Tuesday Open Thread and Meta-Dump


When things become difficult to digest, it's time for a Meta-Dump.
(Double entendre intended)

h70AAF40F.jpg


Defining "non-partisan" as it pertains to caucus99percent.

I've noticed a bit of ambiguity about our (c99p) concept of "non-partisan". The definition lies within the site name, 99percent.

The non-partisan description means that the blog itself owes no allegiance to any party or ideology, individual members are free to believe in what they will. c99p asserts no pressure on it's membership to toe a line, one way or another, unlike most other political sites. c99p is an open board. It's about tolerance and giving others a space to express their opinions. It's about the 99% recognizing the red meat tossed by the hand that wishes to divide us.


Recent changes and tweaks added in the last couple of months.

Let me speak of page loading speeds. A couple of things that puts c99p behind the 8 ball right out of the gate are lack of funding for a faster server, we work on a limited budget so I do what I can to get by on what we can afford. The other thing is c99p is a content rich environment with the many images and videos posted. Images and videos will always slow loading speeds down but I sure as heck don't want to disallow them, they make c99p what it is, so we learn to work around them. Over time multi-user blogs grow to be a large size, stressing the server's resources.

Many changes have been made the last couple of months that have resulted in quicker page loading speeds including:

  • Image optimization.
  • Cleaning up redundant functions.
  • Javascript and HTML minimization.
  • Reducing the amount of blocks used in the sidebar by combining several into one.
  • Removal of title images on the Community Content and Frontpage in lieu of plain text.
  • Editing asynchronous server requests by changing the order of files that load.
  • There are many more but I'm going to stop here because the average site user wont notice most of the mentioned changes that have been made and I don't want dear reader to fall asleep.

Some changes you may have noticed:

  • Using two sidebars instead of one allowing a reduction in server requests by removing the program that collapsed the different features and also allowed a disabling of a program or two which resulted in a decrease in loading time.
  • New site logo.
  • Hopefully you have noticed a decrease in the page loading time.

I would like and will entertain any feed back you may have on any or all of this.

I will now open the floor of this Meta-Dump to the membership.

Share
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28 users have voted.

Comments

I put this together late last night so sorry if it's a bit disjointed. Consider this an Ask Me Anything.

I wont be around until sometime this afternoon, I'll try to answer all questions at that time.

This is an open thread so speak what's on your mind.

PS: A very big thank you to all that contribute to c99p, be it monetarily, by writing essays, by writing comments, or by just being here.

Thank you all very much.

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18 users have voted.
dkmich's picture

What if you allowed images & videos in comments and essays, but got rid of the c99 loader? Would that also help? There must be a ton of data stored in it. There are lots of free places, Imgur, Photobucket,and GooglePlus Photos, to take its place. They can host our photos for us for free.

Just a thought. I will put a check in the mail today.

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8 users have voted.

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

*donate to c99 *like us on Facebook *follow us on Twitter

enhydra lutris's picture

@dkmich
load speed/server load versus ease of use issue. I'm not really one to speak to this, however from either perspective.

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6 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 --

dkmich's picture

@enhydra lutris

c99 loader is slow and not all that easy to use anyway. It could be my own learning curve, but it is my experience. I use imgur.

Would the folks who do OTs and/or post a lot of diaries and comments please share what they use to post their videos and images.

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3 users have voted.

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

*donate to c99 *like us on Facebook *follow us on Twitter

enhydra lutris's picture

@dkmich
also on flicker, for posting direct and use the loader for posting from my own hard drive. I've got into the habit of using the loader more and more, even if I have to dl stuff to my drive because I never remember the size parameters, which I could learn, I guess. Wink

It all started when I began trying to include a "facebook graphic" using the baby loader at the bottom of the new essay page. If I knew how to otherwise generate that, I could pass on the loader personally.

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6 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 --

mhagle's picture

@enhydra lutris

Originally I always used my personal websites "hagle.com" to post pictures. Recently, I have used the c99 image loader but will now return to hosting them myself.

Thanks for mentioning this. It hadn't occurred to me that I might be slowing down the site.

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8 users have voted.

Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

enhydra lutris's picture

@mhagle
(why 2 cents, btw? tuppence? why tuppence, then?).

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5 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 --

snoopydawg's picture

@dkmich

I find it easy to use and it doesn't take that long to load for me anymore since the recent updates and tweaks JtC has been doing. I don''t care to use image storages though I know that others do.

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5 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@snoopydawg

If I want to see recent comments or anything on the sidebar I'll turn it sideways. I didn't even know that he changed it until I looked at it on my Mac PC. I just noticed that it was loading faster.

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4 users have voted.

I would like to target toward that goal in fundraising efforts.

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14 users have voted.
dkmich's picture

@on the cusp

Speed, performance, convenience, user-friendly are functions enjoyed by all of us. I think we should look at streamlining the processes and format and fundraising to upgrade to a bigger server if needed.

We have a lot of people donating time in one way or another. JtC identifies just some of the people and the way they enhance our experience here. So excluding donated time, how much does it cost to operate this blog? If current donations are not adequate to cover cash expenditures, then we should know that and step up to help with the cost.

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13 users have voted.

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

*donate to c99 *like us on Facebook *follow us on Twitter

Raggedy Ann's picture

@on the cusp
in the new year - that's what I've been doing, but I would increase it to an equitable amount to enhance our site.

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11 users have voted.

"They'll say we're disturbing the peace, but there is no peace. What really bothers them is that we are disturbing the war." Howard Zinn

mhagle's picture

Hadn't thought about it until now, but yes . . . it is definitely faster.

Three articles currently on my mind are:

First, the leaked report from the climate conference in South Korea. They are still too cautious IMO, but are definitely using much more urgent and aggressive language, saying it is imperative that we stay below 1.5 degrees and we need to start changing stuff now.

http://www.climatechangenews.com/2018/06/27/new-leaked-draft-of-un-1-5c-...

Second, Caitlin Johnstone of course has a good commentary on the subject.

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2018/10/09/some-thoughts-on-climate-change/

Third, Caitlin Johnstone speaks clarity about real revolution. This should maybe be it's own essay.

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2018/10/08/true-revolution/

Then my thoughts are directed to my current environment, family, gardening pursuits. Yesterday started making seed tapes of root crops using toilet paper and a glue stick.

Wishing everyone a beautiful Tuesday. Namaste

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12 users have voted.

Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

dkmich's picture

@mhagle

Personally, I don't think there's enough time left for us to evolve out of the mess that's been made.

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6 users have voted.

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

*donate to c99 *like us on Facebook *follow us on Twitter

mhagle's picture

@dkmich

Caitlin calls herself a "Utopia Prepper." I'm kind of that way too. Partly for my own sanity. Swirling around in the back of my sub-conscious are pictures and plans for permaculture food forests, solar refrigeration, solar rooftop cars, etc. Not that I think about that stuff all of the time, but it all lies in wait in the background.

Unknw

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11 users have voted.

Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

Lookout's picture

A while back seems like you dumped all the pictures and started a new compilation? What about doing that monthly, or quarterly?

As to
DK's question about pictures, I use the insert image link at the lower left hand corner. I like to have all the pictures I want to use selected and made lower-res. Once the image program loads, it's easy to select and insert all the pictures I want for an essay or extended comment. That's my approach anyway.

A regular picture dump would allow the program to load faster (I think). Avatar photos being exempted.

As to video, I use the [ video:put address here ] approach.

Thanks again JtC for all you do!

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10 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

mhagle's picture

@Lookout

Thanks for all you do here and for all of the work you listed above. Wow.

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6 users have voted.

Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

wendy davis's picture

i wonder if you could just tweak the css code (at least in wordpress lingo) here to reduce them, as well as the tweets. would it help a bit if the friday photos only showed one in the previews? aren't the interior ones usually smaller?

now i realize that i'm completely atypical here, but with the two columns of words, comments, etc., one on either of the content and comments on a diary, it give me vertigo, nausea due to my earlier brain damage. but it feels as though words are bein yelled at me from both sides of the page now. and here i'd become almost successful at ignoring the tag lines, sig lines, whtever they're called commenters use at the end of their comments. no, wd, they're not really yellin' all that stuff at you at the end of their comments...

now the commentariat here might just love the 24(?)recent comments list, i never checked it, myownself. and maybe no one else feels as hemmed in as i do on the two side bar stuff. but if they do, you could always consider putting what you feel crucial on the left side, and keeping a wider blank border on the right side, i'd think. blog rolls? do people care? i sure don't, never have, to say the truth.

i'd also considered asking you if one day i might give a few tips on using your great commenting software, too may folks don't seem to quite grasp how to resize photos from the original urls, use the subject line, edit out the extra @so-and-so's after editing, and so on.

but i'll add my thanks for all the fish, as well, although i sure can't say it with amerikan dollahs. not to sound like a prima donna (although of course i certainly will), i'll just see if i can get used to this format. oh, an what's a c99 loader, anyhoo?

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9 users have voted.
Eagles92's picture

@wendy davis JtC, first let me say that I love and wholly appreciate the faster loading time ... as well as all the butt-busting work you put into this site every day. THANK YOU.

I don't love the non-collapsible Recent Comments list. I also never checked that; I preferred expanding the Recent Essays and then just kept visual tabs on the "comment counts" for the ones I was following (if that makes sense). I think Wendy's description is fitting: I feel a little "hemmed in" by both columns, especially since they're full.

Just MHO -- I can certainly force myself to get used to it. And will, if I have to. Smile

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4 users have voted.
travelerxxx's picture

@Eagles92

I don't love the non-collapsible Recent Comments list. I also never checked that; I preferred expanding the Recent Essays and then just kept visual tabs on the "comment counts" for the ones I was following (if that makes sense).

I also use the Recent Essays menu item to check for new comments posted. The only time I use the Recent Comments list is when I've selected it by accident. That happens...

So, personally, I would rather not have a non-collapsible Recent Comments list taking up space either. I can deal with the new column arraignment if it is important to the efficient operation of the site, but I preferred the old layout.

I suppose there may be an advantage to having the Recent Comments shown for drive-by readers of the site. Dunno about that.

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3 users have voted.
wendy davis's picture

@Eagles92

your optimism on getting used to it; dunno if i can. but i will say that i posted a new diary, but if i find i can't adapt, it may not be a tragedy, lol. i'd kinda reckoned that my diaries are giving ever-diminishing returns as far as comments, and by my reckoning it's largely because i've stepped on too many c99% cultural icons. so...i was thinking that cross-posting might not be worth it, really, although very few comment at the café any longer.

someone suggested i might try daily kos; whaddya think? (j/k)

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3 users have voted.
Eagles92's picture

@wendy davis I find your essays to be so very well researched and I always learn something new! I also enjoy your unique take on things, which has caused me to consider new angles many times.

I should learn to drop a comment in every essay I read (there are few at C99 I don't read, unless I'm away from internet access and can't catch up on the ones I've missed). I just don't always have the time to comment thoughtfully, which means I don't comment at all.

As for stepping on icons, I hope most people here wouldn't take that personally?

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4 users have voted.
wendy davis's picture

@Eagles92

confidence, and i really hadn't meant for that response, just sayin' what is for me. but as i'd said, it's always been hard for the current (and degrading) condition of my mind to be here. i designed the café with that in mind: restful sage green background, my (clickable) photo banners from our backyard, a font easy for mine eyes, smaller tweets and videos...but few comment there any longer. for many i do know why, including saying adios to being online and doing more productive things w/ their lives.

cross-posting w/easy copy from there to here has meant that i compose with quotes there in moss green for c99, then afterward have to remember to go back into edit and change the color to dark tea blue or else it's like seeing a black cat in the dark. ; )

now i can't prove that being an iconoclast to the many demi-gods so admired here is the key cause, but i do see that same sort of tribalism here as many other sites, even though non-partisan is what jtc is hoping for, and it largely is. so yeah, i think some do take it personally.

many thanks, eagles 92. i used to be friends with joe walsh (then the james gang) back in the day at kent state;; he used to make drawings in my notebooks. ; )

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2 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

@wendy davis

don't quit posting. I religiously rec your essays, but, have so little knowledge of some of the topics that you post on, I don't very often comment on them. Doesn't mean that I don't enjoy reading your work, though.

In my case, you know that I've always been a 'one trick pony'--the only topics that I know a little about are a few social insurance/welfare programs, and federal civilian/military service. And, maybe a little about dogs and wildlife.

Biggrin

I've noticed that (at times) less weighty topics garner more comments. My 'guess' is that it's because folks simply need a distraction that's not to brain intensive, from time to time. I know that I often do--considering how depressing life's events, and 'news' can be.

For sure, you've always been one of the best writers that I've known in the blogosphere. Please, don't pull the plug on writing now. We'd all be the worse off, for it.

Pleasantry

Blue

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

Grijalva #1.JPG

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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)

wendy davis's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

all them other people shoutin' at me, blue?

but srsly, my recent ones have been easy to understand, although once i did have some writing game, as my mind fails more, i pretty much assemble copy/pastes with a bit of commentary. and the one i liked best that i did write from the heart (on the need for a revolution of psycho-spiritual consciousness before ANY revolution so many speak of...might mean that the new boss is the same as the old boss. maybe six comments or something.

i'd been thinking of pitching some to dissident voice, but then...no commenting there, arrgh, and i've blogged for twenty years or so at sites...with commenting. i'll just see how my tangled brain does and see. but yes, i do see which diaries get the most comments, and often wince, to say the truth.

but learning new things: ain't that a thing, too?

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2 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

@wendy davis

"be a thing!"

Biggrin

Not that familiar with Dissident Voice, but (after checking it out), could see you posting there. Hopefully, "as an addition, not a subtraction."

Regarding DKos--hope you're jesting! Heck, I landed there for a brief period of time-- actively commenting, that is--out of sheer desperation and exasperation regarding getting the word out about O's so-called 'Grand Bargain.' Now, I'm very grateful that I did, 'cause it's where I met most of the wonderful folks here.

But, as for the 'general politics' of that place--mostly very corporatist and/or conservative partisan Dem policies/views, IMO--I can't say that I've missed the place a whole lot. Which, is not to say that there aren't any cool or nice people who still blog there. There are. And, very occasionally, I take a peek; but, mostly, I don't have the energy to put up with the grief one is subjected to, in order to openly express more 'left' views.

Noticed that you've posted an essay/some links about Michael. Thanks! Need to drop by DO's essay to post titles of MFA proposals. If I should hear anything of import about the aftermath of Michael (this evening), I'll post it at your Hurricane thread.

Lately, I'm trying get back in the habit of Tweeting a bit, partly, because two of my fingers are getting so arthritic, it's a more doable venue for me--especially, some days. My patience is beginning to grow thin, when it comes to needing to make 2-3 corrections to one comment!!!

Dash 1

My best to Mr WD. Pleasantry

Blue

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

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2 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)

WindDancer13's picture

@wendy davis

The two bars are closing in on me also. Graphically speaking, it also makes the page too crowded and hides the real information in the middle.

Recent comments: Never use
Blog Roll: Used once (most are already bookmarked in my Alternate Media folder.

A Help Fie: Would use ALL the time.
I have no idea if it is possible to post a graphic that could be clicked on to see the actual size. Posting at 500 pixel width loses a lot of impact. I just recently discovered (by accident) that I can right click on Reply to open the Reply window with the particular post I am replying to. Prior to that, I had to scrub back and forth which is really difficult in a long thread.

To JtC: Thanks for the updates!

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5 users have voted.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.--Aristotle
If there is no struggle there is no progress.--Frederick Douglass

enhydra lutris's picture

@WindDancer13

I just recently discovered (by accident) that I can right click on Reply to open the Reply window with the particular post I am replying to.

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6 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 --

snoopydawg's picture

@enhydra lutris

I often forget what the person I'm replying to said and had to scroll back up then down a few times to complete my comment. Lovely memory ...

Thanks, wind dancer!

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5 users have voted.
wendy davis's picture

@WindDancer13

but what sort of help fie (i assume a typo for 'file' do you mean? for the commenting software?

Q: what do you choose when you right click on Reply then? i couldn't see any choice that seemed...right.

at least in an OP, clicking an image or tweet can make it stand alone, in cases of images: larger. in comments, i dunno that i've ever tried, given that most are too huuuuge.

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1 user has voted.
WindDancer13's picture

@wendy davis

choose open in New Tab or New Window. the page that opens only contains the Comment window and the Comment you are replying to rather than all comments.

Help File for the Reply button itself as noted above. (Several long-time users including myself did not or do not know about this feature.)

Explanations of the icons above the comment area might be helpful for many. the little question mark says what things are but no explanation on how to use them. I had been gone from here for an extended period of time, and it took me about two weeks to remember that I could use a hyperlink using the third icon. (I know...doh!) A Help file would have made that remembering instant and I would not have had to inconvenience readers with huge addresses.

How to post videos, images (including sizing restrictions), and tweets. How to navigate the site, how to use items in your account page, how to post an essay, how to update an essay (I had a question on this one last week and still have not found out how to do it correctly).

I am quite computer literate and cannot imagine all of the problems that someone could have at any site that does not contain some kind of Help.

Posting images through the c99 image thingy requires images to be no more than 500 pixels wide. As my images tend to be quite large, I have to downsize them all, and they tend to lose their impact that way. Maybe there is a different way to post them here that I am not aware of which would bring me back to the need for some kind of Help File.

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3 users have voted.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.--Aristotle
If there is no struggle there is no progress.--Frederick Douglass

wendy davis's picture

@WindDancer13

open in window worked (new tab didn't for me). thank you! i'll sure try to remember. i usually just type a response on the word doc i have minimized at the time.

now i could help with using jtc's excellent comment software, plus a few others of your questions, but as to creating content here: nope. jtc had taught me how to choose and use Easy Copy html...only available on an older version of firefox (7?)iirc.

he seems to have gone back to two columns by this a.m., but as he'd said, he'll answer more today. perhaps he'll create a meta blogging here cheat sheet. if not in time for you, perhaps i'll ask if i might give the few tips i know on the commenting software.

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2 users have voted.
magiamma's picture

I use Photoshop and adjust the image size to 512 pixels wide or long depending. Set resolution to 72 dpi. Save as jpg at low quality, usually 4. Not the best image quality but saves space.

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6 users have voted.

Stop Climate Change Silence - Start the Conversation
http://hotair.magiamma.com/

magiamma's picture

The report issued Monday by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), says we have 12 years to reduce carbon emissions bc temperature will 1.5 degrees C above pre-industrial. Or else.

This is good news because it out there. It is good news because China seems to be onboard to meet the necessary emission reductions.

It is bad news because, it is conservative in its call for action. IPCC decisions are made by consensus and there was concern that the US and Saudi Arabia would block 'stuff' (will be wading through the details imminently). Apparently enough got pushed through though.

It is bad news because it will be hard to actualize. It is bad news bc the USians are in no! way coming to the party!

Watch the video below to learn more about why it may not be enough.

Beckwith has a couple of knock-it-out-of-the-ballpark videos on a no-arctic-sea-ice event. I love this guy. And his little cats too. Smart and down to earth. Part one:

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7 users have voted.

Stop Climate Change Silence - Start the Conversation
http://hotair.magiamma.com/

mhagle's picture

@magiamma

You would think that the rain bombs would be enough to wake everyone up. They are completely new here . . . started to occur in 2015.

I love Paul too.

At least this new report should get a bit more attention. Quick enough though?!?

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5 users have voted.

Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

magiamma's picture

@mhagle
There are ppl who do not make the connection and there also are a fair number of smart folks out there who get it but that do not want to hear any more bc it is scary, its depressing, its bad news. I see this in the circle of folks I organize with. Surprising.

I have some confidence that China will be able to pull it off. Certainly if the government chooses to.

There is this new batch of backward...

Key provision of USMCA trade deal aimed at China

The US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) on trade that was concluded last week contained a clause which makes clear that one of its essential aims is the economic isolation of China, as the US steps up its trade war against Beijing.

The clause, contained in article 32.10 of the agreement, stipulates that: “Entry by any Party into a free trade agreement with a non-market country, shall allow the other Parties to terminate this Agreement on six-month notice and replace this Agreement with an agreement as between them (bilateral agreement).”

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6 users have voted.

Stop Climate Change Silence - Start the Conversation
http://hotair.magiamma.com/

mhagle's picture

@magiamma

Ultimately. It seems like these blockades and sanctions create a situation where the affected countries eventually do not need us anymore.

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7 users have voted.

Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

lotlizard's picture

Yecch — tonight’s 8 pm TV news on tax-financed German channel ARD just devoted a long segment to ballyhooing Bellingcat’s latest claims in the Skripal case.

Citing and highlighting Bellingcat by name, the report seemed designed to leave viewers with the impression that Bellingcat is a respected and unimpeachable source.

This state-funded TV news stuff is yet another thing where I now have come to see the right-wing populists’ point. In Germany I do feel cheated and abused, having to pay $265 a year to be propagandized this way.

They should either clean it up so that it is less slanted towards the Atlanticist elite’s ideology and more neutral and objective, or, if that isn’t possible, do away with it entirely.

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5 users have voted.
mimi's picture

@lotlizard
well, the lady, who made that segment of the bellingcat news story, was my former boss. I don't feel this report represents propaganda. In her 3 minutes piece, she basically just showed images from the internet, ie what was distributed on the intertubes by Mr. Higgins. Her verbal expressions were in the conjunctive mostly.

I don't say that I like her style and think her intonation isn't that good, but open propaganda sounds differently in my ears.

The editorial decision to take her segment into the evening news - as far as I remember - is not made by her alone, but at WDR headquarters. Three minutes out of 15 minutes has no propaganda effect, imo, especially if the wording is careful to say that all of what is shown is 'supposedly' and 'probably' correct.

It is also possible that they decided to take her segment, because they didn't have anything better. They have to choose from all reports they get in from all their studios around the world, so the segments are in competition to be broadcasted in the evening news.

May be they didnn't have anything else to fit in.

The fact that ARD apparently had given Mr. Higgins even a prize as a online-only investigative reporter is amazing to me after having read about Mr. Higgins bio.

I wouldn't trust his investigative reporting as long as he hasn't reported from the ground. I read the taz article from 2014 about him and it seems he is a questionable figure and taz folks may have known him more intimately?

I doubt that they would have rejected the segment, because editors don't know enough about Bellingcat. If Bellingcat is a completely and known unserious outlet, then it would be a shame they would have considered the material he offered.

I admit that what I have read now about Mr. Higgins bio and his creation of the Bellincat website wouldn't pass my smell test.

I am sorry you felt cheated. I had no clue that the TV fees are so high? I watch for free at my sisters house for now. Probably I would have a hard time too, if I were to live on my own in an apt.

Take care and just throw a soft egg at the TV when them ARD folks get on your nerves... Smile

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2 users have voted.
lotlizard's picture

@mimi  
experience from the inside!

When I’ve gone to college reunions I’m always torn between thinking,

— “Hey, it’s good old So-and-so, great guy, doing a great job down there in Washington, well, maybe not so great, but I’m sure he’s doing the best he can, can’t be easy making those decisions,” and

— “Oh, gosh, here I am, how spineless of me, what weak tea, being all chummy talking old times with So-and-so when millions of folks who don’t know him first-hand, ones I cross paths with every day on blogs — even I myself on some days — consider him a war criminal.”

As for the media tax — the agency collecting it, formerly known as the GEZ (Gebühreneinzugszentrale), is notoriously ruthless and single-minded. One-person, low-income households hate it because of how regressive it is. It used to be per radio and TV receiver, but that became much too hard to enforce or even define, now that every computer and smartphone is a potential receiver. Now every “household,“ regardless of income or whether it’s one person or a dozen, pays the same flat rate.

It seems so insane that the public in all the NATO countries is being stampeded towards war with Russia, on the basis of what, reported (or more likely fabricated) by whom?

A handful of shady characters, “cyber-plumbers” like Richard Nixon’s dirty-tricks crew: Crowdstrike, Fusion GPS, Bellingcat, and, oh, yeah, mustn’t forget the “Syrian Observatory for Human Rights” (also known as, “this one guy in London”).

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mimi's picture

@lotlizard @lotlizard
just watching how the news reports were made in one ARD studio in the US. I am no professional archiver, nor a writer or journalist, nor a researcher or anything of that sort. I am strictly just a regular reader here. I happened to get a job there in 2007 because they were tired of their own archives' mess and wanted a permanent fulltime person to clean it up and organize it new from scratch.

I also wasn't a research assistant for them. Therefore my skills to search online for sources are limited and I had little time to learn it. I worked at the other end of things. I had to sort through material that was either fed into the studio by American broadcasters and then used by the German studio crew for their own news reports or I had to sort and organiye all the material the German crew filmed and produced and cut themselves. No research really involved, though it came up from time to time.

You have followed the news much more thoroughly than me and know a lot about things I just barely catch up on. So, I agree with you on your last paragraph. I just have not read enough about it to have my own specific opinion about those outlets and organizations and personalities. It's too much for me and at a certain level I just don't read stuff anymore. The whole Russiagate feels so unreal and nebulous, I don't need to be a professional to understand it's pretty much baloney.

To say it with a grin: Putin doesn't sleep under my bed, I don't sleep with him in my bed and people who tell me I should be careful with those dark men out there, I say, of course I am always careful...
Wink

I have never paid the German "Radio and TV Gebühren" in the seventies (can't even remember when I had my first TV way back) and in the eighties I came to the US and suffered major culture shock... I was not in Germany in the last decades and had no clue how Germany had changed over time, especially nothing about the consequences of the reunification.

I learn it now through documentations. My sister also has no clue what she pays for what... All I learned about Germany since being back is that one has to pay way, way more taxes than in the US. But then you get at least something back in form of tuition free higher education and health insurance etc. But I am still learning about all that.

Now I bought German printed newspapers who all cover that stuff too. I remember that producders in the studio who saw I was reading dailykos at my desk at the side of doing the regular work I was supposed to do, mocked me as 'flaming liberal'. And then one journalist, wanted to know from me my opinion about Obama, because he heard that I am close to 'black issues, err men'... But the lady who called me a 'flaming liberal' told the nosy journalist that he had no chance to get anything out of me for an answer. I am like a stone. Ok, enough of memory lane here. I am so tired of anything tribal, racial, ideological and ID party politics, no matter where and when.

Thanks for educating me with your links and explanation. I really enjoy that a lot. Good night from here, it's Wednesday night after midnight.

.

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lotlizard's picture

@mimi  
Printed daily newspapers in Germany may be heading for extinction.

Tschüss, Gutenberg.

Over the next few years, the Taz co-op will be hosting ongoing open discussions about leaving print culture and practice behind and inventing whatever is supposed to take their place.

For example, the job of “layouting,” setting the visual context of an article, are very different for print and online.

In print, the “layout” around an article includes all the other items on the same page or two-page spread, and needs to vary as you turn the page so as not to be visually monotonous and boring.

Whereas on-line, the “layout” is the webpage format, the placement of headers, menus, navigation, sidebars, ads, and so on. In order not to be confusing as you click your way around, the layout needs to stay constant.

In print, you group related items by putting them on the same page, two-page spread, or in the same section. Online, there are many ways to group items, and what works “best” may well be different for every reader.

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mimi's picture

@lotlizard @JtC
I live with two persons, who both never really used the internet, even their kids, who do, never were able to get them hooked. I never got hooked to use my smart phone to read any web pages and you won't get me to type anaything on these tiny screen. So, I guess, I am not the norm.

One of the persons mentioned reads a lot in their local print news papers and any sort of books, mostly novels. I, who read a lot this blog or a couple of other news outlets online, couldn't read any books anymore for years and years. I used to read books, not novels, no fiction, but more political books and autobiographies and science books when I was young(er).

So, whatever the layout, I would read, if I did, more concentrated a printed version. What I really can't stand is to have scroll endlessly up and down with the mouse running faster than I want and always wasting time to find back a place in the article. Longer articles, even here, I give up reading half way through, because for me they are too long and then too difficult to go up and down to find the sentences I want to re-read .

If I relate to the design here, I could live with just one side bar with all the blog roll entries and the collapsable recent comments and recent essays. It looks as if JtC has this kind of design up now. Otherwise, it's easier to read wider lines of text than short ones, like they would appear in the middle of two sidebars or in the sidebars themselves.
The simpler the design the better.

Well, I like whatever, just not too long pages to scroll up and down, if you look for a certain paragraph to copy and past into a comment you want to write.

And for that matter, why don't I just shut up... to make this post shorter. Smile

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QMS's picture

curious as to why the little personal picture beside the name has little spinners in the corner, not that I could understand it anyway Wink

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11 users have voted.

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

mhagle's picture

@QMS

Sometimes lots of them. I was blaming it on the software I use.

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11 users have voted.

Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

enhydra lutris's picture

@QMS
lazy loading pictures, iirc.

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2 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 --

I got hung up way longer than I expected on a project today so I wasn't able to get back to the comments;

Thanks to all for the feedback, I do listen to your concerns. Perhaps I worded this essay wrong because I notice a slight misinterpretation of its intent. Because of that and the volume of responses I need to make in this OT, I think I'll address everything tomorrow in a follow up essay.

Thanks again, you all are the best.

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divineorder's picture

@JtC

We welcome your next essay!

One love!

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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.

yellopig's picture

Just adding my 2¢:

I'm also not a fan of the 3-column layout.

Otherwise, and overwhelming that quibble, you're going a Great Job, JtC! And Thank You so Much!

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3 users have voted.

“We may not be able to change the system, but we can make the system irrelevant in our lives and in the lives of those around us.”—John Beckett