The Evening Blues - 9-13-18



eb1pt12



The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Rosco Gordon



Hey! Good Evening!


This evening's music features Memphis blues singer and songwriter Rosco Gordon. Enjoy!



Rosco Gordon - Bop It!

"When imperialism feels weak, it resorts to brute force."

-- Hugo Chavez


News and Opinion


The U.S. Goes to War Against the ICC to Cover Up Alleged War Crimes in Afghanistan

Recent statements from the Trump administration suggest that the United States is now preparing to go to war against the ICC itself, motivated largely by an effort to silence investigations into alleged American war crimes committed in Afghanistan, as well as alleged crimes committed by Israel during the 2014 war in the Gaza Strip. In a speech at a D.C. event held by the Federalist Society on Monday, Donald Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton denounced the ICC as “illegitimate” and expressed his intentions toward the institution in no uncertain terms. “We will not cooperate with the ICC,” Bolton said. “We will provide no assistance to the ICC. We will not join the ICC. We will let the ICC die on its own. After all, for all intents and purposes, the ICC is already dead to us.”

In addition to this death wish against the court, Bolton said that the United States would retaliate against any ICC investigations into U.S. activities by sanctioning the travel and finances of ICC officials, even threatening to prosecute them in American courts.

Because it involves U.S. officials themselves, at the center of the campaign against the ICC is a 2016 report by ICC prosecutors that deals in part with the war in Afghanistan. ... The crimes in question appear to have been related to detention programs run in Afghanistan during the early years of the U.S. occupation. While the report does not name the individuals responsible nor their victims, it indicates that there are dozens of cases in which torture, cruel treatment, and sexual assault were committed by American soldiers and CIA officers in Afghanistan from 2003 to 2004. The report also states that the alleged crimes “were not the abuses of a few isolated individuals,” adding that “there is a reasonable basis to believe these alleged crimes were committed in furtherance of a policy or policies aimed at eliciting information through the use of interrogation techniques involving cruel or violent methods which would support U.S. objectives in the conflict in Afghanistan.”

Given longstanding U.S. refusals to cooperate with ICC investigations, it’s unlikely that the 2016 document — a preliminary report from the prosecutor’s office — would have succeeded in bringing U.S. officials to trial at the Hague. Bolton’s campaign thus seems intended on solidifying the fact that the United States is free of international norms on human rights conduct, with those who even investigate its actions subject to threat.

‘Maverick’ Media Use McCain Funeral to Shore Up US Imperialism

Elite media insist they’re engaged in challenging the imperious presidency of Donald Trump. But their support for US imperialism itself remains vigorous, as coverage of the funeral of Sen. John McCain showed clearly. In a September 1 news report, Washington Post national security reporter Greg Jaffe and White House Bureau Chief Philip Rucker (9/1/18) write that:

the full tableau of his funeral—which included the previous three presidents and every major-party nominee for the past two decades— . . . served as a melancholy last hurrah for the sort of global leadership that the nation once took for granted. ... Much of the praise for McCain focused on his vision of the United States as a global superpower and moral beacon, positions Trump has been accused of abandoning. His longtime friend, former Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, lauded McCain’s globe-trotting ways and his advocacy on behalf of political prisoners and dissidents in far-flung places such as Myanmar and Syria…. Yet more than ever before in the post–World War II era, McCain’s vision of the United States as the bulwark against tyrants, guarantor of global stability and refuge for the oppressed is out of favor.

“Global leadership” is a vacuous euphemism media employ that carries the assumption that the US plays a decidedly positive role in world affairs, even as the same outlets report on dozens of Yemeni schoolchildren killed by a US-made bomb, for example, or on Syrians in devastated Raqqa, whose families could be expected to reach a different conclusion. By giving credence to characterizations of America as a “moral beacon” and a “bulwark against tyrants, guarantor of global stability and refuge for the oppressed,” the reporters legitimize US international supremacy. Nothing in their article raises any doubt about whether it makes sense to describe as a “guarantor of global stability” a state currently involved in seven wars, all of which it initiated. Or whether a country loses its “moral beacon” status for bombing and killing more than 6,000 civilians, as the United States has in Syria since 2014. Or whether one can be a “bulwark against tyrants” while underwriting an Israeli government that since March 30 has massacred 179 Palestinians, including 23 children, two journalists, three paramedics and three people with disabilities.

On the Brink with Russia in Syria Again, 5 Years Later

The New York Times, on September 11, 2013, accommodated Russian President Vladimir V. Putin’s desire “to speak directly to the American people and their political leaders” about “recent events surrounding Syria.” Putin’s op-ed in the Times appeared under the title: “A Plea for Caution From Russia.” In it, he warned that a military “strike by the United States against Syria will result in more innocent victims and escalation, potentially spreading the conflict far beyond Syria’s borders … and unleash a new wave of terrorism. … It could throw the entire system of international law and order out of balance.”

Three weeks before Putin’s piece, on August 21, there had been a chemical attack in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was immediately blamed. There soon emerged, however, ample evidence that the incident was a provocation to bring direct U.S. military involvement against Assad, lest Syrian government forces retain their momentum and defeat the jihadist rebels. ...

In recent days, President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, has left no doubt that he is the mascot of American exceptionalism. Its corollary is Washington’s “right” to send its forces, uninvited, into countries like Syria. “We’ve tried to convey the message in recent days that if there’s a third use of chemical weapons, the response will be much stronger,” Bolton said on Monday. “I can say we’ve been in consultations with the British and the French who have joined us in the second strike and they also agree that another use of chemical weapons will result in a much stronger response.” As was the case in September 2013, Syrian government forces, with Russian support, have the rebels on the defensive, this time in Idlib province where most of the remaining jihadists have been driven. On Sunday began what could be the final showdown of the five-year war. Bolton’s warning of a chemical attack by Assad makes little sense as Damascus is clearly winning and the last thing Assad would do is invite U.S. retaliation.

U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, with remarkable prescience, has already blamed Damascus for whatever chemical attack might take place. The warnings of direct U.S. military involvement, greater than Trump’s two previous pin-prick attacks, is an invitation for the cornered jihadists to launch another false-flag attack to exactly bring that about.

Last week Trump warned Russian and Syria not to attack Idlib. Trump faces perhaps his biggest test as president: whether he can resist his neocon advisers and not massively attack Syria.

The Intercept has obtained the Secretary of State's ass-covering memo which claims against all evidence that Saudi Arabia and the UAE are doing a bang-up job of reducing harm to civilians in their continuing bloodthirsty U.S.-backed assault on Yemen. Click the link to see the full 7 page pack of lies.

Here’s Mike Pompeo’s Memo Justifying U.S. Assistance to Saudi Arabia and the UAE’s War in Yemen

On Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo certified that the coalition of Persian Gulf monarchies waging a war in Yemen was taking sufficient steps to protect civilians. The declaration by Pompeo — which flew in the face of years of criticisms of the coalition’s conduct in the war by international bodies and human rights groups — allowed the U.S. to continue refueling coalition jets.

Pompeo’s vetting of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates was required by a bipartisan amendment to the annual defense spending bill signed into law last month by President Donald Trump. Pompeo made the announcement of his certification in a statement, saying that the two Gulf countries were “undertaking demonstrable actions to reduce the risk of harm to civilians.” ...

“Pompeo’s description of doing everything possible is wrong,” Larry Lewis, the State Department’s former senior civilian harm advisor, told the Intercept. Lewis, who was pushed out last year during Rex Tillerson’s tenure as secretary of state, previously gave trainings to Saudi pilots and assisted in the formation of the assessment team.

Humanitarian groups pilloried the decision, which came less than a month after a bomb from a coalition jet killed dozens of children in a school bus in northern Yemen. The aid group Oxfam reported that August was the deadliest month of the more than 3-year war. “This administration is doubling down on its failed policy of literally fueling the world’s largest humanitarian crisis,” said Scott Paul, Oxfam America’s humanitarian policy lead.

Spain to proceed with Saudi bomb deal days after halting it

The Spanish government has confirmed it will proceed with the sale of 400 laser-guided bombs to Saudi Arabia, days after saying the €9.2m (£8.2m) deal had been halted amid apparent concerns over the use of such weapons in the war in Yemen. Josep Borrell, the foreign minister, announced the U-turn on Thursday, saying the government had reviewed the contract and felt it had to be honoured.

The decision came after protests by workers at the state-owned Navantia shipyard in southern Spain, who argued that abandoning the contract would lead the Saudi government to walk away from a €1.8bn deal to buy five warships.

“After an intense week’s work by various ministries, including the foreign ministry, the decision is that these bombs will be delivered to honour a contract from 2015, which was made by the previous government and in which no irregularity has been detected that would bar it from happening,” Borrell told Onda Cero radio. The minister said the contract had been thoroughly reviewed by different ministries and checked three times by the interdepartmental commission that oversees arms sales. ...

Pressed on whether the Spanish government had received any guarantees that the bombs would not be used against civilians in Yemen, Borrell insisted they were precision weapons that “do not create collateral effects” and were accurate to a range of within a metre of their targets.

Inside Israel’s Secret Program to Back Syrian Rebels

Israel secretly armed and funded at least 12 rebel groups in southern Syria that helped prevent Iran-backed fighters and militants of the Islamic State from taking up positions near the Israeli border in recent years, according to more than two dozen commanders and rank-and-file members of these groups. The military transfers, which ended in July of this year, included assault rifles, machine guns, mortar launchers and transport vehicles. Israeli security agencies delivered the weapons through three gates connecting the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights to Syria—the same crossings Israel used to deliver humanitarian aid to residents of southern Syria suffering from years of civil war.

Israel also provided salaries to rebel fighters, paying each one about $75 a month, and supplied additional money the groups used to buy arms on the Syrian black market, according to the rebels and local journalists. The payments, along with the service Israel was getting in return, created an expectation among the rebels that Israel would intercede if troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad tried to advance on southern Syria. When regime forces backed by Russian air power did precisely that this past summer, Israel did not intervene, leaving the rebel groups feeling betrayed.

“This is a lesson we will not forget about Israel. It does not care about … the people. It does not care about humanity. All it cares about it its own interests,” said Y., a fighter from one of the groups, Forsan al-Jolan.

Sistine Chapel Choir under investigation for money laundering

The Vatican has launched an investigation in the Sistine Chapel Choir, after claims that members of the world-renowned choir may be involved in embezzlement, fraud and money laundering.

The Vatican issued a statement on Wednesday confirming that Pope Francis had authorised an investigation into possible financial irregularities in the choir, which is one of the world’s oldest singing groups.

The statement came just hours after a report in La Stampa newspaper about the choir, which said Vatican magistrates were investigating the choir’s manager, who is a layman, and its director, who is a priest, on suspicion of embezzlement, fraud and money laundering. ...

Founded in 1471, it is believed to be the world’s oldest choir, with roots going back to the Schola Cantorum instituted by Pope Saint Gregory the Great around the year 600.

GCHQ data collection regime violated human rights, court rules

GCHQ’s methods for bulk interception of online communications violated privacy and failed to provide sufficient surveillance safeguards, the European court of human rights has ruled. But the ECHR found that GCHQ’s regime for sharing sensitive digital intelligence with foreign governments was not illegal, and it explicitly confirmed that bulk interception with tighter safeguards was permissible.

The ruling, which follows Edward Snowden’s whistleblowing revelations, is a comprehensive assessment by the ECHR of interception operations carried out until recently by UK intelligence agencies.

The legal claims, which had already been heard by the UK’s investigatory powers tribunal, were brought by a coalition of 14 human rights groups and privacy organisations including Amnesty International, Liberty, Privacy International and Big Brother Watch, as well as journalists. The case concerned the interception regime previously operated by GCHQ. Updated regulations are coming into force under the Investigatory Powers Act 2016. The ECHR did not examine this legislation, which already faces fresh legal challenges.

By a majority of five to two votes, the Strasbourg judges found that GCHQ’s bulk interception regime violated article 8 of the European convention on human rights, which guarantees privacy, because there were said to be insufficient safeguards, and rules governing the selection of “related communications data” were deemed to be inadequate.


Facebook Allows Right Wing Group To Censor Progressives

Senior Google Scientist Resigns Over “Forfeiture of Our Values” in China

A senior Google esearch scientist has quit the company in protest over its plan to launch a censored version of its search engine in China. Jack Poulson worked for Google’s research and machine intelligence department, where he was focused on improving the accuracy of the company’s search systems.

In early August, Poulson raised concerns with his managers at Google after The Intercept revealed that the internet giant was secretly developing a Chinese search app for Android devices. The search system, code-named Dragonfly, was designed to remove content that China’s authoritarian government views as sensitive, such as information about political dissidents, free speech, democracy, human rights, and peaceful protest. After entering into discussions with his bosses, Poulson decided in mid-August that he could no longer work for Google. He tendered his resignation and his last day at the company was August 31.

He told The Intercept in an interview that he believes he is one of about five of the company’s employees to resign over Dragonfly. He felt it was his “ethical responsibility to resign in protest of the forfeiture of our public human rights commitments,” he said. Poulson, who was previously an assistant professor at Stanford University’s department of mathematics, said he believed that the China plan had violated Google’s artificial intelligence principles, which state that the company will not design or deploy technologies “whose purpose contravenes widely accepted principles of international law and human rights.” ...

Between May 2016 and July 2017, Poulson worked out of Google’s Mountain View headquarters, before he relocated to company offices in Toronto. He said he views his former Google colleagues as some of the smartest and most hardworking people he has ever met. But he is surprised more of the company’s employees have not quit over Dragonfly. “It’s incredible how little solidarity there is on this,” he said. “It is my understanding that when you have a serious ethical disagreement with an issue, your proper course of action is to resign.”

Keiser Report: Fatal price spikes

'Crushing Defeat' for DeVos as Federal Judge Rules She Illegally Delayed Relief for Students Defrauded by For-Profit Colleges

A Washington, D.C. federal judge has delivered a "crushing defeat" of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, ruling that the Trump-appointee illegally delayed Obama-era regulations to provide loan relief to students defrauded by for-profit colleges.

U.S. District Court Judge Randolph Moss, in a 57-page ruling (pdf) issued Wednesday, sided with consumer advocates and a coalition of 19 Democratic states attorneys general, determining that DeVos's actions to delay the borrower defense rule were "unlawful," "procedurally invalid," and "arbitrary and capricious."

In terms of DeVos's broader and deeply unpopular agenda for the Education Department, Politico characterized the decision as "the most significant legal setback to date for DeVos's efforts to dismantle the Obama administration's higher education policies."

With Hurricane Florence Barreling Toward US, Document Shows Trump Moved $10M From FEMA to ICE

As over a million Americans rush to evacuate their homes just days before Hurricane Florence is expected to slam into the Carolinas, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) released documents late Tuesday showing that the Trump administration transferred nearly $10 million away from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) just ahead of hurricane season in order to fund the White House's cruel family separation and deportation efforts.

"This is a scandal," declared Merkley, who first provided the documents to MSNBC's Rachel Maddow. "At the start of hurricane season—when American citizens in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are still suffering from FEMA's inadequate recovery efforts—the administration transferred millions of dollars away from FEMA. And for what? To implement their profoundly misguided 'zero tolerance' policy."

"It wasn't enough to rip thousands of children out of the arms of their parents—the administration chose to partly pay for this horrific program by taking away from the ability to respond to damage from this year's upcoming and potentially devastating hurricane season," Merkley added.

Establishment Media Shy Away From Claims of Perjury by Kavanaugh

Trump Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh was subject to a wringer of testy Senate confirmation hearings last week. The current DC Circuit Court judge has come under fire from Democrats on the Judiciary Committee for his stances against the landmark pro-abortion decision Roe v. Wade, affirmative action and programs for Native Hawaiians, as well as his support for torture.

But some Democrats have also said that Kavanaugh lied under oath in both current and past hearings, and groups like Free Speech for People, Demand Justice, MoveOn and NARAL Pro-Choice America have all advocated perjury probes against him. However, these serious allegations of perjury have received sparse coverage from establishment media outlets like the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN and NPR.

Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy noted that while Kavanaugh was working in the Bush administration as White House staff secretary in 2004, he received thousands of stolen documents that were circulated by Manuel Miranda, a GOP Senate staffer, which revealed Democratic opposition strategies and questions to be asked of Bush judicial nominees. Leahy offered examples of his own stolen emails as proof. In Judiciary committee hearings in 2004 and 2006, Kavanaugh denied under oath that he knew the documents were stolen, even though one of the email chains he was copied on was titled “spying.” In the 2004 hearing, Kavanaugh also denied under oath that he “personally handled” the nomination of controversial anti-abortion judge William Pryor to the DC Circuit Court, although emails from 2002 and 2003 say otherwise.

Sharpening these allegations is the fact that Kavanaugh himself has in the past supported strict interpretations of perjury. While working as an attorney for independent counsel Ken Starr in 1998, Kavanaugh urged that President Bill Clinton be impeached for perjury over his role in the Monica Lewinsky sex scandal. Kavanaugh authored a memo to the other Starr attorneys that pushed for a civil suit for perjury against Clinton, suggesting graphic questioning of Lewinsky as well.

Many outlets, such as Slate (9/7/18), Vox (9/6/18, 9/7/18), Daily News (9/6/18), Politico (9/7/19), the Nation (9/10/18), Common Dreams (9/10/18), Newsweek (9/8/18), the Daily Beast (9/7/18), Mic (9/10/18), Media Matters (9/6/18), Rewire (9/10/18) and Salon (9/8/18)—mostly on the liberal or left end of the media spectrum—have addressed the recent perjury allegations against Kavanaugh in depth. By contrast, as of today, establishment outlets like the New York Times, CNN, the Washington Post and NPR have been quite cagey about the issue.

Kavanaugh Probably Lied Under Oath, But is Still Heading Towards Confirmation

Evidence of Kavanaugh Perjury Mounts After Durbin Releases More "Confidential" Documents

By releasing new documents (pdf) previously marked "committee confidential" late on Tuesday, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) doubled down on accusations that U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh committed perjury in his 2006 confirmation hearing for his seat on a federal appeals court.


In defiance of Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Durbin shared with the public two pages of emails showing that Kavanaugh was involved in discussions regarding the nomination of William Haynes for a judicial seat in 2002.

Four years later, Durbin said, Kavanaugh misled the Judiciary Committee about his involvement while under oath. "It is clear now that not only did Judge Kavanaugh mislead me when it came to his involvement in the Bush administration's detention and interrogation policies, but also regarding his role in the controversial Haynes nomination," Durbin said.

In an email dated November 15, 2002, Kavanaugh asked other White House officials whether Haynes, who helped form the Bush administration's torture policy while working as general counsel for the Pentagon, would be a sufficiently conservative judge. In his confirmation hearing in 2006, Kavanaugh told senators that Haynes' nomination "was not one of the nominations that I handled" while working in the Bush White House.



the horse race



Since 'Citizens United,' Just 15 Groups Account for 75 Percent of the $800+ Million in Dark Money Spent on US Elections

Just 15 groups were responsible for more than 75 percent of dark money political spending from 2010 to 2016, and together poured more than $600 million—out of a total of $800+ million—into campaigns in the wake of the landmark Citizens United case, according to a new analysis from Issue One, a nonpartisan nonprofit that advocates for stricter campaign finance rules.

"Dark money groups hold enormous sway over what issues are, and are not, debated in Congress and on the campaign trail," the report explains. "But the donors behind these groups rarely discuss their motivations for bankrolling these efforts, leaving the public in the dark about who funds these increasingly prominent and potent organizations."

In addition the new Dark Money Illuminated (pdf) report, which identifies about 400 donors and organizations bankrolling these 15 secretive groups, the researchers also developed profiles for each dark money group and an "extensive, first-of-its-kind database containing nearly 1,200 transactions, each supported by primary source documents."

"Right now, the dark money groups and anonymous donors behind them that endlessly bombard Americans with television ads spouting half-truths and outright lies do a disservice to voters," said Issue One CEO Nick Penniman. "In the internet age, every American should be able to know where the money is being spent and who is giving it in near real-time." Of course, overall political spending since 2010 is in the many billions of dollars, but the Issue One report specifically focuses on groups that have been allowed to conceal their donor lists.





the evening greens


US to fall short of Paris climate targets by one-third: report

A new study released Wednesday found that the U.S. will fall short by about one-third on its greenhouse gas emissions targets stipulated in the Paris Climate Accord.

The report titled "Fulfilling America's Pledge" was financed by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and projects that by 2025, the U.S. will cut greenhouse gas emissions to 17 percent below 2005 levels.

That is well short of the original pledge of a 26-28 percent cut in carbon emission levels that former President Obama committed to under the Paris agreement.

Big Coal Put Toxic Coal Ash in Unlined Dirt Ponds—Now a Hurricane is Heading Directly Toward Them

Hurricane Florence’s Unusual Extremes Worsened by Climate Change, Scientists Say

Hurricane Florence lumbered toward the Carolinas on Thursday as a slow-moving giant, churning up a powerful storm surge that could reach 13 feet at high tide and devastate hundreds of miles of shoreline. Adding to forecasters' fears was the storm's potential to bring days of torrential rain to the already saturated region.

The hurricane was unusual for a variety of reasons—and it was being made worse by climate change, a team of scientists said Wednesday.

The scientists—from Stony Brook University, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the National Center for Atmospheric Research—compared the storm's real-time forecasts to what would be expected if the ocean temperature wasn't so warm and the atmosphere lacked today's additional heat and moisture fueled by climate change. They estimated that Florence's rainfall forecast is more than 50 percent higher than it would have been without global warming, and that the hurricane's projected size is about 80 kilometers larger.

Florence's path toward the North Carolina coast is one if its many unusual behaviors. Most previous hurricanes on a track like Florence's headed north and then east, paralleling or brushing the Southeast coast. They typically move on a clockwise path around a stable bubble of air that can cover the entire mid-Atlantic. But this year, that high-pressure dome has shifted, squashing Florence toward the coast. A similar pattern steered 2012's Superstorm Sandy on an unexpected path toward New Jersey.

Scientists say it's too soon to tell if Florence is a warning that more hurricanes will hit the densely populated Northeast coast, but they are growing more certain that global warming will make some of the coming tropical storms intensify more quickly, move more slowly and drop more rain.

Trump falsely claims Hurricane Maria death toll was made up by Democrats

Donald Trump has falsely claimed that 3,000 people did not die in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria, and said the number was made up by the Democratic party “to make me look as bad as possible”. Despite significant evidence showing nearly 3,000 people were killed in the devastating storm last year, Trump tweeted an extraordinary claim that the official death toll was a political scheme, two days after he was sharply criticised for saying the government had an “unsung success” in its response to Maria.

Puerto Rico’s government raised the official death toll from 64 people to 2,975 late last month following the publication of new research by George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health. Though the official death toll was changed, reports by other academic institutions and newspapers estimated the death toll was in the thousands as early as December 2017. But Trump contested these findings on Thursday.




Also of Interest

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

Yanis Varoufakis: Our new international movement will fight rising fascism and globalists

No One Will Be Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Oslo Accords

Dianne Feinstein Withholding Brett Kavanaugh Document From Fellow Judiciary Committee Democrats

ACTION ALERT: Venezuela Poses No ‘Threat to the World’—but WaPo’s Claim That It Does Is Dangerous


A Little Night Music


Rosco Gordon - Booted

Rosco Gordon - Let's Get High

Rosco Gordon - You Figure It Out

Rosco Gordon - Don't Take It Out On Me

Rosco Gordon - Three Cent Love

Rosco Gordon - We're All Loaded

Rosco Gordon - You Got My Bait

Rosco Gordon - Tummer Tee

Rosco Gordon - Roscoe's Boogie



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Comments

QMS's picture

going up? Because there is no top floor when they are climbing up on the backs of the 99%.

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13 users have voted.

Intelligence is being redefined as the ability to repeat ever more complex instructions.

joe shikspack's picture

@QMS

heh, they hire people to come up with rationalizations about how great things are. one of my favorites was the bit about how it is much better to be poor now, because living standards have risen and poor people can have teevees, microwaves and cellphones. it's not your grandfather's poverty anymore.

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12 users have voted.
lotlizard's picture

@joe shikspack  

Claus Michelsen at the German Institute for Economic Research says we almost never had it so good. So where’s the dissatisfaction coming from?

https://www.sz-online.de/nachrichten/deutschland-lebt-quasi-im-idealzust...

Just the kind of neoliberal “everything is awesome” happy talk at the top that, as in Michael Moore’s Rust Belt states, infuriates people, a lot of whom end up voting for right-wing populists.

When I see headlines like this, I always have to remind myself that the SZ (Sächsische Zeitung, a newspaper name along the lines of “The Saxon News” or “The Times of Saxony”) is, after all, majority owned by the junior-partner-in-governing Social Democrats.

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4 users have voted.
mimi's picture

@lotlizard
the "Süddeutsche Zeitung"?
Süddeutsche Zeitung: The Panama Papers
I don't like "crime thrillers", so lemme know what you think. Never heard about the 'Sächsische Zeitung' before, but learning is everything. Haven't even driven through 'Sachsen' yet. Sigh.

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3 users have voted.
lotlizard's picture

@mimi  
but every time I stop by their website, it tries to force me to turn off my adblocker.

I don’t react well to attempts to pressure me into consenting to obtrusive tracking — all part of a general web culture of manipulative “dark patterns.”

https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2016/07/dark-patterns-are...

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2 users have voted.
mimi's picture

@lotlizard
by the corporate digital overlords to force me to do anything or make be believe, if I do this or that and not the other things, especially regarding privacy issues, that it is still worth the effort to care about.

I think whatever they do, they will win and track me in whatever ways. So I say, be my guest and WTF.

Probably a little lazy, but heh in our age we earned a little lazy times. Smile

I admit that I have the feeling the constant requests to accept cookies and get rid of ad blockers seem to have increased.

So, let's block the followers of the ad-blockers fan club... Wink

Nothing for Ungood. Be well and take care.

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lotlizard's picture

@mimi

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mimi's picture

@lotlizard
I would say we become American English fans. There we are all a "you". Smile

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lotlizard's picture

@mimi  
for a few days I tried imitating the Quaker family in the movie, saying “thee” and “thou” (and “thy” and “thine”) instead of “you” (and “your”) . . .

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WoodsDweller's picture

is sort of a wreck right now, but they still seem to think it will drift along the coast and cause massive flooding.

https://www.wunderground.com/cat6/Category-2-Florence-Nears-Landfall-Nor...
Dated 11 am EDT.

Heavy rains from Category 2 Hurricane Florence are lashing the coast of North Carolina as the dangerous storm heads northwest towards an expected landfall on Friday. ... Florence will stall on Friday and move slowly west-southwest along the coast for several days, bringing a devastating rainfall and storm surge event.
... began dumping heavy rains over the Outer Banks and much of Eastern North Carolina on Thursday morning. Rainfall amounts of 0.5 – 1.0 inch per hour were common, with a few heavy cells generating higher rainfall rates. ... the hurricane is quickly running out of time for any intensification to occur ... Given Florence’s lack of a complete eyewall, significant intensification is unlikely, and we can expect the hurricane to gradually weaken as land interaction increases and the slower motion of the storm upwells cold water from the depths. Our top three intensity models predict Florence will be a borderline Category 1/Category 2 hurricane with 95 - 105 mph winds at landfall. ...
Florence would head towards the North Carolina coast through Thursday evening, as the clockwise flow around the Bermuda High pushes the storm northwest. But on Thursday night, Florence will put on the brakes and screech to a halt as the steering currents collapse. Given that the steering currents will be very weak Friday and beyond, slight changes in the balance between these forces guiding the hurricane will make a huge difference in where the hurricane makes landfall. This makes the exact landfall location and time difficult to predict accurately. Landfall will be between 2 am and 10 am EDT Friday, according to the five models.
...
Florence’s stall near the coast and slow motion will result in prodigious amounts of rain. If a significant portion of the storm’s circulation remains over water, as occurred last year with Hurricane Harvey’s stall over Southeast Texas, the rain from Florence may break all-time state records for rainfall from a hurricane or tropical storm.
...
The surge threat from Florence is higher than you might expect from its Saffir-Simpson category, because the storm is large and will be affecting the coast for a prolonged period.
...
in the case of Florence, the storm is expected to slow down so much near landfall that the coast in the highest surge zone is almost guaranteed to get a near-peak surge during at least one high tide and low tide.
...
The erosional effects of multiple high tides will be larger than that of a single high tide, so we can expect to see major impacts to the barrier-island landscape of North Carolina, especially from Cape Hatteras southwestward.
Florence’s slow motion also means that massive amounts of runoff will be flowing into coastal inlets, where it will have no place to go while the circulation around Florence is still pushing water into shore. This will greatly exacerbate the potential for flooding along and just inland from the coast, especially in southern North Carolina

Good news: lower wind speeds. Bad news: flooding is expected to be severe, and the coastline will be trashed by storm surge and floodwaters pouring in from inland, which may extend to more than one high tide.

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15 users have voted.

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

joe shikspack's picture

@WoodsDweller

it looks like fema is going to have another chance to do a heck of a job in the carolinas.

best of luck to everybody in florence's way.

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9 users have voted.

polls are moving

The poll, conducted by Probolsky Research between Aug. 29 and Sept. 2, found that Lt. Gov. Newsom leads Republican businessman John Cox 44 percent to 39, with 17 percent of the poll's participants saying that they are undecided.

Additionally, the poll found that Sen. Feinstein leads progressive challenger Kevin de León 37 percent to 29, with a whopping 34 percent of participants undecided.

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15 users have voted.
WoodsDweller's picture

@gjohnsit
Couldn't happen to a nicer fascist.

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13 users have voted.

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

joe shikspack's picture

@gjohnsit

this would be a great time to dump difi. i've got my fingers crossed.

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9 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

Since 'Citizens United,' Just 15 Groups Account for 75 Percent of the $800+ Million in Dark Money Spent on US Elections

OK, I get Russia and Iran, but then who?

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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

heh, you see, because russia has hackerz, they can spend $100 on a facebook ad and throw a national election. so all of those billions of dollars that rich people throw at our national beauty pageant can't possibly keep up with putin and probably his ayatollah buddies, too.

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11 users have voted.
ggersh's picture

man are we fucked

https://jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com/

13 SEPTEMBER 2018
Stocks and Precious Metals Charts - Devaluing the Presidency Even Faster Than the Currency

"I think I could beat Trump, because I’m as tough as he is, and I’m smarter than he is. And by the way, this wealthy New Yorker actually earned his money. It wasn’t a gift from daddy.”

Jamie Dimon

I could swear that there had been a story somewhere from the time of the financial crisis when Barack Obama asked a room full of Wall Street Bankers, 'Who's your daddy?' And Ben Bernanke jumped up and said, 'Pick me, pick me! I'll be your daddy!'

As you may have noted the inflation figures missed estimates to the low side with core CPI and PPI across the board coming up light. Inflation from this tight labor market and booming economy is so frightened of the technocrats at the Fed that it has apparently left town, just disappeared, moved to South America.

The Street chose to declare that, like the end of history, we have also achieved the death of risk, and started piling back into equities, while selling gold, silver, the US Dollar, and the VIX.

Apparently there was a bit of a dust up when JPM CEO Slippin' Jimmy Dimon said that he could best Trump in the next Presidential election.

This afternoon the talking heads on financial TV were taken with thoughts of drafting Jamie Dimon for President.

One analyst wondered out loud that after running JPM, no job would be worthy of him and his talents, except the presidency. (We are not worthy) And my jaw drops to the keyboard.
"You are a den of vipers and thieves. I have determined to rout you out, and by the Eternal, (bringing his fist down on the table) I will rout you out."
Where is Andrew Jackson when you need him?

Have a pleasant evening.

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11 users have voted.

“Before mass leaders seize the power to fit reality to their lies, their propaganda is marked by its extreme contempt for facts as such, for in their opinion fact depends entirely on the power of man who can fabricate it.”

Hannah Arendt

joe shikspack's picture

@ggersh

oh geez, i can't wait for the dimon/blankfein team to take over for trump. free busrides for everybody on the road to serfdom!

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9 users have voted.
divineorder's picture

Question, do you close the door when you go to the bathroom?

This question was raised in

Hope all have battened down the hatches and are safe and secure. Hey js, hope your camper stays high and dry as well as your abode!

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8 users have voted.

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

joe shikspack's picture

@divineorder

between google and amazon, i suspect that they will know more about you than you do yourself. but won't it be a comfort when a drone delivers a fresh roll of toilet paper that you didn't even have to order just as you were about to run out? Smile

just put the camper back on the truck this afternoon to move it out from under the trees.

it looks like my area probably will get some rain over the weekend, but not anything to worry about too much. there's some chance that when the storm starts moving north monday-wednesday we will get more significant rain here, but the local weather droid isn't freaking out, so perhaps that will also be fairly gentle all things considered.

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7 users have voted.
lotlizard's picture

@joe shikspack  
That always reminds me that I grew up in the era of mainframe computers.

As anyone who operated an IBM mainframe computer and its line printer hands-on will know, a toilet-paper roll running out is known as an “end of forms” condition.

Also, occasionally, a cat or a dog can cause a “forms runaway” condition.

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5 users have voted.
Pricknick's picture

@divineorder
And neither does my spouse.

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3 users have voted.

Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

divineorder's picture

Was available related to this subject because, as jb says, after learning of him on the EB we really enjoy hearing him speak .

Found this posted three weeks ago. “Yanis Varoufakis: Socialism, Populism, Nationalism and Independence”. Headed off to watch it now.

https://youtu.be/ZnFOfJsQzZ8

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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

i've been paying attention to varoufakis since he popped up at the beginning of the greek financial crisis. he's one of the few public-intellectual economists that seems to have a clue and be able to connect with a general audience these days.

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6 users have voted.
divineorder's picture

Strange things are ALWAYS happening in NM.

Closed the local post office, too, and apparently sent the employees to the Cloudcroft po.

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9 users have voted.

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

joe shikspack's picture

@divineorder

look out for the lizard people!

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5 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

@divineorder
the light, hence the need for immediate action.

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7 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 --

divineorder's picture

@enhydra lutris Funny, because we have actually watched a few Xfiles episodes on Hulu since we got back. Now this.

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3 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.

snoopydawg's picture

Great phrasing for what is happening with drug prices. One guy said that it was absolutely moral for him to make as much money as he could after he raised the price for a drug that treats bladder infections. Dimon said that he was doing gawd's work after he received a huge bonus after his bank was bailed out.

The woman in the Keiser report referred to these protests in Germany. How long until we see this action take place here? The rules for it have already been written.

Orwells big brother is knocking on Germany's door

Over the weekend more then 15,000 people protested in different German cities against the neo-Nazi right, police repression, war and social inequality.
....
The issue at the heart of the protest was the new police law. As in other German states, the powers of the security authorities are to be massively expanded and basic civil rights curtailed in Lower Saxony with the NPOG.
In the future, mere suspicion of an offence is sufficient to allow the police to resort to drastic measures. For example, in cases of “serious organised violence” or terrorist offences, police can force suspects to wear electronic ankle cuffs, thereby overriding the basic principle of innocent until proved guilty. Video surveillance in public spaces may be used under certain conditions even in cases of suspicion of “non-negligent misdemeanours.” The interception of telephone calls, emails and chat messages is also to be massively expanded and can be carried out at any time. For this purpose, so-called “State Trojans,” malware developed for the police, are to be used.
The Lower Saxony Interior Minister Boris Pistorius (SPD) justified the new law as needed for the “deterrence of Islamic-motivated terrorism.” In fact, the new police laws in Lower Saxony, Bavaria and other states are not aimed against terrorism. These methods of police-state repression will be used against all opposition. As is the case at a federal level, a coalition of the CDU and SPD governs in Lower Saxony. At both levels, the coalition is advancing a right-wing program of militarism, social cuts and incitement directed against refugees.

The espionage act was created to charge Eugene Debs with it when he was speaking out against WWI and the other things that Wilson was doing. We are seeing increasing censorship so how long until we see people being thrown in prison for speaking out against the Evil Empire?

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7 users have voted.

Self-censorship actually silences exponentially more anti-establishment opinions. For every one voice you crack down on overtly, a thousand more silence themselves out of self-preservation

joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

The woman in the Keiser report referred to these protests in Germany. How long until we see this action take place here?

i think that it is happening here. occupy was brutally suppressed, black lives matter is being subjected to (probably illegal) surveillance and police harassment, the anti-pipeline movement has faced (probably illegal) surveillance and brutal harassment from coordinated corporate, federal, state and local agencies.

it can happen here and it has. again. and again.

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9 users have voted.
mimi's picture

that's all you need to know .../s
Stephen Lynch - Little Tiny Mustache Lyrics

With apologies to this site's readers. I need to get my night-sleep and I think that will be my lullaby today.

I wished there were a 'German Chris Hedges' who would diagnose what is happening in Chemnitz Germany.

Here just one more of his speeches diagnosing what is happening in the US.

Thank You, Joe.

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8 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@mimi

yeah, but what does hedges know about moustaches? Smile

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6 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

'Moment' title to expose Centrist Dem ideology/views?

I ask, because I got into a lengthy and ridiculous 'discussion' with a DC Establishment Dem when I stated to another person that I wouldn't consider voting for Bredesen, who's running for Senate.

Please watch video, below.

323,000 is the amount of people cut from their health insurance in Tennessee under the States' healthcare system, TennCare.

The Governor of Tennessee, Phil Bredesen, ran on the ticket of saving TennCare. Instead, he dismantled it and cost many people their lives as a result. Governor Bredesen, Karl Meyers appear in this documentary.

[Sharon Cobb - Published on Sep 4, 2006]

Thought about using "Crush Centrist Dems"--then got concerned that someone would suggest that it was a physical threat--which it definitely is not. But, from what I've observed, it would need to be a catchy name--with only 2-4 words, if possible. Suggestions are most welcome!!!

Wink

Like I said, earlier today, got in a verbal tussle with a totally obnoxious, big-time Washington player. (According to a reference he made in his Bio.) From that, I figured out who he is--when confronted, he didn't deny it.

(I only publicly identified him by his organization, which he abbreviated in his Profile. But, he prefaced the acronym with a 'scale of justice,' so it wasn't too hard to figure out.)

Anyhoo, if you can think of a possible title for a Twitter Moment which features Tweets from toxic Centrist outfits, let me know. Really would like to post the aforementioned thread (in a Moment), and begin regularly posting Tweets from this, and other corporatist/centrist Dem Party groups.

I'll check back later, in case anyone has an epiphany.

BTW, since Tim's been running around the country on his bike, lately, I didn't think of him being in NC when I posted yesterday. But, if he's anywhere near there, obviously, best of luck to him, as well. Hope our 99'ers who are there, will keep us updated. (From my own experience, a stall can be more destructive, than winds of higher category hurricanes.)

Everyone have a nice evening!

Later . . .

Bye

Blue Onyx

"Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong."
~~W. R. Purche

“At the end of the day, people won't remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.”
~~Maya Angelou

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7 users have voted.

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

joe shikspack's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

negate the nattering nabobs of neoliberalism? cut centrists before they cut your tenncare?

good luck!

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4 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

@joe shikspack

(see previous comment) and 'go rogue,' may very well use 'nattering nabobs of neoliberalism!'

Pretty much says it all.

Biggrin

Blue Onyx

"Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong."
~~W. R. Purche

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4 users have voted.

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

Unabashed Liberal's picture

an innocuous title, so as to not be too conspicuous, but, go ahead and post content like the Tennessee Justice Center video, posted here.

Probably, I'll create two--one for politics, and one for 'fun stuff'--dogs, and more dogs!

Biggrin

Also, I think I associated him with the wrong organization. Now that I've searched a bit more, think he's associated with Constitutional Right Foundation Chicago (not the nonprofit that Michael Rattner once headed.) When you think about it, lack of confirmation could mean that it's not correct, also. Wink

Hey, will swing by tomorrow evening, but, in case it's pretty late, I'll go ahead and wish Everyone a nice, and safe weekend.

From what I'm hearing, Joe, I gather that you probably won't be in the path. Hope you're not. Obviously, stay safe, if it should change course!

Bye

Blue Onyx

"Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong."
~~W. R. Purche

“At the end of the day, people won't remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.”
~~Maya Angelou

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4 users have voted.

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

divineorder's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

FWIW but too bad they can’t be trusted

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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

commondreams just put up an article about it, which i'll post in tomorrow's eb. if you want to get a jump on tomorrow's reading, here 'tis:

'Stopping Cuts Isn't Enough': Sanders Joins Over 150 Democrats to Launch 'Expand Social Security Caucus'

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4 users have voted.
WoodsDweller's picture

... crawling at just 5 mph to the west-northwest towards Wilmington, NC as of 5 pm ... we can expect the hurricane to gradually weaken as land interaction increases and the slower motion of the storm upwells cold water ...
Due to record-breaking rains in May-July, we have had 62.60" of rain this year at ILM. With #Florence stalling near our coast and catastrophic flooding expected, 21.05" would break the record for most rainfall in a calendar year...... with 3+ months to go. — NWS Wilmington NC ...
As of 6 pm EDT Thursday, surge levels of 1 - 2 feet were being observed along the coasts of North and South Carolina ... Tornadoes will be yet another dangerous threat from Florence, especially Thursday night and Friday over southeast North Carolina ...

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6 users have voted.

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

Unabashed Liberal's picture

@WoodsDweller

Blue Onyx

"Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong."
~~W. R. Purche

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4 users have voted.

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

WoodsDweller's picture

@Unabashed Liberal
I'm in Colorado. My special risk is wildfire, which should be over for now.

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4 users have voted.

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

Unabashed Liberal's picture

@WoodsDweller

Blue Onyx

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3 users have voted.

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

Deja's picture

@WoodsDweller
Blowing through and wrecking havoc is bad enough, but hanging around and dumping feet of rain, along with high winds is super shitty.

Harvey overstayed his non-welcome, and it sounds like Flo might prove to be a similar visitor.

I feel for those without the means to evacuate. It's scary to experience, and the fear lasts. I'm anxious for them.

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6 users have voted.

"The gatekeepers must change."
Prince

WoodsDweller's picture

North Carolina
Customers Tracked:
4,465,592
State Outages:
161,724
Last Updated:
9/13/2018, 11:59:37 PM

...LIFE-THREATENING STORM SURGE AND HURRICANE-FORCE WINDS OCCURRING
ALONG THE NORTH CAROLINA COAST...
...THREAT OF FRESHWATER FLOODING WILL INCREASE OVER THE NEXT
SEVERAL DAYS..
Florence is moving toward the northwest near 6 mph (9 km/h).
A turn toward the west-northwest and west at a slow forward speed
is expected through Friday, followed by a slow west-southwestward
motion Friday night and Saturday. On the forecast track, the
center of Florence is expected to move inland across extreme
southeastern North Carolina and extreme eastern South Carolina
Friday and Saturday. Florence will then recurve across the western
Carolinas and the central Appalachian Mountains early next week.
The minimum central pressure reported by the aircraft is 956 mb
Southeastern coastal North Carolina into far northeastern South
Carolina...20 to 30 inches, isolated 40 inches. This rainfall will
produce catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river
flooding.

Remainder of South Carolina and North Carolina into southwest
Virginia...6 to 12 inches, isolated 15 inches. This rainfall will
produce life-threatening flash flooding.

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6 users have voted.

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

Amanda Matthews's picture

So did Thomas, Alito, Roberts...

We should be getting used to it. /s

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6 users have voted.

I'm tired of this back-slapping "Isn't humanity neat?" bullshit. We're a virus with shoes, okay? That's all we are. - Bill Hicks

Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. - Frank Zappa

lotlizard's picture

@Amanda Matthews  
https://duckduckgo.com/?q=joe+biden+anita+hill+clarence+thomas

Obama picked Biden as his vice-president anyway.

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6 users have voted.