AuthorTopic: Knarf's Knewz Channel  (Read 1651598 times)

Offline Surly1

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Re: Democrats could tie paychecks to testimony in impeachment inquiry
« Reply #14340 on: October 23, 2019, 05:48:54 PM »
Little-used provision would deny pay to administration officials seen as stonewalling House investigators

House Democrats are threatening to force Trump administration officials’ compliance with their impeachment inquiry by targeting something they hold dear: their paychecks.


Be still my heart. Here's hoping.
"Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. Do justly now, love mercy now, walk humbly now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it."

Offline knarf

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Federal Lawsuit Alleges ICE Agent Raped, Impregnated a Honduran Immigrant Multiple Times While Threatening Her Family With Deportation

(HARTFORD, Conn) — An immigration agent threatened a Honduran woman living in Connecticut with deportation if she didn’t have sex with him, then raped her as often as four times a week for seven years, impregnating her three times, the woman says in a federal lawsuit. The woman, identified in the lawsuit only as Jane Doe, sued the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and former ICE agent Wilfredo Rodriguez on Saturday. She is seeking $10 million in damages.

“My only comment is that my client had a choice, cooperate with ICE or be deported with her family,” George Kramer, the woman’s lawyer, said in an email. “She remains in a very fragile psychological state. She is not only seeking compensation for the physical and emotional damage she suffered but to change the way those who are cooperating with ICE are treated by those in a position of power and who often wield total control over the ability to remain in the United States.”

An ICE spokesman said he couldn’t comment on litigation but confirmed Rodriguez no longer works for the agency. Homeland Security didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment.

It was not immediately clear whether Rodriguez had a lawyer to speak for him, and a phone listing for him could not immediately be found.

Tom Carson, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Connecticut, said he could not comment on whether there has been or will be a criminal investigation.

The woman first met Rodriguez in 2006 after her brother was arrested for entering the U.S. illegally, according to the lawsuit. Rodriguez found out she was also living in the country illegally and said that to avoid being deported, she had to become an informant and help the agency locate criminals ripe for deportation. She did her job, according to the lawsuit, pointing ICE to three men living in the U.S. illegally who had stabbed her husband.

But that wasn’t enough for Rodriguez, the lawsuit indicates.

At one point, while trying to locate someone in 2007, Rodriguez told the woman to go to a motel and tried to have sex with her, according to the lawsuit. When she refused, she says in the lawsuit, he covered her mouth, threw her on the bed, put his gun next to her and said that if she opened her mouth, he would use it. Then, she says, he raped her.

He called himself the “wolf” and said he was the reason she and her family weren’t deported, she says in the lawsuit.

The woman alleges she first became pregnant by Rodriguez in 2007, then again in 2009 and a third time in 2013. She had an abortion each time, she said in the lawsuit, and Rodriguez paid for one of them. “There was no question” that was she was pregnant by Rodriguez and not her husband, the lawsuit said.

The abuse continued unabated, she says. He made her perform oral sex on him and participate in “abhorrent sexual behavior,” the lawsuit states. He would constantly remind her that he was the “wolf” and threaten to kill her and her family, she says.

She attempted suicide four times, the lawsuit says.

In 2014, while working at her job in construction, she received a call. It was Rodriguez, demanding to see her, and she knew it would be for sex, she says. She was so shaken that she fell off a ladder after hanging up and seriously injured her neck, back and ribs. She underwent surgery and tried to use it as an excuse not to see Rodriguez — but it didn’t deter him, the lawsuit says.

Later, he told her that he was leaving the agency but that if she told anyone what happened, “she and her family would pay,” according to the lawsuit.

The woman finally told her story last year when her father, living in the U.S. and fearing deportation because of her friendliness with ICE, applied for asylum. She opened up to an agent who approached her about her father’s application, the lawsuit says.

The agent, she says, suggested she consult an attorney.

https://time.com/5708187/federal-lawsuit-ice-agent-rape-threat-immigrant/?utm_source=reddit.com&utm_source=reddit.com
Mark Twain — 'There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.'

Offline knarf

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Syrian Kurd sets himself on fire outside U.N. refugee agency
« Reply #14342 on: October 23, 2019, 06:26:53 PM »
GENEVA (Reuters) - A Syrian Kurdish man in his 30s set himself on fire outside the United Nations refugee agency headquarters in Geneva on Wednesday and was quickly airlifted to hospital after the flames were extinguished, police said.

The man, who resides in Germany, was flown by helicopter to the specialized burns unit at the university hospital in Lausanne where he is receiving treatment, Geneva police spokesman Silvain Guillaume-Gentil said.

“Given his state, it was impossible to ask him about his motive, but we imagine that it was the political situation.”

Turkish forces launched an offensive into northern Syria on Oct 9 to drive Kurdish militia away from the border region. Russia and Turkey reached an accord on Tuesday calling for the withdrawal of Syrian Kurdish YPG forces from the entire length of Syria’s northeastern frontier with Turkey.

“We are saddened and shocked (about) an incident of self-immolation that happened in front of our Geneva headquarters this morning,” said Andrej Mahecic, spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

The man had set himself ablaze and then tried to enter the UNHCR building but security officers and medical services intervened and the fire was put out, Mahecic said, adding: “We hope he will recover.”

The UNHCR building is located across the street from a collective shelter for asylum-seekers, including Syrian Kurds.

“I saw the flames and the security agents from the building came and then a few minutes after that the police and ambulance. There are Syrians here (at the asylum center), but I can’t confirm (the man) was a resident,” an employee told Reuters.

A witness at the asylum center said that the man resembled a “huge human flame”, adding: “I doubt he could survive that.”

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-un-refugees/man-sets-himself-on-fire-outside-u-n-refugee-agency-spokeswoman-idUSKBN1X20UH?utm_source=reddit.com
Mark Twain — 'There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.'

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Chaos as Republicans storm impeachment inquiry deposition
« Reply #14343 on: October 23, 2019, 06:49:39 PM »
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/IqFzOIu1wrc&fs=1" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/IqFzOIu1wrc&fs=1</a>
Mark Twain — 'There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.'

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Hong Kong protesters rally in support of Catalan movement
« Reply #14344 on: October 24, 2019, 05:59:55 AM »
Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters are planning to rally Thursday in support of separatists in Spain's Catalonia region, as a Chinese official accused them of colluding with overseas movements.

 Organizers billed the Thursday night event as a show of solidarity for the Catalan movement, which was sparked by fury over lengthy prison sentences for leaders of the region's separatist movement.

Hong Kong protesters have taken to the streets since June in increasingly violent and chaotic protests amid increasing fears about Beijing's tightening grip on the semi-autonomous Chinese city.

Their demands include elections for the city's top leader and an inquiry into alleged police brutality, but not independence from China. Organizers were careful to skirt the issue, with online posters advertising the event with a slogan "United, we stand for freedom," but did not make any mention of secession.

Violent protests erupted in wealthy Catalonia this month after a court sentenced separatist leaders to up to 13 years in prison for an effort to declare the region's independence in 2017.

There have been parallels been the two movements, with the Catalan protesters adopting fluid Hong Kong tactics inspired by martial arts legend Bruce Lee's "Be water" philosophy. Both movements have occupied airports to disrupt flights and Catalonia flags have been seen at Hong Kong rallies.

Ahead of the event, a senior Chinese official denounced Hong Kong's protesters, accusing them of colluding with movements overseas.

"A virus has been running rampant in Hong Kong, which is even more deadly than SARS. Its name is street violence," said Xie Feng, commissioner of China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs office in Hong Kong, referring to a 2003 disease outbreak that killed about 300 people.

"The true motive of the opposition in Hong Kong and the foreign forces behind them is just to mess up the city, overthrow the legitimate government, seize the jurisdiction, and ultimately destroy 'One country, two systems,' by turning Hong Kong into an independent or semi-independent political entity," Xie said at a forum, adding it's "wishful thinking."

China took control of Hong Kong from Britain in 1997 under the "One country, two systems" formula, under which communist rulers in Beijing promised to let the city maintain its own legal and financial system and civil liberties unseen on the mainland. But Hong Kong residents fears Beijing is reneging on those promises.

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman in Beijing blasted U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi after she tweeted in support of the Hong Kong protesters.

"My full support and admiration goes to those who have taken to the streets week after week in non-violent protest to fight for democracy and the rule of law in #HongKong," Pelosi tweeted along with a picture of her with Hong Kong pro-democracy figures Jimmy Lai and Martin Lee.

The spokeswoman, Hua Chunying, said "political figures like Nancy Pelosi confuse right and wrong, beautify the violent crimes in Hong Kong as non-violent protest, and support and bolster the violent anti-China demonstrators who disrupted Hong Kong."

https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/hong-kong-protests-rally-support-catalonia-separatists-66494094
Mark Twain — 'There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.'

Offline knarf

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USA porn appetite concentrates again on the “Bible Belt” states.
« Reply #14345 on: October 24, 2019, 06:11:54 AM »


Religious conservatives in the United States “Bible Belt” search for online porn more than anyone else according to a new study published earlier this month.

The original study, was published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior in 2015 was produced by researchers from Canadian Universities, and found that American states with more religious conservatives are the ones that search more for sexual content on Google.

The following is an excerpt from the study’s Abstract:

“In America, religiosity and conservatism are generally associated with opposition to non-traditional sexual behavior, but prominent political scandals and recent research suggest a paradoxical private attraction to sexual content on the political and religious right.

We examined associations between state-level religiosity/conservatism and anonymized interest in searching for sexual content online using Google Trends (which calculates within-state search volumes for search terms). Across two separate years, and controlling for demographic variables, we observed moderate-to-large positive associations between: (1) greater proportions of state-level religiosity and general web searching for sexual content and (2) greater proportions of state-level conservatism and image-specific searching for sex”…

In this new study, researchers used “Google Trends” to analyze porn searches while linking state level information from polls asking about religious and political attitudes together with a variety of sex and porn-related search terms.

Statistics aren´t a surprise. On the Daily Beast´s  article from 2017: “Christian Right-Wingers Love Porn: New Studies Suggest the Bible Belt Has A Kinky Side.” Homegrown Video announced the results of a six-month study on amateur porn demographics. Just under a third of all homemade sex tape submissions were created in the United States “Bible Belt”.

Farrell Timlake the owner of Homegrown Video, an amateur pornographic video production company based in San Diego and established in 1982,  explained that women are now submitting their own videos almost as much as men. “Remember, these are not porn stars, just regular people who film themselves for the world to see.”

Perhaps even more interesting is the type of user-generated content coming from areas of the country some consider repressed. “We get so many interracial tapes from states that people would stereotype as being racially bigoted areas” Timlake explains.

In addition to the “Homegrown Video” study, numbers released last spring  by Pornhub, one of the world’s biggest porn sites, indicated that people in the “Bible Belt” watch more gay pornography than anywhere else in the United States.

The name “Bible Belt” has been applied historically to the South and parts of the Midwest, but is more commonly identified with the South. It consists of a line crossing various states such as: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina/South Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia.

 The states with the highest percentage of “gay views” is in the South. According to the numbers, Mississippi, Louisiana and Georgia lead the South in “gay porn” consumption, and the state with the highest percentage of “gay porn viewers” in the nation is Mississippi at 5.6%.

In the new study, the researchers offer the paradoxical hypothesis that a greater preponderance of right-leaning ideologies is associated with greater preoccupation with sexual content in private internet activity. Other reports conducted by research companies indicate similar findings concerning the Bible Belt’s apparent voracious appetite for pornography.

At the end of the day, we can only speculate as to why there is such a strong connection between the consumption of porn and professed conservative Christian values.

https://www.theyucatantimes.com/2019/10/usa-porn-appetite-concentrates-again-on-the-bible-belt-states/
Mark Twain — 'There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.'

Offline knarf

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Re: Democrats could tie paychecks to testimony in impeachment inquiry
« Reply #14346 on: October 24, 2019, 06:29:06 AM »
Little-used provision would deny pay to administration officials seen as stonewalling House investigators

House Democrats are threatening to force Trump administration officials’ compliance with their impeachment inquiry by targeting something they hold dear: their paychecks.


Be still my heart. Here's hoping.

I would guess that your heart stated beating again after Ronald Dump ordered the mafia's muscle men to raid the SCIF.  :o
« Last Edit: October 24, 2019, 06:40:14 AM by knarf »
Mark Twain — 'There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.'

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'Chaos Map' shows violent deaths will 'soar' in 10 years ...
« Reply #14347 on: October 24, 2019, 07:28:57 AM »
due to food and water shortages.

Researchers say the number of deaths due to conflict and rioting caused by food, water and fuel shortages is likely increase rapidly over the next 10 years

Violent deaths linked to price rises will "soar" around the world - including in Europe - over the next decade, warns a major new study.

Researchers say the number of deaths due to conflict and rioting caused by food, water and fuel shortages is likely increase rapidly over the next 10 years.

They have created a new interactive tool, called the Chaos Map, that records fatalities linked to price rises and resource shortages.

Produced by Dr Davide Natalini and Professor Aled Jones of Anglia Ruskin University , the map shows that more than 1,300 deaths between 2005 and 2017 have been the result of violent unrest directly attributable to either food, water or fuel insecurity.

And the academics believe the figures could soar in the next decade.


The Chaos Map

 By scanning reports covering food, water, and fuel insecurity shocks published since 2005, the team have plotted data for violent deaths - including riots , looting, armed conflict and demonstrations - and suicides on the Chaos Map.

They say their research is important to help understand the "escalating instability and chaos" that can occur when pressures caused by limited resources are compounded by factors such as climate change and rising populations.

By examining trends around previous events, the researchers say the Chaos Map can also help to predict and inform early responses to resource insecurity and social unrest, which could prove useful for governments and NGOs.



For example, they said the deaths over the last few months linked to rising fuel prices in Ecuador follow previous, similar patterns where austerity measures imposed on the government takes precedent over medium term planning for access to food and fuel.

Professor Jones said: "As climate change increases the severity of extreme weather over the coming years and we see continuing political instability in key oil producing regions, there is likely to be an increased frequency and severity of physical shocks to our food, fuel and water supplies.

"Without proper strategies to combat these shocks it is likely that reactive policies from governments will only make the impacts of these shocks worse, leading to bigger chaos events and more deaths.

"In Europe, while we have already seen a limited number of deaths, without a full and transparent conversation between governments and its citizens around the need to move away from fossil fuels and more investment into resilient food and water systems, it is likely that we will not be immune to these events.

"It is difficult to pinpoint exactly what causes protests about rising fuel or food costs to turn violent, and this is where the risks lie."

Professor Jones, director of Anglia Ruskin's Global Sustainability Institute, added: "We hope the Chaos Map can build our understanding of these tipping points in society so we can hopefully avoid the worst impacts in the future."

https://www.mirror.co.uk/science/chaos-map-shows-violent-deaths-20712613
Mark Twain — 'There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.'

Offline Surly1

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Re: Democrats could tie paychecks to testimony in impeachment inquiry
« Reply #14348 on: October 24, 2019, 10:23:13 AM »
Little-used provision would deny pay to administration officials seen as stonewalling House investigators

House Democrats are threatening to force Trump administration officials’ compliance with their impeachment inquiry by targeting something they hold dear: their paychecks.


Be still my heart. Here's hoping.

I would guess that your heart stated beating again after Ronald Dump ordered the mafia's muscle men to raid the SCIF.  :o

Well, those boys were helping get to be arrested and by canonized as martyrs, but with their hi-jinks having accomplished absolutely nothing aside from embarrassment, they stand revealed as the assclowns they are.
"Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. Do justly now, love mercy now, walk humbly now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it."

Offline knarf

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We are letting banks off the hook for financing environmental destruction
« Reply #14349 on: October 24, 2019, 06:50:22 PM »
That must change.

Proposals for a new 'duty of care' for British companies are welcome, but the lenders who are financing deforestation must also be in the spotlight


Deforestation in Papua New Guinea

Today's announcement by Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson that businesses would be given a legal “duty of care” on environmental and social issues and be required to conduct checks on their supply chains is a huge and exciting step forward. Many, like us at Global Witness, have been campaigning for years hoping for this change – that businesses who cause forest destruction or human rights abuses abroad are held to account and take responsibility.

As we all know from pictures of the Amazon burning this summer, precious rainforests are disappearing at a terrifying rate across the globe. Even before the Amazon fires hit the headlines, an area of primary rainforest the size of Belgium was destroyed in 2018. And consumers in this country may be surprised to learn that they could be linked to this devastation, through the supply chains linked back to the UK and with those they choose to bank with.

Last month, we released a new investigation, exposing how many of our best-known high street banks are financing companies well known for their destruction of the Amazon and other climate-critical tropical rainforests.

When we crunched the figures we were astonished to see that the UK was the biggest source of financing, after Brazil, for the six companies we looked at – providing a staggering £5bn from 2013-2019. Barclays, HSBC and Santander were found to be among high street names behind companies implicated in rainforest destruction.

This should ring an urgent alarm bell for the UK to get its own house in order when it comes to finance. These companies, with well documented records of environmental harm, were seemingly able to secure massive funds from UK financial institutions with few questions asked. Until our financial institutions are compelled to do otherwise, they will fail to give environmental concerns the importance they deserve.

Businesses and financial institutions routinely undertake due diligence on their clients and supply chains to identity and mitigate commercial risks. As the world is waking up to environmental breakdown, the same scrutiny must be applied to environmental and social risks.

This guidance on due diligence which companies and investors must carry out isn’t hard to find: the OECD has developed it and it’s been agreed by 48 governments. They outline all the steps companies and investors must take to identify, report, mitigate and prevent environment and social impacts of their operations. And the legal world has been picking up on this too – with the EU flexing its due diligence muscles in regulations that look to tackle issues around conflict minerals, timber and finance.

This doesn’t just matter for our forests, crucial for curbing climate breakdown. Forest communities globally have been standing up and calling on UK consumers, businesses and investors to take action – and facing threats, attacks and even killings for doing so. Land and environmental defenders like Sonia Guajajara have long been highlighting how there is no Plan B when it comes to the Amazon – for indigenous communities that depend on it, for our forests, or for our planet.

No longer can businesses afford to ignore the environmental and social impacts of their operations. For too long, we have treated our environment as a way to make a quick buck, without enough consideration given to the legacy we’re leaving future generations.

The Lib Dem announcement is a significant and welcome first step – and I know that we won't be the only ones pushing forward with determination to persuade our politicians and policy makers that regulatory change for our financial sector, as well as supply chains, is what we desperately need to halt the destruction of our forests and planet.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/comment/environmental-damage-deforestation-banks-hsbc-barclays-santander-a9167916.html
Mark Twain — 'There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.'

Offline knarf

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Stopping Global Warming Will Cost $50 Trillion: Morgan Stanley Report
« Reply #14350 on: October 24, 2019, 06:54:18 PM »
Topline: While estimates vary on the cost of halting global warming and reducing net carbon emissions to zero, a new report from Morgan Stanley analysts finds that to do so by 2050 the world will need to spend $50 trillion in five key areas of zero-carbon technology.

    Renewables will require $14 trillion of investment, and could deliver around 80% of global power by 2050—up from 37% today. As solar energy becomes more affordable, it will become the fastest-growing renewable technology.
    Electric vehicles will become more important than ever in the bid to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles; $11 trillion will be needed to build more factories and develop the batteries and infrastructure needed for a widespread switch to electric vehicles—the total number of which could grow to nearly 950 million by 2050.
    Carbon capture and storage, which Morgan Stanley says is the only viable option for reducing emissions from coal-fired plants, is another key area and would need almost $2.5 trillion of investment.
    Hydrogen can help provide clean fuel for power, cars and other industries—it will require almost $20 trillion of cumulative investments to help make the gas, increase capacity to power plants and manage its storage.
    Biofuels, like ethanol, will be key for future global transportation and eventually spread to aircraft and other forms of other travel—requiring $2.7 trillion by 2050.

Key background: The research, first reported on by Bloomberg, found that to reduce net carbon emissions to zero and meet the Paris Agreement’s goal, the world would have to eliminate 53.5 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide each year, according to the Morgan Stanley analysts. Carbon emissions from fossil fuels hit a record high last year, highlighting the need to act quickly on climate change. Beyond the social and environmental consequences from failing to act on climate change, going beyond a temperature rise of 2 degrees Celsius could result in a loss of $10 trillion to $20 trillion of global GDP by 2100, Morgan Stanley predicts.

Big numbers: Morgan Stanley recommended a basket of stocks in each area of zero-carbon tech that could profit from increased climate change spending:

    For renewables, companies like SunPower, General Electric and Huaneng Renewables are some of the bank’s top picks.
    Within the electric vehicles space, Tesla is the “only pure play”—though they should be followed by VW and Toyota in the long run, while other companies like Panasonic and Albemarle are among the leading players in lithium technology and supply.
    In carbon capture and storage tech, Morgan Stanley highlights Bloom Energy, Exxon, Chevron and BP, among others.
    For hydrogen, companies to watch include Air Liquide, Siemens and Alstom.
    In the biofuels sphere, corporations like Neste, Sao Martinho, Shell and Valero Energy are all well-positioned.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/sergeiklebnikov/2019/10/24/stopping-global-warming-will-cost-50-trillion-morgan-stanley-report/#61ca1e551e23
Mark Twain — 'There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.'

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Ziya Tong links limits of human perception to a modern-day extinction crisis
« Reply #14351 on: October 24, 2019, 07:08:33 PM »
Author of "The Reality Bubble"

Science journalist and author Ziya Tong clearly recognizes that human beings are an incredibly intelligent species. But because of the way we’re built biologically, we have some fundamental blind spots that leave us vulnerable. Human beings can’t see like birds, can’t smell like dogs, and can’t match a bat’s ability to sense sound vibrations.

The former long-time host of the Daily Planet TV program decided to explore the consequences of human beings’ natural limitations in her first book, The Reality Bubble: Blind Spots, Hidden Truths, and the Dangerous Illusions That Shape Our World, which was published earlier this year.

“One of the things I noticed is scientists are able to see things that are invisible to the naked eye—that the average human being can’t see,” the Vancouver-raised Tong explains over the phone from her home in Toronto. “Whether it’s imagining black holes or whether it’s…atomic structures, they see a world that most of us are not privy to.”

The book opens with Buckminster Fuller’s quote that “humans have learned that what they can touch, smell, see, and hear is less than one-millionth of reality.” Over the years, she’s interviewed scientists from a variety of fields with different windows into the truth.

“They’re all seeing it slightly different,” Tong notes. “It’s almost like a pixilated world-view. So I wanted to put some of these images together to form a bigger picture.”

The UBC and McGill grad believes that a person’s perspective can really change once they realize there’s a great deal out there that cannot be observed by the naked eye.

“To see the world clearly, we must first become aware of the veil; we must recognize our blind spots,” Tong advises readers in the book. “The way we’ve come to perceive reality is so deeply ingrained, so socially and intergenerationally enrooted, that we’ve lost sight of the manner in which we think. This is important, because what we think creates reality.

“Clock time, with the five-day workweek and the nine to five of the ‘real’ world, exists not because of some cosmic temporal order but because we invented it, we maintain it, and it’s become the reality we adhere to,” she continues in the book. “Inheriting a reality makes it that much harder to see it for what it is.”

Canadian author Naomi Klein has described The Reality Bubble as "a kaleidoscopic guide to everything we're missing".

There’s a reason why Tong focused so much attention in her book on the father of modern science, Galileo Galilei, and the father of microscopy, Dutch scientist Antonie van Leeuwenhoek.

It’s not only because they exposed previously unknown realities: the very nature of the solar system and the existence of microbes.

“The other reason I picked them is because they’re badass rebels,” Tong declares.

They weren’t afraid to tell people what they could clearly observe. And they didn’t hesitate to challenge others over their denials of realities they had uncovered.

Galileo was viciously persecuted by the Catholic Church and van Leeuwenhoek was called a charlatan. In this regard, Tong sees parallels between these two scientific trailblazers and Greta Thunberg, the blunt-speaking teenage climate activist from Sweden.

“I found them to be inspiring figures, a lot like Greta,” she says.

Even though The Reality Bubble is not a book about the environment—it’s more about the history of science and the rise of machine learning—it’s hard not to look upon it as a warning to those denying the existence of a potential planetary apocalypse.

Take species extinction, for example. Tong is vice-chair of the World Wildlife Fund, which has reported that almost 67 percent of vertebrate species that existed in 1970 will have vanished by 2020.

“That’s staggering,” she says. “It’s more than half of vertebrate wildlife in my lifetime.”

Tong acknowledges that many people remain unaware of the extent of this annihilation of animals because they don’t see it. She also says she understands why people choose to look away from catastrophes when they’re trying to survive the rat race of daily living.

“But at the end of the day, there is a bigger-picture version of self-preservation that we all have to get onboard with,” Tong emphasizes.

For that reason, she’s an unabashed supporter of Extinction Rebellion, which engages in peaceful civil disobedience in several countries to raise the alarm about the climate crisis.

One of her greatest inspirations has been primatologist Jane Goodall, who sent a postcard to her as a young woman, encouraging her to pursue her dreams.

“It’s really been a very beautiful full-circle moment to be able to follow in her footsteps and continue championing her work for the world,” Tong says. “I believe also when you fall in love with the world, you’ll fight to protect it.”

https://www.straight.com/arts/1317071/reality-bubble-author-ziya-tong-links-limitations-human-perception-modern-day
Mark Twain — 'There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.'

Offline knarf

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THE EXTINCTION
« Reply #14352 on: October 24, 2019, 07:30:10 PM »


You woke up from a profound sleep and saw that your hands had turned into a pair of most beautiful orchids. These fascinated you.You went out walking through your deserted giant city, as if enthralled and proud for being, at least partly, orchids.
Yet, you knew that such flowers are ephemeral, and so you feared for their ending. Hence from your arms stuck out green leaves and then you might be sure that, if the orchids would have to perish away, the vegetable as a whole would remain. Someday new fresh orchids could perhaps sprout again from your own body.
Orchids, however, need trees as support for growing.
Your arms jumped out from you, now each one changed into a huge tree.
Those fragile flowers would have, from that moment, their survival assured.
Astonished, you looked at those plants that formerly had been your arms and hands and continued your walk adrift.
Some blocks farther, all of your hair fell at a single hit to the ground. Each one of your hairs became then a potent earthworm that pierced, melted, and changed the asphalt into gross earth.
Your left leg's skin became thick like scales. This limb detached from your trunk as a huge anaconda. Scared, you imagined it would eat up your whole body, but the snake didn't pay any attention to you, creeping in the opposite direction of your creeping try of escape.
Your ears became exuberant butterflies, vividly colorful.
Your right leg was lost, too, turning into a pretty iguana couple.
You thought you'd never lose your own brain, but a hole opened abruptly on the top of your head, on your infancy's fontanel, and then all the contents of your skull was felt by yourself as slipping over your body as awful slugs, cockroaches and abject roundworms.
Nonetheless, you kept on thinking and feeling everything with intense, cruel voluptuousness.
From your opened navel, your viscera were finally able to jump out. Your bowels assumed a queer and grotesque shape of a weed that you had always abhorred. They fell to the ground, took roots, and thrived. From your spleen sprang up a bull that began to graze there on side of whatever still remained from you. Your pancreas leapt up onto the air, transformed into a noisy hen. Your kidneys into two bats. Also your liver flew away, like a big vulture, which laughed ironically at seeing your still alive remains, told you good-bye, and headed straight for the Caucasian Mountains.
Your bladder bloomed into a huge mushroom.
You lost your face since your whole skull became occupied by an enormous turtle. Before this, your eyes had already gone away as two firefly's clouds.
Still wandering through your city's great desert, you remained enraptured by a merciless ecstasy.
Your spinal column went toward the sea, changing into countless lobsters, crawfish, crabs, and shrimp.
You stopped to breathe, because your lungs had become a couple of copulating dolphins.
Your heart was unable to change into anything but a single housefly.
Almost all of what remained of your skin became huge clumps of foliage; what remained of your muscles became dozens of small lizards.
Nonetheless, you remained still alive, excruciatingly feeling everything.
Only when your male genitals lastly freed themselves from you, for now they were the most splendid bird ever seen, were you able to see that there wasn't any more place on Earth for you.
You were finally dead.
Extinct.

                      "Earth provides enough for every person’s need but not for every person’s greed."

                   Mohandas K. Gandhi


https://reality-to-who.blogspot.com/2019/10/the-extinction.html?spref=tw
Mark Twain — 'There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.'

Offline knarf

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Turkey’s Erdogan: Northeast Syria is suitable area for Arabs, not Kurds, to live
« Reply #14353 on: October 25, 2019, 05:29:01 AM »

Turkish President Erdogan points to a map of the Middle East during a televised interview.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday that northeastern Syria is suitable for Arab people to live, but not Kurdish people, because of the area’s desert topography.

“What is important is to prepare a controlled life in this enormous area, and the most suitable people for it are Arabs. These areas are not suitable for the lifestyle of Kurds ... because these areas are virtually desert,” Erdogan said, pointing to a map of the Syria, in an interview with Turkish television channel TRT.

Erdogan’s remarks attempt to defend Ankara’s military offensive, “Operation Peace Spring,” against Kurdish-led militias in Syria, which is still ongoing according to the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), despite a truce.

The SDF accused Turkey on Thursday of targeting three villages in northeast Syria despite a US-brokered ceasefire and a Turkey-Russia peace plan.

Ankara views the Kurdish-led fighters as terrorists and justifies the operation as self-defense.

Launched on October 9, the incursion sparked widespread condemnation from the US, who saw Kurdish forces as an effective tool in the fight against ISIS, and Arab leaders, who condemned the operation as an invasion of an Arab state’s land.

Erdogan specifically addressed the negative reaction of the Arab League to Turkey’s operation on Thursday.

“The Arab League’s reaction to our Operation Peace Spring is strange, as they have kicked Syria out of the union. Turkey is actively helping Arabs in the region while they are attacking them with barrel bombs,” he said in the interview with TRT.

Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit said on October 12 that the Turkish offensive was an “invasion of an Arab state’s land and an aggression on its sovereignty.”

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt condemned the Turkish military operation at its start.

Saudi Arabia’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir said the Turkish attack was causing the Syrian people further suffering and demanded all foreign forces withdraw from the country.

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2019/10/25/Turkey-s-Erdogan-Northeast-Syria-is-suitable-area-for-Arabs-not-Kurds-to-live.html
Mark Twain — 'There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.'

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Tally of children split at border tops 5,400 in new count
« Reply #14354 on: October 25, 2019, 05:33:30 AM »
 U.S. immigration authorities separated more than 1,500 children from their parents at the Mexico border early in the Trump administration, the American Civil Liberties Union said Thursday, bringing the total number of children separated since July 2017 to more than 5,400.

The ACLU said the administration told its attorneys that 1,556 children were separated from July 1, 2017, to June 26, 2018, when a federal judge in San Diego ordered that children in government custody be reunited with their parents.

Children from that period can be difficult to find because the government had inadequate tracking systems. Volunteers working with the ACLU are searching for some of them and their parents by going door-to-door in Guatemala and Honduras.

 Of those separated during the 12-month period, 207 were under 5, said attorney Lee Gelernt of the ACLU, which sued to stop family separation. Five were under a year old, 26 were a year old, 40 were 2 years old, 76 were 3, and 60 were 4.

"It is shocking that 1,556 more families, including babies and toddlers, join the thousands of others already torn apart by this inhumane and illegal policy," said Gelernt. "Families have suffered tremendously, and some may never recover."

The Justice Department declined to comment.

The count is a milestone in accounting for families who have been touched by Trump's widely maligned effort against illegal immigration. The government identified 2,814 separated children who were in government custody on June 26, 2018, nearly all of whom have been reunited.

The U.S. Health and Human Services Department's internal watchdog said in January that potentially thousands more had been separated since July 2017, prompting U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw to give the administration six months to identify them. The ACLU said it received the last batch of 1,556 names one day ahead of Friday's deadline.

The administration has also separated 1,090 children since the judge ordered a halt to the practice in June 2018 except in limited circumstances, like threats to child safety or doubts about whether the adult is really the parent.

The ACLU said the authorities have abused their discretion by separating families over dubious allegations and minor transgressions including traffic offenses. It has asked Sabraw to more narrowly define circumstances that would justify separation, which the administration has opposed.

With Thursday's disclosure, the number of children separated since July 2017 reached 5,460.

The government lacked tracking systems when the administration formally launched a "zero tolerance" policy in the spring of 2018 to criminally prosecute every adult who entered the country illegally from Mexico, sparking an international outcry when parents couldn't find their children.

Poor tracking before the spring of 2018 complicates the task of accounting for children who were separated early on. As of Oct. 16, the ACLU said, volunteers couldn't reach 362 families by phone because numbers didn't work or the sponsor who took custody was unable or unwilling to provide contact information for the parent, prompting the door-to-door searches in Central America.

Since retreating on family separation, the administration has tried other ways to reverse a major surge in asylum seekers, many of them Central American families.

Tens of thousands of Central Americans and Cubans have been returned to Mexico this year to wait for immigration court hearings, instead of being released in the United States with notices to appear in court.

Last month, the administration introduced a policy to deny asylum to anyone who passes through another country on the way to the U.S. border with Mexico without seeking protection there first.

https://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/tally-children-split-border-tops-5400-count-66516532
Mark Twain — 'There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.'