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Offline Surly1

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Steyer says he bought website domain for Trump's 'Keep America Great' slogan
« Reply #4035 on: December 07, 2019, 04:32:14 AM »
Steyer says he bought website domain for Trump's 'Keep America Great' slogan

Aris Folley12/02/19 01:26 PM EST

Billionaire philanthropist and Democratic presidential hopeful Tom Steyer announced on Monday he purchased a site with President Trump’s campaign slogan, “Keep America Great,” which now redirects visitors to a page calling the president a “fraud” and “failure.”

“Trump’s campaign prides itself on hoarding websites of political opponents, but they forgot to pick up the URL for their signature re-election slogan, ‘Keep America Great,’ ” Steyer’s campaign said in an email announcing the move.

“Now, the website offers the opportunity to purchase a bumper sticker that highlights what a majority of Americans already know about Donald Trump: that he’s a fraud and failure who borrowed billions of dollars to bankrupt businesses,” the campaign added.

The Trump campaign, however pushed back on the claim made by Steyer’s team that the president’s campaign team “forgot" to register the domain name for Trump's 2020 slogan.

“Tom Steyer is lying about the availability of this website and he knows it,” Tim Murtagh, the campaign’s director of communications told The Hill. “The site was created in 2015, well before the election of 2016, and has been a Trump-hating website for more than four years."

Online records show the domain name was first launched on June 25, 2015. Trump formally launched his campaign on June 16, 2015. However, Trump, whose initial campaign slogan was “Make America Great Again,” didn’t officially announce his 2020 slogan, “Keep America Great,” until early 2017, more than a year after the domain first launched. 

A spokesperson for Steyer’s campaign told The Hill that the campaign “purchased the domain two weeks ago without the help of Russia because it's important to tell the truth about Donald Trump's record of bankrupting businesses.”

“It’s clear that Donald Trump has no problem bullying people online, but can’t take the heat when Tom Steyer turns the tables and exposes him for what he is - a fraud and a failure,” he added.

Steyer’s campaign did not disclose the amount of money it spent on the domain.

Currently, when visitors go to KeepAmericaGreat.com, they have the option to donate $1 in exchange for a bumper sticker that reads, “Trump is a fraud & a failure.”

On a page asking for donations, Steyer’s campaign highlights the Democratic National Committee’s new debate requirements that say a candidate must have 200,000 individual donors to qualify for the December presidential primary debate. 

His campaign says they’re “close” to the fundraising goal but “Tom needs your help to get there.”

The announcement by Steyer’s campaign comes weeks after Trump’s election campaign purchased the domain name TodosConBiden.com, which was the slogan former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign team coined for its effort targeting Latino voters at the time, according to NBC News.

The page now leads visitors to a page with Biden looking down next to the message, “Oops, Joe forgot about Latinos. Joe is all talk.” It also redirects users to a “Latinos For Trump” page.

“The old world is dying, and the New World struggles to be born: now is the time of monsters.”

Offline Surly1

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The Centuries-Long History of Extractive Greed
« Reply #4036 on: December 09, 2019, 05:05:41 AM »
Josue De Luna Navarro: The Centuries-Long History of Extractive Greed
Climate change is a symptom of a malevolent virus borne out of capitalism and colonialism. Indigenous liberation shows the path towards healing the planet.


Any "climate action that doesn't connect the historic links between the carbon economy, colonialism, capitalism and ecological destruction would be oppressive to Indigenous communities," the author writes.
Any “climate action that doesn’t connect the historic links between the carbon economy, colonialism, capitalism and ecological destruction would be oppressive to Indigenous communities,” the author writes. (Photo: Joe Brusky/flickr/cc)

Two years after spilling 407,000 gallons of oil in South Dakota, the Keystone Pipeline erupted again. In November, a North Dakota portion of the pipeline leaked another 380,000 gallons – adding to the millions of gallons of crude oil that have spilled from pipelines over the last decade, as Undark has reported. 

As the climate crisis worsens, the fossil fuel industry has clearly messaged its apathy by continuing to pollute the planet. But these horrific leaks aren’t simply one-off “incidents.” They reveal a long history of oppression on communities of color and the planet.

 Colonial economies have depended on the extraction of natural resources and the oppression of people of color as early as the 16th century. This process took many forms – mining for gold and silver in the Global South, the creation of plantations, and the enslavement of Black and Brown people. 

Dina Gilio-Whitaker, the author of As Long As Grass Grows: The Indigenous Fight for Environmental Justice From Colonization to Standing Rock, notes how the 19th-century codification of racist ideologies, like Manifest Destiny and the Christian Doctrine of Discovery, allowed the U.S. to assume “ultimate dominion over the lands of America.”

These ideologies became the backbone of false moral and legal justifications of genocide and slavery, which provided the land and labor for massive extractive operations like the Gold Rush. As historian Howard Zinn states, the removal of Indigenous communities was “necessary for the opening of the vast American lands to agriculture, to commerce, to markets, to money, to the development of modern capitalistic economy.”

Nothing has changed today. The legacy of genocide and ecological destruction continues to live and thrive in the present-day global economy, thanks to the greed of extractive industries and the state power that protects them from community resistance. 

In Honduras, water defenders in the community of Tocoa have been killed and imprisoned for organizing against mining companies. In Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro’s right-wing neoliberal government is helping corporations with their deforestation and land grabs, which are displacing Indigenous communities in the Amazon. In the United States, water defenders organizing against the Dakota Access Pipeline were arrested and violently repressed by a militarized police presence protecting the pipelines. Meanwhile Indigenous protesters opposing the expansion of the leaking Keystone Pipeline are criminalized

Unfortunately, this is only a minuscule list of examples. But as long the foundation of racism, and genocide is not addressed, corporations will continue to benefit from ecological destruction. 

Exxon Mobil, Chevron, and ConocoPhillips have managed to become the top three companies responsible for the climate crisis we live today, thanks to neoliberal policies that have allowed them to displace Indigenous communities. And they don’t act alone. They have plenty of accomplices in the financial sector.

According to a recent report from the Indigenous Environmental Network, 33 of the world’s largest banks have financed fossil fuel industries to the tune of $1.9 trillion since the 2016 Paris Agreement. JPMorgan Chase alone – the largest fossil fuel financier by a wide margin – poured $196 billion into these extractive projects, including fossil fuel expansion. 

According to The Guardian, Vanguard, BlackRock, and State Street manage a combined $300 billion in fossil fuel funding. Put together, all three managers are responsible for the management of nearly 10 billion barrels of crude oil alone, responsible for up to 900 million tons of CO2 emissions

 The fight against the climate crisis has been going on for more than 500 years. After all, colonialism, slavery, and extraction are three faces of the same ogre – capitalism – that continues to devour our planet today. And recognizing these intersections is crucial. As researcher Adriana Gomez Bonilla writes in El Cambio Climatico: Alternativas Desde La Autonomía Zapatista, any climate action that doesn’t connect the historic links between the carbon economy, colonialism, capitalism and ecological destruction would be oppressive to Indigenous communities.

Indigenous communities have always considered the relationship between humans, living organisms and Earth to be sacred. From the mexica Tlaltecuhtlithe Lakota Unci Makaand the Inca Pachamama to the Vedic Prithvi Mata and the Akan Aasase Yaa, virtually all Indigenous communities have always had a concept of Mother Earth as a living organism we must respect – a harmonious relationship disrupted by capitalism and the greed for profit.

Even after centuries of oppression, Indigenous communities have protected, and cared for ecosystems, showing the path forward for treating the climate crisis we are facing today. “Community approaches…informed by indigenous knowledge and local knowledge” the UN’s IPCC 2018 landmark report notes “can accelerate the wide-scale behavior changes consistent with adapting to and limiting global warming.”

But using Indigenous knowledge to tackle the climate crisis isn’t enough. Any climate solution must be centered on Indigenous liberation. 

As we continue to address the climate crisis systematically, we can’t turn a blind eye to the draconian legacy of genocide and slavery caused by the state and by extractive corporations. Any climate action must hold them accountable and prioritize the decolonization, land restoration and environmental self-determination of Indigenous communities. 

Climate change is a symptom of a malevolent virus borne out of capitalism and colonialism. And to heal the planet, Indigenous liberation provides a cure.


Josue De Luna Navarro

Josue De Luna Navarro is the New Mexico Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies.

First published by Inequality.org. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.

“The old world is dying, and the New World struggles to be born: now is the time of monsters.”

Offline Surly1

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GREEK FIGHTER JET "LOCKS-ON" TO TURKISH FRIGATE WITH FIRE-CONTROL RADAR
« Reply #4037 on: December 09, 2019, 07:09:32 AM »
Perhaps this bears watching. What could possibly go wrong?

GREEK FIGHTER JET "LOCKS-ON" TO TURKISH FRIGATE WITH FIRE-CONTROL RADAR
Hostilities now thought "Imminent"



8  December, 2019
 
An extremely serious incident has taken place in the Aegean Sea between the armed forces of Greece and Turkey.
A Greek Mirage 2000 fighter jet activated his fire-control radar, which achieved radar lock upon a Turkish Frigate.  
The image below is from the Mirage 2000 fighter jet cockpit:
As the jet approaches, the frigate can barely be seen, but the fire control radar is actively hunting:
Seconds later, the radar LOCKED-ON to the Turkish vessel:
The radar was linked and feeding target data to an Exocet anti-ship missile.
Had the Greek pilot fired, the Turkish vessel would likely have been sunk.
Both Greece and Turkey are members of NATO.  They know the rules about such actions:
In modern rules of engagement, locking a fire control radar onto a target is an act of war.  The rules permit the use of lethal force by those upon whom radar has locked.
Thankfully, neither the Greek pilot nor the Turkish ship Captain fired.  This time.
But tensions are skyrocketing between Greece and Turkey after last wees announcement that Turkey had signed a deal with Libya for oil drilling rights in the Aegean Sea.  The problem is that the Libyans gave away ocean which wasn't theirs to give.  The deal directly intrudes upon the Greek territorial waters around the Greek island of Crete.
Greece has made clear if Turkey sends oil drilling ships into its territory, the Greek Navy will take action.
Turkey has made clear that it will have Turkish navy ships escorting their oil drilling ships and if the Greeks take naval action, so will the Turks.
The Turk oil drilling ships are scheduled to head to the area THIS COMING WEEK.
Word from intel chatter is that an outbreak of actual hostilities now appears "imminent" between Greece and Turkey.
“The old world is dying, and the New World struggles to be born: now is the time of monsters.”

Offline Surly1

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Russia "gaining sympathy'among US troops
« Reply #4038 on: December 09, 2019, 07:25:06 AM »
Russia "gaining sympathy'among US troops

An alarmist headline out of US state-funded media arm Voice of America: "Pentagon Concerned Russia Cultivating Sympathy Among US Troops". The story begins as follows:

Russian efforts to weaken the West through a relentless campaign of information warfare may be starting to pay off, cracking a key bastion of the U.S. line of defense: the military. While most Americans still see Moscow as a key U.S. adversary, new polling suggests that view is changing, most notably among the households of military members

Remember when NATO bombed Belgrade back to the middle ages, invaded and occupied Iraq, started an eighteen-year long quagmire in Afghanistan, created anarchy in Libya, funded and armed al-Qaeda in Syria, and expanded its bases right up to US borders? Neither do we. 

File image via EPA/NBC

Perhaps American soldiers are simply sick and tired of the US military and intelligence machine's legacy of ashes across the globe and recognize the inconvenient fact that Russia most often has been on the complete opposite side of Washington's disastrous regime change wars.

Nothing to see here...

The second annual Reagan National Defense Survey, completed in late October, found nearly half of armed services households questioned, 46%, said they viewed Russia as ally.

Overall, the survey found 28% of Americans identified Russia as an ally, up from 19% the previous year.

...While a majority, 71% of all Americans and 53% of military households, still views Russia as an enemy, the spike in pro-Russian sentiment has defense officials concernedVOA

Perhaps US military households are also smart enough to know the Cold War is long over, and only bad things can come from a direct confrontation with Russia, not to mention that involvement in proxy war in Ukraine has nothing to do with America's national defense or to "protect and defend the Constitution"

To be expected, the VOA's presentation of the new poll which finds more service members are 'sympathetic' to Russia is heavy on the supposed 'Trump-Russia nexus' narrative and emphasizes an uptick in Kremlin propaganda, while failing to acknowledge a failed legacy of 'endless wars' and destabilizing US influence across the globe. 

It's 2019, and US solders are still in Iraq. Image via Getty/NYT
The poll itself claimed the changing numbers were “predominantly driven by Republicans who have responded to positive cues from [U.S.] President [Donald] Trump about Russia.”

“There is an effort, on the part of Russia, to flood the media with disinformation to sow doubt and confusion,” DoD spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Carla Gleason was cited in the VOA report as saying. Ah yes, a few Kremlin-sponsored Facebook posts and Trump's expressed desire for better relations with Putin, and suddenly the military too is 'pro-Putin'! apparently.

Perhaps the "doubt and confusion" comes via trillion dollar endless wars of regime change and pointless occupations which cost American lives? In other words, this is not a 'Russia problem' at all, but lies too close to home for Washington pundits and pollsters to admit. 

* * *

Finally, we should ask, would US military members see in today's foreign policy adventurism anything remotely resembling John Quincy Adams' famous 1821 admonition? 

"But she goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. She will commend the general cause by the countenance of her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her example. She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom. The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force.... She might become the dictatress of the world. She would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit..."

“The old world is dying, and the New World struggles to be born: now is the time of monsters.”

Offline Surly1

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Walmart Store Holding Thanksgiving Charity Food Drive -- For Its Own Employees!
« Reply #4039 on: December 10, 2019, 04:20:52 AM »
Walmart Store Holding Thanksgiving Charity Food Drive -- For Its Own Employees!



Recently, Yahoo’s 24/7 Wall Street column sought to identify the nation’s 10 worst paying employers, based on the methodology ultizied by the National Employment Law Project in its 2012 report, “Big Business, Corporate Profits, and the Minimum Wage.”

To the surprise of nobody, Walmart came out on top, achieving the distinction of being the worst paying company in America.

Still, when it comes to Walmart, there are certain analysts and observers who can’t seem to remove the blinders. They continue to insist that Walmart pays its workers an average of over $18.00 per hour when even the company acknowledges that the average full time, hourly rate is $12.83—and that number includes the salaries of some of the highest paid employees in the averaging such as the CEO who earned $20.7 million last year.

Maybe, at long last, the blinders will come off when these deniers are forced to come to grips with the fact that Walmart associates are paid so poorly that a store in Canton, Ohio, located in the northeastern part of the state, now holds an annual, Thanksgiving drive to collect canned foods for fellow Walmart employees in need.

Walmart spokesperson, Kory Lundberg, thinks this is all just the most wonderful thing—bragging that the drive to collect holiday food for fellow employees shows just how much Walmart employees care about one another.

Do you imagine the spokesperson has yet to realize just how remarkable her statement is?

Surely, those in need at the Canton, Ohio store are benefitting from the good will of some fellow workers who care enough to drop off a can of cranberry sauce to help make their co-workers’ holiday meal a bit nicer, even though they too suffer from earning too little to take care of their own families.

However, what about the other employees at Walmart—say, for example, CEO Mike Duke who could make this in-house charitable effort unnecessary by simply paying his employees a livable wage so that they might afford a decent Thanksgiving dinner on their own?

While spokesperson Lundberg seems to be feeling all ‘Christmassy' as a result of the good works company employees are performing when it comes to their own modern day Tiny Tim story, other employees at the Walmart store in question are not quite so cheery.

One employee, who did not wish to divulge her name for fear of being fired, found the food drive containers in her locker a few weeks ago upon arriving at work. The employee, who found the campaign “demoralizing” and “kind of depressing”, snapped photos of the containers which are now making their way around social media outlets as proof positive of just how bad Walmart’s indifference to their employees' living circumstances has become.

If what is happening at the Canton, Ohio store is insufficient proof that this company’s wages are too low, then there is clearly no measure or metric that could possibly serve to make the point.

Says Kate Bronfenbrenner, director of labor education research at Cornell Univeristy’s school of labor, “That captures Wal-Mart right there. Wal-Mart is setting up bins because its employees don’t make enough to feed themselves and their families.”

Of course, the start of the holiday season will not be grim for everyone at Walmart as there will likely be ample goodies of bonus checks and stock options in the stockings of top employees at the company, as Walmart's net income rose to $17 billion last year.

If your idea of American capitalism is of the "bah humbug" variety, then I'm sure that this story will leave you saying, "They're damned lucky they have a job at all!" But for those Americans who still believe that free enterprise means that working hard at a job should be compensated with a livable wage, I hope you will let your feelings be known.

And if you happen to live in the Canton, Ohio area, drop by and make a contribution. The folks at Walmart who are helping you to pick out that nice turkey for your Thanksgiving family gathering will appreciate your helping to give them some happiness on that day as their own Ebenezer Scrooge of an employer won't be dropping by with a Christmas goose.

Contact Rick at thepolicypage@gmail.com and follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

“The old world is dying, and the New World struggles to be born: now is the time of monsters.”

 

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