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Showing posts from June 30, 2019

Tom Dispatch: When Will Americans Realize We're Not the Good Guys?

Headlined “U.S. Seeks Other Ways to Stop Iran Shy of War,” the article was tucked away on page A9 of a recent New York Times. Still, it caught my attention. Here’s the first paragraph: “American intelligence and military officers are working on additional clandestine plans to counter Iranian aggression in the Persian Gulf, pushed by the White House to develop new options that could help deter Tehran without escalating tensions into a full-out conventional war, according to current and former officials.” Note that “Iranian aggression.” The rest of the piece, fairly typical of the tone of American media coverage of the ongoing Iran crisis, included sentences like this: “The C.I.A. has longstanding secret plans for responding to Iranian provocations.” I’m sure I’ve read such things hundreds of times without ever really stopping to think much about them, but this time I did. And what struck me was this: rare is the moment in such mainstream news reports when Americans are the “provocativ…

Nancy Pelosi's Most Pathetic Moment

And when Trump asks for funding for Zyklon B, she'll completely capitulate and then send a letter begging him not to use it.

Fire her. Gone. New leadership, immediately. She's collaborating in funding concentration camps for children. Collaborating with this.

Noam Chomsky: Trump Is Consolidating Far-Right Power Globally

Born on the Bayou (HD)

John Coltrane Quartet - Dear Lord

The World’s Leaders Are Terrible. Let’s Declare Our Independence From All of Them.

In full:

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for the Sane People of this Planet to dissolve the political bands that have connected them with their Leaders, and to give getting along without Leaders a real Shot, courtesy requires that we should declare the causes of this long-overdue separation, just so we’re all on the same page.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that Leaders are a pretty dodgy proposition — that even the best ones are Self-Absorbed Prima Donnas, and the rest are seriously Craze-o Lunatics. That Sane People have the right to tell their Leaders, “See Ya — wouldn’t want to be Ya.” That to secure this right of being left alone, we should set up a special Island to where all Leaders can be sent, so that they can bicker, and posture, and pursue the Phantom of Eternal Fame among themselves without Injuring all the rest of us. That this Island could maybe — this is just off the top of our heads, you understand — be like Epcot Center, with the whol…

FAIR: Warning to Progressive Dems: You’re Leaving Corporate Media’s Comfort Zone

It’s worth noting—since the Times does not—that Emanuel in 2017 earned the distinction of the “least popular mayor in modern Chicago history,” bottoming out at a 27 percent approval rating, and McCaskill was one of the three Democratic senators mentioned above who, touting their centrism, lost their reelection battles by wide margins in 2018.
Interestingly, one problem with Biden, the article notes, is that he is “struggling to excite voters the way his counterparts on the left, like Ms. Warren and Ms. Harris, have started to do.” Shouldn’t the fact that voters are excited by left-leaning candidates and not by centrists put something of a damper on the Times‘ analysis?
The rest.

AOC Makes Border Patrol Agents Cry

Absolutely spot on. Spot. On.

More here:

Larry Wilkerson: Is US Democracy Dying a Slow and Barely Visible Death?

A Republican, mind you, and former aide to Colin Powell; a chunk followed the whole video: I would point to Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, as a quintessential example of the person who leads in this movement of retrogression. The white male fundamentalist Christian in many cases, but Christian nonetheless, who wants to hold onto power so desperately, that in seeing the reality of America—That is to say, that they are now outnumbered and will be increasingly outnumbered as time goes by. Why else is Trump so bent on stemming immigration? They see brown, they see other colors, they see other religions, other beliefs, other sexual orientations— you name it— taking over their country. And they are desperate to hold onto power and will use any means at their disposal to do so. And they harken back to the time when the only thing we got rid of with the 750,000 casualties, people dead in The Civil War, was slavery as an institution. We didn’t get rid of, as you just pointed out,…

The Intercept: Amnesty International Condemns Trump Border Crackdown

The intro:

THE SHAPE OF the Trump administration’s approach to policing immigration is at this point familiar. Since January 2017, federal agents and officers have been under orders to enforce a harsh interpretation of immigration laws without restraint. The result has most infamously manifested in the forced separation of immigrant parents from their children and, more recently, a series of horrific reports detailing conditions in border-area detention centers. Though undocumented people have always been the core target of this campaign, the blast radius of the government’s hyper-politicized crackdown has steadily expanded over the years. A new report published by Amnesty International on Tuesday details a two-yearlong attack on human rights defenders, attorneys, and journalists working along the U.S.-Mexico border, calling out a pattern of escalating enforcement in violation of domestic and international law. The restThe report itself: "Saving lives is not a crime": Politic…

Jonathan Cook: The plot to keep Corbyn out of power

The ending:

But this campaign of domestic attacks on Corbyn needs to be understood in a still wider framework, which relates to Britain’s abiding Transatlantic “special relationship”, one that in reality means that the UK serves as Robin to the United States’ Batman, or as a very junior partner to the global hegemon. Last month a private conversation concerning Corbyn between the US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, and the heads of a handful of rightwing American Jewish organisations was leaked. Contrary to the refrain of the UK corporate media that Corbyn is so absurd a figure that he could never win an election, the fear expressed on both sides of that Washington conversation was that the Labour leader might soon become Britain’s prime minister. Framing Corbyn yet again as an anti-semite, a US Jewish leader could be heard asking Pompeo if he would be “willing to work with us to take on actions if life becomes very difficult for Jews in the UK”. Pompeo responded that it was possible …

Annals of Aging, Chapter the Mouth: So, I have gum disease.

You’ll all still be my friends, right? They said something about how if I exhale anywhere within 500 miles of another human being there’s a 59% chance that human being will develop Ebola-level gum disease within forty-three seconds. 

(“What about cats????” I hear as I type, a dimly shadowed claw rising behind me, if the wall in front of me is any reliable guide, and, believe me, it's hard to be a strict Platonist when you have taken into your home the planet's most efficient predator as a—snort!—“pet.”)

But that shouldn’t scare you off, not if you really like me. [No, it’s not catching. Really. Why are you all backing away from me? Frehhhhhhnd! Frehhhhhhhhhhnd!]

So, surgery next week—well, “surgery,” you know? Local. As for the gum issue, we’ll see how fast it progresses next time I get my measurements—which, averaged over all the teeth, are 36-24-36, which is pretty good for a 49-year-old guy; be fair. But the treatments and prevention methods are clear: buy time by doing what y…

Guardian: 'Precipitous' fall in Antarctic sea ice since 2014 revealed

As usual, it's worse than expected and happening faster than expected.

Oh, darn, those pesky positive feedback loops! As mindful as I try to be, I just can't make matter and energy do what I want. I must meditate more--maybe another trip to Whole Foods to buy bespoke, gluten-free elderberries flown in from Pluto.

("But Pluto couldn't possibly grow elderberries, Doug, so...I don't get it.")

A nice snippet follows that'll make you drop everything, run into your child's room, and make sure she knows how to code already. Still on formula, but there you are, making sure all bases are covered so she can have a decent life.

The vast expanse of sea ice around Antarctica has suffered a “precipitous” fall since 2014, satellite data shows, and fell at a faster rate than seen in the Arctic. The plunge in the average annual extent means Antarctica lost as much sea ice in four years as the Arctic lost in 34 years. The cause of the sharp Antarctic losses is as yet unknow…

Dahr Jamail: Over One-Tenth of Global Population Could Lack Drinking Water by 2030

Some choice bits; can't remove the callouts; ignore them:

recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showed that sea-level rise could be twice as bad as previously expected, due to accelerated melting in the Antarctic and Greenland. Instead of the previous worst-case scenario of 1 meter by 2100, the study has doubled that figure. Several scientists this writer has interviewed believe the realistic figure of sea level rise by 2100 will be even higher than this recent study’s prediction. Another report showed how the state of Florida could be facing a $76 billion bill to mitigate and adapt to climate crisis impacts by just 2040, mostly from rising sea levels.
In some areas of China, fruit trees have to be pollinated by hand due to lack of pollinators.
To give you an idea of how far along we already are in this crisis, in some areas of China, fruit trees have to be pollinated by hand due to lack of pollinators. Climate disruption is a major contribu…