AuthorTopic: Knarf's Knewz Channel  (Read 1576798 times)

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Don't throw stones into explosive suburban mud pool, expert warns
« Reply #13200 on: June 27, 2019, 05:12:05 AM »
A mud pool which erupted in a residential area of Rotorua has tripled in size since it appeared earlier this week.


The pool appeared in a back garden in a Whakarewarewa home.

The pool, which appeared in a back garden in Susan Gedye's Whakarewarewa home, seems to be growing by the day.

Ms Gedye, who has been staying with family due to the unpredictable geothermal activity, returned home today to find a much larger cauldron of mud threatening her garden shed.

"The whole corner of the big double garage that's on the bank, it's like there's a big hole underneath that so it's kind of a matter of time before that will probably end up down the bank."

The Rotorua Lakes Council reaffirmed this, saying there had been more ground collapse since Wednesday and the mud pool was now bigger and had reached to just under the foundations of the property's garage.

There was also steam venting from the bank moving towards the house.

Power had been cut off and gas bottles on the property had been removed.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/l7hEhxbwBZs&fs=1" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/l7hEhxbwBZs&fs=1</a>

Yesterday, Ms Gedye told Checkpoint that locals had been frequently stopping by and looking at the pool.

GNS volcanologist Brad Scott told media at a briefing at the site this morning that he had seen two people throwing stones into the mudpool.

"That's human nature, you put fences up and people will climb over it to have a look."

"It's one of the things we've noticed over the years with geothermal features, if there's a spare stone around someone will pick it up and throw it in," he said.

The council was warning people not to do this.

Its geothermal inspector Peter Brownbridge said people should stay away from the house on Meade Street because it was too dangerous.

"If you want to come and and have a look, come down on to Tryon Street and don't cross the barriers, it's just too dangerous up the top."

"We have a bit of undermining and that hot mud is getting thrown further and further on to the property," he said.

Mr Brownbridge said the council's main objective was to make the area safe because with the ground continuing to collapse, the shed was in immediate danger of being swallowed up.

It wouldn't be practical to remove it so they were considering trying to get it demolished before it fell into the hole, he said.

https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/393074/don-t-throw-stones-into-explosive-suburban-mud-pool-expert-warns
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Poll: Americans Say We're Angrier Than A Generation Ago
« Reply #13201 on: June 27, 2019, 05:26:46 AM »

Nearly 9 in 10 Americans say people are more likely to express anger on social media than in person.

Do you find yourself getting ticked off more often than you used to?

If the answer is yes, you're not alone.

Some 84% of people surveyed said Americans are angrier today compared with a generation ago, according to the latest NPR-IBM Watson Health poll.

When asked about their own feelings, 42% of those polled said they were angrier in the past year than they had been further back in time.

Anger can have an effect on health.

"I think of anger as a health risk," says Dr. Anil Jain, vice president and chief health information officer at IBM Watson Health. "The fact that the survey showed that we have a generation of Americans who believe that they are more angry than they were a generation ago tells me that this is going to lead to some consequences from a health point of view."

What makes people mad?

Look, we could ask only so many questions about that, so don't be angry with us.

But we wondered, what about the news? Is that a factor?

The poll found that 29% of people said they were often angry when checking the news. Another 42% said the news sometimes made them angry.

Older people — age 65 and up — were a little less likely to say that they were often angry when checking the news. Only 21% of seniors were in this category, compared with 38% of people younger than 35.

There was a similar difference in reactions to social media. Only 7% of people 65 and above said they were often angry when using social media, compared with 18% of people under 35.

The poll found that seniors are much less likely to use social media, however, with 28% saying they don't use social media at all, compared with only 2% of people younger than 35 not using it.

In a related question, we asked if people are more likely to express their anger on social media than in person. Overall, 9 in 10 people said that was the case. Perhaps that result is no surprise, but the near unanimity of the opinion on that score seems worth noting.

This year, we took a look at anger in a series of stories that explored the evolutionary roots of anger, the contagious nature of anger in real-life social networks and how you can name your personal anger to help control it. That last story might be helpful after reading this one.

Finally, the poll asked if people think anger is a negative emotion. Almost 7 in 10 said it is. But 31% said that isn't the case. In some instances, as our anger series found, getting mad may be motivating and help lead someone to action.

The nationwide poll collected responses from 3,004 people during the first half of November 2018. The margin of error is +/- 1.8 percentage points.

You can find the full set of questions and results here.

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2019/06/26/735757156/poll-americans-say-were-angrier-than-a-generation-ago
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Drudge poll shock: Tulsi Gabbard runaway winner of first Democratic debate
« Reply #13202 on: June 27, 2019, 05:33:05 AM »


Although unscientific, the two polls indicated that the Hawaii congresswoman, 38, who had attracted attention for her silver-streaked hair and denunciation of President Trump's "chicken hawk cabinet" had made a major impact on the nine-candidate stage.

An Iraq war veteran, she served in the Hawaii Army National Guard and was also deployed to Kuwait from 2008-2009. In her January 2019 campaign kickoff, Gabbard promised to end regime change wars and to only authorize war on direct enemies of the United States. In the debate, she promised to end America's wars, saying: "This insanity must end."

Gabbard's most famous international foray was to Syria in 2017. In Damascus for a “fact-finding” mission," she met Syrian dictator Bashar Assad, who stood accused of using chemical weapons against his own people during the country’s civil war, killing hundreds.

In April 2017, she said she was “skeptical” the Assad regime was behind the attack and called for an investigation after the U.S. launched a missile strike in response. “Assad is not the enemy of the United States because Syria does not pose a direct threat to the United States,” she said.

The second-youngest of the 25 candidates in the Democratic race, she is married to Abraham Williams, a cinematographer and surfer who is seven years her junior. She was previously married to Eduardo Tamayo, her childhood sweetheart, divorcing in 2006 after four years of wedlock.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/drudge-poll-shock-tulsi-gabbard-winning-first-democratic-debate

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Man lives after bear breaks his spine and keeps him as food inside den
« Reply #13203 on: June 27, 2019, 05:40:49 AM »
Alexander described as a ‘speaking mummy’ found by hunting dogs close to death after a month. UPDATED!


Man lives after bear breaks his spine and keeps him as food inside den. File image of a brown bear

WARNING STRONG IMAGES!

The emaciated man from Russia’s remote Republic of Tuva was preserved as ‘tin-can’ food to eat later by a brown bear, say local reports in the region.

A group of local hunters found Alexander after their dogs refused to leave the area of the den.

Their persistent barking pushed the hunters to check inside the lair, where they found a barely-alive man. He was rushed to the local hospital and has been diagnosed with a broken spine and severe emaciation.

Alexander remembers his first name but not his age, and was reportedly in the den for around one month, drinking urine to survive.

He is now in the intenstive care with multiple injuries and rotting skin.

He can move his arms, local hospital doctors said.


Local medics say they cannot explain how the man survived such injuries.

A video shows Alexander opening his blue eyes and confirming his first name.

It is as yet unclear if he was a hunter, too, and how his encounter with the bear happened.

He managed to explain that he was attacked and dragged inside the den when he broke his spine.

The attack happened approximately a month ago, Alexander said.

‘The bear preserved me as food for later’, he explained.

A video filmed inside the local hospital shows that the man turned into a ‘speaking mummy’ with his tissues rotting after laying motionless for so long.

Local medics say they cannot explain how the man survived such injuries.

UPDATE:

The story on the bear man was reported by major Russian newspaper Izvestia and news agency EADaily.

But a spokesman at the health ministry in Tyva Republic said: 'We cannot confirm the case happened in Tuva.

'It was not registered by the Ministry of Health, the Emergencies Ministry or any other official body (in the region).

'Most probably, it happened somewhere outside Tuva.'

Speech on the background in the video appears not to be local language Tuvan.

http://siberiantimes.com/other/others/news/man-lives-after-bear-breaks-his-spine-and-keeps-him-as-food-inside-den/
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7 essential Eastern philosophy books
« Reply #13204 on: June 27, 2019, 05:53:42 AM »
All cultures in the world have sought to develop an understanding of themselves, their realities and seek deeper truths. While the scientific and reductionist worldview of European thought has labored to formulate and postulate on the world, a divergence of thought also flourished throughout the East with a more holistic view of existence. These ideals and differing thoughts have certainly pollinated and crossed one another throughout the years. Today, the old dichotomy and division of Eastern and Western thought has largely dissolved or converged. In the past century or so, these views of the world were more alienated from one another.

In a more seemingly rapid paced world without sanctuary or peace of mind, it's time we return to these books on Eastern philosophy. Discover what has been lost and what can be found again.





Tao Te Ching

Tao Te Ching: A New English Version (Perennial Classics)

This influential and widely known Chinese text is attributed to the great sage Lao Tzu. Short and whimsical, the "Tao Te Ching" reads more like folky Aesop's fables than fundamental religious doctrine. It's a slim book and a quick read, but leaves behind new profundities on the nature of being and reality. Stephen Mitchell's poetic translation keeps the wisdom intact.

Considered the foundational text for Taoism, the "Tao Te Ching" leads its reader into a newfound, harmonious way of existing in the world. Taoism is the paradoxical concept of non-action or "doing not-doing". Mitchell writes in the introduction that: "The game plays the game; the poem writes the poem; we can't tell the dancer from the dance."

"Fill your bowl to the brim
and it will spill.
Keep sharpening your knife
and it will blunt.
Chase after money and security
and your heart will never unclench.
Care about people's approval
and you will be their prisoner. Do your work, then step back.
The only path to serenity."

– Lao Tzu

The Analects

"The Analects" are a collection of Confucius' sayings after the fact; they were written sometime after his death in 497 BCE. Confucius' goal was to create and uphold the ideal vision of what a man should be. He wanted to perfect one's moral character and develop the methods toward pursuing such a grand goal.

Drawing from many different ancient Chinese texts and philosophies already in existence, the philosophy or religion of Confucianism has gone through many iterations. It shares a similarity with Christianity and the works of Socrates as both these philosophies and religions had the words of their leaders written after their deaths by their devotees.

One of the great classics of world literature, "The Analects" have to be read firsthand to be truly understood.

"Not to discuss with a man worthy of conversation is to waste the man. To discuss with a man not worthy of conversation is to waste words. The wise waste neither men nor words." – Confucius, "The Analects"

The I Ching

The I Ching, or, Book of Changes (Bollingen Series XIX) (Bollingen Series (General))

"The I Ching" has had an immense influence on the world. It's influenced Chinese thought for thousands of years and radically changed notions of mathematics and psychology in the West within the past few centuries. As the basis for binary code and a whole slew of other interesting phenomenon, "The I Ching" is one of the oldest efforts to try to reconcile the human mind into the greater cosmic scheme of things.

Richard Wilhelm's translation is the definitive book on "The I Ching", serving as both a reference, commentary and faithful rendition of the original text. The book can be used in a number of ways, and it stands as both the source for Confucianist and Taoist philosophy.

The Bhagavad Gita

The Bhagavad Gita, 2nd Edition

Nowhere is there a more full picture of the rich spiritual realm and world of the Hindu faith. Considered to be a masterpiece of Sanskrit poetry, "The Bhagavad Gita" is one of our best sources for ancient Hinduism. It's part of a larger epic called "Mahabharata", but stands alone as a cornerstone of the religion.
Have you read?

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The story describes a battle between two great armies as the god Krishna comes down mid-battle to enlighten the warrior Arjuna. The epic is non-linear and a long running philosophical treatise on the notions of freedom, understanding, meaning of life and the nature of reality. Concepts of the cyclical nature of time and cosmic oneness of the universe are all expressed in this book.

"The nonpermanent appearance of happiness and distress, and their disappearance in due course, are like the appearance and disappearance of winter and summer seasons. They arise from sense perception, and one must learn to tolerate them without being disturbed." – "The Bhagavad Gita"

Siddhartha

Siddhartha: A Novel

Herman Hesse's classic has resonated with countless generations and remains an inspiring novel. The story is written in simple verse and follows a wealthy Indian Brahmin as he leaves a life of privilege and religiosity to try to find true spiritual fulfillment. Hesse's treatment of the religious enlightenment is diverse as he weaves into classical Eastern thought, Jungian psychology and existentialism.

Siddhartha leaves home with his friend Govinda and journeys through the many iterations of enlightenment seeking. He is not confined to any piety or guru worship as he joins the ascetics, follows the Buddha and even rejects him before going on to become a rich man and experience the pleasures of the world. Soon he understands that all experience is provisional and dependent on himself. Only the individual can find their own enlightenment.

"Words do not express thoughts very well. They always become a little different immediately after they are expressed, a little distorted, a little foolish. And yet it also pleases me and seems right that what is of value and wisdom to one man seems nonsense to another." – Herman Hesse, "Siddhartha"

Be Here Now

Be Here Now

This is the recounting of a lifetime of experience and spiritual seeking from the man who would begin his journey as Dr. Richard Alpert and transcend into Baba Ram Dass. Both a biography, exploration of mysticism and period piece of the 1960s counterculture, "Be Here Now" is a riveting and unconventional book. It's a book to be experienced. There are many illustrations and wonderful poetic distillations of the many religions of the world.

Ram Dass has a simple message and that is to live in the present moment.

"Early in the journey you wonder how long the journey will take and whether you will make it in this lifetime. Later you will see that where you are going is HERE and you will arrive NOW... so you stop asking." – Baba Ram Dass, "Be Here Now"

The Way of Zen

The Way of Zen

Alan Watts wrote and lectured on Zen Buddhism for much of his life. He had an incredible way of explaining its practices and principles to early curious Western readers in the mid-20th century. Watts considered Zen to be "one of the most precious gifts of Asia to the world." He wrote:

"Since opposed principles, or ideologies, are irreconcilable, wars fought over principle will be wars of mutual annihilation. But wars fought for simple greed will be far less destructive, because the aggressor will be careful not to destroy what he is fighting to capture. Reasonable – that is, human – men will always be capable of compromise, but men who have dehumanized themselves by becoming the blind worshipers of an idea or an ideal are fanatics whose devotion to abstractions makes them the enemies of life." Alan Watts, "The Way of Zen"

Watts explains the concept of Zen as far as he can take it before that switch clicks and you're in on the cosmic laugh. Although Zen is one branch of Buddhism, it is more concerned with the ideals of spontaneous action and thought. Emptiness, detachment from desire and even renouncing the idea of enlightenment are all tenets of Zen that Watts lays out in a playful and profound way.

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/06/7-essential-eastern-philosophy-books/
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The Nares Strait, open for business in mid-May.

Every summer as the Arctic warms up, seasonal highways open on the ocean, allowing sea ice to migrate southward and melt. Now, satellite data is revealing that the gateway to one critical highway—the Nares Strait dividing northwest Greenland and Canada’s Ellesmere Island—has broken up months ahead of schedule. And that could spell even more trouble for the Arctic’s oldest and most critically-endangered sea ice.

Normally, Baffin Bay just south of the Nares Strait remains closed off to marauding sea ice from the north until June, July or even August, thanks to the presence of an ice jam that forms at the strait’s northern mouth between November and January, taking on a spectacular, arch-like shape. This year, however, the Nares Strait arch began to disintegrate in March. Kent Moore, a sea ice researcher at the University of Toronto described its collapse as “pretty rapid,” with the arch gone in the span of just a few days.

While it still isn’t clear what exactly prompted the opening of this proverbial floodgate, it’s not the first time it’s happened. A similar premature breakup occurred in May 2017, and Moore’s research pegged that event on a bout of unusually strong spring winds. Based on the cloud pattern in satellite imagery taken on March 19, just days before this year’s breakup, Moore suspects winds may one again have played a key role, an idea he’s continuing to investigate.

t’s likely that climate change is also playing a role. The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet and sea ice is thinning everywhere. Mark Serreze, director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center, told Earther that while you can’t say lot definitively looking at just one year, “when you get a thinner ice pack it’s a weaker ice pack and gonna be more easily broken up.”

The arch may simply not be as robust as it once was, which could help explain why it also had early breakups in 2008 and 2010, and why it didn’t form, at all, in 2007, as NASA’s Earth Observatory notes. “The fact that you’re seeing several of these early breakups in the last decade, it’s consistent with an overall warming of the Arctic,” Serreze said.

The premature breakup of this icy juncture is liable to spell bad news for old Arctic sea ice, the stuff that survives the summer melt to last for multiple years and which is already in a severely diminished state. Serreze explained that while a different pathway—the Fram Strait between east Greenland and Svalbard— “rules the day” in terms of the total volume of ice exiting the Arctic, thick, multi-year ice tends to pile up along the shores of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago and northern Greenland. That ice is more likely to make a break for the south via the Nares Strait. So when its gateway opens months early, there’s that much more opportunity for old ice to migrate south and melt.

Loss of that ice is an issue not just for the polar bears that depend on it as habitat, but for the Arctic as a whole, which relies on its summertime sea ice to reflect sunlight and keep its cool.

The area of the high Canadian Arctic around the Nares Strait is where climate models project that older, multi-year ice will hang on the longest. This has prompted conservation groups like the World Wildlife Fund to push for greater ecological protections there, in what it’s dubbed the “Last Ice Area.” Moore supports those protections—but at the same time, he worries about what earlier and earlier openings of the Nares Strait will mean for the region as a whole.

“[The Last Ice Area] may not persist as long as people think if this is a new mode of ice loss,” he said.

https://earther.gizmodo.com/the-gateway-protecting-the-arctics-oldest-sea-ice-has-c-1835875727
« Last Edit: June 27, 2019, 06:06:29 AM by knarf »
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Trump says what happens in Putin meeting is 'none of your business'
« Reply #13206 on: June 27, 2019, 06:03:41 AM »
Ahead of a planned meeting with Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit in Japan, President Donald Trump on Wednesday said what he talks about with the Russian president is "none of your business."

 That kind of dismissal has fueled concerns about their previous meetings, some of which are under investigation by Congress over reports that Trump destroyed translators' notes afterwards or met without any U.S. officials present. The reported destruction of notes is also the subject of lawsuits that allege the Trump administration has violated federal laws about records preservation.

"I'll have a very good conversation with him. What I say to him is none of your business," Trump answered as he left the White House when a reporter asked him whether he would tell Putin not to meddle in U.S. elections.

 Trump and Putin are scheduled to meet Friday on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan. The Kremlin said the two will meet for about an hour and talk about U.S.-Russian relations and regional issues such as Syria, Afghanistan, Venezuela, Iran, and Ukraine, according to Putin aide Yuri Ushakov.

It's that last topic that soured the chance of a meeting last time. Days before Trump and Putin were to meet at the G20 in November in Argentina, the U.S. canceled because Russia had seized 24 Ukrainian sailors and three vessels in international waters.

 "Based on the fact that the ships and sailors have not been returned to Ukraine from Russia, I have decided it would be best for all parties concerned to cancel my previously scheduled meeting in Argentina with President Vladimir Putin. I look forward to a meaningful Summit again as soon as this situation is resolved!" Trump tweeted at the time.

Trump ended up speaking to Putin during the G20 leaders' dinner in Buenos Aires. The White House described the encounter as an "informal conversation," but no staff were present for it.

House Oversight Committee chair Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Maryland, announced on Monday that his committee sent a follow-up letter to Trump's acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, demanding information about Trump's meetings with Putin in July 2017 and July 2018.

After Trump and Putin met for two hours with only their translators in Helsinki, Finland, in the 2018 summit, U.S. officials reportedly had difficulty getting a full readout of the meeting. Top aides including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said publicly they had been "fully" briefed. After the July 2017 meeting in Hamburg, Germany, where Trump was accompanied by then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and a U.S. translator, Trump reportedly took the translator's notes.

 That would constitute a violation of the Presidential Records Act, according to watchdog groups like Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and American Oversight. Both groups are among the plaintiffs in two separate lawsuits against the Trump administration for allegedly destroying these records.

"This may be the only written record of a meeting between two heads of state, and the interpreter's notes can't be seized or destroyed just because President Trump might want them hidden," said Austin Evers, executive director of American Oversight, last week. "The law requires that the interpreter's notes are recovered and preserved."

In a letter dated March 21, the White House counsel Pat Cipollone said the administration had already provided information on some of the committee's questions and Congress wasn't entitled to answers on others: "Information concerning the conduct of foreign affairs is, constitutionally, within the exclusive control of the Executive Branch and Congress cannot demand its disclosure," Cipollone wrote.

 In response, House Democrats have weighed using subpoenas to compel testimony, including from the State Department translators present in Trump's meetings -- an unprecedented move.

The Trump administration has been trying to win Russia over as a partner on the world stage and peel it away from its ally Iran. Secretary Pompeo met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Putin in May and said afterwards they had made progress on Syria, Afghanistan, and North Korea. National Security Adviser John Bolton had a series of meetings this week in Israel with his Israeli and Russian counterparts on the way forward in Syria.

But after their meeting Tuesday, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev made clear Russia stands by Iran, saying the U.S. drone the Iranian military shot done was in its airspace and supporting the country's military presence in neighboring Syria.

Lavrov said Wednesday that Russia would not bend to U.S. wishes: "The U.S. begins to understand the futility of its counterproductive demands that Russia should change its independent policy and follow the approaches unilaterally promoted by the United States on the international arena."

https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/trump-putin-meeting-business/story?id=63967271
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A REMINDER of WHAT THIS newz feed IS aBouT
« Reply #13207 on: June 27, 2019, 01:03:22 PM »
  Re and Surly are doing great with covering the "big" news of the day. I decided months ago too look for stories that are much less likely to make national news, but contain within them a current dynamic of collapse. ALL views of you that read the articles here are no better or worse, smarter or dumber, ignorant or stupid, because everyone has a unique view of the world. If you want to respond to an article and tell us your viewpoint, fine. Just remember that everyone has a viewpoint of their world, but just as no two finger prints are exactly the same, it's not that important.
  We are now in a situation of climate emergency, and most people are quite bewildered by the response of the leaders of the world, and the 1%.
I am choosing articles that deal with that problem we all know is getting beyond any adaptation required to survive longer.
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Re: A REMINDER of WHAT THIS newz feed IS aBouT
« Reply #13208 on: June 27, 2019, 02:36:07 PM »
  Re and Surly are doing great with covering the "big" news of the day. I decided months ago too look for stories that are much less likely to make national news, but contain within them a current dynamic of collapse. ALL views of you that read the articles here are no better or worse, smarter or dumber, ignorant or stupid, because everyone has a unique view of the world. If you want to respond to an article and tell us your viewpoint, fine. Just remember that everyone has a viewpoint of their world, but just as no two finger prints are exactly the same, it's not that important.
  We are now in a situation of climate emergency, and most people are quite bewildered by the response of the leaders of the world, and the 1%.
I am choosing articles that deal with that problem we all know is getting beyond any adaptation required to survive longer.

No comment I've ever made is aimed at you, Knarf. You just post stuff that interests me and so I respond. Please...never take anything I post on this site as negative feedback toward you or any Diner. I love all you guys. If people give me shit, though, I tend to give shit back. This does not apply to you, as you have never given me any shit whatsoever. I have great respect for you and your chosen path.

In my view climate change is the likely horseman of the apocalypse that takes humans off the face of the planet, barring some unforeseen act of God or some kind of serendipity from an intelligent Cosmos that is beyond our reckoning. Or some cool randomness of fate.....take your pick.
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Re: A REMINDER of WHAT THIS newz feed IS aBouT
« Reply #13209 on: June 27, 2019, 05:12:52 PM »
  Re and Surly are doing great with covering the "big" news of the day. I decided months ago too look for stories that are much less likely to make national news, but contain within them a current dynamic of collapse. ALL views of you that read the articles here are no better or worse, smarter or dumber, ignorant or stupid, because everyone has a unique view of the world. If you want to respond to an article and tell us your viewpoint, fine. Just remember that everyone has a viewpoint of their world, but just as no two finger prints are exactly the same, it's not that important.
  We are now in a situation of climate emergency, and most people are quite bewildered by the response of the leaders of the world, and the 1%.
I am choosing articles that deal with that problem we all know is getting beyond any adaptation required to survive longer.

No comment I've ever made is aimed at you, Knarf. You just post stuff that interests me and so I respond. Please...never take anything I post on this site as negative feedback toward you or any Diner. I love all you guys. If people give me shit, though, I tend to give shit back. This does not apply to you, as you have never given me any shit whatsoever. I have great respect for you and your chosen path.

In my view climate change is the likely horseman of the apocalypse that takes humans off the face of the planet, barring some unforeseen act of God or some kind of serendipity from an intelligent Cosmos that is beyond our reckoning. Or some cool randomness of fate.....take your pick.

  I will do my best to not take what you write personally. Thnx for cudo's. You have a powerful way of conveying your concepts, they are an amalgamation of so many angles of knowledge, it is difficult for me to understand the context and intent of what you write sometimes. The amount of new ideas that you introduce are sometimes really exciting, or seemingly an edict of some kind. "You believe what I say or else i will make you!"  I think the later behavior is the one RE refers to as not "polite". Civil discourse is our future, let's keep up the agreements we really are here for. ( No, I am not running for president  ::) ).
  I guess I see climate change as an epic extinction event, just this time humans caused it to happen real fast. When thought of philosophically it reminds me of that saying Duval says in "Open Range", "We're all travelers in this world. From the sweet grass to the packing house. Birth 'til death. We travel between the eternities." Time is irrelevant, as it is in real life. Some like entity lives for a day, others to 500 years old. all of it tucked between the eternities. This is the truth as I see it. So all I hope to do is promote cooperation instead of competition as crumble back to dust.  :icon_scratch: Life can not be figured out yet, maybe it can't be, or maybe someday we will understand this circus.
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IS fight: US-led coalition says it killed 1,300 civilians in Syria and Iraq
« Reply #13210 on: June 28, 2019, 05:11:41 AM »

The coalition says it makes every effort to avoid civilian casualties

he US-led coalition against the Islamic State (IS) group says it has unintentionally killed more than 1,300 civilians in Iraq and Syria since 2014.

In a statement, the coalition said it had carried out 34,502 strikes since its air campaign against IS began there nearly five years ago.

A UK-based monitoring group says the true toll is much higher, estimating up to nearly 13,000 civilian fatalities.

The US-led action began after IS took over huge areas of territory.

It imposed brutal rule over millions of people who fell under its control and has carried out or inspired deadly attacks around the world.

The latest figure provided by the coalition is slightly higher than its previous admission eight months ago of 1,100 civilian deaths. It says it is still assessing 111 more possible cases of civilian fatalities.

he latest acknowledgement stands in stark contrast to the claims of human rights and monitoring groups, which say the actual death toll is many times higher.

Amnesty International's senior crisis response advisor Donatella Rovera accused the US-led coalition of remaining "deeply in denial" about the true scale.

"Today's acknowledgement of further civilian deaths underscores the urgent need for thorough, independent investigations that can uncover the true scale of civilian casualties caused by coalition strikes, examine whether each attack complied with international humanitarian law and provide full reparation to victims," she said.

Last month, an investigation by activists concluded that more than 1,600 civilians were killed in coalition attacks on the Syrian city of Raqqa alone during a five-month campaign to oust IS in 2017.

Raqqa had been the de facto capital of the jihadists' self-proclaimed "caliphate".



At that time, a coalition spokesperson told the BBC that "any unintentional loss of life during the defeat of [IS] is tragic. However it must be balanced against the risk of enabling [IS] to continue terrorist activities, causing pain and suffering to anyone they choose".

The coalition "methodically employs significant measures to minimise civilian casualties", the spokesperson said, and "always balances the risk of conducting a strike against the cost of not striking".

The monitoring group Airwars, which tracks allegations of civilian deaths, says the coalition may have actually killed between about 8,000 and 13,000 civilians to date.
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If you've been arrested for weed in Illinois, you can breathe a sigh of relief.
Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker just signed HB 1438 this week, which makes cannabis legal in the state for individuals 21 and over, along with sweeping criminal criminal justice reforms designed to help those whose lives have been upended by the state's drug laws.
In addition to legalizing marijuana, the 610-page bill offers relief to the roughly 770,000 residents of the state with marijuana-related offenses on their criminal records, according to the Marijuana Policy Project.
A new law legalizes weed and helps those caught with it in the past

The state's new Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, which takes effect in 2020, allows people to automatically receive clemency for convictions up to 30 grams of cannabis. Those convicted with larger amounts, from 30-500 grams can petition a court to have the charge lifted.
The bill defines expunge to mean to "physically destroy the records or return them to the petitioner and to obliterate the petitioner's name from any official index or public record, or both." But it doesn't require the physical destruction of circuit court files.
The bill also includes a "social equity program," which makes it easier for those with marijuana convictions to get business licenses. The program also allocates $12 million for startup businesses related to cannabis, as well as funding for job training programs in the state's cannabis industry, the Marijuana Policy Project says.
The state's Department of Agriculture and its community college board are creating pilot programs to get people ready to work in the newly legal industry, and the state will require them to focus on enrolling the low income students into those programs.
Illinois is the latest state to liberalize its cannabis laws

Gov. Pritzker is fulfilling a promise he made on the campaign trail, and is making Illinois the 11th US state to legalize recreational marijuana. So far 18 states have decriminalized marijuana, the MPP says, and in all 34 states allow patients with health complaints to use medical marijuana.
And Illinois is the latest state to offer clemency for marijuana convictions. Last month Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed a law that gave marijuana offenders the ability to have their sentences vacated in the state.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/06/27/us/illinois-expunging-marijuana-convictions-trnd/index.html
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U.S. 'gag rule' linked to 40% jump in abortions in parts of Africa
« Reply #13212 on: June 28, 2019, 05:19:46 AM »
LONDON (Reuters) - A decades-old U.S. government policy reinstated by President Donald Trump in 2017 that restricts international aid to NGOs that support abortion is linked to a 40% rise in abortions in some parts of sub-Saharan African, a study showed on Thursday.

The “Mexico City Policy”, also known as the “global gag rule”, also led to more pregnancies and lower contraceptive use among women in African countries reliant on U.S. foreign aid, the study in the Lancet Global Health journal showed.

The policy prevents U.S. federal funding from being used overseas to support any organization that performs or provides counseling on abortion. Successive U.S. administrations have flip-flopped between rescinding and reinstating it along partisan lines since it was created by the Republican administration of Ronald Reagan in 1984.

“Our findings suggest how a U.S. policy that aims to restrict federal funding for abortion services can lead, unintentionally, to more – and probably riskier – abortions in poor countries,” said Nina Brooks, a researcher at Stanford University who co-led the work.

The researchers urged the United States, as the world’s biggest donor of development assistance, to recognize the health of mothers as “a global priority”, and warned that the Mexico City Policy’s knock-on effects could add to maternal death rates.

The study looked at induced abortion, contraception use and pregnancy rates between 1995 and 2014. It used data from 26 sub-Saharan African countries over two U.S. policy transitions - from Bill Clinton to George W. Bush, then from Bush to Barack Obama - and compared rates in countries exposed to a greater or lesser extent to the policy due to reliance on aid.

The researchers used what they called a “difference-in-difference” method to identify any changes - in other words they analyzed whether the difference between rates or abortion, pregnancy and contraceptive use in high-exposure countries versus low-exposure countries were significantly greater when the policy was in place than when it was not.

Results showed a significant 40% increase in abortion rates in exposed countries when the policy was active, as well as a 13.5% relative drop in the use of modern contraceptives, and a 12% rise in rates of pregnancy.

Stanford University’s Eran Bendavid, who co-led the study, said its findings had probably captured only a partial view of the policy’s harm to maternal health, since knock-on effects of risky abortions were not measured.

“Because abortions are an important cause of maternal mortality, the increase in abortion uptake might also increase maternal deaths — and possibly disproportionately given that abortions under the policy could be less safe,” he said.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-abortions-gag/u-s-gag-rule-linked-to-40-jump-in-abortions-in-parts-of-africa-idUSKCN1TS3AY?utm_source=reddit.com
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Chief Justice John Roberts in Washington on May 14, 2018.

 In February, Chief Justice John Roberts touted his commitment to free speech, declaring: “I think I’m probably the most aggressive defender of the First Amendment on the court now.”

On Thursday, he authorized one of the most effective and widespread attacks on free speech today, prohibiting federal courts from reining in partisan gerrymanders. Roberts’ decision in Rucho v. Common Cause will have a devastating impact on freedom of expression in the United States, allowing lawmakers to punish voters for their political views by diluting their votes. It is the court’s most disastrous betrayal of the First Amendment in recent memory.

Rucho posed a simple question: Can federal courts place limits on partisan gerrymandering? The answer should be obvious, for two simple reasons. First, these gerrymanders impose grave constitutional harm on citizens. Second, they are not at all difficult for courts to remedy.
There is nothing uniquely challenging about measuring and fixing partisan gerrymanders, as multiple lower courts have already demonstrated. The task falls squarely within the court’s duty to protect Americans’ constitutional rights—indeed, to safeguard the most important right, an ability to participate equally in self-governance.

Yet Roberts, joined by the remaining conservatives, declared otherwise in a 5–4 decision. He insisted that partisan gerrymanders “present political questions beyond the reach of the federal courts.” To limit this practice, Roberts wrote, would be to expand “judicial authority … into one of the most intensely partisan aspects of American political life.” And he wrote that federal courts are ill-suited to decide when partisan gerrymandering “goes too far,” as they lack a standard by which to measure a party’s illegitimate entrenchment of political power.

To reach this conclusion, Roberts shrugged off the serious constitutional injuries inflicted by political redistricting. Most notably, he dismissed the plaintiffs’ theory that extreme partisan gerrymandering violates the First Amendment. There are, Roberts wrote, “no restrictions on speech, association, or any other First Amendment activities in the districting plans at issue. The plaintiffs are free to engage in those activities no matter what the effect of a plan may be on their district.” He scoffed at the putative “burden” that gerrymandering placed on the plaintiffs, citing “slight anecdotal evidence” that the minority party had “difficulty drumming up volunteers and enthusiasm.” This alone, Roberts suggested, did not prove a First Amendment infringement.

Unless the chief justice failed to grasp the plaintiffs’ actual theory, he must know this passage is incredibly misleading. The plaintiffs here argued, correctly, that partisan gerrymandering imposes a flagrant and immediate burden on First Amendment rights. It isn’t just about “drumming up volunteers”—it’s about lawmakers penalizing voters on the basis of their political expression and association. Take North Carolina, where Republican legislators intentionally diluted the votes of citizens who expressed support for the Democratic Party. In virtually any other context, this action would constitute viewpoint discrimination, a cardinal sin under the First Amendment. Why doesn’t it here?

Roberts seems to believe that this viewpoint discrimination is OK because it creates “no restrictions” on expression. If that’s true, I am not sure how Roberts can justify his opinion in 2011’s Arizona Free Enterprise v. Bennett, a 5–4 decision striking down a key component of Arizona’s publicly financed elections. Under the law, Arizona provided funds to publicly financed candidates that roughly matched the amount spent by their opponents. The goal was to create competitive races by ensuring that all candidates had sufficient resources to campaign.

 Arizona’s law created “no restrictions” on expression and certainly didn’t penalize speech on the basis of viewpoint. But Roberts and the conservative justices struck it down anyway, writing that it “substantially burdens the speech of privately financed candidates” by frightening them into spending less. Really? According to Roberts, a law designed to increase political speech by helping more candidates participate in elections “substantially burdens protected political speech” because it dissuades big donors from writing bigger checks. To Justice Elena Kagan, writing in dissent, that was pure madness. “The system discriminated against no ideas and prevented no speech,” she wrote. To the contrary, it plainly furthered “First Amendment values.”

It is difficult to understand a theory of the First Amendment that permits partisan gerrymandering (in part because it imposes “no restrictions” on voters’ expression) while forbidding a matching-fund campaign finance scheme (because it “burdens” big donors’ speech). Roberts’ decisions in Rucho and Arizona Free Enterprise cannot be squared. The only plausible explanation is that the chief justice values the expression of high-dollar donors more than he values the expression of voters. “There is no right more basic in our democracy than the right to participate in electing our political leaders,” Roberts wrote in another decision striking down campaign finance restrictions. Apparently, that right applies with greater force to billionaires writing checks than it does to voters casting ballots.

This vision of democracy, and the role that free expression plays in the political process, is beyond cynical. It elevates the speech of donors above everyday citizens in the hierarchy of First Amendment values. In Rucho, Roberts told Americans that the Constitution doesn’t limit lawmakers’ ability to punish them—by diluting the power of their vote, the bedrock of a democratic society—because they dare to express support for the opposing party. Meanwhile, he will continue to assure wealthy Americans that his court will do everything in its power to safeguard their right to influence elections by buying candidates’ loyalty.

In her powerful Rucho dissent, Kagan pinpointed exactly where Roberts went so awry. She wrote that extreme partisan gerrymanders “undermine the protections” of “democracy embodied in the First Amendment.” She explained how courts can easily determine whether a gerrymander “substantially dilutes the votes of a rival party’s supporters.” She laid out all the tools that courts have already used to invalidate and correct partisan gerrymanders. “That kind of oversight,” Kagan noted, “is not only possible; it’s been done.”

But that didn’t matter to Roberts and his fellow conservatives. They abandoned the Constitution just when its guarantees were most necessary to protect democracy. And they ignored the courts’ proven ability to apply these guarantees in a manner that vindicates free expression. With Rucho, Roberts has turned the First Amendment on its head, denying voters a shield against lawmakers who rig elections by retaliating against political speech. “The practices challenged in these cases,” Kagan wrote, “imperil our system of government. Part of the Court’s role in that system is to defend its foundations.” Thanks in part to Rucho, those foundations will continue to crumble.

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/06/john-roberts-rucho-common-cause-arizona-free-enterprise-hypocrisy.html?via=rss_flipboard
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Record-breaking heat wave cooks Europe
« Reply #13214 on: June 28, 2019, 05:38:45 AM »

Hot temperatures over Europe on June 26.

The heat has arrived.

As predicted, a potent heat wave settled over Europe this week, bringing abnormally high June temperatures to vast swathes of France, Spain, Germany and beyond — home to hundreds of millions. Already, the highest ever recorded June temperatures have toppled in Germany, France, and Poland, reaching into the triple digits on Wednesday.

Radzyń, Poland hit nearly 101 degrees Fahrenheit, a region outside of Berlin reached 101.5 degrees, and the average max June temperature in France hit its highest point ever, at nearly 95 degrees. On Thursday, France peaked at over 107 degrees. And there's more heat to come.

Over the last century, Europe has increasingly experienced heat waves, and since 1500 AD, the region's five hottest summers have occurred in 2018, 2016, 2010, 2003, and 2002. Expectedly, temperature records will continue to break as Earth's overall climate continues its relentless, accelerated rise.

"Heat records do of course happen much more frequently due to global heating," said Stefan Rahmstorf, head of Earth System Analysis at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany. "That is entirely as expected, and it will continue as long as we heat the planet by adding greenhouse gases to the atmosphere."

"Global temperatures are increasing due to climate change and this means that Europe can expect more record-breaking heatwaves in future," agreed Len Shaffrey, a climate scientist at the University of Reading, in the UK.

Shaffrey noted that boosted global temperatures have at least doubled the probability of heat extremes in Europe, similar to last summer's scorching events.

Atmospheric emissions of heat-trapping carbon dioxide — Earth's most important greenhouse gas — are now at their highest levels in at least 800,000 years, and the rate of increase is unprecedented in both the historic and geologic record.

Europe's boosted temperatures will continue through the weekend, threatening to break all-time records, too. Schools in areas around Paris announced closures, in anticipation of the heat.

Though, it's not just boosted overall temperatures that have contributed to Europe's heat waves. Winds in the high atmosphere (the jet stream) that move in giant waves around the planet, called Rossby Waves, have changed, explained Rahmstorf. Specifically, these major atmospheric flows have been slowing down and growing weirder and more curvy. This leaves persistent weather patterns — like heat — stalled over big regions, like Europe.


Winding Rossby waves moving west around Earth.

Atmospheric scientists suspect that amplified warming in the Arctic — which is on grand display this year — is largely responsible for slowing down these powerful atmospheric winds. With less of a temperature difference between the Arctic and lower latitudes, wind patterns may change and grow weaker, particularly in the summer, noted Rahmstorf.

Heat waves — which are the deadliest type of extreme weather event — killed an estimated 70,000 Europeans in 2003. These events, like increased wildfires, drought, and pummeling deluges, are some of the most well-predicted consequences of a relentlessly warming climate. And their increase in frequency are repeatedly proving climate scientists correct — to their dismay.   

"I do not feel any satisfaction because of the predictions of climate science coming true," said Rahmstorf. "Rather, I feel increasingly worried for my two children's future."

https://mashable.com/article/heat-wave-europe-2019/
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