have voted.
Pluto's Republic's picture

@Shockwave

…his cic authority to the generals.

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5 users have voted.

I needed Cow Cow D., a total delight. I'm slinking back to the greenhouse and transplanting more tomatoes and trying to forget everything else. Except the snap peas of course.

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10 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@GusBecause

i avoided news all weekend and was gratified not to see one mushroom cloud the whole weekend.

it was a delight to put the music for this week together.

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10 users have voted.

arrogant mfer. And about curtailment of our first amendment rights. And that supposedly reasonable, intelligent, and informed people in places of enormous power want to kill Assange.
Here is what I witnessed in court today, and a complaint to Texas Judicial Conduct complaint just might ensue: young black guy accused of a felony goes to the bench. Old white judge asks if he has been able to hire an attorney. "no, sir." Do you have a job? "no, sir." Do you have income or cash? "no, sir." Well, let's talk about what kind of Cadillac you drive. "I do not own a car, sir."
No black people in the courtroom thought that was funny. Every white person in the room, including court officers, giggled and smiled. Except me.
Shit like this causes me to drink beer.

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12 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@on the cusp

wow, so you practice law at the good ol' boy's club. my sympathies to you and all of the decent people of your district.

i hope that the beer is cold and tasty.

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9 users have voted.

@joe shikspack Yes, sir, I most certainly do. Keeshan. Prosecutor, Conroe, Montgomery County, Texas.
Brantley. (black guy convicted of raping and killing a white teenaged girl) Death row because prosecutor Keeshan "probably hid evidence" that would have exonerated Brantley. Mike Deguerin got his death penalty guilty verdict overturned, sprung him from prison.
Keeshan later became a District Judge, is now a senior visiting judge with clout in his retirement.
Dick Deguerin and Mike are bothers, and I am likely misspelling on of their names. Dick is media star, represented Tom Delay. Mike, however, is regarded by all of us in the biz as a god. Both of them come to the boonies occasionally. I shake Dickie's hand, give Mike a suffocating, bone crushing hug.
I am 64, but told Mike 6 months ago I wanted to be him when I grew up.
Keeshan needs to be taken off the visiting judge list.
We shall see.

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9 users have voted.
divineorder's picture

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6 users have voted.

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

joe shikspack's picture

@divineorder

no, thank you! Smile

i hope you guys are having a great time.

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7 users have voted.
divineorder's picture

@joe shikspack we are. Cool and raining so camping is damp but here on the Redwood Coast all is green green green. This good news after years of drought. All the rains this year have produced conditions conducive to falling trees. Several TALL ones down in the campground including redwoods.
Lumber companies looking to cash in on the political climate and clear cut hopscotch actions of 5he few remain redwoods. Tragic.

Kayaked up river past some resting seals, what beautiful eyes they have.

At a bar in Mendocino and instead of riveting our eyes on the spectacular coast view we both are taking advantage of the free wifi and reading EB÷ SmileSmile

tmp_1875-20170413_195859-2064x11612124709491.jpg

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5 users have voted.

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

joe shikspack's picture

@divineorder

wow, eb won out over the mendocino coastline? that's pretty amazing. give my regards to the whales and the seals!

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5 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

be like if this was happening to our country.
Every day waking up and wondering if this is the day that their homes, the hospitals and the other infrastructure that they have is bombed by another country's military.

At least 1,782 civilians were allegedly killed by coalition airstrikes in March alone, according to an analysis by Airwars — numbers the research organization says are comparable to the deadliest period of Russia’s 2016 air campaign in Syria. ...
The stark rise in reported civilian deaths coincides with an equally staggering increase in the number of bombs and missiles dropped on Iraq and Syria in the first three months of 2017 — 10,918, according to official military data. In March the coalition bombed Iraq and Syria a whopping 3,878 times — the most ever in the 32-month campaign, and the third straight record month. It’s a 59 percent rise in the number of munitions released during the same time period last year, Airwars points out. And a majority — 57 percent — of all alleged coalition-caused civilian casualties in March recorded by Airwars took place in Syria.

The article on the Intercept about the father trying to find his daughter after our military bombed their homes, finding her under the rubble and then having to go 50 miles to another hospital because ISIS shoots everyone that tried to go to the local hospital.

I fought with a twerp yesterday about the number of people who had been killed by our military. He accused me of spreading fake news and said that never happened.
If people were shown proof that our government created, funded and armed ISIS would that get them off their butts and finally protest against the illegal military actions?
Do they bother to wonder how ISIS got those new Toyota trucks and were able to drive them in long convoys without being bombed by our military, just like the miles long oil tankers that took oil into Turkey and somehow our military couldn't see them and bomb the hell out of them?

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11 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

you might appreciate another section of orwell's "notes on nationalism" which i quoted tonight:

Indifference to objective truth is encouraged by the sealing-off of one part of the world from another, which makes it harder and harder to discover what is actually happening. There can often be a genuine doubt about the most enormous events. For example, it is impossible to calculate within millions, perhaps even tens of millions, the number of deaths caused by the present war. The calamities that are constantly being reported — battles, massacres, famines, revolutions — tend to inspire in the average person a feeling of unreality. One has no way of verifying the facts, one is not even fully certain that they have happened, and one is always presented with totally different interpretations from different sources. ... Probably the truth is discoverable, but the facts will be so dishonestly set forth in almost any newspaper that the ordinary reader can be forgiven either for swallowing lies or failing to form an opinion. The general uncertainty as to what is really happening makes it easier to cling to lunatic beliefs. Since nothing is ever quite proved or disproved, the most unmistakable fact can be impudently denied. Moreover, although endlessly brooding on power, victory, defeat, revenge, the nationalist is often somewhat uninterested in what happens in the real world. What he wants is to feel that his own unit is getting the better of some other unit, and he can more easily do this by scoring off an adversary than by examining the facts to see whether they support him. All nationalist controversy is at the debating-society level. It is always entirely inconclusive, since each contestant invariably believes himself to have won the victory. Some nationalists are not far from schizophrenia, living quite happily amid dreams of power and conquest which have no connection with the physical world.

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8 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@joe shikspack
Orwell was a brilliant thinker and I'd love for him to be alive today to see how prescient his thinking was. He was off a few decades on what is happening in our world, but he sure was right.
Especially about this.

Some nationalists are not far from schizophrenia, living quite happily amid dreams of power and conquest which have no connection with the physical world.

That's the only way to be able to understand how people can be so removed from the carnage they order.
There is just no way for me to understand how many people can see what they have caused and yet they continue to do the same things over and over again.
I'm hoping that there is some type of hell or karmic force that will hold them accountable for their actions.

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5 users have voted.

Thanks as usual for all the news. Dad to see the front headline for the National Enquire in the grocery line proclaiming Trump was out to get all the dictators. Sounds like what is coming from the mmainstream media as well.

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6 users have voted.

Life is what you make it, so make it something worthwhile.

This ain't no dress rehearsal!

joe shikspack's picture

@jakkalbessie

heh, reading the national enquirer in the checkout line on vacation, eh?

i can't wait until trump gets around to the saudi dictators.

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7 users have voted.

@joe shikspack Smart phone isn't so smart so have to get news from somewhere! Seriously news is very unsettling these days but thanks to you and others here at C99 can keep in touch with real serious news.

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8 users have voted.

Life is what you make it, so make it something worthwhile.

This ain't no dress rehearsal!

lotlizard's picture

@joe shikspack The Saudis have been immune to press scrutiny, let alone criticism, since forever. The evil, stupid policies didn’t just start with Trump, and the evil, stupid deeds of the system’s elites are hardly Trump’s alone.

https://duckduckgo.com/?q=western+leaders+saudi+arabia+funeral&t=ffsb&ia...

Western leaders mourn despot’s death (August 2005)

World leaders in Saudi Arabia to pay tribute to late king (January 2015)

Western leaders’ double standards on Saudi Arabia are breathtaking

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3 users have voted.

Man, Bernie just went on some town hall tour with the twit Chris Hayes, and now a tour with Perez? And really, Perez is going to support Sander's positions? Sheep dog? unfortunately at this point yes. Bernie may come out for $15/hr, but I seriously doubt if Perez will come out for it without some horseshit Clinton caveats and triangulation.

Side note about $15/hr. min. The democrat party can't even support it publicly and has opposed it openly when it has been put on the proverbial ballot. And it as in the case of Cleveland's democratic mayor, vetoed it.

Looks like long term 2016 will foretell the fate of the democratic party. People will not vote against the party. Rather, they won't vote for it as in the case of the Rust Belt states.

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5 users have voted.
Azazello's picture

@MrWebster
I won't drive up there to see it but I'll be interested to learn who said what and what the turnout was.

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3 users have voted.

@Azazello

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4 users have voted.
CS in AZ's picture

@Azazello

I wanted to go but couldn't, felt disappointed to miss it but so happy to see a YUGE crowd turning out in Az to cheer for the ideas he talked about. That damn hope thing again.

I'm sorry to have to say, I have no interest now. It's sad and frustrating to think about the opportunity that Bernie had, and squandered by sucking up to the dem party.

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5 users have voted.
Azazello's picture

@CS in AZ
twice up there and 3 times down here. I'm not giving up on him or the movement that he started. It seems Perez is getting booed, good.

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3 users have voted.
CS in AZ's picture

@Azazello

I had assumed that the crowds would be friendly to Perez and the unity tour concept, if they bothered to show up, it shows support. Apparently I was wrong, they booed his name, yes - good. But did they boo when Bernie spoke and talked about "coming together" with the person they had just booed? I'm not sure I understand this, are they trying to send Bernie a message, like we still support you, but not them?

Anyway, it is good to see that the movement Bernie started hasn't been entirely squashed... at least not yet. People still loving Bernie and letting the dems know it. That's good.

I just feel that by shoring up the democrats, Bernie is helping to maintain the duopoly status quo, and passing up a golden opportunity to break them. He could do it. He has the following. And I believe he would quickly gain even more if he was truly an independent instead of sticking with the party. But alas... "coming together to fight back"? Meh.

My hope now is not in Bernie taking the lead. I would be thrilled if he does, but I just don't see it happening. For whatever reason, he's a democrat, and he's chosen to be a team player.

But I hope the movement that gathered around his campaign will find a way to do it, even if Bernie won't take that step himself.

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3 users have voted.
Azazello's picture

@CS in AZ
It looks like I replied to myself instead of to you.

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3 users have voted.
Azazello's picture

@Azazello .
in dkmich's post ? I'm thinking along those lines. On the local level, I think Martha can be beaten, but not by some corporate Dem with campaign staff parachuted in from the DCCC.
Vamos a ver.

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3 users have voted.
CS in AZ's picture

@Azazello

I will check it out. I've become quite hardened lately to the idea of rehabilitating the dem party. It's Hillary. When she "came out of the woods" and was back on tv again, playing victim, and then her adoring fans shoveling the shit too, poor hilz was deprived of her rightful coronation, yet again. Personally I felt disappointed that she hadn't been eaten by a bear in those woods. Ok, not literally; but her reappearance was a stark reminder of what the democrats are about. My last nerve kind of snapped I think, over Bernie participating in that.

But I'm open to being convinced this takeover is a real possibility. This podcast looks like a worthwhile perspective, I'll listen and give the idea a try. Thx!

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3 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@jakkalbessie @MrWebster
They would have to pay me big bucks for me to go down to hear them.
If Bernie had come here a year ago I'm sure I would have gone to listen to him.
I don't get why he isn't upset that the Obama/Clinton regime put Perez in over Ellison. He has to know the reason why they did that. Can't have the party move too far to the left.

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6 users have voted.

@MrWebster

Lol, so Bernie keeps telling the people they should have healthcare and a living wage - and both the Dems and Repubs keep saying 'no way' but the Dems can't pull Bernie without looking even worse. But the people keep being reminded of what they should have, if their government was working for, rather than against them, and the demands are growing...

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3 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.

smiley7's picture

Been practicing putting my head between my knees under my desk...remember the drill, too well.

Hoping you and everyone are well and in good spirits.

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7 users have voted.
MarilynW's picture

if he were allowed to enter the USA he might have caused some havoc. He looks a little bit shifty.

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5 users have voted.

@MarilynW

They'll have to to check Baby's diaper for stink-bombs...

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2 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.

MarilynW's picture

At the Easter Egg Roll, he took hats from little kids begging "please sign my hat" and after scribbling his name on the hat he flung it into the crowd while the little kids yelled "No!" He just has no class.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/watch-boy-screams-after-trump-signs-hi...

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4 users have voted.
mimi's picture

over the weekend and feared you might have one too. I am happy to see that you still were able to overcome it and be back again and again and again each evening.

Bless you.

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3 users have voted.
lotlizard's picture

in Germany the Alt-Right is the antiwar movement.

How sad is that?

Will the “Alt-Right” Hijack the Antiwar Movement?

* Antiwar marches on Easter weekend became a tradition in the post-WW-II period among the West German Left and counterculture scene.

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3 users have voted.

to classify various political orientations no longer clearly describe their own membership. Even the broad contradistinction of a "Left" being ideologically distinct from a "Right" has in many areas of crucial importance, become hazy and blurred. Thus we are saddled with confusing and ill-defined terms like alt-Right, alt-Left, Neoonservative, Neoliberal and so on, to define new and unfamiliar alignments. Globalism in all its manifestations has radically altered the political landscape, erasing many boundaries both physical and psychic. New ones have yet to clearly emerge. Our political language has not yet caught up with the fast-changing circumstances it is meant to describe.

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2 users have voted.

native