AuthorTopic: Knarf's Knewz Channel  (Read 956628 times)

Offline knarf

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Earthquake-causing meteor leaves southeast Michigan residents awestruck
« Reply #10560 on: January 17, 2018, 03:50:21 PM »
 Residents of southeast Michigan were left a bit shaken Tuesday night after a big bright flash lit up the sky and the ground beneath them shook.

A flying saucer? No. A shooting star? Not quite.

The National Weather Service eventually solved the mystery, tweeting "USGS confirms meteor occurred around 810 pm, causing a magnitude 2.0 earthquake."


A Michigan motorist shares dashcam footage of what appears to be a meteor flashing across the sky

According to the United States Geological Survey, the earthquake was centered about five miles west-southwest of New Haven, Michigan, located about 40 miles northeast of Detroit.

Initially though, as curious residents took to social media by droves to share videos of the dazzling display, the National Weather Service wasn't so sure what these star-gazers had seen.

"After reviewing several observational datasets, the NWS can confirm the flash and boom was NOT thunder or lightning, but instead a likely meteor. We continue to monitor feeds from astronomical agencies for official confirmation of a meteor," read a tweet posted nearly two hours before the NWS confirmed it was a meteor.

 The American Meteor Society's report map illustrated that the meteor was visible in six states and in Canada.

The sparkling display sent social media users into a frenzy, making "#meteor" a top 5 trending topic in the U.S. on Twitter. One Twitter user captured the entire display in a 10-second dashcam video.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/earthquake-causing-meteor-leaves-southeast-michigan-residents-awestruck/story?id=52397269
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Sweden distributes 4.7 million leaflets on how to prepare for war with Russia
« Reply #10561 on: January 17, 2018, 03:54:36 PM »

Swedish Armed Forces are reportedly dealing with the threat from Russia

Sweden is reportedly preparing to issue a public information manual on the best way to deal with the prospect of war, as talk rages over an apparent rise in the rest from Russia.

The brochure, which will be sent to 4.7 million households, will tell the public how they can take part in ‘total defence’ during a war and secure food, water and heating.

It is titled ‘If Crisis or War Comes’ and will also provide expert guidance on the best way to deal with threats from cyber attacks, climate change and terrorism.

The brochures comes after Russia’s annexation of Crimea and continued support for Ukrainian separatists, which has sparked deep concerns within Sweden.

Despite being traditionally neutral, the country has reportedly begun to reverse deep-seated post war defence cuts, and discussions have began over whether to join Nato after Russian planes and submarines entered Swedish territory.

As well as holding ‘War Games’ which involved 19,000 Swedish personnel, 2017 saw Sweden reintroducing conscription.

‘All of society needs to be prepared for conflict, not just the military. We haven’t been using words such as total defence or high alert for 25-30 years or more. So the knowledge among citizens is very low’, claimed Christina Andersson, the  leader of the project at the Swedish civil contingencies agency.

https://uk.news.yahoo.com/sweden-distributes-4-7-million-leaflets-prepare-war-russia-154020224.html
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During Trump’s first year in office, the rate of far-right murders surged
« Reply #10562 on: January 17, 2018, 04:02:58 PM »
White supremacist murders doubled last year.

As Donald Trump ends his first year in office, an uncomfortable – and unsurprising – truth has emerged. As the Anti-Defamation League detailed in their newest report, the rate of fatalities attributed to white nationalists and far-right extremists surged over the past year, in comparison to the year prior.

The growth, as the ADL found, was stark. “The number of white supremacist murders in the United States more than doubled in 2017 compared to the previous year,” the ADL wrote, “far surpassing murders committed by domestic Islamic extremists and making 2017 the fifth deadliest year on record for extremist violence since 1970.” All told, white supremacists and far-right extremists were responsible for nearly 60 percent of extremist-related deaths in the U.S. last year, a spike from 20 percent the year prior.

The number of total extremist-related fatalities, thankfully, actually declined from the prior two years – due in large part to the dearth of large-scale killings, as seen in years prior in the Orlando and San Bernardino shootings. Last year, the deadliest extremist attack came in New York, when Sayfullo Saipov killed eight in a vehicle attack in Manhattan. All told, the U.S. saw 34 extremist-related murders, a drop from 2016 (69 deaths) and 2015 (65 deaths), and a far cry from 1995, when 184 were killed, including those who died in the Oklahoma City bombing.

That said, the ADL report notes that the number of deadly incidents, if not necessarily fatalities, actually rose in 2017, with 19 instances of extremists murdering others, as opposed to only 13 instances in 2016. This comes in addition to the fact that 2017 saw some of the deadliest mass shootings the U.S. has ever known – including, in Las Vegas, the single deadliest mass shooting the U.S. has seen in modern history.

And while there were no incidents of double-digit killings in extremist-related attacks over the past year, it’s not for lack of trying. In Charlottesville, for instance, far-right extremist James Fields killed one when he sped his car into a crowd of protesters, but injured some 19 others. Another, white supremacist James Harris Jackson, had planned on a mass attack in Times Square before his arrest – but after he’d already murdered a black man, all “in order to stop white women from engaging in interracial relationships.” (The ADL report wrote that black nationalist-related attacks also spiked over the past few years, with the most significant violence on that front since the early 1980s.)

While the sample size remains relatively small, the ADL added that over the past decade the stark majority of extremist-related fatalities have come from right-wing figures. Since 2008, “a total of 71 percent of all fatalities have been linked to domestic right-wing extremists, while 26 percent of the killings were committed by Islamic extremists.”

And there’s little reason to think that trend will shift anytime soon. As the ADL report described, certain of the murders – including the attack in Charlottesville – stemmed directly from those affiliated with the so-called “alt-right.” “It’s quite likely that the future will see yet more violent acts stemming” from their ranks in the future, the ADL continued, especially “as more … adherents move their activities into the real world.”

There’s little likelihood the report will generate much noise from the Trump administration – all the more as the Department of Justice, earlier this week, went out of its way to paint terror-related threats as stemming largely from foreign individuals and groups, rather than those from the U.S. And given that any number of the far-right extremists guilty in some of the attacks the ADL detailed have publicly supported the president – and that we’re only one year into the Trump presidency – the first year of the current administration is likely a good barometer of where things are heading.

https://thinkprogress.org/far-right-extremists-deadliest-ec699554d8c7/
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Trump: “Defining Deviancy Down” With Lots of Takers
« Reply #10563 on: January 17, 2018, 04:07:07 PM »

Time Magazine Memorializes “Year One” of the Trump Presidency (left). Kirstjen Nielsen (right), Secretary of Homeland Security Appears Under Oath Before Senate Judiciary Committee on January 16, 2018 and Has Amnesia on Trump’s “Sh**hole” Characterization of African Countries.

If you are raising children, caring for aging parents, working multiple jobs to pay the mortgage or simply spending your free time protesting the policies of the current administration, you may have missed the latest series of scandals swirling around the so-called leader of the free world.

Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that Donald Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, “arranged a $130,000 payment” to a former porn star just weeks prior to the 2016 presidential election as part of a gag order meant to silence her from disclosing to the public an “alleged sexual encounter” with Trump while he was married to his current wife, Melania. The former porn star is Stephanie Clifford whose stage name is Stormy Daniels.

Jacob Weisberg, Editor-in-Chief of the Slate Group, appeared on MSNBC last evening and had this to say about the porn star story:

“..this whole presidency is an exercise in defining deviancy down. If this were any other presidency it would be career ending, it would be the biggest news in the world. With Donald Trump, it’s sort of not one of the worst ten things this week, that he paid hush-money to cover-up an almost year-long relationship with a former porn actress.”

Yesterday, another gag order was reported, this time coming from the White House. According to Adam Schiff, a member of the House Intelligence Committee that is investigating possible Russian collusion with the Trump transition team in the 2016 election, Steve Bannon, the fired Trump strategist, refused to answer questions yesterday before the Committee under a subpoena because the White House told him it would infringe on the President’s right to Executive Privilege. Bannon, however, used this defense in not only refusing to answer questions about his time at the White House but also during his time on the transition team prior to Trump’s inauguration — when the Executive in the White House was Barack Obama. Legal scholars have insisted that only one person can claim Executive Privilege at a time and that’s the person occupying the Oval Office. The New York Times reported yesterday that Bannon has also received a subpoena from Special Counsel Robert Mueller to testify before a grand jury.

Also yesterday, the nonprofit watchdog, Public Citizen, released a report titled “Presidency for Sale,” documenting 64 instances in which Trump’s “sprawling set of businesses has resulted in a unique set of conflicts that previously were unimaginable for the president of the United States.” Robert Weissman, Public Citizen’s president stated: “Business is booming at the Trump International Hotel in D.C., not because of the décor, but because corporations and foreign governments want to curry favor with the president.”

But perhaps the most deviant event so far this week is how far the President of the United States will go to get others to do his bidding – even when it involves lying under oath to Congress. Yesterday, Trump’s Secretary of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen, denied hearing Trump call African nations “sh**hole countries” during a meeting in the Oval Office last Thursday to discuss immigration reform. She made this denial while testifying under oath before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. Under a normal Congress and normal administration, lying under oath to Congress would be a career-ender with the potential for perjury charges and yet Nielsen casually gave her tainted testimony multiple times and at one point arrogantly blurted out that she was done answering questions on this topic.

Given the small number of people in attendance at the Oval Office meeting (approximately 12), it would have been next to impossible for Nielsen not to have heard the shocking word from Trump. The language has been acknowledged by a Republican in attendance at the meeting, Senator Lindsey Graham, and Democrat Dick Durbin, also in attendance. Not only did Graham hear the language but he lectured the President on it during the meeting according to a formal statement he released. Nielsen characterized the Graham lecture to the President yesterday as Graham using “cuss” words in the meeting, rather than simply repeating the words that had come out of the President’s mouth in a rebuke of him.

To most rational thinkers, it would be next to impossible for Nielsen to have heard Graham lecture the President on the use of the word and the President to have used the word first and her have no memory of either happening just five days later. An exasperated Senator Cory Booker blasted Nielsen at yesterday’s hearing, stating “Your silence and amnesia is complicity.” (See video below of Senator Dick Durbin questioning Nielsen on the matter at yesterday’s hearing.)

Also apparently willing to lie for the President are two Republican Senators who attended the meeting: Sens. Tom Cotton of Arkansas and David Purdue of Georgia. In a joint statement initially released, the two said they had no memory of the President using the word. After the news of the President’s slur against African nations spread widely, the two Senators changed their story to say it didn’t happen. Trump Tweeted: “The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used.”

Media news is saturated with the Trump scandal-du-jour, leaving little room for covering and investigating two critical areas in desperate need of reform, Wall Street and the Federal Reserve, before the crony duo crash the U.S. financial system again. If Americans continue to allow Trump to define deviancy down, we will be left with a shriveled democracy that may not find its way back to moral ground and an economy run by oligarchs. Don’t say it can’t happen here. It is happening.

http://wallstreetonparade.com/2018/01/trump-defining-deviancy-down-with-lots-of-takers/
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Michael Wolff's 'Fire and Fury' to Become TV Series
« Reply #10564 on: January 17, 2018, 04:10:07 PM »
Endeavor Content has purchased rights to the best-selling exposé of the Trump White House and plans to adapt it for the small screen.

 Endeavor Content — the financing and sales arm formed in October between sister companies William Morris Endeavor and IMG — has purchased film and television rights to the No. 1 best-selling book. The massive deal is said to be in the seven-figure range. Endeavor Content plans to adapt the book as a TV series. A network is not yet attached, as Endeavor will now begin shopping the project.
 
Wolff will executive produce the series, with veteran Channel 4 and BBC executive Michael Jackson — now CEO of indie producer Two Cities Television — also on board to produce.

Fire and Fury, which tells the inside story of Donald Trump’s first year as president based on Wolff’s exclusive access to the White House, has been the publishing sensation of 2018. The book had attracted little attention since it was first announced in November. But earlier this month, The Guardian leaked news from the heavily embargoed book and authorized excerpts in New York and a column The Hollywood Reporter — where Wolff serves as a columnist — created a sensation. Trump attacked both the book and former adviser Steve Bannon, who was one of Wolff’s principal sources. Bannon later stepped down from Breitbart News in the aftermath of the publication of his comments in the book.

Interest in the book then surged, and publisher Henry Holt moved up the publication date from Jan. 9 to Jan. 5 after White House officials attempted to stop its release. Most bookstores sold out in minutes, with some opening at midnight to meet demand. Ebook and audiobook sales were huge (more than 250,000 and 100,000, respectively). Fire and Fury debuted at No. 1 on the New York Times best-seller list, based only on the first two days of sales. In less than a week, the publisher reported more than 1.4 million hardcovers on order and 700,000 copies shipped, making it the fastest-selling nonfiction book in the company’s history.

To date, rights to the book have been sold in 32 countries. It is currently the best-selling book of any genre worldwide. (A Spanish-language edition is set for Feb. 28, with subsequent takes in Arabic, Albanian, Portuguese, Bulgarian, Japanese, French, German and other languages also planned.)

Fire and Fury comes to the small screen after HBO canceled a planned series based on the 2016 election in what was poised to be a Game Change sequel of sorts. The pay cabler scrapped the project after sexual harassment allegations emerged regarding source material co-author Mark Halperin, who was poised to pen the script alongside John Heilemann. That opened the door for a Trump tell-all, with demand high for Fire and Fury given Wolff’s cinematic writing and fly-on-the-wall detail.

Fire and Fury marks the largest deal to date for Endeavor Content. The company has a pact with Peter Chernin's Chernin Entertainment (which has already led to two projects at Apple) as well as a feature with Michael B. Jordan. 

Attorney Kevin Morris negotiated the deal on Wolff's behalf.

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/michael-wolffs-fire-fury-become-tv-series-1075346
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Majority of National Parks Panel Quits to Protest Ryan Zinke
« Reply #10565 on: January 17, 2018, 04:12:45 PM »
Nearly all members of the National Park Service advisory panel abruptly quit on Monday in protest of the Trump administration's policies, which they say have neglected science, climate change and environmental protections.

"From all of the events of this past year I have a profound concern that the mission of stewardship, protection, and advancement of our National Parks has been set aside," the head of the panel, Tony Knowles, wrote in a letter of resignation addressed to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, who oversees management of the country's national parks and monuments.

The letter was signed by nine of the panel's 12 members. The bipartisan panel was appointed by former President Obama. The terms of the members who quit were due to expire in May.

The advisory board, first authorized in 1935, advises the director of the National Park Service and the interior secretary on matters relating to the National Park Service and the National Park System.

Environmental advocates have criticized Sec. Zinke's policies, from his recommendations to President Trump to shrink and reduce protections for public lands, to opening up the nation's thousands of miles of coastline to offshore oil drilling.

"We resigned because we were deeply disappointed with the department and we were concerned," Knowles told the New York Times.

Knowles added that Sec. Zinke "appears to have no interest in continuing the agenda of science, the effect of climate change, pursuing the protection of the ecosystem."

According to the letter, the board had repeatedly tried but failed to secure a meeting with Zinke.

"[Our] requests to engage have been ignored and the matters on which we wanted to brief the new Department team are clearly not part of the agenda," the letter states.

Knowles, who has served on the board for seven years, said the board is supposed to meet twice a year but was told things were "suspended." Prior administrations met with the board immediately, he noted.

"This discourteous and disrespectful treatment of the Board is inexcusable and, unfortunately, consistent with a decidedly anti-park pattern demonstrated by Secretary Zinke's department." Phil Francis, chairman of the Coalition to Protect America's National Parks, an advocacy group of current and former national park employees, told the Times.

As for the remaining board members, the Washington Post reported:

"The three board members who did not resign include Harvard University public finance professor Linda Bilmes, University of Maryland marine science professor Rita Colwell and Carolyn Hessler Radelet, the chief executive of Project Concern International. Terms for the first two end in May, while Radelet's term does not expire until 2021.

In an email, Bilmes said she did not resign her post because she is conducting research with other colleagues funded by the National Park Foundation, and wanted to complete her project."

Democratic Senator Maria Cantwell of Washington, who is the ranking member on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, offered her support of the board members who quit.

"The President still hasn't nominated a director for the National Park Service and Secretary Zinke has proposed tripling entrance fees at our most popular national parks," she said in a statement. "His disregard of the advisory board is just another example of why he has earned an 'F' in stewardship."

http://www.truth-out.org/buzzflash/commentary/majority-of-national-parks-panel-quits-in-protest-of-ryan-zinke
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Industry leaders say plan to install cameras on commercial fishing vessels is a risk to ‘NZ Inc’



The seafood industry in New Zealand has asked the government to withhold graphic video of dead sea life caught in trawler nets as they are potentially damaging to fisheries and to brand New Zealand.

A letter from five seafood industry leaders to the Ministry of Primary Industries highlights the fisheries’ growing unease with the government’s proposal to install video cameras on all commercial fishing vessels to monitor bycatch of other species and illegal fish dumping.

The letter requests an amendment to the Fisheries Act, so video captured onboard cannot be released to the general public through a freedom of information request, frequently used by the media, campaign groups and opposition parties.

“They [the proposed videos] also raise significant risks for MPI and for ‘New Zealand Inc’,” the letter reads, also citing concerns about invading the privacy of employees onboard, and protecting commercial and trade secrets.

​There are no reliable figures on the numbers of penguins, sea lions, dolphins and seals that die in fishing nets or longlines in New Zealand, but according to some researchers and environmental groups the commercial fishing industry is the main culprit for declining populations of endangered sea lions and yellow-eyed penguins.

Only 25% of deepwater trawlers in New Zealand have government observers onboard to record bycatch and discards, according to the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research [Niwa], which relies on statistical modelling techniques to generate bycatch estimates for the 75% of boats that work unobserved.

Niwa estimates for every kilogram of reported target catch (what the fishing boat aims to catch ) there is 0.2 kg of bycatch.

“These are the images the fishing industry doesn’t want you to see,” said Forest & Bird’s chief executive Kevin Hague.

“What they [the seafood industry] are saying is catching endangered penguins, dumping entire hauls of fish overboard and killing Hector’s dolphins looks really bad on TV. Well, the solution is to stop doing it, not to hide the evidence. It’s hard to think of a more credibility damaging activity than trying to change the law so the rest of us can’t see what’s really happening out there,”

Deepwater fishing vessels account for 80% of New Zealand’s annual catch and earn NZ$650m per annum in export dollars.

Stuart Anderson, director of fisheries management for MPI, said no decision had been made regarding the seafood industry’s proposed changes to what information the government should release about their practices at sea.

“There are many elements to consider carefully in balancing the responsibilities of transparency and public interest while protecting privacy and other sensitive information” Anderson said.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jan/17/new-zealand-fishing-grisly-images-dead-penguins-caught-nets-censored
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TTrump Boasts Approval Ratings With African Americans Have Doubled (They Have Not)
« Reply #10567 on: January 17, 2018, 04:22:15 PM »
President Donald Trump got back on Twitter this morning, and at one point, he issued a bit of misleading information about a supposed boost in his approval ratings.

The president got the most out of his “Executive Time” today, issuing statements about several of his favorite talking points. (Many of these subjects came up on today’s Fox & Friends, in case you were wondering)

 Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

We must have Security at our VERY DANGEROUS SOUTHERN BORDER, and we must have a great WALL to help protect us, and to help stop the massive inflow of drugs pouring into our country!
7:54 AM - Jan 16, 2018

    23,341 23,341 Replies
    23,919 23,919 Retweets
    108,957

 Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

The Democrats want to shut down the Government over Amnesty for all and Border Security. The biggest loser will be our rapidly rebuilding Military, at a time we need it more than ever. We need a merit based system of immigration, and we need it now! No more dangerous Lottery.
8:07 AM - Jan 16, 2018

    19,269 19,269 Replies
    22,630 22,630 Retweets
    91,942

 Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Do you notice the Fake News Mainstream Media never likes covering the great and record setting economic news, but rather talks about anything negative or that can be turned into the negative. The Russian Collusion Hoax is dead, except as it pertains to the Dems. Public gets it!
8:19 AM - Jan 16, 2018

    25,052 25,052 Replies
    24,986 24,986 Retweets
    102,064

One tweet that stood out though was this:

 Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Unemployment for Black Americans is the lowest ever recorded. Trump approval ratings with Black Americans has doubled. Thank you, and it will get even (much) better! @FoxNews
8:30 AM - Jan 16, 2018

    27,910 27,910 Replies
    26,841 26,841 Retweets
    104,214

As quite a few responders on Twitter pointed out, the president’s approval rates among African Americans have not doubled, and they’re actually still quite low:

 Ryan Struyk

@ryanstruyk

Trump approval with blacks in latest @CNN poll: 3% approve, 91% disapprove https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/953273134655987716
9:42 AM - Jan 16, 2018

    27 27 Replies
    146 146 Retweets
    244

 Bradley P. Moss

@BradMossEsq

Per DOJ and the courts, this official statement is not necessarily based in fact. https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/953273134655987716
8:35 AM - Jan 16, 2018

    8 8 Replies
    31 31 Retweets
    90



    This isn’t true – just more bullshit from @foxandfriends 🙄

    — Montel Williams (@Montel_Williams) January 16, 2018

 Eugene Scott

@Eugene_Scott

Gallup: Trump's approval rating with black voters is 6 percent http://news.gallup.com/interactives/185273/r.aspx?g_source=WWWV7HP&g_medium=topic&g_campaign=tileshttps://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/953273134655987716
9:29 AM - Jan 16, 2018
Presidential Job Approval Center

Explore Gallup data on presidential job approval ratings from Truman to Trump.
news.gallup.com

    29 29 Replies
    139 139 Retweets
    213

It would seem that Trump’s approval ratings quote is a spin based on a recent Breitbart piece that positively compares his 2016 vote share to his approval ratings.

    Among black men, Trump’s “2017 average approval rating significantly exceeds his 2016 vote share,” admitted a January 11 article in the Atlantic by author Ronald Brownstein. “23 percent of black men approved of Trump’s performance versus 11 percent of black women,” said the article.

    That score averages out to 17 percent, or twice the 8 percent score he was given in the 2016 exit polls.

As Washington Post explains, the problem with Brietbart’s article is that it draws misleading averages from the data collected by SurveyMonkey and CBS, which were then compared to exit polls from the 2016 election. Even though Trump’s approval rating as a candidate was enough to topple Hillary Clinton, many of the surveyed voters do not have a favorable opinion of his job in office.

The Breitbart piece cites an article written by The Atlantic’s Ron Brownstein, which was headlined The Voters Abandoning Donald Trump. Brownstein noticed that Trump’s approval among African American men is double his rating among black women, though a 2016 vote share of 13 percent is not a particularly difficult number to improve upon.

It’s also unlikely that Trump’s approval ratings will go up at the moment, since he’s still dealing with the controversy surrounding his remarks about “people from sh*thole countries.”

https://www.mediaite.com/online/trump-boasts-approval-ratings-with-african-americans-have-doubled-they-have-not/
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Sessions: ‘A Good Nation’ Doesn’t Admit ‘Illiterate’ Immigrants
« Reply #10568 on: January 17, 2018, 04:23:55 PM »
Attorney General Jeff Sessions preached the administration’s message on merit-based immigration on Fox News Tuesday night, claiming “a good nation” doesn’t admit “illiterate” immigrants.

“What good does it do to bring in somebody who is illiterate in their own country, has no skills and is going to struggle in our country and not be successful? That is not what a good nation should do, and we need to get away from it,” Sessions said, speaking on “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”

Sessions criticized Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) for reportedly reciting during a meeting Emma Lazarus’ poem that’s historically affiliated with American immigration and the Statue of Liberty.

“Not really a case you would expect a Republican to be making,” Carlson said, referencing Graham’s use of the poem. “Why aren’t there more articulate Republican members of Congress making the case that you just made?”

“Well, I wish there were, actually,” Sessions said, before claiming the U.S. should be more like Canada in its immigration policies. “We should evaluate them and make sure they are going to be lawful. They are not threats to us. They have the education and skills level to prosper in America. That’s good for them and good for America.”

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/sessions-good-nation-doesnt-admit-illiterate-immigrants
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Re: Michael Wolff's 'Fire and Fury' to Become TV Series
« Reply #10569 on: January 17, 2018, 04:28:26 PM »
A new version of West Wing!

With Alec Baldwin playing Trumpovetsky!

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/7e4vFMJmBIc" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/7e4vFMJmBIc</a>

RE
SAVE AS MANY AS YOU CAN

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What kind of emoji do you need to talk about climate change?
« Reply #10570 on: January 17, 2018, 04:30:43 PM »


Emoji have become a language of their own, but until recently, the language made it hard to talk about climate change: There are no emoji about pollution, wildfires, or rising sea levels. So artists Marina Zurkow and Viniyata Pany launched a set of mobile stickers specifically about climate change, called Climoji.

The icons depict melting sea ice, starving polar bears, dead trees, and flooded people. They’re intended to raise awareness about some of the most important issues of our time: global warming and environmental destruction. Need an emoji to express your frustration with plastic pollution? Thanks to Zurkow and Pany, now you have a whale with a plastic bottle in its stomach, or a plastic bottle with a fish skeleton inside.



Climate change is already affecting the world, from rising temperatures to rising sea levels. Hurricanes and wildfires made 2017 the most expensive year on record for natural disasters — and scientists say that these catastrophic events will become the new normal as the world continues to warm up. This isn’t an issue for the future, Zurkow tells The Verge. So it seems imperative to make ways for people to talk about it.

“Why are some of our primary communication tools avoiding this issue? Why isn’t there even a hurricane icon in the official emoji set?” says Zurkow.

Climoji was launched as an art project, thanks to New York University’s Green Grants, but Zurkow plans to make it big. In the spring, she wants to approach Facebook, and see if the social media giant will add the stickers to its own library. And eventually, she’d like the Unicode Consortium — the Silicon Valley-based group of computer and internet companies that approve new emoji — to adopt the climate change icons. But before that happens, more people need to use the emoji. Right now, about 400 people have downloaded the set, Zurkow says.



The Verge spoke to Zurkow about Climoji, what she hopes the project will accomplish, and what role art can play in discussions about climate change.

This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.

How do you hope that people will use these emoji?

The first thing is, I think [emoji have] become great shorthand for people who are influencers. Anybody who wants to do a campaign, anybody who wants to get somebody’s attention, icons are really good at this kind of condensed non-linear, non-sentence-based messaging. So I’m hoping that people will be able to use these as a kind of invitation to a conversation. The second is a lot more sketchy, and this is where as an academic and an artist I move into more of a hypothetical realm. There’s a lot of studies done on how metaphor enters into language. All emoji are metaphors: lips are a metaphor for love, for kissing someone. So, can these things as visual metaphors amplify and naturalize the conversation around climate change?

The most obvious example would be the drowning arm sticking out of the whirlpool: if that becomes an icon for personal despair, does that steer us away from the conversation of climate change or do we think of flooding and drowning as an everyday enough occurrence to become a metaphor? Emoji are often about personal expression; they’re not that often about fact-based things. Sometimes they are: I had a glass of wine or, I’m taking a car. And I think that’s probably where these will be used most but also, there will possibly have some emotional weight.

The emoji are pretty bleak, and some people in the climate community say that promoting a totally doom-and-gloom scenario won’t help people act on climate change. What do you think?

The answer is not simple. We plan to do a set of icons that will address mitigation and adaptation and a kind of philosophical alternative to the models that we live on at the moment. Those might include embracing ecological diversity, ecological justice, and environmental justice. But it’s also solar, organic farming and composting, wind turbines, less meat consumption, having less children, driving less cars, and riding bikes. It’s all that: these are mitigation and adaptation towards resilience. But part of that has to be a mental shift. And I think in order to make that mental shift, there needs to be a sense of being moved by how grim things are.



For us, it really is chapter one: chapter one is, be awake and be okay with experiencing with how discomfiting this is, without letting your guilt consume you. I don’t think the way out is to pretend there’s a solution, and if I do one thing, I can go back to exactly what I was doing. I think we need to be participating in a much larger change. I feel guilty that I’ve created such a depressing set of icons. And yet I feel really committed to holding that space for discomfort.

If you went back, would you add more positive emoji in this set?

No. I feel guilty when people confront me about how bleak it is, but I wouldn’t change it. I would make another set that are really about resiliency. I want to move forward, out of things that imply fixity, that imply resolution, that are not systemic answers, systemic responses. And I realize how unpopular this is. When I say I don’t want to provide a solution, people become disappointed.



What’s your favorite emoji?

The saddest one, the one that breaks my heart, is the whale with the plastic bottle in its stomach. I’ve been doing a lot work on the North Atlantic right whale population, which is on the border of extinction. I’ve been working with the Center for Coastal Studies and a group of artists who’s been engaged in the Cape Cod seashore. It’s really depressing.

As Earther points out, the Climoji characters that are drowning are brown, while the one on the lifeboat is white. Why?

We didn’t make, as Unicode does, six shades of skin color for people to identify with personally. So, in lieu of that, some decision had to be made. The unfortunate truth is that people who are predominantly brown are going to suffer. It is a demographic problem, right? People who are white or symbolically white are going to do better in the face of climate change. They’re going have more escape hatches, like lifeboats. They’re going to literally have more lifeboats to get out. That’s a fact. That’s happening already.



What role can art have in communicating the risks of climate change?

All issues that require change and compromise and a new point of view require an emotional component. There’s very little logic that makes for large-scale change and I think that climate change is example A in this. The two things I think are going to change the way that we think about the climate and the way that we think about our participation as citizens and as individuals and as consumers, those are going to be an emotional shift, like a shift of mind, an understanding of kinship beyond our immediate tribe and immediate interests. And art can do that. Art can shift those things in a way that all the metrics in the world, all the logic, all the empirical information just won’t. The other way is, of course, more grassroots efforts. But that’s not my business. My business is, with some humor and some fairness and some invitation, to try to nudge paradigms a tiny bit to the side.

https://www.theverge.com/2018/1/15/16893288/climate-change-emoji-climojis-marina-zurkow
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Offline knarf

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Here's Just How Little Confidence Americans Have In Political Institutions
« Reply #10571 on: January 17, 2018, 04:34:24 PM »
Trust in the institutions that have been the pillars of U.S. politics and capitalism is crumbling.

That is one finding from the latest NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll, which shows that Americans have limited confidence in its public schools, courts, organized labor and banks — and even less confidence in big business, the presidency, the political parties and the media.

The only institution that Americans have overwhelming faith in is the military — 87 percent say they have a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in the military. That is a striking change from the 1970s during and after the Vietnam War.

In 1977, according to Gallup, 57 percent had that level of confidence in the military, 30 points lower. There have been some big changes in the last 40 years, including the draft being abolished and fewer and fewer Americans knowing someone serving in the military.

The American public has the least confidence in Congress, the body tasked with making laws that can affect every person in the country. Just 8 percent of people have a great deal of confidence in the institution. Almost two-thirds of Republicans expressed little confidence in Congress — and their party runs it.

Not far behind Congress is the Republican Party, not a good sign for the GOP in an election year with an unpopular president. Just 29 percent of Americans said they have quite a lot or a great deal of confidence in the party, compared with 68 percent who said they don't have very much or none at all in the party.

Democrats, though, should temper their glee. They fare better, but not by much. Just 36 percent expressed confidence in the Democratic Party versus 62 percent who did not.

And the media looks just about as bad as the GOP, with 68 percent not having much confidence or none at all in the press.

Particularly worrisome for the media is that a majority of Republicans, a 53 percent, have no confidence in them at all. Combined with those who said not very much confidence, 90 percent of Republicans expressed a lack of confidence in the media.

Forty-two percent of Democrats felt the same, as did three-quarters of independents. Fairness and objectivity are tenets and pillars of a free press, but those have been eroded in the eyes of many Americans.

At the same time, however, a solid majority said they trust their favorite news source more than President Trump by a 29-point margin, 58 percent to 29 percent. That included 85 percent of Democrats and 53 percent of independents. However, 63 percent of Republicans still trust the president more.

Trump has taken on the media, calling it "fake news" and even attacked the conservative media juggernaut Fox News Channel.

https://www.npr.org/2018/01/17/578422668/heres-just-how-little-confidence-americans-have-in-political-institutions
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Offline Eddie

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Re: Majority of National Parks Panel Quits to Protest Ryan Zinke
« Reply #10572 on: January 17, 2018, 04:40:30 PM »
Nearly all members of the National Park Service advisory panel abruptly quit on Monday in protest of the Trump administration's policies, which they say have neglected science, climate change and environmental protections.

"From all of the events of this past year I have a profound concern that the mission of stewardship, protection, and advancement of our National Parks has been set aside," the head of the panel, Tony Knowles, wrote in a letter of resignation addressed to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, who oversees management of the country's national parks and monuments.

The letter was signed by nine of the panel's 12 members. The bipartisan panel was appointed by former President Obama. The terms of the members who quit were due to expire in May.

The advisory board, first authorized in 1935, advises the director of the National Park Service and the interior secretary on matters relating to the National Park Service and the National Park System.

Environmental advocates have criticized Sec. Zinke's policies, from his recommendations to President Trump to shrink and reduce protections for public lands, to opening up the nation's thousands of miles of coastline to offshore oil drilling.

"We resigned because we were deeply disappointed with the department and we were concerned," Knowles told the New York Times.

Knowles added that Sec. Zinke "appears to have no interest in continuing the agenda of science, the effect of climate change, pursuing the protection of the ecosystem."

According to the letter, the board had repeatedly tried but failed to secure a meeting with Zinke.

"[Our] requests to engage have been ignored and the matters on which we wanted to brief the new Department team are clearly not part of the agenda," the letter states.

Knowles, who has served on the board for seven years, said the board is supposed to meet twice a year but was told things were "suspended." Prior administrations met with the board immediately, he noted.

"This discourteous and disrespectful treatment of the Board is inexcusable and, unfortunately, consistent with a decidedly anti-park pattern demonstrated by Secretary Zinke's department." Phil Francis, chairman of the Coalition to Protect America's National Parks, an advocacy group of current and former national park employees, told the Times.

As for the remaining board members, the Washington Post reported:

"The three board members who did not resign include Harvard University public finance professor Linda Bilmes, University of Maryland marine science professor Rita Colwell and Carolyn Hessler Radelet, the chief executive of Project Concern International. Terms for the first two end in May, while Radelet's term does not expire until 2021.

In an email, Bilmes said she did not resign her post because she is conducting research with other colleagues funded by the National Park Foundation, and wanted to complete her project."

Democratic Senator Maria Cantwell of Washington, who is the ranking member on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, offered her support of the board members who quit.

"The President still hasn't nominated a director for the National Park Service and Secretary Zinke has proposed tripling entrance fees at our most popular national parks," she said in a statement. "His disregard of the advisory board is just another example of why he has earned an 'F' in stewardship."

http://www.truth-out.org/buzzflash/commentary/majority-of-national-parks-panel-quits-in-protest-of-ryan-zinke

A good symbolic move, but probably wasted on the US public. Where is Ted K. when you need him?
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline RE

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Re: What kind of emoji do you need to talk about climate change?
« Reply #10573 on: January 17, 2018, 04:46:31 PM »

RE
SAVE AS MANY AS YOU CAN

Offline Eddie

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Re: Sessions: ‘A Good Nation’ Doesn’t Admit ‘Illiterate’ Immigrants
« Reply #10574 on: January 17, 2018, 05:08:44 PM »
Attorney General Jeff Sessions preached the administration’s message on merit-based immigration on Fox News Tuesday night, claiming “a good nation” doesn’t admit “illiterate” immigrants.

“What good does it do to bring in somebody who is illiterate in their own country, has no skills and is going to struggle in our country and not be successful? That is not what a good nation should do, and we need to get away from it,” Sessions said, speaking on “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”

Sessions criticized Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) for reportedly reciting during a meeting Emma Lazarus’ poem that’s historically affiliated with American immigration and the Statue of Liberty.

“Not really a case you would expect a Republican to be making,” Carlson said, referencing Graham’s use of the poem. “Why aren’t there more articulate Republican members of Congress making the case that you just made?”

“Well, I wish there were, actually,” Sessions said, before claiming the U.S. should be more like Canada in its immigration policies. “We should evaluate them and make sure they are going to be lawful. They are not threats to us. They have the education and skills level to prosper in America. That’s good for them and good for America.”

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/sessions-good-nation-doesnt-admit-illiterate-immigrants

I'm thinking Jeff Sessions' mother must have been a real goody two-shoes type.

"Now, Jeffrey, good boys don't get their clothes all dirty when they play outside!"

or

"Now, Jeffrey, Good boys don't play with those colored children."

or

"Now Jeffrey, Good boys don't do that. Besides, it'll make hair grow on your palms."
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.